Cuccinelli's target Mann cleared by Penn State faculty

The climate scientist at the center of Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's UVA document-seeking inquest has been cleared of research misconduct by a faculty panel at Penn State, the University that currently employs him, according to Penn State release and  a story in Nature. In what some have called "climategate," Mann was accused of falsifying research in support of his famous "hockey stick" graph that portrays a recent spike in global temperatures.

Note: reporter not wearing reading glasses originally typed the wrong spelling for "stick", and headline has been changed from "Penn" to "Penn State"


@Sean, you equate UVA's reluctance to comply with an absurd ploy to "doing back try and keep data, research and science hidden." It simply is not so. UVA filed a motion to "quash" the CID. That hardly qualifies as "back flips" meant to "keep the data, etc hidden."

Such ham-fisted hackery is undeserving of anything more. One should not capitulate to bullies, even if he happens to be an elected official (and even if elected by a landslide.)

It's a nice racket, though: Make feeble accusations and insist upon a massive effort to produce evidence to prove innocence. And if they balk, accuse them of wanting to hide something. Surely there can be no other reason for it, right?


Cuccinelli's political agenda will be damaged quite a bit if indeed the data and the research are found to be water tight.

Perhaps you could answer my question about why it is that the public needs to be protected from scientific research that we paid for.

If you're angry about the costs associated with looking into the data, consider it to be the government creating temporary jobs in Virginia with our tax money. You're into that notion, aren't you?

SO, we as the public need to be protected from knowing the details of scientific research that we as the public paid for?

And this adheres to exactly what kind of scientific method?

Has the process of science suddenly changed into being one that keeps itself secret, and away from peer review and shielded from the taxpayers who funded it?


Well, if you want to see exactly how it is that politics trumps science in America, you can see the actual documents here:

I believe that the Attorney General is using the power and authority of his office for a political fishing expedition, and to further his career or discredit his ideological foes. Such behavior, if proven, would be unethical at best, illegal at worst.

As he is a public employee of the Commonwealth of Virginia, he’s using our tax dollars to do so. We, as tax payers in Virginia, deserve every assurance that our public money is being well spent.

Therefore, I request that the AG produce any documents, meeting notes, email and other internal correspondence that relate, pertain to, or include the terms ââ?¬Å?global warming”, ââ?¬Å?climate change”, ââ?¬Å?Michael Mann”, ââ?¬Å?hockey stick”, ââ?¬Å?cap and trade”, ââ?¬Å?climate gate”, and ââ?¬Å?greenhouse gasses”. I would like all such documents dating back since the inception of his campaign for AG.

I also insist that the Governor appoint an independent counsel to investigate the findings. We must be certain that the most senior law enforcement official in Virginia is applying the law fairly to everyone.

If he has nothing to hide he will release the data I seek forthwith and not go ââ?¬Å?a-circling” the wagons. After all, since when do public officials not have to acccount for how they spend public money? Whoever thinks this is an unreasonable request is abetting the abuse of political office.

That's probably "hockey stick".

Pushing back against an unreasonable demand is not "a-circling the wagons." Likewise, NOT wanting to spend time and money to sift through years of 5 to 10+ year-old documents, emails, etc, is not "hiding data."

The question is: Does sufficient evidence exist to merit a fraud investigation of the 5 UVA/Mann grants? (Remember, these 5 tax-payer funded grants are what this is ostensibly about.)

The answer is clearly no. It's hard to imagine such a similar investigation based on such a flimsy pretext were the subject matter not so politically charged.

So we are forced to wonder why, in the absence of such evidence, does the AG proceed? Political gain seems to be the obvious answer.

"Missuse of state funds can carry jail terms, yaknow.."
Hmmm, you don't say? How very interesting.

This won't make any difference to Cuccinelli. He's clearly on a crusade of Biblical proportions to discredit anybody who defies his closely-held personal and political beliefs. What a fine use of state funds!

What does UVA have to hide? There's more to this story than just what the media wants to report on. Why aren't they forthcoming with the information?

I don't want my tax money wasted through UVA supporting bad and misleading science and education.

Cue up the "this investigation was a whitewash designed to protect the cabal of scientists seeking world domination through taxing carbon" comments.


The publications from Mann's research are readily available:

There is no reason to make intermediate results available, as the input (at least from the instrumental temperature record) is entirely in the public domain. If you can find a flaw in the methodology, more power to you.

However, investigating the merits of scientists should not be the purview of politicians. Just look at the mathematical skill shown by congress every time they have to pass a budget. Clearly high school math is beyond them. Why do you think politicians are remotely qualified to investigate scientific papers based on graduate level mathematics?

To bad that peen state has nothing to do with "research" falsified at uva.
I’m curious whether the ââ?¬Å?faculty” is left leaning pro man made global warming?

Friendly note to Hook headline writer

"Penn" = University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

"Penn State" = Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA

You meant the latter, not the former.

Remember back when it was Acid Rain that was going to kill us all and destroy the planet?
You mean, before aggressive regulation was implemented to curtail the problem?

"In 1990, the US Congress passed a series of amendments to the Clean Air Act. Title IV of these amendments established the Acid Rain Program, a cap and trade system designed to control emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. Title IV called for a total reduction of about 10 million tons of SO2 emissions from power plants. It was implemented in two phases. Phase I began in 1995, and limited sulfur dioxide emissions from 110 of the largest power plants to a combined total of 8.7 million tons of sulfur dioxide. One power plant in New England (Merrimack) was in Phase I. Four other plants (Newington, Mount Tom, Brayton Point, and Salem Harbor) were added under other provisions of the program. Phase II began in 2000, and affects most of the power plants in the country.

During the 1990s, research has continued. On March 10, 2005, EPA issued the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR). This rule provides states with a solution to the problem of power plant pollution that drifts from one state to another. CAIR will permanently cap emissions of SO2 and NOx in the eastern United States. When fully implemented, CAIR will reduce SO2 emissions in 28 eastern states and the District of Columbia by over 70 percent and NOx emissions by over 60 percent from 2003 levels.[15]

Overall, the Program's cap and trade program has been successful in achieving its goals. Since the 1990s, SO2 emissions have dropped 40%, and according to the Pacific Research Institute, acid rain levels have dropped 65% since 1976."

The AG is sucking up to the right wing radicals that think the earth is flat and the climate doesn't change, man caused or otherwise. It is much like burning the heretics at the stake because they said something that the church sheep didn't agree with. This planet will resemble Mars in a million years and we will be gone at our own hands.

If uva would just show the work then that would save lots of time and money. Correct? So who is wasting money?

@carter, KC has stated that the investigation is about fraud, not about the conclusions of AGW. He supposedly only is concerned with whether or not roughly $500,000 was awarded fraudulently. It is neither his stated intent, nor within his office's responsibility (or ability) to rule on the larger issue of the validity of AGW.

That's what he says, anyway. Of course he is waging a proxy battle against AGW, using "fraud" as a convenient cover.

I've asked a simple question several times, but no answer yet:

Does anyone truly believe that this investigation is purely motivated by fraud, and not simply using fraud as a vehicle to further a larger political agenda?


You are very conveniently ignoring the facts regarding the Climategate emails. There is EVIDENCE that he fudged some data to get his graph the way he wanted it to look. Add to that what his own colleague has said, and you cannot say that there is no reason to be suspicious here. Unless, of course YOUR political agenda is what is making you want the public to be protected from the data it paid for.


One of his IPCC co-authors Eduardo Zorita has demanded that Mann should be banned from contributing to future reports because his scientific assessments are ââ?¬Å?not credible any more.” Zorita also calls for the barring of CRU’s director Phil Jones and another IPCC lead author, Stefan Rahmstorf.

Zorita, who works in the paleoclimate department of the Institute of Coastal Research, has issued a statement on his website in which he complains that the ââ?¬Å?scientific debate has been in many instances hijacked to advance other agendas.”

ââ?¬Å?These words do not mean that I think anthropogenic climate change is a hoax. On the contrary, it is a question which we have to be very well aware of. But I am also aware that in this thick atmosphere -and I am not speaking of greenhouse gases now- editors, reviewers and authors of alternative studies, analysis, interpretations,even based on the same data we have at our disposal, have been bullied and subtly blackmailed. In this atmosphere, Ph D students are often tempted to tweak their data so as to fit the ââ?¬Ë?politically correct picture’. Some, or many issues, about climate change are still not well known. Policy makers should be aware of the attempts to hide these uncertainties under a unified picture. I had the ââ?¬Ë?pleasure’ to experience all this in my area of research.”

Zorita was one of the contributing authors to the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report. He’s unlikely to be asked to contribute to the Fifth. Indeed, as he ruefully acknowledges, this brave admission could well be the death of his career:

By writing these lines I will just probably achieve that a few of my future studies will, again, not see the light of publication.

Yep. I think the poor fellow’s right. Never mind the damning revelations. The vested interests behind AGW are going to make darned sure that that AGW bandwagon keeps roll roll rollin’ along.

And never mind which honest, decent saps get squashed under its wheels.

Cuccinelli is a death panel all unto himself. he needs to be recalled with great haste.

Few if any American climate scientists have been as falsely accused � and thoroughly vindicated � over both their academic practices and scientific results as Dr. Mann.

and some of the wingnuts here need to actually reading the findings of this latest investigation.

that his work ââ?¬Å?clearly places Dr. Mann among the most respected scientists in his field"

and that "Dr. Mann’s work, from the beginning of his career, has been recognized as outstanding.ââ?¬Å?

Given the modern day scopes trial that the creationist birthers are trying to foment here (and this is a tried and true strategy - cant win on policy, cant win on economics, so let's reignite the culture wars) it is beyond the pale to hear the sophist arguments that there will be no conclusive investigation until Mann is found found guilty. who exactly is steering a course to reach a conclusion here? Mr. Birther AG it seems.

"This old buzzard, having failed to raise the mob against its rulers, now prepares to raise it against its teachers."

H.L. Mencken on Scopes trial. still true today.

No, not correct. I suggest you read the CID to get a full appreciation of the immense scope of the request.

It's not simply a matter of sending a few documents to the AG's office.

It will obviously be an enormous undertaking, and will take quite a bit time and effort (and of course money) to both produce (or explain the absence of) and examine the information. Most or all of which will be funded by Virginia taxpayers.

It going to cost trillions less to check it out then what the cost of misleading science will be.
Yes those flat earth people; those were the fools who listened to the ââ?¬Å?top scientists” of the day. How did that data turn out? I’m not saying the data is for or against just prove your conclusions. Its 8th grade stuff.

Remember back when it was Acid Rain that was going to kill us all and destroy the planet?

Towards that end, did you hear what the masseuse in Portland, OR said about Al Gore sexually assaulting her while he was in town for a Global Warming speech a few years ago?

(editor's note: I am NOT taking a position as to whether this did or did not happen. I just think what the gal said is funny. Humor is not illegal - yet)

Please take special note of the last three sentences of the article..


According to transcripts of the 2009 interview, the masseuse described the allegations at length. She said Gore groped, kissed and pinned her down on a bed. She told Gore he was acting like a "crazed sex poodle."

The woman said she felt there would be consequences if she didn't cooperate.

"I feared that if I ran for the door to get out, I could or would be violently accosted by some security detail," she said. "I felt certain that any, even the smallest complaint from him to the hotel, could also destroy my work reputation."

While trying to pack up, she said Gore "wrapped me in an inescapable embrace," looked her in the eyes and touched her back, buttocks and breasts. She said she asked Gore to stop several times.

"I finally told him and said, you're being a crazed sex poodle, hoping he'd realize how weird he was being, yet he persisted," she told Det. Molly Daul.

She said Gore demanded she drink cognac, though she told him she doesn't drink alcohol. She said Gore became enraged when she refused his advances.

After the alleged incident, the woman said she was dissuaded from contacting the police by liberal friends of hers, whom she refers to as "The Birkenstock Tribe," and of which she counts herself a member.

"It's like being the ultimate traitor," the woman said.

One friend "was basically asking me to just suck it up, otherwise the world's going to be destroyed from global warming," she said.

Hard to say the motivation behind it, but if were the person in question I would do or show whatever I could to prove the accuser wrong.
Both sides have political agendas that they want to push.

@Sean, I predict that if KC gets the trove of documents he's looking for, he will find nothing damaging, but that it won't negatively affect either his political agenda or his reputation. The CID has already fulfilled its purpose: to further the AG’s conservative bona fides by showing that he is ââ?¬Å?taking on” the AGW crowd.

Mann (and others) have been the subject of several investigations, none of which have yielded anything incriminating. Why should this be any different?

I'll also suggest that you read the CID, and tell me whether you think it's a reasonable request. Mann's work has been reviewed and published, like anything else, and I fail to see how NOT producing 10+ years worth of emails from, to, or about Mann is somehow shielding science from the public.

Should we ask for the same information for any and all grants in all academic disciplines? We paid for all of them, and after all, fraud is fraud. Why not take it further: Let's put Mann, his family, friends and colleagues under oath, and find out what they knew, and when they knew it. The tax-paying public deserves no less.

And again, what about my previous question?


Some of the left wing wackos are worse than the right wing ones. Naturally, all their unbiased news outlets are beyond reproach (all the one he/she didn't mention).

Is this anonymous poster, clearly already frothing at the mouth knowing what's coming in the elections in November, suggesting that Mr. Eduardo Zorita does not exist, never made those comments, or never worked with Mr. Mann?

Is he an imaginary figure concocted by the vast right wing conspiracy? wtf.

Somebody is losing it..

Is, perhaps, Katie Couric and her looney left collegues at CBS also in on the vast conspiracy?

The evidence abounds. It is beyond sufficient. Furthermore, the amount of money it will take to review things is a microcosmic fraction of what some would like to spend to try and stop the sky from falling.

If your partisan cult at UVA had nothing to hide, JJ, you would be welcoming the chance to prove to everyone the infallibility of Mr. Mann's research. But you're not, and neither is the brass at UVA. Even if all the other evidence were washed away, the back flips that UVA is doing to try and keep data, research, and science hidden and secret is reason enough for rational people to suspect that they are protecting something quite damaging to the conclusions they came to - and trying to keep themselves from being prosecuted for the misuse of taxpayer money (something UVA is already rather adept at).

But our Attorney General, elected by a landslide, is going to find out what lies beneath whether you or UVA like it or not.

Music Lover
Thats his job I think this has cost the state $170.00 to file?
If you are doing everything above board then show it. Im not saying right or wrong, but like my teachers alway said "show your work" Why hide it? I have friends in Bio-Chem, they can't wait to show their work, they love to show and talk about the data that supports their results.

So much for the "cleared on only 3 out of 4 charges" narrative.

@carter. Perhaps $170.00 to file, but how much will be spent collecting 5-10 years worth of old documents, correspondance, etc? How much will be spent for the AG and his staff to sift through all that data?

No one should hide any data. But neither should anyone capitulate to the political whims of an AG on a fishing expedition.

you're citing the Telegraph?


a totally fringe, right wing paper? and a blog from the Telegraph, not even an actual reporter?

that is your source? that is best you can do?

how about the NY Post?

or Newsmax?

or the Drudge Report?

or Sister Sarah?

or that foppish harpy Beck?

or Michael Crichton?


brilliant dude. brilliant

I have 35 years with what is now VA DEQ you would be very surprised what goes on..more earth first then a department of the state.

Academic Cover Up,

A) If an institution has nothing to hide, then they don't circle the wagons and try to hide anything.

B) Internal emails from the researchers themselves suggest that they were fudging data - leaving out some data they didn't like, and including data they did.

C) One of those researchers has broke rank and blown the whistle, going as far as to say Mr. Mann should have been removed for being a fraud.

These factors should lead nobody, anywhere to suspect in the slightest that something MIGHT be a bit off kilter here?

Our Attorney general is a politician. But he also happens to be the state's top officer of the LAW. What he has requested is perfectly legal, as it was taxpayer funded. And, yes, UVA has a recent history of being a very politically partisan institution that is very dishonest when it comes to science. If there is a school in the US that has a more pronounced political agenda in matters such as this more than UVA, then I can oly think it is maybe UC or Harvard.

Would you be this protective of scientific data - which I thought was always supposed to be as public as possible so as to make it reviewable and provable science - if it had been compiled in at the University of Alaska when Mrs. Palin was governor?

oh, and "academical" is not a word.

oh, and ââ?¬Å?academical” is not a word.
What a genius.

The obvious allusion is to "academical village."

You mention two pieces of evidence that supposedly merit this investigation.
Firstly, I believe you are referring to the "hide the decline" episode. (Please correct me if I'm mistaken.) All I can say is that you should research this a bit. You will find that it's not nearly the smoking gun it may appear at first glance. Again, several investigations have borne this out. The Penn State findings discuss it, in fact.
Secondly, you cite the negative opinions of a colleague of Mann's.
Suspect all you like, but this is hardly compelling evidence of a crime or ââ?¬Å?fraud” involving these 5+ year old grants. Unless YOUR political agenda is driving your approval of such a transparently political maneuver. (See? We can accuse each other of being agenda-driven all day long if you like).

My ââ?¬Å?agenda,” such as it is, consists of expressing my disapproval of the use of a public office and public funds in the pursuit of political ends all the while masquerading as a fraud investigation. Yet again, can you really say that it’s not so?

If there is a school in the US that has a more pronounced political agenda in matters such as this more than UVA, then I can oly think it is maybe UC or Harvard.
Sean again overstates the importance of U.Va., as is his wont. U.Va. more liberal than Yale, or Stanford, or Dartmouth, etc.? Really? And one can only wonder if UC is supposed to mean the University of Chicago or all ten universities of the University of California.

Hard to say the motivation behind it, but if were the person in question I would do or show whatever I could to prove the accuser wrong.

Really? Would you immediately and fully comply with any accusation from anyone? I doubt it. Certain charges and accusations don't merit full and immediate cooperation. One should never give in to such obvious political hackery.

How much do you think the government is getting ready to spend on cap and trade partly due to the results of MM's findings?
Billions? Looks like acedemia is circleing the wagons.

The only thing that could possibly make people conclude that;

a) internal emails suggesting fraud,

b) a whistle blowing colleague saying Mr. Mann was being hijacked by political agendas, and

c) scientific data needs to be protected from review and kept secret

are irrelevant and don't in any way suggest that something may be fraudulent - is either mild insanity, or a political agenda that doesn't want something in this research to be discovered by investigators.

I have axe to grind here, and no horse in the race. I will add that I hope that the climate change theory that states we're all doomed if we can't cut back world emissions is wrong. But that's for purely selfish reasons as I know damn well that that isn't ever going to happen. Whatever modest reductions we can make in the West will be blown away by what is happening in Asia now.

Whatever the case may be, i think this is an important enough subject that every stone needs to be overturned. It may just be impossible to prove conclusively one way or the other - but nobody has yet explained to me how in hell it is SUDDENLY the new scientific method to keep research data secret. For hundreds of years, science has yearned to make itself as open and as transparent as possible - so it can be reviewed, gone over by many, proven, or disproven.

But now, all of a sudden at UVA, you have the wagons a-circling - filing court cases to try and keep science secret. Not surprising given it's UVA - but Cuccinelli's gunna win this one folks, whether you like it/him or not. Those of you here in the people's Republic of Charlottesville may just want to remind yourself that this guy won by a landslide. And if there are any paper shredders or fireplaces with this data in it - then somebody is going to have to answer for it. And that includes that creep getting out of town to go sell cigarettes to teenagers.

The more you go on fighting this, the more you look like parties to - or cheerleaders for - scientific and academic fraud.

Oh, wait - should I have said scientifical instead?


Why thank you for resorting to an ad hominem attack in your very first sentence. But I'm better than that and will answer your questions.

A.) It's one thing to circle the wagons at the merest data request. It's another thing to circle the wagons when they demand every email you've ever sent.

B.) No not really. The "trick" to "hide the decline" was published in that very paper I linked to in my previous post that explains exactly what they did and why and what the limitations of it are.

C.) One researcher thinks another is a blowhard who should be fired? Stop the presses! Academics are well known for their egos the size of a room. When one says one should be fired, it's not really news.

UVa shows very little partisanship. Some would argue it's actually a right-leaning school. Patrick Michaels, a prominent climate contrarian worked in the same department as Mann. I would have loved to see those faculty meetings.

As regards to Palin and Univ of Alaska, yes, I would support them not releasing every line of code they've ever written. So long as the input data for a paper is available and the method is published and documented. I also think that the hacking of Sarah Palin's email a few years ago was an abhorent act.

Academics (And politicians for that matter) already make more of their lives public than the average citizen. They deserve what little of their privacy that they have left.

A.) Science is supposed to be open source. If your data - or your emails - are so convincing, then all the doubters will be convinced. We know already that there were some very curious emails that seemed to be directly suggesting fraud. So emails are are totally within the pale as a result. You can try and twist and turn it however you would like - circling the wagons happens when you are protecting something you don't want others to know. That is not science. That is politics.

B.) So there's no reason to hide data now. No reason whatsoever. Unless, of course, the scientific method was corrupted here - and you don't want people to find out about it. Missuse of state funds can carry jail terms, yaknow..

C.) So maybe Mr. Mann has one of those egos, and refuses to listen to his own colleagues either at UVA or in England? Either way, there are people as educated and informed as he on the subject that claim his conclusions are invalid. Perfectly rational to look into both sides with all the data available.

"UVa shows very little partisanship. Some would argue it’s actually a right-leaning school."

WOW! Now I know you're in your own little world. fyi, Casteen worked for Chuck Robb. UVA had "unisex bathrooms" with markers at graduation. They spent lots of money giving away "Love is Love" T-Shirts. They have an entire office of people looking out for the "transgender" community. They went ballistic when someone called someone else a ni**ger in a convenience store (at least 5 times the interest as when a young woman vanished at a concert or a frat guy dropped dead at 21). They do abortions in house and lie to their own students about what it does to them. They peddle cancer causing steroids to their female students steroids as cancer inhibitors - and give the morning after pills away for free to any teenager - boy or girl - who want some. Oh, and the illegal drug culture at UVA is widespread - and protected.

UVA is as extreme left partisan as any other school in the country - Berkeley, and Harvard included. You can always tell them because they are always the big drug dens also.

A direct accusation of manipulating scientific data by a colleague working on the same project is not a feeble accusation. An email clearly stating that some data should be "hidden" is not irrelevant.

Science should be open source, and available for review. These are very simple and age old traditions within the scientific community that UVA is trying very hard to thwart. Not surprising given that it has become a partisan political organization where science and the scientific method are only valid if they align with the ideology of "the University."