A joint post with Baa Humbug
It’s all about audacity.
Michael Mann’s contribution to modern science may one day be remembered as the guy who made it statistically possible to get a thousand year temperature graph using any local telephone directory as a data source. (Who needs tree-rings?)
If you were a guy who’d been caught producing scientific work so inept that people could pour in random data and get the same “curve”, then you might take a satirical video on the chin (or crawl into a hole). But if you’re Michael Mann, and you also used the wrong proxy, you hid your data, used graphs upside down, and invented deceptive “tricks” to hide declines, then you might call your lawyers.
The Minnestoans for Global Warming (M4GW) made the hilariously popular Hide The Decline video, which has now been removed from YouTube. Mann claims they defamed him “by leaving viewers with the incorrect impression that he falsified data to generate desired results in connection with his research activities”. The Minnesotans said “please do”, and responded undaunted by producing a new version (see below).
The Minnesotan’s reply:
“Minnesotans 4 Global Warming hope Mann will proceed with his lawsuit so that the legal discovery process will force exposure of data and methods Mann has still not released and that the official whitewash inquiries refuse to investigate.”
And Jeff Davis of the No Cap-and-Trade Coalition stated:
“I hope Dr. Mann does sue us,” said Davis, “The legal discovery process would give us an opportunity to expose Dr. Mann’s research – or lack thereof to public and legal scrutiny.”
They produced a report Michael Mann: Defamed or defined by “Hide The Decline”?
Was Mann defamed?
How can you defame this man? The hockeyschtick blog suggests that if Mann pursued the case he would need to show that the M4GW team spoke untruths and knew them to be so. This is the man who invented the trick to hide the decline, it is the “Mike” from “Mike’s Nature Trick”.
This is the man who rewrote history. He took out the medieval warm period even though hundreds of previous studies and thousands of boreholes showed it was, in all likelihood, a real global phenomenon.
Audacity is what it takes to claim you have been vindicated after a panel of statistical experts (the Wegman Report) took it apart and came down on the side of your critics. Master of Spin is what it takes to hold up the NAS Report (aka the North Report) as if it’s a great endorsement. Yet Mann is audacious enough to try. (It worked before!)
Mann, April 2010:
“I would note that our ’98 article was reviewed by the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the highest scientific authority in the United States, and given a clean bill of health,” he said. “In fact, the statistician on the panel, Peter Bloomfield, a member of the Royal Statistical Society, came to the opposite conclusion of Prof Hand.”
As The HockeySchtick team points out, that NAS report actually said:
“Mann’s methods had no validation skill significantly different from zero.” (i.e. it was statistically worthless).
McIntyre and McKitrick said Mann used the wrong proxy and would have got totally different results without the “strip-barks”. The NAS panel agreed, saying Mann’s results are “strongly dependent” on the strip-bark data (pp. 106-107), and warning that strip-bark data should not be used in this type of research (p. 50).
Bloomfield said: We had much the same misgivings about his work that was documented at much greater length by Dr. Wegman.
The updated Hide The Decline Video
Big h/t to Baa Humbug who helped to put this together and research it.