michael mann

That Time When Jim Inhofe Called Climate Change a Hoax

This DeSmog UK epic history post tells the story of climate denier Jim Inhofe’s infamous ‘climate hoax’ Senate speech.

The US Senator Jim Inhofe relentlessly denies that humans are driving climate change. In a rambling February speech this year he lobbed a snowball in the Senate as a means of disproving climate change and most recently dismissed President Obama's warnings that climate change is the greatest threat to future generations as “a severe disconnect from reality”.

But perhaps one of his best known antics took place in 2003. It was yet another summer of record-breaking heat waves in the United States at the time and the sceptic attack on Michael Mann had reached fever pitch.

Mann, a climate scientist, described the ordeal of being besieged as the “Serengeti strategy”, in which a pride of lions would hunt down the most vulnerable or appetising prey in a stampeding, panicked herd.

Australian Tax Breaks Help Fund Climate Science Denier Mark Steyn's Libel Defense in the US

WHEN the facts on climate change become inconvenient or they start to rub your ideology or vested interest up the wrong way, then there are really only two options available. 

Option one is to change your mind. Option two is to try and change, distort, misrepresent or just outright ignore the flood of scientific studies over decades showing the serious impacts of loading the biosphere with fossil fuel emissions.

Mark Steyn is a prominent conservative polemicist and writer in the United States and Canada who has chosen option two.

How ExxonMobil Boosted Old-School Sceptics' Attacks on Michael Mann

Our latest DeSmog UK epic history post examines the troop of climate sceptic scientists funded by ExxonMobil to attack Michael Mann’s hockey stick graph.

Neoliberal think tanks saw a significant boom period in the 2000s thanks to ExxonMobil’s continued spending to fuel the fire against the climate science consensus.

As per the Climate Action Plan – written in 1998 as a blueprint for sceptic industry action – the think tanks gathered together a group of hand-picked “independent” scientists who were “not usually published in the mainstream journals”.

That Time When an IPCC Report Clashed with ExxonMobil's Climate Denial Spending Spree

Our latest DeSmog UK epic history post recalls how the IPCC COP 6 was held in the midst of the ExxonMobil funding splurge.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reconvened in Bonn, Germany in 2001 for the sixth Conference of the Parties (COP).

Michael Mann’s hockey stick took centre stage of the IPCC’s third report, appearing twice in the synthesis report and another two times on the Working Group I Summary for Policymakers.

March Madness: Don’t Miss DeSmog UK’s Top Moments

We hit an exciting milestone in March with both our Facebook and Twitter pages reaching more than 1,000 followers. So, a big thank you is owed to everyone for liking and engaging with DeSmog UK!

Our top story caused quite the stir, to say the least. In a two-part exclusive interview with Michael Mann – dubbed his most intimate interview ever – we covered everything from American football and colour printers to Mann’s love of solving “important problems”.

With almost 4,000 pageviews between the two posts, and more than 200 shares on social media, we saw a global and varied readership. Michael Mann thought it was pretty great too, sharing it out on all his social media channels (cheers for that!).

How the Creation of Mann's Hockey Stick Led to a Climate Denier Counter-Attack

Our DeSmog UK epic history series continues with a look at the creation of Michael Mann’s hockey stick graph and the counter-attack launched by the climate deniers.

Michael Mann was “still relatively fresh” out of graduate school when his work demonstrating the rise in global temperatures caught the attention of senior climate scientists. He was quickly selected as lead author for a new report on climate change.

The paper by Mann, and Professor Raymond Bradley and Professor Malcolm Hughes was titled Global-Scale Temperature Patterns and Climate Forcing Over the Past Six Centuries. It introduced into the scientific literature what would soon become known as the ‘hockey stick’ graph.

This is When Hockey Stick Author Michael Mann First Realised the True Magnitude of Climate Change

In Part II of our intimate interview with Professor Michael Mann he tells of the exact moment he fully acknowledged humans were driving climate change – and how his conversion was thanks to the invention of the colour printer. Read Part I here. The interview forms part of our Epic History of climate denial. 

Michael Mann, the scientist behind the climate change hockey stick graph, began his PhD at the Department of Geology and Geophysics at Yale University under the supervision of Professor Barry Saltzman.

He remembers Saltzman as an “old fashioned scientist” who remained deeply sceptical about the latest claims being made by climate scientists that the atmosphere had begun warming and the future was bleak.

McIntyre's Mission: An Obsessive Quest to Disprove Michael Mann's Hockey Stick

There is no better way to describe self-appointed climate auditor Steve McIntyre than ‘determined’. Highly determined even.

And you would have to be pretty obstinate to try and poke holes in peer-reviewed climate science given that McIntyre claims he does not receive a salary signed by Big Oil. As author of the sceptic blog Climate Audit, all of McIntyre’s work is funded on his own dime.

Of course, his hotel accommodation while in London this August, where our interview was conducted, was paid for by Lord Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF).

I don’t have a big objection to think tanks sponsoring things … I don’t think there’s enough support for sceptics or critics as it is,” says the Ontario-based retired mining consultant whose blog inspired a hacker to break into servers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and steal emails and data shared between the world’s leading global warming scientists.

Michael Mann's Opponents In Hockey Stick Defamation Case Regurgitate Half-Truths In New Court Filing

Michael Mann

Put up your hand if you’ve been a follower of news about climate change in recent years and haven’t heard of the “hockey stick” graph.

Nobody?  No, didn’t think so.

These graphs get their name because of their shape. 

They are reconstructions of the temperatures on Earth over several centuries to several millennia and they all have a repetitive tendency to turn sharply skyward showing the recent rapid warming of the Earth.

The most famous and first “hockey stick” came from research in the journal Nature in 1998 led by Professor Michael Mann, then of the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Mann used historical data from tree rings and ice cores – known as “proxy records” - to determine what temperatures were like over the Northern Hemisphere over the 600 years or so before we had a reasonably well-dispersed network of thermometers.

When plotted on a chart… well, you know the rest.  It looked like a hockey stick.

Mann followed up that work in 1999, refining the research for a study in Geophysical Research Letters to give a full 1000-year history of the planet’s temperatures.

His work appeared in the 2001 United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.  This is what it looked liked in that report (notice the red and blue colors - we'll come to that in a bit.)


  

Tax Breaks In Australia To Fund Climate Misinformation Book

It's amazing what qualifies for a tax break in Australia these days.

The climate science misinformation promotion unit at the Institute of Public Affairs, a Melbourne-based “free market” think tank, are currently passing the hat around to raise cash to publish a book on climate change.

The IPA has been pushing and promoting climate science denial since the late 1980s, when it published an article in its magazine asking if there really was a greenhouse effect.

According to an email to supporters earlier this month from the IPA’s executive director John Roskam, the think tank has raised $144,545 towards a $175,000 target to publish a book Climate Change: The Facts 2014.

Roskam reminded supporters that their donation for the book would be “tax deductible” and those prepared to part with $400 or more more would even get their name on the back cover.

The list of chapter authors is a predictable line up of denialists and contrarians picked from the blogosphere, conservative media outlets and the associates of secretly funded conservative think tanks.

They include Nigel Lawson, Stewart Franks, Bill Kininmonth, Mark Steyn, Donna Laframboise, Pat Michaels, Jennifer Marohasy, Andrew Bolt, Richard Lindzen, Jo Nova, Anthony Watts, James Delingpole, Bob Carter, Ross McKitrick and Ian Plimer.

Yep. A few Aussies will have slightly fatter tax refunds (or thinner bills) in exchange for funding climate science denialism and contrarianism from a list of usual suspects.

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