It’s October, so the Nobel Prize committees are announcing their annual awards. Meanwhile, I’ve been busy taking away phony Nobel prizes from three members of the global warming industrial complex.
At the end of September, I noticed that Youngstown State University had announced an upcoming November event with “Nobel Prize winner Michael Mann,” a Penn State professor and inventor of the infamous hockey (hokey?) stick graph. I complained to Youngstown State that Mann had not won the Nobel Prize. He was merely one of hundreds of contributors to reports produced by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was the actual Novel Peace Prize winner in 2007. Mann has on multiple occasions falsely claimed to be a Nobelist, including on the jacket of one of his books and in litigation with pundit Mark Steyn.
To its credit, Youngstown State quickly wrote back and informed me that it would no longer describe Mann as a Nobelist. This at least the fourth time that I had seen to Mann being de-Nobeled. Even though the Nobel committee has made clear that IPCC contributors are not Nobelists, descriptions of Mann as a Nobelist keep arising. One wonders what the source is. I have twice tried to get to the root of this via the Freedom of Information Act, but was rebuffed by the National Science Foundation and the University of California-Los Angeles.
In the wake of the latest Mann de-Nobeling, I was informed that George Mason University’s Jagadish Shukla had also falsely claimed to be “a co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his work with IPCC.” Shukla recently became notorious as the leader of an effort to have climate skeptics investigated by the Department of Justice under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. After complaints to the ethics office at George Mason University, Shukla’s claims were promptly taken down from the George Mason University web site.
Then just today, it became the turn of the University of Montana’s Steve Running. Running had aggressively touted the claim that he was a Nobel Prize winner for his IPCC contributions. Though his false claims were exposed as recently as a year ago, no action had been taken. His university web pages claimed in three places that he “shared,” “was awarded,” and was a “co-recipient of” the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. So I wrote to his department chairman. His claims now reside in the Internet dustbin of “page cannot be found.”
There are other false Nobel claims by global warming advocates out there — I or someone else will get to you, too.
While these de-Nobeling efforts may seem like nothing more than embarrassing “gotcha” moments, there is much more to it.
First, there is the character issue. We are all familiar with the concept of “stolen valor” — for example, when individuals have falsely claimed to have won medals for bravery in combat or have even made false claims or gave false impressions about being in combat. Warmist Al Gore infamously tried to pass himself off as a combat infantryman in his 1988 presidential campaign — even though he had only been a reporter who had interviewed soldiers who had actually been in combat. This character defect insults all those who are genuine heroes. Those who try to misappropriate the valor rightfully belonging to others deserve our deepest contempt.
Next, there is the often-overlooked question of trustworthiness. Much climate “science” is beyond the grasp of most of the public. People often lack the time, interest or ability to understand it. But what is readily understandable is honesty. Why would anyone trust black box climate science or science they don’t understand when it is advanced by folks who can be shown to make false claims?
Imagine the brazenness of someone who falsely claims to be a Nobel Prize winner — a simple claim that is easily verified on the Internet. Why then would anyone believe much more complex claims? Michael Mann falsely claimed to be a Nobel winner. So why would anyone believe his black box computer model claim of being able to divine the global temperature record going back a thousand years?
Any climate skeptic who acted so brazenly would be rightfully drummed out of public discourse by both sides. With warmists though, false claims are their stock in trade.
Steve Milloy publishes JunkScience.com (@JunkScience).