The subpoena of the week was filed by Virginia’s attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, against the University of Virginia. Cuccinelli demands to see the work product — emails and other documentation — of one of the august institution’s former professors, Michael Mann, a well-known advocate of global warming catastrophism. He was one of those whose emails with British climatologists outed him as a savvy, perhaps fraudulent manipulator of data.
The attorney general filed the demand for information under the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act, which allows the state to prosecute and receive damages from employees and vendors who make false claims for payment, or submit false records in a contract with the state, or defraud the state.
Former Professor Michael Mann proudly confessed, in his most notorious email, to fiddling with the data to concoct the infamous “hockey stick” graph of global warming. Now he insists that everything he did was legit. His critics counter that his treatment of the data was deliberately propagandistic, not scientific at all.
But did it amount to fraud?
It’s some kind of fraud, surely. But is it less than the legal real deal or is it, as Whoopi Goldberg might put it, “fraud fraud”?
Well, I guess that’s why the attorney general is fishing: To find out.
Predictably, Mann and other academics have protested the investigation. It will have a chilling effect on research, they say.
Well, if it has a chilling effect on fraudulent research, all to the good, I say.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.