Sunday, August 25, 2019

Statement from Mann's Lawyer

A very different view of what happened in the BC court Friday in Mann v Ball.

Added: I believe Ball was awarded legal costs, but haven't officially confirmed this yet.

47 comments:

David in Cal said...

Mann wrote "BC Court never made any finding that I failed to produce any data. Anyone claiming otherwise is lying or facilitating a lie."

This statement is not quite equivalent to saying that Mann did produce all data. I certainly would like to know whether or not parts of Mann's hockey stick computation have been kept secret.

Regardless of Ball's health, I don't think a judge would have terminated the suit based on "delay" unless the delay were out of the ordinary. It would have been helpful if Mann had explained the nature of the "delay" that led the court to dismiss the suit.

Cheers

David Appell said...

Mann et al's data files have been available for well over a decade, here:

http://www.meteo.psu.edu/holocene/public_html/shared/research/MANNETAL98/

David Appell said...

David in Cal said...
"It would have been helpful if Mann had explained the nature of the "delay" that led the court to dismiss the suit."

Helpful for what?

Steve said...

So Mann has provided the data, a description of the methods and the computer code and yet people continue to claim that he has not provided that information.

It shows how desperate those attacking mainstream science have become - continually making a claim that can so simply be shown to be wrong.

David in Cal said...

David -- Helpful to understand why the judge dismissed the suit. Helpful to understand whose description of the judge's decision is correct. Consider Steve's comment for example. It's an excellent point IF Mann has indeed released everything. But, at this moment we cannot be sure of whom to believe.

Brandon Shollenberger said...

David Appell says in a comment, "Mann et al's data files have been available for well over a decade..." I don't know how many people will see this, but Appell's statement is highly misleading. While it's true Mann's underlying data series are available, what people have long sought, and been denied, is access to results, and even some of his code.

The most commonly cited example is many r2 verification statistics Mann's code shows he calculated yet have never been published by him. This may not be "data," but when a person calculates verification statistics for their work then refuses to disclose what the results are, people will naturally be suspicious.

And that's just one example. There's also code people would like access to because there are results in Mann's work which cannot be replicated with the code he's provided. As an example, nobody has ever been able to replicate MBH99's confidence intervals (for 1000-1400 AD) because the code Mann's provided does not produce them.

Saying the the "data" has been available for over a decade while ignoring the things people have sought after for over a decade which are not data, is... well, weird.

pp said...

BS, no one really cares about your whining about data anymore.

David Appell said...

Brandon, that's BS. The hockey stick has been found by many people now using many types of mathematical techniques. PAGES 2k just published, again, the hockey stick found via seven independent statistical techniques.

No one has any evidence Mann et al did anything wrong, but they continue to attack him personally because they don't like the scientific result that the world is rapidly warming. Ball never published any science related to the hockey stick (or much else) to validate his claims. 21 years later people like you are still at it, for some reason.

No one has the right to tell a scientist was he HAS to do. If you don't like his results, take the paleodata and go calculate what you're looking for yourself -- that's how science is done.

David Appell said...

BTW:

“McIntyre and McKitrick 2005 (GRL, EE) did not make allegations of misconduct and fraud....”

- Steve McIntyre, 1/16/14, http://www.nature.com/news/researchers-question-rescued-polar-expedition-1.14510#comment-1204277838

David Appell said...

DiC, the suit wasn't "dismissed," it was terminated, at Ball's request.

Why do you think anyone has the right to tell Mann, or any scientist, what they must publish?

Again, take the same raw data and do whatever calculations you wish. Others have, including directly:

https://ral.ucar.edu/projects/rc4a/millennium/MBH_reevaluation.html

Layzej said...

What is the difference between "dismissed" and "terminated"?

It seems that termination may be the result of dismissal, settlement, or judgement. In this case the latter two aren't the reason for termination. Is there a distinction that I'm missing?

Here's what I found at https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/termination+of+an+action :

Termination of an Action
After an action is commenced, it is said to be pending until termination. While the action is pending, neither party has the right to start another action in a different court over the same dispute or to do any act that would make the court's decision futile.

A lawsuit may be terminated because of dismissal before both sides have fully argued the merits of their cases at trial. It can also be ended because of Compromise and Settlement, after which the plaintiff withdraws his or her action from the court.

Actions are terminated by the entry of final judgments by the courts. A judgment may be based on a jury verdict or it may be a Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict. Where there has been no jury, judgment is based on the judge's decision. Unless one party is given leave—or permission from the court—to do something that might revive the lawsuit, such as amending an insufficient complaint, the action is at an end when judgment is formally entered on the records of the court.

David Appell said...

I believe the case was terminated (dismissed?) on Ball's request because Mann failed to produce certain data/information requested by the court in a timely fashion (like, about 2 years).

David Appell said...

I think I understand this a little better. (Maybe I'm slow.) I was confused how Ball, the defendant, could get a case dismissed/terminated. It's because he/his lawyer admitted Ball's words weren't widely distributed enough or influential enough to constitute libel of Mann's reputation. That's in Mann's lawyer's statement

"Ball's request that your lawsuit against him be terminated for delay also relied heavily on his argument that Ball's accusations have not damaged your reputation...."

and what follows.

I don't see how that can be interpreted as a win for Ball -- it's that he offered a draw, and Mann said OK (for now, at least).

Layzej said...

DiC: It would have been helpful if Mann had explained the nature of the "delay" that led the court to dismiss the suit.

Yup.

Thomas said...

I note that FCPP:s apology to Mann is gone from their web site:
https://fcpp.org/retraction-and-apology-to-michael-mann/
Wonder if that mean anything?

David in Cal said...

David -- this outcome was the best possible result for Ball -- the case dismissed and Mann ordered to pay Ball's legal costs.

However, Mann really won IMHO, that is, he achieved his objective. He punished Ball by forcing him to suffer through 8 years of a lawsuit. IMHO this was Mann's intent. This is called a SLAPP suit: a Strategic lawsuit against public participation.

BTW - the judge's decision called for Mann to pay Ball's costs, but I do not know what costs are included. Does anyone know if this means that Mann must pay Ball's entire legal fees?

Cheers

Brandon Shollenberger said...

David Appell, there is nothing "BS" about what I said. If there were, you would have discussed how what I said was wrong. You did not. You didn't point to a single untrue statement in my comment. Instead, you changed the subject.

Whether or not valid studies have found a "hockey stick," and whether or not Michael Mann committed any sort of fraud, it is indisputable he has refused to share certain material that would be highly relevant in examining his work. It is indisputable Tim Ball requested such material during the lawsuit against him. It is indisputable Mann refused to provide it.

Refusing to address such issues when confronted on your misleading statements about those issues, will not convince anyone of anything favorable to your views. Neither will making absurd claims like saying Mann's lawsuit was "terminated" not "dismissed" when the court's order explicitly orders "that the claim made by Plaintiff be dismissed."

If you don't want to discuss basic factual matters, that's fine, but in that case, you should refrain from commenting on them. Commenting on them then changing the subject when people point out your portrayal is misleading will just waste everyone's time.

David Appell said...

Brandon, go ask UAH for their computer code. They don't give it out.

When you're as outraged about that as you are about Mann, let me know.

David Appell said...

And unlike the hockey stick, which has been widely reproduced, no one agrees with UAH.

Brandon Shollenberger said...

David Appell, if we're going to give one another random orders that have nothing to do with the discussion out hand purely out of rudeness and spite, how about, "Go suck a pickle." That has every bit as much relevance as what you've said to me.

You made a claim. It was highly misleading. I pointed out the way in which is was misleading, citing indisputable facts. You claimed what I said was "BS" while going out of your way not to respond to anything I actually said. When I pointed out your attempt to change the subject, you didn't even try to hide that you were changing the subject, resorting to petty... I don't even know what.

Being deceptive is one thing. Being this pathetic is another. Get bent.

Brandon Shollenberger said...

Ugh. There's no edit feature so I can't correct that stupid typo in my first sentence. I obviously meant "at hand" not "out hand."

David in Cal said...

David - Mann didn't produce his code, even though he knew that meant losing his suit. To me, that shows that Mann never cared about winning the suit. He was using the lawsuit process to punish Ball. The cost of defending a lawsuit over many years was probably a lot more than the amount Mann could have recovered in a judgement, had he won his case.

You wrote, It's because he/his [Ball's] lawyer admitted Ball's words weren't widely distributed enough or influential enough to constitute libel of Mann's reputation. That's in Mann's lawyer's statement

I'm afraid you have it backwards. First of all, Mann's lawyer took all the claims made by Ball and chose which ones to present as accounting for the judge's decision. In other words, the argument of "not influential enough" was made by Ball, but we do know how big a part it played in the judge's decision. IMHO it wasn't a key part of the judge's decision. If that were the key factor, the suit could have been dismissed years ago. (IMHO the case should have been dismissed on those grounds early on, but it wasn't.)

Ball's lawyer didn't admit that the Ball's words weren't influential enough. He argued that they weren't influential enough. It was an essential part of Mann's case that Baqll's words were influential enough. For Ball to simply deny Mann's allegation would not be grounds to dismiss the suit. The only one who could have admitted insufficient influence would have been Mann. Of course, Mann didn't make such an admission. Mann wanted the suit to go on.

BTW Ball's explanation of what happened is clear and comprehensive. The explanation from Mann and his lawyer is tricky and looks deceptive on its face. It makes certain cleverly worded allegations, but doesn't give a comprehensive explanation of what happened.

David Appell said...

Mann says all his data and code are available:

https://twitter.com/MichaelEMann/status/1166002016243634183

Ball himself said his own words were uninfluential. You have no idea whether it was part of the judge's decision or not. Nor did Ball admit earlier he was uninfluential.

It's hard not to disagree -- Mann has gone on to become world famous since 2011.

"Ball's lawyer didn't admit that the Ball's words weren't influential enough. He argued that they weren't influential enough."

WHAT?? These two sentences contradict one another.

"BTW Ball's explanation of what happened is clear and comprehensive."

Where is Ball's explanation of what happened?




David Appell said...

Brandon Shollenberger said...
"Whether or not valid studies have found a "hockey stick," and whether or not Michael Mann committed any sort of fraud, it is indisputable he has refused to share certain material that would be highly relevant in examining his work."

Nope. Mann's lawyer wrote:

"The BC Supreme Court has never made any finding, directly or indirectly, that you failed to produce your data...."

"In summary, the Court's brief ruling on August 22 made no finding whether your claims were valid or whether Bell's pleaded defenses had any merit."

How much clearer can that be?

David in Cal said...

David - The word "admit" means "confess to be true or to be the case, typically with reluctance." Ball's lawyer was not reluctant to claim that Ball's words were not influential. On the contrary, that was part of Ball's defense. If Ball's words were found to be not influential, then Mann would have no case.

Bell explained his version of what happened back in 2017 at https://principia-scientific.org/breaking-fatal-courtroom-act-ruins-michael-hockey-stick-mann/

The essence was:

As Dr Ball explains:

“Michael Mann moved for an adjournment of the trial scheduled for February 20, 2017. We had little choice because Canadian courts always grant adjournments before a trial in their belief that an out of court settlement is preferable. We agreed to an adjournment with conditions. The major one was that he [Mann] produce all documents including computer codes by February 20th, 2017. He failed to meet the deadline.”

Punishment for Civil Contempt

Mann’s now proven contempt of court means Ball is entitled to have the court serve upon Mann the fullest punishment. Contempt sanctions could reasonably include the judge ruling that Dr. Ball’s statement that Mann “belongs in the state pen, not Penn. State’ is a precise and true statement of fact. This is because under Canada’s unique ‘Truth Defense’, Mann is now proven to have willfully hidden his data, so the court may rule he hid it because it is fake. As such, the court must then dismiss Mann’s entire libel suit with costs awarded to Ball and his team.


That second paragraph was the bloggers opinion. As we now know, Mann's case was dismissed and Mann ordered to pay Ball's costs. However, some other conceivable sanctions that the blogger speculated about were not applied by the judge.

Cheers

David Appell said...

"Arguing" isn't "admitting???" That's splitting hairs with no difference between them.

David in Cal said...

David - suppose I was being prosecuted for a crime. The DA said I was guilty. I said I was innocent. You wouldn't say I had "admitted" that I was innocent, would you?

Ball was charged with a tort -- a civil wrong. Part of the tort was that Ball's words were influential. When Ball denied that his words were influential, he was saying that he was innocent. He wasn't "admitting" that he was innocent.

Cheers

Marco said...

BS says "It is indisputable Tim Ball requested such material during the lawsuit against him. It is indisputable Mann refused to provide it."

Indisputable, eh?

Go ahead, then, provide the documents that provide irrefutable proof that Ball requested such material and that Mann refused it.

After that, you can use the word "indisputable".

It would be even better if you could also provide the documents that show the court *ordered* the transfer of said information to Ball.

Perhaps also of relevance to this point: according to one of my lawyer-friends (disclaimer: not knowledgable on the Canadian system, but he would be surprised if it were that different there), you cannot use the argument that one's defamatory statements were truthful (or fair based on available knowledge at the time) if one needs information from the aggrieved party in order to find out whether they were indeed truthful.

Brandon Shollenberger said...

David Appell, you say, "Mann says all his data and code are available" I discussed two examples of things which Mann has refused to share, for over a decade. You don't say I'm wrong about either example. If I were, it would be easy to prove by showing where the material I refer to is published.

Similarly, I said Tim Ball requested this material and Michael Mann refused to provide it. You don't say I am wrong. If Mann had provided it, again, it would be easy for you to show. Instead, you cite Mann's lawyer saying the judge in a lawsuit never made any ruling that Mann had failed to provide material. That a single person has not said something does not make it untrue.

I'm not going to pursue a conversation here any further. It is abundantly clear you'll simply refuse to engage in anything resembling a genuine discussion. You can rest comfortable in your intellectually dishonest echo chamber if you want. I prefer to actually try understanding what different ideas people have.

As a closing thought, I'll go with a simple, irrefutable point. This is a crucial issue for the lawsuit, and it is the easiest one on which someone could prove me wrong. Michael Mann calculated a number of r2 verification statistics for his reconstruction, and he failed to disclose many which were unfavorable. To this day, he has still not published those r2 verification statistics.* People who can't acknowledge, or attempt to disprove, that simple point are wasting everyone's time if they instead try to change the subject.

*The results were published by his colleagues, after they were forced to disclose the results by a journal, and they were abysmal, indistinguishable from 0.

Layzej said...

Somehow Wahl 2007 managed to replicate the results over a decade ago.

Marco said...

I notice that Brandon decides to ignore my request for data. What do you have to hide, Brandon?

Anonymous said...

The way you can tell Mann lost is that there are no major newspapers reporting that Mann won. Tings will only get worse for Mann in the USA where he may end up in front of the SCOTUS.

David Appell said...

David in Cal said...
"...suppose I was being prosecuted for a crime. The DA said I was guilty. I said I was innocent. You wouldn't say I had "admitted" that I was innocent, would you?"

Yes, I would. Of course. You said you were innocent.

David Appell said...

Marco wrote
"Perhaps also of relevance to this point: according to one of my lawyer-friends (disclaimer: not knowledgable on the Canadian system, but he would be surprised if it were that different there), you cannot use the argument that one's defamatory statements were truthful (or fair based on available knowledge at the time) if one needs information from the aggrieved party in order to find out whether they were indeed truthful."

Great point. It bears repeating.

David Appell said...

Brandon: I don't know what material you're referring to that you want. Specifically.

"That a single person has not said something does not make it untrue."

It doesn't make it true, either.

"I'm not going to pursue a conversation here any further. It is abundantly clear you'll simply refuse to engage in anything resembling a genuine discussion. You can rest comfortable in your intellectually dishonest echo chamber if you want. I prefer to actually try understanding what different ideas people have."

You wrote this before, then came back.

"As a closing thought, I'll go with a simple, irrefutable point. This is a crucial issue for the lawsuit, and it is the easiest one on which someone could prove me wrong. Michael Mann calculated a number of r2 verification statistics for his reconstruction, and he failed to disclose many which were unfavorable."

How do you know he calculated these if he didn't disclose them?

"To this day, he has still not published those r2 verification statistics.* People who can't acknowledge, or attempt to disprove, that simple point are wasting everyone's time if they instead try to change the subject."

It's not changing the subject to point out that the hockey stick has been confirmed again and again and again. That strongly suggests Mann, Bradley and Hughes did nothing fraudulent.

And why the focus on Mann when there were three co-authors on the paper(s)?

"The results were published by his colleagues, after they were forced to disclose the results by a journal, and they were abysmal, indistinguishable from 0."

Who? What paper? What journal? Give citations so people can understand what you're writing about, instead of making vague and foggy accusations.

David in Cal said...

The hockey may have been confirmed by arcane models, but it is contradicted by archaeological evidence. There was a Norse colony in Greenland when temperatures were quite warm.

Cheers

David Appell said...

David, how many times do you need to be corrected on this?

One settlement in Greenland does not prove there was a global medieval warm period.

Marco said...

David + David, MBH98/99 was, of course, an extratropical NH reconstruction. The temperature, according to MBH99 AND local ice cores, around the MWP was about the same as the temperature in the 1930s/1940s. Greenland was slowly resettled in the 18th century - right in the LIA! Hence, the existence of Norse colony on Greenland cannot be used in any way, shape, or form as evidence that it was "as warm" as today.

Also gotta love the comment from anonymous, thinking SCOTUS would bother itself with going after a scientist about a 20 year old paper that has been reproduced...

Layzej said...

The temperature in Greenland doesn't necessarily tell you all that much about the temperature in the northern hemisphere overall, but this page has a graph of the GISP2 Greenland ice core reconstruction. It shows temperatures as high as -30.5 during Viking settlement. Temperatures were possibly as low as -32 when Vikings abandoned the settlement.

If this is all correct then a local temperature difference of 1.5C meant the difference between a habitable and uninhabitable Greenland. We're at about 1.2C of warming globally.

Layzej said...

My point above is that at some point we will start to strain the habitability of warm regions. If 1.5C is all it takes, we're probably pretty close to that now. If refugee caravans are a big threat then we should want to take some proactive measures to avoid this scenario.

David Appell said...

And if that's all it took for mean bastards like the Vikings, we're all screwed.

I read the other day that 7 million Bangladeshis have had to relocate due to storm damage and rising seas.

Phil Clarke said...

- Dr Ball can make any 'conditions' he likes, but unless they are given force by the Judge, they have no legal meaning. The Judge made no such order. Mann's lawyer couldn't be clearer; they complied fully with all requests for information.

- John O'Sullivan has shown himself more than capable of outright fabrication.

- The hockey stick studies did have code to calculate r2, but it was not widely used in the papers'valiation processes as Dr Mann made clear when they were specifically asked by the House Energy and Commerce Committee:

"My colleagues and I did not rely on this statistic in our assessments of “skill” (i.e., the reliability of a statistical model, based on the ability of a statistical model to match data not used in constructing the model) because, in our view, and in the view of other reputable scientists in the field, it is not an adequate measure of “skill.” The statistic used by Mann et al. 1998, the reduction of error, or “RE” statistic, is generally favored by scientists in the field."

Which is the case; the NAS Panel that investigated the state of temperature reconstructions noted,

"The squared correlation statistic, denoted as r2, is usually adopted as a measure of association between two variables. Specifically, r2 measures the strength of a linear relationship between two variables when the linear fit is determined by regression. For example, the correlation between the variables in Figure 9-1 is 0.88, which means that the regression line explains 100 × 0.882 = 77.4 percent of the variability in the temperature values. However, r2 measures how well some linear function of the predictions matches the data, not how well the predictions themselves perform. The coefficients in that linear function cannot be calculated without knowing the values being predicted, so it is not in itself a useful indication of merit. " (Page 92)

Wahl and Ammann (JGR 2007) were able to reproduce the MBH studies and published the r2 numbers in that paper.

In other words the information is freely available to anyone who wants it - but it is 'not a useful indication of merit'

So why all the fuss?

Stephen McIntyre said...

Brandon S's comments are 100% correct. Your retorts are invalid.

Brandon observed: "As a closing thought, I'll go with a simple, irrefutable point. This is a crucial issue for the lawsuit, and it is the easiest one on which someone could prove me wrong. Michael Mann calculated a number of r2 verification statistics for his reconstruction, and he failed to disclose many which were unfavorable."

You ask: "How do you know he calculated these if he didn't disclose them?"

The answer is easy and you ought to know. In June 2005, the House Energy and Commerce Committee asked Mann to provide source code for MBH98. Mann grudgingly archived some, but not all, of his source code. The code that he did provide (multiproxy.f) showed that he calculated verification r2 statistics in the code chunk immediately following calculation of verification RE statistics. However, the MBH98 SI only disclosed the favorable verification RE statistics for the signature NH reconstruction and failed to disclose the failed verification r2 statistic for the 11 steps shown in the SI Table. To this day, Mann himself has never reported the verification r2 results for the 11 steps. Or archived the results of the individual steps from which an interested third party could do the calculation themselves (without trying to replicate Mann's entire work from scratch.)

Brandon says: "To this day, he has still not published those r2 verification statistics.* This is 100% correct. Other studies by different authors are not responsive to Brandon's point.

Brandon said: "The results were published by his colleagues, after they were forced to disclose the results by a journal, and they were abysmal, indistinguishable from 0."

You asked: "Who? What paper? What journal? Give citations so people can understand what you're writing about, instead of making vague and foggy accusations."

The answer is Table 1S of Wahl and Ammann 2007, which, in addition to confirming the abysmally failing verification r2 for the AD1400 step that we had already reported, reported a verification r2 of 0.00003 for the AD1700 step. I don't know how serious people can claim that a reconstruction with a verification r2 of 0.00003 is statistically significant. 0.00003 has to be the worse verification r2 to ever appear in scientific literature.

David Appell said...

We're not all obsessives who have followed every tiniest detail of the hockey stick saga.

The HS has been reproduced many many times by now. It's expected on theoretical grounds. It's accepted science. I know it's your little claim to fame, but it's time to give up the insinuations and accusations and accept the science.

David Appell said...

And, by the way, no one at all has reproduced the warming spike ~1400 CE you published in Fig 8 of your E&E paper.

Stephen McIntyre said...

Burger and Cubasch.

Phil Clarke said...

-  The ‘R2’ issue similarly – the NAS Chapter 9 deals with the issues there very clearly. The basic point is that when you get to the relatively sparse networks further back, the reconstructions don’t have fidelity at the year-to-year variability. If that is something you care about (i.e. whether 1237 was warmer or cooler than 1238), then you are out of luck. If instead you are interested in whether the 13th Century was cooler than the 12th C, it’s not the right metric to be using.

Gavin Schmidt

Mountain/Molehill.