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Renewable Vibes > News > Enviroment > Climate scientist Michael Mann is granted $1 million in a defamation lawsuit by a jury.

Climate scientist Michael Mann is granted $1 million in a defamation lawsuit by a jury.

Climate scientist Michael Mann has been awarded $1 million by a jury after suing two conservative writers who compared his work on global warming to that of a convicted child molester. Mann, a professor of climate science at the University of Pennsylvania, gained recognition for his graph, known as the “hockey stick,” which visually depicted the warming of the planet. However, this also attracted skeptics, including the two writers who made defamatory comments about Mann, claiming that it affected his career and reputation. After a four-week trial, the jury awarded Mann $1 in compensatory damages from each writer and additional punitive damages of $1,000 from one writer and $1 million from the other. Mann expressed satisfaction with the verdict, stating that it was a good day for both him and science.

The case involved a blog post published in 2012 by Rand Simberg, a fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which compared investigations into Mann’s work to the case of Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant football coach at Penn State University who was convicted of sexually assaulting multiple children. Mann’s research had already been investigated due to leaked emails in 2009, but no misuse of data was found. However, this did not deter attacks on Mann’s work, particularly from conservatives. Simberg’s article was later referenced by another writer, Mark Steyn, in National Review, who called Mann’s research “fraudulent.”

Steyn, who represented himself during the trial, plans to appeal the $1 million award in punitive damages, arguing that it should undergo “due process scrutiny.” The trial took place amid the ongoing highly partisan debate on climate change in the United States. A 2023 poll revealed that 91% of Democrats believe in climate change, while only 52% of Republicans do.

Mann’s case has garnered attention from scientists who have faced similar attacks and misinformation about climate change on social media platforms. The trial outcome serves as a significant victory for Mann and may act as a deterrent against defamatory statements targeting climate scientists.

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