Climate Data Manipulator Michael Mann Wins Libel Suit

Michael Mann, the climate “scientist” responsible for the now debunked “hockey stick graph”, has won a libel lawsuit against two bloggers who criticized his work back in 2012. The defendants were Rand Simberg and Mark Steyn. Simberg wrote an article for the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) website, and Steyn penned a piece for the National Review that quoted Simberg.

Mann was awarded only $1 in compensatory damages from both men, but the punitive damages were $1000 from Simberg and $1 million from Steyn.

These amounts are very telling. First, the lack of a meaningful compensatory award indicates no real damage was done to Mann. Second, the large “punitive” award indicates that the jury members are “true believers” in the conventional narrative on climate change, and the verdict was an activist statement. Mann was handed a victory intended to set a precedent and make a statement — one intended to stifle free speech and quell debate on climate change.

Indeed, Mann’s attorney attempted to frame the verdict in this manner in his closing statement: “These attacks on Climate Scientists have to stop, and you now have the opportunity—” The judge cut him off upon objection by the defense counsel.

This science was indeed not on trial in this case, and the punitive judgment was likely due in part to a comparison of Mann with convicted criminal Jerry Sandusky in Simberg’s paper: “Mann could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except for instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data.”

Steyn has been a frequent contributor to Fox News, has substituted for commentator Tucker Carlson and guest-hosted for the late Rush Limbaugh’s radio program. The judgment against him may have been a “lifetime achievement award” for his conservative and climate-skeptic views.

Mann additionally stated in the trial that someone gave him a “mean look that expressed revulsion” while he was shopping at a grocery store. Mann did not mention whether right-wing extremists also beat him up and stole his lunch money.

What did come out in the trial were many unsavory aspects of Mann’s character along with his numerous suspicious dealings. He falsely claimed he won the Nobel Prize, sabotaged the publication of a rival climate scientist’s paper, and manipulated data to reach pre-desired conclusions.

Even some who are sympathetic to Mann are uneasy with the verdict, well aware of its free speech implications. “There’s a potential that they’ll do mischief in future cases against news organizations,” said University of Minnesota law professor Dr. Jane Kirtley, in a statement for Just The News.

She indicated that the verdict has a better-than-average chance of reversal on anti-SLAPP grounds upon appeal. Anti-SLAPP laws are intended to combat lawsuits whose intention is to stifle free speech. This would result in Mann being required to pay the defendant’s legal expenses.

Michael Mann’s 1999 paper generated the infamous “hockey stick graph,” so named because it appeared to show that global temperatures in the 20th century rose to extreme and unprecedented levels, presumably due to modern carbon dioxide emission. However, other researchers showed that these results were obtained by eliminating data from the Medieval Warming Period, centuries before industrial carbon dioxide emissions. Mann’s faked graph has been the centerpiece of many climate alarmists’ messages, such as Al Gore’s 2006 An Inconvenient Truth.