“Hagiography” according to Wordnet, at Princeton University means “a biography that idealizes or idolizes the person (especially a person who is a saint)”.
Now that you know this, try reading this Scientific American article written by David Appell about Michael Mann, creator of the Hockey Stick.
I’ve quite a strong stomach, but it’s difficult to keep digestive juices in their proper location when faced with a description filled with this much schmalz. It’s interesting to me that David Appell doesn’t bother with any hard questions about Michael Mann’s “science”, preferring instead to let the saintliness shine through:
Michael Mann knows his students and his subject. The topic of the graduate seminar: El Nino and radiative forcing. The beer he will be serving: Corona, “because I’m going to be talking about tropical climate.” Not surprisingly, attendance is high.
Be honest, were you thinking about the classroom scene in “Raiders of the Lost Ark”? Maybe some women were writing love messages on their eyelids…personally I think you can pack any lecture on any subject when you offer students free beer for attending. (Yes, I’m cynical)
Appell’s purple prose is packed full of leading statements and meaningless phrases:
In each case, the outcome was clear: global mean temperature began to rise dramatically in the early 20th century. That rise coincided with the unprecedented release of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases into the earth’s atmosphere, leading to the conclusion that industrial activity was boosting the world’s mean temperature. Other researchers subsequently confirmed the plot.
Oh yeah? We must have missed those. Not one of those “confirmations” for example, put the lowest temperatures in the mid 19th Century and all showed much greater natural variation than MBH. Most put the lowest temperatures two centuries earlier, in the 17th Century.
Of course there must be a conspiracy…
A community skeptical of human-induced warming argued that Mann’s data points were too sparse to constitute a true picture, or that his raw data were numerically suspicious, or that they could not reproduce his results with the data he had used. Take down Mann, it seemed, and the rest of the IPCC’s conclusions about anthropogenic climate change would follow.
Really? How could such beastly people do this to a simple man of science? These skeptics must have a dastardly agenda for asking such impertinent questions:
That led to “unjustified attack after unjustified attack,” complains climatologist Gavin A. Schmidt of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Although questions in the field abound about how, for example, tree-ring data are compiled, many of those attacking Mann’s work, Schmidt claims, have had a priori opinions that the work must be wrong.
Mann clearly agrees.
More recently, Mann battled back in a 2004 corrigendum in the journal Nature, in which he clarified the presentation of his data. He has also shown how errors on the part of his attackers led to their specific results.
Really? The Corrigendum was forced on Mann because a materials complaint had been made about his data and stated methodology. The last time I checked, publishing a Corrigendum is usually seen as embarrassing by the authors.
Has he shown errors by his “attackers” (another loaded phrase to imply a personalized vendetta)? Not so far.
On the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age, Appell reaffirms the Mann Hockey Stick’s main claim to fame, against all evidence, both historical and reconstructed through multiple independent proxies done all around the world over the last forty years:
For instance, skeptics often cite the Little Ice Age and Medieval Warming Period as pieces of evidence not reflected in the hockey stick, yet these extremes are examples of regional, not global, phenomena.
Get that? The MWP and LIA were not global phenomena, but regional. Funny how they appeared at almost exactly the same time in so many places.
“From an intellectual point of view, these contrarians are pathetic, because there’s no scientific validity to their arguments whatsoever,” Mann says. “But they’re very skilled at deducing what sorts of disingenuous arguments and untruths are likely to be believable to the public that doesn’t know better.”
You get that Steve?
It’s definitely a dastardly plot by inferiors and Mann and Appell clearly know where it’s coming from:
Mann thinks that the attacks will continue, because many skeptics, such as the Greening Earth Society and the Tech Central Station Web site, obtain funds from petroleum interests. “As long as they think it works and they’ve got unlimited money to perpetuate their disinformation campaign,”
Oh, if only that were true. Climateaudit.org is run on a shoestring (one of Steve’s shoes). Where are these slushfunds when you really need them?
After comparing his critics to tobacco scientists, and to defend his scientific work from evil fossil fuel funded skeptics he
publishes all of his data, materials and source code for public inspection by other scientists sets up a weblog called realclimate which by some miracle has special visitors:
Started in December 2004, the site has nine active scientists, who have attracted the attention of the blog cognoscenti for their writings….
Wow! There are blog cognoscenti? Everyone else just gets visitors and the occasional troll, but realclimate gets cognoscenti
The blog is not a bypass of the ordinary channels of scientific communication, Mann explains, but “a resource where the public can go to see what actual scientists working in the field have to say about the latest issues.”
Which I totally agree with as you long as you don’t ask those scientists impertinent questions like, where is your source code and how did you reconstruct the entire world climate in the early 15th Century from just one tree?
I recommend the full article as a classic. But you may need some Tagamet(tm) or Mylanta(tm), just in case.