# Editorial – In support of Dr. Michael Mann and open debate

UPDATE: Lubos Motl has a poll running on whether this is the right stance to take or not. Feel free to take it here – Anthony

This is an editorial that I never thought I’d be writing and I expect readers are also surprised to see it. Before you come to a conclusion about my decision, please read the entire essay – there’s a good reason for me to take this position in this particular case. See the event below.

There’s an organization called choosecommonsense.org that is running a letter writing campaign to Penn State to prevent Dr.Mann from speaking. In my opinion, this is the wrong thing to do and the wrong message to send. Let me explain.

First, here is the message the group is pushing:

On February 9th, the Penn State Forum Speaker’s Series is featuring Professor Michael Mann in a speech regarding global warming. This is the same professor who is at the center of the ‘Climategate’ controversy for allegedly manipulating scientific data to align with his extreme political views on global warming.

Now let me be the first to say that I don’t respect Dr. Michael Mann nor do I respect his paleoclimatic work, which I consider to be borderline fraudulent, as do many others. Others have even stronger opinions about the work, especially about the long maligned “hockey stick” and all of its problems.

And, in reading through the Climategate emails, we can see examples where Dr. Mann himself tries to stifle debate. From Tom Nelson:

### Email 1335, Nov 2005, Michael “Robust Debate” Mann on the prospect of attending a workshop also attended by a guy who disagrees with him: “If Zorita is in, I am out!’

Email 1335

cc: Phil Jones
, Keith Briffa , Heinz Wanner date: Tue, 29 Nov 2005 10:26:33 -0500 from: “Michael E. Mann” subject: Re: Workshop: Participants/ 1. Circular to: Christoph Kull

Christoph,

Can I please have an explanation of what happened here???? You sent out a list yesterday of partipipants that we had all agreed upon. Today, you sent out emails to a DIFFERENT list, inviting an additional participant (Zorita) who we SPECIFICALLY DISCUSSED and decided (as I understood it) would not be invited because of personality conflict issues. At the very least, this needed further discussion, not unilateral overruling without notice.

I’d like an explanation of what happened here. I do not believe that this event will be constructive and amicable with Zorita’s participation. If the recommendaitons of the organizers are not going to be followed, I am unsure I can participate in or endorse this event. If Zorita is in, I am out!

Mike

Email 4862, Keith Briffa to the whining Mann

We simply will not allow you to withdraw . You know perfectly well that you are too important in all this to take such action. If it requires my talking to Eduardo and getting him to withdraw , then so be it.

Of course, skeptics are the complete opposite of Dr. Mann, we wish to engage debate where he does not. He wants to be the only voice in the room.

Therefore, I think the approach of choosecommonsense.org is absolutely wrong. They shouldn’t be trying to muzzle Dr. Mann, but instead should be pushing for open debate in our land of free speech. They should be pushing Penn State to allow a point-counterpoint dialog in the Penn State Forum Speaker Series instead of trying to muzzle him.

Dr. Mann himself supports “robust debate” when he’s tweeting to his friends:

Twitter / @MichaelEMann: Good editorial on #CRUHack …

Good editorial on #CRUHack2 in The Economist: emails actually show science working as it should (robust debate, etc.) econ.st/tteL8L

Though, I suspect that if presented with an open debate in the Penn State Forum Speaker Series, Dr. Mann would say “…if so and so is in, I am OUT!”.

## 246 thoughts on “Editorial – In support of Dr. Michael Mann and open debate”

1. andrew says:

I completely agree on multiple levels, not the least of which is, for the most part, the more we can get folks like Mann to make statements on the public record, the weaker their position becomes. Truth is truth. I’d rather Mann and his friends go on the record and speak their “beliefs” as much as possible.

2. Philip Peake says:

Agree 100%. I don’t particularly like what I know of Michael Mann, and I think he knowingly misleads people, but censorship is the wrong answer.

Rather than agitating to increase suppression of free speech, people should be agitating to open it up, and allow people who disagree with Mr. Mann to have their views heard. Particularly in the mainstream media.

3. Nylo says:

I totally agree.

4. David Davidovics says:

I think your reasoning is sound. Skeptics must not come to resemble the alarmists in efforts to expose the truth about the exaggerations of global warming. The last thing we need is to give Mann more ammo for his perpetual heroic victim complex.

5. Anthony,

Are you advocating that government should use some of its people’s tax money to support Mann having a platform to disseminate his religious views under the guise of science to an unsuspecting public, without being required to reply in the same forum to uncomfortable questions about his past work?

RTF

6. KR says:

Thumbs up, Anthony.

7. Ian W says:

I agree completely – ALL Michael Mann’s views should be given full publicity especially those from the ClimateGate emails tranches one and two. I would in fact put it stronger and require Michael Mann to explain himself. There are a number of questions I am sure WUWT could provide to allow him to explain his position.

8. Wondering Aloud says:

While I understand your point, I think after all of Mann’s efforts to silence his critics, AKA real scientists, he really doesn’t have any grounds to complain himself.

Agreed, Mann shouldn’t be muzzled, he should be debated.
He’ll chicken out of a real debate, Mann v McIntyre, for example!

10. Neo says:

I’d like to see Mr. Mann defend his position with representatives of all (there aren’t always just two) sides in forum of equal respect.

11. Richard deSousa says:

Mann will be absent and flee
, like Al Gore, if he has to debate an opponent of substance such as Richard Lindzen or Stephen McIntyre or Christopher Monckton.

12. A physicist says:

Here’s a post that many folks will be surprised to see “A physicist” writing: an essay in praise of … Anthony Watts.

There are a few regulars here on WUWT (and I am one of them) whose posts upon occasion depart from “orthodox skepticism.” To Anthony’s great credit — as appreciated by everyone who acknowledges the vital role of civil debate in democracy — Anthony Watts has made WUWT into a forum where meta-skeptical posts not only are tolerated, but accepted and even encouraged, provided solely that the fundamental principle of strong skepticism and strong science is reasonably respected: “Focus criticism upon ideas, not persons.”

For outstanding commitment and service to this fundamental principle of American-style democracy and debate, appreciation and thanks are due to Anthony, from me and from everyone.

Thank you, Anthony Watts.

13. pochas says:

Dissent without violence is the hallmark of a mature society. Attempts at thought control push us backwards.

14. Richard deSousa says:

Mann will be absent and flee, like Al Gore, if he has to debate an opponent of substance such as Richard Lindzen or Stephen McIntyre or Christopher Monckton.

15. oMan says:

RTF: It would be nice if the organizers of this Forum were to require a panel of speakers offering more than one view, ideally a spectrum of views and some back-and-forth to identify areas of (dis)agreement and work on them. Maybe they could even come up with joint research proposals to settle some of the open questions. But I suspect what they’ll get is a “moderator” who just throws the speaker a few softballs as he sells the same old stuff. This is unlikely to be exemplary of honest academic inquiry and discourse; and is very likely to be a waste of taxpayer and institutional resource. IMHO.

16. DonK31 says:

The big advantage in having free speech is that it allows idiots to prove it.

17. Mark T says:

Dr. Mann himself supports “robust debate” when he’s tweeting to his friends:

But he really doesn’t. To him, “robust debate” is debating with someone that agrees in every aspect except perhaps the font of the paper. He steadfastly refuses to stand up to any real criticism of his work.

Personally, the “public debate” thing regarding scientific issues is a joke. It does not advance science in any way. It is much more about oration than content. Scientific debate is best when done in a room with dissenting members given equal opportunity to state their cases. “Zingers” don’t matter. All that matters is the content. There is often no compromise (indeed, the correct answer cannot be expected to be an average of incorrect answers), sometimes nobody agrees and the process stalemates. Sometimes it simply takes until there is more evidence. Sometimes ideas get lost in the “neat idea, but impossible to prove/implement” land of limbo.

Mark

18. Gator says:

I say give him plenty of rope! ;)

19. I totally agree. We cannot complain about the CAWG espouses attempting to silence CAGW skeptics if we engage in the same sort of behavior. By all means let him speak. And there should be no attempt to disrupt this event. If they don’t allow the CAGW skeptical side to be heard, we can point that out. You never know, there could be a Penn state student for whom intellectual curiosity has not be suppressed.

20. Let the science and the free speech be open and accessible to anyone and everyone. By all means test it, scrutinise it, oppose it but never silence it !

21. Theo Goodwin says:

I agree. We should always support open debate. We should encourage Mann to debate.

However, I think you are not aware of the “situation on the ground” at college campuses in the US. The power of Political Correctness is huge and pre-stifles nearly all dissenting opinion. My guess is that those who protest Mann are doing so because they have no other means to get their own message out. Remember that every college in the US, even the tiny little community colleges, has a Diversity Dean. You should read these words and weep.

22. I agree. The best way further to expose his nonsense is to provide an opportunity for him to respond to his critics in such a forum.

23. margaret berger says:

Free speech alive and well on the internet.

24. ggm says:

I’m not sure Mann should be supported. Given all we know about the (C)AGW frauw (and yes, it is a deliberate fraud), I think there is no doubt that Mann has participated in an act of mass fraud of tax payer money. I would have given him the benefit of the doubt until 4 or 5 years ago, but since then, there is absolutely no excuse for Mann etc to not acknowlege they were completely wrong in their work and appologise for the $billions of our money wasted due to his incompetance – but instead they have hunkered down and continue to promote their fraud for their own benefit. No warming, models proven wrong, data hidden and adjusted, every aspect of their fraud is continously proven wrong on an almost daily basis. You can not convince a con-artist about the “errors of his ways” by pointing out his deliberate lies are wrong – they will only stop when they know they will be brought to account legally for their fraud. You dont beat crooks by playing nice. I uderstand where you are coming from – but unlike you, I consider Mann a criminal who should be brought to account in our courts. The sooner Mann is made to realise where this will end for him and his accomplices, the sooner he might try to right his wrongs. 25. Joachim Seifert says: Mann should use his right of “free speech” here with US on this blog, where you meet knowledgeable folks….. this is the place for debate….- Anthony, invitation please!-… … The “Commonsense”- people are RIGHT, they know that unprepared and in other sections studying folks are easy prey for Mann & Co…… because they do not have our background knowledge…… …….If Mann were in a public dispute with major Skeptics….this would have scientific value…… whereas propagating Nonsense over and over, as his recent sea level talks…. ……then better use your commen sense as COMMENSENSE people….. JS 26. Ray says: Now Mann will run with this situation and put all climate skeptics in the same boat. ALL skeptics want to silence him sort of thing… don’t give him ammunitions, let him speak and dig his own scientific grave in the process. 27. Vinny says: Anthony, as a non scientist maybe I can speak more openly, (I don’t depend on grants), the only thing I question about your editorial is in my opinion Micheal Mann is not borderline fraudulent he is totally fraudulent. His approach to global warming has been insincere at best, worst case he has out right lied. Micheal Mann would never debate anyone, especially on an equal footing, because all his opponent has to say is show me your back up evidence proving your premise and he would fold like a wrinkled shirt. He should resign, he has been pushing a political agenda which has a goal of picking the worlds pockets and that is inexcusable. Try telling the people freezing to death in Europe and Asia about global warming, I’m sure they would love to hear that right about now. 28. BarryW says: Given Penn States actions in the past, the protest is a wasted effort IMHO. The question is not should Mann be allowed to speak, but have those he disagrees with been denied the chance to speak. My guess is that they are perfectly happy with denying the right to speak as long as it’s someone they disagree with. That should be the point of any protest. 29. oMan, Thank you, I agree, and I take it further, as my comment shows. It’s not censorship for government to require religious proponents to fund their own messaging — even in a university setting. Unless of course there is a requirement for alternative viewpoints to get equal time, and for the professor(s) to make an honest reply to questions posed by critics. The First Amendment addresses not just freedom of speech and of the press, but also the concept of government “respecting” an “establishment of religion.” That part is also extremely important. RTF 30. don says: Ah life is irony, affording Mr. Mann the rights and privileges of robust debate that he so nefariously denied to others under the rubric of doing good consensual science in the cause of crackpot realism. Makes one want to puke [snip] Hopefully the boy will do some time for defrauding the state while enjoying the academic freedom to stifle the free flow of ideas. 31. Brandon C says: I agree with Anthony that stopping people from speaking is wrong. But I can’t help feel that this is the greens and climate activists falling on their own sword. After all it was the people from this group that started the whole idea of creating backlash against speakers to get them cancelled. If this is going to be the standard operating proceedure from the left to censor sceptics, then I see no reason why others should not be allowed to do as they do. 32. The shrill alarmists are their own worst enemy. Let them talk. 33. cui bono says: Of course let him speak, that’s his right, and others have the right to hear (or jeer) him. Ulterior motive: apart from A. Gore, no-one has done more to polarise opinion, cast doubt on AGW and mobilise the forces of scepticism more than Mann. Given his past record in trying to stifle debate and remove anyone who disagrees with him, the ultimate irony would be for him to be able to claim some sort of intellectual martyrdom. 34. Kaboom says: I agree. Let him speak. Worst case he is only helping to further build the case against him as a scientist and a human being by opening his mouth in public. 35. Eric Anderson says: Just curious. Am I right that the organization isn’t suggesting that Mann shouldn’t have a general right to free speech to espouse his views? They seem to be concerned about the forum and the university’s support. What they seem to be suggesting is that the university shouldn’t give Mann a center stage to spout his views, when he has been engaging in activities that bring the university into disrepute. Are there individuals other than Mann who might better represent the university in the Forum Speaker Series? Also they seem to be suggesting that the university should stop supporting his activities, which have brought a black eye on the university. Sure, a debate would be better, but not sure I’m too offended by the group’s suggestion that the university should stop putting its own weight and reputation behind Mann. 36. Paul Westhaver says: The truth is messy business. Rarely in human experience does a collective process proceed without battles. Even in science matters where, ostensibly, the debates are supposed to be based on fact… facts ate the product of egos and agenda and inspiration. Here are a couple of my favorite messy science ruckuses: (Lemaitre and Gamow) vs (Fred Hoyle)….. Hoyle lost even though he had widespread popular support…he died denying the Big Bang Theory. ((Bohr vs Heisenberg) VS Einstein) …Solvay Conference in 1927….now we have quantum mechanics…. So let the messy debate continue. The truth will prevail. Anthony is providing the forum for this climate debate. It is important that you know where you are and when you are in relation to history. Anthony is smack dab in the middle and is hosting the discourse right here, right now. The institutions have dropped the ball on the scientific process yet it lives in it ugly messy manifestation here. Thanks, Anthony. This blog will produce the definitive answer and will reign as the judicial authority on the outcome. 37. Fred from Canuckistan says: Agree. Let’s hope there is a Q&A after his talk so people can ask him why Climatologists have been so very, very wrong in their predictions . . . those answers will be where the hilarity meets road. 38. In my collage of Josh’s cartoons (over 1200 web-page hits up to date) http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CHshow.htm I’ve let Dr. Mann speak ( I think he is the seated one holding notepad). I invite Dr. Mann to make a short statement, but no abuse please, I guaranty it will be added to the text of the webpage, and I am confident that Anthony will not censor it. 39. PaulH says: I agree with Anthony. There is absolutely nothing to be gained in preventing Mr. Mann from speaking. 40. Michael Palmer says: The only surprise here for me is that Anthony expects us to be surprised. His position is the only honorable one and entirely of a piece with his usual approach to open debate. 41. Bob B says: I agree, let Mann say what he wants. 42. R. Gates says: I applaud Anthony for his stance here. The support open dialog is an important feature of a free and open society. Mann’s refusal to attend an event with Zorita of course reflects their conflict over the validity of the Hockey Stick (see: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.167.9579&rep=rep1&type=pdf). But regardless of whether Mann was justified in that refusal, it’s nice to see Anthony continue to be a champion of open discussion. (just one more reason I think he’ll do well with the 2012 Weblog Bloggies). 43. Septic Matthew says: I had the same thought when I read of the attempt to muzzle Dr. Mann. Thank you for your editorial. 44. Mike Smith says: Why did you think readers would be surprised? You have taken exactly the position I expected. I would have done the same, and for the simple reason that it’s the Right Thing (TM) to do. Censorship doesn’t help anyone in the long run. 45. kelly says: Kudos to Anthony. When I was young my father wisely counseled me to be honest for the practical reason that a dishonest person is soon found out simply because he loses track of the truth while others do not. If what Professor Mann is claiming is not borne out (and it has not been and is unlikely to be) then he is simply poking holes in his own credibility every time he repeats a false claim. Why would anyone want to stop him from doing that? 46. Nope. Wrong. This is a war, and they started it. Unilateral disarmament loses a war. Niceness doesn’t work when you’re dealing with people who EXPLICITLY WANT TO DESTROY THE ENTIRE HUMAN SPECIES. Actually niceness doesn’t work at all. Not in any circumstance. Never. 47. Jay Davis says: Unless a prominent skeptic is also slated to speak in these forums, Mann should not be given a free ride. Without dissenting views being presented, this forum is merely another opportunity for Mann to spout his propaganda unopposed. 48. JJ says: I disagree. Mann should not be invited to speak in a public forum. Not because of his unscientific “work”, or because of his political views, or because of his pissy, condescending attitude, or because of the things he is likely to say about “global warming”. Those are all objectionable, but airing out the objectionable is what open debate and free communication is about. He should not be invited to speak, because of his persistant attacks on open debate and his egregious denial of free communication to others. This is the guy who, if he doesn’t like what you say, tries to get you fired from your job. This is the guy who parrots his involvement at RealClimate, which purports to be a forum but is instead a one sided propaganda tool where dissenting opinion is rigorously censored. This is the guy who brings illegitimate and frivolous libel lawsuits against those who disagree with him, attempting to use the police power of the state to censor others and punish them for open debate and free communication. This is the guy who actively resists legitimate Freedom of Information Act requests – coopting millions of dollars of other people’s money to do so. This is the guy who participates in conspiracies to destroy records open to Freedom of Information Act Requests. Until such time as he is convicted for crimes, Mann has the Constitutional right to freedom of speech. That is not in dispute, and I am not suggesting that the state muzzle him unless and until that time comes. But the Constitutional right to freedom of speech is the freedom from government censorship. The Constitutional right to freedom of speech does not obligate other people to provide you a forum. Invitation to such fora are instead governed by the public’s commitment to the principle of open debate and free communication. It is an appropriate demonstration of commitment to that principle to sanction those, like Mann, who actively deny the benefits of that principle to others. There are plenty of people who can stand up in front of a crowd and tell whoppers about treemometers and the lack of a Medieval Warm Period. There are plenty of people who can hide a decline. If the organizers of this debate believe that presenting such nonsense is necessary to free communication and open debate, then they should invite an effective advocate for those positions. But it should be someone who has not acted so egregiously against open debate and sought to deny the free comunication of others. Mann’s opinions may deserve the opportunity to be heard in a forum provided by others. He does not. 49. evanmjones says: I agree. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Lead by example. 50. Richard M says: Where does the right to free speech end? [SNIP on this blog it ends with the published site policy, and while you are certainly entitled to your opinion about who Penn State might allow to speak, this sort of comment will do nothing but create an off-topic flame-fest not directly related to the issue at hand, so while it pains me to have to snip it, I must. – Anthony] 51. MangoChutney says: Let him speak – with very few exceptions, everybody has a right to speak freely and then let him answer his critics 52. trbixler says: [SNIP while you are certainly entitled to your opinion about who Penn State might allow to speak, this sort of comment will do nothing but create an off-topic flame-fest not directly related to the issue at hand, so while it pains me to have to snip it, I must. – Anthony] There has been no “trial” (well maybe a review) for Mann. There is not even an admission by “authority” that his tricky math has harmed many physically as well as financially. So is it said that it is OK to do harm and continue to do harm until one is proven by authority to be doing harm? Mann has been cleared by his peers and has the continued support of government and grants. It must be OK. 53. common sense says: There are Pros and Cons for every action. I understand you want dishonest folks to continue the evidence trail, and that’s logical. You have to know that most persons are uneducated about the most mundane things. Those that attempt to be educated, aren’t always able to understand the science that you and your collegues put out there, nor are they able to use it as a defense except to say that ‘so and so said it’. You want him to speak because you are able to refute his models and/or data. The rest of us want to do something, we are left with the usual paths of protest, petition, politicking, and assembly. They’ll never shut out a Gore’ian, so no need to worry about that. It’s so difficult to get past the conformity bubble. No matter all the effort you all have put forth, the same people, state the same things constantly unchallenged. Sometimes you have to yell to be heard. You have to let them know you will not be steamrolled. Fighting back is not mutually exclusive with being honest or being fair. Sometimes you have to kick the bully in the sack, and say you’ve had enough. on a side note, it looks like that Org is from, coal basically, Storm Technologies (imo I followed the links.) Also here’s Revkin http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/02/a-shameful-attack-on-free-speech-by-a-group-claiming-to-speak-for-coal-dependent-workers/ 54. R. Gates says: polistra says: February 4, 2012 at 10:07 am Nope. Wrong. This is a war, and they started it. Unilateral disarmament loses a war. Niceness doesn’t work when you’re dealing with people who EXPLICITLY WANT TO DESTROY THE ENTIRE HUMAN SPECIES. _______ And here, I can disagree with you completely. I’ve not met one climate scientist who in any way wants to destroy the entire human species. In stating this, you highlight the common tendency to want to demonize your opponent…to make the evil. The “warmists” are equally guilty of this in making such claims as “the skeptics are in bed with the evil oil companies” and other such nonsense. The truth is, both sides are believe they are right, and are passionate about their position, but few (if any) from either side wants to “destroy the entire human speciies”. I’ve listened to many talks given by the “Team”, and read even more of their papers. I’ve also listened to and read much that the other side has said and written. Neither side is evil, neither side wants to see the end of humanity. Both, in fact, would like to see a world that is fit (either ecologically or economically) for their grandchildren and great grandchildren. This desire makes them even more committed to their positions. In the end, both sides want the same thing, but simply see a completely different way the future could unfold, and thus differ on what ought to (or ought not to) be done. In demonizing the other side, no true dialog can be had, as you’ll always suspect they have an “evil” motive behind their actions, when in fact, they really do want the same bright and healthy future for their grandchildren, but simply see reality and how to get to that bright future much differently. 55. Richard Verney says: They are two seperate issues as to whether Mann should contnue to be funded by the tax payer and whether Mann should be muzzled. I am all for free speech and he clearly should be allowed to espouse his views and opinions. On the other hand, what is now known about Mann ought to cause the Penn State to carry out a rigorous investigation as to whether it is appropriate to still be funding this guy. 56. Owen says: Mann should not be censored. Censorship is never a good idea. But, he should be fired from his job for corrupt, incompetent science. Let him speak all he wants on his own dime. Stop funding this clown ! 57. Hector M. says: I entirely agree with Anthony. Free speech, and an opportunity to air your views, outlandish and insulting as they might be, is to be encouraged. Let the people decide. On the other hand, and from a more cynical viewpoint, the more Mann speaks, the worse is the result for his “cause”. Let the man (the Mann) speak, by all means, and let him keep speaking as long as he wishes. 58. Tim Clark says: If Mann’s there, I’m not. 59. Giving Dr. Mann a chance to correct his mistakes through open debate would be the higher ground, and the better choice. If he changed his mind and teachings as a result of open debate, then perhaps the lie that been told the world concerning Global Warming could be corrected. Censorship is the low ground and should be avoided at all cost. We all deserve a second chance. 60. DirkH says: Mann shouldn’t be censored; he should be fired. 61. Sparks says: Anthony’s logic is sound, Don’t muzzle the village Idiot, let him speak, let him defend his scientifically discredited Charts. Let him explain why he wants to see people who are struggling to survive some of the harshest winters since records began and pay higher fuel bills and more for their energy so that it will reduce global temperatures. 62. Giving Dr. Mann a chance to correct his mistakes through open debate would be the higher ground, and the better choice. If he changed his mind and teachings as a result of open debate, then perhaps the lie that has been told the world concerning Global Warming could be corrected. Censorship is the low ground and should be avoided at all cost. We all deserve a second chance. 63. Former Forecaster says: I completely agree. To try to silence Dr. Mann is to stoop to the level of the propagandists who fear dissenting opinions. 64. Have to disagree slightly. Of course we should all support the idea of “open debate”, but it ain’t gonna happen. 65. Giving Dr. Mann a chance to correct his mistakes through open debate would be the higher ground, and the better choice. If he changed his mind and teachings as a result of open debate, then perhaps the lie that has been told the world concerning Global Warming could be corrected in time. Censorship is the low ground and should be avoided at all cost. We all deserve a second chance. 66. Markus Fitzhenry. says: I hope he comes down to OZ and brings his mate Greg Laden with him. Wouldn’t that make an interesting lecture. We landed on the beaches weeks ago and the front is gathering speed, not long now comrades, none will be left to speak. And none will be left to speak of. 67. Keith Battye says: It is encouraging to see how far up into the world’s zeitgeist WUWT has gone. We now have the astonishing situation of the CAGW leadership trying for credibility on the “deniers” website. WUWT has covered a lot of very important ground to bring things to this point. No matter what the outcome of any debate we will all learn something and how can that be bad? 68. HankH says: I agree. Science is furthered by inquiry and rigorous debate even if you don’t agree with some of the personalities. If no skeptics are invited to the debate then this will be just another of many hand holding sessions that fade quickly into obscurity for lack of any real purpose – nothing changes. If, on the other hand, skeptical scientists are permitted to debate, then Dr. Mann and company set a precedence that has been their worst nightmare – elevate the skeptical viewpoint to being worthy of true scientific debate and even worse, allow skeptical scientists to sit at the same table. 69. T.C. says: Isn’t Mann a party to the SLAPP launched by Andrew Weaver against Dr. Tim Ball? As a result., Weaver and Mann have managed to shut down any possibility of the Canadian media asking uncomfortable questions about their models or their use of taxpayer funding for public lobbying activities. If Mann gets shut down by this letter-writing campaign, that is just fine by me because he won’t let his critics speak. Now please excuse me. I live out here on the left coast. Unless I make my thrice daily homage to Saint Suzuki I might get SLAPPed. 70. David H. says: What Voltaire is reported to have said is very appropriate here: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”. (It was actually written by Evelyn Beatrice Hall, but everyone thinks it was Voltiare and it certainly captured his spirit of belief in the power of free speech and open debate.) 71. Werner Brozek says: Let him debate providing the format is totally fair to both sides. However he should not have the right to choose his opponent nor should he be allowed to opt out should he find out that his opponent may be Christopher Monckton. Remember what Monckton wrote about someone else: “Huhne only found out that I was to be his opponent when he reached Heathrow Airport. He turned straight around and went back to London.” 72. nutso fasst says: Tickets are$18. How much of that goes to Mann?

73. Markus Fitzhenry. says:

R. Gates says:
February 4, 2012 at 10:23 am
“‘In demonizing the other side, no true dialog can be had, as you’ll always suspect they have an “evil” motive behind their actions, when in fact, they really do want the same bright and healthy future for their grandchildren, but simply see reality and how to get to that bright future much differently.””

You reside in as much a fantasy as Mann Et el.

These clowns are a bunch of misanthropists, they are so small minded. It’s not about “hating humans” so much as it is about impressing the chick (or boy) next door. A kind of competition to get to snob-land first: ‘I look down on humans more than you do.” (Which translates loosely as: I, the exalted one, speaks from a greater height, fellow misanthropist).

No matter how much they now try to confront the climate change challenge, the change of climate is confronting them.

Frightening, don’t you think R Gates.

74. EternalOptimist says:

I like the idea of getting him to speak more. Firstly , consorship is never welcome

Secondly, if being a decent person or a good scientist were against the law
there wouldn’t be enough evidence to convict him

75. A well-chosen stance and well written piece, Anthony. Using Mann’ own Climategate email 1335 was a nice touch.

On a practical matter, I do not think it fair to force Mann into a debate format. Oh, give him the option, yes! But should he decline to alter his prepared stump speech, then the leaders of the Forum need to stipulate, “If you do not choose to debate Dr. X, then Dr. X will be the scheduled speaker next after you.”

76. cui bono says:

If Mann was speaking at a nearby venue (unlikely as I’m in the UK) I would certainly go along to ask a pertinent question afterwards.

All suggestions for pertinent questions gratefully received.

The problem is, I can see him being bundled out straight after his talk by his ‘hired goons’ to avoid any debate. Doesn’t Gore refuse to take Q&A nowadays?

77. John West says:

JJ says:
“He should not be invited to speak, because of his persistant attacks on open debate and his egregious denial of free communication to others.”

Do onto others as you would have them do unto you, NOT, do unto others as they have done unto you.

Let’s not become like that which we are opposed.

@ R. Gates
Well put, however, let’s remember that it doesn’t take evil intentions to do evil.

78. R de Haan says:

Love open debates and free expression of opinion.
But never forget where this is all about.
http://news.yahoo.com/100-countries-back-world-environment-agency-france-154225650.html

And if you’re confused, just replace world environment agency with New World Government.

They tried this at Copenhagen and they’re going to try it again at the Rio Summit.

Just wait for these plans going main stream.
They could effect the upcoming elections.
http://cbullitt.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/when-i-said-agw-was-a-front-for-global-governance/

79. eyesonu says:

This is a messy situation.

It is fair to argue against letting Mann have a publicly funded forum to continue with his deceptive ways.

Is it also of importance to allow a high profile ‘advocate’ to continue to be heard? In my opinion, he has brought shame in every endeavour and organization he has been associated with to include Univ of VA, Univ of PA, IPCC, etc. He has been totally discredited from a scientific and ethical point of view. He is being investigated …. (self censured) ….

Univ of PA will be the ultimate looser with his speach as it further shows the political leanings of that institution in the face of evidence against Mann’s ethical and ‘scientific’ undertakings. There are other universities at which one can gain an education in the sciences, physics, etc. without carrying the stigma that will forever be associated with Univ of PA. The Univ of VA now has the same issues, the stigma of Univ of East Anglia suffers the same fate. Once great universities under poor management. In the real world the management would have long ago been restructured.

I would have to subscribe to the “give him enough rope to ….” view. I applaud Anthony for having an open mind with regards to this messy situation yet bringing it to our attention for an open discussion.

80. PiperPaul says:

What’s that quote? Not evil, just wrong.

81. Downdraft says:

I agree that Mann, as long as he is still in his position at the university, should be able to speak, provided that another speaker is brought in later to rebut, which should be the case with all political discourse. The real question is, why does he still have his position? He has adequately demonstrated that he is more political activist than scientist. Move him to the Political Science dept. where he belongs.

82. Richard Verney says: February 4, 2012 at 10:28 am
They are two seperate issues as to whether Mann should contnue to be funded by the tax payer and whether Mann should be muzzled.

Precisely. Personally, I would be very uncomfortable with the idea of muzzling my intelectual opponent. So should those who do it, that’s totalitarian. Moreover, that never worked in the long run. The wronger he is, and the more he talks, the better for me.

83. Debate is debate. Isn’t that what the sceptical side of the argument been asking for all along? Honest, open debate with the emphasis on the science. Examination of the issues. Of course Mann should be allowed to present his work in full. That is only fair.

So long as the debate is open and honest, of course.

84. MM should permitted the courtesy of being able to speak and the audience, preferably 100% comprised of skeptics, should be allowed to listen to him. If I lived anywhere close to where he is speaking, I would be first in line to hear him. There is more than one way to skin a cat.

85. JDN says:

@Anthony: Kids are impressionable. Whomever is up front speaking to them from a university platform becomes an authority figure. I have to agree with choosecommonsense.org. Mann should not be an authority figure. This is not a debate among adults we’re talking about. It’s indoctrination. I think you have made a mistake in interpreting how this talk will be received and by whom.

On the other hand, he is faculty at Penn State. There is no way an outside group should get to pick who speaks at faculty seminars. I’m not sure this problem has a right answer.

86. Your call for free and open debate is absolutely right. It is only the hypocritical that advocate for freedom and close debate to those disagreed with. That is a social/political response. The philosophical resonance in general and the philosophy of science response in specific, demands debate and it demands complete openness and responsive, not passive, decisions or judgments. Free and open debate that examines any and all ideas relating to any question is fundamental to a free and open society. It is only the True Believers that are prepared to mortgage their freedom.

87. cui bono says:

PiperPaul says (February 4, 2012 at 11:11 am)

What’s that quote? Not evil, just wrong.
—————–

Or ” not even wrong”.

Wiki:

An argument that appears to be scientific is said to be “not even wrong” if it cannot be falsified (i.e., tested with the possibility of being rejected) by experiment or cannot be used to make predictions about the natural world. The phrase was coined by theoretical physicist Wolfgang Pauli, who was known for his colorful objections to incorrect or sloppy thinking.[1] Rudolf Peierls writes that “a friend showed [Pauli] the paper of a young physicist which he suspected was not of great value but on which he wanted Pauli’s views. Pauli remarked sadly, ‘It is not even wrong.’ “[2]

The phrase implies that even a wrong argument would have been better than the argument proposed, because an argument can only be found wrong after meeting the criteria for a scientific hypothesis. Arguments that are not even wrong do not meet these criteria.

The phrase “not even wrong” is often used to describe pseudoscience or bad science and is considered derogatory.[3]

88. John Trigge says:

The reason there is a moderator is (from their web site) “Following the presentation, a facilitator poses questions that have been submitted by members of the audience to the speaker. Together, the speaker and audience have an opportunity to explore some of the most pertinent issues facing higher education and society today.”

I would like to see:
1. audience members who can frame a question succinct enough to make Mann squirm in his response
2. the list of questions given to the moderator (it reads as if they are not taking questions from the floor but rather pre-submitted questions).
3. the questions that the moderator asks of Mann so that we can compare these with the submissions to see what the filtering process was
4. references to Mann sharing the Nobel Prize to state that it was the Nobel PEACE Prize awarded to the IPCC. It was not, necessarily, for good science.

89. Dr Mann should be provided with ‘enough rope’ !

90. A physicist says:

Paul Westhaver reminds us: The truth is messy business. Rarely in human experience does a collective process proceed without battles. Even in science matters where, ostensibly, the debates are supposed to be based on fact… facts ate the product of egos and agenda and inspiration.

Here are a couple of my favorite messy science ruckuses:

(Lemaitre and Gamow) vs (Fred Hoyle)….. Hoyle lost even though he had widespread popular support…he died denying the Big Bang Theory.

((Bohr vs Heisenberg) VS Einstein) …Solvay Conference in 1927….now we have quantum mechanics….

So let the messy debate continue. The truth will prevail.

Paul, that is an outstanding post!

A similar “messy science ruckus”, that has considerable relevance to topics here on WUWT, is the generation-long controversy between the two great thermodynamicists Lars Onsager and Clifford Truesdell. Onsager in 1931 put forth a principle of thermodynamic transport (that is the foundation to the Hansen-style physics of GHG $\Leftrightarrow$ GHE $\Leftrightarrow$ AGW) that is today called “Onsager reciprocity”.

Truesdell vehemently disagreed with Onsager’s reciprocity principle, and so he included in his (well-respected) textbooks lengthy chapters criticizing what Truesdell called “Onsagerism” (similar to today’s criticism of “warmism”).

So what happened? By the end of the 20th century, “Onsagerism” had triumphed, by a mechanism described by Press et al. in their classic textbook Numerical Recipes

That is the curse of statistics, that it can never prove things, only disprove them! At best, you can substantiate a hypothesis by ruling out, statistically, a whole long list of competing hypotheses, every one that has ever been proposed. After a while your adversaries and competitors will give up trying to think of alternative hypotheses, or else they will grow old and die, and \emph{then your hypothesis will become accepted}. Sounds crazy, we know, but that’s how science works!

In short, the squabble between “Onsagerism” and “Onsager skepticism” ended only when the last of the skeptics grew old and died.

Elevator Summary: Those who seek for rationality in the evolution of science often will be disappointed, and those who seek for saints among scientists (or any other profession) always will be disappointed. And that is why there is a saying: “Death by death, science advances!” :)

91. trbixler says:

Anthony
Sorry for the vitriol but why is the perpetration of a $trillion dollar shell game seen as a minor offense to the world public. Its OK and no one will say otherwise? I very cautiously suggest that history has shown otherwise. 92. dp says: I agree with this part: Join us in calling on the administrators of Penn State to end its support of Michael Mann and his radical agenda. but the linked site requires cookies to be able to read the statement so I don’t know if they are calling for Penn State to silence Dr. Mann. Not supporting him because of his serious misbehavior is not at all the same as muzzling him. It is patently wrong to seek to block someone from presenting their ideas and it is also patently wrong to enable a serial offender to continue offending. Two problems, two solutions. 93. A Lovell says: University of Osnabrück’s Disinvitation Of Professor Vahrenholt Camouflaged True Motives By P Gosselin on 3. Februar 2012 The above from http://www.notrickszone.com about yet another ‘disinvitation’ of a sceptic. This is by no means uncommon. I agree with Anthony about censorship. However, it might be interesting to have a list of the ‘disinvited’, just for the record. 94. JJ says: John West says: JJ says: “He should not be invited to speak, because of his persistant attacks on open debate and his egregious denial of free communication to others.” Do onto others as you would have them do unto you, NOT, do unto others as they have done unto you. Sloppy thinking. The two circumstances are not equivalent. What Mann has done is actively attack others for open debate, and actively prevent others from free communication. He does this because he wants to stifle what they had to say. I dont think that Mann’s opinions should be kept from a public forum, though I would disagree with nearly all of it. I think that it is appropriate to not invite him to present those opinions. Not because of what he has to say, but because of his efforts to deny others the benefit of the principle that would thus be extended to him. He does not deserve the privilige. He deserves to be sanctioned by those who wish to preserve the principle that he actively attacks. Let’s not become like that which we are opposed. Don’t be silly. When someone steals or defrauds others, we may levy punitive fines on them. When someone kidnaps others, we may incarcerate them. When someone violates the rights of others, they lose their claim to what were their own rights – ask any convict. Similarly, when someone violates a principle of social convention, they may lose the benefit of that same principle. Do not confuse irony with contradiction. It is not a contravention of the principles of open debate and free communication to sanction those who violate those principles. According to the warmists, 97% of all people qualified to have an opinion on climate science are in lockstep agreement with Mann. Thus, it should not be difficult to locate an effective advocate for Mann’s warmist positions: one who has not acted to deny free communication of others, and thus deserves the invite. 95. Yes, I see. Not so much in support of Dr Mann, as in support of letting him make a complete pratt of himself, in front of an un-selected audience. I’m sure go for that. 96. Phil C says: I don’t know what the format of this program is and whether or not questions are allowed. If they are, it would be especially good to have some pointed ones prepared based on the title: Confronting the Climate Change Challenge. Something like “Dr. Mann, so far the temperature change record on the climate consists mainly of one ~30 year rise in global temperature of about .9deg C from 1970-2000, in a 150 year instrumental record and thousands of years of paleo records showing many similar changes. Why do you see a 0.003 deg change in absolute temperature of the earth as a challenge?” 97. I fully agree. Open debate is needed with everyone able to contribute. 98. Pat Frank says: The answer is simple. The Penn State group should instead organize donations to pay for the expense of inviting Steve McIntyre to make a presentation immediately following Michael Mann’s. After that, they can sponsor an open discussion with both speakers. I’d donate for that. I have no doubt but that Steve will agree to participate. And Michael Mann . . . .? I’ve sent choosecommonsense.org an email about this and suggesting they organize web-donations to support Steve’s participation. 99. ShrNfr says: In America we should support the freedom for people to make fools of themselves in public. Thus if Dr. (or perhaps that is doctored of data) Mann wishes to do so, he should be supported in his effort. • Joachim Seifert says: The freedom of speech in America, however, has an end…..and what is the end?: The end, which should not be permitted is ALARMISM, shouting FIRE in public, cinema or other locations….. alarmism is not to be allowed according the principle of free speech…. and alarmism is the “C” in “C”AGW – therefore, shouting “Catastrophy” is not permitted in free speech principles…. this is a democratic principle, check with the Federalist Papers or “On Freedom” from the famous liberal John Stuart Mill….. JS 100. Steve from Rockwood says: I don’t care whether Dr. (what a joke) Mann gives a speech or opens up a Popsicle stand. But to deny him the right to speak in public is wrong. Let climate scientists continue with their dire warnings and have it all on the public record. So I agree too. 101. “Join us in calling on the administrators of Penn State to end its support of Michael Mann and his radical agenda.” OK. I’m all for free speech and the right of any to speak their minds. Therefore, the petitioners have the right to speak their minds. Does anyone really believe the Penn State administrators are going to listen anyways? These are the same people who gave Mann a clean bill of health. The latest news report indicates they are now playing this up as a shameful “Big Coal” vs “free speech” matter. I say, let the petitioners say what they want to say (I don’t agree with them), and let Mann say what he wants to say (I don’t agree with him). At the moment, with CAGW on the ropes, Mann et al are desperately trying to bolster up their position. They are failing badly according to public opinion. The more open discussion/debate/controversy on the matter the better. Moral of the story – At this point even bad press is good press. 102. Steptoe Fan says: There’s a lot going on here … Is the university forum to be one sided, that is, simply allowing him an opportunity to speak, without anyone being able to counter his ‘content’ ? Is the university going to allow one or more critics to respond and require that he defend ? Most importantly, if he speaks without any ‘balance’ allowed, then to the extent the media picks this event up, to the general public it will be construed to be more validation of the fraudulent message. Not good ! Those that would silence him should modify their efforts – to try to ensure that the university allow a speaker to attend and point out, in response, the illogical agenda. Maybe the issue is turning – when BBC America starts to give coverage to the harsh winter weather of parts of Europe, and American network news covers the snowfall of Japan, it can only be further good. Subtle points, reinforced, can have an effect upon a rather uninformed and low IQ American public. At the same time, the far left eco facists will never admit to any wrong. They will simply not respond, in the face of truth. One see’s it here in Seattle, all the time, from the current governor of WA right on down to the Freemont district liberals – it’s deny, deny, deny. They have their ‘majority of climate scientists’ and nothing will change that. 103. DesertYote says: As the great Robert A. Heinlein pointed out through the voice of one of his charterers in “The Number of the Beast”, one can not defeat the devil with the weapons of the devil. 104. gbaikie says: “Anthony, Are you advocating that government should use some of its people’s tax money to support Mann having a platform to disseminate his religious views under the guise of science to an unsuspecting public, without being required to reply in the same forum to uncomfortable questions about his past work?” The guy is wasting huge amount tax dollars already. It like complaining about “allowing a congressman” to speak on tax payer’s dime. If tax payer want to remove him from his unelected position, then there would some sense to not using tax funds to allow him to speak- maybe. 105. Steptoe Fan says: If there is no counter to his agenda – no speaker to respond, then to the extent the media pick up this story it will be, yet again, misconstrued by the public as to being ‘fact’. This is not good. One see’s this phenom in Seattle – the eco facists simply go quiet when forced to defend their positions. It becomes a matter of the ‘vast majority of climate scientists’ on their side – nothing more. They deny, they will never admit being wrong. Climate science at the U of Washington ? Please, don’t disturb the modelers ! 106. Merovign says: Am I the only one who sees this entire event as nonsensical? The censors are on the other side of the issue. The only useful alternatives I can see are to continue to challenge the bad data and interpretations, and publicly criticize the behaviors of Mann and Penn State. I do see the point of those that say that “they started it,” because it’s true. Not productive, but true. Also the “dose of their own medicine” position, again valid but won’t really accomplish anything. Also that it isn’t really speaking, it’s comingled with public money. Also true, also not accomplishing anything. One of the problems is that “they” claimed the high ground coming out of the gate (to mix and match metaphors), and “they” have no self-awareness about things like honesty, censorship, or similar issues. Their position is “correct” and all others are false and *everything* is justified in enforcing that. I would think that publicizing the errors and alternative interpretations is the only way forward, unless courts actually start recognizing fraud as fraud even when “certain people” are committing it… no real luck there so far. Posters, handouts, alternative media. The call is understandable but since the “information gatekeepers” are “captured” by the other side, you can’t depend on symbolic gestures subject to interpretation, they *will* be misinterpreted and used against you. We really need unambiguous messages or none at all. 107. David Ball says: I’m all for free speech. Haven’t the alarmists had their chance? When do we get a turn, other than on the skeptic web sites? 108. Ian L. McQueen says: I am interested in the point-counterpoint format in debate mentioned in this posting, for I would like to challenge our most prominent local warmist (and Gore acolyte) to an open debate. There are so many points to discuss that I would not want to employ the usual several minute presentation on both sides followed by a rebuttal on both sides (at least, that’s how I remember it from my high school days!!), for the ideas would get lost with the audience. The idea appeals to me of having one side make a point with the other side being free to dispute, possibly followed by more to-and-fro before moving on to another topic. I’d like to know if there is an established format for this type of debate. (Google yielded no guidance.) Postings here or to me directly, please: imcqueen (at) nbnet.nb.ca IanM 109. Full agreement. Let’s not go down the road, followed by many in the “climate” industry, of censoring those who don’t agree with us. 110. Sparks says: @R. Gates RE: “both sides want the same thing” I agree with most of your points above, very sensible approach on your part, But I’ll point out proponents of “man made global warming” are actively involved in a campaign on a massive scale to reduce human energy consumption and have been using an excuse of reducing global temperatures to achieve this goal. Now that the scientific data being used to back up these claims of AGW are being observed by scientists, It is becoming clear that it falls far sort of the original predictions of catastrophic warming. And as temperatures globally are beginning to have no statistical value for the original claim of MAN MADE GLOBAL WARMING the original goal to reduce human energy consumption has continuously been re-branded as Climate Change? Climate Disruption? Anthropologically Induced Climate Shifts? etc… So what is the real issue? Is it RIGHT to introduce an aggressive financial burden on people that will only reduce the standard of living for the poorest of families to build hugely inefficient and expensive low energy infrastructures? 111. A. Scott says: I say use the choosecommonsense.org link – but NOT to protest Mann’s speech, but rather to advocate for a real debate …that opposing views be allowed to be presented. In the event he refuses – as we know is highly likely – then apply to Penn State for time for a presentation immediately after Mann’s. And when Penn State, as is seemingly equally likely, refused … then go to an alternate nearby site and arrange the same rebuttal presentation. Counter-programming – to respond and present the climate realist side – is the best way to address pond scum like Mann. Again – use the http://www.choosecommonsense.org link, not to attack Mann, but rather to promote dialog and debate and note Mann and Penn State’s censoring opposing views. It seems that a uniform policy – of the realist side, first asking to participate in every public CAGW event such as this, and when being inevitably turned down, then scheduling a response/rebuttal near by immediately after, is the best way to address this. ASK to be included in every such presentation – civilly and professionally – and when turned down make a point of informing the media AND of scheduling rebuttal presentation to counter and present the realist facts. 112. Markus Fitzhenry. says: A physicist says: February 4, 2012 at 11:45 am “Those who seek for rationality in the evolution of science often will be disappointed, and those who seek for saints among scientists (or any other profession) always will be disappointed. And that is why there is a saying: “Death by death, science advances!” :)” Rejoice, the end is near! 113. Chuck L says: He is a spiteful two-bit climate despot but I agree, he should be free to speak however, people who disagree with Mann should be free to express themselves, as well, and if some of them choose to protest at the venue, all the better. 114. Mann should be allowed to speak; ideally to an empty room… His POV is scientifically unsound and his attitude to real debate is to ensure the ‘dice’ are always loaded in his favor. My low regard of him will only change if he engages in an open and balanced debate in a public forum – until then I trust him about as much as a used car salesman… 115. Skiphil says: I applaud this stance from WUWT. In general, the best response to problems of free expression is more speech, not censorship. Yes Michael Mann has proved himself unworthy of public trust, but the proper way to counter his message(s) is with better information and arguments. This site stands for a highly admirable quality of thought, debate, and comunication. The best response at Penn State would be if there are any students, staff and townsfolk, etc. motivated to organize some counter-event (I expect it is most unlikely that Penn State will turn a “featured” speaker in their fancy series into a real debate forum or that Mann will agree to any modification of the existing arrangements). Perhaps Christopher Monckton could give a response address in another room the same night or at some future date. Or Tim Ball, heh heh… If no one organizes from within PSU then perhaps there could be an event for the town of State College (where the main campus of PSU is located), or even in the Philly area (which is. 150+ miles from PSU but may have more possibilities for venue and audience)… 116. gbaikie writes, “The guy is wasting huge amount tax dollars already. It like complaining about “allowing a congressman” to speak on tax payer’s dime. If tax payer want to remove him from his unelected position, then there would some sense to not using tax funds to allow him to speak- maybe.” This is a First Amendment issue, and one which Commonwealth countries don’t wrestle with, but the U.S. does: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion [. . . .]” Mann’s beliefs are religious in nature. By prohibiting the opposing views access to the same funded platform, this public university will be doing exactly what the First Amendment says should not be done. This principle of the First Amendment has been extended by courts to lower jurisdictions; whether that is valid or not, the fact remains that the principle is an important one. You may think this group’s actions impractical, but according to the First Amendment, they are eminently justified in taking them. RTF 117. Viv Evans says: You’re a honourable man, Anthony, and your stance doesn’t surprise me at all. You are right – Mann should of course speak and he should not be prevented. However – I’d go just one step further: I would force him to speak, drag him there so that he for once will have to debate his critics, without leaving the room on a trumped-up excuse. 118. Joseph Thoma says: Anthony, I spent 23 years of my life in a communist country, and any kind of censorship is abhorrent to me, We, the climate realists, are wining now, and any additional ammunition donated to us by the alarmists is very much welcome. So, let “them” speak. Taras 119. Dave N says: The problem isn’t in allowing someone to speak; the problem is in whether or not what they say is believed, and by whom. 120. Dave G says: Problem now is that the alarmists will take the moral stance and claim (quite outrageously) that they are being ‘suppressed’ therefore their evidence is something ‘we don’t want to hear’ – implying their greater authority on the subject. Hypocritical? Of course, but the scales nerver were balanced in this debate. 121. I agree with the idea, but believe you need to change the title. The title implies that you support Mann. Perhaps it should be “Support Open Debate”. 122. Tony Windsor says: Mr Watts (and all who post on WUWT.) The main reason that I visit this site on such a regular basis is that it is such a civilised forum with both side of the divide able to express their disparate views, whether pro or con. Thank you for providing such a platform and thanks to all others for helping a complete non-scientist understand both the scientific and ethical dimensions of the argument. 123. jorgekafkazar says: I see nothing in the CCS post that says they don’t want Mann to speak at a particular place and time. They ask PennState to “stop supporting” Mann. I’m not sure what they mean by that. 124. cui bono says: Vince says (February 4, 2012 at 11:52 am) Mann spoke last week at another Penn State Forum: http://e-education.mediasite.com/mediasite/Viewer/?peid=526d1c0752384b8ab2bf8ab4cd47603f1d ecoGuy says (February 4, 2012 at 1:03 pm) Mann should be allowed to speak; ideally to an empty room… ——— The room didn’t look very full last week, nor the participants very well informed. But it doesn’t look from the video as if Mann has any intention of debating anything. He’s just plugging his book.$.

125. Anthony this is why you have been so successful with this blog. Always doing the right (correct) thing. Way to go and keep it up.

126. Latimer Alder says:

Better that Mann should speak and prove himself to be a fool and a charlatan rather than stay silent leaving only the strong suspicion that he is.

127. AlexS says:

Perfectly right. Mr.Mann should be able to say whatever he wants and drag is name and of Penn State to dirt.

128. Mike Jonas says:

Anthony speaks out in defence of Mann when he could easily have just remained silent.

Many scientists across the world remain silent about the poor foundations of climate science, when they should speak out.

129. NetDr says:

I totally agree that the way to disprove CAGW is to let the opposition speak and to disprove it’s points one by one.

The alarmists use of Lysenkoistic methods to silence it’s critics just proves that they fear close inspection of their arguments.

130. DEEBEE says:

No need to explain in anything words in excess of — It is the right thing to do. Lest the sceptical side has trouble looking itself in the mirror.

131. Beth Cooper says:

Kudos to Anthony for being true to everything WUWT stands for, OPEN investigation and debate and show us your data.

132. Thank you Anthony.
This softens my discomfort over recent handling of/by Willis.

Freedom of speech is a difficult issue, not nearly as simple as it looks at first sight. Gag one, and another is freed to speak. Free one, and another is gagged from speaking. Make rules, and some are treated unfairly. Make no rules, and one is treated unfairly oneself.

Always, always, it is worth going the extra mile.

thank you again.

133. BudMoon says:

@ R. Gates
‘Neither side is evil, neither side wants to see the end of humanity.’

Christopher Booker once wrote:
Evil men don’t get up in the morning saying ‘ I’m going to do evil ‘. They say ‘ I’m going to make the world a better place. ‘

IMO Michael Mann falls into the above category.
His work has done untold evil, but I agree with Anthony, let him be condemned out of his own mouth.

134. In a perfect world

/ Just having fun.

135. Don says:

Several commenters have at least hinted at this, but the thing that should be done IMO is to exercise our own free speech rights by presenting our side, invited or not. Leaflet the lecture. Provide a physical takeaway presenting an alternative viewpoint. It could include some poignant Mann Climategate excerpts and McIntyre quotes, a brief, clear presentation of the reasoning behind skepticism, and links to credible skeptic blogs, including a site where a skeptical response to Dr. Mann’s lecture could be viewed (and Mann offered a chance of rebuttal). It is all but certain that Mann would get his eyeballs on a leaflet, just to see what attendees are seeing; it might even spark the famous Mann charm! And he would be served notice that his misdeeds and misstatements will confront him when and where he takes to the microphones. All with the lofty goal of making an honest Mann of him. ;->

136. michael hart says:

Correct call, Anthony.
You are the one occupying the moral high-ground, and bringing Mike Mann to account is not the most important task.

137. Aw – come on Moderator. Put it up there. Just a little balance, to keep it real.

You know you want to.

• evanmjones says:

REPLY – Not sure we want to go there. I’ll leave it for the other mods to decide. – Evan

138. I agree – the bad buys try to muzzle their opponents. The truth shall set you free.

139. Robin Hewitt says:

Let him speak, he is very entertaining in an indirect kind of way.
What would happen to WUWT without Dr Mann and his ilk to get hot under the collar about.
He may be costing me a few hundred a year in extra tax but I think I’d miss coming here and reading all about their latest faux pas. Worth every penny.

140. brennan says:

I also agree that open debate should be encouraged.

I’ll also chip in for a ticket for Burt Rutan to be there to do it.

141. Blue Sky says:

I think it is totally legitimate to deny a fraudster a forum. You say that “Now let me be the first to say that I don’t respect Dr. Michael Mann nor do I respect his paleoclimatic work, which I consider to be borderline fraudulent”
How can you defend his public appearances if he does not publish his data and how he selected the data. Frauds do not have a right to be considered legitimate. It sounds a little like your trying to curry favor from your critics.
Mann is either borderline fraudulent or he is not.

142. alan says:

If only Mann is given “free speech”, and the voices of skeptics are frozen out, this is not a “freedom” worth supporting!

143. LazyTeenager says:

An open debate is fine. But if it turns into a slanging match it is not very useful.

144. Frank Kotler says:

Agree 200%. It was only 100%, but I ran it through the Mann-o-matic, and it jogged up to 200% right at the end. :)

145. tom s says:

If nothing else though, this campaign helps expose Mann for the fraud he is…and he IS. Even if they fail in their endeavor at least it puts yet another mark on the beast that is Mann or at least brings some of his shennanigans to light. But I do agree with you Anthony, the more he debates against reputable scientists like Steve M, and a whole host of others the more he will be exposed.

Absolutely!

This debate between Mann and a qualified opponent should replace Madonna as the Super Bowl Halftime entertainment.

The looser gets to suit up for the rest of the game without benefit of helmet or pads–and he must play the whole half, too!

Gosh, I wonder if Mann would man up to that challenge? (He’s been a great cheerleader for policies that have set world civilization back decades by starving countless thousands–maybe some football players would consider that when opposing him.)

147. Mickey Reno says:

I’ll add my (pseudo) name to the roll of those who think Mann should not be stifled. A perusal of the whole thread seems to be overwhelmingly in favor of that notion. That speaks well of the posters, here, I think. And that’s why and how free speech and open debate will ultimately arrive at the truth, and why at least in the U.S.) we are guaranteed the right to speak and oppose orthodoxy.
I disagree with those who say this is a war. This is not a war, this is a contentious debate. War is what happens when we have a critical conflict, and we can no longer debate about it. Let’s not cheapen the word ‘war,’ okay?

148. neill says:

R. Gates: “Neither side is evil, neither side wants to see the end of humanity. Both, in fact, would like to see a world that is fit (either ecologically or economically) for their grandchildren and great grandchildren.”

But one side (Mann’s side, and Mann himself) willfully paints the other as ‘evil’ after having set up the (I believe) false paradigm that the world will have to — and should, essentially as an act of penance — suffer economically in order to save itself ecologically. (You yourself present it as an either/or proposition). And if one doesn’t accept the validity of that, one finds oneself on the ‘evil’ side. Not only that, Mann et al, by suppressing opposing scientific views, attempted with partial success to effectively stampede global elites in order to stampede the global public — all in order to render “the cause” a reality.

Sorry, R. Gates, that strikes me as evil incarnate. And shame on those who provide an uncontested forum for it.

149. At 1:07 PM on 4 February, Skiphil had suggested:

Perhaps Christopher Monckton could give a response address in another room the same night or at some future date. Or Tim Ball, heh heh…

If no one organizes from within PSU then perhaps there could be an event for the town of State College (where the main campus of PSU is located), or even in the Philly area (which is. 150+ miles from PSU but may have more possibilities for venue and audience)…

I support this idea, even if the gathering should be undertaken in the Philadelphia or Pittsburgh areas.

Perhaps especially if that’s done.

I’ve been up to Centre County (the location of Penn State), and it’s a helluva hike from just about any population center on the eastern seaboard. Insofar as I can recall, also, the town of State College isn’t overloaded with the sorts of convention-center venues at which to host such a gathering of global climate realists.

in the southeastern corner of the Keystone State, however, there are suitable places a-plenty, there’s no need to do it within the taxing jurisdiction of those thugs down at City Hall, and there are media root-weevils literally crawling up out of the storm drains.

For the same reason that Dr. Mann does not want to crawl too far out into the sunlight – too far from the protection of the PSU Board of Trustees and the oh-so-hospitable townies in Happy Valley, that is – our advocacy might most effectively be served by a counterblast mounted from a place where the Nittany Lions are just another semi-pro football team (Yawn!).

LazyTeenager says:
February 4, 2012 at 3:06 pm

An open debate is fine. But if it turns into a slanging match it is not very useful.

“Slanging”?? Oh, you mean the type of pronouncements that come from Mann himself, don’t you? (Twitter, Climategate I, Climategate II, various articles, etc. etc.)

You’d require that Mann be speechless? That’s not a very fair rule to apply to Mann in a debate.

151. Joules Verne says:

Mann is the guy that sued Minnesotans for Global Warming for their viral video hit “Hide the Decline”.

http://minnesotansforglobalwarming.com/m4gw/

Doing anything at all to make this man’s life easier is the wrong thing to do. An especially loathsome thing to do is help secure for him the very rights he seeks to take from others. Therefore this article was the wrong thing to do. Mann deserves punishment not compassion.

I support and encourage choosecommonsense.org. It’s their right to protest Mann’s appearnce if they so choose. What Anthony should be doing if he chooses common sense himself would be to take up a collection so that Minnesotan’s for Global Warming could be playing outside the lecture hall where Mann is speaking.

152. David L says:

Defend his right to free speech while he stifles everyone else.

153. Goldie says:

We should never choose to muzzle freedom of speech. In this case people have a right to protest his presence and he has a right to say what he believes to be true. Of course if he says something that he knows not to be true then that is Fraud and eventually the truth will out. Following which he would presumably lose his credibility. Until such time we must also afford Presumption of Innocence.

154. old engineer says:

Anthony-

While I certainly agree with you on the free speech issue. I’m not sure I agree with on the purpose of Common Sense. Org’s letter campaign. IMO there is not a snowballs chance in hell that Penn State’s administration would cancel a lecture by such a senior faculty member, and Common Sense knows that.

It seems to me that they are using the occasion of the lecture as chance for people to express their opinion of Mann in Pennsylvania newspapers. Their specific request is :” Join us in calling on the administrators of Penn State to end its support of Michael Mann and his radical agenda.”. IMO this mean calling for firing him.

Common Sense is apparently sponsored by the coal industry. Their argument seems to be that many in Pennsylvania depend on coal for their livelihood. The state (and by extension Penn State) is therefore dependent on coal for much of their taxes. Why should the state of Pennsylvania support a person who is directly antagonistic to the industry that many Pennsylvanians depend on for their livelihood.? Makes sense to me.

155. eyesonu says:

Don says:
February 4, 2012 at 2:37 pm
“Several commenters have at least hinted at this, but the thing that should be done IMO is to exercise our own free speech rights by presenting our side, invited or not. Leaflet the lecture. Provide a physical takeaway presenting an alternative viewpoint ……….”

===============

I think this would be an excellent and realistic approach. Provide links to sites and relevant issues that the uninformed could investigate. Include ‘the names that cannot be spoken’. Anthony Watts / WUWT comes to mind.

Occupy Mann?

156. KnR says:

Frankly given the size of the guys ego and given his likes to BS and bully. I think we should encourage Mann to speak in public , particularly in debates . How sweet would it be if his own mouth brings him down?

157. I suspect those behind choosecommonsense.com have some emotional attachment to Penn State, and wish to save the college a little of the humiliation it will endure in the historical record. Despite stiff competition from the likes of Hansen, Mann might be remembered as the Lysenko of the USA.

158. Joules Verne says:

There seems to be a great deal of confusion here. This isn’t about Mann having a right to speak. This is about Penn State’s choice of who gets to speak. That lecture hall isn’t a soap box on a public street corner where everyone has equal access. Penn State administrators choose who gets to use this particular public soap box. In the opinion of Choose Common Sense in Mann they’ve chosen poorly and as taxpayers (ostensibly Pennsylvania taxpayers) have a right to voice their disapproval of the speakers chosen.

On a more personal note [SNIP: That’s a bit over the top. Sorry. -REP]

159. Green Sand says:

Well said AW.

Stay happy in your own skin.

160. John Billings says:

I have read all the comments above, and I note the overwhelming consensus to let Mann speak. Naturally, I note consensus, but then I examine it. What is it? What are people saying? The highly dominant point is to protect free speech, free debate, and not to go low like Mann does. Open up every view.

That’s good, I think we all instinctively agree about that.

But hold on people, actually, I think that’s what the notoriously thin-skinned Mann relies on you to do. I think that he assumes that all those opponents he has are diehard constitutionalists that will defend his right to free speech while meanwhile he does his very best to disallow others the same right.

He has already shown that he has no respect for free speech, or for other people’s professional values. What about Chris de Freitas, who he tried to have fired?

We need, in my view, to recognise the incredible value of Michael Mann being denied a public platform as a direct rebuke to his behavior.

Sorry, no, I’m happy to go against the consensus here. No free speech to Mann on a publicly-funded platform until he learns what civilised discourse is.

161. George says:

I agree with you, Anthony; allowing Michael Mann to speak is the right thing to do. I also agree with those who point out the 1st Amendment’s vital role in protecting everyone, especially dissidents and skeptics of all kinds, from governmental attempts to limit debate.

162. Mike from Canmore says:

Along the lines of Voltaire.
I may detest what you say but I will die defending your right to say it.
Well done Anthony. The high road wins in the long run.
cheers

163. andie says:

I agree Anthony. The best disinfectant is sunlight.

164. Marc says:

Anthony,

You are conflating the right of free speech with the right to a stage.

No one has the right to a stage. Conflating the two is a source of mischief that weakens the true fundamental right of speech.

Throughout civil life there are constantly valid efforts to deny vile and fraudulent ideas a stage that enhances the standing of those ideas.

A stage elevates the speech of one over the speech of many. Free speech will propagate good ideas because those ideas become widely accepted and adopted by their inherent correctness and resonance. They earn a stage eventually by rectitude, not force of authority. Fraud and propaganda turn the tables on free speech and require a stage to acquire credibility against their true nature.

Mann is under investigation in Virginia. His work product has been demonstrated to range from flawed to fraudulent. The evidence in the public domain of Mann’s duplicity is greater than the evidence against OJ.

I too object to any body, public or private, attempting to provide an amplified voice, which diminishes the free speech of those unrepresented on stage, to demonstrable dishonesty and propaganda.

The government should be out of the stage business entirely. Private citizens can collectively create stages for their ideas. If a private group wants to invite a fraudster or propagandist to a stage, yes they may do so and no one can stop them. However, it is completely legitimate for other groups to exercise their free speech and attempt to convince that private group that providing a stage for fraud and propaganda is wrong and should be stopped. They are right to proclaim that offering a forum for unchecked propaganda can harm others.

That is part of the process where fraud is ostracized and demoted by good people. To deny the validity of honest folks attempting to delegitimize fraud by pulling the stage out from under it is a bigger assault on the exercise of free speech than to oppose Mann’s presence on a stage that offers credibility.

If the private group then proceeds with offering a stage to fraudulent propaganda, the group’s standing is then diminished in the eyes of many, but only because others have pointed out in advance the vileness of giving that stage to such person.

It is not wrong in the least for people to oppose his place on stage. It would be wrong for the government to decide who gets to be on private stages. But it is a fundamental component of free speech and effective discourse to debate who private groups should allow on stage.

May the most honest ideas win, but only when propaganda and fraud are vocally resisted. Otherwise, lies and malevolence win, as history has proven.

• Joachim Seifert says:

JS

165. Don Monfort says:

I don’t think anybody here is really willing to die so that Michael Mann can continue to peddle his BS and gather accolades from his Ivory Tower brethren. All this high-minded stuff is just posturing. I say gag the clown. We don’t owe him anything. Of course he will be allowed to speak , and he will get an honorarium and plaque of appreciation for showing up. You know the game. This smacks of grandstanding. Save your free speech concerns for those folks that have actually been denied the opportunity to speak.

166. R. Gates says:

neill says:
February 4, 2012 at 3:22 pm
R. Gates: “Neither side is evil, neither side wants to see the end of humanity. Both, in fact, would like to see a world that is fit (either ecologically or economically) for their grandchildren and great grandchildren.”

Sorry, R. Gates, that strikes me as evil incarnate. And shame on those who provide an uncontested forum for it.

_____
It is a prerequisite that the opposition always be seen as “evil”. If you even allowed for a moment the possibility that they might be just like you, only with a different perspective on things, then it is harder to despise them. Of course, in acts of actual war, the opposition must not just be seen as evil and bad, etc. but as hardly human, as it makes it so much easier to kill them.

167. Streetcred says:

John Billings says:
February 4, 2012 at 4:54 pm
“He has already shown that he has no respect for free speech, or for other people’s professional values. What about Chris de Freitas, who he tried to have fired?

We need, in my view, to recognise the incredible value of Michael Mann being denied a public platform as a direct rebuke to his behavior.

Sorry, no, I’m happy to go against the consensus here. No free speech to Mann on a publicly-funded platform until he learns what civilised discourse is.”
=====================

Mazel ! At this juncture the only public platform Mann should be allowed is the stand in a court of law. There he can espouse his anti-science views and be accordingly cross-examined in full public view.

168. Don Monfort says:

[Moderator’s Note: Don, this is going to be taken the wrong way. Do you suppose you could re-work it a bit and make it a little less liable to misinterpretation? -REP]

169. Smokey says:

Gates,

They are evil, and we’re not:

“I’d like the world to warm up quicker, but if it did, I know that the sensitivity is much higher and humanity would be in a real mess!”
~ Phil Jones, email 3408

Mass extermination is A-OK with Phil Jones, so long as he wins the argument. And Michael Mann is no different. If anything, he’s probably worse.

I wish the protest had been an attempt to compel a debate (ah, to see Mann face the
“non-credentialed” Steve McIntyre! Be still my heart!), not silence Mann.

(Mann’s “TedTalk” lecture was weak, vulnerable. Man is, slowly, deflating, on his own.)

But, you are correct, and you are getting even taller, Anthony. smile…. ….Lady in Red

171. Torgeir Hansson says:

Anthony is not protecting Dr. Mann’s right to speak. He is reminding the skeptic community that we must protect everyone’s right to speak.

Well done Anthony.

172. For reasons I needn’t explain here, having my book sit one above Michael Mann’s on Kindle’s Weather list is pleasant. Anyone who’d like to help keep it there is encouraged to do so:

http://amzn.to/yLN0Zm

173. Markus Fitzhenry. says:

“”[Moderator’s Note: Don, this is going to be taken the wrong way. Do you suppose you could re-work it a bit and make it a little less liable to misinterpretation? -REP]””

You don”t know Don very well then-REP].

174. I am for open debate, even with those who are against it.

175. It’s not a question of “allowing Michael Mann to speak” because this further build-up of warmista filth in the Augean Stables of government thuggery is being undertaken by his employers, the Board of Trustees and other administrative goons of Pennsylvania State University.

They’ve got control of the campus (and the budget), and not even the cluster of drones in Harrisburg pretending to be the state legislature has anything resembling a proper choke hold on the throats of these arrogant cods in Happy Valley.

The way those putzes figure it, no big-time publicity for Michael “We’re All Gonna Die!” Mann, no continuing influx of whacking big federal government “research” grant money. It’s all about the Benjamins, babies.

Okay, with that understood, let’s leave the “freedom of speech” noise aside and consider what can be done to present a scientifically sound countervailing message to the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the rest of the nation.

There are doubtless people reading in this forum who know pretty damned well just what “Hide-the-Decline” is going to be yammering, right?

So set up a highly public “pre-buttal” to hit a couple of days before – and thereby spike Mikey’s little bicycle wheels so he goes on stage sputtering and squealing and twitching – followed by a longer and even more substantive slam-him-in-the-chops rebuttal as soon as humanly possible after he finishes his puking-up all over the stage Penn State’s providing for him.

Dr. Mann is coming out from under his rock. Don’t hinder him.

Nail him.

176. mfo says:

Michael Mann – Upcoming Lectures and Events:
http://www.meteo.psu.edu/~mann/Mann/lectures/index.php

On february 15 at the Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, CA, the blurb tells us that, “Michael Mann will discuss the “Hockey Stick,” a graph he created with his colleagues to depict changes in Earth’s temperature dating back to 1000 AD. The graph was featured in the Summary for Policy Makers portion of the 2001 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and became an icon in the debate over human-caused climate change. He will tell the story behind the Hockey Stick, using it as a vehicle for exploring broader issues regarding the role of skepticism in science and the relationship between science and politics”.

Here is Michael Mann on 17 January 2012 reaffirming the hockey stick and claiming that “every scientific peer reviewed study published since has come to that same conclusion so it is not really a contested conclusion anymore and it isn’t even… a central pillar…that our detractors like to make it out to be”. Apparently now there is a “veritable hockey league”.

The part of the video relevent to Mann’s Hockey Stick is around 26 minutes in.

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/19828363

177. 100% in agreement: push for open and real debate and watch him hide.

178. Andy. says:

Your drift to the left over the last few months has been noted.

179. The Sage says:

This campaign is also on local radio in “Happy Valley”. The rock station (WBUS) has frequent ads bashing Mann the last few days. If you want to hear the ads, I think you can do so by going to the web site (thebus.net) and using the “listen live” link at the top of the page. You’ll probably hear one within a half-hour or so.

180. Smokey says:

jonathan frodsham says:

“I like this: The Monkey Trial, Global Warming version

Jonathan, THANK YOU for posting that link! Excellent.

181. Arno Arrak says:

Personally I consider the construction of the hockey stick a scientific fraud. The journals should have withdrawn his papers long ago and he should have lost his job but this did not happen. Why do I say this? Because he did not like the temperature trend of his tree ring data for recent decades so he simply chucked them out and substituted thermometer readings he did like. If you are a scientist and you have just created a set of observations according to a valid protocol you are not allowed to throw out observations that you don’t like to make the rest of your data look good. It does not matter he claims those data were no good. It matters even less that the thermometer data he substituted for tree ring data that he rejected were considered “right” by comparison. It was done to change the conclusion of the paper to conform to a predetermined outcome. This premeditated twisting of data makes it a scientific fraud, period. Beyond that, the temperature curves for the eighties and nineties are themselves also fraudulent. I have proved that the thermometer data for these two decades have been manipulated to show warming where none exists. It is easy to show this by comparing them with satellite temperature measurements. You will find graphical demonstration of how it was done in figures 24, 27 and 29 of my book “What Warming?” available on Amazon. The global warming establishment has shielded him and deflected all investigations so far. [snip. Please, that is a bridge too far. ~dbs, mod.]

182. hunter says:

Never support the rights of someone to do something he would deny to you. When they get the chance, they will not do anything other than what they have been trying to do. Mann has been after shutting down skeptics for years. He abuses the legal system, he intimidates, and he actively seeks to encourage others to do the same.
Playing nice with him is a waste of time. He does not see you as high minded in this. He sees you as a target that is softer then he thought.

183. Don Monfort says:

moderator: I said what I meant to say, and clearly. How would it be misinterpreted? Aren’t we grown men here?

184. R. Gates says:

Smokey says:
February 4, 2012 at 6:40 pm
Gates,

They are evil, and we’re not…
——-
Of course. It can be nothing other for the true believers on both sides. They are bad, we are good. We are right they are wrong. They are deluded or misguided and we have seen the light. On on and on it goes…

185. If 1) professor Mann has a right to speak freely, then, according to the same system of laws and rules, 2) professor Mann must stand trial for misusing public funds and distorting public information.

If 2) doesn’t happen, then 1) is a travesty.

I disagree.

R. Gates says:
February 4, 2012 at 10:23 am

polistra says:
February 4, 2012 at 10:07 am
Nope. Wrong. This is a war, and they started it. Unilateral disarmament loses a war. Niceness doesn’t work when you’re dealing with people who EXPLICITLY WANT TO DESTROY THE ENTIRE HUMAN SPECIES.
_______
And here, I can disagree with you completely. I’ve not met one climate scientist who in any way wants to destroy the entire human species.

You’re right, Gates, except for the operative word “entire”. If that were the case, they’d have to commit suicide along with the elimination of everybody else, and they’re not willing to go quite that far, obviously.

But just what level of destruction of the human species are they willing to put up with? Indeed, from what I gather, they could see a significant portion of it go and they’d not worry that much about it. Indeed, I believe you’re part of the effort and you pick your words wisely to deflect any criticism.

So I’ll just call you out for blatant propaganda in defense of a movement that is no more concerned with the truly poor of the world than, apparently, you are. I’m sure you’re smart enough to be completely aware of what they’re doing.

If not, I suggest you look at the documents that were circulated at the last COP gathering in S. Africa–there was quite an expose` here at WUWT if you didn’t catch it. And if that doesn’t wake you up, nothing will.

187. John Brookes says:

Why does this post, and many of the comments make me feel vaguely ill?

Firstly, no one should even be suggesting that Mann, or Monckton not be permitted to speak. Defending this is a no brainer.

Secondly, I’d like a genuine debate, but we can’t have one, can we? To have a real debate, the “skeptics” and the scientists would first have to decide what they agreed on. If you want to find out why you differ, surely you need to identify the bits you agree on? But this is impossible. The “skeptics” don’t agree on anything. CO2 is increasing? Nope, some “skeptic” out there thinks that it was higher in the 1800’s. The CO2 increase (if you accept it) is man made? Nope, Murray Salby says its not, and Ian Plimer thinks its undersea volcanoes. The temperature is increasing? No! It all stopped in 1998 and we are heading straight into an ice age. There is a greenhouse effect? No, the second law of thermodynamics precludes it, and it all depends on atmospheric pressure and the ideal gas law anyway.

It doesn’t matter which piece of AGW you look at, the “skeptics” have a counter position. And mostly it is a dishonest counter position – one that is convenient for now, but will be discarded once its discredited, but then recycled at a later date.

188. Pete H says:

Of course he should not be muzzled! He is the best weapon we have!

189. Steve C says:

I quite agree: of course he should be allowed to speak. As we old ‘uns used to say when we were young ‘uns, let him damn himself out of his own mouth.

Equally, if Penn State want this beano to be seen as being in any way relevant to learning, they’ll make sure there is at least one other person present who can ask telling questions of Dr. Mann. We know there are 31,000-odd of them in the US alone. Anything less and it’s just another propaganda fest which we evil skeptics will shred, like any other.

190. anna v says:

hunter says:
February 4, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Playing nice with him is a waste of time. He does not see you as high minded in this. He sees you as a target that is softer then he thought.

I agree with Anthony.

It does not matter what Mann thinks thought or will think. It is a matter of personal integrity and consistency, and collective integrity on the skeptical side.
Who said “I disagree with what you say , but I will fight to death that you can have your say”.

This is what democracy and free people should mean.

191. Stacey says:

Mr Watts
Agreed

192. Paul McCauley says:

Is there no speaker that PSU could schedule who would offer an alternative perspective to Mann’s? I see no one scheduled. Haven’t the alarmists controlled the establishment institutions most effectively to date already? Anthony offers a very good idealistic argument however, as presentation opportunities have been minimized for Alarmist counterpoint and the consequences so catastrophically high with any successful Alarmist political influence fairness is out of place. The Alarmists have known this from the outset. The Alarmist political/economic/ideological war against any alternative, opposition and/or Science has been real where perhaps even the most obvious evidence of non-human cycles and causes dominance over climate will not succeed in overcoming the criminally megalomaniacal Alarmist forces. A debate between climate Alarmist and realist is never fair on merit as the realist argument can only be lost through insufficient defense, as no superior Alarmist “factual” rigidity allows for Scientific rigor. As an illegitimate consequence of Alarmism many lives have and will be lost, legitimate fortunes lost while fraudulent ones made, whole nations and societies damaged, if not destroyed, and Science itself disgraced. The only “fairness” that can be acceptable is the success of the Method, not the sacrifice of it. Open debate is proper, but not capitulation through continued unchallenged Alarmist control of medium. All fraudulent Alarmist claims must be immediately quashed. Absolutely all due respect to you Anthony, but confuse losing with situational decorum. I ma greatly pained by this, but this great Scientific Fraud cannot be condoned – in any regard.

Let us carry on in this war by defending Science and never allowing Alarmism to be presented without immediate debunking.

193. Brian Johnson uk says:

Let the Mann speak – that is Democracy.

He might with luck, hang himself [Academically] as a result.

194. Mike Jonas says:

Some of the commenters here who think that ‘playing nice is a waste of time’ and that you should not ‘support the rights of someone to do something he would deny to you’, etc, are missing something.

The bottom line is that this isn’t about Michael Mann.

The one thing that matters more than anything else is to get the public, the politicians, and the world’s scientists to recognise that climate science is fatally flawed. You don’t do that by engaging in activity that you complain about in others. You don’t do that by trying to prevent your opponents being heard. You do it by arguing the case wherever and whenever you can. Over time, if your case is sound, you persuade more and more people until eventually your arguments prevail. As you gain ground, the last thing you need is the other side being able to deploy yet another diversion – that you have tried to suppress free speech. Yes, I know you think it’s unfair that they can do it and get away with it while you can’t – but that perception is really an illusion because they can only fool some of the people some of the time.

Long after you have won, Michael Mann will still be telling an empty room that he was a genius.

195. Markus Fitzhenry. says:

John Brookes says:
February 4, 2012 at 11:14 pm

“It doesn’t matter which piece of AGW you look at, the “skeptics” have a counter position. And mostly it is a dishonest counter position – one that is convenient for now, but will be discarded once its discredited, but then recycled at a later date.”

Hi jonnyboy, that counter position of which you speak is the Authority of the Philosophy of Science.
Now if you want to discredit all scientists that have gone before, just keep locking away your theory of Co2 non-science.

The central question in the philosophy of science is distinguishing science from non-science. Sorry, jonnyboy Co2 theory didn’t make it past the gatekeepers of scepticism.

Now, how about going back to Jo Novas so I can call you some more names.

196. Otter says:

Johnny brookes~ go back to [self-snipped] 79-year-old old men (Dr Ball). michael mann gets more respect from me than you ever shall. And he gets very little.

For myself, I could hope that a great many skeptics will be in the crowd, for the Q&A afterwards.

197. Rogelio says:

So much for allowing Mann to speak they have already taken down the pettion facebook page so there you go….Thats why you cannot support Mann in any way

198. john walker says:

Yes the only way to get at the truth on any subject is by free and open debate.
The subject of man’s contribution to climate change has become terribly polarized on both sides and a completely open debate will awaken people to the incredible complexity of the issues which will help to clear the path to a true understanding of what is really going on in our atmosphere..

199. Jimbo says:

I totally agree with Watts. Stifling debate makes it look as if sceptics are suppressing some sort of ‘truth’.

Wrong tactics, choosingcommonsense. Warmists tend to lose most debates anyway.

200. Allan MacRae says:

Of course – let the Mann speak! But do not expect a fair or open debate.

Some suggestions for question period:

1. Do you believe that the Uniformitarian Principle has been especially exempted for your particular brand of global warming science? Why?

2. Do you assume that Occam’s Razor can safely be ignored, just for advocates of dangerous humanmade global warming? Why?

3. Please explain the “Divergence Problem” and “Hide the Decline”.

4. Not one of your scary global warming predictions has materialized. You have demonstrated negative predictive skill. Do you see any problem with your predictive record?

5. What is this week’s explanation for the observed flat or cooling global temperatures in this century? Is it this aerosols, dust, volcanoes. the appalling scarcity of buffalo farts, or other?

6. What journal editor are you trying to intimidate this week?

7. What climate realist are you trying to have fired from his university position this week?

8. Will you participate in a fair and open debate, this week, or any other?

201. Jimbo and others who have agreed with his comment,

Then I guess you would have supported Lysenko having exclusive access to the public microphone and stage?

How about Madame Blavatsky, with all her “scientific” ideas that were of interest to the Nazis?

The problem with your reasoning is that it assumes that most people are like you: intelligent, very honest, well-informed about the background of an issue, and only interested in the truth or falsehood of a proposition.

People are pretty smart these days, but sorry to say, most are also very concerned with social acceptance and are likely to “go along to get along”, even if the details seem a bit dubious to them. That is how you end up with so many Lenins; Napoleons; Maos; etc., etc., taking over and running roughshod over others in the process.

That is the primary reason why the U.S. First Amendment begins with the words: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”. That is the oft-forgotten, but MOST important clause of the entire First Amendment.

RTF

202. neill says:

R. Gates, you completely ignored my point that Mann and Mannistas have consistently smeared their ‘evil’ opposition in order to advance their ’cause’. Why? Seemingly because of your slavish allegiance to Warmist propaganda.

203. John Campbell says:

I wholeheartedly agree – for all the reasons others have given.

204. A physicist says:

A physicist posted: A “messy science ruckus” that has considerable relevance to topics here on WUWT is the generation-long controversy between the two great thermodynamicists Lars Onsager and Clifford Truesdell. Onsager in 1931 put forth a principle of thermodynamic transport (that is the foundation to the Hansen-style physics of GHG $\Leftrightarrow$ GHE $\Leftrightarrow$ AGW) that is today called “Onsager reciprocity.”

Truesdell vehemently disagreed with Onsager’s reciprocity principle, and so he included in his (well-respected) textbooks lengthy chapters criticizing what Truesdell called “Onsagerism” (similar to today’s criticism of “warmism”).

On the grounds that “Those who are ignorant of history are fated to repeat it” perhaps it would be useful to say a little more about the conflict between the Onsagerists and the Onsager skepticism.

First of all, adequate grounds existed for Truesdell to win the dispute by attacking Onsager personally:

(1) Onsager was fired from every teaching post he ever held … as one of Onsager’s colleagues said: “I won’t say Onsager was the worst lecturer in the world, but he was a contender.”

(2) Onsager was hired by Princeton as a faculty member, and it was then discovered that Onsager had never earned a PhD … a problem that Princeton solved by the simple strategy of awarding Onsager a Princeton PhD.

So why didn’t Truesdale simply attack Onsager for being a proven “academic incompetent and fraud?”

The reason is simple: to Truesdell’s lasting credit, and to the long-term benefit of science, Truesdell scrupulously respected Anthony Watts’ key principle of strong skepticism: “criticize ideas, not persons”.

Following decades of debate and experiment, the predictions of Onsager’s theory were verified, and that is why “Onsagerism” (rightly) won the day, with Onsager (to Truesdell’s lasting chagrin) receiving a Nobel Prize for his theory.

Similarly, today’s “Warmists” are on-record with Seven Key Predictions of Warmism, and if these seven predictions prove correct, then “Climate-Change Warmism” (rightly) will have won the day.

Rational skepticism therefore must scrupulously affirm: “It may possibly happen that Hansen, Mann, and their colleagues are proved right in their climate-change predictions, and if so, that will be a good outcome of the climate-change debate.”

205. I suspect a comment of mine was censored for the reference to a group of very bad people the mention of whose name is apparently prohibited on this blog.

So I repost it here without the use of that name:

——–
Jimbo and others who have agreed with his comment,

Then I guess you would have supported Lysenko having exclusive access to the public microphone and stage?

How about Madame Blavatsky, with all her “scientific” ideas that were of interest to the [SELF-CENSORED DUE TO CHILLING EFFECT –RTF]?

The problem with your reasoning is that it assumes that most people are like you: intelligent, very honest, well-informed about the background of an issue, and only interested in the truth or falsehood of a proposition.

People are pretty smart these days, but sorry to say, most are also very concerned with social acceptance and are likely to “go along to get along”, even if the details seem a bit dubious to them. That is how you end up with so many Lenins; Napoleons; Maos; etc., etc., taking over and running roughshod over others in the process.

That is the primary reason why the U.S. First Amendment begins with the words: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”. That is the oft-forgotten, but MOST important clause of the entire First Amendment.

RTF
——–

206. jonathan frodsham says:

Allan MacRae says:
February 5, 2012 at 6:36 am
5. What is this week’s explanation for the observed flat or cooling global temperatures in this century? Is it this aerosols, dust, volcanoes. the appalling scarcity of buffalo farts, or other?
6. What journal editor are you trying to intimidate this week?
7. What climate realist are you trying to have fired from his university position this week?

Allan: Excellent questions, you made me laugh too :-)

207. R. Gates says:

neill says:
February 5, 2012 at 6:53 am
R. Gates, you completely ignored my point that Mann and Mannistas have consistently smeared their ‘evil’ opposition in order to advance their ’cause’. Why? Seemingly because of your slavish allegiance to Warmist propaganda.
———-
I didn’t miss your point at all, but you have apparently missed mine. Both sides view the other sides actions as “evil” or at the minimum grossly misguided, and honestly believe that it is their own perspective that is the honorable and noble one and the correct path forward that is likely to lead to the better future. The true believer warmists would view the entire Climatgate 1 & 2 episode as a smear campaign by the skeptical side. Furthermore, your ad hominem on me in your last sentence (“slavish allegiance”) simply indicates that your skeptical position is so strong that you can’t possibly accept the notion that the two sides both want a better future and are equally noble in this regard, but simply disagree on the best path forward.

208. neill says:

R. Gates: “Furthermore, your ad hominem on me in your last sentence (“slavish allegiance”) simply indicates that your skeptical position is so strong that you can’t possibly accept the notion that the two sides both want a better future and are equally noble in this regard, but simply disagree on the best path forward.”

I don’t find smearing one’s opposition as ‘evil’, nor cooking data, to achieve one’s political aims to be “equally noble”. But you do.

209. evilincandescentbulb says:

That is some free and open exchange of ideas we supposedly have here… Sort of like belief in AGW: belief is not supported by the facts.

210. Allan MacRae says:

jonathan frodsham says: February 5, 2012 at 7:30 am
Allan MacRae says:
February 5, 2012 at 6:36 am
5. What is this week’s explanation for the observed flat or cooling global temperatures in this century? Is it aerosols, dust, volcanoes. the appalling scarcity of buffalo farts, or other?
6. What journal editor are you trying to intimidate this week?
7. What climate realist are you trying to have fired from his university position this week?
Allan: Excellent questions, you made me laugh too :-)

Thank you Jonathan, you also drew my attention to a typo.

Moderator,
Please delete the third occurance of the word “this” in my point 5 in the 6:36am post (corrected in
this post). Should read “Is it aerosols, dust, volcanoes. the appalling scarcity…”
Thank you.

211. Vince Causey says:

Although Mann has the right to express his views, “choosecommonsense” has an equal right to demand otherwise. To deny this is to abandon the right of free speech when it least suits us – I disagree with choosecommonsense, but defend their right to say it.

Now on to the specifics. Mann is being invited to speak at the university – a public body – and everyone bar a few outliers, support this. But is your support one of degree or is it absolute, I wonder? I mean, imagine a scenario where Mann was invited to preach his AGW alarmism at the Whitehouse, president Obama at his side. How many of you would still be defending his right then?

212. From

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_pen_is_mightier_than_the_sword

——–
Robert Burton, in 1621, in The Anatomy of Melancholy, stated: “It is an old saying, A blow with a word strikes deeper than a blow with a sword: and many men are as much galled with a calumny, a scurrilous and bitter jest, a libel, a pasquil, satire, apologue, epigram, stage-play or the like, as with any misfortune whatsoever.”[23] After listing several historical examples he concludes: “Hinc quam sit calamus saevior ense patet”,[23] which translates as “From this it is clear how much more cruel the pen may be than the sword.”[9]
——–

And, further on:

——–
The French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821), known to history for his military conquests, also left this oft-quoted remark: “Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.”
——–

Hopefully from the above, it should be clear that:

1) Despots are very concerned to control the presentation and styling of the message that the people hear and read about a subject.

2) It is not without reason that they have this attitude.

3) We, the opponents of despotism and would-be despotism in our time, would be fools to believe that it simply doesn’t matter how much control is exercised by our opponents over publicly owned outlets of information — regardless that we may have the majority of the facts on our side.

RTF

213. Vince Causey writes, “Although Mann has the right to express his views, “choosecommonsense” has an equal right to demand otherwise. ”

Vince, this appears to me to be a false statement about “choosecommosense”. As far as I can tell, they have not called for revoking Mann’s general right to express his views — merely for the revokation of the special and exclusive privilege he and his friends have enjoyed to do so on the people’s dime.

Please note that the invitation to speak at the publicly funded event is a privilege that is being voluntary extended by an agency of government; it is not a fundamental human right.

I would disagree with the group “choosecommonsense” if they or an ally of theirs had been invited to speak alongside Mann, and if Mann were required to reply to at least a few questions from critics as a condition of speaking free-of-charge to him.

The public purse is an extremely powerful tool, and if allowed to be monopolized by any one political party or interest group, can become an extremely dangerous weapon in their hands. If we would allow this to pass unchallenged due to fear of demagoguery or any other reason, we do so at our own peril and that of everyone else.

RTF

214. EternalOptimist says:

Vince says
‘I mean, imagine a scenario where Mann was invited to preach his AGW alarmism at the Whitehouse, president Obama at his side. How many of you would still be defending his right then?’

I would Vince. Scientists are usually good at spotting outliers, politicians are just as good at spotting out-and-out-liars

215. I beg to disagree.

While I cherish the freedom of speech, this is not about the freedom of speech. It is not about *whether* he can speak but *where* he does.

He has the right to say anything but in a healthy society, people should be naturally led to say things at appropriate places for them – innocent confused and intellectually mediocre people at home or in the street; and thieves and life-long liars like Michael Mann in the jail.

It seems as a sign of a somewhat dysfunctional American society today that Michael Mann still isn’t giving these talks for his inmates in the State Pen while his inmates would also have the right to say something to Mr Mann. A speech by Mr Mann in Pennsylvania’s most sophisticated hotel is an insult to tens of millions of Americans who are much more competent to give such a talk but who won’t be invited to do so.

I also disagree that the more similar people speak, the more it hurts alarmism. Alarmism peaked 3-5 years ago and peaked exactly *because* some extremely nasty and dishonest people have been saying some extremely absurd and untrue things. Some people think that the more often lies are said, the more people understand that they’re lies. But the world doesn’t work like that. The more liars speak and the more prominent positions they are given to say their lies, the more powerful these lies become. It’s as simple as that.

216. Smokey says:

Gates says:

“It can be nothing other for the true believers on both sides. They are bad, we are good. We are right they are wrong.”

Naturally you would say something like that, because admitting that you are part of the problem is admitting that you’re as evil as Phil Jones, who would prefer towipe out millions just so he can claim he was right. Disgusting.

And ‘a physicist’ thinks someone elected him to decide that CAGW is proven. He says: “if these seven predictions prove correct, then “Climate-Change Warmism” (rightly) will have won the day.” So ‘a physicist’ has failed miserably. As Allen MacRae writes: “Not one of [Mann’s] scary global warming predictions has materialized.”

‘a physicist’s’ “Seven Key Predictions of Warmism” is a hoot, because three of the seven have alrteady been debunked [nothing is “accelerating”], one is arguable, and three are highly questionable.

A monstrous conjecture has been erected, claiming that rising CO2 will bring about runaway global warming and climate disruption. Since the planet itself refutes that conjecture, why do people like ‘a physicist’ continue to believe their lying eyes? George Orwell provided the answer: they are engaged in “doublethink”, the ability to believe two or more contradictory ideas at the same time.

Skeptics are nothing if not rational, and so we cannot accept two contradictory conjectures. The planet is warming naturally along the same long term trend line since the LIA. The trend is the same, both before and after [harmless, beneficial] CO2 began to rise. Therefore, the effect of CO2 must be too minuscule to measure; there is no ‘fingerprint’.

So people like ‘a physicist’ construct an elaborate fictional universe in their minds to try and explain that irrefutible fact, like medieval scholars constructing elaborate explanations to explain the retrograde motion of planets. They were as mistaken as ‘a physicist’, but it sounded good until Kepler came along.

The planet itself is falsifying the CAGW [and even the AGW] conjectures. That is clear to anyone who understands the scientific method, Occam’s Razor, and the null hypothesis. And Orwell explains lemmings like ‘a physicist’, who has nailed his flag to the mast and refuses to believe what the planet is clearly telling him.

That leaves Michal Mann and his ilk. They are in it entirely for the money and the status. They are not stupid. As Trenberth famously wrote in his email, where’s the predicted heat?? And that’s why Mann will never debate unless the deck is completely stacked his way. He’s not doing science, he’s selling snake oil. Too bad ‘a physicist can’t understand that.

217. Vince Causey says:

Yes Smokey, some decent points. However, you still haven’t said whether you agree with “choosecommonsense.org” on the matter of Mann’s talk or not.

218. Smokey says:

I agree with Anthony. But the pressure should still be kept on to get Mann to agree to a real debate, with a mutually agreed moderator and debate venue, and with each side choosing its own participants.

One debate like that would destroy Mann’s credibility, so he will never agree, any more than Algore would agree to a fair debate. But the constant demands and public challenges will show the world that the emperor is naked. And maybe an interviewer can get in a question: “Dr Mann, why are you afraid to debate Dr Lindzen?”

219. R. Gates says:
February 5, 2012 at 7:35 am
________________________________
R., excuse me if I am piling on, but IMHO there oughta be a Godwin’s Law for “children and grandchildren.” I have never presumed to lecture a warmista regarding the welfare of his family, but on several occasions have not had the courtesy reciprocated.

220. R Taylor,

So to make sure I understand … are you saying that you would agree that, when someone is a guest in someone else’s place, it is sometimes appropriate for the host (that is, the owner of the place) to impose certain limits on the range of speech that is acceptable, since the would-be speaker has the right and the power to go get his own place from which to share the things that the host finds objectionable?

And are you saying that you agree that, if such limits are imposed carefully and sparingly and with a view toward preserving an environment that is maximally conducive to discourse, that it is unfair to characterize such limits as “censorship”?

Thank you for your consideration of these questions.

RTF

221. The Freedom of Speech is a Right given under your Constitution. It matters naught whether or not you agree with what is being said, the speaker has the right to make their opinion known.
Likewise, those who disagree with that which has been said have the equal right to make their opinions known and to be heard in the same forum.
Let both sides of this Right of Freedom of Speech be exercised without any attempt at gagging either side.
Then let us see how the discussion evolves.
It will be a case of “Put your cards on the table” and let us see who holds the winning hand.

222. R. Gates says:

neill says:
February 5, 2012 at 8:01 am

“I don’t find smearing one’s opposition as ‘evil’, nor cooking data, to achieve one’s political aims to be “equally noble”. But you do.”
____
First, that is your perception of what they did, and so of course you can’t find anything they did “noble”, yet everything skeptics do is noble. The other side can never be seen in such light. To warmists, it is the skeptics who have acted immorally, and by delaying action, using emails out of context and the rest of it.

Both warmists and skeptics view themselves as sort of “heroes” who are saving the world. Warmists see themselves as heroes trying to save the world from the worst effects of anthropogenic climate change, and skeptics see themselves as heroes trying to prevent untold trillions being wasted on something that either isn’t happening, happening to such a small degree that it isn’t important, or is happening and should be allowed to happen because it will possibly forestall the next glacial advance. But each side can never see the enemy camp as acting in other than for selfish, ignorant, or greedy motives.

223. Stephen, generally I agree with you, but this is a case in which extending the privilege to speak free-of-charge at a forum that costs money, without limit on the subject matter, comes into conflict with the establishment clause. In such cases, the establishment clause is properly seen as being more important to the security of a free people, and thus as prevailing over the free-speech clause. It is a subtle point (the more so since most countries do not have an “establishment clause”), but an important one.

The establishment clause is one which is frequently ignored throughout U.S. history. I have argued simply that the people ignore it at their own peril.

I think most people on the other side of this issue, if they are honest with themselves, can imagine something Mann could say that would be out of bounds given that he is not paying for the forum, and the people are. But whether they will admit it is another question.

RTF

224. Let him speak.

With the strict requirement against Penn State, that in exchange for public money going to climate research grants (and eventually percolating to hands of university bureaucracy), the entire presentation be published on a Penn State website and put into the public domain along with all supporting material. At the same time forbid them to issue a press release.

The public (i.e. the blogosphere) can take its sweet time then, take it apart and expose all his slips. Mass media can resist only so far, ratings are ruthless foes.

225. Richard T. Fowler says:
February 5, 2012 at 12:40 pm
————————————————
I’m not clear on how your questions follow from my two previous comments here, on Penn State’s future reputation and moral presumption regarding other people’s grandchildren. If you are asking about Penn State’s rules for the Forum program, I only know of the program through this WUWT post. Nevertheless, you asked …

I have no idea whether the Forum program would ever invite an expert critic of the work of a high-profile PSU faculty-member to speak. If such an invitation were made, why impose limits on objective criticism of the work?

Of course, any baseless or personal attack on the faculty member should not be acceptable, nor called censorship.

226. R Taylor,

Sorry if I flustered you. I was using the occasion of your second comment to make a point to my opponents on the PSU issue. It worked too, because you stated something that goes right to the heart of the matter: the issue of “objective” content versus subjective. That is exactly what the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution is all about.

Your last sentence is also relevant, and I agree 100%.

RTF

227. Smokey says:

Gates @2:00 pm:

Gates doesn’t see the difference between good and evil. There is actually good and evil in the world. Scientific skeptics are simply asking climate alarmists to prove their CO2=CAGW conjecture. But alarmists cannot support their conjecture per the scientific method, so they deviously take control of the peer review system, they conspire to get other scientists fired for simply having a different point of view, and they recklessly waste the money taken from hard-bitten taxpayers.

Those with a solid moral compass would label those actions as evil. Carrying water for them is evil, too. But simply asking questions?? Asking for their data, methodology, code and metadata is by Gates’ accounting “evil”?? Is that how his parents raised him, with no moral compass?

Once again, here is Phil Jones, hoping to cause humanity grief just so he could claim he was right:

Email 3408, 2008, Phil Jones: “I’d like the world to warm up quicker, but if it did, I know that the sensitivity is much higher and humanity would be in a real mess!”

Gates, if you had a soul, I would suggest some serious soul-searching. Like Jones, you are promoting a scam. That’s evil, no?

[Don’t answer that, Gates. You are not qualified. Your compass is broken.]

228. Manfred says:

Luboš Motl says:
February 5, 2012 at 10:57 am
—————————————–

Good points, Lubos.

Thirteen years have now passed and not a single paper has been retracted including the ones “officially” proven wrong. Due to this default, papers are still quoted by the uninformed.

Climategate has shown what is going wrong in peer review, team conduct, university life and administration, and media. It is an expression of malfunction that he is still granted the opportunity to speak at such an event and location.

229. When a robber puts a gun to your head, there is no point to support robber’s freedom of speech.
He already has it. He has a gun.

230. dp says:

Luboš Motl – I think Mann should be defunded first and foremost, but he, and anyone, should be allowed to speak at his own expense. In the US it is a given that we are allowed to speak. What we are not guaranteed is an audience nor free access to any audience we choose. And the audience has choices – the audience is free to get up and leave if they wish not to hear a particular speaker, but that choice should be theirs, not that of some bureaucrat with an agenda. Let the people decide, but don’t make the people pay.

231. Here’s a good example of someone whose free speech has been limited and curtailed for many years. A documentary made about her work was pulled from the schedule two hours before it was due to go on air. Unfortunately I can’t mention what her area of research is on this forum because discussion of it is not allowed. There is an extensive discussion of the suppression in the piece.
http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/06/10/interview-with-ivanka-charvatova-is-climate-change-caused-by-solar-inertial-motion/

232. Dan says:

This matter of Mann speaking is secondary – what’s the mechanism by which academia is held accountable for their whitewash and refusal to acknowledge scientific fraud?

For in having aided and abetted scientific fraud, Academic Fraud has been committed by those who have blindly followed whatever these charlatans publish.

233. Nate_OH says:

When someone has been proven to be a liar and a bully, you do not give them another chance unless they have proven to have changed their ways.
Mann is both and as shown by his and Romm’s behavior this week, has not changed his ways. So I have to respectfully disagree with our host’s position.

234. Erinome says:

Can someone — anyone — tell me exactly what data Mann is accused of manipulating? I don’t mean pointing me to some paper, but exactly what data, in what dataset, and in what way was it manipulated? I’ve seen lots of accusations, but never anything specific….

235. Smokey says:

Erinome,

You are so far from being up to speed it’s pathetic. For one of many examples, Mann deleted contrary proxies by hiding them in an ftp file labeled “censored“.

And do a simple search on the Climate Audit site for “Tiljander”. Mann was informed before he published that the Tiljander proxy was corrupted, and had caused the data to be displayed upside-down. Mann published anyway, because the corrupted data gave him the hockey stick shape he craved.

Quit getting your misinformation from propaganda blogs like Skeptical Pseudo-Science. They’re spoon-feeding you nonsense, and you’re swallowing it. Mann is a climate charlatan – and his chickens are coming home to roost.

236. Erinome says:

Smokey says:
You are so far from being up to speed it’s pathetic. For one of many examples, Mann deleted contrary proxies by hiding them in an ftp file labeled “censored“.

What is this graph supposed to show?
What data is it based on?
What quantity is being plotted on the y-axis?
Where are the error bars?

Who informed Mann of the “Tijander proxy,” and when? How do you know this?

I’d like details, not vague claims.

237. Smokey says:

Erinome,

By asking those questions you make it clear that you’re way behind the learning curve. Ms Tiljander informed Mann of the corrupted proxy as soon as she found out about it.

Mann’s shocking Tiljander fraud, and the answers to all of your posted questions can be found both here and on Climate Audit. Simply use appropriate keywords like “Mann”, “censored”, “Tiljander”, etc. and learn. You will find in excruciating detail well-referenced answers all your questions. And by doing it yourself, you will retain more knowledge than if I do it for you.

238. Erinome says:

Smokey, so you don’t know what Mann allegedly did wrong. You only have general links, a few keywords, and unlabeled graphs, then tell me to go investigate for myself.

That’s what I suspected, and it’s what I always find when I ask this question, here and elsewhere. People think that Climate Audit found that Mann did something wrong, but they never seem to know what it is. It’s a great example of confirmation bias.

239. Like Smokey said, it is there in “excruciating detail”.

People know that CA found that Mann did things wrong.

Of course, it appears you are trying to take the thread on a tangent which would distract attention from the First Amendment issue that was under discussion. I doubt that anyone would dare to censor you because of your choice of where to post your charge of “confirmation bias” against all who have criticized Mann.

Where would one even begin in giving a complete answer to your question? Many books have been written, each documenting the unique experiences of its respective investigator. And CA is, itself, the size of several books at this point.

But of course, you want it all pasted into this comment thread, or else if not, I suppose that means we are abusing Mann with our “confirmation bias”?

RTF