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« The car crash of energy policy | Main | More emails »
Friday
Aug242012

More litigation

This press release has just been issued by the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Penn State Climate Scientist Michael Mann Demands Apology From CEI

CEI Refuses to Retract Commentary

Washington, D.C., August 24, 2012 – The Competitive Enterprise Institute received a letter on August 21 from an attorney representing Penn State University Professor Michael E. Mann that demands that CEI retract and apologize for a post on CEI’s blog, OpenMarket.org, written by CEI adjunct scholar Rand Simberg. The letter also threatens that they "intend to pursue all appropriate legal remedies on behalf of Dr. Mann."

"The Other Scandal in Unhappy Valley," the July 13, 2012 blog post at issue, criticized Professor Mann, a climate scientist who is recent years has become a leading advocate in the public debate for global warming alarmism. Mann was the lead author of research that fabricated the infamous hockey stick temperature graph. The hockey stick was featured in the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Third Assessment Report (2001), but was dropped in its Fourth Assessment Report (2007). E-mails from and to Professor Mann featured prominently in what became known as the Climategate scandal.

In response to the letter from Mann’s attorney, CEI offered the following statements.

Statement by CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman:

This week CEI received a letter from Michael Mann’s attorney, John B. Williams of Cozen O’Connor, demanding that CEI fully retract and apologize for a July 13th OpenMarket blog post concerning Mann’s work. Shortly after that post was published in mid-July, CEI removed two sentences that it regarded as inappropriate. However, we view the post as a valid commentary on Michael Mann’s research. We reject the claim that this research was closely examined, let alone exonerated, by any of the proceedings listed in Mr. Williams’s letter.

National Review, which earlier got a similar letter from Mann’s attorney, has expertly summed up the matter in a response by the editor and the publication’s attorney.

And regardless of how one views Mann's work, his threatened lawsuit is directly contrary to First Amendment law regarding public debate over controversial issues. Michael Mann may believe we face a global warming threat, but his actions represent an unfounded attempt to freeze discussion of his views.

In short, we’re not retracting the piece, and we’re not apologizing for it.

Statement by Myron Ebell, Director of CEI’s Center for Energy and Environment:

Penn State Professor Michael Mann’s lawyer claims that nine investigations of academic fraud have all exonerated Professor Mann. Most of these investigations did not examine Professor Mann’s conduct or even mention him, and Penn State University’s investigation was typical of that institution’s unfortunate tendencies.

The fact that Professor Mann’s hockey stick research is still taken seriously in the public debate is an indication that people haven’t read the Wegman Report to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the National Research Council’s report, or the analysis of Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick.

Professor Mann’s political advocacy is no more reliable than his scientific research. His recent book, The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines, repeats numerous factual errors, some of them about CEI.

View the Michael Mann attorney letter.pdf

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Reader Comments (47)

Lawsuit number three?

Wow, about time for MSM coverage wouldn't you say?

Aug 24, 2012 at 6:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterWijnand

Blablablableugh.....and gone

Aug 24, 2012 at 6:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterWijnand

Mann is losing it.

Aug 24, 2012 at 6:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterRB

“If you chase two rabbits, they both will escape". -- Chinese Proverb.

Aug 24, 2012 at 6:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

[snip]

I have already taken on CRU in Court and won.
They had the fancy Temple Chambers brief and a team of solicitors.
All I had on my side was the truth.
I can't see Mann doing any better than CRU.

As the saying goes "the truth will out".

Aug 24, 2012 at 6:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

\[snip] we have been waiting a long time for bogus climate claims to be tested in a dispassionate court of law. Indeed when the 'science' has previously come in front of the legal system e.g. when Al Gore's inconvenient truth claims were interrogated by a judge, the verdict did the warmist cause no favours.

It is a great pity that it will take court action to access information that should have been available all along to the general public. The role of skeptics in this case has always been as honest seekers of the truth and the right to question the conclusions made by public sponsored scientists. Good science has always been based on skepticism - the truth and nothing but the truth are the only thing that matters to skeptics.

Aug 24, 2012 at 6:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterChairman Al

Buy popcorn futures.

Aug 24, 2012 at 6:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterGrumpy Old Man

[snip] DNFTT

Aug 24, 2012 at 6:48 PM | Unregistered Commentero2bnaz

What a litany of litigation, this could lead to an "I am Spartacus" tipping point.

Aug 24, 2012 at 6:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul

Sam Kazman wrote: "Michael Mann may believe we face a global warming threat, but his actions represent an unfounded attempt to freeze discussion of his views."

Well put.

Mann's behavior (as revealed in the CG emails and elsewhere) has always indicated he comes from the authoritarian wing of the AGW movement.

Aug 24, 2012 at 6:53 PM | Unregistered Commentertheduke

The ego has landed , so what got into Mann's head that has made he all litigation happy . Rumour has it the University of Virginia attempts to bring the prodigal son back home , perhaps as part of keeping his e-mails away from public view , have fallen through . So I wonder if true if this has given him brain fervour.

Aug 24, 2012 at 6:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

@KnR

so what got into Mann's head that has made him all litigation happy?

When Steyn wrote his original article he blew his top and made all number of promises to his followers on his facebook page including litigation. His ego and pride will make it very difficult to extract himself from these committments without losing significant face.

Aug 24, 2012 at 7:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterChairman Al

o2bnaz: Don't take the bait you'll be deleted anyway.

I come back to my original point, who is going to pay for this litigation, should it go ahead. Of course at the moment he's paying for the bluffing letters only, but surely he can't be that much of a thicko that he sends out two letters threatening litigation within the same week and not have any financial backing to pursue them. Bu then he did use short-centring on his hockeystick graphs...

Aug 24, 2012 at 7:16 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Had to laugh when I saw that Mann is being represented by Cozen O’Connor. If you wonder why, google up the definition of cozen.

Aug 24, 2012 at 7:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Maloney

CEI may be even less amused than NR at the prospect of a answering a British writ , but it could make the best television since television - will the real John O'Sullivan please stand up?....

Aug 24, 2012 at 7:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

Mann's litigation fervor of recent weeks does beg the question of what is happening with his career now.

Although tenured at PSU, the persistent and long term public exposure by the open skeptical science community of both his fundamental statistical incompetence and  his anti-scientific violation of data/methodology transparancy must be severely
chaffing to his self perception of being a very important climatologist.  He acts in my views as if he has some significant self-image erosion occurring that is igniting his recent litigation frenzy.

John

Aug 24, 2012 at 8:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Whitman

@Jack "Had to laugh when I saw that Mann is being represented by Cozen O’Connor. If you wonder why, google up the definition of cozen."

You can't make stuff like that up. ROFL

Aug 24, 2012 at 8:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul in Sweden

I am of the opinion that this is mostly about Dr Mann furthering his self perceived image of being a warrior in the "climate wars". He wants to see himself as "under siege" and manning the trenches - a real war hero. See Dr Mann bravely taking on corporate giants and evil energy industry money. Sir Galahad charging into the teeth of those who would doom the planet in a selfish search for profits.

Years from now mothers will regale their children of the bad old days when the world was at risk and how Dr Mann stood up, at great personal risk, and secured the happy place they now live in.

Should make a great movie.

Well, maybe an ok cartoon.

Aug 24, 2012 at 8:25 PM | Unregistered Commentertimg56

I wonder when if he will come after the good Bishop?

Aug 24, 2012 at 8:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Cowper

It would appear that Mr Mann put his head above the parapet and promptly lost it.

Aug 24, 2012 at 8:43 PM | Registered CommenterDung

I think Mann is really losing his marbles. His recent review of Romm's "Language Intelligence" is out of place on RC. His response to Eric Steig, #13, shows IMO that he is a man on a mission:

[Response: Eric, I think you do a disservice to Mike [Roddy] here. It is absolutely a fair argument to say that individuals who knowingly funded dishonest efforts to confuse the public about the climate change threat are participating in what might reasonably be defined as crimes against humanity. The tobacco CEOs were criminally liable for doing precisely that in the case of cigarettes and lung cancer. Arguably, what the funders of organized climate change denial have done might in the long run cost even more lives. Eric, you are certainly welcome to disagree with Mike, but it is wrong of you to attack him for expressing these views. They are quite similar to what James Hansen has said publically. I take it you disagree w/ Hansen? Have you called him out similarly? --Mike]

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/08/language-intelligence-lessons-on-persuasion-from-jesus-shakespeare-lincoln-and-lady-gaga-a-review/

Aug 24, 2012 at 8:47 PM | Unregistered Commenterharold

Is there a parallel here with Lance Armstrong? I've always wanted to believe Lance didn't dope, but now that the agency has stripped his titles, he seems to have decided not to litigate, which says to me that he doesn't want to have all the testimony from his teammates become very public.

Mann is just as threatening with lawsuits. Will he actually go through with it? If all of his emails and such become public, including those not yet public, and he goes through full discovery, that won't be pleasant for him (although it will be enlightening for the rest of us).

But suppose he claims that he has already been exonerated, and that discovery isn't appropriate, there is no need to litigate the matter again? I'm not a lawyer, but I find it hard to believe that calling Steve McIntyre to the stand wouldn't open a judge's mind to the notion that Mann has not been dispationately exonerated. So....will Mann to an Armstrong and back off litigation, after threatening it for so long? Or will he self-incinerate??

Aug 24, 2012 at 8:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Wijnand
"Wow, about time for MSM coverage wouldn't you say?"

Yep, I expect the BBC and Grauniad to be getting out a joint expose on this very shortly, or did I dream that?

Aug 24, 2012 at 8:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohnbuk

John

I think you got your facts wrong about Lance. The USADA doesn't have the power to strip Tour titles even if they huff and puff and say they can. The UCI is the governing body. It seems to me that the USADA is run by someone with an ego almost as big as Mann.

Cheers

Michael

Aug 24, 2012 at 9:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterMichael

Hmm well given hi previous I would have expected Mann to get all high and mighty! but this is way silly even for his ego to sustain I cannot see how or where he has left himself a out with at least some credit if he goes ahead in a free and fair court he is well, put politely well and truly fiddled and if he backs down he is er fiddled !

Aug 24, 2012 at 9:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterMat

"Dying stars do not go quietly "


http://voices.yahoo.com/children-dying-star-9026259.html

Aug 24, 2012 at 9:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterBebben

harold quotes:

"It is absolutely a fair argument to say that individuals who knowingly funded dishonest efforts to confuse the public about the climate change threat are participating in what might reasonably be defined as crimes against humanity."

Looks like good evidence of losing it.

Aug 24, 2012 at 10:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

Action (def - law) Mann

Aug 24, 2012 at 10:06 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

"It is absolutely a fair argument to say that individuals who knowingly funded dishonest efforts to confuse the public about the climate change threat are participating in what might reasonably be defined as crimes against humanity."

Piltdown Mann should be careful what he wishes for - my understanding of this statement would see him, the IPCC, Greenpeace, 10:10, FoE, DEFRA, DECC and the lot of 'em in the Hague.

Bring it on...

Aug 24, 2012 at 10:37 PM | Registered Commenterflaxdoctor

Mann seems to be in the litigation business, the first resort of scoundrels. He seems to believe he can prevail by simply intimidating those who dare disagree with him.
He is in grave danger of becoming a self-parody, sort of like the central character in Leon Uris' great novel, "QB VII": He may prevail, technically and ultimately, but a jury of his peers will award him what his reputation is worth: the smallest coin of the realm.

Aug 24, 2012 at 11:15 PM | Unregistered Commenterlurker, passing through laughing

Remember the good old days, when the climate science community had its panties in a bunch at the mere perceived threat of litigation?

http://climateaudit.org/2012/07/14/another-untrue-allegation-by-karoly/#more-16434

Why, it seems like it was only a couple of months ago!

Aug 24, 2012 at 11:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn M

Urinating into a gentle zephyr in order to turn it into a howling gale and by doing so leaping directly into a deep and smelly cesspit of his own making.

Aug 25, 2012 at 12:02 AM | Registered Commenterpeterwalsh

Law courts are an arm of the state. If such a case comes to court the judge will be forced to choose between the orthodox anthropogenic global warming world view promoted fiercely at great expense for several decades by the state in virtually every Western industrialised country or the opposing views held by what the state characterises as a small minority of misguided unscientific inexpert (in the climatological sense) "deniers". To those here who are familiar from long experience and study of the details of the issues involved there is of course simply no contest, AGW is nothing less than worthless junk science and mired in corruption to boot. If such a judge is to be won over to the anti-AGW view he or she will need to be prepared openly to confront their prejudices in a way alien to the vast majority of state sector employees and sufficiently diligent to examine in detail technical and scientific issues which are apparently far beyond the comprehension of our masters, the government ministers and their state employee servants who direct and shape Western societies. Such a judge will need to be unusually perceptive and characterful to be prepared to see through the iniquitous whitewash official "inquiries" states have repeatedly instigated to protect their own. And that judge will be one chosen by the establishment as well, quite possibly specifically to serve their ends. My guess is that Mann knows perfectly well that, apart from the truth, he has an awful lot going for him.

Aug 25, 2012 at 12:04 AM | Unregistered Commentercerberus

@cerberus

Have a peruse of this:

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2007/2288.html

Aug 25, 2012 at 3:17 AM | Unregistered Commenterwoodentop

The link to National Review's response does not work.

Aug 25, 2012 at 4:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterJungle Jim

Jungle Jim -
Try this link for the article, and this one for the lawyer's letter.

Aug 25, 2012 at 5:28 AM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

Someone's up early, or isn't from Truro.

Aug 25, 2012 at 7:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterDuncan

Duncan
Very good! LOL

Aug 25, 2012 at 10:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterSankara

@woodentop

Thank you for the link, I have never seen the actual judgement and it will take me some time to study it. I had several quick and possibly slightly superficial impressions as below.

One very significant element in arriving at the judgement was that even this judge felt it was necessary (as I see it) to steer a course between defendant and plaintiff rather than deciding the case wholly on its merits. So credit is given where it isn't due. Extremely worrying.

The word "consensus" appears nine times. Very worrying. For example:

"For the purposes of this hearing Mr Downes was prepared to accept that the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report represented the present scientific consensus."

You can look at this two ways. Firstly the consensus view is irrelevant in science because the accordance of the theory with the facts alone is what counts. It is totally irrelevant to the merits of the case. Secondly if the warmies really want to argue consensus numbers the case can be made they are on a decidedly sticky wicket as the Oregon petition (for example) showed, and because the number of pro AGW scientists can be shown in reality to be a few dozens almost all of whom have a vested interest. The fact is anyone uttering the word consensus should have been thrown out of the courtroom on the spot.

Aug 25, 2012 at 11:12 AM | Unregistered Commentercerberus

He's getting very litigation-happy!
All mouth & no trousers!

Aug 25, 2012 at 1:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterAdam Gallon

The CEI article is quite factual. The comparison to the Sandusky case is NOT, IMO, phrased in a way implying Mann is a child molester, but rather to point out, correctly, that one might be suspicious of the willingness of Penn State to honestly investigate one of its own,especially a big money-maker like Mann.
I find it telling that Mann insists that all studies have vindicated his work (never mind that they use the same data and had overlapping pals as authors). This "agreement" is achieved by ignoring clearly contradictory work by Esper, Grudd, Ljundquist, Loehle, and multipe other and by ignoring that even the reconstructions that the IPCC lets into their reports, when analyzed statistically show very low agreement at any time scale, and the classic Mann hockey stick is a clear outlier (don't have the ref handy). He also claims "exoneration" by the NAS panel which clearly said reconstructions going back more than 400 (can't remember exact #) yrs are not reliable and that you shouldn't use stripbark pines. The NAS statisticial expert Wegman panned Mann's stat methods as nonsense. The whitewashes in England did not examine Mann's role and did not delve into the science. So it is very much an egocentric universe Mann lives in where everyone agrees with him except morons and oil funded deniers, and he sees official rebukes as official support.

Aug 25, 2012 at 1:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterCraig Loehle

Confucius say: Mann swinging hokey schtick will get pucked up.

Aug 25, 2012 at 5:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterChinese Scholar

an unfounded attempt to freeze discussion of his views.

Lovely.
However one must observe that, on the other hand, the situation is heating up.
It may even have reached a tipping point.
Perhaps tempers are about to boil over.

Aug 25, 2012 at 8:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterPatrick Kelly

Perhaps Mann has taken the time to at least try to remove -- or to have removed -- from drives and servers e-mails that he knows would embarrass him. That would have freed him to become sue-happy, as we are witnessing.

Aug 26, 2012 at 12:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarold Ambler

Maybe we all have one special "Lurker" waiting to pounce at the apropriate opportunity who just might have some of Mann's emails in his/her back pocket...FOIA!

Aug 26, 2012 at 3:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Walsh

Notice they haven't touched the original piece which started the furore which accused Mann of doing things with data analogically comparable to Sandusky's treatment of children. For all that huffing and puffing the Sandusky comparison is legally fair comment. Accusations of fraud are where the battle is at.

Aug 27, 2012 at 5:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterDaveA

How to make a hockey stick: http://gorillavid.in/s3s8xbeqz29a

Aug 27, 2012 at 12:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterPuck

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