Guest post by Dr. Nicola Scafetta
I am following this story about Gleick vs. Heartland Institute. I believe I found something that might be useful and/or interesting.
To understand what happened in the mind of Gleick you need to carefully read the exchange occurred on Forbes between Gleick and Taylor in January. Apparently, everything started from this post by Gleick
where Gleick personally attacked known scientists who are critical of AGW and he also attacked you.Later James Taylor of Heartland Institute responded to Gleick here
First, you need to note the dates of Taylor reply (2012/01/12) and the date of the email sent by Gleick to Heartland which started a couple of weeks later on 2012/01/27. So the dates match.
Now you need to take into account that the article by Taylor is quite strong and solid, and very likely severely damaged the scientific credibility of Gleick who was proven not even having the scientific facts right and having his analysis of the scientific literature, in a particular of that that opposes the AGW theory, extremely superficial and unfair.
I would say that Taylor won the debate without doubts, and Gleick simply matured the idea of having a strong revenge.
Now you need to carefully read the comment by Gleick to Taylor’s article that you can read at the bottom on the Forbes’ article page. Gleick wrote
“I don’t normally respond to the posts by James Taylor — reading them makes my head explode. They are written as though from a completely different universe — some parallel universe where up is down, left is right, and global warming isn’t happening…. whew (though a careful reader of this post by Taylor will note that he accidentally acknowledges global warming is occurring). But since I’m the entire target of this rant, I thought I might offer a minor comment or two: He says I’m upset because so few people agree with me… Hmm, 97-98% of all climate scientists (of which I am one, and James Taylor is not) agree with me — climate change is happening, and it is happening because of human activities. Maybe no one at the Heartland Institute agrees (though they are paid not to), but I like the company I keep better. I will ignore the completely scientific nonsense that comprises the rest of his post, except to note the fine response by “cyruspinkerton” who sets Taylor straight about extreme events in 2011. Taylor must not read the news, or the science, either. I wonder, however, if Taylor would publish the list of who really DOES fund the Heartland Institute. It seems to be a secret — no information is listed on their website about actual contributors of that $7 million budget that they use to deny the reality of climate change (and previously, the health effects of tobacco — their other focus). And their 990 tax form doesn’t say either. [By the way, while my Forbes posts reflect my personal opinion and not the opinion of the Pacific Institute, all of the Pacific Institute’s financial records are public.] So, Mr. Taylor: let’s have the complete list of your funders.”
As you can see, instead of discussing the scientific facts that Taylor was addressing in his article strongly disproving Gleick, Gleick just wanted the names of the donors of Heartland Institute more than anything else, as if that was the most important issue.
Now you need to read the response from Taylor. At the end Taylor responded
“Finally, Gleick asks for the Heartland Institute to publicly reveal all the names of its donors. The Heartland Institute used to do so, while similarly appealing to other groups to do the same. However, environmental activists and other extremist groups used the information to launch a campaign of personal harassment against Heartland Institute donors while simultaneously refusing to release the names of their own donors. It is funny how Gleick rants against the alleged harassment of Katharine Hayhoe yet remains silent about the harassment of people who disagree with him. This further reveals Gleick’s appalling lack of objectivity, as does Gleick’s call for the Heartland Institute to release the names of its donors while ignoring the fact that the vast majority of global warming activist groups have been far less transparent than the Heartland Institute. Of course, Gleick’s attempts to make Heartland Institute funding an issue while ignoring the less transparent funding reports of global warming activist groups with 10, 20, or even 80 times the funding of the Heartland Institute is a tired and sad tactic used by global warming alarmists who try desperately to take attention away from scientific facts and objective scientific data. I can see why Gleick views these scientific facts and objective data as a “parallel universe” that makes his “head spin.”
Now you need to focus on the key sentence in Taylor’s response:
“However, environmental activists and other extremist groups used the information to launch a campaign of personal harassment against Heartland Institute donors”
At this point, Gleick knew what he could do to have his personal revenge against Taylor and the Heartland Institute . He simply needed to get the list of names of the donors of Heartland Institute and make it public in such a way that environmental activists and other extremist groups could use the information to launch a campaign of personal harassment against those persons and damage the finance of the Heartland Institute. And in two weeks Gleick prepared his “smart” plan that we know.
In my opinion Gleick was simply blinded by a strong feeling of personal hatred against Taylor and just wanted his personal revenge against the person that so efficiently rebutted him in public. The irony of this story is that it was Taylor himself to suggest Gleick what he could do to have his revenge and to efficiently damage the Heartland Institute. ButGleick’s plan was uncovered…
In conclusion, the real reason why people like Gleick do not want to publicly debate with the AGW and IPCC critics is simply because somehow they know that they will lose the debate. And they get mad of it.
Addendum by Anthony
I would add that there is one other exacerbating factor that occurred on January 27th, 2012, and that is seen in this article on Forbes by Dr. Peter Gleick:
The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board has long been understood to be not only antagonistic to the facts of climate science, but hostile. But in a remarkable example of their unabashed bias, on Friday they published an opinion piece that not only repeats many of the flawed and misleading arguments about climate science, but purports to be of special significance because it was signed by 16 “scientists.”
Then there’s this, Gleick was one of the signers:
But the most amazing and telling evidence of the bias of the Wall Street Journal in this field is the fact that 255 members of the United States National Academy of Sciences wrote a comparable (but scientifically accurate) essay on the realities of climate change and on the need for improved and serious public debate around the issue, offered it to the Wall Street Journal, and were turned down.
Seems to me that he was quite put out that WSJ would accept the 16, but not the 255. I see it as contributory to his anger that day, the day he decided to assume a new fake email identity and break the law.
It seems he also made his own bias very clear in an article where he asks readers:
Do you have an open mind?
It doesn’t matter what might be said or published, he claims we are wrong:
I’d say he’s now disqualified himself, and in spectacular fashion.