See if you can find the ‘legal threat’ to David Karoly

Steve McIntyre has posted his letter to David Karoly regarding Karoly’s book review, covered by WUWT here. Karoly responds with a suggestion he’s been given a ‘legal threat’. After reading McIntyre’s letter, I’m reminded of the non-existent death threats towards climate scientists in Australia…because I sure can’t find any legal threat from Steve. Maybe David Appell can use his superior death threat knowledge to pinpoint this. /sarc

Steve McIntyre writes: 

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I learned of this article from a CA reader here. Karoly’s slagging seemed particularly cheeky given the role of Climate Audit in the recent withdrawal of Gergis et al 2012, of which Karoly was a coauthor and this prompted me to respond:

Dear Dr Karoly,
It has come to my attention that you have made the following untrue and defamatory statement about me (https://www.australianbookreview.com.au/feature-articles/1063-343-features-karoly):

Commentators with no scientific expertise, ranging from politicians such as Republican congressman Joe Barton from Texas, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, or Republican Senator James Inhofe from Oklahoma, to blog writers Stephen McIntyre and Marc Morano, have repeatedly promulgated misinformation and sought to launch formal investigations into Mann’s research, claiming professional misconduct or worse, even though it had been peer reviewed and confirmed by other scientists

I try to write accurately and, to my knowledge, have not “promulgated misinformation” about Mann’s research, let alone done so “repeatedly”. Together with coauthor Ross McKitrick, I published criticism of Mann’s work in the same peer reviewed journal as Mann et al 1999. We published these criticisms in good faith. In my opinion, not only have the specific criticisms not been refuted in subsequent commentary, but, if anything, our findings have been confirmed even by adversaries. For example, our finding that the verification r2 of the Mann et al reconstruction was not only not significant but ~0 was confirmed by the very adversarial Wahl and Ammann article. While some topics remain in controversy, I note that neither the National Research Council Report nor the Wegman Report in 2006 identified any errors in our work; that the Wegman Report, in particular, strongly endorsed our work and that Gerald North, the Chairman of the National Research Council report, when asked, stated that he agreed with the conclusions of the Wegman Report. While such endorsements do not ensure that our findings are correct (though I believe our findings to be correct), the failure of these panels to explicitly identify errors speaks strongly against your allegation of promulgating “misinformation”.

Obviously, I have also commented extensively at Climate Audit, but always try to be accurate and to correct any errors when pointed out. I request that you either provide me forthwith with specific examples of the “misinformation” that you allege that I’ve promulgated or withdraw the allegation with an apology.

Your recent experience with Gergis et al 2012 should have demonstrated to you that “peer review” by an academic journal is hardly a guarantee of the validity of results, let alone assurance that authors have even implemented their claimed methodologies. I further observe in this connection that your public statement in connection with the withdrawal of Gergis et al 2012 did not include any acknowledgement of Climate Audit’s role in identifying the error in Gergis et al. Your public statement was:

An issue has been identified in the processing of the data used in the study, “Evidence of unusual late 20th century warming from an Australasian temperature reconstruction spanning the last millennium” by Joelle Gergis, Raphael Neukom, Stephen Phipps, Ailie Gallant and David Karoly, accepted for publication in the Journal of Climate. The authors are currently reviewing the data and methods. The revised paper will be re-submitted to the Journal of Climate by the end of July and it will be sent out for peer review again.

It is evident that the error had not been discovered by the authors or by peer reviewers at the time that Climate Audit raised the issue of screening procedure in Gergis et al on May 31, 2012 here, a discussion that quickly identified the error. I do not believe that you identified the error independently of the discussion at Climate Audit and accordingly it is my opinion that your failure to acknowledge Climate Audit in your public statement constitutes the use of ideas and/or work derived from Climate Audit without the appropriate acknowledgement.

Yours truly,
Stephen McIntyre

Rather than defend the allegations in his article by providing examples of “promulgating misinformation”, Karoly removed the article ( a copy is here) though he didn’t apologize.

I’m surprised that the matter didn’t end there. But rather than leave well enough alone, Karoly has now charged that I had made a “threat of legal action” as follows:

This is a very welcome initiative [funding litigation by climate scientists]. The threats of legal action and FOI requests are not just occurring in North America. In Australia, I have just received a threat of legal action from Steve McIntyre in Canada and am currently dealing with 6 different FOI requests.

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165 thoughts on “See if you can find the ‘legal threat’ to David Karoly

  1. I commented at CA that I see Karoly having over-construed the word “defamatory” in a legal viewpoint. I’d wish Mr McI. would help avoid confusion, in future, by avoiding such terminology.

    That said, Karoly does not impress me with his courage. If he believed his statement about blogers to be true, he should have refused the request to retract. If he believed CA’s objection valid enough to retract, he should also have had honor enough to apologize. Retraction followed by whines about lawsuits is, in my opinion. evidence of a cowardly personality.

    If Dr Karoly wants to sue ME for defaming HIM as a coward, let the record show my remark is uttered as an opinion, based on a reasonable interpretation of the facts in evidence, upon a matter of public interest, without malice, in a nation that takes “free speech” more seriously than any other on Earth.

    Lawsuit? Bring it on.

  2. In the opinion of this former paralegal, the “legal threat” is this phrase: “your failure to acknowledge Climate Audit in your public statement constitutes the use of ideas and/or work derived from Climate Audit without the appropriate acknowledgement.” Not really a “threat”. They just have to have something to use as a distraction from the real issues.

  3. pouncer says:
    July 14, 2012 at 8:36 am
    If Dr Karoly wants to sue ME for defaming HIM as a coward, let the record show my remark is uttered as an opinion, based on a reasonable interpretation of the facts in evidence, upon a matter of public interest, without malice, in a nation that takes “free speech” more seriously than any other on Earth.

    Lawsuit? Bring it on.

    Ditto if Dr Karoly wants to sue ME for defaming him as a right wanker.

  4. The FOIA demand is likely the ‘legal threat’.

    In some jurisdictions’ implementation of FOIA, a demand not timely answered is actionable. FOIA is a good and appropriate falsifying tool. It should be known as a legal demand and not as a civil request. In my local jurisdiction, the ‘verified complaint’ form is pre-printed in the briefing packet and pre-addressed to the district attorney.

  5. No Craig. I’m pretty sure it was the allegation of defamation. Of course, Prof. Karoly ought to know that truth is an absolute defense of defamation. So all he would have had to do was show instances of Steve peddling misinformation.

  6. If Karoly “received a threat of legal action from Steve McIntyre”, it was not contained in the communication shown above, which contains no expressed or even implied threat of legal action.
    It is certainly possible for an individual to believe he/she has been “defamed” without actually obtaining an opinion from a legal practitioner of filing legal action. In the case of the above, I would agree with McIntyre that he was “defamed”.

    Also, in the case of the above, Karoly actually lost some perceived “fame” without actually being “defamed”. You’ve gotta’ love it!

  7. McIntyre used a couple of words that have legal meaning. So, as in typical “warmist” fashion, Karoly exaggerates this situation, taking those words to mean what he wants them to mean. This is similar to conflating evidence.

  8. Boy, that’s quite a reach. There is one request:

    I request that you either provide me forthwith with specific examples of the “misinformation” that you allege that I’ve promulgated or withdraw the allegation with an apology.

    While that may be a strongly worded statement for a Canadian, if Dr. Karoly is reading an implied “or else” message, he needs to spend more time reading Steve’s blog. About the only implication I can read into it is “or else I’ll keep writing about the matter at CA.”

    I thought Karoly had a little class when he announce the withdrawal of the Gergis paper. It appears I was mistaken.

  9. Karoly is desperate. He’s the posterboy for deliberately bad AR5 science. I feel sorry for him. Consider the ant, the sun, and the magnifying glass.
    ==============

  10. Nope don’t see a legal threat there. I don’t think you have to be a lawyer to notice that. If Karoly has some other communication from McIntyre that he can show is an actual legal threat then I wonder why he doesn’t show it. If not it seems Karoly is a pusillanimous weasel.

  11. Doug Huffman says:
    July 14, 2012 at 8:56 am

    > The FOIA demand is likely the ‘legal threat’.

    Steve’s note didn’t have anything greater than an informal request – is Karoly referring to some other more formal request from Steve or are you assuming the six FOI requests Karoly mentions include at least one from Steve?

  12. Karoly is dreaming when he says “I have just received a threat of legal action from Steve McIntyre in Canada…”

    David K: Be careful what you wish for.

    Steve should make his dreams come true.

  13. It looks like David Karoly has interpreted the data to say what he wants to hear from it instead of what it actually is telling him. How surprising. I wonder how often he makes this kind of mistake?

  14. Skittish what? It is something one might expect from a conspiracy theorist – probably a condition brought on by the sky falling all the time. I thought Karoly was just one of the climate scientists mentioned in the death-threat fantasy at Australian universities:

    “Prof David Koroly, of the University of Melbourne’s school of Earth science, told the ABC that he receives threats whenever he is interviewed by the media.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jun/06/australia-climate-scientists-death-threats

    I now realize he may have been the ringleader in this debunked story. This sure isn’t Aussie character showing in this man’s timorous behaviour.

  15. These “climate scientists” are a right sad bunch of whiny bitches, aren’t they?

    Comes of having guilty consciences IMO.

  16. It’s not a direct threat of legal action but one could read it as implied. The use of “defamatory” and the suggestion that things from his web page were used and not attributed could be seen as an implied threat of legal action. But he does suggest that all Karoly need do is edit his post and apologize and possibly to acknowledge Climate Audit to satisfy him.

  17. R. Shearer says:
    July 14, 2012 at 9:05 am
    McIntyre used a couple of words that have legal meaning. So, as in typical “warmist” fashion, Karoly exaggerates this situation, taking those words to mean what he wants them to mean. This is similar to conflating evidence.

    Like the “positive” CO2 feedback? I guess it’s just second nature to these folks

  18. I’m not a lawyer but I don’t see any threats, legal or otherwise.
    Perhaps he knows he did something that could be actionable?

  19. Dear A or Mods
    I tried to post the following at CA but was not able to post comment, the post comment box is missing.
    “In addition, in order for a law suit to have any purpose, the plaintiff should have suffered actual financial damages”

    Steve is the above statement correct? I thought that for libel and slander financial loss does not necessarily come into it.

    It does puzzle me why Karoly and others of his ilk keep coming back. Like punch drunk boxers they don’t know when to give up?
    He’s gergised up yet again :-)

  20. This is a standard tactic and a trap. Once in circulation, this message will be parroted by an army of CAGW bed wetters, despite having no basis in truth. It puts skeptics on the defensive, making us ‘deny’ yet another assertion.

  21. Under Section 298 of the Criminal Code of Canada, “defamatory libel” is defined as “matter published, without lawful justification or excuse, that is likely to injure the reputation of any person by exposing him to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or that is designed to insult the person of or concerning whom it is published.” Under Sectiojn 299, “A person publishes a libel when he (a) exhibits it in public; (b) causes it to be read or seen; or (c) shows or delivers it, or causes it to be shown or delivered, with intent that it should be read or seen by the person whom it defames or by any other person.” And under Section 300, “Every one who publishes a defamatory libel that he knows is false is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.” One wonders whether the provisions for libel are similar Down Under.

    In my non-lawyeresque opinion, the allegation that Steve McIntyre et al. “repeatedly promulgated misinformation” could be construed as defamatory libel. Those of us who investigate questions of science for a living depend upon our reputations for our livelihood; thus any attack on our reputations is not to be taken lightly. Truth, of course, is a legitimate defence against a charge of libel, so it would be child’s play for Mr. Karoly to demonstrate that he has not libelled Mr. McIntyre. All he has to do is provide, per Mr. McIntyre’s request, irrefutable evidence of the repeated promulgation of misinformation by Mr. McIntyre. If he can.

    Words and facts matter in science. Science gets into difficulties when people start to think they don’t. People pretending to be scientists need to be very careful about the allegations they make about their opponents. The line between fair comment and criminal defamation can be very thin. Folks making allegations, particularly allegations of unprofessionalism or malfeasance, would be well advised to have the facts on their side before they decide to shoot their mouths off. Either that, or they should be prepared for the consequences.

  22. A primary basis for American humor is outrageous exageration. I submit many aspects of all this are funny. If not for the unfortunate fact that many of the politicians who fund green projects and restrict use of our abundant resources are about as connected with reality as a bunch of toddlers sobbing over the death of Bambi’s mother, this would be even funnier. Of course, if one doesn’t care about the future of our economy, the life of our grandchildren, and the slide into something pretty terrible for the whole world,– cook some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy. Meanwhile there are soldiers out there like Steve and Anthony fighting desperately for all of us.

  23. “the allegation that Steve McIntyre et al. “repeatedly promulgated misinformation” could be construed as defamatory libel.”

    More than construed as defamatory libel, it is defamatory libel. Clearly without any doubt.

    “I do not believe that you identified the error independently of the discussion at Climate Audit and accordingly it is my opinion that your failure to acknowledge Climate Audit in your public statement constitutes the use of ideas and/or work derived from Climate Audit without the appropriate acknowledgement.”

    The above indicates a “warning” or “caution” request to Karoly. The action that Climate Audit would take if such “appropriate acknowledgement” isn’t issued is unspecified and as such leaves open the distinct possibility of a serious response by Climate Audit, however it’s just as possible that Climate Audit won’t take any further action on that as well. It’s in how you look at it. It would be prudent for Karoly to issue the “appropriate acknowledgement” however as, well, legal action “could” possibly ensue. Not directly a threat of legal action but surely a hint of one, a possibility of one.

    “I request that you either provide me forthwith with specific examples of the “misinformation” that you allege that I’ve promulgated or withdraw the allegation with an apology.”

    McIntyre’s letter is not a “legal threat” but a polite and direct invitation to Karoly to avoid such legal matters.

    Besides, if you defame someone in a libelous manner expect a Legal Response from them to address your defaming statements.

    Karoly received a first step letter that was very polite giving him an out so that instead of legal proceedings he can simply “apologize” and “appropriately acknowledge” Climate Audit. Karoly’s response sounds like he is still righteous about what he wrote and won’t take the easy road forward but wants to proceed to the beginning of the legal action stages.

    Seems that you are your own worst enemy Mr. Karoly digging a legal hole deeper for yourself.

  24. Not to worry. Karoly will maybe go to Gleick and see about getting some back-up to the claim of a “death threat”. And if the kook considers this a “legal threat” then ditto pouncer and Dave UK.

  25. Stephen has written a position paper. He has declared his position on what Karoly has written and there are avenues of recourse in his position that both he and Karoly recognize. There is no threat, implicit or otherwise, just an understanding based on legal processes available to him. That is acceptable but can be seen as threatening for someone who has just published a slander. I don’t blame Karoly for feeling threatened with legal action but he did earn it. “Threatened” in this regard is an internal response to Stephen’s position, no actual threat exists. Stephen did not say the equivalent of “This blogosphere isn’t big enough for both of us – one of us has to go!”.

    It was, however, an utterly delightful to watch smack-down.

  26. Many in the AGW camp like to invent threats. It works well because the true believers take their word for it without question (like they do with the facts used to support AGW) and then tell others about how a poor, defenseless climate scientists is fighting hard against the threats and intimidation of the big oil funded machine. Of course, it takes time for the facts to come out and show how the invented threat really was invented and not real, but by then the goal has been accomplished.

    James Hansen claimed George Bush was “silencing” him, when, in fact, George Bush was telling him to shut up and do his job. Hansen being what he is distorted the truth and made it seem like the big bad oil-funded Republicans were trying to stifle scientific truth.

    http://www.dailytech.com/Update+NASA+James+Hansen+and+the+Politicization+of+Science/article9061.htm

    The Hansen trick worked. Like cries of racism, it is always about trying to silence debate and never about facts. When it comes to an environmentalist, I would trust my wallet with a thief before I would trust them with the facts. If James Hansen, David Karoly, Al Gore, Phil Jones, Michael Mann, or any other die-hard AGW promoter said the sky was blue, I would look outside to be sure.

  27. I agree with pouncer, this was probably experienced as an implied threat of a defamation suit “you have made the following untrue and defamatory statement about me “. That would sort of imply a consciousness of guilt, actually. It would imply that he knew he was making a defamatory statement and was maybe a bit afraid he could be sued for it, and when he saw that, it validated his fear and so he ran with it having been “spring loaded” to arrive at that conclusion anyway. Just another example of a “false positive” when you see data that would indicate the expected result. Expectations, however, are not always reality.

  28. I assume (I am only professionally familiar with UK law) that (a) Dr Karoly is Australian, in which jurisdiction defamation is a civil tort broadly similar to the position in the UK (from which much of Australian common law derives) and (b) Dr Mcintyre is Canadian and defamation is there similarly tortious.

    The statement “It has come to my attention that you have made the following untrue and defamatory statement about me” (whether as from an individual claimant/plaintiff, or a lawyer on the individual’s behalf), to an Australian citizen, is therefore a real threat of civil proceedings (in which costs will generally follow the event – so if the claimant succeeds in proving non-trivial defamation he will also get an order for payment of costs which will often be substantially greater than the damages for the libel). No further warning is required – Dr Mcintyre could arrange for the writ of summons to be taken to the Astralian Court, for issue as of right, serve it and then the costs (which Dr Karoly could be ordered to pay) will rack up very quickly.

    The position is essentially different in the US. The First Amendment prohibits “the making of any law … abridging the freedom of speech” and actions for alleged defamation of public figures (which I think Dr Mcintyre will be in this context) were limited in New York Times v Sullivan to require the public figure to prove “actual malice”. Also, in the US costs don’t generally follow the event – so the risks attached to a threat of defamation proceedings against any US defendant are much less serious than they would appear to an Australian defendant – or a Canadian defendant such as Dr Tim Ball, presently defending the Michael Mann defamation action in Canada.

    There was also the complaint of failure to identify Climate Audit as the forum at which the error was identified, but I believe that this is a matter of academic courtesy only – however I understand it may be taken as a serious breach of etiquette in academic circles.

  29. Best I can spot is

    ” provide me forthwith with specific examples of the “misinformation” that you allege that I’ve promulgated or withdraw the allegation with an apology.”

    ….else what? Dangerous to leave things to the imagination. All sort of things might come to mind

    “else I’ll sue for defamation.”

    “else Luigi and the boys might come round.”

    “else I shall consider you a cad, a rotter and a bounder of the first water.”

  30. I’m an American, so don’t supposed to know Canadian or Australian law but to the degree they are also based on English law. Nevertheless, I don’t think you need to even be a 1st year law student to see the immediate and fatal flaw in Karoly’s claim.
    1. “… I request that you either provide me forthwith with specific examples of the “misinformation” that you allege that I’ve promulgated or withdraw the allegation with an apology.”
    —— This is simply a request to perform, without even a suggestion either directly or indirectly of legal action
    2. “I do not believe that you identified the error independently of the discussion at Climate Audit and accordingly it is my opinion that your failure to acknowledge Climate Audit in your public statement constitutes the use of ideas and/or work derived from Climate Audit without the appropriate acknowledgement.”
    ——“I do not BELIEVE…… it is MY OPINION…” are the qualifiers that reduce to accusation Steve’s words, and again, there is no threat of action.

    Clearly, Karoly’s intent here is to make a statement that is outrageous, but will no doubt get into the headlines. Karoly knows his words will be seen, and he knows Steve’s will not, so the naive public will be more prone to vilify Steve.

    Any media outlet that publishes one without the other is as culpable as Karoly.

  31. As a paralegal who has 10 years experience in litigation of Telephone Consumer Protection Act cases, my first impression was there was at least two threats. A defamation action or a misuse of intellectual property action. Any time I see a specific behavior alleged which is against the law, I immediately think a possible action may be filed if the issue isn’t settled. I would consider it a threat. Defamation and misuse of intellectual property violations mean nothing if the injured party isn’t planning on doing anything about it. Since the law is not self enforcing, the injured party has no protection if they have no plan to enforce their rights. So in my mind, bringing up specific causes of action implies further action may be taken, because the law provides an injured party with recourse in court.

    Before I bring an action, I send what is called a demand letter which informs the perp what violations they have committed and what I want as a settlement for those violations. I make clear a deadline by which they must respond, and the right of action (47 USC 227(b)(3) or (c)(5)) by which I can bring an action. However, if I were the perp, even without the deadline or mentioning the authority by which an action could be brought, I’d assume an action would be forthcoming if I ignore the request for settlement. Most of the perps I deal with do not settle on the request the first time, because they think I’m like most people who threaten legal action and don’t follow through. The second time (if there is one) they settle immediately.

    Thus, I believe McIntyre’s letter had two threats of legal action in it and Karoly was being reasonable in interpreting it that way. If it wasn’t a threat, Karoly has nothing to make him apologize in any way. If you are going to bring the law into a dispute, it has to be followed up with the big stick of a lawsuit if it is to mean anything. Otherwise, it is just a bluff. The bluff itself is still a threat, but the bluffer isn’t going to follow through is the only difference.

    My thought is that complaining about Karoly taking the letter as a threat is playing the victim card. Rather, if it were important enough, and the harm to Steve’s reputation serious enough, I’d own that threat, and make good on it, rather than pretend it wasn’t a threat.

  32. Donald A. Neill says:
    July 14, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Folks making allegations, particularly allegations of unprofessionalism or malfeasance, would be well advised to have the facts on their side before they decide to shoot their mouths off. Either that, or they should be prepared for the consequences.

    Warmists? Consequences? It would be a first.

  33. [Start violin music]
    “I have just received a threat of legal action from Steve McIntyre in Canada and am currently dealing with 6 different FOI requests.”
    [Stop violin music]

    Ok, so how fraudulent or incompetent does your work have to be for an FOI request to have to be dealt with? Is it stressful? Would it be if you were competent/objective?

  34. It seems that McIntyre quite pointedly AVOIDED making a legal threat, while pointing out that he did have the basis for one. Is pointing out that one COULD pursue legal action, while avoiding any hint of intent to do so, the same as making a threat? That’s absurd. Karoly is claiming to be victimized by having the person he victimized even point out that in legal terms he was victimized.

    Karoly’s the victim the victimizer changes things. I think Steve should sue him for defamation and win the case in court. These people are so used to saying whatever they want, no matter how contrary to facts and reason, and getting nothing but rewarded for it because they control all of academia and all of the grant money and are backed by all of their media hacks. Any little reminder that objective standards do exist would be good.

  35. Requiring truth of a Warmista is not only an inconvenience, but also, according to them, a sueable offense.

    Shows just how low those folks will go to maintain their scam.

  36. There was no legal threat, Karoly made it up

    The amazing thing is how these climatologists simply continue to make stuff up, even in a case like this one where the lie could so easily be disproved.

    I don’t think Karoly really meant to “lie” per se. I think the episode shows how slovenly his mind is, how careless and reckless his thought processes are.

    We have seen over and over again how many of the leading climatologists fail basic reading comprehension, logic, and analysis. Is it any surprise, really, that people like Michael Mann and David Karoly make such a mess of the field??

    The real questions are about why other scientists and their universities, professional associations, etc. continue to defend and endorse these clowns.

  37. This is the results of children being coddled their entire lives. The harsh light of reality is shone upon the work of the sheltered. This is the reaction of a person who’s never experienced butthurt before. Look at the actions of Karoly. He had no choice but to accept the flaws pointed out be the crew at CA. But, rather than taking it and growing as a person, he sulks. He lashes out in his book review. When the adolescent behavior is pointed out, and the appropriate correction to the behavior is figuratively meted out, he does what any child will do. He runs to sympathetic arms, much like a child will when a father administers a spanking, the child will run to the arms of the mother. In this case, SkS provides a substitute for the sheltering walls of academia. Here’s my take.

    Welcome to the big leagues, Dr. Karoly. This is where real science is conducted. If you can’t show your work and if your work isn’t right, expect to have a ruler rapped against your knuckles. In this world, you don’t get to be king of the classroom or lab. Yes, it’s scary out here. Regardless of your credentials, boorish behavior, lies, and incompetence will get pointed out.

  38. What Karoly thinks was written on the front of his t-shirt. From Bob Dylan to climate change…….

  39. that is, he started out with a reckless untrue statement that he easily should have seen to be false

    if he continues to defend it and allow it to stand in public as he sees the easy criticism of it, then it does become a “lie” i.e., a knowing untruth, but at first I think it simply reflects his feeble-minded confusion and ignorance…. I’m trying to give him any benefit of any possible doubt, ha ha.

  40. The real issue here is that McIntyre had the temerity to observe that Karoly is the scientist who had no clothes. No one was supposed to notice and certainly not say anything about it if they did.

  41. pouncer says:
    July 14, 2012 at 8:36 am

    I commented at CA that I see Karoly having over-construed the word “defamatory” in a legal viewpoint. I’d wish Mr McI. would help avoid confusion, in future, by avoiding such terminology.

    Where’s the threat?

    There is no basis for confusion on Karoly’s part.

    If I tell someone that they assaulted me and ask for an apology how have I threatened any legal action?

    Seriously, smart people shouldn’t need to avoid proper terminology just to avoid baseless confusion on the part of stupid people.

  42. Sounds in my opinion as if Karoly were doing some prep work for the resubmitted Gergis et al (including Karoly) 2012 paper – as if Karoly were kicking up dust in advance in fear that the revised paper may fail like its first submitted version to stand up to criticism from McIntyre and others.

  43. Well, in my experience, my Ozzie distant cousins are a bit more, ahemm, “robust” than this silly galah!

    He comes out with made up dodgy “science” paid for by long suffering taxpayers, gets his pals to “review” it and then struts about like a dingo with two dicks!

    And now we’re supposed to sob because Steve nailed his latest lies and because he’s had some FOI requests to deal with (perhaps because he didn’t publish his data?). Poor diddums!

    He’s obviously as shifty as a shithouse rat.

    Lucky all my distant cousins haven’t spotted that he’s one of the useful idiots feeding nonsense to Ju-liar Gillard and Penny Wong in their attempts to throw the Ozzie economy under a bus.

    Then he might have something to fear…

    I hope there’s a very hungry redback under his dunny seat!

    http://h2g2.com/dna/h2g2/alabaster/A182008

  44. Oh how the written word and publicly displayed and documented on the Internet is certainly causing grief to the likes of those such as Karoly. They are crying because it didn’t used to be that way before Climategate opened the eyes of the world on them. But make it known that Steve McIntyre was one of the first to have open eyes. He continues to keep us focused as well as many others.

    The cats out of the bag; or the genie is out of the bottle; or the can of worms has been opened; or the sh*i hit the fan. The game is over. Karoly, Mann, Jones, Trenberth, Gore, etc., etc., etc. now have to play by the rules. They are not accustomed to the truth.

  45. tlitb1 says:
    July 14, 2012 at 9:10 am
    This guy nailed it. Karoly=Pusillanimous in character. All other comments are simply window dressing.

  46. Karoly’s “spreading misinformation” term might imply no more than “spreading erroneous information.” The spreader could be unaware that it is error, or be blind to his error. It doesn’t necessarily imply deliberate deception on his part.

    In addition, much “information” in climatology is midway between fact and opinion. I.e., it’s an inference from certain data. Charging someone with spreading incorrect inferences is a long way from charging him with lying about established facts. I.e., it’s less defamatory.

    So I think Karoly’s got wiggle room.

  47. David Karoly means “King David” in Hungarian. He is appropriately touchy; I prefer not to evaluate his wisdom.

  48. Jeff Mitchell says:
    July 14, 2012 at 10:56 am

    As a paralegal who has 10 years experience in litigation of Telephone Consumer Protection Act cases, my first impression was there was at least two threats. A defamation action or a misuse of intellectual property action. Any time I see a specific behavior alleged which is against the law, I immediately think a possible action may be filed if the issue isn’t settled. I would consider it a threat.

    So all words with defame for a root imply that legal proceedings are nigh? Perhaps Steve will need to add the following to all his correspondence:

    I have some experience with legal processes: they are expensive, time-consuming and not something that I would undertake lightly, as I’ve said on many occasions to CA readers who’ve urged litigation on one thing or another.

    If I were to receive mail with this would make me worry because pointing it out makes it clear he’s looking at it as a legal matter and is implying in this case legal proceedings are worthwhile.

    Is there a synonym for defame that doesn’t include a legal threat? Ah, how about “Dr. Karoly, you have made an untrue statement about me that has harmed my self esteem.”

    No, that would be a lie, how about “… raised my dander?”

    No, he needed something to get Karoly’s attention.

  49. Steve McIntyre used the word “defamatory” correctly, in that his character and abilities were called into question. The fact that the word is also used in precise legal terminology is neither here nor there… if it had come from a lawyer engaged by him, it would be a different matter, but it didn’t. It seems that Dr. Karoly is attempting to deflect the argument by misdirection. It’s been tried before, and has succeeded in cases where those involved were less careful with their language than Mr. McIntyre. I don’t believe it will be successful in this case.

  50. rogerknights says:
    July 14, 2012 at 1:27 pm
    So I think Karoly’s got wiggle room.
    ====================================
    Yup, so do I!
    However I suspect Karoly thinks he has wriggle room:-)

    But he will, no doubt, keep wiggling for quite awhile.

  51. You know the story of the snake that was saved and warmed up near the fire only to bite the hand that saved him?
    Check the latest comments by “Maple Leaf” at Deep Climate… Pouah!

  52. To state that something is ‘defamatory’, or that the source of something published was not acknowledged is a statement of fact, or of opinion in relation to fact. It is not a threat of legal action, period.

    But I simply love the image of ‘strutting around like a dingo with two dicks’.

    Sounds more Ozzie than your Ozzie cousins MartinBrumby.

  53. James Allison says:
    tlitb1 says:
    July 14, 2012 at 9:10 am
    This guy nailed it. Karoly=Pusillanimous in character. All other comments are simply window dressing.

    Darn, I have been wanting to use that word, and here is a perfect opportunity… and tlitb1 goes and beats me to it.

    Anyway, on behalf of us Aussies, I’d like to apologise for having such a nasty, slimy, piece of work as this Karoly non-character in our midst. I assure you, we are not all “Pusillanimous gits”.

    Others that come to mind are Flannery, Sheike (from GetUp), and John Cook (non-science blog). they all have that smarmy, erksome sort of character that makes ones flesh crawl

  54. “The threats of legal action and FOI requests are not just occurring in North America. In Australia, I have just received a threat of legal action…”

    Seeing things which aren’t there. Linking one isolated example of something that isn’t there to some other things which aren’t there to extrapolate a global pattern of things which aren’t there…mmmm….where have I seen this kind of hysteria before?
    —————————–

    “An issue has been identified in the processing of the data used in the study”

    The passive voice -the favourite mode for politicians, lawyers and spin doctors is great for avoiding having to identify who is responsible for an action e.g.
    We made mistakes (active) > Mistakes were made by us (passive) > Mistakes were made (passive no agent).

    One example given by Wikipedia -“the data were inadvertently deleted from our files”- could have come straight from the mouth of Mann.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_passive_voice

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weasel_word

  55. Aussie pronunciation experts – is it Karo-lie (seems appropriate)? or Karo-lee (seems diminutive and appropriate)?

    (or is it Bruce, to avoid confusion?)

  56. this was the most comprehensive slap down from Steve,brilliant.

    However I can see how Karoly might have viewed it as a veiled threat. Sort of ‘I have you by the nuts my friend, now, are we going to be nice to each other?’

  57. Jeff Mitchell, people in your profession have a really bad habit of overreacting or exaggerating trivial risks. In any sane people’s mind Steve did not make a single threath. He just politely told Karoly where he has done wrong and asked for an apology. It’s crazy to equal that with threath of legal action. Furthermore, it’s complerely spineless to just expect that one doesn’t have to react if no threaths of legal action is made.

    And finally, accusing Steve of playing the victim card is really low.

  58. I’ve noticed that this “spreading misinformation” is becoming a common wording for the AGW bletheren about anyone who doesn’t cow-tow to their hypothesis.

    But when asked for particular instances.. deathly slience !!

    They are trying to used it as a “shut-up” tool, but its back-firing badly, because if they respond, they know they will have to enter into debate. The very last thing they want.

  59. I’m sure there’s some ambulance chaser out there who could find a shadow of a hint of a penumbra of an implied allusion that Mr. McIntyre forgot to include in his request.

    “Your honor, there is a clearly omitted death threat here…”

  60. I’d love to see the “six different FOI requests” that he’s whining about, poor darling. I can’t imagine they are all very different and so he’s probably only answering the same request six times. Shades of Philip Jones whining, methinks.

  61. Since when is an FOI request a threat? No-one should be fearful of releasing public information to the public; terming it as a threat implies that they are fearful of it. People who are, do not deserve to hold such positions.

  62. Like other commentators I too notice a surprising similarity between David Karoly’s interpretation of Steve McIntyre’s letter and the interpretation of data in the Gergis paper.
    If Karoly had consulted a half-decent lawyer about the letter, the lawyer would have advised that there was no legal threat within it. A simple call to Steve McIntyre would have no doubt confirmed it.
    If Karoly had consulted a half-decent statistician over the Gergis paper, they would have said that the major conclusion – that the last decade of the the 20th century was the warmest of millennium by 0.09 Celsius has absolutely no statistical validity when the second warmest decade is based on just 3 proxies, one of which is widely erratic.
    There is an important conclusion, confirmed by Climategate. Climate science is centered around a small group of individuals. Like a religious cult, or an extremist political group, whenever they are challenged to substantiate their claims they circle the wagons and claim persecution. Karoly’s misinterpretation of SM’s letter now makes him a martyr in the face of alleged “monied interests” rather the perpetrator of unsubstantiated allegations.

  63. “legal threat” is an oxymoron. Just one of the many types of morons in the climate debate.

  64. Jeff Mitchell says:
    July 14, 2012 at 10:56 am

    “As a paralegal…”

    Thanks for saving me the time of reading the rest, Jeff.

  65. am currently dealing with 6 different FOI requests

    Why does the man make it sound like it’s so hard to “deal with” FOI requests? He handled the data for months while putting the work together. Why is it so hard to disclose something he must have become so familiar with while doing the work?

  66. David Karoly says, “Commentators with no scientific expertise…… sought to launch formal investigations into Mann’s research…..”

    He left the National Academy of Science off of his list. Here is part of what they said about Mann’s work:

    Even less confidence can be placed in the original conclusions by Mann et al. (1999) that “the 1990s are likely the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, in at least a millennium”

    –The National Academy of Science report on the Mann Hockey Stick graph, Page 4

  67. Everybody that tells lies and misrepresents other people in public is rightly under constant threat of legal action.

    Anybody who obtains public funding publishes papers with exaggerated conclusions without presenting all the data and methods can probably expect an FOI request.

    Neither of these things is surprising or special and neither is a problem for anyone but the person who does not do the right thing.

  68. Around these parts, anything that starts with an accusation of making a defamatory statement, followed by a demand for an apology and and another accusation of unattributed claims is, for all practical purposes, a legal threat. And academics are not unaccustomed to receiving them in australia. Ironically enough, one case involved a threat from the editor of a publication that now casts itsleft as a campaigner for free speech (and anyone who buys THAT line might be interested in some scrap metal I have for sale, located on sydney harbor)

    Defamation in australia is not something to take lightly. The legal test was lowered by the last government in the name of “harmonisation”, making it somewhat easier for somebody with adequate means to use the law to attack critics.

    I think it’s probably unlikely that the host would travel to australia to pursue a claim in court, but karoly would (and should) still take a letter like that seriously.

    So yes, IMHO, there is a legal threat in that letter. A very clear one, however credible.

  69. As an Australian, if I was reading a letter that said one of my utterances was “defamatory” whether it was from a solicitor or not, I would take notice.

    Also I notice a comment above from “pouncer”:
    “If Dr Karoly wants to sue ME for defaming HIM as a coward, let the record show my remark is uttered as an opinion, based on a reasonable interpretation of the facts in evidence, upon a matter of public interest, without malice, in a nation that takes “free speech” more seriously than any other on Earth.

    Lawsuit? Bring it on.”

    Perhaps pouncer may like to consider that Australian courts find it possible for defamation of an Australian to have occurred in Australia from a blog post originating from another country, such as USA. At least one successful suit has occurred. Nevertheless, a successful action would only bear fruit for the aggrieved party if the defendant had assets in Australia, which is unlikely.

    The only tangible impact to a defendant in that circumstance would be a limitation against entering Australia which for 295M Americans is also of little consequence.

    The funny thing is, that many people who run or post to blogs are the types of people who do like to travel abroad.

    As a lover of free speech I encourage everyone to speak their mind. Unfortunately the rest of the world increasingly does not agree with this and while Americans can promote their worthy free speech ideals by needlessly defaming others ultimately it will only contribute to Fortress USA as most other countries will just have arrest warrants waiting for those with unpaid civil penalties.

  70. Eli:

    There appears to be a problem here. Yes McIntyre’s letter was the sort of thing seen before defamation suits are filed.

    You’re just parsing words now, trying to make yet another wrong-headed mistake by Karoly right.

    It wasn’t a legal threat. It may have been followed by a legal threat if Karoly’s article had not been pulled, but it was not a legal threat, nor is there the slightest evidence that had the article not been pulled, there would have been a legal threat or any legal action taken.

    Karoly misspoke/overstated/whatever the gravity of the email from McIntyre. I think this speaks more to the sub-par level of Karoly’s academic abilities than it does to anything else.

    Eli, you need better heroes to defend.

  71. Karoly is a member of the academic staff at the University of Melbourne. So where does Karoly’s University stand on this issue? Perhaps someone should ask the Vice-Chancellor.

    Can’t be doing much for the University’s proud international reputation. Which has long been excellent.

  72. Karoly is priceless. On the one occasion when I rang to discuss with him his misunderstanding of evaporation and drought, he stated immediately that he could not talk to me as he was ‘talking to his lawyers’.

  73. My favorite part of Steve McIntyre’s letter to David Karoly is where SM calls out Karoly on the evident plagiarism of utilizing the Climate Audit critique of Gergis et al (2012) without full and proper acknowledgement:

    [Steve McIntyre to David Karoly]: “It is evident that the error had not been discovered by the authors or by peer reviewers at the time that Climate Audit raised the issue of screening procedure in Gergis et al on May 31, 2012 here, a discussion that quickly identified the error. I do not believe that you identified the error independently of the discussion at Climate Audit and accordingly it is my opinion that your failure to acknowledge Climate Audit in your public statement constitutes the use of ideas and/or work derived from Climate Audit without the appropriate acknowledgement. “

  74. Jeff Mitchell. Paralegal.
    A ‘threat’ is a statement of ‘intent’. It contains an implicit promise of an act or ‘action’ at some point in the ‘future’.
    For example. ‘ Expect to hear from my lawyers’….
    In threats there is often a ‘conditional’ element.
    ‘If you don’t apologize, you may expect to hear from my lawyers’.
    As a simple thought experiment I suggest you try to compose a ‘threat’ that does not contain these elements…see?
    I suspect that your ‘para’ status is a reflection of your failure to fully grasp the ‘legal’ implications of basic English!

  75. Stewart says:
    July 14, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Karoly is priceless. On the one occasion when I rang to discuss with him his misunderstanding of evaporation and drought, he stated immediately that he could not talk to me as he was ‘talking to his lawyers’.

    That’s probably where he get’s his “science” also.

  76. Eli Rabett…

    Yes, the letter is the sort of thing seen before defamation suits are filed.

    On the other hand, sometimes these sorts of things are seen, and no defamation suits are filed.

    More importantly, I know that you know something of McIntyre’s history…and that he’s not known for being litigious, and has, in fact, publicly stated that he doesn’t think that’s the way to go. If he says he has no intention of filing a suit, specifically citing the expense involved, what reason do you have to not believe him?

    If McIntyre did not intend a threat, and there is no explicit threat, then what’s going on is in the head of the recipient…and a guilty conscience.

    But since you’ve stepped in…since you’re clearly interested in getting this sort of thing right, do you think Karoly defamed Steve?

  77. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
    July 14, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    “…am currently dealing with 6 different FOI requests”

    Why does the man make it sound like it’s so hard to “deal with” FOI requests? He handled the data for months while putting the work together. Why is it so hard to disclose something he must have become so familiar with while doing the work?

    That’s exactly the problem–Karoly’s trying to obfuscate instead of elucidate.

  78. Rocky:

    That’s exactly the problem–Karoly’s trying to obfuscate instead of elucidate.

    Exactly right. If he had his data and codes, data and codes used I might add to form public policy and paid for in full by the Australian public, and if he were getting FOIAs, that might be seen as abusive.

    What he’s doing is the opposite, he’s trying to prevent access to his data and code,and is getting hammered for it. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that the purpose of the FOIA?

  79. “…you have made the following untrue and defamatory statement about me……

    provide me forthwith with specific examples of the “misinformation” that you allege that I’ve promulgated or withdraw the allegation with an apology.”

    I’m no lawyer but this reads to me like a legal threat. If Karoly does not “withdraw the allegation with an apology” then McIntyre, according to his own words continues to be defamed???

    libel
    [lahy-buhl]   Example Sentences Origin
    li·bel
    [lahy-buhl] noun, verb, li·beled, li·bel·ing or (especially British) li·belled, li·bel·ling.

    noun
    1. Law.
    a. defamation by written or printed words, pictures, or in any form other than by spoken words or gestures.

    b. the act or crime of publishing it.

    c. a formal written declaration or statement, as one containing the allegations of a plaintiff or the grounds of a charge.

    2. anything that is defamatory or that maliciously or damagingly misrepresents.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/libel

  80. Matthew of Canberra…

    You prove the opposite point. You say “…followed by a demand for an apology…”

    A demand word would be something like “demand”, “require”, “command”,or “order”. Instead, the word used was “request”. There is a substantive difference in meaning between the word “demand” and “request”. “I demand you clean the sink” is different than “I request that you clean the sink”.

    Based on your description that a threat would include a “demand”, this isn’t one.

    Legal docs I have seen don’t use namby-pamby words like “request”. In fact, doing so might be construed to imply that the writer doesn’t think they have a legally enforceable “demand”.

  81. There are 2 sentences in Steve McIntyre letter that may lead someone to think that he might be facing legal action.

    «It has come to my attention that you have made the following untrue and defamatory statement about me (https://www.australianbookreview.com.au/feature-articles/1063-343-features-karoly):»

    «I request that you either provide me forthwith with specific examples of the “misinformation” that you allege that I’ve promulgated or withdraw the allegation with an apology.»

    These two statements can lead someone to believe he will sued if he doesn’t comply with the request.

    Of course, If Mr Kalory had had an proof of his allegation against McIntyre he would have kept is article intact and in place. Since he didn’t he prefer to whine about being sued.

  82. So, in summary, it seems the Australians find the letter a legal threat, but the Americans don’t.

    How nuanced. Where is this Karoly person from again?

  83. What a hack.

    Mr. McIntyre not only refrains from any sort of “threat” at all, but he issues a challenge for Mr. Karoly to back up his accusations with facts.

    Seems Mr. Karoly does not like being proved wrong, and this childish outburst is clearly related to Mr. McIntyre’s rebuttal of Gergis et al 2012.

  84. Legal Threat? , no.

    Legal vulnerability? Yes

    He is simply posting what his legal adviser tells him to in an effort to minimize his obvious liabilities in response to said communication on the subject at hand. .

    Ya know full well,,,,,,, what you type and post,,,,, is forever now days/

    It never has a chance to be “Gone Away” Ya think? (ª¿ª)

  85. Jimbo says:
    July 14, 2012 at 7:25 pm
    Best you remain NOT a lawyer Jimbo me lad. You wouldn’t have many clients. As a commenter stated above. if SM had said “if you don’t apologise then I will…..” then that would be construed as a threat. That Kaoly made a libellous comment and SM continues to be defamed is not in itself a threat. Doncha thunk?

  86. Jim
    Truth “absolute”(sic) or otherwise is NOT always a successful defense in defamation actions under Australian defamation law.
    By the way your statement posted here is defamatory of Mr. McIntyre. It is an egregious defamation as you posted it deliberately to assist in the attempted destruction of Mr. McIntyre’s intellectual and ethical reputation. Your niave and wrong belief regarding an “absolute” truth of your egregious attack and Australian defamation law will hopefully be put to the test when Mr. McIntyre joins you as a defendant with Dr. Karoly iin any action that he hopefully commences against Dr. Karoly. Now are you prepared to provide your full name and rresidntial address to Mr McIntye or the good Mr. Watts to ensure that this matter can be speedily and efficiently dealth with by the District or Supreme Court of New South Wales? Sure of your ” absolute” truth old chum? Dr. Karoly clearly is not. He is a very nervous and jumpy zebra on the Serengetti of climate alarmism.

  87. The only way that McIntyre could launch and action against Karoly is to do it in Australia, so Canadian, US and UK defamation law is irrelevant. The bar for defamation is much lower here than in the US – I don’t know about the UK and Canada.

    Frankly, I can’t imagine Steve doing it – it’s not his style (much worse things have been said about him, eg in the Climategate emails) and it would be a long, expensive and probably futile process – unless Karoly is very wealthy, he’d be lucky to get much more than his costs back in the end, if he won. He could try suing the publisher of the review, but I gather they are not flush with funds either. But I do think that the use of the word ‘defamatory’ was designed to get Karoly’s attention, and it seems to have served its purpose.

    As I said on another thread, there are comments in that review about other people – Australians – that are almost certainly defamatory, and I suspect that’s why it was pulled so quickly.

  88. Jimbo, you left out the word “request”.

    I request that you either provide me forthwith with specific examples of the “misinformation” that you allege that I’ve promulgated or withdraw the allegation with an apology.

    That totally changes the meaning.

    Karoly withdrew it without an apology and claimed instead that he was being legally threatened. That is Karoly failed to comply with McIntyre’s request.

    Is it now your position that McIntyre is now going to take legal action because Karoly failed to follow his “request”? Or is it just that it “sounds like a threat” in the sense Lady Gaga is “almost a virgin”? Inquiring minds and all that.

  89. separate from any possible legal issues, in the “court of public opinion”…. demands should now be made from many quarters for Karoly to prove his pretend assertion that he or co-authors found the problem with Gergis et al (2012) independently.

    i.e., in his grudging email to Steve McIntyre a few weeks back, Professor David Karoly pretended that the error in question had been identified independently of the work at Climate Audit. Surely there would be some email trail of discussions nowadays, almost certainly…. or some record of the moment at which Gergis or Karoly notified the journal of a problem etc.

    No, Karoly can’t be *forced* to reveal anything…. but he can be embarrassed if he fails to do so. IF his claim is true (of independent discovery of the error not dependent upon Climate Audit) then he should be able to prove that.

    If he doesn’t proceed to prove it then it must be assumed that his claim is false and that the co-authors were reliant upon the discussions by Jean S. and Steve M. et al at Climate Audit.

    Of course observant people know the latter is the case, but it would be nice to put Karoly’s feet-to-the-fire in follow up to Steve M’s last paragraph. It’s the least that a whiny sniveling dishonest weasel like Karoly deserves now….

  90. Eli Rabett says:
    July 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    There appears to be a problem here. Yes McIntyre’s letter was the sort of thing seen before defamation suits are filed.

    Really? If this, then this??? Really? That’s the sort of reasoning that says “if I put on my right sock first, then I have a good day, because that’s what happened the last time I put on my right sock first”. Steve McIntyre’s behaviour is not dictated by the actions of others, I believe, although – unlike some – he seems to learn from experience.

    What a wonderfully simplistic world you live in.

  91. Eli Rabett says:

    July 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    “There appears to be a problem here. Yes McIntyre’s letter was the sort of thing seen before defamation suits are filed.”
    ===========================================================

    Eli, “the sort of thing seen ” does not equal “threat”

    A defamatory statement may also be “the sort of thing seen” by the original party before a defamation suit is filed, yet that does not mean the original statement was (necessarily) any threat, either. Many things may be “seen” before any possible defamation suit which are not threats. You are seriously confused and blowing smoke.

    It’s clear that SM’s letter stopped short of any “threat” at all. If the review had not been pulled, then who knows, it is conceivable a legal demand letter could have been forthcoming but that is a HYPOTHETICAL……and SM is on record repeatedly saying he does not believe that legal proceedings are desireable for many of these sorts of controversies.

    So, Mr. Eli, you have no “threat” at all…. merely your own imagination.

    Professor Eli, I am continually amazed to think that you are actually a university professor, and in chemistry!! You so frequently display elementary failings of logic, analysis, evidence, and reasoning. I fear for your students….. I had some loony left professors in my time, but none so feeble minded as this Eli Rabett.

  92. Skiphil says:
    July 14, 2012 at 9:21 pm
    separate from any possible legal issues, in the “court of public opinion”…. demands should now be made from many quarters for Karoly to prove his pretend assertion that he or co-authors found the problem with Gergis et al (2012) independently.

    i.e., in his grudging email to Steve McIntyre a few weeks back, Professor David Karoly pretended that the error in question had been identified independently of the work at Climate Audit. Surely there would be some email trail of discussions nowadays, almost certainly…. or some record of the moment at which Gergis or Karoly notified the journal of a problem etc.

    Excellent. That’s where a nice “goal” could be scored, at low cost. First, let’s have a josh cartoon. Then let’s have Heartland pay to plaster it over 100 billboards in Australia. “Where’s Karoly’s e-mail trail?” Maybe with a picture of a kangaroo with its tail tucked into its pouch.

  93. Dr. Karoly seems to think that he could be sued for the statement that defamed Dr.McIntyre in revenge for Dr. McIntyre’s finding that Karoly’s published work was faulty. The widespread use of ad hominem statements about fellow scientists seems more prevalent in climate science. It is a sort of tit for tat game when a scientist is called out for an error in published work and who then responds by attacking the character of the scientist who finds the error rather than thanking them. The culture of competition has sharpened their self images to a point that face saving is more important than truth. In my observations the number of CAGW scientists who use personal attacks clearly outnumber the number of attacks by “deniers” even though their use term “denier” is not considered offensive by them.
    The CAGW proponents are paranoid that they will be found to be supporting climate changes in the absence of real data and that someday soon a scientist will unequivalently prove magnitude of the effect of green house gases is not sufficient to warrant real concern for the future. As long as the effects of gases are very uncertain, claiming that it is catastrophic will assure continuing research support particularly if the politicians funding the research need the fear of catastrophic outcomes to maintain their political agenda. Naturally, in this culture of the catastrophic ends justify the means to keep the fear alive including writing papers that are faulty and calling anyone who questions them as not really being qualified. Who gets to decide who is qualified to evaluate a piece of scientific work? Someone who criticizes a piece of scientific work can understand fully the error without calling themselves a climatologist.
    Dr. Karoly is not alone and since so many of scientists of his ilk have attempted to destroy the character of those who have questioned their work, he chose this haughty response rather than in humility being grateful before the faulty work led to worse consequences that having to admit error. Of course he intended to defame Dr. McIntyre and failed to credit him with his discovery of faulty screening procedures. He must realize that it could be the basis of some legal activity.
    No one likes to be told that they made a mistake. However, in science, mistakes are cumulative and can lead to worse consequences later on. If Dr. Karoly’s result were used to verify a climate model that was later used to establish radical climate predictions, the finally answer would be wrong after all the other research goes on based on his faulty results. If all the global warming concerns were based on confirmation of computer models using faulty temperature data, who would know until it is too late? The ad hominem attacks on Dr. McIntyre by Dr. Karoly and others are merely manifestations of a lack of humility about the merits of their scientific results and of the desire to preserve the status quo.

  94. Compare David Karoly to Gavin Schmidt, each unable to credit Climate Audit as due:

    There is an “interesting” parallel between Karoly’s claim to independently find the problem with Gergis et al (2012) and prior malfeasance in a different case by Gavin Schmidt, who pretended that the British Antarctic Survey had been notified of a problem independently of Climate AUdit:

    Gavin Scmidt pretends that British ANtarctic Survey received independent notification of an error first identified on Climate Audit

    In fact it turned out that it was Gavin Schmidt himself (who then lied about the matter) who notified the BAS after seeing the discussions on Climate Audit. These people are so afraid to give Steve M. and Climate Audit any due credit that they will lie….

  95. “So, Bruno, can you relate to the court why, exactly, you shot the homeowner?”
    “Yeah, see it’s like this, it was self-defense. He threatened me!”
    “He threatened you in his own home?”
    “Yeah, I mean, when you’re breakin into houses, lookin for tee-vees, sometimes a guy’ll come at you wit a goff club or a basebaw bat. So I says to myself, if I break into his house, and he hits me with a goff club, it’ll be murder! I got a soft head cos a all them times I got beat up when I was in the clink. So I shot him. I was actually doin him a favour. Nobody oughta be prosecuted for murder!”

  96. It appears to me McIntyre accused Karoly of two actionable items – defamation and copyright infringement – and accompanied that with a request to stop and apologize. While there was no specific “or else” with the cease and desist I think it’s reasonable to presume “or else” is implied. Writing a letter like that is akin to putting on a condom. It’s not something one does unless one plans to take further action.

  97. John Doe, “or else” is simply not implied. “Threat” has specific meanings which are simply not present in SM’s letter. Lots of people want something to stop, change, etc. who have no thought or intent of legal action. Lots of people criticize something, even items clearly defamatory, without any threat or intent to sue. “Threat” is not implied by criticism or complaint per se.

    If SM wanted to threaten legal action he would have said that. He did not say it.

    If Karoly and the Australian Book Review are worried about legal action because they recognize the defamatory nature of the review, that is a clearly distinct matter from whether a “threat” was issued.

  98. Holy crap, It seems a lot or armchair lawyers who seem to have the time to witter on pointlessly about “it seems” this or “I would think that” or “I’ve only seen that word on Perry Mason so it *definitely* is a legal threat”.

    I’m impressed by the ability of people to read Steve’s letter whilst cleverly putting themselves in the shoes of a screaming ninny afraid of his own shadow, wincing at every possible hurtful interpretation that may crush his delicate ego by acute wording, therefore projecting all saving interpretations into the realm of legal might.

    However to a normal person (and non-ambulance chasers) who can read calmly and have no personal PR spin agenda to make and prefer to speak honestly about themselves, Steve’s letter actually reads as a clear statement of disapproval offering the chance to respond as a normal person and speak honestly.

    “Yes McIntyre’s letter was the sort of thing seen before defamation suits are filed.”

    No doubt comets and meteor storms are also seen before defamation suits too ;) Sheesh!

  99. When will my alma mater University of Melbourne realise the damage that clowns like Karoly are doing to its reputation? I have rarely seen an academic so soundly beaten up in an argument as Karoly has been in the wash-up of the disasterous warmist paper Gergis, Karoly et al 2012. Every time he opens his mouth, it just gets worse & worse for him. Go and crawl back under whatever rock you came out from under, Karoly….and have a nice day, buddy.

  100. “So, in summary, it seems the Australians find the letter a legal threat, but the Americans don’t.”

    That’s because our defamation laws differ. It’s pretty darn hard to pursue somebody for defamation in the US, whereas it’s not hard at all to do it in australia. The deciding factor here is usually whether the person who wants to retaliate has the spare cash to take it to court – the effective barrier being one of cost. In practice it’s a law that can be used by the cashed-up to go after critics with fewer resources. The plaintiff will rarely get adequate compensation, but they can ruin their opponent financially. That threat of financial ruin is often the objective.

    A few people here want to play naive and make out that unless a letter follows a particular grammar then nobody in their right could possibly interpret it as a threat. That’s easy to say when you’re not in the receiving end. Nobody here would seriously downplay the threat of a gun or knife simply because the mugger said please (no, I’m not saying mr watts is using a gun – I’m trying to illustrate the ridiculousness of that position, so please … don’t bother).

    Anyone who has been in the public eye in australia for any length of time (particularly if their position is at all controversial) will sooner or later have cause to learn up on the details of our defamation law. I’m not a public figure, and I’m not a lawyer, but I have been accused of defaming somebody in the past, and I would take that letter very seriously.

    Just as an aside – certain commentators who paint themselves as brave defenders of free speech are the ones you want to be most careful not to offend. And that’s all I’m saying about that.

    So karoly might have made a mistake, he might even be a right berk, but he’s not wrong to interpret that message as a threat. Other australians are free to disagree, but I hope they have the sense to see things differently if they ever receive a letter like that themselves.

  101. “… should have demonstrated to you that “peer review” by an academic journal is hardly a guarantee of the validity of results …”

    What’s important to note here, is that even if the recommendation is to publish, the reviewers are not giving any guarantee that the science is correct. The most they’re saying about it is that it’s plausible and uses generally accepted methods of research. That’s it. Nothing more.

    http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2012/07/13/is-climate-science-just-a-belief/

    Pointman

  102. You need to stop and pay attention to ‘johanna’ (above). Australia isn’t different to other places just because it has kangaroos. We also have funny laws relating to defamation. If you are prepared to tackle a readable and informative account of what can happen here, try Robert Pullan’s ‘Guilty Secrets’. (No … I’m not related and don’t stand to gain anything.)
    Another point I’ll make: threats are a bit like insults. The complainant perceives the injury even if the ‘perpetrator’ had no intention of causing injury and had every reason to believe in the innocuousness of his remarks. David Karoly may well FEEL threatened and, for him, that is reality. Sure, reasonable people see that he is being hypersensitive, but a stack of FOI requests can do that to a man. In this context, casuistic arguments about what Steve McIntyre actually meant are irrelevant.

  103. Some might like to compare mr watts’ letter with the following:

    “Chris Mitchell’s letter to Julie Posetti”

    http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/mediadiary/index.php/theaustralian/comments/chris_mit/

    That also lacks the (naive) “unless you do X we will do Y” that some here think is a critical requirement of a threat. But nobody in australian journalism has regarded THAT letter as anything less that a legal threat.

    As I said, the australian situation is very different to that in the US.

  104. “Holy crap, It seems a lot or armchair lawyers who seem to have the time to witter on pointlessly about “it seems” this or “I would think that” or “I’ve only seen that word on Perry Mason so it *definitely* is a legal threat”.”

    People were actually answering the question put to them, “see if you can find the legal threat”. Seems at least half the posters here can.

    Don’t ask a question where you won’t like the answer.

  105. OzChampion says:
    July 15, 2012 at 4:26 am

    Don’t ask a question where you won’t like the answer.

    Well when there is an “answer” you’ll let me know won’t you? ;)

    Then I can decide if I don’t like it.

    In the meantime I hope you don’t think I would restrict your rights to doodle in idle speculation? Go ahead think out loud as if means something to you.

    However I will moan about my valuable hurt feelings here ;) I feel I’d should be offered some useful information from someone in the know who would shock me away from my knee jerk common sense reaction – it doesn’t seem to be happening.

    However you may be right and my feelings are not important and instead this is an arena for exploring the plausibility of fantasies about how one could use this letter to possibly whine to your buddies about being a martyr to a legal threat (like claiming you’ve been threatened by a tiger) – a lovely thing to wallow in and offer as an entertainment. So knock yourself out – sorry.

    Meanwhile in the real world no one I would respect would consider the missive from Steve McIntyre to be legal threat. Because er, it isn’t one in actuality.

  106. “Well when there is an “answer” you’ll let me know won’t you? ;) ”

    Ignoring the childishness of the rest of the post, the answer to make it simple was. “Yes there was an implied threat, and that’s likely why he took it down.”

    Good day to you.

  107. A “legat threat” is not a threat. It’s a caution or advice that actions or words being persued may result in persuance by legal means. The words ARE an oxymoron. A threat is a criminal action. The legal action may be uncomfortable. Karoly may believe he’s been threatened, but really, he’s simply been counselled.

  108. OzChampion says:
    July 15, 2012 at 5:40 am

    Ignoring the childishness of the rest of the post, the answer to make it simple was. “Yes there was an implied threat, and that’s likely why he took it down.”

    When Karoly actually says this himself then we we will know.

    I am really sorry if my statement of a desire for actual information has possibly been lost in a section of my post which you have labelled “childish” therefore allowing you to ignore it ;)

    if you are not Karoly then I’m afraid your opinion of what is “likely why” here is as valuable an “answer” as any other anonymous posters’ speculation. I.e. not very. But that’s just me.

  109. If Karoly and his elk down under are such delicate flowers to see legal threats where no other sane person can see, they should first apply such standards to their own writings and rantings and stop saying and writing libellious stuff. These hyprocites and liars state false and defamatory stuff freely and squeal like babies when someone points out to them about the nature of their statements. They are nothing but shameless cheats.

  110. Posted on the highly popular blog Instapundit this Sunday morning:

    “A CULTURE OF COVERUPS? Rand Simberg: After the Sandusky coverup, can we trust Penn State’s internal ClimateGate “exoneration” of Michael Mann? “We saw what the university administration was willing to do to cover up heinous crimes, and even let them continue, rather than expose them. Should we suppose, in light of what we now know, they would do any less to hide academic and scientific misconduct, with so much at stake?”

    Posted by Glenn Reynolds at 8:21 am

    http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/146660/

  111. My view is that Mcintyre should litigate. It would be a relatively easy win here. But keeping it in the media and on blogs is cheaper and less risky for sure.

    IMHO the ones declaring it not to be a threat seem to be a whole lot more emotional about it than the ones who do think it was an implied threat.

    One wonders why.

  112. OzChampion

    re: “one wonders why”

    Because honest ppl dislike liars, frauds, and scoundrels like Karoly et al. That’s really simple, actually. Are you still having trouble figuring this out??

  113. Let us hope that law eventually takes down the alarmist fantasy, for this is one thing, of many, that David Karoly fears.
    =============

  114. OZChampion

    re: “One wonders why”

    Some ppl just don’t like liars, frauds, and scoundrels ala Karoly & friends.

    others, like u, seem just fine with it alll….. that explains the difference in vehemence of reactions very clearly.

  115. “I have just received a threat of legal action”

    There is a word missing from Karoly’s statement. Had it said

    “I have just received an IMPLIED threat of legal action”

    Then his statement would have been accurate. As it is it is imprecise, and thus misleading to the point of inaccurate and thus untrue.

    Imprecise and Inaccurate statement are a problem in science. They are what separate science from pseudo science.

    For example, this lack of precision is found in Gergis et al, and is why the paper was withdrawn. The paper says the data was “detrended” when it should have said “NOT detrended”.

    Small difference, only one word missing. Not really important in cliamte science. Like having the data upside down when using proxies. Only a small mistake. Not really important in cliamte science, so long as it give the right answer.

    Like the difference between cliamte science and science. Only one word different. Not really important.

  116. These discussions about Australian legalese are very interesting. But I still can’t believe that the unconditional statement: “I have just received a threat of legal action from Steve McIntyre” is warrented given the actual text of the letter – even in Australia.

    And as noted by some already, it’s impossible not to see this as another example of a tactic (conscious or not) commonly used by these types, which is to claim persecution without the slightest bit of real evidence.

    (Essentially the same tactic has been used quite often in recent years in connection with claims of “racism”, even to the extent of people manufacturing evidence or claiming evidence that can’t be produced on further questioning.)

    I guess what my argument comes down to is, “If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck …”.

  117. In times past an email communication was not considered legal “notice”, so nothing in Steve McIntyre’s email could be construed as a “legal threat”. Maybe it’s different now. An electronic notice from a non-lawyer which happens to contain legal terms is just an email. A written notice, delivered by the postal system containing the magic phrase “if you do not …, I will initiate legal action” is a “legal threat”.

    So what? There is nothing illegal about making legal threats. In the lawyer’s paradise that is the US, anyone can sue just about anyone else for just about anything. And absolutely anybody can send letters demanding specific action to avoid a lawsuit.

    Even so, IMHO Dr. Karoly is jumping at ghosts. He would do much better to address the substance of Steve’s complaint.

  118. Matthew Of Canberra says:
    July 15, 2012 at 3:28 am

    Some might like to compare mr watts’ letter with the following:

    “Chris Mitchell’s letter to Julie Posetti”

    http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/mediadiary/index.php/theaustralian/comments/chris_mit/

    First, the letter was from Steve McIntyre, not Mr. Watts.

    Second, I read the The Australian article you linked to, and have highlighted a few bits of language in that article that distinguish it from Mr. McIntyre’s personal request:

    Mitchell’s offer is contained in a legal letter send to Posetti yesterday, as part of the defamation proceedings that have become known as “#Twitdef.’’
    Mitchell also seeks a written apology, to the effect that the allegation that he had ever “conducted himself in a manner that was coercive, debilitating, excruciating or tortuous’’ was false.
    The letter from Mitchell’s lawyer to Posetti concedes that former rural writer Asa Wahlquist “did make some of the statements’’ that Ms Posetti subsequently posted on Twitter.
    It adds: “In any event, your election to publish the material in the form of Tweets without seeking to verify the material with our client has led to you being liable for those publications.
    “It is immaterial where they were or were not uttered by another person in the same, similar or even an entirely different context.
    “The fact is they were published by you on an occasion which does not attract a defence and it is obvious from the above facts and email they are patently false.
    “In the circumstances, our client offers you an opportunity to correct the record by publishing (in agreed manner) a correction, and perhaps meeting with him, to discuss the matter.
    Mitchell’s legal letter also notes that Posetti did not contact Mitchell to get his side of the story.
    The letter from legal firm Blake Dawson to Julie Posetti, dated November 29, is posted below:

    (actual letter omitted)

    It’s laughable that you tried to equate the two instances.

  119. OzChampion and Eli Rabett

    Steve McIntyre just made an excellent point on CA, one that I had been groping toward but had not expressed so succinctly. He expressly did NOT formulate his letter as any kind of legal demand letter with “take this down within 48 hours or else….” He formulated it as an appeal to conscience and professional standards. Alas, that is what all the charlatans like Karoly (and Mann) can never understand, an appeal to conscience and professional standards. So they will continue to interpret everything in the “war” framework in which THEY operate…..

    Steve McIntyre on “appeal conscience” and professional standards

  120. I smell a rat or more precise a rat trap.Karoly knows Steve M is “non funded” and could go looking for an expensive legal fight over his defamation of him…just what he wants Steve M to do,takes C.A off line?? conspiracy anyone LOL

  121. “appeal to conscience” is what I meant to type, of course

    typing so fast the fingers touched but did not depress the keys

  122. @Eli Rabett says: July 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm
    There appears to be a problem here. Yes McIntyre’s letter was the sort of thing seen before defamation suits are filed.
    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    Gosh! What other “sorts of things” appear before defamation blah blah blah? Do tell. You are clearly an expert in the field, judging by this precise statement.

  123. Try as I might, I could not find a legal threat.
    However…
    Steve McIntyre has posted his letter to David Karoly regarding Karoly’s book review, covered by WUWT here. Karoly responds with a suggestion he’s been given a ‘legal threat’. After reading McIntyre’s letter, I’m reminded of the non-existent death threats towards climate scientists in Australia…because I sure can’t find any legal threat from Steve. Maybe David Appell can use his superior death threat knowledge to pinpoint this. /sarc
    … I did find Waldo

  124. @John Doe says: July 14, 2012 at 10:27 pm
    It appears to me McIntyre accused Karoly of two actionable items – defamation and copyright infringement – and accompanied that with a request to stop and apologize. While there was no specific “or else” with the cease and desist I think it’s reasonable to presume
    ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    “presume”. Case kicked out of court. The law does not “presume”.

  125. @Skiphil
    “Some ppl just don’t like liars, frauds, and scoundrels ala Karoly & friends.

    others, like u, seem just fine with it alll….. that explains the difference in vehemence of reactions very clearly.”

    Please don’t put words in my mouth thanks, at no point did I claim to support “liars frauds and scoundrels” nor did I claim to support Karoly and his friends. I don’t think McIntyre needs bots like you to protect him from an idea you emotionally fear.

  126. “presume”. Case kicked out of court. The law does not “presume”.

    You’ve never heard of a “presumption of innocence” then.

  127. I rarely disagree with Anthony or Steve, but I still think it is reasonable for someone to consider the letter as a threat. Defamatory speech is actionable. Rather than use the word defamatory, if Steve had said “the things you said are untrue, would you please correct it?”, then I wouldn’t see that as much a threat, but rather a simple request for correction.

    Defamatory is a legal term as well as a regular adjective and can be taken both ways. If you use a word in that category, you risk you message being taken as a threat. At this point in the comments, it is clear that a number of commenters see the letter as a threat of legal action. Steve may not have intended it as a threat, but one of the vagaries of communication is what the receiver thinks it said as opposed to what was meant.

    “jorgekafkazar says: “As a paralegal…”, Thanks for saving me the time of reading the rest, Jeff.”

    Your welcome :) I think you read it anyway. :) You are like those who say Steves’s thoughts on climate are bunk because he is not an “official” climate scientist. I win the vast majority of my cases over corporate attorneys just as Steve beats out the “official” climate scientists almost all the time. I was silly to use “paralegal” as an appeal to authority, since the idea I expressed is true independent of whether or not I know much about the subject of law. Anthony asked if we saw a threat in the letter, and I and several others did. It doesn’t mean we are right or wrong, it just means that Steve now has additional data points to see if Karoly was being paranoid or if others could see it Karoly’s way. Some of us do.

    Personally, I’m tired of people like Karoly who make accusations without providing examples of the alleged misinformation. It is time people went after them. If we don’t, they will continue doing it. So, if Steve didn’t mean it as a threat, I wish he had.

  128. “First, the letter was from Steve McIntyre, not Mr. Watts.”

    Fair cop.

    “Second, I read the The Australian article you linked to, and have highlighted a few bits of language in that article that distinguish it from Mr. McIntyre’s personal request”

    Yes. It’s a different letter. There are lots of different words.

    “It’s laughable that you tried to equate the two instances.”

    I wasn’t “equating” anything. I posted it to point out that a threat doesn’t have to contain “unless you X I will Y” that folks here seem to rely on. I hope we’ve at least put that to bed. The letter from the oz is spelling it out pretty clearly (as it happens, the recipient didn’t back down – her university had her back), but that’s not how all threats work. The ideal threat is one where the target understands exactly what’s at stake without the speaker having to say anything at all – nobody seriously thought that shovel left outside kathy jackson’s house was probably just a kind neighbour returning one he’d borrowed, for example. Anyone who’s ever been on the receiving end of any sort of bullying knows how it works.

    It would be reasonable for karoly to interpret that email/letter as a threat. It’s also reasonable for steve mcintyre to say it wasn’t. I personally would have taken it seriously. As I wrote, if anyone here ever gets a letter saying that they’ve defamed somebody and “requesting” action, I hope they’re sensible enough not to split hairs quite so carefully.

  129. All tyrants’ fear… that eventually they will be deposed by those they have tyrannized. As tends to happen. So they are jumpy, and see threats everywhere. They project their issues onto those whose attacks they fear… forestalling attack…. to divert interest, prevent debate, and arrest the wrong person.

  130. OzChampion

    You’ve done it again. 5 times in two sentences you assert things that I don’t believe, claim, or do as though they could be attributed to me. That is a dishonest and malicious form of debate. Toward you, on the other hand, I merely said one “seem” because you “seemed” to be like some other people expressing such fake concern about the matter. But do not imagine you are mentally competent to discuss anything I think about the matter. You have repeatedly proved you do not understand my clearly expressed comments, period.

  131. Skiphil says:
    July 15, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    I guess when you use an “abusive ad hominen” attack (on my mental competence) and a straw man argument “5 times in two sentences” then you demonstrate the strength, or lack thereof, of your argument.

    Good day to you.

  132. OzChampion

    You do not know what a “straw man” argument is (the five mis-statements of my view are there in your text if you bother to look), and you do not know what an ad homineMMM argument is, either (although you resorted to both straw man and ad hominem attacks very quickly in your previous postings). You relied on both straw man and ad hominem attacks, I did not (your mental competence was on display in how you mis-stated all of my views here). Nice try, though.

  133. @OzChampion says: July 15, 2012 at 3:31 pm
    “presume”. Case kicked out of court. The law does not “presume”.

    You’ve never heard of a “presumption of innocence” then.
    //////////////////////

    That is the only case, that the defendant is presumed innocent. Otherwise, the law and “presumption” have nothing to do with each other. Dear me. What is the point you are trying to make? You seem confused, and, sorry to say, none to bright. I’d keep schtumm were I you. Just trying to help.

  134. Frankly, if Steve McIntyre says it wasn’t meant as a threat. cool ..

    And if Karoly took it as a threat.. even better !!! :-)
    Guy needs a good clip on the back of head, (Jethro style) …..wake him up to reality.

  135. What is this, some sort of co-ordination of attack chihuahuas to shut up someone you don’t agree with by telling him he’s stupid? Come on, more schoolyard childishness. Surprised you haven’t resorted to “Neener Neener you’re so dumb and we so much smarter than you so there!”.

    Just argue the point, if you’re correct you will win the argument. Oh wait I already said this way back up this thread. And you didn’t.

  136. > currently “DEALING” with 6 different FOI requests???
    Last time I checked a FOIA request was a civil right… If your research is funded by the goverment with taxpayers money then better get used to releasing your data to the public upon request… Sorry to “bother” you, mister…

  137. OzChampion

    I only wanted you to try to say something intelligent, informed, interesting…. I already “won” every point of contention up-thread because you have never uttered a single counter-argument. You haven’t even proved able to understand the thread. You think that insults, muddying waters, and changing the subject are forms of argument. You are mistaken in this as in everything you have said here on this thread.

  138. Oz Champion.
    I see your take on this as: Karoly would not be wrong to announce that a legal threat or threat of legal action was made. This because you think he has reason to see the letter as a legal threat or threat of legal action. Do I interpret you correctly ?

    If the above is accurate, then I would say you’re actually only pointing to what is Karoly feeling a threat of oncoming legal threat.
    Neither of which though scenarios are justification for announcing that he received a legal threat.

  139. Steve occasionally gets these contrary commenters who admit that they can’t understand his statistical arguments and also admit that they are so ignorant that they must take what any soi-disant Climate Scientist says more seriously than any criticism, however valid, that he or anyone else might offer.

    And, now, there are the ones who think that the word “defamatory” is a legal threat… because Australia!

    Personally, to date, my favorites are the ones who are so logically challenged they cannot understand what a logical fallacy is – especially those who resort to:


    Proof by Ignorance*
    
A: What do you think about objection X?

    B: I don’t understand X.
    
A: Let me try to explain X…

    B: That doesn’t make sense to me. Please explain. What is X?
    
A: X! X! It’s very simple! X!

    B: I don’t understand. You must be silly. Next question.

    Comedy at its finest!

    *source: http://specgram.com/CXLVII.3/09.seely.rhetoric.html

  140. @ thisisnotgoodtogo
    What I am saying is that I too, and I note others here (apparently only Australians I think?) would see the word “defamatory” and react. I would take some action if I received the letter, perhaps reverse what I did, or the minimum I could do to reduce my risk of litigation, which Karoly seems to have done. Would I call it a “legal threat”? I would probably tell my friends that I received a letter that declared that I had defamed someone and they “requested” me to remedy it. They would immediately tell me to fix it and not risk being sued.

    Do I defend Karoly in any way? No! Do I think the should have announced it to the world? No it was done to engenger sympathy and is a tactic in itself. Do I think he felt legally threatened? Yes.

    Does that constitute a legal threat in USA? Seems most think not. Does it constitute a legal threat here? In my opinion Yes.

    If Karoly, knowing our laws here, which are the main relevant ones in question, thought he was not at risk, would he have taken the letter down? Unlikely. So it is likely he did think there was a chance that this matter could be prosecuted.

    What amazes me is why anyone would care whether it was a legal threat or not. Good on Mcintyre for writing it, people like Karoly need to have wake up calls about defamation.

    You aren’t allowed to offend anyone in Australia, remember that. I am sure Mcintyre knows this.

  141. Why is Karoly regarding FOI requests as a threat, equivalent to a threat of legal action?

    The FOI leglislation gives a right tocitizens to obtain documents from people like Karoly. He should be pleased to comply with the law. Instead, he objects, like Jones et al at UEA.

    Typical snuffler in teh public money trough. Our job is to fill it with money and then shut up while Karoly snuffles.

  142. “Why is Karoly regarding FOI requests as a threat, equivalent to a threat of legal action?”

    It’s almost like this whole discussion simply never happened.

  143. In light of the new claim by David Karoly that the review has not been withdrawn, but moved behind the paywall (for mysterious reasons), I have been poking around to see if that is true. At this moment, one can’t be too sure. All reference to the article disappeared from the home page itself, where numerous other articles from the current issue are listed and linked. If Karoly’s statement that ABR moves articles of particular interest behind the paywall, this would presumably be to promote sales of the whole issue (site visitors would have to purchase the online or print issue as a whole to access the Karoly review). One cannot at present purchase the article individually, you have to either subscribe for online access for a month or a year, or else order a print version.

    What is bizarre is that it is not easy to find reference to the article — yes it is listed in a subsidiary page in “current contents” but if you go to the purchase page nothing (at present) tells you what is in the issue they want you to purchase. Perhaps this is simply poor website marketing but if the point of putting the Karoly article behind the paywall was to push sales of the current issue, then ABR is doing an abysmal job of letting web visitors know that is the action to take.

  144. Another thing that makes Karoly’s claim (about why ABR removed the Karoly review from the home page) highly implausible is that ABR has done nothing in the week since to promote the article (and thus sales of the current issue) on either their home page OR on their Twitter feed (the two most likely places they would plug it if ABR’s intent were to use the paywalling of the piece to drive sales). We may never see any honest explanation of why the review was pulled from the ABR home page but they had plugged it repeatedly on Twitter on July 9 (before the fuss began) and then never since. ABR has been silent on this review, perhaps they are merely incompetent at marketing their current issue or perhaps Karoly is just making stuff up (but could anyone hope to get an honest answer out of ABR?). This does not look like the Twitter feed of a publication which decided on or around July 11 that putting the Karoly review behind a paywall would help to drive sales of the current issue:

    ABR Twitter feed: Karoly review not mentioned since July 9 !!

    Tweets (Australian Book Review)
    5h
    The Red Room Company‏@RedRoomCompany
    A bunch of new poems on The Disappearing, our free app that (literally) explores poetry & place – give it a D/L! http://bit.ly/LARsav
    Retweeted by AustralianBookReview

    5h
    MUP‏@MUPublishing
    Very sad to hear of the loss of the @canberratimes literary pages. A huge blow for Australian writers and local literary event programs.
    Retweeted by AustralianBookReview

    5h
    AustralianBookReview‏@AustBookReview
    @LiteraryMinded Call for poems. Call for poems – could poets crash a website? Wonder if that’s ever happened before. http://bit.ly/klXY47

    23h
    AustralianBookReview‏@AustBookReview
    ‪#writestuff‬ – poetry to be specific – and send it to us. Be published in ABR, enter before 30/11. Total prize money $6K http://bit.ly/klXY47

    23h
    AustralianBookReview‏@AustBookReview
    @AusPoetry Are any of your members interested in having their poetry published in ABR, plus $5K? We want good poetry. http://bit.ly/klXY47

    10 Jul
    AustralianBookReview‏@AustBookReview
    @guardian @arusbridger new Australian Book Review ‘The Humiliation of Rupert Murdoch’ on Dial M for Murdoch ‪#newscorp‬ http://bit.ly/MeQkOg

    9 Jul
    AustralianBookReview‏@AustBookReview
    @ReadingsBooks Free sample of the latest ABR online: reviews of Dial M for Murdoch on ‪#newscorp‬ & new Climate Wars book http://bit.ly/iCKVBR

    9 Jul
    AustralianBookReview‏@AustBookReview
    @PenguinUKBooks new in ABR ‘The Humiliation of Rupert Murdoch’ on the @tom_watson and @martin_hickman book http://bit.ly/MeQkOg

    9 Jul
    AustralianBookReview‏@AustBookReview
    @abcmarkscott @jonaholmesMW new in ABR: ‘The Humiliation of Rupert Murdoch’ http://bit.ly/MeQkOg

    9 Jul
    AustralianBookReview‏@AustBookReview
    @crikey_news New in ABR: Climate Wars figures ‘subjected to attacks from climate change confusionists’ by David Karoly

    9 Jul
    AustralianBookReview‏@AustBookReview
    @uommedia @ColumbiaUP new in ABR on Mann ‪#climate‬ Wars figures ‘subjected to attacks from climate change confusionists’ http://bit.ly/RTbWP8

    9 Jul
    AustralianBookReview‏@AustBookReview
    @GetUp @AYCC new in ABR on Mann book. Climate Wars figures ‘subjected to attacks from climate change confusionists’ http://bit.ly/RTbWP8

  145. sorry one more if I may, and then I stop for the night!

    The links on those two ABR tweets from July 9 go to the now notorious “404 – Article #1063 not found”

    That’s no surprise since the tweets were before July 11/12, but what is bizarre is that ABR’s Twitter feed now gives no accurate link or information about the Karoly piece. Again, they may simply be incompetent at marketing, OR the Karoly explanation is some post hoc nonsense he just makes up:

    https://www.australianbookreview.com.au/feature-articles/1063-343-features-karoly

    404 – Article #1063 not found
    You may not be able to visit this page because of:
    1.an out-of-date bookmark/favourite
    2.a search engine that has an out-of-date listing for this site
    3.a mistyped address
    4.you have no access to this page
    5.The requested resource was not found.
    6.An error has occurred while processing your request.

    Please try one of the following pages:
    •Home Page
    If difficulties persist, please contact the System Administrator of this site.

  146. Some of the comments seem to be torturing the english language to death in order to deliberately talk past each other. In order to promote clarity and bring peace and light to the world. Allow me to indicate the steps involved in succesfully obtaining legal satisfaction against a multinational mega-merchant of death.

    “Dear Peter

    Thank you for promptly paying my final salary, However I’m unable to agree the final figures for refunded holiday entitlement and pension contributions, and the expenses incurred for XXXXXXXXXX are missing altogether

    I would be grateful if you could give this unfortunate oversight your prompt attention
    Yours etc…..”

    Translation ” Pete mate , there’s been an accounting cock-up could you get the munchkins in accounts to sort it out ta-much

    “Dear Michael
    I have reviewed the matter and the accounts staff are certain that there were no errors made in your final salary payment. As far as we are concerned this matter is closed

    Yours etc…”

    Translation “We hate you for leaving, hell will freeze over before I do a stroke to help you”

    “Dear Peter

    I am unable to agree that there are no errors. Please find enclosed the relevant sections from the corporate T&C’s policy handbook on holiday pay and pension contribution calculations on severance, and also the Expense system audit records showing that expenses incurred on X
    XXXXXXXXXXX have been entered onto the corporate system and approved.

    I think we can agree that there has definitely been a problem in calculating my final payment as the amount for Holiday pay and Pensions contribution refunds do not match the corporate formulae. And the expense payment has been omitted altogether.

    Could we please settle this matter promptly and in an amicable matter

    Yours etc…”
    Translation “Pete stop being a twat and sort this out, you are starting to tick me off….”

    No reply
    Translation ” No one challenges the mighty Mega-merchant of death, ignore him and he’ll go away”

    “Dear Mr N-n
    I note with concern that there has been no rely to my letter dated #########. I consider this unnacceptable. If I do not receive payment in the amount of XXXXXXXX within Y days of the date of this letter, I will have to consider further action.
    Yours etc..”
    Translation ” Now I’m annoyed, do you really want to play it this way….”

    Now this is the first step that might be considered as a “threat” as it makes an implication from which some sort of action may be inferred. And it sets the conditions under which that inference might become more concrete. It isn’t yet a “Threat of legal action”.I might be proposing to “hold my breath till I pass out, or to “thcream thcream and thcream until I’m thick and then you’ll be sorry” or immolate myself on the steps of their pagoda. For example in another dispute with a large retailer over an insurance payment. The action subsequently taken was to highlight to the customer services director the amount I spent annually as a customer and ask if she thought it worthwhile that events take their course. I got the money, an apology and a wedge of discount vouchers.

    No Reply
    Translation ” No one challenges the mighty Mega-merchant of death, ignore him and he’ll go away”

    “Mr N-n
    I have received no reply to my letter of ########. Either pay the sum in question by ####### or action will be taken through theCounty Courts to recover it. Please supply the name and address of a legal representative to whom further correspondence and proceedings may be addressed. If you do not supply these details summonses will be served on the CEO of the Company at your registered UK office, without further correspondence”

    Translation “Pay up now or be sued, in addition I will make your existence known to the Head of the UK company, in a manner not best suited to your planned career trajectory”
    And that is the point at which we have your genuine tangible “threat of legal action” Unless you get something that looks like that then no such threat has been made.

    Anyway, no reply ( ” No one challenges the mighty Mega-merchant of death, ignore him and he’ll go away”) summons served on UK CEO, MMD attempted some stalling tactics, rejected out of hand by the judge, ruling 4 weeks after summons, money 2 weeks after that.

    So pardon the long windedness, has Dr Karoly received “a threat of legal action” from Mr McIntyre. On the correspondence published to date I don’t think so, we’re at the “….stop being a twat and sort this out, you are starting to tick me off….” stage at best/worst..

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