A few readers have asked for my reaction to the news that climatologist Michael Mann has decided to proceed with his suit against NR, me, Rand Simberg and the Competitive Enterprise Institute for mocking his hockey stick.
I’m still working on my formal, bland, carefully lawyered official response, so for now just let me do cheap ad hominem cracks.
I was intrigued to see in Dr. Mann’s press release of his suit the following biographical detail:
Dr. Mann is a climate scientist whose research has focused on global warming. In 2007, along with Vice President Al Gore and his colleagues of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for having “created an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming.”
I confess I wasn’t aware Dr. Mann “was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.” The official Nobel site makes no mention of him; there are no speeches, no citations, no pictures of him with the King of Norway, no namecheck on the 2007 Nobel diploma.
But it’s true he contributed to the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. And as the IPCC says:
Thousands of scientists from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC on a voluntary basis as authors, contributors and reviewers.
In 2007, Dr Mann was one of approximately 700 reviewers to review the findings of approximately 600 authors of one working group of the Fourth Assessment Report. However, he was one of a select group of a mere 2,000 people to receive a “commemorative certificate of involvement” — not from the Nobel committee, but from Dr Rajendra Pachauri of the IPCC.
So, in that sense, yes, indeed, he “was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.” Phew. For a moment, I was worried he might be exaggerating a bit — bending the curve upwards, so to speak.
In the same spirit, I see that I’ve just been awarded the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize. Under Ireland’s citizenship law, I’m an Irish national (through my father). Ireland is a member of the European Union. The EU has just been given the Nobel Peace Prize. QED. Come to think of it, my mother’s Belgian, so I’ve been awarded two Nobel Peace Prizes.
I defer to the expertise of my colleague Jay Nordlinger in these matters, but I believe this will be an historic trial: The first time one Nobel Peace Prize winner has sued another Nobel Peace Prize winner — at least until Obama sues Rigoberta Menchu over who’s got the fakest fake memoir. I’ll bring my Nobel medal if Dr. Mann brings his.
P.S. Given that the New York Times is calling this a 21st-century Scopes monkey trial, I rather like Steve Kates’s ingenious headline Down Under: “Inherit The Wind Farm.”
[SEE UPDATE ABOVE: Dr Mann calls himself a Nobel laureate in the official legal complaint against NR.]