Michael Mann has an article in the HuffPo, Something Is Rotten at the New York Times. He’s complaining about the ill-informed views of Koch Brothers-funded climate change contrarian Richard Muller which is language that would normally put me off. But in this case I looked, and Muller’s A Pause, Not an End, to Warming does seem rather objectionable.
Some of it is just a mixed bag:
My analysis is different. Berkeley Earth, a team of scientists I helped establish, found that the average land temperature had risen 1.5 degrees Celsius over the past 250 years. Solar variability didn’t match the pattern; greenhouse gases did.
That’s him blowing his trouser trumpet. As everyone knows, the major feature of BEST was that it was boring. In the sense that it produced the same answers as everyone else. Muller’s implication that “Solar variability didn’t match the pattern; greenhouse gases did” is a result from his stuff is just drivel. But, at least he does acknowledge it as a result.
But it gets worse:
As for the recent plateau, I predicted it, back in 2004. Well, not exactly.
No, not at all. What Muller “predicted” was Suppose… future measurements in the years 2005-2015 show a clear and distinct global cooling trend. (It could happen.) He didn’t predict anything, he merely made a supposition; and the thing he supposed hasn’t happened. Apparently, to him, “that’s close enough” (if a clear cooling trend is close enough to a pause, then a clear warming trend must be close enough to a pause, so by Muller’s own logic he has nothing to write about).
But the bit where it really gets silly is:
If we mistakenly took the hockey stick seriously — that is, if we believed that natural fluctuations in climate are small…
which makes no sense at all. Muller was suckered by the septics waay back, and in 2004 wrote Global Warming Bombshell: A prime piece of evidence linking human activity to climate change turns out to be an artifact of poor mathematics. That was wrong then, and wrong now, but Muller is clinging to it. Not only is the fundamental point of his 2004 piece wrong, but the conclusion he pulls from nowhere – that the Hockey Stick implies natural fluctuations are small – is drivel too.
[Update: just to make that last point more clearly: what Muller is burbling about is the “the [MBH] Hockey Stick shows less variability than other reconstructions” idea. See for example https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hockey_stick_graph. And there is truth to that. But there is no truth to the idea that the Hockey Stick in any way contradicts decadal-scale fluctuations; indeed its obvious from the graph that Muller displays in his 2004 piece that these exists. So I really don’t understand what he’s been smoking.]