Twelve years after filing a defamation suit against right-wing bloggers, including Canadian Mark Stein, famed American climate scientist Michael Mann has won his case. The Supreme Court of the District of Columbia ordered the perpetrators to pay him $1 million.
I hope this ruling sends a message that baselessly attacking climate scientists is not protected freedom of expression [par la Constitution américaine]Michael Mann reacted in a press release Thursday evening.
Mr. Mann, a professor of climate science at the University of Pennsylvania, became known in 1998, after it was published in the journal nature A graph of the evolution of the planet's average temperature over 1,000 years. Like a hockey stick, the curve shows little variation for approximately 900 years before accelerating dramatically in the 20th century.
The chart, which was discussed by researchers and experts fromUnited nations And Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change For explaining global warming, it was quickly criticized in climate skeptical circles.
Like many scientists, Michael Mann found himself the target of an email hacking case in 2009. The incident he called “ Climate portal “, was an opportunity for communities that disprove the existence of global warming to criticize the work of climate experts. In this whirlwind, Michael Mann was accused of manipulating his research data.
Investigations conducted by Pennsylvania State University, in particular, exonerated Mr. Mann of these accusations. But criticism of his work did not stop there.
Compared to a pedophile
In 2012, in a blog post published on the website of the Libertarian Research Center Competitive Enterprise Institute, political analyst Rand Simberg compared the controversy surrounding Mr. Mann to the Jerry Sandusky case. That same year, a former assistant football coach at Penn State University was convicted of 45 counts of sexual assault of minors.
You could say Mann is the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except instead of molesting children, he molests and tortures data“Rand Simberg wrote.
In a text published in the magazine National reviewCanadian commentator Mike Stein – who was invited several times on the set of American right-wing star host Tucker Carlson – then addressed Mr Simberg's comments, labeling Professor Mann's research as…
The climate scientist sued the two men and their publishers, but a judge ruled in 2021 that only authors could be targeted by complaints.
Mark Steyn filming CBC's Power & Politics in 2014.
During the trial, Michael Mann claimed that his image had been tarnished by comments made by commentators. The professor claimed that he lost grants and opportunities to collaborate on studies as a result of these publications.
But the authors ignored these assertions, and emphasized that the professor, on the contrary, became a climate authority from one end of the globe to the other despite these comments. Their lawyers argued that these statements should be protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guarantees freedom of expression for Americans.
In its ruling, the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia found Rand Simberg and Mike Stein guilty of defamation based on their written statements with…
Malice, malice, ill will, revenge, or deliberate intent to harm.
The jury ordered Mr. Simberg to pay the climate scientist $1,000, while Mr. Stein must pay him $1 million in punitive damages. Both will also have to pay him $1 in damages.
Mr Simberg's lawyer said his client would appeal the decision. Mr. Stein, who defended himself without a lawyer during the trial, will do the same, according to his manager, Melissa Howes.
A great victory for truth and scholars
For Pete Fontaine, one of Mr. Mann's lawyers, it's about…
A great victory for the truth and for scientists around the world who devote their lives to answering crucial scientific questions that affect human and planetary health..
This is the first time ever that climate deniers have been held financially responsible for their misleading statementsFor his part, Michael Gerrard was announced as the founder Sabin Center for Climate Change Lawan environmental law research center based in New York.
This victory for the professor comes at a time when the reputation of scientists and their work has become the target of fierce attacks, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a recent report, Center for Countering Digital Hatewhich documents and analyzes the circulation of hate posts and misinformation on social media, has identified a new trend that it has named
New climate denial.
Instead of continuing to deny the existence of human-caused climate change, climate skeptics target scientists and attempt to discredit their work.
Attacking climate scientists like Michael Mann will not make the climate crisis go away.
The issue of climate change and its origins continues to divide Americans. According to a 2023 Yale University survey, 58% of the population believes that global warming is mainly caused by human activities.
With information from the Associated Press