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.
Professor 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.
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 corrections which would normally require a second viva, but this was strangely not recorded. Then, despite no reputation whatsoever in the field of tree ring proxy research 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 most fishy at once 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 skewed the 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.
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 chosen 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 are concerned to get behind Tim and support him pro bono at this critical time as it seems ‘Big Green’ has given up with the scientific arguments and is going to try to gag skeptics in the courts.
To further assist in this crucial new legal chapter in the climate wars other skeptics are assisting in setting up an official appeal so that the public can make financial donations to assist Tim’s crucial battle.
Chris Horner, lead attorney for CEI has kindly agreed to give input as and when requested. Horner, himself, was also threatened with a lawsuit recently by Michael Mann who seems to know as much about the law as he does about scientific ethics. According to Mann’s writ Ball defamed him as per this recent (February 9, 2011) statement:
"Michael Mann should be in the State Pen not Penn. State."
Ball, like many principled scientists knows that corruption among scientists is endemic. According to official statistics 40 percent of scientists
know of such misconduct among colleagues but do not report it. Co-defendants in the action are Frontier Centre for Public Policy Inc. as publishers of the allegedly defamatory 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 under siege and marginalized Mann to this day refuses to publish corrections or let anyone see his calculations, contrary to scientific ethics.
Thus Mann has been the author of his own downfall and any reasonable person may rightly infer that his conduct appears dishonest and is indicative of a possible fraud having been committed. He won't even comment on why his Ph.D was rushed through.
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 the data.
By all accepted scientific standards 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 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, a very recent field of research, is 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 has Mann's Achilles Heel right there which leads us to a key legal argument that Ball will force McConchie to address – 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 now bring a final conclusion to the great global warming swindle.
Thus Tim Ball will nobly pursue an honest legal strategy of merely insisting that Mann disclose his metadata to the court. If he declines then he will have proven yet again his utter contempt for the ethics of scientific practice and prove to the court that his lawsuit is without grounds and thus vexatious.
Thereafter, expect to see Ball’s lawyers move for dismissal and sanctions against Mann and his attorneys.