Mark Steyn is a conservative pundit along the lines of Rush Limbaugh (frequently filling in for Rush on the radio) who has taken it upon himself to make Dr. Michael Mann's life unpleasant. Dr. Mann is a leading climate expert who spurred deniers' ire after his graph showing the unnatural rise in present temperatures was used in Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth." Since then, Dr. Mann has been the prime target of the climate deniers' Serengeti Strategy, a fact he talks about in his book, "Hockey Stick and Climate Wars."
Steyn's vendetta began a few years ago, when Steyn quoted a particularly offensive attack on Dr. Mann and labeled Mann’s scientific work as fraudulent. Dr. Mann fought back by suing Steyn for defamation on the grounds that that his work is demonstrably not fraudulent and that any insinuation to that effect is harmful to his career.
Most people would refrain from adding fuel to the fire if being sued by someone for attacking them. Steyn, however, is not most people. He's now self-published a book that is supposedly a collection of criticisms of Dr. Mann by other scientists. Apparently, this is Steyn’s attempt to bolster his case by showing that it is not just conservative pundits and paid spokespeople who think poorly of Dr. Mann and his hockey stick.
Steyn chose three quotes as promo material to represent the book's contents, which were all put under the microscope by Greg Laden. Laden finds that one of the scientists has recently co-authored a paper confirming Mann's hockey stick graph, and notes that his quote only appears damning because it lacks all context. A second has worked on a major paper that also confirmed Mann's hockey stick graph, and when contacted by Laden stated that the attacks on Mann "have no justification." The third quote is from a physicist who doesn't work on climate change, so he can't accurately be described as one of Mann's scientific peers.
For all his quote mining, it seems like the best Steyn could do when it came to finding criticisms from Mann's peers is write up two quotes from scientists who agree with Mann's findings and one from someone who's not a climate scientist at all. Looks like Steyn's efforts here fall as flat as the handle on Mann's hockey stick.
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