The cartoon at right is by Josh via Watts Up With That. Sadly, Josh seems unaware that, per the letter from Michael E Mann's lawyer Peter J Fontaine (appended as the final page to my Answer to Mann's Amended Complaint), unauthorized use of Dr Mann's facial features "infringes on various copyrights" that Dr Mann has taken out on his nose, eyeballs, ear lobes, etc. If you must engage in caricature, draw a cartoon of Hillary Clinton, Justin Bieber or one of the other seven billion people on the planet whose visage does not enjoy the unique protection under US law that Dr Mann's does. It is not clear from Counselor Fontaine's letter whether the bare-chestedness of Josh's cartoon additionally "infringes on various copyrights" in Dr Mann's nipples, but that seems the way to bet.
The title of the picture - "Mann of Rigor" - alludes to the Nobel fantasist's equally fantastic claims to have been "exonerated" by four separate British investigations. Having demolished the UK end of Mann's false assertions, the invaluable Steve McIntyre now moves on to the US inquiries, starting with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of the Inspector General's report. The NOAA comes under the Department of Commerce, and, in the "Dr Mann is Exonerated" section of Mann's court pleading, is referenced on page 26:
In the course of its inquiry, the department examined all of the CRU e-mails, including the November 16, 1999 e-mail referenced above in which Professor Jones used the words "trick" and "hide the decline."52 The department found "no evidence" of inappropriate manipulation of data.53
As Steve McIntyre demonstrates, almost every word of the above paragraph is false:
Mann's claim that the NOAA OIG "examined all of the CRU e-mails, including the November 16, 1999 e-mail referenced above in which Professor Jones used the words "trick" and "hide the decline" is, to say the least, highly misleading. The NOAA OIG report does not mention or address the "trick" email, with which NOAA scientists were not involved. The report clearly stated that the NOAA OIG selected eight emails "which, in [their] judgment, warranted further examination to clarify any possible issues involving the scientific integrity of particular NOAA scientists or NOAA's data". The "trick" email was not one of the eight.
As for Mann's claim that "the department found 'no evidence' of inappropriate manipulation of data", footnote 53 refers you to page 11 of the NOAA report, which merely states:
We found no evidence in the CRU emails that NOAA inappropriately manipulated data comprising the GHCN-M dataset.
In other words, this is not a specific exoneration of Dr Mann on the charge of general manipulation of data, but only an exoneration of NOAA employees on the specific charge of manipulation of the GHCN-M dataset. Dr Mann is not an NOAA employee, and never has been - any more than he is an employee of the University of East Anglia. With this level of citation in Mann's legal pleadings, clearly any quote by anyone can be used to exonerate Michael E Mann. An investigation by President Lincoln of "four score and seven" emails concluded that Dr Mann's research "brought forth a new birth of freedom". An investigation by Sir Winston Churchill concluded that "Mike's Nature trick" was "our finest hour". An investigation by Judy Garland concluded that Dr Mann's research demonstrated that global warming was causing troubles to "melt like lemon drops away above the chimney tops". Perform your own instant exonerations of Dr Mann with the Michael E Mann Exculpatory Quote Generator!
So once again this so-called "investigation" of him is nothing to do with him. Indeed, the only substantive reference to him in the NOAA report (on page 3) is not by name but by biographical prĂ©cis:
In one such exchange, the Deputy Director of CRU warned his colleagues not to "let [the Co-Chair of AR4 WGl] (or [a researcher at Pennsylvania State University]) push you (us) beyond where we know is right."
"A researcher at Pennyslvania State University": That's all the NOAA report actually has to say about Dr Michael E Mann.
But the rest of the quote is very telling. The "Deputy Director of CRU" is Keith Briffa. Like Mann, he believes in "global warming" and "climate change" and all the rest. But he nevertheless feels obliged to warn his colleages not to let Mann "push you (us) beyond where we know is right".
Pushing people beyond where he knows is right is what Michael Mann has done all his life. He did it with the original "sloppy" and "inappropriate" hockey stick when he pushed the IPCC to promote it as the single defining image of climate alarmism. He did it when he took a passing acquaintanceship with the actual Nobel Peace Prize winner and pushed his publicists and speech-bookers to promote him as a Nobel Laureate himself. And he now does it in a formal libel complaint pushing high-priced white-shoe lawyers who really should know better to claim falsely that he has been exonerated by official reports on both sides of the Atlantic that aren't about him and barely mention him.
This is why Michael Mann is in the hole he's in. Keith Briffa understands that, and so do many other scientists. To reprise once again Judith Curry:
It's time to let Michael Mann sink or swim on his own. Michael Mann is having all these problems because he chooses to try to muzzle people that are critical of Mann's science, critical of Mann's professional and personal behavior, and critical of Mann's behavior as revealed in the climategate emails. All this has nothing to do with defending climate science or academic freedom.
~If you'd like to chip in and buy a SteynOnline gift certificate or one of my books, it will help support my legal offense fund. When I'm back from my trip to Ottawa, we'll be serving Dr Mann with my initial discovery requests.