Issues & Insights

Media Ignores Climate Alarmist’s Court Loss — It Doesn’t Fit The Warmist Agenda

I&I Editorial

Last week, a Canadian court tossed out a lawsuit in which Michael Mann, the researcher who published the idolized hockey stick temperature chart, had sued another researcher for libel. Did the mainstream media run with this story? Of course not. That would ruin the narrative.

Mann became famous for the chart, which showed temperatures running along in a horizontal fashion before spiking at the beginning of the 20th century. It was the “evidence” the global warming alarmists had been waiting for — “science” that showed human activity was overheating Earth. It was included in at least one United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.

Not all were convinced, however. There were questions about the data he used to create the stick, which he wouldn’t release. It has been called “100% fraudulent,” an “artifact of poor mathematics,” and a violation of “of scientific standards.”

Mann has been accused of engaging in “data manipulation,” and “academic and scientific misconduct.”

Some years after the stick was constructed, Canadian statisticians Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick challenged Mann’s work. They argued the “recent paleoclimate reconstruction by Mann et al. does not provide reliable evidence about climate change over the past millennium, because their data are inconsistent and their confidence intervals are wrong.” 

Climate researcher Tim Ball even went so deep as to say that Mann “belongs in the state pen, not Penn State,” where Mann conducts research. Ball found out that was the wrong thing to say. Mann sued him in Canada.

Ball, however, beat Mann in court. The case was dismissed Friday. Almost immediately, Ball wrote to Anthony Watts of the wattsupwiththat website, telling him “Mann’s case against me was dismissed this morning by the (British Columbia) Supreme Court and they awarded me (court) costs.”  According to John Hinderaker, an attorney and PowerLine blog contributor, the case was thrown out “with prejudice.”

“What happened was that Dr. Ball asserted a truth defense. He argued that the hockey stick was a deliberate fraud, something that could be proved if one had access to the data and calculations, in particular the R2 regression analysis, underlying it,” Hinderaker wrote. “Mann refused to produce these documents. He was ordered to produce them by the court and given a deadline. He still refused to produce them, so the court dismissed his case.”

John O’Sullivan at Principia Scientific International believes the “extraordinary outcome will likely trigger severe legal repercussions for Dr. Mann in the U.S. and may prove fatal to alarmist climate science claims that modern temperatures are ‘unprecedented.'”

Big news, right? Not in the U.S. The media that acts as the climate hysterics’ public relations arm has ignored the case.

So it’s just a Canadian story, then? Not hardly. The U.S. media played the hockey stick as an American/Western/global story. What happens to its author in a courtroom should be U.S. news.

It’s plausible that the media have deserted Mann. Several mainstream outlets sided with the Competitive Enterprise Institute and National Review, which the litigious Mann had sued for defamation. They were concerned that allowing the lawsuit to go forward would be a threat to First Amendment freedoms.

But the lack of coverage would be the same if any climate alarmist had suffered a legal loss. If we might paraphrase the brilliant “Jim Treacher,” journalism today is all about which facts the public shouldn’t know because they might reflect poorly on the global warming narrative. The silence is wholly predictable.

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  • “Mann refused to produce these documents.”

    The awkward thing about propaganda is that it can never stand rigorous inspection. In the case of claims of the anthropogenesis of climate change, Mann and his co-conspirators (I was going to say “colleagues,” but the more pejorative term seems a better fit), having failed to dazzle us with their brilliance, seem to have decided to try to baffle us with their BS.

    Pathological “sciences” can seem very legitimate to those unfamiliar with scientific method–if there are lots of numbers and long, complicated, words, it must be “scientific.” Real science is a body of observations in search of an explanation; pathological “science” is a desired conclusion in search of confirmation–and that’s exactly what AGW climate “science” is. And pathological “scientists” practising pathological “science” seem to have no shame when it comes to trying to suppress any observations that don’t confirm their desired conclusion, in this case that humans are the climate villains and therefore must be brought to heel–by lies if useful to that end, and coercion if necessary.

  • To be fair to the MSM, ant article with Canada and hockey sticks would run in sports.

    • Since the MSM rarely bothers to be fair with any point of view with which they disagree, I hardly think it necessary to be fair to them.

  • I just checked the usual suspects – skepticalscience, desmogblog, realclimate, etc. and not one teeny-tiny peep from any of them about this. Like an analog of the coal-mine canary, the more those sites are silent, the more you know this loss really, really hurt the Church.

    I find it odd the Church of Carbontology is willing to keep dying on the wretched little hill they call Michael Mann.

  • What is this, like the third time Ball has claimed to have ‘proven’ Mann committed fraud and ‘won’ this case? You’d think any remotely rational person would have stopped listening to him by now.

    Indeed, that was the argument Ball’s lawyers made… that the case should be dismissed because Ball’s claim are “given no credibility by the average, reasonable reader”. Essentially, the stuff Ball says is SO STUPID that no reasonable person could possibly fall for it… therefore it isn’t defamation.

    With that admission that Ball’s claims were false, the court agreed to dismiss the suit. All this stuff about data being with-held, court fees having to be paid, Mann disproven… pure lies put out by the guy that “average, reasonable” people give “no credibility” to.

    Mann now has a month to contest the finding that no rational person would believe Ball. I wonder if he will cite all this false coverage on conservative media sites… or if that would just prove the point.

    • It doesn’t matter whether Ball can be believed, all that matters is that Mann won’t–or can’t–demonstrate his claim. It’s not up to anyone else to prove any competing theory or claim, it’s up to Mann to demonstrate that his claim at least adequately accounts for the existing body of observations and, if he makes predictions, to reliably, repeatedly, and falsifiably demonstrate the correspondence of his predictions with subsequent observations.

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