Steyn on Free Expression

 

Should the validity of scientific proposals be decided in a court of law? Should policy be decided the same way? The great Mark Steyn has posted a new video interview on the most important free speech case of our time:

This is the difference between the rest of the English-speaking world and the United States: There’s a constitutional, absolute right to free expression. But that’s of limited value in a litigious society where people can tie you up in court for five to ten years. And it’s of even less value if actually you lose the spirit of vigorous public discourse. And that’s my concern, too: That on climate change and many other issues, there’s no point in having absolute freedom of speech if, as a practical matter, public discourse shrivels to an ever-narrower range of public opinion.

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There are 37 comments.

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  1. Titus Techera Contributor

    I haven’t heard him talk about the trouble with the Little Ice Age & all the good of coming out of it before–I fully agree. Thanks for keeping us posted & I hope something good comes of this!

    • #1
    • April 25, 2016, at 2:14 PM PDT
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  2. aardo vozz Member

    It is yet another bad sign for Western Civilization when the non-scientist Mark Steyn sounds more rational and more logical than the scientists he disagrees with.

    • #2
    • April 25, 2016, at 2:19 PM PDT
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  3. Percival Thatcher

    Good catch. Thanks, Mama Toad.

    • #3
    • April 25, 2016, at 3:30 PM PDT
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  4. drlorentz Member

    I’m disappointed in the scientific community as a whole for not supporting free expression. Steyn explains how dissidents are punished, which is why early- and mid-career scientists are afraid to speak out (e.g., Judy Curry). I found myself on a Green enemies list for daring to voice dissent, among distinguished company including Freeman Dyson. I took it as a compliment.

    Mark Steyn is right on all counts:

    • Climate alarmists try to destroy all dissenters using the variety of tactics Steyn outlines.
    • The Greens are primitivists.

    Edit: I found the Green enemies list; it’s still online. In it, you will find the discrediting techniques Steyn mentioned in the video. And, yes, yours truly is in there somewhere.

    • #4
    • April 25, 2016, at 3:49 PM PDT
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  5. Wiley Inactive

    The government’s musical “The Great Immensity” intrigued me, so here is a review:

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/09/20/curtain-reviews-come-down-on-taxpayer-funded-climate-change-musical.html

    and here is a video (soooo boring):

    • #5
    • April 25, 2016, at 4:04 PM PDT
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  6. LC Member
    LC

    Wiley:The government’s musical “The Great Immensity” intrigued me, so here is a review:

    Such ridiculousness. And it’s taxpayers’ money that went to funding this awful piece of work.

    I’m glad Mark Steyn is fighting this as a Free Speech battle.

    • #6
    • April 25, 2016, at 6:17 PM PDT
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  7. The Reticulator Member

    drlorentz:I’m disappointed in the scientific community as a whole for not supporting free expression. Steyn explains how dissidents are punished, which is why early- and mid-career scientists are afraid to speak out (e.g., Judy Curry). I found myself on a Green enemies list for daring to voice dissent, among distinguished company including Freeman Dyson. I took it as a compliment.

    Mark Steyn is right on all counts:

    • Climate alarmists try to destroy all dissenters using the variety of tactics Steyn outlines.
    • The Greens are primitivists.

    Edit: I found the Green enemies list; it’s still online. In it, you will find the discrediting techniques Steyn mentioned in the video. And, yes, yours truly is in there somewhere.

    I wonder if anybody saved any of those McCarthyite tracts from the 1950s that listed communists and fellow-travelers, mostly in the entertainment industry. One thing that makes them different from this list is that they were usually printed in red ink, and had a lot of words in all-caps.

    • #7
    • April 26, 2016, at 7:31 AM PDT
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  8. katievs Member

    Watched it with my coffee this morning. He’s the best.

    • #8
    • April 26, 2016, at 7:54 AM PDT
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  9. Benjamin Glaser Member

    It is shameful the way National Review treated him once this lawsuit got going.

    • #9
    • April 26, 2016, at 8:12 AM PDT
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  10. drlorentz Member

    The Reticulator: I wonder if anybody saved any of those McCarthyite tracts from the 1950s that listed communists and fellow-travelers, mostly in the entertainment industry. One thing that makes them different from this list is that they were usually printed in red ink, and had a lot of words in all-caps.

    I especially enjoyed the wacko conspiracy chart on p.38 with red arrows connecting the miscreants:

    conspiracy

    • #10
    • April 26, 2016, at 8:21 AM PDT
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  11. Aaron Miller Member

    “What is the endgame…?”

    There is no endgame. There is money, power, and fame to be gained from decrying the human plague on Mother Earth. It’s a game of opportunity, not a well-ordered war of principles.

    • #11
    • April 26, 2016, at 8:22 AM PDT
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  12. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor

    Benjamin Glaser:It is shameful the way National Review treated him once this lawsuit got going.

    Without wishing to re-litigate the issue, there are differing accounts of the matter, some alleging that NR threw Steyn under the bus because they’re cowards, others that Steyn threw a tantrum because he’s a prima donna who wasn’t getting his way. YMMV.

    For what it’s worth — and I think it’s worth quite a bit — they are both perusing the case against Mann (as are, to my knowledge, Rand Simberg and CEI).

    • #12
    • April 26, 2016, at 8:33 AM PDT
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  13. LC Member
    LC

    Benjamin Glaser:It is shameful the way National Review treated him once this lawsuit got going.

    Steyn once said NR wants to put climate change on trail, he wants to fight it on a much bigger and more important issue, that of Free Speech. It’s probably just a differ on how to fight the lawsuit.

    • #13
    • April 26, 2016, at 8:49 AM PDT
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  14. Casey Inactive

    Science in court. To read.

    • #14
    • April 26, 2016, at 8:56 AM PDT
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  15. James Gawron Thatcher

    MamaT,

    I have been disgusted by the Enviromental Ideologues for a very long time. Michael Mann is the most egregious manifestation of this cabal. That Steyn and NR win the lawsuit is of paramount importance.

    Steyn’s comments in this interview, especially the text you have quoted, speak to an aspect of the problem that must be faced. We have de Jure absolute freedom of speech in America. This is something that the world admires and desires. However, when the law is abused to endlessly harass speakers by false accusation in an abusive lawsuit, there is a de facto suppression of the freedom of speech.

    We should recognize this and realize that this more subtle but just as dangerous attack on our freedom must be fought. I am confident. Mann has admitted recently that for the last 20 years there has been no rise in global temperatures even though they were predicted by his modeling to rise sharply. This alone should give anyone over stuck on MMGW pause. Meanwhile, Mann doesn’t admit to the wholesale economic destruction the belief in his fantasy warming alarmism has caused.

    As far as I’m concerned, Steyn and NR are the hobbits out to slay the giant hideous dragon of Environmental Ideology. May they succeed for all our sakes.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #15
    • April 26, 2016, at 8:59 AM PDT
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  16. drlorentz Member

    Aaron Miller:“What is the endgame…?”

    There is no endgame. There is money, power, and fame to be gained from decrying the human plague on Mother Earth. It’s a game of opportunity, not a well-ordered war of principles.

    • #16
    • April 26, 2016, at 9:12 AM PDT
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  17. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad Post author

    Not at all disappointed to be promoted to the Main Feed (thanks Rico Overlords) but I really liked my “Steyn Fan Grrl Alert” title… Ah well…

    • #17
    • April 26, 2016, at 9:22 AM PDT
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  18. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad Post author

    Benjamin Glaser:It is shameful the way National Review treated him once this lawsuit got going.

    I agree with you, Mr. Glaser, but I have been assured that I am wrong.

    NR has been an influential force in my life and helped make me the woman I am today. I wish NR well in their fight against the climate enforcers.

    I think Lidens Cheng has it right in that Steyn is fighting for the big picture of Free Speech, not just the small issue of climate “science” that NR is focused on. I hope they both are successful.

    • #18
    • April 26, 2016, at 9:41 AM PDT
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  19. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad Post author

    James Gawron:We should recognize this and realize that this more subtle but just as dangerous attack on our freedom must be fought. I am confident. Mann has admitted recently that for the last 20 years there has been no rise in global temperatures even though they were predicted by his modeling to rise sharply. This alone should give anyone over stuck on MMGW pause. Meanwhile, Mann doesn’t admit to the wholesale economic destruction the belief in his fantasy warming alarmism has caused.

    Here is a claim that NASA has altered through data tampering not just the temperature record of the atmosphere from the past one hundred years but also the rise of sea levels.

    • #19
    • April 26, 2016, at 9:54 AM PDT
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  20. Aaron Miller Member

    drlorentz:

    That’s exactly the sort of garbage that poisons the education of young people today. It pervades nature documentaries and stories on TV, articles linked to on Facebook and Twitter, stories told in video games, etc.

    The crazy aspect is that people are taught this idea that nature is consistently beautiful, balanced, and static even as they are shown evidence to the contrary. A documentary shows a lion eating its own cubs or a pod of “orcas” (killer whales) drowning a baby humpback whale just to eat its tongue, then a story laments that only humans murder or hunt for sport. One article mentions how a rabbit population exploded after wolves were hunted to scarcity, resulting in ravaged vegetation and starvation among other species in the ecosystem. Then the next article suggests that any hunting whatsoever by humans would disrupt a natural balance.

    News “stories” are referred to as such because how information is presented has great effect on how that information is received and organized in memory. There is a lot of misinformation out there, but ideological misinterpretation of facts is equally dangerous.

    • #20
    • April 26, 2016, at 10:09 AM PDT
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  21. James Gawron Thatcher

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad:

    James Gawron:We should recognize this and realize that this more subtle but just as dangerous attack on our freedom must be fought. I am confident. Mann has admitted recently that for the last 20 years there has been no rise in global temperatures even though they were predicted by his modeling to rise sharply. This alone should give anyone over stuck on MMGW pause. Meanwhile, Mann doesn’t admit to the wholesale economic destruction the belief in his fantasy warming alarmism has caused.

    Here is a claim that NASA has altered through data tampering not just the temperature record of the atmosphere past one hundred years but also the rise of sea levels.

    MamaT,

    Let me give you my take on the most recent data. I am a bit of a ringer as I sold EPA certified monitors (in the stone age the late 1970s). Big time environmental monitoring is a huge enterprise. Thousands of sites with sophisticated instruments that must be certified by the regulatory agency (EPA) in question. The data is collected and then fed into a variety of competing modeling analyst’s big supercomputers. Of course, everything is dependent on the sensitivity or precision of the measurement. The more precise the more relevant the model is likely to be. As science & technology progress the measurement instrumentation gets better and specifically more precise. However, with thousands of sites and a certifying process involved it takes a while to bring on the new equipment and replace the old. I was involved with this a couple times as we delivered a single analysis system to interested parties (government & industry) for their evaluation. The new analyzer was far superior to the old but they wanted to know how it would affect the data. The certifying agency would hold off until everyone had a chance to take a look and then they would certify and require the new instrument.

    In the last two decades, major advances in the quality of the instrumentation used to measure global warming have been made. The cabal of environmentalists knew in advance how the data would be affected. They knew that the data would significantly put the whole theory into question. Desperately, they tried to suppress it but failed. Now, Michael Mann himself, the arch villain who destroyed people’s careers to maintain the lie was forced to admit that there had been no global warming for the last 20 years.

    I think I just saw the sun coming out from behind a cloud.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #21
    • April 26, 2016, at 10:31 AM PDT
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  22. The Reticulator Member

    I wish more people would remember to label this leftwing, anti-scientific frenzy as corporate greed – perhaps the worst case in world history. Didn’t Alinsky teach us to make the bad guys live up to their own stated standards? So why don’t we do that?

    I find the idea of anthopogenic global warming to be entirely credible, and the idea that we might want to do something about it to be credible, too. But what we’re getting from the corporate left is not science. It’s greed.

    • #22
    • April 26, 2016, at 11:03 AM PDT
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  23. drlorentz Member

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad:Not at all disappointed to be promoted to the Main Feed (thanks Rico Overlords) but I really liked my “Steyn Fan Grrl Alert” title… Ah well…

    OK, as long as you don’t get noticed by these RICO overlords.

    • #23
    • April 26, 2016, at 11:17 AM PDT
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  24. civil westman Inactive

    The Reticulator:I wish more people would remember to label this leftwing, anti-scientific frenzy as corporate greed – perhaps the worst case in world history. Didn’t Alinsky teach us to make the bad guys live up to their own stated standards? So why don’t we do that?

    I find the idea of anthopogenic global warming to be entirely credible, and the idea that we might want to do something about it to be credible, too. But what we’re getting from the corporate left is not science. It’s greed.

    Along with the greed is lust for power. I can think of no other nexus which would afford more opportunity for statists to command ever more of the economy as well as virtually every aspect of how we live our individual lives. It is an all-encompassing cause, rather like a religion. Mann: environmental religion::Torquemada: inquisition. I can think of another example, but like our government, refuse to utter the name.

    • #24
    • April 26, 2016, at 11:22 AM PDT
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  25. Benjamin Glaser Member

    I will stand corrected, or at least better informed.

    • #25
    • April 26, 2016, at 11:23 AM PDT
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  26. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Mama Toad, I admire Steyn’s determination in spite of the forces trying literally to destroy him and his arguments. I hope he continues to fight the good fight and doesn’t run out of money. The behavior of the scientific community is beyond reprehensible. Why should we trust scientists on any issue, especially if it has support from the progressive community?

    • #26
    • April 26, 2016, at 11:29 AM PDT
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  27. The Reticulator Member

    civil westman:

    The Reticulator:I wish more people would remember to label this leftwing, anti-scientific frenzy as corporate greed – perhaps the worst case in world history. Didn’t Alinsky teach us to make the bad guys live up to their own stated standards? So why don’t we do that?

    I find the idea of anthopogenic global warming to be entirely credible, and the idea that we might want to do something about it to be credible, too. But what we’re getting from the corporate left is not science. It’s greed.

    Along with the greed is lust for power. I can think of no other nexus which would afford more opportunity for statists to command ever more of the economy as well as virtually every aspect of how we live our individual lives. It is an all-encompassing cause, rather like a religion. Mann: environmental religion::Torquemada: inquisition. I can think of another example, but like our government, refuse to utter the name.

    Absolutely. But if you want to go Alinsky on them, use the terms that will bother them most.

    • #27
    • April 26, 2016, at 11:30 AM PDT
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  28. Z in MT Inactive

    CB Toder aka 

    I agree with you, Mr. Glaser, but I have been assured that I am wrong.

    I think Lidens Cheng has it right in that Steyn is fighting for the big picture of Free Speech, not just the small issue of climate “science” that NR is focused on. I hope they both are successful.

    Steyn had huge issues with the NR approach to the case as he has ably laid out on his own website. First, they hired an expensive white-shoe law firm out of DC to defend them and they were blowing through money like crazy. Second, NR agreed to have the case heard in the DC district court, which is the home district of none of the litigants. This caused Mark to have to leave his NH home base be sued. Third, NR’s legal team spent over a year and about 1 million dollars with an anti-SLAPP motion that failed. Mark wanted skip a pre-trial motions and go right to discovery because that means he could get a court to force Mann to turn over documents that he has refused release to journalists etc. Fourth, NR basically wanted to make the suit go away or barring that win in court. Mark wants to fight this not only in court but in the court of public opinion on pure free speech grounds. Mark knows how to fight free speech cases due to his experience in Canada. NR should have listened to Mark.

    • #28
    • April 26, 2016, at 11:51 AM PDT
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  29. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad Post author

    Susan Quinn: I hope he continues to fight the good fight and doesn’t run out of money.

    Then buy his Feline Groovy cat CD! Or another item from the Steyn Store

    • #29
    • April 26, 2016, at 11:53 AM PDT
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  30. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad Post author

    Benjamin Glaser:I will stand corrected, or at least better informed.

    Well, I’ve been informed and informed, but I still agree with your original assessment and don’t think you need correcting!

    • #30
    • April 26, 2016, at 11:59 AM PDT
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