In my current case, global warm-monger Michael E Mann is suing me for defamation for calling his famous climate-change “hockey stick” fraudulent.
Yes! Yes! Mann is suing Steyn and co. for saying his “hockey stick” paleoclimate reconstruction was fraudulently manipulated for political ends, even after multiple official inquiries (including one by the National Academy of Science) exonerated Mann of any wrongdoing. Compare that with what Steyn was saying the case was about a few months ago.
In a post at NATIONAL REVIEW’s website, I mocked Dr. Michael Mann, the celebrated global warm-monger, and his ‘hockey stick,’ the most famous of all the late-Nineties global-warming climate models to which dull, uncooperative 21st-century reality has failed to live up. So he sued. [Click here for full article.]
No, Lambkin, you aren’t being sued for “mocking” anyone. You are being sued for falsely accusing someone of a specific criminal act. If it were possible to file a defamation suit for mere mockery without having it summarily dismissed, I would be shaking in my boots, wondering if Steyn would sue me because I mocked his explanation of the Hockey Stick, quoted above. You see, the Hockey Stick isn’t a “climate model,” and it doesn’t predict anything. I further explained,
As I have pointed out a number of times, Mann doesn’t even need discovery to show reckless disregard for truth/falsity in Steyn’s case. Steyn went on record recently calling the Hockey Stick a “climate model” whose predictions had failed. What possible defense can he have against the claim that he showed reckless disregard for the truth or falsity of claims that Mann’s work was “fraudulent”, when he didn’t even know what the %$@! that work was? [UPDATE: The original article had quotation marks around the word “predictions.” A reader, danger dad, pointed out that the word is not a direct quotation, so I have removed the quotation marks.]
His only real defense is what the Catholics call “invincible ignorance”. That is, he will have to claim that he is too stupid to understand the issue at hand, so no amount of study would have led him to a different conclusion, no matter how obvious.
Perhaps the mockery struck a nerve with Steyn. You will note, for instance, that my link to Steyn’s nonsensical explanation does not go to Steyn’s website, but to a web archive. He apparently took the article down from his site, perhaps belatedly realizing that it made him look like a buffoon… and didn’t exactly help his legal prospects. [UPDATE: Mark Steyn objects to this bit of speculation. See my next post for a reply.]
It may also be that Steyn realized the Invincible Ignorance defense was something of a longshot, because now he has fully committed himself to The Defense of Truth. That is, Mann can’t sue Steyn just for accusing him of fraudulently manipulating data–he actually has to show that the accusation is false. Maybe by… I don’t know… referring the jury to the several official inquiries that had already vindicated Mann and the more than a dozen subsequent studies that have vindicated the Hockey Stick? Steyn indicates that he stands firmly behind his accusations, however.
I maintain it is fraudulent, that it was fraudulently promoted by the IPCC and by Al Gore (as the great iconic all-you-need-to-know image of global warming), that Mann himself is fraudulent (falsely claiming on an industrial scale to be a Nobel Laureate) and that, indeed, even his court filings are fraudulent (falsely claiming to have been “exonerated” by the British Government and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and all kinds of other “Climategate” inquiries that have never ever investigated him).
Whew! Maybe Steyn didn’t have a clue what the Hockey Stick even was when he made his original accusation, but now that he has that all worked out, he’s SURE his accusation was REALLY TRUE… REALLY. How can he be so sure? Well, it’s like this… [crickets chirping]…. Uhhh… I guess it’s not so much that he has any evidence, per se, as that he has a CRACK TEAM OF INVESTIGATORS on the case. Not only does Steyn have a special e-mail address where his black-helicopter-watching groupies can e-mail him tips about the Mann case, but now he has even hired a mysterious, unnamed private investigator to finally reveal all those skeletons in Mann’s closet. Oh, the fact that nobody has ever seen these skeletons doesn’t fool Steyn, because his crack investigator can find stuff like that when it isn’t even there. Be afraid, Michael Mann. And watch what you put in your garbage cans.
Aside from the best free-speech legal team in the land, we’ve now taken on someone to direct this side of the investigation against Mann. He’s already working full-time on the case – he was in Washington yesterday for the Congressional hearings on the IPCC, and meeting with climate scientists and others. He’ll also be heading to Penn State and other places hither and yon. I’ve been very grateful for your suggestions since I struck out on my own five months ago, and if you’ve any more I hope you’ll continue to send them our team via email@example.com.
Yes, Inspector Steyn is on the case, and if he doesn’t succeed in finding a clue, he will at least very likely succeed at continuing to persuade the rubes to finance his legal battle via coffee mug sales and such.
It would not have been possible to take on someone to direct the investigative efforts in this case without your continued support…. If you’d like to be part of the resistance to Big Climate, we’ve brought back the SteynOnline gift certificate, [etc., etc., etc.].
This really gets to the heart of the matter. People like Mark Steyn are paid to sound very sure of themselves while they tell other Dunning-Kruger sufferers what they want to hear. If Steyn ever breaks character, and say, admits that maybe he could have possibly worded an article in a slightly less legally actionable manner… or settles the defamation suit out of court… or lets on that he just doesn’t have any hard evidence to contradict all those official inquiries that exonerated Mann… his funds will dry up. The only option is to never let up. He has to keep pretending he knows something damning about Mann, and that this is some giant battle for Freedom Of Speech, rather than an utterly mundane defamation suit. All those conspiracy nuts want COMMITMENT, because that’s the only way the insidious, massive cabal bent on world domination can ever be unmasked.
If it amuses you to watch Shaggy and Scooby posturing about the ongoing investigation into how Michael Mann managed to fabricate data that was later essentially replicated by dozens of other scientists using different temperature proxies and statistical methods, you may want to take a nostalgic trip back to some of my previous posts about a fan favorite at Climate Asylum–Lord Christopher Monckton! Remember when His Benificence threatened to sue Prof. John Abraham for revealing his many distortions and.. ahem… truth-deficient statements? And when the suit never materialized, he creepily indicated that he had investigators snooping into John’s finances? (Oh, and here, too.) Remember when I told a reporter that Monckton has a reputation for making stuff up, and he started claiming he was instigating an investigation of my conduct by my university? And then the reporter called up the University and they said there was no investigation, and never had been? Oh, and don’t forget the time he claimed to have “a senior Australian Police officer” investigating alleged “fraud” by a climate scientist. Ah, the memories.
My point, of course, is that the vague hand-waving about ongoing investigations has been done to death, so nobody is impressed by it except the same rubes who fall for it every time. Both Lord Monckton and Mark Steyn will die rich men, because that well will never dry up.
H/T to BigCityLib.