Mann act: 'Hockey stick' scientist returns to UVA

"It's not wrong to be wrong," says Michael Mann, author of the famous "hockey stick graph," the controversial image of a recent spike in global temperatures.

Speaking on the quest for knowledge in a divisive political climate, the climate scientist made his first public return to the University of Virginia since the state's attorney general began suing, trying to see if he committed any fraud when on the faculty. Speaking to a packed lecture hall on January 17, the Penn State professor seemed unfazed by AG Ken Cuccinelli.

"While I've borne costs, I've also borne opportunities," Mann said. "The best way I can get back at my detractors is being the most effective spokesperson I can be."

During the Q&A period, Mann asserted that deniers of climate change have received "far too much prominence" in media reports and that nations such as the U.S. and Australia– perhaps due to their history of "contrarianism" and "the rugged individualist mindset"– have rejected limits on emissions eagerly accepted by European nations.

In keeping with willingness to be wrong, Mann told the crowd in UVA's Clark Hall to remain open to new information.

"We should all be skeptics," he said. "I'd like to think I'm a skeptic."


It is not wrong to be wrong, but it is criminal to lie about being wrong, and worse for a so-called scientist to do so. He deserves no sympathy at all, and deserves prosecution. Why do not other scientists denounce him? Because they are severely diminished by his obvious falsification of the facts? Sounds like a plot to cove their own as.... what scumbags they all are.

While I appreciate the Hook covered the event, I think the opening line of this article - "It's not wrong to be wrong," says Michael Mann, author of the famous "hockey stick graph," the controversial image of a recent spike in global temperatures." - implies his original client model was wrong. While Michael Mann did say "It's not wrong to be wrong." he was referring to an audience question about the research of a UC Berkley professor, and not his original client model. The Hook misleadingly took this quote out of context, which is ironic given that parts of his speech dealt with taking things out of context.

Full video of Michael Mann's talk can be found at:

By the way, the "It's not wrong to be wrong" quote leading off the article could mistakenly be interpreted as Dr. Mann saying that his research on global warming has been wrong. I'm sure this is NOT what Hawes Spencer intended.

The quote comes from a question (at the 53:40 mark on the video), in which Dr. Mann is asked about Dr. Richard Muller of UC-Berkeley, a former skeptic who recently completed a study that ended up confirming the accuracy of the historical temperature reconstructions done by climate scientists. Dr. Mann says that Dr. Muller is an interesting person, and mentions some of his somewhat outlandish ideas over the year. But he comes to his defense, and says: "[Dr. Muller's] bold hypotheses, more often than not, they haven't really stood up to the scrutiny of his fellow scientists. But he's known for putting out bold ideas, which I think is very important in science. There's nothing wrong with being wrong. Putting out a wrong idea ... being wrong, you can still be wrong but put out an idea that results in all sorts of interesting research."

This is the way that science works (without the interference of politicians): some ideas are supported by empirical evidence and are gradually accepted by the scientific community, while others that lack empirical support are discarded into the dustbin. It's OK to come up with a bold hypothesis and be proven wrong.

Mr. Mann is a quack in the halls of academia. His research is vague and unsupported, and costs large amounts of money and in the end appeared to knowingly "altered". Out here in the real world thats the basis for fraud. Mean while, his fellow UVA fellows continued to pump in money and then throw up the walls when someone called him on his work. Yes people make mistakes, however they own up to them and move on - or sell a book crying about it. What a rip off.

Sure. Why not? UVA law degrees and faculty positions for liars. It's the new way of UVA. Way to live the legacy. Bang up job there Wahoos. Bang up job.

@maxbrando What is the basis for which Michael Mann should be prosecuted? Can you provide a verified, specific example of Michael Mann lying? Cuccinelli's fraud investigation was thrown out of court because the judge said that Cuccinelli provided no objective basis to show that Michael Mann committed any fraud. Perhaps you have some additional information?

@CCC Michael Mann was cleared of wrongdoing by numerous investigation, yet you claim he committed fraud. What is your evidence of this?

@Big Sigh As above, can you provide a verified, specific example of Michael Mann lying?

Here are Two links to people who disagree.

Man was cleared by the same Penn State that "cleared" sandusky for a decade of buggering little boys. Do you think they would risk thier reputation and grant money by firing Mann?

We need an investigation to find out one thing THE TRUTH. If Mann can replicate his results then release the protocols so all those people who want to wirshiphim (and make money.. Al Gore) can prove him Right. The court is not stoppng him from clearing his name. Why is George Soros not stepping up to the plate and offing to pay for that. (hint: his numbers don't crunch)

That doesn't mean there isn't climate change it just means that man is not the big bad super heater that Mann says he is.'s-hockey-stick-climate-graph.htm

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Yes there is climate change (I love how the Orwellians of the left changed the name from "global warming" when they saw how much skepticism came about); there will always be climate change. We do not know how much is impacted by man.

The current lot of global warming zealots are just folks who want to do away with big business and let government fill the vacuum with excessive regulation. Many of them are outright hypocrites (um, the patron saint of current global warming fanaticism, Al "G.I. with Lifelike Hair" Gore).

Michael Mann's zenith in fiction was "Miami Vice." He should have stopped there with that masterwork of the '80s. But no, he had to keep going with global warming stories (although Jan Hammer did not do the music for that one). I do admit, though, that I thought he would write one scene in the last episode where Edward James Olmos would smile.

I have to admit that scientists might be a tad wary of attorneys general chasing them if they disagree with their research; they need scientific freedom. But this guy is a fraud.

As for Fred's post, if scientists want to avoid the scrutiny of politicians, do not take money from them. There are a hell of a lot of great scientists in private industry (e.g., those horrible pharmaceutical companies that make way too much money).

I want to take this opportunity to tell you all that I love you and care about our world.

R.I.P.: Professor Erwin Corey

Why are so many people so impassioned to not think that climate change is a possibility?

I mean, whether or not climate change is "real" or not, you can still drive your car and do the things you want to.


It is a fact that oil, coal, and gas are finite resources, whether they run out in our time or in future generations, so is it really such a bad idea to focus now on alternatives, so they are there when we need them? I just don't understand the hostility to climate change mitigation--even if we find out that global warming is not anthropogenic (despite mountains of research to the contrary), efforts to mitigate it certainly can't hurt. It makes no sense.

Someday all the climate change skeptics will feel embarrassed when they realize that they have been duped by Big Oil, Big Coal, et al. They are like smokers defending the tobacco companies, not realizing that the tobacco in their cigarettes has been engineered and blended to have more nicotine and be more addictive.

I think a good view into Mann's operations can be heard in Schilling's interview of Dr. Charles Battig on Jan. 17th. A podcast is at This climate change/global warming non-issue is actually all about money. What happened tto that state grant of $475,000 anyway? Who's selling books and for how much? Dr. Battig seems to be doing a great deal of research for no compensation whatsoever. It is funny that the climatologists told us in the nineteen seventies that we were headed for another Ice Age. Of course the climate warms between freezes.

@Cville Eye

Ugh ... yes, maybe we should leave climate science to people like Charles Battig, who could take it up as a hobby during retirement.

It wouldn't result in any reliable information being given to localities such as Norfolk in terms of planning for the timing and magnitude of sea level rise, but at least the "research" would be done for free.

Dawg- why do you feel that coal, oil and gas finite resources? They are naturally replenished on a scale much larger than they are being consumed, are they not?

@liberalace: It wasn't Orwellians on the left who changed the phrase "global warming" to "climate change," but rather Frank Lutz, GOP message man.

@skip, fossil fuels are called fossil fuels because it took millions of years to formulate. Yes, it is finite and yes we will run out. The sad thing is that we will not prepare for this and we will wake up one day to realize that our way of life is over. Most food production is fossil fuel based, so get ready for a total world food supply is only a matter of time.

Chopped Liver- 650 million years to be "exact".....but they are continually being "produced". It is only an estimate that they are being used faster than they are "produced".

What is Mann afraid of? Why won't he release his data and other documents to the public?
If a scientist has hard data, valid, honest data, to support a theory, why not be willing to open it up for scrutiny to the people that gave you some of the money to do the research?

And if he were a genuine scientist, he would not come to a scientific symposium to discuss politics or his personal legal troubles. He would present his WORK. Instead he plays the brave victim.

Throughout the earth's history, there has certainly been climate change. Whether you can make any truly long-term predictions with any degree of accuracy by studying the last few hundreds years (which is really just a blip on the earth's radar), remains to be seen. It will take an even greater leap of faith to assign the blame for it on man's consumption of resources. I am a skeptic, too, particularly when you have some of the loudest Chicken Littles creating a global industry (carbon credits and the like) to line their own pockets.

It's great that Michael Mann tells us all to be skeptical about sweeping scientific claims. I hope this marks the beginning of a new era in the climate change debate, one where Mann and others focus on the actual research and stop claiming everything is "settled."

I would guess that Mr. Mann accepts the fact that we should also be skeptical of his claims.........

@cvillemom, who is clamoring for Mike Mann to "show us the data", here it is:

You're welcome.

The data and code used to produce the "hockey stick" curve have been in the public domain for over a decade.

Mann has been less willing to cooperate with the Attorney General, who wants to browse through all of his personal e-mails from the time when he was on the faculty at UVA. Hmmmm ... maybe he thinks some phrases from them will be taken out of context and twisted to make him look bad? What would give him the impression that people would do that?

In February 2010, the Pennsylvania State University released an Inquiry Report that investigated any 'Climategate' emails involving Dr Michael Mann, a Professor of Penn State's Department of Meteorology. They found that "there exists no credible evidence that Dr. Mann had or has ever engaged in, or participated in, directly or indirectly, any actions with an intent to suppress or to falsify data". On "Mike's Nature trick", they concluded "The so-called “trick”1 was nothing more than a statistical method used to bring two or more different kinds of data sets together in a legitimate fashion by a technique that has been reviewed by a broad array of peers in the field."
In March 2010, the UK government's House of Commons Science and Technology Committee published a report finding that the criticisms of the Climate Research Unit (CRU) were misplaced and that CRU’s "Professor Jones’s actions were in line with common practice in the climate science community".
In April 2010, the University of East Anglia set up an international Scientific Assessment Panel, in consultation with the Royal Society and chaired by Professor Ron Oxburgh. The Report of the International Panel assessed the integrity of the research published by the CRU and found "no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit".
In June 2010, the Pennsylvania State University published their Final Investigation Report, determining "there is no substance to the allegation against Dr. Michael E. Mann".
In July 2010, the University of East Anglia published the Independent Climate Change Email Review report. They examined the emails to assess whether manipulation or suppression of data occurred and concluded that "The scientists’ rigor and honesty are not in doubt".
In July 2010, the US Environmental Protection Agency investigated the emails and "found this was simply a candid discussion of scientists working through issues that arise in compiling and presenting large complex data sets."
In September 2010, the UK Government responded to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee report, chaired by Sir Muir Russell. On the issue of releasing data, they found "In the instance of the CRU, the scientists were not legally allowed to give out the data". On the issue of attempting to corrupt the peer-review process, they found "The evidence that we have seen does not suggest that Professor Jones was trying to subvert the peer review process. Academics should not be criticised for making informal comments on academic papers".
In February 2011, the Department of Commerce Inspector General conducted an independent review of the emails and found "no evidence in the CRU emails that NOAA inappropriately manipulated data".
In August 2011, the National Science Foundation concluded "Finding no research misconduct or other matter raised by the various regulations and laws discussed above, this case is closed".

The following scientific organizations endorse the consensus position that "most of the global warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities":

American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Astronomical Society
American Chemical Society
American Geophysical Union
American Institute of Physics
American Meteorological Society
American Physical Society
Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO
British Antarctic Survey
Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences
Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
Environmental Protection Agency
European Federation of Geologists
European Geosciences Union
European Physical Society
Federation of American Scientists
Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies
Geological Society of America
Geological Society of Australia
International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA)
International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics
National Center for Atmospheric Research
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Royal Meteorological Society
Royal Society of the UK
The Academies of Science from 19 different countries all endorse the consensus. 11 countries have signed a joint statement endorsing the consensus position:

Academia Brasiliera de Ciencias (Brazil)
Royal Society of Canada
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Academie des Sciences (France)
Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina (Germany)
Indian National Science Academy
Accademia dei Lincei (Italy)
Science Council of Japan
Russian Academy of Sciences
Royal Society (United Kingdom)
National Academy of Sciences (USA) (12 Mar 2009 news release)