“Mann’s old University gets another subpoena“. Anthony Watts is a bit muted on the topic of Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s attempt to restart his deeply ill-advised “investigation” of Professor Michael Mann over some of the grants he received while at the University of Virginia. On the one hand, he loves to see climate scientists being harassed. On the other, Cuccinelli’s clearly way out of his depth and jurisdiction.
But Anthony does have the energy to repost what the denialist lobbyists at the Science and Public Policy Institute are saying about it, and his commenters have no problem waxing ignorant, rattling on about “taxpayer’s money”, “hiding evidence”, etc.
The ethics, politics and legality of Cuccinelli’s maneuverings have all been covered before, both on this website and at other important places such as Real Climate, Andrew Revkin at the New York Times, the Washington Post (1, 2), even USA Today.
Short version? This is morally and intellectually bankrupt Tea Party harassment.
And it is a ‘ClimateGate’, no hoax this time.
RR Kampen, NL.
[I presume you mean in the original sense, a secret plan to defeat a political opponent, rather than any ‘revelation’ about Mann’s integrity! – Ben]
Sure, Ben. Well, if climate scientists were pushing a political agenda, that is (they usually aren’t).
Cuccinelli’s witchhunt boils down to the argument that, if someone disagrees with a peer-reviewed scientific paper you got published in 1999 (the hockey stick), then you must have committed fraud in 2001 (when the only research Mann performed that falls under Cuccinelli’s purview begins).
I think even Anthony believes Cuccinelli’s gone over the top, but he won’t admit that because then his denier/followers will start to jump the WUWT ship for a more suitable conspiracy theorist.
[That’s what happens when you hitch your wagon to the Tea Party mentality. Pander or die.- Ben]
I think it was in Dr. Mann’s Washington Post article, or perhaps DeSmogBlog, that pointed out the grant was around $250,000, and KC’s fishing expedition has cost the university about $350,000 to date. That doesn’t include what the AG is spending on his side. If those tea-party folks were really upset about taxpayers money, they’d go after the attorney general for wasting their money.
I was honoured recently. Anthony emailed me in person to ask if I was the the same Phil Clarke who signed up to 10:10. Not sure why, I suspect if I said ‘no’ it would be taken as more proof of ballot stuffing, but it was me and I replied in the affirmative on his site.
So naturally, when I essayed a post pointing out that Stephen Mosher is not the most intellectually consistent of writers Anthony had his detailed and pertinent response ready:
“Spoken like a true (certified) 10:10 supporter.”
[You got a certificate too? :-) A classic example of Anthony’s preference for sidestepping criticism and for searching for irrelevant “dirt”. – Ben]
“Your (Cuccinelli’s) issuance of a (Civil Investigative Demand) in order to examine Dr. Mann’s research for evidence of ‘fraud’ without having provided any evidence that such an investigation is legitimately warranted, is likely to chill academic inquiry at the University of Virginia and at other state colleges and universities for years to come.”
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, May 12, 2010
“The (judge’s first Cuccinelli) ruling also delivered what could be a blow to academic freedom at Universities in Virginia. The judge agreed with Cuccinelli that UVA is a corporation under Virginia law. Thus, UVA and other academic institutions that get state grants – and researchers they employ – are fair game for investigations by the attorney general under the Virginia fraud statute.”
Chemical & Engineering News, Sep 6, 2010
Sep 29 Second Civil Investigative Demand issued by Cuccinelli on UVA.
That whatever the outcome, this assault on academic climate science has become a precedent (and a political possibility) for future Republican attorney generals in Virginia.
That Cuccinelli has gone back 11 years, means that researchers can’t feel safe from future harassment just because the present attorney general might be a Democrat.
The ascendency of the anti-science Tea Parties within the GOP.
The national GOP’s overwhelming anti-global- warming position.
The Citizens United ruling that allows corporations to provide unlimited financial help to candidates.
Even when a worsening climate begins to change public opinion, unlimited oil & coal financial assistance may still win political elections.
The so far unaddressed legal situation of a Virginia academic co-author on a paper with an out of state lead author. And vice versa.
IT FOLLOWS……….that the top students, professors and researchers won’t want to come to a Virginia university, if their interests might be related to climate science.