After this thread’s most recent digression, it occurred to me that I had not commented on the thread’s original topic, and so re-read the OP article.
Something stuck out at me, in context of Pielke’s opening quote:
Remember who the enemy is: Republicans
Michael E. Mann, climate scientist, September 2023
The quote above comes from a recent Tweet by Michael Mann, the climate scientist who is arguably the most visible and influential influencer in the climate science community.
Nowhere in the proceeding article does Pielke explain how Mann became “arguably the most visible and influential influencer in the climate science community” and how this might have, perfectly legitimately, given him a profoundly negative opinion of climate skeptics.
This omitted context can be found, in excruciating detail, in such Wikipedia articles as:
- Michael E. Mann
- Climatic Research Unit email controversy
- Attorney General of Virginia’s climate science investigation
In that context, Mann’s viewpoint, although perhaps extreme, becomes far more explicable. That context does however undercut Pielke’s thesis of Mann “polariz[ing] our politics” – as a less tendentious interpretation would rather be that politics polarized Mann.
In Mann’s own words:
I had no choice but to enter the fray. I was hounded by elected officials, threatened with violence and more — after a single study I co-wrote a decade and a half ago found that the Northern Hemisphere’s average warmth had no precedent in at least the past 1,000 years.
Omitting this context would appear to display the same level of chutzpah as somebody who, having killed both their parents, throws themselves on the mercy of the court for being an orphan.
It would appear that Pielke is likewise a “polarizing” figure:
Roger Pielke Jr, the political scientist recently hired by Nate Silver’s new FiveThirtyEight “data journalism” venture, has a long record of harsh criticisms of the climate science community, impugning the motives, ethics, and honesty of climate scientists and communicators.
This includes past run-ins with Mann himself:
“Pielke’s piece is deeply misleading, confirming some of my worst fears that Nate Silver’s new venture may become yet another outlet for misinformation when it comes to the issue of human-caused climate change,” said Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University.