Today the board of directors of American Association for the Advancement of Science announced they'd had enough of scrutiny of the pioneers of global warming propagandism, particularly when it comes to the work of Climategater Michael Mann and the hockey stick chart he made up (flatlining the Medieval Warming Period) when he was at the University of Virginia, and also the outside wealthmaking of NASA stargazer Dr. James Hansen. In particular they took my organization, American Tradition Institute, to task for asking for records of the aforementioned scientists, and the Formerly Mainstream Media unsurprisingly rushed to amplify the AAASes' message. The delicate flower from the New York Times who called our Christopher Horner was particularly off-put by his likening the situation to Hollywood's defense of Roman Polanski.
Specifically, the board of AAASes said they objected to "personal attacks on climate scientists, including harassment, legal challenges, and even death threats," as though ATI has advocated those things. We have asked courts to make U. of Virginia and NASA follow transparency laws that their records of Mann and Hansen are subject to, but that is a legal challenge to the government institutions and not the scientists themselves, and it is a request for their work and data done on public (that is, taxpayer-paid-for) computers while at those institutions. That is supposed to be where they do their professional work, but if they conducted personal business while on the taxpayer dime, that's their problem, but anyway that hardly constitutes an "attack."
Another FMSMer who rushed to the AAASes' defense was USA Today's Dan Vergano, who wrote:
Climate scientists have endured personal attacks as a result of their findings for more than a decade. In 2009, a hacker stole climate scientists' emails from a British lab, a brouhaha that concluded with investigations clearing them of wrongdoing but in some cases chiding them for lack of transparency. Mann and others faced a 2006 Congressional committee investigation centered on a George Mason University team report critical of climate scientists (that report team itself is now under investigation for plagiarism and other shortcomings). In 1995, a fossil-fuel-industry-funded group questioned the integrity of federal climate scientist Ben Santer.
Vergano is another in the long line of alarmist mouthpieces who state as fact, with no substantiation (just look at his hyperlink on that one from Bully Ben Santer), that the Climategate emails were exposed by a hacker. No such proof exists, and that part of the case has never been solved. Many believe it was the work of an anonymous whistleblower.
Anyway, it's a laff-riot that Vergano would use Santer as an example of victimhood for "personal attacks" on climate scientists. Santer was the guy who was revealed in Climategate to have wanted to "beat the crap out of" former Virginia state climatologist (and global warming realist) Patrick Michaels. But as we've already discovered with Freedom of Information Act requests and alleged threats toward scientists, the outrage from liberal academia, environoiacs and the FMSM only boils when it's their friends who are scrutinized.
Update 7:25 a.m. 6/30/11: Chris Horner reminds me (I should have remembered) that it was Vergano who "personally attacked" (if you go by his standards) Dr. Edward Wegman after he produced a report through George Mason University that criticized the methodology in Mann's hockey stick chart. Alarmists have accused Wegman of plagiarism in their efforts to prop up Mann, but have not been able to refute the fact that it's always the same small group of academics engaged in each others' "pal review."