Whistleblower Authenticates Heartland Documents

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Climate scientist Peter Gleick has acknowledged that he was the person who convinced the Heartland Institute to hand over the contents of its January Board package, authenticating the documents beyond a doubt and further exposing the disinformation campaign Heartland has pursued in the last week, trying to discredit the information.

In the Huffington Post tonight, Gleick reported that he had received the controversial Climate Strategy document from an anonymous source earlier this year and said that he attempted to confirm whether the contents were true. Gleick went on:

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. [emphasis added]

So, while admitting that he impersonated a third party in order to induce Heartland to confirm its own ongoing questionable conduct, Gleick has effectively caught Heartland squarely in the headlights, proving that the Institute has dissembled and lied.

Whistleblowers - and that's the role Gleick has played in this instance - deserve respect for having the courage to make important truths known to the public at large. Without condoning or promoting an act of dishonesty, it's fair to say that Gleick took a significant personal risk - and by standing and taking responsibility for his actions, he has shown himself willing to pay the price. For his courage, his honor, and for performing a selfless act of public service, he deserves our gratitude and applause.

Heartland, in the meantime, deserves to be stripped of its charitable status and laughed out of the professional “think tank” fraternity for its amateurishness and the far-less-than-credible position that it has taken in the last week, denying its own responsibility in this “leak,” dissembling about the origin of the material and going out of its way to “fail” to authenticate documents that it knew all along were legitimate.

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I’m sorry but there is absolutely no way to put a positive spin on what Gleick did. Have you read Andy Revkin’s take on this? Please do, it’s a honest view of this incident from a eco-warmist perspective.


Gleick is not a whistleblower in this instance. Gleick, who has been an outspoken champion of integrity in science, has all but ruined his career in a wild attempt to strike back at Heartland. There is absolutely no honor in what he did. The AGW skeptics could not have asked for a better spin to put on this than what Gleick has just handed them!

Your *concern* has been noted. Pray tell did you ever express similar sentiments about death threats from deniers against scientists and their families? How about the fact the “climategate” emails were obtained through criminal hacking, though unlike Gleick, the perpetrator of that particular activity never had the guts to come forward?

The double-standard used by you and Revkin here could not be more obvious. Deniers are allowed to get away with all manner of lies, distortion, intimidation, and threats, but the minute a climate scientist resorts to a technique commonly used by investigative journalists, the pearls are clutched and the fainting couch fallen upon.

By the way, your implied wishful thinking that this magically absolves Heartland from all their sins and turns them into martyrs is woefully misplaced - they remain in a world of hurt from the persective of the IRS, who, like honey badger, don’t give a shit about Revkin’s “concerns”:


And remember, Al Capone was brought down for tax evasion …

what Heartland did. They have by zillions of orders of magnitude exceeded Gleick’s small sin. Heartland lies about the well-being of our planet.

Gleick’s admission validates the strategy document, which Heartland also lied about. 

Andy Revkin says:

“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.

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.”


The documents as emailed to Peter exist. The document he received anonymously exists (he scanned it, so he has the original). Presumably, forensic analysis of the original of the scanned document could give further clues to its provenance, but let’s pretend it is a fake put together by a clever forger and leave it aside. (Peter says he did not forge it and I cannot see how he would benefit by having done so, especially as he has admitted being the source of the other documents.)

Heartland has been shown to be economical with the truth, in their inept “neither confirm nor deny” stance about the emailed documents. The documents they sent to Peter, under some kind of false pretences, are still the real documents from their real board meeting and shine an uncomfortable light on the Institute.

I have no opinion, one way or the other, about Peter’s professional ethics, but I thank him for turning on that uncomfortable light, so the rest of us can see what is going on.

I don’t think Revkin is the best judge of what should or will happen to Gleick.  

Suzanne Goldenberg wrote a much better article:


lara, where does the “eco-warmist” label you wrote come from, some denier site?


From Politco;

“    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 collar criminal defense attorney.”

Now he has a professional spin doctor on board and a powerful lawyer. I hope it’s enough, Gleick is in a world of trouble.

It is difficult to call these really hard times for all those sycophantic denialists who have been telling us how the poor honest H.I. with barely $6.4m to call its own was being defamed by an evil and scurrilous enemy.

All can now see it plainly from the other side. The lying and unscrupulous H.I. is exposed and shown to have reacted to the publication of its secret documents in the only way it knew how - lying further to cover its tracks and threatening all involved with dire retribution to the tenth generation.

And all those sycophantic denialists – how will they react to this news? How will they react if this exposure pulls the H.I. down and destroys it?

They will blame a warmist conspiracy for toppling the virtuous H.I. They will say the attack on the H.I. resulted from its many successes against the dastardly warmists. Indeed, they will certainly deny the H.I. did anything wrong because they will also be reacting in the only way they know how.

“Whistleblowers - and that’s the role Gleick has played in this instance - deserve respect for having the courage to make important truths known to the public at large.”


If it’s in the public interest for the public to know about what it is H.I. do with 6 million dollars a year, how much more is it in the public interest for the public to know about the behind the scenes behaviours of the climategate scientists, which affects the way MANY BILLIONS of their tax dollars get spent?

Rog, I think there is a fair bit of public interest into how the police investigation went in regards to your hard drives. I haven’t seen the outcome of that incident. Can you give us an update?


It is perfectly natural to show sympathy for Peter Gleick, given his past record on a wide range of issues, not only climate change. However it is wrong to appear to condone what he has done. His actions were morally equivalent to those of the person who leaked the CRU emails, who might, for all we know, have been a genuine whistleblower.

What was also surprising was how comparatively little money the Heartland Institute received; $4.6 million of which probably less than half was related to climate change. After all the talk of petrol dollars I had anticipated more. By comparison, Al Gore’s movie grossed more than 10 times as much.

The following was added on 22 II 2012.

I’ve now found time look in a bit more detail at the Heartland documents and compare their funding with sources of funding on both sides of the climate debate. I conclude that there is no David versus Goliath, only two Goliaths.


It looks like the deniers are in enhanced damage control.

Their favorite tactic? Post the first few comments on a story, just like they did above. Usually the readers take notice the first couple of posts, so they attempt to set the agenda.

HI are liars and their existence is doing a diservice to the world.

Those who deny that Peter Gleick is anything less than a courageous hero dedicated to revealing the truth in near total disregard for his own safety must be well-practiced in the dark arts of denial. As a veteran of the climate wars who has shown remarkable bravery, responsibility and humility, he deserves a medal. His place among the Great and the Good in the history of the climate wars is assured.

A more determined and clever case of whistleblowing is hard to imagine. Having been delivered a ‘smoking gun’ in the form of a brown envelope of highly incriminating hard copy documents, Peter had a moral duty to reveal them, yet in this digital age he had only limited ability to distribute these, and a grave risk of the material failing to get out or receive verification. Peter’s courage and ability to fool Heartland into providing the electronic versions is remarkable. May I join those thanking Peter from the bottom of our hearts.

Exposing those who would stop at little to attack professional climate science, and who would delay and prevent taking action on the vast body of evidence that demands a swift and far-reaching response to the clear and present dangers of catastrophic climate change is clearly an overwhelming public duty and moral imperative - at least to anyone not so ideologically blinded as to be incapable of hearing what the scientific community is telling us. 

The ignominy now being suffered by the Heartland Institute could not be more richly deserved. 

Truth is a most powerful defence, and I’m sure it will serve Peter well. None of us should be intimidated by bullies.

Peter, may you enjoy swift vindication.

They have to PROVE beyond a shadow of a doubt that Gleick faked it.

That’s the only way they can win in court.  First there is the discovery, where everyone trolls through everyone else’s computers.  Its all good fun.

The fact that Bast knows he’s not supposed to alter his computer in this situation makes it even more hilarious.   (Can’t say ‘that dog lost my computer files’ now.) 

It doesn’t start in HI’s favor either.  They have to one up what Gleick said. (Offer first evidence.)

This he said she said stuff backup by empty demands from their lawyers really points to the fact that Heartland has no legs to stand on, and they are just trying to spin doctor the situation by lying more.

Nick Naylor wins all arguments, and this is how;


Anyone who hasn’t seen “Thank You For Smoking”, should.  Given that it has a Right leaning Libertarian message (one I believe in any ways), its all the more entertaining.


Only the hard enviro-left could portray what Gleick did as heroic.

‘His place among the Great and the Good in the history of the climate wars is assured.” Really? He was just booted as the chair of the American Geophysical Union’s Task force ON ETHICS. And what if it turns out that what you believe is akin to the Catholic Church’s being wed to the notion that the earth is the center of our universe?  Is Gleick - are all of you - assured to be among the “Great and the Good in the history of the climate wars”, or could you turn out to be flat-earthers? (how rich in irony will that be).

Gleick’s behavior is a black eye on climate alarmism - it shows you’ll go to any lenghts to try and save a hypothesis that continues to crumble under its own weight

Overally, the episode is a clear demonstration that despite having combined budgets of over half a billion annually, Greenpeace, Sierra, WWF, NRDC - and Desmog, Climate Progress etc…all of you -  lose the battle purely on the weight of empirical evidence and a small group of committed activists with around a million dollars annually from a single oil company and a single coal company (despite all the frothing over the hundreds of millions “big oil” and “big coal” put behind the “campaign of confusion”, where were BP, Exxon, Shell, Southern Company, AEP, all the oil and coal interests??) And that’s before we even count the $100 BILLION the US government has put into “climate policy” since 1999.

Resorting to things like this won’t help salvage the cause, folks.

Gleick a hero?  Sure, he and Joseph Goebbels. 

You know you want to. Just this once – I want you to live to see how this works out

“save a hypothesis that continues to crumble under its own weight”

I’ve been following and commenting on this subject for just under 10 years now and I don’t think there is a week that has gone by in that time where I haven’t heard that.

Is that something you guys rock yourself to sleep at night with? Is it like a denier comfort blanket?

“purely on the weight of empirical evidence”

You have some? Please share.

means you automatically lose the argument, Carbonicus.

If you don’t know what this means, go away and look it up on Wikipedia.

More importantly, if you want to argue the science, this is not the place to do it. Try running your best logic and evidence up the pole at SkepticalScience or RealClimate, and then come back here and tell us how you fared?

I think that, while Gleick’s ethics may not have been ideal, Revkin’s Dot Earth post was ridiculous in its panic level, etc. First, ethical issues exist as gradations, not black-white polarities, in many cases. Second, Gleick’s doesn’t rise above the misdemeanor level. Third, going undercover is done already in investigative journalism. As long as Gleick didn’t forge the final document, the one Heartland denies is real, there’s no horrific “crime” here. Revkin, like, say, here and PEER, should be fighting back rather than getting immediately defensivve.


Keith Kloor questions this blog’s defense of Gleick as a “whistleblower” at http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2012/02/21/climate-wars-reach-new-lows/ “

” ‘Whistleblowers – and that’s the role Gleick has played in this instance – deserve respect for having the courage to make important truths known to the public at large. Without condoning or promoting an act of dishonesty, it’s fair to say that Gleick took a significant personal risk – and by standing and taking responsibility for his actions, he has shown himself willing to pay the price. For his courage, his honor, and for performing a selfless act of public service, he deserves our gratitude and applause.’

“This rationalization (not to mention the incorrect use of whistleblower) boggles the mind. If climate activists follow Desmogblog’s lead, the climate debate will sink to even lower depths, which I had previously thought was impossible.”

I think Kloor has a point here.

And that point is, exactly? How is it it incorrect to describe Dr Gleick’s action as those of a whistleblower, and a very clever one at that, for verifying the hard copies he was leaked with electronic copies that have enable us all to see what’s really going on?

If you need to see how much lower the debate is almost certain to go, pop over to www.fakegate.org and have a look at the number and ideological fanatacism of the folks we are dealing with. With all due respect, attempting to blame DeSmogBlog or climate activists for lowering the tone of the debate is either extremely naive or rather disingenuous.

A whistleblower, by definition, is somebody on the inside, who exposes something in his own workplace.

A thief, by definition, takes something from someone else that doesn’t belong to him, either by force or by fraud.

If your ideology makes you too blind to see that, then there’s no sense trying to explain to you that using empirical climate evidence, evolving atmospheric physics (e.g. Svensmark), and similar rational, fact-based arguments against the “settled science” isn’t “ideological fanaticism”, its how science is supposed to progress - by definition. 

Doing so in a calm and reasoned manner isn’t heightening the “tone of the debate”. It just angers those of  you committed to the prevailing paradigm for ideological, pseudo-scientific, political, or other purposes. Gleick’s actions and the actions exposed in the ClimateGate emails heighten the tone of the debate. But you’re too wed to the ideology to see that.

I hope you are young enough to see how this plays out in the empirical data. And I suggest you familiarize yourself with the little 17th century dustup between Copernicus, Galileo, and the Catholic Church.  The earth was not the center of the universe after all, despite the “settled science” of “the authorities”. 

> “A whistleblower, by definition, is somebody on the inside, who exposes something in his own workplace”



and from there on it only goes down…

“If your ideology makes you too blind to see that, then there’s no sense trying to explain to you that using empirical climate evidence, evolving atmospheric physics (e.g. Svensmark), and similar rational, fact-based arguments against the “settled science” isn’t “ideological fanaticism”, its how science is supposed to progress - by definition. “

Talking about ideology, you still haven’t answered why there are Conservative governments worldwide that support the AGW realist side. Care to now? Are they secretly lefties? That fact is like a stone in your shoe isn’t it?

You dearly want it to be a green conspiracy, but facts don’t support your cause.

Hardly a stone in one’s shoe…sorry, I didn’t know that question was asked. I missed it.

there’s a difference between a “conservative”-labeled government and a govt. regime that actually acts conservative. There are no truly conservative governments, by my definition, that support carbon taxation, cap and trade, and all similar policy pronouncements, all of which are inconsequential to climate and economically wasteful.

Stick around a bit. Even the EU govts. so in love with Kyoto are going to bail.  There will be no replacement for Kyoto forthcoming. The extension agreed in Dec. in Durban is nothing more than the EU and UN buying time to try and strongarm the U.S., China, and India into accepting Kyoto-like binding committments for CO2 reduction. That’s not going to happen in any of those three nations.

Moving on to the bigger, broader issue, regardless of whether some govts. that might hold themselves out to be “conservative” support “the AGW realist side”, the game is over. CO2 is no planetary, human, species, or ecosystem crisis. You have failed in your mission, and it is largely due to the type of behavior exhibited by Mr. Gleick and the ClimateGate “scientists”. You brought this on yourselves. It was always going to disintegrate under its own weight when faced with the empirical evidence. 

What’s your next eco-crisis that demands govt. action and the surrender of liberties and the reduction in our living standard “to save the planet and humanity”? Let’s hope the next one you guys invent doesn’t take as long to demolish. 

Get the big picture, here, folks. We have a long way to go to improve the environment, but there is no “crisis” and neo-Malthusianism always fails, its predictions always turn out wrong, everywhere, all the time, ad infinitem.

“there’s a difference between a “conservative”-labeled government and a govt. regime that actually acts conservative.”

The Conservative governments that I have mentioned are known as conservative governments and the consider themselves centre-right.





They all have openly pro views in regards to the prevailing scientific stance on AGW.

“There are no truly conservative governments, by my definition”

Your worldview and reality are two different things. They are Conservatives by the worlds definitions & their own definitions. 

“that support carbon taxation, cap and trade, and all similar policy pronouncements, all of which are inconsequential to climate and economically wasteful.”

All of the Conservative governments i have mentioned above either have had for years, or are implimenting some sort of carbon tax or trading system.

“all of which are inconsequential to climate and economically wasteful.”

No, that is what you are trained & indoctrinated to think. Maybe you should listen to Chancellor Angela Merkel. Germany seems to be doing ok.


The economic hysteria and alarmism simply isnt justified. If anything, countries adopting clean tech create more employment & business opportunities. The fossil fuel companies don’t want a hit to their profits and they certainly dont want competition.

“the game is over.

When? I have been hearing that statement for 10 years now. Have you got a date give or take a year?

“when faced with the empirical evidence.”

Blog opinion isn’t evidence.


Wow. The Galileo chestnut again. I suggest you read up on the incident instead of copying from denier blogs. It was the Church authorities, not the embryonic scientists of the day, who put Galileo under house arrest. They’ve made up for it: a couple of decades ago they apologized to Galileo.

…was known for what he got right, not what he got wrong.

Or the fact that he refused to see the light of scientific wisdom.


“If this theory were correct, there would be only one high tide per day. Galileo and his contemporaries were aware of this inadequacy because there are two daily high tides at Venice instead of one, about twelve hours apart. Galileo dismissed this anomaly as the result of several secondary causes, including the shape of the sea, its depth, and other factors. Against the assertion that Galileo was deceptive in making these arguments, Albert Einstein expressed the opinion that Galileo developed his “fascinating arguments” and accepted them uncritically out of a desire for physical proof of the motion of the Earth.”

This is a man of science who was sufficiently convinced of the severity of the damage to the public good being perpetrated by the Heatland Institute that he was willing to sacrifice his career and his very substantial reputation in order to expose it.  He’s hangin’ out there on a limb, and everyone is taking their shots.  He has committed professional suicide for the greater good.  

Keep in mind, folks – these Heartland folks are the same people who pilloried Michael Mann’s hacked emails, who picked and chose their way through those thousands of emails to create and encourage the  notion that these people are somehow living like rock stars on their ill-gotten gains from the public purse – YOUR TAXES!!!!!!!  Have you seen Michael Mann?  Leaning on that great tree section in his office?  I’m sorry, Mike.  I love your work, and I admire you greatly, but you are no Mick Jagger.  Thank heaven …

Would you do it?  Would you risk everything to bring out the truth?  I don’t know whether I could.  I would like to think I would do the right thing, but I am no hero.  I think that Peter Gleick qualifies.  He’s on my list, anyway.. 

The world needs a lot more people like Peter Gleick!

The hypocrisy of his opponents is astounding: “Climategate”, in which private e-mails were illegally stolen and then distorted and taken out of context was heroic and justifiable, but Gleick’s actions, which involved exposing unambiguous schemes and lies, is somehow unethical. Give me a gigantic break!

If it’s unethical to expose the truth, then I don’t want to be ethical.

at http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/02/peter-gleick-confesses-to-obtaining-heartland-documents-under-false-pretenses/253395/

She writes:

“When skeptics complain that global warming activists are apparently willing to go to any lengths–including lying–to advance their worldview, I’d say one of the movement’s top priorities should be not proving them right.  And if one rogue member of the community does something crazy that provides such proof, I’d say it is crucial that the other members of the community say ‘Oh, how horrible, this is so far beyond the pale that I cannot imagine how this ever could have happened!’ and not, ‘Well, he’s apologized and I really think it’s pretty crude and opportunistic to make a fuss about something that’s so unimportant in the grand scheme of things.’ 

“After you have convinced people that you fervently believe your cause to be more important than telling the truth, you’ve lost the power to convince them of anything else.”

This to me is really the significant outcome of the Gleick case.

> “After you have convinced people that you fervently believe your cause to be more important than telling the truth, you’ve lost the power to convince them of anything else.”

It’s a false dichotomy: cheating liars into exposing their lies for everyone to see, is serving the cause of truth. Gleick loved the truth too much: he allowed it to override standards of professional ethics.

If McArdle is serious about this, expect her next to propose that the published results of all scientists that are found to be cheating on their wives, should be retracted from the professional literature. I mean, it’s real cheating, no?

…and by the way, the Heartland folks actually do believe that their “cause [is] more important than telling the truth”, and act accordingly… easily checked.


I don’t like greens… I find them pretty toxic.   I drive a V6, and I can’t stand recycling.


After debunking (painstakingly… by hand….) many skeptic points, I kept coming across consistent political manipulation of facts by so called skeptics.  (Like you.) That’s why I’m here.

So it comes as no surprise to me to find that the Heartland thinktank… doesn’t.  Its just pushing a line.

The funny thing is that I can’t find any papers that support your position.  Which is even odder when you consider that there are political journals (with no scientific backgrounds) willing to publish this stuff.


The reason there are no facts backing your position become more and more curious.  In reality, scientists who engage in questionable practices in their field (publishing bad work) get sidelined.

Naturally that is why you can only find junk written by folks who have no knowledge of climate science written in journals that have no knowledge of climate science.

The best science you can find is written up with Dog Horoscopes, and potential Alien Landing sites.

Lastly, you are being intentionally stupid.  Heartland is only one of many organizations pushing propaganda.


Here is Jo Nova and Monckton directly involved in discussions to purchase TV stations.  A fact Jo Nova intentionally or criminally forgets when tries to point at other organizations or funding. 


As with you and all your ilk, you provide no links to back up your statements. This is because it is junk politics that you are reading.  Can you back up any of your claims?  Who obfuscated what?  What are you claiming?  Where are your sources?

$ pdfinfo /tmp/mozplugger-6597/2012 Climate Strategy (3).pdf                                                      
Producer:       EPSON Scan

That PDF was produced by an Epson scanner. Would be relatively quick and easy to check if Gleick has one, or if Heartland have one.

And +1 for Gleick. A little deception to expose a good one will always get support from me.

But what would that prove? Gleick already stated that he got the strategy doc in the (snail) mail, i.e., as a paper copy. True or not (I think it is), undoubtedly he was the one who scanned it.

Martin is correct, I misread Gleick’s piece - that’s what I get for assuming no-one uses snail mail anymore.

Also, that last line should say “A little deception to expose a bigger one will always get support from me.” Dunno where “good” came from…

I earlier said to be patient.

@Jim Tantillo:

The purpose of outfits such as the Heartland Institute are to delay as much as possible any action on climate change. They play dirty and dirty is the only way to attack science.

Are any of the information uncovered untrue? Arent’t Heartland a group of lobbying hacks? Don’t they pretend to be a non-profit while they are a front to special interests?

The tobacco industry hired Hill & Knowlton in 1953 in order to create doubt at the medical evidence on the link between smoking and cancer. Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hill_%26_Knowlton#Tobacco_industry and http://www.merchantsofdoubt.org/

Heartland is trying to pull a Hill & Knowlton. Do you know how many people died and are dying from smoking-related cancers?

Time magazine has now done a feature story on the Peter Gleick episode and Desmog gets more than a passing mention in it too.


Like it or not, this has hurt the integrity of the whole AGW community, there is no denying it. I just don’t think the fallout from this debacle was worth an attempt to take down the Heartland Intstutue, a comparitively small outfit by anyone’s standards.

You are being intentionally stupid.

Heartland is one of many organizations.


Remember that Monckton is grooming the Aussies to buy TV stations and media outlets strictly for propoganda purposes.  (So those cost much less that $6 million in your world?)  Listen to JO NOVA and Monckton talk about this deception right here, on tape from their own lips;


As for the size of Heartland… well… maybe, but you should look at the intent.  Its evil at Heartland.  Intentional deception always is.  And any police man can tell you, one lie begets more lies.

That being said, I’m not sure this will affect AGW science at all.

Scientists are allowed to do what ever they want outside of publishing papers.  A fact conveniently used by Bjorn Lomborg;


Lomborg’s stance?  His work isn’t science.

“The DCSD had not properly documented that The Skeptical Environmentalist was a scientific publication on which they had the right to intervene in the first place.”


Fred Singer was on TV saying (LYING) he wasn’t taking any money to do his ‘good thing’.


No… Gleick will go down as a whistle blower.

He may personally be harmed for obtaining the documents in the first place.

None of this would be an issue if people like those who work at Heartland didn’t lie in the first place.

I really am curious to know how their visit from the IRS goes.


Sorry folks, but the Gleick confession is the worst possible outcome for the AGW community for this episode. No one is talking about Heartland anymore, it’s all about Gleick. He has now resigned as chair of AGU’s Task Force on Scientific Ethics. Ethics!!

Joe Romm has been crying for months that media coverage o AGW has dropped off the map in the last year or so. Now it is again at the forefront of MSM coverage but with this terrible story about a scientist’s incredibly unethical behavior.

This story will be another major signpost in the history of the AGW controversy, much as the original release of the Climategate emails was. Whether you want to agree with that or not, that is exactly the way the MSM is playing this and hence the way the general public will remember it.

Gleick resigning from a task force on scientific ethics is hardly a surprise. This isn’t even damaging to his career.

In order to make any of this stick, Heartland will have to come out at state that the documents are 100% legit.  I can hardly wait for them to do so.

On the flip side Heartland will be loosing donors for next year, big time, and how about those inquiries;


Anytime a teacher gets asked to teach any sort of denialist material from here to infinity, they will simply say “HEARTLAND!” really loud, and continue doing what they were doing.

Anytime anyone deny’s something, we’ll just reply, “That sounds like Heartland material, who’d funding you.”

Seriously… Fred Singer… lets just say his lies precede all who follow in his path.

There’s a stink about denialists that is now a measurable and quantifiable fact.  They will all be that much more guilty before they prove themselves innocent.

Where’s your funding come from?

What are your ‘charitable’ projects?

This guy Peter Gleick has balls, I give him that. To call up the Heartland, and persuade them to send him their BoD package ? That’s brave. But to include a ‘memo’ that points right back at him as the culprit, and gives the political media denial machine a strawman to burn, which from political point of view was political suicide.

By itself, the BoD material is pretty embarrassing for the Heartland, but nobody talks about that any more now, since all the eyes are on Gleick and the stunt he pulled.

So let this be a lesson for everyone : If you argue with an ideologist, you need to get every detail right and based on facts. I you make one mistake, you will be in their arena (ideology and lies). Gleick can testify to that (he should never, ever have released that unverified ‘memo’).

The political ideology denial media machine is extremely efficient in diverting attention away from the truth, and they use any mistake as a strawman or red herring to discredit you and push their ideology. You know what I mean if you ever argued with them on ‘skeptic’ blogs or elsewhere. These guys are professionals in PR and debate. Gleick did not stand a chance in that arena.

That, my frieds, is the PR lesson today on debate based on reason, versus debate based on ideology.

Meanwhile, the denial media machine runs at full throttle. More BS (Bad Science) by the Marshall Institure in the Wall Street Journal. Supported by hundreds of commenters creating smoke and mirrors to obfuscate any scientific fact anyone may bring us.

The main question is : How do reason and facts and science stand a chance in this political argument funded by hundreds of millions of fossil fuel dollars and the Murdock media empire ?

As a longtime fighter against the oil and coal interests that bankroll climate skeptics, I am delighted by Desmogblog's posting of the Heartland disinformation documents. 

As a 30 year journalist who headed up a Pulitzer Prize winning effort for the Boston Globe, I am appalled at the ethical insensitivity of Naomi Klein and others who have praised the falsification used by Peter Gleick to obtain them.  Peter's work to promote awareness of the threat and magnitude of climate change over the years has been truly noble.  But even he conceded that he committed “a serious lapse of professional judgment and ethics…” 

I understand Peter's frustration.  It's the same rage that has been smoldering for years in the consciousness of many of us – Bill McKibben, Al Gore, Elizabeth Kolbert and others.

But for Klein and others to excuse Peter's fraud betrays a profoundly disturbing journalistic blindness.

Over the last 15 years, I have given more than 300 talks on the climate crisis.  The most consistent response I received from audiences (especially in the earlier years  when the topic was far less publicized) was: “You're not with an environmental group.  You're not with a corporation.  You're not with a government agency.  You're a journalist – so we believe you.”

Please think this through for just a moment.  Society depends on the integrity of journalists to provide the factual basis for opinions, actions and decisions. If journalists are permitted to falsify their identities – or any other portion of their presentations – it robs society of a credible basis on which to form opinions or make decisions. When society has no solid informational ground to guide its actions, it leaves itself wide open to demagoguery and worse.

Peter Gleick's extraordinary contributions over the years have been exemplary. But no amount of righteous gloating over the disclosure of the Heartland documents should be allowed to obscure the indelible tainting of a true hero of the climate movement.

My sorrow for Peter Gleick far outweighs my delight at the exposure of the scummy practices of the Heartland Institute.  Given all his years of service, Peter's lapse in judgment has, ever so sadly, turned him into a truly tragic casualty of the climate war.

                     – Ross Gelbspan