On the Roku there are a variety of channels, many with minority opinions, but the biggest and most fully populated with news stories tend to be the ones fully funded by some market position (like NBC, ABC, CBS, Reuters) and some subscription (like FOX), then there are the little guys. Well, they come in all stripes. One of them is named “The Real News” and has a “therealnews”.com website. They happen to be a bit radical left…
So I was, of course, going to tune in. (If you must ask why, look up “opposition research”…)
One of their shows was an interview with which Dr. Mann gave his opinion on his interview on Capitol Hill. The one where he was found to be less than stellar by other observers. Well, his opinion of himself is vastly different…
So TheRealNews (that is anything but..) interviewed him on video. Now first off, he was clearly using his laptop as camera and microphone in a remote interview. Folks, you really need to know to NEVER do that.
Laptops and phones have very wide angle lenses. Their POV is also from “low in front”. That means your mouth (and in Mann’s case it is surrounded by fur) and nose are closest to the camera and generally center frame. Now the wide angle perspective causes a great enlargement of things near, and a shrinking of things far. You don’t notice this in a regular lens, or in carefully crafted modest wide angle shots; but in Very Wide Angle shots, it grossly exaggerates the nearest things, which in this case was made worse by Mann tending to ‘lean in’ for emphasis and rock back and forth while talking.
So sporadically I was confronted with a big bulbous nose, a bulging face, and a hairy hole of a mouth, just for emphasis, I suppose… “Not flattering” doesn’t even come close. Looking up a bulbous nose while watching a tongue waggle in a field of facial hair is downright repugnant. (Perhaps I’m overstating it… I can be sensitive some times ;-) This POV also tends to shrink the apparent size of the top of the head and give a small ‘beady eyes’ look to the man. Then again, that didn’t change much when he wasn’t leaned in… so who knows…
On to content:
It was in many ways just a reiteration of The Usual Mantra. The “97%” was rolled out several times, though once he bounced it up to “97 to 99%! “; so ‘grade inflation’ is underway. Sometimes this was “of published” and sometimes “of those in the field” – basically leveraging “Pal Review” results and rejecting criticism of anyone not in the club, er, field…
He went on to say it was a gross “Distortion” to not have 99% of the panel being interviewed be made up from The Club Of Climate Profiteers and it was near sacrilegious to have actually heard from a denier… though in deference for those others on the panel actually having good solid Ph.D’s he called them “contrarian scientists”… shades of “Mary, Mary Quite Contrary”… and about the same developmental level. Of course, he smeared his opposition with the “Fossil Fuel Interests!!!” j’accuse! as though ever having driven a gasoline car made you a shill for Exxon.
Also unstated was how a 1% minority would ever be heard if 99% of 4 people were to be of one mind… One presumes one of the panel would need to “express doubt” about the “4th decimal place in one calculation”…
A frequently repeated mantra was that Climate Change was “Real, Human Caused, and a PROBLEM.” Now that’s important because it clearly lays out exactly what to attack. We all tend to get stuck at step 1, it isn’t real. Arguing over angels and pin heads (us, of course, being angels, them…) but there are two other points of attack here. First off, we ought to be in the habit of running everything both forward AND backward. It is one of my favored analytical tools.
So start with the end: “a PROBLEM”. Simply put: “Where’s The Beef?”. Just not seeing any real problems. Lots of hypothetical ones. Lots of things asserted to be a
weather climate causality, but with zero proof. So we collectively need to do more to show there is no problem.
Next up: “Human Caused”. We could do much more here with historical CO2 cycles during other glacial / interglacial cycles. By demonstrating better that CO2 wanders around with ocean temperature even without humans, we would have a much better handle on this one.
Finally, that whole “real” thing needs to be attacked not JUST on the basis of lousy data and crap science, but also on just asking about history more. Shove in their face the historical highs and lows, both far beyond our present now. So what is it that is “real”? Just that climate changes? Sure it does. That means nothing. Their first point is VOID and needs to be repeatedly demonstrated as such.
Very oddly, Mann also asserted that it was not true that the present warming was less than the models! I had trouble believing that one came from his lips, but there it was. Guess he can’t read any graph but his own broken hockey stick.
The discussion then turned to the skeptics and he called POTUS Trump a “science denier”. Perhaps he ought to reconsider the wisdom of attacking Trump… he might find himself drafted and sent to service airplanes in a Syrian Airbase Arch…
He attacked the deniers “lack of consistency in counter arguments”, as though it was not possible to point out multiple issues that might have mutually inconsistent end points. Someone can point at me and say “He might be overweight due to being a glutton or he might just have a thyroid problem.” It does not negate the observation that I’m packing a few dozen too many pounds! What was that about an unnecessary consistency being the hobgoblin of small minds? Well, we clearly have the unnecessary consistency demand and it is clearly bugging him as a hobgoblin of sorts…
In general, he repeated claims that the “contrarians” had a “distorted view” of science. (Like his view is crystal clear and he can do no wrong?… Can you say ‘upside down trees’?…)
There were the usual repeated appeals to authority. (Note to POTUS Trump: Need to appoint a new cabal of Authorities in the Climate Departments so as to get a ‘do over’ on the lies that presently pass as ‘authority’). and he used the POLITICAL body IPCC reports, created by “thousands of scientists world wide”, to denigrate Climate Cycles, natural cycles in general, then stated, I kid you not: “Humans could be responsible for MORE than 100% of the warming we have seen!!”
I think he may have realized after uttering that just how weak and stupid it sounded. After a flicker of a pause he added that natural cooling had happened so the warming from humans was greater than the warming we had seen since it had kept away this hypothetical natural cooling, and THEN warmed too. Really. That’s what he said.
They closed with a public service announcement about the April 22 Earth Day “March by Scientists” on the capitol. So figure on some more Street Theatre. One wonders how many of these “scientists” that will be marching are really Sr. Year Political “Scientists” and the occasional advanced degree in “Janitorial Science”… Interviewing some of the crowd for credentials might be amusing, or just survey the average age…
Now we also know that we need a counter point to that “mob claiming to be scientists doing street theatre”.
So I’m again happy that the Roku has brought me another way to gather information. I’d have not known of some of those most preposterous statements without it. (I’d have not gone looking with the right search terms).
There’s a bunch of “actionable intel” that came from the interview, and then there was the opportunity to see M. Mann “up close and personal” (even if a bit too much ‘up the nose’ sans hose…) and realize that he is as empty a shirt as I’d expected.