One of the most malodorous and disreputable aspects of American jurisprudence is the way laws intended to have very narrow application metastasize to target almost anyone the government is minded to stick it to. Thus, the 1970 Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act - RICO - which, as its name suggests, was originally aimed at racketeers, but by 2007 was being deployed against, for example, my old boss Conrad Black. US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald decided to deploy RICO against Canadian newspaper publishers he'd taken a dislike to because he could. That's how federal law works.
Why shouldn't others get a piece of the action? Frustrated at the failure of global-warming alarmism to shift an apathetic public, Big Climate could do several things. Most obviously, they could resume public debate with those who disagree with them, win the argument and thereby persuade the people - which is how change is effected in self-governing societies.
Instead, twenty of them have written to the President to demand that the most powerful government on earth use the RICO laws to prosecute climate "skeptics" and "deniers". Instead of winning the debate, it's easier to criminalize it.
Just for the record, here are the 20 climate scientists eager to jail those who disagree with them:
Jagadish Shukla, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Edward Maibach, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Paul Dirmeyer, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Barry Klinger, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Paul Schopf, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
David Straus, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Edward Sarachik, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Michael Wallace, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Alan Robock, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Eugenia Kalnay, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
William Lau, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Kevin Trenberth, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO
T.N. Krishnamurti, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
Vasu Misra, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
Ben Kirtman, University of Miami, Miami, FL
Robert Dickinson, University of Texas, Austin, TX
Michela Biasutti, Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York, NY
Mark Cane, Columbia University, New York, NY
Lisa Goddard, Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York, NY
Alan Betts, Atmospheric Research, Pittsford, VT
On that last name, I wasn't aware that Pittsford boasted any world-class scientific institutions, but it is apparently home to "Vermont's leading climate scientist".
I've put all the signatories here so I can find them in one convenient place when I come to write a sequel to my new book called Twenty More Disgraces to the Profession. Judith Curry quotes Peter Webster, who wrote to one of the above named thus:
You have signed the death warrant for science.
Granted (as I know from my trial preparation of the last three years) that scientists can be a little unworldly, there is still no excuse for any of them not knowing perfectly well the appalling implications of what they were signing. It is a euphemism to call them, as Dr Curry does, "advocates" - because the intolerant totalitarian nature of what they want makes plain that they are dissatisfied with mere "advocating" and would rather advance to demanding and ordering, and with the full power of the state behind them.
On page xii of the introduction to my new book, I write:
Mann is suing me for defamation. I'd like to win that case - because losing it would 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 lifting the climate of fear that Mann and his fellow enforcers have imposed on a critical field of science and in the broader sphere of public policy. The ugly retaliation that the climate mullahs use against anyone who steps out of line - as we'll see later in the hockey-sticking of distinguished Swedish scientist Lennart Bengtsson - ought to appall any real man of science. You shouldn't have to be a Nobel Laureate like Ivar Giaever or as well-connected as Michael Liebreich to be able to speak out without suffering bloody reprisals. So I'd like to end the protection racket of the Clime Syndicate and put them out of the intimidation business.
That's why I wrote the book, that's why I'm sticking with this Mann vs Steyn case all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary. The 20 additional disgraces to the profession above have, alas, made it clear that they're not going to change their ways. And so climatology's embrace of Lysenkoism - science subordinate to ideology - grows ever more shameless.
Mann was foolish enough to sue Steyn for libel, and this book is "Volume 1" (so the cover proclaims) of Steyn's response.
Wow. Page after page of climate scientists, physicists, and others -- each with his or her credentials and various positions, awards, etc. listed -- many who believe in global warming but hate what Mann and others have done to science -- on the topic of not only the error-prone, poorly conceived, and often outright fraudulent "science" that Mann has been putting out, but also on his character and personal behavior in regards "deniers" (anyone who questions him or points out his mistakes), on the horrific corruption of peer review, of scientific journals, and of science itself...
This is a most incredible volume, just destroying Mann and his small group of fellow conspirators (a characterization that those emails and this book amply justify). I also read the Wikipedia page on Mann, and the self-serving, hide-the-truth nature of that page really leaps out after having read Steyn's book.
Both educational and huge fun -- my wife is enjoying the book also -- A Disgrace to the Profession is something no scientist and no honest person of good will should miss.
Read the whole thing here.
~I very much enjoyed my interview with Ben Mathis in Hollywood at KickAss Politics:
For nearly 3 years now, Mark Steyn's been in a legal battle with a climatologist at Penn State named Michael E. Mann. Mann is the guy who came up with that famous hockey stick graph that became the centerpiece of Al Gore's whole global warming thesis in An Inconvenient Truth. When Mark Steyn called Mann's global warming predictions "fraudulent," Mann sued him for "defamation of a Nobel Prize-winner."
Now Mark Steyn is fighting back with his new book A DISGRACE TO THE PROFESSION: THE WORLD'S SCIENTISTS IN THEIR OWN WORDS, ON MICHAEL E. MANN, HIS HOCKEY STICK AND THEIR DAMAGE TO SCIENCE (VOLUME 1), which brings together dozens of the world's most prominent scientists to call b.s. on Michael Mann's global warming predictions and the questionable methods behind it. We'll discuss his beef with Michael Mann and the distiguished group of scientists who are now speaking out against Mann's global warming projections. Plus we'll talk about Rush Limbaugh and the primary race in Mark's adopted state of New Hampshire.
You can hear the full interview here.
~As for the book, "A Disgrace to the Profession" is available in paperback, Kindle and Nook around the world. We're the Number One climatology bestseller - at least until professors Shukla, Maibach, Dirmeyer, Klinger, Schopf, Straus, Sarachik, Wallace, Robock, Kalnay, Lau, Trenberth, Krishnamurti, Misra, Kirtman, Dickinson, Biasutti, Cane, Goddard, and Betts get it banned and burned.
So read it while you can.
~There are other ways to support Mark's side in the upcoming Mann vs Steyn trial of the century, if you're so inclined:
You can buy a gift certificate starting at $25 (and soaring way up from there), for yourself or your friends and family. The gift certificates have no expiration date, so if, in ten years' time, your favorite nephew has a sudden burning desire for $100 worth of Mark's disco CD, it'll still be valid. On the other hand, if you want to buy a certificate and sit on it until Mark wins the case, that works, too.
The gift certificates are available online here. Alternatively, US and Canadian customers can make a telephone purchase by calling (866) 799-4500 toll free from 8am to 3pm Eastern time on weekdays.