Another Climategate Whitewash

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The investigation at Pennsylvania State University of Michael Mann and his behavior as revealed in the East Anglia emails was released today, clearing him of all but one minor charge. You can read the actually report here. I suggest you do, as you will be amazed by the absurdity of this so-called investigation.

First, the manner in which the university investigated and then cleared Mann of the main charges was a joke. The panel reviewed the East Anglia emails, then brought Mann in to answer questions. When he essentially told them he had done nothing wrong, they decided that was evidence enough, clearing him of three of the four main charges.

Then, on the one remaining minor charge, the sharing of other people’s unpublished manuscripts without permission, the panel brought in other scientists for independent opinions, though only one of which, Richard Lindzen, is a skeptic of Mann’s work. Lindzen’s reaction when he learned he was not being interviewed on any of the main charges is quite entertaining. To quote the report itself,

When told that the first three allegations against Dr. Mann were dismissed at the inquiry stage . . . Dr. Lindzen’s response was: “It’s thoroughly amazing. I mean these are issues that he explicitly stated in the emails. I’m wondering what’s going on?”

The Investigatory Committee members did not respond to Dr. Lindzen’s statement.

On this final charge, the committee decided only that Mann’s distribution without permission of other people’s unpublished manuscripts was “careless and inappropriate,” and then finished by essentially saying in very stern words: next time, ask first.

Not surprisingly, the New York Times report on the conclusions of the investigation is somewhat joyous.

Unfortunately, this whitewash will only do harm to the reputation of science and the modern scientific community, and will almost certainly increase the general public’s distrust of climate research (and the reporting of it by mainstream publications like the NY Times).


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