The urge to litigate disagreement is never far from the surface in contemporary discourse.
Mark Steyn writes: Five years ago, I and my fellow rightwing blowhard Ezra Levant were in the midst of a spirited campaign to rid Canada of its disgusting censorship laws and restore a centuries-old tradition of free speech to a land that, in the name of “human rights,” had surrendered it too easily. The Canadian Islamic Congress had brought simultaneous complaints before the federal, Ontario and British Columbia “human rights” regimes against Maclean’s magazine for publishing an excerpt from my book. Despite the advantages of triple jeopardy, they struck out all three times, and at the federal level their suit so damaged the reputation of “Section 13” (the national censorship law with a 100% conviction rate) that last year Parliament finally repealed it.
“…he is suing because he didn’t like being described by Rand Simberg of the Competitive Enterprise Institute as, metaphorically, “the Jerry Sandusky of climate change”
But the urge to litigate disagreement is never far from the surface in contemporary discourse. So both Ezra Levant and I find ourselves back in court yet again. In my case, I’m currently being sued in the District of Columbia by Dr. Michael Mann, the eminent global warm-monger, for mocking (in America’s National Review) his increasingly discredited climate-change “hockey stick.” So Dr. Mann has sued for what his complaint to the court called “defamation of a Nobel prize recipient.”
In fact, Dr. Mann is not a “Nobel prize recipient.” But, as Donna LaFramboise recently pointed out in these pages, he has spent many years passing himself off as one. The nearest he got to a Nobel was as one of several thousand contributors to one of various reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which in 2007 shared a Nobel Peace Prize. So Dr. Mann is a Nobel laureate in the same sense that my mother is: She’s Belgian, and Belgium is in the European Union, and the European Union was collectively awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year. My mum does not claim to be a Nobel prize winner, but Dr. Mann did, on an industrial scale, including in his publicist’s bio, his book jackets and his website — until, in the wake of his false complaint, the Nobel Institute in Oslo declared that he was not a Nobel laureate at all. In that sense, Dr. Mann is, indeed, a fraud. It is a fascinating legal question whether a man guilty of serial misrepresentation can, in fact, be defamed. But it’s not that fascinating, and certainly not worth the court’s time and seven-figure legal bills.
James Delingpole writes: On Friday the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change delivers its latest verdict on the state of man-made global warming. Though the details are a secret, one thing is clear: the version of events you will see and hear in much of the media, especially from partis pris organisations like the BBC, will be the opposite of what the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report actually says.
Already we have had a taste of the nonsense to come: a pre-announcement to the effect that “climate scientists” are now “95 per cent certain” that humans are to blame for climate change; an evidence-free declaration by the economist who wrote the discredited Stern Report that the computer models cited by the IPCC “substantially underestimate” the scale of the problem; a statement by the panel’s chairman, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, that “the scientific evidence of… climate change has strengthened year after year”.
As an exercise in bravura spin, these claims are up there with Churchill’s attempts to reinvent the British Expeditionary Force’s humiliating retreat from Dunkirk as a victory. In truth, though, the new report offers scant consolation to those many alarmists whose careers depend on talking up the threat. It says not that they are winning the war to persuade the world of the case for catastrophic anthropogenic climate change – but that the battle is all but lost. Read the rest of this entry »