A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Climate Money Paper




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Monbiot — Steal things and be a “democratic” hero?

Showing the intellectual depth we’ve come to expect from progressives, Monbiot argues that the public debate on atmospheric dynamics would be improved by knowing who-funds-those-who dare speak against the government experts.

It’s as if the truth of future tropospheric warming comes not from weather balloons, but from bank accounts and budget papers.

What words do Heartland print that are so dangerous, forthwith, such a public hazard, that we must know who funds the paper they are printed on?

(Dear George, when private citizens choose to speak, it’s none of your business whether they got funding or not, and who paid them if they did. It’s about science, not motivations. Data trumps funding. Debate the message, not the man. If you think Heartland promote lies, just explain what they are. Your megaphone is bigger than theirs, and if you asked to speak at a Heartland Conference to correct their views, I’m sure they would welcome it. It’s called free speech and may the best argument win.)

According to Monbiot, stealing is not just alright, it’s heroic. Your goods are mine, comrade. Too bad if you object.

I see Peter Gleick, the man who obtained and leaked the devastating documents from the [...]

FakeGate beats DenierGate in google war: DeSmog disaster spreads

In the big battle for the meme-of-the-moment, Fakegate has won.

DeSmog can’t be too happy about this. Google “DenierGate” and get 67,000 results, but google “Fakegate” and get 168,000.

UPDATE #2 March 14: FakeGate is now 6 times as popular. (“FakeGate” 420,000 results v “Deniergate” 69,000)

What do you know? Stealing things, breaching privacy, and exposing nothing but tiny funding isn’t catching on. As a PR faux pas this is a case study in implosions. DeSmog have inadvertently shone a beacon on the real David and Goliath story here, where the Big-Oil funding isn’t so big, and the real money is on the side who pretends they are “doing it for the planet”. Worse, between them, DeSmog and Peter Gleick have arranged a public ethics challenge for ethically challenged scientists, and a mass-media bias-test for biased journalists. The spectacle of scientists debating if it is OK to steal, and journalists making excuses for criminal activity, is doing as much damage as the original theft and overreaction. It’s so bad, even the Koch Brothers (target-number-one) can take the unassailable high ground (see below).



Note the auto-prompts: When it’s “FakeGate” it’s news, but when it’s Deniergate, Google queries [...]

Is stealing OK? Alarmist climate scientists don’t know – “in tumult!”

The Guardian: Gleick apology over Heartland leak stirs ethics debate among climate scientists

Whoops. Suzanne Goldenberg unwittingly exposes how empty the Ethics Vault is in establishment climate science. Peter Gleick used a false identity to steal documents, and released them without permission and without an effort to redact private irrelevant details. So let’s ask climate scientists if stealing, deception and breaching privacy is OK.  It’s a yes or no choice, is it a/ heroic, or b/ misguided? We’d hope a ten year old could get this one, but Goldenberg tells us that its thrown “the scientific community into tumult, with fierce debates…”. Oh.

The correct answer was not even on offer in the Guardian:  c/probably criminal.

So when is stealing OK?

Other (scientists and activists) acknowledged Gleick’s wrongdoing, but said it should be viewed in the context of the work of Heartland and other entities devoted to spreading disinformation about science.

Here’s a face-meet-palm-moment: if Heartland is spreading misinformation on science then why not try explaining where their science is wrong, rather than just repeat this mindless, unsubstantiated claim?

As it happens, if Heartland wanted to spread “disinformation” it sure seems an odd strategy to go out of their way to [...]

Gleick admits his guilt – deception used to get documents in FakeGate – apologizes

BREAKING: Peter Gleick admits  admits he’s the one who assumed a false identity and emailed Heartland so he could steal their private documents. His apology marks, finally, a small turning point in the PR scandal and ethical vacuum.

UPDATE: So when will DeSmog retract it’s false claim the documents came from “an insider”? When will they admit they were fooled, didn’t bother to check the veracity, and don’t care about putting out accurate  information?

His answer doesn’t quite put all the pieces together. The fake document has a timestamp just prior to DeSmog and others releasing it, so it is not the “anonymous document” he refers too.

At the beginning of 2012, I received an anonymous document in the mail describing what appeared to be details of the Heartland Institute’s climate program strategy. It contained information about their funders and the Institute’s apparent efforts to muddy public understanding about climate science and policy. I do not know the source of that original document but assumed it was sent to me because of my past exchanges with Heartland and because I was named in it.

Given the potential impact however, I attempted to confirm the accuracy of the information in this document. [...]

Bob Carter wins the cartoon war :-) A very sweet win.

Thank you DeSmog! Without FakeGate we would not have had this cartoon. (Readership est 850,000)

Cartoon by John Spooner. The Age.

Source:The Age                 John Spooner: The Age Gallery     Spooner:  Nat.Lbrary collection

Spooner: The National Times Collection


Julia Gillard to Tim Flannery (top picture) “Tim, sorry to drag you in like this. I’m not that upset that you were so wrong about water shortages now that we’re drowing in the stuff. And how were you to know that there would be no statistically significant increase in warming for the last 15 years of increasing CO2 emissions.”

Julia Gillard to Tim Flannery: (lower image) “No! I want to know why I pay you 10 times what Bob Carter gets and he still wins the argument!”


On Wednesday I mentioned the Carter/Flannery disparity in wages:

And if Bob Carter receives an honorarium type amount of $1500 a month, the pull of those big dollars must be powerfully tempting for people like Tim Flannery who struggle along on about $1200 each day he [...]

UPDATE: Heartland documents stolen and key one is fake. No insider leak. FakeGate!

Major embarrassment for Joe Romm, and DeSmog and their unthinking fans.

In the hours after the ClimateGate emails were released, skeptics asked about their authenticity (as we are wont to do). In the hours after the Heartland Documents (including at least one complete fake) were released, the commentators on the other side did not even ask (just as they uncritically accept any weak report in favour of their pet theory).

They leapt to their defamatory conclusions in a smear-fest. At least one person out there has probably committed a criminal act. The rest are guilty of small brained unskeptical blind hatred, defamation, and ignorance. And will any of them apologize? I’ll be shocked if even one has the decency or manners.

We should not allow them to forget it. DeSmog=DeSmear. They are a group happy to promote lies with no compunction. They are not interested in the truth, just in the PR. Oh the fool journalists who think the paid hacks at DeSmog ever had anything to say on science that was not biased or deceitful. Richard Littlemore, where is your apology? Instead, knowing the document is faked, he continues to promote it. So does Brad Johnson, and Joe Romm.


Fakegate: the smog blog exposes irrational rage, innumeracy, and heartland’s efficient success.

The Climate Change Scare Machine Chart

The believers of man-made-weather-disasters are wetting themselves with excitement. It painful to watch grown men drool.

Poor things, they were really wounded by Climategate, and they’ve been waiting, praying that some day someone would level the playing field and show that skeptics were just as petty, shameless, and money-grubbing  as their team turned out to be (not to mention hypocritical, deceptive and incompetent). In their dreams.

Instead the hyped non-denier-gate shows just how incredibly successful the Heartland Institute is. Look at the numbers. The skeptics have managed to turn the propaganda around against a tide of money, and it is really some achievement.

 Entity USD Greenpeace  $300m  2010 Annual Report WWF  $700m  ”  ($524m Euro) Pew Charitable Trust  $360m 2010 Annual Report Sierra Club  $56m 2010 Annual Report NSW climate change fund (just one random govt example)  $750m  NSW Gov (A$700m) UK university climate fund (just another random govt example) $360m UK Gov (£234 m) Heartland Institute $7m  (actually $6.4m) US government funding for climate science and technology  $7,000m  “Climate Money” 2009 US government funding for “climate related appropriations” $1,300m USAID 2010 Annual turnover in global carbon markets $120,000m 2010 Point Carbon [...]