Yup, Climate Denier Ken Cuccinelli is as Awful as you Thought

November 1, 2019

Above, Ken Cuccinelli this week, executing the anti-immigrant policies of the Trump administration.

Mike Mann in the Washington Post – 2010:

As a scientist, I shouldn’t have a stake in the upcoming midterm elections, but unfortunately, it seems that I — and indeed all my fellow climate scientists — do.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has threatened that, if he becomes chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, he will launch what would be a hostile investigation of climate science. The focus would be on e-mails stolen from scientists at the University of East Anglia in Britain last fall that climate-change deniers have falsely claimed demonstrate wrongdoing by scientists, including me. Rep. James Sensenbrenner(R-Wis.) may do the same if he takes over a committee on climate change and energy security.

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My employer, Penn State University, exonerated me after a thorough investigation of my e-mails in the East Anglia archive. Five independent investigations in Britain and the United States, and a thorough recent review by the Environmental Protection Agency, also have cleared the scientists of accusations of impropriety.

Nonetheless, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is investigating my previous employer, the University of Virginia, based on the stolen e-mails. A judge rejected his initial subpoena, finding that Cuccinelli had failed to provide objective evidence of wrongdoing. Undeterred, Cuccinelli appealed the decision to the Virginia Supreme Courtand this week issued a new civil subpoena.

What could Issa, Sensenbrenner and Cuccinelli possibly think they might uncover now, a year after the e-mails were published?

The truth is that they don’t expect to uncover anything. Instead, they want to continue a 20-year assault on climate research, questioning basic science and promoting doubt where there is none.

Cuccinelli, in fact, rests his case largely on discredited claims that Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) made during hearings in 2005 at which he attacked me and my fellow researchers. Then-Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-N.Y.) had the courage and character to challenge Barton’s attacks. We need more political leaders like him today.

Washington Post (2012):

IF VIRGINIA Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) needs examples of official waste and abuse as he runs for governor, he could cite the harassment that he conducted against climate scientist Michael E. Mann, a costly episode of government overreach that is finally over.

This month, after nearly two years of legal proceedings, the Virginia Supreme Court halted the attorney general’s investigation of Mr. Mann, who used to teach at the University of Virginia. Twisting a law designed to root out embezzlement of state funds and the like, the attorney general had demanded oceans of documents — including Mr. Mann’s e-mail correspondence — from U-Va. But, along with some technical legal problems with his demand, Mr. Cuccinelli didn’t offer any reasonable suspicion that Mr. Mann had committed anything resembling fraud — even as the attorney general proposed violating scientists’ sacrosanct freedom to conduct research without political pressure. Multiple independent reviews of Mr. Mann’s record have found that the professor did little more than participate in the normal push-and-pull of scientific inquiry.

Mr. Cuccinelli’s inspiration appears to have been the conspiracy theorizing that emerged from the so-called Climategate scandal, in which global-warming opponents stole scientists’ e-mails — including a few of Mr. Mann’s — and then misinterpreted them to justify their activism.

Now that the Supreme Court has shut Mr. Cuccinelli down, what’s left is a range of consequences that can only hurt the commonwealth. The university had to raise nearly $600,000 for legal fees — money the cash-strapped university should have been able to use for something productive. On top of that are the public resources of the attorney general’s office that Mr. Cuccinelli wasted. Scientists in Virginia now have reason to wonder whether they will suffer similar pressure if they publish research government officials don’t like. And, because of some of the Supreme Court’s legal findings, the powers of the attorney general to pursue actual fraud have been clipped.

None of this is U-Va.’s fault. The university deserves credit for guarding the independence of its faculty. Rather, it’s squarely the doing of Mr. Cuccinelli and his witch hunt.

6 Responses to “Yup, Climate Denier Ken Cuccinelli is as Awful as you Thought”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    He seems nice.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      You jest, of course. Cuccinelli is a complete pig of a human being that holds the worst Repugnant positions on many topics. We in Virginia are still waiting for him to reimburse the $1+ million of public money that he wasted with his Mann witch hunt, and are thankful that we ended his political carer by NOT electing him governor when he ran. His present position as a vicious running dog for Trump is a fitting end to his role in public life—-after this he will probably end up lobbying for some corporation and sitting on corporate boards and taking in the $$$$.


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