Science article recognizes John Mashey

Read time: 3 mins

Updated: With complete list of Mashey Papers

Computer scientist, entrepreneur, periodic DeSmogBlog contributor and “one of the good guys” John Mashey is the subject of an extremely favorable profile this week in Science

Science writer Eli Kintisch looks back over the last couple of years at the research and reports that Mashey has produced. Calling Mashey “an amateur” (which, on the question of climate science, he freely admits to being), Kintisch then looks for some journalistic “balance,” interviewing one person who is defensive and critical in the face of Mashey's work (the confused and compromised physicist Will Happer) and one who is reassured and delighted (“hockey stick” co-author and director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State, Michael Mann).

“Both sides can agree on one thing, however: Mashey has become one of the most visible of a new generation of climate warriors.”Kintisch canvases the reason that Mashey got involved in the first place - why he spends his retirement from designing computer systems by feverishly documenting “climate anti-science.”

“Mashey became upset that they (friends in the climate science community) were being attacked by bloggers and lawmakers and subjected to anonymous threats. '(Science historian) Naomi (Oreskes) is a friend, and she gets death threats. Mike Mann’s a friend, and he gets death threats. It pisses me off,' Mashey says. 'They get harassed and discouraged for doing a good job for everybody’s grandchildren.'”

So, with a computer programer's zest for detail, Mashey wades through the flawed and contradictory material that constitutes the attack on climate science, producing voluminous and carefully credited reports that, in at least one recent case, result in the embarrassment of warriors on the other side of the argument and in a restoration of accuracy in the published record.

The Science article concludes:

“Mashey believes that vanquishing scientists’ foes will serve a higher purpose. 'It’s up to some of the rest of us to help get these guys off your backs so you can do the science,' he tells his scientist allies. He thinks discrediting their opponents also allows society to focus on the biggest problem: the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 'Goal number two is, try to help lessen the impact of climate antiscience on public policy before it commits the U.S. to be an increasingly bad place to live,' he says.”

The Mashey Papers

1) Another Attack on Global Warming’s Scientific Consensus – A Case Study of Personal Harassment and Amplification of Nonsense by the Denialist PR Machine, DeSmogBlog, March 23, 2008, 40p.

2) Science Bypass – Anti-science Petition to APS from folks with SEPP, George C. Marshall Institute, Heartland, DeSmogBlog, Nov. 11, 2009, 128p.

3) Crescendo to Climategate Cacophony - Behind the 2006 Wegman Report and Two Decades of Climate Anti-Science, DeSmogBlog, March 15, 2010, 185p. (CCC)

4) Strange Scholarship in the Wegman Report - A Façade for the Climate Anti-Science PR Campaign, DeepClimate, Sept. 26, 2010, 250p. (SSWR)

5) “Strange Inquiries at George Mason University …and even stranger comments, DeSmnogBlog, Jan. 04, 2011, 45p.  (SIGMU)

6) Strange Tales and Emails: Said, Wegman, Sharabati, Rigsby (2008), DeSmogBlog,  May 26, 2011, 17p.  STaE.

7) Strange Falsifications in the Wegman Report, DeSmogBlog, May 27, 2011, 12p.  SFWR


The Machinery of Climate Anti-Science, April 7, 2011, University of Victoria, B.C., Canada.


Get DeSmog News and Alerts


Thank you for defending the climate scientists from people like Inhofe, Barton, and Cuccinelli.

The arrogant Cuccinelli’s persecution of Dr. Mann is despicable. He has hijacked the office of Attorney General and turned it into a political police like the KGB. He’s just like the KGB–he confuses people with lies and fabricates a “legal” case against Dr. Mann.

This is nothing but legalized lawlessness. Cuccinelli is persecuting Dr. Mann under the color of law.

I voted for Cuccinelli, but I didn’t know then what I know now.

Cuccinelli is the greedy fabricator who is tricking us, not Dr. Mann. Cuccinelli’s father is a career lobbyist for the natural gas industry whose company gave 96,000 to Cucinelli’s campaign. Cuccinelli may also benefit personally from his father’s business.

The father is the head of a marketing company called Quest Fore. He gives presentations to the APGA–the American Public Gas Association.

Dr. Mann’s research has been upheld by several committees of scholars, but Cuccinelli attacks his credibility with this fake Wegman Report.

Wegman and the others should tell how this happened so the American people can find out who put them up to writing this plagiarized report.

The part I still don’t understand is how did they manage to plagiarize Dr. Bradley’s textbook. Since Bradley was one of the targets of the Report, Wegman had to have known that Bradley would notice his book was plagiarized and sometimes reworded to change its meaning. Nobody is that stupid, so how did that happen?

The fact that the text of one of the scientists being criticized was plagiarized shows that the whole Wegman Report is a joke.

Snapple: thanks.
This is covered on p.9 of Strange Falsifications in the WR:
“The WR pages immediately preceding this WR text use (properly-cited) tables from Bradley and the text ends with a (vague) citation to Bradley.
Field experts are much less likely to study introductory material in a long report than are non-experts. An expert might likely:
- see relevant and familiar words
- see a famous textbook mentioned several times
- skim quickly and skip to the seemingly-new results in later WR sections.”

But read p.4 and p.5 to see the WR, and how much came from Bradley.

Footnote 7, Strange Falsifications…” (above) is a bad link. Maybe someone should fix it.

I actually can’t seem to find SFWR right now.

I think that this is the link to the May 27, 2011 SFWR.

Maybe you can fix that in your footnote #7.

Long overdue recognition John, and much deserved. Congrats.

And now we wait for GMU (and the media to take them to task), and wait, and wait….

This morning I watched the GMU-TV. They had a program about climate change and even interviewed Dr. Mann and Dr. Bradley.

At the same time, they don’t seem to be making much progress on the Wegman academic misconduct investigation.

1) Thanks to all for the kind words, but also thank DeSMogBlog for publishing pieces of mine starting years ago and being generally helpful, and regarding the Wegman stuff, we really do owe this to DC.
For various reasons, there have been many connections with British Columbia in all this.

2) Regarding GMU: The Center for Climate Communication is run by Ed Maibach, who Mike Mann has coauthored with, and sends people to AGU. They are OK.

Much of GMU looks like perfectly normal academe, there are just a few departments, some of the institutes (esp. the Koch-funded ones like Mercatus), a few departments, and some of the administration to worry about.