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Prof. Michael Mann: “Real honor” to endorse Mark Herring for AG for his “brave stance” on climate

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From the conference call a few minutes ago, here’s what Sen. Herring and Professor Michael Mann had to say. Bolding added by me for emphasis. This makes me very proud to be supporting and consulting for the Herring for Attorney General campaign!

Sen. Herring:

The reason I asked you all to join on the call today is because I think it’s important to talk about the incident that happened a few years ago in which Ken Cuccinelli led a witch hunt against Dr. Mann. This is important…first of all, it was one of two incidences early in Cuccinelli’s term that made me really start to consider running for Attorney General…it’s a clear example of what the wrong person with the wrong priorities who wants to push an extreme agenda can do in this office, and why it’s important that we Virginians elect someone who will put people first.

It is a crystal clear example that Ken Cuccinelli will disregard the law, disregard education, disregard research, disregard a professor, and disregard the reputation of both one of the finest institutions in the state – UVA – and the state as a whole, all to push his own extreme ideology.

I think Dr. Mann’s work is important, I believe in science, and believe that climate change is man made, and leaders need to start stepping up to the plate to address this problem. I also believe the Office of Attorney General is about problem solving and not politics. It should be about helping to keep Virginians safe, and not push an extreme agenda.

But that’s not what Ken Cuccinelli has done, and that’s not what the clones lining up to replace him believe. They are willing to use the office for scoring political points with the most extreme, right-wing faction of the Republican Party. And they believe that if you don’t agree with someone, you can just sue them and tie them up in litigation. That’s not the type of Attorney General I’ll be. I’ll get the politics out of the office and put the law first.

See the “flip” for Professor Mann’s statement, including his strong endorsement of Mark Herring for AG, based on the “brave stance that [Herring] took very early on, when my colleagues and I at the University of Virginia were subject to what the Washington Post called a witch hunt by the Attorney General.”

Dr. Mann:

Well, it’s a pleasure to be supporting Senator Herring. He was, in fact, one of the very first politicians who came out to defend me and the University of Virginia several years ago when Ken Cuccinelli engaged in this assault on us, on the University of Virginia, and on the scientific establishment in general…

What [Cuccinelli] did was completely unacceptable. Many have called it an abuse of power. It was an effort to discredit me, to attack me, through using a loophole of Virginia law to issue a civil subpoena based on the claim that because my…research on climate change and his view that the science of climate change is somehow fraudulent…

This was an excuse for him to use…to go after me, to go after the University of Virginia, it cost taxpayers in the state presumably hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars to pursue this witch hunt. That’s money that could have been better spent in dealing with the very real work that has to be done to help Virginia adapt to climate change…the threat of sea level to Virginia’s coast line, to the naval fleet in Norfolk (the national security community is very concerned about that).

There are real things, important things that we could be doing, and that Virginians could be doing, and that their politicians could be helping them with. But instead, Cuccinelli went on this partisan witch hunt in an effort to discredit me and my science, because he doesn’t accept the reality of climate change even though it is the overwhelming consensus of the world’s scientists that climate change is real. Just the other day we passed 400 parts per million CO2 in our atmosphere for the first time in millions of years.

And, so, it’s a wake-up call that this is a real problem. We need to do something about it. We need a good-faith, honest debate among our policymakers about how to contend with this problem. But we can’t continue to bury our heads in the sand, as people like Cuccinelli would like to do. So, like I said before, it’s a real honor to be endorsing and supporting Senator Herring, because of the brave stance that he took very early on, when my colleagues and I at the University of Virginia were subject to what the Washington Post called a witch hunt by the Attorney General.