By S. Fred Singer
Kenneth Cuccinelli II, elected as the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia in November 2009, has demanded from the University of Virginia (my university) the e-mails and other information of Dr. Michael Mann, who was an assistant professor of environmental sciences there from 1995 to 2005.
From the e-mails leaked from the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the so-called Climategate affair, we know that Professor Phil Jones was at the center of a conspiracy to manipulate temperature data. His American analogue was Michael Mann. Even though Jones recommended deletion of all e-mails, it is possible that many e-mails will still be found on the UVA server and furnish the "smoking gun" that can tell us just how the temperature data had been manipulated.
The UEA e-mails tell us of attempts to "hide the decline" (of temperature) using "Mike [Mann]'s Nature trick." It is important now to discover the truth, either from e-mail evidence or by direct testimony. Unfortunately, none of the investigations so far have delved into this matter, but instead have produced what amounts to a series of whitewashes.
The University of Virginia is fighting the demand for the data using outside lawyers and claiming "academic freedom" among other such excuses. I cannot comment on the legal implications of the AG's investigation. It should be noted, however, that UVA was quite willing to deliver up the e-mails of Professor Pat Michaels when Greenpeace asked for them in December 2009. It makes the UVA protestations sound rather hypocritical
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