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Commentators who accused renowned climate scientist Michael Mann of manipulating data compared him to Jerry Sandusky , a pedophile convicted of sexual assault on minors.

Right-wing commentators to pay climate scientist $1 million

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Michael Mann , professor of climate sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, won his defamation suit, after filing suit 12 years ago.

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Voice synthesis, based on artificial intelligence, makes it possible to generate spoken text from written text.

Twelve years after filing a defamation suit against right-wing bloggers, including Canadian Mark Steyn, renowned American climate scientist Michael Mann has won of cause. The Superior Court of the District of Columbia ordered the authors to pay him $1 million.

J&#x27 I hope that this verdict sends the message that baselessly attacking climate scientists does not fall under the protected freedom of expression [by the American Constitution], Michael Mann reacted in a press release on Thursday evening.

Mr. Mann, professor of climate sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, became known in 1998, after publishing in the journal Nature a graph on the evolution of the average temperature on the planet over 1000 years. Like a hockey stick, the curve shows little variation for nearly 900 years before accelerating dramatically in the 20th century.

The graph, taken by researchers and experts from the UN and the IPCC to illustrate the global warming, was quickly decried in climate skeptic circles.

Like several scientists, Michael Mann found himself targeted in an email hacking case in 2009. The incident, dubbed “Climategate,” was the cause of the incident. x27;opportunity for communities refuting the existence of global warming to criticize the work of climate experts. In this whirlwind, Michael Mann was accused of having manipulated his research data.

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Investigations carried out by Pennsylvania State University, in particular, subsequently cleared Mr. Mann of these accusations. But the criticism of his work did not stop there.

In a 2012 blog post published on the website of the libertarian think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute, Rand Simberg, a political analyst, compared the controversy surrounding Mr. Mann in the Jerry Sandusky affair. That same year, the former assistant football coach at Pennsylvania State University was found guilty of 45 counts of sexual assault against minors.

You could say that Mann is the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of attacking children, he molested and tortured data, wrote Rand Simberg.

In a text published in National Review magazine, Canadian commentator Mike Steyn – invited several times on the set of the star host of the American right Tucker Carlson – then took up Mr. Simberg's comments, qualifying The climatologist sued the two men and their publishers, but a judge declared in 2021 that only the authors could be targeted by complaints.

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Mark Steyn on the set of the show “Power & Politics” from CBC, in 2014.

During the trial, Michael Mann claimed his image had been tarnished by the statements of the two commentators. The professor alleged that he lost grants and opportunities to collaborate on studies as a result of these publications.

But the two authors brushed aside these assertions, emphasizing that the professor had, on the contrary, become a climate authority from one end of the globe to the other despite these comments. Their lawyers argued that the comments should be protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guarantees Americans' freedom of speech.

In its judgment, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia concluded that Rand Simberg and Mike Steyn were thus guilty of defamation based on their written statements with malice, grudge, ill will, revenge or deliberate intent to harm.

The jury ordered Mr. Simberg to pay $1,000 to the climatologist, while Mr. Steyn must pay him $1 million in punitive damages. Both will also have to pay him $1 in compensatory damages.

M's lawyer .Simberg said his client would appeal the decision. Mr. Steyn, who defended himself without a lawyer during the trial, will do the same, according to his manager, Melissa Howes.

For Pete Fontaine, one of Mr. Mann's lawyers, this is a great victory for the truth and the scientists around the world who dedicate their lives to answer critical scientific questions that impact human health and the planet.

This is the very first time that climate deniers have been held financially responsible for their misleading statements, said Michael Gerrard, founder of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, an environmental law research center. based in New York.

This victory for the professor comes at a time when the reputation of scientists and their work are the target of &#x27 ;virulent attacks, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a recent report, the Center for Countering Digital Hate, which documents and analyzes the circulation of hateful posts and misinformation on social media, has identified a new trend dubbed the new climate denialism.

Instead of persisting in denying the existence of anthropogenic climate change, climate skeptics instead target scientists and attempt to discredit on their work.

Attacking climate scientists like Michael Mann will not make the climate crisis go away.

A quote from the Center for Countering Digital Hate Statement

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">The issue of climate change and its origins continues to divide Americans. According to a 2023 survey by Yale University, 58% of the population believes that warming is mainly caused by human activities.

With information from Associated Press

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116