Guest post by David Ross
According to his own account, Peter Gleick “received an anonymous document in the mail describing what appeared to be details of the Heartland Institute’s climate program strategy.”
Why was the “Climate Strategy” leaked only to Gleick? His explanation is less than convincing: “I do not know the source of that original document but assumed it was sent to me because of my past exchanges with Heartland and because I was named in it.” None of the other people named in the document (some of whom have also had “past exchanges” with Heartland) received a copy.
Why didn’t Gleick show the “Climate Strategy” document to anyone else? He has many journalist contacts. Any one of them could have given him their opinion on the veracity of the document and told him exactly what to do with it.
Instead, he then “solicited and received additional materials directly from the Heartland Institute under someone else’s name” in an attempt to “confirm the accuracy of the information in this document.”
He then “forwarded, anonymously, the documents” he “had received to a set of journalists and experts working on climate issues”.
From: Heartland Insider
Date: Tue, Feb 14, 2012 at 12:13 PM
Subject: Files from Heartland Institute
Dear Friends (15 of you):
In the interest of transparency, I think you should see these files from the Heartland Institute. Look especially at the 2012 fundraising and budget documents, the information about donors, and compare to the 2010 990 tax form. But other things might also interest or intrigue you. This is all I have. And this email account will be removed after I send.
Peter Gleick is a scientist, but he is not asking people to look at scientific data or arguments. He wants you to “look especially at…fundraising and budget documents” and “the information about donors”. If “in the interest of transparency” it is so important to know who is the source of information, why did Gleick post his “information” anonymously. He cannot claim to be a disinterested party or without a vested interest in climate science and policy.
That he deceived Heartland when he impersonated a member of their board (a criminal offence otherwise known as “phishing”) does not seem to bother many of his supporters. But, regardless of whether they accept that the key document is a fake (and it seems nothing will shake the faith of some), they should realize that Gleick also sought to use and deceive them.
Claiming to be an insider
Gleick lied when he titled his “leak” email “Heartland Insider” and sent it from the address email@example.com.
Based solely on this, these “journalists and experts” called the matter a “leak” and referred to the, then unknown, source as a “whistleblower” or “insider” (in contrast to their treatment of the Climategate emails which the same journalists, again with no evidence, invariably refer to as “stolen” or “hacked”).
This “insider” claim was repeated uncritically in media such as the U.K.’s Guardian.
“Leak exposes how Heartland Institute works to undermine climate science…DeSmogBlog, which broke the story, said it had received the confidential documents from an “insider” at the Heartland Institute”
The journalists at the Guardian could have asked those at DeSmogBlog, how they knew the source was an insider. Perhaps they did, but thought “because the anonymous guy who sent us them said so” was not an answer that would impress their readers.
Muddying the source of the documents
In his confession Gleick accuses Heartland of “efforts to muddy public understanding”. Yet this is exactly what he did when he included the “Climate Strategy” document among the documents he had obtained directly from Heartland, and then referred to them collectively as “these files from the Heartland Institute”. It was a crass attempt to lend credence to a fake document, by mixing it in with ones he knew to be genuine. The deception worked with some journalists, others just played along.
“It was not possible to immediately verify the authenticity of the documents, although Heartland issued a statement on Wednesday claiming at least one document was fake, and that it was the victim of theft and forgery. However, Anthony Watts, a weathercaster who runs one of the most prominent anti-science blogs, Watts Up With That?, acknowledged Heartland was helping him with $90,000 for a new project.”
Note how this Guardian journalist, while protecting her paper from legal sanction, uses one verifiable fact from a genuine document to imply (see “However”) that all the documents are genuine.
About half of the “Climate Strategy” consists of mundane text also found in the phished documents. The text that the media pay most attention to, that portrays Heartland in the worst light, such as “dissuading teachers from teaching science” or “it is important to keep opposing voices out” does not appear in any of the phished documents but just happens to be exclusive to the one document even Gleick admits he did not obtain from Heartland.
Megan McArdle of the Atlantic put it best: “their Top Secret Here’s All the Bad Stuff We’re Gonna Do This Year memo…reads like it was written from the secret villain lair in a Batman comic. By an intern.”
Nemesis of the deniers
Gleick is a scientist who had a hypothesis: i.e. “Heartland’s views are contrary to his because they are anti-science/evil”. To prove this hypothesis he gathers reliable evidence – the phished documents. When the reliable evidence does not support his hypothesis he uses unreliable (or fabricates fake) evidence, and throws the two together.
This is not the first time in the climate “debate” that “evidence” from two different sources has been spliced together and passed off as one, after results diverge from expectations. The “Climate Strategy” document is the blade of Gleick’s hockey stick.
Gleick only confessed after he had been fingered as the source of the “leak” or, as the Guardian put it, not “until there was already feverish online speculation about his involvement”.
The speculation arose partly because he was portrayed (or he portrayed himself) in the “Climate Strategy” document as a “high-profile climate scientist” and as the nemesis of Heartland and the “deniers”. A quick bit of Googling quickly dispels the notion that Heartland or anyone else describes themselves as “anti-climate”. And Gleick, whose area of expertise is water supply, may be a loud voice in the climate “debate” but he is not a central figure in the actual science.
Call for debate
In his confession Gleick asserted that “a rational public debate is desperately needed” and that there were “ongoing efforts — often anonymous, well-funded, and coordinated — to attack climate science and scientists and prevent this debate.” Gleick’s belief in his conspiracy theory may be sincere, but his call for debate, and accusation that others are trying to “prevent” it, is a sham.
On Jan 13, Jim Lakely of Heartland invited Gleick to debate at the Institute’s 28th Anniversary Benefit Dinner and even offered to “donate $5,000 to the charity of” Gleick’s “choice in lieu of an honoraria”. The two subsequently exchanged emails on the matter.
However, on Jan 27, less than one hour after he sent his last email request posing as a Heartland board member Gleick, then chair of the American Geophysical Union Task Force on Scientific Ethics, felt the desperate need to email Lakely (as himself this time) and decline this invitation to debate.
Perhaps it was this invitation that led Gleick to believe that the people at Heartland regarded him as their No.1 adversary “high-profile climate scientist”. But given his tendency to hyperbole and his often emotional rants in various media, they may just have thought he would be an easy mark. All the information, about this invitation to debate and Gleick’s decline, comes from Heartland. Gleick, an active blogger, told his readers nothing, and now tries to hide his decline.
Towards the end of his confession, Gleick states that he “will not comment on the substance or implications of the materials” yet in much of the rest of his confession he does just that: “…an anonymous document in the mail describing what appeared to be details of the Heartland Institute’s climate program strategy. It contained information about their funders and the Institute’s apparent efforts to muddy public understanding about climate science and policy…The materials the Heartland Institute sent to me confirmed many of the facts in the original document, including especially their 2012 fundraising strategy and budget.”
Curiously, that last line closely echoes one in the “Climate Strategy” document:
“More details can be found in our 2012 Proposed Budget document and 2012 Fundraising Strategy memo.”
If, as Gleick claimed, he had the “Climate Strategy” document in his possession before the others, why didn’t he use the information contained in it to his advantage, when phishing Heartland?
As one of the commenters at DeSmogBlog put it “Asking for something that didn’t exist could cause suspition [sic]”.
According to Gleick’s account, he knew of the existence and the specific titles of Heartland’s “2012 Proposed Budget document and 2012 Fundraising Strategy memo”, before he started his phishing expedition. If these were where corroboration and “more details” could be found, why didn’t he specifically ask for these by name?
Instead, after his initial impersonation of a board member had succeeded, this was what he asked for: “can you send me the most recent Board minutes and agenda materials, if they are available?”
He then receives some confidential documents that just happen to be the ones referred to in the “Climate Strategy” supposedly already in his possession.
Gleick’s conspiracy within a conspiracy
Given that the Gleick phished seven documents from Heartland, why was the “Climate Strategy” document not sent out with the “most recent Board minutes and agenda materials”? There is a ready made answer within the document itself: “I propose that at this point it be kept confidential and only be distributed to a subset of Institute Board and senior staff.” Neither the “subset”, “senior staff” nor the author of this “confidential” memo, written in the first person, is named. How are the members of this conspiracy within a conspiracy to know each other? How are some board members and staff expected to keep secrets from each others when a determined outsider like Gleick can get them? If this “Confidential Memo” was only distributed to “a subset of Institute Board and senior staff” then Gleick would have us believe that his “anonymous” source was one of them.
The language used here – “distributed to a subset of Institute Board and senior staff” – betrays someone from a scientific background and echoes that used by Gleick in his confession – “I forwarded, anonymously, the documents I had received to a set of journalists and experts”.
Implying that some part of a group are working behind others backs or betraying their mission, may be a clumsy attempt at divide and conquer. The author also appears to do this with two individuals, generally regarded as on Gleick’s side in the climate “debate”: “Revkin…who has a well-known antipathy for some of the more extreme AGW communicators” and “Curry…who has become popular with our supporters”.
Names, such as, Taylor, Gleick, Revkin, Romm, Trenberth, Hansen and Curry, appear without title or reference only in the last paragraph of the “Climate Strategy” document. In all the phished documents, individuals are always introduced with their full name or title. Using surnames alone, assumes that the reader is familiar enough with the subject for this to suffice. This style is more common in scientific literature. In other media, most writers avoid it, but not Gleick, as you can see in his, Jan 5, rant at the Huffington Post: “Gingrich, Romney, and Huntsman…Feldman, Maibach, Roser-Renouf, and Leiserowitz”.
Both Andrew Revkin and Judith Curry have earned Gleick’s displeasure in the past and both are now convinced that he is the culprit in this affair.
Foreshadowing today’s events, on Friday, Ross Kaminsky, a senior fellow and former board member at Heartland, posted a piece on the American Spectator site naming Gleick as an “obvious suspect.” Now they have their man.
He has made it known to me via email that he has been displeased with my “behavior.” I seem to have gotten his goat to have been mentioned in the fake Heartland strategy doc (hard to believe that he didn’t write this).
If Gleick’s purpose was to “confirm the accuracy of the information” contained in the supposed “Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy”, why didn’t he specifically ask for a copy of this document. His impersonation had worked. He had already succeeded in phishing other confidential documents. His anonymity was still secure. He had nothing to lose.
If it had been genuine, and Gleick had managed to obtain a copy directly from Heartland, he would have had strong email evidence to back him up, and could have then revealed it and himself openly, and been automatically elevated to enviro-sainthood.
The obvious conclusion (which other evidence supports)
is that Gleick did not have a copy of a “2012 Heartland Climate Strategy” when he was phishing Heartland. He did not have a copy because he (or whoever the forger was) had not written it yet.
Instead, this was his next and final request: “When you get a chance, can you please email me the most up-to-date contact list for the board, with emails/phone numbers?”
Gleick again lied when he claimed to have phished Heartland in an attempt to “confirm the accuracy of the information in this document.” His last request would not help him “confirm the accuracy” of anything. He already had detailed information about donors, budget, motivation, strategy and operations.
As with his previous request, Gleick received more than he explicitly asked for: a “Board Directory” with information about 14 members, including what appears to be home addresses and home telephone numbers of some and cell phone numbers of most.
We know where you live
Regardless of how you view the other documents or Gleick’s other actions, there can be no legitimate or ethical reason for Gleick disseminating this private information or for sites like ThinkProgress to host it, which is what happened.
As Andrew Revkin pointed out: “Some of the released documents contain information about Heartland employees that has no bearing on the climate fight.”
ThinkProgress.org has removed the fake “Climate Strategy” document from their website but still hosts the “Board Directory”. They have also added a section “Other Documents” with links to copies of 12 letters sent to the employers and others holding power over some of the individuals named in the phished documents. Eight of them are from Greenpeace.
In April 2010, Greenpeace posted an article on their website (where, incidentally, DeSmogBlog is one of 17 others listed on their blogroll to the left of the page):
Will the real ClimateGate please stand up?
http://web.archive.org/web/20100404070801/http://weblog.greenpeace.org/climate/2010/03/will_the_real_climategate_plea.html? (part 1)
http://web.archive.org/web/20100404075829/http://weblog.greenpeace.org/climate/2010/04/will_the_real_climategate_plea_1.html (part 2)
which concluded with the following:
“Pressuring politicians on climate change is not working. … We need to shift targets and go after the real termites that hollowed out and imploded Copenhagen. … And we need to inspire, engage and empower … the volunteer activists that have been making life hell for fossil fuel lobbyists in the US. … We must break the law to make the laws we need: laws that are supposed to protect society, and protect our future. Until our laws do that, screw being climate lobbyists. Screw being climate activists. It’s not working. We need an army of climate outlaws.
The proper channels have failed. It’s time for mass civil disobedience to cut off the financial oxygen from denial and skepticism. … If you’re one of those who have spent their lives undermining progressive climate legislation, bankrolling junk science, fueling spurious debates around false solutions, and cattle-prodding democratically-elected governments into submission, then hear this:
We know who you are. We know where you live. We know where you work.
And we be many, but you be few.”
The author of the article is “Gene from Greenpeace India” and “Ananth, International Programme Director” assures us that “Anyone who knows Gene knows he’s an entirely peaceful guy.” Of course, the only people who really know Gene are other Greenpeace activists because of Greenpeace’s frequent use of anonymous first names in their communications.
Greenpeace eventually removed the article from their website (read some of the comments that persuaded them to do that here)
but not from the web. Despite admitting “We got this one wrong, no doubt about it” on the (now redacted) page, the page contains the statement “In the interest of transparency we have moved it off site to this location” and a link to a copy of the original article. Reader comments have been removed and the following update was added by the Greenpeace web producer:
“A lot of folks commenting are sizing [sic] on the words, “we know where you live”. … There are only two cases I can think of where Greenpeace protesters actually showed up at someone’s home … Personally, I think both of these protests were pretty cool.”
This article was widely reported in the climate blogosphere and it is by no means the only example of its kind. No matter what interpretation Greenpeace tries to put on the words “We know where you live”, they cannot be so naive to think that others, including the violent or deranged, will not interpret them differently.
By way of contrast, Watts Up With That?, http://wattsupwiththat.com/ and a host of other skeptical sites, link to the ClimateGate FOIA Grepper http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php where you can read the Climategate emails for yourself and where “All full emails [addresses], telephone numbers and passwords have been redacted.”
Gleick did not request a copy of the specific document he claimed to already have in his possession (the one whose authenticity he claimed to be attempting to confirm) nor did he specifically request by name the documents he did eventually receive, even though, by his account, he should have known their names.
He did not even ask for information specifically about “climate” or “strategy”. But he did specifically phish for information on board members. Neither Gleick nor those who have posted these documents on the web have made any attempt to remove personal information about the Heartland board members or staff, exposing each of them to a campaign of hate and intimidation. Perhaps that was what Gleick wanted all along.
My guess is he was trying to smother climategate, then when his plot fizzled, started making up stuff. His ‘insider” claim is interesting, if I was a psychologist, I would say he and his friends belive the climategate publisher is indeed an insider. Something I happen to believe as well.
“This is not the first time in the climate “debate” that “evidence” from two different sources has been spliced together and passed off as one, after results diverge from expectations. The “Climate Strategy” document is the blade of Gleick’s hockey stick.”
Why isn’t Gleick being sued? I do hope that Heartland presses charges.
Note also that in his exchanges with Heartland re his invitation to debate, Gleick was informed that although Heartland had previously advocated publication of donor details, they would no longer release those details for the specific reason that some of their donors had subsequently been targeted by activists.
As suggested elsewhere, this may have triggered a plan in that strangely functioning mind.
Where is the meta data from the forwarded e-mail that contained the fake document? Hunh? If that’s what he claims, then he has to cough it up. Otherwise, it’s just an attempt at evading the Occam’s razor that he wrote it himself.
I hope he goes to jail then all the warmists can bring him a cake with a file in it.
“There’s a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.” – Oscar Levant
He claims it was snail mailed. It’s an utterly transparent lie, but convenient as one could throw the envelope away. 🙂
Praise be given to Gleick! Because by the reaction to his forgery and deception he’s made it trivial to tell the dishonest and clueless from the climate-serious!
In the end, the “we know where you live” people are gonna be shocked to find out how few they really are and how the people they are trying to bully and threaten are more than ready to defend themselves. Or to quote “when the appearance of calm, meets the appearance of force”. It always gives me a chuckle when I post on message boards and they resort to physical threats when they can’t attack my facts. The typical “you better hope we never meet in person” and various version always make me laugh. They assume I am a 60 year old guy in a suit who has never done real work in my life. Instead I am a 39 year old farm raised person with 16 years security experience and 275 pounds of gym experience and hard work to back me up. Just because I work in the field of architecture does not make me a pushover. The world is not how they imagine in. At some point they will hit the wall of cold hard reality.
Yes, we should call it Peter’s Heartland Trick.
He also lied about the 990.
He told the “15” that it had been obtained with the others, and even drew attention to it in his email, but he had obtained from a different source (not difficult, it is a public document). It clearly doesn’t belong with the other documents (it’s not even the matching year). So why put it in?
Maybe he wanted to add a spurious legitimacy to the other documents (and in particular to the fraudulent climate strategy document) – after all, it’s the only genuine document in the package that he emailed out that anybody outside of Heartland could verify as authentic.
Gleick’s Fakegate within the context of the climate wars.
There stands a good chance that Gleick never acted alone.
This has always been behaviour of extremists, left or right wing.
Whoever defends Gleick’s behaviour proves to be an activist, not a journalist, even less a scientist.
Good to know.
It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.
If Gleick is telling the truth (for once), that he e-mailed these documents to various reporters anonymously, then this puts those reporters who didn’t do anything to confirm the accuracy of these documents in even greater danger of a massive libel verdict.
At least if you can say the documents came from a “reliable” source, you have half a leg to stand on. I wonder how long until those Gleick sent the documents to, turn on him, if only to protect their own skins?
But, regardless of whether they accept that the key document is a fake (and it seems nothing will shake the faith of some)…
The Memo was modified in an African time zone!
You write, “… ThinkProgress.org has removed the fake “Climate Strategy” document from their website but still hosts the “Board Directory”. …”
ThinkProgress most certainly has not removed the forged “Strategy” document from their web site. They removed one link to it, but continue to host it here: http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/2012-Climate-Strategy.pdf
About the fake strategy document, it is simple to prove that Gleick wrote it and it didn’t come from Heartland.
And the proof is this simple : there’s no one at Heartland with a grudge against the organisation they work for.
Remember-1 awh-s**#, takes away a thousand atta – boys.
“Pressuring politicians on climate change is not working. … We need to shift targets and go after the real termites that hollowed out and imploded Copenhagen. … And we need to inspire, engage and empower … the volunteer activists that have been making life hell for fossil fuel lobbyists in the US. … We must break the law to make the laws we need: laws that are supposed to protect society, and protect our future. Until our laws do that, screw being climate lobbyists. Screw being climate activists. It’s not working. We need an army of climate outlaws.”
The real question here is WHY didn’t “pressuring politicians” work, along the other related tactics that are typical of progressives? Why do they need to break the law? Maybe…just maybe…it’s their message and their “science” that’s being rejected. And maybe…just maybe…they need to work on their messaging that’s obviously not working (amazingly, given the compliance of the MSM, and billions of dollars being spent for eco-advocacy). Nope. Instead they issue threats. That won’t get them very far, especially in the U.S. where we still have a second amendment…
I’m still uncertain what made Gleick confess in the first place. What pressure made him admit what he did?
“ThinkProgress most certainly has not removed the forged “Strategy” document from their web site. They removed one link to it, but continue to host it here:”
Well spotted Caveman. I made the mistake of taking ThinkProgress at their word.
Heartland has alleged that this document is a “total fake.” We have taken down this document as we work to determine its authenticity.
The link on the above page is dead but the document is still hosted on their server at 19:20 GMT 2 Mar 2012.
Which means it can still be downloaded via any other links to it that have been posted on other sites. ThinkProgress is being disingenious and exposing themselves to more legal liability.
In case anyone was wondering what “making life hell for fossil fuel lobbyists in the US” might mean. That phrase in the Greenpeace article links to:
Stop the Calls!
Students from across the country mobilized demanding answers and accountability from some of the nation’s biggest polluters and propagandists – Southern Company, Western Fuels, American Electric Power, Progress Energy, Peabody Coal, CSX Rail, & Caterpillar. The typical response was first – surprised. Second – Confused. And third – downright flustered.
And then we kept calling.
From the University of Florida to Northern Michigan, Wesleyan and Tufts to Iowa State and UNCW – our Student Network put these coal junkies on the spot generating hundreds and hundreds of calls and pushing one major polluter onto the defensive -! On Wednesday, Progress Energy cried “Uncle!” asking us to stop the calls and insisting that they have in fact left the ACCCE, which is big news, as Kate Sheppard reports in Mother Jones:
“jonathan frodsham says:
March 2, 2012 at 10:09 am
I hope he goes to jail then all the warmists can bring him a cake with a file in it.”
“Eric Dailey says:
March 2, 2012 at 11:20 am
I’m still uncertain what made Gleick confess in the first place. What pressure made him admit what he did?”
The problem is not one of science. The problem is that they are actually pressuring to change the world to match their personal view of right and wrong. They are not trying to “save the climate”, any more than exxon is trying to “make the world a better place”. Exxon is trying to make money. And greenpeace and their tactics, are to bring about a new paradigm of humanity based on their narrow view of the world. Politicians don’t want it and neither do most of the population. The only reason it has gotten the attention it has, is because the media has exaggerated the movement and given it an illusion of large support. They must resort to law breaking and threats because that is the only way a minority ever takes over policy and control over the majority.
Don’t forget the Postal Inspectors! They’ll want a part of this; just the fact that Gleick claims he received the spurious document in the mail is a solid invitation for Postal Inspectors. Especially since Gleick then perpetuates (or initiates) the fraud. It still involves the mail service and frauds that the Postal Inspectors are terrific at enforcement and prosecutions.
Don’t break the poor Postal Inspector’s hearts by leaving them out of the action.
Eric Dailey says:
March 2, 2012 at 11:20 am
“I’m still uncertain what made Gleick confess in the first place. What pressure made him admit what he did?”
He was suspected and named. Imagine an egoist like this who has been too clever for his for his pants. He has just pulled off a coupe against a declared enemy and no one can possibly put the finger on him. Then, bingo, he is named on the net! He was a fruitcake to start with and now his world has fallen apart. No room for rational thought. He sees himself caught without any road for escape. So he confesses. When the chips are down, don’t expect rational behaviour from a fruitcake.
Personally I kind of doubt Heartland will sue him, (though I wish they would). If they can get the FBI to prosecute on wire fraud charges or something great, but in order to sue in civil court they’d have to prove that they were defamed or damaged somehow.
As for defamation, the memo didn’t really say anything that can’t, at least loosely, be supported by the other documents, so that’s a tough one. As for damages, I’m thinking their funding might actually increase because of all this attention. I’m not so sure about making a civil suit work.
But this is just the way climate scientists work doncha know. Heh, heh.
Criminal avenues first – there is a crime and he has confessed so that should be open and shut but I doubt he will do “time”. Once that is done then civil for damages of some kind – not sure what damage as the HI’s profile has been raised quite a bit. But at least maybe start action to find out exactly who he sent the documents to and confirm he worked alone maybe ?
The most obvious indicator that Gleick composed the fake is that it is full of exact quotes from the stolen documents – whomever created the fake had sight of these documents, and only these. There are no quotes in the fake that can be attributed to other unseen heartland documents as fare as I can tell. Therefore the fake was created AFTER the author had examined the package of stolen documents. Gleick has already confessed to stealing the documents and therefore he, or his associated 15 conspirators created the fake.
Gleick wrote the memo or dictated it to someone else to write. He lied once so why should I believe him? Gleick should just come clean otherwise he might have to lie under oath thus sinking him in more hot water.
RichieP says: March 2, 2012 at 11:41 am
Gleick is certainly a prime candidate for the diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Or one can be more old-fashioned and say there was no excuse for his behaviour and he deserves every bit of punishment coming to him.
I tend to agree with those who say his “confession” is best called “limited hangout”. I also see something else, that keeps me reaching for Shakespeare, who had a keen, measured way of observing many kinds of sickness of soul and how they played out. The “play within a play” in Hamlet? Macbeth also comes to my mind, for Gleick. I see him looking at his hands that are now covered in blood he cannot erase, after his phishing expedition. After ten days of this, he feels as if he is going down to hell anyway, so he’ll drag Heartland down with him. He writes the memo, but with bloodstained fingers the memo is a nervous, shoddy affair, with his name written all over it. But he sends it to 15 wretched “friends” whose support has catapulted him into this action that he must see through. Then when the “outing” from Mosher starts, he “confesses” under the stern eye of a lawyer who forbids him to tell all.
Narcissism. Even in hell.
Eric Dailey says:
March 2, 2012 at 11:20 am
“I’m still uncertain what made Gleick confess in the first place. What pressure made him admit what he did?”
I suspect one of the fifteen who knew he did the deed (I think one or more knew who was doing this) realized from the internet discoveries it was too hot to handle, and basically told him:
“you idiot, you left your fingerprints everywhere”.
That was when lawyers were consulted, who advised him to take the partial confession route.
Gleick says that the document was “mailed” to him which doesn’t necessarily mean “emailed”.
Not that I think that either is the case.
Firstrate article, thank you. Your hockey-stick analogy is a stroke of genius. And Gleick’s “hide the decline” of Heartland’s cordial invite is brilliant icing on the cake.
I’d like to see all the hockey stick strategies listed all together somewhere. For my part, I always want to see the CO2 ice-hockey stick (as used by Al Gore) rubbed in people’s noses, it doesn’t get enough hearing here for me. But there have to be other hockey sticks in Climate Science, where fake has been spliced onto, and sold as, genuine.
A relevant story out today:
Statement by: Shawn Henry, Executive Assistant Director of the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch…
“When anybody breaches a network and steals data and then publicizes it—whether they’re from a foreign country and they’re using the data to help their country’s industry, they sell it as an organized crime group, or they just display it because they think the company they stole it from is acting inappropriately—the fact that the data is stolen is a violation of federal law,” he says, his voice rising with conviction. “Hacktivism is no different from organized crime groups or foreign governments. It’s the exact same activity, perhaps done for a different reason or purpose, and it’s all still illegal.”
What is Gleick if not a hacktivist? What did he do but breach a network (via phishing), steal data, and publicize it. This is a 100% perfect fit for the FBI’s new cause du jour. Unless this is prosecuted criminally, and vigorously, I will have lost all confidence in our system and its ability (or the lack thereof) to apply justice equally. Is lady justice blind? Time will tell.
After reading that the Chicago local FBI office does not seem to think a crime has occurred, as evidenced by their recent public statement on the case, I wonder if Heartland should be talking to someone else at the FBI, notably, Mr Shawn Henry. I have learned over the years that it really does matter *who* you talk to. The FBI is not monolithic. Different divisions have their own resources and agendas. FBI agent Shawn Henry could make a real name for himself by going after this case aggressively.
If of course he said what he meant and meant what he said…
Ouch! Hide the decline, keep the paper out, get the editor fired etc. What else do you expect? Governments have paid for the scientific results they want to see.
March 2, 2012 at 11:04 am
Remember-1 awh-s**#, takes away a thousand atta – boys.
Depends on the field. I work mostly in one area or another of test engineering. My job is finding the awh-s#’s, and I love it.
Gleick was too thick to understand that a document allegedly ‘proving’ that Heartland was ‘anti-climate’ would hardly have been news anyway. Heartland has been openly skeptical from the outset. ie Dog Bites Man.
If only he could have found or fabricated a document wherein a Heartland Member admitted in private that Catastrophic Global Warming was real and the science settled – whilst ‘publicly’ denying its existence…now that would have been a scoop. ie Dog Bites Man.
The reason Climategate emails provide such a perfect rod to beat the Climategang with…is that they reveal the ‘private’ doubts, fudges and uncertainties, rivalries and conspiracies with which Warmism is riddled.
With the facts running against them, and public opinion turning against them Gleick’s actions were those of someone ‘close’ to desperation…well he must be even closer to desperation now!
Anthony, I have the utmost respect for you but this “feels” like a “piling on”. I am assuming you have other evidence that you have not published since the voluminous material you have posted is on topic and does not seem petty.
I am not one to enjoy the misery of others and I am beginning to become sympathetic toward Peter G. What I want to say is, take it a bit easier on the poor Sod.
All I can imagine is, he is reading every word on this blog, slowly working his way through numerous pints of tear soaked Cherry Garcia and Almond Joy bars.
For God’s sake Anthony, how much saline can one keyboard take before it shorts out and burns the house down? /Sarc.
Joshua seems to have pulled off IN a coupe.
Lucy Skywalker wrote:
“Firstrate article, thank you. Your hockey-stick analogy is a stroke of genius. And Gleick’s “hide the decline” of Heartland’s cordial invite is brilliant icing on the cake.”
Thanks. This was my first post on the climate debate (actually my first on anything). I’ve been a spectator up till now. Of all the climate scandals that have emerged, I don’t know what it was about this one that prompted me to write. Maybe because I could see another whitewash in the making and I have lost all faith in the mainstream media. I have some other ideas for articles. I’ll post them here on WUWT, if Anthony approves them.
I’m just warming up but I need more positive feedback 😉
I don’t know what has happened to Josh this week so…
Prophet Mann Leads the Way
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of greenhouse gases,
I will fear no carbon: for Thou art with me
Thy rod and thy hockey stick they comfort me
Click the link for the punchline 🙂
P.S. If you view this Anthony and like it, feel free to post on the main page. Couldn’t upload to the recommended tinypic.com for some reason.
D. Robinson says:
March 2, 2012 at 12:20 pm
Just because an attempt at defamation failed, doesn’t prove that the defamation itself isn’t actionable.
March 2, 2012 at 1:02 pm
“and say there was no excuse for his behaviour and he deserves every bit of punishment coming to him.”
Couldn’t agree more. NPD is an explanation, not an excuse.
It’s also the narcissism of the martyr, renouncing all for his faith.
David Ross says:
March 2, 2012 at 2:16 pm
…Thy rod and thy hockey stick they comfort me
The Team knows no shame, no remorse at their fakery.
Next thing you know they’ll be ‘adjusting’ old temp records down
putting their stations next to heat sources, even building phony computer models, and….
Does there come a point where, in “our” eagerness to embarrass Gleick further, we might prejudice whatever legal action might take place in the future?
Maybe it’s (way past) the time to just shut up and wait and see what happens next.
Amused at Lucia’s has found CCITT resolution metadata in the Strategy document – this is an indication it was scanned to a fax. The visual quality of the document, as well as the lack of fold creases, supports that it was.
DeSmog, ThinkProgress, Greg Laden and others have posted the documents – including the board directory, with NO REDACTION. Yet some high profile people who support Gleick’s attackj – such as Leo Hickman – have already whined that Demelle from Desmog’s home address was posted without redaction. Despite the fact that I don’t think anyone knew Demelle uses his home address for DeSmog.
Ignorant duplicity at its finest.
Yep … I archived all the links in the excel file … and most are still there even if not referenced on the DeSmog, ThinkProgress etc story pages …
Derek Sorensen wrote:
“Does there come a point where, in “our” eagerness to embarrass Gleick further, we might prejudice whatever legal action might take place in the future?”
I appreciate your concern Derek. But Heartland are the victim of this phishing attack, defamation and fraud. If there is to be a civil suit, they are the ones who will initiate it. They have set up a website and explicitly invite input:
“Many have been following some of the excellent investigations into this matter, all of it unsolicited by Heartland. More sleuthing is welcome.”
They also have a page listing supportive press.
I probably wouldn’t have written my article if I hadn’t seen these. I’m not a lawyer. But even the best lawyers can miss something. Applying more minds to the case can only help Heartland formulate better arguments.
The whitewashing of Climategate and the deplorable response of much of the media again suggests that Heartland will need all the help they can get in what will probably be the real battleground -the court of public opinion.
If you have a pertinent observation or valid point to make that hasn’t been made before, then you should make it. I don’t see anything prejudicial in that.
Apropos of nothing in particular except perhaps a particular predilection for the pretentious, can anyone out there of an optometric bent tell me what me what the refraction of the eyeglasses of our subject du jour is? I see little or no refraction.
We now return you to more serious matters.
Not quite true. Subtle but important point: it was the FAKE document that led Mosher and Lucia to him. There was nothing in the (presumably) real ones to tip them off. If it wasn’t for that fake, he wouldn’t have been suspected.
Speaking of optometric, if I am to understand correctly, telescope technicians must correct for temperature distortion to the nth degree. As of a few months ago no corrections have been required that would approximate GCM models. Can anyone expound?
“Pressuring politicians on climate change is not working. … We need to shift targets and go after the real termites that hollowed out and imploded Copenhagen.”
So Greenpeace are picking on termites now.
Phew. I guess that will give the rest of us a few minutes break.
There is an abundance of evidence here for Heartland to take legal action.
A great summary, David. But there are (IMHO) some other elements one might want to consider:
As you say, Gleick is a “waterman” not a “climate” guy, relatively unknown in the pantheon of climate change “heroes” – and notwithstanding his own claims to the contrary, quite possibly in other related fields, particularly “sustainable development” (SD). IOW, he and his organization have always been little pishers in the Big Green Pond.
Even his involvement in AR4 was limited to that of “expert reviewer”; and there are references to only 4 publications that he authored, co-authored or edited – only one of which can be assumed to have been “peer-reviewed” 😉
SD is the primary focus of his Pacific Institute (PI), which he founded in 1987 – the very year that this “official term” was coined. The “mission” of PI boils down to a copy and paste of a slightly modified “three pillars” of SD. According to PI’s Form 990 return, Revenues for 2010 were less than US$3 million – far from sufficient to position him or his organization as a powerhouse in the Pond!
I, for one, don’t recall even seeing his name mentioned as a player in the climate change game before the so-called “Climate Rapid Response Team” came into being. He made his “debut” during the course of l’affaire Wagner (circa August 2011)
That being said, let’s assume for the sake of argument that Gleick actually did receive an anonymous memo “in the mail” – and that the :”contents” were exactly as he distributed them.
According to him, he’s Mr. Ethical Integrity, right?! Much as it must gall him to acknowledge, he and Heartland’s Joe Bast are peers – both are CEOs of organizations they had founded.
If Gleick truly wanted to “verify” the contents of this alleged memo, wouldn’t the mature, professional and ethical course of action have been to simply call Bast and ask him?!
Had the situation been reversed, with Bast being in receipt of exactly the same “revelations” about PI, I cannot begin to imagine the cries of outrage we would have heard were Bast not to have contacted him.
Consider also that while Gleick has attempted to portray his actions as a momentary lapse of judgement, his first phish came after ten days of silent but “serious consideration” of Heartland’s invite.
He cast his net, not once but several times over a subsequent period of twelve days. If he had a functioning moral compass, he would have checked it, seen that he was sailing in the wrong direction, headed back to port and turned himself in! But this was not a choice that our “genius” – who, no doubt, considers himself too smart to get caught – decided to take.
FWIW, my guess is that Gleick’s “primary” motivation (which has probably been eating at him for a good number of years) was nothing more than pure unadulterated green envy. Quite possibly exacerbated by his recently – but legitimately – acquired knowledge that Heartland’s Revenues for 2010 were double those of PI.
There are some other pixels in the Big Picture that may – or may not – be purely coincidental. For those who might be interested, I have discussed these in three recent posts:
From the ashes of Gleickgate a new mantra is born
A Gleickgate “teleconnection” or coincidence?
Gleick and the green factor$
As an amusing footnote, btw, here’s a comment I had posted at Bishop Hill, yesterday:
Hmmm … “just a prank”, eh? How in the name of Gaia would they know?! Or have they arbitrarily decided to redefine “prank”?!
But that aside … when was the last time I heard that little bit of “revisionism”?
Yes … I remember, now! On Feb. 4/2010, according to a quartet of “journalists” at the Guardian – who would never attempt to deceive or mislead readers – Good ol’ Gav had used “sort of a prank” as the latest and greatest incarnation of his ever-changing story regarding the key events of Nov. 17, 2009.
Perhaps there’s new PNAS paper in the works – authored by Trenberth, Lacis and other high profile prophets of “climate concern” – in which the measurement of “Gleick’s status” becomes the designated new, improved (upside-down) proxy for temperature. Thereby assuring place of honour for the resurrected “hockey-stick” as an icon to impress upon the masses the need for “sustainable development” which – in accordance with Pachauri’s “vision” – will “pervade” all 3 WGs’ reports in AR5.
This is a marvelous piece of analysis. I’ve read it twice & will have to go back for further clarification & “understanding.” My hat’s off for the intelligence of the author, David Ross.
I have a suspicion: I figure the Climategate champion, the “leaker,” will see this turn of events as a call to break the 64 bit password. I think he will come to the conclusion that the level of combat has been raised & now the Skeptics have been given absolution to go NUCLEAR!
PLEASE PUBLISH CLIMATEGATE III Damn the torpedo’s!
Good analysis. But there is this: “If Gleick’s purpose was to “confirm the accuracy of the information” contained in the supposed “Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy”, why didn’t he specifically ask for a copy of this document.”
Gleick’s attorney might answer that Gleick wouldn’t have known if the board member he was impersonating was included in the subset of board members who received the confidential email.
I’m only partway thru the comments, but several have asked why Gleick confessed when he did, e.g., post by:Eric Dailey says: March 2, 2012 at 11:20 am
If I recall correctly, he did so only a day or so after Heartland announced that they had sufficient & all the information necessary to be able to trace the identity theft to it’s source, and that they fully intended legal action. Perhaps more pressure and importance in this regard than Mosher and others ‘fingering’ him as the source already too.
So I think you put both together, and Gleick went scurrying in terror to top lawyers for advice on how to try to mitigate the legal consequences, presto, one carefully weasel worded ‘apology’ provided before the law knocked on his door…. to try to help engender some sympathy on the part of judge or jury. ‘Look, he came clean, he tried to make amends, he showed ‘remorse.” Ya, right.
Rational Db8 (used to post as Rational Debate) said this…
“…a day or so after Heartland announced that they had sufficient & all the information necessary to be able to trace the identity theft to it’s source,…”
This makes sense to me. We don’t know all that Heartland may have communicated to Gleick before they went public with their statments. They may have had the goods on him, and he may have known it.
It sounds like Gleick ID’d Greenpeace’s new ‘targets’ for harrassment…or worse.
That is conspiracy to commit whatever crime follows the actionable intel that Gleick produced for them.
Climate outlaws….that says it all
theduke wrote: “Good analysis.”
And: “But there is this: “If Gleick’s purpose was to “confirm the accuracy of the information” contained in the supposed “Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy”, why didn’t he specifically ask for a copy of this document.”
Gleick’s attorney might answer that Gleick wouldn’t have known if the board member he was impersonating was included in the subset of board members who received the confidential email.”
Neither would he know if the person he was emailing to were part of it. So, he requests a copy of the “Climate Strategy” document and…
1 The other person is part of the subset and knows all the other members:
1A And so is the person Gleick is impersonating
=> Gleick receives a copy. “Remember mum’s the word”
2B But the person Gleick is impersonating is not
i) the other person assumes Gleick has joined the inner circle of super-villains and sends him a copy “I didn’t know you were one of us”
ii) the other person alerts another of the super-villains “X knows about the our super secret Climate Strategy”
2 The other person is part of the subset but does not know all the other members:
=> Gleick receives a copy. “Remember mum’s the word”
3 The other person is not part of the subset
=> “I’m sorry I don’t know what document you are referring to”
This whole idea of “subsets” keeping secrets from each other sounds like a badly written spy novel. And, to me, is further evidence that the document is a forgery. I keep thinking of Megan McArdle’s comment “their Top Secret Here’s All the Bad Stuff We’re Gonna Do This Year memo…reads like it was written from the secret villain lair in a Batman comic. By an intern.”
The main point is that there was no additional risk to Gleick in asking for this document, no matter what permutation of “subsets” was involved. He either gets a copy or he sets off alarm bells at Heartland a few days earlier than planned. Again, he had nothing to lose. He had no good reason not to ask for it, if his account were genuine.
I think Gleick is a fantasist who saw himself bringing down an evil empire. Remember how he signed off his email to his “set” of 15 confidantes: “…this email account will be removed after I send.” It reminds me of the line from the old “Mission Impossible” TV series: “This tape will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck, Jim.”
Don’t watch this! You won’t be able to get an image of Peter Gleick and the sound of the Mission Impossible theme music out of your head.
I think there is a lesson to be learnt here and it’s for the 15. “Beware of Gleicks bearing gifts.”
“Gleick’s attorney might answer that Gleick wouldn’t have known if the board member he was impersonating was included in the subset of board members who received the confidential email.”
Neither would the administrator he was emailing, and would undoubtedley have checked to find no such document existed and put it in writing that there wasn’t. If you want my opinion he went phishing and didn’t get a catch, so he pretended he’d got a whopper. It certainly casts a new light on the word “genius”, for me at least.
John another says:
March 2, 2012 at 4:27 pm
Speaking of optometric, if I am to understand correctly, telescope technicians must correct for temperature distortion to the nth degree. As of a few months ago no corrections have been required that would approximate GCM models. Can anyone expound?
My limited understanding is that such adjustments are based on contemporaneous readings, i.e. you take the temperature and immediately make the adjustment. There is no need to adjust for Warmening as there is no long-term planning involved.
The temperature an hour from now may be of concern, ten years from now is kind of irrelevant (to the task).
Geronimo wrote: “Neither would the administrator he was emailing, and would undoubtedley have checked to find no such document existed and put it in writing that there wasn’t.”
Bingo Geronimo! You’ve nailed it.
Gleick would have been familiar with the whole Climategate affair. He would probably have known how his CRU pals were caught out by backup servers keeping copies of emails they thought they had deleted. He knew the email provider might be subpoened to produce all communications for the account he used.
He didn’t ask for a copy of the “Strategy Document” because he didn’t want to receive a reply clearly stating that there was no such document, which might later be unearthed in an investigation.
But knowing that the email exchanges might come to light he reckons that the absence of any mention of his “Climate Strategy” document doesn’t help his scheme much either. So he concocts his “subset” of board members to explain the omission and inserts this into the “Strategy” document.
If the “Climate Strategy” document were genuine Gleick had no good reason not to ask for it. Because it isn’t genuine he couldn’t ask for it.
Some dots were connected in the essay: Gleick, Greenpeace, Sierra Club, the warmist lapdog Media. But the warmist conspiracy is vastly larger than that.
In comparison, Heartland is teensy-weensy. Yet this mote is stuck in the eye of the CAGW cabal. Their gross over-reaction indicates something, I’m not sure what. That this episode is a dying gasp of a collapsing fraud is wishful thinking. More likely it is bullying hubris on the part of global mega-fascists with too much money and no sense of proportion.
Bottom line: the Gleicks of this world are legion and deep-pocketed. Freedom-loving rational realists are not winning, not yet and not in the foreseeable future, unfortunately.
Heartland’s board is listed on their website including their city and state. Their board membership is no secret. Dr. Gleick wanted addresses, phone numbers and email addresses. What for? Very creepy!
David: I second Lucy Skywalker and others. This is a valuable contribution to the debate. Not just “piling on” but holding discrete bits of evidence steady for inspection under a bright light and examining how they line up and what’s still missing. Thanks.
And especially thanks for the “hockey stick” analogy. Brilliant. It is of course funny and ironic to see the figure turned against its creators. But it also goes deeper. These people are fundamentally careless about the evidence. Their truth is power, not science; and they will tape anything to anything else they can pick up or make up, if it helps them win. It’s a deep rot. In a real sense, Gleick can’t help himself.
Cherry picking, according to Mr. Gleick.
Gleick didn’t phish for the “Climate Strategy” memo from HI because it didn’t exist at that time. It was created as a result of the lack of any “smoking gun” from the phished docs.
Another good point made – why did he specifically phish the board members addresses, phone numbers and email addresses? Their names and city/state are posted on the HI site. This is only meant to cause harassment (and possible violence) to the board members. Sounds like yet another crime to add to the growing list. He should be prosecuted.
Kudos David Ross.
One point hit me very forcefully, and it deserves repeating.
Gleick claims his subterfuge was intended to determine the veracity of the strategy document. Once he managed to convince Heartland that he was a board member, and successfully asked for material for board members, he should have simply asked for that memo.
If he had explicitly asked for it, Heartland only had three options:
1. Send him the memo, thereby providing rock-solid confirmation.
2. Admit it exits, but inform him that the distribution is limited and he is not on the list. That still would be good confirmation that it was real.
3. Deny that such a document existed.
The third option doesn’t help Gleick, but importantly, if the document actually existed, it was not an option open to Heartland. Companies can be selective about what material goes to what board members, but they cannot outright deny that something exists. They can, and do legitimately say, “sorry that doc is only available to such-and-such subcommittee” but they cannot tell a board member that a strategy document simply doesn’t exists.
Gleick would have asked for the document if he honestly thought it might have been real, because that would help determine the truth. However, he has no interest in asking for the document if it isn’t real, because the certain answer will not serve his purpose.
They haven’t done the Hitler’s Bunker parody for fakegate (yet).
But I imagine it’s only a matter of time.
This is not the first time that Greenpeace and other Gleick fellow travelers have targeted individuals. At a used book sale yesterday, I picked up a small tome entitled: “The Greenpeace Guide to Anti-Environmental Organizations” which lists the companies they hate and the names of officers and board members thereof . This particular printing is almost 20 years old, so it is likely not of current interest, Heartland is missing since they did not yet exist, but it is another insight into the wild-eyed radicals who have taken over environmentalism, and the lengths they will go to to make it personal.
The anonymous document reminds me of this Mr. Bean Christmas episode.
Watch from 0:50 to 1:10 to understand what happened.
So, let me see if I understand this:
1. A person receives a copy of a document purported to be the nefarious plans of an organization he abhors.
2. He wishes to verify the authenticity of the document, i.e. that it really exists.
3. So he contrives a fairly elaborate ruse to impersonate an “insider” who would have access to the document, if it actually exists.
4. And then uses that privileged access he has gained to… not specifically ask for a copy of it.
Is that about right?
The warmists have had their fantasy memo.
Doesn’t that now make it our turn to dream up a smoking fun? What should go in it?
From GeorgeM on March 3, 2012 at 5:48 am:
Actually Heartland’s About page says they’re 28 years old, founded in 1984. Seems likely they were just too small for a large well-funded NGO like Greenpeace to take notice. Nowadays, with Greenpeace having stashed most of their fortune in the hold of the unsinkable RMS Titanic Warming for their pioneering voyage to the fabled far-off lands of the Green socialist utopia, Heartland is more worthy of being attacked.
– Actually maybe Peter Gleick is a true hero for providing us with a good source of material to teach critical thinking to students, through his Heartland caper & the way green activist bloggers just reposted it taking it at face value without any thought to question it. I wrote a 5 page version for my website http://t.co/FHzYF502