Status of the ATI -vs- Mann and UVa emails saga

AMERICAN TRADITION INSTITUTE – PRESS RELEASE July 26, 2012

The ongoing saga of the American Tradition Institute versus the University of Virginia moved forward this week with filing of the arguments of the parties http://www.atinstitute.org/law-ctr/hosted-foia-documents/ on the central issues of the case. The legal arguments are shaping up to be all about academic freedom and less about whether the University can exempt the Michael Mann emails.

Under its primary argument under the Freedom of Information Act, the only emails the University can withhold are those that were produced or collected in the conduct of or as a result of study or research where such data records or information has not been publicly released, published, copyrighted or patented. A careful examination of the 31 emails placed before the court as “exemplars” of the 12,000 emails show that all but two of them reference research in some manner and of these 25 actually contain data, records or information produced or collected in the conduct of study or research.

Comparing those emails against Mann’s professional papers, ATI found that in every case, the data or information had long been released through publication. Facing this situation, the University has only one refuge – to claim academic freedom. Their argument is quite simple and quite wrong. They argue that release of the emails would chill academic discussions and those discussions are protected speech under the first amendment. They are joined in this argument by Michael Mann and in a separate amicus brief filed by the American Association of University Professors.

Here is the central question the court will face – does the First Amendment right to free speech in a public forum trump the right of citizens to see communications made by a public employee conducting government business. Because all but possibly one ambiguous email was made by a public employee in the conduct of public business, the First Amendment is not applicable. This is old, settled law: See, United States v. National Treasury Employees Union, 513 U.S. 454, 465 (1995) (speech on an issue unrelated to the speaker’s employment duties is protected speech, but where the speech is by an employee in his capacity as an employee on an issue involving their duties, the speech does not meet the Pickering threshold test.); and, Holland v. Rimmer, 25 F.3d 1251, 1254-55 & n.11 (4th Cir. 1994).

Lead Counsel for ATI, David Schnare, explained, “There have been few careful analyses of the Constitutional protections of Academic Freedom. Where the court has looked carefully, the First Amendment has never been found to offer any protection greater than that afforded any citizen.” He continued, “This case will tear down much of the opaque mystic university faculty have raised around their activities. It will give citizens the opportunity to monitor their university employees, something clearly needed in the climate debate.”

The ATI brief raises many more arguments showing why the University has no First Amendment rights under the banner of academic freedom. The Court will hear the parties arguments in a hearing on September 17th.

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[trimmed by author’s request]

Sorry for posting in the wrong thread. Reposted in the Greenland ice.

Skiphil

Interesting to see them struggling to come up with a new rationale….
1st Amendment to the US Constitution:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
The actual 1st Amendment applies solely to what the US CONGRESS may and may not do. Then since the “Gitlow” case courts have extended it to apply to states. However, there is no plausibility at all to claiming that the 1st Amendment describes academic freedom. Even taking UVa as a “state” institution the emails issue and FOI don’t relate to “abridging the freedom of speech” and the AAUP is about private as well as public universities (so whatever doctrine of academic freedom they promulgate is not about a special status for employees of public institutions). It’s simply not an academic freedom issue.

Gunga Din

For a Mann who has nothing to hide …………………..

War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. And Freedom of Speech allows you to keep something secret.
The issue seems pretty simple to me: I have a right to see anything produced by UVA, because as a Virginia taxpayer, I damn well paid for it. If you want your work to be private, fine: but don’t insist on being paid with public funds.

mpaul

If the judge were to rule that academics have a first amendment right to keep their official communications private, then that ruling would effectively gut all of the sunshine laws. First, why would we consider academics to be a special class apart from other public employees? I know that climate scientists they often consider themselves to be special — in the same way that the Blues Brothers claimed to be special because they were on “a mission from god”. But in reality, they are not. We don’t have special aristocratic classes in the American system — that’s what the revolution was partly about. Second, every public employee could then claim a first amendment right to keep their official communications out of the public eye. City councils could claim this right as justification for back room dealing. EPA employees could claim this right to prevent the public from knowing the technical basis for regulations. Where would it stop?
I think UVA has a weak hand, but I suspect the real game here is to simply drag this out for as long as possible.

RACookPE1978

But, you see, the “liberals” don’t want Steyn (or other conservatives) or other writers such as M&M to have “free speech” ABOUT public policy …
They want to claim that “free speech” is ONLY allowed for the emails (written at work on public computers about public research in publicly-paid offices using publicly-paid servers) about “paid speech” that UVA or Penn State or NASA-GISS can claim based on the “speech” ABOUT money received for public research affecting trillions in public policy tax money worldwide and public policy towards energy and commerce affecting billions of innocents worldwide.
/sarchasm – That gaping whole between a liberal and the real world 8<)

zefal

It will chill academic debate malfeasance.
These emails were taken out of context!
Just warming up the old refrain to keep it in prime running condition for when needed.

Ray

At the end of the day they might need to plead the 5th…

tadchem

You would think that Nixon’s former secretary Rose Mary Woods (of the “18-minute gap in the Nixon Watergate Tapes” fame) has a grandchild working at UVa.

Paul Westhaver

Piltdown Mann… another science fraud. Looks like UVA is getting ethics guidance from Penn State. That long thick track of slime associated with this guy has the bottom feeding lawyers torturing “transparency” into bunker mentality.

Fred

Time for a new label to counter their AGW.
I propose MCF . . Mannian Climate Fearmongering.
Must be some other good ones . . .

Coach Springer

ATI is going to need more money. UVA will go all the way to the Supreme Court to avoid it or ATI will have to to get it. And it will still depend on a muddy 5-4 decision. Since Roberts seems to want an express enumeration of protections and academic freedom is not expressly enumerated, it might go ATI’s way, but predicting that is going way out on a limb.

more soylent green!

Academic freedom is just another one of those phrases they trout out when they don’t want to be held accountable. As individuals, they have no more or less freedom than anyone else and as public employees, they’re official communications are public property, except in very few cases.

Check out Manns mails in the filing.

Gail Combs

I keep thinking of the courts decision on the Nixon tapes. The President, claiming executive privilege, filed a motion to quash the subpoena.
This is from the 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. See, e. g., Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137, 177; Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186, 211 . Absent a claim of need to protect military, diplomatic, or sensitive national security secrets, the confidentiality of [418 U.S. 683, 685] Presidential communications is not significantly diminished by producing material for a criminal trial under the protected conditions of in camera inspection, and any absolute executive privilege under Art. II of the Constitution would plainly conflict with the function of the courts under the Constitution. Pp. 703-707….
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. Until released to the Special Prosecutor no in camera material is to be released to anyone. Pp. 714-716.

Seems Mann and U of VA seem to think they have special privileges that the court did not see fit to grant a sitting president of the USA.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7

Modern courts have a tendency to ignore the original intent of the First Amendment free speech guarantee: that citizens may criticize the government, its policies and officials, and assemble with others to discuss what the government is doing and organize peaceful opposition (or support) of those policies and officials.
In this context, interpreting the First Amendment to prevent citizens from leaning what their government is doing (indirectly, through funding of research) and thereby forstall potential criticism and opposition is an absolute perversion (but not, alas, unthinkable for modern courts). The FOI legislation formalizes the presumption that if it is public business, or carried out with public funding, then the public has a right to know what was said and done.

Patrick

“Academic Freedom” has no basis in law. It is simply an ideal, not a law, created by universities and professors. Usually trotted out to support some university’s or professor’s position and never with concomitant responsibilities – like many liberal social programs.

Gunga Din

Often I’ve read CAGW defenders describing FOI request as harassment, distracting etc.
But in this case, everything is already buddled.
Just turn it over. End of harassment. End of distraction. … Assuming what’s in them shows Mann was on the up and up.

Luther Bl't

A most interesting legal argument. Perhaps it is time for the public to find out what really happens when academics are free “to think the unthinkable”, and the monstrous immorality of some conceptions nourished with care before being allowed out to rampage on the street.

“Time for a new label to counter their AGW.
I propose MCF . . Mannian Climate Fearmongering.
Must be some other good ones . . .” – Fred
They already have an acronym for it, it’s “BS”. I’ll leave it to you to figure out what that means, I’m sure you’ve heard it before.

KnR

‘to claim academic freedom’ and the legal validity of ‘academic freedom ‘ is what .
This a a question of the law not the nicety of academia, and if were lucky UVa will fail to realise that and think all they need is usual ivory tower approach of a few quite word and some back stroking to make the problem go away .

Gail Combs

The other point is the The “open fields” doctrine and the expectation of privacy issue.
Even a locked gate with a “No Trespassing” sign did not give rise to the expectation of privacy in this court decision

… He had posted “No Trespassing” signs at regular intervals and had locked the gate at the entrance to the center of the farm. App. to Pet. for Cert. in No. 82-15, [p174] pp. 23-24. Further, the court noted that the field itself is highly secluded: it is bounded on all sides by woods, fences, and embankments, and cannot be seen from any point of public access. The court concluded that this was not an “open” field that invited casual intrusion….
The court concluded that Katz, upon which the District Court relied, had not impaired the vitality of the open fields doctrine of Hester. Rather, the open fields doctrine was entirely compatible with Katz’ emphasis on privacy. The court reasoned that the “human relations that create the need for privacy do not ordinarily take place” in open fields, and that the property owner’s common law right to exclude trespassers is insufficiently linked to privacy to warrant the Fourth Amendment’s protection.

There is also the Cell Phone warrantless search controversy that is going on right now. “…courts have reached conflicting opinions on whether a search warrant is necessary for cell phone location tracking records that are held by wireless company providers…”
As far as e-mails sent in the work place goes.

….In finding that Aguiar had no reasonable expectation of privacy, the court adopted the four factors used In re Asia Global Crossing, Ltd., 322 B.R. 247, 257 (S.D.N.Y. 2005) to determine whether an employee has an expectation of privacy in emails generated at the workplace. The factors consider whether:

(1) the company maintains a policy banning personal or other objectionable use, (2) the company monitors the use of the employee’s computer or email, (3) third parties have a right of access to the computer or emails, and (4) the company notifies its employees, or was the employee aware, of the company’s use and monitoring policies.

Here, these factors were easily satisfied by the employer’s generic information technology policy stated in its employee handbook that it sufficiently promulgated. As long as an employer adheres to its own established policy, its employees have no expectation of privacy in emails transmitted through the employer’s server. The court noted that “sending a message over [an] e-mail system was like placing a copy of that message in the company files.” The court may have gone farther than its holding citing Black v. State, which found attorney-client privilege inapplicable for a telephone call when the party was warned that telephone conversations were monitored and taped….
http://ellblog.com/?p=1919

It would seem that the employee/student handbook may be a key factor in the case.

BarryW

Insane logic. How does The right to say something allow it to be hidden from the rest of us? Add to that the use of public resources. As a tax payer I have a right to the product of my employees (government workers) work. Their argument is nothing but elitist crap and it sickens me that the VA legislature doesn’t just drop on them like a ton of bricks and put them in their places. This should never have had to go to court. They’ve wasted the taxpayers money defending the indefensible.

JohnH

Steven Mosher says:
July 26, 2012 at 12:41 pm
Check out Manns mails in the filing.
I did, lots of mentions of a Frank Very or a Very Frank but never heard of him 😉

Skiphil

Interesting allusion when Mann writes to Michael Oppenheimer at Princeton (among others including S. Schneider), requesting urgent help in finding free legal advice because McIntyre and McKittrick have been showing up so many of his lies that it will “make things impossible for me”:
Oppenheimer replies promptly, “I’ll contact some people who may be able to help right away”
Now that email does not say who those “some people” might be, but Oppenheimer spent most of his career with the activist “Environmental Defense Fund” before landing the Princeton gig… and EDF has been at the heart of enviro-activism for decades.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_Defense_Fund
Including connections with Soros, Tides Found., etc. So it will not be any surprise if it should turn out that the “some people” Oppenheimer thought could help with funds and/or free legal advice would be from those circles.
=============================================================================================
on p.147 of the “Petitioners Exemplars”:
http://www.atinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/2012-1-24-Petitioners-Exemplars.pdf
———————————————–
Michael Oppenheimer wrote:
Michael:
This is outrageous. I’ll contact some people who may be able to help right away.
From: Michael E. Mann [[2]mailto:mann@virginia.edu]
Sent: Friday, June 24, 2005 4:27 PM
To: shs@stanford.edu;
omichael@Princeton.EDU;….[and others]
Subject: NEED HELP!
Importance: High
dear all,
this was predicted–they’re of course trying to make things impossible for me. I need
immediate help regarding recourse for free legal advice, etc.
mike
______________________________________________________________
Professor Michael E. Mann
Department of Environmental Sciences, Clark Hall
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22903
_______________________________________________________________________
e-mail: mann@virginia.edu

commieBob

Academic freedom means a professor can’t be fired for taking an unpopular position. ie. MIT can’t fire Richard Lindzen because he says CO2 is not causing CAGW. The reason professors can’t be fired is that they have tenure. Academic freedom, thus, seems to be the main argument for tenure.
As far as I can tell, academic freedom is a good thing.

more soylent green!

It would seem that the employee/student handbook may be a key factor in the case.

Is the UVa employee handbook available online?

eyesonu

Interesting that Mann would try to apply the first amendment to this.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Are they literally applying an establishment of the religion of CAGW? Is their god CO2? Is Al Gore their Jesus? Does Mann think he’s a high Priest? Are the academic institutions the houses of worship? Are government grants simply required tithes and penance due by the masses? Is hell a slight warming benefiting crop growth and mankind? Is the bible the IPCC reports whose writings are adjusted to pay tribute to the high priests? Is anyone who questions their religious beliefs a witch? Will they burn these witches as they have done in the past to cleans the soul of their beliefs?

Skiphil

This is not about the academic freedom issue but a substantive scientific matter. Hope it’s ok for this thread since the point of debating the legal aspect is to see whether Mann can be held accountable for non-disclosures of scientific uncertainties and worse over the past 12+ years.
Ray Bradley in July 2000 shows that he knows 1000 yr. proxy reconstruction in which he participated with Mann and Hughes is full of wide uncertainties, even while he still over-estimates the quality of the reconstruction and assumes non-existent statistical significance. Prior to M&M’s work Bradley seems to have only a weak grasp of the issues, even though he is supposed to be one of the eminences of the field.
His email, while acknowledging the problems in a limited way, shows a remarkable lack of curiosity about the real statistical and scientific issues, and it also reeks of confirmation bias: “We tried to demonstrate that this was not a problem of the tree ring data we used”….
Careless phrasing, or a clear indication of how he/they want the results to turn out?? I’d say the latter.
from pp. 17-18 of Petitioners Exemplars:
From: “Raymond S. Bradley”
To: Frank Oldfield
Subject: Re: the ghost of futures past
Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2000 08:57:19 -0400
Cc: alverson@pages.unibe.ch, jto@u.arizona.edu, k.briffa@uea.ac.uk, mhughes@ltrr.arizona.edu, pedersen@eos.ubc.ca, whitlock@oregon.uoregon.edu, mann@multiproxy.evsc.virginia.edu
….

“….But there are real questions to be asked of the paleo
reconstruction. First, I should point out that we calibrated versus
1902-1980, then “verified” the approach using an independent data set for
1854-1901. The results were good, giving me confidence that if we had a
comparable proxy data set for post-1980 (we don’t!) our proxy-based
reconstruction would capture that period well. Unfortunately, the proxy
network we used has not been updated, and furthermore there are many/some/
tree ring sites where there has been a “decoupling” between the long-term
relationship between climate and tree growth, so that things fall apart in
recent decades….this makes it very difficult to demonstrate what I just
claimed.
We can only call on evidence from many other proxies for
“unprecedented” states in recent years (e.g. glaciers, isotopes in tropical
ice etc..). But there are (at least) two other problems — Keith Briffa
points out that the very strong trend in the 20th century calibration
period accounts for much of the success of our calibration and makes it
unlikely that we would be able be able to reconstruct such an extraordinary
period as the 1990s with much success
(I may be mis-quoting him somewhat,
but that is the general thrust of his criticism). Indeed, in the
verification period, the biggest “miss” was an apparently very warm year in
the late 19th century that we did not get right at all. This makes
criticisms of the “antis” difficult to respond to (they have not yet risen
to this level of sophistication, but they are “on the scent”).
Furthermore, it may be that Mann et al simply don’t have the
long-term trend right, due to underestimation of low frequency info. in the
(very few) proxies that we used. We tried to demonstrate that this was not
a problem of the tree ring data we used by re-running the reconstruction
with & without tree rings, and indeed the two efforts were very similar —
but we could only do this back to about 1700. Whether we have the 1000
year trend right is far less certain
(& one reason why I hedge my bets on
whether there were any periods in Medieval times that might have been
“warm”, to the irritation of my co-authors!). So, possibly if you crank up
the trend over 1000 years, you find that the envelope of uncertainty is
comparable with at least some of the future scenarios, which of course begs
the question as to what the likely forcing was 1000 years ago….”

gregole

What is weird to me is how publicly funded non-defense, non national security research can be considered intellectual property somehow, by the researcher. Where are the data? Let’s see the emails. What is being hidden?
I own and operate a design engineering and manufacturing company. We are acutely aware of intellectual property and who owns it on a daily basis. These examiners and researchers do not impress me with their ideas about keeping their publicly funded efforts opaque and invisible from scrutiny because somehow they think they “own” public property.
As far as emails – if anyone in our organization even came close to the gutter-level crap communication as exemplified in Climategate 1.0 and 2.0 they would summarily be fired and they know it. Every email we write can stand up to legal public scrutiny. And we are just a small manufacturing company. These climate scientists are saving the world (in their minds at least) and cannot tolerate even the slightest scrutiny? Make me laugh.

Gail Combs

JohnH says:
July 26, 2012 at 1:31 pm
Steven Mosher says:
July 26, 2012 at 12:41 pm
Check out Manns mails in the filing.
I did, lots of mentions of a Frank Very or a Very Frank but never heard of him 😉
________________________________
No wonder you have not heard of Frank Very

…Every author likes to think that their book will occasionally be perused frome time to time even a century or two later…when reading through the crumbling though still-illuminating pages of Arrhenius’ work or the less famous though equally crumbling ( and still-illuminating) papers of Frank Very…Surley while Frank Ver’s ideas on radiative transfer are still of interest, any description of the charts and graphical techniques for doing the calculations at the time would have at most historical interest…..
Principles of Planetary Climate by Raymond T. Pierrehumbert

Paul Coppin

Ask an untenured professor sometime about “academic freedom”…

jorgekafkazar

commieBob says: “Academic freedom means a professor can’t be fired for taking an unpopular position. ie. MIT can’t fire Richard Lindzen because he says CO2 is not causing CAGW. The reason professors can’t be fired is that they have tenure. Academic freedom, thus, seems to be the main argument for tenure. As far as I can tell, academic freedom is a good thing.”
No, tenure is a good thing. Tenure means a prof can’t be fired (easily) for his unpopular position. Academic freedom is a fictitious concept that academics try to use to justify their elitism.

mpaul

The Petitioners Memorandum of Fact and Law makes for interesting reading. A few years back, UVA fired an employee:

In the matter of Bowers v. The Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia, 276 Fed.
Appx. 278; 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 9558 (4th Cir. 2008) the University defended its decision to
fire Dena Bowers because she used her University email account to transmit personal
communications without stating that the email was intended to be personal.

In that case the employee argued that her email was protected under the first amendment. UVA argued in court that this was not true:

The University argued, and the Court noted, that “The Commonwealth of Virginia
maintained an internet use policy that required employees to identify personal communications
sent from Commonwealth systems as personal, to prevent them from being viewed as official
communications.” Bowers 276 Fed. Appx. at 280 n.1. Ms. Bowers argued that the email and
attachments sent from her work computer constituted speech protected under the First
Amendment. The Court held otherwise, finding that:
Bowers violated a state policy limiting the sending of personal email from state
accounts and computers. This policy bolstered the University’s attempts to
manage the dissemination of information from University accounts and
computers, part of its broader attempt to provide “effective and efficient services
to the public.”

Yet here, in the Mann case, the university is arguing that Mann’s emails sent from university computers are personal, despite the fact that Mann did not label any of them as “personal” pursuant the the universities policies.
Apparently, what’s good for the goose, does not go to the climate scientist.

Kaboom

It would seem they are not concerned with protecting free speech in the context of academic freedom but instead silence. Probably as in “you have the right to remain silent”.

Skiphil

mpaul says:
July 26, 2012 at 3:59 pm
Incredible (though nothing seems beyond belief with such clowns)…. they can’t even pretend to be consistent and rational.
We have seen no emails from Mann in Climategate that were marked “personal”…. ergo, at least those and similar of his UVa emails are presumed to be official state business and subject to FOI.

wobble

Facing this situation, the University has only one refuge – to claim academic freedom.

I read the transcript of the last hearing. IIRC, the judge seemed unimpressed with this notion.

wobble

mpaul says:
July 26, 2012 at 3:59 pm
Yet here, in the Mann case, the university is arguing that Mann’s emails sent from university computers are personal, despite the fact that Mann did not label any of them as “personal” pursuant the the universities policies.
Apparently, what’s good for the goose, does not go to the climate scientist.

IIRC, I think the UVA lawyers tried arguing that emails could still be private in nature even if they were part of job related communications. When the judged asked how this could be, I think they gave an example of making travel arrangements or dinner arrangements with work colleagues.

Andrew30

I think that everyone involved in this, the lawyers, the judge the clerks, all of them know what is in these emails, likely they have read most of them. The purpose of the hearing is to find out who is allowed to say and write about what they already know.
It is like the police seeing a crime and chasing the perpetrator in to a church, the police know the perpetrator is in there as does the judge the bishop and everyone else, everyone know that the perpetrator did it but the bishop cries out ‘sanctuary of the church’; so the game moves to the court. The police don’t stop watching the building, they just wait out side in the hope that the judge on the case is of sound mind.
This is not a fishing expedition, the fish are already hooked, landed and tanked.
This is a gutting expedition and they are driving home to the cutting board.
Tick, tick tick.

read the mails at the end of the filing. post climategate. slamming spencer, and asking mandia for help.
the penn state handbook is part of the filing as well as the notice by computers that indicates email is not private.
interesting read

RoHa

“This case will tear down much of the opaque mystic university faculty have raised around their activities”
“Mystique”, surely.

David Falkner

If (in liberal theory) the government can force the Catholic Church to provide condoms and abortions, what twisted logic gives rise to academic freedom which is not specifically mentioned in the US Constitution?

Skiphil

The filing’s emails of Michael Mann show him in “political war” mode, joined at the hip with activists like Joe Romm and ClimateProgress/Think Progress, Naomi Oreskes, and Scott Mandia:
From: Michael Mann
To: Ben Santer
Cc: Abraham, John P.; Dessler; mandias@xxxxx Mandia;
Weymann; gs210@columbia.xxxxx Schmidt; trenbert@ucar.xxxxx Trenberth; carl mears; Frank Wentz; s.sherwood@unsw.xxxxx Sherwood; Karl Taylor; Tom Wigley; Naomi Oreskes
Subject: Re: Serious accusations made by Roy Spencer against Andrew Dessler
Date: Friday, December 10, 2010 12:41:57 PM
Ben et al,
I’ve taken the liberty of copying Naomi in on this message. Her book w/ Eric Conway (“Merchants of Doubt”) i required reading for any of us. It provides the further historical context essential to understand this latest incident. This incident hardly represents the rogue behavior of a single contrarian scientist. Rather, Spencer lending his scientific credibility (well-what, if any, is left of it) to a coordinated, longterm, industry-funded smear and disinformation campaign. Spencer couldn’t have pulled this off on his own. Rather, he had the full resources of the fossil fuel front group known as “CFACT”
(http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Committee_for_a_Constructive_Tomorrow) behind him. They are the ones who organized the press conference, rolled out their fake “Lord” Monckton for further theater, etc. we ignore this larger context at our peril.
Mike
From: Michael Mann
To: Abraham, John P.
Cc: Scott Mandia; trenbert@ucar.xxxxx Trenberth; Dessler;
Weymann; gs210@columbia.xxxxx Schmidt; Ben Santer
Subject: Re: Serious accusations made by Roy Spencer against Andrew Dessler
Date: Friday, December 10, 2010 9:11:53 AM
yes, no question. we’ve got a rolodex. we need to use it,
m
On Dec 10, 2010, at 10:08 AM, Abraham, John P. wrote:
Mike,
We can provide the quotes from experts but we need a media person to run with the
story c..
Scott, this is really for Eli to do c. Can he write a story about this,
–]John
From: Michael Mann [mailto:mann@meteo.psu.xxxxx]
Sent: Friday, December 10, 2010 9:05 AM
To: Abraham, John P.
Cc: Scott Mandia; trenbert@xxxxx Trenberth; Dessler;
Weymann; gs210@columbia.xxxxx Schmidt; Ben Santer
Subject: Re: Serious accusations made by Roy Spencer against Andrew Dessler
folks, Joe Romm’s comments on this might be of some interest:

“Because they are lazy and/or uninformed, even most of the ‘sophisticated’ media is either
unwilling or incapable of adjudicating between two disagreeing scientists. Unless one of those
scientists can be clearly shown to be truly fringe, whereas the other is in the mainstream (has
many who support him or her). You must do the media’s homework for them.”

The right wing and deniers are very good at repeating over and over again attacks on our best
spokespeople and scientists in order to delegitimize them.
The fact is Spencer should have been delegitimize on the basis of 1) his being obstinately dead wrong about the satellite data, 2) his creationism, and 3) his generally bizarre views: ”I predict that the proposed cure for global warming. reducing greenhouse gas emissions. will someday seem as outdated as using leeches to cure human illnesses.”
http://climateprogress.org/2010/04/20/the-great-global-warmingblunder-roy-spencer-marc-morano-cureglobal-warming-reducinggreenhouse-gas-emissions-leeches/
Folks need to repeat these over and over again. That’s what I did in my post — but the Spencer stuff was buried at the end of a long post. Now, on the specific inanity of clouds causing El Nino — you need to round up a bunch of the country’s leading experts on climate modeling and/or El Nino to just mock him for that.
This is a busy day for me, but I really can’t emphasize this enough. Get a half dozen quotes from leading experts in the field, post them, and repeat them over and over again.
I don’t know what it takes to discredit a pathological crank-case like Spencer, but the alternative is that he keeps doing this over and over again.
From: Michael Mann [mailto:mann@meteo.psu.edu]
Sent: Friday, December 10, 2010 8:45 AM
To: Scott Mandia
Cc: trenbert@ucar.xxxxx Trenberth; Abraham, John P.; Dessler;
Weymann; gs210@columbia.xxxxx Schmidt; Ben Santer
Subject: Re: Serious accusations made by Roy Spencer against Andrew Dessler
well put Scott, Specer’s actions are an affront to the scientific profession. reminds me of Pons and Fleischman holding a press conference back in the 1980s to announce they had achieved cold fusion. only this is worse, because Spencer doesn’t even have any results of his to announce, he’s simply slandering others.
this needs to be called out, publicy and loudly. we ought to be able to get some journalists nterested in this.
Scott/John–you guys ought to have quite a rolodex of names now–I suggest we use it, perhaps we need to use the CCRRN in an even more pro-active mode for situations like this?
mike

Michael E. Mann
Professor
Director, Earth System Science Center (ESSC)
Department of Meteorology Phone: (814) xxxxx
Walker Building FAX: (814) xxxxx
The Pennsylvania State University

Gail Combs

Given that the U of Va fired a person over “personal e-mails”

The University argued, and the Court noted, that “The Commonwealth of Virginia
maintained an internet use policy that required employees to identify personal communications
sent from Commonwealth systems as personal, to prevent them from being viewed as official
communications.” Bowers 276 Fed. Appx. at 280 n.1.

and
Steven Mosher says:
July 26, 2012 at 6:14 pm

…the penn state handbook is part of the filing as well as the notice by computers that indicates email is not private.

It would seem that what is on trial here is not Mike Mann and the FOIA but our actually court system. Do we have a country ruled by law or do we have a country ruled by men. Is the law applied with an even hand or with favoritism.
With luck the judge/jury will be aware of that fact and take into account the repeated obstruction of justice by Mann, the right of the tax payer to view ALL the work done on their dime and the used of FOIA for citizens to investigate the fraudulent use of tax payer funds.
And to top it all off here is a Memorandum direct from Whitehouse.gov:

Transparency and Open Government
Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies

SUBJECT: Transparency and Open Government
My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.
Government should be transparent. Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing. Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset. My Administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use. Executive departments and agencies should harness new technologies to put information about their operations and decisions online and readily available to the public. Executive departments and agencies should also solicit public feedback to identify information of greatest use to the public.
Government should be participatory. Public engagement enhances the Government’s effectiveness and improves the quality of its decisions. Knowledge is widely dispersed in society, and public officials benefit from having access to that dispersed knowledge. Executive departments and agencies should offer Americans increased opportunities to participate in policymaking and to provide their Government with the benefits of their collective expertise and information. Executive departments and agencies should also solicit public input on how we can increase and improve opportunities for public participation in Government.
Government should be collaborative. Collaboration actively engages Americans in the work of their Government. Executive departments and agencies should use innovative tools, methods, and systems to cooperateamong themselves, across all levels of Government, and with nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individuals in the private sector. Executive departments and agencies should solicit public feedback to assess and improve their level of collaboration and to identify new opportunities for cooperation.
I direct the Chief Technology Officer, in coordination with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Administrator of General Services, to coordinate the development by appropriate executive departments and agencies, within 120 days, of recommendations for an Open Government Directive, to be issued by the Director of OMB, that instructs executive departments and agencies to take specific actions implementing the principles set forth in this memorandum. The independent agencies should comply with the Open Government Directive….http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/TransparencyandOpenGovernment

So we even have the president backing up our right to the information we paid for.

mpaul

Apparently the University is arguing that Mann’s scheming to turn the media against Roy Spencer is a proprietary work product whose public disclosure would result in a material loss of profit potential for the university. I guess they were planning to license his Character Assassination Techniques(TM) to other universities and climate scientists.

Whoosh!
I originally choked trying to read through Mann’s Affidavits. I gagged trying to read (chin up, shoulders back) through Mann’s egocentric manic twaddle (like the Judge will be overwhelmed by his copiously self documented grandeur). So I appreciate others posting some of the email excerpts.
Two thoughts come to mind…
The first; is this some indication of the remaining FOIA emails in that password protected file?
The second rumination is that if these are the average less juicy email maunnderings, no wonder the manniacal one is so desperate to prevent their release.
Well, actually there was a third thought, but I’m sure it occurred to everyone else. A lot of those Mann affidavits either look like they were source for his book or his book was source for his affidavits. Makes one wonder how much of his affidavits are his versions of the world.

kforestcat

Reading the “Petitioners Memorandum of Fact and Law” ATI recommends the Judge read sections of Urofsk , 216 F3d at 412 n12. I’d love a fly-on-the-wall at that reading. Some background.
In Urofsky, six professors employed by public colleges and universities in Virginia brought a federal suit against Virginia’s governor challenging a state law restricting state employees from accessing sexually explicit material on computers owned or leased by the state. The professors contended that state university and college professors have the constitutional right to determine for themselves, without the input of the state, the subjects of their research, writing and teaching. However the federal 4th Circuit Court ruled:
“[The professors] ask us to recognize First Amendment right of academic freedom that belongs to the professor as an individual. The Supreme Court, to the extent it has constitutionalized a right of academic freedom at all, appears to have recognized only an institutional right of self governance in academic affairs.”
The 4th Circuit Court clarified that public employees generally (and therefore college professors) have no First Amendment protection when they are speaking as public employees. It is only when they are speaking as individual citizens on their own time that they enjoy First amendment protection.
Moreover, the court ruled that professors employed by public universities do not have free speech rights not enjoyed by any other public employee (or any other citizen); because academic freedom, to the extent it is recognized by the federal courts, belongs to the institution, not to the individual faculty member. Specifically the court stated:
“that the argument raises the specter of a constitutional right enjoyed by only a limited class of citizens. Indeed, the audacity of Appellee’s’ claim is revealed by it potential impact in this litigation.” … “Such a result is manifestly at odds with a constitutional system premised on equality”
I’ve always felt the idea that the academic community is entitled to First Amendment rights not reserved for all Americans is repugnant… as violation of the principal of “equality before the law”. It would appear the 4th Circuit agrees with this proposition.
Regards,
Kforestcat

Lightrain

How many elections/appeals before they drag it out in the Supreme court?

more soylent green! says:
July 26, 2012 at 12:41 pm
Academic freedom is just another one of those phrases they trout out…

The perfect typo — because they’re telling ATI to “Go Fish”…