A couple of weeks back my old newspaper The Independent previewed today's IPCC report as follows:
Official Prophecy Of Doom: Global Warming Will Cause Widespread Conflict, Displace Millions Of People And Devastate The Global Economy
Richard Betts (of the often hilariously alarmist UK Met Office and Hadley Centre) pronounced this "cringeworthy". There are only so many times you can do the old time-is-running-out routine, especially when the end of the world has been nigh for as long as the IPCC has been claiming. As the graph at the right shows, the global temperature rise for the entire millennium so far is zero degrees: In Michael Mann terms, it's a hockey stick with no blade. Unlike The Independent, the IPCC gets that. The actual report seems (I've not yet read the full thousand pages) a somewhat tortured attempt to reconcile the needs of the transnational alarmism industry with reality. Fred Pearce's assessment:
But careful readers will note a new tone to its discussion of these issues that is markedly different from past efforts. It is more humble about what scientists can predict in advance, and far more interested in how societies can make themselves resilient.
In other words, instead of utopian global schemes to reverse "climate change" and return the planet to some Edenic state, why not do what enterprising humans have always done in changing circumstances - adapt? Mr Pearce continues:
The reason for avoiding precise forecasts is twofold. First, overly precise predictions got the authors of the 2007 report into trouble. The most famous faux pas was the claim that Himalayan glaciers would be gone by 2035, when 2350 is a more likely date.
Right numerals, wrong order. Could happen to anyone.
Another reason for the more measured tone is that hopes that better science and greater computer power would allow more precise forecasts than seven years ago have often proved wrong. For parts of the world, model forecasts of regional climate change are diverging rather than converging. The more we know, it seems, the less we know for sure.
So, to put it in Michael E Mann terms again, the IPCC is moving further away from the cartoon certainties represented by the hockey stick. This is a problem for Mann: His stick is easily graspable by James Cameron, Jessica Alba, Matt Damon and his other celebrity chums, but its blade is "diverging" from the direction everyone else is headed.
Dr Mann was not involved with this latest effort by the IPCC. Which is odd considering that they share a Nobel Prize - if by "share" you mean the IPCC has one and Mann doesn't. They may be distancing themselves from him, and his Nobel may be further off than ever, but we should congratulate the self-conferred laureate on winning the equally prestigious 2014 Climate Duplicitist of the Year award - in a romp.
~As to the upcoming trial of the century, over the weekend Mann Tweeted:
"Climate Science Deniers Wrap Themselves in the First Amendment"
As Max Waters helpfully Tweeted back:
Dude, EVERYONE is wrapped in the 1st Amendment. Even people who lie about having a Nobel Prize.
Just so. Every human being is "wrapped" in the right to free speech. Some of us accept that, and those who don't - whether firebreathing imams in Riyadh or global-warming climate mullahs at Penn State - should be called out for it. Mann's Tweet links to the respected climate-science site Daily Kos, whose correspondent dislikes the fact that "extremist pundit Mark Steyn and his New York Super Lawyer, Daniel J. Kornstein" think that Dr Mann's attempt to shut down open debate on a critical public-policy issue is fairly obviously a free-speech issue.
The Daily Kos chap doesn't have much to say and doesn't seem to know what a "constitutional tort" is, but he does quote a lot of chunks from my countersuit against Mann that I must say I enjoyed re-reading. However, this bit of attempted analysis by him isn't right:
The case is basically frozen, procedurally, because the bad guys got a stay during an appeal of two rulings against them that would otherwise have allowed Dr.Mann to begin discovery and preparation for trial.
Not true. I like to think I'm the baddest of the bad guys and, if the Daily Kossack reads this court filing, he'll see:
5. Because the charge of defamer is so damaging, Defendant Steyn has taken this process seriously... On February 12th, he responded to Dr Mann's Requests for Discovery, and is looking forward to Plaintiff reciprocating. He is preparing to depose Mann.
The only remaining bit of business I had from Mann was his Request for Admissions, to which I replied on March 24th. You can read my response here. Dr Mann is trying to get in ten official reports - one from NOAA, one from the NSF, two from Penn State, two from the EPA, four from the United Kingdom. The problem is, as Steve McIntyre has remorselessly documented (see here, here, here, here and here), Dr Mann and his lawyer John Williams have systematically misrepresented what these reports are. As I say in my General Objections (page two):
Defendant Steyn further objects to the entire Request for Admissions on the ground that Plaintiff's counsel has misrepresented these documents to the Court in multiple filings, under false headings such as "The Exoneration of Dr Mann" (Amended Complaint) and "Dr Mann Is Exonerated" (Plaintiff's Memorandum of Points and Authorities, January 18th 2013). Plaintiff's counsel falsely describes these reports as "a series of investigations and exonerations of Dr Mann" (pages 5 and 6 of January 18th memorandum) , and falsely states that four university inquiries and five governmental agencies on both sides of the Atlantic have "conducted separate and independent investigations into the allegations of scientific misconduct against Dr Mann" , and that "all of the above investigations found that there was no evidence of any fraud, data falsification, statistical manipulation, or misconduct of any kind by Dr Mann" . This assertion by Plaintiff's counsel is entirely inaccurate . The overwhelming majority of these reports do not "investigate" Mann and therefore cannot "exonerate" him: Their remit, such as it is, extends only to employees of bodies to which Mann has never belonged .
Furthermore, Plaintiff's counsel's mischaracterization of these documents to the Court extends to misquoting statements therefrom so that quotations cited in his pleadings do not apparently exist in the actual reports.
Appeals to authority can be seductive, especially to hacks. The lazy, slapdash Judge Natalia Combs Greene, in her appalling July 19th ruling, relied on it heavily:
Fraudulent is defined as: "(1) Engaging in fraud; deceitfu l; (2) characterized by, constituting, or gained by fraud: fraudulent business practices ." Id. Given the dictionary definition as well as the common readers' thought about the use of these words (fraud and fraudulent) the Court finds that these statement taken in context must be viewed as more than honest commentary — particularly when investigations have found otherwise. Considering the numerous articles that characterize Plaintiff's work as fraudulent, combined with the assertions of fraud and data manipulation, the NR Defendants have essentially made conclusions based on facts. Further, the assertions of fraud "rely upon facts that are provably false" particularly in light of the fact that Plaintiff has been investigated by several bodies (including the EPA) and determined that Plaintiff's research and conclusions are sound and not based on misleading information.
The trouble with Judge Combs Greene's statement is that it's rubbish. It would have been the work of moments for Her Honor to look at the original reports - as Steve McIntyre did - and determine that they had absolutely nothing to say about "Plaintiff's research and conclusions". But she couldn't be bothered. In fact, Mann has been investigated by just one body - Penn State. Penn State... Penn State... Hmm, where have I heard that name before? Oh, yeah, today's news:
HARRISBURG, Pa. – Former Penn State president Graham Spanier is asking a federal judge to halt his prosecution for an alleged criminal cover-up of complaints about Jerry Sandusky.
Oh, right, that Penn State:
Spanier is awaiting trial in Dauphin County along with former Penn State vice president Gary Schultz and former athletic director Tim Curley.
This regime is the only one to have conducted a so-called "investigation" into Michael Mann - the general worthlessness of which was the subject of my allegedly defamatory post.
~Which brings us back to that new IPCC report, which represents a continued move away from Mann, climate alarmism, and the devices required to advance it. As Judith Curry wrote a month ago:
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.
The climate science field, and the broader community of academics, have received an enormous black eye as a result of defending the hockey stick and his behavior.
As even the IPCC appears to understand. I can assure Dr Mann that his industrial-scale misrepresentation of those transatlantic reports is over. As for the one report that actually does exonerate him, if Graham Spanier isn't in jail and is free to testify, we'll be happy to discuss that with him on the witness stand.
~I also think it's time for the make-believe Nobel Laureate to be investigated as thoroughly as he falsely claims he already has been. Investigating Mann is an expensive proposition, so, if you would like to support the endeavor via the SteynOnline bookstore or by buying one of our SteynOnline gift certificates, I'd be awfully grateful.