In the wake of Fakegate, conservatives should be very wary of giving him a pass on more than just Romneycare.
The theory that humans are causing catastrophic global warming by burning fossil fuels and releasing “greenhouse” gases lapsed into self-parody in the past couple of weeks with the scandal of Fakegate. Here is the full context to understand that story, which is valuable because it serves as a further revelation and metaphor for the entire fabrication of global warming.
On an irregular schedule of roughly every 6 years, the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) produces a voluminous Assessment Report (AR) on the state of so called climate science. The fourth AR was published in 2007, and the fifth is due to be released in four parts over 2013 to 2014.
In 2008, the Chicago based Heartland Institute began organizing international conferences of scientists from across the globe who want to raise and discuss intellectually troubling questions and doubts regarding the theory of ultimately catastrophic man caused global warming. Heartland has sponsored six such conferences by now, attracting more than 3,000 scientists, journalists, and interested citizens from all over the world.
In 2009, Heartland published Climate Change Reconsidered: The Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC). That 860-page careful, dispassionate, thoroughly scientific volume, produced in conjunction with the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) and the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, presented the full scope of the scientific research and basis for disputing the global warming alarmist views of the UN’s IPCC. Two years later, Heartland published the 418 page Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2011 Interim Report of the NIPCC, which updated the research regarding global warming and “climate change” since the 2009 volume.
Through these publications and international conferences, Heartland has become the international headquarters of the scientific alternative to the UN’s IPCC, now providing full-scale rebuttals to the UN’s own massive reports. Any speaker, any authority, any journalist or bureaucrat asserting the catastrophic danger of supposed man-caused global warming needs to be asked for their response to Climate Change Reconsidered. If they have none, then they are not qualified to address the subject.
The Fakegate Fabrication
Political activist Peter Gleick had successfully engineered a career posing as an objective “climate scientist.” He served as President of the left-wing front Pacific Institute, from which he is now taking a “temporary leave of absence,” and as chairman of the science integrity task force of the American Geophysical Union, from which he has now resigned.
Gleick has publicly confessed that he contacted the Heartland Institute fraudulently pretending to be a member of Heartland’s Board of Directors. Emails released by the Heartland Institute show that he created an email address designed to appear to belong to a board member and used it to convince a staff member to send him confidential board documents. Gleick then forwarded the documents to 15 global warming alarmist advocacy organizations and sympathetic journalists.
The expectation of the plotters of the fraud was apparently that the documents would be as embarrassing and damaging to the global warming skeptics as were the emails revealed in the “Climategate” scandal to the alarmist side. The Climategate revelations showed scientific leaders of the UN’s IPCC and global warming alarmist movement plotting to falsify climate data and exclude those raising doubts about their theories from scientific publications, while coordinating their message with supposedly objective mainstream journalists.
But the stolen Heartland documents only exonerated the skeptics and Heartland. They demonstrate Heartland’s concern to get the truth out on the actual objective science. They reveal negligible funding from oil companies or other self interested commercial enterprises, who actually contribute heavily to global warming alarmists for protection money instead. The documents also show how poorly funded the global warming skeptics at Heartland are, managing on a shoestring to raise a shockingly successful global challenge to the heavily overfunded UN and politicized government science.
As the Wall Street Journal observed on Feb. 21, while Heartland’s budget for the NIPCC this year totals $388,000, that compares to $6.5 million for the UN’s IPCC, and $2.5 billion that Obama’s budget commits for research into “the global changes that have resulted primarily from global over-dependence on fossil fuels.” That demonstrates how an ounce of truth can overcome a tidal wave of falsehood.
Maybe that is why Gleick or one of his coconspirators felt compelled to go farther and compose a fake memo titled “Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy.” Whoever did it revealed an understanding that a document composed on his computer and distributed online would contain markings demonstrating its source and confirming the forgery. That is why the forgerer printed the document out and scanned it, apparently thinking that would hide its digital trail. But the scanned document itself also contained evidence that allowed it to be traced back to the Pacific Institute’s offices, as explained by Megan McCardle, a senior editor for the Atlantic and herself a global warming alarmist, though not sympathetic to fraud.
Only that forged cover memo, and not any stolen Heartland documents, contains language mirroring Climategate. It discusses fabricated projects that are not activities of Heartland, and a $200,000 Koch Foundation contribution for climate change activities that doesn’t even exist. The Koch Foundation confirms that it gave Heartland only $25,000 in 2011, earmarked for health care policy projects and not climate change, an amount equal to only 0.5% of Heartland’s budget. By contrast, as the Journal also observed, the budget last year for the Natural Resources Defense Council was $95.4 million, and for the World Wildlife Fund $238.5 million.
The bigger problem for Gleick was revealed in the statement of Heartland President Joe Bast on the scandal: “Identity theft and computer fraud are criminal offenses subject to imprisonment. We intend to find this person and see him or her put in prison for these crimes.”
Heartland has now hired a legal team to pursue the matter. That includes Gordon B. Nash, Jr., a partner in the Chicago office of Drinker Biddle & Reath, and a former prosecutor in the office of the U.S. Attorney in Chicago, where he became chief of the Special Prosecutions Division. It also includes James C. Dunlop, a 15-year veteran of the white-collar crime practice of Jones Day, an international law firm with more than 2,500 lawyers on five continents. Dunlop represents companies, institutions, and individuals in criminal matters worldwide, concentrating on investigations relating to criminal allegations, fraud, and unethical conduct. Analogous but far less blatant conduct involving allegations of phone hacking and email tampering led to a Scotland Yard investigation and closure last year of News of the World, once the largest circulation English newspaper in the world.
The affair has served to reveal the fraudulent character of the global warming movement more generally, as sympathetic global warming activists have continued to rally around Gleick despite his confession and the documented fraud. DeSmogBlog.com continued to repeat fraudulent claims regarding the faked document, and make false claims regarding the leaked actual documents. The New York Times resisted correcting the record regarding the Koch Foundation grant, even after the Foundation itself documented the errors in its “reporting.”