Photo via the Hook
While even a good many climate skeptics have given up on trying to squeeze any real scandal out of so-called Climate Gate, the Virginia attorney general is evidently not content yet. Ken Cuccinelli is demanding that the University of Virginia hand over thousands of pages worth of materials that climate scientist Michael Mann produced while he was researching there. Because the research was funded with public money, Cuccinelli reasons, he's entitled to those documents -- and, presumably, he plans on sifting through them for something as similarly out of context as those poor excuses for 'smoking guns' in the hacked CRU files.The Hook reports:
In papers sent to UVA April 23, Cuccinelli's office commands the university to produce a sweeping swath of documents relating to Mann's receipt of nearly half a million dollars in state grant-funded climate research conducted while Mann-- now director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State-- was at UVA between 1999 and 2005.Presumably, if Cuccinelli finds another out-of-context statement (or one that's legitimately crooked, to give Cuccinelli the benefit of the doubt) he will ask for the funding provided for the research be returned to the state -- a total of nearly $500,000 allotted over 6 years for Mann's research team.
This is almost certainly political wrangling--Cuccinelli has blazed an extremely ideologically-oriented trail in the mere 4 months he's been in public office, suing the federal government over health care reform, ordering schools to remove sexual orientation from their anti-discrimination policies (!), and suing the EPA. Can you say 'agenda'?
The most egregious part of this whole affair is the witch hunt-like nature of Cuccinelli's pursuit -- Mann conducted research, published peer reviewed papers, and has been cleared of any wrongdoing by Penn State, his current University. This is nothing more than an attempt to pander to partisan politics and rally the climate denial crowd -- either that, or it's a highly delusional endeavor altogether.