Full many a gem of purest ray serene
The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
Thomas Gray (English Poet, 1716-1771)
From time to time, we here at Climate Audit have the opportunity to draw attention to otherwise obscure flowers that would otherwise “waste their sweetness”. Today is one such opportunity. On Jan 31, Larry Solomon wrote a column on Antarctica here.
On Feb 2, 2008, while realclimate coauthor Gavin Schmidt was worried that a delicate flower newly in bloom in Climate Audit might “waste its sweetness in the desert air”, his coauthor Michael Mann contributed what we can only describe as a “gem of purest ray serene” at Google News here (or National Post here, which I excerpt in full below.
Comment by Michael E. Mann, Director, Earth System Science Center, Penn State
google news comment
Fossil fuel industry shill Solomon continues to lie to public – Feb 2, 2009
In his latest piece in the tabloid the “National Post,” Mr. Lawrence Solomon, a widely recognized purveyor of fossil fuel-funded disinformation, continues to use the forum provided to him by the Post to spread lies about scientists and scientific research in the area of global climate change.
Doing the bidding of the fossil fuel industry that financially supports his disinformation efforts, Mr. Lawrence repeatedly lies about my work, the work of my colleagues, the findings of the scientific community, and even the judgments of the world’s leading scientific organizations and journals.
Mr Lawrence full well knows, for example, that my own work on paleoclimate reconstructions from more than a decade ago has been reproduced by many groups, and vindicated in a report by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and even more recently, in the fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (for a lay-person’s guide to this report, you might check out my recent book “Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming” published by DK/Pearson). Mr. Lawrence disingenuously implies otherwise by citing a partisan attack several years ago by Joe Barton, the leading recipient of fossil fuel industry money in the U.S. House of Representatives (and who is often referred to as “smokey Joe Barton” for his support of industry’s right to pollute our environment). Barton’s attacks were decried by newspapers editorials around the world, which likened it to a modern-day McCarthyism, using word’s like “witch hunt” and “inquisition.” The discredited Barton attacks were dismissed by organizations like the American Association of the Advancement of Science, which dismissed the attacks as an attempt to intimidate scientists whose findings may prove troublesome to industry special interests. The National Academy of Sciences responded by performing a legitimate scientific review of my findings and similar work by others in the scientific community, and the academy endorsed or key findings, noting that a host of additional studies since have confirmed them. The media reported the NAS findings as “Science Panel Backs Study on Warming Climate” (New York Times), “Backing for Hockey Stick Graph (BBC), and so on.
Mr Solomon of course knows about all of this, but still chooses to mislead and lie to his readers. His statements about our current study in ‘Nature’ (which from his article you’d think I was the sole author — in fact, I was only the 4th in a team of 6 co-authors) which studies the long-term warming of Antarctica and its causes, are unusually disingenuous and specious. As described in detail elsewhere (e.g. the website “RealClimate.org” which I co-founded), our latest study is not contradicted by weather records at all, despite Mr. Solomon’s dishonest attempt to imply otherwise by misrepresenting and cherry-picking anecdotal observations. Our study reproduces the well known cooling of the Antarctic interior which took place during the 1970s through 1990s (and is believed to be, as confirmed by our study, due to stratospheric ozone depletion which was greatest over that particular time interval). However, by combining the available temperature observations, we show that the longer-term pattern for Antarctica on the whole is one of warming, and this is consistent with the expected response to the long-term increase in greenhouse gas concentrations. Finally, Mr Lawrence goes on to attack the journal ‘Nature.’ Gee, who should we trust here? The most dishonest industry advocate in the climate change debate, or the world’s most prestigious peer-reviewed scientific journal. You be the judge.
How ironic that Mr Lawrence uses the word “shame” in his disinformation piece. For he is perhaps the most shameful and dishonest actors in the climate change disinformation machine. Some people indeed have no shame. Nonetheless, in Mr Solomon’s case, the judgment of history will be his condemnation.
Larry Solomon replied today here.
Mann and Solomon, like many before them, have quite opposite accounts of the Wegman and North panel reports. For interested readers, I compiled relevant quotes here and both reports, the testimony of both Wegman and North, and Wegman’s answers to supplementary questions are linked from this site.