Mark Steyn writes (and provides a cartoon caricature):
Good news for fake Nobel Laureate Michael E Mann. Iran is launching an Islamic Nobel Prize to be named after Mustafa (ie, Mohammed). Given that he wants it so badly, maybe we can nominate Dr Mann for a Mustafa Prize.
~Speaking of “climate change”, did you stay up all night to watch the all-night Senate “debate”? Me neither. Sitting in for Rush yesterday, I breezily compared the Senate’s so-called “talkathon” to Kim Jong-Un’s impressive 100 per cent of the vote on a 100 per cent voter turnout in his “election” to North Korea’s “legislative assembly”. Senators Barbara Boxer, Sheldon Whitehouse, Angus King and the rest of the “Senate Climate Action Task Force” were engaging in an act of parliamentary fakery quite as absurd as Kim’s “election”.
For a start, it was not a filibuster: Usually, when someone goes full Jimmy Stewart and stands on his feet and talks for hours, it’s to try to block a piece of legislation. But there was no legislation before the Senate. So the Democrats were just talking for the sake of talking. Which in turn raises the question of why there isn’t any bill to debate. After all, Democrats control the Senate. So, if they want to pass a climate-change bill, they can do so any time they want. Instead, they decided to engage in an act of theatre, using the chamber of the Senate as a stage set on which to act out their lame summer-stock let’s-do-the-show-right-here-in-the-Senate version of Mr Smith Goes To Washington.
And even then, unlike Kim Jong-Un with his ersatz election to a pseudo-legislature, the Democrats couldn’t get it right. Unlike, say, the Australian Parliament, which I always enjoy dropping in on when I’m Down Under, in Washington the so-called “world’s greatest deliberative body” can’t deliberate anything. There are no real debates there, ever. When you switch on C-Span, you’ll occasionally see a senator delivering a speech to an empty chamber. If you think watching a man reading a speech written by his staffers out loud to himself is the height of rhetorical panache, then last night was a triumph. Round about 1.30am, I tuned in and the Delaware guy, I think, was droning out a beyond-Oscar list of thank-yous to all the people who made his speech possible – senate staffers, senate pagers, senate janitors, senate busboys… Even if you genuinely take the climate-alarmism line, this was yawnsville stuff. Even Mustafa Prize nominee Michael E Mann found his enthusiasm, like his hockey stick, hard to keep up:
~Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth, the divergence between the climate models and reality is ever greater. In other news, it may not all be the fault of your carbon footprint:
Changes in the sun’s energy output may have led to marked natural climate change in Europe over the last 1000 years, according to researchers at Cardiff University.
You don’t say!
Slight changes in the transport of heat associated with these systems can lead to regional climate variability, and the study findings matched historic accounts of climate change, including the notoriously severe winters of the 16th and 18th centuries which pre-date global industrialisation.
The study found that changes in the Sun’s activity can have a considerable impact on the ocean-atmospheric dynamics in the North Atlantic, with potential effects on regional climate.
Well, I never!
~On the subject of Dr Mann’s defamation suit against me, I see it’s the 50th anniversary of New York Times vs Sullivan. To be honest, the very words cause my heart to sink. When you’re in a libel case in the US, all you hear about from your lawyers are New York Times vs Sullivan and Hustler vs Falwell – and, while it’s tiresome to be compared to Larry Flynt for a year’s worth of legal pleadings, being compared to The New York Times isn’t much better. Nevertheless, these are the two landmark cases of recent American libel law, and this Associated Press piece on Sullivan’s half-century contains some interesting points:
“Today one of the reasons I think we don’t have as many libel cases is not just because the Sullivan rule is so widely accepted by everyone, but in a digital world there’s so much greater opportunity for response,” said Bruce W. Sanford, a Washington-based First Amendment lawyer.
If one person says something untrue online, the person being spoken about has many more avenues to reply, agreed David Ardia, a University of North Carolina law professor and the co-director of the school’s Center for Media Law and Policy. In the 1960s, the only way to respond to libel and “reach an audience was to get into the same newspaper, and that’s no longer the case,” he said, adding that the “megaphone” of the Internet is available to everyone.
If Michael Mann feels I said something “untrue” in my 280-word blog post, he has not only the megaphone of the Internet but the influential platforms of The Guardian and The New York Times in which to refute it, not to mention his TV show with Jessica Alba and all manner of other outlets. But his strategy, in America, Britain, Canada, Australia and elsewhere, is always to shut down the argument rather than win it.
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