Setting the record straight on misleading claims against Michael Mann

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Attempts to discredit Prof. Mann and confuse the facts about his defamation lawsuits keep popping up and circulating in the blogosphere. Here we comment on issues pertaining to the conclusions of the Muir Russell investigation, Mark Steyn's response and counterclaims, and the status of the case in Canada against Tim Ball.

The first allegation is that Dr. Mann made false statements in a brief submitted to the District of Columbia Superior Court regarding Sir Muir Russell’s review of the UK Climatic Research Unit (CRU) emails (i.e., as part of the so-called Climategate investigation). Specifically, the allegations purport to show that Mann intentionally altered a quote from the Russell report in order to support the contention that Russell’s inquiry exonerated Mann.

The Muir Russell report focused on the conduct of scientists at the CRU, which is based at the University of East Anglia. The investigation addressed several issues, including issues on which CRU scientists collaborated with Mann and other non-CRU members of the climate science community. Sir Muir Russell reviewed 140 e-mails authored by Mann, plus numerous other e-mails authored by other scientists.  The issues examined by Russell included whether scientists had ignored potential problems in tree-ring data that may undermine the hockey-stick graph and whether CRU, in consultation with Mann, attempted to diminish the significance of the Medieval Warm Period. Russell’s report was unequivocal in its conclusion that the rigor and honesty of the collaborating scientists was not in doubt.

While the Muir Russell report's conclusions specifically referred to the CRU scientists, it seems reasonable to us to say that it found nothing dishonest or fraudulent in their collaboration with Mann and other scientists. That's the bottom line. The allegation against Mann appears to be something of a tempest in a teapot -- or, to mix metaphors, a grasping at straws. The report isn't a comprehensive  investigation of Mann's work, and no one purports that it is -- but then it is only one of numerous investigations, from various angles, that all reached similar conclusions.

Looking at the bigger picture: The obsession among contrarians and denialists with trying to overthrow climate science by discrediting seminal early paleoclimate research by Mann and his colleagues in the 1990s is about politics, not science. Paleoclimate research has continued to advance during the past 15 years. Mann and numerous other researchers have continued to add to the peer-reviewed scientific literature, and here's where things stand as of the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report, issued last year:

For average annual [Northern Hemisphere] temperatures, the period 1983–2012 was very likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 800 years (high confidence) and likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 1400 years (medium confidence). This is supported by comparison of instrumental temperatures with multiple reconstructions from a variety of proxy data and statistical methods, and is consistent with AR4.

--IPCC AR5, Working Group I, Paleoclimate chapter, p. 386

The critics of the original 'hockey stick graph' might want to spend some time looking at the actual advance of scientific understanding in this area of research -- which is just one piece of the complex mountain of research on human-caused climate change.

*    *    *

The second distortion is that a response and counterclaims filed by Mark Steyn, a defendant in Mann's defamation lawsuit against National Review and the Competitive Enterprise Institute, adds something new of value to the case. Basically, Steyn contends that his freedom of speech is being stifled and that therefore he is suffering damages that should be compensated.

But his response to Mann's complaint appears to us to amount to essentially a rehashing of the same arguments that have already been rejected by two different DC Superior Court judges. The judges denied the defendants' motions to dismiss and ruled that Mann’s claims of defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress are “likely to succeed on the merits.” Thus, the case should move forward to discovery and trial. Steyn's response begs the question that remains to be adjudicated, i.e., was his published statement about Mann libelous?

*    *    *

Another claim alleges that Dr. Mann lost a lawsuit against Dr. Tim Ball in Canada. This case is still ongoing, and Mann's side says any claims of its conclusion, let alone outcome, are spurious. The following statement by Mann’s attorney, Roger McConchie, was issued in response to what he refers to as "preposterous statements" and "nonsense" about the status of the case:

“The review of Tim Ball’s new book by Hans Schreuder and John O’Sullivan makes preposterous statements concerning Dr. Michael Mann’s lawsuit in the British Columbia Supreme Court against Tim Ball and other defendants. The Mann lawsuit is currently in the discovery phase, with further examinations for discovery (depositions) of the defendants to be scheduled shortly, following which I will either set the action for trial by jury in the usual manner, or bring a summary trial application on behalf of Dr. Mann for damages and injunctive relief.

"Dr. Ball has not set the matter for trial and there is no motion by Ball currently before the Court. The allegation by Schreuder and O’Sullivan that Dr. Mann has refused to show his metadata and calculations in open court is not true.

"Their assertion that Dr. Mann faces possible bankruptcy is nonsense. Dr. Mann’s lawsuit against Dr. Ball and other defendants is proceeding through the normal stages prescribed by the BC Supreme Court Civil Rules and Dr. Mann looks forward to judicial vindication at the conclusion of this process.”

Stay tuned.

Some earlier posts:

Defendants' appeal in Michael Mann defamation case further delays discovery process (January 25, 2014)

DC judge denies defendants' motion to dismiss Michael Mann's defamation complaint (January 23, 2014)

"The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars" -- Now in paperback, highly recommended (November 22, 2013)

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31 Responses to Setting the record straight on misleading claims against Michael Mann

  1. MrPete says:

    You misread the denial of the motion to dismiss.

    The claims made by Mann have never been adjudicated. For purposes of a motion to dismiss, the judge is required to presume that the plaintiff's claims are true. Based on that (untested) presumption, the motion obviously was likely to be denied.

    At this stage, not a single claim or counterclaim has been made under oath. One really cannot evaluate the veracity or prospects of the suit until later on. The media, including this blog, would be well served to wait until later to weigh in on the outcome.

    • Rick - Climate Science Watch says:

      We haven't misread it. We noted that, in effect, when we referred in a shorthand way to "the question that remains to be adjudicated". This issue, and numerous others, have been addressed in numerous previous posts and comments on this case.

      • MrPete says:

        If y0u didn't misread, then the only conclusion I can make is that you intentionally misled readers in your article. How else to explain your statement that

        The judges denied the defendants' motions to dismiss and ruled that Mann’s claims of defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress are “likely to succeed on the merits.”

        yet failing to note the context?

        Hugely important context: Mann's claims are "likely to succeed" ONLY if the claims are found to be true.

        • Rick - Climate Science Watch says:

          We quoted the clear language in Judge Weisberg's denial of the motion to dismiss at some length in our post on January 23:

          http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/2014/01/23/dc-judge-denies-motion-to-dismiss-mann-defamation-complaint/

          It includes, in small part, the following:
          "Opinions and rhetorical hyperbole are protected speech under the First Amendment. Arguably, several of defendants’ statements fall into these protected categories. Some of defendants’ statements, however, contain what could reasonably be understood as assertions of fact. Accusing a scientist of conducting his research fraudulently, manipulating his data to achieve a predetermined or political outcome, or purposefully distorting the scientific truth are factual allegations. They go to the heart of scientific integrity. They can be proven true or false. If false, they are defamatory. If made with actual malice, they are actionable. Viewing the allegations of the amended complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, a reasonable finder of fact is likely to find in favor of the plaintiff on each of Counts I-VI, including the Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress alleged in Count VI as to both sets of defendants. ...

          "In Count VII, plaintiff alleges that CEI published, and National Review republished, the following defamatory statement: 'Mann could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data in the service of politicized science that could have dire economic consequences for the nation and planet.' The allegedly defamatory aspect of this sentence is the statement that plaintiff 'molested and tortured data,' not the rhetorically hyperbolic comparison to convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky. ...

          "The statement 'he has molested and tortured data' could easily be interpreted to mean that the plaintiff distorted, manipulated, or misrepresented his data. Certainly the statement is capable of a defamatory meaning, which means the questions of whether it was false and made with 'actual malice' are questions of fact for the jury. ... [T]o state as a fact that a scientist dishonestly molests or tortures data to serve a political agenda would have a strong likelihood of damaging his reputation within his profession, which is the very essence of defamation."

          As we said, that is the matter to be adjudicated, and the motion to dismiss fails.

          The rest of your comment is trolling that makes various assertions that won't be posted stand-alone, so unless and until we feel like spending our time getting into the weeds with a detailed response. ...

          • MrPete says:

            Your lengthy set of quotes is simply obfuscation to what I'm saying.

            It's simple, not complicated. And has nothing to do with politics nor any person's opinion about how this may turn out in the end.

            At this point in the process, the judge is required to assume that ALL claims (by both the plaintiff and defendant) are true for the purposes of evaluating the various motions.

            The denial of the motion to dismiss has nothing to do with what will happen later on.

            It's simply that if we assume the plaintiff's claims are true, then the case cannot be dismissed. Period. You left that part of the judge's statement, which inextricably tied to the "likely to succeed on the merits" clause.

            You were wrong to promote "likely to succeed" without also recognizing the condition: IF the claims are proven true.

  2. rspung says:

    "While the Muir Russell report's conclusions specifically referred to the CRU scientists, it seems reasonable to us to say that it found nothing dishonest or fraudulent in their collaboration with Mann and other scientists."

    nice inference. unfortunately, it is meaningless. mann claims they "exonerated" him. they did no such thing. the scope of their investigation did not include him and their conclusions did not include him. there was no mention of him, let alone an "exoneration" of him.

    • Bob Brand says:

      Rspung claims about the Muir Russell report: "there was no mention of him, let alone an "exoneration" of him." That is incorrect, as prof. Mann and his work is mentioned more than 80 times in the Muir Russell report:

      http://www.cce-review.org/pdf/FINAL%20REPORT.pdf

      page 8: MBH - Mann, Bradley and Hughes
      page 26: explicitly mentions Michael Mann as the author of 140 of the e-mails which have been investigated by The Independent Climate Change
      E-mails Review (the Muir Russell investigation). Mann is the second-most copious author of the e-mails under investigation and he is a subject to the inquiry, as described in Chapter 4.1 points 1 to 4.
      page 27: Michael Mann is mentioned 6 times, first as an essential part of The Timeline under investigation and subsequently as author or subject of six publications which are a subject of the inquiry.
      page 28: "Building in part on the work of CRU, Mann, Bradley & Hughes (MBH) published a paper in Nature in 199820 which sought to reconstruct historic temperatures back to 1400 AD ..." etc. These paragraphs discuss MBH98/99 extensively and multiple citations to Mann are given.
      page 29: "Not only were rebuttals published in 2003 by Mann, Jones, Briffa, Osborn et al30,31, but also the process of peer review at Climate Research was questioned ..", also MBH is mentioned a number of times.
      page 30: "In 2004 von Storch32 questioned the statistical methods used in MBH and, at around the same time, the RealClimate33 and Climate Audit34 websites were launched .."
      page 31: ".. Despite this, Mike and I would like to make as many of the series we've used in the RoG [Reviews of Geophysics] plots available from the CRU web page.” MBH is mentioned two more times.
      page 32: "Mike" is mentioned again.
      page 33 to 35 discusses e-mails by and to Mann, among others.
      Chapter 7 from page 54 onwards is largely about Yamal, divergence, the WMO 1999 front-cover figure, AR4 figure 6.10 etc. and MBH is mentioned or implied a number of times.

      In Chapter 8 the allegations about peer-review are discussed, and Mann as well as a number of e-mails are a subject of this chapter: "It challenged the conclusion of Mann et al (1998, 1999)2 that the late 20th century was the warmest period of the last millennium on a hemispheric scale, and claimed .."

      Chapter 9 starts out about about the CRUTEM series, but even there Mann is mentioned and from 9.4.1. onwards his work is again the exclusive subject of the inquiry:

      "9.4 The Tree Ring Proxy Temperature Series
      9.4.1 The Scientific Challenge
      26. A paper by McIntyre and McKitrick (2003; hereafter referred to as M&M2003)26 argued that the so called ―hockey stick‖ plot (Mann, Bradley and Hughes, 1998; hereafter referred to as MBH98)27 contained both simple errors and serious statistical errors. It suggested that the ―hockey stick - shape of the MBH98 reconstruction was largely an artefact of these errors and of the selection of specific tree ring series. ..."

      MBH98/99 is discussed extensively here, together with the allegations in MM2003. The Findings from 9.4.6 onwards are exclusively and explicitly about MBH98/99.

      The report as well as the findings and conclusions of the Muir Russell investigation pertain therefore to a very large degree to Mann, his e-mails as well as MBH98/99.

      • JimR says:

        Bob Brand, the many mentions of Michael Mann are in relation to his work which was at the center of the CRU/IPCC controversy regarding how Briffa handled his responsibility as an IPCC Chapter lead author. While there is much discussion of Mann's work as well as MM2003 and WA2007 the focus is on how CRU's Keith Briffa handled his responsibility in dealing with how Chapter would present this work.

        Actually from 9.4.1 focuses on the behavior of CRU scientists in their dealing with this. There was no focus on Mann, just regarding his work.

        Yes, about MBH98/99 and how it was handled by Keith Briffa as IPCC Chapter Lead Author. The Muir Russell was to look at the involvement of Briffa, Osborne and Jones.

        Mann is not included as he is not a scientist at CRU and the investigation was focused on CRU.

        Did anyone see an exoneration of Michael Mann in their conclusions? I certainly did not. Nothing close to it.

  3. Clark Jackson says:

    I thought "begs the question" referred to a logical fallacy. I think you meant "raises the question." Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    • Rick - Climate Science Watch says:

      "Begging the question" refers to circular reasoning, i.e., assuming the conclusion that needs to be proven. So what I meant was that Steyn, in claiming his freedom of speech is being abridged, is assuming the conclusion that his speech is not libelous -- which is the matter that is being adjudicated. One can debate whether he is begging the question, but I don't think I'm using the term incorrectly in giving my view.

  4. barn E. rubble says:

    RE: ". . ., it seems reasonable to us to say that it found nothing dishonest or fraudulent in their collaboration with Mann and other scientists. That's the bottom line."

    Well, it would also seem reasonable to many, or the rest of 'us', they found no such thing. That's the bottom line. The reason I (or a/any reasonable person) would think that is simply because they didn't say so. Explicitly. That's the bottom line. The investigation (for want of a better term) as I understand it, did not even include Mann. That's the bottom line. No reasonable person would assume 'association' = 'exoneration' when no association was either established or stated. That's the bottom line.

    That's a lot of bottom lines . . .

    RE: "Russell’s report was unequivocal in its conclusion that the rigor and honesty of the collaborating scientists was not in doubt."

    Can you please cite from the report (I read it) where that is written? Perhaps I missed the 'collaborating scientists', I've been wrong before. (I read it again and didn't see it.) Or perhaps quoting verbochum is prevalent among some circles . . .

  5. barn E. rubble says:

    RE: "Russell’s report was unequivocal . . ."

    Oh, one other thing, Russell’s report was unequivocal in its spelling of rigour, altho as a subject of (oppressive) colonialism, I'm 'up to here' with the extra U's and what's the deal with all the extra silent letters?! . . . just say'n.

  6. Michael Larkin says:

    Brits pronounce "rigour" differently than Americans pronounce "rigor": listen carefully and you'll hear it.

    That said, the point is, Steven McIntyre picked up on the misquote because the spelling was American rather than British: in the original Muir Russell report, being a British document, it was naturally enough spelt the British way. This caused SM to investigate further, and to find out that there was more than a spelling transposition involved: the meaning was changed by omitting the reference in the original specifically to the CRU scientists. Mann wasn't in fact mentioned. The investigation was about the CRU, not about Mann at all. The report could hardly have exonerated Mann when only the CRU had been under investigation.

    • Rick - Climate Science Watch says:

      See the comment above by Bob Brand.

      • AndyL says:

        The Muir Russel investigation may have studied various emails from Mann but they very carefully qualified their findings:
        "On the specific allegations made against the behaviour of CRU scientists, we find that their rigour and honesty as scientists are not in doubt"
        You may think that the sentence was sloppy and that it logically includes collaborators. Others will disagree and think that the report was very precise about who it "exonerated".

        • Rick - Climate Science Watch says:

          Right, there is a disagreement. But just to step back a bit for context, I wrote a fair amount a few years ago about the so-called 'climategate' matter and concluded that the whole 'scandal' thing was basically a bogus frame-up by the denial and disinformation campaign, politically motivated and contributing nothing to scientific understanding. The subsequent vitriolic and orchestrated attacks on the credibility of climate science and on the integrity of the climate science community were reprehensible, worse than what the criminals in the tobacco industry did to the cancer scientists, and were part and parcel of the campaign by the right-wing to stymie intelligent policy action on the climate change problem. Some of the defendants in Mann's defamation lawsuit have been instrumental in playing a destructive role along these lines. At this point I'm beyond having much interest in re-arguing these points.

          Likewise, I thought the supposed need for multiple investigations into whether the climate scientists needed to be 'exonerated' was vastly overblown. It's the denial and disinformation campaign that does not deserve to be 'exonerated'. As for the Muir Russell report and the issues it dealt with, I find the effort to make something against the scientists out of it to be pretty thin stuff (referring, for example, to Steve McIntyre's endless OCD nitpicking that really adds up to little if anything of scientific substance). Arguments about which statistics to use in analyzing data, or about whether a particular graphic was appropriately designed or 'misleading', belong mainly in the science community. Most of those who are attacking Mann and other scientists aren't really into advancing scientific understanding, they don't contribute to it, they are mainly into trying to manipulate the political situation. Nothing in any of it justifies libelling and slandering any of the scientists the way the denialists have been doing so routinely for years that they don't even seem to know they are doing it, or don't care.

          In Mann v. National Review et al., Mann is not on trial. If he wins his case, in my view the defendants will have gotten a deserved comeuppance. Let's let the case play out and let the chips fall where they may. I'll post documents on the case, with a bit of commentary, but I'm not particularly interested in having the case litigated on this website. Mann's critics have multiple other blogs where they are invited to do that to their hearts' content.

  7. Timo Soren says:

    Just talked with a local federal judge who knew nothing about the case. I showed him the report found at
    http://www.cce-review.org/pdf/FINAL%20REPORT.pdf

    He spent a great deal of time reviewing it and concluded that the follow passages from the report:

    It is important to note that the allegations relate to aspects of the behaviour of the CRU scientists …

    9. An important shift in attitude is represented by a recent report by the US National
    Academies, which highlights these issues. It recommends a new approach to the
    integrity, accessibility, and stewardship of data in publicly-funded science,
    arguing that researchers should make all research data, methods, and other
    information underlying the results publicly accessible in a timely manner. These
    recommendations would require a substantial shift of behaviour amongst many
    scientists. The e-mails suggest that this would be true for CRU – for example:
    Jones: “We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data
    available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it”

    Defining that line is the crucial task when judging the role of CRU scientists

    6.7 Conclusions and Recommendations
    … no basis for the allegations that CRU prevented…
    … no basis for the allegation that CRU made…
    … We find that CRU was…
    … the behaviour on the part of CRU scientists…

    On the specific allegations made against the behaviour of CRU scientists, we find that their rigour and honesty as scientists are not in doubt.

    leave no doubt that:
    Mann was not the subject of the investigation,
    only allegations against the CRU scientists were made and investigated,
    discussion about other scientist occurred as it pertained to CRU scientists and
    lastly, almost every reference to Mann was in a negative light.

    You delude yourself that you think anything in Muir exonerates Mann other than they found it hard for a large groups of scientists to have colluded.

    • Rick - Climate Science Watch says:

      If you think one's view of the Muir Russell report one way or the other -- or one's view of what statistics were used in a journal article, or how quantitative data were displayed in a report -- has anything to do with whether it is legitimate for the way the global warming disinformation campaign has been libelling and slandering Michael Mann and other scientists for years, we have a difference of opinion, to put it mildly. The OCD focus on this one point about the use of the term 'exoneration' seems like a grasping at straws. There's only one relevant judge in this case, and that's Judge Weisberg. And following up on what I said to AndyL, folks, take any further effort to litigate this case somewhere else.

      • AndyL says:

        I think you have mis-understood why Muir Russell is important to the case. It is not at all about the technical detal of statistics or whether Mann was in any way at fault.

        Muir Russell is important to the Mann's claim of 'malice' which is a technical legal term saying that Steyn recklessly disregarded the truth. Mann claimed that Steyn should have been aware of Muir Russell and so made his claim of 'fraud' knowing that Mann had been cleared. If Muir Russell (and the seven other investigations) did not clear Mann then his claim of malice fails.

    • Bob Brand says:

      Timo Soren,

      You quote only a select few of the Findings, from Chapter 6.

      The main Findings are in the Executive Summary and in the Conclusions in chapter 7 to 9. Here is one of the Findings from paragraph 1.3.2 ‘Temperature Reconstructions from Tree Ring Analysis’:

      21. We do not find that the way that data derived from tree rings is described and presented in IPCC AR4 and shown in its Figure 6.10 is misleading. In particular, on the question of the composition of temperature reconstructions, we found no evidence of exclusion of other published temperature reconstructions that would show a very different picture. The general discussion of sources of uncertainty in the text is extensive, including reference to divergence. In this respect it represented a significant advance on the IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR).

      Here the CRU is not mentioned. These Findings pertain to the Issues for Examination as specified in the Terms of Reference. Dr. Mann is explicitly addressed in five of these.

      Also note:

      22. On the allegation that the phenomenon of “divergence” may not have been properly taken into account when expressing the uncertainty associated with reconstructions, we are satisfied that it is not hidden and that the subject is openly and extensively discussed in the literature, including CRU papers.

      as well as the Findings 23, 24 etc. and Chapter 7 to 9. These are about the hockey-stick where Mann is the main author.

      • Saudadia says:

        Problem with your argument here:

        Both statements are directed at the allegation that the CRU data and reconstructions were biased and thus they lower the credibility of any findings in the IPCC AR4 report.

        The charts in figure 6.10 in AR4 are not authored by Michael Mann. They were created by CRU. Thus any "exoneration" of figure 6.10 and the data in it does not apply to Mann.

        • Rick - Climate Science Watch says:

          I think the post and some of the comment thread put this particular nitpick in perspective.

  8. Bob Brand says:

    To Jim R,

    It is certainly the case that a focus of The Independent Climate Change E-mails Review (the Muir Russell investigation) is the performance of the UEA and more specifically the CRU. However, in Chapter 3 the Terms of Reference are given and nowhere is the scope of the investigation limited to the CRU itself:

    The Independent Review will investigate the key allegations that arose from a series of hacked* e-mails from CRU.

    The e-mails may have been “held at CRU”, but the investigation is about “the key allegations that arose”: “.. whether there is any evidence of the manipulation or suppression of data which is at odds with acceptable scientific practice and may therefore call into question any of the research outcomes.

    The Muir Russel Investigation outlined the scope in their Issues for Examination. This document explicitly mentions:

    1. The allegation of ignoring potential problems in deducing palaeotemperatures from tree ring data that might undermine the validity of the so-called “hockey-stick” curve.

    Who is the main author of the hockey-stick curve? Michael Mann. This first Issue for Examination mentions eight very specific questions directed at MBH98/99. Also, in these ‘Issues for Examination’ (referred to in the Terms of Reference) it mentions Dr. Mann by name, repeatedly:

    2. The allegation that CRU has colluded in attempting to diminish the significance of data that might appear to conflict with the 20th century global warming hypothesis

    The CRU group, in consultation with Professor Michael Mann, is alleged to have systematically attempted to diminish the significance of the Medieval Warm Period, evidenced by an email from Mann 4th June 2003: “I think that trying to adopt a timeframe of 2K, rather than the usual 1K, addresses a good earlier point that Peck made w/ regard to the memo, that it would be nice to try to "contain" the putative "MWP", even if …

    This 2nd Issue for Examination directs three more questions specifically at Mann’s work. Also, this goes for nr. 3 and nr. 5 of the Issues for Examination, e.g.:

    5. It is alleged that there have been improper attempts to influence the peer review system and a violation of IPCC procedures in attempting to prevent the publication of opposing ideas.

    It is alleged that there has been an attempt to subvert the peer review process and exclude publication of scientific articles that do not support the Jones-Mann position on global climate change. A paper by Soon & Balunias was published in the Journal Climate Research arguing that the 20th century was not abnormally warm. An email from Professor Michael Mann on 11th March 2003 contained the following: "I think we have to stop considering Climate Research as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal." The allegation is that journals might be pressured to reject submitted articles that do not support a particular view of climate change.

    There are in total 8 Issues for Examination in the scoping document.

    Of these eight Issues of the Muir Russell investigation nrs. 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 specifically adress Dr. Mann and his work and he is mentioned there explicitly by name.

  9. JimR says:

    Bob Brand-

    While you are correct Mann's work and comments in E-mail were a part of the Muir Russell inquiry, neither Dr. Mann's role nor his scientific work were actually investigated by this panel. This investigation was commissioned by the UEA and looked into the role of UEA and it's CRU.

    The Muir Russell investigation also called the Independent Climate Change Email Review has a nice page which says:

    The review will:

    1. Examine the hacked e-mail exchanges, other relevant e-mail exchanges and any other information held at the Climatic Research Unit to determine whether there is any evidence of manipulation or suppression of data which is at odds with acceptable scientific practice and may therefore call into question any of the research outcomes.

    2. Review the Climatic Research Unit’s policies and practices for acquiring, assembling, subjecting to peer review and disseminating data and research findings, and their compliance or otherwise with best scientific practice.

    3. Review the Climatic Research Unit’s compliance or otherwise with the University of East Anglia’s policies and practices regarding requests under the Freedom of Information Act (‘the FOIA’) and the Environmental Information Regulations (‘the EIR’) for the release of data.

    4. Review and make recommendations as to the appropriate management, governance and security structures for the Climatic Research Unit and the security, integrity and release of the data it holds.

    This was a panel commissioned by UEA to look specifically at CRU which is why in their results they stated "On the specific allegations made against the behaviour of CRU scientists, we find that their rigour and honesty as scientists are not in doubt." And that is why this investigation cannot be said to be an exoneration of Mann and why it is inappropriate that Mann used only part of this quote to claim exoneration by this investigation in his submission to the court.

    • Rick - Climate Science Watch says:

      OK this argument is going nowhere at this point. Positions have been aired and staked out and there is a difference of viewpoint that is not going to be resolved here. Enough already. Let's move on, unless there is some non-repetitious vaue-added to be contributed. My own view is closer to Brand's, but in any case I think this point is being overemphasized by Mann's critics, as though somehow they think the case should turn on it. I seriously doubt that it will.

      And in the bigger picture I see this as basically yet another example of how the critics of the mainstream climate science community (of which Mann is a member in good standing) try to foster an obsession with side issues as an alternative to being able to establish a coherent counter-position on the actual science of anthropogenic climatic disruption.

    • Bob Brand says:

      Jim R,

      If you want to know what The Independent Climate Change E-mails Review is about, you will have to read the WHOLE report as well as the included scoping document: the Issues For Examination.

      A ‘nice page’ and your personal opinion does not help.

      The Issues for Examination list precisely 8 Issues to be examined, from page 2 onwards.

      Of these 8 Issues, 5 are explicitly about the ‘hockey-stick’, MBH98/99 and about the allegations concerning attempts to influence the peer review system. All five explicitly address Dr. Mann and his work. I can list them again for you, but you might just as well open the Issues For Examination document and read them yourself (starts at page 2).

      The only thing that matters is that the judge will review the Report as well as the included scoping document, which defines what the investigation is about. In black-and-white this lists 8 Issues, 5 of which directly address Mann and his work by name.

      I’ll defer to Rick and leave it at this.

      • JimR says:

        Bob Brand-

        "If you want to know what The Independent Climate Change E-mails Review is about, you will have to read the WHOLE report as well as the included scoping document: the Issues For Examination."

        Sure Bob, I've read it. That's why I'm somewhat puzzled why you are trying to make the case the Muir Russell review investigated or exonerated Dr. Mann or his work. As I previously commented Mann's work as well as E-mails were a part of the investigation as they relate to the behavior of CRU scientists... however you seem to be missing the fact that the Muir Russel investigation was about the the behavior of CRU scientists and their focus and conclusions applied solely to CRU scientists.

        Above Rick said that this is a "difference of viewpoint" which I don't agree with and the documents you point out spell this out quite clearly.

        For example in the Introduction of the main report, page 10:

        "8. The Review examines the honesty, rigour and openness with which the CRU scientists have acted. It is important to note that we offer no opinion on the validity of their scientific work. Such an outcome could only come through the normal processes of scientific debate and not from the examination of e-mails or from a series of interviews about conduct."

        and on page 11 under Findings:

        "13. Climate science is a matter of such global importance, that the highest standards of honesty, rigour and openness are needed in its conduct. On the specific allegations made against the behaviour of CRU scientists, we find that their rigour and honesty as scientists are not in doubt. "

        Again that seems to spell out clearly that the investigation and findings were in relation to CU scientists. I think everyone is aware that some of Dr. Mann's work and E-mails were central to the investigation, but he was neither a subject of the investigation nor a part of it's conclusions.

        Rick - I hope you will let this post stand as I am simply pointing out the black and white of this report.

        • Rick - Climate Science Watch says:

          OK, Jim, we'll give you this word, but you are like a broken record, and you are not going to get what you want here, so let this be your last proposed comment. Any more and they'll be moderated out as unduly repetitious of the same point.

      • Bob Brand says:

        Jim R,

        Which person or persons the main subject of The Independent Climate Change E-mails Review may happen to be… is a moot point.

        It is moot because Dr. Mann does not claim that this review is exclusively or mainly about him.

        The only claim is that his work IS discussed in it and he IS ‘exonerated’ from the allegations concerning him. Since Dr. Mann’s work, his hockeystick, MBH98/99 as well as Mann’s e-mails and actions are the subject of 5 of the 8 Issues For Examination as well as many Findings and Conclusions, he can certainly claim this.

        Of course, many of the Findings concern the CRU. Quoting these is moot, as I explained, because a number of the other Findings and Issues for Examination specifically address Mann or his work.

        Jim, I have a prediction for you:

        1) The judge will allow the Muir Russell review;
        2) The allegation by Steyn that Mann “made false statements” about the MR review will be denied.

        The sad thing is that once 1 & 2 have come to pass, I’m quite worried that you and some others will probably make statements along the lines of: “How is this possible!”, “The judiciary must be corrupt and/or stupid”, etc. However, it has now been explained to you why the judge will almost certainly find as I mentioned.

        [Rick and others, I apologise for responding again. My main concern is in the last paragraph above.]

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