19 December 2010

AGU hall of fame: Michael Mann

At AGU there lurks a bigshot in every corner. And even the biggest of the big are around. So big that every educated person in the world should know who they are. I had the pleasure of attending presentations by a number of these. And I’ll try to share that.

Michael Mann, that one could possibly call Mr. Hockey stick, was there too. Does he need introduction? He published the hockey stick, and some acidic climate sceptics found some statistically debatable issues in it, they decided that as it was imperfect it was wrong, and as it was wrong all climate science that indicates anthropogenic warming is wrong too. He’s been hit hard by the sceptic community. Right-wing bullies try to get in his way all the time. The US government at one point demanded all his data and all relevant documentation. What? The guy’s been in science for decades! It’s like asking any adult person to account for their entire financial conduct since adulthood. Nobody could do that. But Mann fights on, counters drivel by the likes of Sarah Palin in big newspapers, fends off legal action against him (these actions are chanceless as he’s clean, but they do take much of his precious time, and that seems to be the point), and still looks fresh and enthusiastic. Kudos! I am an insignificant pawn in climate science communication, and I already get entirely discouraged by brainless responses from time to time, but thinking of what Mann had thrown at him while he doggedly continues will give me renewed tenacity.

Mann, by the way, is one of the founders of RealClimate. All you ever wanted to know about climate, written by actual scientists, and more! And he, as well, wrote a book. Ask Santa for it!

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