Quote of the week

I’ve seen lots of quotes this week, many surrounding the Gleick Fakegate affair.

This one stands out.

From John Horgan at Scientific American who asks:

Should Global-Warming Activists Lie to Defend Their Cause?

He writes:

I’ll give the last word to one of my students. The Gleick incident, he said, shows that the “debate” over global warming is not really a debate any more. It’s a war, and when people are waging war, they always lie for their cause.


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Jenn Oates

Once you lie, it’s no longer science.
Yeah, that bridge was crossed many lies ago.

Chris B

Should n’t they be asking when will it be appropriate to stop lying, rather than stop lying?
I thought Kant gave us the categorical imperative, in which no lie is justified.
Ain’t it all about rationalization?

Chris B

Ooops, correction.
Should n’t they be asking when will it be appropriate to stop lying, rather than start lying?
I thought Kant gave us the categorical imperative, in which no lie is justified.
Ain’t it all about rationalization?


It sounds more like religion to me

Al Gored

Beautiful. They are admitting that they have always been lying. Finally.


Reason # 1001 that this former subscriber only reads Sci Am free at the library. Sad.
Science News (I subscribe) is pretty bad on AGW but less strident and less overtly agenda political in other areas.

A war? Yes, it is a war. It is a war because the alarmist side has always refused to debate or look at real data. There is hardly any “official” data set left that has not been “adjusted” and even so — they are unwilling to honest debate.
As someone said about a related matter — and yet they still move.


Have there not been lies for years? Homogenized weather records, hide the decline, hide the middle age warming and the roman warming, hide the historical temp. records for New Zealand, hide the rainfall records for Australia,bury temp. records for over 20,000 stations, Antarctic ice sheet measures, etc. The list never stops.


Oh what a tangled web…


That tactic is called throwing “stuff” at the fan.
Since they soiled themselves, the only way out is to throw the “stuff” at the fan so everybody looks as dirty as they are looking right now.

A doctrine insulates the devout not only against the realities around them but also against their own selves. The fanatical believer is not conscious of his envy, malice, pettiness and dishonesty. There is a wall of words between his consciousness and his real self.
— Eric Hoffer, The True Believer (1951)


But it isn’t a war. War is the thing where people kill one another. Lying, fraud, and deception are all common in debates. Really, calling it war just maybe be justified on literary grounds, but not to explain motives. His first words were probably more interesting than his last ones.

Gary Hladik

Translation: “We can’t win on the science, so we’re abandoning all pretense and going 100% political.”
This is old news, of course, but it’s nice to see somebody admit it.


Anyone know if Gleick had a cat?
….I mean that could explain it…………….. 😉
Effects of Toxoplasma on Human Behavior


The truly sad thing here is that Gleick was so misdirected in his efforts that he (in J. Curry’s words) committed professional seppuku for virtually nothing. Heartland would have been happy to explain, as Mr. Bast’s note to Judith Curry shows, everything that Heartland is doing. If Gleick had gone to the meeting and dinner, and provided his soft shoe shuffle as entertainment, he probably would have gotten a lot more information than he did with his bungling and amateurish efforts at identify theft and wire fraud. Heck, he could have met a bunch of donors in person…
The Heartland documents prove that Heartland is doing exactly what it says it is – and on a shoestring budget, compared to its peers in the CAGW industry. If the best big oil can do is throw an occasional $15k at them, I don’t see what the issue is. Heck the EPA is funding Gleick’s pet project out in California to the tune of hundreds of thousands annually.
Also interesting that Gleick is better paid than “big oil-backed” Bast:
Gleick: $152,514
Bast: $145,135.
(And that for an officially shorter work week: check out the respective 990 forms for 2010: here’s the link to PI’s: http://www.pacinst.org/about_us/financial_information/Pacific_Institute_990_tax_10.pdf; we should all alredy have HI’s from Mr. Gleick’s little undercover endeavours…)
Truly, a moronic undertaking. When looking for a picture for the definition of “own goal”, Mr. Gleick has to qualify as a top candidate.

Yeah! I was once a subscriber of Scientific American, many many lies ago.

Mac the Knife

War……. that’s just about right.
We didn’t pick this fight, but now it’s a fight worth having…and winning!
But what are we fighting for?
Honesty. Full Disclosure. Adherence to the fundamentals of The Scientific Method.
Freedom from the soft tyranny of Climatology non-science politics, regulations, and waste.
An end to the obscene funding levels for an unproven non-science hypothesis, certainly.
Most importantly, we fight for the minds of the next generation of questioning and skeptical Citizens.
AGW War: What is it good for? Absolutely Nothing! That’s why it must be defeated.

“They all lie” is simply incorrect. That’s not what happened here.
“They all use nasty tactics” would be a correct description, and is perfectly appropriate in a war.
‘Mr FOIA’ didn’t lie at all. He exposed the other side’s LIES by using improper and possibly illegal tactics.
Gleick lied. He used improper and possibly illegal tactics to expose the other side’s ORDINARY AND HONEST behavior, then realized that he wouldn’t get anywhere by exposing ordinary and honest behavior, so he added a complete lie to make the other side look bad.
When you have truth on your side you don’t have to lie, but you may have to get nasty in order to stay in the game.


Besides this superstitious tabloid, ironically calling itself “Scientific American”, there has been a similar quote in the other German controlled outlet called “Nature”.
I can’t see an analogy with a “war”, when all misconduct and tricks happen only on one side.
But such qutoes are helpful to understand the roles and motivations of these journals in the proliferation of the Hockey Sticks and similar bad science and why they still haven’t removed false papers of this sort from their archives.


From John Horgan at Scientific American who asks:
Should Global-Warming Activists Lie to Defend Their Cause?
He writes:
I’ll give the last word to one of my students. The Gleick incident, he said, shows that the “debate” over global warming is not really a debate any more. It’s a war, and when people are waging war, they always lie for their cause.
1) So, you have a student that you agree with.
2) Your appeal to authority, is said student.
3) You have no conception of science, “lies” do not withstand the rigors of experimentation.
4) “wars” have always been waged in science, the theory that best describes the experimental results generally gets a grudging acknowledgement from the participants, who then retreat to their respective trenches to plan a new assault on the theory.
Get used to it.

Lying is the stock and trade of the faithful not the thoughtful. Chris, Kant did give us that and he based much of his work on the ancient Greeks. The ethics related to lying are clear and unequivocal. It is not permitted. This and other incidents illustrate the both the nonscientific nature of lying and the old political saw, “the end justifies the means”, to which I always add maybe. I have never been able to find any philosophical defense of that statement. Science is an amoral enterprise, the associated ethical writings related to science seem to be quiet clear only the truth is acceptable. False statements and data are simply not permitted.

Alan Wilkinson

Yes, it’s the only defence remaining for their deluded cause. They have already fooled themselves so why not everyone else? Of course the consequence is no-one will believe anything they say any more so their strategy is as deluded as their cause.


Notice that it is implied that “skeptics” are liars also.

John Hogan is wrong when he says “…will probably just confirm their suspicions about environmentalists. ” because I am an environmentalists who does not believe in CAGW (or AGW). The so called environmentalists are socialists hiding behind an environmental mask. Just ask one of the founders of Greenpeace.
I believe, with science backing me up, that more CO2 will make for a better planet for all living things.

Eric in NC

So, John Horgan states Gleik’s lie was “morally right, but strategically wrong.”
One wonders when Horgan would think it would be strategically right to lie?
Anything for the cause!
Along with Per Strandberg, I used to read that rag.

Matt G

They have been lying over many years and the only way to cover a lie (like a teenager) is to lie again. A group can lie the odd time and it may not be noticed at first, but when it becomes often and constant, there is no escape. No wonder the public have little/no trust in such a group of charlatans. Even the least complex sciences look like rocket science to these. Misinformation, data changing, personal attacks, cherry picking and avoiding reality, are all part of the continuation of desperation and lack of any scientific substance.
The simple fact that nuclear plants can remove this worry of CO2 completely (even if it existed) in just a few years with all this money being spent on a major building programme, just highlights what a scam it has been. The objection against nuclear plants is not for the concern on global climate, but the concern of the scam ending.

Jimmy Haigh

They are fighting for their livelihoods, careers, reputations,…
so of course they are in a war. All’s fair…

West Houston Geo

I bid “AMF” to SciAm a while back, after 25 years – for just such attitude. The tone of the article is to justify lies for a noble cause. Alas, neither the lies nor the cause are even remotely noble.
I got a call about a year ago from SciAm “welcoming” me “back into the family” with some discount. I told ’em I wouldn’t be joining their family or any other cult and kindly keep your glossy fish-wrap out of my mailbox.

Luther Wu

Robert Burns’ poem “To A Louse” said it best:
O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!

Mr. John Horgan- you just publicly stated that you believe that it’s acceptable to use fraud and deceit, if necessary to advance your cause..
. When trying to influence others, you resort to telling lies, by your own admission- n’est ce pas?
In other words, nothing you say can be believed.
Your ethos is no different than that ascribed to by every thief and tyrant and liar which the world has ever known and you are teaching such caliginous integrity to others.
For certain, Mr. Horgan, Robert Burns had you in mind -“To A Louse” is all too apropos.

a jones

The wise words department.
Nearly four hundred years ago the English fought a bitter civil war which ended up with King Charles losing his head.
The English then decided they did not like the Puritans, the victors, very much either but being a stoic, unimaginative and pragmatic lot the best they could do, once the opportunity served, was to get a new king, Charles 11: on terms.
Nevertheless the intellectual drive that lost a King his head spread around the world and is after all the very foundation of the USA and its constitution. The French revolution, one hundred and fifty years later, which is much celebrated even now, was a pale imitation by comparison. As for Marxism and other puritanical ideas of some ideal government, well they all came to nought in the end.
Not that people are not trying to revive these authoritarian ideas under different names. Greenery and the like.
But the best summary of all about the English civil war was made by an obscure colonel on the royalist, the losing, side.
He observed ‘ We had a war and now it is ended nobody can tell what it was all about ‘
Kindest Regards

You can add Physics Today to the list of apologists. The latest issue contains quotes by the members of the A team about the harassing of the elite members with nasty statements about them. I guess they can dish it out but can’t take the heat. Horgan make one got point. The chasm between warming proponents and denying proponents is widening. Gleich’s dishonest activities was instrumental making chasm deeper. Gleich perpetrated the ultimate form of harassment, identity theft.


The question doesn’t say “scientists”, it says “activists”.
When haven’t they lied for their cause? Any cause.

Keith Pearson, formerly knolwn as bikermailman

Read through the comments over there to be stunned and amazed. If you’ve never wandered into their swamps that is. The arguments made in justification of theft, lies, and plain bad science are horrifying. The mentality is the exact same as we’re seeing with society at large. Lie, subvert the rule of law (or science), and de-humanize the opposition. Bad things lie down that road.

This quote is very sad.
I loved Joe Bast Memo to Dr. Judith Curry. He lays out an honest, aggressive action plan. No lies, no underhanded actions. Instead conferences, publications, personal contacts with decision makers and lots of speaking dates. And they have constantly invited debate.


On the Judith Curry update ‘oh the ironing’
A you must be pressed for time😄


I have heard much out there lately that what Dr Gleik has done has “hurt the cause of climate science.” Since when has climate science… or any other science for that matter, been a “cause?” Isn’t that a little like saying you’ve hurt the cause of chemistry?
OK… I know it’s pollyannish to think this way, but I do long for the days when science was an investigation, and not a crusade.

“I thought Kant gave us the categorical imperative, in which no lie is justified.”
If Kant said that he was wrong. In My Humble Opinion. 8). (I’ve not read Kant… yet). I’d lie my ass off if someone came to my house with a gun saying he wanted to murder someone and then asked me where they were (Yes Yes I know that’s a rare lifeboat scenario, but at that point when aggression enters the equation, your obligation to ethics is not the same, that’s why violence against an aggressor can be legitimate, but you couldn’t (or shouldn’t) justify aggression against a random person in the street). I really must get round to reading him I’d be fascinated to see his argument for that, if that’s what he said.
There is however the ever present danger of lying to yourself. Which is always the first lie, and the worst one, because then you can justify almost anything. A lesson I hope for Gleick’s sake he is learning now. From his writings there are signs that this may be dawning on him. Good for him, and I hope he uses this opportunity to grow as a person.

Werner Brozek

Ever since the fecal matter hit the rotary oscillator, it has been flying in all directions with no end in sight.

Re: “when people are waging war, they always lie for their cause.”
Not always.
Jesus taught:

Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.

The highest standard is to only tell the truth. Jesus chose to remain silent rather than lie, until required to answer under oath.

No, Mr Horgan. The war is about truth. Our side’s cause itself is truth. Therefore, the means involve truth.
One of the finest statements about truth that I’ve found is that of Albus Dumbledore to Harry, at the end of the first book. The goal, and the spirit of the endeavour, is truth… but sometimes the whole truth cannot be told, and on rare occasions lies may have a place, but only after careful consideration that there is no other way to fight for truth… and of course, “careful consideration” is itself a truth-seeking mission, and an ongoing one.


If I belonged to a group of people that thought the HI was actively plotting and conniving to destroy the world, then lying would be the least of what I would be prepared to do. Would it have been ethical to lie to and practise identity theft against the Nazi’s, who, while nasty, were not actually bent on world destruction? I suggest yes.
The problem is that there are a large group of people with fanatical political beliefs that benefited from a fortunate swing in the climate to push their views, and as the swing reverses, will become rather challenged.


So while the skeptics are looking for the truth, the warmists themselves are bringing up the issue of lying. And who has been caught in the web of lies? The warmists. Now that its in the open, they feel that they have to justify their lying.

Actually, I call to mind a quote of William Donovan (head of the OSS during WWII) that “The first rule of propaganda is: Never tell a lie.” Being found demonstrably false in anything you say negates everything you say. So this “student” has quite a bit more learning to do.


Does any man doubt, that if there were taken out of men’s minds, vain opinions, flattering hopes, false valuations, imaginations as one would, and the like, that it would leave the minds of a number of men poor shrunken things, full of sadness and depression, and unpleasing to themselves? -FB


If you have to lie to support your argument, then your argument is extremely weak.

Tom J

So John Horgan gives the last word to one of his students who said that the Gleick incident shows that the debate over catastrophic AGW is not a debate…”It’s a war…”
What wonderful insight. How very right John Horgan and his student are. Just not quite in the manner they think.
There’s an old saying that ‘war is the health of the state’. But, in the presence of nuclear weapons which would make a major war unthinkable what does one do? Well, they found the answer: it’s CAGW. Is it any wonder that Al Gore, a former agent of the state, in his book, ‘Earth In The Balance’, calls for nothing less than what is clearly a major wartime style mobilization to counter attack the enemy of CAGW?

Stephen Schneider is famous for giving his blessing to climate alarmists to lie:
…to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This “double ethical bind” we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest…”
They always choose being effective, don’t they?

kadaka (KD Knoebel)

From Brian on February 24, 2012 at 5:18 pm:

But it isn’t a war. War is the thing where people kill one another. (…)

Didn’t you read the stuff in the last Newsbytes piece? Electricity prices have gotten so high in Germany that people can’t afford it, there are half a million households in the dark. In winter. Over in the UK, as we heard about last year, energy prices are so high that the impoverished pensioners are burning old books to stay warm, and those are the lucky ones that can afford heat of some sort, as opposed to those who have died from lack of heating.
Then there are the simple economics of the many many billions that have been wasted on the CAGW boondoggle that drained away funds that could have provided clean water and good food and medicine to many millions of needy people throughout the world. Plus those are the people who need reliable cheap energy to survive and perhaps prosper, who are actively dissuaded from pursuing readily available and relatively inexpensive fossil fuel energy as “it would harm the planet!” and are directed to inadequate solar and wind instead, at least when the Greens and other soft-minded people aren’t going on and on about the natural beauty of their “native lifestyle” and insist it needs to preserved, any “improvements” will just corrupt them with “Western influence” and destroy them, etc.
The bodies are there, people are being killed, in a less-noticeable passive manner without obvious smoking guns being held by obvious hands. But if you only consider it a war if people are being killed, then don’t doubt for a minute that this is war.

Paul Coppin

I wish many on Anthony’s site would begin to understand this is a war, that has nothing to do with climate or science

John Hogan’s student says, “It’s a war, and when people are waging war, they always lie for their cause.”
Like many student observations, this one is naive. The lying began long before there was war, and a case can be made that it is the lies by CAGW advocates that started the war.
John Hogan’s student needs a better teacher.