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Old 03-03-2012, 04:25 AM   #1
Gotti McCarran
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Germany
Posts: 13,431
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Another update Peter on Peiter Gleick's story and the forged Heartland document

Originally Posted by David Ross
"Things about Peter Gleick That “Might Also Interest or Intrigue You” Posted on March 2, 2012

According to his own account, Peter Gleick “received an anonymous document in the mail describing what appeared to be details of the Heartland Institute’s climate program strategy.”

Why was the “Climate Strategy” leaked only to Gleick? His explanation is less than convincing: “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.” None of the other people named in the document (some of whom have also had “past exchanges” with Heartland) received a copy.

Why didn’t Gleick show the “Climate Strategy” document to anyone else? He has many journalist contacts. Any one of them could have given him their opinion on the veracity of the document and told him exactly what to do with it.

Instead, he then “solicited and received additional materials directly from the Heartland Institute under someone else’s name” in an attempt to “confirm the accuracy of the information in this document.”

He then “forwarded, anonymously, the documents” he “had received to a set of journalists and experts working on climate issues”.

Source: Peter H. Gleick: The Origin of the Heartland Documents

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.

Source: Quark Soup by David Appell: Header from Leaker's Email

Peter Gleick is a scientist, but he is not asking people to look at scientific data or arguments. He wants you to “look especially at…fundraising and budget documents” and “the information about donors”. If “in the interest of transparency” it is so important to know who is the source of information, why did Gleick post his “information” anonymously. He cannot claim to be a disinterested party or without a vested interest in climate science and policy.

That he deceived Heartland when he impersonated a member of their board (a criminal offence otherwise known as “phishing”) does not seem to bother many of his supporters. But, regardless of whether they accept that the key document is a fake (and it seems nothing will shake the faith of some), they should realize that Gleick also sought to use and deceive them.

Claiming to be an insider
Gleick lied when he titled his “leak” email “Heartland Insider” and sent it from the address

Based solely on this, these “journalists and experts” called the matter a “leak” and referred to the, then unknown, source as a “whistleblower” or “insider” (in contrast to their treatment of the Climategate emails which the same journalists, again with no evidence, invariably refer to as “stolen” or “hacked”).

This “insider” claim was repeated uncritically in media such as the U.K.’s Guardian.
“Leak exposes how Heartland Institute works to undermine climate science…DeSmogBlog, which broke the story, said it had received the confidential documents from an “insider” at the Heartland Institute”

Source: Leak exposes how Heartland Institute works to undermine climate science | Environment |

The journalists at the Guardian could have asked those at DeSmogBlog, how they knew the source was an insider. Perhaps they did, but thought “because the anonymous guy who sent us them said so” was not an answer that would impress their readers.

Muddying the source of the documents
In his confession Gleick accuses Heartland of “efforts to muddy public understanding”. Yet this is exactly what he did when he included the “Climate Strategy” document among the documents he had obtained directly from Heartland, and then referred to them collectively as “these files from the Heartland Institute”. It was a crass attempt to lend credence to a fake document, by mixing it in with ones he knew to be genuine. The deception worked with some journalists, others just played along.

“It was not possible to immediately verify the authenticity of the documents, although Heartland issued a statement on Wednesday claiming at least one document was fake, and that it was the victim of theft and forgery. However, Anthony Watts, a weathercaster who runs one of the most prominent anti-science blogs, Watts Up With That?, acknowledged Heartland was helping him with $90,000 for a new project.”

Source: Leak exposes how Heartland Institute works to undermine climate science | Environment |

Note how this Guardian journalist, while protecting her paper from legal sanction, uses one verifiable fact from a genuine document to imply (see “However”) that all the documents are genuine.

About half of the “Climate Strategy” consists of mundane text also found in the phished documents. The text that the media pay most attention to, that portrays Heartland in the worst light, such as “dissuading teachers from teaching science” or “it is important to keep opposing voices out” does not appear in any of the phished documents but just happens to be exclusive to the one document even Gleick admits he did not obtain from Heartland.

Megan McArdle of the Atlantic put it best: “their Top Secret Here’s All the Bad Stuff We’re Gonna Do This Year memo…reads like it was written from the secret villain lair in a Batman comic. By an intern.”

Source: Leaked Docs From Heartland Institute Cause a Stir—but Is One a Fake? - Megan McArdle - National - The Atlantic

Nemesis of the deniers
Gleick is a scientist who had a hypothesis: i.e. “Heartland’s views are contrary to his because they are anti-science/evil”. To prove this hypothesis he gathers reliable evidence – the phished documents. When the reliable evidence does not support his hypothesis he uses unreliable (or fabricates fake) evidence, and throws the two together.

This is not the first time in the climate “debate” that “evidence” from two different sources has been spliced together and passed off as one, after results diverge from expectations. The “Climate Strategy” document is the blade of Gleick’s hockey stick.

Gleick only confessed after he had been fingered as the source of the “leak” or, as the Guardian put it, not “until there was already feverish online speculation about his involvement”.

Source: Climate scientist Peter Gleick admits he leaked Heartland Institute documents | Environment |
The speculation arose partly because he was portrayed (or he portrayed himself) in the “Climate Strategy” document as a “high-profile climate scientist” and as the nemesis of Heartland and the “deniers”. A quick bit of Googling quickly dispels the notion that Heartland or anyone else describes themselves as “anti-climate”. And Gleick, whose area of expertise is water supply, may be a loud voice in the climate “debate” but he is not a central figure in the actual science.

Call for debate
In his confession Gleick asserted that “a rational public debate is desperately needed” and that there were “ongoing efforts — often anonymous, well-funded, and coordinated — to attack climate science and scientists and prevent this debate.” Gleick’s belief in his conspiracy theory may be sincere, but his call for debate, and accusation that others are trying to “prevent” it, is a sham.
to be continued...

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