Climate Change Hockeystick YouTube Satire Provokes Lawsuit Threat
Penn State climatologist Michael Mann is apparently not amused by a YouTube parody video in which he and his notorious hockeystick graph showing a steep rise in recent global temperatures is featured. According to a press release from the creators of the original video, Minnesotans 4 Global Warming:
Penn State University's Michael Mann, one of the central figures in the Climategate scandal, has threatened legal action against Minnesotans for Global Warming (M4GW) over the group's popular satirical YouTube video "Hide the Decline." The No Cap-and-Trade Coalition, a group that includes M4GW, responded today at an event at the National Press Club, releasing Mann's threatening letter and an updated version of the "Hide the Decline" video.
"We understand why Michael Mann is eager to silence public discussion of the hockey stick scandal," said Jeff Davis of No Cap-and-Trade, "but truth is an absolute defense."
The original "Hide the Decline" video, which had more than 500,000 viewers, was removed today from YouTube by M4GW's Elmer Beauregard. It received national attention when Rush Limbaugh played it on his radio show and was later featured on CBS Evening News in the wake of the Climategate email scandal. "Hide the Decline" parodied Mann, the Penn State professor who is largely responsible for the creation of the now debunked "hockey stick" graph, which purported to show a dramatic spike in average global temperature during the 20th century after 900 years of relatively constant temperature.
The video spotlighted a phrase from one of the central "Climategate" e-mails in which the University of East Anglia's Phil Jones explains how he used Mann's "Nature trick" to "hide the decline" of key temperature data. The hockey stick graph relied on "hiding this decline."
With regard to the scientific validity of Mann's hockeystick temperature graph, the Financial Times reported in early April:
A key piece of evidence in climate change science was slammed as "exaggerated" on Wednesday by the UK's leading statistician, in a vindication of claims that global warming sceptics have been making for years.
Professor David Hand, president of the Royal Statistical Society, said that a graph shaped like an ice hockey stick that has been used to represent the recent rise in global temperatures had been compiled using "inappropriate" methods.
"It used a particular statistical technique that exaggerated the effect [of recent warming]," he said.
In response to the threatened lawsuit, Minnesotans 4 Global Warming, took down its video. But don't worry, another group skeptical of catastrophic man-made global warming, the No Cap and Trade Coalition, has put up another jazzy version for viewers to enjoy.
Hat tip Bob Poole.