We're only a week away now from the official launch date of my new book - on September 1st, which I see that His Holiness The Pope, in a helpful promotional tie-in, has declared the first annual International Day of Prayer against Global Warming. This seems an odd priority, even for a social-justice pontiff, at a time when the oldest Christian communities on the planet are being exterminated (ISIS has just razed a 1,500-year-old Catholic monastery at Qaryatain, and with it the earliest Christian frescoes in Syria). I confess I do occasionally wonder if Pope Francis, jumping very belatedly onto the climate-change bandwagon, has gotten hold of the wrong end of the stick.
If he has, I'm happy to ship the pontiff an autographed copy of the right end of the stick. So here it is, the story of the most famous "science" graph of the 21st century and how its malign influence got propelled onwards and upwards - to the IPCC, Al Gore's Oscar-winning crockumentary, every western government, every schoolhouse in the developed world, and now apparently even to the Vatican. It's a hell of a story:
"A Disgrace To The Profession":
The World's Scientists - In Their Own Words - On
Michael E Mann, His Hockey Stick And Their Damage To Science
It's a groovy title, I think you'll agree. Personally autographed copies are available right now at the SteynOnline bookstore. But, if you can live without my cheery greeting, you can pre-order it from Amazon in print and Kindle. Profits therefrom help to prop up my end of the upcoming climate trial of the century - and Josh's cartoons are worth the price all by themselves.
It started with a lawsuit, when the creator of the global-warming "hockey stick" decided to sue me for defamation. That suit over a 270-word blog post is about to enter its fourth year in the choked toilet of the District of Columbia court system: if I lose at trial, it will be the most consequential setback for the First Amendment for 50 years. If I win, it would be a big defeat for the climate mullahs and a rare victory for sanity in the ongoing climate wars. But a chap can't sit around forever waiting for the lethargic jurists of a dysfunctional courthouse to get their act together, so I figured I might as well put some of the mountain of case research clogging up the office into a brand new book. Instapundit calls it a fine example of "punching back twice as hard" - and I certainly hope so. Over at The Way The Ball Bounces, they give the book "two bristlecones - way up":
I expected the book to be on the dry side compared to Steyn's usual joyous romps. I was wrong. It was a pleasure to read. I was laughing by the time I reached the Table of Contents. Steyn organizes scientists' criticisms of Mann by theme and keeps the "plot" moving. Criticism, meet witticism.
The book's organization is brilliant: each section begins with an overview by Steyn, followed by a series of two-page, bite-sized critiques of Mann. They're like a Pez dispenser, you finish one, another pops up, staring you in the face. Daring you. OK, just one more. Just one more. This is definitely the last. No more Pez today!!
I'm very grateful for that review, because we put a lot of thought into how to structure the book to tell the story of how one obscure researcher's worthless graph came to swallow climate science whole. A Curious Little Blog also likes the book, especially as a splendid example of punching back:
Steyn, on the other hand, views the suit as an aggressive attempt to shut down the debate, so he has no intention of settling... Steyn is not trying to get out from under it in the easiest way possible, which is what most people do. The fact that he is confronting it and insisting that it go to trial shows that he is a man of unusual fortitude. But, even if I were willing to take such a stand myself, I would surely be a basket case worrying about the consequences and unable to do much else. Not Steyn. He continues to publish and appear on talk shows. Even more remarkable, he has published two BOOKS directly touching on the court case. The first is Climate Change: The Facts, a collection of articles by nearly two dozen authors (including Steyn, but also many scientists) exposing the weaknesses in the argument for climate change...
Second, and even more extraordinary, is his new book called A Disgrace to the Profession. Subtitled "The World's Scientists in their own words on Michael E. Mann, his hockey stick, and their damage to science," it is an even more direct and devastating attack on Mann..
So my hat is off to Mark Steyn, not only because he is taking a courageous stand for free speech (the ACLU has filed an amicus brief on his behalf), but also for doing so in an incredibly gutsy and brilliant way.
Thank you for that. As you know, Mann's plan was to sue me into silence. I leave it to others to assess how well that's working out. However, as Barack Obama likes to say, this isn't just about me. It's also about the perversion of science and the damage done by the Big Climate enforcers and the cartoon science of the hockey stick. Mann's graph told the simplest of stories: climate-wise nothing happened for nine hundred years until suddenly, in the 20th century, the mercury took off and shot up through the top right-hand corner of the graph - and now we're all gonna fry.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, the global-warming "pause" is about to enter its third decade, which suggests it may all be a bit more complicated than that.
So I hope you'll take a gander at "A Disgrace To The Profession": The world's scientists on Michael E Mann, his hockey stick, and their damage to science - Volume One. At SteynOnline, we're selling the paperback edition, personally autographed by yours truly, as an exclusive offer from the Steyn store. But, unadorned by my John Hancock, it's available in print and eBook from Amazon and all the usual outlets.
~There are other ways to support my pushback against Big Climate, if you're so inclined:
We usually only offer these at Christmas time, but, by popular request, we've made them available for the non-holiday season, too. You can buy a gift certificate starting at $25 (and soaring way up from there), and let your friends and relatives load up with Steyn books and music and trial merchandise at their leisure. The gift certificates have no expiration date, so if, in ten years' time, your favorite nephew has a sudden burning desire for $100 worth of Clash of Sticks mugs, it'll still be valid. Alternatively, if you want to buy a certificate and sit on it until I win the case, that works, too.
The gift certificates are available online here. Alternatively, US and Canadian customers can make a telephone purchase by calling (866) 799-4500 toll free from 8am to 3pm Eastern time on weekdays.
Aside from my climatological offering, I've written lots of other books, too, including one on free speech, which is the heart of this case. They're available individually or as part of various special offers.
We've introduced two new designs, "Steyn vs the Stick" and "Clash of Sticks", that are now available both on mousepads and coffee mugs and as T-shirts and sweat shirts (for men and women). The latter are the only things to be seen in if you're thinking of swinging by the DC Superior Court.
This is an important case: If Mann were to prevail, it would be the worst setback for freedom of speech in this country in half-a-century - which is why, if he were to win in DC, we'd be going all the way to the Supreme Court. I'm grateful to all the readers around the world who understand that and have expressed their support over the last three years. As my new book indicates, I'm taking Instapundit's advice - and punching back hard.