Mark Steyn: Chance of precipitating the end of your career

I forget how many Democrat candidates last night identified “climate change” as the principal global threat – I think it was 97 per cent of them – but for those minded to question the consensus here’s a cautionary tale from France’s top weatherman. Philippe Verdier is a household name thanks to his daily forecasts. Then he wrote a book criticizing Big Climate:

Every night, France’s chief weatherman has told the nation how much wind, sun or rain they can expect the following day.

…but he never saw this coming: As of Monday, M Verbier has been on an involuntary “holiday”.

Fortunately for me and my career and my own venture into this territory, I don’t think there’s anyone left to sack me.

~One of the many distinguished scientists quoted in my book is Freeman Dyson, the remarkable physicist who was given a lifetime appointment at the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton by Robert Oppenheimer “for proving me wrong”. Professor Dyson is on good form in this interview with The Register. Here’s his answer to a question about why all the climate doom:

It is true that there’s a large community of people who make their money by scaring the public, so money is certainly involved to some extent, but I don’t think that’s the full explanation.

It’s like a hundred years ago, before World War I, there was this insane craving for doom, which in a way, helped cause World War I. People like the poet Rupert Brooke were glorifying war as an escape from the dullness of modern life. [There was] the feeling we’d gone soft and degenerate, and war would be good for us all. That was in the air leading up to World War I, and in some ways it’s in the air today.

Professor Dyson, incidentally, isn’t a frothing right-wing loon like yours truly:

It’s very sad that in this country, political opinion parted [people’s views on climate change]. I’m 100 per cent Democrat myself, and I like Obama. But he took the wrong side on this issue, and the Republicans took the right side.

And so now we have partisan science. Great.

~Speaking of which, when last we heard from “science writer” David Appell, he was falsely accusing me of doctoring a quote.

Whoops, sorry, my mistake. That was the penultimate time we heard from David Appell. The last time we heard from him he was grudgingly apologizing for falsely accusing me of doctoring a quote and instead falsely accusing me and my book of some other error. When it was politely suggested to him that he might want to procure a copy of “A Disgrace to the Profession” before levying all these accusations, Mr Appell protested:

Me, a poor freelancer scratching the floor for grains of wheat.

At which point, several readers offered to buy him the book – and I know at least one of them followed through, because he purchased it for Mr Appell via SteynOnline.

I don’t know whether he ever read it, but he’s now turned his attention to Lynne Cohen, who had the temerity to give it a favorable review, since when Appell has been huffing all over her comments section, demanding she answer his question:

Still waiting for the evidence showing the MWP and LIA were “indisputable.”

So far it seems like your phoned your Steyn review in without being able to back up your assertions. Typical.

That’s rich coming from a guy who phoned in his Steyn review with nothing to back him up but an ugly misogynist sock puppet. As to whether the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age actually occurred, which is what Appell is “disputing”, I refer him to the section of my book titled “Mann Boobs”. Excerpt:

There are peer-reviewed studies by over 750 scientists from over 450 research institutions in over 40 countries that have found a Medieval Warm Period of between 0.1° and 3.2° Celsius warmer than today in every corner of the globe – from Alaska to South Africa, Morocco to New Zealand, Bolivia to China, Egypt to New Guinea… Everywhere they look for it, they find it. But when it’s processed into Mike’s worldwide paleoproxypalooza, it vanishes every time – and don’t you dare question it, because Mike’s whole is always greater than the sum of everybody else’s parts.

We subsequently address certain examples of this – for example, Mann et al 2009’s conclusion that there was no Medieval Warm Period in the northern Tibetan Plateau. Professor Yuxin He and his colleagues comprehensively demolished this absurd contention in their 2013 paper. As I comment on page 212:

Mann is running out of places to find a Medieval non-Warm Period.

Very few things are entirely, absolutely “indisputable”, but the Medieval Warm Period is getting pretty close. Of course, one is still free to dispute it if one so chooses. But as Professor Jonathan Jones says on page 31: Read more here