Announcement

Collapse

Civics 101 Guidelines

Want to argue about politics? Healthcare reform? Taxes? Governments? You've come to the right place!

Try to keep it civil though. The rules still apply here.
See more
See less

Michael Mann vs. Competitive Enterprise Institute, et al.,

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Michael Mann vs. Competitive Enterprise Institute, et al.,

    This thread is devoted to the litigation of Michael Mann vs. the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Rand Simberg.

    The following is a copy of the INTRODUCTION section of the Brief of Appellants Competitive Enterprise Institute and Rand Simberg
    INTRODUCTION

    This case implicates nothing less than the District of Columbia’s commitment to “the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open, and that it may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials” and public figures. New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 270 (1964); see also Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts, 388 US 130, 155 (1967). Few debates are more consequential than that over the public-policy response to climate change. And underlying that debate is a scientific question: whether the Twentieth Century experienced anomalous warming, suggesting worse to come absent enormous reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, or whether it was within the range of normal, historical variation in temperature, suggesting that expensive remedial measures may cause more harm than good. Plaintiff Michael Mann asserts his research reconstructing historical temperatures from measurements of tree rings, ice cores, and the like puts that question to rest and makes the case for immediate and aggressive action. Many disagree, arguing that his and other climate scientists’ statistical models are biased in favor of the catastrophic view. That criticism received substantial support from the “Climategate” scandal, which disclosed emails showing that Dr. Mann and other climate scientists used techniques that exaggerated the threat of global warming—including, most notoriously, a statistical “trick” devised by Dr. Mann to “hide the decline” in temperatures—and sought to blackball dissenting views within their field. Frustrated by Climategate’s impact on the climate change debate, Dr. Mann’s brought this lawsuit to, in his own words, “fight back against the attacks” by “groups seeking to discredit the case for concern over climate change.”

    Dr. Mann’s lawsuit is premised on a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of scientific progress and a misapplication of decades of constitutional and common law. He argues that, because his research has supposedly been “exonerated” by the government, any vigorous challenge to it is false and defamatory. But that’s not how science or the First Amendment works. Scientific progress depends on skepticism, the willingness to challenge received wisdom in search of truth. Likewise, “the basis of the First Amendment is the hypothesis that speech can rebut speech, propaganda will answer propaganda, free debate of ideas will result in the wisest governmental policies.” Dennis v. United States, 341 U.S. 494, 503 (1951). Thus, our progress depends on the free exchange of ideas, especially those ideas that may be unpopular or buck the “consensus” view. Mann’s belief that once a “consensus” has been reached, or a view has been endorsed by the government, any disagreement with it is an illegitimate attack unworthy of First Amendment protection contradicts the history of scientific progress from the ancient Greeks to the present and our Nation’s deeply held commitment to free expression as the means of achieving that progress.

    Dr. Mann may be sincere in his calls for urgent political action to limit greenhouse gas emissions and his warnings that failure to act may spell catastrophe. But “[f]ear of serious injury cannot alone justify suppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.” Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357, 376 (1927) (Brandeis, J., concurring). Or where those fears are rational, to confirm them. In the American system, speech is how we distinguish between the two. The Court should reaffirm that principle and dismiss this case.
    Last edited by John Reece; 08-10-2014, 10:18 AM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by John Reece View Post
    This thread is devoted to the litigation of Michael Mann vs. the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Rand Simberg.

    The following is a copy of the INTRODUCTION section of the Brief of Appellants Competitive Enterprise Institute and Rand Simberg
    INTRODUCTION

    This case implicates nothing less than the District of Columbia’s commitment to “the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open, and that it may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials” and public figures. New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254, 270 (1964); see also Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts, 388 US 130, 155 (1967). Few debates are more consequential than that over the public-policy response to climate change. And underlying that debate is a scientific question: whether the Twentieth Century experienced anomalous warming, suggesting worse to come absent enormous reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, or whether it was within the range of normal, historical variation in temperature, suggesting that expensive remedial measures may cause more harm than good. Plaintiff Michael Mann asserts his research reconstructing historical temperatures from measurements of tree rings, ice cores, and the like puts that question to rest and makes the case for immediate and aggressive action. Many disagree, arguing that his and other climate scientists’ statistical models are biased in favor of the catastrophic view. That criticism received substantial support from the “Climategate” scandal, which disclosed emails showing that Dr. Mann and other climate scientists used techniques that exaggerated the threat of global warming—including, most notoriously, a statistical “trick” devised by Dr. Mann to “hide the decline” in temperatures—and sought to blackball dissenting views within their field. Frustrated by Climategate’s impact on the climate change debate, Dr. Mann’s brought this lawsuit to, in his own words, “fight back against the attacks” by “groups seeking to discredit the case for concern over climate change.”

    Dr. Mann’s lawsuit is premised on a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of scientific progress and a misapplication of decades of constitutional and common law. He argues that, because his research has supposedly been “exonerated” by the government, any vigorous challenge to it is false and defamatory. But that’s not how science or the First Amendment works. Scientific progress depends on skepticism, the willingness to challenge received wisdom in search of truth. Likewise, “the basis of the First Amendment is the hypothesis that speech can rebut speech, propaganda will answer propaganda, free debate of ideas will result in the wisest governmental policies.” Dennis v. United States, 341 U.S. 494, 503 (1951). Thus, our progress depends on the free exchange of ideas, especially those ideas that may be unpopular or buck the “consensus” view. Mann’s belief that once a “consensus” has been reached, or a view has been endorsed by the government, any disagreement with it is an illegitimate attack unworthy of First Amendment protection contradicts the history of scientific progress from the ancient Greeks to the present and our Nation’s deeply held commitment to free expression as the means of achieving that progress.

    Dr. Mann may be sincere in his calls for urgent political action to limit greenhouse gas emissions and his warnings that failure to act may spell catastrophe. But “[f]ear of serious injury cannot alone justify suppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.” Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357, 376 (1927) (Brandeis, J., concurring). Or where those fears are rational, to confirm them. In the American system, speech is how we distinguish between the two. The Court should reaffirm that principle and dismiss this case.
    Mark Steyn has filed an Amicus Curiae Brief in support of neither party in Michael Mann's lawsuit against Competitive Enterprise Institute, et al. and National Review. The Amicus Curiae states that "Mark Steyn brings this brief in support of neither affirmance or reversal, but instead in support of an expeditious ruling on this matter."

    Read the brief here.

    Comment


    • #3
      I just finished reading The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and the Corruption of Science, by A. W. Montford, which consists of 496 pages of meticulously documented information about Steve McIntyre's diligent and talented work seeking to replicate Michael Mann's Hockey Stick, as all the while Mann et al. steadfastly refused to release the data and computer code necessary for a definitive replication. McIntyre was quite experienced and well qualified to analyze as well as possible Mann's work, without having access to the actual data and code withheld by Mann and all his colleagues. It's quite a saga, revealing much about the character and conduct of Mann, his associates, and other personnel employed by the IPCC. So, it was with great interest that I just now found McIntyre's Author Archives page, from which the following is an extract.

      From Climate Audit
      Misrepresentations and the Tainted Narrative of Mann’s Complaint

      By Steve McIntyre

      August 26, 2014

      In a recent post, I observed that Mann’s Statement of Claim contained a bizarre misrepresentation about the nature of Mann’s research, as it falsely credited Mann with being “one of the first” to document the increase in 20th century temperatures. Reader PhilH, a retired judge, observed that, on its own, the misrepresentation was merely odd and that it would have significance for the pleadings only if it could be connected to the narrative of the case. In today’s post, I’ll try to do exactly that. [...]


      Conclusion

      In my opinion, Mann’s wild and reckless allegation that CEI and National Review had made a “deliberate attempt to hide information” does not have a shred of justification.

      On the other hand, Mann and his lawyers falsely claimed that Mann had been “one of the first to document the steady rise in surface temperatures during the 20th Century and the steep increase in measured temperatures since the 1950s” and that “as a result of this research, Dr. Mann and his colleagues were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.” (The latter false representation has been removed in the Amendment, but not the former.) These claims connected with a narrative that later prominently featured an EPA statement concluded that allegations that “temperature data and trends” were a “myth”, a statement that might also have been inconsequentially irrelevant, except for the prior misrepresentation of Mann’s research as being about temperature data. Further, Mann’s lawyers also purported to connect allegations in the CEI petition of manipulation of temperature data to controversy about Mann by falsely claiming that CEI had included Mann in their accusation of manipulation of “temperature data”.

      That Mann’s lawyers have made misrepresentations to the Court is beyond dispute. (Even Nick Stokes concedes the misrepresentation about the nature of Mann’s work.)

      But whereas Mann’s lawyers made the further defamatory allegation that CEI and National Review had “deliberate[ly]” attempted to hide information from the Court, it seems more charitable to presume that Mann’s lawyers did not “deliberately” mislead the Court about the nature of Mann’s research or the supposed links between EPA statements about “temperature data and trends” and Mann’s work, because they incorrectly believed that Mann’s research was about temperature data. After all, Sarah Palin made the same mistake about Climategate emails.

      Comment

      Related Threads

      Collapse

      Topics Statistics Last Post
      Started by Starlight, Yesterday, 11:51 PM
      4 responses
      26 views
      1 like
      Last Post shunyadragon  
      Started by Ronson, Yesterday, 07:32 PM
      18 responses
      79 views
      0 likes
      Last Post rogue06
      by rogue06
       
      Started by shunyadragon, Yesterday, 06:22 PM
      4 responses
      51 views
      1 like
      Last Post firstfloor  
      Started by firstfloor, Yesterday, 11:01 AM
      30 responses
      132 views
      1 like
      Last Post rogue06
      by rogue06
       
      Started by Ronson, Yesterday, 09:42 AM
      18 responses
      73 views
      1 like
      Last Post Mountain Man  
      Working...
      X