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The Hockey Stick on trial

I think it’s about time we mentioned that the Steyn v Mann defamation trial is currently taking place in Washington D.C.. For those who have forgotten – or never knew in the first place – this concerns articles that Mark Steyn and his co-defendent blogger Rand Simburg wrote twelve years ago accusing university employee Michael Mann of fraud in scientific research.

This is the first time the Hockey Stick graph – which suggested a dramatic and unprecedented rise in global temperatures – has been subject to judicial examination.

If you want to follow daily proceedings you might like to check out the Climate Science on Trial podcast hosted by Phelim McAleer and Ann McIlhenny.

19 comments to The Hockey Stick on trial

  • Kirk

    The fact that Mann has had massive and free legal support is something worth contemplating. Given the massive power of the courts, I think we’re eventually going to be forced to do something about this sort of inequity.

    Steyn is having to pay for his legal support, while Mann gets his for free. Is that an equal-before-the-law situation?

    I think that the playing field ought to be equal, especially in these cases where a lone plaintiff is taking on the state. Either the state needs to provide equal legal support to the plaintiff, or the state needs to have its legal team leveled down to the same thing that the plaintiff can afford. Same budget, same number of lawyers… You can’t get a fair adjudication when you’ve got one lone lawyer going up against an entire team.

    This is something that needs to be fixed.

  • Steven R

    Is it equal-before-the-law when the state has an effectively unlimited warchest when prosecuting or suing a citizen but that poor guy only has whatever cash he can scrape up or sell his house or whatever to fund his attorney or hope for a halfway competent public defender? Or a megacorporation with a staff of in house counsel types decides to crush a peon? Or a city decides to crush a small business owner with rules and regulations until the guy just quits?

    Lawfare is a real thing.

  • Lee Moore

    DC ?

    Steyn is toast.

  • bobby b

    “DC ?

    Steyn is toast.”

    Maybe not. This particular judge has been making sounds that could make one think that the jury will never be given the case. Or I could just be overly hopeful.

  • I sneeze in threes

    Steyn is defending himself so we got to hear him make his own opening statement. It was quite wonderful. I do hope Mann appears as a witness then Steyn can cross examine him. It will be be most entertaining and educational.

  • Stonyground

    I’m wondering if this trial will serve as a test case since there is a whole climate alarm industry out there that is simply riddled with fraud. How could it be otherwise when a whole scientific paradigm is being pushed that is simply not true. The original notion that the Earth would be devastated by deserts and rising sea levels has been completely falsified, it was supposed to have happened by now and it hasn’t. So the charlatans have switched to claiming that every bit of bad weather, be it hot, cold, flood or draught, is being caused or exacerbated by climate change. Their assertion now is that extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and more intense. There is simply no evidence for this, the actual data imply the opposite. Mann is just the tip of the iceberg.

  • John

    Even in the highly unlikely event of a rational verdict in a DC court the climate change industry will simply fund appeal after appeal with the sole intention of breaking Steyn financially (as he has been saying for over a decade now “The process is the punishment”) even if his extremely parlous health doesn’t eventually render him incapable of defending himself.

    There’s way too much invested in this global scam to allow the truth to be acknowledged. He has fought the good fight and will go down swinging but he’s still going down.

  • JB

    If Steyn loses this case, it will be the death of Sullivan and basically the American standard of defamation will fall in line with the English one and the 1st Amendment is toast. Given the current state of unequal application of the law in America, it will inevitably usher in not a chill but an ice age for free speech that challenges those in power.

  • Stonyground

    “There’s way too much invested in this global scam to allow the truth to be acknowledged.”

    I think that this is a significant problem, the climate change meme is far too useful to those who love to tell others how to live. Reality must intrude eventually but who knows how long it might take?

  • John

    The only way reality is finally going to intrude is when the wheels, powered by solar, wind and blind faith, finally grind to a halt and the lights go out all over the net zero (western) world.

  • The Manhattan Contrarian has a few posts over the last week covering the trial, including some “interesting” things that didn’t make it to the televised coverage.

  • Jim

    “I think that this is a significant problem, the climate change meme is far too useful to those who love to tell others how to live. Reality must intrude eventually but who knows how long it might take?”

    What reality? I keep asking the same question and no-one wants to answer it – what can happen out there in the real world not controlled by the ecoBlob (who control all the media, political and bureaucratic spheres) that will derail this thing? Just all the lights going off won’t derail it, because all that derails is the response to ‘climate change’. It doesn’t invalidate the concept of CC itself. In fact on the basis they never let a good crisis go to waste my feeling is that a collapsed grid would be used to enact even stronger controls on the masses. See, we need to ration energy! We mustn’t let people waste this scarce resource in our fight against Climate Change!

    IMO climate change is the idea that cannot be killed by any rational argument. Those in power are not going to let it die after losing a debate or a democratic vote. It can only be killed by an overthrow of the existing State apparatus and the forcible removal of the current political and bureaucratic establishment.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes Kirk – and if Mr Steyn wins his case he will still have to pay his own legal bills.

    This has been done many times – people are taken to the courts, on absurd grounds, their lives are made a nightmare for years, and even if they “win” they lose.

    As for Michael Mann – not only is his “Hockey Stick” a fraud, he often uses incredibly abusive language about his opponents, or even against people who have never heard of him.

    Yet, as we learned in the Lawrence Fox case in the United Kingdom, leftists (and Michael Mann is first and foremost a leftist – science, as an apolitical and objective search for truth, does not really matter to him any more) can say anything they like against their opponents – but should their opponents use similar language against them, the leftist courts will be used.

  • Paul Marks

    As for the solution Kirk.

    No one in the legal system being paid?

    Not an opinion of mine – just an idea I heard long ago.

    If someone wants to accuse someone of a crime, or a civil tort, let them do so – and argue the case themselves, and have the person they have accused answer back (themselves – unless they are not mentally competent), and then a jury decides. With a penalty for a false accusation to deter people who accuse others out of a perverted sense of fun.

    With the rule being the thing has to be over in a day – rather than 12 years.

  • Beaneater

    John, I am certainly far from being a lawyer, but I do not believe Mann can easily appeal if Steyn and Simburg win. Per Steyn’s weekend podcast, this sort of jury decision normally can’t be appealed barring significant legal issues. “I don’t agree with the verdict” is not a major legal issue. (Steyn and Simberg, if found guilty, may have grounds for such an appeal, as it seems that Mann’s lawyer introduced false evidence about grants to the court.) But again, I am not a lawyer, so take all that for what it’s worth.

  • mongoose

    Question: how many of the last 11000 years – since the end of the cold phase of our current ice age – have seen the earth warmer than this? Have a go. (Yes I know. But just generally, as an average. Just give it a punt. 1? 10? 100? 1000? 10000? Pick one!)

    Your answer is here.

    After you’ve done that, look at this one. What is about to happen?

  • staghounds

    After 30 years as a trial lawyer, the Mann -Simberg – Steyn trial reinforces two opinions I formed immediately after leaving law school-

    The low quality of lawyering, in this case for all three parties, is just astonishing.

    And the “coverage” of the trial, from all outlets, is mainly ignorance and partisanship.

  • Disillusionist

    Just to be clear – this trial is specifically not about whether or not Mann’s infamous hockey stick is right or wrong – it’s just about the defamation claim. Steyn’s team (himself included) have convincingly shown that Mann (surely possessor of one of the greatest current examples of the delightful German word (IIRC), backpfeifengesicht: “a face in need in need of a fist”) is a thin-skinned a**hole, vicious slanderer, and bald-faced liar. Unfortunately, this being Washington, DC, I still have every expectation that Steyn and Simberg will lose. The path to a second American Civil War is still being marched down.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    The good guys lost, but the fight continues.

    It’s pretty sad if the light of civilization is to be carried by the likes of China and Xi, who, for all their faults, still hv some recognition of reality.

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