Scientists don’t often get involved in political campaigns, but in Virginia one of the nation’s leading men of science has stepped up to endorse a candidate for attorney general.
Three years ago, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli demanded to see all of the e-mails and documents written by Professor Michael Mann during his years at the University of Virginia. Mann and his colleagues had created a graphic showing how quickly the Earth was warming. It looked like a hockey stick set on its side.
The Washington Post described Cuccinelli’s case as a witch hunt. Mann would ultimately prevail in court, and today he remembers one of his key allies – a state senator from Northern Virginia.
“Mark Herring was the first Virginia politician to come out and defend us against this attack.”
Herring is running for attorney general, and Mann is endorsing him.
“The state of Virginia needs and deserves an attorney general who respects scientists – who is willing to do what is right for the state rather than what may be beneficial to a small number of well-heeled special interests.”
Mann describes himself as a science nerd who once had little interest in politics. In his book, The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, he recounts the legal attack he endured and tells why he’s now speaking out.
“When you find yourself in the spotlight, for whatever reason, there are opportunities there – opportunities to help inform.
Mann says Cuccinelli wasted untold tax dollars that could have been used to help coastal communities in Virginia cope with the effects of climate change.
Mark Herring faces another candidate for attorney general , former federal prosecutor Justin Fairfax, in a primary on June 11th.