One of the complicating factors of the upcoming Mann vs Steyn trial of the century (for which our exclusive courtroom merchandise is the must-wear look of the season) is that, as devoted climate courtier Aaron Huertas puts it, there are a lot of hockey sticks out there. So self-conferred Nobel Laureate and Big Climate enforcer Michael E Mann is at pains to emphasize that, when you rumble with Doctor Fraudpants, you'd better have your sticks in a row. From page 13 of his most recent court pleading with regard to my co-defendants at the Competitive Enterprise Institute:
In their brief, the CEI Defendants suggest that the University of East Anglia's investigation actually found that the hockey stick graph was "misleading" because it did not identify that certain data was "truncated" and that other proxy and instrumental temperature data had been spliced together... This allegation is yet another example of Defendants' attempts to obfuscate the evidence in this case. The "misleading" comment made in this report had absolutely nothing to do with Dr. Mann, or with any graph prepared by him. Rather, the report's comment was directed at an overly simplified and artistic depiction of the hockey stick that was reproduced on the frontispiece of the World Meteorological Organization's Statement on the Status of the Global Climate in 1999.41 Dr. Mann did not create this depiction, and the attempt to suggest that this report suggested an effort by Dr. Mann to mislead is disingenuous.
Got that? That 1999 graph pictured above for the cover of the WMO 50th anniversary report is "absolutely nothing to do with Dr Mann". So, if it's "misleading" (as Sir Muir Russell's investigation found) or "overly simplified" (as Mann describes it), don't blame Dr Mann because "Dr Mann did not create this depiction". It's like going to Rolex and complaining that the Rolix watch you bought from that market in Tangiers has stopped ticking.
Jones, P.D., Briffa, K.R., Osborn, T.J., Mann, M.E., Bradley, R.S., Hughes, M.K., Cover Figure for World Meteorological Organization (WMO) 50th Year Anniversary Publication: Temperature changes over the last Millennium, 2000.
(Here's a screenshot in case Michael Mann is frantically hoovering his site even as we speak.)
So the graph that has "absolutely nothing to do with Dr Mann" is listed on Dr Mann's own CV as one of his published works. And, when Mann's lawyers (John Williams and Peter Fontaine) state baldly that "Dr Mann did not create this depiction", he is, by his own admission, one of the co-creators of said depiction.
One is inclined to be generous. My old friend Irving Caesar, lyricist of "Tea For Two" and "Just A Gigolo", had a legendary Broadway flop with a show called My Dear Public. The reviews were scathing, and singled Caesar out particularly, as he was the show's producer, and lyricist, and co-author and co-composer. The following morning he bumped into Oscar Hammerstein and said, "So they didn't like it. But why pick on me?" That's Mann's attitude to the 1999 hockey stick he co-authored: So it's misleading and over-simplified. But why pick on me?
Dr Mann may be kind to his dog and help old ladies across the street, but he is a serial liar. That's just the way he rolls. One gets the sense that he simply tells the lie that serves his purpose at that moment and does so on such a scale that he can't reasonably be expected to remember which lie he told a few weeks later. On page 12 of his most recent court filing, he re-states his claim that he was "exonerated" by Lord Oxburgh's international panel. Yet on page 235 of his unreadable, whiney, self-serving book, he states that "our own work did not fall within the remit of the committee, and the hockey stick was not mentioned in the report". Well, which is it? A complete exoneration by Oxburgh? Or nothing to do with Oxburgh? Hey, whatever works at the time - and most of the time it's just gullible types like Aaron Huertas, lining up to be Mann's patsies.
But his attorneys, John Williams and Peter Fontaine, can't be similarly indulged. They're officers of the court and they have an obligation not to lay before it what is, in the objective sense, untrue. It is at best negligent and at worst fraudulent to assert that "Dr Mann did not create this depiction" when he boasts about creating it on his own CV.
In a broader sense, he's now in the peculiar position of claiming to have been completely "exonerated" by an investigation that concluded his own work was "misleading" - or, as he puts it, "overly simplified" and, um, "artistic", which is one way of putting it. So Michael Mann is now repudiating one of his own hockey sticks. Like so many other scientists, Dr Mann is distancing himself from the work of Dr Mann.
Of course, the entire purpose of the hockey stick was to "oversimplify". Most of those hockey sticks Aaron Huertas rounds up look like no hockey stick ever known to man. If you de-oversimplify them, they look like Sir Harry Lauder's famous walking stick - but that's not so easy to sell to the rube celebs, is it? Most serious scientists quickly understand that the hockey stick has been oversimplified into twaddle, which is why most steer clear and why those who made the mistake of hopping on board - like the IPCC - have spent the previous decade trying to back away from it. Michael E Mann cannot do that, because, without the hockey stick, what else has he got to justify keeping his role as Jessica Alba's personal climatologist? He's a one-stick pony.
In her own post on fraud and the hockey stick, Dr Judith Curry considers the question of "simplification" and writes:
So, were the WMO/TAR representations of the hockey stick that hide the decline fraudulent, in the sense of "intentional misrepresentation of material existing fact made by one person to another with knowledge of its falsity and for the purpose of inducing the other person to act."? Was the misrepresentation merely a misguided attempt at simplification for the public? It is the issue advocacy of Mann that cements the motivation of 'inducing the other person to act.'
And so, as the rising tide of Michael Mann's lies threatens to drown the beleaguered Tuvalu of truth, we battle on. Thank you to readers round the world for keeping afloat my pushback against Big Climate by buying our exclusive range of Steyn Vs The Stick trial merchandise, our new SteynOnline gift certificates and all the other stuff - books, CDs, and more - over at the Steyn store.
UPDATE! Laura Rosen Cohen draws attention to page 45 of Mann's unimpressive brief, and comments:
Steyn is essentially being accused of having damaged Big Climate and Big Climate is not very happy about it.
He is being accused of furthering a 'political agenda' by dissenting on global warming, but what if the reverse is actually true-that it's Big Climate that is using its 'political agenda' to stifle dissent and keep the industry chugging along in perpetuity.
Steyn damaged the brand and that is an unforgivable sin.
Which is more or less what Mann's argument boils down to: Steyn damaged the brand and that's not only a sin but a crime.