Joe Romm tells me to "retract [my] libelous misinformation and apologize to Michael Mann". He is complaining about my suggestion that the various inquiries supposedly vindicating the Climategate emailers have further diminished the credibility of climate science, rather than restoring it.
I think the only issue of substance in his complaint is the charge that I failed to notice that there were two Penn State investigations of Mann, not one, and that both had cleared the accused. Of course I was aware of the form of the inquiry, though I concede that the post was not as clear about the two phases as it should have been.
There was one inquiry with two stages. (Read the Penn state reports here and here.) In my opinion, the first stage does not deserve to be called an investigation. It consisted of little more than a review of the emails and interviews with Mann. I would characterize the result as a cursory dismissal of the charges. The second phase, which looked more carefully at one of the allegations, has a better claim to be called an investigation, but still, I think, falls way short of what would be required to convince a fair-minded reader that the reports were adequate.
I wrote: "Three of four allegations are dismissed out of hand at the outset: the inquiry announces that, for 'lack of credible evidence', it will not even investigate them." I should have written: "Three of four allegations are cursorily dismissed; concerning these, no proper investigation was even attempted." I also wrote: "Mann is asked if the allegations (well, one of them) are true, and says no." The words in parentheses were wrong, since Mann was indeed asked to explain himself in relation to the first three allegations. I should have written: "Mann is asked if the allegations are true, and says no."