The defamation suit against me, National Review, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Rand Simberg brought by Michael E Mann, fake Nobel Laureate and inventor of the global-warming "hockey stick", is now chugging into its third year. Speaking for myself, I wouldn't still be in the game if it weren't for readers around the world who've helped push back against the climate mullahs by buying our exclusive range of Steyn Vs The Stick trial merchandise, our new SteynOnline gift certificates and all the other fun stuff - books, CDs, and more - over at the Steyn store.
Today, Tuesday, by 5pm Eastern, Dr Mann is due to file his latest court pleading. It will be interesting (well, okay, very mildly interesting) to see whether he addresses the arguments made by the ACLU, The Washington Post, NBC and others against his appalling assault on the First Amendment - or whether he sticks with his strange and repulsive contention that simply because various government bureaucracies are okay with him his work should be beyond reproach.
I dislike appeals to authority on principle, but appeals to authority in climate science are especially absurd, given that the authorities are so laughably unauthoritative. As I mentioned the other day, the peer-reviewed settled-science types at the journal Science have taken five years to catch up with a throwaway observation of mine from 2009:
My general line is this: For the last century, we've had ever-so-slight warming trends and ever-so-slight cooling trends every 30 years or so, and I don't think either are anything worth collapsing the global economy over.
Things warmed up a bit in the decades before the late Thirties. Why? I dunno. The Versailles Treaty? The Charleston?
Then from 1940 to 1970 there was a slight cooling trend. In its wake, Lowell Ponte (who I believe is an expert climatologist and, therefore, should have been heeded) wrote his bestseller, The Cooling: Has the new ice age already begun? Can we survive?
From 1970 to 1998 there was a slight warming trend, and now there's a slight cooling trend again. And I'm not fussed about it either way.
That was my view of "climate change" on July 25th 2009, and I'm heartened to see the peer-review set at Science getting with the beat. Alas for my Nobel Prize hopes, Billy Joel stoner David Appell has emerged from his recent hibernation on Mannish matters to scoff at my claim to be the world's greatest self-taught climate scientist. Yet in this field you don't have to be great, merely not quite so risible as the experts. Anthony Watts reminds us of what the settled scientists were saying half-a-decade ago:
World Will Warm Faster Than Predicted In Next Five Years, Study Warns
Duncan Clark in The Guardian laid it on as only a devout warm-monger can:
The world faces record-breaking temperatures as the sun's activity increases, leading the planet to heat up significantly faster than scientists had predicted for the next five years.
Er, no. None of that happened. That was The Guardian on July 27th 2009 - or two days after my throwaway observation of nary a moment's thought. As climate analyses from 2009 go, which is closer to the reality of the "science" in 2014 - the "expert" "study" or the ravings of an unlettered middle-school dropout? We are now approaching the start of the third decade of what the corrupt ideologues of climate alarmism now, belatedly, call the "pause" in global warming. Yet none of those guys - Mann included - were talking about the "pause" five years ago, and I was.
~This is a problem for the Big Climate enforcers in general - and for fake Nobel Laureate Michael E Mann in particular. Dr Mann claims I defamed him when I described his global-warming hockey stick as "fraudulent", which it is (and, indeed, it gets more fraudulent as the years go by). But his defense to date has been that, because government officials have "exonerated" him, he cannot be questioned. As I pointed out in my own brief (page seven), Mann's appeals to authority are almost entirely bogus:
In his later court filings, Mann has made equally preposterous and objectively false claims. For example, Mann has claimed that he has been "exonerated" by such bodies as the University of East Anglia, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, and even by the government of the United Kingdom, none of which have investigated Dr Mann at all, never mind "exonerated" him.
The audacity of the falsehoods in Mann's court pleadings is breathtaking. For example, on page 19 of his brief below dated January 18, 2013, he cites the international panel chaired by the eminent scientist Lord Oxburgh, FRS as one of the bodies that "exonerated" him, whereas on page 235 of Mann's own book, The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, he states explicitly that "our own work did not fall within the remit of the committee, and the hockey stick was not mentioned in the report." It is deeply disturbing that a plaintiff should make such fraudulent claims in his legal pleadings.
That leaves, out of his multiple transatlantic "exonerations", only two. The first is the Penn State inquiry, where he was "exonerated" by a corrupt university administration whose senior figures were forced to resign and whose disgraced president is currently facing decades in the slammer for obstruction of justice and child endangerment in the Sandusky cover-up: I'm sure he'll make a compelling witness for Mann. The second is the EPA "inquiry", which was a joke and which, as Steve McIntyre suggests, may well have breached the EPA's own guidelines for public dissemination. (Do read down into the comments for discussion on which if any of the Climategate emails the EPA actually reviewed.)
So Mann has been brazenly lying his way through his court pleadings with merry abandon. But let us suppose for the sake of argument that everything he'd said in his briefs was actually true - that he had been investigated and exonerated by various government bodies in the United States and the United Kingdom. So what? As the ACLU and the bigfoot media put it in their own amicus brief opposing Mann:
The fact that certain official panels backed Mann's methodology – facts that were not only disclosed in the challenged publications but in fact formed the basis for them – cannot allow him to silence his critics in a defamation claim. Under the First Amendment, the government is not the final arbiter of truth with the power to foreclose further challenge to its policies.
Just so. The President declares there's not a "smidgen" of corruption at the IRS. The Secretary of State determines that Benghazi is the fault of a video. The National Security Adviser pronounces Bowe Bergdahl an American hero. And the EPA hails Michael Mann as a paragon of virtue. Big deal. As the ACLU et al put it, "the government is not the final arbiter of truth with the power to foreclose further challenge" - the power to end debate. That is, unless Mann prevails, in which case he'll have taken his hockey stick and punched a huge, irreparable hole through the First Amendment. At some point, Mann will have to address the ACLU's argument. Maybe today will be the day.
Or maybe he'll just carry on with his serial lies. Truly, it is difficult to convey the scale of mendacity in Mann's court filings. Steve McIntyre again:
In today's post, I'll discuss another misrepresentation in Mann's Statement of Claim, one in which Mann bizarrely misrepresented the nature of his own research, falsely claiming credit for being "one of the first" to "document" the increase in 20th century temperatures. This particular false claim was in the same paragraph as Mann's false claim to have received a Nobel prize.
Not even his friends would claim that Mann was "one of the first to document the steady rise in surface temperatures during the 20th Century". His counsel Peter Fontaine is a full-time climate-change lawyer and surely knows this:
Mann's misrepresentation of the nature of his research is very curious since it seems that it ought to have been easy enough for Mann and/or Peter Fontaine to write a simple statement that Mann's research involved proxy reconstructions of past temperature, mostly using tree rings. And why say that Mann was "one of the first" to document the increase in 20th century temperatures when he wasn't? Readers puzzled by such mis-statements are asked not to refer to comments by Mary McCarthy about "and" and "the".
Reading Mann's claims to be a Nobel Laureate, a man "exonerated" by the Government of the United Kingdom, a pioneer in the field of 20th-century temperature data, etc, etc, I'm reminded of Hillary Rodham Clinton's aside to a New Zealand audience that her parents named her after Edmund Hillary, who conquered Everest on the eve of the Queen's coronation. That was in 1953. Hillary Rodham was born in 1947, when Sir Edmund was an obscure New Zealand beekeeper and an unlikely inspiration for parents in a Chicago suburb. It was an unnecessary lie, and one got the feeling that she and Bill did it just to stay in shape, give the old forked tongue a workout. If you need to lie about the big things - as Mann does - you wind up lying about stuff you don't need to lie about out of a combination of force of habit and inability to resist.
Of course, his lawyers, being officers of the court, don't have the same excuse.
So it will be interesting to see whether Doctor Fraudpants is peddling the same old hooey this afternoon, or whether wiser counsel has prevailed.
~Mann started this thing, but I promise you I will finish it, despite his delays and obfuscations and attempts to obstruct discovery and deposition. I have a great legal team headed by Dan Kornstein, the man behind the most consequential piece of free-speech legislation enacted this century, and we've been interviewing prominent scientific witnesses tired of the climate of fear that Mann and his Clime Syndicate have imposed on their field. SteynOnline readers have been unbelievably generous in recent months, as we attempt to fund a full-throated defense of the First Amendment via our exclusive line of Steyn vs The Stick t-shirts. But there are also Steyn books and CDs and SteynOnline gift certificates, all helping toward the cause and all available at the Steyn store. If you fancy tossing a groat or two our way, you could do far worse.
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