Fishing Hunt

May 13, 2010

For those who may be of the mind that Cucinelli’s witch expedition against Michael Mann is limited to the climate community, I’m here to report that other academic blogs are now picking up the thread. Brian Leiter linked to it today, with the title, “The End of the University of Virginia.” More are sure to follow. Here’s a nice piece from the American Constitution Society.

Cuccinelli has acknowledged that he has a political agenda, and he seems to be pursuing it with every means at his disposal. As he told one reporter, “you know I’m a politician and I ran on an agenda for attorney general winning the most votes that anyone has ever gotten in history and I’m doing exactly what I said I was going to do.” (Apparently the role of the attorney general does not include coordinating with the governor, even in the same party; as Governor Bob McDonnell toldWashington Post reporter, “What the attorney general’s theories are – I only know what I read in the paper, and I’ve not spoken with him.”)

Cuccinelli has also said that he does not believe that human activities caused global warming. Eight days before he served the university with the subpoena, he filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency, contending that the “Climategate” emails constitute after-discovered evidence – despite the academic and scientific consensus suggesting otherwise – that should compel the EPA to re-open public discussion over regulation of fuel standards.

Translation: this move against Mann is entirely political… which is a pretty damning (albeit not surprising) admission, if it’s the case that the allegation against Mann is that his science is sullied by the political.


  1. I have always wondered what excatly is the (political) agenda of those who deny climate change or deny the role of humans in it? I can imagine could be the agenda of those who deny evolution, but as for those who deny climate change – I see no possible goal which would be advanced that way.

  2. It is not that Mann’s science is sullied by the political, but rather that Mann is using (i.e. spinning) his science to advance his political objectives.

    When Mann strayed into the political arena, he opened himself up to political attack.

    Of course, I do not think this litigation is a valid political attack.

    • No, Rick, you’ve got it the wrong way round. Mann didn’t stray into the political arena, unless by “stray” you mean “draw unavoidable conclusions concerning the past and future of Earth’s climate that are unacceptable for strictly ideological and/or economic reasons to those among us of the right-wing political persuasion”. Funny sort of synonymy, but hey, if that’s what you want… it’s at least economical and you can blame then fellow for something he didn’t do far more pithily.

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