Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

11 February 2014

Mann v. Steyn to Determine if Opinion Contrary to Government Science is Permitted

Michael Mann, of the infamous hockey stick global temperature plot and the ClimateGate e-mails, is suing Mark Steyn, National Review, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute for defamation because they claimed such things as that he had "molested and tortured data."  I have made similar claims, so I have an immediate interest in the outcome of this case.

Until now, Americans have been free to question the intention and the intellect of others.  Only if they maliciously made up false claims could they be sued for defamation.  It is hard to maintain freedom of speech unless one has a very broad range over which one can oppose the actions and opinions of others.  It would have seemed obvious that Mann's lawsuit would have been rejected by the courts.  However, the DC Superior Court has accepted the case, saying that
The CEI Defendants' persistence despite the EPA and other investigative bodies' conclusion that Plaintiff's work is accurate (or that there is no evidence of data manipulation) is equal to a blatant disregard for the falsity of their statements.
If this opinion is upheld, it will be against the law to disagree with any government agency that claims the umbrella of science.  One will not be allowed to claim that anyone on the government's side of the issue is incompetent or is wrapping up his quest for political power in a veneer of science using falsified data.  Of course this is just what the catastrophic man-made global warming alarmists are doing, with a close collaboration in the dishonest enterprise between many climate scientists and many government agencies.

As Robert Tracinski has noted in the Tracinski Letter of 10 February 2014:
Mann has recently declared himself to be both a scientist and a political activist. But in attempting to intimidate his critics and suppress free debate on global warming, he is violating the fundamental rules of both science and politics. If it is a sin to doubt, then there is no science. If it is a crime to dissent, then there is no politics.
Mann vs. Steyn may be the trial of the century. It may determine, not merely whether the environmentalists can shut down industrial civilization, but whether they can shut down the independent thinking of skeptical dissidents.
I added the emphasis in the quote to a particularly pleasing turn of phrase.

I will remind you that I just made this statement on 8 February 2014:
There is almost nothing in the government-managed record of temperatures that one can believe in any more.  The record is highly fudged and the fudgers have no idea themselves what string of changes they made to the data, whether as to how often, how much, or why.  But, those changes appear to systematically be motivated by attempts to prove the hypothesis that man's use of fossil fuels was somehow causing a catastrophic global warming.
Perhaps I will escape a lawsuit because I did not name one person as responsible for this anti-science and dishonest record.  In fact, many people are responsible for this evil activity, so they will have to divide up the defamation if they accuse me of calumny.  Will GISS, NOAA, or the EPA sue me for saying that much of what they claim is science is no such thing and is naught but garbage?

Perhaps the next move will be to make any disputant with a government agency subject to defamation claims, at least if they question the competence or the motives of the agency.  Since so many of the agencies are incompetent and maliciously motivated, I can see many suppressing lawsuits in our future if the federal courts do not decide to protect those who have disputes with these agencies when they wrap themselves in a thin cloak of "science."  The Invisibility Cloak so sought by many government agencies will become a pretense of science and in the name of that, they will wield the Hammer of Thor upon Americans.


Anonymous said...

Looking forward to Mann bankrupting National Review et al. in the not too distant future.

Charles R. Anderson, Ph.D. said...

Right Willard, it would no doubt be wonderful if the big government, collectivist force mongers could only bankrupt Mark Steyn, National Review, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute. That would silence the challenges they make to said collectivism and the brutal use of force it requires to suppress individuality and individual rights.

Of course you realize that bankrupting them would increase income inequality. Oh, but of course that has increased already under Obama and the rule of big government and collectivism. One has to remember what is real and what is pretense when dealing with the left.