American Elephants

The Long, Long Story of ClimateGate and Dr. Michael Mann by The Elephant's Child


Back when today’s environmentalists suddenly became anxious about the climate, government agencies began giving grants to those scientists who were studying the climate seriously, and coming up with information to protect the government officials who might be accused of not tending to business and protecting the climate of the earth. ‘

Obviously the scientists who got the good-sized grants were those who could write a good grant proposal, for getting a grant enhanced the prestige of the scientist and the university where he taught, and meant new equipment and perhaps a raise, and maybe even an assistant.  So naturally there was a flurry of grant proposals churned out. Then they had to start producing useful science. Many turned to the computer programs used by Wall Street to predict what the market was going to do. So they entered what they knew about climate, but there was an enormous amount they didn’t know, so they put in what seemed likely, and what they thought was probable and a few wild guesses, and started predicting what the climate would do 20 or 50 years hence. [Please remember that this is a non-scientific estimate of what was going on by a sheer amateur observer.] The point is that there was a lot they just didn’t have any information about, like the action of clouds, and some things that they assumed were correct, like the temperatures at official thermometer sites (though many were located next to air conditioning outlets and heat-reflecting concrete walls, and even next to trash burners.) In other words, the official temperature records were vastly overestimating the warming.

Anthony Watts, proprietor of the valued website, meteorologist and former TV weatherman, became suspicious, and asked his viewers to take photographs of the official thermometer locations, and since many were located where factors other than weather were influencing the recorded temperatures. That’s when the “heat island” notion became common.

Michael Mann (Penn State) came up with was was called “the hockey-stick” graph. Envision a hockey stick. Goes along straight and then suddenly jogs straight up. That’s what his climate graph showed that the heat of the planet was going to do. That got a lot of attention,. Naturally it was called “ClimateGate”) Mann’s graph was featured news, Mann became a recognized scientist, with all the hoopla that entails. Dr. Tim Bell, climate skeptic, from B.C. suggested that Mann was exaggerating and making phony claims, as did Mark Steyn as a journalist. Mann sued for defamation. How dare you criticize my famous hockey stick graph. And the case has dragged on in Canadian courts for nine years. and Dr. Tim Ball won,  Michael Mann deservedly lost and has to pay Dr. Ball’s court costs. Here is Anthony Watt’s story on the whole long, long ClimateGate battle. More interesting because he has long been a participant. And here is the report from Marc Morano at Climate Depot. We are pleased.

If you can, take the time to prowl around and These are excellent websites that will reward your visits.

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Mann’s lawyer has a MUCH different version of events. Ball requested the case
be dismissed. There was no finding Mann withheld data or did anything fraudulent,
and Ball’s own lawyer said he (Ball) had no credibility.

Mann’s lawyer’s statement:


Comment by David Appell

Of course he does. Like Mann, his lawyer is a dishonest sleaze-weasel, misrepresenting the facts.

As to his utterly disingenuous claim that Ball’s motion to dismiss (which they all admit was granted) “relied heavily” on Ball’s health–you’ll notice he left out the first EIGHTY-TWO reasons from the motion to dismiss. It’s rather ridiculous to claim that a motion to dismiss “relied heavily” on the 82nd, 83rd, and 84th reasons. If they were important reasons, they would be listed among the first. But Mann has a long history of withholding the most important facts. Indeed, it is because he refused to supply the court with the so-called “science” behind his infamous hockey stick that was the main reason for the motion to dismiss.

Dr. Ball’s defense against the libel claim was a “truth defense”–in other words, that nothing he said was libelous because it was TRUE that Mann’s “science” relies on input and methodology that he refuses to share with the rest of the scientific community. A cornerstone of real science is that it can be examined, and replicated by others. Scientists cannot reproduce “science” that Mann keeps secret.

The only reason Mann and his lawyer can claim that the court didn’t make particular “findings” is because the court has not put any of its findings on paper..YET. This was an oral ruling from the bench. No one disputes that Ball’s motion to dismiss was granted, and as such, Mann will have to pay Ball’s considerable legal fees if his appeals are denied.

And lest you believe Mann’s insinuation that he did not lose–he has already announced his plans to appeal. Nobody appeals a favorable ruling. He lost.

This has been an 8 year, multi-million dollar, corrupt SLAPP lawsuit (lawsuits that are meant to bully and intimidate people into silence). No judge would dismiss such a case without some judgement on the merits, or solely for health reasons. That doesn’t happen. People often die in the middle of lawsuits, and the plaintiffs keep suing their estate. When someone has harmed you, they get to seek justice no matter your state of health. That the case was dismissed most likely means the court believed that Mann did not have just cause, or that he had forfeited the right to sue by contemptuously hiding evidence from the court.

Dr Ball’s motion to dismiss was based primarily on Mann’s refusal to share his “science” (which he was supposed to have supplied the court MONTHS ago, but still has not), that his statement was truthful, that Mann had engaged in fraudulent “science” and was hiding the evidence from the court. The court will have ruled on that basis–most likely that since Mann refuses to produce the underlying science, it can be assumed that that information would vindicate Dr Ball. The fact that Ball is old and ill will only have been a secondary reason for not delaying the dismissal any longer.

I don’t know much about Canadian law, but I know about what we call “spoliation of evidence” in the US, where, if a person destroys or hides evidence where it cannot be found, that the jury can infer from that spoliation that the evidence would have undermined that person’s case. I suspect some similar law is at play in the BC Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss, and the court has ruled that the libel claim is dismissed because Mann refused to provide evidence that could have shown it to be true.


Comment by American Elephant

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