Mike Mann’s Hockey Check
December 19, 2014
Above, Dr. Michael Mann displays his court awarded damages check, won against the climate and science denying, fossil fuel funded “think” tank, “American Traditions Institute” aka, the “Energy & Environment Legal Institute”, after judges realized that actions against Dr. Mann were pure anti-science harassment and had no basis in fact.
Dr. Mann donated the check to the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund, an organization devoted to providing a legal bulwark against attacks on climate science and scientists.
Holding the check with Dr. Mann, from left to right, CSLDF Executive Director Lauren Kurtz, and Board members Charles Zeller, Scott Mandia, and Josh Wolfe. The picture was taken December 18, 2014, in San Francisco, at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting.
It’s not the size of the penalty, it’s the principle behind it, but that principle depends on which side you’re on.
The state Supreme Court has ordered the nonprofit Energy & Environment Legal Institute to pay $250 in damages to former University of Virginia professor Michael Mann and the school following the institute’s failed legal bid to obtain Mann’s emails regarding climate change research.
The institute, formerly known as the American Tradition Institute, filed the suit in 2011, after UVa refused to turn over about 12,000 emails requested under the state’s Freedom of Information Act.
Mann, now a professor and researcher at Penn State University, said that while the amount is small, the principle is large.
“The damages in my view are symbolic,” he said. “What is important is not the $250 itself but the recognition by the court of the frivolous and pernicious nature of the [institute’s] suit.”
Mann called the institute “an industry front” that targets climate researchers “with vexatious freedom of information requests to intimidate scientists” whose findings are “perceived as a threat” to the fossil fuel industry.
Mann said he would donate the $250 to the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund, which exists to assist scientists being attacked like he says he was.
But we know that climate Denial, like racism, will not die easily.
After the decision, Energy and Environment Legal Institute Counsel David Schnare told journalists, “Although the group did not get access notes and emails, the court did clarify how not to go about acquiring such information via FOI requests. I hope that our learning experience will help all other like-minded groups to pursue the documents.
This story isn’t over.”
The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund will insure that legitimate scientists have somewhere to turn in the face of attacks ginned up by hatred, greed, and ignorance.
Below, my interview with CSLDF Director Lauren Kurtz.