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« More gloom for renewables rentiers | Main | Another scientivist »
Tuesday
Apr292014

The climate inquisitor

The National Review has done a long and in-depth article on Michael Mann and freedom of speech entitled The Climate Inquisitor.

Secure as he appears to be in his convictions, Mann has nonetheless taken it upon himself to try to suppress debate and to silence some of the “irrational” and “virulent” critics, who he claims have nothing of substance to say. To this end, Mann has filed a lawsuit against National Review. Our offense? Daring to publish commentary critical of his hockey-stick graph and disapproving of his hectoring mien.

The Hockey Stick Illusion gets a mention too.

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Reader Comments (40)

He's suing them for accusing him of fraud. You should know that as well as they do.

Apr 29, 2014 at 2:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterChandra

The article is well-written and while the most of the information and arguments will not be new to the Bish's enlightened readership, there is one section where author Cooke notes that Mann himself has attacked his enemies with words that are very similar, if not identical to those over that are the basis of this suit. When depositions start, he will be asked about this in depth. Nor will a jury be impressed if he's questioned about it on the stand.

The overall impression one gets from reading pieces like this is that Mann has grossly over-reached in this lawsuit and that he may end up regretting choosing to litigate. The targeting of Steyn, an adamant and able defender of free speech rights and polemicist par excellence, was particularly ill-conceived. I don't know if the judge is reading public discussion of this case, e.g. McIntyre's destruction of Mann's "exonerations," but if he is, he's possibly regretting ruling against invocation of the anti-SLAPP statute. This is precisely the kind of case that that statute was written to discourage.

Apr 29, 2014 at 2:49 PM | Unregistered Commentertheduke

Chandra wrote: "He's suing them for accusing him of fraud. You should know that as well as they do."

Actually, he's suing them for using the term "fraudulent." That's not the same thing.

Apr 29, 2014 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered Commentertheduke

Chandra, your statement is addressed in the article. But then, if you'd actually read the article before commenting, you would know that.

You could analyze why you reject their claims, then there might be an interesting discussion here, but to pretend that the article and the legal filings do not address your statement is pointless. No, it is trollish and propagandistic on your part......

Apr 29, 2014 at 3:02 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

As I commented on unthreaded earlier, this article contains a surprisingly accurate description of the "hide the decline" kerfuffle. Nice to know that at least some folk can read (unlike Chandra who clearly didn't read the article).

Apr 29, 2014 at 3:05 PM | Registered Commentersteve ta

Skiphil, the propaganda is in the Bishop's (or should I say the Chief Inspector of Analogies') reporting. He chose to quote "Our offense? Daring to publish commentary critical of his hockey-stick graph and disapproving of his hectoring mien." which he knows very well is not what the lawsuit is about.

Apr 29, 2014 at 3:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterChandra

I'll wager that whoever wrote this analysis, read "The hockey stick illusion" at least three
times.
If so, they have yet to catch up with me.

Apr 29, 2014 at 3:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

theduke -
I would certainly hope that the judge is not reading public discussion of the case. He should be relying solely on arguments presented in court.

Chandra -
You claim that the suit is not about "publish[ing] commentary critical of [Mann's] hockey-stick graph". Yet the key complaint against Steyn seems to be his "fraudulent ... hockey-stick graph", and against NRO that they said Mann "molested and tortured data in the service of politicized science". The article gives a quote from a NRO editor: "In common polemical usage, ‘fraudulent’ doesn’t mean honest-to-goodness criminal fraud. It means intellectually bogus and wrong." Earlier you wrote that they accused Mann of fraud -- do you maintain that claim? If not, perhaps you can clarify what you think the suit is about, if not criticism of the hockey-stick graph.

Apr 29, 2014 at 3:25 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

Re: Chandra,

> which he knows very well is not what the lawsuit is about

The Bishop's article isn't about the lawsuit, it is about an article in the national review.

Perhaps you could select a couple of sentences of 60-70 words, from the article, that you think he should of quoted instead?

Apr 29, 2014 at 3:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

The NRO article is delightful reading— almost (but not quite) as good as a book I've read called "The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and The Corruption of Science".

Apr 29, 2014 at 3:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterDiogenes

I love the cartoon at the beginning.

Apr 29, 2014 at 3:38 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Unfortunately, this story is just another illustration that Climateers are going to try and get away with whatever they can, for as long as they can. Also unfortunately, they are surrounded by a larger like-minded general political group who aren't going to do anything to correct anyone in their group's behavior, rather, who are acting as a shield.

We have a long road ahead of us.

Andrew

Apr 29, 2014 at 3:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

Chandra

Why not buy a copy of "The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and The Corruption of Science" and try to understand the sceptic perspective.

Apr 29, 2014 at 4:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Cowper

Harold W @3: 25: Respectfully disagree. I don't think it's a violation of ethics for judges to be reading public information or discussions about a case. It is forbidden for jurors to do so, but not for judges. And even if it is, how do you enforce that? Forbid them from reading newspapers? If I were a judge, I would read whatever I could about a case because I think it would help me understand the case and rule effectively on it. I don't think you sacrifice objectivity in doing that.

Apr 29, 2014 at 4:06 PM | Unregistered Commentertheduke

Chandra wrote: \\He chose to quote "Our offense? Daring to publish commentary critical of his hockey-stick graph and disapproving of his hectoring mien." which he knows very well is not what the lawsuit is about.//

That is precisely what the lawsuit is about: their right to criticize a public figure based on their honest appraisal of the quality of his work. It's a magazine whose basic function is to publish opinions on controversial issues. Mann's work is not above public criticism by a long shot. If anything defames Mann, it is the quality of his work and the content of his character.

Apr 29, 2014 at 4:16 PM | Unregistered Commentertheduke

Chandra, I have taken the liberty of copying and pasting the following passage from the subject article of this post.

" Mann himself has used these terms liberally when it has suited him. In a Mother Jones interview from 2005, he assured his readers that, “as it plays out in the peer-reviewed literature, it will soon be evident that many of the claims made by the contrarians [i.e., skeptics of the global-warming hypothesis] were fraudulent.” Likewise, in his book, The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, Mann hoped that “those who have funded or otherwise participated in the fraudulent denial of climate change” will be held “accountable.” “Bogus” got a good airing, too. Journalists who do not meet Mann’s approval were charged collectively with being “willing to act as little more than stenographers for the constant stream of bogus allegations being fed them”

Can you see elements of hipocrisy in Mann taking umbrage at the use of the word "fraudulent" against himself?

Please do read the article.

Andy

Apr 29, 2014 at 5:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterJones

Excellent Article - "Oh what a tangled web they weave - and that tangled web of deceit is now unravelling.

Apr 29, 2014 at 6:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterDoug UK

Mann castigates his critics as “a fringe minority of our populace” who “cling[] to an irrational rejection of well-established science.”

Using Lewandowsky's two opinion surveys - from alarmist blogs and the US population as a whole - Mann is wrong on two fronts.
First, it is those who strongly believe in "climate science" who are the small minority of the US population. The vast majority have no strong opinions either way.
Second, there is no evidence of "rejection of well-established science". The US population strongly believes that "HIV causes Aids" and "smoking causes lung cancer". If "irrational" rejection is belief in conspiracy theories, then the evidence shows that strong opinions on conspiracy theories (for or against) predict strong support of these established scientific propositions.

Apr 29, 2014 at 7:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Marshall

The duke,

Mann is suing because he is a prissy little prick.

It's also a pity the article didn't mention Dr Ball being sued by Mann and how long Mann has been dragging that out for, just so readers can be fully aware of Manns litagus nature.

Regards

Mailman

Apr 29, 2014 at 7:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

@mailman,
I agree. Great article except for the missing reference to Dr. ball. That really ought to be in there.

Apr 29, 2014 at 8:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterWijnand

The lawsuit is not about the "right to criticize a public figure based on their honest appraisal of the quality of his work". That is just the propaganda put about by people like your Chief Inspector of Analogies. Mann's work has been subject to plenty of criticsm and confirmation alike. Steyn on the other hand has no clue about Mann's work (didn't he characterise the HS as a climate model or some such nonsense?) and could not give an "honest appraisal" even if he wanted to. The case is about accusations of fraud levelled at Mann.

Jones, if Mann has accused identifiable individuals of fraud then they have recourse to the same laws. Their lawsuits would be no more about attempting to prevent criticism of them than Mann's lawsuit is about preventing criticism of him. That seems obvious.

Jack Cowper, AM might well be a competent novelist, but his works of fiction have little bearing on anything. That you take them to be factual is your problem.

Apr 29, 2014 at 8:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterChandra

Dr Curry has already said she won't sue Mann because, one, she is more of a man than Mann and two, she isn't a prissy little prick.

This whole situation has come about because Mann believes in his own divinity and just like in the Ball case Mann is starting to drag this out by avoiding discovery.

Just begs the question really, what's this guy got to hide?

Mailman

Apr 29, 2014 at 9:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Chandra

Once again you comment on something - you have not read and you are damn right rude with your aspersions.

I think you just come here to disrupt.

Apr 29, 2014 at 9:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Cowper

We are approaching a whole new level of ....lawsuit, isn't he? Hector on cos someone gonna end up penniless.

Apr 29, 2014 at 10:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

http://planetsave.com/2014/04/28/michael-mann-whole-new-level-climate-risk/

Apr 29, 2014 at 10:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

Hahahahaha...Dr Muller came to the same conclusions as Mann rah rah rah. Well of course he would except for the little fact Mullers earlier work didn't have a hockey stick shape to his temp reconstructions! :)

Mailman

Apr 29, 2014 at 11:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

The case is about accusations of fraud levelled at Mann.

That is what Mann would have us believe. Those of us with any common sense don't give that summation any value.

Apr 29, 2014 at 11:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterJan

"injurious to the reputation and esteem of Dr. Mann" - a legend in his own mind

Love the cartoon.

Apr 29, 2014 at 11:44 PM | Unregistered Commenterjaffa

Actually Mann is suing because he wants to be the only one who gets to call names.

Apr 30, 2014 at 3:43 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Fantastic article. In an ideal world Mann would read it and self reflect. Unfortunately hubris and dissonance prevents this.

Apr 30, 2014 at 5:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterG Jeffs

For a very long time, I assumed 'Chandra' to be a troll. But he has now proved that he is not up to the descriptor for 'troll', but is, in his own way, just another dim bulb who reacts to particular stimulii in a similar fashion to the way an oyster reacts to bits of grit placed in it. Sadly, in 'Chandra's' case, no pearl ever appears.

Apr 30, 2014 at 5:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander Kendall

@Chandra

"didn't he characterise the HS as a climate model or some such nonsense?) and could not give an "honest appraisal" even if he wanted to. The case is about accusations of fraud levelled at Mann."

Actually Mann's work does use various models involving climate. Complex statistical techniques are routinely referred as models of one type or another. Had he referred to Mann's hockey stick as a general circulation model, only then would he have been wrong of course. (I would have to examine the context of his statement to assess who is actually confused here.)

Also I don't see why Steyn is incapable of giving an honest appraisal simply because you say he isn't. Anonymous commentators on blogs are certainly entitled to their opinions, of course.

Apr 30, 2014 at 5:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterWill Nitschke

Mann picked the wrong guy to sue in Steyn, especially given the thumping he dished out to the Canadian Human Rights council. This won't be allowed to drag on like Manns action against Dr Ball for essentially the same thing, ie hurting preciousness's feelings.

Mailman

Apr 30, 2014 at 8:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Judith Curry has a good post up about the Hockey Stick and IPCC TAR.

http://judithcurry.com/2014/04/29/ipcc-tar-and-the-hockey-stick/

Well worth a read. Perhaps, Chandra could read this before commenting!

Apr 30, 2014 at 8:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Cowper

Pig ignorant and proud of it.

Jack Cowper, AM might well be a competent novelist, but his works of fiction have little bearing on anything. That you take them to be factual is your problem.
Apr 29, 2014 at 8:25 PM Chandra

Apr 30, 2014 at 8:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterBig Oil

Sooner or later Mann's massive ego will get the better of him and he will not be able to back down , while claiming victory , form one of these court cases. However, I am not sure its this time.

But keep him under pressure and keep him in the spot light and he will do much good work for the very people he hates .

Apr 30, 2014 at 8:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

I like Chandra. It is difficult to do what he does and he does not do it very well either.

Apr 30, 2014 at 12:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterTxomin

Jack Cowper, I'll raise you a Deep Climate link if you think the UEA mails are worth anything:

http://deepclimate.org/2010/05/14/how-to-be-a-climate-science-auditor-part-2-the-forgotten-climategate-emails/

Apr 30, 2014 at 1:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterChandra

Chandra

Thank you, but no thank you. Never thought Climategate was a smoking gun, just showed learned gentleman behaving very badly.

Apr 30, 2014 at 2:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Cowper

I'm just waiting for a link to that authoritative climate science blog called Skeptical Science. Bwaaaaaahahhahahahahaha! :)

Mailman

Apr 30, 2014 at 2:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

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