May 4, 2010
The State of Virginia has decided to investigate possible wrong doing by Michael Mann of Climategate fame. Michael Mann is best known as the scientist, associated with the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, who came up with the controversial Hockey Stick Graph that became the icon of the global warming movement. Virginia’s investigation is the first by a government on this side of the Atlantic into possible wrongdoing related to climate change. Other government inverstigations are likely, particularly if the Democrats lose control of the House or the Senate in the November elkections. To see the State of Virginia’s Civil Investigative Demans, click here.
The unauthorized release of the Climategate emails last year have led to several government investigations in the U.K., as well as some by non-governmental agencies.
In the investigation to be conducted under the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act, Virginia’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II, has demanded that the University of Virginia, where Mann was a professor until five years ago, produce documents to determine whether Mann defrauded taxpayers in obtaining climate change research grants. At issue is some $500,000 in grants involving Mann while he was at the University of Virginia between 1999 and 2005.
Cuccinelli’s investigation directly flowed from the Climategate emails, which raised reasonable doubts about whether any wrong-doing had occurred. If Mann knowingly presented inconsistencies in obtaining government research funds, Cuccinelli explained, Mann would be culpable.
Lawrence Solomon is executive director of Energy Probe and author of The Deniers. LawrenceSolomon@nextcity.com