Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Falling out of the clown car, down the stairs and into the electric eel pond.

I don't have much to say beyond go read how the $2m lawsuit against John Mashey by luckwarmists didn't go well. It's a heartwarming tale, and congrats to the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund for their great work.

My one semi-serious comment is that this is the quality of the opposition. We ought to be kicking their butts.

39 comments:

Bernard J. said...

Congratulations should be offered to Wegman and Said for confirming through a judicial process that their "Wegman Report" is a load of hocum, as demonstrated by their inability to counter John Mashey's forensic dissection of the same. I think at this point someone should be prepping a Barbara Steisand backing track.

Serious congratulations too for John Mashey on his relentless pursuit of the misbehaviour of the Wegman Report authors, of the institution that shields them, and of Wiley who facilitated their misbehaviour in the literature.

Finally, I've donated to the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund previously, and will now do so again. It is exactly this sort of outcome that science and objective truth need, and I'm pleased to see that the Fund has successfully assisted a process of testing of facts. I can only hope that Mr Monckton finally follows through on one of his hollow threats and takes someone to court, with a similar result...

I dare him.

Mal Adapted said...

Huzzahs to John. Calling attention to AGW-denier disinformation is a heroic act in the face of SLAPP-style legal threats. I'm pleased to think my paltry contributions to the CSLDF made it a little easier.

guthrie said...

Whilst that is good news, this is not the actual opposition. Beating up a bunch of clowns is easy enough, the problem is the ring masters some distance away.

Dano said...

this is the quality of the opposition. We ought to be kicking their butts.

I've been saying this for years. The money behind this opposition has little talent to work with, so they flood the zone with inanities.

Best,

D

Susan Anderson said...

Well, fabulous, but real scientists should not have to waste their time with this garbage.

Thanks to John Mashey for courage and persistence. Lies and intimidation matter.

Jeffrey Davis said...

Hellish dark and smells of cheese.

Bernard J. said...

"The money behind this opposition has little talent to work with, so they flood the zone with inanities."

Indeed:

http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2015/05/tom-harris-free-speech-and.html?showComment=1432208217150#c9186031604827981371

Matt M said...

Good example of what the CSLDF do. Have not contributed in the past. Regret that now. If I knew this was a case they were defending I would have chucked in a little as this was something I was familiar with.

The work of JM and DC was valuable to public understanding and should not be discouraged by the threat of such lawsuits.

@ DC and JM
The research and documentation must have taken a long time. Sorry for the stress, thanks for your work.

Matt M said...

Good example of what the CSLDF do. Have not contributed in the past. Regret that now. If I knew this was a case they were defending I would have chucked in a little as this was something I was familiar with.

The work of JM and DC was valuable to public understanding and should not be discouraged by the threat of such lawsuits.

@ DC and JM
The research and documentation must have taken a long time. Sorry for the stress, thanks for your work.

Dan Riley said...

My suspicion is that Wegman really believes there's a conspiracy out to get him, part of the larger "climate hoax" conspiracy, and the suit against Mashey was a fishing expedition to try to uncover it. The failure to serve and other irregularities were intentional so that Mashey couldn't interfere with the improper subpoenas, the legal work was good enough for the purpose.

On the larger issue, the US right is stuck in the "government is the problem" narrative that says free markets are a perfect state of nature and only regulation can create a market failure. Admitting AGW is a problem means admitting to a market failure. The followup to the 2008 financial crisis (also a market failure) is a good illustration of how powerful cognitive resistance can be.

It was funny to see John's address (unredacted in at least one filing)--I grew up in Portola Valley, and went to Corte Madera school (right across the street) for a couple of years (decades ago).

-dan

JohnMashey said...

Thanks all ... but note, this was relatively easy, and they ran away before the hearing where the Motion to Dismiss would have been discussed, which I think would have had consequences.

Remember, I'm semi-retired, or at least don't have a full-time job, and I already had lists of people to call as witnesses and documents to request in discovery, had it gotten that far. In some sense, too bad.

Anyway, most sympathy should go to the scientists who get endlessly hassled. The case against U Of Arizona (to hassle Hughes and Overpeck) got an adverse determination, but the court records show it is being appealed. Schnare's case cited the Wegman Report several times in 2014 in support, one of the reasons this issue isn't dead.

neverendingaudit said...

> The money behind this opposition has little talent to work with, so they flood the zone with inanities.

While snark may be necessary to deal with very serious people, it may not be sufficient to dispel the curse of knowledge that prevents what ought to obtain.

Everett F Sargent said...

John,

RE:Hughes, Overpeck and Schnare

http://tucson.com/news/local/columnists/steller/steller-ua-wins-climate-records-case-we-lose/article_c4be66f8-ab0b-5a3e-9878-7d220d912c1c.html

"Steller: UA wins climate-records case, we lose"

Dated 2015-04-02

Something else happen since then? Not actively following these things at all, but if you do mention something, links do help.

Also, Schnare appears to act like a prisoner on death row, filing appeal after appeal:

http://eelegal.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Hardinv-UVA-Complaint.pdf

Thanks,
EFS_Junior

JohnMashey said...

Yes, I'd heard they'd appealed, but had to check the court records, and then I updated the DeSmog post:

"And why do they keep citing the Wegman Report as credible, even in 2014, PDF §X.2? David Schnare and Jonathan Riches lost another round, but they keep pushing their “Waste Time” key, from voluminous court history (Case C20134963)."

Nigel Franks said...

Schnare/Hardin's submission claims that John Daly was a professor and links to http://www.john-daly.com/obituary.htm to support that claim. However that link says that he was a secondary college teacher.

JohnMashey said...

Thanks, any more such welcome ... I'm busy tomorrow, but come this weekend I want to look more carefully at that thing.
SO more finds are welcome.

Daly was also "science advisor" to the Western Fuels Association, i.e., coal.

Anonymous said...

Can someone make any sense of this excerpt from Nigel's link to John Daly's obituary?

"The achievement in which he took greatest pride was his work on the survey benchmark chiselled into a cliff face at the Isle of the Dead, a small two-acre island inside Port Arthur that was used as a cemetery by the prison authorities a century and a half ago. The eminent Antarctic explorer, Sir James Clark Ross, had this survey mark inscribed in 1841 to indicate zero point, or the mean level of the sea (MSL). The survey mark was re-measured in 1888, subsequent to severe earth tremors, and found to be 34cm above MSL This mark is still clearly visible, but its position is now just over 12 inches (31.5 cm) above today’s MSL, suggesting a rise of less than 3cm over an entire century. The IPCC, however, claims that during the 20th century, sea levels have risen between 10 and 20 cm globally, a claim not supported by actual tidal data from the National Tidal Facility (NTF) in Adelaide, which indicate a maximum rise of only +0.3 mm/yr, (equivalent to a rise over a century of just 3 cm)."

If this is what Daly wrote in his rebuttal to GRL, I can see why it wasn't published.

Taylor B

EliRabett said...

Sadly yes. Daly succeeded in raising a furor that sea level had not risen, or at least not much. Questions were raised in Parliament, there was an official investigation and the paper

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2002GL016813/full

open access, which, of course, said that there was nothing to Daly's nonsense. Eli often thought that John Daly died soon after (2004) of a broken heart.

Daly was a secondary school teacher in Tasmania. Since such institutions are often called colleges in the English (not American) speaking world, there is opportunity for confusion. Be that as it may, Daly was the Willard Tony of his time.

Bernard J. said...

Taylor B, you may be intersted in this comment from two and a half years ago:

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2012/12/12/sea-level-rise-acceleration/comment-page-6/#comment-140672

There's a follow-up here:

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2012/12/12/sea-level-rise-acceleration/comment-page-6/#comment-140696

but I should point out that it comes with a language warning.

On the matter of "colleges" in Tasmania, the term refers to insitutions that host the last two years of secondary school. Tasmania has a small population and although there are regional high schools there's simply not enough students to host at each school the specialty teachers that senior years demand, so in almost all cases "high school" has the first four years and "college" the last two. There is a current move to bring these senior years to high schools, in line with other Australian states, but that will no doubt unravel when the conservatives realise that the votes bought that way are too expensive to keep.

The bottom line though is that the teachers at "college" are secondary teachers, not teriary institution professors.

Russell Seitz said...

Daly's magisterial work has been unanimously hailed by the geophysical faculties of four score and seven Axact Certified universities.

Anonymous said...

Eli and Bernard J: Thanks--the further one looks, the worse Daly's argument gets, as is usually the case with these Galileos. It's sad when you consider how devoted he was to his art. When you consider the devotion of his followers, backwards ran sentences until reeled the mind. Returning to Wegman and Said's lawsuit and other filings by Schnare, we see a combination of incompetence and determination shared by a small group of GMU faculty and law alums who are closely aligned with the Kochs and other dark money interests. It reminded me to go back and review John Quiggin's and John Mashey's taxonomies of the denial ecosphere.

I'm expecting soon to read Judy's protestation against Schnare's excessive use of intimidation tactics to shut down debate (not) .

Russell: spot-on.

Taylor B

BBD said...

Russell Seitz

Thank you for 'retromingent'. One lives and learns.

Not as easily plagiarised as 'facile bilge' but no less fun for that.

nigguraths said...

John Mashey
You deserved to be sued for harassing two ordinary people just because you needed a useless little corner to stake out in climate activism.

BBD said...

Shub

You deserved to be sued for harassing two ordinary people just because you needed a useless little corner to stake out in climate activism.

The litigation against JM was stillborn because:

- The complaints were unsubstantiated

- W & S weren't just 'two ordinary people'

You can review the salient facts for yourself (link also in the OP).

nigguraths said...

Yes, BBD by your own logic the withdrawal of the complaints proves their unsubstantiated nature post hoc ergo propter hoc the filing of the lawsuit proves harassment.

BBD said...

Shub

Yes, BBD by your own logic the withdrawal of the complaints proves their unsubstantiated nature post hoc ergo propter hoc the filing of the lawsuit proves harassment.

W&S alleged tortious interference with contracts, asserting conspiracies and malice and sought punitive damages.

Heavy shit, man.

The fact that they chose not to proceed 'proves' nothing. It simply suggests that they were advised that they had no case. Or else why not proceed?

JohnMashey said...

(catching up)
Nigel and Eli
I think Western Fuels Association "science advisor" John Daly does deserve some "credit" for one of the most persistent fraudulent memes out there. See The `Hockey Stick':
A New Low in Climate Science


That is the earliest instance I've seen of:
a) Claiming a variant of IPCC(1990) Fig.7.1(c) was in IPCC(1995), a lie needed to make the following false narrative work:
b) And that graph was the IPCC consensus view in 1995 of world temperature
c) And the hockey stick "and in one scientific coup overturned the whole of climate history [16]."
It's also needed for the infamous David Deming "quote," but that's a later story.

See MedievalDeception 2015: Inhofe Drags Senate Back To Dark Ages, as he re-used a false image identical to Daly(2001), McIntyre(2005), Wall Street Journal(2005) and perhaps others. That has the detailed history of the Lamb sketch and a map of the area it covered, which was not the world.

People seemed to have forgotten Daly, but then McIntyre resurrected it (03/16/05) in The Significance of the Hockey Stick, although sadly, when asked a few years later, he couldn't recall where he got the image, which is *not* the exact image from IPCC(1990), much less 1995.

JohnMashey said...

BBD
1) This was an extremely defective case, as lawyers would say, in almost every way imaginable. It was a defamation case recast as an incredibly strained tortious interference case, filed in a venue that could not possibly be the right one.
They clearly wanted this in a VA local court, not NJ, CA or Federal.


2) My lawyers took one look at it and said "remove to Federal."

3) If you haven't already, read
a) The complaint, plus Wiley contract.

compare that with:

b) the main Motion to Dismiss.

Which one of them seems more competent?

The way these things work, at that stage one addresses legal/procedural issues, rather than issues of fact, and the arguments are effectively "this case should be dismissed even if the plaintiff's claims were true." Of course, many of the claims were demonstrably false, sometimes incompetently so (see Appendix C).

The most bizarre thing was something I missed. It is hard to imagine that Wiley cared much about the 2006 Wegman Report issues in comparison with the 2 articles they wrote for WIREs:CS. I just assumed they were talking about my reporting to Wiley of the latter, not the former ... but my lawyers read more carefully, and although it makes little sense, W+S never mentioned the latter.

Of course, I was perfectly happy to document in great detail what actually happened, since this sort of thing is usually viewed as a community service, if thankless, not an illegal act.

Given the real interactions so documented, it is hard to believe a tortious interference case would have gotten anywhere. Actually, they should have known that after they got the (improper) Wiley subpoena document.

It was a real surprise that with no warning that filed voluntary dismissals ...
but it does make sense if someone realizes there is not only no case, but worse:
Had there been a hearing:
(a) it is quite likely to have gotten case dismissed,
(b) and quite possibly with prejudice ("don't try again")
(c) It might even have risen to "frivolous lawsuit" status.

By filing voluntary dismissal, they avoided (a) and (b), and made (c) less likely.
They could still try again, although it is *quite* useful that this case is on the record. :-)

As people know, defamation cases are tough in the US, and truth is an absolute defense. They have repeatedly claimed never to have plagiarized, but there are ~100 pages of copy-paste-edit material, done in the side-by-side shaded display style that is pretty easy to see.

In some sense, too bad the case did not get further :-) ...
it might have been nice to call GMU witnesses to testify under oath that each of the ~100 pages was not plagiarism at GMU, thus setting a high bar under which one was safe: typically they had big chunks of text that were ~50% word-for-word in-order copied, 20% trivial edits. Many students would rejoice.

Likewise, Wiley executives could have been shown the WIREs:CS papers and asked to say under oath those were acceptable at Wiley. To be fair, Wiley finally changed its mind, but we actually don't really know why, because we were being stonewalled by the only person who would respond, even after Wegman and Said departed. Very weird.

* The GMU Inquiry Committee clearly thought there was reason to have an investigation.
The GMU Investigation committee was later said by Provost Stearns to have found plagiarism only in the already-retracted CSDA paper [SAI2008. That was obviously hard to avoid, but minimized as much as possible.

Of course, nobody outside GMU seems to have seen the investigation report, including the relevant Federal agencies (as of 2012 when I asked).
Stearns' letter contained some other statements later proved false by FOIA, so who knows what really happened?

Anonymous said...

John, if Shub threatens to sue you, just move to Richmond. The city council there just passed a ban on space-based weapons “to ensure that individuals will not be targets of space-based weapons.” This should keep Shub away, at least for a while.

Taylor B

nigguraths said...

"This should keep Shub away, at least for a while."

That's was a Freudian slip there, Taylor S.

JohnMashey said...

Taylor B
See UFO inspired wine:
"Although there were no sighting reports from Chateauneuf-du-pape in the press, the people of the town were so concerned by the sightings and the effects the UFOs may have on their wine, that the mayor banned the UFOs from landing in their vineyards."
The law was quite effective, no flying saucers/cigars have landed, apparently fearing arrest by forest officer and policeman.

Bonny Doon Vineyard (about an hour away)named their flagship wines "Le Cigare Volant" in the town's honor. I bought a bottle years ago, for the label, but it was quite drinkable.

BBD said...

John Mashey

Thanks for all that. What I believe lawyers sometimes call 'a pig's breakfast'.

What were they thinking of? Well, you needn't say specifically - we can guess.

Many students would rejoice.

:-)

JohnMashey said...

BBD: I have no real information on what they were thinking.
There are speculations in the long PDF and related information in the now-published FOIA Facts, i.e., it could be nothing but another money-making idea, but I really don't know. I have no idea why this came up now, or why they took so long to finally serve me.

I and Ted Kirkpatrick were the only visible people writing to Wiley, maybe they wanted to see who else had, although what good that would have done them is unclear.

BBD said...

John M

I have no idea why this came up now, or why they took so long to finally serve me.

That's the puzzler for me, too. If they were trying to shut you up, they left it rather late :-)

It's all rather strange in a slightly fractal sort of way.

Anonymous said...

Interesting point, John, are we really expected to believe it took a "letter writing campaign" to get Wegman and Said to resign from Wiley? If Wiley were a responsible editor, only one letter laying out the facts should have been enough for Wiley to question whether W&S' had fulfilled the terms of their contract, all the missed deadlines aside. It was up to Wiley to determine if the editors W&S et al. were fulfilling their obligations or not. Simply writing a letter pointing out facts can't be construed as defamation, could it? If Wegman and Said think they were treated so unfairly, they should have just sued Wiley. And why didn't the other authors sue? W&S' whole case seems more ludicrous the more you look at it (like all the denialists' arguments).

JohnMashey said...

Even weirder, I hadn't written anything on Wegman and Said since ~May 2013, and had no reason to write any more, but as a result of this, now public are:
a) The court case itself
b) The Wiley contract, and its extra evidence
c) The 2012 part of the Wiley interactions
d) The FOIA Facts PDF, which has a lot more detail than the blog posts, including the truly bizarre NIAAA fellowship for Said ... accepted after the huge commitment for Wiley had been made.

Item d) might have gotten published sometime, although no rush, but the others did not exist without this case.

Barton Paul Levenson said...

n: You deserved to be sued for harassing two ordinary people just because you needed a useless little corner to stake out in climate activism.

BPL: You deserve to be sued for harassing scientists doing their work. Or just on general principle.

Russell Seitz said...

John Mashey re Cigar Volant

Given all the saucer enthusiasts, why are there so few reports of vineyard crop circles in California?

One would expect to see Sonoma awash in grape trodding aliens.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention a spike in arrests for FSUIs (flying a saucer under the influence).

Taylor B