If you're going to insult a climate scientist, wouldn't you at least try to get a bead on their work??
Steyn doesn't. He writes:
...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.”What planet does Steyn live on? What journals does he read? The hockey stick isn't discredited, at all -- and certainly not "increasingly" so. It seems to me that the Mann et al work has never been more confirmed, what with several confirmations over the years, including the independent mathematics of Tingley and Huybers, the Holocene-wide study of Marcott et al, and the vast PAGES 2k Consortium study in Nature Geosciences, which consisted of over 70 scientists.
I think Steyn's comparison of Mann to Jerry Sandusky was low, hardly accurate, and scurrilous. And most probably defamatory. (Steyn's claim that Mann and Sandusky were "colleagues" because they were employed by the same university isn't worthy of the intellectualism Steyn pretends to represent.)
But if Steyn wants to defend his right to free expression -- a right most of us also value, within its limits -- then he should stand forthright for that value, without repeating obviously false information about Mann's scientific work.
Simply put, it detracts from Steyn's case -- if he can't understand the work for what it is, and place it in its proper context, how can he possibly put his evaluation of Mann in a proper (and truthful) context?
And no pretending, no false bravado, is going to change that. All of the abuse heaped on Michael Mann is only because too many people found his result inconvenient, and, having no legitimate scientific comeback, choose to demonize him instead.
It had been done before (Ben Santer), and it will be done again. (Indeed, Marc Morano has made an industry of it.)
But if Steyn thinks his right to insult Mann was proper and legal, then he should defend his right on its own terms and principles. Pretending Mann's science is bad detracts from Steyn's case -- and, I suspect, not only for those who do understand the science.