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Heartland Institute Document Leaker Comes Forward, Maintains Documents Are Real

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the having-a-conscience-can-be-inconvenient dept.

News 442

The Bad Astronomer writes "Last week, an anonymous source leaked several internal documents from the Heartland Institute, a non-profit think tank known for anti-global-warming rhetoric. The leaker has come forward: Peter Gleick, scientist and journalist. In his admission, he cites his own breach of ethics, but also maintains that all the documents are real. This includes the potentially embarrassing '2012 Climate Strategy' document stating that Heartland wants to 'dissuade teachers from teaching science.' Heartland still claims this document is a forgery, but there is no solid evidence either way."

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FOrged a frosty (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39114623)

Right here

Fake, but Accurate. (2, Insightful)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115563)

Been there, done this.

Waiting.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39114655)

Next news story will involve a suspicious deadly accident involving the leaker.

Re:Waiting.... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114767)

Next news story will involve a suspicious deadly accident involving the leaker.

More likely - the Right will claim Peter Gleick is a party to Obama's Socialist Plot (whatever that is.)

Re:Waiting.... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39114871)

Next news story will involve a suspicious deadly accident involving the leaker.

More likely - the Right will claim Peter Gleick is a party to Obama's Socialist Plot (whatever that is.)

Isn't that enough? You know that's it's OBAAAAMAAAAAAAAA (insert waving "spooky hands" gestures here)! Oooooooooo! And it's SOCIALIIIIIIIIST! And a PLOOOOOOOOOT! Scaaaaaaary!

So in conclusion, that's why we need more military funding. What are you, some kinda KENYAN COMMIE?!? HUH? HUH?

Re:Waiting.... (-1, Flamebait)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115043)

Obama has really made me disgusted with my countrymen. For the Democrats, it's made me disgusted with them for electing him in the first place (over all the other Democratic candidates in the primaries), when he had no experience, voted "present" for everything, and was just a bunch of empty rhetoric about "change" and "yes we can". But it's made me even more disgusted with everyone on the right because he shows just how utterly stupid they all are. 3 years later, they're still yelling about "socialism", "Marxism", and other such BS, when he's been doing everything almost exactly like Bush, and in some cases even worse (trampling on civil liberties, extra-judicial assassinations, TSA, etc.). He hasn't done a damn thing that resembles Marxism, instead he's been doing the same corrupt corporatist bullshit that Bush did. If the right-wingers had half a brain, they'd see that he's been their biggest ally in his moves to destroy the middle class and increase corporate power, since they love corporations and hate the middle class so much.

Re:Waiting.... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39115243)

No experience?

Went to Harvard law school, edited the Harvard Law Review, Lecturer at Columbia, gave up a potentially lucrative career to help poor people as a community organizer. Bestselling author. Elected to the US senate.

Granted he had limited executive experience, but only one of the 8 candidates in that primary had executive experience (Bill Richardson, former governor). All the others were from the senate or house.

Re:Waiting.... (-1, Troll)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115315)

See, here's another moron sticking up for this shitty president.

Going to law school doesn't equal political experience, you moron. And what did he do in the Senate, other than vote "present"? He didn't even serve a single term there.

All the others had real political experience, not some stupid "community organizer" BS job.

Re:Waiting.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39115113)

Accident? Not likely. Suicide with 2 bullets to the back of the head is more likely.

Let's see.... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39114691)

Who has MORE reason to lie about this?

Re:Let's see.... (4, Interesting)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114777)

I'd say Exxon Mobil might be motivated to fund people to tell a few porkies.

After all, if I was making over $40 billion a year and big fat margins, I could consider that throwing a few million here and there to pay some PR people to lie about climate change is a good investment. And being a fossil company, I wouldn't care, since I would already be an expert at liability-dumping in any case, so I would sleep perfectly soundly, knowing that the massive negative externalities my business is generating (and that I'm not paying for) won't be my problem until long after I'm dead.

Nihilism, FTW.

Re:Let's see.... (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114981)

I'd hardly call Exxon's margins "fat"

Re:Let's see.... (4, Informative)

dnaumov (453672) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115069)

I'd hardly call a 5 year average net profit margin of 8,81% particularly fat.

Re:Let's see.... (4, Informative)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115107)

I'd hardly call a 5 year average net profit margin of 8,81% particularly fat.

For an established company delivering a commoditized product, that's a pretty big margin.

Honestly, I thought it would have been higher.

Re:Let's see.... (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115195)

Yeah, but their expenses include the congress critters they've paid off...

The fossil fuel industry and the RIght (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39115141)

The fossil fuel industry and many of the issues that the Right in this country are harping on have an interesting pattern.

They take an issue that could be potentially dangerous to their profits and turn it into an emotional issue - in this case Global Warming - and when it becomes an emotional issue, all reason is thrown out the door and rational discourse becomes impossible.

Global Warming was discovered decades ago. The fossil fuel companies started to become threatened by it. So we go from scientists have data about global warming and what we could possibly do about it to scientists have a Liberal Agenda to destroy capitalism and our Way of Life.

I have a neighbor and in-laws who live on a steady diet of Fox News and Talk Radio; such as Hannity, and if Global Warming comes up, they say words like "hoax", "socialist", "cause higher taxes", "destroying America", "predictions based upon inaccurate computer models", etc .... in very angry tones.

They're thinking emotionally. The anti-global warming crowd did a very good in turning this into a personal emotional issue.

They do this with other issues. Turn an issue from a purely academic one into dumbed down emotional rhetoric, and you got the other guys by the balls.

That's where the climate scientists got screwed. The fossil fuel industry got their PR people on it and then the right wing talking heads grabbed onto it, and now we have this mess of an issue that I for one have given up complete hope that anything can be done now.

tl;dr: industry is great at turning a scientific issue into an emotional one - an "us" vs. "them" issue and neutering the opposition.

Re:Let's see.... (0, Troll)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114801)

Who has MORE reason to lie about this?

People lie about shit all the time for no reason. You don't need a reason or incentive to lie about something.
The government has MORE reason to lie about the moon landings than the people claiming they're fake.
Same goes for "9-11 was an inside job", chem trails, alien bases in the Mariana Trench, etc.

You can't make a decision based on intent or benefit, you have to make a decision based on evidence.

Of course, we all know the documents are real. Just like the big email scandal in 2010 (was it 2010? I'm too old to remember when shit happened.).
There will be some huff and puff and then Wolf Blitzer will get bored talking about it and it will just disappear.

Re:Let's see.... (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114901)

Why should the government have any reasons to lie about the moon landings? The astronauts were there, several times, they landed, and they came back. Nothing to lie about, as far as I can tell.

Re:Let's see.... (1, Offtopic)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114993)

Why should the government have any reasons to lie about the moon landings? The astronauts were there, several times, they landed, and they came back. Nothing to lie about, as far as I can tell.

Presuming the claim of the adversaries is true - that they were faked - the government has an incentive to lie, both then and now.

Logically, you can't say "If X is true, then Y has a big reason to lie about it, so X is probably true!".

Re:Let's see.... (2)

Sique (173459) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115117)

If the moon landings were fake, they were already a lie. So "the government has a reason to lie about the moon landing" ist equivalent to "The government has a reason to lie about a lie". This is circular reasoning. Your conclusion is equal to your precondition.

Re:Let's see.... (1, Funny)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115389)

If the moon landings were fake, they were already a lie. So "the government has a reason to lie about the moon landing" ist equivalent to "The government has a reason to lie about a lie". This is circular reasoning. Your conclusion is equal to your precondition.

You just restated my post, but with bad grammar and spelling.
Congratulations.

Re:Let's see.... (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115473)

I think the point was that the U.S. needed to show that it could do something that the Soviets couldn't, so there was plenty of incentive to fake a moon landing if they couldn't pull it off. By contrast, assuming the moon landings were real, there isn't much reason for someone to lie and claim that they were fake. Thus, the government would have had better reason for faking the moon landings (and certainly for subsequently continuing the charade) than the random people claiming that it is fake have for making a false claim that they were fake.

However, the government's greater incentive to lie does not mean that it did, and it certainly does not mean that you should behave the loonies who claim that the moon landings were faked—not because the government didn't have good reason to fake a moon landing, but because the preponderance of evidence suggests that they did not fake it.

Re:Let's see.... (1)

gnick (1211984) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115549)

I think you're misunderstanding that post:

Logically, you can't say "If X is true, then Y has a big reason to lie about it, so X is probably true!"

So, logically you can't say "If the landings were faked, then the government would have a big reason to lie about it, so the moon landings were probably faked!"

Makes sense to me - And I've seen more than a couple of conspiracy theorists use similar "logic" to support all kinds of crazy stuff.

Re:Let's see.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39115565)

The same reason the fucking British lied about Paul McCartney. The Beatles were good for their economy, social mood, etc. Not only could they attempt to preserve that, but they also got a valuable exercise in replacing a famous person with a double. It's valuable knowledge that would come in handy if they needed to cover up the death of a major political figure.

There are political reasons to fake the moon landing. And there is also the "can we pull this off?" factor. I'm sure large beurocracy and over-funded intelligence agencies do "experiments" like these for a number of reasons.

I don't believe the moon landing was faked, however.

I do believe the decision makers in the US government either allowed 9/11 to happen or orchestrated it from the ground up. Either way, very few people were in on it, and I consider them rouges that have infiltrated our government. Just more political cronyism and illegal shit to further a few peoples' agendas. Think about how many things changed as a result of 9/11. Most of them changed for the worst for us, but the situation was ideal for some key businesses and government as a whole.

I consider this more believable than a complete failure of our intelligence community and defense organizations before and on the day of the incident. And how they found the hijacker's passport in the rubble. That's really unlikely. And I don't need to reiterate the discrepancies at the Pentagon. Everyone has made up their mind on this subject, so there is no point (like a Royal Family member).

Really no point in this whole post. Slashdot is full of people that believe the official story on many high-profile and questionable events. Yet, they don't believe their government at all on lower-profile and less questionable events. Bizarre.

I ask, did people in a position to pull this off have the motivation to do it? Did they have the means to do it?

The answers to those question are debatable. But I think a lot of slashdotters would answer yes to both of those questions. But then you turn around and defend the official story without question.

Re:Let's see.... (5, Funny)

SlippyToad (240532) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114967)

The government has MORE reason to lie about the moon landings than the people claiming they're fake.

Thank you for identifying yourself as completely incapable of rational discussion on this issue.

Re:Let's see.... (1)

DeathFromSomewhere (940915) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115021)

You can't make a decision based on intent or benefit, you have to make a decision based on evidence.

Seems completely rational to me. Maybe read the entire post instead of making a snap judgement based on half a paragraph?

Re:Let's see.... (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115639)

Well technically he is correct. Later on he does say you have to make a decision based on evidence and not intent or benefit (motive).

People that want to claim the Moon landing was faked only have a few reasons. Most of that is related to a "search for the truth" and uncovering government conspiracies, etc.

The US government however had a very good reason to lie that is far more believable. The Cold War. It was all about propaganda and penis measurements. At that time there was a huge competition in countries around the world to get democracy or communism accepted. I believe that is a valid reason and motive to take the Moon landings.

Then you need to take evidence into account. While most people cannot actually see the landing site, and all other evidence *could* be faked, what about the Moon rocks?

They have a very unique composition compared to other rocks on Earth. Considering the amount of rocks were so high, and that collection of lunar meteorites would have been such an intensive process, in order for the Moon landings to have been faked they would have needed to either create (ruled out) or find (improbable) the rocks on Earth.

Everything else could have been faked. It *is* possible. They did not have to go all the way to the Moon. A massive conspiracy? Sure. Motivated by the Cold War though, there have been fairly large military and intelligence projects that were kept secret for years all for the benefit of the American Way of Life. I can believe all of that because government is made up of people, and if those people are really determined to do something with the resources they have... well they usually can do it. Government ineptitude is popular to banter around, but there have been some rather impressive large projects accomplished around the world with governments.

The issue to me comes down to the rocks. Pulling that off in the late 60's and allowing other scientists to access to it raises the order of difficulty to nigh impossibility. If they did not come from the Moon, where else on Earth did they come from and how come nobody else has found more? Not talking about meteorites, but actual rock formations matching the unique composition of the Moon rocks.

Re:Let's see.... (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115137)

You don't need a reason or incentive to lie about something.

But it sure helps!

It's only prudent to look at the ones who benefit.

The government does gain more from lying about the moon landing. But then if you're a rational human you realize that you can't 'fake' a Saturn V launch [youtube.com] and so once that's done there isn't much incentive to lie at all.

Instead Moon Hoaxers selling books have the greater incentive to lie.

The rest of the Moon Hoaxers aren't lying, they're just paranoid and stupid.

Re:Let's see.... (1)

tysonedwards (969693) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114929)

Seems as though both have an equal reason to lie, both of which seem equally valid reasons to lie.

Peter Gleick has a reason to lie in order to advance his career by making *someone* besides his mum know who he is.
The Heartland Institute has a reason to lie because the information purportedly obtained by Mr. Gleick is highly prejudicial in nature.

Leak == good (0, Flamebait)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115427)

I can't really comment about whether all the docs are real, but, just on the issue of the propriety of leaking documents:

What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

It was great to be able to read the documents in Climategate I and II. And it's great to be able to read these, too.

Although Climategate has shown climate "scientists" to be more concerned about propaganda than science, and has thrown the whole theory of global warming (oops, I mean the theory that climate changes over time) into question, no one should be under any illusion that the think tanks that propagandize against AGW aren't oil company shills.

They may be right (by coincidence), but they're still shills.

Expecting a mod-down since I've hit both sides in this post.

"Solid evidence" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39114711)

FFS. Gleick was ousted in part to the forged document being in his writing style, unnecessarily mentioning himself as a prominent scientist and using the same word-contractions he use on his Forbes blog.

The denial is strong, it seems.

Re:"Solid evidence" (1)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114923)

And of course, you have evidence for this, right? There are analytics you could run over the text to prove/disprove the connection, but it's easy to just lie on Slashdot.

Evidence, or STFU.

Re:"Solid evidence" (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115435)

Looking through the Google histories it seems that first he came out and then, after the fact, people started saying that he must have forged it. That is pretty difficult to check, (remember you can set a date range in Google news search; go from distant past to two days ago and you see just a few articles which seem to be the very first ones) and I'm not at all sure I did it right, but if it is true then it's pretty damning evidence that someone is desperate to tell any lie to make it seem that this is a forgery.

Fire him (0)

Ardeaem (625311) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114717)

I'm no climate denier, but what he did was unethical. He should be fired, and possibly prosecuted if any crimes were committed.

Re:Fire him (3, Funny)

AtomicJake (795218) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114813)

He should be fired, and possibly prosecuted if any crimes were committed.

Yeah. Put him in jail with this Assange guy! What do I say. Burn'em!!!

Re:Fire him (3, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114881)

Why should he be fired if as you say possibly no crimes were committed, and what did he do that was unethical?

The primary problem seems to be:
"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."

If he was a tech journalist reporting some babble about apple or samsung or the mighty GOOG or whoever, he'd have run the story without even bothering to verify and that would be considered "just show business as usual".

Re:Fire him (4, Interesting)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115045)

You appear to have answered your own question. Misrepresenting yourself as a specific person that you are not is generally not considered good journalistic ethics. It's okay not to tell them who you are, or not to tell them you're a reporter.

Depending on state law, it might even be a crime. I doubt that, though, since I can't imagine Gleick is dumb enough to make a confession without at least checking with a lawyer first.

Re:Fire him (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115171)

Look at HP and pretexting psuedo-scandal. Its all a big "eh" who cares, right up there with speeding on the highway or a journalist violating a NDA to leak a story. Journalistic ethics is an oxymoron so thats not even open to discussion.

Re:Fire him (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115245)

Oh, they violate their "ethics" all the time, I agree. That doesn't make them not violations of ethics; it just means they don't care.

Re:Fire him (4, Interesting)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114941)

I hope Heartland go completely apeshit and try and sue him. Then they'll get destroyed in discovery.

Re:Fire him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39115067)

I hope Heartland go completely apeshit and try and sue him. Then they'll get destroyed in discovery.

And they'll also keep alive a story which would otherwise die pretty quick. There are about a billion reasons not to sue, and no good reason to (I doubt he has all that money to go after...)...

Re:Fire him (5, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114945)

Oh for.... TGS itself said "he cites his own breach of ethics". Sounds to me like a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation.

I think he did the right thing. It would be even more unethical to let the bastards keep lying.

Re:Fire him (5, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115085)

Exactly, the truth needs to be made public. If these assholes are lying, then using false pretenses to get information out of them is perfectly fine. You think investigative reporters go around telling the targets of their investigation honestly who they are and what their profession is? Of course not, they'd never get any damning information if they did.

Let's look at the track record... (5, Insightful)

Genda (560240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114719)

Oh yeah, these are the guys that told you cigarettes were healthy, and that there was no reliable evidence that they harmed people. The world is full of shills and whores who will lie to your face if the price is right. Why should this be a surprise. These guys have a track record. The only thing controversial here is that these reprobates are telling a significant amount of the population exactly what they want to hear. I know its hard, double rough for some, when the lies they tell sound so sweet (consistent with your belief systems...), get over it. These people are not your friends and if China should hire them tomorrow, they'll give you 20 good reasons why eating lead is great for you.

Wake up, that smell is your ass on fire, and these clowns are holding the matches.

Re:Let's look at the track record... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39114769)

Yep. Just another group of corporate whores.

Re:Let's look at the track record... (3, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114863)

Cigarettes are healthy! They freshen your breath and provide your body with much needed menthol! Dont fall for the leftist, socialist propaganda telling you different!

Not really ... historically ... (5, Interesting)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115041)

Oh yeah, these are the guys that told you cigarettes were healthy, and that there was no reliable evidence that they harmed people.

Not really, they worked with Phillip Morris to spread material on the effects of secondhand smoke, which was questionable at the time they did so (they had long since stopped doing this before actual studies confirmed the effects). Every think tank ofcourse helps it's sponsors ...

You need to keep history of something in mind. There's a history to every idea, as hard as that is to see. Until 1954, the official medical opinion on smoking itself was that it was healthy as well (there were suspicions from 1912 onwards). Even today I heard someone claim that smoking pot does not have worse health effects than tobacco smoke (think about it : no filters on the sigarettes -> you're actually inhaling burning leaves directly into your lungs which will never again come out. Healthy ? Of course not)

This is still happening to other products too. E.g. soda is supposedly healthy (esp. soda with "added vitamin C" or some such. It's not healthy at all). And sugar-free soda is worse, again something often denied. Or another popular one, that TL lights are healthy and generally good, especially CFL bulbs. We all know you get headaches from them, they can induce epileptic seizures, and research confirms long-term health effects. But they're "better for the environment". I guess environment doesn't include people.

Re:Not really ... historically ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39115235)

you are making an assumption about the smoking method. There are ways to smoke things without any of the deleterious effects of tars and particulate.

Re:Not really ... historically ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39115593)

Even today I heard someone claim that smoking pot does not have worse health effects than tobacco smoke (think about it : no filters on the sigarettes -> you're actually inhaling burning leaves directly into your lungs which will never again come out.

Nobody smokes a pack of joints per day. Pot is less healthy on a per-dose basis, but probably healthier overall for a typical user.

Or another popular one, that TL lights are healthy and generally good, especially CFL bulbs. We all know you get headaches from them

Wait, what? Do you get headaches from wi-fi networks, too?

Re:Let's look at the track record... (1, Insightful)

steveha (103154) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115079)

these are the guys that told you cigarettes were healthy

Citation needed.

Who, at the Heartland Institute, told us that cigarettes were healthy? Do you have any evidence that the HI told us that, gave money to people who told us that, or were in any factual way related to telling us that?

steveha

Re:Let's look at the track record... (4, Informative)

steveha (103154) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115111)

Never mind, it's right there in Wikipedia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Heartland_Institute#Smoking [wikipedia.org]

The tone of the GP post was just right to punch my buttons. Even a single link in support of the rant would have been nice.

steveha

Re:Let's look at the track record... (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115201)

Even a single link in support of the rant would have been nice.

I think he was intentionally making a point that The Heartland Institute is so over the top loony that reporting the truth makes the report look like a disregardable parody.

At least they are exposed... (3, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114729)

Have to applaud the whistleblower for having the courage to do this. Heartland is clearly a tool, not just for deniers, but for industry which would profit from a (further) dumbed-down populace. Where is the outrage, probably due to the present level of dumbing-down, there isn't very much. Bread and circuses.

Re:At least they are exposed... (3, Insightful)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114853)

I think it's fairly obvious that they're just right-wing jackasses-for-hire, who'll lie for the highest bidder.

There is no idealism here at all. Just a desire to make a buck and watch the world burn. The epitome of the very worst side of human nature.

Re:At least they are exposed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39114953)

Nope, he's an idiot.
He did the right thing, but the wrong way. It's turning into a media circus, and anything that shows up will have very little credibility. There's no rules of conduct for whistleblowers, that I know of, so I find this easily forgivable.

And an idiot again, because his personal life will be utterly destroyed. Even if there was an inqury or something to find out who leaked them, he should have kept silent and denied everything. Even if they brought him to trial, he should have denied everything.

Re:At least they are exposed... (2)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114969)

I could call social-engineering/stealing those documents to be unethical and possibly illegal (IANAL).

But I salute somebody willing to knowingly destroy their own life to out a bunch of paid liars.

The whole thing is morally ambiguous, and whether or not he actually did the right thing (especially if he has a family to support), is open to debate.

Re:At least they are exposed... (1)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115225)

Thing is, it will do no good. While having their own words is something, this actual behavior (and knowledge of it) is pretty old news. The people who dislike them will continue to dislike them, and the people who like them will continue to like them. A lot of people just buy the story presented by their particular news outlet and anything else is a 'left wing/right wing smear campaign'.

Plus, given just how well funded and connected they are, I am sure that the story will be pained rosy for them in the media and any importance will be downplayed, with possible redirection to 'those evil liberals smearing these good fighters!'. Just look at the cheer Gingrich got for slamming the media for asking questions he did not like... as long as you can paint yourself as the opponent to the correct people, it does not really matter what you do... at least if you are appealing to 'values' voters with their black and white morality.

Where's the outrage? (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115015)

I guess I can't speak for everyone, but I can't summon much outrage over this at all? Personally, I feel like it's simply a case of another "special interest group" with an agenda getting caught up in a situation of someone showing the world some of their internal content that leaked. I don't even care if people can eventually prove that one of their specific papers was real or fake.... As others posted, we know where they sided on the cigarette issue, and we're pretty clear where they side with respect to the global warming controversy too. Fine ... but ANY issues like this require people doing a lot more of their own reading and interpreting of studies -- not just going along with whatever special interest "think tank" is around, making bold statements.

My own take on things, just using a little bit of common sense, is that sure, things are looking pretty darn likely that our planet is gradually warming up. People bickering back and forth about the accuracy of that claim are wasting their time, if we can't move on to question #2, which is: "What can/should we really do about it?" That's where, IMO, things quickly get out of hand.

I mean, by most counts, the currently estimated world supply of untapped crude oil will be depleted in roughly 40 more years, if current rates of usage are sustained (and more quickly than that if they increase). If we stop burning oil (because it gets too scarce and its price gets prohibitive), some of the most likely alternatives seem to involve much "cleaner" forms of energy (solar and nuclear power, for example, or maybe hydrogen powered vehicles). So effectively, is this whole hullabaloo a "non issue" in the sense it's self-correcting anyway, as we run out of oil?

Re:Where's the outrage? (-1, Troll)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115247)

So effectively, is this whole hullabaloo a "non issue" in the sense it's self-correcting anyway, as we run out of oil?

Yes, but from a political standpoint never let a good crisis go to waste. We have to find a way to get higher taxes and a smaller middle class and richer rich people and fewer civil rights outta this, somehow. The funny part is watching the little quislings supporting it thinking they're going to get a pat on the head and a nice doggie biscuit, instead of just getting screwed like everyone else.

Forgery - (And obviously so) (5, Informative)

BlackWind (11057) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114739)

Here is one article written about it (by someone who believes in AGW)
http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/02/leaked-docs-from-heartland-institute-cause-a-stir-but-is-one-a-fake/253165/

Re:Forgery - (And obviously so) (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39114875)

(And obviously so)

This is where I must disagree. After reading the article you cited, it appears that there is evidence to suggest it's a forgery but there's nothing conclusive. Also, this only pertains to one memo.

Re:Forgery - (And obviously so) (3, Insightful)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114999)

Climiate science is SCIENCE. In science, belief is irrelevant. Only evidence matters.

The denialists don't have evidence. They have good PR, online polls, debates, and other slick propaganda tools, but they will never win the scientific debate, because the evidence for AGW is overwhelming.

This is a political and ideological issue, not a scientific one.

Re:Forgery - (And obviously so) (1, Insightful)

MatthiasF (1853064) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115161)

Unless you have in fact replicated the observation and worked through the rationale behind the hypothesis, you agreeing with a hypothesis or theory is literally you BELIEVING it to be true.

Stop making Science into a religion.

Re:Forgery - (And obviously so) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39115313)

Taken extremely literally, this is true. However, each and every time you operate your car, fly in a plane, use your house's lighting, eat food you've purchased, etc. etc. without dying is further experimental evidence that you've verified your self, that an entire host of scientific principles and -theories- do, in fact, work and can be relied upon.

After so many billions of people verifying such principles over and over again, it's reasonable to state that science deniers have the onus to prove something isn't true, rather than the other way around, unless we're talking brand-new theories, with absolutely NO experimental replication, and other science that calls the new theory into question (climate change 'may' fall into this area, but the evidence that -something- is causing things to change is getting harder and harder to deny each day, and even if it -isn't- people who are the primary cause, we have to live with the results unless we do something...)

Re:Forgery - (And obviously so) (0)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115429)

Climiate science is SCIENCE. In science, belief is irrelevant. Only evidence matters.

"Hide the decline".

There's plenty of evidence casting doubt on AGW. The fact is that many predictions of the AGW computer models aren't panning out in reality. There's no way to get around that fact. You can scream "SCIENCE" all you like, but you're treating it like someone insulted your religion. And this guy committed fraud, and pushed forged and altered documents to the press. You keep saying that the science is with you, and yet guys like this are willing to lie to win.

Re:Forgery - (And obviously so) (5, Informative)

steveha (103154) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115165)

I agree that Megan McArdle's analysis of this document is interesting and worth reading.

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/02/leaked-docs-from-heartland-institute-cause-a-stir-but-is-one-a-fake/253165/ [theatlantic.com]

For a document that supposedly is a glimpse to the inside machinations of a bunch of corporate suits, it sure has an odd tone.

See also the followup:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/02/heartland-memo-looking-faker-by-the-minute/253276/ [theatlantic.com]

The metadata and timestamp analysis is interesting as well.

steveha

It won't do any good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39114751)

Those documents could be proven to be true beyond any doubt and the folks who just don't want to accept the facts and what the climatologists' data has shown, will just believe the institute and whatever "facts" Heartland feeds to them.

I'm sure all the talk radio people and the talking heads on Fox will be using the leak as "proof" of the deception and lack of ethics of climate scientists.

This will "prove" that climate scientists are liars and the whole Global Warming Hoax is all part of their Liberal agenda to destroy Capitalism and America.

Gleick is going to regret leaking those documents.

I really really hope I'm wrong and people are smarter than I give them credit for - I really do.

Re:It won't do any good. (0)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115125)

I don't know about people in general, but Americans are not smarter than you give them credit for. The proof is Obama. Half of them voted for him when he had no track record other than voting "present", and most of them continue to support him even though he's gone completely against everything those voters used to stand for. The other half of the voters still insist he's a "Marxist" even though he hasn't done a single thing to support that claim, and instead has been just another corporatist.

If you think American voters are going to see the truth here, you're insane. Half of them will just believe whatever Fox News tells them, and the other half will just believe whatever CNN tells them.

Re:It won't do any good. (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115321)

You realize that voting present in the Illinois Senate is similar to voting no, except it has a different impact on how the bill in question gets handled after the vote gets tallied, right? That it has nothing to do with not having an opinion?

Reposted to attach to right comment.

Re:It won't do any good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39115153)

I am sorry, but you will be disappointed.

No evidence? (2, Informative)

Troyusrex (2446430) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114775)

It is very likely faked. It was not gotten through the same channel as the other documents and there are many inconsistencies which make it of doubtful authenticity including metadata: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/15/notes-on-the-fake-heartland-document/ [wattsupwiththat.com] That said, it serves Heartland right after the fuss they made over Climategate.

Re:No evidence? (3, Informative)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114873)

You blew your credibility the millisecond you quoted WUWT as a reliable source. Anthony Watt is just another right wing corporate whore with no credentials, no scientific training, no mainstream credibility, and a big mouth (very common in the wingnut alternative reality).

Re:No evidence? (4, Informative)

Layzej (1976930) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115105)

Anthony Watt is just another right wing corporate whore with no credentials, no scientific training, no mainstream credibility, and a big mouth (very common in the wingnut alternative reality).

It should also be noted that he was implicated in the leaked documents. He has every reason to claim that they are fake.

Re:No evidence? (0)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115463)

You blew your credibility the millisecond you quoted WUWT as a reliable source. Anthony Watt is just another right wing corporate whore with no credentials, no scientific training, no mainstream credibility, and a big mouth (very common in the wingnut alternative reality).

Yeah, just completely ignore pieces from places like The Atlantic that finger the "smoking gun" doc as a complete fraud. We wouldn't want to get in the way of your conspiracy theory rant.

Re:No evidence? (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115293)

You realize that voting present in the Illinois Senate is similar to voting no, except it has a different impact on how the bill in question gets handled after the vote gets tallied, right? That it has nothing to do with not having an opinion?

Re:No evidence? (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115337)

Ugh. Comment got attached to the wrong post. Sorry.

Half truths (2, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114779)

This article's summary is half true. Lying by omission is almost as bad as by commission though.

What isn't mentioned? Note this: "Peter Gleick, scientist and journalist." Not mentioned are the list of accolades heaped on him (according to his Wikipedia page) for work in Global Warming. In other words he isn't acting as a disinterested scientist or journalist in this affair but as a dedicated partisan to a cause who let winning override ethics. By his own admission.

And "but there is no solid evidence either way" which is true enough on its own. Barring a confession by Gleick we will probably never be 100% certain the memo in question is a forgery. However there is a crapload of circumstantial evidence all pointing that way.

Not saying Heartland doesn't give me heartburn sometimes and I'm firmly in the skeptic camp, with the downmods right here to prove it. But this memo was a setup. It smelt funny from the start and gets riper by the day.

Skepticism (0)

pitchpipe (708843) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114793)

Have you ever noticed how the skeptic's skepticism is biased in one direction? I wonder if they have ever noticed this.

Re:Skepticism (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39114949)

As a skeptic, I find your skepticism of our skepticism to be worthy of skepticism. You can anticipate someone searching through your trash and trying to guess your mother's maiden name so we can hack your email and prove that you are a corporate shill.

stupid (4, Informative)

Monkey-Man2000 (603495) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114837)

This was a really stupid thing for Dr. Gleick to do because it diminishes his cause substantially. For example, he was the lead author of the recent Science paper [sciencemag.org] that everyone was making a big stink about having so many National Academy members on. I'm no (anthropogenic or not)-climate change denier, but this is bad. On a similar note, he also wrote this Forbes piece [forbes.com] that mysteriously did not mention he was the lead author of the Science paper.

Interesting analysis of the memo... (5, Informative)

theangrypeon (1306525) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114843)

Some pretty interesting and pretty detailed analysis of the memo here [theatlantic.com] .

I'm inclined to say the memo is probably fake given all the weirdness surrounding it, and given who the "leaker" is.

Re:Interesting analysis of the memo... (1)

MatthiasF (1853064) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115089)

Poor guy got Dan Rathered. The one document might be fake but now he's risked his career on it. And on reading the Atlantic article, I agree with most of the concern. No group would right up something like that even if they were truly evil, the one line really made me LOL hard:

"Basically, it reads like it was written from the secret villain lair in a Batman comic. By an intern."

I'm inclined to agree after reading the memo myself. Even better was another quote the article selected:

"The Charles G. Koch Foundation returned as a Heartland donor in 2011. We expect to ramp up their level of support in 2012 and gain access to the network of philanthropists they work with."

No villain ends a sentence with a preposition. We all know evil institutions out to destroy the work are filled with grammar nazis.

I'm Confused (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114851)

Either Gleick revised his post or Bad Astronomer got this one wrong. Gleick says he received the Climate Strategy anonymously:

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. It contained information about their funders and the Institute's apparent efforts to muddy public understanding about climate science and policy. 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.

It appears the rest are documents that he knows are official that he acquired deceptively in order to verify the anonymous document. My own personal hunch, as I first noted when this broke [slashdot.org] , is that '2012 Climate Strategy' is a cheap fake thrown in with real documents. There is probably no way to verify this one way or the other but I don't think this summary or Phil Plait's blog posting adequately explain what Gleick did exactly. Here is one thing that is going for the validity of '2012 Climate Strategy' and that is if Gleick did not alter it then some of the sums and investments roughly match up with the budget document -- which caused Gleick to believe it is completely authentic. However, fiscal knowledge of the Heartland Institute might be more public than people think ...

Re:I'm Confused (2)

Nemesisghost (1720424) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115081)

Someone mod this guy up. This was my understanding after RTFA. Gleick got some stuff about Heartland anonymously, then did a quick fact checking and forwarded the whole kit & caboodle off to some journalists. The thing is we still don't know where the original stuff came from.

Re:I'm Confused (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115335)

Either Gleick revised his post or Bad Astronomer got this one wrong.

I think you're just confused.

The summary and especially the BA's blog post are accurate and not contradicted by what you quoted. The blog post in particular points out that he received many of these documents anonymously at first, and then sought to verify them using the deceptive practice that is mentioned in the summary.

Since this update in particular is about the source of the documents, and their veracity, the part about how he verified the documents is rather relevant.

Stop Repeating Errors! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39115407)

The blog post in particular points out that he received many of these documents anonymously at first, and then sought to verify them using the deceptive practice that is mentioned in the summary.

Then that's wrong, he did not receive many of them anonymously, read the quoted section. He received one of them anonymously -- and it's important to point out -- it's the inflammatory one on climate strategy! This same error is in Phil Plait's blog!

Re:Stop Repeating Errors! (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115615)

Maybe I'm confused -- what substantive difference is there between receiving several documents including the climate strategy one, and only receiving the climate strategy one?

Re:I'm Confused (0)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115535)

Not only is the "smoking gun" doc fake, it Heartland says that a number of the "real" documents have had some info altered as well.

Really, for a guy that's supposed to be smart, this was a really, really dumb thing to do.

Heartland (1)

biodata (1981610) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114855)

Institute chooses names it thinks sounds reassuring but falls into uncanny valley and ends up sounding a bit creepy.

this is the same libertarian think tank (1, Troll)

nimbius (983462) | more than 2 years ago | (#39114889)

that enjoys shitting in the face of science and progress under the pretext of that etherial "hand of the market." other notable endeavors theyre renound for include:
creating controversy and doubt over the fact that smoking causes health problems
drafting policies targeted at reducing the services provided by the federal government to nothing more than a "competitive marketplace"
instituting "market reform" into the education system and championing charter schools (here in los angeles, charter schools show up in the news once a week for some major breech of trust, child abuse or embezzlement scandal)
the same reaganite health care privatization and deinstitutionalization mentality that landed an entire generation of schitzophrenics and invalids on the streets of skid row.

check em out. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Heartland_Institute [wikipedia.org]

Re:this is the same libertarian think tank (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39115213)

One thing the free market has brought us is keyboards with shift and punctuation keys. Are you so mad at the world that you refuse to use them on principle alone, or were you not taught how to type at your non-charter school?

I like his brother (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39115001)

James Gleick, did that cool book on fractals and chaos theory I read in high school.

Here is the meat - (1)

Darth Snowshoe (1434515) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115003)

"I only note that the scientific understanding of the reality and risks of climate change is strong, compelling, and increasingly disturbing, and a rational public debate is desperately needed." (from Gleick's Huffpost piece.) Haggling over the provenance and ethics of the Heartland documents is a dangerous distraction. People with a financial interest in perpetuating the status quo (and no sense of honesty, scientific ethics or responsibility to future generations) are going to look for every opportunity to debate every debatable point, cast aspersions on all good-faith actors, and sow uncertainty everywhere possible. That's a given, it's human nature.

Different documents (1)

Sqr(twg) (2126054) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115005)

Heartland institute says the document entitled "Heartland Climate Strategy" is a fake.
Peter Gleick says the document entilteld "2012 fundraising strategy and budget" is real.
They are probably both right. Why is this news?

Scientist / Journalist / Politician (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115099)

So just to help me clarify here, we are not free men and we must exist and act within little narrowly defined jobs, all with conflicting standards and goals. Unfortunately this dude doesn't seem to have a clearly defined job so it's hard to evaluate him:

1) If he's a scientist he's supposed to at least appear objective and honest (reality, especially in private, is permitted some divergence). Both sides of this issue flake out from facts into intense social engineering so all players on both sides fail. There might exist a scientist on one side or the other who is just researching facts and is not carefully positioning activities and results to grind an axe... but I highly doubt it. So he fails, but not worse than anyone else in the game.

2) As a journalist he's supposed to just run any old garbage that gets for page hits and high ratings. He's failed at this because he wasted time and considerable ethical danger trying to verify if its true or not. He should have just scanned those docs and tossed them up on as many separate web pages as possible to maximize ad impressions. Poorly played, but at an ethical standard far about almost all contemporary journalists.

3) As a politician he's expected to tell whatever lie he was paid to tell as convincingly as possible. The ethical standard is so infinitely low that its impossible for him to fail. I can see some controversy if he's biting the hand that feeds him. He should expect the guys on the "other side" to spin the issue into turning him into a criminal mastermind, regardless of the facts, which seems to be what they're doing. He seems to waffle a bit about how sure he is, thats not good politician behavior. Again, poorly played, but at a high ethical standard.

4) Some flakes are trying to position the guy as being evil because he's a complete failure at NCIS / forensics by not operating in a manner fit for a FBI officer gathering evidence at a crime scene. I'm unimpressed, as far as I know the guy is not a lawyer nor does he play one on TV nor was he operating as a paid expert witness at the time.

Overall he didn't play it perfect, but he's not a crook. I'm moderately impressed with how he's playing it.

20 years of geologic data means NOTHING (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39115123)

20 years of geologic data means NOTHING.

Heck, even 100 years might not be enough to determine whether anything is happening. Sorry Mr. Gore, a pretty presentation doesn't make a theory into a fact.

Anyone else remember the mid-1970s when another ice age was feared?
Come back in 2100 with facts. Until then, STFU.

Gleick lied not leaked; main document is forgery (1, Informative)

motionview (1494423) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115193)

Gleick has confessed to lying to obtain the documents; they were not leaked. You have to work inside an organization to leak documents, like the original ClimateGate emails. Megan McCardle of the Atlantic makes a strong case that the main document is forged [theatlantic.com] .

Mr Gleick and Heartland (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39115239)

Its truly amazing that even when caught red-handed stealing documents in an effort to discredit his academic rival, and admitting as such, some people still think its a right wing conspiracy. Just as with Richard Dawkins and the evolution vs creationism debate, there is no debate allowed. Either you accept the truths from the Scientific gods (Gleick and Dawkins) or you are exiled. Half the English academics involved in global warming have been found to be fudging the facts, now we have this Gleick fraud trying to defame his rivals, and the majority of this blog think he's the one who's been wronged. Lets see this for what it is; an attempt to stifle dissent.

Fake But Accurate (1)

JoeKlip (2566683) | more than 2 years ago | (#39115471)

As long as the document is accurate in portraying the story, it doesn't matter if the document is a fake or not. The real story is important.
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