Heartland Institute

No Faith With Skeptics

by Marlo Lewis on March 2, 2012

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(Revised March 8, 2012)

Donna Laframboise asks the key question about Fakegate: “Where do Gleick Apologists Draw the Line?

In a recent post on her Web site, No Frakking Consensus, she provides excerpts from scientists, ethicists, and activists who excuse or even lionize Peter Gleick for stealing Heartland Institute budget documents, impersonating a Heartland board member, misrepresenting himself to bloggers as an anonymous “Heartland insider,” and palming off as genuine — maybe also authoring — a fake climate strategy document in which Koch supposedly funds Heartland to keep opposing voices out of Forbes magazine, sell doubt as their product, and dissuade teachers from teaching science.

Laframboise comments: “Climate change is a strange beast. When it enters the room, even ethicists lose the ability to think straight.”

At the end of her post, she asks Gleick’s apologists what other unlawful actions they believe would be justified if necessary to advance their cause:

I get it. Lying and stealing and misleading are OK so long as they help advance a good cause. What else is acceptable? Old fashioned burglary? Arson? Car bombs?

Where is the line? [click to continue…]

Post image for Why Doesn’t Greenpeace Demand a Congressional Probe of James Hansen’s Outside Income?

The Heartland Institute plans to pay Indur Goklany, an expert on climate economics and policy, a monthly stipend to write a chapter on those topics for the Institute’s forthcoming mega-report, Climate Change Reconsidered 2012. Earlier this week, Greenpeace and Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) called for a congressional investigation of Goklany. In addition to being an independent scholar, Goklany is a Department of Interior employee. Federal employees may not receive outside income for teaching, writing, or speaking related to their “official duties.”

But as I pointed out yesterday on this site, climate economics and policy are (to the best of my knowledge) not part of Goklany’s “official duties.” It would be shocking if they were. Goklany is a leading debunker of climate alarm and opposes coercive decarbonization schemes. Why on earth would the Obama Interior Department assign someone like that to work on climate policy?

Greenpeace and Grijalva have got the wrong target in their sites. The inquisition they propose might actually have some merit if directed at one of their heroes: Dr. James Hansen of NASA. Hansen has received upwards of $1.6 million in outside income. And it’s not unreasonable to assume that most or all of that income was for teaching, writing, and speaking on matters “related to” his “official duties.” [click to continue…]

From Climategate to Fakegate

by Marlo Lewis on February 22, 2012

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Anthony Watts’s indispensable Web site, Watts Up with That?, has a trove of hard-hitting commentaries on climate scientist Peter Gleick’s theft and publication of the Heartland Institute’s fund-raising documents and apparent forgery of a “confidential” climate strategy memo. Gleick earlier this week confessed to stealing the documents, but not to fabricating the strategy memo, although textual and other evidence point to him as the culprit.

Gleick, who described his conduct as a “serious lapse of my own and professional judgment and ethics,” has resigned from his post as Chair of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Task Force on Scientific Integrity. He nonetheless tried to blame the victim, claiming “My judgment was blinded by my frustration with the ongoing efforts — often anonymous, well-funded, and coordinated — to attack climate science and scientists and prevent this debate, and by the lack of transparency of the organizations involved.”

Yep, it’s the small underfunded band of free market think tanks who are stifling the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the National Academy of Sciences and their numerous brethren overseas, the European Environment Agency, the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, the EPA, NRDC, Greenpeace, etc. etc. Heartland invited Gleick to attend a public event and debate climate change just days before he stole the documents. Gleick turned down the invitation. Yet Gleick has the chutzpah to plead “frustration” at those trying to “prevent this debate.”

Among the key posts on Anthony’s site to check out: Joe Bast’s Skype interview with the Wall Street Journal; Dr. Willis Eschenbach’s Open Letter to Dr. Linda Gunderson, who succeeds Gleick as Chair of the AGU Scientific Integrity Task Force; and Megan McCardle’s column in The Atlantic reviewing among other things evidence fingering Gleick as the author of the fake strategy memo. [click to continue…]

Whining about the way in which the media covers climate change stories is probably absolutely a waste of time, but many mainstream media outlets seem to consistently misinterpret (intentionally or unintentionally) the skeptical position on climate change.

This is to be expected from organizations who are well-established as being on the other side of the fence (I will call them climate hawks, which I believe is a neutral term), but one would like to think that the allegedly objective media would make an effort to at least accurately express the views of those they write about (the U.S. is, admittedly, better than many things I’ve read from Europe):

I don’t know every small detail regarding Heartland’s attitude towards climate change, but I’ll work off of Joe Bast’s recent comments to the WSJ.

Where do we start? [click to continue…]

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Updated 4:34 pm, Feb. 21, 2012

“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,” writes DeSmog Blog in a post titled “Whistleblower Authenticates Heartland Documents” (Feb. 20, 2012).

Gleick is indeed the culprit, but he is not a “whistleblower” because to be a candidate for that honorable title, he’d have to be a current or former employee. Gleick acknowledges that he, an outside critic of the organization, solicited and received Heartland documents under false pretenses, an action he describes as a “serious lapse of my own and professional judgment and ethics.”

More importantly, contrary to DeSmog’s spin, Gleick does not claim to authenticate the document titled “Confidential Memo: Heartland 2012 Climate Strategy,” the only document among those posted on the DeSmog Web site that even vaguely resembles the stuff of scandal.

Even more pathetic is the sanctimonious open letter by Michael Mann and six colleagues who suggest that Heartland merely got its comeuppance for cheering and publicizing the release of the Climate Research Unit (CRU) emails that sparked the Climategate scandal. [click to continue…]