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Mark Steyn and the death of justice

TO THE dismay of climate sceptics the world over, the long-awaited defamation lawsuit between climate scientist Michael Mann and conservative writer Mark Steyn ended last week with the jury in Washington DC finding against Steyn and co-defendant Rand Simberg and awarding more than $1million to Mann. 

It was a case that had enormous ramifications. As Chris Morrison explained on the Daily Sceptic, the ‘hockey stick’ graph created by Mann in the 1990s (questioned by Steyn and at the heart of this case) removed the concept of natural climate variability for an entire generation. This, claimed Steyn, was fraudulent ‘both in its construction and in the uses to which it has been put by Al Gore, the IPCC, every school, and most governments throughout the Western world’.  

It’s a model that continues to inform both the level of rhetoric used to communicate climate science and to justify the ominous policy framework that continues to be rolled out. Catastrophic weather events, ‘unprecedented’ temperature rises, and the end of the world apocalypse is threatened if we don’t change our ways. Repent, and worship at the altar of climate ‘science’. Steyn didn’t and hasn’t and by contrast with his more intimidated or faint-hearted peers, was always confident that truth is on his side. It is, of course.

In his substack on the case, Roger Pielke Jnr worries that a ‘flurry of lawsuits against people who have been critical of climate science or climate scientists’ will now follow, and that ‘such legal action may not be limited to climate – debate over Covid-19 also presents a target-rich environment for unwanted speech to silence’. There’s little doubt that this ruling will have an even more chilling effect on necessary public criticism of science. 

Though the case was formally about defamation, as Pielke says, it was really about politics and ideology.

And money. Mann’s hockey stick symbolises a world where ‘follow the money’ has become a far more fruitful endeavour than the pursuit of objective truth. Since the turn of the decade ‘trusting the science’ increasingly reveals agendas, deceptions, lies and corruption. Environmental and public health policies spearhead the changes planned for a ‘fourth industrial revolution’. The science that justifies this, instead of contributing to robust, replicable, and accurate knowledge that benefits us all, mirrors the goals and objectives of the corporatist, globalist political world which pays for it. This is no longer an open world where science can be debated and challenged. Those who question it can find themselves cancelled, silenced, discredited and now sued. Those who hoped that this trial might open a wider discussion on climate change and perhaps challenge the clearly fabricated ‘scientific consensus’ were always doomed to disappointment.

Though the judge struck all but one of Mann’s expert witnesses from the trial on account of unclear and invalid methodologies; though Mann admitted that he had tried to cover his tracks by asking colleagues to delete emails during ‘Climategate’ in 2009 (colleagues referred to Mann’s research at this time as ‘Mike’s Nature trick’* as one highlight of these communications); though details of the research grants and funding that he allegedly lost because of his ‘loss of credibility’ (he was called out for changing information and not actually listing any such grants and percentage of funding lost) appeared estimated; despite, most jaw-dropping of all, Mann’s proven misogynistic and personal smear campaign against the climate scientist Judith Curry, the outcome of a case that should have gone against him did not materialise.

Mann’s defence was extremely weak: he provided no evidence or witnesses supporting his claims of damage to reputation or career, he appeared to mislead, if not lie outright, on several key points of the trial. So how, Pielke asks, ‘in a trial that most neutral observers would surely see as favoring the arguments of the defense’ did Mann walk away with a resounding victory? Pielke argues that there were two pivotal moments:

‘One occurred when Mann was testifying and he explained that he felt that the bloggers were not just criticising him, but they were attacking all of climate science, and he could not let that stand. As the world’s most accomplished and famous climate scientist, Mann intimated that he was simply the embodiment of all of climate science. For the jury, this set up the notion that this trial was not really about Mann, but about attacks on all of climate science from climate deniers. The second pivotal moment occurred when in closing arguments Mann’s lawyer asked the jury to send a message to right-wing science deniers and Trump supporters with a large punitive damage award.’

The mainstream will continue to bury the fabrications around climate science. They do not even have to label Mann as a slightly embarrassing ‘rogue scientist’. The Mann-generated consensus remains intact. There is no embarrassment to be suffered by the IPCC (the highest authoritative body on climate change and climate science) for utilising it, there is no worry that it has been taught in universities and schools and pretty much driven the media narrative on ‘end of the world’ scenarios. 

It makes it ever more imperative that Mann’s hockey stick graph is subjected to full public scrutiny and discredited. We will be doing this in these pages this week. In a world threatened by the monsters this lie has spawned, not least 15-minute cities and the universal curtailment of freedoms and human rights, no one can afford to turn a blind eye to it.

*a reference to an article in the respected journal.

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