Peter Gleick, the scientist, the advocate, and the MacArthur Fellow, who helms the influential Pacific Institute, today admitted in his column that he did something he shouldn't have in his on-going struggle with the right-wing climate change skeptics at the Heartland Institute:
I attempted to confirm the accuracy of the information in this document [that came to him anonymously from Heartland files]. In an effort to do so, and in a serious lapse of my own and professional judgment and ethics, I solicited and received additional materials directly from the Heartland Institute under someone else's name.
Andrew Revkin, the most-storied of all climate reporters, unloads on Gleick as I don't believe I ever have heard him unload before, in all the years I have been reading him in the The New York Times.
Gleick’s use of deception in pursuit of his cause after years of calling out climate deception has destroyed his credibility and harmed others. (Some of the released documents contain information about Heartland employees that has no bearing on the climate fight.) That is his personal tragedy and shame (and I’m sure devastating for his colleagues, friends and family).
The broader tragedy is that his decision to go to such extremes in his fight with Heartland has greatly set back any prospects of the country having the “rational public debate” that he wrote — correctly — is so desperately needed.
Yes. Sad to see the climate science go up in the smoke of this self-destructive drama. Already Gleick is getting damage control advice from a prominent Democratic politico, and lawyering up for the inevitable lawsuits to come.
Suspect Gleick will soon become all too famous. This scandal is far more dramatic and eyecatching than the hacked emails of the so-called Climategate affair, and comparable in some respects to the tabloid tricks that have cost Rupert Murdoch and his papers so dearly.