So far, we have had two separate investigations by Penn State University of Dr. Michael Mann, the climate scientist under attack by Virginia’s own climate crisis denier, AG Ken Cuccinelli. Both have exonerated Dr. Mann. In February, a Penn State committee found him innocent of misconduct, finding no evidence that he falsified data, destroyed data related to a 2007 report or misused confidential information. On July 1, the university found him innocent of any scientific misconduct. Still, our very own wingnut, Cooch, seems determined to persist in his ridiculous demand for every piece of information Dr. Mann produced while at the University of Virginia.
Meanwhile, because it smelled a politically motivated witch hunt, the environmental group Greenpeace has started its own investigation into the attorney general and any possible relationship he may have had with global warming deniers.
Greenpeace US is searching for a paper trail that might expose the “machinations” of a group of climate change denyers who have much to personally benefit from their attempts to discredit the work of climate scientists and to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases.
Greenpeace filed Freedom of Information requests with the University of Virginia back in December and with Cuccinelli’s office in June, seeking any information that ties the attorney general to two former University of Virginia professors, Patrick Michaels and Fred Singer, both of whom have insisted that man-made causes of global warming are exaggerated.
Note: Both men have since been employed by conservative anti-environmental groups, one by the Cato Institute and the other by the Science and Environmental Policy Project. Plus, let’s never forget that Cuccinelli reported donations from energy corporations and natural resources companies (read that coal and oil) of $201,096 in his campaign for attorney general.
Greenpeace wants copies of correspondence Cooch had with climate change skeptics and right-wing organizations like the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow and the Cato Institute.
“Our request was written very specifically,” Greenpeace’s Davies said about the FOIA query to Cuccinelli’s office. “It can’t be called a fishing expedition.”
Of course, Cuccinelli has not yet responded to Greenpeace’s FOI request. Neither has the University of Virginia. However, I am glad that someone has stepped up to push back to Cuccinelli’s over-reaching. That’s the only thing that bullies like Cooch understand.