Readers may recall the strange series of events leading up to the post facto revisionism at the Vail Daily News when Dr. Michael Mann sent an angry reply letter to the newspaper and then the original letter from Dr. Hertzberg disappeared then reappeared sans a couple of paragraphs that Dr. Mann didn’t like.
Dr. Hertzberg sent this letter to me today, while at the same time sending it to the Vail Daily News. I reproduce it here in entirety, with no edits or changes of any kind.
Response to Michael Mann
When Scott Glasser’s comment of 9/26/11 referred to me indirectly as an “inaccurate” and “irresponsible” “fool” for challenging the theory that human carbon dioxide emission was causing “global warming / climate change”, I felt compelled to respond. My 9/30/11 comment cited the facts and the data that supported my challenge to the theory. In that article, Glasser defended what has been come to be known as the Mann “hockey stick” curve. I responded in my article with the well documented criticism of it from a large number of scientists who carefully reviewed his claims. Also, the so-called “climategate” e-mails revealed an appalling lack of scientific integrity and manipulations by a cabal of advocates of that theory. Mann responded on 10/1/11 accusing me of “false and defamatory statements” packed with “lies and distortions”; of “lying to the public about science”; of a “string of lies tied together”. He stated my “lies are pernicious” and that I am a “charleton”.
In his response, Mann uses an ad-hominem overkill accusing me of lies and lying some six times! Methinks he doth protest too much.
When I am engaged in a scientific dispute with an adversary, and that opponent instead of citing the facts or the data that might support his argument, instead directs an intense barrage of ad-hominem slurs toward me, I am fully confident that I am winning the argument.
My response now is to cite the data. The IPCC report of 1990 prior to Mann’s publication of his “hockey stick” showed a Medieval Warm Period considerably warmer than today with its peak temperature in about 1250 AD. That was followed by a Little Ice Age considerably colder than today with its coldest average temperature in about 1700. Mann’s “hockey stick” curve shows a flat line temperature during those same periods. It finally got rid of the embarrassing Medieval Warm Period that the “climategate” cabal hated so much because it showed a higher temperature than today at a time when the human emission of carbon dioxide was trivial. The more recent and reliable reconstruction for the same time period using 18 other different temperature proxies that are much more reliable than tree rings, reaffirm the 1990 IPCC report. The pesky Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age that Mann obliterated with his “hockey stick” are still there!
For a detailed look at that data and much more, go to www.youtube.com and enter “climategate” and “hertzberg” in the search column. For a more detailed discussion of the “hide the decline” issue, go to Prof. Richard Muller’s talk on the subject at www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BQpciw8suk.
In any case, don’t take the word of someone like me who Mann characterized as a “charleton”. Here is the much earlier opinion of a distinguished Australian scientist, John Daly:
“The evidence is overwhelming from all corners of the world, the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age clearly show up in a variety of proxy indicators, proxies more representative of temperature than inadequate tree ring data.”
“What is disquieting about the hockey stick is not its original publication. As with any paper, it would sink into oblivion if found to be flawed. Rather it was the reaction of the greenhouse industry to it – the chorus of approval, the complete lack of critical evaluation of the theory, the blind acceptance of evidence that was so flimsy. The industry embraced the theory for one reason and one reason only – it told them exactly what they wanted to hear.”
Not long after those comments were written, John Daly died. In one of the climategate e-mails, his death is mentioned as a kind of fortunate occurrence, some “cheering news” that removed one of their adversaries.
So much for scientific integrity!
Dr. Martin Hertzberg
Ph. D. Stanford, 1959