It seems that Roger Pielke Jr is having a bit of a rant on Twitter about an interview Michael Mann gave about the recent Congressional Hearings. He accuses Michael Mann of lying about him and also suggests that he might file an ethics complaint to Michael Mann’s university. I, initially, did not notice because, like many others, I’ve been blocked by Roger. If you do want to see the tweets, they’re archived here (scroll down a little). Roger’s made a bit of a habit recently of complaining about his treatment, and I have been a little sympathetic. I also thought some of what he presented at the Congressional Hearings was reasonable. However, I also think he brings much of this upon himself by being rather selective in what he presents, and by not being careful enough in how he does so.
However, the bizarre thing about this particular situation is that, if you listen to the interview (as I have), his name is not mentioned at all. The only relevant comment is at 6:56, where Michael Mann says (H/T Eli)
There are three witnesses that actually are sorta in the fringe of scientists who do not accept the science of climate change or the reality of the impacts of climate change.
The three scientists being referred to here are Judith Curry, John Christy, and Roger Pielke Jr. It seems like a pretty mild kind of comment to me. It even says sorta in the fringe, rather than definitively in the fringe. Roger may dislike that this is how he is perceived, but it’s my impression that this is indeed how many do perceive him. I don’t think he was called by the Republicans to give evidence at the hearing because he is regarded as a mainstream voice. I realise that he claims to accept the science of climate change, but if someone has to explicitly tell people what they accept, then maybe they aren’t making that clear enough when they actually discuss the topic publicly.
Ultimately, people are entitled to make judgements on the basis of what someone else says, and are entitled to express those views publicly. They also don’t need to change their mind just because the other party disputes the judgement. If Roger really dislikes being regarded as being sorta in the fringe then he should probably try harder to make it clear that he isn’t sorta in the fringe, rather than ranting about people who characterise him as being so. The irony of this whole situation is that the one person who might have a valid complaint is Michael Mann against Roger Pielke Jr, for publicly suggesting that Michael Mann has behaved unethically.