Judith Curry’s Latest Bat Droppings on Michael Mann

Judith drops all kind of crazy on Michael Mann
Judith drops all kinds of crazy on Michael Mann.

My name is Tony Heller (aka Steven Goddard). I’m a professional climate change denier and I use this blog to blow the whistle on myself and sometimes others, too.

As far as influencing in the scientific debate over global warming, climate crackpots like me are pretty harmless. Sure, we might garner some attention from third rate propaganda sites or even occasionally score bigger hits on mainstream media outlets with the rubbish we try to pass off as science. But in the scheme of things, we’re little more than gnats.

But then there are what I call the bats. They carry more weight than us gnats when trying to discredit anthropogenic climate change. They get frequent mainstream press attention. They testify before Congress. They actually have some credentials and sound reasonable and knowledgeable (at least until you do some research about them). Though their numbers are few, the bats are able to have an outsized influence in the public climate debate by spooking it with tales of scientific incompetency and fraud. When the bats take flight, they can draw a crowd. Unfortunately, the bats can be rabid and their droppings can carry some very nasty diseases.

Enter Judith Curry. She’s arguably the biggest bat—the flying fox, if you will—of the denier crowd. Curry’s strength is that she doesn’t come across as a crackpot. After all, she believes the earth’s climate is warming and human activity plays a role in rising temperatures. What she denies, though, is that society needs to do anything about CO2 emissions. She asserts that evidence that global warming is a pressing, man-made crisis is not clear enough and that there is too much uncertainty to know for sure what’s going to happen if we continue the unchecked pollution of the atmosphere with CO2. Most climate scientists disagree with her. But let’s hope Curry and the other outliers who believe the same are right and that leading climatologists’ are wildly wrong about the strong possibility of the widespread disruption of life on the planet from climate change unless we take swift action.

However, it would be sheer lunacy to bank on that hope. If would be sort of like driving a speeding car down the highway and then, after spotting what might be a collapsed bridge a couple of hundred yards ahead, stepping on the accelerator because there’s a chance it might just be an elaborate trick of your imagination. Of course, if you wait until you are absolutely 100% certain the bridge was out, there’s a real risk of plunging to your death. At the very least, accelerating headlong down the highway will greatly increase the odds of missing a detour that might help you continue to make progress on your trip over a secondary road and avoid catastrophe.

So what proof does Curry provide to that climate change isn’t a big deal? None, actually. She simply asserts that the process set up to assess and summarize existing knowledge about climate change is flawed. It’s her personal belief that the climate scientists leading the charge for action are “alarmists” driven by politics and that many other scientists are victims of groupthink.

If you’re interested, she’s got a blog dedicated to her ramblings. Unlike the blogs of many hard core climatologists, there’s little math or detailed analysis of recent climatology papers on her blog. It’s mostly just Curry’s musings about the climate debate and policy. She also does a lot of cutting and pasting of other people’s writing and intersperses them with her own comments to synthesize some half-baked analysis that she can use to sharpen her axe for use upon climate alarmists. After you read her tripe long enough, the blog’s unstated subtext becomes clear: Curry thinks she is a purer, truer scientist that cares more about the scientific process than the alarmists do and, by dint of her scientific immaculateness, she is therefore right and the alarmists have it all wrong.

One of the climate scientists in Curry’s cross hairs the past few years has Michael Mann. Mann rose to prominence in the scientific community as the result of research he did that produced the now famous “hockey stick” graph which depicts a sharp uptick in northern hemisphere surface temperatures over the past 150 years or so. Then the personal and professional vilification by deniers that followed his publication of the graph catapulted Mann into the wider, public debate over climate change. To deniers, Al Gore, Jim Hansen, and Michael Mann are the Father, Son and Holy Ghost of the Alarmist Orthodoxy. Read the comments on any unmoderated climate blog and you’re sure to see these three men on the receiving end of personal attacks and frenzied lampooning. For well over a decade now, Mann has been the target of a sustained campaign designed to destroy his reputation in order to try to undermine his work in the field of climate science.

Yesterday, Curry added to the Mann pile on with high praise for a new book attacking Michael Mann called “A Disgrace to the Profession.” In this latest attempt to tarnish Mann’s reputation, the book is a collection of quotes from scientists that appear to have less than favorable opinions of Mann or disagree with his results. In her glowing advertisement for the book, Curry is sure to inform us how to buy it and when it’s available. She says the book contains “much wit and plenty of zingers.” Then Curry proceeds to cull sixteen quotes from climate scientists about Mann from the book that she says address Mann’s work on the hockey stick. By sticking to quotes she claims are related to the hockey stick, she tries to pretend that she’s keeping her review under the domain of science. Of course, it’s anything but.

So, over the coming days, I’ll be picking apart some of what, at first glance, appears to be some of the more damaging quotes that Curry highlighted. It’ll all prove just how pathetic Curry has become in her quest to prove to the world that she is the world’s purest voice in the climate debate when she is, in fact, merely batshit crazy.

Stay tuned.

15 thoughts on “Judith Curry’s Latest Bat Droppings on Michael Mann

  1. Brilliant post! Just you watch the real climate science community come to Mike’s help. realclimate.com was originally set up to support the hockeystick, so they’ll probably bring in the big guns. Lot’s of the statements can be defended by the old “out of context” stuff, we all know nobody’s going to read the quotes in context. It has to be the best staring point.

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  2. You seem a bit confused. It’s Mann’s own colleagues who are leaving their “droppings”. Often quite literally, as in these examples:

    “I have just read this letter – and I think it is crap” (Keith Briffa)

    “I don’t think we can say we didn’t do Mann et al because we think it is crap!” (Simon Tett)

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  3. […] In my blog post yesterday, I introduced a new character into the climate change debate soap opera, Judith Curry. As I mentioned there, Curry, on her blog, gave a glowing review of the latest round of swift boating against climatologist Michael Mann, a book titled “A Disgrace to the Profession.” Today, we are going to begin our exploration into Curry’s review of this masterwork of non-scientific rubbish she insists on injecting into the climate debate in order to uncover just how desperate and petty Curry has become in her attempt to undermine the reputation of her self-appointed nemesis, Michael Mann. […]

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