When Republican climate change denialist, Ken Cuccinelli, was elected as attorney general of Virginia, he decided that his position entitled him to squash science that didn’t meet his limited, and clearly anti-science, viewpoint of the world. Just three months after being elected, he decided to go after Dr. Michael E. Mann, at that time, a University of Virginia geophysicist and world-renowned climatologist. In other words, Dr. Mann, a real scientist with numerous studies published, offended the Republican anti-science and global warming denialism credo. That must have spurred Cuccinelli to use his vast powers to suppress such knowledge from the world.
The Roanoke Times reported that “Virginia’s highest court has ruled that Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli cannot compel the University of Virginia to turn over records dealing with the work of a former university climate scientist, ending an extraordinary legal battle between Cuccinelli and his alma mater. The Supreme Court of Virginia ruled Friday that the attorney general does not have the authority to issue a ‘civil investigative demand’ to state agencies, including public universities, under the state’s Fraud Against Taxpayers Act.”
Dr. Mann has been targeted by climate change denialists, like Cuccinelli, because he is one of proponents and researchers behind the Hockey Stick climate change model, based on vast amounts of evidence from a number of different sources. It is troubling that the government is compelled to violate academic freedom because the research doesn’t support the “beliefs” of government officials. What is this? The Soviet Union?
Cuccinelli is a representative of the Republican anti-science and denialist attitudes, one that has become pervasive in the USA.
As for Dr. Mann, he moved to Penn State University, so his prestige and outstanding research will be nurtured in a state that, as of today, doesn’t think academic freedom should be suppressed.