Friday, September 15, 2017

#A) Examining Investors Business Daily’s malicious libel against Dr. Mann (1,2,3)

Investors Business Daily: “No, Michael Mann, Global Warming Didn't Cause Hurricane Harvey's Devastation”  (8/31/2017) Written by someone unwilling to put their name on this libelous cowardly act of defamation.

Sometimes it seems that scientists still haven’t figured out that the world is not filled with curious interested students wanting to understand our Earth’s climate engine’s geophysics better.  Tragically most people couldn’t care less and it seems an increasingly large portion are getting hostile and actually do not want to know.  Add to the horror, there are a few who are willing to do very ruthless things to make sure others don’t get a chance to learn about climate science.

An excellent example of this mentality is www recent character assassination hit on Dr. Michael Mann, via an outrageous, I’m claiming criminally libelous editorial at their Investors Business Daily.  Fortunately Dr. Mann has escaped this latest attempt on his character and continues to do world class science.   

I have no idea who's behind Investors Business Daily, but I know fraud when I see it and I will be spending the next few days dissecting this particular example of malicious wordsmithing in an effort to make my case.  

A preliminary review gives me 24 specific Points of Contention, final turned out to be 36 points of contention.  I will be quoting the entire (nothing deleted, nothing added) editorial, talking point by talking point, in chronological order, though broken down into bite-sized chunks.  Often I'll be speaking first person to the writers, so don't take the "you" personally, well unless you agree their GOP view of the world.  

My first three Points Of Contention.
Investor's Business Daily POC#1 - Global Warming: When a controversial climatologist (Michael Mann)…”
Controversial?  Hmmm, who is calling Dr. Mann controversial?

Sure Dr. Mann has been targeted by ruthless coordinated attacks from EXXON and Koch industry forces along with the powers of the Murdoch media octopus, and GOP luminaries - parties who’s main interest is to slanderize, ridicule and dismiss serious climate science using whatever tactic is required at the moment.

The thing to remember is that Dr. Mann has continued doing serious science and as such the people most qualified to judge him are his peers, namely the community of scientists and experts who understand the extremely complex subject he’s put his mind to.

Google can offer us some idea of their collective opinion of Dr. Mann’s competence and integrity.  Take a look,,

Message to interested readers, I'm just an outside life long observer and my writing is done in fits and starts with constant short and long interrupts, thus it never surpasses the 'grandma moses' level.  But, my information is solid and my reasoning is solid and I welcome anyone with more time and focus, to take anything at WUWTW and use it as a starting point for better efforts that reach more people.  

Of course, if anyone were interested in helping me focus more on this, my obvious passion, to see what I could accomplish with the luxury of full-time focus on my side, please do let know.  

Citizenschallenge - P.O.Box 56 - Durango, Colorado, 81302 - citizenschallenge at gmail

Awards and honors
Mann's dissertation was awarded the Phillip M. Orville Prize in 1997 as an "outstanding dissertation in the earth sciences" at Yale University. 

His co-authorship of a scientific paper published by Nature won him an award from the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) in 2002, and 

another co-authored paper published in the same year won the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's outstanding scientific publication award. 

In 2002 he was named by Scientific American as one of fifty "leading visionaries in science and technology." 

The Association of American Geographers awarded him the John Russell Mather Paper of the Year award in 2005 for a co-authored paper published in the Journal of Climate

The American Geophysical Union awarded him its Editors' Citation for Excellence in Refereeing in 2006 to recognize his contributions in reviewing manuscripts for its Geophysical Research Letters journal.[65]

In 2012, he was elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union[2] 

and awarded the Hans Oeschger Medal of the European Geosciences Union for "his significant contributions to understanding decadal-centennial scale climate change over the last two millennia and for pioneering techniques to synthesize patterns and northern hemispheric time series of past climate using proxy data reconstructions.”[4][65]

Following election by the American Meteorological Society he became a new Fellow of the society in 2013.[70] 

In January 2013 he was designated with the status of distinguished professor in Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.[71]

In September 2013, Mann was named by Bloomberg Markets in its third annual list of the "50 Most Influential" people … 

Later that month, he received the National Wildlife Federation's National Conservation Achievement Award for Science.

On 28 April 2014 the National Center for Science Education announced that its first annual Friend of the Planet award had been presented to Mann and Richard Alley.[75] 

In the same year, Mann was named as a Highly Cited Researcher by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). 

In 2015 he was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and 

in 2016 he was elected Vice Chair of the Topical Group on Physics of Climate (GPC) at the American Physical Society (APS).[65]

That’s not even all of it. Then look at Mann’s education and academic record, it screams non-stop studiousness.  Effort and results.  There’s nothing controversial except perhaps that few people have that kind of mettle.  

He can do the intellectual heavy lifting others only dream of - so of course he invites envy and its petty brother vitriol.  Then because his research finally tied together many loose strands of a long studied question, namely what did Earth’s climate history look like, he became the target of bitter attacks from vicious character assassins - now, here we have yet another.

Still, the man continues making outstanding contributions to the science, sort of amazing if you think of what he’s been subjected to.  

Of course, if you hate serious science and learning about our Earth and the processes that make it alive, well then, you certainly might contrive reasons to despise him - but that’s just a political, emotion distraction - an excuse not to learn from the available knowledge base.  Petty, demeaning and self-destructive.
Investor's Business Daily POC#2 - "claims Hurricane Harvey's brutal downpour that devastated Houston is a result of global warming, it warrants examining the claim. We have, and it appears baseless. But that won't stop climate-change extremists from making that claim again in the future."

What jokers.  That’s no examination.  Nothing's being taught.  That’s asking us to take your word for it.  Why should we trust you?  What do you know?  You sound rather extreme yourselves.

You already misrepresented what was clearly printed.  What Mann actually wrote was: “We can’t say that Hurricane Harvey was caused by climate change. But it was certainly worsened by it.”  Mann continued:  

There are certain climate change-related factors that we can, with great confidence, say worsened the flooding.

Sea level rise attributable to climate change …

…very warm sea surface temperatures (30.5-31C, or 87-88F). 

… increase in average atmospheric moisture … That large amount of moisture creates the potential for much greater rainfalls and greater flooding. …

(Harvey’s) stalling is due to very weak prevailing winds, which are failing to steer the storm off to sea, allowing it to spin around and wobble back and forth. This pattern, in turn, is associated with a greatly expanded subtropical high pressure system over much of the US at the moment, with the jet stream pushed well to the north. This pattern of subtropical expansion is predicted in model simulations of human-caused climate change. …

… In conclusion, while we cannot say climate change “caused” Hurricane Harvey, that is an ill-posed question, we can say is that it exacerbated several characteristics of the storm in a way that greatly increased the risk of damage and loss of life. Climate change worsened the impact of Hurricane Harvey.

(Dr. Mann didn’t mention the Brown Ocean Effect, that is when the land surface is so saturated with warm water, that the hurricane can continue sucking hot water and energy off the surface as though it were still over the ocean.  It was certainly another factor in Harvey’s long-lived  strength.)  

Investor's Business Daily POC#3 - "First, a little background. 
Penn State meteorology professor Michael Mann has gained dubious renown for something no scientist desires: fiddling with data, and getting caught."

Here is where Investors-dot-com, Investors Business Daily goes criminal on us.  

Fiddling with data has a distinctly dishonest ring to it.  But Dr. Mann has an impeccable reputation among those who know.  What getting caught?  By whom, for what?  Libel in the first degree is my charge against Investors-dot-com.  

In the real world Dr. Mann is about the most investigated scientist going and every time he get’s a clean bill of health.  Here are some sources to help you fill in the details.

'Hockey stick' climate scientist quietly vindicated for the umpteenth time
By Joseph Romm on Aug 23, 2011

National Science Foundation (NSF) inspector general: “Finding no research misconduct or other matter raised by the various regulations and laws discussed above, this case is closed.”

Two things we know with extremely high confidence:
1 Recent warming is unprecedented in magnitude, speed, and cause (so the temperature history looks like a hockey stick). 
2 Michael Mann, the lead author on the original hockey stick paper, is one of the nation’s top climatologists and a source of first-rate analysis.

The Office of Inspector General confirmed: “Finding no research misconduct or other matter raised by the various regulations and laws discussed above, this case is closed.” (I have uploaded the full report here [PDF], but you can also go the NSF IG website and insert “A09120086.”)

Let me end with some key findings of the Penn State investigation:
“An Investigatory Committee of faculty members with impeccable credentials” has unanimously “determined that Dr. Michael E. Mann did not engage in, nor did he participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research, or other scholarly activities.”
His work “clearly places Dr. Mann among the most respected scientists in his field … Dr. Mann’s work, from the beginning of his career, has been recognized as outstanding.”

So Mann isn’t merely a competent researcher. He is one of the leading climate scientists in this country, which of course is precisely why the anti-science crowd has gone after him, much as they have with other leading climate scientists, including Hansen and Santer.

Setting the record straight on misleading claims against Michael Mann

Looking at the bigger picture: The obsession among contrarians and denialists with trying to overthrow climate science by discrediting seminal early paleoclimate research by Mann and his colleagues in the 1990s is about politics, not science.
Paleoclimate research has continued to advance during the past 15 years. Mann and numerous other researchers have continued to add to the peer-reviewed scientific literature, and here’s where things stand as of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, issued last year:

For average annual [Northern Hemisphere] temperatures, the period 1983–2012 was very likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 800 years (high confidence) and likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 1400 years (medium confidence). This is supported by comparison of instrumental temperatures with multiple reconstructions from a variety of proxy data and statistical methods, and is consistent with AR4.

–IPCC AR5, Working Group I, Paleoclimate chapter, p. 386

The critics of the original ‘hockey stick graph’ might want to spend some time looking at the actual advance of scientific understanding in this area of research — which is just one piece of the complex mountain of research on human-caused climate change.

What evidence is there for the hockey stick?

greenman3610 - You hear it from poorly informed climate deniers all the time. Global warming they say, is entirely based on a "hockey stick" graph - it's a simple minded correlation of temperatures and co2 rise.

Well, no it's not.  Allow Professor Richard Alley to explain.
Global Warming: It's Not About the Hockey Stick
Published on Dec 4, 2011

Support his series at

Links and supporting material: 

Richard Alley speech at Penn State

Richard Alley on Capitol Hill 

More on the "Hockey Stick"

Hockey Sticks from numerous sources

Climate Crocks playlist 


Investor's Business Daily Character Assassination Attempt on Michael Mann 
8/31/2017 -

An examination - 36 points of contention.

September 15, 2017
#A) Examining Investors Business Daily’s malicious libel against Dr. Mann (1-3)

September 17, 2017
#B) Examining Investors Business Daily’s malicious libel against Dr. Mann (4-9)

September 17, 2017
#C) Examining Investors Business Daily’s malicious libel against Dr. Mann (10-14)

September 18, 2017
#D) Examining Investors Business Daily’s malicious libel against Dr. Mann (15-27)

September 19, 2017
#E) Examining Investors Business Daily’s malicious libel against Dr. Mann (28-36 and fini)

No comments: