Here we go again! Time after time the claims made by deniers about the conduct of climate scientists (in this case Michael Mann) fail to live up to the hype. This time it is the National Science Foundation that found that, like all the previous investigations that resulted from the leaked climategate emails, the scientists involved did nothing wrong, stating:
We reviewed the emails and concluded that nothing contained in them evidenced research misconduct within the definition in the NSF Research Misconduct Regulation… We found no basis to conclude that the emails were evidence of research misconduct or that they pointed to such evidence…
The research in question was originally completed over 10 years ago. Although the Subject’s data is still available and still the focus of significant critical examination, no direct evidence has been presented that indicates the Subject fabricated the raw data he used for his research or falsified his results.
Finding no research misconduct or other matter raised by the various regulations and laws discussed above [in the report], this case is closed.
The NSF delivered two exonerations here. One to Michael Mann, and the other to the original investigators at Penn State, who were accused, by deniers, of having conducted a whitewash investigation because they got the ‘wrong answer’. Apparently for some people it was too much of a stretch to accept that perhaps the investigators found nothing nefarious, because nothing nefarious was done.
Hence why as soon as the Penn State investigation concluded deniers waved their arms in a distracting fashion and proclaimed that the National Science Foundation would have the final say on the matter:
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 FoxNews.com, the IG must determine whether Penn State’s investigation was adequate…
[This] will be the first time that climate studies here will be scrutinized by an independent government organization with the skill and tools to investigate effectively.
So case closed. Right? Fox News said this would be it. Finally! After more than half-a-dozen investigations that all found the same thing, (namely that regardless of how the climategate emails were spun by deniers, the scientists did nothing wrong, and climate science is as solid as ever), finally the case is closed. Right?
Well no, of course not. As the brilliantly satirical Inferno of Denial Depot puts it:
However climate deniers are not happy. They remain adamant that the real test of Dr Micheal Mann’s scientific integrity still remains. “What we do is point to the next investigation”, explained the blog scientist Inferno of DenialDepot. “All those previous investigations are all very well at the time we hype them up, but until we get the result we want the real test is always going to be the next one that hasn’t happened yet.“
Actually that isn’t satire. It is the Modus operandi of the denial movement. Every investigation is hyped up as proof that obviously something nefarious is happening, then immediately declaired a whitewash when the investigation inevitably concludes that climate change isn’t some massive conspiracy.
But now it seems the deniers have run out of official and independent investigations (even arch denialist Senator Inhofe’s investigation by the Department of Commerce Inspector General found nothing nefarious).
Sadly even this wont be the end of it. After all how can we be absolutely certain that the massive climate conspiracy hasn’t corrupted the National Science Foundation and the Department of Commerce Inspector General.