This is a repugnant piece of over-zealousness by the Virginia Attorney General, that I condemn.
Obviously, I think that Mannian effusions have negligible scientific value. However, the people in the field think otherwise and organizations like NSF seem ready and willing to lavishly fund analysis that seems to me to be little more than paleo-phrenology. Cuccinelli’s complaint lies with NSF rather than Mann.
To the extent that Virginia citizens are concerned about public money being misappropriated, Cuccinelli’s own expenditures on this adventure should be under equal scrutiny. There will be no value for dollar in this enterprise.
It’s hard to think of ways to resuscitate the public image of a guy who, only last week, was threatening to sue Minnesotans For Global Warming. Many people, including me, were relishing the prospect of discoveries back and forth between Mann and Chicken Little. Instead, Cuccinelli has become an even bigger bully.
I intend to write Cuccinelli expressing my disdain for his actions.
I might add that this is not the first time that I’ve volunteered support to Mann in this sort of nonsense. I was copied on one of Keenan’s attempts to instigate a fraud investigation against Mann and immediately made it clear that I did not support or endorse the request, strongly disapproved of it and even offered Mann my support.
To the extent that there are issues with Mann or Jones or any of these guys, they are at most academic misconduct and should be dealt with under those regimes. It is unfortunate that the inquiries at Penn State and UEA have not been even minimally diligent, but complaints on that account rest with the universities or their supervising institutions and the substitution of inappropriate investigations by zealots like Cuccinelli are not an alternative.
Cuccinelli interviewed here http://thekojonnamdishow.org/shows/2010-05-07/politics-hour