In case anyone has missed it, the decade-long delayed trial involving “Professor” Michael Mann’s assertion that he was defamed by author Mark Steyn in a long-forgotten tweet is now underway in the DC Swamp. While the key issue is really freedom of speech, the trial may end up exposing the dishonesty of the ClimateScam – the rock on which the ship of Big Science has foundered.
"What a day! As many of you already know, Mark is one of the greatest orators and writers of this generation (and quite frankly of the last few generations). Or as “Rank” so eloquently stated on X/Twitter, “Mark Steyn is the best of men in the worst of times; we need him, but we don’t deserve him.” Mark’s opening statement today at the Trial of the Century in the frozen tundra that is our Nation’s capital was another example of his linguistic prowess.
“For the hundreds watching online and the too many to count who filled two courtrooms to support Mark and got to witness it firsthand, Mark led the jury through what this case is really about: corruption. The corruption of our institutions, our higher education system, our media, and sadly, our society writ large. It is perhaps fate that the trial was postponed to this week, the week we recognize the contributions and life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who wrote from jail in 1963 that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” That is the heart of this case as Mark noted. Corruption spreads, he reminded the jury repeatedly, and if those responsible are not held accountable, corruption erodes everything it touches until we are left with nothing. …”
You may recall that “Climategate” started with the posting of a link to a file on a climate-related blog (this one, I believe). Although people mainly focused on the nasty and juvenile emails, the real gold was in the codes and datasets included in the file. With those data, and some statistical knowledge, you could reproduce the infamous “hockey stick” as published to a pretty high degree of precision. I analyzed those data myself and was satisfied with the closeness of the reproduction. You can then swap proxies in and out and see how the reconstruction changed.
David “Iowahawk” Burge posted on this, providing a subset of the data in spreadsheet format and clear and detailed instructions regarding analysis. While he used just a part of the full data used to recreate the hockey stick, as I recall it did a reasonable job of replication.
So Mann might have lost his code but a courageous whistleblower found it for him. Such a service!
I haven’t been able to find anything out about this case for a Few years. Last I read they were mired in some issue having to do with an anti-SLAPP motion. I was so excited that at last the trial is happening. Praying he wins! I think this is one of those pivotal moments in the political tide and will have a big impact on the morale of the Right—either way, so,let’s hope for a good result.
I recall reading a published paper (I cannot remember the author) that basically expressed the same thing. Depending on which data you include or don’t include, you can get the “hockey stick”. You don’t get the result if you include all the data. I recall the data being from petrified trees from around the world.
You can do those exclusion experiments yourself with Burge’s spreadsheet. As I recall, it was the bristlecone pine series that gave the hockey stick its blade. Just a few proxies from a veritable ocean of them to really give the blade that scary shape.
But it’s even more interesting than that. Several years before Climategate liberated the raw data, Steve McIntyre and Ross McKittrick had deduced that Mann et al.'s strategy of “short-centering” the proxies could, by itself, fashion hockey sticks out of red noise. That suggests to me the cake was twice-baked: the selectivity of proxies combined with the a preprocessing strategy designed to forge a blade. It’s enough to make a Davos-dwelling villain dream of making us eat ze bugs.
I found my copy of the infamous Climategate file (FOI2009.zip) and some of my analyses of the Mann et al. proxy data contained therein. No less an eminence as Philip Bump insists that doing your own research is bad/bad/bad and you need to defer to the experts who know how to fit data neatly into existing narratives, but I was never particularly good at taking orders. So here’s my analysis. There may be a few bumps along the road.
The plot below shows my reconstruction of alleged temperature anomaly observations (red) using a subset of Mann et al’s proxies. One of the reconstructions (black) used the proxy “treeline11”, which contains the infamous bristlecone pine data, and the other (green) excludes treeline11. The red curve is scary and the black and green series don’t look much different. Taken together, it suggests that temperatures didn’t change much over many centuries until we failed to elect Michael Dukakis.
However, this bears a closer look. The observations only go back to 1856 and the “stick” begins in earnest around 1987. The proxies in the Mann et al. dataset, however, only extend to 1980, so the training (overlap) period is 1856-1980. The next plot focuses on the period 1965-1980, ending with the proxy data. There’s a lot less overlap between the hockey stick’s blade and the reconstruction than it might seem at first glance.
Furthermore, while the black series (proxies including treeline11) appears to follow the red observation curve somewhat better, it’s only because of the bristlecone pines. The contribution made by inclusion of the pines (subtract green from black) increases over the period shown, fortuitously following the red curve.
But, it remains the first plot is largely an optical illusion. Maybe temperatures really did spike since 1988 but I do not see any compelling evidence that either proxy reconstruction had any truly useful skill during the training period (1856-1980). Now, since the Mann papers were published, there have been more data collected. Maybe the updated and extended proxies can fairly reconstruct the blade, and maybe they can do it without an outsized contribution from weird trees growing in a few godforsaken places. But that would require more research on my part, and I’ve already gotten Phil Bump mad enough at me.
An interesting revelation in “Professor” Mann’s suit against Mark Steyn – Mann has been pursuing an apparently meritless case against Steyn for about 12 years, being represented by three (3) separate law firms. Immediate thought by anyone with any familiarity with the “legal” system is that Mann must have run up some fairly stupendous legal bills – because lawyers don’t work for nothing. The revelation – Mann has not spent a single cent on his suit.
That implies someone else is funding Mann’s meritless case. Who & why? In a different world, the media would be pursuing this relentlessly.
Another fact to emerge at trial is that Mann sued Canadian scientist Tim Ball on similarly meritless grounds. After many years of Mann’s deliberate delaying tactics while Ball’s legal costs grew, a Canadian judge dismissed the case and ordered Mann to pay Ball’s costs. Mann has failed to comply with the court order, even though Ball died in 2022 leaving his widow destitute from the costs of her late husband’s defense.
Within living memory, behavior like “Professor” Mann’s would have got him run out of civilized society. But that was then and this is now.
“Barratry” is defined as “a criminal offense committed by people who are overly officious in instigating or encouraging prosecution of groundless litigation, or who bring repeated or persistent acts of litigation for the purposes of profit or harassment”.
It was a misdemeanor under the common law of England and Wales for centuries before being abolished in the Criminal Law Act of 1967.
Now, why would lawyers and judges who get paid to commit litigation want to abolish such a crime?
In Texas, barratry is a misdemeanor on the first conviction, but a felony on subsequent convictions.
I’d bring back the pillory for convicted offenders and contribute to a foundation to purchase overripe Vegetables of Justice to chastise them.
The revelations about Mann do make one wonder. Anyone with any appreciation of real science knows that the hypothesis of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming is seriously flawed. Within living memory, every high school student knew about the importance of CO2 in the Carbon Cycle which maintains all life on Earth, and most of them were aware of Le Chatelier’s Principle that a system in dynamic equilibrium (such as the Earth’s climate) will react to a new stress in such a way as to mitigate any change. But clearly there are some people with sufficient personal wealth (or control over Other People’s Money) who failed to learn such elementary things.
The question is – Why would those individuals choose such an unsavory character as Michael Mann to be the standard bearer for their cause?
It sounds like the lawyers that advertise for people to contact them so they can sue various entities are breaking the law. I am sure the legal system has some pretzel logic why lawyers circling a hospital like a pedophile circling a grade school is absolutely critical for justice.
The first thing that smells is that the case is in DC. Were either party located in DC twelve years ago? I guess Steyn is trying to point this out to the jury by asking why is the case here. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of faith in people that are biased being convinced of their own bias.
CEI was. My guess is someone told Steyn not to challenge personal jurisdiction in DC and force Mann to sue in New Hampshire. They likely told him that DC has an anti-SLAPP law and the case would be dismissed promptly; whereas New Hampshire does not and the trial in New Hampshire could drag on for months before dismissal.