Breaking news from the upcoming Mann vs Steyn Salem-witch-trial of the century. Actually, it broke a couple of days ago but I dozed off reading it. So I'll come back to that in a moment. But first: Last week, Judith Curry went back to John Christy's testimony to the US House of Representatives Science, Space and Technology Committee in 2011. Here's the passage she quoted:
Regarding the Hockey Stick of IPCC 2001 evidence now indicates, in my view, that an IPCC Lead Author working with a small cohort of scientists, misrepresented the temperature record of the past 1000 years by (a) promoting his own result as the best estimate, (b) neglecting studies that contradicted his, and (c) amputating another's result so as to eliminate conflicting data and limit any serious attempt to expose the real uncertainties of these data.
The IPCC Lead Author he's talking about is the litigant in my case, Michael E Mann. That's to say, Christy is telling the United States Congress that Dr Mann "misrepresented the temperature record of the past 1000 years", by promoting his own result (a clear conflict of interest - it would be as if our DC judge were deciding his own divorce case), and not only ignoring contradictory evidence but deep-sixing it when necessary.
Who is this fellow Christy? Well, he's a professor at the University of Alabama and the guy who devised the satellite temperature record. But more to the point he's also an IPCC Lead Author. And, in fact, an IPCC Lead Author on the very same chapter of the report that Mann was an IPCC Lead Author on. Incidentally, how did young Michael Mann land that prestigious gig? Judith Curry:
Christy's assessment, when combined with the UEA emails, provides substantial insight into how this hockey stick travesty occurred. My main unanswered question is: How did Michael Mann become a Lead Author on the TAR? He received his Ph.D. in 1998, and presumably he was nominated or selected before the ink was dry on his Ph.D.
Indeed. The Third Assessment Report was published in 2001, but its first "scoping" sessions were held in early 1998.
But here's my point. I'm being sued because I referred to Mann's graph as "fraudulent". I stand by that characterization - although, were I writing my Corner post today, I would go further, having been on the receiving end of Mann's modus operandi for two years. A prudent man would not accept anything Dr Mann says about anything without independent verification, whether it be his fraudulent claim to be a Nobel Laureate or his multiple fraudulent claims to have been "exonerated" by the University of East Anglia, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the British House of Commons, etc, etc.
But let us leave that aside, and stick only to the hockey stuff: Dr Mann's own colleague on the process that made the hockey stick the great iconic image of turn-of-the-century climate alarmism has testified to Congress that Mann's work is a "misrepresentation". Which is a polite word for fraud. Professor Christy again:
So, to summarize, an L.A. was given final say over a section which included as its (and the IPCC's) featured product, his very own chart, and which allowed him to leave out not only entire studies that presented contrary evidence, but even to use another strategically edited data set that had originally displayed contrary evidence.
That last is a reference to Keith Briffa's tree-ring set, which supports Mann's hockey stick except when it doesn't and therefore had to be "truncated".
"Misrepresented..." "Strategically edited..." "Amputating another's result..." Does this happen often? With the exception of the coordinator, there were only two American Lead Authors on that IPCC chapter, and the one has testified under oath that the other corrupted the process.
So here am I, approaching the two-year mark in a seven-figure legal battle over a 270-word blog post that said something even Mann's own colleagues would agree with. It would be easy in such circumstances to grow embittered, and sullen, and fester like a disease-ridden rodent, its pustules oozing into the toxic slime of the dank sewer of DC justice. Yet, au contraire, I feel rather buoyant. Doctors Christy and Curry are at the stage of their careers where they can just about afford to take on "the hockey team" - although the price is steep: very few people, no matter their eminence, would volunteer to be "judithcurryed". But I've been shocked to learn of the young scientists who are sick of living under the suffocating orthodoxy the climate mullahs enforce. My initial free-speech interest in this case was a personal one: I have the right to say what I said about Mann, because it happens to be true. But it's broadened since then: climate science itself desperately needs free speech - which is to say the right to counter the Mann orthodoxy without having one's career cut off as crudely as Briffa's poor tree rings were when they had the impertinence to disagree with Mann. I'm immensely grateful to the ongoing support from readers all around the world who've globally warmed to this campaign. It will be an important victory.
As to why it may take a while, let's go back to that breaking news. The District of Columbia Court of Appeals has issued an order:
On consideration of this court's March 26, 2014, order directing appellants to show cause why their respective appeals should not be dismissed as having been taken from a non-appealable order that does not meet the requirements of the collateral order doctrine; appellee's motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, motion to expedite; appellants' joint response to the show cause order wherein...
Whoa, whoa, hold up. What does all that mean? For a rough précis of the case so far, see here. This order is about my co-defendants' decision (not mine) to appeal the denial of the motion to dismiss the amended complaint. Or, if you prefer, the amended denial of the amended motion to dismiss the amended complaint. However, before they can appeal to the DC Court of Appeals to hear the appeal, they have to appeal to the DC Court of Appeals to hear their appeal on whether the DC Court of Appeals is permitted to hear their appeal.
Got that? The way the DC "legislature" wrote the Anti-SLAPP law it's unclear whether a denial of an anti-SLAPP motion is appealable. So my co-defendants would like the Court of Appeals to rule on the question. They could have ruled on it way back last autumn when the denial of the motion to dismiss the original complaint was appealed, but by then Michael E Mann, whose original complaint was as poorly constructed as his hockey stick, had filed his amended complaint, so the Court of Appeals ruled that it was moot. If you're wondering what "it" is in that last clause, "it" is any combination of: a) the original complaint; b) the original motion to dismiss the original complaint; c) the original denial of the original motion to dismiss the original complaint; d) the original appeal of the original denial of the original motion to dismiss the original complaint; e) the original appeal of whether the original appeal of the original denial of the original motion to dismiss the original complaint is appealable; or f) a gluten-free chia-seed bagel three days past its sell-by date left under the judges' desk.
Anyway, the judges have now agreed to hear the appeal on whether the Court of Appeals can hear the appeal. Or not, as the case may be. You be the judge. Over at Popehat, Ken White writes:
On Wednesday the D.C. Court of Appeal decided to decide, probably. That is, they issued an order denying Mann's motion to dismiss the appeal, and accepting all of the amicus briefs on the issue, and directing the parties to brief the issue of appealability along with the merits of the anti-SLAPP issue. On the one hand, this signifies that the Court didn't think that the procedural issue was completely obvious, and therefore didn't dismiss the appeal or accept it without reservation. On the other hand, the Court still wants to hear more arguments about whether it should be hearing more arguments. The Court also ordered that the appeal be expedited, which means something somewhat different than you or I mean when we say "expedited."
I can't tell you how thrilled I am to be living in a test case. I first set foot in the DC Superior Court almost a year and a half ago. Judge Natalia Combs Greene entered the room, we all stood up, she sat down, let out a long sigh, and complained that this case involved "motions". The idea of an incompetent, unengaged landlord-and-tenant judge litigating "global warming" seemed faintly unreal at that point. But, given what's happened since, that's the least of it. Mr White thinks quite a bit hinges on the appeals court's eventual decision in this matter:
The First Amendment and anti-SLAPP issues in the case are very important, and I hope the Court reaches them.
Maybe. But, judging from last autumn and this very order, their honors' preference is for narrow, tentative half-steps. So we'll now spend the next few months arguing about the appealability of the anti-SLAPP statute. That's why I didn't bother appealing.
I want to get to court. I've responded to Dr Mann's discovery requests, and my legal team and I are anxious to get on with deposing him. We've been interviewing witnesses, and digging deep into Dr Mann's murk - whoops, I mean "work". As you can see from Dr Christy's testimony, the time to put Mann and his science on the stand is long overdue. It takes time and money, and, if you're minded to support it by buying a showtune or two, my free-speech book, or one of our many other fine products, I promise you your dollars won't be wasted.
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