Saturday, December 20, 2014

Anthony Watts pokes fun at ATI

Sou | 3:34 PM Go to the first of 3 comments. Add a comment

Anthony Watts takes a shot at the“American Traditions Institute” now known as the “Energy & Environment Legal Institute”. Thing is, he doesn't even know it (or if he does he didn't tell his readers).

Today he posted an out of focus photo he took of the cheque Michael Mann gave to the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund. The cheque was the damages awarded by the court when ATI/EELI tried to get his personal emails. You may remember the case (see Washington Post article). The judge saw it for the harassment it was and awarded damages of $250 dollars to Michael Mann. Dr Mann wasn't looking for a payout. All he wanted was justice and to prove a point that he will not tolerate the sort of vexatious law suits that disinformers bring from time to time, when they harass and try to intimidate research scientists.

Peter Sinclair of ClimateCrocks has the story and a much better photograph :D

Dr. Michael Mann displays his court awarded damages check, won against the climate and science denying, fossil fuel funded “think” tank,  “American Traditions Institute” aka, the “Energy & Environment Legal Institute”, after judges realized that actions against Dr. Mann were pure anti-science harassment and had no basis in fact.
From left to right, CSLDF Executive Director Lauren Kurtz, and Board members Charles Zeller, Scott Mandia, and Josh Wolfe. The picture was taken December 18, 2014, in San Francisco, at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting
Source: Peter Sinclair/ClimateCrocks

Anthony Watts tried to spin it at the time, back in July, talking about a "slap in the face", only he got the slappee wrong. It was the American Tradition Institute / Energy & Environment Legal Institute that got slapped. It was they who lost their case, not the University of Virginia or Michael Mann - who were both very satisfied with the outcome and appalled at how low disinformation lobby groups will sink to attack scientists and science.

Last July, when the court made its decision, Michael Mann said that he'd be donating the damages to the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund - from the Ronoake Times (via Bryan McKenzie The (Charlottesville) Daily Progress):
...Mann, now a professor and researcher at Penn State University, said that while the amount is small, the principle is large.
The damages in my view are symbolic,” he said. “What is important is not the $250 itself but the recognition by the court of the frivolous and pernicious nature of the [institute’s] suit.”
Mann called the institute “an industry front” that targets climate researchers “with vexatious freedom of information requests to intimidate scientists” whose findings are “perceived as a threat” to the fossil fuel industry.
Mann said he would donate the $250 to the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund, which exists to assist scientists being attacked like he says he was....

Being a man of few words (mostly because he stuffs it up when he writes more), and a dimwit, all Anthony Watts wrote about it was:
Friday Funny – Mann Overboard at #AGU14
Today I visited the poster sessions again, where I’m not allowed to take photos. I also visited the CV commercial exhibition, where I am allowed photography. I was surprised to find that Mann’s penchant for hype even permeates that part of AGU 2014. It makes me wonder if they spent more on that big board display than the amount of the award…

Anthony Watts is not a decent writer, nor a good reporter, nor does he have any talent as a photographer, with his blurry photograph. He is a successful rouser of rabbles, though the rabbles he rouses aren't anything to boast about.

From the WUWT comments

I looked to see if any of Anthony's readers knew that the money came from one of their "own" as a penalty. There was the usual Mann-bashing from the illiterati, but Anthony didn't pull the wool over his readers eyes for long.

Mike Smith read the writing on the cheque, but thought the American Tradition Institute was from Russia, not the USA.
December 19, 2014 at 11:53 am
$250 for damages? Did he trip over a tree stump in Yamal?

Hot under the collar was the first to tell the story:
December 19, 2014 at 12:11 pm
As the display shows, I believe $250 was the amount of damages awarded against the American Tradition Institute in the University of Virginia v ATI case. 

Brute recognised it as a symbolic victory for Michael Mann and the University of Virginia, and had to vent at the injustice of justice prevailing:
December 19, 2014 at 12:14 pm
It was a symbolic victory for him. He is showing off because hardly anyone else cared, cares, or will care… except on places like this one.
And, yes, $250 is nothing to this crowd. A tiny dribble of their spit is worth far more in grant money. This too is being flaunted here. 

Resourceguy alleges fraud - but Anthony wouldn't mind because he figures he's small fry and won't get dragged into a defamation case:
December 19, 2014 at 12:25 pm
Now start the world court case against him for policy science fraud and crimes against science humanity.

Ric Werme quoting from the July 2014 WUWT article wrote:
December 19, 2014 at 5:58 pm
https://archive.today/8ltU9#selection-647.0-661.856 [replaced with archive link] says in part:
UPDATE: From David Schnare, General Counsel, Energy & Environment Legal Institute
There is a lot of misunderstanding about the $250 “damages” assessed by the Court. Any appellant that loses their appeal in the Virginia Supreme Court has to make this payment to the opposing party. It is generally intended to pay for the costs of printing of briefs. It does not include attorney’s fees or any other costs. Mann won’t get a cent. It all goes to the University who may or may not have to transfer it to the Attorney General’s coffers since that is who represented the University and who had to pay for preparation of their briefs.
More importantly, this is not all over. The court only decided the meaning of the term “of a proprietary nature” and they took our (plaintiffs) definition verbatim. They just refused to admit that which was their way of denying us our costs and fees. (We used over $300,000 worth of our time on this case, and thousands of dollars in costs.) What the court did not do was to discuss the rest of the “research exemptions” and that will come up with the next case that is already in the pipeline. That FOIA is seeking all emails associated with John Daly, Steve McIntyre and the IPCC. As none of those were collected by or for the faculty in pursuit of a research project sponsored by UVA, they should not be subject to being withheld. We will see what slimy games the University next plays to prevent the release of those documents. We’ll keep you informed. 

ATI/EELI spent heaps of money on that vexatious lawsuit and are planning on spending more? Or is this just wishful thinking on the part of their legal counsel. David Schnare is probably laughing all the way to the bank, with all the silly lawsuits he gets to bring on behalf of litigious lobby groups. I mean John Daly emails? (John Daly was a climate science denier who died ten years ago!) They really are a pack of idiots aren't they. Why don't they just read scientific journals if they want to know about climate science. (Does anyone know if they followed through on their "promise"?)


  1. Anthony thinks this is freaking hilarious but the defamation laws outside of the US are similar in Canada, UK, Australia and NZ to the extent that they do not afford First Amendment style protections.

    Given his penchant for publishing misleading and deceptive stuff about scientists around the globe, he really should transfer the title deeds of his house to a third party if he has not already.

  2. Thanks for quoting that part that explains the $250 award. After reading about this on another site, and reading comments complaining about the tiny "damages award", I went back and read the Virginia Supreme Court's decision. Clearly this wasn't an award for "damages" - wrong kind of case: statutory interpretation, not tort or contract - but I didn't see anything explaining what the payment was for. Since some commenters on the other site saw this amount as done kind of slight or insult to Dr Mann, I think it's worthwhile to understand what's really going on.

    Also, having just read the opinion, I can tell you that the Court rejected the plaintiffs' definition - completely contrary to what their lawyer said. He appears to be the kind of schmuck that gives the rest of us a bad name. And, yes, he is probably laughing all the way to the bank.

    FLWolverine, JD

    1. I am one who thought the award "a slight to Dr.Mann". thanks for clearing it up.



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