What has Michael Mann said? There are a series of interviews in 2005 mainly and then again in November-December period of 2009 during Climategate. It is generally true that people’s opinions are honest and straightforward and needing less interpretation during the initial phases of any event or controversy. What they say in private can be taken to be close to their true thoughts too.
As time passes, ideas and the people who hold them change. An initial open-mindedness is usually replaced by a defensive intransigence which is unwilling to concede any ground. What one feels are certain defining points one holds on to steadfastly. Having agreed with a few cosmetic points, one is armed with the rationalization that he or she has succumbed to bargaining enough and nothing further is needed. The expectation that opponents give up on arguing the aforesaid points rises. Which, as expected can never happen. And stances harden further.
That is why the initial phases of any exchange, any conversation are always important. That’s is why what Michael Mann wants to say, for himself, is important. So here it is, a sampling of Michael Mann has to say, 2005 onwards.
To some extent, that’s a value judgment
– ‘On whether global warming is really a problem’, Scientific American, March 2005
It’s sort of like a Hydra—when one of its heads is cut off it merely sprouts another
On the contrarians, attacking the hockey stick, Interview, Mother Jones Magazine, 2005
From an intellectual point of view, these contrarians are pathetic, because there’s no scientific validity to their arguments whatsoever
– On what he thinks about the ‘contrarians’, Scientific American, March 2005
If you talk about a severe flood or drought or heat wave—if climate change expresses itself in those terms—then people can understand climate change much better. So often those advocating for action, which in my personal opinion is advisable, use those sorts of examples out of context to try to make a point.
On exaggerating weather and local events to mean evidence for climate change, Interview Mother Jones Magazine, 2005
As long as they think it works and they’ve got unlimited money to perpetuate their disinformation campaign, I imagine it will go on, just as it went on for years and years with tobacco until it was no longer tenable—in fact, it became perjurable to get up in a public forum and claim that there was no science
– On the climate-change skeptics, Scientific American, March 2005
“Meanwhile, Mann concedes that it is plausible that past temperature variations may have been larger than thought…”
Interview, Nature Magazine, 2005
“Mann is not commenting on Barton’s demands on the advice of his lawyer.”
“Mann’s early departure had to do with his teaching obligations and a limited flight schedule.”
– Reacting on his hurried departure as Steve McIntyre was about to speak at the Wegman Panel, Letter to Science Magazine, 2005
Hopefully this is the beginning of us, as a community, putting that silliness behind us.
– referring to the outcome of the NAS Report, 2006
But reconstructions that only go back 1000 years, as most reconstructions did at the time, didn’t reach far enough back to isolate the beginning of this [medieval warm]period, i.e. they are not long enough to “contain” the interval in question.
I myself have published scientific work that has been considered by some as representing a skeptical point of view on matters relating to climate change
– on why he can be considered a climate change skeptic, DeSmogBlog interview on Climategate, November 2009
The reference to “hide the decline” is referring to work that I am not directly associated with, but instead work by Keith Briffa and colleagues.
-on hiding the decline, DesmogBlog Interview, November 2009
My main interest right now is to make sure that this manufactured controversy does not distract policy makers
Interview with Katie Fehlinger on Climategate, Accuweather.com, before the Copenhagen Conference, December 2009,
I was not pushing ‘hard’ for anything of the sort
–on why he did not emphasise the uncertainties in the hockey stick in the IPCC third assessment report, Wall Street Journal, February 2010