Zombie Oscar Wilde Says “Suing for Libel Can Backfire”
October 29, 2012 1 Comment
Climate researcher Michael Mann – of global warming hockeystick and Climategate fame – is suing the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Rand Simberg and National Review and Mark Steyn for libel. The suite follows a post by Simberg at CEI that Steyn quoted at National Review. The post compared Mann’s abuse of data to Jerry Sandusky’s abuse of children. Mann and Sandusky are both based at Penn State.
Mark Steyn zeroes in on this key bit from the legal complaint:
It is one thing to engage in discussion about debatable topics. It is quite another to attempt to discredit consistently validated scientific research through the professional and personal defamation of a Nobel prize recipient.
Except that as Steyn notes Michael Mann isn’t a Nobel prize recipient:
In 2007, Dr Mann was one of approximately 700 reviewers to review the findings of approximately 600 authors of one working group of the Fourth Assessment Report. However, he was one of a select group of a mere 2,000 people to receive a “commemorative certificate of involvement” — not from the Nobel committee, but from Dr Rajendra Pachauri of the IPCC.
So, in that sense, yes, indeed, he “was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.” Phew. For a moment, I was worried he might be exaggerating a bit — bending the curve upwards, so to speak.
In the same spirit, I see that I’ve just been awarded the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize. Under Ireland’s citizenship law, I’m an Irish national (through my father). Ireland is a member of the European Union. The EU has just been given the Nobel Peace Prize. QED. Come to think of it, my mother’s Belgian, so I’ve been awarded two Nobel Peace Prizes.
First point to Steyn. The discovery phase of the libel suit should be hilarious. Mann should have asked Zombie Oscar Wilde what can happen when a libel suit goes sideways.