Climate Scientist Sues Over Blog Posts Comparing Him to a Child Molester

<a href="">Penn State</a>

Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Michael Mann announced on Tuesday that he has filed suit against the National Review and the Competitive Enterprise Institute over blog posts that compared him to a convicted child molester.

The suit accuses the blogs of making “false and defamatory statements” about Mann and his research, which have long been the subject of attacks from climate deniers (see our previous coverage here, here, and here, just to get started). Mann was the lead author on the paper that included the “hockey stick” chart that showed the spike in global temperatures in the industrial age. He was also one of the scientists whose emails were stolen and released on the internet in the “Climategate” incident, and despite numerous exonerations, continues to be the No. 1 target of deniers.  In July, NRO and CEI published posts calling Mann “the Jerry Sandusky of climate science.”

From a posting announcing the suit on Mann’s Facebook page:

Despite their knowledge of the results of these many investigations, the defendants have nevertheless accused Dr. Mann of academic fraud and have maliciously attacked his personal reputation with the knowingly false comparison to a child molester. The conduct of the defendants is outrageous, and Dr. Mann will be seeking judgment for both compensatory and punitive damages.

In an email to Mother Jones, Mann said that the suit is his way of “fighting back against the dishonest efforts by industry front groups and their hired guns to smear and discredit me and other climate scientists simply because of the inconvenient nature of our conclusions.”

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk


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  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.