Climate Scientists Are Now Suing Critics Who Challenge ‘Settled Science’

Mark Jacobson/YouTube

We keep hearing how climate change is “settled science,” even though science is never settled. But if it were, why are scientists going to court to intimidate those who would dare challenge the global warming dogma?

Back in June, the National Academy of Sciences published a paper with a typically bland title: “Evaluation of a proposal for reliable low-cost grid power with 100% wind, water, and solar.”

The paper, which had 21 authors, was a robust critique of work done by Stanford professor Mark Jacobson, whose widely cited research claimed that the U.S. could easily switch to 100% renewable energy in as few as 35 years.

In their response, the authors said Jacobson’s work suffered “significant shortcomings” including “invalid modeling tools … modeling errors, and … implausible and inadequately supported assumptions.”

Tough words to be sure. But hardly out of the norm for scientific debate. Indeed, this kind of back and forth serves as the very heart of science.

But instead of simply defending his own work, Jacobson decided to file a $10 million lawsuit against the National Academy of Sciences and the paper’s lead author, Christopher Clark, for defamation of character.

This, mind you, is after Jacobson tweeted that his science critics were being “intentionally scientifically fraudulent with falsified data.”

Jacobson isn’t the first such scientist to sue his critics. Pennsylvania State University climatologist Michael Mann sued Canadian climatologist Tim Ball several years ago for defamation of character after Ball challenged Mann’s famous global warming “hockey stick” paper.

In that paper, Mann purported to show that the current warming trend looked like the working end of a hockey stick compared with global temperatures stretching all the way back to year 1,000.

Ball and other scientists wanted to see the data Mann had used, suspecting that he’d “adjusted” the temperature record to make the present look unusually warm.

Ball’s version of the temperature record showed the medieval period as warmer than the present. At one point, Ball said that Mann “should be in the State Pen, not Penn State.”

Now another scientist finds himself being sued by environmentalists because his results failed to conform to what they wanted. In this case, the highly respected geoscientist Ricardo Villalba conducted a scientific survey of Argentina’s glaciers.

Green groups said that his survey favored mining interests and so filed suit against him. Villalba now faces criminal charges for violating a 2010 law meant to protect Argentina’s glaciers.

Whatever the intent of these lawsuits, the effect is to chill scientific research and debate. Scientists will think twice about challenging any aspect of the climate change religion if the result could be an expensive lawsuit.

Makes one wonder what Francis Bacon would think of the state of climate science today.

Read more at IBD

Comments (6)

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    Spurwing Plover


    There growing desperate to try and silence the skeptics including threats of lawsuits and frankly these fake sceinists and Global Warming/Climate Change zealots need to be totaly defunded by 100%

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    I hope the Jacobson hurt feelings suit goes ahead expeditiously.
    If you can’t stand your scientific work being reviewed and challenged why be in science ? It is about time the truth about
    huge uncertainty of crystal ball projections claiming to be anything more than guesses is laid on the table .
    Kind of sad this guy couldn’t rebut the assertions of 21 scientists
    but now he will get his chance in court and pay the costs too likely . Sounds like a lot of huff and puff .

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    Why bother trying to prove what can’t be proven
    when you can use the gushing grant money spigot
    to silence reason and common sense by way of
    endless litigation.

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    You could counter the plaintiff’s apparent financial advantage. I put my money where my mouth is.

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover


    I would like to see this idiot file a lawsuit then get it tossed out by a common sense judge that’s not connected with the notorious 9th Circus Court lets see this fool eat crow

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    Just like Right Wing Deniers have used Friendly Politicians to subpoena scientists repeatedly ( Smith comes to mind….subpoena but never allow them to testify…or harangue … and then accuse with out evidence…pry into private lives) or Attorney Generals to sue Legit. respected scientists with NO BASIS IN LAW….using tax dollars to sue but forcing scientists to use their private funds to defend themselves..
    “Search Results
    Attorney General of Virginia’s climate science investigation – Wikipedia…/Attorney_General_of_Virginia%27s_climate_science_inve…

    The Attorney General of Virginia’s climate science investigation was a “Civil Investigative Demand” initiated in April 2010 by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for a wide range of records held by the University of Virginia related to five grant applications for research work by a leading climate scientist Michael E. Mann, …”
    “Va. Supreme Court rejects Cuccinelli’s bid for U-Va. documents – The ……/gIQAmo8inR_story.html

    Mar 2, 2012 – RICHMOND — After two years and more than half a million dollars in legal fees, the Virginia Supreme Court on Friday rejected Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II’s assertion that the state’s flagship university had to turn over documents related to global warming.
    The decision was a defeat for Cuccinelli (R), …”
    Kenneth Cuccinelli of Virginia Wages War on Climate Science – The …

    Feb 22, 2011 – Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, Virginia’s crusading Republican attorney general, has waged a one-man war on the theory of man-made global warming. … At the same time, Mr. Cuccinelli is suing the Environmental Protection Agency over its ruling that carbon dioxide and other global warming gases pose a threat …”

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