I see Michael E Mann has announced that "I'm a science advisor for (and appear in)" Years Of Living Dangerously, the new James Cameron global warm-monging doomsday blockbuster from Showtime starring Harrison Ford, Matt Damon, Jessica Alba and others as globetrotting environmental correspondents. You can watch the trailer here. Dr Mann is suing me for the professional damage I've supposedly inflicted on him. It's so damaged he's now the official scientific advisor to Jessica Alba. I can't be the only chap who'd like to be damaged that badly. He may not be a Nobel Laureate but he's Jessica Alba's personal climatologist, and I'm sure she'll thank him at the Oscars.
This may be a portent of how things are likely to go at trial. From the Great White North, a barrister writes:
Love your writing and usually agree with you. I have been a lawyer in Canada for almost 40 years and my experience leads me to fear that you are making the common litigant's mistake of thinking that because you are right you will win. And it just ain't so.
Experienced litigators for the most part believe, ironically, that it is best to stay out of the courtroom where bad things can happen. You can't count on jurors to understand the issues or make a reasoned and correct decision. And their decision is practically unappealable. Take note of the experience that was handed to the Canadian Loewen funeral chain by an American jury.
How will you come across to them? To be blunt they may see you as an unlikable foreigner with a funny accent who has an air of arrogance about him. They may find the plaintiff more appealing. He does seem to have an ability to sell himself. The jurors may well be so indoctrinated with the orthodoxy of climate change that any suggestion that Mann is anything other than a great scientist trying to save the planet will fall on deaf ears and no amount of evidence or appeal to reason will shake them of the notion. The benefit of my experience leads me to counsel caution.
You may have a point on that unlikable-foreigner-vs-hometown-boy-saving-the-planet-with-Jessica-Alba stuff. I'm reminded of that line Dennis Miller and I always chuckle over: The great musical misanthrope Oscar Levant was a pal of George Gershwin, as a result of which they put him in the Gershwin biopic starring Robert Alba. It didn't do so well. Asked to explain why the film apparently didn't appeal to people, Levant said, "I played an unsympathetic part. Myself." Not sure what I can do about that, but I've asked Kristen Stewart if she'd like to sign me up as her personal hatemonger.
Meanwhile, George in St Louis offers advice on funding the defense:
How about coffee mugs that say "Mark Steyn is my hero!"
Um, I think that's really the kind of line somebody else has to say about you. "'Michael Mann is my hero!' - Jessica Alba" beats "'Mark Steyn is my hero!' - Mark Steyn T-Shirt Slogans, Inc". On the other hand, if you do want to chip in, the new Kindle edition of my free-speech book Lights Out was released yesterday, and was doing well in such (hitherto unknown to me) hit parades as the Canadian Book-Banning Bestseller List and the US Censorship Chart. It's available at Amazon.com and at Amazon sites in Canada, Britain, Oz, etc. For a full list of your nearest retailer, scroll down to the foot of the page. My royalty rate on e-books is pretty good, so it's a good way both to prop up my end of the case and bring yourself up to speed on the core issue: free speech. It should be out on Nook any day now, too, for you Barnes & Noble types. Not that I'm suggesting you shouldn't patronize the SteynOnline bookstore, where our new gift certificates are an easy and efficient way to support the cause. Speaking of our gift certificates, Dirty Dave has a suggestion:
I've been a reader of your various columns for years, and followed your travails with the CHRC & Co.
Having been involvded in an endless lawsuit as a board member of a non-profit, I understand the frustration involved in dealing with the legal system. I noted in one of your pieces that you were reluctant to establish a legal fund. Considering that the IRS and God-knows-who-else could use that as a pretext to further your misery, that seems a wise choice.
I recently purchased a gift certificate from your store, and where it asked the recipient's name, I put in Michael Mann's name. When I receive the certificate, I will forward it to Mann at the Penn State address. What can Mann do with that certificate?
1. He can throw it away, and you get to use the full amount for your legal fees
2. He can purchase items from your store, in order to deprive you of some of the profit.
The possible ramifications of choice #2 seem somewhat undesirable from Mann's point of view. Imagine thousands of gift certificates, resulting in thousands of your books in his possesion. A massive book burning on the Penn State campus? Bad publicity. James O'Keefe take note. All that CO2? Heh. Either way, it's a lose-lose for Mann, and I find that rather satisfying. (I take my victories where I can get them, no matter how small.)
I would implore your other readers to invest their money and effort in preserving the Bill of Rights by helping you with this matter, and at the same time let Dr. Mann know how little regard they have for him.
Canandaigua, New York
I was hoping, re Option Two, you were going to say he'd order my books, read Lights Out, and see the error of his litigious ways. But perhaps that's too much of a long shot. Nevertheless, readers may be surprise to know that a remarkable number of readers from State College, Pennsylvania, and les environs have swung by our bookstore in recent weeks - suggesting that not everyone at Penn State is on board the Mannwagon.
A more distant customer from Vanuatu, where SteynOnline readers are thinner on the ground, prompted me to wax rhapsodic about the so-called Anglo-French Coconut War of a third of a century ago. Years ago, I dated a chick who'd spent part of her childhood in the New Hebrides. Hence my interest in the subject. At any rate, Stefan, that Vanuatan customer and a man who lived through the transformation of the only Anglo-French condominium on the planet in a brand new independent nation, writes to fill in some of the blanks:
It is highly rewarding to see that my modest "contribution" renders me instrumental in the geopolitical re-education of millions of recipients of your Global Content, on the subject of my adopted country, Vanuatu (I was actually born in Transylvania and escaped the Ceausescu regime in 1966). So much so that I feel a mild urge to fill in a couple of the gaps and hope you don't mind.
Jimmy Stevens' Republic of Vemerana was instigated and funded by the Phoenix Foundation, an American ultra-right libertarian organisation, headed by Michael Oliver, who was subsequently banned for life from Vanuatu. However, Jimmy Stevens' movement was called Nagriamel, which still exist today under the same name, as a political party.
The rebellion was quashed by a detachment of Papua New Guinean soldiers, at the request of the then Prime Minister, Fr Walter Lini. While the duplicitous French did indeed scheme to retain control (I never understood why it is the Brits who are called Perfidious Albion) they were by far the most hated by the population, who were preparing for a Melanesian version of Kristallnacht.
Incidentally, I would gladly allow the Mann Prof to keep his fake Nobel Prize; any award/prize that counts amongst its laureates the likes of Al Gore and Barack Obama is contemptibly fitting for such a self-glorifying 'specimen'. And there is a second reason I hold the Nobel Prize in utmost contempt; it is never awarded for mathematics, the only science whose elements and contribution are comprised in every other science. I assume you know that the reason why mathematics is so ridiculously discriminated against is because Alfred Nobel's wife cheated on him with a mathematician.
Too bad. He should have canceled the peace prize because his wife had a peace on the side. Speaking of genuine Nobel Laureates, a longtime climate correspondent from the glory days of Mark's Mailbox offers a slight correction to my disparagement of Michael Mann's plonking prose style:
In terms of soporific prose, Dr Mann may well be the Mighty Snore, but he has nothing on the Mighty Gsnore. I will hold the Goreacle's June 2011 essay in Rolling Stone, oh so cleverly dubbed "Climate of Denial", against any stultifying prose out there. The fake-wrestling-match analogy in the beginning is so painful that the reader is kept in a mindnumbing half-nelson for the rest of the piece.
By contrast, this more current version of the Mighty Mighty Gsnoretone's tune is so bad it's funny (a step up):
'Comprising thousands of technical experts from more than 120 countries, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the world's definitive authority on climate change.'
You have to admit, "definitive authority" makes for a great punchline. The IPCC is so definitive, in fact, that it seems to regularly make corrections to its agenda-driven, Settled Science proclamations. The IPCC house specialty is revising mistakes about glacial melt.
Too true. Time to move on to the important stuff:
Another great Song of the Week article and as always made greater because of the mention of Frank Sinatra. Try to find the Ted Heath arrangement of "My Funny Valentine". It's driving, lush big band at its best.
Dunkirk, New York
The Ted Heath to which Mr Peterson refers is not the ghastly Euro-crazed Prime Minister but a terrific British bandleader of the same name. Sir Ted, the PM, also fancied himself as an orchestral conductor, but not of "My Funny Valentine". Back in the early Nineties, I caught him on TV wandering around a local fete in his constituency in Kent. He passed a high-school band playing popular favorites, and the music teacher said to Ted it would be an honor if such a renowned maestro would agree to conduct his players. Unable to wiggle out, a man who utterly deplored American pop culture found himself having to stand there conducting "Hey, Look Me Over!" (a former SOTW, as it happens), holding the baton as if it were a piece of dog feces.
Don't forget "My Funny Valentine" is one of many tunes for the turn of the calendar featured in A Song For The Season, personally autographed copies of which we're depending on to fund my appeal to the Supreme Court.
Still on the subject of "My Funny Valentine" an even more notorious climate denier than I, the great Phelim McAleer, writes:
It's not my area of expertise but I have always liked Morrisey's love rhyme in this song. It's about 1.20 in.
"I want to live, I want to love/I want to catch something that I might be ashamed of": There's a romantic thought. Happy post-Valentine's Day!
~As promised, here are the Amazon branches offices for the new Kindle edition of Lights Out, now available worldwide. Feel free to click away:
Amazon US: Lights Out
Amazon Canada: Lights Out
Amazon UK: Lights Out
Amazon Australia: Lights Out
Amazon India: Lights Out
Amazon France: Lights Out
Amazon Germany: Lights Out
Amazon Italy: Lights Out
Amazon Spain: Lights Out
Amazon Japan: Lights Out
Amazon Brazil: Lights Out
Amazon Mexico: Lights Out