Well, the DeSmog Blog “coup” is going down, oh the humanity.
There’s a scathing second writeup at The Atlantic by Megan McArdle (as if the first wasn’t enough) that takes the DeSmoggers to task. Note to Hoggan and crew – when you can’t even get a left leaning news outlet to back you up, even in the slightest, you’ve lost the battle.
This is a must read: Heartland Memo Looking Faker By the Minute
I appreciate this quote from her article:
The high probability that the memo is fake makes this response from Desmogblog, one of the first places to post the memos, all the more disappointing:
The DeSmogBlog has no evidence supporting Heartland’s claim that the Strategic document is fake. A close review of the content shows that it is overwhelmingly accurate (“almost too accurate” for one analyst), and while critics have said that it is “too short” or is distinguished by “an overuse of commas,” even the skeptics at weatherguy Anthony Watts’s WUWT say that a technical analysis of the metadata on the documents in question does not offer sufficient information to come to a firm conclusion either way.But in the tradition of the famous, and famously controversial “hockey stick graph,” the challenge to the single document has afforded the DeSmogBlog’s critics – and Heartland’s supporters – something comfortable to obsess about while they avoid answering questions raised by the other documents.
The first two links are to my post, and they are an egregious misrepresentation of what I said.
Dismissing the possibility of fakery–and the obvious questions about who might have perpetrated it–does not help us focus on the “real issues”. I’m afraid “Fake but accurate” just won’t do. Nor will trying to shift the burden of proof to the people who are pointing out solid reasons for concern. Instead, the stubborn willingness to ignore obvious problems becomes the story–something that Dan Rather learned to his dismay in 2004.
Moreover, the fact is that this document does not merely confirm facts found in other sources. It substantially recasts those facts, in the case of the Koch donation. And in the selection of facts it presents, and the spin it puts on them, it alters the reporting.
The climate blogs presumably relied so heavily on the memo because the quotes were punchier, and suggested far darker motivations than the blandly professional language of the authenticated documents–and because it edited the facts into a neat, almost narrative story.
In the first 24 hours, I saw a lot of comments along the line of “See! They’re really just as amoral and dangerous as we thought they were!” based on a memo which I now believe to have been written by someone who, well, thinks that AGW skeptics are amoral and dangerous. (And judging from his update to the original document dump, Littlemore’s fellow blogger, Brandon Demelle, is also unsure of the memo’s “facts”.)
Crash and burn for DeSmog.
Meanwhile, over at The American Spectator, Ross Kaminsky has this:
The Heartland Institute is in contact with law enforcement officials, which may have the perpetrator feeling a little nervous.
One obvious suspect in the Heartland document theft — and this is just my speculation — is Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security and a true enemy of the Heartland Institute. Gleick is a committed alarmist rent-seeker who seems quite bitter that he shares Forbes magazine’s pages with Heartland’s James Taylor.
The document which the alarmists have been trying to make the most of is called “Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy.” It appears to be of a similar nature to the forged “Rathergate” documents which ended Dan Rather’s long career promoting leftist views disguised as news.
First, the Heartland document is written in a way which makes it appear unlikely to be genuine. As a commenter on a Forbes.com article about this mini-scandal notes, “It uses the term ‘anti-climate’ to refer to Heartland’s own position — a derogatory term which climate skeptic outfits never use to describe their positions (and…) it is written in the first person, yet there’s no indication of who wrote it. (Have you ever seen a memo like that?)”
Interestingly, Gleick, who would normally be preening and prancing in glee at this sort of attention to the Heartland Institute has so far been utterly silent at his Forbes blog and on his Twitter feed.
Full story here.
(Added)There are two other discussions of interest in the “whodunnit” category. Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. has a spirited discussion going on (love his movie graphic), as does Lucia’s Blackboard. Pielke Jr. has flat out asked Dr. Gleick in an email if he was involved, and so have I. I have received no response since my email this morning, and to my knowledge neither has Pielke Jr. For once, not a sound out of WaterWorld by the bay.
In Australia, The Age has this political cartoon about Dr. Bob Carter, also named in the emails along with me:
We live in interesting times. Popcorn futures are off the charts.