Eric Worrall had a post at WattsUpWithThat a week ago 

commenting on an interview with Michael Mann in the Observer, the Guardian’s Sunday sister paper. The Observer interview is no more than a boilerplate Graun-standard tree ring boyz band fan club rim job, enabling Mann to plug his new book. 

A sample exchange:

Q: Who is the enemy in the new climate war?

It is fossil fuel interests, climate change deniers, conservative media tycoons, working together with petrostate actors like Saudi Arabia and Russia. I call this the coalition of the unwilling.

Golly. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but in the accompanying photo Mann appears to be wearing a nylon shirt. Possibly made in China by slave labourers using fossil-fuelled power.

EricWorrall and the hundreds of commenters at WUWT had some fun at Mann’s expense, but not one of them mentioned the role of the interviewer, Guardian global environment editor Jonathan Watts. Watts starts his article by explaining what Mann is:

Michael E Mann is one of the world’s most influential climate scientists. He rose to prominence in 1999 as the co-author of the “hockey-stick graph”, which showed the sharp rise in global temperatures since the industrial age. This was the clearest evidence anyone had provided of the link between human emissions and global warming. This made him a target.

The hockeystick graph no more provided evidence of the sharp rise in global temperatures than Newton provided evidence that apples fall down and not up. The sharp rise in the hockeystick was obtained in the time-honoured fashion of measuring the temperature with a thermometer (between dates carefully chosen to cut out unwanted “noise.”) All Mann did was manufacture a graph with an upward blip at the end out of tree rings and upside down Finnish mud and adjust it to the temperature rise, thus demonstrating to an astonished world that nothing much of interest had happened to strip bark pines in Colorado or mud in Finnish lakes for the previous thousand years. From this it was deduced that the rise in global temperatures observed from 1880 to 1960 was unprecedented.

It’s possible that Jonathan Watts is not aware of that. 

Watts was previously the Guardian’s Far East correspondent, and has written what looks like an interesting book about China.

(There’s a Chinese language version available,in traditional characters, which are only used in Singapore and Taiwan, apparently published in Houston, Texas.)

Now I was under the impression that Watts was the Guardian’s Science editor, and I was going to write a completely different article. (That’s the trouble with being a rational, sceptical sort of person. When facts change you feel obliged to change your mind.) In fact Watts has a B.A. in English language and literature. Nothing wrong with that, of course. An acquaintance with the works of Sterne, Dickens and Lewis Carroll is probably a good grounding for understanding the Rusbridgers and Monbiots of this world.

His LinkedIn page informs us that he’s been endorsed by two colleagues at the Guardian, namely Shirley Ying Han, and Thais Cavalcante. Also by 36 other people, including Emily Li, a freelance Personal Transformation Advisor. (But not by Monbiot or Rusbridger, which is all to his credit.)

Five years ago he was the co-founder of the Rainforest Journalism Fund which is a:

Five-year, $5.5m fund to raise public awareness of the urgent environmental issues facing the world’s tropical forests. Initiated with journalists in Brazil, financed by the Norwegian ministry of climate and environment, and administered by the Pulitzer Center, this project provides grants to reporters wanting to cover news stories in remote locations in the Amazon, Congo and Papua New Guinea. More details here.

Raising $5.5 million in your spare time is well worth boasting about on Linked In. Especially for such a worthy cause as subsidising millions of air miles for journalists to go and watch the Amazon disappearing in order to raise public awareness, all at the expense of the Norwegian taxpayer. If only our big oil/Russian/Saudi Arabian funders were as generous!)

[The headline to this article comes from Job chapter 7 verse 17 (King James’ Version.) For context, the quote comes right after this:

So am I made to possess months of vanity, and wearisome nights are appointed to me… I am full of tossings to and fro until the dawning of the day. My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust; my skin is broken, and become loathsome… 

My days .. are spent without hope. O remember that my life is wind: .. As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away: so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more .. therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit: I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.

Am I a sea, or a whale, that thou settest a watch over me?..thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions: So that my soul chooseth strangling and death rather than my life. I loathe it;I would not live always: let me alone; for my days are vanity.

…which is about as good a definition of Green psychology as you’ll find. And the “tossings to and fro” is a pretty fair description of Mann’s contribution to science.]


    Thanks for that truly amazing list. I had no idea there were so many dead American billionaires whose views chimed so perfectly with those of the Guardian’s editors.

    But it’s not true that they don’t do much journalism. Take their numerous articles on their Extinction Project page, which is funded by the Band Foundation,,
    the Wyss Foundation,,
    and the Oak Foundation

    The Band Foundation supports the fight against epilepsy in Africa, and also pays the air fares of Guardian journalists reporting on extinction round the world. The Wyss Foundation funds a children’s hospital in Los Angeles and a hostel for the homeless in Philadelphia, and also pays the air fares of Guardian journalists reporting on extinction round the world. The Oak Foundation spends $44 million a year fighting child abuse, and also pays the air fares of Guardian journalists reporting on extinction around the world.

    On the Guardian’s Age of Extinction page (which rather naughtily uses a logo similar to the Extinction Rebellion “cross with sharp bits on” logo) I counted 79 articles. None of them as far as I can see actually reported a case of extinction. All were about the danger of extinction, or, more exactly, loss of biodiversity, caused by the great mass of humanity, and the courageous efforts of the few to counter the depredations of the many.

    And this may provide the clue to the link between dead billionaires, the Guardian, and environmentalism. Many are called (all sorts of things, like denialists.) But few are chosen, whether it’s to become a billionaire, a member of the Scott Trust, or a saviour of the planet from humanity.


  2. I’m not in the slightest suggesting that Mann has been drinking from the same cup as Senator Mccarthy but he does give a plausible impression of being a paranoid moron

    “Russian fingerprints have been detected in the yellow-vest protests in France”.
    By whom? This is the first time I have heard anyone suggest this. And surely this must be making tremors on Lewandowsky’s conspiracy meter

    “Julian Assange and WikiLeaks helped Donald Trump get elected, and in doing that they did the bidding of Putin. Their fingerprints are also all over the climategate affair 10 years ago. UK investigators have evidence of Russian involvement in that too.”

    In fact the whole interview is a compilation of increasingly bizarre conspiracy theories. And this person is allowed to walk around unaccompanied. The ghostly glimmer of tinfoil lurks over this article.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah yes the Russian evidence, especially the plethora of exceedingly empty Stolichnaya’Bluberi bottles littering the UEA staff room after the long session of tree ring counting. Muddy footprints (and snow) everywhere and students chattering “Da, da, da” incessantly. We climate heretics interrogated by the filth with foreign accents to fess’up. It all makes perfect sense to me now. Thank you Professor Mann for removing the scales from my vision, after years of denial.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Speaking of Michael Mann, have you all caught up with this breaking news?

    “National Review Prevails against Michael Mann”

    “The D.C. superior court granted National Review’s motion to dismiss climate scientist Michael Mann’s long-running defamation suit.

    More than eight years ago, Mann launched the suit against NR, writing privately that he saw it as an opportunity to “ruin” this “filthy organization.”

    The lawsuit stemmed from a blog post on The Corner by Mark Steyn back in 2012 criticizing Mann’s work. The climate scientist threatened a lawsuit unless NR removed the offending post and apologized, which it refused to do. Mann then sued NR, Steyn, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute (Steyn quoted a CEI article in his post).

    NR has maintained from the beginning that the post is not defamatory but is protected opinion, and that, besides, there’s no way NR could have had malice when the post wasn’t reviewed ahead of time and was posted by a nonemployee.

    The court today accepted the latter argument, meaning the suit still stands against Steyn and CEI.

    “It’s completely ridiculous that it took us more than eight years to get relief from the courts from this utterly meritless suit,” said NR editor in chief Rich Lowry. “And outrageous that Mann is still going to be allowed to harass Steyn and CEI.”

    Mann may well appeal the ruling, while NR has the option of seeking attorney fees from Mann. It has already cost NR millions of dollars to defend against the litigation.

    “Let’s just say if I were him, I’d be very worried about this possibility,” Lowry said.”

    That’s the full post – I may have infringed copyright in posting it all, but it’s quite short, and I wanted everybody to see it. Geoff, you might like to edit it fairly quickly so as just to leave the salient details, and avoid copyright difficulties.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mark, that probably counts as a press release so you’re probably on safe ground.

    Sometimes one feels sympathetic towards someone who loses in the courts.

    (I typed Michael Mann into a search engine and the top hit was the other Michael Mann – the director of Heat, which is a good film if anyone has yet to see it. The results under “news” were thin on the ground, but referred at least to the right Mann. It seems to have taken an inordinately long time for the court to notice that Mann had sued the wrong party.)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. In case I’m back on the WordPress whitelist, and re: Mann vs Steyn, Mark Steyn’s deposition to Mann’s lawyer is on his website. I won’t link to it so it doesn’t embed here, but you can reach it via this page:

    The transcript is actually hilarious, like something out of Monty Python (albeit it seems to last about 5 hours, so not really sketch length…..). What you might call not a fair fight.

    Now, can I post…? 3,2,1…


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