Eco-Radical Defrauds Conservative Institute

Rich Trzupek is a veteran environmental consultant and senior advisor to the Heartland Institute. He is the author of the new book Regulators Gone Wild: How the EPA is Ruining American Industry (Encounter Books).


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What started as a spirited debate over global warming has turned into another scandal that has further discredited the motives and actions of the people who maintain that humans are having a devastating effect on the world’s climate. Dr. Peter Gleick, president and co-founder of the Pacific Institute, an environmental research and advocacy organization based in Oakland, California, has admitted to fraudulently obtaining confidential documents from the Heartland Institute.

Heartland, based in Chicago, is a free-market think tank that tackles a variety of important public policy issues, such as health care, education and climate change. (Readers will note that the author serves as an advisor to Heartland on environmental affairs, which is an unpaid, voluntary position.) Early this year, Heartland Senior Fellow James M. Taylor got into an entertaining public debate with Dr. Gleick over the “reality” of anthropogenic global warming at Forbes.com. Both Taylor and Gleick argued their positions passionately. Unable to counter Taylor’s positions effectively, an increasingly frustrated Gleick turned to the tactic that so many alarmists eventually use: impugning the motives of the people who disagree with him. He wrote: I wonder, however, if Taylor would publish the list of who really DOES fund the Heartland Institute. It seems to be a secret — no information is listed on their website about actual contributors of that $7 million budget that they use to deny the reality of climate change (and previously, the health effects of tobacco — their other focus).

In the past, Heartland used to release its donor list, but stopped doing so after radical opponents used that information to try to harass funders. In Taylor’s words:

The Heartland Institute used to [release the names of donors], while similarly appealing to other groups to do the same. However, environmental activists and other extremist groups used the information to launch a campaign of personal harassment against Heartland Institute donors while simultaneously refusing to release the names of their own donors. It is funny how Gleick rants against the alleged harassment of Katharine Hayhoe yet remains silent about the harassment of people who disagree with him.

Taylor had thus inadvertently signaled Gleick how to hurt Heartland: release the names of the people who support the organization. Accordingly (by his own admission) Gleick called the Heartland Institute, identifying himself as a Heartland board member whose e-mail address had changed. A Heartland staffer then sent Gleick confidential documents based on the doctor’s false identification. Those documents were subsequently posted on the Internet at DeSmogBlog, a popular alarmist website. Other alarmist sympathizers on the web and in the mainstream media then picked up the story.

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  • The Infidel

    Yet they can't seem to understand that, once they lie, nothing can be believed about what they say, if they have to lie to win the debate, they have nothing to bring to the table. the debate is over and the climate scarists lost, big time. If you are a climate scarist, don't bother, because nothing you say can be now taken as truth.

    • Rebecca

      Infidel-

      I don't want to sound like I am trivializing the effects of a loss of trust. However, your oh-so-pure "once they lie, nothing can be believed …" does not fully describe the situation. Gleick did commit a breach of honor, and in so doing damaged his own reputation and the movement he supports.

      However, as I understand it, Gleick lied to uncover certain facts that he considered significant. People generally considered honorable have done that for time immemorial- I recall that an ambassador has been defined as an honorable man sent abroad to lie for his country.

      Your broad brush indignation is tempered, in my mind, but a distinction you show no evidence of making, but which I think is nonetheless real: the difference between a personal lie, and a professional one.

  • Supreme_Galooty

    Having "debated" with lefties over the years I've determined that such exercises in folly ALWAYS degenerate into obfuscation. When they find themselves losing due to lack of facts or effective logical argument, they resort to various ploys: NAME CALLING – You are so heartless you would throw your own grandmother out into the street. BAND WAGON – Everyone agrees that ….. If you are not on the BAND WAGON, you are a discredited loner. A "denier." THE BIG LIE – telling an obvious, blatant falsehood over and over and over again eventually cements the lie into people's minds as an established "fact." GLITTERING GENERALITIES – If you die fighting for Allah, you will attain paradise complete with 72 shotgun toting Roman Catholic nuns….. er, Virgins. VIRGINS!

  • maturin20

    Just look at the graph and then tell me how Global Warming is not happening:
    http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=is+global+wa

    • Rifleman

      Well, if a graph shows it, it must be true.

      Then why all the fraud and subterfuge?

      • maturin20

        The graph is right there. It's simple math data. If you don't believe it, then you don't believe in math, and there is really nothing that can be done for you. If you don't believe in tree ring samples, and ice core samples, coral surveys, lake sedimentary readings, and cave deposit readings cross-referenced, then you simply do not believe in science, and speaking to you about it is a wasted effort.

        • Rifleman

          Sure, and scientists never get their math wrong, and never commit fraud. I don't doubt it's warmed up since the last ice age, but I'm still trying to figure out how they ended it without internal combustion engines.You're right though, you're wasting your time on me, I was wise to the hoax by the early 80s.

          • maturin20

            Right. Several hundred scientists in every single field of science all got this wrong at the same time.

          • Rifleman

            Several hundred scientists from any and/or every field of science have never been wrong? Right.

            Oh yea, are you going to get around to answering my first question?

  • Rifleman

    Gleick was losing the debate and turned to crime to try and catch up. What a guy.

    It’s funny that they couldn’t make a forgery that would even pass a casual inspection. They’re mentally incapable of understanding any thought process but their own, so ascribe to Heartland a mirror of their own thinking and tactics. Their childishly simplistic caricature of how the members of conservative foundations think and operate is shallow and twisted enough for a Hollywood script.

  • wasicu36

    Attempting to reason with any stripe of liberal is like trying to teach a pig ballet: it frustrates you and enrages the pig. We need to figure out a way to induce all envirocrats to willingly leap into volcanoes or over waterfalls as sacrifices to "Gaia"

  • kblink45

    This has been going on for decades. The hippies when I was in college actually defended a form of collective-suicide of the human race. They were so distraught by deforestation, they would cry and clamor for an end to human consumption, i.e., existence. When I called them on it by asking them why they weren't killing themselves or their families, they would call me a fascist. The conclusion I drew is that econutjobs would support Soviet-style pogroms and gulags for global warming deniers. Many of them would actually support rounding us up and "solving" us. They are scary.

  • Jim

    You can find a list of Pacific's donor list on google.If you are familiar with Bechtel Corp you would get an idea of how wealthy and powerful the donors are. Some are governmental organizations but over all the term water pops up way to often.
    Judging by the recent discussions on world wide water shortage I smell a coincidence . It smells like "Corner the market."
    Foundations serve as innocent conduits for money chasing massive resource controll.

  • Rifleman

    Thanks. Though Al is part of a racket set up by a con job, they don't rate "gangster" because gangsters are willing to do their own enforcement and gore's bunch sends the government. I thought that was common knowledge too.

  • maturin20

    And if Al Gore existed, or if Al Gore did not exist, the global temperature graph would read the same numbers.