Greg Laden: Libellous article

Posted: December 16, 2011 by tallbloke in flames, Incompetence, Philosophy, Politics
Tags: , ,

Blogger Greg Laden has libelled me in a scurrilous article on his blog.

Sharp eyed contributors to this site have preserved the article as it was originally published and I am now appealing to any UK lawyer who is willing to assist me on a no-win-no-fee basis to contact me via the ‘suggestions’ page of this blog. Their comments, should any be received will not appear in public. Any proceeds which come my way will be used to fill the tip jars of other blogs fighting to raise public awareness of facts which might otherwise be buried.

UPDATE:08.27am GMT

A little bird tells me Michael ‘the hockeystick’ Mann has retweeted Greg’s libellous article. Does that constitute repetition? Answers from legal eagles below please.

They’d look great as co-defendants. Especially if Greg wore one of his funny hats…

  1. Chuckles says:

    Tallbloke, You should bear in mind that quoting or repeating a libel is itself a libel in UK law, even if done simply to report the case.

    And I believe that the law applying is the law in force where it is read, not where it is published, but you should get that confirmed by a competent lawyer in the UK

    [Reply] Thanks, you’re the second person with that advice, so I’ve changed the appeal to the UK. = Rog

  2. HG says:

    The original tweet is here: Twitter / @gregladen: Computers of Criminal Cybe …
    As you can see, it was retweeted by Mann without comment. Doug McNeall of the Met Office Hadley Centre subsequently objected to it.

    [Reply] Thanks for the info. – Rog

  3. Greg “bin” Laden is on Scienceblogs and part of some Nature network, therefore if the offending post is not removed in full and/or they don’t dissociate themselves quickly, they become as liable as any publisher.

  4. amcoz says:

    Keep your cool Tallbloke and have great patience, you’ve got mates downunder Peter Kemp comes to mind.

  5. Latimer Alder says:

    Small Xmas gift from me.

    Please use it wisely and sue the bastards for everything they’ve got…and then some.

  6. Otter says:

    I’m not a lawyer, but I do wonder if Lord Moncton wouldn’t mind adding your situation to what he is now in the process of doing? This attack against yourself, Reason and the truth should get as much visibility as possible. I’m also thinking that you are just the first of many to be attacked in such fashion.

  7. markus says:

    Dear Sir,

    I don’t have any thing to do with your business, so I’ll understand if you ignore me.

    Mr Greg Laden is a serial offender. I have posted evidence about this on the WUWT blogsite. I cannot do other than to offer my testimony if you so require. Yours,

    [Reply] Thanks Markus, noted. – Rog

  8. Brian H says:

    Yes, AFAIK, the UK libel laws come about as close as you can get in a democracy to “guilty unless proven innocent”. You should prosper under their aegis.

  9. Laden wrote a lot of “interesting” stuff in the Comments as well

  10. Bob Tisdale says:

    WELCOME BACK, Tallbloke!!!

    I cringed when read that Greg Laden post.

  11. PhilJourdan says:

    Laden is a pompous ass, and is of course wrong. His original post is not “libelous” in the US, but once having been informed of the errors in it, his doubling down on the post is libelous..

    I wish he would insult my state. That would indicate we are so much better than he is. Hurray for texas and West Virginia! They are doing a lot right to earn his pittiful scorn.

  12. Chuckles says:

    Tallbloke, as I said in my first comment, a strict interpretation says that ANY repetition of the libel by others or by the perpetrator, whether disseminating the info or simply reporting it, is a further libel, and the person so doing is equally guilty.

    I’d also note that NOT taking any action could be constued to imply that you admit the libel as true…..
    Advise and guidance from a suitably qualified and experienced lawyer is a necessity I would say.

    All the best


  13. SOYLENT GREEN says:

    I saw what he wrote an instantly hoped you would sue. Go get him, and anyone else in the Warmer echo chamber who repeated it.
    Couldn’t happen to a lower piece of whale sh*t.

  14. MangoChutney says:

    Perhaps Mann has just realised that for science to be considered real, it has to be repeatable

    Good luck with this, Roger

  15. Perhaps Mann has just realised that for science to be considered real, it has to be repeatable

    Close but no cigar. Mann prefers the kind of science where he repeats something, without giving reasons, and it becomes true. All that tiresome stuff about going back to the original data and code and auditing it – working out if every step of reasoning and computation makes sense – is beneath such a man. The argument from authority exists for the case when real expertise is too hard.

  16. MangoChutney says:

    this is the reason I’ll never be a scientist, I was always taught to measure twice and cut once (joiner)

  17. roh234 says:

    You should take legal action

  18. dfbaskwill says:

    Be sure to include Michael Mann in any action. The b%$*!d has cheapened my PSU Science diploma more than Jerry Sandusky!

  19. Jason says:

    I note “Greg” has not published either of my comments, So he is accusing people of being sockpuppets and as usual with the warmists, is not actually allowing the debate to happen.

    He is unhinged, banging on about his toddler growing up in a warming world.

    He is also contradicting himself, he dismisses “deniers” as old men and morons, then blames those old men and morons for the delays in the “process”.

    Fascism and cognitive dissonance all rolled into one evil ball of ecotrash.

  20. Sean Peake says:

    I took a screen cap of the twit’s tweet if you need it

  21. Vuk says:

    Look for no win, no fee lawyer. More importantly have a number of a defence solicitor, just in case. ‘Daily Mail’ and book deal may be the best start, limit statements to the media to a bare minimum. Good luck.

  22. Andrew says:

    Sue…for a buck…or in your case a pound…I mean think about it, has he really damaged your reputation? I would argue that he has only enhanced your reputation.

    Certainly this incident has provided you with a bit of notoriety…which could easily be turned into a revenue stream for you if you want.

    You have nothing to prove by going after him, but that is just my opinion.

    I respect how you have handled this entire affair.


  23. Michele says:

    Quote Vuk.

    As soon as possible…..
    Return to writing scientific articles.

    The Sun is back to sleep !
    Xray = 0
    SF < 120
    SW = 300 Km/s.
    Very low Low electromagnetic activity etc…etc…

    Check Bendandi drawings.
    Resultant parallelogram module :
    6 Dec. 2011

    From 6 Oct to 6Dec……200….160…153….ad now 143 !

  24. steven mosher says:

    ask the monktopus for help.

    go get em.

    It would be interesting to see how they all worked together..

  25. boballab says:

    The best comments on the Laden post was from James Annan at #6.

  26. tallbloke says:

    boballab. Correct. I tried to post a thanks on James blog.

  27. Vuk says:

    steven mosher says:
    December 16, 2011 at 6:42 pm
    ask the monktopus for help

    Hi Steven, nice to see you here, not your usual stamping ground, hope you are doing well. Under pressure I am not as cool as Rog, the big Yorkshire-man, so surprisingly despite all, I am still tolerated on the RC.
    take care.

  28. I’m not even a skeptic, but I once confronted Laden about some nonsense where he claimed moose in Minnesota were being affected by AGW. I pointed out that there are copious temperature records for MN, and they don’t show much evidence of climate change (much of the midwest US is similar). He blustered a bit, called me names, promised at some future date to publish something that would refute me, and then promptly went on to yet another rant about eeevil Konservarives/Denialists/whatever.

    He’s a kook. Only reason not to sue his sorry ass is I don’t think he has much money. Scienceblogs and Mann do, though. 🙂

  29. mpaul says:

    Doesn’t Michael have another court date on Tuesday related to the UVa stonewall? He’s going to be a really busy guy in 2012.

  30. Michael Hart says:

    I visited the above mentioned site to read his words, and rather wish I hadn’t. Made me feel unclean.
    Keep up the good work, and I hope this issue doesn’t distract you too much from your science, which I find informative, educational and entertaining. There are many people who can tell the difference between a Tallbloke and a very small man.

  31. steven mosher says:


    I stop by here occasionally. Rog is a friend. We disagree about science and can do that peacefully.
    ( since I stopped the name calling)

    go figure.

    Any way, I love david versus goliath fights. I suspect the police had no reasonable expectation of getting any information from TB. And he should sue them as well. This was just a show. Show people we are doing something. If they knew what they were doing they would have requested information from another day as well. That is all I will say.

  32. markus says:

    I do long for a site like WikiClimate, Maybe Julian can get something happening.

    from Peter Hartmann
    date Sat, Dec 17, 2011 at 9:49 AM
    subject On writing in public blogs

    Dear Mr. Fitzhenry,

    I’m deeply concerned about the death threat you posted on Greg Laden’s
    blog (together with your mail address, not sure why). Please refrain
    from such aggressive behavior in public, this is doing good to noone.
    I object with Laden’s first version of the post too, but I value human
    life, also if it that of a person with views that differ from mine.

    I have contacted your employer to have a friendly word with you about this.

    I wish you all the best!

    Peter Hartmann ( Winthrop Professor Uni Of WA, Australia)

    There was no death threat. Mr Greg Laden made that up. See my post on WUWT. Check out the times of my Email, my WUWT post, my Email to Greg and his post of my Email to his Blog.

    Having said that, I do hope you have somehow contacted me and left your details, defamation and
    and malicious prosecution are tools I am very familiar with.

    Just how much do you value human life? The results of propitiating of CAGW is a crime that takes human life in developing nations.

    And I wish you all the best Mr. Peter Harmann in your blithe ignorant acceptance of the AGW theory/scam.

    from Peter Hartmann
    to [Available] markus fitzhenry
    date Sat, Dec 17, 2011 at 10:38 AM
    subject Re: On writing in public blogs
    signed-by gmail.comDear Markus,

    Thank you very much for the clarification that you didn’t post it
    publicly yourself, that explains why your name is written with a “c”.
    If it is true that he excised the last part of the last sentence, this
    would reflect quite badly on Mr. Laden. I will see if I can get a
    clarification from him.

    I greatly value human life. At the same time, I would hope there was
    no climate problem, and I tried to convince myself of that for about a
    year, reading many “climate skeptic” blogs. However, nothing much
    stood up to further scrutiny, and now after about two years of
    investigating the matter I am pretty convinced by much of the science.
    We do not know how much of a problem the rise in CO2 will lead to, but
    it is out of the question that there will be negative effects, and
    that it will be much more costly than it would have been to have
    slowly but decisively had steered into a carbon-free economy from
    about 1990 on.

    I am now quite deeply rooted in “convinced of AGW” territory, but I
    keep telling people that almost all “climate skeptics” that I
    encountered are honest people that are convinced that what they are
    doing is the right thing to do. I found the same on the “convinced of
    AGW” side.

    You may differ in your assessment, and that’s your right, but please
    don’t go around insulting people that differ from yours. If you took
    the time to really dig into the matter nonpartisanly, you would
    realize that a) most people that are convinced of AGW don’t hold as
    extreme views as you think they do, and that b) much of the science is
    sound. Yes, there are uncertainties, and climate scientists won’t tire
    to express them. It’s the mainstream press that wants easy messages,
    and distorts the facts to get a sensational headline.

    Check for example this Daily Mail headline:–greenhouse-gas-30-times-potent-carbon-dioxide.html?ITO=1490

    this from a newspaper that sometimes prints outrageously unfounded
    “climate skeptic” articles. clearly, they’re in for sensationalism,
    and don’t care which way it leans. they had to be whistled back by
    what you would call “climate alarmist” website Carbon Brief:

    If you’re interested in having an email conversation with someone that
    has talked to both “sides” and is eager to point out and learn about
    misunderstandings, please leave me a note.

    Best wishes!

    Peter Hartmann

    BTW, I never heard someone use the word “propitiate” before, and I
    think I have quite a huge vocabulary. Thanks for enlarging it by one

    Amazing, Peter learns a new word and demonstrates its concept

    [emails redacted by co-mod]

  33. markus says:

    Shit! I forgot to delete Mr Hartmann’s Email address. Please Rog?

  34. pkthinks says:

    Hope you win handsomely against Mr laden, and sounds like you need new router and computer. It would be so easy to return them with some additions(hardware or software) in the hope you would use them again. Must be v. irritating for you but its their mistake not yours methinks.

  35. RichardSCourtney says:


    Please, please, please sue Laden. Warmist bloggers have been getting away with libel for far too long. And it seems that Laden did not know a basic ‘protection’ used by them, so he failed to adopt it.

    Laden writes under his own name on his own blog. Therefore, he needs to prove that someone else wrote the libel of you if he wants to claim it was not him who libelled you.

    I wanted to sue Holpern for a libel of me on his blog, but I could not because he blogs under an alias. Therefore, I would need to prove he personally wrote the libel and only his admission – which he did not provide when asked – would provide that proof. It could be shown that he hosted the blog, but it cannot be proved that he writes everything posted under the name of his alias. I would need to prove he wrote it and he could – and did – sit back and do nothing unless and until I could prove it (which is not possible).

    Your successfully obtaining damages – which you deserve – from Laden would be a ‘shot across the bows’ for other warmist bloggers which may inhibit them from continuing their untrue smears of those whom they label ‘deniers’.


  36. Abiogenesis says:

    Here is the text of my post at Greg Laden’s blog article, in case it is not accepted..

    The Wikipedia article from which The Sailor extracted his information goes on to inform us that “The new federal law, and the existing seven state laws that predate it, do not, however, protect American persons who exercise First Amendment freedoms but who then travel abroad and then become subject to physical application of foreign libel laws and judgments.”

    From the same source, “Dr. Ehrenfeld, a U.S. citizen based in New York, had not written or marketed her book internationally—” Greg Laden’s blog, on the other hand, is written expressly to be seen and read worldwide, so that defence is not really open to him. In addition I am of the view that “the freedom of speech granted by the United States Constitution” does not offer protection having regard to the original form of words, which I have copied here from Greg Laden’s site.

    “So, apparently it is OK for Tattersall and this band of thieves to unilaterally play vigilante and break into your computer or mine, but when authorities investigating a crime, with proper search warrant, show up to investigate his misdeeds, suddenly he’s an “Englishman” in his “Castle.” I don’t know whether to laugh of to go medieval on him.

    As such, Mr. Tattersall has a very high probability for a successful legal outcome, both in the UK and the USA. Greg Laden felt free to express his opinion, but there is no freedom without responsibility, upon which principle the Moral Health website elaborates.

  37. markus says:

    You can lead a horse to water but a pencil must be lead.

    All offers, commitments and prizes will be honored.

    I’m outa here.


  38. Oswald says:

    Mr.Michael Hart spoke for me. I, too, felt unclean after reading those words, and I can only re-iterate Mr. Hart’s sentiments.

  39. Don Keiller says:

    Dear Mr. Tattersall. I am very happy to act as a witness for you. In fact I already posted on Mr. Laden’s “blog” (see below). Can I also suggest that you contact a Mr. Chris Horner in the USA?- who I believe has deep pockets and is no fan of AGW.

    Dear Mr. Laden. I do hope that you can prove your statements “Computers of Criminal Cyber-Thieves Seized” and “Tattersall and his band of thieves”.

    I can only assume that you are ignorant of the offence of Libel.

    I shall be watching developments with regards to this case very closely and if, as I suspect, Mr. Tattersall, has committed no offence, I will be pursuing this matter further.

    Posted by: Don Keiller | December 15, 2011 6:43 PM

  40. tallbloke says:

    Don, thank you for your interest. I will be in touch in due course. In fact Mr Horner has been in contact to offer moral support and some interesting links. I can’t say much at this stage beyond –
    Watch This Space.

  41. GregO says:


    Glad to see you back – very disturbing that your space was violated by the authorities – really uncalled for; and insults and slanders against your good name are unconscionable. That you are holding up well to all this nonsense is an inspiration.

  42. Katabasis says:

    “I note “Greg” has not published either of my comments, So he is accusing people of being sockpuppets and as usual with the warmists, is not actually allowing the debate to happen.”

    Sorry, not directly relevant but I feel should be noted – he’s not only witholding publication of comments but also editing them to change their meaning as he has done so with my most recent comment. It absolutely boggles my mind that such a man holds a PhD.

  43. Katabasis says:

    Markus – wait, are you saying that someone else posted that comment in your name (and presumably with your email address)?

  44. […] Tallbloke apparently is going to take legal action against ScienceBlogs and blogger Greg Laden over his libelous article (now modified to not be […]

  45. Pointman says:

    Another possible contributor to your libel damages Tallbloke. A bit more subtle than Laden but doing the wink, wink, nod nod damage to your reputation.


    [Reply] Thanks Pointman, forwarded to my legal eagle. Photo copyright infringement too. Double bubble.

  46. markus says:

    My one and only attempted post to Mr. Greg Laden’s Webblog.

    “””You’ve underestimated me. Winthrop Professor no less threatens me because of your crime.

    American Law. —-Knowingly causing the transmission of a program, information, code, or command that causes damage or intentionally accessing a computer without authorization, and as a result of such conduct, causes damage that results in:

    Loss to one or more persons during any one-year period aggregating at least $5,000 in value.
    The modification or impairment, or potential modification or impairment, of the medical examination, diagnosis, treatment, or care of one or more individuals.
    Physical injury to any person.
    A threat to public health or safety.
    Damage affecting a government computer system

    Tallbloke is the least of your legal nightmares.”””

  47. Jim Lippard says:

    Not only is retweeting a reference to a defamatory blog post probably not defamatory under U.S. law, republication of defamatory material authored by others is often safe from liability under a remaining provision of the otherwise unconstitutional Communications Decency Act. See, for example, the case of Barrett v. Rosenthal.

    [Reply] I don’t play armchair attorneys, I get the professionals in.

  48. I suggest that you get screen captures of his snotty comments.Such as this one:

    I tried to cool him down at comment #81.And he posted this in reply.

    He does not know when to stop the flow of bile.

  49. You need to speak with David Allen Green. His firm are the goto guys for libel having defended Singh against the chiropractor fraudsters.

    he’s @davidallengreen on twitter. I’ll send him this way if you don’t use that particular medium.

  50. […] Greg Laden–in keeping with the Alarmist “the emails were stolen” meme–made the mistake of calling Tallbloke a criminal in print. Oops–I thought Harvard PhDs knew better, or maybe they just think they do. Anyway, he must […]

  51. Edward. says:

    “For some reason the previous paragraphs have enraged a number of readers. Harvard this, Harvard that. Why is the guy telling us he went to Harvard? If you are such a reader, let me speak to you for a moment. Well, the reason I’m telling you this and other things is because YOU clicked on “About” on MY blog. So you get a wordy version of my c.v., and I’m not going to lie on my c.v. just to make you feel better. I assure you that had I known you would be so offended I would have gone to what you might consider to be a lesser school, such as the one you went to. There, do you feel better now? Good. On with the show.
    I am a biological anthropologist, but for many years before going to graduate school (did I mention that was at Harvard?)” […]

    Harvard, is not up to much these days it it?

    Arrogant one, is this lad.

    So cock sure in all that he knows [‘pride comes before a fall’], well it’s time he was cut down to size, that’ll need a tallbloke. I saw his scandalous comments, what a div.

    You don’t know me tallbloke but I read your stuff and you do and say the right things and always polite and measured, your work is good, very good.
    I ain’t a legal eagle but I would like to say, get after this pompous t*****, it’s time for redress.

  52. […] one of them, keeping with the Alarmist “the emails were stolen” meme–made the mistake of calling Tallbloke a criminal in print. Oops–I thought Harvard PhDs knew better, or maybe they just think they do. Anyway, he must […]

  53. Brian H says:

    markus says:
    December 17, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    You can lead a horse to water but a pencil must be lead.

    All offers, commitments and prizes will be honored.

    I’m outa here.

    Amusingly, pencil lead is almost pure carbon. Graphite. Which is a term derived from the Greek gráph, to write. Which graphically illustrates that even about pencils, people can be mis-‘lead’.

    Sorry, just horsing around.

  54. Steve J says:

    Well, it looks like Mr Laden lives in the US, where libel and defamation are almost impossible to get or enforce judgements for. Foreign judgments of Libel are most often unenforceable given the First Amendment concerns.

    UK lawyers know this too, and will not likely take your case on contingency

    I think an unenforceable judgement from the UK will only look like so much saber-rattling and indignation. Stick to the truth. Be Patient. Stay reverent to the tenets of honest discussion, especially when your opponents do not. Anger and indignation may seem empowering in the short-term, but they are inevitably destructive and unpersuasive.

    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer.

  55. tchannon says:

    Is this bad?

  56. Andrew says:

    @ tchannon

    That is their perspective, some of us have different perspectives, but there is only one truth, right?

    Lets fairly investigate everybody, lol!

  57. tallbloke says:

    Thanks Tim, I’ll document it this morning, along with Mr Climate Crocks article. Then I’ll pass information to my solicitor for appraisal.

  58. Anonymous says:

    Forwarded a donation from Australia. Climategate 2.0 has not been mentioned in the Australian press. Censorship scare I guess.
    Good Luck!

  59. Sir,
    Count on my sympathy and support through this ordeal. I have taken the liberty of translating Black’s Whitewash piece: “I’m Back: Things Just Got Serious” into Spanish for my blog ( and added your site to my blogroll.

  60. QUITE A BIT indeed. 8-))))))))))))))

    Well, it must be Christmas on Scienceblogs too.

    It’s a great change you’ve got now. I would be mightily tempted to write something along the lines of the well-known “recommendation letter” joke. But I am sure you’ll be a better man and try instead to inspire Greg and friends to open up their minds beyond their usual conspiratorial stance.

  61. tallbloke says:

    ‘Tis the season of goodwill
    Reasons to be cheerful part 1 8)

  62. Andrew says:

    ‘Tis the Season’…amen

    Be strong, I love your attitude in all of this.


  63. Vince Werber says:

    As a computer person I find it odd that anyone is claiming the e-mails were hacked in the first place. I aways figured, I don’t know for sure, it was an ‘inside job’… Someone knew exactly where the information was and released it… think about the amount of e-mail on the CRU machine.

    It seems obvious to me (IMHO) that the release of these e-mails came from a ‘whistle blower’ and NOT a hacker… With that being said… nail this libeler to the wall… I will look around for more info on this

    73 Vince

  64. […] overstatement of the bleedingly obvious, this appears to me to be fanning the embers of the libel by Greg Laden which Mann retweeted. I’ll add it to the dossier for discussion with my own legal […]

  65. […] says I have a  valid complaint and has taken on the […]

  66. tchannon says:

    Developments about Laden, Bishop Hill reports “Heartland issues legal notices”


    “Firstly there is DeSmog and secondly there is Greg Laden, the blogger who was the subject of considerable interest among Tallbloke’s legal team a few weeks back.” which references this thread.

    Please try and keep any heat out of new comments, the whole subject is legally sensitive.

  67. Markus Fitzhenry says:

    Greg Laden, this is Karma.

  68. […] Greg Laden received the same notice, and his genius defense is that he can’t tell if the email is authentic. It’s a race now to see if Heartland can sue Laden out of existence before Tallbloke does it. […]

  69. tchannon says:

    Breaking news.

    Peter Gleick admits in his HP blog he solicited the documents from Heartland and passed them to journalists. (Revkin has it in NYT)

    I see no mention of the supposed forgery, whether it was in there.

  70. tallbloke says:

    Good spot Tim, WUWT has the story, on which I made the following comment:

  71. tchannon says:

    Oh dear me, very good. 🙂

    I suppose turned around that is the boot on the other foot and forensic would be mighty interesting, if probably far too late.

    We are left with double bluffs, no idea of reality with Gleick.

  72. […] Talkshop readers know, Prof Michael Mann isn’t on my christmas card list, since he repeated Greg Laden’s libel against me and added some further innuendo in the NYT article by Leslie […]

  73. myname mianamey says:

    greg harassed me too —
    see his background check here: He is a Rockefeller clan cronie

  74. tallbloke says:

    The man is a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic.