Inherit the Wind Farm – Mann made global hilarity

Mark Steyn has been begging Michael Mann to sue him for defamation and bless my soul he has now gone and done it. Mann is the climate scientist who invented the “hockey stick” model of global warming. Here is the notice of his intention to sue taken from Mann’s facebook page. This is how it starts:

Today, the case of Dr. Michael E. Mann vs. The National Review and The Competitive Enterprise Institute was filed in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Dr. Mann, a Professor and Director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, has instituted this lawsuit against the two organizations, along with two of their authors, based upon their false and defamatory statements accusing him of academic fraud and comparing him to a convicted child molester, Jerry Sandusky. Dr. Mann is being represented by John B. Williams of the law firm of Cozen O’Connor in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Mann is a climate scientist whose research has focused on global warming. In 2007, along with Vice President Al Gore and his colleagues of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for having ‘created an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming.’

Nevertheless, the defendants assert that global warming is a ‘hoax,’ and have accused Dr. Mann of improperly manipulating the data to reach his conclusions.

A hoax? Manipulating data? What an idea! The discovery process will be absolutely fantastic. It will be our modern version of the Scopes trial. Kind of like Inherit the Wind Farm. This may be the biggest mistake in going to court since Oscar Wilde.

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58 Responses to Inherit the Wind Farm – Mann made global hilarity

  1. Gareth Hamilton

    Great – this will leave Steyn with egg all over his face. The Alan Jones of Climate Change. This case will help put paid to the denialist faith. They’ll go down the same ignoble path of the flat-earthers.

  2. cohenite

    I hope Steyn is well financed; from past experience Mann will try and financially exhaust his legal targets.

    Hammy is a hoot.

  3. Dr Faustus

    I was most impressed to see that Dr Mann “was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize” in 2007. Apparently.

    I know exactly how proud he feels. I was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012 (along with the other 500 million citizens of the EU) and I will sue anyone who says otherwise.

  4. brc

    Surely Steyn can pull in some pretty big backing to make this into a show trial. A simple can-rattle to his audience would bring in plenty of funds.

    I’m not sure where Mann is headed with this – he is either pig-headed or is getting bad advice. Simply engaging at all with Steyn hands Steyn the win – all that is to be determined is the size of the win. Perhaps all the experience with the whitewashing has left him thinking that he is blessed with always being right.

    Mann has already lost – his glory days are well behind him now. The entire climate-change movement is one that is out of steam, out of runway and out of favour. How many times has ‘climate change’ been discussed in the presidential debates? Never. That’s how important it is now.

  5. Infidel Tiger

    I hope Steyn is well financed; from past experience Mann will try and financially exhaust his legal targets.

    Honey Badgers are scared of Steyn. No freaking way will he back down.

  6. rob

    moderators, Since, anyone

    This hammygar rubbish has gone on long enough. I don’t know if it’s an attempt at satire or someone just wasting your time, but it adds nothing to the blog. It might as well be computer-generated for all it adds to any debate. I know you probably don’t believe in censorship but you need to block its IP or something.

  7. 2dogs

    Mann will drop this case as soon as he realises that, as plaintiff, being cross-examined is effectively unavoidable.

  8. Rabz

    Given his ever lengthening roll call of famous (and not so famous) victims, anyone stupid enough to mess with Steyn deserves the epic beclownment headed their way.

    Oh – and to paraphrase the great man himself:

    “I have deep pockets and I will push back.”

  9. Keith

    He hasn’t even completed the defamation case against Tim Ball, which is pretty much at a standstill, pending Mann going forward with it into discovery.
    Now he starts with Steyn. I wonder about Mann’s funding – the university’s indemnity insurance ?
    Sounds like some sort of ploy to have both cases going at the same time. Maybe he can beg off the Ball case, because he’s now too busy with Steyn. Something like that.

  10. Ken N

    Talking of defamation, can any of the lawyers here say whether Newspoll or its managing director (who Ellis regularly names) would have a case for this kind of stuff?
    http://www.ellistabletalk.com/2012/10/23/the-usual-murdoch-dirty-tricks-61-the-curious-case-of-the-newspoll-that-did-not-bark-in-the-nighttime/

    Perhaps Ellis’s defence would be that no ne takes him seriously and so there can be no harm from anything he says.

  11. He beat Canada, for chrissake. Their Human Rights Commissiontook him on and lost.

    He’s been daring Mann to take him on as it will reveal or the sordid details behind Mann’s claims. No doubt Mann thinks he can get his lawyer to take that inconvenience out of the equation.

    But the fact is, Mann can’t prove defamation without evidence to the contrary. Grab the popcorn!

  12. Nic

    What type of burden of proof exists in the States?

  13. Alfonso

    This trial will not happen in some halfarsed fabian twilight State like Canada or Australia but in the US with a proper constitution …..for now.

    Phil Jones and Mann were email pen pals…..all the CRU mails ARE out there, aren’t they Mick?

  14. Steve of Glasshouse

    “moderators, Since, anyone

    This hammygar rubbish has gone on long enough. I don’t know if it’s an attempt at satire or someone just wasting your time, but it adds nothing to the blog. It might as well be computer-generated for all it adds to any debate. I know you probably don’t believe in censorship but you need to block its IP or something.”

    Hammy is our modern day Max Headroom; he needs an outlet

  15. SteveC

    Meanwhile down in Antarctica:
    Antarctic airstrip melting away

    The Wilkins runway – carved into ice near Casey station, about 3400 kilometres south-west of Hobart – was commissioned under the Howard government and hailed at its 2008 opening by the then Environment Minister, Peter Garrett.

    But unexpected surface melt has sharply curtailed use of the summer airstrip.

    Instead of up to 20 chartered flights by an Airbus A-319, as predicted by the Australian Antarctic Division before the runway opened, only four flights landed last season. In 2010-11 there were two.

    The division’s chief scientist, Nick Gales, recently told a parliamentary committee that trends in Antarctic ice cap melt were faster than almost any records, but the pace was uneven. A University of Tasmania-led study published in Nature yesterday showed a net loss of ice across Antarctica.

  16. Biota

    Next thing we’ll have Gillard suing Pickering.

  17. GregJ

    Michael Manne v Mark Steyn

    Oscar Wilde v The Marquess of Queensberry

    I really don’t think Manne has thought this through.

  18. brc

    Antarctic airstrip melting away

    I call BS

    The airstrip was carved out of ice. Permanent ice.

    Whatever reason it’s no use, I can almost certainly say that it’s not because the ice is melting. Read the excerpt – nowhere does it explicitly say the airstrip is melting. It says it’s being used less, and then some grant-seeker says Antarctic ice melt is uneven. The airstrip is carved into a glacier, FFS.

    Casey station has an average summertime high of 2 celsius coupled with an average low of -2 celsius. In other words, in the peak of summer it’s still freezing. The airstrip has to be prepared for each landing, so my guess is that weather conditions have to be right in order for it to be prepared, and the weather windows haven’t been there.

    The old station there had to be abandoned due to ice buildup on the buildings. That’s why I find it hard to believe the ‘OMG the airstrip is melting’ propaganda.

  19. SteveC

    Australian Antarctic Division chief Tony Fleming said six flights were planned for the coming months, but there were no plans for flights in January because it will be too warm.

    “Once it gets to above minus five degrees in the ice, then there are safety parameters which mean we can’t [land] aircraft on that,” he said.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-10-24/melting-ice-runway-puts-freeze-on-antarctic-flights/4331770

  20. Gab

    Australian Antarctic Division chief Tony Fleming said six flights were planned for the coming months,

    Good. They shouldn’t being flying there anyway, what will all that fuel pollution and CO2 from the planes.

  21. manalive

    Whatever is causing “a net loss of ice across Antarctica”, it can’t be a rising trend in air temperature because that has been dead flat for almost the entire period that human CO2 emissions have been skyrocketing.
    




  22. Samuel J

    Mann lies. He was never awarded the Nobel Prize. It was awarded in 2007 to Al Gore and the IPCC. Mann has no more claim than the janitor. The Nobel Prize does not (and has never) mentioned Mann.

  23. Gab

    Details, Samuel, mere details, lies and massaged statistics from Mann. who I am sure will drop the suit.

  24. brc

    Once it gets to above minus five degrees in the ice

    Right. Above -5 degrees in the ice is still not melting. So it’s a weather thing, coupled with safety regulations.

    Rather a different scenario to the picture painted by the ‘OMG THE RUNWAY IS MELTING DUE TO GLOBAL WARMING’ headline. As usual.

  25. cohenite

    SteveC quotes from the fairfax filth about Antarctica; for a more balanced appraisal of the King paper, which concentrates on the West Antarctica Penninsula [WAP] see here.

    Historically the WAP has increased its ice cover since 1850.

    More generally the WAP is geologically distinct from the rest of the Antarctic and has a completely different climate which has confounded attempts such as the infamous Steig paper to extrapolate WAP climate to the rest of Antarctic.

  26. Dr Faustus

    According to the Australian Antarctic Division, Wilkins Runway needs to be ‘snowcapped‘ to prevent the glacial ice melting during summer so that it can carry aircraft. This was part of the original design back in 2006 – the only problem was most of the snowcap laid down in 2006/07 was ‘ablated’ (worn/blown away) in 2008 and hasn’t been reapplied.

    So, no surprise Antarctic ice melt, then.

    Just quality journalism.

  27. Bruce of Newcastle

    SteveC – ICEsat finds Antarctic terrestrial ice is increasing at around 49 Gt/a. Which would imply a sea level fall. That was from Jay Zwally et al of NASA GSFC, who are not climate sceptics (Dr Zwally for example predicted an ‘nearly ice free’ Arctic for this year).

    I would be wary of both claims as the error bars are almost certainly larger than the delta value, whatever it really is.

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  29. SteveC

    manalive, what is the dataset for that chart? This NASA chart shows a temperature increase over most of Antartica, including the area of the runway.

  30. Bruce

    Steve – Look at the scales. Both you and Manalive are correct. The NASA colour coded map shows a general temperature rise around 0.05 C/yr. If you trended 1992-2012 on that HadCRUT 70-90S dataset you’d probably get a 1 C trended rise. But beware the endpoints. NASA has a really bad habit of picking the coldest point on a temperature curve and trending from there. I have lost a lot of respect for them because of this.

    Regarding the ice runway, transient surface melting is also different from bulk mass loss as we saw with the NASA press release on Greenland recently. They probably wish they hadn’t said that now.

  31. manalive

    manalive, what is the dataset for that chart?

    The source of the graph is clearly shown on the left-hand corner.
    SteveC, why are you apparently so unwilling to accept the possibility that despite a probable unmeasurable human contribution to the current global warming, the planet is not headed for Armageddon and that there is no need for massive CO2 mitigation that would cause enormous human suffering?

  32. SteveC

    Bruce, I was looking at the red line, which was not described, and manalives assertion that the trend was “dead flat”

  33. Bruce

    Steve – I was looking at the red line too. Appears to be about a 5 point smoothing. Concede to you though, since the webpage is pretty old (2007). I thought it was 2012. But the 1:10 scale difference will still explain most of the discrepancy.

  34. blogstrop

    SteveC is so earnest in his unceasing advocacy of lost causes.

  35. roger

    The AAD – the Australian Antarctic Division – madly screams Global Warming, ice melt and an all that jazz PURELY for political reasons. Scientifically, they will privately, quietly admit there is ZERO evidence for any of that rubbish. I have heard them first hand.
    Here is a question: if Global Warming IS responsible for the issues with the runway, why did they not think about it when they built it a few years ago? They certainly were screaming Global Warming already then.

  36. cohenite

    Watts does a nice analysis of ICESAT.

    The period covered does end in 2007.

    However, the main ice sheet is increasing; particularly in the East.

    Even Karoly thinks the Antarctic is not warming.

    Australia has a number of weather stations in and around the Antarctic and apart from a recent odd result from Atlas Cove none show any sign of fucking AGW.

  37. cohenite

    MMM, thing won’t handle 4 links; try with 3.

    Watts does a nice analysis of ICESAT.

    The period covered does end in 2007.

    However, the main ice sheet is increasing; particularly in the East.

    Even Karoly thinks the Antarctic is not warming.

    Australia has a number of weather stations in and around the Antarctic and apart from a recent odd result from Atlas Cove none show any sign of fucking AGW.

  38. Windy

    Zwally’s latest paper shows Antarctic has had a MASS BALANCE GAIN of 59GT of ice per year since 2003. I don’t know why people are still suggesting that the Antarctic is melting. The assumption of sub-glacial ice melt has also been proven incorrect with physical evidence presented at the AGU by a Polar research group that took actual measurements and used seals to measure water temperatures at the glacier bases.

  39. Donald Campbell

    Interesting…

    If Mann is claiming defamation for the “Hockey Curve”, then we will have to see the DATA that went into the analysis. Since Mann has already claimed that data is no longer available, I have a hard time seeing how he can prove Steyn “a liar” when asked to produce the evidence that the curve is accurate.

    Without that data, it is clearly a case that reasonable doubt favors Steyn. Likewise, some of the witnesses that could be called would be great… Imagine the corpulent ALGORe in one of his ‘earth in the balance’ hissy fits.

  40. The Old and Unimproved Dave

    If Steyn can take on the entire P.C. apparat of Canada and win, what makes Mann think he can do him down ?

    Hope it’s televised, because Steyn will have his guts for garters.

  41. Thomas

    I keep hearing this statement: “They’ll go down the same ignoble path of the flat-earthers.” In fact it was the main stream scientific community like todays climate supporters that were against what Galileo proved with his telescope — that Copernicus theory was correct. When it fact the reason no one wanted to agree was that they were afraid of the church accusing them of being deniers.

    Sound familiar

  42. Dave the Science Knave

    It ought to be interesting. I’m no lawyer, but the data is at the center of things (I am a scientist, but a chemist, not involved in any way with climate). I wonder if Mann hopes he can obfuscate things.

    Incidentally, I never thought twice about AGW until the hockey stick issue came up. I figure that the problem was real, that there was really good reason for believing the anthropogenic part, and that they were making a racket about it because that is what environmentalist and environmental scientists do.

    I haven’t tried to replicate data or analyses. I just rely on what 15 years in R and D tells me: nobody hides good data or analysis. If Watts and McIntyre had no point, they would be have been sat down decisively by the great data and cogent analysis the climate community has performed. This hasn’t happened. I have seen ad hominem attacks and the sniffing pride of an elite cadre of experts uninterested in presenting the data to the unwashed. I have a PhD, but I don’t need one to read human beings.

    This has no bearing on the data, and none on the facts. It is just a good shortcut to evaluation of things outside my area of expertise: if your critics are a bunch of uniformed pricks adding nothing but noise, you would give them a decisive beatdown with your data. Then you would go back to work. You wouldn’t create a series of PR outlets. Honest people don’t need PR.

  43. From Michael Crichton’s 1/28/2005 American Enterprise Institute speech, starting at 1:07:00 –

    Crichton: “I gave a talk to the Press Club in ’93 in which I told them that they were out of the quality revolution, that they were in desperate trouble. But they didn’t care then and they probably don’t care now. I operate on the assumption that the mass media will never be accurate. I don’t think they ever have been. When did yellow journalism start? Almost at the beginning of American newspapers. And I don’t see any reason for them to change. The great dictum of journalism is ‘simplify and exaggerate,’ which is exactly what Walt Disney told his cartoonists.

    “I do believe there will come a time, and it may come quite soon, when because of the internet people will be willing to spend a lot of money for verified information.”

    (Audience member): “The New York Times this week in the Science section reported that ice shelves are melting, and I guess that I’m willing to believe that’s not true, but I find it hard to believe that the reporter, the editors, the scientists quoted are either independently or in collusion advancing an anti-, er, pro-, sorry about that, global-warming agenda.”

    Crichton: “Work on that.”

  44. Curt

    Nic — You ask, “What type of burden of proof exists in the States?”

    It’s an incredibly high burden of proof that Mann must present, much higher than in almost any other country. It is almost impossible in the US for a “public figure” to win a case for statements regarding the field in which he is such a figure (for Mann, this would be climate science). I can’t imagine the trial judge would not rule that Mann is a public figure in this regard, given his many public pronouncements on climate science.

    You can google “New York Times v Sullivan” for the seminal court case that established this standard. Basically, Mann must prove “actual malice” on the part of those criticizing him, meaning that he must demonstrate that they knew what they were saying was completely false (not just failed to find out the truth) and went ahead and published it anyway. This is virtually impossible to do.

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  46. NMR

    Apparently Dr. Mann has been reluctant to share the full data that he used to develop his conclusions. Since the injury he suffered stems from Mr. Steyn’s criticism regarding the validity of Mann’s assumptions, it would be incumbent on Mann to demonstrate the error of Steyn’s conclusions by exposing the full set of relevant data in the discovery phase. My guess is that his original reluctance to do so is justified, and either the trial judge will do him favors to continue the obfuscation or Mann will quit.

    It is in the interest of science that all data, accumulated in the interest of science, must be made available for critical discussion, or the findings will have no standing other than the investigator’s opinion. The only response to a critic’s claim of obfuscation is “Here’s the data, look for yourself.” Any one who claims to work in science and doesn’t recognize that truth, should find occupation in something with less rigorous standards.

  47. .

    Zwally’s latest paper shows Antarctic has had a MASS BALANCE GAIN of 59GT of ice per year since 2003. I don’t know why people are still suggesting that the Antarctic is melting. The assumption of sub-glacial ice melt has also been proven incorrect with physical evidence presented at the AGU by a Polar research group that took actual measurements and used seals to measure water temperatures at the glacier bases.

    Because the dumbarses don’t recognise it as a freshwater drainage system. Of course stuff will “disappear”. But there is more stuff appearing all across Antarctica in the form of precipitation (snowfalls) which are undifferentiated. Plus it is almost summer…

  48. mick

    Don’t get your hopes up. He will drop the case once he realizes that in grown up court the other side gets to talk.

  49. cohenite

    Mann has never released any data; the only hockeystick data released was inadvertenly by Briffa, one of Mann’s occasional collaborators, and McIntyre showed that the data and methodology used to generate a hockeystick was, if intentional, fraudulent; and if not, irredeemably flawed.

  50. Huckleberry Chunkwot

    All I can say on this matter is that the less time that A319 spends in the air, the better for all concerned.

  51. Dr Furst Dunaharm

    Can’t wait!! Although many of us recognize “climategate” as the beginning of the end of the AGW hoax, most of the world is blissfully ignorant.

    This one won’t go unnoticed. My money’s on Steyn. Let the light shine in and watch the rats scurry for cover.

  52. Chris

    If there is any justice, Mann will be exposed for the fraud that he is, and we climate realists will gain more traction in this debate about the greatest hoax ever perpetrated upon mankind!

  53. Chris

    Goodness me! I didn’t realise there were any Gareth Hamiltons left in our supposedly enlightened society! Thank God they are in a great minority! I wonder if he, like Gillard, Swan and co, also believe that black is actually white?

  54. Blogstrop

    It’s examples like Gareth that made Arlene so saleable to a certain publicly funded demographic. So much so, that some wonder if they’re related.

  55. Aqua Fyre

    Hey Gareth,

    Steyn will have egg on his face ?

    Really ?

    Maybe the Nobel Committee can award Michael Mann a Nobel prize retrospectively.

    Afterall : it would be kinda in keeping with their having awarded Mr Omama a Nobel for World Peace no less : & he didn’t even lift a finger…

    So hell yeah…..

    Why not ?

    Bring on the Nobel Prize for Michael Mann.

    He deserves it as much as Obama & Al Gore and The entire EU…..lol

    Aqua Fyre

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