The best available evidence now suggests that the most damning of the “Heartland Documents” — the strategy memo which explicitly states that Heartland’s strategy is to interfere with good science education in order to advance their political agenda — is legitimate. The legitimacy of the document was being questioned because it was physically and stylistically different from the other documents with which it was released. We now know that the strategy memo was sent to climate scientist Peter Gleick and that Peter then took steps to acquire corraborating documents from Heartland (see “The Origin of the Heartland Documents.”) The “one of these things is not like the others” defense is now obviated.

There is a great deal of discussion regarding Gleick’s method of obtaining the other Heartland documents. Apparently, he sent Heartland a request for the documents and they sent them to him. We don’t know the exact details of how that went, but there is a good chance that this will place Peter in a negative light since he seems to have tricked the austere institution into doing something they probably didn’t want to do. Was this excellent investigative reporting? Nefarious trickery? I’m sure one’s opinion on that will be determined mainly by which side one is on in this absurd debate over whether we should accept the preponderance of evidence showing the reality of anthropogenic climate change or whether we should deny the scientific realities and stick with the corporate line that business as usual (burning off tens of millions of years of stored-up Carbon to maintain our flash-in-the-pan lifestyles of consumption and thoughtless greed) is the best thing for our planet and/or our pocketbooks. The bottom line is that none of these documents tell us anything substantially new about Heartland, but they do, importantly, confirm our worst fears about the intent and mission of that particular Libertarian “think” tank.

Had Peter Gleick obtained these documents using certain methods, and had he been a journalist, he would be up for a Pulitzer prize for investigative reporting. Had he obtained the corraborating evidence of Heartland’s unsavory strategies using a slightly different approach, he’d be fired by his editor. The thing is, Peter Gleick is not a journalist and it is absurd to hold him to “Journalistic Standards.” Peter is like the rest of us: He knows enough about the science, the politics, and the economics surrounding the issue of Anthropogenic Climate Change to have been very frustrated with the mindless zombie-like hate filled denialist movement, bought and paid for by the corporations and individuals with the most to gain from ignoring the science, to have risked falling on his sword for the benefit of the next generation. Thank you Peter. I don’t know yet if I will ultimately wish you hadn’t done this or not, but no matter what, there is a positive benefit to knowing the truth, and Heartland will never be seen quite the same way again in the future.

The documents themselves already showed a lessening of financial support for Heartland’s efforts to steer our national and international policies towards the cliff of unmitigated Anthropogenic Climate Change. Some of the donors, like Microsoft Corporation, were probably giving money to Heartland without realizing how bad an idea that was. Those donations will dry up. I’m told that some time today (maybe this has already happened) we will learn the name of the deep-pocketed “Anonymous Donor” who has focused his or her funding efforts on wrecking science education and similar activities. If that happens, regardless of that particular donor’s change of heart or lack thereof, other potentially “anonymous” donors may think twice before trusting their anonymity to Heartland, which appears overall to have certain limitations in the area of security and professional behavior.

The up side of all this is that we know more than we did before about important things. The downside is that much of the conversation in the press and the blogosphere over the last several days has been about the process and the activities of individuals and groups, not about the release of ancient Carbon into the atmosphere and its potentially dire consequences. Anthropogenic Climate Change is real, important, and needs to be addressed. Let’s do that.

Comments

  1. #1 Brent Hoare
    February 21, 2012

    I wouldn’t be too concerned about the distraction impact of the ‘downside’ you conclude on. While I agree we need to redouble our efforts to focus on the main game of reducing all greenhouse gases, the cultural and political impacts of “deniergate” will likely be profound. Interesting times indeed, and how it all plays out will be crucial to the prospects of overcoming the impact of the orchestrated litany of deception perpetrated by the denier lobby.

    It is hard to judge, but at this juncture it is looking very promising; the “strategy document” very probably is real in spite of the initial doubts, and we should have Heartland’s Anonymous Donor convincingly outed this week.

    No doubt the deniers will continue to insist they know better than the combined wisdom of the planet’s professional climate scientists, but now we have one word to pull out the rug from under their feet – “Deniergate”. In the cultural and political debate this should prove to be a crucial strategic advantage in winning over hearts and minds.

  2. #2 daedalus2u
    February 21, 2012

    I suspect that Heartland will not sue Peter Gleick. To sue him for damages, they would have to prove that they have damages. Their biggest potential damage would be for donors to not donate. However donors would have to be subpoenaed and stipulate that the reason they are not donating is due to the bad publicity. A threat of a potential subpoena is a much greater deterrent to donating than is bad publicity.

    My guess as to what the Heartland Institute will do, is that they will try and hack into Gleick’s computer to get the email from the real Heartland insider. Sort of how (I presume) they hacked into computers and stole the emails in email-gate.

  3. #3 Dreanna
    February 21, 2012

    The Heartland deniers are going to be sorry they made such a big deal out of this. Their donations will collapse and their reputation is now ruined. They should have left Dr. Gleick alone. Now they will experience the ruin that comes from denying the things that everyone else knows to be true.

  4. #5 RH PuckSocket
    February 21, 2012

    I guess you could say that I’m a “denialist”. But I have not been influenced by Heartland or corporations. I have been guided to skepticism by AGW advocates. Shocking right? I readily admit that many, if not most, of the so called deniers you encounter in blogs make their case poorly. But, here’s the thing… Most of the AGW folks are not any better. Angry, presumptive, self-important, vested, irrational, holier-than-thou, hateful, arrogant, hypocritical are just a few of the adjectives I would use to describe AGW supporters. AGW is scientifically plausible… that’s were it gets its power as an argument. But there are many legitimate reasons to be skeptical. Number one would be the radical calls to restructure our economy. AGW Types seem to want to manufacture a guaranteed crisis in order to prevent a semi-possible one. Most folks will agree that we have to be good stewards of the planet. Most would even like to find a clean alternative to fossil fuels. But, before anyone should be willing to submit to the dismantling of the existing infrastructure, they should expect that there is a viable and realistic alternative within reach. Like it or not, there is not such alternative on the horizon. Likely, collecting and using energy will aways come associated with an unpleasant cost of some kind, no matter what form that collection and use takes. Then there is the vested interests of the people who have made careers out of advocating for AGW. And, don’t forget the damage done by the massive hypocrites of the AGW movement (Al Gore most prominently). The list could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. If you guys really believe a crisis is imminent, you had better refine your message. You better find a way to argue more convincingly, and you better come up with a legitimate, detailed, plan for a solution. A plan that can be vetted by skeptical people. You guys are losing your audience. If you’re right, you better make some changes.

  5. #6 Hilton Gray
    February 21, 2012

    This is the money quote:
    “Last week, Peter Gleick was a respected scientist and activist and the Heartland Institute was a privately-funded bogeyman that warmists claimed distributed untold amounts of money into a ‘well-organized climate denial machine.’

    Seven days later, we know Peter Gleick is a radical activist who abandoned any pretense of ethics to bring down the ‘opposition’ that frustrated him, and that Heartland’s actual budget is tiny when compared to the big green NGO’s.”

    From ClimateGate to HimalayaGate to AmazonGate to GleickGate
    It’s always the same – lies, distortions, mendacity, fraud, etc, by their fruits ye shall know them!

  6. #7 TTT
    February 21, 2012

    AGW is scientifically plausible… that’s were it gets its power as an argument. But there are many legitimate reasons to be skeptical. Number one would be the radical calls to restructure our economy

    Then you are not a skeptic. “Global warming isn’t real because it costs too much” is not a skeptical argument. It is emotive, sentimental, anti-scientific blubbering. SEE ALSO: “Global warming isn’t real because I don’t like big government,” and “Global warming isn’t real because Al Gore is fat.”

    It’s not so uncommon for denialists in precisely this manner to come out and grant that the environmental / scientific community is right after all, but that they’ll continue fighting it anyway because they don’t DESERVE to be right, because they SHOULDN’T be right.

    You can keep your sentimentality – I’ll keep my documented scientific proof. That is why you are a denialist. It is entirely your own defect and your own fault – nobody else’s.

  7. #8 slightlyworse
    February 21, 2012

    @RH PuckSocket

    Most of the AGW folks are not any better. Angry, presumptive, self-important, vested, irrational, holier-than-thou, hateful, arrogant, hypocritical are just a few of the adjectives I would use to describe AGW supporters.

    That may be the case, but what’s for certain is that they are not rejecting scientific facts. Look at how climate deniers are acting. You will notice that they are indistinguishable from creationists. This alone should make alarm bells ring like crazy in your head.

  8. #9 slightlyworse
    February 21, 2012

    @Hilton Gray

    All your fake *Gates only shows that you are the one guilty of lies and deception. An error that is later corrected is not a scandal, for example.

    But in the world of denialists, there are only absolutes, and it is impossible to be wrong because you are basing your opinions on political ideology rather than simple facts.

  9. #10 slightlyworse
    February 21, 2012

    How do I get this form to remember my name and email address?

  10. #11 Brad
    February 21, 2012

    The best available evidence now suggests that the most damning of the “Heartland Documents” — the strategy memo which explicitly states that Heartland’s strategy is to interfere with good science education in order to advance their political agenda — is legitimate.

    Care to share what that “best available evidence” might be?

    We now know that the strategy memo was sent to climate scientist Peter Gleick and that Peter then took steps to acquire corraborating documents from Heartland

    “We now know that” …how, exactly? Because he said so, right before he resigned in disgrace?

    You don’t need to risk your credibility this way. You’ll never recover from this.

  11. #12 RH PuckSocket
    February 21, 2012

    TIT @ 7. Thanks for making my point about AGW advocates. Noting the call to radically dismantle our economy is not an argument against the validly of AGW, but it IS a reason to be skeptical. This is the kind of thing that “rings alarm bells in my head”… Much more so than unscientific people are rejecting dubious claims at face value. Dismantling our economy is a radical proposal and it deserves to be questioned. First, you’ve got to prove that AGW is real. Then you have to prove that it is a crisis. Then you have to present a plan for dealing with it. Then you have to prove that it is realistic plan and that there are no better alternatives. So far, all you guys have done convincingly is show that AGW is plausible.

  12. #13 slightlyworse
    February 21, 2012

    @Bra

    “We now know that” …how, exactly?

    Because it matches the document perfectly. He received it through snail mail, so he had to scan it if he wanted to send it along with the other documents.

    @RH PuckSocket

    At least you admit that your anti-science attitude is due to political ideology…

  13. #14 TTT
    February 21, 2012

    No, RH, it is NOT a reason to be “skeptical.”

    If I said “Gravity is real, therefore you should give me a thousand dollars,” you not wanting to ante up the cash does not make gravity-skepticism any less ridiculous. Time and again you muddle up AGW scientific statements and policy proposals in order to be a denialist (your self-descriptive term) about the whole thing all at once. And yes, AGW is “plausible” in the same meaning of the word that gravity or evolution are.

    Reasonable people cannot (and do not) reasonably disagree about the scientific basis. If you were a REAL skeptic, you would acknowledge that the problem has been incontrovertibly proven to be real but that you don’t like any of the proposed solutions and want to see better ones, and/or don’t think it’s worth fighting.

  14. #15 Greg Laden
    February 21, 2012

    “Care to share what that “best available evidence” might be?”

    That everything in it is confirmed by documents Heartland provided, and that the document existed prior to anyone outside Heartland having access to those documents.

    ““We now know that” …how, exactly? Because he said so, right before he resigned in disgrace?”

    Resigned from what? And yes, he did say that. I’ve no treason to not trust him.

    “You don’t need to risk your credibility this way. You’ll never recover from this. ”

    You make me laugh.

  15. #16 RH PuckSocket
    February 21, 2012

    sightlyworse@13
    I am admitting no such thing. Further, I am not anti-science. I am very pro-science. One of the things I am saying is that the evidence for AGW does not convince me that dismantling the economy is the right thing to do. In other words, I am suggesting that YOUR supposedly pro-science attitude is due to political ideology.

  16. #17 sightlyworse
    February 21, 2012

    @RH PuckSocket

    You are indeed admitting to that. You are not looking at the science, but instead coming up with excuses based on ideology to reject scientific facts. Or deny, if you will.

    I have never said anything about dismantling the economy. Indeed, you are obviously as clueless about my opinion on the political part of this as you are about the science behind AGW.

    There are in fact free market capitalists who accept scientific facts. Not all free market capitalist reject scientific facts. Instead, they look at the facts and then act based on that. They do not deny the facts because the facts are inconvenient to their ideology or because someone else is pushing policies based on those facts that these free market capitalists do not like.

  17. #18 Brad
    February 21, 2012

    “We now know that” …how, exactly?

    Because it matches the document perfectly.

    If they’re perfect matches, shouldn’t you guys, um, show them? Because to most people, it looks like someone took the actual Heartland documents and fabricated a “summary” that’s written in a laughably over-the-top, sinister style. It reads like the way an ideologue imagines the other side sounds like.

    Any hack could take President Obama’s proposed budget, and his cuts in defense, and fabricate an “internal White House memo” along the same lines as the one you guys are defending: “Leaked memo indicates Obama wants to ‘weaken our military to the point where Muslim extremists can win glorious liberation in Iraq and Afghanistan.’ How do we know it’s real? Look at it. It matches the budget document perfectly.”

    Please, show us these perfect matches.

    *Gleick has resigned from NCSE.

  18. #19 RH PuckSocket
    February 21, 2012

    Last post for me.

    Sorry, TIT@14, I don’t consider AGW incontrovertibly proven. If you do, you may be too easily convinced. Suppose your claim sounded more like, “gravity will go away unless you give me a thousand dollars.” Would you buy that? It seems to me that you guys are trying to frame the argument in a way that doesn’t allow for any other possibilities other than extreme environmentalism, and all encompassing government. ie Power grabs. All the more reason to be skeptical of your claims and proposals. Whatever the case, you guys need to realize that your ability to persuade is failing you, especially if you REALLY believe AGW is a disaster waiting to happen. You need to come up with a new tack if you really expect to “save the planet” Here’s something else to consider… How much damage will be done to the environmental movement if AGW fails to manifest as a disaster?

  19. #20 sightlyworse
    February 21, 2012

    @RH PuckSocket

    You don’t incontrovertibly prove anything in science. Of course, the evidence for AGW is overwhelming, but not even gravity is “proven.”

    It seems that you are quite ignorant about science in general.

    A typical denier, then.

  20. #21 Brad
    February 21, 2012

    Resigned from what?

    Gleick resigned from NCSE.

  21. #22 TTT
    February 21, 2012

    RH: It seems to me that you guys are trying to frame the argument in a way that doesn’t allow for any other possibilities other than extreme environmentalism, and all encompassing government. ie Power grabs

    You started off sentimental and ended up hysterical. No wonder you can’t talk about scientific issues – it’s not as important as your FEELINGS. You can’t even fake your way through a conversation of your own self-mythology: you claim to find AGW at least “plausible,” but when even slightly pressed on what that means you always instantly cry “but-but-but it SHOULDN’T BE REAL because it COSTS TOO MUCH!” Cry me a river.

  22. #23 Doug Alder
    February 21, 2012

    Peter Gleick should be lauded as a hero. As you said Greg if he was a “journalist” his methods of getting this data would not be a disadvantage and he would be up for a Pulitzer. Well in today’s digital world we all have the ability to be “journalists” should we so choose to. You do not have to work for an accredited news organization to be one, you just need investigative skills and the desire to use them. It is completely irrelevant that he used a fake name to get the documents – look at the names being used in comments here – how many besides Greg’s are real and can you even be certain of them? Heartland willingly handed over those documents and that’s their problem – it should not be Peter Gleick’s.

    As for what will happen to Heartland well my guess is a lot of their funding will dry up but they’ll just resurface as some other institute putting out the same crap and be accepted by the MSM because of the powers behind them – it’s not difficult to start an astroturf group – particularly if you have money and clout (dear ABC/CBS/NBC etc. treat this org as legitimate or we will reduce our advertising budget spent with you – your friends Big Oil etc.)

  23. #24 Ed Snack
    February 21, 2012

    Greg, serious advice, you are lying about “That everything in it is confirmed by documents Heartland provided, and that the document existed prior to anyone outside Heartland having access to those documents. ”

    The additional HI documents do not verify, and in some instances contradict, the anonymously received Confidential Memo. Examples include:
    - there is no proof in the other documents that the HI uses the phrase “undermine the official United Nation’s IPCC reports”
    - nor the phrase “keep opposing voices out”
    - nor the phrase “dissuading teachers from teaching science”
    - nor that HI “paid a team of writers $388,000 in 2011″
    - nor that the Koch Foundation “returned as a Heartland donor in 2011 with a contribution of $200,000″

    New slogan for you though: “Climate Science, advancing its agenda one lie and one criminal act at a time”.

  24. #25 Greg Laden
    February 21, 2012

    Brad: Gleick resigned from NCSE.

    Peter Gleick works for the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security. He does not work for the NCSE so he could hardly resign from it.

  25. #26 Greg Laden
    February 21, 2012

    Brad [18] You are telling us that Peter Gleick traveled forward in time to see the documents he obtained from Heartland, then went back in time to fabricate a memo based on them. You are also telling us that he resigned from the NCSE yet he does not work there and there was no resignation.

    Please stop with the random misinformation.

  26. #27 Martin Å
    February 21, 2012

    Greg,
    it took me 1 minute to google and find: http://www.pacinst.org/press_center//press_releases/gleick_NCSE_board.html

    And does it not occur to you that there is nothing more than Gleicks own statement proving the memo was written before the HI documents were obtained?

  27. #28 Fred Miller
    February 21, 2012

    Two ways this played out:

    1. Gleick got a memo in the mail, did some (unethical) stuff to determine it’s right, and then scanned the memo and mailed them all out.

    2. Gleick did some (unethical) stuff to get a Heartland documents, found no smoking gun, and then wrote up one himself to include.

    Why do you think #1 is more likely? Because he’s just such an awesome guy?

  28. #29 daedalus2u
    February 21, 2012

    I think that from the memo he received, even though it was fake, that Peter Gleick had a duty to investigate.

    The memo he received outlined a conspiracy to commit child abuse. A conspiracy to teach children lies instead of facts about climate change. Checking further, he found that there is a conspiracy to abuse children by teaching them lies about climate change.

    Since many individuals in “authority” are also in on the conspiracy, going public was his best course of action.

    People may argue whether teaching children lies instead of facts is child abuse. I think it is, I think that many people who have children think it is child abuse. I think we should let a jury decide if teaching lies to children is child abuse.

    Many teachers are what is called “mandated reporters”, that is they are required by law to report suspected child abuse. Is Peter Gleick enough of an educator that he is a mandated reporter? Maybe not, but many adults consider themselves to be ethically bound to report suspected child abuse, even if they are not legally bound.

  29. #30 Fred Miller
    February 21, 2012

    daedalus2u, isn’t this pretty far from your normal woo about nitric oxide?

  30. #31 Sunny
    February 21, 2012

    Question for Greg:

    If the scenario you describe is correct, why did Peter Gleick mislead his the blog owners, all his *friends*, when he emailed the collection of documents to them.

    1. Why did he not tell his friends that one document was obtained separately from the others?

    2. Why did he not tell his friends that he could not personally attest to the veracity of that one document?

    3. Why did he misleadingly identify himself, to his friends, as a “Heartland Insider”?

  31. #32 bob
    February 21, 2012

    “3. Why did he misleadingly identify himself, to his friends, as a “Heartland Insider”?”

    What was he going to do, sign his name?

    “2. Why did he not tell his friends that he could not personally attest to the veracity of that one document?”

    What if he thought it was genuine? After-all according to his statement he thought all those other documents he had got collaborated the memo.

    “1. Why did he not tell his friends that one document was obtained separately from the others?”

    Maybe he didn’t consider how they were obtained to be as relevant as where they came from – and he thought they all came from the same institute.

    —–

    Although it does seem more likely that he faked the memo I can’t wrap my head around certain aspects of that: like why did he print off and scan in a document he wrote when he could have just PDF’d up a word document?

    And how did he obtain all those documents from Heartland if he didn’t have the memo for information of what to go after and how to act as an insider?

    And most of all: why would he write something so obviously fake (inc the errors)? I could have written a better sounding fake memo with my eyes shut. Especially consider that if he faked it he knew that Heartland would call it out as fake and everyone would scrutinize it! Why did he put his name in it?

    See as much as Gleik faking it makes sense, it also doesn’t make sense.

  32. #33 daedalus2u
    February 21, 2012

    Fred #30, no it isn’t. I often comment on child abuse type stories and also AGW. This has both.

    The Heartland Institute is well known for child abuse conspiracies. That was the whole point of their lying about second hand smoke for the tobacco industry. It was about about hiding the dangers of exposure to tobacco smoke, including children.

    It is pretty clear why the tobacco industry would want to lie about the dangers of second hand smoke. Parents may not care about their own exposure, but they would care about their children’s exposure, even to second hand smoke.

    Of course the Heartland Institute and the Tobacco Industry don’t care about killing people with tobacco, if they did, they wouldn’t be pushing tobacco.

    It will be amusing to see the Heartland Instute trying to defend itself from lying in ways that hurt children by saying that freedom of speech makes it legal to put out lies that hurt children.

  33. #34 JamesD
    February 21, 2012

    The fake document (supposedly presented to the Board of Directors) states that Koch donated $200,000 in 2011 for the Climate debate. However, the budget (and Koch) state that Koch gave $25,000 in 2011 for the Health Care News project. So not only is the document fake due to its pathetic, unprofessional writing (it was obviously written by an effette leftist with no experience working for a company), it got basic facts wrong.

    AND, the strategy of Heartland is not to interfere with the teaching of good science. It is instead to teach all about upside down Tiljander, the lonely Yamal tree, strip barked trees, and novel statistical methods.

  34. #35 NJ
    February 21, 2012

    JamesD@34:

    The fake document (supposedly presented to the Board of Directors) states that Koch donated $200,000 in 2011 for the Climate debate. However, the budget (and Koch) state that Koch gave $25,000 in 2011 for the Health Care News project.

    [citation needed]

  35. #36 JamesD
    February 21, 2012

    The memo he received outlined a conspiracy to commit child abuse. A conspiracy to teach children lies instead of facts about climate change. Checking further, he found that there is a conspiracy to abuse children by teaching them lies about climate change.

    Child abuse: presenting children a hockey stick graph fabricated from upside-down Tiljander, strip barked trees, and the lonely overweighted Yamal tree.

  36. #37 diogenes bin Laden
    February 21, 2012

    http://ncse.com/news/2012/02/source-heartland-leak-steps-forward-007220

    Greg – Gleick resigned from NCSE. Deal with it

  37. #38 Bill H
    February 21, 2012

    Sunny @31:

    Question for you Sunny:

    Why would Dr Gleick mislead his friends by claiming a “forged” document was genuine? Surely he would realise that Greg, desmogblog etc. were liable to be ridiculed by the Heartland Inst. and its numerous blogospheric supporters when the forgery was unmasked.

    To answer your questions, I think the explanation “he was covering his tracks” covers points 1 and 3. As to point 2 Gleick indeed couldn’t “attest to the veracity” of the document he received in the post. which is why he adopted a very clever ruse to obtain the necessary evidence for its veracity. Once he had this, can you explain why he would have doubted its veracity?

    Also, possession of this document would have been necessary to allow him to present a convincing impersonation of a Board Member of the HI: thanks to it he could drop inside knowledge of “the 2012 Proposed Budget
    document”, the “2012 Fundraising Strategy memo”, etc.

    Or do you think the HI is so clueless that it would hand over confidential documents to any dude who happened to phone it claiming to be Joe Bast or some other board member? Get real, Sunny.

  38. #39 JamesD
    February 21, 2012

    NJ,
    Review the 2012 Fundraising Plan. In Table 8, Koch is listed as having donated $25,000 in 2011, with a projected donation of $200,000 for 2012. The fake document says Koch gave the $200,000 in 2011 for the climate debate, a very big mistake. Furthermore, the $25,000 is coded as HCN under “project” which stands for their Health Care News project, a publication they send out. Getting this wrong makes this a fake (among other things).

  39. #40 Steve S
    February 21, 2012

    This:

    Greg, serious advice, you are lying about “That everything in it is confirmed by documents Heartland provided, and that the document existed prior to anyone outside Heartland having access to those documents. ”

    The additional HI documents do not verify, and in some instances contradict, the anonymously received Confidential Memo. Examples include:
    - there is no proof in the other documents that the HI uses the phrase “undermine the official United Nation’s IPCC reports”
    - nor the phrase “keep opposing voices out”
    - nor the phrase “dissuading teachers from teaching science”
    - nor that HI “paid a team of writers $388,000 in 2011″
    - nor that the Koch Foundation “returned as a Heartland donor in 2011 with a contribution of $200,000″

    Until these points are addressed, the best available evidence is pointing in the opposite direction Greg.

  40. #41 NJ
    February 21, 2012

    JamesD@36:

    presenting children a hockey stick graph fabricated from upside-down Tiljander, strip barked trees, and the lonely overweighted Yamal tree.

    Gee, and you wonder why we might be skeptical of your opinions about the documents…

    Review the 2012 Fundraising Plan.

    Linky?

  41. #42 curious george
    February 22, 2012

    A good climate scientist:
    - never publishes data, only scientific results
    - uses mannthematical methods nobody else understands
    - calls anybody who dares to disagree a voodoo scientist
    - calls anybody who dares to disagree a “denier”
    - is above Freedom of Information laws
    - makes only predictions for year 2100
    - never admits a mistake

    Are we supposed to trust a good climate scientist?

  42. #43 Alan
    February 22, 2012

    PuckSocket is correct, we should be skeptical of alarmists.

    I’m extremely skeptical of economic alarmists who assert switching to clean energy over the course of a few decades would result in an economic apocalypse.

    Sure it would be a planned extinction event for the coal industry (and to a lesser extent the oil industry) but that’s hardly alarming, unless of course you own a coal mine. The economy is much bigger and stronger than the coal industry. Every coal fired plant on the planet was built in my lifetime, what do economic alarmists (who don’t own a coal mine) find so frightening about replacing them with greener alternatives over a similar time frame?

    I must also say I won’t be sorry to see the coal industry all but vanish, they have been successfully fighting pollution limits for 100yrs. London’s pea-soup fog of 1952 killed thousands of people in the city over a four day period. To date, it is the single deadliest environmental disaster in recorded history, and it was all a direct result of successful economic alarmist lobbying by the coal industry.

    You would think that the coal industry would be remorseful about all the people it killed with smog in the first 60-70yrs of the 20th century.

    Yet sixty years later, here we are again listening to the same bald assertions by economic alarmist that have drunk the same kool aid served up by the same industry who kicked off their current campaign against GHG regulation less than a decade after the 1952 disaster.

    The irony is that puckSocket is so ill informed on the art and science of propaganda that he doesn’t realise that the people who are serving him the kool aid have a derogatory nickname for their customers, they refer to them as “useful idiots”.

    As for the other side of the alarmist coin, the Pentagon has for the past several years has consistently stated in it’s reports to government that AGW is the most significant threat to national security that they can currently foresee on the long term horizon. But we all know the Pentagon is full of tree huggers who let their emotions get in the way of their analysis. Besides, congress and fox news anchors aren’t buying it anyway, so nothing to be alarmed about, right?

  43. #44 Fretful Porpentine
    February 22, 2012

    NJ

    I really recommend that you read the documents, which, as I’m sure you are aware, are easily available – for instance here: http://www.desmogblog.com/heartland-insider-exposes-institute-s-budget-and-strategy.

    As JamesD says, Table 8 of the 2012 Fund Raising Plan (at the bottom of page 22) shows Koch donated $25,000 in 2011, and that it was for the HCN Project. The $200,000 figure was the sum they hoped to raise from Koch in 2011.

    It is hardly likely that HI would mix these figures up in their own Climate Strategy document, or that they would attribute the figure to climate research rather than health care.

  44. #45 NJ
    February 22, 2012

    FP@44:

    I really recommend that you read the documents

    I expect to, after some of the smoke clears. Which is why I’m reserving judgement about whether any particular one is fraudulent or not. But Heartland has admitted that at least some are real. And given their track record in the tobacco controversy, they have a much greater hurdle to demonstrate veracity than Gleick does.

    It is hardly likely that HI would mix these figures up in their own Climate Strategy document, or that they would attribute the figure to climate research rather than health care.

    A low probability of inconsistent information in separate documents from one organization? It would suggest you’ve never been associated with any kind of bureaucracy…

  45. #46 Steve S
    February 22, 2012

    NJ@45

    Is it your belief then that skeptics refer to themselves as ‘deniers’, and in the company of like minded folk openly discuss preventing teachers from teaching science, or referring to their mission as undermining the UN?

    The inconsistencies between Gleik’s forged memo, and the legit documents he stole from HI are all seemingly designed to sex up otherwise mundane reports…never the other way. The errors never downplay HI’s works. It’s almost as if Gleik, upon finding that the documents he’d stolen were of little use, or interest, tossed off a quick forgery to make it seem as if HI was doing more than it’s public face suggested. Out of malice, perhaps. Amateurishly written, with lots of evil flourishes, just what his intended audience would eat up, and never question.

  46. #47 Chris Winter
    February 22, 2012

    Steve S wrote (#46): “The inconsistencies between Gleik’s forged memo, and the legit documents he stole from HI are all seemingly designed to sex up otherwise mundane reports…never the other way. The errors never downplay HI’s works. It’s almost as if Gleik, upon finding that the documents he’d stolen were of little use, or interest, tossed off a quick forgery to make it seem as if HI was doing more than it’s public face suggested. Out of malice, perhaps. Amateurishly written, with lots of evil flourishes, just what his intended audience would eat up, and never question.”

    You make a dubious assumption here: that the content of the documents is not damaging to Heartland. I don’t think that’s been established.

    Also, your version fails to explain how Gleick got the information that enabled him to trick the unnamed HI staffer into sending the other eight documents. I do think the strategy document was faked, but not by Gleick. I wouldn’t venture to guess who might have faked it. But it apparently does contain at least some information that matches items in the documents Heartland sent.

    Two alternatives seem to fit everything we know: That a disgruntled Heartland insider (not necessarily an employee) made up the strategy document using some inside information and sent it to Gleick hoping that he would expose them; or that it’s part of a sting operation on Heartland’s part. But I think the latter possibility has already been discredited.

    Also, I note that many members of what you call “his intended audience” do question the strategy document.

  47. #48 Steve S
    February 23, 2012

    Chris W @ 47 wrote:

    “You make a dubious assumption here: that the content of the documents is not damaging to Heartland. I don’t think that’s been established.”

    Without the forgery, there’s little in the other documents that couldn’t be found on HI’s website. Without the provocative language and statements inserted into the forged ‘memo’, there’s no ‘there’ there, outside of names, addresses, donors, and recipients, that were, until recently, also public knowledge.

    “Also, your version fails to explain how Gleick got the information that enabled him to trick the unnamed HI staffer into sending the other eight documents.”

    Names, and possibly contact info for HI’s board members is available on HI’s website. If that’s not good enough, he also had email headers, and footers from earlier correspondence with HI from late January of this year, where he was extended an invitation to speak at HI’s annual banquet.

    “I wouldn’t venture to guess who might have faked it. But it apparently does contain at least some information that matches items in the documents Heartland sent.”

    Yes, and who do we know that had access to those HI documents? Peter Gleik, first and foremost. His sinister “Lucy Ramirez” story does not ring true. Let’s also remember that people familiar with PG’s style of writing suspected him as the author of the forged memo early on.

    For the sake of argument though, let’s assume that some shadowy third party sent him the strategy memo. He receives it, opens the envelope, reads the memo, and exclaims, “Hot damn! This is worth committing wire fraud over!”. No…that doesn’t sound very plausible either. Following this line of thought a bit further though, our shadowy author also had to have access to the exact same documents that Gleik stole to even write that memo. Why didn’t he/she just send them along with the memo in the first place?

    “Also, I note that many members of what you call “his intended audience” do question the strategy document.”

    Skepticism is healthy, and I’m glad that not everyone bought his story on blind faith.

  48. #49 Steve S
    February 23, 2012

    Oops, apologies. It’s Gleick, not Gleik.

  49. #50 NJ
    February 23, 2012

    Steve S @ 46:

    The inconsistencies between Gleik’s forged memo, and the legit documents he stole…finding that the documents he’d stolen were of little use, or interest, tossed off a quick forgery

    Steve S @ 48:

    Without the forgery…suspected him as the author of the forged memo early on…our shadowy author also had to have access to the exact same documents that Gleik stole to even write that memo

    These excerpts from your comments demonstrate that you have accepted the ‘forgery/theft’ assertions without skepticism, which makes your final comment:

    Skepticism is healthy, and I’m glad that not everyone bought his story on blind faith.

    so marvelously ironic.

    I was going to answer your initial question in #46 about labeling deniers, but the combination of your unskeptical acceptance of the ‘forgery/theft’ assertions with your desire for your opponents to exercise skepticism makes it utterly unnecessary. Thank you for saving me the effort!

  50. #51 Steve S
    February 24, 2012

    NJ @ 50 wrote:

    “so marvelously ironic.

    I was going to answer your initial question in #46 about labeling deniers, but the combination of your unskeptical acceptance of the ‘forgery/theft’ assertions with your desire for your opponents to exercise skepticism makes it utterly unnecessary. Thank you for saving me the effort!”

    That’s a nice strawman you’ve built there. Had I accepted the position I hold now, without question, or skepticism, I would have been posting within a day of HI brouhaha…like Greg Laden, and others.

    So either address the points I’ve raised, show me where I’m wrong, and carry on a civilized conversation, or just go away.

  51. #52 NJ
    February 24, 2012

    Steve S @ 51:

    That’s a nice strawman you’ve built there.

    From Wikipedia:

    A straw man is a component of an argument and is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position.

    So. By quoting your extensive use the terms forgery, theft (and their respective cognates) I have misrepresented you. Would I then be properly representing you by misquoting your words?

    Welcome to Earth; I’ve never met anyone from Htrae before.

    The plain fact is that you have accepted as true assertions of forgery & theft from people and an organization which have documented track records of making false and/or deliberately misleading statements. If you were in fact skeptical, you would at the very least be reserving judgement, and more likely you would be taking into account the prior history of the Heartland Institute.

    At its heart, denialism, whether Holocaust, evolution, HIV, climate change or any other is simply an extreme rejection of data for ideological reasons. (And note for the record that I am not saying explicitly or implicitly that denialism in one area a priori includes denialism in any others) No one has a perfectly symmetric skepticism in all areas and all directions. But when the bar to accepting information is low to non-existent on one side and unachieveably high on the other due to an ideological preference, denialism is the only accurate term.

    Terribly uncivilized of me to point this all out, I know.

  52. #53 JoeP
    February 25, 2012

    Greg Laden: >>> “We now know that the strategy memo was sent to climate scientist Peter Gleick and that Peter then took steps to acquire corraborating documents from Heartland…” <<<

    Translation: “We accept Gleick’s claims at face value.”

  53. #54 Drivebyposter
    February 25, 2012

    Translation of Joep:
    “I ACcEPt ALL clAIms Of COnspIRAcy aT FAce VALoo!”