Friday, March 2nd 2012, 7:35 AM EST
Respected scientist admits using false identity to obtain documents from a skeptic group
Peter Gleick, a global warming true believer and purported scientific ethics expert, has admitted soliciting, receiving then distributing confidential fundraising and budget documents from the Heartland Institute under false pretenses, all to discredit Heartland, a free-market think tank that disputes global warming alarmism.
We await determinations of whether violations of state or federal laws on wire fraud and identity theft, and perhaps other offenses, occurred. Illinois-based Heartland has called in the FBI.
Mr. Gleick admitted the scheme in which he posed as a Heartland board member to obtain confidential files and sent them to global warming blogs as if they had been leaked by an insider. He denies, however, forging an accompanying "confidential strategy memo." Heartland says the memo is not genuine, and there are indications it may have been created on the West Coast, where Mr. Gleick is president and founder of the Pacific Institute in Oakland.
Mr. Gleick requested a leave of absence from the institute after posting his confession online, in which he said, "My judgment was blinded by my frustration with the ongoing efforts – often anonymous, well-funded and coordinated – to attack climate science."
Unfortunately, we are accustomed to global warming zealots making a sham of ethics as well as tarnishing science. Thanks partly to leaks of climate researchers' emails in recent years, the global warming movement has been revealed to be a cloistered club of insiders, who bully dissenting scientists, plot to keep contrary views from being published and manipulate data.
That's why Mr. Gleick's antics don't surprise us. For example, Greenpeace reportedly stole garbage from Chris Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which also debunks global warming alarmism. The pilfered refuse showed up in media reports intended to "reveal a secret cabal I orchestrated from my basement," Mr. Horner wrote in his book, "Red Hot Lies."
Global warmists contend that Heartland and other critics secretly are funded by Big Oil and other fossil fuel interests. The irony is that the stolen Heartland documents reveal the small think tank's budget of $6 million pales compared with the $26 billion in Obama administration stimulus funds pumped into global-warming friendly causes, plus the hundreds of millions spent annually by warmist-friendly groups like Greenpeace, World Wildlife Federation and the Sierra Club.
As real life increasingly refutes the theory of global warming doom, warmists have become more shrill and desperate. Mr. Gleick's tattered reputation is but the latest result of a movement fraught with credibility problems. Perhaps more damaging is the uncooperative climate. Despite soaring carbon dioxide emissions for 10 to 15 years, temperatures remain essentially flat or, perhaps, have even declined, depending on which standard is used.