ATI’s video summary of the Mann UVA case

This is a historical summary, that shows both past and present context of Climategate and Michael Mann’s legal fight to keep his emails from University of Virgina a secret from FOIA requests. Worth a look. – Anthony

ATI’s Freedom of Information lawsuit on behalf of Virginia taxpayers is headed to the Virginia Supreme Court. This video gives the context and a brief history of Climategate and its relation to Michael Mann while at the University of Virginia.

In light of the revelations of Climategate 1 and 2 (in 2009 and 2011) where scientists, including Michael Mann at the University of Virginia (UVA), were seen to be conspiring to alter data to fit their hypotheses, the American Tradition Institute (ATI) argues that Michael Mann’s emails regarding the research he was doing at UVA should be made public.

ATI argues that research which has already been published and is being used as a basis for formulating public policy, and was taxpayer funded at a public university should be open to public scrutiny. Michael Mann and UVA argue that email correspondence on UVA accounts between Michael Mann and other scientists while working on the research is private and covered by academic freedom. ATI counters that there was no expectation of privacy that UVA is expressly covered under the FOIA act in Virginia.

Rob Schiling, WINA radio, points out that UVA has previously fired an employee for using university email accounts for private email and this is a taxpayer freedom issue.

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32 Responses to ATI’s video summary of the Mann UVA case

  1. murrayv says:

    Totally off topic, but here is reference to an interesting new paper http://www.ras.org.uk/news-and-press/219-news-2012/2117-did-exploding-stars-help-life-on-earth-to-thrive

    [Reply: Please put these items in Tips & Notes, or in an appropriate thread. ~dbs, mod.]

  2. Roger says:

    Get rid of the loud background music its very distracting. At least lower the volume of it to maybe 50%. Otherwise great good luck

  3. mwhite says:

    See what the CRU has been spending tax payers money on

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-17838436

    “University spent £112,000 on Climategate media advice”

  4. Jack Foster says:

    I’m curious about more background. What’s the timeline for the Virginia Supreme Court decision? Were there lower court decisions that led to this point? (I could start googling myself, of course, but thought someone might have the perfect reference already . . .)

  5. thojak says:

    Roger says:
    April 25, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Agreed! Please knock the ‘music’ (?) out, totally. Most annoying/distracting as with all too many vids around…

    Cheers from Sweden!
    ThomasJ

  6. DaveG says:

    The background music is to intrusive, annoying and detracts from a good message, Dump it!

  7. Good vid. Instructive for general public.

  8. KnR says:

    ‘Rob Schiling, WINA radio, points out that UVA has previously fired an employee for using university email accounts for private email and this is a taxpayer freedom issue.’
    He could have also pointed out that UVA were more than happy to give out a past employees e-mails when Greenpeace came calling too. With no mention of academic freedom then .

  9. Dan in California says:

    I can read several times faster than this audio track runs. Is there a transcript available?

  10. Warren in Minnesota says:

    Thank you for the BACKGROUND MUSIC warning. I will not listen to the video. Background music, rhythm, or patterned sounds unrelated to any type of presentation including advertising upset me. I turn off the source when I am able.

  11. Earle Williams says:

    KnR,

    If you are referring to the Greenpeace request for emails from Pat Michaels, apparently UVa never provided any emails to Greenpeace. There were administrative costs involved with processing the request and it seems Greenpeace was unwilling to pay the cost.

    http://www.virginia.edu/foia/climatechange/

  12. daved46 says:

    Somewhat interesting, but I note the hockeystick is backwards. That is, the handle of the stick should alilgn with the past (MWP and LIA) while the blade should align with the instrumental record.

  13. Wijnand says:

    Agreed, ditch the flashy history channel documentary type music….I keep waiting for the commercial break…

  14. Doug Proctor says:

    Rob Schiling, WINA radio, points out that UVA has previously fired an employee for using university email accounts for private email and this is a taxpayer freedom issue.

    It would work only if the official letter of termination listed this as the reason or one of the reasons for the employee being let go. People get let go for X reason all the time, but their termination notice often does not say that X was the reason – it is part of the negotiation to get the employee to leave without legal fuss. And the case in point would be private. The court would have to understand if such a thing was done. But even then, a certain amount of discretion is allowed: 12,000 emails may be okay, considering Mann was bringing in a lot of money.

    The question is: do the courts have to take the University’s word for it that the e-mails in question are private and not pertinent to Mann’s paid activities? Is the onus on the plaintiff or the defendant here?

  15. Goldie says:

    I don’t know why they think this shouldn’t be in the public domain. He wrote a book slandering a bunch of guys, you’d think they’d want the evidence to be in the public domain. After all in this day and age, no-one should be allowed to make unsubstantiated accusation against anyone else.

  16. George Daddis says:

    Earle, you are missing the point. UVA agreed to release the e-mails to Greenpeace. They just couldn’t agree on price (I could recall an old joke but it might be snipped).

  17. Michael D says:

    Enjoyed the vid and the background music was not an issue.

  18. mpaul says:

    The sheer hypocracy of Mann is breathtaking. On the one hand he argues that his emails must be kept private in order to protect academic freedom. He says the private deliberations of scientists must be kept from public scrutiny for science to function properly. Then, on the other hand, he uses the private emails of Wegman that he obtained as a result of FOIA to slime Wegman. Unbeleivable.

  19. Earle Williams says:

    George Daddis,

    Without UVa actually providing any of those emails to Greenpeace, I don’t think there’s any point to arguing that Greenpeace was treated differently than ATI. You may be right, and that if Greenpeace had slapped down the asking price they would have gotten a boatload of emails. But Greenpeace didn’t play, so arguing that they got special treatment isn’t supported by the evidence.

  20. Bill Tuttle says:

    Goldie says:
    April 25, 2012 at 4:28 pm
    I don’t know why they think this shouldn’t be in the public domain.

    Saves them the embarrassment of having defended Mann as being the victim of unsubstantiated allegations.

  21. Brian H says:

    I suspect UVA comes off looking rather bad in some of the email content, too. Would explain its determination to keep them hidden.

  22. richard verney says:

    KnR says:
    April 25, 2012 at 12:55 pm
    ////////////////////////////////
    They did point out the inconsistent approach to the request made by Greenpeace.

    The fired employee may need to reconsider her position. She was fired for using the UVA email system for her own personal use.

    If UVA/Mann now claim that the emails are private and hence need not be disclosed, it follows that the fired employee would have a strong case for wrongful dismissal. She was fired because she used state email accounts for private purpose. But if those accounts are private, as UVA and Mann now maintain, the fired employee was legitimately using the account for her private purposes.

    Perhaps she should claim sex discrimantion and commence a substantial law suit against UVA. .

  23. richard verney says:

    One thing that was not clear to me was the point where $8,500 had been agreed to be paid in exchange for the emails.

    Does that not consitute a contract? Cannot specific performance be compelled? If not may be there is a claim for substantial damages. Difficult to put a figure on damages but if one adds up all the ‘green tax/subsidies’ people in the state will be paying over the next say 50 years that could form the starting point for the claim for damages. That would give the UVA something to think about.

  24. W. Sander says:

    It would be interesting to post this item again without background music . I couldn’t bear to listen to the end. It’s a pity.

  25. Andrew says:

    Wow…. Refreshing investigation of the truth. Warms the cockles of my heart after seeing the propaganda exercise tonight on the ABC here in OZ.

  26. Gail Combs says:

    KnR says:
    April 25, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    ‘Rob Schiling, WINA radio, points out that UVA has previously fired an employee for using university email accounts for private email and this is a taxpayer freedom issue.’
    He could have also pointed out that UVA were more than happy to give out a past employees e-mails when Greenpeace came calling too. With no mention of academic freedom then .
    ________________________________
    And let us not forget the dust-up with the NIXON TAPES The issue of privacy is also raised.

    ….The expectation of a President to the confidentiality of his conversations and correspondence, like the claim of confidentiality of judicial deliberations, for example, has all the values to which we accord deference for the privacy of all citizens and, added to those values, is the necessity for protection of the public interest in candid, objective, and even blunt or harsh opinions in Presidential decision-making…..

    UNITED STATES v. NIXON Full Text of the Supreme Court Decision In The Watergate Case
    …4. Neither the doctrine of separation of powers nor the generalized need for confidentiality of high-level communications, without more, can sustain an absolute, unqualified Presidential privilege of immunity from judicial process under all circumstances.
    7. Since a President’s communications encompass a vastly wider range of sensitive material than would be true of an ordinary individual, the public interest requires that Presidential confidentiality be afforded the greatest protection consistent with the fair administration of justice, and the District Court has a heavy responsibility to ensure that material involving Presidential conversations irrelevant to or inadmissible in the criminal prosecution be accorded the high degree of respect due a President and that such material be returned under seal to its lawful custodian….

    MR. CHIEF JUSTICE BURGER delivered the opinion of the Court.

    This litigation presents for review the denial of a motion, filed in the District Court on behalf of the President of the United States, in the case of United States v. Mitchell (D.C. Crim. No. 74-110), to quash a third-party subpoena duces tecum issued by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, pursuant to Fed. Rule Crim. Proc. 17 (c). The subpoena directed the President to produce certain tape recordings and documents relating to his conversations with aides and advisers. The court rejected the President’s claims of absolute executive privilege, of lack of jurisdiction, and of failure to satisfy the requirements of Rule…..

    On March 1, 1974, a grand jury of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia returned an indictment charging seven named individuals 3 with various offenses, including conspiracy to defraud the United States and to obstruct justice. Although he was not designated as such in the indictment, the grand jury named the President, among others, as an unindicted coconspirator…..

    “…including conspiracy to defraud the United States and to obstruct justice… GEE, doesn’t that sound familiar. I guess Mann rates higher than a sitting Republican President.

  27. michaelspj says:

    Yes, UVa had no problem with giving my emails to Greenpeace. The irony is that when Greenpeace realized that this would mean they would have to give up Mann’s, they dropped their request.

    PJM

  28. DorisR says:

    Wow, I almost didn’t watch it with all the negative comments about background music. But I thought it was great. Have you guys ever watched a documentary or TV? Anyway, kept me interested and I passed it on to friends who don’t know much, if anything, about this. I don’t think they would have watched a powerpoint lecture. And people who only watch TV and movies like Gore’s need to know these guys are cooking the books.

    Earle Williams,

    Whether Greenepeace exercised their option or not is moot. The option was not given when Bob Marshall requested Mann’s emails. Greenpeace was told they could have the emails of someone who was gone and Bob Marshall was told Michael Mann’s emails were denied BECAUSE he was gone. And in fact Mann’s emails WERE there.

  29. John Whitman says:

    The UVA administration failed to defend important principles upon which open publically funded science is based. Its failure was caused by some outside pressure from a group of organized activist scientists who advocate alarmism/catastrophism. I think there must be some significant intellectual rebellion going on within the broader scientific community opposing that group of organized activist scientists who are attacking the UVA.

    My intellectual support goes to that intellectual rebellion against the alarmists and catastrophists.

    John

  30. Policy Guy says:

    First, good video, very informative.

    Second, thank you PJM for setting the record straight about Greenpeace. The word was that they did not want to pay for them, but your explanation makes alot more sense.

  31. DaveG says:

    Hey I just lip read the whole thing!

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