Saturday, March 03, 2012

Climate-Change Denialist Ken Cuccinelli Rebuffed by Virginia Supreme Court

"I'm pleased that this particular episode is over," Mr. Mann said in a written statement. "It's sad, though, that so much money and resources had to be wasted on [Virginia Attorney General] Cuccinelli's witch hunt against me and the University of Virginia when it could have been invested, for example, in measures to protect Virginia's coastline from the damaging effects of sea-level rise it is already seeing."---The Chronicle of Higher Education (3-2-12)

On Friday, March 2, 2012, the Virginia Supreme Court delivered a smack-down to the climate denialist Ken Cuccinelli. Legal Newsline (3-2-12) explains the Court's legal opinion. For a history of Attorney General Cuccinelli's persecution of Dr. Mann, see the Union of Concerned Scientists' Timeline: Legal Harassment of Climate Scientist Michael Mann and their statement on the Supreme Court's ruling: Virginia Supreme Court Rejects Subpoenas of Climate Scientists’ EmailsCuccinelli sought the emails of Dr. Mann, his research assistants, administrative staff or secretaries and 39 other climate scientists.

The National Academy of Sciences, the academies of science in all the developed nations, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, the CIA, the National Intelligence Council, the United Nations, all the U.S. scientific government agencies (NASA, NOAA, EPA, etc), and the Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Sciences are telling the American people that climate change is caused by burning fossil fuels and that climate change is a threat to our national security.

Catholic schools teach students the scientific consensus about climate change. Catholic schools use books that present students with the peer-reviewed scientific consensus on climate change. The mendacious climate change denialist Cuccinelli and his crew have hijacked the high office of Attorney General on behalf of their fossil-fuel sponsors in order to persecute climate scientists and undermine the scientific consensus on climate change. Cuccinelli and his crew are are subverting our children's future and America's national security by confusing our people about the reality of man-made climate change. 

The program manager for the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Scientific Integrity Program Michael Halpern (3-2-12) observed:

“We applaud the high court for reaffirming that Mr. Cuccinelli didn’t have a legal leg to stand on in his pursuit of Mann’s and other scientists’ private correspondence. The university should be commended for its courage in standing up to the attorney general to ensure Virginia will remain a safe place for scientific research, even when elected officials don’t like the results.

“Academic institutions have the responsibility to protect their faculty’s ability to discover new things about our world without fearing harassment. Nobody should expect the rough drafts of their work to be subject to the same level of scrutiny as their published research.

“Now, it’s time for leaders in Virginia to move on. The attorney general’s fishing expedition represents a failure to govern. For two years, the attorney general has joined a small but vocal minority in a pointless and costly investigation that has done nothing but distract Virginia from the real challenge: mitigating and adapting to climate change.”


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