Hump Day Hilarity: Playing the Mann, not the Ball

When we announced the results of the lawsuit between Michael Mann and Tim Ball, one of the commenters, Serge Wright, came up with this witicism that was a twist on the old phrase “Play the ball, not the man”, applicable when it comes to arguments. Wikitionary says:

To object to someone’s argument by attacking the argument itself instead of them or a facet of their personality; to avoid or make the opposite of an ad hominem attack. 

Too often in the climate debate, people get attacked personally; such is the case of Mann vs. Ball.

When I sent the play on words to Josh, he found humour in it, as always:

Be sure to buy him a beer for his work (Josh, not the Mann).

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August 28, 2019 7:23 am

Now that is real funny, and am so glad to see this outcome. Mann should be ridiculed into Kingdom Come for eternity.

Dr. Ball is actually batting 2-0 with his win over Weaver as well. The fact that Weaver and Mann couldn’t cary through their case to even trial says a lot on how this was really a malicious SLAPP suit against Dr. Ball. The process is the punishment. We should never let these academic misfits like Mann/Weaver off the hook for their poor gamesmanship.

Roy Oldham
Reply to  Earthling2
August 28, 2019 3:30 pm

Well said.

Reply to  Earthling2
August 28, 2019 4:32 pm

In ice hockey, it’s “Play the man, not the puck.”

August 28, 2019 7:45 am

Great cartoon

Reply to  icisil
August 28, 2019 9:03 am

Plus 1000+

August 28, 2019 7:47 am

Can you do a cartoon where the climate changes Penn State into the state pen?

Reply to  icisil
August 28, 2019 11:02 am

How about an advancing ice sheet pushing the Penn State into the Pen? As a takeoff on “The Day After Tomorrow”

Joel Snider
August 28, 2019 8:03 am

There ARE cases where the character and beliefs of the man – or ‘Mann’ – is pertinent to the credibility of the argument.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Joel Snider
August 28, 2019 10:45 am

Joel Snider
Certain reputations warrant a higher level of scrutiny because the person may be trying to get away with something. However, in the end, the argument should stand or fall solely based on the merits of the facts and logic, no matter how irreputable the the author may be.

Joel Snider
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
August 28, 2019 12:21 pm

I agree that it should. In empirical reality, facts are immutable. If a person is right about one thing and wrong about everything else, they were still right on the one – even if they have no credentials – just as a person with credentials can be completely off-base. And being well-read on one subject does not mean expertise on any other subject – nor does it even mean that what was read was correct in the first place.

Now, having said that, is there a person here who’s red flags don’t perk up at the mention of a few hot-button names?

I guess that’s the trick for someone that’s seen a con too many times – you start to have knee-jerk reactions of your own.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
August 28, 2019 4:45 pm

How much you depend on the data vs the man is very dependent on how easy it is to access the data.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
August 28, 2019 7:39 pm

Back in 2007 Al’s “Inconvenient Truth” was all over the news. That’s what made me aware all the CAGW scare. But Al Gore?!
I wasn’t “skeptical”. I was suspicious.
Also back then TWC would include the record highs and lows for the day on the “Local on the 8’s” that I’d seen every morning before going to work for years.
To this layman, it seemed that if “the globe” was warming then my little spot on it’s records should reflect that. My impression from seeing those records flashed up over the years was that not “new” was happening.
So, in 2007 I got the list of record highs and lows for my little spot in the globe. I put the list into Excel and sorted by years the records were set. (As I recall, I used a 100 year span centered on 1950.) My suspicion and impression was confirmed. Most of the record highs were before 1950 and most of the record lows were after 1950.
Al’s was as full of it as ever and what he was selling (He was only $2M back then.) was bogus.
Five or so years later I found WUWT and heard of Mann and Hansen and etc. … learned that they deserve no less suspicion.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Joel Snider
August 29, 2019 1:09 am

This is why in (field) lacrosse there is something called the ‘Three Metre Loose Check’.

It means that if the ball is loose you may consider an opposing player within 3m as having possession of the ball for the purposes of checking.

Now the point to remember here is that while it can, at times, be very rewarded to deliberately not pick up a ground ball for the sole purpose of belting the man again when he tries to pick it up… and then repeating a few more times… just because… if you don’t control the ball you don’t get to shoot on goal and at the end of normal time it is the team with the most goals who win.

If you want to win you eventually have to pick up the ball.

All the big hits in the world count for nothing if you lose the game.

Stefan Youngs
August 28, 2019 8:15 am

Mann is guilty of serious misuse of government and other funds. His duty was/is to use funding honestly, to produce data untouched by human manipulation and to examine hypotheses from all angles, to test if his favourite one could stand up to scrutiny. That is what I as a taxpayer want any recipient of funds to which I contribute to promise and to deliver. Instead he colluded with his cronies Phil Jones (the so-called ‘Professor’ from that dismal Climatic Research Unit in the complicit University of East Anglia), Jim Hansen and others to hide contrary evidence, suppress contrary studies, malign those who disagreed with him. He is a disgrace to academe and tenure or not, should be fired.

Reply to  Stefan Youngs
August 28, 2019 9:43 am

I totally agree, but he won’t be fired. He brings in too much money (sadly).

Joel Snider
Reply to  Stefan Youngs
August 28, 2019 10:32 am

The thing is, it seems pretty much the rest of academia is on-board. He isn’t going to be fired by the like-minded.

Reply to  Stefan Youngs
August 28, 2019 11:48 am

So Mann is no man after all!
Money, power and pride do weird things to weak humans!

Mark Fraser
August 28, 2019 8:17 am

He’d rather lose than disclose.

Reply to  Mark Fraser
August 28, 2019 11:50 am

Had Mann disclosed, he would have lost more than the case!

August 28, 2019 8:27 am

Good cartoon–a Wile E Coyote event about to happen.
I recall in reading a biography of Chuck Jones, the cartoonist, that each abysmal fall lasted for 22 frames.

August 28, 2019 8:29 am

So far, Dr. Fell Mann has got off lucky. I’m waiting for the document where the judge gives the reasons for the decision. That could be quite damaging to Mann’s self image … maybe to the point of causing PTSD. That can happen when someone’s self delusions get badly trashed. On the other hand, IANAP. What made me think of that? Josh nailed Mann’s facial expression. That’s right up there with the work of some of my favorite political cartoonists.

August 28, 2019 8:30 am

Judith Curry is a honorable a person you can find in climate science. When asked in a congressional hearing if she had endured personal attacks for her views, she basically said no, not much, with the exception of Micheal Mann. He is simply a miserable human.

August 28, 2019 8:30 am

In the older thread “sue” asked about the data availability claimed by Mann
Certainely, there will be no more answer, as the article is more in the background now.

Reply to  Krishna Gans
August 28, 2019 9:44 am

There are answers now, thanks

ferd berple
Reply to  Krishna Gans
August 28, 2019 10:48 am

data availability claimed by Mann
Methods are just as important as data. For example, how many climate scientists understand that “tree ring calibration” is mathematically a faulty method? It is the equivalent of studying disease by only looking at sick people.

Reply to  ferd berple
August 28, 2019 11:55 am

…or sick people studying the disease!

August 28, 2019 8:44 am

A.G.W. is impossible due surface tension

Richard S Courtney
Reply to  rmb
August 28, 2019 11:15 am


Why and how?


August 28, 2019 8:52 am

I hope this will be included in the 2020 Josh/WUWT calendar. 🙂

Nick Werner
August 28, 2019 9:22 am

If I understand what Mann has been saying recently, the court’s decision vindicates everything he has been saying. And that he is reviewing the decision and seriously considering an appeal.

Reply to  Nick Werner
August 28, 2019 10:32 am

Losers do such things to save face, then fade away hoping the infamy will disappear.

Reply to  Nick Werner
August 28, 2019 3:15 pm

Mann can’t appeal. His case was dismissed with prejudice.

Muppets are us
Reply to  Nick Werner
August 29, 2019 5:10 am

But if it vindicates him then why appeal ?

Surely you only appeal if you lose not if you win ?

But then Climate Science is post normal, so maybe its post normal justice.

Nick Werner
Reply to  Muppets are us
August 29, 2019 9:11 am

Hey, I’m just paraphrasing what Mann was tweeting: “The real winner was me but I’m likely to appeal”. He’s the world’s most renowned ex-Nobel-Laureate. SuperMann. Able to spin faster than a spinning bullet. One slick stick-handler.

Muppets are us
Reply to  Nick Werner
August 29, 2019 12:36 pm

Just pointing out his attachment to clear thinking is tenuous at best 😉

Stefan Youngs
Reply to  Nick Werner
August 29, 2019 7:51 am

Mann: “court’s decision vindicates everything I have been saying”

Delusions of a grand order. This man is sick. He needs treatment. Remove the creep’s tenure, fire him and give him contact details for a few psychologists. I’ll chip in a buck or two if it accelerates his disappearance up the nearest hiatus.

Mark Broderick
August 28, 2019 9:24 am

“Play the ball, not the man” ?

In Canada it is “Play the puck, not the man”….It’s a hockey

Love the cartoon, but the Canadian version would have little Mikey holding a broken hockey stick !


Michael Jankowski
August 28, 2019 10:28 am

Why would he only be “seriously considering” an appeal (his actual word was “likely”)? Mann’s initial explanation for the dismissal was delay…now he’s saying it is Ball’s age, health, and ineffectiveness. Which Mann to believe?

And none of that vindicates him even if you believe Mann’s latesr explanation. If anything, it reinforces the lunacy of the lawsuit in the first place. Mann was all upset that Ball made remarks that we recorded and posted on a website, and now he’s “vindicated” because the court decided few people knew or cared about the remarks?

Reply to  Michael Jankowski
August 29, 2019 1:03 am

Mann explaining Tim Balls argument for dismissal is actually funny, Tim had to give reasons for the dismissal so what you go with

1.) Health … yep you would like a decision before you die
2.) Insignificant … you are not really going to over emphasize your fault in case you actually lost. What does Mann expect him to do claim it had a massive impact and face higher damages if he lost 🙂

Mann suggestion there was anything unusual about grounds basically reflects more about Mann and his understanding of the law than anything else. You saw that when he just suggest he had the right to appeal, rather he would have to seek leave for the right to an appeal.

Matthew R Marler
August 28, 2019 10:28 am

Josh does not disappoint: It is funny.

August 28, 2019 10:35 am

One of the interest things that came out of the CRU leaks was his fellows views on Mann and how quickly he was to bully others .
One reason , along with an attempt to save themselves, is why he Mann will be the first one thrown under bus.

A thin skin and massive ego combine badly with a lack of any real ability .

Stefan Youngs
Reply to  knr
August 28, 2019 11:28 am

Oh! THAT would be sweeeeet. To see Mann abandoned even by his closest cronies! I would pay a King’s ransom to see that.

Mostly I can avoid being personal when confronting a climate hysteric, but Mann provides an exception. That he is permitted to retain his post at Penn and pollute even more minds with his quackery is, frankly, a great example where the security provided by tenure works against the general good of society.

Nigel Sherratt
August 28, 2019 11:11 am

Contributors to Josh’s beer fund might like to think of it as bottles of Manns Brown Ale, brewed since 1902, originally in a brewery opposite the Royal London Hospital on Whitechapel Road where the ‘Elephant Man’ ended his days after being rescued from a freak show. ‘Elephant Mann in the room’ joke in there somewhere perhaps?

Mike lowe
Reply to  Nigel Sherratt
August 28, 2019 12:39 pm

When I left the UK to live in New Zealand in the 60s, Mann’s Brown was my favourite brew. By the time I visited the UK several decades later, my tastes must have changed because I found Mann’s Brown to be unpleasant and warm. Nowadays, even if I visited East Anglia, I would not even touch the stuff!

August 28, 2019 12:17 pm

In Mann vs. Wall, courts rejected notorious data-driver Michæl Mann’s case per his telling refusal to reveal statistical pig-pen calculations. This overdue comeuppance resembles that of historian Michæl Bellesiles in 2000, whose Bancroft Prize-winning “Arming America” was susequently exposed as an egregious academic fraud. As one commentator put it, “Mann’s Freudian slip is showing.”

August 28, 2019 2:42 pm

My prediction Trump is waiting to 2020 to totally destroy AGW as he wont care after that He will win senate with 55 seats and Gongress with a majority. He will bring all the Masters of atmospheric physics Lindzen, Happer ect. Just a guess BTW.

August 28, 2019 3:05 pm

If Mann were a woman, her name would extremely likely have been Sue.

August 28, 2019 4:35 pm

Recalling this information might help put Mann’s latest Twitter activity in perspective:

Steven Mosher
August 28, 2019 5:07 pm

“Too often in the climate debate, people get attacked personally;”

that is funny.

Personally I would like to see all the filings for this case.

Reply to  Anthony Watts
August 29, 2019 12:51 am

Mosh doesn’t read or even try to understand the law anyhow Anthony, we saw that with his comments on Peter Ridd. In the Ridd case he had all the filings and the arguments and he still got it all wrong.

People like Mosher with a horrible bias have trouble seeing objectively how the law is going to work. We see it with The Cardinal Pell case where his only hope now is the High Court and his odds are less than 1% and yet some still talk like his acquittal is guaranteed.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
August 29, 2019 12:12 am

So you think your personal attacks on people are funny? Man, you have no shame.
Remember that time you so unkindly accused a respected commenter of being from the milkman?

No excuse was ever made. You are a complete and utter hypocrite.

col from Oz
August 28, 2019 6:08 pm

Off topic BUT I found this interesting in regards to solar minimum, Maurder Minimum etc… conclusion..
7 Conclusions…..
Our study underlines the causal relationship between solar activity changes and
the corresponding global response of the earth’s magnetosphere via the variations quantified by the stand-off distances of the BS and MP. Our study mainly showed an increasing trend in the stand-off distance of MP and BS corresponding to the observed decreasing trend in solar high-latitude photospheric polar fields and solar wind micro-turbulence
levels since the mid-1990’s. A similar increasing trend was also observed for the MP shape
till 2008 which is the minimum of the solar cycle 23. However, a forecast of the MP shape
in 2020, the expected minimum of cycle 24, showed a smaller MP stand-off distance. Further, we find two instances between 1968 and 1991 when the MP stand-off distance reach
closest to 6.6 Earth radii (the geostationary orbit) for duration ranging from 9−11 hours
and a single event in 2005, after the start of the decline in photospheric fields began. Finally, the decline in photospheric fields has now continued for over two solar cycles or
one full magnetic cycle of 22 years. If the declining trend continues beyond 2020, a Maunder minimum like condition may be expected beyond solar cycle 25.
Continued investigation to understand and forecast the influence of solar activity
on the near earth environment and the ecosystem is, therefore, of considerable importance.

August 28, 2019 6:37 pm

The only question now remains: when is the scientific community, atmospheric as well as general earth sciences, going to take Mann to the woodshed, do a through review of all his work, and expose him as the scientific fraud that he most certainly is?

I have to wonder how Mann has been able to peddling his snake oil for so many years without serious scientific oversight within his own discipline.

August 29, 2019 3:13 am

Could it be Mann is all used up (Edgar Poe’s famous story)?

High Finance has taken the lead with the SHC (Synthetic Hegemonic Currentc) to flood the world with unlimited green funds, outside Gov’t control. Bank of England’s Carney declared the end of the Dollar, and ex NY Fed Pres. Dudley implied the FED decide the election.

These guys would throw anyone under the bus on this insane drive for world government. It is not clear if Mann, Greta and sundry others have the faintest clue who they are actually dealing with.

Reply to  bonbon
August 29, 2019 4:10 am

Maybe the deep secret data used to assemble the hockey stick piece by piece.
Edgar Poe gets it :
Pleurez, pleurez, mes yeux, et fondez vous en eau!
La moitie de ma vie a mis l’autre au tombeau.

Reply to  bonbon
August 29, 2019 4:15 am
August 30, 2019 3:49 pm

The broken hockey stick . Poor thing the architect wouldn’t even defend it . Real science alright .
Yep the science is settled .
Now that NASA / IPCC have finally admitted they can’t model clouds the false claims are exposed
for the scam it has always been .
No doubt some serious money was made and tens of thousands of lives needlessly lost but every industry has a life cycle and the scary global warming industry is done .
The next wave of lawsuits should be against the con -men that perpetuated a $trillion dollar scam .

John Tillman
August 30, 2019 4:05 pm

On Mann’s blatant fraud, cooked up to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period and heat up the present our of all recognition:

Mann deluded himself into believing that courts would back his corrupt wood-carving. And the DC court in his frivolous case against Steyn actually did go along with his bogus play, but that won’t last.

August 30, 2019 11:34 pm

Didn’t the IPCC initially use the unproven / discredited hockey stick as scientific spoof ?
Didn’t the broken hockey stick get pulled from IPCC reports ? Why was that ?
Really the next lawsuit should be against the IPCC for it’s significant role in enabling the biggest overblown scam in history .
Now NASA admits they can’t accurately model the effect of cloud cover . Gee what a surprise .
The whole scam was built on a pile of garbage and now it’s crumbling .
Who is going to put their name on the next IPCC report ?

August 30, 2019 11:37 pm

Didn’t the IPCC initially use the unproven / discredited hockey stick as scientific spoof ?
Didn’t the broken hockey stick get pulled from IPCC reports ? Why was that ?
Really the next lawsuit should be against the IPCC for it’s significant role in enabling the biggest overblown scam in history .
Now NASA admits they can’t accurately model the effect of cloud cover . Gee what a surprise .
The whole scam was built on a pile of garbage and now it’s crumbling .
Who is going to put their name on the next IPCC report ?
I suspect we are going to see a whole wack of IPCC scientists decide they want to spend more time with their family while they can still get out .

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