American climatologist with link to university pedophile, lawyers up yet again to sue a prominent critic of his discredited data. Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University today (July 21, 2012) announced his intention to pursue legal action against The National Review Online (NRO) and popular right-wing writer, Mark Steyn over their article ‘Football and Hockey.’
On his Facebook page an irate Mann proclaims, “I have formally demanded a retraction of, and apology for, this defamatory piece about me by National Review. I have retained counsel to pursue my legal rights.” Mann’s attorney, John B Williams of Cozen & O’Connor (Washington D.C.) asserts on the first page of his “take down” notice that NRO “know” that there is “no evidence of any academic fraud” by Mann. Page Two of the notice lists those whitewash official investigations that cleared Mann. However, Williams appears unaware that the official investigations did not examine Mann’s still hidden “dirty laundry” – his metadata - nor did they address other adverse evidence or interview witnesses against Mann.
“Fair Comment” Rule Applies for Media Reporting
Independent lawyers who have examined the article believe it is not libelous because it merely expresses Styen’s opinion on another commentary by Rand Simberg from the OpenMarket.org website. Steyn can be seen to have fairly quoted Simberg and then declares his own belief that he wouldn’t have gone as far as Simberg’s comments. Steyn then concludes his piece by merely asking the question: “If an institution is prepared to cover up systemic statutory rape of minors, what won’t it cover up?”
The Steyn article is one of many following in the wake of the publication last week of the damning report of former FBI Director Judge Freeh into PSU’s appalling conduct during the Sandusky scandal. My legal analysis on the damning report identifies stark similarities in the way PSU appeared to cover up for both Sandusky and for Mann in their respective internal investigations.
Ineptly, Mann has drawn further attention to the Steyn article by inserting a link to it. Thus millions of web users can apprise themselves of why there is a groundswell of opinion that Mann’s employers, Pennsylvania State University (PSU) may well have covered up Mann’s crimes in the Climategate scandal – just as the Freeh Report suggests they did for PSU football coach Jerry Sandusky.
The world’s leading science blog, WUWT was quick to see the irony in Mann’s blunder in linking Steyn’s article to his Facebook announcement. WUWT owner, Anthony Watts observes that Mann had made himself a victim of the “Streisand Effect” – primarily an online phenomenon in which an attempt to hide or remove a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely.
Mann Losing Confidence in his Canadian Legal Team?
In this instance, Mann is doing without the expensive Canadian libel expert, Roger McConchie who Mann has been using to pursue a separate libel claim against popular Canadian climate scientist, Dr. Tim Ball. That case isn’t going well for Mann because he appears to be stalling about complying with a court motion to hand over his hidden “dirty laundry” metadata to courtroom scrutiny. The British Columbia Supreme Court, where the case is currently being heard, has the right to order Mann to reveal all such withheld data. If Mann persists in failing to comply the court may find him in contempt and dismiss his case and award substantial damages in favor of Ball.
Just so that Mann can be clear that it is fair and reasonable for reporters and commentators to reasonably apply the Freeh Report findings and demand a re-opening of the PSU investigation into Mann, I posted my own message to Mike on his Facebook page:
Absent full courtroom examination of your “dirty laundry” (that hockey stick metadata you keep hidden) which I anticipate in due course, I believe your intentional withholding of the r-squared cross-validation results for the HS constitutes an act of intentional deception – and thus criminal fraud.
I understand your reconstruction method works by lining up the tree ring data with measured temperatures in the 20th century to calibrate the scale, and then assuming that the relationship with temperature holds for all the rest of the tree ring data. Because this process automatically gives a match in the calibration period, whether the tree ring-temperature relationship is real or not, it can’t be assumed that the reconstruction method is really outputting temperature, so it’s normal to withhold part of the measured temperature data from calibration and check to see if it matches the reconstruction asking – does the method give the right answer?
Experts in these matters advise me you then calculated the match, using a statistical method called the r-squared correlation coefficient, but found that over most of the reconstruction there was essentially no match. We know you calculated it because you gave r-squared results for the one part of the data where there was a weak match, and because it was in the code you eventually had to publish (and because you told journalists that it had passed the tests). But it seems you very carefully didn’t publish most of the r-squared numbers themselves, and strongly resisted attempts by McIntyre to get confirmation of them. That’s what the ‘dirty laundry’ comment was about in your infamous Climategate email.
You published your reconstruction after having tested it and finding it didn’t work, and you then withheld the adverse test results, while claiming it had passed. The short-centering could have been a stupid mistake (and probably was), but on the r-squared tests you must have known exactly what you were doing. From my experience of working in law this constitutes deliberate fraud. For that reason it is my opinion you should be criminally prosecuted.”
As I expected, spoilsport Mike hastily deleted my comment within minutes of my posting. But I preserved it below as a screenshot just in case.
[1.] Hat tip: Nullius in Verba