Trial of the century?

BBC Newshour:  Judith Curry and Bob Ward debate Steyn versus Mann

For background on this issue, see my previous posts:

On tonite’s BBC WorldNews NewsHour, I participated in a 15 minute segment with Bob Ward on the Trial of the Century?   The link to the podcast is [here].  I have a quote right at the beginning and at around 14:05, then the main segment starts around 29:45.  I’m pretty happy with the way this turned out.

JC’s prepared remarks

UPDATE:  A transcript of the program is [here].

I know that I am not a great off-the-cuff speaker (much better with the written word), so for an interview like this, I try to anticipate the questions, and then prepare some concise and snappy remarks.   Excerpts of my prepared remarks are provided below, I managed to get about 30% of these points across.  The questions turned out to be less about the nitty gritty of Mann versus Steyn, but more about the broader free speech issues (I think Bob Ward also prepared for more nitty gritty related to Mann versus Steyn).  In an event, here are some of the remarks that I prepared:

The key statement of concern made by Mark Steyn is that Michael Mann molested and tortured data – specifically the tree ring data that were used in his famous hockey stick analysis.  Unlike data that you collect in a controlled laboratory environment, climate data is messy.  First you have to select which data you are going to use, and this selection process inevitably leads to concerns about ‘cherry picking.’ Second, you need to calibrate or adjust the data, particularly if you are using proxy data such as tree rings. And thirdly you need to select the statistical methods for analyzing the data.  Mann’s data analysis has been criticized with regards to all three of these issues.  In fact, Andrew Montford wrote an entire book on this subject called The Hockey Stick Illusion.

As a climate scientist who participates in the public debate on climate change, I have also been attacked in the media. It stings, but you develop a thick skin and I’ve learned to ignore such things.  The most egregious attacks on my scientific reputation have come from Michael Mann himself:  he has referred to my recent Congressional testimony as “anti-science” and ‘typical denier talking points’, and called me a ‘serial climate disinformer’ in a piece published by the Huffington Post.

On a complex political and scientific subject like climate change that is hotly debated, of course the rhetoric will get heated.  We need to have a public debate on this complex and important issue, and inhibiting journalists from speaking out on this topic would be very dangerous, in my opinion.  

I come down stalwartly on the side freedom of speech, including Michael Mann’s right to make insulting and defamatory tweets, statements in op-eds, etc. As an American, I am pretty attached to the right to free speech.

Steyn’s new legal team

After Steyn parted ways with the National Review’s legal team, he was representing himself.  In an article entitled What Kind of Fool Am I?, Steyn describes his new legal team.  Excerpts:

Daniel J Kornstein and his co-counsel Mark Platt were the driving force behind the most consequential free-speech legislation this century.

[J]oining Messrs Kornstein and Platt will be Michael J Songer, co-chair of the Litigation Group at Crowell & Moring in Washington, DC. Mike won a big $919.9 million payout for DuPont over a trade-secrets theft case involving Kevlar, which I was planning to wear to court anyway. A critical element of that case, interestingly enough, was the other party’s deletion of emails. Mike is also a freespeecher, who teaches a course on the Law of Cyberspace at Georgetown University. He’s big on issues of copyright and intellectual property, which Mann has frequently hidden behind in his attempts to avoid disclosing the data and research that produced his “hockey stick”. In addition, Mike is a science graduate, so he understands both the technical jargon and, just as importantly, how to distill it for a jury.

So I’m no longer an out-of-control full-bore crazy. Instead, I’m an out-of-control full-bore crazy who’s lawyered up to the hilt. This will leave me free to concentrate on my core activities of insulting judges and mocking Mann’s self-conferred Nobel Prize, while Dan, Mark and Mike do the boring stuff like looking up precedents and knowing what a tort is. 

Yikes.

Cass Sunstein on Sullivan versus NYTimes

Cass Sunstein has an article in BloombergView entitled The dark side of New York Times versus Sullivan, the landmark free speech ruling 50 years ago.  Excerpts:

While it has granted indispensable breathing space for speakers, it has also created a continuing problem for public civility and for democratic self-government.

In ruling that the free speech principle safeguards even defamatory statements, the court seized the high moral ground. It affirmed the “profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open.” It added that public debate will inevitably “include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials.”

Nonetheless, the court got the balance right in New York Times v. Sullivan: A free society cannot have “uninhibited, robust, and wide-open” debate without breathing space for falsehoods. 

JC reflections

I’m pretty happy with the way that the interview turned out.  I managed to get my main points across (I don’t always feel that I managed this in interviews).  I thought that Bob Ward did a good job of putting his point across.

This segment is particularly interesting in view of David Rose’s revelation (scroll down) that the BBC – at least in Scotland – has a new policy of protecting climatologists from challenge on the air.

So is this potentially the ‘trial of the century?’  It could be.  Steyn’s new lawyers have definitely raised the level of his defense/offense (seems like his fund raising is going well).  The case has genuinely important implications for how science is communicated to the public.

The culture and laws on this are different in the U.S. versus U.K., which Bob Ward brought out in the segment.   My stance on this issue is as a staunch defender of free speech, even when I myself am a victim of someone else’s defamatory comments.

550 responses to “Trial of the century?

  1. This is the best news I’ve heard in a while, regarding Steyn’s impressive new legal team..

    Judith, you opined a while back that Mann had chosen the wrong guy in Mark Steyn. Prophetic words I do believe. Steyn’s brilliant, principled, and likeable. Mann’s polar opposite in many important ways. He also has a feeling for the moment, and for what’s at stake in a larger sense.

    I’m guessing his new attorneys are discounting their usual fees. I was thinking…and hoping…that someone of their caliber would eventually come along and offer their services. Whatever Steyn’s getting in contributions, I don’t think it would be enough to pay these guys their going rate…

    • The first two of them apparently do a lot of pro bono work.

    • I am a huge Steyn fan. But I am very glad he has such able counsel now.

      He is right that the U.S. adversary system can be a monstrosity, if either of the litigants wants to make it so. But that is the system he is stuck in. So good for him for getting some very good lawyers, who share his free speech agenda as well.

    • Spartacusisfree

      It’s a sort of reverse Scopes’ trial, except in this case it’s about whether the monkey has the right to sue the human for damages for being a monkey.

    • Small point ‘Bob ‘fast fingers ‘ Ward has zero credibility as a climate scientists, he is fact a paid ‘shrill merchant’ working to make a very rich man richer still . So if only ‘climate scientists’ ,and certainly not those with vested interests, should be allowed debate the subject . Why was Bob?

  2. Judith says “I know that I am not a great off-the-cuff speaker (much better with the written word), so for an interview like this, I try to anticipate the questions, and then prepare some concise and snappy remarks.”

    Made me laugh out loud (the healing laughter of identification).

  3. My favorite line:

    “As an American, I am pretty attached to the right to free speech.”

    • Yes a nice retort to the tiresome awarding rant about how things would be in the UK. War die baby the sun set on the empire where the sun would never set

  4. Speech isn’t exactly free… Thank God for global warming given the chilling cost to Steyn to defend himself.

  5. Brava, Judith. Your points came across loud and clear.

  6. While the UK has many outstanding attributes, Free Speech is not one of them.* So I find it kind of strange they are doing a piece on what is in essence, a trial of free speech.

    I hope it is the trial of the century. But it will only be that because of Mann’s ego and his double standards that let him libel others while crying “pity me” when he is maligned. But then that has always been his nature.

    ^ Before getting BBQed by the UKians, my statement is in comparison to the US Free Speech. And in this case with respect to libel and slander.

    • Traditionally only calling someone a liar, thief, murderer or bastard were actionable in England; times changed.
      When I was younger calling some famous figure a drunken degenerate and pervert was actionable, where as now it just means you have read their autobiography.

    • “..where as now it just means you have read their autobiography.”

      ALOL (actually laughing out loud)

    • Which is twice in one thread. Not bad for a gloomy old coot.

    • David Springer

      “When I was younger calling some famous figure a drunken degenerate and pervert was actionable, where as now it just means you have read their autobiography.”

      It’s not a dig anymore. It’s presidential.

    • bastard covers a lot of territory…oh you mean literally.

    • anthony thompson

      I don’t mind being a Brit – suggestions of Grit etc – but UKian sounds like we’re aliens from Planet UK. Maybe we are.

      • @Anthony Thompson – I had no intention of insult. But I have been upbraided in the past for using “English” or “Britains” as they are not inclusive enough (Northern Ireland not being a part of the Isle of Britain).

        I seek guidance on what is a proper term to use when referring to citizens of the United Kingdom as a whole.

        As for looking like Aliens, I direct your attention to the infamous “Wal Mart Shoppers”. And they are everywhere! ;-)

    • While the UK has many outstanding attributes, Free Speech is not one of them.
      In the UK (and other parts of Europe) it’s not even free to listen to the radio (originally) or watch the telly, with the BBC tax.

    • Phil:

      “Subjects”

  7. It seems clear to me that if Mann has any sense left in that fevered mind of his, he’s going to be looking for a face saving way out any time now.. I don’t know how these things work, but I hope Steyn holds Mann’s feet to the fire to the extent possible, at least long enough for the discovery process to take place.

  8. David Springer

    Holy Johnny Cochran, Batman! Steyn being “lawyered up to the hilt” is an understatement. Teh Jerry Sandusky of global warming science is in deep Bandini.

  9. “This segment is particularly interesting in view of David Rose’s revelation (scroll down) that the BBC – at least in Scotland – has a new policy of protecting climatologists from challenge on the air.” – JC

    you’d think that by now Judith would know to b cautious about taking David Rose’s word o anything.

    And taking Rose’s misleading led, Judith adds in her own error – “BBC…has a new policy”

    No, there is no new policy. The editorial position on avoiding the oft comitted sin of ‘false balance’ has been a part of BBC editorial policy for many, many years. This was just a reminder that the existing policy should be applied, when it hasn’t been at times.
    Of course this gets up the deniers/delayers noses, as relying on bad journalism is central to their PR strategy of having their opinions raised to the same level as scientific research.

    Judith has oviously missed the point that her appearance on the BBC was a direct result of applying this policy – why didn’t she ‘walk the talk’ and refuse?

    Extra points to Judith for this post, for moaning about Michael Mann calling her a “disinformer” (I think he’s too kind- I call it dishonesty) while at the same time spreading disinformation…….. you couldn’t make this stuff up.

    • Michael: It’s a amazing how unpleasant you people can be. There are none so intolerant as the true believers.

    • Sorry for pointing out facts…. i know they can be uncomfortable. Have you stopped to consider why you find the facts ‘unpleasant’?

      Critical thinking is meant to be at the heart of scepticism.

    • David Springer

      “Of course this gets up the deniers/delayers noses, as relying on bad journalism is central to their PR strategy of having their opinions raised to the same level as scientific research.”

      As opposed to having the opinions of untested, failing global warming computer models elevated to the level of settled science?

      ROFL

    • “Critical thinking is meant to be at the heart of scepticism.”

      Precisely.

    • pottereaton,

      Then what is your objection to me pointing out a significant error in Judith’s post?

      Surely you should be thanking me?

    • Michael, do you not find it odd that the BBC has suddenly recovered its view to arrest the ‘false balance’, which you state ‘has been a part of BBC editorial policy ‘for many, many years’, when British opponents of giving time to climate skeptics were completely unaware of this and have been lobbying the BBC for years; see:-

      http://theconversation.com/politicised-media-false-balance-and-the-pseudo-climate-debate-18851

      Now it is true that in Trust is concerned that new editorial guidelines on “due impartiality” were introduced in 2010 to ensure appropriately and effectively in science coverage. July 2011 the BBC trust commissioned a ‘independent assessment by Professor Steve Jones’ on its reporting of science:-

      http://www.h2mw.eu/redactionmedicale/2011/08/BBC%20trust_science_impartiality.pdf

      Professor Jones found that the BBC gave “undue attention to marginal opinion”. Professor Jones to
      coverage of claims about the safety of the MMR vaccine

      coverage of claims about the safety of GM crops

      the existence of man made climate change

      So Jones holds the view that it is quite reasonable for the public not to be confused about what is injected into their children, what they eat and that the world is going to warm by 8 degrees in a decade and life as we know it will cease.

      What Professor Jones identified, as you say ‘for many, many years’, is that the peasants should shut the Fcuk Up and listen to their intellectual and social betters.

    • Doc,

      It’s only ‘odd’ that they weren’t already applying the policy which is an place for all news coverage and has been for many years.

      Maybe editors needed a reminder that it applied to coverage of science.

      And it’s an excellant policy – allocating time to views proportional to their representation.

      That’s why a discussion of vaccination doesn’t see some anti-vaccine/autism nutter given equal time .

    • “Michael
      Doc,

      It’s only ‘odd’ that they weren’t already applying the policy which is an place for all news coverage and has been for many years”

      So you consider acting on a 2011 report, to be many, many years ago.

    • It’s amazing, how the warmists all seem to have similarly nasty personalities. Not a likable character among them.

      They have Michael Mann, a perfect exemplar of the snarling, small minded, paranoid, warmist temperament. We have Mark Steyn. Who’d you rather have a beer with?

    • http://judithcurry.com/2014/03/25/trial-of-the-century/#comment-503893

      Michael: I think that true critical thinking would reveal that there is no significant error in Judith’s post. At least not one that is important to the overall debate in which Judith is a true skeptic, i.e. a true scientist.

      The error in your post is that you apparently think that climate skepticism of the type Judith represents should be subject to an old, vacuous policy of avoiding “false balance,” whatever that happens to be at the moment. Judith apparently thinks the policy is new in that the powers that be at the BBC are contemplating applying to the kind of skeptical science that she represents. If the BBC decided that your view of climate should be curtailed because of the evil of false balance, you’d be squealing like a stuck pig.

      If I interpret you correctly, you believe that her climate skepticism should not be given exposure on the BBC because it represents false balance in a so-called “settled debate.” This is the type of nonsense that true believers have been imposing on the rest of us down through history. It’s sad that you think it’s justified.

    • Doc,

      That;s just the latest version of the guidelines that were published 2010.

    • Michael

      Around the time IPCC’s AR4 report came out, BBC fell for the IPCC message “hook, line and sinker” (after all, it was the “PC” thing to do).

      But, starting around the time of the Climategate revelations, BBC has put its toe in the water to see what would happen if it adopted a more inclusive approach (the Phil Jones interview by Roger Harrabin was a first start in this direction).

      This interview was handled very professionally by the BBC moderator, and Dr. Curry did a helluva lot better than Bob Ward, despite the fact that she was not on her home turf.

      Hats off to our hostess!

      And hurray for BBC for cracking the door open to a free debate on climate change!

      Max

    • Steven Mosher

      “No, there is no new policy. The editorial position on avoiding the oft comitted sin of ‘false balance’ has been a part of BBC editorial policy for many, many years”

      Actually it is a new policy. What the new policy orders is that debates should
      be seen as falling under the old policy of “false balance”

      It might turn out to be interesting. How do they decide who a skeptic is?

      Well, Since Judith debated Bob Ward, it necessarily holds that she isnt a skeptic because the BBC allowed them to debate.
      Since the BBC affirms through its actions that she is not a skeptic, I suppose that makes her part of the consensus.

      Maybe some skeptics will wise up and stop calling themselves skeptics.

    • Dear “Michael” –
      Your vile and bilious effusions here must make you feel good, but you are widely ignored and viewed with contempt. If you ever care to do more than “preach to the (rabid) converted” you might try less rant, more engagement, a genuine open mind…. but you’ll probably need a personality transplant first.

    • “Actually it is a new policy. What the new policy orders is that debates shouldbe seen as falling under the old policy of “false balance”” – Steven.

      No. The exisitng editorial guidelines already apply to all BBC output.

      There is no new policy.

    • skiphil,

      thankyou for demonstrating how my comments are ignored….by responding to them.

      Another ‘skpetic’ rejecting critique. What a surprise.

    • Dear “Michael” –

      I said “widely” ignored, not “always” ignored. You might also work on your reading comprehension….

      Not that I expect you to care, but I do ignore at least 97% of your comments, don’t bother to read them. I suspect that is true for many others here. I am simply noting that if you ever wish to be more effective here, you might try to tone down the ranting and insults, while raising your game. I pay attention to the more intelligent and respect-worthy people here from a variety of views and backgrounds.

      Since I am merely a lurker I don’t actually expect anyone to care what I think…. I simply read here for my own edification, not to try to persuade. If I happen to throw out a comment or two it is only because I couldn’t resist.

      You, however, seem actually to crave that people pay attention to you and learn something about your views. This is why I am giving you unsolicited advice on how to elevate your game.

    • Michael

      Critical thinking is meant to be at the heart of skepticism.

      Agreed.

      But fabricating a dishonest critique is not.

      And that’s what you did in your comment.

      Max

    • Michael

      You seem to have a problem with the fact that our hostess referred to a recent David Rose article on the BBC in her interview.

      From Tallbloke’s Workshop.
      http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2014/03/23/david-rose-bbc-boss-gags-sceptics-from-climate-change-debates/

      ”David Rose: BBC boss gags ‘sceptics’ from climate change debates”

      Posted: March 23, 2014 by Rog Tallbloke in Accountability, government, media, propaganda
      24
      From GWPF’s summary of David Rose’s article in the Mail on Sunday:

      “A BBC executive in charge of editorial standards has ordered programme editors not to broadcast debates between climate scientists and global warming sceptics.

      Alasdair MacLeod claimed that such discussions amount to ‘false balance’ and breach an undertaking to the Corporation’s watchdog, the BBC Trust.

      Mr MacLeod, head of editorial standards and compliance for BBC Scotland, sent an email on February 27 to 18 senior producers and editors, which has been obtained by The Mail on Sunday.

      It reads:

      When covering climate change stories, we should not run debates / discussions directly between scientists and sceptics. If a programme does run such a discussion, it will… be in breach of the editorial guidelines on impartiality.

      Two weeks before the email was sent, Lord Lawson, chairman of the sceptic think-tank the GlobalWarming Policy Foundation, was invited on to Radio 4’s Today programme to debate with Sir Brian Hoskins, director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change Research at Imperial College, whether this year’s storms were the result of climate change.

      In fact, as Lord Lawson made clear, he is not a climate ‘denier’ and accepts that manmade emissions of greenhouse gases have warmed the planet – but he believes their effects will not be as serious as some people argue.

      However, his appearance sparked protests from green groups, which said that such debates should not be broadcast.

      Mr MacLeod wrote that the reason the Trust decided that there should be no attempt by the BBC to give equal weight to opposing sides on climate change was that sceptics’ views were ‘based on opinion rather than demonstrable scientific validity’.

      Last night a Trust spokesman said:

      We agreed that there should be no attempt to give equal weight to opinion and to evidence in science coverage, but we said specifically that this does not mean that critical opinion should be excluded. We did not specify that the BBC should not broadcast debates/discussions between scientists and sceptics.

      A BBC spokesman added: ‘All viewpoints continue to be given due weight in our output.’

      Asked whether the BBC was prepared explicitly to disavow Mr MacLeod’s email, both officials failed to comment.

      GWPF director Dr Benny Peiser said BBC coverage of climate change has been ‘far too biased for far too long’.”

      The original David Rose article can be seen here (text essentially same as the Tallbloke blog)
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2587072/Eureka-How-magic-doughnut-fakes-sun-save-planet-But-Chinese-thanks-billions-spend-eco-power-gravy-train.html

      If Judith Curry cited this article in her testimony, she was fully within her right to do so and there certainly was nothing dishonest about her doing so, as you allude.

      Right?

      Max

    • Max,

      Could you explain your “dishonest critique” – I’ve pointed out that this is an existing policy of the BBC, so Judith’s claim that it is new simply wrong.

      You haven’t demonstrated otherwise.

    • Michael

      What the hell difference does it make whether or not the BBC censorship policy is “new” or not?

      It has apparently been recently restated by a BBC executive in a memo circulated internally.

      Whether there are earlier memos by BBC executives stating this policy, I do not know. Do you?

      As I pointed out, it appears to me that BBC has been “bending” this policy recently, although they officially stick with the “PC” IPCC party line (as the Rose article confirms).

      The moderator in the recent debate was pretty evenhanded and the quotes by Curry that were included were certainly not supportive of the IPCC, so there may be a slow liberalization of the BBC censorship policy as it is applied.

      Time will tell.

      Max

    • “Judith apparently thinks the policy is new in that the powers that be at the BBC are contemplating applying to the kind of skeptical science that she represents…..If I interpret you correctly, you believe that her climate skepticism should not be given exposure on the BBC because it represents false balance in a so-called “settled debate.” ” – pottereaton

      Judith may well think the policy is new – but that has absolutely ZERO bearing on whether or not it is new – it’ not. She’s factually wrong to say so.

      My pointing out this error has lead to some amazing twisting and squirming.

      On the second point above – you misunderstand me completely. I think judith’s appearence on the BBC is a direct result of applying the policy – not having some vacuous talking head from a astro-turf group, but a real climate scientist with knowledge of t he topic (though the choices were a bit weird given the ground they covered in the interview).

    • Max,

      It’s written in black and white in the editorial guidelines, and as Doc pointed out, re-affirmed in the 2011rreview reminding BBC staff that the impartiality and ‘due weight’ provisions apply to science reporting as well – in case anyone thought differently.

      What difference does it make?- have you lost track? This little sub-thread starte with my making the rather obvious pont that Judith’s claim that this was new is simply incorrect.

      I think factual accuracy matters- maybe Judith doesn’t. And judging by the amazing contortions by the faithful denizens, a lot of them couldn’t give a toss either.

    • Michael

      Whether or not the recent memo by MacLeod (a BBC executive) that was circulated internally and which outlined a censorship policy to be followed referred to a “new” policy or an “existing” one is not very important.

      The important thing is that this BBC censorship policy has been communicated internally in a new memo by a BBC executive:

      When covering climate change stories, we should not run debates / discussions directly between scientists and sceptics.

      The mere fact that Dr. Curry was given the chance to debate Bob Ward and was treated with respect shows me that she is not regarded as a “sceptic”, under the definition of the BBC policy statement by MacLeod.

      Since other debates have been aired by BBC, I personally think that MacLeod is out of touch with what is silently going on in BBC, namely, a slow easing of this censorship policy, as MacLeod understands it, that has been going on ever so gradually since the Climategate revelations.

      I also believe that the Harriban interview of Phil Jones was part of this liberalization, which MacLeod may just not have gotten the word on yet.

      But I may be wrong.

      We’ll see.

      Max

    • Max,

      I’m not quite sure what that all meant.

      Maybe we can argee on something – Judith’s scientific view are pretty mainstream, and while she maybe attracted to the idea of being a heretic, reality is much more boring.

    • Michael

      Yeah.

      As far as I know, our hostess was first given the “heretic” label in a November 2010 Scientific American article by Michael D. Lemonick, which opined that she had moved “over to the dark side”.

      I have seen no evidence that she particularly likes (or dislikes) to be called a “heretic”.

      She is openly skeptical of some of the IPCC claims, particularly regarding uncertainty in the attribution of past warming and she has stated that the IPCC was “torquing the science”, so I suppose that would make her a “skeptic” although, again, I have not seen her refer to herself as one.

      If BBC is following the censorship policy banning debates with “sceptics”, as outlined in the recent internal memo by MacLeod, then I suppose it does not consider her to be a “sceptic”.

      But, what the hell, ALL good scientists are skeptics: it’s an integral part of the scientific method to be so.

      Max

    • Michael

      PS And yes. Dr. Curry’s “scientific view[s] are pretty mainstream”, as you write.

    • “When covering climate change stories, we should not run debates / discussions directly between scientists and sceptics.”

      And they didn’t – they ran a debate between scientists, did they not? IOW, they could have Judy, they could Lindzen, but they couldn’t have Steve Mc, or Jeff Id et al because the first group are professional scientists, while the latter are “merely” “citizen scientists”.

    • Fear of catastrophe has perverted the placement of the fulcrum in the policy debate. Once the fulcrum has been centered, the alarmists will be bounced off the end of the teeter-totter.
      ===========

    • Max,

      My understanding of the reminder about the BBC guidelines is that a debate between Gavin Schmidt and Christopher Monckton would be considered an example of ‘false balance’ which would fail the ‘due weight’ criteria. This is what they mean by ‘skeptics’.

      While all good scientist are sceptics, ‘skeptics’ might wonder how it has come to pass that ‘skeptics’ has such negative connotations.

    • nottawa rafter

      A Michael by any other name is still a……..Joshua!!

    • thanks for that obscure comment.

      • David Springer

        All this over the frickin’ BBC?

        Who cares WTF the BBC’s policies are? The sun set on the British Empire quite some time ago.

    • Heh, that saying originated with Philip the Prudent’s Empire. Did you know that the man who launched the Spanish Armada was once King of England?
      ================

    • “Who cares WTF the BBC’s policies are? ” – Springer

      Judith, apparently.

    • John DeFayette

      Dear Michael,

      It was hard to get very far in this extremely inane subthread. I should point out that you need to read a bit more carefully though. Upthread you respond to pottereaton thus:

      “Sorry for pointing out facts…. i know they can be uncomfortable. Have you stopped to consider why you find the facts ‘unpleasant’?”

      I point out that the commenter wrote no such finding about facts. He was expressing a widely shared description of people generally like you, and by extension you in particular.

    • catweazle666

      Michael | March 25, 2014 at 9:36 pm |

      Sorry for pointing out facts….

      Michael, I doubt you would recognise a fact if it scuttled under your bridge, jumped, up, and bit you on the snout.

      So take your “denier” insults and stick them where the sun don’t shine, it’s you deluded lot that are the “deniers” now sunshine, so live with it.

      AGW = It’s All Gone Wrong!

      LOL © soosoos

    • Steven Mosher

      Micheal

      “No. The exisitng editorial guidelines already apply to all BBC output.

      There is no new policy.”

      #########

      Of course its a new policy. To be sure as a new policy it merely clarifies how debates are to be handling under the existing policy, but if it were clear in the old policy no new policy would be required.

      Let’s have a debate about the meaning of “new policy”

      I would say its a fair interpretation to call the clarification of the old policy as a new policy. If you want to get into parsing, go get Nick Stokes, he does it way better than you

    • David Springer

      Yeah Don the resemblance is uncanny. Two misogynistic peas in a pod.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Michael: Then what is your objection to me pointing out a significant error in Judith’s post?

      You could have corrected her error in three short sentences without endorsing Mann’s claim that she “spreads disinformation”, a phrase whose meaning is distinct from “sometimes makes correctable mistakes.”

    • Matthew R Marler

      Michael: My pointing out this error has lead to some amazing twisting and squirming.

      And you did not in fact establish that there was an error. It was only your opinion that she had misinterpreted a memo (i.e. not interpreted it as you had.)

    • None of them can even admit the statement was wrong.

      They try everything to change the subject including claiming you are being ignored, despite you having 20+ replies!

    • Matthew R Marler

      lolwot: None of them can even admit the statement was wrong.

      We have not admitted that Michael showed the statement to be “disinformation”, as he claimed.

    • Lolwot,

      Yes, absolutely amazing mental gymnastics to deny something so patently obvious and simple. No wonder they get into such a muddle over the details of AGW.

    • Steven,

      Really?

      A reminder to adhere to the existing editorial guidelines that already specifies it applies to all BBC output, is a “new policy”?

      Come on Steven, you can do way, way better than that.

    • “We have not admitted that Michael showed the statement to be “disinformation”, as he claimed.” – Matthew

      Matthew, I take your point.

      My other statement was this – “Judith adds in her own error” – which is true despite all the twisting and squirming above.

      Is it disinformation? At the time of writing Judith may have in good faith believed it was true (despite it being based on a claim in an article by David Rose, which should kick in any real sceptics BS meter) – so, no.
      Now it it is clear it is not true. This has been brought to Judith’s attention, at which point she could update the post to reflect this, or ignore it and let the error stand and continue to communicate a falsehood to her readers.

      On the last Mann-related thread, we see exactly the same pattern – Judith, without the slightest scepticism, gave prominence to, and repeated claims (From Mark Steyn no less) that were false. She may have believed (or wished) them to be true, but they were not.
      This was pointed out – no correction was made. The refusal to acknowledge and correct error turns it into it disinformation.

      Perhaps Judith is keen to prove Mann correct that she is indeed a “serial…..disinformer”.

    • Michael

      You seem to be missing the point here.

      Mosh has made a good case for the premise that the specific internal memo by MacLeod (a BBC executive) constituted communicating a new policy statement.

      The memo apparently read:

      When covering climate change stories, we should not run debates / discussions directly between scientists and sceptics. If a programme does run such a discussion, it will… be in breach of the editorial guidelines on impartiality.

      You disagree with Mosh, citing earlier an earlier (unspecified) policy statement. Can you provide this, so we can compare it with the MacLeod memo?

      Had MacLeod written in his communication:

      When covering climate change stories, we should not please make sure you comply with our existing policy not to run debates / discussions directly between scientists and sceptics ..

      It would have been clear that the prohibition of debates between “scientists and sceptics” was part of the “existing editorial guidelines on impartiality”.

      But he did not clarify this, so Mosh has a point.

      The BBC has come under attack from The Guardian recently for not having a policy to avoid “false balance” in its interviews and for hosting debates between consensus scientists and “deniers”.
      http://www.350resources.org.uk/2014/02/28/media-including-the-bbc-reporting-of-global-warming-is-giving-deniers-a-false-balance-to-deny-the-scientiific-evidence/

      In actual fact, it makes very little difference whether or not MacLeod’s memo constituted
      - a simple reminder of an existing policy
      - a clarification that the existing policy should also include prohibition of running debates between scientists and sceptics, or
      - a new policy prohibiting these debates as an extension or strengthening of the existing policy

      It can be seen either way.

      Apparently Rose interpreted it as something “new” (Mosh seems to agree and Judith accepted Rose’s opinion on this). You see it as simply the old policy, so you claim that Judith Curry made a mistake by referring to the MacLeod memo as a “new policy”.

      Big deal.

      Fuggidaboudit, Michael.

      It’s totally unimportant.

      Max

    • Max,

      Amazingly, on this “totally unimportant” point you have written by far the longest comments, on multiple occasions (5 lengthy ones).

      Though,strangely, despite all this opinion, you apparently have not the faintest idea what the BBC policy is! -” citing earlier an earlier (unspecified) policy statement. ”

      This ‘unspecified’ policy, is the one I’ve specified several times – It’s the BBC Editorial Guidelines 2010. Easily found on the BBC website.
      Doc, above, even gave the link to the 2011 report which specifically considered this issue in regards to reporting science matters.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Michael: On the last Mann-related thread, we see exactly the same pattern – Judith, without the slightest scepticism, gave prominence to, and repeated claims (From Mark Steyn no less) that were false.

      If Mark Steyn made a false claim about Mann I missed it. Provide a link to an exact quote by Steyn.

    • Michael

      YOU brought this subject up, with a snide remark that Judith made the error of believing David Rose’s statement that BBC had issued a “new” policy, which states that it “should not run debates / discussions directly between scientists and sceptics” “when covering climate change stories.

      As you suggested, I have gone through the policy stuff on the BBC website and this specific policy is not mentioned anywhere there.

      Instead it came from a recent directive circulated internally by BBC executive, Alasdair MacLeod, which reads:

      When covering climate change stories, we should not run debates / discussions directly between scientists and sceptics. If a programme does run such a discussion, it will… be in breach of the editorial guidelines on impartiality.

      This followed a critical article in The Guardian accusing BBC of being too lax in inviting climate change “deniers” (i.e. “skeptics”) to participate in debates or discussions on climate change.

      Whether this new directive came as a result of the Guardian critique is speculative.

      But it appears from the facts on the ground that Steven Mosher (and David Rose) were right in concluding that this was a new piece of the BBC policy, which also means that your remark about Dr. Curry’s “error” is false:

      And taking Rose’s misleading led, Judith adds in her own error – “BBC…has a new policy”

      Gotcha, buddy!

      Now crawl back under your rock.

      Max

    • “If Mark Steyn made a false claim about Mann I missed it. Provide a link to an exact quote by Steyn” – Matthew.

      It’s right there in the body of Judith’s post. She quoted Steyn at length (why wouldn’t you, with such a renowned journalist- ha!)
      “Mann and his lawyers doctored a quote…”
      http://judithcurry.com/2014/02/22/steyn-et-al-versus-mann/

      And there it stands, loud, proud…and wrong.

      Judith has had it brought to her attention – crickets.

      Disinformation.

    • Max,

      Thankyou who yet another lengthly and hopelessly wrong and confused contribution to this “totally unimportant” topic.

      Let me re-direct you to the relevant part of the quote you included;
      “it will… be in breach of the editorial guidelines on impartiality.”

      Yes, those would be the existing 2010 BBC Editorial Guidelines that he’s referring to. And then there’s the 2011 report that went to the trouble of making it clear tha these guidelines do apply to all science reporting, just so everyone was clear.

      “Gotcha” …..yourself in the foot Max.

    • “for”

    • Steven Mosher

      Yes Michael Really.
      All you have to do is read with charity. The quotes supplied by Rose say it all. The quote reveals the prior policy and the refinement, elucidation, clarification, embelishment, enhancement, particularization.. call it what you will.

      Rose chose to call it “new”. That’s a fair enough representation and nobody is mislead except a literalist like you are feigning to be.

      I’ll make it simple because you are stupid.

      On a literalist ( fundamentalist) reading of the text the policy is not new.
      Thinking people however know what Rose was getting at and what Curry was getting at. But you dont aim at understanding. So you pretend not to get it. I see skeptics play this game all the time. Our side is better than that. So michael .dont be a moron it hurts the cause

    • Michael

      Show me where the guidelines to which you refer specifically prohibit running “debates / discussions directly between scientists and sceptics” “when covering climate change stories”.

      They do not. They are simply general guidelines.

      This was a new twist added in the directive by BBC executive Alasdair MacLeod.

      That’s the way I see it, based on the data at hand.

      That’s the way Mosh sees it, based on his comment here.

      That’s the way David Rose saw it in his article

      And that’s the way our hostess saw it, based on the Rose article.

      If you see it differently, that’s your choice

      As the French say, “chacun à son gout”.

      But we have truly beaten this dog to death.

      Max

    • Steven,

      Go way back up to near the top of this thread, and read the 2011 BBC report linked to by Doc.

      You’re blowing smoke….and not very clever smoke.

    • Max,
      {there was a very long excerpt from the report, but some word in it somewhere seems to keep tripping the spam filter – so here’s the short one}

      I almost feel sorry for you, dragging out another comment on this “totally unimportant” topic. Sadly, your lack of enthusiasm is all too apparent in the quality.

      I’ve drawn your attention to the 2011 BBC report on science, which, by your comments, you seem to have studiously ignored, just as you never bothered until very late in this comment stream, to see what the BBC Editorial Guidelines said – that, of course, not being not the slightest impediment to making strident assertions about what they may or may not have had in them.

      So, let me help you out, you poor thing.

      “… the need to avoid giving “undue attention to marginal opinion”…Jones cites past coverage of claims about the safety of the MMR vacc1ne… and the existence of man made climate change as examples on this point…”

      “…its reporting of science sometimes gives an unbalanced view of particular issues because of its insistence on bringing in dissident voices into what are in effect settled debates……the world is not flat, life is not six thousand years old, carbon dioxide levels are rising through human activity and smoking does cause lung cancer. Millions choose to disagree with each of those statements but within the world of science there is almost no difference of opinion about any of them.”

      “Constantly to call in external voices unwilling to accept that principle is not to engage in debate but in meaningless polemic.”

      “an insistence on oppositional treatment of a science story may sometimes pervert the whole dialogue: as one internal source put it “the BBC can deal with anything except consensus”. Such b0gus impartiality (mathematician discovers that 2 + 2 = 4; spokesperson for Duodecimal Liberation Front insists that 2 + 2 = 5, presenter sums up that “2 + 2 = something like 4.5 but the debate goes on”) can, perversely, lead to bias in its own right,for it gives disproportionate weight to minority views – and some of the minorities involved are expert in taking advantage of the platform offered.”

      “…That faces the media with a problem….they face the danger of being trapped into false balance; into giving equal coverage to the views of a determined but deluded minority and to those of a united but less insistent majority. Nowhere is the struggle to find the correct position better seen than in the issue of global warming…..antagonistic statement is typical of how the agenda on climate change is sometimes set. It suggests that there are two equally valid points of view that must be sorted out ”

      “the climate change d’s have been marginal to the scientific debate but somehow they continued to find a place on the airwaves. Their ability so to do suggests that an over ‐ diligent search for due impartiality – or for a controversy – continue to hinder the objective reporting of a scientific story even when the internal statements of the BBC suggest that no controversy exists. There is a contrast between the clear demands for due impartiality in the BBC’s written guidelines and what sometimes emerges on air.”

      That’s the very long version of the memo.

      Here the short version of what I’ve been telling you since my very first comment;
      THERE IS NO NEW POLICY.

      To say so is incorrect.

      An update and correction is in order. Integrity demands it.

    • Yeah, we had a policy on the books, but it wasn’t being followed. Our new policy is to follow the old policy. Now watch some obsessive nitpicking loquacious clown come along and argue that we don’t have a new policy.

    • Steven Mosher

      Sorry Micheal,
      I read that entire document. It’s not a model of clarity with regards to policy.
      For example it doesnt define what it means by skepticism. It doesnt define what parts of the science can be debated and what parts cannot be debated. The new statement goes towards a clarification.
      Rose chooses to call this clarification a “new policy”
      Since he cites the “old policy” only an idiot would be mislead by his
      description of this clarification as “new”. I’m not mislead. Judith isnt mislead.
      No one on this thread except you feels that it is inaccurate to call it “new”
      The consensus is pretty clear. you need to get out of denial

    • Michael,

      You strike me as someone well versed in dishonesty, based on how you argue here.

    • I got the message about Michael Mann loud and clear from Judith’s radio interview. He can dish it out but he can’t take it. Well done Judith!

    • Michael

      Ready, fire, aim, OUCH!

      You just shot yourself in the foot.

      The “2011 memo”, which you quote, does not forbid “running:
      debates / discussions directly between scientists and sceptics when covering climate change stories”,
      as the recent directive by BBC executive, Alisdair MacLeod does.

      Give up on this one, Michael.

      You are only making yourself look more foolish.

      Max

    • Matthew R Marler

      Michael, here is what I found: Mann and his lawyers doctored a quote and put their own version of it in direct quotation marks. That’s bad enough. But they did it for a specific reason. Because the original makes clear that Sir Muir’s findings apply only to the “CRU scientists” – that’s to say, employees of the University of East Anglia, who are the only people the Russell panel was charged with investigating, and were therefore the only people it was in a position to exonerate. So, as evidence of Michael Mann’s “exoneration”, the best his lawyers can come up with is a fake quote from a report exonerating some people he happens to be acquainted with.

      I disagree with your assertion that Steyn made a false claim. The original filing by Mann and his lawyers misquoted the report exactly as claimed by Steyn here. Inside the quote marks they dropped an important modifier without inserting the elision symbol “…” to indicate that they had done so. However, they did so by taking the quote from someone else who made the misquote. Perhaps you might object that Mann and his lawyers were not the original “doctors” of the quote. So maybe only the weaker charge that they “[came] up with … a fake quote” is correct. It was not a one-off mistake, but one in a series of such misrepresentations by Mann.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Michael: An update and correction is in order. Integrity demands it.

      Prof Curry passed on the information that there was a new policy, based on what Rose told her. A thorough review of the previous policy, some deviations from that policy, and a careful reading of the “new” policy discloses that, on some readings, it isn’t exactly “new”, though there is obvious “newness” in the intention to adhere to the policy; or that the policy is “new” in some respects.

      On that hangs your case that it was an instance of Prof Curry “spreading disinformation”.

    • “Our new policy is to follow the old policy. Now watch some obsessive nitpicking loquacious clown come along and argue that we don’t have a new policy.” – Don

      Self-parody….surely????

    • “Rose chooses to call this clarification a “new policy”
      Since he cites the “old policy” only an idiot would be mislead by his
      description of this clarification as “new”. I’m not mislead. Judith isnt mislead.” – steven

      That has to be funniest contortionism yet.

      It’s not a new policy, Rose just chooses to call it “new”, clearly it’s the old one.

      And clearly everyone understood that the “new” policy is just the old policy.

      Only an “idi0t” would be mislead that it’s really a “new” policy.

      Ahem.

      Steven Mosher @ March 25, 2014 at 11:35 pm | – “Actually it is a new policy”.

    • “Rose chooses to call this clarification a “new policy”
      Since he cites the “old policy” only an idi0t would be mislead by his
      description of this clarification as “new”. I’m not mislead. Judith isnt mislead.” – steven

      That has to be funniest contortionism yet.

      It’s not a new policy, Rose just chooses to call it “new”, clearly it’s the old one.

      And clearly everyone understood that the “new policy” is just the old policy.

      Only an “idi0t” would be mislead that it’s really a “new policy”.

      Ahem.

      Steven Mosher @ March 25, 2014 at 11:35 pm | – “Actually it is a new policy”.

    • “Sorry Micheal,
      I read that entire document. It’s not a model of clarity with regards to policy.
      For example it doesnt define what it means by skepticism. It doesnt define what parts of the science can be debated and what parts cannot be debated. The new statement goes towards a clarification.” – Steven Mosher

      That’s strange Steven, because the one I read did address the issue of what’s OK for free ranging debate and what elements are reasonably settled and don’t require endless contrary opinion in the quest for ‘balance’.

      And on the ‘skeptic’ definition -no it doesn’t offer one, but it ‘s far less PC than the memo, and just calls them “den1erz”, and names names to illustrate the point and who it would consider to be ‘false balance’.

    • Keep digging, mikey. We are very amused.

    • “You just shot yourself in the foot.

      The “2011 memo”, which you quote, does not forbid “running:
      debates / discussions directly between scientists and sceptics when covering climate change stories”, as the recent directive by BBC executive, Alisdair MacLeod does.

      Give up on this one, Michael.” – manacker

      What “2011 memo”?

      There is that 80 or so page review report I’ve directed your attention to. Do you mean that??

      Now you poor dear thing.

      Let’s take you through this one step at a time.

      BBC has an editorial policy – no ‘false balance’, “due impartiality” and “due weight”.

      The 2011 review on science reporting re-iterated all this, with a particular focus on reporting climate change.

      Now, this little report that I implored you to look at before you put your foot in your mouth yet again, specifically names individuals whom it would consider to fall into the ‘false balance’ trap.

      Can you guess who it names?

      Hint – the BBC memo (not a new policy – did you see that Mosher has said that only “idi0ts” think that this is a new policy?) was in response to a certain Lord Lawson being invited to a climate ‘debate’ against someone from a climate research centre.

      Yes – the 2011 report names Lord Lawson as someone who would represent ‘false balance’, if matched against a scientist (there’s no problem with inviting him to a discussion about ‘skepticism’ , or other topics).

      So in the plainest English possible – in 2011 the BBC made it plainly clear that inviting Lord Lawson to a debate on climate change is a breach of the 2010 editorial guidelines.

      The 2014 memo is a gentle reminder to the numbnuts at BBC Scotland that they have breached the existing editorial policy, which had been made super-explicit in the science reporting review.

      Now, Max, please don’t give up.

      I eagerly await your next completely wrong and utterly oblivious comment on this “totally unimportant” topic.

    • Michael

      Some advice: When you’re in a hole, stop digging.

      You have been unable to cite any previous BBC policy , which specifically forbids running “debates / discussions directly between scientists and sceptics when covering climate change stories”, as was clearly dictated in the recent directive by BBC executive, Alasdair Macleod.

      Until you can provide such evidence, you are simply blowing hot air.

      And the more you do so, the sillier you look.

      Max

    • Aw, give him a break. If he pulled stuff like this at work they’d put him in charge of a committee.
      ==========

    • Ahemm Michael …

      Herding skeptics is like herding cats
      whereas …
      herding climate alarmist-consen-suss-ites
      is like herding sheep.

    • “You have been unable to cite any previous BBC policy , which specifically forbids running “debates / discussions directly between scientists and sceptics when covering climate change stories”, as was clearly dictated in the recent directive by BBC executive, Alasdair Macleod.” – mananker

      Oh, Max, superb. Encore!

      We have a BBC report explaining that it’s false balance to invite Lord Lawson to a climate change debate – so don’t do it.

      # year later the BBC Scotlan scrww up an do exactly tht , so they get a reminder and Max, says; ” you have been unable to cite any previous BBC policy which specifically forbids running “debates / discussions directly between scientists and sceptics….”

      No it just mentions him by name!!!!

      World class quiblbing, Max

    • ” So maybe only the weaker charge that they “[came] up with … a fake quote” is correct.” – matthew

      Yes, the statement “Mann and his lawyers doctored a quote” is false.

    • Michael

      Keep digging – you’re about to reach China.

      Wanna new shovel?

      Max

  10. Thank you, Professor Curry, for your courage and personal commitment to the scientific method.

    May the force be with you!

  11. I particularly enjoyed the “Heck no!”

    Well done for that kind of format, Judy. At one point, Ward almost said that only climate scientists should be allowed to speak about climate science, which shows how far out there he is.

    As for Steyn’s attorneys, there are some fearsome boys in that line-up. Maybe Steyn will end up with $30 million in his pocket after all. I’m guessing that Mann is looking a little bit pale today.

  12. OK. There’s an article on National Review about Nate Silver hiring Roger Pielke Jr. along with some other stuff about Ezra Klein, but I can’t get the post to stick.

  13. I’m pretty happy with the way that the interview turned out. I managed to get my main points across (I don’t always feel that I managed this in interviews). I thought that Bob Ward did a good job of putting his point across.

    And so you should be! I’ve been in that spot, and I know it isn’t easy when you just don’t know what they’re going to throw at you!

    As for Ward … well, I thought he was making mountains out of the all wrong molehills (and not for the first time – nor, I suspect the last). He might have done better had he actually informed himself of what Steyn had actually written rather than the figments of his (and/or Mann’s?!) imagination.

    Then, again, perhaps Ward was hampered by a failure to recognize that there is a difference between calling someone “a fraud” which (contra Ward’s repeated assertions and attempted “framings”) Steyn did not do and labelling his iconic “creation” [h/t Joelle Gergis] as fraudulent.

    Not a word I would have chosen. I think I would have opted for unkosher or fishy or somewhat suspect – not unlike the unearned Nobel laurels Mann had falsely rested on for so many years, or his many misleading pleadings of “exoneration”.

    Nonetheless, it was gracious of you to give Ward credit for “putting his point across” – as unsubstantive and off the mark as it was ;-)

    And I thought it was terrific that not only did you get the last word, but that the “sound bytes” they selected from your responses, for airing prior to the main event, were right on the mark.

    I second Bob Tisdale’s Brava!

    • And I thought it was terrific that not only did you get the last word …

      That struck me as very positive as well. As did this just before Judith’s discussion with Ward began. A familiar voice was heard saying:

      We have to put a price on carbon in the market place and we have to put a price on denial in the political system.

      The presenter commented:

      That’s former US Vice President Al Gore, talking, some would say ominously, about potential penalties for those who criticise climate change.

      Some would say ominously. Four words that made a world of difference before ‘climate scientist’ Bob Ward was soundly thrashed by our hostess.

    • “perhaps Ward was hampered by a failure to recognize that there is a difference between calling someone “a fraud” which (contra Ward’s repeated assertions and attempted “framings”) Steyn did not do and labelling his iconic “creation” [h/t Joelle Gergis] as fraudulent”

      So Mann’s work is fraudulent but someone else did it?

      Ha good luck with trying to convince the Judge of that.

    • Screech of chalk, raw on de ears.
      Reach of awe, rock on, denial.
      ============

  14. So Steyn now has high powered first amendment counsel, and his post indicates he and his lawyers are sticking with his choice to skip another Anti-SLAPP motion and go right to discovery.

    I’ll tell you what Mann and is lawyers are really going to be concerned about – third party discovery. After all these years, I suspect Mann has disposed of really damaging emails, and the hard drives where they were kept. But there were too many other parties to too many emails. And Steyn & Co. can subpoena all of them.

    The next probable step is a motion by Mann to dismiss Steyn’s counter-claims, so that if things start to get really hairy, Mann can dismiss the case. So long as those counter-claims are live, he can’t do that.

    • “After all these years, I suspect Mann has disposed of really damaging emails, and the hard drives where they were kept.”

      No they will be on the University drives, in storage. You can’t delete them without the institute doing it.

      The full climategate data is also in peoples hands and Steyn’s lawyers would probably like to have read. If an email of Mann’s is not disclosed, but is known to have been sent on the climategate III, then he is sunk. So he has to be sure that he must disclose anything sent, and forwarded, on the UEA messages.

    • “The next probable step is a motion by Mann to dismiss Steyn’s counter-claims, so that if things start to get really hairy, Mann can dismiss the case. So long as those counter-claims are live, he can’t do that.”

      Gary, I thought that was the situation, but wasn’t entirely sure Thanks for clearing that up. I loved that Steyn counter-sued. Now I like it even more.

      Care to take a stab at whether Mann will be successful in getting the counter-claims dismissed?

    • Doc Martyn,

      From my understanding, not all of Mann’s emails were on university servers. I would be astounded if that were the case, particularly once the universities started getting FOIA requests.

      The universities are the type of third parties I was talking about, and not just Mann’s.

      Oh, and as for “You can’t delete them without the institute doing it,” on what planet can you be sure that Penn State or other feeders at the CAGW funding trough didn’t engage in their own wholesale email deletions?

      In fact, systematic deletion was the norm, before all the brouhaha began. And it is those pre-climategate emails that will prove the most interesting.

      My point was that there were enough other individuals, and enough other university servers, involved as senders and recipients that it is unlikely the really interesting emails were deleted by enough of those involved, to prevent their discovery. Emails Mann sent from a personal computer were likely sent to recipients’ university or other organizational accounts.

      But anyone who thinks Steyn will simply serve some requests on Mann and get incriminating emails as a result, hasn’t been paying attention the last 10 years.

      • David Springer

        “Oh, and as for “You can’t delete them without the institute doing it,” on what planet can you be sure that Penn State or other feeders at the CAGW funding trough didn’t engage in their own wholesale email deletions?”

        On the earth. They’d have to delete routine backups that are stored at multiple locations. No professional IT depts don’t back up their data and none of them store the backups in a single location such that a fire in one location would destroy the archive. Plus the university itself would want that to exonerate itself if need. If it comes down to the university taking a fall or one of its employees taking a fall the employee will be thrown under the bus. Another thing to note is that if certain pieces of archived data are deleted from multiple offsite locations then that’s going to look like a bigtime coverup. One last consideration is that there are laws against deleting things that are subject to FOIA requests. Whoever ordered the deletion could be facing jail time and probably wouldn’t be willing to do that.

        Your point that third party archives of the same communications is quite right too. And of course the NSA has copies of it all. ;-) Nothing that travels on the information superhighway or the airwaves for the matter is not archived these days. Some archives are just more difficult to access than others.

    • pokerguy,

      Since Steyn now has such able counsel, my bet is that they will re-plead before Mann even files a motion to dismiss. I would if I were representing him. Steyn’s pleadings are colorful, but the constitutional tort claim in particular needs to be tied into some traditionally recognized claim.

      In most cases where people sue for violation of their constitutional rights, they are suing governmental entities, When you see an individual sued, it is usually because he or she was action on behalf of the government. That is because the Bill of Rights, including the First Amendment, are restrictions on government action, not the actions of other citizens.

      His other counterclaim, as I read it, is essentially a claim for damages for violation of the Anti-SLAPP statute. That was why I was concerned that he did not renew him motion on that ground. If NRO loses its appeal of the denial of its own motion, that might make a dismissal of Steyn’s claim for damages just that much more likely.

      • David Springer

        I think the first countersuit claim to constitutional rights being violated was journalistic theater.

    • If an entity has a standard deletion policy, and they deleted at a time when there was not a hint of pending litigation?

    • JCH,

      I hadn’t seen that. It was apparently filed a week ago. My guess is Steyn’s lawyers will move to amend, just as Mann did in response to NRO and Steyn’s initial motion to dismiss.

      Here is a link to the brief in support of that motion, which contains Mann’s actual arguments.

      http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Mann-v-NR-2014-03-17-Memorandum-in-Support-of-Motion-to-Dismiss-Counterclaims.pdf

    • Oh that’s hilarious. Mann has filed an anti-SLAPP motion against Steyn’s claim for Anti-SLAPP damages.

    • JCH,

      “If an entity has a standard deletion policy, and they deleted at a time when there was not a hint of pending litigation?”

      Then they have no worries about sanctions. Most corporations adopted just such policies when e-discovery started to become common, and they realized just how much info is contained in emails. (And the policies are the same for other forms of documents/information storage.)

      But the issue I was addressing was getting the emails. My point is that even if Mann deleted all his emails, regardless of propriety, the odds are that they are still available elsewhere.

    • Steven Mosher

      Mann likely.has no damaging emails. Discovery will be boring. But there will likely be emails where he says
      Disparaging things about others.
      In short there will be no and can be no science shattering
      Bombshell in the mails. None.
      At best we will know what we already know.
      Hes petty. Conspiratorial. Pompous.

      • David Springer

        Mann and UVA went to great lengths to block discovery. With all due respect to your crystal ball there may yet be some entertaining material brought to light. But it’ll be fun just getting official copies of climategate emails and having them read into a court record. And put yourself in the positiono of a jury member who hears Mann’s own colleagues referring to his work as a trick to hide a decline:

        Phil Jones: “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie, from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”

        Mann is toast if this goes before a jury. Few unbiased observers are going to interpret that as anything other than a colleague talking about using a trick to hide contrary data in a scientific paper published in a very high impact peer-reviewed journal.

      • I tend to agree with you – but Nixon did tape his conversations. Pride is a strange thing.

    • “At best we will know what we already know.
      Hes petty. Conspiratorial. Pompous.”

      Oh Yah. Also, weirdly litigious. And spectacularly hypocritical These things to the extent they’re established through discovery, can’t help his case I wouldn’t think.

    • The goal is not “science shattering emails,” whatever those are. The goal is emails similar to the “hide the decline” emails. Anything showing dishonesty or data manipulation. The rest will just be fun to read.

    • You really have no idea what you are going to find when you do discovery of this kind. I seriously doubt Mann is resisting discovery just because of the inconvenience. It is amazing what people put in their professional correspondence, even when they know someone may look at it some day.

      A massive ego like Mann’s leads him to think he is impervious. There is nothing I have enjoyed more in my career than cross examining someone who was so full of himself, he couldn’t wait to show up the stupid lawyer.

      • David Springer

        Nice to see someone who enjoys his work, Gary. I had an attorney defending me one time and at my direction he shredded the prosecution’s expert witnesses. I was full of myself and couldn’t wait to get the stupid experts on the stand. After the experts were swept off the courtroom floor my lawyer said to me “Was that fun or what? “. His glee was obvious. He lived for moments like that.

    • Steven Mosher

      Mann is resisting discovery because there is nothing there except personal crap.

      There are no more “hide the decline” type mails, because there are no more hide the decline like situations.

      Look at the scope of his work. we already know every thing we need to know. As far as “dirty laundry” goes there may be a sock or two, but
      most of the stuff will just be personal crap he says about colleagues.

      dont get your hopes up and you wont be disappointed

    • Matthew R Marler

      Steven Mosher: Look at the scope of his work. we already know every thing we need to know. As far as “dirty laundry” goes there may be a sock or two, but
      most of the stuff will just be personal crap he says about colleagues.

      Maybe. I think that people supporting him (PSU and WVA folks resisting the FOIA requests, for example) are going to be sorry that they did; and that people who believe his book will stop looking upon him as a truthful victim of hostile anti-science freaks.

    • I believe the Judge is going to be most unpleased when Steyn request a load of info and then fail to provide anything relevant to the court.

      Especially given Steyn seems stupid enough to pass that info on to blogs.

    • Matthew R Marler

      lolwot: I believe the Judge is going to be most unpleased when Steyn request a load of info and then fail to provide anything relevant to the court.

      If Mann agreed with you on that, he’d unload everything he has as soon as he can. The real threat to Mann is that a lot of what he wrote will reduce public esteem for him; and for PSU and WVA, which is why they are stonewalling; Really embarrassing letters will come to light, and citizens will write angry letters to congressman asking why such an embarrassing man receives govt. funding. Scientists who gave his book favorable reviews in the journals will be seriously embarrassed. There may even be instances where Mann violated the computer system terms of service that he signed. The General Accountability Office will conduct an audit.

      And there will be the occasional tidbits directly relevant to the cases.

      Maybe not. Maybe. Why didn’t Mann do what Wegman did over and George Mason, and reveal everything forthwith?

    • “If Mann agreed with you on that, he’d unload everything he has as soon as he can.”

      The harder Steyn fights for it the more of a fool he’ll look when nothing is found when he finally gets it. So it’s in Mann’s interest to resist.

      “The real threat to Mann is that a lot of what he wrote will reduce public esteem for him”

      I doubt the judge will allow whatever is released to be made public.

      “And there will be the occasional tidbits directly relevant to the cases.”

      I very much doubt it.

      Mann knows there’s nothing incriminating in there, otherwise he wouldn’t have bought the case.

      • What country are you from lolwot? It is not the USA.

        Discovery is not about what you DO NOT FIND. it is about the surprises you DO find. So how often do you run around proclaiming “I did not find a $10 bill!!!”

        if nothing is found, you will hear nothing. If something is found, you will hear about it. But Steyn is not going to look bad either way.

    • Well, just off the top of my head, I can think of a couple of areas of interest. First, all emails with respect to the “investigations” Mann falsely claims exonerated him. Did Mann have input into structuring any of the investigations? Was there contact with any of the faux investigators? Were there any discussion regarding restricting the areas of inquiry? Penn State in particular had a president who had, shall we say, insufficient concern about the integrity of the process.

      Then there would be emails regarding the various attacks on Mann’s sloppy statistics and graphology. Did Mann say anything in emails to friendlies, or did they say anything to him, regarding his crappy statistics?

      If I recall, the climategate emails were disclosed by either a whistle blower or a hack of CRU. Anyone who thinks those are the only such emails is delusional.

      And the point, again, is not “science shattering bombshell emails.” (This is what is called in Mosher’s marketing/obscurantist trade, managing expectations.) The goal is anything that supports Steyn’s accurate characterization of Mann’s dishonesty and butchering of statistics. The goal is to win the litigation, not “shatter science.”

      Did Mann seriously communicate with no one between Mann ’98 and Mann ’99, or thereafter, about the flaws that McIntyre pointed out? What did Mann have to say, in what he thought was private, about the issues? Were there no cautions from fellow members of the consensus? No discussion of the need to convince people, rather than do science, ala Stephen Schneider? Maybe not, but the possibilities are intriguing.

      The consensus only got email savvy after climategate. The hockey stick was created, and deconstructed, before that. If there are any emails helpful to Steyn, that is where they will likely be found.

      Mann is resisting discovery because there is only personal stuff in his business emails? I don’t think even Mosher believes that.

    • GaryM,

      Will the court case be broadcast? A television series would be great – trials with cross examination are great entertainment and what a way to expose the whole mess to the public. What would be important, of course, is that the director and producer are knowledgeable about the processes, politically impartial, unbiased etc. That rules out the BBC, ABC and all the Loony Left as having a role. I know, I know, it’s hard to find someone in the media who is not a true believer that the Left’s ideology is best for the world and should be implemented by fiat, and force if necessary, asap.

  15. Judith, that was extremely well done. I still have problems, as an agricultural scientist, understanding why the “true climate scientist” are still riding their alarmist horses, despite the increasing ammount of information that their “projections” are way off mark and that the small amount of warming that is or has taken place, along with the slightly increased CO2 levels, whether man made or not, are going to be a net benefit to mankind, especially in the agricultural areas.

    • +1

    • I’d prefer the AnthroCO2 heating effect to be small, because if it’s large, we’d be awfully cold without it.

      If natural forces raised us from the Little Ice Age(the depths of the Holocene), then we have a chance at continued warming. If AnthroGHGs raised the temperature since the LIA, then Katie Bar the Door, because we haven’t enough hydrocarbon bonds to combat the natural cooling, and the end of the Holocene.

      So, you pays your money and you takes your chances.
      ==================

    • The fact you think the CO2 rise might not be human caused shows you don’t have the required facts under your belt to understand what the scientists are saying.

      “are going to be a net benefit to mankind, especially in the agricultural areas.”

      is simply not true.

    • lolwot

      You opine “it’s simply not true”.

      But you have no argument to support your opinion.

      So, as such, it is totally worthless.

      Max

  16. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    In the long run, my experience has been that it’s best to *immediately* acknowledge mistakes and apologize for them.

    That’s why Mark Steyn/National Review *should* have done.

    As for Michael Mann’s chronic rudeness, he needs a reminder that the strongest science, and the strongest history-of-science, and the strongest morality (Wendell Berry! Jane Goodall! Pope Francis!) conducts itself with determination, rationality, civility and grace.

    Conclusion  Steyn versus Mann amounts to pointlessly gratuitous abuse versus out-of-date/mediocre climate-science. In the long run, it’s the strongest climate-change science that wins. And in the short run, we can all be graceful in acknowledging it!

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Matthew R Marler

      a fan of *MORE* discourse: In the long run, my experience has been that it’s best to *immediately* acknowledge mistakes and apologize for them.

      That’s what Mann ought to have done long ago.

  17. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    In the long run, my personal experience has been that it’s best to *immediately* acknowledge mistakes and apologize for them. It’s not difficult!

    A quick apology is what Mark Steyn/National Review *should* have offered. Because National Review (in particular) shouldn’t lower itself to publishing gratuitously personal abuse.

    As for Michael Mann’s chronic rudeness, he needs a reminder that the strongest science, and the strongest history-of-science, and the strongest morality (Wendell Berry! Jane Goodall! Pope Francis!) *always* conducts itself with rationality, civility, determination, and grace.

    Conclusion  Steyn versus Mann amounts to pointlessly gratuitous abuse (Steyn) versus out-of-date/mediocre climate-science (Mann). Climate-change science has advanced greatly since Mann, and public discourse needs to move with it.

    In the long run, it’s the strongest climate-change science that wins. And in the short run, we can all be graceful in acknowledging it!

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Who drug who into court, FOMBS?

    • Fan: Yes, but what if Steyn said was true?

      As for Mann, he has graciously accepted the role of the “out-of-date mediocre scientist.”

      Then you write: “In the long run, it’s the strongest climate-change science that wins. And in the short run, we can all be graceful in acknowledging it! ”

      That’s far from the truth. Mann has to prove malice and that Steyn knew what he said was false. Mann also has to prove that what Steyn said was recklessly false. That, in my opinion, is going to be difficult.

    • Correction: [As for Mann, he has NOT graciously accepted the role of the “out-of-date mediocre scientist.”

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      jim2 asks “Who drug who into court, FOMBS?”

      The record is clear, jim2!

      Before filing his suit, Mann told both CEI and National Review that he would take action if they didn’t remove the offending statements and apologize.

      While CEI edited some of the more aggressive words out of Simberg’s online piece, National Review practically sneered.

      In a piece headlined “Get Lost,” the magazine’s editor, Rich Lowry, dismissed Mann’s warning, labeled any litigation as nothing more than a nuisance and all but invited the climatologist to sue by declaring the magazine would use the discovery process to investigate and write about him.

      That response was neither civil nor smart of Rich Lowry, was it jim2?

      Would Rich Lowry/National Review publish so abusively, and respond so contemptuously, if they had it to do-over? The world wonders!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      pottereaton asks “Correction: [As for Mann, he has NOT graciously accepted the role of the “out-of-date mediocre scientist.”"

      Double correction! What I posted was that Mann's original Hockey Stick nowadays represents "mediocre science"!

      That's because many other scientists (and Michael Mann too!) have independently found many more, much stronger climate-change hockey-sticks.

      And these ongoing scientific advances make Rich Lowry's/National Review's continued pattern of abusive and contemptuous editorializing appear to be all the more baffling and irrational, eh pottereaton?

      The world ponders!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}’ title=’\scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}’ class=’latex’ /></p>
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			<cite class="fn">kim</cite>

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				<a href="http://judithcurry.com/2014/03/25/trial-of-the-century/#comment-504517">
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		<div class="comment-body"><p>Thanks Sidles, the ‘Crook’t Hockey Stick’ is an out of date, mediocre icon, fashioned as it is from base metallic statistics and devious propaganda.</p>
<p>Spread the word, Sidles, joyfully.<br />
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			<cite class="fn"><a href=angech

      Fan throws Mann under bus
      or when the Fan hits the Mann.
      Love it.

    • “the magazine’s editor, Rich Lowry, dismissed Mann’s warning, labeled any litigation as nothing more than a nuisance and all but invited the climatologist to sue by declaring the magazine would use the discovery process to investigate and write about him.”

      Heh and when their bluff failed they ran away and tried to get the case dismissed.

    • lol, there’s a joke about going through the motions there, but I can’t find it. A lawyer not automatically filing for dismissal is nearly subject to sanctions, so your ‘runaway’ is hardly apt.

      Interesting to me is that the defense is split, like being dealt a pair in Blackjack. That may allow some interesting twists and turns, unexpected motions, dynamic, possibly even graceful. Even more interesting to me is that Mann’s lawyers seem to be willing to allow discovery. The ‘Piltdown Mann’ has fools for advocates, moneyed fools mind you.

      Oh, I’m grateful to them. Their boost can get this into orbit, possibly escape velocity.
      ================

    • Is it time to consider Mann a victim of the interests who back him? Naw, lemme see his emails, first.
      ================

  18. Judith Curry

    Very good, Judith. You got your point across very clearly.

    The segment started off with a quote from Al Gore that there is a “price on carbon” and there also needs to be a “price on denial” (of the mainstream IPCC view on climate change).

    Your counterpart was Bob Ward of the Grantham Institute, a staunch supporter of the IPCC view on climate change and author of several articles and letters, which stick pretty close to the IPCC “consensus” line.

    To the question by the moderator, Tim Franks, i.e. should there be legal censorship of opinions which deviate from the mainstream consensus position in climate science, Bob Ward skirted the question by talking about censoring personal attacks (rather than dissenting scientific opinions).

    You stuck to the question and answered it straight, with “Absolutely not.” Adding that the rhetoric might get heated but that there is a real danger in censorship of scientific opinion on a topic such as climate science where there are “very few genuine facts”, even “unknown unknowns” and a lot is still “open to debate”. Legally controlling what scientists say sets a very bad precedent.

    You made this very clear.

    When defamatory comments were again brought up (by Ward, I think), you pointed out that Michael Mann had attacked you openly as “anti-science” and a “serial misinformer”. But despite this, you stated you had no intention of suing Mann because of these defamatory remarks.

    My stance on this issue is as a staunch defender of free speech, even when I myself am a victim of someone else’s defamatory comments.

    Does the BBC have the duty to inform the public accurately? Ward raised the point that some might be trying to misinform the public and this should not be allowed by BBC. You agreed, but added that there is a danger in “consensus science” and this does not mean censoring out scientific opinions that dissent or diverge from the mainstream position.

    Sounds like everyone agreed that the upcoming Mann – Steyn case will be very important for the future of science.

    Despite the fact that you were not on your home turf, you did much better in the debate than Bob Ward, who evaded the real question.

    Just my take-home from the BBC interview.

    Max

  19. Steve Fitzpatrick

    Judith,

    Would you testify at the Mann-Steyn trial if it goes that far?

    i suspect the jury would benefit from your (serial misinformer/anti-science) perspective on climate science, and more, on free speech. A applaud your quite courage.

  20. Judith, well done. Very well done. You are too kind to Bob Ward.
    As for Steyn’s new legal team, yikes doubled. I doubt they will need additional stuff beyond what Steve McIntyre has already blogged. But if so, many stand ready to help provide more of the same. I volunteer.
    Looking forward to the discovery in this case, which Mann cannot now avoid given the counter suit. As ye sow, so shall ye reap. Sort of a legal principle.

  21. Judith,
    That was very well done. Thanks for undertaking the trial by interview in a bias BBC arena although the interviewer did act fairly.

    Ward kept switching the focus to extreme liable falsification and climate disinformation while your discussion was grounded on the issue at hand. Could the data used in tree rings and statistics to determine them robustly relate to a dramatic uptick in temperature in the last 50 years. No one mentioned the grafting on the long record of temperatures and the deletion of tree ring data not consistent with the proposed temperature record. Not even talking about loss of Middle Age Warm period.

    But again, thanks for your energy and professionalism. Too bad Mann calls you names at the same time others say his data was fraudulant and he sues.
    Scott

  22. pokerguy: http://judithcurry.com/2014/03/25/trial-of-the-century/#comment-503926

    Here’s an uneducated guess: judges will tend to shy away from dismissing counter-suits because it works against an out of court settlement. The judge has already decided against invoking the anti-Slapp statute. He made that decision by looking at the evidence from a view most favorable to the plaintiff. Well, Steyn is now a plaintiff also, and if he dismisses Steyn’s suit he’s going to be charged with bias.

    There is also the not-so-small matter that Steyn may have a better case than Mann. That he has suffered more damage in being sued than Mann ever would have from Steyn’s column.

    • Thanks Potter. Good to hear. I’ve never been clear on what meaningful damages Mann has supposedly suffered at the hands of Steyn, especially given that Mann is routinely called a fraud all over the Internet. And especially given that Steyn did in fact not call Mann a fraud…only his work.

      I believe this is Steyn’s NRO post for which Mann sued him. Seems pretty mlld to me. Note he didn’t call Mann the Sandusky of climate science, Rand Simberg did. In fact, Steyn demurred on that point as per below.

      I might have my facts wrong. Someone please correct me if so…
      ***

      Football and Hockey (by Mark Steyn)

      In the wake of Louis Freeh’s report on Penn State’s complicity in serial rape, Rand Simberg writes of Unhappy Valley’s other scandal:

      “I’m referring to another cover up and whitewash that occurred there two years ago, before we learned how rotten and corrupt the culture at the university was. But now that we know how bad it was, perhaps it’s time that we revisit the Michael Mann affair, particularly given how much we’ve also learned about his and others’ hockey-stick deceptions since. 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.”

      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. Graham Spanier, the Penn State president forced to resign over Sandusky, was the same cove who investigated Mann. And, as with Sandusky and Paterno, the college declined to find one of its star names guilty of any wrongdoing.

      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.

    • “The judge has already decided against invoking the anti-Slapp statute.”

      That does not bode well for one of Steyn’s counter-claims, which essentially seeks damages based on the Anti-SLAPP statute. The other two counter-claims have their own issues, which is why I anticipate his new counsel will re-plead them.

    • http://judithcurry.com/2014/03/25/trial-of-the-century/#comment-504053

      GaryM: I’m of the opinion that that won’t matter. If Steyn can prove his statements were covered by the first amendment and that he has suffered damages from being sued for doing his job as a commentator whose livelihood is dependent on his right to give voice to his opinions, I believe he could recover damages if his speech was covered, which it is, if precedent in previous similar first amendment cases are taken seriously.

      Certainly this will apply if it turns out that what Steyn said is proven TRUE in court. It could be that Steyn was entirely accurate, or at least not out of the mainstream of scientific or public opinion to believe that Mann’s hockey stick is fraudulent.

      Mann could have ignored those hyper critical columns and it would never have cost him a dime or damaged his reputation more than it already has been damaged by other opinion columns and general news reporting. Steyn, on the other hand, will certainly be able to show real damages, if for no other reason that he will probably have to spend at least a million dollars for his legal defense.

    • pokerguy,

      I wonder if you can get sued for calling Michael Mann the Michael Mann of climate science?

      I like it.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

      • @Mike Flynn – Just the idea that his name is synonymous with fraud, malfeasance and incompetence is probably worse for him than any monetary loss in court.

        I like it as well.

    • @pokeryguy Steyn’s use of “fraudulent” appears to be an adjective qualifying “climate-change”.

    • pottereaton,

      Maybe. But I am unaware of any cases in which a party was awarded damages for a violation of his first amendment rights by a non-state actor. There is no doubt that Steyn’s post regarding Mann is protected speech for first amendment purposes. That is why Mann has to prove actual malice.

      There may be cases out there finding a “constitutional tort” for infringement on speech by a private actor. But I don’t know of any. State action is a requirement for such a cause of action as far as I know. And Steyn has not alleged that Mann was acting as an agent of the state when he filed suit.

      Though a creative lawyer could argue…. :-)

    • GAryM: you may be right. I’m looking at it from a “restraint of trade” point of view. There are probably better ways to phrase it that Steyn’s lawyers will put into words. Steyn has made his living in life selling his opinions in books, periodicals and on websites. If your livelihood depends on your ability to communicate and opinionate freely, and someone comes along an frivolously accuses you of a crime in order to shut you up, I’m thinking it’s restraint of trade.

      Mann publishes books also. It could be said he has an interest in shutting Steyn up. He’s a competitor in that sense.

      I’m not a lawyer and all of the above may be nonsense. But I bet Steyn wouldn’t think it to be nonsense. One writer has accused another of being a charlatan. The accused writer, rather than defend himself in a book, tries to silence the accuser. Very un-American in my view, but typical of Mann, given his history.

    • problem is pottereaton that court isn’t like denier blogs. You have to convince a judge, who is going to be a highly intelligent individual.

      Your book ploy is insultingly ridiculous to someone of average intelligence.

  23. Excellent. Well worth a listen: Only 10 minutes 27.25 to 37.05.

    Judith makes very telling points on both the climate change science and the debate, and on free speech. Bob Ward gets mired in substantiating vague legal points on ‘personal attacks on a professional reputation’ re accusations of ‘fraud’. He also throws in the rote accusation that it is all really about a disinformation campaign… “an attempt to confuse the public”.

    Especially powerful is the point where Bob Ward makes the mistake of asking Judith whether she would tolerate being accused of fraud or deceptive behavior. (After Judith speaks of her belief in ‘no limitations on free speech’).

    Bob Ward, “So Judy, if you were accused of being a fraud in the media, and you asked for a retraction and that person refused, you would not use legal means to try and get a correction?”

    Judith, “I am frequently attacked in the media, and in fact the most egregious attacks on my scientific reputation have come from Michael Mann himself. He has referred to my recent congressional testimony as ‘anti-science’, and has called me a serial climate dis-informer. Am I suing? Heck no! As an American, I am pretty attached to the right to free speech.”

    Bob, “….*crickets*….”

    (Well, in reality the next question on the ‘landmark legal case’ topic came in immediately, but there was no possible comeback, so please forgive the artistic license).

    http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/worldservice/newshour/newshour_20140325-2258a.mp3

    • wonderful, Bob Ward violates the lawyers’ dictum for cross-examination, never ask a question to which you do not know the answer:

      Bob Ward, “So Judy, if you were accused of being a fraud in the media, and you asked for a retraction and that person refused, you would not use legal means to try and get a correction?”

      As usual, Bob Ward proves himself to be an ignorant propagandist.

      As usual, Dr. Judith Curry proves herself to be an exemplary defender of free speech, open minded inquiry, and rational discourse.

    • Judith didn’t answer the question as it was intended. The scenario is if Judith wrote a paper, e.g. the stadium wave one, and someone said that their analysis was fraudulent, i.e. deliberately wrong, would she ask them to retract that accusation, or would she let it go. In the academic world, fraudulence, if proven, is a tenure-ending behavior. Academic freedom is only allowed on condition of no fraudulence, and it is a zero-tolerance thing. Fraudulence is not just another word in the academic tenured world, while it may be to Steyn. This is far from the example Judith offered, because Mann did not challenge her publishing integrity, and there is a line there.

    • Jim D

      Gotta disagree with you.

      The question was whether or not there should there be legal censorship of opinions which deviate from the mainstream consensus position in climate science in order to avoid misleading the public. Judith answered the question directly (with an “absolutely not!”), while Bob Ward skirted the question by talking about not allowing personal attacks.

      Listen to the interview again.

      Max

    • Jim D

      Bob Ward’s question was a curve ball, with the intent of getting the subject off of the main question asked by the moderator (and back to personal attacks instead).

      Judith simply replied that, while she had been attacked by Michael Mann, i.e. called “anti-science” and a “serial misinformer”, she did not feel that Mann should be denied his “freedom of speech” in making these accusatory statements. She also said she would not take him to court.

      The lady’s got class (which can’t be said for all climate scientists).

      Pretty straightforward, Jim.

      Max

    • That is not the question in the Mann v Steyn case. Of course opinions are legal, unless they assert wrongly that someone has carried out an act that would lose them their job, then they are open to prosecution. That is not a freedom of speech issue, but a libel one. It was an unsupported assertion, and that is what makes it different.

    • Manacker,

      The lady’s got class (which can’t be said for all climate scientists).

      +1000

    • The point by Ward, is that there is a very specific type of statement that is prosecutable. Most people have the common sense to stay away from those statements in public.

    • Jim D

      You have drifted off the subject of the BBC interview (as Bob Ward also tried to do).

      And whether or not Steyn’s remarks about Mann are “prosecutable” has not yet been determined.

      Max

    • If the subject is whether professing uncertainty or ignorance is prosecutable, I would not agree, and I suspect no one would. Also, last I looked being anti-science or just misinforming out of not knowing or out of not agreeing with the consensus, is not criminal, so Judith wouldn’t have a case anyway. She gave the impression that she would have a reasonable choice to sue, when she didn’t have that choice. It would be a worrying world if she did have that choice, wouldn’t it?

    • Judith’s answer was disingenuous – she hasn’t been accused of fraud, and her “frequently arracked in the media” is quite a stretch.

      Judith is very keen on that victim card.

      • heck, doesn’t joe room’s epithet of ‘the most debunked climate scientist on the planet’ count for anything? If not, I’m sure he’ll be upset

      • David Springer

        Michael there is fraud and there is criminal fraud.

        http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/fraud

        1. Wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain: ‘he was convicted of fraud’ ‘prosecutions for social security frauds’

        1.1 A person or thing intended to deceive others, typically by unjustifiably claiming or being credited with accomplishments or qualities:

        ‘mediums exposed as tricksters and frauds’

        ‘There are an astounding number of plain frauds and charlatans (to phrase it at its highest) in charge of the propaganda of the other side.’

        ‘As the writer points out, peer review is good for picking out problems with methodology – but true frauds just fake the data.’

        Mann’s own colleague described a certain bit of Mann’s work as a “trick” to “hide” contrary data. Phil Jones remark is essentially expert testimony, documented in writing, confirmed, and describes what Mann did as a fraud under the second common definition (non-criminal) of fraud.

        Mann is toast. Truth is the ultimate defense for libel.

      • “Arracked”??? No one is claiming this is the spanish inquisition.

    • Heh, Joe Headroom.
      ==============

    • Poor Judith – debunked. A disinformer.

      Such terrible vitriol!!!

    • “heck, doesn’t joe room’s epithet of ‘the most debunked climate scientist on the planet’ count for anything?”

      It counts for a great deal Judith. I’m sure it hurts, but of course consider the source. And it’s not without it’s loony humor. On the planet? Wow. And debunked how? Specifically. In what way? Naturally he can’t say, any more than Mike MAnn, the Captain Queeg of climate science can. Or as Mike Flynn humorously calls him, the “Michael Mann of climate science.”

      It’s all pathetic hand waving. I know you didn’t start out to be a heretic and defender of free speech, which only makes you all the more admirable.

    • heck, doesn’t joe room’s epithet of ‘the most debunked climate scientist on the planet’ count for anything? If not, I’m sure he’ll be upset

      with debunkers like that, who needs the bother of positive referees.

      what was best about your tone on the programme was the complete lack of anything like a victim card. you towered over the other guy, whoever he was. you laughed in the face of your critics. so do we.

    • jimmy, jimmy

      Your lawyering is about a bad as your sciencing.

    • Steven Mosher

      Jim D.

      Mann and others accused Judith of being anti science for her testimony
      before congress. Far more important than a 14 year paper that HAS and continues to be debated. The fact that this debate has gone on, the fact that people continue to work to refute it, confirm it, improve it, shows one thing: it’s truth is not a fact. Whether one believes that it is merely wrong, or sloppy, or dodgy, or correct, or partially correct, or spot on, or fraudulant,
      is a hotly debated matter of opinion. It is not an opinion that the sun came up today. Steyn is entitled to his stupid opinion about the paper. I think its wrong, but I also recognize the fundamental difficultly in deciding the factual truth in the case.

      As for your argument that Judiths case is different than Mann’s because Mann was accused of being a fraud and Judith was only accused of being a serial misrepresnter, I refer you to the georgia tech code of ethics

    • It’s actually worse than that, Mosher. Judith was labeled/libeled as a “serial dis-informer”. It is possible to misrepresent something inadvertently. Dis-informing requires premeditated malice . Some would say it’s the equivalent of fraud. I would hope that jurors hearing the Steyn case would find that a guy like mikey mann has no business squealing about libel.

    • “As for your argument that Judiths case is different than Mann’s because Mann was accused of being a fraud and Judith was only accused of being a serial misrepresnter…”

      Yes, a distinction without a meaningful difference. As for Mann’s hockey stick, I think the best that can be said for it is that it’s very poor science. MOre important perhaps is what it revealed about the willingness of his peers to rush to embrace a paper that seemed to overturn much of what we thought we knew about past temperature trends. Ordinarily, such a radical departure would be met with skepticism. INstead it was met with jubilation…

      One must ask why that was, and what it means….

    • The reply to Ward deflected his meaning. Her scenario was not equivalent to a fraud charge. A better equivalence would have been if Mann had accused her of lying to Congress, which he didn’t, but does have consequences in the same way as academic fraud does. Misinforming is not the same as lying because it doesn’t imply deliberateness. There is a major difference, similar to that between fraud on a paper and making a mistake.

    • Steven Mosher, words like anti-science and misinformer are opinions based on different people’s interpretations of the truth. Opinions of other people’s views can’t (or shouldn’t) be able to be prosecuted. The black and white area is whether there is an accusation of a deliberate act of deception either on Mann’s part by Steyn or Judith’s part by Mann. Steyn’s does fall into that category. Mann’s doesn’t unless I have misread what he said.

    • You lost the plot, jimmy dee. Mann called Judith a serial disinformer. A disinformer is a deliberate liar.

    • “Misinforming is not the same as lying because it doesn’t imply deliberateness.”

      Jim,

      I think you should ask yourself why you’re so driven to such trivial hair splitting. Mann also called Judith testimony “anti-science.” How’s that sit with you? Let’s parse that one out a bit. To be “anti” something certainly implies intentionality, does it not? So Judith has some deep seated aversion to the very thing to which she’s devoted her life as a researcher, teacher, and administrator… to the point that she’d like to see it what? Overturned? Repealed? In favor of what? Magic? Voodoo?

      It’s laughably loony, like most of the Mannster’s antics,

    • Jim D

      This is getting a bit boring. You write:

      The reply to Ward deflected his meaning.

      Ward had already deflected the topic of the interview from the need for a censorship law regarding dissenting scientific opinions to personal attacks and libel suits.

      Curry gave straightforward answers to both the original question from the moderator as well as the curve-ball question from Ward.

      Quite frankly, Jim, Curry looked calm and objective while Ward looked rather silly.

      My opinion, of course.

      Max

    • Judith Curry

      heck, doesn’t joe room’s epithet of ‘the most debunked climate scientist on the planet’ count for anything? If not, I’m sure he’ll be upset.

      Naw.

      Joe Romm’s braying doesn’t count for anything (sorry if this upsets him).

      Max

    • What about it, jimmy dee? Now that you have been informed that mikey mann called Judith a serial disinformer/deliberate liar, does that not cause you to reconsider your lame attempts at defending the indefensible little creep? Or are you too embarrassed to continue your silly argument? Jimmy has left the building.

    • Re: “disinformer”, that wouldn’t stand up in court. Mann has an idea of the truth from his point of view, and based on that opinion Judith is “disinforming”. Everyone has their own version of the truth. The Law doesn’t judge absolute truth where science is concerned. It allows for opinions, thankfully. Free speech and all that. Do I have to tell you the same thing as Judith did?

    • they try so many angles to legitimize defamation.

      If they had their way, defamation laws wouldn’t even exist.

      Someone could set up http://www.judithcurryisafraud.com and it would be free speech.

      Ridiculous.

    • Other ebb and flow.

    • It’s funny how they threaten the lewandowski journal with legal action for defamation.

      Suddenly free speech goes out the door.

      • David Springer

        What defamation? Quote the offending text as well as the threat. I can’t form an opinion without seeing it. You want people to either approve of all alleged defamation or none of it. That’s just stuipid. Sometimes stuff is defamatory and sometimes it isn’t. If it’s the press being accused of defamatory statements in in political commentary there’s a far higher bar due to US Constitution’s special protection for the press.

        Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

        There is a law against libel. Congress made it. A court of law finding the press guilty of it is potentially abridging freedom of the press. Hence there is a very high bar before a plaintiff can prevail against the press.

        Each case is individual and must be judged seperately. It’s possible for the press to libel a public figure but threshhold is much higher. A card-carrying member of the press calling Mann the Jerry Sandusky of Climate Science in a political column in a newspaper is not going to cross that threshold. People accused George W. Bush of all kinds of crimes in the press and no one tried suing to stop it. Get a clue.

      • RIF – You really are ESL – there were no threats. That was the excuse Frontier used to avoid admitting incompetence.

    • Take note that when jimmy dee was cornered he felt compelled to resort to the transparent disingenuous dodge that disinformation is just the same as misinformation, or the same as daisies, or whatever meaning suits his purpose. You have sunk to a new low, jimmy dee. Isn’t there some level of personal embarrassment/shame that you won’t suffer for the cause? Pathetic.

    • Mah pappy alwys sed:

      “If a feller is hollerin too loud bout bein called a liar – Ah reckon he maht jest be one.”

    • Jim D: Dr. Curry answered the question she was asked by Ward. What is it you don’t get about that. It would be unrealistic to expect her to parse the difference you imply on the spur of the moment. Would you? Anyone?

      Jim

    • Jim J, no Judith subtly deflected the question into a different one. An accusation of fraud was the question, and she answered something on basically name-calling which is much milder because Mann didn’t say anything she could be put in academic trouble for, but that was perhaps easier to answer. I would have preferred if she answered Ward’s question about if someone accused her of fraud which is more relevant to what Mann faced.

    • Don M, yes “disinformer” is a lot more serious than “misinformer”, especially if it is Congressional testimony. Did he mean that she disinformed Congress? Disinform doesn’t necessarily mean lie, but it can involve misleading by deliberate distortion perhaps through omission of pertinent facts. Seems like a judgement call, which facts should be included in a testimony. Should she have mentioned that the Arctic warmed faster than any model, especially during the pause, or that Arctic sea-ice reached unexpected lows in 2012, for example? It is hard to say what should be included for a balanced testimony. Perhaps she left that for the warmists to say, but maybe she left herself open to that criticism by not saying these things because it appears like not acknowledging the presence of important facts that counter her argument. Monckton is a artist of disinformation. He doesn’t usually say things you can call a lie, but he can mislead by not stating certain parts of the picture or over-emphasizing something trivial to cast doubt. This ability is what makes good defense lawyers. You could see skeptics as just defense lawyers for CO2 when talking to Congress. They are not obligated to present both sides, and this type of disinformation is part of the game, a standard debating tactic, that perhaps Mann doesn’t like. As a scientist, you usually need to present all sides to make your own case in a paper. Missing out pertinent facts, or jumping to conclusions, doesn’t get you very far in the peer review process.

    • As in telling of untruth, the distinction is in whether it’s deliberate or not.
      ========

    • You are still sinking, jimmy dee. You people are desperately trying to discredit Judith. What do you hope to accomplish with this foolishness?

    • Don M, no, I wasn’t trying to discredit Judith. Only pointing out that the very relevant question by Ward quoted on this sub-thread was not answered as is during the interview. Regarding “disinformer”, it looks more serious than it is, so I was defending Judith’s “disinforming” as a debating tactic, and debates are what these Congressional sessions are. You can’t judge one side of a two-sided debate as disinformation, but it looks like that when taken out of context, so it ends up being name-calling by Mann again.

    • Still sinking, jimmy.

      Here is the question:
      Bob Ward, “So Judy, if you were accused of being a fraud in the media, and you asked for a retraction and that person refused, you would not use legal means to try and get a correction?”

      Judith, “Heck, no!”

      She didn’t mention the word “fraud” in her answer, but so what? There are a lot of other words that can be defamatory. She was defamed per se (google it jimmy ) by mikey mann and she did not sue him. If he calls her a fraud, which is no worse than calling a scientist an anti-science serial disinformer, she won’t sue him. She is pretty attached to the right to free speech. What do you want, jimmy? Blood?

      Stop the disingenuous foolishness, jimmy dee. It’s not doing your cause any good. You have shot off damn near all your toes already. I am done with you.

    • Don M, Judith’s subtle defection seems to have fooled you. Her answer was whether she was going to sue Mann. It had nothing to do with Ward’s hypothetical, which was if she was accused of fraud, or are you somehow equating disinforming with fraud, and, more to the point, was Judith equating these?
      Think about it this way. Does free speech allow people to make unsupported public statements about named people doing immoral things that could cost them their job? Judith is saying in effect “Heck, yes,” she won’t sue if people do that because this is part of free speech. However, I would imagine that there is a limit if it is persistent, and if false evidence is presented as part of that free speech. It is a matter of degree, I am sure, and there would be a tipping point. Mann’s tipping point was already reached.

    • defection -> deflection in the first line

    • The following is how scientific discourse should proceed.

      In Mann’s just published paper he asserts that the Stadium Wave theory suffers from “flawed assessment procedures”.

      That is a pretty direct challenge to the theory.

    • Well, we have a transcript so we can clear up this lying BS about Judith slyly deflecting a question:

      Tim Franks: Judith Curry, would you agree that there are limits to free speech? I mean, more broadly, not just in scientific issues, but generally, that there are some things which do not belong on air.

      Judith Curry: No.

      Tim Franks: Right -

      Judith Curry: I’m in favour of open communication about controversial issues.

      Bob Ward: So Judy, if you were accused of being a fraud, in the media, and then you asked for a retraction and that person refused, you would not use legal means to try and get a correction.

      Judith Curry: I am frequently attacked in the media. And in fact the most egregious attacks on my scientific reputation have come from Michael Mann himself. He has referred to my recent Congressional Testimony as “anti-science” and called me a “serial climate disinformer”. Am I suing? Heck, no! As an American, I’m pretty attached to the right to free speech.

      Judith clearly and emphatically stated that she does not agree that there are limits to free speech. She clearly and emphatically stated that she is not going to sue anybody for defamation. Only a complete fraudulent moron with an axe to grind would accuse Judith of dodging/deflecting/whatever the freaking question.

    • Well, we have a transcript so we can clear up this lying BS about Judith slyly deflecting a question:

      Tim Franks: Judith Curry, would you agree that there are limits to free speech? I mean, more broadly, not just in scientific issues, but generally, that there are some things which do not belong on air.

      Judith Curry: No.

      Tim Franks: Right -

      Judith Curry: I’m in favour of open communication about controversial issues.

      Bob Ward: So Judy, if you were accused of being a fraud, in the media, and then you asked for a retraction and that person refused, you would not use legal means to try and get a correction.

      Judith Curry: I am frequently attacked in the media. And in fact the most egregious attacks on my scientific reputation have come from Michael Mann himself. He has referred to my recent Congressional Testimony as “anti-science” and called me a “serial climate disinformer”. Am I suing? Heck, no! As an American, I’m pretty attached to the right to free speech.

      Judith clearly and emphatically stated that she does not agree that there are limits to free speech. She clearly and emphatically stated that she is not going to sue anybody for defamation. Only a complete fraudulent &$#*@ with an axe to grind would accuse Judith of dodging/deflecting/whatever the freaking question.

    • Don M, yes, it is clear that she defends Mann’s right to call her in general terms a serial disinformer, but what if he called some of her specific work fraudulent? That was Ward’s question that I keep asking, but you seem to miss.

    • I know what you are getting at, weasel. You are obviously implying that Judith deflected the question because she is dishonestly avoiding admitting that she would do the same thing that mikey mann is doing, if her ox were being gored. That is blatant BS character assassination. And I don’t know why Judith doesn’t slap you down for it.

      • @Don Monfort – Dr. Curry has displayed a great tolerance here on her blog to exactly what she said in the Interview. That is probably why no one else has raised the issue.

    • Don M, how did you get all that out of just asking for an answer to a question that was asked? I think the actual answer would have been interesting because it would have put JC in Mann’s shoes, and I don’t think she wanted to be put there, or just plain forgot the question when she got into her answer on Mann instead.

    • You just keep piling on the BS. The actual answer is the answer that you can hear on the audio or read in the transcript. She didn’t forget the question. She had already answered the question on free speech. She made it clear she is not going to sue anybody. She has made it clear that she thinks mann suing Steyn is not something she would do. Now why don’t you tell us what you want Judith’s actual answer to be? I will help you. You want to pretend that her actual answer to the fraud question is that she would sue their pants off. You want to pretend and imply that Judith is a lying hypocrite. I don’t think you are fooling anybody.

    • In my very humble opinion, Judith’s reply to ward’s butting in should have been:

      I just gave the journalist conducting this interview a definitive answer to the speech question. I didn’t come here to be interrogated by a partisan alarmist pr flack, who knows squat about climate science. You talk when it’s your turn.

    • Don M, I am fairly sure JC would not bother suing someone like Steyn, who is a theater critic and barely knows what a tree ring is, when he criticizes science like a fish out of water. Mann clearly has a low threshold, or saw lots of skeptics quoting Steyn as though he is a source of their information. It is a sideshow, and possibly a publicity stunt by Steyn only aided by Mann.

    • You are a sideshow, jimmy dee. Why don’t you help the cause? Go over to the skeptic side.

    • “It is a sideshow, and possibly a publicity stunt by Steyn only aided by Mann.”

      Jim D, You’re talking about the trial? You can’t be, because Mann sued Steyn. Hello. How can that be some sort of Steyn instigated publicity stunt?

      As a side note, I’ve been reading some of your exchanges with Don M. If you’re interested in some pro bono advice, I’d just remind you that when you find yourself in a hole, it’s best to quit digging.

    • Just giving you and the skeptics points to ponder. Ward was trying to keep it on topic, since Mann versus Steyn was brought up, but Curry and the moderator seemed to want to get it into a supposed legal suppression of people for being wrong on the science, and Ward never got the message that they were going in that direction.

    • pokerguy, it took a while, but finally I got the point across to Don, and perhaps others, that JC had not answered the actual question asked by Ward. Mission accomplished.

      • This discussion seems rather pointless. Only about half of the discussion that was recorded made it on the air, BBC clearly picked the statements that were most interesting and relevant. In fact my statement (that is the topic of debate here) was actually used in the opening for the entire News Hour show. So the BBC found my statement interesting and relevant; does it matter whether or not I answered a question from Bob Ward?

        A second point is that Mark Steyn did not actually call MM a ‘fraud’

    • No mission accomplished, jimmy. You are lying, again. The point you have been disingenuously trying to peddle is that Judith slyly/subtly and deliberately deflected the ward question. We know why you have been doing it. End of story.

    • A lot of the discussions here are pointless, Judith. You might nip many of them in the bud, if you weighed in more often. And pointing out that Steyn didn’t actually call mann a ‘fraud’ is playing jimmy’s hairsplitting game.

    • I agree with Don on the pointlessness of this fraud/fraudulent hairsplitting. The moderator used fraudulent, and Ward used fraud. Anyway, I have this part-time hobby of debating/baiting skeptics on my days off work, so it was all good from that perspective.

  24. timothy sorenson

    You are making us proud Prof. Curry. (From another professor fighting for climate saneness at a very alarmist leaning institution.)

  25. Judith, thanks for your work. I heard the interview on the radio and thought you made your points very well. Ward sounded like he was avoiding the essential free speech question and wanting to talk all the time about libel. Your response to the question was great.

    If people should be prosecuted for making mistatements of climate science allegegly for profit, then how about all the TV news reporters that incessantly link weather events to global warming even when IPCC says the link cannot be scientifically established? Clearly TV reporters do this for profit – alarmism attracts viewers, attracts advertising revenue.

  26. michael hart

    I’m looking forward to it, and hopefully it will be entertaining too.

    • Say Agnostic, we’re getting into ‘what is art’ here. Is a painting
      /poem about matching, (representation) or making? See Ernst
      Gombrich, ‘Meditations on a Hobby Horse.’ )… I say it’s making
      and needs ter conform only ter what yr doing, and hopefully work.

      Me poem is kinda’ about smoke and mirrors, how we so often
      fool ourselves, I needed a mirrored lake, gleams and gloss, not
      a running river. Think the gold Rolls Royce in the novel, ‘The
      Great Gatsby,’ with its labyrinths of wind shields that mirrored
      a dozen suns.’ Smoke and mirrors.

      Hey what do I know? )

    • …and of course, conn- otations of Swan Lake. Art is so deceitful.(

  27. Anyone who believes he/she can predict what the outcome of the “trial of the century” will be is even loonier than someone who thinks he/she can project what the global temperature will be in the year 2100.

    • Human’s – jest – ain’t – good – at – predictin’.

      Swans and Certainty,

      Black swan,ebony gleaming,
      Gliding artlessly on
      A mirrored lake, unaware
      That you’re an oddity exposed
      By northern ornithologists.
      Glossy bird, you’d be surprised
      To learn you are compared
      To Hume’s thanksgiving turkey,
      Symbol of the out-liar event,
      The single observation that exposes
      How fragile is our human knowledge.

      Black swan, you have become
      A symbol too – so much
      Less and more than
      Mere blackbird – you.

      http://beththeserf.wordpress.com/

    • beth

      Very nice.

      Both beautiful and meaningful.

      A question: being from “black swan” country, do you use the expression “white swan”?

      Just curious.

      Your fellow serf from “white swan” country, Max

    • I’ve said before that I disagree with fellow skeptics over this matter (as over the pilfering of emails).

      This is not necessarily about freedom of speech or prosecuting climate alarmism. It’s more likely a dry legal case to do with defamation. Steyn is a clever, amusing conservative who appeals to me greatly. Mann is a someone I neither like nor trust. I hope Mann loses, but there is the possibility that he has a case in this one instance.

      No, I’m not defending Mann or his case. Nor am I approving of past legal actions against Steyn. I also think that frequent litigators are repellent.

      But let’s not be like that great Herd of Independent Minds who think everything is okay if Our Guy did it. (Think: the luvvies and their grotesque collective defense of Roman Polanski.) Steyn and editors may well have been careless and may well have to pay a price for going beyond criticism and well deserved ridicule of Mann. Is that impossible?

      No need to tell me about burdens of proof, absence of malice etc because all I’m really saying is that defamation is possible and someone I may like may nonetheless defame someone I don’t like.

    • Max,

      Though we come from the land down under, many of
      our parents,or grandparents came from a land up yonder,
      Captain Cook territory.

      “Melbourne” street names. Albert, Burke, Collins, Elizabeth,
      Flinders, La Trobe, Peel, Spencer, Victoria, William … We
      call a black swan event jest that…. We also have a large Irish
      contingent and many celebrate St Patrick’s Day. )

      Yer fellow serf.

    • manacker,

      Looney or not,
      I’ll give it a shot!

      And the outcome will be . . . (he said with a grin) -
      No matter who loses, the lawyers will win!

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Beth, that’s very nice but you should change “lake” to “river”. It’s called the Swan River for a reason…..and it scans nicely. I appreciate artistic license should always be given but considering how we strive for truth…. :-)

  28. Huh. 27:30 mark starts their climate segment. In that context, the part at 29:45 is more.. complex and nuanced.

  29. The way in which the BBC presenter introduced the two speakers Judith Curry and Bob Ward was quite interesting:

    “What do two climate scientists, who both themselves subscribe to the reality of climate change, make of this?”

  30. In open society you want free speech, the right to argue against
    ‘the noble lie’ of institutional power groups and science ‘consensus,’
    but you also want to protect the individual against irresponsible
    defamatory statements w/out reliable evidence Open society is
    about both intellectual freedom and the rights of the individual
    and I guess this is its dilemma. You are let down when the media
    regard selling sensationalism, or their own personal bias, as more important than investigating evidence.

    I read the biography of an Australian political journalist back in
    the 1970′s, Alan Reid, who said:
    ‘ Do not become too fond of the animals in the zoo.’

    http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/defamation

  31. Judith,
    That was bloody marvellous.
    I’m with Bob and others. Brava!

    I thought this came across as a balanced BBC piece which, traditionally, is what the BBC should be all about. It has its detractors (and its problems) but travelling around the world I don’t see its equal anywhere else.

    However, balanced pieces require balanced input from both sides of the debate and unfortunately, in the UK, we don’t really have a first rate sceptic champion. Andrew Montford does well, but he’s not a renowned climate scientist; Nic Lewis is a great scientist but not a charismatic speaker; Christopher Monckton is, well, Christopher Monckton; Nigel Lawson is a politician.

    Can we borrow you for a while?

  32. Paul Matthews March 26, 2014 at 6:05 am |
    Your statement about being ‘with Bob’ is potentially ambiguous :)
    That made me laugh!. Bob, not so much so!

    Delighted to see Professor Curry took me up on my invite so quickly :)

  33. Judith,

    I’ve just listened to your interview. You did brilliantly. I’d award your performance as 97%.

    I deducted 3% because you didn’t grab the opportunity when offered to say that many people do believe that Michael Mann was intellectually dishonest /disreputable (or what ever the correct legal terms is to describe Mann’s misdemeanors), and so free speech must be defended and encouraged.

  34. Has something gone wrong with the threading?

    • Bob Ward gets flayed @ the Bish’s.
      =============

    • Sad.

    • From Steyn’s post linked by Judith on the BBC piece:

      “The host’s framing of the topic – should there be limits to what one is permitted to say about “climate change”? – sounds slightly nutty to those of on the free-speech side of this thing..”

      Nutty indeed. Deeply, deeply nutty. A big fat nutball of nuttiness.

    • Judy, Mann has a new paper coming out, I am sure you are interested.

      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014GL059233/abstract

      I have only read the abstract, I think I’ll be interested in your take on it.

      • Coming soon, i am discussing this with wyatt, kravtsov and tsonis; wyatt is running some new tests. I’ll see if I can get Marcia Wyatt to do a guest post.

    • Judith,

      Claims of multidecadal “stadium wave” patterns of variation across multiple climate indices are also shown to likely be an artifact of this flawed procedure for isolating putative climate oscillations.

      Is this guy a friend? A professional colleague?

    • Judith,

      Regarding ‘Stadium Wave’, did you see a comment I posted here: http://judithcurry.com/2014/03/17/simplicity-amidst-complexity/#comment-494248. Could it help to extent Stadium Wave back about 16,000 years?

      I’ll repeat it here for convenience of others:
      Ref: Figure 15: 21 here
      Coxon and McCarron (2009), ‘Cenozoic: Tertiary and Quaternary
      (until 11,700 years before 2000)

      http://eprints.nuim.ie/1983/1/McCarron.pdf

      Figure 15.21 The stable isotope record (∂18O) from the GRIP ice core (histogram) compared to the record of N.pachyderma a planktonic foraminiferan whose presence indicates cold sea temperatures) from ocean sediments (dotted line). High concentrations of IRD from the Troll 8903 core are marked with arrows. After Haflidason et al. (1995). The transition times for critical lengths of the core were calculated from the sediment accumulation rates by the authors and these gave the following results: Transition A: 9 years; Transition B: 25 years; and Transition C: 7 years. Such rapid transitions have been corroborated from the recent NGRIP ice core data.

      I interpret this and other figures as follows:

      1. Very rapid warmings occurred in the past before human GHG emissions; in fact, the climate as recorded in paleo data in Ireland, Greenland and Iceland, warmed from near glacial temperatures to near current temperatures in two events in 7 years and 9 years at 14,500 and 11,500 years ago respectively.

      2. Life thrived during the warming events (Life loved warming and warmer conditions).

      3. There is a periodicity of about 500 to 1000 years represented by minimums at about (eyeballed from the chart):

      years before present:
      16,000
      15,500
      14,500
      13,800
      13,000
      12,600
      11,600
      11,200
      11,000
      10,600
      10,200
      9,500
      9,200

    • Dr, Curry
      Mr. Lang
      If Stadium wave hypothesis is indeed reflection of the actual reality (in which case it becomes a theory) then lets consider statement by Dr. Jean Dickey of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena:
      “One possibility is the movements of Earth’s core (where Earth’s magnetic field originates) might disturb Earth’s magnetic shielding of charged-particle (i.e., cosmic ray) fluxes that have been hypothesized to affect the formation of clouds. This could affect how much of the sun’s energy is reflected back to space and how much is absorbed by our planet. Other possibilities are that some other core process could be having a more indirect effect on climate, or that an external (e.g. solar) process affects the core and climate simultaneously.”
      In this link:
      http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/GeoSolar.htm
      the top graph shows superimposed spectra of geomagnetic and solar magnetic field .
      Considering limitations of the proxies based on the GCR’s cosmogenic nuclide production, there appears to be good agreement at the centennial rate.
      The lower graph shows what happens if terrestrial spectrum is shifted by 1/65yr in the frequency domain. Again relatively good agreement at the centennial rate of change.

      If the uncertainty in the data is limited, than meshing of frequencies in two magnetic fields the solar (weak) and the terrestrial (strong), may answer the question posed by Dr. Dickey and throw some light on the possible origins of the Stadium Wave.

  35. Note that the BBC deems Bob Ward to be a “climate scientist”. The BBC is of course, completely impartial in the matter of climate change.

    • Bob Ward is a paid propagandist for a man who stands to make money from climate alarmism. A more perfect case of corruption could hardly be made by the BBC, and look what they did.

      Conspiracies? Ah, yes, there are those who’ve breathed together maliciously, but mostly the alarm is an ‘Extraordinary Popular Delusion, and Madness of the Crowd’.
      ===========

  36. ‘trial of the century?’

    Tyrannies utilize show trials. It will be interesting (to say the least) to see if this turns out to be one.

    Andrew

  37. David Springer

    Bob Ward is not a scientist.

    http://www.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/whosWho/Staff/BobWard.aspx

    He has a “first degree” in geology. A first degree is an undergraduate degree known elsewhere as a bachelor’s degree. He has never been a professor anywhere.

    • He tried for a dissertation, but has done much better for himself by perverting science for money.
      ============

  38. Bob Ward’s mistake was being boring, while missing the point.

    http://e360.yale.edu/content/digest.msp?id=4107 makes it appear the whole AAAS has the same issue, too.

    The point is simple. In Mann v. Steyn, there was an unbridled and deliberate campaign of ad hom to manipulate scientific discourse that went so far as to surpass the very broad limits of free speech even in America. No example talked about on the Beeb clip was even close to how far over the top Steyn was. That Dr. Curry feels anything said about her work by anyone comes close enough for analogy to what’s been insinuated by Steyn about Mann’s sexual preferences? Come on, where is the sense of perspective? How did Bob Ward _not_ say anything about that? How did Bob Ward manage to be so completely, utterly boring while nattering on about.. whatever it was, I admit to snoring through his bits?

    Likewise the What We Know campaign appears to miss the point of objections. Of course everyone knows AGW is the certain cause of immensely costly changes in the climate to the profit of a few fossil fuel tycoons and their political minions and the net detriment of the rest of us. How can anyone not know that and be taken seriously? More interesting by far is How We Know and Who Should Pay.

    • Naw, data preferences, not sexual ones. Bart, trapped in his own imagination.
      =========

    • kim | March 26, 2014 at 9:47 am |

      Just what is kim insinuating?

    • “Of course everyone knows AGW is the certain cause of immensely costly changes in the climate”

      Mosher, please correct Barty on his misuse of certainty.

      Andrew

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Bart R says
      “who should pay?”
      Not Bart. It’s gotta be others. He’s expecting to be paid.

    • Bart R,
      Steyn did not insinuate anything about Mann’s sexual preferences. The issues raised were clearly (1) Mann’s handling of data, and (2) Penn State’s handling of sensitive investigations. Interesting that only Mann’s defenders want to think about his sexual proclivities; critics I’m aware of focus upon (1) and (2) above.

      • @Skiphil – Interesting also that is what the defenders of Bill Clinton focus on. Not his perjury, but on the sex. Perhaps they just have that subject on their mind to the exclusion of anything else.

    • kim is insinuating that you are delusional claiming that Steyn said, or “insinuated,” a single word about Mann’s sexual preferences.

      Not that kim needs any defense, but your rantings on this thread are just completely loony tunes, even more so than usual.

      Cue the Bugs Bunny music….

    • Matthew R Marler

      Bart R: by anyone comes close enough for analogy to what’s been insinuated by Steyn about Mann’s sexual preferences?

      Steyn’s quote (from another, recall) explicitly distinguished between Sandusky’s sex crimes and Mann’s data torture. It insunuated nothing about Mann’s sexual preferences.

    • Skiphil | March 26, 2014 at 10:51 am |
      GaryM | March 26, 2014 at 11:25 am |
      Matthew R Marler | March 26, 2014 at 1:47 pm |

      Still with the point missing.

      If you all really find Dr. Curry’s plight so compelling as Dr. Mann’s situation, one suggests you hold a double standard.

      This doesn’t make Dr. Curry’s opinions about free speech less valid as opinions in general, however Dr. Curry’s flagrant double standard elsewhere (http://judithcurry.com/2014/03/22/week-in-review-17/ re: Lewandowsky censored) about free speech most certainly do make their validity questionable with regard to her in particular.

      That Bob Ward was so dull as to have failed to call out Dr. Curry on this hypocrisy, and the Beeb presenter so dimwitted as to have missed it, makes Judith’s performance seem to rise head and shoulders above extraordinary underachievers.

      • David Springer

        WTF are you talking about, Bart R? Curry offered no opinion of her own about Frontiers’ decision to retract Lewandowsky. The magazine determined that things in the paper were potentially defamatory and they didn’t want to risk getting named in a lawsuit.

    • David Springer | March 26, 2014 at 5:28 pm |

      http://judithcurry.com/2014/03/22/week-in-review-17/#comment-499923

      David, I can see you coming down on one side or the other of this issue, but coming down hard on both sides of the exact same fence the exact same way as Dr. Curry?

      That looks as painfully awkward and incredibly ill-thought out as it sounds.

      • David Springer

        Hey Bart if you look back I don’t think you can find me giving a tinker’s damn either way about Lewendowsky. I didn’t read the original and wasn’t really aware of the retraction. It was a stupid poll probably biased and probably doesn’t apply to anyone on this blog. If it mentions people by name and disparages them that pretty makes it not technical but polemic. If Lewdowsky however gets sued for being stupid or defamatory you let me know and I’ll pick a side after reading both sides.

        How much outrage am I supposed to feel when a trade rag’s lawyers decide something might be defamatory and decide such material isn’t appropriate content?

    • Matthew R Marler

      Bart R Still with the point missing.

      Could you write out the point, in a few clear sentences, with direct quotes from the principles, without unsubstantiated claims of hypocrisy? Your posts make no sense, and the one I quoted contained a false accusation, as I pointed out.

      In Mann v. Steyn, there was an unbridled and deliberate campaign of ad hom to manipulate scientific discourse that went so far as to surpass the very broad limits of free speech even in America.

      “Unbridled campaign”? That’s a couple of opinion papers.

      ” manipulate scientific discourse”? That’s a comment on the reasons that, among other things, IPCC removed Mann’s hockey stick from its web page; it was being fraudulently used.

      “surpass the very broad limits of free speech”? I don’t think so, and the Mann suit was to decide that very issue.

      • David Springer

        Bart R:

        “In Mann v. Steyn, there was an unbridled and deliberate campaign of ad hom to manipulate scientific discourse that went so far as to surpass the very broad limits of free speech even in America.”

        Calling people who disagree with you flat earthers and deniers is kind of asking for a negative response isn’t it? Do you boys still try to girls’ attention by pulling their hair? Grow up.

    • “The magazine determined that things in the paper were potentially defamatory and they didn’t want to risk getting named in a lawsuit.”

      The magazine was threatened with legal action from one or more climate skeptics, including possibly Steven McIntytre.

      If the Freedom Fries of Speech are as important as the Steyn lovers make out, how come none of them raised even a murmur about an attempt to stifle it?

      That’s a rhetorical question by the way.

      • David Springer

        What did McIntyre object to? Far as I know Lewandowsky could have said something untrue. I don’t really have a problem with defamation suits little buddy. I think Mann is going to get creamed because Steyn is #1 granted special protection as a member of the press commenting about a public figure and #2 because Steyn wrote nothing untrue that isn’t satire. We value our right to free speech here.

        If you want me to have an opinion about what pissed off McIntyre enough to email a nastygram to the magazine you’ll have to post some details I’m not going looking for them.

      • @lolwot- Steve McIntyre has already stated there were no threats. And so far, no one has come forward claiming to have issued such threats. Nor is there any evidence here about any such threats.

        Again, if you cannot understand English, ask for help. Right now, all you are doing is issuing nonsense. There have been no threats documented.

    • “#2 because Steyn wrote nothing untrue that isn’t satire”

      look that kind of excuse might work on WUWT where everyone is able to temporarily believe what they want to, but we are talking about an intelligent judge in a court who will know exactly what satire is and feel no compulsion to interpret what Steyn wrote as satire.

      • That “excuse” also works in the courts in the US, based upon the Constitution, a document Mann has admitted he would love to junk.

        Your ignorance continues to astound me. Most people as ignorant as you would have learned to shut up and listen and learn.

    • David Springer

      Steyn is having a jury trial so it’s not a judge deciding the issue it’s twelve jurors. He’s a journalist with a very long record of satire. Just a glance through the titles of all these pieces should convince anyone of that:

      http://www.nationalreview.com/author/mark-steyn

      And that’s just last year. National Review is a political magazine not a science magazine. Steyns style was described by his longtime boss and editor Robert Fulford as “bring[ing] to public affairs the dark comedy developed in the Theatre of the Absurd.” Political comedy is usually thick with satire and Steyn is no exception.

    • @Bart – I take it you are NOT an American? If you are, I suggest you bone up on Supreme Court precedent regarding Free Speech. Nothing Steyn said was over the top. Not even close. Whether it is correct or not is not even the issue! It does not have to be correct. It is still free speech.

      I suggest you take some law courses to cure your ignorance. Your rant is mildly amusing and totally false.

    • philjourdan | March 27, 2014 at 8:20 am |

      @Bart – I take it you are NOT an American? If you are, I suggest you bone up on Supreme Court precedent regarding Free Speech. Nothing Steyn said was over the top. Not even close. Whether it is correct or not is not even the issue! It does not have to be correct. It is still free speech.

      I suggest you take some law courses to cure your ignorance. Your rant is mildly amusing and totally false.

      Wow. Impressively ignorant ad homery there, Mr. British-Spelling-of-Jordan.

      Not one but two judges in Steyn v. Mann have ruled that Mann has a great likelihood of success in his claims. Do you think they need to bone up on Supreme Court precedent regarding Free Speech, Mr. No-No-Pronounce-It-Shourdun-It’s-French?

      Do you think both judges need some more law courses to cure their ignorance, you contempt-baiting Mr. Foreignspelling?

      Because I’m sure if you stood up in their courtroom and said there about their ‘rants’ what you just Freely wrote here, you’d be amusingly paying fines and spending time locked up whinging about false imprisonment for contempt of court.

      Questioning someone’s citizenship? Who raised you?

      • David Springer

        Bart R | March 27, 2014 at 1:24 pm |

        “Not one but two judges in Steyn v. Mann have ruled that Mann has a great likelihood of success in his claims.”

        You misunderstand. Refusing to grant a motion to dismiss means the judge thinks there is a possibility of success. A great likelyhood that the complainant will fail results in a dismissal.

        If you write that down there is a possibility of you not repeating the same boneheaded mistake in the future!

      • @BartR – LOL! Your ignorance is displayed again! The spelling is French. Why don’t you stop doubling down on stupid, and learn something.

        And not a SINGLE judge has ruled such! The Judges have not summarily dismissed the case. They have not ruled on whether it will win or not (which is not jurisprudence nor even legal).

        Doubling down on your ignorance is merely demonstrating what a closed mind you have.

        Here’s a clue for you. The US is NOT the UK. Nor is the U in words even from the English, but actually borrowed from the French.

      • BTW Bart R – I questioned no ones citizenship, nor did I write any ad hominems in the original post. 2 more examples of your ignorance. Ignorance is not an ad hominem, just a description of a condition. Which you proved several times over now.

    • Bart R said

      “Not one but two judges in Steyn v. Mann have ruled that Mann has a great likelihood of success in his claims. Do you think they need to bone up on Supreme Court precedent regarding Free Speech, Mr. No-No-Pronounce-It-Shourdun-It’s-French??

      One thing you need to factor into your analysis to the Judges likelihood of success determinations is that the Judges were required to assume that everything Mann alleged in his complaint was true and correct – and then test whether there was a valid claim.

      At the trial phase (after all motions to dismiss case without a trial) Mann doesn’t get all of his factual assertions presumed to be true and correct – but has the burden of proving each one by a preponderance of the evidence standard (slightly more than 50%).

      So you shouldn’t look at what has happened so far (Judges not dismissing) and conclude Mann is going to win because the Judges said he was likely to succeed – because that is only if you assume all his pleadings are true as asserted.

    • Bart R: Not one but two judges in Steyn v. Mann have ruled that Mann has a great likelihood of success in his claims.

      They didn’t say “great likelihood.” The said “likely to prevail”; that still sounds like a fairly strong statement, until you look at what the judges consider that standard to be. Judge Combs Greene said (beginning on page 9) in her ruling on the CEI’s anti-SLAPP motion that to meet the “likely to prevail” standard the plaintiff must merely present a sufficient legal basis for his claims, and the standard is comparable to that which must be met to defeat a a motion for judgement as a matter of law.

      Even accepting the low standard, I think she misapplied it. She says the standard of proof required is a preponderance of the evidence. However, in Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., the Supreme Court held that to defeat a motion for a directed verdict in public-figure defamation cases, there must be sufficient evidence that a jury could find actual malice under the “clear and convincing” standard. On page 21 of the that same opinion, the judge says there is not yet clear and convincing evidence of actual malice.

    • Steyn’s second name is malice.

      Good luck.

    • lolwot: Steyn’s second name is malice.

      In the context of public-figure defamation cases, malice does not refer to ill-will or spite. The plaintiff must prove the statement was made with “actual malice.” That means the defendant made the statement despite knowing it was false, or having serious doubts as to its truth.

      (Some state defamation laws do have malice, as traditionally defined, as an element, but for cases brought by a public figure, it must be proven in addition to proving actual malice, since proof of actual malice is a constitutional requirement.)

    • Awful lot of legalese and opinionation from people who are slicing and dicing the fact patterns to please their preconceptions.

      Let’s try it a different way.

      Were Steyn and Mann two denizens here, and their exchanges were anonymized so Dr. Curry didn’t know who was whom, didn’t know which side of the debate either was on, merely the insults each one used on the other.

      Would either of them pass Climate Etc. moderation policy? Even close?

      Remembering our host pulled down an entire topic due to a hollow threat from a blowhard?

      So, really, Free Speech is only a Climate Etc. value of convenience, and anything posted here on the subject bears scrutiny with the strongest skepticism, under which it invariably withers and blows away.

      • Bart, the whole thread is about LEGALESE! Legal does not always mean facts. It means the law and its application.

        That is why there is so much “legalese”. it does not matter if Mann is a fraud, or not. Or if his work is fraudulent or not. That has nothing to do with the trial (see the title of the blog post).

    • The truth will set you free, Bart. Embrace it!

    • jim2 | March 27, 2014 at 11:20 pm |

      I’m already quite free; by your logic(?) I must be accurate or very nearly true. Wow.. that’s just like Science when you drop unnecessary assumptions to the simplest set, parsimoniously trim exceptions, and seek to most universally explain observed phenomena by inference.

    • Sorry, MJW. Barty is impervious to mere facts. He still doesn’t know that the pause is killing the cause. Have you seen Steve McIntyre’s shredding of da mann’s ersatz pleadings? Ole judges might get mad, when they find out about them making stuff up. Judges are like Mother Nature. They don’t like to be fooled.

    • You are very silly, barty. This is Judith’s house. She makes the house rules. Free speech doesn’t mean you are entitled to free use of someone else’s house. Judith is not obligated to provide an open mike to any abusive clown who stumbles in. You are free to shoot off your mouth, elsewhere. I bet you don’t talk in your own home the way you do here.

      • Barty is free to say whatever he wants – on his own blog. Free speech is from GOVERNMENT censors, not private individuals deciding what can be said in their house.

    • “Were Steyn and Mann two denizens here, and their exchanges were anonymized so Dr. Curry didn’t know who was whom, didn’t know which side of the debate either was on, merely the insults each one used on the other.

      Would either of them pass Climate Etc. moderation policy? Even close?”

      Interesting question. My guess is that Dr. Curry might (or more likely might not) have snipped one sentence from Steyn’s entire output on the subject.

      Mann would be as heavily moderated as a skeptic at Real Climate.

    • Don Monfort | March 28, 2014 at 12:37 am |

      In the Founders House, the Founders made the rules. You think they would have kept Steyn out of the stocks?

      Then again, they might have burned Mann as a witch.. oh, wait.. I’m thinking of earlier founders, religious fanatics who superstitiously believed in astrology and that the weather could be predicted from the entrails of housecats. Their modern-day equivalents, like Steyn, burn people who believe differently from their superstitions more figuratively now.

    • That’s full blown hysteria, barty. Do you check under your bed before you turn out the lights, to make sure that Steyn isn’t there? Woooooo!

    • Don Monfort | March 28, 2014 at 1:50 pm |

      Srsly?

    • philjourdan | March 28, 2014 at 2:15 pm |

      Again with the point missing. It’s the behavior of lying about the facts that’s the problem, not the dressing it up in language to hide how dishonest the claims about how satirical and privileged Steyn is, or the wearing the whited sepulchre of Free Speech while gloating over censorship of science, or actually practicing it.

      • @Bart R – Lying about the facts? Good luck proving it. Or even Mann proving it. Opinions are not facts, and the courts in the US recognize that. Mann has to prove not only that it is a lie, but that Steyn KNEW it was a lie. And Steyn is not going to allow Mann to “assume” his work is factual. That is what Steyn’s discovery is all about. Mann has to prove it factual in a court of law now. And those jury members are not going to be willing toadies on a university board.

    • Urban Dictionary
      Srsly is an internet shorthand or slang for seriously. It is either written out of laziness, a complete inability to spell or type, or in a failed attempt to be amusing.

    • Have you abandoned this thread, barty? I was hoping to hit you with the new paper that found that housecat entrails are a better predictor of climate trends than are the $BILLION$ of DOLLARS worth of GCMs.

  39. Jim Cripwell

    I had a discussion with Michael recently, which I cannot find. He, like Steven Mosher, did not seem to have ever heard of the scientific method, so I wonder just how much physics he understands.

    • Steven Mosher

      Many methods jim.

    • John Carpenter

      Knowing a scientific method is not a prerequisite to understanding physics.

    • John Carpenter

      Knowing a scientific method is not a prerequisite to understanding physics.

      True.

      But NOT knowing (and following) the scientific method (especially regarding the importance of empirical scientific evidence to validate or falsify a hypothesis) limits the understanding of any science.

      And this appears to be the crux of the debate between Jim Cripwell and Steven Mosher.

      Max

    • You take the methods
      And I’ll take The Method,
      And I’ll get to freedom
      Afore thee.
      ============

    • All my discussions with Michael to date have been generally unproductive, probably due to the error of my ways. For a fellow Australian, I find him surprisingly difficult to engage with and to get to understand why he is so attached to his POV. So Jim, it would seem best to cut your losses and to move on.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Peter, you write “So Jim, it would seem best to cut your losses and to move on.”

      Yes and no. As I have noted before, I try to judge my experience on blogs with how much I learn; not whether I can convince someone else that I am correct. So, I am trying to understand why people like Michael and Steven Mosher refuse to debate the implications of not using the scientific method to understand what happens when you add more CO2 to the atmosphere. Steven still seems to be insisting that there is no such thing as the scientific method. For him, it appears that the scientific method is no different from any other approach that is used by scientific enquiry. For the life of me, I cannot understand this at all. It is the same with the discussions as to whether there is a difference between estimates and measurements.

      So I don’t want to cut my losses. I want to understand the science, if any, behind what Michael and Steven write.

    • Jim Cripwell

      John, you write “Knowing a scientific method is not a prerequisite to understanding physics.”

      I did NOT write “a scientific method”. I wrote “THE scientific method”. If you understand languages you will, know it makes an enormous difference whether you use the definite or the indefinite article.

      So, let me ask you. Has the IPCC followed THE scientific method in claiming that we know with 95% certainty that various things are going to happen as we add more CO2 to the atmosphere?

      And if the answer to that question is no, does this matter?

    • It will cost more money.

    • Jim Cripwell

      naq, you write “It will cost more money.”

      WHAT will cost money?

    • Why Jim, ‘it’ will. I thought he was quite plain.
      =============

    • Look ‘WHAT’ has cost already.

    • In The Scientific Method, AGW is a typical Theory. Evidence supports theories, and it supports AGW, and this puts it beyond a hypothesis. Evidence can’t always prove theories beyond doubt, but that doesn’t make it any less of a theory. Theories are typically based on previous science, as is AGW, and have predictive value for new situations, as does AGW.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Jim D you write “Evidence supports theories, and it supports AGW, and this puts it beyond a hypothesis.”

      Here we come to the heart of the issue. What is meant by “evidence”? My understanding of the scientific method is that this evidence must be measured data; preferably replicated. People like Steven Mosher claim that estimates are the equivalent of measured data. I claim that this is scientific nonsense.

      I suspect that the warmists will NEVER agree that the IPCC has not followed the scientific method. To do so would be to admit that there is no scientific basis whatsoever for the claims that we know with considerable certainty what happens as we add more and more CO2 to the atmosphere. So they will use every weasel worded way of never having to admit the scientifically obvious.

      As has been the case for centuries, Mother Nature will be the arbiter as to who is right, the warmists or the skeptics.

    • Jim Cripwell, maybe you don’t think that the global average temperature rise is scientific evidence in support of the AGW theory, but I have no idea why.

    • John Carpenter

      Jim Cripwell has asked you a specific question:

      Has the IPCC followed THE scientific method in claiming that we know with 95% certainty that various things are going to happen as we add more CO2 to the atmosphere?

      A definition of the “scientific method”:

      scientific method
      noun
      a method of research in which a problem is identified, relevant data are gathered, a hypothesis is formulated from these data, and the hypothesis is empirically tested.

      An essay “An Introduction to Science” discusses the application of the “scientific method” as follows:
      http://www.indiana.edu/~educy520/readings/schafersman94.pdf

      The scientific method is practiced within a context of scientific thinking, and scientific (and critical) thinking is based on three things: using empirical evidence (empiricism), practicing logical reasoning (rationalism), and possessing a skeptical attitude (skepticism) about presumed knowledge that leads to self-questioning, holding tentative conclusions, and being undogmatic (willingness to change one’s beliefs). These three ideas or principles are universal throughout science; without them, there would be no scientific or critical thinking.

      So it is clear that empirical evidence is a cornerstone of the scientific method, without which a hypothesis remains simply an untested hypothesis.

      The scientific method involves four steps geared towards finding truth (with the role of models an important part of steps 2 and 3 below):

      1. Observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena.
      2. Formulation of a hypothesis to explain the phenomena – usually in the form of a causal mechanism or a mathematical relation.
      3. Use of the hypothesis to quantitatively predict the results of new observations (or the existence of other related phenomena).
      4. Gathering of empirical evidence and/or performance of experimental tests of the predictions by several independent experimenters and properly performed experiments, in order to validate the hypothesis, including seeking out data to falsify the hypothesis and scientifically refuting all falsification attempts.

      How has this process been followed for the IPCC hypothesis (as specifically outlined in its AR4 and AR5 reports) that AGW has been responsible for most of the global warming observed since 1950, that this reflects a 2xCO2 climate sensitivity in the range of 1.5º to 4.5ºC (mean value 3ºC) and that this represents a serious potential threat to humanity and our environment from global warming and its effects and impacts, a hypothesis commonly referred to as “potentially catastrophic anthropogenic greenhouse warming” or CAGW?

      Step 1 – Warming and other symptoms have been observed.
      Step 2 – CO2 has been hypothesized to explain this warming.
      Step 3 – Models have been created based on the hypothesis and model simulations have predicted strongly positive feedbacks leading to estimates of major future warming.
      X Step 4 – The validation or falsification step (with empirical evidence from actual physical observations or reproducible experimentation) has not yet been performed.

      As Richard Feynman has pointed out, a hypothesis, no matter how well it is formulated or by whom it was thought out, remains an untested hypothesis until it has been tested by empirical data derived from actual physical observations or reproducible experimentation.

      The empirical data that have been recently observed (the “pause” in warming) have demonstrated that our planet has not warmed recently despite increasing levels of atmospheric CO2, thereby tending to falsify the hypothesis that AGW is a major driver of our climate and thus represents a serious future threat. We will see how long this pause lasts and if or when it becomes clear that the pause is a falsification of the CAGW hypothesis.

      But, in any case, until the testing step is successfully concluded, the CAGW premise remains an “uncorroborated hypothesis” in the scientific sense. If the pause in warming continues for an extended period despite unabated human GHG emissions and concentrations reaching record levels, it may even become a “falsified hypothesis”.

      So the flaw of the CAGW hypothesis is not that several scientific organizations have rejected it, it is simply that it has not yet been confirmed (or rejected) by empirical evidence from actual physical observation or experimentation, i.e. it has not been validated (or falsified) following the “scientific method” .

      Mosh can rationalize until he is blue in the face that model outputs are really a form of empirical evidence, but we all know that this is simply blustering, because model outputs are only as good as the input assumptions.

      Others may appeal to “post-normal science” or argue that there are “several scientific methods”, but these are simply rationalizations for by-passing the scientific method.

      Jim Cripwell is right. (And so was Richard Feynman).

      Max

    • Jim Cripwell

      Jim D. you write “Jim Cripwell, maybe you don’t think that the global average temperature rise is scientific evidence in support of the AGW theory, but I have no idea why”

      I will tell you why. There is no empirical data that shows that any part of any observed rise in temperature was caused by additional CO2 in the atmosphere. Every observed change in temperature could have been caused by natural effects. We cannot do controlled experiments on the earth’s atmosphere, so there is no way of ever showing that additional CO2 in the atmosphere does anything at all.

      In theory, adding CO2 to the atmosphere causes temperatures to rise. But there is no empirical data whatsoever to show that this rise in temperature is significant, or can ever be measured.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Max, you write “Jim Cripwell is right.”

      Thanks Max. First I doubt that John Carpenter will give you a reply. The warmists will NEVER admit that the IPOC has not followed the scientific method.

    • Jim Cripwell, the scientific method says you have a theory and use evidence to support it. That is what is done. AGW theory is supported by evidence so far, and becoming more precise with time. Moreover AGW is built on previously known physics. The warming is evidence, not proof, and positive evidence is what is needed to test a theory. Maybe you are not getting the difference between evidence and proof or theory and fact. If it had proof, it wouldn’t be a theory any more, but a fact. In its current form AGW is a theory.

      • Sorry Jim D, the scientific theory says no such thing. It says you propose an hypothesis, and then seek to gather evidence for it. After testing, if it is not proven false, it advances to theory. AGW is not even in the hypothesis stage since it has never been tested, nor can be. An hypothesis has to be able to be proven false, and with the alarmist yelling that everything proves it, there is no test for fallibility.

    • John Carpenter

      “I did NOT write “a scientific method”. I wrote “THE scientific method”.”

      Jim, I know what I wrote and I know I used an indefinite article… on purpose. You may be content with the idea there is only ‘one’ scientific method and that it follows a specific sequence. I disagree. Though there are many common elements to scientific inquiry, they do not have to be used in any specific format. Science is a behavior, not a single method. In some cases, like in climate science, you cannot carry out the controlled experiments on our actual climate system (as you have correctly pointed out before). However, that does not mean that you cannot gain any information at all by any other means, such as modeling. Modeling is an essential part of scientific understanding and gaining knowledge. But back to the point of there being a single scientific method. This comes from wiki,

      “The overall process involves making conjectures (hypotheses), deriving predictions from them as logical consequences, and then carrying out experiments based on those predictions to determine whether the original conjecture was correct.[16] There are difficulties in a formulaic statement of method, however. Though the scientific method is often presented as a fixed sequence of steps, they are better considered as general principles.[17] Not all steps take place in every scientific inquiry (or to the same degree), and are not always in the same order. As noted by William Whewell (1794–1866), “invention, sagacity, [and] genius”[18] are required at every step”

      and further,

      “The scientific method is not a single recipe: it requires intelligence, imagination, and creativity.[59] In this sense, it is not a mindless set of standards and procedures to follow, but is rather an ongoing cycle, constantly developing more useful, accurate and comprehensive models and methods.”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

      Further, it can be argued that we are in a ‘post normal science’ situation. Oh horrors, not post normal science! Well, yes. When facts are uncertain, values are in dispute, stakes are high and decisions are urgent, you are in a post normal science situation. For climate science 1) facts are uncertain, 2) values are in dispute and 3) stakes are high. No real argument with those 3. 4) decisions are urgent. We can argue over this one. Regardless, a post normal science situation, whether we are talking about our climates sensitivity to CO2 or when an earthquake is going to occur or if a volcano is going to blow, does not have the luxury of unlimited time to carry out experiments or may be impossible to carry out experiments to determine when they are likely to occur. Incoming data and experts in the field and surrounding disciplines have to converge and determine the best likelihood based on the best available information, historical records and modeling of the system.

      Post normal science is an alternative way to engage in scientific behavior in crisis mode.

      To put the scientific inquiry into a single box and say, this is the only way to do it if you are going to do it, is a fallacy. It demonstrates a rigid, non-creative and unimaginative thinking process, all traits that hinder the process of scientific inquiry. You’re method is not wrong Jim, but it is also not the only one.

    • Jim Cripwell

      John, you write “3) stakes are high.”

      Complete and utter garbage. There is zero empirical evidence that with respect to CAGW the stakes are high.

      As I expected you wrote a long apology as to why you will never be convinced that CAGW was, is and will be into the indefinite future, a uncorroborated hypothesis. We will never agree. Mother Nature will decide.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Jim D, you write “In its current form AGW is a theory.”

      As with John Carpenter, we will never agree. CAGW is, IMHO, an uncorroborated hypothesis.

    • An in principle testable hypothesis is also part of the scientific method, so your assertion about not using the scientific method would fail there too.

    • Jim C:

      Reading you, of all people, claiming that other people don’t understand the scientific method or physics is about to make my head explode from the irony. Unintentional, I suppose.

      Say what you will about whether Steyn’s statement was libel or defamation, but it is abundantly clear that Mann is (or at least, at the time of the original hockey stick, was) not competent at statistics. Indeed, it was his deviations from approved scientific methodology (yes, I purposely did not use the phrase “the scientific method”) that have made his original papers exemplars of bad science.

    • Jim Cripwell

      [This ended up in the wrong place so am re-posting]

      It may seem tiresome to debate with people like John Carpenter about THE scientific method.

      The fact is that the CAGW hypothesis as specifically outlined by IPCC in its AR4 and AR5 reports has not yet passed the basic test inherent to this process – i.e. validation by empirical scientific evidence (Feynman)

      The scientific method has been described in several write-ups (I posted one above, which is pretty good IMO).

      Jim D ASS-U-MEs that melting ice, warming global temperatures, rising sea levels, etc. which all have occurred concurrently recently with increasing atmospheric CO2 levels constitute an empirical test of the CAGW hypothesis.

      But, of course, they do not.

      These same symptoms have occurred in the past when there was no increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration.

      Even more problematic for the CAGW hypothesis, global warming has stopped (“paused”), despite unabated human GHG emissions and CO2 concentrations reaching record levels.

      If this “pause” continues despite continued human GHG emissions, this will present a real problem for the CAGW hypothesis, possibly even a direct falsification.

      But, Jim, the true “believers” in CAGW will not accept any evidence which counters their belief – nor will they accept that CAGW is still an untested hypothesis. CAGW has become like a religious dogma for these individuals, although they would never admit this.

      So a discussion with them is pretty much a waste of time.

      But it is fun to expose the weakness of their arguments.

      Max

    • manacker, there is a distinction between testing and evidence. Warming is evidence that supports the theory. In geosciences, and some other fields like astrophysics, all theories only have evidence to support them, because controlled testing is not possible. Similarly continued warming in this century can’t prove the theory, but it can strengthen it by following its prediction. What we have with our changing environment is not a controlled experiment, but it is the only experiment we have, and we certainly learn from the results.

    • Warming is evidence that supports the theory.

      The only theory it supports is that the planet warms and cools, as we know it has been doing for 4.5 billion years. The evidence is that there are many natural cycles and recently we have been in a warming cycle. The evidence also shows the warming has stopped. We could conclude the current cycle has peaked.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Jim D. you write “Similarly continued warming in this century can’t prove the theory, but it can strengthen it by following its prediction.”

      Here we come to my main objection to the IPCC reports. As I have said many times, CAGW is a very viable hypothesis. What I cannot understand is how any scientist can conclude that things are 95% certain on the basis of a hypothesis. Now you seem to be saying that CAGW cannot be proven. I hope I have interpreted what you have written correctly. So if continued warming this century can’t prove the theory, where do the 95% and 90%certainties come from, in Chapter 9 of the AR4?

    • Jim Cripwell, scientific theories, like science in general, are always approximations to the real world, and so can’t be proven 100% like in mathematics. Confirmation comes in degrees, and can reach high levels of confidence for a given theory. The forcing from changing GHGs more than accounts for the warming seen, according to the theory which gives quantitative predictions, and you have to even bring in aerosols to get it down to the observed level, aerosols also being a plausible a negative factor. The theory is built on the understanding of the earth’s energy balance that also says that internal variability of the global surface temperature is self-limiting, evidence for which is the quick loss of excess surface energy after El Nino warming.

    • John Carpenter

      “It may seem tiresome to debate with people like John Carpenter about THE scientific method.”

      Max, what is tiresome is when the goalposts get shifted from talking about one thing to something else. I responded to Jim C about how there is not any one single scientific method. There is no ‘the’. He apparently does not refute that. But that was the argument I was making. The argument you make Shifts the topic to whether the IPCC follows scientific methods and is beside the point. But just a reminder, the IPCC is not a scientific body and does not perform science. It merely reports on the science that has been published. This is not an endorsement for the conclusions the IPCC draws from their report or on the papers used to support them. I am just clarifying what appears to be a misunderstanding that the IPCC does not follow scientific methods. It doesn’t because it does not perform scientific investigations, only reports on existing ones, therefore it cannot follow scientific methods as you have laid them out.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Jim D. you write “Confirmation comes in degrees,”

      We agree. I wonder if you will agree with me that your view of how much confidence we should place in the science which supports CAGW, is different from mine, even though we are looking at the same evidence. Would you agree that there is a possibility, however small, that I could be right, and the warmists are wrong.

    • Jim Cripwell, I would say the evidence makes me as confident in AGW as in evolution, so it depends where you stand on the evidence for evolution. I don’t see either being reversed.

    • Jim Cripwell

      John, you write ” I responded to Jim C about how there is not any one single scientific method. There is no ‘the’. He apparently does not refute that.”

      Just to be absolutely clear. There is only one scientific approach which is called “The Scientific Method”. There are many other scientific approaches which can be used to solve a variety of problems.

      It is true to state that the IPCC and the warmists have NOT used “The Scientific Method” to claim that CAGW is real.

    • philjourdan, whatever you want to call it, AGW is a theory. Some people have just started to deny that in the last couple of days here, but that is what it is, and has been since Arrhenius a century ago. The basic form, which is just the effect of CO2 levels or GHG levels in general on climate, explains a lot of paleoclimate, much of the warming since the last ice age, and the modern warming is just more evidence, as if it needed more.

      • @JimD – Sorry, not according to any recognized scientific method. AGW is not a theory. it is not even an hypothesis yet. To call it such is to create a religion of “faith”.

        Until you can come up with a testable hypothesis that CAN be proven wrong, and you disprove the Null Hypothesis, you have conjecture, nothing more. And that is science. Not hokum.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Jim D. you write “whatever you want to call it, AGW is a theory. ”

      I agree that AGW is a theory, but CAGW is a hypothesis.

    • CAGW can’t be precisely stated enough to be a hypothesis. AGW has a more precise basis in physical science. CAGW depends somewhat subjectively on the meaning of the “C”, which for everyone is different. You could turn CAGW into a hypothesis with some quantification of impacts versus warming, but that is more a social science, like economics, than a science, so it would equate to an economical hypothesis.

    • John Carpenter

      “It is true to state that the IPCC and the warmists have NOT used “The Scientific Method” to claim that CAGW is real.”

      Half right. The IPCC is not an organization that performs scientific investigations. They do no research. They issue reports. So yes, the IPCC does not use typical scientific methods of inquiry. It is not their task, therefore unrealistic to expect them to use such methods.

      Climate scientists do use scientific methods of inquiry. They make observations. They hypothesize. They collect data. They analyze the data. They compare to models. They argue whether the observations fit the hypothesis. They repeat through iteration to improve knowledge. This is using scientific methods to understand the climate. It is not possible to run completely controlled environment and variable laboratory experiments on the whole climate system. You know this, I know this, everyone knows this. You argue that because of this, it is not a scientific method therefore hypotheses cannot be either verified or refuted. I disagree. It is a much harder task, but through long term data collection, modeling and analysis, it is possible to say the hypothesis is most likely correct.. or not. It takes longer to accumulate the evidence. It takes longer to eliminate other possibilities. But over a long enough period of time, it will become increasingly clear. I don’t think we are there yet. But, there is more CO2 in the atmosphere than 200 yrs ago. It is warmer now than 200 years ago. CO2 is a known GHG that has radiative heat transfer properties. Radiative heat transfer is a known and accepted scientific theory. All of this together supports the hypothesis that CO2 is partly responsible for higher AGT’s. To what degree is the burning question. How much is the question. You have to accept the basics to be considered a part of the conversation Jim. Why do you create false perceptions that scientific knowledge can only accumulate on one type of path to be valid? Scientific inquiry has never worked this way before.

    • It is hard to get people to accept the various steps that lead to AGW. Radiative transfer with GHGs is one. Earth’s energy balance is another. Understanding why the average surface temperature is 288 K instead of 255 K is another. Add these together and you get AGW with a magnitude that explains the current warming pretty well, with no other theory needed. It just fits by itself, the way a theory should.

      • @Jim D – No, it is not hard. What is hard is to convince people that anyone has isolated one factor affecting temperature when they do not know all the factors. That is the alarmist stumbling block. Trying to convince others they have managed to eliminate all negative and positive feedbacks in order to cull out the tiny signature of a trace gas.

        Since nature has not been accommodating in fulfilling their hysterical prognostications, no one believes they have succeeded. And indeed, there is no evidence that suggests they have.

    • Jim Cripwell

      John, I deliberately wrote “The Scientific Method”, in quotes with capitals. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method In that reference you will see a quotation from the Oxford Dictionary.

      The Scientific Method is a unique way of conducting scientific enquiries. I find it incomprehensible that this needs to be written on a science blog like Climate Etc. We are not talking any old scientific approach, We are talking The Scientific Method, developed by Galileo and Newton, and followed by physicists for over 350 years.

      And it is absolutely true that the alleged physics behind the hypothesis of CAGW does NOT use THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD to try and prove it’s case.

    • Jim D

      Warming is evidence that supports the [CAGW] theory.

      Not really, Jim.

      Correlation does not provide evidence of causation.

      Warming has occurred during other periods, during which there was no increase in GH gases.

      The current lack of warming despite unabated human GHG emissions and concentrations reaching record levels, tends to falsify rather than support the CAGW hypothesis.

      Three strikes, yer out?

      Max

    • John Carpenter

      “The Scientific Method is a unique way of conducting scientific enquiries. I find it incomprehensible that this needs to be written on a science blog like Climate Etc. We are not talking any old scientific approach, We are talking The Scientific Method, developed by Galileo and Newton, and followed by physicists for over 350 years.”

      It is evident to me Jim that you read very little of what I offered and have no penchant for learning things outside a very narrow understanding of the world as you know it.

      “And it is absolutely true that the alleged physics behind the hypothesis of CAGW does NOT use THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD to try and prove it’s case.”

      How true Jim, but for different reasons. There is no hypothesis of CAGW. because 1) one cannot measure the ‘catastrophic’ part of AGW, therefore it is indistinguishable from 0. It can’t even be estimated because it is not a thing, it is a description. It would be like trying to measure or estimate the amount of ‘black’ in the vacuum of outer space. Since one cannot use any scientific method to validate what ‘catastrophic’ means in the context of AGW because one cannot go into a laboratory and measure the amount of ‘catastrophe’ present in the climate then it is cannot be a part of physics. 2) If it not part of physics, it cannot be part of a hypothesis of scientific inquiry.

    • John Carpenter

      “Since one cannot use any scientific method to validate what ‘catastrophic’ means in the context of AGW because one cannot go into a laboratory and measure the amount of ‘catastrophe’ present in the climate then it is cannot be a part of physics.”

      Yikes, I should have proof read better, try this…

      One cannot use any scientific method to validate what ‘catastrophic’ means in the context of AGW because one cannot go into a laboratory and measure any amount of ‘catastrophe’ present in the climate, therefore it cannot be a part of physics.

    • manacker, your correlation phrase was wrong. Of course the correlation is evidence of a connection especially being 90%. It doesn’t prove causation, but it is evidence that CO2 and temperature are closely tied, which happens to also be what AGW says, so it supports AGW, and can even be used to quantify it. When people like Lewis do this, you don’t complain that they have assumed CO2 emissions are a primary cause of temperature rises. If you are going the Jim Cripwell route and now denying that warming of 0.7 C in the last 50 years is even evidence of AGW, you have to complete that thought and ask Lewis what he is doing, otherwise it just looks like inconsistency and jumping between various sinking ships depending on your mood for the day.

    • John Carpenter

      “Catastrophic” is not a “scientific” concept?

      Correct.

      But the scientific hypothesis, upon which the IPCC premise commonly known as CAGW (for potentially catastrophic anthropogenic greenhouse warming) is outlined quite specifically by IPCC in its AR4 and AR5 reports, as is the premise, itself.

      And, to date, this hypothesis has neither been validated nor falsified by empirical scientific evidence from actual physical observations or reproducible experimentation, following the scientific method.

      IOW it remains an uncorroborated hypothesis (as Jim Cripwell points out).

      Rather simple actually.

      Jim D confuses correlation with causation, in claiming that the late 20thC global warming provides this scientific evidence.

      He also ignores that similar warming occurred in earlier times without added GHG concentrations and that the current lack of global warming (or slight cooling, actually) is occurring at a time of unabated human GHG emissions and concentrations reaching record levels.

      Don’t fall into Jim D’s logic trap.

      Max

    • manacker, I am not sure what you are saying, but I think you are confusing correlation evidence that supports AGW with some meme of your own where correlations, however significant, never mean anything under any circumstances, so you refuse to even evaluate any hypothesized connection. This is technically called turning a blind eye.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Try using a bit of logic.

      You agree that “correlation does not provide evidence for causation”.

      IOW the observed late 20thC global warming, which occurred concurrently with an increase in CO2 concentrations, does not provide any scientific evidence that the CO2 caused the warming.

      Good

      Then you suggest that it is not logical for me to accept the several recent partially observation-based studies showing a 2xCO2 ECS of around 1.8C rather than the earlier model-based predictions of a value of around 3C, if I reject the scientific validity of the AGW hypothesis, itself.

      Let me clarify for you.

      I do NOT reject the scientific validity of the AGW hypothesis: namely that there is a GH effect, that there are GH gases (primarily H2O and to a lesser extent CO2 and other trace GH gases) or that humans emit CO2 as part of their activities.

      I simply say that its magnitude in our climate system is a matter of conjecture and great uncertainty. It could be 1.8C for 2xCO2 at equilibrium (as the recent studies, including that of Lewis suggest) or 1C or negligible.

      It has also not yet been either validated or falsified by empirical scientific evidence following the scientific method (Feynman), as Jim Cripwell rightly points out.

      But I agree than a partly observation-based estimate from several recent studies is a better guess than an earlier set of model predictions.

      The current pause in global warming despite unabated human GHG emissions and concentrations reaching record levels represents a real challenge for the IPCC CAGW premise and the hypothesis upon which it is built.

      IMO, if this pause continues for another decade or so despite continued human GHG emissions, this will likely constitute a falsification of that hypothesis. Wouldn’t you agree?

      If not, what physical observations would it take in your estimation to constitute a falsification of the hypothesis?

      Max

    • Jim D gets silly. Hey, put him on my committee. Max may be eyeing the identical rate of temperature rise three times in the last century and a half, with rising CO2 only in the last of these three rises. Phil Jones heself opened my eyes to that one, with surgical assistance from Roger Harribin.
      =============

    • CORRECTION

      That last comment should have been directed at Jim D, NOT Jim Cripwell.

      Max

    • manacker, of course correlation provides evidence for causation. What are you saying? Regarding the pause, the ocean is still warming showing that CO2 continues its effect even in ways you don’t immediately see, but it is there as expected. If the ocean stopped warming too, then we would logically expect to connect it to negative forcing factors (volcanoes, the sun), still under the general climate forcing idea that includes AGW.
      kim, in previous centuries rises were interspersed with falls that canceled them out, but since about 1900 the rises have been interspersed with steady temperatures followed by more rises. Things are different, but maybe you didn’t notice yet as the warming ratchets up. Don’t let the pauses fool you. Be more observant of the changing trends in the big picture.

  40. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse

    JC:

    This segment is particularly interesting in view of David Rose’s revelation (scroll down) that the BBC – at least in Scotland – has a new policy of protecting climatologists from challenge on the air.

    “Interesting”
    So damn interesting that you have to scroll down to find out that BBC editors are getting wise to the false-balance tripe coming from Lawson and the GWPF… Yawn.

    “protecting climatologists from challenge”?
    Right…
    Trial of the century!
    Pearl-clutching alert!
    JC and her Denizens to the rescue!

    David Rose. Daily Mail… Have fun with that.

  41. A few thoughts about libel law. First, the law of libel certainly has a legitimate place in the law. The father of one of my law school classmate was the victim of an alleged vicious libel. He was a bank officer and was accused of bank fraud by an investigative TV reporter. As a result he lost his job and was never again able to find work in his field. Tragically, he died before his case came to trial and under American law a cause of action for defamation does not survive one’s death so he was never able to vindicate his reputation in a court of law. Had he been able to prove his case in court, he would certainly been justified in obtaining whatever compensation the jury awarded. This type of case illustrates why the law recognizes a cause of action for defamation.

    Does anyone seriously think that Steyn’s offhand remark in a blog post caused Mann any professional harm whatsoever? Among Mann’s professional peers, I doubt that any of them pay the slightest attention to the offhand remarks of a conservative polemicist such as Steyn. Among those in Steyn’s intended audience, Mann’s reputation was already in shambles and the belief that the hockey stick is fraudulent was already widely held. Sure one can argue that an accusation of fraud is libelous per se and therefore entitles Mann to nominal damages. Is that what this case is about? Or does Mann think that the verdict of a Washington D.C. jury as as to whether Steyn acted with malice when he wrote that the hockey stick was fraudulent will somehow settle the hockey stick issues to anyone’s satisfaction?

    Will this lawsuit protect Mann from future libels? Yes, to a very limited degree. To avoid the risk of litigation editors will, upon seeing the words “fraudulent” hockey stick, cross out “fraudulent” and substitute “discredited” or “dubious”, words that to the casual reader have a similar import, but are not actionable. If Mann is trying to establish a marker, he will be as successful as someone who tries to change the course of the Potomac River by driving a stake in its midstream.

    The fact of the matter is that Mann’s reputation stands or falls, not based upon Steyn’s witticisms, but upon the more serious work of persons such as Steven McIntrye and the scientific community’s assessment of it. That is where this debate belongs, not in a D.C. courtroom.

    • …and, Edward J. Wegman, et al. (e.g., see, Ad Hoc Committee Report On The ‘Hockey Stick’ Global Climate Reconstruction).

      Amazingly, Western academics don’t even need data — especially if they are paleoclimate dendrologists (and their tree rings are not telling them what they want to hear) — to be acclaimed global warming doomsday prognosticators with the ear of Leftist politicians and bureaucrats in the highest levels of government. Simply construct models that turn white noise into noisy red hockey sticks. “In general,” says Wegman, “we found [Mann’s methods] to be somewhat obscure and incomplete and the criticisms [by Mann's skeptical critics] to be valid and compelling… It is important to note the isolation of the paleoclimate community; even though they rely heavily on statistical methods they do not seem to be interacting with the statistical community… Moreover, the work has been sufficiently politicized that this community can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility.”

    • If I had to make a bet on which climate scientist has the chops to establish a solid case that the surface air temperature of the MWP/MCA is equal to or greater that that of 2010, Michael E. Mann would be on the list.

      Spencer? No. Lindzen? No. Pielke Sr? Yes. Curry? Yes.

    • Heh, he bores, doesn’t chop.
      ==========

    • Nominal damages for libel – $1.00.

      Bankrupting your opponent (and other critics by example) into silence with litigation and discovery costs – priceless.

      SLAPP Suit Express, don’t leave home without it.

    • @PaulD – “Will this lawsuit protect Mann from future libels? Yes, to a very limited degree.”

      First, I feel for your friend’s father. That is how the American system is indeed broken.

      Second, as to your quote above, sadly I have to agree. Mann is not looking for money per se, but intimidation. And there are too few Steyns to stand up to bullies like him.

  42. “As soon as the rain ends I’m going to make an example out of you.” (Herod, The Quick and the Dead)

  43. Sometimes, jury verdicts turn on simple things–e.g., Michael Mann’s conferring upon himself the Nobel Prize sounds like the behavior of a megalomaniac.

    • I would think that he would have trouble with all his exoneration misrepresentations as uncovered by Steve McIntyre. One thing I haven’t seen discussed is his cherry picking of investigations. He didn’t include the NAS panel or the Wegman report in his complaint against Steyn. The NAS panel criticized his statistics and use of bristlecones. In his book, HSCW, he plays up the NAS panel to the hilt without mentioning the bad stuff.

  44. Itsone thing for a fellow scientist, with appropriate credentials (i.e., what a neuropsychologist thinks about climate change is irrelevant), to object to another scientist’s claims for scientific reasons. thats what peer review is, and peer reviews over time ultimately leads to a scientific consensus because people fail to poke neough holes in a theory to discredit it (though they often keep trying, which is to the good of science…when a scientist does it).

    its a competely diffrent thing when a nonscientist, a climate denying crank, calls a scientist a fraud and a liar without any justification other than his own stance as a denier and crank. that absolutely crosses the line. whether the libel laws in the US cover it or not, the laws being must stricter in England, I cant say. At the very least it seems that a defamation suit is a no brainer, even in the US.

    • Re: “a climate denying crank”

      Alarm-oriented people keep using phrases like this, but it is an absurd straw man — no one denies there is a climate or that there is change in climate…. The questions have to do with how much, how fast from what causes, can humans control it, at what costs and benefits, etc.

      Btw, while I am no lawyer, fans of the Mann should take no comfort in the fact that the lawsuit has not been thrown out. While it should have been dismissed under the anti-SLAPP statute in Washington, DC, the chances that Mann can (1) be judged to be NOT a public figure, and (2) prove that Steyn et al. wrote with ‘malice’ under the legal definition should be vanishingly small. This is not to say that judges and/or juries do not sometimes make terrible mis-judgments, but Michael Mann has clearly chosen to be a public figure taking a prominent role in climate controversies in the news media over many years. Mark Steyn et al. clearly did not act with the requisite legal definition of ‘malice’ because they do sincerely believe what they are saying and do have reasons to believe what they are saying (years of articles at Climate Audit and other places, Climategate controversies, comments of Mann’s own scientific colleagues, etc.

      One can believe that all criticisms of Mann’s work are wrong, but one cannot HONESTLY believe that Steyn et al. Did not and could not have believed such criticisms. The lack of ‘malice’ under the US legal definition is a ‘no-brainer’ as the saying goes.

    • “Itsone thing for a fellow scientist, with appropriate credentials (i.e., what a neuropsychologist thinks about climate change is irrelevant), to object to another scientist’s claims for scientific reasons.”

      One cannot help but note that there is a large body of work by left-wing scientists who analyze why right-wing people think the way that they do. Not one of these researchers know how the human brain, let alone the human mind work.
      Theories of the mind are like anuses, everyone has one.

      Your faith in peer-review is touching, but misplaced.

    • Bob: It’s not completely different at all. Many scientists and statisticians have challenged Mann’s work. Many carefully avoided accusing him of academic fraud, and Steyn’s remarks can be construed as having nothing to do with academic fraud. Steyn may believe, as I believe, that when Mann created the HS graph, he really believed it to be accurate, although I also think he may have unconsciously cherry-picked the data.

      What Steyn pointed out is that the graph is being USED fraudulently and has been ever since McIntyre exposed it ten years ago. That when Mann backfilled and covered up and had his lackeys re-affirm the results, that this was fraud. That the continued exploitation of a discredited graph is defrauding the public.

      It’s fraudulent now to be using the graph as the basis for policy decisions. It’s fraudulent to deny that temperature data in the past ten years are beginning to refute the HS. It’s not defamation for Steyn to say this. As a political and cultural commentator, it’s his JOB to say this, especially if he believes it to be true, which he clearly does.

    • calls a scientist a fraud and a liar without any justification

      Steyn called Mann’s hockey stick fraudulent and not without justification. That thing carries so much baggage that Washington DC’s bellhops will probably go on strike when the trial starts!

    • Any one has right to call Mann’s work what it is , which is cr*p , all Mann has to do to prove them wrong is do what he should have done all those years ago , release ALL the data needed for its reproduction in the manner he claims to have done it . Or in other words the behaviour that is both expected and demanded of a undergraduate student handing in an essay.

      The guys own ego will bring him down , now that what you call irony , and when it does its a mark of man that we will be surprised to see just who lines up to kick him on the way down.

  45. David Springer

    Journalists in the US are a protected species (first amendment to the constitution: freedom of the press) and public figures are fair game for journalists . Steyn is a journalist and Mann is a public figure.

    http://www.firstamendmentstudies.org/wp/libel.html

    Fair Comment and Criticism

    Perhaps one of the most significant privileges, usually available only to the media is the privilege of “fair comment and criticism.” The privilege generally extends only to opinions expressed about matters of public interest. What is a matter of public interest has been held to be fairly broad: public officials and candidates for public office, public institutions, public or private schools and their faculties, objects of art and science, and persons espousing theories about art and science, entertainers and other “public figures.”[12] So long as the matter discussed is of legitimate public interest, and the comment expressed by the defendant is his or her honest opinion, the defendant is privileged, even though the opinion expressed is cruel or disparaging. Thus, a movie critic’s scathing review of the motion picture, “Titanic,” is normally protected even if it includes harsh opinions of the acting ability of Leonardo DiCaprio or the directing ability of James Cameron.

    Mann is toast if this goes before a jury. Mann’s own colleague, climate scientist Phil Jones, described a portion of Mann’s work published in Nature Magazine a “trick” to “hide the decline”. Even absent the special circumstance of meda/public figure Steyn’s speech is defensible as truth.

    Phil Jones: “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie, from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”

    A trick to hide something is the very definition of non-criminal fraud found in the Oxford American-English dictionary. See def. 1.1 below and usage examples, one of which is particularly apt (my bold).

    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/fraud

    1. Wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain: ‘he was convicted of fraud’ ‘prosecutions for social security frauds’

    1.1 A person or thing intended to deceive others, typically by unjustifiably claiming or being credited with accomplishments or qualities:

    ‘mediums exposed as tricksters and frauds’

    ‘There are an astounding number of plain frauds and charlatans (to phrase it at its highest) in charge of the propaganda of the other side.’

    ‘As the writer points out, peer review is good for picking out problems with methodology – but true frauds just fake the data.

    Is a trick to hide contrary data showing a temperature decline something intended to deceive? That’s for a jury of ordinary men and women to decide. Ouch.

  46. I don’t remember seeing this.
    From the article:

    The United Nations will officially warn that growing crops to make “green” biofuel harms the environment and drives up food prices, The Telegraph can disclose.

    A leaked draft of a UN report condemns the widespread use of biofuels made from crops as a replacement for petrol and diesel. It says that biofuels, rather than combating the effects of global warming, could make them worse.

    The draft report represents a dramatic about-turn for the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/10716756/Biofuels-do-more-harm-than-good-UN-warns.html

  47. “….the very ringmaster of the tree-ring circus.”
    I’m stealing that phrase.

  48.  
    Malaysian airliner mystery over: global warming killed everyone onboard.

  49. “Bob Ward, “So Judy, if you were accused of being a fraud in the media, and you asked for a retraction and that person refused, you would not use legal means to try and get a correction?”

    Anytime someone engages in a public debate on a matter of public importance, they are likely to be attacked time and again in ways that he or she may not like. It comes with the territory, even if we wish it were otherwise. Most public figures recognize this and just brush off “libelous” attacks that damage egos more than professional reputations. Judith Curry is exactly right to pay no attention to the uncivil attacks that have come her way by Michael Mann, himself. If every public figure went to Court every time they were accused of being a “fraud” or a “serial misinformer” or whatever, our Court system would be clogged with defamation lawsuits.

  50. “its a competely diffrent thing when a nonscientist, a climate denying crank, calls a scientist a fraud and a liar without any justification other than his own stance as a denier and crank.”

    If Steyn is nothing more than a “denier” and a “crank”, why is Mann so upset. Who in the scientific community pays attentions to what “cranks” say? Mann has indeed suffered injury to his professional reputation. But the damage has been done not by Steyn, but by people who have carefully criticized and documented the short-comings in his work.

    • “If Steyn is nothing more than a “denier” and a “crank”, why is Mann so upset”

      Because Steyn was publishing those claims to media for wide circulation.

  51. Well done! Makes me proud to be a yellow jacket – BEE 1977

  52. A common type of fraud is the intentional concealment of material facts. For example, Black Law dictionary indicates that fraud includes “all acts, omissions, and concealments which involve a breach of legal or equitable duty, trust, or confidence justly reposed”. http://thelawdictionary.org/fraud/ . This is black letter law and one can easily find hundreds of cases in which concealment of material facts constitutes fraud.
    It seems to me that a strong case can be made that the hockey stick graph is fraudulent in the sense in that Mann intentionally withheld material facts that would have allowed a competent statistician to seriously question its validity as a representation of the historical temperatures. For example, I don’t believe that Mann disclosed in his original publication that he used a non-standard form of PCA; he did not disclose the adverse R2 statistics; he did not disclose the graph’s dependence on a few proxies that were questionable as temperature proxies to say the least. One could go on and on.
    Without going through the entire history of the hockey stick affair, I think that Steyn could have reasonably inferred that these concealments were intentional. Thus, Steyn had a reasonable basis to believe that the graph was fraudulent. It doesn’t matter that we can have endless discussions of whether this theory of fraud could be proven in a court of law. All that is necessary is that Steyn himself believed that the graph was fraudulent or that he had a plausible basis for so believing. I think it is obvious that he did.

  53. The latest news is that Professor Sir Bob Ward, FRS has been awarded a Nobel Prize.

    • Paul Matthews

      This is truly astounding, and a feather in the hat for our hostess here.

      She ran circles around and completely out-debated a Nobel Laureate!

      Hats off!

      Max

  54. From wiki:

    Defamation lawsuit [edit]

    In July 2012, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) blog published a piece by CEI scholar Rand Simberg accusing Mann of “deception” and “engaging in data manipulation”. It alleged that the Penn State investigation into Mann was a “cover-up and whitewash” which it likened to the Jerry Sandusky case with the sentence “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.” The CEI blog editor removed that sentence as “inappropriate”, but it was cited in a National Review blog post by Mark Steyn who additionally asserted that Mann’s hockey stick graph was “fraudulent”.[48][49]

    Mann asked CEI and National Review to remove the allegations and apologise, or he would take action.[50] The CEI published further insults, and National Review editor Rich Lowry responded in an article headed “Get Lost” with a declaration that, should Mann sue, the discovery process would be used to reveal and publish Mann’s emails. Mann’s lawyer filed the defamation lawsuit in October 2012.[48] The CEI and National Review argued that the case should be dismissed under SLAPP legislation, and that they had merely been using exaggerated language which was acceptable against a public figure: in July 2013 the judge dismissed these arguments and ruled that the case could go forward.[51][52] The case went to an appeals court under a new judge, who denied the appeal in January 2014: the CEI and National Review said they would appeal this decision. The National Review changed its lawyers, and Steyn decided to represent himself in court. If the court declines further appeal, the case will move to discovery.[50]

    / / / /

  55. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    No one should commend:

    •  Michael Mann’s scientific rudeness, or
    •  Mark Steyn’s journalistic abuse, or
    •  National Review’s editorial intransigence and willful ignorance, or
    •  too-fragile feelings on the part of *anybody*

    It’s better to affirm the strengthening cabal of:

    •  dispassionately strong climate-science, and
    •  clear-headed historical perspectives, and
    •  robust civic responsibility.

    Conclusion  It’s game-over for climate-change denialism … *unless* denialists resort (desperately!) to slogan-shouting and abuse and cherry-picking.

    Meanwhile, the world’s seas keep rising, the waters keep heating, and the ice keeps melting … without pause or obvious limit.

    The world ponders … responsibly.

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

  56. I had some fun just googling the term: “fraudulent hockey stick”
    Looks like there are many lawsuits for Michael Mann to file. Here is a small sampling of the return:

    John Hinderaker, a well-known lawyer who writes for Powerlineblog: “Now Steve McIntyre, who was principally responsible for showing that Mann’s original hockey stick was a fraud, has gone over Marcott’s data on the key proxies he uses for 20th century temperatures, ocean cores.” http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/03/the-hockey-stick-broken-again.php

    Blog Post by Steven Goddard at “Real Science”: “Was Mann’s Hockey Stick Fraudulent? That is an easy call for anyone with an IQ over 10. Mann plotted a thousand years of proxy data as reliable, and then threw out the post-1960 proxy data – because they didn’t show the warming he was out to prove.” http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2012/11/26/was-manns-hockey-stick-fraudulent/

    Blog Post: “Fake Data—How the Hockey Stick Graph Was Contrived: Fakes in science needed a representation of global warming which could sway the masses, and they found it in a hockey stick graph which the IPCC used as its primary showpiece. It’s called the hockey stick graph because it is a straight line which bends up on the end. It’s supposed to represent global temperature over the past thousand years with a sharp increase in the twentieth century due to human activity.It has to be called outright fraud due to an absence of a bump and trough for known heating a thousand years ago and cooling a few hundred years ago.” http://nov79.com/gbwm/trees.html

    Internet Article by By Phil Billington: “But alas, two Canadian scientists, McIntyre and McKitrick, exposed Mann’s poor math; the Hockey Stick is a fraud. http://www.crossville-chronicle.com/columns/x960636076/STUMPTALK-A-dangerous-movement-sweeps-the-nation?keyword=secondarystory#sthash.GBqBk6RR.dpuf

    Blog Post by Lubos Motl: Jeff Id: cherry-picking in new hockey stick graph
    Jeff Id (noconsensus.wordpress.com) provides us with some new perspective on the new hockey stick graph, Mann et al. 2008. It seems that the paper is not only a case of sub-prime science but an example of scientific fraud. http://motls.blogspot.com/2008/09/jeff-id-cherry-picking-in-new-hockey.html

  57. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse

    curryja | March 26, 2014 at 7:41 am |

    heck, doesn’t joe room’s epithet of ‘the most debunked climate scientist on the planet’ count for anything?

    Of course it does. Here’s a virtual biscuit, Dr Curry.

    So – Can I be a hapless victim of the nasty too?!

    Imagine having to actually defend the claims you make as a scientist!
    With evidence and all!
    That’s not fair!

    Call David Rose with the scoop.

    • Reverend

      You are wrong

      Joe Romm’s epithet of ‘the most debunked climate scientist on the planet’ doesn’t count for a hill of beans.

      Just look at the other drivel the guy writes.

      Being insulted by Romm is the best compliment one can receive.

      As a matter of fact, it is very clear that ‘the most debunked climate scientist on the planet’ is Michael Mann (back to the topic here).

      Max

  58. Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

    In 1998, Mann et al. wrote: “Global-scale temperature …” (please, look at their fig. 5b). In 2003, McIntyre & McKitrick wrote: “Corrections to the Mann …” (please, look at their fig. 8). From both figures, the one that looks like more scientiffic is the one from Mann; because they include those 2-sigma error bars.

    Berkeley lads, in http://static.berkeleyearth.org/img/decadal-comparison-small.png include also those error bars (sometimes as gray bands). And from these three figures the one that now looks like more scientiffic is the one from Berkeley; because their error bars increase as we move backwards in time (much more uncertainty in the year 1750 than in the year 1900).

    Anyhow, if one reads carefully M&M analysis, one starts to be concerned about how multiproxy is being evaluated. And the only scientiffic conclusion that (at least I) can get from all this is that: temperature “values based in paleoclimate are inaccurate due to uncertainties”.

    I do not see any point in trialing anyone in any of these three groups because all of them, in my opinion, are bad scientists. (I do not know the scientiffic work of Steyn).

    • R Gresty

      Looks like there is some serious dissent to the WG2 report.

      If Richard Tol’s name is really removed from the report under protest, this will be a serious blow to the credibility of the report itself.

      Max

  59. An interesting article, given Judith’s selective appeal to uncertainty and her reference to Rummy’s framework of known and unknown knowns:

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/25/the-certainty-of-donald-rumsfeld-part-1/?_php=true&_type=blogs&hp&rref=opinion&_r=0

  60. Boom, you nailed it Dr. Curry. You finally called out Mann personally for his own slanderous attacks, in a public debate, as clear as day. Just wow. Fantastic voice quality too and blunt confidence. This is a huge PR advance for taming the monster that allowed the likes of the Marcott 2013 faux hockey stick to appear even in top journal Science, there being utterly no blade in any of the input data (!).

    • Ironically I think Dr Currys outstanding comments about the libel trial have done more to damage Mann in the eyes of the public and among scientists than Steyns alleged libel, not to say that either did much to away preexisting opinions

    • But imagine if Mann wins the case pauldd.

      Forever more it will be

      Denier: “The hockey stick is one example of fraud..”

      Realist: “Actually the scientist behind it successfully sued a journalist who made that accusation”

      Denier: “….” *speechless*

      Or how about this one:

      Realist: “You know a journalist made false claims of fraud against a climate scientist’s work and the scientist ended up suing them. The journalist tried to get the case dismissed but didn’t and lost. That’s how bad these deniers are that they resort to fraud accusations.”

      So good luck with your “eyes of the public”, you might be more concerned about what goes in their ears when Mann wins.

  61. Only slightly O/T

    This is for Jimmy old bean D and those who like post-hoc rationalisations

    http://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2014/03/Pausecauseopt-2.pdf

    Mucho “explanations” for the hiatus (even that is *no* hiatus). One can pick and choose here like shopping in a supermarket :)

    • Wow! Lot’s of good rationalizations why the models got it wrong on the “hiatus”

      But it sounds like lolwot, JimD and the other true believers are praying for “hiatus interruptus”.

      (Not as a result of GHGs, mind you, but of a strong El Nino.)

      Guess when you’re desperate any bedfellow will do.

      Max

  62. In Washington DC today, the high temperature of 38 F is 21 F below daily average, and the low of 30 F is 11 F below daily average. There was a light snowfall. Coldest day of record.

    As the office workers of EPA slush and slide to work today, I sense that their heart is not into the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming meme as maybe in the past. Dressed in their winter finest, they are faced with promulgating regulations which fly in the face of their own daily reality. Cold, especially wind chill of 23, and runaway warming seem incongruous, like cognitive dissonance: holding two mutually exclusive thoughts at the same time.

    So the Boss sends out a memo to the sub-Bosses, who in turn send out emails to the minions, that the policies and procedures are the same as they always were, only this time, this is a matter of re-enforcing what has always been policy and procedure.

    In looking at the email by Mr. Macleod, and in the context of the debate between our hostess and Mr. Ward, I begin to wonder why a BBC Boss would send out a re-enforcing memo if everything is copacetic? if everyone is on the same page as before? if there has been nothing new to warrant a policy or procedural change?

    My conjecture: the minions who are currently sloshing their way to work in Washington, DC, are like the minions across the pond, who are confronting their reality juxtaposed with the story-line they are all supposed to read from. My guess is that the minions on this side of the pond are questioning the authoritative dictum. On the other side of the pond, minions are facing their own reality and this re-enforcing memo is attempting to stay the tide of a re-awakening of the Scottish Enlightenment. Let’s hope so. Rumblings heard in the distant may be thunder or cannon fire.

    Let’s further hope to see scientists on both sides of the pond, who hitherto have been silent upon CAGW, not leave our hostess alone to bare the mantel of rationale discourse, and they engage in dialogue, debate, and expressions of skepticism.

  63. Mann v Steyn is just a distraction from the main issue which is the IPPc’s handling of the climate issue. According to Emanual of MIT it was 19th century technology. Surly in the 21st we can do better. We need to go back to the early 20th century and understand what happened then. If we did that we would be able to come to some sort of agreement on what happened to cause the 1940 singularity. The clue to understanding that is the clue to understanding the present status.and a new approach to modelling with a better understanding of the CO2 molecule

  64. Steyn has already lost. It’s obvious.

    Those imagining Mann is in trouble are deluded.

    I am charging up my “told you so” machine as we speak, so feel free to strongly disagree LOL.

    • The discovery process will be interesting… Mann and Penn State have a lot to hide.

    • Sure you keep telling yourself that LOL

    • “I am afraid that Mike [Mann] is defending something that increasingly cannot be defended. He is investing too much personal stuff in this and not letting the science move ahead.” ~G.H. Cook

    • “lol”

      Lolly who at one time had a bit of respect for himself, has long since been reduced by the pause that is killing his cause, to outright trollery.

      “Lol’s” are the Internet version of the fake laugh. Keep ‘em coming, lolly.

    • Lets move past discovery, fishing is so boring until you get something on the line, Steyn will be bored to tears. Looks like he can’t prove Mann was a fraud when he made those remarks and needs discovery to make his case.

      But lets look at the witness list

      Ammann, Wahl, Moberg, Marcott, and others who have published reconstructions would be likely witnesses for Mann, not to mention certain bloggers with mad skillz.

      Against the likes of M and M, Soon, Baliunas, Wegman, and Von Storch and others.

      Too bad, that Lamb has passed, I would like his insights on the issue.

      Cross examination of such witnesses would be a hoot.

      Heck, put the whole of climate science on trial.

      That’s what you guys want, right?

      • Sorry Bob, but you do not understand the law, Steyn does not need to prove fraud. His “fishing” is to help his own case against Mann. The discovery is to embarrass Mann.

    • “That’s what you guys want, right?”

      We really just want Warmer Trolls like you to get jobs.

      Andrew

    • Me, I have a job, somewhere between science and the practice of medicine.

      I just want a loud mouthed buffoon to get his asshat handed to him in court.

      I think that could go either way.

    • chortle, bob d. demonstrates enough impartiality to be on the jury.
      ===============

    • “somewhere between science and the practice of medicine”

      What’s the title of the job that you have?

      (lil’ giggle)

      Andrew

    • Ars longa vita brevis.
      =======

  65. And, like a lucrative football program with errant coaching staff, they will whitewash their own scandals… Penn State proved this by responding to the scandal in its football program and Michael Mann’s troubles in almost identical fashion… They want the money. They do not want the strings, like transparency and accountability.

    (Christopher Horner, The Liberal War on Transparency: Confessions of a Freedom of Information “Criminal”)

  66. When your shtick gets trashed
    And you’ve lost your fame
    When you’re getting bashed
    With ridicule and shame

    When they all make fun
    And you’re filled with hate
    Don’t just hide or run
    It’s time to li-ti-gate!

  67. Political Junkie

    Dr. Curry, having just listened to the podcast, please let me join the throng if folks giving you high fives and a resounding round of applause for a job well done!

  68. Mosh:

    http://judithcurry.com/2014/03/25/trial-of-the-century/#comment-503991

    I think that’s likely true. No smoking gun and all that. More nasty, back-stabbing, manipulative emails but nothing that proves fraud or conspiracy to commit same.

    But Mann will still have to prove that Steyn’s statement is untrue, no? (Not to mention that the statement was made with malice.) How’s he going to prove that? And it has nothing to do with academic fraud. It has to do with the HS graph being used fraudulently since Steve Mc proved it wasn’t verifiable.

    • David Springer

      With the top shelf legal beagles that have come to the aid of Steyn any adverse decision will be appealed up to SCOTUS. Public figures attempting to muzzle members of the free press is exceedingly difficult.

      Warmists on Mann’s side should read this:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/14/pink-slime-lawsuit-abc-news_n_1883528.html

      Given the source they should find it credible.

    • David Springer

      With the top shelf legal beagles that have come to the aid of Steyn any adverse decision will be appealed up to SCOTUS. Public figures attempting to muzzle members of the free press is exceedingly difficult.

      Warmists on Mann’s side should read this:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/14/pink-slime-lawsuit-abc-news_n_1883528.html

      Given the source they should find it credible.

      BPI will have to produce “extreme” evidence that the network acted irresponsibly, such as proof that their research used obviously unreliable sources, said University of Wisconsin journalism professor Bob Drechsel, who teaches media law.

      Drechsel said he wasn’t surprised to see the lawsuit but questioned whether it would succeed. Most defamation cases end with a settlement or a judge’s order dismissing the case before it goes to trial, he said.

      “It’s always an uphill battle for anyone to win a libel suit,” Drechsel said. “They’re going to have to prove that ABC falsely reported information, and they’re going to have to prove that ABC News knew that the stories were false or they had serious doubts about the truth.”

      Drechsel said the lawsuit may also be a tool to generate publicity and restore the company’s image.

      Unlike what some other jagoff said downthread the burden of proof that Steyn knowingly wrote anything untrue is Mann’s burden. Steyn is the one who’s innocent until proven guilty. Like phucking duh.

    • Sorry but ignorance isn’t an excuse. Otherwise there could effectively be no libel laws because everyone would just plead ignorance.

      • It is in the US (the plaintiff has to PROVE the defendant knew it was false), and there are still libel laws here.

        You must revel in being wrong.

    • If he is charging fraud, Steyn would have to put up evidence of that in the trial. As defendant, the burden is on him to show it is not just libel, which means it is fact-based. If he has such evidence for his accusation, he hasn’t given a clue what it is yet, and explained how all previous scientific inquiries missed it. I can see a grey area here, where he can get out by truly believing some evidence that turns out to be bogus, e.g. something he read on a blog. I don’t know if gullibility would be a defense.

      • Sorry Jim D, but the burden is ALL on Mann. That is the US legal system works. I can accuse you of anything, and you do not have to do a thing. I have to prove it.

        Steyn does not have to prove anything.

    • The idea that a judge will look at the force with which Steyn made his “fraudulent” accusation and conclude he didn’t believe it, or was ignorant of what he was claiming is a riot.

      Sometimes I read WUWT and see the same self-delusion on display. It’s like for god sake stand back and look at the situation objectively. You can’t do it with climate but you’d think you could stand back and look at a court case and how your skeptic breathren are reporting it and think “hmm hang on this sounds like a load of bull”.

      Skeptics have even taken to calling it the “trial of the century”. I mean really, this will be the biggest trial of the 21st century will it?

      Why do they do that? Why do they call it that? It’s because they NEED this to be super important because they need it to be a big trial about FREE SPEECH so as to avoid having to face the music that Steyn just cannot back his accusation up in a court of law with evidence.

    • Jim D said:

      “If he is charging fraud, Steyn would have to put up evidence of that in the trial. As defendant, the burden is on him to show it is not just libel, which means it is fact-based. ”

      There is quite a bit legally wrong with your statements.

      First, Steyn didn’t charge Mann with fraud.

      In fact, Mann has the burden of proof on defamation, not Steyn.

      Second, Steyn as defendant doesn’t have the burden of proof to show it is not libel. Mann has the burden of proof to prove it is libel. You have everything backwards!

      Now, in addition to Steyn winning because Mann fails to prove his case, Steyn can also affirmatively argue a couple things.

      First, Steyn can argue his statement was not a factual assertion – but an opinion. Under most circumstances opinions get a free pass in a libel action.

      Second, Steyn can argue his statement (if it was a factual assertion) was true. Truth is a defense against a claim of defamation.

      Third, Steyn can argue he did not make his statement with malice.

      Now it is clear to me Mann will not be able to meet his burden of proof. However, in addition, Steyn will be able to argue and prove (in my opinion) that his statement was both an opinion (that Michael Mann’s hockey stick is fraudulent) and also true. Many people share the opinion that grafting the instrument data onto the proxy data makes the graph fraudulent. There are many many problems with the graph – so I can easily see how the statement about the graph could be found to be true. Last – Steyn didn’t make the statement with malice because he believed it to be true (and it is true).

      So Jim D – I recommend you simply wait and watch and see what happens.

    • RickA, so if this is about “Mike’s Nature trick”, that is a different story, and more plausible for Steyn than an attack on the Mann 1998 Nature paper itself where an equivalent graph is used with the line labeled correctly. Is the whole fraud question now just about grafting more reliable temperatures onto the end of a tree-ring record in the AR3 graph, when people have been talking about the details of this since Climategate? Does ‘torturing data’ and fraudulence refer to this graphology alone? It would seem to be a weak case to say that the temperature record from the AR3 version is not a more realistic representation than the tree rings alone, and is therefore fraudulent. Mann would probably look forwards to having that argument too.

    • RickA, to make it clearer, we can look at the reasoning the judge used in not throwing out the case.
      “Opinions and rhetorical hyperbole are protected speech under the First Amendment. Arguably, several of defendants’ statements fall into these protected categories. Some of defendants’ statements, however, contain what could reasonably be understood as assertions of fact. Accusing a scientist of conducting his research fraudulently, manipulating his data to achieve a predetermined or political outcome, or purposefully distorting the scientific truth are factual allegations. They go to the heart of scientific integrity. They can be proven true or false. If false, they are defamatory. If made with actual malice, they are actionable.”
      The way it hinges on assertions of fact by Steyn, makes the validity of those assertions crucial in the outcome. And, as I mentioned before, being against an an academic “fraudulence” is a loaded word, and defamation follows automatically by using it.

    • JimD, “…“fraudulence” is a loaded word, and defamation follows automatically by using it.”

      If I produce a financial report and exclude the last few quarters of less than stellar results, it could be called fraudulent. The original “hockey stick” excluded a few decades of less than stellar tree ring performance with respect to temperature. A lay person could easily consider that “fraudulent”. What was excluded could be blamed on Briffa and others, but the Mann “hockey stick” and “Mike’s Nature trick” are the main reason that Mann is a “celebrity” allowing open season for the media. Perhaps there is a more politically correct post-normal term that “fraudulent”, but judges and the media aren’t post-normal scientists.

    • Jim D said:

      “RickA, so if this is about “Mike’s Nature trick”, that is a different story, and more plausible for Steyn than an attack on the Mann 1998 Nature paper itself where an equivalent graph is used with the line labeled correctly.”

      The Steyn post doesn’t say which Mann graph is “the fraudulent climate-change “hockey-stick” graph”, so it is ambiguous.

      Wikipedia “Hockey stick graph” states “The term hockey stick was coined by the climatologist Jerry Mahlman, to describe the pattern shown by the Mann, Bradley & Hughes 1999 (MBH99) reconstruction, envisaging a graph that is relatively flat to 1900 as forming an ice hockey stick’s “shaft”, followed by a sharp increase corresponding to the “blade”.[1][2]”

      So the reference seems to refer to the 1999 graph, and not the 1998.

      As for Steyn’s quoted Simberg material “molested and tortured data” – there are many acts this could refer to – but I lean towards Mann’s manipulation of the data with regard to PC1.

    • Jim D says:

      “The way it hinges on assertions of fact by Steyn, makes the validity of those assertions crucial in the outcome.”

      I agree.

      Even though the Judge said they were factual assertions in the ruling – the jury gets to decide this crucial fact question. So the assertions may be found factual or may be found opinion – we will have to wait to see. If found to be factual assertions (and made with malice – which is Mann’s burden to prove) then Steyn would have to defend by showing the assertions to be true. Not to difficult to do in my opinion.

    • RickA, if adding a temperature record to a tree ring record (Mike’s Nature trick) was OK for the Nature journal, it should be OK to present, but yes Steyn threw out the “fraudulent” term, and now has to say what exactly he meant by that, and I don’t think we know that yet, and perhaps he is not so sure either. He has tried to defend it as an opinion rather than factual, even though he phrased it as an assertion, not an opinion, and won’t retract that assertion, so he twisting around a bit.

    • philjourdan says “the burden is ALL on Mann. That is the US legal system works. I can accuse you of anything, and you do not have to do a thing. I have to prove it.
      Steyn does not have to prove anything.”
      So when Mann’s lawyer asks Steyn why he thinks Mann’s work is fraudulent, a blank stare is a sufficient answer? Or does he at least have to say something coherent that can be checked out for the truth?

      • @jim D – If a blank stare is all Steyn wants to answer with, yes. That is the basic premise of Innocent until proven guilty. Steyn has nothing to prove to win. Mann has to prove both knowledge, intent AND that his work is not fraudulent. And that is where the discovery becomes interesting. That which was denied to Steven McIntyre for so long is no longer protected by courts or deleting emails.

  69. This is definitely NOT the trial of the century. It is just a libel suit. In the USA false statements of fact are not protected by the 1st amendment. I believe this case is going to eventually require Steyn to prove that the factual statement in question (that he was given a chance to withdraw but instead decided to repeat) is factual, even though many here believe it falls upon Mann to prove Steyn’s statement of fact to be false. If the latter were to be true, one would be supporting the concept of guilty until proven innocent.

    If the courts decide that Steyn’s statement of fact is false, then the question of malice kicks in for another round of discussions. But it won’t even get to that point if the courts decide that Steyn’s statement of fact is factual or even partially factual.

    Some here are applauding Judith’s radio performance where she implied there should be no restrictions to first amendment protections in this case because of the enormity of the subject matter. Wow. This suggests false statements of fact should be protected! Wouldn’t that encourage more of this behavior? What kind of science is she supporting, anyway? (By the way, calling someone bad names does not qualify as a false statement of fact. Judith can call Mann bad names all she wants and her speech would be protected.)

    I personally have faith that our court systems work well and will make the correct decision in this case. And I don’t see how it could alter our rights to free speech… This is simply an attempt to exercise one of the restrictions that are already part of US law. If Steyn’s statement of fact can be proven to be fact or proven to be just an opinion, then by all means he should win.

    • Pete.W

      The court case is one thing.

      There a jury must decide what is “false” or “true” in the legal sense.

      But climate science does not have a lot of “truths”. There is an enormous amount of uncertainty, as our hostess has pointed out – even “unknown unknowns”.

      So blocking “false statements” in science is a slippery slope, especially in climate science.

      What may appear to be a “false statement” today may become the new paradigm tomorrow.

      As our hostess stated in the BBC interview, censorship of skeptical or dissenting scientific opinions is not a good idea.

      It would not only limit “free speech”, but would constitute a direct violation of the scientific method, so it should not be allowed on two counts.

      Judith was right on that one IMO.

      Max

    • David Springer

      Steyn is a member of the press, Mann is a public figure, and The National Review is political commentary. That changes things. It changes things a lot. Was George W. Bush able to sue Dan Rather and 60 Minutes for falsely accusing him of crimes in the military? Sure. You can sue anyone for anything. Could Bush have prevailed? Not in a million years. Rather was a card carrying member of the press, he believed his accusations were true, it was political commentary, and Bush is a public figure. Similarly Kerry never would have prevailed in any suit against Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Political speech is almost totally immune to slander and libel prosecution.

    • Differently, truth was a successful defense.
      ===========

    • “Some here are applauding Judith’s radio performance where she implied there should be no restrictions to first amendment protections in this case because of the enormity of the subject matter. Wow. This suggests false statements of fact should be protected! ”

      Do you consider all religions are comprised of just facts?

      “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” – See more at: http://constitution.findlaw.com/amendment1/amendment.html#sthash.LI0DpRUe.dpuf

      Protected from government, false statement should protected from government fining or imposing penalties.
      Tell you what, when politicians only tell the truth, then we might consider politicians are allowed to decide what is true. But since they lie constantly
      it’s safe to say that not going to happen any time soon.
      You can keep your plan.
      “Wouldn’t that encourage more of this behavior? What kind of science is she supporting, anyway?”

      Science is not government.
      And Mann is no scientist.

    • Row, row, row your boat,
      Swiftly flows the stream.
      ==================

  70. Quoting:
    “But imagine if Mann wins the case pauldd.
    Forever more it will be
    Denier: “The hockey stick is one example of fraud..”
    Realist: “Actually the scientist behind it successfully sued a journalist who made that accusation”

    Actually, I imagine the conversation going more like this:

    Skeptic: Mann’s hockey stick graph has been thoroughly discredited as an artifact of shoddy methodology and bad statistics.

    Alarmist: Actually the scientist behind it successfully sued a journalist who said the graph was fraudulent.

    Skeptic: So?

    The point being being exonerated of committing fraud is a pretty low bar that really isn’t relevant to the actual debate over the hockey stick. That is why even if Mann wins resoundingly, the verdict will have little significance.

    Or one can imagine a conversation like this:

    Skeptic: “The hockey stick is one example of fraud.”

    Denier: “Actually the scientist behind it successfully sued a journalist who made that accusation’

    Skeptic: “wow, that must have been a pretty smart jury to understand all those technical issues.”

    Denier: Sure was! Almost half the jurors had high school diplomas.

    • So paul you are claiming skeptics will no longer throw around the fraud accusation?

      Because they do now and your response is that they won’t in future.

      I guess that’s my point.

    • Lolwot: I don’t think a jury verdict will even address most of the relevant issues in the debate which involve shoddy methodology and bad statistical analysis. Moreover, to the extent a DC jury addresses issues of fraud, I don’t think anyone will put much stock in it because your typical jury will have a difficult time understanding the technical issues presented. Whichever side loses will question the competence of the jury to adjudicate the issues.

      I actually think a strong case can be made that Mann intentionally failed to disclose adverse material facts about the hockey stick that would have undermined its validity had they been disclosed.Such behavior constitutes fraud and research misconduct. The lawyers on both sides will have a difficult time presenting the statistical issues to a jury.

    • lowot

      What is “fraud”, in your opinion?

      Let’s look at the discredited Mann hockey stick upon which the doubtful “warmest in 1300 years” claim of IPCC in TAR and AR4 was based.

      Here’s my opinion:

      Sloppy statistical analysis is not “fraud”, even though this is what got the “shtick” discredited (McIntyre/McKitrick, Wegman, the NAS panel).

      Fudging the data to sell a preconceived agenda may be coming close to fraud. (But the motive is very hard to prove – it could simply have been incompetence rather than fraudulent intent.)

      “Hiding the decline” (“Mike’s Nature trick”) to hide the fact that the analysis was basically flawed is fraudulent.

      What do you think?

      Max

    • I took a look at the CEI article by Sandburg and noted something interesting–most of his allegedly libelous assertions are accompanied by hyperlink. For example, when Sandburg says Mann manipulated data, he provides a link to a post by Jean S on climateaudit that describes in detail “Mike’s nature trick”. A reader can thus determine for himself whether this constitutes “manipulation of data”

      Interestingly, he also links to articles by Mann’s defenders which discuss the various investigations of the climategate letters, again allowing the reader to make his own evaluations.

      This is, I think, a significant point that has not been well developed in the blog discussions, but which is emphasized in the briefs filed by CEI. It obviously did not sway the trial judge, but I will be interested to see how it fares in the Court of Appeals.

  71. Mark Steyn has another post on this (even cites one of the Climate Etc. comments):
    http://www.steynonline.com/6208/should-i-sue-bob-ward-for-libel

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Meanwhile, the world’s seas keep rising, the waters keep heating, and the ice keeps melting … without pause or obvious limit.

      Scientifically, economically, and morally, that’s *all* that matters.

      Here’s what *doesn’t* matter (in the short run):

      •  Michael Mann’s scientific rudeness, and
      •  Mark Steyn’s hateful abuse, and
      •  National Review’s editorial intransigence, and
      •  CEI’s willful ignorance, and
      •  Anthony Watts’ inane cherry-picking, and
      •  butt-hurt feelings on the part of *anybody*.

      That’s common-sense, eh Climate Etc readers?

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Mark Steyn quotes Judith addressing the guy Mike Flynn brilliantly dubbed the “Michael Mann of climate science” :

      “Mark Steyn is formidable opponent. I suspect that this is not going to turn out well for you.”

      Steyn concurs:
      “No, it’s not.”

      I love the confidence. MArk Steyn courageously soldiered on all by his lonesome in the soul crushing U.S. legal system, after parting ways with his previous attorneys. He not only didn’t wilt, he had the stones to strike back with a counter-suit of his own. Still, there were times I thought I heard notes of understandable weariness in some of his posts. He’s obviously thrilled with his new all-star legal team, and seems utterly rejuvenated…

      I don’t think the Michael Mann of climate science can be getting much sleep these days…

    • Connipted dollar pros vs committed pro bonos.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      •  Fact 01  “Mark Steyn courageously soldiered-on”
      •  Fact 02  Mark Steyn doubled-down on abuse and ignorance, and
      •  Fact 03  So did National Review/CEI, and
      •  Fact 04  Hansen and colleagues doubled-down on science, economics, and morality, and
      •  Fact 05  the oceans kept on rising, the waters kept on heating, and the ice kept on melting.

      The juvenile dramatics of Mann/Steyn/NR/CEI mean about as much as a high-school locker-squabble.

      In the long run — and even in the short run! — only Facts 04-05 make any difference at all, eh pokerguy?

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Fan makes this, that. and the other unpleasant and generally of the mark assertions.

      Not your finest hour, Fan. But I’ll defend to the death….or at least a certain amount of inconvenience….your right to not come off particularly well.

    • It amazes me how much Steyn supporters need to big up Steyn in public.

      “He’s a tough guy, can probably bench 200lb, what an amazing guy, id probably sleep with him”

      It’s nauseating. Sounds very much like a form of denial too. Because the case really isn’t going as well for him as you all make out. Who are you trying to reassure? Each other or yourselves?

  72. Alex Cull has done a transcript of the Curry / Ward interview:

    https://sites.google.com/site/mytranscriptbox/home/20140325_ws

  73. Jane won.
    =======

  74. Pokerguy:

    http://judithcurry.com/2014/03/25/trial-of-the-century/#comment-505876

    I don’t think “weary” is the right word. I think he was frustrated. I don’t think anything Steyn has ever written has shown signs of weariness.

    Now that he can better force the issue on his own terms, the frustration has gone out of him. Of course, Mann is going to try and delay the whole thing as long as possible. But Steyn says he’s selling enough coffee mugs to pay for the thing. And it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that his lawyers are taking this case on a contingency deal of some kind, so that when Steyn wins the $30 million, they are handsomely remunerated. Or so we can fantasize.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the Steyn case single-handedly caused the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund to go belly up?

    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/25/a-legal-defense-fund-for-climate-scientists/?_php=true&_type=blogs&src=recg&_r=0

    • Potter,

      I think I used the phrase “notes of weariness” meaning I thought I detected a weariness that wasn’t necessarily in evidence on the surface. On the other hand, maybe it was a case of projecting how I’d feel in such a situation.

      I’m almost sure his new team of free speech champions have at least discounted their going rate. I think it was DocM who noted a couple of those guys have a history of doing pro bono work. This is a huge case potentially, so not a surprise a few heavyweights would be attracted by it.

      ONe thing…you write “… Steyn says he’s selling enough coffee mugs to pay for the thing.” What he wrote was this : “Oh, you’d be surprised how much legal time a Mann vs Steyn commemorative mug can buy.”

      Clearly he’s kidding.

    • “Clearly he’s kidding.”

      He may be. But it may be he’s got funding coming in from a variety of places. I don’t know. He’s got a world-wide following. I’m sure he knows a lot of very wealthy people. How much legal assistance can an un-redeemed $100,000 gift certificate buy?

      When it comes to being an internationally-known columnist, he’s almost without peer.

    • “…he’s almost without peer.”

      There we certainly agree, potter.

    • From Steyn’s announcement that he’s hired three new attorneys:

      “Mike [Songer] won a big $919.9 million payout for DuPont over a trade-secrets theft case involving Kevlar, which I was planning to wear to court anyway.”

      Gotta love Steyn’s sense of humor. But based on the sum mentioned, if I might speculate, Songer appears to be in a position to be generous as it relates to pro bono assistance. If it’s the “Trial of the Century” as advertised, the exposure and prestige that comes with winning will be very rewarding.

  75. Out of curiosity, I took a look at how “scientific misconduct” is defined. I found this definition promulgated by the British Journal of Medicine that is consistent with similar definitions from many similar sources.

    “Scientific misconduct–Falsification of data: ranges from fabrication to deceptive selective reporting of findings and omission of conflicting data, or willful suppression and/or distortion of data.” http://www.bmj.com/about-bmj/resources-authors/forms-policies-and-checklists/scientific-misconduct

    Brandon Shollenberger has done a nice job of collecting many of the problems that have been uncovered with respect to Mann’s Hockey Stick graphs at his website. http://hiizuru.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/a-list-of-manns-screw-ups/ Brandon provides a list first and followed by more detailed explanations in later posts.

    It seems to me that many of the listed screw ups would fall within this definition especially “deceptive selective reporting of findings and omission of conflicting data” and “willful suppression and/or distortion of data”

    For example, wouldn’t “Mike’s nature trick” fall within “willful distortion of data”?

    Wouldn’t Mann’s failure to report adverse R2 results fall within “deceptive selective reporting of findings”?

    • For those who might be interested, I uploaded a new post in this series just now. In it, I discuss how Michael Mann condemns people for doing exactly what he did, while promoting his work which did it. I don’t know if that counts as scientific misconduct, but it is insane.

      Sadly, I didn’t manage to fit in an editorial remark about 12 other climate scientists signing onto the paper along with him. People like that have ruined science for me.

  76. Two comments. Judith’s position was well stated, in fact brilliantly stated, and showed Mann up for the self righteous and nasty twerp he seems to be on a personal level in my opinion (comments about his science itself aside). Second I watched events very closely when Steyn was attacked by the Islamists in Canada (another group of self righteous and nasty twerps) who tried to use the courts, and Canada’s laws originally designed to protect minority groups from hate speech, in order to silence opinions they didn’t like hearing. The Islamists lost even though it went all the way to the Supreme Court in Canada. Mann does not have the same kind of financial resources the Islamists had and court costs in the USA are a lot higher. The laws on free speech are a lot stronger in the USA compared to Canada. Steyn does not have to prove he was not attacking a minority with hate speech. Mann will lose this. Steyn will win.

    • It put me in mind of the ‘David Irving v Penguin Books and Deborah Lipstadt’ libel trial;
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irving_v_Penguin_Books_and_Lipstadt

      A number of experts, including a friend of mine, did a lot of work for Deborah Lipstadt, on a ‘for cost only’ basis.

    • Doc, I like the Lipstadt quote at the end of your Wiki link.
      ===================

    • @DocMartyn The wiki summary is not bad. But for the full flavour of Evans’ testimony and Gray’s judgment, you might want to take a look at Holocaust Denial on Trial.

      As I had noted in a post a month ago, my thesis has long been that Mann is the David Irving of climate science.

      @Kim My favourite quote comes from Evans’ 740 page expert report:

      We have not suppressed any occasion on which Irving has used accepted and legitimate methods of historical research, exposition and interpretation: there were none

      I’m inclined to think that when the history book is written of this sorry “scientific” saga, that the outcome of Mann vs Steyn might well lead historians to conclude that (borrowing one of Irving’s favoured modes of doing “history”):

      ‘We have not suppressed any occasion on which Mann has used accepted and legitimate methods of scientific research, exposition and interpretation: there were none’

      Needless to say, there are many other pages that Mann seems to have lifted directly from the books of David <I see you, I sue you> Irving, too.

    • Oh, goodness, Doc, Hilary, and probably Natalie, I owe you apologies. The Lipstadt quote I mean is not at the bottom of Doc’s link, but rather from my own search of Wiki which I’ve not yet re-discovered. I may well have to apologize to her, to, but the jist of the quote by her was that she regretted his conviction was from a censorship law, rather that everything should better be resolved in open debate.
      =========

    • ‘may well have to apologize to her, too’. Sorry, Ma.
      =================

  77. Fanatical, hate-filled alarmsists like “Michael” and his ilk are why I became much more skeptical about global warming. Michael and his fellow AGW worshippers are like religious fanatics. They believe they have “the one true viewpoint” and all others are heresy and must be punished.

    Michael, you come across as a coward and a liar. I’m sure every time you leave a comment another AGW worshipper begins to embrace skepticism about global warming.

    • “Fanatical, hate-filled alarmsists like “Michael” and his ilk are why I became much more skeptical about global warming.”

      This is true for me as well. To repeat a by now a tedious personal story, I came to the debate as a warmist with a few reservations. The thing I noticed right off in exploring the various blogs, was how nasty, angry, and arrogant the warmists were. I was shocked to hear the way credentialed scientists spoke about anyone with doubts. I found the epithet “denier” with it’s holocaust denier implications, appalling. And these, politically speaking at the time, were my people.

      The the original thinkers, the good writers, the decent humorists, and by far the more pleasing personalities, were invariably skeptics.

    • just another variant of “atheists are horrible, so god must be true”.

      Next.

    • I too have become turned off by the alarmists. They have completely undermined my ability to judge their work objectively as a scientist because their behaviour seems so contrary to everything I have been trained to believe science is about. (Judith here being a notable exception.) I once asked an innocent question about the ice pack related to the nature of an extrapolation because I was kind of wondering about it after a seminar and instead of a straight answer I was immediately accused of being in the pay of big oil and invited to leave the seminar. I am heartily sick of having my questions answered with wide eyed horror and “but 97% of all the good scientists agree…..” As for Mann versus Steyn, Mann should put his full dataset out there with everything in a publicly available form, answer all the accusations once, and then sit back and let his work speak for itself. If you have to sue a journalist to protect your science, you have problems way beyond anything any mere journalist can stir up.

    • “As for Mann versus Steyn, Mann should put his full dataset out there with everything in a publicly available form, answer all the accusations once, and then sit back and let his work speak for itself. If you have to sue a journalist to protect your science, you have problems way beyond anything any mere journalist can stir up.”

      If Steyn is willing to make fraud accusations he can’t back up in court, then why on Earth do you think he would stop doing so if Mann gave him some vague and unspecified information?

      Shouldn’t you be criticizing Steyn for making an accusation he couldn’t support and refusing to retract it?

    • “The thing I noticed right off in exploring the various blogs, was how nasty, angry, and arrogant the warmists were.”

      lol Have you ever been to WUWT?!

      • All the time, and I read the warmists statements there as well. Never seem to be able to read skeptic comments on the warmist’s blogs however.

  78. Ethics.

    It is ethically wrong to make a fraud accusation in public which you cannot back up, and then refuse to apologize.

    It is ethically wrong to double down and when asking to prove your claims in court, to try to wiggle out of it by getting the case dismissed.

    It is ethically wrong to support and applaud such a miscreant.

    • “It is ethically wrong to make a fraud accusation in public which you cannot back up, and then refuse to apologize”

      Unless the work presented is poorly constructed and so cherry-picked as to make it worthless on its own merits.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      DocMartyn  posts a claim [that's wrong-on-ethics and worse-on-facts] “It is ethically wrong to make a fraud accusation in public which you cannot back up, and then refuse to apologize” … Unless the work presented [by Michael Mann and colleagues] is poorly constructed and so cherry-picked as to make it  worthless  much-cited on its own merits.”

      Dubious journalistic ethics and erroneous scientific claims by DocMartyn, verifiable scientific literature by FOMD!

      Question for Mark Steyn and Rich Lowry/NR  Why do dubious ethical standards and inability to apologize so often accompany willful scientific ignorance and irrational ideology-driven cognition?

      The world ponders!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • What’s ethically wrong is for a scientist whose political leanings have been clear from the beginning to use the courts to punish those who have the first amendment right to challenge a very controversial and widely criticized scientific finding that was found to be statistically deficient by one of the most highly qualified statisticians in the country.

      It’s a SLAPP suit plain and simple and Mann will pay for it if there is any justice left in our court system.

    • Steyn is no longer trying to get the case dismissed. Regarding the other defendants, I see nothing unethical about seeking a dismissal on the pleadings. Their argument at this point is that even if everything alleged in the complaint is true, Mann cannot prevail. If their position is correct, taking it to trial would be a waste of everyone’s time.

      As to whether Mann can show that the writings were false, that remains to be seen

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      • Mann is pressing *toward* the discovery phase of the trial.

      • Steyn/Lowry/NR/CEI are seeking to *delay* discovery.

      Question Which side fears discovery … fears the facts?

      The world wonders! The world ponders!

      And meanwhile, the seas keep rising, the waters keep heating, and the ice keeps melting. Because global warming is real, serious, and accelerating. And that’s what matters (scientifically, economically, and morally) in the long run.

      Conclusion  For Steyn/Lowry/NR/CEI, resistance is futile.

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • http://judithcurry.com/2014/03/25/trial-of-the-century/#comment-506350

      Pauldd: Mann has to show more than that. He not only has to show they were false, he has to show that Steyn et al KNEW they were false when they wrote them.

      Mann’s case was always dubious because of this.

    • Ethics – Opinions are not facts. How can one person get everything wrong. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

    • he has to show that Steyn et al KNEW they were false when they wrote them. …

      Which is why Steyn may have reason to fear discovery far more than Mann does. Mann brought the suit. His lawyers have no doubt read his exposure, and appear to be completely unconcerned.

    • Maybe Steyn’s email files equal a blank stare; maybe not.

  79. I’m personally putting on my green wristband and waiting for the Michael Mannstrong confession.

  80. In the debate Bod Ward argues that “When people are, for political reasons, trying to confuse the public about the science, I think that the media has a responsibility to call those out …”. Given Wards stated criteria, I think it’s fair to ask if Bob Ward was trying to confuse the public when he stated that:
    “in this particular case, where you’ve got essentially a political actor attacking a climate scientist and calling into question their professional credibility”.
    At minimum, this characterization misleads the public. The case I think is more accurately described as a political actor attacking a politically active climate scientist. That is, the roles on both sides are more symmetrical than Ward cares to admit.

    Mann is clearly more than just a climate scientist in this particular case. Mann is also a political actor whose political activities in and outside of the climate debate are particularly notable. If Mann was merely a scientist quietly going about his research he would likely have escaped the notice of political commentators.

    I think that part of the wisdom of the open and free speech position is that most of us will regularly end up violating the alternative standards of conduct that Ward seems to espouse.

  81. Mann is well funded, lawsuit reduces criticism and it helps delay the inevitable, at $40B a year, a few million to delay it a year is cheap.
    On another note, I was just looking at Wiki and they seem to have swung to a more moderate view on GW, at least acknowledging that there is some dissension and removing embarrassing pictures and comments about skeptics.

  82. JC: I come down stalwartly on the side freedom of speech, including Michael Mann’s right to make insulting and defamatory tweets, statements in op-eds, etc.
    =============
    This is quite a noble and principled attitude. However, your use of “defamatory” invites a strict interpretation of the First Amendment. The US Supreme Court has repeatedly straddled the line between free speech and civil liability when defamation is concerned.

  83. If you don’t like the historical temperatures – as uncertainly inaccurate as they may be – then it appears that Mann must Mannufacture alternatives.

    It seems that following procedure is followed:

    First you estimate variability. Then you Mannufacture model simulations based on your wild guess. Then you use your models to validate your guess. Then by using words such as expected, estimated, synthetic temperature histories, appears likely, likely be, artifact and flawed procedure, you claim that your wild guess is more accurate than someone else’s. What Mann-made madness is this?

    Is Michael Mannic? Suffering from delusional psychosis? What next – a paper showing that according to a model, Michael is the Mann, and anybody who does not chant the sacred Manntra is anti science, a serial denier, and unable to comprehend the true brilliance of the Mind of Mann (or Mannkind – it seems that there is more than one involved.)

    Read the following taxpayer funded extract recently concocted by the Mann Clan –

    “We estimate the low-frequency internal variability of Northern Hemisphere (NH) mean temperature using observed temperature variations, which include both forced and internal variability components, and several alternative model simulations of the (natural + anthropogenic) forced component alone. We then generate an ensemble of alternative historical temperature histories based on the statistics of the estimated internal variability. Using this ensemble, we show, firstly, that recent NH mean temperatures fall within the range of expected multidecadal variability. Using the synthetic temperature histories, we also show that certain procedures used in past studies to estimate internal variability, and in particular, an internal multidecadal oscillation termed the “Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation” or “AMO”, fail to isolate the true internal variability when it is a priori known. Such procedures yield an AMO signal with an inflated amplitude and biased phase, attributing some of the recent NH mean temperature rise to the AMO. The true AMO signal, instead, appears likely to have been in a cooling phase in recent decades, offsetting some of the anthropogenic warming. Claims of multidecadal “stadium wave” patterns of variation across multiple climate indices are also shown to likely be an artifact of this flawed procedure for isolating putative climate oscillations.”

    Is this real, or generated by a computer program?

    It’s enough to drive a Mann to drink!

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

    • Mike Flynn | March 27, 2014 at 10:47 pm

      Absolutely spot on.

      Mann’s opaque, obtuse, convoluted ‘scientific’ writing style is barely comprehensible. But he has the artful knack of making it all look meaningful. THAT Is really his major skill.

  84. Need a new post. Relpy/threading is shot on this one.

  85. Dr. Curry, my admiration for you was high before this interview, and this was absolutely stunning. You made your points on free speech and scientific integrity in a beautifully understated and confident way. You invited Bob Ward to basically agree or else to defend public policy extremism and lies about scientific certainty. When you made your point about how Michael Mann was essentially doing to you the same things for which he was suing Mark Steyn, you slam-dunked that little toad into defending political oppression, and I daresay, an openly fascist position on discourse, speech and equality under law. The Bob Wards, Cass Sunsteins and Michael Manns of this world are being exposed for what they are. And to their own discredit, they don’t even realize how bad they look. Thank you for the way you made Ward show it.

  86. DEEBEE | March 26, 2014 at 9:55 pm |
    “Yes a nice retort to the tiresome awarding rant about how things would be in the UK. War die baby the sun set on the empire where the sun would never set”

    Deebee, to speak prematurely invites hubris.
    We’ve yet to see how things are in DC, but it’s entirely possible that Mann’s case would already have been struck-out here. Each jurisdiction has it’s high hurdles, they’re just different hurdles in different jurisdictions.

  87. The Pielke, Jr., piece is getting embarrassing for Silver’s new enterprise.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/28/fivethirtyeight-climate-change-dispute_n_5049279.html
    Apparently he threatened Mann and Trenberth with lawsuits when they criticized his 538 piece. However, this is not going forwards to another trial of the century, because he seems to have backed off, with Silver feeling the need to apologize for Pielke too.

  88. Reading the transcript, it occurred to me that one should not throw a sharp hunting boomerang without knowing how to catch it.

  89. Marlo Lewis

    Brava, Judith. You stuck to the free-speech high ground, unhesitatingly defending Mann’s right to talk trash about you even though you don’t talk trash about him! The clear difference between your behavior and Mann’s could not have been lost on anyone who was paying attention.