Global Warming: Follow Up on Mann, Bradley and Hughes
I noted not too long ago that the Committee on Energy and Commerce sent letters to Mann, Bradley and Hughes (authors of the studies that introduced the no famous hockey stick) asking some questions. Some of the questions were pretty typical (i.e. provide a copy of your vita), but others were not. In particular there were questions about releasing the computer code used in Mann, Bradley and Hughes  (hereafter MBH98).
“Sorry, it is our private property and you can’t see it. Nyah, nyah!”
Okay, the response wasn’t exactly like that, but that pretty much sums it up. The problem though is that while the computer code might very well be Mann’s private property that does not mean he cannot present it when asked…especially by an entity with supoena power. Imagine you are in a court of law and the prosecution asks to see some property that is related to a crime. Saying, “Sorry that is my private property, so you can’t see it,” will work about as well as using a dixie cup to cross the Atlantic. This is why we have intellectual property laws so that people can present their intellectual property in a public manner for others to see, read, use (with proper royalties/permission obviously), and build upon. So when Mann writes,
A(Q5D): My computer program is a piece of private, intellectual property, as the National Science Foundation and its lawyers recognize. It is a bedrock principle of American law that the government may not take private property Ã¢€œwithout [a] public use,Ã¢€ and Ã¢€œwithout just compensation.Ã¢€
it is a laughably weak argument. Presenting code does not void any intellectual property rights. If this were so, then this post would not be protected by intellectual property laws (it is) since anybody with a browser and internet connection can see it. In any event, it seems that now a new bit of source code has been released, but it literally took an act of Congress. So much for the open and honest scientific process surrounding global warming/climate change. Sheesh.