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« US reaction to Climategate | Main | See you in court »

Calling Dr Mann

Michael Mann's threat to sue the National Review over its quoting of a fairly rude Competitive Enterprise Institute article has elicited a fairly blunt response from the Review's lawyers.

Our review reveals that the magazine has published statements that are fully protected under the First Amendment. There is no need for National Review to remove or retract the post.

Dr. Mann complains about two statements: 1) that as "the man behind the fraudulent climate-change 'hockey-stick' graph," he is "the very ringmaster ofthe threering circus" on climate change; and 2) that he "could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data in the service of politicized science that could have dire economic consequences for the nation and planet." Neither ofthese statements is actionable. Moreover, if Dr. Mann decides to pursue this matter, he and his research would be subjected to a very extensive discovery of materials that he has fought so hard to protect in other proceedings. Such materials would be required for National Review to defend itself.

Which is pretty much what everyone said when word of the threatened suit hit the internet.

The Review's lawyers also seem to be admirably well read:

Politicians, scientists and journalists have also continued to question Dr. Mann's tactics in defending the "hockey stick" graph, particularly in light of the thousands of leaked e-mails about the controversy that have painted him in a less than flattering light. See, e.g., Andrew Montford, The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and the Corruption o/Science, Stacey International, 2010; James Delingpole, Opinion, "Climategate 2.0," Wall St. J., Nov. 28, 2011. In referencing the "Climategate" e-mails, Congressman Darrell Issa did not mince words: "[I]t's very clear that those people played fast and loose with both the truth and our money." Darren Goode, "Issa calls for 'relook' at climate science," The Hill, Sept. 23, 2010. Mr. Simberg and Mr. Steyn have simply come to the same conclusion that many others have in the past decade - that Dr. Mann's research may not be scientifically viable.

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Reader Comments (29)

Love it!
Bring it on, Michael.

Aug 22, 2012 at 8:23 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Please, please, please, let him sue.

Surely he can't be that stupid?

Aug 22, 2012 at 8:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-Record

An empty vessel (in this case Mann) makes the most noise.

Please sue nice Mr. Mann!

Aug 22, 2012 at 8:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Blunt and robust. I especially like their approach of detailing the clear fact that Mann has “placed himself squarely in the middle of the heated scientific debate”.

The posturing of Mann, and other guru’s, in an attempt to occupy a unique scientism priesthood, immune to criticism, seems to be tacitly welcomed by a disturbing silence from the mainstream and definitely needs someone to go to the plate and challenge it - so good on the National Review.

Aug 22, 2012 at 8:47 PM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

"... And the truth goes marching on ...."

There is an army marching for the truth.

Aug 22, 2012 at 9:27 PM | Unregistered Commentereyesonu

Whatever happened to Mann's lawsuit against Tim Ball in Canada?

In the climategate e-mails, he showed a tendency to sue first, wanting to go after Doug Keenan for slandering the SUNY guy who made up the Chinese weather station data.

Aug 22, 2012 at 9:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikeN


This is the latest on Mann v. Tim Ball I believe. From John O'Sullivan.

Aug 22, 2012 at 9:37 PM | Unregistered Commenterjazznick

Could Michael Mann be a modern day Oscar Wilde? ( all be it minus the wit and sense of humour )

Aug 22, 2012 at 9:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Leon

No one has disparaged Mann's work more than Muller. Why has Mann not sued Muller?

Aug 22, 2012 at 9:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

Watching this show on BBC 3 calledThe Revoloution Will be Televised

Having a go at Sir Philip Green and Top Shop not paying his Tax Easy target Left wing bias

But this is a BBC3 show and its payed for by the BBC and the BBC licence fee is basically a tax on people. Worse than that its not funny.I can watch Family Guy on BBC3

Aug 22, 2012 at 10:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

Indeed. If the BBC thought there was anu chance of Mann going through with this they would be actually reporting his threats. Nothing but bluster.

Aug 22, 2012 at 11:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterNeil Craig

"...Dr. Mann's research may not be scientifically viable."


Aug 22, 2012 at 11:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterJabba the Cat

If Meltdown Mann tries it, it will be the most stupidly self-destructive defamation suit since Oscar Wilde's.

Aug 22, 2012 at 11:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterBohemond

Aug 22, 2012 at 9:38 PM | John Leon

Could Michael Mann be a modern day Oscar Wilde? ( all be it minus the wit and sense of humour )

Nah ... somehow I doubt it. From everything I've seen of Mann's self-aggrandizing antics to date, I'm more inclined to conclude (as I have in the past, so this could be "confirmation bias" on my part!) that Mann has modeled this "reinvention" of himself on the art and artifice demonstrated by the notorious Holocaust denier and faux-historian, David "I see you, I sue you" Irving.

Aug 22, 2012 at 11:48 PM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov

Mickey Mann's not macho 'nuff.

Aug 23, 2012 at 12:21 AM | Unregistered Commenterdearieme

[Snip - manners]

Aug 23, 2012 at 12:51 AM | Unregistered Commenterjaffa

Not a chance Mann will go anywhere near a court on this , his big and highly arrogant fish but only n an increasingly small pond, and the best part is most of the other fish probable really hate him .

Keep him in the spot light , keep him under pressure and enjoy the fun is ego is far to big for him to stop making a fool of himself like this and one day hopefully he will go to far and once that fish is out of the water its crapped out .

Aug 23, 2012 at 1:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

Here is the response to Michael Mann:

"Get Lost"

These are from Mark Steyn's response to Mann. (WTxxx was Mann thinking? Mark Steyn?)

[1] "Stick It Where the Global Warming Don't Shine"

[2] " All I'd say is he seems strangely insecure for a person of such eminence."

[3] "Hockey sticks akimbo, baby!"

Aug 23, 2012 at 3:16 AM | Registered Commentershub

     Many thanks for your link:
John O'Sullivan: New SLAAPstick Courtroom Capers as Michael Mann Falls Foul Again

     A fascinating and comprehensive up-date on the Mann v. Ball saga.

Aug 23, 2012 at 6:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Carr

Not UK of course, but they could have referred to the reply given in Arkell vs. Pressdram...

Aug 23, 2012 at 9:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Or perhaps the local equivalent... :-)

Aug 23, 2012 at 9:08 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Shame the National Review lawyer didn't get Mark Steyn's joke about Mann's being "the very ringmaster of the tree-ring,/b> circus".

Aug 23, 2012 at 9:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterNicholas Hallam

Real Climate currently features an essay by Michael Mann regarding a recent book by Joe Romm on public speaking. Mike's comments are agonsingly cringeing in their naivete and relationship to his own frailties. It seems as it his 6+month "garden leave" to improve his communication skills has been less than fruitful, for him at least....

Aug 23, 2012 at 10:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard

Neither statement may be actionable-according to an interested party!- under US law but they reflect pretty poorly on their writer. While the portrayal of Mann as a 'ringmaster' would amuse his colleagues,the claim that his 'Hockey Stick' is fraudulent is wishful thinking,and the Sandusky allusion is deliberately offensive and of no value as information.

Aug 23, 2012 at 11:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterNick

One thing about the US justice system is that if you take action against anyone, they have the right to trawl through your life in every detail in the cause of the defence. Mann knows this so I'm surprised he would even consider any legal action. All the information he's tried to conceal would be laid bare for all to see.

Aug 23, 2012 at 11:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterMactheknife

John Leon: Could Michael Mann be a modern day Oscar Wilde? ( all be it minus the wit and sense of humour )

There is a story about Wilde at a party hearing someone's witty comment, saying "Oh I do wish I'd thought of that!", to which another replied, "You will. You will!"

Aug 23, 2012 at 11:45 AM | Unregistered Commenterphilip foster


I guess I reveal a weakness in my character by saying that:

"Get lost"


"Stick It Where the Global Warming Don't Shine"

Are more than just appropriate, they are wonderfully apposite. This man needs taking out of his arrogant, puffed up comfort zone.

Aug 23, 2012 at 1:48 PM | Registered CommenterDung


"Mr. Mann to the burn unit please, Mr. Mann!"

Aug 23, 2012 at 6:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterWijnand

Such litigation will be very expensive for Mann, or whoever is footing the bill. I really doubt that he will go ahead. But I hope his massive ego will take over and he will try.

Aug 24, 2012 at 12:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

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