November 30, 2018
On January 6th, 2011, the University of Virginia was asked to disgorge the emails of Dr. Michael Mann that were associated with his work on global warming. The University refused some, but not all of that request. They did, however, give all the requested public records to Dr. Mann who also refused to make them public. On December 7, 2011, the University of Arizona was asked to disgorge the emails of Dr. Malcolm Hughes on which Dr. Mann was an addressee and the emails of Dr. Jonathan Overpeck for which six individuals were addressees, as well as emails associated with various global warming subjects and publications. On November 19th, 2018, the Free Market Environmental Law Clinic (FME Law) and counsel for the University of Arizona’s Board of Regents appeared before Judge Marner in the Pima County Superior Court to give the court notice that the university would comply with the Court’s previous order and would deliver all Dr. Hughes withheld emails by today, November 30th, 2018 and all of Dr. Overpeck’s withheld emails by January 15th, 2019. The Court’s Minute Entry of that hearing is attached. (see PDF below)
Facing the fact that all the emails Dr. Mann did not want released would now be released, today Dr. Mann made his version of these emails available to the public, but in a form that does not allow them to be downloaded. Because they have now been made public, any Virginia citizen seeking those emails can obtain copies from the University of Virginia, if the University has not destroyed them in the meantime. Otherwise, they will be made available by FME Law.
FME Law will make all the Hughes and Overpeck emails available to the public once it completes its voluntary commitment to the court to assess them and document the professionalism and academic honest of Drs. Hughes and Overpeck which it fully expects will be demonstrated therein. FME Law made this voluntary commitment for two reasons.
First, during the litigation, accusations had been made that the purpose of the request was harassment and no value could come from their release other than to use them to tarnish the reputations of Drs. Hughes and Overpeck. FME Law does not harbor such a purpose and has no reason to believe either Hughes or Overpeck behaved beyond the bounds of proper academic ethics, and stated repeatedly to the court that the release of these emails would allow that to be demonstrated.
Secondly, FME Law is fully cognizant of the bitter and unwholesome nature of divisiveness with regard to global warming and the professionals within that small academic community. FME Law knew that Dr. Mann and his fellow travelers would accuse FME Law of engaging in cherry picking and attempts to use the emails to embarrass these two faculty members. FME Law has no such intent, nor does its client, the Energy & Environment Legal Institute. FME Law cautions anyone who accesses these emails to do so with respect to the context within which they are written, and for reasons other than ad hominem attacks on Drs. Hughes and Overpeck.
Dr. Schnare, Member-Manager of FME Law and lead attorney on these cases, described the importance of this case. “We did not take this case only to obtain the history of a very controversial period of time in the climate wars. We also took this case to cast sunlight on how public universities work, how they contribute to the formation of public policy, and how professors behave within the policy arena. Core legal issues not addressed in this litigation remain – particularly about how to effectively protect the research process while still allowing the public to learn how this sector of the government works.”
FME Law is committed to engaging this question of academic behavior within the policy arena. The academy itself admits it is rife with research pathologies and only transparency within the ivy-covered walls will expose and allow for corrections of those problems. As Dr. Phillip W. Magness explained this week, with regard to “academic hoax papers that have revealed the crisis of rigor afflicting academic publishing[, t]he fabricated articles only advanced to publication because decades of lax standards have made academically fashionable nonsense—including other forms of fraudulent work—the norm for celebrated scholarship in several of the humanities and social sciences.“
Based on what is found in these emails, the results of a major investigation on public records requests to universities, and intensive review of the law of academic freedom and the notion of a scholar’s privilege, Dr. Schnare will discuss transparency and the academy in a forthcoming major law journal article.
FME Law is a 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to be an honest, pro-environmental legal presence that represents clients seeking to hold state and federal governments to the ethical and legal requirements that protect and enhance free market environmentalism.
PDF of press release plus court document:
Dr. Mann’s version of the released emails:
Note that the user name and password are both “mail_guest”