Climatologist Sues Critics for Defamation

Blog posts said he faked data, compared him to molester

By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff | Suggested by Guvner

Posted Oct 24, 2012 4:37 PM CDT

(Newser) – A leading climatologist has filed a defamation suit against the National Review and a conservative think tank because they claimed he manipulated data and compared him to child molester Jerry Sandusky, report the Guardian and Scientific American. In 2010, Michael Mann was one of several scientists at the heart of "Climategate," in which a series of illegally obtained emails purported to show that climatologists falsified data. Subsequent investigations cleared Mann and his colleagues, but the negative articles have continued.

A post at the Competitive Enterprise Institute went so far to say he "molested" data and drew a comparison between Sandusky and Mann, who also worked at Penn State. A National Review blogger picked up on the post. On Facebook, Mann explained his rationale for the suit: "There is a larger context for this latest development, namely the onslaught of dishonest and libelous attacks that climate scientists have endured for years by dishonest front groups seeking to discredit the case for concern over climate change." Lawyers for the other side, however, say the suit is "totally unfounded."

In this photo taken in 2007, Penn State professor Michael Mann is seen at the university.
In this photo taken in 2007, Penn State professor Michael Mann is seen at the university.   (AP Photo/Greg Rico, FILE)
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