Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > General Discussions > Religion, Politics and World Events
Reload this Page >

The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edition)

Religion, Politics and World Events They make great dinner conversation, don't you think? plus Political Film

The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edition)

Old 02-15-12, 06:24 PM
  #476  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Madison, WI ("77 square miles surrounded by reality")
Posts: 30,012
Received 3 Likes on 2 Posts
Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Originally Posted by Navinabob View Post
http://www.desmogblog.com/heartland-...rnal-documents

Their reply is basically that everything is confirmed elsewhere which corroborates data found on it. (Links inside on each point)

The Heartland Institute has confirmed in a prepared statement that it mistakenly emailed its board materials to an anonymous third party - confirming the source of the documents released here on the DeSmogBlog yesterday.

Heartland then goes on allege that one of the documents (the Climate Strategy) is a fake.

The DeSmogBlog has reviewed that Strategy document and compared its content to other material we have in hand. It addresses five elements:

The Increased Climate Project Fundraising material is reproduced in and confirmed by Heartland's own budget.

The "Global Warming Curriculum for K-12 Classrooms" is also a Heartland budget item and has been confirmed independently by the author, Dr. David Wojick.

The Funding for Parallel Organizations; Funding for Selected Individuals Outside Heartland are both reproduced and confirmed in the Heartland budget. And Anthony Watts has confirmed independently the payments in Expanded Climate Communications.

The DeSmogBlog has received no direct communications from the Heartland Institute identifying any misstatement of fact in the "Climate Strategy" document and is therefore leaving the material available to those who may judge their content and veracity based on these and other sources.
I don't think Heartland has denied any of those specific funding items. But reading the memo, there are many things in it besides those admitted facts. The tone of the memo is perhaps the most important thing and that is not addressed in the DeSmog rejoinder. That (if the memo is genuine) would be more damning than any of the facts, which are quite mild, particularly in comparison to warmist funding facts. Every funding item can be true and the memo could still be a fake, trying to give the same sort of negative view of Heartland which we know is real from confirmed Climategate emails.

Edit: The memo Heartland is alleging to be fake is, first of all, atrociously written. If one has read anything from them, it is apparent that, whether or not one agrees with their positions, they are not semi-literate morons who would write sludge like this. It is blatant in grabbing almost random warmist talking points and attributing them to Heartland. It has fabrication (and bad, clumsy, oafish fabrication at that) written all over it. Throwing it in with the legitimate (and bland and virtually not damning at all) documents only makes it stand out more. But clearly, it was what was needed to turn this into a "story."

I will be shocked if this memo turns out to be genuine. And if it's fake it undermines the entire endeavor.

Edit 2: Here is an analysis of the allegedly fake document:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/1...land-document/

Besides all the evidence that the "damning" phrases are written in language a dedicated warmist and not a skeptic would use, the time on the allegedly fake document is given in PST (the -8:00 time which I assume is 8 hours behind UTC (formerly called Greenwich Mean Time)). Heartland's main office is in Chicago which is -6:00. It has several other offices but they are all in the Eastern (-5:00) or Central (-6:00) time zone. Why would a Heartland document be produced in the Pacific time zone?

Edit 3: Take a look at this sentence:

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.
Would Heartland refer to itself as "dissuading teachers from teaching science" when they clearly believe they are on the correct side of the science? It's absurd. Even if they did not believe that CAGW is wrong (which they do believe), they would never say it in writing, even in an internal memo.

The only alternative to a warmist forgery is that Heartland crafted the fake memo themselves, set all the documents up to be stolen and planted the fake one amid the real ones so it would blow up in the warmists' faces. That sounds almost as crazy as fake moon landing or 9/11 conspiracy theories.

Last edited by movielib; 02-16-12 at 10:15 AM.
Old 02-15-12, 06:31 PM
  #477  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Madison, WI ("77 square miles surrounded by reality")
Posts: 30,012
Received 3 Likes on 2 Posts
Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Originally Posted by Navinabob View Post
Yes (but one might be fake.. it is pretty easy to prove if they release the real document that matches the others so we'll see).

And very true on merits. But biased likely still holds... The CERN study was biased, but ended up matching mainstream research. Sadly, that does not happen often.
Oy. The CERN research is clearly inconclusive to this point and is not inconsistent with either Svensmark's theory or "mainstream" research. Years of work remain. And just how were these 63 distinguished scientists biased? Svensmark was not himself involved and didn't want to be (rather like recusal), nor was he invited for obvious reasons. Nor were any other of the big proponents of the cosmic ray theory such as Friis-Christensen, Shaviv or Veizer.

Last edited by movielib; 02-16-12 at 06:23 AM.
Old 02-16-12, 05:59 PM
  #478  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Madison, WI ("77 square miles surrounded by reality")
Posts: 30,012
Received 3 Likes on 2 Posts
Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Brilliant analysis of fake Heartland memo by...

a warmist!

Long but worth reading in its entirety.

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/...a-fake/253165/

Leaked Docs From Heartland Institute Cause a Stir—but Is One a Fake?
By Megan McArdle
Feb 16 2012, 12:03 PM ET

The climate blogs have been swept by quite a scoop in the past few days. An anonymous leaker identified only as "Heartland Insider" has dumped a cache of documents on climate blogs purporting to reveal the inner workings of the Heartland Institute, a vigorous promoter of skepticism about anthropogenic global warming.

Over the course of a few days, details have emerged. According to Heartland, someone contacted them pretending to be a board member, and requested that the organization "resend" their annual meeting board package to an alternative email address. And apparently some gullible staffer actually complied. The result is here. There are loads of juicy details about who donates what, and who gets money from Heartland.

Predictably, climate blogs are having a field day. Much of the attention has centered around an explosive document titled "2012 Heartland Climate Strategy", which contains stuff like their plans for "dissuading [K-12 teachers] from teaching science".

Heartland has confirmed the provenance of most of the documents, in a blustery press release which I think they're going to end up regretting heartily:
The individuals who have commented so far on these documents did not wait for Heartland to confirm or deny the authenticity of the documents. We believe their actions constitute civil and possibly criminal offenses for which we plan to pursue charges and collect payment for damages, including damages to our reputation. We ask them in particular to immediately remove these documents and all statements about them from the blogs, Web sites, and publications, and to publish retractions.
But in that press release, they unequivocally deny that the "Climate Strategy" memo came from them, or anyone in their employ. And after reading through the documents, I'm inclined to believe them.

Full disclosure: One of the donors in the apparently authenticated documents is Charles Koch, and my husband did a year-long fellowship with the Koch Foundation. However, nothing I'm going to write either defends or indicts Mr. Koch, who's actually pretty incidental to both Heartland's funding, and this story.

I should also probably note that I disagree pretty strenuously with Heartland's position on global warming. I not only believe that anthropogenic global warming is happening, but also support stiff carbon or source fuels taxes in order to combat it. While I've expressed some dismay at the behavior revealed in the leaked Climategate memos, they haven't changed my mind about the reality, or the danger, of global warming. I'm not defending Heartland's stance on climate science; I'm mostly interested in this because I have a longstanding fascination with fake quotes and documents.

Now, caveats out of the way, here's why I think that memo is probably fake:

1. All of the documents are high-quality PDFs generated from original electronic files . . . except for the "Climate Strategy" memo. (Hereinafter, "the memo"). That appears to have been printed out and scanned, though it may also have been faxed.

Either way, why? After they wrote up their Top Secret Here's All the Bad Stuff We're Gonna Do This Year memo, did the author hand it to his secretary and say "Now scan this in for the Board"? Or did he fax it across the hall to his buddy?

This seems a strange and ponderous way to go about it--especially since the other documents illustrate that the Heartland Institute has fully mastered the Print to PDF command.

It is, however, exactly what I would do if I were trying to make sure that the document had no potentially incriminating metadata in the pdf.

2. The date on the memo file is different from the other documents. And indeed, when you look at the information on the PDFs that Heartland acknowledges, almost all of them were created by printing to PDF on January 16th, the day before Heartland's board meeting. There is a Board Directory that was created on the 25th of January, also by printing to PDF. And then there is the memo, which was created via an Epson scanner at 3:41 PM on February 13th.

That seems to be just about 24 hours before this broke on the climate blogs. The timing seems odd, and somewhat suspicious. The fact that this document, and it alone, was scanned rather than printed to PDF or emailed as a word document, is even more so.

2. Every single verifiable fact that's in the memo is found in another one of the documents, or available in a public source; in fact, many of the sentences are cut and paste jobs from the fundraising document, the binder insert, or the budget.

Substantial overlap is to be expected. But perfect overlap is surprising--there was nothing they wanted to elaborate on about their Climate Strategy that wasn't found in their fundraising or budget documents? There's actually much less information about their climate efforts than can be found in the budget and fundraising packets. The only new material is a bit of editorializing, and suspiciously, it is editorializing that makes Heartland sound much worse than the authenticated documents do.

The editorializing tends to fall into one of two categories: they leave out the facts that make Heartland sound not quite so bad (like a huge drop in corporate donations) or they recast the activities of the Heartland Institute in a somewhat less favorable light than the presentation in the authenticated documents.

It's hard to imagine why someone at Heartland would have written a memo that didn't contain any new information, or even useful new spin. On the other hand, if I were trying to make sure that the memo couldn't be conclusively shown to be a fake, this is exactly the approach I'd take: borrow 100% of the facts, and most of the language, from real documents.

3. The style is different. Most institutions have a sort of house style for things like board packages. That style drives writers nuts, because it's flabby and repetitive, but it's also generally consistent, and professional-sounding. The other documents are all written in the same basic style: formal-ish, overlong, and written at about a tenth grade reading level. A lot of fairly brief paragraphs, a carefully titrated modicum of self-praise. Except for the required legal notices, which are double spaced, they're all using approximately the same formatting.

Then there's the memo, which uses a different format and what seems to be a different font size or weight. It's in run-on paragraphs that read as if they had been exhaled in one long breath. The writing is sloppy in many places, including word choices ("dissuading them from teaching science") that should never have made it past a second set of eyes, and certainly not all the way to the board.

4. It's too short. Memos like this are usually padded with references to the bright future, the glorious past, the sterling efforts of the team members. The other documents are far longer than they need to be to make rather simple points, and larded with tables, charts, bullet points, and headers. As I mentioned above, the memo is a clip job that contains less information than the other documents the board is already getting, and the person who wrote it could barely be bothered to bold their paragraph headers. Why waste their time, or yours, with tedious and poorly-formatted repetition?

5. The worldview is different. In my experience, climate skeptics see themselves as a beleaguered minority fighting for truth and justice against the powerful, and nearly monolithic, forces of the establishment. They are David, to the climate scientists' Goliaths. This is basically what the authenticated documents sound like.

The memo, by contrast, uses more negative language about the efforts it's describing, while trying to sound like they think it's positive. It's like the opposition political manifestos found in novels written by stolid ideologues; they can never quite bear (or lack the imagination) to let the villains have a good argument. Switch the names, and the memo could have been a page ripped out of State of Fear or Atlas Shrugged.

Basically, it reads like it was written from the secret villain lair in a Batman comic. By an intern.

6. There's no name, date, or identifying information in the memo. Memos are usually written by someone, to a specific audience. In this case, the writer says "I propose that at this point it be kept confidential and only be distributed to a subset of Institute Board and senior staff". Okay, so where's the distribution list? Who is "I"? People do not usually chattily speak in the first person without identifying themselves.

Of course, maybe this was sent in an email or a Word doc from the original author--but in that case, why was it scanned rather than printed to PDF?

Or maybe the memo was scrubbed . . . but why? The other documents weren't, and this memo was never supposed to be seen by outside eyes.

If I weren't too familiar with Heartland's internal personnel, this is the sort of information I'd probably leave off, to make sure that I didn't name someone who was, say, verifiably on vacation or at a funeral when the memo was allegedly written, or simply obviously not senior enough to have written it.

7. Heartland says that this was erroneously emailed to someone impersonating a board member. If this memo is so secret, how did the staffer get a hold of it to email? Did a "senior staffer" really not recognize a member of the board's inner circle?

Related question: Why is this memo super-secret, when there's nothing in it that isn't also in the materials distributed to the entire board?

Overall, like the fake documents and quotes of earlier posts, it just feels too convenient. It's a super-handy roadmap to all the most incendiary portions of the other documents, and it contains absolutely nothing that does not serve that purpose--no formulaic self-puffery, no mentions of problems that you would think a legitimate memo would have covered, like the precipitous cuts in their global warming programs that they were forced to undertake when their anonymous donor delivered less cash than expected in 2011. It reads like it was written for climate activists. And I don't get the feeling that the folks at Heartland are much interested in helping out their friends at ClimateProgress and Grist.

Below the fold, my section-by-section analysis of what makes me uncomfortable.

This is the memo's opening.
January 2012
Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy

Given the increasingly important 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. 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 Institute Board and senior staff. More details can be found in our 2012 Proposed Budget document and 2012 Fundraising Strategy memo. In 2012 our efforts will focus in the following areas:
This seems like the sort of strained declaration I would have given a novel villain when I was in high school--where I take what I think is actually true, and add swinish sarcasm, and SEE! VILLAIN!!!

Sadly, this was not as artistic as I believed at the time. But I digress.

Another question quickly springs to mind: If the memo was written in January, as it claims, how come it was scanned into a computer on February 13th, instead of being made into a PDF along with the rest of the board package in mid-January?

And why aren't there any other strategy documents, on things like health care, net neutrality, and so forth?

Did the anonymous leaker leave them out because they weren't relevant to the climate blogs? (But why not email them to, say, open internet blogs?)

And if so, why did they include less-than-exciting filler like the legally required notice of an impending board meeting?

The next section is their climate change fundraising strategy:
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 - see the 2011 Fourth Quarter Financial Report. 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. 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. Other contributions will be pursued for this work, especially from corporations whose interests are threatened by climate policies.
This is all accurate. In fact, it's almost too accurate. The Anonymous Donor data comes from this table:



Here's the first Koch reference in the same document:
The Charles G. Koch Foundation returned as a Heartland donor in 2011. We expect to ramp up their level of support in 2012 and gain access to the network of philanthropists they work with.
It's almost eerily similar to the language in the memo above -- as if someone were being very careful not to make any claims beyond what is backed up in the other documents.

To be fair, people do cut and paste from their memos. But this paragraph is as notable for what it does not say, as for what it does. The document has a lot to say about the gyrations in support from "Anonymous". Yet it doesn't mention two things which feature fairly prominently in the original fundraising document:

1. Corporate donations fell by nearly $1 million in 2011
Receipts from corporations were almost exactly $1 million below budget, whereas income from individuals was almost exactly (101%) of the budgeted amount. Corporate gifts were down partly due to economic changes - our corporate donor base is mostly older manufacturing businesses that were especially hurt by the economic downturn - but largely because of staff turnover. Rachel Rivest was new to corporate relations management in 2011 and did no traveling. We expect this will be an area of major recovery and improvement in 2012.
2. The Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation gave nothing in 2010, and only $25,000 in 2011.

Note that the fundraising excerpt does not say that they expect global warming to be at the heart of their corporate strategy. Moreover, this is not how they describe it anywhere else in the document, and clearly not the source of all their corporate donations--they get some donations from energy companies, but they also get large sums from technology firms, presumably for their work on net neutrality.

Here's how Heartland describes their corporate and large-donor strategy in the fundraising document: "While ideologically motivated individual donors are apt to contribute for general operating, corporations and (increasingly) foundations want project-specific proposals. We try as best we can to tailor our programs to meet both the requirements of our mission - to discover, develop,and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems - while also exciting new donors to make the contributions needed to fund our programs"

Of the ten major programs they list, three involve global warming, and one involves a weakly related topic (fracking). The rest are in health care, finance, public unions/debt, and education. Obviously, global warming is very important, particularly to their anonymous donor. But it's far from the only issue. And more to the point, they do not self-describe their efforts as marketing their services to corporations whose interests are threatened by climate policies. They describe themselves as "promoting free market solutions".

Nor does this section mention the apparently huge impact that the decline in donations from the anonymous donor had on their climate programs in 2011; apparently, almost all of the lost money came out of those programs: "The anonymous donor reduced his giving from $1,664,150 in 2010 to $979,000 in 2011. We are extinguishing primarily global warming projects in pace with declines in his giving, and we were careful not to hire staff based on his past generosity."

It seems odd to be so specific about "Anonymous" and so vague about the others. It also seems odd to be so specific about the general size of the donations from Anonymous, and so vague about the funds earmarked for global warming. And it does seem to me that the omissions tend to run in the direction of making Heartland sound scarier, more powerful, and better funded--particularly by anti-AGW corporations--than they actually have been, at least for the past few years.

The next section has attracted a great deal of attention from climate bloggers:
Development of our "Global Warming Curriculum for K-12 Classrooms" project.

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. Dr. Wojick is a consultant with the Office of Scientific and Technical Information at the U.S. Department of Energy in the area of information and communication science. 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. We tentatively plan to pay Dr. Wojick $100,000 for 20 modules in 2012, with funding pledged by the Anonymous Donor.
Again, this is basically a summary of what's found in the fundraising plan:
Many people lament the absence of educational material suitable for K-12 students on global warming that isn't alarmist or overtly political. Heartland has tried to make material available to teachers, but has had only limited success. Principals and teachers are heavily biased toward the alarmist perspective. Moreover, material for classroom use must be carefully written to meet curriculum guidelines, and the amount of time teachers have for supplemental material is steadily shrinking due to the spread of standardized tests in K-12 education.

Dr. David Wojick has presented Heartland a proposal to produce a global warming curriculum for K-12 schools that appears to have great potential for success. Dr. Wojick is a consultant with the Office of Scientific and Technical Information at the U.S. Department of Energy in the area of information and communication science. He has a Ph.D. in the philosophy of science and mathematical logic from the University of Pittsburgh and a B.S. in civil engineering from Carnegie Tech. He has been on the faculty of Carnegie Mellon and the staffs of the U.S. Office of Naval Research and the Naval Research Lab.

Dr. Wojick has conducted extensive research on environmental and science education for the Department of Energy. In the course of this research, he has identified what subjects and concepts teachers must teach, and in what order (year by year), in order to harmonize with national test requirements. He has contacts at virtually all the national organizations involved in producing, certifying, and promoting science curricula.

Dr. Wojick proposes to begin work on "modules" for grades 10-12 on climate change ("whether humans are changing the climate is a major scientific controversy"), climate models ("models are used to explore various hypotheses about how climate works. Their reliability is controversial"), and air pollution ("whether CO2 is a pollutant is controversial. It is the global food supply and natural emissions are 20 times higher than human emissions").

Wojick would produce modules for Grades 7-9 on environmental impact ("environmental impact is often difficult to determine. For example there is a major controversy over whether or not humans are changing the weather"), for Grade 6 on water resources and weather systems, and so on.

We tentatively plan to pay Dr. Wojick $5,000 per module, about $25,000 a quarter, starting in the second quarter of 2012, for this work. The Anonymous Donor has pledged the first $100,000 for this project, and we will circulate a proposal to match and then expand upon that investment.
But as with the previous section, whoever wrote the memo has offered a gloss which is either incredibly clumsy, or purposely designed to make them sound as bad as is plausible in a memo that is supposed to come from Heartland itself.

The next section covers "funding for parallel organizations". Here's what's in the strategy document:
Funding for parallel organizations. Heartland is part of a growing network of groups working the climate issues, some of which we support financially. We will seek additional partnerships in 2012. At present we sponsor the NIPCC to undermine the official United Nation's IPCC reports and paid a team of writers $388,000 in 2011 to work on a series of editions of Climate Change Reconsidered. Expenses will be about the same in 2012. NIPCC is currently funded by two gifts a year from two foundations, both of them requesting anonymity. Another $88,000 is earmarked this year for Heartland staff, incremental expenses, and overhead for editing, expense reimbursement for the authors, andmarketing.
Now, here's the same activity described in the fundraising document:
Heartland sponsors the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), an international network of scientists who write and speak out on climate change. Heartland pays a team of scientists approximately $300,000 a year to work on a series of editions of Climate Change Reconsidered, the most comprehensive and authoritative rebuttal of the United Nations' IPCC reports. Another $88,000 is earmarked for Heartland staff, incremental expenses, and overhead for editing, expense reimbursement for the authors, and marketing.

NIPCC is currently funded by two gifts a year from two foundations, both of them requesting anonymity. In 2012 we plan to solicit gifts from other donors to add to what these two donors are giving in order to cover more of our fixed costs for promoting the first two Climate Change Reconsidered volumes and writing and editing the volume scheduled for release in 2013. We hope to raise $200,000 in 2012.
I can believe that someone at Heartland is going around clipping the content of other documents into some sort of a strategy memo. I find it harder to believe that they are rewriting those activities to make themselves sound more evil. Have you ever heard anyone describe themselves as "undermining" something? It's a word that implies sneaking and underhanded behavior, which is why only bad movie villains usually apply it to their own activities.

Note also that whoever wrote the memo has hashed the math--they added in the $88,000 for internal resources twice. And they changed "scientists" to "writers", which is not consistent with how these same people are described in the authenticated documents. It is, on the other hand, consistent with how climate activists view the kind of people who work for Heartland. Which makes it feel as if the paragraph had been written by someone who couldn't quite bring themselves to deploy Heartland's self-approving language.

The next section involves external personnel:
Funding for selected individuals outside of Heartland. 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.
The salaries are taken from the annual budget. The description, interestingly, is not. This is how the budget describes these payments:
The two tables below summarize the multi-year budget for the project and personnel costs for the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), an international group of scientists that produces critiques of the reports of the United Nation's IPCC. Heartland hosts and funds the effort. A growing number of scientists have been recruited by Craig Idso to be contributing authors and editors of NIPCC's major reports, a series titled Climate Change Reconsidered. Two volumes have been published so far.

Table 2 presents the proposed budget as it appears in the fundraising proposal for the NIPCC project. Table 3 shows projected personnel expenses for 2012. We do not expect to produce an interim report of Climate Change Reconsidered in 2012, so the only incremental expense for this project other than personnel is $1,000/month in expense reimbursements for Fred Singer. That amount appears in the Communications Department budget.
It seems to me somewhat telling that the memo's single biggest divergence from the authenticated documents comes in a section dealing with outsiders with whom climate activists have been doing battle for some time.

The final section involves Heartland staff. And it's just . . . weird.
Expanded climate communications

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). Efforts at places such as Forbes are especially important now that they have begun to allow highprofile climate scientists (such as Gleick) to post warmist science essays that counter our own. This influential audience has usually been reliably anti-climate and it is important to keep opposing voices out. Efforts might also include cultivating more neutral voices with big audiences (such as Revkin at DotEarth/NYTimes, who has a well-known antipathy for some of the more extreme AGW communicators such as Rornm, Trenberth, and Hansen) or Curry (who has become popular with our supporters). AVe have also pledged to help raise around $90,000 in 2012 for Anthony Watts to help him create a new website to track temperature station data. Finally, we will consider expanding these efforts further, or developing new ones, if funding can be obtained.
To start with, why does the document feel a need to provide a bio for Wojick--who works closely enough with Heartland to have a bio on their website--but not for all the climate scientists and writers that it cites in this section?

Then there's the tone. I have never heard a warming skeptic refer to themselves as "anti-climate", or to their opponents as "communicators". And believe me, I get chewed out by climate skeptics with great regularity.

And in a way I find it hard to put my finger on, the worldview just feels . . . off. There are a bunch of little things--this is the only document in which the word "warmist" appears, for example. But it's much more than that. It's too nice to opponents ("high profile", "communicator"). And it views climate skeptics as far more powerful than they (in my experience) actually feel, and opponents as combating their messages, rather than the other way around. It seems to fundamentally misunderstand the paranoia of a movement that sees itself as under siege.

The commenters who attack me on my global warming views do not see us as equals doing battle on the plains of Mordor. They think of me as having been captured by a dubious consensus that is manufactured and maintained by social pressure, the general human tendency to alarmism about complex threats, and the self-interest of a few scientists--and in truth, they can point to some instances, like the longstanding belief that humans had 48 chromosomes, which were maintained against all evidence by a very powerful social dynamic. Obviously, I disagree with their analysis, but I do understand their reasoning process--and that they have a reasoning process. I don't feel like the writer of this memo understands either. It's more like they sat down at the computer and said, "What would I write IF I WERE AS CRAZY AS AGW SKEPTICS?"

And the stuff about Forbes is sheer lunacy, on multiple levels. The idea that conservatives view Forbes as their beachhead for control of world opinion is . . . well, I spend a fair amount of time with conservatives and libertarians, including those who work for think tanks, and I have never once heard them express such an opinion. If they did, I'd point out that neither their editorial, nor their readership, is that monolithic. Of course think tanks puff up their influence for donors, but they don't usually make themselves sound like they're on the verge of a megalomaniacal break.

Which makes it especially crazy to talk about how Heartland can "keep opposing voices out" of the Forbes editorial page. If they thought they had any shot at this, I'd expect to hear details about friendly editors, not mad ranting about the amazing power of Taylor's blog. But everything I know about the Forbes digital strategy indicates that they're interested in driving traffic, not a conspiracy to deny global warming.

Need I point out that this seems almost expressly designed as a counterweight to the ClimateGate emails which talked about keeping opposition voices out of journals and the IPCC report? Except ludicrous--even if it were true, can anyone imagine a climate skeptic saying to themselves, "Well, they've got the IPCC and the peer-reviewed jouranls, but thank God, we've got Forbes!"

The bottom line is that while the Times thought that "its tone and content closely matched that of other documents that the group did not dispute", to me, they aren't a close match at all. Rather, they read like, well, like someone without the imagination--or motivation--to pass an Ideological Turing Test wrote up a neat little executive summary for their ideological fellows.

The textual analysis alone would make me suspicious--but the fact that the document was created much later, using a different method, with different formatting--makes me fairly sure that while the other documents are real, this was written after the fact, by an author outside of Heartland. If there were any way to get conclusive proof, I'd bet heavily against this document being real.

That said, I think it's impossible to prove -- at least with my forensic skill levels. People do write crazy memos sometimes--there are lunatics in every movement, and most organizations. While this just doesn't feel like the right kind of crazy to me, it's possible I'm wrong.

And at some level, I'm not sure it really changes the story. The memo doesn't add new facts, just new spin. Naturally, because the spin is more lurid, it's what a lot of the climate blogs seized on -- I suspect, in the same way that Twitter and Facebook seized on the half-fake part of the Martin Luther King quote that went viral after Bin Laden was killed. The appended material had more momentary punch than the original, because it had been written for the moment.

In the next few days, there will still be entirely legitimate discussions of Heartland's funding sources, and what it was doing with the money. But we should probably be cautious about leaning too hard on this memo. And if its provenance can't be ascertained, we should probably also be asking questions about who wrote it -- and why.

Update: Koch says that their contribution was for health care, not global warming:
The documents presented by the blog indicate "[the Foundation] returned as a Heartland donor in 2011 with a contribution of $200,000. We expect to push up their level of support in 2012...if our focus continues to align with their interests." But this is not so. The Foundation gave just $25,000 to Heartland in 2011 (the only such donation to that organization in more than 10 years) and that funding was specifically directed to a healthcare research program, and not climate change research, as was erroneously reported.

Statistically speaking, the Foundation's contribution represents approximately one-twentieth of one percent of Heartland's total funding over that ten year period. The Foundation has made no further commitments of funding to Heartland.
And indeed, when you look at the fundraising document, the coding next to Koch's donation is "HCN" which certainly seems to be their health care code--other donors with that code include Bayer, Amgen, EliLilly, and GlaxoSmithKline.



Unless there's an explanation I'm missing, that seems to clinch it--why would health care donations show up in their climate strategy report? Unless of course, it was written by someone who doesn't know anything about facts of the donation, but does know that the Kochs make great copy.
If it weren't for the fake memo, this story would not have gone beyond Desmogblog and a few other warmist sites. Remember Desmog's big "expose" about a Harvard scientist receiving some money from "fossil fuel interests including Koch Industries, the Petroleum Institute and Exxon"? Ever even hear about it? I didn't think so. Perhaps skeptical sites may have posted the story and gotten a little reaction in their comment sections. It surely would not be touted by the BBC, the New York Times, The Guardian and other major news outlets. Even if it had, it would have been met by a collective yawn, if that. And now, two days later, the story would be as dead as poor Whitney Houston (forgive me).

Last edited by movielib; 02-16-12 at 06:09 PM.
Old 02-16-12, 07:47 PM
  #479  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Land of the Lobstrosities
Posts: 10,300
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Kudos to McArdle for not being suckered by the memo, and more kudos because it was due to her understanding of the skeptic POV, even though she doesn't agree with it.

However, I think she's being a little short sighted when she suggests the memo author didn't have enough understanding or imagination to get it right. The intention wasn't to make it appear authentic, but to create a juicy, plausible document for reporters who don't posses her objectivity. The intended audience is writers who actually believe the "tone and content closely match that of other documents". People who, when they read "criticize the IPCC", think "undermine the IPCC". Reporters for whom Heartland funding non-alarmist educational material is understood to be Heartland being anti-science. When you see the world through those lenses then the secret memo is completely consistent. In fact, it becomes the smoking gun that says "what they really think."
Old 02-16-12, 07:53 PM
  #480  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Madison, WI ("77 square miles surrounded by reality")
Posts: 30,012
Received 3 Likes on 2 Posts
Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Originally Posted by wmansir View Post
Kudos to McArdle for not being suckered by the memo, and more kudos because it was due to her understanding of the skeptic POV, even though she doesn't agree with it.

However, I think she's being a little short sighted when she suggests the memo author didn't have enough understanding or imagination to get it right. The intention wasn't to make it appear authentic, but to create a juicy, plausible document for reporters who don't posses her objectivity. The intended audience is writers who actually believe the "tone and content closely match that of other documents". People who, when they read "criticize the IPCC", think "undermine the IPCC". Reporters for whom Heartland funding non-alarmist educational material is understood to be Heartland being anti-science. When you see the world through those lenses then the secret memo is completely consistent. In fact, it becomes the smoking gun that says "what they really think."
I think it's a combination of the two.
Old 02-16-12, 07:54 PM
  #481  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Navinabob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Bay Area, California
Posts: 8,939
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Yeah, I was gonna post that same story but I bookmarked it at home instead of work. The only bit that makes me pause is I don't agree with her points on the word doc and having it not be addressed to anyone. It isn't hard to imagine that the person who stole them wanted to cover his tracks and not show who he stole them from. One way to edit off a name from a pdf is to convert it to a word doc (that also explain the time stamp).

The tone being off is what doesn't feel right to me. It just reads poorly.
Old 02-17-12, 02:19 PM
  #482  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 16,823
Likes: 0
Received 72 Likes on 54 Posts
Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Japanese scientists claim that their new invention can double or even triple the amount of energy that's generated by a wind turbine:

Old 02-17-12, 06:24 PM
  #483  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Navinabob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Bay Area, California
Posts: 8,939
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Originally Posted by grundle View Post
Japanese scientists claim that their new invention can double or even triple the amount of energy that's generated by a wind turbine:

But how many flying fish will it kill?
Old 02-17-12, 07:55 PM
  #484  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Madison, WI ("77 square miles surrounded by reality")
Posts: 30,012
Received 3 Likes on 2 Posts
Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Megan McArdle was so good yesterday, I'll post her update from today. It includes the ever smeary DeSmogBlog "egregiously misrepresenting" some things she said in her first article.

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/...minute/253276/

Heartland Memo Looking Faker By the Minute
By Megan McArdle
Feb 17 2012, 12:14 PM ET 348

After yesterday's post on why I thought that one of the documents in the Heartland leak was a fake, I discovered that David Appell had been investigating along the same lines. Appell, however, looked at one thing that hadn't occurred to me: where the PDF was created. One of his commenters elaborates:
I used a pdfinfo script to analyse the memos. The info I got is that all the meta data dates changed on the day of the leak in the Pacific time zone (-8 GMT). This is likely where our thief resides. This is also where the "fake" was created on 2/13. The other docs, with the exception of the IRS form were in the central time zone (-6 GMT). The IRS form was -4 GMT. This has been corroborated by a commenter at Lucia's. Based on this, and I'm not sure if I've covered every base, the strategy memo is a fake.

The only other option would be if the create dates were faked, highly, highly unlikely or, the sender from HI didn't have the doc, and someone from the west coast scanned it , emailed to her to send to the leaker. This, to me, doesn't seem likely either. Logically, I have to go with HI's story.
Heartland's offices are in the Midwest. And Heartland's story about the provenance of the documents--a story that is being cited as proof of authenticity by climate bloggers--is that they were emailed by a support staffer who was tricked into sending the documents to an unverified email address by someone impersonating a board member. So I don't see how they could have obtained a hard copy, but not the original electronic file.

No, if it is indeed true that the document was scanned on the west coast, then I think we can say with a very high degree of confidence that it is a fake--especially when you put this together with all the other anomalies that I pointed out yesterday, notably the update I posted about the Koch contributions:

Koch says that their contribution was for health care, not global warming:
The documents presented by the blog indicate "[the Foundation] returned as a Heartland donor in 2011 with a contribution of $200,000. We expect to push up their level of support in 2012...if our focus continues to align with their interests." But this is not so. The Foundation gave just $25,000 to Heartland in 2011 (the only such donation to that organization in more than 10 years) and that funding was specifically directed to a healthcare research program, and not climate change research, as was erroneously reported.

Statistically speaking, the Foundation's contribution represents approximately one-twentieth of one percent of Heartland's total funding over that ten year period. The Foundation has made no further commitments of funding to Heartland.

And indeed, when you look at the fundraising document, the coding next to Koch's donation is "HCN" which certainly seems to be their health care code--other donors with that code include Bayer, Amgen, EliLilly, and GlaxoSmithKline.


The high probability that the memo is fake makes this response from Desmogblog, one of the first places to post the memos, all the more disappointing:
The DeSmogBlog has no evidence supporting Heartland's claim that the Strategic document is fake. A close review of the content shows that it is overwhelmingly accurate ("almost too accurate" for one analyst), and while critics have said that it is "too short" or is distinguished by "an overuse of commas," even the skeptics at weatherguy Anthony Watts's WUWT say that a technical analysis of the metadata on the documents in question does not offer sufficient information to come to a firm conclusion either way.

But in the tradition of the famous, and famously controversial "hockey stick graph," the challenge to the single document has afforded the DeSmogBlog's critics - and Heartland's supporters - something comfortable to obsess about while they avoid answering questions raised by the other documents.
The first two links are to my post, and they are an egregious misrepresentation of what I said.

"Too short" was the least of my concerns with the document, not my central objection, as he implies; and the phrase "almost too accurate" did not bolster the case for the document's authenticity, but rather, referred to the fact that large segments of the document appeared to have been plagiarized from other sources.

The fact that the document was created at a different time, place and manner, from the others, that it makes errors about things like the purpose of Koch funds, and that Heartland has unequivocally denied authorship while seeming to concede the authenticity of the other documents, should lead any honest observer to at least reasonable doubt.

Mr. Littlemore contends that this is a distraction from larger issues, but I cannot agree. The foundation of journalism is accurate sources. Anyone who considers themselves to be in the business of informing the public about the truth should care very deeply when faked documents make it into the public record. They should especially care if their own work has been the vehicle.

Dismissing the possibility of fakery--and the obvious questions about who might have perpetrated it--does not help us focus on the "real issues". I'm afraid "Fake but accurate" just won't do. Nor will trying to shift the burden of proof to the people who are pointing out solid reasons for concern. Instead, the stubborn willingness to ignore obvious problems becomes the story--something that Dan Rather learned to his dismay in 2004.

Moreover, the fact is that this document does not merely confirm facts found in other sources. It substantially recasts those facts, in the case of the Koch donation. And in the selection of facts it presents, and the spin it puts on them, it alters the reporting.

There's a reason that the majority of the quotes in the early blogging and reporting on this story seem to have been taken from the memo, including the initial post on DeSmogBlog. For example, someone named Richard Littlemore wrote "It is clear from the documents that Heartland advocates against responsible climate mitigation and then uses that advocacy to raise money from oil companies and 'other corporations whose interests are threatened by climate policies.' Heartland particularly celebrates the funding that it receives from the fossil fuel fortune being the Charles G. Koch Foundation." That is all taken from the memo, not the supporting documents. The fundraising document actually contains no record that I can see of contributions from oil companies.

The climate blogs presumably relied so heavily on the memo because the quotes were punchier, and suggested far darker motivations than the blandly professional language of the authenticated documents--and because it edited the facts into a neat, almost narrative story.

In the first 24 hours, I saw a lot of comments along the line of "See! They're really just as amoral and dangerous as we thought they were!" based on a memo which I now believe to have been written by someone who, well, thinks that AGW skeptics are amoral and dangerous. (And judging from his update to the original document dump, Littlemore's fellow blogger, Brandon Demelle, is also unsure of the memo's "facts".)

For me, this leaves the most fascinating question of all: who wrote it? We have a few clues:

1) They are on the west coast

2) They own or have access to an Epson scanner--though God knows, this could be at a Kinkos.

3) They probably themselves have a somewhat run-on writing style

4) I'm guessing they use the word "high-profile" a fair amount.

5) They are bizarrely obsessed with global warming coverage at Forbes, which suggests to me that there is a good chance that they write or comment on the website, or that they have tangled with writers at Forbes (probably Taylor) either in public or private.

6) The last paragraph is the biggest departure from the source documents, and is therefore likely to be closest to the author's own style.

7) I have a strong suspicion that they refrained from commenting on the document dump. That's what I'd do, anyway. A commenter or email correspondent who suddenly disappeared when they normally would have been reveling in this sort of story is a good candidate.

8) They seem to have it in for Andy Revkin at the New York Times. There's nothing in the other documents to indicate that Heartland thinks Revkin is amenable to being . . . turned? I'm not sure what the right word is, but the implication in the strategy memo that Heartland believes it could somehow develop a relationship with Revkin seems aimed at discrediting Revkin's work.

Unfortunately, I'd imagine that this is still a sizeable set of people, and it will be hard to identify the author. I suspect that it will be easier to do if the climate-bloggers--who may well know this person as a commenter or correspondent--get involved in trying to find out who muddied the story by perpetrating a fraud on their sites.
There is a great deal of speculation that the forger is one person in particular. I will not engage in this discussion. McArdle, by the time she wrote this, had to know who it was. I'm glad she also refrained from naming that person.
Old 02-18-12, 05:21 AM
  #485  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Navinabob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Bay Area, California
Posts: 8,939
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

I like the metadata analysis, but it isn't anything I do at work so I'm wary of putting my two uneducated cents in. But I did speak to someone at work who glanced at a breakdown of the document that stands out as different and he said that it came from a shared "P:\" network drive and not "C:\" main drive like the others. In most offices, not everyone has a physical scanner attached to their computer and use a shared scanner elsewhere. The other docs were .pdf files created from Word, this one is a scanned hard copy. Why would someone create a network drive just to plant metadata into a document (clearly showing a higher level of understanding) and yet proceed to make amateur mistakes like not making it a word to .pdf file and have the date be off?

The hacking itself was old-school 1980s fun where you just fake being someone else to a admin staff member and asked for the last brief paperwork. The staff member then scans the one document that they didn't have a soft copy of and packs it with the rest. That is at least possible based on those merits.

Depending on how you look at it, it is either a document that sticks out from the rest as a clear forgery based on its differences, or it is a document with such strange differences that sort of gives it a "ring of truth" to it. It was his opinion that it was plausible either way, but he didn't look at the files themselves, just at a blog post discussing the data. At the time nobody has mentioned the time-zone issues... I wondering if the server was in a different time zone, would that matter? I'm about 60% towards thinking that document was fake... I still hate the tone and wording.

Sorta neat stuff really.
Old 02-18-12, 05:33 AM
  #486  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Navinabob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Bay Area, California
Posts: 8,939
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

I think it a bit funny that Heartland has sent out a email asking for donations to fight this battle and they said that they know who did it and have released that info to the police and FBI for prosecution. The FBI said that they had never contacted them and that "It would appear that the items were given to outsiders under false pretenses as opposed to a breach of their IT system or theft. As such, there would be no legal basis for us to investigate"

The police refused to comment out of policy.
Old 02-18-12, 09:50 PM
  #487  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Roswell
Posts: 2,345
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Originally Posted by Navinabob View Post
I like the metadata analysis, but it isn't anything I do at work so I'm wary of putting my two uneducated cents in. But I did speak to someone at work who glanced at a breakdown of the document that stands out as different and he said that it came from a shared "P:\" network drive and not "C:\" main drive like the others. In most offices, not everyone has a physical scanner attached to their computer and use a shared scanner elsewhere. The other docs were .pdf files created from Word, this one is a scanned hard copy. Why would someone create a network drive just to plant metadata into a document (clearly showing a higher level of understanding) and yet proceed to make amateur mistakes like not making it a word to .pdf file and have the date be off?


Sorta neat stuff really.
Just a quick note as a IT guy. There are usually a few ways to create a pdf on a given corporate PC. In our network, a user could use a network scanner to scan a file to a shared network drive (similar to P: in this case), but could also save to their desktop and print to .pdf, giving the location as being c: based. On top of that, we have the profiles on a server, so if they save it in their "My Documents" it would still appear to be on the server. Metadata is still a relatively recent worry. I work in a law firm and they've only worried about it for the past 3-4 years. I think these people made metadata mistakes, and weren't trying to trick anyone. Just FYI.
Old 02-20-12, 07:29 PM
  #488  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Madison, WI ("77 square miles surrounded by reality")
Posts: 30,012
Received 3 Likes on 2 Posts
Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Steve McIntyre weighs in on Heartland:

http://climateaudit.org/2012/02/20/heartland/

Heartland
Steve McIntyre
Feb 20, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Obviously there’s been lots of discussion in the past few days about the Heartland documents and, in particular, the fake Heartland 2012 Strategy memo. I presume that CA readers are familiar with the discussion at climate blogs and elsewhere. I’ve been busy on other matters this week, but have followed the discussions and commented a few times at Lucia’s. Having not posted thus far, it’s hard to know where to begin.

By way of disclaimer, I spoke at the Heartland conferences in 2009 and 2010. In 2010, I was a local celebrity in the wake of Climategate and received a standing ovation when my speech was announced. As part of my remarks, I reminded the audience that, notwithstanding Climategate, many serious scientists were concerned about the impact of global warming on entirely different grounds and urged the audience to view concepts like “fraud” and “hoax” as unhelpful in understanding the issues. (See remarks here). As was observed at the time, I received very tepid one-hand-clapping applause afterwards. The audience liked Monckton much better. However, some people told me afterwards that I had said things that needed to be said to that audience. As CA readers are aware, I disliked the libertarian trappings of the event and wasn’t included in the original program for the much reduced 2011 conference, though I was sent a late invitation (and declined.)

The present situation is rich with irony. The provenance of the Climategate dossier remains unknown. According to evidence of the Information Commission’s Office to Muir Russell (not included in their report), its exclusion of personal information “could be indicative of a whistleblower”. Nonetheless, it was unambiguously reported by the Guardian and other media as being “hacked” or “stolen”. The provenance of the Heartland documents is relatively clear. Someone pretending to be a director of Heartland tricked a secretary at Heartland into sending documents from a recent board meeting to an email address purporting to be that of a Heartland director but, in fact, belonging to someone else. The document with the most damaging quotes was then fabricated. Nonetheless, the dossier was unambiguously described by the Guardian and other media as being “leaked” by an “insider” at Heartland.

Many other ironies have been observed in respect to both Heartland and Climategate. However, the fact that the most damaging Heartland quotes were fabricated and contained only in the fake memo inevitably limits the parallels and raises a host of legal issues that did not arise in Climategate.

Another curiosity in the fake memo is the undue prominence of Peter Gleick and his exchanges at Forbes, an anomaly that has occasioned comment at a number of locations (e.g. Mosher at Lucia’s, Pielke Jr).

The Board Documents

Jan 16 – Heartland board package prepared. Pdf’s made of 2012 Budget, 2012 Fundraising Plan, Binder 1 including Fourth Quarter 2011 Financial Report, Notice of Meeting, Agenda. All of the above documents are shown as deriving from Joe Bast’s directory on the P: drive.

Jan 17 – Heartland board meeting.

Jan 25 – Pdf made of contact information of the Heartland board of directors. Document from p: drive of Z. McElrath.

Jan 29 – Minutes of Jan 17 board meeting (rtf format from c:\Users\Admin\Documents\2012\heartland).

Early Feb – According to Heartland on Feb 15 here, “an unknown person fraudulently assumed the identity of a Heartland board member and persuaded a staff member here to “re-send” board materials to a new email address”.

The Fake Confidential Strategy Memo

On or before Feb 13, the “unknown person” or an associate (who subsequently called himself Heartland Insider), fabricated a document entitled “Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy Memo”. Its pdf version was created on Feb 13 at 12:41 Pacific time.

Although media that were duped by the fake memo have tried to argue that its contents are fully supported by the board documents, in my opinion, numerous claims in the fake memo, including the money quotes that animated so many articles, are readily seen to be unsupported by the unfabricated documents, as well as being untrue.

1. The fake memo stated that Heartland planned to develop a Global Warming curriculum aimed at “dissuading teachers from teaching science”. This damning phrase occurs nowhere in the board documents or elsewhere.

2. The fake memo put the Koch foundation, prominent in climate activist demonology, in a place of particular prominence and stated that it was funding Heartland’s climate programs to the tune of $200,000 in 2011 and that greater contributions were being sought in 2012. In fact, Koch had contributed only $25,000 to Heartland’s Health Care (HCN) program in 2011 and $200,000 was being sought for this program in 2012. (Quite aside from other marks of forgery, it is inconceivable to me that Bast would make this sort of error in a board memo.)

3. The fake memo stated that Heartland was seeking contributions for their climate programs “especially from corporations whose interests are threatened by climate policies”. There is no support for this in the document and it appears to be untrue: the board documents show that Heartland’s climate activities were almost entirely financed by an individual.

4. The fake memo exaggerated the scale of Heartland’s climate programs. It said that they sponsored NIPCC to “undermine” the IPCC (a term not used in the actual documents and a word more characteristic of activist than skeptical literature) and that, additionally, it “paid a team of writers” to produce editions of Climate Change Reconsidered (actual documents – team 0f “scientists”, double-counting the expenditures.

5. The fake memo said that it was “important to keep opposing voices out” of Forbes, which was characterized as having previously been “reliably anti-climate”, but which had now begun “to allow high-profile climate scientists (such as Gleick) to post warmist science essays that counter our own”. There is nothing remotely supporting this assertion in board documents or elsewhere. The anomalous prominence of Gleick (as opposed to the more logical Hansen, Gore or Mann, Jones and the Climategaters) attracted attention in later commentary.

6. The fake memo said that Heartland was coordinating “with external networks (such as WUWT and other groups capable of rapidly mobilizing responses to new scientific findings, news stories, or unfavorable blog posts”, a sort of skeptic answer to the Climate Rapid Response Team of Scott Mandia, John Abraham and Peter Gleick. There is nothing in the actual documents to support this.

7. The fake memo proposed the cultivation of “more neutral voices” such as Revkin and Curry, an idea that surprised both Revkin and Curry and which is not supported in the actual documents.

8. The fake memo gave the impression of “increased” activity in 2012, describing Heartland as “part of a growing network of groups working the climate issues, some of which [they] support financially”, whereas the actual documents showed reduced activity in 2012, as a result of declining funding, with no plans to hold the climate conference that they had sponsored for the previous few years.

Lucia observes in a post today that the fake memo also purports to show intentional deception on the part of Heartland officers by, for example, deliberately concealing the confidential memo from part of the board of directors (“distributed to a subset of Institute Board and senior staff”). See her post for other examples.

Distribution Timeline

David Appell has posted a provisional timeline for the dissemination of the Heartland documents, a timeline that I’ve examined, but re-considered here.

On Feb 14, at 9:13 a.m. Pacific (12.13 pm Eastern), HI (apparently using the account [email protected]) sent an email containing the seven board documents listed above plus Heartland’s 2010 IRS 990 (available at the Heartland website, re-posted by sourcewatch on Jan 18, 2012) as follows:
Dear Friends (15 of you):

In the interest of transparency, I think you should see these files from the Heartland Institute. Look especially at the 2012 fundraising and budget documents, the information about donors, and compare to the 2010 990 tax form. But other things might also interest or intrigue you. This is all I have. And this email account will be removed after I send.
The distribution to supposedly 15 recipients (Mosher questions whether this number can be relied on) resulted in three blog articles around 3-4 p.m. (Eastern), each with distinct archives of the documents: Brad Johnson at Thinkprogress, Brandon Demelle at Desmog and (separately) Richard Littlemore at Desmog. (Demelle and Littlemore archived their versions separately.)

The first article out of the blocks was Brad Johnson’s here at blogtime 3:10 pm, though the first comment is timestamped 12:18 pm. It was tweeted by Andy Revkin at 3:56 PM. My interpretation is that Johnson’s article was published at 3:10 pm Eastern and that the comment timestamps are inconsistently in Pacific time. The version of the Johnson article that is presently available (Feb 20) is primarily directed at Heartland’s plan to engage David Wojick to develop a curriculum and does not directly quote from the fake Confidential memo. Johnson included (what appears to be the first) reference to the National Center on Science Education (NCSE) in this context, linking to a statement by the NCSE that they had “begun a new program to fight global warming denial in textbooks and classrooms”. Peter Gleick, who had been anomalously featured in the fake memo, became a director of the Oakland-based NCSE on January 17, 2012.

The second article to be published was Brad Demelle’s at Desmog. It included a link to Johnson’s article. The print version of the article (h/t David Appell) is timestamped 14:13 (timezone not stated); the first comment is at 16:39 blog time; it was tweeted by Carbon Meme at 4:29 pm Eastern and Leo Hickman at 4:44 pm. My conclusion is that it was published around 4:13 pm Eastern (implying that the time in the “print” version is Mountain time.) Demelle said only that the documents were “obtained by Desmog” without any reference to Heartland Insider. Demelle’s article was primarily based on the fake memo and included most of its juicier quotes (but, interestingly, not the one about “dissuading teachers from teaching science”.

The Littlemore article at Desmog was observed by David Appell to have been published only one minute after Demelle’s article (see print version . It had a separate archive of the articles on the Desmog server – compare the names: Littlemore’s versions have later names. Littlemore’s article attributed the documents to an “anonymous donor” self-styled as “Heartland Insider”:
An anonymous donor calling him (or her)self “Heartland Insider” has released the Heartland Institute’s budget, fundraising plan, its Climate Strategy for 2012 and sundry other documents (all attached) that prove all of the worst allegations that have been levelled against the organization.

It is clear from the documents that Heartland advocates against responsible climate mitigation and then uses that advocacy to raise money from oil companies and “other corporations whose interests are threatened by climate policies.” Heartland particularly celebrates the funding that it receives from the fossil fuel fortune being the Charles G. Koch Foundation.

Revkin and Early Tweets

As noted above, Revkin’s 3:56 pm tweet about Brad Johnson’s blog post is the first third party notice of events that I’ve located.

At 4:38 pm Eastern, Revkin sent a second tweet, which amusingly praised Peter Gleick for the impact of his Forbes blogging:
[Kudos to @petergleick as alleged @heartlandinst climate doc shows impact of his Forbes.com blogging: http://t.co/uLEFnGVq
Revkin’s tweet linked to a blog post at Revkin.net (revkin.tumblr.com/post/17620769391/alleged-heartlandinst-climate-doc-i-mportant). Revkin’s blog post began:
Alleged @HeartlandInst climate doc: “[i]mportant to keep opposing voices out” of Forbes.com, where @PeterGleick has countered disinformation:

“Efforts at place such as Forbes are especially important now that they have begun to allow high-profile climate scientists (such as Gleick) to post warmist science essays that counter our own. This influential audience has usually been reliably anti-climate and it is important to keep opposing voices out.” The rest.
Revkin later deleted the blog post; I’ve only been able to locate a partial cache of the blog post (see here).

However, before its deletion, Revkin’s blog post and tweet widely disseminated the story. See the numerous reference at Topsy here, notably including a re-tweet by Leo Hickman of the Guardian at 4:44 pm.

Revkin continued to tweet about the documents, including wonderment (6:40 pm) at the strange idea of Heartland “cultivating” him.

Hickman’s own first tweet on the topic had occurred six minutes earlier when he had re-tweeted a 4:29 pm tweet by carbonmeme linking to Demelle’s article at Desmog. Hickman sent two more tweets on the matter at 4:53 pm (all Eastern unless otherwise designated.)

In three tweets around 5 pm, John Timmer (j_timmer) of Ars Technica (linking to Revkin) appears to have been one of the first commenters to draw attention to the later much-highlighted claim that Heartland was trying to “dissuade teachers from teaching science”, also connecting the proposed Heartland work on curriculum to NCSE’s recent announcements:
Heartland’s education strategy: calling topic “controversial and uncertain” “effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science”…

Heartland climate docs came via @Revkin – link to collection here…

Note the Heartland docs indicate they’re working on a school curriculum. Should sound familiar to the @NCSE.
Josh Rosenau, a program manager with National Center for Science Education (NCSE), of which Peter Gleick became a director on January 17, retweeted Timmer and continued to tweet and retweet actively throughout the next few days, eventually getting into a dispute with Pielke Jr about Peter Gleick. At 6:01 pm, Rosenau commented about the proposed curriculum:
Saw it, and am intrigued. I guess someone’s worried about @NCSE’s climate change efforts!
Other green bloggers turned up soon thereafter on Twitter and elsewhere: Scott Mandia at 5:13 pm; Joe Romm at his blog here at 6:03 pm; John Cook (Skeptical Science) at 6:40 pm. Susan the Policy Lass shows up at 7:02 pm, immediately taking umbrage at the idea of Heartland “undermining” the IPC process:
“At present we sponsor the NIPCC to undermine the official United Nation’s IPCC reports” – There you have it. Undermine. #heartland
and shortly afterwards took offence at another fabricated quote:
“climate change is controversial and uncertain- two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science.”
At 8:41 pm, Chris Mooney showed up on twitter, expressing his initial disbelief at the “dissuading” statement:
“dissuading teachers from teaching science” — I can’t *believe* this quote is real.
Later in the evening (Eastern), blog articles were posted by Greg Laden, Joe Romm, Deep Climate and other green blogs. Laden was particularly impressed by the most recent revelation, highlighting it as follows:

The story continued to spread like wildfire on the activist blogs.


The Guardian

At 10:30 pm Eastern (Feb 15 03:30 GMT), Suzanne Goldenberg took the story mainstream in The Guardian here, later announcing the story on twitter as follows:
Happy birthday Galileo! Here is an update on modern-day flat earthers of @Heartlandinst http://gu.com/p/35fdf/tw #eg
Goldenberg’s story was headlined:
Leak exposes how Heartland Institute works to undermine climate science: Libertarian thinktank keeps prominent sceptics on its payroll and relies on millions in funding from carbon industry, papers suggest
Goldenberg’s story included key phrases from the fake memo: “dissuading teachers from teaching science”, “This influential audience [Forbes] has usually been reliably anti-climate and it is important to keep opposing voices out.”

Leo Hickman tweeted Goldenberg’s story at 2:12 am Eastern (7:12 GMT), following up with numerous tweets and retweets through the morning. At 07:39 AM (EST), Hickman published his own story in the Guardian, describing the revelations as “hard evidence”. Hickman, who does not appear to have made any attempt to confirm the authenticity of the memo, relied heavily on the fake memo. Hickman quoted the false amounts and allocation of Koch contributions, harrumphing:
The funding of climate sceptic thinktanks in the US by corporate vested interests such as the Koch brothers has almost become a cliché, but here we have cast-iron proof of its influence, intent and extent.
Hickman, like Goldenberg, repeated the false quote about “dissuading teachers from teaching science”, repeating the quote for emphasis:
The co-ordinated effort to undermine the teaching of climate science in US classrooms has been noted before, but this still takes the breath away. Let’s just repeat that sentence so it can be fully digested: “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.” But the dropping of jaws doesn’t end there. Next up, we learn that Heartland paid a team of writers $388,000 in 2011 to write a series of reports “to undermine the official United Nation’s IPCC reports”. Not critique, challenge, or analyse the IPCC’s reports, but “to undermine” them. The agenda and pre-ordained outcome is clear and there for all to see.
Next Hickman is deceived by the fake quotation about
But the dropping of jaws doesn’t end there. Next up, we learn that Heartland paid a team of writers $388,000 in 2011 to write a series of reports “to undermine the official United Nation’s IPCC reports”. Not critique, challenge, or analyse the IPCC’s reports, but “to undermine” them. The agenda and pre-ordained outcome is clear and there for all to see.
Hickman then wallows in the fake paragraph about heartland’s supposed interaction with Forbes, concluding this section as follows:
Again, much to digest here, but for me one thing stands out beyond the talk of trying to “cultivate more neutral voices” and “coordination with outside networks”. When you recollect all the hullabaloo expressed by climate sceptics about how climate scientists apparently try to close down debate etc, then this sentence says so much:

This influential audience has usually been reliably anti-climate and it is important to keep opposing voices out.

If you like your hypocrisy sandwiches served with a side order of double standards, then these leaked documents are certainly the place to dine out.
Once the Guardian had lent its authority, the story spread rapidly. Hickman watched closely, noting its mention at SMH in Australia, by Steve Zwick at Forbes (8:32 AM), MSNBC (10:15 AM), the Economist (12:35 PM), BBC (3:38 PM).

At 9:54 AM, James Gleick, Peter Gleick’s brother, tweeted on the Guardian story (re-tweeted soon after by Andy Revkin):
This fine news story features a cameo appearance by my brother and a mythical place called “Time Square.” guardian.co.uk/environment/20…
Gleick himself was strangely silent on the matter, a silence that was later observed at Lucia’s and elsewhere.

Heartland’s Statement on the Fake Memo

The story had broken late in the afternoon of February 14 and spread during the North American night. None of the media appears to have contacted Heartland for confirmation of authenticity or a statement.

Heartland issued a press release on February 15, stating unambiguously that the “Confidential Memo” (the one containing the juicy quotes) was fake and that the other documents had not been leaked by an actual insider or “anonymous donor”, but had been obtained by a form of identity theft:
One document, titled “Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy,” is a total fake apparently intended to defame and discredit The Heartland Institute. It was not written by anyone associated with The Heartland Institute. It does not express Heartland’s goals, plans, or tactics. It contains several obvious and gross misstatements of fact…

The stolen documents were obtained by an unknown person who fraudulently assumed the identity of a Heartland board member and persuaded a staff member here to “re-send” board materials to a new email address.
Most articles that disseminated the contents of the fake memo have included updates, reporting Heartland’s statement that the memo was fake. Many have argued (incorrectly in my opinion) that the assertions in the fake memo are supported by the actual documents and left their articles unchanged. Some articles have been changed. Few have been removed. The status as of Feb 18 is reviewed by a commenter at Judy Curry’s here.

Conclusion

The ramifications of these events are unfolding.

In legal terms, there are a number of important distinctions from Climategate. First and most importantly, the key document is fake. Over and above that, there is strong reason to believe that Heartland can show that the actual (and much less damaging) documents were obtained by a form of identity theft. We’ll see whether “Heartland Insider” covered his tracks as well as FOIA. Thirdly, whereas FOIA had, for the most part, removed personal information, the actual Heartland documents include a great deal of personal information.

Heartland has sent out legal demands to a number of blogs, which, thus far, have either been ignored or rejected.

As a few commenters wisely observed, it’s time to get out the popcorn.

Last edited by movielib; 02-20-12 at 07:46 PM.
Old 02-20-12, 10:53 PM
  #489  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Madison, WI ("77 square miles surrounded by reality")
Posts: 30,012
Received 3 Likes on 2 Posts
Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Bombshell:

Uber-warmist Peter Gleick admits to the theft by deception of the Heartland documents.:

http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/20...climate-files/

February 20, 2012, 8:06 pm
Peter Gleick Admits to Deception in Obtaining Heartland Climate Files
By ANDREW C. REVKIN

Peter H. Gleick, a water and climate analyst who has been studying aspects of global warming for more than two decades, in recent years became an aggressive critic of organizations and individuals casting doubt on the seriousness of greenhouse-driven climate change. He used blogs, congressional testimony, group letters and other means to make his case.

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. His summary, just published on his blog at Huffington Post, speaks for itself. You can read his short statement below with a couple of thoughts from me:

The Origin of the Heartland Documents
Peter Gleick

Since the release in mid-February of a series of documents related to the internal strategy of the Heartland Institute to cast doubt on climate science, there has been extensive speculation about the origin of the documents and intense discussion about what they reveal. Given the need for reliance on facts in the public climate debate, I am issuing the following statement.

At the beginning of 2012, I received an anonymous document in the mail describing what appeared to be details of the Heartland Institute’s climate program strategy. It contained information about their funders and the Institute’s apparent efforts to muddy public understanding about climate science and policy. I do not know the source of that original document but assumed it was sent to me because of my past exchanges with Heartland and because I was named in it.

Given the potential impact however, I attempted to confirm the accuracy of the information in this document. 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.

I will not comment on the substance or implications of the materials; others have and are doing so. I only note that the scientific understanding of the reality and risks of climate change is strong, compelling, and increasingly disturbing, and a rational public debate is desperately needed. 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. Nevertheless I deeply regret my own actions in this case. I offer my personal apologies to all those affected.
The Heartland Institute had already signaled that it plans to seek charges and civil action against the person who extracted its documents under a false identity. Foreshadowing today’s events, on Friday, Ross Kaminsky, a senior fellow and former board member at Heartland, posted a piece on the American Spectator site naming Gleick as an “obvious suspect.” Now they have their man.

I won’t speculate on how the legal aspects of this story might play out.

Another question, of course, is who wrote the climate strategy document that Gleick now says was mailed to him. His admitted acts of deception in acquiring the cache of authentic Heartland documents surely will sustain suspicion that he created the summary, which Heartland’s leadership insists is fake.

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.
Remember a few posts back when I said there was speculation that a certain person had written the fake memo but I didn't want to name him? Well, it was none other than Peter Gleick. He was the object of the speculation because the memo seemed very much in his writing style and used many key phrases he is fond of. Now he has admitted to the overall theft but claims the documents have been unaltered. Pretty hard to believe with all the similarities of his writing style and the fact he is injected into the memo when he is nothing more than a minor player in climatology in the first place. No Jones, Mann, Trenberth, Schmidt, Santer and a whole bunch more but... Gleick!? Not to mention that Heartland is made to say things they would never say in that memo. Furthermore, Gleick is normally a Twitter monster, tweeting about everything he can to try to discredit skeptics. But he had been preternaturally and completely silent since the Heartland story broke.

Gleick seems to be claiming he received the fake memo in early 2012 from an anonymous source. Well if that's true he could easily have figured out it was fake from the internal evidence in it, especially since he would have had 5-6 weeks to mull it over. Heartland would not refer to itself as being anti-science or of trying to stop teachers from teaching science. Those are the opposite of how it actually sees itself. Lots of other things too. I'm beginning to think he was the fake memo writer on top of what he has admitted to.

Four months ago, Gleick wrote a scathing review on Amazon of a book by Donna Laframboise that criticized the IPCC. Critics of Gleick pointed out that there was not a shred of evidence in his review that he had read a word of the book. (See http://www.amazon.com/review/R3DB7LH...cm_cr_rdp_perm)

What can one say? The guy is slime.

On a personal note, Gleick's last name is just one letter off from mine. Remove one letter from his name and that is my name. In fact, I have no doubt they are variations of the same name (probably of German origin). But on the other hand, there's this Gleick one could be proud of:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Gleick

Last edited by movielib; 02-21-12 at 12:00 AM.
Old 02-20-12, 11:04 PM
  #490  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Madison, WI ("77 square miles surrounded by reality")
Posts: 30,012
Received 3 Likes on 2 Posts
Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Judith Curry on Gleick and the integrity of science:

http://judithcurry.com/2012/02/20/br...ews/#more-7302

Breaking News: Gleick Confesses
Posted on February 20, 2012
by Judith Curry

Peter Gleick Admits to Deception in Obtaining Heartland Files

Check it out at Dot Earth, HuffPo.

I don’t even know how to react to this, I’ll sleep on it.

Can’t sleep.

Gleick on integrity [see links in my link - m]:
A brief lesson in the integrity of science
Climate Change and the Integrity of Science, Again
AGU’s new task force on scientific integrity and ethics begins
Threats to the integrity of science: congressional testimony
I even referenced his testimony in my uncertainty monster paper.

My first interaction with Gleick was he invited me to speak in an AGU session that he was organizing on the integrity of science, my presentation can be found here.

He has made it known to me via email that he has been displeased with my “behavior.” I seem to have gotten his goat to have been mentioned in the fake Heartland strategy doc (hard to believe that he didn’t write this).

The irony of it all, this coming from a scientist that has made a particular point about integrity and written many essays and even testified to congress on the subject.

Last edited by movielib; 02-20-12 at 11:15 PM.
Old 02-20-12, 11:07 PM
  #491  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Madison, WI ("77 square miles surrounded by reality")
Posts: 30,012
Received 3 Likes on 2 Posts
Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Heartland responds:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/2...ck-confession/

Statement by The Heartland Institute on Gleick Confession
Posted on February 20, 2012 by Anthony Watts

(Received via email direct from Heartland president Bast in advance of their website posting, see Gleick’s statement/confession here – Anthony)

FEBRUARY 20, 2012: Earlier this evening, Peter Gleick, a prominent figure in the global warming movement, confessed to stealing electronic documents from The Heartland Institute in an attempt to discredit and embarrass a group that disagrees with his views.

Gleick’s crime was a serious one. The documents he admits stealing contained personal information about Heartland staff members, donors, and allies, the release of which has violated their privacy and endangered their personal safety.

An additional document Gleick represented as coming from The Heartland Institute, a forged memo purporting to set out our strategies on global warming, has been extensively cited by newspapers and in news releases and articles posted on Web sites and blogs around the world. It has caused major and permanent damage to the reputations of The Heartland Institute and many of the scientists, policy experts, and organizations we work with.

A mere apology is not enough to undo the damage.

In his statement, Gleick claims he committed this crime because he believed The Heartland Institute was preventing a “rational debate” from taking place over global warming. This is unbelievable. Heartland has repeatedly asked for real debate on this important topic. Gleick himself was specifically invited to attend a Heartland event to debate global warming just days before he stole the documents. He turned down the invitation.

Gleick also claims he did not write the forged memo, but only stole the documents to confirm the content of the memo he received from an anonymous source. This too is unbelievable. Many independent commentators already have concluded the memo was most likely written by Gleick.

We hope Gleick will make a more complete confession in the next few days.

We are consulting with legal counsel to determine our next steps and plan to release a more complete statement about the situation tomorrow. In the meantime, we ask again that publishers, bloggers, and Web site hosts take the stolen and fraudulent documents off their sites, remove defamatory commentary based on them, and issue retractions.

# # #

For more information, contact Jim Lakely, communications director of The Heartland Institute, at 312/377-4000 or [email protected].

Joseph Bast
President
The Heartland Institute
One South Wacker Drive #2740
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone 312/377-4000
Old 02-20-12, 11:10 PM
  #492  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Madison, WI ("77 square miles surrounded by reality")
Posts: 30,012
Received 3 Likes on 2 Posts
Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Wow. Peter Gleick, the Chair of the American Geophysical Union's Task Force on Scientific Ethics:

http://www.agu.org/about/governance/...c_ethics.shtml

I wonder how long that will last.

Edit: Answer: Not long. Gleick's name has been removed.

Last edited by movielib; 02-21-12 at 10:20 AM.
Old 02-21-12, 12:02 AM
  #493  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Navinabob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Bay Area, California
Posts: 8,939
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Wow, bombshell. Gleick had steadily become more politically and science policy minded over the years, but this sort of stunt just comes out of left field for me. I suspect there will be more news on this tomorrow.
Old 02-21-12, 12:10 AM
  #494  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
DVD Polizei's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 53,733
Received 143 Likes on 106 Posts
Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Buncha retards.
Old 02-21-12, 02:51 AM
  #495  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Land of the Lobstrosities
Posts: 10,300
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Originally Posted by Navinabob View Post
Wow, bombshell.
+1

I was expecting it to be some Anonymous-like teenage hacker. His story on the fake memo doesn't even pass the smell test. At the very least we know he's the one who did the print and scan on the document the day before the leak.
Old 02-21-12, 04:11 AM
  #496  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Navinabob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Bay Area, California
Posts: 8,939
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Originally Posted by wmansir View Post
+1

I was expecting it to be some Anonymous-like teenage hacker. His story on the fake memo doesn't even pass the smell test. At the very least we know he's the one who did the print and scan on the document the day before the leak.
Yeah. His story on the faked document so far doesn't have the ring of truth to it... It's funny, had he just leaked the documents without the added memo he would have been scott-free most likely. There was no "smoking gun" in it, but there was enough in the documents to paint Heartland in the appropriate bad lighting (there was less in the way of good quotes compared to the climategate emails, but there was also less you needed to take out of context to be put meaningful).

I still think Heartland looks pretty bad in all of this, but Gleick looks far worse. It's sad, eventually he would likely been proven more right then wrong as a scientist in my view, but he got impatient and selfish.

Mann always says that scientists are ill-equipped to play the political game that goes along with climate research. It looks like this guy just fell apart from the stress of it and did some unforgivable shit.
Old 02-21-12, 04:43 AM
  #497  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Land of the Lobstrosities
Posts: 10,300
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

A lot of spin going on, worst of the lot is Desmogblog, who's entry is titled: Whistleblower Authenticates Heartland Documents

EDIT: Seems Richard doesn't like the reaction his post is getting. There were a few comments on there, but they appear to have been removed/disabled.
EDIT2: Either I made a mistake of the comments returned. Most likely the former.

EDIT3: Wow, I'm seeing a lot of blog posts and comments saying this actually legitimizes the 2012 memo because it explains away the differences between it and the other documents. They seem to be ignoring the fact that this explanation comes from an admitted liar who had to be feeling the heat after several journalists speculated he was the author and even according to him there is no evidence Heartland produced the document. It also seems quite the coincidence that, assuming all the documents were genuine, the only document which Heartland immediately denounced as a forgery was the one he claims to have received in the mail.

Last edited by wmansir; 02-21-12 at 08:11 AM.
Old 02-21-12, 02:21 PM
  #498  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Navinabob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Bay Area, California
Posts: 8,939
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Yeah, I'm seeing a lot of Heartland being cry-baby hypocrites (which they clearly are) and Peter is a hero-whistle-blower (which I do not think he is). Honestly, laws that regulate whistle-blowing are pretty damn complex, and while I'm usually great at that sort of thing, it just is too much for me this time. What makes things worse is it isn't even clear if Peter technically violated any laws.

He's got one of the best white-collar crime lawyers in the country and he's indicated that he may reveal who he got the document from in the first place. I'm sure charges will be filed and a civil suit will come after that, but I doubt anything will come from either in the end. I do think it is likely Peter will be suspended from any positions of authority for ethical violations, but if he is vindicated it will likely be reversed.

It should be an exciting next few weeks for sure.
Old 02-21-12, 02:25 PM
  #499  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Madison, WI ("77 square miles surrounded by reality")
Posts: 30,012
Received 3 Likes on 2 Posts
Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Ronald Bailey who is a "convert" to at least moderate warmism (I'm a mild warmist but very, very mild).

http://reason.com/blog/2012/02/21/ex...f-climate-alar

Extremism in the Defense of Climate "Alarmism" Is No Vice?
Ronald Bailey | February 21, 2012

Last week, climate change "alarmists" were deliriously claiming to have uncovered the dastardly plans of the climiate change "deniers"* at the free-market Heartland Institute to "undermine" true climate science. At the center of this new "scandal" were supposedly internal documents from the Institute outlining its nefarious plans and exposing its evil paymasters. Now comes prominent "alarmist"* Peter Gleick, founder of the Pacific Institute, who admits that he deceitfully posed as someone else in order to obtain documents from the Heartland Institute. As the New York Times reports:
Dr. Gleick distributed the documents to several well-known bloggers and activists who support the work of mainstream climate scientists and who have denounced the Heartland Institute as a center of climate change denial. The document release, which lit up the Internet last week, was cast by some bloggers as the work of a whistle-blowing Heartland employee or ex-employee who had access to internal papers, when it was in fact orchestrated by Dr. Gleick, a Yale- and Berkeley-trained scientist and environmental activist who says that he was frustrated with Heartland’s anti-climate-change programs.

Dr. Gleick denied authorship of the most explosive of the documents, a supposed strategy paper that laid out the institute’s efforts to raise money to question climate change and get schools to adjust their science curricula to include alternative theories of global warming.
The "strategy paper" was the most explosive since it explicitly outlined what would appear to be a self-consciously dishonest effort to "undermine" climate science. The Heartland Insitute has strongly denounced the "strategy paper" as a fake. At the Huffington Post, Gleick admits:
At the beginning of 2012, I received an anonymous document in the mail describing what appeared to be details of the Heartland Institute's climate program strategy. It contained information about their funders and the Institute's apparent efforts to muddy public understanding about climate science and policy. I do not know the source of that original document but assumed it was sent to me because of my past exchanges with Heartland and because I was named in it.

Given the potential impact however, I attempted to confirm the accuracy of the information in this document. 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.
The upshot is that it would appear that Gleick was so excited by the anonymously sent "strategy paper" that he decided that he must resort to "a serious lapse of [his] own and professional judgment and ethics" to further expose the wicked plans of the Heartland Institute. Basically, it looks like Gleick's confirmation bias ("I just know that the Heartland folks are wittingly evil") overcame whatever sense of morality and fair play that he may harbor. To paraphrase, Gleick apparently concluded that extremism in the defense of climate "alarmism" is no vice.

Atlantic Senior Editor Megan McArdle has done two really insightful and careful analyses, here and here, of the "strategy document" in which she pretty much proves (to my satisfaction at least) that it is a fake.

It does bear mentioning that the "alarmists" often claim that the shadowy campaign attacking true climate science (it is "settled") is being paid for by Big Oil. The Heartland documents reveal no donations from Big Oil, and the Koch Foundation (see Koch derangement syndrome) donation appears to be targeted toward health policy, not energy or climate policy.

This is just the latest episode in the sorry and increasingly poisonous politics of global warming.

Update: Heartland Institute press release on Gleick's confession:
"Earlier this evening, Peter Gleick, a prominent figure in the global warming movement, confessed to stealing electronic documents from The Heartland Institute in an attempt to discredit and embarrass a group that disagrees with his views.

"Gleick's crime was a serious one. The documents he admits stealing contained personal information about Heartland staff members, donors, and allies, the release of which has violated their privacy and endangered their personal safety.

"An additional document Gleick represented as coming from The Heartland Institute, a forged memo purporting to set out our strategies on global warming, has been extensively cited by newspapers and in news releases and articles posted on Web sites and blogs around the world. It has caused major and permanent damage to the reputations of The Heartland Institute and many of the scientists, policy experts, and organizations we work with.

"A mere apology is not enough to undo the damage.

"In his statement, Gleick claims he committed this crime because he believed The Heartland Institute was preventing a "rational debate" from taking place over global warming. This is unbelievable. Heartland has repeatedly asked for real debate on this important topic. Gleick himself was specifically invited to attend a Heartland event to debate global warming just days before he stole the documents. He turned down the invitation.

"Gleick also claims he did not write the forged memo, but only stole the documents to confirm the content of the memo he received from an anonymous source. This too is unbelievable. Many independent commentators already have concluded the memo was most likely written by Gleick.

"We hope Gleick will make a more complete confession in the next few days.

"We are consulting with legal counsel to determine our next steps and plan to release a more complete statement about the situation tomorrow. In the meantime, we ask again that publishers, bloggers, and Web site hosts take the stolen and fraudulent documents off their sites, remove defamatory commentary based on them, and issue retractions."
*What each side calls the other.
Old 02-21-12, 03:14 PM
  #500  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Land of the Lobstrosities
Posts: 10,300
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: The One and Only Global Warming Thread, Part 11 (CO2 Kills 10 Billion People Edit

Originally Posted by Navinabob View Post
Yeah, I'm seeing a lot of Heartland being cry-baby hypocrites (which they clearly are) and Peter is a hero-whistle-blower (which I do not think he is). Honestly, laws that regulate whistle-blowing are pretty damn complex, and while I'm usually great at that sort of thing, it just is too much for me this time. What makes things worse is it isn't even clear if Peter technically violated any laws.

He's got one of the best white-collar crime lawyers in the country and he's indicated that he may reveal who he got the document from in the first place. I'm sure charges will be filed and a civil suit will come after that, but I doubt anything will come from either in the end. I do think it is likely Peter will be suspended from any positions of authority for ethical violations, but if he is vindicated it will likely be reversed.

It should be an exciting next few weeks for sure.
Gleick doesn't qualify as a whistleblower for 2 reasons: 1. he wasn't employed by Heartland and 2. he didn't disclose any fraud, illegal activity, work safety, code or regulatory violations, etc. As for his crimes, he appears to have already admitted to identity theft, saying he "used someone else's name" to obtain the documents.

If you want to see real denial, read some of the blogs defending Gleick's version of events. Once conspiracy theory is that everything happened like Glieck said, but once Heartland ID him as the "source" of the documents they let some bloggers know so that they could "independently" construct the case that Glieck was the author of the memo before they dropped the hammer and exposed him, thus undercutting the authenticity of the memo.

I think most people defending Gleick's behavior are ignoring the memo. That will probably come back to bite them when it is determined that he authored it, which I'm fairly confident will happen at some point.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.