The Climate of Fear
by Mark Steyn
When you get embroiled in as many time-consuming legal matters as I do, it's always fun to have something bigger at stake than a mere courtroom victory. I find, otherwise, it's all a bit of a bore. When the Canadian "human rights" commissions came after me and my friend Ezra Levant, we turned the tables and put the "human rights" system itself on trial. The eventual repeal by Parliament of the disgusting and indefensible "hate speech" law was personally far more satisfying than the not-guilty verdict the British Columbia "Human Rights" Tribunal graciously bestowed on me and Maclean's: By that stage, we had way bigger fish to fry.
In my current case, global warm-monger Michael E Mann is suing me for defamation for calling his famous climate-change "hockey stick" fraudulent. I maintain it is fraudulent, that it was fraudulently promoted by the IPCC and by Al Gore (as the great iconic all-you-need-to-know image of global warming), that Mann himself is fraudulent (falsely claiming on an industrial scale to be a Nobel Laureate) and that, indeed, even his court filings are fraudulent (falsely claiming to have been "exonerated" by the British Government and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and all kinds of other "Climategate" inquiries that have never ever investigated him). So I'd like to win that case in the DC Superior Court, not only because losing it would have me, as Charles P Pierce in Esquire gloats, "pricing steam-grates along Yonge Street in Toronto for possible future housing", but because it would also be the worst setback for free speech in America in the half-century since New York Times vs Sullivan.
But as important a goal for me is ending the climate of fear that Mann and his fellow ayatollahs of alarmism have imposed on a critical field of science and in the broader sphere of public policy. The ugly thuggery that the Warmanos use against anyone who steps out of line - most recently seen in the hockey-sticking of distinguished Swedish scientist Lennart Bengtsson - ought to appall any real man of science. So I'd like to end the protection racket of the Clime Syndicate and put them out of the intimidation business.
As you know, at the end of last year I parted company with my co-defendants National Review and our shared counsel because of my dissatisfaction with the way they were fighting (or, in fact, not fighting) the case. I spent some time and effort looking around for new lawyers, and I'm proud to say that I have Dan Kornstein, the man behind the single most important free-speech legislation this century, as my lead counsel on this case. We're mounting a big-picture First Amendment pushback against Michael Mann, a bullying enforcer whose only response to critics on at least three continents is to demand that they be silenced, banned or fired. It's enormously consuming of time and money, and I'm extremely grateful to all those from Manhattan and Moose Jaw to Geneva and Jakartai all the way to pinpricks of empire like Vanuatu and the Falkland Islands who've swung by the Steyn store to drop a few shillings on my free-speech book or our collector's-item Steyn vs the Stick merchandise or our new SteynOnline gift certificates. Without your support, it would not have been possible to keep this campaign going.
I'm happy to announce we're now taking it to another level. As you know, legal maneuvering and the usual procedural folderol of the sclerotic US "justice" system has delayed my efforts to get Mann deposed, discovered, and for the first time in his life up on the witness stand, testifying about the "hockey stick" under oath. So it seems to me this is an excellent time to get on with the broader campaign against the climate mullahs. Aside from the best free-speech legal team in the land, we've now taken on someone to direct this side of the investigation against Mann. He's already working full-time on the case - he was in Washington yesterday for the Congressional hearings on the IPCC, and meeting with climate scientists and others. He'll also be heading to Penn State and other places hither and yon. I've been very grateful for your suggestions since I struck out on my own five months ago, and if you've any more I hope you'll continue to send them our team via firstname.lastname@example.org.
It would not have been possible to take on someone to direct the investigative efforts in this case without your continued support. I didn't seek this battle, but it's very humbling to me to know so many people out there - especially in climate science - think it vital that I win it. Dr Mann has played fast and loose with the facts for years. Which is why so few of his fellow scientists are anxious to defend him, and why even the IPCC has climbed off the hockey stick. This case is about the right of a free society to engage in robust debate on public policy. And, because Dr Mann cannot withstand that level of scrutiny, he demands the courts protect him from it.
Mann has, at last count, four white-shoe lawyers on the payroll in DC, plus his Canadian lawyers in Vancouver, all funded by some ideological "climate defense fund" or some such. If you'd like to be part of the resistance to Big Climate, we've brought back the SteynOnline gift certificate, which we usually only offer during the Christmas season. It makes a great present for any Steyn fan in your family - and it's an easy way to support us without filling your basement up with copies of my disco CD. Instead, you can buy a gift certificate for yourself (starting at $25). If you want to give us the "full legal bang for the buck" (as one reader puts it) and sit on your unredeemed certificate for a decade or two, that's great: They never expire so, if circa 2040, you have a sudden yen for a couple of crates' worth of SteynOnline mugs, you'll still be able to load up. If you want to redeem part of it for a book and let SteynOnline keep the change, that works, too. If you want to hold on to it until my new book comes out later this year or until Christmas season cranks up, that's also a good idea.
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Thank you again for your support these last few months. Anything involving the sclerotic US "justice" system is a long, cheerless slog, but we have an outstanding legal team of principled freespeechers, and now someone working full-time on leading the broader investigation into Mann and his climate of fear. We will win, and so will the First Amendment.
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© 2014 Mark Steyn Enterprises (US) Inc. All rights reserved.