Pat Michaels lying in the Wall Street Journal

I’m sure someone with more patience and/or a masochistic streak will go about debunking the entire thing, but here’s Michaels claiming that the scientific consensus on anthropogenic warming has been manufactured:

The alliance of scientists at East Anglia, Penn State and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (in Boulder, Colo.) has done its best to bias [the peer-reviewed literature].

A refereed journal, Climate Research, published two particular papers that offended Michael Mann of Penn State and Tom Wigley of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research…

Mr. Mann called upon his colleagues to try and put Climate Research out of business. “Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal,” he wrote in one of the emails. “We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board.”

After Messrs. Jones and Mann threatened a boycott of publications and reviews, half the editorial board of Climate Research resigned.

In point of fact, half of the Climate Research board resigned over the failure of the review process at their journal and the subsequent failure of its publisher to adequately address that problem– not due to any strong-arming by Mann or Wigley. And you don’t have to take my word, or Mike Mann’s, over Pat Michael’s. You can just read what one of editors actually said about it at the time.

[UPDATE: Here’s Hans Von Storch, another former editor of Climate Research, in the WSJ taking oblique aim at liars like Michaels (emphasis mine):

And what of the… the skeptics? They say these words [CRU emails] show that everything was a hoax—not just the historical temperature results in question, but also the warming documented by different groups using thermometer data. They conclude I must have been forced out of my position as chief editor of the journal Climate Research back in 2003 for my allegiance to science over politics. In fact, I left this post on my own, with no outside pressure, because of insufficient quality control on a bad paper—a skeptic’s paper, at that.]

Of course Pat Michaels lying about climate science probably doesn’t even amount to “dog bites man” news these days. But I am left with an interesting question- Pat Michaels runs a “science consulting” business which consists largely of providing a veneer of scientific credibility to fossil fuel interest propaganda, so it’s not surprising to catch him making things up in order to undermine emissions reductions and attack the credibility of those who have pointed out his dishonesty in the past. The WSJ editorial board likewise has an understandable if similarly ulterior motive to undermine any forthcoming regulation.

But what about the subscribers to the WSJ?

They’re ostensibly entrusting the WSJ with their hard-earned capital to become more informed about the world around them, not less. And yet here Pat Michaels and the WSJ are, assuring them that up is in fact down. If the WSJ’s subscribers are paying money to become informed, the product they’re receiving is grossly defective- perhaps even harmful. If, on the other hand, they are merely looking to confirm their preexisting beliefs about something irrespective of the facts, there are plenty of white papers and press releases from front groups like Heartland or CEI that provide the same kind of fiction without the WSJ’s subscription fee. [And those attempting to compartmentalize the Journal’s op-ed lies while hoping to enjoy its “straight” reporting are finding that even the “news” pages are becoming increasingly Murdochian.] So what’s an intellectually honest, or at least rationally acting, Journal subscriber to do?

[UPDATE: A relevant Climate Denial Crock of the Week:


6 responses to “Pat Michaels lying in the Wall Street Journal

  1. The Soon/Baliunas paper that so “offended” Michael Mann would have earned an undergraduate a grade well south of a “C-” at any decent university. The real scandal is the fact that it actually got published in a refereed journal!

    Michaels, by citing this paper to make his case against the CRU, has demonstrated that he is either incompetent or dishonest (that’s an inclusive ‘or’, btw).

  2. Thank you. This report is particularly helpful to me, as I’ve been retelling the story dating back to 2001 of how I gradually become aware of climate science and of the anti-science propoganda. Michaels showed up several times when I reviewed my notes. I’ve learned that while I, an amateur and learner, was getting suspicious of this person, real scientists who immediately recognized what he was doing wanted to punch him in the nose.


  3. In the face of the enormity of the danger, his actions are criminal.

  4. The synchronicity problem in Soon & Baliunas, 2003 can be readily understood by a lay audience. For their Medieval Warm Period they assembled 50-year-minimum proxy data sets that occurred anywhere in the interval 800AD-1300AD. The regions were not required to be warm at the same time!

  5. “So what’s an intellectually honest, or at least rationally acting, Journal subscriber to do?”

    Here’s what the Climate Capitalist did, when the sellout by Dow Jones happened:
    Call the subscription 800-line and cancel. When the nice lady on the other end asks why, answer, “Two words: Rupert Murdoch”.

    The Financial Times proves you don’t have to be brain-dead to be interested in financial affairs, and it’s cheaper (only $99/year):
    Financial Times: “Follow the Science”

  6. Belated comment here. What’s interesting about this sequence (Michaels misleading, you debunking, von Storch setting record straight, you linking to v.S.) is how the vS piece – which, by calling it out, you elevate in importance – ends up serving the WSJ, by reinforcing the (now multiply debunked, and cleared by all (many) investigations) “climategate” meme in the reader’s mind.
    Clever folks, these; not sure they pass the Turing test though.

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