Feature:Opinion

Penn State whitewashed ClimateGate

Not only is it risible to accept this, but Penn State then chose to not speak with the one person Jones asked Mann to also have destroy records.

So, were Penn State’s investigators staggeringly incompetent, willfully ignorant, or knowingly complicit?

Did Mann merely let investigators so grossly misrepresent what he told them in order to paint him as less culpable than he admitted to them? Did he have some reason to believe they would let him get away with that non-answer?

Does instructing someone to delete records violate any U.S. laws?

Of course, Mann might just say that his colleague is a liar. Get some popcorn.

Regardless of how this evidence particularly indicts Penn State, it offers further troubling evidence about Michael Mann — still vacuuming federal taxpayer money — and his relationship with the truth. Combined with other evasive answers, it’s clear he has lawyered up. Putting aside for the moment how well he did so, we at least now see why.

This begs the same questions of PSU as it does of the UK’s two supposed inquires into ClimateGate, which were also cited as “clearing” the participants. Obviously we know that’s not possible because, if either had bothered to interview Wahl, they’d know what we now know. Wahl says Mann did indeed ask Wahl to destroy records, and Wahl did.

One cannot be cleared if there is no inquiry, and we have proof that no inquiry worthy of the name was conducted. New talking points must be developed, sans the spurious claim that anyone has been exonerated or even that any actual inquiry has been undertaken.

At best, the key questions still remain outstanding. Worse, the list of implicated parties has grown. Which is it, Penn State? Were you incompetent, willfully ignorant, or willfully in on covering for Michael Mann?

Chris Horner is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and author of “Red Hot Lies“, which explained the actions underlying ClimateGate nearly a year before they were revealed in leaked emails.

Update 1: Eugene Wahl has just released the following statement:

The Daily Caller blog yesterday contained an inaccurate story regarding a correspondence that was part of the emails hacked from East Anglia University Climate Research Unit (CRU) in November 2009.

For the record, while I received the email from CRU as forwarded by Dr. Mann, the forwarded message came without any additional comment from Dr. Mann; there was no request from him to delete emails. At the time of the email in May 2008, I was employed by Alfred University, New York.  I became a NOAA employee in August 2008.

The emails I deleted while a university employee are the correspondence I had with Dr. Briffa of CRU regarding the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, all of which have been in the public domain since the CRU hack in November 2009.  This correspondence has been extensively examined and no misconduct found.  As a NOAA employee, I follow agency record retention policies and associated guidance from information technology staff.

Update 2: Horner responds to Wahl’s statement.