Rick Manning did your readers a disservice with his January 15 piece on climate change entitled, “Frozen by Flawed Heat Assumptions.” 

Mr. Manning notes that he is no climate scientist. Well, I am, and Mr. Manning maligned my own research along with research from untold thousands of scientists who have determined that human activity is causing climate change.

For instance, despite the fact that Arctic sea ice extent has declined by 50% over the past half century, Mr. Manning wants us to believe it’s growing because that’s what he read in a British tabloid. Similarly, our own National Academy of Sciences found that climate change is human-induced and already disruptive. However, Mr. Manning would rather rely on a report from the Russian government’s international broadcasting service for information on climate science.

It’s unfortunate that people like Mr. Manning feel the need to attack science, but it’s an all too common tactic among those who don’t support climate policy. I should know. I’ve been at the center of these attacks because of my own work demonstrating the reality of human-caused climate change. I describe this in my book, “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars.”

I was not surprised to find that Mr. Manning’s group, Americans for Limited Government, received more than $4 million in 2010 from an opaque organization with ties to the oil refining company, Koch Industries. Make no mistake. These companies know what they’re paying for, just like the tobacco and asbestos industries before them.

It’s fine to have a debate about the size of government or what our policy responses should be to climate change. However, let’s have a debate that respects science rather than using it as a political punching bag.


Michael Mann

Distinguished Professor of Meteorology

Penn State University

University Park, PA