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Ed Driscoll

Cooking the Books in the Name of Global Warming

February 21st, 2012 - 12:47 pm

“Left’s Attempt At Their Own ClimateGate Based on Forged Document?”, as pondered by Ace of Spades:

Megan McArdle was, to my knowledge, the first to raise red flags over the authenticity of documents from the Heartland Institute, supposedly showing them acting all evil and stuff about the climate.

Most of the documents are real and are fairly bland. But one memo is in dispute. This memo, by McArdle’s reading, seems written not from the point of view of a climate change skeptic — who would naturally see himself as the good guy — but from the point of view of a climate change zealot impersonating a climate change skeptic — and is thus written, oddly, as if the person doing the writing believes himself to be a bad guy.

(My own take: I skipped this because I think the Likely Forged Document itself is pretty bland, too. If this is an attempt at a takedown, it seems pretty subtle to me. But subsequent events seem to show that Megan McArdle was likely right and my lack of interest was likely wrong.)

5. The worldview is different. In my experience, climate skeptics see themselves as a beleaguered minority fighting for truth and justice against the powerful, and nearly monolithic, forces of the establishment. They are David, to the climate scientists’ Goliaths. This is basically what the authenticated documents sound like.The memo, by contrast, uses more negative language about the efforts it’s describing, while trying to sound like they think it’s positive. It’s like the opposition political manifestos found in novels written by stolid ideologues; they can never quite bear (or lack the imagination) to let the villains have a good argument. Switch the names, and the memo could have been a page ripped out of State of Fear or Atlas Shrugged.

Basically, it reads like it was written from the secret villain lair in a Batman comic. By an intern.

McArdle’s theory is that the real information (bland stuff about donors) was in fact obtained by some lefty, but it wasn’t juicy enough. So someone faked up a Memo, basically a digest of the information in the other documents (or through Google), but wrote about that information in the most negative way possible, in order to juice up a pretty weak leak.

Stacy McCain adds, “In Apologizing for Global Warming Hoax, Peter Gleick Blames His Victims”:

The Heartland Institute was victimized by global warming fanatics who published stolen documents and at least one forged document in their attempts to portray the Institute as dishonest.

One of the central figures in this criminal hoax was Peter Gleick of the Pacific Institute, who uses the Huffington Post to offer an excuse:

My judgment was blinded by my frustration with the ongoing efforts — often anonymous, well-funded, and coordinated — to attack climate science and scientists and prevent this debate, and by the lack of transparency of the organizations involved. Nevertheless I deeply regret my own actions in this case. I offer my personal apologies to all those affected.

“It’s not my fault!” The end justify the means: The alleged evil of their opponents excuses any shoddy smear Gleick and his allies may perpetrate against them. And despite their admitted amorality, they wonder why we doubt their claims to “science”?

If it turns out that Gleick had a 2012 RatherGate moment, it wouldn’t be the first time that radical environmentalism has cooked the books, as we’ll discuss on the following page.

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