Breaking: Climate Scientist Michael Mann Vows to Target NR Yet Again: 'They're Next'

Climate scientist Michael Mann, who just won a more than $1 million judgement in a long-running defamation case against two conservative writers, is vowing again to target National Review because one of the offending blog posts was published on its website.

On Thursday, a Washington, D.C., jury found that science writer Rand Simberg and pundit Mark Steyn defamed Mann nearly 12 years ago in blog posts that appeared on the websites of the libertarian-leaning Competitive Enterprise Institute and of National Review.

Mann, now a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, sued both writers, CEI, and National Review. Two years ago, the D.C. superior court granted National Review’s motion for summary judgment in the suit, in part because Steyn was not an employee of National Review when he made the post on its website, and no National Review employee played a role in posting it.

After his win on Thursday, Mann said he would be appealing the decision that found that National Review and CEI were not liable, saying he believes it was "wrongly decided," according to a Washington Post report.

"They're next," Mann said of National Review and CEI, a sentiment echoed by his attorney, John Williams, in the New York Times.

National Review has long maintained that Steyn's post was protected opinion.

"We don't know who Michael Mann's backers are, but they obviously have bottomless pockets to fund his petty and vindictive lawfare campaign against people exercising their First Amendment rights in ways he doesn't like," said Rich Lowry, National Review editor-in-chief.

During the trial, which started in mid January, Mann indicated that he hadn't personally paid for the lawsuit and that he didn't have any debts from the trial.

The case centered on blog posts that Simberg and Steyn made over a decade ago criticizing Mann's science and his "hockey-stick" graph, which shows a sharp increase global temperatures linked to greenhouse gas emissions.

In his post on CEI's website, Simberg accused Mann of molesting and torturing his data, and he made a crude analogy between Penn State University's investigation of Mann and its investigation of Jerry Sandusky, the school's former football coach convicted of child molestation. Mann was a Penn State employee at the time.

In his post on the Corner section of National Review’s website, Steyn distanced himself from Simberg's Sandusky analogy, but he added that "he has a point."

During closing arguments, Williams, Mann's attorney, said he wrote a letter to National Review and CEI seeking a retraction and an apology. The letter threatened legal action. Lowry replied with an article headlined, "Get Lost," which said that Steyn's language was mild compared to other criticisms Mann had received and called the threat of litigation a "nuisance lawsuit."

In a 2012 email, Mann wrote that he hoped the lawsuit would "ruin" Steyn, whom he referred to as a "pathetic excuse for a human being." Mann also wrote in private exchanges that there was "a possibility that I can ruin National Review," which he referred to as "this filthy organization," a "threat to our children," and beholden to "greedy fat cat corporate masters."

During the trial, Williams said Mann was "horrified" by the comparison to Sandusky, and felt like a "pariah" because of it.

The jury found in Mann's favor, ordering Steyn to pay him $1 million in punitive damages and ordering Simberg to pay him $1,000. The jury also found that the writers each owed Mann a dollar in compensatory damages.

In a statement after the trial, Mann wrote that he hopes the jury's verdict "sends a message that falsely attacking climate scientists is not protected speech."

But the defendants showed that the attacks went both ways, and that Mann contributed to the "really nasty" tenor of the debate around climate science.

Steven McIntyre, a mining industry executive and vocal critic of Mann's hockey-stick graph, testified that Mann accused him of engaging in "pure scientific fraud," and called him "human filth" and an "asshole." Judith Curry, a climatologist and professor emeritus at Georgia Institute of Technology, said Mann called her a "serial climate dis-informer" in a Huffington Post article and he "destroyed my academic career." She said Mann also made false accusations against her in an email implying that she was "just a woman sleeping my way to the top."

Other defense witnesses called Mann a "troll," said he was "thin-skinned," "quick to attack," and that he has a reputation as "combative, bullying, unpleasant to deal with."

The punitive damages against Steyn and Simberg could be deemed excessive on appeal. A post on Steyn's website on Friday predicted that the $1 million in damages against Steyn would be overturned at the U.S. Supreme Court, which "generally reckons that 'in practice, few awards exceeding a single-digit ratio between punitive and compensatory damages, to a significant degree, will satisfy due process.'"

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Climate Scientist Michael Mann Vows to Target NR Yet Again: 'They're Next'

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