Monday, October 11, 2010

Cuccinelli Fine With Fraud If It Backs His Political Views

The people who squawk the loudest about "scientific integrity" & "sound science" often have absolutely no problem with outright scientific fraud, as long as it supports their pre-existing political opinions.

Just take the example of Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (and speaking volumes by their silence, Gov. Bob McDonnell & Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling). Rather than accept the simple, straightforward, proven proposition that the planet is warming & manmade emissions are to blame, Cuccinelli instead conjures a world ruled by a vast conspiracy by thousands of unrelated climate scientists, including former University of Virginia Professor Michael Mann.

But even the little actual proof Cuccinelli claims to cite is now in doubt:
A leading skeptic of climate change science whose work was cited last week by Virginia Attorney Gen. Ken Cuccinelli is himself under investigation on charges that his work contained plagiarism and inaccuracies, a George Mason University spokesman confirmed Friday.
What's Edward Wegman accused of? As DeSmogBlog reports:
Wegman, who was chair of the National Academy of Sciences’ (NAS) Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics, was tapped in '06 by Republican representatives Joe Barton and Ed Whitfield to assemble a so-called "expert panel" to critique the famous hockey stick, a graph illustrating a thousand-year temperature record as reconstructed by climate scientists Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley and Malcolm Hughes. But Silicon Valley entrepreneur John Mashey has since demonstrated that, rather than convene a group of experts, Wegman tapped a couple of grad students and together they produced a report that was generously plagiarized from Bradley's own work and then twisted - or just misrepresented - to appear to undermine the hockey stick and its creators.
Will the loss of credibility of a prominent climate denier prompt the slightest change in the stances of McDonnell, Bolling & Cuccinelli? I'm skeptical.

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