Climate scientist calls Va. attorney general’s fraud probe ‘harassment’ | Need to Know | PBS
September 8, 2010 § Leave a comment
An influential climate scientist who has been accused by the Virginia attorney general of defrauding the public said Tuesday that the investigation into his work amounted to “criminal harassment,” and warned that the case could set a “horrifying” precedent if allowed to proceed.
Michael Mann, the former University of Virginia researcher whose well-known “hockey stick” graph was one of the first and most powerful displays of rising global temperatures in the industrial era, said in an interview that the attorney general’s probe could open up scientists in any number of fields to a flood of politically motivated lawsuits and investigations.
“It’s very clear that the intent here is to chill scientific inquiry in areas that are inconvenient to some very powerful special interests,” Mann said. “It would basically mean that politicians would have license to harass scientists who are engaged in research that might be inconvenient to their political beliefs.”
He added: “It’s basically a return to the McCarthyist witch hunts of decades ago.”