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The Courts Earth

Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann 497

ideonexus (1257332) writes In January of 2014, the American Traditions Institute (ATI) sought climate scientist Micheal Mann's emails from his time at the University of Virginia, a request that was denied in the courts. Now the Virginia Supreme Court has upheld a lower court ruling that ATI must pay damages for filing a frivolous lawsuit. Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully.
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Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

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  • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2014 @09:14AM (#47414379) Homepage

    Not if you're the Russian intelligence services, the prime suspect behind the hack. Anyone want to bet that this was part of the same initiative that brought us the more recent scandals of Russian state funding for European anti-fracking groups and American lobbying against LNG export approval?

    Whatever it takes to keep your main market open, dependent, and buying your main exports in vast quantities, I suppose.

  • by ideonexus ( 1257332 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2014 @09:15AM (#47414391) Homepage Journal

    It seems to me that the Climate Skeptics are making the same mistake the anti-eugenics movement made in 1925 with the Scopes Monkey Trial [wikipedia.org], which fought the teaching of evolution in schools. Most people don't know this, but the anti-evolution activists were horrified by the textbook's use of Evolution to justify Eugenics [ideonexus.com], but instead of attacking the public policy proposals of the Eugenics Movement, they attacked the science of Evolution, and history remembers them as buffoons for combating the scientific consensus.

    Today, Climate Skeptics are fighting the scientific consensus instead of debating the policies being proposed from that consensus. I myself am an adaptationist, I don't care if we do anything about Global Warming for another 20-30 years and at that point I have faith that civilization will start to engineer its way out of the problem... however, I find myself on the side of the environmentalists with their oftentimes draconian public-policy initiatives because I believe in scientific literacy, and the anti-science positions of today's Climate Skeptics threaten to undo the scientific progress on which our civilization depends for its survival.

  • by ideonexus ( 1257332 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2014 @09:27AM (#47414489) Homepage Journal
    That's a fair argument, and that's also why I used the word "faith" to describe my opinion. I would love to continue having a constructive dialog on this... but unfortunately, we can't move the conversation on Climate Change to a discussion of what, if anything, we should do about it until we get the public to accept the scientific consensus on it. This is how the Skeptics are winning, by preventing the dialog from moving forward.
  • by SpockLogic ( 1256972 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2014 @09:30AM (#47414501)
    The lobbyists for the coal and oil industries will spin this as a 'win'.

    "See, I told you the Kenyan, Muslim, socialist, green, anti-American is trying to bankrupt the righteous, god fearing, flag waving, truck driving, ordinary American trying to protect his traditional way of life. Don't believe those liberal, elitist, heathen scientists. Donate here and vote this way. Thank you. "

    This post should be read with the sarc filter on.

  • by afeeney ( 719690 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2014 @09:58AM (#47414799)

    The oil companies/heartland institute don't have to create spin anymore, because they've had the most important success possible: making denialism an important part of the identity of a lot of people.

    In some ways, it's very cult-like in the way that it forms identity. Denialism gives you victim/threatened status (those evildoers are attacking our beliefs, we need to be warriors), enough victories to think of oneself as a winner but maintain the communal aspects of thinking oneself under threat, charismatic leaders, the companionship of shared beliefs, a sense of superiority to those who disbelieve, and, in the most cult-like aspect, the assurance of being above mere facts, of living in a world where your personal beliefs trump mere objective facts.

  • by aepervius ( 535155 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2014 @10:35AM (#47415179)
    "the same mistake the anti-eugenics movement made in 1925 with the Scopes Monkey Trial [wikipedia.org], which fought the teaching of evolution in schools"

    All the history of the Butler act I ever read mention they simply feared teaching of evolution would weaken faith, and that they refused our descendance from great apes, as it would shows us as descending from lower beings like animals. At no point the proponent of Butler's act mentioned eugenism, that sound like a modern rewriting of the history. In fact the prominent web sites which promote this thesis are : answeringenesis and creation.com. Fancy that.
  • by Sockatume ( 732728 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2014 @11:46AM (#47415885)

    The FOI doesn't allow you to sue someone for access to their records soley on the pretext that you're going to trawl for unspecified and potentially nonexistent wrongdoing.

    I don't think you know what a cargo cult (or by extension, "cargo cult science") is.

    It's not the court's purpose to air dirty laundry of people you don't like soley because there is dirty laundry to be aired.

  • by sycodon ( 149926 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2014 @11:48AM (#47415905)

    Just off the first page of a Google search.

    Hurricanes will increase in number and intensity. [nature.org]

    Tornadoes will increase in number and intensity. [nationalgeographic.com]

    New York will be under water. [huffingtonpost.com]

      Britain will never see snow again.

    Record low Hurricanes, Tornadoes, New York still hasn't flooded, and Britain just had record snowfall this last winter.

  • by hairykrishna ( 740240 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2014 @11:52AM (#47415943)

    Define 'scepticism about AGW catastrophism'. I'm a professional physicist and I would suggest, based on experience talking to my colleagues, that there is very little scepticism amongst physicists that humans are responsible for observed temperature rises and are going to be responsible for a whole lot more. It is certainly not 'rampant'. Consequences of said warming for the human race is a different topic.

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.