Quote of the week – what planet does Michael Mann live on?

Via Tom Nelson: Dr. Michael Mann, author of The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, responds to last week’s attacks from Dr. Richard Muller.

On the Green Front – Dr. Joseph Romm and Dr. Michael Mann – 08/15/12 at On the Green Front

Mann at the 40:40 mark, bold mine:

“One of the more robust predictions is that in the Atlantic, hurricane intensities have increased and they will likely continue to increase, and so, it’s part of a trend, Katrina, the record season of 2005 was part of a trend towards more destructive storms…

Umm. Mike, seen this?

Since Katrina, accumulated cyclone energy is (a measure of intensity) is  down in the Atlantic and globally. Power dissipation is also down globally. Some trend there, huh Mike?

Graphs from Dr. Ryan Maue, source: http://policlimate.com/tropical/

Or, has Mike seen this?

New hurricane record – 2232 days and counting since major Hurricane made landfall on the USA – last record was year 1900

On December 5th, 2011, Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. offered this graph of days between Cat3-5 hurricanes striking the USA:

Now, we are up to 2487 days since a major Hurricane made landfall on the USA. The graph looks like this now:

Where’s the trend toward more destructive storms Mike? Or are you reporting data from another planet?

UPDATE: For context, Mann is responding to a very critical interview with Richard Muller at the GREEN room. Full transcript of the Muller interview in the url below and write up at WUWT



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J Postma

They just make up any BS they want and the media, who basically make a living by running scare stories, eats garbage like this up and spreads it everywhere. If humans didn’t have a penchant for scare stories and didn’t have a media which makes a living by spreading scare stories about, we’d be 100’s of years ahead of where we are, climate change would be universally understood to be a natural phenomenon present through all universal history, CO2 would be universally understood to be a beneficial trace gas and we’d be geoengineering the planet to make it more habitable for life and humans by purposefully increasing the CO2 content, and building continent-scale water projects like NAWAPA to turn the deserts green.


The mind… it boggles.

It is not getting any easier for Michael with the 2012 season. There have been 7 named storms so for in the North Atlantic region, but the latest, Gordon, has only just started, so it has no ACE value. The ACE value for the other 6 storms is 17. For the three years when there was a total of 6 named storms, the ACE values were 25, 29 and 36. So, the early indications from the 2012 NA season is that there is still no trend to more intensive hurricanes.


There may be “…a trend towards more destructive storms”.
However, not because of more storms or more powerful storms but because of more and more silly humans erecting buildings in zones where the buildings are capable of being destroyed by hurricanes. If you got more buidings to be destroyed, you got “more destructive storms” when the buildings are destroyed.
Ipso facto.

Pamela Gray

You don’t suppose he is using Al Gore’s “satellite” picture as his proxy????

Nicholas Harding

Actually, it is worst than we thought. First AGW is killing Polar Bears and now major Hurricanes are endangered! How I will miss the Hurricane parties!

Maybe it’s an opportunity for a new resource; a specific database of their claims, with date, time, and context listed, and the refutations. For example: Climate Liar # 324, Head of whatever, CBS Interview on 10/10/10, etc., then their direct quote and the actual data. Would make for wonderfully funny reading at the very least.


You know.Maybe the “the aliens are here” meme might just have some merit? Something has taken over Mr.Mann’s brain cells,and it is definitly anti-human.
It’s been 6.81 YEARS since a major storm hit,and that’s an increasing trend? But then,math is HARD!


Scare stories have two benefits: 1) they keep the kiddies in check for a while, 2) they eventually teach the kiddies to be skeptical of everything they hear. But there also are drawbacks: 1) the kiddies get addicted to scare stories and clamor for more, 2) some kiddies – when they grow up – learn there’s money to be made with scare stories and so abuse them. Mikey has this all figured out.

Robust goes bust. One of Mann’s favourite words is losing its meaning.

My pedestrian research shows a curious correlation to the Arctic atmospheric pressure some 15 years earlier.

Jeff Wood

“One of the more robust predictions is that in the Atlantic, hurricane intensities have increased…”
I am not sure that even George Orwell took 1984 that far.

Berényi Péter

Hey, he did not say it was a “robust prediction”, but that it was “one of the more robust predictions”, meaning he thinks most of his other predictions were weaker than this one.
And as this particular prediction failed miserably, it is just a rather convoluted and circumspect way to acknowledge he could hardly predict anything.
Nonetheless it is an important moment in his spiritual development. He just needs to resolve the cognitive dissonance he is submerged in and presto! we’ll have a fellow skeptic to welcome in our ranks. Is not science wonderful?


I keep thinking “Let them keep making these claims. They are just setting themselves up for a fail.”
But then I remember to never under estimate the power of stupidity.

Pieter Folkens

The problem is that there are plenty of people in positions of power who will believe what Romm and Mann say without taking the time to review the criticisms or understand that their statements are pure foam. The CAGW proponents know this and keep on forwarding the deception. Just last week Babs Boxer used the “97-98% of climate scientists agree with global warming” reference, and this was in the face of one of the most eminent climate scientists who questions CAGW. We have city council members around here who vote for Climate Action Plans citing the “consensus,” despite our efforts to encourage them to look at the data and think for themselves.

cui bono

He’s probably looking at a model. That trumps reality anyday. /s

Frank K.

I find Mann’s CAGW extremism predictable and boring…wake me up when he says something coherent…


Not to mention :
One has to ask if his mummy knows he’s escaped from kindergarten…

This isn’t a problem created by scientists such as Hansen and Mann. They are simply a product of the system that the voters have allowed to develop. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
Scientists need funding to survive. So, of course the scientists that want to survive are going to cherry pick and say there is a problem. Otherwise they are out of work as scientists. Why would a politician pay money to solve something that is not a problem?
Over time this process will weed out the responsible scientists and replace then with scientists that are willing to exaggerate problems in order to survive. Mann and Hansen didn’t create the problem. The problem created them.

Matt in Houston

Michael Mann is a typical libtard. Facts are not relevant, only their goal is and it has nothing to do with science. Thanks to Anthony and Dr. Maue for bringing the fact hammer.


The best response to Mann’s idiotic pronouncements is to present the facts contradicting his assertions and ridicule him for his stupidity and ignorance.
Jay Davis

You write “Would make for wonderfully funny reading at the very least.“
Unfortunately, as I have seen only too often on Judith Curry`s Climate Etc., the warmaholics invent all sorts of wonderful reasons why the predictions did not say what they actually said, and so the predictions are absolutely correct.


jayhd says:
August 16, 2012 at 8:40 am
The best response to Mann’s idiotic pronouncements is to present the facts contradicting his assertions and ridicule him for his stupidity and ignorance.

Mann is not stupid or ignorant. He knows EXACTLY what he is doing. The graphs and facts have not escaped his attention. He misrepresents the facts knowing full well that opposing views rarely get an airing in the media so he can get away with it. Thank God for the Internet. Or should that be Al Bore?
Prof. Roger Pielke Jr.: ‘U.S. midwestern drought has decreased in past 50+ years? That is not skepticism, that’s IPCC’
H/t Climate Depot

Matthew R Marler

OFF TOPIC: another note on the intermittency of fossil fuel powered electricity supplies, or why conventional power and nuclear power need solar and wind backup:
I exaggerate, but as costs of wind and solar continue to decline (does anyone bet that the costs will not continue to decline), the liabilities of fossil fuel will attract more attention.


Michael Mann lives on his own planet, with his own set of rules, governed by his own laws, making up his own “science”, and wishing everybody else didn’t exist. In a way he’s a scientific hermit (but much more hermit than scientist).
I think that pretty much covers the question: “What planet does Michael Mann live on?”.


I once had the pleasure of presenting Ryan Maue’s ACE graph to a literary group, led by a cloud modeler, which was discussing Chris Mooney’s ‘Storm World’. Rarely have I had so much fun.

John B., M.D.

Could someone please explain to me why the bar graph on top looks different from graphs 2 and 3, in both shape and x-axis units?


Of the five graphs presented here, only one, the first, depicts the “Atlantic” intensity (2 and 3 are global/NH – too big, 4 and 5 are USA – too small) that Mann was ommenting on. Look at the left hand side of graph 1, prior to 91 or 92, then look at the right hand side. It’s clearly higher on the right, the increase is there for all to see. Perhaps someone would like to calculate the trend and significance from that graph.

Paul Matthews

Here is a great twitter sequence from 3 days ago. He has difficulty understanding the meaning of 0, so two scientists explain it to him.
350 dot org ‏@350
Here’s how close we are to having all arctic sea ice disappear: http://bit.ly/ONEjj3
13 Aug Richard Betts ‏@richardabetts
. @350 Also, why do you not place the x-axis at y=0 ? That would be the normal scientific thing to do, in order to avoid misinterpretation.
13 Aug Michael E. Mann ‏@MichaelEMann
@richardabetts @350 Don’t understand your point Richard. We typically use anomalies (relative scale) in our field, where “y=0” means nothing
13 Aug Richard Betts ‏@richardabetts
@MichaelEMann @350 It unnecessarily gives the impression of being fiddled! And doesn’t the y-axis shows absolute ice volume, not anomaly?
13 Aug Michael E. Mann ‏@MichaelEMann
@richardabetts @350 Richard, you are missing my point. We almost always show anomalies anyway, where absolute y values are irrelevant anyway
13 Aug John Kennedy ‏@micefearboggis
@MichaelEMann @richardabetts @350 In this case zero does mean something. Something interesting. Showing zero would barely change the axes.


Pieter, good point. AGW does not equal CAGW. A lot of scientists accept that its warming and that human activity is likely a contributor to that warming, yet don’t buy the CAGW bible. CAGWism is a religion… we are all sinners at the hands of an angry Goracle. We must repent at the pulpit of the Goracle and redistribute money in the form of cap and trade or we will all suffer through fire and brimstone courtesy of the Big Oil devil. We must renounce our electricity and modern amenities and revert to the hippie commune lifestyle, gathering ’round the fire (carbon-free, of course) singing Kumbaya and celebrating the coming Ice Age.


All predictions of AGW effects have to be catastrophic. More tornadoes, more violent hurricanes and so forth because that is the meme used to demand more political power to the elite. Yet, polar warming would reduce the heat differential between the polar region and the equator which hypothetically should reduce the number and power of hurricanes. Of course, that can’t be mentioned because it would be a positive result of AGW.


The trend of concern is the continued building in hurricane prone areas, too near the coast.

more soylent green!

Since it hasn’t been warming, technically the claim can be made it’s still valid, right?


Barry, only bad “catastrophic” effects of global warming may be reporting. To suggest that global warming may have good effects is an apostasy in the laws of the Church of CAGWism. If you dare suggest it’s not that bad or that natural variation is playing a role, you have committed a mortal sin according to the Book of Gore and must immediately seek penitence by planting trees, retrofitting your home with solar panels, and trading your used automobile for a Hybrid.


In the book “Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow” the author, Nobel Prize winning Daniel Kahneman, describes how the mind works. I’ve only read a few chapters, but the author tells us the mind is essentially made up of 2 parts – System 1 & System 2.
System 2 uses a lot of brain power and is the part that stops and thinks about a problem before giving an answer. Thinking slow.
system 1 is the part that jumps to conclusions, especially when it thinks it knows the answer…
Mann appears to be a System 1 thinker

Doug Jones

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
–H. L. Mencken
I see a trend here…

Theo Goodwin

nuclearcannoli says:
August 16, 2012 at 8:09 am
No doubt there is such a database in the hands of Mike’s lawyers. They probably show it to him daily as they explain that he should stop giving interviews.


Ah, good old Katrina. Gets blamed for everything, really. It’s so funny, I mean, using Mann’s logic I could say that the size of the Tohoku tsunami was also related to climate change. It’s the same thing, really. I mean, New Orleans sits in an area that is hurricane prone and is below sea level, but when a hurricane finally floods the city, it’s climate change’s fault. Ok, then the tsunami was exactly like that as well.
The only thing really noteworthy, when you compare those two catastrophes, is the reaction of local people and governments. The Japanese were ready (yes, there were issues with S&R and supplies, simply because of the scale of the disaster, but they got it under control), New Orleans wasn’t. Wide spread looting and even murder in New Orleans, a nation growing together in case of the Tohoku tsunami.


You know, the “Team” don’t even try and make the lies believable anymore. They are confident the MSM will never call them on anything, and if they ever do it will be so far below the fold no one will notice So they feel they can say anything, no matter how off the wall, and it will have the desired effect to panic the masses. Except the only m…asses that are listening are politicians who will latch on to anything that offers them an excuse to increase the amount of power and control they have over the people.
I’ve come to the conclusion that Ayn Rand, Eric Hoffer, George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, and even Murphey were raging optimists.

John N

I suppose my mother in law who lives on the gulf coast of Texas should thank Dr. Mann for his contribution to the “gore effect”

Theo Goodwin

“One of the more robust predictions is that in the Atlantic, hurricane intensities have increased and they will likely continue to increase, and so, it’s part of a trend, Katrina, the record season of 2005 was part of a trend towards more destructive storms…“
You cannot interpret Mikey as referring to the graph. Notice that he says “a trend towards more destructive storms.” Destructive of what? Seaweed? It has been over 2232 days since a major hurricane made landfall in the continental United States. That is more than six years. That is a huge fact that Mikey conveniently overlooks. He can compete among Olympic class cherry pickers.

The one problem here is that, despite the graphs, one decent sized hurricane and the media will go with the climate change=>hurricane story. (And with the rapid cooling we’re seeing in the US this August, as Joe Basteri points out, there is an increased chance of just such a storm this year.)
With the media lazy and in the tank, Mann can keep being wrong until a weather event proves him “right”. Then he goes to town.
Once you stop doing science – which Mann and Hansen have long since – you start doing rhetoric and spin. The rules (if there are any at all) are completely different.


When they believe their own fiction… Wasn’t that a criteria for whether someone should be committed? When they couldn’t tell the difference between reality and fantasy?

Tom J

Oh, c’mon folks, those hurricanes are just being sneaky and Michael Mann knows it. He knows they’re somewhere, hiding out. Perhaps hiding in the same place with that mysterious, missing heat. Maybe deep in the ocean. Maybe they’re just trying to lull us into complacency. But, probably they don’t want to be shackled to a bunch of wind turbines and put to work. But they can’t hide forever and when they come out we can avoid those rolling blackouts, brownouts, and ‘skyrocketing’ energy bills that the exalted one has in store for us in 2015. Oh, wait a minute, those turbines can’t tolerate wind speeds in excess of . . . never mind.

“You write “Would make for wonderfully funny reading at the very least.“
Unfortunately, as I have seen only too often on Judith Curry`s Climate Etc., the warmaholics invent all sorts of wonderful reasons why the predictions did not say what they actually said, and so the predictions are absolutely correct.” – Jim Cripwell
I can’t be the only one who finds that kind of logical pretzelism amusing. Plus, when you get a whole database of their BS together indexed by topic, it’d be digestible too. And no belittling sites like this, I just think a quick layman’s jab at this kind of idiocy would be even more helpful. Not everyone wants to go into detailed dissections of studies, and a quick “This is what they said, and this is what actually happened…” kind of thing is more accessible.


As Johnb has pointed out upthread the first bar-chart of N Atlantic cyclone energy is the only graph that relates to Mann’s quote and that shows unequivocally that he is right.
Each decade has a higher cumulative cyclone intensity than the preceding decade. Mann was correct, the prediction that warming would increase hurricane intensity (not total numbers) is confirmed by the observations.

Matt E

I like how he seems to make his prediction in past tense….
“One of the more robust predictions is that in the Atlantic, hurricane intensities have increased and they will likely continue to increase, and so, it’s part of a trend, Katrina, the record season of 2005 was part of a trend towards more destructive storms…“

Phil Clarke

Maybe Dr Mann lives on the same planet as Professor Kerry Emanuel, who prefers power dissipation as a measure of intensity over ACE, The power dissipation index shows a distinct upward trend, correlating well with SST, as noted in Emanuel 2005
Here I define an index of the potential destructiveness of hurricanes based on the total dissipation of power, integrated over the lifetime of the cyclone, and show that this index has increased markedly since the mid-1970s.
See also ftp://texmex.mit.edu/pub/emanuel/PAPERS/Haurwitz_2008.pdf and http://www.sciencemag.org/content/309/5742/1844.full
Jus sayin’
REPLY: Potential destructiveness? Gosh, why not “potential” deaths too? “Potential” isn’t fact, but is a symptom of modeling madness – Anthony

“One of the more robust predictions is that in the Atlantic, hurricane intensities have increased and they will likely continue to increase, and so, it’s part of a trend, […]

Perhaps we need to add the words “robust”, “increase[d]” and/or “trend” to those that have been … uh … “redefined” … along with “trick”, “decline” etc.


Worked as contractor in a NOAA office for 10 years. There is a little deliberate language trickery in Mann’s statement. Where we ‘hear’ him saying that stronger and more frequent storms are the cause of more destruction (and that’s what he means us to ‘hear), he can fall back on the fact that US striking hurricanes are more destructive, absolutely. But, not for the reasons we ‘hear’ him say. They are more destructive because we humans continue to build more and nicer stuff in the places hurricanes strike. Ergo, hurricanes are ‘more’ destructive. I heard and read this exact little double step many times…. part of why I don’t work in a NOAA office anymore. ‘
Typical Green Church tactics. Church stuff is tricky, though. As a wise friend sometimes reminds, you don’t have to leave much out of ‘eschatology’ before you have ‘scatology.’ 😉