The 97% Thunderdome is revving up! Brandon Shollenberger has issued a direct challenge to Cook and UQ, and has published the threatening letter about that “secret” data for Cook’s “97% consensus” study that was published under an “open” Creative Commons License. From that “openness” Jo Nova made the hilarious graphic at left for her essay on the fiasco. Send her chocolate.
As most of you know, I recently received a threatening letter from the University of Queensland. This letter made a variety of threats and demands. The the strangest one was it suggested I’d be sued if I showed anyone the letter. Today, I intend to challenge that claim.
Some people suggested I should have immediately published the letter. I understand that view. It was my immediate reaction upon receiving the letter. The idea of a university from another country suing me because I published a letter in which they threatened to sue me was laughable. It was as empty a threat as I could imagine.
Still, I’ve been told I let myself get baited too easily. It seemed unwise to act hastily rashly when the issue of a lawsuit was at hand. I thought taking a few days to think about matters was sensible.
I have now, and I’ve talked to a number of people about this. Everything I’ve seen and heard agrees: The threat against me publishing the letter was bogus and pathetic. It might have even been unethical.
Until I do, I want to challenge the University of Queensland to stand by what it has said. I’m calling their bluff. I’ve published their letter, and I await the legal proceedings we all know will never come.
…So here’s the challenge I want to propose to the Skeptical Science team, to the University of Queensland, and to anyone else who thinks I shouldn’t release the data I possess:
Tell me what material I possess could cause harm if disseminated. Tell me what agreements or contractual obligations would be impinged upon if that material were released to the public.
If you are unable or unwilling to meet such a simple challenge, I’ll release the data and you can bite me. I mean, sue me.
Read it all here as well as see the letter: http://hiizuru.wordpress.com/2014/05/18/a-direct-challenge/
In other news: Popcorn futures are expected to open at record highs tomorrow at the Chicago Board of Trade. Here’s last week’s closing numbers: