Gleick and America’s Dumbest Criminals

Some years ago, Daniel Butler hosted a television show called “America’s Dumbest Criminals” (trailer), entry to which Peter Gleick richly deserves.

In an interview some years later, Butler said that his favorite story was the robbers who had apparently planned the perfect gas station robbery. They took the licence plates off their van, wore ski masks. When the police arrived, they asked the attendant the usual questions, but there were no clues. Just when the police were leaving, the attendant volunteered that they’d left their phone number. In the rear window of the van, there was a For Sale sign with a phone number. The attendant had written down the phone number as the van left. The police called the phone number, inquired about buying the van, went for a test drive with the robber and drove him to the station.

Jay Leno described another incident, where the would-be bank robber demanded $40 million (milllllll-yun?). The teller said that they didn’t have that much on hand and suggested that he accept a cheque for $400,000. The robber agreed and gave the teller his name. She wrote him the agreed cheque, payment on which was stopped by the bank. When the robber tried to deposit the cheque into his own account, he was arrested.

Two Aussies achieved minor celebrity as bungling bank robbers in Colorado. They wore ski masks and goggles when they robbed a ski resort, but also wore name tags. It took the cops a mere eight minutes to identify them.

In another incident, a Tennessee policeman stopped porn starlet Barbi Cummings on a traffic violation. She then provided him with sexual favors in the back seat of the police car. The policeman took pictures of the encounter on his cell phone. He then emailed Miss Cummings and asked her to post the picture on her website so that he could prove the encounter to his pals. Miss Cummings reported that she still had to pay the traffic ticket as the cop had already called in the offence.

All of these felons were dumb, but they were all convicted and served time.

The newest candidate for the hallowed ranks of America’s Dumbest Criminals is Peter Gleick, MacArthur Genius. Gleick, who fancied himself the scourge of climate skeptics and imagined that Heartland’s climate program was funded by fossil fuel corporations and the Koch brothers, has admitted that he managed to trick a Heartland administrator and obtain confidential financial information by impersonating a Heartland director, an act that appears to contain all the elements of fraud. But the actual documents didn’t show that Gleick was feared by Heartland. Nor was even he mentioned. Nor did the documents show that Heartland’s climate program was funded by fossil fuel corporations or the Koch brothers.

Gleick is alleged to have forged a document that places Gleick as Heartland’s nemesis, a document that resulted him in garnering the recognition and praise from Andy Revkin and others that he apparently desired.

The forged document read like an epistle from Dr Evil. (Megan McArdle of the Atlantic used the phrase “secret villain lair”). And like the famous scene where Dr Evil’s henchmen are dumbfounded by Dr Evil’s plan to extort a mere “milllll-yun” dollars for not destroying the world, one can picture the supposed Heartland henchmen in consternation at Dr Evil’s proposed Confidential Strategy against [long Dr Evil pause ….] Peter Gleiiiiiick. #2, #3 and the rest must have been scratching their heads. Not Al Gore. Not James Hansen. Not even the Climategaters. Peeeeeeeter Gleiiiiiiick.

And like Leno’s bank robber and the snowboarding Aussies, Gleick was identified almost immediately. Within hours of the so-called Confidential Strategy being announced as a fake, Steve Mosher proposed Gleick as its author. In addition to Gleick being painted into the picture, parts of the document were written in Gleick’s own distinctive style – with distinctive word choices and punctuation. With the scan even saved in Pacific time zone.

Gleick has thus far confessed only to obtaining actual documents through impersonation (though he has not yet been charged with wire fraud), but has claimed innocence on the forgery allegation. Some of this defenders claim that he was set up. By an evil genius who had put Gleick’s name in the forged document and written portions in Gleick’s distinctive style. Possibly by Dr Evil himself (who was unavailable for comment.)

Even if this part of Gleick’s impossible story were true (and the evidence against it is overwhelming), it would not prevent his entry into the hallowed halls of America’s Dumbest Criminals, in which he has surely garnered a place of particular honor. MacArthur Genius and America’s Dumbest Criminal.


  1. Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 1:25 PM | Permalink


    MacArthur Genius at Stupidity, more like.

    Even Homer Simpson would be ashamed.

    PS goggles not googles.

    • licensed_to_chill
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 3:27 PM | Permalink

      Climate ‘s’cience is ridden with Magical Thinking.
      Unshared data is manipulated to conform to the thesis of CAGW.
      Every outcome and eventuality is confirmation of CAGW and nothing,
      I repeat nothing can challenge or disprove the thesis.
      Given this infantile mindset it is hardly surprising that when
      Climategate provided such a perfect rod to beat the Climategang with…
      that they should yearn for a similar tool!
      When no such device came to hand it seems perfectly natural that
      they should attempt to invent one!
      The self aggrandizing, deceptive Mr Glieck is a poster child for the
      whole CAGW movement!

  2. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 1:31 PM | Permalink

    One of the “interesting” aspects is Gleick’s claim that the forged document was snail mailed to him. Sherlock Mosher has already pointed out and it bears repeating that if this were the case, then the creases that are created when a document is folded would be in evidence on the scanned version. I scan documents almost every day and this is a common means whereby at a glance that I can tell whether or not an invoice for example was mailed to me when I look back on it years later.

    • Thomas H
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 1:42 PM | Permalink

      It really depends on the scanner (default settings). I scan a lot of documents on different equipment and I would say 1 of 4 scanners don’t show a fold by default. In this case, because shadows are visible in edges of the document, a fold should be visible.

    • Martin A
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 1:48 PM | Permalink

      I sometimes receive important letters that have been mailed flat in a large envelope, so the absence of folds does not make it certain that the document was not mailed.

      However, I imagine that, if Gleick truly received it by mail, he will have kept the envelope with its postmarks and other evidence.

      • Thomas H
        Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

        … or the letter was pushed under his door. 🙂

    • Juan
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 2:37 PM | Permalink

      Remember “mail” can mean anything and he may have left that deliberately vague as a distraction. Of course more and more it is looking like he created it himself, but in his carefully worded “confession” it could mean:

      postal mail
      interoffice mail
      mail tray on his desk

      It also doesn’t mean he “received it” from somebody else.

    • Third Party
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 2:51 PM | Permalink

      It could have been the intra-office mail.

      Dr. Gleick could have dropped off a printed copy, anonymously, into his own mail drop or in-basket.

  3. Adrian Smits
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 1:33 PM | Permalink

    If this represents what the average climate scientist brings to the debate and after reading most of the climate gate communications that certainly would seem to have some credence is there any wonder that we’re winning?

    Steve: please do not assume that I am trying to “win” the same thing that you are.

    • Adrian Smits
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 2:18 PM | Permalink

      Sorry about that unfunny post.

  4. michael hart
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 1:38 PM | Permalink

    “Man robs bank disguised as a tree” was one of my favourites. link

    Steve: I guess he was a “green” bank robber.

    • Traitor in Chief
      Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 2:35 PM | Permalink

      Unbelievably, when I played this video about the tree robber, it was preceded by a paid advertisement smearing Heartland as trying to spread “anti-science” propaganda in schools. Since the strategy memo is a fake, this is out and out Libel. More defendants…. and with enough money to pay for an ad.

      • Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 5:57 PM | Permalink

        In the general spirit of YouTube, I’ve saved a copy of this ad:

        This video relies on the concept that the Heartland Institute is forcing falsehoods into schools curricula. This is an interesting attack – but is it supported by evidence?

  5. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 1:39 PM | Permalink

    Steve, hate to post twice quickly here but I found a darned interesting article on noble cause corruption in police work that is applicable here.

    I wonder what proportion of climate scientists have the same propensity of cops in training?

    In theory the scientific method should train that tendency out of you but it is clear that in this case it did not.

    Steve: “noble cause corruption” is a topic that was much in the air in the early stages of Climategate. Mosher and Fuller discuss it in their book – which bears re-reading. At the time, I had noticed an article in a newspaper (L.A. Times, I think, but not related to Climategate, some time earlier) that passim mentioned scratch-my-back academic peer reviews as a form of petty corruption that no one bothers about, but petty corruption nonetheless. I’ve looked for this article subsequently but haven’t been able to find it or a similar reference/

    • Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 3:41 PM | Permalink

      Let’s give credit where were it’s due.

      “noble cause corruption” was first suggested by Steve McIntyre to me.
      In the early days of climategate we talked regularly trying to make sense

      Steve called me one day and suggested “noble cause corruption” That worked for me as a metaphor. Also, I’ve extended that to talk about the thin green line.

      There is a line that people are not allowed to cross. The science is right,
      but you cant say that Mann made mistakes. You cant say mucking about with FOIA is bad. You are FORCED to defend Gleick.

      At some point radically independent people inside the climate science bunker will look around and get sick of the silence of the Lambs. Judith Curry is one of them. They step across the thin green line.. and the reaction to them from the inside is utterly out of proportion.

      • Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 3:57 PM | Permalink

        Proportion is everything. Thanks for this history though. One man significantly underplays his own contribution and not for the first time. Utter respect.

      • stan
        Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 6:34 PM | Permalink

        Could there be a cause more noble (err Nobel) than saving the planet? Could anything be more ‘evil’ than trying to impede the noble efforts of those saving the planet?

        And of course, there’s the politics. Who was it in the climategate e-mails who wrote in 2003 (?) that America had been taken over by fascists? There’s a hubris daily double for self-esteem — the nobility of knowing one is battling climate deniers who are also fascists!

        And if these anti-climate, right-wing facists are also funded by evil corporate interests (especially of the fossil fuel variety)? Oh my, the self-congratulation and self regard they felt surely must have reached levels rarely known by mere mortals.

      • Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 11:46 AM | Permalink

        “You are FORCED to defend Gleick.”

        Hence the new word: “Gleickophants”

  6. Martin A
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 1:41 PM | Permalink

    I lived in NJ for a while many years ago. Some thieves there were arrested while stealing microwave ovens. They had thought they were stealing color TVs.

  7. John A Fish
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 1:41 PM | Permalink

    The likes of Gleick and Jones are unbelievable. Imagine sending “delete all….” emails with FOI mentioned in the subject, or naming yourself in such an obvious forged document. Imagine risking being exposed as having no ethics while heading an “ethics task force”. You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried. What next?

  8. Mark F
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 1:42 PM | Permalink

    Steve, I laughed harder at this post than at any other on *any* topic, in recent history. A word wizard!

  9. DocMartyn
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 1:44 PM | Permalink

    If he Phished using the email address of Senator Dr. Jack Schmitt then he faces charges of impersonating a US Senator.

    Steve: Schmitt is not a serving senator.

    • DocMartyn
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 2:16 PM | Permalink

      So Steve I thought the title and protection lasted for life. Newt Gingrich is still called ‘Speaker’, Clinton and Bush Father/son are still former called ‘President’. I thought that if you had served a term in the Senate, then your title was Senator for life, and the person enjoyed the same legal protection.

      Steve: maybe the honorific, but not the offence. read the statute.

      • MikeN
        Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 4:12 PM | Permalink

        You can be called Senator, but in fact Newt Gingrich should not be called Speaker as the debate moderators are doing, not should either Bush or Clinton be called President. The diplomatic protocol manuals say that you get to keep the title only if your position is one of many.

  10. Anthony Watts
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 1:48 PM | Permalink

    I still think of the Bugs Bunny cartoon where Wile E. Coyote is pitted against the wascally wabbit. I’d like to think when Gleick was a kid, he watched the toon and wanted a business card like this one:

    • jim
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 2:03 PM | Permalink


      If you remember, the next step was “Wile E. Coyote, SUPER genius” before the bomb exploded in his face.

      • Anthony Watts
        Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 2:19 PM | Permalink

        Oh, I do. And the irony is sublime.

      • Anthony Watts
        Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 2:21 PM | Permalink

        Here’s Mosher as the wascally wabbit driving the tractor. Think of the carrots as HI documents. (Steve: I think that it would be more accurate to say that Wile E. Coyote did it to himself.)

        • Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 3:56 PM | Permalink

          Bugs is a trickster. I’m more jester, although the two are related

          for those of you schooled in the classics see : alazon and eiron

          I’ve always identified with the eiron.. and love irony of course.

          I read the memo as a Jungian, or like joseph
          cambell would.

        • Don Monfort
          Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 10:55 PM | Permalink


          Do we know if gliecko used an Acme scanner? The FBI should check his house for that Acme dynamite. The cartoon geniuses always have that.

        • Robert of Ottawa
          Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 5:01 PM | Permalink

          I still maintain he was drunk – on alcohol, ego or paranoia … I do not know … but he made the same stupid, rash and impulsive, not to say reckless, decisions as drunks do.

        • PaddikJ
          Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 8:41 PM | Permalink

          I still go w/ Mosh’s take – humiliation & revenge. Drunks are often loose-tongued & rash, but it takes the slow burn of humiliation to sustain an effort of this magnitude. Too, a large dollop of paranoid certainty – that there just had to be major funding by the Evil Energy Cartel, or the Koch Bros, etc – probably helped to keep the boiler stoked.

          The actual “sting” was bumbling & amateurish, but that’s a different can of worms.

        • clazy8
          Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 10:13 AM | Permalink

          Pitiful. I can easily imagine that PaddikJ & Mosher are exactly right in their analysis of Gleick because it rings familiar — I’ve been down that road, a few exits, anyway, and if I never followed it into the desert or over a cliff, it is at least in part because I’m not surrounded by people who share my delusions.

    • Luther Bl't
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 3:07 PM | Permalink

      Unlike Wile E., Gleik has yet to arrive at the final denouement. As his excuse is effectively “a big boy did it and then he ran away”, it cannot be far away.

    • bw
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 4:19 PM | Permalink

      The Road Runner was the coyote’s nemesis.

      Road Runners are birds, not rabbits.

      • Anthony Watts
        Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 6:15 PM | Permalink

        @bw It might be helpful to actually watch the video, which is a clip from “Operation Rabbit” that pitted Wile. E Coyote against Bugs Bunny.

        Bugs as usual, comes out on top.

        From Wikipedia’s page of Wile E. Coyote cartoons:

        The Coyote appears separately as an occasional antagonist of Bugs Bunny in five shorts from 1952 to 1963: Operation: Rabbit, To Hare Is Human, Rabbit’s Feat, Compressed Hare, and Hare-Breadth Hurry. While he is generally silent in the Coyote-Road Runner shorts, he speaks with a refined accent in these solo outings (except for Hare-Breadth Hurry), introducing himself as “Wile E. Coyote — super genius”, voiced with an upper-class, cultured English accent by Mel Blanc.

        • Andrew Russell
          Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 9:42 PM | Permalink

          I think the last two lines of that cartoon fit the current situation also:

          Wil E, “My name is MUD”

          Bugs, “Remember, ‘MUD’ spelled backward is DUM.”

        • JohnM
          Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 6:08 AM | Permalink

          I think we are at the “pulls down blind” stage of things at the moment !

    • John Whitman
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 8:41 PM | Permalink


      Also, if Gleick appears confused and lost then to cartoonize it we have these Bugs Bunny classics (w/o Wiley E. Coyote)

      Enjoy. I always do.


    • danj
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 9:47 PM | Permalink

      I think there are some Inspector Clouseau parallels as well…

      • Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 4:00 AM | Permalink

        Glouseau. I think we can work with that.

        • Sean inglis
          Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 4:14 AM | Permalink

          He faked the document in a rit of fealous jage.

  11. jonathan frodsham
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 1:48 PM | Permalink

    Very funny, good one!

  12. Dave L.
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

    If you want to be educated on “stupidity”, then you must read Cipolla’s “The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity”.

    1st Law: Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.

    2nd Law: The probability that a certain person be stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.

    3rd Law: A stupid person is a person who caused losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.

    4th Law: Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals. In particular non-stupid people constantly forget that (at all times and places and under any circumstances) to deal and/or associate with stupid people always turns out to be a costly mistake.

    5th Law: A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person.

    • Jit
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

      “I divide my officers into four groups. There are clever, diligent, stupid, and lazy officers. Usually two characteristics are combined. Some are clever and diligent — their place is the General Staff. The next lot are stupid and lazy — they make up 90 percent of every army and are suited to routine duties. Anyone who is both clever and lazy is qualified for the highest leadership duties, because he possesses the intellectual clarity and the composure necessary for difficult decisions. One must beware of anyone who is stupid and diligent — he must not be entrusted with any responsibility because he will always cause only mischief.”
      –Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord

      Last sentence relevant.

  13. Eric Anderson
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 2:02 PM | Permalink

    Pretty categorical. I know you go on to offer that perhaps he didn’t at the end of the post, but I think we’re still waiting for evidence, so I’m surprised that you are this categorical. Maybe you have some additional information we don’t have yet? Is another shoe about to drop?

    Steve- edited slightly.

    • jim
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 2:08 PM | Permalink

      Eric, it’s a ploy. Steve enticing Gleick to do a ‘Alger Hiss’ finale. The truth will out if or maybe when Gleick is put under oath…

    • MarkB
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 2:12 PM | Permalink

      Paleontologist/author discussed scientific theories and truth could be paraphrased thusly: A scientific theory is held to be true when to hold otherwise would be perverse. In this case, the weight of evidence is sufficient that I think we can take this one as certain. You can argue otherwise, but you need to willfully ignore the evidence to do so.

      • MarkB
        Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 2:14 PM | Permalink

        Oops! Insert author >>Stephen J. Gould<<

  14. Fred from Canuckistan
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 2:07 PM | Permalink

    But he has invented some wonderful new lexicon . .

    “I’m have a Gleick moment”

    “Well that’s a Gleicky idea”

    “Too Gleick or not to Gleick, that is the question”

    • ZT
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 2:24 PM | Permalink

      Geickonian – one who attempts to explain, or defend, Gleickian actions (or punctuation).

      • Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 3:17 PM | Permalink

        Are the actions of Gleick related to the Scots Word
        “glaikit” perhaps? I think we should be told.
        (glai·kit) Dialect, chiefly Scot -adj.
        1. (intr.) stupid; senseless, silly.
        (eg. “He stood there wi’ a glaikit look oan his *fizzog“)
        2. (tr.) giddy, thoughtless.
        3. affected.
        4. petty.

        *fizzog = the human face, countenance

    • Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 4:19 PM | Permalink

      Look up “gleke” in the complete OED: a fascinating range of meanings including

      Gleke, v. (obs)
      1. trans. To trick, circumvent.

      1653 T. Urquhart tr. Rabelais 1st Bk. Wks. xii. 59 He hath gleeked us to some purpose, bobbed we are now for ever.

      • Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 4:32 PM | Permalink

        To trick. You’re making it up!

        Rhymes with the most common modern pronounciation of Peter’s surname of course.

        “He hath gleeked us to some purpose, bobbed we are now for ever.”

        He has indeed. Bob’s your uncle.

      • Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 8:23 PM | Permalink

        My 1950’s third edition of the Shorter OED has “gleek” rather than “gleke.” It offers “A jibe, jest, gird – 1819,” a coquettish glance – 1623,” “to trick, circumvent – 1653” and “to make a jest or jibe (at a person) – 1687.” In this case, the joke seems to be on Gleick.

        Gleek was also a name for a game of cards in 1533.

        Coincidentally, yesterday’s Weekend Australian editorial used the medieval “cloke” rather than “cloak” for concealment. Gleick has failed to adequately cloke his gleke.

        • DR_UK
          Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 9:41 AM | Permalink

          Bottom (wearing the head of an ass): Nay, I can gleek upon occasion. Titania: Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful.

          Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

        • Hannibal barca
          Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 12:17 PM | Permalink

          Gleick/Gleek Gaelic/Old English def. A deceit or trick.

          In CRU parlance then a Gleick/Gleek is just “a neat way of doing things”.

          Def. from the urban dictionary. A “Gleek” is classified as involuntary spitting from beneath one’s tongue when yawning.

        • Scott Brim
          Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 1:32 PM | Permalink

          My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,
          And every tongue brings in a several tale,
          And every tale condemns me for a villain.

          …… Shakespeare, Richard III

        • Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 2:17 PM | Permalink
          	I pray thee, gentle Peter, speak to us:
          	Our ears are much enamoured of debate
          	So is my heart inclined to this shape
          	And for fair hearing's force perforce we'd move you
          	On the next show to say how fair we'd treat thee
          	Methinks, Heartland, you should have little reason
          	for that, and yet won't say the truth: Heartland
          	and truth keep little company togetehr now-a-days; the
          	more the pity that your list of donors will not
          	see the light.
          		(Nay, but I can Gleick them in some fashion)
          	Thou are wise if thou would reconsider.
          	Not so, never.
          		(But if I have wit enough to get out 
          		your own docs, I'll have enouugh to serve my own turn.)
          	Out of this offer do not desire to go:
          	Thou should entrain us, whether thou wilt or no.
          	We're a foundation of no common rate
          	And knowledge of all stripe would fill our plate.
          	And we would hear thee, therefore come and see
          	Go talk to Denning who preceded thee
          	And he did fetch reception from our keep
          	And fine debate he pressed with no lost sleep
          	And I will promise that no harshness go
          	For we live on a lively to-and-fro!
          PETER (donning disguise like an ass):
          	I pray you, amend me to your board emails, your
          	minutes, and your donor list, your plans. Good
          	Mister Staffperson, I shall desire you of more
          	acquaintance too. The docs, I beseech you, sir!

          ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

        • MarkR
          Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 3:36 PM | Permalink


        • Isabelle
          Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 3:39 PM | Permalink

          An excellent prose-jack, thank you. It shows us that even if we think we have moved on, we think we are wiser, slicker, whatever; when caught up in the game of life, and we forget that it is the great game, we are always experts at tripping ourselves up. I bet Sherlock Mosher has a more succinct phrase for it though….

          But like all actions, whether we laugh or howl in rage about them, the fallout is larger, and indirectly more harmful to those innocent of the plot….

        • Rod Montgomery
          Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 7:08 PM | Permalink

          AHA! Now I see why the Climate Researchers have so much trouble with their programming! They have been using the programming language Shakespeare!

          A … performance? … of a sample Shakespeare program starts at time 0:50:24 of

        • Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 8:03 PM | Permalink

          Ah, Gabriel & Steele at RailsConf. Now you’re talking. They were trying to expand the young guns’ ideas of what a programming language might look like. They did for me. An even better talk was Steele’s Growing a Language at OOPSLA in 1998. I defy anone with an analytical bent not to enjoy that.

        • Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 9:06 PM | Permalink

          With such as that I cannot e’en compete
          Iambic it was not, but quite complete
          In o’erpowering 2 the very point
          (But I saw 16 bits, then out of joint)

          Perhaps you might count this amused pursuit
          I had described how Linux gets the boot
          To show the kernel loading to the core
          (But not for those who think Shakespeare’s a bore!)

          ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

        • Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 9:07 PM | Permalink

          The link appears not obvious, nor clear
          But for those tech and language geeks, it’s here:

          ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

        • Marie E
          Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 9:43 PM | Permalink

          BRILLIANT find!!!
          Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful.

          Not so, neither: but if I had wit enough to get out
          of this wood,,
          I have enough to serve mine own turn

          Picturing Mann as Titania, Gleick as Bottom. Trenberth, Jones, Galvin and Rivkin as Peaseblossim, Cobweb, Moth and Mustardseed

          LOLOL Many thanks for a hearty belly laugh!

        • Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 10:09 AM | Permalink

          Gleick has failed to adequately cloke his gleke.

          Etymology at its finest with a tongue-twister as aide memoire. This thread has everything.

        • Mark F
          Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 1:10 PM | Permalink

          A quick look uncovers “pleek” as a “pixellated geek”. Glick pleek has a nice ring to it. Or would have, a couple of days ago.

  15. mpaul
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 2:11 PM | Permalink

    Steve, this is one of the all time classic CA posts.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 2:19 PM | Permalink

      stay tuned tomorrow.

      • Fred Harwood
        Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

        Now I’ll be up all night!!

      • Copner
        Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 2:46 PM | Permalink

        Looking forward to it.

        It’s not just Gleick in the memo. He also describes his allies in glowing terms (“communicators”). Nominal allies who he has clashed with, in less than glowing terms. And of course Heartland as evil incarnate. That’s all his PoV. It’s almost like he’s lacking theory of mind.

      • matthu
        Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 12:37 PM | Permalink

        Today is the tomorrow we looked forward to yesterday.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 1:06 PM | Permalink

          Busy on other things for a while

  16. Copner
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 2:19 PM | Permalink

    The forgery is laughable.

    The phishing emails are however chilling clever. He puts in enough tricks to make them convincing like saying he’ll update the schedule when in the office. I can’t help wondering how he did that part so well.

    Changing subject – you may enjoy this relevant article:

    • Jim
      Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 6:37 AM | Permalink

      Yes Copner, after reading Gleick’s emails to HI, one would consider this is something that he has done before. He is very comfortable with lying, it takes years of practice I guess.
      snip – unrelated editorializing

  17. Morph
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 2:19 PM | Permalink

    Maybe he thought he was this guy

    It has to be said, HI’s staff let me believe he was – for a while.

  18. robin
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 2:20 PM | Permalink

    I’ve long thought they way we measure ‘smart’ isn’t really right. Not to say that emotionless logical thinking has no value, just it isn’t computationally hard. It is hard for us because of the way our brain is wired, but it isn’t a complex task compared to say, empathy. Eg:

    So the idea that Gleick is really smart and does something really stupid is pretty normal. Shocking and pathetic when it falls in the ethics sphere, rather than the more usual being an introvert or forgetting your glasses on your head, but still normal enough I think. Not sure I’d call him ‘stupid’, in spite of him doing very stupid things.

    Steve: I didn’t say that Gleick was “stupid”. I said that he qualified for acceptance into the ranks of America’s Dumbest Criminals – a point that seems self-evident.

    • robin
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

      Apologies – I read the article and then comments before posting, and didn’t delineate that in my comment. No arguments on being qualified for the show, I’d even throw in a Career Darwin Award if there is such a thing.

      • Andrew
        Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 3:52 PM | Permalink

        Lol Robin…I was going to make some comment about the MacArthur Genius award winner having a special category established in his honor by the folks that hand out the Darwin Awards…

        It would be rather fitting I would think…Darwin Awards present the ‘Peter Gleick Award for Career Extinction.’ Presented annually to those that go above and beyond the call of duty, while destroying any hope of future employment.

        It could be like the Heisman or Lombardi Trophies…

        Nah…make it more like Lord Stanley’s Cup…but instead it could be a broken hockey stick that the winner must carry around for a year…

    • theduke
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 2:57 PM | Permalink

      The most successful criminals are either raised in the craft or spend a long time learning it. Gleick didn’t have that advantage. He impulsively got into something for which he clearly had no training or aptitude.

      “By whatever means necessary,” is a bad rationale for the commission of a crime.

  19. John A
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 2:22 PM | Permalink

    Ask James Randi or Penn and Teller or any other great conjurer and they’ll tell you that the highly intelligent can be amongst the most gullible and easily fooled by simple trickery.

    Peter Gleick was outed by his own egotism and lack of self-awareness. He may well have implicated others as accomplices both before and after the fact.

    Oh and yes, Gleick forged the document. He put himself center stage as the superhero facing down the Dark Enemy that is the Heartland Institute. He’s given HI enormous publicity boost and ruined his own career.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Joe Bast names Gleick as “Man of the Year”

  20. Glieck-lover
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 2:30 PM | Permalink

    Saw a classified ad today. “Open-minded climate scientist. Likes Glieck.”

  21. Glieck-lover
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 2:34 PM | Permalink

    Saw a news report today. Climate scientists were meeting at the AGU to discuss the Glieck bail-out.

    • Jeff Alberts
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 4:32 PM | Permalink

      Might want to spell “Gleick” properly so your puns have the proper effect.

  22. Political Junkie
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 2:36 PM | Permalink

    I have sad news, (for Roadrunner fans) – Wile e Coyote, finally got him.

    Wile’s (following) identy crisis – is hilarious.

    This is – written (in a clumsy effort) – to emulate the – (now – famous)Gleick style.

  23. Adam Gallon
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 2:42 PM | Permalink

    It’s a toss-up, who’s dumber. Gleick or those who insist he hasn’t forged the memo!

  24. dearieme
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 2:48 PM | Permalink

    Forgive me for wandering off-topic, but how does Dr Gleick like to have his name pronounced?

    • HaroldW
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 4:17 PM | Permalink

      Judith Curry pronounces it with a short i — rhymes with lick — in this interview.

      • dearieme
        Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 4:23 PM | Permalink

        What a pity: I had hoped it was pronounced Glaick. I could then have introduced you to this fine, old Scots word: “Urban Dictionary: glaikit
        Scottish word meaning: stupid, foolish, not very bright, thoughtless, vacant.

        • Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 4:38 PM | Permalink

          You still can. It’s that kind of thread. And old Scots is more than welcome, in my book.

      • Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 4:25 PM | Permalink

        As does Mike McPhadden, the president of the AGU, in this one yesterday. McPhadden’s worked with Gleick – albeit briefly – in his Ethics Committee role. The BBC presenter and Bob Ward follow suit, the presenter rightly saying that many still view Gleick as a hero. This page will have its uses in that regard.

      • observa
        Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 12:03 AM | Permalink

        “rhymes with lick”
        Makes sense so I’m going to make an extra mental note to always follow well worn protocol not to Gleick on emails and links that clearly aren’t meant for me.

        • Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 4:44 AM | Permalink

          Point and Gleick – misuse of a powerful personal computing metaphor.

  25. manicbeancounter
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 2:54 PM | Permalink

    For Peter Gleick to have been the master forger makes better sense than the alternative that Glieck himself claims.

    – Gleick is identified by the style, so the anonymous forger knew how to both mimic him AND get Gleick’s attention by giving him a prominent place in the fake document.
    – A person of Gleick’s intelligence would have the document for 30 days, without checking that it was not in the Heartland Style, nor making sure that the facts accurately matched the genuine article.
    – This master forger was able to clever enough get spot-on Gleick’s style and opinions, (and convince many other sources of the document’s authenticity) but was not bright enough to realise that the “Heartland” house-style was very different to Gleick.

    This does not add up, unless the anonymous forger has it in for Gleick, knows exactly how he “ticks” and does not care for the possible collateral damage to reputations on both side of the climate change / global warming issue. Now that would be a real Dr Evil whose path I would not like to cross!

    • Jim
      Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 6:53 AM | Permalink

      We must give Gleick the benefit of the doubt, as I don’t think he has ruled out having accomplices. You never know, it may have been a joint effort.

  26. Salamano
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 3:05 PM | Permalink

    I fear this CA post may be a first step, if not an actual falling away from:

    “No one should feel any satisfaction in these events, which have been highly damaging to everyone touched by them, including both Heartland and Gleick.”

    If it really is self-evident that Gleick’s behavior/strategy was bone-headed…then we don’t need to re-iterate it with smiles.

    • edward getty
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 3:30 PM | Permalink

      Here is the real satisfaction I get from this episode.

      It reveals, once again, that all humans, including those who happened to be trained in some field of science, are human; that is they are all political and economic animals prone to groupthink, with all the potential human failings, varying with the individual.

      Thus the usual AGW line about what ‘the science’ says or the old ‘97% agree’ canard, which imagines scientists to be some separate objective and apolitical species, is always a naive oversimplification and is absurd in any field with significant political implications.

      In my experience, the higher the political stakes for any ‘scientific’ finding, the more one needs to look very carefully at the science and scientists involved.

      Next up – the Great Biodiversity Crisis, supported by the pseudoscience called ‘Conservation Biology.’ You know, the ‘science’ that saw polar bear extinction for their AGW partners.

    • Jan
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 7:41 PM | Permalink

      Normally, I’d agree but I think it is reprehensible that some of Gleick’s peer group are celebrating the man as a hero for exposing well, I don’t know. Precisely what did he expose that is worthy of such hero worship? Surely anybody who has been following the issue knows that HI is a think-tank that does not support the consensus reports.

      What they do is no secret. How they manage to fund what they do is essentially only the business of their board and their funders. If the argument is that HI should not be entitled to non-profit status by virtue of promoting their institutional convictions, then it would follow that a whole lot of other groups should also be de-listed. HI is certainly not unique in that respect.

      Gleick is not a hero. He is a pitiful petty-thief who appears to be driven by his own need to find personal import in his role as eco-warring climate scientist.

      Heroes are gracious in their dealings with adversaries. What he did was a graceless act. Particularly so as it served no purpose of any real value. The true hero would have accepted HI’s invitation to speak at their upcoming event in an attempt to present his case. Instead Peter Gleick, the non-hero, refused to entertain any notion of wading into enemy territory and instead lashed out in frustration by committing a stupid criminal pet-trick – not unlike the petulant toddler who screams at the top of his lungs when denied a piece of candy in the grocery store.

      Since Gleick and his friends do not seem to have any ability to understand that their incessant irrational shrieking is but one of the reasons many thinking people are turned off by their attempts to act as ‘communicators’ of the science, I do not think that humour or ridicule is unwarranted.

      Perhaps, though highly unlikely given the level of zealotry displayed, some clearer thinkers will understand how ridiculous they have become in the wake of Gleick’s actions.

    • jim
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 10:08 PM | Permalink

      I disagree; we do need to re-iterate it with smiles. Not with malice or invective, only with smiles and humor.

    • Jeremy
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 10:34 PM | Permalink

      I realize Steve did say that before, and I recognize the point being made. I disagree with the thought somewhat. Gleick has been no help to rational climate science for years. Heartland, as much as I might agree with them on this topic, also has been quite biased at times. Mutual self-destruction of an activist scientist and a political action group is something I find highly entertaining.

    • MarkR
      Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 3:54 PM | Permalink

      If one can’t object to anything else, object to “tone”, or “timing”.

  27. Jim Arndt
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 3:05 PM | Permalink

    I think I saw this on TRU TV Worlds Dumbest……LOL

    • Jean Demesure
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 4:22 PM | Permalink

      For World Dubmbest, this guy is gold, Gleick is just silver :

      According to authorities, a bomb exploded in the Bangkok house where Moradi and two other Iranians had been staying. After the blast, Moradi attempted to hail a cab. When the driver refused to pick him up, he allegedly threw a bomb, injuring four bystanders.

      When police approached, Moradi allegedly threw another bomb, but lost both of his legs when it bounced back and exploded near him, according to Thai authorities. He was arrested following the incident and remains in custody in Thailand.

      • Jeremy
        Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 10:37 PM | Permalink

        At least he got the bomb-making part right.


  28. edward getty
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 3:18 PM | Permalink

    I had assumed that this whole thing must have been a Dan Rather episode, with someone feeding Gleick the fake memo or at least the makings of it.

    That assumption was based on another assumption – that Gleick could not have been ‘stupid’ enough to do this on his own.

    Now that I am learning more about Gleick, his ego and zealousness, I am starting to realize how much I had underestimated Gleick’s potential for irrational and desperate and, yes, stupid acts.

    I suspect hubris and years of getting away with fabricating AGW story lines may have also played a large part in this. After all, look how much the AGW gang has got away with so far, even when their fabrications have been revealed (e.g. Mann and Hansen roll on…).

    • Tom C
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 10:55 PM | Permalink

      I suspect that someone who receives a “Genius” award for being slightly clever and, more importantly, having the correct politics is doomed to end in this way. Decades of fawning from ignorant media types must inflate ego and dull critical thinking.

  29. Evan Jones
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 3:27 PM | Permalink

    All this and we still can’t use the f**** word!

    Sigh . . .

    Holding one’s head high can sometimes be a near-intolerable burden.

  30. Jeremy
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 3:30 PM | Permalink

    People with education and means often make the dumbest criminals.

  31. Doppelganger
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 3:31 PM | Permalink

    who is dumber than America’s dumbest criminam Gleick?

    well that would be failed blogger Charles ” Icarus ” Johnson who is Gleick’s greatest Champion and believes that the fake document is genuine

    • observa
      Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 12:25 AM | Permalink

      You never know, Icarus might have laid eyes on the genuine fake document. Hmmm….you don’t think he might have it in his possession do you? Perhaps you could get him to email it to you by some clever subterfuge…?

  32. Copner
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 3:43 PM | Permalink

    Gleik wrote in article in February 2011 that Heartland “work[s] against the science”. Doesn’t that remind you of the confidential strategy memo? – last paragraph

    Individuals can make mistakes. Harrison Schmitt made a mistake about Arctic sea ice having recovered in 2009 to 1989 levels (among many other fundamental mistakes) and he refused to correct it when his error was pointed out to him privately. I cannnot speculate on his motivations. But of much greater concern in this episode is the role of the Heartland Institute, which has long tried to piggyback on Schmitt’s reputation and history of public service. Heartland has established itself as a coordinator of climate denial efforts, as a publisher of a discredited pseudo-scientific attack on climate science called the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, and as organizer of a conference that brings together groups and individuals that work against the science and policy of climate change. Their irresponsible actions in this cherry-picking exercise substantially diminish even further Heartland’s claim to be any kind of honest broker of serious scientific skepticism on the topic of climate change.

    Steve: Heartland doesn’t speak for me. Like any other organization, they will doubtless seek to take advantage of the situation, whether they are deserving or not. If climate scientists feel threatened by small events like the NIPCC or the Heartland conference, they need to do a better job, rather than blame these events.

  33. Mike
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 3:54 PM | Permalink

    Evil men laugh when a good man stumbles.

    • Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 4:14 PM | Permalink

      Re: Mike (Feb 25 15:54),

      And when an egotistical, paranoid putz, suffering from delusions of grandeur, shoots himself in the foot, ordinary folk laugh all the harder.

      • John F. Hultquist
        Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 4:56 PM | Permalink

        Oh dear, I thought Mike was refering to the evil Peter G. laughing when the trusting HI person actually sent the documents requested

    • edward getty
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 4:15 PM | Permalink

      Good men laugh when arrogant men fall into septic tanks of their own making.

    • b_C
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 4:19 PM | Permalink

      Normal men laugh when a graceless zealot is hoist with is own petard.

    • b_C
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 4:30 PM | Permalink

      Stumble? As in “blunder” or “botch?”

      Take your pick: ball up, blow, bobble, botch, bumble, bungle, confuse, drop the ball, err, flounder, flub, foul up, fumble, gum up, louse up, mess up, misjudge, screw up, slip up

      But wait! There’s more!

    • John M
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 4:55 PM | Permalink

      Go easy on Mike, he’s obviously talking about Wegman and his critics.

      • Mike
        Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 6:16 PM | Permalink

        That’s a fair point. Both sides have been guilty of Schadenfreude at times.

    • TGSG
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 5:06 PM | Permalink

      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 3:54 PM | Permalink | Reply
      Evil men laugh when a good man stumbles.

      I don’t think “good” means the same thing in your world as it does in mine. Nothing at all good about the way he has behaved.

      • John Whitman
        Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 6:15 PM | Permalink


        Mike’s comment to the contrary notwithstanding, today Steve McIntyre skipped the light fantastic with nary a stumble.

        Steve, thanks for a light moment on a beautiful Saturday after the week that this incredibly was.


    • b_C
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 6:10 PM | Permalink

      I noticed that you have now posted this exact word-for-word sentiment at three blogs, starting with Think Progress. Why does this not come as a surprise?
      Is your middle initial “E?” Does your last name start with an “M?” Does it end with “nn?”

      • Mike
        Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 6:14 PM | Permalink

        b_c: You are reading far too many blogs! And no, I am not M.E.M.

        • b_C
          Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 6:38 PM | Permalink

          And obviously the right ones! They have allowed me to shed my cloak of mugwumpery and to realize that there are many, more highly qualified, thought provoking, less ideologically driven – and dare I say more intellectually honest – individuals residing there than ever warmed the bench for the Hockey Team.

    • jim
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 10:17 PM | Permalink

      mike, there is an idea of ‘goodness’ implicit in your statement. I will offer my hand to Gleick if he is contrite and remorseful.

      • Mike
        Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 12:10 AM | Permalink

        “I deeply regret my own actions in this case. I offer my personal apologies to all those affected.” -Gleick

        • Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 5:10 AM | Permalink

          Re: Mike (Feb 26 00:10), While still denying he forged the Strategy Document, the screw up that put the spotlight on him in the first place. That’s not an apology, it’s legal damage control.

    • Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 10:35 PM | Permalink

      It was more like stepping on a rake.

      man, that will leave a mark

      • EvilTB
        Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 7:36 AM | Permalink

        So it’s Sideshow Gleick!

  34. Anything is possible
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 4:21 PM | Permalink

    My favourite “dumbest criminals” story is the two men who decided to indulge in a spot of local house-breaking during a heavy snowstorm.

    They got away with it for precisely the length of time it took the police to follow the ensuing trail of footprints back to their respective homes.

  35. John Bennett
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 5:03 PM | Permalink

    I agree with Salamano, above: This has easily crossed the line where it seems even Steve is taking “satisfaction in these events”. Gleick’s actions were reprehensible, possibly even criminal. But piling on in this way doesn’t makie anyone look good. I expect better from Climate Audit.

    • Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 5:11 PM | Permalink

      Too much moralising there for me. There is a childlike sense of fun which deserves an outing in this very strange and remarkable case. But I agree we should keep it light.

      • Roddy
        Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 5:28 PM | Permalink

        Spot on Richard. VERY light or it becomes nasty.

    • Martin A
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 5:47 PM | Permalink

      Gleick is being acclaimed as a whistle blowing hero on some blogs. I think that he should make a statement that what he did is not praiseworthy – but I don’t think that is likely to happen.

      I think that mocking him serves a useful purpose in perhaps making it less likely that one of his admirers might try to emulate him.

      For an example of Gleick’s own approach to debate, see

      • Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 5:55 PM | Permalink

        I’m not going to go there but I’m guessing not many laughs?

        Very well put Martin.

      • MikeS
        Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 7:41 PM | Permalink

        I made the mistake of going there – jeepers!
        He deserves EVERYTHING being thrown at him.

        • Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 10:27 AM | Permalink

          Given a recent negative reference to Tolkien, I suggest this after reading such twaddle:

          Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.

          — Gandalf in Lord of the Rings

          That doesn’t mean he’s a hero of course. That sort of talk also has to be stopped.

        • tomdesabla
          Posted Feb 28, 2012 at 1:30 AM | Permalink

          Yes indeed, it was an exchange between Gandalf and Frodo in the mines of Moria.

          Frodo – It’s a pity Bilbo did not stab the vile creature (Gollum) when he had the chance.

          Gandalf – Pity? It was pity that stayed Bilbo’s hand.

          Like Gollum, this fellow Gleik may be temporarily neutralized, but he’s still enslaved by the ring, and is at the root unrepentant. Perhaps, like Gollum, he will end up doing some good that he did not intend.

    • Benzopf
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 6:10 PM | Permalink

      John, if Gleick hadn’t been sitting on his horse while tirelessly scolding the ‘deniers’ about ethics you might have a leg to stand on. Instead, seeing the calvary closing in, he chooses to brazen it out with a monumental display of arrogance and hypocrisy, blaming others for his behavior even as he continues to lie about the extent of his crime.

      You can disagree, but IMO Gleick deserves what he’s getting on this forum and much worse.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 6:15 PM | Permalink

      Re: John Bennett (Feb 25 17:03),
      unfortunately, Gleick has not, in my opinion, provided a full confession and is being portrayed as a hero in many locations. I think that the situation warrants satire.

      • Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 7:08 PM | Permalink

        It is interesting to ponder what the climatological response to all this will be.

        Climatologists will be increasingly asked what they think of Gleick’s actions. Some (like Gavin) will be moved to say ‘not good’ and some will say ‘good’. Clearly this level of dissonance will be undesirable for the cause.

        However, climatologists never have to answer questions about Pachauri.

        So where better to promote/hide Gleick than the IPCC?

        This could turn out to be Gleick’s supreme career move – easily justifying the Genius Award.

        I predict that Gleick will be elevated to the role of IPCC chairman or co-chair (It would be a shame to lose Pachauri’s creative writing platform).

        However, it should be pointed out that this is not a falsifiable prediction. This is simply a possible future scenario from an ensemble of possible futures which may be used to terrify school children, should this seem appropriate, in order to generate grant funding.

        • jim
          Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 10:23 PM | Permalink

          Gleick could move his ethics in science chairmanship to the IPCC! You are brilliant!

        • jim
          Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 10:24 PM | Permalink

          …from the AGU to the IPCC.

        • Jim
          Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 6:58 AM | Permalink

          You’re probably right, but Greenpeace could do with a man like him.

  36. Kozlowski
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 5:21 PM | Permalink

    What I find rather remarkable is that Gleick is apparently unable to write from a perspective different than his own. His supporters, one and all, have fallen into the same trap. Is this the same inability to see multiple perspectives that prevents them from seeing all of the peer reviewed science piling up that disputes CAGW? They only accept the science that supports their view, anything else is according to them, anti-science. Hmm.

    As a case study this is quite fascinating. How could someone of his obvious intelligence do such a clumsy forgery job. His arrogance led him to put his own name in the document. He elevates Forbes blogs, himself, he denigrates Judith Curry and Revkin by implying they could be swayed or perhaps bought.

    The forged documents tells us much about Peter Gleick.

    • Thucydides
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 7:05 PM | Permalink

      Well, I’m not so sure there is obvious intelligence there. He seemed to be a figurehead, for the most part. I like the way he went from being a high-profile climate scientist to being a humble hydrologist, or whatever. Most amusing.

    • neill
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 7:36 PM | Permalink

      My mind boggles. What a week. Don’t recall one quite like it, actually.

      • observa
        Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 5:26 PM | Permalink

        Not so sure about that. Damn hard for anyone in Big Climate to upstage the original EAU Climategate emails hitting the fan, but pompous Pete has sure given them a bloody good run for the Pacific Institute’s money. Someone should enlighten them all that when we profess to be all for the free market of ideas and competition, that’s not exactly where we’re coming from chaps.

    • Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 10:31 PM | Permalink

      you get it.

    • Tom C
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 11:08 PM | Permalink

      I’ve been struck by the fact that all of these climate zealots write poorly – Gleick, Hansen (especially) and Mann are good examples. Everything they write is loaded with cliche (both words and ideas), awkward phrasing, and wild hyperbole. It betrays the fact that they have become propagandists rather than scientists.

  37. pat
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 5:42 PM | Permalink

    There are many scientists convinced that AGW is a real problem based upon the persistent reported findings of so-called climatologists, such as Hansen and Gleik. However some of the more objective and highly credentialed, Dr. Judith Curry eg, became quite concerned after Climategate. They had no trouble at all discerning the real import of the emails. And knew well that they so-called validation by the academic committees that were convened to review climategate engaged in a cover up. With the likes of Gleik concern has now morphed into something close to skepticism. To paraphrase Dr Curry, these climatologist use politics to drive their science, and science to justify their politics. Dr. Curry is by no means alone. Scientists, particularly in fields such as astrophysics, geology, botany, and archeology have been afraid to voice skepticism or at least data correction and interpretation lest they be punished by the media, the government, academia, and peer review panels. This is beginning to change. I suspect some editors will soon be replaced in scientific periodicals that engaged in censorship, alarmism, and the publication of AGW pieces that were simply absurd.

  38. D. Matteson
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 6:00 PM | Permalink

    All this reminds me of a story (joke) that I heard many years ago.

    A motorist has a flat tire outside of an insane asylum. He jacks the vehicle up takes off the lug nuts, puts them into the hubcap
    and removes the tire. While doing this he steps on the edge of the hubcap and it jumps into the air spilling all the lug nuts into
    a rainwater drain. The motorist then scratches his head wondering how he is going to mount the spare with no wheel lugs.

    Observing this from behind a secure fence is an inmate of the asylum. He says to the motorist “all you have to do is to take one lug off
    of each of the other wheels and use them to mount your spare”. The motorists says “Hey that’s a good idea, how come your in the insane
    asylum?” The inmate answers “I’m in here because I am crazy not because I’m stupid”.

  39. Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 6:24 PM | Permalink

    Gleick has thus far confessed only to the crime of fraudulently obtaining actual documents (though he has not been charged yet), but has claimed innocence on the forgery. He claims that he was set up. … [emphasis added -hro]

    “He claims he was set up”?! Steve, are you serious … or were you using “humourous licence”?!

  40. Tom Ganley
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 7:09 PM | Permalink

    This story is so bizarre that humor and satire are irresistible.

    I think it’s more sad than funny though. Maybe a better analogy than ‘America’s Dumbest Criminals’ is the movie,’The Life of David Gale’. It’s a story about people that are so obsessed, so consumed by their ideology that they become something even worse than the thing they hate.

  41. JDN
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 7:14 PM | Permalink

    From the movie Office Space: “How is it that all these stupid, Neanderthal, mafia guys can be so good at crime and smart guys like us can suck so badly at it?”

  42. neill
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 7:53 PM | Permalink

    There’s an ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ aspect to this episode that’s funny.

    I don’t envy the box Gleick’s got himself into. But he’s such a self-regarding prig, you can’t not laugh, least I can’t. Oy, human beings. The tangled webs we weave when we start out to deceive.

    • Evan Jones
      Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 8:12 PM | Permalink

      Better greedy pig than a reedy prig.

      • neill
        Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 9:52 PM | Permalink

        Or reedy pig better than greedy Gleick? Think we need to set the sights a bit higher.

  43. Tom Kennedy
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 7:55 PM | Permalink

    I ran out of popcorn on this one – I might need to go to COSTCO to get more for tomorrow!

  44. Evan Jones
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 8:10 PM | Permalink

    “F****!” cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered f****;

    But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was ****.

  45. Brian
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 8:23 PM | Permalink

    Heard this story on the news, they didnt even mention that the documennt is a fraud.

  46. AntonyIndia
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 8:34 PM | Permalink

    Don’t worry, because: “In a brief letter on Friday evening, Gleick asked the board of directors of the Pacific Institute to grant him a “temporary short-term leave of absence”, while it investigated his use of deception to obtain sensitive documents from Heartland, which he then leaked to the press.”.

    After the ridiculous UEA self investigations, this path might also be the dumbest self defence.

  47. Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 8:43 PM | Permalink

    What I find discouraging is Gleick corrupting the ethics process to silence if not condemn his opposition. How often and in what others settings are ethics discussions abused? We know about Congressional abuse, what about these other instituions? If not ethics, how about promotions?

    It’s curious how Wegman, who made the author-in-a-hurry mistake of insufficient footnotes and credits, was singled out for approbation (and the press reports this to diminish the import and truth in his report and testimony’s findings. Granted, they did the same to Einstein in his day).

    To say nothing of IRS questionable targeting of conservative non-profit groups (over “take one from both piles” allocations – given we’re always seeing polls that rescale assuming large leftist majorities).

    Re: MacArthur. Like a lot of foundations their founder would not recognize it today. He should have chosen more wisely.

  48. sHx
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 9:10 PM | Permalink

    “Two Aussies achieved minor celebrity as bungling bank robbers in Colorado. They wore ski masks and goggles when they robbed a ski resort, but also wore name tags. It took the cops a mere eight minutes to identify them”

    Actually they were identified by their accent. They were already known and liked by the townsfolk. How many other young male Australians could there be in a small snow town?

    Two years ago ABC’s Australian Story program feature entitled “Dumb and Dumber”. You can see it here:

    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 9:40 PM | Permalink

    Karl Popper on noble cause corruption, a free translation from ‘Open Society and its Enemies:’

    ‘Gee,if we can only get the right leaders, up there, and keep everyone else in their place, down there, (Plato speaking,) (in Greek,) we can recreate that Golden Age, before the rot set in. But we need real intellectuals, (like me),well shamans really, to pierce behind the flux, no one else can do it.’

    And Plato was verygood at spin, he puts his words in Socrates mouth:

    ‘Hmm, Socrates was a democratic guy, the mob will think I’m advocating freedom. Sometimes the noble lie, a bit of forgery, is OK if it means getting rid of that damned flux.’

    So you see, Gleick et al are only getting things back in order, (Stupid,) bringing you back to the Golden Age, (Stupid,) putting the right shaman, er leaders in place,(Stupid.)

  50. Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 10:10 PM | Permalink

    Such delivery makes a large flap
    When a chimney’s equipped with a trap
    But an owl down the chute
    Wouldn’t that be a hoot!
    With a wizard’s identity wrap!

    I do think, though, it’s rather too late
    For detectives who’d investigate:
    For the ones out in Cal
    Would be looking for owl
    They’re already gulled in this debate

    Would they really impound Peter’s drive?
    Would objectiveness really survive?
    This is on the West Coast
    Who’s invested the most
    To keep catastrophism alive

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  51. Reed S. Coray
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 10:28 PM | Permalink

    Recently an unnamed penal institution intercepted the following correspondence between two recipients of the America’s Dumbest Criminal Award:

    First Award Winner: Wher can I get my hands on one of them thar Mcarthur Genus A Wards.

    Second Award Winner: Right to docter Gleek …er… docter Glick …er… docter Glike …er… right to Peter.

  52. DAS
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 10:38 PM | Permalink

    Seeing Xena occupying an oil rig today, reminded me of thoughts I’ve had that these guys really see themselves as their comic book heroes from their childhood, I find them as funny as “The Big Bang Theory” guys. Like the Justice League, Scott Mandia as Superman, Gliek as Aquaman ………….

    • Jere Krischel
      Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 12:20 PM | Permalink

      OMG, Gleick as Aquaman is *so* on!

      Especially if it is the politically incorrect version:

      “You know how sometimes you get upset that the people policing your neighborhood are a bunch of fat donut critics who spend most of their time trying to trick you into speeding tickets? It could be worse. They could be Aquaman. Imagine being in a burning building, and the person sent to rescue you shows up in his underwear on a giant seahorse. Or worse, standing on two flying fish with leashes (above right). But don’t worry, while you’re burning alive, your rescuer has the fantastic ability to TALK with those fish he’s using as shoes. You might as well cover yourself in gasoline and try to get it over with quick.”

  53. Bob Fernley-Jones
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 11:12 PM | Permalink

    I would like to propose the adoption of a new verb into English and Americano lingua:

    gleick: To profess the highest ethics whilst practicing the lowest.

    • Vorlath
      Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 1:26 AM | Permalink

      snip = over-editorializing. PLEASE stop this sort of stuff.

    • Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 3:16 PM | Permalink

      Real Climate, Open Mind, Skeptical Science, Integrity of Science Initiative

      Gleickenspiel: a statement / blog / initiative that
      * claims the moral high ground,
      * gains acceptance by the establishment
      * pre-emptively accuses its accusers of corruption…
      * which the establishment believes because it is plausible…
      * and it’s plausible because it’s written by experts…

  54. Bill Jamison
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 11:29 PM | Permalink

    The whole idea that he was set up would make more sense if he truly were a high profile climate scientist. I’ve been reading this blog along with WUWT and Lucia’s Blackboard for YEARS and I wasn’t familiar with him until now.

    High profile? Not hardly.

    If Peter Gleick didn’t write it then someone else did a masterful job of imitating his style in the hopes of what? Getting him to “leak” it so it could be outed as a fake? Really?

    Does that really make any sense to anyone?

  55. David Anderson
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 12:32 AM | Permalink

    A good use of Heartland money would be to produce that Dr Evil sketch for real, “Peeeeeeeter Gleiiiiiiick” LOL. Staying tuned for tomorrow!

  56. Jeremy
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 12:33 AM | Permalink

    We’ve got it all wrong. What Gleick did is not criminal not even unethical. You see, Gleick is a scientist. What he did is just a “trick” to “hide the decline”, which as any scientist knows, is just a reference to a special mathematical or logical algorithm used to get a desired result. I just hope Gleick can handle the debug dump on this one.

    /of course it’s sarcasm

  57. Anything is possible
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 1:01 AM | Permalink

    There once was a fellow called Gleick
    Who tried to make Heartland look sick,
    But a blogger called “Mosh”
    Showed his tale didn’t wash,
    And proved Peter Gleick is a very silly fellow indeed.

    • Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 1:40 AM | Permalink

      Gleick forging the memo is about as likely as Lou Gehrig getting ALS.

      err something like that

      • Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 5:16 AM | Permalink

        Re: steven mosher (Feb 26 01:40), Boy did you screw up that joke. Rushing it?

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 12:27 PM | Permalink

          I had to change it, and screw it up of course

        • Duster
          Posted Feb 27, 2012 at 2:59 PM | Permalink

          It reads OK if the intent is to convey a dead certainty – hmm, the pun was not intended.

  58. Beth Cooper
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 1:54 AM | Permalink

    Steve Mc re my comment Feb 25th @ 9.40 pm:I was only ‘quoting’ Plato and Socrates in reference to noble cause corruption and referring to Gleick et al ‘getting things back in order.’ Am I still in moderation? 🙂

  59. Man Bearpig
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 3:54 AM | Permalink

    Surely, if the document was mailed to him, the real perpetrator will come forward to help Gleick in his time of trouble ? No ? Otherwise it will have to be presumed that he is the author and recipient of said document.

  60. MarkJ
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 3:58 AM | Permalink

    This guy at The Blackboard seems to be close to proving desmog had the HL emails before they said they did.

    Steve: please look at my original timeline. He is arriving at the timeline that I already published. I agree that Desmog probably had the documents for about 3 hours before publishing, rather than 1 hour, but don’t see this as anything other than passim.

  61. Caleb Shaw
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 5:10 AM | Permalink

    What drove him over the edge? Likely lack of money. (Running out of money has often motivated me to do things I otherwise would have avoided, like work.)

    I wonder, if you looked at the Pacific Institute’s books, if you would see fewer and fewer grants. I think the bad economy =snip= is making the gravy train dry up.

  62. Doctor K
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 5:39 AM | Permalink

    Gleick was invited by Heartland as a speaker for the “entertainment” portion of their event. He took this as disrespectful treatment (of a genius) and responded to Bast by declining the invite and calling them out on using him as “entertainment”. Bast replied, clarifying what they meant but the damage was done and the genius was already at work devising his revenge.

    • Doctor K
      Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 10:07 AM | Permalink

      err…make that Lakely, not Bast.

    • tomdesabla
      Posted Feb 28, 2012 at 1:45 AM | Permalink

      He wanted to steal Heartland’s mojo.

      which to him I guess was their donor list?

  63. Lewis Deane
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 9:10 AM | Permalink

    ‘he has surely garnered a place of particular honor. MacArthur Genius and America’s Dumbest Criminal.’

    I’m almost starting to feel sorry for this dumb schmuck! But it’s the hysteria one has to watch! Every time they cry “Hero!” ( a brave knight who ‘ventured’ into the evil iniquity that is the Mordor of The Heartland Institute – in fact, I think all they read is Tolkien!), don’t they know how ‘dumb’, how much like louts egging on some poor sap, they become? Or are they really that stupid!? Surely not?

  64. Johnny Japan
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 9:10 AM | Permalink

    The stupid was strong with him. You just have to shake your head at how he truly lost perspective on things. It was like Hitler in his bunker imagining division destroying the oncoming Soviet Army. But instead it was Gleick imagining himself destroying the evil minions of skeptivism.

    There must be a Shakespearean or parallel in history where a man completely, self-inflicted, destroys himself in front of a huge audience.

  65. CCH
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 9:41 AM | Permalink

    Didn’t Tobias Fünke try this type of stunt already?

  66. Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 9:56 AM | Permalink

    I can’t believe no one mentioned the 3 stooges yet. They always had a brilliant idea, with hilarious result (though not funny for them). Roadrunner was an impossible target, this is much more like the stooges.

  67. Gras Albert
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 9:58 AM | Permalink

    I suggest this thread is unseemly, lampoonery directed at such an easy target is hardly admirable, surely this is far too serious a matter to be treated with such levity…

    It’s almost as if the entire business had become a Gleick tragedy

    • theduke
      Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 11:35 AM | Permalink

      If it makes you feel better, think of it as preventive medicine for the climate science establishment. Who else will now risk such reckless behavior?

      Gleick could have avoided much of the “lampoonery” with a full, open and remorseful confession followed by press interviews that would have answered questions that remain.

      He chose to tough it out. With his opening post on this controversy, Steve showed restraint and sympathy. Gleick’s subsequent response squandered that.

    • coniston
      Posted Feb 27, 2012 at 5:15 PM | Permalink


      • theduke
        Posted Feb 27, 2012 at 6:42 PM | Permalink

        Silly me. In my defense, I pronounce his name Glick, which is the proper way to say it, so I didn’t pick up on the “Gleek tragedy” joke.

        • Posted Feb 28, 2012 at 1:18 AM | Permalink

          Hmm, you sure? I automatically pronounced it with a long “I” sound, as one would in German, “ei” is always pronounced as a long “I”, “ie” is always pronounced as a long “E”. Is it a German name?

        • theduke
          Posted Feb 28, 2012 at 4:15 PM | Permalink

          Yes, German or Dutch I’m guessing, but I’ve seen several youtube videos where he was introduced and also heard Judith Curry say it and it’s pronounced either Gleck or Glick or something in between. I initially pronounced it the way you say it should be pronounced because I studied German way back when.

          It’s definitely not Gleek.

        • Posted Feb 28, 2012 at 4:23 PM | Permalink

          I admit I’ve only heard him called ‘Glick’. Facts are facts but do we have to let go of Gleek? Shakespeare himself seems to demand it. A little poetic license, for the bard’s sake, pretty please.

        • Posted Feb 28, 2012 at 9:56 PM | Permalink

          I can’t see it being “Glick” in any language, nor “Gleek”. So I’m afraid none of the puns really hit the mark.

          I wouldn’t rely on introductions really. After all, we have Brett Favre…

    • Jeff Norman
      Posted Feb 27, 2012 at 8:45 PM | Permalink

      Oooh, a Gleick tragety complete with a Gleick chorus.

      • Posted Feb 27, 2012 at 9:03 PM | Permalink

        The Gleick chorus, of course. I knew there was one more, very apposite pun to be had and this is it. The chorus has been tragedy, it’s been comedy, it’s been farce. And they never know when to stop.

  68. Benzopf
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 9:59 AM | Permalink

    I doubt it was money. More likely it was his growing sense of self-importance- Gleick clearly believed that he deserved to be at the center of the debate. In his mind it was not so unrealistic for his column at Forbes and he himself to feature prominently in the forged document.

    I suspect that it is his lingering doubt about his true position in the firmament of climate debate that is the source of his real frustration, not his “frustration with the ongoing efforts …to attack climate science and scientists and prevent [ ] debate.”

  69. Steve Reynolds
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 10:01 AM | Permalink

    Thomas Sowell: Brilliance–even genius–is no guarantee that consequential factors have not been left out or misconceived. Intelligence minus judgment equals intellect. Wisdom is the rarest quality of all–the ability to combine intellect, knowledge, experience, and judgment in a way to produce a coherent understanding…Wisdom requires self-discipline and an understanding of the realities of the world, including the limitations of one’s own experience and of reason itself. The opposite of high intellect is dullness or slowness, but the opposite of wisdom is foolishness, which is far more dangerous.

    Good discussion at

    • Will J. Richardson
      Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 12:51 PM | Permalink

      Yes, Sowell explained Gleick’s motivation and method well in his book The Vision of the Anointed.

  70. polski
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 10:04 AM | Permalink

    I wouldn’t be surprises that there are many doctors looking at this as it unfolds. Psychiatrists are probably working on a “Gleick Syndrome” and are diving into patients’ past to see if they were bullied or ridiculed. Having your underwear pulled up to your armpits when you are a kid can leave deep scars especially if you are a genius. This may lead someone to harass or bully others when they are finally in a position of power.
    In the hands of a gifted therapist the patient may learn to control this anger and go on to be a well respected member of the community.
    Or not!

  71. Mindert Eiting
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 10:05 AM | Permalink

    Not all criminals are the same. A friend of mine told that many years ago he was not very rich and went in the weekend to the supermarket with all the money he had, a twenty-five guilders note. But half-way in a small alley he was arrested by a thief who threatened him with a gun and wanted all his money. My friend explained to him how poor he was and next they started to negotiate. They came out on fifty-fifty. He gave his note and the thief returned to him twelve guilders and fifty cents.

    • Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 10:16 AM | Permalink

      Beautiful. Not the way it happened to me in Peckham in my youth but worth recounting.

    • b_C
      Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 11:48 AM | Permalink

      Lest they get the impression that this might have been a lengthy exchange, I think you owe it to your audience to explain that one bill (a ten) and one coin (a rijksdaalder = 2 1/2 guilders) would have done it. 😉

  72. Lewis Deane
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 10:14 AM | Permalink


    The latter is the context, surely?

  73. Philh
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 10:14 AM | Permalink

    True story: Years ago as an assistant district attorney I was interviewing a witness in a robbery case, a kind of tough, but nice older lady, who worked in an ice cream store in a small town in our county. One afternoon she was working by herself when a young man walked in the store and announced, “This is a holdup! Give me all the money.”

    She looked him over carefully and asked, “Where is your gun?” He seemed confused for a second and then responded, “I’ve got one in the car.” “Well,” she said, “you better go get it.”

    He said, “Okay,” and left, never to return, but was caught soon thereafter.

    When she told me what she had said, I practically fell off my chair laughing.

  74. thisisnotgoodtogo
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 10:22 AM | Permalink

    Ease up, ease up. He might be suffering from Gleicoma..a buildup of pressure that sometimes results in an explosion of blind fury.

  75. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 10:39 AM | Permalink

    If you wish to editorialize on the “Left” or “leftists”, please do so elsewhere. These terms have now been added words like “creationist” as entailing automatic comment deletion.

    • Lewis Deane
      Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 11:00 AM | Permalink


      • Lewis Deane
        Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 11:09 AM | Permalink

        I mean this is how absurd it’s become! It isn’t a ‘football match’. One of the great coaches of a UK football team, Bob Paisley, once said that “Football is not bigger than life, it’s more important than that!” And for him that was true! I think this debate attracts the most stupid of people, as well as the most profound. I find it so absurd that one must ‘mix’ with what is stupid! Hence, I try not to comment.

        • theduke
          Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

          On this side of the pond we have our own version of that as stated by Vince Lombardi:

          “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much more important than that.”

        • Lewis Deane
          Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 11:56 AM | Permalink

          Ha ha! But you mean in the US or Holland? Where?

        • theduke
          Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 12:06 PM | Permalink

          US. Lombardi was the coach of the Green Bay Packers and coached them to a win in the first Super Bowl in 1967.

        • Lewis Deane
          Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 1:09 PM | Permalink


        • igsy
          Posted Feb 27, 2012 at 11:42 AM | Permalink

          It was Bill Shankly, not Bob Paisley. Gotta get your credits right – Bradley/DC/Mashey might be lurking.

    • MrPete
      Posted Feb 27, 2012 at 5:50 PM | Permalink

      Re: Steve McIntyre (Feb 26 10:39),
      Just to nail this down (and perhaps something on this ought to be in the blog’s intro page(s):

      Climate Audit has long-term “residents” who are partial to just about every imaginable color in the political spectrum. That’s one reason it is a forbidden topic. Because of that, we are all able to better focus on the real topic at hand… and discover new friends as well.


      • Posted Feb 27, 2012 at 8:59 PM | Permalink

        Very well put – and I’m a newbie compared to you. I agree this should be said in the intro pages.

  76. Lewis Deane
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 11:32 AM | Permalink

    Let us assume that people are not Peter Gleick! Let us assume, for the sake of our own sanity, if nothing else, that people are rational and have, what they used to call, bona voluntas. This hysteria has become infectious and has infected everyone. Please, let us examine ourselves and avoid schadenfreude and examine what needs to be examined.

  77. kim
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 11:52 AM | Permalink

    Ack! Can’t comment @ Steve’s quote so I’ll put it here.

    He coulda been a contenduh. Well, he coulda been silent, patient, and firm.

    • theduke
      Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 12:00 PM | Permalink

      I don’t see a comment box there either.

  78. Mickey Reno
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

    Peter Gleick, the little butterfly who flapped his wings and started a huge storm 😉

  79. Craig Loehle
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 12:10 PM | Permalink

    Steve is becoming a satirist to rival Swift. Gullible’s Travels?

  80. Foxgoose
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 12:48 PM | Permalink

    In Steve’s Midsummer Nights Dream quote – I think Titania may be a misprint for Scottmandia.

    • theduke
      Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 2:47 PM | Permalink

      Good one.

      I was thinking she was the equivalent of a Greek chorus of fellow enabling travelers.

    • Hannibal Barca
      Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 4:02 PM | Permalink

      I love the caption.

      • papertiger
        Posted Feb 27, 2012 at 1:27 AM | Permalink

        Interesting tid bit. I commented the following at Scott’s Lex Luther post.

        I knew a guy named Pretexting Pete
        Who used to steal gamble and cheat
        He thought he was the smartest guy in town
        But I found out last Monday
        That Pete got locked up Sunday
        They’ve got him in the jailhouse way down town
        He’s in the jailhouse now. He’s in the jailhouse now.
        I told him once or twice quit fakin’ names and spreadin’ lies
        He’s in the jailhouse now

        yo de le he ho le he
        yo de le he ho le hoo
        yo de le he ho yo de le he ho
        yo de le he

        Scott took down that post, altered my second one,
        and he has instituted the blog ban, in the style of Joe Romm.

        Who would have guessed the “Man of Steel” would have such thin skin?

        I guess everybody.

  81. Bad Andrew
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

    • Hannibal barca
      Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 1:49 PM | Permalink

      Now were going to get a bunch of wonder twins, “FORM OF” – “SHAPE OF” of jokes.

      …….thanks Andrew

      Where is super mandia when you need him.

      • Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 4:21 PM | Permalink

        Or the even older Arabian Knights cartoons: “Size of an Imposter!”

  82. Foxgoose
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 2:29 PM | Permalink


    Here he is!

  83. blackwatertown
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 2:45 PM | Permalink

    Good original approach to nailing your target.

  84. Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 4:20 PM | Permalink

    Well, we have Mike’s Nature Trick, the Briffa Bodge (Tornetraesk), the Mannkovitch Bodge (search CA), and now …

    Gleick’s Gleek!

    • Copner
      Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 9:20 PM | Permalink

      Gleick’s Glitch?

  85. Andre
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 4:37 PM | Permalink

    I’m afraid that this kind of threads, however needed by the oppressed ‘climate realists’ will have an adverse effect on getting back to normal.

    Sure, the actions of the alarmist community have been very accurately described by Irving Janis (Groupthink), Stanley Cohen (moral panic and folk devils,) and Thomas Kuhn, (the structure of scientific revolutions), considering the tenacity to hold on to falsified hypotheses. But that doesn’t mean that we should react in kind and create folk devils in return. That would confirm their view of their opponents. One sure way to spiral hostilities out of control

    If we think we are objective, by using the scientific methods, rather than ideologic dogma, then we should also act as such. Objective. We should recognize that alarmism is nothing but the inability to outgrow basic instincts, like herd instinct, clan forming, and establishing a pecking order by showing how brave we can fight the enemy.

    Do we want to be like that? This thread suggests so, just as primitively hostile. I propose that we see the alarmists as good people with some primitive distorted world view. And what we should do is, ignore their hostilities and patiently and kindly guide them.

    Just turn the other cheek.

    • johanna
      Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 5:34 PM | Permalink

      Andre, I will turn the other cheek when they stop forcibly taking my money (via taxes) and mandating how I choose to live (via laws) in support of their delusions.

      I agree that demonising individuals is distasteful, but ignoring wrongdoing (which includes Gleick’s own demonising of individuals like Donna Laframboise) is not going to get these people out of our pockets and off our backs.

    • tomdesabla
      Posted Feb 28, 2012 at 1:55 AM | Permalink

      You are right. I am chastened, and will turn the other Gleick.

      • Posted Feb 28, 2012 at 5:29 AM | Permalink

        Ha. To Gleick chorus add turn the other Gleick. Superb.

        • theduke
          Posted Feb 28, 2012 at 11:15 AM | Permalink

          I hate to dampen the fun, but does everyone know how he actually pronounces his name? It’s pronounced somewhere between “Gleck” and “Glick” depending on who is introducing him as the speaker at an event. It is not, unfortunately for this thread and the “Bottom” thread, “Gleek.”

          Just for the record.

        • Posted Feb 28, 2012 at 12:40 PM | Permalink

          I was one who gave him the long “e”
          Since the name was familiar to me
          With a “James” I had dealt
          Which the same way was spelt
          That was how I thought this one would be

          But I’ve just viewed a bunch of YouTubes
          Just to see how the name’s said by rubes
          It seems “glick” is most used
          Ah, too bad we’re confused;
          For it makes us seem rather like noobs

          ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  86. observa
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 5:45 PM | Permalink

    Back to class for some Big Climate scientists and they have to stay in and practice their lines until they get it word perfect-

    Pompous Peter picked a pile of private papers;
    A pile of private papers Pompous Peter picked;
    If Pompous Peter picked a pile of private papers,
    Where’s the pile of public papers Plumetting Peter picked?

  87. Steve Fitzpatrick
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 5:56 PM | Permalink

    I wounder if the MacArthur Foundation ever asks for their money back when they realize they made a terrible mistake. Would in this case seem appropriate.

    • Craig Loehle
      Posted Feb 27, 2012 at 2:54 PM | Permalink

      The problem of course is that when a dumba** is wrong, everyone ignores him, but when a genius is wrong, he sounds so convincing. Paul Erhlich has never admitted his “population bomb” book was wrong or dangerous.

  88. Anthony Watts
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 9:25 PM | Permalink

    Steve McIntyre’s Climate Audit wins “Best Canandian Blog” in the 2012 Bloggies!/Bloggies

    Let me be the first to congratulate him.

    • David Anderson
      Posted Feb 27, 2012 at 12:42 AM | Permalink

      Modest, or he knew we’d look?

      Best Science or Technology Weblog: Watts Up With That?
      Lifetime Achievement: Watts Up With That?

      Best European Weblog: Tallbloke’s Talkshop

      Well done guys 🙂

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Feb 27, 2012 at 10:28 AM | Permalink

      Thanks, Anthony. And congratulations to you for your remarkable success in the larger category.

      Thanks to the many other commenters who offered similar congratulations (which I’ve now deleted as OT.)

  89. Harold Ambler
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 9:36 PM | Permalink

    Chapter 5: Rise of the Machines

    Like one that draws the model of a house
    Beyond his power to build it; who, half through,
    Gives o’er and leaves his part-created cost
    A naked subject to the weeping clouds
    And waste for churlish winter’s tyranny.

    – William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part II

    From Don’t Sell Your Coat:

  90. Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 10:45 PM | Permalink

    Congratulations Steve … well done, and much deserved. And ….

    Congrats to:

    Jo Nova, Best Aussie or NZ Blog
    Tallbloke, Best European Blog
    WUWT, Best Science or Technology Blog
    WUWT, Lifetime Achievement Award

    What a sweep … what a week
    And voting had concluded well before l’affaire Gleick

    Hilary (proudly Canadian skeptic)

  91. sergeiMK
    Posted Feb 26, 2012 at 11:15 PM | Permalink

    Looking at the released documents from heartland:
    It is very surprising that G says “just add this one as a duplicate” on 27/1
    Then the response email is missing
    On 28/1 G responds to 2 people Why? Also Heartland1 (H1) responds with “Both email addresses have been added to the board directory” surely the original was already on file?
    on 30/1 H1 welcomes G to the fold – surely the board member was already a part of the flock?
    on 2/2 G responds to the invisible mail not the 30/1 mail.
    0n 3/2 a new heartlander (H2) seems to get involved (new signature)posting 2 pdfs to G
    on 4/2 G requests more info
    on 6/2 someone forwards Basts budget and fundraising plans to G
    0n 6/2 a couple of minutes later 4 more documents were sent

    It is strange that all communications were to only the newly provided address.
    It is strange that it involved 10 days and 2 Heartland people and was not discovered.

  92. larepublicacatalana
    Posted Feb 27, 2012 at 2:00 AM | Permalink

    Climate Guru Gleick Impersonated Astronaut Schmitt
    by Josep C. Verges

    Self-confessed climate fraud Peter Gleick impersonated astronaut Harrison Schmitt to obtain authentic documents from the Heartland Institute with which to produce the fake memo in his spectacularly backfired attempt at payback for Climategate to the critics of man-made global warming.

    Peter Gleick of the Pacific Institute is a leading and strident voice in the global warmer movement. His spat with Apollo 17 astronaut and New Mexico senator Harrison Schmitt, and with the Heartland Institute did not start one month ago as he claims in his “confession” to deflect serious criminal and civil prosecution, but one year ago. In The Huffington Post of 8 February 2011 Gleick attacked Schmitt and Heartland for exposing that Arctic sea ice was higher in 1989: “Is this a joke? I wish. This was said by ex-astronaut and New Mexico’s energy secretary Harrison Schmitt, self-described climate denier. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong and wrong. That’ a bad dishonest no-no. Scientists destroy their reputations when they do this (since inevitably other scientists find out).” Heartland commented the same day: “Gleick has deceitfully changed the terms of the discussion. Gleick should admit the charge was false.” One year later another spat when Schmitt was among 16 scientists signing a Wall Street Journal article: “No need to panic about global warming. There’s no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to decarbonise the world’s economy.” Gleick furiously criticised in his Forbes column the “scientists,” in inverted commas as he put them, who dared question his man-made global warming. The same day he started his impersonation of astronaut Schmitt to obtain documents from Heartland which two weeks later he confessed about. The high priest of ethics in the global warmer movement has now resigned as the American Geophysical Union ethics commissar. One year earlier he had predicted his own undoing when he warned about the destructive effect of lies on scientists.

    Published in
    Comments and all articles:

  93. Another Ian
    Posted Feb 27, 2012 at 4:18 AM | Permalink

    Snip if already used.

    Isn’t this a warning to Desmog et al to

    “Beware of Gleicks bearing gifts?”

  94. Wayne Holder
    Posted Feb 27, 2012 at 11:54 AM | Permalink

    Steve, if you haven’t already seen this, I thought it might bring a laugh:

    Nature Editorial: If you want reproducible science, the software needs to be open source



    • Posted Feb 28, 2012 at 8:59 AM | Permalink

      written by a guy who found bugs in CRU code. Good to see this in nature

      • Posted Feb 28, 2012 at 9:05 AM | Permalink

        That’s John Graham-Cumming, who chips in on Bishop Hill from time to time. The first-named author, Darrel Ince, has been around UK software as a commentator for as long as I can remember. He has banged the open source drum for many years so this is no flash in the pan for him either. As you say, good to see in Nature.

  95. Hugh K
    Posted Feb 27, 2012 at 12:34 PM | Permalink

  96. richard40
    Posted Feb 27, 2012 at 8:53 PM | Permalink

    snip – you’ve made unsupported and inflammatory assertions about “our side”. Please feel free to re-submit your comment in more measured terms.

    • Posted Feb 27, 2012 at 10:20 PM | Permalink

      I don’t know what you mean by “our side”
      For the evidence on ClimateGate
      Points to someone of conscience inside
      Maybe you’re coming into this late?

      There’s been no hint of thieving nor fraud
      In obtaining files from UEA
      And to some here, it might seem quite odd
      To see your choice of “sides” picked that way

      There are some of conservative bent
      Others, liberal/progressive in stripe
      But we want to know where science went
      In the climate dispute. The time’s ripe!

      ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  97. Tom Gray
    Posted Feb 27, 2012 at 10:51 PM | Permalink

    You know the inability to have a rational debate on this issue can have very serious consequences for us in many ways. Disregarding any implications for AGW itself, this lack could paralyze our political process as the sides divide into warring camps that will not communicate with each other. This can be seen in Washington today on other issues. Perhaps we can put aside the schadenfreude and reflect on what this means for all of us.

    If something similar had been revealed in the Climategate emails, would people find this acceptable?

    This is not good news.

    • Posted Feb 27, 2012 at 11:48 PM | Permalink

      It all sounds very high-minded Tom. But as someone that believes that Peter Gleick’s descent into wrongdoing was triggered by the courtesy and niceness of Barry Woods, backed up by the integrity of Richard Betts and Tamsin Edwards, I don’t see its relevance. Some people simply can’t cope with goodness. This has to recognised as pathological and the person removed from the scene so they no longer do harm. At that point rational debate is a natural as a running stream. Without it it’s never going to happen. The world of climate science and policy has some mighty important decisions to take – and it’s not clear from the comments across the board about the Gleick incident that this has been faced.

      Steve: C’mon, Richard. Gleick’s course was charted quite independently of his exchange with Tamsin. Coincidences do sometimes happen.

      • Posted Feb 28, 2012 at 2:55 AM | Permalink

        Hi Richard,

        Here I go again … begging to differ 🙂

        But as someone that believes that Peter Gleick’s descent into wrongdoing was triggered by the courtesy and niceness of Barry Woods …

        I’m not sure why you would think that Barry’s “courtesy and niceness” would be more of a “trigger” than, for example, the “courtesy and niceness” in the emails from HI’s Lakely.

        FWIW, I’m still not at all convinced that there was a tipping point or trigger for Gleick. I still vote for cold-blooded “murder” of the truth, with malice aforethought.

        In support of my hypothesis, I just took a look at some other timings in the invitation details thread. And I’d be interested in your thoughts on this – and those of others, if they are so inclined!

        • Posted Feb 28, 2012 at 5:47 AM | Permalink

          Hilary, what am I here for, except for you to differ with? 🙂

          Jim Lakely was also a model of courtesy and niceness. In that context I thought the tone of Joe Bast’s detailed response to the fake memo yesterday was brilliant. These guys were and are playing a blinder – I hope the Koch Foundation and every other such entity take note and give some decent money to play with.

          I think the combination of Barry, Richard and Tamsin was seen as particularly toxic by Gleick and his ‘peers’. Put this together with the Harrison Schmitt factor and you have a witches brew of perceived slights and setbacks. But it’s all pathological.

          And there is a cold-blooded element as well. Fortunately not so cold-blooded that Gleick could see that this course of action – impersonation and almost certainly forgery – was going to be a disaster.

          I think the timeline is most interesting for how fast the seven experts were in the Guardian denouncing Heartland. There is organisation – a lot of it. Keep up the good work!

          Steve: enough about Tamsin and Gleick until further evidence comes in.

        • Tom Gray
          Posted Feb 28, 2012 at 7:16 AM | Permalink

          Do you realize how they are playing a blinder? They are unfailingly polite. They do not respond emotionally and they do not respond personally. As a result, they are greatly assisting their cause. Taking the high road and not descending into personal vilification is the winning tactic. Even if it is chosen cynically as a means of manipulation, it is still the tactic most likely to succeed. If the opponent responds otherwise then this only reinforces the advantage of the principled approach.

  98. Posted Feb 28, 2012 at 12:01 PM | Permalink

    Gleick inspires Dilbert?

    • Posted Feb 28, 2012 at 4:25 PM | Permalink

      I had to tweet that. And I didn’t even drink over lunch.

  99. Craig Loehle
    Posted Feb 28, 2012 at 5:38 PM | Permalink

    Ran into my friend who is an engineer. He heard about fakegate on the radio, wanted to know if I knew about it. I said yes. He said he couldn’t believe it. A scientist has to be 100% honest all the time or it is no good. He was just shaking his head.
    Forgot to ask where he heard it.

  100. Posted Feb 28, 2012 at 10:42 PM | Permalink

    There once was a man named Gleick
    Who had a profitable shtick
    But it all came a cropper
    By behavior most improper
    His shtick needed a public more thick.

  101. Jon Grove
    Posted Mar 3, 2012 at 8:25 PM | Permalink

    Perhaps I’ve missed something, but given that the Heartland Inst. had invited Gleick to speak on Jan 13th, and given the context of the invitations, and Gleick’s refusal, doesn’t it seem reasonable to accept that his name must have been coming up a fair bit among members of the HI board in the last few weeks in January? It doesn’t seem to me that the reference to Gleick in the doubtful memo is a key fact in establishing the origin of the memo.

    The consensus that the /style/ of the memo identifies Gleick as its author seems to me to be unreliable. We often think that this kind of analysis is straightforward, because we all know how to use language (don’t we?). We’re much happier to admit we don’t /get/ statistics. But any adequately trained student of language or literature should be able to tell you that linguistic analysis and stylistic ‘fingerprinting’ are seriously tricky matters, full of pitfalls. Analysis of written style is what I do for a living. No statistician will be surprised to here that in my line of work the road to hell is paved with false positives. Sloppy usage is an entirely unremarkable feature of official memos, internet blogs, and academic emails alike. Commas won’t do it for you. Even the phrase ‘anti-climate’ is no identifying mark (unless used consistently) when you can make it by accidental omission, or pick it up after unthinkingly from someone (even an opponent) whose words you’ve been reading recently. You need more than this to make a confident attribution, if you want to get beyond the pleasure of wishful thinking. Anomalies in the /factual/ content of such an official memo are an entirely different and much more significant matter.

    Steve: you’re overlooking “means, motive and opportunity”, which Gleick had. The author of the fake memo had to be in possession of the actual documents. “Opportunity” limits the population to Gleick and the Heartland directors (and maybe a few senior Heartland staffers.) The “fiber” evidence is additional.

    Obviously, a police investigation ought to examine Gleick’s computers and computers that he might have used. Police seized the UEA server almost immediately, but they don’t seem to have done anything with Gleick’s.

    • Mark F
      Posted Mar 3, 2012 at 8:57 PM | Permalink

      You may have missed Gleick’s juvenile behavior around his now-public feud in Forbes magazine. More than enough context for familiarity with HI. And a huge resentment.

    • clazy8
      Posted Mar 3, 2012 at 10:09 PM | Permalink

      Good point. And yet I am quite certain he is the author, there being essentially no evidence that anyone else wrote it, versus a pile of evidence consistent with the theory that he wrote it. I do not, of course, impose the same standards of proof on myself as would be required in criminal court.

    • Jonathan Grove
      Posted Mar 5, 2012 at 6:17 AM | Permalink

      Well, yes indeed: but that only makes sense if it has already been decided that the document is fake, independently of the rather weak stylistic ‘data’. Which brings the whole thing back to the most significant of the two factual anomalies in the memo: the note on the 2011 donation from the Kock Foundation which mistakenly refers to the contribution of $200,000 projected or promised for 2012.

      This is the precisely thing I don’t understand. The entire argument for the document having been faked by Gleick is actually predicated on the assumption (which you’re developing above) that Gleick is unbelievably stupid. The only other plausible assumption that the error is actually a comparatively small one in a memo that doesn’t really contain any actual information not available in the other documents. But Ockham’s razor might not be that helpful here.

      The Kock link is a big deal for anyone with an intellectual stake in the dissemination of those papers. If a faker was trying to draw attention to it, then he can’t hit a fish in a barrel. He’s irredeemably dumb. The question is, is this a fair assessment of Gleick? One may not agree with him, or like his position, and of course there are plenty of successful people (academics, businessmen, politicians) out there who are simply not very clever. But a basic academic training should at least provide the basis for a better piece of fakery than this. The one thing academics can usually manage is to produce internally consistent documents. And I would argue that someone faking a document such as the memo is much more likely to over-correct than to mess up one of the key points on which we must assumed they were focussed. If Gleick did this, you’re right: he’s a dumb-ass. But it smells pretty fishy to me.

      • Posted Mar 5, 2012 at 9:15 AM | Permalink

        Following this line of thinking seems a bit anticlimactic. But that reminds me …

13 Trackbacks

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