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Mann Hunt

[ 8 ] August 30, 2010 |

Good to see that a state judge has quashed the efforts of all-purpose winger Ken Cuccinelli to sue the climate scientist Michael Mann for the crime of practicing science. Unfortunately, while Mann can win in the courts, as Brad Plumer notes Cuccinelli can’t really lose:

The odds seem pretty slim that his next subpoena will be the one that finally takes down the hockey stick, which means Mann will probably garner yet another headline noting that he’s outlasted his critics once again. But the point of Cuccinelli’s hunt isn’t to investigate the merits of Mann’s research—there are perfectly sound scientific channels for doing that. It’s to turn Mann (and, by association, the entire field of climatology) into a “controversial” figure whose work somehow must be suspect if there’s this much uproar about it.

Depressing, but true.

Comments (8)

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  1. It’s to turn Mann (and, by association, the entire field of climatology) into a “controversial” figure whose work somehow must be suspect if there’s this much uproar about it.

    Maybe it’s because Coo-coocinelli is performing right across the river but I filed this with all the rest of his sadly stereotypical fRightardtastic stunts (telling Va. universities they couldn’t NOT discriminate against gays, covering Madame Justice’s boobs, trying to pull an end run around Roe v. Wade).

    They aren’t meant to do anything except convince everyone, but mostly K.C. that he’s a true red-blooded ReaLAMErican doing the work of the Lord, and the fact that he has more kinks than the quartet that gave us “A Well Respected Man” doesn’t really count.

    Mark my words, his term will end abruptly when a routine traffic stop reveals a live boy a dead girl AND a comatose goat in his trunk. (Or McDonnell shoots him.) Until then, I’ll continue to be glad I live in Maryland ‘cos this man is a clown.

  2. Tom M says:

    a “controversial” figure whose work somehow must be suspect if there’s this much uproar about it.

    How do you conclude that from a judge dismissing a bogus filing? I thought that for the AG to have a subpoena tossed made the top lawyer in the state look foolish. But then I guess I didn’t read into this enough.

  3. TT says:

    The point is to always seed doubt in the minds of credulous reporters and generate free publicity for one’s cause. If Mann opposes Cuccinelli, then that means he must have something to hide, so reporters must keep digging to find out what evil lurks in the hearts of men. Before you know it, David Gregory will be gravely intoning about the “controversy” surrounding (insert name/issue/conservative pet peeve here–Mann’s just the latest).

    Wingnuts know how to play the Washington press corps like a violin. Liberals, for the most part, don’t.

    • DocAmazing says:

      I’ve dealt with journalists before, and found that a lot of them go by the maxim “where there’s smoke, there’s fire”, even after you’ve shown them the smoke bomb, repeatedly. Remember, the search for truth is secondary; selling a story is paramount.

  4. Brad Potts says:

    I long ago accepted that it is silly to think that mankind isn’t contributing to climate change.

    With that said, I still believe that the science around climate change is too insular, too dominated by a sort of group-think climate, and too dependent upon political whims.

    I can’t think of a more counterproductive measure that what Cuccinelli is doing.

    • Left_Wing_Fox says:

      That’s simply not true. Anyone working in the field, or who has been following it, knows that Climate change is one of the farthest reaching cross-disciplinary sciences out there today.

      Climate scientists are working in concert with biologists to determine the effects of climate change on ecological systems, with geologists to interpret the geological climate record, and with astronomers to determine the effects of the sun. Climate change is such a major field of research right now that a lot of semi-related scientific fields, like marine biology, chemical engineering, and geophysical sciences are leaning towards work on the effects and history of climate change in their fields. Thats’a LOT of new graduate research that could otherwise be disagreeing with the central premise of Global warming.

      You want insular, talk to string theory physicists.

      • Brad Potts says:

        Perhaps I am wrong, but it seems that data tracking and management concerning surface temperatures is extremely centralized and insular. The three all have an extreme overlap of data and seem to be maintained by a group of fairly close colleagues who are all completely immersed in the climate change political movement.

        And no matter what you think about its effects on the science, the East Anglia controversy and the most recent review of the IPCC seem to point to a rather centralized and insular group of individuals on top of the science that have been less than diligent in their transparency and review processes.

        I have no doubt that the research behind the science is incredibly expansive, and I have no reason to question the accuracy of most of the research, but to me it seems that there are some very important figures and clearinghouses at the top that seem to be extremely homogeneous.

        • Brad Potts says:

          Just look at the Himalayan nonsense.

          The IPCC pulled the information from a popular science magazine.

          The IPCC was warned internally that the report couldn’t help but be false, but no one apparently reacted to that information.

          After the IPCC reported it, a review of the science stated it was a premature conclusion, the IPCC head called it “schoolboy science”.

          In the end the IPCC claim seems to be physically impossible.

          I completely agree with those who claim that this instance doesn’t discredit the entire report or the research contained within, but this many mistakes on a single issue would imply to me that there are some definite problems with the review and publication process.

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