Hoisted from comments, April 2011:
There seems to be some bizarre lack of understanding within the obstructionist movement that anything a scientists says or does or emails or anything that can be recorded is a matter of public record, whether the scientist is aware of this or not. This is because we as taxpayers pay this person, therefore, their thoughts are ours for the taking.Emphasis added.
I'm unsure what the logic is here, but this is an ideological conundrum, seeing as how many obstructionists argue against action due to a rigid belief in personal liberty. A belief even the non-ideological hold dear. This personal liberty is important to them and most others for reasons that should be obvious, but in this instance, it does not seem to be. Why?
As we've seen from recent attempts from right-wing groups and politicians, the academic establishment is fighting hard against these attempts to provide the public the open access to other's private communications. Academia has taken a stance that it cannot effectively find the truth while under the type of scrutiny that people Mosher advocate and take advantage of when presented to them.
So how does this work itself out logically? Do these people reject that notion that academics take? It's not like we record phone calls, or tape conversations at conventions, or other such things. right? If that were the case there may be better context to fill in the blanks, blanks that so easily allow to be filled with subjective narratives that in no way can be matched up for reality, and in no way gives the person access to the mind. So what is the final goal behind wanting this access to scientist’s emails? For what reason?
The open access types say it is to promote trust. But is that promoted?
Climategate showed us that didn't happen. In fact, the entire reason that Climategate looks so bad is that scientists didn't trust. I wonder if scientists had access to Mosher's and McIntyre's emails, would they trust them more or less? I took a look at my own emails and realized that certain readers would no longer trust me. Any Exchange tech will tell you the same about anyone.
I think we need to look at more closely the logic behind open access, what the goals are, and whether or not the extreme views of Mosher are at all necessary to the results. Especially if personal liberty and the future academia and science itself are at stake.