Melting Climategate: The Vindication of Scientist Michael Mann

Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann has been called just about every name in the book by the professional climate science deniers. Their attacks flared up most recently in with the stolen East Anglia emails.

But if you’ve ever spoken to Professor Mann, you would know him to be a very serious person who is deeply committed to scientific integrity, who has had to put up with years of attacks by climate denialists, as he discusses here:

That’s why I’m pleased to see this bulletin today from Kevin Grandia of DeSmog Blog:  Breaking: Penn State inquiry finds no evidence for allegations against Michael Mann.   Kevin reports:

Penn State University has concluded that there is no evidence to substantiate the claims made against climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann surrounding the emails stolen from the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University.

An inquiry panel was set up early this year to look at allegations made by right-wing bloggers and media outlets against Penn State University climate scientist, Dr. Michael Mann, relating to the contents of emails stolen from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in London.

On all 4 of the allegations made against Dr. Mann the panel has concluded that there is no evidence to substantiate the claims …

You can read the full text of the Penn State inquiry findings here. That’s about as close to a silver bullet as you are going to find in terms of shooting down the conspiracy theorists who are touting their “climategate” nonsense.  Of course, no one thinks for a moment that the radicalized cadre of professional character assassins are going to be dissuaded by the truth

After all, our understanding of our affect on the climate is well-established, drawing on many different branches of science and investigation, as our new video makes clear.

Back to Mike Mann - while the Penn State finding is good news, you have to feel sorry for Professor Mann, who has been the victim of an extended vicious and unfounded smear campaign.   Here is what he said about the Penn State inquiry:

"I am very pleased that, after a thorough review, the independent Penn State committee found no evidence to support any of the allegations against me.

Three of the four allegations have been dismissed completely. Even though no evidence to substantiate the fourth allegation was found, the University administrators thought it best to convene a separate committee of distinguished scientists to resolve any remaining questions about academic procedures.

This is very much the vindication I expected since I am confident I have done nothing wrong.

I fully support the additional inquiry which may be the best way to remove any lingering doubts. I intend to cooperate fully in this matter – as I have since the beginning of the process."

Nevertheless, I am encouraged by some of the headlines that I am seeing today:

Climategate melts away: Global warming expert exonerated – Kansas City Star. 

Panel Absolves Climate Scientist – New York Times.

US 'climategate' scientist all but cleared of misconduct – New Scientist.

'Climategate' inquiry shows scientist didn't falsify data – Montreal Gazette.

It’s going to be tough to “unring the bell” when it comes to the attack on our best climate scientists.  But this is more than just helping good people like Michael Mann fight back against the “Big Lie” of the worst climate science deniers.   In the end, it’s about making sure that the truth wins out --- that it does not get extinguished by those who would substitute scientific inquiry of others with their own willful and petty ignorance.