Michael Mann cleared ... again

Penn State's internal investigation into climatologist Michael Mann's integrity is over. The conclusion:

The Investigatory Committee, after careful review of all available evidence, determined that there is no substance to the allegation against Dr. Michael E. Mann, Professor, Department of Meteorology, The Pennsylvania State University.

More specifically, the Investigatory Committee determined that Dr. Michael E. Mann did not engage in, nor did he participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research, or other scholarly activities.

The decision of the Investigatory Committee was unanimous.

We now return you to regularly scheduled programming,

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But can't you see, America, it's all just a conspiracy by the elitist heads of the liberal university culture to make sure that the lie of global warming gets spread to bring down democracy and spread socialism!
Do I have to spell it out?
MEWGS!!! Which is the name of Al Gore's secret pet gopher!

Considering that Mann brings in millions of dollars in federal research grants to the University every year, its not surprising that they would clear him of wrongdoing. A lot of money rests on him staying in place.

The accusation of being corrupted by money cuts both ways. If anyone doubting global warming is on the take from oil companies, what about those on the take from the government? There's a hell of a lot more money being dished out by the government in this thing.

There is a good old rule for discussion running as follows "you are not allowed to try to explain why someone is wrong before you've shown that she or he is, in fact, wrong".

In other words, you are not allowed to reject a claim on the grounds that there are economic interests at stake before you have shown, explicitly, that the claim is actually false or not well supported. When you've done this, you can go looking for an explanation for why the person forwarding the claim went wrong as much as you like. Not before.

Why is this a good rule? Because it works as a defense against confirmation bias and double standards of evidence running too rampant. Trying to discredit your opponent rather than attacking the actual claim is one of the most common techniques employed by people under the severe influence of confirmation bias - and among the most clear-cut examples of what is usually known as an ad hominem fallacy.

Of course, the rule applies to all sides of the debate, but this time you were the one violating it, Mike.

The climate deniers don't actually think they can get Mann on anything. These demands for investigations are just a way to harass a scientist producing conclusions that they don't like.

Considering that Mann brings in millions of dollars in federal research grants to the University every year, its not surprising that they would clear him of wrongdoing.

Mann's contribution to the total grants received by the University is, what, 1%? Less? Yes, it would be enormously surprising that the University would risk its excellent reputation (and thereby endanger the other 99%) just to whitewash one researcher. Penny wise wouldn't even come close.

Three cheers to Michael Mann and to Gary Peters for speaking out.

There are precious few scientists like (Michael Mann and) Professor Emeritus Gary Peters who have chosen not to remain silent but instead to accept their responsibility to science by rigorously examining extant evidence of human population dynamics. Please consider now the perspective of Dr. Peters on the research of Russell Hopfenberg and David Pimentel, which is found in the journal, The California Geographer, 2009. The title of his article is, Population, Resources and Enviroment: "Beyond the Exponentials" Revisited.


"The worldâs population in 2009 was close to 6.8 billion. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, we can expect about 55.7 million people to die this year, so in purely demographic terms 300,000 deaths amount to just over half of one percent of all deaths. Furthermore, there are about 15,465 births per hour worldwide, so again in a purely demographic sense those 300,000 deaths can be replaced in less than 20 hours.

Paradoxically, the very fossil fuels that have allowed us to feed the vast increase in world population over the last century or two may 113 The California Geographer n Volume 49, 2009 also be starting to increase mortality rates, even if only slightly so far. Currently we add about 80 million people to the planet each year, and we know that population growth exacerbates most environmental problems, including global warming (Speth 2008, Diamond 2005, and Friedman 2008).

Pimentel (2001), Hopfenberg (2003), and others have established in a series of articles that human population growth is a function of food supply, yet we continue to expand food supplies to accommodate future growthâeven if that growth threatens the planetâs socioeconomic systems, ecosystems, biodiversity, oceans,
and atmosphere. Continued expansion of food supplies has come at considerable cost both to people and to Earth. As Pollan (2008, 121) commented, âClearly the achievements of industrial agriculture have come at a cost: It can produce a great many more calories per acre, but each of those calories may supply less nutrition than
it formerly did.... A diet based on quantity rather than quality has ushered a new creature onto the world stage: the human being who manages to be both overfed and undernourished, two characteristics seldom found in the same body in the long natural history of our species.â According to Heller and Keoleian (2000), it takes seven to ten calories of input, mainly from fossil fuels, to produce one calorie of edible food in the United States. Looking at the American landscape, Babbitt (2005, 100) observed that â[I]ndustrial agriculture has been extended too far, and the price has been too high for the land and waters to bear.â In many places, agricultural landscapes are no longer what Tuan (1993, 143) had in mind when he wrote that âIn common with the vast majority of humankind, Americans
love the small intimate world that is their home, and, immediately beyond it, a rich agricultural land.â

According to Pimentel (2001), humans already use more than half the planetâs entire biomass, leaving less and less for other species. From there, as Hopfenberg (2009, 2) noted, âIt is not a far logical leap to determine that, if human population and resource use continues to grow and we continue to kill off our neighbors in the biological community, one of the many species facing extinction will be the human. Thus, the impact of civilized humanity on the rest of the
biological community can be seen as lethal to the point of destroying our own ecological support". It is a reminder that, as Bush (2000, 28) noted, âIf there is one lesson that the geological record offers, it is that all species will ultimately go extinct, some just do it sooner than others.â With the expansion of human numbers has come a steady increase in the background rate of extinction.

But even among environmentalists, population has been dropped from most discussions because it is controversial; it has been snared in the web of political correctness. As Speth (2008, 78) somewhat ironically pointed out, âBy any objective standard, U.S. population growth is a legitimate and serious environmental issue. But the subject is hardly on the environmental agenda, and the country has not learned how to discuss the problem even in progressive circles.â Cobb (2007, 1) put it this way, âEven if some politicians, policymakers and reporters in wealthy countries can see beyond the daily mirage of plenty to the overpopulation problem, they do
not want to touch it.â


It is one thing for "politicians, policymakers and reporters" not to touch research of human population dynamics and the human overpopulation of Earth. It is something altogether different when the elective mutism of scientists with appropriate expertise hides science in silence. Such a willful refusal to scrutinize peer-reviewed and published evidence and report findings strikes me as a betrayal of science and also a denial of what could somehow be real.

How are global challenges of the kind we can see looming before humanity in our time to be addressed and overcome if any root cause of what threatens us and life as we know it is not acknowledged?

Of course, it could be that Professor Peters' assessment of the research by Pimentel and Hopfenberg is incorrect; that their work is fatally flawed. If that is the case, we need to know it. On the other hand, if that is not the case and the research is somehow on the correct track, then discussion of the research needed to have begun years ago, at the onset of Century XXI, because this research appears, at least to me, to possess extraordinary explanatory power with potentially profound implications.

Thanks to those within the community of scientists and to those in the population at large with a perspective to share who choose to examine the evidence to which your attention is drawn and report your findings.

Steven Earl Salmony
AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
established 2001

While we see global warming as a problem, it seems many dont see that a tax and a carbon credits scheme appears to be the solution.
Can someone explain why? Major polluters appear to be exempted. Can someone explain why?
I can explain why the large majority of voters, would reject this.
If indeed the mining industry is creating the disquiet then it should look carefully on what they have done in the past and realise that they will benefit if the anti polution people get it right.
The problem isnt carbon so much as arrogant taxation and no explanation creating distrust. China and Russia isnt buying it, so why should the western world pay for it?

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