Mann Handled: A Decade Ago, Conservatives Attacked a Scientist—And Created a Leader

Read time: 6 mins

This is a review of The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches From the Front Lines, by Michael Mann.

I first became familiar with the name Michael Mann in the year 2003. I was working on what would become my book The Republican War on Science, and had learned of two related events: The controversy over the Soon and Baliunas paper in Climate Research, purporting to refute Mann and his colleagues’ famous 1998 “hockey stick” study; and a congressional hearing convened by Senator James Inhofe, at which Mann testified. Inhofe tried to wheel out the Soon and Baliunas work as if they’d dealt some sort of killer blow against climate science. In fact, just before the hearing, several editors of Climate Research had resigned over the paper.

I went on to stand up for Mann, and his work, in Republican War. Little did I know, at the time, that he himself would become the leading defender of his scientific field against political attacks.

Recently, Mann came out with a new book about his travails entitled The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches From the Front Lines, detailing his decade long battle against political attacks and misrepresentations. The response has been all too predictable. For months, conservatives have been giving it one star reviews on, some of which suggest that they probably haven’t read it.

What is most fascinating to me is that the science the right is attacking Mann over—principally, the 1998 hockey stick study and its 1999 extension, as prominently exhibited in 2001 by the IPCC—is relatively old news. Indeed, and as Mann himself explains in the book, “attacks against the hockey stick…were not really about the work itself.” That work has been supported by other researchers—there is now a veritable “hockey team,” Mann notes—and anyways, the case for human caused global warming never depended on the validity of the hockey stick alone. It was always just one part of a far broader body of evidence.

Thus, conservatives who fixated on Mann, and continue to do so, tell us through their own actions that this is not really about scientific inquiry at all. If it was, then they’d be doing something quite different from giving Mann one star Amazon reviews.

But of course, climate researchers have been making observations like these for years. It hasn’t mattered nearly as much as it should, though, because they’ve often lacked the communication skills to get their point across. If anything, their scientific training has tended to hobble them in a brass knuckles fight such as this one. And that, to me, is where Mann’s new book matters the most: It shows that he has developed the communication skills to match his unquestionable scientific talent–and moreover, that he has done so because the right forced him to.

That’s why Mann is such an inspiring example for all who care about the climate issue—and why his book is required reading. From the early “hockey stick” battles all the way up through “ClimateGate” and the Ken Cuccinelli inquiry, Mann didn’t give an inch. He didn’t back down; to the contrary, he showed what toughness actually means. And in the process, from the founding of in 2004 up through the publication of this book, he evolved into a passionate communicator and advocate. Having had him on my podcast Point of Inquiry and heard him lecture, I can assure you that many scientists should take a lesson from him.

Through all this, Mann emerged as a charismatic example of what we should all strive for in the face of ideological adversity and unfair attacks. Mann himself has a powerful analogy for all of this in the book, one that shows just how much he has developed as a communicator and an advocate. He calls it the “Serengeti Strategy,” based on what he saw on a vacation in Africa:

Among the most striking and curious scenes I saw that day were groups of zebras standing back to back, forming a continuous wall of vertical stripes. “Why do they do this?” an IPCC colleague asked the tour guide. “To confuse the lions,” he explained. Predators, in what I call the “Serengeti strategy,” look for the most vulnerable animals at the edge of a herd. But they have difficulty picking out an individual zebra to attack when it is seamlessly incorporated into the larger group, lost in this case in a continuous wall of stripes. Only later would I understand the profound lesson this scene from nature had to offer me and my fellow climate scientists in the years to come.          

To be sure, the book is not simply about how Mann was forced to fight back against misrepresentations, and even congressional and legal inquiries. It’s also his personal story. He started out as a math geek trying to program a computer to play tic-tac-toe, like in the movie War Games (ah, the Eighties!). He ended up pursuing paleoclimatology out of intellectual interest and fascination; he never imagined he would end up as much a political combatant as a researcher.

Despite my praise for Mann and his book—and I even gave it a cover blurb—I do have some differences with him. For instance, I think that here and in his public comments, Mann tends to focus too heavily on the idea that resistance to climate science, and his research, is corporate driven. Or as he puts it in the book: “well organized, well-funded, and orchestrated.” In contrast, I have increasingly come to think it is primarily ideological—driven by libertarian individualism, and those who embrace this view and its associated emotions—and the corporate connection is secondary (though often real). I thus think that focusing on it too much misleads us as to the nature of the opposition, which has grown so ideological at this point–and so driven by gut emotion–that it does the traditionally pragmatic business community no favors. If anything, it is out of synch with its own presumptive allies.

But this difference doesn’t matter when it comes to defending scientific reality. There, I stand with Mann, because he taught me through his own example how to do so. And you should as well.

How? Start by buying his book; and after you’ve read it, go refute the one-star Amazon commenters and add your own informed take. And throughout it all, remember the Serengeti analogy—although really, I must say that I think it doesn’t do Mann justice. This guy is no zebra. For climate researchers, and researchers anywhere who fall under political attack, he's something much more important: A leader.

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I have purchased just now at Amazon ‘The Hockey Stick’ and the Climate Wars

will be added to my collection of Storms of My Grandchildren, Dire Predictions, Six Degrees and The End of the Long Summer….

Here’s another great book you may want to buy, it would definitely fit right in with your other choices (ie, Science Fiction);

Michael Crichton’s “State of Fear”.

chas rasper, an other ignorant, arrogant and dishonest denier.

Why did you skip an education?  Does it make you feel good to support other ignorant arrogant and dishonest deniers?

That’s that book that Heartland was pushing as the truth!  “Michael Crichton had it right!”  Their web page used to say.


Its interesting that what you state is science fiction is what Heartland states is real.

Careful Chas!  I’m an eco ninja commin to get ya!  Fear me!

(Not really… I once hit myself in the head with some nunchucks…)

“In all candor now, I think that Mike (Mann) is becoming a serious enemy in the way that he bends the ears of people like Tom with words like “flawed” when  describing my work and probably your and Keith’s as well. This is in part a vindictive response to the Esper et al. paper. He also went crazy over my recent NZ paper describing evidence for a MWP there because he sees it as another attack on him. Maybe I am over-reacting to this, but I don’t think so.” - Edward R. Cook, Ewing Lamont Research Professor, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory - Columbia University

You were mentioning something about vindictive attacks on climate scientists?

Edward Cook is over reacting.

What was supposed to have transpired was hearsay.  (That means we still have no idea what happened.)

In any case, he also says says Mann’ss work produces marginally better results, but not statistically better.  This is kind of a what ever arguement if you ask me.  Office tiff…

You should stop reading other people’s email when you don’t understand what they mean.  You are clearly wasting your time and exagerating.

The more I have read about Climategate and Michael Mann, the more disgusted I have become. Mabe some ditzy newscasters have mischaracterized the hacked emails (it’s not clear to me whether they were stolen or leaked) as proving AGW is a fraud, but I see a lot of serious criticism about openness in science.

You guys are trying to build him up as some kind of folk hero fighting a well funded machine whose “trick” is being quoted out of context. There is no good context for “hiding the decline”. No, it doesn’t mean temperatures are not going up. It does bring up uncertianties about the integrity of the data.

If Michael Mann wants to be a brave leader in the climate fight, he ought to challenge Willis Escenbach to a public debate, or just go argue with him in the comments at Judith Curry’s Climate ect blog.

Its a common misconception that there was in fact any misdeeds at all found in those emails.  Nothing wrong was found at all.  And even if the hockey stick was fake… what ever, that that 1 page of 1000 in the the IPCC report out, and you still have climate change.

A survey of the word ‘trick’ in scientific literature will turn up lots of real and valid results used in all branches of science.

The fact is that ‘trick’ is a common word in science and we do it all the time.  Can’t solve that derivative?  (Many are unsolvable by the way.)  Use a finite difference!

I use ‘Tricks’ all the time in my work.  In fact if a person was to read my work emails, and was as igornant as Conman is, then that person would probably be confused too.  Furthermore I engage in all kinds of mathematical heresy to make stuff work.  I also happen to think that my boss is a knob, and I would be really reluctant to share that with the public at large.

Conman says:

but I see a lot of serious criticism about openness in science.

You obviously do not understand anything about what was said in the e-mails, or anything to do with climate science for that matter. What is being discussed in these e-mails is dishonesty, you know when deniers tell lies and fudge data and get their dishonest denier friend, who happens to be editor in a science journal, publish their dishonest garbage.

Why do you only support AGW deniers (Esschenbach) and refer people to junk and dishonest sites like Curry’s? Have you no shame?

Google results show he is a poster of Waatt’s Up and a fishing guide in Alaska (who apparently hasn’t notice the huge climate changes happening there). 

I’ve been to Curry’s blog and read some of her vaporous whim-whams about certainity. Nothing scientific enough to form a basis for debate.

The “decline” is the deviation of post 1960s tree ring thickness from the actual temperature measurements. Mann pointed out in his paper why he did not use the later tree ring data (because it was flawed). His colloquial expression in his email assumed his reader was a scientist who knew what he meant. 

Try reading some of the web pages from scientific agencies like NASA, NOAA, MIT, Planck Institute, NCAR, etc. You might learn something instead of repeating drivel from deniers’ blogs.

“The more I have read about Climategate and Michael Mann, the more disgusted I have become.”

Well, lets face it, you were always going to gravitate towards right wing blogs and believe every word of what they told you.

“ but I see a lot of serious criticism about openness in science.”

Nonsense. All the data was freely avaialble. WUWT and it’s henchmen spammed Jones with FOI when there was no need to. Their intention was just to hold up and delay science. The subsequent investigations agreed this was their intention.

“hero fighting a well funded machine”

You got that right.

“whose “trick” is being quoted out of context.”

You honestly think vested interests would want it portrayed as anything but that.

There is no good context for “hiding the decline”.

Denier wishful thinking.

“If Michael Mann wants to be a brave leader in the climate fight, he ought to challenge Willis Escenbach to a public debate”

Or alternatively Willis could submit a peer reviewed paper that counters Mann’s work. We both know he can’t. We both know the only arena a denier has a chance in, is the public debate, where they can use the gish gallop technique.

Talk back radio make their living from that.


WUWT and it’s henchmen spammed Jones with FOI when there was no need to.”

Sounds like a pariniod conspiracy theory.

“ Their intention was just to hold up and delay science.”

I thought they were trying to replicate the results of published works. How do you hold up and delay already published papers?

 The subsequent investigations agreed this was their intention.”

If that were true, it would be bigger than “hide the decline” all over the internet.

A few words about well funded machines. There are conservative and libertarian think tanks that are well funded. There are industry funded promotional orginazations. There are also well funded environmental organizations like Greenpeice and the World Wildlife Fund. This blog is probably funded by some sort of environmental foundation. You know what? I’m glad that they are well funded! These ideas need to be brought out into the public to be discussed and debated.

“Sounds like a pariniod conspiracy theory.”

Reality is a scary thing for deniers, hence the denialsm.

“I thought they were trying to replicate the results of published works. How do you hold up and delay already published papers?”

If that was the case, they could have just used the data that availble online the whole time.

“If that were true, it would be bigger than “hide the decline” all over the internet.”

Doesn’t have quite the sensationalist ring.

“A few words about well funded machines. There are conservative and libertarian think tanks that are well funded. There are industry funded promotional orginazations. There are also well funded environmental organizations like Greenpeice and the World Wildlife Fund. This blog is probably funded by some sort of environmental foundation. You know what? I’m glad that they are well funded! These ideas need to be brought out into the public to be discussed and debated”

One has an interest in maximizing short term profit and spreading misinformation, to the detriment of the planets inhabitants. The other has an interest in maximizing the well being of the planets inhabitants & future generations.



If you put someone into the spot light, then perhaps they may be concerned about their appearance.  Hell… put my wife in front of a mirror…  Should I wear this, or should I wear that?

For me, I tend to get pretty scruffy looking and dress in early geek.  Not exactly a positive image.

On the other hand you have stories from the conservatives like Preston Manning who hires PR people (Frank Luntz) to tell him how to dress to make him more publicly acceptable.

I don’t think Libertarianism would have 1/4 of the strength it does if it hadn’t been funded by superrich, most of whom have inherited their wealth. Yeah, there are always people who are grumpy about government. Further, I suspect the Kochs or Mellons mean liberty for very rich; not for the freedom-loving suckers who benefit from their funding.

As an example, New Hampshire has always had an individualistic streak, as embodied in the state logo of a rattlesnake saying, “Don’t tread on me.” There was a relatively strong Libertarian group here in 2000. Then the Free Staters formed, investigated states to find one suitable to take over for a libertarian paradise, and selected New Hampshire, on the basis of its ambient culture, and its small population. So they called on libertarians to move to New Hampshire. Apparently many people received funding to come here. Further, I’ve heard of a now state representative who moved here and has no visible means of support. Work is at hand to identify the Libertarians, John Birchers, and other extra right who infiltrated the state house as “Republicans”. (Libertarians have run as Democrats if they think the Democrats will win.) The new House Majority Leader is actively wishing the Republicans can get the wolves to stop wearing sheep’s clothing.

It is money that is fueling the NH Libertarian’s attempt to take over New Hampshire’s government; it is money that has promoted the general growth of libertarian ideas. True, some people never outgrow reading Ayn Rand.

I think it’s an AND.  I think nuttiness has increased, driven by meny from the superrich and from corporations.

I think that someone who is extremely rich and strongly ideologically motivated  is likely to unintentionally purchase an echo chamber. Someone like that is likely to attract people who will tell them what they want to hear and they end up only listening to those people. I would expect this to have happened to the Koch’s and to people like them. This does not necessarilly mean that their advisors are lieing, just supporting ideas that are far to comfortable.

I’ve read much of Mann’s book and reccommend it. What struck me was the sudden outbursts of denials when major world conferences are scheduled. A very organized effort. Expect it to happen the next time the world gets close to doing something useful about climate warming.

The “strangle the messenger” technique inflicted on Mann and others didn’t work out for Montezuma. Unfortunately, the whole world is at stake now, not just the Aztecs.

and the “take no prisoner” approach.  It became clear to me very early on in my life on the “internets”, that turning the other cheek to the rightwing opposition was little more than an invitation to have you face slapped off.

I also discovered that even if it never results in mutual admiration, it does often result in respect that makes them think twice before locking horns…

I’ve always thought that the reason they decided to try to knock “the Mann” down, was because his hockey stick was so simple in concept and meaning, that even a caveman as they say, could understand it. Unlike the lions he talked about, and the tactic of the zebras, their thinking was to discredit/knock down the simplest sign even the simpletons that follow them could read and grasp the meaning of, and a great deal of the hard work was over in terms of keeping the waters muddied and their minions muddled and ripe for further manipulation.  This is particularly easy when as you’ve long noted, confirmation bias is the sought after ambrosia to feed them with.

This is precisely why they installed Gore as the titular head of the “Gorebal Warming” movement, which was especially effective given the politically-motivated angles they could inject into it as a result of his “lefty” credentials, as well as the loathing righties already had, making him ripe for such types of exploitation of the issue-discrediting kind.  One can’t help but wonder as I’ve previously noted, what diffs there might be had a Carl Sagan-like figure “manned” the helm instead of Gore.  While there doubt-casting, etc would have surely followed, the direct mixing of a despised political figure (on their side) with a science issue with major political implications, surely had more negative impacts on the rightwingnut minion mind one lacking the burdens Gore brought, would have had, and particualrly if he didn’t have large homes to heat, jets, etc – a large carbon footprint/bauble they could hypnotise the “Morans” with.

And like with Gore, apparently Mann’s appearance has some relevance to the work he’s done as well. I’d bet if they both more closely resembled Adonis, the rightwingnuts would never have questioned their integrity or that of their work.

“An Inconvenient Truth” was/is tremendously influential, despite some unnecessary filler. 

Scientists whose work was featured underwent “investigations”.

Was the hockey stick a good visual? Sure, that’s why Gore used it. How did newly-appointed Cuccinelli come to launch an immediate investigation into Mann’s work at UVa years earlier for ‘civil fraud’? Who* supplied the ‘kook’ with the pseudo-scientific language that went into his legal briefs? How much Va taxpayer dollars went into the kook’s witchhunt that ended when the Virginia Supreme Court dismissed his plea “with prejudice”.

Then the polar bears. Al Gore’s movie made drowned polar bears the poster child for global warming extinction. (Regretably, imo, they’re distant and in a place that almost nobody ever goes to. Not the boy next door.) 

The author of the paper who saw the drowned polar bears has been endlessly investigated for, er, what? You can’t tell from the inane questions legal staff asked him. (Google on PEER and Monnett to see the transcripts.) In the meantime, his career has been trashed. His co-author got uneasy with the earlier attacks and bailed out of that job. Smart.

Not a coincidence, in my view, that off-the-wall attacks have come on the guys whose work Gore dramatized. 

*Who? I’m guessing it was S**F**Singer. He writes like that. Anybody got an author checking computer program?

“Why Climate Denialists are Blind to Facts and Reason: The Role of Ideology”
by Johnny Rook

“Your adversary will deny the facts, cherry pick the scientific evidence for bits of data that, taken out of context, support his/her denialist view, or drag out long-debunked counter-arguments in the hope that they are unfamiliar to you and that you will not be able to refute them. If you succeed in countering all of his arguments he will most likely reword them and start all over again.

The answer is simply that you are operating off of a mistaken premise. You think that the question of whether or not climate change is real and has an anthropogenic (human) cause is a question to be answered by application of an open mind, research, facts, and critical thinking. Isn’t that how scientists approach these problems? They’re skeptical and critique each others work, discaring ideas which fail to stand up to scrutiny by their colleagues and replacing them with ones that better describe the facts.

Denialists, however, have no interest in facts except as weapons in an ideological struggle. They don’t even care if “facts” are correct or not, since their intention is not to establish that something is true or false, but rather to win a battle in an ideological war.

I’m not talking about people who are skeptical only because they are uninformed about the issue. Nor, am I talking about scientists who disagree with other scientists over the details of global warming.

For conservative/libertarian ideologues who compose the overwhelming majority of denialists, Climaticide is just such a case. If a conservative/libertarian ideologue were to accept global warming as real then he/she would be forced to admit that the problem is so big and so complex that government action is required to deal with it. But for an conservative/libertarian ideologue that is impossible because he/she believes that government is the cause of ALL problems and that the solution to all problems is “freedom”.

Denialists frequently make this attitude explicit when they accuse the “liberals” concerned about climate change of having invented it as an excuse to expand government. The latest version of this tactic that I’ve encountered is that none of the science in support of global warming need be taken seriously because it is the product of government-paid scientists who are only doing their bureaucratic masters’ bidding, apparently forgetting that the current “masters” are themselves Climaticide denialists. (Bush was President when he wrote this)

Government science is corrupt science because it’s government science. “Scientists” in the pay of the oil and gas industries on the other hand are free of this corruption because they are doing science for the capitalist heroes who defend our ‘freedom’.”

We have reviews in which your corporate peers (not pals) will look over your work and critique it.

Let me tell you the story about the engineer who faked his data. This is a true story. and the punch line was the manager’s ‘reference’ for this engineer.  “Putrid f***ing sack of s**t single handedly destroyed this company, and bankrupted it!“  (How would you like that on your resume?)

So the engineer in question was repeatedly asked why there were issues with USB electronics.  He denied there was any issue and continued as though it was all someone else’s fault.  Finally his manager took the time to double check basic voltages, and errata… There were issues all over the place, but by this time, tech melt down had hit, and it was game over for the company.

Reviews and and disclosure of opinion function on consensus.  Furthermore most engineers don’t have to do anything unless its serious, no matter how many people squawk.  However, professionals look into anything that comes across their plate, and denial should be the last thing you ever hear.  (Detailed explanations of test procedures should make you feel more confident.)


I personally have become active at substantial personal cost with zero funding only because , as a quantitatively educated individual , I was disgusted with the pathetic level of math and physics evident among climate scientists compared to any other branch of applied physics .

The absolute mediocrity and even willful stupidity and fraud I see reenforces my libertarian rejection of centralized state force rationalized , as here , by arrogant ignorance .

We’re 10 degrees warmer that a gray ball in our orbit having increased from about 288 to 288.8 , 0.3% , while CO2 , which is provably greening the planet has gone up by a third .  From those basic facts , it’s twisted to predict anything other than a greener planet ahead .

 Like you know what these are:

      Navier-Stokes equations of fluid flow

      Chandrasekar radiative transfer equation

      primitive equations of atmospheric models


or maybe you can recognize a partial differential equation when you see it?

So… Ivar knows nothing of Climate Science…. Check!

Must be a Heartland or Cato expert… Check!

Shame he doesn’t know anything.

@ GLS :  Yes .  See .  I’m an APL programmer .

I’ve wanted to get my copy of “Radiative Transfer” back from my niece who graduated in physics and applied math from Boulder last year , but she’s currently in Namibia .

But on a more basic level , do we have common ground in agreeing that :

We’re 10 degrees warmer that a gray ball in our orbit having increased from about 288 to 288.8 , 0.3% , while CO2 , which is provably greening the planet has gone up by a third [ from about 3 molecules per 10,000 of atmosphere to 4 ] .

Do you agree that it takes a pretty radical non-linearty to predict anything substantially different than another 0.8 degrees warming from another molecule per 10k of air if we add again the total CO2 we’ve added since the industrial revolution which has so increased the world’s standard of living , indeed , even lifespan ?

Can you put me in my place by stating in a couple of equations how to calclulate the temperature of a radiantly heated colored ball ?

@ AnOilMan : Don’t know much about Glaever , but Climate Science is just a branch of applied physics and , starting with the claim of a 33c greenhouse effect , is pathetic compared to any other field , eg , semiconductors .

 & how are you at reading ?  Where do I use the word ‘physicist” ?


Just curious… but .8k is a horrific huge number.  And that was talking about land surface. 

Oceans are an entirely different matter.  They are heating, and we do use water for a coolant for a reason.  It stores a LOT of heat.

As much as I enjoy your random ramblings an innane claims… could you provide links?

Let me be really clear.  I’m used to this tactic from climate change deniers.  No links.  Where as scientists and technical types (people who write papers) tend to provide lots of links.  When you read a paper its full of references to other papers and so on.

This banal technique from climate deniers marks them instantly, and puts my hackles up.

“Hi! I’m Bob!  I’m a Naval Engineer, and I can tell you all this climate science stuff is garbage!”

Spare me, I’ve heard it all before.

Furthurmore how come you can’t write a scientific paper yourself.  Seriously.. if its all hoopla, write a paper and submit it for critique.  There are plenty of Journals willing to print material even if it isn’t mainstream.  I’m sure the world at large would be happy to be let in on your little secret.

@ AnOilMan .

You apparently don’t even know than 0.8 kelvin the same as 0.8c . Where I live at 2500 meters altitude , the diurnal variation is 20 times that .

But nuances of data are pointless when the most basic understanding of the physics is lacking . My comments are so damn basic that asking for links is just embarrassing .

You are an example of the finding of the recent Yale study that the less scientifically knowledgeable you are , the more susceptible you are to this nonscience .


So… you’re going to use big words to impress people?  You know what? I think you’re being supercilious.

Which recent Yale study was that Bubba?  There are so many you know.  Who was the author?  Do tell…

Just the words that come to mind .

Check ClimateDepot or search for the study . It’s been getting lots of play recently because it came to exactly the result not desired . It was supposed to show that the way to get the population to swallow that the molecule out of which they are made is evil was to teach them more science .

But , as that simple point that we are only 10 degrees warmer than a gray ball in our orbit , and the total change since the invention of the thermometer has been well less than 1 degree , it works in the other direction .



I’m tired of it.  Find the paper and the link to it. ClimateDepot is not a journal, and clearly a political organization.  I’m only interested in the science.

Just so you know… Physicists don’t talk that way.

Marc Morano’s site is a central clearing house for links to items in any way related to to the CO2 controversy .  That’s its power . It linked to several articles about the Yale report .

I see no evidence that you have any ability to understand any science . I would be curious how far you got in math – because in the end , that’s what will rule .

… but I declined and went into engineering.  (I’ve noticed that very few people drop out and into engineering.)

I’m a Professional Engineer, and I am authorized by law to apply science to solve real world problems.

I have a patent in chemistry using a math trick to solve a problem that was previously unsolveable.  So, I’m used to taking flack from the folks who just haven’t seen any real science in a long long time.  I’ve heard it all before…

By the way I used a math trick last Thursday and I was thinking of patenting it.  However I’m reasonably certain that no one in the industry can reverse engineer it.  The Oil and Gas industry just isn’t that smart.

Remember!  3 in 100 climate scientists don’t think Global Warming is real!

Given your background , I don’t understand your continual appeal to authority .  Real 21st century peer review is happening right here , right now on these blogs .

Given your background , you should be able to evaluate my work ( unfunded ) so far on Heartland’s  ClimateWiki - Category:Essential Physics , . It takes a very classical physics approach . Perhaps you could translate some of the most essential expressions into less arcane computer language than the APL evolute I work in .

Its a common misconception that you can somehow have just any old person review a document and come to a reasonable conclusion.  You can not.

Bloggers are not in any way a substitute for peer review.  That’s just common sense.

So… let take a look at what happens if you don’t have peer review;

Now lets take a look at what happens if you do;

In what way are you (an APL programmer) a peer to Hansen?  You have 40 years of studying climate science under your belt?  As an APL programmer?  Impressive….  Dendro Paleoclimatology is right up your alley?

Why don’t YOU look at my initial work at and my more extensive work at .

I’ve tried to write for the bright high school student , who , if a competent programmer , should be able to code and confirm the computations in the language of their choice . Certainly anybody with the math background you claim should find it elementary .

It’s only gotten thru the computation of the energy density and corresponding temperature of points in our orbit , but that explains 97% of our temperature .

The next step is adding the couple of lines of code to calculate temperatures for arbitrary spectra . But as I’ve said , I’m just an array language programmer attacking this on time taken from other priorities , so I’ll wait till someone feeds me spectra , or spectral maps of interest to them .

Hansen , the guy who calls the coal trains which power life in Colorado nazi death trains ! You’re joking , right ? He’s a bigger nut than Gore and spouts drivel like tipping points
 with apparently no idea what he’s talking about . He’s an utter embarrassment to your cause .

“ Why don’t YOU look at my initial work at and my more extensive work at .”

Why don’t you just publish a peer reviewed paper on climate science then if you think you are onto something? Instead of ranting away on a blog?

“Marc Morano’s site is a central clearing house for links to items in any way related to to the CO2 controversy .”

Usually deniers stay away from blatant political sites and quote right wing blogs in disguise like WUWT. But this one has no shame in hiding that his stance is entirely political and confirmation bias is his guiding light.

Lawrence Hamilton! One escaped!


Bob Armstrong — Study Ray Pierrehumbert’s “Principles of Planetary Climate”

at least through chapter 6.  Then you’ll actually know some (starter) climatology.  Its not for the faint of heart or the lazy.

I didn’t see a quantitative development of , in particular , the claim that one can construct a ball ( Venus ) whose interior comes to a higher temperature than that calculated by Stefan-Boltzmann & Kirchhoff for the radiation impinging on it .  Such a notion violates the impossibility of creating a perpetual heat engine .

I will take another look at it tho . But he’s no Chandrasekar .


treats Venus rather nicely, along with other bodies which have atmospheres.

And there is not ‘preprint’.  At one time some draft chapters were on his website.

I would think it obvious that draft is what I meant .

I’m not going to drop 70+ bucks on a speculative purchase when I don’t remember even seeing any equations in the draft .  A long standing bitch if you will I have of the AGW crowd is that I have never been able to find an open web source of the supposed quantitative science .

If you understand his computations for venus – they certainly shoulcn’t take more than a few equations – perhaps you could post them here , or point us to a non-pay-walled site which presents them .

I’d be quite interested in implementing them in the very succinct languages that I workk in so I can play with them and explore the space of parameters which create balls with higher internal temperatures than that computed for the energy flows at their surface .

Incedentally , the computations I present at should be easily translatable to Python which Pierrehumbert appears to use . I’ve set up tables to be fleshed out with other languages as people volunteer them .


plenty of equations.  The book is well worth the price.

Alternatively, convince a nearby lending library to acquire a copy,  I did.

Again , if you understand what he’s saying , why can’t you summarize the essential equations here ?  Math is not copywritable .

How do youall expect to convince quantitatively educated individuals in this web age if your case is not freely available to the connected global masses at a web search ?  All I have ever found is the amateurish 33c irrelivancy on some Wikipedia pages .  You are clearly losing this battle .

I guess the work I’ve initiated , unfunded spare time effort tho it is , on the Heartland ClimateWiki will beat youall to it and force youall to play catch-up .

Its a 600+ page book.  Quit stalling and go study it.

You clearly need it in ordeer to avoid the most elementary errors in the study of a difficult subject, atmospheric physics.

Surely why a sphere with an atmosphere attound it inhibiting re-radiation would be warmer than a similar one with no such atmosphere is elementary. It’s surface will reach a temperature at which it ratiates as much heat as it recieves. If the incoming radiation does not change and some of the outgoing radiation is absorbed ad re-radiated, half into space and half back to the sphere then surely the temperature needed to reach thermal equilibrium will be higher than it would be if there was nothing intercepting re-radiation to space. It is simple logic.

And your talk of a perpetual heat engine is nonsense. The spheres described are open systems with heat continually supplied from elsewhere.

Your claimed errors are too elementary not to have gotten caught by the large number of people working on the climate if you had been right.

Our atmosphere is relatively only as thick as thick layer of paint on a ping pong ball . An atmosphere , per se , will not change the temperature of a planet . It will reduce the variance of the temperature , and CO2 has a significant role transferring heat from the sunny ground to the atmosphere where it keeps us warm at night .

In any case the temperature of the lumped earth and atmosphere together can be calculated given the spectrum as seen from the outside .

But , on the Heartland site , I only present the computation of the energy density in our orbit which corresponds to a temperature of about 279k . That’s unequivocal .

The 10 degrees we are warmer than that is undoubtedly explained by our color , our non gray ( non-flat ) spectrum .  As I’ve said , give me a spectrum for the sun and for the ball , and I’ll give you the ball’s equilibrium temperature . That is a computation which appears to be beyond the education of most people spouting on both sides in these blog wars altho it’s definitely high school level math ( aside from the proof of Stefan-Boltzmann itself ) .

I find it typical and significant that you neither offer nor point to any equations quantifying your assertions .

If there is some way to construct a sphere such that the interior comes to a higher temperature than that calculated based on its radiant heat sources and its surface spectrum , then you could continually “pipe” energy from its center to its exterior in excess of that exterior energy density . I believe this can be proved by a straight forward application of Stokes theorem analogous to such proofs in another field of applied physics , electrostatics  .  Intuitively , consider if instead of being heated by a hundred-thousanth of its sky like Venus is , that same energy equivalent to about 328 degrees were spread uniformly around its celestial sphere . That is , consider a ball uniformly irradiated from all directions . Do you seriously contend that you can design a ball whose center will get and stay hotter than its exterior without an internal heat source ?

T’ain me that’s made errors . In fact I’m taking the traditional approach of physics and analyzing the simple , experimentally testable situations first , ie , opaque balls . But if you don’t quantitatively understand the basics first , you are not doing science . You can see my planned syllabus on the Heartland site . I expect to have input from some old NASA and other experts by the time I get to such issues as the vertical structure of the atmosphere . ( You know there are a lot of astronauts and other NASA people pissed at the nonscience which has been coming out of the place in recent years . )

WOW, I have seen a lot of rubbish posted by AGW deniers in the name of science but this load of verbal diarrhea is the worst case I have read in a long time.

What is it that gives these ignorant people the belief that if they string a load of fancy sounding “sciency” words into incomprehensible sentences that they are doing science? Of course the great unwashed and ignorant followers (the Wattsupians and Bishop Shills etc) lap this sort of stuff up by the bucketful. They are so stupid that they do not realize that by nodding their heads in acceptance of this rubbish they are just shooting themselves in the foot since it just makes their ignorance of science so much more apparent.

Armstrong has been spamming his rubbish at many science sites for the past couple of years. He no more knows science than a cuckoo clock can lay eggs.