The Twitter Chainsaw Massacre.
I think Da Mann is having a bad week.
First off, all those greenies who were pushing him to the front and encouraging him to sue the ass off Mark Steyn and others for millions appear reluctant to support him the closer the hearing date gets. Not one amicus brief has been filed to help him out in his legal crusade to close down free speech about public figures. If you don’t happen to be familiar with it, an amicus brief is a statement by your peers in a libel or slander suit saying you’re held in high regard. Apparently not a single other climate scientist felt compelled to place their reputational pecker on the chopping block for him.
Though that might have been the cruellest chop avoided by some people, it was a cruel cut as far as Mickey was concerned, especially on top of the major news organisations finally realising that if he wins and establishes the legal precedent, they won’t be able to comment on anything other than reality TV and then only ever so carefully, so they had to come out against him. Admittedly, it was through gritted teeth because it was indirectly about the truth or not of that headline grabbing global warming.
It’s a bad enough development when the MSM hangs you out to dry but when your own little green pixies decide to desert you, it’s definitely a tipping point. You’d have thought at least one Nobel laureate like his good self would have told the court it’s about defending science rather than Mickey Mann and his sensitivity to criticism. I do sometimes wonder if he ever read the climategate emails and the candid opinions of his colleagues expressed about him. Perhaps he should sue them as well.
Anyway, in his venerable tradition of escalating a couple of minor setbacks into a major disaster, he decided in the same week to go ahead with a twitterthon called AskDrMann. I’m sure someone, somewhere in his entourage hinted that this might not be a good move and I’m equally sure Manny waved them off airily. His public awaited, he was still loved, still an IPCC poster boy even though the poster had long been removed from the cover of their Amazing Sci-Fi reports. Ah, the glory days of pulp fiction and global warming. Bring back that pre-Copenhagen euphoria.
You could ask him anything you like, absolutely anything, and if he didn’t like it, he simply blocked you. He was so busy blocking people, I’m still unsure as to whether he actually replied to any questions. I don’t want to tell tales out of school, but it developed into a slightly shameful but competitive thing in skeptic circles. Have you been blocked yet Pointy? Nope. Well bloody-well try harder.
I have to confess I was so fascinated watching the comedy, that I actually hadn’t the presence of mind to join in and get banned. One quick comment, never mind a question, did the trick, and with skeptic pride restored, I could settle back to watching the developing horror unfold. Mann, you just hadda embrace it.
You can find the whole twitter disaster here, but I’d like to share some of my favourite questions put to Mickey. Since a person is limited in the number of words they can use in a tweet, it does oblige them to be succinct and if they can be witty at the same time, so much the better. A lot of people rose to the challenge.
“Was “hide the decline” referring to a temperature proxy or your reputation?”
“What is greater, temp increase in the last 15 years or the number of amicus briefs filed on your behalf in Mann v Steyn?”
“Were you happy with the fake book reviews you had Skeptical Science Cook up for you?”
“If Global Warming means both warmer and colder weather simultaneously, how do you know when it’s fixed?”
“How many hrs a day on average wud u spend fastidiously blocking people on Twitter”
“Although you’re a young scientist, what *so far* do you regard as your greatest contribution to our ignorance about nature?”
“Don’t think of them as questions from trolls, think of them as questions you may have to answer under oath”
“Why is only the 3% of CO2 that’s human-emitted catastrophically dangerous, while the 97% that’s emitted naturally isn’t?”
If you’re a connoisseur of self-inflicted wounds, it’s a beaut but it’s typically Mann. It’s yet another setback but there’s a bigger one heading towards him.
He tried some naked intimidation on the awkward sort of bastard that only a Belgian/Jewish/Catholic/Canadian plus whatever heritage could produce, the aforesaid bastard wouldn’t fold and is now returning the legal favour by counter suing him for millions.
If you haven’t worked it out yet Mickey, the clued-up thinking by your former avid fans running a mile from your cause is that your case is without merit and you’ve now got a Rottweiler after you with a much better case and absolutely no inclination to walk away. You should settle but of course your ego won’t allow that. They’ve all made that calculation and anyway you’ve collected too many enemies and very few friends. Rather him than me is what they’re thinking.
You’ve been cut loose. The blood’s in the water, the Steyn shark is circling in and you’re treading water on your lonesome ownsome. It’s just a matter of time.
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