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Climategate Scientist Threatens Lawsuit Over ‘Hide The Decline’ YouTube Video

One of the key scientists at the center of the Climategate email scandal has threatened suit against the creators of a video parodying the event. Lawyers for Dr. Michael Mann of Penn State University say the video “irreparably harms Dr. Mann’s personal and professional reputation.”

The video, launched last November in the wake of the scandal that saw some of the top climate scientists’ emails exposed, uses an image of Mann taken from Penn State’s website. Singing the refrain “Hide the Decline” which refers to one of the more controversial emails, the video is set to the tune of “Draggin the Line” by Tommy James and the Shondells.

Originally created by the operators of the website Minnesotans for Global Warming (M4GW), the video became a YouTube sensation and garnered over half a million views in five months.

In a letter from the lawfirm Cozen – O’Connor Attorneys, Peter Fontaine demands that all versions of the video be pulled from YouTube and other sites. Fontaine writes that, “The referenced video clearly defames Professor Mann by leaving viewers with the incorrect impression that he falsified data to generate desired results in connection with his research activities.”

M4GW has complied with the removal request but many copies of the video published on other sites and by other people persist on the Internet. The group said they only complied because they did not have the financial resources to defend themselves.

The group has created a webpage outlining the problems with Mann’s infamous and now discredited ‘hockey stick.’ The page further discusses what the scientists were referring to when they discussed “Mike’s Nature trick” to hide a decline in temperatures shown in data.Members of a coalition of climate change skeptics, the No Cap-and-Trade coalition, have jumped to defend M4GW. They say on their website, “As a public figure engaged in a public policy debate, Dr. Mann has no expectation of privacy and is subject to public criticism for his position on the issues.”

Climate Change Examiner, 27 April 2010