Nothing to See Here

February 3, 2010

Looks like Michael Mann and the climatology community at Penn State got an all (a mostly, largely, nearly, ninety-nine percent, practically) clear from the panel investigating them. [Props to JimR for keeping me accurate.] Read the report from Penn State here.

Actually, if you’re not associated with a university that pays a university subscription to climate wire, you may not be able to read that. Even still, I’m fairly sure I can quote this without copyright infringement:

An internal inquiry has largely cleared Pennsylvania State University climatologist Michael Mann of scientific misconduct, but the university said yesterday that it will continue to probe whether the researcher undermined public trust in science.



  1. The full report is here:

    And Mann didn’t get an “all clear”. From the report:

    “Allegation 4. Did you engage in, or participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research or other scholarly activities?

    Finding 4. After careful consideration of all the evidence and relevant materials, the inquiry committee could not make a definitive finding whether there exists any evidence to substantiate that Dr. Mann did engage in, or participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions that deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research or other scholarly activities.”

    Not being able to make a definitive finding and calling for an investigatory committee of faculty peers is hardly getting an “all clear”.

    You are still spinning things Ben. Why would you proclaim Mann is “all clear” when he isn’t and not even comment on the UK finding that Phil Jones and UEA violated the UK FOIA?

  2. How about: “He got a mostly clear”? Like that better? Or maybe you’d prefer this: “He got a largely clear.” That work for ya, Jim?

  3. How about a little honesty and accuracy instead of advocacy and spin?

    Penn State’s official news source used the headline:

    Inquiry into climate scientist moves to next phase

    It’s not honest to claim Mann “got an all clear” when that wasn’t the result. Is honesty too much to ask for?

  4. I went basically with the source from which I pulled it, which was the EE news source that comes directly to my e-mail. I said almost nothing apart from that he got the “all clear.” Evidently that really bothers you.

    And much as it may bother you, I hate to tell you, it doesn’t look like a lot has come of the panel, so it doesn’t seem entirely inappropriate to say that he got the “largely clear.”

    Also, Phil Jones wasn’t mentioned in that EE newsire, so I didn’t mention him. While you’re spinning your own scarf of cotton, you might go pick on Revkin for not saying something about Phil Jones, because it looks like he’s guilty of the same omission.

  5. Here, check out the reporting from New Scientist. Does “All but cleared of misconduct” work better for you?


  6. First the EE news article had the headline “Probe largely clears scientist in e-mail controversy”. Who made the leap from “largely clears” to “all clear”? You?

    Second, it doesn’t matter what you or I think, or even what New Scientist said but what was the actual result and that result wasn’t that Mann was “all clear” now was it? Do you think it’s ethical to claim someone was found “all clear” when they weren’t? It’s not just semantics but a matter of honesty.

    Third, the question about why you haven’t mentioned that the UK Information Commissioners Office found Phil Jones guilty of violating FOIA is due to our lengthy discussion here on your blog.


    I even posted to that thread last week with the information for you. After your rather amusing defense of Jones the least you could do is comment on how Jones and EAU were found guilty.

  7. Jim and friends are continuing their infamous sliming of Michael Mann. The committee found NO SUBSTANCE TO THE FIRST THREE ALLEGATIONS. They found NO EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THE FOURTH, but thought the issues would be more authoritatively addressed by a faculty committee.

    Patience wears thin

  8. Interesting, I haven’t even made a derogatory remark about Mann much less your imaginary “sliming”. But I suppose people who speak of themselves in the third person imagine quite a few things that aren’t really there.

    And you might want to use your thin worn patience to understand the difference between “could not make a definitive finding whether there exists any evidence” and “found NO EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT” the fourth point. There is a difference and this difference is why they believe an investigatory committee of faculty peers should review this issue.

  9. JimR – I take it you’re suffering from selective attention disorder, and are unable to process or comprehend a post in its entirety. Ben also had this quoted in his post.

    “An internal inquiry has largely cleared Pennsylvania State University climatologist Michael Mann of scientific misconduct…”

    Notice the “largely cleared”? Why would he quote it if he was being dishonest? Whoopsies – that contradicts your assertion that Ben is being dishonest and spinning. Slant much? What was that about honesty and accuracy again? How about processing an entire post?

    The most you can accuse Ben of in this post is sloppy writing (a laughable counterpoint considering this is a blog), but dishonesty? Let go of the slanting, and take a seat – you’re making yourself dizzy.

    Back on topic – Mann is cleared of falsifying, destroying, misusing or otherwise suppressing climate-change data. Looks like the wild, often slanderous allegations thrown about by the cranks are being discredited. I personally like how no formal complaints were even leveled against Mann – just lots of emails and phone calls.

    • Lemon Slice – so your point intertwined with the insults is that claiming Mann is “all clear” isn’t dishonest but is merely slopping writing in making the leap from “largely cleared” to “all clear”? Seriously? And you accuse me of spinning?


      • Oh yes, yes – I accuse you of spinning. Such are individuals who like to selectively pick evidence to support their case. Either that, or you really do have selective attention disorder.

        Once again – you took two words (“all clear”) from an entire post and proceeded to accuse Ben of dishonesty, spin, misrepresentation and about not saying “largely cleared”, all while merrily ignoring the following quote in Ben’s post.

        “An internal inquiry has LARGELY CLEARED Pennsylvania…”

        Take that seat I offered you Jim – you’re going to pass out at this rate.

      • Lemonslice – you act like two words “all clear” are insignificant, as if there is no difference between “largely cleared” and “all clear”. This isn’t pedantic or simply semantics, it’s about accuracy and spin. The fact that he’d posted the quote containing “largely cleared” wasn’t ignored… quite the opposite as that showed Ben wasn’t even quoting a bad source but had himself taken the leap from “largely cleared” to spin it as “all clear”. You may like someone saying Mann was “all clear” but that isn’t factual is it?

        And notice how many shots have been taken at me in just this thread. It’s a common theme with the true believers, focus on the person instead of the issue. Fortunately this is not a respected tactic in most quarters.

      • JimR – do you understand the fact that Ben openly stated the quote for people to verify this in the original post? If he was being dishonest – he wouldn’t have stated the quote, he wouldn’t have quoted it.

        If someone is deliberately being dishonest – they don’t quote accurate sources for people to verify. If he hadn’t quoted it – you would have had a more credible case. He could have misrepresented it by only quoting the charges that were dismissed – but he did not. And it’s not like the quote was buried in a 10,000-word post – it’s right there.

        As for your “how many shots have been taken at me in just this thread” comment – you do realize you’re the one that first attacked Ben with the accusations of falsehoods, spin, and dishonesty? Or did you miss that little detail as well?

        The matter of fact is you overstepped your mark in your enthusiasm to brand Ben as a liar – all on an incredibly flimsy basis of evidence.

      • First props to Ben for updating his head post.

        Lemonslice – We may have to agree to disagree on this one. I’m not sure how you can think it’s right to say one thing while quoting something different? And I never said Ben deliberately did this. My guess would be his bias lead him to believe Mann was all clear even though the news item he read and quoted didn’t say that. But that’s just a guess, the point was about the accuracy of the statement.

  10. Eli is not a fan of passive aggressive Jim nor are most other folk. Now be a good fellow and write a letter of apology to Michael Mann.

  11. Silly wabbit. So when you try to turn the focus on the person posting instead of the issue can we call that third person aggressive? Pompous aggressive? Narcissistic aggressive?

    • If one were not as polite and caring as Eli, you could call it calling you out for what you are.

  12. You won’t want to miss Leakegate, Ben. My question is whether it was the reporter or the source who came up with the basic misrepresentation.

  13. The report is a white wash (well 99% anyway).

    I don’t think this issue is over and there will be other bodies investigating this.

    We will have to wait to see what they find.

    It certainly doesn’t look like Mann deleted emails – which is good for him.

    However, allegation 4 seems to be the one directed at the “hide the decline” issue, which is the one which really matters – and they wouldn’t take a position one way or the other.

    That is the one which in the end might get him in the most trouble.

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