30 May 2010
'The University of Virginia should fight a witch-hunt by the state's attorney general [...] Kenneth Cuccinelli, a firebrand conservative who was elected late last year as attorney general of Virginia. The grants had multiple recipients, but the official target of the probe is Michael Mann, an internationally respected climate scientist who was an investigator on all five grants while working at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville between 1999 and 2005.
On 23 April, Cuccinelli filed what amounts to a subpoena ordering the University of Virginia to hand over, by 26 July, all available documents, computer code and data relating to Mann's research on the five grants. He also demanded all correspondence, including e-mails — from 1999 to the present — between Mann, now at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, and dozens of climate scientists worldwide, as well as some climate sceptics. The order stated that Cuccinelli was investigating Mann's possible violation of the 2002 Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act — although no evidence of wrongdoing was given to explain invoking the law, which is intended to prosecute individuals who make false claims in order to access government funds.'
A US politician is now trying to sue a climate change scientist, no doubt to curry favour with the far right tea party voters.
Some on the right wing of US politics literally seem to have a death wish, working hard to prevent action on climate change until it is too late.
A kind of burn baby burn politics, which sees the right to waste as sacred.
Still it is a country where many seem to see the British National Health Service as an instrument of Satan.
There is also talk of some American politicians wanting to teach that the 'rapture' is fact and environmental damage is fiction.
Locura indeed....take a look here
Of course many prominent Conservatives in Britain like Lord Lawson treat climate change as science fiction.
The journal Nature noted in an editorial:
Cuccinelli's actions against Mann hark back to an era when tobacco companies smeared researchers as part of a sophisticated public relations strategy to raise doubts over the science showing that tobacco caused cancer, and delayed the introduction of smoking curbs for decades. Researchers found themselves bogged down in responding to subpoenas and legal challenges, which deterred others from the field. Climate-change deniers have adopted similar strategies with alacrity and, unfortunately, considerable success.
Posted by Derek Wall at 4:00 pm