Mann suit to procede. Also don’t say “skeptic” when you mean “denier”.

Yay yay yay yay. I’m sick of yahoos thinking that science is just a belief system and getting away with intimidating researchers.

Also, “Skeptic” is REALLY used inappropriately here. Are there any ideologues worse than climate change deniers? I think I would rather deal with creationists. I left a comment on Mother Jones linking to the Media Guide to Skepticism.

A Win for the Climate Scientist Whom Skeptics Compared to Jerry Sandusky | Mother Jones.

In 2012—after writers for National Review and a prominent conservative think tank accused him of fraud and compared him to serial child molester Jerry Sandusky—climate scientist Michael Mann took the bold step of filing a defamation suit. The defendants moved to have the case thrown out, citing a Washington, DC, law that shields journalists from frivolous litigation. But on Wednesday, DC Superior Court Judge Frederick Weisberg rejected the motion, opening the way for a trial.

Although public figures like Mann have to clear a high bar to prove defamation, Weisberg argued that the scientist’s complaint may pass the test. And he brushed aside the defendants’ claims that the fraud allegations were “pure opinion,” which is protected by the First Amendment…

The ruling notes:

In context, it would not be unreasonable for a reader to interpret the comment, and the republication in National Review, as an allegation that Dr. Mann had committed scientific fraud, which Penn State University then covered up, just as some had accused the University of covering up the Sandusky scandal. For many of the reasons discussed in Judge Combs Greene’s July 19 orders, to state as a fact that a scientist dishonestly molests or tortures data to serve a political agenda would have a strong likelihood of damaging his reputation within his profession, which is the very essence of defamation.”

However, things are more complicated… as usual.

Some further notes on Michael Mann / Mark Steyn lawsuits | The Prussian.

The Hockey Stick Graph (Mann)

The Hockey Stick Graph (Mann)

  29 comments for “Mann suit to procede. Also don’t say “skeptic” when you mean “denier”.

  1. January 24, 2014 at 3:20 PM

    I had the same reaction when I saw this and said much the same thing when I shared it to Facebook and G+.

  2. Chris Howard
    January 24, 2014 at 4:31 PM

    Yeah, every time I point out the difference between a skeptic, and a denialist I get called pedantic… which I am, but still.

  3. Phil
    January 24, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    As has been pointed out, if there was some sort of fraud one would think the deniers would love to have the details revealed in a court of law. One wonders why they are reluctant

  4. Lagaya1
    January 24, 2014 at 6:16 PM

    Great point!

  5. CHUD
    January 25, 2014 at 3:55 AM

    I hope you were gentle on MJ. They’re the good guys. You sound quite irritated above.

  6. January 25, 2014 at 5:12 AM

    Surely, over time, most ‘old science’ is disproved or at least amended by ‘new science’. That is the very nature of what science is, there are no no final explanations. That also applies to climate change.

  7. Blargh
    January 25, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    @ Michael Greening

    To quote Isaac Asimov:

    “When people thought the earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the earth was spherical, they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together.”

    Nobody thinks that today’s climate models are final – the climate models we have are far from perfect, and there is much to discover about climatology. But do we know that the Earth is warming, and that human activity is behind it? Yes. Without a doubt.

  8. January 25, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    Humans may have played some part in climate change but we did not do so ‘wilfully’. We are not capable of that, we are just part of the evolving Earth. The climate may be getting warmer (this may not be universal, the UK, for example, could get colder) but we have no knowledge of where exactly evolution will take us. All events have causes that we can try to understand, however we are unable to predict outcomes.

  9. Lagaya1
    January 25, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    I hope that when we find our actions are harmful, we have the sense to change those behaviors. Not just say “oh well, that’s the way the cookie crumbles”, as species after species goes extinct. Do we have no responsibility? Is it going to cramp our style to do the right thing?

  10. Blargh
    January 25, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    I have no idea what you’re trying to say there. Something about intent? Evolution? No predicting outcomes? What?

    Please clarify if you can, because I honestly have no idea what point you’re trying to make.

  11. Blargh
    January 25, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    From “Some further notes on Michael Mann”:

    The “denalist” meme is intended to call up comparisons with Holocaust deniers

    Err. No. Just no.
    They’re called deniers and denialists because they engage in denialism. That’s it.

  12. One Eyed Jack
    January 26, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    Embrace you’re inner pedant, because, believe you me, he’ll notice if you don’t. 😉

  13. One Eyed Jack
    January 26, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    The Earth is not a sphere. It’s an oblate spheroid.

    I couldn’t resist. I need help. I know.

  14. One Eyed Jack
    January 26, 2014 at 1:23 PM


    Global warming is a worldwide climate metric. It is an aggregate measurement of the entire planet. Cherry picking one spot over a short period and contrasting it to somehow imply that it’s just some sort of imbalance is a mistake.

    Don’t confuse short trends and local micro-climates with long-term global climate.

  15. Blargh
    January 26, 2014 at 2:51 PM

    That is the point of the quote.

  16. January 27, 2014 at 3:49 AM

    I was not talking about ‘short periods’. Everything has many causes, however we cannot predict the interaction of those causes with any certainty. As I understand it, global warming may (or may not) cause a change of direction in the Gulf Stream. This could make the British Isles very much colder permanently (that is until things changed again). Nearly 13,000 years ago, after the Earth had been steadily getting warmer from the height of the present (or most recent) Ice Age, the process quite suddenly reversed in Europe and North America and we were back in a mini Ice Age (the ‘Younger Dryas’). That lasted for about one and a quarter thousand years. We are not quite sure why this happened , but it has been suggested that it may have been because of the melting of the North American ice sheets (now the Great Lakes), that flooded the North Atlantic with freezing water.

  17. SpaceRat
    January 27, 2014 at 9:37 AM

    You are correct. The fact that the Global Warming Advocates are now Climate Change Advocates underscores your point. The climate has been changing for millions of years,and will continue to change. The question is, “Does human activity contribute to Climate Change, and to what degree?” . It appears to this old skeptic that folks like Algore jumped on the Global Warming bandwagon without any solid proof that Human activity has much effect on the climate. None of those in that camp can say for sure if climate change is artificial, natural, or a combination of the two, and if so, to what extent.

  18. SpaceRat
    January 27, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    I have a doubt.

  19. Chris Howard
    January 27, 2014 at 11:16 AM


    My inner pendant and inner curmudgeon are fighting right now… wait. No, now they’ve ganged up on my inner child, and are kicking the crap out of him.

    Hmmm? Which dog do I feed? 😉

  20. January 27, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    Some people, who cite Human Activity as a cause of global warming, seem not to understand that what Homo sapiens did (and does) is just one of many causes. We are not something special outside evolution, we are part of it. We may adjust climate change, or we may not, that is also part of where evolution will take us. We are unable to ‘decide’ whatever the future will be.

  21. January 27, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    Um, and you seem not to understand the amount of fossil fuels we have burned that have altered the atmosphere considerably. To belittle that is folly. We have evolved a brain to measure it.

  22. January 27, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    I’ve often heard that half of science will be disproved in your lifetime. I’ve always wondered… for projectile motion, will it be the x or z component?

  23. Lagaya1
    January 27, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    Yes, it is a shame that politicians took over the issue, when it’s the scientists who know what they’re talking about. The scientists say we greatly contribute to this problem. Anyone denying that is denying science. If they’re wrong, then make your proofs. You will be famous for it.

  24. Lagaya1
    January 27, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    Here is a great chart showing scientific consensus on global warming. Links are provided by the author if you want to check out the scientific info and refute:

  25. January 28, 2014 at 4:43 AM

    You misunderstand me Sharon, I don’t dispute that human activity will have contributed to climate change. What I am saying is, that this has only become apparent to most of us within the last two or three decades. For almost all of the hundreds, indeed thousands, of years we have been using fossil fuels we had no idea of the consequences (We have been burning coal in Britain since the Bronze Age). On top of this, there is the biggest contributing factor of all, the rise in our numbers. During my lifetime alone the world human population has risen three and a half times. These are just evolutionary facts we are not ‘responsible’ for them. I appreciate and fully respect that your blog is not the place to air my deterministic and ‘original chance’ views, however, surely you must agree that the human race did not ‘decide’ to arrive where we are today. It was a sequence of events – it just happened.

  26. January 28, 2014 at 8:05 AM

    “We are unable to ‘decide’ whatever the future will be.”

    Really? Because, I’ve “decided” to stop reading your drivel.

    Human beings make predictions and adjust their actions to change things all the time. The ‘we are helpless to do anything’ line is just another kind of self-delusion.

  27. Lagaya1
    January 28, 2014 at 1:44 PM

    If you’re not arguing the origin of the warming, then I don’t understand the point of your comment. That we didn’t know until recently we were doing it? Everyone knows that. What difference does that make now? That as humans we do dumb things and will continue to do dumb things? We know that, too. That we can’t change our behavior? So not true.

  28. Poncho Villa
    February 14, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    Who is paying the lawyer fees for Michael Mann’s defamation lawsuit?

  29. Shayne O
    April 13, 2014 at 10:50 PM

    Well the basic proposition of the green house effect, that CO2 absorbs infrared light thus adding energy to the climate system has been known since the 1800s and consistantly provable in the lab and in observation.

    I don’t think the green-house effect is going anywhere. Its been established science for a very very long time. Scientists have been warning about climate change from CO2 since the industrial age, and a LOT of physics, chemistry, astronomy, geophysics, optics and so on would need to be overturned for it to be wrong.

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