UPDATE: COURT TRANSCRIPT MANN V ATI CAN BE FOUND BELOW.
The American Tradition Institute, ATI, is heading to the Virginia Supreme Court suing the University of Virginia, a publicly funded institution, to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request to release 12,000 emails written or received by Michael Mann while he was a member of the faculty at University of Virginia’s environmental sciences department in the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
Attempts to secure this correspondence have turned out to be quite the challenge. Virginia’s Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, filed suit and brought it to the Virginia Supreme Court only to have the request denied. Now, ATI is heading to the same court, but is suing for the release of the emails under Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act.
From the beginning of the FOIA request UVA first stated they did not have the emails. They then stated they did but would not release them due to protecting academic freedom. Then they stated it would cost some $30k of which ATI worked out a financial arrangement. Yet, UVA stopped that when Mann filed suit to protect the emails. Queerly, in a recent update by ATI it appears UVA has handed over the emails to Mann, at no cost, but has not honored ATI’s FOIA request.
Following is ATI’s update -
It appears UVA gave Michael Mann a copy of the documents we have sought and under law this means UVA waived its right to withhold the documents from us. UVA effectively admitted they gave the emails to Mann and in their most recent motion and legal memorandum they argue we are trying to do an “end run” to obtain them from Mann instead of UVA. In light of UVA’s delaying tactics and on the basis of this new information, we are going on the attack. Hence our motion and memorandum of law.We ask the court to find that UVA waived their right to keep the emails secret and ask the court to order UVA to hand them over to us.
Keep in mind, UVA calls these documents “proprietary” and thus something they don’t want their competitors to have. But who is Michael Mann and Penn State if he and his university are not UVA’s competitors? He and Penn State compete for research grants, quality students and quality faculty. These are exactly the people and institutions against whom UVA has a right to withhold its emails (if they actually contained economically valuable information).
This is a story the T-Room has been following for two reasons – first, the T-Room is a huge supporter of FOIA and secondly, since the release of Climategate One and Two emails, the T-Room would like to learn if Mann’s “hockey stick” graph can be replicated using his numbers. No one has been able to replicate this climate warming graph although many have tried, but can’t because the numbers have never been made available. Yet it is this very graph that has convinced millions to support the global warming now climate change theory.
Our question remains, if Mann’s work is solid then there is no reason to withhold the data and the discussions held b/w scientists who not only supported Mann’s hockey stick graph BUT effectively promoted it into the mainstream conversation. At this point, withholding this correspondence only makes Mann, and more importantly, the University of Virginia, complicit in hiding information making them all look rather guilty.
Here is ATI’s Director of Litigation, Christopher Horner, explaining this saga in detail -
FULL COURT TRANSCRIPT OF MANN V ATI CAN BE READ BY CLICKING HERE