Judge refuses to toss climate scientist Mann’s defamation lawsuit

A superior court judge has denied the National Review’s motion to reconsider her prior refusal to dismiss prominent climate scientist Michael Mann’s defamation lawsuit against the conservative magazine and website.

Judge Natalia M. Combs Greene of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia writes in Friday's ruling that, “The evidence before the court indicates the likelihood that ‘actual malice’ is present.”

The latest procedural ruling in the Pennsylvania State University scientist’s lawsuit is here. “The Court finds that there is sufficient evidence in the record to demonstrate that Plaintiff is likely to succeed on the merits,” the ruling states.

Mann sued the National Review and the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a conservative advocacy group, in 2012 over their blog posts that alleged his research is fraudulent.

CEI’s post also compared Mann to convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky, calling Mann “the Jerry Sandusky of climate science” by alleging he “molested and tortured data.”

The National Review’s post cited the CEI item that slammed Mann’s work, but the magazine says Mark Steyn’s item was written in a way that rejected CEI's Sandusky comparison.

Judge Greene’s ruling says it was not a “clear rejection.” Readers can decide for themselves – the National Review post is here.

Mann is well known for the “hockey stick” chart that reconstructs temperatures over the past millennium and shows a sharp uptick in the 20th century.

His lawsuit notes that his academic conduct, which has faced attacks from conservatives, has been cleared in several probes.

“Every such investigation – and every replication of Dr. Mann’s work – has concluded that Dr. Mann’s research and conclusions were properly conducted and fairly presented,” Mann’s lawsuit states.