M4GW Removes "Hide The Decline" YouTube Video

| 23 Comments

Climategate Figure Threatens Lawsuit over Satirical YouTube Video 'Hide the decline' - No Cap-and-Trade Coalition Says "Bring it on."

Washington, DC -- Penn State University's Michael Mann, one of the central figures in the Climategate scandal, has threatened legal action against Minnesotans for Global Warming (M4GW) over the group's popular satirical YouTube video "Hide the Decline." The No Cap-and-Trade Coalition, a group that includes M4GW, responded today at an event at the National Press Club, releasing Mann's threatening letter and an updated version of the "Hide the Decline" video.

"We understand why Michael Mann is eager to silence public discussion of the hockey stick scandal," said Jeff Davis of No Cap-and-Trade, "but truth is an absolute defense."

The original "Hide the Decline" video, which had more than 500,000 viewers, was removed today from YouTube by M4GW's Elmer Beauregard. It received national attention when Rush Limbaugh played it on his radio show and was later featured on CBS Evening News in the wake of the Climategate email scandal. "Hide the Decline" parodied Mann, the Penn State professor who is largely responsible for the creation of the now debunked "hockey stick" graph, which purported to show a dramatic spike in average global temperature during the 20th century after 900 years of relatively constant temperature.

The video spotlighted a phrase from one of the central "Climategate" e-mails in which the University of East Anglia's Phil Jones explains how he used Mann's "Nature trick" to "hide the decline" of key temperature data. The hockey stick graph relied on "hiding this decline."

When asked why he removed the video, Beauregard said "Right now, the last thing I need is a lawsuit. I can barely afford my electric bill." Beauregard recently converted M4GW's world headquarters (a recreational vehicle parked in Northern Minnesota) from propane to wood heat. "Mann should be glad to know that we don't burn fossil fuels anymore -- just trees," said Beauregard.

"M4GW was started to poke fun at Global Warming because I knew it was a joke, it's hard to believe in Global Warming when you live in a place like Minnesota. During last winter we all wished we had some global warming, hence the name of our group," said Beauregard. As global warming developed into a political issue, M4GW has tried to educate the public that CO2 is not harmful but part of the natural carbon cycle.

Minnesotans for Global Warming did comply with Mann's cease and desist demand, taking the "Hide the Decline" video down from their YouTube account and webpage. The No Cap and Trade Coalition unveiled a new video they're calling "Hide the Decline 2," however. It was screened at a press conference on April 20th and is available on YouTube and NoCapAndTrade.com.

"I hope Dr. Mann does sue us," Said Davis, "The legal discovery process would give us an opportunity to expose Dr. Mann's research - or lack thereof to public and legal scrutiny."

Speaking at the No Cap-and-Trade Coalition press conference was M4GW spokesman "Chicken Little," a man in a chicken suit who goes to rallies crying "The globe is warming, the globe is warming!"

When asked about the situation, Chicken Little said, "I used to believe in global warming -- of course, I used to believe the sky was falling too, but Elmer set me straight." Chicken Little went on to say, "I think it's horrible that Elmer had to take down the video. Can't a person have a little fun on YouTube anymore? Those Global warming guys sure don't have any sense of humor."

At the press conference, the No Cap-and-Trade Coalition handed out a historical review of the hide-the-decline controversy entitled, "Michael Mann: Defamed or Defined by Hide-the-Decline?" as well as mini-hockey sticks that read "Mann-Made Global Warming: Why We Should Be Worried About the Intellectual Climate."

23 Comments

Good job guys. Screw you Michael Mann.

As a public figure, Mann can't do or say much about satire. It's protected free speech. You guys could have threatened to counter sue but instead you let yourselves be intimidated and removed the video. You blinked.

Hello M4GW,

I'm sure you know your legal rights with regards to Hide The Decline and I think what Jeff Davis said at the press club that the truth is an absolute defense is very true.

It does of course depend ultimately on the specific wording so be careful. If that scum bag Mann can get you guys on anything you bet his lawyers will try their damnedest,

It sure would be nice for the case to run and for Mann to get his phony arse whipped in court though.

Anyway good luck!

Where can I get a bootleg copy for my grandkids and their grandkids...and the grandkids of their grandkids?

WEll I can't you any specifics, but can't control what others MAY HAVE uploaded without our knowledge. So if you do a SEARCH for "hide the decline" no idea what you might find...

Yes M4GW spinners, you fucking liers, bring it on! Go to court...

I'll go much further than Andy.
I thought Minnesotans were a bit tougher than that. Mann sends a messenger, and you run and hide. Maybe you ought to rename your website to:
GUTLESS MINNESOTANS SCARED OF MICHAEL MANN.
Must be the French genes got the best of you, Beauregard.

You dropped your guns and ran. Now some other organisation will storm the beaches and do your fighting. Sound familiar?

Aren't you embarassed about that? You deserve the Patton slap. Perhaps you ought to move to France.

I really wish I didn't have to write this.

Why did you do that for?
I'll go much further than Andy.
I thought Minnesotans were a bit tougher than that. Mann sends a messenger, and you run and hide. Maybe you ought to rename your website to:
MINNESOTANS SCARED OF MICHAEL MANN.

Must be the French genes got the best of you, Beauregard.
You dropped your guns and ran. Now some other organisation will storm the beaches and do your fighting.

Aren't you embarassed about that? You deserve the Patton slap. Perhaps you ought to move to France.

I really wish I didn't have to write this.

Dr Mr. Victim,

Michael Mann would probably sue you too for such lingo...

Do you have any facts or relevant points other then 4 letter words, to back up your claims?

If your mad I totally understand, its not easy to learn you've been had by a scientist. I hope you didn't send him any money.

=============================================
We don't allow threats or Obscene language on the site so understand this going forward.

To the other comments stay tuned more info will follow.

We don't have a political machine, "big guns", or the 'big oil' companies, politicians, or much of anything behind us as many would like to believe.

I'm not sure if you understood that, we don't have a lot of resources, if you'd like to donate we'd certainly appreciate it.

I think a press release stating "bring it on", re-making the video, and re-uploading the old one might of stated that perhaps you were unaware?

We hope to inform and entertain. Were more like a 'war correspondent' then the Marines...

Elmer can respond further if he desires.

For all you keyboard warriors out there, feel free to write a check for M4GW's legal fees if your offended they won't go to court. Start a foundation, take up a collection or find a way to assist. IOW, put up or shut up.

Whether he wins or loses the fight, the costs of defending himself in a lawsuit against a government funded group will be devastatingly expensive. Try doing that on a workman's salary. And let's not mention the fact that the entire government media complex (ABC, NBC, CBS, et al)are AGW proponents and would take every opportunity to savage him.

But then, I suspect you're really just AGW fanatics taking the opportunity to take a cheap shot at M4GW. A supporter would offer solace. Only an enemy kicks a man when he's down.

If they decide to fight this, I'll contribute from my meager salary. This isn't about AGW, this is about free speech and that's a fight I'll pay to defend. If they choose not, I'll understand. There will be many more 1st amendment fights to support before this administration is gone.

We aint no AGW fanatics.
It's about standing up or rolling over when someone tramples on your rights. The only reason given for taking down the video was "FEAR of a lawsuit".
Of course if there were copyright violations or something, then you have to. What's the grounds of the cease and desist? This makes me wonder why Hide-the-Decline II was made. Has M4GW violated libel laws. If so, they're screwed anyway because the damage is already done and they can come after you anyway.
Here's a suggestion: Transfer the rights to the video, if it's legit, to someone or an organisation with money who aint afraid to post it.
I'll consider donating money if I see more fighting spirit and if M4GW violated no laws.

Could you at least post a copy of the letter threatening the lawsuit?

First thing, get off M4GW's backs. They have put together a lot of great bits of information and funny videos. They are not Fox or Comedy Central and do not have a lot of resources.

Yes, I think it is a shame that they took down the video, but how many of you are willing have your name on the lawsuit? It is easy to talk about courage when your not in the line of fire.

I appreciate this web site and would like to see it continue. It would be great if someone like Rush would help take up the cause. So that we could have both hide the decline I and II on the site. But I am still going to support M4GW for all they do.

I think the reason some of us are disappointed in M4GW's decision to remove the original video is because there hasn't been enough information provided about the situation yet.

They are hardly the first website to be served a cease and desist and there is a well-worn path of ways to fight back against this chilling-effect.

As has already been mentioned, you NEED to post the cease and desist letter. Second, is it totally impossible to get an attorney who would work pro bono on this? If you reached out to your audience you might find you have more resources than you think. If you were advised to make changes to your original video what change and by whom? As has been said, you are still open to be sued by anyone at anytime on this issue but MUCH legal precedent is on your side in the case of Parody and Satire. Ultimately if you choose not to fight back all your previous hard work will go down the drain as your readership moves on to sites who's content won't be dictated by bullies and liars.

If you consider yourself akin to "war correspondents" versus "the Marines" then you need to understand that defending your First Amendment Rights is paramount to your continued prosperity and very existence. If you won't die on this hill, which one will you?

I read that letter - you're scared of that!
1. Perhaps, though I dount, he has a point with using his photo. Just replace it with a self-made caricature.
2. The defamation claim is bullshit. You're not leaving a false impression. That video already damaged him. Why haven't they gone after you for it? Because the don't have crap!!

It's your decision. Personnally I'd tell him to ram it. Yeah right, they're gonna go after you and drag this in public.

But don't take my word for it - I'm sure you can scrape up a couple of hundred dollars to get a real legal opinion. I bet you could even find someone pro bono for the first couple of consultations.

Under the law, if what you say about a person is true, it doesn't matter if what you say tends to defame said person.

Please take P. Gosselin's advice. Don't let legal threats intimidate you, unless you've actually done something wrong.

There's a good discussion going on at Lucia's website. Seems they think Mann's threats are pretty flimsy. http://rankexploits.com/musings/2010/hide-the-decline-ii/comment-page-1/#comment-41191

Maybe you should bring up the fact that youTube just pulled the new one.

If you stop ignoring the facts (despite several investigations regarding the research of Michael has been found valid) you might learn something. But you guys are too stupid and/or too politicized.

Dear Elmer: I'm pleased to say I'm one of the proud owners of my own $3 copy of HTD, which I downloaded from your website back in November, within days of when you launched it! I hope--and expect--that there are many others--scientists, attorneys, and other professionals--who are rallying to your support as well. It would seem to me that you might be able to enlist some high-profile legal assistance of your own and I would encourage you to do so. I just gave $100 to the Legal Defense Fund set up for you by NoCapAndTrade (www.nocapandtrade.com/michael-mann-controversy) and I'm alerting a friend who is a very successful attorney in civil law in my local community. I expect there are professional associations of attorneys that might be willing to step up to the plate on your behalf, as a public service, and I encourage you to look into it.

The issue at stake here is not merely a scrap over some silly and inconsequential satirical video (Dr. Mann clearly thinks otherwise), but rather the much larger and essential issues of open scientific debate, professional ethics, and open public policy debate. The Climategate emails have made it clear that Dr. Mann has made a routine practice of suppressing disenting and even merely competing scientific views in professional scientific forums. Any practicing scientist (such as myself) who has read the actual unedited emails (as I have) must concede that his actions are blatant and cynical scientific misconduct. Like Dr. Lindzen (22 Apr, WSJ) I am appalled (though not the least bit surprised) by the attempts by his own institution and others to whitewash the affair. There is something especially cynical, even sinister, in this new move to silence public criticism, especially when he has played such a deliberate and leading role in taking his science into the public arena, and has moreover clearly reveled in the celebrity status he has acquired: If he can't stand the heat, he should have stayed out of the kitchen. And it makes me more than a little bit uneasy to see how easily he and his "warmist" colleagues have so far apparently been able to intimidate M4GW and YouTube.

I would encourage you to stand your ground. Get your own legal counsel and stand up to this bully. Surely if he does actually move to sue you it will become a high-profile, big news, event--and you'll have plenty of others, including legal experts, on your side. If you're advised not to use the image(s) that you originally used, re-issue the video with your own hand-crafted image (as NCAT has done with their HTD II). In the meantime, there are thousands of us with our own copies of the original, which will never be recalled.

Hang in there!

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This page contains a single entry by Elmer published on April 20, 2010 9:03 AM.

*** BIG NEWS *** YOU CAN HELP! was the previous entry in this blog.

No Cap And Trade Coalition Unveils "Hide The Decline II" is the next entry in this blog.

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