Mann Misrepresents the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change

Next in the list of misrepresentations by Mann and his lawyers is their inclusion of the Government Response to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee as an investigation that “investigated” and “exonerated” Mann personally. This takes the total of such misrepresented investigations to four (out of the four that I’ve thus far examined). In Mann’s pleadings, Mann additionally attributed findings of the Muir Russell Review to a separate investigation by the “government of the United Kingdom”, in turn, wildly inflating the supposed findings. As a secondary issue, Mann’s claim that this “investigation” was widely covered (or covered at all) in international media is also untrue, a point that Joe Romm complained about at the time.

In March 2010, the UK Science and Technology Committee issued a report arising out of Climategate, but primarily addressed to the larger issue of data transparency and secondarily to the scope of the two University of East Anglia inquiries, pausing briefly to consider Phil Jones’ “trick” email. As previously noted, the Commons Committee itself neither “investigated” nor “exonerated” Mann himself.

The Government Response, attached as an exhibit to Mann’s Reply Memorandum, was prepared by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), a department that has been highly committed to climate intervention, as was Chris Huhne, its then Secretary. Huhne is a controversial figure, who subsequently resigned as Secretary when charged with obstruction of justice on an unrelated matter, eventually sentenced to eight months in jail. Huhne has been released from jail and would presumably be available to authenticate the document in court. He has also been in the news as a lobbyist for a biomass company.

In their response, DECC listed the various Commons Committee conclusions and recommendations and then stated the Government response.

Like the Commons Committee recommendations and conclusions to which it was responding, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) Response to the Commons Committee is likewise concerned only with CRU scientists and not Mann, as evident in the following statement of its concerns:

In considering our response, the Government is concerned that the reviews speak to the two fundamental issues of events at CRU: firstly, were CRU’s data and science sound, and secondly, were the University and its scientists intentionally trying to hide information? In addition, we have considered how these events reflect more broadly on the scientific community’s practices of generating and sharing data.

Throughout the short document, CRU is mentioned repeatedly; Mann not at all.

The DECC Response noted the Commons Committee’s recommendations for data transparency; however, in best Sir Humphrey style, they agreed only with the principle, while immediately throwing up roadblocks:

That said, there are a number of good reasons why it is not always possible or appropriate to make data available immediately or even at all.

There is no evidence that anyone in the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s department otherwise interviewed Mann or carried out any of the other steps prerequisite for an “investigation” into Mann’s conduct.

The release of DECC’s response received negligible to zero attention in international media and passed unnoticed at “skeptic” blogs. I include myself among those who were unaware of the document. Joe Romm complained about this lack of attention at the time here:

I can’t find any media coverage of the UK’s official Government Response to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee

Although the DECC response was not even an “investigation”, it was included in the SKS list of “investigations” that was later used in both Mann’s legal letters of summer 2012, his Complaint and Reply Memorandum, where it was additionally (and falsely) claimed to have exonerated Mann personally.

In Mann’s Reply Memorandum (in the section entitled “Dr Mann Is Exonerated”), Mann inaccurately attributed findings of the Muir Russell Review (noted by DECC) as findings of the UK Government itself, as shown in the paragraph quoted below, which is drawn from paragraph 6 of the Government Response. In the original document, DECC stated “in particular, we note the findings of the Muir Russell Review” leading in to the list of supposed findings ending the paragraph. Mann changed this phrase to the phrase “echoing the conclusions of the University of East Anglia, noted”. As altered, the claims appear to be separate findings of the UK government, rather than them merely noting the prior findings of the Muir Russell panel. Then, in the concluding sentence, Mann further inflates the alteration into supposed findings “expressly determined by the government of the United Kingdom”. Nor does the DECC document support the wildly exaggeratged claim of the concluding sentence”: none of the terms “manipulation”, “misconduct” or “fraud” appear anywhere in the DECC response.

Further, in September 2010, in response to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee report, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change “agree[d] with and welcome[d], the overall assessment of the Science and Technology Committee” and, echoing the conclusions of the University of East Anglia, noted: the rigour and honesty of the scientists are not in doubt; that there is no evidence of bias in data selection; that there is no evidence of subversion of peer review and that allegations of misusing the Intergovernmental Panel in Climate Change (IPCC) process cannot be upheld. Accordingly, as far as expressly determined by the government of the United Kingdom, there is no truth to any allegation of data manipulation, misconduct or fraud.

Conclusion
Mann himself had not been mentioned in the conclusions or recommendations of the Commons Committee Report. Similarly, the Government Response, presented by DECC, did not even use Mann’s name, let along make make any statements evidencing that they had “investigated” and “exonerated” Mann. Nor can the Government Response be accurately described as an “investigation” even of the UK scientists. Mann’s pleadings altered the language of the original document so that findings attributed by DECC to the Muir Russell Review were attributed by Mann to DECC itself.


144 Comments

  1. Donn Armstrong
    Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 1:24 PM | Permalink

    The countdown continues. 9…8…7…6…5…

  2. boodledug
    Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 1:42 PM | Permalink

    Dear, Oh Dear.

  3. Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 1:42 PM | Permalink

    This compelling sequence of exonerations reminds me of nothing as much as the cover of Private Eye on release of the findings of the Hutton Inquiry:

    “… and in conclusion I find Dr Shipman innocent of all charges”

    February 2004. How time flies.

  4. Timothy Sorenson
    Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

    Soon, a new idiom will emerge: “What a mann! That’s two n’s” An appropriate derogatory comment applied to a person who thinks of themself as bright and beyond criticism, but enjoys foul-mouthed attacks on others.”

    Well maybe.

  5. Stacey
    Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 2:07 PM | Permalink

    Sorry Steve a typo in the headline should read

    Mitty Misrepresents the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change :-)

    Keep up the good work.

  6. minarchist
    Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 2:12 PM | Permalink

    If I were Dr. Mann I think I would begin working now on to how to misrepresent the forthcoming dismissal of Mann v. Steyn.

    • Jean S
      Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 2:18 PM | Permalink

      Re: minarchist (Feb 25 14:12),

      I’m sure he’s already. And I’d like to bet on that the misrepresentation will include a word “Koch”.

      • JEM
        Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 2:26 PM | Permalink

        Someone – it’d help if it were an eminent PSU alumnus – needs to put together a letter to the university advising them that a member of their faculty has made significant and apparently intentional misrepresentations of documented fact in a court filing.

  7. JEM
    Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 2:17 PM | Permalink

    While there’s been some (arguably valid) criticism of the somewhat florid style of Steyn’s legal work it’s looking like Mann’s counsel are the ones who dumped out the Cracker-Jack boxes on Mummy’s table to find their law licenses.

    The Daddy Greenbuckses funding Mann’s windmill-tilt ought to be asking for a discount.

    • Tom C
      Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 9:44 AM | Permalink

      I had similar mis-givings about Steyn’s approach at first. After a bit of thought, I think it is billiant. He is giving this matter the mockery it deserves to expose Mann as the fool that he is. He is going on the offensive rather than “defending himself” against an absurd charge. Bravo to the florid style.

      • bernie1815
        Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 10:18 AM | Permalink

        I like Steyn’s approach too, but having been through the legal wringer in a civil action with a mendacious plaintiff, I would have been more circumspect. Having the judge on your side is very, very important. It saved me literally $1.2 million when he vacated the jury’s award.

        • Joe
          Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 10:28 AM | Permalink

          While I question some aspects of Steyn’s approach, the two points that Steyn makes in his Countersuit is that Steyn is being Sued by Mann for the very actions that Mann continues to make ie the repetitive comments on twitter, and B the numerous threats to sue for disagreeing with his conclusions..

        • pottereaton
          Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 12:12 PM | Permalink

          Bernie: I hope Steyn reads that, although the entertainment value of his filings will be missed if he tones them down.

          Joe: there are a lot of parallels here. Simberg is being sued for precisely the same thing that Steve is doing here: exposing the claims of “exoneration” in one of the investigative inquiries in Simberg’s case, the Penn State inquiry. The offensive language in the column was mere hyperbole deployed to lambast the inquiry. The column is Exhibit A at the bottom of Mann’s original filing:

          http://legaltimes.typepad.com/files/michael-mann-complaint.pdf

      • Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 1:05 PM | Permalink

        I had similar mis-givings about Steyn’s approach at first. After a bit of thought, I think it is billiant.

        Is that a pun? I’m a litttle slow.

  8. bernie1815
    Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 2:23 PM | Permalink

    Steve:
    Again this is an outstanding piece work.
    Given that, so far, there is nothing to exonerate Mann is there anything of similar weight to these investigations that essentially calls his handling of his research into question? I know there are various criticisms of his work in the CRU emails and in the Wegman analysis but is there any official questioning of the underpinning of his wretched graph? It seems to me that given how miserably he has misrepresented the record, a single official criticism would completely undermine his pleadings.

  9. Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 2:57 PM | Permalink

    When you want to break an alibi or cover story, you have to have the patience to just grind through every small tiny detail of it, and eventually it crumbles.

    Pointman

  10. Frank Cook
    Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 3:04 PM | Permalink

    Just speculating here – could it be possible that in Mann’s Reply Memorandum there was a nasty typo in the section entitled, “Dr Mann Is Exonerated”, in that it actually should have read, “Dr Mann is Eviscerated”?

  11. Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 3:21 PM | Permalink

    Timothy Sorenson
    Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    Soon, a new idiom will emerge: “What a mann!

    I think the classical version is – “What a piece of work is Mann” ;-)

    • RayG
      Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 4:38 PM | Permalink

      Normally I would use reference Hamlet Act II Scene 2 for this quotation. In view of the follicly-challenged topic of this conversation I suggest the song from Hair.

  12. pottereaton
    Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 4:00 PM | Permalink

    People speak of “guilt by association.” Mann is attempting the opposite: exoneration by association.

    He has gotten by so far because the people assigned –or who volunteer– to investigate these things don’t have the time or the inclination to look for hard truths. Nearly every inquiry has been cursory and limited in scope.

    This trial, if it goes forward, will be different. They will be plumbing the depths of Mann’s work and character.

    • Geoff Sherrington
      Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 2:22 AM | Permalink

      Exoneration is not a happy word for the Commons Inquiry.
      In my written submission to it, I wrote “TOR 2 should be dealt with by British police, not by Sir Muir Russell.”

      That remains my view.
      These people admitted law breaking; they have had a large influence on how some science is conducted and generally that influence bad been in the direction of bad.

      I did not expect DECC to be critical or even analytical – but all of this is in relation to British people. M Mann, an American, does not get a mention, directly or by inference, in anything I have read from relevant inquiries or official reports.

      He does however feature prominently in Climategate. How a person could continue to work in his present employment & not resign from embarrassment is beyond me. That applies to the main Climategate players including M Mann. They should be out of public life, driving cabs or the like, which is an employment sometimes seen here in Australia when mining types are caught breaking the rules – sometimes after the prison term has ended. Fortunately the occurrences are few.

  13. Larry Hamlin
    Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 4:27 PM | Permalink

    I can’t properly express how enjoyable it is to read your tremendous work Mr. McIntyre which is exposing and demonstrating what a pompous and arrogant individual this alleged climate scientist is and how ridiculous the climate science alarmist community was to try and circle the wagons to protect him from completely valid criticism of his numerous deeply flawed analyses. Given his incredible shenanigans the label “monumentally incompetent scientist” may be a more appropriate descriptor of his earned rank within the climate science alarmist community.

    I look forward to reading more of your exquisitely and expertly crafted analyses.

  14. Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 4:56 PM | Permalink

    They will be plumbing the depths of Mann’s work and character.

    Hardly. From what little experience I’ve had with legal matters, the lawyers will strive to focus the case on narrowly-defined points of law, not on murky issues in science or morality. And though I haven’t yet fully swotted up on this issue, my hunch it will turn on the question of whether a reasonable observer, in the aftermath of the various inquiries, could come to the view that they failed to settle the public doubts concerning Mann’s research work. Not, mind you, whether they proved Mann guilty or proved him and all his colleagues innocent; instead a much simpler question: Could someone who was paying attention to the inquiries reasonably conclude afterwards that they did not settle the questions then circling about Mann’s research work. On that point there is undisputed evidence in the affirmative, since observers at the time did sharply criticize the diligence of the inquiries:

    http://www.thegwpf.org/images/stories/gwpf-reports/Climategate-Inquiries.pdf

    http://www.rossmckitrick.com/uploads/4/8/0/8/4808045/rmck_climategate.pdf

    Regarding the Montford report, and referring specifically to the investigations of CRU science, note that Lord Turnbull, former UK Permanent Secretary of the Environment and head of the UK Civil Service, concluded that the inquiries failed to settle things:

    Sadly, as the report by Andrew Montford clearly demonstrates, all three reports have serious flaws… The result has been that the three investigations have failed to achieve their objective, ie early and conclusive closure and restoration of confidence.

    Steve is doing an excellent job of showing that the inquiries simply did not exonerate Mann as he claimed. But my sense is the bar is lower than this. All that is at issue is whether an observer could reasonably believe that, even if the inquiries had declared Mann exonerated, they were not in fact credible. If that’s the case, actual malice can’t be proven.

    Steve: your point is a good one. Both points are relevant: that the inquiry was not credible (even as regards CRU) and that it didnt exonerate Mann either.

    • pottereaton
      Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 6:43 PM | Permalink

      Ross: I based that statement on the fact that Mann in the trial is going to have to prove that Steyn’s statement that the hockey stick graph is “fraudulent” is demonstrably false. And that it was unreasonable and malicious for Steyn to say that.

      It seems to me that opens up various avenues for discovery and expert opinion that will determine whether the hockey stick graph is fraudulent or has been fraudulently used for what? 16 years now? Steyn will want to prove that he believes it is fraudulent and has good reason to believe it. He will be able, I would guess, to introduce evidence and experts to that effect.

      There is a good section in the Boley case on “Falsity and Actual Malice” starting on page 17 in the link below:

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

    • A. Scott
      Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 8:34 PM | Permalink

      Here is a great article on the legal aspects of the D.C. anti-SLAPP law.

      http://www.medialawmonitor.com/2013/06/the-d-c-anti-slapp-act-at-two-years-old-erie-issues-and-interlocutory-appeal-take-center-stage/#page=1 with footnotes etc (req free registration)

    • Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 9:24 AM | Permalink

      I don’t want to simply pile on but reading the post brings back my irritation that these reports are even considered moderately representative of reality. The lowest level of critique for any of these “investigations” I can imagine is to write the the inquiry was not credible.

      We can’t forget that this is a multi-billion dollar government industry which by its nature operates in a realm where laws are more flexible than the rest of us experience.

    • metro70
      Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 8:39 AM | Permalink

      Ross…

      This UK Institute of Physics Report, commissioned by the House of Commons, unlike others is not from an inquiry headed by someone who had a personal vested interest in the outcome being supportive of the CAGW scientists—ie by someone whose personal wealth and prestige were dependent to a significant degree on achieving an outcome favoring CAGW.

      http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/memo/climatedata/uc3902.htm

      Any reasonable person would think, I believe, that this report [ not so much an inquiry ] has implicitly included Mann et al in its scathing criticism that goes to the heart of the science and the methods, the secrecy, the gatekeeping and the credibility of the whole CAGW thesis.

      Eg…

      [ ‘The Institute is concerned that, unless the disclosed e-mails are proved to be forgeries or adaptations, worrying implications arise for the integrity of scientific research in this field and for the credibility of the scientific method as practised in this context.’

      ‘The CRU e-mails as published on the internet provide prima facie evidence of determined and co-ordinated refusals to comply with honourable scientific traditions …..’

      ‘The principle that scientists should be willing to expose their ideas and results to independent testing and replication by others, which requires the open exchange of data, procedures and materials, is vital….’

      ‘This extends well beyond the CRU itself – most of the e-mails were exchanged with researchers in a number of other international institutions who are also involved in the formulation of the IPCC’s conclusions on climate change. ‘

      ‘ The second category relating to proxy reconstructions are the basis for the conclusion that 20th century warming is unprecedented…’

      ‘The e-mails reveal doubts as to the reliability of some of the reconstructions and raise questions as to the wayin which they have been represented; for example, the apparent suppression, in graphics widely used by the IPCC, of proxy results for recent decades that do not agree with contemporary instrumental temperature measurements.’

      ‘There is also reason for concern at the intolerance to challenge displayed in the e-mails. This impedes the process of scientific ‘self correction’, which is vital to the integrity of the scientific process as a whole, and not just to the research itself. In that context, those CRU e-mails relating to the peer-review process suggest a need for a review of its adequacy and objectivity as practised in this field and its potential vulnerability to bias or manipulation. ‘ ]

      Steve: The Institute of Physics made a submission. It was not a “report, commissioned by the House of Commons.” It is not helpful to overstate and mis-state.

      • metro70
        Posted Feb 28, 2014 at 9:43 AM | Permalink

        Apologies, Steve—you’re right.
        In the first report I read of it, the writer said it had been ‘commissioned’.
        The IOP were under a lot of pressure to change their submission, and on the day the House of Commons’ Science and Technology Committee published its report, March 31, 2010 — in response— Dr Robert Kirby-Harris, chief executive at the Institute of Physics, said: “We welcome the clear statement in this report that there is independent verification, through the use of other methodologies and other sources of data, of the results and conclusions of the Climatic Research Unit. This solid body of evidence allows us to be confident in the scientific consensus on climate change.

        “The committee’s inquiry was clearly focused on the transparency and integrity of the scientific process. In this context, we strongly support the committee’s recommendations, particularly those relating to the publication of data to ensure open and transparent processes. This is how science thrives.”

        This seems to be a limp effort if it’s meant to neutralise the points made in their original submission.

        So who knows what they really thought/think.

        I’m not just sceptical of CAGW, but of just about every institution of any kind after all this.

  15. bernie1815
    Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 5:26 PM | Permalink

    Ross: Good points. I think that the Turnbull quote is a keeper as far as the UK inquiries go – plus it raises the notion that Steyne’s lawyers at least will take a look at Andrew’s writings.

  16. Political Junkie
    Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 5:32 PM | Permalink

    All is not lost for Mann.

    Peter Gleick will be happy to exonerate him – after all, Peter owes him one!

  17. Joe
    Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 5:46 PM | Permalink

    The likelihood of pointing out that Mann was not exonerated by anyone will not be nearly as much benefit at the trial level, or that Mann is serially misrepresenting the other inquiries. (the only exonration was by Penn State which was stated as being substandard by the NSF inquiry)

    The reason that this will not be much benefit at the trial court is that current judge is of the opinion that Steyn, Simberg, et al did defame Mann and the only question before the jury will be whether there actual malice. See the judge’s ruling dismissing the motion to dismiss the amended complaint under the anti-slapp statute. The second reason is that this will go to trial (unless settled) and before a jury pool that is likely to be predisposed to believing fully in the AGW theory. We have already seen the appeals court be somewhat less than willing to dismiss the case in its entirety.

    Steve: Mann’s entire argument on “actual malice” depends on the supposed exonerations.

    • Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 6:22 PM | Permalink

      Re: Joe (Feb 25 17:46), At this stage the pleadings are accepted as truth. However, Steyn can argue that the pleadings are incorrect. Then the complaint points start to fall off one by one if they cannot be supported. IOW — it’s tough to dismiss the suit if it could be true if the pleadings are true — and it’s assumed that they are — at this stage.

      If he is not ware of Steve’s (rather obscure ;-) ) postings then he could argue the points down at trial. It might be tough to argue that he is unaware of this site. However — as he is not a lawyer and officer of the court, he has no duties to the court. …and I think I have said enough…

      It might be best to knock them off now. Who knows what Steyn’s strategy might be? I certainly don’t.

      Steve: although people frequently invoke the spectre of DC juries, in many cases, it is the judges that decide on “actual malice”, often at the motion stage. Weisberg’s decision has been appealed. Mann’s argument on actual malice is entirely reliant on the assertion that he has been investigated and exonerated by “no less then eight” investigations (with nine reports included as exhibits.) This claim is trivially false for 5 inquiries )the four thus far plus the NOAA OIG), provably false for EPA, leaving only Penn State and the NSF OIG, with the scope of the NSF OIG finding being IMO less than Mann’s declaration.

      • Joe
        Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 6:44 PM | Permalink

        I concur with pointing out the numerous misstatements in the pleadings should help – however –
        The issue that will arise is whether the judge or jury will look objectively at the counter points ie where Mann and the attorneys misrepresent the facts/conclusions/etc of the various inquiries. (see also Mann’s response to the dismissal of the amended complaints – there are a lot more of exaggerations of the science than the original pleading. Again, Mann and his attorney’s will likely control the narrative.

        You are going to have a jury pool that enters the court room believing Mann has been exonerated by 8 or 9 inquiries and will be unable to differniate the nuances of the inquiries that show he was not exonerated. A good example is the NSF report that found no evidence of misconduct, yet acknowledged that the statistical methods were subject to debate.

        Steve: judges will have to deal with these issues at least one more time before it sees a jury. I haven’t discussed the NSF report yet. It has its own issues. The UK inquiries are simpler in that they made no findings regarding Mann personally and Mann’s pleadings misrepresent.

      • pottereaton
        Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 9:15 PM | Permalink

        It was fascinating to learn from Steve that “Mann’s entire argument on “actual malice” depends on the supposed exonerations.

        Mann’s complaint says:

        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 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.

        “All of the above investigations found . . .,” etc. That’s simply untrue.

        • metro70
          Posted Feb 28, 2014 at 8:58 PM | Permalink

          The trouble is that much of the world —and probably the people deciding this case—- have accepted the unacceptable , as far as the constitution and the conduct of the UK inquiries and the conduct of the UK government in relation to them and their findings is concerned.

          The scales are weighted by that in Mann’s favor.

      • Bob K.
        Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 1:27 AM | Permalink

        The jury will have a lot of room to either make or ruin Mann’s day no matter what the judge decides. I was an expert witness for the defense in a product liability case in which the jury ruled for the plaintiff but awarded zero dollars in damages. The defendant’s disappointment at losing the verdict was more than outweighed by their glee at knowing that the jury went out of its way to put the sting on the plaintiff. Juries don’t like to award money to plaintiffs they don’t like. Mann seems to think that a jury will lap him up because his Twitteratti does.

    • James
      Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 4:49 PM | Permalink

      Joe, the judge has not ruled that Mann was defamed. In ruling on Defendant Steyn’s Motion for Summary Judgment, the judge is required to consider all of the allegations contained in the Plaintiff’s pleadings as true. A summary judgment is granted only when the judge determines that even if all of the plaintiff’s allegations are true, the defendant is entitled to judgement as a matter of law. Because Mann is a public figure and political advocate, summary judgment would have been granted had Mann not pleaded malice, because absent malice, Steyn would be entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

      Summary judgments are rarely granted in most types of cases. Attorneys tend to file them in every suit because (1) they may get sued later by their own client for malpractice if they don’t at least attempt every legal remedy allowed under the rules, and (2) the motions and hearings are time consuming and a good way to rack up a fair amount of billable hours.

    • David L. Hagen
      Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 8:17 AM | Permalink

      Can Steyn counter Mann with “lacking clean hands”?
      clean hands doctrine

      n. a rule of law that a person coming to court with a lawsuit or petition for a court order must be free from unfair conduct (have “clean hands” or not have done anything wrong) in regard to the subject matter of his/her claim. His/her activities not involved in the legal action can be abominable because they are considered irrelevant. As an affirmative defense (positive response) a defendant might claim the plaintiff (party suing him/her) has a “lack of clean hands” or “violates the clean hands doctrine” because the plaintiff has misled the defendant or has done something wrong regarding the matter under consideration. Example: A former partner sues on a claim that he was owed money on a consulting contract with the partnership when he left, but the defense states that the plaintiff (party suing) has tried to get customers from the partnership by spreading untrue stories about the remaining partner’s business practices.

  18. Joe
    Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 7:00 PM | Permalink

    Steve – I am not disputing the legal argument. in fact I am of the opinion that the facts in the case dont even remotely support defamation, especially not a public figure along with the fact that substantial and substantive documentation exists that the HS lacks scientific credibility.

    That being said – Weisberg’s denial of the motion including the statement that actual malice is a question for the jury indicates that he is predisposed to accept that the statement “the fraudulent Hockey Stick” is defamation.
    Absent overturning the denial of the motion to dismiss, (or settlement) this case is likely going to trial.

    FWIW, From the boy that cried wolf, we learn early not to lie because it will destroy our credibility. However, pointing out the mischaracterizations of the “exonerations” will have little effect on those who believe the science is proven and will not look at the differences objectively.

  19. Stephen Prower
    Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 7:50 PM | Permalink

    Steve

    Exonerations of Dr Mann

    1. Here’s an exoneration that Dr Mann seems to have
    missed: the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s
    investigation.

    2. In an 11 February 2011 article about Muir Russell’s
    Climategate enquiry, Nature stated in passing:

    ‘Russell’s ‘Independent Climate Change Email Review’ is
    now one of five separate inquiries into the climate-gate
    emails.’

    3. I commented to Nature that there was in fact a sixth
    inquiry: the IPCC investigation.

    Dr Pachauri announced the investigation on 4 December
    2009; denied it (just a probe) on 8 December 2009;
    passed over it in silence on 29 January 2010; and
    finally summarised the findings of it to a reporter
    from the Times of India on 21 February 2010.

    4. Nature’s website has inconveniently messed up the
    layout of the comment.

    So I have re-laid and append the comment below. I
    apologise for the added length of the posting.

    5. The comment comprises my original comment, my
    follow-up comment, and an annex to the follow-up
    comment.

    6. The key passage comes in an interview that the Times
    of India reports between reporter Nitin Sethi and Dr
    Pachauri

    ‘[Nitin Sethi:]

    In the Unviesrity [sic] of East Anglia case are you and
    IPCC sure that there has been no tampering or
    modification to the data used to make the temperature
    hocky [sic] stick?

    [Dr Rajendra Pachauri:]

    We did a pretty thorough internal check and we have not
    found any evidence of that. But we shall wait for the
    report of the University of East Anglia. We shall await
    that report which is due in April I think. And that is a
    detailed enquiry and how these things came about and
    whether the things mentioned in the email were carried
    out by the scientists. What we have done is fairly
    detailed enquiry and found nothing was really done.’

    7. The link to the France24 page no longer works.

    However I downloaded a copy of the page on 11 February
    2010 which I retain.

    The relevant passage reads:

    ‘Pachauri said his panel would probe the incident “just
    to see if there are any lessons for us that we might
    want to take onboard.

    “We are determining how best to do that. But I want to
    clarify that this is not an investigation.’

    Stephen Prower

    Stevenage

    —- Comment (1) to Nature —-

    http://blogs.nature.com/climatefeedback/2010/02/head_of_climategate_inquiry_de.html

    18 February 2010

    You mention the five British investigations of the
    Climategate E-mails, but don’t mention the UN
    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s
    investigation.

    The investigation was announced by Dr Rajendra Pachauri,
    chairman of the IPCC, on 4 December 2009:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8394483.stm

    denied by him on 8 December 2009:

    http://www.france24.com/en/node/4943444

    and more recently passed over in silence by him on
    29 January 2010:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/327/5965/510/DC1

    [Ie when listing investigations to an interviewer he
    only listed an ’investigation at the behest of the
    British government’—Presumably the House of Commons
    Science Technology Select Committee’s Inquiry—, and the
    University of East Anglia’s independent investigation].

    The investigation is presumably now finally abandoned.

    Stephen Prower

    Stevenage

    Thursday 11 February 2010

    —- Comment (2) to Nature —-

    http://blogs.nature.com/climatefeedback/2010/02/head_of_climategate_inquiry_de.html

    26 February 2010

    Update to my posting dated 11 February 2010

    Dr Rajendra Pachauri has apparently confusingly changed
    position again.

    As reported by the Times of India on 21 February 2010,
    Dr Pachauri replied as annexed to a question by
    interviewer Nitin Sethi.

    Ie Dr Pachauri now says that he or the IPCC did conduct
    a ‘pretty thorough internal check’ or ‘fairly detailed
    enquiry’ into whether there was tampering with or
    modification of the CRU temperature data

    Dr Pachauri or the IPCC found that: ’nothing [in the way
    of “tampering or modification to the data used to make
    the temperature hockey stick”] was really done’.

    So call it ‘investigation’, ‘check’ or ‘enquiry’, the
    investigation that Dr Pachauri promised on 4 December
    2009; denied on 8 December 2009; and failed to mention
    on 29 January 2010 did according to what he now about 21
    February 2010 says take place.

    Stephen Prower

    Stevenage

    Thursday 26 February 2010

    —- Annex to Comment (2) —-

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Value-PMs-support-the-most/articleshow/5597352.cms

    The Times of India

    ‘”Value PM’s support the most”

    Nitin Sethi, TNN, Feb 21, 2010, 01.30am IST

    In the Unviesrity [sic] of East Anglia case are you and
    IPCC sure that there has been no tampering or
    modification to the data used to make the temperature
    hocky [sic] stick?

    We did a pretty thorough internal check and we have not
    found any evidence of that. But we shall wait for the
    report of the University of East Anglia. We shall await
    that report which is due in April I think. And that is a
    detailed enquiry and how these things came about and
    whether the things mentioned in the email were carried
    out by the scientists. What we have done is fairly
    detailed enquiry and found nothing was really done.

    …’

    [END]

  20. john
    Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 8:50 PM | Permalink

    Am I the only one that suspects the Penn State panel used the “finding’ from the UK panels to justify the exoneration of Mann’s work.

    • Joe
      Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 8:56 PM | Permalink

      Penn State investigation – “Our entire investigation consisted of asking mann if he was honest and he said yes, therefore we exonerate him”

      In any other field of science such an investigation would be the laughing stock. – except in the “science of AGW”

      • john
        Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 9:06 PM | Permalink

        Frankly, I’ve managed and collaborated with enough scientists to dispute your “any other field” comment. It’s endemic, both in academics and industry.

        • Joe
          Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 9:13 PM | Permalink

          I presume we both agree that the investigation was a joke.

      • pottereaton
        Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 9:27 PM | Permalink

        What’s most interesting– and ironic– about this is that the column Simberg is being sued over was a vigorous attack not so much on Mann, but on the Penn State investigation of Mann. He complains that the investigation was carried out entirely by “tenured Penn State professors.” At least UEA got their hacks from outside the university.

        Simberg then was doing what Steve is doing now, with more inflammatory language, of course.

      • barn E. rubble
        Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 10:10 PM | Permalink

        RE: Joe “In any other field of science such an investigation would be the laughing stock. – except in the “science of AGW”

        Unfortunately, Joe that isn’t the case. I worked w/big pharmaceuticals & big(gest)financial inst.’s & mining/resource co.’s for years and self governance/self regulations were the laff-stock as were government oversight. VIOX and Bre-X come to mind . . .

        • Joe
          Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 8:33 AM | Permalink

          In reply to both John & Barn E Rubble – I concede that many internal type investigations are superficial – Just attempting to point out that the Penn State investigation was very obvious lack any credibility.

  21. john
    Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 9:19 PM | Permalink

    I haven’t seen the investigation report, however I’m inclined to agree it was a joke.

  22. Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 10:07 PM | Permalink

    The UK practice for controversial issues of misconduct has historically been to commission parallel investigations with specific remits that taken together fail to cover the most relevant issues. This has happened repeatedly over the last twenty years, witness BAE, Saudi bribes, etc.

    This gave convenient cover to Mann as the UK investigations were clouded, I assume by intent. I gave some thought, as Steve knows, to looking into this. I concluded that the time required made it impractical for me. I am well aware of the time and effort Steve has put into this and I am extremely impressed with what he is doing here.

    It’s not only Steyn and Simberg that will benefit from this. The climate community stands to gain the most from understanding the lack of character Mann exhibits at every opportunity. Cleaning house is the best way to reorient the discussion to the science instead of the politics. The term Augean Stables comes to mind, however…

  23. Mark Luhman
    Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 10:13 PM | Permalink

    Why Mann would enter into a Lawsuit where discovery would lead him to have to release all his research when to date he has been unwilling to do is beyond belief let along logic? The only question remain is he that stupid or is his ego that large. personal I believe its a little of both.

    • Bob Koss
      Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 10:25 PM | Permalink

      I think he figured the odds of them wanting to settle was pretty good. Thereby allowing him to claim some sort of victory. He figured wrong.

    • pottereaton
      Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 10:39 PM | Permalink

      1. He still believes in his scientific work and the myth that has grown up around it.
      2. He’s politically and ideologically invested.
      3. He has enough popular support and notoriety that even if this suit crashes and burns, he will still have a career, even if it’s on the speaking circuit. Universities and environmental groups will always pay handsomely to hear a martyr for the cause speak. Like they say, it’s a religion.
      5. He’s doing it for all the other cliimate scientists who are under attack and he hopes they will rally to his defense. Scientists like Peter Gleick.

      Bob Koss: I find it hard to believe that Mann thought Steyn would settle. Steyn’s been devastating to the anti-free speech campaign in Canada where Mann is currently involved in frivolous SLAPP lawsuit against Patrick Michaels.

    • stan
      Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

      For over 15 years, Mann has been hailed as a hero and received enormous personal and professional rewards for his “work”. He spends his life in a cocoon where all who work with him consider anyone who disagrees with him to be evil and “anti-science”. I’m not sure it is possible to overstate the psychological effects that would have on the type of personality that is revealed in the CG e-mails [and in his behavior, beginning with his dealings with Steve Mc].

      Has he ever experienced any serious negative feedback, negative reinforcement over the last 15 years? If not, why shouldn’t he expect that his special status as hero and savior of the planet will continue to provide him with more success?

      I don’t see any reason to expect him to be anything other than what we see in this litigation. It’s what should be expected.

      • Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

        Re: stan (Feb 26 15:53),

        Mann’s quick apology to Andrew Bolt after threat of litigation, and to my knowledge he has never apologized to a skeptic critic previously, appears to be a strong sign that some light from the real world is penetrating his cocoon. If Mann loses this case decisively, and Steyn’s counter suit moves forward, there might be a flurry of defamation suits filed against Mann, for he has likely left few critics unslandered.

        If the take down of Mann is decisive, it could initiate a real crisis for Climate Science and Science in general. Too many people have gone “all in” circling the wagons backing Mann in defense of the cause. They can’t back down now. They have to keep upping the ante. The silence of the Lambs will become the march of the lemmings over the cliff.*

        *I know that lemmings actually don’t behave that way. The whole thing was staged by Disney filmmakers. Poetic license and all that.

        • Bob Denton
          Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 5:52 PM | Permalink

          If Mann loses he would, no doubt, make full use of his constitutionally protected right to use the words ‘fraud’ and ‘fraudulent’ about the persons and work of his critics, safe in the knowledge that they imply no allegation of fact and are incapable of being defamatory.
          The chilling knowledge that he could counterclaim against victims who sued, would provide effective immunity from suit.
          Defeat cuts both ways.

  24. Jim Bo
    Posted Feb 25, 2014 at 11:20 PM | Permalink

    It has occurred to me that Mann’s apparent misrepresentations are also fodder for the National Review’s anti-Slapp appeal. Surely these analyses will not be lost on their new legal representation…nor the consideration of the DC Court of Appeals.

    On the assumption that NR would prevail in their anti-Slapp appeal, it seems likely, because of the “expeditious” appeal proviso within anti-Slapp (as argued by the ACLU/”Reporters” amicus) that an NR victory would arrive well before Steyn’s case ever gets to court.

    On the assumption this scenario occurs, my guess is that Mann would have to assume the supine position in subsequent negotiations with Steyn to settle out of court.

    Thoughts?

  25. Sven
    Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 3:50 AM | Permalink

    Climatesciencewatch.org has an article trying to debunk Steve’s claims, but a pretty lame effort I think.

    • bernie1815
      Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 7:49 AM | Permalink

      Sven: The Climatesciencewatch article is incredibly weak. Their citation from AR5 as some kind of justification for Mann’s Hockey Stick is laughable. If that is the best they have, then Mann is in for a tough ride.

      • Steve McIntyre
        Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 10:16 AM | Permalink

        A few commenters mentioned a climatesciencewatch article. As readers are aware, Mann claimed to have been personally “investigated” and “exonerated” by numerous inquiries, listing nine in his complaint and attaching nine reports as exhibits to his Reply Memorandum. I’ve thus far considered four and shown that none of the four either investigated or exonerated Mann personally. I haven’t finished. In the process, I’ve pointed out other misrepresentations of these investigations, including doctored quotations, selective quotations and other alterations.

        The CSW article purports to dismiss my criticism of the Muir Russell panel. Piltz’ understanding of the Muir Russell report appears to be at best very superficial, as the article contains numerous misrepresentations and misstatements. I’ll mention one for now and will try to return to this on another occasion.

        Piltz says:

        The investigation addressed several issues, including issues on which CRU scientists collaborated with Mann and other non-CRU members of the climate science community.

        Piltz later says:

        Russell’s report was unequivocal in its conclusion that the rigor and honesty of the collaborating scientists was not in doubt.

        Needless to say, this assertion is completely untrue. The Muir Russell report neither investigated nor “exonerated” Mann and “collaborators”. Indeed, as CA readers are aware, they barely investigated even CRU scientists: Muir Russell, for example, didn’t even bother attending the one interview with Jones and Briffa about Hockey Stick matters.

        Muir Russell is however an experienced bureaucrat and one has to watch his wording as carefully as one watches wording from Gavin Schmidt. His exact phrase, as I observed in my post, was:

        On the specific allegations made against the behaviour of CRU scientists, we find that their rigour and honesty as scientists are not in doubt.

        Piltz’ claim that the Muir Russell report “was unequivocal in its conclusion that the rigor and honesty of the collaborating scientists was not in doubt” is completely bogus. As is the related claim in Mann’s pleadings.

    • Beta Blocker
      Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 11:21 AM | Permalink

      Re: Sven (Feb 26 03:50),

      Sven: Climatesciencewatch.org has an article trying to debunk Steve’s claims, but a pretty lame effort I think.

      bernie1815: The Climatesciencewatch article is incredibly weak. Their citation from AR5 as some kind of justification for Mann’s Hockey Stick is laughable. If that is the best they have, then Mann is in for a tough ride.

      The plaintiff’s strategy in pushing their Mann-Steyn Steamroller lawsuit is basically a gigantic Call to Authority, one which is clearly tailored to fit the political psychology of the Washington DC venue in which the lawsuit has been brought.

      The Climatesciencewatch.org article is reflective of the kind of political psychology that is all pervasive in the Washington DC area.

      So far, the rulings of the two DC judges clearly reflect the wisdom of this choice of venue on the part of the plaintiffs. If a trial ensues, the plaintiffs can expect a jury which will be similarly receptive to their line of argument.

      Over on Lucia’s blog, I’ve offered my analysis of what the plaintiff’s basic strategy might be in regard to the purported exonerations of Mann:

      http://rankexploits.com/musings/2014/steyn-mann-steam-roller/#comment-125350

      Repeating myself here:

      Let’s think a little bit about what kind of general overall strategy Mann and his lawyers might be using in pushing their complaint against Steyn. On the surface, the plaintiff’s strategy appears to be a gigantic Call to Authority, but it might be somewhat more sophisticated than that.

      The plaintiff’s various lines of argument appear to be founded in the presumption that Michael Mann is a key member of a larger paleoclimate science community, and that Mann himself is in the unfortunate position of being a proxy stand-in for the paleoclimate science community in the eyes of climate science critics.

      One tenant of the plaintiff’s basic strategy might be that an argument can be honestly made that Mann’s hockey stick is owned as much by the paleoclimate science community as it is personally by Mann himself, given that there is broad agreement in the community that Mann’s methods are valid and that the validity of Mann’s approach has been confirmed by peer reviews which have been performed by other key members of the community.

      Moreover, there is extremely close cooperation going on among various institutions engaged in paleoclimate research; and that any investigation of science integrity issues which is conducted in any of those institutions is, for all practical purposes, an investigation of the paleoclimate science community as a whole, not just those particular scientists employed by any particular institution.

      So it may be that inside the plaintiff’s basic strategy, criticisms of Mann’s methods are deemed as being criticisms of the paleoclimate science community’s methods as an international scientific endeavor; and therefore it is only fair to conclude that any investigation conducted against any one of these institutions in matters concerning paleoclimate research methods is effectively an investigation conducted against all of them, including [within its investigative scope by proxy inference] those individual scientists who are active participants in, and contributors to, the international community.

      So if, for example, an investigative committee exonerates CRU without mentioning Mann specifically in its report, the committee has in effect exonerated Mann by logical and justifiable inference, because it has exonerated the paleoscience community’s consensus-driven approach in doing paleoclimate temperature reconstructions — an approach which is inseparable, for all practical purposes, from Mann’s approach.

      I think that a sympathetic DC judge might admit all of these various reports into evidence on that basis, regardless of the counterargument that Mann isn’t specifically mentioned in some of those reports.

      • bernie1815
        Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 12:09 PM | Permalink

        I think there is some merit to that line of reasoning, which is why it is important to get statements from others members of the Paleo community that criticize Mann into the argument.  If they were official pronouncements, then so much the better.  On the other hand this is a personal suit and if you substituted the collective for Mann in the statements made by the defendants would they still be actionable?

        • Beta Blocker
          Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 12:57 PM | Permalink

          Re: bernie1815 (Feb 26 12:09),

          Suppose the purported exonerations are admitted into evidence, and a trial ensues in a Washington DC courtroom.

          From the plaintiff’s side, if you are arguing to a DC jury, it is then easy to paint Mann as being the unfortunate personal victim of actionable defamation by Steyn, using the argument that Mann has become a personal target of Steyn’s ire by virtue of Mann’s membership in the international paleoclimate science community, and by his energetic activities in defending what is well-accepted consensus scientific opinion concerning the validity of the hockey stick.

          What one sees in that line of argument is the basis for claiming that prima facie evidence exists of malice on Steyn’s part.

          One shouldn’t think for one second that Mann’s well paid Big Green lawyers haven’t already thought all of this through from one end to the other, and haven’t come up with a contingency plan for handling every realistic possibility as the legal proceedings wind their way through courts.

          If Steyn thinks he can boldly navigate his way through all of this legal wrangling without the assistance of competent lawyers, he is greatly mistaken. The old saying about fliers boldly flying blind through the fog is this: There are old pilots, and there are bold pilots. But there are no old, bold pilots.

        • bernie1815
          Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 1:49 PM | Permalink

          Beta Blocker:
          You may be right and certainly the discussions here are helping to sharpen the thinking of both sides. On the other hand, when we had a very experienced litigator review the work of our lawyer in our case, he said words to the effect that in a jury trial even when you have the facts and the law on your side there remains a 30% chance you will still lose and when the facts and the law are against you, there is still a 30% chance that you can win. In our case, I certainly believed that we had the facts and the law on our side, but we lost.
          Given the lottery type nature of such jury trials, perhaps Steyn is correct to play this for the biggest public audience he can draw and plan for an appeal where the facts and the law should count for more.

        • MJW
          Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 8:56 PM | Permalink

          One shouldn’t think for one second that Mann’s well paid Big Green lawyers haven’t already thought all of this through from one end to the other, and haven’t come up with a contingency plan for handling every realistic possibility as the legal proceedings wind their way through courts.

          Since those well-paid lawyers submitted papers to the court containing misquotes and out-of-context quotes, I’m not sure I believe they’re playing chess while everyone else is playing checkers.

      • Joe
        Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 12:24 PM | Permalink

        “The plaintiff’s strategy in pushing their Mann-Steyn Steamroller lawsuit is basically a gigantic Call to Authority, one which is clearly tailored to fit the political psychology of the Washington DC venue in which the lawsuit has been brought.

        So far, the rulings of the two DC judges clearly reflect the wisdom of this choice of venue on the part of the plaintiffs. If a trial ensues, the plaintiffs can expect a jury which will be similarly receptive to their line of argument.”

        I concur – as I stated in my prior comments – though you did a better job articulating my point.

        The second point is that both judges have reached the conclusion that the statement was defamitory or at least Weisberg has indicated as such in his denial of the motion to dismiss the amended complaint by stating to the effect that the question of malice should be place before the jury.

    • pottereaton
      Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 12:00 PM | Permalink

      Rick Piltz from his own website:

      Rick has worked as an educator, writer, and policy analyst and advocate since the 1970’s, in federal and state government, academia, and nonprofit organizations. During his more than 20 years in Washington, his primary focus has been on the collision of climate science with the reality of climate politics and policy.

      From 1995-2005 he held senior positions in the Coordination Office of the U.S. Global Change Research Program. In the spring of 2005, Rick resigned from his position to protest the Bush Administration’s political interference with climate change communication. His whistleblower documentation of politically motivated White House editing and censorship of climate science program reports intended for the public and Congress received front-page coverage in the New York Times and was widely reported in the media. Rick testified before both the House of Representatives and the Senate at hearings on political interference with federal climate scientists.

      In other words, a professional government apologist for climate science excess.

      He was one of the first to begin the gevernment purge of skeptics with connections to the oil industry and was celebrated by the NYT as a whistle blower in 2005:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/08/politics/08climate.html?ex=1275883200&en=22149dc70c0731d8&ei=5090&_r=0

      What Cooney, the scientist who was purged, says about uncertainty in the report, seems, nine years later, to be eminently sensible.

  26. Lazlo
    Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 7:17 AM | Permalink

    Michael Mann: the Craig Thomson of climate denialism (one for the SH purists..)

  27. Lazlo
    Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 7:18 AM | Permalink

    Michael Mann: the Craig Thomson of denialism (one for the SH purists..)

  28. Rick Spung
    Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 11:02 AM | Permalink

    Steve, it looks like you are addressing each investigation, one by one. When you get ready to write the posting about the NAS investigation, you might want to check this out (if you haven’t already):

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2011/03/there-he-goes-again-mann-claims-his.html

    Steve: the NAS investigation was not listed as one of the investigations that “exonerated” Mann.

    • Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 12:28 PM | Permalink

      Which is telling.

      • Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

        Mann sure mentions it in his book, The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars.

  29. Lord Frijoles
    Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 12:34 PM | Permalink

    I have a very basic question: I suppose any discussion about a person being exonerated/not exonerated must begin with a discussion about what “exonerated” explicitly means in legal proceedings/courts. Therefore, my question is: does the word “exonerated” explicitly mean that the person necessarily/undoubtedly has to be mentioned by name in the presented exonerating evidence? In other words, does a sentence similar to “The investigation led by Muir Russell concludes that Dr. Michael Mann’s honesty and scientific rigor are not in doubt” has to/need to be produced by Mann and his lawyers for them to have a legitimate/undisputable claim of exoneration?

    My view is that if “exonerated” and its implications aren’t clearly defined in legal proceedings/courts, I can easily see Mann and his lawyers arguing (perhaps successfully) that since Mann was their co-author and colleague, the UK investigations that exonerated CRU scientists, by implication, also exonerated Mann.

    • pottereaton
      Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 1:14 PM | Permalink

      Plaintiffs are claiming Steyn et al read or should have read the “exoneration” inquiry reports and that if they didn’t it’s proof of reckless disregard of the truth, i.e. actual malice. If Mann is not mentioneded in them, how were they supposed to know he was exonerated? You are describing what I called earlier, “exoneration by association.” I don’t think that will be compelling to a jury or a judge in determining whether Mann was defamed or not.

      • Lord Frijoles
        Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 2:16 PM | Permalink

        Let me begin by saying that I have no sympathy for Mann or his colleagues. Any fair-minded scientist would come to the conclusion that their papers/methods etc. are, at the very least, very poor pieces of work.

        Having said that, I think it’d be very easy by anybody (at least with regard to some specific issues) to make a valid/understandable claim of “exoneration by association” as you said.

        For example, if one of the issues in dispute is the scientific/methodological rigor of Mann’s work, and if those issues can be evaluated by an assessment of the papers he co-authored with the CRU guys, and if the CRU guys have been exonerated in terms of their scientific/methodological rigor by a panel that reviewed those same papers, I can see a reasonable case of “exoneration by association”.

        Let me give you an example: suppose that Ross McKtrick’s scientific/methodological rigor have been put into question. To defend himself, Ross allows a commission to review the papers he’s co-authored with Steve McIntyre. Let us suppose the commission comes to the conclusion that the science/methodological rigor of those papers is excellent. Now, let us suppose that someone else questions Steve Mc’s scientific/methodological rigor. To defend himself, wouldn’t it be reasonable for him to say that a commission that investigated the papers he co-authored with Ross McK concluded that the quality and rigor of those papers are not in doubt, and based on that he’d claim that his (Steve’s) scientific/methodological rigor are also solid by implication/association?

        At least in terms of certain specific claims, “exoneration by association” doesn’t seem too unreasonable to me.

        • Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 3:56 PM | Permalink

          The simile breaks down at a couple of points. Not all of Mann’s work was collaborative with the CRU, and the panels that looked at CRU work mostly didn’t look at work they did with Mann. So in your example, Steve couldn’t appeal to the exonerating panels if in their examination of my work they hadn’t actually looked at anything I did with him. Worse would be if, to the extent they had, they did not exonerate. And that’s the position Mann is in when he appeals to the MR and Oxburgh report. The MR panel, as has been noted, considered the WMO graph “misleading.” The Oxburgh panel singled out the IPCC for criticism as follows:

          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.

          And those with ears to hear would recall that the relevant IPCC TAR chapter lead author was Mann.

        • Bob Koss
          Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 4:28 PM | Permalink

          None of the 11 papers reviewed by the Oxburgh Science Assessment Panel included Mann as a co-author. Papers are listed at the end of the report found here.

          http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/CRUstatements/SAP

          They couldn’t exonerate Mann’s science. He isn’t even mentioned in the report.

      • RickA
        Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 5:37 PM | Permalink

        I agree.

        I also understand why SM is going through each investigation one by one – and it will be very helpful to the defense – so this is all to the good.

        However, it reads (in the various pertinent threads) as if showing that Mann was NOT exonerated by any of the investigations is ESSENTIAL to the defense – and I do not agree with that implication (if it even exists). I understand it is relevant to the issue of malice – but the defendant’s could win the trial regardless of whether Mann was exonerated or not (I agree he was not).

        Somebody could still have an opinion that Michael Mann tortured and molested data in the service of politics (paraphrased) – even if Mann’s spin on the investigations was a given (which it is not).

        One could have the opinion that the mere act of grafting instrument data onto a graph of a temperature reconstruction was torturing and molesting data (whether it was disclosed in the caption or not). It was clearly in the service of politics because they (the team) were discussing using this graph (or a similar one) on the cover of a public report.

        I share the opinion that grafting instrument data onto a temperature reconstruction is torturing and molesting data (by itself) – so I can certainly see how many would share this opinion, no matter what the investigations found. It is all the worse when the fact of grafting is not disclosed in the caption. And it is even worse when it is called a trick. And worse yet when the other way of showing the data (i.e. the non-tortured and non-molested way) is hidden in a directly called CENSORED. And so on and so on.

        One could also have an opinion on the issue of torturing and molesting data using PCM; or selectively using R2 or using some proxies upside down, and so on.

        In addition, this is clearly an opinion matter. The reason being that there is no way to determine whether Mann tortured and molested data as a matter of fact. There is no test for determining that – no court which will find that – it is a pure opinion based on what the reader thinks about how the data is being used by the scientist.

        So I believe that while showing that Mann was not exonerated by any of the investigations is extremely useful (keep going SM!) – it is not a REQUIRED element of the defendant’s case (imo).

        Steve: there are numerous issues including the meaning of “data torture”. I started with what I regarded as extremely easy points to establish: that many of the claimed investigations did not purport to “exonerate” Mann – a point that Mann relies on in connection with “actual malice”, a very difficult hurdle for any U.S. public figure and one that seems insuperable for Mann, especially given his many misrepresentations of the inquiries.

    • Bob K.
      Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 1:21 PM | Permalink

      I would guess that Mann’s lawyers are reaching back to these various committee members to elicit supportive statements or to find sympathetic witnesses for their client. They wouldn’t change the fact that Mann distorted the original findings but the significance of that would be lost on the jury. BLUF is not to assume that they are just sitting on their hands. SM has given Steyn a good start but now he has to follow up and do his homework.

    • Unscientific Lawyer
      Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 7:09 PM | Permalink

      Lord Frijoles:

      “I suppose any discussion about a person being exonerated/not exonerated must begin with a discussion about what ‘exonerated’ explicitly means in legal proceedings/courts.”

      Mann is using “exonerated” as shorthand for “verifiably false.” To succeed, Mann has to prove that the statements made were verifiable statements of fact. If a statement is not verifiably false, then it is considered “imaginative expression” and “rhetorical hyperbole,” both of which are protected by the 1st Amendment. In the Boley case, referenced previously, for example, the court held that the statement that Boley was “evil” was not defamatory because it is not a statement of fact that can be verified.

      Since some of the alleged defamatory statements identified in Mann’s amended complaint, such as Mann being the poster boy of the corrupt and disgraced climate science echo chamber, sound to some of us a lot like imaginative expression and rhetorical hyperbole, Mann is trying to convince a judge that the conclusions of the investigations make such statements verifiably false.

      At another level, I think this issue dovetails nicely with Mr. McIntyre’s discussions about making the code behind the models available for review. If a scientist restricts access to the inner workings of their models, there is no way the results can be verified by others. I think the short paper by J. Daniel Gezelter, Director of the OpenScience Project at http://www.stanford.edu/~vcs/Nov21/dg-OpenScienceandVerifiability.pdf explains why the practice of not sharing code might make it difficult to argue that the statements at issue are verifiably false.

  30. Lord Frijoles
    Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 5:01 PM | Permalink

    Ross McKtrick says: “The simile breaks down at a couple of points. Not all of Mann’s work was collaborative with the CRU, and the panels that looked at CRU work mostly didn’t look at work they did with Mann”.

    I agree with you, but as far as I remember, the issue wasn’t that ALL of Mann’s papers were methodologically/scientifically deficient. If I remember well, the dispute was about CRU’s and/or Mann’s papers that appeared in the climategate’s documents. Let us suppose that the UK investigations reviewed 10 CRU’s papers, and that only one of them had Mann as a co-author. If the commission concluded that the scientific/methodological rigor of those 10 papers aren’t in doubt, Mann can easily (and understandably in my view) claim that since the one paper that he authored with the CRU guys was considered scientifically/methodologically solid, by plausible implication his (Mann’s) work (in terms of the papers involved in the dispute) should also be considered sound.

    Evidently, if the papers reviewed by the different commissions didn’t include at least one in which Mann appeared as a co-author, the (reasonable in my opinion) “exoneration by association” argument by Mann and his lawyers cannot apply. This would mean that they (Mann and lawyers) are in deeper trouble than I originally thought.

    Ross McKtrick says: “And those with ears to hear would recall that the relevant IPCC TAR chapter lead author was Mann”.

    I also agree with you on this point, but then the issue (for Mann’s lawyers) would be to reconcile the seemingly contradictory pronouncements by the Oxburgh panel and/or the other commissions: some statements appear to exonerate CRU and/or Mann, while there are other statements that seem to question their methodological/scientific rigor.

    • Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 5:54 PM | Permalink

      Re: Lord Frijoles (Feb 26 17:01), If everyone took your entirely reasonable approach, and did their homework, there would be no lawsuit and no blogpost. We would all be the richer by far — especially in time available to us — rather than pondering these nuisance questions. …but here we are.

      We have specific quotations, from specific documents, relating to a specific law case. Perhaps in the future people will be interested in speculating how all of this could be better handled. But, even there these issues only seem to arrive with one person. So, maybe even that speculation would serve no real purpose.

      At this point people are condemned to deal with the necessary. In the meantime your reasonable approach could (and perhaps should) be adopted by certain of the parties for future matters.

      • Lord Frijoles
        Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 6:24 PM | Permalink

        If I understood you correctly, you make it seem as if what I am arguing has no basis in reality. I have discussed three concepts: “exoneration by association”, “prestige by association” and “disrepute by association”.

        There dozens, perhaps hundreds of real life instances involving “prestige by association” and “disrepute by association”. Grants, even jobs are lost by “disrepute by association”. Similarly, the opposite happens when “prestige by association” is involved.

        That’s the same logic I am applying to argue that “exoneration by association” isn’t unreasonable. The “by association” implication happens all the time, at least in academia.

        I want to say again that my opinion about Mann and associates as scientists is very low. I am only arguing about the validity/acceptability of the “exonerated by association” argument.

        Steve: Mann took great exception to CEI/NR’s observation that the Muir Russell inquiry’s finding had been limited to “CRU scientists” and falsely asserted that it and others had exonerated him personally. If Mann had said that the UK inquiries had “exonerated” the CRU scientists (leaving critics to dispute their validity), then he wouldn’t have opened himself up to criticism for making false assertions. But he wasnt content with that and instead made false misrepresentations about the findings of these inquiries. Doesnt seem to me like the wisest strategy.

  31. Lord Frijoles
    Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 9:23 PM | Permalink

    Steve Mc says: “Mann took great exception to CEI/NR’s observation that the Muir Russell inquiry’s finding had been limited to “CRU scientists” and falsely asserted that it and others had exonerated him personally. If Mann had said that the UK inquiries had “exonerated” the CRU scientists (leaving critics to dispute their validity), then he wouldn’t have opened himself up to criticism for making false assertions. But he wasnt content with that and instead made false misrepresentations about the findings of these inquiries. Doesnt seem to me like the wisest strategy”.

    Thanks for your comments Steve, and obviously thank you very much for the excellent work you’ve done over the years.

    I once read somewhere that in terms of litigation/legal proceedings there is an unwritten principle that goes along the lines of “… that which is not explicitly prohibited can potentially be used persuasively in order to convince a jury/judge”. I’d ask the expert lawyers here to please correct me if my information is wrong.

    My view is that if the meaning of the word “exonerated” in legal courts doesn’t explicitly require that the person claiming exoneration be referred to explicitly by name in the presented exonerating evidence, then I am afraid that any lawyer billing top dollar (as Mann’s lawyers surely are) can make the “exoneration by association” argument seem at least reasonable, and perhaps convincing, to the common man (e.g., the members of the jury).

    In other words, if the rule described above doesn’t exist, I don’t think it is unreasonable for any lawyer (or anybody for that matter) to claim that even though the terms of reference/conclusions of the different panels didn’t mention Mann by name, by reasonable implication (“exoneration by association), the fact that the scientific/methodological rigor in the reviewed papers were considered as acceptable, by implication, this means that the scientific/methodological rigor of all the authors of the papers (including Mann) are solid, at least with respect to the reviewed papers.

    This seems so reasonable and logical to me that I am surprised some people are arguing against it.

    Obviously, if none of the papers reviewed by the different UK panels included Mann as a co-author, then the (very) reasonable “exoneration by association” claim would burn and crash totally.

    The above leads me to a different point: If it is true that no paper that was reviewed by the different UK commissions/panels included Mann as a co-author, shouldn’t this be used as the strongest, most concise, clearest, most powerful and most effective argument against Mann’s claims of exoneration? Shouldn’t this be used as the lead argument against Mann’s claims of exoneration?
    example:

    Mann: “Different UK panels have exonerated me and my work”.

    Steyn: “Show me the papers you authored/co-authored that were reviewed by the UK panels and that are the basis for your claims of exoneration”.

    Mann: “ehh, none of my papers were reviewed by the different panels… “
    Steyn: “how can you then argue that you and your work have been exonerated if your papers weren’t even considered by the UK panels?”

    Mann: “oops ………….”

    That would seem to me like a slam dunk, powerful, concise and easy to explain argument by the opponents of Mann that any and all members of the jury/public could understand.

  32. David L. Hagen
    Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 10:28 PM | Permalink

    Re: “24. . . .”All were read by the Defendants.
    Has Mann any evidence for this assertion?
    What if Steyn had not read them? e.g. McIntyre observes:

    The release of DECC’s response received negligible to zero attention in international media and passed unnoticed at “skeptic” blogs. I include myself among those who were unaware of the document.

  33. David L. Hagen
    Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 10:35 PM | Permalink

    Can Mann claim to every have been a “CRU Scientist”?
    Mann is not listed at: University of East Anglia, Climatic Research Unit,
    Staff and Students

    Furthermore, at CRUs “Publications by author”, the CRU states:

    Please note that not all these authors are members of CRU. This page is a “by author” view of the CRU Publications Database.

    • Lord Frijoles
      Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 11:06 PM | Permalink

      David L. Hagen says: ” Can Mann claim to every have been a “CRU Scientist”? Mann is not listed at: University of East Anglia, Climatic Research Unit, Staff and Students”

      As far as I know, Mann has never claimed that he is, or has ever been, a CRU scientist. Therefore, the fact that he is not, and never has been a CRU scientist doesn’t contradict him. What Mann has claimed is that somehow the UK investigations exonerated him. That particular “somehow” appears to be what others and I have termed as “exoneration by association”. This is a concept that doesn’t seem unreasonable to me at all, given that “prestige by association” and “disrepute by association” are two concepts that are widely (and justifiably so) accepted in academia.

  34. Lord Frijoles
    Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 12:14 AM | Permalink

    Thisisnotgoodtogo says: “Prestige by association.
Prestige is not exoneration”.

    Of course 
those two words don’t mean the same thing, and I have not said such absurdity. What I have said is that in academia (and I’d venture to say in all walks of life) there exists a very reasonable and justifiable mechanism that I have called “prestige by association”. I will give you a very clear example:

    Example 1: I lead a research group, and we publish a paper that wins the “best scientific paper award” for 2014. My question is: would it seem reasonable/understandable/justifiable to you that we’d (individually and as a group) enjoy the fruits of our work (e.g., an increase in salary for me, better laboratories for my research group, employment for one of my PhD students that participated in the investigation, tenure for a junior professor that collaborated in the study)? I’d call this “prestige by association”, and I don’t think it is an unreasonable concept.

    Now I’ll give you an example of the mechanism I have termed as “disrepute by association”:

    Example 2: Years later, it is found that some of the data/images in the study were forged by one of my PhD students. I didn’t make sure personally that all the data/images were legitimate at the time the investigation and paper were put together. I was a poor supervisor, and relied too much on my students. My question is: would it seem reasonable/justifiable to you that we’d (as a research group and individually) suffer the consequences of the forgery? Does it seem unreasonable to you that we all should suffer “disrepute by association”? In my view, it seems very reasonable that we (as a group and individually) should suffer “disrepute by association” as a result of this.

    Following this logic, let us suppose that at least one paper co-authored by the CRU guys and Mann was found to be scientifically and methodologically rigorous. My question to you is: why would it be unreasonable for Mann to claim that his work (at least in terms of the paper(s) exonerated by the UK panels) has been exonerated, even if his name wasn’t included in the terms of reference and/or conclusions? I’d like to hear your comments arguing against the validity of this.

    Thisisnotgoodtogo says: “By the same token, Mann could claim prestige by association with IPCC over the Nobel, but he cannot claim to be a Nobel winner by association”.

    I totally agree with you. In fact, as far as I remember, Mann and associates were told that they could claim something along the lines of “collaborators in the work for which the IPCC was awarded the Noble prize”. So yes, they deserve some (minimal) credit/prestige for their work. Obviously, those guys stretched the implications of their association with the IPCC a bit too much when they claimed to be Nobel Prize recipients, something for which they were justifiably rebuked as far as I remember.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo
      Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 12:33 AM | Permalink

      Lord Frijoles,
      Yes, Mann’s claim specifically, was rebuked for assertion of a Nobel Prize win instead of assertion of prestige.
      Similarly goes “exoneration”.

      “Following this logic, let us suppose that at least one paper co-authored by the CRU guys and Mann was found to be scientifically and methodologically rigorous. My question to you is: why would it be unreasonable for Mann to claim that his work (at least in terms of the paper(s) exonerated by the UK panels) has been exonerated, even if his name wasn’t included in the terms of reference and/or conclusions? I’d like to hear your comments arguing against the validity of this.”

      Can you quote the investigation that found a paper in particular that was found to be rigorous?

      • Lord Frijoles
        Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 12:58 AM | Permalink

        Thisisnotgoodtogo says: “Similarly goes “exoneration”.

        That’s certainly your opinion, not a fact.

        I will comment on the rest o your points right after you comment on the following:

        I argue that there exists a mechanism that I call “prestige by association”, at least in academia. I also argued that the validity/justifiability of it is irrefutable. Do you dispute this?

        I also argue that there also exists a mechanism that I call “disrepute by association”, at least in academia. I also argue that the validity/justifiability of it is irrefutable. Do you dispute this?

        • sue
          Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 1:18 AM | Permalink

          Your “disrepute by association” insinuates that Spanier’s investigation of Sandusky was just as poor as his investigation of Mann… which is exactly what Steyn was insinuating in his post.

        • thisisnotgoodtogo
          Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 1:24 AM | Permalink

          “‘Similarly goes “exoneration.’

          That’s certainly your opinion, not a fact.”

          Similarly with your opinions – yet it’s time-wasting to say that after what is obviously opinion, is expressed.

          “I will comment on the rest o your points right after you comment on the following:

          I argue that there exists a mechanism that I call “prestige by association”, at least in academia. I also argued that the validity/justifiability of it is irrefutable. Do you dispute this?”

          No in one sense, yes in another.

          If I wanted to dispute that specifically, I would have. Instead I disputed that exoneration follows the same mechanism.
          Therefore, assuming agreement, make your argument.

        • thisisnotgoodtogo
          Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 1:25 AM | Permalink

          Bingo! For Sue.

        • sue
          Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 2:52 AM | Permalink

          Just saw this, thanks for the props! He/she hasn’t responded of course… Any comments on the other thread regarding Judith Lean referring to Mike M as an expert on surface temperatures?

  35. barn E. rubble
    Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 1:30 AM | Permalink

    RE: Nick Stokes:
    “. . . bad for Mann, it’s hard to say he can’t mention the good bits in his favor . . .”

    And the good bits from these ‘investigations’ are what? I mean if you Nick, believe actual/real investigations took place, what were the good bits they found?

  36. Lord Frijoles
    Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 1:39 AM | Permalink

    Thisisnotgoodtogo says: No in one sense, yes in another”

    Please explain what you mean by “No in one sense, yes in another” so that I can be totally sure about your arguments. I have been very explicit about my thoughts and the logic I am following, so I’d expect the same courtesy.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo
      Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 1:46 AM | Permalink

      Yet you said this:

      “Of course 
those two words don’t mean the same thing, and I have not said such absurdity.”

      I had not said that you said they were synonymous – yet you had just said:

      “Just like “prestige by association” and “disrepute by association”, “exoneration by association” seems very understandable/reasonable to me, at least with respect to some specific claims”

      So how absurd was it, Lord Frijoles?

      • Lord Frijoles
        Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 2:00 AM | Permalink

        So you’ve chosen not to explain your “No in one sense, yes in another”, and instead are bringing up points that are tangential to what we’re discussing? Is that the best you can do? LOL.

        I’ll explain it as clearly as possible: there is no inconsistency in my arguments. You yourself have admitted that there’s some plausibility to the existence of a mechanism/concept that I have called “prestige by association”. Based on the plausible existence of that mechanism/concept that you yourself have conceded, I am arguing that using the same logic and rationale, a case can be made to argue for the existence of a mechanism/concept that others and I have called “exoneration by association”.

        Perhaps I should have used “mechanism” since the beginning in order to avoid simple minded people like you to go off tangent. My mistake. I assumed I was dealing with adults.

        • thisisnotgoodtogo
          Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 2:08 AM | Permalink

          “So you’ve chosen not to explain your “No in one sense, yes in another”, and instead are bringing up points that are tangential to what we’re discussing? Is that the best you can do? LOL.”

          No, I brought up the point that you equate them yourself just previous, and then say doing so is absurd, and that I need to agree in every way or disagree in order for you to proceed, and implied that not doing so is not being as polite as you are – and as we see below, that is no insult!

          “…to avoid simple minded people like you to go off tangent. My mistake. I assumed I was dealing with adults.”

        • Lord Frijoles
          Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 2:23 AM | Permalink

          My argument is very simple:

          The logic underpinning the (accepted by you) mechanism that I call “prestige by association” can also be used to make a strong case for the existence of the mechanism that others and I have called “exoneration by association”. So yes, to the extent that they share the same characteristics, logic and rationale, I have equated those two mechanisms, not the meaning of the individual words “prestige” and “exoneration”.

          Now, let us look at what you’ve accused (implicitly or explicitly) me of: “Prestige by association.
Prestige is not exoneration”. Your deceptive tricks/tangential games have been exposed, and I don’t want to waste my time with people like you.

        • thisisnotgoodtogo
          Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 2:25 AM | Permalink

          “I’ll explain it as clearly as possible: there is no inconsistency in my arguments”

          I think there is.
          On one hand, you claim it’s absurd to say they are synonymous, yet on the other, you make the equivalency.

        • thisisnotgoodtogo
          Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 2:30 AM | Permalink

          “Now, let us look at what you’ve accused (implicitly or explicitly) me of: “Prestige by association.
Prestige is not exoneration”.

          How is it that you call what I wrote an “accusation”?

        • sue
          Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 2:33 AM | Permalink

          Wow… how about my reply to you above?

        • thisisnotgoodtogo
          Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 2:40 AM | Permalink

          equivalent:

          “equal or interchangeable in value, quantity, significance, etc
          having the same or a similar effect or meaning”

        • Lord Frijoles
          Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 3:08 AM | Permalink

          You’re still trying to say that my equation of “exoneration by association” and “prestige by association is wrong”? still trying to win the argument, eh? Good. I’ll make a very easy argument that anybody will be able to understand. I could care less about your race, but let us suppose that you are white. Let us also suppose that I am black.

          Would you say that you belong to the human race? That you are human? I’d venture to say that your answer would be “yes”. If you ask me the same question, I will also say “yes”.

          You and I are both human, so to the extent that we share that same characteristic, yes, I could say that you and I are equal. The constitution of the USA would strongly agree with me on this point.

          Evidently, the fact that you and I are equal in terms of our humanness doesn’t mean that we share ALL the same characteristics! We both have different skin color, hair, features, etc. and yet, in spite of those differences, you and I are equal in our humanness!

          Likewise, the “exoneration by association” and “prestige by association” mechanisms can be deemed as equal to the extent that they share the same characteristics, rationale and logic!

          I again have to note that you decided not to elaborate on your “No in one sense, yes in another” argument, and instead chose to attempt to divert the issue by bringing up tangential topics and points.

        • sue
          Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 3:15 AM | Permalink

          Mosher, who uses the word tangential as much as this guy ;)

        • thisisnotgoodtogo
          Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 3:29 AM | Permalink

          “You’re still trying to say that my equation of “exoneration by association” and “prestige by association is wrong”? still trying to win the argument, eh? Good. I’ll make a very easy argument that anybody will be able to understand. I could care less about your race, but let us suppose that you are white. Let us also suppose that I am black.

          Would you say that you belong to the human race? That you are human? I’d venture to say that your answer would be “yes”. If you ask me the same question, I will also say “yes”.

          Here you use term “race” to denote both “species” and “skin colour” (or something as yet undetermined). I’d suggest that you are not quite so exquisitely clear as you imagine yourself to be, Dear Lord.

          “You and I are both human, so to the extent that we share that same characteristic, yes, I could say that you and I are equal. The constitution of the USA would strongly agree with me on this point.”

          Yes and no. If you kill me, it’s one thing. If you kill a cop, it’s another. Perhaps killing a police dog is more akin to killing me in terms of penalty to pay.

          “Likewise, the “exoneration by association” and “prestige by association” mechanisms can be deemed as equal to the extent that they share the same characteristics, rationale and logic!’

          You have not shown that “exoneration” shares the same characteristics, rationale, and logic, as ‘prestige”.

        • Lord Frijoles
          Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 3:54 AM | Permalink

          Big fail again: I never said anything similar to ““exoneration” shares the same characteristics, rationale, and logic, as ‘prestige”.

          What I clearly said was that the “prestige by association” (which you find reasonable/acceptable) and the “exoneration by association” mechanisms share the same characteristics (not ALL, of course), rationale and logic. See how easy is to debunk you by using your own words?

          Thisisnotgoodtogo adds: “I’d suggest that you are not quite so exquisitely clear as you imagine yourself to be, Dear Lord”.

          Says the guy who again introduces the “exquisitely clear and explicative” phrase “Yes and no”. Paraphrasing your good friend Sue above, who uses the phrase “yes and no” as much as you do? LOL.

          In any case, I am done with you. It’s good fun to expose your “exquisitely” weak and bogus arguments, but my time is limited, so don’t expect further comments from me.

          PS: you still couldn’t/wouldn’t elaborate on your very profound and exquisite “No in one sense, yes in another” words. LOL

        • thisisnotgoodtogo
          Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 4:06 AM | Permalink

          “Big fail again: I never said anything similar to ““exoneration” shares the same characteristics, rationale, and logic, as ‘prestige”.

          What I clearly said was that the “prestige by association” (which you find reasonable/acceptable) and the “exoneration by association” mechanisms share the same characteristics (not ALL, of course), rationale and logic. See how easy is to debunk you by using your own words?”

          No, I don’t see that you did anything of the sort.

          The words “by association” are identical, which is obvious from the start. No need to talk about characteristics, rationale, and logic, if you are talking about identical words.
          THAT would be absurd, Dear Lord.

          So what WERE you referring to, in Rational, logic, and characteristics, if not the remaining words, the non identical items, Dear Lord?

        • sue
          Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 4:25 AM | Permalink

          “Says the guy who again introduces the “exquisitely clear and explicative” phrase “Yes and no”. Paraphrasing your good friend Sue above, who uses the phrase “yes and no” as much as you do? LOL.”

          I don’t think I have used that phrase?!? Where?

        • thisisnotgoodtogo
          Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 5:02 AM | Permalink

          Our Dear Lord says

          “not ALL, of course”
          in reference to “characteristics” – of the mechanism.

          The Good Lord’s argument, though, depends on “all”, in order to even think to claim that he need provide no further explanation.

          Thus it necessarily involves how the non-identical words affect acceptance of the mechanism’s existence.

        • thisisnotgoodtogo
          Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 5:12 AM | Permalink

          Sue said:

          Your “disrepute by association” insinuates that Spanier’s investigation of Sandusky was just as poor as his investigation of Mann… which is exactly what Steyn was insinuating in his post.”

          That’s certainly what appears to be the implication!
          The Lord, however, appears to be somewhat disinclined to address that glitch.

  37. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 3:25 AM | Permalink

    There is the small point of whether M. Mann would chose to be associated with the science from CRU/UEA.
    For example, there were some heated exchanges from Mann to CRU and others, in which to an ordinary reader, Mann was seeming to exert superiority of ability. These exchanges might have been nothing more than the usual bickering that happens with people locked into a science project; but they could equally be M. Mann not wanting to identify himself with these lower English beings. The latter has some importance if M. Mann is now claiming exoneration by committees investigating the combined science.
    See here for a Climategate email that follows a heated exchange in the days before, in which Ed Cook slapped M. Mann down somewhat –

    Dear Ed (Cook, then at Lamont USA), Tom (Crowley, then at Duke USA), Keith (Briffa, UEA, England), etc.

    In keeping w/ the spirit of Tom’s and Keith’s emails, I wanted to stress, before we all break for the weekend, that this is ultimately about the science, its not personal. If my comments seemed to assail e.g. Keith’s motives or integrity, etc. I believe that they were misunderstood (as I tried to clarify that in my previous message), but I can see that there was a potential for misunderstanding of my message (precision in wording is very important) given the high levels of sensitivity in this debate. So I wanted to leave no uncertainty about that. And of course, I very much apologize to Keith (and Tim) if they took them my comments that way. They, again, were most decidedly not intended that way.
    I hope we can resolve the scientific issues objectively, and w/out injecting or any personal feelings into any of this. There are some substantial scientific differences here, lets let them play out the way they are supposed to, objectively, and in the peer reviewed literature.
    Enjoy the weekend all.
    cheers,
    Mike

    Climategate number 1018647333 dated 12 April 2002. There were other recipients from CRU/UEA.

    Here is an example of Mike’s heat –

    What is unfortunate here then is that Esper et al has been “spun” i to argue that MBH99
    underestimates the quantity it purports to estimate, full Northern Hemisphere annual
    mean temperature. Given the readily acknowledged level of uncertainty in both estimates,
    combined with the “apples and oranges” nature of the comparison between the two (which
    I have sought to clarify in my letter to Science, and in my messages to you all, and the
    comparison plot I provided), I believe it is either sloppy or disingenuous reasoning
    to argue that this is the case. The fact that this sloppiness also readily serves the
    interests of the skeptics is quite unfortunate, but it is indeed beside the point!
    It would probably also be helpful for me to point out, without naming names, that many
    of our most prominent colleagues in the climate research community, as well government
    funding agency representatives, have personally contacted me over the past few weeks to
    express their dismay at the way they believe this study was spun. I won’t get into the
    blame game, because there’s more than enough of that to go around. But when the leaders
    of our scientific research community and our funding managers personally alert us that
    they believe the credibility of our field has been damaged, I think it is time for some
    serious reflection on this episode.
    that’s my final 2 cents,
    Mike

  38. Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 4:34 AM | Permalink

    Another typo: “wildly exaggeratged claim”

  39. Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 6:12 AM | Permalink

    Mann’s legal team have (indirectly) responded to your claims.

    From Climate Science Watch

    “Attempts to discredit Prof. Mann and confuse the facts about his defamation lawsuits keep popping up and circulating in the blogosphere. Here we comment on issues pertaining to the conclusions of the Muir Russell investigation, Mark Steyn’s response and counterclaims, and the status of the case in Canada against Tim Ball.”

    http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/2014/02/25/setting-the-record-straight-on-misleading-claims-against-michael-mann/

    Climate Science Watch is “a sponsored project of the Government Accountability Project” (stated on their website banner) as is Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Jeff Ruch head of PEER was Policy Director and a staff attorney at the GAP. Louis Clark founder and Executive Director, of GAP also sits on the Board of Directors of PEER.

    • HaroldW
      Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 9:44 AM | Permalink

      David Ross (6:12 AM)-
      This was mentioned earlier. Steve’s initital response is upthread. They are apparently correct about Mann v. Ball.

  40. NikFromNYC
    Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 6:16 AM | Permalink

    Tunnel vision about Mann’s own hockey stick shouldn’t prevent the judge and jury from having a glance at Mann’s support of the latest Marcott 2013 hockey stick that any layperson can immediately themselves debunk by just looking at the input data plot that shows no blade whatsoever, calls to authority be damned:

  41. John K.
    Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 6:26 AM | Permalink

    I thought it only takes 3 strikes for an out? Mann is 4 for 4. The sloppiness of his legal pleadings is a clear reflection of the kind of person he is and of his “scientific research”. And he dares to label Dr. Judith Curry as “anti-science.”

  42. pottereaton
    Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 1:40 PM | Permalink

    Websters’ New World:
    1. originally to relieve of; unload (a burden, obligation, etc); hence, to free (a person) from a charge or the imputation of guilt; declare or prove blameless: exculpate.

  43. pottereaton
    Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 1:42 PM | Permalink

    That’s the definition of “exonerate” above. It was in reply to a post that disappeared. Snip if necessary.

  44. Lord Frijoles
    Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 3:31 PM | Permalink

    Please allow me to explain further what I am talking about: I’d say that at least in academia the “by association/implication” logic reigns supreme. That logic is very reasonable to me, and I’d say that any person could find it understandable/reasonable as well. I am going to give you two real life examples of that type of logic, and why it is reasonable.

    Example 1: I lead a research group, and we publish a paper that wins the “best scientific paper award” for 2014. My question is: would it seem reasonable/understandable to you that we’d (individually and as a group) enjoy the fruits of our work (e.g., an increase in salary for me, better laboratories for my research group, employment for one of my PhD students that participated in the investigation, tenure for a junior professor that collaborated in the study)? I’d call this “prestige by association”, and I don’t think it is an unreasonable concept.

    Example 2: years later, it is found that some of the data/images in the study were forged by one of my PhD students. I didn’t make sure personally that all the data/images were legitimate at the time the investigation and paper were put together. I was a poor supervisor, and relied too much on my students. My question is: would it seem reasonable to you that we’d (as a research group and individually) suffer the consequences of the forgery? Does it seem unreasonable to you that we all should suffer “disrepute by association”? In my view, it seems very reasonable that we (as a group and individually) should suffer “disrepute by association” as a result of this.

    Just like “prestige by association” and “disrepute by association”, “exoneration by association” seems very understandable/reasonable to me, at least with respect to some specific claims.

  45. HAS
    Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

    I know nothing of the law as it applies here, but from what I read it sounds to me that “exoneration” and who provided it etc relates to the need to demonstrate the defendants showed malice. Thus the test isn’t just did someone claim to exonerate Mann (whether directly or by association), or did they make it widely public. The hurdle is higher. To be malicious it seems to me the claims need to have been made in the face of relatively uncontroversial public evidence that the hands weren’t in the till.

    If there is genuine independent controversy about the claims of exoneration, and someone gives voice to them, it seems hard to argue on that ground alone that they were malicious. And the weaker the case for claims of public exoneration, so the claims for malicious behaviour diminish.

  46. Bob Koss
    Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 4:40 PM | Permalink

    IF I had not worked on your mythical paper, but had worked on a paper with you at another time, should I get any dis/credit related to your mythical paper? None of Mann’s science was evaluated.

    See my previous comment about one page up.

  47. gunstar1
    Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 6:11 PM | Permalink

    I think most people understand what you are saying, and a jury might be swayed by such things.

    The _______ by association typically needs to at least be fairly close association.

    What if something came out that hinted at some bit of work in the past was fraudulent. Because of how the work is done, it isn’t known who did the fraudulent work or whether it was even in a group you were a part of. Does an inquiry into someone you occasionally work with which investigates nothing the two of you worked on together, that then exonerates the other person, prove you did not do fraudulent work?

    I wouldn’t fault Mann’s lawyer for trying to imply that it does, however it is something else entirely to state in no uncertain terms that it really does show he is innocent and everyone should have known it.

  48. pottereaton
    Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 8:40 PM | Permalink

    Doctor: What you are in effect arguing is that Steyn et al should have intuited that Mann was exonerated by all the inquiries, even when he specifically was not. Clearly that would not be fair to them, that they should be held accountable for defamation because of something as tenuous as that.

    I believe good defense lawyers will dispose of that argument quickly in court.

    That said, I agree, that the connection between Mann and CRU was a fairly close working relationship even though they worked on different continents. But it would not be unreasonable for Steyn to believe that the MR investigation did not exonerate Mann. In other words, he would not be recklessly disregarding the truth if he did believe otherwise.

  49. Bob Koss
    Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 4:41 PM | Permalink

    That was a misplaced reply to Lord F.

  50. Lord Frijoles
    Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 6:06 PM | Permalink

    Bob Koss says: “None of Mann’s science was evaluated”.

    If you mean to say that none of the reviewed papers included Mann as a co-author, then you’d be right, and the “exoneration by association” claim apparently used by Mann and his lawyers wouldn’t apply at all.

    This in turn makes think that if it is true that no paper that was reviewed by the different UK commissions/panels included Mann as a co-author, shouldn’t this be used as a more concise, clear, powerful and effective argument against Mann’s claims of exoneration?

    example:

    Mann: “Different UK panels have exonerated me and my work”.

    Steyn: “Show me the papers you authored/co-authored that were reviewed by the UK panels and that are the basis for your claims of exoneration”.

    Mann: ————————

    That would seem to me like a slam dunk, powerful, concise and easy to explain argument by the opponents of Mann that any and all members of the jury/public could understand.

  51. Robert Swan
    Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 7:50 PM | Permalink

    Alternatively, why not ask what specific charge(s) he thinks he has been exonerated of? He might, at a stretch, claim some level of vindication from these enquiries, but he was never in the dock, so can’t have been cleared.

  52. Coldish
    Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 6:46 AM | Permalink

    Lord Frijoles’ point about CRU-Mann co-authorship seems to me to deserve consideration. It’s certainly something Mann’s lawyers could bring up.
    Do we have lists of which CRU-authored publications were considered by the various panels? Which of the panels considered CRU publications in detail? or with regard to their scientific merit/content? Were any members of the panels co-authors with Mann?
    There should be a list in existence at least for the Oxburgh enquiry, as it was compiled in consultation with the Royal Society.

    Steve: the Oxburgh list is in their report and, as earlier discussed, does not include anything coauthored with Mann. Despite all their Climategate correspondence, there are only a few coauthorships between CRU and Mann: Mann and Jones 2003 – described by Bradley as one of the worst articles; Rutherford et al 2005, in which Rutherford applied EIV to Briffa MXD truncating in 1960; Mann et al 2003, their hit job on Soon and Baliunas; Jones and Mann 2004.

  53. pottereaton
    Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 8:43 PM | Permalink

    The comment above at 8:40 was in reply to this comment:

    http://climateaudit.org/2014/02/25/mann-misrepresents-the-uk-department-of-energy-and-climate-change/#comment-487296

  54. Lord Frijoles
    Posted Feb 26, 2014 at 9:53 PM | Permalink

    Pottereaton says: “What you are in effect arguing is that Steyn et al should have intuited that Mann was exonerated by all the inquiries, even when he specifically was not. Clearly that would not be fair to them, that they should be held accountable for defamation because of something as tenuous as that”.

    I am not implying anything with respect to what Steyn should have understood/intuited by the results of the different inquiries, if he ever read them. Don’t confuse the different arguments here. What I am arguing for is the validity of the “exonerated by association” claim that Mann and his lawyers appear to be using, which in my view seems extremely reasonable. Please see my above reply to Steve Mc.

    Potterwaton says: “That said, I agree, that the connection between Mann and CRU was a fairly close working relationship even though they worked on different continents. But it would not be unreasonable for Steyn to believe that the MR investigation did not exonerate Mann. In other words, he would not be recklessly disregarding the truth if he did believe otherwise”.

    I totally agree with you on this. Steyn can understandably and legitimately claim that since the terms of reference/conclusions didn’t mention Mann by name, he (Steyn) took them to mean that Mann had not been exonerated by the UK investigations. Likewise, in my view, Mann and his lawyers can reasonably claim “exoneration by association” if and only if at least one of reviewed papers included Mann as a co-author.

  55. Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 12:11 AM | Permalink

    Lord F,
    “I totally agree with you on this. Steyn can understandably and legitimately claim that since the terms of reference/conclusions didn’t mention Mann by name, he (Steyn) took them to mean that Mann had not been exonerated by the UK investigations.”

    Maybe Steyn could argue that, but the CEI/Simberg motion really pounds the table about the two UEA investigations. They are using the findings to attack Mann. It’s hard to say they are irrelevant. If they say the bad bits are bad for Mann, it’s hard to say he can’t mention the good bits in his favor.

  56. Joe
    Posted Mar 3, 2014 at 6:57 PM | Permalink

    Rightfully or wrongly – the exoneration by association will hinge to a large degree on the judge and who is in the jury pool.

    Those who are inclined to believe the science is settled will likely accept the exoneration by association. Those who believe the science is not settled will likely discount any exoneration by association.

    The plaintiff stragity appears to be based on a likely jury pool of those who believe the science is settled.

  57. thisisnotgoodtogo
    Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 12:49 AM | Permalink

    “If they say the bad bits are bad for Mann, it’s hard to say he can’t mention the good bits in his favor.”

    Mann insists that the good applies to him but not the bad. Since this is about Mann’s responses, do you see the problem?

  58. AndyL
    Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 3:01 AM | Permalink

    What are the “good bits” from the two investigations that are related specifically to Mann that he could mention in his favour?

  59. MJW
    Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 4:33 PM | Permalink

    That seems like an example of “taking for the bait” on the part of the defense lawyers. That still doesn’t make the UEA investigations relevant to proving the defendants doubted the truth of their statements. I expect Steve McIntyre’s analyses of the investigations will lead the defense to take a different tack in the future.

  60. Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 3:53 AM | Permalink

    To take just one example, the defense says:
    ‘Similarly, a UEA Scientific Assessment Panel[Oxburgh], conceded that, “[w]ith very noisy data sets,” such as in proxy-based temperature reconstruction, “a great deal of judgment has to be used,” and “[t]he potential for misleading results arising from selection bias is very great in this area….”’
    but Oxburgh went on to say:
    ‘After reading publications and interviewing the senior staff of CRU in depth, we are satisfied that the CRU tree-ring work has been carried out with integrity, and that allegations of deliberate misrepresentation and unjustified selection of data are not valid.’

    Not mentioning Mann, but it answered the selective quote from the defense.

  61. thisisnotgoodtogo
    Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 3:57 AM | Permalink

    What CRU did with tree rings is not what Mann did with their work.
    They did not interview Mann.

  62. MJW
    Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 4:35 PM | Permalink

    Should be, “taking the bait”. I don’t knok how the for slipped it.

  63. MJW
    Posted Feb 27, 2014 at 4:39 PM | Permalink

    Should be, “taking for the bait”, I don’t know how the for slipped in.

  64. Coldish
    Posted Feb 28, 2014 at 3:25 AM | Permalink

    Thanks, Steve. A great job you’re doing. Maybe Steyn needs an advocate who can (if required) put all these points you’ve been making across to the court calmly and clearly.

  65. Lord Frijoles
    Posted Feb 28, 2014 at 4:18 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for your comments Coldfish.

    Steve just clarified something extremely important: “the Oxburgh list is in their report and, as earlier discussed, does not include anything coauthored with Mann”. This means that Mann and his lawyers can’t invoke the reasonable argument of “exoneration by association”.

    This leads me to a different point: shouldn’t this undeniable and undisputable fact (i.e. Mann’s papers weren’t even included in the papers reviewed by the Oxburgh investigation) be used as the strongest, most concise, clearest, most powerful and most effective argument against Mann’s claims of exoneration?
    Shouldn’t this be used as the lead argument against Mann’s team claims of no wrong doing?


    Example:

    Mann: “Different UK panels have exonerated me and my work”.

    Steyn: “Show me the papers you authored/co-authored that were reviewed by the UK (e.g. Oxburgh’s) panels and that are the basis for your claims of exoneration”.

    Mann: “ehh, none of my papers were reviewed by the different panels…”

    Steyn: “how can you then argue that you and your work have been exonerated if your papers weren’t even considered by the UK panels?”

    Mann: “oops ………….”

    That would seem to me like a slam dunk, powerful, concise and easy to explain argument by the opponents of Mann that any and all members of the jury/public could understand.

  66. Joe
    Posted Feb 28, 2014 at 4:49 PM | Permalink

    “That would seem to me like a slam dunk, powerful, concise and easy to explain argument by the opponents of Mann that any and all members of the jury/public could understand.”

    By any objective criteria – your logic is correct.

    However, as previously mentioned by others, Mann has been exonerated by association ( not by actual real investigation). The judge is predisposed to believe the science is settled and to believe he has been defamed, the jury pool from the DC area are also likely to being predisposed to believing the science is settled and as such are likely to discount any evidence of shoddy investigation or lack of actual / objective exoneration.

    My prediction is that a judgment in favor of Mann will be overturned on appeal

  67. Lord Frijoles
    Posted Feb 28, 2014 at 5:10 PM | Permalink

    It is evident that Mann and his lawyers will make any and all kinds of arguments, however absurd they may be. A lawyer once said to me that in front of a jury/judge, the goal is to force your opponent to make arguments so incredibly ridiculous/absurd that any fair minded person would understand them as such.

    That’s exactly my point: In my view, Steny should force Mann and lawyers to make the incredibly ridiculous and absurd argument that even though Mann’s own work/papers weren’t even included in the investigations, Mann’s integrity was exonerated by those panels. I can’t think of a more absurd thing to say in front of a jury/judge.

    That’s why I said that this should be the principal line of questioning against Mann.

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] 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 word) to substantiate […]

  2. […] to read and the comments are very entertaining. The posts are here, here, here, here, here, and here, with another post added […]

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