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Michael Mann Defamation Suit Against National Review Writer to Proceed

timothy posted about 10 months ago | from the look-at-the-numbers-on-these-thin-skin-projections dept.

The Courts 393

From Ars Technica comes this update in the defamation case filed by climate researcher Michael Mann against political commentator Mark Steyn of National Review magazine, who rhetorically compared Mann to Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky and accused him of publishing intentionally misleading research results. "The defendants tried to get it dismissed under the District of Columbia's Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) statute, which attempts to keep people from being silenced by frivolous lawsuits. The judge hearing the case denied the attempt and then promptly retired; Mann next amended his complaint, leading an appeals court to send the whole thing back to a new trial judge. Now the new judge has denied the SLAPP attempt yet again. In a decision released late last week (and hosted by defendant Mark Steyn), the judge recognizes that the comparison to a child molester is part of the "opinions and rhetorical hyperbole" that are protected speech when used against public figures like Mann. However, the accompanying accusations of fraud are not exempt:"

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Steyn is Slime (0, Flamebait)

SpockLogic (1256972) | about 10 months ago | (#46075659)

Hope Steyn, the lying sack of shit, gets hit with a massive fine.

Re:Steyn is Slime (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46075695)

What a brilliant argument!

Can I get you 'hit with a massive fine' for being a 'sack of shit' too?

Michael Mann is a liar. He is a fraudster. He is a 'catastrophic man-made global warming' alarmist. He gets PAID the more he 'alarms' people.

www.climatedepot.com

He doesn't want to debate people who disagree with him, they would prove him wrong you see...

Re:Steyn is Slime (5, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 10 months ago | (#46075751)

Mann isn't a fraud, his observation an have been confirmed and refined, and you and Steyn are cowards incapable of facing the universe as it is. The only difference is at least Steyn is man enough to put his name to his libel.

Re:Steyn is Slime (-1)

OYAHHH (322809) | about 10 months ago | (#46075985)

> Mann isn't a fraud, his observation an have been confirmed and refined

Really, by whose standards?

Re:Steyn is Slime (4, Insightful)

haruchai (17472) | about 10 months ago | (#46076365)

By the standards of science, peer-review and SEVEN INVESTIGATIONS.

Re:Steyn is Slime (3, Informative)

JDS13 (1236704) | about 10 months ago | (#46076101)

Steyn didn't assert that Mann is a fraud, but rather that Mann "tortured" the data. You may recall that Principal Component Analysis was used on a limited and secretly-adjusted data set to come up with the alarming "hockey stick" chart.

It's pretty much indisputable that there was significant warming from like 1930-1996, but very little since then in spite of more or less linear increases in CO2 concentrations since like 1850. The anthropogenic component of global warming is poorly understood, and the appropriate interventions even less so. But diverting taxpayer dollars so wealthy people can get a Tesla as their third or fourth auto is probably suboptimal.

The actual source code is this, from briffa_Sep98_d.pro http://wattsupwiththat.com/200... [wattsupwiththat.com] - you can decide for yourself whether this is "torture" or not, and whether this particular debate should be squelched:

;
; Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline!!
;
yrloc=[1400,findgen(19)*5.+1904]
valadj=[0.,0.,0.,0.,0.,-0.1,-0.25,-0.3,0.,-0.1,0.3,0.8,1.2,1.7,2.5,2.6,2.6,2.6,2.6,2.6]*0.75 ; fudge factor
if n_elements(yrloc) ne n_elements(valadj) then message,'Oooops!'

yearlyadj=interpol(valadj,yrloc,timey)

Re:Steyn is Slime (3, Informative)

ClickOnThis (137803) | about 10 months ago | (#46076517)

The anthropogenic component of global warming is poorly understood, and the appropriate interventions even less so. But diverting taxpayer dollars so wealthy people can get a Tesla as their third or fourth auto is probably suboptimal.

Straw man. [teslamotors.com]

Re:Steyn is Slime (2, Insightful)

Austrian Anarchy (3010653) | about 10 months ago | (#46076175)

Mann isn't a fraud, his observation an have been confirmed and refined, and you and Steyn are cowards incapable of facing the universe as it is. The only difference is at least Steyn is man enough to put his name to his libel.

How is Steyn a "coward" when he is standing up in court, rather than fleeing?

Re:Steyn is Slime (2, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 10 months ago | (#46076783)

How is Steyn a "coward" when he is standing up in court, rather than fleeing?

The cowardness being discussed is Steyn's inability to "face the universe as it is," i.e. accept that climate change is man made.
One could argue that the denial of man made climate change is an extensive attempt to flee from the facts and their consequences.

Actually he is debating Steyn in court (3, Informative)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | about 10 months ago | (#46075885)

He is debating Steyn in court about whether he is a fraud. If Steyn can just prove he is a fraud, he wins, if not, he is in a lot of trouble.

Re:Actually he is debating Steyn in court (0, Troll)

OYAHHH (322809) | about 10 months ago | (#46075993)

Same goes for Mr. Mann. Sure would hate to see "Global Warming" get slapped down by the courts now wouldn't we?

Re:Actually he is debating Steyn in court (5, Insightful)

ZipK (1051658) | about 10 months ago | (#46076051)

Sure would hate to see "Global Warming" get slapped down by the courts now wouldn't we?

I think we'd all breathe a sigh of relief if the courts could rationally and scientifically strike down the phenomenon of global warming, or its source in man-made activities.

Re:Actually he is debating Steyn in court (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 10 months ago | (#46076143)

Wait, are you telling me that people who believe in global warming aren't just trying to profit from global disaster?

You mean we're not all going to get a big check thanks to global warming? I'm shocked. I keep hearing how climate scientists are doing their research because of the billions of dollars that can be made from bad news. All those filthy rich earth scientists and their profiteering.

Let's not forget, one of Mark Steyn's best friends is the great humanitarian Conrad Black, who was sent to prison because he was so altruistic and decent. Steyn still uses about every fifth column he writes to advocate for the full pardon of Conrad Black (and probably a Nobel Prize for him, too).

Re:Actually he is debating Steyn in court (2)

ClickOnThis (137803) | about 10 months ago | (#46076623)

Sure would hate to see "Global Warming" get slapped down by the courts now wouldn't we?

I think we'd all breathe a sigh of relief if the courts could rationally and scientifically strike down the phenomenon of global warming, or its source in man-made activities.

This.

For the benefit of those without sarcasm-detectors, it's worth emphasizing that it's the job of science, not the courts (or the media) to "rationally and scientifically" prove or disprove scientific phenomena.

Re:Actually he is debating Steyn in court (1)

stox (131684) | about 10 months ago | (#46076055)

Steyn doesn't need to prove Mann was a fraud, he must prove he had a reasonable basis to think Mann was a fraud. Proving Mann was a fraud would be a slam dunk. If he can do neither, his wallet is in a world of hurt.

Re:Actually he is debating Steyn in court (4, Informative)

JDS13 (1236704) | about 10 months ago | (#46076183)

Actually, one of the most interesting effects of this trial is that Mann must comply with Steyn's discovery demands, to see whether indeed he "tortured" the data... Mann and others have still refused to disclose the details of their models, saying (astoundingly) that people just wanted to prove them wrong. Trying to prove a model wrong is the usual way of science... So whether you think this is "settled science" or not, you should welcome this open disclosure and wonder why it takes a court proceeding to achieve it.

As for the notion of "settled science", which presumably means you should stop questioning something - this is a very disturbing concept which in my opinion has no place at all on slashdot, of all one forums. slashdot is one place where people discuss new ways of looking at old ideas - experiments test Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, studies about whether cutting salt from your diet reduces hypertension, the value of dietary suppliements, and other bits of uncommon knowledge. Almost every interesting post here challenges some "settled" idea.

Re:Actually he is debating Steyn in court (4, Insightful)

ClickOnThis (137803) | about 10 months ago | (#46076719)

Trying to prove a model wrong is the usual way of science... So whether you think this is "settled science" or not, you should welcome this open disclosure and wonder why it takes a court proceeding to achieve it.

It's one thing to challenge "settled" science for the sake of creating new science. It's yet another to challenge it for political or ideological reasons. Steyn and his ilk indisputably fall into the latter category.

As for the notion of "settled science", which presumably means you should stop questioning something - this is a very disturbing concept which in my opinion has no place at all on slashdot, of all one forums. slashdot is one place where people discuss new ways of looking at old ideas - experiments test Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, studies about whether cutting salt from your diet reduces hypertension, the value of dietary suppliements, and other bits of uncommon knowledge. Almost every interesting post here challenges some "settled" idea.

All science can be questioned. That's the point! But to question something, you must present contrary evidence. AGW deniers haven't. Instead, they rely on conspiracy theories and ad hominem attacks.

Re:Actually he is debating Steyn in court (5, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 10 months ago | (#46076761)

If Steyn's motive was scientific inquiry and he was conducting the discourse in refereed journals I would agree with you.

That's not it though. He has no science background and he's into politically motivated demagoguery, court actions and making a public circus of it. His attacks of the judge in the case got his defense team to quit.

That's generally NOT the path to truth.

Re:Actually he is debating Steyn in court (2, Interesting)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about 10 months ago | (#46076449)

He is debating Steyn in court about whether he is a fraud. If Steyn can just prove he is a fraud, he wins, if not, he is in a lot of trouble.

It's part of a concerted effort to end free speech of anyone that wants to question the AGW alarmists. It includes Reddit's decision to ban comments on climate change, targeting not just libellous or hateful stuff, but “outspoken opinions”, “potentially controversial” views, and “contrarianism”. In short, critical or eccentric thinking, stuff that doesn’t fit with what the overlords of Reddit consider to be politically proper.

They've encouraged other news sources to follow suit, and the LA Times has stated that they do not publish anything from skeptics of climate change, but they haven't yet gone so far as to ban them from the on-line comments section.

That one of the supposedly most free-speechy sections of the World Wide Web can be so upfront in demanding the “positive censorship” of controversial viewpoints is shocking. It shows just how successfully beyond the pale criticism of climate change alarmism has been put, and how even the young, funky overseers of modern, open discussion forums are willing to rein in free speech if they see or hear something that offends their Greenish sensibilities.

I hope Steyn makes this case a major media showcase. He should subpoena every single document and email and witness that has even a remote possibility to of demonstrating even the appearance of impropriety on Mann's part (that should be an easy task). Maybe he can even get UVA to finally release the Mann documents that were denied exposure through numerous FOIA requests and lawsuits by the Virginia Attorney General's office.

Transparency and free speech are at stake. We should be willing to tolerate all manner of inconveniences to ensure openness in science and uncensored debate.

Insurance (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46076583)

Insurance companies are now doing their long-term projections based on the truth of AGW, and their profits depend on those projections.

I don't care what you think of Mann, but you'd be a complete idiot to bet against the insurance industry.

Captcha: vulgarly

Re:Insurance (1)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | about 10 months ago | (#46076773)

And what happens to the insurance companies if they get it all wrong using the runaway greenhouse model? (Answer: record profits!)

Re:Steyn is Slime (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46075699)

I can't say if Steyn is a liar, but I wouldn't trust him around kids.

Re:Steyn is Slime (0)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 10 months ago | (#46076151)

I wouldn't trust him around my border collie.

good (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46075663)

That should teach others to defile our religion

Re:good (5, Informative)

wytcld (179112) | about 10 months ago | (#46075787)

Because it's an official meme of the Heartland Institute that scientific concern about radical climate change constitutes a "religion."

Re:good (3, Interesting)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 10 months ago | (#46075967)

Scientific concern about climate change isn't, of course, a religion. However, there are an awful lot of True Believers who act as though it were. And no, I'm not a member of the Heartland Institute, I'm just a skeptic who accepts the fact that the climate is changing (It's always changing, sometimes getting warmer, sometimes cooler.) but doubts that the main driving force at the presence is anthropogenic because I don't, personally, find the evidence sufficiently persuasive and prefer to think for myself.

Re:good (4, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 10 months ago | (#46075991)

In other words you have a cognitive bias that leads you to reject one of the largest bodies of modern scientific research.

Good!

Re:good (1, Interesting)

taustin (171655) | about 10 months ago | (#46076099)

Unless you have personally done the research, you also have a cognitive bias to accept one of the largest bodies of modern scientific research. It's only a matter of which side you believe, in the end.

Both sides act like drunken schoolyard bullies beating up the smaller kids for their lunch money.

Re:good (2)

ClickOnThis (137803) | about 10 months ago | (#46076769)

Unless you have personally done the research, you also have a cognitive bias to accept one of the largest bodies of modern scientific research. It's only a matter of which side you believe, in the end.

Both sides act like drunken schoolyard bullies beating up the smaller kids for their lunch money.

I saw what you did there. [skepticalraptor.com]

Re: good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46076105)

There aren't that many climate scientists. All the other scientists piling on are just laymen.

Re: good (2)

femtobyte (710429) | about 10 months ago | (#46076621)

There aren't that many scientists in any particular field. There are only small communities of people with personal, hands-on, in-depth work on the raw data indicating that the Cosmic Microwave Background exists, or that atoms have nuclei made of protons and neutrons, or that portions of general relativity hold up in the lab. All scientists "piling on" to every single aspect of modern science are "just laymen" with regard to the bulk of human knowledge outside a very specific sub-field that they personally work on. Would you give credit to some dentist funded by a creationist think-tank claiming that the CMB was a fraud, despite the claims of all the scientific researchers working on it? If not, why are your reasons different for denying plausibility to the community of climate scientists, while giving credence to corporate shills (who are also not climate scientists, and demonstrate poor levels of reasoning that make them a laughingstock of the vast majority of scientists)?

Re:good (2)

gtall (79522) | about 10 months ago | (#46076393)

Well, regardless of whether the climate is changing or whether humans have anything to do with it, consider CO2 and the acidifying oceans because of it. Man pumped up the extra CO2 over a very short time frame, short enough where species will have a hell of a time coping. Don't forget that one of the bases of the food chain is the ocean.

Acidifying oceans as a result of man-pumped CO2 in a short time frame is enough reason to stop it.

Re:good (1)

citizenr (871508) | about 10 months ago | (#46076477)

No, he means calling child molesters a fraud. Priests are people too, you know.

Re:good (4, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 10 months ago | (#46075843)

"That should teach others to defile our religion"

Haha!

Well, religion or not, one thing it should do is reinforce the principle that you should be careful what you say about people, even online, and regardless of whether you are a journalist. In most cases the libel laws are no different for Joe Shmoe than they are or a syndicated columnist.

Generally, opinions are fine... as long as they're clearly opinion and not stated as fact. Because even "You're an asshole" is commonly accepted as an opinion, that's probably okay... especially if you make it clear that it's only opinion.

But "fraud", and other such claims? Usually over the line, unless you can show that it's true.

Re:good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46076029)

Accusing someone of being a child molester is OK, but you can't call someone a liar. Can you call the person who called you a child molester a liar?

Re:good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46076085)

No one called Michael Mann a child molester. Steyn compared him to Sandusky in a rhetorical and hyperbolic way. No one should seriously believe Steyn was calling him a child molester; he was just saying that in Steyn's opinion, he was as bad as a child molester. That's opinion. (It's a stupid opinion, but we allow those in this country.)

You can call someone a liar, if they lied. On the other hand, if you call someone a liar and they didn't lie, that could be libel.

I say "could be" because the word "liar" is frequently used to refer to someone who says something you don't believe. In that regard it might be opinion. But if you accuse someone of engaging in fraudulent scientific practices on a particular topic, I think that's moving beyond a statement of opinion into the realm of factual assertion.

Re:good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46076223)

is "you are as bad as a liar" acceptable? seems pretty close to "you are a liar" conceptually in my mind >_>

Re:good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46076313)

There could be a pretty big difference.

Let's say you ask me, "Should I do business with Honest Joe?"

If I say, "No! Honest Joe is a liar. Don't do business with him," that's very different from if I say, "No! Honest Joe is so unpleasant to do business with that he's as bad as a liar. Don't do business with him." In the latter case I'm making a protected statement of opinion (I think he's unpleasant to do business with) and saying that for me, I'd just as soon do business with a liar. But I'm not impugning Honest Joe's honesty.

Re:good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46076403)

What if Honest Joe is as bad a child molester? Are you allowed to call him as bad as a liar?

How about:
-"Don't do business with Honest Joe. I'm not saying Honest Joe is a lair, I'm just saying he's as bad as a lair"?
-"Don't do business with Honest Joe. I'm not saying Honest Joe is a lair, I'm just saying he's as good as a lair"?

Re:good (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 10 months ago | (#46076539)

extreme pedantry = tortured logic = disingenuous conversation

Re:good (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 10 months ago | (#46076533)

Acceptable though tacky because "as bad as" is a subjective judgement, an opinion. If you call someone a liar, they've either lied or not.

good (1, Interesting)

superwiz (655733) | about 10 months ago | (#46075689)

It's about time the courts had a say about whether splicing 2 times series in the graph that is presented to the general public rises to the level of fraud. He did explain in the content of the paper that the hockey stick figure was not the actual claim, but the cover and the subsequent presentation to the general public made it look the hockey stick graph was supported by data. Is that fraud? That's is not a bad question to ask in a court room.

Re:good (2, Informative)

wytcld (179112) | about 10 months ago | (#46075761)

The hockey stick has stood the test of time. The facts hold. The data continue to support it. Here's Mann recently [nytimes.com] , and discussion [realclimate.org] .

Here are myths about the hockey stick debunked [realclimate.org] .

Re:good (0, Troll)

superwiz (655733) | about 10 months ago | (#46075773)

Isn't realclimate.org just his advocacy site? I've had people point to it before. It's reads like a marketing hype rather than as a scientific discussion.

Re:good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46075931)

Got any links to denier sites that read like scientific discussions? I'd love to see them. Or just one.

Re:good place to start (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46075953)

Got any links to denier sites that read like scientific discussions? I'd love to see them. Or just one.

http://climateaudit.org/multiproxy-pdfs/

Re:good place to start (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46076171)

yeah, the "hockey stick" debunker guys. they don't really seem to refute much other climate science stuff, but the stuff they do, they certainly do scientifically.

Climate Audit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46075977)

...would seem the obvious site to google...

Re:good (2)

amorsen (7485) | about 10 months ago | (#46075939)

It's reads like a marketing hype rather than as a scientific discussion.

I think you are being a bit optimistic if you expect to find actual scientists having proper scientific discussions with each other on a popular web site.

Realclimate.org is primarily for lay people. I do not believe that marketing hype is the right description for it, but neither is scientific discussion.

Re:good (-1, Flamebait)

thrillseeker (518224) | about 10 months ago | (#46076069)

I think you are being a bit optimistic if you expect to find actual scientists having proper scientific discussions with each other when government funding is involved.

FTFY.

Re:good (2)

amorsen (7485) | about 10 months ago | (#46076431)

Don't be ridiculous. Government funded scientists have lots of proper scientific discussions. Practically all of CERN is government funded by various governments, just to pick an example off the top of my head.

Re:good (0)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 10 months ago | (#46076577)

Whoosh on the original sarcasm.

Re:good (3, Interesting)

quantaman (517394) | about 10 months ago | (#46076227)

Isn't realclimate.org just his advocacy site? I've had people point to it before. It's reads like a marketing hype rather than as a scientific discussion.

Are you looking at the same link I am? Other than using the "Myth #1" style of summarization used by many people (including marketing) if I have a criticism of realclimate.org it's that they write too much like scientists. Their writing is full of caveats, asides, and long winded explainations because the subject is inherently messy. Frankly I think their writing is just too dry and analytical to reach a general audience. Just look at this excerpt from the link in question:

MYTH #4: Errors in the "Hockey Stick" undermine the conclusion that late 20th century hemispheric warmth is anomalous.

[...]

The second falsehood holds that there are errors in the Mann et al (1998, 1999) analyses, and that these putative errors compromise the “hockey stick” shape of hemispheric surface temperature reconstructions. Such claims seem to be based in part on the misunderstanding or misrepresentation by some individuals of a corrigendum that was published by Mann and colleagues in Nature. This corrigendum simply corrected the descriptions of supplementary information that accompanied the Mann et al article detailing precisely what data were used. As clearly stated in the corrigendum, these corrections have no influence at all on the actual analysis or any of the results shown in Mann et al (1998). Claims that the corrigendum reflects any errors at all in the Mann et al (1998) reconstruction are entirely false.

Realclimate.org isn't marketing, it's dry scientific writing directed to laypeople, what the AGW community needs is an advocacy site written by non-scientists which is less concerned about the science and more concerned about the debate. Realclimate.org fills an essential niche in the debate but it's not the kind of hand wavy tabloidish mass audience style of blog that's needed to counter Watts Up With That?.

Re:good (2)

haruchai (17472) | about 10 months ago | (#46076429)

Try SkepticalScience.com or ClimateCrocks.com

Re:good (2)

haruchai (17472) | about 10 months ago | (#46076421)

No. This is a site where several prominent & practising climate scientists post.

For example, here's a translated one [realclimate.org] from Stefan Rahmstorf [realclimate.org]

Re:good (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 10 months ago | (#46076549)

The hockey stick has stood the test of time. The facts hold. The data continue to support it. Here's Mann recently [nytimes.com] , and discussion [realclimate.org] .

Here are myths about the hockey stick debunked [realclimate.org] .

I'm not denying that the climate is changing, or that we should burn every combustible material we can get our hands on. But we also don't need to throw society a tailspin either. From your link:

after a single study I co-wrote a decade and a half ago found that the Northern Hemisphere’s average warmth had no precedent in at least the past 1,000 years. Our “hockey stick” graph

Which would be pretty scary if the planet was 6,000 yeas old. But it's not, and this type of warming is not new. [wordpress.com] Even during the time that Homo Sapiens has been on the planet. Also from your link:

James Hansen, who has turned to civil disobedience ... ...in 2011 and 2013 in Washington protesting the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the Texas Gulf. He has warned that the pipeline, which awaits approval by the State Department, would open the floodgates to dirty tar sands oil from Canada, something he says would be “game over for the climate.”

This is such over the top hyperbole it's ridiculous. The tar sands in Alberta are going to be extracted whether the XL pipeline is built, or not. IF it's not built, then the oil will be sent by another pipeline to the coast to be shipped to China. It will also be shipped to the US via rail instead of pipeline. Which means more fossil fuels will be used in transporting it by train and ship; and the likelihood of an accident will be increased as well as there will be a pipeline, trains and ships hauling it. .

Jeffrey Sachs, director of Columbia’s Earth Institute, and other scientists, making a compelling case that emissions from fossil fuel burning must be reduced rapidly if we are to avert catastrophic climate change. They called for the immediate introduction of a price on carbon emissions, arguing that it is our moral obligation to not leave a degraded planet behind for our children and grandchildren.

How scientific of them. We have a "moral" obligation? Yes, very scientific. Even if the planet is warming entirely because of man, there is no definitive proof that it will reach worst case. How do we know it will reach a cataclysmic event(s) if we don't' stop right this very second? I've been hearing that "if we don't fix things right now, we are all doomed" (from one thing or another) for almost my entire life. If that's the case, we're already too late. So if we can't leave our children a non-degraded planet, we must give them a pile of cash? Or who is supposed to get this money?

Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution for Science, who has argued that “the only ethical path is to stop using the atmosphere as a waste dump for greenhouse gas pollution,”

You know what else is a greenhouse gas? Water. So should we support the Stop Dihydrogen Mono-Oxide [dhmo.org] people too? What about CO2? Do we need to stop expiration by all animals on the planet? Should we all go on the Atkins diet? After all, herbivores expel more methane. Hmm, that's probably very sustainable.

This virulent strain of anti-science infects the halls of Congress, the pages of leading newspapers and what we see on TV, leading to the appearance of a debate where none should exist.

So if anyone wishes to debate, it's anti-science? This is a very complex issue. It's not as simple as defining what a kilogram actually is. [wired.com] Oh, wait, that's not even been solved. But climate change is an absolute certainty? Anyone who disagrees is an anti-science nut job?

I'm all for developing wind, solar, tidal, and geothermal(where possible). And using nuclear as well. However, I'm not for adding 50 cents per kilowatt to everyone's electric bill. Especially if it's only certain countries who must do this. All that will happen is that the poor in developed countries will become even poorer, if they can even stay in those countries. And the rich in poor countries will get even richer. Hell, we don't even know what the impact of shifting all of this money around will be, let alone the facts about what we can do to impact the environment are.

Re:good (3, Informative)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | about 10 months ago | (#46076587)

The "hockey stick" agrees closely with the average of IPCC models. Yet none of the models comes close to matching real measurements [drroyspencer.com] . Perhapsthe hockey stick only stands the test of time when compared against other models, not real data...

Re:good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46075797)

If it is fraud, it will be a difficult subject to prove. It appears as if he included the graph in much the same way an author of fiction (or any literature for that matter) might include a drawing of something in a book to suggest something to our imagination. Maybe his paper simply carried an artist's rendition of how things would be if they were the way they wanted them to be?

However, I think the later uses of the graph that completely ignores any limitations like James Hansen's purposeful introduction to congress on a day they (democrat staffers) purposely disabled the air conditioning on one of the historically hottest days in the year in order to create effect might be pure and simple fraud.

So I guess the question might be more to the likes of if what Mann did was fraud or was it just the use of what he did by others in the future the fraud? But I guess that leads into other questions like did those future uses knowingly commit the fraud or did they assume more from what was available then what was said and created it by chance?

Re:good (0)

superwiz (655733) | about 10 months ago | (#46075891)

Right, if your supporters take the torch that you light and carry it to make points which you never mean to make, but which make your work seem more relevant, does that mean you have to speak out to moderate their voices? If you stay silent and let the hype grow, are you committing fraud? In the legal sense, probably not. But can you be accused of it in a rhetorical sense? If not, then that would put severe limitations on any critic using hyperbole as a rhetorical device. And it really is up to the court to draw that distinction. I mean, anyone who accused GW Bush of fraud in any editorial opposing the Iraq war, would now be liable for damages to Bush for making such a charge.

Re:good! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46076017)

Fraud has a legal definition, and so does libel. Mann's research has been found to be scientifically accurate and no allegations of fraud have been found worthy of recognition in the academic community. Steyn's writing is purely political, and his assertions of fraud against Mann, being without merit, clearly show that the author's intent is to discredit Mann's presentation. Steyn clearly went beyond reason when he impuned Mann's character by comparing Mann's character to that of a sociopathic child abuser. My hope is that that Steyn and the National Review, it's editorial staff and publisher are all found guilty and whipped within an inch of their dubious credility using the pulpit of the court. They should be bludgeoned with its gavel for the failure to afford their readers a reasonable opinion or the benefit of moderating their overzealous attackdog, and they should be fined within the limits of the law so as to hold their action up in the light of its own outrageousness.

William F. Buckely went to his grave lamenting the current state of Conservatism and its discourse.

Re:good! (2, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 10 months ago | (#46076387)

Mann's research has been found to be scientifically accurate by an investigative team appointed by the same University President who could not be bothered to investigate allegations of child molestation against Sandusky, a University President who had a vested interest in Mann's research being found to be scientifically accurate to the tune of several million dollars in research grants.

Re:good! (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 10 months ago | (#46076399)

Found scientifically accurate by the University of Pennsylvania. Where he teaches and which receives the income from the funding to his climate research. Which by coincidence or not is the same university involved in the Jerry Sandusky trial. That's the joke BTW.
 

Re:good (0)

OYAHHH (322809) | about 10 months ago | (#46076031)

Michael Mann has a LOT more to loose than some radio guy.

Re:good (1)

KeensMustard (655606) | about 10 months ago | (#46076417)

He does?

I would say that they both stand to lose personal credibility - is credibility not important for radio stars?

SLAPPed hard (0, Troll)

harvey the nerd (582806) | about 10 months ago | (#46075759)

Does persistent presentation of flawed mathematical techniques, alteration of data, and highly selective selection aided by ad hominem, conspiracy (climategate emails) and initimidation count as a reasonable suspicion of fraud?

Re:SLAPPed hard (3, Informative)

wytcld (179112) | about 10 months ago | (#46075833)

We look forward to your publication of the flaws you have discovered in Dr. Mann's math. Ah, but you can't publish them, because you're just making this stuff up. Or is it because every single reviewer for every scientific journal is a member of a deep conspiracy to undermine the fossil fuel industry because ... well if you have to ask you don't understand how these dark conspiracies work!

Here's Mann's new book on The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars [amazon.com] .

a good look at Mann's mistakes and dodgy stats (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46075965)

http://climateaudit.org/multiproxy-pdfs/

Re:SLAPPed hard (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46076065)

Careful, don't choke on that koolaid.

Re:SLAPPed hard (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46076159)

Here we go:

Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline!! yrloc=[1400,findgen(19)*5.+1904] valadj=[0.,0.,0.,0.,0.,-0.1,-0.25,-0.3,0.,-0.1,0.3,0.8,1.2,1.7,2.5,2.6,2.6,2.6,2.6,2.6]*0.75 ; fudge factor if n_elements(yrloc) ne n_elements(valadj) then message,'Oooops!' yearlyadj=interpol(valadj,yrloc,timey)

Ball is in your court, cultist.

Re:SLAPPed hard (1)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | about 10 months ago | (#46075895)

It probably does. Let's see if Steyn can prove any of that.

So... (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 10 months ago | (#46075767)

It's okay to call someone a child molester but not a fraud or a thief?

WTF?

Re:So... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46075823)

He didn't call him a child molester, he compared him to one. There's a world of difference there. Had he actually accused Mann of molesting children then there would be a case for libel. Instead, he just said, "This guy is as bad as a child molester," which is obviously an opinion and therefore can't be libel.

Re:So... (4, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | about 10 months ago | (#46075907)

So "You're like a child molestor" is ok, but "You are a fraud" is not?

Weasel words and politicing, and slander in both cases in my books.

The legal system is seriously fucked up if it considers such minor differences to be grounds for letting someone off on making baseless accusations, "freedom of the press" or no. If you can't prove what you're making accusations about, one should be required to legally STFU and have some damned integrity in their writing, not be free to spew whatever bile and vitriol they like and whine "it's just an allegory."

Here's an allegory for the guy who wrote the insults and slams: "You're very much like the slime from between the toes of the Himalayan Sloth."

Re:So... (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 10 months ago | (#46076127)

The legal system is seriously fucked up if it considers such minor differences

The legal system is pretty much there to consider exactly these minor differences, and it (should) strives to do so consistently and at the same as balancing both public opinion and the rights of the individual. Sounds impossible? Well, it is. You're welcome to suggest a better alternative.

Re:So... (0)

msobkow (48369) | about 10 months ago | (#46076359)

Yeah, I've got a suggestion: Jail every idiot who spews unfounded accusations under the guise of "freedom of the press."

An editorial is one thing; you expect opinion from an editorial, not reporting. But in any other case, the law should come down hard on the side of integrity without room for weasel-words.

Re:So... (2)

khasim (1285) | about 10 months ago | (#46075911)

It's okay to call someone a child molester but not a fraud or a thief?

It's one of those weird legal things. He wasn't actually accusing him of molesting children. He was saying that he was AS BAD AS a person who molests children.

But I agree with you. It's all an attempt to conflate person A with person B's crime in the opinion of the public (people who have not researched this).

Re:So... (0)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 10 months ago | (#46075975)

And you, sir, are worse than Hitler.

Re:So... (1)

khasim (1285) | about 10 months ago | (#46076243)

You know who else liked to compare people to Hitler?

Hitler's MOTHER!

Re:So... (2)

ultranova (717540) | about 10 months ago | (#46076195)

He was saying that he was AS BAD AS a person who molests children.

Which says nothing of Mann but does give the rest of us a perfectly accurate view of Mark Steyn and National Review magazine.

Alas, I have looked at the maths... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46075841)

The statistical technique used is called Principle Component Analysis. Prof. Ian Jolliffe, of the University of Exeter, UK is the acknowledged world expert in this field.

And he is on record as saying that what Mann has done is 'rubbish'. Mann modified the technique to ensure that graphical analysis would suppress any variation in the bulk of the graph, while driving the final data high - a hockey-stick, in other words. Jolliffe could see no other reason for introducing this modification beyond producing hockey-stick output.

It is essentially this mathematical trick - this, and pre-selecting datasets, which drew the accusation of fraud. I assume that Jolliffe will be submitting evidence for Steyn's defence...

What has been done is quite clear. I cannot see the hockey-stick surviving this case, especially with the current warming pause...

Re:Alas, I have looked at the maths... (2)

KeensMustard (655606) | about 10 months ago | (#46076063)

And he is on record as saying that what Mann has done is 'rubbish'.

I see. Are you able to provide a link to this record?

Mann modified the technique to ensure that graphical analysis would suppress any variation in the bulk of the graph, while driving the final data high - a hockey-stick, in other words. Jolliffe could see no other reason for introducing this modification beyond producing hockey-stick output.

This is the output that turned out, in the end, to be correct?

That output?

Curious.

Re:Alas, I have looked at the maths... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46076109)

The gentleman is not a huge fan of how Mann has used this particular technique, but what you have to say about him is rather far removed from what he actually has to say about both Mann and climate change.

Why not let him speak for himself?

http://climateaudit.org/2008/09/08/ian-jolliffe-comments-at-tamino/

Re:Alas, I have looked at the maths... (2)

Robear (68955) | about 10 months ago | (#46076169)

By citing Jolliffe as an authority, then, you are accepting his position that much more evidence than the hockey stick supports the idea that the climate is changing?

There once was a pundit named Steyn... (2)

HellCatF6 (1824178) | about 10 months ago | (#46075849)

...
who couldn't think worth a dyne,
he accused the one Mann,
who has Truth in his plan,
and we hope the court rules him a slime.

It's the best I can do on short notice - but there's not much else we can do as long as long as his advertisers keep making money.

Heat is pretty awesome (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | about 10 months ago | (#46075859)

So I'm really glad Mann is standing behind his work.

Re:Heat is pretty awesome (1)

haruchai (17472) | about 10 months ago | (#46076551)

That was Monbiot, not Mann

Climate change... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46076021)

I've had my view on the whole climate change/global warming thing for a while. First up, I accept that temperatures have risen on average in recent times. The numbers are holding up to scrutiny, although very recent numbers may be suggesting we've hit a plateau, depending who you believe.

Where there doesn't seem to be a strong consensus is whether it's entirely man-made (I'm awaiting the flames to start on that commment...). We know Earth's climate has gone through cycles (medieval warm period, little ice age etc) before mankind was industrialised; are we sure this isn't happening now?

However - regardless of whether climate change is man made or natural, there's a hard fact that we're burning up fossil fuels (gas, oil, coal) far faster than it can be created in the ground. They're going to run out at some point, so we need to reduce our usage of them somehow. Add in the pollution argument and surely it would have to be a no-brainer to be trying to cut down our usage of fossil fuels? The exception seems to be those heavily tied in to the oil & gas companies who don't care about what happens 40 or 50 years down the line, they just care about their profits now.

How sad Republicans have gotten (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46076037)

If William F Buckley was in charge of the National Review, he would have slapped Steyn down himself instead of a court doing it soon for writing such rubbish.

Re:How sad Republicans have gotten (0)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 10 months ago | (#46076207)

You're one of those guys who now says 'Ronald Reagan wasn't so bad' but you also were one of the people out in the street cheering the day he was shot, correct? Please can the phoney 'William F Buckley weeps' bullshit, brother.

Re:How sad Republicans have gotten (1, Interesting)

haruchai (17472) | about 10 months ago | (#46076617)

I'm not one of those guys. Never thought much of Reagan except that he could fool people but didn't cheer when he was shot.
As for Buckley, he was smart and had integrity and would be ashamed of the modern American right wing.
If you know anything about the man, you'll recall that he took pains to exclude the radicals he deemed unworthy.

The Ayn Rand-lovers, the thinly-disguised white supremacists practising voter suppression, etc - they would have gotten short shrift from him.

Whats' the difference between FOIA and discovery? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46076075)

FOIA requests are a lot easier to put off then discovery subpeonas.

I'm sure Steyn does not want to be sued, but defense against defamation include the statements in question being true.
So I'm also sure that Steyn et al are just drooling over the chance to go over all those documents that Mann has been hiding.

fear based corepirate nazi aholes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46076103)

pr firm storm typer hired goons (paid for by US taxpayers) poopoo everything that doesn't rhyme with holycostal perfect balance WMD on credit religious franchise genocidal life0cide which is all of us & everything

Not as simple as it seems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46076237)

I have no doubt that historical measurements of temperature, atmospheric CO2, etc are correct and not fraudulent. I also have no doubt the Mr. Steyn is vicious and misguided. Calling those whom you disagree with disparaging names although common in this forum (and perfectly legal) is basically a sign of immaturity and perhaps also a personality disorder. However, what little I know about complex non-linear systems makes be skeptical of predictions of future behavior. Firstly non-linear system simulations are sensitive to initial conditions, that is the starting year of the simulations can grossly affect predictions. Climate change skeptics rather dishonestly pick an unusually hot year to start their charts for that reason, nevertheless the underlying models may not be robust as one would prefer. Secondly the system may be mathematically chaotic so that a small change in an arbitrary parameter affect the model in a large way. In general I think we should be more humble is our beliefs in the ability to predict future climates. While anyone can say it will be colder in the summer and hotter in the winter who is bold enough to predict what the actual temperatures will be? Incidentally I have similar skepticism for those who predict distant future disasters on both the Left and the Right. Gore predicting no snow for our grand children is as ludicrous as Cruz predicting budget deficits will destroy the country.

I love that National Review won't stand behind him (1)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | about 10 months ago | (#46076279)

If some journalist for Mother Jones got into legal trouble, I'm pretty sure they'd have his back. But the National Review just throws people aside when it's convenient. It would be one thing if what Steyn argued (that global warming is BS) wasn't conservative dogma, but it is. He pretty much just strongly worded their position.

Two way street (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46076291)

Before everyone gets all exited that the big bad Mark Steyn is getting nailed, this is really more about free speech. In the US (unlike mother England and some other European countries) political speech has pretty wide protections. The difference between libel/slander/defamation and sarcasm/hyperbole have generally weighed heavily in favor of free speech. Does anyone really want this to change?

The next time Debbie Wasserman Schultz calls Rush Limbaugh a liar, do you really want that to be a court case?

Re:Two way street (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46076687)

Calling someone a liar is not actionable. Saying something like "He falsified this particular study" is actionable. The first statement is unprovable opinion. The second statement is very much provable and was asserted as a fact. That is the key difference.

Re:Two way street (1)

haruchai (17472) | about 10 months ago | (#46076725)

I guess it would depend on why she called him a liar but going to court may not be such a bad thing.

Not about global warming itself, of course (4, Interesting)

rbrander (73222) | about 10 months ago | (#46076301)

This isn't about whether the (very) widespread claims that current evidence supports 'global warming', it's about whether Mann committed scientific fraud.

For instance, George Bush's commander really did think of Bush the way a fake letter (put forth by CBS as real) said he did; presumably the faker was frustrated by his inability to get that fact in the news, so he resorted to fraud, no doubt thinking that the real truth made it morally OK. But he still committed fraud, and the news that the secretary who would have typed the letter if it were real, said it was the commander's opinion, even as she debunked the letter was quite lost in the scandal over the fraud.

So global warming could be real, and Mann still a fraud, or it could be all a huge mistake by thousands of scientists, and Mann NOT a fraud, simply in possession of data that was mistaken or didn't mean what he thought.

Steyn is no doubt happy about the trial, because it will give him grounds to subpoena great heaps of Mann's work, looking for the same thing that the climategate E-mail thieves looked for: any kind of out-of-context quote they can find that they cam drum up into a "scandal" - a fraudulent one, of course...

Re:Not about global warming itself, of course (3, Interesting)

haruchai (17472) | about 10 months ago | (#46076737)

For someone who's supposed to be "happy about the trial", he's hiding it well - http://www.steynonline.com/602... [steynonline.com] - and prefers it be dismissed.

The original blog aaricle that cause this suit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46076729)

Before everybody gets too heated up about who said what when, it might pay to read the post that precipitated this law suit.
http://www.openmarket.org/2012/07/13/the-other-scandal-in-unhappy-valley/ Then we can start arguing whether its going to be worth discussing
However.....
*Two inappropriate sentences that originally appeared in this post have been removed by the editor.
But some of the comments are illuminating.

Cheerful Charlie

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