Gleick, my #$%%! 2018 Sagan Prize helping climate parody go mainstream

Reposted from:


Marisa Tomei pretends to be other people for money. She even has to impersonate a scientist on occasion, and says she’s looking forward to “exchanging notes” with Peter Gleick.

A recurring point of lamentation here at CliScep is the dearth of good parody in the climate debate—an area that’s surely ripe for ridicule, or no area is.

Reader Canman today alerted us to what might just be a cultural turning-point, however. The prestigious 2018 Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization will go… <I #$%% YOU NOT>… to Gleick.

Peter Gleick.

Psychic literary critic and ‘scientist,’ Peter Gleick.

Founded by Aduro Biotech, the annual prize is awarded by Wonderfest, the San Francisco Bay Area’s Beacon of Science since 1997. Actress Marisa Tomei (pictured) is tipped to present the winner with his $5,000 check—money well spent, as far as this lover of the theatre of the absurd is concerned.

What makes the announcement so significant is that previous winners appear to have been chosen on merit; this will be the first year an overtly comedy recipient is honored.

Gleick (pronounced /glik/) isn’t exactly known for his scientific discoveries [I think he has published a bit ~ctm] —it’s doubtful he’s ever made any. But his name rings a bell because, back in 2012, he committed a spectacular act of credibility seppuku in full view of the media. Posing as an anonymous whistle-blower from the Heartland Institute—an American climate-skeptical think-tank—Gleick had spent several days shopping around a counterfeit HI memo, seeking to pass it off as an authentic document written by adults. (In what we can only assume was an attempt at adding some verisimilitude, he buried the pseudo-memo in a dossier of unsexy irrelevantia he’d obtained earlier by wire fraud.)

The fake document almost had the world fooled, too, until someone read it.

Gleick’s babyish, semi-English idiolect was so obvious that one Steven Mosher—who struggles with the finer points of English orthography himself—knew the identity of the enigmatic ‘Heartland Insider’ long before he’d confessed publicly.

It’s the thought that counts, though, and what the activist ‘scientist’ had wanted to do was to trick* eight billion people into thinking critics of his ‘science’ were akin to “villains in a Batman comic,” as Megan McCardle of The Atlantic put it.

The genesis of Gleick’s vendetta against Heartland appears to be the Institute’s history of bullying and intimidating him by…. offering him money to debate them. Gleick was, of course, too smart to fall for these traps, which would only have distracted him from the true work of a Popularizer of Science: debating people who already agree with him.

His infamous attempt to sabotage the popular understanding of the climate debate in 2012—which we would call Fake News if he perpetrated it today, and we had no imagination—has lost its power to appall us because, far from violating the norms of ‘environmental science,’ it’s become The New Normal. It may never be the new moral, or ethical, but (he said in an uncannily-good Basil Fawlty accent) it’s the new absolutely %$@% typical.

We therefore extend muchos kudos to Wonderfest’s Board of Directors, who’ve drawn on the power of shock-comedy to snap us out of our resignation to the existence of these charlatans. Coffee-sneezing, after all, is one of the best antidotes to the mundanity of evil.

In case anyone missed the Onion-like layers of perversity, the Sagan Prize’s website brilliantly juxtaposes a double-tap headshot of the mendacious obfuscationist with a passage from Broca’s Brain, the book in which Carl Sagan declares anathema on everything Gleick stands for:

In exchange for freedom of inquiry, scientists are obliged to explain their work. If science is considered a closed priesthood, too difficult and arcane for the average person to understand, the dangers of abuse are greater. But if science is a topic of general interest and concern — if both its delights and its social consequences are discussed regularly and competently in the schools, the press, and at the dinner table — we have greatly improved our prospects for learning how the world really is and for improving both it and us.

The joke is especially cruel in light of Gleick’s close ties to the cell of academic obscurantists dubbed Data Haram (from the Arabic for ‘data forbidden’). The group’s de facto sheikh, Stephan Lewandowsky, was first on the scene to defend his acolyte’s acts. In a predictably repulsive apologia that begins by misquoting Churchill, Lewandowsky argues that since science equals war, and war equals deception, Peter Gleick deserves a medal.

Well, now he’s got one.

Just when popular amnesia was threatening to let the lying worm off his own hook, the 2018 Sagan Prize will come as a well-timed reminder: Lest We Forgive.

Incidentally, I added my own words of moral support as a comment on Lewandowsky’s smokescreen-cum-puff-job:

Dear Professor Gleick,

nolite te bastardes carborundum (don’t let the forces of carbon bastardry delegitimize you)!

The forge du diable you’re going through now—for the crime of standing up for honesty, effectiveness, and the balance between them—cannot silence you. It can only forge character.

It’s never easy being a Phisher of Men, but that’s why we call people like you heroes.

So grit your teeth and forge on, forge on, forge ever on.

And remember, persecution is the forge of virtue!

(The Conversation’s moderators inadvertently deleted my comment, for which they must have kicked themselves over and over again. Don’t be so hard on yourself, Cory Zanoni et al.—accidents happen. We’ve reproduced it now, so let the free exchange of ideas we all claim to value roll on!)

A quick note to WUWT readers: please don’t feel the need to explain the irony of all this to Tucker Hiatt, the Executive Director of Wonderfest (deleted by ctm). I’m pretty sure the custodians of the Prize get the gag. They made it.

Likewise, people like Stephen Isaacs, the CEO of sponsor Aduro Biotech (deleted by ctm), and Aljanae Reynolds, the firm’s Corporate Affairs Manager (deleted by ctm), are presumably in on the joke too [h/t reader Dave Burton]. Stephen and Aljanae may be money-rich but I’m sure they’re too time-poor to thank everyone who explains the punchline to them.

And no clichés about Carl Sagan “rolling,” “spinning” or “vomiting” in his grave either, please. By all accounts, the great man had a healthy sense of humor. I can just see him pointing down from Science Heaven as we speak and having billions and billions of lolz at the joke that is Peter H. Gleick, even if the object of our derision hasn’t caught on yet.

Readers, feel free to submit your own tributes to Professor Gleick’s career in science outreach below. I’ll highlight the funniest ones.

Oh, and Pete old boy: when you receive your novelty oversized check, don’t forget to examine the watermark with a critical—dare I say skeptical?—eye. Sadly, there are people out there who aren’t quite as honest as (say) the average Chairman of the AGU Task Force on Scientific Ethics and Integrity.

*In a scientific context, the word trick simply means ‘a clever way to solve a problem by tricking people.’ [Source: nearly eight dozen independent investigations by UK politicians into the illegally-stolen, suspiciously-timed Climategate emails.]

Reader DFHunterDougieH gushes that one out of three ain’t bad:

To be nominated for the Sagan Prize, an individual must:

1.Have contributed mightily to the public understanding and appreciation of science.
2.Be a resident of one of the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties.
3.Have a history of accomplishment in scientific research.

Congrats to Peter, he meets point 2 at least.

Informant Canman regrets the bar-lowering with which climate limbo has become synonymous:

Besides this 5K check, I believe he also got a substantially larger mega-buck check for being a MacArthur Genius Award winner. I wrote a blog post about him:

Along with sayings like, “two out of three ain’t bad”, a lot of things are being redefined down.

Speaking about Gleick’s genius, the upcoming History of the Climate Debate, Jo Nova Edition (Part 3) will speak about Gleick’s genius:

  • GleickPhishForgeFrameGate
    • Acutely aware that the ‘Heartland Institute strategy memo’ he’s about to “leak” could define his entire biography, Peter Gleick spends days wrestling with age-old questions of morality, legality and font choice.
    • By hitting Print, the MacArthur Genius will sacrifice his career and reputation in order to blow the lid on Heartland’s secret misgivings about the CAGW hypothesis, raising widespread awareness of the think-tank’s criticisms of the state of climate research. But even his peers in reputability agree that Gleick’s good name and scientific legacy are minuscule prices to pay for this.
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Ken Mitchell
November 12, 2018 11:14 am

Hey, if forgery was good enough for Dan Blather, it’s certainly good enough for Peter Gleick!

Hot under the collar
Reply to  Ken Mitchell
November 12, 2018 6:17 pm

How do we know he didn’t impersonate a member of the awards committee and then forged the award?

Reply to  Ken Mitchell
November 15, 2018 11:34 am

But forgery wasn’t good enough for Dan Rather, was it? Merely endorsing (never mind authoring!) a counterfeit document was enough to end his career.

Because, apparently, we hold TV personalities to higher standards of probity than…. oh…. scientists.

You know who I blame? Society.

November 12, 2018 11:31 am

If only Keyesianizing the other side could work! Alas, it just isn’t going to for several reasons, the greatest of which might be that there aren’t enough of the “ilks of thee.”

But I, for many, will surely enjoy the coffee sneezes as often as I can avoid them.

michael hart
November 12, 2018 11:34 am

Marisa Tomei is certainly aging very gracefully. Hopefully it was not any decision her part to be presenting anything to Peter Gleick. Most people are probably completely unaware of his crimes and misdemeanors. It is the people charged with deciding the recipient of the award who must have severe mental degeneration or memory loss in advance of their physical age.

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  michael hart
November 12, 2018 1:13 pm

A casual search of the internet would have revealed the story. Even if they didn’t believe it at first, his whole saga remains on the internet and carefully explained in several blogs I’ve read over the years. Those who awarded the prize, did no background search whatsoever.

Alan Ranger
Reply to  Greg Cavanagh
November 12, 2018 1:39 pm

I would suggest they ignored such material, rather than didn’t see it. Even ethically-challenged NON-“scientists” have ways of dismissing things they’d rather not have seen, as “outliers” for instance, without having to wrestle with their own consciences. Perhaps they call it “homogenization” of the background research?

Reply to  Greg Cavanagh
November 12, 2018 2:20 pm

It seems they really didn’t do any research, as you say.

This is the charitable interpretation, obviously.

Nevertheless, when one of our readers emailed Tucker Hiatt of Wonderfest just two days ago, asking why the Prize had been awarded to a fraud like Gleick, Hiatt’s reply relied on Wikipedia in summarizing Gleick’s ‘lapse in judgement.’

So I [like to] think this really was a case of (spectacularly) ill-informed people seeing the best in someone in whom there is, in fact, little good to be seen at all.

It would be nice (hint hint) if more of us were to write to Wonderfest and Aduro to get this through their skulls. Perhaps it’ll end in deliberate aversion of their eyes from the truth, or perhaps it’ll end in their showing some intellectual integrity and curiosity.

Reply to  Greg Cavanagh
November 12, 2018 2:29 pm

Oh, the award committee is fully aware of who and WHAT Gleick is.

As far as the Left is concerned he is a full Hero of the Revolution, and everything he did was justified. They see the forged memo as ‘Fake but Accurate’. The fact the the Koch’s donated far, far less then the memo said, and that it was clearly meant for Heartlands health care section, not its Climate Change one, is unimportant. There was money going to ‘Deniers’ and that’s all they really care about. It fits their beliefs.

And if there wasn’t any REAL proof that Climate Skeptics sit around at meetings rubbing their hands together in gleeful anticipation of fowling the environment, like a bunch of Captain Planet villains, that doesn’t mean they DON’T. The Left knows in their heart that all Capitalists and Conservatives are evil monsters. They don’t actually need their evidence be to factual.


Reply to  Greg Cavanagh
November 12, 2018 2:56 pm

Or they knew, and didn’t care.

Reply to  MarkW
November 12, 2018 5:48 pm

Or you could write to them and ASK them if they knew, thereby potentially changing their minds.

Yeah, I know it’s a long shot but it’s not as long as doing nothing 🙂

Reply to  Brad Keyes
November 12, 2018 7:37 pm

Since you care, have at it.

Reply to  Brad Keyes
November 13, 2018 8:47 am

I’ll “have at it” as soon as I’m not inarticulate with disgust. I’ve been drafting an email to Hiatt et al. but it’s two screens long, which I think is too long to expect them to read.

Mickey Reno
Reply to  Greg Cavanagh
November 13, 2018 8:10 am

On a couple of occasions I’ve tested the readiness of the gatekeepers at wankerpedia by introducing a single sentence back into the article about Peter Gleick which stated that the infamous “strategy memo” was a forged document, not from Heartland Institute, and was probably written by Gleick himself, as it had none of the normal Heartland meta-data in the document itself, and was timestamped in the Pacific time zone and made a made a couple of very clumsy self-referential points, and also totally misrepresented the Koch brothers contribution to Heartland, all backed up by the Megan McArdle article in The Atlantic, in which she compared Gleick as the probable author (aka forger), comparing him to a super-villian working in a lair under a volcano. I didn’t mention all these giveaways, but they were the items by which Mosher had immediately tagged Gleick as the perp, including the use of one of Gleick’s favorite terms “anti-science”, and him stealing valor from others like Mann and Santer as a more of a target of us D-Nye-rs than warranted (most WUWT readers didn’t know much of Gleick until this happened) and referring to his own Forbes magazine articles as being highly inflammatory to our side of the debate. HA! Forbes has no credibility on science or even much on economics with my peeps. So HA! HA! That’s what I say to you, Blanche, er, I mean Peter. Of course, within an hour, both times, my edits were eliminated. The sock-puppet of William Connelly lives at wankerpedia.

The memory of Carl Sagan, spoiled as it was by his endorsements very late in life, of two very dodgy scientific “realities” (nuclear winter and CAGW), is now under the purvey of his very leftist and very ideological widow, Ann Druyan, the owner of the “Cosmos” brand, who has also shunted money and opportunity to Neal Degrasse-Tyson, which will also corrupt his memory when he’s gone.

michael hart
Reply to  Mickey Reno
November 13, 2018 12:05 pm

Well thanks for trying, Mickey Reno. I always assume that to still be the case, saving the rest of us some grief. Kudos to the people who take the time and effort to show it to be true.

Reply to  Mickey Reno
November 14, 2018 10:13 am

Lately, I’ve referred to it as Pravdapedia. 😮

Reply to  Mickey Reno
November 15, 2018 11:30 am


Thanks for that insight into the regrettable Sagan-NDT connection. Druyan the unworthy widow funneling once-clean money to the bimbonic Tyson. Sullied indeed.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  michael hart
November 12, 2018 1:55 pm

Yes, Marisa Tomei is easy on the eyes.
But remember, no matter how good they look, some geologist guy, somewhere is tried of putting up with her Schist crap.

Reply to  michael hart
November 12, 2018 2:19 pm

I agree.
Whilst thinking she was – probably – old enough to know better, I severely underestimated her age.
She certainly has done very well for herself, playing other people – looks wise, and probably dollar-wise.
Hmmm. Can I say that nowadays? Isn’t commenting on a perchild’s looks a bit #Metoo?

#Metoo has a real purpose, which I endorse.
Hypersensitivity – I suggest – devalues the real offences [some criminal offences] from #Metoo.

And I assume she is handing over the check/cheque for a cash sum.


Reply to  michael hart
November 18, 2018 9:48 am

Michael hart
I loved Marisa Tomei
in My Cousin Vinny … but
she is almost 54 years old now,
and that photo was from long ago.

She now wears eyeglasses
and poses with them on,
as in the 2018 photos below:

November 12, 2018 11:34 am

I long ago gave up on the Pulitzer Prize for Journalism as I was a party to a multi-part series that won in Investigative Journalism, and knew just how much politically-motivated codswallop the stories contained. I then gave up on the Noble Peace Prize (for two obvious reasons). I’d never heard of the Sagan Prize, but I shan’t be watching for announcements of winners in the future. What a travesty.

Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
November 12, 2018 3:00 pm

Perhaps if you purchase enough boxes of Crackerjack, you’ll find a Nobel Peace Prize in one of them.

Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
November 13, 2018 7:12 pm

Jim, wasn’t Walter Duranty enough of a tipoff that the Pulitzer for Journalism is even more meaningless than the 1993 Academy Award for Best Actress or the Nobel Prize For Being Rigoberta Menchu Or Yasser Arafat?

November 12, 2018 11:51 am

In breaking news the Sagan prize has been re-named the “Bernard Madoff” prize in recognition of the efforts of the most recent award winner.

Joel Snider
November 12, 2018 11:52 am

‘Exchanging notes’ – apparently intending to imply that she has something to contribute.

ray boorman
Reply to  Joel Snider
November 12, 2018 1:45 pm

All to do with the fact her job is to impersonate other people. She wanted to get some tips from Pete, because he has been impersonating a scientist for years. And never forget this article is very sarcastic, so the quote is probably invented.

Duncan Smith
November 12, 2018 11:53 am

The defense of Gleick in the link, “argues that the morality of an action is evaluated by whether it brings about the greatest total well-being”. That is one heck of a slippery-slope argument to be made. Just don’t be on the receiving end of someone else’s view of morality and who they views as being beneficiaries.

Reply to  Duncan Smith
November 12, 2018 12:10 pm

By that definition of morality, Pol Pot is qualified for extreme sainthood, as his actions benefited the survivors of his killing fields.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Duncan Smith
November 12, 2018 2:12 pm

Liberals desire to live in a Relative Morals universe.
Conservatives desire to live in an Absolute Morals universe.

The real-world outcome of those two views is the basis of the social-political schism we now see.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
November 12, 2018 2:31 pm

I’m not a conservative, but I am a climate skeptic who viscerally hates dishonest scientists (even more than I hate dishonest non-scientists).

The political partisanship that pervades too many WUWT comment threads IMHO (and which might make sense in a US context—I don’t know since I don’t live there) is a turn-off to those of us who see this as a Truth versus Delusion issue first, and a Right versus Left issue second.

And I humbly suggest it’s an obstacle to getting our message through to half the population, whose resistance will be ‘triggered’ (pardon my Leftese) as soon as we predicate climate criticism on the supposed immorality of everyone who’s not conservative.

BTW I think the left is more ridiculous that the right, and the disparity seems to be increasing daily, but I still don’t think either side has a monopoly on rightness or wrongness.

Michael S. Kelly, LS, BSA, Ret.
Reply to  Brad Keyes
November 12, 2018 3:02 pm

I am soooooo happy to see Brad Keyes back in action. You, Brad, are the most brilliant satirist since Ovid – and who can forget Amores?.

Reply to  Michael S. Kelly, LS, BSA, Ret.
November 12, 2018 5:44 pm

Thanks Michael, right back at you bud (Mr Anti-Stokes Ramen Scattering)—and who can remember the Armenians?

Duncan Smith
Reply to  Brad Keyes
November 12, 2018 4:45 pm

Good point(s), as a Canadian, even our conservative voters could make some Democrats look like Republicans. WUWT posters need to be cognizant this is an international forum. In fairness to Joel, I don’t think his post was ‘triggering’ but others can be. The art of persuasion on the internet can be fleeting…or maybe just a Relief-Valve, not to be interpreted too deeply.

Reply to  Brad Keyes
November 13, 2018 12:56 am

Brad Keyes

A clear, concise and unambiguous post from you, and a good point well made.

But we know from Christina Figueres and others that climate change is seen as an opportunity for a new world order.

So whilst I agree with you, I don’t think even the left want to see the world governed by a single entity with Christina or one of her mates pulling the strings.

Brexit is a fine example. We British reacted badly to being dragged into a political union we were assured would never happen when we joined the Common Market in the 70’s.

The only regret is that we didn’t leave it just s few years later by which time there would have been more support for the leave campaign and the decision wouldn’t be bedevilled by remainers trying to scupper the endeavour.

Mickey Reno
Reply to  HotScot
November 13, 2018 1:45 pm

Don’t congratulate Brad for being serious. That sends the wrong signal to the market.

Reply to  HotScot
November 13, 2018 2:35 pm


It’s better than being forced to endure his narcissistic prognostications, his dire efforts at satire and comedy, and his apologist excuses for being a socialist i.e. “I’m a climate sceptic but I don’t mind if Christina Figueres runs the world on the back of climate alarmism”.

He makes some good points but one must endure the self obsessed drivel to finally get to them.

And I must say, I’m flattered that he took the time to slag me off on his personal blog (a distressing exercise in narcissism), not just once, but he selected me for a second round then published the link on WUWT so everyone could admire my humiliation.

As you might guess, I am not suitably humiliated.

Reply to  HotScot
November 13, 2018 7:05 pm


“and his apologist excuses for being a socialist i.e. “I’m a climate sceptic but I don’t mind if Christina Figueres runs the world on the back of climate alarmism”.”

That’s what you take from my writing…

“I think the left is more ridiculous that the right, and the disparity seems to be increasing daily, but I still don’t think either side has a monopoly on rightness or wrongness.”

…?? That I’m a socialist who makes apologist excuses (not just regular excuses, folks!) for it??

I guess they don’t speak English in Thermocaledonia after all.

Reply to  Duncan Smith
November 14, 2018 12:41 pm

Who’s the lexicographer who defines what “well-being” is? Who’s the mathematician who quantifies it? And who’s the accountant who adds up the totals?

Such moral consequentialism seems just a synonym for “the ends justify the means”.

Reply to  drednicolson
November 15, 2018 11:24 am

Very good question Dr Ed.

As a medical doctor you may be familiar with the DALY unit (disability-adjusted life years), which is one candidate for a well-being metric, and which is used by public-health professionals in a discipline that’s simultaneously utilitarian (and therefore deontological) AND humane.

Other systems, more intimately tied to a population’s happiness, have been suggested (e.g. hedons minus dolors, or net hedons), and are more associated with the so-called felicific calculus.

If used intelligently, a mathematics of well-being needn’t ever “justify” evil in the name of good.

The greater good is in fact (or rather, in theory) just that: the greater good.

Lying to people invariably scores rather poorly in such calculi, so there’s no reason (in theory) to fear the use of the quantification of well-being as a compass for individual and policy-level decisions.

November 12, 2018 12:17 pm

2.Be a resident of one of the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties.

That’s kind of rude, give Sagans’ strong ties to Cornell, see

(Bronowski’s The Ascent of Man was much better than Sagan’s Cosmos.)

David E Long
November 12, 2018 12:30 pm

I notice from the Wonderfest website that from 2011 through 2014 no prize was awarded. Clearly its not every year that a recipient of Gleick’s stature can be found.

Reply to  David E Long
November 12, 2018 1:49 pm


well spotted—or perhaps it’s they just couldn’t find a Best Actress sufficiently deserving of her Oscar to be worthy of sharing the stage with Gleick.

Reply to  David E Long
November 12, 2018 2:59 pm

It took them 4 years to scrape together $5K?

Reply to  MarkW
November 12, 2018 4:48 pm

mebbe Glik made a donation what pushed them over the top, to $5K.

steve case
November 12, 2018 12:45 pm

comment image

Gary Ashe
November 12, 2018 12:46 pm

How about Bill Nye the Nobel guy, that has a ring to it.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Gary Ashe
November 12, 2018 1:50 pm

Bill Nye — The Big Lie Guy, has a better ring of truth.

The sad thing about those in the CliSci community triumphing their 2007 Nobel is that it was the Peace Prize out of Oslo, not the science related ones out of Stockholm. And in 2009, the Peace Prize committee again proved that it could be awarded without any actual accomplishments. And indeed, the 2009 Peace Prize winner went on to become one of the Worst US Presidents Ever, and well known for telling whoppers across the global and domestic stages.
That’s a very fitting Nobel legacy for CliSci. So Bill Nye hasn’t won the Nobel Peace Prize because he has yet to tell a big enough believable CliSci whoppers like Gore or Obama.

November 12, 2018 12:49 pm

What a Preick.

Alan Ranger
Reply to  leitmotif
November 12, 2018 1:30 pm

Now that WAS a coffee sneezer! ROTFLMAO

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  leitmotif
November 12, 2018 2:21 pm

Well played sir, well played indeed!

steve case
November 12, 2018 12:53 pm

comment image


Clyde Spencer
November 12, 2018 1:09 pm

I do hope you don’t have any trouble getting your tongue unplanted from your cheek! 🙂

James Francisco
November 12, 2018 1:10 pm

Damn. I’m going to have to read this whole thing there or four more times and look up many words to fully appreciate it. I think it will be worth it. My head is hurting too much to do rereading right now.

Joel O'Bryan
November 12, 2018 1:28 pm

Gleick’s Pop-CliSciFi is just part of millions billions trillions of repeated climate lies being told as part of an organized effort to make climate change the Socialist’s Trojan Horse.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
November 12, 2018 1:44 pm


scientists only lie to the public in order to gain greater insight into how climate “skeptics” misinform, and thereby develop tactics they can (one day) use to combat dishonesty.

The practice is traditionally covered under permissible deception if done in the service of research. See…

…in which a science-communications scientist communicates the safeguards in place to ensure scientific deception remains harmless to the subjects:

“I really can’t go into details, except that all the fake information we use falls squarely into the pro-science category.

“The public can rest assured that the ‘lies’ our [confederates] disseminate are carefully scripted—in consultation with the scientists themselves—so as to support, not contradict or dilute, the message of mainstream [climate] science. We made that very clear years ago, when drafting our ethics approval [sic] for the study,” Lewandowsky explains.

“It would be criminal—or at best highly immoral—to knowingly damage or undermine the public’s appreciation of the science. So we couldn’t promote a skeptical myth even if we wanted to.”

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Brad Keyes
November 12, 2018 2:03 pm

Maybe they started out that way … deceiving themselves of course along the way with their noble cause corruption. The scientist, in love with his/her pet hypothesis, are the easiest ones fooled (Feynman said that). It has come to the point where politically they cannot back down and they must build the obfuscating manure pile of catastrophe ever higher because it supports a pseudo-religion of Environmentalism.

This is precisely the realization now in “The Danger of Politicized Science” essay that Michail Crichton wrote about as an appendix to his book State of Fear. You should go read it if you are not familiar with it.

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  Brad Keyes
November 12, 2018 6:32 pm

The three questions Lewandowsky asks, are called leading questions. The second one is most offensive because he asks one question but answers another. i.e. “Where were you when this happened? Wrong, it wasn’t televised.” So what? I know exactly where I was weather it was televised or not.

Reply to  Greg Cavanagh
November 12, 2018 6:44 pm


sheesh, what are you going to say next: “Dr Lewandowsky, have you stopped asking your wife leading questions?”

Speaking of leading, Lewandowsky is a leader in helping understand (and hopefully, one day, cure) climate skepticism and its underlying tactics. Shouldn’t he receive gratitude instead of vituperation, pursuit and attack? Is that asking too much, I ask you, ladies and gentlemen of the jury?

Chris Hanley
November 12, 2018 1:30 pm

“… the morality of an action is evaluated by whether it brings about the greatest total well-being”. That is one heck of a slippery-slope argument to be made …”.
An extreme example of Consequentialism was Stalin defender historian Eric Hobsbawm’s answer to an interviewer’s question: “… had the radiant tomorrow actually been created, the loss of 15, 20 million people might have been justified? …”, Hobsbawm: ” yes “.
Gleick’s analogy is false, Churchill’s war was with a real enemy dropping actual bombs on his country and killing people, Gleick’s ‘war’ is entirely imaginary — or with Mother Nature itself.

November 12, 2018 1:45 pm

Much as Sagan is revered as a popularizer of science he is also the leader of the group that pushed the nuclear winter farce, the precursor to the present climate model scam.

Reply to  Bear
November 12, 2018 2:05 pm

Being wrong (if that’s all Sagan is guilty of) isn’t a crime.

Reply to  Brad Keyes
November 12, 2018 5:04 pm

nope, not a crime. Simply an indicator of present/future tradition.

(and “being wrong”, while being guilty of a shitpile of other things, still isn’t a crime)

Tom in Florida
November 12, 2018 1:50 pm

Perhaps he will donate the check to relief efforts of the California wild fires. Or perhaps he will just make a copy of it and donate that.

November 12, 2018 1:53 pm

Gleick Limerick:
There once was a man named Gleick
Who worked a profitable shtick
He should have come a cropper
By behavior deemed improper
But the public you see proved thick.

Reply to  Rick
November 12, 2018 2:39 pm

A hackademic called Gleick
Gave ethics and morals the flick
By forging a memo,
Thus giving a demo
Of why he can go suck my trick to hide the decline.

Gary Ashe
Reply to  Rick
November 12, 2018 4:57 pm

Rick November 12, 2018 at 1:53 pm
Gleick Limerick:
There once was a man named Gleick
Who worked a profitable shtick
He should have come a cropper
And handcuffed by a copper
For behaviour deemed improper

Reply to  Gary Ashe
November 12, 2018 6:01 pm

Good one but remember limericks are:
“…..predominantly anapestic meter with a strict rhyme scheme of AABBA, in which the first, second and fifth line rhyme, while the third and fourth lines are shorter and share a different rhyme” Wikipedia

Reply to  Rick
November 12, 2018 6:10 pm

Meant to include this:
The limerick packs laughs anatomical
Into space that is quite economical.
But the good ones I’ve seen
Hardly ever are clean
And the clean ones so seldom are comical.

Reply to  Rick
November 13, 2018 8:01 am

h/t to leitmotif for the word to properly complete my limerick:
There once was a man named Gleick
Who worked a profitable shtick
He should have come a cropper
With behavior deemed improper
And the proof he was a bit of a preick..

Reply to  Rick
November 13, 2018 2:32 am

Gleick, who’s not a truthful man,
has been awarded a prestidigitous Sagan
Award for services to climate seance,
it’s akin to Bernard Madoff ponzi finance,
a sorta’ T.S. Eliot ‘ Waste Land,’ ‘Hollow Man’

November 12, 2018 2:02 pm


you’re chivalrous to a fault:

“I think he has published a bit ~ctm”

Sure. But as we know from the forests of paper wasted on climate-hyphenated academic ‘publishing,’ it’s perfectly possible to churn out an Olympic-sized swimming pool of articles without necessarily adding one iota to human knowledge about nature.

Has Gleick discovered anything? Well, according to the biosketches I’ve read, his headline accomplishments tend to involve ‘developing/pioneering the concept of “water + [insert abstract noun]” used by the UN in its blah blah blah project to combat yadda yadda yadda.’

In other words, he’s—apparently—more of an inventor (of catch phrases) than a discoverer.

Louis Hunt
November 12, 2018 2:03 pm

There seems to be a trend of well-known people getting caught for breaking the law for political reasons and not being punished for it. They then receive awards from idiot groups that share a common goal. When people suffer no real consequences for breaking the law and instead are rewarded for it, it only encourages them to continue their lawlessness. It also encourages others to follow their example. How can society punish the second person when the first to do it went unpunished? It’s a disturbing trend.

November 12, 2018 2:45 pm

Charles the Moderator
Thanks for the publicity given to our site Climate Scepticism (with a “c”) aka We’ve a few hundred posts like Brad”s, though not all as weird and pertinent. Any chance of appearing in your sidebar?

Allan MacRae
November 12, 2018 2:50 pm

From Marc Morano
“Gov. Brown blames climate ‘deniers’ for worsening wildfires – Scientific evidence refutes him: ‘Less fire today than centuries ago’ – Wildfires are NOT due to ‘climate change’”

Jerry Brown has again made one of the truly stupidest statements in the long history of humanity.

Unless someone is referring to the last Ice Age, saying “I blame climate change” puts them in the lower decile of human intelligence.

Incompetent forestry management was the cause of this wildfire disaster Jerry – it was your fault!

Reply to  Allan MacRae
November 12, 2018 3:05 pm

No Allan, it wasn’t forest management that was the cause, it was drought. Places where there is no “forest” (i.e. grassland) is burning.

Reply to  David Dirkse
November 13, 2018 1:08 am

David Dirkse

As a kid growing up in Scotland, I accidentally set an entire field of grass alight. Fortunately no damage.

Are you saying that Scotland (of all places) was suffering from drought conditions in the early 70’s just because grass burns?

The concept is utterly ludicrous.

Reply to  David Dirkse
November 13, 2018 10:18 am

The fact that grass burns when embers fall on it, is not evidence that the forest fires are much worse because of excess fuel load caused by poor forest management.

Reply to  MarkW
November 13, 2018 10:25 am

Grass subject to drought burns, grass that gets rained on doesn’t.

The problem is drought, not forest management.

If it rained on the forests, they wouldn’t burn.

Reply to  Allan MacRae
November 12, 2018 3:36 pm

PS Allan, since over 45% of California land is owned by the Federal government, how can you blame Jerry?

Reply to  David Dirkse
November 12, 2018 6:11 pm

“Board of Forestry and Fire Protection (BOF)

The Board is a government-appointed body within the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. It is responsible for developing the general forest policy of the state, for determining the guidance policies of the Department and for representing the state’s interest in federal forestland in California. Together, the Board and the Department work to carry out the California Legislature’s mandate to protect and enhance the state’s unique forest and wildland resources.

Reply to  ColA
November 12, 2018 6:17 pm

“representing the state’s interest in federal forestland in California”

Does that mean the state of California does not control federal land?

Reply to  David Dirkse
November 13, 2018 1:11 am

David Dirkse

If Jerry looked after his own 55% of forests properly I guess fires wouldn’t start there, or spread.

Is the current fire catastrophe part of Jerry’s 55% or part of the Federal government’s 45%?

Genuine question, I have no idea as I’m a Brit.

Reply to  HotScot
November 13, 2018 10:20 am

They are in Jerry’s half.

Reply to  David Dirkse
November 13, 2018 10:19 am

These fires aren’t on land owned by the Feds.
Are there any other irrelevancies you care to bring up in a desperate attempt to distract attention?

November 12, 2018 3:24 pm

If Gleick had stuck to his job and his ethical principles, he would have been a hero and won this prize.
If Gleick had erred and trashed any ethical principles, he would have been a hero and won this prize.
(Which has now happened)

He got this for the side he is on. the tribe. not for anything he has or has not done. it stinks

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  EternalOptimist
November 12, 2018 6:40 pm

He stuck his neck out and made a name for himself. No doubt if he had stuck with “ethics” he would still be a nobody, and not have won anything.

Reply to  Greg Cavanagh
November 13, 2018 10:23 am

What was it Bill Clinton said: Once you learn to fake sincerity …
Or something like that

Reply to  MarkW
November 13, 2018 2:22 pm

“What was it Bill Clinton said”

Define “was.”

Pat Frank
November 12, 2018 4:17 pm

Web of Science finds 42 publications in all for Peter Gleick since 1992.

One is a commentary in PNAS with Michael Mann as co-author and one, a correspondence to Nature, with Stephan Lewandosky. So he works with some of the best people. 🙂

With Mann, Gleick warns that climate models have ascertained that California is in for mega droughts due to CO2-induced climate change. With Lewandowsky, he’s upset that the connection between climate (change) and conflict is oversimplified.

To be fair, five of Gleick’s papers have more than 100 citations, and one, “Global freshwater resources: Soft-path solutions for the 21st century” (2003) Science 5650, 1524-1528, was cited 530 times.

Jeff Alberts
November 12, 2018 5:25 pm

“Gleick’s babyish, semi-English idiolect was so obvious that one Steven Mosher—who struggles with the finer points of English orthography himself”


Reply to  Jeff Alberts
November 12, 2018 5:56 pm

Glad you liked that Jeff, and I hope you’ve forgiven my article about you (

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Brad Keyes
November 13, 2018 6:02 pm

Sorry, didn’t go and look at it. Don’t care.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
November 13, 2018 6:35 pm


I forgive your lack of curiosity. It’s only human. Who among us wants to find out we were publicly and repeatedly wrong? Anyway, thanks again for the ZING.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Brad Keyes
November 14, 2018 8:12 pm

With every comment you continue to prove my statement that you’re way too full of yourself.

Reply to  Brad Keyes
November 14, 2018 10:25 pm

Yawn. I know people are fascinated by me—an effect I’ve had on people as long as I can remember—but can we PLEASE not let yet another thread turn into what ATTP used to call a Bradathon? I’m sure you can stick to the real issue (Peter Gleick versus Carl Sagan) if you put your mind to it and apply some willpower.


November 12, 2018 6:44 pm

Watermelon logic with the Gleicks of this world: Well it sounds like it could be true so it is and give the man a prize.
You just have to contextualise these things.

November 12, 2018 11:37 pm

Sagan accepted the science of AGW, so I guess that means he would not be qualified for the award named after him.

Reply to  FRED
November 13, 2018 8:42 am

You guess wrong.

Shame you didn’t read the post. You might’ve noticed it doesn’t criticise Gleick, or anyone for that matter, for believing in AGW.

Being a member of the apocryphal 97% is not a crime.

Committing a crime is a crime.

And legal questions aside, being a Chaucerian fraud like Gleick is a crime against science.

Reply to  Brad Keyes
November 13, 2018 2:04 pm

I understood it and read it. Just pointing out what many on this site probably aren’t aware of.

“Committing a crime is a crime.”

And please source where Gleick was found guilty of committing a crime, or even charged with committing a crime for that matter.

Reply to  Fred
November 13, 2018 2:20 pm

“I understood it and read it. Just pointing out what many on this site probably aren’t aware of. ”

What? That Sagan was a bad science communicator because he believed in AGW—and died before many of us first smelled something seriously fishy about the climatist narrative??

You’re right, many on this site probably aren’t aware of that. Because it’s incoherent rubbish.

“And please source where Gleick was found guilty of committing a crime, or even charged with committing a crime for that matter.”

I said he committed a crime. I didn’t say the Attorney General of the relevant jurisdiction had the reproductive organs to prosecute him for it.

Shame you and your all-caps namesake didn’t read the post.

Reply to  Brad Keyes
November 13, 2018 2:35 pm

Accidentally didn’t hit reply, See post below if you missed my response.

Reply to  Brad Keyes
November 13, 2018 2:59 pm

Brad Keyes

You just continue to reveal yourself as an absolute pillock.

I said he committed a crime. I didn’t say the Attorney General of the relevant jurisdiction had the reproductive organs to prosecute him for it.

YOU said he committed a crime, so that’s it. Brad Keys announces Gleick’s guilt of a crime he was never tried for, and never convicted of. So he’s guilty in the court of Brad Keyes.

So, according to you, it’s dreadful to perpetrate science fraud (the concept of scientific fraud is itself questionable unless a ‘criminal’ act is involved), but it’s OK to openly condemn someone as being a criminal when there is no conviction, not even a trial.

As far as I’m aware, there is no sanction for a scientist believing in a hypothesis, no matter how wrong it might seem to others.

Calling someone a criminal in a public debate brings with it risk of serious consequences.

You are an idiot Brad.

(SNIPPED) unbelievable. I am seriously flabbergasted at your stupidity.

Reply to  Brad Keyes
November 13, 2018 3:06 pm
Reply to  Brad Keyes
November 13, 2018 6:53 pm


great parody. Well, not great, but you’re getting there.

To take your comment seriously for a moment:

“As far as I’m aware, there is no sanction for a scientist believing in a hypothesis, no matter how wrong it might seem to others.”

That’s exactly the point I’ve made, repeatedly, in this very thread.

See my comment above (“being wrong [if that’s all Gleick was guilty of] is not a crime”).

So thanks for saving me the effort of re-repeating it.

“Calling someone a criminal in a public debate brings with it risk of serious consequences.”

I welcome those consequences, imaginary though they be. Gleick is a criminal—not for believing in AGW (obviously) but for phishing and framing Heartland with his forgery. Do I need to repeat that or do you understand English?

November 13, 2018 2:32 pm

So you are really saying Sagan would have changed his mind? I would say it’s not unreasonable to think that since his close friend and former student Neil deGrasse Tyson still accepts AGW then so would Sagan.

And so the California AG was scared or something like that of charging Gleick? Seriously? That is conspiratorial reasoning. And why don’t you explain why Gleick hasn’t been charged with a crime anywhere and not just within the jurisdiction of the California AG?

Reply to  FRED
November 13, 2018 6:45 pm

“So you are really saying Sagan would have changed his mind?”

Who knows. I was taught AGW was real back in high school and I haven’t changed my mind either, though that may be because I’ve been too busy learning about scientific (and humanities) subjects that actually matter.

“And so the California AG was scared or something like that of charging Gleick? Seriously? That is conspiratorial reasoning.”

I didn’t say California.

But yes, someone lacked the moral cojones to charge Gleick, probably because Gleick was on the same “team” ideologically.

By accusing me of “conspiratorial” reasoning, you are claiming I’m a conspirator, which is a conspiracy theory, making you a conspiracy theorist.

Of course what you probably meant, but lacked the erudition to say, was “conspiracist.” In which case, no, an Attorney General is one human being, and one human being does not (and cannot) a conspiracy make.

Other than not being right about anything, great comment as usual, FRED.

November 14, 2018 7:19 am

I emailed Mr. Tucker Hiatt of Wonderfest, complaining about the inappropriateness of this reward. Here’s how it went:

This was the conclusion of my last email to Mr. Hiatt (to which he has not replied):

Fortunately for Gleick, the statute of limitations ran out before the Northern District of Illinois got a U.S. Attorney not appointed by President Obama.

Dr. Peter Gleick is a crook. He is vicious, he is dishonest, he is unethical, and he is the enemy both sound science and public enlightenment. The only sort of medal he should be wearing is one of these:

comment image

Why don’t you read this, and get back to me:

He has not replied.

I also sent messages to some of the folks at Aduro Biotech, who sponsor this prize. No replies so far.

Reply to  Dave Burton
November 14, 2018 2:11 pm

Your emails were excellent, by the way, Dave. I’d love to see the response, if ever it occurs.

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