Mann Speaks Out for Climate Change

We’ve been inundated with “Climategate” lately, but not with what the man at the center of the controversy, Penn State meteorology professor Michael Mann, has to say, apart from a few short clips. However, Mann has published an open letter defending himself and his work in this month’s issue of the magazine Voices of Central Pennsylvania. He asserts himself from the very first sentence of the letter: “Climate change is real.”

Mann says he welcomes scientific debate  and a healthy skepticism, but contrasts this with what he’s called the “contrarianism” of stubborn skeptics who refuse to believe anything about climate change or to do anything about it, even pointing out an instance where one of his published works fell on the more skeptical side regarding climate change. And of course, he addresses the email hullabaloo.

As documented in numerous news reports over the past two months, climate change deniers have exploited and misrepresented thousands of personal emails between scientists stolen from a university computer server in the UK. It is true that there are some things that were said or requested in emails that I cannot condone. And there are some things that I myself said in these [sic] private correspondence that I would have stated differently—in clearer and more formal language—had I known that e-mails of my own would be released, through a criminal act of theft, to the world.

He also points out the scientific organizations made up of numerous people that support the climate change theory: the Union of Concerned Scientists and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The question remains, though. If Mann did indeed falsify the data, is there enough other evidence to trump the fake numbers and suggest climate change anyway? I wish I could say without reservation that global warming were a hoax. It would mean that we wouldn’t have to start a massive undertaking to combat its potentially threatening implications. And maybe because I don’t want there to have been global warming that I find it a little hard to believe Mann. His being at the center of this controversy, whether or not he’s proven “innocent” or “guilty” just makes him sound less credible, at least to me. Maybe it’s just how society works these days. That being said, however, I don’t want to jump to conclusions.

At this point, I don’t really care if there is man-made climate change or not. What I do care about is that we get to a consensus about it, and soon, so that we can stop wasting the world’s time and money if we are indeed on the wrong path. We need to start doing what objectively needs to be done, so in case there is any kind of threat, we can at least get a relatively early start at reversing it.

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About the Author

Dan McCool

Dan is a senior and has been writing for Onward State since January 2010. Did you miss him? Nah, neither did we. He's returning after a semester abroad in England and will be serving as Arts Editor. Favorite things in life include references to The Big Lebowski.

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