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It’s That Mann Again

Michael Mann has been tweeting his appreciation of this article at Green Matters in which the author Andrew Krosofsky calls him “one of the most influential climate scientists in the world.” Mann particularly likes a tweet from greenmatters.com which calls him “one of the world’s most insightful scientific voices,” and another one which says: “As long as there are people like Michael E. Mann taking risks for our planet, then the earth is in good hands.”

True, diving arse up into a thousand years of rotting sediment at the bottom of a Finnish lake and coming up smelling of roses is quite a feat. But how to explain this adulation?

First, you need to know that Green Matters, while hotly in favour of combatting climate change, is not really aimed at scientists, or even at people with a smattering of knowledge of climate science. A couple of weeks ago it had an article explaining who Greta Thunberg is, and another explaining why parts of Norway sometimes get up to 24 hours of sunlight.

Its real forte is articles on why the leaves are dropping off your rubber plant, why some vegans don’t eat avocados, and what to do if your pet goes into labour. (Answer: call Mr Stork, grab the Kleenex, and watch Bambi for the millionth time.)

It’s also very good on travel, with hints on the “Dos and Don’ts of Going on a Safari,” plus “Five Breathtaking Eco-Friendly Hotels and Resorts From Around the World.”

The Thala Beach Nature Reserve, located near the Great Barrier Reef in Australia is not only eco-friendly, but also an ecotourism paradise for nature lovers … Thala Beach has made the property sustainable [by] building its timber bungalows on stilts in the forest canopy .. and its restaurant features locally-sourced, seasonal produce and open-air architecture.

While a few thousand air miles away:

Tambo Del Inka Hotel, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa, is located in Valle Sagrado, Urubamba, Peru, and it’s surrounded by nature and mountains… it uses low-flow plumbing to save water; it has indoor climate monitoring, there is a well-enforced recycling program and towel reuse program; and local lumber was used to build the hotel.

Then on to the Tree Casa Resort in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, which:

… is basically a luxury treehouse for adults. The resort is made up of canopy treehouses on two giant Ceiba trees within Nicaragua’s El Encanto jungle, and the business’ mission is to use sustainable practices to celebrate nature and the jungle’s ecosystem.. Every structure at the resort was constructed with all-natural eco-friendly materials (including bamboo, teak, and palm leaves) … the surrounding forest is maintained with organic agriculture, and it even provides fruit that is served to guests…

But enough on how to save the planet by lying in a teak hammock up a tree in an organically maintained tropical jungle. Back to Andrew Krosofsky’s explanation of Mann for Dummies.

After calling him “one of the most influential climate scientists in the world.” Krosofsky explains why:

The hockey stick graph demonstrated a sharp rise in global temperatures since the industrial age, and it’s one of the main tools that modern climate scientists look at when attempting to find a solution.

[Scene: an IPCC meeting of lead authors in a luxury treehouse hotel somewhere in the tropics:

How shall we attempt to find a solution?” an anguished voice wails.

Let’s look at one of our main tools!” exclaims another.

All eyes turn to Mann.]

Krosofsky continues:

The problem was, this graph also made Mann a target for email hacking, trolling, and personal abuse by those who deny climate change, as well as those whose livelihoods on fossil fuels. But Mann wasn’t going to let a little thing like death threats stop him from trying to fix the world.

Huh?

How has Michael Mann helped climate change?

Beside the obvious proof that the hockey-stick graph demonstrated regarding humanity’s climatory complicity, Mann’s exploration of the subject eventually drew the attention of the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change…

Ah, yes, that IPCC, the one Mann was lead author for. Somehow their attention was drawn to Mann’s graph that provided the solution… 

Enough of this. Krosofsky gives a couple of links of sources for his article, a ten year old article in the Guardian by Fred Pearce, and an eight year old article in the Guardian by Robin McKie, the very same Robin McKie who wrote the recent adulatory interview with Mann I wrote about a couple of weeks ago.

Why articles that are ten and eight years old? Because articles at GreenMatters are aimed at people with a mental age of eight to ten years, albeit rather wealthy ones. And anyway, some things are timeless – like mud sediments and tree rings and death threats to great men. And the desire of the Very Rich to feel good about carving out chunks of faraway tropical paradises for their private enjoyment.

And why not? Mann was surely quite right to say, in the “battle-scarred veteran of the climate wars” article I referred to recently, that:“..lifestyle changes are necessary but they alone won’t get us where we need to be..” and that “..arguing with one another, and finger pointing and carbon shaming about lifestyle choices […] is extremely divisive…”

Because once you’ve spent decades persuading governments to enact laws to force the public to recycle and change their eating and heating and travel habits, you no longer need to argue that these changes are useful. And you can turn round and reassure the public that it’s perfectly OK for them to fly off to spend a month or two in a luxury tropical treehouse paradise.

Once they’ve paid off the instalments on the new boiler.

6 thoughts on “It’s That Mann Again

  1. “But how to explain this adulation?”

    Even secular religions need some figures who will be adored. And will surface those most suited, starting with their self-identification with the principle narratives. And as some priests fade, like Hansen and Al-Gore, others will appear or rise up in status, like Greta and Mann. Hansen favours nuclear, which rather spoiled his priestly image.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. BETHTHESERF
    Thanks for that. It’s nice to see that Julie London gets about eighty times more hits on Youtube than Lord Deben, despite being much older (and deceased.)

    ANDY WEST
    The fact that religious movements tend to fall into the hands of the rich pretending to be acting on behalf of the poor seems to be nothing new. From the Amazon blurb for “The Rise of Christianity” by Rodney Stark:

    Stark finds that early Christianity attracted the privileged rather than the poor, that most early converts were women or marginalized Jews—and ultimately “that Christianity was a success because it proved those who joined it with a more appealing, more assuring, happier, and perhaps longer life” 

    (The bit about marginalised Jews is obviously only appropriate to the 1st century AD context. I suppose the modern equivalent would be anyone who’s feeling a bit downtrodden.)

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Has anyone researched whether climate anxiety appeals to the lgbtq+ world? One slip of the tongue from LewMannGavin on lgbtq+ issues could be the death knell of the movement

    Like

  4. MiB, I haven’t done any formal study, but anecdotally there seems to be a pretty strong alliance between catastrophic climate-change culture and all of the different threads of woke culture. I think the most prominent link is with the so-called anti-racist movement, leading to many phrases such as: “If you care about the planet, you must dismantle white supremacy. It’s time for strong commitments to racial justice from every corner of the climate movement.” This from a Grist article last year, which specifically pulls in BLM etc. Don’t quote me, but from recall I believe Mann has already dipped into this angle and ‘de-colonialisation’ in some tweets or whatever. I think there’s less opportunity for narrative overlap with something like the extreme trans rights movement, say, but there are some overtures and already some interesting connections. For instance the Green Party in the UK is apparently now in hostage to the trans activists, so some articles say (and it was mentioned here a while back). All this means that, likely, any climate priest will get a free pass from wokeism, unless they somehow manage to truly go beyond the pale and commit 7 cardinal sins in a row or something.

    Liked by 2 people

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