Skeptics of man-made global warming claim victory after legal battle sees a U.S. university forced to produce disputed "global warming" records.
The University of Virginia (U.Va.) had stalled since last year in handing over its record relating to accusations against a former academic employee implicated in Climategate
affair of November 2009.
The researcher at the center of the underliying controversy is global warming doomsayer, Professor Michael Mann who now works at Penn. State University. Mann, a Lead Author for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been under increased scrutiny since the climate fraud scandal hit the headlines over a year ago.
The latest story appears on the SPPI website
which reports, “Court records reveal that counsel for the University has indicated instead that the Mann-related records do in fact exist, on a backup server. To avoid University delay or claims for huge search fees, today’s request specifically directs the school to search that server.”
Attorney Bullish after many Twist and Turns in Case
In an op ed piece for the Washington Examiner titled, ‘Yes, Virginia, you do have to produce those 'Global Warming' documents’ (01/05/11) Chris Horner, senior director of litigation for the American Tradition Institute's law center (and a Virginia resident) expressed his delight at the news.
According to Horner U.Va. has offered "a series of twists" on a novel defense of 'academic freedom.' It has spent half a million dollars on legal fees trying to prevent Virginia’s Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli acquiring any access to the records. Cuccinelli filed his petition for access on behalf of the state’s taxpayers last year.
Horner writes, “Virginia's transparency statute FOIA gives the school one week to produce the documents, and offers no exemption for claims U.Va. is using to block Cuccinelli's inquiry.”
From the start the university tried to deny it still possessed such records. Horner opined, “U.Va. stunningly dropped this stance. For this reversal, the taxpayers of Virginia owe Cuccinelli a debt of gratitude.”
Mann’s accusers claim such documents may hold proof of willful fakery. If so then such a finding may help precipitate the demise of what skeptics say has been the over-hyped and illusory global warming crisis.
Criminal Investigations May Still Proceed in US and UK
Cuccinelli has been conducting a pre-investigation under the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act ("FATA"), a 2007 law passed unanimously by Virginia's legislature. The Act covers not only businesses but academic institutions that have been taxpayer-funded.
Of most interest to Cuccinelli will likely be Mann's emails that may provide the smoking gun to ignite a new storm on a par with that created after the email leaks from the University of East Anglia, England which was the hub of the Climategate scandal. British police recently announced they are stilll pursuing inquiries into alleged crimes that took place their in November 2009.
Cuccinelli wants e-mails and other documents relating to claims made by Michael Mann and involving certain taxpayer-funded grants.
Horner goes into detail, “We have specifically directed the school to only search the backup server it claimed to the attorney general's office that it finally located as the likely home of the Mann records. As such, demands for huge search fees should not be an obstacle.”
Mann worked as a researcher in the university's department of environmental sciences. He went on to be credited with creating the iconic ‘hockey stick’ graph that supposedly confirmed unprecedented human influence over Earth’s climate due to the omission of so-called ‘greenhouse gases.’ Both the man-made global warming and greenhouse gas theories are now claimed to have been refuted by independent scientists.
Different Strokes for Different Climate Change Folks
Horner believes that the university is treating its ex-professors differently depending on their beliefs about climate change. He says Mann is being protected from freedom of information (FOIA) requests because of he fits the establishment's pro-global warming agenda, while while another Uv.a professor, Pat Michaels, who is a global warming skeptic received no such protection from his employets.
Horner asks his readers to contrast and compare how differently Uv.a treats such FOIA requests despite similar circumstances. He cites the case of environmentalist advocacy group, Greenpeace which in 2009, sought and obtained from Uv.a records of Patrick Michaels, who also formerly worked in the same university department. Uv.a showed no such reticence in promptly complying with the Greenpeace demand.
The inference being that the outcome is dependent on whether those involved agree or disagree with global warming doomsaying prophecies.
Horner concluded, “Now we with the American Tradition Institute's environmental law center have requested these documents under FOIA and will presumably put an end to these tactics of denial followed by delay!”
Virginia taxpayer Horner is hoping that the university will now see sense and “rise to its reputation and reflect the highest fidelity toward its statutory and other obligations.”
Horner, C., ‘Yes, Virginia, you do have to produce those 'Global Warming' documents,’ (01/05/11) Washington Examiner.com (accessed online: 01/06/11)
Press Release, 'Law Center, Taxpayers Request University of Virginia Documents Pertaining to Climate Scientist Michael Mann,'(01/06/11), Science and Public Policy institute (accessed online: 01/06/11)
Phillips, M., 'Slaying the Sky Dragon,' (12/01/10), The Spectator, (accessed online: 01/06/11)
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