In case you missed it, expressing dissent about an issue that has become more and more politicized could warrant a lawsuit - even if it's just satire.
Michael Mann, a Penn State professor and a central figure in the Climategate scandal, but is best known for his "hockey stick graph" doesn't like being criticized. He has threatened to sue the creators of a video that has gone viral on YouTube mocking him. The creators of the video are a group called Minnesotans for Global Warming.
The possibility of a suit was the topic on Fox News April 27 "America Live," hosted by Megyn Kelly. Kelly asked ClimateDepot.com executive editor Marc Morano if Mann would be able to prove that this so-called YouTube spoof wasn't true and therefore win his lawsuit.
"I don't think he can," Morano replied. "I mean, this just goes to show you how the mighty have fallen. Michael Mann was a top U.N. scientist who is now in 2010 spending his time worrying about YouTube videos. This video is absolutely accurate. Michael Mann is the inventor of the temperature hockey stick which even recently the Royal U.K. statistical society said was exaggerated. Other German scientists have called it statistical rubbish. He's been called a statistical charlatan. He has had report after report attacking the foundation - the idea that 20th century temperatures are unprecedented is what Michael Mann is peddling through the U.N."
According to Morano, such a lawsuit would likely have the opposite effect on what Mann desires - for the video not to get attention.
"He's been shown to have been wrong repeatedly and he's also been shown to be thin-skinned," Morano continued. "If you don't do attention, don't do a lawsuit. Now, this video is going to be immortalized forever now."
Kelly asked Morano if recent finding in the United Kingdom and by Penn State officials that cleared Mann of some wrongdoing exonerated him and his work. Morano explained that was not the case.
"No, in the case of Penn State, it was actually just a local group of Penn State officials, and they actually referred it to further investigation," Morano said. "They cleared him on a few charges but said he needed further investigation. In the case of the U.K., it was run by a fellow named Lord Oxford who actually had tied, vested interests in the green climate industry. People said it's like Dracula guarding the blood bank. That investigation has been trashed even by U.N. sympathizers as a whitewash. Michael Mann is facing serious, serious credibility problems and this is a man who's had problems going back almost a decade now."
Specifically, Morano explained that Mann based his assertion that the temperature of the globe was increasing on data from tree rings. However, when he found that temperatures were declining based on this method, he hid that data.
"This hide-the-decline by the way, he used tree rings to reconstruct historical temperatures to show 20th century, you know, unprecedented warmth," Morano explained. "But what he failed to do, he compared apples and oranges. He then -- the tree rings showed a decline in temperatures after 1960. He hid that decline. And that's what this is all about. He compared -- he used temperature data with tree rings. It's very technical, and that's where the phrase came from. But he's been exposed as the best science politics can manufacture. That's what Climategate has done to the global warming movement."