Thank you for all the helpful thoughts on tree rings, judges, statistics, and much else. We'll publish some of the non-confidential letters over the weekend. And thank you to everyone from Ipswich to Indonesia who's found a few spare bucks, quid or rupees to support the cause.
As to other developments in the Mann vs Steyn case, Newsweek, which is apparently back in business, and with wacky formatting, has a big story by Kurt Eichenwald: "A Change of Legal Climate." It doesn't quite live up to the headline, in the sense that it doesn't explore the genuinely shriveled "legal climate" that we would be under were Big Climate conformism to prevail over freedom of expression. But Mr Eichenwald provides a good read, and I make an appearance along the way:
While some of the defendants or their representatives declined interviews or did not respond to emails, those who did speak expressed confidence that they would prevail. The statements in the CEI article "are fully protected speech under the First Amendment and will likely be treated as such by the Court of Appeals," said Andrew Grossman of BakerHostetler, who represents the think tank and Simberg. Anthony Dick, a lawyer with Jones Day, which represents National Review, declined to comment. Steyn, the author of the original National Review piece, said by email, "I stand by everything I wrote, and I'm happy to defend it in court and before a jury - if it comes to that."
I think it is going to come to that. So let's get on with it, like they would in real legal systems.
Elsewhere, Robert Stacy McCain weighs in:
Steyn's recent column about the case doesn't capture what is so outrageous about Mann's lawsuit: A tenured academic whose particular hustle is the taxpayer-funded "climate change" racket ought to have the decency to pocket his ill-gotten cash and leave honest men alone, but Mann is evidently the shameless sort who thinks he deserves both government money and a good reputation.
And the dogged David Appel, apparently auditioning to play Javert to my Jean Valjean in the forthcoming production of Les Stickerables, notices that, in The Australian eight years ago, I was already calling Mann's hockey stick "fraudulent":
Hence, the famous "hockey stick" graph purporting to show climate over the past 1000 years, as a continuous, flat, millennium-long bungalow with a skyscraper tacked on for the 20th century. This graph was almost laughably fraudulent, not least because it used a formula that would generate a hockey stick shape no matter what data you input, even completely random, trendless, arbitrary computer-generated data. Yet such is the power of the eco-lobby that this fraud became the centrepiece of UN reports on global warming. If it's happening, why is it necessary to lie about it?
The novelist Michael Crichton sent me a note about that Australian column shortly after it appeared. But presumably Dr Mann never saw it, or he would have sued Down Under back in 2006, no?
Damian Penny pens a piece called "Mark Steyn's Self-Destructive Streak". (His advice to keep quiet and trust to the system is best read in conjunction with his previous post on "the end of Free Dominion".)
Yet amidst an avalanche of commentary in recent days perhaps the most penetrating legal analysis comes from Kevin Robbins:
Mark Steyn is probably the most dickish bastard to ever come out of Canada.
That's a more competitive title than you might think.