Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Climate Professor Sues Think Tank and National Review for Criticism of His Climate Research

The Washington Post reports:
In a 37-page complaint filed Monday {October 22, 2012] in D.C. Superior Court, [Penn State University Professor] Michael Mann and his attorney John B. Williams, charged the National Review and the Capitol Hill-based Competitive Enterprise Institute with six counts including libel and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The lawsuit is based on a July 13 article by Rand Simberg, published on the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s blog, titled “The Other Scandal in Unhappy Valley.” ...
Penn State Professor Michael Mann
The article compared Sandusky to Mann, accusing the the scientist of “molesting data” about global warming. It was later summarized and linked to by the National Review; in that piece, National Review writer Mark Steyn says, “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.”
The Competitive Enterprise Institute has since removed the sentences comparing Mann to Sandusky. An editor’s note says two lines were removed. 
The lawsuit says the statements in the article were made with “actual malice and wrongful and willful intent to injure Dr. Mann.”
To see the rest of the article, click here.

To refresh readers' memories, Prof. Mann contributed to the research that helped Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) win a Nobel Prize in 2007.   Then Mann's career took a turn for the worse.  Instead of the praise continuing, investigators began challenging the credibility of his scientific conclusions, most notably Mann's "hockey stick" graph showing increasing global temperatures which was based on selective data and more ignored earlier data.  Then in November 2009, hackers obtained damning emails from Mann and IPCC showing researchers were selecting using data (while hiding other data) to obtain the politically-correct conclusion that global warming was indeed happening.  Since that time the lexicon has drifted from "global warming" to "climate change."  Of course, the climate has been changing for 4.5 billion years.   By calling it "climate change" that means every weather event can be claimed as supporting the "climate change" theory.  Before that Mann and his ilk were beginning to struggle to link colder weather to "global warming."

Legally Prof. Mann has a hard row to hoe in his lawsuit.   He is a public figure which means he has to prove actual malice was intended by the publisher.  But they did not say he was a child molester, which would be defamation per se.  Saying Prof. Mann "molests" data is not accusing him of committing a heinous crime with little children.  While I wouldn't use the term "molests," there is plenty of evidence that Prof. Mann "manipulates" data to achieve conclusions he politically supports.  Bottom line is that Prof. Mann's credibility has taken a well-deserved hit and quite simply he doesn't like being challenged.  Prof. Mann is acting like a child who is angry because he can't do what he wants.  He needs to grow up.  When you attempt to pass yourself off as an objective academic wanting to know only the scientific truth while all the time manipulating data in support of a favored cause, you can expect that critics are going to challenge you.

As I've said before, the politicization of science is one of the greatest threats to public policy today.  Our universities used to place a premium on their researchers objectively analyzing data to get to the truth.  Now universities place a premium on researchers manipulating data to get politically correct results and the grants that go with arriving at those results.  Then they declare "the debate is over" and demonize anyone who dares challenge the conclusions.


Pete Boggs said...

His arrogance in filing this suit will expose his fraud.

Nicolas Martin said...

The comparison to Sandusky was disgusting and indefensible, but I'm a free press absolutist.