It's almost three years since I wrote a 270-word blog post about the corruption of the investigative process at Penn State under a university president since indicted and facing 20 years in the slammer for obstruction of justice and child endangerment. Michael E Mann, creator of the "global warming" hockey stick, didn't care for my post, and sued for defamation - and here we all are. Neither Mann nor I live or work in the District of Columbia, so I assumed that, having airily assented to his venue-shopping and chosen to accept the case, the DC courts would be capable of adjudicating the matter. Little did I know that, in the dank toilet of DC justice, they can, on the one hand, have two trial judges simultaneously ruling on the same case while, on the other hand, be entirely unaware of whether their own anti-SLAPP law is appealable and thus require a decision from the Appeals Court on whether the law is appealable before the appeal can be appealed.
What larks! It's over a year since I responded to Doctor Fraudpants' discovery requests, while he has objected to having to respond to mine. That's all part of the game for serial litigants like Mann: The process is the punishment. But, given that the DC justice system is apparently incapable of litigating a 270-word blog post in under 270 weeks, I'm thinking of publishing my discovery response to Mann as a souvenir book.
I said some time last year that, when you're in a legal battle, it always helps to have something bigger at stake. When the Canadian Islamic Congress attempted to use the "human rights" commissions to impose a de facto lifetime publication ban on me in my own country, the larger issue became freedom of speech. And, in a narrow sense, we won - in that the Canadian Parliament eventually repealed the law under which the Islamic enforcers brought their suit.
But, as Laura Rosen Cohen says today, "I'm so bored of 'defending' free speech." I agree. Free speech shouldn't need "defending". It's the shut-uppers who should be on the defensive, who should be made to explain why only their side of the argument can be heard. Before Mann launched his suit, I was broadly familiar with the corruption of the scientific process that Climategate et al had revealed. But I was still shocked to discover just how deep it goes. Over the last three years, I've had the opportunity to meet with scientists who occupy different positions on the climate spectrum: Some are out-and-out "skeptics"; some broadly agree with the so-called "consensus" but dislike its intolerance; others define themselves as "lukewarmers" or have only relatively modest disagreements with Mann & Co - yet even that cannot be tolerated by the Big Climate enforcers. The fear of retribution and the ever present threat of intimidation in what's supposed to be a branch of scientific inquiry is amazing - and something of which all reputable scientists should be ashamed.
As I say, free speech doesn't require "defending". If your religion - whether Allah or the Climate Gods - is so insecure it can't tolerate any objections, you're the one with the problem - and you're the one who needs to figure out a "defense". The Big Climate enforcers are more or less open about their willingness to get you fired, blacklisted by scholarly journals, banned from the airwaves, and if necessary investigated by hack congressmen like Raul Grijalva, ranking member of the House UnEnvironmental Activities Committee. In such a climate, the best way to push back is to disseminate the dissent - and ensure that people get a chance to hear alternative views.
That's why I'm honored to be part of the new paperback, Climate Change: The Facts. Many of the scientists I'm sharing the pages with here have paid a high price for speaking out against Mann and his fellow Warmanos - most recently Willie Soon, whom Dr Mann's mini-me Greg Laden has been trying to get fired; and Richard Lindzen, one of those targeted by the thuggish Grijalva. Climate Change: The Facts looks at the state of the climate debate in the broadest sense - the science, the policy and the politics - as we prepare to enter the third decade of the global-warming "pause". Put together by my friends at Australia's Institute of Public Affairs, this collection of 21 essays brings together some of the sharpest analysis of climate change by leading scientists and commentators from the US, Britain, Canada and Australia. The scientists include Patrick Michaels, Christopher Essex, Kesten Green, Richard Lindzen, Jennifer Marohasy, Stewart Franks, John Abbot, J Scott Armstrong, Robert M Carter, Garth Paltridge, Ian Plimer and Willie Soon â€“ writing on flawed IPCC models, the role of the sun, geological history and natural variability. Other contributors include economics experts Rupert Darwall, Ross McKitrick, and Alan Moran; plus Anthony Watts of the world's most-read climate website; former Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson; science writers Jo Nova and Bernie Lewin; my old National Post comrade Donna Laframboise - and, for a bit of knockabout, me, Andrew Bolt, and James Delingpole. Climate Change: The Facts is full of good stuff that will help you push back against the climate mullahs. It's brimming with facts and arguments - which is the best riposte to insecure dweebs whose debating technique is to insist that no debate can be permitted to take place.
Climate Change: The Facts is available in eBook format from Amazon and all the usual outlets. But, for hardcore deniers interested in contributing to mass deforestation, you can order it in paperback direct from SteynOnline - and I'll be happy to autograph it for you or your warm-monger friends and relatives. We're also offering the paperback as part of a special deal with our Steyn vs the Stick Big Climate Special, and with my latest book in our Undocumented and Unsettled special - part of my somewhat feeble efforts to ensure I can continue propping up my end of the Mann vs Steyn lawsuit for the three, four, seven years it's got left to run. This seems as good a moment as ever to put it in a pitch for our SteynOnline gift certificates, too.