Friday Funny: The Folly of Mann

From The Breakthrough Institute

Ted Nordhaus takes no prisoners in the article on our favorite foil, when Mann starts to diss even people on his own side of the aisle.

His subtitle sums it up. Josh sums it up pretty well too. Like Josh’s work? Buy him a pint.

You can’t defend the truth with lies

Nordhaus explains some of his interactions with the Hockey Team leader.

I’ve never met Michael Mann, corresponded with him, or written anything about him. Nor have I ever had any particular beef with the hockey stick graph or his work as a scientist. But a few months after I signed up for Twitter in 2014, I discovered that he had blocked me. A few years after that, I learned that he had alleged in a 2016 book that Breakthrough was funded by fossil fuel interests.

Mann’s accusation about our funding is false. The entirety of the claim refers to a single small grant we received in 2014 from the George and Cynthia Mitchell Foundation, a charitable foundation that, like many other prominent environmental philanthropies, has an endowment that traces back to a fossil fuel fortune.

He gives Mann a little bit of credit, not for the right reasons, but a little.

Anyone even a little bit familiar with Mann’s personal history will appreciate the irony in his deliberate misrepresentations of our work. Mann has himself been the target of slanderous and defamatory attacks from actual opponents of climate action. He figured prominently in the “Climategate” hack; has been investigated by the former Republican Attorney General of the State of Virginia, Ken Cuccineli, and by Senator James Inhofe; and has sued the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Frontier Center for Public Policy, and the National Review for libel.

One might think that having been on the receiving end of this sort of thing, Mann would not want to traffic in mistruths and disinformation himself. All the more so as a scientist who has risen to prominence in no small part as a leading tribune of the claims that climate science makes upon policy. One need not believe that scientists should abstain from politics to think that how they engage in politics and public discourse matters.

One can excuse Nordhaus’s ignorance of the history and actions of Mann.

Michael Mann did not deserve these assaults on his work or his integrity. And I can understand why, having been subject to them, he would be angry and prone to see many other things through those experiences. But Mann goes well beyond that, basically reducing the entirety of the struggle to address climate change globally to his personal history. For Mann, climate change is a Manichean struggle between greedheaded corporations (and the craven shills and right-wing ideologues they underwrite) and heroic climate scientists fighting to save humanity from ecological catastrophe, the latter personified by Michael Mann.

But he does have a relatively clear view of the current state of things.

This is not accidental. Mann has, in recent years, become the patron saint of the most vocal and ideological climate advocates, those who see the world’s continuing dependence on fossil fuels as, at bottom, a gigantic conspiracy by the fossil fuel industry. James Hansen, whose Congressional testimony in the late 1980s put the issue on the map and who, as a government scientist, was repeatedly muzzled by Republican administrations, was once similarly exalted by many climate activists. But Hansen has always carried his status as an eco-celebrity uncomfortably, and his more recent criticisms of carbon trading and renewable energy and his advocacy of nuclear energy have made him an unreliable totem

Mann, by contrast, is much more reliable ideologically and can be counted upon to conflate climate science with green technological and policy preferences and to wrap it all up in a sweeping narrative inseparable from his personal history. Doing so has served Mann well, establishing him as the go-to climate scientist for many of the big green NGOs, particularly those on the environmental Left. And it has served the interests of the most dogmatic wing of the climate advocacy community, who seek to delegitimize as climate denial any challenge to the claim that addressing climate change requires expansive government regulation, global governance regimes, and a rapid transition of the global energy economy to one powered exclusively by renewable energy.

Nordhaus’s summation is a thing of beauty.

Over the last decade, Mann has now published what is essentially the same book three times, once, literally, in cartoon form. What the ritualized incantations of his personal history and its political meaning actually serve is to enforce ideological discipline within the Left/environmental bubble that pays attention to him, to warn his disciples away from impure thoughts, and, perhaps most importantly, to keep himself at the center of it all.

Full story here:

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Steve Case
March 5, 2021 9:33 am

comment image

Bryan A
Reply to  Steve Case
March 5, 2021 10:09 am

Living in a Mann-tasy world
Mann-ic Supressive
Mann-or Haus

Reply to  Bryan A
March 5, 2021 12:56 pm

Mann’s mann-ifest destiny is State Penn due to his using mann-ufactured hockey sticks to try to mann-handle people like Mark Steyn.

Reply to  Bryan A
March 5, 2021 6:25 pm

Nothing about Mann or mouse?
Or should that be Mann or rat?

Reply to  Steve Case
March 5, 2021 9:43 pm

Another of Josh’s wonderful cartoons

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Hoyt Clagwell
Reply to  Steve Case
March 6, 2021 7:15 am

Someone should test Michael Mann’s DNA. He might be living proof that there really is a Piltdown Mann. The head shape is certainly similar. No chin, small cranium.

Reply to  Steve Case
March 8, 2021 7:36 am

Temperature history shows again and again,
that nature points out the folly of Mann.

ht/ Godzilla — Blue Oyster Cult

John S
March 5, 2021 9:37 am

Thank you for posting this. It’s interesting to get an idea of how a non-doctrinaire liberal experiences Mann. But I’m not really impressed with Nordhaus’s epiphany. He had to be attacked in a ludicrous and ignorant way in order to have his eyes opened just a crack. The statements about how he has no problem with Mann’s work speak loudly about the blinders he has on.

Reply to  John S
March 5, 2021 10:01 am

Makes me think of a coyote complaining that the fox gets all the press.

Pillage Idiot
Reply to  John S
March 5, 2021 10:57 am

“A conservative is just a liberal that has been mugged.”

You would think intelligent people would not have to be actually assaulted to understand the concept.

I guess some people are only “experiential” learners.

Joe Wagner
Reply to  Pillage Idiot
March 5, 2021 12:14 pm

Being an Ex-Liberal, there is a learning curve.
My wife is a big example: having been brought up by an Ultra-Liberal Feminist Mother, she was a strong Liberal, until she went into college and actually studied the data…..and even then, it was only because she was honest with herself that she switched viewpoints…

Being a Liberal feels good- but its really hard reality mugging you that drives the lessons home.

Reply to  Pillage Idiot
March 5, 2021 4:56 pm

You would think free market capitalists would understand that abuse of near monopoly power doesn’t imply you have a monopoly on everything or there is no alternative, just that the switching to alternative is complicated or inefficient.

But no, the people on WUWT and in the (pre-Trump, pre-realist) “republican” party dismissed these issues of monopoly power in the computer industry until it bit them with Google, FB, Twitter, Apple (iOS), and now AWS abuses…

Theory/principle focused, puritans free marketers (libertarians and covert libertarians “conservatives”) are mostly economic liberal who have yet to be mugged by Big Something (Big Pharma, Big Medical, Big Social, Big Cloud, Big OS).

Reply to  niceguy
March 5, 2021 6:46 pm

It really is fascinating how liberals claim to be horrified by concentrations of economic power, yet they always back the biggest monopoly of all, government.
No company can force you to buy their product, however government can and will put you in jail, and shoot you if you resist.

As to economic monopolies, they can only exist with the assistance of government.

Reply to  MarkW
March 5, 2021 7:42 pm

And only government can charge you for services based on what you earn rather than what the amount or value of the service is for you.

Hoyt Clagwell
Reply to  MarkW
March 6, 2021 7:21 am

And the laughably named “Affordable Care Act”, aka Obamacare, became the first time in American history when a government was allowed to force people to buy a very, very expensive product.

Reply to  niceguy
March 5, 2021 11:05 pm

That was funny. Thanks for the laugh.

Onward China 😉

Michael Jankowski
March 5, 2021 9:55 am

“…perhaps most importantly, to keep himself at the center of it all…”

Absolutely. And he revels in the “reluctant activist” description, where he pretends he has had no choice but to take that route because of denier attacks.

Gary Ashe
March 5, 2021 10:21 am

Mann is quite simply a disgusting human being and his ”noble lies” cost lives.

Joel O'Bryan
March 5, 2021 10:38 am

Climate Change alarmism is all a sham. It is an artifice to deceive hundreds of millions of us in the free, prosperous middle class into giving up our freedoms and affluence to the elites hungry for power.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
March 5, 2021 10:59 am

Yes, we CAN control the weather! All that is necessary is to give all our money and authority over our personal lives to politicians.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Kpar
March 5, 2021 11:20 am

As Lindzen says, (paraphrasing) it is magical thinking to expect giving up abundant oil and gas and turning to energy poverty is somehow going to change the weather in 50 years.

March 5, 2021 10:39 am

Mann has himself been the target of slanderous and defamatory attacks from actual opponents of climate action. He figured prominently in the “Climategate …
This Ted Nordhaus  is a well versed and well spoken fool … if he believes Climategate was a hack …

Reply to  lackawaxen123
March 5, 2021 11:00 am

I was preparing to use that exact quote from the article. Then I was going to refer him to Mark Steyn.

James Kirk
Reply to  Kpar
March 6, 2021 8:18 am

Or Dr.Tim Ball, who won his defense against Mann in a Canadian court.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  lackawaxen123
March 5, 2021 8:58 pm

He also says Mann didn’t deserve all the vitriol. He has no idea.

March 5, 2021 10:43 am

Dr. Mann is a self-confessed fraud and does belong in the state pen.

Here’s how it works: There is a legal concept called adverse inference. It means that if you do not produce evidence under your control, it can be assumed the evidence does not support you.

Mann sued Dr. Tim Ball for the quip that Mann belongs in state pen not Penn State. After years, the court pitched out the case because of Mann’s inexcusable delays. Since Mann avoided taking the stand and testifying, the reasonable inference is that be believes the evidence would prove that he does indeed belong in the state pen. QED

If Mann really cared about clearing his good name, he would have vigorously pursued the case. As it is, as far as I can tell, he’s given everyone the license to infer that he and his hockey stick are fraudulent.

Reply to  commieBob
March 5, 2021 11:02 am

But, but, but,… Mann said the dog ate his homework!

I’m sure that that is an adequate legal maneuver…

Reply to  commieBob
March 5, 2021 12:27 pm

Did he ever pay Dr. Ball’s bill ??

Richard (the cynical one)
Reply to  philincalifornia
March 5, 2021 5:33 pm

Pay? Why? Payment would be an admission of fault, and we can’t go there!

Reply to  Richard (the cynical one)
March 5, 2021 6:05 pm

As far as I can tell, the Canadian court doesn’t have the jurisdiction in the ‘States to force him to pay. On the other hand, he probably has to avoid coming to Canada now.

I take note that Mark Steyn has called Mann a loser, a liar, a scofflaw, and a deadbeat.

Robert of Texas
March 5, 2021 10:45 am

A scientist cannot be an activist in the same field – a scientist must remain as unbiased as possible and open to new data, new ideas, and be ready to discard failed hypotheses. None of these describes M. Mann.

Once you invest your personal reputation into an idea, it becomes near impossible to remain open minded.

That alone should relegate people like Mann to the sidelines of a scientific discussion. You cannot have a discussion with a zealot.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Robert of Texas
March 5, 2021 9:00 pm

Mann, at best, seems to picture himself as one of those Sci-Fi movie scientist who stands alone and must act against “the consensus” to save the world (or at least the moment).

March 5, 2021 10:50 am

There are so many things wrong with Dr. Mann’s actions, from his bogus lawsuits he doesn’t pursue and ignore the judicially required paying court costs, to writing attack based books on his critics, to making provable lie about the Nobel prize, to his poorly written 1998 HS paper.

Why would anyone still want to support this man?

Reply to  Sunsettommy
March 5, 2021 12:21 pm

“What the ritualized incantations of his personal history and its political meaning actually serve is to enforce ideological discipline within the Left/environmental bubble that pays attention to him, to warn his disciples away from impure thoughts, and, perhaps most importantly, to keep himself at the center of it all.”

He is a part of the core dogma of scientism. It is scientism that the globalists intend as the new world religion.

A religion that funnels the bamboozled masses to give more and more power (and money, though that is a proxy for same) to their governments. A religion that screams “HERETIC!” at any who dare to question the consensus out the wisdom of giving more power to the government.

He is supported because he furthers the globalist agenda to implement a global technocratic authoritarian regime that would make Orwell gasp in horror.

They do not care whether they are right or not. They care only about power. When you have power what is right does not matter.

alastair gray
Reply to  Sunsettommy
March 5, 2021 12:31 pm

I am a physicist and a geophysicist . The papers that I have read are generally of high standard. Never in my life did I see such a badly written paper as MBH 98 . A graph was produced splicing a lot of stuff with no rationale that any scientist could follow. No plausible argument that the reader could follow was laid out. and a conclusion was trumpeted out. This paper was the first I ever read in teh bastard field of climate science. I now realise that most papers in Climate science fall far short of standard of scientific focus and integrity. They descend to the level we often seem to see in the trashier parts of the humanities.

alastair gray
Reply to  alastair gray
March 5, 2021 12:32 pm

And this eejit is A DISTINGUISHED professor

Reply to  alastair gray
March 5, 2021 7:58 pm

At a non-distinguished university… save football, perhaps.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Sunsettommy
March 5, 2021 2:07 pm

“Once you invest your personal reputation into an idea, it becomes near impossible to remain open minded.”
Robert of Texas

March 5, 2021 11:01 am

Yes, that summary is powerful and true.

If he’s washed up as a climate scientist, he would make a great ‘enforcer’ for an entrenched Congressman in the LBJ or Jim Wright style. Cuomo probably has some staff enforcers like him also.

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  ResourceGuy
March 5, 2021 4:12 pm

I’m sorry but thought if this ball o blubber being anyone’s “enforcer” is hilarious. He couldn’t frighten a Brownie out of her cookie money. He’s all snark and no bite. He hides behind his lawyer’s skirt. There’s a Josh cartoon I’d like to see.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Mumbles McGuirck
March 6, 2021 6:36 pm

“He couldn’t frighten a Brownie out of her cookie money.”

That’s funny! 🙂

March 5, 2021 11:18 am

So by inference, science at Penn State is at the cartoon level.

Gunga Din
Reply to  ResourceGuy
March 5, 2021 9:06 pm

I wouldn’t go that far. He worked at another university before Penn State.

March 5, 2021 11:21 am

I think there is more than ample material for Michael Moore to make at least one movie with the Mann mental condition and his major role in policy distortion. Return of the Academic Dead

Frank from NoVA
March 5, 2021 11:31 am

“One can excuse Nordhaus’s ignorance of the history and actions of Mann.”

I can’t. but it’s clear that useful idiots to the cause of climate alarmism can.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
March 5, 2021 9:02 pm

I can’t either. All he had to do was look.

Andy Pattullo
March 5, 2021 12:43 pm

Mann oh Mann, that is a hell of a lot of stupid to be carrying around. when he shakes his head do people hear the sound of a toilet flushing?

Reply to  Andy Pattullo
March 5, 2021 6:47 pm

Empty as a vacuum.
All of the water drained through the sewer sieve that is his mind.

It’s possible his body stores excretory feculent matter in his head. It could explain his moral behavior and preaching.

March 5, 2021 12:47 pm

Mann truly has entered into paranoid delusions based on his latest book about the so-called climate wars. He considers anyone with novel scientific or political views to be the enemy. I can’t think of any mindset further from objective reality .There is no longer any resemblance of someone seeking truth in the science he studies. He might want to consider taking a little break.

March 5, 2021 12:59 pm

I will say again that the actions of Michael Mann must be viewed in the context of NPD: Narcissistic Personality Disorder. This disorder is well-described in DSM IV and V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual).

March 5, 2021 2:15 pm

I got a discount at the gas pump the other day and yes, “I’m out to get him.”

Zig Zag Wanderer
March 5, 2021 3:43 pm

for many of the big green NGOs, particularly those on the environmental Left.

There are big green NGOs (or big green anything, actually) not on the environmental Left? I don’t know of any.

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
March 5, 2021 7:26 pm

The moment you label them NGO automatically places them as leftist organizations.

Environmental organizations?

  • Ducks Unlimited,
  • Izaak Walton League,
  • Hunter organizations in general; e.g. DSC “Dallas Safari Club”,
  • Fishing organizations; mostly fishing organizations outside of competitive fishing and “fly fishing” groups.

Quite a few of these organizations are legitimately and deeply involved/enmeshed in wildlife recovery.

Most of the NGO organizations are environmental only in name. The smallest fractions of their annual donations are used for environment and/or wildlife.

Perhaps it should be mentioned that the vast majority of funds used for wildlife and environment are sourced from federal excise taxes paid by sportsmen and fisherpersons.
i.e. Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937 (16 U.S.C. 669-669k; P-R) 
and the  Sport Fish Restoration Act (Dingell-Johnson DJ) of 1950.

Fiscal Year 2021 apportionment:

Pursuant to the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration (Act), as amended (16 U.S.C. 669 et seq.), I have, at this time, apportioned $678,894,449 to the States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.”

These funds are directly used for wildlife and environment improvement.

With additional environmental funds coming from mining and toxic waste fines. Though the majority of these fines actually go into the general government treasury. EPA’s use of these funds tends more towards travesty than useful as they proved with their “2015 Gold King Mine waste water spill” blunder.

Also take note that Ducks Unlimited uses member dues and donations to purchase or long term lease waterfowl nesting grounds in Northern Canada. Where Federal Wildlife Restoration funds are not allowed to be used.

Also keep in mind that most of these organizations must keep good relations with all of the climate devout government bureaucrats. In order to get one’s goals accomplished one must keep their mouths shut when dealing with incompetent nincompoops.

Xinnie the Pooh
March 5, 2021 4:38 pm

The Mann who cried Wolf

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Xinnie the Pooh
March 5, 2021 9:04 pm

The Mann Who Cried “The Wolf Is An Industry Shill!!”

Pat from kerbob
March 5, 2021 10:09 pm

Mann is basically why I use the term Climate Scientology.
The secrecy, the ridiculous back story and efforts to make it sound reasonable, the direct attacks on detractors like Crockford, the immediate weight that crashes down on anyone that leaves the church and dares to speak up, how can this be anything but a branch of Scientology?

Mockery is the best weapon against these creatures, always

Rod Evans
March 6, 2021 2:23 am

Mann epitomised the impossible position the Climate Alarmists have achieved for themselves. By adopting Mann as their icon in the Climate Cause, they have painted themselves into the ultimate corner.
Mann is universally seen for the joke scientist he clearly is. Those who spend any time studying climate data and analyse its natural changes over time quickly realise Mann is peddling opinion not science..
The result of the climate alarmists choice of Mann, as their go to figure for climate comment, has emasculated them, despite the name.
For as long as the Climate Alarmist leaders continue to present Mann as their figurehead, they will continue to lose scientific support and be seen as the misplaced and misguided worriers they are.
Those of us on the rational side of the climate issue, should be happy the Alarmists are forced to put forward such hopeless advocates for their core position. By doing so they simple lose credibility which they had very little of to lose.

Reply to  Rod Evans
March 6, 2021 1:45 pm

All true, but when the big push comes for a major new revenue source for the political machine that has been planning for this since the days of Waxman-Markey any court jester will do. “Read what’s in after you vote.”

March 6, 2021 3:00 am

CTM check your emails
i sent a link to some supposedly green investment cos that arent so green at all
the mannikin can have a field day

Bruce Cobb
March 6, 2021 4:14 am

Good ol’ Fraudy McFraudpants Mann sure makes himself an easy target for ridicule. What fun.

Jon R
March 6, 2021 5:27 am

The carbon exacerbation is an alchemical precursor to gentle holocaust.

Mark Pawelek
March 6, 2021 1:48 pm

One can excuse Nordhaus’s ignorance of the history and actions of Mann.

Actually: no – one cannot excuse ignorance. It is self-inflicted. Most especially: one cannot excuse ignorance of people in academia or think tanks.

March 6, 2021 9:45 pm

“Mann, by contrast, is much more reliable ideologically” – says it all, huh? Hansen is shunned because he sees nukes as the solution, but only those espousing panels and turbines are allowed to be at the head table. Doesn’t matter if the plans will work or not. Of course it doesn’t matter, because none of the plans will work, because there isn’t anything to fix. If man is adding a little or a lot, it will be drowned out by the natural rhythms, like the overdue return of the next glaciation phase.

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