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.
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.
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.