Climate researcher Michael Mann -- the focus of Ken Cuccinelli's assault on academic freedom at UVA -- has been vindicated, again. This time, it was a report from the National Science Foundation finding that the allegations constantly being heaped on him by the right wing bloviocracy are -- shocker -- completely baseless.
As the report from NSF's Inspector General states,
...no direct evidence has been presented that indicates the Subject fabricated the raw data he used for his research or falsified his results. Much of the current debate focuses on the viability of the statistical procedures he employed, the statistics used to confirm the accuracy of the results, and the degree to which one specific set of data impacts the statistical results. These concerns are all appropriate for scientific debate and to assist the research community in directing future research efforts to improve understanding in this field of research. Such scientific debate is ongoing but does not, in itself, constitute evidence of research misconduct.
If our Attorney General were a real man, he would at this point admit that he is wrong in continuing to harass Professor Mann and UVA, drop this case, and focus on actually doing his job for the taxpayers of Virginia. But...alas.
I'm sure that instead, we'll just hear more nonsense about how NSF is part of the vast global conspiracy, blah, blah, blah...
The problem with a Big Lie like climate denial - well, other than being morally bankrupt - is that it takes increasingly more lies, delusions and distortions to maintain, to the point that its perpetrators become either full time manipulators, utterly divorced from reality, or some combination of the two. This is why - inevitably - climate deniers like Rick Perry are now forced to resort to accusing scientists all over the world of falsifying their data. Next these people will be forced to question the legitimacy of the scientific enterprise itself.
The alternative to being delusional liars is for climate deniers like Cuccinelli to admit that they were wrong, apologize and move on. But will that ever happen? Of course not. Cuccy is a dead-ender, like Muammar Gaddafi. He won't give up until you pry the last legal brief from his cold, dead hands.
That's why, in opposing a tyrant of this caliber, we have to be equally tough, determined and unyielding. Until we beat him and we can finally enjoy freedom from this overreaching, big government bully.
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