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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Inhofe, Horner, McIntyre and Watts fabricate another phony “despicable smear” against Michael Mann

[Dear Readers, I don't know about you all, but I am really getting tired of the incessant attempts to smear the reputation of Michael Mann and others.  These deniers are among the most vicious and immoral people imaginable -- they must also be incredibly stupid because they would rather do what they do than move the discussion forward about what to do to save our planet's atmosphere for our descendants (or even some of you readers, if you are young enough and long-lived).  The future is not going to be pretty.  We are already beyond the point of stopping a great deal of the change that is coming.  The hope remains that we can halt total devastation. But these denier jerks stand in the way. They will carry their shame for the rest of their days because there is now nothing they could possibly do to redeem themselves unless they were to come forward and admit what they are doing and who is paying them to do it.  But these people are scum, and I doubt they have either the intelligence or heart to do so.  They will become societal outcasts.  The rest of us have to keep trying to find ways to overcome the Climate Denial Machine and get things going in the right direction.  Tenney  ]

by Joseph Romm, Climate Progress, March 9, 2011
Let’s see if any of the serial disinformers have the minimal human decency to put up a full retraction of their falsehoods [so far the answer is no].  I have Mann’s response at the end.

Last month we saw the umpteenth exhaustive investigation of the stolen emails that ended up vindicating the science and the scientists, this time by NOAA’s IG.   “Inspector General’s Review of Stolen Emails Confirms No Evidence of Wrong-Doing by NOAA Climate Scientists,” as NOAA’s release put it.

A bunch of widely discredited pro-pollution scientist-smearers — Anthony “shout them down” Watts, Chris Horner, Marc Morano, Steve McIntyre — have spun a partially leaked transcript from the IG investigation into a bunch of libelous falsehoods.  Sen. Inhofe has now reposted those stories on the Senate EPW website (here).  The most plausible theory is that Inhofe himself leaked the information to right-wing fabricators so he could quote those stories (see below).

Sadly, no matter how many times Dr. Michael Mann has been vindicated, there will always be those who think libelous smears against one of the country’s leading climate scientists is their best strategy.  Such people deserve to be widely condemned — especially since their lies are primarily aimed at undermining efforts to preserve the health and well-being of billions of human beings.

UPDATE:  The disinformers almost made me forget that the whole point of their smears is to distract attention from the science, specifically the increasingly strong scientific vindication of Mann’s original Hockey Stick analysis.  Multiple independent analyses reveal that recent warming is unprecedented in magnitude and speed and cause. The rate of human-driven warming in the last century has exceeded the rate of the underlying natural trend by more than a factor of 10, possibly much more.  And warming this century on our current path of unrestricted greenhouse gas emissions is projected to cause a rate of warming that is another factor of 5 or more greater than that of the last century.  As WAG notes, within a few decades, nobody is going to be talking about hockey sticks, they will be talking about right angles (or hockey skates, see figure above) — when they are done cursing our greed and myopia and gullibility in the face of polluter-funded disinformation, that is.

”A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” — Mark Twain
That’s how Prof. Scott Mandia begins his post, “Lie by Usual Suspects Traveling Around the World – Demand Retraction,” which I will excerpt below.
Michael Mann NEVER deleted any emails nor did he ever ask anybody to delete emails.
The well-known truth:
It is has been known for more than a year that Phil Jones sent Dr. Mann an email asking him to ask Dr. Eugene Wahl to delete emails, and that Dr. Mann did no such thing. Dr. Mann forwarded Jones’ email directly to Dr. Wahl without comment, believing Wahl had the right to see that email.
Mann did not ask Wahl to delete emails, a fact that has been confirmed by both Mann (many times, including an email below) — and now by Dr. Wahl himself, in this official reply:
The Daily Caller blog yesterday contained an inaccurate story regarding a correspondence that was part of the emails hacked from East Anglia University Climate Research Unit (CRU) in November 2009.
For the record, while I received the email from CRU as forwarded by Dr. Mann, the forwarded message came without any additional comment from Dr. Mann; there was no request from him to delete emails. At the time of the email in May 2008, I was employed by Alfred University, New York. I became a NOAA employee in August 2008.
The emails I deleted while a university employee are the correspondence I had with Dr. Briffa of CRU regarding the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, all of which have been in the public domain since the CRU hack in November 2009. This correspondence has been extensively examined and no misconduct found. As a NOAA employee, I follow agency record retention policies and associated guidance from information technology staff.
Dr. Eugene R. Wahl
March 9, 2011
Mandia runs through the false statements, insinuations, and smears (you can go to his website for all the links if you really want to subject yourself to the original, defamatory posts):
Anthony Watts has this post written by Steven Mosher highlighted on his blog:
“Sources confirm that a federal inspector has questioned Eugene Wahl and Wahl has confirmed that Mann asked him to delete emails. Wahl has also informed the inspector that he did delete emails as the result of this request.”
Flat-out untrue, and Mosher has shown no evidence to support that claim.  Mosher, in that same blog post, shows the excerpt from the Penn State investigation that was also featured by Chris Horner.  That excerpt reveals that Dr. Mann said he did not delete emails.  So, Steven Mosher, which is it?  Are you lying or can you not read your own writing?
Watts actually put a note atop this Tuesday post, “Note: this will be a ‘top post’ for a day or two.”  This is precisely his idea of a ‘top’ post.

Anthony Watts has, perhaps more than any other leading anti-science blogger, viciously smeared scientists and urged his readers to do the same (see Watts urges WattsUpWithThat readers to disrupt Forbes blog: “shout them down in the comments section”).
Chris Horner writes: ”Wahl says Mann did indeed ask Wahl to destroy records, and Wahl did.”
Flat-out untrue, and Horner has shown no evidence to support that claim.  In fact, Chris Horner himself in an earlier article states that Dr. Mann said he did not delete emails.  So, Chris Horner, which is it?  Are you lying or can you not read your own writing?
Chris Horner, in addition to writing for The Daily Caller, is an attorney who has represented the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). CEI is no friend of the truth but has been very friendly with ExxonMobil and Koch Industries, among others.
This is nothing new for Horner, who has also falsely “accused NASA’s chief climate scientist, James Hansen, of “doctor[ing] temperature data on two occasions in 2001 and once in 2007 in attempts to show an impending climate catastrophe.”

On ClimateAudit, McIntyre published the leaked partial transcript and writes: 

“From Capitol Hill come excerpted notes from the interview transcript between the NOAA Inspector General and Eugene Wahl.”

Horner writes here of the leaked transcript, “This has been confirmed to Senate offices.”

So it would appear that the source is a Senator.   And what a shock that Sen. Inhofe was the fastest to repost these lies.  And what a shock that one of his former staffers was one of the fastest to repost these lies — though, in fairness to Marc “Swift Boat smearer” Morano, I’m quite certain he would have reposted these lies no matter what the source (see Even now, ClimateDepot’s Marc Morano reiterates his call for a “hostile reaction” to climate scientists).

Let me give the final word to one of the country’s leading climate scientists, Michael Mann:
The claim by fossil fuel industry lobbyist Chris Horner in his “Daily Caller” piece that I told Eugene Wahl to delete emails is a fabrication – a lie, and a libelous allegation. My only involvement in the episode in question is that I forwarded Wahl an email that Phil Jones had sent me, which I felt Wahl needed to see. There was no accompanying commentary by me or additional correspondence from me regarding the matter, nor did I speak to Wahl about the matter.
This is, in short, a despicable smear that, more than anything else, speaks to the depths of dishonesty of professional climate change deniers like Chris Horner, Marc Morano, Stephen McIntyre, and Anthony Watts.
UPDATE:  RealClimate has a post that explains some of the background in more detail:
So what is the actual issue at the heart of this? A single line in the IPCC AR4 report (p466) which correctly stated that “Wahl and Ammann (2006) also show that the impact [of the McIntyre and McKitirck critique] on the amplitude of the final reconstruction [by MBH98] was small (~0.05 °C)”. This was (and remains) true. During the drafting, Keith Briffa corresponded with Eugene Wahl and others to ensure that the final text was accurate (which it was). Claims from McIntyre that this was not allowed under IPCC rules are just bogus – IPCC authors can consult with anyone they like at any time. However, this single line, whose inclusion made no effective difference to the IPCC presentation, nonetheless has driven continuing harassment of everyone involved for no good purpose whatsoever. Wahl and Ammann did show that MM05 made no substantial difference to the MBH reconstruction, whether it got said in the IPCC report or not.

That this inconvenient fact has driven hundreds of blog posts, dozens of fevered accusations, a basket load of FOI requests, and stoked multiple fires of manufactured outrage is far more a testimony to personal obsession, rather than to its intrinsic importance. The science of paleo-reconstructions has moved well beyond this issue, as has the interest of the general public in such minutiae. We can however expect the usual suspects to continue banging this drum, long after everyone else has gone home.

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