Climate scientist Michael Mann has finally filed his lawsuit:
Today, the case of Dr. Michael E. Mann vs. The National Review and The Competitive Enterprise Institute was filed in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Dr. Mann, a Professor and Director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, has instituted this lawsuit against the two organizations, along with two of their authors, based upon their false and defamatory statements accusing him of academic fraud and comparing him to a convicted child molester, Jerry Sandusky. Dr. Mann is being represented by John B. Williams of the law firm of Cozen O'Connor in Washington, D.C.
Mark Steyn's piece was the one in The National Review. His defense, as far as I can parse it, is that when he accused Mr. Mann of committing fraud, he was not accusing him of committing fraud. As I wrote at the time:
Frankly, I know of nowhere that a reader, be they careful or careless, could interpret the term "fraudulent" when applied to a scientist's work as implying anything less than that they were guilty of scientific misconduct (the kind of thing they discuss here) or straight out fraud. I am unaware of any place the term has been used merely to state that the scientist's work is incorrect. This is quite a bit different than the situation with "blackmail", where there is an established colloquial sense that is weaker than the more precise legal sense (the colloquial sense does not entail criminality where the more legal sense does).
I will try and find out if there is a method of donating to Mr. Mann's cause. As most good Canadians, I would love to see Mr. Steyn tarred and feathered, but a successful lawsuit is likely to be the best result attainable.