Online journalist and all-around gadfly Scott Ott (a Nittany Lion himself) focused his attention recently upon Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann, of “hockey stick” fame.
His account begins:
Shortly after climate scientist Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann got word that a panel of his Penn State colleagues had cleared him of misconduct in the so-called “climategate” scandal, Prof. Mann was quoted in the British media as saying he believed that his little graph had gained undue attention.
The “hockey stick” graph, which purports to show a sudden uptick in global temperatures during the industrial age, should not have become a “central icon of the climate change debate”, Mann told the BBC. And yet it did, thanks to its appearance in Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth,” as well as in the U.N. report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — both of which employ it to advance the theory of anthropogenic [man-made] global warming.
With the pressure of Penn State’s internal ethics investigation removed, it seemed like a good time to ask Mann what he meant by the remark. My attempt to give him an opportunity to explain his comments, however, wound up reinforcing the public perception that climate scientists, like Mann, don’t see their tax-funded grants, or public university employment, as making them accountable to the public. It paints a picture of an ivory tower academic slinging mud on the little people down below, even as the tower sinks into the mire.
Read the rest here.