What a couple of weeks! Amazing stuff everywhere!
I have rethought it and I concede that the Wattsians and McArdle are right. The disputed memo is not plausibly from Bast or directly from Heartland. Nobody who speaks English fluently would plausibly use “anti-climate” to describe themselves under any circumstances.
But Peter Gleick. Who? You’re joking, right?
I have thought some more about it and this is what I think. When he was first accused, and as I and many others thought, wildly and implausibly accused, I expected a strong performance from Peter Gleick in the mode of Santer or Mann. Really better than Santer or Mann, who didn’t expect it and didn’t have the personality to easliy endure it. It didn’t cross my mind for a second that Peter was guilty.
But he is guilty, so now the question was, was it worth it? My first response was, along with everybody else’s, no, no way was it worth it, but surely Peter didn’t compose the Disputed Memo.
The publication of the emails by Heartland on fakegate.com have changed my mind. Peter made no attempt to be anonymous. As soon as they realized they were being spoofed, it was obvious to them that it was Peter. (Actually, he had to yank their chains pretty hard before they even noticed. What a transparent hack! Nitwits!)
But at that time, to the rest of us they were busy looking completely ridiculous. Gleick? “You’re joking, right?”
At this point all eyes were on DeSmog. Heartland got all SLAPPy and threatened to sue DeSmog and various middling blogs. In doing so, they made an enemy of the Slashdot crowd and the Anonymous crowd. Sympathy for Heartland among opinion leaders on the internet, formerly robust, largely evaporated.
The first of many truly excellent outcomes.
Finally, everybody was watching. The MSM eventually lumbered over to have a look. The left blogs were giggling and cackling, us not excluded. Finally they sent “real reporters”, the people who still inform the shrinking mass of the predigital. Anyway, as soon as big media were engaged, totally unexpectedly, and altogether spectacularly, Peter Gleick confessed!
They already knew it was Peter because he had practically told them so. There is no mystery about the memo involved in identifying the spoofer. The memo had nothing to do with it. Read the released emails on fakegate.com . Then compare to the prior email exchange in January. To summarize, “YHBT HAND”. (Look it up.)
So that’s why I don’t give much of a hoot anymore as to where the disputed memo comes from. I have a new SWAG, though. I suspect that it comes from an official Heartland memo issued in another language and then translated (back?) into English.
Who knows? I have decided that I mostly don’t care. But though it isn’t important where the memo came from, I am happy to talk about this particular distraction all you want.
This article is correct in every detail except its final recommendation. We should keep talking about the memo. We should not cringe and pout like we do when the CRU hacking is cruelly called “Climategate” and the press rolls over and plays dead. We should only raise serious issues, but we should welcome it when the bad guys drag this episode out.
We should welcome talk about the disputed memo, because it allows us to talk about Peter Gleick, who he is, and why he would do such an outre’ thing. Because the more we talk about these things, the more people think about Heartland and its ilk. And that is precisely what we have been failing to do for decades. And precisely what Heartland does not want us to do.
See, I am impressed by a man (of whom I’ve long been, frankly, mightily jealous) taking retirement while still smart and vigorous, and achieving so much in the spectacular method of his retirement.
What Heartland has publicized is simply a series of communications wherein Peter steals some documents by pretending to be a crazy rich old man a donor, plainly takes their information in the lioght of day, and then plainly gives Heartland finger and waltzes offstage. It certainly changes the picture for me. Peter at no point made any effort to conceal his guilt from HI. It was obviously him from the last email.
In short, Peter has quit his job. Loudly and with a bang. And he has, actually, woken people up with that bang.
Peter Gleick has forced Andy Revkin to talk about Heartland! Callooh! Callay! Victory at last!
That is why the shiny penny doesn’t matter. Why the Disputed Memo doesn’t matter. And yet it does. The Disputed Memo is very interesting and shiny. And the more we discuss the shiny penny, the more attention goes toward Heartland itself, and away from their usual distractions.
The more play The Memo gets in the media, the more people think about Heartland and its brethren. And that is the last thing on earth Heartland and its brethren want.
Meanwhile, the GMU is trying to slip a particularly lame conclusion of the Wegman Affair past the press. They will probably succeed but it hardly matters. The internet does not forget. But that’s just as an aside.
Back to the main affair, I am sure Mashey cannot help feeling a bit resentful about all this. Here he does all the work, and Peter Gleick prances off with the blame!
Yes, there is a metric buttload of collateral damage to clean up, but when you really look at it, it is just the marks from so many jaws hitting the floor. The deed is done. The official renunciations and obligatory remonstrations are in. Peter’s career is over. Peter has retired, without the usual tedious testimonials and symposium. Bye, Peter!
Now let us look at the situation that Gleick really wants us to pay attention to. What are the limits of how much you can lie to the public without being criminally liable? If there are no such limits, how can we protect the public from marketable lies? From people who would essentially scorch the whole world to line their pocketbooks? That is exactly the issue at stake. And that issue, in fact, may reasonably be weighed against the value of an ongoing successful late-career scientific career.
Or let’s discuss the memo, yes. Geeze. I wonder who wrote the memo.
Peter was paid on the same basis as Bast. Both Peter Gleick and Joe Bast have been employed as de jure a staff member of a 501c3 and de facto its head and principal entrepreneur. And, I would guess, paid well.
So another guess I have is that Peter is resigning from his post because he wants to completely restructure the industry he was in, and couldn’t do that if he were still engaged in it. That is, the independent 501c3 research institution clearly is broken, and it turns out this is no small matter. It is broken to such an extent that democracy is crumbing in its wake. It is not research that happens in these places, for the most part. It is ideology.
And what ideology? It is perfectly clear. The ideology that “think tanks” promote is the ideology of cranky rich old men who are so nasty and paranoid that they have alienated their families. Believe me, that happens. And when it does, myFACTS is there to pick up the pieces.
But that brings me to the one mystery in this big picture that is still remaining. It is surprising that nobody has picked up on this one yet.
What did Garry Trudeau know, and when did he know it?
Anyway, fakegate. Fakegate fakegate fakegate.