by Tom Jackman
The battle over global warming in Prince William County Circuit Court, focused on renowned climate scientist Michael E. Mann, was either an assault on science or a search for the truth, depending on whose briefs you were reading. But after reading all the briefs, a judge ruled Monday that Mann’s e-mail correspondence was exempt from the Virginia Freedom of Information Act and did not have to be provided to the American Tradition Institute, which was trying to delve into the discussions and data behind Mann’s conclusions that humans are causing the Earth to grow hotter.
The ruling is almost certain to be appealed, and retired Arlington Circuit Court Judge Paul Sheridan had told both sides he wanted the case properly briefed and argued so that the record would be in order for the Virginia Supreme Court. But then Sheridan ruled orally from the bench Monday, rather than issue a written opinion, and both sides were awaiting the hearing transcript before plotting their next step.