It's great to see leading climate scientist Michael Mann holding some of the biggest anti-science and anti-clean-energy forces accountable. The following excerpts are from an important DC Superior Court decision released this past Friday.
There is sufficient evidence presented that is indicative of “actual malice." The [Competitive Enterprise Institute - CEI] Defendants have consistently accused Plaintiff of fraud and inaccurate theories, despite Plaintiff’s work having been investigated several times and found to be proper. The CEI Defendants’ persistence despite the EPA and other investigative bodies’ conclusion that Plaintiff’s work is accurate (or that there is no evidence of data manipulation) is equal to a blatant disregard for the falsity of their statements. Thus, given the evidence presented the Court finds that Plaintiff could prove “actual malice.”
Plaintiff has been investigated several times and his work has been found to be accurate. In fact, some of these investigations have been due to the accusations made by the CEI Defendants. It follows that if anyone should be aware of the accuracy (or findings that the work of Plaintiff is sound), it would be the CEI Defendants. Thus, it is fair to say that the CEI Defendants continue to criticize Plaintiff due to a reckless disregard for truth. Criticism of Plaintiff’s work may be fair and he and his work may be put to the test. Where, however the CEI Defendants consistently claim that Plaintiff’s work is inaccurate (despite being proven as accurate) then there is a strong probability that the CEI Defendants disregarded the falsity of their statements and did so with reckless disregard.”
For more information on the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) - including the fact that they are heavily funded by fossil fuel interests like the Koch brothers, Amoco, Texaco, and many others - see Sourcewatch. As we know, the last thing these fossil fuel interests want is to see their polluting products forced to fully internalize the costs of their harm to human health and well being. Which is why they've attacked climate scientists like Michael Mann so harshly. Because they know that if they can discredit the science proving a causal link between fossil fuels and the destruction of the planet's environment, they can gain themselves many more years of enormous profits. And if that means they slander a leading scientist in the process, their attitude apparently has been, "so be it." Let's hope the DC Superior Court ruling will mark the start of (finally) holding these people accountable for their inexcusable actions.