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Va. Climate Case Creates Unease, Even Among Climate Skeptics

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Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
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Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

But even fellow critics of the professor remain uneasy about Cuccinelli's tactics.

Noted global warming skeptic and University of Alabama climatologist John Christy says his data doesn't support the dramatic climate change Mann claims.

But he says Cuccinelli's quest to open up a professor's emails could open the door to academic chaos.

"We would just have a glorious mess with everyone wanting to get emails, and then no one would use emails," Christy says.

ClimateAudit.org editor Steve McIntyre, another of Mann's most vocal critics, says though Cuccinelli says Mann may have defrauded Virginia taxpayers by using state grants for his research, the attorney general targeted him because he found his research objectionable.

"And that seems to me no better than attempting to audit the tax returns of somebone's political opponents," McIntyre says.

The Virginia Supreme Court is currently reviewing Cuccinelli's appeal of a court ruling to invalidate his request for Mann's emails.

The initial decision also allows Cuccinelli to refile the original request with modifications.

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