After ClimateGate, when a trove of emails from an East Anglia climate research institute appeared to show scientists conspiring to distort date on global warming, other public climate centers were asked to release similar email exchanges under the Freedom of Information Act. Documents from the University of Virginia were of particular interest, because one of its professors, scientist Michael Mann, was at the center of the ClimateGate controversy.
UVa has refused to release Mann’s emails for over a year, but now it looks as if the public might finally get a glimpse at some of these exchanges. The university has been court-ordered to turn over 9,000 of Mann’s correspondences within the next 90 days, the Washington Examiner’s Barabara Hollingsworth reports:
The documents must be released electronically, unlike the printed “hieroglyphics” UVA has released to date. The university must also allow [American Tradition Institute] attorneys David Schnare and Chris Horner to view any it believes are exempt from release under FOIA—with the burden of proof on UVA. “The court will determine whether the public’s right to know how taxpayer-funded employees use the taxpayers’ resources can be hidden behind the ivy-covered walls of our public colleges and universities under a non-existent FOIA exemption,” Horner said in a statement.
UVa may try to hold back some of the most damaging documents by claiming they are exempt from FOIA, but as Hollingsworth points out, these exchanges will still have to be shown to the two attorneys who filed the public information request.
If the documents released by UVa are half as damning as the ones from East Anglia, it will be a serious obstacle for both the scientists who peddle the anthropogenic global warming theory and for lawmakers who favor climate change legislation. A Rasmussen poll from April found that 47% of voters say long-term planetary changes are primarily responsible for climate change, while 36% said that human activity is primarily at fault. This perception will likely grow if more corruption among climate scientists is uncovered, which could be one reason why UVA was so resistant to handing over these documents.