I’ll Trade You Cuccinelli For Splattergate With A Player To Be Named Later

Guest Post by Thomas Fuller

When peripheral issues dominate the climate news agenda, it’s normally a sign that not much is happening on the scientific, political or legal front. So the fact that the blogosphere (and increasingly the mainstream) is so heavily focused on the No Pressure video and Ken Cuccinelli’s renewed subpoena of Michael Mann’s emails would tend to indicate that the climate is quiet.

But that’s not really the case. September was really warm, globally, increasing the odds that 2010 might be the warmest year since modern instruments began recording the temperature. Arctic ice, on the other hand, is recovering spectacularly quickly from a strong melt this summer. The University of Colorado seems to be saying that despite this warm weather, sea level declined….

So there is climate.

Judith Curry has put a firm stake in the ground on her weblog, discussing the potential and, perhaps more importantly, the limitations of models in climate science. The NOAA is discussing heat in the depths of the ocean and the Royal Society has revised its position on climate science overall, while here at WUWT you can easily scroll down to find interesting and relevant reports on papers and discoveries.

So there is climate science.

And the sharks appear to be circling for Rajendra Pachauri, with establishment organisations preparing the way for calls for his departure. Expectations for the climate summit in Cancun are rapidly being adjusted downwards, as are hopes for any kind of U.S. energy bill this year.

So there is politics.

To have discussion dominated by a twisted little video and what I believe a mistaken attempt to criminalize scientific error risks letting more important things slip out of control, or at least off our radar screen.

I have written enough of the No Pressure video and really don’t think there is much more to say. Big mistake, shows bad intent, use it as a reference point for evaluating further messages from the climate establishment.

And anyone who has read the book Steve Mosher and I have written knows that I think very poorly of what Michael Mann did–his actions in defense of his Hockey Stick chart were wrong, bullying, cheap and destructive of scientific publishing protocols and procedures.

But it didn’t rise to a criminal level (that was the UK deleting emails in advance of Freedom of Information requests, not Michael Mann). What Ken Cuccinelli is doing is going fishing for wrongdoing without an allegation of such wrongdoing–and that’s not how we should be doing things in this country.

I’ll get a lot of flack from you on this–and don’t be shy, I can take it. But remember as you write–District Attorneys are not always Republican, and controversial scientists can be skeptics at times, too. Don’t let your desire for a short term victory in the daily news cycle let you ignore what would be an erosion of all our civil liberties, I beg of you.

And let’s turn the discussion back to matters that we will at least remember three months down the road. Science, news and politics bring us enough material for discussion. We’ve noted the scandals, observed the wheels in motion. I’m not saying forget what has happened recently.

But let’s get back to the subject at hand.
Thomas Fuller http://www.redbubble.com/people/hfuller

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141 thoughts on “I’ll Trade You Cuccinelli For Splattergate With A Player To Be Named Later

  1. Well, here’s one “skeptic” who remains skeptical of all arguments. So fullmarks Anthony for maintaining a quiet impartial position – as we should all be doing whichever side of the various belief systems you happen to lie

  2. I like that you take this position. Still, I think that the content of the East Anglia emails can certainly be considered a reasonable suspicion. In that view, this is not fishing for wrongdoing, but merely investigating suspicious circumstances. Now, if it were to be found that Michael Mann had aided in some sort of financial fraud or scientific fraud, the consequences of that are significant. This particular email shows that United States Government funds may have been purposefully mishandled.

    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=332&filename=1056478635.txt

    …How much do we have left from the last budget? I reckon most has been spent but we need to show some left to cover the costs of the trip Roger didn’t make and also the fees/equipment/computer money we haven’t spent otherwise NOAA will be suspicious…

    Why were costs incurred for trips not made? What other money that you haven’t spent has disappeared? Why would NOAA be suspicious about this? If you haven’t (officially) spent it, why is it gone? And that probable cause comes form just one email. Of course, Mann isn’t involved in that exchange, but the topic of research is. Given the questionable handling of data and code by Mann, combined with the “Why should I give it to you? (etc)” attitude, there is a reasonable inquiry as to the handling of research funds in the U.S., given the apparent mishandling of U.S. Goverment funds overseas in the same line of study.

  3. And I’m giving a heads up that the Sun dropped in Flux and active regions so hard I can scarely match up the finalized composite STEREO Ahead & Behind (3 day lag) to the current SDO view:

    http://www.robertb.darkhorizons.org/DeepSolarMin9.htm

    Normally, the lineup is easy due to the slow development and decay of Active Regions.

    So, I trade you a Splottergate and a Freeze-dried Arctic for a Bi-Polar Solar Cycle 24.

  4. “On Saturday, the New York Times broke news of Russian law enforcement officers raiding an environmental group’s offices and confiscating computers. What excuse did the police officers give for raiding the environmental group? Because Russian security services were investigating claims (unfounded, as it turned out) that the group had unauthorized copies of Microsoft software.”

    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/09/censorship-internet-takes-center-stage-online

  5. I would disagree because “allegations” are not necessary for an investigation to be justified. If a stance is clearly at variance with the facts, then the need for an investigation can be inferred. In the case of Mann, if one concludes that his current publications are not valid science, then it’s valid to question his earlier science — this equates to the legalism of “discovery” when investigating a case. Remember the NYTimes reporter who was found to be lying — they went over previous years of his reporting, and found a trail of deceit, even though nobody had allegated it — it was valid and necessary to do that investigation, to find the truth about the previous work. If Mann’s earlier science was OK, then it should withstand the exercise of “discovery”. Investigation is not condemnation. So I think Anthony is misguided here, although well-meaning.

    REPLY: This essay was written by Thomas Fuller.
    – Anthony

  6. But let’s get back to the subject at hand.

    The subject at hand? That would be the data that shows nothing unusual is happening in climate. Everything that has happened in climate in the last 150 years, including the very slight warming that has occurred, has happened before in climate. There’s nothing whatsoever to be alarmed about.

    As for any alarm over man changing climate: there still is no evidence that man’s action have changed climate. But there is an ever increasing amount of evidence that shows everything that has been happening in climate is natural in origin.

    As for mankind’s influence, there is evidence of UHI, and localized temperature changes from manmade land use practice. But it is localized only.

    Other than that nothing is happening that deserves any attention and/or action on mankind’s part.

    Humankind has been needlessly frightened over ‘fossil’ fuels.

    As for the pollution from fossil fuels: advances have been made in making fossil fuels burn cleaner over the years. There’s no reason to think those advances are going to end. Mankind, for the most part, cares about the health of others. One of the ways that care has been manifested is by working to reduce pollution. There is no reason to believe mankind will suddenly change and stop working to make thing healthier.

    So, since mankind, in general, is already working for the good of mankind, no nudging from the government is needed to make mankind be more of what that government thinks it should be. In all likelihood the government will only knock mankind off the good course he is already on—as governments have done time and again.

  7. You say :

    But it didn’t rise to a criminal level (that was the UK deleting emails in advance of Freedom of Information requests, not Michael Mann). What Ken Cuccinelli is doing is going fishing for wrongdoing without an allegation of such wrongdoing–and that’s not how we should be doing things in this country.

    For a certain value definition of “criminal”. I have first seen this “certain value definition” in Terry Pratchett’s delightful fantacy series , where he plays havoc with rules, both physics and society.

    The climate community, or the precautionary principle, are trying to stampede world governments to commit essentially economic hara kiri. If/when that happens the results in misery and deaths of the poor and helpless will be enormous.
    Should the state or concerned citizens who can see further than their nose not use the same precautionary principle to defend against this putative solution to a putative disaster?
    This is a gray region and your argument could hold, that they are going fishing for transgressions of law.

    On a more down to earth note the hockey stick has been used to get money for grants and students and further research.
    Lets take the case where a medicine professor is found not even to have a PhD and is performing operations and getting grants from the state. This is a clear case of fra$ud and I suppose everybody would agree that Cuccinelli should prosecute.
    In the case of the hockey stick, if, and I say IF, the publication has been used to get money and the university got its cut from that money, when the publication is found intentionally misleading, does not the prosecutor have a case for money misappropriated?

    Where does one draw the line between ” honest scientific mistake” and “intentional set up for fra$ud” ( sorry for the dollars, it is to avoid the spam catcher).
    Had Mann, like a man, when the hockey stick was outed come and said “sorry folks, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, I thought I had it right but obviously I was wrong”, one, I too, could be defending an honest scientific research mistake.

  8. Time to shift focus, since the really damning objective of this propaganda is to stamp out independent thought and enquiry.
    Take a look at what the Russian WWF has to say about the IPCC:

    The Head of the “Climate and Energy” programme of the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) Russia Alexei Kokorin says:

    “There’re many mistakes in the 4th status report, which consists of 3 volumes. Some factors in it are analyzed with greater detail than the others. There’re even funny mistakes there. For example, it said that the Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035. You can meet this statement more than once in the 4th report.”

    This is not the first scandal expert climatologists are involved in. The correspondence of the scientists of the University of East Anglia with the leading climatologists of the world was posted in the Internet late last year. The documents showed that the scientists purposefully exaggerated the threat of the greenhouse gas effect. At that time the scandal was hushed up.

    Full story at: http://english.ruvr.ru/2010/08/31/18061827.html where they are preparing for serious winter.

  9. By your logic Al Capone would’ve been able to run free. Thugs like Mann who use bullying to cover and make up for their intellectual deficiencies certainly don’t belong in academia, and when they use those tactics to knowingly perpetrate fraud then they most assuredly belong in prison.

    I wish Cucinelli the best of luck on all his fishing expeditions – 10:10 the bottom feeders.

    No pressure.

  10. I jumped the gun on my second post. Weird, though. I have had every other post I’ve made show up with that “waiting for moderation” line above the rest of my post. What was it about that one post that was different? Or is it just a glitch in WordPress and something I shouldn’t worry about?

  11. fishing for wrongdoing without an allegation of such wrongdoing

    Wrongdoing may also be a relative term.

    There’s no need to go fishing. It’s already out in the open. No need to catch any fish. They do need to be gutted and cooked though. If there was no wrongdoing then all data and emails would be freely submitted. But the constant resistance that continues, still, after more than a decade, smacks of guilt.

    We cannot sweep all the deceptions under the rug and move on as if nothing happened. What a precarious precedent that would set! Maybe some people’s sense of right, and of justice, aren’t bothered by what has been happening in ‘global warming’ science. But some people’s are.

  12. anna v says:
    October 5, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    Had Mann, like a man, when the hockey stick was outed come and said “sorry folks, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, I thought I had it right but obviously I was wrong”, one, I too, could be defending an honest scientific research mistake.

    Touché! :-)

  13. anna v,

    There is also the biofuel programs that have lowered a food supply that should instead be getting increased. And biofuel programs exist because of an artificially created market. In America, and the prosperous West, we can go on and take higher food prices in stride (for the most part). But poorer countries could use a larger supply of food which would lower prices.

    How horrible ‘global warming’ has been on humanity!

  14. The current legal probe has to do with whether Mann had a correct scientific basis to conclude his hockey stick conclusions were correct. That’s my take, perhaps other attorneys will categorize it differently.

    This request for data was made in Virginia. It is much more specific than the request that was denied.

  15. “And anyone who has read the book Steve Mosher and I have written knows that I think very poorly of what Michael Mann did–his actions in defense of his Hockey Stick chart were wrong, bullying, cheap and destructive of scientific publishing protocols and procedures.

    But it didn’t rise to a criminal level (that was the UK deleting emails in advance of Freedom of Information requests, not Michael Mann). What Ken Cuccinelli is doing is going fishing for wrongdoing without an allegation of such wrongdoing–and that’s not how we should be doing things in this country.”

    How the heck do we know that Michael Mann did not consciously include unreliable/biased proxies and utilize statistical techniques to produce temperature series for private or political gain while working under government contract?

    Tom, my stance on climategate has not changed. It is my belief that if similar documents were released to the public regarding the BP Gulf of Mexico accident, Genetically modified crops, structural plans on a major building or bridge, comprehensive investigations would be launched without question and would not be limited to the set of documents provided by the whistle-blower.

    A dramatic blood trail down the sidewalk leading up the stairs of a building & stench emanating from the entranceway after a widely reported disturbance does not necessarily indicate that there is a corpse on the premises or even that a crime has occurred. We can be willfully blind or we can investigate. It seems choices have been made on this issue by both yourself and Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli.

  16. The market value of ideas is not determined by the same factors as the market value of baseball cards.

    But really Tom, the SF Giants aren’t that strong for much hope in the playoffs. Nice try though.

    John

  17. NZ Willy says it well. Investigation of dubiousness does not mean there is criminality involved. But it does mean we need to know more. As I see it, that’s merely about searching, freedom of information, science. Science isn’t a private activity. Carry on Cuccinelli.

  18. When I was a young 7-year old 2nd grade student in 1972, our teacher decided to hold an informal “vote” in class for the US President. The election was between Nixon and McGovern. She kept saying “No pressure, but who would you vote for?” I was one of only two in the class of 25 to vote for Nixon. Thank god she did not have a red button!!!

  19. Cuccinelli is not one of the “District Attorneys” you
    mention. He is the Attorney General of the State of Virginia.
    The difference in responsibilities and authorities held by an Attorney
    General are far different from those held by a District Attorney.

    Are the “matters” in Virginia something we will “at least
    remember three months down the road.”
    ?

    So far, Attorney General Cuccinelli’s efforts to see if
    there might have been account padding, improper expenditures for
    excluded entries, or even misrepresentations as to what the scientific
    basis for specific grant application were at that time, or the science
    the grant the work product produced and the claims made for it
    thereafter.

    Once the University and it’s current/former employees provide the
    required documentation then the materials will have
    be sifted by accountants and attorneys to see if a possible
    case for fraud of any legal significance might be made.

    So, YES, this issue will still be active and remembered “three
    months down the road.”
    It might be over in the spring.

    Is asking a worker in the public sector, or the worker’s employer to
    account for expenditures, or asking that “employer to provide
    documents”
    as required by law to facilitate an inquiry into
    possible fraud really
    “an erosion of all our civil liberties”?

    NO. This issue of the public employee or employer acquiescing
    to the Attorney General’s request for documents will not be
    “an erosion of all our civil liberties”; unless withholding
    evidence generated by public monies is some civil right I didn’t
    get to enjoy as an employee at a state university (in Ohio) from
    1974 to 1990.

    [ I crashed my part of the university’s Business & Finance
    staff Unix computer (with Berkeley add-ons and local shell
    hacks) enough to know almost everything can be
    brought back for restoration or review. I expected it, and
    at times I
    needed that capability. ]

    The situation may have a chilling effect on folks who might
    otherwise stray from the straight and narrow in accounting
    for grant fund expenditures… or those that might try to
    misrepresent just what they’ve done with that public grant
    money.

    There is no civil right to hide public information from the
    folks who are legally authorized to see it.

  20. Dear Mr. Fuller,

    How anyone can still believe in the CO2-myth after having learned that CO2-levels follow warming, is a complete mystery to me. The fact that CAGW-scientist do anything to prove it is the other way around, shows that there is a hidden agenda: maybe ther own purse or maybe some higher goal. On top of that, they are backed up by governments and governmental organizations. And that’s why the fight against the warmists will be a long and nasty one: there is no reason in the CAGW-cult. It’s a believe in the mind of a lot of people. The only way to stop the nonsense is to keep showing the wrongdoings, since arguments seem to have no effect.

    One question for you:

    Have you ever tried to warm a bath by warming the bathroom? According to the CAGW-theory an atmosphere can warm an ocean. Please enlighten me.

    Kind regards,
    Scarface

  21. Thomas Fuller, you are such a squish, dude.

    And Mann is — as revealed by the Climate Gate emails — credibly accused of scientific fraud and resulting misuse of funds, profiting from same with his salary and grants. Which would make it a financial fraud. That is why he is being investigated.

    Maybe he’s innocent. He certainly has a right to be presumed innocent. However, let the subpoenas sally forth.

  22. Living in the UK, where the previous labour government bought into “global warming” with such disatrous results (they funded 10:10), and where the current coalition government is still buying (with taxpayers money) unilateral surrender to the carbon dioxide molecule, I like the headline that Sept 2010 may be the warmest on record. In the UK, it wasn’t. Summer 2009 was going to be a barbecue summer in the UK. It wasn’t. Winter 2009/10 was going to be a warm one. It wasn’t.

    Climate isn’t weather, and weather isn’t climate. But in the UK such forecasts and postcasts keep eroding public confidence in the AGW message. Poking fun at such predictions is about the only time journalists from the MSM are allowed to question climate issues. So bring on the UK barbecue winter forecast! I’m getting in extra firewood though, from renewable sources of course. Did you know that wood does grow on trees?

  23. So you think that the Splattergate film is nothing more than a side-tracking event do you Mr Fuller?

    Then maybe you should drop a hint or two in David Cameron’s ear because this is the influence advocacy groups like 10:10 have over UK green policies:

    Cameron and Huhn tend to go orgasmic over crap like this to the point they not only listen but also enact. They even use OUR money to fund this steaming pile of warmist facism. Then they pass Bills on it the the severe detriment of the nation’s purse. Still think the film is an irrelevancy?

    As for September being really warm – when are the warmists going to explain that to the chilly UK weather?

  24. Tom:

    that was the UK deleting emails in advance of Freedom of Information requests, not Michael Mann

    It’s really important to note that the request (and any subsequent acquiescence) to delete emails was made AFTER receiving David Holland’s FOI request for them, NOT in advance of it. It’s important because the distinction impacts the legality of the behaviour. The enquiries’ finding, that the deletion request was in advance of FOI, is not supported by the chronology of the evidence.

    I agree with you regarding Cuccinelli’s pursuit of Mann. While Americans are busily guarding separation of Church and State, they’re failing to draw a line between Justice and Politics. This inevitably leads, as Lord Turnbull notes, to “more Widgery than Saville”.

  25. Following the suspicions about Mann’s behaviour raised by the Climategate emails, I think it is important he gets the chance to clear his name. We need better science than that which is being done by the IPCC cabal, which is no better than cargo cult science.

    Public trust in science overall has been seriously damaged. Hiding potentially criminal activity doesn’t help the cause.

  26. See how easy it is to make mistakes. Some reading the above post think it has been written by Anthony, it hasn’t, it was just posted by him.

    Is there Scientific error or fraud?

  27. Thomas Fuller:

    ‘But it didn’t rise to a criminal level (that was the UK deleting emails in advance of Freedom of Information requests, not Michael Mann)’.

    Ok. Now try pinning Kevin Rudd’s policies on Jo Nova. She’s Australian too, after all.

    RLawrence, UK resident.

  28. Sooner or later some part of the AGW scare must end up in court and be tested in law. Why not the most iconic misrepresentation first?
    After that any other suggestions?

  29. “What Ken Cuccinelli is doing is going fishing for wrongdoing without an allegation of such wrongdoing–and that’s not how we should be doing things in this country.”

    Tom, how much smoke has to be there before you realize there may be a fire and go and investigate ???

  30. “…But it didn’t rise to a criminal level…”

    Yes it did. To knowingly commit fraud is criminal.

    It a sort of feel-good blindness to give “the-benefit-of-the-doubt” in this situation. To knowingly commit fraud is criminal.

    The ends do NOT justify the means. To knowingly commit fraud is criminal.

    You can’t gain mercy by whining, “I had to do it to support my family.” To knowingly commit fraud is criminal.

    Even if you are but a foolish puppet, in order for truth-seekers to discover who was pulling your strings your strings must be exposed, and the strings must be followed to the string-puller. To knowingly commit fraud is criminal.

    When the world is at sea, and asks you for a chart, and you produce a chart which shows clear sailing where in fact there is a swamp, and you know darn well the chart is not reliable, you have done more than “guessed wrongly;” you have put the lives of all who counted on you in danger. To knowingly commit fraud is criminal.

  31. I think this forum’s strength is its attention to the scientific debate, it used to have a weakness of not really accepting that there is a political dimension that also needed to be addressed. Recently you seem to have taken that side on board as well which I think is a good thing, but it would be a mistake to let the politics get in the way of the science. I think your balancing act has been about right.

  32. I think you are wrong on the fishing Anthony.

    Had Mann been completely open, honest and transparent about how science has been conducted with public money then there wouldn’t be any need to go digging in to how that money has been used.

    The real issue here should be the fact the AG HAS to go to court to get this information!

    Given manns history of secretive and suspect behaviour then the sooner science like this is stamped out the better for everyone.

    Mailmsn

  33. If the University of Virginia had quietly handed over the documents requested at the first time of asking this would in all likelihood no longer be a story.
    Because they did not, it now is.

  34. What I find the strangest, is that after all this time Michael Mann still has a position in academia, and is still getting grants. If there was justice, he would have at least lost his position at the very least for what happened and the white-washes just show that the universities are not going to cooperate. That kind of leaves us at a catch 22…

    We can cheer on Cuccinelli in VA, or we can watch Michael Mann get away with it. I hate the method being used with Cuccinelli, and lets be honest, no one can defend what is basically a fishing expedition, but in the end, this might be the only way to nail people like this who are eating off tax-payer monies in a recession no less when hard-working people are struggling. To me, I don’t know what is better. Both options here are terrible. Lets face it, the skeptic position is going to take some creative work to unravel the decades of bad science, and whether one solution is better then another….well thats just the real world for us. I think the thing we can all do that is constructive though is watch the investigation as much as possible and be the first to cry foul when it goes to far. Other then that, I am not sure what else there is to do in that regard. Again, two very bad positions…

  35. Anna V

    That was my contention also, that had Mann admitted an “error” or at least recognised that he had taken a wrong turn in science, we and he, would not be where we all are now.

    CAGW all but dead and buried in real science, with the moribund body propped up by economists and politicians and financial profiteers hopeful at reviving some semblance of a failing agenda before voters blow the final whistle!

    Sadly the last nail in the coffin (or stake through the heart) looks like it will HAVE to rest on criminal investigation, sworn evidence, and the legal equivalent of pushing that red button so loved by our green persuaders/dictators.

  36. Tom,

    I agree with Paul in Sweden.

    Consider these two scenarios:

    1) Mann analyzes his proxies correctly and thus gets no hockey stick. Result: a “boring” article that probably has zero chances of being published in Nature – and certainly would have not causes the meteoric rise in his career. An outcome that he, upon seeing his results, could easily foresee.

    2) Mann analyzes his proxies with several methods – until he finds, or designs, or even stumbles upon his de-centred PCA analysis, and, suddenly, the hockey stick graph appears – and everybody says, “we have a winner” – since, it must be pointed out, at the time something like the hockey stick was precisely what the IPCC establishment was waiting for (which is why they so uncritcially embraced it).

    If Mann went from (1) to (2) fully aware of what he was doing – I would suggest that something like Cuccinelli’s investigation is justified.

    If he went directly to (2) – or went from (1) to (2) in good faith – then he’s simply incredibly stupid, incompetent, and delusional. The idea that it’s simply a “scientific error” etc is just sand in people’s eyes. Either way, I suggest he deserves everything that Cuccinelly throws at him.

    Am I missing something? Is there any other intepretation?

  37. We must never let up the pressure, especially hard to maintain during periods of perceived quiescence, as Thomas Fuller remarks. That’s what militants wait for, because they never do let up. They just keep hammering the same mantras, however many arguments they lose – these are soon forgotten or glossed over. – It’s a strategy that works: governments haven’t stopped pouring money into these scams just yet, have they? – so the warmists still keep the upper hand.
    If people like Cuccinelli can stall this to some extent, he’s not wasting his time.

  38. “Don’t let your desire for a short term victory in the daily news cycle let you ignore what would be an erosion of all our civil liberties, I beg of you.”

    The wisest words I’ve seen from Mr Fuller yet.

  39. September, warm globally?

    Perhaps in the northern hemisphere (but after a cold winter). Here in the southern hemisphere its been a damn cold winter. Our local BOM advises about 2 degrees C colder than average.

    Not sure how the “warm September” is justified but it’s worth questioning the how’s and why’s of that one.

  40. “But that’s not really the case. September was really warm, globally, increasing the odds that 2010 might be the warmest year since modern instruments began recording the temperature. Arctic ice, on the other hand, is recovering spectacularly quickly from a strong melt this summer. The University of Colorado seems to be saying that despite this warm weather, sea level declined….”

    The take away thought: It was warm, but it wasn’t. It was cool, but it wasn’t.

  41. Dear Anthony, have you noticed that these past week, news reports on UFOs have been increasing in the mainstream media? Maybe I am just being paranoid.

    Now that the climate change scare is failing, are the elitists (UN, bankers, Al Gore, etc.) now attempting a new tactic of using UFOs to scare people and gain totalitarian control over the world? You know:

    “We come in peace, but you must do what we say or you will all die.” Do you remember the TV series “V”?

    If they can make Avatar, what is it to fake a few UFOs in the sky? Maybe I am just paranoid. I just find it strange that UFO stories have started to propagate while the mainstream media and google try their best to kill the 10:10 story. That’s the other disturbing thing: google has started censoring stuff that shows the ugly side of the global warming alarmists.

  42. It has been my experience that Engineers get it. I know Mr. Fuller’s co-author (Mosher) is an engineer. At the very least Moshpit has rubbed off on him.

    And the stereotypical engineer is a libertarian if not a Libertarian.

  43. Anthony, in the case of Cuccinelli and Mann, I disagree with your point of view (I think Mann’s behaviour is straight-out criminal). But I really appreciate how you keep your blog open to all reasonable points of view, and don’t shy away from tough debates. Long may we disagree, if we can continue to disagree in a reasonable way, and eventually arrive at something close to the truth. BTW, if anyone at this point suggests a group hug, I will bop him on the nose (well, metaphorically, anyway).

  44. Don’t let your desire for a short term victory in the daily news cycle let you ignore what would be an erosion of all our civil liberties, I beg of you.

    Right, because it’s just so much better to let a bunch of latte’ Communist Controllists and Post Normal Scientists = Propaganda Operatives conspire to loot and enslave us, which would truely be “an erosion of all our civil liberties”. [And Lordy, how the Left has been silent in the face of Obama, enc.’s, invasions into our lives and Constitutional rights and principles.]

    I’m not hung up on what Cuccinelli is doing, but it’s nevertheless not anything illegal, wrong, or unwarranted, especially given that whatever ways we “should” otherwise be handling people like Mann haven’t worked yet or are just barely working no thanks to the “official scientific bodies” and complicit MSM watch attack dogs.

    Tom, you are the one who seems to be unduly threatened by attention directed to these “peripheral issues”, which I don’t think really overtax anyone’s capabilities, including yours. And given the nature of Climate Science as basically a fraudulent Propaganda Op., I don’t agree that they are even peripheral.

  45. “…a mistaken attempt to criminalize scientific error…”

    There’s no attempt to criminalise scientific error. Cuccinelli has clarified this point several times. The question is, did Mann make an error, realise it, and then knowing that it was untrue use it to apply for more funds from the state?

    Let’s take the R2 statistic thing. The MBH98/99 reconstruction fails R2 verification, as Steve McIntyre discovered, and was grudgingly conceded by Wahl and Amman 07. Did Mann know? The original paper said the reconstruction had passed R2, and even showed some R2 statistics in a chart. When we saw code that purported to be that used, R2 was calculated in it. So surely, Mann must have known the statistics, must have known they failed the test, must have known this rendered the reconstruction dubious, and yet he published it anyway.

    But this is probably not a crime. I think it ought to be – you have contracted with the state to provide goods to a certain specification, and have knowingly not delivered them. If you was a contractor providing concrete for road bridges, and packed it with horse droppings, the state would probably have a complaint to make. However, I rather doubt the contract was worded precisely enough to catch him on that. It probably said “go research some climate stuff” and he did that.

    The question is, though, did he use these earlier results in applications for more funds? Because while the contract may be too vague to catch him out, there is a law that any knowing falsehood in an application for state funds is a crime. I’m guessing not on the R2 thing, or Cuccinelli would probably already have him in court. But he presumably thinks he has sufficient reason to suspect there might be more “dirty laundry”, as Mann put it, in his papers.

    It’s also worth noting that all this resistance by the university is a waste of time. If Cuccinelli wants, he can just submit a lawsuit, and all this stuff and more will have to be provided in discovery. The case may collapse at that point if they don’t find anything, but I doubt Cuccinelli would care. The civil investigative demand is normally seen as an opportunity for a person subject to investigation to provide a defence without all the other bad things associated with a lawsuit. Let them have a look and realise there’s no case so they’ll go away and stop bothering you.

    And it does not lead to any loss of civil rights that you didn’t lose years ago. The rich can use lawsuits and discovery to legally destroy those too poor to fend it off – not by finding anything, but by imposing enormous legal costs. And Democrat Attorney Generals have been using it as such a weapon in the past, too. I understand one dragged some of the bankers in for investigation – not because they thought there was fraud, but because they were annoyed with them about that whole global economic crash thing. It’s not even new in academia.

    If you want to reform the American legal system to stop this sort of ‘lawfare’, then please, go ahead. It certainly needs it. But this is just business as usual in the US politico-legal system, and all the whining to exempt academic scientists from the law is just special pleading. Best to just ignore the whole thing, unless and until Cuccinelli actually finds anything.

  46. As a Virginia resident, I lean toward support of this investigation.

    We spend too much money that we don’t have (in our county, our state, our country) on the equivalent of stardust and moonshine, and the end result for citizens (in our county, our state, our country) is that we have professional grant-getters and speech givers ensured of a comfortable tax-funded/often untaxed income (supported and egged on by hosts of untaxed “non profits”), while roads crumble, schools crowd, those services for which government was organized in common are reduced.

    If Mann was given Virginia tax dollars for his work, then there is nothing unreasonable in asking to review what he did with them, after the revelations of his work practices in other areas. There is smoke emanating from some of Mann’s activities, and he was given some of our money.

    That a state university is stonewalling on his behalf is not pleasant to me either. They thrive on our money too, and should be prepared to produce the books as it were for checking any time.

    Any citizen has the right to see public records, and this was public money.

    Perhaps we would spend less money encouraging a government grant class and a grant-chasing mentality if it were normally considered something the recipient had to be completely transparent with.

  47. Hang on. Forget about Mann’s ignorance of proper statistical methods. Didn’t Mann have data in a folder called “Censored” where he had data and code that destroyed his hockey stick? Publishing the paper was a fraud, pure and simple. It was not “scientific error.” I don’t know which poor set of taxpayers paid for it, but it was a fraud and some A-G somewhere should be sniffing very hard.

  48. Tom, you didn’t mention extreme weather, supposedly caused by global warming.

    I visited the Great Lakes Shipwreak Museum yessterday, where I learned that 6,000 ships have sunk since commercial shipping began there. The Edmund Fitzgerald went down in November 1975 in an horrific storm with winds gusting near 100 mph, with all 29 hands lost. Gordon Lightfoot wrote a song about it.

    That 1975 storm was the third worst of the century. In 1913 12 ships went down, with 250 lives lost; in 1940, 2 ships and 100 lives. Bad weather has been around for awhile.

    http://richards-creations.net/EdmondFitzgerald.html

  49. Guest Post by Thomas Fuller

    But it didn’t rise to a criminal level (that was the UK deleting emails in advance of Freedom of Information requests, not Michael Mann). What Ken Cuccinelli is doing is going fishing for wrongdoing without an allegation of such wrongdoing–and that’s not how we should be doing things in this country.

    I’ll get a lot of flack from you on this–and don’t be shy, I can take it. But remember as you write–District Attorneys are not always Republican, and controversial scientists can be skeptics at times, too. Don’t let your desire for a short term victory in the daily news cycle let you ignore what would be an erosion of all our civil liberties, I beg of you.

    Let’s begin by examining the validity of your statement, “But it didn’t rise to a criminal level (that was the UK deleting emails in advance of Freedom of Information requests, not Michael Mann). What Ken Cuccinelli is doing is going fishing for wrongdoing without an allegation of such wrongdoing–and that’s not how we should be doing things in this country.” On the contrary, there are outstanding allegations of wrongdoing. Michael Mann and the University of Virginia refused to comply with the law and a citizen’s lawful FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request for e-mail held by the University, claiming the e-mail no longer existed. When Virginia Attorney General Cuccinelli served a subpoena on the University to deliver the e-mail, the supposedly deleted and non-existent e-mail was recovered from the University computer servers. Consequently, it appears there is every reason to suspect a crime was committed when the citizen’s FOIA request was denied on the basis of a fraudulent claim of destruction of the e-mail. Unlike the case with the University of East Anglia, the statute of Limiitations is likely to remain in force in the Virginia case. It remains to be determined whether or not the evidentiary discovery will support misdemeanor and/or felony charges. That is the purpose and due process of law for which the CID is needed and proper.

    Then there is the issue of the $466,000 (nearly a half million dollars) in grant monies Michael Mann solicited and received from the State of Virginia and its taxpayers, in addition to the huge sums of money he and the University of Virginia received from the U.S. Government. It has been argued by a group of scientists and others that Michael Mann and the University of Virginia should somehow be uniquely immune from a Civil Investigative Demand (CID) in a prima facie FOIA and/or fraud criminal case on the basis of some unwritten gentleman’s agreement to avoid interference with the intellectual freedom of scientists. Thusly, these same people see no cognitive dissonance, hypocrisy, or injustice when they punished, sanctioned, threatened, intimidated, and/or defrauded non-scientists and dissenting scientists by dismissing state climatologists, dissenting climate scientists, dissenting meteorologists, academics, students, political appointees, and others without any Civil Investigative Demand, administrative board hearing, arraignment and trial, or other due process of law thay are now claiming for Michael Mann and the University of Virginia without any statutory or constitutional right.

    Rubbing salt into the wounds of the public they have wronged for many years, they are trying to carve out a privileged position of immunity for themselves just as the Members of Congress have done so before them. Discriminating against other classes of citizens, these so-called scientists want to enjoy an immunity from investigation and prosecution not enjoyed by other citizens in our society. Expressing outrage that anyone would seek to interfere with the privacy of their communications and right to publish their communications while remaining immune from due process of law, members of their class of citizens have been running rampant in innumerable criminal cases of defrauding governments, businesses, private citizens, and causing the deaths of private citizens.

    For one example, Dr. Scott Reuben pled guilty to numerous charges of fraud in which he faked numerous medical studies published in medical journals as peer reviewed research for such companies as Pfizer. Despite the peer reviews, Dr. Reuben didn’t even have any patients enrolled in his faked patient studies. Physicians relied upon these faked perr reviewed papers to provide medical care to their patients. It was subsequently determined that Dr. Scott Reuben had been faking a number of medical studies for some thirteen years without being discovered and prosecuted.

    Somewhere there is someone reading the forgoing and saying Dr. Reuben is just an isolated case, and his fraud is not representative of any widespread scientific fraud. Unfortunately, they are just plain wrong and ignorant of the facts.

    Take for another example, the problem with widespread fraud due to ghostwritten peer reviewed science papers. Acta Crystallographica Section E was compelled to retract more than 70 peer reviewed papers ghostwritten by Chinese scientists as faked or fraudulent studies. Pharmaceutical companies have a reputation for ghostwriting peer reviewed studies in-house and then paying medical doctors and scientists to permit their name to b used for publication of the studies. This fraudulent practice has been reported to be widespread in the pharmaceutical industry and some academia for many years as an outgrowth of the academic practice of using graduate students to perform service for their superiors holding doctorates. The University of Alabama at Birmingham has been yet another academic institution which had to retract a number of fraudulent peer reviewed papers and remove eleven proteins registered in a database of such proteins used in science.

    The fallout from the notoriously fraudulent stem cell research of Hwang Woo-suk and the investigation of his associate, Professor Gerald P. Schatten of University of Pittsburgh have been ongoing.

    Closer to NASA there is the case of Samim Anghaie, his wife, and their business, NETECH, which fraudulently obtained 2.5 million dollars in contracts from NASA among the 13 U.S. government contracts totalling 3.4 million dollars.

    Within climate science there has been a number of incidents of suspected fraud, one of which was reported by Dr. S. Fed Singer described the allegations of either fabrication of Chinese weather station data or plagiarism by Wei-Chyung Wang, University of Albany, from work by his colleague in China, Zhaomei Zeng.

    Suffice it to observe, scientific fraud is not at all uncommon, and some commentators describe scientific fraud as being rampant. Looking at the known incidents of scientific fraud, it can be seen the perpetration of such fraud is highly rewarding with grants and contracts amounting in various examples as $70,000, $466,000, and $3,400,000. Whistleblowers are typically punished for their honesty, resulting in great reluctance to disclose such scientific fraud or enthusiastic cooperation with such fraud.

    In your statement, “But remember as you write–District Attorneys are not always Republican, and controversial scientists can be skeptics at times, too,” you indulge in a fallacy seemingly common to many so-called Liberal-Left Democrats. You see opponents as necessarily being some kind of badly fundamental religious Right-wing extremist or at least some misguided minority Right-wing-nut Republican. Well, such ideas are extremist fantasies. There ae a great many people who describe themselves, as Republicans, yes, but also Democrats, Libertarians, independents, and others who insist upon honesty, integrity, and impartiality. A great many of these people cheerfully wish a pox on all politicians, activists, and Lamestream journalists who seek to frustrate the ability of ordinary citizens to govern their own lives free of interference by by people who think they know better what is best for other people besides themselves and seek to make themselves immune from the same rules and burdens they would impose on others. Whether it is the special immunities and privileges the MainStream Media (MSM) seek to deny ordinary citizen journalists or the climate data and information climate scientists attempt to deny ordinary citizen observers of climate science, you don’t have to be a Republican, a political conservative, or a right-wing-nut, to join with our political opponents in demanding non-discriminatory application of the due process of law to scientists the same as other citizens and professions.

    At the very least, the University of Virginia and/or Michael Mann appear to be liable to investigation and prosecution for the violation of laws relating to the FOIA release of the e-mail evidencing Michael Mann’s involvement in the handling of $466,000 of state grant funds. There is more than ample evidence that scientific fraud is a common enough crime to warrant investigations, and convincing evidence of at least some violations of law with respect to FOIA disclosures. Scientists are not yet privileged with the immunity needed to commit FOIA violations and scientific fraud with complete immunity from investigation and prosecution. let the Attorney General represent the citizens of Virginia and safeguard their taxpayer monies and their right to the freedom of information guaranteed by written laws.

  50. RESEARCH SUBPOENAS AND THE
    SOCIOLOGY OF KNOWLEDGE
    SHEILA JASANOFF

    “More serious and conceptually more interesting are the cases in which litigants
    expect to find genuine discrepancies between the “facts” reported by scientists
    and the observations on which their findings were based. The expectation
    that research subpoenas will enable courts to distinguish between valid and
    invalid scientific claims appears to rest on certain widely held but empirically
    questionable assumptions about the practice of science:
     that scientific records are kept in accordance with standardized and
    generally accepted rules;
     that evidence of fraud, error, and poor scientific practice can be detected
    unambiguously from written records;
     that challenged methodologies (including methods of analysis and
    interpretation) clearly conform or do not conform to “scientific”
    standards;
     that such standards preexist and hence can be mechanically applied
    during legal inquiry; and
     that the adversarial process is conducive to sorting out disputes concerning
    the validity and reliability of competing research practices.”

    This was dated 8/13/97. Scientists are subpoenaed all the time on a variety of issues when a conflict of interest occurs. Certainly one can’t argue that there isn’t a conflict of interest here can they? Can they argue that there isn’t legitimate arguments to be made from the preceeding list? Let the subpoena go through. It is completely in line with the rules that scientists in every other field have been forced to live with. Climate scientists have no special immunity.

  51. Simon Hopkinson says:
    October 6, 2010 at 12:32 am
    Tom:

    that was the UK deleting emails in advance of Freedom of Information requests, not Michael Mann

    It’s really important to note that the request (and any subsequent acquiescence) to delete emails was made AFTER receiving David Holland’s FOI request for them, NOT in advance of it. It’s important because the distinction impacts the legality of the behaviour. The enquiries’ finding, that the deletion request was in advance of FOI, is not supported by the chronology of the evidence.

    I agree with you regarding Cuccinelli’s pursuit of Mann. While Americans are busily guarding separation of Church and State, they’re failing to draw a line between Justice and Politics. This inevitably leads, as Lord Turnbull notes, to “more Widgery than Saville”.

    The Attorney General of Virginia appears to be asking for copies of information that is the property of the State of Virginia. Once a University accepts State funding for research everything purchased and ALL work done with that funding is theirs not yours and all has to be accounted for in detail. There are also VERY strict contractual rules on commingling of funding in attempts to sidestep such vesting clauses.

  52. Justice issues like climategate might be better handled in world climate courts once the United Nations is moved out of New York City and relocated to zero emissions open air, wind & solar powered facilities in Gaza & the West Bank!

  53. I support Cuccinelli. If Mann had just published an incompetent thesis, I would agree with you. But there is also the issue of oversight of taxpayer funds.

    If an Attorney General is forbidden from executing oversight over an area of state funding, even if the area is state provided academic grants, then the taxpayers who provided those funds have no protection from fraudulent misuse of public money, if the abuse is perpetrated by academics.

  54. If you are going to call “splattergate” a periferal issue, that would seem to suggest that you have not yet grasped the nature of the climate “debate”. If you regard the debate as essentially political, rather than scientific, then the 10:10 campaign is at the centre of the debate in the UK, and therefore the behaviour of 10:10 is mainstream, not periferal.

  55. NZ Willy says:{October 5, 2010 at 10:47 pm}
    “…I would disagree because “allegations” are not necessary for an investigation to be Investigation is not condemnation. So I think Anthony is misguided here, although well-meaning.
    REPLY: This essay was written by Thomas Fuller.
    – Anthony”

    Good thing NZ willy is not on the investigation team. :)

  56. “I’ll get a lot of flack from you on this–and don’t be shy, I can take it. But remember as you write–District Attorneys are not always Republican, and controversial scientists can be skeptics at times, too. Don’t let your desire for a short term victory in the daily news cycle let you ignore what would be an erosion of all our civil liberties, I beg of you.”

    The global warming “science” has been being used to reduce our civil liberties (and wealth) for the last 10 years (particularly in europe). I really don’t see the civil liberties argument in the Mann case. The university was paid by the state for the work. The state asked for documentation and it wasn’t provided. If science is to progress then somehow other scientists have to get access to the documentation to either reproduce or invalidate. If these scientists refuse to allow their work to be checked, and yet still use it as evidence that we are in a crisis, then there is no alternative but to the courts. The university should be ashamed of itself for allowing it to get to this point. If it is all above board, why are they not providing the documentation?

    If this were an individual it may be different. Some rich guy taking a campaign against the university. If the end result is Cucinelli is successful it is highly unlikely to become the standard route for getting this data. Institiutions funded by the taxpayer will realise that the courts will enforce the taxpayer getting full disclosure of the way the funds were spent, and the basis for the claims.

    At the end of the day the legal system is there to enforce the law, ideally in such a way that anybody considering breaking it fears that they may get caught. The scientific community was generally protected from this sort of action because the institutions themselves would publish the counter arguments. If somebody in Mann’s position (in the hypothetical case – not accusing mann as an individual) believes that he can rig the review process in such a way that the scientific establishment will not debase his claim then the only resolution must be through the courts. If fraud can be committed in this manner it must be possible to be caught.

    I view governments not funding fraud (hypothetically) to relieve me of my money and liberties a rather important civil liberty. The stakes are far too high for key players to be allowed to hide behind this kind of defence.

  57. In a recent conversation with a retired teacher, the discussion was ‘how do we cleanse the erronious climate science from school corriculums, and school teachers minds?’

    Without the Cuccinelli investigation of Mann, and hopefully a public trial of M Mann et al for committing fraud, the answer was ‘not for 50 years’.

    So you see, this investigation gets at the heart of the matter, that without Cucinelli the USA is doomed to M Mann et als huge corrupting influence on science for two generations.

    To fail to root out this corruption would be like failing to react to Pearl Harbour.

  58. Tom,
    With all due respect (and you are due a lot), you are condemning the investigation without much actual basis to do so.
    You only have crugate and some reviews of Mann’s work by academics.
    You are not an attorney. You have not seen the rest of the work related e-mails Mann and gang communicated with. You have not reviewed how Mann spent the money he got.
    Academics are not above the law. I am tired of them acting as if they are. Mann went from perennial student stuck in a PhD program at over 30 years of age to one of the main players in the promotion of the most extreme form of AGW fear mongering in an amazingly short period of time.
    None of that was explained by climategate.
    It is inevitable that we will find out the rest of the story.
    But ‘peer review’ in climate science has become cover-up and tribalism. As we saw in Britain, the government reviews were obvious whitewashes.
    So who should lead the exploration to find out what, and how, things went wrong in climate science? Climate scientists? The UN? Journalists? All have proven to not be up to the task.
    I would suggest that the AG of Virginia may not be perfect, but he is a pretty good place to start.

  59. “What Ken Cuccinelli is doing is going fishing for wrongdoing without an allegation of such wrongdoing–and that’s not how we should be doing things in this country.”

    Sorry, Mr. Fuller, you are dead wrong on this. The IRS needs no probable cause for a financial audit. No scientist, or scientific organization that accepts taxpayer dollars should claim that the government needs probable cause to review the activities, correspondence, and scientific results that were supported by taxpayer dollars.

    No one forced Mr. Mann to accept the government support. But as soon as he did so, he removed any argument that the activities supported should hide under any kind of cloak of ‘privacy’.

  60. I run a small business. So small in fact that I have to do the payroll and the VAT accounting myself, as well as the business of making money.

    Occasionally, mistakes get made. Normally these get corrected with nothing more said, but I know very well if I make too many mistakes I will get investigated. It’s a huge pain in the backside, as I have to go through several years of VAT, or payroll submissions with the investigator, but, as I am relied on to both calculate and submit the correct amount, it can hardly be considered odd if someone wants to check if the sums are being done right when there is evidence that they have been done wrong.

    And that is the point. An investigation is not an accusation of guilt, it is an investigation into whether the proper procedures are being followed.

    Mann would appear to have “made a mistake” with research funded by grant money. If he doesn’t admit it, that would seem to be grounds for investigation itself, as it is the responsibility of the researcher to use the money properly, and flawed research is not a proper use, regardless of intent.

    If he doesn’t admit mistakes were made, let alone why, how can you determine whether there is a case to answer or not without an investigation? It’s not an invasion of civil liberties to be required to justify yourself, your actions and your procedures when you make make mistakes with other peoples money.

    This action against him may appear unseemly, but it probably wouldn’t seem so if there had been full co operation from the outset.

  61. You are wrong about Cuccinelli. I, myself, have e-mails and files for 15 years, of my work 10 years of which are government contract work. If the government were to subpoena my records or even just ask for them, I would have them. It’s a record of my work. Why would I throw it out? Some people I work with have 30 years of notebook records. This idea that an important climate scientist has “lost” or won’t turn over records is absolutely a coverup. I support Cuccinelli and am prepared for similar treatment. That’s modern science.

  62. Chances that Mann will be touched in any way are scant.
    Susan Mazur has written some articles on the state of the peer review system. Among her pieces, there was an interview with David Noble, a rather radical science and education historian who has created controversy in every university where he has taught. I have just selected a few excerpts that give the flavor of that interview, including a part where they touch on Monbiot and the whole climate change issue, but the entire piece is worth a read. Noble is also the author of The Corporate Climate Coup: http://tinyurl.com/3dg7r8

    Here are just a few excerpts from that interview. The system seems to be corrupt beyond repair

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1002/S00222.htm

    […]
    Suzan Mazur: I’ve been focusing on abuse inside the peer review system in recent articles, which has spiraled out of control – to the extent that at the low end we now find virtual death squads on Internet blogs out to destroy scientists who have novel theories.
    […]
    David Noble: When you say THE problem is the peer review system – the peer review system in my view is doing what it was designed to do — censor. And filter. Peer review is a system of prior censorship, prior review – prior meaning prior to publication. So the idea of abusing the peer review system sort of adds insult to injury, because the peer review system itself is injurious.

    Suzan Mazur: The first scientific journal was published in 1665 by the Royal Society of London. Would you briefly timeline events from there, highlighting what the original plan was for a postwar National Science Foundation?

    David Noble: My understanding is that peer review in its modern form is very recent, dating from World War II. The participants in what we now call science were people with resources, usually independent wealth. When we go back to the Royal Society we’re talking about a very small community of people.
    […]
    By about 1943-1944, there was discussion about what the postwar scientific establishment would look like. By this time, the corporations and the universities and the scientists who had been reluctant to take federal funds for fear of taxpayer involvement were now so enamored of the largess that they didn’t want to give it up. And they said, we can’t go backwards — this is the new game — we are going to be taking taxpayer money. But we don’t want the taxpayer involved in what we do. This is a fundamental challenge to the whole. . .
    […]
    Harry Truman said it was the most undemocratic piece of legislation he’d ever seen and vetoed it. It went through minor changes and became what we have today — a scientific establishment run by scientists with very little political oversight. The key thing is how they kept the taxpayer out was through peer review.
    […]
    Suzan Mazur: It wasn’t until the 1960s that science journals were turned into a money-making racket when the federal government gave its blessing to a per-page fee for publication. Scientists were not only writing articles for the journals for free but now there was a per-page fee for publication.
    […]
    David Noble: If the taxpayer is paying for the research, why shouldn’t there be a representative array of citizens on all scientific panels? And again, going back to your first question, the purpose of peer review is prior censorship and I believe very strongly that if people want to criticize something that you write or I write, they have every right to do that AFTER it’s published not before it’s published. To me that’s the critical issue.
    […]
    Suzan Mazur: Getting back to the current dilemma, a secretive peer review system with hundreds of thousands of private for-profit and professional society journal editors, editorial board members and reviewers of scientific publications — none of whom get paid. And a scientific journal publisher like Wiley, for example – a publicly listed company – with $1.6 billion in revenue for 2009.

    Elsevier, the science publisher — also publicly-traded — puts out 2,000 journals and describes itself as “a global community of 7,000 journal editors, 70,000 editorial board members, 300,000 reviewers and 600,000 authors”. All working for free?

    Isn’t it strange that so many busy scientists write these staggeringly complex journal papers for free, that they pay for their articles to be published and thousands of dollars extra if they want the public to read them, even though it’s the public who funds the research? And that journals continue to operate in secrecy about revenues and operating costs, with some of them now making millions of dollars? Isn’t it strange?
    […]
    David Noble: Let’s put it in a larger context — 90% of research done in universities, even private universities – is paid by the taxpayer. Any company can come to the university, lay down some lunch money and leverage that 90% and in exchange get contractual obligations for prior review before publication. Non-disclosure agreements. Licensing rights. That’s the whole system.

    Suzan Mazur: It’s all for sale.

    David Noble: IT’S ALL FOR SALE.
    […]
    If a private company has put in some money to that research effort, they have a contract that gives them rights. One of the rights is PRE-PUBLICATION REVIEW. They want to see the research, check it out for anything that’s commercially viable and they can censor. They can say, we don’t want you saying anything about that. THIS IS ROUTINE. THIS IS THE STATE-OF-THE-ART RIGHT NOW.

    Suzan Mazur: Incredible. Is there a way of breaking up the “academic mafias” so that discovery and the free flow of ideas prevails and individual researchers have a shot at being funded and having their ideas taken seriously?

    David Noble: Well, you’d have to revoke the Bayh-Dole amendment.
    […]
    Suzan Mazur: The Wall Street Journal ran a shocking piece in 2005 discussing the fact that scientists were spending even more money hiring ghostwriters to write their papers in an attempt to “pile up high-profile publications, the main currency of advancement”. According to the WSJ, these ghostwriters whipping up journal articles for the scientists were sometimes employed by communications firms charging $30,000, and the firms were part of larger companies like Thompson Corp. and Reed Elsevier. Would you comment?

    David Noble: Well, it doesn’t surprise me at all. The pharmaceutical industry, they write the articles. There’s a guy named David Healy, a very well known, he’s a psychiatrist. He’s an expert on SSRIs – antidepressants. He’s written a lot about this.

    What happens is the pharmaceutical companies actually write the articles and then put the academic’s name on it – which is similar to what you’re saying. How can they get away with that? Well, the academic gets a publication out of it, even though it’s not anything they wrote.
    […]
    David Noble: Well of course. I’ll tell you the story about my attempt to get my first book published. I’m a historian not a scientist. I wrote a book about the corporatization, the commercialization of science called America by Design. I sent it to Princeton University Press, MIT Press, Oxford University Press and a number of others. They ALL rejected it after sending it out to anonymous peer reviewers who had this to say and that to say. Then I sent it to an editor of historical works at Knopf, a private company, who liked the book and made a contract with me – no peer review. The book was published by Knopf. After the book was published, the same academic presses put in bids for the paperback rights and it was published under the imprint of Oxford University Press.

    I did four books like that with Knopf. Knopf published the hardback and Oxford published the paperback. Knopf published without any peer review. The lesson for me was learned very early. Peer review would have blocked the publication of my book.
    […]
    My criticism of peer review, which for me is no big deal, turns out to be unique. Nobody’s talking about this. When George Monbiot attacks Alexander Cockburn by saying that the stuff Cockburn is referring to was not peer reviewed, and I say what kind of an idiot is Monbiot.
    David Dixon was a writer for Science and Nature. . . There was a time when there were science journalists who were alert to this and understood the politics of science. But when this whole climate change thing came down the pike, all of these self-interested people – Monbiot had a book to sell. All the environmentalists are getting probably millions of dollars in foundation money to peddle this. And they’re still doing it even though the whole thing has collapsed. And it’s completely disqualifying the public by saying it all depends on the IPPC. It all depends on peer-reviewed journals. That’s what they were saying.

    When you look at all this sordid stuff at East Anglia University about climate change. People begin asking: And this is the foundation of the whole game?

    Suzan Mazur: People have been bought off.

    David Noble: Right. And when Alex Cockburn and I and Denis Rancourt raised questions about it, we were just pilloried by the Left, which is mindboggling.

    Suzan Mazur: It continues. The attack by the so-called Left regarding the questioning of science and peer review. They say this is the system we have – you think we’re going to throw away thousands and thousands of papers and start from scratch?

    David Noble: Well the whole thing’s corrupt.

    Suzan Mazur: Yes. We’d better pull out of the nose dive as soon as we possibly can. No scientist I’ve spoken to thinks that is doable or a good idea.

    David Noble: Peer review makes things so easy for people who are evaluating. All they have to say is that’s a peer-reviewed article. End of story. Gold. They don’t have to actually read the stuff.
    So, suppose I’m up for promotion and the dean says, oh look he’s got six peer-reviewed publications. Well they’ve been peer-reviewed, I don’t have to read them. You see what I’m saying? Takes them off the hook.

    Suzan Mazur: It’s frightening, very dangerous.

    David Noble: Let me tell you this, you’ll be amused. York University is the third-largest university in Canada. This past year they amalgamated a number of different faculties into The Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, which is the biggest academic faculty in Canada. And they hired this guy with much fanfare from outside to become the new dean.

    The president announced his appointment with a lot of trumpets. And he’s described as a renowned scholar of Chinese history. Well, I said that’s interesting. I wonder who this guy is. And I start looking. A renowned scholar of Chinese history – let’s see what he’s written. I couldn’t find anything. And I said, this is strange.

    I happen to know some real historians of China. I called them up and asked, have you ever heard of this guy? They said no. The long and the short of it is – the guy is virtually unpublished in the field of Chinese history. He’s unknown in the field.

    So a group of faculty took out an anonymous Gmail account called York Faculty Concerned About the Future of York University and exposed the fraud, accused the president of fraud. Here’s what happened – NOTHING.

    He was made the dean anyway without faculty opposition. Meanwhile, the university hired outside lawyers to sue Google, Bell and Rogers, the main Internet Providers, to try to get the identity of the people who did the expose. That’s what happened.

    But the most important thing is there was no outcry. That was it. The most egregious academic fraud I’d ever experienced. Why was there no outcry? It was all confirmed. The university said well it was a mistake by the media relations people, acknowledging that the guy had no publications. He’s still the dean. He’s the guy who’s reviewing everybody else’s CVs and dossiers for promotion and hiring.
    […]
    David Noble: It is incredible. But the point is he’s the dean. That’s it. Why was there no uproar? And here’s the reason. Because all the faculty have no scholarly credibility either. There’s no other explanation. They’re all playing these games.

    WHERE ARE THE REAL SCHOLARS? There aren’t any. Everyone’s either broken or bought. There’s complete conformity within the community.

  63. Where I live, bang in the middle of the Med sea, September was 0.1C BELOW average, August was just above average while during July we had nights when we had to sleep with a cover on, instead of sweating it out under an electric fan. (Air conditioners are a no go now, becuase electricity costs have gone through the roof due to carbon taxes and other international fraudsters that go by the name of oil traders or such like. Meanwhile we havn’t had a heatwave for many years. The Med sea is getting colder methinks.

    And then there’s the UHI effect on the official temps records, which in my opinion, due to ever encroaching saphalt/runways next to the main weather station, is having an increasing effect on temp records.

  64. 1. the implied threat to my civil liberties of this investigation of Mann is like a pail of water thrown into the ocean compared to the threat to my civil liberties, health, wealth, and that of the generations that come after me from proposed solutions to AGW. Investigate away.

    2. I for one have no interest in returning to the matter at hand. While I fear you are right and the 10:10 video will fade from memory in a few months, I will keep it alive for as long as possible. It is the most damning evidence yet that AGW proponents have lost any interest in the science and are advancing it by any means possible. While I don’t want to paint all warmists with the same brush, the point is that the 10:10 video is representative of a disturbing trend. It has shock value that woke a lot of people up, including a lot of warmists, and we should continue to pound away at the central point it raised. The bulk of the pro AGW arguments in the media are not as extreme as 10:10, but they rely none the less on imagry, half truths, scare mongering, intimidation and out of hand dismissal of contrary science and opinions as coming from persons of defective intelligence or upbringing. I never miss an opportunity to show that the bulk of the pro AGW “evidence” has little to do with science, and other than the blatant violence, shares far more with the 10:10 video than with real research. Why, I ask, are the bulk of the pro AGW arguments based on marketing spin and dehumanizing attacks on skeptics instead of science? Answer; Science has failed them and so they have turned to everything except science to advance their agenda.

    10:10 was a wake up call, and I’d rather keep as many people awake as possible, asking them what agenda is served by that video, and why the less violent propoganda none the less has as little science in it as the 10:10 video.

    No Pressure.

  65. If I had a business enterprise and a major client asked me to justify just how his money had been spent and to outline the communications I used in spending his money wisely, plus outcomes achieved; it would be a no-brainer. Of course he would be entitled to a full, frank and transparent report.

    Why the difference between science and the real world, Michael Mann?

  66. Scientific error? As someone with a science degree the “hide the decline” he participated in was not error it was fraud. Mann was using proxies and then when they refused to cooperated he patched instrumental records on and got his hockey stick. Since this involved public funds it may indeed be criminal. Since he has called for the prosecution of prominent skeptics he should be held to the standard he has articulated.

  67. A lot of people here could do with reading this: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/20/the-anosognosics-dilemma-1/

    I don’t defend Mann in general, but in this thread he’s come in for a lot of stick from people who can’t reconcile his actions with honesty. It is possible, though. Think of it this way: no-one bar a crook will produce work with unacknowledged flaws that he knows about and understands, but, by the same token, if someone doesn’t understand what it is they don’t know, then they won’t understand that their work is flawed.

    If you want to challenge Mann’s work, do it on value-for-money grounds, because they kind of evidence you actually need to prove criminal wrong-doing just won’t exist.

  68. You say “But let’s get back to the subject at hand.”

    So that begs the question, just what is the “subject at hand”? I’ll offer my answer: honest science!

    And since the Climategate emails show, at least to me, that they were doing science dishonestly (and very much so), then our primary “subject at hand” is to root out the dishonesty. Why? Otherwise, the science is bogus. Kaput! We’ll know nothing and be blind as bats.

    And if you don’t understand that, Mr. Thomas Fuller, you’re not a scientist and shouldn’t be directing the discussion.

  69. Golf Charley at 12:23am:
    “Did you know that wood does grow on trees?”

    Well, I know that at least. What would be better is for these big government types in the global warming/climate change cabal to realize that money DOESN’T.

    As for the subpoena regarding Dr. Mann, I fail to understand why his work conducted while in the pay of the State of Virginia would not be public knowledge, or would not be available to the proper authorities elected by the people of that state. Somethings rotten in Charlottesville, and if takes a subpoena to find out what that stench is, then so be it.

    And Mr. Fuller, if you think the Democrats/Progressives haven’t investigated anyone or destroyed their reputations, and that this particular subpoena is plowing virgin ground, you’ve been asleep for several years now. Those tactics have been used by the Democrats for years. The lawsuits and subpoenas used against Sarah Palin and Tom Delay are cases in point.

    And yes, Dr. Mann was supposed to be a scientist, and non-political, but he and his ilk launched themselves into the political arena, and have potentially been causal in the waste of hundreds of billions of dollars, not to mention the distortion of food markets that have cost lives and caused misery in the developing world. And they have enriched themselves in the process. Yes, it is long past time to investigate these phonies.

  70. Presumably the terms under which the State of Virginia granted funds for Mann’s research are expressed in some form of binding document? I’ve never had such funding, but I doubt if they just write you a cheque. Does anyone know what those terms might include? And if we don’t, and Cuccinelli (and Mann) presumably do, isn’t it a bit premature to speculate as to whether or not he has “probable cause” for his, er, probe?

  71. Thomas, I hear, understand and agree with what you’re saying. Yes, as far as this segment of the blogosphere goes, it would be nice to return to the science as that is what is important.

    On the other hand, the turn of the argument to gossip/non-science-controversy is actually a huge win for those who want to protect science. It is a win because it reveals this entire ordeal for what it is, Politics. It strips the cloak of authority off of those who would wrongly attempt to appear authorities on this topic, and it lets the grunt scientists get back to collecting data. Michael Mann has proven himself to be less than a scientist. A scientist would have clearly stated his uncertainties. A scientist would have allowed and even encouraged people to find fault with his work. Michael Mann decided to play politics and hide potential flaws in his work. So a man who is supposed to be above reproach showed true character weakness when he had sold a political platform (climate catastrophe) to politicians and then publicly hid behind rules and procedures to prevent his claims from being weakened. Michael Mann made the choice to enter the realm of politics and he should suffer for it. The only reason to disagree with this is if you consider Michael Mann to still be a true scientist, which he has demonstrated that he is not. The same goes for Hansen, who has clearly demonstrated that political work is more important to him than science. I say let these men get what’s coming to them when the political sharks do finally circle them. The grunts who collect data and form hypotheses are not harmed by these events. The conclusions formed in the future from such work may be questioned more by the general public, but this is true of science in general. In fact the whole world would be a lot better if everyone in the general public questioned what scientists say.

    I say, the scientists who so boldly said that their science was “Settled” and sold a political platform to the worlds ruling class chose on their own to enter the realm of politics. The entire reason this website exists is because of this. Now their sales-pitch is being revealed to be less-than-grounded in reality and I believe the political fallout should not be prevented. Scientists who choose to get in bed with politics deserve what is coming to them. The coming public awareness of the predictive failures of oversold scientific conclusion will only cause the public to question science more, which can only be good for science.

    In short, I see nothing wrong with enjoying the mudslinging for now, and yes, I’m a scientist.

  72. DavidS says:
    October 6, 2010 at 1:12 am
    “See how easy it is to make mistakes. Some reading the above post think it has been written by Anthony, it hasn’t, it was just posted by him.
    Is there Scientific error or fraud?”
    —————
    The readers above have not spent years studying this post, have not been handsomely paid to scrutinize this post, have not been appointed to an international committee to convince the world that Anthony wrote this post, have not tried to subvert the peer review process in order to convince people that Anthony wrote this post, have not tried to suppress other readers who tried to point out that fact that Anthony didn’t write this post and aren’t trying to get the world to spend trillions based on the basis that Anthony wrote this post.

    What were the similarities again?

  73. Thomas, re Splattergate: I am a habitual Guardian CiF watcher to check on the state of their current Green weirdness. Visiting there yesterday, I read a very long and slightly surreal justification for the 1010 video. I checked in again today and the entire article, along with numerous pro and anti responses, had gone as if it had never existed!
    Re Cuccinelli: I disagree with your views on his so-called ‘fishing expedition’. The institution in question, in previously denying Cuccinelli’s requests for information in his position of responsibility for protecting his state’s Revenue, has made itself and Dr Mann an object of suspicion. If they had previously demonstrated that any suspicions that Mann had defrauded the taxpayer in any way were baseless, that could be accepted, but the enquiries thus far into the behaviour of Mann and other researchers subsequent to the release of the ‘climategate’ emails are such egregious and obvious ‘whitewashes’ that no suspicions have been allayed. Considering the amount of evidence that falsifies Mann’s Hockey Stick, if Cuccenelli finds Dr Mann to be merely incorrect rather than dishonest, that would seem to be a positive result for Mann and perhaps the institution in question may welcome that finding as being the more palatable.

  74. We have FOIA laws. Looks like the university wants to disobey the laws. Now they must produce documents under court order. Looks like they refuse that also.

  75. “Perhaps in the northern hemisphere (but after a cold winter). Here in the southern hemisphere its been a damn cold winter. ”

    Nah, it’s been — literally — freezing up here in the West of Canada too. If the Warmers claim that this year was ‘OMG the warmest ever!’ then a lot of people are going to be laughing at them.

  76. But, allow me a parting shot on the Cuccinelli/Mann thingy . . .

    I see no moral or legal issues with an empowered representative of a government legal body (Cuccinelli) acting openly within the framework of the legal system. The legal system will sort out what is due process and appropriate by all parties involved. The legal system grinds slowly and finely . . . . but it is tireless. Cuccinelli doesn’t appear to be the kind of man who tires at all . . . he is tireless too.

    If Cuccinelli is overstepping his authority, which I personally doubt, then the legal system will stop him. I really don’t see the problem. This IS ALL PUBLIC that Cuccinelli is doing . . . . not like Mann’s very apparent (to me) HIDDEN manipulations/machinations/intimidations.

    I expect that Cuccinelli will eventually find his way into some of the documents at the UoV; once in then he will easily find cause for expansion of the search. I conclude that is what UoV (and indirectly Mann) are concerned about. I do not assess that they are ideologically standing up for the idea of academic freedom.

    John

  77. Tom, you’re confused…..again. If Mike Mann had acted and operated without our money, then you’d be correct and no need for an investigation. This isn’t the case. It needs to be thoroughly investigated to see if he’s misused any of the public funds. If one doesn’t want this type of scrutiny, then do not accept the money or find a different vocation. It is really not that difficult. This is just one example of the pratfalls of people believing the public should fund and be involved in all aspects of our lives. The government, of course, has a vested interest in the advancement of science and science should have its benefactors. That said, the scientists DO NOT HAVE FREE REIN WITH MY MONEY! It needs to be ensured that our money wasn’t used to intentionally mislead the public. This isn’t a fishing expedition, its called “due diligence”.

  78. AGW Fearmongering: Scientific Error or Criminal Fraud?

    You be the judge.
    [snip]

    • The Medieval Warm Period 1000 years ago was warmer than today.
    • The Holocene Optimum from 3000 to 8000 years ago was warmer than today.
    • The last three Interglacial periods were warmer than the current one.
    • The claim of 0.6 degrees C rise during industrial times was unverifiable because the scientist refused to disclose the evidence and then the government ‘lost’ the data.
    • Four of the warmest years on record in the US were in the 1930s not the 1990s as claimed.
    • 1934 was the warmest in the US not 1998 as claimed.
    • The Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) adjusted historic data down to make the modern record relatively warmer.
    • Temperature increases before CO2 in all records.
    • CO2 levels currently at 388 ppm are the lowest in 300 million years.
    • There’s a limit of at most 1.4 degrees C to the amount of temperature can increase even if CO2 doubles or triples.
    • In the 20th century human production of CO2 didn’t fit the temperature record. From 1900 to 1940 human CO2 production levels were low but temperatures increased the most. From 1940 to 1980 human production levels increased the most but temperature declined.
    • The models predicted the atmosphere would warm faster than the surface but the opposite is happening.
    • The Earth is cooling with record low temperatures everywhere, contradicting the IPCC hypothesis
    • The CRU whistleblower’s FOI2009 disclosures showing fraud, collusion and misrepresentation with intent to deceive the public.

    (i.e., reference — Dr. T. Ball: “These are more than enough facts to show the hypothesis is wrong. Polls indicate the public is learning, but AGW proponents and politicians are not and continue to push their political agendas”)

  79. =========================================================
    What Ken Cuccinelli is doing is going fishing for wrongdoing without an allegation of such wrongdoing–and that’s not how we should be doing things in this country.
    ==========================================================

    Sunshine is a wonderful disinfectant.

    All this stuff should be released for all grants at ALL universities.
    Those who try to hide something usually have something to hide.

  80. Tom,

    I disagree with your comment: “Don’t let your desire for a short term victory in the daily news cycle let you ignore what would be an erosion of all our civil liberties, I beg of you”

    IMHO neither the Cuccineli case or the ‘Splattergate’ video would represent “short term” victories. Since ‘Climategate’ (big crack) we have seen many small cracks opening up in the CAGW fortress: recent admission of NOAA for the need of improvements in temperature sensing systems, and more peer-reviewed papers showing natural variability linked to the PDO and AMO (Arctic ice extent) among many others (links below).

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2010/09/paper-current-arctic-sea-ice-is-more.html

    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/ushcn_letter_-_final_-_7-29-10_secured.pdf

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2010/2010GL042616.shtml

    Add the many IPCC ‘gates': quality control issues uncovered at the IPCC, Al Gore & Pachauri’s pranks and the recent rebellion at the Royal Society with subsequent editing changes of their ‘Climate Guide’. The fact that the RS change was most likely “lip-service” as alleged by some is irrelevant, the fact remains that their fellows ‘forced’ a change; how often has that happened in this arena and at this level?

    Sceptics/scientists have still attained only a modicum of momentum. IMO every opportunity to expose, and when necessary litigate, occurrences like the two examples you mention (Cuccinelli and Splattergate) should be encouraged, supported, vocalized/discussed with friends and family, with continued/repeated debate on the internet and at every opportunity.

    It is reassuring that mainstream science has now pretty much rejected the “climate science cabal” and we do not hear people parroting “consensus” nearly as often as we did before climategate, now it appears there may be a reversal to that tendency. The fact that the CAGW crowd are trying to change the terms (global warming=climate change=climate disruption) is a testament to many “short-term” victories.

    Remember, as mentioned repeatedly above, that Mann brought this on himself and his cohorts, and they need to be held accountable. A continued push is needed to get the truth out to the public-at-large, only then will the MSM be unable to ignore what is going on…but even then, will they give it air time?

    If you watch the news, when it comes to the spending of taxpayers money, the message comes across that it is the gub’ments money, and did not come out of our hard work/pockets!? These guys (Mann et al) apparently think the same thing: ‘it’s their money and they want it now!’ This mentality has to stop, the gravy train has to stop.

    And finally, our civil liberties are already being/been eroded, and at an accelerated pace, by public “servants” using exactly the same tactics that Mann and the makers of the splattergate video employ: obfuscation and propaganda campaigns.

  81. Mom2girls says:
    October 6, 2010 at 7:34 am

    Off topic. Anthony, have you seen the ad in this discussion?

    what are they thinking?

    I hadn’t seen that Copenhagen video. It’s interesting and noteworthy that amongst the population of CAGW “believers” they use the appeal to emotion fallacy quite often. And to try to convince the skeptics/unbelievers they use the standard fire-and-brimstone/you-will-go-to-hell false dilemma fallacy.

    This, btw, is classic cult behavior. You lure people in by convincingly creating some kind of false either-or situation that demands choice/action. Then to maintain peaceful belief status, you appeal to the believer’s desire to believe in all things good and heroic about their beliefs.

  82. hunter says:
    “But ‘peer review’ in climate science has become cover-up and tribalism. As we saw in Britain, the government reviews were obvious whitewashes.”
    =======================
    Exactly right, but remember the “cover-up and tribalism” that peer review establishes is by no means limited to climate science. It is the essence of the peer review system itself. See the excerpts I posted earlier on this, as well as comments by others on the same subject.
    Those who think that the government has the means to redress these wrongs…. it certainly does. If it wanted to. But why would it do it, when the entire idea of a CO2 emissions threat has been relentlessly driven into our heads precisely by the vast resources of gorvernment itself? Why would the corporate-government complex undermine its own campaign? I used to believe in all this cant about AGW. What drew my attention to the issue and prompted me to research it was that I noticed a huge concerted increase in the intensity with which it was being promoted, around 2007, with researchers in practically every field jumping on to the merry wagon to get a share of the pie. It was unmistakeably a concerted and hugely expensive effort emanating from the corporate controlled media and the government funded university research system. And it still is and will be as long as they want it to be. Skeptical blogs like this one are wonderful, they provide some much needed breathing room against intellectual asphyxiation, but we often lose sight of the fact that the real Goliath can deflect slingshots much more easily than the fictional one.

    quote (2007):
    “How did we get here? How did such an arcane subject [AGW] only yesterday of interest merely to a handful of scientific specialists, so suddenly come to dominate our discourse? How did scientific speculation so swiftly erupt into ubiquitous intimations of apocalypse? These are not hypothetical questions but historical questions, and they have answers. Such events as these do not just happen; they are MADE to happen. On the whole our ideas tend not to be our own ideas; rarely do we come up with them ourselves but rather imbibe them from the world around us. This is especially obvious when our ideas turn out to be the same as nearly everyone else’s, even people we’ve never met or communicated with. Where did this idea about the urgent crisis of global warming and CO2 emissions come from and get into our heads, given that so few of us have ever read, or even tried to read, a single scientific paper about greenhouse gases? Answering such a question is not as difficult as it might seem, for the simple reason that it takes a great amount of reach and resources to place so alien an idea in so many minds simultaneously so quickly, and the only possessors of such capacity and means are the government and the corporations, together with their multi-media machinery. To effect such a significant shift in attention, perception, and belief requires a substantial, and hence visible and demonstrable, effort.”
    From: The Corporate Climate Coup

    http://tinyurl.com/3dg7r8

  83. Artwest,

    There are some things others say, that are so clear, concise, and to the point that you kick yourself in the rear for not thinking of it. Your post at 6:59am was one of those times for me. Touche’.

  84. Mann “hide the decline” is joined by UVa “hide the documents” hiding what? It must be reallllly scary as UVa is quoted as using private monies to fund their legal road block.

    See the September 3, 2010 WSJ letter of mine contrasting Harvard and UVa in their contrasting responses to allegations of “scientific misconduct.”

  85. Tom, I understand your views politically, and as a result all the moreso appreciate your participation and insights. Many of us do follow other things, so aren’t fixated on a particular story — I was glad to see Judith Curry’s discussion on models the other day, for example.

    I agree it is time to let Splattergate go — it has done a lot already and letting it quietly simmer (rather than continuing to beat a dead horse) is probably the most effective strategy at this point. I have to disagree about Mann, however. I didn’t know, and don’t give a hoot whether, Cuccinelli is a Republican. If the investigation is appropriate, it should proceed.

    Mann knew that he was hiding the divergence problem in published work. It is also possible (although still unclear — could be plain old incompetence; but perhaps he knew; he certainly should know now, as it has been pointed out to him) that he knew his hockey-stick algorithm was junk and would produce a pre-determined result. If he produced or published his work on taxpayer funds, or if he testified (I don’t know if he did, but others may remember) about the implications of the hockey stick to Congress or state officials (or if he provided materials specifically to be used in such testimonies by others) in an attempt to promote government action against climate change, then this may constitute fraudulent testimony to a government agency.

    There is also evidence of some mismanagement of taxpayer funds, as well as the possibility that he deleted emails after the FOI requests, at Jones’ demand, etc. These should be investigated.

    Getting to the bottom of what Mann knew and did is much more important than whether the single month of September comes in warm.

  86. Steve in SC says:

    “Those who try to hide something usually always have something to hide.” QED

    This isn’t about disclosing nuclear defense secrets; this is about the weather, and how public funds may have been misappropriated.

    There is plenty of evidence in the Climategate emails exposing the shenanigans Mann and his clique used to keep the climate gravy train grants on track. One email may mean little. But taken together, each one is a brick in the wall – and it’s a big wall.

    If not the Attorney General, who else is in a position to get the public answers as to whether there was fraud?

    It is the A.G.’s job to get those answers. Certainly no one else represents the citizens. And the cries of “witch hunt” puts the spotlight of suspicion on those like Mann and Penn State, who have had a blank check up until now.

    If Mann has nothing to hide, then simply cooperating with Cuccinelli would quickly resolve any questions. Instead, Mann continues to stonewall. What does that tell us?

  87. I hate to ask, but it must be asked:How much of the opposition by skeptics to the Virgnia AG is due to his being a conservative Republican?
    If Andrew Cuomo was doing this in New York, would he be vilified like this as well?

  88. This just reeks of 10th of a penny round downs which also were not considered “stealing” until someone discovered the skimming, did the math and crapped themselves over the size of the theft. How is making 1+1=3 for grant money and subsequently screwing another researcher out of a potential grant (unless they are infinitely available in America and the UK) not criminal? Its illegal to claim false expenses in taxation, illegal to bear false witness in many venues, and I know here in Canada falsifying expense reports in the Health care system will get the most senior unionist alive not only fired but in court for criminal charges. I’m not seeing how the excuses for the Hockey Team work at all.

  89. “To have discussion dominated by a twisted little video and what I believe a mistaken attempt to criminalize scientific error risks letting more important things slip out of control, or at least off our radar screen.”

    So you consider this video promoting the humour of the execution of people with a dissenting opinion to be of lesser importance.

    “Don’t let your desire for a short term victory in the daily news cycle let you ignore what would be an erosion of all our civil liberties, I beg of you.”

    And yet you beg for people to be more concerned about civil liberties.

    What about the liberty of holding an opinion, even if it is a dissenting one?

  90. Tom of course is the better light, arguing against an investigation of Mann on the basis of liberty. I’m more cynical and calculating. On the facts as I know them, they have no case. It is highly improbable that they will ever find anything or make any charges stick. the end result is that Mann gets another vindication. And those who attack him lose credibility.

    The issue is making charges that can stick. Repeatedly I see my friends in the skeptic camp ( I’m a lukewarmer) make a consistent strategic error. They over charge cases. They ignore the real problems and focus on the false problems. The only opponent of the “team” who has made any impact is the most measured critic: Steve McIntyre. He sticks to the facts. Doesn’t over reach in his suppositions of wrong doing. Always has a solidly researched position.

    The defenders of Climategate and the inquires were thus given the following choice:
    1. investigate the wild claims made by the sloppy of thought and practice
    2. investigate Mcintyre’s more detailed and more measured charges.

    They defended against the weakness case and claimed victory.

    Some people attack the investigators. But those who make frivolous over the top charges, played and play directly into their hands.

  91. They have lost and interest there is less warmist activity, declining with the continuing avalanche of evidence which disproves their beliefs. Think back to how smug and self satisfied the Warmists were last Autumn in spite of the noisy but apparently “insignificant” band of deniers in the blogasphere. Something more interesting is holding their attention now as the increase in “biodiversity” scare articles in (non Guardian) UK papers indicate.
    Here are a couple of quotes from a recent Guardian article to show you what they are up to.

    One for the bankers and Al Gore investments LLC etc

    As the UN has found, tackling the loss of biodiversity could potentially become an industry worth $4tn-$5tn a year.

    and the next to push the legislative angle

    A second step should involve lobbying governments, or proposing global legislation that transforms environmental benefits into financial tools, much like the developing carbon market. Of course, this could prove challenging, as biodiversity is not convertible and carbon markets are not perfect.

    Shame about not being able to trade extinct animals in the same way as carbon but do the tatics sound familiar ? Gotta keep paying the morgtage, same jobs different subject.

  92. Now here us a fellow who has taken up your offer of a trade…

    http://www.greenchipstocks.com/articles/3-offensive-images-of-climate-change/1122

    Why Climate Change Deniers Should Be Blown To Bits!

    By R.T. Jones
    Wednesday, October 6th, 2010
    A couple of weeks ago, a new short film by comedy screenwriter Richard Curtis was released for the 10:10 environmental campaign. And apparently, that film offended a lot of people.

    I actually thought it was kind of funny. But I do have a sense of humor.

    So why were people so offended?


    Why indeed? Could he be right?

  93. Scarface says:
    October 6, 2010 at 12:11 am
    “Dear Mr. Fuller,
    How anyone can still believe in the CO2-myth after having learned that CO2-levels follow warming, is a complete mystery to me.”

    I know…this baffles me to no end. Scientists and lay-people alike continually confuse correlation with causation. It’s like saying every time the rooster crows the sun rises, so I’ll shut the rooster up to prevent the sun from rising. Or everytime I see everyone with unbrellas it’s also raining, so if I can get people to stop carrying umbrellas, I can stop the rain.

    In the case of the ice core data, it is clear temperature lags CO2 by several hundred years. And even without the lag, just because they are correlated doesn’t mean one causes the other!!!

  94. Christ, but I’lll trade you hellishly cleverly devil’s advocate Cuccinelli for Wizardly Pratchettly Professor Lidzen (who I might add has +3 bonus level points for being so god damn Santa Clausey, I mean it’s friggin Cuccinelli smile scary just photoshop his beard and the left over wizardry hair to completely white and who’d you get but Santa Cola. . . aha, like I said scary.)

  95. Ken Cuccinelli’s actions to date look to be well in line with Federal and Virginia law, or so it would seem to this outsider. If fra$ud should be proven and justice takes its course, then many around the world would have cause to rejoice. When scientists commit fra$ud the damage done extends a long way beyond the parish pump.

  96. But it didn’t rise to a criminal level (that was the UK deleting emails in advance of Freedom of Information requests, not Michael Mann). What Ken Cuccinelli is doing is going fishing for wrongdoing without an allegation of such wrongdoing

    Well I don’t know which emails you read, but I read the ones confessing to false-accounting, tax-evasion, and by nature of the tax-evasion – money-laundering. The FOIA is small-fry in comparision, as those are felony offenses.

    I’m also quite surprised by your assertion “without an allegation of such wrongdoing” – do you have access to any tip-offs that his office may have received? Or did you just model it?

    By his position of being the Attorney General, Cuccinelli is perfectly entitled to seek such information, as confirmed by the judge in the last case. No erosion of civil liberties at all. If the State truly followed the precautionary position, it would suspend all payments until the evidence was handed over, investigated, and found to be all-clear. It’s their money – their rules. It’s a good job for the University that they don’t – isn’t it?

    I would also point out to others, that there have been no accusations – that comes after all the evidence has been gathered, and a decision made on whether there is a case to answer. Even if it is decided that there is, there is still the matter of the trial – a jury may decide that there is no guilt involved. Only after a conviction, would the University/Mann be guilty.

    But remember as you write–District Attorneys are not always Republican

    There is a saying around the subject of trials: “If you have the facts – pound the facts. If you have the Law – pound the Law. If you have neither – pound the table.” When I see something along the lines of “Ah, but he’s a Republican.” I’m hearing a table being pounded.

    I find that disappointing in the context of a WUWT article.

  97. “Don’t let your desire for a short term victory in the daily news cycle let you ignore what would be an erosion of all our civil liberties, I beg of you”

    Tom,
    You are oh so wrong about this. Who has provided the vast funding required to so politicise the scientific process in such a way (hint – an organization that lacks any sort of democratic legitimacy finally formed as it has been via the Lisbon Treaty by denying virtually all of its 500 million citizens the right to have a direct vote on its existence).

    “the eu’s funding for climate research is based on the proverbial assumption that the science is “settled,” the debate “over.” Skeptics, so to say, need not apply. That the earth is warming, that the causes are anthropogenic, and that the consequences will be devastating — all these propositions, despite their largely empirical character, are treated as axiomatic by the eu’s program and hence placed outside the realm of legitimate inquiry. ”

    http://www.hoover.org/publications/policy-review/article/43291

    Not only providing the funding for the ‘science’ behind CAGW but also to the lobbying groups supporting it, massive sums to WWF, Friends of the Earth, Climate Action Network etc.

    http://www.adamsmith.org/blog/environment/propaganda-by-proxy%3A-how-the-eu-funds-green-lobby-groups/

    And wasn’t it the UK govt. that funded the ‘drowning puppy’ ad. on television and provided much of the funding for the uttely vile 10:10 propaganda video (and no WillR – it wasn’t particularly funny at all, not even for British black humour – we tend to favour the underdog, not the authoritarian).

    Small wonder that the CRU ‘inquiries’ were such a whitewash with the authorities utterly complicit.

    Cooler winters and hugely increasing energy costs are forcing many into fuel poverty and now we have various rumblings that climate may be such a problem that it requires special methods to deal with it!!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ethicalman/2010/05/are_we_doomed_by_democracy.html

    So yes we are worried about our ‘civil liberties’ and a judicial review is urgently required – there are many of us here cheering on Cuccinelli and desperately hoping the US can succeed where the UK has so utterly failed.

  98. I stand with Cuccinelli on this one:

    We need closure; was there fraud or not?

    We need someone/something to put the fear of God into scientists who do crappy science and then continue to try to defend it. As the post says:
    “And anyone who has read the book Steve Mosher and I have written knows that I think very poorly of what Michael Mann did–his actions in defense of his Hockey Stick chart were wrong, bullying, cheap and destructive of scientific publishing protocols and procedures.”

    We need more publicity, so more people realize just how far away from logic, decency, and the scientific method much of “climate science” has gotten.

    We need the “progressives” to lose another issue where they are trying to take the high ground.

  99. Thomas, you are completely wrong about Cuccinelli. His investigation is not about putting Mann behind bars. It is all about getting the state’s money back because Mann knew the stuff he was putting out was not true. There is plenty of evidence of this, according to the subpoena, because he referenced his own papers which he knew were wrong. Cuccinelli has every right to conduct his investigation. His investigation does not infringe in the least on academic freedom. It seeks only to recoup funds paid out on fraudulent science. Science has never been free to be fraudulent.

  100. Fransisco – the change is that in the US at least and to a lessor extent in other places governments are moving into place that are hostile to the notion that government knows best. I am sure you are aware that the motivation to move hard on Cap and Trade like programs was the intersection of energy providers looking to establish long term financial streams with environmental groups who want to control people (if not explode them) with financial services industries who also wanted to create a new revenue stream with a new commodity trading system with governments who wanted to tax it all so they could extort campaign contributions to remain in office and be treated like lords amd ladies.

    It was greed – with the government as a willing accomplice. I always love those who decry big business – they cannot get into your wallet unless the govt forces you to let them. That is one of the biggest motivators for getting the govt out of the economy.

    Mr. Fuller – I realize no need to pile on. I will refrain from looking to you for legal advice. Stick to science. You are wrong on multiple counts on matter of case law. Since Mann utilized continuing misrepresentations in order to secure continuing govt largess, he is defrauding with each grant request once he knew he wasn’t just making mistakes. McIntyre pretty much kills the mistake argument. We know it was deliberate – we probably don’t know exactly when it became so – but it is well within the rights of the state government who funded his research to start asking questions. Indeed I agree with one of the earlier posters. The University is making noise not because they are worried about acadmic freedom, but because they got caught with their hand in the cookie jar and large state run universities are the next economic bubble to burst. No need to add to the bad press that is coming their way. Millions of people are tied into the development of this education bubble. Its coming. And it will be ugly. I just hope the governmet nwill be willing to at least suspend all the student loans they allowed to be created due to their own stupidity and negligence.

  101. But it didn’t rise to a criminal level (that was the UK deleting emails in advance of Freedom of Information requests, not Michael Mann). What Ken Cuccinelli is doing is going fishing for wrongdoing without an allegation of such wrongdoing–and that’s not how we should be doing things in this country.

    On this one, Tom, I’d beg to differ.

    The Whitewater investigation of the Clintons was exactly a fishing expedition by Ken Starr. There would have been no impeachment if there had not been an expansion of the investigation of the Whitewater real estate investments of the Clintons into his personal (sex) life. And the Lewinsky affair had only the flimsiest of connections – and well after the fact – to the real estate deals. Whitewater ended up turning up nothing of consequence in the Clinton’s behavior having to do with the Whitewater deals.

    Had it not expanded, Clinton would have never been subpoenaed nor testified – nor subsequently lied under oath. It was that well-after-Whitewater lie that got him impeached – and that was on something totally peripheral to any of the real estate deals. In fact, the Office of Independent Counsel’s final report included only one passing mention of the Whitewater deal.

    This is not said here to take either side about the Clintons. It is said to rebut Tom’s assertion that “We don’t do that here.”

    Sorry, Tom, but we DO.

    And BTW, that final report found “insufficient available evidence to establish beyond a reasonable doubt” as to culpability by the Clintons in the deal. In the US of A, that means that it was not prosecutable – that the Clintons were not guilty. If it were prosecutable, rest assured, they would have been.

    So, starting out as a case (that eventually cost $73 million) about a real estate deal, it then morphed into an investigation of whether Hillary had hidden incriminating files (they were found and, no, they didn’t incriminate, after all), and then it was about Bill’s “snake charming” a WH intern. And besides “Slick Willie” letting the intern play with his Willie, and then him lying about it (a LOT of us would have, given the circumstances) – it all ended up with a failed impeachment trial before the Senate. And the impeachment had its real genesis in the fishing expedition(s) of Kenneth Starr.

  102. To Tom Fuller and others opposed to Cuccinelli’s probe, can you tell us how you think publicly-funded scientists OUGHT to be dealt with when they flout, or may reasonably be suspected of flouting, the principles of the scientific method?

  103. Much of this debate seems to be conducted as though Cuccinelli were not merely investigating Mann, but had already suspended the presumption of his innocence – a presumption I assume still prevails in the Virginia courts.

  104. From What I’ve read in the Washington Post, the University has spend $350K and perhaps the AG has spent a similar amount on this case. The $214K grant to Mann that they are now investigating (the only state grant) is about the effects of land use in Africa on climate and has nothing to do with the hocky stick and paleo studies. Interestingly, the AG doesn’t even including Mann’s collaborators on the grant in question on his list of people whose emails should be investigated. Perhaps the AG just wants to get a stack of emails so that he can find something to quote. In his filing, he blames Mann for using the words “our community” in a book review that Mann wrote for Real Climate, suggesting that the word “community” is indicative of “post modern science” and other crimes and conspiracies.

  105. Tom FP, I truly, honestly believe this should be handled through professional organisations, university procedures and the passage of time. I’m convinced that Mann’s work is so flawed that it will disappear–it’ll quit getting cited and new research will show where Mann went wrong.

    It will take longer than the judicial system. That’s okay by me. I keep saying this is a marathon, not a sprint. I want our laws and their ethical basis to still be around at the finish.

    The ‘system’ of science has dealt with other frauds, incorrect research findings and fad-inspired papers many times in the past. It can do so again with Michael Mann.

  106. ‘Robert of Ottawa says:
    October 6, 2010 at 6:16 am
    Who would have thought forty years ago that one gets better TV news from Russian TV?!!!”

    Yeah. Ironic. :-)

    Overall. I’ve also found it to be a ‘reasonable’ TV news service. All things considered.

  107. Please indulge my pedantry.
    A flack is a publicist or press agent. Flak is Fliegerabwehrkanonen or anti-aircraft fire. This is what one gets for saying or doing something that some people think objectionable.You will get no flak from me if you spell it “flak”.

  108. Tom Fuller says:
    October 6, 2010 at 4:58 pm
    Tom FP, I truly, honestly believe this should be handled through professional organisations, university procedures and the passage of time.

    Yes, but what happens to the readers of your works and society in general if and when your honest belief and faith are misplaced and censors investigations and news of the corruption of professional organizations, university procedures, governments, and news organizations? What happens when criminals of like mind and purpose assist each other to gain control of organizations and use them for unethical and/or criminal purposes? What happens to the public during “the passage of time” in which a self-censoring news organization is complicit with the corruption of society’s institutions and thereby prolongs “the passage of time” before the unethical conduct and the criminality are exposed to public responses?

  109. “In a recent conversation with a retired teacher, the discussion was ‘how do we cleanse the erronious climate science from school corriculums, and school teachers minds?’

    Without the Cuccinelli investigation of Mann, and hopefully a public trial of M Mann et al for committing fraud, the answer was ‘not for 50 years’.

    So you see, this investigation gets at the heart of the matter,”

    How about more science. If AGW is wrong, do more research that shows that. Publish
    papers that do more than go after temperature reconstructions, which are hardly the only thing propping up AGW.

    Witchhunts and personalizing the issue aren’t really persuasive to scientists like those that that wrote the NAS reports this year reconfirming mainstream science acceptance of AGW

  110. I don’t thin Cuccinelli will get his CID from the judge. It’s been denied once and the new one is weak

  111. Dear Anthony, have you noticed that these past weeks, news reports on UFOs have been increasing in the mainstream media? Maybe I am just being paranoid.

    Well spotted Paranoid Android. I had posted earlier on WUWT (though it was lost in the “miasma” of Splattergate) the following (in part):
    “Anyway, we have aliens and ufos to worry about now. Our national broadcaster in Australia, the ABC, recently played this (transcript) on their flagship current affairs programme: http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2010/s3023532.htm. Combine that with the UN’s recent on/off alien ambassador report and I think you will find the dog whistle implies it is time to shift from global warming to ufos, aliens etc as the next big scary thing!”

  112. Cliff says:
    October 6, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    How about more science. If AGW is wrong, do more research that shows that. Publish
    papers that do more than go after temperature reconstructions, which are hardly the only thing propping up AGW.

    The ClimateGate e-mails and other evidence demonstrates the Alarmists have corrupted and rigged the peer review publications process to suppress the publication of any peer reviewed papers which can tend to show AGW is not occurring. You are suggesting a course of action which the AGW proponents have been colluding to suppress.

    Witchhunts and personalizing the issue aren’t really persuasive to scientists like those that that wrote the NAS reports this year reconfirming mainstream science acceptance of AGW

    It may be reasonably argued that a number of the NAS members who you say must be persuaded are the same proponents of AGW Alarmism which is engaging in unethical practices to suppress any publications and efforts that tend to refute the AGW Alarmism they are attempting to promote. Indeed, the witchhunters are the proponents of AGW who correlate atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations to air temperatures in much the same way witchhunters correlate accused withches with floating pieces of wood.

  113. If only we could simply act on the ideal of ‘ Gentlemen’s Agreement’, my handshake is my bond…but the clash between democratic and non democratic mores entails one side subverting open forums and acting as though the ends justify the means. So what do we do? If we don’t act tough we go under, but ‘tough’ must still mean fair or we subvert what we hold dear. Better to have it out through the processes of our democratic institutions than allow cliques to subvert open enquiry in our universities and elsewhere.

  114. Mr Fuller

    I agree with 90% of the previous comments. Let me, however, be pedantic.

    Flak comes from Flugzeug abwehr kanone.

    It is never, ever, “flack”.

  115. or even, pedantically, Fliegerabwehrkanone, for any contrarian German linguists among us.

  116. Tom Fuller:

    The ‘system’ of science has dealt with other frauds, incorrect research findings and fad-inspired papers many times in the past. It can do so again with Michael Mann.

    Yet your own book was based upon leaked “work” materials. So, no, the “system of science” apparently needs some help? And, once again, why shouldn’t Cuccenelli have what he needs in order to do his job?

  117. Steven Mosher says:
    October 6, 2010 at 10:09 am

    I agree with your comment: ‘The issue is making charges that can stick’, but keep in mind that there are a multitude of people out there that do not know who Mann is or what the ‘hockey stick’ is, let alone the many nuances of, or the obfuscation / manipulations that have occurred in the arena of climatology.

    IMO many Americans, under the current politcal climate, regardless of how many times these people are vindicated by “inquiries”, will naturally gravitate towards the conclusion that it is due to some kind of “cover-up”. We all have to continue to get the word out whenever possible (except at dinner parties), since the MSM will not do their jobs reporting the truth.

    Let the lawyers and AG’s have there day in court and let their pursuit be, indeed, after ‘charges that will stick’. But I don’t believe that this is beating a dead horse (not your words). I can only imagine that most of the players in this: Hansen, Mann, Schmidt, MSM, et al know/knew exactley what they were/are doing. They are not “stupid” people. They also knew/know why they were/are doing it, otherwise they would have come clean years ago: been forthcoming with methods, data, and would have immediately corrected their errors when they were informed of them…like good scientists do. Obviously they have the backing of the “powers that be”, and motivations that have nothing to do with science or discovery.

    My point being: go after the charges that will stick but don’t judge a vindication of culprits as necessarily a loss of credibility. Many of the people I discuss these issues with anticipate whitewash and are smart enough to see through it when it occurs.

    How many times have we read here at WUWT the AGW crowd actually citing the Wegman and North reports of old as vindicating Mann’s work? In face of low-handed tactics such as this being utilized I tend to agree a poster above that wrote, “let out the hounds!”

    Tom Fuller says:
    October 6, 2010 at 4:58 pm
    “It will take longer than the judicial system. That’s okay by me. I keep saying this is a marathon, not a sprint. I want our laws and their ethical basis to still be around at the finish.”
    —-
    Our laws and their ethical basis have already suffered. Given the response, or lack thereof, of governments, politicians, and the kings of industry to these issues I don’t understand how you can say, “That’s ok by me”. Millions of our dollars are being spent for nothing more than to line the pockets of the privileged. Monies that could have been spent actually improving lives.

    This may, and probably will be a marathon. IMO it should be a sprint to end this madness. Every avenue, every opportunity should be explored and persued. In the face of such an extraordinary propaganda machine that the AGW crowd have at their disposal I’m afraid we may have no other choice but to bury them with everthing we can muster. Too bad there’s not more like Cuccineli who are at least willing…I don’t care what political affiliation they belong to: republican, democrat, libertarian, christian or buddhist.

  118. “But it didn’t rise to a criminal level (that was the UK deleting emails in advance of Freedom of Information requests, not Michael Mann).”

    Maybe I missed something, but is there any evidence that emails were actually deleted? I thought there was only an email asking to delete emails. Can anyone give evidence for Tom Fullers statement that CRU actually did delete emails that were important for a FOI request?

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