Reader poll – should I sue the pants off Greg Laden?

UPDATES have been added below.

I spent yesterday conferring with lawyers about the smear that Greg Laden made against me (see here) that was compounded by it being reprinted and Tweeted at Climate progress by Joe Romm. I think Romm now realizes that he made a mistake by not checking out Laden’s claims before he printed it. He’s now added an update walking back from his position a bit, adding a link to WUWT and a note for his readers to see how Laden purposely twisted the story. He also needs to make a note about this walkback on Twitter, since his story went out to thousands that way. CP is equally culpable in this by not checking Laden’s claims before publishing.

After review yesterday, it seems that Laden’s actions in his original and follow up story meet the legal tests for “False Light“. 

Generally speaking, a false light claim requires the following:

  1. The defendant published the information widely (i.e., not to just a single person, as in defamation);
  2. the publication identifies the plaintiff;
  3. it places the plaintiff in a “false light” that would be highly offensive to a reasonable person; and
  4. the defendant was at fault in publishing the information.

While False Light is not recognized in Minnesota (where Laden resides) it IS recognized in Washington DC, where National Geographic is headquartered, and according to our research, Nat Geo has assumed editorial control of where Mr. Laden placed his essay.

The District of Columbia recognizes the tort of “false light.” Plaintiffs can sue for false light when a false and offensive statement is made about them to the public and causes them distress. The specific things a plaintiff must prove are listed below under “Elements of a False Light Claim.”

Note how NatGeo’s yellow box logo is placed prominently in two places on the SB header:


So, with all of Laden’s written false claims saved, with clear and indisputable examples of Laden’s purposeful malice, plus other examples of malice in context, and an establishment of the location editorial control of the blog he published the false claims on, it seems there is enough to move forward.

The question is, should I make an example of him for all us who have suffered non factual smears such as he practices? Just like I did with the original story that Mr. Laden smeared me about, I’m going to put the question up for discussion by the readers.

UPDATE: I’ve been asked privately why I have chosen to elevate this case, where I did not in a far worse case of smear by Climate Progress regular, Mike Roddy, who along with his co-author, when I requested a factual correction to a smear piece, he put in not one, but two suggestions (plus a comment at CP) that I have sex with farm animals.

It stems from this piece Roddy wrote about me, see the “corrections” at the end, which he apparently agrees with:

Scroll all the way to the bottom to see the update.

I discussed this case with counsel yesterday, and we came to the conclusion that while most ‘reasonable people’ would likely not conclude that I’m a practitioner of bestiality due to the context of the story, in the case of Laden’s story, most reasonable people would conclude that Laden’s story as written was accurate, since he went to great lengths to conceal anything in his story that showed the caveats I placed. That’s the actionable distinction with a difference. – Anthony

UPDATE1:  Wow, just wow.

UPDATE2: Hilarious logic fail, from a comment at Laden’s blog:

‘Kudos to Greg for demonstrating the openness of this blog by allowing the WUWT attack dogs to post their vitriolic bilge. No censorship here, wish the same could be said of Mr Watts and his cronies.

The denialists are committing crimes against humanity, surely it’s time for legislation to close these sites down’.

UPDATE 3: 8AM PST 1/21/13 – Thanks to everyone for all of the helpful input, and for responding to the poll. Using these, I’ve made my decision. Comments are now closed as well as the poll. – Anthony

470 thoughts on “Reader poll – should I sue the pants off Greg Laden?

  1. Normally I would say take the high road, but “they” won’t, don’t and wouldn’t; therefore I say Sue the pants off him until he’s reduced to wearing napkins!

  2. Your already winning this battle Anthony. Skip the huge headaches associated with a lawsuit. Most of the people Greg Laden’s posts might influence will not be pursuaded regardless. Joe Romm, on the other hand, needs to print an outright apology.

  3. I voted for legal action. You have a water tight position and when NG comes to make a deal tell them you want a public apology and enough cash to finish your NOAA data project.

  4. If you are suing him personally check if he has enough assets to make it worth your while.

  5. Sue the arse off the creep. And when you win ensure that he has to do a lot of public grovelling as well.

  6. If you choose to take legal action (not necessarily promoting this), I’ll gladly donate to the “cause”.

  7. I’m pro- freedom of speech. I realise that this is different, as it’s a smear, but you should fight him with words, not by legal means. Your blog already does that, and it’s true to say that it’s far more widely read than his.
    In general I think the litigation culture is a very bad thing and I don’t think it should be encouraged.

  8. The poll is neat but I’m sure you will make your decision without the results. I’m confident that it will be the right one.

  9. He really messed up. Its a smear no doubt about it. I don’t know, it seems like a pretty low profile website. Maybe an apology from Laden would be ok, but then his followers would call him a ‘denier apologist’ or something. Lol!

  10. I had considered suing the pants off him, but then thought that the probable recovery wouldn’t begin to be worthwhile to any but the lawyers. I ended up voting for seeking an apology, but won’t hold my breath.
    A-holes like this clown need to be slapped down; I just don’t know how to do it without ending up with a Pyrrhic victory.

  11. Your call Dr. Watts. It will require a lot of time, effort, and other resources from you to pursue a tort. I leave it to you to make the decision about what you do with those.

  12. I sued a school district once. Whupped ’em, too. They had to pay court costs and our attorney’s fees–well over $80K. But I don’t kinow as I’d do it again. It took a lot of time, and time is our most valuable natural resource.

  13. Anthony,
    I voted for you to take legal action because of the reputation WUWT has for scientific accuracy, fairmindedness and plain dealing, with supporters and critics alike. Laden has not only deliberately tried to mislead people in order to sully your reputation, he has also attempted to bring into disrepute this fine blog – twice winner of the Best Science Blog Award and the 2912 Bloggies Lifetime Achievement Award. It is offensive to you, to the good name of this blog and to the many fans of the blog around the globe.
    Also, it appears – as far as anyone can tell – that Heartland is not going to sue Gleick so it would do everyone’s heart good to see a bit of legal redress going the way of the good guys for once.

  14. Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs titled his first book “Fourth and One”, the situation where he must decide to punt of to go for a first down.
    He says the crowd always wants to go for it. And that is usually not the best decision.
    Using his philosophy, I was able to accurately predict the poll results from the crowd.
    Coach Gibbs has 3 Super Bowl rings.

  15. I voted for a legal action too. Also, regarding the NG, why not demand a full page explanation of what happened with a retraction and apology in the National Geographic magazine itself?

  16. That would be too much honour, don´t take the “Harvard”-boy serious, he´s like a dog barking at the moon.

  17. Anthony, Any chance to get in a court and take apart an ignorant AGW believer should be taken. Let a court hear you defend this wonderful website and let this moron choke.
    Go for it if you can afford it.

  18. Its about time legal action was taken against these cr##ins. It the only thing that will MAKE them change..

  19. I voted for “Take legal action to set an example.” Though I would have preferred “Demand an apology & if he fails then take legal action.”

  20. File suit, I don’t think National Geographic will pay much attention unless you do, but be very willing to settle.
    In civil action, you won’t get 0%, you won’t get 100%, and the longer it strings out the more everyone loses. Most of what you can get you can get by settling early.

  21. I make my living as a legal costs consultant in the UK. (Different rules, I know) But generally I don’t think it is a good idea to go to law.

  22. I think going for money is fruitless. I think going for a public apology from National Geographic prominently posted on their Web site for several weeks and their dropping Laden as an author would be sufficient.

  23. Perhaps you need to get Romm to put the update at the top of the article. And then heave Romm at that
    Greg, seems unaware of his own actions, so maybe a chat with Science blogs. Might perdusfe them to show Greg the error of his ways. And an apology

  24. I agree with Robinson and Jasper.
    Don’t sue, Anthony. That would associate your behavior too much with Michael Mann and others. You need to keep your hands clean. Pursue apologies or retractions, such as contact National Geographic about this directly, but don’t go to court by your own initiation. We don’t need any of that.
    What we do need, is you continuing to stand tall and taking the moral superior ground over these guys, to show them for what they are.

  25. I’d say you’re already winning, by reducing personal and professional frauds such as Greg Laden to being a, well, a personal and professional fraud.
    Says a lot about his low information readership, also. Especially the ones who thinks WUWT is the go to place on Creationism.

  26. By the way Greg Liar Laden has made sure that many of my responses to Warmists on his blog failed to make it past moderation. Funny thing the effect of peer reviewed papers has on these chaps.

  27. Antony It seems that nearly 99% of comments on his site (Greg Laden), concerning this matter are favorable to you and highly critical of him. Maybe he is covering himself against defamation action by allowing all the negative comments about his handling of this affair.

  28. I guess you won already, without going to law / court. Depending on your temper you may go further, entering a suit is easy, being in it time-consuming, boring. Highlighting the facts as they are surely was enough to make an idiot out of him – enough it should be.
    Regards from Germany

  29. In evaluating a means to an end, important to understand exactly what ‘end’ or objective is being pursued:
    “The question is, should I make an example of him for all us who have suffered non factual smears such as he practices?”
    An example to who? I don’t think your critics aren’t going to care. Those who fall for the AGW/CAGW story are generally either uninterested in doing more than cursory research or are on the bandwagon for other reasons. I doubt most of Laden’s small time blogger brothers out there will pay much attention. I’m not sure many of them have the brains to figure out where the legal line is anyway.
    I don’t think your regular readers are easily mislead in the first place, so there’s no real issue there.
    If you want to swat this particular bug for personal satisfaction, go for it. I’m skeptical that it would accomplish much else, much as I’d LOVE to think otherwise.
    Best regards,

  30. I think a suit is a mistake. Such suits are, rightly, very difficult to win in the US. It will be an expensive hassle and before it is over, you will feel more punished than he. By the time an apology comes out, if you get one, everyone will have forgotten what the dispute was even about. Your readers are all rooting you on, but they just want to enjoy the show. They don’t actually have to go through the process. It is a waste of your valuable time that I would rather see spent working climate science rather than the legal process.
    Further, it strikes me that he can potentially portray you as a public figure given your blog’s leading position in a political debate and the fact you have done numerous interviews. This will only make it harder for you. Whatever you do, make sure you are consulting a first amendment lawyer and not just any lawyer who really understands how this stuff works. Ken at Popehat writes a lot about this kind of thing and gets involved a lot with bloggers, though usually on the defense side. But that is a good idea – talk to someone who defends these things for an opinion on your chances.
    The last, last, last thing we need in a debate that is already politicized to the tenth degree is to start having lawsuits back and forth over minor claims. And while it may well have ticked you off, this is really a minor, minor issue. It is in fact trivial compared to the slings and arrows you often suffer from alarmists. 99% of the time, the best solution to speech that is wrong is more speech, not lawsuits.
    Finally — you simply are not going to make him or his allies feel guilty. I know, I have this feeling all the time. I have been wronged, and I want the other side to admit it and feel bad about it. Well they won’t. Even if you win.

  31. I vote for taking the high ground, on the condition that it doesn’t stop me from calling Greg Laden a wanker.

  32. Anthony, what high road?
    A collective “they” ignore every high road and just keep on keeping on……..
    WUWT is a business, just like their business……from a business stand point, a business would sue…..

  33. I guess that Anthony has no real desire to sue but wants (with some justification) to make Laden worried and spoil his weekend. Hence the poll and this discussion.

  34. Why not ask National Geo to remove Mr. Laden from having anything further to do with the blog and explain the reason. You could mention the “false light” issue in your explanation.
    His removal would be enough for all I would think.

  35. Their tactics are intentional. Yes sue them. They will not stop as long as they can keep doing it without fear of repurcussions.

  36. Require a full retraction of his slurs, with a complete, abject and public apology, within a certain time-frame. If he fails so to do, then sue him. In other words, give him a chance to make it right, which will place your behaviour on the higher moral ground.

  37. Kerry says January 18, 2013 at 7:21 am
    Your already winning …

    Please, it is “you are’ or “you’re” and never “your” in the context used … please, I’m begging …
    “Lose the grammar, lose the language” and that.

  38. Anthony, the only people who will make money for certain are the lawyers. Ask Nat Geo to post your rebuttal on Greg Laden’s blog. That would frost Laden.

  39. I think i can hear a faint squeaking sound in the distance,
    that of a clenching sphincter.
    Mr Laden must be reading this post.
    I voted for the grovelling apology..lawyers are rich enough already.

  40. In my opinion, if you take no action, then that will encourage sleazy people like Laden to fabricate even more smears. You must do something…

  41. 1 You own one-to-one request for a full apology – wait and see.
    2 A lawyer’s letter demanding same by time limit .
    3 Discuss with lawyer if unresolved
    4 Ponder on it.
    5 Decide.

  42. National Geographic has been hi-jacked by enviro-nutbars for years. They kept the original mission statement and added some crap about the environment. All their stories are slanted to pontificate against man. Years ago they did a story on gold with wonderful photos of glittering gold and the people who mine it, work it, and buy it, and I loved it. Not too long ago they did another story on gold, this time with dreary dirty photos of the worst of the worse gold mines in the worst places on the planet, pontificating on how man is destroying the planet. To say they’ve abandoned their original purpose is putting it mildly. I say sue them. I’ve had enough of their propaganda.

  43. Although I am for proceeding with some sort of legal action, It’s not my nickel. Laden seems to be a bad tempered snarky type and his “blog” basically a piece o’crap so any mud that can be cast in his direction I am all for. But as I said earlier, it’s not my nickel.
    My 4 cts (inflation)

  44. If you sue the pants off him and win, so you’ll have a pair of pants. They are liar pants, so ff course they will be on fire. What are you going to do with a pair of burning pants?

  45. Sue? Sue? The very least Anthony you should be demanding staisfaction at dawn from 20 paces away a’la The Big Country! I of course place you firmly in the Gregory Peck role! Is this guy any relation to the “other” Laden”, recently departed this Earth at the hands of AMerican experts! 😉

  46. The real questions are: What will you gain if you win? What will you have to sacrifice to win? What will you lose if you don’t win? Does the reward outweigh the risks?
    I say you shouldn’t sue, just complain loudly to force an apology. If you sue, Greg Laden can claim to be a martyr and claim that he must have hit a nerve to provoke such a reaction. However if you complain loudly then Greg Laden’s reputation is the one that will take a hit. Talk to anyone who listen and enlist the legion here on WUWT to flood NatGeo with complaints daily. If they get thousands of emails every day, they cannot ignore it forever.

  47. Anthony:
    I have not voted because I am not a lawyer and not an American so I am not competent to assess the issue of whether you should sue Laden in a US Court.
    However, more than a decade ago I first attempted to see if I could sue a blogger who had defamed me. He was an Australian not resident in the UK as I am, and the legal advice was to not sue. The case would cost a fortune so be a Pyrrhic victory at best. Later I considered a case against a blogger who uses a false name for his blog and the legal advice was to not sue although that was different from here where the identity of the blogger cannot be disputed.
    The legal advice in those cases cost me money and gained me nothing except the knowledge that it is usually best to ignore defamations on blogs.
    So, I will not vote. But if it turns out that you need a legal fund then I will contribute.

  48. Before you make a decision, I suggest you contact Natioanl Geographic and ask if they stand behind Laden’s claims – and, if so, on what basis.

  49. The reason they slander you is you are right; you are winning. You’ll only be doing it for the cause and I doubt the angst will be worth the reward. Agree with Warren Meyer.

  50. None of the above.
    Have your Lawyers write a letter to NatGeo outlining the violations and appealing to NatGeo’s desire to avoid a scandal to persuade some action on their part that furthers the debate to a wider market. Basically, an apology from him on merely his blog isn’t good enough the apology must be more widely distributed and backed by the full NatGeo collection of media outlets. Yes, a full page apology in NatGeo magazine outlining the facts (approved by you of course) and a few 30 second commercials at various air times (etc.) should do the trick.

  51. If you ignore vicious attacks on your reputation, they just get worse. And suing someone is something they can never deny happened, while a printed apology can get lost over time.

  52. (From the other side of the pond, where it’s snowing hard). No, Anthony, I think you should not sue.
    This is about moral high ground, no? And if the “false light” doctrine had the moral high ground, it would be law in all states, no?
    Besides, do you really want to try to use a law which doesn’t apply where the defendant lives? How would you feel about being sued under (for example) North Korean law?
    Please ignore the bloodhounds, and carry on doing what you do best – skewering our enemies with facts.

  53. Why waste time & effort on a proven liar?
    Just preserve your “threat” to sue; it prolongs his anxiety.

  54. Why does this remind me of:
    First they came for the socialists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.
    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
    Then they came for me,
    and there was no one left to speak for me.
    All it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing.
    Do the right thing.

  55. First make an official request for retraction and apology by; certified, return receipt requested US mail from all parties. If it isn’t forth coming, make the decision based on: How many years this could take in the chosen jurisdiction (ask the lawyers).

  56. I cannot make a decision with respect to legal action without asking a few questions first Anthony.
    Did you suffer any anxiety as a result of the falsehoods that were conveyed?
    Do you feel that the false information conveyed impacted you and or your business negatively?
    Did the assault on your credibility create undo apprehension on your part?
    (list truncated for brevity)
    If you answer “yes” to any of the above questions, legal action is justified up to and including punative damages as part there of.

  57. Anthony, I think this is really something for you to answer/decide personally – though I totally agree with the idea of asking for others opinion. I don’t doubt that resources could be raised to fund a lawsuit but I am with some of the other commentors – along the lines of ‘ask for full written and an equally disemminated/exposed apology’ and if he refuses, then sue.
    I’m not a fan of ‘turn the other cheek’ – but I am a fan of giving a wrongdoer the chance to admit the error of their ways BEFORE giving them the big smackdown! To me, that is the most decent and fairest way forward. IMHO

  58. No, it would be an overreaction to a rather silly discussion and will simply provide him the attention he seeks, albeit a little more than he expected – probably attention seeking was the reason he commented twice on the issue in the first place. And it will become a side show not related to the whole CAGW issue, probably with lots of discussion about creationism and UFOs.
    It would in fact be a bad move in my humble opinion.
    I’d save time and energy for bigger battles.

  59. I would get more specific guidance from your lawyer about how the false light tort applies to a public figure. You have done great work but the result of that work is that you pretty clearly meet the criteria of a public figure (at least in the arena of the climate debates) and no longer have all the privacy protections that a less renowned citizen might enjoy. If ‘public figure’ is a factor in the false light analysis as it is in other defamation claims, it would significantly raise the level of “offensiveness” that would need to be demonstrated before it would make a difference. My guess is that even if you proved all the facts, the court would award no penalties under the public figure doctrine.

  60. Legal action would likely cost a lot of your time and money with no real satisfaction in the end. (The usual outcome with lawyers and courts) Keep hammering the point here and save yourself a lot of grief.

  61. Not a fan of lawyers. Threaten him with a lawsuit and demand the most grovelling apology and retraction. A real grovelling apology, not the pathetic self-justifying retraction he barely managed to construct after l’affair Tallbloke. If he refuses, poll again.

  62. Actually, on second thought I think I’m for more of a middle of the road direction too. Use a lawyer to demand a full page explanation and retraction from National Geographic in the magazine and on their website, including on Laden’s blog, while threatening to sue. If you don’t get redress this way, then go for it. As a farmer who has had to deal with a little stupidity and obstinacy on the part of a power company and an oil company, I now the power a mere law firm’s letter head can have. All the best to you.

  63. The case is open and shut. I suspect the mere possibility of such a clear action against a palpably wrong posting would get Nat Geo to take appropriate action. One you might consider requesting is having Laden’s blog permanently removed from Science blogs. You have a lot of leverage with such a clear case. Use it to maximum effect.

  64. Anthony I voted sue and not just because of Laden but mostly as a warning to the rest of the alarmists to keep the stories accurate and avoid smear pieces. In other words keep it about the science.
    I too would contribute to a legal fund if needed.

  65. Short answer: no
    Longer answer: your time is much more valuable spent on other things.

  66. Sue with maximum publicity.
    The habit of casual lying by the green/renewable/climate change movement has to be halted.
    Ask for donations. I’ll tip some in. For a share of the costs and damages.

  67. I am not at all sure about this one, Anthony. I rather think we need to see what happens re: mann’s fraudsuits, errr, lawsuits. That, and methinks one like laden would happily run with this as an example of ‘scientists being harrassed and threatened.’ A win for you, does not neccesarily add up to a positive in the eyes of the badly-mislead public.

  68. The main reason you should sue him is that if you don’t. this Laden guy and his likes will continue with these smears against you. Once they are hurt financially, they will be more cautious. Another reason is that if you did this to him, he would certainly sue you. If you don’t sue, these people will think you are a softie, and they will go on and on and on.

  69. As much as he deserves it, take the high road. Lead by example. Admonish & move on.
    Although you might win in court, I have seen the toll these sorts of things have taken on people – even if they “win”, they still lose , as the process takes a huge toll on them mentally & emotionally. Would hate to see you be in that condition.

  70. You know the answer already – don’t “take the high road”, simply stay on it.
    Ayone reading on his blog will already think (used in the loosest possible sense) as he does anyway, so no real harm has been done – your reputation amongst the fools that follow him can hardly be made worse, can it?
    All that suing will achieve is to draw attention to his typically idiotic post. So ignore it and deny him the oxygen of publicity.

  71. Anthony,
    If you can get Pro Bono legal representation, I would send the “We intend to sue” letter, offer them–and here I mean National Geographic AND Laden–the opportunity to avoid a full suit in court by publishing and widely distributing — both web and Twitter or whatever — a full apology and withdrawl of false claims — and paying punitive damages of $1.00 each.
    This combines High Road with Firmness — or as we say in the religious world, marries Mercy to Justice.

  72. No. You are already stretched to thin. Stick to the science. It’s what you do best. Types like Laden are losing their minds because they are losing the argument. Don’t turn him into a martyr.

  73. Anthony, The heart says “Sue the pants off the *$#&$”.
    But, I believe the proper way is to demand a full and and public apology of him in his site and on all sites this was mentioned.
    If he refuses, then you can threat with a suit. Again, the penalty should be apology and admitting he has done wrong. (And to cover the law suit naturally).

  74. Sue.
    Insist on a public apology as a condition for settlement. Make it explicit in the settlement terms that you are the sole judge of the adequacy of any apology.

  75. Legal action is costly, risky and time consuming. Why waste your efforts when it will not change the mind of anyone. Go for an aplology and ask that he makes a large donation to “Save the Polar bears charity” or some such.

  76. Log it for next time. He really has nothing to lose and although I would love to NG sued to death it won’t happen. Treat him with the contempt he deserves.

  77. Who is Greg Laden?
    Seriously, this man is almost completely unknown. I looked at his site about a year ago when some other dumb** thing he wrote was mentioned here on WUWT. I did not bother, even this week, to look again.
    One of Garth Brook’s friends, Dan Roberts, explained to Garth: “Grace is when God gives us what we don’t deserve and mercy is when God doesn’t give us what we do deserve.” Mercy is preferred for this man.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    **dumb, being the family-friendly term. I do think he needs counseling or therapy.

  78. I echo the comments that you need to officially contact Nat Geo and see what they will do about their rogue blogger. You might also point out that in his second blog entry, he still selectively leaves out the most important quote in your piece — you know, the one highlighted in red — and so has actually has dug a deeper hole. If they don’t stop him, a lawsuit will eventually compel them to stop him.

  79. Greg Laden is nothing more than an annoyance and a distraction.
    There are many more worthwhile battles to be fought.

  80. Anthony,
    Just have your lawyer write a rather threatening letter to National Geo for: 1) permitting Landen, who is at least indirectly representing them, to post such trash, 2) not policing their “Science Blogs” to insure that proper science is represented, and 3) suggesting any further similar posts by Landen will lead to a lawsuit against both of them. Be sure to copy Landen.

  81. If it were me, I’d probably only do that if he refused to issue a retraction/apology. Also, the “reasonable person” standard will depend on who is making the determination of reasonable. If they’re predisposed to accept that climate change is an overwhelmingly big problem caused by humans, you may have a problem as they would likely feel that the ends justify the means.

  82. Recommend you refrain from your thrist for vengeance, no matter how justified it may appear. It’s a simple cost/benefit choice. Will the amount of time and money invested in a retalitory suit produce suitable benefits of equal or greater value. Given Laden’s low profile, the payoff for the investment doesn’t make sense to me. Hang in there. Demand a public apology and move on.

  83. This is a waste of time – you have got bigger fish to fry. Your reputation cannot be seriously impugned by someone like Laden. Nobody who looks at your blog and your work with an open mind will question your intelligence and your integrity.

  84. Personally, I find myself wondering what the point would be in suing him.
    1. In PR terms, a court case is probably going to be neutral at best. Independents will not I think see the case & think “gee, Mr Watts must be on to something here” or whatever. Pro-AGW and anti-AGW people will remain in their camps regardless.
    2. It’s expensive, time-consuming and potentially a distraction from other things.
    3. How many people might have been biased against WUWT by this? I honestly don’t know how many people read that blog, although I guess it’s a tiny fraction of the WUWT readership numbers.
    Accordingly, my reaction is to ignore him, although if he has a substantial number of readers it may be worth making him print an apology (perhaps the site owners can be pressured?). My impression is that he’s small fry, and should be treated as such.

  85. When you sue, do get your counsel to ask him; ‘how would you feel about being called an unscientific, caterwauling, two-faced, lying twat on national prime time TV, eh?’

  86. I’ve seen some erosion in free speech over the decades – especially with the ushering in of ‘political correctness’ and I’m inclined to say let it go although you clearly have a case. Perhaps ask him to correct his snide falsehoods with a letter without predjudice, although it isn’t likely to budge a mean little man who likely was raised this way. Leave him in his miserable lair, otherwise, I think it will give him a much higher profile than he deserves and the useful fools will underwrite his defense as we have seen already. I’m sure he has many ardent friends of the same caliber. Interestingly, laden in German means “load” or burden and there is an idiom: ‘vor Gericht laden’ to summon before a court.

  87. A law suit will give him more PR than he deserves. Wait for a really damaging event, then go for it.

  88. I’d say make the apology required extra “sweet”. You have more than enough against his case, but lawsuits are so… not cricket. Just because one side does it doesn’t mean the other has to too.
    I say rise above it, but savour the moment.

  89. It is clear the extreme AGW paradigm pushers do not have a response to there being no measurable planetary warming in 16 years.
    There is no CO2 climate crisis to solve. Regardless, of whether there is or is not a climate crisis, the “green” scams such as the conversion of food to biofuel or the setting up a massive bureaucracies to monitor CO2 emission and to create CO2 trading schemes will increase Western countries unemployment rate and public debt and will have no appreciable reduction in Western carbon dioxide emissions or world CO2 emissions. A scam remains a scam regardless of the motive for pushing the scam. This is a very important issue. Trillions of dollars are being advocated for the irrational green scam schemes.
    If there is no dangerous climate warming problem to solve, there is no argument that CO2 a gas that is essential for life on this planet is a poison, a pollutant.
    When observations and logic does not support ones cause, the unscrupulous and desperate use general unsubstantiated Ad hominem. It is obvious that Greg Laden’s comments are simply Ad hominem, intended to smear rather than to advance a supportable position, an important scientific, or climate policy position.
    I would suggest however that Greg Laden is a very small player and a legal case to address his Ad hominem comments might be a distraction from the principal issues and it appears there is no significant prize to win a case against his obvious Ad hominem.
    “The problem for global warming supporters is they actually need for past warming from CO2 to be higher than 0.7C. If the IPCC is correct that based on their high-feedback models we should expect to see 3C of warming per doubling of CO2, looking backwards this means we should already have seen about 1.5C of CO2-driven warming based on past CO2 increases. But no matter how uncertain our measurements, it’s clear we have seen nothing like this kind of temperature rise. Past warming has in fact been more consistent with low or even negative feedback assumptions.”,1518,662092,00.html
    “Even though the temperature standstill probably has no effect on the long-term warming trend, it does raise doubts about the predictive value of climate models, and it is also a political issue. For months, climate change skeptics have been gloating over the findings on their Internet forums. This has prompted many a climatologist to treat the temperature data in public with a sense of shame, thereby damaging their own credibility.
    “It cannot be denied that this is one of the hottest issues in the scientific community,” says Jochem Marotzke, director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg. “We don’t really know why this stagnation is taking place at this point.”
    Just a few weeks ago, Britain’s Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research added more fuel to the fire with its latest calculations of global average temperatures. According to the Hadley figures, the world grew warmer by 0.07 degrees Celsius from 1999 to 2008 and not by the 0.2 degrees Celsius assumed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. And, say the British experts, when their figure is adjusted for two naturally occurring climate phenomena, El Niño and La Niña, the resulting temperature trend is reduced to 0.0 degrees Celsius — in other words, a standstill.”
    The extreme AGW supporters appear to live in a fantasy world. The solution they state is a new UN body with special powers that will “be capable of instilling a permanent crisis lasting decades, if not centuries.”
    “Would any institution be capable of instilling a permanent crisis mentality lasting decades, if not centuries?”
    A policy article authored by several dozen scientists appeared online March 15 in Science to acknowledge this point: “Human societies must now change course and steer away from critical tipping points in the Earth system that might lead to rapid and irreversible change. This requires fundamental reorientation and restructuring of national and international institutions toward more effective Earth system governance and planetary stewardship.”…. …Among the proposals: a call to replace the largely ineffective U.N. Commission on Sustainable Development with a council that reports to the U.N. General Assembly, at attempt to better handle emerging issues related to water, climate, energy and food security. The report advocates a similar revamping of other international environmental institutions….
    …Unfortunately, far more is needed. To be effective, a new set of institutions would have to be imbued with heavy-handed, transnational enforcement powers. There would have to be consideration of some way of embracing head-in-the-cloud answers to social problems that are usually dismissed by policymakers as academic naivete. In principle, species-wide alteration in basic human behaviors would be a sine qua non, but that kind of pronouncement also profoundly strains credibility in the chaos of the political sphere. Some of the things that would need to be contemplated: …. …..Would any institution be capable of instilling a permanent crisis mentality lasting decades, if not centuries? How do we create new institutions with enforcement powers way beyond the current mandate of the U.N.? Could we ensure against a malevolent dictator who might abuse the power of such organizations?

  90. Sue them. Accepting just an appolgy simply makes it easy for NatGeo et al to misbehave in the future…..”Oh, we’ll make some shit up and then if we get caught say sorry” shouldn’t be their default mode

  91. No, don’t sue.
    Your time is far more valuable spent maintaining this blog, and this blog is is more effective at knocking down hard core alarmists’ positions than a lawsuit would be. The focus of the lawsuit would quickly shift from questions of climate to questions of slander and reparations. Even with legal support, the suit will cost you a huge amount of time that will never be recovered.
    Do keep good records, do keep up the pressure on Laden, Romm, NatGeo, etc. Do complain to NatGeo that they have a loose cannon on deck who could cost them far more than he’s worth, if not from you, then from someone else who has a more vulnerable reputation than you.

  92. Ask for an apology, with a hint of legal action. If none is forthcoming, mull it over for awhile. You have one year to file, I think. No need to make a decision in haste. Time gives valuable perspective.

  93. Anthony. Remember Parncutt?
    Take the Monckton approach on this subject matter and don’t waste personal energy.

  94. Insist on a full and proper well-publicised apology.
    GBS @ 8:31 am: I think that is an insult to pigs…they are cleaner than most people realise!

  95. Go through at least the first stage of making a demand letter on both Ladin and Nat Geo. Hopefully Nat Geo will recognize their liability and exert at least minimal editorial control over the blog.
    Don’t waste your time and effort in a full blown lawsuit.

  96. No. The focus of reality-based, science-based efforts to expose the manmade global warming scam need to be advanced by the science. Niki Minaj versus Maria Carey is petty.
    If you win the lawsuit, what do you win? A ‘false light’ lawsuit. You win a decreased likelihood that other warming-cultists will falsely represent info.
    Give them enough rope. They are exposing themselves as anti-science cultists as time goes by. The best is – if any lawsuits are going to be thrown – to let them threaten, and throw, the lawsuit. Having the truth on your side is not always a guaranteed win, but is the most comfortable place to be in a lawsuit.
    You could win money. To what end? If you have a great idea concerning the global warming scam that would require $100,000, go figure how to raise 100K / don’t use a possible lawsuit win to finance some project. If the project is worthy, do it.
    This blog is widely read. Simply exposing this stuff is good enough.

  97. Even demanding an apology can (and will) be spun by odioous little creeps like Laden. If you use outright threats of legal action to force that apology, the game becomes “how far can I push before he has to follow through?” At that point you’re effectively committed to taking action on his terms.
    By all means contact Nat Geo politely to advise them of the issue, and that you reserve the right to include this slur in any future action that might become necessary if his behaviour continues. But leave it to them to decide how to deal with it – they (should) be well aware that if they fail to do anything substansive they’re liable to be more culpable in any future action.

  98. Buddy, some of us are paying taxes because of the AGW scam. While not happy at it, can we really do anything?
    If you can get a bit back for all of us, PLEASE do so!!
    I hope we get to the point that the government will reimburse us on these hoax taxes…. yeah, right!

  99. I did vote to sue but i’d add some caveats.
    Firstly this will bring a whole heap of unwanted attention from the usual suspects, but then I think you are broad shouldered enough to deal with that.
    Also it will take up a considerable part of your time, these things are never quick, although i believe you have some sort of formal get together first to see if parties can be convinced to settle. that would be the best outcome.
    It would likely be expensive should you lose and I’m sure the WUWT faithful will help out considerably you have to ask yourself if you are prepared for such a loss.
    It will likely be stressful. Do you need it?
    if your lawyer feels strongly in favour of a suit then go ahead otherwise I’d advise ignoring Laden and having your lawyers draft a demand for clear and unequivocal apology in various mediums to be sent to whoever has editorial control of science blogs and also to as high up a person you can contact in Nat Geo. Now i know Nat Geo are full of the green tinted glasses, carrying a story just today saying that America is having earlier spring blooms as a direct result of global warming ( their words ) and probably consider you in the same light that many others do from their position.
    I don’t doubt that Nat Geo, if pushed would fight a suit but then I also know executives and they hate to be dragged into anything like this. Contact a higher up, have the lawyer make the demands ( with the obligatory threat to file if the demands are not met ) and see what occurs.
    I went for the option to sue simply because it’s always a shame to miss an opportunity like this, especially when Mann feels free to file suit at the drop of a hat and over things quite frivolous at times. Also there is the matter of Laden himself. He just does this far too often and I think sooner or later somebody has to bite the bullet and take him to task or hell just embolden himself.
    Whatever you decide I wish you well. make sure you have copies of all tweets and pages. Put the site on so you can keep track of the slightest change in wording of his posts or comments as that’s a clear sign he understands he’s done wrong.
    But the fact that he’s chosen not to post 5 of my comments which were not directed at him, contained no ad hom but merely referenced the facts behind the 16 years thing has my dander up so from a purely personal viewpoint, take his shirt.

  100. Laden is a badly behaved imbecile. Better to ignore than give him free publicity – this is what he wants. He will claim martyrdom if he can. Also remember how he went in to meltdown over Tallbloke ranting about kicking limey butt – enough said – the man is a big mouthed, bigoted, attention seeking idiot.

  101. addendum:
    i just noticed he has already posted about this and is mocking you, daring you in fact. As I said, cut him out and go above his head, have the lawyers do the work.

  102. He’s not worth your time, Anthony, and would probably be glad of the publicity right now. Just give him a bit more rope.

  103. .
    The last time I sued a corporation, they did not go for the ball, they went for the man. Their defence was nothing about the case: instead it was about the mistakes I had made when I has started my company; a mistake in a tax return three years previously; a mistake in my headed paper (it had to show the company number); a question over whether my residence was registered to run a company. etc: etc:
    In short, they dredged for dirt, and found a few spots. They then racked up a huge bill of some £350,000 in a couple of months and threatened that that was what I would have to pay them if I lost the case. And I could either settle now, or the bill was rising by £70,000 a week. It was calculated pressure, to end the case.
    I was only saved by my solicitor discovering that in certain cases, this might be a civil case, and I could therefore involve the police. Finally, they backed off and settled out of court.

  104. In the field of science, TRUTH is TRUTH, and eventually wins out. In our present court system, a verdict is often decided by many other things than TRUTH.
    I liked the comment:
    Scott Basinger says:
    January 18, 2013 at 7:20 am
    No. Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty but the pig likes it.

  105. In the movie “Primal Fear” the character Martin Vail says: “If you want justice, go to a whorehouse. If you wanna get fucked, go to court.”

  106. The smear campaign has been getting more and more serious, culminating with Lewandowsky publishing a peer-reviewed paper Lewandowsky, S., Oberauer, K., & Gignac, C. E. (in press). NASA faked the moon landing – therefore (climate) science is a hoax: An anatomy of the motivated rejection of science. and another University professor, Parncutt’s calls for death penalty for “deniers”
    So when do we say enough is enough and get serious about stopping the smears and false statements? Do we wait until they get bold enough to make the Crime Against Humanity charge stick?
    Heck they are ALREADY trying our mock trials!

    Test trial convicts fossil fuel bosses of ‘ecocide’
    Top lawyers put fossil fuel bosses on trial in the UK’s supreme court in a mock case to explore if ecocide – environmental destruction – could join genocide as a global crime.

  107. I’ve got 200 bucks to contribute to your legal fund should you choose to move forward. I’m voting to demand an apology though. There’s always a danger in looking Michael Mannish by taking legal action, and I don’t think you’re really suffering all that much due to the false charge. It’s making him look like the idiot, not you. I would vote for suing him if there were some sort of discovery process that might shed light on the alarmists in a damaging way. But I don’t see that here.

  108. Just realise that it will be a long drawn out process.
    That said the support you will get from 98.3% of the people here should make you realise that you will have the full support whatever your decision.

  109. Just to add re the update, Roddy is despicable. it would be wonderful to bring that guy to his knees legally speaking, though I understand the problem

  110. I am a patent attorney and I live in Minnesota.
    If I were you, I would not sue.
    Yes you have a claim, and you could certainly sue.
    I have no idea if you would win or not, but your claim sounds plausible (not my kind of law).
    However, litigation is a huge pain in the ass, it is expensive and it will probably not give you the satisfaction you hope to receive.
    Unless you have a lot of experience with litigation (and maybe you do), you cannot imagine how onerous the discovery process would be for you, your blog, all the documents (electronic or paper) you would have to gather, what a pain it is to be deposed, and how complicated and expensive litigation really is.
    It is not as if the Court will find that Laden is a liar (which is what most people want – a judicial statement justifying their outrage).
    The court/jury may find that he was expressing an opinion, or that he was mistaken or that you haven’t proven by a preponderence of evidence that you have proven “false light”.
    This is not about money.
    So take the high road and just use your free speech rights to defend your name and reputation (which you have already successfully done imo).

  111. Ok so while i know your probably trying to keep this simple as a sue/not sue poll… I do think attacking this on muti-fronts is best option.
    First ignore laden directly.
    Second keep talking to lawyers and as suggested above try to find someone pro-bono. Maybe talk to Dr Ball about if his pro-bono group knows someone who will take your case pro-bono.
    After playing with the lawyers a bit I would suggest going after nat geo. Write them a letter explaining your going to sue the pants off them unless (insert massive list of demands) are completed.
    You should list at least the following.
    Nat geo must post an apology… which YOU(make sure to clearly state this repeatedly) will write FOR THEM on every single nat geo site.
    This apology will be displayed/linked/bannered on the front page for X amount of time(i suggest a month) and be detailed in saying it must be seen when entering the main sites and must be X big not some minor footnote. Be insanely detailed in this as you don’t want to give them some flopping room because they will try every trick in the book to get out of it. Hell have someone make a demo of it for them to post. Add flashing lights… go crazy. Try to have the banner clearly but short and simply say they were wrong/etc so that people will click it to look at the full text of your long(very long) written apology that they will post. Maybe josh or someone from comments/next poll/contest can help with creating an eye catching banner/etc to draw people in.
    Next demand that included be space for a complete rebuttal of global warming and that this must be displayed as well. As they say… go big or go home. Include all the fraud and everything over these last few years into this post which they will now be forced to display on their sites.
    Just getting those 2 things done could very well put a great many nails in the religion of global warming. You will basically for the course of a month force every pro-doomsday cult nat geo site to become host to the evil denier propaganda… what better way to cause problems for the cultists? hehe
    I would include maybe going after some other minor misdeeds, b*tch slapping some of their other retarded eco-terrorist blogs and forcing them to make corrections to past lies posted. I’m sure some other stuff can be included as well as you probably know more about nat geos misdeeds then most and other bloggers being retarded.
    Most likely they will probably refuse since they are religion nutbags. However its worth a shot.
    As to the lawsuit… If you can find someone pro-bono go wild. If not I would really be careful in the approach. Even the most slam dunk case will get tossed by corrupt judges at the lower levels. So you can expect you will have to fight in appeals at least once. Its a large sum of money to push these things forward since they will do everything possible to run you out of money through delays. Also don’t forget your dealing with eco-terrorists here… they are violent extremists… they also have very good lawyers to protecting them.
    Only after playing with nat geo should you deal with laden… let the POS sweat a good bit. If you can break nat geo’s back even with just the apology and such you will “encourage” him to settle quickly.
    Just remember the rule of law is the US has recently been heavily compromised… facts, logic, justice, laws are all second to politics.

  112. Hi Anthony,
    This all seems a bit of a storm in a tea cup and to sue would INHO be silly.
    It’s not my impression that you are a silly person.
    Great blog 🙂

  113. Anthony,
    You have used and continue to use so much of your time and energy providing us with your blog. And we are grateful. You have worked hard to do this even when real life, health and family has needed your attention.
    The choice is yours to make but I wonder if the added time and stress will be worth it.

  114. I strongly counsel against taking the legal route … Warren Meyer and Bob Tisdale both make salient points
    There’s an expression that you often hear in pubs (bars) the length and breadth of Britain around closing time which is relevant here, “Leave it, he’s not worth it!”
    As Charles Dickens writes in “Bleak House” …
    This is the Court of Chancery, … which so exhausts finances, patience, courage, hope, so overthrows the brain and breaks the heart, that there is not an honourable man among its practitioners who would not give – who does not often give – the warning, “Suffer any wrong that can be done you rather than come here!”

  115. Steve R W says:
    January 18, 2013 at 8:49 am
    > Take the Monckton approach ….
    Hey, how about asking Lord Monkton if he has time to get Laden a real dressing down?
    No – much better – how about asking Lord Monkton to write several folks at NatGeo describing to them the sort of blogger they are supporting? Then NatGeo will talk to Laden about it, a setting that Laden can’t very easily blow off, then post Monkton’s complaint and NatGeo’s reply.

  116. None of the above. Time will give you better perspective. I would work with my attorneys as necessary, but wait until just before the statutory limit on such suits to decide whether to file or not.

  117. After seeing how well the “Watts Bots” (either his quote or one of his dedicated readers) and comments like from Joe Public
    January 17, 2013
    You deliberately underestimate the intelligence of WUWT’s readers.
    And, seemingly overestimate the gullibility of your readers.
    I take back my sue him vote. I think he and some of his rabid followers have drank too much kool aid. I don’t think it would be worth the emotional investment. And the best you’ll get out of him is a page identifying how he was mis-quoted and didn’t cherry pick anything. Oh wait, he already did that…

  118. Unfortunately in our society suing has become one of the only ways to truly hold people and organizations accountable. Suing defends yourself from this kind of action today and suing defends you and others from this kind of action in the future.
    The fact that the Nation g rag is involved means you should definitely hit hard. I used to love and respect the National g rag, but it has morphed, come under control of environmental liberals and publishes, in my opinion, very slanted stories intending to propagandize a political view point. Maybe if they get hit hard enough it will cause them to watch more carefully what they are responsible for.

  119. Don’t let a lawsuit occupy your time. Iit will be far more effort and bring far less satisfaction than you hope for. You have more important work to do,
    When has Steve McIntyre been most effective—-auditing research or auditing the Muir -Russel whitewash?

  120. Wait a minute. I don’t want to see any diversion of time and energy from the best science blog out there and the last best hope for heading off another trillion dollar boondoggle in DC and the UN. It gets personal at that point. Let’s think this one through.

  121. ZootCadillac says:
    January 18, 2013 at 8:55 am
    i just noticed he has already posted about this and is mocking you, daring you in fact. As I said, cut him out and go above his head, have the lawyers do the work.
    Don’t suppose my coment on that post will see light of day 🙁
    Joe Horner
    January 18, 2013
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Doesn’t look like a threat to sue to me, looks like asking advice from people who may be affected by any decision he might make.
    Incidentally, in comments you may see thay I called you an odious little creep. I stand by that and look forward to hearing from your solicitors 🙂

  122. Sue. But only for so long as it takes to get an apology and prominent retraction from both Laden and NatGeo. Once they’ve done that, you can take the high ground and let by-gones be by-gones. But they must cry “Uncle!” first.

  123. Anthony, think carefully about the toll on you if you pursue this matter. You strike me as the kind of guy who would take it personally and follow it rather than leaving it to the lawyers and sleeping at night.
    That is very hard on a man.

  124. Anthony:
    I write this in hope of assuaging your feelings.
    Please note what has happened.
    You put up this article and within 2 hours obtained ~150 replies each supportive of you.
    This Laden freak is a lonely loser spitting his bile in jealousy of you. Please don’t let him get to you. Him and his trivial little blog are not worth the bother of you getting upset at them.

  125. I’d say don’t bother, having made your point here. It would be hard to prove any financial loss. It is true that you don’t have to prove any such loss to win but there would be little to gain in winning having lost little from his behaviour.
    The position with Tallbloke was different because he was more of a private individual, a ‘civilian’, and so the incorrect statements about him looked very bad coming from a media figure like Laden.
    Furhemore Laden’s statements about Tallbloke implied criminality which was way beyond the picture painted in this case.
    Given those two points it was relatively easy to get a swift retraction and clarification for Tallbloke.
    In this case the stakes are less high so it could well be worthwhile Laden and his Publishers just playing with you in the expectation that the value of the publicity would likely outweigh the potential cost of resisting your suit.
    Still, it is open to you to make the same judgement and go for it.

  126. Any possibility this is a lever with which to flip Nat. Geo?
    That would be the better opportunity.
    If Nat. Geo. looked into this mess and realized what is going on, perhaps they would look further and be persuaded to examine the notion that ‘the science is good, but doesn’t support the hype.’ Maybe even run a featured article on the matter.
    If Nat. Geo. flips on this, the game is up for Laden et. al.
    Just my $0.02

  127. HI Anthony,
    A suit would increase traffic on his web site and give him what he desperately wants. Your web site is a refreshing and honest place to discuss interesting questions. There will be countless others like him that try to ridicule you. Stay above the fray (easy for me to say). Scientific discovery is a marathon, not a sprint. Have a glass of red wine, think about how much many of us enjoy your web site and ideas, and laugh. When I read Laden’s comments it made me think of the old SNL skit with Christopher Walken, ” I have a fee-vah, and the only prescription is more cowbell.” He’s ridiculous…

  128. Sorry just one more point, if you allow him to get away with this now can he keep doing this with the full knowledge that you should of stopped him when you had the chance.

  129. Anthony … gut reaction sue the pants. But that’s not fair as I’m not spending the time & money and whilst “they” deserve a good kicking, to take action against an individual with a family has to be warranted.
    So,it did not help when I read Watts … the “denialist” and “anti-science blog”. I’ve been warming people who use this for a while that it is false – and I’ve said “if I had the money I would take action … so if you have the means I should support you”.
    But even so, does this pass the test of “he deserves it”. Was it just a mistake … did he get caught up in the moment? You’ve clearly given him a chance to recant as the change by Romm shows (and well done Romm – admitting a mistake is not easy for any of us).
    .Did he intentionally falsely misrepresent your article? Did he make false claims about the nature of your moderation? I think the answer is yes.
    Does the defence of “Watts is a public celebrite who should have a thick skin” work? Not if he’s been told he was wrong and asked to correct it.
    Is he promoting public debate? No, he seems to be hiding views of others and undermining debate.
    Sue him.

  130. I’m voting … ignore. Many reasons but Bob has my top one. Even if you are certain to win there is the time, effort and money involved. I’m sure that you have more productive activities to be giving your time to.

    Bob Tisdale says:
    Anthony, the only people who will make money for certain are the lawyers. […]

    Bloke down the pub says:
    I vote for taking the high ground, on the condition that it doesn’t stop me from calling Greg Laden a wanker.

    I second that. If we sued every Wanker we came across there would be no time in a day for anything else.

  131. Your lawyer needs to write a formal complaint to NatGeo asking for an apology and removing Greg from future writing on ScienceBlogs and making it clear that there is an imminent False Light suit.
    Don’t ask for money, ask for your name back (see Ray Donovan).

  132. Gail Combs says:
    January 18, 2013 at 9:01 am
    “Heck they are ALREADY trying our mock trials!
    Test trial convicts fossil fuel bosses of ‘ecocide’
    Top lawyers put fossil fuel bosses on trial in the UK’s supreme court in a mock case to explore if ecocide – environmental destruction – could join genocide as a global crime. ”
    Well, it’s what Polly Higgins does. She has connections to the Club Of Rome Germany so she’s a tool for the progressive socialist billionaires. Why would they want eco cangaroo courts? To control energy makets and protect their own operations.

  133. Anthony,
    Choose your legal battles wisely.
    I think from now the alarming AGW ideology will be increasingly threatened by science, so you can expect bigger fish than lowly Laden to smear you; their hatred for scientific critics like WUWT will escalate much more and thus will guarantee bigger targets for suing.
    I recommend to not sue Laden. He is an insignificant nothing.
    I suggest ‘Demand an apology and if he fails then take legal action.
    Widely showing National Geograpgic is abetting what Laden is doing is enough.

  134. The best action would be one that causes NatGeo subscriptions and readership to fall off a cliff. Wide distribution of your story might be enough (and likely a lot cheaper for you).

  135. Dont sue him. You can bump into some horrible people in courtrooms, I have heard rumours of one such being haunted by a little fat guy with a funny beard and armed with a hockey stick

  136. One other thing, anybody who says this or that is clear or obvious probably has not spent much time with lawyers or in court arguing technical matters.
    It does not work that way.

  137. In normal circumstances, I would say take the high-ground and ignore muppets like Laden. But these are abnormal times, as the shrill gets more desperate, more vitriolic – the only way to stop them appears to be something they understand – money
    Cut the money supply, cut the rehetoric
    QED – Sue the bastards

  138. richardscourtney says:
    January 18, 2013 at 9:21 am
    lots of common sense
    This ^^^
    Laden is clearly inadequate in some way (intellectually, emotionally, or otherwise) that requires his comments pages to be full of “yes men” support for his, frankly bizarre, rantings. Such people WILL eventually fall by their own hand. Especially when, as in his case, they’re essentially inconsequential buffoons that the world gains nothing from protecting.
    The immature boy Laden is a nobody, and his readers are nothing more than a playground clique who’s importance stretches just as far as their own empty heads – in High School movie terms, they’re nothing more than the cheerleaders.
    Filing (or even threatening) suit will only reinforce their deluded sense of self-importance.

  139. Your call. I will donate what I can.
    BUT this lonely gadfly of doom, at a magazine thats accelerating into obscurity, will be the only one to benefit.
    Do you sue a dog for peeing on your leg?
    Laden needs your attention, he labours in increasing obscurity and will be fired soon enough.
    If you bother to grant these people you attention, there’s a likely-hood this will become the new norm for the hater blogs.National Geographic is desperate for any attention.
    Anthony I think your very success and continued calm evenhandedness, will do more to further derange these folk, than any legal action.
    Life is too short to take the ravings of losers personally

  140. It’s a blank billboard. What are you going to do with it?
    1) Suing doesn’t necissarily raise awarness outside those already engaged in the issue.

  141. I haven’t read all the comments above so I hope I am not just repeating what has already been said, but speaking as a practising attorney for 38 years my impression is that this whole climate science issue is not a legal one or even a scientific one, it is a contest for the hearts and minds of the public and their governments. You have the world’s most popular climate science blog as access to the court of public opinion. Continue to use it. Pound on National Geographic. Hold them accountable for their minion. This hapless nit has opened that door for you. What a gift. Don’t blow it by making him some sort of martyr for the “cause”. Do it with your blog and truthful refutations and expositions of their bias and misplaced advocacy. People will notice.
    Litigation in general and defamation litigation in particular is a last resort for those who have money to burn and no other means to make their point or clear their names. The outcomes are capricious and almost always unsatisfactory. The process is slow, frustrating, energy consuming, and expensive beyond belief. The truth can be wonderfully and skilfully manipulated in legal proceedings because of rules of evidence and procedures that favor the appearance of fairness over any sensible search for what really happened. Only a fool would rush in if he had any other options. I hope that explains why Michael Mann stumbles into it and why you should stay out of it.

  142. I’m in agreement with Warren Meyer. But you should know I’ll support you whatever path you choose because I believe you are a sane and decent person who has chosen to clean out the stables.

  143. LOL, oops…..
    It’s a blank billboard. What is the best thing to do with it?
    1) Suing doesn’t necessarily raise awareness outside those already engaged in the issue.
    2) An apology at the same level of circulation as the transgression doesn’t raise awareness outside those already engaged in the issue.
    3) Letting it go definitely doesn’t raise awareness outside those already engaged in the issue.
    Heartland chose to take the controversy to a wider audience with its blank billboard.
    Look at what a few seconds of you on PBS did, head explosion watches were wide spread. How many people decided to look into “it” for themselves because of that? That IMHO is how our numbers grow and that in turn is how we avoid cap and trade or cap and bribe (dividend) or just plain old carbon tax, by having enough voters to make it political suicide to pass such irresponsible legislation. Of course the chances of getting to a wider audience through NatGeo are slim, but perhaps it’s at least worth a shot.

  144. Skip the suit. Why pump money into lawyers? Instead encourage folks to contribute the money they would have given to support the suit to a campaign to place an advertisement you design wherever you feel would be most beneficial.

  145. Rattle his cage like hell, frighten him, disgrace him in front of Nat Geo but don’t waste time and money on going to the courts. It will become an obsession, it will keep you awake at night and your life will be altogether better if you put it behind you after you have shown him you have teeth.

  146. Under the treat of a suit, I would demand a full apology, well publicized on both their web site and magazine.

  147. Don’t do it. Life is too precious and short; you have more than enough on already; the only guarantee is that lawyers will profit and you will always still know that (until the parties to the climate debate finally reconcile, probably still many years hence) warmists will think and say the same as Laden in private, even if you frighten them off saying so in public.
    Best to rise above the slings and arrows, have faith in your convictions, keep up all the good work – and save your money!

  148. Anthony– I’ve been on both side of the aisle in lawsuits. Don’t do go that route.
    They completely devour all your: time, focus, money and energy and seldom do you get justice or satisfaction.
    Tell the guy to make a formal public apology and move on.
    Pick your fights carefully. These idiots are getting desperate as their scam is falling apart; they’ll destroy themselves. The truth always wins in end.

  149. I think a cartoon by Josh immortalizing Laden as a vapid yenta or some such theme would be money better spent than paying lawyers.

  150. If it were me, I’d sue him, but you have to make that decision for yourself. Getting involved in the legal system is a hard and nasty road. Don’t do it hastily, and don’t do it unless it’s something you really believe is important.

  151. I’m a former Nat Geo subscriber and support anything that might make them more responsible in their “climate change” hysteria reporting.

  152. Another point is that I’m not in a position to help you financially with any suit and I can’t in good conscience advise you to pursue it unless I was willing to help cover the costs.

  153. As a retired lawyer, I recommend suing. I recently read that Robert Bork was advised to ignore the false accusations Ted Kennedy made against him during the hearings for his Supreme Court appointment confirmation because no one would believe them. He was not confirmed. Don’t be Borked or Swift Boated. Respond aggressively.

  154. Ric Werme says:
    January 18, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Hey, how about asking Lord Monkton if he has time to get Laden a real dressing down?
    No – much better – how about asking Lord Monkton to write several folks at NatGeo describing to them the sort of blogger they are supporting? Then NatGeo will talk to Laden about it, a setting that Laden can’t very easily blow off, then post Monkton’s complaint and NatGeo’s reply.

    You are making the rather optimistic assumption that Laden could understand anything Monkton wrote. He seems to have reading comprehension issues, perhaps related to the disability he has admitted with spelling.

  155. Anthony, morally and intellectually you have already won. I would continue to drive the point blogally if I were in your shoes, but trying it legally, I’m afraid it may break you. As someone said it so succintly up here, do not wrestle with a pig, you both get dirty, but he loves it. Laden loves muck and that’s where he lives and we know it. Leave him at that but show the world that he loves muck.
    Any way you chose, I’m with you.

  156. I voted yes, and would contribute to a ‘fighting fund’ if one is set up for the simple reason that if it goes to court, the record will be public, and Mr Laden will have to reveal his reasons, his sources and expose his version of the science to cross-examination. It will also give you a platform on which to put all the counter arguments ‘on record’ and it should make folk like the NG take a more cautious approach to some of the tripe they publish as ‘truth’ in future.

  157. Definitely not Anthony. I’m a scientist who was heavily involved in litigation as a corporate representative for over ten years. I know the terrain. I could drag on forever and you would get very, very frustrated and angry at the crap his no doubt equally sleazy defense attorneys would throw at you.
    I think it’s god to publicize it though because this type of thing seems to be becoming their main argument for anthropogenic global whatever it is this week. Not a very strong scientific argument IMO.

  158. Re your update: from

    Most Egregious Lie: “Since we can’t control Mother Nature, let’s figure out how to get along with her changes.” — a company newsletter.

    Since when has a simple statement of the bleeding obvious, and a rational response to it, been a lie? (Answer, it would appear, is when it is said by “Big Oil”.)
    To repeat what I have said elsewhere: One question that I have posed to a few alarmists is: what are you doing to negate your effect upon CO2 emissions? The question has always been studiously avoided; few even dare ridicule it.
    When the alarmists, activists, whatever you want to call them, stop driving; stop ALL travelling, if not by walking, cycling or horse; stop heating (or cooling) their homes and offices; stop buying any product that they know results in releasing CO2 during production (this includes electricity), then, and ONLY then, can they expect to be taken seriously.
    The curious thing is, all the (in)activities listed above would quite drastically reduce fiscal outgoings, so potentially saving pot-loads of money, yet ALL the solutions proposed that seem to be accepted require vast expenditure, most often of other people’s (i.e. the tax-payers’) money. Does no-one notice this peculiar disparity?

  159. Don’t sue. It very very rarely turns out the way you hoped it would, even if you win. Take the high road. This is sideshow, it shows they are rattled. They are going to be hard at work over the next few years fighting off the facts of lack of AGW, don’t give them anything that could give them a boost.

  160. Sueing is a dubious pleasure even if you win. Lots of time and worry and most imprtaantly cost. If someone will take your case pro bono AND indemnify against the other saides costs which I guess you would have to pay if you lost then jst maybe. Otherwise go for an apology

  161. Never use the tools of the devil to fight the devil. It turns you into the devil. Whether ( I almost wrote weather) using the courts is a tool of the devil or not is a matter of opinion, but the devil does use the courts, which have been corrupted by the devil.
    Use your enemies energy and attacks to defeat him. Going on the offensive leave one vulnerable to attack which is not a good idea when one is completely surrounded and outnumbered by the enemy.

  162. The methods and tactics of these people need to be highlighted. So many people think that being a “scientist” or a “science journalist” means being a professional that they are unwilling to listen to anything else. The extremely unprofessional behaviour of these characters needs a harsh light. Mind you, I say that as someone whose contribution to any legal fund would necessarily comprise one church mouse and a crust of bread.

  163. Short answer: no. Even though you have been wronged, every minute of your time and energy that you spend on that lying jackass, instead of bringing more science to the discussion of climate is a victory for Laden. They are losing the science argument, so they want the distraction of mudslinging, ad hom, personal smears, etc. There will be much, much more of this. A simple link to your rebuttal should satify anyone who mistakenly thinks that what Greg Laden says matters.

  164. I voted for sueing his pants off, but follow your lawyers advice. A well-publicised apology, approved by you, would probably be worth more than money. Surely don’t risk any significant amount of cash on suing.

  165. I voted no. I think these guys do more harm to themselves than to you. But, if you decide to, some spare change is waiting for you.

  166. Whatever you do, don’t do it in anger.
    Laden is his problem, not yours.
    What is best for WUWT? I would think, some publicity from National Geographic. I would go for that.

  167. Anthony
    Here is what you have to weigh. First and foremost, lawsuits take time, money, and mental effort that cannot be spent on positive activities. Sometimes this is required if the damage inflicted by the defamation is such as to impede your ability to either carry out your business or get on with your life.

  168. Anthony
    My initial gut feel was “Sue the bastard (and anybody else involved)”
    However a more realistic approach is a “desist” letter to Laden, Science Blog and National Geographic, setting out your detailed complaint and requiring all apologies, no repetitions, settlement of your legal fees, sufficient exposure and publicity, all on the letterhead of a prominent, suitably qualified and experienced (in such cases) lawyer. The implied threat behind such a letter is that a writ will follow if this generous offer is not accepted promptly The letter is required to grab the attention of the owners/senior management of NG.
    You don’t actually care about Laden. OK, you want him, publicly, hung out to dry by NG so he is seen to be irrelevant. That achieved, mission accomplished.
    The threat of a lawsuit is often of more value than the suit itself and the risk is lower.
    If you decide to sue I’ll throw in my 2 cents to your fund but it will take up so much of your time it may not be worth it.
    I was sued personally, several years ago, in a business matter as a joint defendant. The defence costs ran to a quarter of a million pounds sterling (fortunately the principal defendant had given me an indemnity) and after a year we found some (unflattering) history about the plaintiff (the term ponzi would indicate the type of history). The plaintiff’s lawyers dropped him like a hot potato!! You may not be so lucky!!

  169. My initial reaction was yes, sue his a$$; at some point a line must be drawn in the sand that people or organizations cannot impugn your, or any skeptic’s reputation without impunity. If you decide against legal action then demand a full public apology by him and NatGeo but should there be a repeat performance, pursue all available legal remedies.

  170. davidmhoffer says:
    January 18, 2013 at 7:58 am
    If you sue the pants off him and win, so you’ll have a pair of pants. They are liar pants, so ff course they will be on fire. What are you going to do with a pair of burning pants?


  171. Ask Nat Geo if they back Laden. If they say they don’t, ask them to disavow him and his work publicly. If they won’t do that, get your lawyer to write them a letter that is just shy of committing you to sue them, but that forces them to book this as a potential claim against which they need to take a reserve. Clutter up their bureaucracy and balance sheet, force them to spend management time and lawyer money, while minimizing your cost and exposure. Maybe a string of letters to them or their advertisers and subscribers –but fashioned to avoid counterattack as a business tort. Why do I recommend this? Because, as noted, diving into litigation is expensive and risky and your objective here is to apply maximum leverage (your cost: your benefit) to the main objective, which is not to squeeze them for money, or punish them, but to get them to change their behavior. I would think that if Nat Geo publicly dumps Laden, the word will spread far and wide. These people aren’t stupid, they’ve just been allowed to inbreed until they’re vicious.

  172. This post: 201 comments (and counting) showing all possible viewpoints.
    Laden’s reply (in a similar timeframe): 7 comments (including a double post), all from sycophantic idiots who need to “have a voice” and know that nobody will listen to their innane drivel anywhere else.
    And you really need to ask if this is worth bothering with? Run the statistics, man!!!

  173. Questions to ask:
    Do you think he deserves the time you will loose?
    Do you cause more damage to him and his cause doing what you do today or by suing him ?

  174. A tricky one Anthony. If the legal opinion says you’re on solid ground, sue his ass off. It’s not as if he hasn’t some previous form doing this sort of thing, remembering his labelling Tallbloke a criminal. At the end of the day, your call and if you go for it, I’ll certainly contribute to any fund.
    It’s always easy to encourage litigation when you’re not footing the bill but I do think stamping on him will set down a marker that the times have – the days of hate diatribe against skeptics are over.
    As for the beastality slur, that’s the shape of things to come. They’re on the predicted path …
    “Simplistically, it’s just name calling and they need to do it for reasons of catharsis. Psychologically, it’s a form of self-indulgent displacement activity. Giving us what they think is a bloody good kicking, makes up for their feeling of helplessness in the face of the grim reality of their situation. We’re their hate objects, the ones they totally blame for the collapse of their cult. They’re in the second stage of the death of their belief system; anger. Calling us bad names is a release of that anger and it’s going to get worse, considerably worse.”
    ps. Standby for the emergency troll mobilisation.

  175. I voted Sue, make an example of… But posts like Warren Meyer’s have changed my mind. Laden’s a twonk not worthy of your time or the aggravation involved.

  176. Jeez. Greg Laden is an egotistical, fatuous [snip]. Why even bother caring what he thinks? How many people read his blog anyway? Just ignore him. He might try to snipe at you from time to time, but so what? Really, it’s Greg Laden and nobody cares what he thinks. No, really.

  177. There is a statute of limitations. Anthony probably has two years at least to think about his best course of action.
    In the mean time, Laden and cronies had best watch what they post…

  178. For those saying “rise above”, would that that would be of any value.
    I would argue that Mitt Romney “rose above” and got pummeled.
    The opposition is playing hard ball. There is no winning by “rising above”.
    Sue, and demand the apology as part of the settlement. In BIG BOLD ALL CAPS 100 PT FOINT.
    As with others, I will contribute to your costs. If there is anyway to contribute to lowering your time burden as well, I’m in.

  179. I agree with Bob Tisdale when he suggested that you contact National Geographic to be allowed to make counterpost in the blog where Mr.Laden made his in.
    That way you can acheive several things,one that Nat Geo is now aware of the problem and their reaction if any would be of legal value and that you can make a smackdown post in reply.

  180. You are not doing them any favours holding back. Today they attack you … tomorrow they will attack someone who sues first and asks questions later with much bigger pockets. Better they learn their lesson with you!

  181. Push for an apology and keep your eyes on the prize.
    Suing this minnow is of little value in the endgame – and I really think things have turned a corner lately in terms of widespread recognition that something is very wrong with climate science.
    A time may come when you really have no option but to sue to defend your reputation, but I don’t think this is it. This guy doesn’t even qualify as a pawn while some of the main pieces are looking very vulnerable right now. You don’t want to trade a potential checkmate for a stalemate.
    Also, if you do go this path expect the warmists to claim the sources of the funds and motivation for the suit are big oil hounding a hounding little blogger – regardless of how untrue that is.

  182. Normally I would say settle for an apology, but this is an environment where the gloves are off on the other side. So I say sue. I don’t have a lot but I’ll contribute to your legal fund as well.

  183. Laden is a fool. Romm’s “correction” was pathetic — he showed no spine.
    But suing someone is going to cost you way more emotional energy and time than it is worth.
    Call him out. Move on.

  184. Dennis Wingo has said it all for me. I think/hope you have more useful things to do with your time and energy. There are too many lawsuits in the world, especially in the USA, where many are rich enough to be able to afford them.

  185. “I’d like to point out that I’d never heard of Greg Laden until youmentioned him.”
    I’d like to point out this is the most useless comment I’ve seen today. So, what are you saying? The absurd slur should go unaddressed? Anthony should just let people think he’s half a loon? If that’s not your point, then why bring it up? To look clever?

  186. Anthony, Once you publicly threaten to sue someone – if you fail to do so without getting a public apology from the main parties that have libeled you, then those parties will forever claim that you were always in the wrong and will use your non-action as an excuse to hound and libel you further. If you have good legal council available to you then definitely sue. Not only that sue for a result that makes them promote your innocence and that highlights their guilt. Good luck – Joe.

  187. Can we make this into a class action? 🙂
    Go for it Anthony, he obviously didn’t learn from being forced to make a retraction in the past.
    If you will, I will too.

  188. I voted to sue but on reflection think you may end up regretting it. Do everything necessary to get Nat Geo to lose Laden in as high profile a manner as possible. Take away as many platforms (and potential ones) for Laden as possible.

  189. I voted to sue…with a caveat…
    I’d suggest following a documented course of giving him and those that post his lies the opportunity to correct the wrong. Failing that, then you let them know in no uncertain terms that a legal course of action is no other option for you.
    Having spent years involved in a very costly legal battle, I understand the ramifications. In my case, it was a matter of principle, and yes, the lawyers all got richer. But the point was that it cost the other side dearly…. and if it was money I wasn’t going to get, I was going to make sure they didn’t get it. Yes, the lawyers got it… but they did not.
    In the end, I feel I did the right thing. And yes, in the end, I don’t think they learned a thing. Still, I’d do it again.

  190. I guess I would say, “what would I do?” I think I would try to take the high road. When a mule kicks you, it hardly does any good to kick back. You’ll likely do further damage to your own body. While it would be possible to eliminate the mule, the fact is, mules kick. As long as there are any, nothing can about the kicking.
    The price of litigation is high, even for the winners. There are lots of life factors to consider. The alarmist will lose. Very few will ever apologize, and the incident will fade down the memory hole of history. Our children’s grandchildren may giggle when someone mentions Y2K, but they won’t even know what global warming means, except maybe in conjunctions with waste dumps of solar panels and windmills still pending final disposition.

  191. In some respects, I’m getting tired of the abuse skeptics endure from the likes of his ilk. Far too many of these guys slip away unpunished, and Mann sues everyone at the drop of the hat.
    On the other hand, lawsuits suck the life and money out of you. I watched a good friend fight his evil estranged wife in court for years and it really occupied all his time. It’s an emotional roller coaster as well since even though he was without-a-doubt innocent, we are talking about the subtle, shifty game of “the law”. One never knows the outcome. Whichever lawyer plays the best game wins (with some luck involved too).
    I think I would threaten lawsuit and make a public spectacle out of him. Maintain the moral highground and get a public apology from his idiot and Nat Geo.

  192. Some people need fixing. Laden is one of them, in my opinion.
    But whether it is your job to fix him, is another issue which only you can answer. I’d seriously consider that one.
    If you decide it might be, think on this: Suing him *successfully* could well fix him, but I’d want to sure of success before attempting it. IANAL but “false light” doesn’t seem like the strongest possible case. So are you sure this is the best opportunity to fix him?

  193. I voted for the middle road (force him to print an apology) mainly because I think it will take too much of your time and effort to go ahead and sue.. Like a previous commenter I would have liked an option for `force him to print an apology but if it is not good enough, then sue’. But if you do go ahead and sue, I’ll willingly chip in something for your costs.

  194. My gut feeling on this is this, Anthony. There is no sane person reading a blog like that to start with, thus he actually does you no siginificant harm. Bringing court action will bring the blog and its author more useful publicity than it will do him harm as, let’s face it, the main stream media is in their pocket, not ours, and they will play it as if you are harming him, regardless of what the court decides. Thus, no matter what, he wins, you lose, because the media will not let “climate scientists” beat AGW religionists. Your ignoring him will probably p–s him off more than your legal action. In other words, drive on, son, drive on.

  195. The problem with suing is Anthony would have to prove these jerks distress him more than amuse him. I don’t know if he could pull that off.

  196. If , and only if, you are 100% sure you will win, please sue the drongo. Not just for your sake, but for the rest of us. Where do I send my $10.00?

  197. While bringing a gun to this particular gunfight via a lawsuit would be fun. Why not introduce tactical nukes by turning him into a laughing stock via ridicule. Go Alinsky on him and unleash humor and ridicule. Would be a lot cheaper, quicker and more effective. And he has no response to ridicule. Breitbart him. Cheers-

  198. Let a sleeping dog lie (inference intended).
    I believe this is an act of desperation and they hoped you’d sue; after a while and with repeated offenses by such ilk, you won’t have time to be effective with WUWT. It’s what drove Palin from the Governorship of Alaska–the opposition levied so many law suits against her she didn’t have time to run a state.
    But certainly keep the exposure at top level–they believe lies and distortions are somehow effective in winning the science debate and sway popular opinion, but this isn’t a presidential election.

  199. On third thought, the greater your efforts to pursue ‘justice’, the more you raise Laden’s profile/legend among his co-sewer-dwellers.
    Remember Gleick.

  200. I vote against a lawsuit as I think a lawsuit on name calling seems juvenile and would cheapen the brand you have worked so hard to build.
    As a wise man once said: “The hawk doesn’t hunt flies.”

  201. It shows how desperate these people are. Sue him to shut him up. If it were you writing about them, they would sue. Go get him!

  202. The name of Anthony Watts is well-known and the work which you have done on weather/temperature sites is generally accepted by all except the wilful blind to be both original and accurate. I have heard it said that you claim not to be a scientist but a meteorolgy is a science and, so far as I am concerned, has a better claim to be a science, since its results can be proved or disproved, than does “climate science”.
    The name Gregg Laden meant nothing to me until I read it in your post. He does not appear to have any qualification or experience which might justify his claim to be a scientist. Why dignify him with any response other than to ask for an apology which he will not give? He is only in it for the publicity. He would love to be sued. It would prove that someone took him seriously.
    Romm is better known and has a wide platform so should be invited to retract and apologise or, should he fail to do so, be sued if that is what your lawyers so advise.

  203. What needs to change is National Geographic’s reflexive alignment with extreme and dishonest opinions like Laden’s. Since there’s no downside for them unless they get hit in the pocketbook, I’d sue if the lawyers say you’ve got a strong case. The ensuing bad publicity can only tarnish NatGeo’s reputation.

  204. My 2 cents:
    Don’t sue, this piece of mud under your shoe is not worth the grey hairs.
    Demand a retraction and apology. You can always sue later.
    I thought the law suit of Mann shows what a little man he is. You are bigger than this, this sh*t slides right of your big shoulders and onto Laden’s head…
    Don’t turn him into a martyr…

  205. Remember the Streisand effect – go for public apology. Unless, of course, you can sue National Geographic. For the most part, though, lawsuits only enrich lawyers. However, if you do sue, count me in for a $25.00 donation.

  206. All cases like this are very hard to prove, but you force him to respond and spend money so if you can afford $30K for initial legal fees, do it!

  207. Athony,I agree with Joe Crawford: “Anthony,
    Just have your lawyer write a rather threatening letter to National Geo for: 1) permitting Landen, who is at least indirectly representing them, to post such trash, 2) not policing their “Science Blogs” to insure that proper science is represented, and 3) suggesting any further similar posts by Landen will lead to a lawsuit against both of them. Be sure to copy Landen.”
    Don´t go wrestling with the pigs in the mud that´s called litigation. GL is too small for that, that´ll only give him his fifteen minutes. Better spend that time on your excellent work that you´re doing here at WUWT.

  208. Before you take any legal action, consult a good lawyer and follow his/her advice. Having said that, I recommend NOT suing. However, as others have pointed out, you might want to put NG on official notice that printing material by Greg Laden without checking Mr. Laden’s facts carries a risk to NG. If you decide to seek a legal opinion, I’d be happy to contribute.

  209. If you really want to nail them, dispense with the legal wrangling and just nail them on their science. National Geo is the real target here, not their puffed up troll with his pants on fire. They currently have an article running on their web site on global warming. Let’s deconstruct it:
    The planet keeps getting hotter, new data showed this week.
    Really? All four major global temperature indices show no warming for the last 16 years or more. Is National Geo telling their readers the truth?
    Especially in America, where 2012 was the warmest year ever recorded, by far.
    Really? Was National Geo aware that the monthly data is reported incomplete or did they just decide to exclude some of the facts? Have they not read the draft report of Watts et al? Have they not considered the new reference network that provides very different results? Is their reported incapable of researching the facts or deliberately presenting them selectively? Not to mention that the US represents 2% of the earth and the temperature records for the earth show no warming for 16+ years so, as a science magazine such as National Geo ought to know, and probably does know, any records set in the United States in this time frame (even if they were true) are the consequence of natural variability.
    Won’t more atmospheric carbon mean longer growing seasons? Not quite. Over the next several decades, the yield of virtually every crop in California’s fertile Central Valley, from corn to wheat to rice and cotton, will drop by up to 30 percent, researchers expect. (Read about “The Carbon Bathtub” in National Geographic magazine.)
    Well that statement isn’t exactly true, is it? The question is will growing seasons be longer if it warms and the answer is…yes. But they don’t answer the question they asked, they answer an entirely different question which is in regard to crop yields if warming occurs. Their estimate of 30% reduction isn’t just wrong, it is wrong for multiple reasons. They are wrong because the earth had been warming for the last 400 years and agricultural production has increased, it is at its highest levels ever. Second, California’s growing season won’t change a whole lot because the bulk of the warming would come in the coldest parts of the planet, and last I checked, California isn’t in that coldest part of the planet. So either National Geo doesn’t understand physics or they don’t understand geography which would be pretty funny given the name of their rag. On top of that, they fail to consider that farmers aren’t dumb morons who plant the exact same crops no matter the conditions, that farmers are smart enough to change crop strains and types based on changing conditions. But hey, if National Geo wants to portray farmers as being stupid, they are free to do so let’s just ensure that farmers know the score because a lot of them are subscribers and might not be too happy about the characterization. Of course National Geo also left out of their answer that a lot of land that is currently unproductive would become productive if warming actually should appear. So, they haven’t answered the question they asked, and the answer they gave is wrong on multiple counts.
    They are pretending this is science? Are they incompetent or deliberately misleading? If they don’t want to reign in their troll, I think it easier to just crowd source articles on their publications and deconstruct them on WUWT similar to what I just did.
    Of course if they decide as a consequence to reign in their troll… I’d suggest keep going anyway. I couldn’t care less about the troll with his pants on fire, but National Geo deserves to be exposed for their poor performance on the science itself. Once they lose enough readership perhaps they’ll return to their roots and start publishing nudity again and pretending that it isn’t a strategy to boost circulation.

  210. MACHINATION, n. The method employed by one’s opponents in baffling one’s open and honorable efforts to do the right thing.
    “The only correct actions are those that demand no explanation and no apology”.
    -Red Auerbach
    “That old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind.”
    -Martin Luther King, Jr.
    “It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.” ~Buddha

  211. Anthony, I would urge you again to follow up with Nat Geo in an effort to get this blog eliminated permanently.
    You may already know that Laden was removed permanently from the Science blog spinoff Free thought Blog (FtB) on 7/1/12 for using violent threatening language against another blogger. You can easily get the language and screen capture it; unbelievably vile evidence of an unstable, mendacious mind. His grossly misrepresented attack on your clearly skeptical posting about a suspect published paper is more of the same, with less potty mouth but not potty mind.
    Plus, today he is again posting about you as a ‘science denialist boob’ in a transparent effort to justify his actions and bait you into litigation. First rule of holes if you are in one and want to get out, stop digging. Time to take Laden’s shovel away. You now have the means to do so.

  212. This an Ad Hom, isn’t it? By suing him, your implicit message is that you take this type of argument seriously. Do not even ask for apologies. Let him go on.

  213. mkelly says:
    January 18, 2013 at 7:50 am
    Why not ask National Geo to remove Mr. Laden from having anything further to do with the blog and explain the reason. You could mention the “false light” issue in your explanation.
    His removal would be enough for all I would think.
    I like Mkelly’s idea. That would be a win. We all want to see these jokers in court, but it is a lot of time and expense with no certain outcome.
    Anthony, you have to follow your heart on whether or not to sue. If you’re not sure what you want to do, there’s a neat little trick my grandmother taught me to find out (bear with me, it is not what it first seems). You toss a coin. The point here is that you DON’T necessarily go with what you get, you go with what you FEEL at what you get. That means if you get heads and you’re disappointed, go with tails. If you’re relieved, stick with heads. Simple but it works. You will have support whichever way you decide to go.
    If you feel it’s worth it and it will put some money in your pocket or shed some public light on the overall dishonesty in the field, then go for it. If you just want to smack him down (and don’t we all), putting in a call for Nat Geo to kick him out might be all you need. I’m sure you could raise quite a few voices/emails to Nat Geo to the same end – a couple of thousand emails all asking or demanding this guy gone has to have some influence, I should think.

  214. Should I sue the pants off Greg Laden?

    You want more?
    Then, absolutely not.
    I remember, a long time ago, being at a dinner party where one of the guests, a lawyer, said, “Whenever I hear a client say ‘it’s a matter of principle’ I know I can afford my next holiday”.
    Litigation is for lawyers. For the litigants it is time, trouble, cost and stress. It is not something to be taken lightly. Even if you are fortunate enough to win ( and the law is a lottery) recognise that it will be a pyrrhic victory.
    Only if the insult is something you really cannot live with should you even consider this course. This is not the case here – you have had a lot worse.

  215. copner says:
    January 18, 2013 at 10:29 am
    Yeah, GL needs fixing, I agree – but IMHO, since he is all Fecked up, it would probably be a good idea for a few of us to dismantle him piece by piece – and then, said in the style/words of the Six Billion Dollar Man – ‘We can rebuild him’ . Hey, at least then we can move his brain from ar$e to it’s more normal place and remove both his feet fromhis extremely vile mouth! You’d think he might be grateful LOL

  216. Dear Anthony:
    IF you can win…
    if the lawyer(s) are paid contingent on winning…
    then yes – a head on a post, pour encourage les autres, will be the single most chilling event anybody could bring about to stop the global warming crisis.
    real damage is being done.
    when grants, funding and pleas for commodious rat holes are the only consequences, this expensive nonsense will continue and will expand the population of parasites whose only function is to eat out our substance.

  217. David Oliver Smith says: January 18, 2013 at 9:54 am “As a retired lawyer, I recommend suing. I recently read that Robert Bork was advised to ignore the false accusations Ted Kennedy made against him during the hearings for his Supreme Court appointment confirmation because no one would believe them. He was not confirmed. Don’t be Borked or Swift Boated. Respond aggressively.”
    This is not that kind of fight. If Anthony didn’t have a thick skin, he wouldn’t be using this blog as his primary means of public communication in promoting his own contrarian viewpoints concerning the validity of current AGW science,
    If the US public is ever impacted in a truly serious way by government imposed anti-carbon measures, the public’s perception of who is right and who is wrong about AGW science will depend mostly upon the credibility of the AGW science itself, not upon the public clashes of individuals in favoring one viewpoint over another, as these clashes and debates are now being pursued in the Internet blogosphere.
    Every minute Anthony spends on a lawsuit will be a minute not spent educating the public as to what his views are concerning the credibility of the science.

  218. The guy is not worth the time of the day.
    Put no effort into this, it is a distraction.
    If you can hand it all off to others to do all the work and pay the atty’s and court cost do what you can, but do not slow the important work of fact finding.
    If you deal with this one 10 more will take his place. Soros has the $ , Gore has the $ and lots of gofers to run you ragged.

  219. I think he is just jealous because you didn’t send him a calendar, that is because he thinks it is a ‘Callendar’

  220. Considering Ladens childish behaviour after you published his story, i’m sure any call for an apology is futile.
    But National Geographic should be contacted and informed about what kind of people abuse their reputation. Laden doesn’t care if a “denailist” sues him, his leftwing buddies would fraternize with him even if he loses. But Nat Geo can’t allow itself losing a lawsuit because of false-light. If they abandon him or force him to apologize, that will be much more humiliating for him than any lawsuit that you could win – not to mention the $$$ and time this would save.

  221. I believe I support Kip Hansen’s 8:22 suggestion most, but skip the “pro-bono” part… this is worth a few bucks because repaying your lawyers is one of the things National Geographic will end up doing in their required action.
    To whit: Lawyer letter to Nat.G demanding:
    – Full comprehensive apology/ explanation inked prominently on their major page(s) for at least a month.
    – That apology must be easily found on their site for ten years,
    – It MUST incorporate many search terms and other features to ensure high likelihood that common joes hunting through Google, Yahoo, etc., would put it within the first 20 search results. (ask your readership and other search experts for suggestions)
    – That apology must be linked in perpetuity and reasonably prominently on Laden’s blog as condition of his continuing to blog there.
    – Punitive damages of $1.00 each.
    – Nat.G agrees to pay your reasonable attorney costs of drafting the letter and all other action that comes about.
    I would not bother asking that Laden write an apology on his blog… just ask for the $1.00 damages and he admit wrongdoing.
    That seems to about cover my thoughts.
    Definitely would be wrong move to ignore their culpability in the legal realm, though.

  222. One thing that should be remembered is that this whole thing is over a blog post. Blogs allow the blogger to express his or her real thoughts on any particular topic. Hyperbole and smears are going to unavoidably be part of this. When this happens on any significant blog, it will be immediately called out, as it has been in this case, and this Laden guy isn’t even that significant.
    I think suing would be like using mountaintop removal to clear an anthill!

  223. What you should do, and what I’d like to see happen are probably two different things.
    Laden looks to be nothing special. Just another primadonna with a blog and a boner for attention trying trying to look tough and hard-core by being as insulting and condescending as possible. An obnoxious and loathsome person.
    What burns (and disappoints) me is that National Geographic is giving him blog space. I’d love to see them drop the ban hammer on the horse-toothed sphincter and publish their own apology for letting him go on for as long as they did. And I’d like to see that followed by a very public and financially crippling judgement against him in court.

  224. If you have the resources and patience for suing this latest example of sleaziness in the AGW camp, go for it. My bet is you get a full apology and retraction quickly- followed by him doing a Gleick, iow pretending nothign ever happened and that you were the at fault party. If the shoe was on the other foot, even if the shoe were not fitting as in the case with Mann, suits would be filed.

  225. A.D. Everard says:
    January 18, 2013 at 11:03 am
    mkelly says:
    January 18, 2013 at 7:50 am
    Why not ask National Geo to remove Mr. Laden from having anything further to do with the blog and explain the reason. You could mention the “false light” issue in your explanation.

    I’m with it, I think this would help clean Nat Geo and be a good precedent, the best for putting things right, but as a commenter above said, do what your heart tells you to do.

  226. On consideration.
    I would write a polite, civil letter to National Geo pointing out the reputational damage not only to you, put equally importantly, to them!!
    And some corrective apologetic action.. If Greg can’t see what he has done wrong. he is a liability to National Geo.
    I would want a full apology, on National Geo, and write to reply on National Geo ( I don’t think Greg is capable of that)
    and ask Climate Progress to tweet to their 38,ooo followers – Anthony Watts responds to Greg Laden – with a url.
    Need to do something, can’t ignore this (otherwise it would encourage more)

  227. Anthony,
    I originally voted for ‘sue’ but have changed my mind. Go for the printed apology as that will be less painful and will be there forevermore to wave in his, and his supporters, face. Also, I would hate you to have to devote so much time to suing Laden that this site went quiet. I had a look at Laden’s website, what a crock it is. You have nothing to fear from the garbage he writes or the tiny following of gullible half-wits that hang on his every word. Laden’s site falls into the category of vanity publishing for the untalented.
    My best wishes and please keep up the valuable work that you do.

  228. With great wisdom, Rud Istvan wrote …
    “Anthony, I would urge you again to follow up with Nat Geo in an effort to get this blog eliminated permanently.”
    Recently mkelly and A.D. Everard, among others along this thread, have expressed similar sentiments.
    It accomplishes two things. First is to remove Mr. Laden’s source of attempted credibility and second, it may open some eyes at NG, perhaps even have them acknowledge both your value and your right to pursue your WUWT mission without unreasonable personal attacks.
    Furthermore, it will take much less of your time than pursuing a law suit; your time is much more valuable doing what you already do so well.

  229. I voted to let it pass.
    For one thing, Laden doesn’t deserve the publicity.
    This is surely an annoyance, but in a short time it will al be over. Why put effort into this for not much gain.
    Who knows what will surface over the next couple of years and you could be part of publicising it, rather than distracted and wasting energy on noise.
    If you let this distract you, Laden will have achieved something.
    Keep your focus on the things that are making you successful.

  230. Walk on by.
    Leave this post as a sticky for a week or two, and I ask all who have – or contribute to – other blogs/websites etc., even vaguely linked to science, weather, free speech, integrity, corruption in society and the rest, to mention this [and provide the link].
    And, yes, emails to the Notional Geographic – a good idea from A.D. Everard.
    There is Twitter, too, I’m told.
    Not sure whether that would help. I don’t Twit [if that’s the verb].

  231. An important thing to consider is that they would want you to sue and so tie up your time, your funds and your mental and physical health. They would love nothing more than for WUWT to fold. Please don’t take the bait. There will be biger battles ahead and, whether you will play an active part in them or not, we need you to report on it all. Things are heating up for the Catastrophic Mob, the end game is in sight. We need you and WUWT right where you are.

  232. Anthony, you have to sue. It’s the only way these folks are going to learn that they can’t do this sort of thing to just anybody. Can you imagine what would have happened if General Motors hadn’t sued NBC over the exploding pickup trucks with rocket motors incident? When GM started crying, “foul” over that report, NBC immediately went into full circle-the-wagons defense mode. They did not for one second consider some introspection or internal investigation to find out if GM maybe had a point. They stood absolutely behind the Producer of that report until after the famous press conference in which GM showed all of the evidence they’d gathered and it became completely obvious that NBC had dishonestly rigged the entire thing. After being so embarrassed by the incident, NBC Dateline then started going to actual, scientific, crash test facilities for their reporting on vehicle safety. If GM hadn’t sued, NBC would still be smashing junkers together out on a country road someplace and calling it “responsible journalism”.

  233. I would say sue. I’ll stand a small donation to a fighting fund. But then again, aren’t we all supposed to be well-funded and organised? (sarc)

  234. I voted high road.
    If you sue, when you win, it will only serve to make you feel better. It will never get any press other than your readership here (unless you manage to extract an exorbitant fee, with which you can fund media blasts about the case).
    It will probably be a lengthy and stressful legal entanglement, and the year has just begun and there are so many more interesting things to focus on already.
    Any admonishment will probably do nothing.
    My real choice would be option D, a combination of B and C. Request a retraction/apology/explanation with threat of legal action, should he refuse.
    I know nothing of your finances, but if you do go to court, Nat Geo’s “deep pockets” will probably find ways to make the case, shall we say, not economically feasible.

  235. Anthony,
    The results of this poll will reflect also the many WUWT viewers that have views like Cook’s, Lewandowsky’s, Gleick’s, Mann’s, Apachewhoknows, et al . . .
    If I try to be in their shoes then how would I tend to vote? My thinking is that if I was among your most severe critics from an alarming AGW ideological belief system, I would encourage you to sue in the heat of your emotions. I would encourage you to be distracted from the science that is significantly and publicly undermining their alarming AGW ideological beliefs.
    It is just my personal thinking about what I would do if I had their alarming AGW ideological beliefs.

  236. Painless voting is all very nice, Anthony. Since you’re going to have to fund any suit, why not set up a legal expenses fund with a modest goal of $10,000? That’s only 500 people at $20 each.

  237. Mr Watts, I voted you let him be. Mr Laden doesn’t read or write very well [aka is dyslexic] as he openly admits on the front of his blog, so this could all be a terrible misunderstanding. Arguably a sub-literate person ought to be more careful about what they say in print but I was brought up not to mock the afflicted.

  238. Don’t get involved with the law. Keep the high moral ground. The temptation to sue when you have such a good case is hard to resist but just let WUWT be the beacon of reasonableness which it is. Many converts away from the AGW religion have commented how much they were influenced by the TONE of what happens on this website.

  239. Justice and satisfaction are not provided by the court. All you will get is a final judgement based on the evidence accepted on trial day. You already know Laden is a liar, he will present lies.
    Anthony, you have already won. Laden lies about you because it is all he has left. He knows he is beaten but can’t face it.

  240. I vote to sue. I completely agree with the distinction made with the silly “farm animals” slur. That one was so obviously childish and outlandish that it couldn’t seriously be claimed to have misled anyone. Most would agree that the comment would do more harm to the buffoon-like author than to the target. But this is a calculated and deceptive, malicious piece of defamation. It demands a lawsuit, IMHO.

  241. Anthony, I vote no: It will not cross the mark. Just back up a little, little bit and he’ll cross that line. And then? You have him.
    Trust me: I’m a sniper from the old school Take your time, pick your target an hold the trigger slowly, slowly, slowly…

  242. Anthony,
    Dealing with this Kerakter is a waste of time and a distraction from your good work.
    Dealing with him legally is the equivalent of kicking to the curb every dog dropping you see on the side sidewalk. You will only soil your shoes.
    I agree with DAVIDMHOFFER. Put your efforts at what you are good at. Deconstruct the article and expose it for what it is. You have enough circulation to cause them to feel stress. They will kick him to the curb for you.

  243. Anthony, I think it’s better to humiliate him in the court of public opinion than to take him to court.
    Put pressure on National Geographic to remove him from their site.
    Here’s an idea: perhaps you (or someone) can start an online petition at demanding that Nat Geo remove bloggers who employ misinformation, straw man arguments and character assassinations to try to suppress free speech. Post the link here and let everyone sign the petition and make their opinions known.

  244. No. After reflection about something Anthony has mentioned a few times now I have changed my mind. Several times Mr. Watts has talked about needing to spend more time with his business, family issues, maintaining the blog, weather project, busy, busy, busy.
    The question you have to ask yourself Mr. Watts is do you have the time to pursue this? Warmists will oddly win if you go to court because less time will be spent by you demolishing their nonsense.
    1) Get your lawyers to write a threatening letter to Nat Geo demanding an apology.
    2) Don’t make your mind up about legal action until towards the end of the time limit.
    3) Don’t write anymore about the liar Laden (unless forced to do so by him).

  245. Please sue him. All of those engaged in the agenda have no middle ground. They will go to the grave convinced that you, I and others who question are simply, the enemy. Facts, the truth, the course of the planet will not deter them.
    Here in WA state, the so called dept of ecology, the new governor, the locals of NOAA and the entrenched structure of university faculties are simply on board a train that will not stop. Sue and hold nothing back. Take no quarter here.
    Keep us in the loop, and let me know how to remit $ 20 to you for this effort. It MUST happen.
    I will study parts of the site that I don’t usually do, in case the information is already up on how to contribute.

  246. otsar on January 18, 2013 at 12:54 pm
    Dealing with this Kerakter is a waste of time and a distraction from your good work.

    – – – – – – –
    I had to look up ‘Kerakter’.
    I enjoyed learning a new and useful word. Thanks.
    It is the Greek word ‘kErakter’ which means character in English.

  247. If you have to file in D.C. for the law to favor you – I hope your lawyers include someone who actually practices in D.C. I haven’t practiced there but I expect D.C. juries to be heavily Left and heavily Green – so that in the event of trial they’d be looking for excuses to find against you and for Laden. (Who would then go on to say that a D.C. court had “cleared” hiim of lying a la you-know-who.)
    Don’t sue for money just to “discourage others from talking.” Sure as hell do not sue for money in the hopes of getting “justice” – court will break your heart if you do that. If you sue for money, sue to get money, and take any reasonable settlement.
    I voted “high road – don’t sue – fight free speech with more free speech.”

  248. Well, Anthony, should you sue? Laden has clearly presented you in a false light. You have been smeared by falsehoods and these reflect on your credibility as a scientist and ultimately on the integrity of your purpose here at WUWT.
    Yes, you should sue. The smear was deliberate and you can hardly turn away from it.

  249. The comments at his website (let alone yours) overwhelmingly support you so he has discredited himself more than he has discredited you. Lawsuits take a HUGE amount of time and emotional energy. Further, it is completely obvious that you have a far higher profile than he has so a lawsuit initiated by you could be seen as “attacking the little man”.
    Right now you hold the moral high ground, a lawsuit could lose you that resulting in an opinion of “right but vindictive”. Revenge 99% of the time is futile and destroys both sides so what ultimate outcome would be worth the time and emotional cost. Money? Sense of satisfaction?
    A suggestion, send a polite solicitors letter to National Geographic objecting to the comments and demanding an apology and see what response they give. Do they defend him, apologise or ignore your letter. Whichever response you get publicise it on your blog (at least 100+ times the exposure of his to judge by the level of comments). If they apologise you have your vindication, if they defend him you have more ammunition if you want to go further and if (as I suspect) they ignore the letter it gives you the opportunity to show on your blog just how spineless NG and discredits them as well as Laden in a very safe way.

  250. I believe in choosing one’s battles – and although it seems likely that suing in this case would result in some sort of victory, this is the wrong battle.
    We’ve watched the AGW believers get increasingly shrill and desperate, and soon enough one or more of them will do something stupid enough to justify a highly public lawsuit. In my opinion (which, I admit, is only my opinion), it won’t take long.

  251. Anthony, TBH I don’t know why you’re bothering with Laden. He’s extremely small fry. His readers (the four that he has) are all alarmists already, so it’s not like his comments changed those readers opinions of you.
    Worry about REAL climate issues. For instance, why are alarmists focusing on a rare combination of naturally occurring conditions (Indian Dipole, hot Indian Ocean, near El Nino conditions, late monsoon, Antarctic Oscillation) which caused the Aussie heatwave but calling it “global warming” instead of the near total freezing of the northern hemisphere?
    Note: the monsoon thing is important. The total lack of tropical cyclones (season begins in November) has failed to pull the monsoon south over Australia.

  252. My question is this: What if the suit became widely known? How would suing National Geographic (primarily, rather than Mr. Laden) appear to those in the public you want to influence? Would the “Anti-Science” label that GL tried to pin on you all of a sudden stick? Could you win the battle & harm the war?

  253. Anthony, as despicable as Laden has repeatedly shown himself to be, I think that if I were at your keyboard, I’d be more inclined to go the “Open Letter to National Geographic route” – which we could “crowd-propagate” far and wide:-)
    If NG have any concern at all for their “brand” – and reputation (setting aside how they’ve tarnished it themselves with their own advocacy-tainted articles, as David Hoffer noted above) – I cannot see how they can fail to be concerned about Laden’s demonstrations of inadequate reading comprehension skills and/or willfully deceptive journalistic practices.
    Laden claims to be a “biological anthropologist and science communicator” whose “research has covered North American prehistoric and historic archaeology and African archaeology and human ecology”
    And, who knows, perhaps probably he is; but surely the readers of National Geographic deserve a much higher quality of “science communication” – and adherence to minimal journalistic ethics – than that with which Laden’s background appears to have equipped him.
    But I must say I found it quite ironic – if not verging on sheer unadulterated hypocrisy – that one who insists on doing all the “thinking” for his readership (by his policy and practice of failing to link to the source material of those whose views differ from his own) should also claim to be an “OpenSource and OpenAccess advocate”.
    On the “to sue or not to sue” question, I don’t know if you’ve had an opportunity to read CEI’s anti-SLAPP brief – and of course IANAL – but as a lay person it seems to me that some of the arguments and legal precedents cited could be potential minefields when the suit is on the other foot (pardon my mixed metaphor).
    Hilary Ostrov [hoping against hope that WP commenting is now back to normal and that this comment does not end up in spam-trap or disappear into the ether]

  254. And besides, who could possibly feel sympathetic toward a creep like Laden? It’s too bad there is no venue in Texas, West Virginia, or Louisiana.

  255. Contact him and c.c. National Geographic and nicely but firmly ask them to print a retraction or clarification because you are reluctant to go the legal route except as a last resort. Then you always have the option to go forward if they do not comply.
    So this is really doing all three. You are taking the high road, you are asking for a correction and you are holding the legal action decision to a later point in time.

  256. Do not go to law seeking justice, you are unlikely to get the answer you seek. The lawyers will do well though.
    The best result would be to seek a full retraction and apology. For him, a bitter pill to swallow.
    Imagine that, a warmist admitting he was wrong! Now there’s a novelty!

  257. My vote was to sue, but having read the other comments, I have changed my mind. Greg Laden has demonstrated that he is an extreme and obnoxious example of the attitudes espoused by many climatologists and fellow-travellers. He cannot be stupid, as he has been to Harvard. So he knows deep down that his dogmatic views on climate and politics would not stand up if people were to calmly and objectively evaluate the evidence and compare the arguments. In fact, the AR5 Draft (leaked by Alec Rawls) shows that even the UNIPCC admit that past alarmism on hurricanes and extreme weather has no scientific foundation.
    So Laden’s reaction, like many others who see their beliefs threatened by reality, is to encourage prejudices, block alternative points of view, engage in trivia, and reduce the standards of science. All so that he, and others, can evade the reality that not only are other perspectives plausible, but that such perspectives far superior than his own. Please do not get involved in legal action, but encourage the raising of standards in science and also proper debate.

  258. The only definite winners will be the legals, don’t waste your time, he’s not worth it.

  259. Anthony, you should initiate suit proceedings. Laden committed a deliberate character assault on you, your reputation, and WUWT. He did it because either he felt there was no risk to him of a consequence or that National Geographic would protect him, thus encouraging him to commit future character attacks. Ideally the initial proceedings will garner a settlement. NG may not want to be a willing participant on the loosing side of a legal case.
    There is excellent wisdom being offered by your readers and they have provided many options, which is good news. Its also bad news because most every option is in the open. I’m sure you will choose wisely.
    It is not likely that Laden could become a martyr since liars/deceivers make poor martyrs.
    On the positive side, Laden’s actions prove how desperate AGW supporters are to stop the truth. The success of WUWT in combating AGW myths means more attacks, unless there is a creditable consequence. This is precisely why a suit is necessary. Winning one suit may be enough consequence to deter future attacks.
    Note of caution: If your lawyers can prosecute without involving much of your time then let them run with it. If they advise a suit will become a time consuming black-hole then abort. Impeding your involvement with WUWT would be an AGW victory.

  260. Canman @ 11:53. You said: “Blogs allow the blogger to express his or her real thoughts on any particular topic. Hyperbole and smears are going to unavoidably be part of this.”
    With all due respect, I have to disagree. WUWT is proof to the contrary. Blogging isn’t the problem. Recto-cranial inversion is the problem, in this or any other medium.

  261. “They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That’s the Chicago way!”
    Jim Malone (as played by Sean Connery) in “The Untouchables”
    I never argue with Sean Connery.
    Anthony, I want what’s best for you. If you can sue without putting yourself/family/WUWT at risk then I say go for it. I have no legal background and will support you either way. But from Discover magazine to Scientific American to National Geographic they continue to peddle “scientific smut” to our citizenry.
    Not all of us are in such a position to make a stand such as this. But know that if you stand up to them… we will stand with you!
    I am Anthony Watts!

  262. Sorry I’m pressed for time, so this may already have been suggested.
    Demand an apology first. If that is not appropriate, then sue. In the world of tort, making a good faith attempt to reduce the impact of the offence by the offended goes a long way to increasing the offended’s odds of winning. This means that if there is an appropriate apology you will need to then take the high road.

  263. I would sling some mud at Nat Geo, how useless they have become, how radical their message, why people should not support them financially, how useless their bloggers are using Laden as an example. Then let them come to you.

  264. You’re already the world’s most viewed site on global warming and climate change. So you’ve already won. Taking it into the courts isn’t going to help you. There’s nothing more anyone wants to know about Greg Laden.

  265. My heart is outraged and says yes, but my head overrides and says no. It’d be a huge time and effort and he’s not worth it. I like Barry Woods approach (at 11:41 am).

  266. I love this blog, but a suit would futile. You’re a public figure. You’d lose for the exact reason Mann will lose against National Review.
    Beyond that, lawsuits for speech are unseemly. You’ve built a heck of a soapbox to stand on, and you’ll find a better defense there than in a court house.

  267. Sue. They cant win the debate with the science so they try to win by smearing people.
    This sint a game anylonger, you cant allow them to continue to make false statements and suffer no consequence when you suffer a detriment because of it.
    Bullies always pick on the one that dosnt fight back.
    Turning the other cheek might well be an admirable thing to do but in the world of laden and friends its lays you open to a punch whilst your looking the other way.
    Good intentions and righteousness wont win the fight, you have to fight terrorists at their level, even if it goes against your principles, its the only way redress the balance, imho.

  268. Normally I wouldn’t care less what someone writes in a blog. But in this case Greg Laden is in a position of influence, and has gone out of his way to make the worst impression he could of Anthony and his site. I believe Greg Laden needs a more than a smack on the writs over this one; it is a disgusting piece of writing.
    Anyone is allowed to disagree with another. There are many sites I’ve visited on the web which I completely disagree with, so what, I’m allowed. This piece by Greg Laden is disgustingly personal and very grubby and from a position of influence. He deserves a legal defence for this one.

  269. I voted yes, please sue. The real target here is National Geographic. Nat Geo is a big name and should be encouraged by legal action to take responsibility for blogs that appear under its name.

  270. I voted to sue, but have now read more comments. Do not sue. Even contacting NG may be a waste. An apology from them will likely be as satisfying as the usual whitewash investigations.

  271. John West at 8.02 is probably right in outlining the best course to follow. It’s important to get Nat Geog to make and enforce the apology, not just Laden. It’s important to take some action, but proportionate. Start with lawyers letters inc to Nat Geog
    It really angers me that the warmists get away the whole time with these egregious slanders, but Bob Tisdale put it well: “Anthony, the only people who will make money for certain are the lawyers. Ask Nat Geo to post your rebuttal on Greg Laden’s blog. That would frost Laden.”

  272. I voted for sue.
    If you can get some serious action and perhaps a bit of money from Nat Geo., that would be nice too.

  273. I voted in the poll, only because I knew it wouldn’t affect Anthony’s decision.
    My mantra:
    “never give advice, someone may take it”.
    As advised by a respected advisor.

  274. hehe, you are most welcomed Anthony
    we might disagree here and there about climate stuff, but Laden is out of line
    Steven Mosher says:
    January 17, 2013 at 7:56 am (Edit)
    Anthony perhaps you need to take this further..
    The issue would be called “False Light” google it.

  275. Just to be clear Anthony, I had an issue with a certain newspaper who had gotten one of my quotes wrong. mere mention of “False Light” got their attention.
    So, i’d start with a letter to nat . geo demanding a correction, retraction, etc. Then decide next steps

  276. I voted for sue. But reading some of the comments here have changed my position. You should ignore Laden and instead use threat of tort to force an apology from Nat Geo, to be posted both on Ladens blog and any and all other blogs and publications that Nat Geo own or put their name to including the glossy magazine.
    However, it would seem from the legal advice that court action is fraught with risk and expense and requires extensive advice. Another commenter, Phil, made a good point, “Impeding your involvement with WUWT would be an AGW victory.”

  277. IMO, “Wormtongue” Laden shows signs of being a malignant narcissist who preys on everyone he knows, including his “friends”. The best– and, strangely, the kindest– course is that which would induce his CAGW and “science” pals to dis and ditch him publicly and irreversably, thus cutting off his accustomed source of “supply”. The same could be said about many of “The Team” and their camp followers, especially a certain tort-uous individual whose initials melt in your mouth, not in your hand.

  278. I’ll contribute to your fighting fund, but I think a total apology published wherever the slurs appeared, with the same prominence as given to the original, should suffice. The humiliation would be unbearable.

  279. You may “sue the pants off him” only to find he isn’t a guy after all.
    (That’s how to handle Mr/Ms Laden.)

  280. Laden claims a doctorate in Anthropology. Recently the American Anthropological Association dropped the word “science” from the association’s mission statement. At the same time, the statement indicates that one AAA mission is to make “expertise” available.Apparently “science” is considered “colonialist” and privileged. The action has lead to the departure of a number of individuals with Anthropology degrees who operate in fields where the scientific method is considered essential.

  281. I voted for force an apology
    I guess what Im saying is threaten to sue National Geographic and Laden unless they print an apology. Is there a “statute of limitations” on this type of thing? A threat of future litigation if they cross the line again at some point in the future.
    I guess I’m a bit sympathetic to the Monckton idea that there is a need to build rat holes to allow warmists to jump ship rather than corner them on the other side?
    National Geographic are not known for their rigorous science and you have no qualms about sticking it to them about it – and neither you should – but allowing them to backtrack when they are wrong…. Maybe bridges can be built and standards raised?

  282. Charles.U.Farley says:
    January 18, 2013 at 2:39 pm
    Sue. They cant win the debate with the science so they try to win by smearing people.
    This sint a game anylonger, you cant allow them to continue to make false statements and suffer no consequence when you suffer a detriment because of it.
    Bullies always pick on the one that dosnt fight back.
    But, honestly, what detriment has Anthony (or WUWT) suffered? So a few – and his readership IS “a few” morons and their friends have had the view they already hold “confirmed” but a deliberately inaccurate post.
    As things stand:
    His reputation hasn’t suffered because it was already non-existent with these mindless boors.
    His credibility isn’t reduced, because the people who might set any store by this post already fail to grant him any.
    He won’t suffer financially because he isn’t sceptical of AGW for financial reasons,
    He may (justifiably) be feeling pissed off at having an innocuous post, with plenty of clear caveats and on an entirely different subject, distorted into an attack on his AGW views in this way. But that’s little more really than having his feelings hurt.
    If he decides to sue:
    His reputation as someone who is even handed and “above” the mud slinging MAY be tarnished amongst any impartial onlookers.
    His credibility MAY be reduced with some, especially if there’s any sort of cash settlement.
    He MAY suffer financially because of the cost of litigation.
    Any and all of those things, if they happen, will NOT be detriment caused by Laden, they will have been caused by his own decision to sue over (essentially) hurt feelings. That may even be just what Laden is angling for.
    Although, in that last sentence, I’m crediting Laden with far more intelligence than the innane and pathetic tripe he spouts suggests – it would take at least the intellectual capacity of a 14 year old to think that far ahead 😉

  283. “I often start a post in which I muse on the topic with something like “I’m not an expert, and the experts will tell you where I’m wrong, but …” then I say some stupid stuff.”
    Greg Laden
    Why would National Geographic want to be associated in any way whatsoever with someone who is capable of writing:
    “You certainly don’t need me thinking of you as a human being.
    “Think about that. You f****** s***.
    Now, get forever out of my life. Do not turn back. You do not deserve to even know the people you’ve insulted in that idiotic post you wrote. Don’t ever, ever find yourself in my presence or think you deserve to breath the air that I,……… and the rest of us breath, because you do not.
    If you do make that apology it better be from laying face down in the mud.
    Have a nice day and kiss my a***.
    PS, don’t you dare ask, ever again, for an upvote or any other support from your colleagues. I’ll kick your f******* a** if you do. You will regret it. (Unless that apology is forthcoming.)
    The post Laden wrote was entirely malicious and without any scientific merit whatsoever. In the first instance perhaps a letter to Christopher G. Johns, Editor in Chief, National Geographic, would be appropriate as I doubt he is aware of Laden’s antics.
    I don’t know how, or indeed why, National Geographic would stoop so low as to support Laden’s blog. Their association with someone who courts so much trouble clearly risks severely damaging the reputation of National Geographic.

  284. Go for a series of articles to be published by nat geo- S.Mosher on his hunt for the reptilian gleick monster,Tony B on historical climate,Willis on thermostat hypothesis,Anthony on US temp record.The list of authors and subjects of merit posted on this site over the years could contribute some honesty to nat geo for years to come,if that means anything to them.

  285. Anthony I ask you not to consider legal action, and I’ll tell you why…
    For the most of my life I thought skeptics were idiots – conspiracy theories – nut jobs. I had no real reason for this except that’s what everyone told me was the case, and I never considered the matter future.
    For reasons I don’t remember I decided to look into some skeptical blogs. Maybe I heard someone say something I wanted to fact check, maybe I wanted to confirm to myself skeptics were crazy – I don’t recall.
    I do recall however that you were not crazy – in fact it was your high mindedness that made me reconsider my earlier beliefs and look into the climate debate.
    You were not only logical and scientific (more so than the scientists) but you welcomed open debate, even against those who disagreed with you.
    And when someone insulted you and your ideas… you asked them if they wanted to do a guest post provided they leave the ad hominem at home.
    I’m still not sure where I fall in the climate debate (leaning more towards skeptic), but I can tell you this – your blog is one of the few blogs I can still stomach to read.
    I have given up trying to get a reasonable perspective on the climate for a simple reason: every warmist blog I read is so ugly and vile in there smears that I can’t stand more than a few paragraphs.
    Now I think this does some injustice to someone out there in that they run a warmist blog that discusses the facts and is reasonable (I hope so at least) – but I haven’t found them.
    The reason I am drawn to you, in fact the reason I am drawn to any of the blogs I read, is because you take the “moral high road”. Others can insult you and snip your comments and you will welcome them to do a guest post.
    You even took away the “Al Gore is an idiot” tag, which is being far more considerate to Al Gore then he ever would be to you.
    I don’t think I’m alone here. I think turning the other cheek gives you great credibility in the eyes of many people, and allows them to stop and listen to your arguments instead of dismissing you altogether.
    I recall for instance that when Al Gore and Bill Nye did their CO2 experiment that you checked for home a reader wrote in to say their father (if memory serves) say your post and was impressed by the scientific process you demonstrated. I got the impression that although he never considered skeptic arguments before then he will now, thanks to you.
    I think taking legal action would hurt this. It would “bring you down to their level”.
    Though some may argue (and be right) that you can sue while still encouraging open debate and scientific procedure, I would argue it just feels bad.
    Like a child who can’t take the older kids teasing and so runs crying to mommy…
    Not someone who I would trust on scientific matters.
    Now some may argue (and be right) this is illogical and irrational, but I would argue that you can’t will be with logic if you can’t first get them to listen. And it’s hard to get them to listen if you come across as insecure (which I think you will). They will mistake your actions against this blogger to be because you cannot stand people talking bad about you. They will then future mistake this insecurity for meaning that you are also insecure in your arguments about global warming.
    The inner monkey is not that smart.
    Make up your own mind of course, but I would like you to consider my words and whether legal action is really worth it and will make you feel better in the long run. I think years down the road you will look back on this and be happy you decided not to sue.

  286. If you are able to sue NatGeo, I’d say go for it. Greg Laden himself is a pathetic little loser, does not worth the effort.
    More importantly, I am a firm believer in the inalienable right of the individual to free speech. Greg Laden as such indisputably falls into that broad category. If he says anything preposterous, you do have every right to fight him using the same device (i.e. free speech), as you have already done indeed, right here, successfully.
    On the other hand, the case of corporate entities like the National Geographic Society is entirely another matter. They may be authorized (by law) to exercise certain rights originally reserved for natural persons only (like property rights), but that alone does not make them into persons, whose basic rights, including free speech are fully protected by the Constitution.
    No corporate entity is supposed to have conscience, only financial interests. Neither are they inherently mortal and there is no reason to suppose they “are created equal”. It was never declared anywhere corporations may have been endowed with spiritual and immortal souls. Finally, they only have a very narrowly defined legal responsibility compared to individual human beings, restricted to financial remedies, and even then only to the extent of their assets. They may have a charter that defines further obligations for persons who choose to join the organization, but should they fail to do so, it is very hard to enforce it in court for anyone from the outside.
    Establishment of corporations (just like governments) is an early attempt to to bring certain AI (Artificial Intelligence) abilities into the world before the feat actually becomes technically feasible. They are “machines built of persons”, with power far exceeding that of any individual. As such, they must be put under control, otherwise nasty events may follow, as we know more than well enough from history.
    One such device of control is the ability of natural persons to sue corporations at court for financial remedies. In my opinion to exercise this right is more like an obligation than a simple ability, otherwise these entities are inclined to run amok.
    That said, I would advise you to ask your counsel to look into the issue some deeper. It is true each page at bears the logo of NatGeo along with the slogan “In partnership with National Geographic”. I suppose there must be a written contract between the National Geographic Society and ScienceBlogs LLC (owner of the site, based in New York, NY, owned by Seed Media Group LLC, Brooklyn, New York) that authorizes the latter to use intellectual property & authority of the former one to promote its own asset. At this point it becomes pretty murky for me, as it is for almost anyone. Not by pure chance, I have to add, a tangled web of (ir)responsibility is something intentionally engineered by corporate lawyers, that’s their job after all, this is what they are payed for.
    Anyway, National Geographic certainly has the power to force ScienceBlogs LLC to remove their logo and any reference thereof from their site, specifically from Greg Laden’s blog. If you can make them do it by legal means, go for it.
    Should this happen, it has to be documented. It would make a fine story, to be publicized widely in the blogosphere, with a slight chance even to make its way into MSM.

  287. Just posted over there:
    Surfer Dave
    Perth, West Australia
    January 18, 2013
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Well Mr Laden, you have conclusively proven how much of a hypocritical liar you are. I tried to submit a comment where I included the full text of Watt’s very clear and obvious caveats about the claims yet you have deliberately chosen to suppress those caveats and my comment. QED, you are a liar and a buffoon. BTW, I voted on Watt’s poll to say “Take the high ground and move on” but now that I’ve seen your full blown narcissistic attitude I now earnestly do hope that he sues the pants of you because you fully deserve it.
    I guess this is unlikely to be “approved” and once again you will demonstrate your hypocrisy and mendacity since you claim, wrongly, that Watt’s suppresses your comments on his site.

  288. These scientists and their followers have an agenda, that much is clear. Since they want their agenda to succeed, they will attempt to destroy any and all resistance to their agenda. You, Anthony Watts, are one of the number one targets that they will need to eliminate in order to further their aims.
    This is only the beginning. You really should fight back twice as hard to discourage further problems like this in the future because they will continue pushing and pushing, just to see how far they can take it. Ultimately, the goal is to completely discredit you in the eyes of everyone.
    Start a legal fund. I will donate a few bucks. I don’t have much, but I will back you.

  289. A lawsuit would astronomically increase the influence of this man Laden, whom I had never heard of until your first post about this fracas. That is not in anyone’s interest except possibly Laden’s. Even if you win, you still lose, and all AGW skeptics would have a share in the loss.
    Moreover, I am not convinced that this particular smear will be deemed to meet the “highly offensive to a reasonable person” bar which sounds like a fairly tall hurdle to me. The smear does indeed cast a false light over you, but I got nervous when I read that the false light has to cause reasonable people to actually be offended by your beliefs about something or other, in order for you to win. That is a subjective standard, subject to people’s political views and biases; and lest we forget, we are talking about the District of Criminals, here.
    Respectfully, I believe such a lawsuit would be a mistake.
    Bad ground to fight on.
    Fight smart in order to win, or to be a net contributor to victory.

  290. It was a deliberate smear with malice aforethought since, as you had pointed out, a larger screencap would have left him with no story. Something like that goes beyond small-minded people like Laden. NatGeo also bears responsibility for promulgating it. If you take this lying down, it will encourage those of Laden’s ilk. That said, it all depends on whether you have the time, energy, and funds to devote to this.

  291. Before I go to bed I have one last thing to say. Anthony, do not snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Win the war and ignore this energy wasting battle against a demonstrated liar.

  292. I come to this discussion late, but my thoughts are: what is your time and energy worth, and is it worth giving your attention to Greg Landon — other than here on WUWT. I like B. Peters’ distinction. Let the individual smear himself (free speech, even if nasty, unless there is something more important involved), but don’t let the corporation off the hook. If your legal counsel says National Geographic should be sued, fine, even great. It has turned into a leftist publication anyway. You probably will get significant financial support from your followers.
    However, however, however, where do you want to give your time and energy? Pick your fights. Punch back twice as hard is the best way to go — if the fight is worth it. It’s up to you. I have voted “force” him to apologize, but I don’t know that works without the real threat of “punishment”. Anyway, best wishes on making your decision. I have belatedly sent in my subscription.

  293. I’d love to see you sue. But you’re the one who would experience the legal headaches. So it’s a matter of whether you want to go through the trouble and set an example.

  294. Everyman says: “And that decision should be influenced, if not made, by those responding to poll questions . . . why, exactly?”
    Don’t think we can’t hear the smarmy derisiveness behind that remark! Why, EXACTLY? Why not, EXACTLY? Anthony is entitled to ask whomever he wishes for advice, just as you are. Though I don’t think he’ll place much credence on the remarks of anonymous cowards like you.

  295. Scott Brim says: “If the US public is ever impacted in a truly serious way by government imposed anti-carbon measures, the public’s perception of who is right and who is wrong about AGW science will depend mostly upon the credibility of the AGW science itself, not upon the public clashes of individuals in favoring one viewpoint over another, as these clashes and debates are now being pursued in the Internet blogosphere. ”
    Yes the science matters, a lot. But don’t think this is only a science dispute. If we are that naive, we will be steamrollered beneath the lies, innuendos, insults, and the “wind of hate” that the scammers are relentlessly using against us. That can only be fought well by publicising the truth about who is lying and who is not. Therefore I favour O Olsen’s suggestion: accept an apology, but include Nat Geo in that – make them put it in a prominent place in the printed mag. Get legal advice though.

  296. Have to say I voted for sue because it would expose CAGW as a further scam, but we know Aj Gorezeera lost and claimed victory ( the pig liked it). But on reflection, Laden could use the publicity and instead forcing a public apology by NG and Laden would bring humiliation not adulation. So in the end that might be much more effective.

  297. @ Gail Combs at 11:26 am
    Perhaps Anthony should start a calendar fund for next year, the list of potential recipients keeps growing.

  298. The moral ‘high road’ is to stop evil when you can. The high road here is to stop Laden, and hopefully others. Sue. Anything less, at this point, is bordering on cowardice – which seems to be the default position of skeptics.
    How many cheeks can you turn?

  299. Third poll option “Force him to print an apology, and leave it at that.” requires legal leverage. The threat of really bad stuff happening. I get the impression that Laden believes himself to be immune.
    Alas, defamation doesn’t appear to be a crime in the USA. This makes action against those who deliberately smear others by misrepresentation, etc very difficult to punish unless one has a great deal of money to pursue civil action under e.g. common law.
    More free speech is sometimes an effective counter to those who defame. But that doesn’t appear to be sufficient for the like of Greg Laden who think they can get away with saying anything; regardless of the harm that it causes. Their idea of free speech is just that; that they can say (and do) anything that they like, without any consequences. vis Gleick.
    For the rest of us, free speech carries with it the responsibility of bearing the consequences.
    I don’t believe that civil action against Laden, etc. is sufficient to have them recognize the meaning of responsibility.

  300. Anthony, I believe the suit is the wrong direction to expend your energy. The success of this blog is far to valuable to divide your attention with the needs of a law suit. This guy is a loser, move on. pg

  301. Adam says:
    January 18, 2013 at 4:18 pm
    Anthony I ask you not to consider legal action, and I’ll tell you why… [etc.]
    Well said, Adam, you make some very good points. WUWT is special to all of us. I get the feeling more trouble would come out of suing. Not just time and effort and money, but destruction. Anthony? I think if the Catastrophic Mob could get you embroiled in this sort of thing, they will continue ceaselessly to undermine you and steal valuable time away from WUWT. If the situation is not already an ambush, I think they will quickly see the opportunity to make it one. They will shut you up or discredit you any way they can. Greg is not the right one to go to extremes over. He’s tiny. He’s petty. He’s worthless.

  302. I vote “NO, take the high road, admonish him and move on.” Having been involved with the battles of internet critics and the Church of Scientology for many years, I’ve seen far too many internet pissing contests to think much good comes from them, even in the best of circumstances. And they get even worse when they go from the internet to the courtroom. You don’t need to convince us of anything, Anthony, and winning against Laden in court would be expensive, time-consuming, and won’t convince anyone who reads his blog of anything, anyway. Anyone reading him is already a true believer, and cannot have a change of mind until they turn off their cultic religious belief in CAGW.
    Greg Laden is a just lying pisser. Let him stew in the soup of his own waste. And the truth will out. But I would vote to demote his blog in your blogroll to “unreliable” status. In fact, I think in your blogroll, you should have a “true believer” section, in which would be deposited all those blogs which censor rational but skeptical posts (e.g. SKS, RealClimate, Laden, Lewandowsky, etc, etc.)

  303. waste of time, money and will cause you emotional distress suing . Will also possibly cause distress to Greg,so a lose /lose situation unless you like hurting people. Suing takes years, 5 at least in Australia, and even when your in the right you do not sleep well for those 5 years with all that angst. Money to lawyers is a waste of money and if you won would feel vile to have. Purpose of your post is most likely to demonstrate support for your position which it has done and that is more than enough. Greg Laden RIP

  304. The United States form of judicial jurisprudence is designed to do one thing: protect the fool. Therefore, suing the fool should only be undertaken after much thought on just how hard it is to successfully bring suit against a fool and then to prevail. I would say don’t do it. A fool is soon known by his/her own words and actions. No judge is required.

  305. Anthony should sue. Here is why:
    If the nettle is not grasped, and an example made, the libel could revisit Anthony and WUWT repeatedly until it becomes a standard item of propaganda and a slogan is coined from it. Don’t forget the sorts that we are dealing with and the stakes involved.
    Anthony is faced with the possibility of the slur being repeated until it gains currency. There is the possibility that a deliberate effort will make this slur permanent, just as the myth of AGW has been made permanent.
    It would be inadvisable to hope that soon it will all be over and forgotten, in my view. Anthony has Laden nailed bang-dead. He would be doing the world and himself a service by calling the miscreant to account.

  306. Greg Laden who?
    Nobody knows and nobody cares who this guy is…until now that is. Congrats you just gave Greg Laden what he so desperately wants…attention. Like the morally bankrupt Peter Gleick, Greg is likely to see any suit as a Badge of Honor for his battle against WUWT deniers!

  307. Greg Laden is an over-educated idiot, whose education was a waste of time and money. He’s all degree – no common sense.
    The question is whether or not to sue him for intentional, malicious defamation. Although he richly deserves it, as others have pointed out, it would be a waste of resources (like the money spent on his education). He’s a nobody.
    National Geographic however, should be held accountable for for pulling the string on this propaganda doll. They pay and encourage him to disseminate total BS as ‘science’. Sue them! Demand a full retraction, and force them to give the over-educated idiot the boot. Good bye and good riddance to Greg Laden.

  308. I voted to take the high road. It’s obvious to anyone with a brain that he was wrong. Don’t give him any more 15 minute blocks of fame or infamy.

  309. While I originally voted to sue, I’ve re-read the criteria, and I’m not sure that Laden’s blog reaches the level of “widely published”. After all, the vast majority of his articles have fewer than 10 comments. I’m betting that his traffic this week was up tenfold, due to this attention. However, it probably still wasn’t enough to register on Alexa.
    If you do decide to sue, and win, even a small amount of money, it will be poetic for you to claim that wattsupwiththat is funded by pro-AGW money.

  310. I would add, I think a better route is to pressure the parent entity, e.g. NatGeo. If they do nothing, then they are exposed as liars as much as Laden is.

  311. Jeremy says:
    January 18, 2013 at 7:05 pm
    Greg Laden who?
    Nobody knows and nobody cares who this guy is…until now that is. Congrats you just gave Greg Laden what he so desperately wants…attention. Like the morally bankrupt Peter Gleick, Greg is likely to see any suit as a Badge of Honor for his battle against WUWT deniers!
    Other than the fact that Anthony wiped the floor with him, and he has a lawsuit hanging over his head, and National Geographic’s sales are already in the toilet.
    He did get some attention.
    Best to keep his head down now ?

  312. Anthony, I am not doing the reader poll and not offering you an opinion other than to say don’t let your judgement be influenced by others saying “let’s you and him fight.”

  313. concerning the “widely published” issue – as soon as Think Progress picked it up and started pushing Laden’s piece, it met the criteria for being widely published.
    I strongly agree with your counsel about the difference between Roddy’s words and Laden’s: as he told you, in order to be actionable there has to be a strong likelihood that the hearer of the libel or slander will believe what he is being told. Things that are deliberately said as nasty insults, and intended to be nothing more than that are intentionally protected. (same kind of test applies to the concept of threats; they have to be believable in order to qualify)

  314. See if you can get some law students or recent grads looking to make a name for themselves on the cheap. I’d hate to see you waste your hard earned money on it. I’m sure a lot of us would chip in for some crowd funding of a legal challenge.

  315. Have your counsel write a cease and desist warning letter to National Geographic who is the primary provider and Laden. Note the details about your site – its readership, ranking and worldwide reach. Demand a public admission of the wrongdoing – NOT an apology.
    NatGeo will wave their arms about and say they are not responsible for user content but it is highly likely they will take some action.
    While all of us would support legal action should you choose that path I would not waste the resources past a letter on a pimple like Laden.

  316. Per:

    Anthony Watts says:
    January 18, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    It is a bit of a ‘wow’, but I think it shows that he uses “skeptic” in a peculiar way. Either that, or he thinks one can with certainty say that the photo shows an unequivocal falsity. (So not reasonable to be ‘skeptical’ – as that included the possibility of it being true – but only denouncing it from the start.)
    That, alone, is an interesting thing. How can someone judge veracity of the claim of ET diatoms without the provenance of the sample? Only by a preconceived bias… (Or a prolonged survey of space that has not been done…)
    In essence, it looks like he thinks the only valid behaviour is derision of the claim of ET life based on no evidence… Which is ‘exactly wrong’.
    The right approach is to say (as you did) ~’Nice rock with a diatom thing in it. Prove it isn’t just a dirty earth rock.’
    BTW, I’d not sue.
    1) “Life is too short to drink bad wine.”
    2) You can’t fix a broken mental process via suit. (So, for example, you can not fix a God Complex via suit.) You will not change him, nor his behaviours.
    3) Never forget “discovery”.
    4) There would be thousands of NGO funded minions looking for cause for counter suit.
    4b) Dealing with that would be a PITA. See #1.
    So a nice letter to Nat. Geo. asking for a retraction seems in order. (Reminding them of their ‘involvement’ so they can ‘explain’ things to him…)

  317. Anthony, I voted for suing him, not to ‘make an example of him’, but because it is the right thing to do to redress their bullying. Laden is the author, but National Geographic are the culprits who published and distributed the smear – and NG will continue to publish myth, fiction and smears until they are exposed and dicredited. I subscribed for 32 years, but send my last notice back with the comment that “until you return to factual science i have no need of your magazine”.
    Mann is suing on far shakier grounds, but that’s OK as he is a warmist …
    Heartland has disappointed by not suing Gleick (so the AGU then awards his ‘victory’, did it not?)
    Appeasement does not work with bullies, the death-dealing Parncutt’s, imtellectually challenged cognitive scientists and rent-seekers as we threaten their revenue stream by exposing their pseudo-science as a false god. What would have happened if some real scientists had exposed eugenics as rubbish before it lead to the Holocaust?
    You will be harmed by NOT suing as your appeasement will demonstrate that you, as a leading climate realist are weak and unwilling to take on Big Scary NG and its thugs and this will only embolden them. Appeasement lead to WW2, so let us fight back by not appeasing them now.

  318. No. It’s a bad idea. Don’t let anger, however justified, sway your decision.
    Laden has exposed himself as a liar. Anybody who reads both your articles can see that. His subsequent posts continue to destroy his credibility.
    [For those who missed this earlier in the thread]
    Let him dig his hole deeper. Don’t climb in there with him.
    By all means though, ask for retractions or the right of reply. If they refuse, publish their response here. Put their integrity under the microscope and look for signs of life.

  319. Dear Mr. Watts,
    Lawsuits can be very very draining. They can consume a lot of your energy and peace of mind.
    I was once involved in a lawsuit. Not only did I win, the court made the other side pay all my legal fees. So in bullfight terms, I got awarded both ears and the tail.
    But it was one of the most miserable, angry, tense, rage-filled episodes in my entire life.
    Think very long and hard before you embark on an enterprise of that sort, which will almost certainly unsettle your peace of mind.

  320. Anthony Watts says:
    January 18, 2013 at 7:18 pm


    After reading that exchange, I stand by my prior recommendation that maximum exposure of this Greg Lade character is the best choice in this situation because it easily shows he’s an idiot.
    And I use the term “idiot” to describe Laden on purpose because it is an accurate description; the definition is:
    An idiot, dolt, or dullard is a mentally deficient person, or someone who acts in a self-defeating or significantly counterproductive way.
    Let’s keep the spotlight shining. It is far cheaper and more effective than an expensive law suit.

  321. Do you know why New Jersey has more garbage dumps and New York has more lawyers?
    New Jersey got first choice.
    How bad are you hurt by the pig’s tusks? Before and after talking to the lawyer that is?

  322. Anthony, you pretty much have to put his blog on the ‘unreliable’ list above, with a qualifying statement below. Link the story as appropriate.
    This serves as a permanent warning to others.
    I support the suggestion to demand an apology which should also be linked to the rating.

  323. Anthony:
    It is your decision, but if it were me I would turn the other cheek knowing that the truth and justice will someday come. Best wishes, and I will support your decision regardless of what you decide.

  324. Yes Mr Watts – Sue. I was of two minds till I read your final comments about how the law defines what “a reasonable person” might think…and Laden’s posting was clearly calculated to mislead the reader, and malign your bona fides.
    Regards the CP ‘barnyard jokes’, there was plenty more there, about you and others, that in another context would be clearly litigable, containing as it does blatant mendacious falsehoods, but it’s also clear that entire piece was ‘meant’ to be over the top ‘humour’, catering to the most unserious and ignorant of their readership for the most part; those who’d likely not notice either way, let alone respond to accuracy on the issues. More “hating” of course, by it’s very nature, but a sufficient screen – as “entertainment” – to make any pursuit make the pursuer appear ‘thin-skinned’; – a reasonable person would not take the information presented as accurate.
    It’s unfortunate of course, because the self-evident arrogance of Mike Roddy, et. al., – the assumption of the unassailable righteousness of their cause, is, admittedly, galling. A good lesson for all of us, perhaps, when we approach these issues, ie discussing Mann and the ClimateGate team, and the many others riding the CAWG gravy-train (the AlGore doesn’t count, he invites parody by his very being) – we must be very precise and accurate and generally have the patience to ‘keep to the facts’.
    Laden, as said, another matter, the more so as he writes under the NG banner, a position I believe his actions may have made, short lived.
    Plus, lets face it. The MSM loves litigation, and it may therefore drive more visitors to the freshwater spring of climate information here at WUWT – whereas what’s at Laden’s site? Boredom and narcissism.
    Sue him for a buck, a full unequivocal apology and retraction, and full costs (yours, too!)
    (the latter being very important – these things suck up emotional energy, and time)

  325. Anthony, an apology would be meaningless. If you have to ask, they don’t care. Period. You need a public admission of wrongdoing. If you cannot get that from Laden or NatGeo, then get counsel and defend yourself. Until you take a bully to the woodshed, they keep pestering you.

  326. Publicly addressing the question (of whether or not to sue) is granting Mr Laden an implied right to be taken seriously. He does not deserve it! Actually suing would compound this error.
    Other commenters have rightly pointed out the time and effort you will be forced to expend. Even if you win handsomely you will probably find that the time spent achieving this will feel wasted.
    If you are naturally combative and litigious, and relish the prospect of enriching legal counsel as you squash this bug … go for it! Do you really care enough to want an apology — let alone, damages?
    I recommend that you just drop this rubbish and move on.

  327. Wow – just read the Keiran Madden tweets. Might reconsider my ‘sue him’ vote – he’s clearly got self-esteem issues, and is about to have a ‘crisis’ (read: – self-destructing). Might be good to just ‘stand clear’ till the dust settles.

  328. Send him a letter from a lawyer only if you can get someone to do it pro bono. It’s not going to change anything because you’re dealing with true believers for whom the life and death of the earth is in the balance.
    This is the sort of lawsuit that makes a real difference:
    What I’m saying is that if some organization beats the living daylights out of you, then you might be able to sue them for enough money to make a difference. Otherwise it’s just the lawyers who are happy.

  329. Demand a retraction and admission of wrongdoing.. bring Nat Geo into it as well – I can’t imagine them NOT wanting to distance themselves from him after that last tweet.

  330. I voted to sue, but like some others on reflection Bob Tisdale’s approach is better. Happy to contribute to a fighting fund though.

  331. In my (obviously arrogant) opinion, the only “high road” one can take in this case is to sue; take the high road of public scrutiny, and drag the public up there with you. The truth has been stifled for too long in this debate, and the truth should be the ultimate power. It is the right thing morally and ethically to put the facts in evidence for all to see.

  332. You’re winning anyway, Anthony. So why go to the the expense and angst of a lawsuit?
    Yes, you’d get publicity but … at what cost to your personal eqilibrium and finances?
    I didn’t read all the comments so I don’t know how the majority has / have (invitation to our resident grammarians to comment) answered your question, but I’d advise no. As I said, you’re winning anyway.

  333. oMan @Jan 18,2;08pm,
    Thanks for your consideration of my comment. My main concern is of blogging becoming litigious and having a chilling effect on bloggers. This could lead to a loss of a better understanding of blogger’s views and the fun of lambasting them in comments when they go over the top.
    bob neal @jan 18,4:15pm:

    Go for a series of articles to be published by nat geo- S.Mosher on his hunt for the reptilian gleick monster,Tony B on historical climate,Willis on thermostat hypothesis,Anthony on US temp record.

    Nat Geo might want to consider those idea’s on their own merits, along with severing their association with a certain blogger, also on its own merits.

  334. So: watt’s the decision then?
    BTW, I tried (about 10.05 GMT today) to send a modest contribution, as a general “subscription”, from the tip jar button. When I selected the amount it immediately triggered Paypal error “Sorry — your last action could not be completed”. I tried again – same result. Any idea what might be wrong so I can re-send successfully?
    Thanks for publishing this fascinating blog – now more than ever a (crowd-reviewed) journal of record!

  335. Get him and Romm to write an apology on thier blogs/sites and leave at that, its a distraction and the WUWT site needs a full time captain,you got them on the run and they know it .You will be playing it to their arms if you get bogged down with a libel action and court case,then you have to take a chance on the judge..nuff said on that.Don’t DO It Anthony you better than that.

  336. The following has been posted in support of Greg Laden, on his blog:
    ‘Kudos to Greg for demonstrating the openness of this blog by allowing the WUWT attack dogs to post their vitriolic bilge. No censorship here, wish the same could be said of Mr Watts and his cronies.
    The denialists are committing crimes against humanity, surely it’s time for legislation to close these sites down’.
    So, no censorship is good, but it is time for legislation to close sites down (choose your sites, anyone that disagrees with you…).
    Don’t waste time on them. I wish I hadn’t.

  337. Fools should never be taken lightly, village idiots such as this Laden person should only be laughed at and made the centre of derision and scorn. Humiliate this idiot if you can through his association with others such as Nat Geo but let him stew in his own misguided juice for his gods are tumbling. Alarmists at the moment are like cornered animals as their chicken little sky starts to fall on them. Stay above the BS Anthony you exist on a higher plane than they do. Wayne

  338. I posted on this article yesterday, critical of Laden’s approach. I pulled him on obvious manipulation of facts to suit an agenda and labeled him a fraud, questioning what else he was prepared to manipulate. The post never made it through moderation. A later poster made the following comment:
    “Kudos to Greg for demonstrating the openness of this blog by allowing the WUWT attack dogs to post their vitriolic bilge. No censorship here, wish the same could be said of Mr Watts and his cronies.”
    To which i just had to reply:
    “@ greendream
    I’m sorry friend but my post was censored and said nothing worse than had already been said in earlier posts. Maybe that was why or maybe there were too many critical posts being made and then Laden decided to ‘balance the equation’ somewhat…
    I don’t follow Watts any more than i follow Laden but i can spot deliberate manipulation of data to suit an agenda, which is clearly what Laden had done. The unfortunate result of such brings into question all of Laden’s ‘science’ …
    Maybe this post will be censored too, maybe all posts supporting Watt will be censored from now on. One thing is for certain – you would have no idea so your comment on ‘no censorship here’ is simply another misguided untruth.”
    It is awaiting moderation, i post here not to be clever but only out of interest in that if it doesn’t make it through there is clear record of censorship of critical commentary by Greg Laden. Hopefully some of his, to coin a phrase, ‘cronies’ will be able to come to terms with this fact.

  339. Nick de Cusa says:
    January 19, 2013 at 3:24 am
    Go ahead, Anthony, bin Laden.
    Funny you should make that connection.
    While there;s no legal definition of terrorism, dictionaries define it along the lines of the use of violence or intimidation in the pursuit of political aims. Intimidation being, of course, the use of fear to coerce someone into doing what you want.
    So, the terrorist Bin Laden used violence and, more importantly, the fear of violence to further his political aims. Similarly, Greg Laden uses fear of climate catastrophe to further HIS political aims. Obviously, one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter, but it seems to me that the dictionary justifies a conclusion that Greg Laden, just like his namesake, is a terrorist.
    REPLY: I disagree, see my reply to the comment below – Anthony

  340. I’d caution against the jokes and references to ‘Bin Laden’ and Greg Laden no matter how easy it is. It’s petty and inappropriate.
    I happen to know a member of the Binladin ( their preferred spelling of the name in English ) family. ( a family that denounced and disinherited Usama decades ago ) He’s a young man who despite being fabulously wealthy and running ( albeit loosely and by proxy recently ) a huge corporate construction empire out of Egypt remains very humble, a pleasure to spend time with and a guy who just wants to race motorcycles without his mum finding out.
    He does not deserve to be tarred with the brush that paints the picture of his relation and neither do others.

    REPLY: I agree. While Mr. Laden has wronged me and has some very disturbing views, he is not a terrorist, and should not be compared to one no more than climate skeptics should be compared to Holocaust Deniers. – Anthony

  341. @Malcolm Chapman that very comment ( at laden’s place, not the one you are making here ) is nonsense though. They have no idea what laden is allowing through and what he is censoring. I have had 5 comments, all polite and factual, not make it past moderation. I’m sure he does allow comments made which are vitriolic because those only serve to suit his purpose. If his readership could read the common sense comments which blow his position sky-high then they would not consider it so ‘open-mided’.

  342. What would be the objective?
    (1) Make some money to asssuage your bruised feelings?
    (2) Show hordes of people that you were put in “a false light”, so you are not a villain after all?
    (3) Test the factual/scientific truth of one of the key climate factors separating you and your detractors, and thereby “advance the cause”?
    Legal confrontations have to be resolved by the best techniques available to mankind to determine disputed issues – sworn testimony, cross-examination of expert witnesses, skilled advocates on each side, and the merits reviewed by an objective jurist. In this context, very few of the highly stretched AGW aphorisms are likely to prevail.
    Climate alarmism will never be defeated by scientific debate. But it won’t survive a couple of well-directed Court cases.

  343. My first post at Greg Laden’s Blog:
    January 19, 2013 Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    To each his own, I suppose. I’m a scientist, geologist by specialization, and I don’t find the arguments proposed by “climate scientists” in support of AGW to be convincing.
    I frequent WUWT and find practically all of the criticism leveled at that Web site by acolytes of this Web site to be inaccurate. Apparently most who have commented critically of WUWT haven’t been there and/or are intolerant of a 2-sided debate, and if that’s how you operate, you should remain here.
    I especially reject the attitude leveled by some here that “deniers” are commiting crimes against humanity and as a consequence should be limited in their activities or rights. A scientist by definition is a skeptic.
    Ya’ll have a good day, now.

  344. My second (and probably last) post at Greg Laden’s Blog:
    January 19, 2013 Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    An example:

    Rob Honeycutt
    January 17, 2013 Wow. The flying monkeys from the wicked witch of Watts wasted no time getting here!

    Thanks, Rob. If I were to call you some nasty name like you have, would you be more or less willing to engage in civil debate, which is the very essence of science?
    Keep your Web site–I’m convinced an alternative view on any issue is beyond your willing comprehension, as it is with many of your like-minded acolytes.

  345. The alarmists generally use any tactic they like, no matter how despicable. You have the law on your side, so why hesitate? Nail his ass to the wall and let us know where to donate.

  346. I only know of Laden due to your two references but he seams like a disturbed man’s Piers Morgan. Neither offer anything of their own to the world and are only known by their outrage and association to who or what they attack. He twice associates his targets with unhealthy sexual innuendo. He may be projecting a problem unrelated to climate.
    You have written that this blog is taking time away from what you’d really like to accomplish. Don’t cater to his need for attention by suing him. Life is too short.

  347. Re my previous comment, the tip jar button worked when I tried again about 14.15 GMT today.
    Please accept this as a (modest) general contribution/subscription,from a grateful reader.

  348. I would not take legal action over this. If he looses he wins, and if you win you loose. Immediately the gauntlet is thrown down, it will be all over the media – Watts tries to silence opposition with legal threats. As unfair as these accusations would be, they would only enhance the reputation of this insignificant little man.
    At first, you may think you are sending a message of “mess with me at your peril.” You may rightfully believe you have been wronged. But a hostile media can rework the truth in ways that would horrify any fair minded individual. It won’t be the first time this has happened, and it won’t be the last.
    Finally, what has he really done? Called you a “climate science d*nair” and mocked you for allegedly believing in fossilised aliens. Nobody reads his blog, ‘cept for a small group of trolls who like to feed off the reinforcing vibes.

  349. Anthony Watts says:
    January 18, 2013 at 7:18 pm


    While “idebunkforme” is the main player, I checked out the brief too. If that’s really Deepak Chopra, his attitude reminds me of Dr Mann. “Try reading this and then get lost” – love it!
    There seem to be a lot of testy public figures out there.
    I still say don’t sue. This twitter exchange is well worth saving though.
    REPLY: Already done:

  350. “erik sloneker says:
    January 18, 2013 at 9:48 am
    Under the threat of a suit, I would demand a full apology, well publicized on both their web site and magazine.”
    I agree with the above and other similar views so have voted that you demand an apology.

  351. Thanks for the reply Anthony. I agree laden has maligned you greatly. I have no objection to language which vilifies him for this as he’s surely brought it upon himself.
    Thank you for pointing out the obvious, I should have seen it myself. Such attacks from this side are no better than the ad hom denialist holocaust attacks and must be avoided or at least denounced.
    We are better than that. And those of us who might not be ought to learn in short order that we have to be.

  352. Andy (and WUWT readers): What would be the objective in pursuing this course of action? Does the attorney you consulted recognize and respond to your objectives (or is he simply interested in collecting as much from you as possible)? Suing (or even threatening to sue) may be the least effective/most expensive way of achieving your objectives.
    I recommend a letter to National Geographic pointing out why Laden actions may have put them at risk and that you (as the owner of a blog) are worried about what will happen if lawsuits over blog post become common. National Geographic probably made an investment in ScienceBlogs – an investment that could easily become worthless if their blogs need to be supervised by attorneys. If that doesn’t produce any action, a follow-up letter requesting an apology/retraction would be appropriate.
    If you proceed, you’ll need to be exceptionally careful in the future: your enemies will be looking to retaliate. Based on Mann’s lawsuit, I’d guess the other side has more money to spend on legal action than yours.

  353. Digger says:
    “So are you going to sue him then?”
    Anthony has at least two years to decide. I trust he will make the right decision.

  354. Australis says: January 19, 2013 at 6:13 am

    Climate alarmism will never be defeated by scientific debate. But it won’t survive a couple of well-directed Court cases.

    I agree with the former; but, while I’d like to believe the latter, history – unfortunately – has shown otherwise. The “resilience” of the scourge of Holocaust denial is an example. Its roots go back to the early years immediately following WWII and – notwithstanding several high profile trials in the post-Nuremberg intervening years (e.g. Eichmann, Zundel, Keegstra) – it survived and continues to rear its ugly head in far too many forums and nations. Even David Irving’s resounding self-defeat (in three courts!) in his libel suit (Irving v. Penguin Books and Deborah Lipstadt) has not staunched the flow:

    Holocaust denial suffered a sharp blow as a result of the Irving v. Lipstadt trial, however deniers and so-called “revisionists” continue to publicize their ideologically skewed version of history. [Source]

    What is defeating climate alarmism, IMHO, is that – thanks to the tremendous efforts of Watts, McIntyre, Lindzen, Laframboise, Montford, Curry, Pielke and others – more and more people are refusing to passively and unquestioningly accept the MSM promulgated word of climatologists (and of course the IPCC) as gospel. They are choosing to think for themselves. And, the increasing realization of the exorbitant cost of implementing the proposed “solutions” is probably having a highly significant effect, as well 🙂
    However, just as – for the most part – Holocaust denial has morphed into mindless anti-Semitism and/or Israel-bashing and/or pure unadulterated Jew-hating/baiting (its “ideologically skewed” roots), ideologically dedicated alarmists will, I suspect, transfer their advocacy and activism to the latest and greatest “scare”: Can you say, “Biodiversity” and/or “sustainable development”?!
    The “CO2–>climate change” song may (very soon) be over, but the melody lingers on 🙁

  355. Again, just cool it. Save yourself the aggravation, the expense, the hassle, just laugh it off. No one in their right mind will take this Laden character seriously.
    In the 19th century, in Germany, things like these were often sorted out in duels. Before challenging one’s opponent, one would ask: Is he “satisfaktionsfaehig” – is he a suitable, worthy opponent, a man of honour? If he was not, a gentleman would just forget about it and nevertheless consider his own honour intact.

  356. “The denialists are committing crimes against humanity, surely it’s time for legislation to close these sites down’.”
    That pesky Bill of Rights with it’s Freedom of the Press. If we just did away with The Bill of Rights and all other limits on Government we could finally achieve Heaven on Earth! /sarc off

  357. Before this article the only time I had heard of Greg Laden was when someone posted a link on WUWT to comments on his blog as the commenter had “ranted” in rather colourful language. Having seen his blog the once I have no intention to return there.
    What Greg Laden has done was deceitful and pathetic. What is the point of taking legal action against the pathetic?
    My humble suggestion would be to write to National Geographic (if they are the blog editors) and merely point out what he has done and suggest a retraction. If they don’t reply and retract just highlight the lack of action on WUWT and move on. Anything else will take some of your time and effort away from this wonderful resource, in some respects it already has (with 430 comments and counting!).
    I agree with the sensible comments of Dale McIntyre and Adam above.
    Keep up the good work on useful science (with occasional humour). If it was someone you can take seriously or was viewed as a serious scientist my view may have been different.

  358. Anthony,
    You should do whatever you think best. However, to those who say, no one will believe these people, you have your honor, etc etc, I refer you to one of the greatest quotes from STTNG:
    “They invade our space, and we fall back. They assimilate entire worlds, and we fall back. Not again. The line must be drawn here! This far and no further! And I will make them pay for what they’ve done!”
    The people Anthony and other “deniers” are dealing with will use any and every means at their disposal to disparage, undermine, ridicule, cause harm to, etc. They have called for them to be rounded up, locked up, blown up etc. The media is complicit in these attempts. The only way to stop them is to hit them back, hard. A lie first uttered may be forgotten, but a lie repeated often can become the truth.

  359. Yeah, sue him into economic ruin.
    No matter that you suffered no real damage-he hurt your feelings.
    Ruin his life, his business, his whole family. For generations!!!
    It’s the American WAY!

  360. Gunga Din says: “That pesky Bill of Rights with it’s Freedom of the Press. If we just did away with The Bill of Rights and all other limits on Government …”
    No need to do away with all of them. Slow erosion of 2nd Amendment will make rest of Amendments irrelevant.
    We are quickly becoming herded sheep that will fear government’s wolves.

  361. Barbee says:
    “No matter that you suffered no real damage”
    That is not for you to say.
    “Ruin his life, his business, his whole family. For generations!!!”
    On that we can agree [even though I would advise against a lawsuit].

  362. I generally do not financially support others. However, the importance of truthful statements accuracy of statement wrt AGW on both skeptic and advocate cannot be overstated. The fate of the world’s economy is directly tied the actions to “mitigate” AGW. Therefore, I will happily donate to a legal fund if you sue him.

  363. Joe says:
    January 19, 2013 at 5:32 am
    REPLY: I disagree, see my reply to the comment below – Anthony
    Fair comment, Anthony, and I must admit I’d find a genuine comparison along those lines a bit of a stretch (to say the least). My real point was that it’s at least possible to attempt support of such a claim using semantics, unlike their wild assertions of “denier”, “anti-science” and so on.
    Terrorism isn’t about violence, it’s about instilling fear to get your own way. Violence just happens to be the most effective and accessible way to engender fear in most cases. Fear (of catastrophe) and intimidation (academic or otherwise) ARE the weapons of choice for the AGW protagonists when trying to elicit compliance.
    That said, fear and intimidation are also the tools of the common playground bully, which would be a far more apposite comparison to have made.
    Incidentally, Zoot, I fully take your point about the Binladens and honestly don’t see how Usama’s actions should reflect on them any more than they should on any other member of his race or religion. For clarification, that means that there should be NO reflection at all!

  364. I can’t see what to sue over, this is rather petty. All that has been one is that it was pointed out that you didn’t spot a bogus science story.
    Interesting to note that you won’t publish Laden’s comments.
    This wreaks of somebody beating their chest and trying to make people scared to disagree with you on the internet… quite pathetic.
    [Reply: Laden’s comments were posted, along with links. — mod.]

  365. Darren Potter says:
    January 19, 2013 at 1:17 pm
    Gunga Din says: “That pesky Bill of Rights with it’s Freedom of the Press. If we just did away with The Bill of Rights and all other limits on Government …”
    DP: No need to do away with all of them. Slow erosion of 2nd Amendment will make rest of Amendments irrelevant.
    We are quickly becoming herded sheep that will fear government’s wolves.
    Perhaps replace “irrelevant” with “undefendable”?
    sarc on/ Cheer up. Maybe they’ll stop at banning barrel rifling. /sarc off

  366. Yes, certainly you should sue. You would almost surely lose, for reasons well explained on the legal site you link to, but hey, lawyers need the money, and the rest of us need the entertainment.

  367. @u.k.(us) Jan 19 2:39 said:
    “His followers are out in force, by my reading of the comments.”
    Was that tongue in cheek, mate? I went and had a gander and cracked up: Laden’s blog article has been up for about a day and has attracted only 15 comments (3 of which are Laden’s ranting responses!)

  368. Environmental activists regularly make claims that the simplest checking would falsify. For example, mentioning cougars, a group called Raincoast Conservation claimed that cougars were an endangered species because their favourite food on Vancouver Island was becoming scarce. (Well, just maybe, as the deer are in town where food is better, predators fewer, and movement easier – though cougars are increasingly seen in town. 😉 Just joking, I think cougar are out there, but they have a long reputation for being stealthy. As part of their claim Raincoast Conservation referred to the Tonasgass forest in AK – except cougars are rare that far north, the deer predator there is spelled W O L F.
    And David Suzuki removed a hockey stick from prominence on his web site after I got a letter in a newspaper challenging it, and later removed attacks on fish farms after Vivian Krause nailed him on a blog.
    They have a habit of making claims they don’t investigate. Perhaps it is the Marxist/Post-Modernist type of philosophy that teaches that words make reality, more likely just infantile behaviour. (Oh, unfair to infants – they are learning. 
    (John Ridpath’s lecture on the mind points out that their frustration comes from their feeling of hopelessness as they realize their method of obtaining knowledge isn’t working. They’ve gone wrong on a basic, then built on that bad foundation.)
    Or maybe just bad psychology. Seems more common today – in the Victoria BC area a bus driver was assaulted because he told a young man to use the back door to exit (that being the normal exit door) because the driver was helping a handicapped customer at the front door (that being the door at the end of the bus that kneels, the end equipped with a wheelchair ramp). Sickos everywhere.
    Much trash on the Internet as you know, his Harvard degree gets him listened to more I suppose even though he is trash.

  369. I’d vote to not get involved in a lawsuit. I’ve been in a couple. They consume a lot of your mind and time, they are unpredictable, and you do much more good to concentrate on this blog and on your other activities. So much so, in fact, that to engage in a lawsuit might be comforting not to Greg Laden specifically, but to the other Greg Laden’s out there.

  370. I voted for sue — but after reading the many replies I just dont know. The point that others made that most effected my opinion was — this will take up a lot of your time. In two more weeks this story will be forgotten — but a lawsuit could keep you entangled for years.
    Go after NG and see if you can get Laden dumped. One hopes that they have al least some standards left there.
    Yeah, i guess it really is a wise move to avoid all lawyers.
    Eugene WR Gallun

  371. Wow, a look at the latest posting by laden shows some real “science heavyweights” chiming in (and in some cases, spreading the lie around):
    Eric Grimsrud (aka “the Grandpa”)
    Russell Seitz (adding to the lie at the at the ever-clever vvatts site)
    William M. Connolley (aka “The Weasel”)
    Josh Halpern (aka “The Rabett”), at the ever popular Rabett Run
    Seems like Anthony should change his lawsuit to Laden et. al.

  372. One additional point that I’ve not yet seen made here is the following.
    The question of whether or not the scientific study under discussion is bogus is absolutely a matter of opinion. No reasonable person can doubt that. It is an indisputible (and undisputed) fact that presently, any statement regarding the study’s bogosity is a pure opinion, and not a statement of fact. I remind again that this fact is undisputed by any party to this matter (including Anthony) and by any commentator about the matter.
    According to the website Anthony linked to (Citizen Media Law), the following which is found in one of their pages on defamation suits also applies to D.C. false light cases …
    The right to speak guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution includes the right to voice opinions, criticize others, and comment on matters of public interest. [. . .] accordingly, you can safely state your opinion that others are inept, stupid, [. . .] etc. even though these statements might hurt the subject’s feelings. Such terms represent what is called “pure opinions” because they can’t be proven true or false. As a result, they cannot form the basis for a defamation claim.
    (My bold.)
    Fight smart, Anthony.
    REPLY: Thanks for that, the issue is mainly that Mr. Laden purposely manipulated the presentation of information and presented it in a way that produced a “false light”. – Anthony

  373. The only people who can win here are the lawyers and the doctors. Even if you get an order for costs you will still be substantially out of pocket. Like the generous readers here, Laden’s fans will also contribute to his war chest, so he won’t lose a cent of his own money.

  374. Laden is demonstrating a childish and infantile, as well as incoherent, reasoning ability in the tweet exchange. If he is also considered, along with the Heartland id thief, a great example of modern science then science as an enterprise is seriously off track.

    • I find some of the responses of his supporters equally incoherent. Science is in trouble, as those indicators demonstrate.
      I have a post on this very subject coming up.

  375. Anthony,
    After reading more from Laden and his supporters, I think suing them may be a wasted opportunity. Instead keep grinding on them from the high ground. Let the Manniac try and use the courts to hide from his critics. And encourage Laden to attract as many disreputable unethical and irrational supporters as possible. Think of how “The Caine Mutiny” strategy of simply letting the Captain say what was on his mind was so effective.

  376. For some people, negative attention is better than no attention at all.
    The only people who believe Mr. Laden in this imbroglio are Mr. Laden’s supporters, and that won’t change regardless of the outcome.
    It won’t take a lawsuit for the rest of the world to be convinced that Mr. Laden is wrong.
    Case closed.

  377. This Stoat guy is a real hoot. The pattern of wack job thinking in the climate kook camp is entertaining. I wonder how long the Stoat will allow this comment:
    “Actually, Watts is considering the facts of the case, and possible legal options, This separates Watts from Laden, Gleick and, apparently, you. He has not threatened a law suit at this time. I am not surprised that a climate extremist would have difficulty applying thinking processes in a rational manner. That failure seems an integral part of sustaining belief in a climate crisis.”

  378. Back when the post about the putative meteoritic ‘life’ appeared here, I posted a link to it in another forum that I frequent:,1494542
    Another member of that forum quickly responded, “Considering the amount of woefully inaccurate garbage posted on the blog, I would be highly skeptical of something like this.”
    Unfortunately, this is a view of WUWT widely held ‘out there’, as a result of the constant barrage against ‘skeptics’ in the MSM and in the leftwing, pro-CAGW, blogosphere.
    Fortunately, another forum member quickly came to the defense. But given that such opinions are widespread, and that Mr. Laden could easily take refuge in the ‘conventional wisdom’, not to mention freedom of speech, I doubt that a lawsuit would be successful; but it would be expensive and time-consuming. I agree with Jimbo (January 18, 2013 at 1:04 pm) that a letter to the National Geographic threatening legal action could be helpful, but I see no point in pursuing it further.
    Your time is better spent swatting away flies like Laden in print, and continuing to make WUWT an exemplar of scientific integrity, best science practices, and free, open inquiry and debate. In the end, that will give the lie to the little, closed minds that like to take potshots at you.
    /Mr Lynn

  379. Yes Anthony, sue the mongrel. He probably wouldn’t mean what he said if you asked for a retraction assuming he listened to you. Better to make an example of him. HFTC.

  380. When I started trying to get to the bottom of the climate change issue, I went on a few warmist sites (not sure which), and encountered some of the most unpleasant individuals you could ever hope not to meet on a dark night. They did a lot to turn me into a sceptic. These people are worth their weight in gold to us, especially as they aren’t even plausible. Let them carry on diigging their hole.

  381. I voted sue. The collective have knowingly and willingly ignored law and the government that they attempt to force us to follow to the nth degree. It is time they report to the same level as we are forced to or allow us to operate outside of it like they do.

  382. It’s probably best to kick this one to the curb as soon as is practical. Ladin’s blog has already gotten a huge publicity windfall, and there’s no need to give him any more PR. Once this dies down, he’ll be back to trying to attract and keep readers based on how interesting his writings are, and the sooner that happens, the better. Here are some things that would come up. These are not all my opinions, but these are things that I would expect to come up in any court case.
    First, the positions: Ladin is staking out the position that it is foolish to give any consideration whatsoever to the claims of extraterrestrial life found on a rock. Anthony has given some consideration to these claims, so, Ladin finds this foolish. He bases his opinion on some knowledge of diatoms and on knowledge about the Journal of Cosmology and the author; which might be persuasive if you start with this knowledge alresady. Also: Ladin included a screen shot which showed that Anthony found these claims to be interesting, and at least somehow possible, but which left out the strong disclaimer about extraordinary claims requiring extraordinary proof, etc.
    So, Ladin can show that he never portrayed Anthony as simply taking these claims at face value, and that the omitted text does not change his contention that Anthony considered the claims at all (Ladin thinks this is foolish) rather than rejecting them at first sight. Anthony feels that the omitted text shows his open-minded, but highly skeptical mindset, and omitting it paints a false picture.
    So: look for Ladin’s lawyers to argue that Ladin was making his own point, and that writers always have to choose their quotes somehow. Ladin chose to illustrate his own point, not to illustrate a different point that he should have anticipated Anthony wanting to make. In other words, Ladin’s lawyers would say that the missing text expressing healthy skepticism was either tangential, or at best, incidental to what Ladin was saying, and that readers could figure this out for themselves. Now, to be sure, there are ways that another lawyer could reply to this, for, say, $500 per hour. Is it worth it?
    Then, there’s the complaint of “false light.” From the link above, about this in DC:
    we see that for a public figure to win in such a claim, they have to show actual malice, rather than negligence. Looking at the previous paragraph, a argument of “careless writing” could be brought as a defense, and, if it were accepted, it might well prevail. In other words, “I was trying to write about considering that story at all, not to write about whether the plaintiff was skeptical” could very well win the day for for the defendant.
    “False light” is the idea that a statement was made, to the public, about the defendant, that “would be highly offensive to a reasonable person.” Oh, Boy. For a person who lives a private life, out of the spotlight, you can see how this legal doctrine could be useful, if some reporter plucks them from the crowd and holds them up to ridicule, But, Anthony, you are already well-known in the blogosphere of climate science, you runs a well-known, widely-read blog, in which the language gets heated from time to time. You will be looked at differently. The legal reasoning would be that a “reasonable person” might have (and has to have) a thicker skin when they publish strong opinions on controversial subjects. (Just how much thicker, could be worked out in court, at tremendous expense.)
    Outside the courtroom, look for comments like, “Offended? It caused distress? He’s suing for butthurt in the first degree, with a side order of BAW!” Inside the courtroom, picture yourself on the witness stand, when an opposing lawyer hands you a calendar full of cartoons, names the scientists to whom you sent it, and asks if you are ready to prove that there are no errors of fact, including errors of omission, in any of the cartoons. (Quite possibly, you can. It could cost a lot.) They will read back your own posts showing that the cartoon thing was all in good fun, and ask why it is that these are, presumably, less offensive than Ladin leaving a paragraph out of a quote which would have supported your point, but had little to do with the point that Ladin was [purportedly] trying to make. Also, imagine a stack of blog posts, by yourself and possibly others, which show someone else in a less-than-flattering light, and which have been attacked at some point for cherry-picking or other errors, Then, you get to explain why this case is different. Perhaps it’s possible, with a dedicated legal team and a truly stupendous amont of money. After that, outside the courtroom, or even inside, look for comments like “the bully is a crybaby,” and “he can dish it out, but he can’t take it.”
    All of these arguments can be answered, and beaten back, at great effort and huge expense, by very talented lawyers. It will be much harder if you are deemed to be a public figure, because then negligence on Ladin’s part (bad writing) doesn’t count. If it’s a truly huge expense, look for Greenpeace, Anonymous, and others to go crawling into everything they can, to see whether any legal help came from the fossil fuel industry (or even whether there’s anything that can be twisted to look that way). Just to store up some sticks to beat you with in the future.
    And finally, imagine making all these arguments in front of a jury containing, say, two climate skeptics, two warmists, two undecided people, and six who don’t know and don’t give a damn. Try arguing that various sharp criticisms against various climate scientists were OK because the scientists were wrong, to a jury of which half the members not only don’t know whether the scientists were wrong or not, but also don’t care, and will just zone out if you try to explain it to them. Insults go one way, insults go the other–what’s the problem, to the one who isn’t listening to the explanation?
    It’s not a great bet, even winning can be a loss in many ways, and it could take way too much time and money. That’s a pretty high price to give Greg Ladin some publicity that he can’t seem to stir up for himself just by being interesting.
    And, once again, I’m not presenting the above as my own criticisms. But I do think that most or all of these things would come up if this were to go to court, and that would do more harm than any possible good.

  383. On 20 January Anthony Watts posted:
    Anthony Watts says:
    January 20, 2013 at 8:35 am
    I find some of the responses of his supporters equally incoherent. Science is in trouble, as those indicators demonstrate.
    People in glass houses, huh Tony?

  384. Hi Anthony,
    If it were me, I’d sue. But I come from the “Don’t get mad, get even” school of thought.
    Assuming that you’re reasonably confident about prevailing in court, there are two questions that I’d ask. First, how much of your precious time would this lawsuit consume? And could that same amount of time be spent more productively on some other project?
    Second, Mikey M has a reputation for excessive litigiousness. Would you want to be seen in the same light–even if the comparison is unfair?
    Best wishes.

  385. Why not just sue NatGeo? They have editorial responsibility, and a public apology from them (and disavowal of the author) would be far more meaningful in the public forum.

  386. mandas says:

    January 20, 2013 at 4:54 pm
    On 20 January Anthony Watts posted:
    Anthony Watts says:
    January 20, 2013 at 8:35 am
    I find some of the responses of his supporters equally incoherent. Science is in trouble, as those indicators demonstrate.
    People in glass houses, huh Tony?

    Science is not only in trouble, “mandas”, your sick allegation is completely unfounded. Go back to the deluded frathouse from which you came.
    Oh, and have a good day.

  387. JazzyT says:
    January 20, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    A very thorough case against pursuing this miscreant Laden in the courts. Fun to imagine, but it wouldn’t be fun to go through, unless you have infinite resources and would enjoy taking a year off from this blog. Jazzy is right.
    /Mr Lynn

  388. Some interesting comments have followed mine, but from them I still can’t clearly tell whether the commenters (including yourself, Anthony) have understood my main point. So I’ll reword it.
    Laden’s claim essentially (or at least this is how he will likely portray it in court) is that Anthony is not equipped to see that the study is bogus, and is also not equipped to see that the study is not bogus. This is the case (he will likely argue), not because of any flaw in Anthony, but because nobody is presently equipped to see clearly that the study is bogus. It is an open question … one on which reasonable scientists may disagree (using their minds to form opinions about an uncertain matter). So in other words, there was no special disparagement of Anthony, because presently, we are all equally ill-equipped to see for certain that the study is bogus. We may have opinions that differ from Anthony’s regarding the bogosity, and we may have opinions regarding Anthony’s intelligence or competence that devolve from those opinions of the bogosity. But guess what! Those opinions are constitutionally protected!
    The only way I can see that there can be a valid action under the D.C. law as it has been explained by CML is if the statement of bogosity is generally accepted as a fact. And Anthony, not only can you not prove that the study is bogus, it happens that you have argued rather to the contrary in your first post about it. You have clearly stated in several ways that it is not proven to be bogus, which means you fully agree that the question of truth or falsehood or bogosity of that study is a pure opinion.
    Probabilities, indeed physical evidence, don’t enter into the equation at all. The only relevant question is, have all of the reasonable people who have looked into it concluded that the study is proven to be bogus, or not?
    And if the answer is yes (which it clearly is not, because I haven’t seen anyone argue such, quite the contrary), then Laden’s presentation is protected speech because it is a statement of opinion about Anthony which is based on an assertion of fact which reasonable people agree is a true fact.
    But if the answer is no, then that means that Laden’s presentation is based solely on a pure opinion, and thus the presentation is constitionally protected speech for that reason alone.
    Either way, Anthony, you lose the case, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the judge throws it out in pre-trial because he or she has accepted Laden’s statement about his intent at face value. In other words, I think you only have an actionable case if you can convince a D.C. judge (Did I mention it’s D.C.??) that Laden’s statement in pre-trial about his intent in his statement about you is likely not to be true, and that you are thus entitled to have a jury empaneled to decide that question. Failing that, I think is case is tossed without a trial. So I think it all comes down to the fact that you are contemplating suing in a very “blue” jurisdiction. Because the sole deciding factor will likely be the judge’s assessment of Laden’s pre-trial claims about his intent. I hope I’m wrong, if indeed you are planning to take it all the way.

  389. Sorry, I flubbed my third paragraph rather badly. Here it is, rewritten:
    The only way I can see that there can be a valid action under the D.C. law as it has been explained by CML is if the NON-bogosity is generally accepted as having been proven. And Anthony, not only can you not prove that the study is not bogus, it happens that you have argued rather to the contrary in your first post about it. You have clearly stated in several ways that it is not proven to be either true or false, which means you fully agree that the question of truth or falsehood or bogosity of that study is a pure opinion.

  390. Laden is unknown to the wider public. Victory would be just but it is not certain and might have little impact outside of our small group. I suggest that you wait for a bigger fish.

  391. I had a look at Laden’s site. His “follow up” comment about you possibly suing him has at this point attracted a grand total of 11 distinct commentators.
    Given the implications of this are personal for him, you would expect more merely from the circle of acquaintance that pretty well anyone might have by going to the supermarket.
    The last comment is by an entity calling itself PET. It thanks Laden for maintaining the site 24/7 by his “lonesome”.
    It then says “May your next incarnation be actually happy and productive”.
    Even his cat thinks he is useless.

  392. Thanks to everyone for all of the helpful input and responding to the poll. Using these, I’ve made my decision. Comments are now closed as well as the poll. – Anthony

Comments are closed.