|Pinocchio by André Koehne|
The Climate Inquisition began with Michael Mann’s 2012 lawsuit against critics of his “hockey stick” research—a holy text to climate alarmists. The suggestion that Prof. Mann’s famous diagram showing rapid recent warming was an artifact of his statistical methods, rather than an accurate representation of historical reality, was too much for the Penn State climatologist and his acolytes to bear.That is a complete fabrication of the situation. Dr Mann's case isn't about critics of his research. It's about defamation. This pair of scallywag lawyers seem to want to join the queue waiting to be sued. Since they are lawyers, they must know that the case is about the ugly and false allegations of fraud by the people Professor Mann is suing.
So the only conclusion that can be drawn is that climate science disinformers, or this couple of unsavoury lawyers, are willing to lie and call it "free speech", and support defamation. They are promoting what they euphemistically call a "free speech project" and the way they've written the article, the first case could be against themselves.
The lawyers David B. Rivkin Jr. and Andrew M. Grossman talk about an anonymous website called https://www.freespeechinscience.org/. (They could have called it "the scientist defamation fund".) The website seems pointless. It has no name associated with it (reminding one of Anthony Watts' very long delay in letting people know it was he who was behind his secretive closed Open Atmospheric Society). The Free Speech website has no apparent purpose. It is not asking anyone for money. It has no names, no address, no phone number, and a lone email address starting with the anonymous "contact". Other than that there is nothing but a few words, some rotating graphics, and a clip from the Wall Street Journal article. A search of the domain name registrant shows that it was set up anonymously. So for "free speech" advocates the people behind the website sure are secretive.
The only other entity named in the parts of the article at WUWT which could be associated is the denier lobby group the Competitive Enterprise Institute. However, there's no indication that organisation hired the legal duo to write the article or set up the website.
The article also mentions Senator Whitehouse and the potential for a RICO investigation. I must say that if this is an attempted push back on behalf of Exxon or others in the fossil fuel business who might or might not have funded disinformation programs, then I'm not sure those organisations would be very much in favour of what is being done. I'd think they'd want to dissociate themselves from any such activity right now. (I'd have thought their best defense would be to admit to funding some anti-science organisations in the past but to say they stopped doing that some time ago.)
On the other hand, what this legal pair may find are hundreds of creationists and anti-vaxxers beating a path to their door. Let's hope so :) (h/t TB)
You can read parts of the article at WUWT (archived here). It's complete nonsense from start to finish. It starts out pretending that climate conspiracy theorists are 21st century Galileos and goes downhill from there. The authors are making out there is some effort to stop scientists from reporting their findings. No-one is doing that except maybe the Murdoch media, which has a preference for anti-science ahead of science. The effort being made by honest people is to stop disinformation campaigns from misleading the public.
Anthony Watts wrote at the bottom:
Note that the Free Speech in Science Project is the antidote to this sort of Mannian nonsense: http://climatesciencedefensefund.org/
He's wrong. The Climate Science Defense Fund is clear about who is running it, what the fund is used for. It has an address and a phone number. It is set up to help scientists defend themselves against people who defame them and similar cases. The Free Speech in Science Project has no information about who is behind it, who is running it and it has no address or phone number and a single anonymous email address. It's all a dark secret. Going by the Wall St Journal article, it is set up to support the people who defame scientists and who promote disinformation.
From the WUWT comments
Most of the comments were arguing about Galileo and the Catholic Church. Not too many people seemed particularly interested in a couple of lawyers looking for free speech gigs. Janice Moore complained about the image Anthony posted. GTL asked about funding skeptical research - as if scientific research doesn't get funding already:
March 24, 2016 at 9:39 am
Read this in the WSJ this morning and applaud the concept of a defense fund for free speech in climate science. It is simply absurd that this is necessary, but the need for a way for skeptics to pool resources has been lacking for too long. What about an outlet to fund skeptical research?
george e. smith hit the nail on the head:
March 24, 2016 at 9:55 am
Why feed the lawyers ??