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On Climate Spare Change, Hockey Sticks and Law Suits By Ian Wilson LL.B
I don’t write on the climate change issue because I do not know much about science, and others here are best to address it. However, here is a case where climate change, allegedly, and the law meet, and the mainstream did not do so well. Note that I am not necessarily endorsing any of the following remarks, merely quoting a source in the public interest, as an Australian:
“Supreme Court of British Columbia dismisses Dr Michael Mann’s defamation lawsuit versus Canadian skeptic climatologist, Dr Tim Ball. Full legal costs are awarded to Dr Ball, the defendant in the case. The Canadian court issued its final ruling in favor of the Dismissal motion that was filed in May 2019 by Dr Tim Ball’s libel lawyers. The plaintiff Mann’s “hockey stick” graph, first published in 1998, was featured prominently in the U.N. 2001 climate report. The graph showed an “unprecedented” spike in global average temperature in the 20th Century after about 500 years of stability. … On Friday morning (August 23, 2019) Dr Ball sent an email to WUWT revealing: “Michael Mann’s Case Against Me Was Dismissed This Morning by The BC Supreme Court and They Awarded Me [Court] Costs.” A more detailed public statement from the world-renowned skeptical climatologist is expected in due course. Professor Mann is a climate professor at Penn State University. Mann filed his action on March 25, 2011 for Ball’s allegedly libelous statement that Mann “belongs in the state pen, not Penn State.” … Previously, on Feb, 03, 2010, an … academic investigation by Pennsylvania State University had cleared Mann of misconduct. Mann also falsely claimed the NAS found nothing untoward with his work. But the burden of proof in a court of law is objectively higher. Not only did the B.C. Supreme Court grant Ball’s application for dismissal of the 8-year, multi-million-dollar lawsuit, it also took the additional step of awarding full legal costs to Ball. This extraordinary outcome will likely trigger severe legal repercussions for Dr Mann in the U.S. and may prove fatal to alarmist climate science claims that modern temperatures are “unprecedented.” According to the leftist The Guardian newspaper (Feb, 09, 2010), the wider importance of Mann’s graph over the last 20 years is massive: “Although it was intended as an icon of global warming, the hockey stick has become something else – a symbol of the conflict between mainstream climate scientists and their critics.” Under court rules, Mann’s legal team have up to 30 days to file an appeal.” That is the principal scientific.org statement, not my personal expression; take it for what it is.”
The hockey stick graph has, I understand, been under criticism from climate sceptics since its inception, but now climate sceptics are using the courts, to thrash out issues, even if in this case, defensively, rather than try and debate this within the limits of the establishment academic paradigm. It will be interesting to see how this battle proceeds. While I am biased, I trust the legal profession far more than academia.