In his testimony to the House Science Committee on Wednesday, Michael Mann, one of the world’s leading climate scientists, told the story of Trofim Lysenko, a plant scientist who worked for Stalinist Russia:
Lysenko was a Russian agronomist and it became Leninist doctrine to impose his views about heredity, which were crackpot theories, completely at odds with the world’s scientists. Under Stalin, scientists were being jailed if they disagreed with his theories about agriculture. And Russian agriculture actually suffered, scientists were jailed, many died in their jail cells and potentially millions of people suffered from the disastrous agriculture policies that followed from that.
The gist of Mann’s anecdote was that scientists who challenge the ruling government’s diktat on any given scientific issue are demonized and punished while innocent bystanders suffer. In the here and now, this would seemingly apply to the minority of scientists brave enough to question the reigning dogma of climate science. After all, these are the folks who have been threatened by top law-enforcement officials, personally and professionally attacked by their peers, and even driven out of their academic positions due to the harassment.
But astonishingly, Mann was not talking about those scientists: He was talking about himself. In his alternative universe, he and other climate scientists are the martyrs, oppressed and silenced by the Politburo. Never mind that Mann — a tenured professor at one of the country’s top public universities — opened his testimony by reciting a prodigious list of awards he has won, books he has authored, scientific organizations he leads. He is celebrated by the media and environmental groups around the world, and yet in front of Congress he talked like a guy on his way to the Gulag. It takes a special blend of hubris, juvenility, and dishonesty to portray yourself as a victim when you are really the bully.