Michael Mann / Tim Ball.

Eerder schonk ik aandacht aan het proces dat Michael Mann had aangespannen tegen Tim Ball wegens laster. Ik schreef daar onder meer over:

Ook werd aandacht geschonken aan het proces dat Michael Mann tegen Tim Ball had aangespannen. Dat betrof een als een sarcastisch grapje (‘flippant comment’) bedoelde opmerking van Ball dat Mann, die destijds was verbonden aan de ‘Penn State University’ eigenlijk in een instelling van nagenoeg dezelfde naam ‘State Pen(n)(itentiary)’ (een gevangenis) thuishoorde. [Ball was namelijk van mening dat Mann met zijn temperatuurreconstructie over de afgelopen 1000 jaar – de zogenoemde hockey stick-grafiek – fraude had gepleegd.] Maar Mann kon deze humor niet waarderen. Hij begon een rechtszaak tegen Ball in Canada, waar de wet wat strenger is in dit soort gevallen dan in de VS. In de VS zou hij geen enkele kans op succes hebben gehad. De details van deze zaak zijn te vinden in een ‘posting’ van Paul Driessen (een Amerikaan van Nederlandse afkomst).

Bij mijn weten komen dit soort bizarre incidenten in geen enkele wetenschappelijke discipline voor – alleen maar in de klimatologie.

Ten slotte: Ball heeft besloten niet voor ‘ecobullying’ te wijken. Dat is een ‘slippery slope to totalitarianism’. Aldus Ball.

Lees verder hier.

Nu nadert deze rechtszaak zijn ontknoping. Onder de titel, ‘Breaking: Fatal Courtroom Act Ruins Michael ‘hockey stick’ Mann’, schreef John O’Sullivan op de website ‘Principia Scientific International’ een beschouwing van de stand van zaken. Ik pik er een aantal elementen uit.

Penn State climate scientist, Michael ‘hockey stick’ Mann commits contempt of court in the ‘climate science trial of the century.’ Prominent alarmist shockingly defies judge and refuses to surrender data for open court examination. Only possible outcome: Mann’s humiliation, defeat and likely criminal investigation in the U.S.

The defendant in the libel trial, the 79-year-old Canadian climatologist, Dr Tim Ball (above, right) is expected to instruct his British Columbia attorneys to trigger mandatory punitive court sanctions, including a ruling that Mann did act with criminal intent when using public funds to commit climate data fraud. Mann’s imminent defeat is set to send shock waves worldwide within the climate science community as the outcome will be both a legal and scientific vindication of U.S. President Donald Trump’s claims that climate scare stories are a “hoax.”

As can be seen from the graphs below; Mann’s cherry-picked version of science makes the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) disappear and shows a pronounced upward ‘tick’ in the late 20th century (the blade of his ‘hockey stick’). But below that, Ball’s graph, using more reliable and widely available public data, shows a much warmer MWP, with temperatures hotter than today, and showing current temperatures well within natural variation.

Battle of the graphs

Noot HL: De grafiek die hier als ‘Tim Ball’s version’ is aangegeven is oorspronkelijk afkomstig van Hubert Lamb, een vooraanstaande Britse klimatoloog, die de eerste directeur was van de ‘Çlimatic Research Unit’ (CRU) van de Universiteit van East Anglia. Hij werd opgevolgd door Phil Jones, die een hoofdrol speelde in het Climategate-schandaal. De grafiek was opgenomen in het eerste rapport van het VN-klimaatpanel (IPCC). Maar – merkwaardigerwijze – stonden destijds op de verticale as geen temperatuurcijfers.

Michael Mann, who chose to file what many consider to be a cynical SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) libel suit in the British Columbia Supreme Court, Vancouver six long years ago, has astonished legal experts by refusing to comply with the court direction to hand over all his disputed graph’s data. Mann’s iconic hockey stick has been relied upon by the UN’s IPCC and western governments as crucial evidence for the science of ‘man-made global warming.’ …

The negative and unresponsive actions of Dr Mann and his lawyer, Roger McConchie, are expected to infuriate the judge and be the signal for the collapse of Mann’s multi-million dollar libel suit against Dr Ball. It will be music to the ears of so-called ‘climate deniers’ like President Donald Trump and his EPA Chief, Scott Pruitt.

Mann’s now proven contempt of court means Ball is entitled to have the court serve upon Mann the fullest punishment. Contempt sanctions could reasonably include the judge ruling that Dr. Ball’s statement that Mann “belongs in the state pen, not Penn. State’ is a precise and true statement of fact. This is because under Canada’s unique ‘Truth Defense’, Mann is now proven to have wilfully hidden his data, so the court may rule he hid it because it is fake. As such, the court must then dismiss Mann’s entire libel suit with costs awarded to Ball and his team. …

Likely Repercussions for Science & Climate Policy.

A bitter and embarrassing defeat for the self-styled ‘Nobel Prize winner’ who acted as if he was the epitome of virtue, this outcome shames not only Michael Mann, but puts the climate science community in crisis. Many hundreds of peer-reviewed papers cite Mann’s work, which is now effectively junked. Despite having deep-pocketed backers willing and able to feed his ego as a publicity-seeking mouthpiece against skeptics, Mann’s credibility as a champion of environmentalism is in tatters.

But it gets worse for the litigious Penn State professor. Close behind Dr Ball is celebrated writer Mark Steyn. Steyn also defends himself against another one of Mann’s SLAPP suits – this time in Washington DC. Steyn boldly claims Mann “has perverted the norms of science on an industrial scale.” Esteemed American climate scientist, Dr Judith Curry, has submitted to the court an Amicus Curiae legal brief exposing Mann. The world can now see that his six-year legal gambit to silence his most effective critics and chill scientific debate has spectacularly backfired.

But at a time of much clamor about ‘fake news,’ it seems climate scare stories will have a new angle now that the United States has officially stepped back from the Paris Climate Treaty. President Trump was elected on a mandate to weed out climate fraud so his supporters will point to this legal outcome as vindication for a full purge. …

The perpetrator of the biggest criminal “assault on science” has now become clear: Dr Mann, utterly damned by his contempt of the court order to show his dodgy data.

There can be little doubt that upon the BC Supreme Court ruling that Mann did commit data fraud, over in Washington DC, the EPA’s Scott Pruitt will feel intense pressure from skeptics to initiate a full investigation into Mann, his university and all those conspiring to perpetuate a trillion-dollar carbon tax-raising sting on taxpayers.

Aldus John O’Sullivan

Lees verder hier.

Misschien loopt O’Sullivan wat voor de muziek uit met zijn verwachtingen over het verdere verloop van deze zaak. Maar het lijkt op dit moment allemaal plausibel.

Voor mijn eerdere bijdragen over klimaat en aanverwante zaken zie hierhier, hier, hier en hier.


Op 19 augustus 2016 werd ik benaderd door de advocaat van Tim Ball om in deze zaak als getuige op te treden. Hij schreef mij:

Dear Dr. Labohm

We wrote you because Dr. Mann has chosen to sue Dr. Ball and placed the issue of whether or not the globe is warming at an unprecedented rate because of man’s burning of fossil fuels in issue in the courtroom. Thus we can’t simply respond with a discussion amongst scientist. We must lead evidence in a courtroom. That evidence must comply with the rules of evidence.

Normally an “opinion” is not admitted as evidence. An exception to this is where the testimony of experts is necessary so that a Trial Judge can properly understand scientific or technical issues relevant to the lawsuit. As with other evidence, however, the evidence of an expert is also subject to complicated rules respecting admissibility. The expert witness does not know (and cannot reasonably be expected to know) these rules. That is my job to assist with as counsel.

One of the rules is that an expert “report” must be prepared which sets out the opinion. That report must be in the form required by our rules of court and delivered to the other side approximately 90 days before the trial. It can rely upon research which you have done or have analyzed as part of the facts upon which your opinion is based. However, we can’t just tender your prior work as evidence in a trial without a proper expert report.

You, as an expert, are entitled to be paid for your report, and if you are required to attend court to provide testimony about your opinion, your costs are to be covered and you are to be paid for the time required for you to prepare for and attend trial.

The ultimate purpose in writing you is to ask if you are willing to prepare an expert report and to determine a budget for such report. Also to determine a budget for the cost of you attending trial if necessary. If you are willing to be retained to prepare your report, I will work with you to determine the facts to be assumed for your opinion and also to tutor you in the format required for legal admissibility.

Please let me know if you are willing to accept this task, and if so, the amount I should budget for the same. Finally, please let me know the amount you require to be paid up front as a retainer.

Michael R. Scherr

Mijn reactie:

Dear Michael Scherr,

Although I am dealing with ‘climate’ for more than 10 years now, my academic background is that of an economist living in The Netherlands. That means that I am not the right person for the job, neither as regards academic credentials nor as regards geographical location.

I may suggest you to approach experts living in Canada, the e-mail addresses of whom you will find under the CCs.

Alternatively, you may call on US climatologists, like Roy Spencer and/or Judith Curry (also CCed).

I hope that they will be willing to assist you to settle this deplorable dispute.


Hans H.J. Labohm