Uh, oh, Mann’s MBH98 ‘hockeystick’ emails ruled fair game by judge

From the “all your emails belong to us” department comes this ruling that I’m sure Mikey Mann and company will go ballistic over.

From the Arizona Daily Sun:

PHOENIX — An organization that is questioning the research behind climate change will get another chance to demand to see the emails of two University of Arizona scientists.

The state Court of Appeals has overturned the ruling of a trial judge who said the university need not disclose 1,700 emails and other records from Jonathan Overpeck and Malcolm Hughes. Pima County Superior Court Judge James Marner had said the university did not abuse its discretion in concluding that disclosing the documents would not be in the best interests of the state.

But appellate Judge Joseph Howard, writing for the unanimous court, said it’s legally irrelevant what university officials thought was appropriate to disclose.

Howard said everyone involved in the case acknowledges the emails are public records. And he said state law has a presumption that all public records are subject to disclosure, with certain exceptions.

What that means, Howard wrote, is that trial judges must actually examine the records to determine whether making them public really would harm “the best interests of the state’’ as the university is claiming.

More here

As WUWT readers may know, Mann wrote the original Hockeystick paper in 1998 with Jonathan Overpeck and Malcolm Hughes, hence the MBH98 moniker. AEI and others have tried to get Mann’s emails from Penn State, but were blocked by political interventions claiming science would be harmed, among other things. Damn right it would, but not how they think.

Jonathan Overpeck demonstrates his heavy political bias on his own Twitter feed daily, and does Mann. If the emails are even remotely like the Twitter feeds of these two, it’s going to look very bad for their science indeed. Now comes the next wave of legal arguments.

104 thoughts on “Uh, oh, Mann’s MBH98 ‘hockeystick’ emails ruled fair game by judge

      • It goes without saying this could be a fatal blow to blowhard Mann and company – POPCORN AND ICE COLD BREWS ON ME, if this comes to fruition, I’m still keeping my candle wick dry for Mark Steyn!

      • But what a contradiction in the Daily Sun.
        =====================
        “But appellate Judge Joseph Howard, writing for the unanimous court, said it’s legally irrelevant what university officials thought was appropriate to disclose.

        Howard said everyone involved in the case acknowledges the emails are public records. And he said state law has a presumption that all public records are subject to disclosure, with certain exceptions.

        What that means, Howard wrote, is that trial judges must actually examine the records to determine whether making them public really would harm “the best interests of the state’’ as the university is claiming
        ============================================
        If it is irrelevant and public record then what the University considers “the best interests of the state’’ is, well irrelevant.

      • After all, it is not in the best interest of the state to have the University scientific department discredited and to lose funding. It may be in the best interest of the public and of science, but the state may see the loss of funding and reputation as harmful.

      • Dave A. I don’t see the contradiction. It’s legally irrelevant what the university officials think but it is not irrelevant what the Court thinks. Although, I cannot think of any circumstance where releasing emails between climate scientist about a temperature reconstruction could possibly harm the state. It’s not like they were discussing anything top secret. Maybe the court just wants to be the first to read them! I suppose the law must differentiate between embarrassment and real harm.

      • Hum? then the argument is that if the judges think the University is harmed, (they agree with the university position) then the public FOI is no longer relevant?

    • This case is about two Arizona scientists who have worked with Mann. Steyn’s case is the most likely to sink Mann….unless the tubular moron does it himself.

      • The co-authors in MBH98 were Mann, Bradley, and Hughes – Overpeck was not involved in tis particular instance

    • Is there a serious chance that any of these target emails are useful to Steyn in his case?

      • @alvinwas…Thanks for the heads up…..I’ve quit listening to Rush for a bit to let the political junk drain from my veins.

  1. Oh scientists who claim there’s almost no time left to save the planet and then waste time going through the courts to prevent public records from being seen in public, I thank you scientists, you’re the best proof there is no incoming climate change catastrophe!!

      • This is the crew which blocked Steve McIntyre personally from U of Ariz online data. I wrote them as an Arizona alumni in protest, and they denied it. When I forwarded proof from Steve M, our correspondence ceased. Could not happen to a nicer bunch

  2. Yes, the main point of this post is trouble for the science represented by MBH98. But there’s an equally important point that has been ignored for too long in this country…

    Pima County Superior Court Judge James Marner had said the university did not abuse its discretion in concluding that disclosing the documents would not be in the best interests of the state.

    …appellate Judge Joseph Howard, writing for the unanimous court, said it’s legally irrelevant what university officials thought was appropriate to disclose.

    How does someone ascend to the level of a County Superior Court Judge and not know the law (Pima County has a population of 1 million including the city of Tucson). My suspicion, is that Marner knew very well what the law says and chose not to apply it fairly, equally and blindly. Welcome to the new America where the judicial system has gone the way of most local governments, the public schools, every agency of the federal government and more. Yes, an appellate court overturned this travesty, but this is just a small speed bump on the highway to third world status if we keep standing around waiting for things to get better.

    Thanks, AW, for creating this forum. I hope you realize how important this is to give all us little people a voice and some motivation to step up and start making a difference.

    Pima County residents, step up and recall Judge Marner. Let’s set some examples.

    Elections matter. Judge appointments matter.

    • It is amazing.

      Not a single email of a professor or researcher at a public university be free from FOIA. They are told from the start that all of their emails are public record. “Potentially damaging to state interests” is a reason to keep emails hidden? Huh? Like releasing these emails is going to end tourism, close businesses, or something else? If researchers or professors at State U have emails that contain info that is “potentially damaging to state interests,” then they should be out on their butts for putting state interests at risk.

      • Not a single email of a professor or researcher at a public university be free from FOIA.

        A great many emails should remain private, anything to do with individual students for instance.

      • commieBob

        You’ve missed the entire point of this thread & Michael’s statement is absolutely accurate.

        The Court of Appeals has just ruled state law has a presumption that all public records are subject to disclosure, with certain exceptions.

        Presumably a judge would find emails dealing with individual students meet the law’s exception (or at least redact student-specific material).

      • Re: commieBob

        > A great many emails should remain private, anything to do with individual students for instance.

        In the case of emails to do with individual students then they can redact personally identifiable information (names).

      • “…A great many emails should remain private, anything to do with individual students for instance…”

        Names can be redacted for privacy. “Anything to do with individual students”…really? So for example, a prof can have a quid pro quo relationship with a student, and any emails pertaining to that are automatically private?

      • “Potentially damaging to state interests”

        This this phrase suggest the state interest differs from the public interest. And that’s the crux of the problem.

    • Bolder, please consider why the judges in Pima County do not follow the law. Tucson, in Pima County, sided with the Confederates against the Union. The Confederate sympathizers were defeated by Union Troops is a small skirmish on he road between Phoenix and Tucson.
      Pima County and Tucson have been in Democrat, with only an occasional RINO, hands since then. The time between the mid 1860s and now is more than enough for a one party system to be inbred and corrupt.

      • My great granddaddy was one of the US troops back then. My great grandmother, in Tucson, was anti-saloon and an activist.

      • emsnews

        Your great grandmother was anti-saloon? Well, I guess every family has one embarrassing ancestor.

        My grandfather on my mother’s side had a still doing prohibition. Now that is an ancestor of which to be proud!

        Eugene WR Gallun

    • ” give all us little people ” that is part of the problem, there are no little people. Some people have set themselves up as knowing what’s best for the planet, like a reduction of 5 or 6 billion people. Who says that? They don’t know. Who would have a problem mining an asteroid? Until further spiritual or cosmic knowledge is acquired, nothing is above human consciencesness. And if they have such knowledge, they should share it with us and from whence it came. It’s a throwback to earth centered thinking. Just this solar system is capable of supporting trillions. The further out we expand, getting off this rock, the more stable life becomes. A disaster here would not mean the end of life for us or all the currently endangered species.

    • Ah Boulder Skeptic…the corruption of the judicial system is old hat…including your fair state I would wager. A judge retires, a governor appoints a replacement to confer on him or her the mantel of ‘incumbent’, which in the race for judgeship is everything. Lots of payola in real dollars and political favors involved everywhere anybody has ever looked into it. Federal judgeships are also not “free”. So while your fiestyness is to be admired recalling a pima county judge don’t fix what’s broke.

      • …recalling a pima county judge don’t fix what’s broke.

        A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. How many single steps could be made by the readers of this blog alone?

        Enviro-bullies were raised to be activists. It’s a nice start to become aware of issues like the corruption of science, stealing of liberties, etc, by activists. If those of us who care about these things don’t start thinking like activists, I fear the future will be bleak.

      • Boulder Skeptic…I’m not suggesting that one shouldn’t do something. It’s more a matter of directing energy at a critical area. Right now I think more important than any local judge recall is the battle to rein in the EPA and the “Clean Air Act” which includes legal corruption a’ plenty. Typically that battle comes down to local battles at the state legislative level as in Oregon where legislation was recently passed to limit Utilities purchases of electricity to exclude coal generated and ‘encourage’ renewables (read add to the subsidies from local tax revenues) I presume that these things are going on where ever “Agenda 21” democrats are in power as part of the UN sponsored recommendations that the political action to combat climate change needs to happen at all levels of government. No I’d have to say that having a major element of one of our political parties in this country being convinced to pursue political action on behalf of a supranational agency and agents of foreign governments and institutions is bigger deal than a local corrupt judge. And that is not to say ignore the corrupt judges just that that isn’t the main deal right now.

    • I thought that the “State” is the people. You know, like in “We the People.” The legislature is the will of the People, and the bureaucracy (including the University) is the tool of the Governor who is the executor of the will of the People. The question is will it be detrimental to the People, not the bureaucracy.

    • As a 30 year Pima County and Tucson resident, I can tell you our politics are very far left as is the UofA. If the University basketball wasn’t fun to watch, there is little other than the astronomical departments that are worthy of interest.

    • You don’t have a clue what happens at law. The standard of review was not simple to determine. None of the attorneys got it right either, and I was the one that won at the appellate level. So, don’t blame Judge Marner. He is a very good judge dealing with a difficult legal and factual set of issues.
      David Schnare
      Petitioner’s Counsel

      • Thanks for bringing some reality into this discussion. The thread is quite long but I assume you are replying to

        Boulder Skeptic says: March 5, 2016 at 6:27 pm

        You are probably right that Boulder Skeptic doesn’t have much of a clue about the legal system. On the other hand there is a bit of a clue there. Boulder Skeptic’s cynicism is not unfounded.

        There are places where the American legal system is a festering cesspool. If I had to make the case, I might start with the critique of the system written by Justice John F. Molloy.

      • David Schnare sounds like he’s in Judge Marner’s pocket. Very cozie. Is that a brown nose I smell?

        Enschnared by his own words.

      • Sceptical Sam,

        Piece of advice – think before you comment. In this instance you might start with learning what Petitioner means.

      • Thanks timg56.

        I understand what a Petitioner is.

        It’s time you understood what a brown- nose is.

        Schnare sucks up to Marner (Handy for the next time he appears in front of him)

        You suck up to Schnare. (What’s he to you?)

        You’re both brown- nosing.

        Does that help?

  3. Gosh how interesting. Their noble cause would be disrupted if their corruption were revealed.

    They really do feel their mission is so lofty that they must remain insulated from ethics and laws that apply to lesser folk.

    Let’s hope this new ruling pushes humpty climate dumpty off of the wall.

    • No- starving and freezing poor folks is not lofty- just insanely lucrative. No honest, sane & informed individual would suggest diverting funds from sanitation, refrigeration, etc. for the billion+ in poverty to destructive labor unions, corrupt bundlers and political cronies… Sorry, don’t by the noble cause crap anymore…

  4. But won’t this transparency lead to the harassment of the scientists involved with the MBH98 as warned by Dr Stephan Lewandowsky?

    • Analitic

      Frankly, Lewandowsky’s opinion is irrelevant.

      Lewandowsky is a psychologist, not a scientist. He should just stay on Fantasy Island where the ability to repeat foundational psychological “experiments” is considered unimportant (could be they suspect foundational stuff is really quicksand, but nobody has the guts to test it…).

      Physics (of which climate is a sub-set) historically has been conducted under more rigorous rues of engagement.

    • When “scientists” engage in moving public policy, they are subject to the same harassment as other activists. Particularly when their activism is based on their “scientific work”. Put it out there in the open and let us all follow the old scientific dictum: Try to invalidate a theorem. Let that be the proof.

  5. I hope that we get to see those emails because scientific truth and integrity is good for science. Getting access to Mann’s would also be good for science.

  6. “..Mann wrote the original Hockeystick paper in 1998 with Jonathan Overpeck and Malcolm Hughes, hence the MBH98 moniker…”

    Huh? Jonathan Overpeck isn’t the “B” in MBH…

  7. Exactly so.

    On the other hand:

    … writing for the unanimous court …

    No support whatsoever for the trial judge. It makes it less likely that an appeal to a higher court would succeed.

    [Appellate Judge Joseph] Howard said everyone involved in the case acknowledges the emails are public records. And he said state law has a presumption that all public records are subject to disclosure, with certain exceptions.

    The trial judge is going to have to give reasons why each individual email might be an exception to the rule that all public records are subject to disclosure. Those reasons could be subject to appeal. This could drag on for a while.

  8. The main thing here is, all these email conspirator’s plans will be revealed. We don’t even need the courts for what happens next. We need the information and then the ability to disseminate this information to the public.

  9. The need for “emails to be confidential” has gained an enormous boost of late thanks to Mrs Clinton (Monica’s lover’s wife.

  10. So this goes back to the trial judge who made the faulty and arguably biased ruling.

    Which means after “reviewing” the emails he can just rule the university was correct. I do not how much argument or details the trial judge has to provide to make that ruling. Regardless, the judge could take his sweet time in performing the reviews and then make another faulty unsupported ruling in the university favor, which then provokes another appeal.

    On principle this is good news, the university and judge are again exposed as disingenuous and sleazy.

    As a practical matter it is the same old cow manure in a different package. In other words it may not be until the next ice age before we see these emails at which point the emails become moot.

    • All

      re: As a practical matter it is the same old cow manure in a different package.

      Kinda depends on if you’re a glass-half-empty guy (or irredeemably paranoid). I’m pretty cynical, but I’m more of a glass-half-full guy: let’s give the judge the benefit of the doubt and see (factually) what happens. Nobody is perfect; as long as he didn’t blow up the world, t think it’s better to judge the guy by how he respond to a mistake as opposed to condemning him because he made a mistake.

  11. How long can Michael Mann’s legal cases continue?

    An example is SCO vs. the whole world in which a smallish company (SCO) sued several bigger companies. Some people think SCO was a sock puppet for Microsoft and the intention was to destroy, damage, or at least slow down Linux. The story started in 2003 and we just heard the last whimper.

    SCO never had a case. IBM’s legal defense was first rate. The lawyer fees went way beyond a hundred million bucks. SCO’s lawyers engaged in a brilliant scorched earth campaign. They managed to spin nothing out for more than a decade against determined and highly competent opponents.

    Could Michael Mann’s lawyers achieve the same effect? If he has some behind-the-scenes support, they could. The problem for Dr. Mann is that he is a real person (as opposed to SCO which could just evaporate). He has a tiger by the tail. He can’t let go but you know that the tiger will eventually have its lunch.

  12. Pardon this question but how does this ruling apply to Mann? I don’t see his name anywhere in the article linked nor the ruling.

    • Mann is a real person; but HE is not funding the attorneys for his side, but rather by the ironically named “Climate Science Legal Defense Fund”. And good luck determining who funds THEM!
      This could go on until the last “consensus” scientist, alarmist politician, NGO and compliant “scientific” society disappears from the scene.

  13. It seems this climate cabal is not so large to achieve “too big to fail” status. While it has some powerful support, it is at best 30-40 key influencers that pop up throughout the “science is settled” peer reviewed mis-information

    If the truth can get some executive support, this could unravel quickly. Of course, it has to be a POTUS willing to lay bare the duplicity of our government and its Faustian deal with the one government promoters at the U.N., IMF and the rest of the socialists (wolf) cloaked in “save the world” (sheep’s) clothing.

    People don’t realize how critical Ted Cruz can be in some important government role (Pres or AG come to mind)

  14. You have to wonder if there is no time to lose , has claimed , and if the science is ‘settled ‘ has the public are told time and again. Why you see the use of approaches that both waste time and prevent the public who are the ones that will enable the change form seeing what they need to in making the choice .
    But there is long way to go yet, Mann’s court cases having been going on for years , oddly he seems to never keen to get them to trial no matter how keen he is to lurch them in the first place.
    The real question is should it occur how much actually press coverage and public notice will it get ?

  15. Howard, writing for the court, said Arizona law expresses an “open access policy toward public records’’ and exists “to allow citizens to be informed about what their government is up to.’’

    What’s important, Howard said, is that while the agency with the records has the initial discretion to deny access, “under no circumstances should that determination be final,’’ calling that “inconsistent with all principles of democratic government.’’

    Yes, citizens have a right to know what their government is up to on climate focused research.

    I am a citizen so give me the emails.

    John

  16. ‘Entia non sunt multiplicana praeter necessitatim. ‘.
    Occam’s Razor.

    ‘Only disclose things on a need to know basis.’
    Brad Keyes – translator.

  17. Welcome news! But it is still disconcerting that a lower court could have ever ruled that that university emails were not public property. We are just barely a free society… when we are at all.

  18. Now comes the next wave of legal arguments.

    And coming up next: dramatic new video which shows paint actually drying.

    As Mark Steyn has observed regarding his own case: we are more than 3 years into the legal process of deciding whether a 270 word article he wrote in 2012 is defamatory. So far there hasn’t been a single hearing on the substance of the Mann’s complaint; it’s all been procedural.

    The legal profession is a bigger disgrace than climate science.

    • The primary purpose of the legal system is to keep lawyers employed.
      Everything else is just incidental.

  19. Michael Mann — The Hockey Stick

    There was a crooked Mann
    Who played a crooked trick
    And had a crooked plan
    To make a crooked stick

    By using crooked math
    That favored crooked lines
    Lysenko’s crooked path
    Led through the crooked pines

    And all his crooked friends
    Applaud what crooked seems
    But all that crooked ends
    Derives from crooked means

    Eugene WR Gallun

  20. AEI and others have tried to get Mann’s emails from Penn State, but were blocked by political interventions claiming science would be harmed, among other things.

    The only justification, for me, to not release the emails was that personal information might be included along with the “science stuff”. (Easy enough to resolve. Have impartial people review them before public release.)
    Now the claim is “science would be harmed”!?!?
    Only if they have harmed science.
    Why would political interventions seek to prevent the release of the “science” that justify their policies?

  21. “… be in the best interests of the state.”

    Now, that’s a pretty loose requirement.
    Suppose, “the state” has a vested interest in advancing an agenda.

  22. I know it’s a play on words, but the correct play would be “all your emails are belong to us” which is reference to a really terrible Japanese to English translation of the game 80s game, Zero Wing. =]

  23. Ahhh state security, just like national security, is a mechanism for hiding wrong doing nothing more

  24. Maybe we should all refuse the IRS access to our financial records because it would not be in our best interests to divulge such information. See how that works out for you. So the “state” has different rules they play from those of us who pay to support such “state”.

  25. I believe this is a misquote/misparody:

    “all your emails belong to us”

    I believe it is “all your emails are belong to us” in keeping with the tradition of repeating, uncorrected, the original.

    • No, should be “all your email are belong to us” to preserve the broken singular plural relationship.

Comments are closed.