Michael Mann's Tree-Ring Circus

This has been a tough week for climate hustler Michael Mann, who lost his defamation and libel lawsuit against respected climatologist and warming skeptic Dr. Tim Ball at the same time it was announced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that there has been no U.S. warming since 2005.

Mann, who poses as a climatologist at Penn State, has had his court case against genuine climate scientist Dr. Tim Ball dismissed, with Mann ordered to pay court costs, for failure to produce supporting evidence to prove his claim that global temperatures took a sharp upward turn when the Industrial Revolution and fossil-fuel use began pouring CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

He didn’t because he can’t, and the fact is that the global warning he speaks of is Mann-made, a fantasy based on a career of perpetrating climate fraud, as indicated by NOAA’s report that there hasn’t been any U.S. warming for nearly a decade and a half and maybe even beyond that. As noted by James Taylor, director of the Arthur B. Robinson Center for Climate and Environmental Policy at the Heartland Institute, in a piece for Real Clear Energy:

When American climate alarmists claim to have witnessed the effects of global warming, they must be referring to a time beyond 14 years ago. That is because there has been no warming in the United States since at least 2005, according to updated data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

In January 2005, NOAA began recording temperatures at its newly built U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN). USCRN includes 114 pristinely maintained temperature stations spaced relatively uniformly across the lower 48 states. NOAA selected locations that were far away from urban and land-development impacts that might artificially taint temperature readings…

There is also good reason to believe U.S. temperatures have not warmed at all since the 1930s. Raw temperature readings at the preexisting stations indicate temperatures are the same now as 80 years ago. All of the asserted U.S. warming since 1930 is the product of the controversial adjustments made to the raw data.

The use of properly positioned temperature recording stations coupled with satellite date, a relatively recent innovation that covers the whole earth, has given us a more realistic picture than computer models that can’t even  predict the past and fraudulently manipulate raw data from dubious sources.

Meteorologist Anthony Watts documented the inaccuracy of old weather station data used by NASA on his SurfaceStations.org website. Watts said that “90 percent of them don’t meet (the government’s) old, simple rule called the ‘100-foot rule” for keeping thermometers 100 feet or more from biasing influence.” Many of the U.S. stations were in locations such as paved driveways, near rooftop exhaust vents, even near idling jet engines.

In 2016, Mann testified before the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee that actual data didn’t really matter because we could actually see climate change happening. The Washington Times noted both his appearance and at least one contradiction to his claims based, not on computer models, but on actual empirical observation:

Leading climate doomsayer Michael Mann recently downplayed the importance of climate change science, telling Democrats that data and models “increasingly are unnecessary” because the impact is obvious…

Mr. Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University, spoke before the committee June 17 in Phoenix… Mr. Mann told the panel that “the signal of climate change is no longer subtle, it is obvious,” citing hurricanes, flooding in Texas and South Carolina, the California drought and “record heat” in Arizona.

Skeptics have hotly challenged the link between rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and “extreme weather” events, noting, for example, that hurricane activity is on the decline.

A nine-year “hurricane drought” of Category 3 storms starting in 2006 beat the previous mark of eight years from 1861-1868, the longest such streak since such recording began in 1851, according to a May 2015 study by the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

Mann has proven adept over his career at making controversial, no, fraudulent adjustments made to the raw data. Mann might be remembered as one of the participants in what Investor’s Business Daily dubbed a “tree-ring circus” -- the Climategate scandal. As IBD noted at the time:

Mann was at the heart of the Climate-gate scandal in 2009, when emails were unearthed from Britain's Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia. In one email sent to Mann and others, CRU director Philip Jones speaks of the "trick" of filling in gaps of data in order to hide evidence of temperature decline:

"I've just completed Mike's nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e. from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline (in global temperatures)," the email read.

It was that attempt to "hide the decline" through the manipulation of data that helped bring down the global warming house of cards.

The graph created by professor Mann and his colleagues carefully selected and manipulated tree-ring data to supposedly prove that air temperatures had been stable for 900 years, then soared off the charts -- in a pattern resembling a hockey stick -- in the 20th century due to man-made greenhouse gases. Mann et al. performed the neat trick of making the Medieval Warm Period (about A.D. 800 to 1400) and the Little Ice Age (A.D. 1600 to 1850) statistically disappear.

As Investor’s Business Daily also noted:

The graph relied on data from trees on the Yamal Peninsula in Siberia. Here, too, the results were carefully selected. Just 12 trees from the 252 cores in the CRU's Yamal data set were used. A larger data set of 34 tree cores from the vicinity showed no dramatic recent warming, and warmer temperatures in the middle ages. They were not included.

“Hiding the decline” and any actual evidence that global warming hype was nothing more an attempt by climate change scammers to impose what has become a religion. MIT Professor Richard Lindzen is quoted in the Daily Caller questioning the tenets of this new religion:

Throughout history, governments have twisted science to suit a political agenda. Global warming is no different, according to Dr. Richard Lindzen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“Global climate alarmism has been costly to society, and it has the potential to be vastly more costly. It has also been damaging to science, as scientists adjust both data and even theory to accommodate politically correct positions,” writes Lindzen in the fall 2013 issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons…

Lindzen compares global warming to past politicized scientific movements: the eugenics movement in the early 20th Century and Lysenkoism in the Soviet Union under Stalin. However, the MIT professor argues that global warming goes even beyond what these past movements in terms of twisting science.

“Global Warming has become a religion,” writes Lindzen. “A surprisingly large number of people seem to have concluded that all that gives meaning to their lives is the belief that they are saving the planet by paying attention to their carbon footprint.”

The goal is to use climate change as a means to increase government power over every aspect of our lives, what we make, how we make it, what energy we use, what cars we drive, even what food we eat. And now the high priests of the global warming religion are demanding what other false religions have demanded -- human sacrifices upon their altar. As Michael Mann has found out, facts are stubborn things and tree rings don’t always ring true.

Daniel John Sobieski is a former editorial writer for Investor’s Business Daily and freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.