Over at Real Clear Politics, Robert Tracinski muses on the degradation of "global warming" into "a textbook case of pseudo-science":
One of the famous characteristics of pseudo-science is that it is "unfalsifiable." That is, the theory is constructed in such a way that there is no evidence that could possibly refute it. The classic example is Freudian psychoanalysis, which tells you that you have an Oedipus Complex, and if you deny it, that's just proof that you're repressing it...
"Climate-change" theory is similarly irrefutable:
So sea water is freezing because it is melting.
Note that there is never any pause to acknowledge that maybe scientists should investigate the hypothesis that warming isn't as big or inevitable as they have predicted. No, it's on to the next ad hoc rationalization. That's the basic pattern: an unproven theory reinforces itself in the face of contradictory evidence by generating additional unproven theories.
A relatively small number of us find Big Climate's pretzel-like exertions hilarious and ridiculous. But should we be allowed to do so? To those who believe in his magical "hockey stick", the fake Nobel Laureate Dr Michael Mann's current legal battles are the result of "denialists" denying him the freedom to practice his "science". But look at the actual court cases and a different picture emerges. First, Mann's case before the Virginia Supreme Court:
A conservative advocacy group, the American Tradition Institute, filed the initial request for documents, and the University was apparently inclined to agree to much of the request until Mann, the American Association of University Professors, and other groups urged them not to.
So, yes, ATI is "right-wing" and the University of Virginia isn't. Yet the latter didn't have a problem with the former's freedom-of-information request until Dr Mann shoved his hockey stick into the case and demanded they say no. Who else has muscled their way in? Well, The Washington Post, National Public Radio and a bunch of other impeccably non-right-wing media organizations filed amici briefs - against Mann:
On the other side, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has joined 17 media organizations in arguing that the records-request exemption being sought by [Dr Mann and] the university is so broad that it would effectively gut the law at issue, the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, hindering journalists' ability to cover public institutions.
So, if Mann prevails, he would "gut" freedom of information in Virginia. (You can read the full brief here.)
What else would he gut? Well, in his case against me and National Review, amici briefs were filed by, again, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, The Los Angeles Times, NBC et al, and the American Civil Liberties Union. And they also weighed in against Mann:
Twenty-four hours later, the ACLU also filed an amicus brief in support of NR and our fellow defendants and against what they call "the intimidating effect such lawsuits can have on free speech." And they're very strong on a couple of key points â€” that what they call "the value protecting of free speech on issues of public interest" is paramount, and that in suits like these the litigant's goal is not to win or lose but "to intimidate the advocate 'into silence.'"
So, if Mann prevails in the NR case, he would "gut" freedom of speech. The only "denialist" here is Dr Michael E Mann. He wants to deny his critics the right to engage in satire, in word-play, and (in the NR/CEI case) metaphor and analogy. Because he is too insecure and dull-witted to defeat his opponents in debate, he insists they must be denied basic freedoms - from freedom of information to freedom of speech, freedom of inquiry to freedom of parody. All this while spending the fall on the campaign trail and in TV ads as an explicitly political activist. So a political figure is also insisting that he, uniquely, must be beyond the usual rough-and-tumble of political debate.
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the ACLU grasp what's really at stake here. The only denialist is Michael Mann, denier of freedom.
(PS Several readers have asked if I have a legal-defense fund. No, and I don't really care for them. But, if you want to support the cause of free speech, you could do far worse than buy a copy of Lights Out from the SteynOnline bookstore. Or, if you're in the vicinity, swing by to one of the stops on my Florida tour - I'll be giving away my antidote to Mann's hockey stick, the Liberty Stick.)