Dr. Tim Ball received the second of two libel lawsuits from North Vancouver law firm of Roger D. McConchie on Friday (March 25, 2011). Global warming doomsaying professor Michael Mann files the latest writ.
Mann, the infamous creator of the now discredited ‘hockey stick’ graph was once the darling of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a tax hungry government funded organization that blames mankind for raising global temperatures by 0.7 degrees during the 20th Century. Now he is desperate to hit back at his critics with the help of Big Green's immense financial resources. Below we examine the shady background of Professor Mann and explain what Ball must do to defeat this latest legal challenge.
The IPCC plucked Mann from total obscurity after his problematic and “rushed” Ph.D was granted. His viva voce examination was in 1996 and he was required to make corrections. Such a two year delay suggests substantial errors and which would normally require a second viva, but this was strangely not recorded. Then, despite having no reputation as a researcher Mann was bizarrely appointed not only as an expert by the IPCC but as Lead Author for the 2001 Third Report.
Several fellow academics, including Dr. Judith Curry smelt something rotten among mendacious Mikey's tree rings and their fears were confirmed when Canadian statistical experts, Steve McIntyre and Professor Ross McKitrick found a string of ‘errors’ in Mann’s work. All the errors warped the wooden data in favor of the man-made global warming hype.
It transpired Mann and his secretive clique of climatologists who ‘pal reviewed’ his junk science benefited to the tune of millions of dollars in government research grants. Since the Climategate revelations public support for the IPCC has nose-dived as fast as this rascal's reputation.
Ball Breaker Gambit to Prevent Case Going to Trial
The dubious Penn. State professor now joins Andrew Weaver in using the Canadian law firm to sue Ball, an outspoken critic of the beleaguered global warming religion. The North Vancouver outfit is rumored to be a shill of the Suzuki Foundation. Ball, who is a retiree without corporate backing, may have been singled out simply because he has no deep-pocketed friends and thus may be forced to quit in the face of spiraling legal fees.
But if Suzuki and his paid shills were hoping this new tactic would splinter a spirited skeptic community it has backfired already.
Many of us fellow climate realists are concerned to get behind Tim and support him pro bono at this critical time. We are appalled at the way ‘Big Green’ has now abandoned all pretence of scientific argument and is going to try to gag skeptics in the courts.
To further assist in this crucial new phase of the climate wars, skeptics are helping Ball set up an official appeal so that the public can make financial donations to assist him in his crucial battle.
Chris Horner, lead attorney for the Competitive Enterprise Institute(CEI) has kindly agreed to give additional legal input as and when requested. Horner, himself, was also ludicrously threatened with a lawsuit by Mann just recently to reveal the follicly challenged fellow knows as little about law as he does scientific ethics. Mann’s writ claims Ball defamed him with this superb gag in a recent (February 9, 2011) statement:
"Michael Mann should be in the State Pen not Penn. State."
Tim, like many principled scientists knows that corruption among scientists is actually quite common. According to official statistics 40 percent of scientists have witnessed such conduct but do not report it. Co-defendants in the action are Frontier Centre for Public Policy Inc. as publishers of the remarks.
Legal Analysis of Mann’s Vexatious Claim
It is my opinion that Michael Mann is on a hiding to nothing here as reported in previous articles in which I’ve made commentary. The weakest element in Mann’s prosecution is his willful refusal to abide by the normal strictures expected of reputable scientists.
McIntyre and McKitrick (MM) whose statistical analysis first exposed Mann’s shoddy work were themselves vindicated by the US Congress-sponsored Wegman Report that affirmed that their analysis of the disputed papers, MBH98 and MBH99 was robust.
Despite these detailed studies exposing the ‘errors’ in Mann’s work the marginalized Mann to this day refuses to publish corrections or let anyone see his calculations, contrary to scientific ethics.
Much maligned Michael is so tight-lipped he won't even comment on why his Ph.D was rushed through, such is the calamity that has befallen him. But he is clearly the author of his own downfall and its no wonder a reasonable person (or juror) may rightly infer that his conduct appears dishonest and indicative of a possible data fraud.
Key Legal Issues That Undermine Mann’s Case
Upon discussions with various respected legal experts the advice we have given to Dr. Ball is that he has a sound case; Mann faces defeat in light of his unethical methods that are little more than a cherry-picking of a small number of trees.
By any reasonable scientific standard Mann’s position is untenable, as affirmed by the US Congress via the Wegman Report (2006), which in its 'Findings,' concludes,
"Normally, one would try to select a calibration dataset that is representative of the entire dataset. The 1902-1995 data is not fully appropriate for calibration and leads to a misuse in principal component analysis."
The implications for debunking Mann in court are thus huge because as Wegman says,
" ..at least 43 authors have direct ties to Dr. Mann by virtue of coauthored papers with him. Our findings from this analysis suggest that authors in the area of paleoclimate studies are closely connected and thus ‘independent studies’ may not be as independent as they might appear on the surface..."
Wegman then points out that unlike any reputable branch of science, climatology is a very recent field of research and permeated with a culture of ‘ pal review’ rather than ‘peer review.’ Wegman concludes that "the work has been sufficiently politicized that this community can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility."
Thus Ball, like a modern day Paris, may aim his arrows to deftly shoot Mann's Achilles Heel with an argument that McConchie will find impossible to deflect – secrecy in scientific research is anathema to good science, as spelt out in Wegman's 'Recommendations.'
Recommendation 2. We believe that federally funded research agencies should develop a more comprehensive and concise policy on disclosure.....Federally funded work including code should be made available to other researchers upon reasonable request, especially if the intellectual property has no commercial value. Some consideration should be granted to data collectors to have exclusive use of their data for one or two years, prior to publication. But data collected under federal support should be made publicly available. (As federal agencies such as NASA do routinely.)
As Ken Cuccinelli, the Attorney General for Virginia has discovered, apologists for academic data fraud have helped to hide junk science for too long; only open court confrontation will bring about a final conclusion to the great global warming swindle.
Thus Tim Ball will fire straight from the hip with an honest legal strategy of insisting that Mann disclose his metadata to the court i.e. put up or shut up. If Mann declines then once gain he will have proven his utter contempt for the ethics of scientific practice and the court will see that his foolish lawsuit is without grounds and is thus vexatious.
Thereafter, expect to see Ball’s lawyers move for dismissal and sanctions against Mann and Suzuki's hack, McConchie.