More desperation from deniers. Anthony Watts is very hopeful of getting his grubby paws on some more emails. The mindset of conspiracy theorists is mind-bogglingly stupid - and rancid. The Peeping Toms among the denialati can't read or understand science, but they can spread snippets of emails all over the internet, provided someone tells them how to misinterpret them. Anthony starts off badly with a wrong headline:
Uh, oh, Mann’s MBH98 ‘hockeystick’ emails ruled fair game by judge
That wasn't remotely like the ruling of the appeals judge, according to the article Anthony linked to. He ruled that trial judges are to determine what documents the University of Arizona is to release to E&E Legal Institute. That organisation, E&E, seems to specialise in tying up the courts' to try to get access to scientists' email so that they can
An appeal to unreason
Anthony Watts has picked up on an article in the Arizona Daily Sun, which reported that an appeals judge, Judge Joseph Howard, has ruled that "trial judges must actually examine the records to determine whether making them public really would harm “the best interests of the state’’ as the university is claiming."
According to the article in the Arizona Sun:
The university said it was withholding emails “to protect either the confidentiality of information privacy of persons, or a concern about disclosure detrimental to the best interests of the state.’’
In the original decision, which was overturned by the appeals judge, it's recorded that:
The primary reason AzBOR [Arizona Board of Regents et al - or the University of Arizona] claims as the basis for not producing these documents is that to do so would have a chilling effect on the ability and likelihood of professors and scientists engaging in frank exchanges of ideas and information. AzBOR enlisted the help of an impressive array of scholars, academic administrators, professors, etc., who, by way of affidavits, provide compelling support of its position.
E&E counters that the chilling effect cited by AzBOR is contrary to fundamental scientific principles of openness and transparency which promote public confidence in scientific research. E&E argues that, given the importance of the climate change question and the potential magnitude of the debate surrounding it, the interest in the content of the contested emails to the public at large greatly exceeds any potential reduction in collaboration between some scientists and professors at public universities, including the University of Arizona. E&E also asserts that the claimed chilling effect is speculative and AzBOR has presented no real evidence to support its claim that any harm to the state will actually manifest if the emails are released. Like AzBOR, E&E has provided several affidavits from the well-credentialed professionals to support its position.And continued:
Consequently, the question before this Court is not whether E&E was more persuasive than AzBOR or vice versa. Instead, the question to be considered is – in denying E&E’s records request, did AzBOR abuse its discretion or act arbitrarily or capriciously?And Judge James Marner found that it didn't. Then on appeal, Judge Howard said that trial judges will decide what documents are to be provided to E&E Legal Institute.
The Arizona Sun article reports that the University of Arizona "provided more than 1,600 pages of records and a log describing about 1,700 records it was withholding". That wasn't enough for Energy and Environment Legal Institute which, not finding anything they could use in the 1600 pages, wants the rest. Well, they might or might not get the rest. It will be up to the trial judges what more they can have.
The end result of the appeal isn't that E&E will be handed more private and personal emails, but that the process will be extended and some trial judge will have to do more work, much of which it seems to me was already done by Judge Marner.
Alphabetically-challenged Anthony Watts
As for Anthony Watts, he's displayed he is alphabetically-challenged. He showed his abysmal ignorance once again. He wrote:
As WUWT readers may know, Mann wrote the original Hockeystick paper in 1998 with Jonathan Overpeck and Malcolm Hughes, hence the MBH98 moniker. AEI and others have tried to get Mann’s emails from Penn State, but were blocked by political interventions claiming science would be harmed, among other things. Damn right it would, but not how they think.No, Anthony. Jonathon Overpeck wasn't a co-author of the MBH98 paper by Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley and Malcolm Hughes. And I'd be very surprised if the content of any emails between those authors harmed science in the way Anthony thinks. The harm comes from the stifling of communication between scientists. The fact that ugly organisations like the E&E Legal Institute can't understand science but are eager to twist private and personal communications for their nefarious purposes. They are pervs like Peeping Toms - who would regard a person showering in their own bathroom with the door shut as evidence of pornography.
Anthony Watts wrote:
Jonathan Overpeck demonstrates his heavy political bias on his own Twitter feed daily, and does Mann. If the emails are even remotely like the Twitter feeds of these two, it’s going to look very bad for their science indeed. Now comes the next wave of legal arguments.
Denial is political
Most of Jonathan Overpeck's tweets are about climate science and weather. There's the occasional bit of humour, too. Jonathan Overpeck retweeted something from Alan Margolin. Perhaps Anthony regards being a science denier a political act?
#Climate Cartoon: Have YOU Met Dr. Denier? - @MichaelEMann @bluedillygal @brighteyedjaymi @SunEconomy @Robin_Volpi pic.twitter.com/eNNNTh2Ty9— Allan Margolin (@AllanMargolin) March 6, 2016
Do I need to point out that there are now oodles of hockey sticks?
Thoughts from the WUWT conspiracy den
Anthony Watts' band of conspiracy nutters are salivating at the unlikely prospect of getting their grimy hands on some 1,600 pages of emails and up to 1,700 more records. They haven't woken up to the fact that E&E obviously didn't find any incriminating snippets in the first 1,600 pages so they've asked for the rest.
Tom Halla thinks that Mark Steyn will be the one to overturn 200 plus years of science. He's deluded.
March 5, 2016 at 6:06 pm
And I thought it would be the Mark Steyn case that sank Michael Mann et al.
Aphan is also hopeful of Mark Steyn "sinking" Professor Mann. Fat chance! Does she know that it's Michael Mann who is suing Mark Steyn for defamation?
March 5, 2016 at 6:13 pm
This case is about two Arizona scientists who have worked with Mann. Steyn’s case is the most likely to sink Mann….unless the tubular moron does it himself.
Steve Oregon is another nutter who starts from assumptions that "something must be wrong" and "nefarious intent" - two of the key ingredients of conspiracy ideation:
March 5, 2016 at 6:28 pm
Gosh how interesting. Their noble cause would be disrupted if their corruption were revealed.
They really do feel their mission is so lofty that they must remain insulated from ethics and laws that apply to lesser folk.
Let’s hope this new ruling pushes humpty climate dumpty off of the wall.
kramer also has very weird notions of what climate scientists (or anybody) write to each other by email:
March 5, 2016 at 7:18 pm
I hope that we get to see those emails because scientific truth and integrity is good for science. Getting access to Mann’s would also be good for science.
Thank heaven's these weirdos aren't running the country. Oh - how could I forget - some of the same sort of nutters are perilously close to running the US of A :(
References and further reading
Article on the appeal ruling in the Arizona Daily Sun (I couldn't find the ruling itself on either of the two Arizona Appeals Court websites).
Previous ruling from Arizona Superior Court, Pima County - Judge Marner
Mann, Michael E., Raymond S. Bradley, and Malcolm K. Hughes. "Global-scale temperature patterns and climate forcing over the past six centuries." Nature 392, no. 6678 (1998): 779-787. doi:10.1038/33859 (pdf here - and corrigendum here)
Mann, M.E., Bradley, R.S. and Hughes, M.K., "Northern Hemisphere Temperatures During the Past Millennium: Inferences, Uncertainties, and Limitations", Geophysical Research Letters, 26, 759-762, 1999. DOI: 10.1029/1999GL900070 (open access)
From the HotWhopper archives
- A short note on stolen emails - March 2013
- Vicious attacks on Michael Mann: More smears from Mark Steyn and Anthony Watts' lynch mob - August 2015, with discussion of various hockey sticks
- Curses! It's a conspiracy! The Fury is Back Thrice Over - July 2015