Lawrence Solomon: Virginia Launches Investigation into Climategate’s Michael Mann

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 investigations are likely, particularly if the Democrats lose control of the House or the Senate in the November elections. To see the State of Virginia’s Civil Investigative Demand, 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 produce documents to determine whether Mann misused taxpayer funds in obtaining climate change research grants. At issue is some $500,000 in research grants involving Mann while he was at the University of Virginia between 1999 and 2005. Mann conducted his Hockey Stick research while at University of Virginia.

Cuccinelli’s investigation directly flowed from the Climategate emails, which raised doubts about the legitimacy of climate change research. 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

Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post, May 05, 2010

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