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« Sir John's emails | Main | Mann lecture at Penn State »
Saturday
Jan282012

Hanging the laundry out

In an article entitled Global warming’s ‘dirty laundry’, The Washington Times has called for the University of Virginia to release Michael Mann's emails.

Mr. Mann insists disclosure would have a chilling effect. “Allowing the indiscriminate release of these materials will cause damage to reputations and harm principles of academic freedom,” he wrote in an August letter to UVA.

As important as it is to protect Mr. Mann’s feelings from being hurt, trillions of dollars are at stake with climate-policy decisions being made based on his work. From cap-and-trade to the Kyoto treaty, it’s not enough to make a choice based solely on a trust that this secretive cabal of climate scientists is telling the truth. The taxpayers paid Mr. Mann; they deserve to know exactly what they were getting for their money.

So far, the Climategate disclosures have unmasked shoddy methods in service of a leftist public-policy agenda. Compelling release of all communications - dirty laundry and all - is the only way to provide the full context. Let an informed public decide on its own whether they’ve been hoodwinked by charlatans, or that the sky really is falling.

The point is an important one. Mann would have us believe that he is just bashful about his laundry being seen in public. But the public needs to know that there's nothing worse to be revealed.

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Reader Comments (31)

Its worth remember that the same university had no issues with releasing e-mails when Greenpeace came calling . And those now demanding Manns emails be kept secret, because of academic freedom, had nothing to say . Guess that was 'different'

Jan 28, 2012 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

This is quite a hard hitting editorial from the Washington Times. The message seems to be slowly spreading that all is not well in the climatesphere.

Jan 28, 2012 at 11:09 AM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

If he is so cock-sure of his methodology, if he is so sure of the science, if his belief in himself and of his team is so resolute, then why oh why is he so reticent in releasing all relevant data and 'correspondence'?

This, is bigger than one individual's personal integrity - and using that sleight of hand "will cause damage to reputations": will no longer wash.

That the stakes are so high, is very much down to a claque of scientists who fudged and manipulated data sets but then who also scurrilously championed and campaigned on this single issue [mmCO2=global warming]. The saying, 'hoist with one's own petard' springs readily to mind.
But ultimately as the Washington Times points out, the taxpayer funded their adventure and they must be held to account.
We all want to know - but did they lead the world 'up the garden path' - we know that they did - how could one not think anything else and what delicious irony because in the end, just who is at fault for that Mr. Mann?

Jan 28, 2012 at 11:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Your Grace

"Mr. Mann insists disclosure would have a chilling effect."

Should he not be fully in favour of disclosure?

DP

Jan 28, 2012 at 11:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterDP

“Allowing the indiscriminate release of these materials will cause damage to reputations and harm principles of academic freedom,”
I wonder why they'd damage reputations.?
Could it be because they'd show a pattern of deceipt, lying, bullying , etc, etc?
Surely not.
And why would academic freedom be damaged?

Jan 28, 2012 at 11:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterAdam Gallon

If this whole sorry episode simply ends with the discredited science and scientists being recognised as such, there will be nothing to celebrate unless there are legislative reforms to guard against future subversion of open debate. I hope that Sir Alan and his Committee are paying attention:

http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/justice-committee/news/foi-announce/

http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2011/12/20/justice-committee-call-for-evidence.html

Jan 28, 2012 at 11:47 AM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

The "Washington Times" seems like a very strange thing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Washington_Times

Jan 28, 2012 at 12:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

Surely this blog is above quoting the Washington Times?

Jan 28, 2012 at 12:22 PM | Unregistered Commentermct

'Mr Mann insists that disclosure would have a chilling effect.'

Surely that's exactly what the world needs then - to counteract 'global warming'..?

Jan 28, 2012 at 1:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

I don't see that the Washington Times being originally founded by The Unification Church is much different to the Indie being owned by a Russian oligarch, The Times being owned by Rupert Murdoch or the Graun being propped up by the sale of second hand cars.

intelligent people will read them and draw their own conclusions.

It's become a standard weapon of the left to try and control the narrative by demanding sources they don't agree with should be excluded.

Pesonally, I find the perpetual, hysterical, biased whingeing of the Guardian and its activist hacks quite hard to tolerate, but I understand that it brings great solace to a few bitter, impotent male schoolteachers and sexually frustrated lady social workers - so live and let live.

Jan 28, 2012 at 1:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

Foxgoose
You could have added that the Christian Science Monitor has a very high reputation for reportage also.
Like you I am heartily fed up with the low-level muttering against anything that doesn't fit the narrative whether it's the Washington Times or "vested corporate interests" or GW Bush (or Reagan or Thatcher).
I'm also getting rather tired of the bleating from the climate "science" community that they can't get a fair hearing in the "overwhelmingly sceptic" press when it's been virtually impossible for the last 15 years to pick up any mainstream newspaper and find a word of criticism about the warmists and enthusiastic denigration of anyone who questions the orthodoxy.

Jan 28, 2012 at 1:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

And the current example of bleating is exemplified by the Gleick Forbes contribution attacking the recent WSJ letter

http://www.forbes.com/sites/petergleick/2012/01/27/remarkable-editorial-bias-on-climate-science-at-the-wall-street-journal/

Jan 28, 2012 at 1:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

[Snip - I think that could be misinterpreted]

Jan 28, 2012 at 2:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterMangoChutney

Fox and Mike fully agree the source is of no relevance! the idea that scientists need to account for what they do with our money and how they act towards those they feel may question or god forbid find fault with their musings is valid no matter who asks it !

Jan 28, 2012 at 2:43 PM | Unregistered Commentermat

apologies - it didn't occur to me that people would take it the wrong way, but i understand

[BH adds: I appreciate the intent was completely innocent, but it's good to be careful. Don't worry about it.]

Jan 28, 2012 at 3:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterMangoChutney

mat
Bit abstruse for me, that.
Can you make your meaning a bit clearer? I'd hate to misunderstand you.

Jan 28, 2012 at 3:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

We should all realise that the continued hegemony of the World's financial system depends on the justification by the IPCC of carbon trading. Yet after 1997 when the direct link between CO2 and end of ice age warming was broken, that science degenerated into scientific fraud and the real explanation of much present warming, also the amplification of tsi change at the end of ice ages, has nothing to do with CO2.

Every legal tactic under the sun and much illegal stuff will be used to stop the release of these e-mails.

Jan 28, 2012 at 3:49 PM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

mat,

Surely the source is somewhat relevant. If the Washington Post had published that - now that would be something. (And would probably mean that hell had just frozen over.)

Jan 28, 2012 at 3:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

Gleick screams like he's being tortured.
=========

Jan 28, 2012 at 3:58 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

"the indiscriminate release of these materials will cause damage to reputations

An interesting observation -- To which I inquire -- Just what does that mean? Assuming that the science in pure and the intellectual processes impeccable as Mikey protests, just how is the damage done?

Methinks he knows just what shite is wrapped up in the dirty linen he is trying so hard to hide.

Jan 28, 2012 at 4:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

As usual, Shakespeare, through Hamlet, had the words that cover this:

"This above all — to thine ownself be true; And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man."
Polonius, Act I, scene iii

Jan 28, 2012 at 4:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterSnotrocket

Mann wrote:

Mr. Mann insists disclosure would have a chilling effect. “Allowing the indiscriminate release of these materials will cause damage to reputations and harm principles of academic freedom,” he wrote in an August letter to UVA.

The emails are only indiscriminate because of Mann's ignorance of the law. He did not have to use 'work' computers paid for by taxpayers to send the emails he does not want disclosing.

Jan 28, 2012 at 5:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

I was sent an email at work, well before 1995, that advised that before sending an email, think of it pinned to the Company's notice board (for your manager to see), stuck on the Village notice board (for your neighbours to see) and sent to your Mum, for her to read. If you were a little unhappy with any of those scenarios, then amend before sending.

Obviously, this email wasn't sent to Mann or his associates.

Jan 28, 2012 at 6:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Christopher

Robert Christopher

Excellent advice. The way it was explained to me about the same time is "An email is a post card which anyone can read."

Jan 28, 2012 at 8:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

I am also curious about the assertion of "..damage to reputations and harm principles of academic freedom".

The major principle of academic freedom that I'm aware of is the freedom to espouse unpopular views [i.e. to have a damaged reputation!] but not be fired for doing so. Is he arguing that only emails involving non-tenured academics should be excluded from release?

Jan 29, 2012 at 2:26 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Jan 28, 2012 at 1:34 PM | Pharos

Why does Forbes publish Gleick? Gleick has nothing to say. His editorials achieved the status of "Kitsch" some time ago. Oh, maybe I answered my own question.

Jan 29, 2012 at 5:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

@ Jan 28, 2012 at 3:55 PM | James Evans

Surely the source is somewhat relevant. If the Washington Post had published that - now that would be something. (And would probably mean that hell had just frozen over.)
_________________________________

Surely it is more relevant whether or not the Bish's quote is worth reading, whether published by W.Post, W.Times, The National Examiner or The Beano. And the quote is absolutely correct.

And I for one would certainly not accept the Washington Post as a reliable source on anything related to climate "science". They are as bad as the Grauniad.

Jan 29, 2012 at 8:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

What is wrong with reputations being wrecked by the truth coming out?

Jan 29, 2012 at 8:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterPunksta

Martin Brumby,

"Surely it is more relevant whether or not the Bish's quote is worth reading, whether published by W.Post, W.Times, The National Examiner or The Beano."

The interesting questions to me are - Who is going to be reading the article? And does the appearance of the article indicate any change in attitudes amongst the liberal establishment?

Jan 29, 2012 at 8:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

The New Zealand Climate Change blog has a long contribution on the letter in WSJ.

http://newzealandclimatechange.wordpress.com/2012/01/29/the-impact-of-climategate-ii/

"My guess is that, without the fear of career damage, the quest for grants, the dubious ‘consensus’ would look even more threadbare than it already is. "

Jan 31, 2012 at 10:00 AM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

Will surely recommend this site to some friends! Very interesting site and articles.Really thankful for sharing. Regards,

Feb 3, 2012 at 7:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterEco Friendly Mats

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