Year 4, Month 10, Day 6: Thank You, Sir — May I Have Another?

PennLive – The Patriot-News – runs a great interview with Michael Mann:

To all the climate-change deniers out there, Penn State meteorology professor Michael Mann has this suggestion:

Stop arguing about whether the globe is warming and whether human pollution from greenhouse gases plays a major role in it. The science on those counts is settled.

Instead, he said, join the debate about what, if anything, the world can — or should — do about it. Is taking action against climate change simply too expensive? Why should we sacrifice given what China and India are doing?

Some critics are asking those questions, he said when interviewed Wednesday in Harrisburg for an event sponsored by PennFuture. And that approach would bring the discussion to “a legitimate level where it’s possible to have a policy debate,” he said. In some ways, I welcome that. We can talk about efficacy, fairness” and other issues.

“If that’s where we really were, we’d be in really good shape,” he said.

Alas, we are not, as a flood of commenters on this article will surely demonstrate. Denialists will bring up out-of-context data points and cite the handful of academically-credentialed dissenters who dispute the overwhelming scientific consensus on the subject.

“There are always devil’s advocates and contrarians in science,” said Mann.

Always a pleasure to stand up for a stand-up guy. September 28:

Even since Dr. Michael Mann first published his findings on the accelerating pace of climate change, he’s come under steady attack from anti-science conservatives. Despite the fact that they’ve come up empty in their search for incriminating evidence of academic malfeasance, these anti-science zealots aren’t abandoning their fruitless crusade.

The recent IPCC report once again demonstrates that the specialists who’ve dedicated their lives to understanding Earth’s climate agree that there is a very serious problem, and that we — all of us — need to talk about it. Unable to refute the rapidly accumulating evidence of the climate crisis, denialist pundits and politicians instead resort to misrepresentations, ad hominem attacks, and statistical cherrypicking.

In the face of a rapidly accelerating crisis, Michael Mann and other climatologists exemplify not just good scientific practice, but the broader virtues of responsible citizenship. They deserve our thanks and respectful attention, not calumnies and abuse.

Warren Senders

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