Next in the list of misrepresentations by Mann and his lawyers is their inclusion of the Government Response to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee as an investigation that “investigated” and “exonerated” Mann personally. This takes the total of such misrepresented investigations to four (out of the four that I’ve thus far examined). In Mann’s pleadings, Mann additionally attributed findings of the Muir Russell Review to a separate investigation by the “government of the United Kingdom”, in turn, wildly inflating the supposed findings. As a secondary issue, Mann’s claim that this “investigation” was widely covered (or covered at all) in international media is also untrue, a point that Joe Romm complained about at the time.
In March 2010, the UK Science and Technology Committee issued a report arising out of Climategate, but primarily addressed to the larger issue of data transparency and secondarily to the scope of the two University of East Anglia inquiries, pausing briefly to consider Phil Jones’ “trick” email. As previously noted, the Commons Committee itself neither “investigated” nor “exonerated” Mann himself.
The Government Response, attached as an exhibit to Mann’s Reply Memorandum, was prepared by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), a department that has been highly committed to climate intervention, as was Chris Huhne, its then Secretary. Huhne is a controversial figure, who subsequently resigned as Secretary when charged with obstruction of justice on an unrelated matter, eventually sentenced to eight months in jail. Huhne has been released from jail and would presumably be available to authenticate the document in court. He has also been in the news as a lobbyist for a biomass company.
In their response, DECC listed the various Commons Committee conclusions and recommendations and then stated the Government response.
Like the Commons Committee recommendations and conclusions to which it was responding, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) Response to the Commons Committee is likewise concerned only with CRU scientists and not Mann, as evident in the following statement of its concerns:
In considering our response, the Government is concerned that the reviews speak to the two fundamental issues of events at CRU: firstly, were CRU’s data and science sound, and secondly, were the University and its scientists intentionally trying to hide information? In addition, we have considered how these events reflect more broadly on the scientific community’s practices of generating and sharing data.
Throughout the short document, CRU is mentioned repeatedly; Mann not at all.
The DECC Response noted the Commons Committee’s recommendations for data transparency; however, in best Sir Humphrey style, they agreed only with the principle, while immediately throwing up roadblocks:
That said, there are a number of good reasons why it is not always possible or appropriate to make data available immediately or even at all.
There is no evidence that anyone in the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s department otherwise interviewed Mann or carried out any of the other steps prerequisite for an “investigation” into Mann’s conduct.
The release of DECC’s response received negligible to zero attention in international media and passed unnoticed at “skeptic” blogs. I include myself among those who were unaware of the document. Joe Romm complained about this lack of attention at the time here:
I can’t find any media coverage of the UK’s official Government Response to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee
Although the DECC response was not even an “investigation”, it was included in the SKS list of “investigations” that was later used in both Mann’s legal letters of summer 2012, his Complaint and Reply Memorandum, where it was additionally (and falsely) claimed to have exonerated Mann personally.
In Mann’s Reply Memorandum (in the section entitled “Dr Mann Is Exonerated”), Mann inaccurately attributed findings of the Muir Russell Review (noted by DECC) as findings of the UK Government itself, as shown in the paragraph quoted below, which is drawn from paragraph 6 of the Government Response. In the original document, DECC stated “in particular, we note the findings of the Muir Russell Review” leading in to the list of supposed findings ending the paragraph. Mann changed this phrase to the phrase “echoing the conclusions of the University of East Anglia, noted”. As altered, the claims appear to be separate findings of the UK government, rather than them merely noting the prior findings of the Muir Russell panel. Then, in the concluding sentence, Mann further inflates the alteration into supposed findings “expressly determined by the government of the United Kingdom”. Nor does the DECC document support the wildly exaggeratged claim of the concluding sentence”: none of the terms “manipulation”, “misconduct” or “fraud” appear anywhere in the DECC response.
Further, in September 2010, in response to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee report, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change “agree[d] with and welcome[d], the overall assessment of the Science and Technology Committee” and, echoing the conclusions of the University of East Anglia, noted: the rigour and honesty of the scientists are not in doubt; that there is no evidence of bias in data selection; that there is no evidence of subversion of peer review and that allegations of misusing the Intergovernmental Panel in Climate Change (IPCC) process cannot be upheld. Accordingly, as far as expressly determined by the government of the United Kingdom, there is no truth to any allegation of data manipulation, misconduct or fraud.
Mann himself had not been mentioned in the conclusions or recommendations of the Commons Committee Report. Similarly, the Government Response, presented by DECC, did not even use Mann’s name, let along make make any statements evidencing that they had “investigated” and “exonerated” Mann. Nor can the Government Response be accurately described as an “investigation” even of the UK scientists. Mann’s pleadings altered the language of the original document so that findings attributed by DECC to the Muir Russell Review were attributed by Mann to DECC itself.