Global-warming hysteria might be a crime
Are academics some special subspecies of hu- mans who are be- yond suspicion and above the law? That's the ques- tion being played out in a drama between Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and the dead-end defenders of global warming's poster junk scientist, Michael Mann.
Mr. Cuccinelli is under assault by the climate-alarmist brigades for launching an investigation into whether any fraud against taxpayers occurred with respect to Mr. Mann's hiring by the University of Virginia and his receipt of government grants. Mr. Cuccinelli recently sent the university a civil investigative demand requesting e-mails and other documents pertaining to Mr. Mann.
Mr. Cuccinelli's rationale is simple to understand: Mr. Mann's claim to fame - the infamous "hockey stick" graph - is so bogus that one cannot help but wonder whether it is intentional fraud.
Developed in the late 1990s, while he was at the University of Massachusetts, Mr. Mann's hockey-stick graph purports to show that average global temperature over the past millennium was stable until the 20th century, when it spiked up, presumably because of human activity. The hockey stick was latched onto by the alarmist community, incorporated into government and United Nations assessments of climate science and held out to the public (particularly by Al Gore in "An Inconvenient Truth") as proof that humans were destroying the planet.