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Horner on the struggle for the Mann emails

The ATI has produced an excellent summary of the convoluted story of the struggle to get Michael Mann's emails.

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Reader Comments (36)

It's going to drag on, and on........but the Judge seems keen to get to the heart of it.

Apr 26, 2012 at 3:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterCurfew

I want to hear what this guy has to say but that darned background music is so intrusive!

Apr 26, 2012 at 4:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Grogan

Excellent - tho' I agree with David, the music gets in the way.

Apr 26, 2012 at 4:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

Get rid of the preposterous xylophone-banging shrieking shark-attack music and the video would be 20 times more effective. The story is important enough on its own. It doesn't the false drama of a tatty horror-film sound track to make its points.

Apr 26, 2012 at 4:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterAgouts

Audio and video reconciliation, Ho.

Apr 26, 2012 at 4:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

A better video. Politically, in America that is...

"If I wanted America to fail"

A million plus YouTube views in the last 6 days.

Apr 26, 2012 at 5:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Be careful what you wish for guys. You love the fact that these characters are attempting to bully a renowned and accomplished scientist; boy, If only you could get your hands on his emails - maybe that would finally realign the laws of physics in your favour!

The ATI and the whole slew of similar institutions and their concerted efforts to misrepresent scientific and political realities are a significant reason for the steadily increasing wealth inequality in the US that has been rising pretty remorselessly since the 1980's. It's happening here in Blighty too...

If you want to sucker Joe Public into accepting the further reductions in his standard of living required to maintain high level wealth acquisition in static economies, it's a brilliant wheeze to contrive pretend "demons" to redirect the anger of Mr. and Mrs. Public; Dr. Mann is an excellent diversionary fall guy. Cheating Joe Public is also the point of Barry Wood's charming video. Those guys must be thrilled by the willing self-sacrifice displayed on sites like this!

Apr 26, 2012 at 8:17 PM | Unregistered Commenterchris

Anyone knows who funds ATI?

Apr 26, 2012 at 8:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket


Take your pathetic trolling to a different place. This charlatan has repeatedly shown himself to be a repugnant bully who has totally abused science and sought to destroy the careers of anybody who disagrees with him to glorify himself alone - he has no shame. His work is utterly indefensible and anybody who tries to do so is either wilfully ignorant or seeking to mislead. The very fact that climate 'science' defends his sub-Lysenkoist bilge is its death knell.

Mann has brought shame and disgrace on my profession, and the sooner he is exposed the better for all of us. A long jail term would help.

Blunt enough?

Apr 26, 2012 at 8:41 PM | Registered Commenterflaxdoctor

That's a tad over the top SNTF (if you don't mind me contracting your nom-de-plume). Who's career has Dr. Mann "attempted to destroy"? Mann has published outstanding science and is one of the most highly cited climate scientists (h-index around 40). Earlier this week he was awarded the Oeschger medal by the European Geosciences Union for goodness sake!. That doesn't sound like "bringing shame and disgrace on" your "profession"! What "profession" would that be btw??

How can his work be "indefensible" if it's been largely confirmed (early paleotemperature reconstructions that is) by a whole slew of subsequent studies. If you think his work is so bad how come it's held up so strongly in the cold light of contemporary scientific evidence? And if it's so obviously bad ("sub-Lysenkoist"!) then why, oh why, hasn't anyone published straightforward corrections in the scientific literature?

As for "long term jail"'s, it's typically appropriate that the people actually convicted of crimes are those associated with the American Tradition Institute:

how queer!

Apr 26, 2012 at 9:18 PM | Unregistered Commenterchris

Apr 26, 2012 at 8:41 PM | SayNoToFearmongers

Blunt enough. No Not Nearly. This disgusting piece of ,,,,,,,, has defamed and destroyed real science and real scientist. He is the merde on the sole of my shoe.

One really disgusted scientist. Trolls take you doctrine where it is praised so sickly at Romm et al.

Stephen Richards BSc MSc Physicien

Apr 26, 2012 at 9:37 PM | Unregistered Commenterstephen richards

Be nice to Chris, he's a victim.

Apr 26, 2012 at 10:19 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

BitBucket, there is some info on ATI funding on the web. Sadly my posts seem to be blocked here, so I might wait awhile to see whether I'm wasting my time trying to respond...

Apr 26, 2012 at 10:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterchris

Get well soon Chris.

Apr 26, 2012 at 10:34 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

again Bitbucket appears, claiming to be uninformed and strangely unwilling to do any digging on his own and also incapabl;e of independent thought. Disingenuous trolling not even worthy of Hengist or the laughable J Bowers.

Apr 26, 2012 at 11:41 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes


It is utterly irrelevant who funds ATI. Why don't you focus on the issues and not try to hijack the thread?

It matters what scumbags like Michael Mann have done and want to do with vast amounts of PUBLIC tax dollars taken forcibly from me and countless other taxpayers.

What a few idiosyncratic people do VOLUNTARILY with their own money to fund entities like ATI is frankly none of your business or mine. They are exercising their freedom and you can choose to disapprove or approve, oppose or support or ignore, as you please.

If you would learn to think about FREEDOM and not about how to coerce everyone else to fit your way of looking at things, you might make a start at understanding life.

Apr 27, 2012 at 1:00 AM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

One image in the video really caught my eye. In Mann's "Hockey Stick" graph, I always pictured the hockey stick lying on the ground, with the long, straight handle representing the long history of flat temperatures, as they were depicted by Mann, and the blade sticking up in the air, sloping upward and to the right, to represent the short, sharp period of recent warming. The ATI video attempts to match a hockey stick to the graph in an awkward looking vertical orientation. Maybe they couldn't find the "rotate" feature on the photoshop image. (/sarc)

Apr 27, 2012 at 3:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterB.O.B.

Skiphil, how can I 'hijack' a thread with 5 words? It is such a simple little question so why does it scare the pants off you?

How can the funder be irrelevant? If ATI was funded by Phil Jones and Michael Mann would you believe a word they said? How about if Donald Duck had a stake - still a serious video? And if President Putin was behind it - he's a good honest man. Still believe every word they say?

You can't take any talking-head seriously unless you know who's paying him. You really should know that here.

Apr 27, 2012 at 4:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

Bit would be penny wise and pound foolish.

Apr 27, 2012 at 6:20 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Apr 26, 2012 at 8:28 PM | BitBucket : Anyone knows who funds ATI?

Who's funding Michael Manne ?? THAT is what I want to know !

Apr 27, 2012 at 8:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterStreetcred


Your Mannophilic sockpuppetry is ludicrously unedifying. His lies have been scientifically eviscerated and his misdeeds catalogued. If you'd like a commentary, do the host of this blog the courtesy of reading his book.

My profession? Scientist. Active. I chose my field because I am curious and want to know how things work - not to force my warped preconceptions on the world through fraudulent means and bullying of colleagues.

@stephen richards

Thank you.

Apr 27, 2012 at 8:58 AM | Registered Commenterflaxdoctor

Quite frankly, it's the court case and the emails that are most important. I'm really not too bothered who is forcing the issue, on behalf of the taxpayers.
That's a side issue.

Apr 27, 2012 at 10:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterCurfew

Bit, when you want to discuss any of the substantive issues of public policy, law, university governance, and scientific misconduct raised by the lawsuit and the ATI video, then this thread would be a good place to do so.

btw, your question does not "scare" me at all. It is simply beside the point, which is to analyze and understand the genuine content of these issues. My understanding does not depend in the slightest upon assessing the credibility of anyone in ATI. They are merely one tiny group trying to get the UVA to follow the law. They are doing the right thing. If they were funded by Satan it would not affect the substantive issues in the least, although weak minds would use that for propaganda points.

Bit, you have a problem with reading comprehension. I said "try" to hijack, I did not say "hijack" ... and there is a world of difference. One references only the attempt (which would require much follow up by a number of posts to be properly characterized as a "hijack" in web parlance). Of course one diversionary off-topic question of 5 words does not succeed in a "hijack" of a thread if everyone ignores it (which I will do from now on and encourage all others to do here). If everyone now ignores your diversionary question then you will not have succeeded.

Apr 27, 2012 at 4:31 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

Not sure I understand the antipathy to straightforward realities exhibited on this thread! It's useful to understand funding sources and BitBucket asks a pertinent question. Streetcred asks an easily answerable question so why not give him the facts too?

ATI has a rather typical provenance. Just a few years ago The "Western Tradition Partnership" was created as a (yet another) energy industry lobby group. WTP was registered in Colorado by a certain Scott Shires who was convicted by the US District Court of Colorado of fraud:

WTP changed its name to “American Tradition Partnership” in 2010 when it launched ATI. Not sure about its funding in detail. Quite a lot comes from petroleum industry profits (Lair Petroleum profits). Some comes from ATP which is funded by energy suppliers (oil. gas, electricity)…some comes from Atlas Economic Research Foundation which is part funded by Exxon Mobil, etc…

Dr. Mann's funding comes from (inter alia) the National Science Foundation (NSF), The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), The Universities of Pennsylvania (Penn State) and (formerly) Virginia.

Apr 27, 2012 at 5:52 PM | Unregistered Commenterchris

Apr 27, 2012 at 8:58 AM | SayNoToFearmongers

SNTF, I don't find your post very interesting since it doesn't address my straightforward questions and seems to be a bit rantish!

I asked you: "Who's career has Dr. Mann "attempted to destroy"?"

and: "How can his work be "indefensible" if it's been largely confirmed (early paleotemperature reconstructions that is) by a whole slew of subsequent studies?"

and: "If (his work) is so obviously bad ("sub-Lysenkoist"!) then why hasn't anyone published straightforward corrections in the scientific literature?"

As a scientist I would have thought the key element of enquiry would be evidence (rather than, for example, political agendas or desire to kick a successful scientist metaphorically in the nuts!).

I'm a scientist too. I understand climate science by reading papers in the scientific literature. I'm genuinely curious about the astonishing anti-Mann stuff exhibited not only for for political/commercial reasons (that's understandable - it's ever been thus when scientific findings threaten vested interests) but also on blogs. It's pretty apparent that no-one has made substantial critique of Mann's work in the scientific literature, and it's obvious that his work is astonishingly highly cited and is essentially supported by a whole slew of other studies.

I'm genuinely bemused...but you don't give any substantive insight into your point of view. It just doesn't seem very scientific to me...

Apr 27, 2012 at 6:07 PM | Unregistered Commenterchris

Skiphil, you make a fascinating point:

"What a few idiosyncratic people do VOLUNTARILY with their own money to fund entities like ATI is frankly none of your business or mine. They are exercising their freedom and you can choose to disapprove or approve, oppose or support or ignore, as you please"

It is unfortunate that cash-rich lobbying groups are set up to misrepresent science and falsely skew the perception of realities towards their own interests. It's a sad (and rather sickening) aspect of modern life. Of course it very much IS our business (it's astonishing that you think it isn't!). When elements of the pharmaceutical industry were misrepresenting the science highlighting the evidence for a causal role of aspirin-taking in Reye's syndrome in children in the 1980's, it was the efforts of ordinary people that ensured mandatory labelling of aspirin. When chemical-industry-supported individuals were misrepresenting the consequences of CFC's on ozone levels and the economic effects of eliminating CFC production, it was ordinary people (scientists largely) that made it their business to counter the misrepresentations....and so on....and on...

As you correctly state, we CAN choose to disapprove of bullying of scientists and misrepresentation of science. On the other hand most of the posters here don't seem very keen on people doing so! And the "arguments" expressed here against our doing so (disapproving of bullying and misrepresentation of science) seem really poor (ranting; accusations of "Lysenkoism"; accusations of "sockpuppetry"; that sort of rubbish!).

Apr 27, 2012 at 6:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterchris

Chris, stop trolling. You and BitBucket are unable to defend Mann or UVA on the merits, so you've turned this thread into a bunch of rants. I reject virtually all of your specious comparisons and distorted "facts" as you seek to apply them to this case, but devoting space to any of them detracts from the topic of this thread.

I find it difficult to believe you are a scientist, except perhaps of the tendentious Mannian variety. Much more likely you are some sort of self-appointed activist. In any case I don't find your rants and distortions of interest here.

If you had something to say on the merits of the lawsuit or points actually made in the video then we all can judge whether you have something worthy of discussion on this thread.

Apr 27, 2012 at 7:39 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

Chris, thanks for the funding sources. An interesting list is it not?

Skiphill, I can understand that people here do not like to have their preconceptions and prejudices challenged, but it is good for us all. If we can justify our opinions in spite of challenges we are stronger. If we just reject other opinions and get upset it shows a lack of faith in our own judgement.

Apr 27, 2012 at 8:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

Bit, you and Chris have said nothing of any insight or competence, hence neither of you has even begun a discussion worth having. It is not a question of any "challenge" because neither of you is even on the playing field of this thread. I do realize that trolls choose not to engage honestly on what matters, so your verbal tactics here have not surprised me. When you can discuss the substantive issues then try again, boys.

Apr 27, 2012 at 9:16 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

damn those oil companies that funded Mike Mann and Phil Jones and all those incompetent "scientists". wW should have set up a proper institution of our own.

Mann, Jones et al

Apr 27, 2012 at 11:24 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Skiphil, the 'substantive issue' is that the oil industry is sponsoring ATI to harass scientists. And they have successfully duped many well meaning people, including many on the list, to support them in this cause and in demonising decent, honest people (scientists and any organisation that represents them).

If the emails are released, we can expect a feast of out-of-context quotes that will keep the skeptics feeding for months. This will be quite irrelevant unless there happens to be an international conference coming up for the industry to derail.

Diogenes, you are incoherent. Go to sleep.

Apr 28, 2012 at 12:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

Bit, my last comment, this exchange is worthless.

You continue to evade the SUBSTANCE of the thread topic, which is the legal and ethical FOIA case seeking the release of the Mann emails from UVA.

Whether one supports or opposes the effort, that is the "substantive" issue of the thread. If ATI did not exist the "substance" of the issue would remain, even if there were no entity actually bringing a suit. I'm interested in ethics and public policy most of all, not anyone's biased opinions of ATI (which I never heard of before this lawsuit) or their supporters.

ATI is irrelevant to the "substance" of whether FOIA requires the emails to be released, whether sound public policy should require transparency and openness in such matters, whether good ethical principles and scientific practice are reflected in Michael Mann's words and behaviors, etc. You still have not begun to touch on any "substance" in this thread.

All I need to know about the character of "climate scientists" of the Mann/Jones ilk is reflected in the Phil Jones celebratory email to Michael Mann upon news of the death of John Daly:

Jones to Mann on "Cheering News" -- death of John Daly

With no recorded objection from Michael Mann at such an appalling statement, one may suspect that he also welcomed the death of a critic, or at least that Phil Jones "believed" with much confidence that MM would welcome this news of the death of a critic. I for one cannot imagine saying/thinking such a thing unless we are talking about a Bin Laden etc. Certainly not appropriate for referring to the death of a critic like John Daly, unless one has passed far beneath the standards of ordinary decency.

The judgment of Phil Jones, who knew/knows MM much better than most, is that MM would share with Jones such glee at the death of a critic.

These are the people whose emails are so "taken out of context" and who you think someone is "demonising"..... I submit to you that it is not possible to take such words "out of context" and it is not possible to (unjustly) "demonise" people who in their own words and deeds show themselves to be contemptible.

[of course there are many other contemptible emails, numerous despicable emails and public remarks from these charlatans, but I simply offer this as one example of their indefensible "character"]

I despise them and if you make excuses for this kind of thing then I despise you, too.

Apr 28, 2012 at 5:27 AM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

Skiphil, if one of the major AGW proponents so vilified here were to die, there would be such an outpouring of gleeful venom on BH that the servers would dissolve. Would you condemn that too. No of course not - hypocrite!

Apr 28, 2012 at 7:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

Bit, alas I must respond once more despite my prior resolve, since you have falsely and maliciously accused me of a hypothetical stance (which you have concocted) that I disavow.

You always try to shift your rhetorical ground rather than address any actual issue that was previously in discussion. I do find it most "interesting" what this thread has revealed about your habits of mind, assumptions, and devious modes of argument.

So let me spell it out clearly for you .... I do and would condemn anyone wishing for or celebrating the death of **** ANYONE **** for any reason, with the rare exception of some murderous terrorist or serial killer who already had much "blood on their hands" etc.

In particular, I do and would condemn anyone of any civil political persuasion wishing for or celebrating the death of any critic or opponent. Civilized people seek to proceed with rational discussion and dialogue, not with wishing and hoping for the deaths of their critics or opponents.

I do not share your expectation that BH would be the scene of any "outpouring" at all of "gleeful venom" if a C-AGW proponent (whether major or minor) should die. I would certainly object to such sentiments if I saw any expressed, but I'm also highly confident that the proprietor of this blog would not allow such expressions here. I also think you slander at least the vast majority of visitors to this blog -- I can't speak to one and all but I find it difficult to imagine there would be any such "outpouring of gleeful venom on BH" -- that is your own twisted fantasy.

Bit, are you familiar with the psychological concept of "projection"??

Apr 28, 2012 at 7:45 PM | Registered CommenterSkiphil


It's a common phenomenon - the troll is unable to conceive that his own warped state of mind is different from other members of society, so he believes that if he feels delight in the demise of others, then that is 'normal' behaviour. Likewise the intellectual bankruptcy necessary to support the hockey stick - he knows he's being dishonest, but that's OK for him because everybody else is (entirely in his imagination, of course).

It's sometimes called psychological projections - frequently seen in cases where uncontrollable bullies fantasise that they themselves are being bullied, thereby justifying their sociopathic behaviour to themselves. Mann's behaviour is a classic example.

Apr 29, 2012 at 12:37 AM | Registered Commenterflaxdoctor


"Skiphil, if one of the major AGW proponents so vilified here were to die, there would be such an outpouring of gleeful venom on BH that the servers would dissolve. Would you condemn that too. No of course not - hypocrite!"

There was one. Steven Schneider. I defy you to find any comment on this blog gloating about it though. You'll find plenty that disagreed with him, but not one who expressed anything but regret and sadness at his death.

Apr 29, 2012 at 6:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterLC

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