Censorship in Science

The attached link below, referring to the update in libel cases related to climate research, is Judith Curry’s article discussing the recent court victory of Canadian Dr. Tim Ball. Dr. Ball has been a vocal critic of the scientific processes setup to study and predict global temperature rises as anthropological.  He has written many books including climate related topics such as The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science and Human Caused Global Warming. The antagonistic nature of the titles is enough forewarning that he is not a supporter of the current main stream analysis of global warming as anthropocentric. Dr. Ball also writes and interviews with other media sources and as such, has been a target from the principal scientific supporters and members of the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC).

Dr. Ball had been sued three times for his writings. The first by Gordon McBean in 1985, although, Dr. Ball and his wife decided not to fight the case due to financial limitations and withdrew the offending publication. The second case, by Andrew Weaver, was the recent victory in which Andrew was ordered to pay costs to Dr. Ball. A final case is still pending from Michael Mann who was responsible for the famous hockey stick graph which shows a flat history of temperature then an abrupt warming in recent history. Dr. Ball has reviewed this topic in Human Caused Global Warming in which he describes how the graph was created when conventional research had shown higher temperatures during the medieval warming period. To create the appropriate graph, Mann used temperature estimates from the rings of trees. This was one of the methods used to show the drastic increase in temperature when previously, the current global temperatures would be rather low in comparison to the recent past.

Image result for hockey stick graph

One can imagine the consternation an IPCC scientist would have with obvious dissent threatening their narrative and research. Therefore, it is now becoming obvious that the lawsuits are a means to financially punish these opinions by filing lawsuit then delaying actual judgement. The risk of legal costs are huge and could be a burden without a golden supporter such as the support IPCC receives from the United Nations. Ultimately, this strategy becomes another form of censorship as those with relevant contributions to our overall understanding are reluctant to come forward with critical data. The recent win over Andrew Weaver shows that free speech violations can be recognized by the presiding judges and restitution appropriately applied. Hopefully the trend continues so frivolous law suits attacking free speech can be avoided.


Update: libel cases and the ‘climate wars’


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