The Corner

Taking Michael Mann’s Temperature

Well, his writing sure seems fevered. The New York Times over the weekend carried this Big Brother-ish op-ed — “If You See Something, Say Something” — by the Penn State global-warming-monger, Nobel Peace Prize non-awardee, and National Review suer.

If the hyperbole police pull him over, the professor would be ticketed for just this opening paragraph:

The overwhelming consensus among climate scientists is that human-caused climate change is happening. Yet a fringe minority of our populace clings to an irrational rejection of well-established science. This virulent strain of anti-science infects the halls of Congress, the pages of leading newspapers and what we see on TV, leading to the appearance of a debate where none should exist.

How many superlatives, how much vitriol and sanctimony can you crowbar into one paragraph: Overwhelming . . . fringe minority . . . irrational rejection . . . well-established . . . virulent . . . anti-science . . . infects. Zounds.

As for the ensuing screed, Mann encourages scientists to take a cue from a government agency: “Our Department of Homeland Security has urged citizens to report anything dangerous they witness: ‘If you see something, say something.’ We scientists are citizens, too, and, in climate change, we see a clear and present danger.” Scientists are like citizens reporting suspicious activity to TSA bureaucrats? Mann seems immune to the irony of holding up the DHS as a model for free inquiry and political engagement.

Scientists who take heart in this op-ed are more concerned with political agendas than with hard data and the openness to prove theories in the face of challenges. And because there is “a debate where none should exist,” there will be enforcers who are all too ready and willing to remind us “deniers” of our right to remain silent. 

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