We are remiss in not having written about the Peter Gleick scandal. Gleick is a founder of the liberal Pacific Institute and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He is an expert on water resources, not climate. Like many left-wingers in irrelevant fields of study, he has irrationally strong feelings about global warming. So, as Gleick has now admitted, he obtained documents from the Heartland Institute under false pretenses–that is, by lying–and published them in hopes of discrediting the Institute.
The Heartland Institute is a superb organization that deals with a number of issues, including climate science. We have cited Heartland’s research many times. Gleick published various internal Heartland documents that were genuine, including private information about donors, etc. He has now apologized, sort of, for his wrongdoing.
Before Gleick apologized, however, the liberal media had a field day with his supposed revelations. Go here to read Heartland’s devastating rebuttal to an unusually stupid–even for them!–New York Times article on Gleick’s document dump. Many commentators have critiqued Gleick’s actions, and in particular, have addressed the question whether at least one of the documents he published–the only significant one, really–was forged by him. Megan McArdle has done an especially good job in this respect. I am not sure whether she was the first person to raise the question of Gleick’s fake document, but she was certainly among the first.
Here is the document in question, in PDF format; click to enlarge. It is two pages long, dated January 2012, and is titled “Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy.” I think the document was obviously faked, presumably by Mr. Gleick, and will explain why momentarily. Meanwhile, here is Gleick’s memo:
Now let’s look at Gleick’s memo paragraph by paragraph and consider whether it could possibly be genuine.
Given the increasingly prominent role the Heartland Institute is playing in leading the fight to prevent the implementation of dangerous policy actions to address the supposed risks of global warming, it is useful to set priorities for our efforts in 2012.
If you know anything about intra-organizational communications, the antennae are already going up. This reads like a liberal’s framing device, not like a legitimate introduction to a strategy memo.
This document offers such a set of priorities. I propose that at this point it be kept confidential and only be distributed to a subset of the Institute Board and senior staff.
This, frankly, is ridiculous. Note, first, that no name is attached to the memo; it wasn’t written by anyone in particular. How convenient! Further, any legitimate document of this type would be shared with the organization’s board and with a wide range of staffers. Gleick’s disclaimer, supposedly establishing an inner circle within Heartland, is obviously intended to anticipate the reaction of Heartland’s board members and employees: they’ve never seen this memo before. Is that because it was top secret? No, it is because it is a fraud.
Our climate work is attractive to funders, especially our key Anonymous Donor (whose contribution dropped from $1,664,150 in 2010 to $979,000 in 2011 — about 20% of our total 2011 revenue.) He has promised an increase in 2012….
This seems geared to an audience of fellow liberals, not to a top-secret subset of Heartland’s board. Gleick’s document was created for the sole purpose of being “leaked.”
We will also pursue additional support from the Charles G. Koch Foundation. They returned as a Heartland donor in 2011 with a contribution of $200,000.
As Megan McArdle has pointed out, Koch’s contribution was earmarked for Heartland’s health care work and had nothing to do with climate change. This was obvious from other documents that Gleick stole, so Gleick’s fabrication here was entirely malicious.
We expect to push up their level of support in 2012 and gain access to their network of philanthropists, if our focus continues to align with their interests.
I mean, really! The fake Gleick memo actually says this.
Other contributions will be pursued for this work, especially from corporations whose interests are threatened by climate policies.
Could it be any more obvious that this is a liberal’s fantasy? Gleick didn’t get the document he was hoping for, so he made it up.
Gleick’s memo goes on to discuss the teaching of global warming in schools. Which, by the way, is a scandal, but not in the way the Gleick and his fellow leftists understand. What follows is the biggest howler in Gleick’s fake document:
Principals and teachers are heavily biased toward the alarmist perspective. To counter this we are considering launching an effort to develop alternative materials for K-12 classrooms. We are pursuing a proposal from Dr. David Wojick to produce a global warming curriculum for K-12 schools…His effort will focus on providing curriculum that shows that the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain–two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science.
This is almost unbelievably stupid, and it was obviously written by a left-winger who has never read any of Heartland’s sophisticated critiques of global warming hysteria. The idea that conservatives want to “dissuade teachers from teaching science” is the ultimate left-wing fantasy. On the contrary, as Heartland has explained in painstaking detail, it wants teachers to teach science at a far more knowledgeable and sophisticated level than the cartoonish global warming hysteria that is peddled by the likes of Al Gore and Peter Gleick. It is safe to say that no representative of Heartland could have written this paragraph.
At present we sponsor the NIPCC to undermine the official United Nation’s IPCC reports and pid a team of writers $388,000 in 2011 to work on a series of editions of Climate Change Reconsidered. … NIPCC is currently funded by two gifts a year from two foundations, both of them requesting anonymity.
This paragraph, once again, is evidently intended as a sop to a liberal audience. It is implausible as an excerpt from an actual Heartland report. The UN’s “official” IPCC reports are one of the great scandals of our time; they contradict one another in fundamental ways, and all are in conflict with scientific observations. No Heartland insider would have written this paragraph.
Our current budget includes funding for high-profile individuals who regularly and publicly counter the alarmist AGW message. At the moment, this funding goes primarily to Craig Idso ($11,600 per month), Fred Singer ($5,000 per month, plus expenses), Robert Carter ($1,667 per month) and a number of other individuals, but we will consider expanding it, if funding can be found.
As with the rest of the memo, this paragraph appears to be aimed at gullible New York Times reporters, not an inner circle of Heartland board members. Gleick now goes on to discredit–with his own liberal base, anyway–a variety of global warming realists:
Heartland plays an important role in climate communications, especially through our in-house experts (e.g., Taylor) through his Forbes blog and related high profile outlets, our conferences, and through coordination with external networks (such as WUWT and other groups capable of rapidly mobilizing responses to new scientific findings, news stories, or unfavorable blog posts).
Who could be dumb enough to fall for this? Not our readers, surely. “WUWT” is Anthony Watts’s site, Watts Up With That?, one of the world’s top resources for scientific news about the Earth’s climate. This paragraph, like others in Gleick’s liberal fantasy, hypothesizes a cosmic coordination among realist web sources and news outlets. Liberals can’t account for how the truth keeps beating them over the head, except by positing a conspiracy of skeptics.
Efforts at places such as Forbes are especially important now that they have begun to allow high-profile climate scientists (such as Gleick) to post warmest science essays that counter our own.
This is hilarious, actually. With all due respect to Forbes’s online team of bloggers, they are not exactly the front line of the climate debate–but for the fact that Gleick, the apparent author of the fake memo, has a foothold there. And Gleick, contrary to his own self-description, is not a “climate scientist,” high-profile or otherwise. The forger always flatters his own vanity!
This influential audience has usually been reliably anti-climate and it is important to keep opposing voices out.
This is the moment where Gleick jumped the shark, if we can still say that. Those who are skeptical of the Left’s global warming hoax are not “anti-climate,” and the idea that an internal Heartland memo would describe them as such is ludicrous. Nor does anyone on the logical side of the climate debate have any intention of “keep[ing] opposing voices out.” On the contrary, all we want is for the voices of sanity and science to be heard.
One could go on, but that is more than enough. Let me be perfectly clear: I think it is obvious that Peter Gleick fabricated this document–the only one he posted that makes the Heartland Institute look bad–because the real ones he stole from Heartland didn’t serve his partisan purpose. Or, if he didn’t make it up himself, he got it from an ally who fabricated it. No knowledgeable person could mistake Gleick’s hoax for a legitimate top-secret Heartland memo.
So, Peter Gleick: if I am wrong, sue me. If I am right, apologize for fabricating a document and attempting to perpetrate a hoax, and retire from public life.
And let me just add this warning: litigation is a two-way street. If you sue me, I get to take your deposition under oath. If you lie again, you can go to jail. I get to subpoena your telephone records and find out exactly whom you have been talking with, when and for how long. I get to examine the hard drives of your computers and reconstruct every email you have ever sent or received, especially those that you have deleted. I get to depose third party witnesses under oath. If someone other than you faked the Heartland memo, I can get his testimony, under penalty of perjury. I can trace the development of every Word document you have ever had a hand in creating, and I can identify the precise moment when you converted it to PDF and posted it on the internet in hopes of embarrassing Heartland. So, Peter Gleick: if you are afraid to sue me, then admit that you are a liar and a hoaxer and slink away in shame.