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Media Ignores Michael Mann’s Court Loss — It Doesn’t Fit The Warmist Agenda

Editorial, Issues & Insights

Last week, a Canadian court tossed out a lawsuit in which Michael Mann, the researcher who published the idolized hockey stick temperature chart, had sued another researcher for libel. Did the mainstream media run with this story? Of course not. That would ruin the narrative.

Mann became famous for the chart, which showed temperatures running along in a horizontal fashion before spiking at the beginning of the 20th century. It was the “evidence” the global warming alarmists had been waiting for — “science” that showed human activity was overheating Earth. It was included in at least one United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.

Not all were convinced, however. There were questions about the data he used to create the stick, which he wouldn’t release. It has been called “100% fraudulent,” an “artifact of poor mathematics,” and a violation of “of scientific standards.”

Mann has been accused of engaging in “data manipulation,” and “academic and scientific misconduct.”

Some years after the stick was constructed, Canadian statisticians Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick challenged Mann’s work. They argued the “recent paleoclimate reconstruction by Mann et al. does not provide reliable evidence about climate change over the past millennium, because their data are inconsistent and their confidence intervals are wrong.” 

Climate researcher Tim Ball even went so deep as to say that Mann “belongs in the state pen, not Penn State,” where Mann conducts research. Ball found out that was the wrong thing to say. Mann sued him in Canada.

Ball, however, beat Mann in court. The case was dismissed Friday. Almost immediately, Ball wrote to Anthony Watts of the wattsupwiththat website, telling him “Mann’s case against me was dismissed this morning by the (British Columbia) Supreme Court and they awarded me (court) costs.”  According to John Hinderaker, an attorney and PowerLine blog contributor, the case was thrown out “with prejudice.”

What happened was that Dr. Ball asserted a truth defense. He argued that the hockey stick was a deliberate fraud, something that could be proved if one had access to the data and calculations, in particular the R2 regression analysis, underlying it,” Hinderaker wrote. “Mann refused to produce these documents. He was ordered to produce them by the court and given a deadline. He still refused to produce them, so the court dismissed his case.”

John O’Sullivan at Principia Scientific International believes the “extraordinary outcome will likely trigger severe legal repercussions for Dr. Mann in the U.S. and may prove fatal to alarmist climate science claims that modern temperatures are ‘unprecedented.’”

Big news, right? Not in the U.S. The media that acts as the climate hysterics’ public relations arm has ignored the case.

So it’s just a Canadian story, then? Not hardly. The U.S. media played the hockey stick as an American/Western/global story. What happens to its author in a courtroom should be U.S. news.

It’s plausible that the media have deserted Mann. Several mainstream outlets sided with the Competitive Enterprise Institute and National Review, which the litigious Mann had sued for defamation. They were concerned that allowing the lawsuit to go forward would be a threat to First Amendment freedoms.

But the lack of coverage would be the same if any climate alarmist had suffered a legal loss. 

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