Why target Heartland?

Update:  Email from Joseph Bast, President of Heartland Institute, appended at the end of the post.

So, imagine you are a climate scientist and climate change ideologue, and want to “take down” the single organization (or individual) that is doing the most damage to the movement (i.e. with the end result of thwarting CO2 emissions/stabilization policy).  Who would you target?

Scientists seem to persist in thinking the problem is the public’s understanding of climate science; if they only understood infrared radiative transfer, they would be on board with the inevitable policy prescription from that scientific understanding.  This is the so-called “deficit model,” which has been shown in numerous studies not to be a factor (this has been discussed on some of the Climate Etc. communications threads).

But lets accept the deficit model for a moment.   In the U.S. anyways, who (individual organization) has been most effective at challenging the IPCC consensus science in the public debate on climate change?

Peter Gleick seems to think it is Heartland Institute.  Even among the libertarian think tank/advocacy groups, Heartland would not be at the top of my list.  What about Cato/Pat Michaels?  GWPC/Bennie Peiser?   CEI/Chris Horner?

What about bloggers such as Anthony Watts and Steve McIntyre?

What about skeptical scientists such as Richard Lindzen and Roy Spencer?

And what of the people in the (relative) middle, e.g. Revkin, Curry, Pielkes, Randy Olson?

Was Heartland singled out because Gleick thought they were doing something unethical?

Several issues came up my NPR interview yesterday, which are worth mentioning on this topic:

The moderator, Larry Mantle asked this question of Mandia (paraphrased to the best of my recollection):  “Isn’t this a dog bites man story?  Didn’t we already know this?  Why should we be surprised if an advocacy receives money from donors, and uses it to pay people to write educational materials that express their viewpoint?”   Isn’t this the story told by Naomi Oreskes in Merchants of Doubt?  Can’t you find most of this information on sourcewatch?

I made a statement something like this: “Gleick pointed a big gun at a small target and ended up shooting himself.”   It seems to me that Gleick’s understanding of the lack of action on CO2 policy has its roots in the deficit model, and that Heartland was making the most outrageous scientific statements, and doing things that seemed ‘scientific’ like running conferences and publishing the NIPCC.  But I suspect most of the public has never heard of Heartland or the NIPCC? The end result of this episode is that Heartland will become known to many more people.

Back to my original question:

So, imagine you are a climate scientist and climate change ideologue, and want to “take down” the single organization (or individual) that is doing the most damage to the movement (i.e. with the end result of thwarting CO2 emissions/stabilization policy).  Who would you target?

And of course all this begs the question of why we don’t have CO2 stabilization policies, which is mostly about economics, politics, values.

Email from Joseph Bast

From: “Joseph Bast”
To: curryja@eas.gatech.edu
Sent: Friday, February 24, 2012 1:58:19 PM
Subject: Why was Heartland targeted?

Dear Dr. Curry,

I read with interest your post, “Why Heartland?” Thankfully, I can’t read Peter Gleick’s mind, but I suspect he targeted us because we have done so very much  to document and rebut the assumptions and exaggerations of the global warming alarmists.  Please let me describe some of the ways we’ve done that, and you decide.

We send publications to every national, state, and 8,400 county and local officials in the U.S. on average about once a week. 79% of state legislators say they read at least one of our publications. “Environment & Climate News,” one of six monthly publications we produce, is read by 57% of state legislators, a higher percentage than read the New York Times. It has been published continuously for 15 years, and every issue features the work of leading climate realists. No other organization produces a regular publication that reaches more people with this message.

Many policymakers and other opinion leaders in the U.S. and around the world recognize the names of (to use those in your list) Pat Michael, Chris Horner, Anthony Watts, Steve McIntyre, Richard Lindzen, and Roy Spencer only because they read their work or about their work in Environment & Climate News.

ECN is just the tip of the iceberg. You know about our International Conferences on Climate Change (ICCCs) – six held since 2008, total attendance of more than 3,000 people. The press and online coverage of these conferences was greater than anything else done by climate realists, and the videos of the presentations posted online have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times. The personal connections created among scientists from all around the world created a genuine social movement in favor of a more realistic understanding of climate change.

You’ve commented favorably on Climate Change Reconsidered. Is there any book from the realist perspective that compares to it in terms of comprehensive coverage of the issues in the debate or citations to peer-reviewed literature? Someone sent me the following numbers about the 2009 edition: 37 contributing authors, 880 pages, 344 chapters and sections,and  4,235 source citations. The 2011 interim report was only about 400 pages long … I haven’t counted chapters and sources, but it too is much more comprehensive than anything else written from our perspective. Don’t get me wrong, I love the books from Pat Michaels and others and we promote them when we can. But Climate Change Reconsidered is the big reference book that the realist movement needed and didn’t have until we came along and helped create it.

In addition, we’ve distributed more than a million DVDs, nearly 2 million short booklets and reprints, and 200,000 copies of a New York Times best-seller. Most were sent to educators, opinion leaders, and policymakers over the course of the past five years. We deliberately bypassed the mainstream media, for reasons made obvious by their coverage of the Fakegate scandal. Our strategy worked. All surveys show informed opinion has moved decidedly in the direction of climate realism and away from alarmism.

Our science director Jay Lehr and senior fellow James Taylor criss-cross the country giving talks and participating in debates on climate change. Lehr often speaks two and three times a week to audiences reaching up to 1,000 and more, almost invariably getting standing ovations. He usually speaks to groups meeting in areas outside major metropolitan areas and university thought bubbles. He says “out there,” nobody “believes” in global warming anymore.

Not all that we’ve done should have escaped your attention. We ran full-page and smaller ads in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, and elsewhere … often featuring pictures of the scientists you mentioned and I list above, many of them challenging Al Gore to debate is critics.

As you can tell, I’m very proud of what The Heartland Institute has been able to do on a budget that is a mere fraction of what other organizations spend … and I should add that climate change is just one of five major topic areas we address. We are proud to provide a forum for the thousands of scientists and policy experts who actually understand climate change – how complex it is, how much we don’t know, and the difference between scientific knowledge and scientific forecasting — and don’t just “believe” it in. Together, we are making genuine contributions to the international scientific debate, changing public opinion, and improving public policy.

Thank you for your own fine efforts in this difficult debate, I hope to see you at our next ICCC, and best regards,

P.,S. – feel free to post this on your site or not. If you don’t, though, I think I’d like to post this on one of Heartland’s sites, perhaps removing the reference to you at the beginning, so please let me know one way or the other.


JC reflection:  With virtually no effort on my part (beyond reading an email, cutting and pasting into the blog post), I have uncovered “juicier stuff” about Heartland than anything Gleick uncovered.  Okay, maybe the HI are actually the baddest guys in town from the perspective of the alarmists. The irony of Gleick committing professional seppuku over getting information about stuff that is either generally known or suspected or regarded as no big deal. When all he had to do was ask Joseph Bast some questions, and he would have told him all sorts of things (just not the names of the donors, which aren’t all that interesting anyways.)

756 responses to “Why target Heartland?

  1. I would try and target the people who expose the pervasive dishonesty in the whole CAGW movement and argument.

    • Yes, Punksta, that is exactly what was done.

      Probably motivated to immediate action, like Watergate, by the:

      a.) Impending election
      b.) Collapsing economy
      c.) Absence of Green jobs
      d.) And H-fusion reactors

      Anticipated and foolishly promised from computer model predictions!.

      • Dr. Peter Gleick was probably easy to manipulate, as were Al Gore, Rajendra Pachauri, James Hansen, Michael Mann, Phil Jones and others who have endorsed the standard models of Earth’s climate, economics and Earth’s heat source – the Sun – standard models officially approved for computer calculations.

        What a sad, sad state of affairs. Computers – a great tool – were used to destroy so many branches of science – Climatology, Economics, Nuclear, Particle, Planetary and Solar Physics!

    • Al Gore – his lies single handedly galvanized an opposition.

      Michael Mann and the Team – If your core religion has as its core tenet a huge lie like the Hockey Stick, nothing your fellow cult members say can be believed until that lie is admitted to and all proponents shamed out of the church.

      Andy Revkin type fake journalists. They can always be counted on to make stuff up which galvanizes anyone who can google for 10 seconds to prove it is a lie.

      The BBC. The Guardian etc all. All lies. All the time and easily refutable.

      BEST – for telling a big lie and then showing up with crappy data later that proves nothing.

      • The current game plan: Retain power past the next election !

        The alternative is very bleak for the US NAS, the UK RS, the UN IPCC, mainstream news media including BBC and PBS, and once reputable research journals – like Nature, Science, PNAS, MPRS, etc

      • I hear you Bruce but why should we be concerned about how the “cause” is doing at all. I want it annihilated don’t you?

        The post is another false narrative written for the benefit of believers who are suffering “Post Gleick Traumatic Syndrome” (PGTS). Self-hatred and fingerpointing is no surprise in the AGW movement, I just refuse to validate this talking point. The post is nonsense for a purpose, refocus warming prattle to carry on for the next battle.

  2. If I cared about integrity, I would demand a clean house first.
    If I cared about controlling the message, I would do exactly as the consensus does.
    There is no target, in reality. There is only integrity and honesty.

    • I think Hunter is on the money here – if I was a knowledgeable climate scientist who believed CAGW, my priority would be a clean-up.

      Radically reform or abolish the IPCC, oust or discipline the Climategate crooks and the likes of Gleick, etc etc. It’s the presence of so much blatant deceit with narry a word from the rank and file that most hampers acceptance of the CAGW thesis – the deafening silence.

      • Punsta,
        The social dysfunction of AGW is really deep. read the rationalizations of Gleick from the true believers. They are becoming disassociated from reality.

      • Number One (#1) Priority: [Not Integrity] Retain Power !

        Politicians – and puppet “scientists” – are as simple-minded as bureaucrats in revealing their motives.

        How can world leaders and their puppets retain power now? . . .
        Thirty-eight (38) years after uniting nations against an imaginary “common enemy” – global climate change – by basing policies on adjustable computer models of nature instead of experimental observations of nature after ~1971?


        An election is coming; The public wants to know:

        1. Was AGW abated by moving industries overseas to emit CO2?

        2. Where are all the Green jobs we promised the public?

        3. Where are the H-fusion reactors we promised them?

        4. When is economic recovery coming?

      • Actually the rank and file seem to be waking up a little: “you have to stoop to those crooks level” blather to justify Gleik. Lots of reaffirming AGW much like Dorothy in her ruby slippers crying, “There’s no place like home. There’s NO place like home…” If I just say it enough it will be true, “ohhhh, global warming is man made. Global warming IS man-made.” Now that’s the great scientific method right? Or was it Huxley or Orwell IPCC learned from? 10,000 repititions of a lie while sleeping makes 1 truth in the morning. Sorry if this is a bit scattered, been watching the AGWist priests exhorting the faithful.

    • Hunter,

      What if they “cleaned house”? Who or what would be left as a first question?

      The “cause” should be annihilated, that’s justice. If they choose to die in the bunker whose fault is this?

      The should be a Nuremberg type of science trial (hopefully better and less political than the first one) at the end of the day but I doubt we will live to see it.

  3. Who does most damage to the climate movement? Michael Mann, Phil Jones, Jim Hansen, Peter Gleick, Al Gore, Rajendra Pachauri (not necessarily in that order)

    • All of the above


      • These are all Big Brother’s puppets. So are:

        1. The Nobel Prize Committee that awarded them for deceit.
        2. Agencies (NASA, EPA, DOE) that gave public funds to them.
        3. Politicians that directed this misuse of public funds to deceive.

        Undamaged so far are world leaders who secretly decided thirty-eight (38) years ago, in fear of mutual nuclear annihilation, to Unite Nations against an imaginary “common enemy” – “Global Climate Change” – and base future government policies on

        a.) Adjustable computer models of nature instead of
        b.) Experimental observations and measurements on nature.

        How did it work? No better in economics than in climatology.

        That is why our economy is collapsing, the public is darn mad, politicians are running scared, and agencies that exposed government deceit are under attack.

        Unfortunately it will probably get much worse. It is easier to push a camel through the “eye of a needle” than a proud politician into an admission of powerlessness over Nature.

        There is no “easier, softer way” out of the current situation.

    • Unfortunately, this is probably true

      • Why “unfortunately”? On balance, I think it’s both fortunate and inevitable.

      • Possibly because there may well be AGW happening but false science is not the way to explore the cause and extent of this phenomenon.

      • “tragically” is better — tragic in the sense that they work hard and achieve the opposite of what they seem to want to achieve

      • Their fatal flaw IMO is failure to understand their enemy (Sun Tzu’s argument), thinking they were fighting another tobacco war

      • curryja
        Re: “Their fatal flaw IMO is failure to understand their enemy”

        Might not the greater challenge be whether whether I know myself? e.g. do I really seek wisdom and to follow the scientific method?
        Proverbs 27:17 ESV

        Iron sharpens iron,
            and one man sharpens another.

        1 Thessalonians 5:21 ESV

        but test everything; hold fast what is good.

        Proverbs 26:12 ESV

        Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes?
             There is more hope for a fool than for him.

        Proverbs 28:26 ESV

        Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.

        Ecclesiastes 7:5 ESV

        It is better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise than to hear the song of fools.

        2 Chronicles 12:14 ESV

        And he did evil, for he did not set his heart to seek the LORD.

        Psalm 101:5 ESV

        Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly I will destroy. Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart I will not endure.

        Proverbs 6:16-19 ESV

        There are six things that the Lord hates,
             seven that are an abomination to him:
        haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
            and hands that shed innocent blood,
        a heart that devises wicked plans,
             feet that make haste to run to evil,
        a false witness who breathes out lies,
            and one who sows discord among brothers.

        Proverbs 17:3 ESV

        The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
             and the Lord tests hearts.

        Proverbs 24:17 ESV

        Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
            and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,

        Psalm 26:2 ESV

        Prove me, O LORD, and try me; test my heart and my mind.

        Am I prepared for those tests? Do I delight in what God delights in or not? Or will I also be found to be arrogant?

      • David Springer

        You left out the most important:

        Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land unto All the Inhabitants Thereof. Leviticus 25:10

        It can be found in Independence Hall, Philidelphia, engraved on The Liberty Bell which is just down the street from where the Tun Tavern was located. The Tun Tavern is, among other things, the first recruitment center for the United States Marine Corps and is regarded as its birthplace. Hoo Rah!

      • David Hagen:

        Might not the greater challenge be whether whether I know myself? e.g. do I really seek wisdom and to follow the scientific method?

        With you on that David.

        Proverbs 24:17 ESV

        Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
        and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles

        Selected from your selection of scriptures, because this speaks to all of us dissenters right now as Gleick himself stumbles.

        Am I prepared for those tests? Do I delight in what God delights in or not? Or will I also be found to be arrogant? [pointing back to Dr K’s latest and greatest]

        The most pertinent and challenging Christian message I’ve heard all year.

      • Markus Fitzhenry

        Ya wouldn’t think the bloke who penned this was a Christian, would ya.

    • If you replace those individuals with another personality that produces the same results would the damage lessen or be eliminated?

      Is the problem Michael Mann or the hockey stick that Michael Mann produces? Would skeptics accept that the modern era is warmer than Medieval times if it came from someone else.

      I see two broad possible answers:

      1. A different scientist would produce different results. That suggests the problem is not the people but the work the people produce.

      2. A different scientist would produce the same results but somehow be better received. This is problematic because it paints skeptics as focussing entirely on personalities and ignoring reality, is the solution really to satisfy their personality requirements instead of keeping the focus on reality?

      Furthermore, do we want the best scientists or the nicest scientists?

      Do we want the best scientists or the most media savvy scientists?

      These seem like important issues for the “Climate science is technically correct but skeptics are justified in ignoring that because the scientists are mean” position.

      As for Gleick, people sometimes do very very odd things that defy explanation unless you know them well.

      • The problem isn’t that climate scientists are “mean”, Sharperoo. It’s that they are unquestionably dishonest.

      • shaper00,
        You do not have the best scientists, you have the most ideologically extreme leading your movement straight over a cliff.

      • @sharperoo
        Faster-than-light neutrinos are a good example. Spectacular result, world wide attention, and in the end that had to admit to a fault.That’s science. I’m sure the cable guy nearly died of embarrassment.

        Mann’s hockey stick is spectacular too (albeit less so), and its faults are clear to all. However, by refusing to admit his errors, Mann portrays himself as an ideologue and taints his peers in the process.

      • Gleick’s actions do not defy explanation at all. They are very easy to explain.

        He has let his own extremely elevated opinion of his own cleverness and importance seduce him into believing that He can do wrong as long as He believes it to be in a just cause. For example he sees nor reason to read book before slagging it off, he sees no reason not to embellish/manufacture stuff about his opponents. He knows that in His cause, all transgressions will be overlooked.

        Sadly for him, but hilariously for the rest of us, He has come up against a very salutary recognition that He is the only one who shares the idea of Gleick as The Force Of Good. And that ethics and stuff that He is so keen on lectuing others about also apply to Him.

        Seems to me that there are plenty of others with similar ego complexes in the climatology world. Perhaps the awful example of Gleick’s complete stupidity and fall from Self-Described Hero to Zero in less than a week will give them the focus they need to rein in their worst excesses

      • @Richard S.J. Tol

        “Mann’s hockey stick is spectacular too (albeit less so), and its faults are clear to all. However, by refusing to admit his errors, Mann portrays himself as an ideologue and taints his peers in the process.”

        A different scientist would change our understanding of global climate over the last one to two thousand years yes/no?

        You’re are continuing to conflate the scientists with the work they produce and I think it’s critically important to make a distinction between these.

        Would the GISS temperature record change if Hansen were replaced? Would the CRU temperature record change if Jones were replaced?

      • “Faster-than-light neutrinos are a good example…”

        Mr. Richard Tol, shouldn’t we wait to see the final results of the tests first to see if this was just a ‘bug’? I thought that the tests were to be finished sometime in June?

      • @Sharperoo
        You missed my point entirely.

        No one can evaluate every scientific claim at its merit. Many cannot evaluate any claim. Therefore, trust is important. My confidence in high energy physics was boosted this week (no need to wait till June, @Tom) even though I would not recognize a Higgs boson if it bit me in the nose.

        I have a background in statistics so I can and I have evaluated Mann’s past work: It’s sloppy if not incompetent. I therefore discount Mann’s future work. That is not very scientific of me, but I have better things to do than keep an eye on the learning curve of someone who is not my student.

      • @Richard Tol

        “Therefore, trust is important.”

        I observed a lot of skeptics trusted Richard Muller to produce an independent temperature record.

        When Richard Muller produced a temperature record that did not give the answer skeptics wanted I observed that they no longer trusted him.

        “I have evaluated Mann’s past work: It’s sloppy if not incompetent. “

        I do not trust you, Richard Tol, or any single individual. I do however place trust in both scientific process to work things out over time and in collections of scientists to spot incompetence/sloppiness over time.

      • The faster-than-light neutrino is a great example. The initial announcement was very cautious and included commitments to track down possible error and reproduce the result, the first of which they did.
        Why the first announcement at all? It was bound to leak and create a furor. Better to announce the anomaly with caveats.
        Why so long between announcements? IMO, a deeply-buried fault is difficult and time-consuming to find and confirm.
        Science well-done. Kudos!

      • Shaperoo,

        If your basic claim is ‘the highest quality scientific evidence we have says we must take X action’ then you have to throw anyone on your side that does ‘sloppy work’ or makes statements that are only ‘weakly’ supported by ‘the highest quality science’ under the bus.

        As soon as one single fact that your cause espouses to be ‘correct’ is proven false then you can’t blame the public for asking the question What else did they get wrong?

      • The problem isn’t that climate scientists are “mean”, Sharperoo. It’s that they are unquestionably dishonest.

        All of them?

        And are all climate skeptics honest?

        If so, a simple test for honesty would be to ask about AGW. :)

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        sharperoo: I see two broad possible answers:

        1. A different scientist would produce different results. That suggests the problem is not the people but the work the people produce.

        2. A different scientist would produce the same results but somehow be better received.

        There is a third and greatly more reasonable answer: a different scientist would have responded more favorably to the critiques of the original hockey stick paper that were written by McIntyre and McKittrick and others, acknowledged the good critiques openly, and made the appropriate corrections citing the help from M&M (M&M’s work itself had some problems.) Having done so, a different scientist would have written more consistently about the different time series, not Mann’s contradictory claims between papers and blogs that Steve McIntyre has documented at ClimateAudit. A different scientist would have made all code and data available on line from the start, rather than maintaining the oblique reference to online sources, a practice that continued right up through the debate in the Annals of Applied Statistics, vol 5, number 1, March 2011, pages 1 – 123 (see especially the rejoinder, starting on p. 99.)

        It is the open process that makes the scientific enterprise more reliable than the scientists themselves, and it has been that open process that Mann has subverted.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Richard S. J. Tol: I have a background in statistics so I can and I have evaluated Mann’s past work: It’s sloppy if not incompetent.

        On that you and I agree, but in Mann’s defense I would like to assert that much innovative work is sloppy. Some of the innovative work of Robert Millikan and Margaret Mead was sloppy (worse has been claimed, but I personally come down on the side of sloppiness rather than deceit.) Those are only 2 of many examples. The tragedy and loss to science in this case was that Mann and co-authors were so close-minded and contradictory about repairing the flaws in their work when the flaws were pointed out to them.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        sharperoo: I do not trust you, Richard Tol, or any single individual. I do however place trust in both scientific process to work things out over time and in collections of scientists to spot incompetence/sloppiness over time.

        The obvious question then: On balance, are you satisfied with Mann’s “[working] things out over time and in collections of scientists to spot incompetence/sloppiness” in the work on the hockey stick? I think he has seriously hurt his credibility where he might instead of built it up.

      • @MattStat

        ” a different scientist would have…”

        Ok so given all of the things this other hypothetical scientist did: What’s changed?

        Does the skeptical blogosphere now accept the MWP as cooler than modern times?

        Do the many many many claims of fraud in the temperature record disappear?

        Assume those scientists do everything you suggest and more but still produce the same answers as today, are those answers then found to be acceptable?

        If so you’re suggesting the entirety of climate change skepticism is based on a personality clash.

        If not you want to change the answers by changing the people, will you know you have the “right people” only when they produce the “right answers”?

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        sharperoo: Does the skeptical blogosphere now accept the MWP as cooler than modern times?

        Do the many many many claims of fraud in the temperature record disappear?

        Assume those scientists do everything you suggest and more but still produce the same answers as today, are those answers then found to be acceptable?

        1. not yet; it looks to me like the totality of the evidence comes down against your claim;

        2. most of them related to Mann. note how many of the claims of “fraud” in Mann’s case came after he decided not to acknowledge the work of M&M

        3. you are supposing what can’t be known, but it is most unlikely, on present evidence (reviewed, for example, in the Annals of Applied Statistics Statistics debate that I cited; see also the supporting online material) that the original MBH98, and the hockey stick that adorned the IPCC website for a few years, are now supported. So which “answers” are you supposing to be the “same”?

      • @MattStat

        “So which “answers” are you supposing to be the “same”?”

        It is with some frustration I note that both you and Richard Tol are extremely reluctant to address the issue of whether you think different people will provide the same answers differently or different answers.

        I think my question is fairly clear cut and requires little clarification nor do I know why you’re invoking MBH98 when it has been superseded by later work.

        So I ask again, if you replace Mann does the state paleoclimate, as understood by other paleoclimate experts, change?

        If you replace Hansen does the GISS temperature record change?

        If you replace Jones does the CRU temperature record change?

      • @ Shaperoo
        ” I do however place trust in both scientific process to work things out over time and in collections of scientists to spot incompetence/sloppiness over time.”

        Trust process? Is it not human to put a finger up to sense the direction of the wind and to “pick your battles” wisely? It takes courage to go against the flow — and how much courage to you see in the AGW crowd?

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        sharperoo: It is with some frustration I note that both you and Richard Tol are extremely reluctant to address the issue of whether you think different people will provide the same answers differently or different answers.

        You are trying to make a point without writing out what it is. For the questions that had clear interpretations, we provided answers.

      • @Billy Ruff’n

        “It takes courage to go against the flow “

        How many scientists became famous for “going with the flow”? The answer is none. Within science you acquire notice, prestige and career advancement by not going with the flow.

        All of the thousands of scientists regularly accused of remaining silent about the fraud in the temperature record or that greenhouse physics just doesn’t work could all become famous next week by highlighting just that.

        “You are trying to make a point without writing out what it is. For the questions that had clear interpretations, we provided answers.”

        I have stated my point openly and invited both you and Richard Tol to contradict my point by answering questions which would reveal me to be wrong.

        Both of you evaded those questions and now you evade yet again, indicating my point is correct.

      • Berényi Péter

        sharper00 wrote:
        > different / same results

        You miss the point entirely. Science is not about results, it is about methods applied to get said results.

        If you divine somehow the very same results the next guy arrives at using careful observation, experimentation, logical analysis-synthesis, mathematical modelling, prediction and empirical verification, your results are still absolutely pseudo-scientific, unreliable and fraudulent, while his work, if all details are published, can be checked by anyone having the right educational background.

        In this sense, the hockey-sticky exploit, based on a few bristlecone pines and a flawed statistical method, is a prime example of scientific abuse.

      • @Berényi Péter

        “In this sense, the hockey-sticky exploit, based on a few bristlecone pines and a flawed statistical method, is a prime example of scientific abuse”

        And yet oddly every reconstruction verifies Mann’s results – that the modern era is warmer than the MWP. A variety of authors, methods and proxy data have been used.

        The skeptics do not accept these results. I’m told that if we just swap out Mann and replace him with someone else they will. I do not find this credible or likely.

      • Markus Fitzhenry

        “And yet oddly every reconstruction verifies Mann’s results – that the modern era is warmer than the MWP.”


      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        sharperoo: I have stated my point openly and invited both you and Richard Tol to contradict my point by answering questions which would reveal me to be wrong.

        Both of you evaded those questions and now you evade yet again, indicating my point is correct.

        Your questions were badly posed and some had no knowable answers. Your answers 1 and 2 in your original post were not nearly the only possible, nor especially plausible. Your point is too ambiguously stated to be worth any more of anyone’s time.

        I reference MBH98 and The Annals of Applied Statistics, the beginning and a more recent contribution of Mann to obfuscating his work. You ought to read the Annals of Applied Statistics articles, the supporting online materials, to understand more about how Mann in particular does not aim for the highest standard.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        sharperoo: And yet oddly every reconstruction verifies Mann’s results – that the modern era is warmer than the MWP. A variety of authors, methods and proxy data have been used.

        The skeptics do not accept these results. I’m told that if we just swap out Mann and replace him with someone else they will. I do not find this credible or likely.

        Mann’s results, that he modern era is warmer than the MWP, has not been confirmed.

        If someone told you that “if we just swap out Mann etc “, then you should quote that someone. That someone is wrong. It is Mann’s results, along with Mann himself, that are disputed (Annals of Applied Statistics again: vol 5, number 1, pp 1 – 123, plus supporting onlin material, March 2011.)

    • I can hardly wait until the census is complete and we know the real size of both tribes. I don’t think the AGW tribe is as big as their crowd thinks. We will all know the reality of this situation very soon, I hope. Time is very overrated by the way…

    • Correct. I came into this issue wishing to understand the debate having zero scientific background. While I couldn’t dispute any positions about their science, what struck me like cold water in the face, was the attitudes of those in the climate establishment. Based on my experience of simply working with people in large organizations, something did not sit well with their behavior. Watching the “body language” and responses to differing views set off the BS meter and confidence in their theories dropped like a bucket of bricks soon after.

      • Dennis:

        I came to the debate having a bachelor degree in science, and not knowing more, I just accepted that the greenhouse effect was obvious. I soon found out what was considered the greenhouse effect in global warming theory was not at all the greenhouse effect commonly understood to be occuring in an actual greenhouse.
        Then I found that CO2 is not considered the actual greenhouse gas, but rather it is water vapor, which is supposed to increase due to the increase of heat caused by an original heating of the CO2, by an effectual ration of 19 to 1.
        Then as you experienced, I noticed the response to any skeptical thought or ideas was anaphalactic. The phrase “thou doth protest too much” came to mind.
        The vitriole that came from a few humble questions, made me even more suspicious about what underlay their ‘science’.
        Then I saw the Great Global Warming Hoax documentary, and saw there that the debate was not over, that there were perfectly credible and educated researchers who had a difference of opinion.
        My conclusion, albeit still open to change, is that the majority of climate scientists and the public have an opinion similar to many doomsday cults of the past. I think Michael Criton has made the best argument and comparison to commonly accepted ‘truths’ of the scientific community, that were later found to be incorrect; most recently the stomach ulcer causes actually discovered against the entire gastroenterological medical community. (it was found to be an infection, not stress or bad food) Another may be the statin/cardiovascular/cholesterol disease theory.
        I feel there are far too many holes in Climate Science as its conclusions of today.
        (I heard that any field of endeavor that feels it necessary to append the word “science” to its moniker, may not be so scientific.)

      • Robin Melville

        Ditto, except I came into this issue from a Public Health research background where “noble cause corruption” is also rife. It’s a tough thing to have some pretty core beliefs tumbled by exposure to the real debate. I suspect that when the history of these times is written the doom-laden and almost hysterical public memes at the turn into the third millennium will seem as quaint and bizarre as the superstitious frenzy to which Europe succumbed at the end of the first.

    • Why is there a climate movement at all? What are its true roots and goals?

      At NPR, a partisan left-wing media organization and fanatical AGW supporter as a rule has been running disinformation and false narratives as above for days regarding Gleick. Heartland exists in part as an offset to this reality, they fill a void. It’s why they are targeted by a usual suspect in Gleick or for that matter NPR.

      The trouble here is the misuse of the word “Ideologue” when the debate is so much easier and more accurately defined;


      We know what the word “Ideologue” means in this world Dr. Curry. In the case of AGW the debate can’t be advanced while trying to obfuscate the very specific ideology of the advocates themselves at the highest ranks of science communities. It should be about advancing the debate not selling the results (AGW CO2 mitigation policy for example) you and the core AGW advocate community might wish.

      “And of course all this begs the question of why we don’t have CO2 stabilization policies, which is mostly about economics, politics, values.”

      A good part of the public has it figured out. We don’t like the “climate movements” politics, values or economics. The science was reduced to a facade long ago. This is more of the same here if skeptics accept this narrow and politcally correct protocal of accepting generic terms about “ideology” instead of getting to the heart of the matter of what that is with “Michael Mann, Phil Jones, Jim Hansen, Peter Gleick, Al Gore, Rajendra Pachauri” not to forget NPR, NYTimes (MSM in general), Greenpeace, IPCC, WWF, the U.N. or U.S. Democratic party that embraces the “cause”. What about yourself Dr. Curry? Why can’t the agw movement be identified in simple and accurate terms? Why do we need this massive investment in euphemisms under “ideology” when most understand it exactly as I and many describe it?

      Skeptic or moderator alike, it’s a politically correct protocal that assists the AGW movement. You should object if only for ethical reason. The protocal is unethical.

    • Good question Richard.

      I have to say that the one that does the most damage is Mann.

      Why? because his paleo argument, as it stands, really contributes very little to our understanding of sensitivity. Yet, too much brand equity has been invested in the hockey stick. So, its an argument that if won, adds nothing, and if lost, tarnishes the brand ( not the science) tremendously.

      • ” So, its an argument that if won, adds nothing”

        It’s almost as if scientists don’t behave according to the political ideologies attributed to them.

      • Why? because his paleo argument, as it stands, really contributes very little to our understanding of sensitivity.

        If you’re referring to modern sensitivity, Steven, I would agree because it is so strongly influenced by the high rate of global warming, creating a huge gap between theoretical and observed sensitivity. The argument that humankind rode out the MWP without a sweat, so to speak, is invalidated by the point that we weren’t subjected to the rapid change we experienced during the past half-century.

        Even if it was hotter then, which itself is still hotly argued today, it’s irrelevant to the current situation because not just humankind but all life on Earth is being given considerably less time to adapt to the modern rate of change.

        But in that case I would say McIntyre did as much or more damage than Mann, by throwing down the wrong glove and thereby starting a pointless war. As experience has shown it is very difficult to make convincing arguments about the exact height of the MWP based on what center(s) to use when comparing principal components.

        Neither side however has claimed that medieval temperatures collided with the peak of the Medieval Warming Period at the breakneck speed of jousting medieval knights on horseback. It would have been so much easier, to say nothing of avoiding a controversy that has stirred up so much hatred of each side for the other, had McIntyre made the simple and noncontroversial point that Mann’s research was irrelevant to modern times.

        Who did more damage is like asking whether God is Christian or Muslim. It depends who you ask.

      • The argument that humankind rode out the MWP without a sweat, so to speak, is invalidated by the point that we weren’t subjected to the rapid change we experienced during the past half-century.

        Your proposition contradicts your own argument, in so far that the rapid change (inverse excursion) in the transition from the MWP to the LIA was also over a small temporal period and had great societal implications eg Nunn

        Within the last millennium there was a marked contrast in
        many Pacific Basin societies between what might be termed
        ‘times of plenty’ during the Medieval Warm Period
        (approximately A.D. 700–1250) and ‘times of less’ during
        the Little Ice Age (approximately A.D. 1350–1800). The
        transition between the Medieval Warm Period and the Little
        Ice Age has been named the ‘A.D. 1300 Event’ and has been
        identified as a time of rapid cooling, sea-level fall, and
        cultural change. Specifically, it is clear that the societal
        disruption associated with the A.D. 1300 Event was due
        largely to a massive and rapid reduction of the food
        resource base on which many Pacific communities had
        come to depend during the preceding Medieval Warm

      • @Vaugahn Pratt
        “The argument that humankind rode out the MWP without a sweat, so to speak, is invalidated by the point that we weren’t subjected to the rapid change we experienced during the past half-century.

        Even if it was hotter then, which itself is still hotly argued today, it’s irrelevant to the current situation because not just humankind but all life on Earth is being given considerably less time to adapt to the modern rate of change.”

        Come on! How about the “rapid change” comparing 2010 winter to 2011 winter in New England? Yeah, I know it’s just weather, but you were talking about “rate of change”. When I compare the number of birds at my back yard feeder, the number of rabbits, squirrels and chipmunks running around this year to last, I’d say nature has adapted very well to the extremely rapid warming we’ve experienced in the last 12 months.

      • Steven Mosher (Feb. 24, 2012 at 12:29 pm) and Vaughan Pratt (Feb 24, 2012 at 1:51 pm):

        If, by “the sensitivity,” you mean “the equilibrium climate sensitivity” (TECS) then the concept that you reference by this phrase is scientifically illegitimate for the value of TECS is not observable and thus speculations regarding this value lie outside science. If not, what do you mean by “the sensitivity”?

      • Markus Fitzhenry


        The discourse that garners such terminology is Rhetoric.
        We will never be able to communicate to Vaughan in the language of Logic.

        Mosher is OK, he is not too bent, just a bit of a smartie at times. Eh Mosher?

      • Your proposition contradicts your own argument, in so far that the rapid change (inverse excursion) in the transition from the MWP to the LIA was also over a small temporal period and had great societal implications eg Nunn

        Maksimovich, your point that rapid changes are harmful (in your MWP-LIA example, decreasing rather than increasing temperatures) is the same one I’m making. How can that be an objection to my point that “The argument that humankind rode out the MWP without a sweat, so to speak, is invalidated”?

        The central point here is that rapid change is bad. My complaint is that McIntyre continues to ignore this. You’re agreeing with me that rapid change is bad.

      • We will never be able to communicate to Vaughan in the language of Logic.

        Are you saying you’re illogical, Markus?

      • If, by “the sensitivity,” you mean “the equilibrium climate sensitivity” (TECS) then the concept that you reference by this phrase is scientifically illegitimate for the value of TECS is not observable and thus speculations regarding this value lie outside science.

        Thank you, Terry! I’ve been having a terrible time trying to convince people of this. The term has come to be used so frequently as to acquire a life of its own. It’s like belonging to a community that speaks of God in every second sentence and as a result cannot imagine a world without God.

    • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

      Richard S. J. Tol Who does most damage to the climate movement? Michael Mann, Phil Jones, Jim Hansen, Peter Gleick, Al Gore, Rajendra Pachauri

      That is an intriguing post. I think you could make a good case for that.

      I have been planning for a while to cut down on my posting and to post under my name, Matthew R. Marler. Here is my LinkedIn public profile:

      This is a good time to start.

      I have been involved in research, which you could call the edge between knowledge and ignorance. In my posts I have generally focused on: (1) approximations whose accuracy for the purposes at hand has not been demonstrated; (2) questions whose answers are not known (hypotheses with little or no evidentiary support); and (3) inaccuracies in model results due to random variation in observations that gets incorporated into the parameter estimates (what statisticians generally specialize in.)

    • I would add Trenberth to your list, Richard … But, in any event …At this point, I’m beginning to wonder if perhaps they have been competing to see who can build the biggest mountain out of the smallest molehill!

      They’ve had two years to re-evaluate their outreach and PR efforts, and it would appear that they have learned absolutely nothing.

      All they seem capable of doing is ignoring the “problem” in the hope that their silence – along with repetition of their constant refrain of “we must decarbonize now” – will make it disappear.

      • Yes. Trenberth has definitely done a lot of misinformation back radiation to students in his Global Annual Mean Energy article more than a decade ago with the publish by the AMS. AMS helped the spread of misinformation so far not retreating that article.

      • back-radiation denier huh

      • YES! Backradiation crap!

    • I would say the greatest damage to the climate movement has been done not by one person, but the frequency with which single weather events have been attributed by some climate scientists and some journalists to AGW. So last year’s blizzards were AGW, and this year’s warm winter is AGW, and last year’s Texas drought was AGW, and last year’s floods in Vermont were AGW. It’s become a joke, such that people — many people, most completely uninvolved in the climate science discussion — will look out at the snow, and joke ‘global warming!’

      I know the arguments that AGW causes extreme weather events (and the counter-arguments that this is wrong or alternatively essentially unprovable), but for popular consumption it’s a very dangerous argument, because people are smart enough to figure out that a theory that can account for everything is unfalsifiable and unscientific, even if they’ve never heard of Karl Popper.

      • people are smart enough to figure out that a theory that can account for everything is unfalsifiable and unscientific, even if they’ve never heard of Karl Popper.

        But Gerard, there is an easy way to falsify this theory. If increasing CO2 is supposed to be making the weather fluctuate more violently, and it returns to the relatively calm state it was in before 1960, as we would all love it to do, then you have your falsification right there!

        If on the other hand it continues to get more and more violent, then those of you continuing to say there’s nothing out of the ordinary with the weather will look more and more stupid with every passing year, because what the so-called alarmists were warning about will be coming to pass and you will be refusing to acknowledge that it is happening. Your head will be in the sand.

        In the parable of the boy who cried wolf, the wolf eventually put in an appearance.

      • “If on the other hand it continues to get more and more violent”

        Say what? Frequency of virtually every major storm type from tornado to sandstorm has been dropping for some time. ACE is declining.

        Dollar damages due to expansion of expensive coastal developments (ironically encouraged by the drop in landfalling hurricanes?) are rising, but that’s not the weather or climate’s fault.

        Cooling will steepen the tropic/pole heat gradient, though, and bring back “violent climate”. But it will prove the opposite of the CO2-forcing hypothesis.

  4. I find the question akin to asking “If you wanted to thwart the worldwide conspiracy of hidden reptilian overlords, who would you target”

    But in the spirit of the question, Steve McIntyre. Very powerful to discredit someone who focuses on relevant technical matters and plays with such a straight bat.

    Note that I don’t accept that even if you were to uncover SM was lavishly funded by Big Oil behind the scenes it would make a blind bit of difference to the analyses, but the question is one of the sizzle and not real bacon.

  5. Gleick and other warmists claim, and seem to believe, that there is an “extremely well-funded and organized” anti-science campaign directed against them. That they can’t seem to find any overt examples of its operation is very frustrating.

    Because, of course, there is no such campaign, the funding of skeptic analysis, commentary, and research is spotty and minuscule, and there is thus no target. So they blast away at random.

  6. “Was Heartland singled out because Gleick thought they were doing something unethical?”

    They were singled out because somebody sent Peter Gleick the ‘Strategy Document’ for that organisation and not any other. That you ignore this implies you think he was lying. Do you?

    • Markus Fitzhenry

      Oh come on Louise, Peter Gleick stole the documents because his style of AGW climate science is on its knees and they are panicking. Simple, there is no conspiracy against them. Doesn’t need to be they are being dishonest enough to hang themselves.

    • People send me all sorts of stuff, most of it lands in the garbage. Whether Peter Gleick is lying or not i have no idea, but I have to say that what he says doesn’t have much credibility at this point.

      And if I did receive what Gleick says he received in the mail, and I was concerned about something (e.g. Wojick’s education plan), I would have contacted Heartland or Wojick for information.

      The simplest thing would have been for Gleick to accept Heartland’s invitation to speak, then discuss this in person.

      • Robert in Calgary

        Goodness, Dr. Curry, those aren’t the sort of answers Louise wants to hear!

      • Judith,

        You may remember in a previous post using the words “thank you hacker/whistleblower”, thereby not only condoning the release of the “climategate” emails but apparently condoning someone committing a serious criminal offence (computer hacking), worse than what Gleick did, in order to obtain them.
        If it turned out that the mails were indeed obtained via computer hacking would you in fact condone the actions of the hacker?

      • Hacking is actually less of a legal offense than impersonating for the purpose of fraud, from my understanding. But laws change all the time, so that may not be true.

        Still, everything about CRU points directly to an insider with Admin privileges and access to the physical backup tapes for the servers. The e-mails were also different from this, as those were intercommunications through public property, not private budget, employee, and donor information.

        Remember, CRU is public and public money, Heartland is private and private money. Very different issue legally and morally as well.

      • Hacking is actually less of a legal offense than impersonating for the purpose of fraud, from my understanding.

        Oh great, another bush lawyer.

        Fraud is illegal. Impersonating a police officer is illegal. These terms are well defined in law. What does the law define as “hacking?”

    • Gleick’s behaviour on other media (Amazon book reviews, Twitter) leave me with the opinion that he has a somewhat flexible relationship with objective truth where he thinks it’s justified.

      It also seems to have been the writing style in the alleged fake document that alerted people to his.

      I’d estimate there’s a decent chance he’s lying about everything – he’s already admitted to lying to get the documents.

    • Do I think Peter Gleick is lying?

      Yep. Through his frigging teeth!

      He has already admitted to lying about his identity to obtain the unfaked documents. I see absolutely no reason to believe that he isn’t lying this time.

      • Hey, Latimer, you should play Angry Birds more. :) Take it out on those pigs instead of on live human beings who have emotions like yours.

        Well, somewhat like yours. You have all the self-righteous anger of Joan of Arc with none of her eloquence:

        I could let the banners and the trumpets and the knights and soldiers pass me and leave me behind as they leave the other women, if only I could still hear the wind in the trees, the larks in the sunshine, the young lambs crying through the healthy frost, and the blessed blessed church bells that send my angel voices floating to me on the wind. But without these things I cannot live; and by your wanting to take them away from me, or from any human creature, I know that your counsel is of the devil, and that mine is of God.

        The “from any human creature” is a nice touch. Can’t get more self-righteously angry than that. Make a note.

      • Dr. Pratt,
        Your post seems non-responsive to Latimer’s remark. Is it OK to doubt your fellow Bay Area academic just a wee bit?

      • Your post seems non-responsive to Latimer’s remark.

        On the contrary, hunter, I would say that the only reasonable response to a remark made in anger is to point out the anger and wait for it to subside. Engaging the angry in rational conversation is an exercise in futility.

      • @vaughan

        No anger here, mon brave. I have no spare emotional bandwidth to be angry since I am still laughing so much that it almost hurts.

        I just love to learn of self-appointed egotistical tubthumpers brought down by their own deep character flaws. It is made even better when their buddies – rather than shutting up in the hope that it will all be soon forgotten – pile on into vapid and futile defences. Not content with the main man making a public idiot of himself they rush to join him.

        One day perhaps I’ll be angry. But not just yet. Having far too much fun right now

      • Dr Pratt,
        As we are attempting to be accurate here….those words are GB Shaw’s not direct quotes from St Joan.

      • Weird, I’d written something about how I was setting the bar a tad high by setting Shaw as a standard but I must have accidentally deleted it or something. Sorry about the inaccuracy.

    • Louise,
      Keep repeating this line of rationalization.
      It is wondermus.

    • Louise, on what basis do you have to support the claim
      ‘somebody sent Peter Gleick the ‘Strategy Document’ for that organisation and not any other’?

    • 1. It looks very much like the fake “Strategy” document was written by someone other than a true skeptic since it uses terms and beliefs that are pro-CAGW caricatures of what skeptics actually believe.
      It also does not have an author, is not signed, has a few careless mistakes in it and does not feel like something one would send to the board as it is not very professional. See The Atlantic for some articles by an unbiased journalist on her views on this.

      2. Whoever wrote it had access to the 4-5 other Heartland documents so it was either written beforehand by someone who had the documents or afterwards once the documents were in “warmist” hands. If whoever gave Gleick the memo had the documents, why did they not just send them to him so he did not have to break several laws in order to get them?

      3. The fake document was scanned and handled differently than the others and has a date on it (electronically) the day before Gleick sent them to his accomplices (just had to throw that in there) and was done in the Pacific time zone (perhaps at Gleick’s Pacific Institute??) Not proof but interesting.

      4. The fake memo prominently mentions Gleick and his Forbes columns like he is really on skeptics minds when in fact he is pretty far down the list. (Yes, there is an official secret enemies list and on it are listed all the trillions of dollars that all the evil corpurashions are paying me and all who post on skeptical blogs). It’s a true conspiracy!!!! RUN!

      5. It also uses words and punctuation that Gleick likes to use, again ones none of us would ever use to characterize our own positions. And some of the mistakes I mentioned in 1. actually are misleading in the way that Gleick in print actually thinks things work. Saying Koch gave 200K when in fact it was 25K and then not realizing that this was for health care issues, so why would someone able to secretly contact half the board put the wrong number about the wrong topic in a memo that was supposed to be on climate strategy? What it does, if one does not know the truth, is paint a picture Gleick already subscribes to, that validates in his mind the idea that evil energy companies are backing skeptics.

      • A point that you didn’t mention is that both the purported independent writer of the strategy memo and Gleik (in his “verifying”) made the same errors regarding the Koch $200K donation. Coincidence? This, to me, is a strong indication that they were not independent.

      • re: #4
        But HI invited Gleick to participate in a debate, so Gleick was on HI’s radar as an important and influential person. HI is only about obscuring the science and not interested in honest debate so it would only invite a influence-less fool with no persuasive ability to a debate. But HI invited Gleick, who HI considers important enough to warrant neutralization, to be the fool in a one-sided “debate”.

        Sorry, my mind is having problems following the logic.

        This comes from a theory I have that the 13Jan2012 invitation to debate might have been the catalyst which caused Gleick to target Heartland. I’m not sold on the idea, but it should be worthy of consideration. If we accept that Geick received an anonymous memo purportedly from HI at about the same time as the debate invitation, then the contents of the memo would have been worthy of investigation. Contrariwise if Gleick were the source of the ‘anonymous’ memo then the HI invitation alone might have been enough to prompt him to acquire the documents and write the memo.

    • YES!!!

    • Lying is a habitual behavior, just as is honesty. When people are faced with stressful or uncomfortable situations their habitual nature will take over. That’s why you can change your golf swing but revert to old habits at the most inconvenient times. There is zero chance, IMO, that Gleick does not have a long history of dishonesty. When he was frustrated or angry with Heartland he resorted to what for him has become second nature. This is how he deals with difficult situations. He then rationalizes the method . Everything Gleick says should be viewed with extreme skepticism.

    • Why do you imagine they sent it to Gleick only? They would have gotten a lot more mileage out of it by sending it to other people.

      Just askin’

    • Yes Louise, he is lying. He lied to Heartland to steal their confidential documents. He lied to the people he sent the documents to. Why would you believe his “explanation” for the forged document? Read his statement. It’s a carefully parsed, lawyer-assisted explanation that does not equate the “received” document with the forged one. Also look at the timing. He impersonated a board member almost immediately after turning down Heartland’s invitation to their donor dinner. Of course he’s lying. Of course he forged the Strategy Document. He’s simply trying not to go to jail or to minimize the damages that he will have to cough up.

  7. Does anyone actually still believe Gleick is capable of being truthful on such matters ?

    • And why should we believe that this recent ‘transgression’ by the hapless Gleick is the only one of its kind?

      He has been active for some while establishing himself as a noisy and bumptious cheerleader for the alarmist cause. Are we sure that all his previous utterances and declarations are untainted by a similar failure in his moral compass?

  8. The end result of this episode is that Heartland will become known to many more people.

    You bet.

    Who would you target?

    That’s a good one. Their problem is they don’t have a target. They try to fabricate it, Big Oil, libertarians, smokers (ha), conservative morons, etc. But it is just a fairy tale about the “good” against the “bad”. Stuff for kids.

    If I had to single out one, being so difficult, NIPCC doesn’t seem a too bad choice for me. And that’s Heartland.

  9. I consider the organisation that is doing the most damage to the AGW cause is the IPCC itself and the individual who has the most influence in creating doubt about the AGW concensus would have to be Professor Freeman Dyson.

    However, if I were to be on the side of AGW, I would do my utmost to ensure that the science behind the AGW hypothesis is verified and validated and made the subject of the most intense peer review process ever conducted.

    I say this because I truly think that human activity is causing some climate change beyond normal natural fluctuations but the extent is still to be satisfactorily quantified.

    • I was tempted to say the IPCC but Peter Davies got there first.

      I think you are asking the wrong people – most of the denizens of your blog would find it very difficult to put themselves in the position of a fanatic like Gleick.

      The reason Gleick chose to try to attack Heartland is because of his recent personal history with them. See the Jan 12 Forbes article by Heartland’s James Taylor, criticising an earlier ‘rant’ by Gleick. Gleick responded in the comments, returning the word ‘rant’ but his arguments were shredded by a reply from Taylor. This seems to be what caused Gleick to go off the rails and produce the fake memo referring to Forbes, Taylor and Gleick.

      Judy’s point towards the end is not new but is worth repeating: these organisations like Heartland and GWPF only get noticed when the zealots attack them.

      • Paul,

        You beat me to it. Those are also my thoughts. Gleick’s inherent hubris couldn’t stand the idea of someone having the audacity to challenge his version of reality. I have little doubt he was obsessively stewing about it for a considerable length of time just hoping for a way to damage Taylor.

        When Jim Lakely emailed an invitation to debate Taylor and started out by saying “I’ve enjoyed the lively discussion via dueling Forbes.com columns and replies between you and James Taylor.” His obsessive mindset took it as a mocking statement. It then became an I’m going to show these bastards a thing or two situation to him.

        It may have started even earlier than those two columns for all I know. Simply having to compete with someone writing from a different perspective in the same publication may have already had him wound up tight.

        I’m no psychologist, but that is the way I see it. YMMV

        Here are both of the articles.

      • I think Bob Koss nails it. This explains everything, including why Heartland specifically:

        I have little doubt he was obsessively stewing about it for a considerable length of time

      • Dr Gleick forgot the wise words of Terry Pratchett:
        Personal is not the same as important

      • Personal is not the same as important

        Quite right. That’s certainly how Newt Gingrich feels about his intimate relationships vs. his public persona.

    • Peter Davies/Judith –

      I’m not sure I agree.

      It is so easy to criticise the IPCC. What are you criticising? It’s structure? The average scientist that devotes a lot of time to it? The reviewers like Anthony Watts and Steve Macintyre? It’s mandate? Its attempt at summing up the current state of climate science?

      If anyone steps back and asks what sort of organisation and product would the relevant bodies come up with, it would be the IPCC. Of course it is politicised. Of course it over-eggs the pudding [see FAR predictions] Of course it makes some mistakes. But to believe that the IPCC is the biggest impediment to the AGW cause is, frankly, delusional. Think back 25 years and ask in what meaningful way it could have been any different.

      It’s a big, messy, imperfect body that many people hate in principle – which seems to me to be 95% (ish) of the problem. But as Richard Tol has pointed out, it isn’t going to go away any time soon.


      My response to one of Judith’s questions (and Richard Tol’s list) is to ask who do the most to damage the anti-CAGW cause? Some might mention Moncton but I think he is at most a buffoon. For Americans it might be Senator Inhofe. For me, in the UK, it is hate-filled Delingpole with his mantra that the opposition are all “eco-Nazis”. If anyone makes me want to disavow being a sceptic it is him.

      • Monckton has his high horse, Delingpole his deadly wit, and Inhofe his basket of roses, but you go to war with the warriors you have.

      • Delingpole “hate-filled”?

        You seem to be missing the point of either NPR or Gleick for example. If you want to see “hate” go to an OWS, G-8 or AGW rally. AGW is a hate based movement, Delingpole exposes it perhaps crudely but is far more accurate then the sort of poltically correct prattle standards of discussing abstracts about “ideology” that go on here. All so that you, Joshua, Robert, Martha, WHT to name a few might not have their fantasy of themselves as “objective” not disturbed? Or is to maintain Dr. Curry’s gutless Switzerland status during the climate war?

        I’m leary of anything that describes “all” as you accuse but don’t convince me regarding Delingpole. Still he’s far closer to the truth than Dr. Curry who goes through every language contortion imaginable to protect the warming establishment of being exposed for their political fingerprint which Inhofe, Monckton and Delingpole recognize.

        Bedwetting skeptics only help the “cause” by accepting false narratives and conventions.

      • cwon14 said;

        ‘All so that you, Joshua, Robert, Martha, WHT to name a few might not have their fantasy of themselves as “objective” not disturbed? Or is to maintain Dr. Curry’s gutless Switzerland status during the climate war?’

        Perhaps the comparison to Switzerland is more apt than you realised. Switzerland was accidentally bombed once, and suffered considerable hardship for much of the war. Gutless?: Certainly not.

        I can do no better than to quote this blurb from the cover of the book ‘Refuge from the Reich’-this comment by James Hutson director Library of congress;

        ‘A fast paced account of the experiences of Amercan Airmen forced down in neutral Switzerand during world war 2. …this little known story becomes a testimonial to the courage of the American flyers and of their swiss hosts whose defiance of Hitler provided a refuge for the distressed aviators.’

        I recommend the book, it might provide a better perception of Switzerland than you seem to have.
        Judith displays considerable courage in providing a safe haven for those of us fighting against the current consensus. She deserves our thanks rather than the sniping and questioning of her motives that seems to be her reward.

      • Perhaps Senator Inhofe is playing the same role Senator McCarthy played with Communism: give the opposition the moral high ground relative to yourself.

        Assuming you were an anti-communist who thought McCarthy was spouting a counter-productive hate-filled mantra in opposition to communism, would you then want to disavow being anti-communist?

      • AGW is a hate based movement

        So eco-Nazis, right, cwon14? (Don’t be shy, you can say it.)

  10. Bruce Anderson

    I think Steve Mosher nailed it at CA:
    “his motive is anger. Like many who set fires. Anger and revenge. The humiliation he suffered at Judith’s and WUWT.
    Taylor’s refusal to listen to the macarthur genius.

    The crime is not about the science. not about the cause. The motive, the governing emotion, is anger and revenge. Brought on by humiliation, fanned by pride.

    It’s personal. It’s always personal. People tend to look for political motivations or the cause as a motivation.
    Those are the rationalizations, NOT the motive.”

    This wasn’t a well thought out plan to discredit the skeptical movement by targeting the main player….it was personal.


    • No doubt about it, this was hardly a random act. Very personal indeed. And what may have pushed him over the edge was the series of emails between Gleick and Jim Lakely of Heartland immediately surrounding Gleick’s impersonation and document theft.

      It was all detailed by Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit yesterday:


    • Thanks Bruce.

      I also happen to believe climategate was personal as well. These violations are almost always personal, of course “politics” and “causes” provide good cover for the motive. But it’s personal. Look for people whose intellectual pride has been wounded. Getting away with the crime would restore their wounded self image.

      • Interesting. Do you think that is what motivated FOIA? You have mentioned clues to his/her identity but I must confess that I have not been able to keep up.

      • I love your analysis, Steven. You could totally write a detective’s novel, or become a private investigator yourself!

  11. Why target the Heartland? Because he had been interacting with the Heartland and declined their invitation to a Heartland conference. His offered reason for declining (among others) was lack of clarity on funding! The Heartland was on his mind as was funding. He chanced his arm with a request and got a result.

    I think Lucia (or someone on her blog) asked the question if Peter Gleick has, as yet, an undiognosed pyschological condition. This is a good question. Doing this and thinking he coudl get away with it, smacks of someone who has taken leave of their senses.


    • The Heartland was on his mind as was funding.

      Never seems to occur to or trouble them that funding for the CAGW cause is orders of magnitude larger, and that the provider of these vast funds – the state – has a massive vested interest in a finding ifo CAGW.

      • Any funding for the deniers is too much. That it is sufficient to derail their Choo-Choo gravy train, potentially, must mean that it is massive and devilishly well targetted. Thus the persistent, repetitive rhetoric, and efforts to locate and eliminate the sources.

      • That it is sufficient to derail their Choo-Choo gravy train, potentially, must mean that it is massive and devilishly well targetted.

        Or, alternatively, that its target is extremely rickety and vulnerable. But they can’t admit that one in public.

    • Paul, actually, reading Glieck’s lawyers response to Heartlands’ annoucment that they have involved the FBI, I am tending to think the Glieck set himself up on purpose to try to get to discovery, thinking that his team will be able to rummage through all of Heartlands’ docs and be able to publish them all!

      From what I understand though of the process, which is not much, if this is what he intended, he may have blown it again.

      • This train of thought does not pass the smell test. It presumes thoughtful planning and execution. It is unlikely Gleick would voluntary and permanently destroy his stature in a multitude of commitee’s and organizations in a Kamikaze attempt at rooting out the secrets of Heartland.

        Perhaps if Gleick suffered from a martyrdoom illusion and believed that Heartland was the personification of evil on Earth, and he had to destroy himself in order to save the Planet, the Children, the Trees, then maybe…..but do ya really think so?

  12. If I was a climate scientist, one who really knows what he’s doing, I would be aware that I was wrong.
    Most of them are at this state.
    What would I do? Easy: start doing what I started more than 4 years ago: getting the truth out…


    • actually, the first one to bolt has the most to gain. It is a scientific version of ‘Prisoners Dilemma’. The climate reconstructionists know the tree/cave/pollen/verve e.t.c. series that have been ‘eliminated’ from global reconstructions. Like reshuffling a stacked deck it would be rather easy to show up/down swings.
      The first AGW based scientist to break ranks will bring all the others down.
      I would expect them to do a world wide pollen temperature reconstruction and then exclaim, we were all fooled by tree-rings.

    • Ahem Ecotretas. Actually Richard Lindzen is a very distinguished climate scientist. His recent lecture to Brit parliamentarians is a blistering expose which, surprise surprise was received very well. There are others as reputable who have bucked the “cause”. It’s not about the science.

  13. The difficulty in finding an appropriate target comes from the very nature of the skeptical/lukewarmer side of this. It’s too amorphous, too wide-spread, too grass roots. There is no one individual or organization that that seems recognized as the ‘leader’, hence no natural target. The targeting then becomes more about the personal beliefs and anger of the attacker – not the prominence of the attacked – which is why the choice of evil overlord du jour often seems a little strange.

  14. As others have said, the answer to “who would you target” is the same as “who has done the most damage to the credibility of climate science”.

    You could easily name the usual suspects (in no particular order): Mann, Hansen, Jones, IPCC, Gleick (a rising star), Pauchari and on and on it goes.

    But all the prominent skeptics could disappear tomorrow, and the questionable science/advocacy would remain as the low hanging fruit for new critics.

    The problem isn’t the critics, the problem is that there are so many obvious criticisms.

  15. Who to target? Maybe the whole Tea Party or the GOP, as we all miss a better one.

    That was a very, very well proposed question.

    • MD,
      Which comes back tot he political nature of the AGW movement. And it is a nature that the AGW faithful are very reluctant to acknowledge in themselves, but obsessed with attributing to others.

  16. Judith,

    Fanaticism to one’s cause is usually the downfall of that cause. The incredible bias to anything outside of the single minded view by experts that MUST NEVER be questioned. This is making all of science be questioned.

  17. Imagine you are a flat earther and want to take down the single organization that is doing the most damage to your movement. Who would that be? If it was 1492 or so, Chris Columbus would be a good target along with a few Viking offspring. But now, it’s too late. Same for global warmers.

    • This is completely incorrect. Columbus was vilified not because he thought the Earth was a sphere, but because he thought the size of the sphere was far to small. He hoped that by sailing the Atlantic he would reach the most eastern coast of China. He didn’t, he hit the Americas. He was informed time and again that he could not reach China, BECAUSE THE SIZE OF THE GLOBE HAD BEEN CALCULATED MORE THAN A THOUSAND YEARS BEFORE.
      Columbus faked his calculation to arrive at a small Earth, not a spherical one. Those who had studied classical Greek texts could read the calculations performed that showed that the Earth was a much larger sphere than the one Columbus had concluded.
      It is a myth that Columbus overturned the ‘flat-Earthers’, instead he proved the big-spherer’s correct. He did not get to China.
      Note that on arrival to the Americas he carried a letter to present to the Grand Khan and his Arabic interpreter had a problem with the natives. On return from his first voyage he attempted to persuade everyone he had landed in Japan.

      • DocMartyn: Sit down and take three deep breaths. This isn’t about Christopher Columbus. It’s a story to illustrate a point: there is no way to prove that the earth is flat and there is no way for Peter Gleick et al to prove today that we are destined to suffer greatly in an overheated Earth. There is neither a big boogey man nor a “single organization” to take down. They are simply wrong and are destined to be marginalized just like the flat earthers.

        The Flat Earth Society (also known as the International Flat Earth Society or the International Flat Earth Research Society) is an organization that seeks to further the belief that the Earth is flat instead of an oblate spheroid.

      • From various sources, including NASA: http://www-spof.gsfc.nasa.gov/stargaze/Scolumb.htm

        The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 BC) argued in his writings that the Earth was spherical, because of the circular shadow it cast on the Moon, during a lunar eclipse. Another reason was that some stars visible from Egypt are not seen further north

        Eratosthenes (ˌɛrəˈtɒsθɪˌniːz) — n
        ?276–?194 bc , Greek mathematician and astronomer, who calculated the circumference of the earth by observing the angle of the sun’s rays at two different locations at the same time. He also invented a method for listing the prime numbers that are less than any given number.

        The Arab Khalif El Ma’mun, who ruled in Baghdad from 813 to 833, sent out two teams of surveyors to measure a north-south baseline and from it also obtained the radius of the Earth.

        Columbus had an estimate of his own. Dr. Fischer found his claim to be based on incorrect units of distance. Columbus used an erroneous estimate by Ptolemy, who based it on a later definition of the stadium, and in estimating the size of the settled world he confused the Arab mile, used by El Ma’mun, with the Roman mile on which our own mile is based.

  18. Tom Choularton

    The reason Heartland was targeted I suggest is that he received one or more internal leaks from Heartland containing their plans and list of sponsors. He then decided to find out whether these are genuine. That is what he says and I have no reason to doubt it.

    • Tom,
      Gleick is like a defendant who, after being caught, admits to having the jewelry from the victim’s house but promises he did not assault her. And besides, she was a known slut anyway.

    • Wow. Tom Choularton is a professor at Manchester University. He says there is no reason to doubt Gleick’s word. One can only hope that Tom is misinformed and hasn’t looked into the story.

    • “That is what he says and I have no reason to doubt it”


      Tom, Tom. Tom, you really should be doing stand-up comedy

  19. I think it reveals an underlying Marxists mindset. The ides that the great mass of people ‘the proletariat’ do not act in their own best interest, such as embracing communism, is to their having a ‘False consciousness’. The Marxist view is that the majority of people develop a ‘false consciousness’ because the capitalist controlled media constantly feed the population is misleading information. Thus, organizations like Heartland are the tip of the capitalist spear in the climate wars. Capitalists, especially big oil, must use front organizations that deliberately and systematically mislead the public and stop them understanding the obvious consequences of fossil fuel usage. Thus, the people are sheep and whilst the long term target of political action should be replacing the Shepard, in the short term you should try to kill his dog. Heartland is the embodiment of evil in a Marxist analysis, a think-tank is the machine that delivers false information to the proles and stop them revolting against the political/societal organization.

    • I don’t agree with the Marxist mindset, but with a broader notion of many activists that “the system does not work, let’s fight consolidated power with any means available; our actions are justified by our moral superiority”, which is quite common in the far left.

      (And I mention the far left because it might be taken seriously, in oposition to the far right, which is mostly a criminal justice issue).

      • I agree with your first paragraph, I don’t understand your second. I would classify myself as center-left if it matters. Of course the center moves around.

    • Robin Melville

      The first paragraph’s ok. MDR nails the operational modes of the tiny muddled rump of far-left groups shattered by Reagan/Thatcher and the collapse of the USSR (which they strongly opposed, by the way).

      The second para implies that a Marxist would support anti-AGW campaigns. Marx and Engels mourned the replacement of diverse and complex social relations by the simple payment of a cash sum (e.g. wages). But they recognised that capitalism had unleashed unparalleled productivity which had the prospect of allowing beneficial living standards for all (as opposed to the “idiocy of rural life” which green campaigners seem to wish for us).

      Their complaint was that the workers who created this wealth were alienated from its fruits. Marxists can’t be against industrialism — their supposed agency of change is the industrial working class. They are, however, opposed to capitalism.

  20. It’s a good question. From a scientific viewpoint, I think that the AGW promoters would actually do a lot to help their cause by engaging with the likes of Lindzen and McIntyre and disengaging from the likes of Romm, DeSmog and even some of the more mainstream media who publicise the most extreme catastrophe stories.
    As a climate change ideologue, I’d probably look to shut down WUWT, not because it is necessarily the technically best or most balanced source of information (too many contributors are primarily political rather than technical), but because it is probably the most widely read. The problem with that strategy now though is that the climate blogosphere is a bit of a hydra, and decapitating one site would only see the commenters migrate to another of similar beliefs.

    Of course being at the skeptical end of the luke-warming spectrum, I don’t have to worry about such things.

    • Ian,
      If they engage, they lose.
      AGW believers do not even admit that they have an extreme view of cliamte risk. They deny that AGW is about a climate catastrophe. They assert that if CO2 has any impact at all, then they are correct in everything they claim.
      Set aside the loons who think CO2 is not a ghg. Most skeptics understand ghg, and understand at least the concepts of CO2. Most skeptics doubt the system is as sensitive as the AGW leadership claims. And skeptics are happy to point out that the AGW consensus claims things that are not so. But that is job of skeptics.
      AGW believers, unlike mature believers, simply attack those pointing out the problems, and go to a seemingly endless series of conferences, with fellow believers, to talk about how to communicate to the unwashed, and apparently from Gleick’s example and the climategate evidence, and sadly the reaction of true believers, to do whatever strikes their fancy to silence the denialist scum.

  21. The sceptical movement is a many headed hydra, with most of the heads disagreeing with each other as to the extent or otherwise of the AGW proposition, which is at the same time our greatest strength and our greatest weakness. So to do real damage a substantial number of heads would need to be cut off.

    On this side of the pond I would see Heartland as being irrelevant and too right wing for many peoples tastes, and I wouldn’t bother trying to behead it.
    I would put WUWT at the top of the list of those to ‘take down’ in a general sense, but strategically I would target people like Judith.

    I consider her to be by no means a sceptic-although many warmists perceive her as such-and bringing her firmly back into the all embracing arms of the IPCC would, I suspect, cause the sceptics considerable dismay, although not dealing a fatal blow by any means.

    • tonyb makes a great point:
      The real targets of AGW orthodoxy enforcers is those who have been within the temple, so to speak, and yet choose to deny the faith.
      Anthony Watts was given, by accident, full access to some of Phil Jones raw papers and data. What did he do, this most wicked of denialists? He studiously avoided using the access, contacted Dr. Jones and those who controlled the access, and advised them of the breach in security. And he kept it quiet.
      What would a Gleick do if he could have gotten into Dr. Curry’s, Dr. Spencer’s, or Lindzen’s private e-mail or notes?

  22. Who does most damage to the climate movement?

    Mother Earth has kept the temperature well inside the range of the past ten thousand years. Mother Earth has done the most damage to the climate movement!

  23. Roddy Campbell

    We can’t know, but I think he went after HI at least in part because of the exchange of posts on Forbes. eg see this one by HI’s Taylor.


    You can’t but laugh, Taylor is very effective, and if I was Gleick I think I would have exploded at being so effectively mocked. Be sure to read the exchange of comments between Taylor and Gleick below.

    Opening sentence: “Every now and then I read a blog post that melts my heart. I truly feel the pain, anguish and anger of the writer. I may not always agree with the writer’s point of view, but I empathize with the writer’s pain nonetheless.”

    • very good article at forbes, thanks for the link

    • In Comments, Gleick responded. Notable was his repetition of the phrase “makes my head explode”. Little did he know …

      • Ooh, he’ll be a marvelously self-insightful patient. I think talk therapy, though, not drug therapy.

    • Thanks Roddy
      It is insightful relative to FakeGate to see Gleick’s focus on:

      Fourth Place: The Koch Brothers for funding the promotion of bad climate science
      Fourth place goes to fossil-fuel billionaires Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries, Inc., who provide substantial funding to groups and politicians who deny the science of climate change. . . .
      and the Heartland Institute for “Arcticgate”
      As the Arctic ice disappears before our eyes, . . . and for the Heartland Institute’s promulgation of – and refusal to correct – those errors when they were uncovered.

    • From the comments we find that Taylor isn’t a denier himself as he believes in global warming and that human influence has been significant, so where is the argument, and wouldn’t Heartland be upset about this admission from one of its own? If human influence has been significant already and less than 20% of the CO2 increase expected by 2100 has been experienced so far, why not consider some action to slow this other even more significant 80+% down?

      • Roddy Campbell

        Jim D, you’ve lost me there. Most ‘sceptics’ believe in AGW, we believe in GHG’s, warming, and human influence.

        That would seem to be Taylor’s position, although HI do run the ‘it’s all a Commie plot’ meme as well..

        ‘Where is the argument’? The arguments are over how much, how fast, what are the impacts (WGII), what should we do about it, what the uncertainties really are, is reality matching models, if not then can we rely on their projections. Putting it crudely, it’s not remotely inconsistent to believe in AGW but not in CAGW.

        (There are many sub-arguments, like is there any point the EU spending $100’s of billions mitigating when it has zero impact on global ppm unless the Chinese and Indians stop doing what they’re doing right now – but that’s for another day, maybe.)

      • Roddy, you see the slippery slope Taylor puts himself on by admitting that the human influence on global warming is already significant. The AGW effect has barely started and is already significant. I think Heartland should throw him out for expressing such a view. This is tongue-in-cheek by the way, as I expect many other Heartland people think this way, even if they don’t admit it publicly.

      • Roddy Campbell

        Nope, still lost. I haven’t read everything HI have written about everything climatic/consequential, but I see no inconsistency.

        (He doesn’t specify whether the human contribution is via GHGs or other anthropogenic factors (Pielke Sr has a lot to say on that). Nor does he say that the quantum of human-induced rise itself is significant.)

        For example, if we knew it was going to warm by another 1c in the next, whatever, 75 years, on average, over the whole world, because of AGW, that says very little about CAGW.

      • Put it this way. The IPCC also think a significant amount of the warming we have already had is man-made, just like Taylor. Yet, his organization is taking this on. Are they pouring millions of dollars every year into better defining the meaning of “significant” in this sentence? The donors may not be happy if that is what their money is going for.

  24. Willis Eschenbach and Lord Monckton.

    Anybody who can encapsulate the near-total lack of observance of the scientific method in such glorious prose is a formidable adversary.

    Scientists are in broad agreement that the earth has been slowly warming for about three centuries. We don’t know why, which should give us a clue about the depth of our understanding of the climate.

    More to the point, there is no agreement about such basic, rudimentary, fundamental, all-important questions as the sign and size of the cloud feedbacks. A change of 2% in cloud cover would wipe out any CO2 effect. Since we don’t understand the clouds, that most basic and critically important part of climate science, the idea that we understand why the earth is currently warming, or the idea that we can forecast climate a hundred years in advance, is hubris of the first order. We don’t know why it warmed in Medieval times. We don’t know why it warmed in Roman times. We don’t know why it has warmed since the “Little Ice Age”. We don’t understand the climate, and you folks’ claims that you do understand it well enough to make century-long forecasts just makes rational, reasonable people point and laugh.
    -Willis Eschenbach

  25. From an ethics point of view, I would first target the cabal of scientists that have publicly promoted, and performed, unethical acts in their effort to ‘get the world to take action on climate change’. Public polling shows that the man on the street (some unfortunately large percentage) has vaguely heard that ‘some climate scientists have cooked the books and fudged their results’ [this includes exaggerating risks and effects of CO2]. . Our thus affected man on the street has now a prejudice against further claims of the same type, no matter how accurate. The Gleick incident has now hammered another nail in this coffin.

    History of scandals has shown that ‘cover-ups’ always backfire in the end. The Climategate whitewashes have not fooled the man in the street — especially in the US — he knows a cover-up when he sees it. See the polls.

    What does work — all too well in some cases, IMHO — is full public confession, naming names, dates, and details.

    If I were the ethics adviser for ‘Climate Scientists Without Borders’ [a hypothetical group representing Climate Science as a whole], I would tell them they must:

    1) Out any and all instances of blatant falsehoods, exaggerations, use of scare tactics (ala Mike Crichton), etc with a Public Confession document. It might be called ‘The Real State of Climate Knowledge” and point out these past offenses, naming names and details.
    2) Point out misconceptions foisted on the public by weak or outright bad papers that do not stand on scientific merits — Mann’s Hockey Stick papers, warming antarctic, or whatever. A list of papers that should be withdrawn or corrected by their authors might be a good place to start.
    3) A straightforward statement on the uncertainty issues of climate and climate prediction, similar to Curry’s four variable problem post.
    4) A statement of what other serious theories regarding recent climate changes are on the table — some have been presented here at Climate Etc.
    5) A confession that many have been doing lots of science seriously compromised by confirmation bias, due to funding pressures.
    6) A realistic statement of what we know and what we don’t know.

    This list is speculative and Climate Scientists Without Borders would have to make up their own list — it might look something like the above.

    Now this sounds like what the man on the street thought he’d be getting from the IPCC, except for the mea culpas.

    In the sort of mess climate science finds itself, the ethical prescription is: Confess publically, out the bad apples, tell the truth as best as can be done, promise to do better — then Do Better.

    • Andrew Russell

      Great suggestions! Although I have little hope we will see those implemented any time soon.

      One suggestion: Instead of “Climate Scientists Without Borders”, I would recommend “Climate Scientists Without Boundary Conditions”. :-)

      I’ll join! Where’s the Paypal link?

  26. “What ultimately makes Gleick a truly pathetic figure is that what he did, even if it had been successful, would have had no discernible effect on the final outcome of the war, except possibly hastening it. There’s simply no way that a vitriolic squabble between a cabal of activists and an institute the ordinary person had never heard of, was going to reverse the declining belief in the threat of global warming.”


    In terms of target selection, the Heartland Institute is well down the list of cost effective targets.


    • > In terms of target selection, the Heartland Institute is well down the list of cost effective targets.

      This begs two questions:

      1. Could you explain by cost effectiveness?

      2. What would be your top 5 list of “cost effective targets”?

      • Typo:

        > 1. Could you explain by cost effectiveness?

      • Hi Willard. You make up your list of potential targets. For each one, you assess what would be the best and worst possible outcome in terms of impact on them and yourself. If you pick out a high impact target, you must expect to pay some cost, in terms of material or personnel, for attacking it. You pick the target with the biggest impact, which has an acceptable cost.

        HI was a low impact target with a huge cost either way. Dumb.


      • WUWT has to be the biggest impact target by far.Nothing else comes anywhere near it.


      • Pointman,

        Thanks for sharing.

    • Good to see you here Pointman. Your other related link should be viewed by all;


      Dr. Curry is still on stage #3 with a tinge of stage #1. Maybe you can explain why skeptics paradoxically support those symptoms as well here?
      Is there anything other than a cynical reason that Dr. Curry denies the specific political fingerprint of the AGW belief system?

      • Hi cwon14, too many loaded questions for me, I’m afraid. What I would say is that Gleick, unlike Judith, is a fanatic whose stage# 2 anger and desperation totally blinded him. He wanted to find some huge well-financed conspiracy at the HI and when the documents he stole didn’t support that expectation, he couldn’t stop himself.


      • Can you explain Dr. Curry’s refusal to politically ID the “cause” and its primary support network? You’re not saying she does this accurately are you?

        Why is this assumed “loaded”? You can say whatever you want, I respect your opinion.

      • Hi cwon14. I’m not sure Judith has said either way whether “the cause” is political, though to mind it certainly is. I’m an occasional visitor to this blog, so if colours have been nailed to the mast, give me the relevant quote.

        Even if you take the view that Judith is of the warmist persuasion, she is providing the only venue where both sides can meet in some civilised fashion and at least exchange opinions without heavy censorship or knee-jerk banning. It was an initative that wasn’t very popular with the warmist propaganda machine and especially with fanatics like Gleick – witness the occasional clumsy attacks on her integrity.

        I consider any level-headed venue like this an asset and don’t realistically expect its host to convert to my viewpoint, nice though that might be.


      • Pointman,

        I don’t expect Dr. Curry to convert. When I do discuss something of importance I expect the obvious to be acknowledged. AGW and Green movements are left-wing in nature at this point of history. She can’t bring herself to say this. Why? It’s a very deep politically correct code that is followed here.

        I really do want your opinion Pointman or anyone who can explain a good reason for the obfuscation of something very basic that is acknowledged in coded speak all the time by Dr. Curry herself. It helps feed the “it’s about science” mantra of the AGW movement that deserves no respect at all. She is feeding a monster, why should I respect that at all? Why should you?

  27. Climate Scientist: “It is a Travesty that Earth Temperature does not show the warming.
    Rocket Scientists: “It is a Travesty the Climate Models do not show the lack of warming”
    Look at the massive snows that an open Arctic produces and open your minds to the data that shows there is a lid on Earth Temperature.
    You cannot warm the Earth in the face of the Arctic Ocean Effect Snow Machine.

    • David Springer

      Yes. I’ve written about how Arctic sea ice acts essentially like the thermostat in a water-cooled internal combustion engine. Sea ice is a fantastic insulator for the water beneath. It blocks a great deal of conductive heat loss, almost all radiative heat loss, and the really big Kahuna 100% of evaporative heat loss. When it gets a little warmer in the NH tropics a little more heat is transported to the Arctic for disposal. The extra heat melts a little more ice and the cooling system effectively increases its capacity. The thermostat in an ICE (internal combustion engine) works in the same fashion. Warmer water from the engine block causes metal in the thermostat to expand which widens the opening allowing more water to move from block to radiator for disposal. The Arctic sea ice has an additional mechanism in that it effectively creates a greater surface area where cooling takes place as the water temperature increases.

      The reason we’re having a deep La Nina IMO this year is a consequence of the El Nino in 1998. If you look at Artic sea ice extent you’ll note a step change reduction in 1999. This was the pulse of warm water from the 1998 El Nino arriving in the Arctic and transferring energy into latent heat of melting. The Arctic ‘radiator’ thus became about 10% more efficient (10% reduction in ice extent) over the next several years peaking in 2007 and now those chickens are coming home to roost in the form of a cold pulse making its way along the ocean floor back down to the tropics.

      There are very reasonable explanations for just about everything we observe but you’ll never find them if you’re consumed with blaming everything on anthropogenic CO2. AGW is a land-only effect and while that’s where we live and breathe the earth is a water world and that is what rules the global climate. The ocean is responsible for the climate while the atmosphere is responsible for the weather. Climate boffins are focused on the wrong thing. Heck they don’t even focus on the surface… the start at the top atmosphere and work their way down. TOA is the gas tank and exhaust pipe. All the interesting stuff takes place in the engine and where the rubber meets the road.

      • Markus Fitzhenry

        I liked that David. ICE.

        I think you left out the condenser (pressure) evaporator (tropopause) and air cooled radiator, (stratosphere). Of course the gas goes thru two filters (Mesospause & Tropopause).

        Of course is a perpetual system as the cooled air falls back by gravity until insolation and the force of pressure keeps the ICE happening.

        Climate science is not complex if your are looking at correct physics. The confusion comes in when Climate science claims cold warms hot, (backradiation).

        There are several machinations that describe energy budgets, another good one is the refrigerator.

      • Markus Fitzhenry

        Sorry David,

        I left out the electrical circuit that can conceptually include electromagnetism, into Climate system.


      • Arctic Sea Ice is the Thermostat of Earth.

    • David Springer

      Keep in mind there’s a dearth of insolation at high latitudes so albedo becomes increasingly less important so snow cover over land doesn’t mean as much. The ocean also reflects increasingly more as the angle of the sun gets lower so albedo importance diminishes there too. Inside the Arctic the big factor is sea ice extent because that makes a huge difference by blocking radiative and evaporative cooling and not conducting particularly well either.

      Also the transport mechanisms moving energy from tropics to poles goes faster with rising temperature difference between tropics and poles. When the Arctic sea ice ‘thermometer’ opens up it works to reduce the oceanic conveyor belt volume as the temperature differential between tropics and pole is reduced. These are all fairly simple heat engines using water as the working fluid. This particularly familiar territory for engineers because heat engines using water as working fluid is where you start learning about engineering. It’s no coincidence that ‘engineer’ starts out with the word ‘engine’. If Carnot Efficiency, for example, isn’t something you immediately recognize and understand then you won’t understand the earth’s energy budget or how the weather is generated from soup to nuts. The work produced by all these heat engines IS the weather. CO2 is at least a second order detail when the ocean presents a largely liquid surface and an infinite amount of evaporation. When evarporation gets restricted then radiative cooling becomes far more important and that’s when non-condensing greenhouse gases become critical. They’re a last line of defense against really radically plunging temperatures once water starts getting frozen out of the air and oceans covered with ice. Many believe non-condensing GHGs and soot from volcanos are what build up over millions of years to melt a snowball (or slushball if you prefer) earth.

      What’s truly remarkable when you think about it is how all these self-regulating heat engines work together to produce such a remarkably stable climate that sometimes persists in more or less the same steady with no major perturbations for tens and hundreds of millions of years at a stretch. If it was something you asked an engineer to design he’d be hard pressed to come up with anything more stable or resistant to perturbation. The arrangment of continents is likely the largest driver of change because they can cover/uncover the polar radiators and also block or facilitate the oceanic conveyor belt. The slow movement of the continents and more or less haphazard distribution thus allow very very long periods of climate stability at one or the other of the two great attractors – melted or frozen.

      • The ratio of land (or even shallow water) to water would have a big impact and moving water around, so does land separating the Atlantic and Pacific. Having land at the poles must have a huge impact.

    • The snow is a result of the open Arctic, but the snow falls at lower latitudes and increases Albedo where it does make a difference.
      LOOK AT THE DATA. Low Arctic Sea Ice is always followed by high Snow Extent. This does keep Earth from ever getting too warm.

  28. As I wrote at RPjr’s blog:

    The problem here is that Gleick and many contributors to the more alarmist blogs (DeSmog particularly) appear to believe their self-constructed narrative of the ‘skeptic / denier’ has to be true.

    They seem to find it impossible to consider that reasonably intelligent and scientifically literate people can see the same data about recent warming and the future projections and honestly hold the opinion that it is not an existential crisis about which something has to be done now. Therefore anyone who disagrees with them MUST be in the pay of big business and part of the denial machine whose sole purpose is to spread disinformation. As such, any action against them is justified and justifiable, even when it turns out that the ‘well-funded’ organisation promoting the disinformation has a lower annual budget than the IPCC’s annual travel expences budget (and apparently none of it comes from ‘Big Oil’)…(originally continued)

  29. Actually, this is a silly question. The battle is asymmetrical. Take off one small head and two grow in it’s place. The Lilliputian side is diverse and nimble; the Gulliver side is monotone and ponderous. Not to mention, deceptive by couching a political argument – global wealth redistribution – in scientific clothing. The Lilliputians rightly feel put upon and deceived. They’re fighting on their own turf, not trying to conquer foreign territory. They may be subdued in places, but not defeated by temporary losses.

  30. The biggest opponent the AGW true believer must assault is reality.

  31. This is slightly off topic and I apologize but the thought occurred to me as I was reading the post. How can an issue be so polarizing when everyone is looking at the same data? For the most part, we are all rational and intelligent people, some with advanced degrees in a wide variety of disciplines and yet there are two very different conclusions about the meaning of the data. The amount of passion, sometimes anger, is fairly astounding. Sadly it has become politicized and rationality has given way to irrationality. Heartland was obviously weighing heavy on Dr. Gleick’s mind and he let his emotions get the better of him. However, he broke the law and should suffer the consequences.

    For those of you who believe in AGW, have you done anything to mitigate your carbon footprint? Have you altered your lifestyle in any way or are you waiting until everyone is *made* to do so, in the hope of saving the planet? Lead by example and others may follow. Lead by mandate and others will refuse.

    • Veritas,

      From my limited point of view, the dichotomy you mention is the difference between those people who see things ‘the way that things are’ and those people who see ‘the way that things ought to be’.

      I think it can be seen in a slight way on this blog as the difference of opinion between people with an enterprise background and people with an academic or political background. As an example, from another thread, some one suggested the idea that the IPCC is dealing with such an important and expensive issue that strict codified conflict of interest rules need to be part of the IPCC process. The people with an enterprise background instantly recognize a concept and rules and laws that they comply with every day. People with a reformatory or progressive point of view, often I think academics and activists, see Wall Street and K Street (American examples) as examples that show that rules prohibiting conflicts of interest are only deceptions. Both points of view are true.

      On the issue of this thread, and to answer your question, my background of engineering and enterprise makes me most susceptible to the ideas of the McIntyres, Moshers and McArtles; they know accountability the way I know it. I also see that the students, professors and activists and politicals don’t understand that idea of accountability at all. And there are ideas of theirs that I don’t begin to understand.

    • “there are two very different conclusions about the meaning of the data”
      There are many more than two different conclusions about the meaning of the data
      My conclusion is that when earth is warm and the Arctic is open, it snows more and earth cools. When earth is cold and the Arctic is closed, it snows less and earth warms. This is more reasonable than any of the other conclusions out there, but there are many more than two.

  32. I think Gleick’s targeting was perfect. He shot himself in the foot.

    When you catch your partner in bed with another, the first question you ask is “How COULD you betray my trust in you like this!?”

    The second question you ask, and it’s the one that lingers the longest, is “HOW LONG has this been going on?”

    So it was with Climategate, it is with Gleick. For those who have been shocked and disappointed by Gleick’s deceit, it is the question which nags at them now.

    • Simon
      He certainly confirmed one metaphorical conundrum:
      It is possible to shoot yourself in the foot while jumping the shark ;-)

  33. If I were a fanatic as detailed by Bertrand Russell (see Anthony Watts’ recent post on this topic), and I was obsessed with exposing the “big oil funding” of a hated demonic organization that opposes my views, *and* that organization has a member writing a column in the same national magazine as myself – often directly mocking my published views, *and* that same organization was in the process of inviting me to debate “for entertainment” at their big oil-funded conference, then I might be more than irritated. I might consider this organization to be evil, and my constant nemesis, and worthy of retaliation.

    Peter Gleick did not choose HI randomly. He was clearly obsessed with HI and its views and its members and its covert “big oil” funding. There was some kind of massive evil at work, and it was directed at him very personally. Each of of the 10 components of Bertrand Russell’s prescription for fanaticism were now in place.

    At some point along the way, Gleick’s rationality broke down completely.

    • Garry –

      If you think back to his heaping vitriol on a book he’d never even read, I’d say he’s been running low on rationality for a long time.

  34. Michael Larkin

    He who knows the truth, has no need to target those who don’t. He just needs to say his truth and welcome any and all attempts to disprove it.

    The consensualists could chop off hydra heads from now till the cows come home, but more would just grow to replace them, on and on and on until the real truth beccomes known. Whatever it is, sooner or later that will happen.

    Whatever, I think currently the most effective single source of sceptical information is WUWT. I don’t believe that anyone could bring Anthony Watts down because I’m convinced of his integrity even though I don’t necessarily agree with all his postings.

  35. Andrew W. Montford’s The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and the Corruption of Science has been very effective at summarizing and conveying the methods, data, and activities of paleoclimatology. His description of climatology and the Herculean efforts of Steve McIntyre in a manner accessible to laypeople reached a sizeable audience.

    Then, there are the efforts and commentaries of individual scientists such as Dr. Jonathan Jones of Brasenose College, Oxford and our gracious hostess. Dr. Curry’s testimony and courage as a firsthand witness to the substitution of certainty for uncertainty has been influential.

    The author of the comment below is Dr. Jonathan Jones, professor of physics at Brasenose College, Oxford University.

    Richard, I can’t answer for our host, but you have to remember why some of us got involved in the climate wars in the first place.

    For me this has never really been about climate itself. I don’t find climate partcularly interesting; it’s one of those worthy but tedious branches of science which under normal circumstances I would happily leave to other people who like that sort of thing. My whole involvement has always been driven by concerns about the corruption of science.

    Like many people I was dragged into this by the Hockey Stick. I was looking up some minor detail about the Medieval Warm Period and discovered this weird parallel universe of people who apparently didn’t believe it had happened, and even more bizarrely appeared to believe that essentially nothing had happened in the world before the twentieth century. The Hockey Stick is an extraordinary claim which requires extraordinary evidence, so I started reading round the subject. And it soon became clear that the first extraordinary thing about the evidence for the Hockey Stick was how extraordinarily weak it was, and the second extraordinary thing was how desperate its defenders were to hide this fact. I’d always had an interest in pathological science, and it looked like I might have stumbled across a really good modern example.

    You can’t spend long digging around the Hockey Stick without stumbling across other areas of climate science pathology. The next one that really struck me was the famous Phil Jones quote: “Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it”. To any practising scientist that’s a huge red flag. Sure we all feel a bit like that on occasion, but to actually say something like that in an email is practically equivalent to getting up on a public platform and saying “I’m a pathological scientist, and I’m proud.”

    Rather naively I initially believed that Phil Jones was just having a bad day and had said something really stupid. Surely he couldn’t really think that was acceptable? And surely his colleagues would deal with him? But no, it turned out that this apalling quote was only the most quotable of several other remarks, and he really was trying to hide his data from people who might (horror of horrors) want to check his conclusions.

    That’s when I got involved in my FOI request. And consequently got exposed to the full horror of “big climate”, as clear an example of politicised and pathological science as I have ever seen. And then came Climategate 2009, and “hide the decline”. All downhill from there.

    When will I be done with climate? Quite simply when it stops being a pathological science and starts acting according to the normal rules and conventions of scientific discourse. At that point I will, I’m afraid, simply lose interest in the whole business, and leave it to the experts to get on with their stuff, just as I leave most of the rest of science to the appropriate experts.

    To put it another way, I will be done with climate once I can trust that Richard Betts can be left to do good work on his own. I absolutely trust you to get on with doing good stuff under normal circumstances. But I’m afraid I don’t trust you to do good work under current pathological conditions, because you don’t stand up against the all too obvious stench emanating from some of your colleagues.

    For me the Hockey Stick was where it began, and probably where it will end (and I will daringly suggest that the same thing might be true for our host). The Hockey Stick is obviously wrong. Everybody knows it is obviously wrong. Climategate 2011 shows that even many of its most outspoken public defenders know it is obviously wrong. And yet it goes on being published and defended year after year.

    Do I expect you to publicly denounce the Hockey Stick as obvious drivel? Well yes, that’s what you should do. It is the job of scientists of integrity to expose pathological science, and it is especially the job of scientists in closely related fields. You should not be leaving this to random passing NMR spectroscopists who have better things to do. But I’m afraid I no longer expect you to do so. The opportune moment has, I think, passed. And that is why, even though we are all delighted to have you here, and all enjoy what you have to say, some of us get a trifle tetchy from time to time.

    You ask us to judge you by AR5, and in many ways that is a reasonable request. Many of us will judge it by the handling of paleoclimate, not because this is all that important an aspect of the science, but rather because it is a litmus test of whether climate scientists are prepared to stand up against the bullying defenders of pathology in their midst. So, Richard, can I look forward to returning back to my proper work on the application of composite rotations to the performance of error-tolerant unitary transformations? Or will we all be let down again?

    Dec 3, 2011 at 6:11 PM | Jonathan Jones

    • thanks very much for this link, it is a classic

    • Michael Larkin


    • Re: the Jonathan Jones quote.
      Yes, the real issue isn’t that scientist X or scientist Y went off the rails; this is par for the course in human affairs.

      It’s that the climate establishment by and large do and say nothing about it.
      This tacit acceptance of corruption means the profession as a whole simply cannot be trusted now.

      Which will be doubly bad if it one day it becomes clear CAGW is in fact true. The sooner there is a radical clean-up the better.

    • Jonathan Jones does exemplify scientific integrity. I wish we could all agree that it is the foundation that we must start from to address these issues…

  36. The answer to your question is obvious. The activist movement sees the science education of American youth as a strategic backstop for future action on climate. If the battle is stalemated today, then look to the youth for hope – our future leaders. Heartland posed a strategic threat by possibly helping orchestrate legislation and curricula intended to undermine the activist position that consensus = scientific certainty. This drove Gleick over the edge. The devil made him do it.

  37. Who would you target? Who is responsible for the thwarting for CO2 emissions/stabilisation policies.

    The answer is simple. People. Everyone, everywhere.

    A climate change ideologue/activist is selling a product – a low carbon world that we must buy now, before it’s too late. Trouble is, nobody wants to buy their product and they can’t understand why. So they cast around looking for who’s to blame, whose fault it is. And they see glimpses of hidden enemies everywhere. Big oil. Neo-cons. Right wing nutters. Capitalists. Etc. etc. The simple truth is, nobody wants to buy their product for the simple reason that their product is crap.

    It’s like they’ve spent a lifetime developing the world’s best chocolate teapot then put everything they’ve got into manufacturing millions of the things in the expectation that everyone will want one. But nobody will. “Oh noes”, they cry. “Why is no-one buying our most excellent chocolate teapots??!!” They then determine that the problem is Big Ceramic and Big Stainless Steel, the people behind other kinds of tea pot. They must have putting out lies and misinformation about the chocolate teapots!! Nobody stops to think “Hang on, is what we’re selling any good?” They are in fact incapable of asking themselves that question because, quite simply, they have far too much invested in the chocolate teapot project. It can’t be the project itself, to blame, it must be “enemies”.

    Now, back to climate change. Our friends want to sell an extraordinarily expensive product in order to solve a currently non-existent problem. We are almost 25 years – a quarter of a century – down the road from James Hansen’s famous “projections”. Sure, according to averaged, world-wide records it got a bit warmer and then stopped, but ask any sane middle-aged person whether they feel that their local climate has changed in any kind of devastating way in their lifetime, and they will say no. And if there haven’t been any noticeable changes in the last 25 years, why should people expect any in the next 25 years? If warming is supposed to happen at an ever-accelerating rate, why has EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE happened since 1988?

    And even if some of us are concerned this problem may manifest itself at some point in the near-ish future, there is no assurance that this very expensive product will do what it is supposed to do. Untold billions have been spent over the past 25 years chasing a “low carbon” pipe-dream. Where has it gotten us? Despite all the windmills, solar panels, bio-fuel plants, carbon taxes and energy efficiency measures ad nauseum, by how much have we reduced worldwide CO2 emissions over the last 25 years? By a big, fat, diddly-squat. They’ve gone up. In fact, emissions went up by a massive 6% in 2010 alone. In the UK, we have an EU-imposed target to achieve 20% of our energy from renewables by 2020. In 2010, we managed a massive 0.3% increase on the previous year, an increase to a dizzyingly-high 3.3%. We will get nowhere near 20% by 2020. How much CO2/temperature stabilisation are we achieving for our billions of investment? Zero. Or as near as makes no difference.

    The thing is, ordinary people are not stupid, despite what certain elite academics may think. They would not buy a chocolate teapot because they just know that it’s useless. They won’t buy an uber-expensive carbon reduction problem because (a) they know from experiencing weather and climate first-hand that things aren’t changing very much and (b) they know that emission reduction targets are pie-in-the-sky unachievable, so the product won’t work anyway. It’s a non-functioning solution to a non-existent problem,a s far as the ordinary person is concerned. They’re not intereseted in “the science”. Failures in “communicating science” are just a side-show, a distraction. A way of avoiding talking about the fact that some folks have invested everything in developing the world’s worst product.

    I wouldn’t buy a chocolate teapot unless you frog-marched me to the chocolate teapot store at gunpoint. Would you?

    So you see, a climate change ideologue/activist will ultimately only ever be able to achieve his or her objectives by targeting the people. All people, everywhere. They could only ever get their way by coercion and force. If you think that that is over the top, consider that James Lovelock and others have already floated the idea that perhaps a “suspension of democracy” is necessary in order to achieve a low carbon world. Fortunately, I think that they have lost so much ground over the last few years that that will now be impossible.

    • AndyPandy –

      Well said. I agree about targeting ‘everybody’, although Gleick [apparently pronounced Glick in the US – who’d have guessed?] had personal, delusional reasons to sacrifice himself by going after Heartland.

  38. The problems for the CAGW scientists is the lack of an adult in their midst. That can’t be solved by taking down someone else. In fact, the quest to take someone down is just another example of the need for an adult.

  39. Judy:
    This is an interesting question but, for me, it misses the fundamental dilemma facing those who believe that continued large scale fossil fuel usage creates significant climate risks – namely they offer no coherent solution except reversing industrialization. Attacking any of their “enemies” fails because of the absence of realistic and viable alternatives.
    To date, those with mindsets like Gleick tried to ignore all the skeptics – WWUT and Climate Audit are still absent from CAGW sites like RealClimate and avoid engaging with competent skeptics or even competent luke warmers. Then they tried to tie prominent skeptics with evil “fossil” industry funding, launching PR attacks on the scientific integrity of leading skeptics and closing down access to peer reviewed journals. Some of these efforts partially succeeded but the recent climategate emails revealed the scope, tenuousness and mendacity of these strategies and the revelations as to the role of environmental advocacy groups in the IPCC has left them without real alternatives except to find the PR equivalent of a “smoking gun”. In reality substantial funding of skeptics by the fossil fuel industry would amount in PR terms to a “smoking gun”. The target of opportunity therefore is the fossil fuel industry. Gleick’s illegal and delusional efforts is in line with this option but is much more personal. So long as prominent skeptics are free of fossil fuel funding this strategy will not work – by definition.
    If I wanted to quieten the critics I would propose realistic and economically viable alternative solutions. The bind for evironmentalists is that the obvious Nuclear solution has for years been even more “evil” than fossil fuels.
    Without realistic altrernatives, skepticism will prevail and the only option left to the fanatical warmists is a Stalinesque strategy of exiling opponents. The inflammatory rhetoric of Romm, Hansen, McKibben and Gleick fits this latter model. If skeptics are committing “crimes against humanity” all actions are legitimate. Lenin et al certainly believed this to be the case. Fortunately this strategy has a little historical baggage that will be hard to hide.

  40. I think the neo-Malthusians were looking for a bunch of oil industry money or a big bad oilman to confirm that Heartland’s climate program was just greed vs. goodness. Really pretty much the opposite was uncovered. The big donor does not fit the profile the critics are looking for either.

  41. Gleick reminds me of one of those secretly gay polticians who builds a career around pushing homophobic policies. Gleick knows who he is deep inside….someone who lies and cheats and reviews books he’s never read. So what does he do? He hides his own shame and self-loathing by preaching to the world on the importance of ethics in science. Surely that way, no one will suspect who he really is…a fraud and dissembler par excellence.

    Why did he go after Heartland? I think because they invited him to debate, something he couldn’t risk doing. He knows the science is weak. He’s no dummy, So what does he do? He gets back at them for making him feel cowardly and crummy about himself.

    It’s really a pathetic tale. I see no mystery, once one understands the nature of the man’s personality.

    • I was reading that email chain where HI invited him and he ultimately declined and something struck me… That long one from HI about why they don’t share their donor list and therefore not going to do so for him. There’s a popular internet meme at some sites called “Challenge Accepted”, and a part of me wonders if his ego was just big enough that he thought, well, let’s just see about that…

    • An other example are the TV evangelists who get caught with their trousers down. ;-)

  42. http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/
    Earth Temperature Data shows no warming for 15 years.
    CO has gone up for those same 15 years.
    When computer model forecasts disagree with actual data, guess which one is always right.

    • Tom Choularton

      This post illustrates the obvious problem with the views of many of your posters on this site. You say that understanding raditive transfer in the atmopshere would make no difference. However, if you read many of the posts here or indeed essays on sites like WUWT it is very clear that the basic science is not understood and many points made which we both know are simply wrong.
      The science of climate change seems to be a matter of better education in science first rather than general debate. The places to debate the science are the scientific journals (as happens). The politics of implementation of mitigation is a very different matter but in my view the science comes first. ‘Sceptical ‘ blogs etc are targetting the science with a clear intention to confuse those who don’t understand it, I am sure you know that.

      • Tom,

        with respect, your post illustrates the obvious problem with the views of many of the posters sites such as Realclimate. Confusion of science has got nothing whatsoever to do with the lack of traction of carbon reduction policies. Although WUWT is a very popular site of its type, hardly anybody, as a percentage of actual population, reads it.

        People don’t want to “solve” dangerous climate change because they do not see, do not experience, any evidence of dangerous climate change. Back in the 90’s, climate change mitigation was gaining support, gaining populairty. Why? Simple – it was actually getting warmer. In the UK, we had some nice warm summers and springs. Winters were milder – we hardly saw any snow for years. CAGW was credible. People talked about shifting crop production to allow for a warmer climate – establishing olive groves in southern England etc.

        But this didn’t continue. According to CAGW orthodoxy, the changes would accelerate if nothing was done. But they didn’t. Warming stopped or even reversed, according to people’s actual experiences. Snow returned in the UK with a venegence, year after year, not just a one-off. Summers disappeared and instead we seemed to get one long autumn. People saw that the idea of, for example, growing mediterranean crops in the UK was absurd. And, accordingly, support for climate change policies faded away.

        Ordinary people do not look to the science or the data sets to inform them about climate change. They look to their own experiences of the weather today, yesterday, and throughout their lives. No amount of communicating “climate change: it’s worse than we thought” will make them believe something that they know, from their own first hand experience, is not true.

      • Even if we have 100% worldwide consensus on the science (e.g. WG1), we still need to decide what is “dangerous” (IMO the climate community has failed pretty miserably in this regard), and what the best policy responses are (e.g. economically, politically and technically viable). So everyone know the basic science and agreeing on it doesn’t really help very much when it comes to policy.

      • AngusPangus makes the point that people needs to see it and/or feel it before they will believe anyone who says that climate change is dangerous. This proposition is absolutely correct and reflective of basic human nature.

        Unfortunately for mainstream climate scientists, the predicted warming did not eventuate over the past 15 years or so. Hence any correctly conducted poll of the people will show a clear majority who do not believe that dangerous climate change is occuring around them.

      • Peter Davies | February 24, 2012 at 7:38 pm |

        AngusPangus makes the point that people needs to see it and/or feel it before they will believe anyone who says that climate change is dangerous. This proposition is absolutely correct and reflective of basic human nature.

        [ . . . ]

        – – – – – –

        Peter Davies/AngusPangus,

        If you are saying that most human beings alive on the planet (and say for past several hundred years) are non-conceptual/anti-conceptual and essentially limited to being sensate/perceptual beings, then I think you are vitally in error. There may be conceptual error that is widespread but that does not mean non-conceptual.


      • Choularton, I’m not sure there is much evidence that the skeptical blogs are “targetting [sic] the science with a clear intention to confuse …” Judith has made her views clear many times. Just as there are members of the peanut gallery at Real Climate that believe all sorts of conspiracy theories about “BIG OIL”, so this site has uninformed people. Many of us, however, understand the physics and have scientifically valid concerns. My concern is the level of accuracy of the GCM’s and the weak constraints given by simpler energy balance models. If you read a little of the recent thread on ergodicity, you will get a flavor for these issues. Just in case you are not aware of it, numerical solution of PDE’s and the Navier-Stokes equations is a well developed field where the level of rigor is much higher than in climate science. I suggest a perusal of International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids for some background information.

      • John, only as far as the weather is concerned because climate to most people is just weather, averaged out, and pertaining to their geographic area.

      • John Carpenter


        Most people who espouse the ‘consensus’ view miss this point because they do not see the forest through the trees. It could be the single major reason they have what they call a ‘communication problem’.

      • Tom Choularton,
        You are correct, only a small minority understand raditive transfer. The thing that the majority that don’t understand raditive transfer DO understand (and the minority may not understand) is there are no possible means short of Godwin-esque totalitarianism that will keep extract able carbon fuels in the ground unextracted when poor peoples of the world wish to use those fuels to improve their condition thru the use of those fuels.

      • Judith;
        “So everyone know the basic science and agreeing on it doesn’t really help very much when it comes to policy.”
        You continue to assume that there is ANY actual problem that requires a policy response. The only policy change now required by a proper assessment of the “basic” science is to immediately defund all mitigation programs and refund the real science that has been exsanguinated by crimatologists and their enablers.

    • Tom Choularton : The science of climate change seems to be a matter of better education in science first rather than general debate. The places to debate the science are the scientific journals (as happens).

      This post illustrates the obvious problem with the views of many naive observers – a complete failure to grasp that the journals etc have been reduced to tools advocacy.

      • Judith

        What do you believe is the ‘proper’; level for co2? Presumably you must believe it is the supposed pre-industrial level of 280ppm.

        Supplementary question; Presumably in theory that would mean that if we tried to achieve the ‘proper’ level our temperatures would drop by 1 degree C?

    • In order to answer the question if climate change is dangerous, the question needs to be asked much more specifically. The question is dangerous to whom and specifically why.

      That Imo is the real question that needs to be answered in order for governments to implement sensible policies. In order to answer those questions science needs to develop reliable models that can be demonstrated to provide outputs that come close to meeting observed results at a more regional level.

      Currently, I just do not understand people like Chris Close and Gavin trying to argue that observations do not matter or should not be believed and that we should accept the outputs of models that do not match observations. I also cannot accept the idea that it is too difficult/ impossible to make models that can accurately predict 5 or 20 years into the future, but we should accept that the same models are accurate 100 years into the future.

      People seem to like to argue about fairly unimportant minor points, when in fact until someone can demonstrate that they have developed model(s) that can reasonably accurately forecast conditions at a regional level, all is being accomplished is cheap talk. The proof in demonstrating that the climate science is really understood is models that work!

      • simon abingdon

        “I also cannot accept the idea that it is too difficult/ impossible to make models that can accurately predict 5 or 20 years into the future, but we should accept that the same models are accurate 100 years into the future”.
        Come on Rob, be reasonable. The seasons are predictable; next week’s weather not.

      • Furthermore predicting 5 years to the future might mean predicting year 2017, while predicting 100 years to the future might mean predicting the average of years 2100-2019.

        The latter may well be easier than the former, but that’s certainly not obvious either. The point is that it’s wrong to say either way without further evidence.

      • .. 2100-2119 ..

  43. SuperMandia explains the rationale in this post

    Global Warming: Man or Myth? Do Not Take Your Eyes off Lex Luthor (Heartland Institute)

    • What an amazing post. Slobbering adulation of Saint Peter, and imprecations against the evil subversives at Heartland. I thought it was a parody at first …

      • Unfortunately Brian H, we are now at the point in the ‘climate science debate’ (among others) where straight forward reporting, parody, satire, and just plain bald faced lying are indistinguishable without doing a good deal of research to determine just which case obtains. And even then is is sometimes difficult.

    • I guess that tells us all we have to know about Mandia. LIfe to him is like a comic book. Filled with outlandish caricatures of real people and things with a bright lines dividing good and evil, true or false. No wonder he runs around in tights with a cape and hipboots carrying a hockey stick. Just the type of person I want to save me from my wicked co2 burning ways.

    • Is Supermandia a right or left-wing site?

      It’s offensive to ask?

    • Sorry Judith

      You have got hold of the wrong end of the stick with the Mandia article. Scott is actually organising a new University course on Satire and this was his first-and very good- attempt at writing course material.

      Tomorrows satirical subject matter “Are the IPCC the finest organisation ever to grace the World?”

    • I noticed he had only three comments.

      That says a lot…. or shall I say not?

      • I just commented there:
        “Scott, you and your colleagues are always accusing Heartland of stifling debate, yet you never accept their open challenges to debate. Gleick apparently didn’t have the cojones to do so, even though accepting Heartland’s offer would have given him the opportunity to attend their headline event and speak personally with all those shadowy donors he’s so obsessed with unmasking. Sounds like a job for SuperMandia! If you are right and they are wrong it should be a cakewalk!”

        Theo Goodwin also has a comment awaiting moderation. We shall see how moderate their moderation is…

    • While I find this whole thing simply sickening, I must comment on this quote contained in your link “Heartland Institute is threatening the education and future of our children!”
      The educational materials have yet to be produced. So where’s the threat?
      A scientist protesting science curricula he hasn’t seen (or even yet exists)?
      How on earth did PG win his reputation?
      I think perhaps the hallowed academic halls need some cleaning.

    • You left an italics tag open, Judith.

  44. “So, imagine you are a climate scientist and climate change ideologue, and want to “take down” the single organization (or individual) that is doing the most damage to the movement (i.e. with the end result of thwarting CO2 emissions/stabilization policy). Who would you target?”

    My first answer would be Anthony Watts. After all, his website has the most reach.

    But would going after the organization or individual who does the most damage be the best strategy? Think more along the lines of The Art of War. Think strategy.

    Is it better to attack your opponent’s army or the agricultural areas that sustains their army? Is it better to bomb your opponent’s factories or the ball-bearing plant that keep their machinery spinning?

    From Gleick’s emails to Heartland, he clearly is trying to expose and cut-off what he believes to be the source of funding that is keeping his opponents going.

    By publishing Heartland’s internal documents, he might have accomplished his strategic goal – but then “Reality just wasn’t good enough”.

    • Let me add a couple of other relevant examples:
      1) Ploesti refineries (1943) and other oil sources in Europe.
      2) Interdiction of oil tankers from Indonesia and Burma in the Pacific.
      In the end, the magnificent jet technology of Germany had no fuel, the Japanese battleship Yamato had fuel enough for a one-way trip to Okinawa and fuel shortages hampered air defense.
      How is this relevant? Fossil fuels are essential to this nation’s economy and defense (70%). The EPA, denied cap-and-trade, announced it would default to bureaucratic “Command-and Control”.
      Garrett, Major, and AP. “Administration Warns of ‘Command-and-Control’ Regulation Over Emissions.” News. FOXNews.com, December 9, 2009. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/12/09/administration-warns-command-control-regulation-emissions/

  45. we have a new instrument in the AGW pseudo-science .
    What is a Gleickometer ?

    • … new instrument in the AGW pseudo-science … What is a Gleickometer ?

      It measures the noble-cause conviction emanating from truebelievers as they sing in their Gleick Clubs.

      • Nice!

        I hope that in the future, when people study noble cause corruption, that Peter Glieck’s face is prominently displayed, along with the true story of what happened in Fakegate.

      • +10.
        And the AGW extremists are definitiley pegging the Gleickometer.

      • Andrew Russell

        Punksta: “It measures the noble-cause conviction emanating from truebelievers as they sing in their Gleick Clubs.”

        Why o why did I, on first reading, see “Chicago Cubs” in place of “Gleick Clubs”? And I’m not even a baseball fan or live in Chicago…

        Do Cubs fans suffer from “noble-cause conviction”? :-)

      • Gleickometer – needs to define max & min scale with pointer at mid third.

    • but…but… I always thought a Gleickometer measured glycogen.

  46. J C says- “And of course all this begs the question of why we don’t have CO2 stabilization policies, which is mostly about economics, politics, values.” Out here in CA we have a few CO2 stabilization policies in place. As to the effectiveness of our efforts Bill Slaton (Sacramento Municipal Utilities District) recently recommended that our approach in the electrical market should be modified as noted here-
    Episode 126 [Watch online»] – Bill Slaton. An electrifying conversation about energy.

    Essentially he would like the regulators and legislatures to stop micro managing things as it’s not cost effective. I concur with Bill Slaton that our exclusion of large hydro from the RE calculations is rather odd…………… If we didn’t have the large hydro exclusion SMUD would already have 40% carbon neutral electrical energy generation.

  47. Gleek may have viewed Heartland as an Easier Target. Like a bomber out on a mission he was instructed to drop “somewhere” and do some damage. And maybe his “intelligence” about the matter wasn’t so good.


  48. Why target Joe the Plumer?

  49. … or, Joe the Plumber for that matter.

  50. Given the evidence there can be little doubt that global warming is nothing more than a hoax and a scare tactic. The null hypothesis that climate change is the result of natural causes has never been rejected. Everything else is dogma.

  51. Respectfully, it is too late to target a single individual or organization. The word is out by too many people and organizations, to too many citizens.

    The unfortunate Gleick has shot himself in the foot with a muzzle-loader. When he looks in his cartridge case, he finds only spitballs. :-)

  52. Norm Kalmanovitch

    All physical scientific evidence refutes the ridiculous notion of AGW and the consensus based on climate models of the GCM genre which themselves are incapable either of depicting the effect from CO2 or projecting global temperature in any way shape or form.
    This is why the global temperature is not mentioned because none of the five global temperature datasets show any definitive global warming since 1998 let alone the rapid increase in global temperature predicted by the models that should have occurred with the rapid increase in CO2 emissions during the past dozen years.
    The only argument left is the consensus argument and the Hartland Institute is at the forefront of exposing the consensus argument as fraudulent with such things as the 31000 signatures to the Oregon Declaration which dwarfs the 2500 claimed support of the IPCC or the 212 scientists who signed the 2007 Bali Declaration in suppoert of the IPCC 2007 4AR five years after HadCRUT3 showed that the world was already cooling!
    Since science is the pursuit of truth and AGW advocacy is anything but; it stands to reason that all efforts to keep the debate out of the scientific arena must be made by the global warming orthodoxy to keep the fraud alive.

  53. Or maybe this is part of AGW Climbdown. Hard to know with these people. ;)


  54. Why was William Gray targeted. Why was the label ‘denier’ hung around his neck like the scarlet letter?

    Too many in academia are deniers of a simple fact: the need for honesty in science has never been greater; and, why do these deniers continue to hide from that? The credibility of those who proclaimed ‘consensus’ went down the drain with their targeting of skeptical scientists.

    The AGW True Believers by their actions have voted against the need for honesty in science. The Medium is the Message: the ‘votes’ by those in academia in support of those who oppose the scientific method is their scarlet letter.

  55. Herman Alexander Pope and hunter got in ahead of me. The problem for the proponents of CAGW is that the target that is the real and only problem is unassailable. That target is the hard, measured, observed, independently replicated data. If we skeptics are correct, and we are, then in the end the observed data will prove that we are correct.

    Assuming this is going to happen sometime, then just like if you are running a marathon, you need to take a first step, eventually we will see something in the data that is going to prove that CAGW is wrong. Maybe we are starting to see this, in the “brightness” temperature at 600 mbars. This is currently setting records for the calendar date, since data became available in 2003. Will this trend continue? Is this the beginning of the end for CAGW? We have no idea. It depends on what Mother Nature gives us. But stay tuned.

  56. David Springer

    You don’t need a graduate degree in atmospheric physics to know when someone is trying to pull the wool over your eyes. Never underestimate the general public’s ability to differentiate between sincerity and deceit. This is a skill so essential to survival in the human species that recognizing deceit is probably as instinctual as the ability to recognize the shapes of spiders and snakes.


    “Evolution Of Aversion: Why Even Children Are Fearful Of Snakes”

    Mitt Romney is currently conducting an experiment in whether there’s enough money in the world to subvert the instinctual recognition of a snake. ;-)

  57. I nominate Earth.

    Stubbornly refuses to co-operate with science.

  58. You target low hanging fruit. Or more coarsely, baby bison tastes just as good as adult bison but are less dangerous to put on the plate, so you focus on them. A quirk of fate put Heartland Institute in Peter’s reach and he tried to take it down. Not because it was the best or biggest, or even the most desirable. He did what any scavenger would do – he went for what was available. It turned out to be a bite larger than he could chew, to continue mixing the metaphor.

  59. The AGW true believers apparently have, by their sad reaction to Gleick’s failings, helped Gleick make some more very poor decisions:
    “Gleick’s lawyer John Keker, “Heartland no doubt will seek to exploit Dr. Gleick’s admitted lapse in judgement in order to further its agenda in the ongoing debate about climate change, but if it wants to pursue this matter legally, it will learn that our legal system provides for a level playing field.” Keker added, “Dr. Gleick looks forward to using discovery to understand more about the veracity of the documents, lay bare the implications of Heartland’s propaganda plans and, in particular, determine once and for all who is truly behind Heartland and why.”

    from a post @ Feb 24, 2012 at 10:34 AM | Mac

    • IOW, “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”. There are limits to discovery, and who’s paying for Heartland is completely irrelevant to the question before the court. The won’t have to disclose anything that’s not germane to Gleick’s defense, and that isn’t. It doesn’t matter if Lucifer Q. Satan is funding Heartland, Gleick still broke the law, and still committed tort. That guy’s blustering.

      • Using public funds engaging illegal activities and deceits, punish them to the extent of the law permitted!

    • Hunter,

      Gleick himself, with many believers are deep into PGTS (Post Gleick Traumatic Syndrome). Aside from doubling Heartland donations it’s the best possible outcome. It’s like the Battle of Cannae with a “cause” in the middle of field.

      You can’t fix stupid, you can only benefit by it from others. He’s going to try to use the court to prove Heartland’s position is “propaganda”? He’ll be looking for a friendly “peoples” court in Kalifornia I presume?

      A. First amendment anyone?

      B. PRIVATE assembly and rights?

      What planet are these people from? What country is this?

      Comrade Gleick is in for some serious hurt here.

  60. “What an amazing post. Slobbering adulation of Saint Peter, and imprecations against the evil subversives at Heartland. I thought it was a parody at first …”

    Which is why they are in fact *beyond* parody. They have no idea how crazy they sound.

  61. Seriously speaking, taking down sceptics or organizations would not make any difference.

    The US Senate unanimously rejected Kyoto in 1997, not because of Heartland or any sceptical scientist, but because the requirement to cut emissions would have damaged the US economy.

    China and India loved Kyoto because they do not have to cut emissions. Major European nations went along because their emissions were going down after 1990 anyway.

    Sceptics are a convenient scapegoat but the fact is that unless Mother Nature starts to show serious signs of distress, taxpayers and governments are unwilling to dole out thousands of billions.

    And then there is Russia…. they are looking forward to a warming planet. Canada won’t be hurt either.

  62. My answer is that Heartland is probably the perfect choice, but I have a completely different explanation. At least I haven’t seen anyone else mention it.

    If I am an AGW campaigner with no scruples, I don’t want to “take down” any opponent in anything like a literal way. I want to attack the opponent that best fits my preferred stereotype for all my opponents, those I label “deniers”. This is the best way to discredit the opposition and maintain my alleged moral and intellectual superiority. So clearly, anyone who is right-wing and can be associated with private donors giving money to skeptics is fine. And of course, I do not want them to go away. I want them to stay so that can keep using them in this way. Heartland is excellent, and so is Fred Singer who is one of Naomi Oreskes’ main “villiains”.

    As for others who do not fit the stereotype, I (the hypothetical AGW campaigner) prefer to ignore them or to pretend that they agree with me. Attempts to attack them will get them attention and threaten the black and white distinction between good guys and bad guys. Leave Revkin, Curry etc. alone.

    So, in this model, it’s not about getting rid of the opposition, it’s about defining who the participants are in a way that makes the idea of a war between angels and demons as credible as possible.

    • Dagfinn,
      Excellent points. Gleick was working with the NCSE to do just that, by confusing creationism and cliamte skepticism in the public sqaure and in school education.
      The curriculum being developed by HI, while it would have been very limited in scope, was a counter to the lie Gleick was trying to sell.
      So Peter was not simply acting out of outraged nobel cause corruption. He was worried about even a bit of competition.

      • Heartland is obviously the biggest demon in the game. That is why I made my proposal to them in the first place. And NCSE has clearly just got a lot of money for its new climate thrust, since they are all over this story. They are quoted in most attack articles and I was invited to debate them on public radio, which I declined to do. If non-profits count as commercial enterprises under the law then the theft and release of those documents has commercial law implications. Fascinating.

      • “Excellent points. Gleick was working with the NCSE to do just that, by confusing creationism and cliamte skepticism in the public sqaure and in school education.”

        Right on the money. Gleick, and Mandia writing in his defense, believe that they can recreate for AGW what they see as the victory against creationism. And after the AGW victory comes what?

      • Definitely a big difference between the “controversy” of evolution science and climate science. NCSE lost my respect when they made the announcement they picked up the climate cause.
        It is a matter of losing trust. I felt the same way when the Nobel committee gave the peace prize to Gore and Obama.

    • interesting perspective

    • Dagfinn

      Very convincing, although I don’t think there is quite as much deviousness as you might think. My guess is that the average Gleickian ideologue actually believes that Heartland are a specific incarnation of the devil. And that’s before you even mention the climate. I think climate is only peripheral to Gleick’s ideology [and many other people’s, on both extremes]

      • 1+

        Now if you could only break the convention and mention the ideology by name Anteros. “That ideology that can’t be named”? “The dark lord”?

      • Of course. Gleick desires to do good. He supports certain policies. People who oppose his policies must not desire to do good. Therefore those opponents must be evil.

        Childish thinking? Sure. But it’s everywhere you look. See e.g. the thinking behind What’s the Matter with Kansas? [Since GOP policies supposedly only favor the rich, everyone who isn’t rich should vote for Dems. So the non-rich who vote for the GOP are obviously dupes.] The idea that someone might have legitimate reasons to disagree about what is the right policy to ‘do good’ never occurs to them.

      • Anteros,

        It’s interesting to consider what the difference might be in practice between actually believing your opponent is the devil and just pretending for propaganda purposes. Not much, I think. When faced with the devil, you want to destroy him completely, which may be in conflict with I said about want to keep the opponent around for the next attack. On the other hand, you can’t kill the devil, and climate scientists probably know that Heartland won’t lose support from their existing supporters because no matter what they do. So it comes down to changing the hearts and minds of everybody else.

        And that means persuading everybody that the opponent is in fact the devil and that you are the hero. Then the same style of manipulation applies, including using tricks that may seem unethical otherwise. There are no equal terms. You may demonize your opponent since he is fact in evil. But if he demonizes you, it’s unethical and proves how bad he is.

      • There is also the “false balance” ideology, which entails demanding dominance based on the alleged total wrongness of the opponent. This requires an opponent that fits the stereotype.

    • Very lucid Dagfinn. Keep in mind a good part of the population understands the would-be pompous “angels” in our society as the ultimate evil.

      I can’t help but think of someone blowing a whistle, waving a baton and aiming the troop right at machine guns. Gleick and his tribe are goiong to get slaughtered.

      Better read Pointman’s piece on the death of movements if you haven’t already;


      This is a classic end of age event.

    • Hi Dagfinn. I think HI in combination with the particular attack method chosen, was the worst possible choice.

      “When you actually think it through, as he should have done, it was inevitable that Fakegate would be exposed as bogus but that was bound to happen some time after the whole of the alarmist propaganda machine had committed itself to supporting what was going to be an easily exposed fiction. The big damage was always going to be to their credibility, if not their wallets.”



    • John Carpenter

      Dagfinn, your perspective illustrates a good, advanced strategy… but I’m afraid it’s a little too clever to believe PG or any other CAGW advocate could come up with it… too visionary of an idea for them.

    • Dagfinn,

      I don’t think that it is correct to characterize Gleick as being some one “with no scruples”. I think that is an exaggeration, and does no good as an explanation of what he did.

      I think that the explanation that some one suggested way up above in the thread, the personal animus between Gleick , Taylor and Heartland at the Forbes, and frustration and ego in the same, is sufficient explanation of his actions. There’s no point ion invoking monsters when they’re not needed.

      • Jim,

        I wasn’t characterizing Gleick, I was thinking in terms of a hypothetical “climate change ideologue”, which was what Judith asked for.

        Your explanation may be right. Also, there is little or no conflict between that and mine. Both could be the case to some extent.

      • Jim,

        Some of what you say might be true of Gleick himself. As for many of the baggage carriers in the eco-left movement I can’t make that much of an excuse since the event took place. I’m thinking of the usual suspects in the media and NPR in particular. Gleick as provoked hero by evil GOP operatives (Heartland) meme came out as second nature.

        Both Revkin and Gleick only offered the most half-truth apologies on the 15th or so. Both have walked it back since then and seem much less contrite. The “Gleick as victim” meme has amazing traction in the MSM fringe at the moment. At first I thought it might only be a few dollars and some political humiliation to eat for the “cause”. Now the stakes are raised by this full-blown “The Rosenberg’s are American Heros” defense as if we haven’t seen this sort of thing a hundred times in the past fifty years or so. Now it’s in the hands of the most corrupt and political Eric Holder FBI and Justice department since the Nixon years (in fact worse). The case is only getting bigger not smaller. It’s open and shut, it crossed state lines, it involves AML and Patriot acts statutes, Identity theft is involved. Every bit of the law in recent years have focused on these areas or are recently created.

        He’s playing the martyr along with the tribe. Next to the “cause” these laws are traffic violations has been the party line. Gleick was driving too fast and said he was sorry. Case closed. AGW is mass murder on the part of the GOP and Heartland, we can’t forget that. I now have to see “a perp walk” and watching this administration corrupt itself yet again is expected by both Gleick and myself. It could well become a monster event given time. Sure, ego and general arrogance go with the AGW culture but it’s not the only force at work. There may be some optimal time for him to cave in his mind, in the mean time it’s the business of inventing political crimes (Heartland evil) and selling them to the AGW mob well represented on this board.

      • cwon14,

        You say ‘baggage carriers’ , I say ‘rent seekers’, let’s call the whole thing off…(sung to the well known tune.)

        Thank you for the quote of Alinski below, I never would have seen it, had you not posted it.

        WRT the Soviet spies, that is maybe the only time in history that I have seen a full measure of satisfaction. With the fall of the USSR, and the publication of the American Communist Party minutes and KGB American files, and Venona decryptions, the truth was finally outed.

  63. I think Hanlon’s razor applies here.

  64. Apologies for being potentially off-topic, but for those of you with an interest in the legal aspects of climate change and regulatory policy, a number of organizations are offering 8:30 am – 12 noon program on March 1 here in Washington DC entitled “Debrief of the DC Circuit’s Oral Arguments on EPA’s GHG Rulemakings March 1, 2012” (http://www.facebook.com/events/370847879593650/).

    [Full Disclosure: I have nothing to do with this event or the co-sponsoring organizations, nor do I have any details except for the information in this post.]

    “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit will hear two days of oral argument to review four of EPA’s greenhouse gas emissions rules: the “timing” rule, the “tailoring” rule, the “endangerment” rule, and the “tailpipe” rule. These four rules are EPA’s response to Massachusetts v. EPA and represent the bedrock of EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    The court’s rulings on these four rules have the potential to halt, delay, modify, or greatly increase the scope of greenhouse gas regulation under the CAA. The stakes are among the highest in recent environmental litigation.”

    Details of the program are below and at the weblink. Attendance is free either in-person or by teleconference, but you must register in advance. Particularly of interest to lawyers and public policy specialists – Please RSVP by February 27, 2012 to mcmurrin@eli.org with name, affiliation, and whether in-house or teleconference attendance.

    The event is con-sponsored by the Environmental Law Institute, Jones Day, International Emissions Trading Association, Georgetown Climate Center and the DC Bar Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Section. Details below.

    Subject: REMINDER: Debrief of the DC Circuit’s Oral Arguments on EPA’s GHG Rulemakings March 1, 2012

    Thursday, March 1, 2012
    8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

    Jones Day Washington
    Reception Entrance
    300 New Jersey Avenue, N.W.
    Washington, D.C. 20001

    Teleconference Available

    Co-sponsored by the Environmental Law Institute, Jones Day, International Emissions Trading Association, Georgetown Climate Center, and the DC Bar Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Section

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit will hear two days of oral argument to review four of EPA’s greenhouse gas emissions rules: the “timing” rule, the “tailoring” rule, the “endangerment” rule, and the “tailpipe” rule. These four rules are EPA’s response to Massachusetts v. EPA and represent the bedrock of EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    The court’s rulings on these four rules have the potential to halt, delay, modify, or greatly increase the scope of greenhouse gas regulation under the CAA. The stakes are among the highest in recent environmental litigation.

    Join our distinguished panelists, many of whom participated in the arguments, as they describe and dissect the previous days’ oral arguments and discuss the implications of the potential outcomes.

    8:00 a.m. Breakfast Served

    8:30 a.m. Welcome & Overview of Oral Arguments
    Kevin Holewinski, Partner, Jones Day
    Gabriel Pacyniak, Institute Associate, Georgetown University Climate Center

    9:00am Panel I: Discussion of the oral arguments’ main sticking points and highlights
    John Cruden, President, Environmental Law Institute (moderator)
    Tim Webster , Partner, Sidley Austin LLP
    Earle Duncan Getchell, Commonwealth of VA (invited)
    Meleah Geertsma, Attorney, NRDC
    Tracy Triplett, Assistant Attorney General, Massachusetts (invited)

    10:15 a.m. Coffee Break

    10:30 a.m. Panel II: Scenarios and implications: the impact of potential outcomes
    David Hunter, US Director, International Emissions Trading Association (moderator)
    Rob Brenner, Senior Fellow, Nicholas Institute, Duke University; Former EPA Director of the Office of Policy Analysis and Review at the Office of Air and Radiation (invited)
    William Brownell, Partner, Hunton and Williams
    Megan Ceronsky, Attorney, Environmental Defense Fund
    Kyle Danish, Member, Van Ness Feldman

    11:45 a.m. Closing Remarks
    Henry Derwent, President and CEO, International Emissions Trading Association

    12:00 p.m. Concludes

    Please RSVP by February 27, 2012 to mcmurrin@eli.org with name, affiliation, and whether in-house or teleconference attendance.

    • For some unknown reason I’m on Cato Institutes mailing list and have received couple of messages on another event on the same subject also on March 1.

      • Way off topic, but lots of events here in DC that day. If you have no interest in this climate/regulatory event or the unidentified Cato event , the DC Bar International Dispute Resolution Committee (of which I am chair) is also co-sponsoring an 8:30-10:00 a.m. breakfast program on the same day (March 1st), to provide a “quick response” assessment of the February 28th oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum. In that case, the Supreme Court will be considering the controversial decision of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that the Alien Tort Statute (which allows lawsuits in U.S. courts for violations of international law) does not create a legal basis for such suits against corporations. The registration link is http://wfls.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=526d87115e123966065f5b998&id=4fd4f1b0e9&e=aae5d361ea, which will take you to the Washington Foreign Law Society’s registration page.

        No more off-topic stuff from me today – thanks for your patience.

      • Mark, thanks much for these updates

    • Should be inconclusive but fun, since both sides are well represented if everyone shows up. I am hoping that the Court remands the endangerment finding on the grounds that EPA did no analysis of its own. But that Court is a crap shoot. I used to cover oral arguments and the outcome has nothing to do with the questions asked by the Justices.

    • Mark

      That ruling is key to US policy in the US

  65. Why Heartland?

    My feeling is that some in the CAGW movement are getting really desperate. Recently there have been a number of prominent scientists coming out against CAGW, the global temperature curve remains flat, a prominent CAGW supporter has changed ‘sides’ in Germany, and has written a book about the IPCC……..

    My guess is that Gleick wanted to create a positive new story (from his perspective) – anything, absolutely to distract the press from probing deeper into what we all know is a very deep can of worms!

    When CAGW is fully exposed, there will be a huge crash in support for science (unfortunately not just climate science), with politicians wanting to blame the scientists for persuading them to waste billions of pounds. It is going to become very nasty!

    I’d imagine some of those responsible must be starting to sweat – and maybe lose their senses. After all, they know that all the evidence showing that researchers acted in bad faith, is right there waiting to be GOOGLed! I know I would feel pretty quesy if I had been part of the CAGW scam!

    • Yes, desperation too. They must be praying for some warming, don’t they?

    • I think the answer to “why Heartland?” is simply Gleick and Taylor on the Forbes blog. That the escalation of insults, slights and invitations leads to Twinkies-style “temporary insanity” seems very understandable to me. (No violence is implied by me with the Dan White Twinkies-defense reference, I’m only suggesting the idea of temporary irrational behavior.)

  66. Why Heartland? Because Mother Nature, who is also not cooperating with the narative, doesn’t issue board minutes or have corporate sponsors you can attack.

  67. I would think by this time Gore and those who knell to his holy altar might be thinking of re-opening Jonestown.

  68. I’m still waiting for one of those who think Gleick deserves to be sainted for stealing (and forging) documents from a private institution, to explainwhat we know now that we didn’t know before about HI, except that they actually have very little money to throw around relatively speaking, and less still from oil companies…

    And more importantly, what is Heartland doing that is anyway illegal or unethical.

    Still waiting….

    Still waiting….

  69. Attempting to take down Heartland reminds me of the “war” mentality to bomb Hanoi into submission so that the people will embrace American democracy. Utter arrogance and misreading of the situation.

    Gleick et al. can’t sell their message because they can’t address the needs of their audience. People are concerned about food, water, shelter, clothing, jobs, and quality of life. They don’t care about “infrared radiative transfer” when they don’t see how it improves their access to basic needs and enjoyment of life. “Progressive” abstractions just don’t motivate them to risk what’s important in their daily lives. All that’s left for the gleikers, who can’t win the hearts of the people, is to get them to “hate” the other side. Just won’t work in the long run.

  70. The end result of this episode is that Heartland will become known to many more people.

    Sure, just as the result of climategate was that CRU became known to many more people. Not all publicity is good publicity.

    • True enough – not all publicity is good publicity. A minor difference being that the formerly unknown CRU was shown to be nest of unrepentant fraudsters, whereas nothing even approaching that has been revealed about Heartland.

      • Hopefully some teachers now know that help may be on the way.

      • David

        With all due respect- it remains to be scene if what you will put together is help or not. It all depends upon what you put together.

      • Rob, I think the simple fact that there is a legitimate scientific debate will be useful news to many. We take the debate for granted here, but many people do not know it exists. The details are not important; it is the fact of the debate that matters.

      • Latest shock news: Heartland’s education chief says as he prepares his material for schools:

        The details are not important

        Doesn’t that say it all.

        Only kidding David. Carry on.

      • David,

        When will it be ready? You seemed to have a lot of time here. LOL.

    • But if you are a privately funded institution reliant on donations, it only takes a few who learn about you and decide to give a bob or two to change your fortunes substantially.

      And if your main aim is to bring publicity to your views then a good dose of public loathing from the committed alarmists must be like manna from heaven.

      So from Heartland’s view this is a win all round.

      The man gleick really has let his massive ego lead him and his cause into a grave miscalculation. What a ‘banker’…….

  71. “Who would you target?”
    I thought for sure I would be the first to make this nomination but it appears that others have beaten to the punch.
    The organization that has done the most to mint new sceptics, at least among the technically informed, is RealClimate.org.

    A little more seriously, as person who has a background in applied statistics, I first became interested in climate issues by reading climateaudit.org. Although climateaudit obviously limits its discussion to a narrow aspect of climate science, it was the interactions between climateaudit.org and realclimate.org, that peaked my interest in seeing what lay under other rocks in the field of climate science. Thus, a sceptic was born.

    • Actually I have a new idea: Steve Mosher, he is getting too good at this :)

      • Yes. go after the kung fu master.

      • Scott Basinger

        I don’t know if I was in their position that I would want to take on Mosher. The speed at which he went ‘Gleick is that you?’ was pretty astounding.

    • Yes, that’s who (what) did it for me…

      I think I posted — asked — a simple question about some detail or another on the hockey stick. “What is ‘red noise?’ or some such. Yes, a phrase picked up almost at random from background chatter.

      The question was deleted.


      Shortly after I found Climate Audit where the phrase had apparently originated.


    • pauldd,
      I agree with you in your assessment of RealClimate.org, that it disappoints the technically experienced types of peoples. I don’t know if it “minted” me, but I first went there as a person concerned by AGW, and I was disillusioned by the lack of rigor. As with you, that peaked my interest in looking under the rocks of the orthodoxy.

      • PS
        Climate Audit was the antidote. McIntyer’s application of ordinary quality assurance practices was instantly understandable to me. That the scientists argued against QA was an eye-opener to me.

  72. Why Heartland?

    This may be of interest: http://nigguraths.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/fakegate-heartland-delegitimization/

    Political conservatives have always been shooed away from the environmental arena.The objective is to prevent them from obtaining a foothold. If rational environmental debate were to take place, a) many of the supposed wicked issues would disappear thereby taking down those who depend on them for political sustenance, and, b)it would deprive issue entrepreneurs and pioneers, of dominance in that area.

    The present situation is squarely to be blamed on (a) the success of political conservatism in ensuring economic progress, thereby depriving political left of virtually all oxygen in this area (as in, no credible lefty argues for a traditional left position), and (b) the failure of political conservatism in not caring for science and allowing ‘science’ to be completely hijacked by the political left, to be used as a tool and flag-standard.

    • Shub,

      There is a loss of “turf” element in this event. The Green movement is in world of the their own results with massive financial and government backed losses for example. Going more radical is a way to rally their peers some of who are wavering. It is an election year of course.

      Gleick now needs a pardon from a friendly Whitehouse. He better hope for a speedy trial and conviction and or an Obama win. He might spend more time in jail in the latter case waiting for January 2017 for the political payback pardons are likely to issued if Obama wins. Then of course he wants the longest possible trial, appeal etc. to reduce jail time.

      What people away from finance may not realize is how the recent law is so much worse for Gleick on Identity Theft on many levels including the Patriot Act and anti-money laundering standards. He’s toast in a legal sense. His potential sentence is over 20 years. In California he would have been better off with manslaughter or 2nd degree murder. Identity Theft is a federal crime. It might not end up in California courts which he is praying to Gaia for every night.

  73. “So, imagine you are a climate scientist and climate change ideologue, and want to “take down” the single organization (or individual) that is doing the most damage to the movement (i.e. with the end result of thwarting CO2 emissions/stabilization policy)” And why would you ever imagine that this activity was as or more important than working on evidence supporting your position? And why would you consider that “having a position” was more important than the objective pursuit of information? The answer to that is that ethics, values and morays have all become (or been revealed as being) quite confused.

    • Personally, I can’t imagine it, but Peter Gleick seems to have. Trying to understand this. So far the only thing that makes sense is to support the merchant of doubt meme, but i still can’t reconcile this with the Gleick’s act of professional seppuku.

      • You are living in a bubble if I’m to accept these words at face value Dr. Curry.

        AGW for the most part (in the largest sense) is an ideological movement. Gleick is gambling on a political reward as a “get out of jail free card”, he’s already dead in court. His odds aren’t bad, this is among the most corrupt White House’s in history and the killer crime in a jail sense is Identity Theft. A Federal Crime with William Holder justice department, the most politically corrupt in history bar none. He makes himself a hero to the Obama clan is his best chance in his eyes, it suits his ego as well. We may have yet to see the largest collective crime in this event yet, Gleick has chances with this administration.

        As for a professional career and reputation? How much worse is this than the TEAM itself that made plenty of the same trades or worse for the “cause”? He’s almost retired as a scientist for a long time. He gets to join the deified of the American left like Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, Jim Hansen, The Hollywood Ten. How are you missing this (or pretending to)? The AGW fanatics don’t care about their “professions”. Do you think NPR cares about “journalism” over this event? Have you heard the levels of “good cause” rationalizations as a Gleick defense going on there?

        What kind of world do you think we are living in Dr. Curry? Why are you allowed to pretend when the world and nation suffers from this sort of fiction? There was time when the elite would police the mob, now they are the mob.

        Jeff, “quite confused”??

        There is nothing confused about it. Gleick and his followers know exactly what they are doing. By pretending otherwise you are subsidizing the behavior. Dr. Curry does this all the time, don’t be a minion you should object.

        “Trying to understand this”? Gleick is like a brick thrown through a window at a “Peace rally”. How culturally biased and accomodative to your peers and political/cultural cousins can you be? It’s shameful. The Gleick defense plan is offensive on every level, it’s easy to understand, the politics behind are easy to identify as well. It will be what it will be regardless of what I say or even you say. You should take a moral position even if it is hard culturally. Enough of the “trying to understand” though, it just isn’t this hard to understand and I can’t believe you really don’t.

      • Roddy Campbell

        cwon14 – you’re sounding bit like …… Gleick. take a chill pill.

      • Roddy, I have a good cause. -:)

      • Put the scanner down, cwon. :)

      • Judith,
        Gleick couldn’t have intended the outcome, so “professional seppuku” seems too much like hyperbole.

        I don’t think that he was rational, for that short time. I think that is the truthful part of his ‘confession’, that he was blinded by animus. That his subsequent actions were a stupid, irrational mistake.

        What will be interesting to see is what happen in the future. If he is honest in his contrition, and he labors honestly in the public eye for a long time, I think that he can redeem himself. He is a very able person. If he continues to conceal and dissemble, well… we’ve all seen that before…

      • He didn’t think he would be caught just as the CG 1 and 2 leaker was not caught.

        Moshpit zeroing in on him within hours completely upset his plans and dreams. Everything since has been damage control. Everything.

      • A few possibilities: cognitive dissonance, projection, feelings of moral superiority, personality disorder….

    • “The answer to that is that ethics, values and morays have all become (or been revealed as being) quite confused.”

      What do eels have to do with it?

      Oh, “mores.” Never mind.

  74. The general positions of Peter Gleick and Heartland Institute have been for longclear enough for those who have followed the debate. Thus people will see HI in the same position they did before and in part that applies also to Gleick, but only in part.

    Concerning the activities and funding of the Heartland Institute, there’s only one issue that has really come out – the project of David Wojick. The attention given to that project may really have a significant effect. It’s likely that various counteractions will be prepared and the outcome of the project will be strongly attacked and discredited, if there will finally be on outcome. This by itself may have been enough for justifying the choice for Gleick, although the Forbes contributions by both sides are a more likely reason.

    • Pekka,
      I think that we should recall that Peter Gleick and the NCSE was busy fabricating a science curriculum designed to confuse creationsim with cliamte skepticism.
      NCSE is vastly more well funded, has much more access to school rooms, and was deliberately setting out misrepresent the debate as strongly as possible.
      If we are going to talk about politicizationin the classroom, let’s chit chat.

      • Looking for motivation it’s not necessary to present judgments on their activity. In any case Gleick was certainly convinced that the HI / Wojick project has been set up to discredit valid understanding. The main claim of my previous message is that on this issue, his activity may, indeed, have had real effect – perhaps a larger effect than could have been reached attacking other targets.

      • Hunter

        Good point.

        Trying to compare the teaching of religious positions vs. evolution to the teaching of the uncertainty about the validity of the IPCC’s conclusions seems to be a political attempt to discredit those who do not accept the IPCC’s position.

    • It’s likely that various counteractions will be prepared and the outcome of the project will be strongly attacked and discredited, if there will finally be on outcome. This by itself may have been enough for justifying the choice for Gleick, although the Forbes contributions by both sides are a more likely reason.

      If his intention was to discredit the Heartland curriculum, then Gleick could well have handed them a golden opportunity since the curriculum doesn’t exist. Whipping up an outline that shows disagreements and uncertainties in a factual, politically neutral manner would allow Heartland the opportunity to portray Gleick (and by implication, those associated with him) as extremists.

      This is why the only sane answer to Dr. Curry’s question above is “no one”. Absent a 100% guaranteed kill shot, you risk immense blowback with a stunt like this.

    • Pekka,
      Setting aside your seeming calmness in the face of Gleick’s efforts to mislead students irt climate skepticism by means of a lie, I would agree with your other point that this will have larger impacts than anticipated. HI’s membership and donations are up, and more people will understand and agree with their message that something is terribly wrong with the AGW movement.

    • Pekka, you are half right. There is no question that my product will be attacked by the warmers. if it ever comes out, but it would have been anyway, so sounding the alarm serves little purpose. I doubt it will be discredited in other than their eyes, if I do the job well. Note that there is no actual project at this time. It was just a proposal.

      In fact some of the hate publicity has actually been positive as these things go, in that I have been able to squeeze my message through the negative green filter. Keep in mind that half the readers in the USA don’t believe CAGW. Many are angry that it is being taught. They do not read this green stuff verbatim. If I get a good quote in edgewise it may be the whole story in their eyes. I think a lot of people are now looking forward to what I may produce. Alerting them may prove to have been quite useful.

      • David,

        I understand well that the scene is different in USA from what we have here in Finland or most of Europe. On the US scale I must be strongly on the warmist side, but perhaps not so certainly here or in EU more generally. Accepting most of the main stream climate science, but being skeptical on EU policies might be considered a rather strongly deviating view here.

      • David,
        It is astonishing to me that the extremists are so crazed on this as to be this upset over a proposal that you develop an idea that they do not approve of, sight unseen.

      • Pekka,

        It surprises me what you say; “Accepting most of the main stream climate science, but being skeptical on EU policies might be considered a rather strongly deviating view here.”

        That being skeptical of the not-too-effective EU intervention policies is a “deviating view” is unfortunate! I think that many of the posts that you have had here are very rational and reasoned. I’m disappointed that your ideas are deviant, over there.

  75. P.S. to my earlier post…leave the children and elderly behind.

  76. I have a question regarding Mandia’s view of professional ethics based on this statement of his:

    Scott Mandia a leader of the Climate Science Rapid Response Team is quoted as follows:

    “Peter Gleick, a scientist who is also a journalist, just used the same tricks that any investigative reporter uses to uncover the truth. He is the hero and Heartland remains the villain. He will have many people lining up to support him.”

    – – – – –

    So given Mandia’s position on the Gleick Hoax above, I pose this question.

    Does Scott Mandia’s statement mean that both he and the CSRRT members that he speaks for, if he or they were in a position to be aware in advance of Gleick’s plan to perpetrate the HI hoax, would he or they have supported the perpetration of Gleick’s plan?

    By Mandia’s own statement above, he seems to infer it would be good to help this ‘hero’ (Gleick) in the perpetration of his efforts to harm the villain (HI). Mandia seems to infer it would not have been wrong to help Gleick in doing that acceptable (to Mandia) investigative journalism. Mandia seems to infer that many people would have been found to help Gleick’s hoax plan.


    • If John Whitman is as poorly informed on claimte as he is on journalism 101, he is facing a much bigger problem than Peter Glecik.

      • hunter,



      • John,
        Sorry, John: I meant to say that if Scott Mandia is as uninformed on journalismn as he is on cliamte science or ethics then he is facing muhc bigger problems than just Gleick.
        Sorry. i was typing too fast and did not in any way mean to imply somethingnegative about you.

      • hunter,

        No problem. I have done errors by fast / heated typing before.

        Thanks for your quick explaination.

        You surprised me though. Your comment was so out of character for you. : )


    • Just as a matter of curiosity, why does Climate Science need an official Climate Science Rapid Response Team?

      Is this common to all scientific and technical fields fields? Is there a Physics Rapid Response Team or a Chemistry Rapid Response Team or a Mechanical Engineering Rapid Response Team or a Mathematics Rapid Response Team?

      • My question exactly. What is the purpose? It’s not science, that’s for sure.

        It does a bear a close resemblence to the Bill Clinton presidential campaign. Clinton camp maintains a rapid response team In other words, it’s pure politics. The whole global warming thing is run on a political model, not a scientific method model. It’s yet another embarrassment for climate science in their claims that they’re simply scientists and we should trust them.

        And, of course, who did Peter Gleick hire to help him with his self-inflicted troubles? A couple of Clinton partisans. Again, the model is political, not scientific.

      • As a mechanical engineer, I can confirm that there IS a Mechanical Engineering Rapid Response Team that mobilizes upon hearing that there is cake in the break room.

      • Scott Basinger

        Same rapid cake response team in electrical engineering. Weird.

      • Exactly, Scott, hence the need for rapid deployment!

  77. There is 2 huge assumptions:
    1. That the motive was purely political, not personal
    2. The target was one selected by thoughtful consideration, not opportunity.
    I believe there are good reasons to doubt both these assumptions.

    • Indeed, based on Gleick’s statements the target was selected when he received the forged strategy plan and he just wanted to follow up on it. Opportunity creates many a crime.

      • I think it is more likely that he was annoyed about his conflicts with Heartland at Forbes, at the fact that the WSJ published a letter by 16 skeptics but refused to publish the letter than he had authored and organized signed by 255 warmists, and so on.

        I think the opportunity, or the idea, arose, because of the email exchange with Heartland when they invited him to a debate. He obtained information in that exchange which he leveraged to use for phishing.

      • Spot on, Copner. But I would change the word “annoyed” to something much stronger. As characterized upthread, I think his emotions run much hotter than that. The earlier poster said he was probably “stewing” after all those perceived slights and I bet that was true. It was that strength of emotion that allowed him to plow ahead, in a fit of pique, with his irrational, ultimately self-injuring plan before better sense could prevail. As mentioned above, I think his motivation was as much (and probably more) personal than political at the point he finally pulled the trigger and implemented his plan.

        “He obtained information in that exchange which he leveraged to use for phishing.”

        That was pretty slimy, wasn’t it.

    • Copner,

      You are correct about both assumptions!

      The simple, self confessed motive is the true part, maybe the only true part, of the confession.

  78. David Springer

    “In the U.S. anyways, who (individual organization) has been most effective at challenging the IPCC consensus science in the public debate on climate change?”

    The White House. In a rare display of non-partisan consensus Clinton, Bush, and Obama have all rejected the Kyoto Protocol.

    • Also a good point as it was a bad treaty. Then again, what percentage of the world’s population did accept that treaty?

    • David Springer

      Someone’s probably going to object and say Clinton signed it. The presidents merely paid it lip service for brownie points with their peers in other nations knowing full well the U.S. was never going to ratify the treaty. I remember back in the 1990’s Scientific American publishing an article explaining why. In the original draft countries got credits for carbon sinks including forests. The U.S. had been on a tear at home and across the world planting trees and working to limit destruction of rain forest. It stood to get so much in the way of carbon credits there was little need to reduce carbon emissions. The UNFCC however recognized this and since as we all know this has never been about CO2 but rather about the wealth and power of the United States which is dependent on fossil fuel consumption the UNFCC effectively eliminated the carbon credits for reforestation and that killed it for the U.S. No president was going to fight for what was clearly not in the best interests of the United States.

  79. Steve Milesworthy

    “So, imagine you are a climate scientist and climate change ideologue, and want to “take down” the single organization (or individual) that is doing the most damage to the movement”

    The question is puerile. Gleick is an individual who has clearly let Heartland get to him. Characterising the event as an attempt by “climate scientists” as a group to target denialist institutions is just silly.

    As you say:

    “Scientists seem to persist in thinking the problem is the public’s understanding of climate science.”

    I agree with that. You don’t solve that with direct action.

    • Steve,
      Is that why so many are so quiet about this?

    • “Characterising the event as an attempt by “climate scientists” as a group”

      Please show where that was done. I don’t see a plural (scientists) anywhere in the original question you quoted.

  80. “So, imagine you are a climate scientist and climate change ideologue, and want to “take down” the single organization (or individual) that is doing the most damage to the movement (i.e. with the end result of thwarting CO2 emissions/stabilization policy). Who would you target?”

    Al Gore.

  81. And of course all this begs the question of why we don’t have CO2 stabilization policies, which is mostly about economics, politics, values.

    IMO, that is exactly what this is about.

    In the 1969 book ‘Resources and Man’ by the National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council, it says in the introduction:
    “Man must look with equal urgency to his nonrenewable resources–to mineral fuels, to metals, to chemical, and to construction materials.
    “These are the heritage of mankind. Their overconsumption or waste for the temporary benefit of the few who currently possess the capability to exploit them cannot be tolerated.

    I have also found a number of other references from different sources (the UN for example) from the ’70s that echo the same thing.

    One of the common themes I have found in these books and papers I’ve read is that developing countries need access to these natural resources in order to grow their economies so they can end their poverty. Another theme I’ve gotten from what I’ve read is that modern economies tend to result in more women working and hence they’ll have less kids. Less kids means less population growth, and population growth is another issue that has come up repeatedly in what I’ve read.

    I believe they are using CO2 and grossly exaggerating the consequences of it in order to force us to use less natural resources so that the rest of the world can use more of them.

    And whose ‘values?’ Those of the left? Certainly looks like it to me…

  82. J.C wrote: “…trying to understand this.”

    I just don’t think it’s all that hard. I’m sometimes accused of too readily “psychoanalyzing” people, but I’m comfortable doing it when the pieces fall into place so neatly, as they do in this case. At least in my opinion.

    No longer in question is the fact that Gleick is not an honest man. Sure, sure, it’s possible this is his one and only ethical lapse, but how likely is that? When someone gets charged with a DUI, we generally assume that it’s much more likely than not that he’s done it many times before..

    What do people often do when they feel ashamed of some aspect of themselves? They PROJECT. There was an interesting (if deeply unethical) experiment I read about a long time ago in which they hooked inmates up to a device that measures sexual arousal…often referred to as a “peter meter.” Reliably, the inmates who evinced the most contempt and anger toward gays were more highly aroused by pictures of naked males than were those whose attitudes were more neutral.

    Is it a surprise that someone like Gleick who it’s safe to assume is ashamed of his own penchant for dishonesty, has made such a big deal about ethics in his career? I don’t think so. It’s what liars often do. It’s a way of hiding who they are.

    The second part of the puzzle is perhaps more difficult. Why Heartland? WHy now? WHy such a desperate act? I think Gleick gives himself away when he blames the “lack of honest debate”. It’s essentially another form of the same defense mechanism: i.e. projection. As we all know now, he’s the one who won’t debate, not Heartland. There’s a term in psychoanalysis…”over-determination” which refers to the idea that the things we ultimately decide to do are often the outcome of a combination of motives. I don’t know the history between Gleick and Heartland, but it’s safe to say that in his heart of hearts, he was deeply ashamed of his own cowardice and dishonesty in refusing to accept their challenge. That had to be an important factor.Or at least, it seems likely to me.

    That he decided to try to bring the bastards down is not particularly surprising to me. Murders (to name the ultimate anti-social act) are often committed by people who’ve been deeply shamed. Terrorists are often characterized in this way as well..

    Ok, so a pretty facile analysis on my part.. I don’t even know the guy. But it makes a lot of sense to me.

    • pokerguy, I think you are probably striking pretty close to the heart of drakness in Peter Gleick.

      • Thanks Hunter. Right or wrong, there’s something deeply creepy about the man. The really scary thing is that that same quality of creepiness is rampant among the more virulent warmists. Mann is very, very creepy in my opinion, to name just one. As a group, they’re all so f’ing outraged. It’s all so personal with them. It ceased being about science a long time ago.

        These are very smart people. They don’t hand out doctorates in science to just anyone. Deep down, they;re terrified of being exposed. .
        Ultimately of course, they will be. But in the meanwhile, they’ll continue to fight as if their very survival depends on it. Which is does. For them, it is quite literally a matter of life and death. Or very nearly literally anyway. Was it Jones who talked about suicide when climate-gate first broke?

  83. “Heartland would not be at the top of my list. What about Cato” “Chris Horner” etc Judith Curry

    I’m not sure you understand the concept of political ‘network’, Judy.

    It’s more along the lines of a network of political influence that is ‘at the top of the list’, for anyone who more fully understands the public, policy and political issues that dominate.

    In this case, for everyone to see, it is the interconnection of think tanks and groups funded by foundations and companies controlled and supported by the Kochs — as anyone who knows how to use Google can plainly see. Who founded Heartland and whose money was involved? Who founded Cato and with what money? How many of the same names are Directors and employees? What books are pushed by Koch, Heartland and Cato (just for example, hint: rhymes with corner). Etc into the horizon.

    This is not demanding analysis, and a spotlight on this kind of network can be shone from many angles. Just turn your flashlight on.

    You ask, ‘why not Watts or McIntyre’? Well, very obviously, while these guys frequently misinform people and we all know they are not the brightest pennies in the piggy bank, they do not directly influence energy and climate legislation, given the current political system. That is why not.

    • I’m sure Steve MC will be delighted to learn that he’s not the brightest penny in the piggy bank.

    • I see more misinformation from the climate establishment every day than I could ever see from Watts or McIntyre. And I have never seen evidence that the establishment has any bright pennies at all, including you. Everything I read from you puts me into a time warp back to the 70s.

    • Martha –

      I’m not sure that you understand the concept of ‘conspiracy theorizing’, Martha.

      Believing that the Kochs are at the root of everything you despise puts you in the same category as the more unhinged elements of the right that put Soros behind everything they despise.

      Hell, it could just be that the Illuminati have teamed up with the Rosicrucians and the Templars to take over the world, and all this is just a planned distraction for the masses.

      On a more serious note, it’s good to see that you so easily fall into the trap of believing that your opponents are stupid. Underestimating your opponents leads to defeat far more often than to victory. Sun Tzu would weep..

    • In this case, for everyone to see, it is the interconnection of think tanks and groups funded by foundations and companies


      So that explains why the chairman of the board of The World WildLife Fund and the CEO of The Nature Conservancy are both alumni of Goldman-Sachs!!

    • Martha, none of your caped climate crusaders could hold a candle to McIntyre’s mathematical and statistical prowess. There are still in shock that he almost single-handedly exposed their advocacy as well as their shoddy “science”

    • Martha may not know much about climate, and nothing about economics, but she has Alinskyite tactics down pat. Take an issue, personalize it, and attack the person. It’s all an evil conspiracy of the Koch brothers.

      If the Koch brothers had a dime for every dollar George Soros spends on politically undermining capitalists, they would be…even richer than they already are.

    • Martha superb! Every post of yours creates another thousand sceptics. Keep up the good work.

    • John Carpenter

      Attention Joshua… conspiracy theory alert…. please submit an appropriately non-biased reply here.

    • Watts or McIntyre – “not the brightest pennies in the piggy bank?” Congratulations, Martha, nice to see you’ve joined your CAGWpeers by stooping to ad homs and name-calling. Your hypocrisy is remarkable, as well, as you ignore the political connections and networking between oil companies, the political establishment, this Administration, and organizations like Greenpeace.

    • Martha, now do the same analysis for the enviro advocacy groups, with almost two orders of magnitude more funding, then explain how these few libertarian think tanks with relatively small funding, have had the size of the impact that you think they have. My flash light is turned on, and I am able to use it to illuminate both sides.

  84. 1st email from Gleick ( impersonating a Heartland Board Member) to Heartland was sent on January 27, 2012 – the same day he rejected a cordial invitation to debate climate science.



    • By then he had already had his formal request for a list of their donors denied, so presumably this sprung from that refusal which might have sparked an interest to see what they might be hiding behind the curtain there.

    • Barry,
      This leaves Gleick’s scam be seen as the cold blooded effort it was.
      I wonder who helped him put this together?

    • I believe his phishing went on for a week. PG had plenty of time to reflect on the ethics of his actions…..

  85. Understanding climate and the environment is not a “movement”. The drive is instead just intellectual curiosity and is part of human nature.
    I remember a discussion with Wojick last year where he wished he could get a grant to research climate and chaos, but now he has taken on money to educate people … on stuff that he presumably doesn’t know anything about. Hypocrisy is such a large target. The hypocrisy here is that Heartland is clearly a lobbying organization yet they claim tax-free status. This is all laid out in gory detail by John Mashey’s expose on fake science, fakexperts and funny finance which he released last week. As they say, “it’s the hypocrisy, stupid” and identifying who are the biggest hypocrites.

    One side’s idea of hypocrisy is that of Gore owning a mansion, or RFK Jr opposing wind turbines around Cape Cod, or McKiibben taking a jet to a conference.

    The other side’s idea is that of lobbyists parading around as if they want to educate lay-people where in fact the lobbyist’s goal is to keep the public in the dark. So Heartland enjoying tax-free status while railing against government-sponsored initiatives is the comparative hypocrisy.

    Those are the targets in the political realm. The scientists trying to understand climate and the environment may be oblivious to the political gamesmanship. Often they are just nerds with some intellectual curiosity.

    • Web,
      Don’t be an idiot.
      Of course AGW is a movement.

      • Hunter, according to the ClimateGate II emails, AGW is a “cause” with a carefully honed but all too fragile “message”.

      • hunter and Web

        Of course AGW is a movement.

        Yes. And a very highly (taxpayer) funded one.

        It was on a roll which reached its peak in 2007, with the fawning media swallowing IPCC AR4 hook, line and sinker, Nobel Peace Prizes and an Oscar being handed out, and bevies of politicians calling for action (i.e. more taxes) to save the planet from ourselves.

        CAGW was not only “in” and “cool” – it was the “PC”.movement.

        But several things happened.

        – Climategate and ensuing revelations of IPCC falsifications and exaggerations raised serious doubts about the behavior and credibility of the “mainstream consensus” scientists

        – Several scientists distanced themselves from IPCC, its “consensus process” and its understatement of uncertainties – and started becoming vocal.

        – Climate conferences at Copenhagen, Cancun and Durban were spectacular flops, with no political decisions made to combat CAGW, as had been hoped..

        – Groups, such as Heartland, gathered and published data and reports that contradicted the IPCC “consensus” CAGW position and held climate conferences of their own, where skeptical scientists could present their findings.

        – And – worst of all for the CAGW movement – it stopped warming.

        – “Mainstream consensus” scientists first denied that it had stopped warming and, when this no longer was possible, scrambled for rationalizations for the “unexplained lack of warming”, ranging from previously underplayed “natural variability” to “Chinese aerosol emissions”. But these rationalizations all rang hollow.

        So, like all fads, CAGW has reached its zenith and is in decline today.

        Events like “Heartlandgate” will accelerate this process, as will a continuation of the current “lack of warming”.

        But, despite the fact that it has become a multi-billion dollar big business, the decline and eventual end of the CAGW hysteria will occur in either case – only to be replaced by another fad and another movement.


    • Don’t twist my words Web. Just because I want to do frontier research on chaotic climate modeling doesn’t mean I don’t know anything about climate science, quite the opposite in fact. Nor have I taken any money yet, but I hope to. Lobbying means targeting Congress regarding particular legislation. Public advocacy and education is not lobbying; in this case it means fighting an overzealous ideological movement, namely the climate greens. You are being especially obtuse today.

      • “David Wojick | August 13, 2011 at 1:05 pm |

        Yes Web, that sounds about right. But it is not how the research program looks. If they would just give you and me the billions we could straighten it out, ha ha. Actually I would settle for a modest grant to explore the chaos, but I know of no RFP along those lines.”

        It is not hard to find out what opinions Wojick has. It is all archived in the comments section on this blog.


        “Human behavior, including scientific discourse, exists in the world. It is therefore open to scientific analysis. That is what I do.”

        “I think I understand the climate debate better than anyone, not because I know more about climate but because I know more about the logic of complex issues. “

        “I am proud of my advocacy work, especially as I am winning and you are losing.”


        “David Wojick | April 11, 2011 at 9:33 am |

        I have been an energy policy analyst since 1992 and the only thing new here is that the greens are trying to recover from a crushing defeat. It is not a question of changing the game, it is that the game has changed on them. But without dangerous AGW there is no policy basis for decarbonization, so the world is moving on. However, dangerous AGW is alive and well as a strong minority view so the game is far from over.”

    • @webbie

      So your real beef is with US taxation laws, not with Heartland. Fair enough, though that seems like a relatively trivial reason for you guys to get all paranoid about Joe Bast and his team.

      How many other lobbying institutions also benefit from the same taxation laws without you getting so agitated about their activities?

    • John Carpenter

      WHT, I guess orgs like Sierra Club, WWF, Greenpeace, etc… are not part of a CAGW movement? Am I missing something here? How do they differ from HI? Other than being on the ‘other’ side.

    • Wub Hubble,

      John Mashey??? ???

  86. There’s an eerie symmetry, or asymmetry, between this and the UEA email theft.

    This is exactly what I’ve been wondering over the years. Why target UEA? A small rural univ department. It’s true that PJ has been a scientific pioneer, and can be tactless, but still, of all places in the world…

    • Nick,
      When was it established as a theft?
      Are you trying to suggest that Phil Jones and the UEA CRU was just a little underfunded org stuck in BFE united Kingdom?

    • Because it came from the inside not through impersonation and fraud; and UEA is publicly funded, while Heartland is a private organization. Don’t conflate the two legally (or morally).

      The e-mails were also just people talking; the Heartland docs were actual financial, donor, and employee information as well, something any corporation would label sensitive.

      There are no parallels unless you don’t bother looking at any of the details beyond “something was leaked”.

      • The emails included reviews of papers, grant application matters – highly sensitive. They even included letters to Briffa from his financial adviser discussing his personal finances.

      • Heartland is a non-profit and could get their tax-free status pulled at any time if they break the lobby law regulations.
        Find out if they filed IRS Form 5768. That becomes public information.

        John Mashey has looked at this angle quite a bit.

        “Under Jay Lehr and James Taylor, anti-science permeated Heartland’s Environment and Climate News (E&CN) sent mostly to elected officials. Heartland incessantly touted its access and influence with such officials, but its tax forms claimed no lobbying. It ran “fake science” conferences, paying for government staff attendance. It sent money to foreign noncharity advocacy groups, sent anti-science handbooks to school boards and urged parents to complain. It has been criticized in Nature and Science.”

      • WebHubTelescope,

        Thank you for that interesting link.

        Here’s a relevant paragraph from Joe Bast’s email:

        > We send publications to every national, state, and 8,400 county and local officials in the U.S. on average about once a week. 79% of state legislators say they read at least one of our publications. “Environment & Climate News,” one of six monthly publications we produce, is read by 57% of state legislators, a higher percentage than read the New York Times. It has been published continuously for 15 years, and every issue features the work of leading climate realists. No other organization produces a regular publication that reaches more people with this message.

        I believe this counts as lobbying, am I right?

      • “I believe this counts as lobbying, am I right?”

        Probably, yet it all fits under IOKIYAR so nothing will be done about it. Fake science for fake experts.

      • WebHubTelescope,

        I did not know that there existed an acronym for “It’s OK If You’re a Republican.” That does sound like another way to talk about entertaining some kind of double standard, and I believe the concept of double standard deserves due diligence. Some obscure sources tell me that Henry W. Johnstone considered the double standard as the mortal sin of argumentation.

        Keeping the discussion of your link for another time, I’ll observe that lobbying is considered as one instance of activism. It would be interesting to note the different uses of the epithet “activist”, here and elsewhere. We could almost feel that “activist” has become a derogatory term.

        If you ever have more resources you’d like to share, you can drop me an email, or submit it on my tumblog.

        Thanks again,


      • “Fake science for fake experts”. Just name af ew for you webby, Hansen, Trenberth, Mann etal.

    • Only asymmetry.

      UEA is a public institution that was illegally withholding public data in violation of FOI laws. ClimateGate only revealed what should have been legally revealed.

      Heartland is a private institution. The public had no legal right to the information gleamed by the phishing attack.

      Why UEA? Because it was home to several IPCC lead authors and the temperature data sets that the IPCC used to buttress it’s opinions. Public data that should have been available to the public.

      • “UEA is a public institution that was illegally withholding public data in violation of FOI laws.”
        Nonsense. FOI applications went through normal processes. They made decisions that you didn’t like. These are subject to appeal, not burglary. One was indeed overturned on appeal.

      • Scott Basinger

        I’m of the opinion that they were leaked.

        Further assymetry. They clearly show evidence of wrongdoing including prima facie evidence of subversion of FOIA requests – they were only saved by the statute of limitations. The Heartland documents don’t show very much of interest, to be honest. The only document even raising an eyebrow is completely fake.

        Climategate had exactly the intended effect. Whereas this occurrance had exactly the opposite of the intended effect.

      • Heartland Institute is a federal tax exempt 501(c)(3) charity, and so they are not strictly a private enterprise.
        If they want to reject that status and become a private-for-profit enterprise then they might be able to make the case for unlimited lobbying (this follows the Citizen’s United case, which sets the precedent that corporations are people).

        But this stuff is not really interesting because it is comprised of fake experts doing fake science which leads them to fake outrage.

    • Isn’t UEA where all the climate records were held? Is that a good reason to want to know whether the keepers of the records — past, present, and future — are being accurate and dispassionate in their assessment?

      There was certainly good reason in Nov 2010 to think that Mann and Jones and the rest of that crowd were neither accurate nor dispassionate.

      With regard to the “theft:” — suppose “FOIA,” the alleged leaker, was an insider — a whistleblower. Isn’t there the possibility that his identity is known, but if he or she were exposed as a whistleblower who knows that things were doctored (Harry the programmer, for instance — see Climategate emails), things would be worse for UAE and the climate community, than if view is perpetuated that this was email theft (which indeed it may be).

      • “Isn’t UEA where all the climate records were held?”
        No. National Met organisations hold the records. UEA is a university. It studies them.

      • @nick stokes

        ‘“Isn’t UEA where all the climate records were held?”
        No. National Met organisations hold the records. UEA is a university. It studies them.’

        Please remind us all what the acronym CRU stands for in the name of the famous datasets HadCRUT3 and CRUTEM3.

        Because I believe it to be Climatic Research Unit. They do not just ‘study’ the data. They prepare it. Their grubby fingermarks are all over them. If they bothered to record how they had manipulated them, we would even know what they had done to manufacture them. But they don’t so we can only guess. And hope that Mr Transparency himself, Phil Jones, has done a good and honest job.

        Meanwhile over to our correspondent at Porcine Aviation…

      • HADCRUT3 and CRUTEM3 are not datasets, they are global temperature indices. They are averages calculated from data supplied from elsewhere. I do that too.

      • @nick stokes

        ‘HadCRUT3 and CRUTEM are just indices’.

        H’mm. So why does CRU get about £200,000 pa in grants from the US to prepare these indices which presumably need no more than a reasonably powerful PC and a couple of batch programs to compute?

        I have a nice new laptop, and an hour or so a week. I’ll do it for £100K. Bargain!

      • “So why does CRU get about £200,000 pa in grants from the US to prepare these indices”
        I don’t believe they do.

      • @nick stokes

        CRU themselves refer to them as datasets throughout.


        Note, for example, the opening remarks in the documents above

        ‘From the beginning of January 2006, we have replaced the various grid-box temperature anomaly (from the base period 1961-90) datasets with new versions, HadCRUT3 and CRUTEM3 (see Brohan et al., 2006). The datasets have been developed in conjunction with Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office. These datasets will be updated at roughly monthly intervals into the future. Hemispheric and global averages as monthly and annual values are available as separate files’

        Your assertion that they are not datasets is contradicted by the authors themselves. You are wrong.

      • “Your assertion that they are not datasets is contradicted by the authors themselves. “
        Well, you can call any set of numbers a dataset. But they are not cliamte records of which they are the “keepers”.

        Read your quote again:
        “grid-box temperature anomaly (from the base period 1961-90) datasets”
        A grid-box anomaly dataset is a computed average, not an original record.

      • @nick stokes.

        ‘Well, you can call any set of numbers a dataset’

        They did. I merely reflected their terminology. You then asserted that we were both wrong. Now you concede the point.

        ?? Are you new on the ‘Nick Stokes’ shift? The one who used to do this instant rebuttal stuff was a bit more up to the mark. Has he retired…or found something useful to do instead? Did he not leave any advice for you as the newbie?

    • Why target UEA?

      Because if that is the institution you work for and you are disturbed by their antics, that is the only thing you can do. You have access to their mails. You do not have access to all the other ones at other institutions. They are the only ones you can release.

      But I agree with you – it seems unlikely that an outside hacker would spend so much effort on targetting UEA – and having done so not moved on to other institutions. Yet more circumstantial evidence of a inside whistleblower rather than an outside hack.

      I;d add that Jones being ‘tactless’ rather underplays his role in such wonderful remarks as

      ‘Why would I show you my data when you’ll only try to find something wrong with it?’

      ‘If they find out there’s FOI in UK, Ill destroy my data’

      and other such bon mots. This is not tactlessness, this is obstruction of the scientific process at the very least.

    • Nick:

      I think it is because Phil Jones asked others to delete their emails to try to avoid the FOI request – and Phil Johns is from UEA. I think FOIA was an insider and it pissed him off. That is my opinion anyway.

      • Unlikely. But in any case, an “insider” would not have had access to PJ’s emails before the hack.

      • I think that the role of FOIA is easily overemphasized by Americans, because the role of FOIA has been much stronger there. Similar laws are completely unknown in most European countries and as far as remember the law is rather recent in UK as well or at least its applicability to such information as the UEA climate data was recent at the time of the requests. Someone from UK can certainly tell better, what the situation was there at the time the requests were made and a few years earlier.

      • Pekka,
        Indeed so. The UK FOIA was enacted in 2000 by the Labor government, but didn’t come into force re universities etc until 2005.

      • @nick stokes

        ‘But in any case, an “insider” would not have had access to PJ’s emails before the hack’

        ????? You really don’t understand much about IT, Nick.

        IT systems do not run by themselves. Even the relatively small CRU has its own IT manager, as well as the staff that run the larger UEA systems. IT systems have master passwords that are known by the IT staff and allow just about anything to be done. Plenty of internal folk would have had access to PJ’s emails perfectly legitimately as part of their day-to-day work. Let alone anybody who had the time and inclination to do so illegitimately. one of the

      • “Plenty of internal folk would have had access to PJ’s emails perfectly legitimately as part of their day-to-day work. “

        Not legitimately. In any University-like system I have encountered, there are privacy policies, and any IT staff member who used privileges to trawl through a users email would be sacked.

      • @nick stokes

        Having access to and ‘trawling through’ are different things. You earlier tried to use the ‘lack of access’ argument to dismiss the possibility of an insider being responsible. Here are your words again lest you have forgotten them

        ‘an “insider” would not have had access to PJ’s emails before the hack’

        And you now agree that this is not the case.

        To reiterate. Many insiders may have had straightforward access to PJ’s emails without any need for an outsider hacking attack. To argue otherwise is naive and silly.


        If you were Ed Acton, Vice Chancellor at UEA and it had been discovered that the Climategate liberator was one of your own, would you sack them? Leaving them at liberty to discuss all their inside knowledge with the press and the blogosphere? And with no residual loyalty to your institution? Or would you have them prosecuted so that public evidence could be heard?

        If not, what actions would you take?

      • They would have to “trawl through”. Rick’s claim is that they were shocked at what they read. There are a lot of emails; it took the blogosphere days to find bits that they could spin. It’s not like spotting porn pics. And of course, that implies that IT staff have enough attachment to Steve M’s FOI rights to risk their jobs reading the emails.

      • @nick stokes

        ‘And of course, that implies that IT staff have enough attachment to Steve M’s FOI rights to risk their jobs reading the emails.’


        Who exactly do you imagine would catch them and take action to fire them? The vice chancellor? Phil Jones himself – who admits that Excel is beyond his competence? The cleaners? Or would it be the IT staff themselves?

        I work as an IT manager. An organisation can have written policies about a zillion and one things, but unless they are enforced, they aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. And reading people’s e-mails comes pretty low down the list of misdemenours I would actually worry about. Changing somebody’s disciplinary record or reading their medical files is bad. Reading their e-mails is probably undetectable in any reasonably ‘free’ system, and unlikely to attract much sanction. The average IT manager has a zillion much more important things to worry about.

        I work as an IT Manager. Your understanding of the realities of life in IT is very limited.

      • > I work as an IT Manager.

        Aren’t you semi-retired, Latimer?

      • “There are a lot of emails; it took the blogosphere days to find bits that they could spin”

        Actually not. On day one I posted what McIntyre calls Mosher’s Greatest Hits. There are the mails that get quoted over and over again.
        FOIA also providing a reading guide in his opening note. There are precious few mails that form the heart of the argument.

        It would help if you aquaint yourself with the actual history and the
        statistics covering which mails are actually discussed in existing work on the mails. There is not much outside the few mails called out by
        FOIA and me on day one. To be sure the real story, FOIA, lies in different mails. Mails that are spun by CRU.

      • “Unlikely. But in any case, an “insider” would not have had access to PJ’s emails before the hack.”

        Well, that is untrue. We actually have written evidence of people having access to other peoples mails. In CG II we have evidence that other people used Jones computer.

        To find this you have to search hard and deep.

      • ‘They would have to “trawl through”

        Actually not. The mails were on a back up server. Very simple to write a script to trawl through the mails and select those that match a keyword list. But first you have to decompress them as the mails were stored compressed ( recalling some testimony here from a couple years back, so folks can double check this )

        Very simple to construct a keyword list: scrape climate audit and pull out
        terms from that site that are popular, names as well. What you end up with is a collection of mails that look interesting to readers of CA.

      • RickA

        “I think FOIA was an insider and it pissed him off. ”

        He would not be pissed off by FOIA violations. That is the rationalization. The motive is anger, but its more personal.

        This case is not as clear as Gleick, but..

      • @willard

        ‘Aren’t you semi-retired, Latimer?’

        Yep. The clue is in the ‘semi’ bit. I still do short term relief contracts if they are offered to me and if they are attractive enough. But not permanent stuff.

        And thank you for reading my denizens entry. When do you plan to have yours up so we can all learn about your background?

      • > But first you have to decompress them […]

        Is that necessary?

        Why is this relevant to mention this?

      • Latimer,

        Thank you for your reply. I was wondering if your status has changed since you wrote about this. You regularly write about the fact that you are speaking from the authority of a guy who worked as an IT for 30 years.

        Thank you for your interest in my background. When I’ll use my own experience to speak from authority, I’ll let you know about it. Even if you have better things to do: watching grass grow, paint dry, trying to shame Nick Stokes, etc.

      • RickA,

        You believe that the “miracle worker” could have been a whistleblower:

        > I think FOIA was an insider […].

        I believe you have experience with the law. The first substantial post at Steve’s was the UK legislation for whistleblowers:


        One has to wonder why this has not been done in the Heartland affair, but nevermind that for the moment.

        My question for the moment is this one:

        Do you believe that this legislation still protects the miracle worker (aka FOIA) after the second release of emails?

        Many thanks!

    • “Why target UEA?”
      ??? For real question???

      • Oh, probably something to do with an insider exposing UEA fraud, as opposed to an outsider committing fraud to expose legitimacy inside HI. Subtle difference, I know, but some get it. This is amplified, of course, by UEA being funded by the public purse, making any work therein public property, while HI is privately funded, with every right to keep their inner workings private, save for IR tax disclosures. Get it yet? Didn’t think so.

  87. Paul in Sweden

    “So, imagine you are a climate scientist and climate change ideologue, and want to “take down” the single organization (or individual) that is doing the most damage to the movement (i.e. with the end result of thwarting CO2 emissions/stabilization policy). Who would you target?”

    The biggest denier of CO2 dominated climate change is clearly Mother Earth. Mother Earth just does not understand the Climate Models.

  88. Two reasons to attack Heartland.

    First, the positive one: You can create the impression in the media that Heartland wants to “brianwash” you child in public school (they would care to differ, of course, but I haven’t heard anyone in the media suggest that they might have a point that kids are being taught only one side). They may not even accept that the world is warming. So if you want to create a straw man, they are it.

    Secondly, the negative reason to go after Heartland. Good luck with trying to expose Steve McIntyre or Ross McKittrick or Judy Curry or Anthony Watts or Richard Lindzen as being light on science or policy. Wouldn’t work.

    So if you are losing the science and policy wars, create a strawman of an entity that can be more easily made into a charicature (sp?).

    • Especially if you can associate the Koch bros with it. That’s fifteen extra points right there.

  89. Dr. Curry, on the NPR interview you said:

    It’s not helping the credibility of scientists or the trust that the public puts into climate scientists and therefore on the science because it’s hard for the public to understand the nuances of such a complex subject — it’s hard for the scientists to even understand — so [members of the public] have to trust the experts on some level and when the experts behave like this it’s a big loss of credibility for the whole climate science enterprise.

    Thanks for saying this. It’s the quandary in which I find myself.

    I do wish that orthodox scientists and their advocates would understand that arguing that their behavior is not criminal or no worse than some skeptics is not reassuring.

  90. Perplejo sin guia

    Who would I target?
    Science is scientific method (falsifiability, reproducibility) with scientific attitude (disposition to be taught by nature). As part of the climate science community has apparently given up science, their obvious targets would be S. McIntyre (pointing out to their failure on method) and J. Curry (pointing out to their incapability of smashing their pride before Nature).
    Sorry for my english.

  91. **BREAKING** original post is updated with email message from Joseph Bast, explaining “why target Heartland?”

    • Michael Larkin

      Thank you, Joe Bast! The resume of Heartland’s activities is something I personally found very informative.

  92. I keep on saying it here – Revkin is not ‘in the middle.’ Revkin is a career global warming ideologue and activist, who happens to have a forum at the New York Times. Revkin is happy to tell you that anthropogenic global warming is going to destroy the planet unless we take drastic actions to reform the energy sources of the global civilization. There is nothing ‘middle’ about that. The only difference between Revkin and some other advocates is that he recognizes the self-defeating actions of some of his fellow-advocates, and cautions them to change their strategy.

    Revkin still talks the language of ‘deniers,’ in spite of being called out for it. And now he carefully qualifies the crimes of Gleick (personal tragedy, doesn’t change the science). Revkin is more measured than Joe Romm, but he sees Romm and himself fighting on the same team, in spite of Romm’s attacks on him.

    • “Revkin is not ‘in the middle.’ ”

      I disagree. Revkin seems to draw flack about equally from the skeptics and the “warmists” — probably the best indication that he is doing his job right. For the most part, he seems to be able to disengage his personal beliefs from his journalism.

      That said, the journalist who is really shining on the Gleick affair is Megan McArdle at the Atlantic — who is one of the few journos actually doing investigative reporting — even if she’s just channelling Mosher. Very good writer, sharp cookie, and entertaining too. Here’s her Atlantic page:

  93. ““So, imagine you are a climate scientist and climate change ideologue, and want to “take down” the single organization (or individual) that is doing the most damage to the movement”

    Joseph Bast’s emailed comment notwithstanding, the left has been actively, and to a degree successfully, targeting the greatest threat to their agenda for decades, and it isn’t Heartland.

    Heartland is a great institution, as are Heritage, Cato, the Pope Center and others. But political power resides with the voters ultimately. And all those great ideas coming out of the think tanks are useless unless people hear about them.

    Where do the rank and file voters hear about conservative arguments and alternatives to the group think of CAGW, “social justice,” redistribution of income, class warfare and other propaganda of the left?

    Conservative media. Who have been the most often reviled communicators on the right for the last decade or so in the US? Limbaugh, Fox News, Hannity, WUWT (on climate). These have not been targeted for their own ideas. They have been demonized because they are conduits for the conservative alternative that progressive activists are desperate to silence. To the extent Heartland, Cato, Heritage et al have an impact on actual elections, it is largely because their ideas are disseminated by these evil mouth pieces of the right.

    Remember how the biggest devil of them all was Glenn Beck? Now you hear nary a word about him. His ideas haven’t changed. He is still as, shall we say, bombastic as he ever was. The difference is that he no longer has the large audience he had on Fox. When he did a show on Hayek, The Road to Serfdom shot to the top of the Amazon best seller list over night. That was when he could not be tolerated. Average voters actually being exposed to something other than the left’s caricature of the free market? Never! Now that he has faded into the ether, he is no real threat, so there is no need to attack him.

    Gleick didn’t target Heartland because they were a threat, and he just happened to get a memo someone else faked in the mail. Gleick was in a flame war with a Heartland blogger and getting his butt kicked. So he lied to get some internal document from Heartland, then used them to create a fake strategy memo that he could use to embarrass Heartland. Whether he did so alone, or with the urging and assistance of Desmogblog and the other mouthpieces who spread his lies, will be seen after Heartland conducts diuscovery in whatever civil case they file.

  94. Al Gore. No contest.

  95. I just read the email appended to the post,
    From: “Joseph Bast”
    To: curryja@eas.gatech.edu
    Sent: Friday, February 24, 2012 1:58:19 PM
    Subject: Why was Heartland targeted?

    Of the many answers so far to this thread’s question, “Why target Heartland?” Bast’s is by far the most convincing. Bast makes a compelling case that Heartland does a better job than any other organization or individual in getting out their view of the state of global warming.

    One remark caught my eye: “We deliberately bypassed the mainstream media.” I know of no area of science where scientists aren’t delighted to get their ideas into the mainstream media. Clearly whatever it is that Heartland is promoting is not science. I’ll refrain from any debate as to what it is since that’s outside my expertise, which is science.

    • Markus Fitzhenry

      Vaughan says shallowly:
      One remark caught my eye: “We deliberately bypassed the mainstream media.”

      That went right over the top of your head, Vaughan. The inference was that MSM are dishonest about AGW.

      • How illogical of me, MF. From the fact that the MSM didn’t hush up the Gleick incident I stupidly assumed they’d be equally reliable about other AGW errors. Evidently your more powerful brain has ways of overcoming such simple-minded reasoning.

      • David Springer

        I read that as the mainstream media bypasses HI not the other way around. Just puffery by Bast to call it a choice on their part.

      • Maybe, but I wasn’t about to pass judgment. I only object to obvious inconsistencies like Lindzen’s rubbish.

    • @vaughan

      Heartland makes no secret that it is a lobbying organisation. It does not target the MSM because the people it wishes to influence are much smaller in number and can be better addressed outside of this arena.

      Example: If you wish to sell BMWs to upmarket city brokers, you do not waste your money on advertising in the middle of an afternoon soap opera. The wrong people are watching. Similarly you do not advertise a new low cost family meal for four from a discount supermarket in ‘Filthy Rich and Want To Flaunt It Monthly’

      Your argument that somehow the lack of MSM exposure means that by definition they are not discussing science is bizarre. I was under the impression that climate science was only discussed in ‘peer-reviewed’ journals, and not the New York Times or the Guardian either.

      • Latimer Adler

        You make an excellent point when you write:

        Heartland makes no secret that it is a lobbying organisation.

        It is a shame that IPCC does not do the same.


      • Is IPCC an organization at all?

      • While one can read the mission statements and other organizational information of each of the IPCC, the Heartland Institute , and the NIPCC, separately at their respective websites, it may be useful to collect them all in one place where they can be easily compared.

        From the IPCC’s page ORGANIZATION (based in Switzerland):
        The IPCC is a huge and yet very tiny organization. Thousands of scientists from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC on a voluntary basis as authors, contributors and reviewers. None of them is paid by the IPCC. The work of the IPCC is guided by a set of principles and procedures.
        Their work is supported by a central IPCC Secretariat, whose role is to plan, coordinate and oversee all IPCC activities. The IPCC has a core staff of 12 officials.
        The IPCC is currently organized in 3 Working Groups and a Task Force. They are assisted by Technical Support Units (TSU), which are hosted and financially supported by the Government of the developed country co-chair of that Working Group/Task Force. Working Group I deals with “The Physical Science Basis of Climate Change”, Working Group II with “Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability” and Working Group III with “Mitigation of Climate Change”. Working Groups also meet at the Plenary at the level of Representatives of Governments. The main objective of the Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories is to develop and refine a methodology for the calculation and reporting of national GHG emissions and removals.

        The IPCC breaks down the contributions to its Trust Fund by country in e.g. this 2009 budget which shows the US contribution as being at a steady $1.6M/yr (Tables 2 and 3) since the IPCC’s inception in 1989, representing about a third of the total contributions. However like all of the countries participating, the US also has IPCC-related expenses at home whence one must go to the November 2011 GAO report for the total US IPCC-related expenditures. Over the past decade this has averaged $3.11M a year, split 61/39 between the US Department of State, who funded “administrative and other expenses” of $1.9M/yr out of their $16.4B (FY2010) budget (from which the $1.6M contribution to the IPCC Trust Fund presumably came), and the US Global Change Research Program, who provided $1.21M/yr out of their $1.16B (FY2009) budget for “a technical support unit that helps develop IPCC reports” (Chris Field’s TSU for WG II at Stanford perhaps?).

        Last February the House of Representatives voted 244-179 to remove this huge burden from the shoulders of US taxpayers, who judging by the widespread news coverage must have been immensely grateful for being able to afford an extra jellybean a year for each of their children. ;)

        From About (The Heartland Institute):
        The Heartland Institute is a 28-year-old national nonprofit research organization dedicated to finding and promoting ideas that empower people.
        Founded: Heartland was founded in Chicago in 1984.
        Mission: Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems.
        Staff: A full-time staff of 40, including 25 working out of the Chicago office and five in the Washington DC office. Joseph Bast directs the Chicago office, Eli Lehrer directs the Washington DC office. Herbert Walberg is chairman of the board.
        Policy Advisors: Approximately 130 academics and professional economists participate in its peer review process, and more than 200 elected officials serve on its Legislative Forum.
        Publications: Heartland sends six monthly public policy newspapers addressing the major domestic public policy issues to every national and state elected official in the U.S. plus 8,400 county and local officials and thousands of civic and business leaders. It also produces books, policy studies, and booklets.
        Communications: We appeared in print and on television or radio nearly 1,400 times in 2010. More than one million people visited our Web sites in the last 12 months. Our Facebook page registers nearly 53,000 fans and approximately 300,0000 post views every week.
        Government Relations: Our government relations staff made more than one million contacts with elected officials in 2010, 14,715 of those contacts were one-on-one either in person, by phone, or by one-to-one emails.
        Survey Results: A telephone survey of randomly selected state and local elected officials conducted in 2011 found 79% of state legislators and 63% of local elected officials read at least one of our publications. 45% of state legislators say a Heartland publication changed their mind or led to a change in public policy.
        Funding: Approximately 1,800 supporters support an annual budget of $6 million. Heartland does not accept government funding. Contributions are tax-deductible under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

        Assuming the bulk of this $6M is coming from the US, US support of Heartland is roughly double its support of the IPCC. Assuming elections are decided by who has the biggest “voter education” budget, Heartland’s chances of winning over US voters to their opinion on AGW should be about double those of US IPCC supporters.

        From About the NIPCC):
        The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) is what its name suggests: an international panel of nongovernment scientists and scholars who have come together to understand the causes and consequences of climate change. Because we are not predisposed to believe climate change is caused by human greenhouse gas emissions, we are able to look at evidence the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) ignores. Because we do not work for any governments, we are not biased toward the assumption that greater government activity is necessary.

        The NIPCC began as an independent entity in 2003, received its present name in 2007, and developed links with Heartland starting I think around 2008. I have no idea of their budget, nor of what percentage of Heartland’s impact can be attributed to NIPCC, any guesses?

      • Vaughan raises a vry impotant point.

        Heartland had tyo pay Singer over $100,000 to concoct that steaming pile of BS which is the NIPCC report. The IPCC didn’t have to pay any of the scientists working on the AR4 a single red penny.

      • A cross between MLK’s “The truth shall set you free” and Stewart Brand’s “Information wants to be free”?

        $100,000 to concoct that steaming pile of BS

        Hazard pay?

      • Oops, John 8:32, not MLK. (I was going to check it and forgot.)

      • Your argument that somehow the lack of MSM exposure means that by definition they are not discussing science is bizarre.

        What’s bizarre, Latimer, is Bast’s statement about avoiding the MSM, which now that I look at Heartland’s About page again I notice says,

        We appeared in print and on television or radio nearly 1,400 times in 2010.

        Maybe television and radio are no longer mainstream media in the UK, but they certainly are in the US.

        I was under the impression that climate science was only discussed in ‘peer-reviewed’ journals, and not the New York Times or the Guardian either.

        Again, I can’t speak for readers of the Guardian, but I can assure you that New York Times readers are very interested in a wide range of topics in science, technology, etc. (So wide they’ve even reported on my own research on the Pentium division bug, small webservers, and Thumbcode.) Here are some up-to-the-minute climate change articles, working backwards from today (Friday). Gleick has been providing half of the fodder this week.

        Friday: Study Predicts a Bleak Future for Many Birds

        Thursday: Behind the Controversy, an Effort to Rewrite Curriculum on Climate Change

        Thursday: A Chat With RealClimate Blogger Gavin Schmidt

        Wednesday: More on Peter Gleick and the Heartland Files

        Tuesday: Peter Gleick Admits to Deception in Obtaining Heartland Climate Files

        Monday: Activist Says Heartland Climate Papers Obtained by Deceit

        Sunday: Warm Winter is Casting a Chill on Ice Fishing

        I would certainly hope there is some room for disagreement on this blog as to which of these articles are merely lies spun by the New York Times.

        And that’s just climate. Researchers love seeing their work exposed to the public in all forms of media, especially radio and TV. Everyone gets their 2 minute segment of fame, sometimes several if they’re lucky. Apparently the Heartland Institute loves this too, making Bast’s statement that they don’t puzzling. Bizarre, as you would say.

      • All the News that’s Left to Print.

    • Dr. Pratt,
      You are scrambling. It is unseemly, sir.

      • How so, hunter?

      • Markus Fitzhenry

        And these scrambling losers think they should be respected and believed by children. Gross assault upon intelligence is being perpetrated by these fools. Disgusting disillusionment for all to see.

        They are and will be held up to ridicule for some time to come. Deservedly so.

        Unseemly indeed.

  96. I don’t know if anyone else has mentioned this, but maybe this isn’t about climate at all. Occam’s razor. Heartland is working a whole range of issues including Cook County debt. Maybe they got on somebody’s radar screen for reasons having nothing to do with climate, and when the opportunity presented itself to Gleick to “get” them, he went for it.

    It’ll be interesting to see just how much cooperation Heartland gets from the DoJ. I got a hunch that they’re not going to get much, if any.

  97. In support of my theory that Gleick was seeking revenge for his own sense of shame and embarrassment at turning down the debate invitation, I find this at WUWT(re the Gleick emails to HI):

    “The newly released emails also reveal the first email from Gleick to Heartland was sent on January 27, 2012 – the same day he rejected a cordial invitation to debate climate science at The Heartland Institute’s 2012 anniversary benefit dinner in August. “

  98. Dr. Curry, it’s not that Heartland wants to produce “educational materials that express their viewpoint” They want to produce educational materials that tell lies. They want to teach lies to children.

    And you have descended so far into the muck of academic dishonesty that you will defend those paid liars. Shame on you.

    • @holly stick

      Please can you provide some evidence that they wish to teach lies to children?

      Other than the faked memo which has Peter Gleick’s grubby and disgraced fingerprints all over it.

      Note: To justify your statement you will need to show that they intend to teach things that are factually untrue, not merely matters of differing opinion. This is a high hurdle to cross.

      • Latimer –

        I think also you’d have to show that they know or believe the things they teach are factually untrue.

        I think people like Greenpeace are very keen to distribute and teach things that are factually untrue, but I don’t doubt that they believe otherwise.

        I think Holly lives in an absolutist/literalist world and is amazingly lucky to have found herself on the side of people who tell the truth. Ish

      • Holly stick

        Please elaborate on the nature of these lies

      • http://climatecrocks.com/2012/02/17/the-real-story-of-heartland-the-template-of-lies/

        Be sure to check out Table 1 here, if you have the courage to:


        The liars are being named and shamed more and more every day. When Peter Gleick did something that was wrong, he had the guts to admit it and apologize. The Heartland Institute cowards just keep lying.

      • “…To avoid extinction they addict children to something that will eventually kill many of them.249 Joseph Bast wrote what he could to support them and then cited those articles to increase his funding.250…”

        Page 45 (be sure to read the whole page): http://www.desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/fake.pdf

        On climate lying, see page 51. Of course there is much more, but those pages will do for a start.

        I think Heartland claims to be non-partisan; does anyone believe that?

      • Can an organization that helped to get children addicted to smoking be trusted to teach them about anything?

      • @holly stick

        I read your links. I can see lots of areas where you disagree. But your claim was not that they disagreed with your interpretation. It was that they are planning to lie in the future.

        To substantiate this claim you need something considerably more persuasive than some puff pieces by known opponents diasgreeing with them. Unless I have misread your submissions, you have failed to do so.

        I expected no more, so was not disappointed.

      • I expected nothing, received less, and was thereby somewhat baffled..

      • Holly stick your 4.27

        I looked at your list on the first link.

        In 1723 the Royal Society insisted that those subscribing to its international meteorological association should site their thermometer inside a north facing room that was usually unlit.

        Between the 1800’s and the mid 1950’s every national science authority believed that Co2 levels fluctuated between 300 and 400ppm on a yearly basis.

        As we learn more, science is supposed to evolve. The book of ‘Irrefutable science facts 1830’ would look utterly different to that of an edition published this year and in turn the irrefutable scientific facts in 2100 will no doubt look very different to today.

        I am not sure whether you are attempting to secure a place on Scott Mandias new course in wrting satire when you cite desmogblog. You should immediately go to the top of the class.


      • holly stick is as sick as PG.

    • Your side never disappoints. Anyone who disagrees with you is a liar, crook, stupid, dishonest and every other childish ad hom. Why dont you lift up the argument to a level that the rest of us use.

    • Holly,
      You mean lies like “Creationism = climate skepticism”?
      Or lies like “the science is settled”?
      Or lies like “Heartland Institute is hugely funded by big oil”?
      You are predictable, rude, hypocritical, self righteous and boring.
      Please keep posting. you are a dream come true for people who want the ranks of skeptics to grow.

    • Holly,
      Are you really so confused as to not know the difference betwen opinion and fact?
      Oh, wait: You and so many other believers think “fake but true” is a valid for of evidence.
      Sorry. Carry on, and thanks for helping the skeptical cause.

    • John Carpenter

      Holly, you remember the exchange we had on the ‘Climate Change and War’ thread? Before Gleick admitted to his identity theft scheme you were absolutely sure the insider was a true ‘whistleblower’, without question.


      Now the truth is known, he was not a whistleblower in any way. Do you think Peter Gleick was justified in the ‘lie’ he told to HI staff to obtain the information. Are some lies ok and others not? You seem to think lying is a very bad thing…. and I agree with you. So…. Peter Glieck admitted to ‘lying’ to obtain information illegally, admitted it himself. Are you ok with that because he admitted to it? If the climategate ‘hacker/whistleblower’ (you pick) comes out and admits who he/she is, will you be ok at that time? I guess I want to know when you think lying is ok and when its not ok, cause I see a potential double standard in your argument.

    • David Springer

      Sorry Holly, the lies are from the alarmists and that is what is being taught to children. For instance Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth” has been screened to a great many children and it’s so chock full of lies, exagerations, and half-truths that in Great Britain where the central government was peddling the film to schools a judge ruled that it must be accompanied in the classroom by an advisory about the factual errors. The court identified nine errors.


      The lies about sea level rise were particularly egregious in that younger children were having nightmares about drowning.

      Is that kind of thing really what you’d like to stand up and be recognized for supporting?

    • And so PG lied to DeSmog and others? He misrepresented himself as a “Heartland Insider” to plant documents he knew were toxic (illegally obtained, if not bogus). He lied to his friends and allies. “All in a good cause”, of course.

      Surprisingly to me, Kos, DeSmog and others seem to greatly appreciate having been lied to and set up.

  99. Judith Curry

    Thanks to you for running this thread, as well as the earlier ones covering this “event” (which Tony B has dubbed “Gleickgate”, but might also be called “Heartlandgate”).

    And special thanks to Joe Bast for his e-mail, which you published here.

    It seems to me that Heartland’s primary function here has been to shine a critical and skeptical light on the science supporting the IPCC’s “mainstream consensus” CAGW postulation.

    This, in itself, cannot be a bad thing to do: “Truth loves Light” and thrives under it. Scientific truth is no exception to this.

    So, even though Heartland is admittedly operating on a shoestring budget, when compared to the billions of taxpayer dollars that are going toward funding the science in support of the “mainstream consensus” position, and is (in your estimation) an organization “most of the public has never heard of”, it still appears to have made a significant impact, even before the latest developments.

    There is no question, as you have written, that “the end result of this episode is that Heartland will become known to many more people”.

    Your now-famous statement from the NPR interview: “It like taking a big gun to a small target and then shooting yourself” is the defining statement of this whole episode.

    Quite apart from any ethical considerations, one has to ask, how could a man as intelligent as Peter Gleick undoubtedly is, be so totally idiotic to do this, think he could get away with it and not realize what the unintended consequences could be?


    • Markus Fitzhenry

      “Quite apart from any ethical considerations, one has to ask, how could a man as intelligent as Peter Gleick undoubtedly is, be so totally idiotic to do this, think he could get away with it and not realize what the unintended consequences could be?”

      Fairly straightforward Max, the answer lies in his blind faith in AGW. A man who doesn’t question his faith leaves the door open to evil.

  100. IMHO, Gleick went after Heartland not because he wanted to expose the institute to the general public but because he is a political animal that wanted to besmirch the reputation of HI in front of the loony green left. He intended to discover large funding from Koch brothers and others who are hated by the left. In this way, Mr Gleick has succeeded by further enraging the loony green left who point at any organization funded by Koch et al and calls them evil. With the education department of the US an arm of the left, every single educator in this nation will have a very hard time arguing to their colleagues that they should even talk to HI let alone consider their education materials. Saul Alinsky would be proud of Gleick – except that Gleick got caught. And so Alinsky would consider Gleick a failure. So Gleick is expelled from the inner circle for his “failure”. Meanwhile, the remaining followers hold him up as a hero and the group continues on.

  101. Being a Gleick head: Ready, Fire, Aim!

    • Yeah, but add:

      Ready, Fire, Aim, OUCH!

      • Urban Dictionary

        ‘Getting Gleicked’

        A shot heard ’round the the foot.

      • . .interesting – thinking about a glock, and then Peter Gleick, and Dr. Curry’s comment about pointing a gun ( . . do I dare think it was a glock . .? . . . ) at a small target, and shooting himself in the foot . . .

        . . ooooh, the thoughts that one could come up with Gleick and a Glock, , and I am sure many here will . . . :-) Maybe Josh could come up with a tasteful cartoon about it . . .! :-)

    • incandecentbulb

      Have you heard the latest? Word is Gleick discovered the Missing Link?

  102. “Quite apart from any ethical considerations, one has to ask, how could a man as intelligent as Peter Gleick undoubtedly is, be so totally idiotic to do this, think he could get away with it and not realize what the unintended consequences could be?”

    Max, I know you’re being somewhat rhetorical. And I agree. I mean, holy crap. How thunderously stupid. And yet we see over and over again how intelligence…raw IQ points …is by no means synonymous with things like good judgement, common sense, a good moral compass, and psychological stability. Bobby Fischer was one smart fella, and yet what a train wreck. Examples abound.

    I’ve said several times that in my opinion Gleick’s a deeply insecure, self-loathing type individual who’s self-worth is so invested in global warming that there’s not much he’d stop at to destroy the other side.

    • pokerguy

      I’m no psychologist, but you’re probably right.

      And it’s certainly true (as you write) that

      intelligence…raw IQ points …is by no means synonymous with things like good judgement, common sense, a good moral compass, and psychological stability


    • Whenever it snows, it’s always the 4x4s that end up in the ditch. Hubris does that.

    • A colleague once described a job candidate as someone with “lots of intelligence, no brains”. I have, over the years, found this a useful epithet.

  103. Why target Heartland?

    It is possible that Gleick was coordinating with DeSmogBlog / John Mashey, hoping to get the Heartland Institute prominently mentioned in the news and portrayed in a bad light around the same time that Mashey released his report on HI.

    Even after the forged document was identified as a fake and Gleick had confessed, I still saw Mashey spamming comment sections at various blogs instructing people to completely disregard Gleick’s confession of identity theft and the fraudulent “strategy” document Gleick had proffered and to focus on Mashey’s “expose” instead.

    This could be a publicity stunt gone horribly awry.

    I suspect the courts will sort that all out in due time.

    • CTL,
      From the start of when it fell apart, this stank of more than a one man band. DeSmog is logical for a helper, since its owner ahs been so rabidly pushing the amoral position that what Gleick did was heroic and that HI is in reality a wicked evil group.
      I think Peter Gleick can regain some dignity and conscience in this by coming truly clean. I hope his true friends will guide him to do this soon.

      • Hunter,

        You too are living in the land of unicorns;

        “I think Peter Gleick can regain some dignity and conscience in this by coming truly clean. ”

        Why in the world is it anything less than what I or Dagfinn described above? He’s a leftist fanatic Hunter. He’s going down in the bunker. The Rosenberg’s are heros in the tightest circle of this crew, his price will be much smaller but the purpose and method is the same. Achieve 60’s hippie left/green political nirvana.

      • hunter

        I think Peter Gleick can regain some dignity and conscience in this by coming truly clean.

        Hunter, I may be wrong, but I believe it will be almost impossible for Gleick to voluntarily go any further than he has, because:.

        – he seems to be absolutely convinced that he was doing a courageous thing to expose an evil enemy in order to help a noble cause

        – it also appears to me that he is basically arrogant and narcissistic enough to be unable to imaging that anyone in his right mind would think he did anything wrong

        Unfortunately, these viewpoints are being reinforced by several CAGW believers, some of whom are even making a hero of him.

        [Remember how Nixon stonewalled to the end in Watergate.]

        But, if Heartland goes through with a civil lawsuit against him, I believe that he will be forced to identify the creator of the faked document, which he “leaked”.

        If Steven Mosher’s analysis is correct, this person is most likely Gleick himself. So, unless he can find a fall guy, he will be forced to either “take the fifth” or admit the guilt.

        This will not have the same effect as “coming clean” now – but I think that’s the way it will play out.


        PS I agree with you that the “smart” thing for him to do would be to “come clean” now – as you wrote it’s the only way he can “regain some dignity and conscience”.

    • My money says Gleick came up with the idea for the strategy memo on his own. Then he or somebody else thought “Hey, let’s get some genuine Heartland docs, revise the strategy memo around them.”

      The beauty of this thing is that no matter what actually happened, Heartland gets to get discovery from not just Gleick, but those who initially ran with the story. No fake FOIA defenses, no faux inquiries by their own like minded employers. Heartland will file in federal court, and a federal judge will order discovery of all documents and records that are not just relevant to the fake claim Gleick published in the strategy memo, but to anything that might even lead to discovery of relevant evidence.

      I still say this could end up making the Daily Callers’s expose on Media Matters look like chicken feed.

      • I suspect that the Vaughn Pratts of the world, who believe that it’s sheer skeptic nuttiness to suppose that Gleick faces real legal troubles, are going to be surprised.

        I don’t imagine that Gleick is going to jail, but he is in for a bad time with the legal system. Much will depend on how Heartland chooses to play it.

      • Huxley, I only argued that there were obstacles to making a fraud charge stick. I most certainly did not claim Gleick was out of the woods.

        Anyone can sue anyone for anything, and given AGU’s lack of enthusiasm for Gleick’s action I’d guess anyone wanting to destroy Gleick financially and who had the requisite legal budget would have no trouble doing so now that he’s put himself in this impossible position.

        If Heartland wanted to make the first move they could very reasonably start with a fraud charge and even if they couldn’t make it stick Gleick could not complain about the suit being a frivolous one, which might be enough to kill him financially on its own without even pressing any further charges, just a series of appeals.

        But even if Heartland decides they’re better off not pursuing Gleick, e.g. because they don’t want discovery working against them, judging by the general tenor of this thread one can easily imagine others deciding to harass him legally, though Heartland is in the best position to defend against an objection of frivolity.

        The ClimateGate Burglar had the good sense not to throw him or herself to the wolves in this way by having a change of heart and deciding to come clean. Honesty is often said to be the best policy but so far it would seem that Gleick would have been better off keeping quiet. Bank robbers who have a change of heart in mid-robbery tend to wind up in the News of The Weird section of the newspaper. The proverb would be better stated as “Consistent honesty is the best policy.”

      • Although now that I think about discovery, is there anything left about Heartland that hasn’t already been discovered? If not, Heartland could be more dangerous now as a plantiff than if the Desmogblog types had allowed Heartland to keep a few secrets.

      • David Wojick has as good a claim against Gleick as Heartland, maybe better. It will be easier to show malice based on the faked document claiming he planned to try top stop teachers from teaching science.

        This is not merely a slur on his attitude or politics. It is a direct attempt to destroy his reputation in an area that is related to his work. This is the easiest type of defamation to prove.

        Fraud is actually much harder to prove than defamation.

        What would be fun to watch would be Wojick’s using the comments of some of the denizens of this site in court to prove the intentional damage to his reputation.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        You say i“honesty is the best policy”.

        I’d say in the Gleick case, since he has not yet divulged the name of the creator of the fake document, which he pretended to “leak”, it’s more like “honesty would have been the best policy”.


      • “honesty would have been the best policy”.

        One of those rare occasions when we agree, Max. That’s what I meant by “Consistent honesty is the best policy.” The middle of a bank robbery is no place to discover your own wickedness, at least wait till you get to Argentina.

        When I was about five my dad told me there were people in the world who believed that whatever you were doing was only bad if you got caught. I thought he was joking…

    • David Springer


      re; Gleick taking the fifth in a lawsuit

      You can’t refuse to testisfy against yourself in civil trial. There’s no “taking the fifth” you see, because the fifth amendment bars self-incrimination and there are no criminal penalties in civil trials and hence no incrimination.

      So if there’s a civil trial Gleick will have to take the stand and answer under oath everything he knows about the source of the forgery. If it’s himself and he lies and then is caught lying he commits perjury and THEN a criminal trial will be forthcoming.

      For Heartland this must be weighed against the defense issuing subpoenas to get depositions from Heartland donors and employees named in the documents which won’t go over well with either employees or donors. Discovery will bring even more internal HI documents into the light for examination which may or may not be of concern.

      The chance of recovering even the cost of trial from Gleick are probably nil unless he’s got deep pockets so one might reasonably question what HI stands to gain. Those who fund HI probably didn’t earmark any funding for revenge so spending money going after Gleick in civil court is unlikely to make them feel good about how their money is being spent.

      I don’t believe Gleick has much to worry about in that regard. Gleick’s career is in tatters, his credibility shot to hell, and that’s probably all the fallout he’s going to suffer from what was essentially a juvenile stunt.

  104. Judith,

    Finally I listened to the interview with Mandia and you.

    I appreciate your consistent calmness, your projection of cool reasoning and your creation of relatively balanced approach. You had the high moral ground and you did not concede one molecule of it to Mandia’s obvious lack of credible position on the ethics of science. You sounded like you are spontaneously responding in an actual dialog/conversation. Nice.

    Mandia acted like someone in the background was ineffectively prompting him with pre-arranged soundbites, tips on responses to Judith’s points and ad hominems against HI & IPCC critics.

    The moderator sounded like he had a critically balanced picture of the orthodox climate scientists (Mandia et al). I was pleasantly surprised to see that. THAT ALONE IS A VERY POSITIVE OUTCOME of the interview.

    Yes, I am an independent (aka skeptic) with a glass is half full world view. : ) Pessimism and cynicism . . . nah.


    • John Whitman: I’d have to agree with your analysis. Dr. Curry came off as calm, thoughtful, and real. Mandia came across as a glib political operative working his talking points — which is what the Climate Rapid Response Team is all about.

      The moderator surprised me with his even-handedness and quickness. When he asked Mandia a reader’s question about funding, Mandia tried to laugh it off with a recommendation to look at the unimpressive cars in faculty parking lot and then mentioned rules against faculty directly profiting from funding.

      But the moderator immediately pressed Mandia back on track to the real question of who gets funding and whether researchers outside the orthodoxy are likely to be funded.

    • I too was impressed, Dr Curry. Tough to say so of course :) but I thought in a way there was an absence of an extreme counterpart to Mandia’s spinning. Which I think was surprisingly effective – perhaps a lesson to extremists everywhere..

      Not getting it out of proportion was good to hear too, although Joe Bast makes a very good case in his email that Heartland punch above their weight.

  105. I agree with the McIntyre theory. Direct contact with the “enemy” resulted in loss of moral scruples and a “war crime.”. Admittedly a relatively minor one. And that’s the problem. Your fellow citizens are not the “enemy.”. Neither is big oil.

  106. Dr Curry,

    Bast writes to you:
    “I read with interest your post, “Why Heartland?” Thankfully, I can’t read Peter Gleick’s mind, but I suspect he targeted us because we have done so very much to document and rebut the assumptions and exaggerations of the global warming alarmists. Please let me describe some of the ways we’ve done that, and you decide.

    We send publications to every national, state, and 8,400 county and local officials in the U.S. on average about once a week. 79% of state legislators say they read at least one of our publications. “Environment & Climate News,” one of six monthly publications we produce, is read by 57% of state legislators, a higher percentage than read the New York Times. It has been published continuously for 15 years, and every issue features the work of leading climate realists. No other organization produces a regular publication that reaches more people with this message.”

    Here is the most recent issue of “Environment & Climate News”:

    On page 10 you’ll find a full page argument.

    The caption reads:

    “Reducing our so-called “Carbon Footprint” by encouraging renewable
    energy and restricting fossil fuel development makes no sense when
    the actual composition of the greenhouse is considered. This one page
    graphic shows that water vapor is the overwhelming predominant
    component of our vital protective greenhouse envelope. Far from being detrimental, greenhouse gases retain the sun’s radiant heat and keep
    planet Earth from becoming frozen and uninhabitable. Despite the science that contradicts them, the so-called “warmists” contend that man’s CO2 emissions are somehow harmful to our existence. This pictorial representation of the greenhouse envelope clearly demonstrates that man-made CO2 emissions are relatively
    so tiny that they are of negligible impact and must be viewed accordingly.”

    And, the text (sorry for the caps but I am copy pasting and can’t remember how to convert it):


    In Bast’s own words this kind of stuff is being “read by 57% of state legislators” and “No other organization produces a regular publication that reaches more people with this message”. He might be exaggerating, but I think this stuff does have more influence than you’d think. They are clearly targeting policy-makers more than say the public at large.

    Where are their so-called experts to allow this caliber of argument to get out? They want to appear to be a science outfit and no doubt they venomously attack slight IPCC errors. But where is their own quality control?

    I think you can see from this the problem me and others have with Heartland’s “contribution” to the subject.

    Such arguments as the one above cause very serious damage because they appeal to the common sense of a layperson. The consequence of a layperson falling for the argument is that they will dismiss the threat of human induced climate change altogether. If they think that humans aren’t contributing significantly to CO2 level then they logically won’t accept the issue matters. Furthermore that lay reader will automatically think climate scientists must be lying to have overlooked such a simple fact.

    I don’t think Heartland is doing this intentionally, unlike a lot of people I don’t think it’s a big evil plot. Heartland and WUWT are simply not in a position to educate the public. They no doubt think they are on the side of the truth. The problem is they aren’t a scientific organization and quite clearly they can’t get the science right.

    Pressure should be put on them just as pressure should be put on a bad teacher. Surely we wouldn’t leave a bad teacher to misinform students even if they weren’t doing so deliberately.

    • So the end justifies the means, does it?

      • No I don’t mean phish them for info or even fake documents from them. They should be held accountable for sending scientific errors to legislators though.

    • Lolwot –

      I take your point.

      I have no reason to defend anything Heartland do – as long as it’s not illegal, though, they’re just pushing one side of an argument.

      Do you not think that an organisation like Greenpeace does the same thing? They say the science says that all sorts of calamities will be visited upon us if we don’t do x,y,and z (immediately) and rely on spreading fear and (especially) guilt while playing fast and loose with scientific ‘facts’. I’m even less willing to defend them than Heartland, but recognise that they have a legitimate function and misrepresenting science is actually what they do, and have to do.

      From your side of the fence, what Heartland and Cato and GWPF do presumably looks terrible and quite close to actually lying. I think to someone neutral, they’ll look similar to lobbyists on the other side. They exaggerate as much as they possibly can because they exist to pursue an agenda. Nothing else matters.

      I think as long as there are lobbyists on both sides, no-one has very much to complain about (although everyone does).

      • “Do you not think that an organisation like Greenpeace does the same thing?”

        Yes and I never believe a word Greenpeace says.

        I am biased one way because I think climate change is a threat (not a certain catastrophe just to clear that up). The red rag for me are arguments that it’s all a scam/fraud. Not just because it’s dismissing the issue out of hand in a cavalier attitude, but it typifies an anti-science attitude I don’t care for.

        I don’t mind if people work out rationally that they want to risk the CO2 rise and/or or don’t want to do anything about co2 emissions just as long as they achieve that position somewhat rationally. I only go mad when the arguments are BS.

        On the otherside when eco-outfits over-exaggerate the issue that annoys me, but doesn’t make me mad because they aren’t attacking the science and calling it all a scam. Also they are slightly tragic. Unbelievable. Like that 10:10 video, I think they get their just desserts without me having to shout at them wtf they were doing. I definitely would though if I happened to meet one of them ever.

      • The red rag for me are arguments that it’s all a scam/fraud.

        Glad to hear Bernie Madoff didn’t rip you off, lolwot. ;)

        It’s like the joke, the cure for paranoia is to join the military. Then they really are out to kill you.

    • Markus Fitzhenry

      While you here Lolol, let’s talk about Lysenko, and compare him to Hansen..

    • lolwot
      Could provide evidence supporting your objections?
      Granted anthropogenic contributions are somewhere between 1% and 90%. How do you quantify the portion of anthropogenic vs natural? Does the CO2 lead or lag the temperature? If so, on what quantitative basis?
      e.g. See Fred Haynie’s detailed analysis of CO2 driven by natural causes, not anthropogenic. His analysis of the different shapes between Arctic, tropics and Antarctic is thought provoking as the primary CO2 drivers.
      I agree we don’t want a “bad teacher to misinform students” – but who is hiding the evidence? Who is showing the evidence not reported by the IPCC?
      See the NIPCC Reports and reviews to fill in the evidence left out of the IPCC reports – if you dare confront ALL the evidence!

    • lolwot

      You list some Heartland claims. Let’s go through them quickly.

      1. Naturally occurring water vapor is earth’s predominant greenhouse gas, beneficially retaining the sun’s radiant heat so that plant, animal, and human life can flourish.


      2. without water vapor, our earth would freeze over, making planet earth uninhabitable.


      3. Carbon dioxide plays a small role in retaining the sun’s heat.

      Correct, depending how you define “small” (I would have used “secondary”)

      4. 96.6% of atmospheric CO2 is produced by nature as represented by the 348 gray dots. Man’s addition to the total amount of co2
      is negligible, as represented by the 12 black dots.

      This one is more dicey. If one accepts that all of the increase from 280 to 390 ppmv was caused only by human CO2 emissions (as IPCC does), then this statement is obviously incorrect and the figure should be 72%.

      5. The goal of global warming alarmists is to reduce CO2 emissions so that over decades of time these 12 dots might be decreased to perhaps 8 or 9 dots.

      Wrong. The goal is not to reduce CO2 concentrations (which would be impossible), but to limit their future increase to a lower level than they would be under “business as usual” conditions.

      6. Reducing man-made CO2 will have no measurable effect on earth’s temperature readings.

      Correct, in a practical sense. The nations that have pledged to voluntary reductions (EU, Australia, New Zealand) would have no discernable impact even if they shut down completely and there have been no actionable proposals by anyone, which if implemented now would cause a discernable impact on global warming by 2100. The truth of the matter is that we cannot change our planet’s climate no matter how much money we throw at it.

      How would you grade the Heartland claims, lolwot?


      • OMG, grader wars. Is this the mid-term or the final? :)

        I don’t mind being graded, but in order to have something to be graded on I’ll grade Max.

        1. Correct when measured by mass. Measured by warming effect, probably correct today but not for long if CO2 keeps increasing. (Remember that the temperature is logarithmic in the amount, not linear.)

        2. Wrong. Venus is warmed primarily by CO2, not water vapor, and we don’t see Venus freezing over.

        3. Can’t argue with “depending how you define small”. Claim too vague to judge.

        4. Correct (though 72% is for a couple of years ago, it’s 71% now).

        5. Desperately searching for something to disagree with here, I’ll pick on Max’s “It would be impossible to reduce CO2 emissions.” Currently we’re adding 11.5 GtC each year counting land use change, of which nature is removing 6.1 GtC leaving 5.4 GtC as what’s driving the Keeling curve up. If we were to abruptly drop our emissions from 11.5 GtC/yr to 0 GtC/yr, would nature equally abruptly drop her removal program from 6.1 GtC/yr to 0 GtC/yr, or would she go on removing 6.1 GtC/yr for a while? Explain.

        (This might be a great Ph.D. oral qualifying exam question — very topical while being a nice test of whether the candidate has at least some of the basic intuitions of a physicist. Probably not deep enough to pick out the budding Nobel laureates though if it’s in AMO as opposed to atmospheric physics.)

        6. Correct. (Planet Earth currently lacks the political willpower, though somehow I don’t think that was what Heartland had in mind.)

      • @vaughan

        2. ‘Venus is warmed primarily by CO2, not water vapor, and we don’t see Venus freezing over’

        At the risk of being pedantic, Venus is actually warmed by the Sun.
        Without the Sun, its temperature would be close to 0K, no matter how its atmosphere is composed.

        Your hypothesis is that CO2 causes more of the Sun’s radiation to be retained than would otherwise be the case. But that ain’t ‘warming’

      • Markus Fitzhenry

        ”I don’t mind being graded, but in order to have something to be graded on.”

        OMG Vaughan, I’ll give you 100% when you come back and tell me what is the T on Venus at 101.325 kPa.

      • David Springer

        #3 is more than “a little dicey” it’s a big fat lie with no credible scientific support whatsoever

      • David Springer

        correction #4 is the lie not #3

      • David Springer


        Venus is warmed by the sun not by CO2. Duh.

      • David Springer


        I think it’s useful to view greenhouse gases as effectively lowering the albedo of a planet. One must keep in mind that albedo can’t fall below zero so there’s a limit to how effective they can be. For instance the earth’s global ocean already has an albedo close to zero so greenhouse gases are limited there and because GHGs modus operandi is restricting radiative cooling and the ocean is still free to cool evaporatively there is no first order significant effect of greenhouse gases over a liquid ocean.

        Interestingly the highest mean annual temperature observed anywhere on the earth is a salt desert in Ethiopia near the equator (34.4C). Interesting that a desert has the least amount of greenhouse forcing yet has the highest mean annual temperature is it not? This is because the net effect of water vapor is less than zero when it comes to warming. Clouds that come with water vapor more than completely cancel out its greenhouse effect and that’s why an equatorial desert not an equatorial jungle has the highest mean annual temperature. Climate boffins can fool some people but they can’t fool mother nature.

        Another interesting factoid is that the highest SST measured by ARGO buoys is also right around 34.4C. High readings cluster at 30C like there’s almost a brick wall at that temperature with rare departures above it to a maximum of a bit under 35C. This begs an explanation and the explanation is that 35C happens to be the mean temperature limit at the equator for a gray body 93 million miles from a 5000K source. There’s an online black body calculator here where you can verify the numbers for yourself.


      • David Springer


        At the risk of being pedantic you said Venus is actually heated by the sun and would be close to 0K without the sun.

        At more than just risking pedantry I’ll reply. The cosmic background radiation is about 3K so without somehow shading a surface against the warm glow left over from the big bang that’s as cold as it gets. Pluto, formerly known as the ninth planet, is about 3K. Venus however is a bit tricky because it has internal heat of formation as well as radioactive decay that heats it without the sun just like the earth has a hot interior. Venus however, unlike the earth, has an uber thick atmosphere of 80 bar that helps hold the internal heat. I have no idea how long, absent the sun, how long it would take for Venus to approach 3K. It could be billions of years. Long before it approached 3K however the atmosphere would collapse to a solid without the sun to keep it above the freezing point of CO2 which is a balmy 195. If one is curious one can consult http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com and check to see if the thermal conductivity of solid CO2 is greater or lesser than crustal rock to determine if it will slow down internal heat loss or not once it collapses from gas to ice.

      • Pratt is always confused with cause and effect!

      • It is clear from those saying “Venus is warmed by the Sun, not by CO2” that there is a serious communication gap between the public who are posting here and the scientists who are claiming that Earth is being warmed by CO2.

        Conceivably this communication gap is the core of the climate debate. It’s like the Captain said in Cool Hand Luke: “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.”

        The public is making the perfectly valid point that the Sun heats every planet in the Solar System. If the S