Fifteen years on from the notorious Climategate scandal, and the widely debunked temperature ‘hockey stick’ is centre stage in a libel trial in a Washington D.C. court. In the widely-billed climate trial of the century, the fake Nobel laureate Michael Mann is suing the journalist Mark Steyn for claiming that his infamous hockey stick graph is fraudulent. The case has enormous ramifications since it can be argued that the hockey stick removed the concept of natural climate variability for an entire generation. It is fraudulent, claims Steyn, both in its construction and in the uses to which it has been put by Al Gore, the IPCC, every school and most governments throughout the Western world.
The hockey stick first appeared in 1998 and purported to show that global temperatures had slowly declined for around 1,000 years before shooting up suddenly in recent years under the impact of humans burning hydrocarbons and increasing the supply of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It was widely quoted by activists and was published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). To this day, many activists argue that the small recent rises in global temperature are exceptional and have not been witnessed in the past going back 125,000 years. Widespread and convincing proxy evidence, along with historical observations, suggest otherwise. It is generally accepted that a medieval warming period saw similar rises to those witnessed today. But proxy evidence can work both ways. According to Steyn, the Mann graph abolished warming in medieval times using two clumps of trees – some California bristlecones and just one cedar from the Gaspe Peninsula for the years up to 1421.
“Tree rings are absolutely brilliant at telling you the temperature in 1432”, Steyn has observed sarcastically, and if you criticise that on Twitter, Mann says you are funded by the Koch Brothers. In 2012 Mann sued Steyn in the District of Columbia Superior Court for “defamation of a Nobel Prize recipient”. Mann has since withdrawn the false Nobel claim but not the defamation charge. In court hearings it has been revealed that if Mann loses he will not pay a cent. As always, there is interest in who funds a great deal of climate activism and ‘lawfare’ around the world.