In August 1999, I attended a meeting in Arusha, Tanzania, as a lead author for an upcoming report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). From my hotel room, I could see one of the world’s great wonders, Mount Kilimanjaro, with its magnificent ice cap … After the meeting, I joined a daylong expedition to see one of the world’s greatest displays of nature: Serengeti National Park. … Among the most striking and curious scenes I saw that day were groups of zebras standing back to back, forming a continuous wall of vertical stripes. “Why do they do this?” an IPCC colleague asked the tour guide. “To confuse the lions,” he explained. Predators, in what I call the “Serengeti strategy,” look for the most vulnerable animals at the edge of a herd. But they have difficulty picking out an individual zebra to attack when it is seamlessly incorporated into the larger group, lost in this case in a continuous wall of stripes. Only later would I understand the profound lesson this scene from nature had to offer me and my fellow climate scientists in the years to come.
The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, (Prologue)
The Serengeti Strategy
Mann is not the Ernest Hemingway of science writers. He goes on to explain that his critics are actually just picking on the “most vulnerable animal” of the climate-alarmist-herd, him. Portraying yourself as a dumb herd animal and your opponents as formidable hunters of the plain, is probably not the best metaphor to win an argument. But it is part of his ongoing victimhood narrative. Continue reading