Next, can we expect authors to sue anyone who writes a negative book review?
If we have such an overwhelming scientific “consensus” about the supposed threat of catastrophic man-made global warming—and about the political and economic solutions to it—then why do advocates have to sue scientists to prevent them from questioning it? That’s the question raised by a $10 million lawsuit lawsuit filed by Stanford engineering professor Mark Z. Jacobson accusing other scientists of defamation for critiquing his scientific work in favor of “renewal energy.”
That’s not how science works. That’s not how any of this is supposed to work.
Jacobson made a name for himself and became something of a media celebrity for publishing a study in 2015 that claimed the United States could provide 100 percent of its energy needs from wind, solar, and hydroelectric power by 2050—and at a lower cost than with fossil fuels….
So how does Jacobson respond to having his article critiqued by other scientists in the peer-reviewed scientific literature? He sued Christopher Clack and the National Academy of Sciences, specifically claiming they are defaming him by asserting that he made a “modeling error.”….
Scientists already have well-established forums and procedures for debating competing models and hypotheses. They have peer-reviewed journals in which they publish findings that reviewers deem to be of adequate scientific quality. Then other scientists publish their peer-reviewed critiques—and readers draw on their own scientific expertise to draw their own conclusions. These decisions are made by scientists, without the aid of lawyers.
Jacobson is trying to short-circuit that process. The goal is to harass his scientific rivals with frivolous lawsuits. Even if his suit doesn’t win, you can see the deterrent effect. The next time rival scientists consider debunking a sloppy paper, they will think twice about whether they can afford the lawyers’ fees….