Guest post by Brandon Shollenberger
Words cannot describe the humor of Michael Mann’s latest post:
As professional climate change deniers become increasingly irrelevant and desperate, so do their distraction and smear efforts. These are mostly just noise in the background these days, as the media increasingly appears to be recognizing the intellectual bankruptcy of the industry-funded climate change denial effort and those who do its bidding. Occasionally, though, I will debunk the most egregious of the smears and falsehoods, both to set the record straight, and to arm readers w/ the information necessary to evaluate the credibility of the various actors in the climate change denial campaign…At that point I will be updating my lecture slides, many of which are indeed somewhat out of date.
Thus starts the latest crazy posting in the climate blog world, unsurprisingly written by Michael Mann. Snickers abound when Mann talks about “credibility,” but no words exist for the reaction this post should garner. Specifically, Michael Mann refers to a recent posting from (the long missed) Steve McIntyre, saying:
…it seems remarkable that Mr. McIntyre couldn’t figure this out, and instead chose to invent an entire conspiracy theory involving not just me, but multiple scientists, the AGU, IPCC, etc.
Steve McIntyre has gathered a great deal of respect, including respect from people who don’t agree with him. He has made many points even his critics accept are true. How can anyone believe he is some conspiracy nut? I don’t know, but it can’t be because of anything he wrote in that post.
The term AGU is used approximately 30 times in McIntyre’s post. In every case, it is used in a sense like “Mann at AGU,” “Mann’s AGU graphic” or “the AGU audience.” Not a single case of McIntyre saying the AGU did anything exists. The same is true for the term IPCC, which gets used 10 times. In fact, the only person (other than Mann) the post refers to as doing anything is Naomi Oreskes, who McIntyre says “appears to have [been] wrongfooted” by Mann.
Put simply, Steve McIntyre blamed everything in this post on Michael Mann. Mann interprets this as:
…an apparent effort to manufacture a nefarious plot out of whole cloth [where] Mr. McIntyre (parroted by Mr. Watts) imagines a great conspiracy.
While this is arguably a new low for Michael Mann, many people won’t be surprised at him saying things that make him appear delusional. However, some may be surprised to see John Cook, proprietor of Skeptical Science, agreed, saying (in a comment):
I find it interesting that Steve McIntyre automatically lunges towards a conspiratorial explanation of events. Stephan Lewandowsky published a paper last year showing a significant association between climate denial and conspiratorial thinking. The response to the research from climate deniers was a host of new conspiracy theories. We document the originators of these conspiracy theories in the paper Recursive fury: Conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation: http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/Lewandowsky_2013_Recursive_Fury.pdf. The chief originator of conspiracy theories? Steve McIntyre.
That’s right, the founder of Skeptical Science, a man who works with people like Stephan Lewandowsky to claim skeptics are conspiracy nuts, promotes this as an example of their conspiratorial ideation. A man who publishes papers claiming to find conspiracy theorists finds blaming everything on Mann to be a conspiracy theory involving an unknown number of people.
Be careful folks. Blame Michael Mann for anything, and you may be fabricating a conspiracy involving intergovernmental bodies, scientific communities and “multiple scientists.”
Or so global warming advocates will say.
See Steve McIntyre’s observations on Dr. Mann’s graphic shortcomings here
- Mike’s AGU Trick (climateaudit.org)
- Michael Mann’s new ‘trick’, pulled off at the American Geophysical Union Convention – exposed by McIntyre (wattsupwiththat.com)
- John Cook: Conspiracy Theorists Respond to Evidence They’re Conspiracy Theorists With More Conspiracy Theories (huffingtonpost.com)
- Friday Funny – John Cook’s withdrawal symptoms (wattsupwiththat.com)