James Delingpole of London's Spectator introduces the gist of the Mann vs. Steyn lawsuit.
But the hockey stick, on which Mann’s reputation largely rests, was and is a nonsense...
It obliterates the medieval warm period; it is unduly reliant on proxy data — bristlecone pine samples — which are known to be unreliable; it is dependent on a flawed algorithm which, according to every statistical authority who has ever looked at the subject, creates the same hockey-stick data almost regardless of the information you feed into it.
Conrad Black completes the picture:
To review: Rand Simberg at the Competitive Enterprise Institute published a blog post in which he made the amusing suggestion that Mann
could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data in the service of politicized science that could have dire economic consequences for the nation and planet.
Steyn, a friend of mine for many years, cited Simberg’s piece in a post for National Review Online and added a shower of causticities of his own:
Not sure I’d have extended that metaphor all the way into the locker-room showers with quite the zeal Mr. Simberg does, but he has a point. Michael Mann was the man behind the fraudulent climate-change “hockey-stick” graph, the very ringmaster of the tree-ring circus. And, when the East Anglia emails came out, Penn State felt obliged to “investigate” Professor Mann.…
If an institution is prepared to cover up systemic statutory rape of minors, what won’t it cover up? Whether or not he’s “the Jerry Sandusky of climate change”, he remains the Michael Mann of climate change, in part because his “investigation” by a deeply corrupt administration was a joke.
Neither Simberg nor Steyn was accusing Mann of any crime—the reference to Sandusky was a joke prompted by the fact that Sandusky and Mann were employed by the same university. Yet Mann took the unusual step of suing Steyn, National Review, and CEI for libel. Since New York Times Co. v. Sullivan was decided in 1964, public figures seeking to win defamation suits have been required to prove defendants acted with “actual malice”—intent to defame or reckless disregard for the truth. If the Supreme Court did not believe in 1988 that Larry Flint’s parody interview of Jerry Falwell, in which the late evangelist confessed to losing his virginity to his own mother in an outhouse, constituted libel, it is hard to imagine that Mann thinks he can do anything more than intimidate Steyn and Simberg with court filings and legal fees.
In a a separate update, Delingpole has our out-of-band QOTD ('cause it's too damn good to wait for the AM Linx):
Mark Steyn has published his latest brief (PDF) in his protracted court case with discredited climate scientist Michael Mann (who is suing him for libel) and it's a corker...
...This isn't about hurt feelings or a damaged professional reputation, let alone an ill-chosen and imprecise turn of phrase. It's about the very principle of freedom of speech.
And not just about freedom of speech either, important though that is.
This, if Steyn is successful, could be the moment the dam bursts: the one where the global establishment is finally forced to acknowledge the fraudulence, the corruption, the mendacity, the trickery, the deception, the junk science, the big money and the official complicity which for the last two or three decades have been underpinning the Great Climate Change Scam.
Up till now the response of the climate alarmist establishment (and that would include everyone from the Obama administration to the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia to the Royal Society and NASA GISS to the IPCC to the Prince of Wales to Vice and Grist to John Podesta, Tom Steyer and Michael Mann) in the face of criticism has been to deny, rebuff, bully, insist, conceal, bluster, misrepresent and sue.
...This is what I've always found so thoroughly enjoyable about the global warming debate. It's not one of those issues where there's right and wrong on both sides and it's really a matter of opinion which one you favour. Quite simply it's a very straightforward battle between, on the one hand a bunch of lying, greedy shysters, fanatical, misanthropic, anti-capitalist eco-loons, bent, grant-troughing scientists, grubby politicians and despicable, rent-seeking millionaires and billionaires; and on the other a handful of brave, honest, rigorous, seekers-after-truth.
And why have they gotten away with it (thus far)?
They have got away with it not least because they are backed by such vast sums of money - far in excess of anything climate sceptical scientists receive, not just from governments and the United Nations and the European Union but also through various rich and powerful foundations which left-wing billionaire donors use as a political laundering process. (It's all there in this Senate Minority Report).
They have also got away with it because of the complicity of the scientific, political and media establishment.
You can send a couple o' bucks to Mark Steyn's legal defense fund by clicking here. It's a great cause for a great man.