I Love Saying The Word Gleick!

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No, not Gleek the Wonder-Twins monkey… As in Peter Gleick, who now has admitted to committing crimes such as identity theft and wire fraud in the name of Climate Science. This latest Climate Science Circus had been dubbed FakeGate, but it’s quickly evolving into GleickGate! If you have no idea on what the hell I’m talking about, here is the background on all this.

Here is how the Guardian first reported on what has become a fine tangle of a mess for Climate Science:

The inner workings of a libertarian think-tank working to discredit the established science on climate change have been exposed by a leak of confidential documents detailing its strategy and fundraising networks. DeSmogBlog, which broke the story, said it had received the confidential documents from an “insider” at the Heartland Institute, which is based in Chicago. The blog monitors industry efforts to discredit climate science.

The scheme includes spending $100,000 for spreading the message in K-12 schools that “the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain – two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science”, the documents said.

The problems are two-fold. First, the documents from the Heartland institute were definitely gained through illegal means, impersonating a board member to obtain the docs, and, the most damning piece of evidence in this document dump… is a forgery.

It would appear that, according to Gleick’s confession, he received the almost certainly fake document stating the claims outlined by the guardian piece, which he then used to justify breaking the law in order to get the other Heartland documents. The fake doc has the date written as January 2012, but the scan of the document is February 13. The documents were leaked barely a full day later, on the 15th. Yet Gleick says:

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….

Given the potential impact however, I attempted to confirm the accuracy of the information in this document. In an effort to do so, and in a serious lapse of my own and professional judgment and ethics, I solicited and received additional materials directly from the Heartland Institute under someone else’s name.

the Heartland Institute’s climate program strategy” That is the fake memo, yes? If so, is Gleick saying he scanned the doc or is he claiming he got the scanned doc from the source? If it’s the former, why did he scan it? If it’s the latter, that isn’t very much time to verify anything. If the scanned memo is what he claims to be his original anonymous document, me thinks he’s gotten himself into deep deep manure.

Interestingly enough, the veracity of his claims rests on whether or not he can produce e-mail that shows he communicated with someone else, anyone else, that he had the one damning doc and was working to get more info from Heartland or something. Of course, it would have helped had he scanned the doc right when he got it.

That said, the fact that the doc in question uses language that is not found in the other collection of documents makes one suspicious. As Megan McArdle notes of the document in question:

This is the memo’s opening.

January 2012

Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy

Given the increasingly important role the Heartland Institute is playing in leading the fight to prevent the implementation of dangerous policy actions to address the supposed risks of global warming, it is useful to set priorities for our efforts in 2012. This document offers such a set of priorities. I propose that at this point it be kept confidential and only be distributed to a subset of Institute Board and senior staff. More details can be found in our 2012 Proposed Budget document and 2012 Fundraising Strategy memo. In 2012 our efforts will focus in the following areas:

This seems like the sort of strained declaration I would have given a novel villain when I was in high school–where I take what I think is actually true, and add swinish sarcasm, and SEE! VILLAIN!!!

And she further notes:

“I have never heard a warming skeptic refer to themselves as “anti-climate”, or to their opponents as “communicators”. And believe me, I get chewed out by climate skeptics with great regularity”….

There are a bunch of little things–this is the only document in which the word “warmist” appears, for example. But it’s much more than that. It’s too nice to opponents (“high profile”, “communicator”). And it views climate skeptics as far more powerful than they (in my experience) actually feel, and opponents as combating their messages, rather than the other way around. It seems to fundamentally misunderstand the paranoia of a movement that sees itself as under siege.

Yet some of the same use of words and language can be shown to match that of Gleicks advocacy against skepticst of the faked memo:

“Efforts at places such as Forbes are especially important now that they have begun to allow high-profile climate scientists (such as Gleick) to post warmist science essays that counter our own. This influential audience has usually been reliably anti-climate and it is important to keep opposing voices out.”

Here is Gleick from a few months back, slamming Donna Laframboise’s book via a review on Amazon:

“This book is a stunning compilation of lies, misrepresentations, and falsehoods about the fundamental science of climate change. It compiles the old arguments, long refuted, about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which summarizes the state of science on climate change. The IPCC reports — the most comprehensive summary of climate science in the world — are so influential and important, that they must be challenged by climate change deniers, who have no other science to stand on. LaFramboise recycles these critiques in a form bound to find favor with those who hate science, fear science, or are afraid that if climate change is real and caused by humans then governments will have to act (and they hate government)….

Are you already convinced that climate change is false? Then you don’t need this book, since there is nothing new in it for you.
If you respect science, then you ALSO don’t need this book, since there’s no science in it, and lots of pseudo-science and misrepresentations of science. See, especially, the section trying to discredit the “hockey stick” — long a bugaboo of the anti-climate change crowd. Seven independent scientific commissions and studies have separately verified it, but you won’t find out about that in this book.”

Granted, two words do not automatically show that he wrote the fake doc. That said, those of us who write a lot have our own linguistic quirks, our own personal style. Unless you are trained in the art of writing dialog, or something along those lines, these quirks and ticks typically go unnoticed by the writer. Again, the use of the words “influential” and “anti-climate” don’t prove that he wrote the fake, but the use of the same words and language does not help his cause.

James Delingpole makes an even more damning observation:

This is really damning for Gleick, and more so for the honest climate scientists who are honest individuals working in the name of science..

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