Here’s our early take on today’s Penn State report on its Michael Mann investigation:
- The review apparently extended little further than the Climategate e-mails themselves, an interview with Mann, materials submitted by Mann and whatever e-mails and comments floated in over the transom. Not thorough at all.
One of the Penn State investigative committee members, Henry Foley, did endeavor to get external views on Michael Mann — unfortunately, they came from:
- Gerald North, who dismissed Climategate in a Washington Post interview a only few days after the news of the scandal first broke and who assisted in the National Research Council’s 2006 effort to whitewash Mann’s hockey stick; and
- Donald Kennedy, a former editor of Science magazine and an outspoken zealot for climate alarmism.
- Comically, the report explains at length how the use of the word “trick” can mean a “clever device.” The report ignores that it was a “trick… to hide the decline.” There is no mention of “hide the decline” in the report.
- The report concludes there is no evidence to indicate that Mann intended to delete e-mails. But this is contradicted by the plain language and circumstances surrounding Mann’s e-mail exchange with Phil Jones — See page 9 of Climategate & Penn State: The Case for an Independent Investigation.
- The report dismisses the accusation that Mann conspired to silence skeptics by stating, “one finds enormous confusion has been caused by interpretations of the e-mails and their content.” Maybe there wouldn’t be so much “confusion” if PSU actually did a thorough investigation rather than just relying on the word of Michael Mann.
- Although PSU is continuing the investigation, its reason is not to investigate Mann so much as it is to exonerate climate alarmism. On page 9 of the report, it says that “questions in the public’s mind about Dr. Mann’s conduct… may be undermining confidence in his findings as a scientist… and public trust in science in general and climate science specifically.”
There needs to be a thorough and independent investigation of Climategate. PSU’s report is a primer for a whitewash.
CAUTION: Don’t be fooled by the Penn State media release. It gives the impression that PSU’s investigation into Mann will continue. But if you read the report, PSU has essentially already exonerated him. Moreover, PSU has changed the nature of the investigation away from Climategate being a scandal and toward Climategate being a public relations problem for global warming alarmism.