Letter in Wall Street Journal

The reasons that climatologist Michael Mann is as successful as he is are multiple:

1. He told the United Nations something that it was dying to hear (he offered certainty when all else saw uncertainty)
2. He has brought serious money to the universities that house him (and run cover for him)
3. He is an extremely talented propagandist

I discuss this in a letter just published by The Wall Street Journal.

Although Michael Mann has the ear of the media in the United States and the United Kingdom, at a minimum, he complains of sailing into the wind of special-interest disinformation. Alas, this is its own potent form of disinformation.

(Please let it serve as the occasion when you choose to buy and enjoy my book, available for Kindle and in paperback.)

Letter follows:

My Oily Millions

In Anne Jolis’s review of “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars” (“The Climate Kamikaze,” Weekend Books, March 16), Miss Jolis notes that “In his book, [Michael] Mann dubs the unauthorized release of his emails a ‘crime’ and claims that the ensuing ‘witch hunt’ constituted ‘the most malicious’ of ‘attack after vitriolic attack against us’ by the ‘corporate-funded denial machine.’ “

The reviewer summarizes Mr. Mann’s incessant claim of big-oil bullying perfectly. This indeed is, as the expression goes, how Mr. Mann rolls. And it’s true not just about Mr. Mann and his emails, but about nearly every instance of anyone daring to question the version of climate science promulgated by Mr. Mann.

This is all a bit hard to take. I myself am a skeptical blogger and author, yet I am in no way funded by Big Oil. In fact, my three-and-a-half years of toiling on the subject of climate change has yielded approximately $4,000 worth of income. I’m not proud of this fact as a father, husband or man, but it does undercut the constant conspiracy theories about funding behind global-warming skepticism. Meanwhile, as I’ve noted elsewhere, mainstream climate scientists themselves have received grants totalling more than $1 billion from Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP and other large energy companies.

Mr. Mann’s book largely sticks to the familiar conclusions of climate science. Readers might be interested to learn that the current interglacial period, the Holocene, is the coolest of the last five. The one before ours, the Eemian, which ran between approximately 130,000 and 115,000 years ago, likely saw temperature averages of 2° Celsius warmer than today, and sea levels about 15 feet higher. Climatologically, if humans could time-travel to the most ideal time to live on Earth, we would be unlikely to find a better moment than right now. The Holocene, including and especially our own moment within it, is a beautiful climactic nest.

As for those who would convince the public that the sky is falling, one has to ask: Who benefits from such frightening claims?

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About Harold Ambler

I am a lifelong environmentalist. I started my journalism career at The New Yorker, where I worked as a copy editor. Since then, my own work has appeared in The New York Daily News, The National Review Online, The Atlantic Wire, The Huffington Post, The Berkeley Daily Planet, The Providence Journal, Brown Alumni Monthly, The Narragansett Times, Rhode Island Monthly, and Providence Business News.
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6 Responses to Letter in Wall Street Journal

  1. klem says:

    I too have been toiling on the climate change batte for 4 years, and as yet I have not made one cent. Not one.

  2. klem says:

    The reason I continue the battle, while not making one cent, is for my children. I want them to live as free as possible, not having to live under laws which control carbon and which force them to become carbon traders.

    The prosepct of someday seeing my children issued a carbon credit card was the final straw. It would start in the Uk but it was destined to spread everywhere. So I continue the fight. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2006/dec/11/uk.greenpolitics

  3. Alex says:

    This is a carbon planet. Life is carbon based, energy is carbon based while our future is set to be based on carbon technology: Carbon fibres, carbon reinforced concrete, carbon wires and cables for transmission of electrical power, carbon electrical energy storage systems to replace lead batteries…..

    The carbon haters are life haters…..

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