View Single Post
Old 10-29-2018, 08:38 PM   #3514 (permalink)
Vman455's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Champaign, IL
Posts: 1,869

Pope Pious the Prius - '13 Toyota Prius Two
Team Toyota
90 day: 49.2 mpg (US)

Tycho the Truck - '91 Toyota Pickup DLX 4WD
90 day: 20.81 mpg (US)
Thanks: 197
Thanked 1,680 Times in 887 Posts
Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
I had never heard of the criticism of the hockey stick before, or of Michael Mann. Turns out there is some controversy out there, and both Canadian and US courts dropped Mann's defamation of character lawsuits when he failed to supply his source climate data during the discovery phase of the lawsuit. There was a claim that it was proprietary information, though that is disputed because Mann obtained the data while working with government money, meaning all of the research should be public information.

I've not dived very deep into this yet, but I'm wondering if this has already been discussed in the past 3,500 posts? It seems strange that 1. The lawsuits were dropped due to failing to produce data during discovery, which implies something unflattering to the case might exist, and 2. that Mr. Mann retains his reputation as an unbiased climate change scientist. It seems both outcomes are incompatible.
I was very disappointed in a lecture by Dr. Mann that I attended exactly two weeks ago. It was very light on data, and contained no citations. Here's the write up I submitted for extra credit in one of my science classes:

"I wasn’t sure what to expect going in to this lecture. I was already familiar with Dr. Mann from his 2012 book, The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, and knew that he is a frequent guest on television news programs; however, since he was speaking today to a specialized audience as part of a conference geared toward scientists and students, I think I was hoping his remarks would be heavy on the science of global climate change. Dr. Mann did touch on some of that, but most of his remarks were about general trends in the climate and human activities. For example, he claimed that if you remove human contributions, the atmosphere should have cooled over the last half-century left to natural factors alone—but provided no source or citation in his slides. The few charts he displayed had no attribution, like the graph of projected Arctic sea ice area from 1960-2100 overlaid with actual sea ice area 1960-2015. I was disappointed in this aspect of his lecture; most of his slides displayed newspaper headlines, very few had actual data, and those that did had no citation.

Dr. Mann did mention the recently-published IPCC Special Report, saying that it skews conservative in its projections. “Uncertainty is not our friend,” he said, “In many cases observed trends are happening faster or are of greater magnitude than models predicted.” He also said that geoengineering proposals—to sequester carbon dioxide, reflect sunlight, or create more arable land—are an attempt to cover up one problem with another, a “crutch and misguided.” I agree with that assessment, as human interference in environmental processes can have far-reaching implications that are not immediately apparent and are subject to delayed feedback loops.

What I did not agree with is Dr. Mann’s assessment, “While we have not made the progress we may have hoped for, there is reason for cautious optimism.” He made it clear that this optimism rests on a rapid increase in renewable energy sources. But, as I learned two weeks ago at Dr. Ruzic’s lecture [I attended a lecture at the beginning of October by the Director of the Plasma and Molecular Engineering Department at UI on hydraulic fracturing], renewable sources in the US currently make up just 2.7% of our energy supply, despite their exponential growth over the last three decades. I just don’t see any reason for optimism there, especially in light of the IPCC SR that predicts warming of over 1.5C unless carbon dioxide emissions are reduced worldwide by 45% or more by 2030.

“In a vacuum [no climate deniers or climate-denying media such as the Wall Street Journal] we would have solved this problem already.” This statement left me flabbergasted. I looked around the room—effectively, our world in microcosm—and saw more than a hundred people, all of whom are wearing clothes made in Asia, who traveled by car and/or airplane to get here, sitting in a climate-controlled and lighted facility that took untold amounts of energy in its construction, who will go home and eat out-of-season foods, some of which are shipped halfway around the world to reach us, and all of it powered by fossil fuel energy; and these are people who all accept the reality of global climate change and its anthropogenic origins! The problem is us, or more accurately the conglomeration of billions of daily individual actions. I see no reason to share Dr. Mann’s “cautious optimism,” and after the lecture, I find myself thinking that perhaps it is time for the cautious optimists to sit down and let the total pessimists have a turn."

The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Vman455 For This Useful Post:
aerohead (10-30-2018), redpoint5 (10-29-2018), sendler (10-29-2018), Xist (10-29-2018)