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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Michael Mann responds to factually incorrect letter to the editor of the Times-Dispatch

Climate change letter was personal attack

To the Editor, Times-Dispatch, August 5, 2013

Charlie Battig did a grave disservice to your readers by spreading falsehoods about me personally and about climate science in general in his recent letter, “McAuliffe sways left and right on coal.” Battig parroted discredited denialist talking points, e.g., “the globe hasn’t warmed over the past 16 years” (the past decade, in fact, was the warmest recorded).
Much of the letter, however, revolved around Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s 2009 attempt to subpoena my personal U.Va. emails with dozens of other climate scientists. Cuccinelli is a climate-change denier, and his efforts were widely viewed as a fishing expedition intended to find something embarrassing that he could use to discredit my scientific research on climate change. His actions were blasted as a “witch hunt” by The Washington Post, while this paper editorialized on them as a “search warrant without probable cause (that) might be kosher in totalitarian states.” The state Supreme Court rejected Cuccinelli’s subpoena with prejudice last year.
Battig attempts to defend Cuccinelli’s attacks based on discredited allegations and innuendo arising from the industry-funded “climategate” smear campaign, where thousands of scientists’ emails were stolen and then misrepresented by climate-change deniers in an effort to call into question the evidence for human-caused climate change. Battig conveniently fails to acknowledge that nine investigations in the U.S. and Europe found there was no evidence of impropriety in any of these emails and that the National Science Foundation’s inspector general investigated and thoroughly dismissed all allegations of misconduct made against me personally.
It is precisely these sorts of attacks by climate-change deniers that led me to write my recent book, The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, where I discuss my experiences as a reluctant figure in the climate-change debate.
Michael E. Mann, Distinguished Professor, Department of Meterology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pa.

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