Ambler's rebuttal to Mann in the Wall Street Journal

Guest post by Harold Ambler

The reasons that climatologist Michael Mann is as successful as he is are multiple:

1. He told the United Nations something that it was dying to hear (he offered certainty when all else saw uncertainty)

2. He has brought serious money to the universities that house him (and run cover for him)

3. He is an extremely talented propagandist

I discuss this in a letter just published by The Wall Street Journal.

Although Michael Mann has the ear of the media in the United States and the United Kingdom, at a minimum, he complains of sailing into the wind of special-interest disinformation. Alas, this is its own potent form of disinformation.

Letter follows:

My Oily Millions

In Anne Jolis’s review of “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars” (“The Climate Kamikaze,” Weekend Books, March 16), Miss Jolis notes that “In his book, [Michael] Mann dubs the unauthorized release of his emails a ‘crime’ and claims that the ensuing ‘witch hunt’ constituted ‘the most malicious’ of ‘attack after vitriolic attack against us’ by the ‘corporate-funded denial machine.’ “

The reviewer summarizes Mr. Mann’s incessant claim of big-oil bullying perfectly. This indeed is, as the expression goes, how Mr. Mann rolls. And it’s true not just about Mr. Mann and his emails, but about nearly every instance of anyone daring to question the version of climate science promulgated by Mr. Mann.

This is all a bit hard to take. I myself am a skeptical blogger and author, yet I am in no way funded by Big Oil. In fact, my three-and-a-half years of toiling on the subject of climate change has yielded approximately $4,000 worth of income. I’m not proud of this fact as a father, husband or man, but it does undercut the constant conspiracy theories about funding behind global-warming skepticism. Meanwhile, as I’ve noted elsewhere, mainstream climate scientists themselves have received grants totalling more than $1 billion from Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP and other large energy companies.

Mr. Mann’s book largely sticks to the familiar conclusions of climate science. Readers might be interested to learn that the current interglacial period, the Holocene, is the coolest of the last five. The one before ours, the Eemian, which ran between approximately 130,000 and 115,000 years ago, likely saw temperature averages of 2° Celsius warmer than today, and sea levels about 15 feet higher. Climatologically, if humans could time-travel to the most ideal time to live on Earth, we would be unlikely to find a better moment than right now. The Holocene, including and especially our own moment within it, is a beautiful climactic nest.

As for those who would convince the public that the sky is falling, one has to ask: Who benefits from such frightening claims?

– Harold Ambler

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(Please let it serve as the occasion when you choose to buy and enjoy my book, available for Kindle and in paperback at Amazon.)

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cui bono

Well said, sir!

Tom G(ologist)

Part way through your book now – thanks for it. The Kindle version is a little askew, as some of the figures appear no-where near the text which accompanies them, and one is left with some puzzlement as to what the graphic might be intended to convey – until one reads a few more e-pages further and then gets the “aha” moment. I use a kindle Fire so the pages are about normal page size (no little Nook screen which could account for the wonkiness of the layout). All that being said only for your information, however, the book itself is a great addition to my arsenal.

David Harrington

I bought your book Harold and can highly recommend it. Keep up the good work.

Who benefits indeed. And the shrillness of the defence, and the skulduggery ensuing from its methods, reinforce Mr. Ambler’s point(s).

Henry chance

Great letter. How benefits from manns agenda? Perfect question

1. Congratulations on getting your letter published in the WSJ
2. Good luck about selling more copies of your book.
3. I hope you realize that getting a climate skeptic letter published in the WSJ – who previously declined to publish a climate alarmist letter organized by Dr Gleick and signed by 255 scientists, can upset Dr Gleick. A lot. When a Heartland director managed it (or rather, 16 people including Heartland’s director, Harrison Schmitt did), Gleick tweeted about 8 times to complain, wrote 2 articles complaining, 2 more facebook posts complaining, and a signed a counter-letter to the WSJ as well. He is also began phishing Heartland the very same day the letter was published. So if I was you, I’d be on my guard against any suspicious looking emails!
4. Just kidding about the last sentence of item 3 Every thing else in item 3 is however true

Doug Proctor

As Ambler said: “the Eemian, which ran between approximately 130,000 and 115,000 years ago, likely saw temperature averages of 2° Celsius warmer than today, and sea levels about 15 feet higher.”
Why is today’s temperature rise able to create such drastic melting when the previous one couldn’t? Why did not the MWP or the Roman or the Minoan warmth cause noticeable and damaging sea-level rises?
Apparently pre-Mann Joules are worth 1/3 a present Mann-Joule. Another aspect of how all history is irrelevant as today is Special. Science as well as scientists.

richard verney

@Regarding the penultimate paragraph.
It is obvious that if it were not for our skill at adapting our environment, the climate today is far too cold for us as a species, and we would inhabit only small areas of the globe.
We do not wear clothes because of modesty, but because it is too cold to live without clothes. Man as an animal but for the skill of adaption could only live in the tropical rain forests and other tropoical regions.
Generally, we want and would thrive in a warmer globe.
The idea that it is beneficial to live in a climate equivalent to that emerging at the end of the LIA is madness..

Steve O

Who benefits indeed.
Those who question the motives of scientists funded by “the fossil fuel industry” are quick to call foul based on conflict of interest. For those same people, the same conflict of interest doesn’t seem to apply to the UN, a political body of questionable mores, as the UN seeks hundreds of billions of dollars in wealth transfers to play with.
Now, for me, that doesn’t say anything negative about the scientists who are working with such public funding, but it does say something about the perspectives of those who only see a risk of bias on only one side of the debate.

KnR

‘He is an extremely talented propagandist’
Its that really true , given he makes fool of myself whenever is exposed to public review , which may explain why its very rarely done, and given that he normal comes across has a bit of nasty big head and that’s in friendly situation with his ‘followers. I am not sure this idea is true, but I do think these may ,ironically, be good reasons to keep him in place and in the public eye. So a ‘talented propagandist’ but not for his own side ?

I am shocked. Shocked! … that big oil is not sending you a big fat check in the mail each month. Darn, who knew about that?
Good letter; good points; well said. Thanks.

R. Shearer

What about Brad Pitt’s review?

Dante D. Leone

He’s not an extremely talanted propagandist. He’s just a propagandist and not a very good one, but a self employed tool that the alarmist movement are overly happy to use and abuse.
Take a look at the most visible and verbal of the lot, who range from employed PR and journalist tools to self-important bloggers like Romm to scientists like Erlich, Hansen and Mann, but notice how few they are compared to the supposed amount of alarmists.
The thing that made propagandists good in old europe was that they kept up with the current times (in everything from technology, behavior and hype) and they used it to their advantage and used force where it didn’t work.
Mann, like most of the self made officers of the alarmist movement, seem to be stuck on the 1930’s version of everything communication. So the only ones they’re reaching are mostly a small bunch of the closet version of themselves and everyone who wants, and can, profit of them and their deluded behavior (of course, they don’t seem to mind though being well funded by the very evil entity they say fund their oposition.)

Alexander K

Excellent letter, Mr Ambler. Your book is on my ‘purchase soon’ list.

RockyRoad

Hey, if Mann had to share his grant money with “denialists, skeptics, and other Gia-haters”, he’d have much less of it to go earth-whoring around.
I hope he finally meets his match with a big law suit that requires an excruciating discovery process–then we might finally have a penitent Mann, although he’ll probably be screaming all the way to the “Big House”.

Joachim Seifert

To Doug Proctor: To evaluate the course of the Eemian , you need to take the values
from Greenland drilling, not from the Antarctis, where 1 year of snow only yields 2 cm
of ice and therefore is too little for detailed avaluation…..
The Eemian was not continously warm, there were 5 cycles of 2,200 years each and
enormous temp swings from +2 “C above todays Holocene and spikes like an
astronomical sin wave went down 5’C. This 5 spikes each endured a couple
hundert years each only and all what melted more or less was quickly converted back
to ice in between the spikes…..
Before you ask questions with the intent of being right of logical on something
check in detail next time before airing unfounded assumptions…unless you want to
confuse innocent readers…..
JS

Scottish Sceptic

Mann deserves the ridicule he gets … because … well he’s not a serious scientist.
It is easy to get hot under the collar with mann because what he says is outrageous … but he only says it to get PR … and that kind of carp stopped working ages ago.

Harold: I came to the conclusion last year that the reason we poor skeptical bloggers don’t get a slice of that oil money is…the oil companies have been told by the AGW crowd that they’re already funding us, and they’ve come to believe it. So why reach into the till to give us more?
But that’s not the case, Oil Companies. You aren’t funding us. I would love a chunk of cash for my ENSO- and sea surface temperature-related research. Harold, how about you? Anthony?

Steve E

Dante D. Leone says:
March 21, 2012 at 4:27 pm
“He’s just a propagandist and not a very good one, but a self employed tool…
You’re absolutely right Dante! Michael Mann is indeed a tool, however, I wouldn’t call him self-employed based on the grants he’s received! 😉

u.k.(us)

copner says:
March 21, 2012 at 3:46 pm
============
You got something to say ?
Say It. Or shut up.
Children are easily exposed, cus they know not.

Harold Ambler

@Joachim Seifert: So the warmth that raised sea levels 15 feet higher than today was so intermittent that “all what melted more or less was quickly converted back to ice in between the spikes.”
Amazing how the sea rose, then, yeah? That’s some fancy liquid solid ice water, there, eh?

Socratease

The Big Oil funding is a red herring anyway. Funding may be a motive for making scientifically bogus claims, but it is not proof. A scientific theory that describes observed behavior in nature, and that makes predictions that are both provable and reproducible is a valid theory regardless of who is funding the person who came up with it. Likewise, if a corporation with a financial stake in the outcome finances a scientist that disproves a theory, the incorrectness of that theory is unaffected by the funding source. We ought to care less about arguing that we’re not being paid for by Big Oil than arguing that the entire premise of the accusation is without merit. It’s just lazy science, which the CAGW crowd excels at, and they should be called to account.

Bob Tisdale says:
March 21, 2012 at 5:00 pm
Harold: I came to the conclusion last year that the reason we poor skeptical bloggers don’t get a slice of that oil money is…the oil companies have been told by the AGW crowd that they’re already funding us, and they’ve come to believe it. So why reach into the till to give us more?
But that’s not the case, Oil Companies. You aren’t funding us. I would love a chunk of cash for my ENSO- and sea surface temperature-related research. Harold, how about you? Anthony?
============================================================
lol, because the oil companies aren’t threatened by this madness. In fact, it helps them. Cap and trade the oil companies, and then they’ve eliminated all future competitors in the oil industry.
The only fossil fuel industry adversely effected by this idiocy is the coal industry. And, their attack on the coal industry was in part, funded by the natural gas industry.
Maybe we should go there for some money. They don’t have as much as oil or gas, but, they are the ones with something to lose.

William McClenney

I wholeheartedly agree with all but one point, that the Holocene is the coolest of the last five interglacials. Maybe. If you do not consider the possible brief excursions in MIS-7.1 and 7.5, which some consider to have been briefly a couple of meters higher than present, or about in the same range as the Holocene Climate Optimum, while others claim many meters below what has been achieved in the Holocene.

Two things occur to me about climate alarmists:
1 They lack self awareness
2 They form a mutual congratulation circle and have no need for actual merit.

Gail Combs

Steve O says:
March 21, 2012 at 4:01 pm
Who benefits indeed.
Those who question the motives of scientists funded by “the fossil fuel industry” are quick to call foul based on conflict of interest. For those same people, the same conflict of interest doesn’t seem to apply to the UN, a political body of questionable mores, as the UN seeks hundreds of billions of dollars in wealth transfers to play with….
____________________
ERRRrrrr, Steve,
It is Warmist Scientists who are receiving $1 billion on top of government grants not skeptics. Skeptics have their papers rejected or get booted out of their jobs.
CRU (of East Anglia) Funding
British Petroleum (Oil, LNG)
Central Electricity Generating Board
Eastern Electricity
KFA Germany (Nuclear)
Irish Electricity Supply Board (LNG, Nuclear)
National Power
Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (Nuclear)
Shell (Oil, LNG)
Sultanate of Oman (LNG)
UK Nirex Ltd. (Nuclear)
Source: http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/about/history/
————
Exxon: – how about $100 million for Stanford’s Global Climate and Energy Project, and $600 million for Biofuels research.
In 2005, Pachauri helped set up set up GloriOil, a Texas firm specialising in technology which allows the last remaining reserves to be extracted from oilfields otherwise at the end of their useful life.
Lord Oxburgh is a long-standing public advocate of the need to address climate change issues. He served as the Non-Executive Chairman of Shell Transport and Trading
Maurice Strong
Strong started in the oil business in the 1950s working for the Rockefellers in Saudia Arabia. He was president of a major holding company — the Power Corporation of Canada. in 1975, he was invited by Canada to run the semi-national Petro-Canada. He did another deal with Saudi arms deal, Adnan Khashoggi acquiring AZL, a conglomerate owning feed lots, land, gas and oil interests, and engineering firms. Strong was Vice President of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), until 1981. He is a Senior Adviser to the World Bank and Trustee of the Rockefeller foundation.
http://www.afn.org/~govern/strong.html
http://www.sovereignty.net/p/sd/strong.html
There are also at least 10 Climategate e-mails from the first release showing CRU seeks funds big oil and big business cash. Unfortunately they now seem to be dead links.
http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=171&filename=962818260.txt
http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=156&filename=947541692.txt
http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=332&filename=1056478635.txt
http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=270&filename=1019513684.txt
http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=1041&filename=1254832684.txt
http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=204&filename=973374325.txt
http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=185&filename=968691929.txt
http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=159&filename=951431850.txt
http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=362&filename=1065125462.txt

Gail Combs

‘He is an extremely talented propagandist’
Excuse me but BULL!
The only thing Mann has going for him is a lot of powerful backers with money hoping to make even more money while setting up a world government designed to funnel a never ending stream of money their way.
If the guy did not have the bought and paid for Mass Media, lots of $$$$, and power in his corner he couldn’t argue his way out of a paper bag.
I refuse to call him Dr. because he shames the title.

Paul Bahlin

@Doug
Mann Joules?
Am I the only one that spit tea all over my laptop when I read about Mann-Joules? That one is priceless!

All things considered, I would prefer the Miocene.

RoHa

Well, obviously Ambler can’t help, but could someone please, please, tell me how to get some of those millions Exxon, Shell, and BP are handing out to us sceptics?

big oil would just love to capture coal’s share of the energy market.
ergo, big oil pays to demonise coal.
big oil would be very pleased with current American restrictions on coal production.
is big oil winning it’s war against coal in America ? you’re ‘darn tootin’ it is !

Robert in Calgary

Harold, it would be nice to get your book on the Kobo.

gregole

Harold,
Excellent letter – I am glad that you are willing to spend your valuable time educating people on this topic. I must point out that back in 2009 the WSJ articles on Climategate 1.0 got me started on this climate stuff. What a wake up call; so you are addressing a good audience.
Your book is excellent and I highly recommend it – see my review on Amazon. Everybody buy a copy, read it and hand it out to your friends. An evenhanded account of the climate debate. A must read.

Thumper

The book is solid and an easy read. I bought two, one to give to a warmist. Thanks Harold.

Alex Heyworth

Mann is, like most of his kind, simply a useful idiot. The agenda was set before he came onto the scene, at the very latest when the IPCC was set up.
Climate change is just the excuse. The ultimate aim is world government. It may not happen for two or three hundred years, but those behind this movement are very, very patient.

Ron Sinclair

Re Mr. Mann and his tree slices.
I just finished reading a book written in 1929 by a Norwegian Professor of Archaeology from the University of Oslo, His book was on the 800 – 900 time period of emigration of Norse peasants from Norway to the Shetland Islands, the Orkney Islands and Caithness in the north tip of Scotland. He pointed out that the two islands were treeless but that the folks knew from their Norway experience that peat could be dug and burned as fuel, and there was lots of peat bogs available. He then mentioned that it was common to find buried in the the peat large tree roots and parts of logs. His observation in 1929 was that obviously at some time in the pre 800 days it had been considerably warmer in the Shetlands and trees had grown quite well.
Mr Mann would likely say it was all lies but isn’t it interesting where evidence of a warmer past pops up?

J.H.

For those that say that Mann is not an accomplished propagandist…. I beg to differ. You are talking about the guy who has built around him a cadre that has convinced the Western democracies to abandon their economies….. Makes him pretty damn accomplished in my book. And dangerous.
Those with the ruthlessness to look you boldly in the face and lie for the benefit of gaining power and privilege…. are not to be underestimated.

Scottish Sceptic says:
March 21, 2012 at 4:44 pm
…what he says is outrageous … but he only says it to get PR … and that kind of carp stopped working ages ago.

It still works on the target audience — children and those adults ruled by their emotions…

David Ross

Harold wrote:
Q: “As for those who would convince the public that the sky is falling, one has to ask: Who benefits from such frightening claims?”
A: Munich Re
Harold/ if you want an idea for a new book on a part of the climate debate that has not received much attention. Munich Re is the alarmists’ Exxon. Unlike Exxon there is evidence of long-term and ongoing support and coordination (with Greenpeace for example).
Munich Re is the insurance companies’ insurer. Not only is alarmism in their interest, they are starting selling insurance to companies afraid they will be sued/prosecuted for past emissions.

P.F.

Don’t forget why MBH97/98 came to be — to diminish the importance of the MWP. Following scathing criticism of the IPCC First Assessment Report, the East Anglia emails revealed (in 2009) that the inner circle of climate alarmists in the mid-90s recognized that the MWP was “a problem” for their cause. Briffa (in that circle) worked with Mann on a batch of Bristlecone Pine rings and, as they say, the rest is history. Mann’s work is not pure, clean, original science, but a deliberate concoction to give weight to an agenda that predated his work by more than a decade.

jerry

Hmmm. Everytime I scroll down the page in safari I get magically routed to some “sign the green petition” website.
You must have pissed somebody off, Anthony.

Leslie

In the book, Harry asks “How did we get to a point where a chat about climate change make a conversation about abortion among people from wildly divergent points of view seem like a walk in the park?”. By coincidence, I happen to see on PBS the film “Journey of the Universe” which contrives a strange and creepy intermingling of religion and science. To me this clearly answers the above question. The climate movement is just another religion, nothing more.

LazyTeenager

The one before ours, the Eemian, which ran between approximately 130,000 and 115,000 years ago, likely saw temperature averages of 2° Celsius warmer than today, and sea levels about 15 feet higher.
————
So Mann explained this in his book and so you claim he is trying to terrify us for money?
Or maybe this is expressed really badly?
Ok let’s ask a couple of questions.
1. How reliable is the figure of 2 celcius? After all you guys have tried real hard to discredit the prehistoric temperature record. It can’t be reliable when it suits you and unreliable when it does not suit you.
2. What would it be like if conditions today became the same as the Eemian? Would the American way of life survive?
3. What happens when it goes above 2C? Will the American way of life survive that unchanged.
4. In the past many of you have insisted that temperature-mediated negative feedbacks prevent changes in temperature.? So how cone the Eemian is 2C higher?

Geoff Sherrington

Gail Combs says: March 21, 2012 at 6:07 pm Missing emails?
A set of CG stored early in the piece returned only one search result –
To: Nguyen Huu Ninh (cered@hn.vnn.vn)
Subject: NOAA funding
Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2003 14:17:15 +0000
Ninh
NOAA want to give us more money for the El Nino work with IGCN.
How much do we have left from the last budget? I reckon most has been spent but we need to show some left to cover the costs of the trip Roger didn’t make and also the fees/equipment/computer money we haven’t spent otherwise NOAA will be suspicious.
Politically this money may have to go through Simon’s institute but there overhead rate is high so maybe not!
Mick Kelly Climatic Research Unit
School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia Norwich NR4 7TJ
……………………………….
Gail, are you including documents, encoded documents & attachments as well as straight emails?

Julian Braggins

Leslie says:
March 21, 2012 at 10:43 pm
In the book, Harry asks “How did we get to a point where a chat about climate change make a conversation about abortion among people from wildly divergent points of view seem like a walk in the park?”
———————————-
Mmmm, know the feeling, at a gathering of rather Green acquaintances the question of sea levels and Flannery’s talk of a 20ft rise by 2100 came up, my statement that “he doesn’t know what he is talking about” cleared the room, and the house in about 30 seconds! The hostess forgave me, as I am her father.
Mod, sorry about the premature post 😮

PaddikJ

3. He is an extremely talented propagandist.”

To his weak-minded choir, I suppose; to me he’s a crashing bore. Those tired, tedious talking points – “Industry-funded,” yada-yada.
He doesn’t need the enviromentalist echo-chamber. He has his own. It’s cavernous, it’s extremely reverberant, and it’s between his ears.

GHowe

Dr.? Ambler-
Thank you for all your excellent writings. Just remember, “money doesn’t make the man”. Tho it can build a nice house or buy toys. mann-Joules is the best one so far this week i’ve seen.

orson2

Harold Ambler’s “Don’t Sell Your Coat: Surprising Truths About Climate Science.” is THE best introduction to the climate science and the AGW delusion.
Geared for the interested general reader, he swiftly and lucidly walks one though the sources of his reasoned discontent with climate change orthodoxy, from a conventional Believer to a skeptic. His treatment is more historical and meteorological than topical, early on, although later chapters fill us in recent years’ contentious developments in things like climategate and the rise of the natural, solar driven cosmoclimatology option.
Even though I read WUWT almost daily, I’ve learned telling details, previously missed – points that improve my occasional verbal briefs and prepared presentations before, say, movement Skeptic groups. The choice of illustrations is thoughtful and better than any textbook; concise captions convey the building chapter-by-chapter case for skepticism because so many key points of science get overlooked even in our favorite online science blogs.
If you know of science geeks, then make Bob Carter’s book your gift of choice. But for any interested general readers, Ambler’s “Don’t Sell Your Coat” is the best introductory, up-to-date, climate science book, hands down! Thank you, Anthony, for backing his book and giving him space to remind your readers not to miss out.
Snap them up, folks!

orson2

“Tom G(ologist)” [above] says the Kindle version of “Don’t Sell Your Coat” has some graphics issues.
A protege of mine – with a newly minted master’s in mass comm and journalism – recently self-published his first novel at Amazon.com last, and even without graphs or illustration, the printed book is considerably more satisfying to the eye than the ebook – from the fonts to kerning to layout.
Ebooks are still in early generational form, in terms of satisfying user-friendly information consumption needs and competing with the hardcopy art of publishing. I say get Harold Ambler’s book in paperback for REAL enjoyment!

eyesonu

Mann-Joules?
Are his family Joules being castrated? Let’s hope so.