Meanwhile in Guardian-land…

[NOTE: This got lost is the days following Fakegate, as WordPress sometime fails to notify me that Guest posts are in que, so in deference to the author, I’m running it now – Anthony]

Guest post by John A

In the virtual reality world of climate science, it appears that quoted statements from emails made by some climate scientists showing malfeasance and outright lying are false because they are “out of context” and quoted statements from fake documents purporting to come from thinktanks are true because…well probably because that’s what we come to expect from people like that.

In Guardian-land, this means that someone has taken it upon himself to report the Heartland Institute to the IRS. No really.

The Heartland Institute, the libertarian thinktank whose project to undermine science lessons for schoolchildren was exposed this week, faces new scrutiny of its finances – including its donors and tax status.

The Guardian has learned of a whistleblower complaint to the Internal Revenue Service about Heartland’s 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.

Who is this whistleblowing Dark Knight? 

John Mashey, a retired computer scientist and Silicon Valley executive, said he filed a complaint to the IRS this week that said Heartland’s public relations and lobbying efforts violated its non-profit status.

Mashey said he sent off his audit, the product of three months’ research, just a few hours before the unauthorised release of the Heartland documents.

Mashey said in a telephone interview that the complaint looked at the activities of Heartland and two other organisations that have been prominent in misinforming the public about climate change, the Science and Environmental Policy Project, run by Fred Singer, and the Centre for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, run by Craig Idso. Both men were funded by Heartland, with Idso receiving $11,600 per month and Singer $5,500 a month, according to the 2012 budget.

Heartland is also funding contrarians in Canada and other countries, the documents show.

“I believe there was a massive abuse of 501c(3),” Mashey said. “My extensive study of these think anks[sic] showed numerous specific actions that violated the rules – such as that their work is supposed to be factually based. Such as there was a whole lot of behaviour that sure looked like lobbying and sending money to foreign organisations that are not charities.”

Mashey later published his audit of Heartland finances in Desmogblog, which was the first outlet to run the trove of Heartland documents.

Others were demanding more disclosure from Heartland about its donors and its activities.

This appears to be a consistent target for the climate alarmists – don’t argue the facts, methods or data. Instead try to get your opponents fired or defunded.

This is what passes for climate science these days.

Here’s a mystery item (my emphasis):

In a letter that was published on Friday and then subsequently removed, more than 30 leading health professionals and scientists from the US, Britain, Australia and New Zealand called on Heartland to come clean. “What motivates the Heartland Institute? As climate scientists and health professionals, we view the systematic manipulation and suppression of climate science for private benefit as confusing at best, and inhumane at worst,” the letter said.

“It is in the public, national, and global interest for all funding behind their activities to be revealed. This allows people to make up their own minds about the truth of the climate change threat, so that action can be planned in the light of reality rather than the murky shadows of secretly funded disinformation.”

How do we know that such a letter existed and it is not the figment of some journalist’s imagination? Where was it published?  Why was the letter withdrawn? Alas, we mere mortals shall never know.

And the Hockey Team are back:

In a separate initiative, seven climate scientists wrote an open letter calling on Heartland to see the moment of exposure as an opportunity to change tack.

The scientists, who included Kevin Trenbeth at the National Centre for Atmospheric Research and Ben Santer at the Lawrence Livermore National Labs, also took Heartland to task for its response to the 2009 and 2011 hacks of climate scientists’ emails. “The Heartland Institute has had no qualms about utilising and distorting emails stolen from scientists,” the letter said.

“The Heartland Institute has chosen to undermine public understanding of basic scientific facts and personally attack climate researchers rather than engage in a civil debate about climate change policy options,” the letter said.

“We hope the Heartland Institute will begin to play a more constructive role in the policy debate. Refraining from misleading attacks on climate science and climate researchers would be a welcome first step toward.”

Of course the last time either Gavin Schmidt or John Cook argued in a fair debate they got creamed. Which is why they most certainly do not engage in a civil debate – the Climategate emails show anything but civility. And “Skeptical Science” is anything but skeptical or scientific.

Mashey also lives on the West Coast and has close links with DeSmogBlog and was investigating the Heartland Institute…hmmm…I wonder if he has an Epson scanner?

If I were paranoid, I’d say these events are awfully convenient for all of these things  to happen at the same time, with the same people and on the same blog. But I’m not very conspiratorially minded.

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78 thoughts on “Meanwhile in Guardian-land…

  1. From your post…

    “Of course the last time either Gavin Schmidt or John Cook argued in a fair debate they got creamed. Which is why they most certainly do not engage in a civil debate – the Climategate emails show anything but civility. And “Skeptical Science” is anything but skeptical or scientific.”

    John Cooks’ facebook page is a complete joke. It’s really laughable, seriously. Apart from the vast volume of supporting evidence and actual science, I was once asked to prove interglacials were warmer than glacials, seriously!!!

  2. If I were paranoid, I’d say these events are awfully convenient for all of these things to happen at the same time, with the same people and on the same blog. But I’m not very conspiratorially minded.
    =====================
    Well John…..I don’t agree….LOL

  3. I’ve never seen a requirement that 501(c)3 must be factual, if so wouldn’t that rule out religious purpose organizations?

  4. Given how important the CAGW theory is to the funding of so many, and just how much money and reputations are at stake, I am surprised that the dirty play is so limited.
    As the morals of the alarmists are non-existent, and they can justify crimes by their aim, one can expect a lot more if things start to go really bad for them.

  5. Interesting how these ‘scientists’ are concerned that the public only gets pre-qualified information. They must believe that the public, you and me, is not qualified to sort and understand on our own what’s useful information and what’s not.
    That’s not about arrogance anymore. This is about freedom or red-green dictatorship.

  6. It looks like there was a coordinated campaign that was planned and partially executed against Heartland. So who else was involved? Who were the other “plumbers”?

  7. Maybe somebody should ask the IRS to take a close look at Gleick’s organization. If his little caper involved use of organization assets (computer, network address, communication services, scanner…) then, through its tax-advantaged status, it has been getting a public subsidy to enable its employee to commit felonies. What else has its founder, Peter Gleick, been doing with it?
    And, yes, it would be good to ask Mr. Mashey some questions. He has entered the arena; let him bask in the attention.

  8. “…seven climate scientists wrote an open letter calling on Heartland to see the moment of exposure as an opportunity to change tack.”

    Yeah, I like the positive attitude. No problems, only opportunities.

    Like an FOIA request may be an opportunity to stop screwing around and communicate your data rather than conniving to avoid doing so. You know, like an “opportunity” to comply with the legal requirement.

    Like a request for Mann’s emails may be an “opportunity” to provide the “context” they always say is missing.

    With so many “opportunities” of their own I’m surprised they have time club together to share their bountiful wisdom with Heartland.

  9. Mashey is prima facie a Gleick shill. First perfuse your watermelon with moonshine, then draw it out with a very long straw.

  10. I am laughing so hard the tears are running down my face.

    One of my big red buttons is the fact that tax exempts get around no political activism by forming a separate arm that they can funnel great wads of money into.

    From the IRS news room:

    Charities, Churches and Politics

    The ban on political campaign activity by charities and churches was created by Congress more than a half century ago. The Internal Revenue Service administers the tax laws written by Congress and has enforcement authority over tax-exempt organizations. Here is some background information on the political campaign activity ban and the latest IRS enforcement statistics regarding its administration of this congressional ban.

    In 1954, Congress approved an amendment by Sen. Lyndon Johnson to prohibit 501(c)(3) organizations, which includes charities and churches, from engaging in any political campaign activity. To the extent Congress has revisited the ban over the years, it has in fact strengthened the ban. The most recent change came in 1987 when Congress amended the language to clarify that the prohibition also applies to statements opposing candidates.

    Currently, the law prohibits political campaign activity by charities and churches by defining a 501(c)(3) organization as one “which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.” http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=161131,00.html

    Note this about supporting a CANDIDATE for public office and not about supporting a specific IDEA such as the Catholic Chrch’s stand on Abortion.

    3. CAN NONPROFITS THAT RECEIVE FEDERAL GRANTS LOBBY?

    Nonprofits that receive federal grants cannot use any portion of their federal funds to lobby. 501(c)(3)s can use private resources to lobby, under IRS rules (see #1 above). 501(c)(4) organization that receive federal funds may establish an affiliated organization, also exempt under section 501(c)(4), to engage in privately-funded lobbying activities…

    http://www.npaction.org/article/articleview/100/1/248

    And there folks is the great big loop hole!

    The “Follow the money trail” is obvious in the TIDES FOUNDATION AND TIDES CENTER a foundation set up specifically for “Laundering” money so those foundations supporting an unpopular idea do not receive fallout.

  11. Steven Mosher says:
    March 17, 2012 at 8:17 am

    Mashey needs to be questioned
    ===========================================
    Yes, he does.

    “Mashey said he sent off his audit, the product of three months’ research, just a few hours before the unauthorised release of the Heartland documents.” …….. coincidence?

    But, really, this is quite humorous. I really appreciate HI. I like Singer. I like Idso. But, if the lunatics think by smearing these people will somehow put the genie back in the bottle they’re even more delusional than I thought. The fact that this effort has entirely backfired is greatly delicious.

    But, its just as fun to watch them expend all of this effort, which, even if it were successful, wouldn’t change the discussion one whit. Even better, let’s say they were successful and the IRS found that advocacy can strip an organization of tax exempt status……… how much would the Sierra Club and all of the rest of the watermelon groups owe?

    Gosh, these pathetic losers are less rational than I thought.

    Is there one prominent alarmist climate scientist capable of honest dialogue about the issues? This is how we know we’re winning. And, they’ll become more shrill and desperate as the layers of lies and obfuscation are peeled back.

  12. I posited this possibility early on: that Mashey and Gleick were staging a two-pronged attack and that others had prior knowledge of it, namely desmogblog, who, lacking barely any traffic at their website, would gain from two blockbuster stories at the same time. I had only circumstantial evidence for this: the timing of the two releases, the similarly rabid ideological fanaticism of all parties with an interest in publishing this information, and the geographical closeness of Mashey and Gleick residences in the Bay Area. Desmog, lacking any substantial visitor traffic at their blog, stood to gain by publishing both “blockbuster” stories.

  13. oMan says: @ March 17, 2012 at 8:30 am

    Maybe somebody should ask the IRS to take a close look at Gleick’s organization….
    ________________________________________
    Sorry does not work that way. I knew a guy who was dealing in illegally obtained software. I knew where it was kept. I went to the IRS in my city and discussed the situation with them and they were VERY INTERESTED but could do nothing because it was out of jurisdiction. They sent me to the correct office. The IRS agent there, after I explained the situation and named the guy turned white and told me there was know way they could touch the guy. Since then he just made a multi-million dollar insider trading coup. Again illegal but no one will touch him.

  14. On the subject of tax exemptions and 503(c)s, I was under the impression that promoting opinions, even opinions that others may consider wrong or non-factual was fine, but what is not specifically not allowed is promoting particular candidates or parties in elections. You know things like “don’t vote Republican” or “don’t vote for Smith”

    I may be wrong about this. But that was my impression.

    In which case, to me at least, this would seem a much more questionable activity done by a 503(c) – and yes it was done by a 503(c), since not only does it appear as a press release on their website, and specifically says it is done by one (emphasis added)

    http://pacinst.org/press_center/press_releases/climate_bs_award_2011.html

    In response to these efforts, in 2010 the Pacific Institute launched the annual Climate B.S.* of the Year Awards. We are now pleased, and disturbed, to announce the winners of the 2011 (second annual) Climate B.S.* of the Year Awards:

    THE WINNER OF THE 2011 CLIMATE B.S.* OF THE YEAR AWARDS IS:

    All of the Republican candidates for President
    Being anti-science in general, and anti-climate science in particular, seems a requirement for nomination to lead the Republican Party… .[snip]..The choice among the current Republican candidates on the issue of climate change is scientific ignorance, disdain for science, blatant misrepresentation of facts, or naked political expediency, any one of which would make the individual candidates strong contenders for the 2011 Climate B.S. Award. Combined? The group wins the 2011 Award hands down.

  15. It would be better to investigate how a small cabal of scientists and their acolytes have managed to corrupt climate science and in doing so cost us all billions in lost finances, as well as redirecting billions from worthwhile environmental and social causes.

  16. Sorry if this is a duplicate, but I’m having trouble posting because of the security system log-in requirements. If it is a duplicate, please feel free to delete one copy. Thanks
    ———————————————————————————————-
    In terms of the debate, who funds is the biggest red herring ever. The only case where it might possibly be relevant is if somebody changes their views as a result of being funded by a certain source.

    Let’s take the example of a well-known journalist who was attacked for receiving about $1K for attending a Heartland conference. If you’ve read this journalist’s articles, you can’t have any serious doubt that he’s always had the same views, and I’m not even sure all his views align with Heartland’s. Nobody would seriously suggest he’d throwaway a multi-decade career in journalism for $1K funding which probably barely paid his expenses to attend the conference.

    Likewise, our host on this forum, is being attacked because Heartland are helping arranging funding for a weather data website. The data is public data and verifiable, so he couldn’t bend the data even if he wanted to. Moreover you only need to read this blog to see our host holds some pretty strong views, argues them passionately, (I personally don’t necessarily agree with them all), and really truly believes in what he is saying. It’s possible that he might have some of his views changed by rational argument or new data, but it’s looney tunes stuff to think he’s expressing views he doesn’t really believe in.

    So what is the real reason they bang on about funding? Partly it’s propaganda – if they can find a tenuous link to the enemy (fossil fuels, automobiles, etc.) it makes a good ad hominem argument, no matter how logically flawed. But the main reason is that don’t want people funding arguments they disagree with – they simply want them silenced.

    That’s why there is a campaign now to stop GM funding Heartland – even though GM’s funding is not even on climate related field.

    That’s why there is speculation on the green blogs about the anonymous donor. Turns out they think they’ve identified him – and it’s a business person who is not connected to fossil fuels. Apparently he just believes in Heartland’s positions…. they think that is just as bad. In short – fossil fuel interest or not fossil fuel interest – it’s simply bad that anybody funds Heartland.

    That’s why scientists who have received funding from Heartland are coming under attack – all these scientists needed to do is to have followed the disclosure procedures to their employer. I can’t say whether every single one has, but it’s a heck of an assumption – on no evidence whatsoever – that they wouldn’t, despite the fact that their Heartland work such as writing reports, etc., was public knowledge even prior to Gleick’s activities.

    Finally, that’s the basis of Mashey’s report. As much as anybody can make out, the core of his argument seems to be that Heartland is promoting opinions that he disagrees with. Any opinion that he disagrees with, he considers non-factual, and he then further argues 503(c)’s aren’t allow to promote such “non-factual” opinions.

    Incidentally it is an abuse of the language to call Mashey a “whistleblower”. A whistleblower is somebody inside an organization who reveals wrongdoing. Mashey is an outsider who thinks he can tell other people what opinions they are allowed to express: There are words for that kind of anti-free-speech busybody, but “whistleblower” isn’t one that I would use.

    Finally, FWIW, I don’t think Mashey was involved in writing the strategy memo. If he had been, IMHO, it would most likely be 250 pages long, written in green ink, in 6 point font.

  17. Heartland is also funding contrarians in Canada and other countries, the documents show….
    “I believe there was a massive abuse of 501c(3),” Mashey said…”Such as there was a whole lot of behaviour that sure looked like lobbying and sending money to foreign organisations that are not charities.”

    Hmm. Interesting standard. Should it apply to Greenshirt organizations as well? Here’s an interesting article discussing American foundations intruding into Canadian oil policy:

    http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/straighttalk/archives/2012/01/20120108-131514.html

    Excerpt:
    But the biggest threat isn’t the clowns. It’s the well-paid foreign professional lobbyists who used Leggett’s weakness to take over the process.

    Like the New York-based Rockefeller Foundation. They’ve hired the West Coast Environmental
    Law Foundation to “prevent the development of a pipeline and tanker port” in B.C.

    That lobby group took $200,000 to do the Rockefellers’ bidding. They’re signed up to speak at the hearings.

    San Francisco’s Moore Foundation has poured in more than $9 million to Aboriginal groups on the north coast of B.C. to oppose resource development.

    Their Canadian lobby group, Ecotrust, will testify to Leggett also.

    According to research by Vivian Krause, the U.S. Tides Foundation and their Canadian affiliate have poured millions of dollars into 36 cookie-cutter groups to oppose Canadian resource industries.

    They all sound so local and real – the Dogwood Initiative, the Rainforest Action Network, the Natural Resources Defence Council, etc.

    But they’re just tentacles of the same foreign foundation.

  18. It would be better to investigate how a small cabal of scientists and their acolytes have managed to corrupt climate science and in doing so cost us all billions in lost finances, as well as redirecting billions from worthwhile environmental and social causes.

    I think that will be done by future historians if we’re lucky and future archeologists if we’re not.

  19. Steven Mosher says:
    March 17, 2012 at 8:17 am

    Mashey needs to be questioned
    ———————————————————-

    And we are not talking, “How’s the weather?”

  20. The problem (for the complainers) with opening an investigation of Heartland’s 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status is that the many on the complainers side that are blatantly abusing the requirements now would need to worry. If Heartland is determined to be squeaky clean, they would need to keep that quiet and work to control suggestions to investigate other tax exempts.

    However, since the media and the Justice “system” seem to be “owned” by or easily bamboozled by the complainers, they may not need to worry. Besides they can simply open their propaganda book to the chapter on protecting their on-going abuses of tax exempt status, fill in the blanks in the appropriate templates and move on to their next step in implementing their elitist total Government solution. (too bad most of the alarmist worker bees don’t know what their queens real objectives are or that they are walking a path to subjugation.

    Oh well!

  21. Maybe they would like to have a look at the Center for American progress rights to 501 (c)(3) status? Especially Romm’s bit. I don’t see anyone from there opening the books on their contributors soon!
    Talk about a pot calling a kettle black!

  22. While we’re on the subject of Fakegate, it seems the folks at Wiki are having trouble with full context (not to mention the inappropriate use of plurals and the word “leaked”):

    According to documents leaked in February, 2012 The Heartland Institute is developing a curriculum for use in schools which frames climate change as a scientific controversy.

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

    Or maybe it’s just that the good Dr. Connolley (AKA “the Mailed Fist”) is up to his old tricks again.

  23. This may be the beginning of a series of nuisance suits, the kind of strategy that drove Sarah Palin from office. A problem here is that with all these groups acting concurrently, they’re reinforcing each other. (There doesn’t have to be a master plan. In addition to being mutually reinforcing, this activity probably also serves to recruit others.)

    Basically, a heavy dose of negative reinforcement is called for. But that takes resources – and commitment.

  24. One useful feature of all this is that these people are revealing themselves in no uncertain terms, in part because they seem utterly oblivious to the spectacle they’re making. This insularity (and resulting recklessness) is an Archilles heel that can be taken advantage of.

  25. > Maybe somebody should ask the IRS to take a close look at Gleick’s organization….

    You don’t think some senior Republicans would be interested to know that a 503(c) is basically saying “Don’t vote for any Republican candidate for President”? as loudly as it can.

    And not only is that 503(c) tax-exempt, they are also in receipt of federal grants as well.

  26. I don’t know, I think we’re seeing desperation. Heartland is chicken feed, the risk should be too great to pursue this given the massive amount of funds the propagandists tax exempts have in play.

  27. Gail Combs says:
    March 17, 2012 at 9:04 am
    “They sent me to the correct office. The IRS agent there, after I explained the situation and named the guy turned white and told me there was know way they could touch the guy. Since then he just made a multi-million dollar insider trading coup. Again illegal but no one will touch him.”

    Sounds like USA == Greece… only that you still print your own currency.

  28. @mpaul – “…. So who else was involved? Who were the other “plumbers”?…

    Perhaps worthy of repeating from another of my WUWT comments, (also noted by other kind commenter at WUWT), I detailed some critical Desmogblog & related ties that actually go back 17+ years, à la Watergate: “Fakegate Opens a Door: More than meets the eye in the Heartland controversy” http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/02/fakegate_opens_a_door.html

    All part of a larger, older highly questionable effort to marginalize skeptics at all costs, by any means.

  29. “Mashey said in a telephone interview that the complaint looked at the activities of Heartland and two other organisations that have been prominent in misinforming the public about climate change,”

    And who determined that these orgnizations were “misinforming the public” and by what rule of law?

  30. The funniest aspect of all this is the supposed link to the fuel industries. They are in no way threatened by the alarmists. There is no credible substitute. The cost of any restrictions on carbon fuels is passed on to the customer at a profit. If anything, the fuel companies should support the warmists and they do. The entire argument is nonsense.

  31. copner says:
    March 17, 2012 at 9:30 am

    ——————————-
    Reply: you are probably aware of this, but in case you’re not, the following is from the PI website list of the PI’s advisory board:

    Ms. Nancy Ramsey, President, Morningstar Imports, a small Sausalito-based company. Independent analyst on disarmament, security issues, and international telecommunications. Ms. Ramsey is also a Legislative Director for Senator John Kerry (D – Massachusetts).

    I don’t think she is still working for Kerry, but talk about a possible conduit for federal funds!

    Kerry: Pete, how much you need this year?

    Gleick: How much you got?

  32. > And who determined that these orgnizations were “misinforming the public” and by what rule of law?

    John Mashey. He has appointed himself as ultimate arbiter of truth.

    It’s the same disease that apparently quite a few others on his side are suffering from. If you don’t agree with them, you are apparently, by definition, lying.

    It’s fortunate that these arbiters of truth seem to all agree with each other, apparently about everything, because what would happen if 2 of them ever did have a different opinion from each other, who knows what would happen?

  33. OK, as a Brit I’m a bit of an outsider in US lobbying discussions, but the impression I get of Heartland from here is that their affairs will turn out to be (if investigated) quite as above-board as they say they are. Honesty sort of goes with the stuff they support, from what I’ve seen about them here and elsewhere.

    Now, the funding of the AGW ‘teams’ … that would make interesting reading, once your brain got used to the astronomical size of the figures involved.

  34. Russell C says:
    March 17, 2012 at 9:43 am
    “Perhaps worthy of repeating from another of my WUWT comments, (also noted by other kind commenter at WUWT), I detailed some critical Desmogblog & related ties that actually go back 17+ years, à la Watergate: “Fakegate Opens a Door: More than meets the eye in the Heartland controversy” http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/02/fakegate_opens_a_door.html

    Thanks; I missed that. Fascinating to see all these decades of alternative reality construction.

  35. Here’s my questions for these seven climate scientists who apparently all or most work for publicly funded agencies and universities. What gives you the right, given the taxpayers of the United States pay your salary, provide unparalleled job security, pensions, and in general pecuniary interests vis a vis funding to willingly,openly and viciously attack private citizens , groups and organizations with whom you do not agree? These individuals use their position and status both as a sword and a shield far beyond the norms and standards that the vast majority of “employees” are able to do to say or do.I have no problem with freedom of expression but really this special “unfiltered” academic freedom and civil service freedom is beyond the pale.

  36. John A says:
    “If I were paranoid, I’d say these events are awfully convenient for all of these things to happen at the same time, with the same people and on the same blog. But I’m not very conspiratorially minded.”

    _________________________

    “On corruption within the global warming movement” – a Hypothesis

    I believe that the global warming fraudsters are even more corrupt than the public evidence contained in the ClimateGate 1 & 2 emails. Here is my rationale, developed from decades of business experience in many parts of the world.

    We have clear evidence in the ClimateGate emails of unprofessional, indecent and unethical behaviour by the global warming “elite”, including attempts to harm the careers of climate realists and intimidate the editors of professional journals, corruption of the peer review process, as well as open discussions of scientific fraud such as “Mike’s Nature trick” and “hide the decline”.

    When people openly discuss such offensive acts in their emails, one can be reasonably certain that there are even more repulsive practices that they only discuss among themselves by phone or in person, so as to leave no record of these odious conversations.

    Another symptom is the feigned anger of the warming fraudsters against climate realists – I have seen this tactic used many times as a smokescreen in business, and have even been able to detect people who were stealing within their organizations from this aggressive behaviour.

    The argument that the ClimateGate emails are somehow mis-interpreted and the toxic comments are in fact innocent, is utterly specious.

    The ClimateGate emails are, in all probability, just the “tip of the iceberg”, and the corruption runs much deeper and wider within the global warming movement.

  37. “Mashey later published his audit of Heartland finances in Desmogblog, which was the first outlet to run the trove of Heartland documents.

    Others were demanding more disclosure from Heartland about its donors and its activities.”
    —————————————————————————–
    Talk about yellow ‘journalism’!

    … ‘his audit’ – an audit is a dispassionate, impartial compilation of relevant facts. The first principle of a proper audit is that the auditor should not have a dog in the fight. To put it mildly, a polemic is not an audit, and the unfortunately named Mr Mashey has unquestionably penned a polemic in this case.

    …’Others were demanding more disclosure’ – this sort of mealy-mouthed ‘journalism’ always reminds me of a TV interview between a featherbrained Australian TV ‘journalist’ and Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s. He ran the ‘people have said’ (you are the spawn of Satan) line on her. She looked him in the eye, and said ‘which people? who? when?’ Well, shuffle, shuffle, looks at boots, he would prefer not to say, but how does she respond. ‘But who? You want me to respond to criticism – criticism from whom? When? What did they say?’ And so it went on for a couple of minutes till the coward backed down, because he was setting up a strawman, or lying, or didn’t have the guts to ask the question directly.

    It is is a cheap and all too common ‘trick’ (in the sense that we have come to know) for reporters to do this. Whenever you see ‘it is claimed’, or ‘questions are being asked’ or any of those passive voice constructions (look it up – it is at least as important as basic physics) – realise that it is a cover for laziness, incompetence or pushing an agenda.

    Incidentally, if anyone has a link to the abovementioned interview, which I think was on 60 Minutes, or a transcript, I’d be grateful. I saw it, it certainly happened.

  38. This is a dangerous action. It could set precedents which may well backfire on the Pro-warming groups If it comes to it how would WWF, Greenpeace etc fare under equal scrutiny?

  39. I neglected to mention in my previous post (under the description of yellow journalism) the use of ‘trove’. It wasn’t just a bunch of typical institutional documents, it was apparently a ‘trove’, which means ‘a collection of valuable items discovered or found’. You know, like Spanish treasure or gold sovereigns or something. If that’s a ‘trove’, the minutes of my last local council meeting must be Eldorado.

  40. John Kettlewell –
    The letter which you located is apparently a revised version. Goldenberg’s statement in her article (quoted in the main post) that the letter was published and later removed refers to the original version. The revised version is tamer than the original in at least a couple of places.

    Goldenberg quotes the original about revealing the source of climate skeptics’ funding: “This allows people to make up their own minds about the truth of the climate change threat, so that action can be planned in the light of reality rather than the murky shadows of secretly funded disinformation.” The revised version has “This will help people to make up their own minds about the truth of the climate change threat, so that action can be planned on the basis of evidence rather than confusion.”

    The revised version has this sentence: “As climate and other scientists and health professionals, we view the systematic sowing of unjustified doubt about mainstream international climate science as confusing at best, and inhumane at worst.” Goldenberg quotes the now-lost original: “As climate scientists and health professionals, we view the systematic manipulation and suppression of climate science for private benefit as confusing at best, and inhumane at worst”. Presumably this was an allusion to the forged strategy document, which said “Other contributions [to Heartland] will be pursued … from corporations whose interests are threatened by climate policies.” When it became clear that the strategy document was fake, the letter was revised to remove a claim of manipulation of science for profit.

  41. Alice and I went to a service at the Black Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem during the 2008 presidential race, primarily to listen to their renowned choir. Except for a tour group seated in the back, we were about the only non-blacks there. One of the deacons took special care of us and escorted us to good seats. The choir was wonderful, but the most interesting and entertaining part was the sermon, a significant portion of which was devoted to getting out the black vote for Obama. At one point in his exhortation, the minister directed his flock to: “Get everyone to vote! Obama needs all of us! Get your crack-head cousin (registered to vote), then get his sorry butt out of bed and make sure he do (vote).”

    In a racially mixed church, a minister promoting either a Republican or Democrat would certainly get complaints from the opposing side, but if there was a Republican member of this Harlem church, I doubt he or she ever let anyone know. Prohibitions of political activity by exempt organizations don’t work if it is considered acceptable by some, but not by others.

  42. Allan MacRae says:

    March 17, 2012 at 10:36 am

    “On corruption within the global warming movement” – a Hypothesis

    I think you are onto something. I have no scientific training, apart from what little rubbed off in high school. What made my BS spidey senses tingle was the hysterical reaction of the proponents of AGW or whatever they’re going to baptize it next to any questioning of their position. This is something I have often encountered in my professional life and usually meant that there was something fishy going on. Maybe we are missing an even bigger picture?

  43. johanna says:
    March 17, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Incidentally, if anyone has a link to the abovementioned interview, which I think was on 60 Minutes, or a transcript, I’d be grateful. I saw it, it certainly happened.

    Our crack research staff turned up these tidbits, johanna –

    (1) The transcript (from Wiki):

    In an interview with George Negus for the Australian TV program 60 minutes, the following exchange occurred [2]:
    Negus: Why do people stop us in the street almost and tell us that Margaret Thatcher isn’t just inflexible, she’s not just single-minded, on occasions she’t plain pig-headed and won’t be told by anybody?
    Thatcher: Would you tell me who has stopped you in the street and said that?
    Negus: Ordinary Britons…
    Thatcher: Where?
    Negus: In conversation, in pubs…
    Thatcher (interrupting): I thought you’d just come from Belize
    Negus: Oh this is not the first time we’ve been here.
    Thatcher: Will you tell me who, and where and when?
    Negus: Ordinary Britons in restaurants and cabs
    Thatcher: How many?
    Negus: …in cabs
    Thatcher: How many?
    Negus: I would say at least one in two
    Thatcher: Why won’t you tell me their names and who they are?

    (2) The video (the audio is really, really low, but it’s there):

    .

  44. Compare the minuscule budget of Heartland vs. all of the Big Green opponents and it makes you wonder…

    Then again, truth doesn’t need that much funding. Lies do. Apparently lies need billions while the truth needs a few million.

    So the “whistleblower to the IRS” + the FakeGate documents were meant to be the one-two punch against Heartland, to knock it out of the game. Why was Heartland considered Ground Zero in the climate wars? Were they really that effective? On such a small budget? I had barely heard of them (only tangentially) before FakeGate, despite having been a reader of WUWT for many years.

  45. John M says:
    March 17, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Joanna @ 11:55 AM

    Here it is.
    ————————————————————
    Thanks, that’s part of it. But as your other link shows, it was edited by the TV producers – the original went on for quite a bit longer.

    She made mincemeat of George Negus, who recently has been in the news for participating in trashing (in a joking way, of course!) on television a guy who won the Victoria Cross for extraordinary heroism in Afghanistan. It is the highest military honour that can be awarded in Australia, and the recipients in our entire history number in a few hundreds. The backlash against Negus and his co-panelists on the chat show that demeaned Ben Roberts-Smith by calling him stupid and sexually inadequate (only joking, ha-ha) was massive.

    If anyone discussing scientific or simply factual issues has to engage with so called journalists, extreme caution is the watchword. As Anthony has discovered, and as the examples we have been discussing illustrate, it is a game in which anyone who is not a reporter is just seen as cannon fodder. They couldn’t obliterate the Margaret Thatcher interview because she was the Prime Minister of the UK. If she had been Maggie Thatcher of Nowheresville, her trouncing of the journalist would never have seen the light of day.

  46. Here’s my theory on the problem with official climate science:

    Many people going through public schools are consciously and subliminally indoctrinated with the understanding that mankind is destroying the earth especially via technology (chemicals, energy production, etc.) When they graduate from their primary education (having their critical faculties suitably diminished) some of them will go into earth sciences so they can save their planet from the evils of corporate pollution.

    They enter their particular field of science with a firm premise that mankind is destroying their planet. Any evidence seeking they engage in is done solely for the purpose of verifying their initial premise.

  47. Allan MacRae says: “…When people openly discuss such offensive acts in their emails, one can be reasonably certain that there are even more repulsive practices that they only discuss among themselves by phone or in person, so as to leave no record of these odious conversations.

    I’ve read the Climategate papers, Allen. These wankers aren’t that bright.

  48. It is unfortunate, but true, that the IRS allows itself to be used for private score settling. There ought to be a law against it.

  49. “rw says:
    March 17, 2012 at 9:19 am

    This may be the beginning of a series of nuisance suits, the kind of strategy that drove Sarah Palin from office. A problem here is that with all these groups acting concurrently, they’re reinforcing each other. (There doesn’t have to be a master plan. In addition to being mutually reinforcing, this activity probably also serves to recruit others.)

    Basically, a heavy dose of negative reinforcement is called for. But that takes resources – and commitment.

    I think they’re getting hysterical, for more than ten years now the data, even massaged, hasn’t been fitting the narrative, and the gap is beginning to be plainly visible.

    Also I think this stuff just puts the general public against them. The truly gobsmacking thing from the Heartland kerfuffle was how tiny the sums were.

  50. “systematic manipulation and suppression of climate science”
    They have that right but aimed at the wrong side. Why do rational scientists across the world need FOI requests to test the CAGW data? Is it because the data has been subject to “systematic manipulation”?
    Own goal!

  51. Keep in mind that the guy Obama appointed to head the IRS [Timmy Geithner] was caught cheating on his taxes. Naturaly, being Obama’s pal he not only skated, he was rewarded for it. You can see his signature on the new U.S. currency.

  52. Mashey comments here, #774 (Deltoid).

    The history is over @ Deep Climate, posted a few days ago.
    My report was capped the day before and I’d written the IRS complaint, finishing about 10:30. Everything in mine was from public information. I regen’d the PDF to fix the date on the afternoon of the 14th, and wrote the blog post sitting in the jury-selection room. [Thanks goodness San Mateo provides WiFi and power strips.]
    If I had any idea that Peter was going to release this material, I would have begged him not to do it, or at the least, send it to the IRS as a whistleblower complaint indicating the specific alleged violations. That info and mine inter-corroborate rather well, and I’d created a framework for categorizing the issues.
    Everybody made a big deal of the strategy doc and the education angle. As I noted in Fakeducation, trying to do this was nothing new, so I ignored the strategy doc for the real meat in the Funding and Budget. [I used to be an Officer at MIPS, and am a 10-year Trustee at a nonprofit. So, I’ve been in a fair number of Board meetings and am used to looking at Board packages.
    The strategy document sure “feels” like something Bast could dash off, as its style is quite consistent with the voluminous materials I’d been looking at. … but then anyone familiar with that style could easily fake it, IF they had the Board package in hand. Anyway, I spent 60 seconds on it and then forget about it. See this @ DSB and see what you think. I’ve really never cared, because the Board package has the good stuff.

  53. DirkH says:
    March 17, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Sounds like USA == Greece… only that you still print your own currency.
    _______________________________________
    They are the same only the people in the USA are more naive.

  54. Maybe I’m naive, but seeing as we know where the funding for climate science comes from (government), isn’t there a principle of parity here, where it is right and just that we likewise know who is funding the critics? This is an ethical question, setting aside the legalities.

    Do we let the whole issue of who is funding what drop now? Or how can this line of enquiry only apply to one side?

  55. Hawkwood says:
    March 17, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Here’s my questions for these seven climate scientists who apparently all or most work for publicly funded agencies and universities. What gives you the right, given the taxpayers of the United States pay your salary, provide unparalleled job security, pensions, and in general pecuniary interests vis a vis funding to willingly,openly and viciously attack private citizens , groups and organizations with whom you do not agree? ….
    _____________________________________
    They are are would be masters and it shows in their arrogance and disdain for the “Average Joe” who some of them call The Great Unwashed

  56. If I am investigating the gleick affair there are several questions I want to ask John Mashey.

    Looking at his “document” it was clear that he was trying to trace money through various organizations including heartland. Gleick went on a phising expedition basically in search of information that mashey wanted.

    So, I want to know about all the contacts between Mashey and Gleick. Also, looking through the network of other connections between them I’m going to look for cut outs as well.. Like Mashey–>mandia–>Gleick. So, I’d go after his phone records, email records, logs of the google groups that he belongs to. Did he conspire with Gleick basically.

  57. am Grove says:
    March 17, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Here’s my theory on the problem with official climate science:

    Many people going through public schools are consciously and subliminally indoctrinated with the understanding that mankind is destroying the earth ….
    ___________________________________________

    You are absolutely correct. That is one of the reasons Heartland is targeted. They wanted to have SCIENCE not propaganda taught in school. Unlike those intent on Dumbing Down America

    In this article, No Teacher, but Every Textbook, Left Behind…..We have learned this, if nothing else, from the selective prosecution of Mr. Gossai: con a few people, and it’s a felony; con millions, and it’s educating the youth of America

  58. Who is this whistleblowing Dark Knight?

    John Mashey…

    And this is when I started laughing.

  59. barry says: @ March 17, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Maybe I’m naive, but seeing as we know where the funding for climate science comes from (government), isn’t there a principle of parity here, where it is right and just that we likewise know who is funding the critics? This is an ethical question, setting aside the legalities.

    Do we let the whole issue of who is funding what drop now? Or how can this line of enquiry only apply to one side?
    _________________________________
    Oh I agree Barry. I would love to see these people drug kicking and screaming into court and put on trial for the trillions of dollars that has been bilked from tax payers around the world.

    Unfortunately I have learned to my despair they OWN the police and the courts and therefore the laws only apply to us little guys. That is not only based on reading but on personal experience. You have to be really dumb and low on the totem pole to actually go to jail. You can have a prison record, steal a car, get caught red handed and get nothing but a couple months probation. Do you really think anything would actually happen to these guys?

  60. jorgekafkazar says: March 17, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Allan MacRae says: “…When people openly discuss such offensive acts in their emails, one can be reasonably certain that there are even more repulsive practices that they only discuss among themselves by phone or in person, so as to leave no record of these odious conversations.”

    I’ve read the Climategate papers, Allan. These wankers aren’t that bright.

    __________________

    Jorge, the evidence suggests that they are bright enough.

    To date, global warming is a trillion dollar scam. That is, a million million dollars of scarce global resources has been misappropriated, squandered on junk science, warmist scaremongering and worthless energy technologies from grid-connected wind and solar power to corn ethanol and similar food-to-fuel nonsense.

    All of these worthless energy technologies require huge life-of-project subsidies from the public purse to survive. This means that these technologies are utterly uneconomic. It also means that they will go bankrupt the minute these huge public subsidies cease.

    To summarize, a trillion dollars has been misappropriated, most of it squandered on uneconomic “green energy” schemes that go bankrupt the minute the global warming scam ends.

    So do not underestimate the scale of the scam, or the huge assets that the global warming fraudsters have to support them.

    And if the global warming fraudsters are indeed “not that bright”, just imagine where we’d be if they were.

  61. Edit note:
    This got lost is in the days following Fakegate, as WordPress sometime fails to notify me that Guest posts are in que queue,

  62. Expanded edit note:
    This got lost is in the days following Fakegate, as WordPress sometime sometimes fails to notify me that Guest posts are in que queue,

  63. And “Skeptical Science” is anything but skeptical or scientific.

    I’ve always understood the title to refer to the blog’s attack on skeptical science, not realizing that it’s the only kind there is.

  64. It is quite clear to me that Sierra, Greenpeace, WWF, Evnironmental Defence Fund, Suzuki, etc. are political organizations and NOT charities; they should have their charitable status removed. Surely a charity performs charitable acts, not agit-prop.

  65. If I were paranoid, I’d say these events are awfully convenient for all of these things to happen at the same time, with the same people and on the same blog. But I’m not very conspiratorially minded.

    These things are often coordinated between journalists of like mind. You see this in the climate gate emails.

  66. If I were paranoid, I’d say these events are awfully convenient for all of these things to happen at the same time, with the same people and on the same blog. But I’m not very conspiratorially minded.

    I invite you to consider the idea of “tacit conspiracy”.
    Actors are coordinated by their like interests into like behaviors.

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