ATI press release on the Mann UVA emails

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Contacts: Paul Chesser, Executive Director, paul.chesser@atinstitute.org

Chris Horner, Senior Director of Litigation, chris.horner@atinstitute.org

UVA Goes All-in on Climategate FOIA Cover-up

By Christopher C. HornerWashington Examiner, 08/27/11

The University of Virginia has joined a list of institutions claiming that there has been an actual inquiry into, and even ‘exoneration’ of, scientists exposed by the November 2009 “ClimateGate” leak, while simultaneously through its actions making a mockery of the idea.

UVa’s August 23 release under court order of 3,800 pages of emails – records that UVa previously denied existed – was its second since the American Tradition Institute (ATI) sought judicial assistance in bringing the school into compliance with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA).

The school has spent approximately $500,000 to date keeping these records from the taxpayer, who paid for their production to begin with.

Read the rest here: http://bit.ly/r6HCs2

For an interview with American Tradition Institute director of litigation Christopher Horner, call (202)670-2680 or email chris.horner@atinstitute.org.

See documents and previous media coverage of ATI Environmental Law Center v. University of Virginia regarding Dr. Michael Mann: http://tinyurl.com/3jy9jlu

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General P.Malaise

there are serious problems with the state of law enforcement in the USA. these stories sound more and more like they should be coming from Iran, North Korea or the old USSR.
I really do think the tipping point has been exceeded …but not on global warming but in honesty.

Keith W.

So, UVa did not provide emails that it knew were already in the public domain, even though they were specifically asked for those exact emails!?! How obvious do you want to be that you are trying to hide something? Those would be the first into any filing I would make on the subject, unless I was going to say that those emails already were available, and cite where they could be found. I guess UVa doesn’t want Climategate to actually become a matter of public record, as a court document.

mwhite

The school has spent approximately $500,000 of tax payers money keeping these records from the taxpayer, who paid for their production to begin with.

Dave L.

Actions usually speak louder than words, but in this case, UVA’s actions imply that there are some really damaging revelations hiding in those unreleased e-mails. Perhaps the Climategate e-mails represent only the tip of the iceberg.

Mark Nutley

It was obvious they would withhold all the good stuff, back to court again I suppose.

hunter

Nixon would be proud of UVA.

Andrew Harding

Mr Horner is to be congratulated on his efforts to make these records public. The fact that there are thousands of them which the University of Virginia does not want to make public must surely indicate that there are more skeletons rattling in this academic cupboard.
I would say that Climategate started some serious debate with regard to the AGW theory and if these e-mails can be made public, I really think it will be the end of this particular bandwagon. The politicians can save face by launching enquiries and blaming the (hate to use this term for these people) scientists, so at least we have a get out clause there. If on the other hand the politicians know what is going on and are covering it up, things can get messy. My guess is that they will delete all the e-mails before they can be made public, but I don’t know enough about US law to know if they can do that legitimately.
I think that the fact that they do not want to disclose the e-mails is evidence enough that they have lied and exaggerated about AGW.
What goes around, comes around, I will look forward to the day of reckoning.

Henry chance

CEI can take them to court a few more times to squeeze the documents out.

Leon Brozyna

UVa appears to be trying to see how far they can push the court to keep from releasing anything that’s truly damaging. The tactic of trying the court’s patience has been known to backfire.

stephen richards

Time to send in the FBI. he he. Never happen under the communist regime of Obama.

Perhaps, within the hallowed halls of that institution, there is an individual with access to and the ability to leak some of the offending information. Just enough to give probable cause so that the legal procedures could be expedited.
It happened once…

sceptical

It would seem the only thing uncovered by climategate has been how wild the spin from “scaptics” is and how easily a certain group will buy this spin.

Roger Knights

This is the second domino after Climategate (which prompted ATI’s suit against UVA).

‘sceptical” is an apologist for fraud. From Harry_read_me:

“Here, the expected 1990 – 2003 period is missing so the correlations aren’t so hot!
Yet the WMO codes and station names /locations are identical (or close).
What the hell is supposed to happen here?
Oh, yeah – there is no ‘supposed’, I can make it up. So I have.”

13 years of fabricated temperature data.

JK

Smokey
I don’t think you realize what “Harry_read_me” is though.

R. Gates

Nice to see the UVA stand behind their faculty.

RockyRoad

JK says:
August 27, 2011 at 11:48 am

Smokey
I don’t think you realize what “Harry_read_me” is though.

Then please, enlighten us, JK–tell us exactly what “Harry_read_me” is.
Be specific. Don’t go slinking in some corner or give us some excuse you’re too busy watching some storm. Out with it.

R. Gates

stephen richards says:
August 27, 2011 at 10:48 am
Time to send in the FBI. he he. Never happen under the communist regime of Obama.
____
Wow! You just raised the bar on the definition of “way out there”.

RockyRoad

The Board of Regents at UVa should fire those administrators that spent $500,000 on defending indefensible actions in this case.
Those administrators should have to pay back every dime then they should be dismissed from their current positions WITHOUT severance pay or retirement. It doesn’t take a $500,000 theft to constitute a felony.

TedK

Quote from Chris Horner’s “Washington Examiner” article:

“The university again labored to avoid releasing correspondence directly addressing the now discredited “Hockey Stick” graph produced while former assistant research professor Michael Mann worked there.
At least 126 of those emails were sent to or from Mann at UVa and were central to ClimateGate, which exposed a purported, now disavowed temperature record, as well as the Hockey Stick and related activities by scientists to keep dissenting work from publication. The emails showed scientists circling the wagons to protect their claims, funding and careers.
Each of these 126 UVa ClimateGate emails, as with other related Mann correspondence with third parties of which we are aware, is covered by our VFOI request. Not one of them made it into UVa’s releases.
UVa acknowledges withholding between 3,500 and 4,000 more pages. This likely represents around ten times the original number of UVa emails revealed in “ClimateGate.””

I can’t think of a better way to inform a judge that UVA is flouting the law and the terms of the agreement. Hmmm. Sure sounds like contempt of court… It makes one wonder; just what is in those emails that UVA is willing to risk fines and perhaps jail time for. Whatever it is, it must be far more damning than the good name and reputation of a top quality state college is worth. Now that is sad. Heads up Penn State!

Chris Edwards

Rocky Road is right, time we stopped molycoddling these fraudsters and perhaps re open a few island high securiy prisons for the huge influx, and yes Obamas communist regeme would not allow the FBI to do their job!

Mac the Knife

General P.Malaise says:
August 27, 2011 at 9:59 am
“I really do think the tipping point has been exceeded …but not on global warming but in honesty.”
You have stated the Root Cause of all such chicanery!
Corrective Actions: A return to the time tested foundations of human society.
Thou shalt not murder.
Thou shalt not bear false witness.
Thou shalt not steal.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors wife or wealth.
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Honor thy father and thy mother.
Teaching of basic morality, as firm guidelines for civilized behavior, has been derided and spurned. The results permeate a rapidly decaying society. It doesn’t really matter whether you are ‘religious’ or not. These are universal rules for civilized behavior. Failure to learn, apply, and adhere to them leads to anarchy…

Claude Harvey

Be cautious about assuming no motive other than “hiding damaging information” could be possible here. Remember that our President vigorously resisted releasing his original birth certificate for at least two years, leading doubters to speculate wildly the he was hiding damaging truth. Only after accusations had reached a fevered pitch did the master politician release that document to the public, thus eviscerating his critics’ credibility.

R. Gates says:
“Nice to see the UVA stand behind their faculty.”
…And against the taxpayers who funded the work product.
And Gates says to stephen richards: “Wow! You just raised the bar on the definition of ‘way out there’.”
Not really. Have you seen the polls? O’s apologists are the ones who are “way out there.”

stephen richards

R. Gates says:
August 27, 2011 at 11:57 am
stephen richards says:
August 27, 2011 at 10:48 am
Time to send in the FBI. he he. Never happen under the communist regime of Obama.
____
Wow! You just raised the bar on the definition of “way out there”.
Not really. If a company refuses information that’s exactly what would happen. See Enron for example.

stephen richards

Incidently gates, for me to be way out where you are I would need some pretty unimaginable transport. 🙂

mpaul

UVA is arguably the best public university in the US. Its tragic to see them East Angliate themselves like this. When these emails eventually come to light, and there’s no doubt that they will, then UVA will be seen by the public as part of the problem. This will have a disastrous effect on their reputation.

It would be well to remember that there are many, many exceptions and exclusions to what can be retrieved via a FOIA request. Just because emails exist, doesn’t necessarily mean that UVa must turn them over.
For example, some of the exclusions can be found at this link:
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?000+cod+TOC02020000037000000000000
A summary of the VFOIA’s major headings pertaining to exclusions is:
2.2-3705.1 Exclusions to application of chapter; exclusions of general application to public bodies
2.2-3705.2 Exclusions to application of chapter; records relating to public safety
2.2-3705.3 Exclusions to application of chapter; records relating to administrative investigations
2.2-3705.4 Exclusions to application of chapter; educational records and certain records of educational instit…
2.2-3705.5 Exclusions to application of chapter; health and social services records
2.2-3705.6 Exclusions to application of chapter; proprietary records and trade secrets
2.2-3705.7 Exclusions to application of chapter; records of specific public bodies and certain other limited e…

All this press release is saying is that UVa did not immediately bow to their demands. We knew that.
What is new is that they now been given a large stack of emails from Mann. And they’re reduced to quoting from emails from a different scientist in another country, published long ago.
Makes you wonder if there’s anything there.

Claude Harvey,
Are you saying the whole Climategate gang are ‘master politicians’, as you believe the President to be? Are you saying the university spent half a million dollars to force the A.G. to ‘speculate wildly’ that they are hiding something innocent? If so, do you think that is the best use for the money? Just wondering.

jjbond

RockyRoad says:
August 27, 2011 at 11:56 am
JK says:
August 27, 2011 at 11:48 am
Smokey
I don’t think you realize what “Harry_read_me” is though.
Then please, enlighten us, JK–tell us exactly what “Harry_read_me” is.
Be specific. Don’t go slinking in some corner or give us some excuse you’re too busy watching some storm. Out with it.
I assume you refer to the private working notes of Harry (working long hours under pressure) . Can you put the quote in context? Was it trying out code? Who knows (apart from Harry)
Here is report:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/24129/response/63521/attach/4/Harris%20report%202005.pdf

Michael Larkin

I thought that it had been agreed in camera with the judge which emails would be released. Have some of those not been released? If so, would not UVA be in contempt of court? Or is my memory faulty?

Larry

http://www.newsplex.com/home/headlines/Uvaturnsoverclimatechangedocs_128459493.html
Found this on a Charlottesville TV station website today…

Kohl

sceptical says:
It would seem the only thing uncovered by climategate has been how wild the spin from “scaptics” is and how easily a certain group will buy this spin.
Eh?

MorinMoss

@Claude Harvey Considering Obama’s track record against the Teapublicans, he’s not much of a master politician. Also, the long-form certificate was NOT his to release – he had to make a special request, via his attorney to the director of Hawaii’s Dept. of Health. The simple fact is that sane people never doubted where he was born, the release of the short-form plus the attestations of health officials several years ago should have been enough for the mildly disturbed and frankly, nothing short of raising Obama’s birth parents from the dead and torturing them at Guantanamo will convince the diehard lunatics. But at least we were entertained during the worst financial meltdown in 2 generations.

pat

All your lies belong to us.

pat

@D Marshall
Until the Obama controversy, absolutely no one in Hawaii had difficulty getting his or a family members long form BC or a Death Certificate. $10 and it was yours. Done all the time. Every day. The new policy, because the law never changed, was enunciated only after the Obama hubbub began. I frankly think anyone can still get his long form upon requests. In fact it is often necessary for Hawaiians to do so to take advantage of various set asides based upon strict blood quantum.The BCs that require special treatment are those sealed by law or legal action. Such as those of adoptees.
And yes Obama was born here. We all know that. But he went to Punahou as Barry Sotero.

wat dabney

It’s a sad day when Hamburger University has a better ethical record and reputation than Virginia. If they don’t want their degrees to fall in worth to the same devalued status as those from the “University” of East Anglia they should stop copying that bankrupt institution’s practises.

TedK

Roger Sowell says:
August 27, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Nice links, but you overlooked a critical one:
2.2-3713 Proceedings for enforcement of chapter
Which has this subsection;

E. In any action to enforce the provisions of this chapter, the public body shall bear the burden of proof to establish an exemption by a preponderance of the evidence. Any failure by a public body to follow the procedures established by this chapter shall be presumed to be a violation of this chapter.

Some established precedents which set the stage for the intent and application of FOIA law.

Pansy v. Borough of Stroudsburg, 23 F.3d 772, 792 (3rd Cir. 1994)
“Reviewing courts should undertake their analysis of FOIA requests by “recognizing the enduring beliefs underlying freedom of information laws: that an informed public is desirable, that access to information prevents governmental abuse and helps secure freedom, and that, ultimately, government must answer to its citizens.”
[“T]he court … must balance the requesting party’s need for information against the injury that might result if uncontrolled disclosure is compelled. When the risk of harm to the owner of [a] trade secret or confidential information outweighs the need for discovery, disclosure [through discovery] cannot be compelled, but this is an infrequent result…”

Robert of Ottawa

The e-mails that are already in the public domain were not included?!
Incredibly stupid. Had they been included, all may have passed quietly. Now, ATI has a reason to ask why they were not. Probably the uni received legal advice about opening up the flood-gates or something. Keep pushing!
Perhaps we should pass the hat around for the Uni’s legal team to keep working for us!

Robert of Ottawa

If I weere a US congressman, I’d want to know if the Feds had given any money to this Group, and demand a ddetailed explanation.

HB

Scaptic? What, or who is a “scaptic”? Did I miss something?

@TedK on August 27, 2011 at 4:28 pm
What is your point? Of course the public body has the burden to claim an exemption.
The same or similar laws apply to discovery in civil cases in general, that is, confidential information, trade secrets, privileged information, and certain other categories of information are hotly disputed where the one party wants to see it all, and the other party claims the information cannot be disclosed without undue harm. It is almost certain that both parties in this case have competent counsel and know the law quite well. The judge in such cases (or sometimes a special master appointed by the judge) reviews the disputed information, and in some cases the attorneys for both sides are allowed to see the information – but only on the condition that the attorneys cannot divulge what they see, even to their own client. The judge rules on each claim of exclusion or exemption.
In a civil case (non-FOIA), this is necessary to prevent competitors from suing each other on a pretext, in order to gain access to their confidential information and thereby profit from it. In the area of trade secret law, this is a major litigation issue. The holder of the trade secret does not want his competitor to learn anything about his trade secret and thus claims that it is not discoverable. The holder of the trade secret bears the burden of proving adequately to the court that his information does indeed qualify as a trade secret.
FOIA is nothing new, it is merely an off-shoot of the time-honored practice of discovery in a civil case.
My point in providing the links above is that there are literally dozens of exclusions or exemptions that UVa can use, and likely is using, to avoid public disclosure of some of the emails at issue. For skeptics to claim that everything from a public university is in the public domain is not at all accurate.

Packman1

It is interesting that R Gates is fully behind UVAs actions in defending their former faculty member who has been exposed as having colluded against other scientists to prevent publication of their opposing views. Further, the information sought was not created under confidentiality agreements and was paid for by state and federal tax payers.
None of the oft-cited exonorations have looked directly at the claims of the opponents. Rather, friendly panels were appointed to white wash the UEA and PSU situations.
It is also interesting that R Gates and many others have no problem about treatment of opponents and have cheered on attempts to attack them. Scientific integrity relies on open access to information, impartial peer reviews, and demonstration of models via experimentation or measurement. Since none of that appears to pertain to Mann, et. al., it is amazing how strongly the unethical behavior is defended.
Most here believe that CO2 is associated with warming. But the models have not forcasted well. It is clear that ocean dynamics, the role of incident radiation and cloud effects are poorly understood. If less alarmism and more collaboration and exploration of these key, open issues could advance rapidly.
Instead, billions and billions are spent on wildlife studies that speculate on the influence of climate change, on inefficient energy resources, on creating regulations that are strangling economies, and potentially on reparations by (now bankrupt) “rich countries” to poor ones rather than on helping them get food, clean water, reliable power and spurring economic development.

MorinMoss

@pat “And yes Obama was born here. We all know that”
Correction: “We all are saying we know that NOW”
There were a lot of people, including senior Republicans who were openly birthers or hedging their bets.
“But he went to Punahou as Barry Sotero.” – which has nothing to do with his birth certificate.

R.S.Brown

When you look at the Virginia FOI law at:
http://www.opengovva.org/virginia-fioa-the-law
and scroll down to:

3.3-3705.4 Exclusions to application of chapter, educational record and
certain records of educational instutions.

You’ll see

4. Data, records or information of a proprietary nature produced
or collected by or for faculty or staff of public institutions of higher education, other
than the institutions’ finanacial or administrative record, in the conduct of or as a
result of study or research on medical, scientific, technical or scholarly issues, whether
sponcered by the institution alone or in conjunction with a governmental body or
private concern, where such data, records or information has not been publically
released, published, copyrighted or patented. [Emphasis added]

However, under

2.2-3705.6 Exclusions to application of chapter, proprietary records

and trade secrets.
Of the 25 or so ways to be “exempt” as “proprietary record” or as as
anything else “proprietary” as the Virigina law defines it, I don’t see
a way for Mike Mann’s e-mails and attachments to be exempt.
Maybe the Prince County Judge will feel differently… or not. It will be his decision
assuming ATI asks him to rule on the validity of the so called exemption of each
separate e-mail.

Andrew30

Robert of Ottawa says: August 27, 2011 at 4:29 pm
[The e-mails that are already in the public domain were not included?!]
Of course not, it’s a trick. If they accept the emails that are in the public domain (which everyone has) then they may not be able to use them in court (not legally obtained), and the public domain emails may in fact taint the whole body of information if they were used in the aggregate. So even though they know Exactly what they are missing they must still be then officially handed over by the legal custodian. You see, they cant even use the information in the climategate emails as ’cause’ for further investigation, until they have them legally. One they have them legally the real show starts. UVA knows this.

sceptical

Smokey, you claim fraud but there has been none shown. On the other hand, the incoherent ramblings of many a scaptic have shown that what was actually written in the emails matters not to those who oppose the scientific method.

LazyTeenager

stephen richards says:
August 27, 2011 at 10:48 am
Time to send in the FBI. he he. Never happen under the communist regime of Obama.
———–
This would only make sense if you were a member of a lunatic faction of the republican party, who thinks democracy should be redefined to mean a one party state ruled by you.
Sorry to dishearten you, but at this stage democracy means the other guys gets to play with the marbles.

kramer

Anybody know the direct number to call UVA on this? I would really like to give the right people at UVA a piece of my mind on this matter.
And don’t they know that by withholding these particular emails, they are only fueling distrust?