Mann and the Oxburgh Panel

The Mann libel case has been attracting increasing commentary, including from people outside the climate community. Integral to Mann’s litigation are representations that he was “investigated” by 6-9 investigations, all of which supposedly gave him “exonerations” on wide-ranging counts, including “scientific misconduct”, “fraud”, “academic fraud”, “data falsification”, “statistical manipulation”, “manipulation of data” and even supposed findings that his work was “properly conducted an fairly presented”. Mann also represented that these investigations were widely covered in international and national media and thus known to Steyn and the other defendants.

In today’s post, I’ll look closely at the Oxburgh panel, one of the investigations cited in Mann’s pleadings. However, contrary to the claims in Mann’s litigation, not only did the Oxburgh panel not exonerate Mann, at their press conference, Oxburgh panelist David Hand, then President of the Royal Statistical Society, made very disparaging and critical comments about Mann’s work, describing it as based on “inappropriate” statistics that led to “exaggerated” results. These comments were widely reported in international media, later covered in a CEI article that, in turn, was reported by National Review. Moreover, information obtained from FOI in the UK a couple of years ago shows that Mann objected vehemently to criticism from Oxburgh panelist, which he characterized as a “rogue opinion” and unsuccessfully sought a public apology.

Mann’s claim that the Oxburgh panel “exonerated” Mann on counts ranging from scientific misconduct to statistical manipulation to proper conduct and fair presentation of results has no more validity than his claim to have been awarded a Nobel prize for his supposedly seminal work “document[ing] the steady rise in surface temperatures during the 20th Century and the steep increase in measured temperatures since the 1950s.”

The “Investigations” in the Pleadings
Mann’s pleadings are extremely prolix and the precise scope of his supposed exoneration varies somewhat from paragraph to paragraph.

In paragraph 21 of the Complaint, Mann claimed that there had been “separate and independent” investigations by Penn State and UEA (two each) and by five government agencies into misconduct by “Mann and colleagues” and that all nine found no basis to allegations of “scientific misconduct or manipulation of data”:

21. Following the publication of the CRU emails, Penn State and the University of East Anglia (in four separate instances) and five governmental agencies [listed] have conducted separate and independent investigations into the allegations of scientific misconduct against Dr. Mann and his colleagues. Every one of these investigations has reached the same conclusion: there is no basis to any of the allegations of scientific misconduct or manipulation of data.

As an editorial comment, the terms “scientific misconduct” and “manipulation of data” have quite different meanings. For example, Barry Bickmore, a Mann supporter, observed: “If you had any knowledge about how to handle data, you would realize that scientists always “manipulate” data.” Bickmore’s observation would appear to be inconsistent with the supposed findings of the inquiries on this point.

In paragraph 3 of the Complaint, Mann characterized the findings of “all” the investigations in somewhat different terms, saying that these ‘academic institutions and governmental entities” (which, by very strong implication, are the 9 investigations later itemized in paragraph 21) conducted investigation into “Dr. Mann’s work” (not his colleagues) and found no basis to allegations of “academic fraud” in addition to supposed exoneration of “scientific misconduct” and “manipulation of data” as subsequently claimed. They also claim that “every such investigation” “concluded” that Mann’s research and conclusions were “properly conducted and fairly presented”. Actually more than that – they also claimed this of “every replication”, a counterintuitive characterization of the work of McIntyre and McKitrick, McShane and Wyner and the Wegman Report, to mention only a few.

3… In response to these accusations, academic institutions and governmental entities alike… have conducted investigations into Dr. Mann’s work, and found the allegations of academic fraud to be baseless. Every such investigation- and every replication of Dr. Mann’s work has concluded that Dr. Mann’s research and conclusions were properly conducted and fairly presented.

In paragraph 24, Mann further states that “all” of the investigations found “no evidence of any fraud, data falsification, statistical manipulation, or misconduct of any kind by Dr. Mann”. In making this declaration, they emphasized that these findings were “widely available and commented upon in the national and international media”, a point that is of particular interest when we examine contemporary reports of the Oxburgh panel.

24. All of the above investigations found that there was no evidence of any fraud, data falsification, statistical manipulation, or misconduct of any kind by Dr. Mann. All of the above reports and publications were widely available and commented upon in the national and international media. All were read by the Defendants. To the extent there was ever any question regarding the propriety of Dr. Mann’s research, it was laid to rest as a result of these investigations.

Combining the different assertions, Mann claimed that “all” of the investigations exonerated him of the following: scientific misconduct, fraud, academic fraud, data falsification, statistical manipulation, manipulation of data and even supposed findings that his work was “properly conducted an fairly presented”.

CEI/NR Memoranda and Mann Reply
In the CEI memorandum of December 14, 2012, CEI contested Mann’s characterization of the findings of the various investigations, pointing out that Mann had failed to provide supporting quotations from seven of the investigations and contested whether the excerpts from the other two contradicted the statements in dispute (page 18):

Indeed, the Complaint fails to quote a single word or cite a single page from seven of those reports, and the brief excerpts of two that it does set forth do not actually contradict any of the CEI Defendants’ challenged statements. Compare Compl. ¶¶22-23 with Compl. ¶26.

In respect to the Oxburgh report under analysis today, Mann’s reply memorandum of January 2013 provided a single excerpt of the Oxburgh report, but this excerpt referred only to CRU without providing any form of exoneration to Mann:

In April 2010, the University of East Anglia convened an international Scientific Assessment Panel, in consultation with the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, 38 and chaired by Professor Ron Oxburgh. The Report of the International Panel assessed the integrity of the research published by the CRU and found “no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit”. 39

NR Reply Memorandum
{paragraph added Feb 19, 2014] The National Review Reply Memorandum of Feb 1, 2013 explicitly mentioned Hand’s critique in their summary of the Oxburgh report as follows:

Similarly, the Oxburgh report, cited by Mann (Pl.’s Resp. at 19) as evidence of his “exoneration,” examined only the conduct of East Anglia Climate Research Unit scientists, not Mann. Nonetheless, the panel concluded that it was “regrettable” that tree-ring proxy reconstructions “by the IPCC and others” neglected to emphasize “the discrepancy between instrumental and tree-based proxy reconstructions of temperature during the late 20th century.” See Pl.’s Resp., Ex. 5 at 5 ¶ 7. Prof. David Hand, the head of the Royal Statistical Society and a member of the panel, subsequently singled out Michael Mann’s research for criticism, noting that Mann’s used “inappropriate methods” that “exaggerated the size of the blade at the end of the hockey stick.” See Supp. Coffin Decl., Ex. H. The panel, though not Prof. Hand, later clarified that its report had not charged any scientists with being “deliberately misleading” in their analyses.

The Oxburgh Report and Press Conference
Turning now to the facts.

In February 2010, with the Muir Russell panel making negligible progess, East Anglia formed a second panel, which Vice Chancellor Acton told the Parliamentary Committee would appraise CRU’s science.

The University commissioned Oxburgh and his “Scientific Appraisal Panel”, which interpreted its terms of reference as the examination of a list of 11 academic articles selected by the University of East Anglia (though the list was represented to the panel as being selected by the Royal Society). The list included three CRU articles presenting variations of the Briffa MXD reconstruction that had originated the hide-the-decline controversy. Two of the three articles – both from 1998 – unambiguously showed the decline in the Briffa reconstruction. (Indeed, it was the inconsistency between these articles and the IPCC diagram that had originally occasioned my interest.)

However, both these articles were prior to the unsavory discussion among Mann and other IPCC authors in which senior IPCC officials expressed their concern that inclusion of the Briffa reconstruction might “dilute the message”, with Mann readily acquiescing because he did not want to give “fodder to the skeptics” (see CA summary here). Subsequent to this discussion, CRU sent Mann a Briffa version showing the decline (this version was then unpublished and not published until Briffa et al 2001). CRU later sent Mann a version in which data was deleted after 1960. Briffa et al 2001 was the third relevant article considered by Oxburgh. It showed the decline in all figures in which the reconstruction was showed individually, but in the figure comparing the reconstruction to other reconstructions (Plate 3), it truncated the data, as had already been done at IPCC. This sequence is relevant for other discussions: in this case, IPCC did not merely assess published literature; the published literature was affected by IPCC requirements.

The Oxburgh panel had only the following short report on these issues:

7. Recent public discussion of climate change and summaries and popularizations of the work of CRU and others often contain oversimplifications that omit serious discussion of uncertainties emphasized by the original authors. For example, CRU publications repeatedly emphasize the discrepancy between instrumental and tree-based proxy reconstructions of temperature during the late 20th century, but presentations of this work by the IPCC and others have sometimes neglected to highlight this issue. While we find this regrettable, we could find no such fault with the peer-reviewed papers we examined.

Oxburgh obviously did not respond to actual criticism, which was of the IPCC diagram. In May 2005, long before Climategate, I had reported the truncation of Briffa data in the IPCC report and asked the following questions:

The truncation is not documented in IPCC TAR. In most cases, people would ask: who at IPCC truncated this series? why did they do so? who approved the truncation? what process was involved in approving the truncation?

The Climategate emails obviously shed a very unsavory light on the decision to delete adverse data in IPCC TAR.

The Oxburgh panel considered the IPCC diagram only in passing, but its finds were all adverse to Mann. They described IPCC’s failure (in Mann’s section) to highlight the discrepancy as negligent and “regrettable”.

The Oxburgh panel was also very critical of the failure of CRU to involve professional statisticians in work that was essentially statistical:

2. We cannot help remarking that it is very surprising that research in an area that depends so heavily on statistical methods has not been carried out in close collaboration with professional statisticians.

The Oxburgh Press Conference
Mann’s pleadings specifically noted that the release of the various reports were covered in national and international media and the Oxburgh report was no exception. It held a press conference on April 14, 2010 that was attended by reporters from a wide range of international media. Oxburgh was accompanied by panelist David Hand, an eminent statistician who was then the President of the Royal Statistical Society.

A few days prior to the press conference, Oxburgh and Hand appear to have entertained some misgivings about Mann, which were mentioned to UEA’s Vice Chancellor Acton. Although Mann is a relatively central Climategate figure, Acton appeared unfamiliar with him, but “thought that [he] recognised the name”. On April 12, 2010, two days before the press conference, he sent the following email to Oxburgh cc Hand:

Ron,
You mentioned concerns about Mann. I thought I recognised the name. Here’s the report we received from his University’s internal review which you may find of interest.
[VC Acton]

At the press conference, Hand severely criticized Mann’s reconstructions for “exaggeration” and it was these criticisms that were the story publicized in the international media and subsequently noted in a CEI blog article, which, in turn, was covered by National Review.

Louise Gray of the Daily Telegraph, generally highly sympathetic to green causes, reported that Hand had accused Mann of using “inappropriate” methods that had “exaggerated” the threat from climate change, an accusation emblazoned in the article’s headline:
oxburgh daily telegraph headline

The article continued with harsh words about Mann:

Professor David Hand said that the research – led by US scientist Michael Mann – would have shown less dramatic results if more reliable techniques had been used to analyse the data… But the reviewers found that the scientists could have used better statistical methods in analysing some of their data, although it was unlikely to have made much difference to their results.

That was not the case with some previous climate change reports, where “inappropriate methods” had exaggerated the global warming phenomenon. Prof Hand singled out a 1998 paper by Prof Mann of Pennsylvania State University, a constant target for climate change sceptics, as an example of this. He said the graph, that showed global temperature records going back 1,000 years, was exaggerated – although any reproduction using improved techniques is likely to also show a sharp rise in global warming. He agreed the graph would be more like a field hockey stick than the ice hockey blade it was originally compared to. “The particular technique they used exaggerated the size of the blade at the end of the hockey stick. Had they used an appropriate technique the size of the blade of the hockey stick would have been smaller,” he said. “The change in temperature is not as great over the 20th century compared to the past as suggested by the Mann paper.”

Mann had been interviewed for the Telegraph article and claimed that Peter Bloomfield of the NAS panel had “come to an opposite conclusion” from Hand:

“I would note that our ’98 article was reviewed by the US National Academy of Sciences, the highest scientific authority in the United States, and given a clean bill of health,” he said. “In fact, the statistician on the panel, Peter Bloomfield, a member of the Royal Statistical Society, came to the opposite conclusion of Prof Hand.”

The New Scientist’s report, also by a very green reporter, headlined that “Climategate scientists chastised over statistics”.

oxburgh new scientist headline

The New Scientist reported that the “strongest example of imperfect statistics” was said to occur in the work of Michael Mann, which had led to “exaggerated” results:

[Hand] said the strongest example he had found of imperfect statistics in the work of the CRU and collaborators elsewhere was the iconic “hockey stick” graph, produced by Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University in University Park. The graph shows how temperatures have changed over the past 1000 years (see graphic, right). Hand pointed out that the statistical tool Mann used to integrate temperature data from a number of difference sources – including tree-ring data and actual thermometer readings – produced an “exaggerated” rise in temperatures over the 20th century, relative to pre-industrial temperatures. That point was initially made by climate sceptic and independent mathematician Stephen McIntyre.

Even the Guardian reported Hand’s broadside against Mann’s work, reporting Hand as saying that Mann’s study gave him an “uneasy feeling” because it used “inappropriate statistical tools”. Mann fought back, describing Hand as only a “rogue opinion” that “should not be given much attention or credence”, while claiming that his study had been “approved” by the US National Academy:

At a press conference to launch the review’s findings, Hand re-ignited a long-standing row about a high-profile study published in 1998 by scientists led by Michael Mann at Penn State University, US. The paper featured an emblematic graph known as the “hockey-stick” that showed temperature rise in the twentieth century was unprecedented in recent history. Hand said the study gave him an “uneasy feeling” because it used “inappropriate statistical tools”. The hockey-stick effect was genuine, Hand said, but the 1998 paper exaggerated it. He praised Steve McIntyre, a Canadian climate blogger who led much of the criticism of the CRU scientists, for identifying the problem.

Mann told the Guardian that the 1998 study had been approved by the US National Academy of Science and Hand had offered a “rogue opinion” that “should not be given much attention or credence”.

The Daily Telegraph article was covered in the US by various outlets, including Fox News, which covered the Daily Telegraph story in an article entitled Top Climate Scientist Under Fire for ‘Exaggerating’ Global Warming”, complete with large photograph of Mann.

oxburgh foxnews headline

The article contained commentary that was critical of both Mann and the Penn State inquiries, including the following:

Britain’s top statistician absolved U.K. scientists following the climate-data scandal — and blasted U.S. researcher Michael Mann for exaggerating the size of global warming.

An inquiry by a panel of scientists into the behavior and methodologies of researchers at Britain’s East Anglia University found Britain’s climatologists scatterbrained and sloppy, but ultimately innocent of intentionally skewing climate data. But one of the top scientists selected for the panel slammed the methodologies used by Penn State climatologist Michael Mann to devise his infamous “Hockey Stick.”

Mann’s Protest
Mann immediately protested to Hand in numerous emails, seeking both a withdrawal of Hand’s criticism and an apology.

On April 14, Mann emailed Hand asking to speak to him.

The next day, Mann commenced a barrage of emails by sending Hand a copy of Wahl and Ammann, noting that Nychka of NCAR was a consultant on it. (Nychka had also been a member of the NAS panel despite this conflict, a conflict that I had formally objected to.)

Mann had also sent Peter Blomfield a copy of the Telegraph article and asked him to intervene. Bloomfield wrote to Hand, but his letter did not provide the support that Mann had sought. Instead of opposing Hand’s remarks (as Mann had asserted), Bloomfield said that he had quickly reviewed the findings of the NAS report and did not locate any conclusions that differed from Hand’s:

A quick rereading of the report didn’t reveal any place where I, ^ or any other member of the committee reached any conclusion with which you would differ. If you’re aware of any, I’d be glad of a reminder!

Mann followed up his earlier email with a link to the adverse Fox News article. A few hours later, Mann talked to Hand by telephone. Mann followed up the call by sending Hand a list of talking points, including links to desmog and deepclimate attacking Wegman. Mann worried that “specious and false allegations” would “spin out of control” unless Hand issued a “clarification” that others would be able to “report and quote”. Mann wanted to know what measures Hand planned to “correct the record”:

Given all of this, as I stated in our phone conversation, I believe the only way to prevent the specious and false allegations about us and our work from spinning out of control in the media is for their to be a clarification issued on your part in the fairly near term, which others could then be able to repost and quote. Otherwise, the mischaracterizations that I know concern both of us, will continue to be propagated and promoted by those seeking to further enflame the discourse on this topic.

As you can see from the email I’ve forwarded below, my own university’s newspapers now wants to do an article about this, which puts me in a very awkward position. I don’t expect this sort of thing to stop without some action on your part, as mentioned above…

I am anxious to learn what measures you might be willing to take in the near term to correct the record, given the unusual amount of misinformation that this affair has now engendered.

Two days later (April 17), Mann again pressed Hand to withdraw his statements to avoid what Mann called the “spread of misinformation arising from the press conference”:

Please do let me know if you have any further questions I can address for you. Some sort of statement early this week (i. e, monday) would be extremely helpful in preventing the spread of misinformation arising from the press conference, which unfortunately does continue in the U. S. media, thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

Hand notified Oxburgh that he wanted to get Mann off his back (“since Mann is continuing to pursue me”). Hand drafted an anodyne addendum to the report, saying that they had not “intended to imply” that other groups had been “deliberately misleading” or “intentionally exaggerated” their finds, but only to emphasize the “complexity of statistics” and the “need to use the best possible methods”.

For the avoidance of misunderstanding in the light of various press stories, it is important to be clear that the neither the panel report nor the press briefing intended to imply that any research group in the field of climate change had been deliberately misleading in any of their analyses or intentionally exaggerated their findings. Rather, the aim was to draw attention to the complexity of statistics in this field, and the need to use the best possible methods.

Hand, Oxburgh and the UEA agreed that they would add the new paragraph “quietly”, commenting:

I could be wrong, but can’t see it getting much interest without people being directed to it.

The addendum was posted up on April 19 without any fanfare or announcement. Mann appears to have anticipated much more. On April 23, Tom Heap of the BBC wrote to Fiona Fox of the Science Media Center saying that Mann had claimed that Hand’s criticism was “all wrong” and that Hand would be “issuing a clarification/apology”:

By the way, Mann said Hand got his criticism of the stats all wrong and would be issuing a clarification/ apology. True?

Fox passed the inquiry to Hand, asking if Hand planned to issue an apology ( “assuming (praying) that it is not true”), observing that, if not, then someone should suggest to Mann that he not make such suggestions to BBC reporters:

Subject: aghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
Hi Folks – assuming (praying) this is not true? If it – or any version of it – is true – can we chat about it and how the SMC might help? If it’s rubbish someone might want to suggest to Michael Mann that he decease from suggesting it to BBC reporters.

In the event, Fox’s prayer was answered as neither Hand nor the Oxburgh panel issued any further “clarification/apology”.

CEI and National Review
In July 2010, CEI’s Iain Murray published an article in the Wahington Examiner (later republished at the CEI website here) that severely criticized defects in the UK Parliamentary Committee, Oxburgh, Muir Russell and Penn State inquiries, concluding:

Those who hope that these inquiries exonerate global warming science are engaging in wishful thinking. The Climategate e-mails are still there for all to read and the questions they raise remain unanswered. Until there are answers, Climategate rolls on.

While Murray was critical of the shortcomings of the Oxburgh panel, including its failure to “examine the quality of the science at all”, he observed that it “suggested deeper problems”, including Hand’s assertion that Mann had used “inappropriate statistical methods” (citing the Guardian) while noting that Mann dismissed Hand as merely a “rogue opinion”:

The parliamentary inquiry was also assured by the UEA that the quality of the science would be reviewed by another inquiry to be headed by Lord Oxburgh. Yet Lord Oxburgh’s panel handed down a short report which did not examine the quality of the science at all.

The panel simply reviewed a selection of CRU papers — selected by the UEA itself — and pronounced itself satisfied that the scientific process was fair and proper. The chairman of the parliamentary committee, Labor legislator Phil Willis, told the BBC he “could not believe” this “sleight of hand.”

Yet this cursory review suggested deeper problems. In his review of the hockey stick itself, according to the Guardian newspaper, the panel’s statistician David Hand said that the scientists had used inappropriate statistical methods. Hockey stick co-author Michael Mann of Penn State University dismissed this as a “rogue opinion.”

Murray’s article was quoted at length in a National Review Online opinion article on July 20, 2010 here.

Murray had observed that the Muir Russell investigation (which I’ll examine separately) had not interviewed any critics, but still concluded that Mann’s graphic in IPCC TAR was “misleading”. Murray commented:

Even this inadequate investigation, however, found that the way the hockey stick graph was handled was misleading. Imagine what it — and the parliamentary committee — would have found if there had been some witnesses for the prosecution.

To which, National Review Online added sarcastically:

Witnesses? Who needs witnesses?

Mann’s Book
Update Mar 4, 2013: Ruth Dixon observed in comments below:”In The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars Michael Mann says (p.235)[my emphasis]:

‘The statistician on the Oxburgh panel, David Hand, caused a bit of trouble with offhand remarks he chose to make at the press conference announcing the panel’s findings. Though our own work did not fall within the remit of the committee, and the hockey stick was not mentioned in the report, Hand commented that “the particular technique [Mann et al.] used exaggerated the blade at the end of the hockey stick.”…’

Conclusion
As noted at the start, Mann’s pleadings assert that he was “investigated” by multiple investigations and that all of the investigations (i.e. including Oxburgh) exonerated him of scientific misconduct, fraud, academic fraud, data falsification, statistical manipulation, manipulation of data and even supposed findings that his work was “properly conducted and fairly presented” and that these findings were announced and reported in “international and national media” of which the defendants were aware.

However, it is evident that the Oxburgh panel did not interview Mann or carry out any of the steps necessary to conduct an investigation of Mann’s work and that they did not provide the wide-ranging “exoneration” asserted in Mann’s pleadings. Furthermore, public statements by members of the Oxburgh panel on Mann’s work were highly critical and, far from indicating the widespread exoneration claimed by Mann, suggested the opposite. Indeed, Mann himself at the time perceived these opinions as damaging to himself, as he dismissed Hand’s as a “rogue opinion” and unsuccessfully sought an apology from Hand.

Postscript: In October 2013, at the request of Steptoe, the then lawyers for National Review and Steyn, I visited them in Washington to provide background on the dispute. Steptoe paid my travel expenses, but I was not offered (nor did I request) remuneration for my time. During the trip, I also provided a briefing with CEI’s counsel. Following my trip, Steptoe proposed that I act as a consultant to National Review in the litigation, but I didn’t follow up or enter into any agreement. I am reluctant to enter into a consulting agreement at present, since I want to preserve my ability to comment independently. On the other hand, I can envisage circumstances in which I might enter into a consulting agreement with one of the parties and perhaps even be remunerated for my time: everyone else seems to get paid. If that happens, I’ll disclose it.


165 Comments

  1. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 17, 2014 at 3:17 PM | Permalink

    There are many interesting and relevant issues in respect to the Mann libel case,

    There is also obviously interest in particulars of the various issues on which Mann might be considered to have engaged in “data torture”, “data manipulation”, “statistical manipulation”, “falsification”, “scientific misconduct” or “academic fraud” – terms that have been loosely treated as equivalent in some commentaries, but which, in my opinion, are distinguishable.

    Issues arise from Mann et al 1998-99; Mann’s lead authorship at IPCC TAR; Mann et al 2008; Mann’s public responses to criticism from Ross and myself and others, including withholding adverse verification statistics; misrepresentations on robustness to presence/absence of dendro data; impact of contaminated and upside-down data.

    As Jeff Id and others have observed, such issues abound and making even a summary is not a small job.

    There is technical coverage of most of the issues at Climate Audit but much of the relevant coverage was in the early years of this blog and it’s not easy locating coverage among the thousands of posts and comments. Jeff Id has also provided technical commentary, including on some topics not covered here. I’ll try to get to these topics.

    Brandon Shollenburger http://hiizuru.wordpress.com/ has also started threads on some of these topics and provides fresh eyes on some issues.

    • Salamano
      Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 6:54 AM | Permalink

      How Mann’s team can claim that the PSU investigations (and others) were full, fair, independent, and complete– all the while ruling the email evidence inadmissable from the start, is beyond me.

      -snip

      Steve: the PSU investigations did not rule that the email evidence was inadmissible. Their defects, flaws and shortcomings lay elsewhere.

  2. Les Johnson
    Posted Feb 17, 2014 at 3:43 PM | Permalink

    I find it odd that Mann claims that Bloomfield came to the opposite conclusion of Hand. From the congressional record:


    CHAIRMAN BARTON. I understand that. It looks like my time
    is expired, so I want to ask one more question. Dr. North, do you
    dispute the conclusions or the methodology of Dr. Wegman’s report?
    DR. NORTH. No, we don’t. We don’t disagree with their
    criticism. In fact, pretty much the same thing is said in our
    report. But again, just because the claims are made, doesn’t
    mean they are false.
    CHAIRMAN BARTON. I understand that you can have the right
    conclusion and that it not be–
    DR. NORTH. It happens all the time in science.
    CHAIRMAN BARTON. Yes, and not be substantiated by what you
    purport to be the facts but have we established–we know that
    Dr. Wegman has said that Dr. Mann’s methodology is incorrect. Do
    you agree with that? I mean, it doesn’t mean Dr. Mann’s
    conclusions are wrong, but we can stipulate now that we have–and if
    you want to ask your statistician expert from North Carolina that
    Dr. Mann’s methodology cannot be documented and cannot be verified
    by independent review.
    DR. NORTH. Do you mind if he speaks?
    CHAIRMAN BARTON. Yes, if he would like to come to the
    microphone.
    MR. BLOOMFIELD. Thank you. Yes, Peter Bloomfield. Our
    committee reviewed the methodology used by Dr. Mann and his coworkers
    and we felt that some of the choices they made were inappropriate.
    We had much the same misgivings about his work that was documented
    at much greater length by Dr. Wegman.

    http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=109_house_hearings&docid=f:31362.wais

    My emphasis.

    Steve: at their press conference a month earlier, North and Bloomfield made statements in Mann’s favor that went well beyond the scope of the report itself. These were picked up by the environmental reporters and used to characterize the study. Some of the other NAS panelists vehemently protested this over-reaching. I have obtained copies of some of the emails, which I’ll try to write up some time soon. In any event, these protests seem to have influenced North and Bloomfield who gave different evidence when under oath at the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

  3. Joe Public
    Posted Feb 17, 2014 at 4:08 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for your efforts & explanations.

  4. Posted Feb 17, 2014 at 4:18 PM | Permalink

    Thanks, Steve.

  5. tmitsss
    Posted Feb 17, 2014 at 4:41 PM | Permalink

    I rate this post as beer worthy. Hit the tip jar! Nothing says thanks like the price of a six pack!

  6. nvw
    Posted Feb 17, 2014 at 4:49 PM | Permalink

    Nicely done Steve.

    I think your approach of remaining in the stands and offering your commentary through this blog is a good one. But Prof. Mann should be very concerned that you retain the option of lacing on your skates and working a shift on the ice as an official consultant in the future.

    Consider also keeping a few trump cards back from the public discourse to insure full compliance during the discovery process.

    Rest assured that you sir, remain the gold standard of scientific and professional credibility.

  7. JD Ohio
    Posted Feb 17, 2014 at 4:57 PM | Permalink

    Steve,

    If you do decide to testify or sign an affidavit, I would suggest that you inform the parties that you ranked number 1 in Canada on your high school math examination. I have read your blog for a long time, and I was not aware of that. That information would give you instant and high credibility with virtually all courts.

    JD

    • Donn Armstrong
      Posted Feb 17, 2014 at 6:23 PM | Permalink

      JD,

      Mann has a piece of paper with his name on it from Nobel. lol

    • gmholde
      Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 5:57 PM | Permalink

      “That information would give you instant and high credibility with virtually all courts.”

      I think that individuals with advanced degrees in climate science, statistical analysis, or other related fields would be far more persuasive in testimony than a bachelors level math cred. S.M. would struggle in any offered testimony once under cross examination.

      He certainly would agree with this.


      Steve: this case is not about me. In my opinion, Mann and his lawyers have unwisely made numerous assertions in their pleadings that have no more validity than Mann’s false claim to have been awarded a Nobel prize and that will prove difficult for them. Plus Mann is taking a real risk in re-opening many issues that the inquiries ignored. Also, some readers have posted comments defending me against the somewhat derogatory comment. I’ve snipped these comments. Please stick to the topic of the post which is this particular misrepresentation in the Mann pleadings.

      • gmholde
        Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 8:40 PM | Permalink

        S.M’s “work” has been been “digested” by the mainstream science community. S.M.’s work in this regard would be viewed as an outlier to established mainstream science. Being an outlier, the burden is a very steep hill to climb. He would be open to a full on cross examiniation of his own attempts to discredit Mann. The opportunites to discredit him as an “expert” are there. His own paper from 2005 is rife with “interesting” statistical “anomalies” that would be thoroughly examined. Casting doubt is the name of the game here regarding experts. One of the first questions asked of S.M. in such a court room (where he is being offered as an expert witness) would be:

        What degrees or advanced education do you possess in the area of climate science?

        Followed by,

        What advanced degrees or education do you possess regarding statistical analysis? Computational analysis?

        What advanced degree or education do you possess regarding botanical science related to tree/plant growth mechanisms and biochemistry?

        Followed by,

        What scientific papers in peered reviewed journals have you published as author or co-author on stasticial analysis, computational analysis, botanical science, and/or plant biochemistry? <==And here is where the fun begins.

        As you know, the court room is not a political arena.

        The weight of testimoney from a bachelors in math cred against PhDs would be foolish in open court, in my opinion.

        You, of course, are welcome to your opinion. I, personally, would be highly interested in seeing S.M. offered as an expert witness in any proceeding involved in Mann's Libel suit.

        Having said all of the above, S.M. might do well, but as I previously stated, he has a very steep hill to climb.

  8. Posted Feb 17, 2014 at 5:14 PM | Permalink

    “everyone else seems to get paid” … I can’t say “my thoughts entirely” but I know what you mean – we should get paid.

    • Chuck Nolan
      Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 1:02 PM | Permalink

      Never mind getting paid, I’d be happy if they’d just stop wasting my money.

  9. James
    Posted Feb 17, 2014 at 5:20 PM | Permalink

    In summary, Mann’s court pleading are a reflection of Mann’s climate research. His conclusions are not supported by the data.

  10. Posted Feb 17, 2014 at 5:55 PM | Permalink

    I wonder if Mann even realizes the extent to which he has been – and continues to be – the sole author of his own misfortunes.

    Who will be the target of the next Mann-o-matic lawsuit one wonders?! Perhaps it will be the person who provided the trail of correspondence (not previously seen elsewhere … well, at least not by me!) which presumably came to light as a consequence of your reported:

    information obtained from FOI in the UK a couple of years ago shows that Mann objected vehemently to criticism from Oxburgh panelist [Hand], which he characterized as a “rogue opinion” and unsuccessfully sought a public apology.

    A year or so ago, I mentioned that to my mind, when the history of this sorry “scientific” saga is written, Mann and his methods – not to mention his creative writing exercises in self-serving “revisionism” – will have well and truly earned him the sobriquet of “The David Irving of Climate Science”.

    That which you have brought to light in this post, Steve, gives me absolutely no reason to think that, to date, I may have been mistaken in my “assessment” ;-)

    But what perhaps is somewhat more disturbing than Mann’s antics while riding his poor over-worked single-trick™ pony, is the failure of the “community” to recognize that they have an obligation to … uh … “say what you see”, as Mann, himself, recently exhorted after jumping onto his advocacy high-horse in the NYT.

    I have noticed a few (Richard Betts is one example who comes to mind) who will avoid criticizing Mann and/or his hockey-stick by merely stating that “the science has moved on”! YMMV, but I find this considerably less than satisfactory.

  11. Larry Hamlin
    Posted Feb 17, 2014 at 6:10 PM | Permalink

    Extraordinary and superb analysis Mr. McIntyre. I look forward to reading your upcoming analysis related to Dr. Mann’s decades long shenanigans regarding his highly questionable climate science studies.

  12. Sandy McClintock
    Posted Feb 17, 2014 at 6:42 PM | Permalink

    Great article!
    I asked myself about the phrase “properly conducted and fairly presented”.
    The treatment of climate data is possibly too complex for the average lawyer to tease apart. However, one can apply the same standards of “properly conducted and fairly presented” to Mann’s summary of the investigations. I think the average lawyer, having read your latest article, would have misgivings about Mann’s degree of fairness of presentation and lack of exaggeration / distortion of facts.
    That being the case, the average lawyer might then conclude that the same propensity to distort facts might have been applied to the data analysis and presentation of climate data.

  13. Steven Mosher
    Posted Feb 17, 2014 at 6:48 PM | Permalink

    expect an ammended filing. opps I meant 8 investigations

    • Donn Armstrong
      Posted Feb 17, 2014 at 7:09 PM | Permalink

      We’ve only just begun the countdown.

  14. Speed
    Posted Feb 17, 2014 at 7:03 PM | Permalink

    Reputational risk, often called reputation risk, is a risk of loss resulting from damages to a firm’s reputation, in lost revenue or destruction of shareholder value, even if the company is not found guilty of a crime. Reputational risk can be a matter of corporate trust, but serves also as a tool in crisis prevention.

    This type of risk can be informational in nature that may be difficult to realize financially. Extreme cases may even lead to bankruptcy (as in the case of Arthur Andersen). Recent examples of companies include: Toyota, Goldman Sachs, Oracle Corporation, NatWest and BP. The reputational risk may not always be the company’s fault as per the case of the Tylenol cyanide panic after seven people died in 1982.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reputational_risk

    I imagine that Pennsylvania State University has some exposure here.

  15. John Francis
    Posted Feb 17, 2014 at 7:26 PM | Permalink

    This would be a great time for an insider who has been privately appalled at Mann’s work to step up to the plate!

  16. Chuck L
    Posted Feb 17, 2014 at 7:50 PM | Permalink

    Steve, I admire your desire to not be retained a consultant at this time so you can comment independently on the proceedings (while retaining the option to consult) but in view of Mann’s frequent, distasteful and egregious insults and smears against Judy Curry and other climate science “deniers,” “flat-earthers, etc., [snip - politics]

  17. HaroldW
    Posted Feb 17, 2014 at 8:39 PM | Permalink

    It’s remarkable how many “rogue opinions” there are — McIntyre, McKitrick, Hand, Bloomfield, Muller, &c.

    One can only conclude that climate science is infested with rogues. Not necessarily the ones which Mann thinks are, though.

    • Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 2:45 AM | Permalink

      HaroldW, I was thinking about that issue and I find myself asking if there are any professional statisticians who have ever endorsed Mann’s methodology. Is anybody aware of one or more?

      • Gina
        Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 8:31 AM | Permalink

        Great point! I can’t imagine there is a single one.

      • HaroldW
        Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 10:01 AM | Permalink

        I’m not sure that this counts as an endorsement of the methodology, but Bo Li and Doug Nychka are coauthors (with Caspar Ammann) of Li et al. (2007) which contains only the mildest of criticisms: “Although many specific criticisms on MBH98 have been examined and only minor corrections were found to be necessary to address many of the concerns debated in the literature [references deleted], there are some basic aspects of the statistical uncertainty in hemispheric reconstructions that have not been properly developed and implemented.”

        Hu McCullough discussed the paper on CA here.

  18. Posted Feb 17, 2014 at 9:11 PM | Permalink

    Not being a lawyer, I am curious on two aspects. 1) if both Steyn and Mann engaged in smear/defamation activity, would that weigh in on the case? in which case has some one collected all the emails and blog commentary by Prof Hockey Stick? 2) Would it be necessary at some to provide evidence of damages? I would imagine that damages to a university professor’s reputation would include his ability to publish papers and get grants? has this been harmed. Also, given that the attack was made by a non-academic, would it carry weight within academic circles? Do other professors avoid his company, or does he not get invited to parties since publication of the defamatory article?

    • JD Ohio
      Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 10:45 AM | Permalink

      Joe, these issues were discussed extensively on Lucia’s blog (Thread the Meaning of R2 in pictures–and Comments on Mann continued.) Mann accused SteveMc of pure scientific fraud in an email to Andy Revkin in about 05. We sort of came to an agreement that this email would be relevant to Steyn’s state of mind. Also, it could be relevant to the meaning of “fraud” — if it was a term that was loosely used on many occasions, Steyn could argue that there was no imputation of a crime.

      On question 2, if you do in fact falsely accuse someone of committing a crime, then you have committed the tort of libel per se in many jurisdictions and don’t have to prove damages — they are presumed. This is probably what Mann will claim because it is hard to see that he has any real financial damages.

      JD

  19. Ken
    Posted Feb 17, 2014 at 9:14 PM | Permalink

    For any and all interested parties, Mann is doing a Reddit AMA this Friday at 2pm. I couldn’t even begin to decide what question I would want him to answer most.

    • michael hart
      Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 12:08 AM | Permalink

      Ask him for his thoughts about what Steve M. mentioned in his postscript.
      …And then retire to a safe distance.

    • Ed Snack
      Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 2:54 AM | Permalink

      I know it’s a little of topic, but ask him what happens to MBH 1998-9 and mann 2008 if you substitute a later and more comprehensive sampling of Bristlecones (that is the Linah Abebnah results) for his early Gray & Idso samples. As a follow on, ask him where he disproved the peer reviewed result of Gray & Idso that the growth spurt of “their” bristlecone sample was due to CO2 fertilisation. Don’t expect answers.

    • Seele
      Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 6:16 PM | Permalink

      Mann’s reddit AMA looks like it will be a purely public relations exercise, likely in anticipation of the impending court case with Steyn. The moderators of the Science subreddit are openly partisan on this matter, and, in keeping with their moderation policy, it is likely that any hard questions will be silently deleted. I expect that Mann will be kept on a tight leash by his legal team. Even then, he may well manage to shoot himself in the foot.

  20. pottereaton
    Posted Feb 17, 2014 at 9:35 PM | Permalink

    I’m thinking John B. Williams just loosened his tie and unbuttoned his collar because his office was suddenly feeling quite a bit warmer.

  21. hazze
    Posted Feb 17, 2014 at 9:51 PM | Permalink

    I can imagine Mann have to sit in the court listening to this…i would like his EKG printed and framed on my wall.. Thanks from Sweden Mr McIntyre :-)

  22. Rud Istvan
    Posted Feb 17, 2014 at 10:44 PM | Permalink

    Steve, speaking as an unfortunately experienced but non-practicing lawyer, bravo. You just detonated a thermonuclear device under Mann’s baseless suit. We knew it would be coming. Very well done for many subtle legal reasons. You have earned an honorary Doctor of Laws. But probably not from Warmista schools like PSU.
    For non lawyers, Mann misrepresented himself in his complaint (Nobel prise winner yet reluctant public figure), his investigations (here), and NR plus Steyn’s characterization of him. The big question ought to be, who is paying Mann’s legal bill? If PSU, then shades of Sandusky. if not, then shades of … But we can be fairly certain Mann is not being funded by the Koch brothers conspiracy so fondly cited by AGW enthusiasts.

    • Tom
      Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 1:49 AM | Permalink

      From my research of IRS rules if PSU is paying for this or involved in organizing or involved then its income and not a gift making Mann would be subject to a huge tax bill. For his sake I hope that he has his t’s crossed and i’s dotted.

      http://www.irs.gov/irb/2004-24_IRB/ar13.html

  23. bernie1815
    Posted Feb 17, 2014 at 10:55 PM | Permalink

    What a brief!! Mann’s lawyers should be figuring out how to get out of this – their reputations are at stake. Mann really does not have much of one as far as many here are concerned..

  24. Posted Feb 17, 2014 at 10:56 PM | Permalink

    Hey guys. I saw Steve gave a link to my blog, and I thought it might help if I gave more direct links to my posts about Michael Mann. I’ve made five, but only three are really part of the series I’m writing. The first is an examination of a simple case of Michael Mann making things up to dismiss criticisms directed at his work, and repeating his false claims for years.

    The next one goes into the science of his work a bit, showing how even Michael Mann knew his results were not robust. Another post branched off of that, giving some detail as to just how little of Mann’s data actually mattered (5%).

    My next post will discuss the problem of Mann’s methodology (that isn’t actually PCA). I’m hoping to have it up tomorrow. No promises though. If you look at my blog, you’ll see I get distracted by a number of things.

    • Tom
      Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 1:53 AM | Permalink

      We know his problem isn’t actually PCA. Almost any statistical reconstruction will suffer from selection bias because the data is only trending one way during the calibration period.

  25. hunter
    Posted Feb 17, 2014 at 11:03 PM | Permalink

    This may yet transform from the Scopes Monkey Trial into the Caine Mutiny, with Dr. Mann providing and excellent reprise of Capt. Queeg. Certainly the outcome, not to strain literary references too much, seems like a nice version of QB VII, with of Dr. Mann in the role of the (ironically) Dr.

  26. Arnold Riewe
    Posted Feb 17, 2014 at 11:15 PM | Permalink

    Steyn is asking for help in crowd funding his defense. I would have to guess that National Review is well funded and insured. Mann appears to have deep pockets for his litigation. I wonder whose pockets they are?

    • rogerknights
      Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 12:26 AM | Permalink

      Perhaps Mann’s law firm has taken his case on a contingency basis. (?) They might if they were ardent warmists.

      • pottereaton
        Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 12:43 AM | Permalink

        Not likely. Lawyers at this level get paid, no matter what. I’m thinking it’s Soros and/or Gore related money. There is a lot of it.

        The environmental left is constantly in litigation on one issue or another that concerns them. What’s one more lawsuit?

  27. M Seward
    Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 3:30 AM | Permalink

    Thankyou Steve for your usual forensic examination of the matter at hand.

    I come from an engineering background ( a branch of Mech Eng so applied stat’s, vibration ( fourier etc) analysis, basic phys and chem of the carbon cycle, Navier Stokes equ’ns, water cycle thermodynamics are all in the mix of my universtity education) and am firmly settled on the skeptic side of the argument.

    snip – please avoid referring to politicians or politics at this site.

    So thank you for your site and this article. The clarity of examination reminding me of the expert witness work I have done and the end result that bull***t will be exposed for what it is in the fullness of time. There will be no commercial settlement on this one methinks.

  28. Stephen Richards
    Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 4:11 AM | Permalink

    Thanks Steve, you little devil.

  29. Ed Zuiderwijk
    Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 4:34 AM | Permalink

    The Oxburgh Panel:

    “We cannot help remarking that it is very surprising that research in an area that depends so heavily on statistical methods has not been carried out in close collaboration with professional statisticians”

    The panel is saying, in the nicest possible way, that Mann c.s. were out of their depth. This remark alone should have been fatal for his reputation, lest anyone in the press had realized what it meant.

  30. Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 5:02 AM | Permalink

    A couple of things came to mind as I read this. The first is the desperation evident in Dr Mann’s emails to David Hand as evidenced by the combination of self-justification and pleading, such as “…specious and false allegations about us and our work…” (I love the “us and our” — why was Hand suddenly implicated?). He really did sound very agitated, almost as if he realised he’d been found out and was very anxious for someone with credibility to shore up his position.

    The second is the appalling spelling and grammar evident in Dr Mann’s emails. Yes I know they’re only emails, but honestly I would expect a professor to know the difference between “there” and “their” (“…I believe the only way…is for their to be a clarification…”)! And there’s run-on sentences, odd uses of words, etc. Perhaps these too indicate an agitated state of mind.

    And I know it’s not Dr Mann’s email, but I love Fiona Fox’s idea that “…Michael Mann…decease from suggesting it…”! “Cease” or “desist”, but not “decease” — unless it was a Freudian slip?!

    • Tom
      Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 12:31 PM | Permalink

      Or perhaps he is simply another academic educated way beyond his natural intellect.

      • Jimmy Haigh
        Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 9:26 AM | Permalink

        “…simply another academic educated way beyond his natural intellect”

        I like it. I have to borrow this.

    • j ferguson
      Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 8:20 AM | Permalink

      Peter,
      I read the us and ours as derivatives of the royal “we.”

      As someone who must carefully re-read what he has written to cull out the “theirs” and “rolls” and other homophones which seem to pop up, I would hope for a bit of sympathy. I didn’t always have this problem and fear that it may be a symptom of a coming decline into dementia – assuming, of course, that I’m not already well on my way. As for Mann, I would forgive him this if not much else.

  31. A. Scott
    Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 6:10 AM | Permalink

    Steve …. pretty much seems Mann’s statements on “Hide the Decline” and “Mikes Nature Trick” would be considered clear proof of intent to commit fraud?

    Mann:

    “No researchers in this field have ever, to our knowledge, “grafted the thermometer record onto” any reconstrution. It is somewhat disappointing to find this specious claim (which we usually find originating from industry-funded climate disinformation websites) appearing in this forum.”

    Seems pretty darn clear Mann was committing intentional fraud with this knowingly false statement (just as he was in many other cases – including his lies about you and Ross re: the alleged “Excel file”)

    http://climateaudit.org/2009/11/20/mike%E2%80%99s-nature-trick/

  32. RichardLH
    Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 6:17 AM | Permalink

    Thanks Steve. Worth reading for an impartial view.

  33. Dr A Burns
    Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 6:46 AM | Permalink

    “everyone else seems to get paid” It is indeed a sad reflection on our society that honest guys like Steve get nothing while perpetrators of the global warming scam pick up the billions … or half a billion in Gore’s case.

  34. Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 7:13 AM | Permalink

    That was a great review of Mann’s claim that the Oxburgh panel “exonerated” him. Thanks for taking the time to do that.

    I do hope you will become involved in the lawsuit case in some way.

  35. Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 9:30 AM | Permalink

    Reblogged this on CraigM350.

  36. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 11:57 AM | Permalink

    May this proceed to an end. Then it will silence some of the repetitions of “exonerations”.

  37. Craig Loehle
    Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 12:56 PM | Permalink

    Re: Exonerations: Only outright fabrications of data, especially in medicine, are likely to lead to any university panel calling for a faculty member to be fired. The kind of criticism Mann got from Hand is actually at the harsh end of typical responses. This is called a “slap on the wrist”. Most of the time, such panels waffle and noodle around, and say really our prof is a jolly good fellow. So, the opposite of “exoneration”. The argument that was accepted by Penn State (IIRC) that Mann must be a good prof because of all the money he brings in is the type of silly self-serving judgement one expects to see. By this logic Chavez was a good president because look how many people voted for him.

  38. Bruce
    Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 3:12 PM | Permalink

    After Mann’s fallacious comment to the newspaper -following the comments of Hand- that Bloomfield had exonerated his statistics I alerted Bloomfield who was less than pleased at the Mann comment. I believe he contacted Mann.

    Steve: why do you believe that Bloomfield was less than pleased? BTW I heard a story that Bloomfield did his own simulation of our point on Mannian principal components using AR1 while we were speaking at the NAS panel workshop and had satisfied himself that we were right on this point before we finished. At the time, I had been impressed, but, in retrospect, I wish that he’d paid more attention to the rest of our talk since we raised other issues that would have benefited from more attention on his part.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 3:54 PM | Permalink

      Bloomfield’s statements at the NAS panel press conference and his statements under oath at the House Energy and Commerce Committee appear inconsistent to me. Both Bloomfield and North made statements at the press conference that went beyond the four corners of the report itself. Members of the NAS panel, especially Karl Turekian, who were not at the press conference objected strongly to North’s characterization of the report at the press conference. Kurt Cuffey replied that he had tried to cooper up North’s remark, but hadn’t been able to do so. I have the NAS panel correspondence and will report on it some day soon. Thus, at the subsequent COmmittee hearings, Bloomfield was more circumspect.

      In Mann’s first letter to Hand, he quoted Bloomfield’s freelancing at the press conference, rather than his testimony to the committee or the report itself. In his reply to Hand, Bloomfield relied on the report itself.

      Let me also be clear about this: I don’t regard Hand’s statements on this matter as authoritative merely because they seem to go my way. It’s entirely possible that Hand’s understanding of the issues was pretty superficial. My point is very narrow and relates only to whether CEI and/or National Review could reasonably understand the Oxburgh panel as not being an “exoneration” of Mann on counts ranging from academic misconduct to proper presentation of graphics, given both the report itself and public statements by panelists as reported in international media.

      • Donn Armstrong
        Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 4:41 PM | Permalink

        Steve, Did you seen Nick Stoke’s recent comment on Lucia’s blog yet?

      • Craig Loehle
        Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 5:18 PM | Permalink

        If CEI and/or National Review viewed these panels the way many have (as superficial CYA whitewashes) they would hold no weight as “exoneration” and thus not have influenced their view of Mann and the hockey stick. Since we are talking here about what they could reasonably believe, as opposed to what Mann’s view of all this is.

      • Donn Armstrong
        Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 5:38 PM | Permalink

        Thanks Steve for your reply. FWIW, is that his real name or does anyone really know?

      • Bob K.
        Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 12:39 PM | Permalink

        Just a small, historical note about NAS panels and consistency. Census adjustment was a hot topic in the U.S. during the 1990s and NAS reports predictably supported the line that such adjustment would improve census accuracy. In the early 1990s an NAS report outlined why an accurate census is needed down to the block level, giving an encyclopedic description of all of the activities that use block-level population counts. But when it later became clear that census adjustment would worsen accuracy at the block level, the NAS changed its tune and issued another report several years later that dismissed the importance of census accuracy at this level, contradicting their earlier position.

  39. Bob Denton
    Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 5:34 PM | Permalink

    A lawyer’s take, with the usual disclaimer that I have no specific knowledge of the law of the jurisdiction in question, but assume that the general Common Law principles are broadly followed.

    I’ve read Mann’s complaint, which is somewhat difficulty to follow, being pleaded in narrative form and being layered rather than pleaded linearly.( a little like a draft closing speech.)

    The allegations are that the Defendants said of Mann:

    1. He is an academic fraud

    2. He behaved towards data as a child molester would towards a child.

    3. He improperly manipulated underlying data.

    4. He produced the Hockey Stick by fraud.

    5. He is intellectually bogus.

    6. He is not just Party to a hoax, but is the ringleader.

    These allegations are false, malicious and defamatory.

    To succeed the Plaintiff must prove malice and defamation. He need not prove falsity, the Defendant must prove Truth to defeat the claim. Presumably the Defendants plead:

    a. The allegations are true, alternatively:
    b. The allegations were made believing them to be true and in the absence of malice.
    The burden of proving a. lies on the Defendant.
    The burden of rebutting b.(proving malice) lies on the Plaintiff.
    All the references in the complaint to ‘the inquiries’ go to b. rebutting the absence of malice.
    The Defendants must prove the allegations in the usual way, by calling evidence and cross-examination. The decisions of the inquiries are not evidence for either party of the truth or otherwise of the allegations. The inquiries decisions and their publication to the world goes only to whether the Defendants acted maliciously.
    As regards the discussion on the Blackboard, all the published documents are admissible as regards b. Provenance is an issue in relation to a. only, but any document can be put to a witness – ”did you send/receive this e-mail?” The answer will be either Yes or No. The Plaintiff is not obliged to give evidence, but failure to do so would weaken his case. If he’s not prepared to give evidence under oath that he did not commit any of the acts alleged he’s unlikely to be believed. If he does give evidence, any document to which he is alleged to be a party can be put to him, he can prove it and it will be admitted into evidence.

    Steve: In my perusal of US libel cases involving public figures, establishing “actual malice” (as defined in libel law) is a very large hurdle and is passed in only case cited by Mann. It is a hurdle in SLAPP motions as well. Mann’s argument on actual malice hinges entirely on his assertion that the defendants purposefully ignored his exoneration in “all” the inquiries. Given the height of the hurdle and the falseness of Mann’s characterizations of the inquiries, this seems to me like an issue that STeyn et al should focus on.

    • Al
      Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 9:09 PM | Permalink

      On point 2, there’s another seemingly viable approach.

      The quotes just flat don’t say that. -Mann- says they do, but…. The (stated) intention and interpretation of the paragraphs surrounding the Sandusky reference could reasonably be better thought of pointing at Penn State – not Mann.

      That is: Alleging that Penn State acted towards Mann the way Penn State acted toward Sandusky.

      I’m not claiming “easier” or “better”, just saying that one shouldn’t need -either- Truth or to prove lack of malice if you can show “This part wasn’t even about you.”

      • Craig Loehle
        Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 9:49 AM | Permalink

        I believe this point has been glossed over, including by the prior judge. Steyn was arguing that the Penn state enquiry of Mann wasn’t worth much since they couldn’t do an honest investigation of Sandusky either. In plain English, this is NOT about Mann. Very clear.

    • Ed Barbar
      Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 12:38 AM | Permalink

      “In my perusal of US libel cases involving public figures, establishing “actual malice” (as defined in libel law) is a very large hurdle and is passed in only case cited by Mann.”

      Is Michael Mann a “Public figure” at the time of the alleged aspersions to his character?

      • pottereaton
        Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 1:15 AM | Permalink

        Absolutely. And not only was he a public figure, i.e. a figure prominently involved in a contentious public debate, he also had various avenues by which to respond to the accusations made against him by Rand Sindberg and Mark Steyn. He had his own well-known and establised website; he had published books, one of which could easily be described as provocative; he had op-ed articles published in some of the worlds best-known newspapers. So it wasn’t as if he didn’t have free and easy access to media outlets that would have allowed him to respond forcefully to so-called “libelous” statements.


        Steve: Mann concedes that he’s a public figure in his pleadings. No need to speculate.

    • MJW
      Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 4:45 PM | Permalink

      a. The allegations are true
      * * *
      The burden of proving a. lies on the Defendant.

      On matters of public concern (even with a private-figure plaintiff), the burden is on the plaintiff to prove falsity.
      Philadelphia Newspapers, Inc. v. Hepps:

      Here, as in Gertz, the plaintiff is a private figure and the newspaper articles are of public concern. In Gertz, as in New York Times, the common-law rule was superseded by a constitutional rule. We believe that the common law’s rule on falsity — that the defendant must bear the burden of proving truth — must similarly fall here to a constitutional requirement that the plaintiff bear the burden of showing falsity, as well as fault, before recovering damages.

      • Bob Denton
        Posted Feb 20, 2014 at 2:28 PM | Permalink

        Apparently so.
        An absolute licence for character assassins as the dissenting justices described it.
        Since Mann has brought his action on competent advice, and, so far, it has survived a number of applications to strike out as having no prospect of success, including two trips to the appeal court, the lofty constitutional ideals of the Supreme Court appear not yet to have percolated down to the coal face. Perhaps they believe the Supreme Court drank a little too much red wine in the luncheon adjournment that day.
        I note that at first instance the issue of burden of proof of truth/falsity was canvassed with the trial judge, who reserved his decision until all the evidence was in, then gave directions to the jury that the Plaintiff must prove falsity. Maybe in Pennsylvania, provided there is some evidence which a jury could find clear and compelling that the Defendant had been reckless, the constitutional protection is left to the jury by giving appropriate directions as to the burdens of proof.

        • MJW
          Posted Feb 20, 2014 at 4:03 PM | Permalink

          You’re a lawyer, yet you don’t know the fundamental facts of U.S. defamation law? Just to clue you in on another misconception, constitutional protection isn’t left to the jury, as the Supreme Court affirmed in Harte-Hanks Communications, Inc. v. Connaughton:

          A public figure may not recover damages for a defamatory falsehood without clear and convincing proof that the false “statement was made with `actual malice’ — that is, with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.” New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U. S. 254, 279-280 (1964). See Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts, 388 U. S. 130, 162 (1967) (opinion of Warren, C. J.). In Bose Corp. v. Consumers Union of United States, Inc., 466 U. S. 485 (1984), we held that judges in such cases have a constitutional duty to “exercise independent judgment and determine whether the record establishes actual malice with convincing clarity.” Id., at 514.

          Perhaps the court had too much wine on that day, too, but I’m pretty sure lower courts can’t disregard Supreme Court precedent even if when they doubt the justices’ sobriety.

        • MJW
          Posted Feb 20, 2014 at 4:27 PM | Permalink

          Also, just so you know, the Mann lawsuit is being tried in Washington, D.C., not Pennsylvania.

        • Bob Denton
          Posted Feb 20, 2014 at 10:30 PM | Permalink

          “You’re a lawyer, yet you don’t know the fundamental facts of U.S. defamation law?”
          Not a clue, as I said in the preface to my first post. Any reason why I should?

          HHC v C is interesting. An appeal against the finding of a properly directed jury on the basis that their finding of malice was unsupported by the evidence. The trial judge clearly had not withdrawn the case from the jury, nor is it stated whether any application was made by the Defendant. After the quantum hearing something happened, and the Defendant appealed on the ground of sufficiency of evidence, a matter of law. There was much discussion of what regard should be had to the findings of the jury. The sole judge who opined that the jury’s findings could be disregarded, and they should make findings of their own, was the dissenting judge in the appeal court. As for the rest, they reviewed only whether there was sufficient evidence to support the findings of the jury. Allusions to the constitutional duty of the judges amounted to common practice dressed in fine words. That shouldn’t be a cause for concern. A properly directed jury vigorously defends its own right to free speech. Judges blow hot and cold.

          Given that Mann has to prove, amongst other things, that he’s not an academic fraud, and that he must show clear and compelling evidence that the Defendants were, at least, reckless as to whether the accusation is true or false, like many others, I’m mystified as to how his action can have survived the application to strike out.
          The allegations for the most part are diffuse. How can he show evidence capable of proving he never committed academic fraud? By denial alone? All anyone else can say on his behalf is they were in his company for a period and didn’t notice him do it. Thieves and paedophiles can do that, but it’s of no probative value. Academic fraud, theft and perversion are, necessarily, carried out furtively.
          So far as malice is concerned, can he rely on his reputation with only a cherry picked group of people? His general reputation is mottled, there are many who have studied his work in depth and do not hold him in high regard. What clear and compelling evidence can he show that the defendants did not genuinely share the beliefs of the huge number of other people that constitute the less-sunny side of his reputation?
          If the trial judge is following his constitutional duty to erect these barriers in preservation of the defendants’ constitutional right to free speech, what is your explanation for the proceedings continuing?
          My explanation is that the judge is a decent person, and will bend any way possible to avoid the lofty words of the Supreme Court, which ring hollow in his court-room. He sees a respected scientist being traduced by a profession which ranks just below cat vomit and just above drug dealers in the esteem of the public, and is reluctant to deny him the chance to clear his reputation. I’ve got a feeling he wants this to go to trial, to force the Defendants to give evidence, to compel them to particularise the grounds for their beliefs, to give Mann something to shoot at in front of the jury, then let a properly directed jury decide whether he has scaled the constitutional hurdles.

          Just like they did in Pennsylvania. The clue was in the title. Philadelphia!!!

        • MJW
          Posted Feb 21, 2014 at 3:05 AM | Permalink

          Well, I apologize for the first line of my previous comment, which was unnecessary, and as you point out, rather unfair. I also apologize of not understanding what Pennsylvania court you were referring to. I (foolishly) assumed you thought because Mann is at Penn State, that the suit was brought in Pennsylvania. I basically agree with with you about why the DC court has allowed the Mann case to go forward, though I’m less inclined to give the judge the benefit of the doubt as being a decent person (though he may well be), and — perhaps somewhat contradictorily — I’m less inclined to believe he’s consciously bending the words of the Supreme Court.

  40. stan
    Posted Feb 18, 2014 at 9:07 PM | Permalink

    Note — malice in a defamation case is a legal term which isn’t really what the ordinary person would understand malice to mean. In this case, it refers to the state of knowledge of the defendants (it has nothing to do with ill will or a desire to harm). Basically, Mann must prove that they KNEW what they wrote was false. Or that they had actual doubts about the accuracy and published recklessly despite those doubts.

    • Bob Denton
      Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 3:13 AM | Permalink

      The Defendants difficulty is that the pieces read as character assassination and allege fraud (not merely incompetence, negligence or incorrigibility); they’re clearly malicious in that they’re defamatory and intended to do harm. Further, the Defendants read as conspiracy theorists. Since there’s no requirement that their beliefs be reasonable, it’ll be interesting to see whether a propensity to hold beliefs which no reasonable person would hold works for or against them.
      Mann himself manifests conspiracy theories in his pleadings, and if he gives evidence his absurd beliefs will, no doubt, be aired at length. I wonder if it helps the defence that both parties are equally impervious to reason and equally unrestrained in their disparagement of those who disagree with them? Why should Mann have a cause of action simply because he receives what he dishes out?

  41. ianl8888
    Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 1:24 AM | Permalink

    Somewhat despite myself, I’m becoming mildly interested in this (my experience of splashy court cases is that truth is likely an early victim)

    Could someone who knows inform us, please, whether this case if it actually reaches a court hearing, must be heard before a jury only, or whether a duly constituted Judge is lawfully sufficient ?

  42. bernie1815
    Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 1:42 AM | Permalink

    It is good to see that Steyn has carefully read Steve’s Climate Audit piece and clearly understands its significance.

    http://www.steynonline.com/6102/the-unexonorated-mann

    Moreover, it is almost certain that Mann’s lawyers are reading whatever Steyn writes about Mann and the case and that, therefore, they also have read Steve’s piece. If Mann’s lawyers are doing their job, I would guess that Mann is having some interesting conversations with his own lawyers.

  43. Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 4:33 AM | Permalink

    Bernie1815 Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 1:42 AM
    “I would guess that Mann is having some interesting conversations with his own lawyers”

    I can’t see this rant being of any concern to them. Steve has totally failed to connect the Oxburgh panel claims with Mann’s complaint.

    What do we have? Cited here, Para 21, “Following the publication of the CRU emails” various bodies:
    “have conducted separate and independent investigations into the allegations of scientific misconduct against Dr. Mann and his colleagues. Every one of these investigations has reached the same conclusion: there is no basis to any of the allegations of scientific misconduct or manipulation of data”
    “allegations against Dr Mann and his colleagues”. Clearly that doesn’t mean each investigation was directed at both Dr Mann and colleagues, else as Boris said at Lucia’s, how does that fit Penn State. In this para, he’s just describing what was done “following the publication of the CRU emails”.

    Then para 3; various bodies
    “have conducted investigations into Dr. Mann’s work, and found the allegations of academic fraud to be baseless”
    Those that have investigated have found them baseless; if Oxburgh is not one such, it isn’t included.

    Then para 24, quoted here as
    In paragraph 24, Mann further states that “all” of the investigations
    But no, the para says:
    “All of the above investigations found…”
    and it follows an explicit description of the EPA and OIG investigations.

    Here it is said
    “In today’s post, I’ll look closely at the Oxburgh panel, one of the investigations cited in Mann’s pleadings”
    But it isn’t. It isn’t mentioned anywhere by name in the complaint. And you’ve got to do a lot of dubious interpretation to derive it from some broad descriptions.

    I raised these points at Lucia’s, where Steve countered that Oxburgh was explicitly mentioned in another response. But there what they said was:
    “In April 2010, the University of East Anglia convened an international Scientific Assessment Panel, in consultation with the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, and chaired by Professor Ron Oxburgh. The Report of the International Panel assessed the integrity of the research published by the CRU and found “no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit”
    No claim there of exonerating Mann. Instead, they simply and correctly stated a finding re CRU.

    • mpaul
      Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 11:02 AM | Permalink

      Nick, this is law not academia. The sort of tricks and three card monte games that are routinely played in academia will be quickly batted aside in court. Mann will be asked to name the 6 investigations. He will have a tough time doing that without including Oxburgh.

      Steve: Mann has entire section of his reply memorandum entitled “Dr. Mann Is Exonerated”, listing 7 institutions that supposedly exonerated, with two investigations each from UEA and Penn State and the UK Parliamentary Committee and UK “Department of State” combined into one section. Elsewhere Mann says that he’s been cleared by 8 investigations. In the UEA component of the section headed “Dr Mann Is Exonerated”, both the Oxburgh and Muir Russell panels are listed. If Mann adopted Nick Stokes’ strategy of arguing that he didn’t explicitly say that the Oxburgh panel had exonerated him (not that I accept that he didn’t in his various pleadings), my guess is that third parties not used to this sort of slyness, will both reject the bait-and-switch strategy that Nick proposes and wonder about what other tricks the plaintiff had done in the past. Also if Mann admits that the Oxburgh panel didn’t exonerate him (as it didn;t), he then gets into other tangles.

      • Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 3:12 PM | Permalink

        mpaul Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 11:02 AM
        “will be quickly batted aside in court.”

        What wouldn’t last a moment is a reference like
        “Mann’s claim that the Oxburgh panel “exonerated” Mann”.
        They’d just ask – well, hang on, where did he claim that? And if you respond “well, there’s a list here, and something was said about the list, and if you take “and” that to refer to each individually…etc”, that’s where the trickiness lies. People will expect that if such a fuss is made about Mann’s claims about Oxburgh, then there will be an actual claim that you can point to, not a dubious deductive sequence.

        But in fact, this is a pleading; it comes from his attorney, not Mann, and would be countered, if appropriate, by arguments from the opposing attorneys.

        And then there is stuff like “listing 7 institutions that supposedly exonerated”, well, people can read. There’s a para which starts “Following the publication of the CRU emails…” and says what then happened. Seven institutions investigated “allegations of scientific misconduct against Dr. Mann and his colleagues”. They decided the allegations were unfounded. It doesn’t say each one specifically exonerated Mann. Oxburgh was investigating CRU science. But it was indeed investigating allegation s against Dr Mann and his colleagues. The complaint goes on to describe in detail two which did make findings specifically about Mann. Neither was Oxburgh.

        Steve: Mann’s pleadings are very prolix and say things in different ways. A plain reading of the documents, including memoranda, shows clearly that Mann claimed all listed investigations as having exonerated “Mann”. For example, here is the table of contents of Mann’s Reply Memorandum, listing the various institutions that supposedly “exonerated” him, with the University of East Anglia being one of them. In the section on University of East Anglia, two investigations (Oxburgh, Muir Russell) are listed. But indulging Nick a little: if Nick’s interpretation is that Mann is arguing that only some of the listed inquiries “exonerated” Mann as opposed to someone else, which are the inquiries that, according to Nick’s interpretation, are said to have “exonerated” Mann? And why did his lawyers say that the institutions listed below ‘exonerated” Mann if Nick’s position is that they didn’t?

        EXCERPT FROM TABLE OF CONTENTS OF MANN REPLY MEMORANDUM

        mann exonerated - cei response

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 3:57 PM | Permalink

          Both CEI and National Review observed that the UK inquiries did not investigate Mann’s conduct. Mann flatly denied this, re-iterating his claim that Mann himself had been “exonerated” by the UK inquiries, in his Reply Memorandum including both University of East Anglia inquiries:

          While the Defendants do address some of the inquiries into these issues, including those undertaken by Pennsylvania State University, the National Science Foundation, and the University of East Anglia, they obfuscate and misrepresent the findings of those panels, in an effort to suggest (erroneously) that those inquiries did not exonerate Dr. Mann of fraud or misconduct. See CEI Anti-SLAPP Mem. at 14-17; NRO Mem. at 8-11.

          It would be ludicrous for Mann to adopt Nick’s strategy, arguing that he hadn’t, after all, claimed that he had been “exonerated” by both UEA investigations.

        • Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 5:20 PM | Permalink

          “re-iterating his claim that Mann himself had been “exonerated” by the UK inquiries, in his Reply Memorandum including both University of East Anglia inquiries”

          On p 54 of that document, the seven institutions referred to in the Complaint are indeed listed, with a summary of what they concluded. It starts with CRU:
          “The University of East Anglia assessed the integrity of the research published by the CRU and found “no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit”. Three months later, the University of East Anglia examined whether manipulation or suppression of data occurred and concluded that “the scientists’ rigor and honesty are not in doubt”.”

          As in the previous explicit reference to Oxburgh, there is no claim of exoneration of Mann – instead just a straightforward statement that they “assessed the integrity of the research published by the CRU”.

          So,
          “It would be ludicrous for Mann to adopt Nick’s strategy”
          No, it’s exactly what he’s saying, spelt out.

          The other six institutions are:
          2)The United Kingdom’s House of Commons Science and Technology
          Committee
          3)The United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
          4)Penn State
          5)EPA
          6)The Inspector General of the Department of Commerce
          7)NSF

          You are selecting very indirect statements that require stretching to see your way, while ignoring the direct and correct statements the document makes about Oxburgh. The footnote you quote simply refers to a list including UEA, and indeed Muir Russell did speak well of the hockey stick.

          Steve: Nick, I think that your interpretation is both deranged and incomprehensible. Can you provide me with an unambiguous list of the investigations which, under your interpretation, are said to have exonerated “Mann”?

        • Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 7:35 PM | Permalink

          “Steve: Nick, I think that your interpretation is both deranged and incomprehensible. Can you provide me with an unambiguous list of the investigations which, under your interpretation, are said to have exonerated “Mann”?”

          I can’t see any point. You’re claiming that Mann said Oxburgh cleared him, and it seems you have in mind others. It’s what Mann may or may not have said that counts. If you want to refer to
          “Mann’s claim that the Oxburgh panel “exonerated” Mann on counts ranging from… “
          you need to be able to point to that claim.

          But the section of the complaint headed “The exoneration of Dr Mann” does specifically describe the EPA response and the NSF OIG report.

        • sue
          Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 8:56 PM | Permalink

          Nick, see footnote 5 on page 9:

          “5 See, e.g., United States Department of Commerce, Office of Inspector General, Detailed Results of Inquiry
          Responding to May 26, 2010, Request from Senator Inhofe, attached hereto as an enclosure to Exhibit 12; House of
          Commons Science and Technology Committee, “The disclosure of climate data from the Climatic Research Unit at
          the University of East Anglia,” (March 24, 2010), available at:
          http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/387/387i.pdf, attached hereto as Exhibit 7,
          (“House of Commons Report”).; Government Response to the House of Commons Science and Technology
          Committee 8th Report of Session 2009-10: The disclosure of climate data from the Climatic Research Unit at the
          University of East Anglia Presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change by
          Command of Her Majesty (September 2010), available at http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/consultations/570-
          gov-response-commons-science-tech-8th.pdf, attached hereto as Exhibit 8, (“Government Response to House of
          Commons Report”).. While Defendants do address some of the inquiries into these issues, including those
          undertaken by Pennsylvania State University, the National Science Foundation, and the University of East Anglia,
          they obfuscate and misrepresent the findings of those panels, in an effort to suggest (erroneously) that those
          inquiries did not exonerate Dr. Mann of fraud or misconduct. See CEI Anti-SLAPP Mem. at 14-17; NRO Mem. at 8-
          11. All of the aforementioned inquiries are attached hereto as Exhibits 5
          through 13.”

        • HAS
          Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 9:35 PM | Permalink

          I’m trying to keep up, but what I read in the amended claim is:

          Plaintiff, Michael E. Mann, Ph.D., … alleges as follows:

          21. Following the publication of the CRU emails, Penn State and the University of East Anglia (in four separate instances) and five governmental agencies .. have conducted separate and independent investigations into the allegations of scientific misconduct against Dr. Mann and his colleagues. Every one of these investigations has reached the same conclusion: there is no basis to any of the allegations of scientific misconduct or manipulation of data.
          ….
          24. All of the above investigations found that there was no evidence of any fraud, data falsification, statistical manipulation, or misconduct of any kind by Dr. Mann. All of the above reports and publications were widely available and commented upon in the national and international media. All were read by the Defendants. To the extent there was ever any question regarding the propriety of Dr. Mann’s research, it was laid to rest as a result of these investigations.

          Was Oxburgh one of the four instances from Univ. of East Anglia? What subtlety am I missing?

          Steve: the four from UEA and Penn State were clearly Muir Russell, Oxburgh, the PS Inquiry and the PS Investigation Committee. Nick is in full Racehorse mode.

        • mpaul
          Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 10:09 PM | Permalink

          OK Nick, so you are arguing that Mann never said that the investigations explicated listed in his pleadings actually cleared him of wrong doing. Rather, he had only been a subject of these investigations. Then one must ask, what’s the point of having them listed in the pleading? “Your honor, I have been the subject of more fraud investigations than any scientists in modern history, and I am happy to say that 20% of them have cleared me of any wrong doing”. Well, that seems unlikely to be persuasive. The only other interpretation of your argument that would make sense is that you are saying that Mann is performing a “trick” to “hide” the fact that he has been cleared by only two investigations and wants to court to believe that its 8. That’s an interesting approach to a trial where fraud is the central issue. But I guess you’re counting on the fact that our Nobel Prize winner is smarted than the judge.

          Good luck with that.

          Steve: It’s a trick to hide the decline in the number of supposed “exonerations”.

        • Posted Feb 20, 2014 at 12:01 AM | Permalink

          “Well, that seems unlikely to be persuasive.”
          What I’m saying is, if you refer in court to
          “Mann’s claim that the Oxburgh panel “exonerated” Mann on counts ranging from scientific misconduct to statistical manipulation to proper conduct and fair presentation of results”
          and the judge says “Gosh, where’s that claim made?”, what are you going to say? It sounds like something he actually said. But no, you have to tell the judge, well, take this list from para 21, interpret “Mann and his colleagues” this way, get scientific misconduct from here, fair presentation from there …, and maybe you can put such a claim together.

          IOW, make it up.

          Steve: People in the real world are not interested in this sort of word game. Mann is going to have to choose whether he is claiming to have been personally exonerated by “all” of the inquiries or only a couple of them (Penn State, NSF OIG and EPA) – the position that you now seem to be experimenting with.

          My interpretation of the pleadings and orders is that the defendants interpreted Mann as having claimed exoneration by “all” of the inquiries referred to in the pleadings. As previously noted, this interpretation is unequivocally supported by Mann’s rejection of a defendant argument that some of the inquiries had not made any findings in respect to Mann and thus had not exonerated “Mann” – a characterization that was rejected and denounced by Mann’s lawyers – in total contradiction to your (IMO) deranged theory.

        • Posted Feb 20, 2014 at 12:10 AM | Permalink

          Sue,
          “Nick, see footnote 5 on page 9:”
          Yes. I dealt with that above. UEA was mentioned in it. There were two UEA inquiries. One, Oxburgh, dealt with science at CRU. This is accurately stated in the two explicit references to Oxburgh in that doc. The other was Muir Russell, which was concerned with emails, and did make findings re hockey stick etc.

        • HAS
          Posted Feb 20, 2014 at 12:25 AM | Permalink

          Nick Stokes Feb 20, 2014 at 12:01 AM

          And if instead you refer in Court to “Mann’s allegation that the Oxbridge UEA ‘investigations into the allegations of scientific misconduct against Dr. Mann and his colleagues’ that ‘found that there was no evidence of any fraud, data falsification, statistical manipulation, or misconduct of any kind by Dr. Mann'”. it becomes a simple task to answer the judge.

        • Posted Feb 20, 2014 at 12:38 AM | Permalink

          “it becomes a simple task to answer the judge”
          ??? What’s the answer?

        • sue
          Posted Feb 20, 2014 at 1:47 AM | Permalink

          “While Defendants do address some of the inquiries into these issues, including those
          undertaken by Pennsylvania State University, the National Science Foundation, and the University of East Anglia,
          they obfuscate and misrepresent the findings of those panels, in an effort to suggest (erroneously) that those
          inquiries did not exonerate Dr. Mann of fraud or misconduct.”

          I don’t think the inquiries Mann listed exonerated Dr. Mann of “fraud or misconduct”.

        • Matt Skaggs
          Posted Feb 20, 2014 at 10:15 AM | Permalink

          To avoid confusion, I suggest that all comments aimed at Nick be prefaced with “To the extent that words have meaning…” Simply implying this does not seem to be working.

        • Tom
          Posted Feb 20, 2014 at 12:08 PM | Permalink

          I’m very interested in this claim the that EPA exonerated Mann. To my recollection fundamental to the EPA’s argument before the supreme court was that the EPA wasn’t qualified to question the veracity of science. That had to rely on what the scientists told them and it was beyond the scope of their organization to verify if the scientists are right or wrong.

          The SCOTUS agreed with the EPA. So it strikes me as odd that the judge would agree with Mann that the EPA is a credible reviewer of the science when the SCOTUS has said that they are not.

          Steve: can you give a direct quotation from the decision. I’m planning a seoarate post on the EPA “exoneration” (which wasn’t really).

        • DaveS
          Posted Feb 21, 2014 at 8:36 AM | Permalink

          A trivial thing, perhaps, but there is no such thing as the ‘United Kingdom Department of State’. But if they can’t get such a basic fact correct, it doesn’t say much about their standard of accuracy.

    • HAS
      Posted Feb 20, 2014 at 12:57 AM | Permalink

      Nick Stokes Feb 20, 2014 at 12:38 AM

      ??? What’s the answer?

      You’re giving us antipodeans a bad reputation for our comprehension skills.

      If I claim in Court what was in double quotes in my comment, and the Beak quoth (as you suggest) “Gosh, where’s that claim made?” you slowly read back the bits in single quotes (and ponder the appointment processes to the bench on the other side of the Tasman).

      • Posted Feb 20, 2014 at 1:20 AM | Permalink

        Well, I don’t think UEA claims to be Oxbridge.

        But how do you get Oxburgh into the answer?

        • HAS
          Posted Feb 20, 2014 at 1:36 AM | Permalink

          Oxbridge, Oxburgh – they’re all symbols of foreign colonial repression, as you should know.

          The question isn’t “how do you get Oxburgh into the answer” the question is “how do you keep him out”?

    • johanna
      Posted Feb 20, 2014 at 9:27 PM | Permalink

      Re the SCOTUS EPA decision,is this the one you are looking for?

      http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/06pdf/05-1120.pdf

      From the Syllabus (summary) on page 5 of the document:

      “These policy judgments have nothing to do with whether greenhouse gas emissions contribute to climate change and do not amount to a reasoned justification for declining to form a scientific judgment.Nor can EPA avoid its statutory obligation by noting the uncertainty surrounding various features of climate change and concluding that it would therefore be better not to regulate at this time.If the scientific uncertainty is so profound that it precludes EPA from making a reasoned judgment,it must say so.The statutory question is whether sufficient information exists for it to make an endangerment finding.”

      This is the 2006 case where Mass. and other States run by greenies forced the EPA to rule on whether CO2 and other gases were causing climate change, and to regulate accordingly.

      SCOTUS said that the EPA was obliged to form an opinion on the science.It didn’t specify how they should do that. EPA does its own research as well as commissioning research from others and consulting the literature. How this black box works in practice is, of course, another very controversial issue.

  44. michel
    Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 4:57 AM | Permalink

    This is going to be Oscar Wilde all over again. One should be extremely careful before suing for defamation, because the consequences of losing are in effect to endorse what the other side has said or written. That can be far more disastroous for one’s reputation than the original allegation.

    In Wilde’s case it formed the basis for a criminal prosecution. Here there are all kinds of potential implications for grant fundings. The sensible thing to do is to write lots of public rebuttals but not to go to court. However as the play is reported to say ‘Those who the Gods wish to destroy, they first drive mad’.

    • Sherry Moore
      Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 6:30 AM | Permalink

      I have represented some very difficult people and Mann’s behavior reminds me of them. Unless he lawyers control him, he will be doing himself a lot of damage. I doubt Mann realizes that.

    • pottereaton
      Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 12:06 PM | Permalink

      The sensible thing to do is to write lots of public rebuttals but not to go to court.

      In all the case law I’ve read on this, the ability to refute the charges is something the courts strongly consider, which relates to the plaintiff being a “public figure.” If the plaintiff has various avenues by which to refute the alleged libel, the courts have noted that and suggested that the plaintiff should have made use of those avenues to refute the libelous statements. Mann certainly has various media outlets by which he could launch a public refutation of the charges against him. He owns his own website, he’s written books and been published in major periodicals.

      Because of this, I think the Judge erred in not dismissing the case on anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) grounds.

  45. Joe Born
    Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 5:27 AM | Permalink

    “The University commissioned Oxburgh and his “Scientific Appraisal Panel”, which interpreted its terms of reference as the examination of a list of 11 academic articles selected by the University of East Anglia.”

    I’m being somewhat off-topic, but I can’t help but share the uncanny feeling I had last night as I read in “An Officer and a Spy,” Robert Harris’s novel about the Dreyfus affair, about the libel charge initially brought against Emile Zola in response to his famous “J’accuse” piece. His piece ended with a litany of “J’accuse” paragraphs that charged respective high government officials with, among other things, covering up Dreyfus’s innocence, and it contained a challenge that the government bring a libel charge against Zola based on those accusations.

    Forced to do something, the government did indeed bring a libel charge, but it was directed only to the one paragraph in which Zola had been perhaps too enthusiastic; like the many Mann inquiries, it tried to ignore the crux of the matter.

    Human nature doesn’t change.

  46. Sherry Moore
    Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 6:28 AM | Permalink

    I am an American lawyer. We don’t get as excited about client’s um, shortcomings as one might think. The client signs off on the Complaint, so it’s the client swearing under oath that the facts asserted therein are true. I have had great fun having a jury follow along as I skewered the plaintiff with each numbered “fact” in his Complaint. That is much easier for a jury to digest.

    The reason this whole lawsuit backfires on Mann is because it is and will be public record and in the USA, litigation privilege protects the defendants rights to basically (from Mann’s position) continue to “libel” the daylights out of him by exposing Mann for what he is. All they have to do is attach all the data, correspondence and hopefully smoking guns as Exhibits to their motion papers, and the entire World gets Mann Scandal Porn for free via the federal court. Simply sign up for a free PACER account with the federal court system , pay a small fee per page, and grab your popcorn!

    -snip-
    An old battle worn lawyer gave me, a newbie at the time the best advice of all times about clients: “treat them like dancing pork chops, they all lie” he said. In other words, don’t get emotionally attached, you will always be disappointed. Anyone rooting for Mann is going to be very depressed.

    My only advice for Mann’s attorneys from my long suffering experience representing difficult clients, is they better learn how to control Mann. Otherwise, I have seen instances where the client calls the Court, writes the judge without counsel’s knowledge, etc. they tend to act out when things don’t go their way.

    I feel for Steyn: living thru any lawsuit is hard and stressful.

    -snip: some overeditorializing

    • JD Ohio
      Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 4:35 PM | Permalink

      Sherry, “The client signs off on the Complaint,…” D.C. Rule 11 provides that the attorney and not the client signs the complaint. In Ohio where I practice law the attorney also signs the complaint, and parties are not cross-examined with respect to the complaint signed by the attorney.

      JD

      • Will J. Richardson
        Posted Feb 20, 2014 at 1:03 AM | Permalink

        Wow, JD Ohio. The Ohio courts really do not allow you the cross the plaintiff with his complaint?

  47. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 8:58 AM | Permalink

    The National Review Reply Memorandum of Feb 1, 2013 explicitly mentioned Hand’s critique in their summary of the Oxburgh report as follows:

    Similarly, the Oxburgh report, cited by Mann (Pl.’s Resp. at 19) as evidence of his “exoneration,” examined only the conduct of East Anglia Climate Research Unit scientists, not Mann. Nonetheless, the panel concluded that it was “regrettable” that tree-ring proxy reconstructions “by the IPCC and others” neglected to emphasize “the discrepancy between instrumental and tree-based proxy reconstructions of temperature during the late 20th century.” See Pl.’s Resp., Ex. 5 at 5 ¶ 7. Prof. David Hand, the head of the Royal Statistical Society and a member of the panel, subsequently singled out Michael Mann’s research for criticism, noting that Mann’s used “inappropriate methods” that “exaggerated the size of the blade at the end of the hockey stick.” See Supp. Coffin Decl., Ex. H. The panel, though not Prof. Hand, later clarified that its report had not charged any scientists with being “deliberately misleading” in their analyses.

    • HaroldW
      Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 12:50 PM | Permalink

      I’m puzzled by Prof. Hand’s comment about “exaggerat[ing] the size of the blade at the end of the hockey stick.” I was under the impression that the MBH98 methodology necessarily replicated the instrumental temperature in the calibration period. That is, the reconstruction must match (more or less) the instrumental in the “blade,” so no exaggeration would seem possible.

      There is, of course, the question of whether the reconstruction of the “shaft” underestimates variance. So perhaps he was referring to the *relative* size of the blade, compared to the shaft. But this seems rather imprecise for the learned Hand.

      Can you shed some light on this?

      Steve: as I mentioned in comments, I don’t regard Hand’s comments as “right” merely because they seem supportive. I haven’t tried to figure out what he meant. I’ve documented my own criticisms on other occasions. The relevance of Hand’s comments is only to show that the commentary in international media about the Oxburgh panel was highly critical of Mann, not reporting that he had been “exonerated” by the Oxburgh panel.

      • Pat Frank
        Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 6:20 PM | Permalink

        Harold, Steve is being modest and sticking to the thread topic, as usual. The more extended explanation is that Hand may have been referring to Mann’s short-centering PCA method that improperly elevated the White Mt. Bristlecone series into PC1, putting a very spurious lift into the blade.

        • William Larson
          Posted Feb 20, 2014 at 12:17 AM | Permalink

          Here’s a nit for you: I thought it was the SHEEP’S MOUNTAIN strip-bark bristlecone pines series, not anything on a “White Mountain”. But maybe I am wrong, as I often am.

          Steve: Sheep Mountain is in the White Mountains.

  48. kim
    Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 11:02 AM | Permalink

    In powder so dry, eyes shine white.
    ==========

  49. David P
    Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 12:54 PM | Permalink

    Whenever I read one of these posts, I am more convinced Dr. Mann must believe the Devil himself put Steve Mc on this earth for his torment.

  50. MarkB
    Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 1:31 PM | Permalink

    Regarding the possibility of taking money to serve as a consultant:

    I had the opportunity to meet with with Harvard professor Richard Lewontin when I was in graduate school. Lewontin was trained in mathematical statistics, and published work that helped serve as the basis for the field of molecular evolution.

    Lewontin said that he had served as an expert witness during the early use of DNA identification in trials (which has a statistical basis). He had been criticized by lawyers in court for being a paid expert, so he decided that he wouldn’t take money any more. In a particular case, the defendant’s lawyer asked him if he was being paid. When he said that he had paid his own way to testify at the trial, the lawyer told the jury that anyone who would testify without being paid must have some nefarious agenda motivating them.

    No matter what you do, they’ll get you. If you take money, you’re a paid gun with no integrity. If you don’t take money, you’re an ideologue with no objectivity.

    • Bob K.
      Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 7:04 PM | Permalink

      Most people on a jury accept that an expert witness is being paid for his or her services. They also accept that an expert who has achieved prominence in his or her field is paid more than someone who flips burgers at a fast-food joint. I’ve seen many expert witnesses reveal their compensation to juries (one made $1000 per hour) and it didn’t seem to faze them at all.

  51. Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 7:31 PM | Permalink

    If I were Steyn, the suggested remuneration to Steve would be very large and already on the table.

    I’m not sure people realize how big this could grow if Steve gets deeply involved in this. Mann should quit now before it becomes a real situation.

    • pottereaton
      Posted Feb 20, 2014 at 9:54 PM | Permalink

      I’m with you on this, Jeff. Judge Weisberg refused to dismiss on anti-SLAPP grounds because (quoting from the D.C. anti-SLAPP statute) “the plaintiff is likely to succeed on the merits.” He ignores all the case law that says the plaintiff has to prove malice, which is very difficult and would lead many other judges to conclude the opposite.

      But then he goes further than the anti-SLAPP language and claims he has to “[View] the alleged facts in the light most favorable to
      plaintiff. . . ”

      I think he reveals prejudice against the defendants when he does that. I would suggest he needed to “review the facts in the light most favorable to” the First Amendment.

      That’s why I want to see it end early because I suspect that this particular judge will not give the defendants a fair trial and that an adverse verdict will have to be reversed on appeal. While I’m reasonably certain a reversal will happen based on case law, it will take a long time.

      If Mann wins the defamation/libel trial, it will represent an abridgement of First Amendment rights and could encourage others to more freely engage in SLAPP suits. Anthony Watts, for example, could be sued by any number of people if the judge views such a suit “in a light most favorable to the plaintiff.” Apart from the fact that the laws differ in Canada, UK and the US, everyone who is influential in this field on the skeptic side could become a target, including you. The people who view this as a circus to enjoy as a spectacle (John Francis below) need to understand that real people can be destroyed in this kind of environment. There are people out there who seem to be contributing unlimited amounts of money to allow these travesties of justice to continue. It could go on endlessly.

      Here’s the opinion denying the motion:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2014/01/MannvNR-1-22.pdf

      • Bob Denton
        Posted Feb 21, 2014 at 9:54 AM | Permalink

        I now understand why the complaint reads like a closing speech. It’s drafted to survive the Anti-Slapp application.

        Plaintiff: I’m not a thief. I have 9 certificates of acquittal to prove it.

        Judge: On the most favourable view of your case, your numerous acquittals could amount evidence that you are honest, and to clear and convincing evidence that Defendant did not genuinely believe you are a thief. A reasonable jury is likely to find in your favour. You may proceed.

        • pottereaton
          Posted Feb 21, 2014 at 12:24 PM | Permalink

          Here’s another case where the anti-SLAPP statute was invoked to dismiss in the same court:

          http://www.rcfp.org/sites/default/files/docs/20130627_130516_boley_opinion.pdf

          At the risk of comparing Mann to a Liberian warlord and inviting a libel suit myself, I will say that as it relates to public participation and freedom of expression, the only difference between the two cases I can see is that the journalist in question in Boley is a well-known liberal commentator while Steyn and Simberg are conservative.

    • Posted Feb 21, 2014 at 12:09 AM | Permalink

      Absolutely. What a wonderful way for Steve to get paid for his commitment to the truth all these years.

  52. John Francis
    Posted Feb 19, 2014 at 7:44 PM | Permalink

    Can Mann quit? I hope not, in the interests of putting this to bed once and for all. And of entertainment value and precedent to the rest of that crowd.

    And I am am very confident that Steve’s professional and polite demeanor, plus his demonstrable knowledge expertise, will be a huge benefit to Mark Steyn if it can be managed.

    • Posted Feb 20, 2014 at 1:05 AM | Permalink

      Entertainment value? You mean it’ll be televised? As they say in Oz, Bewdy! I’d like to watch.

  53. Will J. Richardson
    Posted Feb 20, 2014 at 12:55 AM | Permalink

    The interesting part, to me, about Steve McIntyre testifying in this lawsuit with regard to Mann’s serial duplicity, Mann’s refusal to “show his work”, and “Mannian Statistics” in general, is that McIntyre’s testimony will be absolutely privileged. Not that I think Mr. McIntyre would take undue advantage of that privilege, but Mann cannot attempt to punish McIntyre with a defamation lawsuit like Mann is using to punish Steyn, CEI, and National Review, here.

  54. John Vonderlin
    Posted Feb 20, 2014 at 2:41 PM | Permalink

    Hi Steve,
    You may want to moderate this, but the similarities between Butch’s actions in this joke and Mr. Mann’s present and past behavior, compelled me to send it along. While Mr. Mann has already won the “No Bell Piece Prize,” in his mind, I think he might be angling for the “Pullet’s Surprise” with his present pleadings. Enjoy.
    Fred was in the fertilized egg business. He had several hundred young ‘pullets,’ and ten roosters to fertilize the eggs.

    He kept records, and any rooster not performing went into the soup pot and was replaced.

    This took a lot of time, so he bought some tiny bells and attached them to his roosters.

    Each bell had a different tone, so he could tell from a distance, which rooster was performing.

    Now, he could sit on the porch and fill out an efficiency report by just listening to the bells.

    Fred’s favorite rooster, old Butch, was a very fine specimen, but this morning he noticed old Butch’s bell hadn’t rung at all!

    When he went to investigate, he saw the other roosters were busy chasing pullets, bells-a-ringing, but the pullets, hearing the roosters coming, would run for cover.

    To Fred’s amazement, old Butch had his bell in his beak, so it couldn’t ring.

    He’d sneak up on a pullet, do his job and walk on to the next
    Fred was so proud of old Butch, he entered him in the Brisbane City Show and he became an overnight sensation among the judges.

    The result was the judges not only awarded old Butch the “No-Bell Piece Prize,” but they also awarded him the “Pullet Surprise” as well.

    Clearly old Butch was a politician in the making. Who else but a politician could figure out how to win two of the most coveted awards on our planet by being the best at sneaking up on the unsuspecting populace and screwing them when they weren’t paying attention.

    Vote carefully in the next election, you can’t always hear the bells

    • hum
      Posted Feb 20, 2014 at 9:13 PM | Permalink

      Oh this is good. I bet Old Butch was one of the Rooster’s I played tic tac toe with too. I never did beat that roster. Thanks for the story John.

  55. Posted Feb 20, 2014 at 6:35 PM | Permalink

    Would I be correct in assuming this post is the first in a series? I see you mentioned plans to post on the EPA reaction. Do you have a schedule/calendar? Thanks.

  56. Steven Mosher
    Posted Feb 20, 2014 at 9:16 PM | Permalink

    One can hope that manns lawyers listen to nick.
    I understand hes offered his services

    • Posted Feb 21, 2014 at 12:34 AM | Permalink

      “I understand hes offered his services”
      No, they can’t afford me. And I’m supposed to be a defence lawyer. Remember?

      But if the Kochs can, I’d advise, don’t waste your time on this stuff. It tries to make up stories to fill claimed ambiguities in the initial pleadings. But if you do that, the plaintiff attorneys can simply clarify, and you’re left with nothing.

      And that’s what happened. In an anti-Slapp motion to dismiss (CEI, 72pp) they didn’t so much argue that the inquiries failed to clear Mann, but focussed on the criticisms they made. So plaintiff replied in detail (60pp). In p19, section C, headed again “Dr. Mann is exonerated” they devoted about eight pages to the inquiry groups, under six headings. The UEA part started:
      In April 2010, the University of East Anglia convened an international Scientific Assessment Panel, in consultation with the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, and chaired by Professor Ron Oxburgh. The Report of the International Panel assessed the integrity of the research published by the CRU and found “no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit”.”

      If you want to take the argument further, that’s what you’ll have to deal with. It claims no more that what the inquiry actually did.

      • TerryMN
        Posted Feb 21, 2014 at 12:59 AM | Permalink

        But if the Kochs can,

        So – the Kochs are funding Steyn’s defense, Nick? Do you have a cite for that, or are you just MSU?

        • pottereaton
          Posted Feb 21, 2014 at 1:51 AM | Permalink

          Sounds like reckless disregard for the truth. And malicious, too.

      • MikeN
        Posted Feb 21, 2014 at 11:12 AM | Permalink

        I suspect they can afford you. Take the money Nick!

      • MrPete
        Posted Feb 21, 2014 at 11:46 AM | Permalink

        Re: Nick Stokes (Feb 21 00:34),
        Nick, any sane reader would begin by looking at the big picture summary — ie the table of contents.

        If you want to claim that Mann doesn’t say those investigations exonerated him, you need to squirm out of the title to the section: “Dr Mann Is Exonerated”

        If that is NOT a claim that these investigations exonerate him, then what does that title mean?

        Please enlighten us all.

        • thisisnotgoodtogo
          Posted Feb 21, 2014 at 12:06 PM | Permalink

          From one of Jerry’s prison missives:

          “Today, I remembered my childhood, which took place about 20 miles from here. My dad and I were playing baseball, and he told me to choke up on the bat. I pulled it to my mouth and coughed on it. He knew he had a genius on his hands.”

          Nick’s a word genius too.

        • Donn Armstrong
          Posted Feb 21, 2014 at 12:10 PM | Permalink

          It’s the “hidding the pea under the thimble” trick.

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Feb 21, 2014 at 12:22 PM | Permalink

          The lawyers will just ammend the filing and add a category called Censored.

          In the end we will see the lawyers for mann engaging in the same kind of data manipulation as mann

        • Posted Feb 21, 2014 at 4:52 PM | Permalink

          MrPete,
          “If that is NOT a claim that these investigations exonerate him, then what does that title mean?”
          The heading is for a section. That section starts out with a descriptive para, listing all the inquiries that were started following the release of CRU emails. It says they dealt with allegations against “Dr. Mann and his colleagues”.

          We know the heading isn’t meant to imply that each investigation in that list cleared Mann, because in the response to motion to dismiss, they followed the same structure. A section with the same heading “Dr Mann is exonerated”, and starting with the same listing. But this time, they name each inquiry and say something about what it said. And of Oxburgh they made no claim of clearing Mann. Only CRU.

        • thisisnotgoodtogo
          Posted Feb 21, 2014 at 5:11 PM | Permalink

          “the heading is for a section”

          …of exonerations of Michale Mann.

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Feb 21, 2014 at 6:09 PM | Permalink

          Its a correlated exoneration.

      • Steven Mosher
        Posted Feb 21, 2014 at 12:34 PM | Permalink

        “But if you do that, the plaintiff attorneys can simply clarify,”

        Yes, you will see Mann’s lawyers making lots of clarifications. You forget they are officers of the court. you forget their ethical obligations and the bodies that govern their behavior.

        • cohenite
          Posted Feb 22, 2014 at 6:39 PM | Permalink

          “Its a correlated exoneration.”

          Is that a principle of Equity? I’ve just checked my copy of Meagher Gummow and Lehane and can’t find it; pray elaborate.

          Stokes and Mosher, expert witnesses to the rich and jaded.

    • b4llzofsteel
      Posted Feb 21, 2014 at 1:54 AM | Permalink

      If I were Mann I’d pray the quality of his legal advisors would be better than that what Stokes has to offer….

  57. Rob Ricket
    Posted Feb 20, 2014 at 9:49 PM | Permalink

    Nick,
    I’m not a lawyer, but after reading your posts I’m compelled to comment on your suggested strategy of selectively excluding (it would hardly be Mann’s first selective exclusion) the findings of the Oxburgh Panel (OP). Since Mann obviously places a great deal of import on his reputation, the court will by default assume he was intimately aware of the panel’s findings.

    Leaving this issue aside, Steyn can introduce the OP findings, even if Mann fails to do so. What then should Mann argue; that somehow Steyn is more familiar with various panel findings than he is?

    The hurdle required to prove malice aforethought is extraordinarily high due to the controversial nature of Mann’s conclusions. The conspicuous absence of a Hockey Stick in the AR5 report will most likely be introduced by Steyn to argue that Mann’s own peers reject the methodology and conclusions reached in the promulgation of the Hockey Stick.

    As to Steyn’s charges of fraud and manipulation of data, Mikey’s “Nature Trick” from the Climate Gate emails will pass any test of reasonableness in all, but the most biased of courts. The deceptive intent of Mike’s “Nature Trick” is easily comprehended by the laymen, and it’s unlikely that the courts will give Mann the same ‘hall pass’ he received from institutions with skin in the game.

    Although Mann’s legal team is well-funded, they would be wise to(and I think they ultimately will) drop the charges against Steyn. Methinks, they are just trying to punish Steyn through the payment of legal fees to his defense team. Consider what happens to Mann’s reputation if he is not vindicated on all counts? What then should he say; Steyn lied about my scientific misconduct, but was correct in asserting I manipulated data?

  58. Posted Feb 21, 2014 at 1:53 AM | Permalink

    TerryMN,
    The comment was made with the same level of seriousness as the suggestion that I’m advising Mann.

  59. Posted Feb 21, 2014 at 2:13 AM | Permalink

    “Steyn can introduce the OP findings, even if Mann fails to do so. What then should Mann argue; that somehow Steyn is more familiar with various panel findings than he is?”

    They did that. You should read the antiSLAPP motion to dismiss. They make a virtue of the efforts Steyn and others made to instigate the inquiries. They seem to be defending malice not by arguing that they were unaware of them, but that they paid them due attention.

    The bit I quoted above was mainly as introduction to dispute the defence trying to attach the UEA inquiry criticism of Jones’ WMO plot to Mann.

  60. Ed Barbar
    Posted Feb 21, 2014 at 2:43 AM | Permalink

    I’m wondering about the continuation of Mann’s proxy record as published and joined to the temperature record.

    I think it is well understood that the proxy record in the late 20th century did not replicate the temperature record, diverging significantly for reasons (still) not understood.

    However, when looking at the graphs, they appear to be continuous in two ways.

    A) The temperatures at the join are the same (y values the same at the join)
    B) The delta in slope is smooth, at least to the eye: that is, the second derivative is continuous.

    I also understand the paleo reconstruction uses different statistical techniques than the joined temperature reconstruction, yet they are divergent after the join.

    So, regarding “data” manipulation, it is almost certain there was some. The idea that both A), and B) could occur with two different random functions is impossibly unlikely, even if they are operating on the same data-set.

  61. minarchist
    Posted Feb 21, 2014 at 7:48 AM | Permalink

    Mark Steyn has posted his response to Mann’s amended complaint on his blog:

    http://www.steynonline.com/documents/6109.pdf

    In parts, it’s pretty funny.

    • carlb
      Posted Feb 21, 2014 at 9:00 AM | Permalink

      Thanks for the link. It gets pretty interesting after paragraph 128. I didn’t know that Steyn was counter-suing Mann for $10 million.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo
      Posted Feb 21, 2014 at 9:13 AM | Permalink

      “Denies the allegations in Paragraph Twenty-Five of the
      Amended Complaint, except admits that there was an
      investigation by former FBI Director Freeh concluding that
      Penn State and its highest officers had helped cover up the
      serial child rape perpetrated by Dr Mann’s colleague Jerry
      Sandusky.”

      “Dr. Mann’s Colleague Jerry Sandusky”
      :)

      • johanna
        Posted Feb 21, 2014 at 10:04 AM | Permalink

        Mann’s got a tiger by the tail.

        Most of these lawyers are supremely good at tactics, but when it comes to strategy … Steyn will eat them for breakfast. As Steve’s post has demonstrated, they just don’t get the big picture. Steve’s approach of taking apart and perhaps putting together the individual components also gives us the big picture. Mann’s lawyers are in the middle, in no-man’s-land.

        • Bob K.
          Posted Feb 21, 2014 at 1:17 PM | Permalink

          By all rights Steyn should eat them for breakfast, but the question is will the court give him the chance? A trial in a U.S. court is not an experience where everyone puts on togas to consult the Delphonic Oracle in order to find real truth. It is a bloodsport and Steyn should expect Mann’s lawyers to disrupt his show every chance they get.

      • MikeN
        Posted Feb 21, 2014 at 11:11 AM | Permalink

        I think he has that detail wrong, as Sandusky was not formally with Penn State for some time. However, colleague has a broader definition.

    • Duke C.
      Posted Feb 21, 2014 at 10:20 AM | Permalink

      Steyn should confirm that he actually filed this and it’s not just a novel form of satire.

      The latest filing was a Praecipe to Change Address for Plaintiff on 2/19. Nothing for 2/20.

      https://www.dccourts.gov/cco/maincase.jsf

      • johanna
        Posted Feb 21, 2014 at 3:03 PM | Permalink

        Duke, perhaps Para 111 will answer your question:

        ” Denies the allegations in Paragraph One-Hundred-And- Eleven of the Amended Complaint, and feels Plaintiff is going round like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel, like the circles that you find in the tree-rings of your mind.”

        Of course, if Steyn really wanted to ramp it up, it could have been 666. But prolixity for its own sake is a grievous literary error.

    • pottereaton
      Posted Feb 21, 2014 at 3:00 PM | Permalink

      That’s hilarious. I hate this lawsuit, but Steyn is going to make it extremely entertaining. For example, from his response filed yesterday: “There is a
      smell to the hockey stick that, in Lady Macbeth’s words, ‘all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten’ – nor all the investigations. And so Dr Mann has determined to sue it into
      respectability.”

      Whitaker Chambers once described his appearance on Meet the Press as “fun for the boys but death for the frogs.” I think Steyn is going have some fun with this.

      • Bob Denton
        Posted Feb 22, 2014 at 9:52 AM | Permalink

        Therein lies his problem. The reality of his situation hasn’t yet borne in on him. He can’t help himself.

        Mann did not produce the Hockey Stick alone. He did it with Al. Al is a many headed Hydra, all distinguished academics, who will parade through the witness box to confirm their distinction and their utter contempt for academic fraud. They will look the jurors in the eye and say, “We did not produce the Hockey Stick by fraud. I can confirm that Professor Mann complied at all times with highest standards of academic integrity. I was there.”

        The judge will say to Steyn, “Do you have any questions for the professor?”

        Steyn will stand up and say, “There was an Englishman, an Irishman and a Chinaman ….”

        If his Anti-Slapp fails he’ll be badly in need of a lawyer.

    • Speed
      Posted Feb 21, 2014 at 3:26 PM | Permalink

      129. Plaintiff Michael Mann is a widely known figure in the scientific and public policy spheres of global warming research who has thrust himself into the politics of the global warming debate by appearing in TV commercials for political candidates, writing newspaper columns regularly for The Guardian, The New York Times and others, serving as
      scientific advisor to and appearing in a climate-change TV series starring climate experts Matt Damon and Jessica Alba, and is therefore a public figure. In March 2012, Plaintiff published a book called The Hockey Stick And The Climate Wars: Dispatches From The Front Lines, the “front lines” presumably referring to his media appearances with Miss Alba et al.

  62. Mike Singleton
    Posted Feb 21, 2014 at 2:03 PM | Permalink

    Steve,

    A suggestion for compensation should you decide to get involved, and I surely hope you do, is to simply ask for compensation for demonstrated lost income and expenses, it’s a financially neutral position and maintains a moral high ground. This is the basis I have used as an expert witness.

    I would dearly like to see Dr Mann’s ego deflated implosively.

  63. Posted Feb 22, 2014 at 9:04 AM | Permalink

  64. cohenite
    Posted Feb 22, 2014 at 6:33 PM | Permalink

    Nick, I am enjoying your sophistry. You have chided me often for attempting scientific discourse with my betters such as your good self.

    I can now reciprocate and state firmly that as a scientist you make a good bush lawyer.

  65. Posted Feb 23, 2014 at 4:24 PM | Permalink

    This is somewhat o/t but related … When I first read:

    In April 2010, the University of East Anglia convened an international Scientific Assessment Panel, in consultation with the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, 38 and chaired by Professor Ron Oxburgh. The Report of the International Panel assessed the integrity of the research published by the CRU and [...]

    I thought there was something rather odd about the text I bolded above – almost as if there were some words missing. When the “CRU Scientific Assessment Panel” was announced in UEA’s Press Release of 22 Mar 2010, it was described as “an independent Scientific Assessment Panel”. Nothing “International” (or “international”) about it!

    And I wondered how (and/or when) Oxburgh’s “report” had morphed into “The Report of the International Panel”.

    I couldn’t find a copy on my PC, so I decided to d/l another one from

    http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/crustatements/sap

    The first thing I noticed was the title: “Report of the International Panel set up by the University of East Anglia to examine the research of the Climatic Research Unit”

    And the document properties of this version (“Submitted to the University 12 April 2010″ contains p.6 “Addendum to report, 19 April 2010″) show Title = “Report of the Science Assessment Panel” (my bold and nothing “tific” about it!)

    If anyone has a copy of the original (which as I recall was somewhat shoddy, almost as if it had been pdf’d from a fax – but I could be wrong about this), it would be interesting to compare both the title and the “content” (such as it was)

    Then again, perhaps UEA changed the title somewhere along the way simply because even they were embarrassed by this unprofessional, unscientific and unsigned “report”. A change of title would have the added benefit of facilitating the fancy footwork during subsequent appearances by Oxburgh and Acton at the U.K. HoC Sci Tech Committee.

    Nothing earth-shattering, but I thought it would be good to get these discrepancies on the record. One almost wants to ask, would the real title of this “report” please stand up? ;-)

  66. TerryMN
    Posted Mar 1, 2014 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

    Since it doesn’t show up in the trackbacks – this was the subject of a post at Volokh…

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/03/01/steve-mcintyre-was-michael-mann-exonerated-by-the-oxburgh-panel/

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Mar 1, 2014 at 2:09 PM | Permalink

      TerryMN, thanks for drawing the article at Volokh to my attention.

      Readers should note carefully that Jim Lindgren is the author of the post. Lindgren was the major adversary of Michael Bellisles, whose work on gun ownership was widely celebrated, but subsequently disgraced. His interest in the Mann case can hardly be reassuring to the Mann camp. If one uses the Bellisles misconduct inquiry report as an example of what a misconduct report should look like, the emptiness of the Mann investigation is very stark.

  67. Posted Mar 3, 2014 at 3:24 PM | Permalink

    In The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars Michael Mann says (p.235)[my emphasis]:

    ‘The statistician on the Oxburgh panel, David Hand, caused a bit of trouble with offhand remarks he chose to make at the press conference announcing the panel’s findings. Though our own work did not fall within the remit of the committee, and the hockey stick was not mentioned in the report, Hand commented that “the particular technique [Mann et al.] used exaggerated the blade at the end of the hockey stick.”…’

    Steve: nice spotting.

    • Posted Mar 3, 2014 at 4:14 PM | Permalink

      On the one Hand … and on the other Hand. Great catch, Ms Dixon.

    • pottereaton
      Posted Mar 3, 2014 at 5:12 PM | Permalink

      Yes, great catch. Shows his complaint was intended to deceive. I’m sure there are other passages in that book that will contain similar inconsistencies. I don’t think I could stand to read it, however.

13 Trackbacks

  1. […] http://climateaudit.org/2014/02/17/mann-and-the-oxburgh-panel/ […]

  2. […] Mann and the Oxburgh Panel « Climate Audit. […]

  3. By Mann Suit Update | Transterrestrial Musings on Feb 18, 2014 at 6:21 PM

    […] extensive thoughts from Steve […]

  4. […] McIntyre here looks at the so-called Oxburgh Panel’s “exoneration”. In his conclusion McIntyre […]

  5. […] Mann and the Oxburgh Panel […]

  6. […] Mann has claimed in court documents that he was in fact found innocent by every inquiry into the Climategate scandal: […]

  7. By Steyn et al. versus Mann | Climate Etc. on Feb 23, 2014 at 8:16 AM

    […] Mann and the Oxburgh Panel […]

  8. […] claim, by the way, is already falling apart. As Steven McIntyre explains, one of the examples Mann cites is a British panel that did not actually investigate Mann—its […]

  9. […] this in today’s post, which is the third in the present series (previously I discussed the Oxburgh and Muir Russell inquries here and Muir Russell […]

  10. […] the attention of Mann’s perennial nemesis, Steve McIntyre. In a recent series of posts (here, here, here, and here) McIntyre examines Mann’s “evidence” (for want of a better […]

  11. […] vs Steyn’ battle are great fun to read and the comments are very entertaining. The posts are here, here, here, here, here, and here, with another post added […]

  12. By The Climate Change Debate Thread - Page 3666 on Feb 27, 2014 at 9:07 PM

    […] […]

  13. […] Let’s not ask Steyn – here’s Stephen McIntyre, a highly analytical statistician, on the subject. […]

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