COLUMN: Michael 'hockey-stick' Mann headed for penalty box
Do you remember the "hockey-stick graph" published in 1999 that purported to show a recent catastrophic and rapid rise in global temperatures after a thousand years of gradual decline? That graph was the work of Michael Mann. It has been the centerpiece of the International Panel on Climate Change global warming propaganda and its efforts to impose global warming environmental regulations ever since.
Despite much controversy and criticism, Mann has staunchly refused to release all of the data and computer programs for peer review for 18 years now.
This has led to charges that he deliberately suppressed the true extent of what's called the "Medieval Warm Period" to make recent temperature rises look far worse than they really are with respect to the normal swings in global temperatures having nothing to do with human activity.
Mann claims that the data and computer programs are his intellectual property despite the fact that he was paid by the U.S. government to do the research. His unwillingness to allow his data to be examined by his peers has just landed him in hot water in a libel lawsuit he started.
Mann sued Tim Ball, a vocal critic of global warming alarmism, for libel in Canada. According to a July 4 article in Principia Scientific International (PSI), "Mann had sued Ball for daring to publish the damning comment that Mann 'belongs in the state pen, not Penn. State.'" This isn't the first time Mann has been accused of scientific fraud by his peers, nor is it the first time he's sued over it.
PSI reported that Mann "has astonished legal experts by refusing to comply with the court direction to hand over all his disputed graph's data. Mann's iconic hockey stick has been relied upon by the UN's IPCC and Western governments as crucial evidence for the science of 'man-made global warming.'"
PSI goes on to say, "The negative and unresponsive actions of Dr. Mann and his lawyer, Roger McConchie, are expected to infuriate the judge and be the signal for the collapse of Mann's multimillion dollar libel suit against Dr. Ball. It will be music to the ears of so-called 'climate deniers' like President Donald Trump and his EPA Chief, Scott Pruitt."
Ball explained to PSI that Mann's refusal is based on a "U.S. court ruling that it was all his intellectual property." But, Ball says, "The problem for him is that the Canadian court holds that you cannot withhold documents that are central to your charge of defamation regardless of the U.S. ruling."
Mann has a history of filing lawsuits against his critics. He is suing the National Review, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, writer Rand Simberg and writer Mark Stein for defamation for, as Mann put it in his complaint, "Utterly false and defamatory statements. accusing him of academic fraud and comparing him to a convicted child molester, Jerry Sandusky."
This over a bit of editorial hyperbole by the press of the sort that is usually protected by the First Amendment. That case is still pending.
Another critic, Judith A. Curry, filed an amicus curiae brief in the National Review case claiming that "Mann has a pattern of attacking those who disagree with him and this case is another in a long line of tactics to silence debate over the science of global warming."
She goes on to say, "Dr. Mann violated [the norms of scientific inquiry] by helping Dr. Phil Jones - a colleague of Dr. Mann's who was likewise implicated in the climate research scandals emanating from the University of East Anglia - destroy emails and other data to avoid their publication via the Freedom of Information Act."
With the Canadian legal bumble it appears that Mann and his hockey stick may be headed for the penalty box after all.
There appears to be plenty of global warming pseudo-science headed that way as well.
Readers can contact Scott Weiser at firstname.lastname@example.org.