Legal exemplars cited in Michael Mann's UVA email case

Mann alludes to his “dirty laundry” which cannot come out, requesting his correspondent to not pass the email or the data attached to it to anyone else (PE-22).

The Environmental Law Center of the American Tradition Institute

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

Washington, D.C.

January 25, 2012

On Tuesday the American Tradition Institute’s Environmental Law Center sent the University of Virginia and Michael Mann copies of 40 emails selected as examples of the 27 categories identified as benefitting from the Court’s review of UVA and Mann’s claims that emails in the taxpayer-funded school’s possession are properly subject to the specific exemptions under Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA). These categories range from discussions of professional retaliation against other scientists who challenged Mann’s work, to those sent to or from Mann from or copying an email account covered by other FOI laws, such as the federal Freedom of Information Act.

This was part of a process agreed to by ATI, the University and Mann’s attorneys as ATI continues to seek Thomas Jefferson’s university to release a cache of 12,000 emails covered under VFOIA that tell an important part of the history of climate alarmism and the often unsettling ways taxpayer money was spent in promoting it.

“The UVA emails are a key part of a history that taxpayers are trying to piece together to place the early climate alarmism, and taxpayer financing of it, in context,” said Dr. David Schnare, Director of the ATI Environmental Law Center. “The alarmist professors who in some of these emails speak about ‘the cause’ have complained that their emails have been taken out of context. Release of the full UVA email collection, all sent or received by Mann after expressly agreeing he had no ownership of or expectation of privacy about them, will provide that context. Considering the behavior of this former UVA professor as documented in many emails already available to the public, these emails are the only means he has to claim exoneration without being accused of a whitewash.”

The selected emails include graphic descriptions of the contempt a small circle of largely taxpayer-funded alarmists held for anyone who followed scientific principles and ended up disagreeing with them. For example, in the fifteenth Petitioners’ Exemplar (PE-15), Mann encourages a boycott of one climate journal and a direct appeal to his friends on the editorial board to have one of the journal’s editors fired for accepting papers that were carefully peer-reviewed and recommended for publication on the basis that the papers dispute Mann’s own work. In PE-38, he states that another well respected journal is “being run by the baddies,” calling them “shills for industry.” In PE-39 Mann calls U.S. Congressmen concerned about how he spent taxpayer money “thugs”.

PE-18, 20 & 27 illustrate the typical fashion with which Mann used a UVa email account to accuse co-authors and other respected scientists of incompetence, berating them in emails copied to colleagues living throughout the world. UVA claims this is somehow exempt from VFOIA as scientific research.

In PE-22, Mann alludes to his “dirty laundry” which cannot come out, requesting his correspondent to not pass the email or the data attached to it to anyone else (UVa has claimed no attachments to any emails were preserved on their system). In this email, Mann admits he has failed to follow the most basic tenet of science, to keep a record of exactly what he did in his research, and thus himself could not reproduce his own results.

PE-24 & 25 characterize the efforts of this small group of academics to hide what they are doing and to avoid their work being held up to inspection under the Freedom of Information Act. In PE-26, Mann goes so far as to ask a federal employee — impossibly, as he send it to an email account subject to the federal FOIA — to “treat this email as confidential” though all the email does is complain about a Wall Street Journal author’s efforts to report the science impeaching Mann’s early work. PE-26, like many other emails UVA wishes to keep secret, is subject to release under the federal FOIA.

These emails, if honestly representative of the entire collection, do not make Virginians proud of having paid Mann’s salary.

“ATI, like Greenpeace and its peers, as well as the media, is committed to using transparency laws to make science and government policy open to the citizens who underwrite it, to the exclusion of properly exempt information such as proprietary material,” said Chris Horner, ATI’s Director of Litigation. “Universities are routinely asked to produce emails under FOIA, and most do so quickly. This has recently been proved true at another Virginia university when the media sought emails of a Mann critic. Why UVA wishes to boast of such outlier status within the academic community makes one ask, ‘what is it they are trying to hide?’”

The Petitioners’ Exemplars are available at ATI’s site.

If you wish an interview with Dr. Schnare or Mr. Horner, please contact ATI at info@atinstitute.org.

– 30 –

h/t to reader Peter Bromberg

Advertisements

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Steeptown

Are any of these emails new – they seem to be the same ones we have seen in CG1 and CG2?

Keith Schoose

It is obvious that there is no valid reason not to release the emails. UVA…stop the hiding or your university’s reputation will continue to decline.

D. W. Schnare

I don’t expect regular visitors to WUWT to find anything new, although there is one email that I don’t believe was in the CG emails.

RockyRoad

Same ol’ Mann oh Mann… This guy should be thrown in the clink and all his garbage emails piled on top. Or would that be feeding the rats too much?
And to think this is the level of “scientist” our tax dollars are supporting and the whole “CAGW” gig is based on. What a complete and total eeeemmmmmmmmmmmbarrassment!

[snip – policy] Since UVAs behavior has been so egregious with regard to their stonewalling, I believe it has crossed the line into criminally interfering with and impeding a federal and/or state investigation. Can charges be piled on before the statutes of limitation run out?

Bennett

These emails may not be news to those who frequent WUWT, but what IS news is how close the excrement is getting to the fan blades.
By the way, although I didn’t listen to the entire SOTU speech, I’ve heard several analysts note that mention of “Climate Change” was strangely absent. Gotta love the winds of change.

ShrNfr

A real scientist welcomes a challenge to his conclusions. I am part of a discussion group on stocks, etc. I show up to be shown where I am wrong, not where I am right. For a “scientist” to “retaliate” against somebody who challenges them is not only petty, it is unprofessional and unscientific. This guy should lose all standing in the academic community and be sent out with a stick with a nail on the end to pick up waste paper. He is simply a disgrace to science. Further, he should be required to return all grant monies out of his own funds for the duration of the offense.

Steve McIntyre

I don’t think that this should be labeled as a “First Look” since these are Climategate emails. I understand that these are being used as “exemplars” in the case, but that’s different from a “first look”.
REPLY: I agree, I was thinking “first look” from the standpoint of this case with UVA. I’ll make a change to the title to be more appropriate – Anthony

Dave

Steeptown says:
January 26, 2012 at 9:22 am
Are any of these emails new – they seem to be the same ones we have seen in CG1 and CG2?
Steeptown.
Have you been on the moon or in the desert with your head in the sand? The emails are Climategate 2 and content shows that fraud was happening then and is still relevant today. Mann and company have not changed, they are entrenched in the same dogma.

GeoLurking

Simple solution, ban all Universities from any Federal funding if they fail to promptly comply with bona fide FOIA requests.
No exceptions.

Paul

As Mann himself cannot replicate his own work, should the respective journals not retract the relevant papers entirely?

Bloke down the pub

as my mother was fond of reminding me, Beware your sins will find you out.

I guess you know about this but I haven’t seen a post on your site.
Mann is part of a team submitting FOIs to the GWPF, and failing, so far.

GeoLurking

Suissebob says:
“I guess you know about this but I haven’t seen a post on your site.
Mann is part of a team submitting FOIs to the GWPF, and failing, so far.”
Well, if GWPF is government funded, I hope he succeeds.
If not, then he can pack sand.

Luther Wu

GeoLurking says:
January 26, 2012 at 10:11 am
Simple solution, ban all Universities from any Federal funding if they fail to promptly comply with bona fide FOIA requests
No exceptions.
_____________________________
Even absolutes fail in a world full of lawyers.

Steeptown

Dave says:
January 26, 2012 at 10:09 am
Steeptown says:
January 26, 2012 at 9:22 am
Are any of these emails new – they seem to be the same ones we have seen in CG1 and CG2?
Steeptown.
Have you been on the moon or in the desert with your head in the sand? The emails are Climategate 2 and content shows that fraud was happening then and is still relevant today. Mann and company have not changed, they are entrenched in the same dogma.

Are you thick or something? I thought they were all from CG, but I wondered if anyone had checked them all. Steve McIntyre confirms it.

Septic Matthew

Well done. I especially liked this part: The alarmist professors who in some of these emails speak about ‘the cause’ have complained that their emails have been taken out of context. Release of the full UVA email collection, all sent or received by Mann after expressly agreeing he had no ownership of or expectation of privacy about them, will provide that context.
There is much else to praise.
Applause, Applause.

bill


Mann is part of a team submitting FOIs to the GWPF, and failing, so far”
Didn’t know Mann was at it too, but Leo Hickman (Guardian) certainly is. Or at least, about Peiser.

G. Karst

Don’t you hate it when one’s necktie shrinks so tight that breathing becomes near impossible, and the pounding of one’s heart unbearable? Someone better come clean soon! The crime doesn’t deserve death by coronary failure. GK

Mike M

Luther Wu says: Even absolutes fail in a world full of lawyers.
I think we’re all fair in agreement that electing only lawyers to Congress is at least part of the problem.

Great item! Anthony, please keep us informed (as you have been) on this.
Some of the best signals for the universities and government research agencies would be for the FOIA requests to be upheld, with possible LIMITED exemptions. A fine would be helpful. Others will recognize the handwriting on the wall, and some will try to hide as Mann and others have done by trying to block the requests or deleting the files. Others will try to find a way to hide via IM and Skype or FB conversations, or generic email accounts (such as ymail and gmail). Yet, if those accounts are accessed during the workday on agency or university computers, I believe they also may fall under the general prohibitions for use of government and employer computers for “personal” reasons, and in any case could (& should) be investigated as too much time spent on non-work-related activities while on the payroll, inappropriate use of employer resources for personal or profit, etc.

Graeme No.3

In an e-Mail Mann admits he can’t reproduce (some of) his work.
In an e-mail Prof. Jones admitted that he couldn’t easily reproduce some of his work.
Climate sceptic scientists claim they can’t reproduce Mann’s or Jones’s work.
So it looks like scientific CONSENSUS after all.

@Graeme No.3 — excellent point!

Khwarizmi

G. Karst says:
Don’t you hate it when one’s necktie shrinks so tight that breathing becomes near impossible, and the pounding of one’s heart unbearable? Someone better come clean soon!
========
That’s what beta-blockers are for…
http://www.google.com/search?q=climategate%2C+phil+jones%2C+beta+blockers

UVa has claimed no attachments to any emails were preserved on their system
This is an astonishing claim, if true. And should subject UVa to severe sanctions by the Feds. And to abject ridicule by the rest of the university-based schools across the country.
This is one of IT’s primary responsibilities. Especially when publicly funded research is involved. Preserving paper trails and data is their life-blood. If they can’t do this competently, then whatever funding they’ve been receiving should be immediately cut off, and any new funding held up for review. At least until they’ve demonstrated that they can run their IT department with a modicum of responsibility.
This is unconscionable. Heads absolutely need to role over this.

research-based schools.
Duh.

What don’t these people seem to understand. Justice must be done but it must also be seen to be done. The tax payers are more concerned with having all the facts and information available and then passing judgment then anything that even appears to be a coverup. As we have already seen a coverup by omission is as damming as commission.

In an e-Mail Mann admits he can’t reproduce (some of) his work.
In an e-mail Prof. Jones admitted that he couldn’t easily reproduce some of his work.
Climate sceptic scientists claim they can’t reproduce Mann’s or Jones’s work.
So it looks like scientific CONSENSUS after all.

Brilliant!

Neil Jones

Whilst most of this information was already in the public domain, it is the fact it is now subject to “due process” that raises the game.

More Soylent Green!

There’s this thing, I think it’s called the innerweb, that’s let’s you share stuff with the world. You can even get free tools and other stuff that helps you publish your information. No problem with FOIA requests if you just go ahead and publish it.

Never in the history of mankind have so many been so bluffed by so few.

TonyG

In PE-22, Mann alludes to his “dirty laundry” which cannot come out, requesting his correspondent to not pass the email or the data attached to it to anyone else (UVa has claimed no attachments to any emails were preserved on their system). In this email, Mann admits he has failed to follow the most basic tenet of science, to keep a record of exactly what he did in his research, and thus himself could not reproduce his own results.
Is this one in any of the CG emails? I would like to see the actual text.

TerryS

I’ve mapped all the PE numbers to their equivalent Climategate file.
All the exemplars are from Climategate 1.0, although many of them also exist in Climategate 2.0.
I’m not sure what to make of this fact, but it might be that the lawyers only chose exemplars from CG 1.0 emails because the UEA have testified that these emails are genuine. This means that Mann would find it difficult to claim otherwise.
Here are the mappings:
PE-1 = 1206628118.txt
PE-2 = 1044469169.txt
PE-3 = 0990718382.txt
PE-4 = 0938019494.txt
PE-5 = 0938108054.txt
PE-6 = 0963233839.txt
PE-7 = 0939154709.txt
PE-8 = 1102956796.txt
PE-9 = 0942777075.txt
PE-10 = 1104855751.txt
PE-11 = 1018629153.txt
PE-12 = 1102956436.txt
PE-13 = 1051915601.txt
PE-14 = 1051915601.txt
PE-15 = 1047388489.txt
PE-16 = 1051230500.txt
PE-17 = 1077829152.txt
PE-18 = 1018045075.txt
PE-19 = 1000168453.txt
PE-20 = 1016746746.txt
PE-21 = 1041862404.txt
PE-22 = 1059664704.txt
PE-23 = 1114607213.txt
PE-24 = 1109021312.txt
PE-25 = 1074277559.txt
PE-26 = 1108594561.txt
PE-27 = 1107899057.txt
PE-28 = 1075403821.txt
PE-29 = 0983207072.txt
PE-30 = 1053457075.txt
PE-31 = 1092167224.txt
PE-32 = 0938031546.txt
PE-33 = 1206549942.txt
PE-34 = 0938018124.txt
PE-35 = 0990718506.txt
PE-36 = 1059762275.txt
PE-37 = 0981859677.txt
PE-38 = 1067194064.txt
PE-39 = 1119957715.txt
PE-40 = 1068652882.txt

Jeremy

Mike M says:
January 26, 2012 at 12:26 pm
Luther Wu says: Even absolutes fail in a world full of lawyers.
I think we’re all fair in agreement that electing only lawyers to Congress is at least part of the problem.

Small correction, I think when you say “lawyers to Congress”, you mean, “law majors that flunked the bar to Congress”.

I’m wondering how many academics in other disciplines have similar skeletons in their closets? The shear volume of rattling skeletons may drown your case as guilt-ridden professors stampede to Mann’s defense.

Yaov Weis

You people don’t understand what science is.
That a prof. has acted (maybe) shamefully does not condemn science. The serious scientific community agrees that anthropogenic global warming is a problem. Not one or two people. Not people with an agenda. These are people who are looking at the data.
And one more thing. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the data is inconclusive. With the dire and irreversible damage that the scientific community is predicting – might it not be wise to err on the side of caution?

Yaov Weis says:
“The serious scientific community agrees that anthropogenic global warming is a problem.”
Flat wrong. A relatively small clique of scientists make that claim, but there is no testable evidence supporting it. The vast majority of scientists reject the notion of catastrophic AGW [CAGW]. More than 31,000 scientists and engineers [all in the hard sciences], including over 9,000 PhD’s, have co-signed the following statement:

The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.
There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.

The co-signers of that statement far outnumber all the counter petition signatures circulated by the CAGW believers. Therefore, your claim of “dire and irreversible damage” is just an alarmist scare story told by a relative handful of grant trolling scientists, and repeated endlessly by the media because catastrophe stories sell. But there is no real world evidence supporting CAGW.
Visit this site for a while, and you will begin to see that you have been fed false propaganda by self-serving scientists who have hijacked the climate peer review system for their own financial benefit.

cbone

Even though these emails are repeats of climategate, they do serve to substantiate that all of the climategate emails are legit.

Yaov Weis says:
January 26, 2012 at 6:01 pm

With the dire and irreversible damage that the scientific community is predicting – might it not be wise to err on the side of caution?

You’re way, way, behind the curve. This is the ‘Precautionary Principle’, which has been shown to be a model of logical fakery. The dire and irreversable damages have no theoretical or historical basis, just made up out of whole cloth. Their likelihood is vanishingly small, notwithstanding mis-application of the “fat tail” statistical meme.
OTOH, the consequences of of deflection of much of global energy production (by means of deflection of much of global financial resources) into egregiously inefficient and offensively landscape-defacing alternatives is virtually certain to depress the living standards of much of the world’s population below survival levels. IOW, to kill them. The redirection of much of the world’s forest and agriculture acreage to sugar and palm oil production to generate biofuel and ethanol feedstock has already done so. Estimates of surplus deaths to date range from hundreds of thousands to hundreds of millions. It’s hard to track exactly what kills those “on the edge”, but the food staple price shocks of the last 5 yrs (doubling, partial recovery, doubling again) is the prima facie suspect.
So proper application of the Precautionary Principle requires avoiding anything that impoverishes and starves people. CO2 controls are thus utterly ruled out.

Owen in Georgia

OK, this is a small point about IT and attachments – it isn’t just research universities that have to keep them. If a student were to accuse a professor of misconduct and the college whitewashed the investigation of that misconduct, all the correspondence associated with the professor and the internal investigation would be subject to discovery by a plaintiff’s attorney in the subsequent lawsuit. The IT department would start running up contempt of court fines in the thousands per day for not providing such attachments. No university wishes to place themselves and their mission at that risk and so would have all of their emails going back a long time in backup files on tape somewhere. It is one of those tasks that IT departments hate, but they perform diligently. They also perform backups on all file servers for similar reasons. We have had people accidentally delete critical files which the IT department has retrieved from the backups and restored to the system. My college has fewer than 10,000 full time equivalency and does this. (though I don’t know if that was the case 15 years ago.)

Owen in Georgia

My previous also neglects that generally, attachments are embedded in the email message as mime-type data streams and the email client has to split them off byte by byte. So if you have the raw email file, you have the attachments.

Yaov Weis
January 26, 2012 at 6:01 pm
What you don’t understand is that backradiation cannot warm the surface, and isn’t doing so. (You can read why on my site.)
The increases in temperature have been real, yes, but following natural cycles over which we have no control.
The plot at the foot of my Home page* shows a trend rate of increase of about 0.06 deg.C/decade a hundred years ago which has now reduced (not increased due to any GHE) to 0.05 deg.C/decade, and will reduce at a greater rate, pointing to a ~1000 year maximum in about 200 years from now – probably no more than 0.8 deg.C higher than present temperatures.
Is that worth wasting $100,000,000,000 a year for the next 100 years or so (ie $1,000,000,000,000) to try in vain to prevent?
* http://climate-change-theory.com

scf

Owen is correct. Email was designed to send text. Therefore attachments are typically converted to text characters using utilities (like uuencode or these days typically MIME) and simply become a part of the email. Email readers see the attachment boundaries in the emails and know how to separate the textual email into the separate pieces. It’s not at all like the web. Therefore, any system that stores emails typically stores everything, unless for some unknown reason UVA actually intentionally stripped out the attachments prior to archiving them.

Actually Weis, it is clear that its Michael Mann and his cohorts who do not understand what science is. Science is not enforced by boycotts, intimidation and demands to follow a “consensus”. Science is not done by “consensus” at all, but by rigorous methods.
It is Mann et al who are undermining that, not skeptics.

BigTenBob a.k.a. Morpheus

Yaov Weis says
“You people don’t understand what science is.
That a prof. has acted (maybe) shamefully does not condemn science. The serious scientific community agrees that anthropogenic global warming is a problem. Not one or two people. Not people with an agenda. These are people who are looking at the data.
And one more thing. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the data is inconclusive. With the dire and irreversible damage that the scientific community is predicting – might it not be wise to err on the side of caution?”
Morpheus says to Yaov, you need to make a choice. Swallow the blue pill, and you can wake up and continue to believe the matrix of CAGW, or you can swallow the red pill, continue to read WUWT, Climate Audit etc. and you shall see the truth. Unfortunately one can not upload all of the archived material on these sites via a 30th century u.s.b. port in the back of one’s skull, but i believe you will enjoy the reading just the same….

Small correction, I think when you say “lawyers to Congress”, you mean, “law majors that flunked the bar to Congress”.

The only thing deadlier than an incompetent doctor is an incompetent lawyer.

F. Ross

Yaov Weis says:
January 26, 2012 at 6:01 pm
You people don’t understand what science is.

Yes, for the most part, we do.

That a prof. has acted (maybe) shamefully does not condemn science. The serious scientific community agrees that anthropogenic global warming is a problem. Not one or two people. Not people with an agenda. These are people who are looking at the data.

[emphasis added]
No, looking at model output and “death trains.”

And one more thing. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the data is inconclusive. With the dire and irreversible damage that the scientific community is predicting – might it not be wise to err on the side of caution?

Do you have insurance against your home being hit by, say, a 100kg meteorite? If not, why not according to your precautionary principle?

Morpheus;
Universal Skull Bus? I like it! Though I’d worry greatly about worms and viruses gaining entry …

Mr Green Genes

Yaov Weis says:
January 26, 2012 at 6:01 pm
And one more thing. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the data is inconclusive. With the dire and irreversible damage that the scientific community is predicting – might it not be wise to err on the side of caution?

Hmm. It is a physical possibility that you could be hit by a falling piano as you walk down the street. With the dire and irreversible damage that the medical community will predict as a consequence of that – might it not be wise to err on the side of caution and live your entire life in a hardened bunker?

Roger Knights

Yaov Weis says:
January 26, 2012 at 6:01 pm
And one more thing. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the data is inconclusive. With the dire and irreversible damage that the scientific community is predicting – might it not be wise to err on the side of caution?

Yes, in part, if nuclear and natural gas are the alternatives to fossil fuel.
No, if not, because:
The cost of the insurance is too high.
Renewables have been oversold–they have hidden costs.
Third- and second-world countries won’t comply, except on paper, with carbon-cutting mandates, or they’ll demand enormous wealth transfers to do so.
The amount of CO2 that we can reasonably cut won’t affect temperature significantly (see Monckton).