“More of us must grab the leadership reins”

Further evidence that “Nature”, formerly a serious science journal, has become a mouthpiece for political activism:

Nature Climate Change has just published an article “The supply of climate leaders must grow” by Thomas Bateman, from the School of Commerce at the University of Virginia, and Michael Mann, who needs no introduction.

The subheading is

To catalyse climate transformation, we need leadership everywhere. It is time for more of us to take the first steps to lead actively.

And the aim of the paper is explained at the end of the introduction:

Here we aim to provide both a leadership nudge and leadership guidance to Nature Climate Change readers.

How kind of them to share their leadership expertise. I hope everyone is paying attention. Their pearls of wisdom include this model of clarity and precision:

To take the Paris agreement forward, we must lead toward more collaborative and integrative work as part of an intensified action agenda, strengthen action on both mitigation and adaptation before 2020, and — before and after 2020 — mobilize finance, technology and capacity-building support.

Perhaps we should adopt this as the CliScep slogan: “Leading toward more collaborative and integrative work as part of an intensified action agenda” seems to be a good description of what we are doing here.

The experts then inform us that we are witnessing a species-level adaptation failure:

Considering the severity of the climate challenge, our leadership crisis is a species-level adaptation failure that individuals and groups must take upon themselves to remedy.

As the article continues, the sentences compete with each other for vacuous cliché-ridden incoherence:

Throughout, an essential type of leadership is transcendent, bridging lateral boundaries rather than working downward or upward along hierarchical authority lines.

Adaptive leaders think strategically and apply psychological knowledge of decision-making and behaviour change, adding to their own behavioural diversity in ways that enhance their personal effectiveness, as well as enhance systems adaptability and species survival.

Adaptive leaders do not need to know all the answers. They do need to be willing to jump into the pool, try things with an experimental mindset, and learn as they go.

Specific suggestions for “moving our own leadership forward” include:

* Face realities (when is Mann going to face the reality that many of his colleagues think his work is “crap”?)

* Scan for the right opportunities, like Marrakech (see this clip of young climate leaders who took that advice).

* Leave silos and transcend boundaries. “Climate leaders need to talk and forge productive working relationships with people holding differing perspectives, knowledge and interests.”

mannblock

Their conclusion is:

When a current trajectory needs to change and our leaders are not making that happen, more of us must grab the leadership reins.

… followed by more gibberish about “species adaptation” and “behavioural repertoires”. This would be worrying, if it weren’t so laughable.

23 thoughts on ““More of us must grab the leadership reins”

  1. Considering the severity of the climate challenge, our leadership crisis is a species-level adaptation failure that individuals and groups must take upon themselves to remedy.

    So Michael Mann and his management mate are proposing to lead us to success at the species-level? That’s quite a programme for a management area coordinator and a tree ring counter.

    Throughout, an essential type of leadership is transcendent, bridging lateral boundaries rather than working downward or upward along hierarchical authority lines.

    This may be vacuous, but it’s not incoherent. I take it to mean leadership that ignores those in authority above or those being led below, and interacts only with other leaders – a definition of an aristocratic caste acting under no authority but that of the gods.

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  2. Hmm, it seems incoherent to me, or at least a strange definition of leadership – I wouldn’t regard working with other leaders as leading.

    The link to Bateman works for me. He has an article about “How Scientists and Researchers Can Move Beyond Their Silos” and it says “He conducts research on leadership”, so it looks like most of the managementspeak comes from him.

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  3. Paul
    It’s the kind of leadership you find in the Iliad, where the leaders plot and squabble with each other but don’t seem to have any followers, except as anonymous numbers. Not for nothing were Achilles’ troops called Myrmidons, or ants. Or it’s like a caste of Brahmins who are forbidden by their status from contact with lower beings or doing any proper work.

    From the quotes you give, they don’t seem to be proposing to do anything. Rather, they’re just defining who they think they are. From that point of view, they’re perfectly coherent.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The caste analogy is powerful. I read it as a call to insurrection, where the anonymous minions are to rise up in rage against an elected leader who dares to tamper with the caste and the vast crony capitalism they cover for. But he’s still a couple of months away from being able to tamper. Talk about warning shots. Hopefully impotent ones as Geoff’s analogies suggest. But not all the crony capitalists are impotent. When they break cover then we know it’s serious.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Adaptive leaders do not need to know all the answers.

    Which rules out Michael Mann, because he isn’t one to tolerate any answers but his own.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Surely all of that guff is computer generated isn’t it? Surely no sane, sensible person could write it?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ” our leadership crisis is a species-level adaptation failure”?

    I think it’s a mitigation failure. Adaptation might do some good – as most of the problems foreseen are problems we already have.

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  8. thanks for the post & link Paul

    as a layman I have never really read “Nature” but will take your word it was once a “serious science journal”
    apart from your comments/quotes above, some other extracts from the article are revealing I think –

    for some reason I am unable to copy & paste from the link, so will quote & comment.

    under the leadership header they state – “It is time for more of us to take the first steps to lead actively”

    so without stating it outright they are “activists” !!!
    I hear this term banded about all the time now (BBC News for example) but what does it mean ?

    so much more I could add but if you read the first para you know where this “opinion & comment” is heading “climate leaders must take charge” or we all die (again)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is amusing.

    Gavin Schmidt Warns Donald Trump Not to Interfere with the NASA Climate Division

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/11/16/gavin-schmidt-warns-donald-trump-not-to-interfere-with-the-nasa-climate-division/comment-page-1/#comment-2343755

    So Gavin Schmidt the arch Mannipulator is threatening the President-elect of the United States of America – currently the richest, most powerful nation on Earth.

    What was it Trump used to say on ‘The Apprentice’?

    Oh yes, “YOU’RE FIRED!”

    That can’t end well. From Schmidt’s POV at any rate.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I find the use of impenetrable gobbledygook by the Climate Concerned Community a very encouraging development.

    In business is usually means the organisation has lost touch with the difficult real world outside and retreated into anxious navel-gazing by people who don’t realise that not having a clear objective & message is their biggest problem.

    If you contrast the elegant simplicity of the sceptic case set out by people like Spencer, Lindzen & Curry with this convoluted gibberish it’s not hard to predict which will prevail in the court of King Donald.

    On the subject of Donald BTW, I see he’s picked an Attorney General with a robustly sceptical approach – so my prediction is he’s going to walk the walk for us.

    http://motherboard.vice.com/read/why-it-matters-that-trumps-attorney-general-pick-is-a-climate-change-skeptic

    Perhaps Mann & cronies should think about topping up their Climate Science Defence Fund 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. At the risk of making myself unpopular I’m gonna say I actually support this idea.

    They would have to let go of the science reins first, right?

    My momma raised me to pick the lesser of two evils every time.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Foxgoose:

    > I find the use of impenetrable gobbledygook by the Climate Concerned Community a very encouraging development.

    Development? Are you a thousand-year old High Elf? This is only a “new” phenomenon if we’re talking in geological time.

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  13. A “leadership nudge”? I suppose a nod’s as good as a wink to a blind bat, eh? Eh?

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  14. A “leadership nudge”?
    Brad!
    I suppose a nudge’s as good as a wink to a blind bat, eh? Eh?

    I’d say much better but I’m on my third cup of coffee today and I’m guessing that that was three more than you’d had when you posted:)

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  15. Congratulations Mr Fomr—your correct guess makes you an ideal candidate for my next n=1 research monograph, A Case of Remote Diagnosis of Hypocaffeinemia by Linguistic Analysis.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Ah, the power of Linguistic Analysis or as it’s know to its disciples, Lingan. Not to be confused with the Lingam technique much loved by Dr Lewandcooksky, who heads up that mighty conspiracy-slaying organisation, the Lingam Society who frown upon the use of non-zero sample sizes as a needless extravagance.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. We do need more climate leaders for sure – ones who will lead us out of the mess which Greens have created, overseen by the United Nations IPCC and FCC. The headless chickens dancing madly around on the head of a pin in Morocco are not them.

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  18. Bateman and Mann appear to have avoided the real world. That is our “species” is the human one with over seven billions specimens, collected into nearly 200 groups called countries. They all have leaders and wanna-be leaders who need to subsume their other priorities (e.g. economic growth, health care, education, looking after the vulnerable, retaining position and power, promoting other belief systems) do eliminating GHG emissions. This all done collaboratively, implying non-coercive persuasion. Someone who believes that he has won a Nobel Prize just because some other body he did some work for gave him a certificate; or that splicing an amalgam of cherry-picked proxy temperature records onto a biased average of thermometer readings is good evidence of unprecedented warming; or someone who calls critics “deniers”; is hardly going to persuade anyone but fellow believers.

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  19. I dunno about “climate leaders”, but, considering their contribution and work done, I’d be happy as a “weather leader” for 1/30th of their annual salary.

    Like

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