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Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli's AGW Witch Hunt Continues

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the time-to-mann-up dept.

Earth 341

eldavojohn writes "A letter from Representative Edward Markey outlines Ken Cuccinelli's latest civil investigative demand targeting 39 people instead of just Michael Mann. You may recall that the original investigation was quashed by a judge, but the latest request demands records from people seemingly unrelated to Mann, including an Indian glaciologist. The Bad Astronomer calls Cuccinelli out in a similar manner and lists Cuccinelli's doubts about Mann's papers, including, 'Specifically, but without limitation, some of the conclusions of the papers demonstrate a complete lack of rigor regarding the statistical analysis of the alleged data, meaning that the result reported lacked statistical significance without a specific statement to that effect.' The school that hosted the research announced the new investigation, and the Union of Concerned Scientists accuses him of harassing scientists."

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341 comments

I Left Out The Best Part (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33834814)

From the UVA article:

The litigation has so far cost the university $352,874.76, Wood said, adding that the fees have been paid for from private funds.

And that's just legal fees from the university's side of things, the state itself has its own costs to look at for the first investigation and I'm sure many people are spending hours handling this. So you might be wondering what the original research that Mann did cost the university? Answer: under $500,000. So with this latest round of litigation, the Attorney General -- who is championing this effort under the guise of protecting tax payer dollars -- will force the state of Virginia to pay up again.

When I submitted this, I was hoping to find some news of this latest round from the more conservative press (Fox News, Washington Times) instead of the more liberal (New York Times, Washington Post) but there's nothing from that side of the spectrum. I think a local paper put it best in an editorial entitled Cuccinelli Needs to Cut Our Losses [hamptonroads.com].

Re:I Left Out The Best Part (1, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#33834886)

There should be a law against misappropriating funds for political witch-hunts, but somehow I don't think that it's fit relative to the selective pressures that act upon laws.

Re:I Left Out The Best Part (2, Insightful)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835690)

Yeah, the challenge with that would be to differentiate the times when those efforts actually turn up legitimate witches, which unfortunately happens all too often.

Re:I Left Out The Best Part (2, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835782)

I wonder if the Virginia AG has broken any Federal laws with this witch hunt? Maybe the US DOJ should investigate him.

Re:I Left Out The Best Part (2, Informative)

durrr (1316311) | more than 3 years ago | (#33834982)

You're right in that the research of MMann didn't cost the university more than $500k but if you do a google search you'll find a WSJ article stating that he recived $541k dollars in stimulus funds in june 2009, so his drain on taxpayers money directly is still greater than the litigation costs, and of course the implementation cost of the policy he advocates and do research to support would have a pricetag several magnitudes higher.
google "michael mann research grants" and it should be your first hit.

And to a more important matter: since when and why can't i copy paste into my comments?

Re:I Left Out The Best Part (5, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835056)

"implementation cost of the policy [Mann] advocates"

I've read a lot of stuff from Mann but I'm unaware of any particular policy he is advocating other than the general "we need to cut emmissions". Can you provide a link to the "policy Mann advocates", and please no hearsay from the usual suspects, I want it in his own words.

Re:I Left Out The Best Part (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33835370)

He wants us to revert to stone age tools and pray to the Dark Lord and eat our babies and top-post on Internet forums! I heard it on the Interwebs from someone with no expertise in any field relevant to global warming so it must be true.

Re:I Left Out The Best Part (1)

SilverEyes (822768) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835388)

At least he said we could start in the Upper Paleolithic which gives us a huge jump start time-wise.

Re:I Left Out The Best Part (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835798)

He wants us to revert to stone age tools and pray to the Dark Lord
 
Don't be silly. Michael Mann would be perfectly happy if we'd just watch more Miami Vice reruns so he'd get residuals.

Re:I Left Out The Best Part (1)

slyrat (1143997) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835156)

And to a more important matter: since when and why can't i copy paste into my comments?

I think this is a browser specific bug with the /. code. Firefox 4 beta 6 works fine with it. I think I last saw that chrome was having issues with it.

You're Talking About Penn State (3, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835186)

You're right in that the research of MMann didn't cost the university more than $500k but if you do a google search you'll find a WSJ article stating that he recived $541k dollars in stimulus funds in june 2009, so his drain on taxpayers money directly is still greater than the litigation costs, and of course the implementation cost of the policy he advocates and do research to support would have a pricetag several magnitudes higher.

I believe this is the article you're talking about [wsj.com]. And I believe it's referring to 'last June' when Michael Mann was teaching at Penn State. Mann only taught at UVA from 1999 to 2005. Here's the paragraph:

According to the conservative think tank the National Center for Public Policy Research, Mann received $541,184 in economic stimulus funds last June to conduct climate change research.

Emphasis mine. So he received another half a million to continue his research this year? And that's wrong because? Also, Ken Cuccinelli holds no domain over Pennsylvania State University. See, when a university is given the authority to decide where its funds go, you usually don't spend twice that much money investigating whether or not the research done meets your statistical muster or political goals -- especially when you're not an expert in that field!

... so his drain on taxpayers money directly is still greater than the litigation costs ...

Yeah, you could look at Mann's whole life and his health insurance and everything but we're not. We're focusing on one particular study done by Mann for half a million dollars carried out at UVA.

Have fun tracking down every climate scientist gathering funds for any kind of climate research and charging them with wasting taxpayers dollars. By the time you're done, it will be impossible to draw any scientific conclusion about climate change because any indication that you construe to be economically painful will be met with lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit.

Re:You're Talking About Penn State (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33835748)

One could easily argue that a lot of these people are lying and thus do not qualify as experts in that field either.

I agree that it is slightly dangerous to prevent climate research, especially given that the idea of less consumption is both simple and obvious. Regardless of perspective, less consumption is a good thing.

With that said, if Mann used half a million dollars practically committing fraud (falsifying or otherwise intentionally misconstruing statistics to further his agenda and get more research funds) is worth investigating. If it turns out to be a pandemic problem, as those released emails strongly suggested, then it literally could save millions--if not billions in the long run--from people. After all, it's studies like his that are leading the drive for new "green" taxes; that's certainly worth the cost of his own study in litigation, if it proves true.

Re:I Left Out The Best Part (1)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835602)

I have this problem on one of my computers for some time now. My solution (when I need to paste a link) is to cut&paste everything to Notepad, insert the link and then copy the whole test back. It seems that when the comment box is empty I can paste into it.
I have it only on one machine (running Win 7 & Chrome). Maybe I should reinstall the OS? It's about time. /Offtpoic

Re:I Left Out The Best Part (5, Insightful)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835774)

Mr. Mann was given that a grant, which was only $214,700, to investigate, and I quote, 'the interaction of the land, atmosphere and vegetation in the African savannah.' (The rest of the $500,000 went to other researchers.)

Which, of course, has nothing to do with climate change at all, and as far as anyone can tell he's actually done the work he was given the grant to do.

He's being investigated because he previously wrote an other page, not using Virginia funds, and the Virginia AG claims he got the savannah grant because he listed the climate change paper in his list of credentials.

In other words, this isn't even about the rather idiotic thing you claim it's about, it's about something even dumber. He wrote a paper, which he actually did, listed it, quite correctly, as one of the papers he wrote when he got hired for some other work, did that other work, and is now being sued for 'fraud' because someone asserts that other paper is somehow not true.

This isn't just a 'witch hunt', this is an EPIC WITCH HUNT. It's the idea that if you don't like what someone else wrote, and they at any time took any money, from someone they've mentioned that paper to, you can sue them for fraud.

Do you see how batshit insane this is? This is suing someone for fraud for lying on their resume (Which is crazy in the first place), except the 'lie' isn't even an actual lie or even a careful 'not lie' that's still misleading...he did write the paper.

This is like suing someone for fraud because they put on their resume 'Worked at Joe's Car Wash', and you claim they didn't work very hard at Joe's Car Wash, so collecting their salary from their new employer was 'fraud'. WTF? That's not any workable legal theory of 'fraud'.

Re:I Left Out The Best Part (0, Flamebait)

Zantac69 (1331461) | more than 3 years ago | (#33834986)

Well the intent goes beyond a university of cost of $0.5-M (the govt probably "misplaces" much more than that in a year), but its more about the claim that the fraudulent research could "cost" the country more than that if Mann's research was taken as gospel.

Found the main article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-ed-markey/just-in-time-for-hallowee_b_754228.html [huffingtonpost.com] (I think I have to go wash myself as I feel soiled visiting that website) for the rantings of Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA).

For those of you that dont know, Markey is on the "Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming." Researchers like Mann (as opposed to scientists who develop logical theories based on science) develop "supporting data" that gives more power to Markey's committee and justifies their existance. It is only logical that Markey would attemt to tar anyone who could be a threat to his committee's power and legitimacy. I love the soviet and witch-burning implications - very spooky. *eye roll*

Now, is it a waste of money to stomp on Mann's research? For the AG to do it, I do agree that it is a waste - its like using a cannon to kill a fly. You wont see much in the more "conservative" media, because they are more focussed on where we are going...and why are we in this handbasket.

Re:I Left Out The Best Part (1)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835040)

Researchers like Mann

Whew! I thought I had to RTFA! Only about 5 comments down and I find out it's not the guy who made Miami Vice!

Re:I Left Out The Best Part (1)

Zantac69 (1331461) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835076)

No kidding - thats why I RTFA in the first place! Almost skipped it entirely because I saw the word Virginia - they dont make much good whiskey or beer there so why should I care what happens there? *shrug*

Re:I Left Out The Best Part (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835232)

No kidding - thats why I RTFA in the first place! Almost skipped it entirely because I saw the word Virginia - they dont make much good whiskey or beer there so why should I care what happens there? *shrug*

Nope, but Virginia has produced some damn good presidents. Regrettably good whiskey and beer have been more important for some time now.

Re:I Left Out The Best Part (4, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835234)

"Researchers like Mann (as opposed to scientists who develop logical theories based on science)"

You have got to be fucking kidding, Mann is at the top of his field and lists well over 100 papers in his CV [psu.edu], many of them in journals such as Nature and Science. The only reason this crooked AG can get away with resurecting McCarthyisim is because useful idiots like you allow him to do so.

Re:I Left Out The Best Part (1, Insightful)

Burnhard (1031106) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835590)

Oh good god do me a favour. If Mann is at the top of his field, then I think the field must be full of fucking retards. You only have to look at McIntyre & McIntrick's generation of hockey-sticks with red noise to see that Mann doesn't have a fucking clue what he's doing (or if he's so clever, perhaps he does - which is even more worrying). Mann is very good a soliciting grant money. That's about the only thing I would say in his favour. Otherwise, history will remember him only for his infamous "hide the decline" comment.

Re:I Left Out The Best Part (2, Informative)

buzzinglikeafridge (1374675) | more than 3 years ago | (#33834998)

Here's a link to an AP article on local News Radio site: http://wtop.com/?sid=1949669&nid=25 [wtop.com] This is not going to lower the cost of education in Virginia. State funded schools could use the money being wasted on this posturing to teach kids instead of helping the deluded SUV drivers of the world to have a clear conscience.

Re:I Left Out The Best Part (1)

tmosley (996283) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835606)

Don't worry, I think the failing dollar will do that regardless of what the politicians tell people to feel or do.

Gas is up to damn near $3 again, but this time, people don't have jobs. Environmentalists wanted to reduce our energy use, and they are going to get it. Hopefully we can avoid the starvation and poverty normally associated with reductions in energy use.

Re:I Left Out The Best Part (1, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835710)

Excuse me? I quote "the deluded SUV drivers of the world" unquote? Maybe if somebody was proposing REAL solutions instead of cap and trade, which BTW just FYI the big spokesman pushing for cap and trade is a hypocrite [minx.cc] who will make out like a robber baron [telegraph.co.uk] if crap and trade is passed.

Let me enlighten you as to what will happen if crap and trade is passed: The USA, which has already lost 42 THOUSAND factories [theeconomi...seblog.com] since 2001, and that ain't a typo folks, that's not factory jobs, that is total FACTORIES just since 2001, will have NO way at all to compete in a global market because India and China, and rightly so, will tell you where to stick your credits and thus what few jobs not being a CEO, lawyer, or working at MickyD, will be gone. Now is Rev Al demanding we close off trade with India and China? Nope because he and his pals are making out like robber barons on cheap labor, not to mention taking bribes in the past [wikipedia.org] from China. Meanwhile the "green economy" they keep blowing up our collective butts? That will be in ASIA, NOT the USA. The #1 selling low power computing device is the smart phone, which looks to replace the PC for many. Guess how many of those are made in the USA? Why zero of course!

So when I see some REAL solutions proposed, ones that will actually allow us to have a functional industry and not hamstring the USA or turn us into a third world hellhole, well then I'll be happy to sign up. More nuclear, solar and wind powerplants? ALL for it. But cap and trade is [youtube.com] a [canadafreepress.com] scam, being run by the the same group [motherjones.com] that destroyed our economy. I'm sure I'll be modded to hell for daring to say anything other than "go green" but I frankly don't care. I can see first hand what these same bozo the clowns have done to our economy by simply looking out my window at the boarded up store fronts. And whether those here at /. care to admit it or not AGW has become political, with those that dare to say anything other than "the consensus agrees" getting treated like a nut.

If all the AGWers supported REAL change, like refusing to trade with massive polluters like India and China until they cleaned up their acts? Like putting Americans to work building new nuclear plants so we can kill the coal ones? Again ALL for it. Instead what we get is BS like "clean coal" and "green economy" with no actual numbers to back them up. If you support real change then it is time to put our foot down. Demand nuclear plants replace the coal plants, demand we stop trading with countries that poison the air and water, demand realistic caps NOT cap and trade BS. Because frankly all we are getting from the self appointed "guardians of the planet" is a ponzi scheme which will make them billions off the poor. Oh and if you think cap and trade will get rid of coal plants? Think Again [americanprogress.org].

just a witch hunt; (2, Insightful)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835032)

Washington Post: "Ken Cuccinelli seems determined to embarrass Virginia" [washingtonpost.com]:

What's particularly astonishing, though, is that Mr. Cuccinelli's legal case against Mr. Mann seems unrelated to any of the controversial research the attorney general spends so much time attacking. Mr. Cuccinelli is supposedly investigating whether Mr. Mann committed fraud when the scientist applied for and received a state-funded research grant -- to study what Mr. Mann describes as "the interaction of the land, atmosphere and vegetation in the African savannah." The topic "has nothing to do with climate change or paleoclimate," Mann says. The attorney general appears to argue that, since Mr. Mann listed his controversial papers on his curriculum vitae when he and two other scientists applied for the savannah research grant, he may have committed some kind of fraud.

The attorney general's logic is so tenuous as to leave only one plausible explanation: that he is on a fishing expedition designed to intimidate and suppress honest research and the free exchange of ideas upon which science and academia both depend -- all because he does not like what science says about climate change. "

Re:just a witch hunt; (4, Insightful)

hawkfish (8978) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835090)

Washington Post: "Ken Cuccinelli seems determined to embarrass Virginia" [washingtonpost.com]:

What's particularly astonishing, though, is that Mr. Cuccinelli's legal case against Mr. Mann seems unrelated to any of the controversial research the attorney general spends so much time attacking. Mr. Cuccinelli is supposedly investigating whether Mr. Mann committed fraud when the scientist applied for and received a state-funded research grant -- to study what Mr. Mann describes as "the interaction of the land, atmosphere and vegetation in the African savannah." The topic "has nothing to do with climate change or paleoclimate," Mann says. The attorney general appears to argue that, since Mr. Mann listed his controversial papers on his curriculum vitae when he and two other scientists applied for the savannah research grant, he may have committed some kind of fraud.

The attorney general's logic is so tenuous as to leave only one plausible explanation: that he is on a fishing expedition designed to intimidate and suppress honest research and the free exchange of ideas upon which science and academia both depend -- all because he does not like what science says about climate change. "

There is some suggestion that this is test case to see what he can get away with. The last time around, the judge bitch-slapped him so hard, it nearly broke his neck, so now he is trying to see what the judge will tolerate by going after something less directly connected with Mann.

Re:just a witch hunt; (3, Insightful)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835250)

On the other hand if he succeeds in his endeavors, then climate change will just not happen saving us billions. Oh wait ...

Re:just a witch hunt; (1)

JasoninKS (1783390) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835284)

It reminds me of our own little AG problems we had with Phil Kline here in Kansas. He was so determined to get Dr. George Tiller for *something* that it turned into a witch hunt. Time and time again he burned up taxpayer money, losing case after case...but he kept on going like some sort of rabid Energizer bunny. It got to be so ridiculous, but Kline was just determined to win SOMETHING so he could run around thumping his chest.

Cuccinelli makes me embarassed to be a Virginian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33835088)

What the hell is wrong with this idiot

Re:Cuccinelli makes me embarassed to be a Virginia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33835662)

Cuccinelli makes me embarassed to be a Virginian

Virginia is an armed state, with a rich history. I'm sure you can figure out something to remedy the situation.

Re:I Left Out The Best Part (2, Insightful)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835098)

OK, lets say if someone rips you off for half a million, you decide not to pursue them because it will cost nearly that much again. So, someone else sees that you don't pursue cases like this, and rips you off for another half a million. You don't pursue them because of the cost, so someone else does it as well. Better to spend a million chasing the first guy, so the second (and third, and subsequent) know that you are not someone to fuck with.

Now of course this may be a politically motivated witch hunt, I don't know, but I'm making a general point that deterrent actions might not be cost-effective in the short term but might still pay off in the long term.

Re:I Left Out The Best Part (1)

JasoninKS (1783390) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835302)

Or the second and third and subsequent others keep on you anyway, causing you to burn a million with each chase.

Re:I Left Out The Best Part (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33835240)

Why spend $350,000 hiding something if indeed you have nothing to hide?

Re:I Left Out The Best Part (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33835584)

As a Virginia native, as well as UVA alumni, I really don't care about UVA's cost here.

The whole point of this "crusade" is to try and discover whether the GW scientists are burning through money in a ruse simply to get more money. If it's basically a pyramid scheme, where each scientist forms new, unrealistic (statistically untrue), yet make scary-world-ending theories that then require further study, then good for Cuccinelli.

The whole email shenanigans that the UK swept under the rug really brought some of this too light. I'd love to see if it actually was a big fraud, or if these people honestly believe what they are spouting. From the looks of the emails, it certainly appears to be a big scheme to keep the pot boiling for more money.

fpfpfpfpfpf (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33834820)

fppffpfpfffpldcftkgkghgjh

Forget something? (3, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#33834834)

Link to M. Mann's blog [realclimate.org]

Re:Forget something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33834854)

Link to M. Mann's blog [realclimate.org]

How is that Mann's Blog? There's no specific mentioning of him on the site's "About" page ...

Re:Forget something? (4, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#33834926)

Although M. Mann's RC bio [realclimate.org] does not specifically state it, Mann was one of the nine founding members of realclimate.org

Re:Forget something? (1, Insightful)

durrr (1316311) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835356)

The Nine built themself an internet stronghold? They should've called it Minas Morgul to fit their intentions better.

Somewhat off topic here, but... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33834894)

...the Bad Astronomer is a complete badass and needs to have a bronze statue of himself placed in front of every educational institution across the country. Wearing a cape, and a bazooka, but loaded with knowledge instead of rockets.

No the way to do it (1, Insightful)

accel229 (912048) | more than 3 years ago | (#33834924)

As much as I want to free the climate science from biases and dishonesty, this is not the way to do it.

That said, that 10:10 movie aired by the proponents of catastrophic global warming was a thousands times worse than this misguided lawsuit.

Re:No the way to do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33834956)

That said, that 10:10 movie aired by some tasteless idiots that are also proponents of catastrophic global warming was a thousands times worse than this misguided lawsuit.

Fixed. Sincerely, with friends like them, who needs enemies.

Re:No the way to do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33834992)

I haven't seen the movie, but as awful as it might be I'll bet it isn't an entirely taxpayer-funded effort, unlike Cuccinelli and his office support.

Re:No the way to do it (2, Insightful)

Goaway (82658) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835028)

As much as I want to free the climate science from biases and dishonesty, this is not the way to do it.

Indeed. If you actually wanted to do that, you would be trying to get rid of the denialists.

Re:No the way to do it (3, Insightful)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835096)

I just don't understand how a movie (which I haven't seen, I guess, so I can't really judge) can be thousands of times worse than what Cuccinelli's doing. One is a bit of free speech that people are capable of ignoring if they desire. The other cannot be ignored, since it's couched in the auspices of the courts and the Office of the Attorney General - ignoring it may mean fines, contempt citations, obstruction of justice charges, etc.

What Cuccinelli's doing is thousands of times worse than the 10:10 movie.

Re:No the way to do it (3, Interesting)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835226)

I just don't understand how a movie (which I haven't seen, I guess, so I can't really judge) can be thousands of times worse than what Cuccinelli's doing. One is a bit of free speech that people are capable of ignoring if they desire. The other cannot be ignored, since it's couched in the auspices of the courts and the Office of the Attorney General - ignoring it may mean fines, contempt citations, obstruction of justice charges, etc.

What Cuccinelli's doing is thousands of times worse than the 10:10 movie.


If it is the "movie"(it was actually a commercial for a new "no pressure" campaign) I saw on youtube, then the 10:10 spots were advocating killing those who fail to conform to the forced reductions of greenhouse gases. Now if incitement to violence(actual, not couched in slang or idioms) isn't worse than a lawyer asking some questions, I'd love to know what planet you live on. But hey, only crazy right wingers are violent [huffingtonpost.com]

Re:No the way to do it (3, Insightful)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835384)

Having looked at it, it seems to advocate killing people who don't conform to reduction of greenhouse gasses in the same way Monty Python advocate killing people who fail at hide and seek in their "How Not To Be Seen" sketch.

Re:No the way to do it (0, Flamebait)

tmosley (996283) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835656)

No, it's about suggesting that people murder those who disagree with them, jokingly at first, to gauge the reaction, then seriously.

I'm sure someone in Hitler's cabinet thought it would be funny if they "just killed all the Jews". Yes. Totally hilarious.

Re:No the way to do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33835810)

You must be terrible at hiding.

Re:No the way to do it (1)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835834)

Yes, yes, let's all fall back to the "That's what the Nazis did, too!" argument. That's always been the fallback for thoughtful individuals around the world.

Sometimes a joke is just a joke, otherwise the world would be a dreary existence of searching for hidden ulterior motives. Sure, this movie had a message, but the message isn't "Let's kill some of those guys who disagree with us!" If that's what immediately came to mind when you saw or heard about it, then you must have a fit whenever you watch a slapstick movie.

WHOOSH - The 10:10 movie was comedy! (4, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835516)

Have you actually seen the 10:10 mini movie [nowpublic.com]? It's typical UK style black humour, written by the same guy who wrote Blackadder, it's style is reminicent of Monty Python's "Holy Grail". It was withdrawn due to complaints about violence from people like you who didn't get the joke.

Re:WHOOSH - The 10:10 movie was comedy! (1)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835626)

Either people don't understand the comedy (and need jokes explained to them), or they are being offended on purpose.

Re:WHOOSH - The 10:10 movie was comedy! (0, Troll)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835718)

Satire is lost on neo-cons & the fanatically religious.

Re:No the way to do it (3, Insightful)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835792)

Yes, this little "joke" [youtube.com] is easily the least intellectual thing any group could have possibly done. The message is clear - comply or die. How they thought it was funny is beyond me. There's no 'whoosh' factor here. This is the sickest, lowest form of a joke that is easily spotted, and disgustingly insulting.

See, it all depends on which side of the fence you're on. When you feel that everyone should cut consumption by 10%, you apparently think it is hilarious to cause those who disagree to explode. When you're not inclined to do so, and feel that this sort of pressure - especially in your workplace - is wholly inappropriate, well it becomes a bit shocking.

Never mind how blatantly idiotic it is to tell everyone to reduce spending by 10% during a global recession. But we're going to take it a step further and laugh at the prospect of murdering the dissidents. HURRAY!

What? Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33834932)

How about just the slightest hint saying what this is about. Is that so hard?

Like what the fuck is AGW, etc... What is this in reference to? I mean just one simple sentence would tell me whether I care about this article or not.

Re:What? Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33835038)

Actively Gay Women ?

Re:What? Huh? (2, Interesting)

cmdr_klarg (629569) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835084)

AGW = Anthropogenic Global Warming. In other words, climate change brought about by human activities.

The Virginia Attorney General is acting like a total douchebag because he can't give up his fight against AGW (could be because he *looks* like a total douchebag).

Professional Conduct (4, Informative)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#33834940)

Here's Rule 3.1 of Virginia's Rules of Professional Conduct:

ADVOCATE
RULE 3.1 Meritorious Claims And Contentions
A lawyer shall not bring or defend a proceeding, or assert or controvert an issue therein, unless there is a basis for
doing so that is not frivolous, which includes a good faith argument for an extension, modification or reversal of
existing law
. A lawyer for the defendant in a criminal proceeding, or the respondent in a proceeding that could
result in incarceration, may nevertheless so defend the proceeding as to require that every element of the case be
established.

(emphasis mine)

Let's hope the judge, knowing Cuccinelli's previous attempt was unfounded and this being a wild fishing expedition, would actually enforce the rules and sanction him with the State Bar association.

Re:Professional Conduct (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835780)

Maybe he'll get disbarred, I mean it did happen to Thompson and Nifong, this is sort of like watching the world's slowest train wreck.

Back to the actual Science... (4, Informative)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#33834952)

STATS, 2007 (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change [wikipedia.org] )

In 2007, Harris Interactive surveyed 489 randomly selected members of either the American Meteorological Society or the American Geophysical Union for the Statistical Assessment Service (STATS) at George Mason University. The survey found 97% agreed that global temperatures have increased during the past 100 years; 84% say they personally believe human-induced warming is occurring, and 74% agree that “currently available scientific evidence” substantiates its occurrence. Only 5% believe that that human activity does not contribute to greenhouse warming; and 84% believe global climate change poses a moderate to very great danger.[98] [99]

Any questions?

Re:Back to the actual Science... (1, Troll)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835016)

Any questions?

I have one. How do we get the vested interests out of the media and the political arena so that a proper, unbiased and informed debate can occur under the gaze of the general public? Take the (corporate owned) media and the (may as well be corporate owned) political parties out of the equation, and there would be almost no dispute that climate change is happening.

Re:Back to the actual Science... (1, Insightful)

ukyoCE (106879) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835134)

This. It's so obvious when you follow the money and motives on each side.

Re:Back to the actual Science... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33835148)

Perhaps I'm misinformed but the argument is not whether "climate change" is happening, it's always been happening regardless of humankind, it's about whether or not lately it's A.) Man(n)made and B.) To what extent and C.) Is it necessarily bad.

If A is true, what realistically can we do about it that will make any difference?

Re:Back to the actual Science... (1, Insightful)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835154)

Take the profit motive out of everything, invest in education and diversify your political electoral system and reform campaign finance....would be a start

Re:Back to the actual Science... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33835164)

"Surveys" and "Consensus" sound science indeed you fucking ninny

Re:Back to the actual Science... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33835238)

"Swearing" and "Insults" sound science indeed you fucking moron

Re:Back to the actual Science... (2, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835480)

"Surveys" and "Consensus" sound science indeed you fucking ninny

No, but they are useful to people who are *not* scientists, and therefore don't know how to parse the kind of nuanced,carefully caveated statements scientists are trained to make when they speak in public. When a scientist is saying something is a slam-dunk, it sounds like a member of the general public saying he's almost 50% sure the thing is bunk. People expect public statements to be couched in hyperbole, the way marketers and politicians do it. Understatement is a foreign concept to them.

So maybe it's not science *itself*, but it helps the public's understanding of science to sit a scientist down and force him to answer yes or no questions.

I say this as somebody who is married to a geophysicist. Privately, she'll admit that the evidence for global temperature increases is overwhelming. Consequently, her knee-jerk reaction is to *attack* it. That's how you win glory in science: overturning the consensus. On the other hand, if somebody *else* attacks the scientific consensus, the *other* knee jerk reaction is to throw that guy's work on the ground and kick it to an inglorious death.

No wonder people are confused.

Re:Back to the actual Science... (3, Funny)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835174)

Any questions?

1. What turned you into an evil, anti-god, pinko communist?
2. Why do you hate our economy so much?
3. Why can't you understand that the biosphere should just pull itself up by its own bootstraps?

Re:Back to the actual Science... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33835288)

Yes, where's the 2010/2009 post-climategate version of that study?

Re:Back to the actual Science... (0, Flamebait)

darthdavid (835069) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835390)

So by climategate you mean that thing where one study had some minor flaws that faux-news and the other conservative propaganda outlets blew completely out of proportion and tried used to tar every climate scientist with the same brush? You'll have to excuse me if I don't give a flying fuck about it...

Re:Back to the actual Science... (1, Troll)

tmosley (996283) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835742)

No, the one where they manipulated the statistical analysis programming to create false results, causing a hockey stick graph to form no matter what the inputs were.

Re:Back to the actual Science... (5, Insightful)

Frequency Domain (601421) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835358)

As much as I personally agree with the finding of human-induced global warming, your statistics only show what people who work in the field believe, not what ground truth is. If you surveyed the members of a homeopathic society they would probably believe in overwhelming numbers that homeopathy works, but that doesn't constitute proof that it does. Ditto for astrology.

The strength of science is its openness, but the drawback is that understanding it takes more work than most people are willing to invest. From my perspective, who is better equipped to deal with scientific questions than somebody who has spent their whole life studying those questions? On the other hand, people who don't like the answers can always claim that the scientists have a vested interest in certain answers, or have bought into group think. And sometimes that's true, as with homeopaths and astrologers. The scientific method deals with this - it's perfectly okay to question anything as long as you're willing to use data and evidence to judge the validity. However, the religious right and other anti-intellectuals have learned to use this to their advantage by doing the questioning but ignoring the validation side.

Re:Back to the actual Science... (3, Interesting)

danbert8 (1024253) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835736)

It's really hard to do validation without the source data... Also, it's really hard to do validation on extrapolations done by computer models. In addition, it's really hard to do validation on climate (which changes on a scale of 10s of thousands of years) with a few hundred years of decent data and only about 100 of good data.

That's why science is based on experiments that are repeatable, not on computer models. I wouldn't believe in nuclear power either if we didn't have several examples of working reactors. If someone just said, "based on my computer model, U235 should undergo fission in a controlled process", I wouldn't be the first in line to bet on it. The computer model may be correct, but it also might be incomplete or have a high degree of unaccounted for variables.

Re:Back to the actual Science... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33835534)

Percentages of scientists is not science, that is an opinion poll.

Science is about facts. Not about what 97% of scientists say. Science is not an opinion poll. It is about learning and making our lives better. What if the 3% are right? Thats real science. Question yourself. Today's xkcd was a good example of that for me. http://www.xkcd.com/803/ [xkcd.com] Yet that is the way air lift is taught and it is wrong.

We should love the fringe dudes. They make real science come to the front. 'but its a waste of time'. Why? You have to defend your position oh and explain it to the commoners? Well boo freeking hoo.

Re:Back to the actual Science... (1)

SilverEyes (822768) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835726)

Percentages of scientists is not science, that is an opinion poll.

Science is about facts.

Right. It is about facts.

Not about what 97% of scientists say.

Wait a minute. 97% of those scientists have facts to back up what they say. You're making it like sound like it's a public survey of people who are guessing.

Science is not an opinion poll. It is about learning and making our lives better. What if the 3% are right? Thats real science. Question yourself.

Go for it. However, as much as people who deny AGW say this over and over, have you constructed your own models. Do you accept criticism of them, have you collected raw data, etc.? (You being the group that you seem to identify with, not you you).

Today's xkcd was a good example of that for me. http://www.xkcd.com/803/ [xkcd.com] Yet that is the way air lift is taught and it is wrong.

That is the way lift is taught to children. Children you can't do line integrals and partial differential equations, not engineers.

We should love the fringe dudes. They make real science come to the front. 'but its a waste of time'. Why? You have to defend your position oh and explain it to the commoners? Well boo freeking hoo.

Scientists love explaining their position and backing it up with facts. They have done so. Repeatedly. Over and over and over. In courts, in papers, in speaking engagements, in movies to make it easier to understand. Yet people endlessly accuse them - not presenting dissenting evidence - of conspiracy. They expected challenges, but didn't expect this [despair.com].

Re:Back to the actual Science... (1)

TimSSG (1068536) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835582)

One, Is human cause warming more than 50% of the cause of warming?

Tim S.

Re:Back to the actual Science... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33835652)

I heard many climate scientists at NOAA are now secretly disavowing AGW.

The lack of correlation between in situ surface temperature measurements and satellite based observations could have something to do with it...

Re:Back to the actual Science... (1)

tmosley (996283) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835720)

Yes, what do the other 3%, 16%, and 26% think?

Also, I would like to know by what mechanism carbon dioxide increases the heat retention of the atmosphere, from a physics and/or physical chemistry perspective. I ask this because when I made the calculations, I found that the heat capacity of carbon dioxide is actually BELOW the average of other atmospheric gasses, and significantly below the average when you take water vapor into account. Indeed, the variation in humidity on the surface of the Earth seems to have a much greater effect on heat retention, so much so that any possible effect of carbon dioxide would be nothing more than noise.

That is not to say that increased water vapor isn't caused by human activity, but at least that is something that can be remedied without impoverishing the world, or embarking on a worldwide Manhattan Project to increase the amount of power generated by nuclear reactors 10-fold+. The latter of which, I would support, by the way.

WTF? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33834954)

I wasn't sure what the heck this article was talking about, so I had to read the start of TFA.

So, the Virginia Attorney General is trying to pull in records related to a climate researcher to demonstrate that he has "fraudulently" used his grant money to arrive at conclusions the AG doesn't like, but other scientists agree with his basic methodology?

WTF is an Attorney General doing investigating scientists. He's not qualified, and it's not within his mandate.

Am I missing something? The 50's called, they want their McCarthyism back.

This whole story reads like a witch hunt -- America, you are in decline, and about two elections from being ran by drooling idealogues with no interest in facts. Between the Tea Party and the Social Conservatives, you are being controlled by people who are too fucking stupid to do anything but shout louder than anybody they disagree with.

Re:WTF? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33835012)

Rub it in why don't you.

Re:WTF? (-1, Flamebait)

Zantac69 (1331461) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835048)

America, you are in decline, and two elections away from being ran by a different set of drooling idealogues that are almost no different than the current set of drooling idealogues.

Fixed that for you.

Re:WTF? (1, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835070)

America, you are in decline, and about two elections from being ran by drooling idealogues with no interest in facts.

Too late. Those two elections were in 2006 and 2008.

Between the Tea Party and the Social Conservatives, you are being controlled by people who are too fucking stupid to do anything but shout louder than anybody they disagree with.

Look at the morons in Congress who claim their opponents want people to "die quickly", start a screaming match when they don't get the votes they were expecting, and claim the Republicans are "blocking" legislation when they have a majority in both houses and a progressive President. Of course, there are the always-entertaining left-wing protesters who destroy property and attack police. Now look at a Tea party demonstration.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33835166)

Learn how the Senate works, dumbass.

Re:WTF? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33835308)

Now look at a Tea party demonstration.

Yeah, revisionist history, bigotry, xenophobia, "manifest destiny", and economic principles that come out of a comic book.

At least the anarchists know how to throw a party.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33835648)

Couldn't think of any excuse whatsoever for the OP's claim of bullshit McCarthyism from conservatives could you?

Nice try at shouting louder about nothing related to the OP - I think you just proved his point.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33835094)

"Between"? There's no space between the Tea Party and Social Conservatives because they're the exact same group. Tea Party is the New Coke of a Republican party to embarassed to run as itself.

Re:WTF? (3, Insightful)

MotorMachineMercenar (124135) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835214)

That was a poor write-up even by /. standards. I tried to parse it, and for a second thought this had something to do with movies since it mentioned Michael Mann. There was no indication other than glaciologist and the picture of earth this might have something to do with whatever the current term for global warming is.

Why, oh why, do I even bother coming here anymore.

Re:WTF? (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835266)

I wasn't sure what the heck this article was talking about, so I had to read the start of TFA.

You weren't sure? Hell, I thought the article was about Michael Mann, as in the Michael Mann who directed Miami Vice. That's from someone who takes pride in keeping abreast of current events.

Re:WTF? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33835326)

Ken Cuccinelli is an insane rabid right wing republic born again christian who hates everyone who doesnt agree with his very narrow world view. The question is, what the fuck is the American voters thinking ? Obviously its a majority opinion in some states.

Re:WTF? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835382)

Investigating and misuse of government grant money is perfectly within his mandate.

Of course doing so when there is no indication of such misuse and a previous investigation yielded nothing is stepping out of the bounds.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33835728)

So, the Virginia Attorney General is trying to pull in records related to a climate researcher to demonstrate that he has "fraudulently" used his grant money to arrive at conclusions the AG doesn't like, but other scientists agree with his basic methodology?

WTF is an Attorney General doing investigating scientists. He's not qualified, and it's not within his mandate.

Let's say this were Wall Street and not UVA:
WTF is an Attorney General doing investigating Investment bankers. He's not qualified, and it's not within his mandate.

Fraud is fraud and if the AG thinks there's fraud, he has a duty to investigate it. Not that I agree with the AG but scientists aren't some special sect of society above being harassed by law enforcement.

I am so sick of Cuccinelli (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33835052)

I voted for Bob McDonnel and he was supposed to be the right wing Pat Robertsonesque fundamentalist. Surprisingly, he's turned out to be quite level headed. Cuccinelli, OTOH, has turned out to be worse that I could have ever imagined. I am so glad I didn't vote for him(not that it matters..he won). It's not just this witch hunt. He issued a decree telling state institutions they did not have to protect the rights of gays. The governor had to step in and make it clear that universities and other state institutions HAD to give equal protection to gays.

I voted straight up republican(except cooconelli) because I was sick of the dems. Fuck them. Fuck them all.

Don't bet against Cuccinelli (3, Interesting)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835230)

The man's a brilliant lawyer. I've read a number of opinions he offered as AG. They are uniformly well argued, even when I wish the conclusions were otherwise. Worse, from the perspective of those who support Mann, Cuccinelli thoroughly analyzes the relevant law and doesn't misinterpret it to fit his preconceptions. Unlike former Virginia AG's, I didn't find a single example where I said, "No, that's obviously not what the law you just quoted means."

If Mann cut any corners, Cuccinelli will crucify him.

Re:Don't bet against Cuccinelli (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33835452)

I didn't find a single example where I said, "No, that's obviously not what the law you just quoted means."

Your a right wing fringe lunatic also? Thanks for warning us.

Re:Don't bet against Cuccinelli (4, Informative)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835664)

The man's a brilliant lawyer. I've read a number of opinions he offered as AG. They are uniformly well argued, even when I wish the conclusions were otherwise. Worse, from the perspective of those who support Mann, Cuccinelli thoroughly analyzes the relevant law and doesn't misinterpret it to fit his preconceptions. Unlike former Virginia AG's, I didn't find a single example where I said, "No, that's obviously not what the law you just quoted means."

If Mann cut any corners, Cuccinelli will crucify him.

Of course if you read TFS you'd have an example of a much more qualified person than you, Judge Paul M. Peatross Jr. of the Albemarle County Circuit Court, saying, "No, that's obviously not what the law you just quoted means" about this specific case!

Re:Don't bet against Cuccinelli (3, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835828)

"Cuccinelli thoroughly analyzes the relevant law and doesn't misinterpret it to fit his preconceptions."

Cuccinelli claims on page 28 of the subpoena [washingtonpost.com] that since Mann used the word “community” in a blog post, he must be using “Post Normal” jargon, and that might be “misleading/fraudulent” in the context of a grant application. Now if that's not making a pretzelised interpretation of the law I don't know what is.

Given a fair judge, I cannot see any possibility of Cuccinelli nailing Mann to a cross while simultaneously grasping at such tenuous straws.

Increasingly dire problem with prosecutors (5, Insightful)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33835456)

This situation is becoming increasingly dire as we see prosecutors and AGs abuse their position by using the weight of their office against their political opponents. As most are elected positions, it is expected to see their personal motivations in which cases they pursue more vigoursly. However the 'fair' amount you would expect would be measured in slight percentage shifts in caseloads (10% more of this type of case prosecuted under so and so vs the previous AG).

However, this is a serious problem as we now have people with the weight of the state at their disposal (and therefore effectively unlimited time and money). I've long had issue with the fact that the state can weild disproportionate power in our legal system. My issue stems from the fact that our system is an adversarial system. It works well when both opponents are equally matched in capability and means, but when you allow the state side to fund their case in volumes orders of magnitude greater than what their opponent could expect to literally earn in their lifetime, it breaks and it doesn't fail gracefully like a pair of shoes wearing out, it fails like shattering a plate glass window with your bare hand.

Back on the main topic of prosecutors using the state as their personal weapons, these sorts of actions need to be stopped NOW and with sufficient force because this is only going to undermine our legal system and eventually put innocent people's lives in danger.

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