The great 'warmist' caper

Global warming activists get caught conniving
February 26, 2012 12:00 am

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The leaked confidential documents from the Heartland Institute, a Chicago think tank skeptical about anthroman-made global warming, seemed to environmentalists to be the best Valentine's Day gift ever. The documents identified Heartland donors and outlined the foundation's fund-raising strategy for 2012. The smoking gun was one entitled: "2012 Heartland Climate Strategy," which included plans for "dissuading (K-12 teachers) from teaching science."

Global warming alarmists are still reeling from "Climategate," a leak in 2009 of thousands of emails which indicated prominent climate scientists were manipulating data and conspiring to keep dissenting views from being published in scientific literature. The Heartland documents were, they thought, the Climategate of the skeptics.

"These documents ... reveal what many of us have long suspected: that there is a campaign afoot by groups directly funded by the fossil fuel industry and right-wing foundations such as Koch Industries to mislead the public about climate change," said Prof. Michael Mann of Penn State University.

Dr. Mann was the author of the infamous "hockey stick" graph which purported to show that the Medieval Warm Period (950-1250 A.D.) never existed. Little confidence can be placed in Mr. Mann's data, and "even less confidence" can be placed in his conclusion the 1990s were the warmest decade in at least a millenium, said the National Academy of Sciences in 2006.

Dr. Mann was embarrassed when this Climategate email, from Dr. Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia in Britain, was made public: "I've just completed Mike's Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e. from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline." He must have drawn satisfaction from a scandal involving skeptics.

Warmist glee was short-lived. The "2012 Heartland Climate Strategy" memo was a clumsy forgery. All the genuine documents revealed is that "a think tank which advocates the free market and is skeptical of global warming was raising money to, um, advocate the free market and promote skepticism of global warming," said Robert Tracinski, editor of the Intellectual Activist.

Peter Gleick, a scientist who specializes in water systems, has admitted posing as a Heartland board member to obtain the genuine documents, but denies authorship of the forged memo.

First Published 2012-02-25 23:07:09

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