Letter to the editor: A wish for Dr. Michael Mann to clear some things up from an errant PSU grad

by Joe Bastardi

Being I am branded as a “denier”, I am having trouble dismissing the relevance of the tree ring studies that challenge the hockey stick, in light of the magnitude of the weight against co2 having any relevance to the climate.

I am hoping Dr. Mann can clear some things up for me, a PSU meteo grad that as I understand is no longer welcome in our department because of my outspoken stance on the climate change issue. A response here can also enlighten the other Neanderthals, some of them apparently devious enough to fool entire departments so they have PHDs, as to the latest “situation” with you and Andy Revkin. Andy, I am hoping this is not too “divisive or toxic”.

You tweeted that this graph, which has a version that shows no hockey stick was “largely irrelevant”


Here is the tweet:


And yet we see that the Chinese find no hockey stick in their studies:


In light of the Chinese studies, how can you say the other finding is largely irrelevant?

In addition you are asking us to believe that a gas that is 1/400th of the greenhouse gasses in a mixture ( air) that has 1/1000th of the heat capacity of the ocean,


WHICH IS BY FAR THE GREATEST CONTRIBUTOR TO THE NUMBER ONE GREENHOUSE GAS, WATER VAPOR, is somehow so relevant its pushing around the climate system. Even more remarkable is that this gas ( co2 if you have not guessed) has a specific gravity of 1.5 that of air, heats and COOLS faster than air, has different radiation properties and according to NASA satellite data, does not mix well.


Add to that the fact that in that mixture, air, it occupies .004 and according to DOE, mans total contribution is 3 to 5 %,


meaning using the high end 5% we have contributed .0002 to a mixture that has 1/1000th of the heat capacity of a prime source of the number one greenhouse gas , water vapor, that is 400 times the amount of co2.

Since I am an actual graduate of PSU meteo, and would like to again show my face there, I would hope you can explain to me and the rest of the “denial machine” how assigning such a high value to what would appear by the PHYSICAL evidence to be a non factor is somehow consistent with 2 studies showing NO HOCKEY STICK being largely irrelevant.

Again here is my problem: we have 2 studies showing no hockey sticks, they are irrelevant, yet the sheer weight of evidence AGAINST co2 being able to push the climate around seems to be of a much greater magnitude than the 2 studies.

And just for good measure, perhaps you can help us deniers with the apparent misconception with the ocean and sun correlation and the disconnect to co2 seen here:

TOP LEFT CO2 VS TEMP top right global temp since pdo flip bottom left ocean vs temp correlation pdo plus amo bottom right solar correlation


ocean strength of correlation is .83 solar is .57 co2 is .44

I look forward to the response convincing me that by looking at all sides of the issues, and reading just about everything you have done, that I am wrong, so I recant my Neanderthal views, and once again be able to sing “ may no act of ours bring shame” in our alma mater, since after all I am a graduate of PSU.

I am also a letter winner, so along with sweating out classes, I sweat and bled on our wrestling mats, so you might understand why my relationship with my University and its most famous member of our esteemed meteorology department is important to me.

Joe Bastardi

State Collge, PA


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Simply brilliant, Joe.
But you won’t get a response.

Bloke down the pub

Mountain meet molehill That sounds about right. If Mann does the sums it comes out as a mountain, anyone with a modicum of honesty and it turns out to be a molehill.

Good luck with that, Joe. I feel the pain, because my alma mater, Acadia University, has gone hog-wild on the meme as well. I didn’t get a letter, but I was pretty much a 4.0 GPA. And watching science get sacked for political agendas is, well, a combination of irritating and depressing. And watching Mann’s unmistakably disdainful smirk must be a real drag.
Reading the responses in the link below illustrates just how shoddy the whole thing has become.

Joe, you da man…
But, don’t you know, as Thomas Wolfe famously wrote, you can’t go home again.

Jenn Oates

Oh, he probably will get a response, Mardler, but it will be a “not worth even a serious rebuttal” tweet. 🙂

The mountain is under the right side of his graph. The molehill is under the right side of the Chinese chart.
Dim sum for everyone.


Joe, Joe, Joe. Tsk, tsk. Of COURSE it’s the CO2. Look at this equation: dF= 5.35 X ln C/Co (Wm^-2). See how simply the radiative forcing makes the temp go up? If you plug in values for C/Co one can easily see how the temperature of the atmosphere will increase. Why, with enough CO2 the oceans will boil away! What? One cannot do a tabletop experiment to confirm this? Why does that matter? The math is correct so it *MUST* be true! What? Why is it cooling off? Err…..ummm….. I’m not sure. I’ll have to recheck my figgers. I know Big Oil is putting more CO2 in the atmosphere so I’ll have to get back to you on that. I know the guys at GISS & CRU will be able to edumakate me. TTFN!
Do I really have to put “/sarc.” here?


Joe: the IPCC crew has somehow managed to make 4 major physics’ mistakes!
1. 1973, Lacis and Hansen adopt Sagan’s aerosol optical physics. NASA publications claim polluted clouds ‘reflect’ more sunlight because of higher droplet surface area/low size. Yet clouds with highest albedo are rain clouds. This was noticed by cloud physicist G L Stephens in 2010. There is no cooling by polluted clouds, in reality it’s the reverse, the real GW mechanism.
2. 1981, Hansen et. al. claim ~24 K lapse rate warming is a GHG effect, overestimating present GHG warming by a factor of ~3.7.
3. 1986, Houghton claims Local Thermodynamic Equilibrium in the lower atmosphere means it emits radiation as a black body: there is no such physics yet the IPCC climate models assume non-existent ‘back radiation’ in equilibrium with a black body Earth emitting as if it were in a vacuum. Any process engineer will confirm that to get radiation to exceed natural convection for ~0.9 emissivity you need >100 °C. The IPCC increases real IR warming by a factor of 15.5!
4. The Tyndall and CO2 in a bottle experiments do not prove direct thermalisation: there is no warming when the bottle is replaced by thin Mylar. In reality thermalisation is probably mostly at heterogeneous interfaces [cloud droplets etc.] as pseudo-scattering transfers the energy. This may explain the Miskolczi control system/constant IR optical depth..
The bottom line; there is indirect GHG warming; GHG-AGW has been vastly exaggerated and could be net zero. The subject has to be re-started by objective professionals, students should not be taught incorrect physics – ‘downwelling IR’ is an artifact of the measurement procedure, a measure of temperature convolved with emissivity, not an energy source.

Claude Harvey

You’ll never arrive at the right answer the way you’re going at this, Joe. The data must be adjusted using “sophisticated statistical techniques”. There are lots of such techniques available to the resourceful practitioner and you’ll know you’ve hit on just the right combination when you get the following effects:
1) Adjusted temperatures early in the 20th century come out lower than recorded raw readings.
2) Adjusted temperatures late in the 20th century come out higher than recorded raw readings.
3) The Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Period disappear.

Joe: In one word – BRILLIANT. But real brilliance is seen as foolishness to those who are being deceived (or in this case, who wish to play the role of a deceiver). Hmmmmm…. sounds familiar. Where have I heard THAT quote before?


In the case of Mann it should be spelled hockey schtik.

Nick Shaw

Joe! Joe! Joe! How can you be so gauche as to cite actual, factual evidence and comparisons!!
Don’t you know it’s all about feelings? You have to “feel” the data, not examine it!
C’mon! Get with the program!
Or we’ll destroy your reputation! We’ll take your house and everything else you hold dear! We’ll try you for treason and hang you!
Oops! Did I just say that!!


I’ve yet to understand how CO2 levels can fluctuate 1000’s of ppm…..naturally
….yet can’t handle an additional 5 ppm (100 ppm X 5%)
and when CO2 levels were in the 1000’s…..managed to crash all on it’s own


Manns arse: 0 Bastardis boot: 1
Short and sweet with enough /sarc to hurt where it counts, superb job Mr.Bastardi.

I would think it would be more like the ‘I don’t joust with jesters’ line he’s used before.

Keith Battye

Grrrrr. . . .
It is so obvious yet so many won’t even think about it.
0.04% of the atmosphere which is inconsequential when compared with the ocean has the ability to destroy Earth. Really !

Well done !!

Fred from Canuckistan

What is becoming ever more irrelevant is Michael Mann.
He’s has become simply a waste of time, an ignorant, whining, obsessed demagogue living in some kind of fantasy world where people respected his work.
His 15 minutes of fame are over.

Nice ground and pound work Joe. You and Hulk smash good.


Having worked in science at a university for some 28 years, I too am deeply saddened by this dismissal of real science in favor of popular “religious-science” (apologies to the actual church). It seems to have the properties of that notorious green gas that flowed through the city in The Ten Commandments, only now it’s taking brains, not first born.
Even more obscene is the importance being placed by these institutions of higher learning on sports, with spending increases on sports disproportionately greater than on science. Scientific faculty are being cut while the coach is getting a contract extension and a raise… on top of a half-million dollar current salary. It is no wonder that people who garner notoriety for populist causes that both reinforce and benefit from the myth of CAGW are deified.
A perfect example is my university’s recent hosting of Naomi Oreskes so she could give a lecture on why the deniers are wrong. Don’t get me started.
You offer some very good, simple questions, but I doubt they’ll be answered in any kind of direct manner, if at all.


ten out of ten for effort Joe, but he wont respond. Why not give Ho Chi Manh a call and ask him if he wants help to set up a CPCC


Joe you have to keep up. The satellites have been “adjusted”, what cooling? Now onto adjust those pesky balloons.


“In addition you are asking us to believe that a gas that is 1/400th of the greenhouse gasses in a mixture ( air) that has 1/1000th of the heat capacity of the ocean…etc, etc”
Sorry, but arguments like the above are not helpful. The theoretical underpinnings for AGW are valid as far as they go. Except for one thing. The real world data is not cooperating. And there is no “trapped heat” yet found to explain why that is. The way science should work, and usually does work is that when a hypothesis is shown to have no predictive value, that hypothesis is declared invalid.
As I see it, that’s the real argument… the fire to which we should be holding their feet.

Tony McGough

I struggle with the text of this letter, which I find incoherent and difficult to follow – though the charts are of great interest. Could it be tidied up retrospectively? Thanks.
And “awarded a letter” – is that for representing the University at sport? Like a “cap” or a “blue”?


So, there goes my theory. I attended an NFL football game last year and my observations led me to conclude that wearing a replica football jersey causes middle aged men’s abdomens to grow. I guess that there must be more to it than that.

The global warming deception was built on the foundation of the hockey stick, and the specious non-causal correlation between CO2 and temps (see algor deceptively repeat this lie on CO2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WK_WyvfcJyg).
Now those foundations are debunked, gone, but the theory still stands… without foundation! An ad campaign should be developed that hits these two key points (there is nothing unusual about current temps / climate, and there is no empirical evidence that CO2 effects climate scale temps).


It’s obvious that the Chinese studies must be largely irrelevant just as McIntyre’s and McKitrick’s claim that “upside down” data were used was bizarre.
All science and logic must bow to the proclamations of the great and all-knowing Mann.

Ally E.

That was beautifully done, Joe. Whether you get an answer or not, you may make some people think… unless of course they already know… in which case you may make those people get in touch with their shame.

Bill Taylor

sorry but your comment about sports is way off base……exercise is a key to having a healthy life, and the sports programs at major universities make a profit.

Micheal Mann’s answer: “SHUT UP!”, he explained.


in that volume of atmosphere, 500 ppm of co2 carries 1/50000 of the heat that the 1% water vapor does, too. co2 ain’t the family joules.

Midwest Mark

Tony McGough said:
And “awarded a letter” – is that for representing the University at sport? Like a “cap” or a “blue”?
I’m not sure what a “cap” or a “blue” is, but I’m guessing it’s very similar. A letter made of heavy fabric–representing the first letter of the institution (in this case, a “P” for Penn State University)–is awarded to athletes, scholars, and often artistic performers for exemplary performance. The letter is typically sewn onto the front of a “letter jacket” for display.
In addition, I’d like to say, “Bravo, Joe!” Another double shot of espresso!!


Eric Simpson: Stott 2007 showed the end of the last ice age started 2 ky before CO2 rise. It’s warming of the deep Southern Ocean. 1.3 ky later tropical SST rises .700 years after that CO2 comes out!
The missing link is the amplification of Milankovitch tsi change by phytoplankton blooms reducing cloud albedo, The same mechanism occurs in the Arctic over a 70 year cycle. The Arctic is now freezing again. The warmists made the mistake of confusing this with CO2-AGW.


I think in the university’s eyes, the quality of the scientist is in direct proportion to the number of bureaucrats his research funding will support. By this criteria, PSU likely rates MM as brilliant. Joe, if you don’t raise money for bureaucrats you can’t be very smart so you can be ignored. When the climate change money runs out, you may want to ask them your question again.


@Tony McGough, I agree, the letter is a bit hard to follow with all the references to PSU. [It] does read well in terms of taking the piss out of Mann, but in terms of explaining the facts in a nice simple way it fails. If the facts where put forward in a simple manner then it might be useful to be used to explain to those who haven’t been totally taken over by the AGW cult, in other words the ordinary man in the street.


Mr. Bastardi: Can you explain to us why global temperatures are still high?
The PDO, AO and the sun has turned to cooling. So where are the cool temperatures from the eighties or seventies? I asked you that same question before here somewhere on WUWT in another one of your blogs. Never got a reply.
Oh Mr. Bastardi: April temperatures are going up again (RSS MSU) while they should go down in a cooling world. And how about the pathetic weak La Niñas the globe faced during 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 while you people were constantly propagating these were huge La Niñas. No they weren’t.
Mr. Bastardi: I considered you as a serious and objective person in climate and weather, but you are losing credibility.
Global temperatures are not going down like you would us have to believe in your last graph, but they will remain constant and increase again when the sun becomes active. Even in the “Cold” phase planet Earth is way too warm currently.
REPLY: If MR, Bastardi’s credibility is an issue for you, why not improve yours and put your name to your challenge, as he does with his writings? – Anthony


Joe. This is a Mann size slap down. More please!


I am extremely proud to be a Rutgers Univ. alumnus.
It was there, in the esteemed (this time the moniker is earned) Rutgers Agricultural School, that high levels of CO2 (up to 2000 ppm) were proven to result in much higher plant growth rates.
Not to mention most of the wonderful tomato varieties we enjoy today!
I hope their pragmatism, and actual observation of nature through experimentation, not computer simulations, has held firm, and that RU is still cogent on the climate science front.
Upstream, Red Team!

pokerguy says:
May 8, 2012 at 11:21 am
As I see it, that’s the real argument… the fire to which we should be holding their feet.

So *that’s* where Trenberth’s missing heat has been hiding!

Joseph Bastardi

First of all the sports comment was in a sport that is non revenue ( until now, our wrestling team is packing rec hall) but was meant to show another link to my loyalty to the school. Dr Mann DID NOT attend PSU. When I was there we graduated 2/3rds of the worlds meteorologist.
In addition when I started wrestling there after 2 years of not wrestling, my grades shot up cause I got back the discipline that I lost when I was a member of the general population. Even now, to me universities are simply businesses, as many of the curriculums are not the kind that one has to got to school for, or truly is something you need to build a career off of. I WAS NOT ON SCHOLARSHIP, WAS A TRUE STUDENT ATHLETE and as a matter of fact am the only known METEOROLOGIST to have lettered division one in the sport of wrestling as of 1978, and as far as I know, even through now. It was rough. Even today, I adopt an attitude that full preparation is one that involves a spiritual, mental and physical approach. I think being tested at things that you cant do ( I was 1-4 in wrestling, and in bodybuilding lost 37 straight times before winning at a state level) helps makes you appreciate and drive you in what you can do.
But my point was my linkage to PSU is burned into me, as opposed to arriving from the outside at a later date. Its is a bottom striving for the top, not top down link. Dont expect some of you to understand, but thats okay, we all have different journeys

Robbie says:
May 8, 2012 at 12:06 pm
Even in the “Cold” phase planet Earth is way too warm currently.

And your reference, rather than your opinion, for that is…?

Gail Combs

Expect the “Sounds of Silence”
You will only get a response if other Alumni (with big wallets) chime in and want to know where the answer to your letter is.
You might try sending copies to Forbes, the Wall Street Journal and the Christian Science Monitor. (The last two are the only papers held in esteem by my husband’s newspaper owning Dad)
Otherwise it is a really great succinct synopsis of the skeptics case against CO2 as the control knob for climate.

Nick Shaw

@Robbie –
“Even in the “Cold” phase planet Earth is way too warm currently.” Really?
And you know this, how, Robbie?
I suggest you stick to reading stories about dinosaur farts. They fit with your world view.

Joseph Bastardi

one more thing. The football program money here at PSU has built alot of buildings and paid for alot of salaries, including those of people who hate the football program. I do not think we should apologize for success and some of you should understand that the late Joe Paterno, really did push for things in the matter of academics. His wife, someone I know personally, helped my family out when my wife was sick, and while I cant speak for some things, I do know they were sincere in what they envisioned the university to be about. Perhaps I am just longing for the days I went here. Things seemed so much clearer then from the weather, to what it meant to represent your school

David L. Hagen

The Wikipedia mavins marvelously report:

Mann then joined the Yale Department of Geology and Geophysics and began further coursework and exams, obtaining an MPhil in geology and geophysics in 1993. His research focussed on natural variability and climate oscillations. He worked with the seismologist Jeffrey Park, and their joint research adapted a statistical method developed for identifying seismological oscillations to find various periodicities in the instrumental temperature record, the longest being about 60 to 80 years.

I wonder how he evaluates Nicola Scafetta‘s findings of periodicities in temperature records about 60 years long?
Furthermore, I find it remarkable that in the entire entry for Michael E. Mann, there is not a single reference to McIntyre, despite the large volume of hockey stick studies by McKitrick and McIntyre, and the frequent references to McIntyre in the Climategate emails. This falsification of history is remarkably similar to the eradication of Trosky under Stalin. Similarly, McIntyre is mentioned but dismissed in Hockey stick controversy. No mention yet of Yamal nor of McIntyre’s successful FOI and Yamal FOI sheds new light on flawed data.


AND to Robbie:
From London Express last week:
“Icy winds will send temperatures plunging today before torrential rain returns next week.
This weekend looks set to be the coldest start to May for more than 70 years and the Met men say the miserable weather, more like winter than spring, could drag on until June.”

Ontario, New York, and other apple regions lost most of the fruit crop due to a record late frost. $100M+ in losses.
Global tempos this winter are below average. Thousands dead in Europe from the cold this winter.
And you hail from…
which planet was it again?

see algor deceptively repeat this lie on CO2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WK_WyvfcJyg

I realize that “deceptively repeat the lie” is redundant. It’s the first time I used “lie,” perhaps thanks to Anthony’s top-hanging post yesterday on the CRU liars.
Anyway, the 3 and half minute video I reference is, I think, able by itself to remedy in the public a fundamental misunderstanding about CO2, and so, agw theory. That’s why I ask us all to promote it, share it, post about it in your blogs, whatever.
Further, there seems to be more buzz now about ad campaigns, thanks to Heartland. Take that video, distill its gist in a fraction of the time, and combine it with a graphical ad that also assaults the hockey stick. This is the main ad of a campaign, which could be largely self-sustaining through viewer contributions (now that conservatives are hyped about the issue and will donate $ to an effective campaign). Other ads take on subsidiary points, like the ideological impetus and deceptions of the scare-mongering Chicken Littles. Back the campaign with a web site that gives full, rebuttal-resistant documentation and references for the claims made. Go to it!


Robbie says:
May 8, 2012 at 12:06 pm
“Even in the “Cold” phase planet Earth is way too warm currently”
Robbie, what Temp ‘should’ the earth be without manmade CO2 ? Because I think if you can answer that question and supply a reason that can stand up to the posters here, you have a Nobel Prize in your future.


Mr. Bastardi,
1. Yamal and China are regions and thus not representative of the entire globe or hemisphere.
2. Your theories on CO2 and heat capacity are not relevant. Also, I’m not sure why that chart from NASA makes you think that CO2 is not well-mixed.
3. What are your correlations for solar, ocean and co2 for the last 30 years? 50? 100?


Robbie said: “Oh Mr. Bastardi: April temperatures are going up again (RSS MSU) while they should go down in a cooling world.”
Now there’s an unprecedented climatic event. /sarc
Regardless of whether the world is cooling or not, it’s silly to claim they couldn’t go up temporarily in “a cooling world.” As the follks at Realclimate used to say repeatedly, you’re talking about weather, not climate.