Michael E Mann, the world's most un-exonerated man, and yours truly both happen to be in the British Isles this week. I, alas, am here for rather sad personal reasons, so I was unable to attend Dr Mann's lecture at Bristol University on Monday. Many eminent deniers did, however, show up, although you wouldn't have got that impression from the puffball lobbers the moderator chose for the q-&-a. After his hashtag debacle of last week, Mann was doubtless grateful to be back in the insulated climate cocoon in which the only questions that slip through the net are from sappy rubes who support climate alarmism so they can feel like they're "saving the planet" without actually having to lift a finger. Nonetheless, I thought this vignette from Bishop Hill was rather poignant:
As we waited in our seats for Michael Mann's lecture at the Cabot Institute to begin, I was struck by the sight of the great man alone at the side of the stage. He stood there for several minutes, ignored by everyone, as the last of the audience appeared and the Cabot Institute people, Lewandowsky among them, scurried about making final arrangements. I couldn't help but be reminded of Mark Steyn's comments about climatologists' stark failure to make any amici submissions to the DC court on Mann's behalf. The other day I also heard a story about a room full of paleo people rolling their eyes and groaning at the mere mention of his name. Somehow the Cabot Institute's abandonment of the honoured speaker at the side of the stage seemed to epitomise this growing isolation. Even the scientivists seemed to be abandoning him.
Come the big Mann vs Steyn trial of the century, even loyal SteynOnline readers feared that I would be seen by a DC jury as "an unlikeable foreigner with a funny accent". But what if this Mann stiff is even more unlikeable?
Ah, but on the other hand:
The delivery was largely very slick, and Mann appears to have had some coaching in this regard, because there were some amusing one-liners and some good comic timing. I don't remember him having this ability before.
Yikes! The Don Rickles of the tree-ring set. I'm toast.
Meanwhile, Wednesday was the "close of briefing" re the SLAPP appeal at the DC Court of Appeals. I'm not part of this appeal, because I'm tired of both Doctor Fraudpants and the clogged toilet of DC justice and want to move straight to trial - although Fraudpants, notwithstanding his brilliant comic timing, is dragging his feet on that. However, my fellow defendants are all involved - Rand Simberg, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and National Review. My only contribution is an amicus brief emphasizing the fraudulent nature of Mann's claim to have been "exonerated" (page seven):
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.
I'm delighted to see that CEI's lawyers have run with that last point in their own reply brief. From page five:
Of the eight reports that Mann says "exonerated" him, three do not even mention his name once, and six involved no investigation at all of his research or conduct. Of the two reports that do concern Mann, one did not investigate the charge for which he claims to be "exonerated" - falsifying data - and the other dropped its investigation of that charge at an early stage, without examining Mann's research or practices.
Mann's discussion of these materials is so misleading as to seriously call into question his and his counsel's candor to the Court. In these circumstances, it would be well within the Court's discretion to order Mann and his counsel to show cause why they should not be sanctioned for misrepresentation of the record and for unreasonably imposing litigation costs on Defendants.
Yeah, baby! Bring it on!
The Michael Mann on display at his public appearances - the embattled Nobel Laureate exonerated by multiple bodies on either side of the Atlantic - is such a thorough top-to-toe fraud that it can only be defended by further fraud: in a sense, the very case is a fraud.
In his original complaint Mann claimed no fewer than three times to be a Nobel Laureate - paragraphs 2, 5 and 17 - leading his counsel to accuse me of the hitherto unknown crime of "personal defamation of a Nobel Prize winner". At the time, mainly because his lead lawyer John Williams seemed a genial buffer in court, I assumed this was an honest error on the part of his attorneys: after all, if someone says he's a "Nobel Prize winner", why would you think to check? To claim falsely to be a "Nobel Prize winner" is such an outrageous misrepresentation of credentials that, until Mann made it part of his act, it was the kind of scam that would never occur to anyone outside a traveling medicine show or the carney guy in between the bearded lady and the amazing leopard woman. So I could kind of understand why Williams would assume it's not the sort of thing you have to do due diligence on.
But the remorseless ongoing codswallop about Mann's multiple "exonerations" by Williams and the hack ideologue Peter Fontaine defies any such benign explanation. It is, as CEI says, an issue of Mann and his counsel's "candor". Indeed, in many jurisdictions, Williams and Fontaine would risk rebuke by the Bar Council for this scale of misrepresentation.
Of the two reports that are at least, albeit somewhat perfunctorily, about Michael Mann, CEI's general counsel makes a sharp point:
One of Mann's arguments is that his work has been "exonerated" by a number of investigations, including that of EPA. As our reply brief shows, that is simply untrue. But one thing that EPA did examine was Mann's own claim that the work of certain opposing scientists was a "fraud". In EPA's view, "fraud" is an "entirely acceptable and appropriate" term in scientific debate. (CEI Reply Brief at p.11.)
In short, EPA didn't exonerate Mann, but it may well have exonerated the defendants.
By comparison with CEI's, the NR brief is a bit of a snoozeroo, but we've posted it here. The argument that I'm just some unknown assailant who bust into their publishing platform strikes me as pretty desperate, but that's what happens when you fight legalistically rather than on big bright free-speech principles.
To return to Bishop Hill's vivid portrait of the isolation of Mann, and the roomful of people "rolling their eyes and groaning at the mere mention of his name", it is not a small thing that his fellow scientists are unwilling to defend him, and that he's reduced to depending on weird fringe creeps. Last week, after Mann's hashtag meltdown, The Prussian chipped in with a belated query to #AskDrMann:
Don't you wish you had listened to me? tinyurl.com/nyew398 #AskDrMann
The URL linked to this piece by The Prussian from two years ago - October 31st 2012:
At the outset I should say that I think global warming is real, manmade, and a problem. I also hate, hate seeing accusations of scientific dishonesty made lightly.
That said, with this little tantrum, Mann has arranged humiliation for himself and a public discredit to climate science, at a time when public understanding of the same is not what it might be.
And after addressing what he calls Mann's "very weird lie" about his Nobel Prize, The Prussian continues:
Mark the effect. In a legal complaint alleging defamation, Mann has lied. He complains that his reputation is being attacked, and has provided evidence that that reputation is at least partly fraudulent. If he doesn't get that his case is now dead then he's deluded. Because now the charge of fraud is accurate.
According to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, claiming to have a qualification that you don't, is fraud, plain and simple:
'When researchers lie about their credentials, such conduct constitutes scientific misconduct.'
Penn State, where Mann works, has something similar to say.
But Mann didn't want to hear - even from people who "think global warming is real, manmade and a problem":
Before all this came to light, I was on Mann's facebook page, and tried to warn him that he might be surprised to see how fierce Steyn can fight in the legal arena; this is not a man given to backing down easily, I said. I was promptly banned and blocked. I have heard plenty of similar stories from others. If Mann could ever be bothered to listen to others, he might not be poised to deal climate science its biggest PR defeat in years.
Whoa, who said anything about "climate science"? As the absence of amici briefs suggests, climate science is anxious to move on from Mann. The Scottish Skeptic adds:
It all seems so civilised – giving him the "cold shoulder" in public. But don't they see the implications when Mann loses? As far as the public are concerned Mann – or at least the notorious hockey stick is "global warming". So, when Mann loses, it will show that "global warming" is wrong and every single climate academic from Hansen to Curry to Jones to Spencer will be tarred with the same brush as having been found guilty of … how to put this "it being reasonable to suggest fraud".
So what are they thinking? The answer seems to me that global warming is more a huge cock-up than any conspiracy. Because if there was some master-mind co-ordinating this scam, then they would have had the sense to ditch Mann a long time ago.
Oh, I don't know. For a year or two around the turn of the century, he over-egged the pudding very usefully for them. Viewed from 2014, however, that two-year-old Prussian post is very prescient - except in respect of the bit about how "Mann has arranged humiliation for himself and a public discredit to climate science". His colleagues are frantically trying to ensure that when humiliation comes it will be Mann's alone.
So I like where we're at right now. If you'd like to support my pushback against Mann, you can do so by swanking around town in our exclusive range of Steyn Vs The Stick trial merchandise, or by buying a loved one one of our new SteynOnline gift certificates or by checking out all the other fun stuff - books, CDs, mugs and more - over at the Steyn store. Thanks for your generosity to date. I call him Doctor Fraudpants in part because he has kitted himself out in lies. One by one they're all dropping off him and exposing the real Mann underneath.