Mann-Made Lawsuit

Get the popcorn going.

[Afternoon update]

I, Mark Steyn, National Review and CEI have been named. It’s four separate suits. I may be setting up a legal defense fund.

[Update a while later]

Here’s the story, at Fox News.

Legal Times has a story, too, as well as Ron Bailey at Reason. Also, Scientific American.

[Update a while later]

For those unfamiliar with the background, here are a couple articles at Forbes about the climate-gate whitewash.

66 thoughts on “Mann-Made Lawsuit

  1. Curt Thomson

    Steven Mosher in comments:

    Wow, so close to the anniversary of Climategate. Talk about tempting fate and daring the man with the key to unlock more secrets.

    No. Kidding.

  2. Ed Minchau

    From the Facebook posting, it looks like he is going after NRO, CEI, Mark Steyn, and you, Rand. The comments on FB are all inside the bubble. I think that bubble will pop during the process of discovery, which I am certain will consist of every last scrap of data he’s collected, his emails to colleagues at East Anglia and to James Hansen, inter alia. Good luck.

      1. wodun

        Considering the climategate emails showed him advocating the deletion of emails it is a safe bet he wont be able to produce them all. But how good is he? Those emails have to exist on a server someplace.

  3. Curt Thomson

    Another comment:

    I wonder if the people funding the “Climate Science Legal Defense Fund” realize their identities will be subject to discovery?

    That could be fun all on it’s own.

    And of course Phil Plait at FB: Go get ‘em, Michael! Wonder if he has any clue what Michael is really going to be getting.

    1. Andrew W

      Obviously Mann and his legal team haven’t even considered discovery /sarc

      …or maybe they have and know there’s nothing to discover.

        1. Andrew W

          Maybe because the meaning of almost any phrase or email comment can be twisted by those with a motive to do so. God knows we’ve all seen comments of our own twisted and rephrased to create new and imaginative interpretations, to the malicious parties benefit and to our own detriment.

          1. Andrew W

            Which just demonstrate my point. “Hide the decline” has a specific meaning, it refers to the tree ring divergence problem, but it’s been reinterpreted as meaning whatever people want it to mean.

          2. Al

            “it refers to the tree ring divergence problem,”

            Which is (1) fatal to the validity of the approach when you ponder it. (2) malpractice to exclude just because it’s inconvenient.

          3. John Hansen

            The problem with “hide the decline” is not that people misinterpreted it, its that most lay people misunderstand it. What it basically means is that the parameters used to calibrate their proxy (tree-rings) to the desired real data ( global temperature ) failed completely in the only area where they had the reliable real data. The action they took was not to explain this difference, but just eliminate it from the data set and replace it with other real data. This is nothing less than scientific malpractice worthy of the highest of condemnations.

          4. SCSIwuzzy

            Releasing the raw data and the method used to collect would help their defense… that is, of course, if they haven’t been doing what they’ve been accused of.
            Then sharing his methods for using the data in his models to arrive at his conclusions…
            But he’s fought this at every turn as well. Math and the scientific method do not lie, so let them “speak”.

          5. Al

            “failed completely in the only area where they had the reliable real data”

            John, the part that’s most amazing is Mann sending his own graduate student Abedneh to do a thorough re-examination of the exact same trees. A -much- larger sample of trees with good controls, etc. Including the -actual- key trees of the Greybill reconstruction. And she (a) doesn’t see the large upswing, and (b) sees the divergence. That is: A second major study in this area says everything that first miniscule study said is bogus. Buried.

  4. Daryl Herbert

    I assume this will be your last post on the matter. Most lawyers will advise clients not to discuss the suit, and not even allow comments about it on their blogs.

    Good luck, sir. Destroy this mofo. Crush him utterly. Make an example out of him.

  5. Jeff Crump

    What it may mean is that there might be some people at the organizations who cleared his Mann’s work looking for a new job sometime in the near future.

  6. Mark M

    Please let everyone know when a defense fund is set up. Much good will come out of aggressive discovery into the scams perpetrated by the climate fraudsters headed by Mann. I am sorry you have to go through this, but you will ultimately do a great service for the rest of the world.

  7. bobby b

    Sir:

    The plaintiff has known the details of the timing of this lawsuit for some time.

    If you have control over internet blogs, logs, columns with comments, boards, or most any internet site that allows outside contribution, please be aware that anyone – the plaintiff, his friends, his gerbil, his employees – have had the opportunity to place on your site comments that, while they might not be directly attributable to you, could possibly be used in his lawsuit to show something that the plaintiff wishes to show.

    It could be as simple as trying to show that you allow defamatory comments to remain on your site.

    You wouldn’t have been vigilant about it because you had no idea a lawsuit was coming this week.

    It’s not an uncommon tactic. Consider powering down, or maybe just stick everything prior to today somewhere else that’s not on line.

    (Obviously, I’m assuming you’ve not been served with any requests for such data yet, or warned on legal pleadings that your sites are relevant evidence and should be preserved.)

    Paranoia is a defendant’s best friend.

    1. jdkchem

      Nothing like invoking the crappy anti-muslim video defense. If Mann doesn’t like being called a fraud then perhaps he shouldn’t behave like one.

  8. Daryl Herbert

    re: Bobby B’s comment: I agree with his paranoia. However, DO NOT DESTROY anything. Save copies. If you delete any comments, emails, etc. that might be relevant to this suit, you could be accused of destroying evidence. Save them so you can turn them over to your attorneys.

      1. Daryl Herbert

        If Mann (and/or his allies) have destroyed crucial information, that will be a reason for the judge to punish Mann (for destroying the data, and/or for bringing the lawsuit after knowing that the data was destroyed). Punishment can be severe, including dismissing the entire lawsuit outright (which would put the defendants in a position to file a malicious prosecution action).

        Why would scientists destroy raw data that they used to support research which they consider to be of monumental importance to the world? Not for any good reason. That would be basis enough to be suspicious of said scientists, to justify suspicion that they might be frauds. And if Simberg’s suspicion was justified, then his remarks were fair comment about a public figure.

        It would also be fairly suspicious, because I don’t think any of the Climate Priests have admitted that the raw data was destroyed. They have refused to release it, but I don’t think they’ve said they destroyed it. A revelation that the data has been destroyed would raise questions like when was it destroyed, why, who did it? And why have the scientists kept that a secret until now?

        I don’t doubt Mann and his allies will kick and scream to avoid producing their data. But that doesn’t mean they will get away with it.

  9. Thucydides

    Let us know if you need a legal defense fund; as many commenters have pointed out, the discovery process should be illuminating and worth the price of the defense fund for that alone.

  10. Barbara Skolaut

    Just say the word, Rand – donation will be forthcoming.

    Looking forward to the discovery. :-D

  11. slick

    If anyone dies from any winter storms, can we put Mr. Mann on trial, such as the Italian earthquake scientists?

  12. Arizona CJ

    Rand, I hope all goes well. I think you’re on solid ground and in the right.

    Side note: I can’t access the main page of this site. It’s been down for days for me. I’m only here via the Instapundit link. If this is intentional, great, I just wanted to let Rand know in case something is doing this to him.

    The message I get (including if clicking at the top of this page) is,

    This account has been suspended.
    Either the domain has been overused, or the reseller ran out of resources.

  13. Michael Kent

    Rand, it sounds like you and a lot of people here are welcoming the suit due to the possibility of finding something worthwhile during discovery. It’s great that you’re so committed to the cause, but, man, you’re taking a huge personal risk. I hope it works out, both for you and for science.

    Good luck.

  14. jsallison

    The one and only time you commented about a comment I made was to shoot it down. Announce a defense fund and I’ll cough up. I do believe that you’re a straight shooter and will back it up, accordingly.

  15. Holmes

    Bah. An inflammatory simile is not the same as defamation. This guy knows as much about defamation law as he knows about climate change.

    1. Andrew W

      “There is a larger context for this latest development, namely the onslaught of dishonest and libelous attacks that climate scientists have endured for years by dishonest front groups seeking to discredit the case for concern over climate change,”

      I doubt that could be successfully argued as referring to any specific individuals.

  16. Mike C

    1. File this one under “It Seemed Like a Good Idea At the Time”.

    2. In a previous life, Michael Mann was Charles Dawson (the likely perpetrator of the Piltdown Man hoax).

  17. Matt J. Duffy

    Interesting case. In order to win a libel case against a public figure, the plaintiff must move that the defendant got a fact wrong and did so with “knowing disregard” for the truth. Not sure that can be proven in this case. The statements comparing Mann to Sandusky would probably be viewed as opinion. Opinions–even defamatory ones–are protected as long as they aren’t presented as fact. Think Mann’s going to have a tough uphill battle.

  18. Over50

    I would be worried about the libel suit from Jerry Sandusky. His horrendous actions left his victims alive. Mann’s actions have caused the misallocation of billions of dollars resulting in the deaths of those who could have been saved by the proper allocation of those billions.

  19. Brad L

    As a fellow Flint expatriate and frequent visitor, I wish Rand well on this lawsuit. I have defended defamation cases in Michigan for about 20 years, and one of my favorite defenses is “rhetorical hyperbole.” Based on the way Rand structured the Sandusky comment, I’m guessing he and his attorneys know all about it. So do Mann’s counsel, but they are obviously willing to overlook that obstacle for their own reasons. Basically, if Mann and his counsel can wade through about a dozen other defenses, they then need to prove that the Sandusky comment is “objecitively verifiable” as stating actual facts about Mr. Mann. That’s quite a stretch, to say the least.

  20. FSN#9

    I concur with other people: don’t post about this anymore. Save all data, but don’t provide ammunition to the enemy. The comment about the judge was most injudicious (if you’ll excuse the pun) since she is the judge of your case after all.

    1. Bart

      As much as I would like to keep abreast of the latest scuttlebutt, for the sake of our host, I concur. You have the right to remain silent, because anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.

      1. Bart

        Then again, what the hell do I know? I’m not a lawyer. Maybe goading the judge would be a good thing.

        But, I think I would get the advice of one of the actual attorney’s representing your side on it.

  21. ken anthony

    In any such your appeal, their attorney must argue issues of law, not issues of fact.

    Which means, if you are denied discovery during the case by this judge; you are also denied it during the appeal.

    This seems like a very bad turn of events.

    1. Bart

      I’ve been trying to divine their strategy in what appears ultimately to be a no-win case for them – I do not believe for an instant they haven’t gamed this out the wazoo. This may be it.

      Get a summary judgment which they know will ultimately be reversed, but claim it as exoneration, and bleed their opponents without having to divulge anything.

  22. Matt Heath

    Good luck to you. this is more about freedom of speech than global warming and Mann clearly misunderstands the sandusky analogy.

  23. Daryl Herbert

    Rand, you are a party to this lawsuit. You should never trash-talk the judge, or even link to anything negative about the judge, without the advice of your attorney. It’s a very bad idea. You get nothing. If she is as biased as has been suggested, you can trash-talk her after the fact. Doing it up front is very bad form and counterproductive.

  24. Daryl Herbert

    Have you even talked to your lawyer yet? You should speak with him or her before posting anything else remotely related to Climategate.

    You don’t want to be the Jerry Sandusky of the Mann lawsuit defendants. Remember, Sandusky gave that stupid interview before his trial–a client who can’t keep his mouth shut is a problem.

    1. Rand Simberg Post author

      With all due respect to Jerry Sandusky (that is to say, none at all), he was an idiot on multiple levels. Have you noticed what Mark Steyn has been saying?

      1. Daryl Herbert

        I was being facetious with my reference to JS. Only because you did it first, to Mr. Mann (who actually deserved it). I did not intend offense, but I did want to get your attention.

        1. Bart

          I sincerely doubt Rand was offended by the reference. I chuckled at it. Only the kind of guy so stuck on himself he would earnestly claim he “was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize” , when he was not specifically recognized by the Nobel Committee in any way, would be so thin skinned as to be offended by such a purely and obviously rhetorical device.

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