The Other Scandal In Unhappy Valley

by Rand Simberg on July 13, 2012 · 56 comments

in Global Warming, Transparency

So it turns out that Penn State has covered up wrongdoing by one of its employees to avoid bad publicity.

But I’m not talking about the appalling behavior uncovered this week by the Freeh report. No, I’m referring to another cover up and whitewash that occurred there two years ago, before we learned how rotten and corrupt the culture at the university was. But now that we know how bad it was, perhaps it’s time that we revisit the Michael Mann affair, particularly given how much we’ve also learned about his and others’ hockey-stick deceptions since.

To review, when the emails and computer models were leaked from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia two and a half years ago, many of the luminaries of the “climate science” community were shown to have been behaving in a most unscientific manner. Among them were Michael Mann, Professor of Meteorology at Penn State, whom the emails revealed had been engaging in data manipulation to keep the blade on his famous hockey-stick graph, which had become an icon for those determined to reduce human carbon emissions by any means necessary.

As a result, in November of 2009, the university issued a press release that it was going to undertake its own investigation, independently of one that had been launched by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in response to a demand from Congressman Sherwood Boehlert (R- N.Y.). In July of the next year, the panel set up to investigate declared him innocent of any wrongdoing:

Penn State Professor Michael Mann has been cleared of any wrongdoing, according to a report of the investigation that was released today (July 1). Mann was under investigation for allegations of research impropriety that surfaced last year after thousands of stolen e-mails were published online. The e-mails were obtained from computer servers at the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in England, one of the main repositories of information about climate change.

The panel of leading scholars from various research fields, all tenured professors at Penn State, began its work on March 4 to look at whether Mann had “engaged 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.”

My emphasis.

Despite the fact that it was completely internal to Penn State, and they didn’t bother to interview anyone except Mann himself, and seemingly ignored the contents of the emails, the warm mongers declared him exonerated (and the biggest victim in the history of the world). But many in the skeptic community called it a whitewash:

This is not surprising that Mann’s own university circled the wagons and narrowed the focus of its own investigation to declare him ethical.

The fact that the investigation cited Mann’s ‘level of success in proposing research and obtaining funding’ as some sort of proof that he was meeting the ‘highest standards’, tells you that Mann is considered a sacred funding cash cow. At the height of his financial career, similar sentiments could have been said about Bernie Madoff.

Mann has become the posterboy of the corrupt and disgraced climate science echo chamber. No university whitewash investigation will change that simple reality.

Richard Lindzen of MIT weighed in as well:

“Penn State has clearly demonstrated that it is incapable of monitoring violations of scientific standards of behavior internally,” Lindzen said in an e-mail from France.

But their criticism was ignored, particularly after the release of the NAS report, which was also purported to exonerate him. But in rereading the NAS “exoneration,” some words stand out now. First, he was criticized for his statistical techniques (which was the basis of the criticism that resulted in his unscientific behavior). But more importantly:

The OIG also independently reviewed Mann’s emails and PSU’s inquiry into whether or not Mann deleted emails as requested by Phil Jones in the “Climategate” emails (aka Allegation 2). The OIG concluded after reviewing the the published CRU emails and the additional information provided by PSU that “nothing in [the emails] evidenced research misconduct within the definition of the NSF Research Misconduct Regulation.” Furthermore, the OIG accepted the conclusions of the PSU inquiry regarding whether Mann deleted emails and agreed with PSU’s conclusion that Mann had not.

Again, my emphasis. In other words, the NAS investigation relied on the integrity of the university to provide them with all relevant material, and was thus not truly independent. We now know in hindsight that it could not do so. Beyond that, there are still relevant emails that we haven’t seen, two years later, because the University of Virginia continues to stonewall on a FOIA request, and it’s heading to the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Michael Mann, like Joe Paterno, was a rock star in the context of Penn State University, bringing in millions in research funding. The same university president who resigned in the wake of the Sandusky scandal was also the president when Mann was being whitewashed investigated. We saw what the university administration was willing to do to cover up heinous crimes, and even let them continue, rather than expose them. Should we suppose, in light of what we now know, they would do any less to hide academic and scientific misconduct, with so much at stake?

It’s time for a fresh, truly independent investigation.

*Two inappropriate sentences that originally appeared in this post have been removed by the editor.

Tenney Naumer July 14, 2012 at 2:06 pm

This is one of the most disgusting and amoral attempts to smear an honest and courageous scientist’s reputation that I have ever seen. Dr. Mann has been cleared of any sort of wrongdoing whatsoever by 6 different investigations and his detractors have been shown to be complete liars (e.g., Edward Wegman of George Mason University).

Scott July 17, 2012 at 1:56 am

Honest? Courageous? You must be thinking of someone else Tenny.

I highly recommend you read through the Climategate emails. It’ll change your mind.

Robert Murphy July 20, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Reading the emails fully, and knowing what the emails were actually talking about as opposed to what the “skeptics” tried to spin them as being about, shows how desperate and dishonest the attacks by the “skeptics” have been. This article is another in a long line of disgusting smears. For shame.

Eli Rabett July 14, 2012 at 11:03 pm

Yes, it is truly depressing how you are willing to expose your children to danger to satisfy your oil lust.

Henry Galt July 17, 2012 at 5:36 am

As depressing as your continuous insistence that a field you are not a member of is believable in the absence of evidence showing their conclusions to have merit.

Eli Rabett July 20, 2012 at 6:16 pm

You would be surprised

W E July 15, 2012 at 7:46 am

Amen.
Whatever happened to integrity?
And to think, I almost sent my child to that sorry school (PSU).

geek49203 July 15, 2012 at 8:03 am

Wasn’t Mann denied tenure at UVa when he was in the process of writing his hockey stick work? And didn’t UVa refuse to turn over docs about that part of Mann’s life?

Russell July 20, 2012 at 8:12 pm

No, that would be S.Fred Singer, who having departed UVA ,refuses to turn over manuscripts supposedly endorsing his work.

Gabriel Hanna July 15, 2012 at 8:29 am

The link labeled “engaging in data manipulation” demonstrates no such thing. In the 1998 Nature paper, all Mann did was plot instrument data side by side with reconstructed data, and clearly label them. There was no “padding” or “trick”. While some of the tree ring proxies after 1960 are not included in the reconstruction, there are other proxies that continued up until 1998 and those were used to do the smoothing. The green and red lines on the figure from the Nature paper that is reproduced at the link are not in the original Nature paper. The thick black dashes are the smoothed reconstructed temperatures, and they stop around 1960, they are not extended out to 2000. Anyone can see that by looking at the graph and reading the explanation in the original paper.

The post at Climate Audit has added two lines to the 1998 figure which were not originally there. They have done a calculation Mann did not do, and compared it to another one he did not do. Then they added those calculations to the figure years after the fact and used them as evidence to say Mann lied when he made that figure. And they’ve extended them out to 1998, which Mann did not do EITHER.

So for anyone repeating what is in the Climate Audit link as evidence of Mann having lied, there are 3 possibilities:

They have not bothered to look up the original, which may be found for free, and have only read deceptive characterizations such as the Climate Audit link;

They did look up the original but couldn’t understand what was there;

They read it, and understood it, and choose to repeat a lie.

Nittanyray July 18, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Did Mann not do the second set of calculations because he did not realize their importance or did he not do the calcs because they did not fit in his agenda?
Either way the data he produced was faulty and hokey stick theory is flawed.

Trent1492 July 22, 2012 at 2:33 pm

No. That is incorrect. The Hockey Stick has been reproduced a dozen different times by different researchers, using different proxies and methodologies. Falsely screaming “fraud” about one study done over a dozen years ago and ignoring the 11 other studies that confirm it reveals that the accuser has no interests in the truth.

Steve Smith July 23, 2012 at 2:37 pm

But when dozens of other independent surveys dispute the hockey stick graph, using different proxies and methodologies, those in support of Professor Mann scream that the science is settled and ignore these findings. Such close-minded support of a theory smacks more of Religious faith than Scientific rigor.

Rich July 15, 2012 at 9:56 am

The greed of Wall Street pales in comparison to that of American colleges and universities. PSU turns it head to child molestation so as not to jeopardize the $70-90 million the football was bring in. And ditto Mr. Hockey Puck–as long as he was bringing in big grant money (the majority of which goes to the university as overhead) , they were willing to let this guy corrupt the scientific process.

And ‘geek49203′, Mann had tenure at UVa.

J Bowers July 20, 2012 at 7:07 pm

“The greed of Wall Street pales in comparison to that of American colleges and universities.”

No, really, you have that wrong. Read the news more.

HTuttle July 15, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Academia doesn’t need to obey the laws that are there just for the rabble private sector.

J.P. Travis July 15, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Kudos for making the connection. I wrote about the same thing shortly after the Sandusky scandal broke: http://www.jpattitude.com/111123.php

This is a university that should not be allowed to recover its reputation until it deals with BOTH scandals.

Warlord July 15, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Because of the liars and enablers of Penn State, any student graduating from that
college may find it that much harder to find employment. Penn needs to end it’s football mania, and start putting out students who excel at academia, and have integrity,
unlike the current leadership, in all areas of the college. Deny-ability seems the current
theme.

Nancy July 15, 2012 at 2:17 pm

When I dared to back up my congressman on the subject of AGW (in a letter to the local paper) I was assailed by the CO2 study component of the university. During the time of Pres. Spanier’s reign many good instructors (Botany for one) gave up and retired because their lab and teaching resources were being replaced for the needs of big name stars of the scientific world. I was a proud supporter of PSU as all four of my children and other family members were alumni. I would not suggest PSU for my grandchildren as I watched students being used, not taught at the level previously maintained here.

Alvie D. Zane July 15, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Amen.

Penn State is like much of higher education and any other number of enterprises you can think of, “too big to fail”. Penn State is America in microcosm. Or put another way, We (America) Are Penn State!

Protect the secret, prevent prosecution of the guilty, punish the victims.

This same model gets applied many times on scales great and small in America every single day, in many facets of life, many businesses, many enterprises, and all over our government.

If you want to see what the coming collapse of America looks like, watch Penn State.

More here,
Onward State!

rblackbird July 15, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Thank you for making this point public.

When I first heard about the Sandusky coverup, I was not surprised, having studied the coverup of the Mann episode. As you suggest, a reasonable inference from the Mann investigation is that it was manipulated by senior faculty to protect one of their own and to keep the money tap open.

I followed the Mann investigation through the preliminary report. At that point, I have up. The woeful process convinced me that an honest answer was not the object of the inquiry; getting rid of the complaint was.

The committee was under the strict control of the chairman, who impressed me as having a mission to protect Mann and PSU. The first thing he did was dismiss the university’s general counsel from the investigation. This reminded me of the comment in Shakespeare’s Henry the Sixth, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” (The point was that the lawyers would interfere with a conspiracy to set up one Jack Cade as king.) I read the preliminary report as a retired trial lawyer who cross-examined many “expert witnesses” in trials, including scientists and engineers. A lawyer would have demanded a more objective review, and would have examined the evidence critically. A good lawyer would have demanded that independent, outside experts advise the committee.

One of the most egregious decisions the committee made was to GIVE Mann the questions in writing they would ask of him later. This happened after the first session, as I recall. This was really stupid, if the committee wanted to complete an honest, objective investigation. By giving Mann the questions, there would be (and was) no surprise, and Mann could (and did) prepare answers that were accepted whole hog.

No independent outside experts were asked to review Mann’s comments and work.

As I recall, none of the several other faculty members on the panel had any significant credentials demonstrating expertise with the scientific issues. Whether they said or did anything is unclear. I suspect they realized they would suffer some punishment if they failed to toe the company line. It is a problem many academics have discussed.

Mr. Freeh, a former federal district judge as well as former FBI chief, accuses the highest officers of PSU of covering up Sandusky’s crimes and ongoing predations for many years. Deceit was an operating principles of the PSU administration. Covering up Mann’s problems does not seem far fetched.

Ed Snack July 15, 2012 at 4:58 pm

That emails were deleted seems reasonably certain. When questioned by a grand jury, one of those in receipt of Mann’s emails admitting having actually deleted emails as a response.

Penn States’ investigation was conducted in an utterly incompetent manner, or rather completely competently if one takes the view that the intent was to whitewash Mann regardless of what the truth was.

A bit of honesty... July 15, 2012 at 9:33 pm

“In November 2009, the servers at the University of East Anglia in Britain were illegally hacked and emails were stolen. When a selection of emails between climate scientists were published on the internet, a few suggestive quotes were seized upon by many claiming global warming was all just a conspiracy. A number of independent enquiries have investigated the conduct of the scientists involved in the emails. All have cleared the scientists of any wrong doing:

In February 2010, the Pennsylvania State University released an Inquiry Report that investigated any ‘Climategate’ emails involving Dr Michael Mann, a Professor of Penn State’s Department of Meteorology. They found that “there exists no credible evidence that Dr. Mann had or has ever engaged in, or participated in, directly or indirectly, any actions with an intent to suppress or to falsify data”. On “Mike’s Nature trick”, they concluded “The so-called “trick”1 was nothing more than a statistical method used to bring two or more different kinds of data sets together in a legitimate fashion by a technique that has been reviewed by a broad array of peers in the field.”

In March 2010, the UK government’s House of Commons Science and Technology Committee published a report finding that the criticisms of the Climate Research Unit (CRU) were misplaced and that CRU’s “Professor Jones’s actions were in line with common practice in the climate science community”.

In April 2010, the University of East Anglia set up an international Scientific Assessment Panel, in consultation with the Royal Society and chaired by Professor Ron Oxburgh. The Report of the International Panel assessed the integrity of the research published by the CRU and found “no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit”.

In June 2010, the Pennsylvania State University published their Final Investigation Report, determining “there is no substance to the allegation against Dr. Michael E. Mann”.

In July 2010, the University of East Anglia published the Independent Climate Change Email Review report. They examined the emails to assess whether manipulation or suppression of data occurred and concluded that “The scientists’ rigor and honesty are not in doubt”.

In July 2010, the US Environmental Protection Agency investigated the emails and “found this was simply a candid discussion of scientists working through issues that arise in compiling and presenting large complex data sets.”

In September 2010, the UK Government responded to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee report, chaired by Sir Muir Russell. On the issue of releasing data, they found “In the instance of the CRU, the scientists were not legally allowed to give out the data”. On the issue of attempting to corrupt the peer-review process, they found “The evidence that we have seen does not suggest that Professor Jones was trying to subvert the peer review process. Academics should not be criticised for making informal comments on academic papers”.

In February 2011, the Department of Commerce Inspector General conducted an independent review of the emails and found “no evidence in the CRU emails that NOAA inappropriately manipulated data”.

In August 2011, the National Science Foundation concluded “Finding no research misconduct or other matter raised by the various regulations and laws discussed above, this case is closed”.”

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Climategate-CRU-emails-hacked.htm

patrick michaels July 15, 2012 at 11:17 pm

Mann was not denied tenure at UVa. He certainly would have acheived it. I was a member of the Department (Research Professor) during his time there, and I was asked to contact him for initial recruitment.

He left because a dispute about salary for himself and his soon-to-be-wife. He wanted UVa to give her a faculty position and they declined. Penn State did what Mike wanted, and so he left.

The Kraken July 16, 2012 at 12:02 am

I am an alumni of Penn State and I say ‘Thank You’.

I took Meterology as my Earth Science required credits and gained an appreciation just what a big deal Earth Sciences and Meterology in particular is at Penn State. The Prof. Mann scandal is always covered as though it is at a different Penn State. from where Coach Sandursky committede his crimes.

Nobody is seriously calling for a NCAA ‘Death Penalty’ for the Earth Sciences Department. No former FBi director is investigating institutional coverups over cooking the numbers on Climate Change.

Any fan of Penn State Football is sickened and in shock over what, up until December 2011, was what seemed the cleanest college football program in the country. Its hideous. The magazine of the Penn State college of Science felt inclined to include a special statement of how they are shocked and sickened at the reports of child molestation made possible by univerity people and facilities.

No such apology relating to Micheal Mann. No corrective story in their magazine unless it was in a special issue I never got.

David Appell July 16, 2012 at 10:28 am

The hockey stick in paleoclimate data has been found by independent research groups, including those using completely different mathematical methods. It’s a robust finding.

David Appell July 16, 2012 at 10:32 am

geek49203 wrote:
>>Wasn’t Mann denied tenure at UVa when he was in the process of writing his hockey stick work?<<

No. His first publication on the "hockey stick" was in 1998, done while he was a postdoc at U Mass – Amherst with Bradley and Hughes. He went to U Va in 1999, was not denied tenure, and went to Penn State in 2005.

richard40 July 16, 2012 at 8:07 pm

I love all of the Michael Mann apoligists commenting here with their “how dare you question us” outrage. You guys are going to find all too many people daring to find the truth about the global warming hoax.

Henry July 17, 2012 at 10:32 am

Mann could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data in the service of politicized science

Rand Simberg could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of bloggers, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured analogies in the service of politicized science.

FOIA fan waiting for 3.0 July 21, 2012 at 4:47 am

Here’s a short YouTube video, where UC Berkeley Physics Professor Richard Mueller explains how Michael Mann used a trick to “hide the decline” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BQpciw8suk

I suppose if you are going to use a trick to “hide the decline” so that the world’s energy economy is upended in pursuit of a fantasy, you might be considered someone who “molested and tortured data in the service of politicized science”.

Ponder for a moment the intro to the leaked Climategate 2.0 emails:
“Over 2.5 billion people live on less than $2 a day.”
“Every day nearly 16.000 children die from hunger and related causes.”
“One dollar can save a life” — the opposite must also be true.
“Poverty is a death sentence.”
“Nations must invest $37 trillion in energy technologies by 2030 to stabilize
greenhouse gas emissions at sustainable levels.”

Today’s decisions should be based on all the information we can get, not on
hiding the decline.

Taylor B July 26, 2012 at 6:41 pm

News Update: Own Goal by FOIA fan

Dr. Muller’s 2-page summary of preliminary findings of his global temperature study can be found here:
http://berkeleyearth.org/pdf/berkeley-earth-summary-20-october-2011.pdf

“On the basis of its analysis, according to Berkeley Earth’s founder and scientific director, Professor Richard A. Muller, the group concluded that earlier studies based on more limited data by teams in the United States and Britain had accurately estimated the extent of land surface warming.”

“‘Our biggest surprise was that the new results agreed so closely with the warming values published previously by other teams in the U.S. and U.K.,’ Muller said. ‘This confirms that these studies were done carefully and that potential biases identified by climate change skeptics did not seriously affect their conclusions.’”

Christopher Taylor July 17, 2012 at 10:55 am

I will never cease to be amazed at the religious-like zeal people have for a subject they barely know or understand. If someone shows problems with the methodology and science of climate scientists like Mann, shouldn’t your concerns be focused on where they’re wrong, not where they are heretics and sinners for doubting human-caused climate change?

And if you cannot do so, shouldn’t you step back and wonder if you really understand it well enough to lash out at people for daring to question it?

Rand Simberg July 17, 2012 at 7:31 pm

That might be a useful analogy, if my behavior had been whitewashed by the PSU administration. But probably not even then.

notbob July 31, 2012 at 5:42 pm

You mean like how it was whitewashed out of the post with no apology?

Tracy July 20, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Well, it looks like you may get to defend this accusation, if Michael Mann has his way.

https://www.facebook.com/MichaelMannScientist/posts/267470906700950

john john July 21, 2012 at 4:02 am

So you guys do realize that you are all fucking retarded, right? And lacking in any justification except for conspiracy theory bullshit? And also – child molestation would still be about 700% worse than any academic dishonesty, were it to be going on (which it is not). In conclusion, damn, y’all need to get laid or get on drugs (but not the paranoia ones, lest your conspiracies get even wilder) so that you will fucking shut up with your bullshit climate change denial based on people in other disciplines playing skeptics or you coming up with minor controversies that you misunderstand as evidence. YOU ARE NOT FUCKING SCIENTISTS, YOU SHITTY FUCKS.

Andyj July 22, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Why in God’s name Mr. Manns findings plus the squiggly upwards line on the end from disparate data with a weighted calculation was printed on the front cover by the ipcc when his graph was totally unrepresentative of empirical data; only the corrupt will know.

The calculation method used on this data has now gone open source and is successfully implemented in gambling machines.

hilaryisabel July 23, 2012 at 4:04 am

In the meantime, aside from all this plonking on about who to believe, the planet is going to hell in a haybasket and all this jostling for ego strokes is just sickening.
Solution : Lets get rid of the men – yes all of you – you are the hunters, the polluters, the ‘developers’, the liars, the abusers, the warmongers.
When this blue orb we call home finally turns out the lights at least we can thank the human race for having an inbuilt self destruct button i.e. men
Every single argument on this page is beside the point – we are all going to die – now what are you going to do about that FOOLS!

renewable guy July 23, 2012 at 8:43 am

http://climatecrocks.com/2012/07/22/mike-mann-calls-out-slime-vending-conservatives-at-national-review/#more-11602

I hope this goes to court. Then this MF organization is going to go down with it. This isn’t a game anymore. Give CEI an inch and they take a mile. It’s time for smack down. If they are like Heartland they won’t apologize due to pride. See you in court.

uknowispeaksense July 23, 2012 at 10:16 am

Rand,

This analogy you are making is right up there with the Heartland Billboard that lost them so many fans and sponsors. They took theirs down when all their sponsors threatened to walk. I have no doubt you will be issuing a retraction and an apology very soon when you get a letter.
But seriously, I know why you have to resort to this kind of gutter politik, and it certainly whips your diehard sycophantic fans into a frenzy as well. When you can’t fight the science, all you’re left with is propaganda and namecalling. The first is a demonstration of the weakness of your position and the second is juvenile.

shawmutt July 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Neo-Conservatives are trying to bring on a real life 1984.

Will July 23, 2012 at 2:32 pm

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Climategate-CRU-emails-hacked.htm

So, for Mann to be wrong, the University of East Anglia in Britain, the Pennsylvania State University, the UK government’s House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the UK Government House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, the Department of Commerce Inspector General, the National Science Foundation are all corrupt? They have found Mann innocent of all fraud charges regarding the email “scandal” or why don’t we go further and say that all of the scientific community is wrong because they largely support the idea of Global Climate Change? Why don’t we go further than that and say that science is completely bogus because scientists make money so they can hardly be objective about anything they say?

Seriously? We’re down to the level of saying “He’s wrong because I don’t agree with him?” How about finding evidence that he is wrong? Evidence that he has done something… anything unethical? Anyone with some evidence? If you have it, then submit it to the nearest scientific journal of your choice. Tell them to fact-check it for errors and see if they come to the same conclusions you do. Then get back to me with their answer. I will abide by that. Unless you ARE going to say that virtually every scientific body in the world is in on the conspiracy, then A) Admit that Michael Mann isn’t guilty of any kind of fraud and B) admit that there is no significant evidence that the world isn’t warming at an alarming rate. If you can’t do that much, or if you’re going to tell me that virtually all scientists are in on a global conspiracy to conceal the truth, without any evidence of such a conspiracy, then you don’t deserve any kind of respect.

Rand Simberg July 23, 2012 at 3:59 pm

I have no doubt you will be issuing a retraction and an apology very soon when you get a letter.

I seriously doubt I’ll get one, but I’ll be quite entertained if I do. As I told Politico, it’s just a bluff. The last thing that Mann wants to do is go under oath with a discovery process.

Ben July 24, 2012 at 7:58 am

Really, Rand? Your own article now ends with “Two inappropriate sentences that originally appeared in this post have been removed by the editor.”

Fail.

Rand Simberg August 10, 2012 at 11:54 am

Yes, really.

Kate Cell July 23, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Will No One Think of the Numbers?!!

It’s simply unconscionable to equate a well-respected scholar with a convicted child rapist. But what’s even worse is to equate Sandusky’s numerous victims with… data. Data aren’t sentient. They can’t be molested or tortured. They don’t suffer nightmares or flashbacks or sexual dysfunction or suicidal ideation because someone ran an unusual statistical technique on them. The numbers are doing just fine, thank you.

To make an analogy between mere numbers derived from the growth of tree rings, or the carbon content of ice bores, or whatever other proxies Professor Mann and his colleagues use, and Sandusky’s victims, is purely wicked. These young men have suffered enough. Many of them were vulnerable even before Sandusky traumatized them. They have already been dragged into showers and basements and courtrooms. They do not need to be dragged into the climate debate as well.

Timkatt July 24, 2012 at 10:08 am

It’s not skeptic community, it’s denier community, there’s a difference.

Kevin Mulcahy July 24, 2012 at 11:00 am

Yes, Timkatt, there is a difference. Skeptics don’t openly disagree with you. “Deniers”, on the other hand, have the temerity to openly question the wisdom of our close-minded, intolerant academic majority and its weak-minded, righteous adherents like you. “Deniers” are the people who didn’t accept the scientific theories of phrenology and eugenecism that dominated progressive academic circles a hundred years ago. “Deniers” are the George Orwells and Winston Churchills of the world who demonized the fashionable socialism in Europe in the 20’s and 30’s.

As a Warmist, it must be very frustrating to you that everyone doesn’t fall in line with what you believe. Given that you can’t articulate, and certainly can’t prove, your AGW hypothesis, you have to resort to name calling. Denier is a nice word because it implies that I don’t believe in the Holocaust and I don’t accept evolution. It’s a nice word because it’s a quick, ignorant smear, rather than a convincing argument. I have to assume you would have been a big fan of alchemy in its day, as it was the “consensus” of the scientific community that lead could be turned into gold. In the interest of civil discourse, how about you don’t use the phrase “Climate Change Denier” and I won’t use the word “Head up Your Ass Sheep”?

Taylor B July 26, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Actually, Kevin, both phrases apply equally well to you, so feel free to use them appropriately.

Sascha Tavere, France July 24, 2012 at 1:18 pm

One of the ten commandments says: “Thou shalt [...] kill”. (denialist mode)

I have some 9th commandment offenders in mind ….

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