On Wednesday afternoon, the climate activist group Penn Futures hosted a Twitter q-&-a with serial litigant and self-conferred Nobel Laureate Michael E Mann under the new hashtag #AskDrMann. How'd it go? Well...
Most disastrous self-promoted hashtag I've seen in months:
Twitchy has an entertaining round-up of the hashtag debacle - or, as one Tweeter calls it, "the Barbra Streisand Effect on Steroids". As readers well know from his Twitter feed and Facebook page, Dr Mann is a tireless deleter and blocker, but for #AskDrMannAnythingYouLike events such as this he takes the precaution of pre-warning any impertinent whippersnappers out there:
Looking forward to
#AskDrMann questions. Note that trolls & those engaged in bad faith will be blocked & reported.
"Reported"? To whom? The Climate Police? The IPCC? The EPA Swat team (that's not a joke, by the way)? It's never a smart move to launch an ask-me-anything! session by threatening to report anyone who takes the offer seriously. The ensuing comedy added greatly to the gaiety of life. Go to #AskDrMann and scroll up:
#AskDrMann:When your books & your court filings say opposite things, which (if either) are true?
#AskDrMann: Which of the 52 excuses for the 18-year "pause" do you believe?
#AskDrMann Why did you not report your multiple experiments w/ the NA treering PC1 "fix" in MBH99? http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/4/26/a-good-trick-to-create-a-decline.html â€¦
#askdrmann Why did #climate science insiders privately say so many unflattering things about your work? http://tomnelson.blogspot.com/search/label/michael%20mann â€¦
#askdrmann Do you stand by your claim that you have been exonerated? http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/03/01/steve-mcintyre-was-michael-mann-exonerated-by-the-oxburgh-panel/ â€¦
#AskDrMann Why does your Sept 3 legal brief falsely claim that every peer-reviewed study found McIntyre & McKitrick work to be inaccurate?
Where do you keep your Nobel Prize?
#AskDrMann When you claimed to be a Nobel laureate, didn't you make yourself a "public figure" under New York Times v. Sullivan?
Earth hasn't warmed in almost two decades. Possible all that "missing" heat was on Lois Lerner's hard drive when it "crashed"?
#AskDrMann What is greater, temp increase in the last 15 years or the number of amicus briefs filed on your behalf in Mann v. Steyn
#AskDrMann Your CV list you as coauthor of "the" WMO 1999 diagram but your Reply Memorandum states the opposite. Why? http://climateaudit.org/2014/09/10/another-porky-from-mann-williams-and-fontaine/ â€¦
If you block people does it mean their arguments no longer exist?
#AskDrMann Was the "science settled" when Stalin endorsed Lysenko's theory of quick evolution? After all, 99% of Soviet biologists agreed!
#AskDrMann Are you aware of the extent to which you personally have contributed to the rise in skepticism & distrust of climate science?
#AskDrMann Could you please list all the amici who are supporting your legal position? You can borrow this post-it and imaginary pen.
Why do you BLOCK people who disagree rather than let them see YOUR point of view?
And my personal favorite:
#AskDrMann Is Jessica Alba still your fan?
Sadly, Dr Mann was too busy blocking people to answer any of the above questions.
Afterwards Big Climate press agent Bob Ward (the BBC billed him as a climate scientist, but in fact he is "a PR guy") accused me of "attempting to intimidate @MichaelEMann into silence". In Bob Ward's world, Mann suing people for seven-figure sums isn't "intimidating", but laughing at Mann on Twitter is. That aside, the most interesting "silence" was not Mann's but that of all those who believe in Big Climate alarmism. If you go through #AskDrMann Tweet by Tweet, in between the mockery above, there are hardly any friendly questions from true believers.
Why would that be? Well, perhaps, once it's known that you're a touchy type who only takes puffballs from sycophants, the whole thing becomes too tedious to be worth bothering with, even if you agree with him. Mann is certainly a bully, but worse than that, he's a bore - and his insistence on ideological purity is killing his cause. Take all the above and similar Tweets out of his hashtag, and what's left are as lonely and bereft as that polar bear on the ice floe. To put it in Bob Ward terms, Ward appeared on the BBC World Service to debate Judith Curry. Mann refuses to debate Dr Curry or even acknowledge her Twitter handle. That's why he's wound up in an echo chamber of fringe losers. The best advice Bob Ward could give Mann is to tell him to butch up.
Instead, Ward is accusing me of "violating" the First Amendment. You can look it up:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. However, Congress shall make an ironclad law prohibiting the people from laughing at thin-skinned climate scientists. There shall be no free exercise of guffawing or disrespectful tittering in the presence of self-garlanded Nobel Laureates.
One of Mann's few remaining groupies, Greg Laden, offered a somewhat subtler argument:
1way to express 1st amend. is to report @MarkSteynOnline coordinated effort to destroy a public twitter convo @ret_ward @MichaelEMann
Yeah, well, good luck with that. But it's useful to see the scale of Ward and Laden's ambition. The purpose of free speech is to test ideas: You have the argument, and you win it. Mann can't do that. So, because Mann can't win the debate, Ward and Laden are demanding that he be protected from ever having to participate in one: The climate "convo" should be held only between people who agree with Mann. That's never going to happen, and the more you insist on it the more you make fiascos like today's inevitable. Especially when the guy you're trying to protect is a goon who sneers at "serial climate disinformers" and "#KochMachine" stooges all day long on Twitter. If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the global warm-mongering.
So just a thought for Messrs Ward and Laden: Instead of arguing that it's a violation of the First Amendment to laugh at Dr Mann, wouldn't it be easier to get some non-laughingstock figure who can debate his way out of a paper bag?
~In an almost equally horrendous setback for climate alarmism, Climate Change - The Musical is closing. It was funded by the National Science Foundation - ie, your tax dollars. But no doubt it was all part of a scientific experiment to determine the quickest way to lose three-quarters of a million bucks. They'd have been better off doing Little Orphan Mannie, in which the cherubic moppet sings "You're Never Fully Dressed Without A Tree-Ring".
~As you can tell, even stuck in the choked toilet of DC justice, I'm having a good time these days, and liking the way this case is going. But I wouldn't still be standing if it weren't for your continued support of my pushback against Mann via the Steyn store and our SteynOnline gift certificates. We're itching to go to trial, although I'm beginning to get the feeling after today that "blocking" is so reflexive to Mann he'll be doing it on the witness stand:
"I put it to the witness that he has never been exonerated by Lord Oxburgh or..."