Larry Clifton has suggested that Michael Mann’s law suit against the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the National Review, Mark Steyn, and Rand Simberg is ruining it for everyone, and a lot of his right wing conservative friends agree. But they are all wrong, so wrong that one wonders how they could be so wrong. It smells to me like willful ignorance.
For people who spend most of their time whinging about how other people are ruining the Constitution, they don’t know much about the Constitution. A document filed as a “friend of the court” brief by a gaggle of Defenders of Liberty and Stuff states, “While Mann essentially claims that he can silence critics because he is ‘right,’ the judicial system should not be the arbiter of either scientific truth or correct public policy,” the brief states, adding that “a participant in the ‘rough-and-tumble’ of public debate should not be able to use a lawsuit like this to silence his critics, regardless of whether one agrees with Mann or defendants.”
The title of Clifton’s piece is “Climate change advocate sues over rejection of his work” which very clearly indicates that the suit is about Mann’s scientific work and over objections to that work. It isn’t. Perhaps the title of that post was added by an Intern in the editorial office, and if so, somebody should fix that, but if the title o the post is meant to imply the meaning of the post, then Clifton clearly misunderstand, deeply and completely, what is going on with the suit.
The judicial system is not being asked to arbitrate about the science or to address “rejection” of any scientific work by anyone. It is easy to prove that Michael Mann is engaged in a number of scientific debates. This one and this one come to mind. This is not about defining or interpreting the science, never was, can not possibly be interpreted that way by an honest observer.
This is not about public policy. Again, Mann is engaged in debates about that too. But the law suit is not about that. Never was.
A law suit about science interpretation or public policy would have been tossed out first thing.
The law suit is about a very specific and actionable libelous accusation of professional misconduct, not about the validity of Mann’s research, or the reality of global warming. Clifton and his friends make an utterly absurd claim that this is about criticism of Mann’s research, that Mann is suing someone who disagreed with him. No, it is not, that is not what happened, this is not what the suit is about, and any assertion along these lines comes from ignorance of one kind or another, either simple ignorance of the narrative or willful ignorance designed to produce a particular effect.
So, no, Larry, you’ve got this totally wrong.
(Sort of off topic, but Larry, you also have the bits about global warming in your post totally wrong as well. Sort of “bigfoot is real” level wrong, actually.)