I’m very pleased to learn that Peter [Gleick] has been exonerated.
Dr. Michael Mann.
At the end of 2010 Gleick wrote an article in Forbes “Climate B.S.* of the Year Award”. As well as listing all the people Gleick wanted to lash out at, he also listed the names of those who had helped compile the list.
In November of the following year Steve McIntyre compared the Penn State investigations of Sandusky and Mann. Joe Romm called this a “smear”. Gleick’s 2011 BS-Awards castigate, among others the Heartland Institute for “Arcticgate” and Steve McIntyre, who gets a “dishonorable mention … for his despicable smear of climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann”.
James Taylor of The Heartland Institute responded to Gleick with his own article in Forbes, 11 days later. The two then spar in the comments thread where Gleick demands that Heartland reveal the names of its donors; Taylor explains that they cannot because of past campaigns of harassment; and one anonomyous commenter goads Gleick with the challenge “it’s not up to James Taylor to show us who funds the Heartland Institute, it’s up to Gleick”
On 13th January 2012 Taylor invites Gleick to be keynote speaker or to debate at Heartland’s 28th Anniversary Benefit Dinner. After an exchange of emails Gleick finally declines. Meanwhile he had been phishing (fraud by e-impersonation) internal Heartland documents. These were sent “anonymously” to “15 … friends” on Valentine’s Day, together with a forged document that portrayed Heartland as super-villainous.
Gleick’s confessed six days later. And the day after that, PEER and the CSLDF, the two entities backing Mann’s current litigation, sent a letter to Heartland stating that the “Climate Science Legal Defense Fund fully intends to pursue all possible actionable civil remedies to the fullest extent of the law” against the “Heartland Institute, all activists, bloggers, and other journalists” who posted Climategate emails. It was an open letter so it was really a public threat to thousands of people.
In Mann’s original letter of complaint to the NRO, his lawyers cite the “numerous investigations into the issue of academic fraud”. They may imply, but do not explicitly claim that all of these investigations cleared Dr. Mann, nor even that all of them investigated him. They quote the March 2010 investigation by the U.K. Parliament as stating that the CRU’s actions “were in line with common practice in the climate science community.”
So Mann’s lawyer’s have opened the door to examination of other investigations of other climate scientists and to examination of the “common practice in the climate science community.” Ironically, they are kind of doing what Simberg did with his comparison of the two Penn. State invetigations.Continue reading
Fakegate is a good example to cite to explain why many people distrust the cabal of climate scientists who claim certainty and cry alarm; and why many doubt the ‘investigations’ Michael Mann claims exonerated him. It is a good example of “noble cause corruption” and helps explain some scientists’ “end justifies the means” motivation. Aspects of it are also a good evidence to cite in support of an anti-SLAPP motion. But Fakegate is more than just an example. There are many actual and substantive connections between Fakegate and Mann’s current defamation case. Indeed, in some ways, one could be said to be a cause of the other.
It was Mann’s nemesis, Steve McIntyre who first made the Sandusky case comparison. Steyn is a surrogate for Mann’s vindictiveness towards McIntyre.
The connections between the two cases can be seen among the assorted bunch of Gleick and Mann supporters. The same names crop up as contributors to Gleick’s BS-Awards; as contributors to the articles that superseded it; as the first to comment on Steve McIntyre’s comparison of Penn State’s investigations of Sandusky and Mann and call it a “smear”. The same names appear as “friends” of Gleick who received the Heartland documents or who posted about them (and were linked to by DeSmogBlog etc) on the same day; as the first to post comments on the thread under Rand Simberg’s “Other Scandal” piece; and more. The chronology is important in comprehending all this.
I decided to let the original sources (with key text highlighted) tell their own story. I have added my own commentary in between, some of which was me just thinking out loud or jotting down ideas for articles (this timeline was originally just background research). This was over several days so the tone varies. Many items are included specifically for their relevance to the Mann vs Steyn case. Treat this as a (lengthy) resource for anyone wanting to know or write about the two cases. And don’t be surprised if I repeat some of the content in shorter articles.
Apr 6, 2009
Climate Change: Picturing the Science
Gavin Schmidt and Joshua Wolfe, W. W. Norton & Company, 6 April 2009
In interactions on the Web or at public talks and exhibitions, we have found a hunger among the public for more context and information about climate change that is not being satisfied by newspapers, television. or the occasional documentary.
With the 2007 publication of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists sponsored by the United Nations and the World Meteorological Organization, the case for global warming has become “unequivocal; with a “very likely” dominant role for humans causing it.
But what lies behind these definitive statements? Where are the key observations and theoretical insights that climate scientists rely on? Are there remaining issues? What does climate change portend? These are questions now asked daily at the water cooler, in the newsroom, and in Congress.
May 14, 2009
The public deserves the full picture on climate change
Gavin Schmidt, The Guardian, 14 May 2009
The media is the main conduit for people to learn more, but the disconnect between the need for education and the journalistic mission to provide news means that climate stories are often missing the context needed to understand the bigger picture.
Anyone trying to glean a full picture from traditional sources faces a daunting task. Indeed, many people will recognise quickly that there is a huge amount of information that is never made explicit. Stories about results from climate models never describe what a climate model is, descriptions of dramatic new observations rarely discuss what makes them interesting, and commentaries on policy debates seldom rise above reporting the partisan posturing.
Given some of the missteps that have occurred in recent decades, in how mad cow disease and vaccines have been dealt with by both the government and the media, there is a latent mistrust of statements from authority about science – whether they are from the academic world or the government. This in turn leaves the field wide open for peddlers of disinformation to fill the blogosphere and opinion pages with conspiratorial fairytales that take advantage of some people’s confusion.
A few years ago, I helped start the blog RealClimate.org, which allowed the public and working scientists to interact directly and to provide some of the missing background for stories that hit the headlines. But, over the years, it has become clear that there is a hunger – at least among some readers – for more than what a few ephemeral blog postings can provide.
So is there room for a new approach? I think the answer is yes, and it lies in recognising that people need to be engaged in the subject, given access to the how the information is obtained and trusted to deal with the complexities and uncertainties that still abound.
One manifestation of this approach is a new book, Climate Change: Picturing the Science, which photographer Joshua Wolfe and I have put together.
Six months later Climategate broke, painting a somewhat different picture of the science and the scientists. It revealed the lengths Michael Mann had gone to avoid providing the “missing the context needed to understand the bigger picture” and to “hide the decline” (in late 20th century tree-ring proxy temperatures).
Whilst claiming that critics are taking emails “out of context” Schmidt, Mann and the rest of the RealClimateer continue to block FOIA requests for the remaining emails that could provide the necessary “context”. And after several investigations, supposedly “exonerating” them, they no longer assert that there “is a latent mistrust of statements from authority about science – whether they are from the academic world or the government.” Instead, people who fail to accept the judgement of these authorities in silence are being prosecuted. It was Joshua Wolfe, (the photographer, who co-authored the book Schmidt was plugging in the above article); and Scott Mandia, a (caped crusading climatologist), who together set up the organization to enforce this censorship – the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund.
It is also ironic that the RealClimate site (and much else) should have been set up by David Fenton, the man who has done more than any other to foster “latent mistrust of statements from authority about science”. [But I will cover that in a later article]
Nov 19, 2009: Climategate document dump
Mar 2, 2010
Scientists Taking Steps to Defend Work on Climate
John M. Broder, New York Times, 2 March 2010
WASHINGTON — For months, climate scientists have taken a vicious beating in the media and on the Internet, accused of hiding data, covering up errors and suppressing alternate views.
The e-mail episode, dubbed “climategate” by critics, revealed arrogance and what one top climate researcher called “tribalism” among some scientists. The correspondence appears to show efforts to limit publication of contrary opinion and to evade Freedom of Information Act requests. The content of the messages opened some well-known scientists to charges of concealing temperature data from rival researchers and manipulating results to conform to precooked conclusions.
Climate scientists have been shaken by the criticism and are beginning to look for ways to recover their reputation. They are learning a little humility and trying to make sure they avoid crossing a line into policy advocacy.
Ralph J. Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences, the most prestigious scientific body in the United States, said that there was a danger that the distrust of climate science could mushroom into doubts about scientific inquiry more broadly. He said that scientists must do a better job of policing themselves and trying to be heard over the loudest voices on cable news, talk radio and the Internet.
On Saturday, after weeks of refusing to engage critics, the I.P.C.C. announced that it was asking for the creation of an independent panel to review its research procedures to try to eliminate bias and errors from future reports. But even while allowing for some external oversight, Dr. Pachauri insisted that panel stood behind its previous work.
“Scientists must continually earn the public’s trust or we risk descending into a new Dark Age where ideology trumps reason,” Dr. Pachauri said in an e-mail message.
But some scientists said that responding to climate change skeptics was a fool’s errand.
“Climate scientists are paid to do climate science,” said Gavin A. Schmidt, a senior climatologist with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies. “Their job is not persuading the public.”
He said that the recent flurry of hostility to climate science had been driven as much by the cold winter as by any real or perceived scientific sins.
“There have always been people accusing us of being fraudulent criminals, of the I.P.C.C. being corrupt,” Dr. Schmidt said. “What is new is this paranoia combined with a spell of cold weather in the United States and the ‘climategate’ release. It’s a perfect storm that has allowed the nutters to control the agenda.”
The answer is simple, he said.
“Good science,” he said, “is the best revenge.”
The team want “revenge” for Climategate.
Mar 26, 2010
Time to sue climate change deniers?
West Coast Environmental Law Blog, 26 March 2010
In recent months there has been a sharp drop in public faith in climate science. The collapse is not, as is sometimes suggested, in the scientific consensus that human-caused climate change is occurring. As West Coast has previously pointed out, despite embarrassing errors and some arguably unprofessional e-mails, the science itself is as clear now as it has ever been: human caused global warming is occurring. The damage caused by the e-mails and errors is a sharp decline in the public’s perception that there is a scientific consensus.
The history of the efforts to discredit climate change are well documented by DeSmogBlog and in Climate Cover-up, by Jim Hoggan, as well as in Greenpeace’s just released report, Dealing in Doubt. These tactics are far more shocking, better documented and less reported, than any of the scandals currently dogging the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) or individual climate scientists.
In other words, something to distract from (or at least counter) the Climategate emails scandal was needed. Something that would make the ‘other side’ look worse.
Jul 1, 2010
Climate Scientist Cleared of Altering Data
Justin Gillis, New York Times, 1 July 2010
The e-mail messages led climate-change skeptics to accuse mainstream researchers, including Dr. Mann, of deliberately manipulating the findings of climate science in order to strengthen their case that human activity is causing the earth to warm up.
“I’m aware, and many researchers now are keenly aware, of the depths to which the climate-change disinformation movement is willing to sink, to the point where they’re willing to criminally break into a university server and steal people’s personal e-mail messages,” Dr. Mann said in an interview.
Like the earlier report from Penn State, the new one was assailed Thursday by advocacy groups skeptical of the case for human-induced climate change.
“It’s no surprise that it’s a whitewash of Dr. Mann’s misconduct, because it was designed to be a whitewash,” said Myron Ebell, director of energy and global warming policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Washington advocacy group. He accused the panel of failing to interview important witnesses.
The panel did not try to vet the accuracy of the science published by Dr. Mann, including a famous finding that the temperature of the earth had jumped recently, compared with past climate inferred from indicators like tree rings.
Mann, never one not to leap to a conclusion, assumes that the leak of the Climategate emails was a ‘theft’ by a “climate-change disinformation movement”.
Nov 15, 2010
A stunning year in climate science reveals that human civilization is on the precipice
Joe Romm, ThinkProgress, 15 November 2010
This week marks the one-year anniversary of what the anti-science crowd successfully labeled ‘Climategate’. The media will be doing countless retrospectives, most of which will be wasted ink, like the Guardian‘s piece — focusing on climate scientists at the expense of climate science, which is precisely the kind of miscoverage that has been going on for the whole year!
Nov 19, 2010 – 1st anniversary of Climategate document dump.
Many commentators wondered what drove Peter Gleick to implode as he did. He claimed that “frustration with the ongoing efforts — often anonymous, well-funded, and coordinated — to attack climate science and scientists” was to blame. But I think the real cause of Gleick’s (and other climate scientists’) “frustration” is the “pause”. Gaia is a cruel and fickle mistress, tormenting her most faithful adherants. Global surface temperatures have not risen in fifteen years. Here Gleick, in full pause-denial mode, lashes out at skeptics:
Dec 31, 2010
The 2010 Climate B.S.* of the Year Award
Peter Gleick, Skeptical Science, 31 December 2010
also Huffington Post, 20 December 2010
Welcome to the 2010 Climate B.S. of the Year Award.
2010 saw widespread and growing evidence of rapidly warming global climate … Yet confusion and uncertainty about climate change remain high in the minds of too many members of the public and Congress.
Why? In large part because of a concerted, coordinated, aggressive campaign by a small group of well-funded climate change deniers and contrarians focused on intentionally misleading the public and policymakers with bad science about climate change. Much of this effort is based on intentional falsehoods, misrepresentations, inflated uncertainties, and pure and utter B.S. about climate science. These efforts have been successful in sowing confusion and delaying action – just as the same tactics were successful in delaying efforts to tackle tobacco’s health risks.
To counter this campaign of disinformation, we are issuing the first in what may become a series of awards for the most egregious Climate B.S.* of the Year. In preparing the list of nominees, suggestions were received from around the world and a panel of reviewers – all scientists or climate communicators – waded through them. We present here the top five nominees and the winner of the 2010 Climate B.S.* of the Year Award.
Fifth Place. Climate B.S. and misrepresentations presented by Fox “News.”
Fourth Place. Misleading or false testimony to Congress and policymakers about climate change.
Monckton testified before a Senate committee in May and presented such outlandish B.S. about climate that experts (such as John Mashey, Tim Lambert, John Abraham, and Barry Bickmore, to name a few) spent uncounted hours and pages and pages refuting just a subset of his errors.
Third Place. The false claim that a single weather event, such as a huge snowstorm in Washington, D.C., proves there is no global warming.
Second Place. The claim that the “Climategate” emails meant that global warming was a hoax, or was criminal, as Senator Inhofe tried to argue. In fact, it was none of these things (though the British police are still investigating the illegal hacking of a British university’s computer system and the theft of the emails).
Global warming deniers used out-of-context texts from the stolen emails to claim that global warming was a hoax or that scientists had manipulated data or were hiding evidence that climate change wasn’t happening. These claims are all B.S. A series of independent scientific and academic investigations in the U.S. and the U.K. unanimously concluded that nothing in the stolen emails made any difference to the remarkable strength of climate science (see, for example, the Penn State vindication, the Independent Muir Russell and Lord Oxburgh reviews, a British Parliamentary Panel review, and other assessments). Unfortunately, the media gave far more attention to the accusations than to the resounding vindications, and climate deniers continue to spread B.S. about this case.
The bottom line of “Climategate?” As a letter in Science magazine signed by 255 members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences said in May 2010: “there is nothing remotely identified in the recent events that changes the fundamental conclusions about climate change.”
AND THE WINNER OF THE 2010 CLIMATE B.S.* OF THE YEAR AWARD
AND THE WINNER OF THE 2010 CLIMATE B.S.* OF THE YEAR AWARD
First Place goes to the following set of B.S.: “There has been no warming since 1998” [or 2000, or…], “the earth is cooling,” “global warming is natural,” and “humans are too insignificant to affect the climate.” Such statements are all nonsense and important for the general public to understand properly.
The reality is that the Earth’s climate is changing significantly, changing fast, and changing due to human factors. The reality of climatic change can no longer be disputed on scientific grounds – the U.S. National Academy of Sciences calls the human-induced warming of the Earth a “settled fact.” The evidence for a “warming” planet includes not just rising temperatures, but also rising sea levels, melting Arctic sea ice, disappearing glaciers, increasing intense rainfalls, and many other changes that matter to society and the environment. The recent and ongoing warming of the Earth is unprecedented in magnitude, speed, and cause.
This winning set of B.S. appears almost daily in the conservative blogosphere, like here and here and here, consistently in the statements of climate change deniers, and far too often in real media outlets. Actual science and observations from around globe have long shown the opposite (for example, here and here are nice rebuttals with real science). The planet continues to warm rapidly largely due to human activities, and average global temperatures continue to rise. The most recent decade has been the warmest decade on record and 2010 will likely go down as either the warmest or second warmest year in recorded history.
Associated B.S. argues that the famous “hockey stick” graph has been disproved. This graph shows the extraordinarily rapid warming of the twentieth century compared to the previous 1000 years. The graph and analysis have been upheld by subsequent researchers and numerous scientific assessments, including one from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.
To the winners: congratulations, it is long past time your B.S. is recognized for what it is – bad science.
And to the public and the media: be forewarned: all of these and similar bad arguments will certainly be repeated in 2011. It is long past time that this bad science is identified, challenged, and shown to be the B.S. that it is.
The 2010 Climate Bad Science (B.S.) Detection and Correction Team
Peter Gleick, Kevin Trenberth, Tenney Naumer, Michael Ashley, Lou Grinzo, Gareth Renowden, Paul Douglas, Jan W. Dash, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Brian Angliss, Joe Romm, Peter Sinclair, Michael Tobis, Gavin Schmidt, John Cook, plus several anonymous nominators, reviewers, and voters.
[* “B.S.” means “Bad Science” doesn’t it?]
For more information, contact Dr. Peter H. Gleick or Nancy Ross, Pacific Institute, 510 725-2385. firstname.lastname@example.org.
—-FASTFORWARD 19 MONTHS—-
The Other Scandal In Unhappy Valley
Rand Simberg, 13 July 2012 [NOT CHRONOLOGICAL]
Tenney Naumer 14 July 2012 at 2:06 pm
This is one of the most disgusting and amoral attempts to smear an honest and courageous scientist’s reputation that I have ever seen. Dr. Mann has been cleared of any sort of wrongdoing whatsoever by 6 different investigations and his detractors have been shown to be complete liars (e.g., Edward Wegman of George Mason University)
Tenney Naumer seems like nice girl but OpenMarket.org does not appear to be her natural habitat. Her comment was posted the day before Steyn posted his Football and Hockey article and 6 days before Mann issued his threat to sue for defamation. Before then, Simberg’s and Steyn’s articles had had no significant publicity, at least not within the climate blogosphere. As Anthony Watts remarked:
Eli Rabbet (aka Dr. Joshua Halpern, allegedly) was the second person to comment on the thread under Rand Simberg’s piece, 9 hours after Naumer.
Eli Rabett July 14, 2012 at 11:03 pm
Yes, it is truly depressing how you are willing to expose your children to danger to satisfy your oil lust.
There was a 2011 Climate B.S.* of the Year Award, whose comment thread may have set Gleick on his path to self-destruction (see below), but the contributors were not named. After that, Gleick’s annual B.S. Awards seem to have transmogrified into this list (co-ordinated by Greg Laden), where Eli Rabett, Michael Mann, and others of note, are listed as contributors:
Top Climate Stories of 2012
Greg Laden, ScienceBlogs, 28 December 2012 [NOT CHRONOLOGICAL]
A group of us, all interested in climate science, put together a list of the most notable, often, most worrying, climate-related stories of the year, along with a few links that will allow you to explore the stories in more detail.
The following people contributed to this effort: Angela Fritz, A Siegel, Eli Rabett, Emilee Pierce, Gareth Renowden, Greg Laden, Joe Romm, John Abraham, Laurence Lewis, Leo Hickman, Michael Mann, Michael Tobis, Paul Douglas, Scott Mandia, Scott Brophy, Stephan Lewandowsky, and Tenney Naumer.
Note the overlap in the contributor lists (between Gleick’s 2010 BS-Awards and Laden’s 2012 Top Climate Stories): Douglas, Naumer, Romm, Renowden. And note the additions Mann, Mandia, Rabett. It is not improbable that Mann was also a contributor to Gleick’s 2011 BS-Awards where Steve McIntyre gets a “dishonorable mention … for his despicable smear of climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann”.
In any case, considering the amount of attention this group gave to McIntyre’s comment and Mann’s numerous connections to all of them (see more below), it seems impossible that he was not aware of it.
It raises the questions: Why didn’t Mann sue McIntyre instead of Steyn, Simberg etc? Why wait 8 months to get all “anguished” and “outraged”?
There is also considerable overlap with the list of “friends” whom Gleick “anonymously” emailed the Heartland documents (or at least of those who posted on the story very early) e.g. Michael Tobis appears in all three lists. John Mashey, praised in the body of the 2010 article, also appears to be one of the Fakegate “friends”.
Some of these people seem sincere enough and are probably just pawns (the phrase ‘useful idiots’ seemed too harsh) and don’t deserve to become unwittingly implicated in a legal dispute. Others not so much.
As of 2013, the “Top Climate Stories of …” trope seems to have been taken over by Al Gore’s Climate Reality, which also produced a slick anti-Heartland video days after the Fakegate story broke.
Tobis has also co-authored articles with prominent members of the “team”.
Jan 6, 2011
Forbes’ rich list of nonsense
RealClimate.org, 6 January 2011
Guest commentary from Michael Tobis and Scott Mandia with input from Gavin Schmidt, Michael Mann, and Kevin Trenberth
While it is no longer surprising, it remains disheartening to see a blistering attack on climate science in the business press where thoughtful reviews of climate policy ought to be appearing.
In the above article, Tobis and the RealClimateers make the same spurious claims as Gleick. Forbes gave Gleick and others the same opportunity as skeptics to present their case. Instead of writing “thoughtful reviews of climate policy” he conducts “blistering attack[s]” and hands out BS awards.
Aug 31, 2011
Why Anti-Science Ideology is Bad for America
Peter Gleick, Forbes, 31 August 2011
For every $1 saved by delaying replacement satellites, society will face an estimated $3 to $5 in higher costs in the form of damages, injuries, deaths, and efforts to obtain data using other approaches — this is a false savings solely due to anti-climate ideology.
Gleick’s use of the phrase “anti-climate” in his public writings and later (and implausibly as a self-identifier used by “deniers”) in the fake Heartland “strategy memo” was part of his undoing.
Incidentally, I didn’t realize that taking thermometer readings could be so dangerous. Nor do I understand Gleick’s enthusiasm for satellite measurements, as those are the ones that he and other alarmists routinely ignore.
THE FUSE IS SET
Nov 10, 2011
Penn State President Fired
Steve McIntyre, ClimateAudit, 10 November 2011
On the same day that Nature published yet another editorial repudiating public examination of the conduct of academic institutions, Penn State President Graham Spanier was fired from his $813,000/year job for failing to ensure that a proper investigation was carried out in respect to pedophilia allegations in Penn State’s hugely profitable football program. The story is receiving massive coverage in North America because the iconic Penn State football coach, Joe Paterno, was also fired today.
CA readers are aware of Spanier’s failure to ensure proper investigation of Climategate emails and his untrue puffs about the ineffective Penn State Inquiry Committee, reported at CA here and by the the Penn State Collegian as follows:
It’s hard not to transpose the conclusions of the Penn State Climategate “investigation” into Penn State’s attitude towards misconduct charges in their profitable football program:
Spanier was fired not because of any personal role in the Sandusky football scandal, but because of negligence on his part in ensuring that the allegations were properly investigated. This was not the only case in which Spanier failed to ensure proper investigation of misconduct allegations. As noted above, Spanier had falsely reported to the Penn State trustees and the public that the Penn State Inquiry Committee had properly interviewed critics and had examined the Climategate documents and issues “from all sides”.
—–DIGRESSION ON ETHICS—–
The nature of Sandusky’s crime, lends itself to colourful language, but it is irrelevant for the purposes of the comparison. If he had committed some financial fraud and Penn State had turned a blind eye to that, the comparison would still have been valid, and McIntyre, Steyn and others would have still have made it. They did not choose the crime that Sandusky commited. He did.
It is clear that the focus of McIntyre’s comments is the behaviour of Penn State, not Mann. McIntyre also mentioned the case of Antonio Lasaga in the comment thread. Mann was not at Penn State at the time of Lasaga’s crimes. Again the parallel being drawn was the misconduct of Penn State. McIntyre included some pertinent quotes.
During the sentencing, Lasaga’s academic peers advocated leniency because of the expertise that would be lost to the scientific community by imprisoning one of its luminaries.
In response to the professors’ courtroom comments, the prosecutor David Strollo said after the trial, “In all my years as a prosecutor, I have never heard people deliver comments so disconnected with reality.”
And I will add one more.
Former Yale Professor Gets 20 Years for Molesting Boy He Mentored
New York Times, 16 February 16 2002
Three Yale professors also spoke up for Mr. Lasaga, with one describing him as ”Nobel Prize material.’‘ Mr. Lasaga received the Mineralogical Society of America’s award of the year in 1986 and has consulted on such issues as global warming.
Déjà vu? There does seem to be a certain pattern at Penn. State. I suppose Simberg could have described Mann as “the Antonio Lasaga of climate science” but as Lasaga “has consulted on such issues as global warming” Antonio Lasaga is the Antonio Lasaga of climate science. And the folks at Penn. State do seem to have a peculiar code of ethics, especially when it comes to climate skeptics. According to David Appell (Michael Mann’s “journalist” of choice when leaking emails):
Donald Brown, the philosopher at Penn State who has been writing about the ethics of climate change for well over a decade — I interviewed him in the early 2000s — thinks they are perhaps guilty of crimes against humanity.
In the same article Appell revealed.
When I profiled Michael Mann for Scientific American, he said he thought it would eventually be illegal to deny climate change. I had doubts about that, but maybe.
Mann has expressed similar opinions elsewhere.
Michael Mann interviewed by SkepticTV 028, 17 June 2013
So as I’ve stated before, these stolen emails and the attacks that were manufactured by them were indeed a crime against humanity, because who’s gonna pay the price?
So it appears that Michael Mann of Penn. State thinks all climate skeptics should be in the state pen (to adapt the pun for which Mann sued Canadian scientist Timothy Ball).
Nov 10, 2011
McIntyre on the Penn State fiasco
Anthony Watts, WUWT, 10 November 2011
Steve McIntyre writes about what many of us have been thinking about Penn State’s failures at investigating its own, such as the appearance of a whitewash investigation done about Dr. Michael Mann and Climategate.
Less than 24-hours after McIntyre’s post, the anonymous Canadian blogger, and self-appointed McIntyre-investigator, at Deep Climate, (who also appears on DeSmogBlog’s blogroll of initial Fakegate disseminators) takes notice.
Nov 11, 2011
Deep Climate, 11 November 2011
Just when you thought McIntyre couldn’t sink any lower, here’s the opening from his latest at ClimateAudit.
“On the same day that Nature published…
This prompted Joe Romm, (BS-team member), to write an article.
Nov 13, 2011
Wow. Just Wow. Desperate Deniers Sink to All-Time Low to Smear Uber-Vindicated Penn State Climate Scientist
Joe Romm, ThinkProgress.org, 13 November 2011
Climatologist Michael Mann works at Penn State. Penn State is going through a horrific and inexcusable child-sex-abuse scandal. Ergo….
Yes, two of the top climate science deniers on the web, Steve McIntyre at ClimateAudit and Anthony Watts of WattsUpWithThat, actually went there.
But it was Steve McIntyre at ClimateAudit who launched this smear Thursday (click here if you have a strong stomach). As long-time Climate Progress commenter MapleLeaf wrote at the long thread on this at DeepClimate:
No words can describe my anger at this uncalled for action by McIntyre who is knowingly trying to capitalize on (and benefit from) the suffering and pain of sexual assault victims. Absolutely disgusting in the extreme.
Romm’s piece includes a prominent graphic of an exploding head with the caption “Warning: The contents of this post may cause your head to asplode”. Incidentally, Andrew Revkin and Anthony Watts both commented on the propensity of Romm’s head to explode.
Six weeks later, and it is time for another of Gleick’s BS Awards list.
Jan 1, 2012
The 2011 Climate B.S.* of the Year Awards
Peter Gleick, Forbes, 1 January 2012
also at Huffington Post, 5 January 2012
Why the failure to act? In part because climate change is a truly difficult challenge. But in part because of a concerted, well-funded, and aggressive anti-science campaign by climate change deniers and contrarians. These are mostly groups focused on protecting narrow financial interests, ideologues fearful of any government regulation, or scientific contrarians who cling to outdated, long-refuted interpretations of science. While much of the opposition to addressing the issue of climate change is political, it often hides behind pseudo-scientific claims, with persistent efforts to intentionally mislead the public and policymakers with bad science about climate change.
The 2011 Winner:
Climate B.S.* from all of the Republican candidates for President of the United States
Is it really necessary to be anti-science in general, and anti-climate science in particular, in order to be nominated to lead the Republican Party in the United States?
Second Place: Disinformation from Fox News and Murdoch’s News Corporation
Third Place: Spencer, Braswell, and Christy for their lack of climate “sensitivity”
Fourth Place: The Koch Brothers for funding the promotion of bad climate science
Fifth Place: Anthony Watts for his BEST, and worst, climate hypocrisy
Runners Up: Other Noteworthy Climate B.S. of 2011
Some voters felt that the following entries submitted for the 2011 Climate B.S. competition deserve recognition though they win no awards from us.
Harrison Schmitt and the Heartland Institute for “Arcticgate”
Rush Limbaugh for his consistent falsehoods about climate science
And finally, the “dishonorable” mention of the year goes to Steve McIntyre for his despicable smear of climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann of Penn State University (and to Anthony Watts for amplifying that smear) by drawing a parallel between the Penn State pedophilia investigation and their separate scientific investigation of questions about climate research (in which Professor Mann has been completely and repeatedly exonerated). Joe Romm discusses this disgusting case here.
The 2011 Climate B.S. of the Year Award was prepared by Peter Gleick with an independent group of climate scientists and communicators serving as nominators, reviewer, and voters. Thanks to all who participated this year. See you next year
At least Gleick acknowledges that the comparison was between the two investigations and not a direct one between climatologist and pedophile. Note the phrases “anti-science” and “bad science” were bolded in the original. Unlike 2010, the contributors to this year’s BS Awards are not named. But, Tenney (the bad penny) Naumer, a member of the 2010 BS-team, was first to comment and defend Gleick.
tenneynaumer [comment thread]
What an excellent post, Dr. Gleick!
All worthy candidates among a plethora of fossil-fuel industry-funded deniers of global climate change, the most urgent problem of our time.
This is exactly the type of information that real investors need when making decisions about the future.
Tenney Naumer, M.Acc., M.B.A
timetrumpet [comment thread]
… To suggest this counts as a smear is infantile and in itself has no other purpose than to smear McIntyre – who has been fairly sympathetic towards Mann as far as various legal matters are concerned, but remains rightly critical of his methods.
tenneynaumer [comment thread]
Of course it is a despicable smear, and the fact that you defend it speaks volumes.
A summarized version of Gleicks 2011 BS Awards (which still includes the paragraph about “All of the Republican candidates for President”) appears on the Pacific Institute website where we learn what the EPA is getting for their north of half a million bucks. , 
In response to these efforts, in 2010 the Pacific Institute launched the annual Climate B.S.* of the Year Awards. We are now pleased, and disturbed, to announce the winners of the 2011 (second annual) Climate B.S.* of the Year Awards:
The 2011 Winner:
Climate B.S.* from all of the Republican candidates for President of the United States
The Pacific Institute was also given as the contact for the 2010 BS Awards published in Forbes (see above).
The Pacific Institute is a 501c3 company.
An organization will not qualify for tax exemption under IRC 501(c)(3) unless it “does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.”
THE FUSE IS LIT
James Taylor of The Heartland Institute responded to Gleick’s piece. Unlike Gleick’s rhetoric filled rant, Taylor actually addressed the science. It is Mother Nature that is mocking the alarmists by keeping her cool. But Taylor added some gentle mockery of his own.
Jan 12, 2012
Please, Global Warming Alarmists, Stop Denying Climate Change – And Science
James Taylor, Forbes, 12 January 2012
Every now and then I read a blog post that melts my heart. I truly feel the pain, anguish and anger of the writer. I may not always agree with the writer’s point of view, but I empathize with the writer’s pain nonetheless.
Reading Peter Gleick’s January 5 blog post here at Forbes.com, I experienced that empathy in full force. Gleick’s global warming beliefs are misguided and unsupported by sound science, but I nevertheless empathize with his pain and frustration that few people seem to agree with him. A person of thinner skin than me might be offended by Gleick’s frustration-induced rant, but I believe the best remedy is truth and understanding. Accordingly, I understand Gleick’s pain and I will present some truths that might ease Gleick’s anguish if he listens to them with an open heart and mind.
Gleick sets the tone for his blog post in the very first sentence, where he begins his column by stating, “The Earth’s climate continued to change during 2011….” Here, in the first eight words of his column, Gleick unwittingly reveals one of the primary reasons why he is so wrong in his dire warnings of a human-induced global warming crisis. Gleick and his fellow global warming alarmists are the ultimate climate change deniers.
For example, Gleick twice directs his wrath at the Heartland Institute. The Heartland Institute does indeed receive approximately $7 million in annual funding (with relatively little coming from corporations and only a very small fraction coming from corporations having anything to do with the global warming debate). By contrast, the Natural Resources Defense Council receives close to $100 million in annual funding, Greenpeace receives close to $200 million in annual funding, the World Wildlife Fund receives approximately $600 million in annual funding, etc., etc., etc. Which groups, indeed, are the “well-funded” entities “focused on protecting narrow financial interests?”
Gleick continues his blog by venomously attacking by name people and groups with whom he disagrees on the science.
Peter Gleick [on comment thread]
I don’t normally respond to the posts by James Taylor — reading them makes my head explode. They are written as though from a completely different universe — some parallel universe where up is down, left is right, and global warming isn’t happening…. whew (though a careful reader of this post by Taylor will note that he accidentally acknowledges global warming is occurring). But since I’m the entire target of this rant, I thought I might offer a minor comment or two:
He says I’m upset because so few people agree with me… Hmm, 97-98% of all climate scientists (of which I am one, and James Taylor is not) agree with me — climate change is happening, and it is happening because of human activities. Maybe no one at the Heartland Institute agrees (though they are paid not to), but I like the company I keep better.
I will ignore the completely scientific nonsense that comprises the rest of his post, except to note the fine response by “cyruspinkerton” who sets Taylor straight about extreme events in 2011. Taylor must not read the news, or the science, either.
I wonder, however, if Taylor would publish the list of who really DOES fund the Heartland Institute.
So, Mr. Taylor: let’s have the complete list of your funders.
russellc00k [anonymous commenter on sub-thread of Gleick’s comment]
Peter Gleick’s last sentence in his comment is pretty much what sends the entire notion of man-caused global warming over the cliff of credibility, because his and others’ 20-year+ fixation with marginalizing skeptic scientists and skeptic speakers is such an obvious indication that they do not have confidence in the IPCC’s ability to support itself. The public is not told where skeptics are wrong, we are told to ignore them because they’re on the payroll of the fossil fuel industry.
So, it’s not up to James Taylor to show us who funds the Heartland Institute, it’s up to Gleick, Gore, Pachari, Oreskes, Mooney, Romm, Gelbspan or any others who want to give it a shot: Stop with the guilt-by-association garbage, SHOW US YOUR SPECIFIC PROOF THAT MONEY WAS GIVEN TO SKEPTIC CLIMATE SCIENTISTS IN EXCHANGE FOR FALSE FABRICATED CLIMATE ASSESSMENTS!
If these folks continue failing to do this, everyone will ultimately realize that we do not have skeptics and the fossil fuel industry conspiring to confuse the public, it is the opposite; a cadre of well-financed, well-organized enviro-activists engaging in character assassination in support of a rather small amount of pro-global warming scientists, with the goal of trying to confuse the public into believing the issue is settled.
James Taylor [sub-thread of Gleick’s comment]
After directing a full column to singling out scientists who disagree with him and attacking them (and many others) by name, Peter Gleick appears to have his feelings hurt that he is the “entire target” of my column responding to his attacks. I am sorry Peter, but I was actually empathizing with your pain and providing some reassuring truth that might make you feel better. I am sorry that the truth did not set you free.
Gleick either knows or should know that most global warming “skeptics” believe the earth has warmed since the Little Ice Age and that human activity is a partial cause. By erroneously claiming that these two banal questions define the split between “alarmists” and “skeptics,” Gleick reveals his deceitfulness or ignorance on the core issues that divide “alarmists” and “skeptics.”
Finally, Gleick asks for the Heartland Institute to publicly reveal all the names of its donors. The Heartland Institute used to do so, while similarly appealing to other groups to do the same. However, environmental activists and other extremist groups used the information to launch a campaign of personal harassment against Heartland Institute donors while simultaneously refusing to release the names of their own donors. It is funny how Gleick rants against the alleged harassment of Katharine Hayhoe yet remains silent about the harassment of people who disagree with him. This further reveals Gleick’s appalling lack of objectivity, as does Gleick’s call for the Heartland Institute to release the names of its donors while ignoring the fact that the vast majority of global warming activist groups have been far less transparent than the Heartland Institute.
Of course, Gleick’s attempts to make Heartland Institute funding an issue while ignoring the less transparent funding reports of global warming activist groups with 10, 20, or even 80 times the funding of the Heartland Institute is a tired and sad tactic used by global warming alarmists who try desperately to take attention away from scientific facts and objective scientific data. I can see why Gleick views these scientific facts and objective data as a “parallel universe” that makes his “head spin.”
Gleick apes Romm’s ‘exploding head’ meme; refuses to address any scientific issues (e.g. the “pause”); and focuses on demands for the donor list. Taylor very explicitly tells Gleick why Heartland do not reveal donors names -personal safety. And, with his challenge to Gleick, anonymous commenter russellc00k may have wrought more than he knows.
BEWARE OF GLEICKS BEARING GIFTS
The Heartland Institute is in the early planning stages for our 28th Anniversary Benefit Dinner later this year. We usually have a keynote speaker or debate for the “entertainment” portion of the event, and I was wondering if you’d be willing to come to Chicago to debate James Taylor. We’d donate $5,000 to the charity of your choice in lieu of an honoraria.
I think such a debate would be enlightening, and a lot of fun. Folks at Heartland don’t bite, and treat those with whom we disagree with respect. (You can ask Scott Denning at Colorado State University about how he was treated at our last two climate conferences, or go here to view his words of thanks at our 4th conference.)
Jan 16, 2012 1:39 pm: Real Gleick replies to Lakely, asks for donor list as condition for accepting
In order for me to consider this invitation, please let me know if the Heartland Institute publishes its financial records and donors for the public and where to find this information. Such transparency is important to me when I am offered a speaking fee (or in this case, a comparable donation to a charity). My own institution puts this information on our website.
If the Pacific Institute’s donor list is on its website, it’s hidden better than a decade’s worth of warming. Incidentally, Gleick also asks about expenses but doesn’t mention carbon-offsets.
In addition, I assume your offer includes all travel and hotel expenses, economy class, but can you please confirm this?
Also on Jan 16:
National Center for Science Education Announces Climate Change Initiative!!!!
Greg Laden, ScienceBlogs.com, 16 January 2012
Here is a press release that will be distributed shortly:
NCSE TACKLES CLIMATE CHANGE DENIAL
A new initiative in the struggle for quality science education
OAKLAND, CA January 16, 2012
Science education is under attack–again.
This time it’s under attack by climate change deniers, who ignore a mountain of evidence gathered over the last fifty years that the planet is warming and that humans are largely responsible. These deniers attempt to sabotage science education with fringe ideas, pseudoscience, and outright lies.
But the National Center for Science Education won’t let ‘em get away with it.
Added Scott Mandia, the meteorologist who cofounded the Climate Science Rapid Response Team:
“The cavalry has arrived. NCSE, with its passion and experience defending science in our schools, will ensure that teachers can educate students about climate change without fear of reprisal.”
New program, new faces
As part of this new initiative, the NCSE has added two key members to its team:
* Dr. Peter Gleick, president and co-founder of The Pacific Institute, joins NCSE’s board of directors.
* Mark McCaffrey, a long-time climate literacy expert, joins NCSE as climate change programs and policy director. …
Jan 17, 2012: Lakely explains Heartland’s concerns about safety.
But I’m sure you’ve seen James M. Taylor’s response to the funding questions at Forbes.com – a question he has answered publicly many times. In short: We used to publicly list our donors by name, but stopped a few years ago, in part, because people who disagree with The Heartland Institute decided to harass our donors in person and via email.
• People who disagree with our views have taken to selectively disclosing names of donors who they think are unpopular in order to avoid addressing the merits of our positions. Listing our donors makes this unfair and misleading tactic possible. By not disclosing our donors, we keep the focus on the issue.
• We have procedures in place that protect our writers and editors from undue influence by donors. This makes the identities of our donors irrelevant.
• We frequently take positions at odds with those of the individuals and companies who fund us, so it is unfair to them as well as to us to mention their funding when expressing our point of view.
• No corporate donor gives more than 5 percent of our budget, and most give far less than that. We have a diverse funding base that is too large to accurately summarize each time we issue a statement.
And, as you know, we are under no legal obligation to release a detailed list of our donors – nor is any other non-profit organization. Our 990 forms are in full compliance with the IRS.
Jan 27, 2012, 8:36 am: Fake Gleick (i.e. impersonating Board member) phising email #1
Can you please add (or have appropriate staff member add) this personal email address to the Board mailing list for all future Board communications? Do not delete [redacted] address –just add this one as a duplicate. And send a reply here, confirming?
Heartland Institute Board Member
Jan 27, 2012 9:33 am: Real Gleick declines Lakely’s invitation.
After reviewing your email and after serious consideration, I must decline your invitation to participate in the August fundraising event for the Heartland Institute.
I think the seriousness of the threat of climate change is too important to be considered the “entertainment portion of the event” as you describe it, for the amusement of your donors.
Perhaps more importantly, the lack of transparency about the financial support for the Heartland Institute is at odds with my belief in transparency, especially when your Institute and its donors benefit from major tax breaks at the expense of the public.
Jan 28, 2012, 12:09 am: Confirmation of email address update sent to fake Gleick
Both email addresses have been added to the Board directory.
Jan 28, 2012 8:06 pm: Lakely acknowledges Gleicks decline (unaware of Gleick’s phishing).
I’m sorry to hear that you’ve declined our invitation, but I am thankful that you gave it serious consideration. If you’d ever like to engage in a public debate with a Heartland scholar on the topic of climate change, our door is always open.
Regardless, the invitation to our benefit dinner is open. We’ll happily comp you two tickets if you’d like to come to one of the world’s greatest cities for a day of leisure and an evening with Heartland’s scholars, staffers and supporters.
Feb 2, 2012: Fake Gleick phising email #2
Can you update me on the current Board schedule, if there are any dates I should know about?
Also, can you send me the most recent Board minutes and agenda materials, if they are available?
Feb 4, 2012: Fake Gleick phishing email #3
Thank you. I see the notice of the last meeting and the agenda, but not the actual minutes (if copies are available electronically).
I will get back to you on the schedule when I’m back in the office.
Feb 6, 2012 8:57 am: Fake Gleick receives Heartland 2012 Budget and Fundraising Plan (sent to all Board members)
Attached are a proposed budget and fundraising plan for The Heartland Institute for 2012. Because of their length, I am not folding them into the PDF of other meeting handouts that I am preparing. I expect to get that package out to you within the hour. …
Feb 8, 2012: Fake Gleick phishing email #4
When you get a chance, can you please email me the most up-to-date contact list for the board, with emails/phone numbers?
Feb 10, 2012: Contact details of Board members sent to Fake Gleick
VALENTINE’S DAY MESSAGE
Feb 14, 2012: “Anonymous” Gleick sends “Heartland leak” to 15 “friends“.
From: Heartland Insider
Date: Tue, Feb 14, 2012 at 12:13 PM
Subject: Files from Heartland Institute
Dear Friends (15 of you):
In the interest of transparency, I think you should see these files from the Heartland Institute. Look especially at the 2012 fundraising and budget documents, the information about donors, and compare to the 2010 990 tax form. But other things might also interest or intrigue you. This is all I have. And this email account will be removed after I send.
McIntyre had asked Lakely for details after Lakely had twittered that Gleick had been invited to speak and declined. McIntyre had reason to be concerned about some of the alarmist camp’s tactics, after learning, from the Climategate emails that he had been similarly targeted. He did not, however, mention this in his post.
Michael E. Mann, 19 Oct 2003
This guy “McIntyre” appears to be yet another shill for industry
Michael E. Mann, 31 Oct 2003
If *others* want to say that their actions represent scientific fraud, intellectual dishonesty, etc. (as I think we all suspect they do), lets let *them* make these charges for us!
Lets let our supporters in higher places use our scientific response to push the broader case against MM.
Michael E. Mann to Phil Jones, 30 Dec 2004
I would immediately delete anything you receive from this fraud.
You’ve probably seen now the paper by Wahl and Ammann which independently exposes McIntyre and McKitrick for what it is–pure crap.
Michael E. Mann to Andy Revkin, 04 Feb 2005
The McIntyre and McKitrick paper is pure scientific fraud.
Michael E. Mann to Phil Jones, Aug 29 2007
I would not respond to this. They will misrepresent and take out of context anything you give them. This is a set up. They will certainly publish this, and will ignore any evidence to the contrary that you provide. They are going after Wei-Chyung because he’s U.S. and there is a higher threshold for establishing libel. Nonetheless, he should consider filing a defamation lawsuit, perhaps you too.
I have been talking w/ folks in the states about finding an investigative journalist to investigate and expose McIntyre, and his thusfar unexplored connections with fossil fuel interests. Perhaps the same needs to be done w/ this Keenan guy.
I believe that the only way to stop these people is by exposing them and discrediting them.
Do you mind if I send this on to Gavin Schmidt …
Mann appears paranoid and obsessed about a fossil-fuel funded conspiracy. Yet his lawyers assert that
…these emails reflected only the commonplace and legitimate give and take of academic debate and inquiry.
THE ‘FRIENDS’ OF PETER GLEICK
Feb 14, 2012
Heartland Institute Exposed: Internal Documents Unmask Heart of Climate Denial Machine
Brendan Demelle, DeSmogBlog, 14 February 2012, 13:13
We are releasing the entire trove of documents now to allow crowd-sourcing of the material. Here are a few quick highlights, stay tuned for much more.
Confirmation that Charles G. Koch Foundation is again funding Heartland Institute’s global warming disinformation campaign.[Update: Apparently even the Koch brothers think the Heartland Institute’s climate denial program is too toxic to fund. On Wednesday, Koch confirmed that it did not cut a check for the $200K mentioned in the strategy memo after all. A statement released on KochFacts.com and the charleskochfoundationfacts.org states that “…the Charles Koch Foundation provided $25,000 to the Heartland Institute in 2011 for research in healthcare, not climate change, and this was the first and only donation the Foundation made to the institute in more than a decade. The Foundation has made no further commitments of funding to Heartland.”]
Greenpeace’s Koch reports show the last time Heartland received Koch funding was in 1999.
Even Gleick’s faked “strategy memo” only mentions $200K coming from the Koch brothers to Heartland. An amount the average Greenpeace executive would sneer at if it were offered as his annual salary. The genuine Heartland’s internal documents reveal that the Koch brothers only made a one-off contribution of $25K to Heartland, back in 1999, for purposes other than climate change. The Koch brothers and even Greenpeace’s own research confirm this. Yet Michael Mann goes on like a broken record about “a well-coordinated and well-funded public relations campaign by industry-funded front groups and their paid advocates”, in which the Koch brothers and Heartland are portrayed as the main villains.
Suppose that the $25K had actually been given for promoting skepticism of global warming alarmism. Jim Lakely of Heartland offered to “donate $5,000 to the charity of” Peter Gleick’s “choice in lieu of an honoraria” together with “all travel and hotel expenses” that Gleick had asked for, in order to get him to come and present his case or debate with the people who are supposedly holding up action on climate change. That would mean that over a fifth of the supposed Koch-funded Heartland “disinformation” campaign was actually going to be spent on giving Peter Gleick yet another soapbox from which to preach.
Feb 14, 2012
INTERNAL DOCUMENTS: The Secret, Corporate-Funded Plan To Teach Children That Climate Change Is A Hoax
Brad Johnson, Think Progress, 14 February 12012 3:10 pm
The first in a series of posts about the Heartland Institute’s inner workings, from internal documents acquired by ThinkProgress Green. Heartland has issued a press release claiming that some of these documents were sent to an outsider under false pretenses and that one document in the set is a fake.
James M. Taylor, a senior fellow at the Heartland Institute, told ThinkProgress Green in an e-mail why the group is developing its denier curriculum:
UPDATE: ThinkProgress is among several publications to have published documents related to the Heartland Institute. The documents were sent to us from an anonymous source, and the identity of the source was unknown to ThinkProgress at the time. The source later revealed himself on February 20, 2012. Heartland Institute has issued several press releases claiming that one document (“2012 Climate Strategy”) is fake and asserting other claims regarding the other documents. ThinkProgress has taken down the “2012 Climate Strategy” document as it works to determine the document’s origination.
Feb 14, 2012
Heartland Insider Exposes Institute’s Budget and Strategy
Richard Littlemore, DeSmogBlog, 14 February 2012, 13:14
An anonymous donor calling him (or her)self “Heartland Insider” has released the Heartland Institute’s budget, fundraising plan, its Climate Strategy for 2012 and sundry other documents (all attached) that prove all of the worst allegations that have been levelled against the organization.
There will be more comment and analysis to follow on DeSmogBlog and elsewhere, but we wanted to make this information available so that others can also scrutinize the documents and bring their expertise to the task.
Deep Climate – Heartland Institute Budget and Strategy Revealed [Anon., Feb 14]
Planet 3.0 – Is turnabout Fair Play? [Michael Tobis, Feb 14]
Climate Crocks – How is Joe Bast like Joe Camel? [Peter Sinclair, Feb 15]
Feb 14, 2012
Heartland Documents Reveal Fringe Denial Group Plans to Pursue Koch Money, Dupe Children and Ruin Their Future
Joe Romm, ThinkProgress, 14 February 2012, 6:39pm
Racing around the internet are some internal documents that appear to be from the Heartland Institute, a relatively obscure hard-core anti-science think tank. As DeSmogBlog explains, “An anonymous donor calling him (or her)self ‘Heartland Insider’ has released the Heartland Institute’s budget, fundraising plan… and sundry other documents (all attached) that prove all of the worst allegations that have been levelled against the organization.” See update below.
UPDATE: ThinkProgress is among several publications to have published documents related to the Heartland Institute. The documents were sent to us from an anonymous source, and the identity of the source was unknown to ThinkProgress at the time. The source later revealed himself on February 20, 2012. Heartland Institute has issued several press releases claiming that one document (“2012 Climate Strategy”) is fake and asserting other claims regarding the other documents. ThinkProgress has taken down the 2012 Climate Strategy document as it works to determine the document’s authenticity.
Contrast Joe Romm’s update, where he admits that he received the documents from an “anonymous source” (on the same day that Gleick sent them to his 15 “friends”), with his opening paragraph where he implies that he got the story and documents from DeSmogBlog. He deceived his readers. This update only appeared after Gleick confessed and the prospect of a criminal investigation loomed.
Feb 15, 2012
Climate Denial Bombshell
Shawn Lawrence Otto, Huffington Post, 15 February 2012, 9:18 am
A major event in the U.S. political battle over climate change happened this week with the unauthorized release of secret internal documents that reveal the finances and truly Machiavellian strategy of the Heartland Institute, a leading oil-industry-funded disinformation machine designed to spread propaganda and cast doubt on the settled science of anthropogenic global warming.
Tuesday morning, an anonymous person set up a Gmail account and used it to send incriminating internal strategy and budget documents to the email inboxes of bloggers who write about science denialism and climate change, then immediately cancelled the gmail account. The documents appear to be genuine and have been checked against other sources, which confirm their authenticity. If true, they show a pattern of breathtaking mendacity.
Other stories on the Heartland documents
Deep Climate [Feb 14]
Greg Laden [ScienceBlogs, Feb 14]
Brad Johnson [Think Progress, Feb 14 3:10]
Richard Littlemore [DeSmogBlog, Feb 14 13:14]
John Mashey [DeSmogBlog, Feb 14 15:08]
Joe Romm [Think Progress, Feb 14 6:39 pm]
Peter Sinclair [Climate Crocks, Feb 15]
Michael Tobis [Planet3.0, Feb 14]
The links list was not added later as can be seen from the Wayback cache dated the same day as the post.
Feb 15, 2012
Heartland burned by ‘DenialGate’ memos
Darren Samuelsohn, Politico Pro, 15 February 2012
Two sources in California — longtime Democratic operative Chris Lehane and Corey Goodman, a member of the Pacific Institute board of directors — confirmed to POLITICO that Gleick authored the Huffington Post blog confessing to be the source of the leak.
Lehane, Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign press secretary, is helping Gleick pro bono with communications issues. Gleick is represented by John Keker, a prominent San Francisco-based white colar criminal defense attorney.
Gleick has often battled with the Heartland Institute over climate science. The internationally-known water expert and member of the National Academy of Sciences since 2006, Gleick last summer was tapped by the Center for American Progress to participate in a pre-buttal conference call before Heartland hosted its sixth annual International Conference on Climate Change in Washington.
Feb 16, 2012
Heartland Institute: Hey Kids, Have a Smoke and Denial
Scott Mandia, ProfMandia blog, 16 February 2012
As has been widely reported in mainstream media and the blogosphere, a person calling himself “Heartland Insider” leaked internal documents …
First and foremost, please read super-sleuth John Mashey’s expose on Heartland Institute that was posted at DeSmog Blog yesterday.
I could go on with examples of how Heartland Institute is playing fast and loose with the truth but now it is time to send a message.
1. Contact the IRS and ask them to investigate Heartland Institute and The Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) …
2. Contact your elected officials …
3. Download Heartland’s 2012 Fundraising document and refer to Table 8 which shows major funders. … Remind these companies that there is no guarantee that their donations will not be used to confuse our children. I have listed contacts for a few of these companies below:
Feb 16, 2012
Leaked Docs From Heartland Institute Cause a Stir—but Is One a Fake?
Megan McArdle, The Atlantic, 16 February 2012
The climate blogs have been swept by quite a scoop in the past few days. An anonymous leaker identified only as “Heartland Insider”…
Switch the names, and the memo could have been a page ripped out of State of Fear or Atlas Shrugged.
Basically, it reads like it was written from the secret villain lair in a Batman comic. By an intern.
Feb 17, 2012
Michael Tobis, WUWT comment thread, 17 February 2012
So if there’s fraud here as described it appears quite poorly done. … If Heartland has sent everybody chasing down a scenario that didn’t happen, then it’s possible there was no theft or fraud involved. If there is no apprehension of the perpetrator, then many will continue to suspect that nothing was perpetrated, and that an insider really did have the documents legitimately, possibly even including the hard copy of the strategy document.
… If they track down the perpetrator of exactly the fraud they describe, that will be another story. I am not holding my breath, though.
The suggestion that someone as socially adept and successful as Peter Gleick is involved in this proposed clumsy heist and forgery is ludicrous and not worth considering either way.
Right Mike, just like the suggestion that anything might be wrong with the hockey stick or the climate models is “not worth considering”. Funny how Tobis and crew stopped using words like “fraud” and “forgery” right after Gleick’s confession.
Feb 17, 2012
Heartland Institute faces fresh scrutiny over tax status
Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian, 17 February 2012, 20.24 GMT
The Heartland Institute, the libertarian thinktank whose project to undermine science lessons for schoolchildren was exposed this week, faces new scrutiny of its finances – including its donors and tax status.
The Guardian has learned of a whistleblower complaint to the Internal Revenue Service about Heartland’s 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.
There was also a call from a group of climate scientists who have personally been on the receiving end of attacks from Heartland and bloggers funded by the thinktank, and whose email was posted online after a notorious 2009 hack, for Heartland to “recognise how its attacks on science and scientists have poisoned the debate about climate change policy,” in a letter made available exclusively to the Guardian.
John Mashey, a retired computer scientist and Silicon Valley executive, said he filed a complaint to the IRS this week that said Heartland’s public relations and lobbying efforts violated its non-profit status.
Mashey said he sent off his audit, the product of three months’ research, just a few hours before the unauthorised release of the Heartland documents.
Mashey later published his audit of Heartland finances in Desmogblog, which was the first outlet to run the trove of Heartland documents.
Others were demanding more disclosure from Heartland about its donors and its activities.
In a letter that was published on Friday and then subsequently removed, more than 30 leading health professionals and scientists from the US, Britain, Australia and New Zealand called on Heartland to come clean. “What motivates the Heartland Institute? As climate scientists and health professionals, we view the systematic manipulation and suppression of climate science for private benefit as confusing at best, and inhumane at worst,” the letter said.
In a separate initiative, seven climate scientists wrote an open letter calling on Heartland to see the moment of exposure as an opportunity to change tack.
An Open Letter to the Heartland Institute
As scientists who have had their emails stolen, posted online and grossly misrepresented, we can appreciate the difficulties the Heartland Institute is currently experiencing following the online posting of the organization’s internal documents earlier this week. However, we are greatly disappointed by their content, which indicates the organization is continuing its campaign to discredit mainstream climate science and to undermine the teaching of well-established climate science in the classroom.
We know what it feels like to have private information stolen and posted online via illegal hacking. It happened to climate researchers in 2009 and again in 2011. Personal emails were culled through and taken out of context before they were posted online. In 2009, the Heartland
Institute was among the groups that spread false allegations about what these stolen emails said.
Despite multiple independent investigations, which demonstrated that allegations against scientists were false, the Heartland Institute continued to attack scientists based on the stolen emails. When more stolen emails were posted online in 2011, the Heartland Institute again
pointed to their release and spread false claims about scientists.
So although we can agree that stealing documents and posting them online is not an acceptable practice, we would be remiss if we did not point out that the Heartland Institute has had no qualms about utilizing and distorting emails stolen from scientists.
We hope the Heartland Institute will heed its own advice to “think about what has happened” and recognize how its attacks on science and scientists have helped poison the debate over climate change policy. The Heartland Institute has chosen to undermine public understanding of basic scientific facts and personally attack climate researchers rather than engage in a civil debate about climate change policy options.
These are the facts: Climate change is occurring. Human activity is the primary cause of recent climate change. Climate change is already disrupting many human and natural systems. The more heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions that go into the atmosphere, the more severe those disruptions will become. Major scientific assessments from the Royal Society, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, United States Global Change Research Program and other authoritative sources agree on these points.
What businesses, policymakers, advocacy groups and citizens choose to do in response to those facts should be informed by the science. But those decisions are also necessarily informed by economic, ethical, ideological, and other considerations. While the Heartland Institute is entitled to its views on policy, we object to its practice of spreading misinformation about climate research and personally attacking climate scientists to further its goals.
We hope the Heartland Institute will begin to play a more constructive role in the policy debate.
Refraining from misleading attacks on climate science and climate researchers would be a welcome first step toward having an honest, fact-based debate about the policy responses to climate change.
Ray Bradley, PhD, Director of the Climate System Research Center, University of Massachusetts
David Karoly, PhD, ARC Federation Fellow and Professor, University of Melbourne, Australia
Michael Mann, PhD, Director, Earth System Science Center, Pennsylvania State University
Jonathan Overpeck, PhD, Professor of Geosciences and Atmospheric Sciences, University of
Ben Santer, PhD, Research Scientist, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Gavin Schmidt, PhD, Climate Scientist, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
Kevin Trenberth, ScD, Distinguished Senior Scientist, Climate Analysis Section, National Center for Atmospheric Research
The PDF metadata reveals the author to be Aaron Huertas”, presumably the same Aaron Huertas, Press Secretary of the Union of Concerned Scientists who posted the letter at his site the same day.
Feb 17, 2012
Scientists Who Had Emails Stolen Ask Heartland Institute to End Attack on Climate Science
Union of Concerned Scientists, 17 February 2012
UCS President Kevin Knobloch Calls Heartland Institute’s Strategy ‘Disturbing’
WASHINGTON (Feb. 17, 2012) – Seven leading climate researchers who themselves were the victims of an email theft which was promoted by the Heartland Institute have written an open letter to the organization, calling on it to refrain from spreading inaccurate information about climate science and attacking climate researchers.
The letter follows the publication of internal documents this week reportedly from Heartland that, if genuine, reveal that some of the nation’s largest fossil fuel interests are funding attacks to discredit climate science, including in public schools.
All of the signers had emails that are part of a stolen archive the Heartland Institute has pointed to in an attempt to discredit climate science.
The full letter from scientists, which was published in the London Guardian earlier today, is reproduced below:
Feb 17, 2012
Climategate victims chide Heartland double standard
Richard Littlemore, DeSmogBlog, 17 February 2012
A group of top-tier climate scientists who were victimized in the email theft known as Climategate has written to the Heartland Institute, sympathizing that the Institute is reading its own confidential documents in the public press, but chiding the “think tank” for how irresponsibly it dealt with the stolen emails.
In the case at hand, (and as Heartland explains in its own press release) an anonymous “Heartland Insider” asked the Institute to mail the entire briefing package for its January board meeting – and Heartland complied. Having received that package, the DeSmogBlog checked the content against research we had in hand to confirm its authenticity. Then we published it – in its entirety, so there could be no doubt about the context – on our website on Valentines’s Day.
Feb 20, 2012
The Origin of the Heartland Documents
Peter Gleick, Huffington Post, 20 February 2012 7:45pm
Since the release in mid-February of a series of documents related to the internal strategy of the Heartland Institute to cast doubt on climate science, there has been extensive speculation about the origin of the documents and intense discussion about what they reveal. Given the need for reliance on facts in the public climate debate, I am issuing the following statement.
At the beginning of 2012, I received an anonymous document in the mail describing what appeared to be details of the Heartland Institute’s climate program strategy. It contained information about their funders and the Institute’s apparent efforts to muddy public understanding about climate science and policy. I do not know the source of that original document but assumed it was sent to me because of my past exchanges with Heartland and because I was named in it.
Given the potential impact however, I attempted to confirm the accuracy of the information in this document. In an effort to do so, and in a serious lapse of my own and professional judgment and ethics, I solicited and received additional materials directly from the Heartland Institute under someone else’s name. The materials the Heartland Institute sent to me confirmed many of the facts in the original document, including especially their 2012 fundraising strategy and budget. I forwarded, anonymously, the documents I had received to a set of journalists and experts working on climate issues. I can explicitly confirm, as can the Heartland Institute, that the documents they emailed to me are identical to the documents that have been made public. I made no changes or alterations of any kind to any of the Heartland Institute documents or to the original anonymous communication.
I will not comment on the substance or implications of the materials; others have and are doing so. I only note that the scientific understanding of the reality and risks of climate change is strong, compelling, and increasingly disturbing, and a rational public debate is desperately needed. My judgment was blinded by my frustration with the ongoing efforts — often anonymous, well-funded, and coordinated — to attack climate science and scientists and prevent this debate, and by the lack of transparency of the organizations involved. Nevertheless I deeply regret my own actions in this case. I offer my personal apologies to all those affected.
Gleick’s confession was a transparent attempt to avoid the worst of consequences as the net closed on him. Gleick’s supporters avoid the most inconvenient Fakegate truths. The two most important documents to compare are the Valentine’s Day email Gleick sent and his confession six days later. The confession was also a belated attempt to shore up the credibility of the “strategy memo” as the discrepencies between it and the other documents became clearer by the day. Gleick lied to his “friends” and everyone else in that email. He claimed to be a “Heartland Insider” and he implied that “these files from the Heartland Institute” were all obtained in the same way directly from Heartland. That is forgery. That is fraud committed against everyone, not just Heartland.
Feb 20, 2012
Peter Gleick Admits to Deception in Obtaining Heartland Climate Files
Andrew C. Revkin, New York Times, 20 February 2012
Peter H. Gleick, a water and climate analyst who has been studying aspects of global warming for more than two decades, in recent years became an aggressive critic of organizations and individuals casting doubt on the seriousness of greenhouse-driven climate change. He used blogs, congressional testimony, group letters and other means to make his case.
Now, Gleick has admitted to an act that leaves his reputation in ruins* and threatens to undercut the cause he spent so much time pursuing. His summary, just published on his blog at Huffington Post, speaks for itself. You can read his short statement below with a couple of thoughts from me:
The Heartland Institute had already signaled that it plans to seek charges and civil action against the person who extracted its documents under a false identity. Foreshadowing today’s events, on Friday, Ross Kaminsky, a senior fellow and former board member at Heartland, posted a piece on the American Spectator site naming Gleick as an “obvious suspect.” Now they have their man.
I won’t speculate on how the legal aspects of this story might play out.
Another question, of course, is who wrote the climate strategy document that Gleick now says was mailed to him. His admitted acts of deception in acquiring the cache of authentic Heartland documents surely will sustain suspicion that he created the summary, which Heartland’s leadership insists is fake.
One way or the other, Gleick’s use of deception in pursuit of his cause after years of calling out climate deception has destroyed* his credibility and harmed others. (Some of the released documents contain information about Heartland employees that has no bearing on the climate fight.) That is his personal tragedy and shame (and I’m sure devastating for his colleagues, friends and family).
The broader tragedy is that his decision to go to such extremes in his fight with Heartland has greatly set back any prospects of the country having the “rational public debate” that he wrote — correctly — is so desperately needed.
7:32 p.m. | Updated |
There’s much more in a fresh post, including criticism of Gleick’s actions from Gavin Schmidt, the climate scientist who runs the RealClimate blog.
I also have been remiss in failing to point to the important reporting on the origins of the Heartland documents by Megan McCardle of The Atlantic.
[10:35 p.m. | Updated
* Joe Romm noticed that I forgot to append this post to reflect my reconsideration on Wednesday of the way I described Gleick’s actions (marked above with asterisks). Thanks for the reminder.]
Feb 20, 2012
Statement by The Heartland Institute on Peter Gleick Confession
Joseph Bast, Heartland Institute, 20 February 2012
FEBRUARY 20, 2012 — The Heartland Institute has issued the following statement concerning Peter Gleick’s confession with respect to stolen and forged documents. For more updates and coverage, go to Fakegate.org.
“Earlier this evening, Peter Gleick, a prominent figure in the global warming movement, confessed to stealing electronic documents from The Heartland Institute in an attempt to discredit and embarrass a group that disagrees with his views.
“Gleick’s crime was a serious one. The documents he admits stealing contained personal information about Heartland staff members, donors, and allies, the release of which has violated their privacy and endangered their personal safety.
“An additional document Gleick represented as coming from The Heartland Institute, a forged memo purporting to set out our strategies on global warming, has been extensively cited by newspapers and in news releases and articles posted on Web sites and blogs around the world. It has caused major and permanent damage to the reputations of The Heartland Institute and many of the scientists, policy experts, and organizations we work with.
“A mere apology is not enough to undo the damage.
“In his statement, Gleick claims he committed this crime because he believed The Heartland Institute was preventing a “rational debate” from taking place over global warming. This is unbelievable. Heartland has repeatedly asked for real debate on this important topic. Gleick himself was specifically invited to attend a Heartland event to debate global warming just days before he stole the documents. He turned down the invitation.
“Gleick also claims he did not write the forged memo, but only stole the documents to confirm the content of the memo he received from an anonymous source. This too is unbelievable. Many independent commentators already have concluded the memo was most likely written by Gleick.
“We hope Gleick will make a more complete confession in the next few days.
“We are consulting with legal counsel to determine our next steps and plan to release a more complete statement about the situation tomorrow. In the meantime, we ask again that publishers, bloggers, and Web site hosts take the stolen and fraudulent documents off their sites, remove defamatory commentary based on them, and issue retractions.”
Feb 21, 2012
Heartland Serves Threatening Letters, Climate Science Legal Defense Fund & PEER Hit Back
Scott Mandia, ProfMandia blog, 21 February 2012
As blogged by me and many, many others, Heartland Institute got caught with their pants down when internal documents revealed what we have known for a long time: they are undermining the education of our children.
Read on for a surprising new development….
The blogger community along with mainstream media has been spanking Heartland Institute for the past week – and deservedly so. Heartland broke a sacred rule:
REGARDLESS OF YOUR POLITICS, IT IS NEVER OK TO HURT CHILDREN.
The LA Times issued a scathing editorial titled Climate denial in the classroom and The Guardian described John Mashey’s bombshell report which shows Heartland Institute may have violated the IRS rules under which they operate.
They sent threatening letters to many in the journalism community who had the courage to shine a light on their flat earth agenda. The victims of this legal threat included a 71 year old veteran and a mom. Amber Jamieson of Crikey reported on these legal scare tactics and her story includes a copy of the letter that Heartland is currently sending around. These people are whistleblowers and they should be protected by law.
Today, The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund along with its fiscal sponsor, Public Employees for Environmental Protection (PEER), has sent the following letter to Heartland:
February 21, 2012
Ms. Maureen Martin
The Heartland Institute
One South Wacker Drive #2740
Chicago, IL 60606
Dear Ms. Martin:
As a community that has been through similar invasions of our privacy, we understand what you are going through. We were struck by the eloquence of your words in describing your situation. We could not think of a better way to describe our feelings than with the words you’ve crafted.
Forgive us for taking the following paragraphs from your website and recent letters to members of the blogger and journalistic community, but as it is often said imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
In November 2009 groups posted online several documents they claimed were the emails of climate scientists. These documents were stolen from Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.
Disagreement over the causes, consequences, and best policy responses to climate change runs deep. We understand that.
But honest disagreement should never be used to justify the criminal acts and fraud that occurred. As a matter of common decency and journalistic ethics, we ask everyone in the climate change debate to sit back and think about what just happened. Those persons who posted these documents and wrote about them before we had a chance to comment on their authenticity should be ashamed of their deeds, and their bad behavior should be taken into account when judging their credibility now and in the future.
Furthermore, the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund views the malicious and fraudulent manner in which the Climatic Research Unit documents were obtained and/or thereafter disseminated, as well as the repeated blogs about them, as providing the basis for civil actions against those who obtained and/or disseminated them and blogged about them. The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund fully intends to pursue all possible actionable civil remedies to the fullest extent of the law.
We respectfully ask the Heartland Institute, all activists, bloggers, and other journalists to immediately remove all of these documents and any quotations taken from them, from their blogs, Web sites, and publications, and to publish retractions.
Scott A. Mandia & Joshua Wolfe
Climate Science Legal Defense Fund: “Protecting the Scientific Endeavor”
PEER Executive Director
The third and fourth paragraphs are copied from Heartlad’s initial response to Gleick’s deception, which can be found here.
This was reposted on several climate blogs. It was sent from and to lawyers, using legal language and is also identified as an “open” letter (i.e. addressed to all concerned). I don’t know how this could be interpreted as anything other than a SLAPP tactic.
As the Chinese say: Kill the chicken to scare the monkeys.
PEER and the CSLDF are the groups backing Mann’s prosecution of Steyn.
The letter was issued the day after Gleick’s confession but also four days after the other open letter by the seven ‘concerned’ scientists, so may have been in the works beforehand.
Note how it refers to those climate scientists exposed by the climategate emails as a “community” (Mann and others of this “community” often speak of “the deniers” as a homogenous collective entity) i.e. it displays US and THEM thinking. To Mann and Mandia, Gleick is one of US and McIntyre, Watts, Taylor, Heartland, Steyn, CEI are of THEM.
Compare the opening paragraph and general mocking tone and feigned sympathy of the above lawyers’ letter to that of their ‘clients’ and James Taylor’s, January 12th article (see above) in Forbes, the one that lit Gleick’s fuse. e.g. the opening paragraphs:
Taylor, Forbes article, 12 Jan 2012
Every now and then I read a blog post that melts my heart. I truly feel the pain, anguish and anger of the writer. I may not always agree with the writer’s point of view, but I empathize with the writer’s pain nonetheless.
Taylor, comments thread, 12 Jan 2012
I am sorry Peter, but I was actually empathizing with your pain and providing some reassuring truth that might make you feel better. I am sorry that the truth did not set you free.
Mann, Schmidt, Trenberth, Bradley, Santer, Overpeck, 17 Feb 2012
As scientists who have had their emails stolen, posted online and grossly misrepresented, we can appreciate the difficulties the Heartland Institute is currently experiencing following the online posting of the organization’s internal documents earlier this week. However, we are greatly disappointed by their content, which indicates the organization is continuing its campaign to discredit mainstream climate science and to undermine the teaching of well-established climate science in the classroom.
We know what it feels like to have private information stolen and posted online via illegal hacking
Mandia, Wolfe and Ruch, 21 Feb 2012
As a community that has been through similar invasions of our privacy, we understand what you are going through. We were struck by the eloquence of your words in describing your situation. We could not think of a better way to describe our feelings than with the words you’ve crafted.
The “truth” Taylor was referring to was the 15-year “pause” in global warming. But, as far as the “team’s” two open letters appear to be partly a (‘right back at you’) response to Taylor, they assume he is mocking Gleick (and them) about Climategate.
Feb 21, 2012
Breaking news: Heartland leaker is scientist Peter Gleick, says documents are all real
Phil Plait, Discover Magazine, 21 February 2012
And if there is a greater moral good involved, like exposing dirty dealings on issues that have a major impact on people’s lives — say — it might even be understandable. On the other hand, if he impersonated someone real, then this may be a situation of identity theft. There’s also the question of whether he did everything he could to find out the veracity of the documents before taking the path he did.
Note that Gleick is explicitly saying the strategy document about the Heartland Institute trying to dissuade the teaching of science is in fact real, despite the claims from Heartland saying it’s not. He is also saying he did not make any alterations, so again he is claiming they are actual Heartland Institute internal documents.
Obviously, some will paint Gleick as a criminal and fraud, and others as a whistleblower and hero.
Feb 21, 2012
AGU Encourages Integrity in all Aspects of Climate Change Discourse
Scholarly Society Rejects Deception Regarding Heartland Institute Documents
AGU, 21 February 2012, AGU Release No. 12-11
In response to a blog post late yesterday, 20 February 2012, by Dr. Peter Gleick regarding documents purportedly from the Heartland Institute which he disseminated, AGU President Michael McPhaden issued the following statement:
“AGU is disappointed that Dr. Gleick acted in a way that is inconsistent with our organization’s values. AGU expects its members to adhere to the highest standards of scientific integrity in their research and in their interactions with colleagues and the public. Among the core values articulated in AGU’s Strategic Plan are ‘excellence and integrity in everything we do.’ The vast majority of scientists share and live by these values.
On Thursday, 16 February, prior to his blog post, Dr. Gleick resigned as chair of AGU’s Task Force on Scientific Ethics, which first convened in November 2011. In his resignation, he cited “personal, private reasons” …
Feb 21, 2012
Crossing the Line as Civilization Implodes: Heartland Institute, Peter Gleick and Andrew Revkin
Joe Romm, ThinkProgress, 21 February 2012
Humanity is putting its foot on the accelerator even though the world’s top scientists and governments have repeatedly explained we are headed over a cliff.
In this sewer of unethical and immoral activity, we all have tough choices, most especially climate scientists, the victims of many of the worst attacks.
Last night I, and I imagine everyone else, was stunned to learned that Dr. Peter Gleick was the one who put these documents into the public domain.
But Gleick is right that he committed a serious lapse of professional judgment and ethics. He is right to regret his actions and make a personal apology.
When exactly will the Heartland Institute apologize for “spreading misinformation” and “personally attacking climate scientists to further its goals”?
Revkin has ZERO credibility in making these attacks. Zero.
First off, if one act of this nature could ruin a reputation or destroy his credibility, then what precisely is Revkin doing routinely quoting and citing people who have been repeatedly debunked, the disinformers and confusionists.
Revkin smeared Al Gore — equating his science-based talks with George Will’s long-debunked falsehoods — based on the false claims of one of the most debunked people in the blogosphere (see “Yes, the false accusation that Gore was exaggerating came from none other than Roger Pielke, Jr.: And yes, I just re-confirmed with Gore’s office that Pielke is as wrong today in his false claims as he was 2 years ago”).
What Gleick did was wrong and Gleick not only knows it, he admitted it and apologized, thereby preserving his reputation in a world where everyone makes mistakes, but few admit it.
Feb 21, 2012
Gleick apology over Heartland leak stirs ethics debate among climate scientists
Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian, 21 February 2012
The outing of the researcher who exposed the Heartland Institute’s efforts to discredit climate change has thrown the scientific community into tumult, with fierce debates raging on Tuesday over whether to brand his actions heroic, or misguided.
“Heartland has been subverting well-understood science for years,” wrote Scott Mandia, co-founder of the climate science rapid response team. “They also subvert the education of our schoolchildren by trying to ‘teach the controversy’ where none exists.”
Mandia went on: “Peter Gleick, a scientist who is also a journalist, just used the same tricks that any investigative reporter uses to uncover the truth. He is the hero and Heartland remains the villain. He will have many people lining up to support him.”
Others acknowledged Gleick’s wrongdoing, but said it should be viewed in the context of the work of Heartland and other entities devoted to spreading disinformation about science.
“What Peter Gleick did was unethical. He acknowledges that from a point of view of professional ethics there is no defending those actions,” said Dale Jamieson, an expert on ethics who heads the environmental studies programme at New York University. “But relative to what has been going on on the climate denial side this is a fairly small breach of ethics.”
He also rejected the suggestion that Gleick’s wrongdoing could hurt the cause of climate change, or undermine the credibility of scientists.
“Whatever moral high ground there is in science comes from doing science,” he said. “The failing that Peter Gleick engaged in is not a scientific failing. It is just a personal failure.”
But other scientists said Gleick did far more harm than good.
Richard Klein, a climate researcher at the Stockholm Environment Institute, said he was astounded at Gleick’s actions. “All I can say is: what was he thinking?” he said. “It’s an own goal. It’s not just his own credibility, his own integrity on the line. It’s a whole community of climate scientists who, with the odd exception, want to do good science and make sure science is recognised.”
He went on: “It doesn’t just blur the line between climate science and science policy. It blurs the line between what are acceptable and what are not acceptable methods. He is not perceived by the outside world as acting in his personal capacity. He acted also by responding as Peter Gleick the scientist and of course that hurts other scientists as well.”
John Nolt, a professor of environmental ethics at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, …
Nolt said he did not subscribe to the argument that Gleick’s wrong was minor in comparison to the damage done by Heartland. “I do think he crossed a line. It is unethical to obtain documents through deception in that way and I don’t think it matters what the other side is doing,” he said.
For many veteran of the climate wars, there was an uncanny parallels to the breach of Heartland materials and the hack of scientists’ emails from East Anglia’s climate research unit in 2009. However, scientists almost invariably noted that Gleick had come clean, unlike those who carried out the East Anglia hack.
“It’s wrong to obtain documents under false pretenses, just as it was wrong for hackers to have taken scientists’ emails from the University of East Anglia. There’s no excuse for fighting deception with deception,” Kevin Knoblach, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists wrote. “Gleick has now come forward to publicly acknowledge his responsibility in this matter. Obviously, the person or persons who took scientists’ emails have not felt a similar need to come clean.”
The climate science legal defence fund went even further, in a letter tweaking the Heartland Institute for its complaints about invasion of privacy.
In a sign of combat to come, Gleick has taken on Chris Lehane, a top Democratic operative and crisis manager. Lehane, who worked in the Clinton White House, is credited for exposing the rightwing forces arrayed against the Democratic president. He was Al Gore’s press secretary during his 2000 run for the White House.
But Gleick does not appear to have experienced immediate remorse. He did not move to claim the ruse until there was already feverish online speculation about his involvement. He responded to a request by the Guardian for comment last Wednesday by saying he did not wish to comment.
But there were relatively few in the campaigner or scientific community who shared that view on Tuesday. “I don’t think there was ever going to be a kumbaya moment with the folks from Heartland anyway,” said Jeff Ruch, director of the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. “When you have interests that are funding organisations to spread doubt regardless of the circumstances they are still going to find ways to spread doubt.”
Feb 22, 2012
Over the line
Dishonesty, however tempting, is the wrong way to tackle climate sceptics
Nature, 22 February 2012
In a much-quoted Editorial in March 2010 (Nature 464, 141; 2010), this publication urged researchers to acknowledge that they are involved in a street fight over the communication of climate science. So would it now be hypocritical to condemn Peter Gleick for fighting dirty? …
Gleick’s deception — using an e-mail address set up in someone else’s name to request the documents from Heartland — is certainly in line with some of the tactics used to undermine climate science. When in November 2009 a hacker distributed thousands of e-mails stolen from climate researchers at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK, Heartland was prominent among those who criticized not the hacker, but the scientists who wrote the messages. However, Gleick, as he has admitted, crossed an important line when he acted in such a duplicitous way. It was a foolish action for a scientist, especially one who regularly engages with the public and critics. Society rightly looks to scientists for fairness and impartiality. Dishonesty, whatever its form and motivation, is a stain on the individual and the profession. Gleick does deserve credit for coming clean — but, it must be said, he did so only after he was publicly accused on the Internet of being involved.
The original accusation, incidentally, was more serious: that Gleick had deliberately forged a Heartland Institute memo that brought together, with suspicious convenience, the most incriminating sections of the other climate documents, which seem to have been presented to the Heartland board meeting in January. He denies doing so, and says that he received the memo, in which he is named and which Heartland says has been faked, separately from an anonymous source. The e-mail chicanery, he says, was an attempt to check whether it was genuine.
On 24 January, Gleick had published another article in The Huffington Post, entitled ‘Climate Change: Sifting Truth From Lies in a Complex World‘. As he now knows, the best way for scientists to help people find this truth is through open and honest debate.
Feb 22, 2012
The Most Surprising Heartland Fact: Not the Leaks, but the Leaker
Megan McArdle, The Atlantic, 22 February 2012
And ethics aside, what Gleick did is insane for someone in his position–so crazy that I confess to wondering whether he doesn’t have some sort of underlying medical condition that requires urgent treatment. The reason he did it was even crazier. I would probably have thrown that memo away. I might have spent a few hours idly checking it out. I would definitely not have risked jail or personal ruin over something so questionable, and which provided evidence of . . . what? That Heartland exists? That it has a budget? That it spends that budget promoting views which Gleick finds reprehensible?
On that note, a few more questions about Gleick’s story:
How did his correspondent manage to send him a memo which was so neatly corroborated by the documents he managed to phish from Heartland?
How did he know that the board package he phished would contain the documents he wanted? Did he just get lucky?
If Gleick obtained the other documents for the purposes of corroborating the memo, why didn’t he notice that there were substantial errors, such as saying the Kochs had donated $200,000 in 2011, when in fact that was Heartland’s target for their donation for 2012? This seems like a very strange error for a senior Heartland staffer to make. Didn’t it strike Gleick as suspicious? Didn’t any of the other math errors?
Feb 22, 2012
More on Peter Gleick and the Heartland Files
Andrew C. Revkin, 22 February 2012
First, I will not retract the post I wrote on Gleick’s confession, as demanded by climate campaigner Joe Romm in a piece yesterday on Heartland, Gleick and me. You can read his long screed or simply read this distillation from a post by David Appell on Quark Soup:
They’re worse (meaning Heartland) ~1500 words
Gleick was wrong: 27 words
Journalist scum! ~1000 words
I’ve known Gleick as a source and acquaintance since I first quoted him in 1988, which made it very hard to write the piece on Monday. I will acknowledge that certain phrases, written in haste, were overstated. Gleick’s reputation and credibility are seriously damaged, not necessarily in ruins or destroyed.
Bryan Walsh of Time Magazine, in a newly posted article, notes that Gleick, in his stance as chairman of that task force, co-authored a piece for Eos, the geophysical union’s informal journal, on ethics late last year:
Gleick and his co-author Randy Townsend of the AGU wrote that advancing scientific work to create a sustainable future would only be possible if scientists had the trust of the public and policymakers. And that trust, they added, “is earned by maintaining the highest standards of scientific integrity in all that we do.”
Strong words, and true ones too, but Gleick himself has failed to live up to them — and his actions have hurt not just his own professional reputation but the cause of climate science as well.
CLIMATE OF DOUBT
Feb 23, 2012
Scott Mandia and Judith Curry interviewed by Larry Mantle, 89.3KPCC, 23 February 2012
[transcript of audio]
MANDIA:… It’s going to hurt his reputation in the short run but I think in the long run, the more important story is what we’ve all suspected for so long. Heartland Institute, now we get to see the inner workings. So I think the documents that have come to light are the truly the story. And that’s what’s going to linger for the long time, I think. It’s just unfortunate he had to sacrifice himself in the short run.
INTERVIEWER: Do you feel it benefited the climate science movement to do it. Your feeling is, sort of, the end justified the means here?
MANDIA: Well no. I think that probably the way a lot of us are looking at it is, you know, I put on my science hat. As a member of the science community, eh, you know, what he did was unacceptable. The ends don’t justify the means. You have to seek the truth, but you have to do it honestly. And then he didn’t. However, I’m also a father and a citizen. I have two small boys. Putting on my Dad hat, you know, this he’s potentially saving my children and your children and children of people in the audience because it’s clear Heartland have had a history of subverting science education and they were up to it again. So, for all the parents out there, this is something that is going to benefit them.
INTERVIEWER: Scott Mandia of Suffolk County Community College there. Also with us Judith Curry, Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Professor, thank you for joining us.
CURRY: Well, thank you for inviting me.
INTERVIEWER: So, how big a setback is this to the science community.
CURRY: Well, I find this whole incident very regretable. What makes it so astonishing, is that Peter Gleick was a member of the elite of the elites of U.S. science. He was a McArthur genius fellow, a member of the U.S. Academy of Sciences and he’s testified in front of U.s. Congress a number of times. And in 2007 he gave Congressional testimony on the subject of ethics and integrity in scientific research. So, I mean, I was completely blown away, you know, by the apparent hypocracy of a spokesperson for ethics and integrity in scientific research doing something like that. Additionally he’s the Chairman of the Taskforce On Research Ethics and Integrity for the American Geophysical Union. So, this raises issues for the broader community not just for his personal behaviour.
INTERVIEWER: Well then, that was my question. Do you feel that this calls into question even the research that’s done in climate science. Because if someone’s willing to go to this extent because of how strongly they believe; well might that not go across into their research?
CURRY: Em, yes. People will be asking that question because of this. And the particularly sad thing about this, is, I think, Peter wasted a bullet. And used it on himself. That this whole issue of Heartland being an important player in the U.S. debate on climate change I think is a mistaken one. I don’t think it’s an important player. …
INTERVIEWER: It’s AirTalk. I’m Larry Mantle. We’re talking about the case of Peter Gleick, a well known climate scientist and journalist who admitted that he was deceptive in getting documents from the Heartland Institute about it’s plans for fundraising; it’s ideas for setting up an in public schools curriculum for kids which has a skeptical view about global warming. And this feeding, kind of, narrative that critics of human caused global warming have. They think that a lot of the climate science community is really made up of environmental activists and it’s not objective science. And that this feeds that notion that it’s really political activism, more than good science that has lead to the conclusion about the human cause of global warming. Got a very small percentage of climate scientists who hold other than the orthodox view that it really is human activity that has lead to the overwhelming amount of global warming that we see this century. I invite your calls
Professor [Mandia] you were quoted in the Guardian newspaper yesterday as saying that Gleick just used the same methods as an investigative reporter would have, that he’s a hero, Heartland remains a villain. Do you agree with those comments you made yesterday. do you still hold to that analysis.
MANDIA: Right, well I’ve already apologized to a few journalists because I conflated, I guess, uh, private investigation from journalistic investigation. Journalists do not pretend to be somebody else. So apologized to several journalists. However, Peter Gleick is a great man because. Look if you’re going to judge a person, just like in science, when we come to a conclusion, we look at the entire body of evidence. So we should judge an individual by his entire body of accomplishments, not by this one regrettable mistake.
INTERVIEWER: Well, I guess what I don’t understand, Professor Mandia, you’re saying that he’s an esteemed climate scientist, whose done wonderful work. Just look at that. But, if you’ve got someone who would go to this extent to try and get information that he thinks will be harmful to someone who sees the world differently than he does. How can that not reflect back on science and the rigour that’s required to make sure that the result is an objective one?
MANDIA: Well, you know, just like one cold winter doesn’t mean the climate is not warming. One scientist who makes a mistake does not represent the body of climate scientists.
INTERVIEWER: No, but you were defending his work.
MANDIA: I’m defending his work, absolutely. He’s done great things. He’s educated many people. He’s made a mistake. He stood up for it. He regrets …
CURRY: … It will have a negative impact on the perception of climate science and climate scientists. Just as we’ve been recovering from the fallout of Climategate a few years ago, with all the investigations and people are, you know. I’m easily hoping that, you know, the IPCC is going to do a better job next time and things are going to be more transparent. Then we see, you know, then we have this happen. It’s not helping the credibility of scientists or the trust that the public puts into climate scientists and their, you know, on the science. Cause it’s hard for the public to understand the nuances of such a complex subject. It’s hard for scientists to even understand. So they have to trust the experts on some level and when the experts behave like this then its a big loss of credibility to the whole climate science enterprise. And so that then is of considerable concern to me.
To Mandia, Gleick’s deception is comparable to some kind of extreme weather event. Well, in a way, there does seem to be a trend, like playing with “loaded dice”. I’d call Gleick’s event “a six”.
Mar 1, 2012
Heartland, Gleick, and Media Law
Experts weigh in on leaks and deceptive tactics
Curtis Brainard, Columbia Journalism Review, 1 March 2012
When, if ever, are deceptive tactics legally or ethically permissible in journalism?
Following Gleick’s confession, journalists, bloggers, and pundits of all stripes let loose a torrent of commentary about the ethics and likely consequences of his actions. Some scolded him. Some applauded. Some said he had hurt the effort to address climate change and eroded trust in climate science. Some said none of it mattered.
Scott Mandia, a scientist and co-founder of the Climate Science Rapid Response Team (which helps reporters find experts in the field), told The Guardian that Gleick “used the same tricks that any investigative reporter uses to uncover the truth.” Conversely, Time’s Bryan Walsh argued, “No reputable investigative reporter — certainly not one who worked at TIME — would be employed for long after obtaining insider information by lying the way Gleick did.”
The fact that Heartland said one of the leaked documents was a fake adds some element of legal risk, but not an insurmountable one, according to Lee Levine, who represented the media defendants in Barnicki v. Vopper:
There’s no law that says it’s illegal to post a fake document or to disseminate a fake document. … —they would have to prove that the poster either knew that information in the document was false or acted in reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.
It’s a principle otherwise known as “actual malice.” Failure to call Heartland to verify the strategy memo would be unlikely to constitute reckless disregard, Levine and several other legal experts agreed. “Unless there was something about the document that would cause them to question whether it was accurate, they would have no obligation to go and independently try to check it out—legally,” he said. “Journalistically is an entirely different matter.”
A couple of journalists did, in fact, note that the alleged “climate strategy memo” looked different from the other files, but they did so only after Heartland said it was a fake. So it seems that sites like DeSmogBlog, The Huffington Post, and Think Progress are on fairly safe ground. Indeed, in a letter to Heartland, the general counsel for the Center for American Progress, which runs ThinkProgress, asserted that contents of the fake document closely matched those of the other documents and cited Bartnicki in defense of publishing them.
Some have called Gleick a whistleblower, which doesn’t fit the defintion. …
That said, there is no law that prohibits individuals from misrepresenting themselves except in very specific situations …
Usually, the issue is whether or not misrepresentation leads to the violation of some other law, such as defamation. …
Mar 13, 2012
Legal Fund Helping Climate Scientists Draw Line in the Sand
Elizabeth Grossman, InsideClimate News, 13 March 2012
The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund, which was officially formed less than two months ago, is already working with five scientists who are defending themselves against lawsuits initiated by groups that doubt and deny the preponderance of climate science.
One of the scientists is Michael Mann, the internationally respected climate scientist who has been ensnared in two highly publicized legal battles seeking release of emails and other documents during his tenure at the University of Virginia. One of those cases was dismissed earlier this month by the Virginia Supreme Court.
The Climate Science Defense Fund declined to release the names of the other four scientists it’s working with. But Jeff Ruch, executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), which serves as the Defense Fund’s fiscal sponsor, said two of the cases involve requests for voluminous amounts of public records similar to those in Mann’s.
The idea for the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund was hatched last summer, when Scott Mandia, a professor of physical sciences at Suffolk Community College, and Joshua Wolfe, photographer and co-author of the book Climate Change: Picturing the Science, were discussing Mann’s plight.
The lawsuits against Mann, who shared in the 2007 Nobel Prize for his work on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), have targeted the science behind his paper that developed what’s become known as the Hockey Stick graph, which illustrates the recent rise in global temperatures. Several investigations—including into the hacked emails from the University of East Anglia that became known as “climategate”—have cleared Mann of any wrongdoing. But Virginia’s Attorney General and the American Tradition Institute (ATI), a non-profit think tank that supports a free-market and private property approach to environmental policy, separately continued their pursuit of Mann’s correspondence with the aim of finding flaws in his science.
The fund’s short-term goals, explained PEER’s Jeff Ruch, are to provide free legal assistance and advice through a network of pro-bono attorneys and advisors, and also to provide some financial assistance for legal defense. Long-term goals include educating scientists and their academic institutions on legal issues, including how to respond to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for faculty email correspondence that prompted the lawsuits against Mann.
Ruch described them as “vacuum cleaner FOIAs,” because they ask for an overwhelming volume of information. The American Tradition Institute’s FOIA in one of Mann’s cases asked the University of Virginia for thousands of emails—the ATI website says 12,000– dating back more than 10 years.
“What we have here is an assault against science. It’s clearly well-funded and targeted at squelching academic freedom and curiosity,” said Peter Fontaine, an attorney with the firm Cozen O’Connor, which is defending Mann.
The university says it spent $570,698 defending itself against the Virginia Attorney General’s investigation, which sought documents related to climate change research Mann conducted when he was a UVA assistant professor of environmental sciences from 1999 to 2005. Because the university’s counsel is appointed by and answerable to the Virginia Attorney General, UVA was represented by outside counsel and private funds covered its costs.
Ruch said FOIA requests can be a complicated area of law. Although public institutions are generally subject to Freedom of Information Act requests, some public universities are exempt from public records laws and individual states have different FOIA policies. Whether records are subject to Freedom of Information Act requests may also depend on where the documents in question appear and possibly on funding sources supporting that work. For example, Ruch said “Is a journal article that appears under a scientist’s own name official university business?”
“These attacks on climate science are multi-purposed,” Mann said in an interview “One of my greatest concerns is that this will tell young scientists that this area of science is off limits.
“It’s part of a larger strategy to undermine confidence in science by vested interests who see science as a threat to their profits,” he said. Part of the aim “is to scare other scientists and manufacture an air of controversy.”
“Scare other scientists” into what, deleting their emails? “Manufacture an air of controversy” is a pretty accurate description of the Mann’s alleged “pedophile” “smear”. And together with his other legal threats Mann’s current lawsuit sure looks like “It’s part of a larger strategy”. This article was written 7 months before Mann filed his defamation suit against Steyn. The writer doesn’t seem to understand that finding flaws in the other guy’s argument is the basis of science.
——-A DIGRESSION ON SPIN——-
SPINalysis: Heartland’s Echo Chamber Shifts the Target
President Joe Bast Dodges Responsibility – for Now
Jim Hoggan, DeSmogBlog, 20 March 2012
It’s been a month since the Heartland Institute was caught in a St. Valentine’s Day Striptease – inadvertently exposing its entire budget and fundraising plan. Yet an objective analysis of the resulting internet and mainstream media coverage has to credit Heartland’s spin machine with having put in a remarkable performance. Heartland’s own staff members and its echo chamber of denialist blogs have been shameless – and stunningly successful – in deflecting responsibility from the institute’s own sins and onto the scientist who duped Heartland into handing over a treasure trove of internal documents.
It was actually one month after Gleick’s confession (rather than the date of the document dump). Jim Hoggan is a PR hack, Chair of the David Suzuki Foundation and co-founder of deSmogBlog.
Timing a press release with some other event or anniversary, to give journalists a hook, is a favorite PR tactic. And if the convergence is coincidental (as it is usually portrayed) rather than planned, a good PR man will make the connection and advise his clients to do so, anyway.
Michael Mann, when talking about the publication of his 1998 paper (MBH98) almost always mentions that it came out on Earth Day, (even though Earth Day is April 22 and the issue of Nature, in which the hockey stick first appeared, came out the day after). Or in other words, if you can’t get an exact match with a good hook, fudge the data.
Video for reference: Hoggan talks at McNally Jackson Books in Manhattan
Hoggan was there to sell his latest book, Climate Cover Up, and draw “parallels” between fossil-fuel and tobacco; Mark Crispin Miller was there to draw parallels with the “cover up” of the “potential lethal side effects” of cell-phone use; and Gavin Schmidt was there to say “it’s worse than we thought”.
Making your “earth shattering/ ground-breaking” or whatever press release on the same day as some anniversary also adds the possibility that it will be mentioned for years to come in those “On This Day…” pieces and similar (on which days you send out reminders). So, for example, when reporters write about Earth Day, they can include lines like “It was on this day in 1998, that famous hockey stick graph was first published…”. Unfortunately for Mann, the popularity of Earth Day has declined even faster than late 20th-century, northern latitude, tree-ring widths.
Valentine’s Day at the Heartland Institute
Mark Boslough, Huffington Post, 14 February 2013 [NOT CHRONOLOGICAL]
Al Capone was Chicago’s most notorious gangster. He was ultimately convicted of tax fraud, but that wasn’t his worst crime.
… goons from the Market Street Gang would beat up newsstand owners who refused to sell the right newspapers. Their battle to control the day’s media allowed gang members to intimidate and influence politicians and journalists. …
They did whatever it took until the famous Valentine’s Day Massacre on Feb. 14, 1929,
A modern mob in Chicago–the Heartland Institute–was outed last year by whistleblower Peter Gleick …
Like the Market Street Gang, the Heartland Institute has been involved in its own war to control the media. They don’t use Tommy guns, but politicians, journalists, and even some scientists are afraid of them.
Taylor’s long hit list includes high-profile researchers like Prof. Michael Mann of Penn State, whose hockey-stick-shaped temperature graph convincingly showed that global warming is historically unprecedented. Heartland didn’t like his science, so they attempted to destroy his career. And now, of course, Peter Gleick is Heartland’s public enemy number one. Heartland cannot legitimately address the science, facts, or issues. So they attack individuals.
In the old-style Chicago racketeering days, those who kept their mouths shut were spared from such assaults. But those who spoke out were fair game. The old racketeers burned down stores of shopkeepers who tried to stand up to them. The modern anti-science mob torches reputations, which is the most valuable asset a scientist can own.
Feb. 14, 2012 may have marked the beginning of the end for Bast and the Heartland Institute, just as it did for Capone in 1929. That was the morning Gleick revealed Heartland’s tax forms, lists of donors, and the Board of Directors
The group’s political activities outlined in the leaked “fakegate” documents..
So Gleick is really an Eliot Ness? Boslough even manages to spin the meaning of the name Fakegate. This was the term coined (by James Delingpole) and adopted by the skeptic community for this affair, referring to the fake document, Piltdown-style-forged by Peter Gleick. The alarmist camp promoted “Deniergate”, “Denialgate”, “Dissuadegate” and others, none of which stuck. Boslough dupes his readers into thinking that the “fake” in “Fakegate” refers to “a fake science curriculum” and “It’s not a think tank. It’s a fake tank”. I have to doff my hat to Boslough, he is a physicist, no doubt more versed in electron (rather than media) spin. To produce such skilled work, using all the right hooks, without any help or coaching, is remarkable. What do you mean “cast aspertions”? It’s not as if I’m calling him a gangster.
That’s the beauty of a good news hook. Writers will ‘discover’ it themselves and, so impressed with their own cleverness, go overboard with the metaphor, analogy or whatever. Case in point:
Breaking Heartless-news for Valentine’s Day: “Dissuading teachers from teaching science …”
Adam Siegel, Get Energy Smart! NOW!!!, 15 February 2012
… about Heartland’s heartless efforts to foster disinformation…heartless “climate education” plans…Yes, the heartless Heartland Institute plans…It is hard to imagine a worse objective or more heartless…[an image of the DVD cover of the movie Heartless]…While there is much to be learned from this Valentine’s Day breaking DissuadeGate data dump from within the science denier world, among the items of real interest in this Heart-Less Valentine’s Day news item…Heartland’s heartless disinformation efforts…Clearly, my focus (and the primary portion of the material) is on Heartland’s heartless climate disinformation efforts. But, to reiterate, Heartland is involved in other things of concern / interest. For example, from the totally Heartless 2012 budget document,…
Wasn’t it remarkably fortuitous for the alarmist team, that the date of Gleick’s release of the Chicago based Heartland Institute’s documents and his Piltdown-forged addition, Valentine’s Day, should lend itself so readily to such fun? Heartless Heartland, Chicago based, St.Valentine’s Day gangsters. Breaking up is hard to do. I feel your pain too.
I think it may also have appealed to a certain juvenile-mentality vindictiveness. Suck it up bitch. Look who the media hates now. And if anyone tries to point out that such timing is probably not a coincidence: ‘well that’s just an example of their conspiratorial thinkng’.
Gleick clearly acted on his own in phishing Heartland. He was lucky and Heartland was careless. Anyone with basic skills could have done it. If this were part of a conspiracy, there was no need for Gleick to be the one to do the phishing. Exposing a shrill but prominent alarmist spokesman to danger is a bit like sacrificing your queen. But that doesn’t exclude the possibility of discussions before and after, especially about similar possible or hypothetical (and non-criminal) actions.
Gleick and the RealClimate team have a long history with PR hack Jim Hoggan, through his DeSmogBlog, (and a longer, and more significant, history with David Fenton). If such discussions did take place, it is not unlikely that one of the PR advisors mused something like: “Wouldn’t it be great if we could do something to Heartless Heartland on Valentine’s Day”.
[And if you think phrases like “it is not unlikely that” or “mused something like” betray too much speculation, you should read some peer-reviewed climate-science papers.]
Although Gleick acted alone when phishing Heartland, he may still have got the idea to dump the documents on Valentine’s Day from someone else, someone PR savvy. It may explain the 4-day delay in sending his “anonymous” email. He had received the Board contact list on the 8th. He had received the “proposed budget and fundraising plan” on the 6th (in plenty of time to cut-n-paste into his “strategy memo”). I can imagine him, sitting with a smug grin, on the day of his ‘press release’, as he pressed “Send”, thinking “Happy Valentine’s Day, deniers”.
Jun 6, 2012
PACIFIC INSTITUTE BOARD OF DIRECTORS STATEMENT, 6 June 2012
The Pacific Institute is pleased to welcome Dr. Peter Gleick back to his position as president of the Institute. An independent review conducted by outside counsel on behalf of the Institute has supported what Dr. Gleick has stated publicly regarding his interaction with the Heartland Institute. This independent investigation has further confirmed and the Pacific Institute is satisfied that none of its staff knew of or was involved in any way.
Dr. Gleick has apologized publicly for his actions, which are not condoned by the Pacific Institute and run counter to the Institute’s policies and standard of ethics over its 25-year history. The Board of Directors accepts Dr. Gleick’s apology for his lapse in judgment. We look forward to his continuing in the Pacific Institute’s ongoing and vital mission to advance environmental protection, economic development, and social equity.
“I am glad to be back and thank everyone for continuing their important work at the Pacific Institute during my absence,” said Dr. Gleick in a statement. “I am returning with a renewed focus and dedication to the science and research that remain at the core of the Pacific Institute’s mission.”
None but the blind are fooled by the ambiguity of phrases like “what Dr. Gleick has stated publicly”. This is an endorsement of everything Gleick has said and done regarding Heartland. The silence of other climate scientists is also an endorsement of everything Gleick has said and done.
THE MEANING(LESSNESS) OF ‘EXONERATED’
Jun 7, 2012
Alex Guillen, Politico, 7 June 2012
Climate scientists jumped on the news. “I’m very pleased to learn that Peter has been exonerated,” Michael Mann of Penn State told ME. “He’s been a tireless champion for an informed discussion about how we deal with the challenges of climate change and diminishing access to clean water. I, for one, welcome him back to that discussion.” Heartland has often gone after Mann’s “hockey stick graph,” which depicts temperatures over the last millennium, including a sharp increase in the recent past.
This quote from Mann is very relevant to the Mann vs. Steyn case, where Mann claims that he has been “exonerated” by numerous investigations. If the above is what Mann means by “exonerated” then “exonerated” to him means committing criminal fraud with the approval and connivance of the climate-establishment.
Jun 8, 2012
Apology accepted, climate scientist reinstated at Pacific Institute
Jeff Tollefson, Nature News Blog, 8 Jun 2012
The Pacific Institute has reinstated Peter Gleick as president following an embarrassing episode in which Gleick lied to obtain internal documents from the right-wing Heartland Institute, a leading force in the global-warming-denial movement (documented by Nature in ‘The sceptic meets his match‘).
In a statement posted on its website, the Pacific Institute, based in Oakland, California, accepted Gleick’s apology and cited an independent investigation confirming his account of the events. Gleick admitted to lying about his identity to gain access to strategic and financial records at Heartland, but he denied forging one of the key documents that Heartland says was a fake (Gleick says he received the document through the mail, anonymously).
Heartland Institute President Joe Bast dismissed the investigation as a “whitewash”. A spokeswoman for the Pacific Institute, Nancy Ross, said the investigation report was conducted by a company called Independent Employment Counsel, but is a personnel matter and thus remains confidential. Ross also said members of the institute’s board are not accepting interviews.
For the record, Nature staked out its position on the matter in an editorial titled ‘Over the line‘.
Tollefson calls Gleick’s actions “an embarrassing episode”. No it was criminal fraud, which endangered the lives of innocent people. Gleick should be behind bars. And every scientist who supported, excused, justified or praised what he did should be out of a job. They have no integrity; no credibility. Their judgement is suspect. Their work can no longer be trusted.
Jun 8, 2012
Peter Gleick’s Pacific Institute Return
Andrew C. Revkin, 8 June 2012
After an internal investigation, Peter Gleick has been reinstated as president of the Pacific Institute, the environmental group largely focused on water and climate that he founded in 1987. The career of this seasoned and lauded scientist and policy analyst ran off the rails when Gleick masqueraded as a member of the board of the anti-regulatory Heartland Institute to obtain internal documents on budgets and strategies. (He undertook this deception even as he was heading a task force on scientific ethics for the American Geophysical Union.)
Gleick’s big lapse came when he strayed into aggressive advocacy of the kind more typically carried out by monkey-wrenching groups like the Yes Men (see its latest prank, a fake secret video of a fake party celebrating Shell’s Arctic drilling plans, for instance) than a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
Here’s the troubling part: The Pacific Institute described its investigation as “a confidential personnel matter” and said for that reason no details on the process or findings would be released. Most notably, the group and its board declined to elaborate on the finding that the investigation, conducted by Independent Employment Counsel, “supported what Dr. Gleick has stated publicly regarding his interaction with the Heartland Institute.”
Does that mean the group expressly confirmed that a particularly provocative, and disputed, document was in fact produced by the Heartland Institute and not by Gleick himself or someone else?
It’s fine to have an internal personnel investigation, but if you’re going to then release the finding publicly, but not any other details, it’s hard to see that carrying much weight in discourse outside the organization itself.
That’s why I see little merit in descriptions of the reinstatement as an exoneration — a word used by Michael E. Mann, a Pennsylvania State University* climate scientist who, like Gleick, has become a prominent campaigner for action on curbing greenhouse gases. Here’s how Mann was quoted on the Gleick affair in Politico:
“I’m very pleased to learn that Peter has been exonerated,” Michael Mann of Penn State told ME. “He’s been a tireless champion for an informed discussion about how we deal with the challenges of climate change and diminishing access to clean water. I, for one, welcome him back to that discussion.”
With the big questions about the Heartland incident still unresolved, I don’t imagine, for example, that you’ll see Gleick in front of a congressional committee on climate any time soon.
From the moment of Gleick’s confession a further cloud of doubt was cast over the work of alarmist climate scientists. Many people expressed this opinion. This was the climate that Steyn and the other defendants were writing in. It should make it very hard for Mann’s lawyers to prove “actual malice” i.e. that the defendants had no reason to doubt the investigations of Mann or those of the CRU.
For many, myself included, Gleick’s actions were a litmus test. If someone tries to excuse, dismiss, justify or even praise them, why should I trust anything they say.
Evidence of Gleick’s wrongdoing is manifest.
He passed himself off as a board member to an unwitting member of Heartland’s staff. That much he confessed. He passed himself off as a “Heartland Insider” to eveyone. He did not apologize for or even acknowledge that deception.
He passed off the “strategy memo” as coming from the same source as documents he knew to be genuine, in a clear case of Piltdown Man style fraud.
The “strategy memo” was such an inept forgery that the clues it contained prompted many to almost immediately finger Gleick as the culprit, and force him to issue a self-serving confession, within days of the documents’ release. Many of Gleick’s peers have expressed the suspicion that Gleick is the forger, including the journal Nature.
He claimed his phishing was only to “confirm the accuracy” of the “strategy memo” yet his email exchanges do not support that. They and his posts at Forbes clearly show that what he was really after was the list of donors and board members. He was repeatedly told that these were kept private because of concerns for people’s personal safety after campaigns of harassment by environmental activists. Yet he persisted and eventually published names, addresses, phone numbers, and other personal details of donors and staff.
He claimed to want debate, yet had declined a generous offer to debate from the same people he was at the same time deceiving. The reason he gave at the time -he wanted the list of donors.
Few touched on Gleick’s efforts to expose people to harassment in their homes. Instead, much of the media published extracts from the “strategy memo” together with the legal fig leaf of a statement from Heartland that it was fake. This ‘just reporting both sides’ attitude is not reflected in their coverage of the wider climate debate, where “deniers” are portrayed as “flat earthers” and reporting what they actually say (rather than stereotypes and straw-man arguments) is deemed a “false equivalence”.
The climate science community generally excused Gleick’s actions or even praised them. The wider science community, despite some early tut tutting, eventually turned a blind eye. There were no investigations other than a private one by Gleick’s own Pacific Institute (of which he is founder, president and chief breadwinner), which “cleared” him. Michael Mann then declared “I’m very pleased to learn that Peter has been exonerated”.
If this is the definition of “exonerated”, how can anyone be expected to cast aside all doubts about the investigations which supposedly “exonerated” Michael Mann?
Apparently, Mark Steyn’s big mistake was to publish his opinions honestly and openly. Apparently, what he should have done is fabricate some damning admissions of fraud by Mann, paste these fakes in between some verifiable text and anonymously email these to 15 friends in the media, claiming to be a CRU or Penn. State insider.
THE OTHER SCANDAL
Jul 13, 2012
The Other Scandal In Unhappy Valley
Rand Simberg, OpenMarket.org, 13 July 2012
To review, when the emails and computer models were leaked from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia two and a half years ago, many of the luminaries of the “climate science” community were shown to have been behaving in a most unscientific manner. Among them were Michael Mann, Professor of Meteorology at Penn State, whom the emails revealed had been engaging in data manipulation to keep the blade on his famous hockey-stick graph, which had become an icon for those determined to reduce human carbon emissions by any means necessary.
Simberg’s phrase “engaging in data manipulation” hyperlinks to Steve McIntyres blog and a page discussing “Mike’s Nature trick“.
Mann and his accomplices have consistently tried to stifle critics by smearing them as shills for fossil-fuel, by getting investigators to try and dig up dirt to smear them further, and other deceptions; (in Gleick’s case by impersonation, forgery and fraud), in short, by just about any means other than engaging in debate.
Mann could not wage lawfare against McIntyre because that would look too bad, too obvious. McIntyre had addressed specific statistical issues with Mann’s hockey stick. He had done so in peer reviewed literature. He had forced Mann to issue a corrigendum.
But Mann and his accomplices seem to view all their public critics collectively. They think they are in a “streetfight”. Going after Steyn and the CEI is is, for them, payback for the humiliation of Climategate and the short-lived humiliation of Gleick.
Jul 14, 2012
Another Untrue Allegation by Karoly
Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, 14 July 2012
As CA readers are aware, David Karoly was a senior author of Gergis et al, which was withdrawn in June following criticism at Climate Audit. Despite (or perhaps because of) this experience, Karoly slagged me in a recent article reviewing Mann’s book, including an accusation that I was responsible for “promulgating misinformation”. I wrote Karoly stating that I tried to write accurately and asked that he provide specific examples of “promulating misinformation” or withdraw the allegation with an apology. I had hoped that such a request would trigger some sense of professional obligation on Karoly’s part to do the right thing. I made no mention of legal action in the letter, let alone threat. As CA readers know, I’ve consistently discouraged those readers who regard litigation as a means of resolving problems.
Indeed, the request was partly successful as Karoly proceeded to retract the article containing the untrue allegations against me. So I’m a bit surprised that Karoly falsely claimed that I had made a “threat of legal action”.
Karoly was one of the “seven leading climate researchers” who sent “An Open Letter to the Heartland Institute” on 17 February 2012 (see above). Michael Mann was one of the signatories. Did this instance of someone retracting an accusation at the mere perceived suggestion of litigation influence Mann’s decision six days later?
Incidentally, did you know that David Karoly’s education was funded by the evil fossil-fuel industry? In 1976 Shell shelled out AUD$14,000 to Karoly, then 21, who had won the Shell science and engineering post-graduate scholarship, “one of the richest in Australia”.
Jul 15, 2012
Football and Hockey
Mark Steyn, National Review Online, 15 July 2012
In the wake of Louis Freeh’s report on Penn State’s complicity in serial rape, Rand Simberg writes of Unhappy Valley’s other scandal:
I’m referring to another cover up and whitewash that occurred there two years ago, before we learned how rotten and corrupt the culture at the university was. But now that we know how bad it was, perhaps it’s time that we revisit the Michael Mann affair, particularly given how much we’ve also learned about his and others’ hockey-stick deceptions since. Mann could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data in the service of politicized science that could have dire economic consequences for the nation and planet.
Not sure I’d have extended that metaphor all the way into the locker-room showers with quite the zeal Mr Simberg does, but he has a point. Michael Mann was the man behind the fraudulent climate-change “hockey-stick” graph, the very ringmaster of the tree-ring circus. And, when the East Anglia emails came out, Penn State felt obliged to “investigate” Professor Mann. Graham Spanier, the Penn State president forced to resign over Sandusky, was the same cove who investigated Mann. And, as with Sandusky and Paterno, the college declined to find one of its star names guilty of any wrongdoing.
If an institution is prepared to cover up systemic statutory rape of minors, what won’t it cover up? Whether or not he’s “the Jerry Sandusky of climate change”, he remains the Michael Mann of climate change, in part because his “investigation” by a deeply corrupt administration was a joke.
Steyn actually chided Simberg slightly for his choice of words when he stated “Not sure I’d have extended that metaphor all the way into the locker-room showers with quite the zeal Mr Simberg does”. Many of Mann’s supporters have done the same, obviously in harsher terms. Are some of them liable to be sued as well for quoting Simberg words but not condemning with enough zeal?
The fraudulence, or otherwise, of the hockey stick and the comparison with the Sandusky investigation are two separate issues. Mann and his lawyers have tried to conflate the two, as well as conflate them with an imagined campaign of harassment.
Jul 20, 2012 at 1:42pm, Michael E. Mann posts on Facebook
I have formally demanded a retraction of, and apology for, this defamatory piece about me by National Review. I have retained counsel to pursue my legal rights.
Football and Hockey [link to Steyn article]
Jul 20, 2012: Mann’s lawyers issue letter to NRO demanding retraction and threatening to sue
Jul 28, 2012
Mann Fights Back Against Denialist Abuse
SkepticalScience.com, 28 July 2012
The CEI blog post proceded to compare Mann to Jerry Sandusky, a convicted serial child molester.
However, there is zero evidence that there was any fraudulent behavior whatsoever Mann et. al 1999, and in fact every subsequent millennial northern hemisphere temperature reconstruction has confirmed the general ‘hockey stick’ shape. For example, see the summary of subsequent research on the subject in the 2007 IPCC report.
Additionally, every investigation into the Climategate emails found that the scientists whose emails were stolen, including Michael Mann, were not guilty of any wrongdoing. Quite simply, any accusations of fraud are entirely without merit, and qualify as defamation and libel.
The letter also used the Skeptical Science Climategate rebuttal to illustrate why the accusations of fraud are entirely baseless and without merit – we are pleased to have been a useful resource in Dr. Mann’s endeavors on this matter.
There is a clear connection between the behavior at climate denialist blogs and the abuse directed towards climate scientists. Denialist blog posts constantly leap from their own flawed scientific analyses to the conclusion that climate scientists must be guilty of fraud, data manipulation, and other immoral behavior. The letters received by climate scientists contain this same sort of language, with baseless accusations of fraud and data manipulation, followed by abusive language and often death threats.
Climate denialist blogs are also the source of the CEI and National Review accusations of fraud, which soon warped into a denigrating comparison betwen an honest climate scientist and a serial child molester. Instead of condemning this reprehensible behavior, climate denialist ringleader WattsUpWithThat in particular appears to encourage it.
This sort of behavior must stop, especially if these climate denialists wish to be taken seriously as real ‘skeptics’. It is completely unacceptable that honest climate scientists like Mann, Jones, and Hayhoe – who are just trying to do their jobs and further the collective human understanding of the inner workings of our climate – are being subjected to abusive attacks and death threats as a reward for their efforts.
There is good reason to believe that Michael Mann is actually the author (or directed the writing) of the “Skeptical Science Climategate rebuttal” he cited in the letter to the National Review; and hence of this article as well. See here.
Mann, who has with the term “deniers”, repeatedly compared his critics to holocaust deniers and hence Neo-Nazis; and with the accusation that they commit “crimes against humanity” has repeatedly compared them to real genocidal Nazis; and with the repeated conflation of their criticism with unsubstantiated accounts of “death threats” has compared them to assassins; takes umbrage at one comment, which even he, with the phrase “lapses in judgment” acknowledges is a one-off; and which even one of his most ardent and unscrupulous supporters, Peter Gleick, with the phrase “parallel between the Penn State pedophilia investigation and their separate scientific investigation” acknowledges was a comparison between investigations and not a direct one between pedophile and climatologist.
Mann’s interpretation of the Sandusky comment is fake. His outrage is fake. His hockey stick is a fake. And he is a fake.
Mann has repeatedly smeared his critics as paid shills of the fossil fuel industry and smeared them with bogus comparisons with tobacco-industry smokescreen tactics (itself a smokescreen tactic). The implication being that skeptics are giving the planet cancer; skeptics are a cancer. Mann calls their skepticism “fake” i.e. fraudulent. He is a character assassin, who tars swathes of people, hiding behind an aspect of U.S. law that does not recognize defamation of a group, if it is too broadly defined. This grotesque mud-slinging has gone on for years.
Mann’s tendency to exaggerate and lie in order to persuade others of his preconceived notions is evident from his language. For Mann to claim “anguish” and “outrage” over some real or imagined insult by some of those he has maligned is hyper-hypocrisy. It is also, for him, consistent.
Mann’s past history of litigation (threatening to sue the makers of the Hide the Decline YouTube parody video, before backing down); his probable involvement in efforts like the above article; the incident with Karoly and McIntyre a fortnight before and my general assessment of him as a lying, cowardly, vindictive, little shit, suggest to me that he did not want or expect this current defamation case to go to trial. He boxed himself into a corner.
I wish Mark Steyn every success and I am going to give him every bit of help I can.
Aug 22, 2012: Rich Lowry at NRO tells Mann to “Get Lost”
Oct 2, 2012: Mann, the No-Nobel laureate, files suit
Oct 19, 2012
Legal education for scientists at Fall Meeting
Kristan Uhlenbrock, EOS, Transactions American Geophysical Union, 19 October 2012
In today’s increasingly polarized political climate, science is becoming more politicized, which in turn leads to scientists facing an increased involvement in legal discussion about their work, their correspondence, and their public statements. At times these attacks on scientists and their academic freedom are unwarranted and can leave many confused and wondering how to handle the situation. To help out, AGU and the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) have partnered to prepare the scientific community for these challenges through a Legal Education Series, a series of webinars along with events at AGU’s 2012 Fall Meeting. This series provides scientists with information to help guide and update them on legal issues and situations currently making their way through the courts.
23 Oct 2012 – sity’s Law School; Peter Fontaine, counsel to scientist … Jeff Ruch, executive director of Public … 13 November, Ruch will compare and con- …
Oct 22, 2012
American Geophysical Union/Climate Science Legal Defense Fund
Legal Education Webinar Series
22 October at 12:00h EST
An Inside Look at the Michael Mann Case
This webinar will provide an overview of the ongoing Freedom of Information Act litigation American Tradition Institute v. University of Virginia, Prince William County. It will be hosted by Peter Fontaine, counsel to Dr. Michael Mann. The free-ranging discussion will include issues related to Dr. Mann’s personal intervention in the case, application of state public records acts to researcher electronic correspondence, the interplay between the Federal FOIA and state laws, practical issues related to document review, potential exemptions to protect correspondence from disclosure, and other legal theories for the protection of correspondence, such as the First Amendment and Academic Freedom, and emerging trends in this dynamic intersection between science and the law.
Peter Fontaine is a leader of Cozen O’Connor’s Brownfield Development and Climate Change practices, which rely on his prior experience as a United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lawyer at its Washington, D. C. headquarters. From 1990 to 1992, Pete was an Attorney-Advisor in EPA’s Air Enforcement Division, where he helped draft EPA’s enforcement regulations under the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments and was an expert on enforcement of New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) and New Source Review (NSR) for power plants and municipal waste combustors. In 1992, he was asked to serve on EPA’s first Multimedia Enforcement Task Force. Pete planned and executed EPA’s 1992 national enforcement initiative against the pulp and paper industry, for which he received EPA’s Award for Excellence.
13 November at 12:00h EST
State Public Record Laws
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) has spent the last several months surveying state public records laws to compile a review of provisions affecting university scientists. PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch will compare and contrast different state laws as well as the Federal Freedom of Information Act, and he will
discuss how these laws can affect university researchers.
PEER is a national nonprofit service organization assisting public agency scientists, attorneys, and other specialists working on environmental issues. Headquartered in D. C., PEER has seven field offices across the country.
Oct 31, 2012
Gavin Schmidt interviewed by BBC Radio4, 31 October 2012
It was quite clear that it [the Climategate email dump] came from the University of East Anglia and so I notified some colleagues there and I said “You guys – I think you’ve been hacked”.
This contradicts what Schmidt was telling people at the time: “If legitimate, your scoop was therefore almost certainly obtained illegally” (see previous link).
Jan 5, 2013
AGU Honors Gleick
Steve McIntyre, 5 January 2013
If I was hoping to think about more salubrious characters than Lewandowsky, Mann and Gleick, the 2012 AGU convention was the wrong place to start my trip. All three were prominent at the convention.
AGU is a huge convention – over 20,000 people and thousands of presentations. Only a few presentations are sufficiently important to be featured on the AGU billboard leading to the conference halls. Almost the first thing that I saw at the convention was a billboard publicizing a session on the Mann case:
Also prominently advertised was the opportunity to meet one-on-one with an attorney (who I presume to have been Mann’s attorney):
Mann himself was honored as a new AGU Fellow … Mann’s wing-woman in one presentation was the even more diminutive […]
But the most surprising, even astonishing, appearance was by Peter Gleick himself. Gleick did not simply return, but was honored by an invitation to speak at a prestigious Union session. I hadn’t even thought to look for Gleick on the program, but noticed him outside a session.
I then checked the AGU program and, to my surprise, learned that Gleick was speaking at a Union session. […]
It’s hard to contemplate a more vivid example of an institution pardoning or overlooking an offence and resuming relations. In other words, McPhadren’s words meant nothing. By its actions, AGU has “condoned” Gleick’s identity fraud and distribution and (almost certain) fabrication of a forged document.
Feb 14, 2013
Criminal Referral of Dr. Peter H. Gleick Talking Points
Joseph Bast, Heartland, 14 February 2013
Heartland called in the FBI shortly after Gleick’s fraud and have called for a criminal investigation, to no avail. As for filing a civil suit, their hands may be tied by the wishes of those donors who have requested anonymity.
Dec 13, 2013
When Scientists Get Sued
David Appell, Yale Climate Media Forum, 13 December 2013
Largely as a result of Mann’s travails, there now exist support networks and legal resources that scientists can turn to when facing threats and actions for doing their job. The Union of Concerned Scientists has been very helpful, several people on the panel said, and the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund now exists to offer assistance.
For scientists who work for government or federal labs, the Washington, D.C. organization Protecting Our Employees Who Protect Our Environment (PEER) offers free legal counsel and support. Their Executive Director Jeff Ruch, who spoke from the AGU panel, said that when threatened, “many scientists act as antelope do, scattering from the lion in different directions.”
But threatening scientists for their science “is a bully strategy,” said Ruch, and “bullies don’t like to be pushed back at.”
“Organized opposition can be effective as well as psychologically rewarding.”
Antelope? Nah! Statements like “Lets let our supporters in higher places use our scientific response to push the broader case against MM” and “I have been talking w/ folks in the states about finding an investigative journalist to investigate and expose McIntyre” sounds more like a hyena.
Feb 14, 2014
Peter Gleick vs Heartland Institute – Scorecard One Year Later. And the Winner Is?
Scott Mandia, ProfMandia blog, 14 February 2014
It is no contest. Dr. Peter Gleick continues to advance science and offer tremendous public service while Heartland Institute is busy shooting itself in the foot trying to misinform the public and disparage our experts.
One year ago today Peter Gleick posed as a Heartland insider to expose the evil nature of this institution. … Unfortunately, much of the news was focused on what Dr. Gleick did wrong and not what Heartland was doing wrong. As I wrote in Do Not Take Your Eyes Off Lex Luthor (Heartland Institute), Peter Gleick is a great man who made a mistake. The focus should NOT have been on him but on Heartland. It is easy to point the finger at Superman when he makes a mistake than it is to Lex Luthor who is expected to be the bad guy.
Then in May, 2012, Heartland Institute showed their true colors by posting large billboards in Chicago, IL that compared believers in global warming to the Unabomber with plans to also link climate experts to Osama bin Laden, Hitler, and Charles Manson.
Scott Mandia does seem to have some sort of superhero fetish.
The now notorious Unabomber billboard is unfurled by alarmists at every opportunity, to demonstrate the depths of the “deniers” depravity. I actually see it as the skeptics finest hour. [now there’s a candidate for quote-mining]. It was up for all of 24 hours, in one location in Chicago. There was a near unanimous (and genuine) consensus among skeptics that it was a very bad idea. Many said they were appalled or similar. They did not duck the issue. As far as I know, no-one praised Bast’s action or called him a “hero”. Joe Bast realized his mistake and took it down.
Contrast that episode with Fakegate or similar episodes. Even with the 10:10 video, where most of the alarmist reaction was negative. The condemnation was often lukewarm and patchy. For example, The Guardian (which was involved with the production of the video) still equivocates.
So bringing Unabombers into a debate is fraught with danger.
The Unabomber billboard was inept. But the alarmists still don’t realize that advertizing it may actually hurt their cause precisely because it is so inept. One amateurish billboard outside of Chicago that obviously had no input from the kind of PR and ad men the oil companies can afford vs. all the technically accomplished and expensive videos, astroturfing etc. that the alarmists put out. That doesn’t fit their —climate-scientist Davids vs oil company Goliaths– narrative.
In the above article (and elsewhere), Mandia compares Gleick to Superman and, immediately after, raises Bast’s misguided comparison of global warming alarmists to the Unabomber. He, more or less, poses the question: Who is Gleick more like, Superman or the Unabomber?
The problem with the Unabomber billboard was that it implied a false comparison or even equivalence between an eco-terrorist and millions of people defined by their opinion. It is the tactic employed by alarmists. “Deniers” was a term closely associated with holocaust denial. And accusing people of “crimes against humanity” (as James Hansen and others have done) paints skeptics as Nazis.
But at least Mandia’s implied comparison is a direct one between two individuals, so let’s take a look.
Well they are both criminals. They both intended to harm their opponents (in both cases the real or imagined executives or spokespersons of oil-companies). And they both posted things meticulously fabricated and anonymously to avoid detection.
But it is a bad comparison. Kaczynski wasn’t stupid enough to get caught six days later. And he picked some of his targets from lists of ‘enviro-criminals’ published by others, whereas Gleick was the one doing the publishing. Kaczynski posted bombs. Gleick posted a ‘bombshell’ that exploded in his own face. Gleick is not in jail. And few people call Kaczynski a hero.
This is the billboard Joe Bast should have put up.
Or perhaps this one.
Useful Fakegate Links:
The Gleick Tragedy at WUWT
The Fakegate Timeline – from soup to nuts
Heartland at ClimateAudit
Fakegate at Heartland
Scott Mandia’s Fakegate links page
Eric Dennis on Luboš Motl blog
This post is quite insightful.
Useful Mann vs Steyn Links:
Mann’s Amended (i.e. de-Nobeled) Complaint
Steyn’s answer to Mann’s Amended Complaint.