Another Legal Win for Michael Mann
June 13, 2016
It’s not mandatory that you be following the legal to-and-fro behind the scenes between climate scientists and deniers. But this is humorous enough that it merits an update.
If you’re reading this, odds are that you’re interested in the war on science. In that case, you’ll probably be interested in the new book on The War on Science. Media Matters beat us to the punch with a nice review and summary (though we’ll probably write one too…)
If there’s one mann with the most first hand knowledge of the war on science, though, it’s Dr. Michael Mann. While the deniers’ organized attacks on scientists are a method of intimidation designed to discourage scientists from speaking out (a topic he documents first hand with The Hockey Stick and Climate Wars), Dr. Mann has opted to fight back.
One of the fronts in the Climate Science Wars is Dr. Mann’s lawsuit against the National Review Online, Competitive Enterprise Institute and Mark Steyn. In a couple of intertwined blog posts in 2012, they accuse Dr. Mann’s hockey stick of being a product of fraud, and since it’s not, he’s suing for defamation.
In the years since the initial filing, Mann’s gotten two favorable decisions to allow the case to proceed. But in terms of courtroom drama, not much has transpired, with the exception of Steyn’s decision to split from the other two defendants. This has been considered a questionable move, and by all appearances, it seems Steyn is more interested in wasting everyone’s time, while complaining that it’s Dr. Mann who’s slowing the process.
But last week saw movement, as Steyn’s request that the suit be dismissed was itself dismissed, as a similar request was in 2014. So this is a small win for Mann, and a loss for Steyn. The judge’s patience with Steyn’s antics seems to be wearing thin, as the ruling notes that “Only one thing has changed since the court last considered this issue on April 11, 2014 – the date.”
The heart of the current issue is that Steyn wanted the discovery process to move forward for his case, while the NRO and CEI cases continue the appeals process. But since it’s all really one case, that wouldn’t make much sense, and would be a waste of time. According to Mann’s statement: “We are pleased with the decision by the court. While we are prejudiced by further delay (as was indicated in the letter we submitted to the Court of Appeals), we opposed Steyn’s request because proceeding with discovery without all defendants would be inefficient and unfair.”
You can be forgiven if you don’t know who the hell Mark Steyn is. Memory jog.
A casual observer of Ted Cruz’ bizarre freak show of a hearing the of December 2015, might have assumed that one of the witnesses, Mark Steyn, was merely another petulant, insufferable, radio schlockjock Rush Limbaugh Wannabee, ever-so-sure-the-scientists-are-trying-to-fool-him conspiracy nut.
But they would have missed Mr Steyn’s sensitive groovy side. Turns out he’s a really swingin’ cat, in a far right wing hater kind of way. No, I didn’t buy any of his music, merely recorded some mercifully short snips from the Amazon page where he peddles this stuff.