Friday, August 24

A scientific debate.

As you may already know, the climatologist Michael Mann is suing Mark Steyn. Not much comment on that is required beyond the observation already made by quite a few people that the last time someone tried to sue Mark Steyn, he not only beat them but changed Canadian law. But hey, Mann can spend his money on whatever he wants. (Although, come to think of it, Mann's position is that the rest of us should be banned from spending our money on whatever we want, so maybe not.)

But anyway. Mann posted this on Facebook earlier today:

People have been asking for my reaction to the recent response by the National Review. Here is a statement from my lawyer John B. Williams of Cozen O'Connor:

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The response of the National Review is telling with respect to the issues it did not address. It did not address, or even acknowledge, the fact that Dr. Mann’s research has been extensively reviewed by a number of independent parties, including the National Science Foundation, with never a suggestion of any fraud or research misconduct. It did not address, or even acknowledge, the fact that Dr. Mann’s conclusions have been replicated by no fewer than twelve independent studies. It did not deny the fact that it was aware that Dr. Mann has been repeatedly exonerated of any fraudulent conduct. It did not deny the fact that it knew its allegations of fraud were false. Rather, the National Review’s defense seems to be that it did not really mean what it said last month when it accused Dr. Mann of fraud. Beyond this, the response is little more than an invective filled personal attack on Dr. Mann. And further, this attack is coupled with the transparent threat that the National Review intends to undertake burdensome and abusive litigation tactics should Dr. Mann have the temerity to attempt to defend himself in court.
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We intend to file a lawsuit.

In response, I commented thus:

"And further, this attack is coupled with the transparent threat that the National Review intends to undertake burdensome and abusive litigation tactics should Dr. Mann have the temerity to attempt to defend himself in court."

Surely the "burdensome and abusive litigation tactics" amount to National Review having the temerity to defend THEMselves in court. You want to take them to court, sure, go ahead, but it's a bit rich to complain that if you do they intend to use lawyers to practice law against you. That's kind of the idea.

I haven't paid a huge amount of attention to Mann before, but I had read elsewhere that he seems to spend a surprising amount of time deleting comments from Facebook. I was not prepared either for his sheer dedication to that cause or his level of hypersensitivity.

I mean, I wasn't even saying anything about the science, or whether I agree or disagree with his claims. I said that, if he wants to sue National Review, he should. And within ten minutes, Mann had not only deleted my comment but blocked me from making any further comments on his Facebook page (not that I was going to, but hey). Which certainly explains why his page is crawling with sycophants. For a man who claims to have no problem with debate, he does like to surround himself with praise to the exclusion of all else.

What Mann and his colleagues don't seem to understand is that this sort of behaviour simply makes more people distrust them. Their attitude to the slightest disagreement with or criticism of them is to disappear it — as was shown so clearly in their leaked emails. The more people see that attitude in action, the less we feel inclined to trust them, either to reach a proper scientific conclusion or to dictate ruinously expensive international government policy to us.

What an insecure little man.