Wednesday, February 22nd 2012, 4:58 PM EST
There never was a “leaker” in the shameful Fakegate scandal. In the end, there was only a forger, a fraudster and a thief. Alarmist scientist Peter Gleick has admitted that the latter two were one and the same person – himself. I suspect we will soon learn the identity of the forger, as well.
With the weight of damning evidence closing in on him, Gleick has admitted in his Huffington Post blog that he was the alleged “Heartland Insider” who committed fraud and identity theft, lying and stealing his way into possession of Heartland Institute internal personnel documents and then sending those private documents to global warming activist groups and left-leaning media. Gleick sent to the press an additional document, a fake “2012 Climate Strategy,” that he claims he did not write.
In short, Gleick set up an email account designed to mimic the email account of a Heartland Institute board member. Gleick then sent an email from that account to a Heartland Institute staffer, in which Gleick explicitly claimed to be the Heartland Institute board member. Gleick asked the staffer to email him internal documents relating to a recent board meeting. Soon thereafter, Gleick, while claiming to be a “Heartland Insider,” sent those Heartland Institute documents plus the forged “2012 Climate Strategy” document to sympathetic media and global warming activists.
While the legitimate Heartland Institute documents revealed personal, confidential and private information about Heartland Institute personnel, donors and programs, there was nothing scandalous in the documents. The documents merely showed the inner workings of an influential public policy organization operating on a budget that was quite small compared to environmental activist groups such as Greenpeace, the Sierra Club and Environmental Defense. Indeed, the internal documents refuted the false, yet often repeated assertions that the Heartland Institute’s powerful climate realism message is largely funded by Big Oil, Big Coal or Big Whatever.
The only thing that would seem to undermine the Heartland Institute’s credibility was the wording of the fake “2012 Climate Strategy” document. Computer forensics experts quickly discovered the climate strategy document was created by a different computer program and at a different time than the legitimate documents. The climate strategy document was also written in much different language, style, format and font than the legitimate documents. And long before Gleick confessed to being the fraudster and thief at the heart of the stolen documents, analysts noted a striking similarity between the language and style of the forged document and the language and style of Gleick’s public writings.
The real story in this Fakegate scandal is how the global warming movement is desperate, delusional and collapsing as global warming fails to live up to alarmist predictions. People with sound science on their side do not need to forge documents to validate their arguments or make the other side look bad. Also, people who are so desperate as to forge documents in an attempt to frame their rivals are clearly not above forging scientific data, studies and facts to similarly further their cause.
It is both striking and telling how global warming activists have failed to condemn the acts of forgery in the Fakegate scandal. For global warming activists, the ends justify the means – any means necessary to sell their alarmist message, even if they must sink to forgery and fakery.
It is also worth noting that Gleick repeatedly claims in his confession that his misconduct was motivated by a desire to create a rational public debate on global warming and that he was trying to fight back against the people he claims are seeking to prevent such a debate. Yet in January 2012 the Heartland Institute cordially invited Gleick to publicly debate me at our 2012 annual benefit dinner. All Gleick would had to have done is defeat me in that debate and he could have accomplished his twin goals of promoting public debate and embarrassing the Heartland Institute. Yet Gleick declined to participate in such a fair and open debate, and then on the very next day committed his acts of fraud and theft against the Heartland Institute.
Beyond our invitation to Gleick, the Heartland Institute has cordially invited dozens of scientists who believe humans are creating a global warming crisis to give presentations and to debate skeptics at our annual global warming conferences. Only one such scientist has ever accepted our offer.
If Gleick is indeed concerned about people preventing a public debate on global warming, he perhaps should have targeted his global warming activist colleagues rather than the Heartland Institute.