Not quite Friday Funny– “Fakegate”

Josh from CartoonsbyJosh.com writes:

Another ‘Gate’ – but this one turned round and bit the owner.

Leo Hickman and co at the Guardian thought they had a bona fide leak of incriminating
information on the funding of climate skeptics by the Heartland Institute.

Two problems, the funding turns out to be rather small beer, especially in comparison to the vast sums of money paid to promote Climate Change Alarmism. Secondly it looked like the funds were going to fund scientists and with another trenche for a website to explain climate science research.

Hardly a surprise, and not exactly incriminating. It is what the Heartland does after all.

Third problem. The most incriminating document was a fake.

So now it has become know as Fakegate. Ouch.

Great comment by Lucia here, summary and comment by Judith here and lots at
BishopHill, here, here and here, and WUWT, here and here, and even one at Roy Spencers.

And here is the cartoon:

josh_fakegate

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103 Responses to Not quite Friday Funny– “Fakegate”

  1. APACHEWHOKNOWS says:

    Who amoung you will cast the first hocky stick is broken joke.

  2. A physicist says:

    Sites like SkS already have abandoned the HeartlandGate story to cover a science-first story. And that (IMHO) is what WUWT should do too.

    Because at the end of the day, it sure ain’t the quibbling and the “gotchas” that count … what counts is the strongest skeptical critiques of the strongest science.

  3. I can never tell Black from Mann from Schmidt. In real life, I mean 8-)

  4. Will Nelson says:

    Nice Josh. We need to see you syndicated in the Sunday Comic Strips. Right above or in replacement of Doonesbury.

  5. Ken Hall says:

    I hope that the BBC sack Richard Black. He is a competent advocate who could write for the Guardian, but an impartial, truth seeking, honest journalist worthy of the BBC? Not even close!

  6. Stacey says:

    Leo Hickman can give it but can’t take it. Question his ridiculous assertions regarding Global Warming and in steps the censor.
    Comment is Free if You Agree.

  7. Dave in Canmore says:

    Thanks Josh, humour is the best way to deal with this nonsense.

  8. Otter says:

    ‘what counts is the strongest skeptical critiques of the strongest science.’ ~A Fizz

    ‘what counts is the strongest skeptical critiques of politicized, Weak science.’

    There. Fixed it for you.

  9. Stacey says:

    “The problem with Mr Black is he is a campaigning journalist who does not understand that if he wantshe to campaign and assist the green gravy trainers then The BBC is not the place. With regard to funding has not the BBC just apologised for broadcasting environmental programmes sponsored by members of the green gravy trainers.”

    I have just posted this on Black’s propaganda blog at the BBC. Just thought I would remind him of the corruption at the BBC which they have recently apologised for.

  10. Magoo says:

    James Delingpole has pitched in too with a supporting article:

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100137840/fakegate/

  11. Paul Westhaver says:

    Look what happens when you aren’t paying attention. I have been busy the last few days and missed the continuity of the the Faked heartland document….. I don’t quite get it yet., but it looks like the BBC used faked evidence?… catching up on the thread here….A summary would be helpful…. not sure who faked it…

  12. kim2ooo says:

    Maurizio Morabito (omnologos) says:
    February 16, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    I can never tell Black from Mann from Schmidt. In real life, I mean 8-)

    ————————-

    I have tried to get people to post Mr Mann pictures upside down :)

    Good cartoon, Josh!

  13. Justthinkin says:

    “Ken Hall says:

    February 16, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    I hope that the BBC sack Richard Black. He is a competent advocate who could write for the Guardian, but an impartial, truth seeking, honest journalist worthy of the BBC? Not even close!

    Ahhhhhhhhh Ken. Could you please leave a link to ONE impartial,truth seeking,honest journalist worthy of the BBC? (and if ur post is sarc,sorry for missing it.long day)

  14. JohnWho says:

    A physicist says:
    February 16, 2012 at 1:53 pm
    Sites like SkS already have abandoned the HeartlandGate story …

    Now, that is funny!

    When the information is too phoney for SkS, you know it’s bad.

  15. Greg, from Spokane says:

    Magoo says:
    February 16, 2012 at 2:25 pm
    ————————————–

    Thanks for the Delingpole link. I love the way he writes:

    “I know this is going to come as a major shock to the kind of foam-flecked, cerebrally-deficient eco-zealots who scrawl in red crayons for DeSmog blog or earn lavish salaries as propaganda shills for the Grantham Institute or fester at the Guardian’s environment pages…”

    “£234 million in Britain alone? And still these junk-scientist doom-mongers can’t manage to amass sufficient evidence to win an argument against a handful of ill-funded bloggers. Says it all, really.”

  16. sceptical me says:

    All this free and extensive publicity for WUWT and the Heartland Institute.
    It’ll Be interesting to see how the site visit numbers pan out. Tipping point…………..

  17. Andy W says:

    A Phys is right when he says we should ignore the ‘gotchas’, but….

    …this is more than that. This whole incident shows up three things that are core to the whole debate. Namely:
    1) eco-zealots are not afraid to fake things when it suits them
    2) the AGW media are quite happy to jump on anything that supports ‘The Cause’ before they have checked any real facts
    3) The Heartland documents demonstrate how tiny sceptic funding is compared to the billions thrown at the AGW camp. It gives a lie to the ‘Big Oil Funding’ claim that is so central to the Greenies attempts at smearing sceptics.

  18. Cameron says:

    The biggest thing that annoyed me was the outrage over companies trying to fend off climate change legislation. What did the hippies expect them to do?

    “Any political effort to address climate change, cap and trade for example, is going to result in higher costs for businesses. It is only reasonable that the affected industries would lobby to fend off climate legislation. If I ran a business and the federal government wanted to restrict my output and charge me for their labor, I’d fight back, too.”

    http://www.policymic.com/articles/4290/not-problematic-that-climate-change-skeptic-heartland-institute-took-donations-from-microsoft-and-gm

  19. Beesaman says:

    Black of the BBC is already trying to bury the story under others on his BBC blog:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/correspondents/richardblack/

  20. Markus Fitzhenry says:

    A physicist says:
    February 16, 2012 at 1:53 pm
    Sites like SkS already have abandoned the HeartlandGate story to cover a science-first story. And that (IMHO) is what WUWT should do too. Because at the end of the day, it sure ain’t the quibbling and the “gotchas” that count … what counts is the strongest skeptical critiques of the strongest science.””

    Gotcha, your strong science over at SkS says;

    “So when you hear or read anywhere or are told by anyone that ‘warming stopped in (insert preferred date)’ the simple, observed fact is that it hasn’t stopped warming! It’s just that much of the warming has been happening somewhere else recently.””

    Their strong science says, we can’t find heat in the Atmosphere where Co2 is the driver of warming, so it must have gone into the Oceans, where there is no Co2.

    Ha Ha Ha. How do you expect sceptics to critique such nonsense.

  21. JamesD says:

    Paul, Quick summary —
    1. Evidently someone (the Hoaxster) called Heartland claiming to be a boardmember and got a secretary to email copies of board meeting documents. It appears 8 documents were sent. The documents were mundane meeting items like funding and budgeting.
    2. The Hoaxster pulled out certain projects in the budget and forged a 9th document about Heartland Strategy. Embedded amongst the true parts were rather funny items like convincing teachers not to “teach science” and “undermining” science.
    3. The Hoaxster sent all nine documents to DeSmog blog amongst others. Leftist news agencies (Guardian, BBC, NYT) ran with the story without verifying authenticity, zeroing in on the more fanastic parts of the Heartland Strategy document. And of course a gaggle of CAGW hoax blogs have run with it.
    4. Heartland reviewed the documents and stated the Heartland Strategy document is a fraud.
    5. Review of the fake document shows it was scanned, thus removing pertinent meta data which the other 8 documents contain (creation date, author, file location) as they are still in their electronic format. The scanned fake document has its own metadata showing it was scanned at a location on the West Coast where Heartland has no offices.
    6. One budgetary item (confirmed by Watts) shows that they have worked with Anthony to fund his project to create a new web service to present in graphical form data from the NOAA database. So far $44,000 has been raised from a donor to fund his project. Watts states he initiated this project and contacted Heartland for help in funding. Total estimate cost for the project is $88K.
    7. Some blogs are insinuating that Heartland is funding the WUWT blog, but review of the leaked budget does not show any money allocated to WUWT.

    This appears to be blowing up in the hoaxsters faces and is getting the name “FakeGate”, though I prefer “Protocals of the Elders of Heartland Institute”.

  22. biddyb says:

    “A physicist says:
    February 16, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Sites like SkS already have abandoned the HeartlandGate story to cover a science-first story. And that (IMHO) is what WUWT should do too.

    Because at the end of the day, it sure ain’t the quibbling and the “gotchas” that count … what counts is the strongest skeptical critiques of the strongest science.”

    I don’t agree. If WUWT and others don’t rebutt this stuff then those who push the lies will claim that it is all true. Sometimes you’ve got to fight back as well as covering the science stories. Look at the flak Anthony had from the visiting trolls, who, I am glad to say, seem to have been chased back under the bridge, tails between their legs (do trolls have tails?). And if Anthony et al don’t fight back then Black of the BBC gets away with the rubbish he spouts, misleading those people who do not follow this and other sites as avidly.

    I am appalled at the treatment Anthony has received. The poor guy hasn’t even got started on the project, a simple project to display the data that the US taxpayer funded mob can’t be bothered to do. Keep going Anthony – I’m sure they’re just trying to grind you down – remember the popularity of your site!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Maurizio Morabito (omnologos) says: February 16, 2012 at 1:56 pm
    I can never tell Black from Mann from Schmidt. In real life, I mean 8-)

    MannBlackSmith.

    Explains a lot.

  24. Roy Spencer says:

    I agree with biddyb. You can’t let blatant falsehoods go unchallenged, because the media routinely uses them to fool people, or at least promote their agenda with one-sided reporting.

  25. EternalOptimist says:

    Apologies if this has been mentioned before, or covered. (too much material to read, and not enough hours in the day)

    This whole story seems to be about nefarious shadowy puppetmasters trying to manipulate the blogosphere.
    Even the usual suspects in the MSM (Black) are talking about mr Watts Blog.

    maybe we should take note of a seismic shift here, away from the ‘old’ MSM and towards the ‘new’
    the blogosphere

  26. A physicist says:

    It’s easy to check that the “HeartlandGate” stories on SkS and RealClimate never did contain any personal criticism of Anthony, and moreover, the whole story “HeartlandGate” is falling off their front pages.

    Right now, the lead RealClimate story speaks out *against* harassment and *against* death threats, and the lead SkS story focuses on concrete energy balance issues in the deep-versus-shallow ocean.

    These seem like appropriate stories to me. So it’s hard to understand why WUWT is doing more than most web sites to keep the “HeartlandGate” story alive.

  27. trbixler says:

    Thank you Anthony. Make a donation to Anthony, I know it will not make up for the funding imbalance but it will help.

  28. kim2ooo says:

    A physicist says:
    February 16, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    It’s easy to check that the “HeartlandGate” stories on SkS and RealClimate never did contain any personal criticism of Anthony, and moreover, the whole story “HeartlandGate” is falling off their front pages.

    _________________________________

    Why was an unverified story there in the first place?

  29. trbixler says:

    The local red times chimes in. Notes that the smoking gun doc may be faked but goes on to say could have been real. Ah tabloid “truth”.
    “Climate change doubter Heartland Institute documents leaked”

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/environment/la-me-gs-climate-deniers-heartland-institute-documents-leaked-20120216,0,3932985.story

  30. M.Hulme says:

    JamesD – you suggest that a ‘hoaxster’ sent documents to DeSmugBlag. There are other opinions on the web suggesting that the documents originated at DSB.

  31. Blue Sky says:

    What would be wrong with Heartland funding skeptic sites? I don’t get it. Apparently it’s a big deal by the way Watt and others are acting.

    Where are Skeptic sites supposed to get funding? The Agw people get millions from supporters. Nobel prize!

  32. kim2ooo says:

    A physicist says:
    February 16, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    It’s easy to check that the “HeartlandGate” stories on SkS and RealClimate never did contain any personal criticism of Anthony, and moreover, the whole story “HeartlandGate” is falling off their front pages.

    ————————————-
    They would still be drooling on themselves – if they weren’t shown-up as incompetents that jump on anything they think promotes their “cause”. THEY’VE BEEN OUTED – They did it to themselves.

    SURE…they now want to move on…just like you wish us to do.

  33. nc says:

    A physicist says:

    February 16, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    “It’s easy to check that the “HeartlandGate” stories on SkS and RealClimate never did contain any personal criticism of Anthony, and moreover, the whole story “HeartlandGate” is falling off their front pages.”

    Of course it is falling off their front pages, the daft are totally embarrassed and want it to go away as fast as possible. It is totally disadvantages for the likes of SKS, RC and others of their ilk to leave it up.

  34. kim2ooo says:

    A physicist says:
    February 16, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    It’s easy to check that the “HeartlandGate”

    —————————–

    BTW I don’t believe you are being quite honest calling these “HeartlandGate” …If I remember correctly, John Cook titled it “Dinialgate:” in the first page – though knowing how he changes peoples comments etc….????

  35. Kaboom says:

    Anthony must feel a bit like Dr. Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters: “He slimed me.”

  36. Craig Moore says:

    Fakegate reminds me of this:

    A BBC TV journalist is interviewing a elderly former Polish fighter pilot.

    Interviewer: So Mr Stanczewski, I understand that in 1943 you shot down five German aircraft in a single engagement. Could you tell us what happened?

    Polish Fighter Pilot: Well we were flying at 20,000 feet when we spotted five Fokkers flying along below us. So we dived down and I aimed at one of the Fokkers and fired a burst from my machine guns right into him and he exploded. Then I saw that one of the Fokkers was on my tail, so I pulled round in a loop and got behind him, and fired and he went down on fire. I looked around and saw two Fokkers attacking my squadron leader, so slipped in behind them, and fired, and that was another Fokker going down in flames. The other Fokker tried to get away from me, but I got right up behind him, and blasted him with my machine guns and turned over and exploded. There was only one of the Fokkers left now, and he was trying to get away, but I flew up behind him, shot – bang, bang, bang – and he blew up too!

    Interviewer: I should point out for the benefit of the viewers at home, that the Fokker was a type of German aircraft used in the war.

    Polish Fighter Pilot: No, no, no – these fokkers were Messerschmitts!

  37. Dan in Nevada says:

    A physicist says:
    February 16, 2012 at 3:45 pm
    “It’s easy to check that the “HeartlandGate” stories on SkS and RealClimate never did contain any personal criticism of Anthony, and moreover, the whole story “HeartlandGate” is falling off their front pages ….. it’s hard to understand why WUWT is doing more than most web sites to keep the “HeartlandGate” story alive.”

    Let’s see now. I make up a bunch of shit about somebody. I get found out and now the whole world knows what a devious, underhanded jerk I am. Hmmmm…. do I continue to repeat what everybody now knows to be untrue or do I try to change the subject? Got to think about that one.

  38. Anthony Watts says:

    @Kaboom

    I wish. That’s the kind of slime you can wash off. The kind of slime perpetrated by De Smog hippie Brendan DeMelle and his boss James Hoggan stays on the Internet forever.

  39. Gary Hladik says:

    AnonyMoose says (February 16, 2012 at 3:00 pm): “Remember ‘Fake but Accurate’?”

    I thought Dan Rather was retired. He’s working at The Guardian now? :-)

  40. Just a reminder for some posters here concerning the shock revelation of how much funding the Heartland Institute receives… This information could also have been obtained by going to the Heartland Institute website and clicking on the “About [Us]” link at the top of the page.

  41. Gary Hladik says:

    Lucy Skywalker says (February 16, 2012 at 3:30 pm): “MannBlackSmith.

    Explains a lot.”

    The funny part is, they’re totally serial. :-)

  42. John F. Hultquist says:

    A physicist says:
    February 16, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    “So it’s hard to understand why WUWT is doing more than most web sites to keep the “HeartlandGate” story alive.

    Let me take a WAG: Because someone started a smear campaign designed, apparently, to paint Mr. Watts as an evil-doer associating with evil-doers who get funds from evil-doers. I might have missed a fine point or two there, but you can reword your question and maybe I can be more direct.

  43. Copner says:

    > Evidently someone (the Hoaxster) called Heartland claiming to be a boardmember and got a secretary to email copies of board meeting documents. It appears 8 documents were sent.

    I think you will find 7 documents were sent – this is partially speculation, but as regards the form 990, while apparently a genuine doc, seems to have been acquired separately:-

    1. It predates the board meeting,

    2. It was IMHO unlikely to have been a topic of discussion at the board meeting

    3. It was IMHO unlikely to have been part of the board pack of documents, so would not have been forwarded as part of the board package to the imposter asking for it to be resent.

    4. Could easily have been added (along with the fake strategy memo) to a package of genuine documents.

    Oh, and BTW, was already in the hands of at least one warmist (he made a public post saying so) on or about 12th of January – i.e. prior to the board meeting.

  44. A scientists says:
    A physicist says:says:

    “So it’s hard to understand why WUWT is doing more than most web sites to keep the “HeartlandGate” story alive.”

    John F. Hultquist says:

    Let me take a WAG: Because someone started a smear campaign designed, apparently, to paint Mr. Watts as an evil-doer associating with evil-doers who get funds from evil-doers. I might have missed a fine point or two there, but you can reword your question and maybe I can be more direct.

    John, with respect, citation please? To the best of my knowledge, not even one science-minded weblog has “started a smear campaign designed, apparently, to paint Mr. Watts as an evil-doer”. Indeed the scientific community traditionally is circumspect and sober-minded, and scrupulously avoids the kind of allegations whose existence your post alleges.

    And rightly so.

  45. D. King says:

    If you’re going to fake stuff; why stop at the data? :)

  46. Paul Westhaver says:

    JamesD, Thank-you for the summary. I didn’t think the perp got fingered.

    Nice detective work guys!!

    That will teach the liars not to make little lies… stick to big ones like AGW.

  47. Copner says:

    The 990 was just something else the imposter/leaker/hacker had, and I was unlikely to be part of the board documents.

    He probably downloaded it from heartland’s website, since they published it at
    http://heartland.org/media-library/pdfs/2010-IRS-Form-990.pdf

    And then added to the board documents, along side the fake, when he sent out his little package to 15 bloggers.

    Because a 2010 tax return document – the 990 form in question – has absolutely nothing to do with the 2012 budget.

  48. DAS says:

    It would be “quite funny”, if the “leak’ came from a Penn State server.

    [REPLY: It would, but evidence seems to point to the west coast and anything else is unfounded speculatiuon. -REP]

  49. Ric Werme says:

    A physicist says:
    February 16, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    > Sites like SkS already have abandoned the HeartlandGate story to cover
    > a science-first story. And that (IMHO) is what WUWT should do too.

    Many people have pointed out that Anthony was targeted by this action. Conversely, SkS was not, there’s nothing for them to rebut or analyze. My guess is we’ll be back to dealing with the regular trolls in no time at all.

  50. Copner says:

    (p.s. sorry about a near duplicate post earlier – too many windows open!)

    One other thing about the 990 that shows it was available to warmists some time ago:

    Go to sourcewatch.org, find Heartland Institute page – there’s a section about the 2010 990. No click History, and you will see reference to the 2010 990 – the one in question – was added on 18th January 2012.

  51. Ric Werme says:

    Lessee, timing-wise, the Heartland insider likely looked up the form 990 between January and a couple days ago.

    Interesting, footnote 42 of http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Heartland_Institute says “Heartland Institute 2010 IRS Form 990, IRS Filing, accessed January 18, 2012″. I grant it to the conspiracy theorists.

    Hmm, “Conference funding

    2009: Sponsors’ main funder is Scaife

    An analysis of the 2009 conference sponsors’ corporate-and-foundation funding revealed 78% was from the Scaife foundations[27] of Richard Mellon Scaife.”

    Being a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon University (where I spent a lot of time in Scaife Hall), I’m sorry I missed that conference. I was at the 4th and 6th, very good events.

  52. Ric Werme says:

    A scientists says:
    February 16, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    A physicist says:says:

    Who the heck is “A scientists?” And where did he learn grammar? or is this a reference the “A ark” scientists instead of the “B ark” Doug Cotton seems to think we’re all on?

  53. Don’t worry, physicist, this one’s not going away. Heartland and its employees and donors whose privacy was carelessly violated by the morons in the BBC and at DeSmog will be keeping this one alive in the courts and the news for years to come. Do you by any chance know what happenned to that visiting quack William Connolley, and why “one of Canada’s most respected public-relations professionals,” DeSmog’s James Hoggan, has been so quiet all day?

  54. Mac the Knife says:

    A physicist says:
    February 16, 2012 at 3:45 pm
    ” So it’s hard to understand why WUWT is doing more than most web sites to keep the “HeartlandGate” story alive.”

    “Nothin’ to see here!”, eh Fizz? Shameless shill…….

  55. Dude says:

    So is there a reason the desmogblog has not posted anything since yesterday? I think there is something going on…………trouble in paradise perhaps.

  56. John F. Hultquist says:

    A scientists says:
    February 16, 2012 at 5:57 pm
    “To the best of my knowledge, not even one science-minded weblog . . .

    science-minded weblog

    Your words, not mine!

    Which raises the question: What is the relationship, then, of Desmogblog and SkS to science? Clearly, in your mind, they are not science-minded.
    Richard Black lists himself as “Environment correspondent” and to the best of my knowledge “environment” is still somewhat related to science. Black’s comment [15 February 2012 Last updated at 16:45 ET] about Anthony’s project is flat-out wrong.

  57. Brian H says:

    Roy Spencer says:
    February 16, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    I agree with biddyb. You can’t let blatant falsehoods go unchallenged, because the media routinely uses them to fool people, or at least promote their agenda with one-sided reporting.

    Warmista shills like A Fizz only object to “gotchas” when they’re the ones getting got. “I have principles, ….”

  58. Copner says:

    @Ric Werme

    There is also this comment made at Forbes on 12th of January by another warmist:

    “I wonder, however, if Taylor would publish the list of who really DOES fund the Heartland Institute. It seems to be a secret — no information is listed on their website about actual contributors of that $7 million budget that they use to deny the reality of climate change (and previously, the health effects of tobacco — their other focus). And their 990 tax form doesn’t say either. [By the way, while my Forbes posts reflect my personal opinion and not the opinion of the Pacific Institute, all of the Pacific Institute's financial records are public.]“

    Of course all this proves (along with Source Watch) is the 2010 Heartland Inst. form 990 was in the hands of warmists more than a month before it’s supposed leak.

  59. A physicist says:

    There are plenty of folks who foresee that the climate-change debate will be settled on a basis of sober-minded mathematics, science, engineering, and economics — not content-free kerfuffles arising from hacked emails and purloined business documents.

    On the other hand, there’s no shortage of folks who like kerfuffles, eh?

  60. Schitzree says:

    A physicist seems to think that since DeSmogBlog, SS and RealClimate now want to drop this hot potato, we all should forget about it and get on with our lives…

    I assume that this means that the aforementioned blogs have then all posted retraction to let their regular readers know that this was all a fictitious smear campaign?

  61. A. Scott says:

    Even Joe Romm thought the doc was fake – said he thought it was an Onion piece.

    And all of the DeSmog people have seemed to have gone eerily silent. Not to mention one Peter Gleick not being heard from – and him being an long time critic of Heartland and all …

  62. Joe Ryan says:

    a physicist – “and the lead SkS story focuses on concrete energy balance issues in the deep-versus-shallow ocean.”

    So, pause for a second, as SkS hasn’t, and consider their finding. They have found that the surface temperatures on the ocean have “flatlined” while the deep oceans are warming. So how does the heat bypasses the cooling upper ocean and go straight to the deep ocean? Hell, it is bypassing the atmosphere as well since it isn’t warming either… yet somehow the CO2 fails to warm the atmosphere, and the upper ocean…. and warms the deep oceans?

    Ummm… start figuring out how that happens. We’ll be over here laughing at SkS when you are ready with your answer.

  63. Dude says:

    Yep some lawyers are being paged at Desmogblog and Deepclimate….you can just tell.

    I went over the “fake” document yesterday and was just floored at how obvious it was. It was not just a fake but a really bad attempt at one.

    We should make the fake document the official mascot of all the warmers. It is the perfect analogy. It references semi-truisms and distorts them in a way that fits their narrative. I wonder if someone could make a plot chart out of the fake memo…………….see where I am going with this?

  64. Dan in Nevada says:

    A physicist says:
    February 16, 2012 at 7:23 pm
    “There are plenty of folks who foresee that the climate-change debate will be settled on a basis of sober-minded mathematics, science, engineering, and economics — not content-free kerfuffles arising from hacked emails and purloined business documents….”

    Presumably these are the folks you mentioned earlier at SkS and RealClimate. So how exactly making up shit about people qualify as “sober-minded mathematics, science, engineering, and economics”?

  65. Bob says:

    Josh’s cartoons are a very powerful communications medium. Not only is a picture worth a thousand words, it makes boobs out of arrogant advocates of junk science.

  66. harry says:

    “Not to mention one Peter Gleick not being heard from”
    Be kind to Gleick, he probably never read the document before he commented anyway.

  67. juanslayton says:

    A Phys:
    It’s easy to check that the “HeartlandGate” stories on SkS and RealClimate never did contain any personal criticism of Anthony….

    Son of a gun, you’re right! It’s easy to check. From SkS (borrowed from the smogger):

    Confirmation that skeptic blogger Anthony Watts is part of Heartland’s funded network of misinformation communicators.

    Hmm. Calling someone a paid liar who works in a network with other liars might be taken by some as personal criticism….

  68. Joe Ryan says:

    Also, funny enough, Skeptical Science contradicts itself because in 2010 the lack of ocean heat lead to them claiming “Ocean Heat Can’t drive Climate Change, only chase it”… see hear:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/ocean-and-global-warming.htm

    So what they are seeing in the ocean now in the deep ocean, by their own argument, is the warming that has already happened. The COOLING we are seeing in the atmosphere today is the cooling we will see in the oceans down the road.

    Whoops.

  69. Betapug says:

    Sounds like DeSmogBlog proprietor James Hoggan’s “award winning social media team”, which works “with major corporations, government agencies and the non-profit sector” http://www.hoggan.com/services/social-media to
    “…help clients identify the optimum frame and establish it in the public mind. In a crisis, we can help lift a story out of a frame that might have been set up by critics.” http://www.hoggan.com/services/framing-messaging may have had a Hamas-like “workplace accident.”
    “At Hoggan we think of media in the same way we think about fireworks: we love them both, but we are conscious of the need to handle them with care and make sure nobody drops the match at the wrong time.” http://www.hoggan.com/services/media-relations/media-relations

    With the Hoggan’s own company’s profits coming from Shell Oil, Alcoa, road construction, real estate development, fast food chains, video game producers amongst others and with the foundation money for DeSmog provided by the convicted money launderer http://www.reuters.com/article/2007/01/16/us-crime-neteller-idUSN1622302920070116 and fellow David Suzuki Foundation Director, John Lefevbre (whose fortune derived from illegal offshore gambling services) it looks like they may be requiring their own services.

    Then DeSmogBlog Editor, Richard Littlemore, the journalist who splits his career ” between magazine journalism, activism and politics and corporate communications” , can get back to his workaday manifesto of “slamming the climate sceptic scam”. http://desmogblog.com/slamming-the-climate-skeptic-scam

  70. vigilantfish says:

    I wrote yesterday that the fraud was breathtakingly stupid but am having second thoughts. The person or groups who did the impersonation to obtain the Heartland documents and then wrote the fake document knew that the Anthony and the folks at WUWT and numerous other skeptic blogs would quickly deconstruct the fraud, because that’s what the quick minds here do. But they also knew that the media would jump on this story and start spreading the slime immediately. That of course creates a back-story of dubious methods and dishonesty that will now be linked to their intended targets: skeptics in general and Anthony in particular.

    So what we are left with are references and innuendos, that will survive on the internet, that will serve to smear Anthony and his projects to any credulous third parties (i.e. most of the intellectual elites who are trying to mold society for our own good). So, object achieved.

    There must be lawsuits and legal action over this outright libel and the people who, in the wake of the News of the World scandal have no compunction about using similar methods to achieve their self-serving ends.

    This is no Friday funny.

  71. John F. Hultquist says:

    A physicist says:
    February 16, 2012 at 7:23 pm
    “ . . .the climate-change debate will be settled on a basis of sober-minded mathematics, science, engineering, and economics . . .”

    a) So it hasn’t been settled yet;
    b) If the Dismal Science is involved, we’re in big trouble,
    c) Data will settle the debate and as of now here is what it shows:
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_January_2012.png
    d) the issue is not “climate-change” but the rush toward massive and ineffective disruptions to a few developed societies based on catastrophic scenarios.
    e)Get over the “climate-change” label. The last glacial advance, now mostly gone, is accepted fact. Then we had settlements in Greenland and grapes in England. These disappeared with a cooling climate. And so it goes. If you phrase the issue as – Are immediate “catastrophic” disruptions to people’s lives and livelihoods reasonable based on current understanding of climate change?, then you might begin to understand why so many folks have begun to push-back on this.

  72. vieras says:

    “Fake but Accurate”

    Yeah, that’s what they think about their science too.

  73. kim2ooo said @ February 16, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    I have tried to get people to post Mr Mann pictures upside down :)

    Oh nooooo! We don’t want Mr Mann Downunda; we already have Herr Professor Professor Doktor Flim Flammery. Please, we beg of you, keep Mann away from us….

  74. Robin Guenier says:

    The Guardian certainly hasn’t given up. Suzanne Goldenberg had a story (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/feb/16/heartland-institute-fundraising-drive-leaked) yesterday evening that described Heartland as “free market thinktank behind efforts to discredit climate change and the teaching of science in schools” and quoting this extract from the fake document: “the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain – two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science”.

    Maybe the paper’s editors still think this nonsense is genuine. Or perhaps they don’t care so long as they can continue to publicise the calumny.

  75. Nylo says:

    A physicist: “These seem like appropriate stories to me. So it’s hard to understand why WUWT is doing more than most web sites to keep the “HeartlandGate” story alive”.

    Two main reasons:
    1.- Those who previously spread fake information have not apologised or corrected or just taken off-line anything that they originally published, despite it being widely known now that it is all fake.
    2.- Anthony and WUWT are directly affected by the fake story.

    Not that difficult to understand. Are you sure you are a scientist?

  76. MikeH says:

    Anthony,

    Because of all of the hub-bub created by your interactions with the Heartland Institute, I would hope you are compensating your Moderators with all of the revenue coming in from your corporate sponsor. They are working double overtime with moderating all of the responses here on WUWT.. I would hope a coffee and danish at least? /sarc off

    Again, thank you for being a level head in this game. You continuously demonstrate that you operate with class. Unlike some, who’s names will not be mentioned in this post.

  77. MikeH says:

    FYI, It seems like they are doubling down at some smog blog.. From their front page:

    The #%S*0%Blog (name not to be mentioned here and no link to help his Google ranking) 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.

    They got their head in the sand, or maybe up somewhere else?

    OK, almost too accurate says one analyst. Please name that analyst..
    Accuracy? Oh, the page with the phone numbers and addresses of the Board, THAT was correct. BUT the ‘smoking gun’ strategy PDF scanned page? We’ll just ignore that one….

    ‘Fake but Accurate’…

  78. DirkH says:

    A physicist says:
    February 16, 2012 at 1:53 pm
    “Sites like SkS already have abandoned the HeartlandGate story to cover a science-first story. And that (IMHO) is what WUWT should do too.”

    The FakeGate story is actually a scientific story; not because it tells us anything about the future of the climate. The science it is connected with is, of course, psychology, and here especially the psychology of cults. Read up on Festinger, A. Physicist.

  79. MikeH says:

    and more from the posting at DeSmellyBlog:

    Now, we have a case where Bast admits that some dope on his staff emailed Heartland’s whole board package to a stranger. Yet rather than praising the opportunity that this provides for independent observers to judge the performance of a taxpayer-subsidized body (Heartland is a registered charity), as Bast did when someone stole the so-called ClimateGate emails from leading scientists such as Mike Mann, the Heartland boss has attacked the veracity of the Climate Strategy and used that to attempt to dismiss the legitimacy of the other material (Heartland Institute Responds to Stolen and Fake Documents).

    as my daughter would say.. O-M-G!!!
    Are they living in an alternate reality? They want the theft of documents from a private organization to be praised? And comparing it to a whistle blower releasing FOIA documents from a organization that is funded thru government grants? They want Fake but Accurate documents to be used to judge said organization?
    The Taxpayer-subsidized comment made me chuckle… I think the author is attempting to make the Heartland Institute sound like it gets government money, so these documents are public property. Taxpayer-subsidy is a play on words… It gets voluntary funding directly FROM the taxpayer, NOT THE GOVERNMENT!!! A Private institution getting funds from Private individuals IS NOT government funded…

    They are digging their own hole.

  80. Disko Troop says:

    A physicist may understand science, (citation very much needed) but he does not understand the law.
    It does not go…Publish fake defamatory documents, insult and defame individuals, move on to the next target, as per Sks, Guardian, BBC,etc
    It goes… Publish fake defamatory documents, insult and defame individuals, retract all defamatory and untrue statements, withdraw all defamatory comments derived from faked documents, apologise to corporations and individuals, pay compensation as decided in a court of law.
    We are waiting.

  81. polistra says:

    Fact is, big corporations ALWAYS give to both sides of every important issue. They never benefit from facts or solutions. They gain when everything remains perpetually unsettled. More room for speculation and bets.

    The partisans on both sides of every important issue blindly follow along, keeping the ball in the air forever.

    “Journalists” play the biggest part in keeping this idiot game running, because it’s always easier to follow a money trail than to seek actual facts.

    Wouldn’t it be grand to have one media outlet that stayed out of the Fox/CNN fake battles, and simply asked one question on every story: “What’s the truth?”

    There is always an answer to that question, but we’re never allowed to approach it.

  82. Ric Werme says:

    MikeH says:
    February 17, 2012 at 1:56 am

    FYI, It seems like they are doubling down at some smog blog.. From their front page:

    “The #%S*0%Blog (name not to be mentioned here and no link to help his Google ranking) 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), …”

    OK, almost too accurate says one analyst. Please name that analyst..

    Oh go ahead and visit http://www.desmogblog.com/ . Their rank isn’t high enough to worry about, and if it were, it’s no reason not to go there.

    One you get there, you’ll see

    A close review of the content shows that it is overwhelmingly accurate (“almost too accurate” for one analyst),….

    If you follow the link, you’ll wind up at http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/02/leaked-docs-from-heartland-institute-cause-a-stir-but-is-one-a-fake/253165/ and see the analyst’s name is Megan McArdle, and her article is very good.

    Desmog even has links to WUWT. Don’t worry about the page rank or view count.

  83. RockyRoad says:

    A physicist says:
    February 16, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    “Sites like SkS already have abandoned the HeartlandGate story to cover a science-first story. And that (IMHO) is what WUWT should do too.”

    As completely embarrassing as this episode has been to the CAGW acolytes, that would be exactly my recommendation, too, AP.

    Too bad the masthead on WUWT reads “Commentary on puzzling things in life, nature, science, weather, climate change, technology, and recent news by Anthony Watts.” This little episode matches several of those items, and in particular centers on Anthony Watts, the proprietor.

    I wouldn’t expect it to be abandoned anytime soon, AP. Nope. Not in your wildest dreams.

    (This really shows you’re not an even-handed truth seeker, AP–your comment reeks of bias clear from Iceland and is ANYTHING but “IMHO” (leave the “honest” out and you are much closer). Oh, and if you think SkS is a site to emulate, you are one misinformed person. Laughable!)

  84. Ian L. McQueen says:

    “trenche” > “tranche”

    IanM

  85. I have never got the we-should-give-Andrew-Revkin-credit thing. Now I see more reason why it never took with me.

  86. A physicist says:

    RockyRoad says: I wouldn’t expect it [HeartlandGate] to be abandoned anytime soon.

    Rocky, with respect, perhaps you and I actually agree on this.

    In the short run, for lobbyists and politicians, “hack and purloin” stories are big news.

    Yet in the long run, for scientists and for our children, the same stories mean nothing.

    For the simple reason that Richard Feynman explained: “Nature cannot be fooled.”

  87. Prof Twist says:

    The offending document is so transparently fake that it occurs to me it could be a sting.

  88. MikeH says:

    Ric Werme said at February 17, 2012 at 6:04 am

    One you get there, you’ll see

    A close review of the content shows that it is overwhelmingly accurate (“almost too accurate” for one analyst),….

    If you follow the link, you’ll wind up at http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/02/leaked-docs-from-heartland-institute-cause-a-stir-but-is-one-a-fake/253165/ and see the analyst’s name is Megan McArdle, and her article is very good.

    Yes, it’s an interesting read, for the quick glance I gave it. But as for her qualifications as an analyst, as DSB labeled her.. I don’t see where she calls herself an analyst, but DSB is reporting her as one. I can look at and analyze a document and give my humble opinion, but I wouldn’t want someone calling me an analyst. Her qualifications are impressive, per Wikipedia. But I do not see any listing as a forensic document expert. She currently is a senior editor for The Atlantic who writes about business and economics. She may have an opinion on the treasure trove of documents supported by her references, but if she were to be called to testify as to the origin of the document, I think she would have a hard time (disclaimer, I am not a lawyer, but I’ll play one on the web). If someone was referencing me as an analyst on their web site based on what I wrote somewhere else, I think I’d have them remove that reference and clarify my involvement. But if she is comfortable with this reference, so be it.

  89. Kaboom says:

    One of the major points that speak against the strategy paper is the fact that it doesn’t contain strategy. That would require for it to extend beyond the 2012 budget year into the future. It is, by constraint of the limited information available to the pretender who put it together, entirely tactical.

  90. Bart says:

    MikeH says:
    February 17, 2012 at 8:36 am

    If you read down to her “Update”, you will see that she pretty much nailed that the document is a fake.

  91. bob alou says:

    Paul Westhaver says:
    February 16, 2012 at 2:29 pm
    …”.A summary would be helpful…. not sure who faked it…”

    That would have been my second wife :-(

  92. Lars P. says:

    A physicist says:
    February 17, 2012 at 7:32 am
    “In the short run, for lobbyists and politicians, “hack and purloin” stories are big news.
    Yet in the long run, for scientists and for our children, the same stories mean nothing.
    For the simple reason that Richard Feynman explained: “Nature cannot be fooled.””

    No A physicist you are wrong. This is not just another “hack and purloin” story.
    “ils n’ont rien appris ni rien oublie”. The same smear tactics, the same method to add something to the “data” to make it sound bad, “it is worse then we thought” by any means.
    The skeptics being brought in line with creationists, the anti-science meme. “Skeptics don’t want children to be taught science”. They want to “undermine” what so ever.
    One can see a pattern in this A Physicist. Look at all the adjustments to the data, look at the way how science is being treated and discussed.
    So, this is not a simple smear campaign, it is what the skeptics have to live with for years. This is why it is not a subject to say simply, nothing to see here, move along. There is a lot to see here. See also the biased way how this has been treated by some major media outlets. Compare climategate with other-leaks or fakegate.
    The different behaviour – how skeptics blogs waited, checked information, in contrast to the way how this was exploited and thrown in the face of all of us. This needs to be worked out. It is good that more people see it and understand.
    Of course science is important and of course skeptics are all for science – at least the ones who matter, but the way how we talk to each other and about science is also important, sometimes as important. Now is the time to clear up the mess that fakegate produced, go through the hatred mails that were posted, the inquisitorial, arrogant, impertinent finger pointing discussion that fakegate produced.
    We have a lot of time to analyse and clear this up.
    Nature cannot be fooled – as you correctly cite. The mild warming that the Earth “suffered” since the pre-industrial time, including the CO2 increase have been beneficial and happened over 150 years and more. The Earth has had n times more CO2 in the atmosphere and did not explode, so we have time to do our science right. And we have and should take the time to answer and put things right.
    Speaking of putting things right, above you said SxS did not say anything about Anthony. A bloger above: juanslayton says:
    February 16, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    A Phys:
    It’s easy to check that the “HeartlandGate” stories on SkS and RealClimate never did contain any personal criticism of Anthony….

    Son of a gun, you’re right! It’s easy to check. From SkS (borrowed from the smogger):

    Confirmation that skeptic blogger Anthony Watts is part of Heartland’s funded network of misinformation communicators.
    ———————————————–
    you did not comment on that. Would be nice to hear your comment, dare I hope an apology?

  93. A physicist says:
    A physicist says: In the short run, for lobbyists and politicians, “hack and purloin” stories are big news. Yet in the long run, for scientists and for our children, the same stories mean nothing. For the simple reason that Richard Feynman explained: “Nature cannot be fooled.”

    Lars P. says: No, “A physicist”, you are wrong. This is not just another “hack and purloin” story [... for these reasons ...] Would be nice to hear your comment, dare I hope an apology?

    Lars, I am pleased to extend sincere congratulations to Anthony. Because of all the researchers who receive Heartland funding — as as critically surveyed by John Mashow — Anthony receives the least criticism for the quality of his science, and moreover, Anthony receives zero allegations of impropriety. This is admirable.

  94. A. Scott says:

    Robert Pielke Jr has asked Peter Gleick if he was involved in the fake:
    http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2012/2/17/rp-jr-on-fakegate.html

    Some laugh at the thought – saying, if Gleick was involved he would hardly admit it publicly.

    On the other hand, I think its a brilliant ploy … a non-response lends an impression at least of involvement. And a negative response, that he was not involved, would – should he later be found to HAVE involvement – be really problematic for him.

    The post at Pielkes:
    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2012/02/reality-is-not-good-enough.html

  95. kwik says:

    Revkin saying:

    “wacky stuff, this end of the climate fight.”

    So, he thinks the climate wars are over ? I wonder who he thinks won.

    http://blog.heartland.org/2012/02/andrew-revkin-finds-journalism-religion-after-posting-fraudulent-document/

    In Norway the alarmists won; They have spendt countless millions on it, imposed taxes impossible to remove. It goes on and on. So, yes, they won over here.

    Later, let us say, 30 years later, they will allow documentarys on TV, telling the real story.
    By then it will be too late. Just like the story on Lenin,Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Enver Hoxa, Kim Il Jong…

    They do a lot of damage, these people.

  96. juanslayton says:

    A.Scott:
    It’s Roger Pielke. Good link, though.
    : > )

  97. A. Scott says:

    juan

    D’oah :slap – yep ;-)

  98. DirkH says:

    A physicist says:
    February 17, 2012 at 1:56 pm
    “Lars, I am pleased to extend sincere congratulations to Anthony. Because of all the researchers who receive Heartland funding — as as critically surveyed by John Mashow — Anthony receives the least criticism for the quality of his science, and moreover, Anthony receives zero allegations of impropriety. This is admirable.”

    A physicist says:
    February 16, 2012 at 3:45 pm
    “It’s easy to check that the “HeartlandGate” stories on SkS and RealClimate never did contain any personal criticism of Anthony, and moreover, the whole story “HeartlandGate” is falling off their front pages. ”

    juanslayton says:
    February 16, 2012 at 8:24 pm
    “Son of a gun, you’re right! It’s easy to check. From SkS (borrowed from the smogger):

    Confirmation that skeptic blogger Anthony Watts is part of Heartland’s funded network of misinformation communicators.”

    Calling someone part of a network of misinformation communicators is not a personal criticism, A. Physicist? You are quite a piece of work. But it’s good to see you try to weasel your way out. Always good to see through the mask. Also, suddenly rather concern-trollish… suggesting that we drop this story because the warmist sites suddenly don’t want to be reminded that their PsyOp exploded in their faces.

    Listen matey, we will rub it in like we rubbed 10:10 in. For years.

  99. A physicist says:

    DirkH says: Listen matey, we will rub it in like we rubbed 10:10 in. For years.

    DirkH, most folks have figured out that in the long run, hacked emails and purloined memos have zero to do with what really matters for our children: the strongest skeptical criticism of the strongest scientific evidence.

    Weak science: who cares? Weak skepticism: who cares? The debate’s not about them … they’re both destined to be forgotten.

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