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Note To Climate Scientist Michael Mann

False Optimism Is Worse Than Reality

I pay little attention to the annual UN climate conferences, but listen to BBC overnight. Last night, they did an hour show on the COP 27 climate conference in Egypt, which included an interview with leading US climate scientist (or should I say “spokesperson”?) Michale Mann. BBC previously set up the conference in this overview).

Let’s just say that I was appalled and embarrassed for Dr. Mann, beginning with the BBC reporter’s mis-affiliation of him as from University of Pennsylvania (instead of Penn State), which he failed to correct. So, after walking the dog this morning, I fired off this note to him.

I find that it’s always best to get the bile off the chest and out of the system, or else it can ruin an otherwise gorgeous day in the desert.

Dear Dr. Mann:

I listened to your BBC interview this morning, from my winter home in the Sonoran desert of southern Arizona.

I spent my 40 year career in environmental policy – in and out of government in ENGO – and am now retired, so please accept these comments as they are offered in good faith from an advocate of climate science.

Your misplaced optimism was obviously offered as a messaging strategy.

It crossed all lines and conflated science, policy, and politics.

Clearly, it is indefensible based on facts and science.

It does not help when such blatant spin is offered up by a scientist. That only feeds skepticism and cynicism. (and I am NOT arguing that scientists should stay out of the policy debate. I advocate just the opposite and have done so repeatedly for years and criticized scientists’ failure to speak out).

Your praise of the Paris framework and the US/China bilateral agreement was absurd, as they undermined the UN and formed the basis of the “voluntary” national commitments that have so flagrantly failed. Obama destroyed any hope of global progress.

To do this in light of the recent “no credible path to 1.5” report is unforgivable.

Your off topic political forays into geo-politics – i.e your references to the Ukrainian US proxy war and to US hostility to China as based on that war were absurd and false. US hostility to China preceded that war and began under the Obama administration’s “strategic pivot” to the Pacific.

In reality, Biden’s approach to climate (just as bad as Obama’s “all of the above”) and his recently released US National Security Strategy are disasters for climate progress. They destroyed the necessary cooperative engagement of BOTH Russia and China.

I was appalled by that interview.

Please stick to the science, because your policy and political thoughts are ill informed and damaging.

Bill Wolfe

FYI, my bio is here:


[Update – hahahahaha! Mann replied instantly, by auto-reply: (my emphasis)

Your email has been received. Due to the high volume of emails received, however, I cannot promise that it will be read or replied to. 

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