Update: libel cases and the ‘climate wars’

by Judith Curry

Big news in the world of ‘climate wars’ – the libel case of Andrew Weaver versus Tim Ball has been dismissed by the judge —  for a rather surprising reason.

Some context on all this is provided in a WUWT post by Tim Ball — Tim Ball’s Victory in the First Climate Lawsuit Judgement – The Backstory.   The text of the judgment is available online [here].  

A post at DeSmog blog — Climate Denier Tim Ball: Trump Approved, But Not Credible Enough to Stand Accountable For Libel — makes an interesting point that is the main focus of my comments:

Justice Skolrood found that “… despite Dr. Ball’s history as an academic and a scientist, the Article is rife with errors and inaccuracies, which suggests a lack of attention to detail on Dr. Ball’s part, if not an indifference to the truth.” The judge further accepted that Ball was committed to damaging Weaver’s reputation. Justice Skolrood wrote: “These allegations are directed at Dr. Weaver’s professional competence and are clearly derogatory of him. Indeed, it is quite apparent that this was Dr. Ball’s intent.”

From Justice Skolrood’s Reasons for Judgment: “The Article is poorly written and does not advance credible arguments in favour of Dr. Ball’s theory about the corruption of climate science. Simply put, a reasonably thoughtful and informed person who reads the Article is unlikely to place any stock in Dr. Ball’s views, including his views of Dr. Weaver as a supporter of conventional climate science.”

Having admitted that his client was guilty of defamation, Scherr demanded that Weaver should have to prove that the defamatory comments actually caused damage. In the judge’s words, Scherr was seeking “a threshold of seriousness,” and arguing, in effect, that his client’s work didn’t meet that threshold.

The notion arose from a case in another Canadian province (Vellacott v. Saskatoon Star Phoenix Group Inc. et al, Saskatchewan, 2012). In that case, the court found that certain published comments were not defamatory because they were so ludicrous and outrageous as to be unbelievable and therefore incapable of lowering the reputation of the plaintiff in the minds of right-thinking persons. Against that standard, Justice Skolrood wrote, “the impugned words here are not as hyperbolic as the words in Vellacott, (but) they similarly lack a sufficient air of credibility to make them believable and therefore potentially defamatory.”

Weaver’s lawyer, Roger McConchie, is already preparing the appeal. 

So did Tim Ball libel Andrew Weaver?  Yes.  Did Tim Ball’s libelous statements damage Andrew Weaver in any way?  No.  Was the judge’s argument of ‘lacking a sufficient air of credibility’ an appropriate rationale for his decision? Is making a libelous statement canceled out if your argument lacks credibility?

Well, application of this kind of reasoning takes you into some interesting directions in Mann’s libel lawsuits

Mann’s lawsuits

Weaver vs Ball is a sideshow to the main events of Michael Mann’s lawsuits against Tim Ball, Rand Simberg, National Review and Mark Steyn.  For background on these lawsuits, see these previous posts:

The suits involving Simberg, Steyn and National Review seem hopelessly mired in delays in DC courts.  The Mann vs Ball case will also be tried in the Canadian court system, and presumably will move forward (somewhat) more quickly.

If the same reasoning in the Weaver versus Ball case prevails, then I would expect  a similar outcome in Mann versus Ball.

How would this reasoning play out in the Mann versus Steyn et al. lawsuits?  Steyn and Simberg (who are not scientists) made comments about Mann that were intended to be humorous and clever in the context of political satire, rather than seriously argued professional assessments of Mann’s research.

Under this ruling, it seems that carefully argued statements against an individual or an argument are required for damage? Even mores if the statements are made by an expert?

I have made this point before:  Mann’s libelous statements about me (because he is a scientist with many awards) are far more serious than say Rand Simberg’s statements about Mann.

Mark Jacobsen’s lawsuit against scientists and PNAS who published a rebuttal of his paper definitely meets the requirement of damage to his reputation, but it isn’t libel if the statements are correct or at least justified by evidence and arguments.

It seems that the following reasoning should apply to these lawsuits:

  1. assess whether there was any reputational or financial damage incurred by the litigant
  2. assess whether the statement in question is well argued and/or ‘true’
  3. assess whether the defendant in the litigation has sufficient reputation or standing to influence public opinion on the topic of the litigation.

The instinct of the defendants in these cases has been to address #2.  It is arguably more important and effective defense to address #1 and #3.

Mann’s AAAS Award

It is becoming very hard for Mann to claim damages from such ‘insults’ and alleged libel, given the awards, big lecture fees and book fees.

The latest award bestowed upon Mann:   the AAAS has decided in 2018 to give him its prestigious award for Public Engagement with Science. Excerpts:

In the past year, Mann has had 500 media interviews and appearances and directly reached public audiences via social media. His op-eds and commentaries have been published in dozens of outlets, including The Washington Post, The Guardian, Le Monde, CNN and The New York Times. He has also advised actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who spoke about climate change during a 2014 speech delivered to the United Nations.

In 2017, Mann was recognized with the Schneider Award from ClimateOne and the National Association of Geoscience Teachers’ James H. Shea Award. He was also inducted into the Green Industry Hall of Fame. He was elected a AAAS fellow in 2015.

Roger Pielke Jr is not pleased — AAAS Sends a Message. Excerpts:

I find this remarkable. Who is Dr. Mann?

  • He Tweets all day about Donald Trump, typically calling him names and mocking him. Mann writes dozens and dozens of Tweets about Trump every day.
  • He has suggested, on more than one occasion, that the death penalty is appropriate for a Republican member of Congress.
  • He has worked hard to have people he disagrees with fired from their jobs and suffer career repercussions, including by directly contacting employers and leading public campaigns. He has had some success.
  • He has sued people he disagrees with, including a journalist and a fellow academic. His lawsuits have been criticized by leading newspapers, including the Washington Post: “Mann essentially claims that he can silence critics because he is ‘right’ … [his lawsuit will] chill the expression of opinion on a wide range of important scientific and public policy issues.
  • He routinely excoriates individuals for being members of the Republican party and has expressed a desire for Congress to consist only of Democrats. He helps to run a Political Action Committee that has targeted several Republicans in Congress.
  • He routinely engages in name-calling, outright misrepresentation of others’ views and leads social media bullying against fellow academics.

Mann is fully entitled to his views and the use of whatever techniques he thinks appropriate to advance his extreme politics. He is certainly not alone in playing political hardball in 2018.

My issue here is not with Mann. It is with the decision by AAAS to single out Mann as someone who embodies our highest values of the scientific community: a role model to emulate who engages in behaviors to celebrate.

With this award, what message is AAAS sending to the scientific community and to the public?

The AAAS is telling us that engaging in hyper-partisan, gutter politics, targeted against Republicans and colleagues you disagree with, using unethical tactics, will be rewarded by leaders in the scientific community.

AAAS could work to help to defuse the pathological politicization of science. Instead, it has thrown some gasoline on the fire.

JC reflections

What to say about this, other than the climate science world is upside down?   On one level, all this is highly amusing.  On another level, I absolutely despair for the integrity of academic climate science.

Right now, I am feeling very well to be outside of academia and academic culture where all this would actually ‘matter.’  Instead, I’m busy working with companies and organizations to help them address their actual risks from weather and climate variations.

137 responses to “Update: libel cases and the ‘climate wars’

  1. “The law of defamation provides an important tool for protecting an individual’s reputation from unjustified attack. However, it is not intended to stifle debate on matters of public interest nor to compensate for every perceived slight or to quash contrary view points, no matter how ill-conceived. Public debate on matters of importance is an essential element of a free and democratic society and lies at the heart of the Charter guarantee of freedom of expression. As Justice Lebel observes, such debate often includes critical and even offensive commentary, which is best met through engagement and well-reasoned rejoinder. It is only when the words used reach the level of genuinely threatening a person’s actual reputation that resort to the law of defamation is available. Such is not the case here.”

    “However, it is not intended to stifle debate on matters of public interest’

    This seems to be the thrust of the Judges argument

    • A few decades ago author Leon Uris was sued for defamation in the UK by a German man over passages of text in either “Exodus” or one of Uris’s other novels about how the Jews suffered at the hands of Nazi Germany.
      The judge decided that the text was defamatory and ordered the Uris pay the person … one penny.

  2. Tim Ball is free to speak… even against the dogmatism of climatism.

  3. AAAS, have you no shame?

  4. This is why I think, and have said before here, Mann will fail against Steyn, because an important 4th point is whether the defendant has any credibility on the subject which Steyn doesn’t. Steyn basically has the satirist’s defense. Satirists and comedians can mock people and even fake defame them, but their arguments are not credible to a reasonable person who knows they are not expert enough to be trusted on the subject, and therefore they can’t defame. If a climate data analysis expert accused Mann of fraudulent behavior that would be a serious case, but they haven’t, and Steyn isn’t.

  5. While I’m not very familiar with Canadian libel law and how it differs from American libel law, I must say, I am incredibly amused by the idea the defense for Tim Ball in this case is he couldn’t have defamed Andrew Weaver because nobody would have believed what he wrote.

    That’s an interesting defense to rely on.

  6. Judith, you are in a good place. BUT, if you decide otherwise, please add me pro bono (to others, means free of charge) to your legal team. Just a skeptical Harvard law/Mass bar guy.

  7. Lawyers win. Lawyers win. Everyone else loses.

    GeeorgeDevries Klein PhD, PG, FGSA

  8. judith

    This case, Michael Mann’s absurd posturing to his fans and the gullible, and your own involvement with libel by someone who has achieved mythic and celebrity status, reminds me of four Moroccan proverbs;

    “A narrow space looks wide to the narrow-minded.”

    “A wise woman has much to say and yet remains silent.”

    “The hand you cannot bite, kiss.”

    “If at noon the King declares it is night, behold the stars.”

    tonyb

  9. Thanks. Most balanced/fair treatment of this topic I have seen.

  10. Firstly, it’s hilarious that “sceptics” are deemed incapable of libel because they’re so patently wrong all the time no one believes a word they say. Quite the victory, that.

    Secondly:

    Right now, I am feeling very well to be outside of academia and academic culture where all this would actually ‘matter.’

    Yet here you are, continuing a quintessentially academic feud with Michael Mann. Who’da thunk?

    FInally:

    I have made this point before: Mann’s libelous statements about me (because he is a scientist with many awards) are far more serious than say Rand Simberg’s statements about Mann.

    Well, you don’t say what you claim is libellous from Mann, but previously you’ve complained about being labelled a disinformer. Hate to tell you this, but truth is a defence in libel, and you’ve repeatedly used this platform to promote manifestly unscientific material eg

    https://judithcurry.com/2015/05/06/quantifying-the-anthropogenic-contribution-to-atmospheric-co2/

    You might reasonably call Mann insulting or whatnot, but there’s no way you’ve got any case for libel against him for disinforming. Not with your history of pushing this sort of nonsense.

    • Mann’s “One tree hill” Yamal hockey stick was fraud.
      Everyone knows that.
      Nothing from the skeptical side has every come close to that.
      Or the ironing flat of the Holocene climate reconstruction by mixing in bogus pollen proxies, in order to (in your own words) “lose the MWP”.
      Or “Mike’s Nature trick” to hide the decline.
      You in the Climagesterium are the quintessential masters of fraud, and will be for all time.
      Are you jealous of others threatening your crown?

    • Obviously you read her comments under the Update section. Also, unlike in some forums on the other side, there are actually critical thinkers here who put various views into perspective. In other words people are actually capable of thinking for themselves.

    • “Firstly, it’s hilarious that “sceptics” are deemed incapable of libel because they’re so patently wrong all the time no one believes a word they say. Quite the victory, that.”

      A skeptic. An article. A judgment.

      A plaintiff is Mann. Now a representative of the AAAS. Using the scorched earth method of fixing problems.

    • What is hilarious is how VTG is such an accomplished ankle biter.

    • VTG, What I see here is a nonscientist who knows far less about this “dispute” than Judith. But you come here to accuse the host of “pushing this sort of nonsense.” You of course are largely ignorant of both the science and the history of Mann’s insulting and probably libelous hyper partisanship. Judith knows vastly more because she has first hand experience.

      Further, the fundamental difference between Mann and Judith is that Mann wants to shut down debate and silence people. Judith argues the facts and the science and always accepts disagreeing responses. When she responds to something she links to what she is responding to (unlike consensus enforcers who sometimes attack people without giving readers a reference to what the victim of the attack actually said).

      The problem here really is totalitarian tendencies inherent in the consensus enforcement project. A little self-reflection might show you whether or not you share those tendencies to want to silence other people rather than argue with them.

      • Hi David. Glad to see you’ve brought your sense of irony along.

        Let’s deconstruct a little, shall we?

        …you come here to accuse the host of “pushing this sort of nonsense.” You of course are largely ignorant of both the science…

        I can only suggest you follow the link I posted, and say whether you support the nonsense first published, then defended in the comments by Judith, before accusing others of ignorance.

        When she responds to something she links to what she is responding to (unlike consensus enforcers who sometimes attack people without giving readers a reference to what the victim of the attack actually said).

        Given that this screed comes in a post entirely devoid of links to justify your position, that’s kind of amusing, don’t you think?

        The problem here really is totalitarian tendencies inherent in the consensus enforcement project.

        As the powers of the state have been used in an attempt to attack Mann, accusing him of “totalitarian tendencies” is especially ironic – and more than a little paranoid, frankly.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attorney_General_of_Virginia%27s_climate_science_investigation

        A little self-reflection might show you whether or not you share those tendencies to want to silence other people rather than argue with them.

        As someone who can’t even follow the basics of civility needed for scientific discourse, and appears unable to comprehend why that’s a problem, demanding self-reflection from others, is, well worthy of a little self-reflection from you, don’t you think?

        https://scienceofdoom.com/2017/12/24/clouds-and-water-vapor-part-eleven-ceppi-et-al-zelinka-et-al/#comment-123671

      • VTG

        Judith posted 13 links. These include the judgement itself. I don’t think anyone is entirely objective, but I knew little of this case and feel I am better informed of the reasons for it coming to court, its dismissal and the attitude of Dr Mann and others.

        If you feel it could be more objective, then I am sure Judith would welcome one of your eloquent and even handed screeds.

        As for me, the judgement seems a bit strange in apparently dismissing the knowledge of Dr Ball.

        Having said that, in recent years he has not helped himself with some of his wilder accusations of conspiracy, evidenced in articles at WUWT.I sigh when I read these and it obscures his more interesting work which appears to have peaked some years ago.

        Incidentally I have been savaged by some prominent critics for defending Dr Mann at times. I by no means believe he is a GREAT scientist but he is an adequate one, who perhaps has come to believe too much in his work with trees.

        tonyb

      • And of course, VTG responds without addressing any of the points raised. Judith has links in the post documenting the issues. Have you followed any of them?

        Mann clearly tries to silence people he disagrees with. Judith does the opposite. Case closed. Mann’s record of political controversy is beside the point. He is not a victim, but an aggressive bully. What you are doing here is a transparent strategy. You avoid explicitly avoid defending him or mentioning his bullying behaviors while portraying him as a victim.

        As someone who is not a scientist but has a track record of political consensus enforcement, you are a non-authority on how science works. Your rules for science convey a politically correct version that is incapable of grappling with any real issue. Real scientists argue about issues and try to keep away from politics. Activist scientists do not and that’s a problem that will cause people to distrust them. It’s their problem.

      • dpy

        Case closed

        This is confusing! I thought you were in favour of debate and hearing other opinions. It may be news to you, but your opinion on this doesn’t seem to be widely shared outside of the echo chamber of “sceptic” blogs.

        As someone who is not a scientist but has a track record of political consensus enforcement…

        Wow! I’m so much more powerful than I ever imagined. I must say I’m intrigued as to how and where I enforce anything. But helpfully, you provided a link to my “enforcement”, “unlike consensus enforcers who sometimes attack people without giving readers a reference to what the victim of the attack actually said”. Oh. Wait…

        Time for some more self-reflection, dpy?

      • Summarizing: VTG, you have nothing and your initial swipe at Judith was unwarranted as her post here documents in great detail.

        My best regards on your future forays into innuendo and consensus enforcement. You will benefit by learning some real science and asking yourself critical questions about your prejudices.

      • You will benefit by learning some real science and asking yourself critical questions about your prejudices.

        Sense of irony yet David?

      • VTG
        good to see you commenting here.
        I am more than a little miffed that ATTP put up a “A challenge for my readers””
        Posted on February 11, 2018 by …and Then There’s Physics.
        And then the moderators removed comments when the challenge got to hot rather than responding to them.
        I think this is totally understandable and fair but completely unconscionable given that the comments were removed without comment leaving the impression that I had not responded.
        I do not know which I find the most amusing the smugness or the hypocrisy.

    • thammond65@hotmail.com

      Deemed by a judge. It’s pretty hilarious that you think a judge determines whether science is “true” or not. But pretty typical of Alamrists.

      And you simply and utterly fail to understand science, despite pretending to defend it. Science is never settled – NEVER. Why do Alarmists like you find that so hard to understand whilst hiding behind your cloak of self-righteousness? It is simply nonsensical in the context of science to talk about “disinformation”. Everything can be questioned, everything can be overturned, everything can be doubted – that is the absolutely essential, basic characteristic of science. Anything else is religion.

      So well done, once again you demonstrate the ignorance and lack of understanding of Alarmists.

    • VTG – the fact that Dr. Curry posts the work of another for discussion proves nothing. In fact, in the post Dr. Curry says:

      “JC note: This was originally posted on Fred Haynie’s blog, where there are some good comments. This post was mentioned in the comments on a previous thread, where a request was made to discuss this topic at CE.”

      I am making no personal judgment on Fred’s analysis; I find Greg Goodman’s comments and ensuing discussion with Fred on the original blog post to be interesting.”

      So, as someone else notes, you are nothing but a vacuous ankle biter.

    • Guys,

      In order to enter into a discussion with an ankle biter, you have to stoop to there level. VTG is well spoken, but still can only bite at a level well below that of our host. If this is not obvious enough, the fact he seems to hang with Kenny is enough to tell us that VTG is at best comedic relief

  11. “While the impugned words here are not as hyperbolic as the words in Vellacott, they similarly lack a sufficient air of credibility to make them believable and therefore potentially defamatory.”

    I find it odd that if this judge believed the gist of the article then it would have been defamatory. Both these guys stand convicted of prevarication and disingenuousness – but let’s face it the judge doesn’t know his arse from his elbow – climate science is cr@p.

    Models cannot predict – and even credibily ‘project’ –
    future climate – acknowledged in the TAR at least. Both models and climate are coupled, nonlinear chaotic systems – acknowledged in the TAR at least. Climate change is typically abrupt. Defined by the National Academy of Sciences as climate change that “occurs when the climate system is forced to cross some threshold, triggering a transition to a new state at a rate determined by the climate system itself and faster than the cause. Chaotic processes in the climate system may allow the cause of such an abrupt climate change to be undetectably small.” Climate is not merely unpredictable but almost unknowable.

    And there is an entire industry committed to obscuring reality and pretending they know what they are talking about. As well as a veritable crusade of ill-informed, ill-mannered and dishonest proselytizers with a social and economic agenda that dare not speak its name. But truth is apparently not a defense.

    • Apparently in Canada – truth is not a defense.

      “To establish a claim in defamation, a plaintiff must establish three elements: i) that the impugned words were defamatory; ii) that they referred to the plaintiff; and iii) that they were published, meaning that they were communicated to at least one other person.”

    • I find the judge’s comments disturbing. He has passed judgements that he is in no position to make. My bottom line for his reasoning is this: if future research finds that CO2 is a minor player in global climate, and the evidence is accepted as “solid”, that would reverse the decision. Simply put, everyone the judge now thinks is credible would no longer be such, and those now not credible would be the “mainstream climatologists” whose opinions would carry weight. It all seems rather ridiculous.

  12. “[Mann] routinely excoriates individuals for being members of the Republican party and has expressed a desire for Congress to consist only of Democrats.” If this comment from Roger Pielke Jr is accurate, it seems that Mann would prefer the USA to be a one-party state. Is that a view also held by the AAAS?

  13. The process is the punishment the monetary award is meaningless

  14. Isn’t Steyn’s position that he truly believes Mann’s research was a fraud, not that he was being “humorous and clever”. As that is his true opinion, he is free to express it. Doesn’t he now continually call Mann things like “Mr. Fraudy Pants”?

    • I think like most people who have looked into it, including many climate scientists in their emails with colleagues, (see Steyn’s book with quotes from other scientists on Mann) think that Mann’s work is often not totally believable. He likes to use ad hoc statistical procedures to throw out data or weight data he likes at will. When Steyn quotes Simberg, he is not responsible for Simberg’s words. I seem to remember that Steyn was careful with his words when he quoted him. Then he said that Mann was truly the master of the “tree ring circus” which is clever and in line with his role as a political satirist. Yes, he now calls him Mr. Fraudy Pants, knowing that things said that are clearly humor have not in the past been allowed to be called libel in the US. He also now has the research and all the quotes from other scientists and the actual conclusions and words from committees that have investigated Mann so he is actually very confident that he can show in court that Mann’s work is shoddy in places and that critiquing someone’s work is not libel.

      • How to get ahead in climate science:
        1. Imagine headline
        2. Employ novel methods
        3. Mine data
        4. Repeat steps 2&3 until objective 1 is met
        5. Profit

        #soundbitescience

  15. “With this award, what message is AAAS sending to the scientific community and to the public?”

    The message is AAAS is now an ASS (American Stupid Society)

    This is their new logo

  16. Excellent post, Judith.

    Like you “I absolutely despair for the integrity of academic climate science.”

    I can certainly understand your “feeling very well to be outside of academia and academic culture where all this would actually ‘matter.’ Instead, I’m busy working with companies and organizations to help them address their actual risks from weather and climate variations.”

    Thanks for the excerpts from Roger Pielke Jr’s “AAAS Sends a Message”. Very interesting.

    I think Mann is a disgrace. It amazes me how much damage is being done to science. He should have to pay for his own court cases out of his own pocket, not have his employers paying for him.

    • Peter,
      Dr. Mann received support from the:
      “Climate Science Legal Defense Fund”
      Columbia Law School
      https://www.csldf.org/

      From the web site:
      “The initial effort raised over $100,000 to pay for Mann’s legal bills. Following years of litigation, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled in Mann’s favor in spring 2014.

      Following this success, and in realization of the need to become a stronger, more permanent organization, Naomi Oreskes, a Harvard University science historian and author of Merchants of Doubt, and Jeff Masters, founder of Weather Underground Inc., joined what later became the organization’s founding board.

      As we grew, we added to the legal support and education services we provide the climate science community. These now include legal clinics at major scientific gatherings, workshops, webinars, and continuing legal education courses for attorneys.

      In 2015, we gained 501(c)3 status and hired our first executive director, Lauren Kurtz. We now have a staff of four, as well as a committed group of pro-bono attorneys, law professors, and other volunteers who help us achieve our mission.

      • Interesting. Since they are 501(c), they would have difficulty declining requests for help from say myself, Pielke or even Tim Ball.

      • You won’t find anything about Mark Steyn, National Review, Rand Simberg or AEI at the CSLDF site. For that I suspect there’s a clandestine CSLOF (Climate Science Legal Offense Fund).

      • OMG, so no science involved, just zealots pushing their ideology and using lawyers to block science. This is returning us to pre The Enlightenment times.

      • Judith

        The web site reads;

        ‘The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) protects the scientific endeavor by providing support and resources to scientists who are threatened, harassed or attacked for doing their job.

        We achieve our mission by:
        Offering free legal aid to scientists
        Educating researchers about their rights and responsibilities
        Sharing strategies and information about cases with attorneys
        Publicizing attacks on science — because knowledge is power

        Our goal is to protect the right of scientists to pursue and publicize their research. The continuation of their work is critical to our survival and the success of future generations.

        How We’re Making a Difference in the War on Science

        When scientists find themselves targeted by the anti-science movement, they turn to us. Since 2011, we’ve assisted hundreds of researchers by providing legal counsel, matching them with pro bono legal representation, and filing amici curiae — “friend of the court” — briefs in their cases.”

        Noble aims but I think the key phrase is ‘anti science.’
        I would imagine the group think that everyone that disagrees with them is anti science, so that would be the first hurdle to clamber over.

        In this respect I note they are looking for legal people to join their team pro bono and it would be a good test of their aims if Rud offered his legal services to them.

        There are some good people on their science team such as Scott Mandia, others are more lightweight or are such activists it is difficult to read their output as it is less than objective or balanced

        tonyb

      • Tony – I have written for conservative publications – they like my science communication until I refuse to say that the hiatus means that CO2 doesn’t influence climate. The comments typically include numbers of nut jobs who would not hesitate to harass and attempt to intimidate anyone they might harbor a seething hatred for. The other side are far more the sanctimonious twit type. They write academic, opinion and blog pieces saying that skepticism is a criminal enterprise and create lists of those going up against the wall come the revolution. Which may be more dangerous in the long run – but they tend not to own guns on an individual basis. There is a war on science from both sides. I used to be on those lists
        – now I am just another nonentity with a fascination for natural philosophy. I think it is a shame all round.

      • RE: “. . . In 2015, we gained 501(c)3 status and hired our first executive director, Lauren Kurtz. . . .”

        For those of us unfamiliar with the term ‘501(c) status’ could someone please explain?

      • I am not sure if the by-laws of the organization would allow it to exclude supporting any scientist’s or engineer’s request for legal support or not.

        Given the recent Jacobson suite against Clack et al it will be interesting to see if CSLDF supports either side in the dispute.

        A petition is circulating requesting that Dr. Jacobson end his suite-

        https://www.gopetition.com/petitions/dont-sue-science.html

    • The judge in the Ball/Weaver case held that Ball didn’t advance any credible arguments and that no informed person would believe what he said.

      Is the judge saying that Tim Ball’s views as a skeptic have no credibility, and that climate change skepticism itself has no credibility; or does he mean that Ball’s deficiencies are poor presentation, inaccuracte statements and poor reasoning? In the first instance the judge clearly has no business saying that skeptical science is by definition wrong. The second instance is a more defensible statement for a judge to make – if he’s saying that Ball’s case was so poor that no one would believe him.

      I don’t know what Ball said. What was the judge really talking about in saying that Ball did not make a believable case?

      • He is saying a clown can say or write defamatory things about somebody, but that there can be no damage to that person because all reasonable people know the clown is a total clown.

      • On January 10, 2011, Canada Free Press began publishing on this website an article by Dr. Tim Ball entitled “Corruption of Climate Change Has Created 30 Lost Years” which contained untrue and disparaging statements about Dr. Andrew Weaver, who is a professor in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria, British Columbia.

        Contrary to what was stated in Dr. Ball’s article, Dr. Weaver: (1) never announced he will not participate in the next IPCC; (2) never said that the IPCC chairman should resign; (3) never called for the IPCC’s approach to science to be overhauled; and (4) did not begin withdrawing from the IPCC in January 2010.

        As a result of a nomination process that began in January, 2010, Dr. Weaver became a Lead Author for Chapter 12: “Long-term Climate Change: Projections, Commitments and Irreversibility” of the Working Group I contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC.” That work began in May, 2010. Dr. Ball’s article failed to mention these facts although they are publicly-available.

        Dr. Tim Ball also wrongly suggested that Dr. Weaver tried to interfere with his presentation at the University of Victoria by having his students deter people from attending and heckling him during the talk. CFP accepts without reservation there is no basis for such allegations.

        CFP also wishes to dissociate itself from any suggestion that Dr. Weaver “knows very little about climate science.” We entirely accept that he has a well-deserved international reputation as a climate scientist and that Dr. Ball’s attack on his credentials is unjustified.

        CFP sincerely apologizes to Dr. Weaver and expresses regret for the embarrassment and distress caused by the unfounded allegations in the article by Dr. Ball.

      • “Long-term Climate Change: Projections, Commitments and Irreversibility

        Even the title exhibits ignorance of climate.

        While no single measure can encapsulate climate, much less the abstract global climate, earth has undergone countless fluctuations, all of which have reversed:

        Irreversible is a scare word used by those with greater interest in political action than in science.

  17. So the only victim of Canadian justice here was the truth about the subject matter. It’s not about the personalities, it’s about the climate. “Messrs Gore and Macron “saving the planet from catastrophe”, coming soon, for fast buck for insiders and no effect except avoidable energy poverty for the public..

    BUT THTAT”S NOT IT, REALLY. The whole thrust of this debate is to keep attention away from the real fraud in science fact, the money wasted on snake oil remedies by law this rhetoric is exploited to justify. Diverting attention from the elephant in the room, that AGW is hugely exagerated, probably insignificant, and cannot change much in several lifetimes, and does not justify any of the very profitable and expensive measures enacted in its name, which make its single and deadly natural supposed cause worse by laws that are regressive inscience fact on each of their own justifications.

    It’s not about the egos and deceit of academics and the tiny few Bilions more wasted by the hugely wasteful insider boondoggle that is the UN gravy train on proving their scapegoat gas guilty for profit by one cause “science”, using co-operative leftist pseudo scientists. Feynman’s “experts” …”with an opinion and typewriter”. It’s about the MONEY.

    Trillions pa are being diverted into the pockets of those offering heavily subsidised so guaranteed profitable snake oil remedies like Musk and the renewables industry. Mad Mother Merkel’s energiwende is perfect evidence for that, and always had to fail on the hard fact science denial of established energy physics and its engineeering delivery. This renewable fraud relies on the smokescreen of ultimately unprovable climate change cause and is desperate to keep blaming all the change onto an in fact logarithmically reducing with concentartion single cause, that might account for a tiny amount of additional warming, less that 1% of natural GHE, less and less effective as level’s increase, all facts.

    Whatever the Facts on E CLimate, the Facts on Energy are absolute, and any challenge to an exposure of the professional decit on such measures is must succeed on the facts. But it seems the one thing that doesn’t matter in law is the facts, or fraud.

    How to attack the actual deceit and real science denial of the knowing fraud of climate change based renewable energy extortion, in such a way that the law has to consider the facts of the actual fraud, not the unprovable asssertions on the role of CO2 in climate change or the reputaions of the academic PR men for the rackets that justify them, and detach the debate from the climate to focus on the facts of what is done in its name that can only make energy supply expensively worse in fact, FOR PROFIT.

    Without its life blood of climate change protection money the academic priests will soon find their temples short of funding and their decit based carreers destroyed as their pseudo science for ego and personal gain is exposed for what it is. Whatever the truth my be on the tiny amount of cliamte change any human will ever see, the facts on enrgy are clear “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.” Tell that to Mrs Merkel.

    The real problem I see in achieving the above is etsblishment law is not designed to defend the truth on the facts. It hates simple facts and scientific rigour, that overpaid lawyers cannot debate. It is written to defend the powerful by diverting argument from the core issues of fact into an equivocal choice between qualitative opinions. The law eschews the absolute tests of septical science, and introduces the idea of reasonable doubt, when there can be none on the facts. They don’t want such a test to evr happen in public under serious media scrutiny. Any high school physics sudent can suss the scam, once it is in the open. But how. Not the above way, the enrgy fraud is well hidden behind the covering fire of libel law, the climate smoke screen was not even tested.

    • I disagree, it’s less about the money, and more about power and political control. Consider Dr. Mann’s actions. Those actions are not about the money at all. It’s about obtaining dominance and control over thought processes, and suppression of dissenting views. Ultimately achieving dominance and permanent political control by a single political/scientific ideology.

      The communists (20th century Soviets, and Chinese in particular), the Imperial Japanese, and the Nazis were pros at political control. Here, the difference between totalitarian political control and climate dogma enforcers is that the AGW climate science enforcers only take your career, and possibly your bank account if you dissent. The communists, Imperial Japanese, and Nazis took your life if you dissented.

      Effectively, there is no difference between these types of antagonists. The result is the same for those who simply strive to survive: suppression of honest dialog, elimination of free thought, suppression of alternate scientific explanations, enforcement of dogmatic thought, and the loss of freedom.

      Science will suffer for hundreds of years if these AGW climate science enforcers are allowed to win their war on science.

  18. “a reasonably thoughtful and informed person who reads the Article is unlikely to place any stock in Dr. Ball’s views”

    ’bout 97% unlikely?

    Andrew

  19. I think the Mann-v-Steyn case should get the same sort of judgement as the Weaver-v Ball case.

    That the ‘offending’ article is so badly written, error filled and obviously antagonistic, that any reasonable reader would conclude that it does far more damage to the already poor reputation of Steyn than it can do to Mann.

    Of course if you share Steyn’s crank views, or have an animosity towards Mann you may take a different view.

    • Oh, any person capable of actual logical thought may take a different view. However, there are apparently a lot of people who otherwise perceive of themselves as intelligent and/or reasonable who lack that capacity. Dunning and Kruger had something to say on the matter.

    • Mr. Mann, who has quietly acknowledged using data with the wrong sign (upside down) in a publication, is eminently assailable on scientific grounds.

      A judge, with nowhere near Dr. Ball’s expertise (nor Mann’s), has decreed that Dr. Ball’s arguments are sloppy. I don’t know what the particular scientific issues in this case were, and I have areas of disagreement with Dr. Ball. If Mr. Mann were to sue me, he can rest assured that there would be no weaseling out by 1 or 3. He could expect a full bore scientific inquisition.

  20. Other climate scientists should sue man for damaging their careers by impugning the credibility of the field by using invalid methodology and not retracting his papers.

  21. Let’s be sure to first separate the science wheat from the personality chaff.
    The original 1998 Mann et al was a startling scientific firebell in the political wars over climate.
    On the science side, the basic observations have been replicated and extended. Our understanding of paleoclimate since the glaciers began to melt to the present day with recorded temperature has vastly increased. Yes, AGW is real and indeed we humans are warming the planet at a breathtaking rate.
    Now, the practical implication of paleoclimate work on the political scene. These data present an existential threat to two groups: 1) economically to fossil fuel producers and 2) ideologically to anti-government groups as an overall solution will take inter-governmental cooperation and regulation. As a result, enormous effort has gone into discrediting Mann specifically and science generally. It continues today, but it is failing as science moves forward to show how AGW is changing the climate system and its many parts.
    Now at the personal level – all of this venom and misinformation aimed at Mann has caused him to fight back – in multiple venues – in the courts, on Twitter and other social media, in presentations, and most importantly in continuing his scientific work. For this defense of both himself and science, AAAS has presented Mann with one of its top awards.
    So in summary, Mann continues to win and most importantly science continues to win – much to the anguish and bile of those who tried to stop him and science whether for money or their ideological beliefs.

    • Science wheat and personality chaff.

      “…humans are warming the planet at a breathtaking rate.”

      It’s not science, not breathtaking and is some of my personality. I am fine. I will not be washed out to sea, drown or watch crops die. I think I can read a bit, and 2.0 C per century is boring.

      I do not claim the fossil fuel leaders and the anti-government types have taken to their bunkers. To date the political climate allows them walk among us. And the song remains the same. Economic throughput.

      • Let’s look at the data, Brian.
        From the glacial max to the warmer Holocene, the temp rise was 3.5-4 degrees C over about 6,000-7,000 years (a global average) and now we have about one degree C in about 100 years. To me, that qualifies as breathtaking.
        I would agree the technically correct term for the downwelling IR would fall under radiative transfer which is the title of quite a few chapters in climate and atmospheric science texts. But greenhouse effect has become the common, lay term. Doesn’t upset me.
        The total AGW added “greenhouse” gas effect is now close to an average 3 Watts/m^2 with CO2 being the largest contributor. First, a Watt is one joule per second. Second, there are about 510 billion square meters on the earth’s surface. A bit of simple math shows the enormous amount of energy being added the to the earth’s climate system – and when you add up the ocean heat content, the melting of ice, the surface and atmospheric temp increases – the observations are reasonably close to those numbers.
        And science works – in the area of paleoclimate, look at the ongoing work to understand the seasonal differences in the various proxies to grapple with those potential biases. For example: Marsicek et al “Reconciling divergent trends and millennial variations in Holocene temperatures” Nature 554:92-96 2018
        So nothing really amiss on the science side – in terms of our human emotions and tendency to personalize and argue – that’s another matter altogether.

      • Science says, Hiroshima bombs of joules in the oceans. Science doesn’t tell me I have to care. I don’t, beyond wondering how it all works. I am fine. The science is the chaff if whatever is not impacting me, will hardly impact me or will be mildly favorable to me. Science says a Tesla can travel to the vicinity of Mars. But it doesn’t say I have to ride a bicycle and eat tofu because poor people live on rafts in Bangladesh.

      • Someone is still up to the old, discredited trick of splicing recent instrumental data giving high temporal resolution with together with paleodata of low temporal resolution. That will always make any recent trend look alarming, because all the similar spikes in the past are suppressed in the low-resolution data.

    • Regarding Prof. Mann’s “data”, watch here.

    • I see you belong to the “everyone has their own reality” crowd.

    • This is the location of PAGES2K 2013 study – that I use because regional variations are presented rather than a single global average. Most of these proxies are in higher latitudes and elevation. The question arises about whether these capture the much larger variability of tropical and sub-tropical regions – on land as well as oceans – which is where most heat is captured by the planet before being transported into higher latitudes and lost. Splicing the modern instrumental record onto this is chalk and cheese. Nor indeed is forcing – that we are coming to realize not linearly additive. The efficacy depends on nature of the forcing, regional atmospheric differences and the response of the global climate system.

      “RF provides a limited measure of climate change as it does not attempt to represent the overall climate response.” (IPCC, 2007, WGI, p 133)

      Regional reconstructions show variability across the millennia but little in the way of synchronous global change.


      http://epic.awi.de/32886/1/PAGES2k_NGEO_inpress.pdf

      “Temperatures did not fluctuate uniformly among all regions, highlighting the regionally specific evolution of temperature at multidecadal to centennial time scales (Fig. 2). However, the period from around ad  830 to 1100 generally encompassed a sustained warm interval in all four Northern Hemisphere regions. In South America
      and Australasia, a sustained warm period occurred later, from around ad 1160 to 1370. In the Arctic and Europe, temperatures were relatively high during the first centuries ad. Most other reconstructions are too short to infer temperatures before around ad 1000.” A global average of these regional variations would seem to be problematic. This is not bad science – simply its importance and precision is overstated by advocates resurrecting the hockey stick.

      The NAS long ago discussed the difficulty of interpreting paleo data. “Now imagine that you have never seen the device and that it is hidden in a box in a dark room. You have no knowledge of the hand that occasionally sets things in motion, and you are trying to figure out the system’s behavior on the basis of some old 78-rpm recordings of the muffled sounds made by the device. Plus, the recordings are badly scratched, so some of what was recorded is lost or garbled beyond recognition. If you can imagine this, you have some appreciation of the difficulties of paleoclimate research and of predicting the results of abrupt changes in the climate system.”

      I have repeatedly insisted that the real climate risk is from abrupt and more or less extreme change – the Pacific regimes are just one example. A globally coupled system that will shift 3 or 4 times this century. And that the ways to reduce this risk are to restore soils and ecosystems, reduce black carbon and co-emitted sulfates using off the shelf technology, manage multiple gas emissions and innovate in energy and productive technologies. Sensible global policy that relies on democracy, the rule of law and economic development. The social and economic transformation required is to build prosperous and resilient communities in vibrant landscapes this century. I am sure that most of the world’s scientists can agree on that. This is the democratic capitalist as opposed to the invidious democratic socialist model.

    • “Recent scientific evidence shows that major and widespread climate changes have occurred with startling speed. For example, roughly half the north Atlantic warming since the last ice age was achieved in only a decade, and it was accompanied by significant climatic changes across most of the globe. Similar events, including local warmings as large as 16°C, occurred repeatedly during the slide into and climb out of the last ice age. Human civilizations arose after those extreme, global ice-age climate jumps. Severe droughts and other regional climate events during the current warm period have shown similar tendencies of abrupt onset and great persistence, often with adverse effects on societies.” https://www.nap.edu/read/10136/chapter/2

      The US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) defined abrupt climate change as a new climate paradigm as long ago as 2002. A paradigm in the scientific sense is a theory that explains observations. A new science paradigm is one that better explains data – in this case climate data – than the old theory. The new theory says that climate change occurs as discrete jumps in the system. Climate is more like a kaleidoscope – shake it up and a new pattern emerges – than a control knob with a linear gain.

      Decades ago I became intrigued by a geomorphological observation of change in eastern Australian streams. The morphology of streams changed abruptly from high energy braided forms to low energy meandering forms – it led to the discovery of regimes in eastern Australian rainfall. It is of course related to the IPO that results in rainfall regimes across the planet – including the US. It also influences global temperature primarily through low level cloud variability.

      e.g. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016GL071978/abstract

      These regimes warmed the planet to 1944, cooled it to 1976 and warmed it again to 1998. And please – not the sulfate meme.

      So one may start the count in 1950 – but that seems more a trifle disingenuous – and the early century warming was not CO2.

  22. The rate is not breathtaking, unless you take very short breaths.

    1. 0.8 degrees in 140 years is in the natural range of an interglacial peak, insignificant in an ice age cycle. The selected scapegoat of ACO2 is negatively correlated with temperature for many significant periods, also a small effect versus natural Back IR variation per IPCC’s own “hot” statistical computer models.

    2. Any CO2 effect is known to be self inhibiting, effect logarithmically reduced by the negative feedback of band saturation effect. Science fact. othing to see here. Time to look at the more credible causes and drop the show trial for profit?
    3. 1.6W/m^2 is not even significant in the natural variation of overal natural 340W/m^2 of back IR, which science also knows is not a greenhouse effect. More fake science on the facts of real science..

    3.Greenhouses are closed boxes that in fact transmit most of the IR bandwidth, and trap convected heat by enclosure. Troposphere doesn’t work like that. Climate science as advertised is a fabric of partial deceits, on the science facts.

    4. Those who won’t sign up to establishment propaganda for profit of the climate Nastis are hounded out of their jobs by the greenshirts like the Piltdown Mann Ortleiter, keen to defend his warm period denying collage of disparate data sets, carefully modified and joined together to create an apparently contiguous but actually fabricated forgery. Not even real on the evidence of those living at the time, or the geology..

    You gotta ask yourself, How does that work? Compared to what, exactly? How lucky do I feel?

  23. It is amazing how the defamation elephant in the room is invisible in climate science communities.

  24. The problem here is that the values of collegiality have been violated over-and-over-and-over-ad-infinitum.
    It IS possible to disagree about science facts, science opinions, research findings and policy issues without engaging in the kinds of truly deplorable behavior we have seen from “both sides” [how I hate having to say that] of the Climate Controversy.
    When one steps outside the bounds of civility and collegiality, descending into hyperbolic rant, name-calling and unsupportable accusations, one opens themselves to receiving the same back again, and to the force of laws on libel and slander.
    It is not wrong to hold people accountable for what they say about others.
    It is not right to sue others to silence their scientific opinions.

  25. It is somewhat ironic that climate scientist Prof. Mann received a prestigious award for Public Engagement with Science about climate science during a period in which public concern/engagement about/with climate science was at an all time low. It might appear to a skeptical person that Prof. Mann’s skill at public engagement about climate science is matched by his skill at climate reconstruction.

  26. I would suspect that the recent award that was given to Prof Mann was at least in part for his resilience in defending mainstream science in the face of such targeted disparagement.

    That the award is intended to show group solidarity with his position as the Serengeti target of the contrarians as much as acknowledgement for the quality of his early work on climate reconstructions that have been largely confirmed by subsequent research.

  27. the libel case of Andrew Weaver versus Tim Ball has been dismissed by the judge — for a rather surprising reason:

    From Justice Skolrood’s Reasons for Judgment: “The Article is poorly written and does not advance credible arguments in favour of Dr. Ball’s theory about the corruption of climate science. Simply put, a reasonably thoughtful and informed person who reads the Article is unlikely to place any stock in Dr. Ball’s views, including his views of Dr. Weaver as a supporter of conventional climate science.”

    Simply put, a reasonably thoughtful and informed person who reads the Article is unlikely to place any stock in Dr. Ball’s views,

    Sooo reasonable and informed people should not place any stock in Steyn and Simberg’s views? except maybe to laugh!

    How would this reasoning play out in the Mann versus Steyn et al. lawsuits? Steyn and Simberg (who are not scientists) made comments about Mann that were intended to be humorous and clever in the context of political satire, rather than seriously argued professional assessments of Mann’s research.

    Under this ruling, it seems that carefully argued statements against an individual or an argument are required for damage? Even mores if the statements are made by an expert?

    I have made this point before: Mann’s libelous statements about me (because he is a scientist with many awards) are far more serious than say Rand Simberg’s statements about Mann.

    So I ask myself:
    Did Steyn and Simberg’s views cause damage?

    Did Mann’s views cause damage to Dr Curry — Her reputation as a scientist, Her professional career, Her financial situation ala her job at Georgia Tech?

    It looks, to me, like showing damage is the key issue not unlike Climate Change itself.

  28. Dr. Weaver has surely suffered no harm to his reputation. He is currently the leader of the Green Party in British Columbia. In the most recent provincial election the Greens won three seats and now hold the balance of power in a minority government by lending their support to the socialist New Democratic Party (NDP) which has formed government. The NDP will govern at Weaver’s pleasure; if they should displease him he can withdraw the Greens support and force an election.

    Right now in BC the government is doing its best to oppose the twinning of an oil pipeline from Alberta. The NDP did decide to complete a major hydro-electric project, Site C, despite the Greens’ opposition. As well, Weaver and his party are adamantly opposed to any oil and gas projects in the province. He is a strident environmentalist; it is hard to imagine his very public political stance is not reflective of his professional views, and vice versa. It seems that Dr. Ball had little influence on the minds of party members and voters who elected Dr. Weaver to both the leadership of the Green Party and to a seat in the BC Legislative Assembly.

  29. ““The law of defamation provides an important tool for protecting an individual’s reputation from unjustified attack. However, it is not intended to stifle debate on matters of public interest nor to compensate for every perceived slight or to quash contrary view points, no matter how ill-conceived.”

    When I was in law school I had a classmate whose father was accused of bank fraud by a local television station. He lost his job and was never employable again. He suffered grave financial loss and emotional anguish. He filed a lawsuit asserting that the accusation was false and defamatory and I believe he would have prevailed had he not died prematurely before the case came to trial. Unfortunately, a lawsuit for defamation does not survive the death of the plaintiff.

    The case illustrates the type of situation where “the law of defamation provides an important tool for protecting an individual’s reputation from unjustified attack.” The lawsuit by Michael Mann is an example of the opposite. It is a sad abuse of the legal system..

  30. Since the AAAS has seen fit to honor Michael Mann;
    Surely next he should be nominated to receive the NAS Public Welfare Medal (Academy’s Highest Honor), following in the illustrious footsteps of CAGW Godfather Maurice Strong :: ))
    https://judithcurry.com/2018/01/03/manufacturing-consensus-the-early-history-of-the-ipcc/#comment-864149

    Arrgghh.. gag.. just kidding!

  31. Sadly, Tim Ball did some excellent work and contributed to debate significantly early in his retirement. But I stopped reading anything of his several years as he became rather crank’ish. Suggests the judge is probably right and it’s not worth knowing any details.

    Seems to be a Salby-effect, where a reasonable person is attacked viciously and then flies off the deep-end.

  32. Don’t despair for the integrity of academic climate science. That ship has done sailed.

  33. Geoff Sherrington

    It will end in tears. Judges should not decide if a nominated piece of science is credible or not. The end.
    Geoff.

    • On January 10, 2011, Canada Free Press began publishing on this website an article by Dr. Tim Ball entitled “Corruption of Climate Change Has Created 30 Lost Years” which contained untrue and disparaging statements about Dr. Andrew Weaver, who is a professor in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria, British Columbia.

      Contrary to what was stated in Dr. Ball’s article, Dr. Weaver: (1) never announced he will not participate in the next IPCC; (2) never said that the IPCC chairman should resign; (3) never called for the IPCC’s approach to science to be overhauled; and (4) did not begin withdrawing from the IPCC in January 2010.

      As a result of a nomination process that began in January, 2010, Dr. Weaver became a Lead Author for Chapter 12: “Long-term Climate Change: Projections, Commitments and Irreversibility” of the Working Group I contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC.” That work began in May, 2010. Dr. Ball’s article failed to mention these facts although they are publicly-available.

      Dr. Tim Ball also wrongly suggested that Dr. Weaver tried to interfere with his presentation at the University of Victoria by having his students deter people from attending and heckling him during the talk. CFP accepts without reservation there is no basis for such allegations.

      CFP also wishes to dissociate itself from any suggestion that Dr. Weaver “knows very little about climate science.” We entirely accept that he has a well-deserved international reputation as a climate scientist and that Dr. Ball’s attack on his credentials is unjustified.

      CFP sincerely apologizes to Dr. Weaver and expresses regret for the embarrassment and distress caused by the unfounded allegations in the article by Dr. Ball.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        JCH,
        Dear me, I was talking about Judges evaluating Science and you reply with social gossip. Why?

      • It is the website’s actual apology, word for word, to Andrew Weaver for what one of their contributors, Ball, wrote in an article that was published on their website.

        They deleted the article and apologized. Ball apologized.

        So where’s the gossip?

  34. The libel laws should be scrapped. At the very least, noone with the privilege of public funding should be entitled to sue.

  35. Mann is a dog whistle for skeptics. He is/was at the center of a climate crossroads. He’s too wound up I think. He has had some success.

    As skeptics focus on Mann, he too does focus on skeptics. Playing the man and not the ball. I cannot judge his climate science work, but I suppose setting aside the tree rings thing, it’s Okay.

    Steyn does short segments for Fox News. To attack Steyn attacks the Republicans to an extent as most will default to Steyn. We ask, Why polarization? Fox News, Steyn? Perhaps Michael Mann feeds it anyways.

    Willard has put forth the idea of Freedom Fighters. Mann is the left’s version of one. When we compare the sides, he Freedom Fights from the consensus side with its numerous advantages while having sufficient knowledge of the science.

    It isn’t enough to have won the battle, the revolution must continue. Whatever we call those not on board, we must be vigilante against them, lest the revolution succumb.

  36. Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.”
    – Marcus Aurelius

    tonyb

  37. Well Tim Ball can get away with the “clown” defense I guess. I am not so sure that will apply to Mark Styne though, he appears to promote himself as someone you should take seriously.

    There would be no need for these suits if the “contrarians” were intellectually-honest, which is what genuine criticism should be.

    • Swimming rodent misses the point and the spelling.

      If Dr Ball is seen as not a reasonable expert on the science, a political satireist is how?

  38. Pingback: World’s Largest Science Organization Gives Top Honor To Conspiracy-Monger Michael Mann - Novus Vero

  39. Pingback: Covefefe Press & News Coverage World’s Largest Science Organization Gives Top Honor To Conspiracy-Monger Michael Mann

  40. For those who want to know how Mann looks to non scientists, here’s a good summary of the case against Mann.

    http://thefederalist.com/2018/02/17/worlds-largest-science-organization-gives-top-honor-conspiracy-monger-michael-mann/

    • Interesting article although somewhat biased, mind you it seems that anything Dr Mann does can not be viewed objectively by either side as he is such a noted activist.

      This from the article;

      “After one lawmaker asked about this, Curry addressed Mann’s unprofessional conduct: “What I’m concerned about is the behavior of scientists. I’ve been called a denier for the congressional record from Michael Mann’s testimony. What kind of a behavior is that? This is not the behavior of scientists who are respectfully disagreeing and open to debate.” Mann replied he hadn’t called her a denier, even though it was in his written opening remarks. He can’t even keep his own story straight.’

      I am just about to go out and check his written opening remarks

      tonyb

      • bottom of page 6, terming JC a denier.

        Mann. A liberal college professor AGW alamist soothsayer Scientist. What a way to be distingquish.

      • tonyb,

        I did not read, I scanned.

        However, I should be careful not to out the in people here.

        I do agree that being an activist is not compatable with also being a scientist – one is sure to lose their skeptizism.

        This AAAS honor for Mann – is stunningly a dishonor to science and one would think the AAAS knows this. Which is very alarming.

        AL

    • Only had time for a quick skim. I found this

      “That includes the study28 led by Zeke Hausfather of the
      “Berkeley Earth” project—a project funded in part by the Koch Brothers and including as one of its original team members, climate change contrarian Judith Curry”

      Not sure that is the same as a ‘denier’ but I will check the text again after dinner

      tonyb

      • news article

        In one of his papers Mann suggested that climate modelers should include the AMO: a woefully horrible idea. He also tried to prove the Medieval Warm Period happened. I can’t figure out why the guy isn’t more popular around here!

      • Took about a 2-minute scan to find the denier term used by Mann against JC. He even stated he uses the term very carefully … and yet he still does not remember. I think his character is thin, to be nice.

        I’m almost embarrassed to be a Penn State Grad myself.

        It would appear, tony, you did not find what you did not want to find. It’s a reflex.

      • Albert

        Well done if you found it in a two minute scan it took me much longer than that to read the document carefully and follow the links and I had no time to do that before dinner

        Yes it is clearly there. With regards to your last sentence. You clearly don’t know me if you can make such an absurd statement.

        Tonyb

      • TonyB has been outed: a card carrying warmunista alarmist pinko! 🤪

      • Jch

        Yes, I have been subverting the sceptics for years. I have had to bite my tongue as I have of course agreed with every word you and Jimd write, but I guess I can now just agree with everything you both say. It was good fun while it lasted.

        Tonyb

    • As you can see from the linked congressional statement, Mann carefully qualified how he defined denier to something that does fit what Judith Curry denies, namely
      ” the fact that human activity is substantially or entirely responsible for the large-scale warming we have seen over the past century”.
      Judith gives this a very low chance of being true. It’s the 50% argument she has carried out with Gavin Schmidt too.

      • Well, the problem is that Mann mischaracterizes what I am allegedly denying as a ‘fact’. And the use of the term ‘denier’ is entirely inappropriate in this context.

      • This is semantics. When the consensus says extremely likely and someone says unlikely, is that “denial” of the consensus view? Mann says yes. Others may just say contrarian, doubter or dismisser. There are many words to choose from.

      • There is no need to call anyone names. Why not say there is some disagreement?

      • He has been on the receiving end of a lot of names too. It’s a both sides thing.

      • Jim

        Did you read his testimonial? What a huge opinion he has of himself. No wonder he gets upset when people query how tree rings can possibly make good thermometers.

        He is an adequate scientist but his celebrity status is misplaced.

        Tonyb

      • He is vocal and a hothead. What can you do?

      • JimD, Your “all sides do it” is a false equivalency. Mann has been attacked in viscous terms by political commentators. But even that doesn’t rise to the level of Joe Romm trying to drive Pilke Jr. out of the debate. Ball doesn’t qualify as much of a climate scientist in my view. Within the community of climate scientists, the Mann activist group is vastly more egregious that Judith and most skeptics within the climate science community.

        I think that becoming as frankly political as Mann has become and his viscous attack dog tactics (Mann is as bad as Sid (viscous) Blumenthal) discredits science and should harm Mann’s reputation with the scientific community.

      • Maybe it is explained by the fact that scientists are not judged on personality but on contributions to science.

      • You want him driven out of the debate.

      • I don’t want Mann out of the scientific debate. He should be sanctioned in my view for ethical violations and unprofessional conduct

      • Harry Twinotter

        “There is no need to call anyone names”

        Pot kettle black.

      • This is semantics. Damn Jim, semantic bs is your one skill

      • I want them all taken off to gulag in UNtopia, Northern Minnesota – because climate consensus is a crime against humanity and science.

  41. The consensus is that this is the sum of climate between 1750 and 2013?

    It really isn’t. And it isn’t a matter of denying the above – just that there are other things happening in climate according to science. Denier seems both false and defamatory. The latter in terms of accusing a scientist of denying science – that appears to have had serious repercussions for Judith Curry. There would appear to be a slam dunk case for Curry in Curry v. Mann.

  42. “The large part of the country that is left-of-center, if it has any interest in winning elections, cannot simply depend on anti-Trumpism. It needs new ideas, but that requires actually having them. In the place of ideas, there is whatever this is: small differences, indignation, and an infatuation with being offended.” https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/bari-weiss-immigrants/553550/

  43. Pingback: Update: libel cases and the ‘climate wars’ – I Didn't Ask To Be a Blog

  44. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #304 | Watts Up With That?

  45. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #304 |

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