A climate scientist infamous for incorrectly claiming he once won the Nobel Prize is criticizing a museum for not being faithful to the truth and facts because of its association with a billionaire climate skeptic.
A so-called climate denier does not deserve a leadership position at the American Museum of Natural History, according to Penn State University professor Michael Mann. He was referring to Rebekah Mercer, a wealthy conservative who sits on the museum’s board of trustees.
“A natural-history museum must be accurate, faithful to the facts and trusted by the public,” Mann wrote Monday in an editorial for The New York Times. He urged the museum to distance itself from Mercer, a supporter of President Donald Trump and donator to conservative causes.
Mann has consistently been called out for falsely claiming to have co-won the Nobel Prize in 2007 with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and former Vice President Al Gore.
The prize was awarded to Gore that year for his “efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change,” according to the panel.
Mann claimed in his lawsuit in 2012 against conservative pundit Mark Steyn and National Review that he was a Nobel Laureate, but the Nobel committee has consistently rebuked this claim. Mann went on to slam the museum and Mercer for not adhering to the truth and scientific standards.
“For years, many scientists were hesitant to come out of their labs and speak up for fear that truth-telling would result in personal attacks or threaten their professional credibility,” said Mann, who gained fame for his “hockey stick” graph showing global temperature rise – Gore eventually used the academic’s graphs in his documentary, “Inconvenient Truth.”
Mann and a handful of scientists used a super PAC to get their colleagues to align against Trump during the presidential election over the president’s willingness to “embrace of conspiracy theories, anti-science attitudes, and disregard for experts.”
The group, Not Who We Are PAC, wasn’t heavily involved in the election, compared to the tens of millions spent by other super PACs. The group has only spent $23,000 on ads targeting Trump, according to federal filings.
Mann dismissed the idea that the push against Mercer is a politically partisan issue. He later suggested the museum move to use the Mercer family’s donations “to develop exhibitions and programs that educate the public about the climate-denial machine that illuminate its history of using propaganda to obstruct pro-climate action and the document how we’ve arrived at this current crisis point for the planet.”
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