Megan McArdle gives Mosher and the blogosphere props for pointing to Gleick

Some excerpts from her most recent article in The Atlantic, which you can read in full here.

It is important to note that Ms. McArdle is not a climate skeptic, quite the contrary. But, she was and remains very skeptical of the claims made surrounding Peter Gleick and those who are defending his actions.

==========================================================

McArdle writes:

I hardly know what to say about the latest developments in the Heartland document dump.  Profanity seems too weak, and incredulity too tame.

By late last week, Steven Mosher was in the comments of multiple blogs, including mine, not-so-subtly pointing a finger in the direction of Peter Gleick, head of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security in Oakland, California and apparently until very recently, the chair of the American Geophysical Union’s Task Force on Scientific Ethics.  Here’s what Mosher wrote in my comments.

If you want to look for the author of the fake memo, then look for somebody who tweets the word “anti-climate”. you’ll find it. Look for somebody on the west coast ( the time zone the document was scanned in)

You’ll find somebody who doesnt know how to use parenthesis or commas, both in this memo and in other things he has written.

you’ll find he mentions himself in the memo

that’s all the clues for now. of course its all just speculation. Note, he’s not tweeted for a couple days. very rare for him.

The case he made was not implausible.  Gleick’s name had always seemed somewhat anomalous in the climate memo–I’ve never heard the climate skeptics mention him, though they do have a lot of very nasty stuff to say about folks like Michael Mann.  And Gleick has done some writing for the Forbes site, which would explain the frankly lunatic paragraph which portrayed Forbes as something close to the site of a primordial battle between good and evil for the soul and conscience of America.  Plus there were some similarities in the writing styles.

Nonetheless, the case was not strong enough for me to blog about it; in the second post I wrote, I listed my own criteria for figuring out who had written the memos, but they were pretty general, and I was not confident that they’d lead anywhere.  Others were not quite so circumspect.  Roger Pielke Jr, a climate political scientist enviropolicy wonk who is probably less interventionist than the average of his peers, but less so than the average of the American public, tweeted,

Whodunnit? Is Gleick the Heartland faker? This guy thinks so http://rankexploits.com/musings/2012/tell-me-whats-horrible-about-this/#comment-89957 uses my blog as evidence.

and then

I emailed @PeterGleick to ask if he faked the Heartland document, no reply yet. I offered to publish his confirmation or denial on my blog.

And Ross Kaminsky, a senior fellow at Heartland, virtually came right out and accused him at the American Spectator.  However, given Heartland’s scorched earth tactics, which have involved not-really-veiled threats of civil and criminal actions against anyone who reacted critically to the document dump, I was inclined to reserve judgement.

You receive an anonymous memo in the mail purporting to be the secret climate strategy of the Heartland Institute.  It is not printed on Heartland Institute letterhead, has no information identifying the supposed author or audience, contains weird locutions more typical of Heartland’s opponents than of climate skeptics, and appears to have been written in a somewhat slapdash fashion.  Do you:

A.  Throw it in the trash

B.  Reach out to like-minded friends to see how you might go about confirming its provenance

C.  Tell no one, but risk a wire-fraud conviction, the destruction of your career, and a serious PR blow to your movement by impersonating a Heartland board member in order to obtain confidential documents.

As a journalist, I am in fact the semi-frequent recipient of documents promising amazing scoops, and depending on the circumstances, my answer is always “A” or “B”, never “C”.

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

=============================================================

Read her article in full here.

Steve Mosher deserves major props, give it up in comments.

About these ads

55 thoughts on “Megan McArdle gives Mosher and the blogosphere props for pointing to Gleick

  1. Steve Mosher had this near-clearvoyant ability to pinpoint Gleick…
    makes you wonder if he knew something. Doesn’t he live in California?
    ;-)

  2. Kudos to Steve Mosher!

    …. and I love Megan’s quotation about her current quandry:

    [Megan Mcardle]: “I hardly know what to say about the latest developments in the Heartland document dump. Profanity seems too weak, and incredulity too tame.”

  3. I just received the strangest email….

    MY NAME IS PETER GLEICK ,THE FIRST SON OF THE PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA,DR GOOD-LUCK JONATHAN GLEICK . I AM IN POSSESSION OF $25 MILLION DOLLARS NOW AS PAYMENT FOR THE CONTRACT I DID WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT…

  4. Clear and logical thinking solves puzzles. Somewhat like the climate puzzle: what happens if we burn a lot of fuels and put more CO2 into the air?

    Will any AGW promoter solve the climate riddle?
    Would they have solved the Gleick Leick riddle?
    Will they prove whether or not he wrote the faked memo pretending to be a Heartland strategy document?

    I wonder….

  5. There is more evidence that fingers Gleick. Some of the same use of words and language used a few months ago by the very same can be shown to match that of the faked memo. Here’s the memo:

    “Efforts at places 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.”

    Here is Gleick from a few months back, slamming Donna Laframboise’s book via a review on Amazon:

    “This book is a stunning compilation of lies, misrepresentations, and falsehoods about the fundamental science of climate change. It compiles the old arguments, long refuted, about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which summarizes the state of science on climate change. The IPCC reports — the most comprehensive summary of climate science in the world — are so influential and important, that they must be challenged by climate change deniers, who have no other science to stand on. LaFramboise recycles these critiques in a form bound to find favor with those who hate science, fear science, or are afraid that if climate change is real and caused by humans then governments will have to act (and they hate government)….

    Are you already convinced that climate change is false? Then you don’t need this book, since there is nothing new in it for you.

    If you respect science, then you ALSO don’t need this book, since there’s no science in it, and lots of pseudo-science and misrepresentations of science. See, especially, the section trying to discredit the “hockey stick” — long a bugaboo of the anti-climate change crowd. Seven independent scientific commissions and studies have separately verified it, but you won’t find out about that in this book.”

    Granted, two words do not automatically show that he wrote the fake doc. That said, those of us who write a lot have our own linguistic quirks, our own personal style. Unless you are trained in the art of writing dialog, or something along those lines, these quirks and ticks typically go unnoticed by the writer. Again, the use of the words “influential” and “anti-climate” don’t prove that he wrote the fake, but the use of the same words and language does not help his claim to innocence here..

  6. Will Nitschke says:
    February 21, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    And the reason why he partly confessed is because…?

    – – – – – –

    Will Nitschke,

    That is the question.

    I tend toward the highly implausible theory of maximum martyr creation by the worshipers of Gaia.

    My evidence? See the Gaia crowds hero worship response toward the Gleickster.

    John

  7. Will Nitschke says:
    February 21, 2012 at 7:45 pm
    And the reason why he partly confessed is because…?
    ——————————————————————–
    It doesn’t need to be any more complicated than him realizing that he hadn’t sufficiently covered his electronic tracks re the Heartland deception. He probably didn’t previously realize how easy his trail would have been to follow by the law or a determined Heartland legal team but a couple of days merely perusing blogs like this would have enlightened him.
    Once he discovered that, his least worst option would be to confess to whatever charges he couldn’t possibly avoid (pleading “noble” cause), meanwhile hoping to slide out from under the completely indefensible (to non ecofanatics) charge of forgery.

    Of course, there might be other factors but I don’t think it has to be any more complicated.

  8. You da man, Mosh.

    Y’know, the last couple days I’ve been sort of half-heartedly defending Gleick against a “rush to judgment” as to the limited charge of forgery of the faked document. The more I look into it, however, the more credible the evidence looks.

  9. Between this and Climategate v1.0 and v2.0, does anybody still believe that the extremist warmists are engaged in anything approaching “science”?

    Refusing to release original data paid for by the taxpayers (the old “the dog ate the data” excuse”), models that fail to accurately predict both the past and the future, no global warming for the last 15 years, vigorous and successful efforts to suppress the publication and professional advancement of any scientist who dared to question their findings, deliberately hiding data inconsistent with their self-serving (on the orders of millions of dollars of grants) “scientific” findings, modification of Wikipedia entries to wrongfully cast “opponents” in a derogatory light and cast disrepute on their research efforts, the wholesale and self-confessed fraud of Gleick, etc., etc., etc.

    Why would ANYBODY believe ANYTHING that ANY of these extremists warmists have to say, ever again?

    Can’t wait for Climategate v3.0. I expect “they” are holding their breaths, as well.

  10. regarding Megan McArdle’s article:

    re: ” When skeptics complain that global warming activists are apparently willing to go to any lengths–including lying–to advance their worldview, I’d say one of the movement’s top priorities should benot proving them right. ”

    Well said. If you want to shut this skeptic up that would be a wise start.

    re: “And if one rogue member of the community does something crazy that provides such proof, I’d say it is crucial that the other members of the community say …”

    And that would be a good second step.

    re: “The other thing one must note is that his story is a little puzzling. We know two things about the memo: …”

    I think we know one more thing. Steven Mosher’s track to Gleick on this blog was mostly based on how the memo was written. Now Gleick confessed but said he didn’t write the memo. That would mean Steven Mosher somehow id’d the actual culprit by analyzing the memo, but was just lucky, as his analysis of the memo was wrong. I don’t think so.

  11. Best guess as to the reason for a “partial” confession?

    Gleick had sent the documentation out to at least 15 people, many, if not all, who went public with them. When Heartland came down heavy on the “forged” document, threatening criminal and civil action, at least 1 of the 15 went back to Gleick and was so choked at being misled he/she demanded Gleick either 1. come clean, or, 2. provide where he got the forged document from, or, 3. be exposed. After all, if Gleick sent the documentation to 15 people, given the quick turnaround at Desmog, it likely went via email, which means there are trails to all 15 from Gleick which a criminal investigation would/will reveal.

    Gleick chose door number 3.

    So, to try and avoid a potential forgery charge (and I’m not saying he is guilty) he ducks the question of fakery in favour of confessing publicly to the perhaps lesser charge of deceit. And his confession, with certainty in my opinion, would have been on the advice of, and vetted by, his lawyer(s).

    PS – At this point if Gleick erases any documentation or emails he could potentially be found to have obstructed justice in a criminal matter…likewise goes to any others who received documentation from Gleick. As they say….timing is everything…and a number of email date stamps will soon become public knowledge.

    Nuclear indeed…..

  12. Well done, Steve. Genius detective work.

    I have also gone onto Megan McArdle’s blog to praise her open and balanced stand on this. At least there are some ‘believers’ who are not rabidly partisan. I wonder how long it will be before the doubts set in and she starts investigating the ‘settled science’ for herself…

  13. I put off commenting on the Gleick developments/implosions, and raced around 10’s of websites.
    at Stoat, where I’ve just been, it reads like a club; qualified membership, various topics, mild entertainment. a game of ‘go’ for example. the poor brits are genuinely concerned about their energy future, and do hold out on renewable possibilities.
    to extend the game analogy, are games not an exercise in strategic war maneuvers?
    my view is that we are playing a war game now.
    let’s consider a few games.
    is ‘battleships’ a fair representation of the Gleick incident ? the cagw team have just lost a destroyer.
    chess ? was Gleick more of a pawn, well placed in an attack position, maybe soon to be not so well replaced, his position currently guarded by bigger pieces?
    tetris ? a bit more real time, and more like our current state of play, with emerging problems.
    games have rules – Gleick broke them.
    I’d like to see Gleick and his cronies pay for the damage they caused.
    in as much as American education is totally prescribed (out of a book), teachers have little choice but to do as told. are Americans taught to think for themselves ? Gleick’s thinking skills leave much to be desired.

  14. I am surprised that he has not confessed authorship of the memo. I am also surprised that the stalwart lefty blogs are going to the mat on the fake memo…but maybe that is all they have to keep their anger alive…the bitter clingers I think we can call them. Their whole warming scam is crashing down and they don’t know what to believe. But I suppose we were all a little devastated when we learned the truth about Santa. Except Santa spread joy and happiness not doom and gloom and hate…so these warmers might have to actually cheer up and look on the bright side of things—that is a leap. Haha

    The fake memo is soooo telling…even before Mosh ( props by the way) pointed to the style we were all taken aback by the idiot references of anti-climate (so we don’t like climate???) And not teaching science. This “confession” is hopefully going to halt the implosion in all the warmers eyes because if others prove he wrote it or he admits it…..well we all know.

  15. Steve, you are my hero. Singlehandedly you have done more for California, particularly Red State California, East of San Jose, that any other person alive.
    Just by taking out the human trash that is Peter Gleick.

    Well done sir. Salute.

  16. kudos for giving Mosher credit.

    BUT … Senior Editor McArdle’s headline declares “Peter Gleick Confesses to Obtaining Heartland Documents”, which is basically the headline of all the MSM coverage. as most people only read the HEADLINE, it is now widely believed ALL Gleick’s “documents” were from HI. too clever by half, as usual. that McArdle then contradicts that headline…to a point…in the article, i found the piece so garbled, i felt the first commenter’s confusion:

    comment by nellcote: “So at the end of the day the original Heartland docs are genuine, confirmed by their own mailing. I don’t understand why Gleick even apologized.”

    the who, what, where, when and why of journalism (and other former disciplines) flew out the window long ago.

  17. “And if one rogue member of the community does something crazy that provides such proof, I’d say it is crucial that the other members of the community say …” M. McArdle

    But he’s not one rogue member. Gleick reflects the same thinking by others that created the hockey stick and the 10:10 snuff video, backed the erroneous 2035 glacier melt date, wrote the Climategate emails, suppressed publication of dissenting views, and hid the decline. All that is lacking now is a series of “investigations” that exonerate Gleick by totally ignoring the evidence. I could go on listing countless examples of the prevarication, exaggeration, heedlessness, and dishonesty that are epidemic in AGW “science.” McArdle needs to sit down with Montford’s The Hockey Stick Illusion, Mosher & Fuller’s Climategate: The CRUtape Letters, and Donna LaFramboise’s The Delinquent Teenager etc., and see for herself what has been happening.

  18. fwiw, which is probably nothing, there is a fourth option to Ross Kaminsky’s question: “You receive an anonymous memo in the mail purporting to be the secret climate strategy of the Heartland Institute. ”

    I worked for Boeing for awhile, and after they cleaned up their act in the wake of the first and second tanker fiascos, there were very sensitive to the question, what do you do if you find or are sent a competitor’s intellectual property? And even on their last bid, their winning bid, exactly this thing happened, the Air Force accidentally gave Boeing, Northrop information and the Boeing response was straight from the training.

    Don’t look beyond the first page, or however long it takes for you to realize it’s a competitors IP, place the rest in a sealed envelope. Give it back to the competitor promptly.

    As a result of that action on Boeing’s last contract, the Air Force gave both sides equivalent information, and Boeing saved the taxpayer millions of dollars from having to restart the bidding process.

    Gleick, who teaches ethics, may wish to consider that instead of allowing himself to be used, he act ethically instead and just return the information to Heartland.

  19. Smokey says:
    February 21, 2012 at 8:07 pm
    Forbes has a pro-Gleick blog post. It wouldn’t hurt for a few skeptical commentators to point out that Gleick confessed, and then had to apologize

    Ha! Check out Suzuki’s pro-Gleick article. Could use a lot of skeptical commentators.

    http://www.straight.com/print/612156

  20. Megan and other supposedly open-minded folk who lean warm ought to get a clue that this is just the tip of the AGW debacle and that the reason they go to such lengths to obfuscate is because the SCIENCE IS JUST NOT THERE. No matter how often they say that it is and that the evidence is incontrovertible and the debate is over, THE SCIENCE IS NOT THERE.

    And nice job putting the pieces together, Mosher and everyone else who had it figured out. I really do think posting that hypothesis to hell and gone had a lot to do with the confession, so good on you.

  21. jorgekafkazar says:
    February 21, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Agree on that!

    Kudos to Steven Mosher for his Sherlock moment.

    I think many policy makers now will read the “The Delinquent Teenager” and say, hey, there is something familiar here?

  22. I was surprised to do a search at WUWT and found no mention of Gleick. Having done lots of research, when I suggested that Gleick had used similar words as in the fake document I was moderated for the first time ever at WUWT. I do understand the reasoning for the moderation, however Gleick now turns out to be exceedingly involved. I believe he will be found to be even more involved.

  23. Nice one, Mosher!

    A few days ago I suggested it was probably a good idea not to name names and accuse people by name before it was proven they did it – however delicious that would be if who was being accused actually did it. “Innocent until proven guilty” and all that.

    Now that that person – Gleick – has astonishingly enough owned up, I say, “game on!”.

    As others have said – popcorn shares have probably gone through the roof.

    Once again, Mosher, nicely done, sir.

  24. Kudos to Steven “Sherlock” Mosher

    Orville: Are you Mister S., for Sigerson, Holmes?
    Sigerson Holmes: Perhaps.
    Orville: Do you have a brother whose first name is Sherlock?
    Sigerson Holmes: I do not.
    Orville: You do have a brother?
    Sigerson Holmes: I do.
    Orville: Might I inquire as to his first name?
    Sigerson Holmes: “Sheer luck.”

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0072608/quotes

    “anti-climate”
    About 430,000 results (0.51 seconds)
    +”anti-climate” +”peter gleick”
    About 191,000 results (0.12 seconds)

  25. Sent this to the Pacific Institute:

    Mr. Watson, [he’s the mailto guy at pac inst]

    I have never donated to the Pacific Institute. However, in light of the latest scandal involving your company, I feel like I’m owed a refund. Please donate it to poor people somewhere to partially assuage the harm done by Gleik. Thanks in advance.

    Kevin

  26. Fake memo: “anti-climate” Gleick review: “anti-climate change”. Those are not the same. Wasting more time with Google:
    “anti-climate” -“anti-climate change” Gleick 1,380
    “anti-climate” Gleick 9,180
    “anti-climate change” Gleick 29,300
    “anti-climate” -Gleick 426,000

    Not a convincing argument, and in any case the search results are now polluted by all the recent Gleick news stories.

  27. Sonicfrog says:
    February 21, 2012 at 8:15 pm
    AND
    Erik says:
    February 22, 2012 at 1:04 am
    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    I have read little on this affair.

    In my opinion, the use of the word ‘influential’ says next to nothing about the identity of the author. In one context it is used to describe the weight attached to the IPCC reports (something that one would be hard pressed to dispute given that politicians have accepted these as gospel) and in the other it is used to describe the audience that reads magazines such as Forbes (presumably because these readers are generally higher up the monetary/social scale).

    The use of anti-claimate is an even more duboius connection, since in one article it stands alone (ie., anti-climate) and in the other article more properly reads “anti-climate change,” I would agree that the expression ‘anti-claimate’ may be unusual and of some significance, but the expression ‘anti-cliamate change’ is altogether more common place.

  28. > And the reason why he partly confessed is because…?

    “Given the need for reliance on facts in the public climate debate, I am issuing the following statement.” – Peter Gleick

    He did it to encourage and open and factual debate on climate change don’t you know?

  29. Note 1: There are 7 billion people on the planet.
    S Mosher identified Glieck as the faker from his writing style and the text.
    Yet, Glieck says he didn’t fake the document.
    Coincidentally, and therefore completely independently, he did steal the rest of the documents.
    Who needs Heartland funding when lottery wins like that come up so often?
    Note 2: Glieck didn’t say the stratgy document was the one he received in the post from the shadowy source. He said “a document”. And we know he had the 2009 tax form. And the supporting documents he stole were finance related. Is it possible that the tax form was the one he started with?
    Note 3: That leaves the origin of the fake document as unaddressed in the legally advised statements of the thief who just happens to write like the forger.

  30. re: M Courtney

    Most likely after Heartland threaten legal action, Gleick consulted with a criminal defense attorney, and the attorney advice that he publicly plead to things that have electronic trail (the leak stolen heartland document) which can be readily trace back to him, and feint ignorance on the fake memo (which is on a whole different order of criminal offense).

  31. re BigFire
    Your scenario of just duck and cover does sound simpler. I concede you’re probably right.
    I’ve spent too long reading the Grauniad website; I’m getting paranoid and fanciful.

  32. Reading “CRUTape Letters” after Climategate 1.0 changed me forever. I wasn’t even entirely sure what a “blog” really was until after Climategate now I am on them hours a day; but when Steven Mosher nailed Gleick, I had my doubts. Now that Steve was proven 100% right…that is just borderline scary. Great call Mr. Mosher.

  33. If we get to the next international climate conference you can bet your bottom dollar that the `e`crime security teams across the UK and USA will be glued to their twitching boxes and those pesky little wires listening and watching for signs of a “climategate 3″ dump, they will be wired in 24/7, leave will be cancelled, special powers will be enacted, tallbloke will be under surveilance, world press site will be mirrored, etc etc
    So that should leave the regular mail system wide wide open !

    just a double bluff :)

  34. As I said on Dr. Curry’s blog:

    “Steven Mosher, You Magnificent B**tard, You read Peter’s book! (apologies to General Patton)”

  35. Steve Zwick’s op-ed at Forbes makes this astonishing claim:

    “Bottom line: Someone broke into computers, stole e-mails, and then distorted them to discredit an entire branch of science, in the process delaying action on one of the biggest threats to global security and the global economy.”

    No one knows whether Climategate began with break-in by an outside hacker, or whistle-blowing by a CRU insider. If the latter, it was not theft, but an action protected by law. None of the Climategate material was distorted, altered or cherry-picked – the document dump included all contextual material.

  36. Great job, Mosher. That’s some keen detective work.

    Lew Skannen says:
    February 21, 2012 at 7:59 pm BWAHAhahahah. That’s hilarious. Seriously, it seems this man Gleick had a brain fart. This thing, as described by Mosh, is completely barmy (I just watched a Harry Potter movie last night).

  37. jaymam says:
    February 22, 2012 at 12:03 am
    I was surprised to do a search at WUWT and found no mention of Gleick. Having done lots of research, when I suggested that Gleick had used similar words as in the fake document I was moderated for the first time ever at WUWT. I do understand the reasoning for the moderation, however Gleick now turns out to be exceedingly involved. I believe he will be found to be even more involved.

    If you use the WUWT search box, it won’t look at the comments. to look at the comments, do this in the google search box. (No “www” no spaces around the colon). I got 475 hits:

    Gleick site:wattsupwiththat.com

  38. “Don’t look beyond the first page, or however long it takes for you to realize it’s a competitors IP, place the rest in a sealed envelope. Give it back to the competitor promptly.”

    A similar situation happened a few years ago with Coca Cola and Pepsi. If you know anything about the cola wars you know those companies are very, very serious about what they do. With Coke it’s practically a religion (and no, I’m not exaggerating). The cola wars take a back seat to no one in the intensity department.

    But a few years ago a fairly low level Coca Cola employee offered confidential product information to Pepsi for a large sum of money. Instead of jumping at the opportunity, Pepsi immediately let Coca Cola know what was happening. An FBI sting was arranged and the three individuals involved were arrested, convicted (of wire fraud, natch) and sentenced to multi-year terms in federal prison.

    CNN Story

  39. This line in the fake memo jumped out at me:

    it is important to keep opposing voices out (spoken, purportedly, as a climate skeptic)

    As many have said, one tried and true way to figure out what your opponent is up to is just to note what they are accusing you of. If you’re not doing what they say, chances are they are doing that very thing they are accusing you of. They let slip their way of thinking in the very accusations they hurl.

    You can see that principle at work here. The person writing the fake memo couldn’t get into the head or train of thought of a real skeptic, so their own natural tendencies were manifested. They speak of keeping opposing voices out, because that’s exactly what they do (or attempt to do). That’s their M.O. It’s a ridiculous thought to ascribe to a skeptic since they have nothing to keep opposing voices out of. They don’t control the IPCC, the major scientific bodies, the major journals, the major news organs, etc., etc. The only ones in a position to keep anyone out is the climate cabal. (Well, really, the CAGW cabal, but that’s not nearly as poetically alliterative.) It’s one more telling revelation of the mindset the writer is coming from.

Comments are closed.