The Heartland Strategy Memo

If you’re following the Peter Gleick/Heartland Institute saga, you know this story likely has a few more twists and turns. Or as journalist Marc Gunther puts it:

This story will get worse before it gets better. There remains the sticky problem of a “climate strategy” memo which appears to be a forgery, for a host of reasons, not the least of which is that it includes mistakes about Heartland that no insider would make.  (See McArdle for the details. ) Even before Gleick confessed, his critics suggested that he forged the climate memo; it’s written in a style similar to his, and identifies him as a nemesis of the climate deniers, thus inflating his own importance. Gleick says that he got the strategy memo in the mail, and that was what prompted him to lie to pry the other documents out of Heartland. That story strains credulity, to put it mildly.

Indeed. And now there is rampant speculation in the blogosphere that Gleick is the author of the memo. Even Shawn Lawrence Otto has joined the parlor game:

Gleick says it [the strategy memo] was anonymously mailed to him.  Perhaps this was by a whistleblower, or perhaps it was by an disgruntled insider.  Or perhaps it was a honeypot – a sweet trap designed to compromise or discredit Gleick by getting him to write about it, while Heartland could trumpet how it is not authentic – in which case it would seem Gleick turned the tables by posing as a board member and requesting – and receiving – a cache of authentic Heartland documents.

Personally, I have a hard time believing that a Heartland insider would mail such a document to Gleick, instead of, say, a reporter. And to my mind, the memo has a fishy quality to it, for all the reasons Megan McArdle has laid out. In a separate post, she has also worked through the leaps of logic required to believe Gleick’s explanation:

You receive an anonymous memo in the mail purporting to be the secret climate strategy of the Heartland Institute.  It is not printed on Heartland Institute letterhead, has no information identifying the supposed author or audience, contains weird locutions more typical of Heartland’s opponents than of climate skeptics, and appears to have been written in a somewhat slapdash fashion.  Do you:
A.  Throw it in the trash
B.  Reach out to like-minded friends to see how you might go about confirming its provenance
C.  Tell no one, but risk a wire-fraud conviction, the destruction of your career, and a serious PR blow to your movement by impersonating a Heartland board member in order to obtain confidential documents.
As a journalist, I am in fact the semi-frequent recipient of documents promising amazing scoops, and depending on the circumstances, my answer is always “A” or “B”, never “C”.

For those inclined to take Gleick at his word–that the memo was mailed to him by a Heartland insider–what do you make of Otto’s musing about about it being a Heartland set-up? Lastly, what would it take for Gleick himself to end all this speculation?

403 Responses to “The Heartland Strategy Memo”

  1. RickA says:

    Lastly, what would it take for Gleick himself to end all this speculation?

    Not much – just an admission that he did it. 

  2. hunter says:

    Here is what the evil Anthony Watts did when given a tremendous opportunity to play with Phil Jones of CRU fame.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/23/an-example-of-a-different-ethos-when-you-have-access-to-private-documents/#comment-901909
    Who is the crazed extremist?

    As to your excellent quesiton, RickA has already answered clearly and succinctly.
    I would urge Dr. Gleick to salvage what he can from this and fully confess.
    He has valuable work to do in working on water resource issues. If he ever wants to be able to do so again, he needs to take the early loss on this and get it over with. If he plays this out farther, he will destory the Pacific Institute. he is also, by partially confessin, allowing AGW extremists to debase the AGW community siginficantly with their tragically inapproriate responses.

    AGW, like eugenics is not all bad. Public health, women’s health, and a deep interest in genetics grew at least in part out of the remains of the eugenics movement. AGW can lead to an emphasis on cleaner energy and environmental sensitivity that will serve all of us well. And many believers sincerely adopted their extremism in good faith. Every opportunity needs to be given to allow a retreat to more reasonable and less fevered positions.
      
      
         
      

  3. Anteros says:

    Well, as to your last question, I can confirm that an email from me wasn’t enough for Gleick to confirm (or deny) that he forged the memo.
     
    There’s been a lot of discussion of this over at Lucia’s, with the consensus, unsurprisingly, that he’s obviously the faker and after receiving the documents fraudulently he desperately needed a justification as to why he sought to receive the information. Rumour has it that Heartland was on to him, and he was in a panic – faking the strategy memo was all he could think of. And yes, his fingerprints are all over it.
     
    Interestingly, Anthony Watts has the email exchange between Gleick and Heartland over his invitation to a debate which he declined. Just a couple of weeks later, after his spat with Taylor (Heartland) at Forbes, he commits fraud to try to damage Heartlands reputation. And finding no smoking gun, but Heartland on his heels he goes into panic mode and effectively signs his own forgery.
     
    I’m guessing the final implosion won’t be too far away, and it probably won’t be pretty. Or edifying.

  4. grypo says:

    Amazing that someone suggests the stylistic similarities, no one ever actually confirms this being accurate, then everyone keep repeating it as truth and narrative.  It’s been a week, now, how about looking into it instead of churning it?

    Someone please show where these style similarities are confirmed.  Following this piece, it just starts in one piece – goes to the next then to the next – then to the next.  Really frustrating. 

  5. grypo says:

    Previous comment not directed at Keith, as I know he’s been away.

  6. I agree that the “Gleick’s fingerprints are all over the strategy memo” meme has been overstated by some. People taking Heartland’s side in this have been quick to dismiss the “honeypot” scenario out of hand as preposterous. But if Gleick had received the memo in the mail as he said, and if it had been forged by someone with access to the internal Heartland documents who was carrying out a scam targeting Gleick, then the facts that the memo contained errors (making it easily deniable as a forgery by Heartland) and Gleick-esque “fingerprints” (making Gleick easily “discoverable” as the source) would be unremarkable. Those would be exactly the things that such an attacker would want to include in the forged memo.

    I’m not saying that exonerates Gleick. That would be as ludicrous as those currently arguing that the strategy memo is, in fact, legitimate. All I’m saying is that given that the memo is a forgery, either explanation (it was forged by Gleick to “sex up” the release of the phished documents, or it was forged by someone with access to internal Heartland documents who was targeting Gleick) can account for the characteristics of the memo more or less equally.

    For Gleick to end this speculation would take one of two things: confess to being the forger, or produce compelling evidence to support his version of the timeline, in which he received the forged memo before he obtained the phished documents from Heartland. 

  7. hunter says:

    @4 grypo,

    Steve Mosher and I disagree on certain things, but I have seen him act with integrity in this great blog war. Mosher was on this regarding Gleick from day one. He is one of the people who let the chips fall where they may. I defer to him until proven otherwise. The meo is a caricature of skeptical thinking. Being one, that was my first impression and it still is. If HI did produce this in any sort of actual capacity, I will be surprised and deeply diappointed, but I won’t play the games the extremists are playing about this.  But as more context comes out about Gleick and his behavior regarding HI as well as the Forbes blog war, and add to that his bizarre non-book review of The Donna Lafrmaboise book. It adds up to somone going out of control.

  8. grypo says:

    “Megan McArdle …  she has also worked through the leaps of logic required to believe Gleick’s explanation:”

    Wait, whether  Gleick forged the memo or someone sent it to him, he still risked his career by obtaining the documents!  What you put there has nothing to do with believing his story.  If he’s lying, then, not only did he trick HI into sending him documents, he also forged a document, adding onto the risk.  So why exactly does that logic matter?  Unless you think he’s covering for somebody, which is highly unlikely.

     

  9. grypo says:

    Your circumstantial evidence about Gleick’s behavior and your belief in Mosher do not answer my question.  Why hasn’t his analysis been confirmed, and only repeated, as you are doing?

  10. hunter says:

    grypo, Exchange the word “logic” for “rationale”,

  11. EdG says:

    Just like the Dan Rather incident, this was definitely a trap and the sucker took the bait.

    If Gleick had been smarter and more critical – that is, more like a real scientist and less like an overzealous fanatic on a crusade – he never would have taken it.

    As for desmogblog, like the cartoonist site (skepticalscience), they will take absolutely anything that even seems to support the cause, and then twist it to fit.

    Of course, this is also a sign of how desperate the AGW promoters are now that everything about their cause is collapsing. I suppose someone thought this might be some Hail Mary’ pass to save their game, which reveals how little they really do understand about the stage of death their cause is now in.

    It is all over but the quivering nerves which, I expect, will involve more such desperate disasters as this one.

    Now, what will the ‘journalists’ of the ‘climate-concerned community’ do about this? Watch Baghdad Bob tapes for pointers?

  12. Barry Woods says:

    I wonder what monbiot will say.

    Implosion?
    http://washingtonexaminer.com/politics/washington-secrets/2012/02/fbi-called-over-climate-change-mole/305161

    he has a wife and family, I hope everyone remembers a person is behind all this. despite the ‘story’ 

  13. grypo says:

    BTW, I highly doubt the honeypot theory.  Disgruntled employee or someone else getting access Heartland documents are the only other options besides Gleick himself.

    Another thought for those who believe conclusively that Gleick is guilty.  Gleick said he received the docs in early January.   Unless he was sure those other legit docs were completed by then, would, if he were guilty, risk HI being able to produce create dates on their wordperfect files that immediately blow his story (early January) out of the water?  

  14. Jack Hughes says:

    Gleick is crazy. Watch him on youtube – he can look at a map of the world and say with a straight face that the world will soon run out water.

    He’s got a variant of Munchausen’s – he needs to find external “problems” to feed his own self-importance.

    Maybe all those shrinks and sociology profs at last week’s conference should be studying Gleick ?

  15. grypo.

    Gleick’s style was the last and least important piece of information.

    Answer this. I read the plagarized sentence and, on the spot, told Mcintyre over the phone that this sentence was not written by the same person who wrote the memo. Pressed to explain, I just googled the sentence. And yes, it was plagarized. How do I do that? Throughout grade school and high school, college and graduate school, people have asked me that question. A long list of students caught at plagarizing before the advent of internet search asked themselves the same question. go figure it out.

    With respect to Gleick’s style as I said this was the last piece of evidence. I’d hold the same opinion with or without that evidence.
    With respect to his style I made a prediction and it was borne out.

  16. grypo says:

    No it has not borne out yet.  I can’t answer your question because I have no idea what sentence you are talking about.

  17. Jack Hughes says:

    A more interesting question is why so many journoes fell for Gleick’s fake – eg Revkin and Richard Black of the BBC.

    Black was quick to write a sneering hit-piece from the fake memo. After being called out he has followed up with  another sneering attack – again based on the fake memo.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17126699 

  18. Steven Sullivan says:

    The authentic Heartland material is damning enough without the strategy memo.

    Bloggers being bloggers and journalists being journalists, that story, of course, is now way on the back burner.   And ultimately that’s what Gleick should be most ashamed of.

  19. EdG says:

    17 Jack Hughes

    I think I answered your question in my previous post:

    “If Gleick had been smarter and more critical ““ that is, more like a real scientist and less like an overzealous fanatic on a crusade ““ he never would have taken [this bait].”

    Just change Gleick to Black and change scientist to journalist.

    These people are activists masquerading as ‘scientists’ or ‘journalists.’

    And if the BBC is going to save the last shred of their credibility, they must get rid of Black after this episode. The comments on his spin piece were brutal, and accurate.

  20. sambo says:

    grypo, I believe this was the sentence Mosher was talking about.
    “Dr. Wojick is a consultant with the Office of Scientific and Technical Information at the U.S. Department of Energy in the area of information and communication science”
    I doubt this originated from inside Heartland. No one would have written what they were trying to prevent the teaching of “science”. I googled what heartland has said about education in the past, however it’s usually general education, or about climate science. That doesn’t prove that they wouldn’t phrase it that way, however it doesn’t prove they would either (climate science is different than just science). Also, I doubt anyone would believe that setting Gleick up in that manner would work, so they probably would want to spend more time fundraising than trying a stunt like that.
    There is a possibility that it was a reader of Gleick’s (at Forbes most likely) who wrote the memo and forwarded it to Gleick. That would explain the style consistency and the innaccuracies since they are external to heartland. There would still be some details to explain such as how they happenned to get a hold of the same documents as Gleick, however that is much more likely than any of the other scenarios. He may also be trying to protect a young activist who sent him the whole package without telling him the strategy memo is a fake.
    As for when we’ll find out, my guess is Gleick won’t reveal anything soon pending court action. He may want to clear the air, however he needs to protect himself (I have no problem with that, and I’m willing to be patient to find out the real story, or as close to it as we’ll get).

  21. My hypothesis: 

    Bast, in an unguarded moment displays his real attitudes to the inner circle, who take it in stride.

    But one member of the inner circle is some old geezer who habitually prints out emails in his home office. A simpatico nephew or such spots it in the little trash basket under the desk while Unca Scrooge is out golfing or coin-diving or whatever people with too much money do. Call the informant Dewey. Or Louie would do.

    Louie is duly horrified. Sees Gleick’s name on the memo, forwards to Gleick. Gleick is competent at social engineering, but doesn’t realize his physical location is encoded in outgoing email. Gleick’s Institute, no doubt, has a fixed IP range and can be tracked back from the IP number in the email headers.

    Google “sometimes” obscures these in email per 

    http://support.google.com/mail/bin/answer.py?hl=en&topic=12787&answer=26903

    but it’s not clear when. Suppose on Gleick’s phishing expedition, these were exposed. Or, he might have used a different email client.

    In any case, as soon as Heartland knew they had been tricked, they asked some techie guy, perhaps Mosher directly, if the source could be traced. “Maybe” was the initial answer, and “yes” was the follow-up. 

    There is in fact an admission by Mosher that he was “working on”  tracking the IP number at Lucia’s, but this was after the accusations of Gleick had started, which confuses me a bit. Perhaps something to obscure the trail.

    Anyway, the suspicion of Gleick which seemed so utterly bizarre at the time could well have been based on certainty that it was either from Gleick or somebody spoofing Gleick’s IP.

    When Gleick told his version of events, he was under legal advice, but he said nothing untrue, in my opinion. Thus, the social engineering was based on the disputed memo, and intended to verify the memo. It succeeded in that.

    Therefore the memo is probably real.

    Some people think that it could not have been real because it shows the author (likely Bast) being so cynical about the actual truth about climate. Others do not find the cynicism unlikely in the least.

    Those who have the alternative story are asking us to believe several things:

    1) Peter Gelick would, without provocation, have taken on a hackish social engineering project to steal documents from Heartland.

    2) Although he had, in this scenario, had no information about Heartland that was not public, they were lax enough to basically let him see what he asked for

    3) Although nothing in the memo, except for some minor errors, is not in the formal documents, Gleick would have been so dissatisfied that he would concoct a forgery

    4) Although text analysis software is now showing that the forged memo is stylistically more like Bast than like Gleick, Mosher instantly knew it was Gleick because he was mentioned in the memo, and why would Bast care about him anyway. Then others went around practically assuming that Gleick was the person who had extracted the formal documents

    All four of these hypotheses strike me as highly implausible. But we are asked to believe all of them. Why? Because some people would find it implausible that Bast would be as cynical in private as the memo shows.

    Weighing on the other side is not only the implausibility of the various parts of the scenario, but also a total lack of plausible motivation for Gleick.

    I know which version sounds more plausible to me. Your mileage may vary, of course. Louis or Dewey could have spiced up the memo before mailing it to Gleick, for instance.

    But my inclination is that there is nothing fake about it.

  22. harrywr2 says:

    #21 MT
    Inside job theory holes –
    This sentence –
    “Our climate work is attractive to funders, especially our key ‘anonymous donor’.
    It like a Doctor saying
    Our medical work is attractive to clients, especially our key ‘anonymous patient’.
    A doctor may or may not refer to people as ‘clients’ or ‘patients’. But to use both phrases in a single sentence seems bizarre to me.
    Of course, someone who was running a non-profit that received a lot of ‘funding’ from the Federal Government and various state environmental agency’s might. Because ‘funding agencies’ are not ‘donors’.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

  23. lucia says:

    In any case, as soon as Heartland knew they had been tricked, they asked some techie guy, perhaps Mosher directly, if the source could be traced. “Maybe” was the initial answer, and “yes” was the follow-up.
    I haven’t asked Mosher directly but I have very strong reasons to believe that Heartland had not asked Mosher to any questions this early the process.  No. I’m not sharing.
     

  24. Steve Fitzpatrick says:

    Keith,
    You asked “Lastly, what would it take for Gleick himself to end all this speculation?” 
    I rather suspect there is nothing in the world that would motivate Gleick to end all this speculation, at least at present.  If things look very bad for him (legally) that could change, of course.  I see Gleick as someone between a rock and a hard place.  If he fesses up completely, he will probably lose his position at the Pacific Institute and become radioactive in many climate circles.  If he ‘hangs tough’ and then is found to be yet more culpable, then things will be even worse for him in the future.  The events to date do not bode well for Dr. Gleick.
    I hesitate to give someone like Gleick advice, but here goes: Tell the truth.  Don’t dissemble and don’t equivocate, apologize sincerely to HI (completely absent so far), ask everyone for forgiveness, friends and adversaries alike, and resolve privately to never do anything like this again.  DO NOT say anything like ‘they are evil and deserve to be exposed’, which is basically all you have said so far.  By now I hope you can begin (maybe?) to see that you are in no position to make that judgement.  Unlike you, those ‘evil denialists’ at HI you so often rant about are remarkably forgiving… if you honestly admit your errors; but what you have said so far is 100% unconvincing.   When you are in a deep hole, first stop digging.
     
    Michael Tobis,
    You provide unending levity and comedy. Thank you for your comments.

  25. sambo says:

    Steven Sullivan, what exactly is so damning in the authentic documents? The Koch funding was minor and was likely not even for Climate Change (HCN). The NIPCC funding was already evident and the monthly funding to Fred Singer and co was mostly for travel and expenses related to this report (the same thing they were offering Gleick for the debate). The Watts funding is for an innocous project to make data available online (the horror!). The education program, while not something I would particularly agree with, is completely consistent with their views without resorting to some big conspiracy. Even that is more consistent with teaching that science should be skeptical (something I agree with, however I would use a less political example to teach that).

  26. sambo says:

    Michael Tobis, Your theory makes similarly implausible assumptions about Bast. Namely, that he hides his true feelings in order to appear more attractive for donors and not raise the ire of the media. However, he is not a politician, so his demographic is exactly the type of person who agrees with him. Why lie in that case? And as for media coverage, controversial comments likely help him since they increase funding. Am I missing something?

    Also, if you argument is that Gleick wouldn’t lie, we’ll that’s demonstrably false since that’s exactly what he admits to doing. 

    I won’t assume the worst, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t told the whole story. 

  27. sambo says:

    MT, Sorry, one other question. What text analysis are you refering to? I haven’t seen it yet, although that would be interesting.

  28. kch says:

    “Lastly, what would it take for Gleick himself to end all this speculation?”

    If he did fake the memo, coming clean would be the only possibility. If he didn’t fake it, cooperating fully and openly to assist with tracking down the author would work.

    Stonewalling ensures that he will continue to appear guilty, negates any mitigation of possible guilt and strengthens HI’s position on any possible civil suits. Kinda makes me wonder why his ‘friends’ seem to be encouraging this course.

  29. #26 <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begging_the_question”>begs the question</a>.

    If the memo is real, Bast is revealed as cynical and indifferent. That is why Bast is either 1) so offended by the fake or 2) claiming to be so offended by the revelation of his true attitude.

    So his outrage gives us no information, because if real and he were cynical, he would claim to be offended.
     
    26 assumes Bast is not cynical. This is comparable to assuming that Gleick is not crazy, I suppose. So the question I raise is, assuming one or the other to be the case, which one has the more plausible story? 
     

  30. EdG says:

    Yes, I agree completely with Michael Tobis.

    And I am also sure that there are still WMDs hidden in Iraq and that Elvis is still alive.

  31. Steve Fitzpatrick says:

    EdG,
    Well, Elvis (if alive) would today be 75 years old.  I wounder: will people still say he is alive in another 20 years, or 30, or 40?  If Tobis is still alive in 30 years, then perhaps there is hope for Elvis!

  32. sambo says:

    #28 I agree that Bast’s outrage gives no information. I’m just having trouble  understanding why Bast would hide his true feelings from the public. It doesn’t seem to help in the least with raising money from donors. Especially since this scenario shows him to be cynical and indifferent, he would likely only be focused on raising more money and making Heartland more influential (more power through more money and noteriety).

    FWIW, I find the most plausible scenario is that it was one of Gleick’s readers who assembled the package and forged the memo. Likely someone who buy’s every word of the worst conspiracy theories about Heartland, is young and impulsive. The package was likely exactly what was released, and Gleick obtained the authentic documents from Heartland (although maybe he’s just taking the blame for that too) in order to corroborate the whole package. He probably sent the documents without even suspecting that one was fake. This would explain many of the odd points of this story, although it still requires Gleick to be holding back some info (although in this case it may be to protect someone who he may have gotten to know through the Forbes column and casual emails/comments in the articles). 

  33. grypo says:

    I have no idea what that sentence about Wojick has to do with Gleick.  I googled it and it leads to Heartland’s Wojick bio.  So whoever wrote the funding doc took it from their own website, and whoever wrote the strat memo took it from the funding doc or the website.  What is that supposed to signify?  I see no way that this sentence being plagiarized leads to any conclusion, especially to Gleick.  Because that’s what we are talking about.  The conversation with McIntyre has nothing to do with who wrote the strat memo nor gives us incite into how Gleick was fingered so quickly.

  34. Matt B says:

    To play along with this whole ridiculous premise, it makes no sense why Gleick would even feel the need for “supporting documents”:
    At the beginning of 2012, I received an anonymous document in the mail describing what appeared to be details of the Heartland Institute’s climate program strategy…..
    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.
    Given the potential impact however, I attempted to confirm the accuracy of the information in this document.
    Why bother confirming the accuracy? Why on earth wouldn’t he just go public and say “Hey look I got this memo from Heartland! They’re anti-science jerks!” He didn’t know who sent it, so he couldn’t rat anyone out; he made it public later so he clearly didn’t care if the “anonymous” sender got in trouble. He had plenty of people who had his public relations back no matter what. He certainly never seemed shy about courting controversy before. Why didn’t he just straight out go public with the memo?

  35. sambo says:

    For convenience, here’s the comment linked to above.

    “Theories about a whistleblower make no sense to me.
    A whistleblower inside heartland would presumably know Wojick well enough NOT to resort to plagairism in writing the description of Wojick.
    That ONE sentence jumped out at me immediately as one not written by the person who wrote the rest of the paragraph
    “Dr. Wojick is a consultant with the Office of Scientific and Technical Information at the
    U.S. Department of Energy in the area of information and communication science”
    Let me tell you exactly how this happened.
    Steve mcintyre called me. I was busy working on BEST. I had already posted my theory on Lucias.
    He asked me if I had done what I normally do, which is look for high entropy words/phrases.
    I said no. Honestly I had only skimmed the document and thought it was fake and figure it was Gleick. I had already posted my theory. Steve sent along one of Gliecks tweets. And he asked me to read the document a second time.
    On the phone I read it to him giving my thoughts as I read. I noted the odd use of parenthesis and the lousy use of commas. Then I read the sentence above and told steve “ this sentence was not written by the person who wrote the rest”. With steve listening, I tried to explain why the style was different..and then I just googled the shit.
    Basically, whoever wrote this didnt know Gleick well enough to write a bio in his own words, so he cribbed it from heartland’s web page. For me, that points away from an insider and not toward one. After all, according to this memo Wojick is at the center of the strategy with Gleick. Hard to imagine an insider who knows so little that they have to copy a bio.” 

  36. Dan Moutal says:

    ” Even Shawn Lawrence Otto has joined the parlor game”

    He did more than that. He took the software recommended by Watts and performed an analysis of the of the memo, comparing it to writing samples from Bast and Gleick. 

    What did he find? That Bast was the more likely author of the memo.

    Is this conclusive? Not at all, but it does raise some questions about how some people were able to pin this on Gleick so quickly when his writing was not as similar to the Memo as first reported.

    As far as I am concerned non of the evidence is strong enough for me to determine who wrote that memo.

  37. kdk33 says:

    Gleick is a double agent.  Planted years ago after deep indoctrination at a secret right wing training camp.  He has no memeory of this.  He was programed to self destruct then snet forth to study climate.

    The code word is Tobis.  Steve Mcyntire is his handler.  He phone glieck in the middle of the night and, when Glieck answered, whispered: Tobis, Michael Tobis.  Then hung up.  I have it on good authority Gliecks eyes are still glazed and dialated.  He might not caryy the memory of these last few days.

    Mcyntire phone Mosher, who actually runs the secret right wing training camp, and alerted him.  Of course, Mosther and Mcyntire are secretyly in the employ of HI, who is but a servent of big oil.  HI owns the right wing training camp, code-named: entrenched interests.

    I think this explains almost everything.  But how many other Gleicks are out there. 

  38. Dan Moutal says:

    “Hard to imagine an insider who knows so little that they have to copy a bio.”

    Of course it could just be laziness.  You could write it yourself, but it is easier to copy/paste.

    The problem with all these assumptions is that they could easily be wrong. Hence why I am keep saying we simply have no way of knowing who wrote the memo unless more information comes to light. 

  39. dave says:

    Gleick can wait until people lose interest, which appears to be his (smart) strategy.
     
    If I were sitting on a jury hearing the case that Gleick forged the memo, I’d already be certain he did. The circumstantial case is very strong. I’m not a lawyer, though, and I don’t know if the rules of evidence would permit a guilty vote. I think I’d have to return a verdict of OJ-innocent, not innocent-innocent. Unless new evidence comes to light (e.g. the email exchanges between Gleick and HI would be helpful), we’ll never know the truth.
    One thing that I haven’t heard mentioned a lot that I think is important: Gleick didn’t just tell a white lie to obtain the documents, and his lying didn’t stop after he got the documents. He passed himself off as an actual board member of HI convincingly enough to fool a staffer. He lied about circumstances in that board member’s life. Simple stuff — like he changed his email address or missed a meeting — but simple stuff that could have done real harm to that person. He then emailed some of his friends in the climate science community, lying again about his identity when he claimed to be a “Heartland Insider.”
    Glieck lied with callous disregard for not only the board member but the staffer; both of whom might have been involved only tangentially in the climate debate. He lied with callous disregard to how his allies receiving the documents might look if he ever got caught. He lied easily enough and well enough that people should be taking a hard look at all of his past statements. 
    Whether or not he forged the memo — and I hope it can be agreed that he at least has demonstrated the necessary mendacity to have done so — his credibility should be, as Revkin originally argued, in ruins.

  40. sambo says:

    Dan, agreed, but that doesn’t stop speculation. Hopefully we can all learn from these events. I’m tired of seeing so many conspiracy theories and that’s not the conclusion everyone should immediately jump to.

  41. hunter says:

    Dan,
    It was a forgery by Gleick.
     

  42. hunter says:

    Steve,
    If nothing would motivate Gleick to end the questions about this, he is truly pathetic and amoral.
     

  43. hunter says:

    @21 Michael,
    Do you really think a Snidley Whiplash memo like this properly reflects what Bast is thinking?
    Please look in a mirror, look yourself in the eye and ask that.
     
     

  44. willard says:

    > Tell the truth.  [..] DO NOT say anything like “˜they are evil and deserve to be exposed’
     
    A rock and a hard place.

  45. re #43 “Do you really think a Snidley Whiplash memo like this properly reflects what Bast is thinking?”
    I have no prior model of Bast.
    I have always been of the impression that most anti-consensus people, like Watts etc., had managed to work themselves into their beliefs by selective looking at evidence. I have also always been of the impression that a few people involved are totally cynical and have some way of advancing their personal fortunes at the expense of this drummed up controversy, else it could not really persist.
    So suppose someone were really feathering their own nest on other people’s natural disinclination to accepting strange and threatening news. Where would you look for them? Well, the upper echelons of think tanks might be a reasonable place.
    I know nothing about Bast. A week ago I don’t think I would have recognized the name. But that somebody, somewhere, who was a paid agent in the AGW-denial business could write a memo like that, for a close set of cronies? That doesn’t surprise me at all.
    Heartland is in the business of pushing untruths down people’s throats and destroying the future as a side effect of skimming a few bucks from their wealthy benefactors. It’s about as cynical a line of work as has ever existed. The only question about them is whether they are able to fool themselves in the way Watts fools himself.
    The memo indicates that they are not. Therefore their strategy revolves around disavowing the memo and reversing the order of cause and effect. This would be the case regardless of whether it were real or fraud, so their statements carry very little persuasive weight.
    Anyway, perhaps we can all agree that it’s certainly providing an interesting litmus test.
     

  46. Marlowe Johnson says:

    well said michael as usual. 

  47. Menth says:

    I’m gonna have to side with kdk33 @38 on this one, I have yet to see anyone explore the double agent theory. There could very well also be some play by the reverse vampires and of course by extension the Rand Corporation. 

  48. Menth says:

    That said, speculation is entertaining and undoubtedly not to stop until more information is released. 

  49. sambo says:

    Michael Tobis,

    I agree some are very cynical, however I think there are some on both sides. I would consider Bast to be misguided in some aspects (certainly the K-12 stuff, but we’ll see how it turns out) however I don’t think he’s quite as cynical as you’re making him out to be. The simplest evidence I can give is that if he is being motivated solely by money, then he’s doing a damn poor job of it. The documents show that heartlands revenues are under $5M last year, which is for several other projects on top of Climate Change (which accounts for around $1M as far as I could tell, although that’s just my guess after reading through the documents). I googled “climate science funding” (in google news) and the second story was Bill Gates donating $4.6M to investigate geoengineering solutions (limited prior to when this story broke since otherwise there wasn’t anything else). I hardly think that’s the only funding going to green initiatives. Considering Heartland has been made to look like the centerpiece of the grand denier scheme to thwart science, that is more than a little underwhelming.

    The fact is this is far from the smoking gun some are trying to make this out to be.

  50. JimR says:

    I think this whole episode highlights one of the most divisive and polarizing aspects of regarding climate change, that many of the CAGW believers have convinced themselves that those who disagree with them are truly bad people. They have really convinced themselves that there are not differing opinions on the issue of climate change. Instead in their world people either agree or they have an ulterior motive.
    MT express this sentiment which seems to be shared by the few clinging to the idea that the Heartland strategy memo is real. At least he does acknowledge that not all are bad people, some are just able to “fool themselves” as he puts it. And this is why the various sides in the climate discussion will never get together. There are many very vocal CAGW activists who firmly believe it’s a black and white area. Either you believe as they do or you are one of the bad guys. Bridge building attempts will be burned and actions such as Gleick’s will be called heroic.

  51. Dan Moutal says:

    “Bill Gates donating $4.6M to investigate geoengineering solutions”

    If I understand the Bill Gates funding stuff correctly it certainly isn’t ‘funding going to green initiatives’. Rather it is funding going to research. This is a very big distinction.

  52. BBD says:

    JimR
     
    MT express this sentiment which seems to be shared by the few clinging to the idea that the Heartland strategy memo is real.
     
    Let’s not forget that it makes little real difference. The intent and effect of HI are exactly as MT outlines at (45). And as many others have pointed out, the memo is essentially validated by the other undisputed documents.
     
    The provenance of the memo is a very convenient red herring for HI. I agree with Dan Moutal @ (39). I posted this yesterday on the Combustible Climate thread:
     
    The circumstantial evidence for PG as author is suggestive but not compelling. Perhaps no further commentary on this topic can be considered fair since it is not possible to resolve on the present evidence.
     
    Further evidence is required.
     
    Further evidence is still required today. Nothing has changed. Arguing about this will serve only to distract from the real matter – the intent and effect of HI*.
     
    (Note the exact repetition: ‘intent and effect of HI’. Possible evidence that this comment is a forgery).

  53. kdk33 says:

    I’m trying to find daylight between my #38 and Tobis #45. 

    There ain’t much.

  54. Dave H says:

    @Matt B
     
    > To play along with this whole ridiculous premise, it makes no sense why Gleick would even feel the need for “supporting documents”:
     
    Try thinking it through from the point of view that Gleick’s story is accurate. If all that had been released was the strategy memo, where would he be? Heartland would still claim it was fake, while Gleick would still be accused of forging it himself (or at the very least lambasted for not corroborating the document). Heartland would not be being scrutinised in the way it currently is, and when the true elements of the strategy memo came to light later nobody would ever believe them.
     

  55. Dave H says:

    @Keith
     
    > Lastly, what would it take for Gleick himself to end all this speculation?
     
    Gleick has already given his story, so clearly nothing that he can actually say will persuade those that have already made their minds up.
     
    Under the guilty-until-proven-innocent rule of blog commentary he would have to produce corroborating evidence (such as an email from him asking for the named documents cited in the memo, or a response from Heartland intimating that he specifically asked for those documents). This corroborating evidence may not exist, or he may have been advised legally to not release his correspondence with Heartland.
     
    I would suggest it probable that, if such evidence exists, Heartland has it too, and that if it served their version of events they would release it themselves without fear of prejudicing any legal proceedings.
     

  56. hunter says:

    By golly, the believers are going to go ahead and self immolate over this. Sad to watch but great for skepticism and a great way for the disgusting AGW movement to deeply damage itself.
     
     

  57. hunter says:

    @46,
    Michael,
    As to your reframing of the HI mission: Since you attribute wicked cynicism to them, I assume you will not mind when it is attributed to you.
    The intolerance of so many AGW true believers- and especially when those ideologues are well educated- is one of the most dysfunctional aspects of AGW. Overlooked in all of your condemnation of think tanks is that there are many more, vastly larger, on the AGW promotion side.

  58. BBD says:

    hunter @ 57
     
    By golly, the believers are going to go ahead and self immolate over this. Sad to watch but great for skepticism and a great way for the disgusting AGW movement to deeply damage itself.
     
    Let’s not forget that the provenance of the memo makes little real difference. The intent and effect of HI are exactly as MT outlines at (45). And as many others have pointed out, the memo is essentially validated by the other undisputed documents.
     
    The memo is a very convenient diversion of attention from HI itself, not to mention allowing ‘sceptics’ their escaped ferret moment of the year. Enjoy it while it lasts 😉
     

  59. kdk33 says:

    MT express this sentiment which seems to be shared by the few clinging to the idea that the Heartland strategy memo is real.
     
    Let’s not forget that it makes little real difference.
    ————————————————————————

    Look folks.  It’s all right here.  It doesn’t matter to the believers whether the document is real or not.  It conforms to the pre-existing expectation.  It reaffirms their beliefs.  Ergo, it is really “real”, even if it isn’t really real.

    Similarly, it doesn’t matter that extreme weather events aren’t measurably increasing.  They are increasing, regardless, becauser they believe it to be so.  CO2 changes climate in a way that is simultaneously dangerous and non-detectable.

    What a circus.  But entertaining, definitely entertaining.

  60. kdk33 says:

    OMG,

    And before I can even hit submit, BBD doubles down.

    Fantastic!

  61. Martha says:

    Michael Tobis raises plausible points.

    And Otto is not the only one to reasonably suggest alternate scenarios quite different from what deniers (and many journalists) have encouraged with their lazy analytics.

    Let’s re-consider some things.  Gunther and most others assert that the memo includes mistakes about Heartland that no insider would make, that is clearly a problematic assertion.  Why is this problematic?  Well, not just because the discrepancies are relatively minor.

    Unfortunately, most speculation has been without necessary insight into specific organizational issues.  The reality is that if the documents other than the memo were prepared for an internal meeting with Board members, people should recognize that these would not be the most ‘secret’ of documents or information.  While not for public consumption, we’re not talking about what is super-dooper secret, either.  While the difference in identified Koch funding amount should not be dismissed, it might reflect a different kind of error than is assumed by Gunther and others since what is a financial ‘secret’ at this and similar corporations, is the more sensitive donor information —  such as anonymous donors covered under pathetically lax American corporate tax shelters.  In other words, there is a possibility that the memo information is the more accurate.  

    Heartland may very well have given e.g. $200000 and not $25000 last year, and that would not necessarialy be reflected in an internal budget document prepared for a meeting.  This is about how  corporate finance and tax cuts work.  Increasingly, heavily monitored corporations, in the absence of appropriate laws about these things, are creative. The overall level of ignorance displayed by people about these things is alarming. 🙁
    Regardless of the details of possible scenarios, the very limited insight on this and other blogs so far reflects a dearth of relevant knowledge by most commenters. Let’s not call this kind of coverage ‘analysis’, since it is not. 

    (By the way, as a scientist who is also a democracy advocate, Gleick would be  more than well aware that publicly i.e.,  as monitored by Greenpeace and other activist groups, there have been no publicly traceable donations from Koch to Heartland for quite awhile until last year, and what last year’s public disclosure was, in fact.   So the difference in amounts is somewhat interesting for many reasons, least of all for those arguing that Gleick himself wrote the memo and made such an ‘error’.)    

    ETc.

    Steve Sullivan says  “The authentic Heartland material is damning enough without the strategy memo.  Bloggers being bloggers and journalists being journalists, that story, of course, is now way on the back burner.   And ultimately that’s what Gleick should be most ashamed of.”
    However, clearly many disagree.  At least, thinking people need a good reason to dismiss all the sites and internet activity that are talking about this and are usually completely outside of both partisan politics and climate discussions, full of reporting and commentary that reflects how ordinary people are fed up with being manipulated and oppressed by the PR of the likes of Heartland.  This incident has raised discussion and awareness at an important time.  Pretending not to notice popular reaction is the equivalent of silencing and ignoring your own public.

    Short-term, Gleick is uncomfortable.  Long-term, it remains to be seen who should be ashamed. 

    This will be about what the public gets out of it longer-term, and whether people feel their will is being expressed by ideology and activity of groups like Heartland.  

  62. Martha says:

    “$200000 and not $25000”

    $200,000 not $25,000  😉

  63. BBD says:

    kdk33
     
    Look folks.  It’s all right here.  It doesn’t matter to the believers whether the document is real or not. 
     
    It doesn’t matter full stop. We can ignore it. The other documents are not contested by HI. The fake curriculum project alone is sufficiently appalling to stop most reasonable people dead in their tracks.

  64. BBD says:

    And lest we forget, this is not the first time by any means. Remember HI trying to confuse children in Canada (2008):

    OTTAWA, May 5 (UPI) — Some 11,250 schools in Canada were sent teaching material from a Chicago think-tank that contends humans are not responsible for global warming.

    The Heartland Institute, based in Chicago, purchased the school mailing list to provide balance to environmental teaching, its science director, Jay Lehr told the Canwest News Service.

    “All the kids in our schools are being taught that climate change is a serious crisis and that we’ve got to reduce our (carbon dioxide) and they’re being taught quite falsely,” Lehr said. “We would like to educate people and basically give them the other side of the issue, so we send out materials only in hope of a little balance.”

    Among the materials the group sent was a 10-minute DVD called “Unstoppable Solar Cycles: The Real Story of Greenland,” which says scientists are “deeply divided” about “the notion that climate change is mostly the result of human activities.”

    The Greenpeace environmental group said Heartland’s financial sponsors include the Exxon-Mobil oil company, which has donated $791,000 to the institute since 1998, the report said.

    http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2008/05/05/Global-warming-skeptics-target-students/UPI-72571209994965/#ixzz1nC2dPVAj

    A short list of HI distortions:

    – CC is serious; this is not being taught ‘quite falsely’ in schools

    – CO2 emissions are the principal driver of modern warming

    – CO2 emissions need to be reduced

    – There is no ‘other side of the issue’, therefore HI’s ‘balance’ is false and misleading (political not scientific)

    – Scientists are not ‘deeply divided’ about human cause of CC

    – It’s not the sun*

    *A synopsis of the scientific understanding of the solar influence on climate is available here.

  65. hunter says:

    BBD,
    The curriculum work is perfectly legal, ethical and reasonable.
    You are having vapors because it disagrees with your little list making mentality.
     

  66. hunter says:

    BBD @59,
    You are, to put it diplomatically, saying things that have no connection with reality when you claim it does not matter if the memo in question is real.
    Try your line of reasoning in court, or in a law suit. Try your line of reasoning when telling an investor about the great results you can get for them. You are either suffering from a severe strain, or you have abandoned not only your ethics and morals but your ability to discern reality as well.l
     

  67. Jarmo says:

    George Monbiot declares Gleick is a democratic hero:

     I see Peter Gleick, the man who obtained and leaked the devastating documents from the Heartland Institute, as a democratic hero. I do not think he should have apologised, nor do I believe that his job should be threatened. He has done something of benefit to society.

    Obtained …..hmm… 

     http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2012/feb/24/christopher-booker-heartland-climate?intcmp=122

  68. hunter says:

    kdk33,
    It was one thing to see blog warriors like BBD take crazy stands. It is another, I would suggest, when someone like Michael Tobis goes bonkers in defense of the indefensible. It would appear that the AGW opinion leaders have been working themselves to self-destruction for a long time.  But all along, has it not been amazing that AGW believers could never back down on even one small thing? It always had to be them being 100% right, and nothing anyone on their side said was ever out of line. We now see this turned into a caricature of historic proportions.
     

  69. hunter says:

    BBD,
    Greenpeace is just greedy and selfish. In that period of time since 1998, they have received tens of millions from big oil companies. Your sad inability to consider that in your blundering off the cliff is very entertaining.
    Please continue.
     

  70. hunter says:

    Dave H,
    Gleick is not guilty until proven innocent. He did some things he has confessed to, and claims he did it because of certain things he was sent. He has offered no proof of this aspect of his claim at all. But we know from other things he has said about this, that he is perfectly willing to lie and cheat in order to push his agenda. Why are you so easily believing he is truthful now if we know he was untruthful regarding the same issue earlier?
    Gleick can settle this by telling the full truth. His ‘apology’ is full of holes and prevarications, so it is clear there is more to the story from him.
    Putting HI on trial, and fabricating crimes by HI to defend Gleick is a losing technique. if this was court, the jury would be looking at your defense with angry glares and rolling eyes.
     
     

  71. Dave H says:

    @Hunter
    #71
     
    > Gleick is not guilty until proven innocent.
     
    #42
     
    > It was a forgery by Gleick.

  72. PDA says:

    What I don’t get is what it is that people think Gleick had to gain by forging the “Strategy” doc. As Megan McArdle notes, “every single verifiable fact that’s in the memo is found in another one of the documents, or available in a public source.”

    So why go to the trouble – let alone the risk – of forging a document if it doesn’t contain something incriminating, or at least something that makes Heartland look bad? A passage like “early results of our kitten-drowning initiative are unsatisfactory, but the initial tests of Operation Kick Grannies show promise” would be plausibly deniable by Heartland but provide a good sound bite.

    It’s amusing to me – and not in a happy way – that in this case, most of the coverage seems to be about the hack, with little to no attention being paid to what’s in the documents themselves. With the CRU emails, most of the coverage was about the content, with little to no attention paid to the hack. 

    Everybody hated Cassandra, too. And she was no happier than the Trojans were when everyone found she was right.

  73. hunter says:

    One last thought, then I have to go for awhile:
    Let us say the Gleick story is real: the memo was not forged by him and represents something HI really said. So HI goes away, or is greatly reduced. I and many others will condemn HI categorically. I will demand my small donation back. And Gleick is still facing criminal charges. He still lied and committed wire fraud, and apparently violated a California law about on line fraud to boot. Even if the memo is HI’s AGW is still a dysfunctional movement that honors thieves and liars and wants lists of people who disagree with them. And no matter how hard the believers spin it, the idea we are facing a CO2 caused climate crisis is still apocalyptic clap trap with no evidence to support it.
     

  74. Marlowe Johnson says:

    @73
    the different treatment that this episode is getting compared to the CRU hack is indeed depressing.  If Cassandra were around today I’m sure she’d be popping all kinds of happy pills…..

  75. Jeff Norris says:

    PDA (73)
      McArdle explained it this way.
     
    “The climate blogs presumably relied so heavily on the memo because the quotes were punchier, and suggested far darker motivations than the blandly professional language of the authenticated documents–and because it edited the facts into a neat, almost narrative story. ”

  76. BBD says:

    Marlowe
     
    She’d need crystal meth to keep up with hunter & co.

  77. BBD says:

    So, as I keep on saying – we can ignore the memo but the issues over the intent and effect of HI remain. It is interesting that the excitable contrarians here cannot seem to grasp this simple fact.

  78. Keith Kloor says:

    PDA,

    I’m not sure how to put this, but the allegedly forged document has added value if it was written by a climate activist. Think Andy Revkin and Judith Curry, for starters. But there are other curious phrasings in the memo, as well.

    As for why much of the current coverage is on the hack and not the documents, here are some thoughts. 1) Before Gleick outed himself, mainstream press coverage was focused largely on the documents (with some journalists even lazily looking away at the oddities of the Strategy memo.) 2) Once Gleick made his admission, that naturally becomes a huge story in of itself, because of his prominence and his role in the climate wars. Then there’s the divided reaction to what he did, with some on his side calling him a hero and others calling him a twat. 3) There is no escaping the fact that his Huffington Post explanation rings strange. Anyone with half a brain can see that. Am I saying he’s the one who wrote the strategy memo, or that he’s not telling the truth? No. I just think that his whole story, as Marc Gunther says, “strains credulity, to put it mildly.”

  79. grypo says:

    “Am I saying he’s the one who wrote the strategy memo, or that he’s not telling the truth? No. I just think that his whole story, as Marc Gunther says, strains credulity, to put it mildly.’ “

    That’s good to know.  And yet, once again, we have Gunther’s editorializing, which, points back to McArdle, which you posted here.  Is what you posted the best argument for how the story “strains credulity”?  Because, let’s take a look, once again at her logic.  

    1)  She is saying that the “It is not printed on Heartland Institute letterhead”
    –  irrelevant, there is no need to print something to letterhead until it actually officially being sent somewhere or someone officially.  Why this is mentioned, I have no idea.

    2)no information identifying the supposed author 
      – so what

    3)  or audience
      – Yes it does, it is in fact very specific

    4)  weird locutions more typical of Heartland’s opponents than of climate skeptics
     –  This says absolutely nothing about Gleick

    5)  appears to have been written in a somewhat slapdash fashion
    – And this tells you what about Gleick?

    Not to mention that NONE OF THIS POINTS TO GLEICK AS IT CAN BE ANYONE with access to those documents who wrote it and Gleick’s story doesn’t “strain” anything.

    Now lets back to my first comment about McArdle:

    Wait, whether  Gleick forged the memo or someone sent it to him, he still risked his career by obtaining the documents!  What you put there has nothing to do with believing his story.  If he’s lying, then, not only did he trick HI into sending him documents, he also forged a document, adding onto the risk.  So why exactly does that logic matter?  Unless you think he’s covering for somebody, which is highly unlikely.

    So if the argument is:  Gleick’s story “strains credulity” then what you are saying is that fact that he attempted to verify the documents instead of either 1) throwing them away (which is ridiculous, of course) or 2) showing them to someone means that his story is strange because as McArdle puts it: “wasn’t he worried that impersonating board members in order to obtain confidential material might be, I don’t know, illegal?  Forget about the morality of it: the risk is all out of proportion to the possible reward.
     

    Yet we KNOW HE DID THIS EITHER WAY.  Not only that, but him faking the documents, as opposed to  just verifying them by pretending to be someone through an email, takes the act to whole other level, making his risk GREATER and not mention, much more perilously difficult without the information from the strat letter.

    I’m afraid that by forwarding the already-agreed-upon journalist narrative – that Gleick’s story strains credulity – you are spreading a story that HAS NO LOGIC WHATSOEVER.  If you disagree, please put up a post that does not ignore these arguments, and doesn’t rest on McArdle’s opinions. 

  80. Jarmo says:

    #78

    Whatever HI does not affect global emissions at all. Nor does public condemnation of HI. Or education of school children.

    China is set to double its emissions by 2025. This here is background noise, a footnote of a footnote.

  81. PDA says:

    Keith – and BBD, for what it’s worth – perceptions are not facts. This thing is a Rorschach, and I’m not blaming anyone for having the “wrong” perception. I think it’s worth bearing in mind, though, that there are precious few “facts” in this situation: just assertions and a lot of guesswork.

    “Curious phrasings” and “rings strange” are value judgments and assessments. Saying that “anyone with half a brain” would have to not only share your judgments but see them as fact is, in my mind, indicative of someone who’s not even thinking they may have biases and preconceptions about this.

  82. hunter says:

    grypo,
    You have perhaps not dealt with what criminals do or the results of what they do.
    I have, unfortunately.
    Peter Gleick’s rationalizations having nothing to do with ethical logic. You keep holding up that lack of ethical logic as some sort of defense. I would suggest that it is a strawman defense at best. You seem to think he was risking himself in getting those docs, so he must be telling the truth now. that does not hold up to any sort of reasonable scrutiny at all.

    Now you true believers are clustering around this sort of strawman. And here you have PDA, for instance, saying that to point out the ridiculous nature of Gleick’s partial confession is a sign of not being objective, all the while not commenting on the values and objectivity of those who want to declare Peter Gleick a hero of the revolution.
      
        

  83. harrywr2 says:

    BBD Says:
    A short list of HI distortions:
    They are only distortions from your perspective.
    Similar to
    Tritium Leaks at the Vermont Yankee Power Plant pose a serious threat to public health.
    You have to believe in ‘Linear No Threshold'(no safe level) and then define a ‘Serious Threat to Public Health’ as increasing the risk of cancer by 1/100,0000.
    The ‘consensus’ view among epidemiologists is that Tritium leaks don’t pose a serious threat to public health. You wouldn’t know it by reading any of the ‘literature’ being passed out by various ‘Green Groups’ in Vermont.
    Sometimes I find some in the ‘Climate Concerned’ movement embracing of ‘Green Peace’ contradictory. I.E. Green Peace’s position on ‘Global Warming’ is based on ‘Consensus Science’…but Green Peace’s position on radiation exposure clearly contradicts the ‘Consensus Science’.
     

  84. Marlowe Johnson says:

    @80
    +1

    I doubt Keith or the rest of his tribe (RPJr/Revkin) will address the logical holes of the narrative that they’ve promoted over the last few days but one can always hope. 

  85. hunter says:

    @73 PDA,
    The docs Gleck stole and even the forged doc do not show HI doing anythign wrong, except in the fevered minds of true believers. That is why no one cares. The story is that Peter Gleick broke into a competing think tank he did not like, stole documents, and when those were not interesting enough conterfeited another document in an attempt to make it look like there was something bad at HI. But even then, like his phony review of Donna Laframboise’s book he did not do a good job. the follow on story is that AGW true believers, instead of deomonstrating mature and ethical standards, have instead tried to explain it all away in terms that would make most other fanatics blush.

     
      

  86. kdk33 says:

    So, as I keep on saying ““ we can ignore the memo

    Yes, you keep saying.  No you can’t that the memo is forged.

    but the issues over the intent and effect of HI remain.

    What issue is that?  That they disagree with you.  Get over it.

    It is interesting that the excitable contrarians here cannot seem to grasp this simple fact.

    What simple fact?  That the document is fake?  the Gleick is a criminal?  Or the fantasy that these things don’t matter because the victim was an evil disagreeer-with-BBD&Co.

    This is fun!

  87. BBD says:

    PDA
     
    Keith ““ and BBD, for what it’s worth ““ perceptions are not facts.

    Some confusion? I’ve been saying all along that there is not enough evidence – eg (53):

    The circumstantial evidence for PG as author is suggestive but not compelling. Perhaps no further commentary on this topic can be considered fair since it is not possible to resolve on the present evidence.
     
    Further evidence is required.

  88. hunter says:

    @72,
    Dave,
    You missed the point: he is not “guilty until proven innocent” OR “innocent until proven guilty” . He confessed. how do you miss this point?
     

  89. PDA says:

    hey Hunter,

    I’ve commented in other, more relevant, places about the ethics of what Gleick did. Want to provide a link to your similarly unambiguous condemnation of the CRU hack?

  90. I agree that we have to keep the heat on Heartland and keep the revelations of the (as-yet) undisputed documents on the table.
    I disagree that rolling over and playing dead about the memo is a good idea. In order for anything positive to come of these sad events we do have to keep everyone aware of the substance of the other documents.
    But the tone of the memo will hurt Heartland among their supporters if it is real. Even “hunter” says it sounds like Snidely Whiplash. If Heartland confessed to the memo, they would even lose “hunter”!
    That is why Heartland has made this about the memo. 
    Whether the memo is real or not, Heartland is not primarily interested in the public debate. As a free market advocate of the contemporary sort, it would be amazing if they weren’t mostly motivated by money, wouldn’t it?
    As far as its health as an institution is concerned, Heartland is interested in keeping its rich donors agitated, involved, suspicious of mainstream science, and credulous about Heartland. The rest of the documents make Heartland look terrible to a neutral observer, but to a supporter they seem just fine. The memo, on the other hand, if real or perceived as real, weakens Heartland among its supporters, i.e., hits them right in the wallet.
    Now, could the inner circle be this cynical in a hastily written private conversation? Obviously some people are very happy to attach themselves to Heartland’s denial, and others are very quick to dismiss it.
    McArdle is quick to point out how much of a stretch it is to believe that the memo is genuine, but it’s interesting that there isn’t a comparable consideration of how much of a stretch it is to believe that it is fake. And as I said in #21 above, that is an even bigger stretch.
    Something that stretches credulity is happening. It is interesting to see how selective some people are being in considering the evidence as to what that is. That provides a good model for how they think about science and policy, too.
    Anyway, now the memo becomes the MacGuffin in a big way. Heartland and all its supporters are saying it is a malicious Snidely Whiplash kind of a thing. So they will go nuclear to prevent it being pinned on them. Now they have to.
    I’m just speculating here. I don’t know anything either way. But wouldn’t it be interesting if Peter Gleick had a bit more evidence up his sleeve? If the memo is real, Heartland is very scared.
     

  91. grypo says:

    “Peter Gleick’s rationalizations having nothing to do with ethical logic. You keep holding up that lack of ethical logic as some sort of defense”

    No I’m not, McArdle is. 

    “You seem to think he was risking himself in getting those docs, so he must be telling the truth now.  

    I don’t know what you are reading.   I’m saying basing his guilt or innocence on the risk we already know he took, is illogical.  I have no idea if he is telling the truth.

  92. BBD says:

    harrywr2 @ 84

    They are only distortions from your perspective.

    They are distortions from the scientific perspective. Feel free to check.

    There is no similarity to baseless anti-nuclear fearmongering whatsoever. Why are you making an inappropriate comparison like this? I do not endorse the anti-science nonsense peddled by green groups about nuclear. I do share the scientific perspective on nuclear risk – and on AGW.

  93. Keith Kloor says:

    PDA,
     I agree that perceptions are not facts, which is why I’ve refrained from doing any speculating about Gleick at all– from the start.

    That said, journalists also act on hunches when something sounds/looks odd. We follow up on them. Additionally, as my colleague Bud Ward noted here, reporters adhere to a maxim: Even if your mother tells you she loves you, you still have to verify it.

    Gleick’s explanation (and Heartland’s insistence that the memo is fake) requires verification.

  94. hunter says:

    Michael Tobis,
    Yes, go with that. Go after HI for daring to disagre with you and wanting to talk about their opinions instead of yours in the public square. Why don’t you get with BBD and and work on your mcCarthyite “list” a bit, while you are at it?
    As to your ridiculous claim that HI is not interested in a public debate, you are either behind the information curve or you are misrepresenting the truth.

    There is a nice post at WUWST showing the e-mail chain where HI was inviting Peter Gleick to come and debate- and be paid for his expenses and to either pay him a fee or pay it to a charity of his choosing. it was Gleick who terminated the idea. AGW believers are famous for avoiding debate with wicked denialists. 
    So keep digging, MT.
       
      

  95. willard says:

    > Everybody hated Cassandra, too. 
     
    I’d still put my trust on Appolo’s judgement than on any other Gods’ from back then.

  96. Menth says:

    91. “Something that stretches credulity is happening. It is interesting to see how selective some people are being in considering the evidence as to what that is. That provides a good model for how they think about science and policy, too.”


    I have never agreed with Michael Tobis more in my life.

  97. hunter says:

    BBD,
    Your fallacy in thinking that scientific perspectives are somehow inarguable is disproven history. Scientific consensus ahs been disproven throughout history.
     And so what anyway? When is being  correct a precondition for speaking or holding an idea?
     You sound much more like a parody of an extreme fundamentalist theocrat than a thoughtful progressive person.
    Like your obsession with listing those who choose to give to groups you do not like, you incresingly come across as very insincere and authoritarian.

    joe McCarthy would be proud of you.
       
       

  98. hunter says:

    grypo,
    You are the one defending Gleick by claiing that what he did defies logic.
    You true believers are wigging out on this.
    Perhaps you understand the implications of one of your leaders getting caught doing this sort of crime better than I realized, but you are cynically, and very naively, thinking you can out talk it.
       

  99. PDA says:

    A hunch is not a “fact,” Keith. Not in my half-a-brain.

  100. grypo says:

    “You are the one defending Gleick by claiing that what he did defies logic.”

    McArdle is saying that.  You aren’t following this at all.

  101. grypo says:

    So then there is no reason to keep telling people that Gleick’s story strains credulity, it’s just a hunch.  Got it.

  102. hunter says:

    grypo,
    Did you say this or not?

    Now lets back to my first comment about McArdle:
    Wait, whether Gleick forged the memo or someone sent it to him, he still risked his career by obtaining the documents! What you put there has nothing to do with believing his story. If he’s lying, then, not only did he trick HI into sending him documents, he also forged a document, adding onto the risk. So why exactly does that logic matter? Unless you think he’s covering for somebody, which is highly unlikely.”

    As quoted from your post @80.
     

  103. hunter says:

    @102 grypo,
    Yes the story strains credulity. You have rationalized yourself into thinking it does not. The reasons for those who think it does strain credulity are at least as valid for your reasons to accept gleick at his word.

    So, once again, wicked denialists and trained journalists are declining to do what AGW extremists and Gleick apologists want.
        

  104. #95, I am interested in debating what opponents call the CAGW proposition defined as follows: Resolved that if emissions are left unchecked over the next few decades that unacceptable consequences are “very likely” to ensue.
    In other words, I would argue that we should act as if unacceptable consequences were 90% likely.
    If someone is interested in arguing the opposite side, we need to meet, one-on-one, over coffee, to discuss fair and mutually agreeable rules and arrangements, and to look each other in the eye to determine if there is enough mutual respect to make this workable. I will meet them anywhere with an espresso machine in the eastern half of Texas more or less at their convenience, or possibly elsewhere at my own.
     

  105. D. Robinson says:

    Re Grypo #80
    1)  She is saying that the “It is not printed on Heartland Institute letterhead”
    –  irrelevant, there is no need to print something to letterhead until it actually officially being sent somewhere or someone officially.  Why this is mentioned, I have no idea.”

    Grypo – do you have a day job and do you create memos or corporate letters?   Documents aren’t ‘printed on letterhead’ anymore, they are created from the start with the letterhead already there electronically, in the header of the word/lotus document before it’s printed, emailed or saved as a pdf. 
    Michael Tobis – you have absolutely lost your marbles.  I cannot even comprehend your believing that memo to be a real HI document and the completely implausible twisted scenarios you have fabricated for it to be so.  Your rage is blinding you.

  106. grypo says:

    I’ll explain it one more time:

    McArdle’s argument is that it is odd, or whatever, that Gleick risked his career by verifying the document and therefore his story about someone sending the document doesn’t make sense.  Yet HE RISKED HIS CAREER REGARDLESS OF WHETHER HE FAKED THE DOCUMENT OR JUST VERIFIED IT and therefore she has no logical basis for questioning his story based on her argument. 

  107. PDA says:

    Just to recap:

    The “hunch” or hypothesis or speculation is that Gleick not only risked his credibility and possibly his career by pretexting Heartland for the documents but also further risked arrest and/or imprisonment by forging a document. He resorted to forgery, as I understand the reasoning, because he wanted “punchier” wording.

    Do I have this correct? Is this really the scenario under discussion here?

  108. #108, not only that, but apparently per #106 any other hypothesis is insane.
     

  109. Keith Kloor says:

    PDA (100)
    “A hunch is not a fact.”

    Absolutely right. Good reporters don’t report on hunches. 

    FWIW, I don’t share the certitude of some that Gleick is the author of the strategy memo. Yet my hunch is that the memo is a fake.

    I’m not drawing any conclusions based on this hunch until more facts come to light. 

  110. D. Robinson says:

    No MT there are three plausible scenarios,
    1) Gleick wrote it
    2) someone he knows wrote it (with or without his knowledge)
    3) the Penguin and the  Riddler have finally resurfaced to exact their revenge on Peter Gleick!

  111. BBD says:

    D Robinson @ 106
     
    Documents aren’t “˜printed on letterhead’ anymore, they are created from the start with the letterhead already there electronically, in the header of the word/lotus document before it’s printed, emailed or saved as a pdf.
     
    Then why did the forger not bother to include the letterhead? Incredibly sloppy and stupid to omit it, surely? And hardly the hallmarks of an analytically trained mind.

  112. kdk33 says:

    Heartland is not primarily interested in the public debate.

    That is correct.  They are primarily interested in winning the debated.

    As a free market advocate of the contemporary sort, it would be amazing if they weren’t mostly motivated by money, wouldn’t it?

    Yes, let us impute evil motive to the people who dare disagree with us.  Maybe they have a different opinion and aren’t afraid to say so.  BTW, the donors don’t make HI possible; HI IS its donors, or more correctly, the mouthpiece of the donors.

    As far as its health as an institution is concerned, Heartland is interested in keeping its rich donors agitated, involved, suspicious of mainstream science, and credulous about Heartland.

    You’ve (purposefully?) got cart and horse reversed.  HI does what it’s donors want.

    The rest of the documents make Heartland look terrible to a neutral observer, but to a supporter they seem just fine.

    Do you think about this stuff before you write it?  Pray tell how one recognizes a neutral observer – other than that they think HI is terrible.

  113. PDA says:

    @109: And this just goes to how asymmetrical this “debate” is: one side must “prove” conclusions that are “inarguable, “end all this speculation,” etc. 

    For the other side, it’s not necessary to show that a thing is or must be true: merely that it might be so.

    Humbug. 

  114. ivp0 says:

    Peter Gleick is a legend in his own mind but few skeptics knew of him or thought he was a serious CAGW “Team member” before Fakekgate.  The only person who would have motivation to mail this obviously fake and error filled memo to Peter Gleick is of course… Peter Gleick.
     
    Michael Tobis @105
    We can agree that excess manmade atmospheric CO2 must cause warming at some level (radiative physics 101), and we can agree that sensitivity to doubling CO2 levels lies somewhere greater than 0 and probably less than 10 degrees C.  At this point in our understanding of complex climate processes we can say little else without leaving science behind and delving deeply into speculation.  Earths climate is like a 10,000 piece jigsaw puzzle and we are holding 20 pieces.  A clear scientific picture has yet to emerge as the last 15 years of flat temps have demonstrated.
    Coffee sounds great but I am a bit further west.  If you ever get out to Scripps look me up. 

  115. #113, so money motivations are “evil” all of a sudden?
    As for “BTW, the donors don’t make HI possible; HI IS its donors, or more correctly, the mouthpiece of the donors.” and “HI does what it’s donors want.” I agree completely. And that is what the documents reveal.
    No research. Nothing about the public interest.
    Just flogging the prejudices of its wealthy supporters, and looking for more rich people prejudices to support.
    And that is not why we, the people, decided to have 501c3 organizations.
    Which is why it looks bad.
     
     

  116. hunter says:

    @114, PDA,
    Welcome to the real world. The AGW movement has made a series of propositions about CO2 and a cliamte catastrophe. Skeptcs get to ask for proof.
    And that pesky freedom of speech is obviously a road bump for you and your pals, but you will have to work a LOT harder to get it removed so you can make your little lists and check them twice.

    BBD,
    Since the other docs are on letterhead, you are really spinning on this one.

    But I challenge you and the other Glecik defenders /Heartland haters:
    Please list specifically the crimes Heartland has committed.
              

  117. hunter says:

    @116,
    Michael, you should be very very careful of where you are treading with this assault on Heartland’s right to exist.
     

  118. hunter says:

    @105,
    Heartland Institute, I bet would welcome you, treat you well and offer a good opponent for you to debate. Try asking them.
     

  119. hunter says:

    grypo,
    Sorry but y0ou are making gibbersih now.
      

  120. PDA says:

    Hunter,

    Unless and until you define your standard of “proof,” you can always claim that you haven’t seen it yet. I don’t believe that’s accidental.

    I haven’t said anything about removing people’s freedom of speech; interesting that you bring it up. I think in poker that’s called a “tell.” 

  121. PDA says:

    “y0ou are making gibbersih now.” COMMENT OF THE DAY.

    But – and I am only saying this because I care – there are a lot of decaffeinated brands on the market today that are just as tasty as the real thing.

     

  122. hunter says:

    PDA,
    Your pal BBD talks about it all the time with his ‘lists’.
    Funny how progressives of the 1950’s saw the McCarthyist’s need for lists of communists was anti-thetitcal to a free society (and most people agreed) and now the modern progressives claim that democracy can only saved by making lists of people who support things progressvies do not like.

    But do go ahead and list the crimes of Heartland…..     

  123. kdk33 says:

    I haven’t said anything about removing people’s freedom of speech;

    then you are blind.  Talk to BBD, and now MT

  124. kdk33 says:

    Nothing about the public interest.

    Non-sense.  They are forwarding the interests of their donors who are part of the public. 

    Just flogging the prejudices of its wealthy supporters, and looking for more rich people prejudices to support.

    Exactly what I said, and what you disagreed with earlier.  You seem to think invective is an argument of itself.  Odd, for a scientist.

    And that is not why we, the people, decided to have 501c3 organizations.

    Really?  How’s about you go out on a limb and explain just what you think is appropriate.

    Which is why it looks bad.

    Only to you and a few of the believers.  And only because they disagree with you.

  125. PDA says:

    KDK33: PDA≠BBD, PDA≠MT 

    Not supportive of you putting words in anyone’s mouth, but I’ll certainly object to having them put in mine. 

  126. hunter says:

    PDA,
    then clean your own side of the aisle. Stand with us against those who would suppress basic freedom.
     

  127. D. Robinson says:

    MT – You know, if the memo was real it would be near impossible for HI to get away with claiming it was fake.  The minute you email a doc at any organization it’s kept on servers for years whether you try to delete it or not. 
    And if it spends a night on a network drive, it’s also around for a long time in the backups.  Lawsuit discovery would find it really quickly.  Unless it was created on one PC for the soul purpose of a setup and never emailed or distributed?
    Also, look at the risk / reward scenario for HI to ‘setup’ Gleick, what do they have to gain?  He’s just not that big a voice. 

  128. PDA says:

    Hunter, I’d be more impressed with your stance as a paragon of integrity if you could show me where you condemned the CRU hack, as I had asked in #90. 

    Motes and beams, kid. 

  129. harrywr2 says:

    #116 MT

    And that is not why we, the people, decided to have 501c3 organizations
    Who exactly is ‘we’?
     

  130. Menth says:

    @130 “Who exactly is “˜we’?”
    The 99%!!!
     
    Of course, some people have different beliefs, it’s called “false conciousness”.

  131. hunter says:

    @129,
    The CRU leak was like any other leak, except that the wrong diong it exposed was ignored, and the partisan press pretendd like it did not exist.
    to the extent that laws were broken, the leaker/hacker should be prosecuted.
    But do remind me: was any part of the cliamtegate e-mails forged or falsified? 
    Heartland is an admitted theft, which the beleivers want to claim is a great thing,and falsely claim shows law breaking, not to mention the forged doc.
        

  132. Jarmo says:

    Heartland has published the phishing emails by Gleick:

     http://fakegate.org/

  133. BBD says:

    Menth
     
    We = democracy.

  134. grypo says:

    On 2/3 he gets the Agenda and the Meeting Package

    Listed in the agenda is 2012 Proposed Budget and Fundraising Plan

    On 2/4, apparently not satisfied, he asks for the handouts and minutes from the meeting

    On 2/6  he gets them.  
     

  135. PDA says:

    Hunter: thanks for the brave admission that illegal acts, if any occurred, should be punished.

    What’s your stance on water: wet, or not? 

  136. #128 I don’t believe the setup scenario, which never made any sense to me.
    My preferred hypothesis is that a member of the inner circle lost control of a hard copy of the memo, and that everything since followed as described by Gleick. It is possible that the memo was never on a server. But anyway a small controversial organization probably controls its own server so traces could be removed if all distribution was internal.
    As you point out, that would mean that Bast is taking a huge risk.
    But if the memo is real, what choice would he have? Acknowledging the memo would pretty much offend his funders and followers, destroying the whole organization. As it stands, the funders can funnel their outrage.
    If the memo is real, Heartland is very scared. Indeed, the whole plutocratic 501c3 system is endangered.
    I cannot prove the memo is real. All I am saying is that all the narratives I have seen where it is fake seem even harder to swallow.
     

  137. BBD # 134, yeah sometimes it seems like some of these people didn’t get the original memo.

  138. hunter says:

    @137,
    Michael,
    Since the memo was written like Peter’s style, refers to him and his blog war at Forbes, makes the same math error on Koch’s HI support, and significantly different from other HI docs- and is based on info that is out of time sequence than the what your pal Peter claims, I think the mlonger you cling to your ‘perfect scenario’, the more indistinguishable from pure fantasy it becomes.

    The Gleick forgery is getting harder and harder for you to swallow because you are accepting lies. You are being used by a confessed liar, yet you seem OK with it, because it serves the cause of your obsession.  

  139. hunter says:

    MT,
    BTW, pretending that the Constitution is all for people silencing others for the content of the speech or the unpopularity of their position is more than a bit disgusting.
     And to imply that the Constitution was to empower mobs of nice folks like BBD to make lists because they just gotta know (in the name of the people, of course), is nutz.   

  140. hunter says:

    PDA,
    I answered your question directly and all you can respond with is some infantile retort?

    You are a cowardly lion. This links up well with BBD as strawman and I am certain we will figure out your tinman buddy soon.
    maybe M Tobis, since he seems a bit rusty on the Constitution?
        

  141. grypo says:

    Amazingly McIntyre thinks this is the nail in the coffin

    “The first dated evidence of the fake memo is the date of its scan on Feb 13. The fake memo refers to information in the Plan and Budget, which Gleick had obtained on Feb 6. Gleick clearly had, as Mosher puts it, “means, motive and opportunity” to write the fake memo. It also is in his style.

    In a sense, Gleick might as well have signed the fake document. Mosher identified him as the author almost instantly. The fake memo, unlike the actual documents, put Gleick in a position of prominence in the climate debate, whereas, in his actual encounters with skeptic blogs, Gleick has come across as an erratic and even comic figure. The style parallels came afterwards.” 

    O rly?   

  142. Marlowe Johnson says:

    hunter i think you need to up the dosage on your meds.

  143. PDA says:

    Hunter,

    Look at #90, where I provided a link to my comment on mt’s blog specifically condemning the actions of one Peter Gleick in this instance. Compare to your #132. which, hedged as it is with qualifiers and conditionals, is semantically equal to my restatement in #136.

    As far as I can tell, your projections of McCarthyism, cowardice, etc. are just that: projections. What an interesting mirror this thread could be for you, if you had the heart to look at it unflinchingly.

  144. Fred says:

    MT #105:
     
    “I will meet them (someone arguing the opposite side on the CAGW proposition) anywhere with an espresso machine in the eastern half of Texas more or less at their convenience, or possibly elsewhere at my own.”
     
    More people with this attitude and the much discussed chasm between the two sides on this debate would be appreciably narrowed. I am in Kansas now and if and when I get down to Eastern Texas I will be in touch.

  145. Menth says:

    @142 Why don’t you post your doubts about McIntyre’s position directly to him at climate audit?

  146. ivp0 says:

    @137
    It isn’t real Michael.  
    If it were real it wouldn’t be filled with obvious errors and it wouldn’t mention a nobody like Peter Gleick as being a “high profile climate scientist” who represents a serious threat to their position on AGW.  He isn’t.  

    But of course it is still a free country and you are welcome to continue to believe the memo is real as long as you wish.  The consequence of this continued belief is that you may risk your own credibility while wearing CAGW ideology blinders in full view for all to see.  

  147. Dave H says:

    The emails are disappointingly inconclusive.

  148. EdG says:

    Not sure if this was raised earlier but could be FBI time. Here’s how it is described by one source:

    “The Chicago-based free market Heartland Institute has called in the FBI and threatened other legal action against a global warming proponent who has admitted stealing emails from the institute in a bid to embarrass and discredit the group’s questioning of climate change.

    Heartland officials tell Washington Secrets that they have been in talks with the FBI over the case against prominent global warming proponent Peter Gleick, co-founder of the respected Pacific Institute. Heartland is getting ready to reveal their probe of the affair, which they hope the FBI will act on.

    Gleick posed online as a board member of the libertarian group to pry embarrassing emails and internal funding reports which ended up online this month. He also is suspected of writing a sensationally mistake-filled “strategy memo” based on the emails and posted online…”

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/politics/washington-secrets/2012/02/fbi-called-over-climate-change-mole/305161

  149. grypo says:

    “The emails are disappointingly inconclusive.”

    Not if you are Steve McIntyre!  Haha.   

    patience Menth 

  150. EdG says:

    137 Michael Tobis

    “I don’t believe the setup scenario, which never made any sense to me.”

    Just out of curiosity, do you think the similar Dan Rather episode was a setup? 

  151. EdG says:

    This is getting more interesting.

    “The emails reveal how Gleick “phished” the documents by stealing the identity of a Heartland board member, an act to which he publicly admitted in his February 20 Huffington Post confession… 

    Gleick originally portrayed all of the documents he circulated, including the fake climate change strategy memo, as originating from Heartland. Now he claims he received that memo from an “anonymous source” before his theft. But the emails Heartland released today reveal Gleick never asked for either of the two documents that are specifically cited and summarized in the memo, suggesting the memo was written after, not before, he received the phished documents.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/24/heartland-institute-releases-peter-gleick-emails-detailing-fraud-identity-theft/#more-57467

    So. Imagine that HI caught on to what Gleick was doing after he had phished all or most of the real information.

    What to do? No point crying at that stage. Much better to send him the faked one and let him blow himself up with it.

    So simple. So obvious. So effective. It was a Dan Rather hook-line-sinker episode.

  152. thingsbreak says:

    How is this http://www.shawnotto.com/neorenaissance/blog20120223.html not a bigger deal? Wasn’t style “analysis” supposed to be the main “line of evidence” for claiming Gleick as the author of the memo?

    When you go beyond entrail reading by partisans like Mosher and allow an objective/neutral program to do the job, it looks like the evidence-at best- isn’t ther. And the evidence actually favors Bast, although I’m obviously going to need something stronger to hang my hat on. 
     

  153. D. Robinson says:

    MT #137 – your hypothesis is pretty far out there.  There are just too many mistakes in the memo, the financial errors, the lack of a header or logo, the targeting of Gleick, the errant point of view problem in ‘dissuading’ the teaching of science (not how skeptics think).  Too much crap to believe it was written by an HI insider.
    Much simpler to believe somebody received the documents after Gleick’s trickery and wrote a fake strategy memo to provide the ‘soundbite’ material.  Maybe some elitist type who believes journalists and editors are just too stupid to pick up on the important points without a road map.  Jeez, sounds like Gleick again.

  154. BobN says:

    Wow, so much speculation.  I definitely agree with MT (and others) that really something that stretches credulity is happening.  Whether you feel that Gleick drafted the forgery, that it is “real” internal draft from Heartland, or some other explanation, they all have some level of logical inconsistency (probably because people don’t always act rationally or logically).

    Now here are my thoughts on why there are really only two scenarios with some reasonable level of plausibility – the first being that Gleick (or someone he knows) drafted the the climate strategy memo after getting the Heartland board meeting materials and the second being that it was some sort of Honey Pot (or false flag) ruse by someone with access to the board documents at Heartland that worked well beyond his or her wildest expectations. 

    First, I don’t believe the alleged climate strategy memo would have been written by someone at Heartland and particularly not Joe Bast as an initial draft or in haste (why rush?).  For me, one of biggest tells is using the term “reliably anti-climate” to describe the Forbes readership.  No matter how cynical you may think Bast or others at Heartland might be, they don’t consider themselves as anti-climate, they consider themselves and like-minded folks, such as the readers at Forbes, to be “reliably skeptical”.  I just don’t see how Bast or someone else at Heartland would use the term “anti-climate” in this way, even if the document was still in the draft stage.  It just wouldn’t have made it down on the paper, imo.  The second tell for me that it was draft of a real document is the mention of the Koch brothers donation.  If this was a “real” document, whoever wrote it, whether it be Bast or someone he delegated it to, they would be aware that the Koch funding was not for climate-related activities and again, it wouldn’t have made it onto the paper in even a first draft.  Beyond that, as many others have mentioned the whole thing just didn’t read quite right; the document seems to conveniently highlight all the worst things that Romm/Desmog/Gleick crowd has been saying about Heartland  (even if many of the “facts” are corroborated by the actual board documents.

    Second, the whistle-blower at Heartland theory doesn’t make sense to me since why would a whistleblower go to the effort of faking a climate strategy memo instead of just leaking the real documents.  

    The “Gleick-or-someone he knows” theory has real plausibility, but there are definitely points arguing both for and against it.  The pdf metadata and the fact that the language was a lot juicer and seems almost designed to play to the climate-concerned crowds’ worst thoughts about Heartland seems to point to someone that has it in for  Heartland.  The fact that it puts all the information that is in disparate locations in one tidy summary for easy digestion by the media and the fact there are errors such as the amount of Koch’s funding also are suggestive.  Finally, the fact that board documents didn’t contain any individual strategy memos for any other area of Heartland activities seems odd.  None of the above lines of reasoning are in any way dispositve however.  One thing arguing against “Gleick-or-someone-he-knows” writing it is why would Gleick go to the trouble of drafting a forgery if, as BBD and MT have argued, the material in the board documents is damning enough.  Presumably, Gleick would have thought the same thing and not seen the need for trying to make it look worse.  Also, why risk additional exposure to criminal charges.  Finally, why lie (rather than stay mum) about the origin of document when confessing to obtaining the board documents through subterfuge.  

    Now, on the final theory of it being some sort of “honeypot” or “false flag” ploy to sucker Gleick, I first thought such an idea was out-of-hand crazy, but upon further reflection don’t think it can be fully ruled out.  Now I don’t think such a ploy would have been done with the knowledge or approval of Heartland (including Joe Bast), but could have been done by an individual within Heartland.

    If we accept Gleick’s statement that he received the document via mail before he went phishing for the board documents and that he made no alterations to the document, then it had to have been written by someone with access to drafts of the board documents.  Now let say you’re a blogger that has been in a bit of back and forth with Gleick so you know his hot button issues, and are communication professional that can pick out writing styles and idiosyncrasies.  You think “Let me gin up a fake document sure to get Gleick riled up and see if I can get him to release it to the press”, with the idea that Heartland will then be able claim it is a fake document, perhaps even proving it by releasing appropriately-redacted versions of the real documents and making Gleick look bad.  But, unexpectedly,  Gleick doesn’t just release the fake document, he goes one better and fraudulently obtains the real documents and releases the whole thing, not only making himself look bad, but basically putting his entire career and credibility at risk.  Definitely seems somewhat far-fetched, but I believe that it is at least plausible.  Let’s face it there are just so many things about this whole affair that are hard to explain logically.

     

  155. D. Robinson says:

    Look, If the memo was a real Heartland document that was distributed in any way there would be a trail to it, people that received it, e-mails sent to ‘day job’ corporate addresses with legally compliant backup systems, printouts, copies.
    So again IF it was real, Heartland’s claiming it to be fake would be suicide.  Ergo, it’s fake.

  156. harrywr2 says:

    BBD,
    We is democracy.
    We…as in democratically  elected officials and our appointed judicial system as laid out in the US Consitution currently considers that the Heartland Institute is worthy of 501(c)3 status.
    The opinions individual citizens as to whether the Heartland Institute is deserving.
    I strongly suspect there are 242 elected members of the House of Representatives and 47 Members if the US Senate who would say that the ‘Heartland Institute’ serves a valuable public interest.
    The government agency designated by our ‘elected officials’ to decide ‘who’ is deserving of 501(c) status, the IRS currently lists the Heartland Institute as ‘deserving’
    http://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/pub78Search.do?ein1=36-3309812&names=Heartland&city=&state=IL&country=US&deductibility=all&dispatchMethod=searchCharities&submitName=Search
     
     
     
     

  157. PDA says:

    IF it was real, Heartland’s claiming it to be fake would be suicide.  Ergo, it’s fake.

    But if it was fake, Gleick’s claiming it to be real would be suicide. Ergo, it’s fake.

    Impeccable reasoning. I’m convinced. 

  158. Matt B says:

    @ 122 BBD;

    It’s not suprising that Gleick didn’t have the letterhead, odds are he received the other documents as .pdf. 

  159. D. Robinson says:

    PDA – YOU GENIUS YOU – Sorry you missed the point.  Heartland can’t lie about the memo’s authenticity because it would be easily traceable one way or another.
    If Gleick is the forger it may not be traceable.  If he really received it in the mail, it’s probably not traceable. 
    Do you get it now Mr. Angry pants? 

  160. Menth says:

    From Roger Pielke Jr’s twitter feed:
    Rep. Ed Markey demands Heartland prove the one doc is a fake, thus raising chances the faker will be exposed http://democrats.naturalresources.house.gov/content/files/2012-02-24_LTR_EJMtoHeartland.pdf

  161. hunter says:

    @143 Marlowe,
    Your concern for my health is greatly appreciated.
     Ya still like your newest saint, Peter Gleick?
      

  162. hunter says:

    @161 Menth,
    The dems and the AGW believers are going to regret this one. A lot. But how does the victim of a forgery prove that somethign they did not write is not theirs?

       

  163. PDA says:

    I love how you guys are all projecting your anger on me. I’m actually really amused at this point.

    I see your point, D, I really do… I just don’t think it’s an “if A, then B.” If it was created at Heartland and received limited distribution within their staff, it’s not necessarily “easily traceable.”

    Heartland appears to have a staff of about 30, hardly too big for effective damage control. Even larger organizations have been able to deny that leaked documents are authentic. It’s a good argument, just not a slam-dunk one, is all I’m saying.

    Why so angry, man? You should be riding high about now. 

  164. willard says:

    D. Robinson,

    You say:

    >  Heartland can’t lie about the memo’s authenticity because it would be easily traceable one way or another.

    Could you provide have more information on the traceability of the communications at Heartland Institute? 

  165. I hate to say it , but EdG in #152 makes sense.

  166. Nullius in Verba says:

    #155,
    Do you have a theory – in the honeypot scenario – as to why anyone from Heartland would pick Gleick of all people? In the wider debate he’s a nobody. If you’re going to do something like that, you would surely pick someone who was more important. Romm, Hansen, Mann, someone like that. Unless it was personal?
     
    They would also do a far better job of it. They’d include more tempting red meat – Exxon funding, hidden networks, paid trolls, bot nets, political corruption, lists of names, connections, front organisations and cover stories, and specific organised campaigns. In short, play straight into the entire conspiracy theory fantasy. And they would make sure that each and every fact was either already in the public domain or provably false, and if Heartland were behind it all they’d have made sure the follow-up documents were similarly faked. It would defeat the purpose to provide true details that could not be verified by the target, and without knowing what documents Heartland were going to provide, there was no way to have known that these details could or would be verified. If you thought they’d just do the legal checks, why include self-damaging material that would help to support your target’s credibility? And if you thought they’d use illegal means, wouldn’t you take that into account in your plan? And how could they have known what Gleick would do?
     
    The memo was written either specifically for or by Gleick. The memo contains enough errors and absurdities to be sure it’s not genuine, enough real non-public details to be confident it was based on inside-info, was not followed up as it would have been if this was an ‘official’ Heartland deception, and was an implausibly successful gamble if some insider managed to include precisely the genuine details that would later get independently verified by the real leak.
     
    Which means the faked memo was written on the basis of the leaked documents, after their leak.
     
    It’s all a bit like a Sherlock Holmes story, isn’t it?
     
    The advice of a defence lawyer would be to confess what you knew the prosecution could definitely prove, and leave open those matters you thought you might be able to defend on. From the point of view of Gleick’s defence, that’s arguably the right decision. From the point of view of the AGW ’cause’, the ambiguity has served to extend the speculation and debate and arguments out indefinitely. To those of you defending Gleick – the more you defend him the more we pick at the story, the higher profile it will stay for longer, and the harder the fall should incontrovertible proof emerge. Although conversely, letting the meme become ‘settled science’ without making it known that you think there’s a controversy about it would be equally damaging. Sometimes you can’t win, can you?
     
    Personally, while I have to admit to enjoying the schadenfreude as much as the next sceptic, I find the endless theorising over ever more convoluted possibilities of who sent what to who and why to be pointless. Heartland are a bit player, a group of crude political operators, that more cerebral sceptics find vaguely embarassing. Gleick is even more of a nobody. And it is no revelation to discover that political campaigners campaign politically, and that politics is sometimes a dirty game.  The only interesting aspect is the list of those who fell for it, and who continue to defend it, and what it tells us about their standards of evidence. That’s still not news to sceptics, but it possibly makes the point more obvious to the middle ground.
     
    But please, don’t let me interrupt you, as Napoleon would have said.

  167. EdG says:

    164 PDA – Your point would have more credence if not for the actual contents and language of the memo. It stands out like a zebra in a herd of brown horses.

    In any case, this has been a Humpty Dumpty moment for the AGW Team… on top of everything else which is collapsing for their cause.

    They have been Gleicked.

  168. hunter says:

    At CA, this interesting point was made:
    When he (Gleick) sent out his email to the Feb 14th Dear Friends email, he said two things
    (i) This was all he had
    (ii) Gave no indication that the 2 documents had been obtained separately.

    His story about recceiving anonymous docs does not held up.
    He started his wirefraud right after breaking off neogtiations with HI over a speaking/debate invite they made. And he was ticked off over his blog war at Forbes.
    If Glleick wants to do the right thing, he will make complete confession on this. He is clearly not doing so up until now.    
     

  169. #168 EdG, unfortunately, and I mean that sincerely, unfortunately AGW will win in the end regardless of what anybody does, other than limiting net GHG emissions of course.
     
    Nature cannot be fooled.
     

  170. hunter says:

    PDA,
    Good luck with your hubris on this. You guys have made yourselve look like amoral extremists. the “yuck” factor grows quickly. You have no idea what real damage is, but you will be finding out.
    And mad/ At you? lol don’t ocnfuse pity and laughter with anger.

    Ciao, now to eat some lobster, drink some wine and celebrate how great the fossil fuel industry is.    

  171. re #166, on second thought, no that doesn’t work.
    If it had been part of the document drop to the fake gmail address, and Gleick were taken in by it, then he wouldn’t have had to scan it.
    Since he clearly believed it, he must have only had a hard copy of it. Which corroborates his version of events.

  172. D. Robinson says:

    PDA – My flash temper got me when I read your snippy response to me.  Not angry, was smiling before I got in my 10 cylinder diesel deniermobile for my commute home (kidding – 2 liter car), and this has been a fun thread.  
    Board members are generally not on site, and some would likely receive their emails at their offices so I’m not so sure you’re right about the easy damage control.
    None of this impacts what the climate’s sensitivity is.  But it is fun. 

  173. hunter says:

    @170 MT,
    Yet ehre the AGW movement spends all this effort, time after time, fibbing, misleading and deceiving. Almost as if they cannot tell the difference between their theory of how climate works and what is actually happening.
     It is really an excellent summary by you: You think your theory of climate is *it*. CO2 is causing a climate crisis. Period. No possiblliuty that things have been over looked that could counter, no concern that the strong positive feedback for real problems could be overstated, no concerns that so little has has actually happened as predicted.

    You are right: the Earth will not be fooled. But people fool themselves all the time.
       

  174. Nullius in Verba says:

    #152,
    It’s an interesting theory. But if so, why would Gleick ‘confess’ to having received it before, rather than telling the truth that Heartland stung him with it after? And did they email it (in which case why was it printed out and then scanned?) or post it to him – which raises the very interesting question of how they addressed the envelope?!
    Fascinating…

  175. Tom Gray says:

    The decision in the case against Prof. Wegman has been announced. Will the decision be reported with such completeness as the allegations were on this blog?

    Perhaps with current events, people will see the poison that has infected debate for what it is. Real people have had real pain inflicted upon them 

  176. EdG says:

    #167 NiV

    “why anyone from Heartland would pick Gleick of all people?”

    Why did HI invite him to speak there? Because he is a ‘nobody’? That invitation exchange probably started it. It apparently was the point when Gleick started things on his end.

    “If you’re going to do something like that, you would surely pick someone who was more important. Romm, Hansen, Mann, someone like that.”

    Judging by what has happened, that doesn’t seem to make sense. He was high profile enough. Even better, he was the CHAIRMAN of the AGU ETHICS board. A perfect target. Moreover, he had already proved himself a particularly careless zealot with his scathing review of the ‘Delinquent Teenager’ book which he did not even read.

    So Gleick was a prime and easy sucker to catch. He was part of the Team and thus this has smeared the whole Team, including many of their parrots (Black, Revkin, desmogblog, etc.)

    I guess that is why the Team are all desperately trying to call him a ‘water scientist’ now to distance his actions from ‘climate scientists.’ And why the EPA has been disappearing their links to him as we speak. Doesn’t matter. Just look at the result so far, and what is coming will be worse.

  177. EdG says:

    # 175 NiV

    “why would Gleick “˜confess’ to having received it before, rather than telling the truth that Heartland stung him with it after?”

    Because that would ruin his larger story. In a scenario where he got the fake memo first, then got the real material, that would suggest that he had held on to the former while building the supposed rest of the story. That could sound semi-legitimate. If he had admitted to ‘obtaining’ it later, that would suggest that he had sat on the real ‘not so bad’ material until he got the ‘bad’ stuff to release. Which would suggest that the whole point was to do maximum damage. Which it was, of course.

    Moreover, people like Gleick can never admit they were suckers who got ‘stung’ – unless that gives them a ‘victim act’ to play. None of that here, except what is playing in the apologist ‘denier’ sites now, and that is too challenged by facts to ever work. 

  178. EdG says:

    Speaking of the ‘victim act,’ has Gleick started claiming that he is recieving ‘hate mail’ yet?

    That does seem to be the standard operating procedure for the AGW Team whenever they are cornered.

    I’m sure someone from the Team could send Gleick some fake hate emails to provide enough ‘evidence’ for a story in RealClimate or the Guardian.

  179. PDA says:

    Hunter, I don’t understand why you don’t feel that you’re as convinced as mt is of your own theory. You feel there’s adequate evidence that mainstream scientists are “fibbing, misleading and deceiving.” You feel confident that the inquiries were all corrupt, or disingenuous, whatever. 

    For the nonce, let’s call all evidence equal: how is the premise that climate scientists are liars any more or less a “theory that you think is *it*?” Is there any possibility in your mind that you’re just – I hate to say it – wrong

  180. Nullius in Verba says:

    #177,
    Non-experts are just the sort of people one would like to debate, if you wanted to be sure of winning for propaganda (or bias-confirmation) purposes. They probably were working down a list.
     
    As someone to give a talk, fine. As someone to target for a one-off credibility-destroying sting against the entire AGW movement…
     
    Like I said, Gleick didn’t confess to it because it can’t be absolutely proved based on the information that has come out. Hypotheses can be constructed. But they have to be convoluted to explain all the facts we know, and more so to match Gleick’s story of it having been posted to him beforehand.

  181. Barry Woods says:

    Peter has received abusive emails, and phonecalls I am sure, including the guy that Katie hayhoe had a run in with. Morano, should not publish Gleick’s or anybodies email address.

  182. Keith Kloor says:

    EdG,

    Once again, I’ll caution you to rein in your bile. Also, FYI, the victim card was played big time by Delingpole in a recent column some weeks ago. So there is plenty of that to go around. 

    Anyway, all you combatants sniping at each other with the mutual putdowns: Do you not realize how off-putting this is? 

  183. EdG says:

    #181 NiV

    Still do not see how your ‘nobody’ theory works. Gleick is not and was not a nobody – except to the larger public – and the results seem to speak for themselves.

    If he was truly a ‘nobody’ we probably wouldn’t be discussing this right now, and the AGW Team would not be in such an apologist frenzy about it.

    His role on the AGU Ethics board made him a prime symbolic target, and he was not a nobody in California, one of the bastions of American AGW stupidity.

    In any case, he certainly is not a nobody now.

  184. Nullius in Verba says:

    #178,
    “If he had admitted to “˜obtaining’ it later, that would suggest that he had sat on the real “˜not so bad’ material until he got the “˜bad’ stuff to release.”
    That sounds like a perfectly reasonable thing to do, to me. There are all sorts of plausible reasons for a delay.
    You can say you got anonymous information, that led you to investigate, you got some genuine documents, but while you was mulling them over Heartland figured out what had happened and who did it, and posted the memo anonymously, to discredit the leak. Since Gleick figured the new document confirmed what he had found out, it got included.  The original informant was left out of the story to protect them – presumably they had provided some potentially identifying proof of bona fides. Afterwards, they felt it close enough to the truth to blur the original informant with the follow-on memo. It excuses it without dropping your source in the cack.
    Maybe.
     
    Or maybe, as some wit suggested elsewhere, Gleick was secretly working for Heartland all along.

  185. EdG says:

    #185 NiV

    Fun speculating isn’t it? Like writing a spy story.

    “Since Gleick figured the new document confirmed what he had found out, it got included”

    But it didn’t really ‘confirm’ anything. It went far beyond what the real info said. The fake memo is the story.

    And I think you are not giving the whole picture enough consideration when you assume that Gleick would act intelligently and rationally. The whole AGW Team is in a state of panic these days, and Gleick was never their most cool and calm player.

  186. D. Robinson says:

    Edg – so you’re saying Gleick was setup by HI, that he didn’t receive the memo faked by HI, until after he got the other docs and that he’s just too proud to admit being stung so he lied, from the start, about which one came first?
     
    Wilard, legal entities (Corporations, Institutions) are required to keep emails on record for a number of years (5 I think).  MT says that Heartland is so nefarious that they could have gotten rid of all traces, not likely because an IT guy would be able to tell that something was missing. 
    The HI board members have other jobs, for instance, according to the emails, the upcoming board was going to be held at a law firm where one of the members worked.  It’s likely that some board members would haves HI e-mails sent to or copied to their day job addresses, and Heartland couldn’t hope to wipe all the servers and backups that would be involved.  E-mail strings quickly become pretty far reaching webs. 
     
    My company has to deal with BIS export regulations and I know there is always a copy of an email somewhere.  That’s why I have a hard time believing they are lying about it, because they’d get caught.  Now if they created it with the express purpose of doing this, well then they would keep it offline and never e-mail it.  But then I think you’re pretty quickly in tinfoil hat territory.
     
     
     

  187. EdG says:

    #187 – Let’s say someone in HI realized that Gleick had been phishing and had their real documents already.

    HI, like the Team, has lots of friends in unusual places. Smart people know better than to send such things from anywhere near, let alone in, their core organizations. So this would have been very, very easy to do.

    Gleick claims to have got this anonymously. That is the key point. Who was that? If they actually existed. It seems the only other realistic possibility is that Gleick just came up with this idea and fake memo himself.

    So, is he a dupe or a forger? Either way, he’s toast and this episode has been deadly for what’s left of the AGW project’s credibility.

    People love to dismiss things with ‘tinfoil hat’ comments. But one needs to be particularly naive about how the world works to fall for that line all the time.

  188. NewYorkJ says:

    Adding another piece of circumstantial evidence that favors PG’s account, see my comment #39 in the link below.  Not that concern with funding of skeptics groups was non-existent before, but there was an unusually specific and intense degree of interest PG had in HI’s funding, first appearing in mid-January.  This fits PG’s explanation, in that the memo was a catalyst for further interest and ultimately the inquiry.  Certainly, PG’s interest in HI’s funding would increase significantly if he received such a memo that mentioned anonymous donors and a strategy that included a plan to target him.  So he starts by asking Taylor on his blog about their funding (a pretty reasonable request and not exactly the same as asking to read their personal emails).  They decline.  He mentions funding 2 more times, in reasons of declining invitations to HI propaganda events.  They decline.  He finally gets ticked off enough to inquire by more questionable means.

    http://www.scholarsandrogues.com/2012/02/22/heartland-memo-origin-questions/

    And yes, Bast strikes me as the type of individual who would write such a memo.  Read his various recent rants. 

    By no means is any evidence presented close to being conclusive, though.  It remains in the speculation bin.

    The Angliss piece is a worthy read as well.

  189. Nullius in Verba says:

    #186,
    I was spinning a hypothetical Gleick version of events. He would presumably think it did confirm what he had found out, and that he was being intelligent and rational.
     
    However, I think the point of his story is not about what is rational, but about what is provable.
     
    And while I don’t think his story is entirely true, there are all sorts of possible reasons for not telling the truth besides guilt, and once you accept the possibility, it’s very difficult to prove anything where none of the evidence available to us can be absolutely relied upon. Maybe someone else did it, or was involved, and he’s taking the blame or changing the order of events to shield them. He’s not speaking under oath. He’s under no compulsion to tell us everything he knows.
     
    I think the truth will come out in due course, and there’s nothing to be gained for the time being in chasing the argument back and forth until it does. (Or unless more info comes out, which Heartland will be sure to drip feed.) Those who are going to take sides have taken them. Those who have doubled down on Gleick being a hero will find it hard to back out of that position now.

  190. EdG says:

    #183 – Keith, if you would like to point out just one ‘mutual putdown’ I have been involved with here I would find that most educational.

    Same for what you label “bile.”

  191. BBD says:

    Michael Tobis @ 170

    Nature cannot be fooled.

    Quite. But people…

    That’s the human condition. The Heartland…

    🙂

  192. EdG says:

    166, 170, 172 Michael Tobis

    Well, at least I gave you some food for thought.

    re your 170 “AGW will win in the end regardless of what anybody does, other than limiting net GHG emissions of course.
     
    Nature cannot be fooled.”

    Based on your beliefs I can understand why you would say that. My conclusion is the exact opposite. The CO2 story will be proven false by reality, or Nature.

    re your 172: “If it had been part of the document drop to the fake gmail address, and Gleick were taken in by it, then he wouldn’t have had to scan it. Since he clearly believed it, he must have only had a hard copy of it. Which corroborates his version of events.”

    I don’t follow your logic here. Why would anyone assume that he MUST have got the original by email? Why not just in a plain brown envelope?

    That said, if he had just created this fake memo himself then this line of reasoning would make much more sense. But I simply can’t quite believe that he would have come up with this idea or this memo on his own.

  193. EdG says:

    #190 NiV

    I essentially agree with your post. However, all this chasing/speculating is rather fun in the meantime and I’m not sure that the whole truth will ever come out. Not that that matters. The damage is done.

  194. NewYorkJ says:

    Too funny.  Over on the Angliss thread, a denier type made this claim as “evidence” PG faked the memo:

    Peter Gleick is not high-profile as the faked memo claims. Only in his mind.

    Good to see there are mind-readers among the amateur detectives.

    EdG’s hypothesis may seem a little far-fetched, and “high-profile” is a matter of some debate, but at least we agree on one thing: HI most certainly considers PG to be “high-profile”, and that is confirmed in their invite to him, which they’ve limited extensions to just “dozens” of scientists over the years, at least according to Taylor.  Also noted by respected climate scientists:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/01/what-if-you-held-a-conference-and-no-real-scientists-came/

    The goal is to make themselves look legit by including consensus climate scientists, the higher public profile the better.  Very few (I’m only aware of one) have taken the bait.

  195. kdk33 says:

    NYJ you have outdone yourself:

    NYJ:  Good to see there are mind-readers among the amateur detectives.

    NYJ:  The goal is to make themselves look legit by including consensus climate scientists, the higher public profile the better. 

    I think this makes you an amateur detective.

  196. EdG says:

    #195 NYJ – Like I said earlier, PG is definitely high profile now, and that is all that matters.

    But I don’t agree with your theory on HI tactics re their guests. They get more mileage out of those who refuse to debate, as that feeds the narrative that they are afraid to… because the AGW case is so weak.

    Al Gore’s refusal to debate, or even take questions, makes him the perfect poster child for this ‘afraid to debate’ line. And in his case that appears to be true.

  197. “Wilard, legal entities (Corporations, Institutions) are required to keep emails on record for a number of years (5 I think). ”
    Evidence please?
     

  198. NewYorkJ says:

    HI: The purpose of the conference is to generate international media attention to the fact that many scientists believe forecasts of rapid warming and catastrophic events are not supported by sound science, and that expensive campaigns to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are not necessary or cost-effective

    It helps more with the media attention if more than fringe deniers are attending.

    Real scientists don’t show up at Moon Landing is Fake events either.  It doesn’t help PR when real scientists decline.  At most, it makes the conspiracy nuts shriek a bit more about no one wanting to “debate” the “truth”.

  199. harrywr2 says:

    Just to make the ‘whodunnit’ more interesting.
     
    Who Gleick impersonated might be a more much interesting subject.
    /Tin Foil Hat On
    If he had impersonated Joe Bast we would probably know. Most of the Heartland Board members are located in Chicago and therefore highly likely to be in the office. Sending an email pretending to be someone in the office wouldn’t be that bright.
    Over at Lucia’s the screenshots are posted.
    Just looking at the screenshots with the blacked out names over at Lucia’s
    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2012/gleick-fakegate-emails-posted/
    and comparing it to HI’s board member list
    http://heartland.org/about/staff/4945
    Just considering the ‘out of state’ board members
    One of the screenshots has
    Good Morning Mr. ______.
    Rose seems too short to fit  Lamendola seems to long.
    That leaves Collins,Judson and Former US Senator and NASA Astronaut Schmitt.
    Collins has something to do with the Insurance Industry.
    Judson was a legislative assistant for Tom Delay.
    /tin foil off
    Interesting times. Why do we not know ‘who’ Gleick impersonated. He already confessed that he impersonated ‘someone’. Why didn’t he confess as to ‘who’?
     

  200. grypo says:

    Watts says:

    “Gleick originally portrayed all of the documents he circulated, including the fake climate change strategy memo, as originating from Heartland. Now he claims he received that memo from an “anonymous source” before his theft. But the emails Heartland released today reveal Gleick never asked for either of the two documents that are specifically cited and summarized in the memo, suggesting the memo was written after, not before, he received the phished documents.

    Yet another logic fail.  Let’s try this again.  Yes, if Gleick had asked for these two documents “specifically”, then yes, it would have shown that he hadn’t written the “memo”.  But that doesn’t mean the opposite is true!  Basically what’s being said here is that his preconceived notion has yet to be proven false, so therefore it is likely true.  Not how it goes.

    Just because those two documents were cited, this does not mean that he would ask for only those specifically, nor does it mean he somehow could know that all of the corroborating info would be in there.  Maybe he was hoping to find who the shady anonymous donor was!  He posing as a board member,  so he asked for them all.  When he got a few (and remember the Funding Doc and and Budget were in the Agenda Items), he wrote back and asked for all the materials used in the meeting again.  It looks pretty obvious he knew he’d be getting them.  

    Story still checks out.  Anyone telling you differently is spinning. 

  201. Nullius in Verba says:

    #199,
    “Real scientists don’t show up at Moon Landing is Fake events either.”
    They ought to. If you’ve got clear scientific explanations, then there’s much fun to be had telling people about them. The trick is to make sure they can’t advertise the debate without also advertising your answers, to which end the easiest approach is simply to document your day and exactly what you said yourself.
     
    The idea that one can win a debate by presenting no arguments and not showing up is not one that ought to have any intellectual respectability.
     
    “I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary but slinks out of the race, where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat.”

  202. grypo says:

    Okay, #200 that isn’t from Watts like I made look like, but an unattributed fakegate.org press release.  The blog post says written by Watts so it confused me.

  203. Nullius in Verba says:

    #200,
    “Yes, if Gleick had asked for these two documents “specifically”, then yes, it would have shown that he hadn’t written the “memo”.”
    No it wouldn’t. He could have written the memo and asked about them. Or he could have asked about them and then written the memo. Either scenario is more likely than the position that he had a memo that referenced specific documents, he engaged in a risky scheme to supposedly try to verify the memo, but neglected to ask for the specific documents that would enable his to do so. By an amazing stroke of luck, he got given them anyway. Riiiight.
     
    It’s merely odd that he didn’t take the most obvious steps to verify the memo, not proof. But taking those steps wouldn’t have proved anything either.

  204. grypo says:

    Another analysis shows Gleick less likely the writer of the memo than the comparisons from Heartland.

    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2012/02/is_the_heartland_strategy_memo.php 

  205. D. Robinson says:

    198 MT – Called our IT mgr, and I have to say I was wrong.  I thought SOX and FRCP both had clear laws on email retention.  SOX only covers financial data and for public companies.  FRCP demands retention of any data that might be required as evidence in litigation, but that’s not at all clear.  As a public company our policy is 5 years.  I blew it, sorry willard.

  206. willard says:

    Thank you for your diligence, D. Robinson,

  207. stan says:

    [Keith, I hope you preserve this thread for the sake of history.  Psychologists, sociologists, historians and scientists 100 years from now will understand a lot if they have the opportunity to read it].

    Hmmmm.  Mosher looks at the docs, says Gleick is likely involved and Gleick soon confesses.  Obviously, Mosher has no credibility.

    I feel sorry for logic.  It’s getting used, abused, misused and confused so badly it may never recover.

  208. I recant. I am no longer confident that the disputed memo is real. It is certainly likely that no fluent English-speaking person would use “anti-climate” to describe their own allies.
    My reconsideration of the matter is here.

  209. Nullius in Verba says:

    #209,
    Amusing! I particularly liked the comment about Jedi mind tricks.

  210. J Bowers says:

    “Hmmmm.  Mosher looks at the docs, says Gleick is likely involved and Gleick soon confesses. “
     
    Texas Sharpshooter fallacy or bait & switch? Mosher, and others, suggested that Gleick faked the strategy document. Gleick only confessed to acquiring the other documents to verify the strategy document, which he says he received anonymously in the mail.

  211. Bob Koss says:

    MT #209,
    Your link goes to a login page. Some people may not wish to register. So, for the convenience of those people wishing to read your analysis of the Peter Gleick retirement strategy, I am providing a direct link. 
    http://planet3.org/2012/02/24/what-a-shiny-damn-penny/
    Hope you don’t mind. Just have Keith remove this comment if you disapprove.
     

  212. Tom Gray says:

    from Judith Curry on the revelations in the docuemnts

    ==========
    <blockquote>
    With virtually no effort on my part (beyond reading an email, cutting and pasting into the blog post), I have uncovered “juicier stuff” about Heartland than anything Gleick uncovered. Okay, maybe the HI are actually the baddest guys in town from the perspective of the alarmists. The irony of Gleick committing professional seppuku over getting information about stuff that is either generally known or suspected or regarded as no big deal. When all he had to do was ask Joseph Bast some questions, and he would have told him all sorts of things (just not the names of the donors, which aren’t all that interesting anyways.)</blockquote>
    ================

    Well so much for that  

  213. Tom Gray says:

    When will we see trhe discussion of the decision that has been reached in the case of Dr. Wegmanm. I can recall the extensive coverage of the allegations. I am looking forward to seeing the the smae extensive coverage on the decision

  214. Fred says:

    CAGW is the Humpty Dumpty of scientific theories. Nothing will put it back together now. It is amazing (and hilarious) to read all the (wasted) effort expended on debating the inconsequential issue of whether or not Gleick wrote the strategy memo. The big picture is that a prominent CAGW supporter has done something crazy and repulsive and his fellow CAGW supporters have been rushing lemming-like over the cliff of defending him. Be my guest.
     
    Meanwhile, HI comes out smelling like a rose. See Cuury’s post:
    http://judithcurry.com/2012/02/24/why-target-heartland/
     
    She notes “The end result of this episode is that Heartland will become known to many more people.” Eat your heart out NewYorkJ. You can bet Curry is mighty glad she has reconsidered her stance on CAGW now. Lots of younger scientists are looking at this episode, too.
     
    It has taken an interminable amount of time for a smart guy like MT to at long last realize that the memo is not real. It was obvious all along but fun to watch how smart people with good reasoning skills can succumb to dumb ideas. Now how long will it be before MT (and many others here) finally realize that CAGW itself is similarly a dumb idea? Curry has seen the light. When will you?

  215. Jarmo says:

    This whole episode just reveals how frustrated the climate scientists and the greens are by their lack of success in the battle against “disinformation and doubt”. So they try to shut their opponents down by going after anybody financing them. That’s the information Gleick was after.

    However, if anything, they just managed to reveal how cheap and successful contesting the IPCC & co really is. Under 10 million dollars…. that’s nothing. 

     

  216. willard says:

    > not the names of the donors, which aren’t all that interesting anyways
    It might be interesting to know why not.

  217. Tom Gray says:

    =========
    > not the names of the donors, which aren’t all that interesting anywaysIt might be interesting to know why not. 
    ==========

    How many degrees Kelvin of AGW warming will knowledge of the donor’s names prevent?

    The historian Talleyrand observed to the Bourbon kings of his day in the 19th century

    ” “they had learned nothing and forgotten nothing”

    AGW is a potentially very serious issue. When we we begin to take it seriously and not become obsessed with trivialities such as this controversy. Who cares who the donors are? What difference will it make to the science. How much warming will it prevent? 

    Sometimes I feel that I have been caught up in a perpetual high school.  People can disagree without either side being knaves, villains and frauds. When can we concentrate on the real issue? Given the politicised science on this matter and the politicized scientists with their amateurish level of political skills, I think that that is very unlikely to occur.

    We learn nothing; we forget nothing. 

    When are we going to leave high school politics behind? 

  218. grypo says:

    “Under 10 million dollars”¦. that’s nothing. ”

    I’d be curious to know whether Jarmo would be interested in adding up all the money from all the Heartland’s.  I’d also be interested in knowing whether Jarmo wanted to research the inter-connectivity between these organizations. Those trying to make this just about Heartland (attn Curry and the press that thought this was fabulous) are woefully uneducated on the nature of this network.  But wanting to know this network is crucial in researching it.

  219. Curry:
    “The end result of this episode is that Heartland will become known to many more people.”
     
    Excellent! Eeexcellent!!!
     
    See, that is not what Heartland or the whole custom facts industry wants. So if they get more attention, that is great.
     

  220. #218: Publishing the donors’ names may encourage their respective families to push back a bit, for one thing.
     

  221. willard says:

    Tom Gray,

    I mostly agree with your recent comments, and especially this one:

    > I don’t know or care to know about the Heartland issue. About who did what or what they did on both sides. I just know hat this screaming is not getting us anywhere. Nobody changes their minds. We never move ahead. Both sides should hang their heads in shame.

    http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/18034983067

    I’m not sure what you have in mind when you refer to the Heartland issue.  But I sure can answer this rhetorical question:

    > Who cares who the donors are?

    It seems that George Monbiot does:

    > Shocking, fascinating, entirely unsurprising: the leaked documents, if authentic, confirm what we suspected but could not prove. The Heartland Institute, which has helped lead the war against climate science in the United States, is funded among others by tobacco firms, fossil fuel companies and one of the billionaire Koch brothers.

    http://www.monbiot.com/2012/02/20/plutocracy-pure-and-simple/

    I believe that Monbiot’s point shows that the Heartland affair might be a bit larger than the G episode.

  222. Fred says:

    MT #220 writes:
    “See, that is not what Heartland or the whole custom facts industry wants. So if they get more attention, that is great.”
     
    Just whistling in the dark. Ah yes, more attention will enable HI to distribute more copies of Climate Change Reconsidered so that the real facts will become even more widely known.
     

  223. Lewis Deane says:

    Something I wrote as a 15 year old lout, which, despite it’s fascist overtones, I still like and think apt here (yes, I can rhyme!):
    Poet.
    .I.
    That poet could not know
    A time like this
    And yet he cursed his day
    Better than this.
    Is time then a falling slide,
    Poet and knave bruised
    On a dumb rocky mountain side?
    Then what we have we lose.
    Still, what has been has been:
    That from beauties flesh was born
    Some marvellous, flesh tearing form
    Still finds its somewhere reflective dream.
    .II.
    Or do we but count the corn,
    Watch the rats’ numberless dawn,
    Hear the room tying rain,
    See ragged faces painless pain?
    We always do that,
    The prisoner and the rat
    Eyeing their despair;
    Or in the day
    Where in we might say
    “Here is the wrong, stupid lair.”
    It’s hard to keep eye fixed ahead
    When there’s but counting of the dead.
    .III.
    “Enough fools for us all!” Democrats say:
    Thus they have built their day ““
    To confound the strong and the good
    Idiots for a guard they’ve stood
    Sweating, breaking out loud.
    What poet can pierce that crowd?
    .IV.
    Over the hill more might be seen:
    You watch the Tower beaten in dream
    You who see the living die.
    Over that crowd beaten eye
    There’s but the canopy of lead:
    Let the dead bury the dead.
    Lewis Deane

  224. Jarmo says:

    #219

    First, Grypo, it’s still peanuts. Just make a comparison with Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and all the other environmental NGO’s.

    Second, Heartland & co offer information from a certain perspective. They can’t make you read it. Even if you read it, you don’t have to buy it. There’s some 10 million Jehova’s Witnesses knocking on everybody’s door and offering literature. All I’ve ever done is to talk with the nice-looking girls. Mormons, unfortunately, just send guys. My loss 😉 

    Third, you seem to think there is some sort of huge conspiracy where evil individuals push information that they know to be false. Something you seem to share with Gleick.

    As far as I am concerned, I think I have made my position clear but I’ll go the extra mile for you: I think Heartland is biased but at least they are pretty open about it: nor do I believe everything the IPCC and climate scientists are pushing.

    This here is an example of real money:

     The Commission proposes to allocate EUR 3.2 billion over 2014-2020 to a new Programme for the Environment and Climate Action – LIFE. The proposed new programme will build on the success of the existing LIFE+ Programme but will be reformed to have a greater impact, be simpler and more flexible and have a significantly increased budget.

    Governments are pushing climate change action stuff to schools, as well as organizations

    http://ec.europa.eu/clima/sites/campaign/index_de.htm 

    http://www.carboeurope.org/education/ 

  225. Tom C says:

    Tom Gray –

    I, at least, am interested in the decision re Wegmann.  Can you point us to some information agout it?

  226. AFPhys says:

    MTobias –
    Read your admission that the fake memo is fake.  You are part way there with your recognition that the word “anti-climate” in the memo is a “tell” about the authorship.  Next you have to realize that a particular person involved in this issue has used that word: http://twitter.com/#!/stephenfry/statuses/163889682940301313
     
    After that, start to mull over the effect of the EMail exchanges that Heartland had with Gleick, not only his phishing series of emails, but the earlier exchange regarding his debating/speaking there.  Mix that in with his failure to convince in the Forbes blogosphere, and see what you end up with.  Gleick was forced to admit that he did the phishing attack, saying he was very frustrated.  You have to realize somewhere along the line that he also is by far the most likely person to have forged the fake memo, especially given that it was ascribed to him before he admitted he did the phishing. 
     
    He needs to produce the original faked memo pronto, along with the envelope it arrived in, and witnesses who saw it before Feb.10.
     

  227. Nullius in Verba says:

    #219,
    In 2008, Al Gore famously announced a $300m advertising campaign to promote his side of the debate on climate change. Three Hundred Million Dollars. That’s one campaign, one campaigner, and more than thirty times bigger than Heartland’s entire budget. I’m told Heartland spent $0.7m on climate issues (as opposed to all the other things they campaign on) which is a factor of more than four hundred smaller.
     
    And if we add in Greenpeace, the WWF, The Sierra Club, the Centre for American Progress, Fenton Communications, Hoggan Associates, The Suzuki Foundation, the Heinz-Kerry Foundation, The Energy and Resource Institute, the Pacific Institute, not to mention the taxpayer-backed efforts of the UN, politicians, governments, and big media – a lot of it the sort of publicity and authority that private money can’t buy – any idiot can see that there is big, big money and a network of political influence behind this whole movement.
     
    The numbers have been looked at several times, and estimates of the money spent on promoting AGW range from hundreds to thousands of times that spent opposing it. The sceptics are not “well funded”, they’re most of them not doing it for profit, and they’re not the reason for the slow collapse in public belief or the total lack of effective international political action.
     
    All the conspiracy crap about oil companies and think tanks and corporations is just so much paranoid leftist fantasy; the way these people explain their total lack of success persuading anyone to give up their money and their freedom to the greater good of the left-wing cause.
     
    I apologise for being so blunt, but it is getting really irritating. We’ve argued for days over how a poxy little jumped-up think tank making a lot of noise has somehow taken control of the minds of humanity with a tiny budget that wouldn’t even pay to clean the carpets of their opponents.
     
    And even after we’ve all seen how little they have, we still have people trying to figure out how they’re connected to the “network”, demanding to know who funds them so they can be properly harassed, concocting ever more convoluted Machiavellian schemes to discover how Heartland somehow tricked one of their ‘heroic’ climate scientists into committing fraud, theft, forgery, and lying about stuff. For goodness sake! You’ll believe it easily enough of people on Heartland’s side; why should it be so hard to comprehend that a few of their opposite numbers in the eco-socialist think tanks might be kinda the same?
     
    We’re “woefully uneducated on the nature of this network”?! Show me where there’s a comprehensive survey of all the money and connections behind the global warming believers. Tell us how Gleick got Chris Lehane and John Keker representing him – the one being Al Gore’s campaign manager who defended the Clintons over Whitewater and the Lewinsky affair and the other the guy who defended Enron’s CFO. Who phoned who and when to arrange that cosy arrangement? Why don’t you tell us about this network?
    Do you seriously not realise the global warming crowd are living in glass houses on this sort of thing?
     
    In the meantime, none of this has anything to do with the climate science. or what’s wrong with it. Who is paying for the global warming scare is irrelevant – the only thing that matters is the content of the arguments.

  228. kdk33 says:

    any idiot can see that there is big, big money and a network of political influence behind this whole movement.

    No shit. 

    And you forgot to mention:  a nobel price, an academy award winning movie, a major network or 3, every panhandlng “scientific” society, and the panting, slobbering support of the governments of every developed country. 

    In the meantime, none of this has anything to do with the climate science.

    And, frankly, most of it never did.

    The lesson is this:  democracy and free markets work.  Individually we all fall short, but collectively, we tend to make good decision.  Hence no action on climate, soon to be followed by the collapse of the “green” energy scam.  It’s rather amazing when you think about it.

  229. grypo says:

    Jarmo
    “First, Grypo, it’s still peanuts. Just make a comparison with Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and all the other environmental NGO’s.”

    NiV
    “In 2008, Al Gore famously announced a $300m advertising campaign to promote his side of the debate on climate change.” 

    Yes, Yes!  Take ’em all down!  Expose ’em all.  That’s where this is headed.  Just because one set of oligarchs somewhat more agrees with me than another set of oligarchs, this does not mean I want either spending their extracted wealth on subverting democracy.  Then again, if I had my druthers, I’d be doing lots more than merely exposing these people.  I don’t like usurers or societal leeches much. 

  230. Menth says:

    @228 +100
     
    Epic rant.

  231. Menth says:

    This is a re-post that got buried in another thread:
     
    So the common thing I keep hearing here from people is that Heartland and other organizations are rooted in one aim: to misinform, to confuse, to delude.
    Here’s what I’m proposing for your consideration: they actually believe in what they are saying. Note that this is distinct from whether they are correct or not, that’s not what I’m trying to debate. Is an organization free to advocate for something they believe in, even if it’s wrong? There seems to be this premise that these people secretly understand the science the same way you do but choose to “deceive” people anyway.
    Simplistic Vignette:
    Heartland Meeting Chairman *petting cat on lap*: “Well boys, the planet’s gonna fry but if people find out about that, our benefactors will be out a TONNE of cash, so let’s get to work making sure everything gets muddled. Who wants a cigar? MUAHAHAHA.”
     
    So it’s been shown that other organizations also prepare their own K-12 education modules. Is the whole premise faulty or only if it’s the “wrong” organization? Let’s say the Center for American Progress funds a K-12 project and it includes a bunch of phony attribution claims and tells kids that Santa’s gonna be homeless because mommy drives them to soccer practice in an suv. Is this okay? 
     
    In a pluralistic society there will be a plethora of competing viewpoints and many will seem morally abhorrent to one another. It is also unsurprising that it is easier to ascribe ulterior motives(“it’s that corporate money that makes “˜em think the way they do!” or “they’re secret communists!!”) than to accept these differences and try to understand them.

  232. Jarmo says:

    #230

    Let’s be realistic: priests, moneymen, oligarchs, nobility, political upper classes (call them what you want) have been with us ever since societies produced surpluses. The only truly egalitarian societies are based on hunter-gathering.

  233. Tom Gray says:

    re 221

    Michael Tobis wrote

    ==================
    #218: Publishing the donors’ names may encourage their respective families to push back a bit, for one thing.  ——————–

    Do you realize the implications of the words that you wrote? Do you want to withdraw and disavow them? 

  234. kdk33 says:

    this does not mean I want either spending their extracted wealth on subverting democracy.  

    Wow, these last few days have been priceless.  EXCTRACTED wealth?  Did you mean earned.  Are you refering to the money that was collected in return for bringing society something it values; and values enough to pay for.

    Extracted wealth?  Like it was a tooth.  Like some person, or group, or entity had it and then some dimented dentist removed it and presumably kept it.  Maybe in jar of formaldehyde over the mantel.

    Extracted wealth?  Like maybe they dug a tunnel under the neithborood.  Kind of like those  trouble making gophers in Caddyshack.  Then secretly tunnelled up into the homes of unsuspecting, hard working, suburunites and broke into their safes.

    Extracted wealth?

    Then again, if I had my druthers, I’d be doing lots more than merely exposing these people. 

    Yes, I think that has been made quite clear by many on this and other forums.  It is an absolute crime to let people spend their (extracted?) wealth in the manner they see fit.  I mean, they might spend it letting people know that there are opinions other than mine and that would be… well anti-democractic.  Especially since the wealth was… extracted.

    I don’t like usurers or societal leeches much. 

    Nobody does, but calling names doesn’t make it so – or have any bearing on anyting, other than the speakers manners.  Strange talk for the “science side”.  But the “science side” is very quickly putting to bed any doubts about “science” tn “climate science”.

    My grama used to say:  Time heals all wounds, and wounds all heels.  If you wait long enough, people will tell you who they are.  Ever was it thus.

  235. lucia says:

    MT
    Publishing the donors’ names may encourage their respective families to push back a bit, for one thing.
    Strikes me as wishful thinking on your part.  Given family members often share ideology it could equally well result in open cheering at Thanksgiving gatherings.  Also, sometimes poorer relatives are suck ups hoping for an inheritance; they aren’t going to push back.

  236. Jarmo says:

    #236

    Perhaps the idea is that negative publicity in MSM will “encourage” the donor’s  family members to put some pressure on him to stop donations.

     

  237. willard says:

    Nullius,
     
    You ask:
     
    > Show me where there’s a comprehensive survey of all the money and connections behind the global warming believers.
     
    That sounds to me like a tu quoque, couple with the shifting of the burden your proof.  Since we hear you talk a lot about ad hominems,we might believe you know that these are fallacies.  Am I correct? 
     
    Questions surrounding the secrecy, the lobbyism, and the cronysm behing the Heartland Institute might not interest you, of course.  Perhaps you’re more interested with other social networks, which would be strange, considering how “nothing really matters” except questions of science.  In any case, whatever question itches you, no one prevents you from paying it due diligence.  Speaking for myself, there is so much to do, so little time, that I would appreciate if you scratch that itch you mentioned.
     
    I do applaud the passion by which you express your annoyance.   It does sound to you that “it does not matter” and that you’d like the debate to “move on” to more scientific endeavours, to take the usual auditing expressions.  If that question does not interest you, one has to wonder why you use so much words that could be used against you, and why you did not express so much indignation
     
     

  238. willard says:

    … about the G man hunt.

  239. EdG says:

    More insight emerging on this:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/25/what-triggered-dr-peter-gleick-to-do-identify-fraud-on-jan-27th/#comment-904147

    My theory, until now, was that Heartland had caught on to Gleick phishing and fed him the fake memo. That was based on my assumption that Gleick could not have been ‘stupid’ enough to do this himself. Now I’m not so sure about that. This indicates that he may indeed have ‘lost it’ due to his ego and zealous dedication to the cause, which may have made him temporarily very stupid.

    So, my theory may have rested on a great overestimation of Gleick’s intelligence and a great underestimation of his zealousness. And since this link reveals Gleick still flogging the ‘97% agree’ fairy tale, I clearly underestimated the depth of his groupthink blindness.

    Now I’ll just have to wait to see what, if anything, is revealed about the workings of this story. 

    I actually do feel rather sorry for Gleick. Just human. I hope this reminds everyone with delusions about ‘scientists’ being some kind of separate objective species that that whole concept is a false generalization. ALL humans, including those trained in some field of ‘science,’ are political and economic animals prone to all the human failings and groupthink influences.

  240. Nullius in Verba says:

    #230,
    Where I was going with that was that I don’t actually care about all the money spent being green, where the spenders are spending their own money at least, and I’m not interested in chasing down who is funding it, as it’s nothing to do with why their argument is wrong.
    We don’t need to know, and in a free society we shouldn’t have to know.
     
    #231,
    Sorry. Yes I did go on a bit more than usual. I usually try not to do that; I just got irritated.
     
    #232,
    Yes, exactly.
     
    #238,
    Yes, it was tu quoque in spades. I tried explaining why it was nobody else’s business what politics people spent their money on. I’ve tried explaining over and over again why the identities or other characteristics of the people making the argument have no bearing on whether the argument is correct or not. (Only on how carefully you need to check it.)
     
    But still we’ve got people chasing it, so I thought I’d try to explain by example. By showing how on this conspiracising basis we ought to reject all the AGW argument because it’s all backed by political and corporate interests, pushed by a network of powerful figures in the background. I had hoped that by doing so I would make it obvious why it was such a nonsense argument.
    We reject CRU’s temperature series because they’re funded by big oil. We reject the GISS one because it’s author got money from a political foundation. We reject the IPCC story because it’s boss makes money out of TERI. We complain about ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ being used as a school science lesson plan purely because it was written by a big-name Democrat politician who owns a carbon trading company. And so on.
     
    I don’t generally use such arguments, except to counter their counterparts from the other side, because they’re fallacious. But I do know about them.
     
    And in this case the point I’m making is that to keep going on about Heartland’s backers as if they mattered is like the elephants complaining that the mice keep stepping on their toes. While the mice are supposed to bear the converse stoically.
    Sure, some of the people on my side – the Moranos and Moncktons of this world – are interested in chasing those networks. That’s all going on down at the ‘political’ end of the debate. But people round here tend to look down on the Moranos – so why are they so keen to emulate their tactics?
     
    I’m not really all that bothered by this sort of thing, I know it goes on and I can/will join in if it seems appropriate. As far as I’m concerned, the only relevant fact in this affair was that the memo was faked. Who faked it is a human tragedy, and a legal matter for Heartland, but basically gossip. I won’t say I wasn’t curious myself, and I won’t say I was all that bothered by them tracking him down, but it is starting to wear on a bit. Following my own advice I ought to just ignore it, but I’m afraid I did let my mild irritation briefly show.
     
    Funding doesn’t matter. That was my point.

  241. hunter says:

    MT,
    What is it with extremists and lists?
    Do you really want to be on the same (low) level as BBD, etc.? Think, man!
    As to what the grownups involved in this are doing:
    “UPDATE51: 7:15PM 2/24 According to the San Jose Mercury News, Dr. Gleick has requested a leave of absence from the Pacific Institute ”
     

  242. Menth says:

    @241 re:231
     
    It was a compliment.

  243. hunter says:

    Menth,
    Many AGW extremists seem to have an outlook that is incompatible with a free society. How sad.
     

  244. hunter says:

    @209 MT,
    Thank you for your honesty.
     
     

  245. Nullius in Verba says:

    #243,
    I know, and taken as such. Thank you.
     
    But still, I’ve argued in the past that complaining about it only encourages more of the same, keeps the cycle of conflict going. It felt good, though.

  246. hunter says:

    Link to Gleick’s leave of absence:
    http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_20040326

  247. BBD says:

    NiV

    Funding doesn’t matter.

    Of course it does.

    @ 228

    All the conspiracy crap about oil companies and think tanks and corporations is just so much paranoid leftist fantasy

    There’s a thicket of organisations trying (and succeeding) to bamboozle Congress. And so long as the US does nothing, China will do nothing and bob’s your stalemate.

    The relationship maps at ExxonSecrets are a good way to explore the thicket and meet many familiar faces along the way. Click ‘Launch Flash Application’ at the left of the page and then opt to ‘Skip Intro’. The ‘Global Warming Legislation Attack’ map (bottom right) is interesting. To see the ‘Climate Science Sceptic Roundup’ click Tools and Load Map and select it from the list. ‘Fred Singer – Skeptic-in-Chief’ is quite fun too.

    Who is paying for the global warming scare is irrelevant

    Ah. Paying for the scare. Not a paranoid fantasy 😉

    the only thing that matters is the content of the arguments.

    Let’s see those ‘good sceptical papers’…

  248. Anteros says:

    Menth @ 232
     
    Spot on.
    I’m tempted to say it’s the virulence of the age, but whenever I hear someone saying something similar I always get the sense that people have been saying the same kinds of things ever since man learned to have an argument.

  249. harrywr2 says:

    #249

    Funding doesn’t matter…Of course it does.
    Dr Gleick’s own 2007 Senate Testimony
    http://www.pacinst.org/topics/integrity_of_science/categories_of_deceitful_tactics_and_abuse.pdf
    Categories of Deceitful Tactics and Abuse of the Scientific Process
    Personal (“Ad Hominem”) Attacks
    This approach uses attacks against the character, circumstances, or motives of a person in order to discredit their argument or claim, independent of the scientific evidence.
    Demonization
    Guilt by Association
    Challenge to Motive (such as greed or funding)
     

  250. willard says:

    harrywr2,
     
    Do you abide by the rulebook you just quoted? 
     
    ***
     
    Nullius,
     
    I do agree that we should stop questioning researchers who get funding for their researches.  This line of questioning should not belong to the public sphere.  But please notice when the fallacy obtains: when we infer from personal interest something about truth simpliciter. 
     
    This is not what happens here.  The funding behind the Heartland Institute might not matter to the science it promotes.  The questions that interest me, the ones I find crucial to the whole Heartland affair, are political questions.  
     
    Among others, there is the one concerning the legitimacy of charity status of the Heartland Institute.   And for that question what matters here is the relation **from** the institutions **to** the researchers, the inverse of the one where we observed a fallacy, in another domain of application to boot.
     
    Let’s test this by taking the question “is the Heartland Institute a fake charity?”  Let’s check: are your interested by this question?  No, I heard you say.  So this may not be a scientific question.
     
    People are entitled to search for whatever they fancy.  Institutions do not share this liberty.  Armwaving “Yes but Freedom” and other libertarian claptraps might not suffice. 

    And so the whole line of “funding does not matter” argument collapses, and the outrage that comes with it misses its mark. 

  251. kdk33 says:

    “is the Heartland Institute a fake charity?”  

    No, it is a 501c3 tax exempt, non-profit, research organization.

    People are entitled to search for whatever they fancy.  Institutions do not share this liberty.  

    Really?  Care to back that up?   

    501c3 status applies to, among other things, coorporations, foundations, funds working for scientific or education purposes.  Though direct interventions in campaigns are restricted they can, within limits, lobby.

    If an institution is willing to forego tax exempt status, it can search for any damn thing it wants. Institutions are simply collections of individuals.

    Armwaving “Yes but Freedom” and other libertarian claptraps might not suffice. 

    Wow! So freedom is now libertarian claptrap.  This week has indeed brought many revelations.

  252. Nullius in Verba says:

    #252,
    “Let’s test this by taking the question “is the Heartland Institute a fake charity?”  Let’s check: are your interested by this question?”
    On the understanding that it has nothing to do with the validity or otherwise of the science, and is not about the legality of their operation, I agree it is an interesting question.
     
    But I do, perhaps, have a slightly different perspective of what a “fake charity” means. I would say “charity” was voluntary donations made not in exchange for direct personal and exclusive benefit but for a general or collective good.
    So it is in contrast to a sale, which is for something personal and exclusive, and it is in contrast to taxation, which is not voluntary. I don’t place tight restrictions on what counts as for the general good – that’s a value judgement, and people have all sorts of different values.
     
    So for something to be a “fake charity”, it must either be trading individual and exclusive benefits for money, or taking money non-voluntarily. So I would say Heartland could be called “fake” if it for example lobbied for legislation that only benefitted the donors themselves (i.e. protectionist legislation) or if it took government funding.
     
    If Western lightbulb manufacturers, concerned at the growing market share of cheap incandescents from China, were to pay “charities” to lobby government for a ban on incandescents, forcing the public to buy the more expensive fluorescent bulbs they produced, they are essentially buying a personal service at the expense of everyone else. Their claims to have reduced energy use are a public good (although I personally don’t see it that way, I know other people do, so it counts), however, even on their own terms it’s somewhat questionable since the energy saved is small (climatologically insignificant) and offset anyway by the Jevons paradox. And it is also offset by the fact that people preferred the light of incandescents, which I think everyone agreed on.
     
    So that would be an example of fake charity. It is presented as being for the public good, but in fact is a personal service. The ‘charity’ is acting as an advertising agency.
     
    Another example would be where politicians pay taxpayers money to “charity” groups to lobby publicly for legislation the politicians themselves wanted, and then the politicians could say they were simply bowing to public demand. The problem here is that the charity is not representing a popular view, one that attracts voluntary donations. The only way it can get supported is to be given taxpayers money extracted by force. Governments function to provide those essential public goods that people will not pay for, and they are for the public good in the sense that some people think so, but they’re not charities because they’re not voluntary on the part of the people whose money it is.
     
    That sort of thing could conceivably happen in private industry, if an executive of the company gave money that the owners of the company didn’t want him to. However, there are defences against that – the company accounts are open to the owners, and they have the right to demand to know where their money is being spent. Whether they do or not is their affair. I would agree there are difficulties there.
     
    So does any of this apply to Heartland? I haven’t heard that they get money that wasn’t voluntarily given by its owners, and they certainly get no government/taxpayer funding. They’re advocating the free market, so they should be dead set against protectionism. And everything I’ve heard of them lobbying for – in the climate arena at least, I’m not sure what else they do – is not for anyone’s exclusive advantage. I have no reason to think they’re a fake charity, although I haven’t looked closely enough to have more than intermediate confidence in that judgement. And they’re a small enough fish, compared to the world of charities generally, that I don’t consider further effort along those lines to be proportionate.
     
    On the other hand, the Pacific Institute that Peter Gleick runs I hear gets lots and lots of government money. So on the face of it, I’d say there was reason for thinking it might be fake. The usual standard to get classified as ‘fake’ is more than 10% government money. I honestly don’t know if the Pacific Institute does, and to be honest I don’t care that much. But if you want to go look, I’d be interested to see the answer.

  253. Lewis Deane says:

    Lord, you lot don’t half go on! At first one thinks “A scrap!” but then it just becomes boring, a yawn a second. Can’t you lot not stand up on human, rational legs and concede the correct points that the other ‘side’ often makes? Just so childish!

  254. Matt B says:

    @ 255 Lewis,

    Can’t you lot not stand up on human, rational legs and concede the correct points that the other “˜side’ often makes?
     
    The answer is…..no. 

  255. BBD says:

    [test]

  256. kdk33 says:

    The word “charity” has no definition that applies here.  AFAIAC, charities give money to the poor; Heartland doesn’t.  What may be relevant is its tax exempt status; or, more importantly, whether it’s donors can claim a tax deduction for their donations.

    Setting aside tax status, I am unaware of any claim the Heartlands activities are illegal (PG, not so much, but oh well).  And I’ve not seen a reasonable claim that what they are doing violates their tax exempt status, though that is a much lower hurdle.  They should be free to frund researchers, prepare educational material, even lobby within limits.

    Taking government money and then lobbying the public for programs that government wants…  That’s corruption.  Sadly, it very much describes the CAGW enteriprise:  government funded science concludes, we need more government to fund more science.  And few billion for our green energy crony capitalists, who, BTW, have Heartland institutes of their own.  Crony capitalism being somewhat different in that these are industry groups lobbying government for protection.

    At first one thinks “A scrap!” but then it just becomes boring,

    Kind of like watching soccer.

  257. Lewis Deane says:

    Matt B,

    How unfortunate, then! There are real, important questions, here. And, as such, it attracts the profound and the superficial. And, of course, many of those who are considered the most ‘profound’, by their ‘side’, are, often, the most superficial! The ‘noise’ of the loudest!

    But I think, even so, reminding people of their behaviour is not completely quixotic. After all, one does still believe in mankind? 

  258. Lewis Deane says:

    Also, why have people forgotten how to argue? One addresses statements, propositions, methods of thought. This new screed is based on the absurd idea that ‘motive’ is important. It is not important in jurisprudence (except in terms of ‘intention’) and it certainly is not important in discourse. Address the argument, not the man! For pity’s sake!

  259. Fred says:

    Since 2007 Gleick’s Pacific Institute has reportedly received more than $1 million in EPA grants. I wonder what of value the US taxpayers have received for their money. See
     
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/25/epa-budget-judgment-day-coming-up/
     
    This is upfront, out-of-pocket money, not hypothetical money related to questions of the deductibility of contributions by private parties.

  260. Lewis Deane says:

    kdk33,

    No ‘soccer’ is a different and more beautiful animal! But the analogy works because the beauty is lost in the stupid tribalism of it’s followers. But watching Brazil play football, as we call it (and have a right to call it, since we invented the damn thing, along with all modern games, including your ‘football’!), is like Puccini, a lovely thing. Or Bach is better!

  261. Fred says:

    As long as we are talking about money here, we should not fail to mention the $390 million in government subsidies that have gone to a battery company in Michigan. It is losing money hand over fist, has just laid off 125 workers, and sharply increased executive salaries. 
     
    This is, of course, just the latest in a long line of “green energy” companies and projects which are bleeding the government dry. A primary inspiration of such waste is the failed CAGW theory.

  262. Lewis Deane says:

    I console myself with Camus, with my Liverpool loyalties. My family always voted Labour and always supported Liverpool! Tradition maybe something to consider when we examine the ‘motives’ of those to whom we speak.
    Which reminds me of  famous anecdote: A weel known physiognomist once came up to Socrates and said: “You are full of the vilest, most viscous urges!” To which Socrates replied: “You know me, Sir, but I have mastered them!” 

  263. Matt B says:

    @ 262 Lewis,

    I must disagree that the UK is the originator of all modern games; here’s one example:

    http://www.thesudburystar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3467825

    I believe you will feel comfortable distancing yourself from this activity……..  

          

  264. kdk33 says:

    No “˜soccer’ is a different and more beautiful animal!

    OK, the CAGW thing is just a diversion.  Now we are on to something truly meaningful…

    The only thing beautiful about soccer is that it doesn’t much get on TV here. 

    Our football, OTOH, is truly for the connisour.  An intense sport, fast action, violence, strategy, precision, brute strength.  Every element of naked martial skill simultaneouslyh on display in a tightly choreographed dance of exquisite precision.  Each team keenly honed, trained, and rehearsed, to accomplish a single purpose – put that darn pigskin in the endzone (or keep it out, accordingly).  Sadly, vestigial organs still remain and some games are decided by – gasp, egads, oh the horror – field goals. 

  265. Lewis Deane says:

    Kdk33,

    WWF? Surely!?

    Matt B,

    Even the Brit Empire couldn’t invent that! But ‘fields of Eten’ and all that. After all, where did appeasement come from? Now that was a sport! ‘A country of which we know little and care even less’! Yes, history makes me bitter! 

  266. Lewis Deane says:

    ‘Eton’, of course!

  267. Fred says:

    Another aspect of the vast amount of money sucked up by the global warming hoax is how it is starving other scientific areas of research funds. See:
     
    http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/how-climate-research-starves-other-scientists-of-funding/#more-860
     
    A lot of truly beneficial research not being done because funds are being wasted on global warming “research.”

  268. kdk33 says:

    WWF?

    What is WWF?  Must not translate into American.

    BTW, it seems that Londoner’s have adpted the LA Rams.  A middling choice, but a step in the right direction.

    http://www.nfllondon.net/

  269. harrywr2 says:

    #252

     harrywr2, Do you abide by the rulebook you just quoted?
    Firstly, it’s not my rulebook. It’s the Rulebook of one Dr Peter Gleick.
    Secondly, in the world I live in the ‘road to hell is paved with good intentions’. You may live in a different world.
    So ‘intent’ has very little bearing on my view of the world.
    But then that is what makes me a ‘right wing nut’.
    The fundamental political debate of the last 100 years is whether an economic system that revolves around marshaling the forces of ‘self interest’ or a system that marshals the forces of ‘our desire for a fair and just world’ results in a ‘greater common good’.
    Pointing out that X is motivated by ‘self interest’ rather then a desire for a ‘fair and just world’ simply obscures whether or not X’s proposal results in more or less ‘common good’
     
     

  270. Lewis Deane says:

    WWf – World Wrestling Federation! Though I think they’ve changed their ‘name’!

  271. Lewis Deane says:

    ‘Federation’, yes! I remember, from some early reading, how Roland Barthes talked about ‘wrestling’, how ‘snobbish’ his own milieu was, how ‘un-democratic’ was the snideness of his fellow ‘intellectuals’. 
    For, there is to much ‘snobbery’ in this ‘subject’ and too much that puts off the merely ‘curious’. At heart, I am an educator and I want to inform, to lead someone to thought. Give me a proposition that I can dis-prove, test it’s strength, but don’t give me what you ‘believe’! What you ‘believe’ will disappear with you and, although that sad, it is life.

  272. kdk33 says:

    Ah yes, professional wrestling.  I heard a rumor it was fake, but don’t watch enough to really know ;-).

    In the “what’s wrong with the younger generation” bucket, my kids and their friends play soccer.  Hard to admit, but true.  Even harder to admit, I sometimes watch.  I once cheered.  I still don’t “get it”.  Parental obligations and all.

  273. Lewis Deane says:

    Kdk33,

    Cute! You almost make me like you! 

  274. Lewis Deane says:

    If you have ever seen a ball curve into the box, you’ll know, Kdk33, what is beautiful about ‘football’. But isn’t it fascinating, how ‘rational’ we are, when we talk about something so ’emotive’ as ‘sport’? The ‘popcorn’ is really there, in that case. What is it about ‘climate change’ that makes us so irrational? Yes, I know there are explicitly existential questions but can’t we discipline ourselves to pay attention to our own ‘rationality’? Or is that ‘too much to ask’? How unfortunate, to repeat.

  275. Tom Gray says:

    The plagiarism allegations against Prof. Wegman were extensively discussed on this blog. a decision has now been reached in the university inquiry into the matter

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/sciencefair/post/2012/02/george-mason-university-reprimands-edward-wegmand-/1#.T0p5gIcgfGD 

    When can we expect to see the extensive coverage of the decision?

  276. Lewis Deane says:

    Wegman made a mistake, latterly found out, but., as far as ‘substance’ is concerned, did he make a ‘mistake’? I would like people to address that.

  277. jeffn says:

    277- I loved the paragraph where the first examination unanimously found zero misconduct. Sorta the CAGW MO- the facts give you an unpleasant political outcome- therefore it is necessary to find the correct team to re-interpret the facts.
    Then it’s settled and any dissent is just “denial.”

  278. Tom C says:

    I think Wegman is guilty of sloppiness and laziness for the extensive paraphrasing of background info and it is good that he was reprimanded.  I don’t think the substance of the critique is invalid as a result.

  279. hunter says:

    Tom Gray,
    Yes, the less politically cynical people who reviewed said nothing happened. The politicallyy correct schmucks hung Wegman out to dry.
    All to avoid what twas not a peer reviewed paper, written for Congress, and with some large quotes poorly attributed.
    What petti frog hypocritical Bastids infest the left.
     
     
     

  280. Keith Kloor says:

    Tom Gray (277)

    Sorry this blog isn’t addressing some issues fast enough for you. In case you haven’t noticed, another scandal has sucked up most of the oxygen.

    Hunter (281)

    You’re practically begging to be put on moderation. I suggest you tone down the shmucky flaming and political point scoring. And remember, there’s no shortage of hypocrisy on the right or among climate skeptics.

    You and your counterparts on the left could trade charges of hypocrisy ad nauseam. 

  281. Tom Gray says:

    re 282

    There are allegations against one man and one organization in the current affair. They will be adjudicated or handled is some other way. Whatever the decision is or decisions are, they will have no bearing on AGW. Prof. Wegman had allegations made against him that were the subject of three postings on this blog. His professional integrity was put into question by these allegations and that was discussed here. A decision has been reached. Perhaps it is only fair the the extent of the decision be acknowledged given the extensive coverage of it

  282. BBD says:

    Here’s a fun history of think tanks, with the inimitable Adam Curtis touch:

    How it all began:

    So one day [Antony] Fisher plucked up courage and went to see Hayek at the LSE in London where Hayek was a professor. Fisher asked Hayek for advice – should he go into politics to try and stop the oncoming disaster?

    Hayek told Fisher bluntly that this would be useless because politicians are trapped by the prevailing public opinion.  Instead, Hayek said, Fisher should try and do something much more ambitious – he should try and change the very way politicians think – and the way to do that was to alter the climate of opinion that surrounded the political class. Fisher wrote down what Hayek said to him.

    “He explained his view that the decisive influence in the battle of ideas and policy was wielded by intellectuals whom he characterised as the ‘second-hand dealer in ideas’.”

    Hayek told Fisher to set up what he called a “scholarly institute” that would operate as a dealer in second-hand ideas. It’s sole aim should be to persuade journalists and opinion-formers that state planning was leading to a totalitarian nightmare, and that the only way to rescue Britain was by bringing back the free market. If they did this successfully – that would put pressure on the politicians, and Fisher would change the course of history.

    Antony Fisher was gripped by this vision. But then all his cattle died of Foot and Mouth. He got compensation from the government though (which unkind people might say was a subsidy) and went off on a trip to America.

    In New York Fisher met another right-wing economist called “Baldy” Harper who introduced him to two new ideas. One was the concept of the “think tank”, the other was broiler chicken farming.

    Fisher brought both back to Britain. First of all he set up a company called Buxted Chickens, with tens of thousands of chickens being reared in a new mass way. He had introduced factory farming to Britain. Technology allowed him to cut costs massively and make what had previously been a luxury food available to everyone. And all without government subsidy – it showed what the free market could do.

    🙂

  283. EdG says:

    BBD – If you like how think tanks work long term, try reading this:

    http://inthesenewtimes.com/2009/11/29/1975-endangered-atmosphere-conference-where-the-global-warming-hoax-was-born/

    “Mead””whose 1928 book on the sex life of South Pacific Islanders was later found to be a fraud””recruited like-minded anti-population hoaxsters to the cause: Sow enough fear of man-caused climate change to force global cutbacks in industrial activity and halt Third World development. Mead’s leading recruits at the 1975 conference were climate-scare artist Stephen Schneider, population-freak biologist George Woodwell, and the current AAAS president John Holdren””all three of them disciples of malthusian fanatic Paul Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb.[1] Guided by luminaries like these, conference discussion focussed on the absurd choice of either feeding people or “saving the environment.”

  284. BBD says:

    Compare and contrast:

    A Think Tank!

    A rational analysis:

    The use of so-called thinktanks on both sides of the Atlantic seems to me to mirror the use of super political action committees (superPACs) in the US. Since the Supreme Court removed the limits on how much one person could give to a political campaign, the billionaires have achieved almost total control over politics. An article last week on TomDispatch revealed that in 2011 just 196 donors provided nearly 80% of the money raised by superPACs(16).

    The leading Republican candidates have all but abandoned the idea of mobilising popular support. Instead they use the huge funds they raise from billionaires to attack the credibility of their opponents through television ads. Yet more money is channelled through 501c4 groups ““ tax-exempt bodies supposedly promoting social welfare ““ which (unlike the superPACs) don’t have to reveal the identity of their donors. TomDispatch notes that “serving as a secret slush fund for billionaires evidently now qualifies as social welfare.”(17)

    The money wins. This is why Republicans swept up so many seats in the mid-term elections(18), and why the surviving Democrats were scarcely distinguishable from their rivals. It is why Obama, for all his promise, appears incapable of governing in the public interest. What can he tell the banks: “do what I say or I won’t take your money any more”? How can he tax the billionaires when they have their hands around his throat? Where your treasure is there will your heart be also(19).

    This is plutocracy pure and simple. The battle for democracy is now a straight fight against the billionaires and corporations reshaping politics to suit their interests. The first task of all democrats must be to demand that any group, of any complexion, seeking to effect political change should reveal its funders.

  285. willard says:

    Nullius, harrywr2, Lewis,
     
    I need to postpone my response a bit.  Only have time for one comment tonight, and some back reading to do.  First in, first out.
     
    ***
     
    kdk33,
     
    Thank you for your comment, which reminds me that wording can be parsed in many ways, sometimes not quite charitably.  I believe your comment was not very charitable.  Take your first reply:
     
    > [The Heartland Institute] is a 501c3 tax exempt, non-profit, research organization.
     
    This is supposed to answer “Is Heartland Institute a fake charity?”
     
    Your answer is unresponsive to the question I had in mind.  I know the Heartland Institute exists.  The fakeness of the Heartland Institute is not the same as the fakeness of Bobby Thompson’s U.S. Navy Veterans Association, a charity from which Cuccinelli has been taking his distance in a recent past.
     
    ***
     
    I believe you do read my question more properly when you add this precision:
     
    > 501c3 status applies to, among other things, coorporations, foundations, funds working for scientific or education purposes.  Though direct interventions in campaigns are restricted they can, within limits, lobby.
     
    I believe this gets more to what I have in mind.  The Heartland Institute’s actions can raise legal concerns.  I believe John Mashey is questioning the legality of these “limits.”  But legalese is not exactly my cup of tea.  I tend to “turn it to the lawyers”, as auditors say.  
     
    ***
     
    My question was more ethical.  In that spirit, I meant:
     
    > People are entitled to search for whatever they fancy.  Institutions do not share this liberty.  
     
    in a commonsensical way: institutions do have more responsibilities than individuals.  I am not sure what kind of “back up” you’d like.  Compare university research programs and the ones of single, independent researchers.  Ask married couples around you.  

    Perhaps we should ask Keith’s wife to testify. 
     
    ***
     
    Of course, this last bit was made tongue-in-cheek.  Since philosophers study social reality, I could back this claim up more formally.  But I’m not sure why this would be needed here, since we have to work with claims like:
     
    > Institutions are simply collections of individuals.
     
    which make little sense to me, and 
     
    > So freedom is now libertarian claptrap.
     
    which conflates a universal concept with memes that can be paraphrased as “Yes, but freedom”

    ***
     
    I’ll return later to this libertarian claptrap and many others: the Heartland Institute runs the whole gamut.  Once we remove the pretense of science from this debate, that’s what remains.  From a philosophical point of view, defusing libertarian claptraps is more interesting to me than any man hunt.
     
    I thought that talking about libertarian claptraps was enough to show my point was not legal, nor constitutional.  I should have mentioned it.
     

  286. harrywr2 says:

    BBD,
    the billionaires have achieved almost total control over politics.
    Here is the billionaires list
    http://www.forbes.com/forbes-400/#p_1_s_arank_All%20industries_All%20states_All%20categories_
    In the US we have 31 billionaires with a net worth of $10 billion or more. That includes Four Waltons(Walmarts) and 3 Mars’s(candy).
    Where I live we have 4 of them,three of them are ‘Microsoft’ money. One of them is Amazon money. I can tell you with certainty they don’t have much influence on local politics or the outcome of local congressional elections.
     

  287. kdk33 says:

    BBD, your entire 286 is fatally flawed, but reveals your underlying politics.

    The premise is that money rules politics.  But money can’t buy votes.  It can only further a point of view – buy commercial time, put on some demonstrations, fund some speeches, maybe finnagle some favorable press coverage.  That’s all. 

    See, you view the people as gullible cattle-like creatures incapable of rational thought easily mislead by… commericals.  Of course nothing could be further from the truth, and the proof is your failure to convince us all to sacrifice our freedoms to save the planet.  You fail to mention that the republican sweep in the midterms followed the election of the new coming savior BHO.  The public changes it’s mind, despite the money spent on both sides.

    BBD, you have a miserable understanding of democracy, free markets, and free people.  Your politics will not prevail.

    But you are amusing in the meantime.

  288. ivp0 says:

    @286
    Of course one must always consider that Actblue, Goldman Sachs, Civil service employees unions, and National Association of Realtors each have perhaps 100,000 times the money and political influence of organizations like Heartland the problems associated with bought-and-paid-for government becomes ever more clear:
    http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php?order=A 

  289. Matt B says:

    @ ivp0 290,
     
    Many thanks for this! And opensecrets.org looks pretty legit….if there is a problem with these guys I would like to hear it…….

  290. willard says:

    This wins an Internet:

    >  [C]ounting cash to make change 

    http://www.opensecrets.org/about/index.php 

  291. kdk33 says:

    Willard,

    Thank you for your reply.

    [The Heartland Institute] is a 501c3 tax exempt, non-profit, research organization.

    Yes, my point is that “charity” has no commonly recognized definition in this context.  You can make it mean whatever you want to support your argument.  Therefore “fake charity” is similarly meaningless.  HI is a 501c3 and that is the only definition that matters.  AFAIAC charities give money to the poor; HI doesn’t; they aren’t a “charity” at all – which illustrates the non-utility of the word “charity” in this argument..

    Heartland Institute’s actions can raise legal concerns.  I believe John Mashey is questioning the legality of these “limits.”  

    Only as regards it’s tax exempt status.  Otherwise, there is, or I certainly have not seen, any suggestion that their actions are illegal.  If you think they’ve violated their 501c3 terms, please spell out why.  Otherwise, your comments amount to unsupported innuendo.

    Institutions are simply collections of individuals.
     
    which make little sense to me.

    I’m tempted to believe you, but if you applies your considerable intellect I’m sureyou could recognize as simple truth.  If there were no individuals (employees, donors, etc) would there be any HI?

    in a commonsensical way: institutions do have more responsibilities than individuals.

    Yes, you’ve said this.  And danced about it with some vigor.  You’ve yet to explain what you main.  Perhaps you could provide some examples (Keith’s wife does not count).  Otherwise, I am tempted to bin this wiht the other left-wing claptrap ;-0.

  292. Nullius in Verba says:

    #287,
    “Your answer is unresponsive to the question I had in mind.  I know the Heartland Institute exists.”
    I had read kdk33’s response to be arguing with the “charity” bit, not existence. You were asking “is it a fake charity?” and his response was “it’s not a charity, so it doesn’t have to meet the requirements of one.”
     
    “My question was more ethical. […] in a commonsensical way: institutions do have more responsibilities than individuals.”
    This may be a question about individual values, on which people do differ. You give a couple of examples as if to make it obvious, but to a person who doesn’t share those values they’re not necessarily going to agree with the examples any more than with the dictum, and you don’t explain why you consider institutions to have more responsibilities.
     
    That’s probably something both sides have been doing here. The libertarian thinkers likewise assume it’s obvious what they mean. Libertarians are generally more familiar and comfortable with the idea that other people can hold such different worldviews as to be mutually incomprehensible, but it’s difficult sometimes to grasp at an intuitive level how different people’s minds can be. It’s like trying to think in a foreign language.
     
    I’d have said responsibilities follow from promises made, consequences to other people, and whose money you’re spending. I’d have thought those applied potentially to individuals as much as to institutions of individuals. But perhaps you meant something else?
     
    “> Institutions are simply collections of individuals.
      which make little sense to me”
    Did you mean “which makes little sense to me”?
    Again, I’m not sure what you think institutions are if not collections of individuals. What else is there?
     
    This reminds me of another famously misunderstood saying of the right. “There is no such thing as society”, which Maggie Thatcher said, and which has been widely interpreted on the left to mean she was saying it doesn’t exist, or can be ignored, and that it is everyone for themselves and “society” can go hang.
    What she actually said was: “They’re casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It’s our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour. People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations, because there is no such thing as an entitlement unless someone has first met an obligation.” The point of which was that by seeing “society” as an impersonal ‘thing’, we dehumanise it, and the individuals – our neighbours – that make it up. It’s easy to make demands of “society”, even to cheat it, but morally harder to do so when it is our friends and neighbours and colleagues and people we can see face to face. If you lose your job, and your friends and family give you a portion of what they worked hard to earn to keep you going, you can see their sacrifice and feel gratitude, and an obligation to relieve them of the burden as soon as possible. But when it is faceless “society”, it is easy to feel no gratitude, only anger that you are not being given more, that you are being allowed to suffer, and hatred of those who hold back from giving you everything they have.
     
    Maggie’s point was that dehumanising “society” made it possible for us to ignore the moral rights of the individuals within it. It’s not that people shouldn’t help the less well off, but that it should be understood as an act of generous charity, deserving of gratitude and respect, not resentment. With the entitlement to receive help goes the obligation to try not to need it, and to respect those who give it when we do.
     
    I may be interpreting you uncharitably, but it seems to me that depersonalising institutions has the potential to do the same. Institutions are just people. Corporations are just people. They are alliances of human beings who band together for a common purpose. And when you attack the institution or the corporation, you are attacking the people who make it up. It gives it a different moral flavour.

  293. BBD says:

    kdk33 @ 289
    harrywr2 @ 288
     
    We’re back to pretending that lobbying organisations do not affect political outcomes again. This is clearly not the case or funding would dry up and all the ‘think tanks’ would quickly disappear.
     
    Money is corrupting politics to an unacceptable extent. HI is but one (albeit egregious) example among many but it’s the one we are focussing on here.
     
    The problem with HI is that is peddles lies and confusion. The NIPCC report is pseudo-scientific clap trap. The various attempts to intervene in the way climate science is taught in US and Canadian schools are nothing short of disgraceful. This is an anti-science, anti-democratic, anti-truth organisation funded by corporate and personal vested interest. As such, the absolute minimum that must be done is to force it (and all the rest) to disclose who is funding them.
     
    Then at least we will know who is paying to lie to and confuse politicians and children. 
     
    The week-long defence of this behaviour by several commenters bewildering. I do not understand how anyone can endorse what the HI is and what it does. 

  294. hunter says:

    BBD,
    You are back towhining because your side is not winning.
    The rest of what you say is disgusting rubbish.
      

  295. hunter says:

    @282,
    Keith,
    Sorry.
     

  296. kdk33 says:

    We’re back to pretending that lobbying organisations do not affect political outcomes again.

    No we’re not.  Lobbying organization do affect political outcomes.  You are arguing that this is not acceptable.  You are wrong.

    Money is corrupting politics to an unacceptable extent.

    In what way is it corrupting?  By affecting outcomes?  How do you define unacceptable?

    HI is but one (albeit egregious) example

    Nonsense.  HI is teeny weeny compared to it’s opposition.  They are seemingly increibly effective – you might give that some thought.

    The problem with HI is that is peddles lies and confusion. 

    According to who?  You?  Now we are back to the “truth squad”.  You’ve no idea how dangerous this is.  And that is sad.

    The various attempts to intervene in the way climate science is taught in US and Canadian schools are nothing short of disgraceful. This is an anti-science, anti-democratic, anti-truth organisation funded by corporate and personal vested interest.

    I assume you are refering to the CAGW clap-trap being pushed by left wing political interests and crony capitalists in the “green energy” trade.  I couldn’t agree more.

    As such, the absolute minimum that must be done is to force it (and all the rest) to disclose who is funding them.  Then at least we will know who is paying to lie to and confuse politicians and children. 

    Oh please.  You don’t get to decide who is lying and who is confusing politicians.  Nobody does.  That’s the notion of yours that is dangerous.  And, as we have discussed before, we aren’t going to make lists of people who dare have an opinion, just because it is different from yours.

    Can you wrap your mind around the idea that what you consider “lying and confusing” others might consider “spreading the truth”.  Can you wrap your mind around the idea that everyone gets to have  say – whether they are right or wrong or adhere to the BBD agenda.  There’s this common left-wing notion that they have exclusive access to ultimate truth.  You/they don’t.
     
    I do not understand how anyone can endorse what the HI is and what it does. 

    I believe you.  You are entitled to that opinion.  You are entitled to share that opinion.  You and Marlow and NYJ and Eric can pool your resources and publish a book, buy commerical time, hold a conference. 

    What you cannot do is try to stop HI (and everyone else who disagrees with you) from speaking.  That would be anti-democratic and anti-freedom.  It’s been tried many times.  It doesn’t work.

    Freedom.  It matters.  Get used to it.

  297. willard says:

    Nullius,

    In #254 you wrote many things that deserve due diligence.

    First, I note that the expression “fake charity” occured in an hypothetical question showing that your argument about the ad hominem fallacy was moot at best.

    You did not acknowledge this.  Instead, you went directly to discuss that question, starting with providing a definition of charity:

    > I would say “charity” was voluntary donations made not in exchange for direct personal and exclusive benefit but for a general or collective good.

    This definition might be enough for the discussion that follows.  Pace Popper, I don’t believe that definition games cut much ice.   Contra Popper, I don’t mind much playing them if need be.  It might be preferable to return to my argument against your interpretation of the Heartland affair: even if we grant that funding does not matter for “truth” (clarification pending), “truth” might still matter for funding, at least in principle.

    Ironical reactions to this remark aside (e.g. “Yes, but the Himalayas”), I wish we agree on that point.  This point is important to me: if “truth” does not matter for funding, the whole business of auditing might be compromised.  Otherwise, suggesting that we disband CRU might have only PR force:

    http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/362025478

    Defining “charity”, “sale”, and “taxation” with the concepts of “direct personal and exclusive benefit” and “general  good” and discussing these definitions with examples do not seem to address my argument.  

    So please show me how your comment addresses the main point we were discussing.  

    ***

    Second, I acknowledge that the question “Is Heartland Institue a fake charity?” is interesting to you, under two important conditions:

    > On the understanding that it has nothing to do with the validity or otherwise of the science, and is not about the legality of their operation […]

    The whole line business of auditing seems to have everything “to do with the validity or otherwise of the science”.  I would like to know what you are referring to by this expression.

    The legality of charities like the Heartland Institute seems to depend upon things like “the validity or otherwise” of their activity, be it in science or elsewhere.  For instance, a lawyer just told me that the US government removed the same tax treatment status from organizations that claimed to educate by actually giving inaccurate and misleading information about ethnicity.

    Not that it’s a question that should interest you, of course.  It does not interest me much either.  Let’s turn it to the lawyers, as auditors say.

    ***

    Third, I must say that I read the discussion that followed with interest.  The supporting idea seems to be this dichotomy between private and public that deserves due diligence.  There is also this “Yes, but Heartland is a small fish” argument, but it is a small fish in the economy of your overall argumentation.  Some work is still needed first before entering that discussion: see above.

    Finally, I would like bring the expression “taxpayers money extracted by force” to kdk33’s attention.  Not that I wish to “extract” any reaction from him.  He’s free to take offense with any expression using the most variegated language he could freely fancy.
     

  298. kdk33 says:

    Extracted wealth…

    You will notice that the previous usage refered to “oligarchs” and their “extracted wealth”.  I question in what way was the wealth “extracted”.  I take that passage to infer that the wealthy have acquired their wealth in ways unfair – hence has been “extracted”.  More detail is required to substantiate that claim; in general it is untrue.

    In the passage you point to the wealth has indeed been extracted by force by government. 

    I hope you can see the difference.  If not, feel free to consider it variegated right-wing prose.

  299. hunter says:

    @298 kdk33,
    You sum it up perfectly: They are anti-freedom and anti-democratic. Ironically, they claim tobe the opposite.
    It is interesting to me that where they find themselves- on the same side of the table as Joe McCarthy at his worst- does not tip them off at all.
      

  300. BBD says:

    kdk33

    Freedom.  It matters.  Get used to it.

    Truth matters. And the HI is peddling lies. Here’s lots of evidence for you to ignore/deny:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/denialgate-highlights-heartlands-selective-nipcc-science.html

    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2009/06/13/the-nipcc-report/

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/11/not-the-ipcc-nipcc-report/

    According to who?  You?  Now we are back to the “truth squad”.  You’ve no idea how dangerous this is.  And that is sad.

    No. See above. Educate yourself. It’s past time.

    Truth matters.

    Oh please.  You don’t get to decide who is lying and who is confusing politicians.  Nobody does.

    Truth matters. HI is lying. Simple as that. It’s time we brought some new focus to this discussion.

    Can you wrap your mind around the idea that what you consider “lying and confusing” others might consider “spreading the truth”. 

    No, I cannot. There is truth, and there are lies. HI deals in the latter in order to further the aims of its sponsors. Can you wrap your mind around that? See links above to debunking of fake ‘science’ peddled by HI fake experts.

    What you cannot do is try to stop HI (and everyone else who disagrees with you) from speaking.  That would be anti-democratic and anti-freedom. 

    Wrong. Paying fake experts to emit a miasma of pseudo-science and disinformation aimed at politicians and children is anti-democratic and anti-freedom.

    I get the strong feeling that you did not bother to read my comment at # 284. You don’t understand this at all, not even marginally.

  301. BBD says:

    hunter
     
    The rest of what you say is disgusting rubbish.
     
    I am heartily sick of your endless abusive comments.

  302. BBD says:

    kdk33
     
    BBD, you have a miserable understanding of democracy, free markets, and free people.  Your politics will not prevail.
     
    I’ve had enough of this crap as well. What politics? Please tell me, because all I have ever done here is argue for open democracy. You and hunter constantly accuse me of either Stalinism or McCarthyism as if you
     
    – actually had evidence (you do not)
     
    – had the faintest idea what my political position is (you do not)
     
     

  303. grypo says:

    The issue of income disparity and democracy go back to its creation.  Aristotle argued that large income differences and usurious behavior create an unstable democracy, ie you can not have the poor voting away rich people’s possessions, nor can you have the rich subverting the poor  with their economic power.  Having either make a mockery out of democracy.  He said you either have to either end poverty or end democracy.  His solution was to have each person (except woman) own land and have high participationin the econmy

  304. grypo says:

    The federalists, during the creation of the Bill of Rights, argued otherwise.  The prospect of the poor voting away the rich’s land and power was thought to be such a problem that James Madison eventually agreed with John Jay that voting privileges should be guaranteed to heads of household, land owners, and that the country should be ruled by wealthy, educated people.  In their defense, these were days where thoughts of the way modern capitalism works, were impossible, where the classical liberals like Mills had arguments that made sense in their time period.  

    But these ideas persist today and freedom is thought of as only what you are “free from”.  Berlin, a classical liberal, but from a more contemporary view in capitalistic world ruled by global finance, also included the “free to” inclusion into liberal thought.  

  305. Nullius in Verba says:

    #299,
    Thanks for the thoughtful reply, Willard.
    “First, I note that the expression “fake charity” occured in an hypothetical question showing that your argument about the ad hominem fallacy was moot at best.”
    I suspect, based on this comment, that I had not understood what your argument was.
    While I was arguing that ad hominem interest in funders should be of no interest to the scientific or policy debates, I understood this to be saying that it could be of interest in legal and ethical contexts. The legal debate you left to the lawyers, and I concur. I don’t think we have the expertise to settle that. The ethical context I thought did have some force to it, in that claiming the privileges of a charity when one was not is ethically dubious.
     
    So my comments were directed towards what sort of behaviour would make a charity “fake” as such, and whether Heartland had done any of it.  However, I fully acknowledged that being a value judgement, definitions and standards might differ. This was just my perspective on the question.
     
    I take it that misses the point?
     
    “even if we grant that funding does not matter for “truth” (clarification pending), “truth” might still matter for funding”
    I’m assuming you mean that we should only fund research that discovers or supports truth.
    There are (at least) two aspects to this question: the ‘free speech’ question, and the scientific method. There is also a contractual/legal question in some circumstances.
     
    I’m guessing that the thinking behind this question is: does free speech include the freedom to tell lies, and in particular, the freedom to fund ostensibly ‘scientific’ research to support positions known to be false for propaganda purposes?
    To which the answer, as a matter of principle, has to be ‘yes’, but that doesn’t mean we have to like it, or be constrained against speaking out against it. Free speech necessarily must include the freedom to lie, because we cannot know a priori what is lie and what is truth. So you let everyone have their say, and then you check.
     
    In terms of scientific method, the principle of falsification means that we can only gain scientific confidence in a hypothesis by challenging it, in such a way that we expect that if there are any flaws in the theory we would find them. It is therefore normal that research will try to prove things generally believed to be false. The failure of our sincere attempts to do so is precisely what confirms the hypothesis. A diversity of views is a strength.
    So from a scientific point of view, what matters is not that it be true, but that it be honest. And from the point of view of funding it, the primary consideration is that it be useful, that it moves our understanding forward. This can be done both by work aiming to challenge and to confirm. So since both sides are useful where only one can be true, I would say truth as such is not the determining factor.
     
    And finally, there is a contractual point of view, in that if you have been paid to do science honestly, it is an ethical and legal breach to do it dishonestly. The funder purchases the research, and as with any purchase, has just cause for complaint if it is not delivered in full, or if it is not as it was represented.
    Those who fund themselves can do what they like. But those funded by the public are publicly accountable.
     
    I don’t know if tax breaks should be counted as a subsidy, or the absence of a tariff. But there may be an argument that not paying tax is a form of public funding. That sounds like a difficult question to me.

  306. kdk33 says:

    BBD: all I have ever done here is argue for open democracy

    You just made my day!

  307. kdk33 says:

    Actually, BBD, on second thought…

    I think you are an interesting case study.  You genuinely believe that protecting people from liars and tricksters and other evil minded capitalists furthers the interests of democracy.  Your errors have been highlighted time and time again, to no avail.  Further, I think it safe to assume you are of, at least, modest intelligence.

    Such becomes the midset of the cursader in pursuit of the cause.  There is, I assume, a psychological term for this, but I don’t know what  it is.  Something like, believing in the cause so deeply that any means justify the ends, because the ends are so overwhelmingly good or important.

    I present the same symptoms as are exhibited by one P. Gleick.  I think you both suffer the same affliction. 

    It is fascinating.

  308. BBD says:

    kdk33
     
    Your errors have been highlighted time and time again, to no avail.  Further, I think it safe to assume you are of, at least, modest intelligence.
     
    Enough. Final warning.

  309. BBD says:

    kdk33
     
    Please indicate the comment(s) in which I do anything other than argue for open democracy.
     
    If you cannot do so, I want an apology and a retraction of your # 308 because you are effectively calling me a (stupid) liar.

  310. hunter says:

    BBD,
    You have demanded lists of those with who you disagree. You have ignored requests to clarify if you are for your proposed solutions to be aplied to those groups with who you do agree. You have claimed that lobbying is inimical to democracy, without a shred of evidence. You have demanded some sort of authority to decide who is and who is not a legitimate participant in the public square- based on the content of their ideas.

    If you have problems defending that, then consider that is not kdk33 or those others who have pointed out how bad your ideas are who are the problem, but rather yourself.
       

  311. BBD says:

    hunter
     
    Your further misrepresentations of my comments are not welcome. Either you are too stupid to understand what I have said – despite many repeats and clarifications, often just for your benefit – or you are doing it dishonestly in an attempt to discredit me.
     
    I really have had enough of this.

  312. BBD says:

    hunter
     
    While kdk33 is failing to find evidence that I did anything other than argue for open democracy, you can address the comment that you both skipped over without a backward glance. Here it is again:
     
    kdk33
     
    Freedom.  It matters.  Get used to it.
     
    Truth matters. And the HI is peddling lies. Here’s lots of evidence for you to ignore/deny:
     
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/denialgate-highlights-heartlands-selective-nipcc-science.html
     
    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2009/06/13/the-nipcc-report/
     
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/11/not-the-ipcc-nipcc-report/
     
    According to who?  You?  Now we are back to the “truth squad”.  You’ve no idea how dangerous this is.  And that is sad.
     
    No. See above. Educate yourself. It’s past time.
     
    Truth matters.
     
    Oh please.  You don’t get to decide who is lying and who is confusing politicians.  Nobody does.
     
    Truth matters. HI is lying. Simple as that. It’s time we brought some new focus to this discussion.
     
    Can you wrap your mind around the idea that what you consider “lying and confusing” others might consider “spreading the truth”. 
     
    No, I cannot. There is truth, and there are lies. HI deals in the latter in order to further the aims of its sponsors. Can you wrap your mind around that? See links above to debunking of fake “˜science’ peddled by HI fake experts.
     
    What you cannot do is try to stop HI (and everyone else who disagrees with you) from speaking.  That would be anti-democratic and anti-freedom. 
     
    Wrong. Paying fake experts to emit a miasma of pseudo-science and disinformation aimed at politicians and children is anti-democratic and anti-freedom.
     
    You are in the business of supporting the liars. Why?

  313. kdk33 says:

    BBD,

    I cannot believe you reposted that.  WOW!!!

  314. BBD says:

    kdk33
     
    Do go on… You are making more and more declamatory but empty comments. Fill in some detail,
     
    BUT FIRST, I am waiting for your apology and retraction since you have failed to show that I did anything more than argue for open democracy (see 311).
     
    So where is it?

  315. Jon P says:

    Tell us BBD how do you plan on stopping HI’s “lies, distortions, and unscientific claims”?

  316. BBD says:

    Jon P
     
    On this thread I have repeatedly argued that the sources of funding for all lobbying organisations be made transparent. It’s not necessary to stop HI disseminating pseudo-science; it is necessary to show that this is what it exists to do, and who is paying the bills.

  317. Eli Rabett says:

    <a href=”http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2012/02/comments_elsewhere_part_ii.php”>Connolley get Kloored</a>

  318. Keith Kloor says:

    I don’t know why I bother with you, but at the risk of going down a rabbet hole, what the hell are you talking about? For pete’s sake, just say what you mean, for once.

  319. Jon P says:

    So BBD you want a government controlled list on how people spend their money?

    Does this include people who donate $5? $25? What is the amount threshhold to be on the list?

    Do you want individual names or only corporate names?

    Where shall this list be maintained?

    Is this only for institutions that want a tax exempt status?

    Please provide more information.

  320. BBD says:

    JonP
     
    Please read the thread. It’s all there. I’m not going over it all again.

  321. BBD says:

    Actually, it’s now all over about three threads and I am losing track. But see here for an answer to your question:
     
    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/2012/02/21/climate-wars-reach-new-lows/#comment-100294

  322. Jon P says:

    BBD,

    OK your plan only is targeted at institutions. So as soon as it is implemented all those evil rich people will simply donate as indivduals. Now what?

  323. harrywr2 says:

    BBD,
    On this thread I have repeatedly argued that the sources of funding for all lobbying organisations be made transparent
    So if I lived in a small community where 50% of the people belonged to the Ku Klux Klan(White Supremacist Organization) and I wanted to make an anonymous donation to the NAACP(National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) because my neighbors disgusted me I would be prohibited from making an ‘anonymous donation’ under your rules.  Is that correct?
     

  324. BBD says:

    Jon P
     
    Perhaps ‘operationally significant donations’ might be the best term. So if an ‘Anonymous Donor’ gives, say, HI, many millions over a few years, that person’s identity becomes a matter of public interest and should be disclosed. 
     
    Harrywr2
     
    It depends on how large a donation you wanted to make. What’s ‘operationally significant’? Shall we say >$25k per annum? If you wanted to donate millions, then your activities would become a matter of public interest. You would be pumping enough cash into the lobbying machine to influence public policy.

  325. EdG says:

    Here’s what we know for a fact. The amount of money poured into promoting the CO2 story – not to mention the volume of media propaganda – is far higher for the pro-side than the ‘anti.’

    And yet the AGW Team is losing, badly, in the court of public opinion and the whole project is collapsing.

    Thus it seems clear that in this case, the real sensitivity of the political climate to advocacy money forcing is very low.

    Just like the sensitivity of the global climate to CO2.

  326. Eli Rabett says:

    Keith Kloor Says:
    February 27th, 2012 at 4:50 pm
    I don’t know why I bother with you, but at the risk of going down a rabbet hole, what the hell are you talking about? For pete’s sake, just say what you mean, for once.

    Willard has no trouble with Eli’s twitters.  “Connolley got Kloored over at WUWT”.  Not hard to understand.  They put The Weasel on double super secret modulation for being not nice enough in their view.

  327. Eli Rabett says:

    > Who cares who the donors are?
     
    Follow the money

  328. Keith Kloor says:

    Eli (328)

    You are a cross between a crank and a curmudgeon.

    People take their shots at me all the time here-from all over the spectrum, including some of your natural allies. But you take special offense because you’re on moderation?

    I’ve told you this before numerous times: you’re on moderation because you can’t help yourself. 90 percent of your comments make it through. Only those that have spittle and venom get held up. 

  329. Menth says:

    330. “You are a cross between a crank and a curmudgeon”


    Word of the day: Crankmudgeon

  330. Jon P says:

    BBD,

    Are you seriously suggesting that anyone contributing $25k or more to any organization should be public record?

    Wow I cannot imagine the government regulations and workers needed to enforce that, holy cow.

    Another step in defining money as the governments and they will let you know what you can do with it. Hey why don’t we just have the government take all the money and “divy” it up “even stevens”. Ah Eden here we come.

    I’m with Kdk, please keep talking BBD I am learning a lot.

  331. kdk33 says:

    It’s not necessary to stop HI disseminating pseudo-science; it is necessary to show that this is what it exists to do,

    BBD, everyone agrees that HI exists to promote a point of view.  Whether or not it is pseudo science is not something you, or I, or anyoneelse gets to judge.  That’s why it’s called free speech – as in you are free to speak your mind without going on a list.

    and who is paying the bills.

    The people paying the bills are the people speaking.  They are pooling their resources through HI to promote a point of view,  They are free to do so.  Without going on your list.

  332. EdG says:

    I demand that all contributors to Heartland wear yellow stars and register with the proper authorities.

    I think BBD is about 80 years late, a too far west, to find his real home.

  333. kdk33 says:

    This is from a previous exchange.  My initial is in italics, your response in regular:

    ——————————————————————————————
    What you cannot do is try to stop HI (and everyone else who disagrees with you) from speaking.  That would be anti-democratic and anti-freedom. 
     
    Wrong. Paying fake experts to emit a miasma of pseudo-science and disinformation aimed at politicians and children is anti-democratic and anti-freedom.
    —————————————————————————————–

    Your reply starts with “wrong”.  As in, I am “wrong” to suggest that you cannot stop HI from speaking.  In other words you CAN stop HI from speaking.

    Maybe I misunderstood.  Please do go on.

  334. Menth says:

    @334 -1. I disagree with BBD on a daily basis but that’s a bit much.

  335. hunter says:

    @313 BBD,
    So have the government put me on one of your lists. I and others know exactly what you are up to. You just cannot stand the light of day on your demands. Your argument by dismissal is contrived and, to be kind, childish. You are indistinguishable from a recessionary on this issue. You are the one standing against freedom.
     

  336. hunter says:

    @318, BBD,
    All that is really important, BBD, is for you, the rabbet, NYJ and the other anti-freedom cranks to keep posting.
    Please do so. You guys are amazing, but not in the way you wish.
     

  337. hunter says:

    And, one last note for BBD,
    And you have had enough of me or what?
    Are you going to cross a line and find yourself, ironically, on a list?

  338. Jon P says:

    @hunter

    Well if BBD think the cause is just he approves of breaking the law to expose the evil baddies in the world, using only his own judgment of what is good and what is evil. Cannot wait for BBD’s America where we have 300 million versions of good and evil trying to stop the others from speaking.

  339. willard says:

    Lewis Deane,

    I planned to answer a question you asked above.  But the thread moved quickly, and I have no time now to rewrite my notes.  So instead of answering it, I will try my best to apply the answer I wanted to give you.  It will be more expedient and constructive for me to do so.  If you are interested to discuss it another time, you can find my email on my tumblog.

    Meanwhile, let’s hope you don’t mope too much.

    ***

    harrywr2,

    Regarding your comment in #271:

    Indeed, the Critical Thinking 101 Rulebook is not yours.  Nor is it G’s.  While this Rulebook provides useful guidelines, it idealizes rational discussion so much that to cite this in a testimony shows how jejune scientists can sometimes be.  The problem of designing and implementing some kind of universal pragmatics is yet to be solved.
    In any case, institutions whose authority comes from the probity of their judgement should be held accountable for their fallacies and their smears.  Something to do with INTEGRITY ™: Respect Yourself and Others.
    ***
    I believe I do agree when you say:

    > Pointing out that X is motivated by “˜self interest’ rather then a desire for a “˜fair and just world’ simply obscures whether or not X’s proposal results in more or less “˜common good’.

    We are all entitled to our interests, appealing to a common good does not mean much, and consequences do matter when evaluating actions.  In another life, I’ve read a pretty convincing argument by Philip Pettit to that effect.  No time to dig it back.  It might be on his Princeton page, which is not linked to bypass moderation.

    My only link will be to prove that I would not say you’re not a right-wing nut:

    http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/402948396

    Ok, perhaps I would, but only because we’re having a drink.
     

  340. BBD says:

    kdk33 @ 333 @ 335

    First, I want an apology out of you. I asked you either to provide evidence that I had argued for anything other than open democracy or apologise and withdraw your comment at 308. This is because I am fed up with being accused of lying, fascism and stupidity by you.

    I’ve asked twice now (see 311 and 316) and you have not come up with anything. This will be because you are talking out of your backside. So – start off with an apology. Do the decent thing.

    BBD, everyone agrees that HI exists to promote a point of view.  Whether or not it is pseudo science is not something you, or I, or anyoneelse gets to judge.  That’s why it’s called free speech ““ as in you are free to speak your mind without going on a list.

    Wrong as usual. Scientific hypothesis are tested by attempted falsification. The rubbish concocted by HI is easily falsifiable (links provided already – read). This has nothing (I said f-all earlier, remember?) to do with free speech. You are confusing two completely different things.

    As I said a few comments back, you obviously don’t understand this issue at all.

    Nor does Jon P:

    Well if BBD think the cause is just he approves of breaking the law to expose the evil baddies in the world, using only his own judgment of what is good and what is evil.

    See above, Jon.
     
    Time to start thinking much more clearly gentlemen.

  341. BBD says:

    EdG @ 334

    I demand that all contributors to Heartland wear yellow stars and register with the proper authorities.

    I think BBD is about 80 years late, a too far west, to find his real home.

    That is vile. WTF Keith??

  342. kdk33 says:

    institutions whose authority comes from the probity of their judgement should be held accountable for their fallacies and their smears.

    Wow.  Willard, whatever does this mean.  Assuming we are talking about HI and institutions like HI, what authority do they have.  In what way – or more pertinantly, by whom – should they be held to account..  Who shall be judge?

    Perhaps you meant to say: an institutions that relies on its reputations to influence public opinion can ill afford to lose it.  In this case the public is the judge and institutional influence depends on a percieved proclivitiy for proferring truth (what do you call that when you use three p-words in a row).  A perfectly reasonable observation.  And perfectly trivial.

    That doesn’t mean people won’t pay attention.  The tabloid press survives – alien abductions make good reading, I suppose.

  343. kdk33 says:

    BBD, 

    I’m not going to apologize, so get over it. 

    Let’s put some context to judging pseudoscience.  Yes, you are free to judge for yourself whether HI is lying or not – and so is every other member of the public – that is part of free speech. 

    But your judgment starts and stops with you.  Whether they are right, wrong, or half&half, they get to speak.  Freely.  And you are free to proffer (my new vocabulary word) a different opinion.

    What baffles me about these kinds of suggestions – and they seem overly common from your “side” of the debate – is this:  you seem able to judge good/bad truth/lies, why do you think others cannot do the same?  Why do you feel the need to protect us poor rednecks from “untruth”? (And this kind of thinking underlies a great deal of leftist politics).

    On what basis do you grant yourself such high esteem?

  344. Martha says:

    While I really don’t care much about the memo writer’s identity, at this point, I think that Lakely likely wrote it.  No one observation or reason is compelling, but together, the following suggests this:
     
    1)  Given his role, Lakely would ordinarily be the author of such a memo perhaps with some admin support or a Tammy Nash sort.
    2)  Looking at his writing style littered all over the internet, I’m surprised people aren’t curious that Lakely’s style is  full of the same commas, oddly-placed parentheses, and frequent dashes that are used in the memo.  Years ago people relied on such observations, not Mosher or computer programs, for such observational insight.
    3)  The term “˜anti-climate’ may or may not have been a typo but it is not that surprising that it could or would be used as short-form for “˜anti-climate lobby’ or to mean “˜anti-environmentalism’ or ‘anti-climate’ governor candidates.  I’ve heard some Tea-Party types use it as a contraction.  Perhaps it is too difficult for them to complete a proper sentence. 
    As an activist, Gleick probably uses it quite differently.  😉  
    4)  There are other phrases in the memo that are part of the usual symbolism of Lakely and other Heartland writers regarding leading, fighting, networking, allies, etc. 
    5)  The formatting issue is irrelevant.  It was created from wherever, since the HI network has offices and insiders live in many different locations.  Ben Boychuk, for example, is still on staff as a policy advisor but resigned as editor of SRN, and lives in California, for those obsessed with the idea of the Pacific Time Zone issue.  
     
     
    Unlike Gleick, no one should hold their breath for Lakely to go against his training and with integrity, and admit he wrote it.  As the top PR guy for an organization like HI, he is after all paid for his lying skills.
     
    It would have been interesting to be a fly on the wall in those first few days when they furiously met over damage control.

  345. BBD says:

    kdk33
     
    I’m not going to apologize, so get over it. 
     
    Then you are a rude, ill-informed and graceless prat who needs to mend his speech and manners urgently.

  346. BBD says:

    On what basis do you grant yourself such high esteem?
     
    Oh FFS. See 342:
     
    Scientific hypothesis are tested by attempted falsification. The rubbish concocted by HI is easily falsifiable (links provided already ““ read). This has nothing (I said f-all earlier, remember?) to do with free speech. You are confusing two completely different things.
    As I said a few comments back, you obviously don’t understand this issue at all.
     
    We are not – and *never have been* talking about MY judgement. Please try *reading* my comments. 
     
    I don’t mind you being thick, or rude or right-wing half so much as I object to your laziness. READ the comments, READ the links and make an EFFORT to understand what is being said.

  347. hunter says:

    BBD,
    Please show us in the Constitution where it states that opinions about science are not part of free speech? Your sad hubris in thinking that anyone believes you are hiding behind some sort of rational, objective authority in your increasingly bizarre stand on freedom is, as others have pointed out, entertaining.
     

  348. hunter says:

    Martha,
    Your postcards from bizzare-o world are always a pleasure. 
    The docs came from Gleick after he stole them, the forgery reads like Gleick, it was obviously produced by a poor fitting of the docs Gleick stole, and it inflates Gleick’s ego. Additionally, your mental gymnastics to minimize the wire fraud Gleick committed and to persist in blaming the victim tells us nothing about Heartland Institute but a great deal about you.
    Thank you berry much.

  349. hunter says:

    @343 BBD,
    Well step up to the plate and tell us how you are going to enforce your little list making, big guy.
     

  350. BBD says:

    hunter
     
    You just make it law. Donations above amount x must be attributable to a named donor/organisation. Really not hard, and no different to the many other requirements mandated by eg tax law today.
     
    Dump the insulting tone please. I’m fed up with your bile. It’s poisoning the atmosphere in here.

  351. BBD says:

    hunter
     
    Please show us in the Constitution where it states that opinions about science are not part of free speech? Your sad hubris in thinking that anyone believes you are hiding behind some sort of rational, objective authority in your increasingly bizarre stand on freedom is, as others have pointed out, entertaining.
     
    Science is not a matter of opinion. It is a collection of currently unfalsified hypotheses. The cut and paste ‘reports’ collated by HI are catalogues of falsifiable claims that do not stand up to scrutiny. This is not opinion. It can be demonstrated. This is how science determines what is worth retaining and what must be discarded. I *keep on saying this*. 
     
    Your apparent problem is that you don’t recognise that your opinion (which is what you are trumpeting) is is irrelevant to the scientific process of hypothesis testing. You don’t understand that since the HI output is demonstrably wrong it is not science at all. It is fake science.
     
    You try and create a false equivalence between fake science and the real thing, and between *your opinion* and ‘free speech’. All the while accusing me of McCarthyism and stupidity.
     
    It beggars belief, really.

  352. hunter says:

    BBD,
    Science is a process. It is not an immaculate revelation. And scientific results are frequently wrong. Dr. Curry seems to think, according to her latest interview, that much is wrong with the IPCC consensus. Is she a liar?
     You are frankly just repeating your dogmatic assertion with no proof what so ever. Your opinion about science does not trump my free speech rights, nor those of Heartland Institute. and most especially your opinion does not justify you, Peter Gleick, or anyone else to defraud HI, to steal their docs, to forge stories about them, or to demand they be treated any differently  
    than anyone else.
    I pointed out a long time ago that religious organizations push (by your definition) anti-science ideas like creation by God, virgin births, transubtantiation, resurrection and life after death. And many religions operate universities where they teach just these things. And those religious organizations take positions in the public square on political and scientific issues quite regularly.
    What does you enlightened approach to public discourse do to these anti-science religionists?
     And, also, they get vast donations from anonymous sources, to boot.  
    You have been asked this before. do you have an answer yet?
     

  353. hunter says:

    As to bile, when you stop pushing your version of censorship, list making and speech control, the bile level at this blog site will start receding instantly.

  354. BBD says:

    hunter
     
    As usual, your argument relies of false equivalence:
     
    What does you enlightened approach to public discourse do to these anti-science religionists?
     
    Religion is not science. They are not treated the same. The existence of God is an unfalsifiable hypothesis. It isn’t science. Understand?

  355. BBD says:

    As to bile, when you stop pushing your version of censorship, list making and speech control, the bile level at this blog site will start receding instantly.
     
    Since I am doing none of the above we are left with you and a couple of others claiming that I am. Which is rather different. In fact you and your chums are responsible for the misrepresentations here and for the bile. How typical that you should also try and blame all that on me.

  356. BBD says:

    Here’s you being really, really thick for the nth time:
     
    You are frankly just repeating your dogmatic assertion with no proof what so ever. Your opinion about science does not trump my free speech rights, nor those of Heartland Institute.
     
    What I said:
     
    Science is not a matter of opinion. It is a collection of currently unfalsified hypotheses. The cut and paste “˜reports’ collated by HI are catalogues of falsifiable claims that do not stand up to scrutiny. This is not opinion. It can be demonstrated. This is how science determines what is worth retaining and what must be discarded. I *keep on saying this*. 
     
    Your apparent problem is that you don’t recognise that your opinion (which is what you are trumpeting) is is irrelevant to the scientific process of hypothesis testing. You don’t understand that since the HI output is demonstrably wrong it is not science at all. It is fake science.
     
    You try and create a false equivalence between fake science and the real thing, and between *your opinion* and “˜free speech’. All the while accusing me of McCarthyism and stupidity.


    Thick, hunter. Not to mention hard Right, sub-literate and vicious.

  357. ivp0 says:

    @ 353
    I agree with you here BBD:
    “Science is not a matter of opinion. It is a collection of currently unfalsified hypotheses. The cut and paste “˜reports’ collated by HI are catalogues of falsifiable claims that do not stand up to scrutiny. This is not opinion. It can be demonstrated. This is how science determines what is worth retaining and what must be discarded. I *keep on saying this*”
    I also agree that 15 years with no significant warming when AR4 hypothesized +.2C/decade is a huge data point that cannot be ignored.  How many more years of no warming must we wait before we “discard” this clearly falsified hypothesis.  In the face of hard data, CAGW is rapidly becoming a scientifically unsupported opinion.
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1997/to:2012/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1997/to:2012/trend

  358. hunter says:

    BBD,
    Here is reasonable definition of science.
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/science

    Notice it does not talk about immutable things that no one can disagree on.
    At best, science is a current understanding of things based on results of the scientific method. that you are unable to realize that cliamte Science is not monolithic, is very different fromthe the AGW fanaticism that you embrace, and is most certainly under significant critical review by legitimate players, like Spencer, Lindzen, Pielke, Sr., Judith Curry, and etc., is really a failure on your part, not mine.
    Your definition of science has more in common with religious credes than science.
    As to my politics, i am not very hard right at all. As to vicious, I am not the one demanding an end to freedom of speech and the imposition of censorship and mob rule. You are. As to subliterate, I am not the one making 2 dimensional policy demands without the ability to do more than say, “make a law”. Nor am I the one confusing a Republic based on individual rights, with a mob-style democracy, such as what you call for. And of course, I am not sub-literate enough to think that somehow what scientists believe today is unimpeachable and cannot be challenged in the public square.

      
        
       

  359. Jon P says:

    BBD,

    What you are saying is you want the government to track how citizens spend their money when they make donations to whatever institution they want. This will be done by placing their name on a public list. You have defined the cutoff amount to be $25k, you first said this would only apply to institutions, now it is to apply to individuals as well.

    I am curious, will his new government entity that will be charged with enforcing these new rules have “Reich” somewhere in the name?

  360. hunter says:

    As to your dodge on religious organizations, BBD, you clealrly avoided my point:
    These religious groups teach at schools and universities everyday that God created the universe- during their sicence classes, many of them that evolution is a fraud. Many teach that the universe is 6000 years old. they nearly all teach that god performs miracles in history, including parting seas, stopping the Earth, imposing plagues, Virgin Births, resurrection and life after death.
     These are in direct oppostion to many scientific understnadings. And these organizations not only teach these things, they demand that public policy in the square adhere to principals developed from these beliefs. And they are funded to a large extent anonymously to the tune of billions of dollars per year. What are you going to do?
     They lobby, they teach anti-science, they are tax exempt and they are anonymous.  

  361. BBD says:

    ivp0
     
    It’s a cherry-pick. You are using the ‘coolest’ data set and the 1998 El Nino to over-state your case. Even going back to 1995 makes a big difference – not to mention looking at GISTEMP as well as HADCRUT3v.
     
    GAT has only really been flat since 2002. A decade which has seen a huge increase in aerosol loading (China plus equatorial volcanism), La Nina dominant, and an exceptionally quiet sun.
     
    And it’s not even cooling. Just trending flat. 
     
    Stay away from short time-series. The bigger picture is far more informative. 

  362. BBD says:

    hunter
     
    They lobby, they teach anti-science, they are tax exempt and they are anonymous. 
     
    Nobody I know thinks that creationism should be taught in schools as an alternative of equal merit to evolution. Is that what you think?

  363. BBD says:

    Jon P
     
    I am curious, will his new government entity that will be charged with enforcing these new rules have “Reich” somewhere in the name?
     
    That’s the second time I’ve effectively been called a Nazi on this thread.
     
    What is wrong with you nutters?

  364. BBD says:

    hunter @ 360
     
    Nah. You need to read # 358 again. Until you understand it. 

  365. hunter says:

    @364 & 366 BBD,
    You are the one dodging this. Those who criticize you are offering specific examples, linked definitions, and deep questions. You come back with non-responsive answers each and every time.
    As to opinion, yes science is an opinion. It is opinion informed by the scientific process and ethics and integrity. And science as we see in mdeicine, astronomy, biology, geology, every science, is subject to frequent changes. It is you AGW believers with a false definition and your false claims about science that have the problem. 
    As to your inability to defend your wacked out view on freedom of speech, I think you have made it clear that you are no friend of freedom. 
    but do carry on. you and your fellow extremists are the best recruiters for skepticism out there.

         

  366. Jon P says:

    BBD,
    What you are saying is you want the government to track how citizens spend their money when they make donations to whatever institution they want. This will be done by placing their name on a public list. You have defined the cutoff amount to be $25k, you first said this would only apply to institutions, now it is to apply to individuals as well.

  367. ivp0 says:

    @363
    Sorry BBD, terribly unscientific.  By your logic 1983-1998 could just as likely be a cherry pick.  An unusual “short” period of warming that may be falsely attributed to AGW when in reality it is just as likely to be a result of solar/oceanic variability.   Without that “short” period of warming which was duplicated in rate in the early 20th century, our AR4 hypothesis of +.2C/decade falls apart.  The hypothesis stated in IPCC AR4 WG1 (+.2C/decade) is clearly proven false.  Lets discard this “anti-science opinion” now please.  (mystery unverified, unquantified, unscientific attribution to aerosols notwithstanding.)
    Historically a period of sharply negative PDO, negative AMO, and low solar activity has caused measured global temps to fall further, not rise.  The next 5-10 years will surely test the CAGW hypothesis even further.

  368. BBD says:

    hunter
     
    I have explained and explained and explained. You have ignored/rejected/failed to understand.
     
    I’ve done what I can. The fault lies with you. Predictably, you are trying to blame me (again).
     
    Now, do you think that creationism should be taught in schools on an equal footing with evolution?

  369. ivp0 says:

    @370
    Creationism is a faith based belief system, not science.  It’s a lot like CAGW belief really.  Probably neither should be taught in a proper science class that considers hypothesis, testing, measurement, and considering all relevant data important parts of the scientific process.

  370. BBD says:

    ivp0
     
    Just look at the last century and stop pretending that nothing unusual is going on. ‘Short period of warming’? WTF?
     
    You accuse me of being unscientific while delivering a Gish gallop. Let’s have some attribution references please, starting with one for your claim that warming 1983 – 1997 was ‘a result of solar/oceanic variability’.
     
    Next, you misrepresent AR4. See here:
     
    Hence it’s no surprise that the IPCC report, when forecasting future global warming, only goes so far as to say that we can expect about 0.2 deg.C per decade over the next several decades “” the model results exhibit enough spread that no more precise prognostication is warranted, and even that prediction only merits a single significant digit. Only the deceitful would attempt to portray the IPCC projections as an ironclad prediction of 0.2 deg.C warming every decade.

  371. Sashka says:

    I’ve been away on vacations and (WOW!!) what a week I missed. Tried to catch up as best I could given lack of time.
     
    I’d like to nominate NiV’s 228 as the best comment ever. I always suspected that real gentlemen are at their best when slightly off-balance. In one comment NiV made more sense than all the lawyers in a week.
     
    I have to express my admiration to the C-A-S legal group fortified by grypo and willard for the occasion. They show amazing tenacity by trying to muddy waters for such a long time without a shred of common sense on their side. I wish such talents could be put to a good use.
     
    Kudos to MT for at least partially reassessing his priors. Not all is lost for him.
     
    Finally, I’m not sure if anyone commented on this: I looked up Gleick’s list of publications. By any stretch of imagination he is not a climate scientist. Not unlike Schneider before him but with even fewer qualifications, Gleick managed somehow to talk his way into a position of an “expert” that he is not. It sort of makes sense that HI wanted to invite him for a debate. Chances are they could beat him up badly and he probably knew it. It is funny that he felt he could lecture Tamsin Edwards on the subject of “all models are wrong but some are useful” having no expertise in climate modeling.

  372. BBD says:

    ivp0 @ 371
     
    See # 356. A bit of a catch-up read might be a good idea.

  373. ivp0 says:

    Fully agree with NiV @228.  The enormous amount of money being spent on packaging, promoting, marketing and selling the CAGW pitch makes Heartland’s efforts look paltry in comparison.  If we are trying to sell a used (CAGW) car and no one is buying, perhaps we should make sure the car actually runs first.

  374. Jarmo says:

    Many defenders of Gleick praise him for confessing, e.g. Naomi Klein:

    Still waiting 4 whoever stole thousands of emails from climate scientists 2 show an ounce of Peter Gleick’s honesty.

     The assumption here (and elsewhere) seems to be that Gleick planned to reveal himself. Do you believe that?

  375. hunter says:

    @370,
    BBD, no creatiomism is not a scienitific opinion and should not be taught as science. In my opinion. But if parents sending their children to private schools want it taught to their kids, have at it. For 99% of the people, evolution vs creationism is not an important issue at all.
    But signifcantly, you do not answer my question: what to do if creationists start an institute (which they have done) and seek to get political opinion changed (which they have done)?

    What kind of list do they need to be on? who makes that list? Who enforces that list?
    Your cowardice and bluster in this is not surprising and you are not really very good at it.

    You are more of a Salieri of censorship, a mediocre workman against liberty.

    ivp),
    AGW as a social movement is much closer to pseudo-religious than a serious scientific movement. Look at BBD’s circular all-summation argument. His truths are self-evidenct, and he is immuneo new data or ideas. he is unshakable in his ideology. For him and his fellow true believers it is not opinion, it is *truth*.  
             

  376. kdk33 says:

    Ahhh, BBD, you have made my day for about 6 days in row now.

    perhpas you could provide more links to other peoples opnions in an effort to prove that only one opinion should be alllowed – at least in those areas in which you consider yourself expert enough to judge.

    BTW, teaching science is not teaching the litany of political correct answers, science is a process of critical thinking that underlies an ever-evolving search for truth. 

    Teach students the scientific method and think critically and then expose them to every theory under the sun, including creationism; then let them sort it out for themselves. 

    This penchant of yours to prevent free speech is bleeding over into a pnechant for prevent free think – don’t let the gullible youth know there are alternative explantions, why, they might get confused, and (egads!, gasp!) vote republican.

    What a week.

  377. ivp0 says:

    @372
    Funny.  You might want to actually read AR4 WG1 before misquoting the language regarding +2C/decade from some other warmista site.  Attribution to solar/oceanic variability and aerosols all falls under the phrase of “still poorly understood”.  This is code for “we don’t really know”. 
    The used car we are trying so hard to sell doesn’t run.

  378. BBD says:

    ivp0
     
    I have read it. Now, references backing your claim please. Or is it just flap-mouth? Oh…

  379. ivp0 says:

    @380
    Claim?  What words are you attempting to put in my mouth now BBD? Have you misquoted me as well as AR4?
    All relevant details regarding what little we know about solar/oceanic variability, cloud effects, and aerosols can be found within AR4 WG1.  The common language used is “still poorly understood”.  Google is your friend.  Have a ball.

  380. BBD says:

    So, no references for that attribution. Flap-mouth then.

  381. BBD says:

    kdk33
     
    BTW, teaching science is not teaching the litany of political correct answers, science is a process of critical thinking that underlies an ever-evolving search for truth.
     
    See # 358. Said all this already. It’s like talking to a goldfish with reading comprehension issues.
     

  382. BBD says:

    ivp0
     
    Instead of dismissing evidence that corrects your misrepresentations as ‘some other warmista site’ (pathetic) you would do better to *read it*.
     
    Here is the missing info on solar variation you need to become acquainted with. Read and learn.

  383. kdk33 says:

     It’s like talking to a goldfish with reading comprehension issues.

    Now, BBD, that’s not nice talking.  What would your mother say?

    By the way, it seems that senator Inhoffe is publishing a book about the great global warming hoax.  No doubt it is filled with pseudo-science and lies and other things you detest…

    What should we do about his “supporters”?  Would you favor doing away with the secret ballot?  After all, anyone who votes for Inhoffe is supporting these deceptions, shouldn’t the public know who.

  384. ivp0 says:

    @384
    Ah yes of course.  Put words in my mouth that I did not say, link from the king of warmista sites who sprinkles occasional bits of sciencey talk over large doses of political advocacy, and then bash me for it.  Simply brilliant!  This is all starting to sound a lot like the Fakegate memo.  Are you the real author BBD?

  385. BBD says:

    ivp0 @ 386
     
    Ah yes of course.  Put words in my mouth that I did not say, link from the king of warmista sites who sprinkles occasional bits of sciencey talk over large doses of political advocacy, and then bash me for it.
     
    Oh come on. Read. Then we’ll discuss your contention that modern warming was caused by solar or ocean variation. I am not putting words into your mouth. This is you at 369:
     
    An unusual “short” period of warming that may be falsely attributed to AGW when in reality it is just as likely to be a result of solar/oceanic variability.

  386. Nullius in Verba says:

    #379,
    Some useful(?) quotes for you.
    IPCC AR4 WG1 Ch.9.
    Detection does not imply attribution of the detected change to the assumed cause. “˜Attribution’ of causes of climate change is the process of establishing the most likely causes for the detected change with some defined level of confidence (see Glossary). As noted in the SAR (IPCC, 1996) and the TAR (IPCC, 2001), unequivocal attribution would require controlled experimentation with the climate system. Since that is not possible, in practice attribution of anthropogenic climate change is understood to mean demonstration that a detected change is “˜consistent with the estimated responses to the given combination of anthropogenic and natural forcing’ and “˜not consistent with alternative, physically plausible explanations of recent climate change that exclude important elements of the given combination of forcings’ (IPCC, 2001).
     
    Detection of anthropogenic influence is not yet possible for
    all climate variables for a variety of reasons.
     
    The approaches used in detection and attribution research
    described above cannot fully account for all uncertainties,
    and thus ultimately expert judgement is required to give a
    calibrated assessment of whether a specific cause is responsible
    for a given climate change. The assessment approach used in
    this chapter is to consider results from multiple studies using a
    variety of observational data sets, models, forcings and analysis
    techniques. The assessment based on these results typically
    takes into account the number of studies, the extent to which
    there is consensus among studies on the significance of detection
    results, the extent to which there is consensus on the consistency
    between the observed change and the change expected from
    forcing, the degree of consistency with other types of evidence,
    the extent to which known uncertainties are accounted for
    in and between studies, and whether there might be other
    physically plausible explanations for the given climate change.
    Having determined a particular likelihood assessment, this was
    then further downweighted to take into account any remaining
    uncertainties, such as, for example, structural uncertainties or
    a limited exploration of possible forcing histories of uncertain
    forcings. The overall assessment also considers whether several
    independent lines of evidence strengthen a result.
     

    Or to put it another way, unequivocal attribution is not possible, so they equivocate by redefining the term to mean “fits our models”. They require that the assessment be done with a defined level of confidence, but they can’t actually do this so they substitute (their) expert judgement. They count papers and identify consensus. They observe that all the results are individually fraught with uncertainty, but these “independent lines” are added together to come to a conclusion that is all their own.
     
    And recall, the summary statement on attribution is (I paraphrase) that it is very likely (note likelihood, not confidence) that more than 50% of the 1950-2000 warming was anthropogenic. Since the 1950-2000 warming was about 0.6 C, they’re only actually committing themselves to a 0.3 C anthropogenic component, assuming their models and scientific understanding are correct.
     
    That’s from a 40% rise in CO2, which is half a doubling.

  387. BBD says:

    NiV
     
    May I refer you to the synopsis I linked for ivp0 above?

  388. Nullius in Verba says:

    #389,
    Dunno. Who funds them?

  389. ivp0 says:

    @388 Checkmate NiV.  I am afraid BBD is running out of weasel words.

  390. BBD says:

    NiV
     
    And recall, the summary statement on attribution is (I paraphrase) that it is very likely (note likelihood, not confidence) that more than 50% of the 1950-2000 warming was anthropogenic. Since the 1950-2000 warming was about 0.6 C, they’re only actually committing themselves to a 0.3 C anthropogenic component, assuming their models and scientific understanding are correct.
     
    From AR4 WG1 SPM (emphasis added):
     
    Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.[12] This is an advance since the TAR’s conclusion that “most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations”. Discernible human influences now extend to other aspects of climate, including ocean warming, continental-average temperatures, temperature extremes and wind patterns (see Figure SPM.4 and Table SPM.2). {9.4, 9.5}

  391. BBD says:

    NiV
     
    Dunno. Who funds them?
     
    Very amusing. But perhaps the actual papers referenced in the article are what you should be concentrating on?

  392. Martha says:

    “the forgery reads like Gleick”
     
    Actually, it doesn’t.  It reads like a real Lakely memo.
     
    And the cognitive distortion is all yours:  a consideration of everything does not equal minimizing mistakes or failures but it is an obvous problem to do as you do, and focus on one thing with total disregard for everything else.   🙁

  393. hunter says:

    Martha,
    It would have been more informative if you had told us what they chose for you for lunch.
    As to cognitive dissonance, check in with Steven Mosher. Or you care giver. You are backing a confessed crook and then taking at face value his equivocation regarding the core of his crime. I would suggest that is cognitive dissonance.

    BBD,
    Do you not see the irony in your having to rely on interpretation of a text to suppport your position, and then your having the chutzpah to say it is not a matter of opinion?
            

  394. BBD says:

    hunter
     
    Do you not see the irony in your having to rely on interpretation of a text to suppport your position, and then your having the chutzpah to say it is not a matter of opinion?
     
    NiV mis-remembered. There’s no issue of interpretation here. That’s just you trying to create fake uncertainty. And failing.

  395. hunter says:

    BBD,
    You are so self-absorbed as to be a self-parody.

    Oh, Martha, by the way: Gleick’s friends knew enough about the forgery to give him editorial advice:

    ”    
    Copner (Comment #92133)
    February 28th, 2012 at 11:06 am

    In case anybody missed it, a couple of threads back, I posted this retrospectively hilarious tweet sequence.
    Gleick was even warned (although not specifically as regards document forgery), that it wasn’t wise to use the phrase “anti-climate”
    Got to laugh.
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    Nate Lloyd “ @macbuckets
    @PeterGleick @stephenfry When you use terms like “anti-climate” you give the game away. #ScienceIsPolitics
    3:41 PM ““ 30 Jan 12 via TweetCaster for Android · Details
    “”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””
    Peter Gleick Peter Gleick “ @PeterGleick
    @macbuckets @stephenfry Yes, “anti-science” might be better. Or worse. But #WSJ isn’t anti ALL science. Just climate science, apparently.
    9:21 PM ““ 30 Jan 12 via web · Details  ”

    Do let us know if you get that walk in the garden this afternoon……    

  396. willard says:

    kdk33,

    In your comment #258, which I missed when I wrote my #287, you claim that:

    > The word “charity” has no definition that applies here.  AFAIAC, charities give money to the poor; Heartland doesn’t.

    In comment #254, just below your scattered shots in #253, the one I was answering in #287, we read this definition by Nullius:

    > I would say “charity” was voluntary donations made not in exchange for direct personal and exclusive benefit but for a general or collective good.

    When we look at the Wikipedia entry, we read this definition which looks a lot like Nullius’:

    > In the United States, a charitable organization is an organization that is organized and operated for purposes that are beneficial to the public interest.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charitable_organization#United_States

    So it seems that charities can do something else than giving money to the poor.

    ***

    The mission of the Heartland Institute is to “discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems.”

    Do you consider that this purpose is beneficial to the public interest?

    This is not a rhetorical question.  I’ll let you think about the reason why.

    ***

    In the same comment #254, Nullius later cited a project called “fakecharities”, where we read this definition:

    > We define a Fake Charity as any organisation registered as a UK charity that derives more than 10% of its income””and/or more than £1 million””from the government, while also lobbying the government.

    This look a lot like what you said in #258:

    > Taking government money and then lobbying the public for programs that government wants”¦  That’s corruption.  Sadly, it very much describes the CAGW enteriprise:  government funded science concludes, we need more government to fund more science.

    Nullius asked for a volonteer to dig about the Pacific Institute.  You seem like the perfect candidate.  Are you interested?

    ***

    Here is what you say in #293:

    > Yes, my point is that “charity” has no commonly recognized definition in this context.

    Even if we agree on this semantical point, it does seem to me that it’s quite possible to ask if the “Heartland Institute is a fake charity” and convey something that can be commonly recognized. And it does seem that what matters most is not “charity”, but “fake”.

    But we can try to find another concept than charity.  For instance, I sumbled upon the concept of “Friends” organization.  In our case, the Heartland Institute would be the Friends of Free Market.

    So let’s rephrase the question:

    Is Heartland Institute a Fake “Friends”?

    Not bad, I’m sure you agree.

    Good night,

    w

  397. kdk33 says:

    Willard,

    In the context of “is HI doing what is allowed to do”, charity has no meaning.  If I use wiki we are still left with, as you so readily point out, what is the public good (beneficial to the public interest).  BBD, clearly thinks HI is not serving the public good and is therefore a “fake” charity.  The only operational definition that matters is that of a 501c3 tax exempt organization.  If they are following the rules, then they have a legitimate right to exist.

    We first have to agree on what is fake – fake in the sense that they are breaking the law and their tax exempt status should be revoked (a conversation that might be meaningful), fake in the sense that they don’t serve the public good (which would be a useless argument), or fake in the sense that they are corrupt as I described above (I think the answer to the last is trivial and is no).

    Please clarify what it is you want to debate.

  398. willard says:

    kdk33,
     
    You say:
     
    > In the context of “is HI doing what is allowed to do”, charity has no meaning. 
     
    Here is the context from 252:
     
    <blockquote> The funding behind the Heartland Institute might not matter to the science it promotes.  The questions that interest me, the ones I find crucial to the whole Heartland affair, are political questions.  
     
    Among others, there is the one concerning the legitimacy of charity status of the Heartland Institute.   And for that question what matters here is the relation **from** the institutions **to** the researchers, the inverse of the one where we observed a fallacy, in another domain of application to boot.
     
    Let’s test this by taking the question “is the Heartland Institute a fake charity?”  Let’s check: are your interested by this question?  No, I heard you say.  So this may not be a scientific question.
     
    </blockquote>
     
    The context is quite clear: to test if an instance of a political question can trigger Nullius’ interest.  After his epic rant, I thought he was not interested.  Now it seems he does, under very specific conditions.  This shows that the test worked.  Sometimes, it’s possible for non litteralist terminologists to communicate.  
     
    The quote from 252 should remind you what “I want to debate”.
     
    ***
     
    In my last comment, there was a non rhetorical question.  Please answer it.  Meanwhile, I’ll answer this one:
     
    > If there were no individuals (employees, donors, etc) would there be any HI?
     
    Good question.  Suppose the precondition true.  It might be theorically possible to have institutions without individuals: non operational institutions, for instance, or institutions run by programs.  This is science-fiction.  So this was a rhetorical question: there’s one answer that is way more plausible than the other.   
     
    But what does this counterfactual test?  Whether individuals are necessary for institutions to exist.  This does not test whether institutions are mere “collections” of individuals.
     
    So the test fails.  But it’s still interesting.  Let’s look at the two examples of individuals provided: “employees” and “donors”.  We already have two types of individuals, with definite roles, rights, and responsibilities.  
     
    This suffices to show that the Heartland Institute is not just a “collection” of individuals.
     
    ***
     
    Let’s try to generalize this:
     
    Institutions are usually bigger than individuals.  
     
    Institutions are usually more complex than individuals. 
     
    Institutions are usually more abstract than individuals. 
     
    Institutions are usually independent from individuals.  Every individual is replaceable.
     
    Institutions are usually bound to a mission.  Individuals have hobbies.
     
    Institutions usually have a permanent and constitutive mission.  This is usually not the case for individuals.
     
    Institutions usually have a diffrent interface with its environment than individuals.
     
    All this point to more responsibilites, and less liberties.  Even when a sole individual becomes an institution (Steve’s), he has more responsibilities and less liberties.
     
    Normative relativism has no bite in any of these cases.  This is an ontological point.
     
    ***
     
    Notice that I did not say “corporation”, but “institution”.  A glance at Wikipedia should convince that these two words are not synonyms.  As to the concept of liberty, as grypo said earlier, it’s complicated:
     
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/liberty-positive-negative/
     
    ***
     
    In what sense the Heartland Institute is an institution?  We could surmise that it’s a role model for Free Market think thanks.  Auditors could claim it’s a symbol, or an icon, or something like that.  This has been seen before.
     

  399. kdk33 says:

    Willard,

    You seem to be carrying on about something.  I wish I could help.  If you would like to have a rational conversaion, perhaps we could try agaiin when you are feeling better.

  400. Jarmo says:

    Grag Laden says Gleick was a victim of a dastardly plot: Bast and Mosher fed him the secret memo.

    So, it turns out that Heartland was behind the Heartland leak after all.
    The evidence seems to suggest that Heartland’s Joe Bast wrote a memo, then he and/or Heartland-symp blogger Steven Mosher sent it secretly to Peter Gleick. Peter Gleick then obtained additional material from Heartland, which came to him at his request but all to easily to be explained as a mere oversight on the part of some administrative or secretarial staff. The only thing missing here is evidence that Bast or Mosher or someone suggested to Peter that he verify the memo by asking for related documents from Heartland. But that would be too easy.
    Anyway, it now seems clear that the document, the allegedly faked internal strategy memo with the most damning text in it (but nothing really different from what is shown in other verified Heartland documents) was fed to Gleick, presumably in an effort to engineer his downfall as an incipient board member of the National Center for Science Education. 

    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2012/02/heartland-1_ncse-0.php#more 

  401. willard says:

    Sigh.  Novels are getting deprecated, I’m afraid.

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