Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Another Warmie Failure
In a desperate effort at turn about is fair play, a non-whistleblower, warmie true believer, Peter Gleick, has leaked to the internet (primarily DeSmogBlog) a number of items. There is the Heartland Institute Memorandum regarding strategy, which Gleick says he received anonymously in the mail, and then there are a number of documents which Gleick admits that he stole (through deception) from the Heartland Institute.
Warmie true believers are calling him a whistleblower. Deniers are calling him a thief. It's clearly the latter. Only a non-duped member of the Heartland Institute could be a whistleblower.
The Heartland Institute says that Memorandum Gleick gave to DeSmogBlog is a fake. Gleick cannot say if it is a fake or not and, indeed, his intellectual curiosity caused him, he says, to steal the other documents to see if it was real. OK?
Many people point out a lot of reasons to think that Gleick is the author of the fake Memorandum and there is something about time stamps or something computerish which causes a few of them to doubt the complete honesty of Gleck's account/confession. You can read Gleick's account here. Money quote:
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.
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 materials the Heartland Institute sent to me confirmed many of the facts in the original document, including especially their 2012 fundraising strategy and budget. I forwarded, anonymously, the documents I had received to a set of journalists and experts working on climate issues.
Let's give the guy the benefit of the doubt and say this is all true. Then he has admitted to a crime he says he committed in order to authenticate an anonymous document which very probably is a forgery. Is that the best way to do it: Steal other documents and see if they contain the same information as the Memo in question? How about asking Heartland directly, is this one of your memos? And then Gleick apparently decided the Memo was legit (based on what, God knows) and put it in with the real stolen documents so that DeSmogBlog and their ilk could call it all real, and defame the Deniers more. What a good idea Gleick had.
The episode has a lot of the stink that Rathergate had, namely, forged memos which were called later "fake but accurate." That's what Mr. Gleick is saying with his denial of creating anything or changing any documents he fooled Heartland into giving him. That's what DeSmogBlog is saying when it calls Gleick a heroic whistleblower. "For his courage, his honor, and for performing a selfless act of public service, he deserves our gratitude and applause." It then goes on to say the Heartland Institute is a joke and a fraud. Hmmm, a little projection going on there, I think.
But I am almost certain that Gleick is lying when he writes this:
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. My judgment was blinded by my frustration with the ongoing efforts -- often anonymous, well-funded, and coordinated -- to attack climate science and scientists and prevent this debate, and by the lack of transparency of the organizations involved. (Emphasis added).
Hold on there, kitty cat. Wasn't the time for debate over? Wasn't the case closed? Wasn't the science settled? Wasn't the consensus so overwhelming, the evidence so self evident, that the only people who opposed the idea of AGW were "flat-earth" types who were like the idiots who denied the reality of the NAZI industrial scale genocide of the Jews and Gypsies during WWII? When did debate become so freakin' necessary all of a sudden?
And who is preventing the debate--the Warmies who refuse to debate or the Heartland extending invitations to Warmies to debate? All you have to do to have the now necessary debate is to show up and debate. Few Warmies deign to sully their intellect with the Deniers. There are few debates.
Here is Heartland's reply. Money quotes:
Earlier this evening, Peter Gleick, a prominent figure in the global warming movement, confessed to stealing electronic documents from The Heartland Institute in an attempt to discredit and embarrass a group that disagrees with his views.[...]
In his statement, Gleick claims he committed this crime because he believed The Heartland Institute was preventing a “rational debate” from taking place over global warming. This is unbelievable. Heartland has repeatedly asked for real debate on this important topic. Gleick himself was specifically invited to attend a Heartland event to debate global warming just days before he stole the documents. He turned down the invitation.
That last is going to leave a mark.
Other Warmies see the actions of Mr. Gleick as a catastrophe for the cause. Here is WTB Andrew Revkin at the NYT. Money quote:
Another question, of course, is who wrote the climate strategy document that Gleick now says was mailed to him. His admitted acts of deception in acquiring the cache of authentic Heartland documents surely will sustain suspicion that he created the summary, which Heartland’s leadership insists is fake.
One way or the other, Gleick’s use of deception in pursuit of his cause after years of calling out climate deception has destroyed his credibility and harmed others. (Some of the released documents contain information about Heartland employees that has no bearing on the climate fight.) That is his personal tragedy and shame (and I’m sure devastating for his colleagues, friends and family).
The broader tragedy is that his decision to go to such extremes in his fight with Heartland has greatly set back any prospects of the country having the “rational public debate” that he wrote — correctly — is so desperately needed.
Again with the absolutely necessary debate. If you want a debate, start debating. I believe it will just hasten the long overdue demise of the worst scientific fraud in history. So yeah, let's debate.
Here is a rather typical opinion piece we're seeing a lot lately when none of this type existed just a few years ago. Money quote:
...more and more scientists come forward to admit their doubts about the global warming paradigm.We Deniers welcome a "rational public debate" on the subject. Bring it on.
Just last September, Ivar Giaever, a Nobel Prize winning physicist, resigned from the American Physical Society (APS) over that organization’s climate change orthodoxy.
In his resignation letter to APS, Giaever lambasted the society’s public stance that global warming is an incontrovertible fact:
“In the APS it is ok to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible? The claim (how can you measure the average temperature of the whole earth for a whole year?) is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degree Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me is that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this ‘warming’ period.”
The science minded Deniers who ask for debates and receive no reply must feel like Connor MacCleod in his first fight.
Now the president of the Union of Concerned Scientists (concerned, that is, with lefty causes) is accusing the Heartland Institute of waging a "strategy of spreading misinformation about climate science." To the true believer, counter arguments are always merely misinformation. "It is waging a cynical campaign, funded by corporate interests and anonymous individuals, to undermine the public’s understanding of climate science and introduce ideology disguised as science into our children’s classrooms." More projection at the end there. He's calling for a debate too. Sheesh. Do they think we can't google?
Rand Simberg has a nice piece on the Fakegate kerfuffle with the Heartland Institute (the president of which, Joe Bast, is now accusing Peter Gleick of writing the fake strategy Memo) which he ends with this credo:
For the record, I greatly resent being called a “denier,” with its clear — and fully intended, as the LA Times analogy reveals — connotation to Nazis. I am a skeptic. I don’t “deny” AGW, because I don’t have sufficient knowledge of how climate works, or its history, to confidently have a strong opinion about it. What I do deny is that the proponents of the theory do have such knowledge or competence, and my doubts were buttressed by the release not just of the emails that revealed their duplicitous and unscientific behavior, but of the shoddy and unreplicable climate data sets and models themselves.
So, yes, I guess I am a denier. Here’s what I deny.
I deny that science is a compendium of knowledge to be ladled out to school children like government-approved pablum (and particularly malnutritious pablum), rather than a systematic method of attaining such knowledge.
I deny that skepticism about anthropogenic climate change is epistemologically equivalent to skepticism about evolution, and I resent the implications that if one is skeptical about the former, one must be similarly skeptical about the latter, and “anti-science.”
I deny that we understand the complex and chaotic interactions of the atmosphere, oceans and solar and other inputs sufficiently to model them with any confidence into the future, and I deny that it is unreasonable and unscientific to think that those who do suffer from hubris.
As someone who has done complex modeling and computer coding myself, I deny that, even if we had such an understanding, the people who have been doing the modeling have either the competence or the computer power, in terms of both memory and processing speed, necessary to accurately model it with any confidence at all, let alone sufficient confidence to make radical and costly policy changes that will devastate the wealth of our unborn descendants. Similarly, I deny that the people doing such shoddy modeling have even studied, let along understand, economics and the future course of technology sufficiently to justify their demands that we implement such changes (which conveniently just happen to coincide with things that the Left has been wanting to do for…ever). To paraphrase Carl Sagan, extraordinary policy prescriptions require extraordinary evidence.
Hoc credo etiam.
I like the CJ Roberts theory: the way to stop racial discrimination is to stop discriminating.
PS: those anti-robot words are really hard to read. ...which I guess is the point, eh?
I feel we've won the debate the Warmies refused to participate in, but I, for one, am still interested in how the fraud unravels to the bitter end.