by Adam Robbert
I’ve been following his story for the past few days now. If you haven’t got caught up THIS piece from Scientific American is a good place to start. Personally, I think Gleick is something of a minor hero and all of this talk about his ethics just reveals the dubious nature of people’s inability to stand up and protest against what is clearly an ideologically driven smear campaign to distort solid evidence. Good for you Gleick. Here is a short excerpt to bring you up to speed:
On February 14, some media outlets received internal documents of the Heartland Institute, a think-tank funded in part by oil and coal companies that downplays the role of human activity in climate change. The documents contained putative evidence that Heartland was funding efforts to influence what elementary schools teach about climate science. On Feb. 20, Peter Gleick, a nationally known expert on water resources, admitted that he had obtained the documents by posing as a Heartland board member. Gleick is president of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security, and has loudly criticized climate skeptics for misrepresenting facts or engaging in unethical behavior. Ironically, he was also chairman of the American Geophysical Union’s ethics committee, a post he simultaneously resigned.
The incident set off a firestorm of claims and counterclaims. Climate skeptics argued that scientists—particularly climate scientists—cannot be trusted. Pundits and journalists fretted that the event would undermine the credibility of climate science, and perhaps scientists in general.
Attempting to reveal the nefarious nature of an institute like Heartland does not ‘undermine the credibility of climate science, and perhaps scientists in general.’ Come on now.