FakeGate: It's What They Do

Guest Post by Chris Horner

I don’t know if you recall this, but, following FakeGate’s trajectory and the pretense in certain quarters that Gleick was operating somehow in a zone of exclusion for his movement — farcically absurd upon even a moment’s scrutiny of those other quarters — I was reminded of the reality that Greenpeace made a practice of taking peoples’ trash, on a regular (in my case, and the case of then-White House aide Phil Cooney, weekly) basis.

I first learned of it when they were shopping the offal-stained bits and pieces around the Washington press corps, then affirmed it later and had some fun with them. Washington Post, National Journal and Roll Call, to my knowledge, passed on the non-story, so Greenpeace got creative, and enlisted the help of David Adam, then with the Guardian. In Gleick-like style he mocked up a story around my trash, without calling me, cobbling together snippets from unrelated emails to tell a story they wanted to tell. Without quite telling the whole story, of course.

It’s how they roll.

And so with this experience I opened Red Hot Lies, whose full title surely resonates: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud and Deception to Keep You Misinformed.

Greenpeace Steals My Trash

It was spring. Young men’s hearts turned to fancy. And Greenpeace started stealing my trash.

I noticed that my garbage was getting collected much more efficiently than normal—and at about midnight. I also noticed that soon, private memos of mine were showing up in the media, revealing a secret cabal I orchestrated from my basement. At least, that’s how London’s left-wing Guardian wrote the story, cobbled together from unrelated, offal-smeared notes plucked from my refuse and promptly handed over to them. If I ever questioned the hippies’ dedication to their cause, no more: in those summer months of mystery trash disappearance I had rededicated myself to strict obeisance of local requirements to collect the weekly out- put of my two large breed dogs.

“You too!?” howled the amused wife of a White House aide when we realized we were experiencing the same, selectively hyper-efficient, midnight garbage service. Apparently Greenpeace was just certain that her husband, who in fact hardly spoke to me, was part of my cabal.

Soon, European Greenpeace franchises were issuing press releases in German about who had lunch with me in Brussels, and spinning phony tales to Spanish newspapers of secret meetings I supposedly had with pretty much anyone they found problematic.

I had arrived. If they would spend so much energy to beat me up, I must be important, right?

But I soon learned from others that this is standard operating procedure for the global warming industry—and they often do much worse things. They have ruined careers, blacklisted scientists, knowingly spread lies about dissenters, called for the imprisonment of skeptics, and used government pressure to cut off rivals’ funding. One associate has had the lug nuts on his tires secretly loosened when his rejection of climate orthodoxy became public.

Which got me thinking: shouldn’t the public know about this? Are these tactics consistent with the environmentalists’ image as philanthropic, self-sacrificing, earth-lovers? Doesn’t their desperation reflect a fundamental weakness in the truth of their arguments and the soundness of their proposals? Wouldn’t the media expose such tactics by the other side?

Isn’t it relevant to the debate about global warming—what to do about global warming—that the alarmist side engages in this systematic campaign consisting of intimidation and threats, wheels falling off cars, abuses being inflicted on schoolchildren, demands of censorship, revising history, and telling flat-out lies?

Well, yes. People should know. And now they will.


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I really gleick the direction this thread is going.



Ken Hall

The most interesting thing about this fakegate deception by these frustrated alarmists is that they are now blatantly using lies and deception as a weapon in what they are now calling an information war. I do not care for that sort of inflammatory language.
I say, let them use all the lies and deceptions and frauds they like, for I would far rather have the truth on my side in this, or any, debate, and for me, Gleick’s behaviour, and particularly, the left wing media’s reaction to it, tells me all I need to know about who is correct in this debate. For them to raise him up to heroic Martyr status, for his deception and fraud, clearly illustrates their side’s opinion on the value of honesty or truth.
Simply put, if you are telling the truth, you do not need to use fake documents and revert to deception to win the debate.
If you have to lie to justify your argument, then your argument is not a just one.
This whole sorry episode is the equivalent of the alarmist’s conceding defeat in a childish and most unsporting, despicable manner. It is just a shame that they do not understand that.

Third Party

You know what they say about Climate models – GIGO.

Ideology functions as a tripartite tale, a narrative rationale with which the utopians impose their Visions of Salvation upon us.
It was LSE political scientist Kenneth minogue who has done most to theorize this insight: Leftists repackage Christian salvation ethic like this: if you want to get into Heaven, since sin exiles you, then you must get there indirectly by Confession (or Good Works in the protestant catechism). Ask for redemption of your sins one way of the other. otherwise, your eternal soul will be lost to damnation!
Likewise in classical Marxism: the Great communist utopian future is blocked by the evil Capitalists. The only path to liberation is through worker (proletarian) solidarity to depose them! This explains our ongoing immiseration.
Similarly, the Green Utopia is blocked by a conspiracy of the Rich Capitalists. Only those enlightened by the necessity of Direct Action are doing the altruistic Holy work we won’t do ourselves.
This explains why the LA Times editorializes against the “anti-science” Heartland Institute, condemned of the Big Lie – ie, AGW is a controversial theory – that’s only comparable to Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.
Thus, a theory of demonology substitutes for facts – agenda driving “necessity” displaces close correspondence with reality. The unhinged aren’t unethical – they are only Angels taking up license to do the necessary dirty work in our own Best Interests.
And so to Daily Kos, to De Smog blog, and others, Gleick is a HERO!
When the say Gleick is only using the Tools that the Mother Earth Rapists are already using against you and the our Mother, they really mean it: this only enobles Gleick’s cause.
WUWT readers, meet the enemy: utopian ideology which drives the Green cause-heads insane.

It can get much worse. Though this is not Greenpeace (should they even have the word “peace” in their name anymore?) here is an example of just how far these far left wing groups will go. With the advent of the canonization of Gleick by the most rabid alarmists, and the declarations that he was justified because “we are at war with the deniers”, it demonstrates that, if their public image continues to deteriorate in the public eye, this is where the Climatistas are headed!

P Walker

Mr. Horner ,
I read your book shortly after it was published . While I had been suspicious of the whole global warming thing for years , Red Hot Lies really opened my eyes . I had had no idea what these people were up to and how far they would go . Nor had I had any inkling of how close they were to reaching their goals . In my opinion , you are one of the heros in the the the continuing battle against psuedoscience , misinformation and outright fraud . In addition , your work has led me to investigate a number of topics that I had assumed to be mere paranoid fantasies only to discover that they were indeed true . I thank you sir , not just for your book , but for pointing me to WUWT .

Bob Zenor

It isn’t really out of character. Their entire cause is based on fraud and manufacturing evidence.


I think you over estimate the public. And you under estimate the stranglehold AGW has on the press.
Gleick is a non story.


Video, apparently a month ago, Peter Gleick.
He talks about pretty much everything we later find in the forged memo.

Give the poor boy some hits.


I saw one ridiculous comparison of Gleik to a “whistleblower”.
Waht arrogant and insulting nonsense.
Whistleblowers are courageous people who expose criminal misdeeds of organisations they usually work for despite personal risk – both physical and economic – to the appropriate authorities in the public interest.
Gleik is a self confessed fraudster theif who deliberately spread misinformation, none of which can pass the “public interest” test to support his biased views on “science” and to belittle his opponents.
I see nothing moral or courageous in this fiasco, and, given that he has been caught, nothing even demonstrating intelligence.


Wish I could spell !

Mike McMillan

I would think that having someone going through your garbage would be a great opportunity to do legally what Peter Gleick was attempting. With a little imagination you could plant a lot of misinformation and get it published in the Guardian. Perhaps a bunch of email printouts describing our successful hacking into the HadCRUT database to make it appear that there was no statistically significant warming since 1998.
Too bad our side is so ethical.

david moon

Mr. Horner- I basically agree with you, but your writing style ties me up in knots. Try diagramming one of your sentences some time.
“the pretense in certain quarters that Gleick was operating somehow in a zone of exclusion for his movement — farcically absurd upon even a moment’s scrutiny of those other quarters…” What are you talking about- the characterization as a “whistleblower”?

Mr Horner; might I suggest a shredder for all unwanted receipts / paperwork? Add to that your dogs ‘leavings’ and the resultant melange should keep the Greenpeace trash sorters entertained piecing things together for weeks.


Mike McMillan says:
February 21, 2012 at 3:53 pm
“With a little imagination you could plant a lot of misinformation and get it published in the Guardian. ”
But they already do misinformation so what would be the difference?
The only application I would see is a pump-and-dump scheme but then, no investor would believe the Grauniad.


If someone were going through my garbage regularly trying to misuse information, I’d quickly find a way to insert tracking devices into folders and pay a PI to follow them with cameras.
There’s nothing quite like sunshine.

Chris….. keep up the heat. This is, indeed, “how they roll”. They aren’t confined by the common understanding of morality, because they are misanthropists. Morality and common social mores is how we function as a society. Given their misanthropy, anything which works towards the common good of humanity must be evil. This includes morality and common social mores.


Rosco says:
February 21, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Wish I could spell !

Google Chrome can do it for you although it can’t protect you from rendering “its” as it’s. or any other homophone error.


Gleick was a whistle blower? Did he work for Heartland? That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

Frank K.

“But I soon learned from others that this is standard operating procedure for the global warming industry—and they often do much worse things. They have ruined careers, blacklisted scientists, knowingly spread lies about dissenters, called for the imprisonment of skeptics, and used government pressure to cut off rivals’ funding. One associate has had the lug nuts on his tires secretly loosened when his rejection of climate orthodoxy became public.”
While this is shocking, it doesn’t surprise me given what we know from the climategate e-mails.
We can stop this madness in November…


[snip – wayyy off topic and ugly – no place for that here – Anthony]

Bill Illis

We are clearly fighting an uphill battle.
But then, it should not be a battle. Science is not supposed to be a battle. It is supposed to be a dispassionate pursuit of the facts by all those involved.

Gerry Parker

If I post my address, will Greenpeas come and take out my trash too?


Greenpeace, the only greens that wont leave people in peace.
You do know why most of the people join green shirts? It’s because they want to be like the anti-democratic violent anti-fascist crowd and the ever violent communist jugend patrols but they’re too much of the pansies to assault people who dare to fight back–that’s why they go after poor democratic Japanese fishermen and not Russian s*ck-on-my-torpedo-whalers.
Greenpeace thinks they’re anonymous but they’re not, they’re just standing on the shoulders of the glory of a sunken ship. And for all their green in Greenpeace it’s kind of ironic that it have taken them so long to actually make one of their ships go running “green”, what with Greenpeace Energy and all them other evil “energy” companies who finance them indirectly by persons “unknown”.
If I were to get back at them, for stealing my trash (which is illegal to do from private property in my country), by looking at their digital trash, all legal like, I would consider getting a couple of prepaid 3G capable phones or modems and a couple of proxy services. Then get online onto their forums, all inconspicuous bastardly like. Now to be really included into their community I would think, and to not rouse any suspicion when digging around in sticky digital trash, that to behave like a semi-moderate version of themselves would probably work quite well. And they, apparently, think the legality of online anonymity in EU is bad. :p


Eco Fascist is the proper term for them.

This is why good quality paper shredders are a must for people who are news makers.

Robert in Calgary

Overall, this “event” shouldn’t be a surprise.
For years now, these fanatics have routinely set aside their ethics and morals to advance, the cause, the agenda, the ideology.

Jack Greer

[snip. Calling others ‘deniers’ gets your comment deleted. ~dbs, mod.]


You could have a lot of fun with them if you knew they were sorting your trash. Invent a fake narrative featuring the CIA, Illuminati, aliens, Greenpeace even!

I have, for many years, not just torn into small pieces any papers with names, places, events, addresses, sales dockets, etc before disposing of them in the recycling bin. For about 3 years, I shred them; even the addressed junk mail. I pad out the shredded documents with other shredded papers of no consequence.
Those with time and imagination can enhance the Greenpeace trash experience through an invention of a circle of friends, events, meetings, conversations, etc. and “injudiciously” dispose of the printed “emails”, etc in the trash, perhaps just torn in half instead of shredding. 🙂 As the trash harvesters are willing to believe anything that fits their pre-conceptions, it’s not important that the fiction fit the reality with great precision.

This is not an isolated incident. When a few of us were gathering signatures a few years ago to petition the American Physical Society (APS) to moderate its Statement on Climate Change, an individual signed up after testifying in print that he was a former memeber of the APS. It turned out that this individual was a realclimate operative whose real purpose was to misrepresent himself so that he could disclose his fake “enrollment’ on his blog, and thus try to discredit our effort. He had no background in physics, much less a former member of the APS.
In the modern vernacular, these people are severely “morally challenged.” The goal has been and continues to be the silencing of opposition to their dogma. Those who say “a pox on both your houses” need to look more closely.


chris, i was fortunate to sit with you at the nyc heartland meeting (where Klaus was the keynote). i remember relaying to you the fact that even tho i had finished red hot lies months earlier i had continued to bring it while traveling . kind of like brandishing my weapon if you will! it worked well.

Steve Mc

I can’t help but think there is more to this. A person doesn’t just come out and say “I did it” so early.
I have a couple of thoughts.
He is sacrificing himself for a group of people or does not want something discovered in the process of trying to find out ‘who done it’
He or a group have devised a way to get lawful discovery in the courts for HI documents and he would be sacrificing himself for the cause.
Think outside the box, because he giving himself away so quickly does not seem right to me.

[snip. d-word violation. ~dbs, mod.]

Head Hunter

What is a d-word violation? Disneyland? There was nothing offensive in that post. Un-snip it.
[Reply: The decision is final. Read the site Policy page. ~dbs, mod.]

While evaluating the deception involved in positing binary thinking to chaotic situations, you might have another look at the elephant in the room. “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” : does that sound like scientific research to you ?
Meanwhile the UN pushes Carbon Credits : which I uncharitably categorize as “An International Tax on the Use of Fire.”
They are chaotic collections of dissent. What could be more normal for opinionated people pushing various scenarios….Situation Normal for true scientific inquiry. And the idea that the brainwashed are the only ones competent to have an opinion has gone to the extreme that the only other group charged with futurecasting – meteorologists/weathermen – are to be coached on their responsibility not to mislead the public. Their methodologies and programs are different.
ROFLMAO Where is the evidence so called ‘climate scientists’ know whether they are punched or bored ? Got a lot of temperature readings from the future lately ?

Head Hunter

Ah, I didn’t know that word is a dirty word here. Sorry. Thanks for pointing it out. I will avoid it.
It does not change the fact that Gleick deserves a medal for his tenaciousness and mendacity. Something along the lines of the way that children say “thank you” for the 1000 mile trip to the Magic Kingdom seems appropriate to me.


Are these tactics consistent with the environmentalists’ image as philanthropic, self-sacrificing, earth-lovers?
No it’s not, but it is consistent with fundamentalists in the Religion of Environmentalism. Fundamentalists of all types are dangerous.


Since Dr. Gleick specialized in hydrology and was on a ‘water and technology’ board, maybe this should be called ‘WATERgate’.
What? That one’s already been taken?

What I love about science is the moment of “Aha!” when two distinct observations become joined in a unifying hypothesis that explains so much more.
Take tonight’s article about “It’s What They Do…”: Activists from Greenpeace, WWF and other groups going through your garbage to find who-knows-what.
Join that with an observation on 2/16 from northernont in “Anatomy of a Smear” on WUWT.

I keep hearing of groups like Greenpeace, WWF etc receiving large donations from the likes of large corporations like Exxon and Goldman Sachs to name a few. … Why would large Oil companies and Finance institutions donate to an advocacy group whose core principles are anti-corporate. Is it to use these organizations as hitmen to advance the cause of some particular industry or concern over their competitors. This could be the case and there seems to be evidence suggesting this, or is it something else, more nefarious and disturbing. Is it hush or protection money, paid by these corporations to keep the spotlight off them, lest these advocacy groups sick the dogs of war on them. Shakedown rackets like the Mafia of old.

Corporations do not decide to donate to organizations. People who manage corporations make these decisions. People, mostly like you and me, who put their trash out for pickup.
What harm can a “non-profit” do to Exxon that it won’t do with or without receiving a grant? On the other hand, think of the difficulties that could befall a manager whose trash one day winds up in the wrong hands.
It’s just a hypothesis, but for me it adds a little clarity to the world.

Looks like Gleick loosened his own mental lugnuts. The wheels fell off his brain, IAC.


As I have said all along, better a denier than a liar. We have known all along.

Meanwhile, behind Mann at PSU is Prof Donald Brown, the climate ethics crusader who publishes his distortions on PSU letterhead designed to intimidate anyone debating this issue, by raising ethics questions and the possibility of crimes against humanity charges. This has nothing to do with science, but radical arrogant control freaks trying to mold society into their utopian image. Their game is over, the PDO has changed, the cooling as begun and their desperation is showing. Desperate people can be dangerous, and they are starting to show that

Insufficiently Sensitive

It does not change the fact that Gleick deserves a medal for his tenaciousness and mendacity.
After he dons the Mendacity Medal for all to see, what reason has anyone to believe him?


I don’t find that extrapolating from one case as particularly tasteful or wise, and I think this does more against your case in an ethos case than any logos could do (which is entirely lacking in this post). It’s unfortunate if all that is left in this debate is stereotyping.

Dr Burns

Your book claims “Did you know that most scientists are global warming skeptics?”
What is the basis for this statement ?
Can you point us at a survey to substantiate this claim ?

Steve Koch

The root cause of this fraud is that academia and science have been corrupted and hyper-politicized by the left. Once scientists and academics use their scientific or academic disciplines mostly as vehicles to advance their politics, there is little to prevent this sort of fraud. Many (most?) lefty climate scientists and greens will applaud Gleick’s transgressions because, for them, the ends justifies the means.
Ideally, we need to depoliticize academia and science. If this is impossible, then there must be a balance of power between left and right science and academia. What is sad is that ClimateGate did not trigger the intense self examination by scientists and academics to recognize how politicized science and academia have become and to do something about it. They are going to need societal help and pressure to mend their ways.

Head Hunter

After he dons the Mendacity Medal for all to see, what reason has anyone to believe him?
The point of the medal is to be seen of men, not heard. That is a satisfactory reward in and of itself.
Do medals now speak words? Why should I believe them when they talk? I would rather hear you speak, unless you are a zombie. Zombies should be silent.

I wish I could comment objectively, as I don’t really know the details of what’s going on, but I cannot pardon lying at the corporate/organizational level. People look up to those corporations and organizations and follow their lead. I know this is slightly off-topic, but look at Disney. They set this amazing standard when it came to roller coasters, and now people try their hardest to copy that. Anyway, an organization that does something like this is only going to hurt themselves once someone (like Mr. Horner) fights back.
First, they give their organization a general bad name. Whether or not their information concerning global warning is true, there are some within the organization that are there to do genuine good. Not every person in Greenpeace stays up until midnight to out every opponent, the same as not every Muslim is running after us with a bomb strapped to their chest. But like the suicide bombers, these actions will make the public generalize it and blame the whole of Greenpeace rather than the specific individuals who are being asses.
Second, they bring their data concerning global warming into question. When they twist the facts of others for their personal benefit, whose to say that they don’t twist the facts of science for the same reasons. Even if it might be true, they are doing their cause a huge disservice by lowering their credibility. When you steal, people will think you’re a thief. When you lie, people will think you have something to hide.
All in all, Mr. Horner has set off a chain of events that could possibly bring the whole organization down to its knees, destroying everything they’ve already built upon what we can only hope was not lies to begin with.