Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Climate Secret: NSF Quietly Closes Out Inspector General Investigation with Complete Vindication of Michael Mann

It's safe to say this report will be ignored or misquoted by the denialists.

By Joe Romm on Aug 22, 2011 at 6:08 pm

NSF Inspector General: “Finding no research misconduct or other matter raised by the various regulations and laws discussed above, this case is closed.”

Two things we know with extremely high confidence:

Recent warming is unprecedented in magnitude and speed and cause (so the temperature history looks like a Hockey Stick).
Michael Mann, the lead author on the original Hockey Stick paper, is one of the nation’s top climatologists and a source of first-rate analysis.

We know these things because both the Hockey Stick and Mann have been independently investigated and vindicated more times than any other facet of climate science or any other climate scientist (see links below).

Readers also know that “the first rule of vindicating climate science is you do not talk about vindicating climate science.” While the anti-science extremists who rule the Tea Party and the right-wing bunkosphere keep shouting lies about the Hockey Stick and Mann — and urging their followers to “shout down” science-based commenters on independent websites — the vindications of the science and the man are reported as quietly as if they came from the Whos of Whoville.

And so after countless investigations — 3 in the U.K., 2 by Penn State, the EPA, the NOAA IG — that have all unanimously found the allegations against climate scientists and their research conclusions based on the hacked “ClimateGate” emails to be wholly unsubstantiated, a top GOP presidential candidate backed by the fossil fuel industry still gives voice to the Texas-sized lie (see “Denier Rick Perry Takes $11 Million from Big Oil, Then Claims Climate Scientists ‘Manipulated Data’ For Money“).

And so while Mann and the Hockey Stick were getting yet another full vindication (from Penn State) earlier this year, Fox News was trumpeting one final investigation:

But the final say will be in the hands of a skeptical inspector general at the National Science Foundation, the primary funder of the research into global warming. According to published documents obtained by, the IG must determine whether Penn State’s investigation was adequate.

The Office of Inspector General confirmed that it will review the misconduct charges. A spokeswoman told that “in accordance with our research misconduct regulation, (45 C.F.R. part 689), when the OIG is provided with an institution’s investigation report, we review it for fairness, accuracy and completeness” — issues the investigation has already been faulted for.

Yes, well, the Penn State investigation was faulted only by anti-science deniers. And NSF’s IG is “skeptical” only in the sense that global warming “skeptics” are not — which is to say it analyzes the facts objectively and come to defensible and reproducible conclusions.

The IG analyzed all of the charges “de novo” and concluded:

“Finding no research misconduct or other matter raised by the various regulations and laws discussed above, this case is closed.”



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