Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Thursday, August 25, 2011 8:16 pm

Remember how climatologist Michael Mann was fabricating climate-change research?

Not so much, it turns out:

An investigation by the National Science Foundation has found no evidence of wrongdoing or misconduct by Penn State climate-change researcher Michael Mann.

Mann, Penn State professor of meteorology, was the target of accusations from climate-change skeptics after thousands of e-mails exchanged between climate-change researchers were hacked from the University of East Anglia and made public.

Critics pointed to the e-mails as evidence that Mann and other scientists had hidden and manipulated data to bolster the argument for global warming.

The university was swamped with e-mails and calls criticizing Mann. Although no formal allegations were made, the university formed a panel of five faculty members to investigate the Mann’s conduct.

The panel found no evidence of research misconduct in three of the four areas it examined, including falsifying data and misusing confidential information.  But it concluded that further investigation was needed into whether Mann did anything not in keeping with accepted practices for proposing, conducting or reporting research.

University Vice President for Research Henry C. Foley said the Office of Inspector General then reviewed both the allegations of research misconduct against Mann and the university’s inquiry.

“We appreciate the Inspector General’s careful assessment of the facts involved in this case,” Foley said in a news release issued Tuesday by Penn State. “The report clearly exonerates Professor Mann from any professional improprieties in his research, and adds credibility to the university’s own process of inquiry, which the OIG findings essentially upheld.”

A closeout memorandum by the Inspector General’s office on the case states that “as part of our investigation, we again fully reviewed all the reports and documentation the University provided to us, as well as a substantial amount of publically available documentation concerning both (Mann’s) research and parallel research conducted by his collaborators and other scientists in that particular field of research.”

The review notes “the research in question was originally completed over 10 years ago. Although the subject’s data is still available and still the focus of significant critical examination, no direct evidence has been presented that indicates the subject fabricated the raw data he used for his research or falsified his results.”.

I’m quite sure this will shut all the denialists up.



  1. Climate change prof tries to freeze open records request
    Posted on September 6, 2011
    ALEXANDRIA — A former University of Virginia professor at the center of the “Climategate” controversy is making a last-minute effort to block a conservative group’s open records request into his email account.

    The American Tradition Institute, a self-described conservative group, won a court order in May to review climate change proponent Dr. Michael Mann’s emails dating back to his days as a University of Virginia, or UVA, professor. Mann, the climatologist behind the “hockey stick graph,” stayed away from the case before filing a motion Friday to block the release of thousands of documents on privacy grounds.

    The institute dismissed the motion as ineffective.

    “Mr. Mann has no standing in this case. He doesn’t own the documents per university policy, which he knew when he was there,” said Dave Schnare, director of the group’s Environmental Law Center. “He doesn’t have a right in this game.”

    Neither Mann, nor his Manassas-based attorney, Scott Newton, returned calls for comment.

    The university is unable to comment on details of ongoing legal matters, but a spokeswoman said UVA plans on moving forward under the May court ruling.

    “The university has consistently stated that it will produce all responsive, non-exempt records that are public documents,” spokeswoman Carol Wood said. “The university has also consistently said that it will carefully review Mr. Mann’s email in order to protect what is legally exempt through FOIA.”

    The emails in question come from Mann, who taught at the university from 1999 to 2005. He is the climatologist behind the hockey stick graph, which claims to show surface temperatures sharply rising in the Northern Hemisphere during the 20th century. The graph became the defining image of the global warming movement and the benchmark for former Vice President Al Gore’s movie, “An Inconvenient Truth.”

    Mann would later become embroiled in the “Climategate” controversy. In November 2009, suspected hackers obtained emails from Mann and other climate scientists in which they allegedly discuss tampering with the peer review process to block skeptical research from being published.

    Mann’s legal maneuver comes in the wake of several investigation victories. On Aug. 24, the Arlington-based National Scientist Foundation cleared Mann and other climate researchers of allegations of data manipulation and destruction in connection to the hockey stick graph and other climate research.

    ATI Executive Director Paul Chesser said the professor should undergo public, as well as professional, scrutiny.

    “Taxpayers have a right and an interest to see that all the research was transparent and done properly,” he said. “A lot of questions have been raised surrounding his research despite his claims that he’s been exonerated.”

    Mann’s attorneys requested a Sept. 16 hearing — just five days before the university and the group are set to settle how many of the university’s 8,000 files can be released to the public.

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Wednesday, September 7, 2011 5:27 pm @ 5:27 pm

  2. Not that most taxpayers would have the first idea whether all the research was done properly even if all the records WERE released, but, yes, in principle those records should be presumptively public as they were created by public officials at public expense.

    What the actual Virginia law is, I have no idea. Not every state’s open-records law is as, well, liberal as North Carolina’s.

    Comment by Lex — Wednesday, September 7, 2011 7:46 pm @ 7:46 pm

  3. UPDATE…

    Well, well. Look what came in over the transom.

    Climategate (Part II)
    A sequel as ugly as the original.

    “Before anyone had time to get very far into this vast archive, the climate campaigners were ready with their critical review: Nothing worth seeing here. Out of context! Cherry picking! “This is just trivia, it’s a diversion,” climate researcher Joel Smith told Politico.( Sounds familiar to me..FHG ) On the other side, Anthony Watts, proprietor of the invaluable skeptic website, had the kind of memorable line fit for a movie poster. With a hat tip to the famous Seinfeld episode, Watts wrote: “They’re real, and they’re spectacular!” An extended review of this massive new cache will take months and could easily require a book-length treatment. But reading even a few dozen of the newly leaked emails makes clear that Watts and other longtime critics of the climate cabal are going to be vindicated”

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Monday, December 5, 2011 7:24 pm @ 7:24 pm

  4. “As ugly as the original” has an ironic meaning, given that there was nothing to the original.

    There may indeed someday surface evidence to disprove the theory of anthropogenic climate change. But this ain’t it.

    Comment by Lex — Monday, December 5, 2011 7:35 pm @ 7:35 pm

    • The not so manly Mann

      Mann is the Fredo of the climate mafia, because of his endless bluster and the obvious embarrassment he brings to his fellow scientists. .

      At this point it is difficult to tell if Mann is simply delusional, or a deliberate liar.

      Comment by Fred Gregory — Monday, December 5, 2011 7:44 pm @ 7:44 pm

  5. UPDATE: Liars

    Comment by — Wednesday, April 25, 2012 8:42 pm @ 8:42 pm

  6. Whatever happened to Michael Mann’s defamation suit? (2016 edition)

    “As I’ve noted before, I think this should be a relatively easy case. However offensive or intemperate the posts at issue, they should be recognized as protected speech. To hold otherwise would be to confuse hyperbolic rhetoric for actionable defamation. Moreover, insofar as the statements at issue reflected the defendants’ sincere belief that Mann manipulated his data to exaggerate the threat of climate change and that PSU’s cursory investigation into his conduct was insufficient, they do not demonstrate the degree of “actual malice” or “reckless disregard” for the truth necessary for a defamation claim, a point recognized even by folks who share Mann’s general views on climate science (such as UCal Berkeley’s Daniel Farber). Under Mann’s theory, George Zimmerman could sue anyone who claimed he “got away with murder” after killing Trayvon Martin. (Ditto equivalent claims about O.J. Simpson, Timothy Loehmann, etc.). It’s no wonder that so many media groups and others filed amicus briefs on the defendants’ behalf.

    Although this case arises out of a dispute over climate change, that’s not what the case is about. Climate change is a serious problem, and one that policymakers need to do more to address. But legitimate concern about climate change should not be a pretense for chilling protected speech, whether by independent advocacy groups, opinion publications or others. Environmental concern is no reason to abandon constitutional principle or to dampen freedom of speech.”

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Saturday, November 26, 2016 5:38 pm @ 5:38 pm

  7. Fred, I’m quite sure that Volokh would sue in a heartbeat if anyone accused him of fabricating his body of academic published work.

    Comment by Lex — Saturday, November 26, 2016 6:36 pm @ 6:36 pm

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