University Panel Clears Climate Scientist of Altering Data

From the NY Times:

An American scientist accused of manipulating research findings on climate science was cleared of that charge by his university on Thursday, the latest in a string of reports to find little substance in the allegations known as Climategate.

An investigative panel at Pennsylvania State University, weighing the question of whether the scientist, Michael E. Mann, had “seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting or reporting research or other scholarly activities,” declared that he had not.

Dr. Mann said he was gratified by the findings, the second report from Penn State to clear him. An earlier report had exonerated him of related charges that he suppressed or falsified data, destroyed e-mail and misused confidential information.

The new report did criticize him on a minor point, saying that he had occasionally forwarded to colleagues copies of unpublished manuscripts without the explicit permission of their authors.

The allegations arose after private e-mail messages between Dr. Mann and other scientists were purloined from a computer at the University of East Anglia, in Britain, and posted on the Internet. In one, a British researcher called a data-adjustment procedure Dr. Mann used a “trick.”

The e-mail messages led climate-change skeptics to accuse mainstream researchers, including Dr. Mann, of deliberately manipulating the findings of climate science in order to strengthen their case that human activity is causing the earth to warm up.

There is no doubt in the scientific community that global warming is real, it is happening, human beings are the cause, and we must do everything now to cease destruction of the environment before we make the planet uninhabitable for human beings and so many other forms of life. And science does not happen via email. Scientific studies are published in journals which most lay people in society – non-scientists- can neither read or comprehend.

Try reading a technical article from Science Magazine.

My point is not to affirm how little most of us know about real science – although that is pitifully true. The point is, no science happened in these emails with respect to the climate or anything else. Studies are published for the scientific community then critiqued by members of the scientific community.

I’m not defending Dr. Mann. But the far right must stop throwing mud at the scientific community because attention to climate change will require a rethinking of our economy, and much of that new economy will not include fossil fuels.