by Nancy J Thorner
Why would Dr. Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute, a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, and chairman of an American Geophysical Union task force on “scientific ethics and integrity,” break the law to engage in a smear campaign against a small think-tank called The Heartland Institute that resulted in “Fakegate”?
As Alan Caruba related in the opening paragraph of his article published on Tuesday, April 3rd, titled “Fatetgate: The War on Science,” “[g]enerations of Americans have been raised to venerate science and those who have enhanced and extended our lives through its application. The rise of environmentalism, however, has generated a war on science, first by distorting it, and then by propagandizing the ‘findings’, studies’ and resulting claims based on them.”
The Heartland Institute, as a leading voice, led the effort to debunk the hoax through its sponsorship of six international conferences featuring scientists and others who presented papers demonstrating “that 0.038 percent of CO2 in the atmosphere had little or no “greenhouse” effect on the Earth’s climate or weather events.”
Heartland’s six International Conferences on Climate Change (ICCC) attracted scientists worldwide, who employed science rather than pseudo-science in their presentations. Among these scientists were such notables as Lord Monckton, special adviser to former Margaret Thatcher, and former Czech President Vaclav Klaus. Monckton and Klaus were featured guests at Heartland’s Fourth International Conference on Climate Change in May of 2010.
An economist by training, Klaus made the following statement in 2011:
I’m convinced that after years of studying the phenomenon, global warming is not the real issue of temperature. That is the issue of a new ideology or a new religion. A religion or climate change or a religion of global warming. This is a religion which tell us that the people are responsible for the current, very small increase in temperatures. And they should be punished.
In light of Heartland’s worldwide recognition as a global warming/climate change skeptic of merit, it was only a matter of time before rage would ensue among climate alarmists to single out Heartland for discrediting and destruction.
So it was, on January 27 of this year, that Peter Gleick stole the identity of a member of Heartland’s board of directors and then used that identity to steal corporate documents describing Heartland’s budget, fundraising plans, and more. When those documents failed to produce a “smoking gun” — for example, they showed that Heartland received only small amounts of funding from the Koch brothers and from fossil fuel companies — Gleick or an ally forged a memo alleging to describe Heartland’s “Global Warning Strategy.”
On February 14, Gleick sent the stolen and forged documents to fifteen allies in the environmental movement and mainstream media, resulting in a wave of criticism of Heartland’s supposed plans to “infiltrate schools” and “undermine” climate science. Gleick confessed to stealing the documents on February 20, but media coverage of the event focused overwhelmingly on the false claims in the fake memo rather than on Gleick’s criminal actions.
Gleick’s allies immediately used the forged memo and stolen documents to target Heartland’s donors and the scientists who have helped write its publications.
A group calling itself “Forecast the Facts” challenged the chairman and CEO of General Motors to defend the company’s foundation’s support of an organization that opposes the teaching of science in public schools.
On Friday, March 30, General Motors spokesman David Barthmuss succumbed to what amounted to bullying, confirming that the company’s foundation will no longer donate to The Heartland Institute.
Regarding the loss of General Motors as a source of funding, Heartland CEO Joseph Bast had this to say: “The General Motors Foundation has been a supporter of the Heartland Institute for some 20 years. We regret the loss of their support, particularly since it was prompted by false claims contained in a fake memo circulated by disgraced climate scientist Peter Gleick.”
Bast subsequently told me: “The Left has attacked our donors before, but never had a list, and never had a fake memo to use that made it sound like we were truly evil and deliberately misleading people about our program. That’s what Fakegate provided…and the wacky Left let loose the hounds at “Forecast the Facts.”