Fakegate exhonerations

Looks like an independent investigation done at the behest of the Pacific Institute has confirmed that Peter Gleick did not write the disputed fakegate memo. The Pacific Institute has re-instated him back to his position as president of the Institute

And an independent digital forensic investigation done at the behest of Heartland institute found that the disputed memo was not created on Heartland’s computer system and didn’t exist there or in Heartland’s email system prior to its publication on February 14, 2012.

So we still have no idea where that memo came from.

UPDATE: David Appell asks an interesting question:

why hasn’t the HI filed their threatened suit yet? It seems to me that the sooner they file it the better, given what’s recently happened to their reputation. Wouldn’t such a suit — now or four weeks ago — be a strong counterpunch?

9 thoughts on “Fakegate exhonerations

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  1. Both Appell and Watts are reporting that PI will not release the report because it is a confidential personnel matter. This is a valid reason because there is likely lots of information about PI and it’s employees that is not fit for release. But shouldn’t there be a way to release the information regarding the provenance of the memo? Or just the Gleick part? Or something? PI isn’t treating this like a matter of interest, it’s treating like a an in-house problem and trying to protect themselves.

    1. Yes it would be nice to have more information. I understand PI’s position but I am not sure they understand the position of their critics. This is more than an in-house problem.

      But like I keep on saying. We will probably never know where the memo came from.

  2. It’s widely believed (including by me) that HI will not sue because that would open their files to discovery by attorneys for PI.

    1. Remember the lawsuit against Gore and Hansen from a few years back? Lots of sabre rating but nothing else.

      I think that is what David Appell was getting at

    1. It’s my opinion that the PI release was pro forma and contains no useful information. Gleick had to be reinstated so he could spend the rest of the grant dollars he has. This move alleviates the hit the innocent scientific staff under Gleick took as a consequence of the strange events. But it is meaningless with regard to the disputed memo.

      Claims that Gleick has been “exonerated” are ridiculous. He confessed. How can he be exonerated if he confessed?

      Are we really supposed to be seriously concerned about Gleick forging the disputed memo? Give me a break. That’s Heartland’s idea. As with most Heartland ideas it is a red herring.

  3. I can’t see the question of whether or not Gleick forged the strategy memo as being a red herring. I’ll grant that Heartland has an interest in flogging that part of the story as much as they can in an effort to divert attention from their own actions. But I still think Gleick’s role was significantly different if his HuffPo confession was true (as to the strategy memo having been supplied to him anonymously) versus if the confession was itself another layer of deception.

    If Gleick forged the strategy memo himself, after he phished the legitimate documents, then he’s willing to knowingly lie to the public in pursuit of his ideological agenda. If that’s the case, how can I (or you, or anyone) take his future statements at face value? How can he credibly participate in scientific research? Fraud of that sort would go to the heart of his scientific credibility. If Gleick forged the memo, then he believes that lying to promote an aggressive climate change policy agenda is justified. But if his ethical framework allows that, what is to prevent him from cherrypicking data or misrepresenting research in pursuit of the same goal?

    1. Sure, but the same sort of accusation can be directed against anybody. There is little possibility of credible proof either way. “If John Callender drives recklessly, why should I listen to his opinions on Peter Gleick?”

      Gleick did act outside the norms and admitted it. Heartland was exposed as a result. That’s the main story. Was it worth it? If it doesn’t go beyond Heartland, if people don’t really get a grip on what these organizations are and how they operate, if the press doesn’t finally wake up to the real story here, if it’s just about ruining Joe Bast and letting the show go on, then not.

      I doubt that Gleick will have the sort of influence he had in the past, so discussing his motivations is pretty much moot.

      But for what it’s worth, I don’t know of anybody at all who believes that “lying to promote an aggressive climate change policy agenda is justified”, and I for one am confident that this strange hypothetical motivation does not apply to Peter Gleick.

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