Michael Mann asks for climate money

Who will provide communication expertise and leadership for the science community?

Referred to at The Reference Frame.

Michael Mann is an effective communicator.  If we follow the series of answers he gives, you can notice how he builds his case for increased funding for “scientists to defend themselves”. It is simultaneously illustrative, however slight it be, of paranoid patterns in his thought process. Nevertheless, the overall message of seeking funds appears more than once, perhaps twice during the whole interview, via interjected comments in answers to questions that have nothing whatsoever in relation to funds of any kind.

Nature, in its first editorial addressing Climategate directly, made the same point. One December 3 last year, the unsigned editorial said:

Governments and institutions need to provide tangible assistance for researchers facing such a burden.

This is not the first time Nature wanted to ‘protect’ climate scientists. More specifically, this is not the first time Nature wanted to protect Mann. The relevant passage is (since this article may be behind a pay wall):

Nature: Do you think individual scientists such as Mann need to be better protected against pressure from politicians?

RK Pachauri: The IPCC cannot do that. But Mann and his colleagues are distinguished, independent scientists who are able to explain their points of view.

The hockey stick doesn't look like it anymore

The broad contours of what Mann thinks of the climate debate controversies vis a vis the skeptics, can be surmised from this own words in the recent Benshi interview.

[1] So I think it is very clear that this is the method of attack that the climate-denial-lobby is using…

[2] I had become very much aware of the climate change denial machine because I was an object of their attacks.

[3] there were various climate change reports produced by government scientists which were being edited and altered by political appointees to downplay the climate change threat. So our own experiences were taking place within the context of a larger anti-climate science effort.

With Mann, we can thus observe from his own words, that the early part of the past decade was a period of climate antagonism, when suspicions were birthed and nurtured.

[4] …there was perhaps a sense that we had moved past the false notion of there being a debate on the reality of climate change.

[5] Absolutely. I can tell you, having communicated to many of my colleagues my deep concern that there was a false complacency.

[6] But there were warning signs. Those of us who were looking saw them. There was still a very well-funded, well-organized campaign.

The second phase is the time around 2005-2007. This was the period when everybody in the climate community relaxed but not Mann.


[7] that there is a war being fought against the climate science and scientists,

[8] if others don’t step in and assist in that war, their cause could be lost.

[9] And now people are realizing this, and if they don’t step up and assist the scientific community, their own interest in seeing meaningful action to combat climate change could be in jeopardy.

The third phase is of course, the present phase – all-out war! It is the time for combat. Or else, the cause could be lost.

Mann may be in the habit of repeatedly making unverifiable claims of ‘denier funding’ and may even turn out successful in acquiring funds on the basis of that fear-mongering. But it is critical to realize how behind the ground realities such skewed patterns of thinking have become.