In the week that Spiked in the UK launched its free speech manifesto, the United States provided yet another example of how far "progressives" have retreated from any principled commitment to freedom of expression, especially when it conflicts with more fashionable identity-group rights. Further to my post on the defenestration of Mozilla's CEO for the crime of holding the same view on same-sex marriage five years ago as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton then did, I see that my friends at Powerline have posted the full statement by Mozilla's chairwoman Mitchell Baker. It is, in its way, a masterpiece of the genre:
Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn't live up to it. We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it's because we haven't stayed true to ourselves...
While painful, the events of the last week show exactly why we need the web. So all of us can engage freely in the tough conversations we need to make the world better...
Etc. Neither the writer believes this, nor her readers. But both parties have agreed to pretend to believe this. In a world of ever more tightly policed thought-crime, it becomes ever more important to boast that you're "engaging freely" in "the tough conversations", rather than, in fact, ensuring the tough conversations need never take place because you fire anyone who disagrees with you. The nub of Chairwoman Baker's statement is this:
Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech. Equality is necessary for meaningful speech. And you need free speech to fight for equality. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard.
Our organizational culture reflects diversity and inclusiveness. We welcome contributions from everyone regardless of age, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender-identity, language, race, sexual orientation, geographical location and religious views.
Just so long as they all think the same. So there will be diversity of race, diversity of orientation, diversity of gender-spectrum fluidity, but the only diversity that matters - diversity of thought - will be ever more tightly constrained. And, as I wrote yesterday, such a society will not continue to innovate, but, after living for a while on the accumulated intellectual capital of its glorious past, will decline. Such a conformist society will also be extremely boring. The future will be made elsewhere.
~It's hard to maintain interest in a subject when there's only one view of it that's officially permitted. The more Michael E Mann and the other thuggish enforcers demand full prostration before the Big Climate party line, the more the citizenry tune them out. Following last month's Gallup poll findings that "climate change" is next-to-last in issues of public concern comes this week's Gallup poll showing that "climate change" and "global warming" are right at the bottom even within the category of environmental issues. That's to say, people are concerned about air pollution and water pollution but not about generalized theories of "global warming". "Climate change" is an agreeably self-flattering boutique accessory for Jessica Alba and Dr Mann's other jetsetting celebrity chums, but for the masses it's going nowhere.
In a democratic age, this presents certain problems. John Hinderaker:
Various warmists have let the cat out of the bag over the years, acknowledging that they exaggerate the danger of global warming for the sake of the greater good. But for the first time, two scientists have published a peer-reviewed paper in an academic journal, advocating lying about global warming.
They're Professors Fuhai Hong of Nanyang Technological University and Xiaojian Zhao of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, in a paper published yesterday in The American Journal of Agricultural Economics, under the title Information Manipulation and Climate Agreements:
It appears that news media and some pro-environmental organizations have the tendency to accentuate or even exaggerate the damage caused by climate change. This article provides a rationale for this tendency by using a modified International Environmental Agreement (IEA) model with asymmetric information. We find that the information manipulation has an instrumental value, as it ex post induces more countries to participate in an IEA, which will eventually enhance global welfare.
That's peer-review-speak for saying that "exaggerating" and "manipulating" is fine if it leads to action on "climate change". As someone currently being sued for calling Dr Mann's hockey stick "fraudulent", I find it interesting to see a "rationale" for fraud advanced in a peer-reviewed journal.
~Meanwhile, Mann reacts in the only way he knows how - by expanding his enemies list. Today, it's the Washington newspaper The Hill:
Oh, my! Did the poor old non-partisan Hill suddenly go full-blown #KochMachine denialist? No, it's far worse than that. They had the temerity to suggest there's more than one side to this issue!
The divide between advocates and skeptics over whether to do something about climate change is widening, with both sides growing more certain of their convictions.
As Mann says #Shameful! There oughtta be a law against it - and, if he gets his way, there will be.
~Speaking of the upcoming Mann vs Steyn trial of the century, ever since Dr Mann sued me a year and a half ago, the denialist community has chortled, oh ho, he's no intention of going to court and coughing up his data. He'll do as he's done with Tim Ball in Vancouver and drag it all out for years, silencing the defendants and inflicting financial pain on them while he gets on with his life and his half-dozen white-shoe lawyers get their tab picked up by George Soros or whoever. But I'm a naive, trusting sort, and I took Michael Mann at his word when he said that all he wanted was his day in court. So I responded to his discovery requests in a timely manner, and was eagerly looking forward to him reciprocating.
My co-defendants at National Review felt differently, and they filed a motion to delay discovery. Don't ask me why - although even loyal NR supporters are beginning to notice certain inconsistencies between their legal strategy and their fundraising pitch. But I immediately filed an objection to any further delay on the grounds that Dr Mann and I were both itching to get into court and, for both of us, justice delayed exacted a toll:
3. The charge that a man is a defamer is a serious one and profoundly damaging. With criminal charges, this nation provides a constitutional right to a speedy trial. It offers no such protections in civil court, even though to be accused as a defamer is certainly as damaging to one's reputation and honor as all but the most serious criminal charges. For an independent writer such as Defendant Steyn, this is especially so: His livelihood depends entirely on his reputation, and as long as this charge stains his character without being answered he is being damaged. As the accused, he asserts his right to confront his accuser in open court in a timely manner.
4. Likewise, the Plaintiff is owed the courtesy of being received straightway without delay. As this Court noted in its Order of January 22nd, the allegedly defamatory statements "go to the heart of scientific integrity", and thus to the heart of the Plaintiff's character. If the Court truly believes that, then Dr Mann is entitled to a timely trial that settles the truth of the matter wheresoever it be.
As you can see, I was trying to do a bit of bipartisan reach-across-the-aisle stuff there. I didn't expect Dr Mann to co-sign my objection, but, given his professed eagerness to get into court, I certainly expected him to offer an objection of his own to National Review's demand for further delay. Yet NR filed their motion on March 19th - two-and-a-half weeks ago - and Michael Mann has filed no such objection.
Strange. You'd almost get the impression he's in no hurry to go to trial - or even that he has no desire to. His devoted admirer at Rabett Run thinks that Dr Mann is romping to victory. But he can't actually "win" until he goes to trial. And right now the only guy itching to go to trial is the full-bore crazy - me.
~And a final Thought for the Week from, of all places, The Economist:
A new report from the IPCC implies that "climate exceptionalism", the notion that global warming is a problem like no other, is coming to an end.
~If, like Professor Rabett et al, you too are enjoying "Steyn's full-bore crazy act", why not consider supporting it via our soon-to-be-collectors'-items Steyn vs the Stick merchandise or our SteynOnline gift certificates? My new lawyers are itching to get on with deposing Dr Mann (that's a legal term - I don't mean we want to overthrow him as Grand Mufti of Climatestan).