Global warming alarmists pull a "Dan Rather" on the Heartland Institute
By Dr. Roy Cordato
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This weekly newsletter, focused on environmental issues,
highlights relevant analysis done by the John Locke Foundation and other think
tanks, as well as items in the news.
Global warming alarmists pull a "Dan Rather" on
the Heartland Institute
Over the past couple weeks the global warming alarmist community, both locally
and nationally, on their blogs and Twitter pages, have been quite excited about
some documents that have been fraudulently obtained from the Heartland Institute, a well-known libertarian
think tank in Illinois. For many years Heartland has been on the vanguard of
providing sound data and analysis of the global warming issue. Clearly the
alarmists saw this as their "Climategate" despite the fact that most
of the information in the documents had little to do with global warming and
much to do with internal information for board members relating to who their
donors are and have been and future fundraising strategies.
But now the truth is coming out, and the alarmists are ending up with egg on
their face. First, the main and only real set of documents, which were not
particularly damning, were obtained under false and possibly illegal pretenses by
a noted alarmist scientist and president of the Pacific Institute for
Studies in Development, the Environment, and Security in California, Peter Gleik. The Pacific
Institute is an important advocate for the alarmist position and a major
nemesis of the Heartland Institute.
Gleik contacted the Heartland Institute, then lied to the staffer who answered
the phone by claiming he was a board member. He then told the staffer that his
email address had been changed and that documents for an upcoming board meeting
should be emailed to him at the phony address. In terms that those reading this
newsletter could relate to, this incident would be the equivalent to finding
out that John Hood, president of the Locke Foundation, called the NC Justice
Center and lied about who he was in order to obtain confidential documents
meant for a Justice Center board meeting. Of course that would never happen
given John's integrity and our integrity as an organization, but if it did
there would be tremendous outrage and embarrassment throughout the
conservative/libertarian community both in North Carolina and nationally. All
of these organizations would be distancing themselves from the Locke Foundation,
with calls for Hood to step down (that is, if he weren't immediately fired). But
so far nothing of the sort is happening in the progressive or the eco-advocacy
movement. Gleik is still the president of the Pacific institute, and there is
no mention of the incident and certainly not an apology on the Institute's web site.
In this case I think that silence should be interpreted as approval.
But the story doesn't end here. The fraudulently obtained documents didn't
contain the smoking gun Gleik was looking for. Realizing that, someone -- Gleik
claims it wasn't him but most evidence suggests it was -- went out and pulled a
Dan Rather. They fabricated a second document, which the author titled "2012
Heartland Climate Strategy." This document is what included the damning
material that Gleik and no doubt others in the alarmist community hoped would
be in the real documents. It appears that the motto of alarmist investigative
journalism is "if at first you don't succeed, make it up."
Much of this story is being told in a series of blog posts at the Atlantic
Monthly by editor Megan McArdle, who describes her personal views on the global
warming issue as follows:
I disagree pretty strenuously with
Heartland's position on global warming. I not only believe that anthropogenic
global warming is happening, but also support stiff carbon or source fuels
taxes in order to combat it. While I've expressed some dismay at the behavior
revealed in the leaked Climategate memos, they haven't changed my mind about
the reality, or the danger, of global warming.
McArdle is clearly not one of those rascally "deniers."
Her posts are full of information on the controversy and can be found here, here,
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