Join 3,563 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Getting Warmer...
July 24, 2012 9:28 AM   Subscribe

Was climate science the real reason the strategic dynamos on the UVA board wanted president Teresa Sullivan gone? The fund manager behind the coup is "very, very angry" that I would even ask… In a three-part series (1, 2, 3) of muckraking blog posts, journalist Moe Tkacik investigates the possibility that the failed ouster of President Teresa Sullivan from the University of Virginia (previously) might have been motivated not by vague conflicts over Internet-based distance learning, as had been speculated — but instead by global-warming-denial politics, with the coup plotters on the Board opposing Sullivan over the hire of climate scientist Michael Mann (previously).
posted by RogerB (16 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
holy sh.. poor Michael Mann.
posted by stbalbach at 9:30 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Mann has got to be one of the bravest scientists of the 21st century. I would have packed up and took my toys home a long time ago. During the current Penn State scandal, climate change deniers have taken the opportunity to compare his science to child abuse.
posted by muddgirl at 9:42 AM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


(whoops, on re-read that link is in the OP article)
posted by muddgirl at 9:46 AM on July 24, 2012


I think anyone comparing climate change research to repeated child rape has pretty much forfeited any assumption of argument in good faith.
posted by jaduncan at 10:00 AM on July 24, 2012 [13 favorites]


Follow the money on these things, always, follow the money.

It's been interesting to watch this and compare it to the supposed threat to oust Bill Powers at UT (Texas) over a tuition hike. At least there we knew what the issues were likely to be, but the UVa thing seemed to be much ado over nothing from over here.
posted by immlass at 10:00 AM on July 24, 2012


Boy, that's a lazy piece of conspiracy theory mongering. That's not to say that it may or may not be true (I don't have a clue and neither does Moe Tkacik)--but the case laid out here is embarrassingly weak: "A happened and B happened and my one named source tells me very, very clearly that the two things are unrelated--boy, if he says that they're unrelated he MUST be covering something up, right?"

Just because a blog tells a story that conforms to your suspicions about the way the world works doesn't make it "journalism."
posted by yoink at 10:01 AM on July 24, 2012 [7 favorites]


If the reason for sacking is true, that's truly sickening on both the level of this particular case and academic freedom in general. The man is a widely cited authority in his subject area with a huge publication record; in a sane world that's a good catch for any relevant department.
posted by jaduncan at 10:02 AM on July 24, 2012


I think anyone comparing climate change research to repeated child rape has pretty much forfeited any assumption of argument in good faith.

Mark Steyn has never argued in good faith in his entire miserable life. This appalling little missive about Mann is probably best understood as his declaration of intellectual bankruptcy after a great many years of abysmal revenues. His writing should be broken down into innocuous sentence fragments and sold for scrap to underperforming wingnut bloggers.
posted by gompa at 10:06 AM on July 24, 2012 [37 favorites]


Not familiar enough with Steyn to know if it's fair, but damn, gompa! That's got to be one of the funniest, most brutal take downs of a writer I've ever read.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:18 AM on July 24, 2012


Moe has gotten a lot of shit for her hijinks and overblown theories on Metafilter before, but damn, this is some mighty good muck she done raked.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:23 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


this is some mighty good muck she done raked

I can see the "muck" in the allegation, but I can't see any supporting evidence for the allegation. Did I miss something?
posted by yoink at 11:02 AM on July 24, 2012


Just because a blog tells a story that conforms to your suspicions about the way the world works doesn't make it "journalism."

Welcome to the future- no make that present- of internet journalism.
posted by happyroach at 11:22 AM on July 24, 2012


Tkacik is an unethical gun-jumper who gives journalists a bad name, yet tends to be right in the end. Ultimately, I do suspect she's more or less right here, but there's nothing in her three-part series that actually provides any evidence for her assertions here, which is part of the reason this is published on her blog instead of through the auspices of something resembling a journalistic organization.

I didn't know of the Sullivan–Elizabeth Warren connection before, and that's an interesting angle. It comes sort of out of nowhere in the third part of the series, but I can't imagine the biz-school Board would have been pleased by this part of Sullivan's background.
posted by zachlipton at 11:22 AM on July 24, 2012


And apparently Mann is threatening to sue the National Review over Mark Steyn's defamatory comments. Bad Astronomy has more.
posted by sneebler at 6:02 PM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


At least Global Warming Denial is becoming the hate that dare not speak its name.
posted by jamjam at 6:37 PM on July 24, 2012


Here's an interview Mann did a couple of weeks ago (five parts, video and transcript): ‘New McCarthyism’ Described by Climate Scientist Michael Mann
posted by homunculus at 9:03 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


« Older How to make money with £100 Five Guardian writers ...  |  Ichiro Suziki has been traded ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments