by Brad Johnson, cross-posted with permission from ThinkProgress.
A coal-industry astroturf group is running a public campaign to harass Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Michael Mann for his “radical agenda” of climate science. The Common Sense Movement/Secure Energy for America Political Action Committee (CSM/SEAPAC) has established a website asking people to criticize the Penn State Speakers Forum for allowing Michael Mann to speak about the climate change challenge. “Join us in calling on the administration to disinvite the disgraced academic,” the group says on its Facebook page.
On the webpage, CSM/SEAPAC accuses Mann of “manipulating scientific data to align with his extreme political views on global warming”:
On February 9th, the Penn State Forum Speaker’s Series is featuring Professor Michael Mann in a speech regarding global warming. This is the same professor who is at the center of the ‘Climategate’ controversy for allegedly manipulating scientific data to align with his extreme political views on global warming. Join us in calling on the administrators of Penn State to end its support of Michael Mann and his radical agenda.
The suggested text for the letter to editor says Mann is “conspiring with his left-wing cronies to intimidate and silence those who would dare to question his intentions,” tarring Mann with “questionable ethics” and “extreme political activism.”
Michael Mann, one of the most most respected scientists in the field of paleoclimatology, has been the victim of a long-running harassment and intimidation campaign by right-wing ideologues and conspiracy theorists, including political and legal threats by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. After hackers stole emails from a climate unit in Great Britain, climate deniers renewed their attacks on Mann, forcing several academic inquiries, all of whichdebunked the slanderous charges.
SEAPAC is a wing of the Pittsburgh-based astroturf group Common Sense Movement, which is running the “I Am Coal” campaign. Contributors include James Clifford Forrest III, president of coal company Rosebud Mining, David Young, president of the Bituminous Coal Operators’ Association, and the top executives of Swanson Industries, a West Virginia mining equipment company.
Read SEAPAC’s suggested letter to the editor for its harrassment campaign against Mann:
On February 9th, the Penn State Forum Speaker’s Series is featuring Professor Michael Mann in a speech regarding global warming. Let’s remember that this is the same Michael Mann who is at the center of the Climategate controversy for allegedly manipulating scientific data to align with his extreme political views on global warming.
Mann’s own emails, which have now become public, show him admitting that the science on global warming is still in question and, even worse, conspiring with his left-wing cronies to intimidate and silence those who would dare to question his intentions.
At a time when Penn State should be doing everything possible to regain its status as a bastion of truth and integrity, the last thing they should be doing is supporting someone of such questionable ethics and motives with our tax dollars.
There is no place for this brand of extreme political activism, disguised as academics, at Penn State now or in the future. University leadership should be ashamed for continuing to provide Mann with such high visibility – at our expense.