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House Republicans attack Penn State 

Republican representatives in the US Congress have criticised the Penn State investigation into Michael Mann's conduct.

The findings and, more importantly, the focus have set off a wave of criticism accusing the university panel of failing to interview key people, neglecting to conduct more than a cursory review of allegations and structuring the inquiry so that the outcome -- exoneration -- was a foregone conclusion.

On Friday, Rep. Darrell Issa, the ranking Republican on the House Investigations Committee, charged that the Penn State's failure to settle all the charges and called into question professor Mann's work. He is demanding that all grants to the noted scientist be frozen.

As whitewashes go, it has to be said that it was carried off very poorly. The failure to even go through the motions of interviewing aggrieved parties like Steve McIntyre was a mistake by the Penn State authorities. They have brought this unwelcome attention down upon themselves.


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  • Response
    Are you bored with Climategate? And bored with me writing about it, again and again? Yesterday, fellow Samizdatista Michael Jennings told me he is. I understand the feeling, and would be interested to hear if any of our commentariat shares it, but as for me, I can't leave this thing alone. ...

Reader Comments (21)

Exactly..."They have brought this unwelcome attention down upon themselves." If they want the scrutiny to end, then do it all properly...the investigations, the science, the reporting. Stop the propaganda.

In the meantime, Obama is instituting a new Climate Service:

Feb 8, 2010 at 7:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin

It is never the crime, it is always the cover-up.

Hopefully a few careers will be terminated for both the original crime and the multiple crimes involved in the systematic cover-up.

Feb 8, 2010 at 8:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterFred from Canuckistan

Take the funding away then ask for a review of their findings.

Feb 8, 2010 at 8:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Whale

This is like watching a replay of Pearl Harbor where the Japanese Admiral states they can run rampant for a year or two but then....

With November and the swearing in of a new House in January 2011, the investigations will start and the funds will dry up. And note these folks will have to swear under oath. 11 months to go...

Feb 8, 2010 at 8:53 PM | Unregistered Commentercedarhill

The result at Penn State should not have been unexpected and I'm sure UEA is keenly watching. Climategate is not just a piddly internal academic affair and neither of those institutions nor the IPCC should be allowed to investigate themselves. These are matters for Congress and Parliament.... and perhaps the organs of justice. Millions in public moneys have gone to these institutions and the public deserves answers in a public forum.

Feb 8, 2010 at 9:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert E. Phelan

While I agree they have brought this unwelcome attention down upon themselves, it would have been brought on them irregardless. In British parlance "they would say that wouldn't they?"

This is a small but conveniently public battleground in the much larger war between Republicans and Democrats on many different fronts.

Feb 8, 2010 at 9:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterTilde Guillemet

follow the money - the only reason mann left virginia for psu is the grant funding he was able to get due to his fraudulent research - psu wanted in on the cash and bought mann - they are all crooks and should be in the greybar hotel. the democratic congress is the sponsor of the agw scam so don't expect any real investigation.

Feb 8, 2010 at 9:24 PM | Unregistered Commentergene

"This is a small but conveniently public battleground in the much larger war between Republicans and Democrats on many different fronts."

If only we could be so lucky in the UK, unfortunately we may have to vote with our conscious to end this farce.

Feb 8, 2010 at 10:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterLord BeaverBrook

Lord BeaverBrook, did you mean to say
"we might have to vote whilst conscious, to end this farce"
"we might have to vote with our conscience, to end this farce" ?
A subtle, but none the less important, difference. I need to know if I can go out and get hammered on the eve of the general election ;-)

Feb 8, 2010 at 10:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterHyper-thermania

I think latter sounds much more plausible, it would provide an excellent answer for the exit polls.

Excuse me sir would you care to let us know who you voted for and why?

Shirtainly, I voted for, fill in the relevant, bewcause he continu... continuu... always tawks my langwidge, pi***d as a rat!

Feb 8, 2010 at 10:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterLord BeaverBrook


"The failure to even go through the motions of interviewing aggrieved parties like Steve McIntyre was a mistake by the Penn State authorities"

Mann was exonerated on three of the allegations and the inquiry didn't deem itself competent to adjudicate the 4th.

Do you accept that he has been cleared on any of the allegations?

For example, I have read that as far as the allegation of destroying emails related to AR4 goes, he produced a fat file of the emails related to AR4. That surely deals with allegation 2.

The other two allegations appear to be unsupported by the emails in the first place - at least I am sure if there were an email that supported either, it would be in the deny-o-sphere 24x7.

Which allegation could have McIntyre have shed any additional light on that they could only have got by interviewing him and not by reading his blog (as I understand they did review blogs). Be specific.

Feb 8, 2010 at 10:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank O'Dwyer

For reference here are the actual findings.

Feb 8, 2010 at 11:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank O'Dwyer

Kevin:"In the meantime, Obama is instituting a new Climate Service:..."

The first thing that caught my eye from was the image of Lake Powell (lower right hand corner). The water level in the images is very low, presumed evidence of global warming. Following the link, I found that the photos of the lake, actually a reservoir formed by Glen Canyon Dam, are from 2002 and 2003 which was the height of the drought here in the west. I was at the lake two weeks ago, it's doing fine. One wonders if the authors of Obama's new site realize why we use reservoirs.

Feb 8, 2010 at 11:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterRich in Utah

Re Lake Powell:

The key sentence in the NOAA article about Lake Powell is

Water managers across the Colorado Basin are continually being challenged to satisfy the demands of a rapidly growing population

It's like almost every water story on the planet. Too many people in too small a space wanting too much water.

The correct public policy for this problem is to limit economic and population growth. Less people, better standard of living, less resource demand. Will it happen? No-way.

Feb 8, 2010 at 11:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterTilde Guillemet


Let us put aside our 'beliefs' here.

Do you, or do you not, agree that the science that is presented as a policy forming base should be science that has been vigourously attacked and challenged?

Feb 8, 2010 at 11:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterDennis

I hung up on a student fund raiser just yesterday. No more money to "Dear Ole State" until a full accounting of this debacle is done. Screw em. I'll join any class action against them too.

Feb 9, 2010 at 12:20 AM | Unregistered Commenterdfbaskwill

I suggest that you all should read the comments in the Fox article. (click on the Comments Tab on the upper left corner of the page.)

There were a large number form PSU alumni, who are really pissed. I expect to see PSU to reopen the investigation very soon now that the alumni are speaking up. And we will see Professor Mann run up the flag pole by his neck.

See -- Climategate isn't just a British thing -- we take it seriously on this side of the pond as well. :)

And for those of you who don't know who Darrell Issa is, he is a very well known Republican from California (sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it?) who gets things done. I would say Professor Mann is a dead man walking, metaphorically at least. Issa can make it hot enough for PSU to react, even it they ignore their alumni -- which they will not.

Anybody taking odds on whether (excuse the pun) Mann or Jones is out first?

It should also be interesting to see what happens to www.Climate.Gov. Bet it disappears one night.

Feb 9, 2010 at 12:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Frank O'Dwyer.

For example, I have read that as far as the allegation of destroying emails related to AR4 goes, he produced a fat file of the emails related to AR4. That surely deals with allegation 2.

I wonder if he produced the one he told Jones he was going to send to "Gene" to tell him to delete his AR4-related e-mails.

Or maybe he just lied to Jones?

Sort of reminds me of the flunky Clinton aide in the early 90s who saved himself in front of Congress by claiming under oath that he lied to his own diary.

Feb 9, 2010 at 1:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn M

The PSU greenwash isn't helped by the Guardian's Ian Katz reappraisal...

"...but what can be done? First, climate scientists must make a public commitment to greater openness. They should acknowledge that the huge implications and importance of what they do mean the public expect and are entitled to a greater degree of scrutiny of their work. They should repudiate the laager mentality and evasions of the East Anglia researchers. Instead of grudgingly yielding to Freedom of Information requests, they should publish their data and workings online wherever possible...In the longer term more open ways of reviewing science should be explored..."

PSU haven't quite grasped the extent of the anger within the community over the over-bearing arrogance of the so called elite "gang". We have come within a hair's breadth of political, generational economic disaster via the green/left's warming/CO2 crusade. The battle is by no means over, and the discredited scientists like Mann mustn't be allowed to retain their privileged status.

Feb 9, 2010 at 2:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterAyrdale

It appears to me that there are some real problems in the procedure of the inquiry - something that I'm going to post about in a few days. The Office of Research Integrity (commenting on a similar inquiry-investigation two-stage procedure) said:

In general, absent full admissions, inquiries should not be used to make findings on whether research misconduct in fact occurred.

The function of an "inquiry" is to decide whether an "investigation" should take place - not to hear a defence and consider whether someone should be exonerated. committee.

Feb 9, 2010 at 5:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve McIntyre


"Do you, or do you not, agree that the science that is presented as a policy forming base should be science that has been vigourously attacked and challenged?"

These people are attacking scientists and their reputations, not science (except the ones that are anti-science). That's why they talk about Mann and Hansen and Jones and not their results. It's one big ad hominem.

The science has been vigorously attacked for decades - indeed much of the basics is more than a century old - and it has emerged largely unscathed. Science already has error correction mechanisms built in. Over the long haul they have worked just fine for centuries without the help of self-appointed 'auditors' and a horde of clueless bloggers. The meaningful results over at Watts and CA add up to a big fat zero.

Feb 9, 2010 at 8:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank O'Dwyer

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