Pot, Meet Kettle

February 21, 2012

An open letter from Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund to the Heartland Institute:

February 21, 2012

Ms. Maureen Martin
General Counsel
The Heartland Institute
One South Wacker Drive #2740 Chicago, IL 60606

Dear Ms. Martin:

As a community that has been through similar invasions of our privacy, we understand what you are going through. We were struck by the eloquence of your words in describing your situation. We could not think of a better way to describe our feelings than with the words you’ve crafted.

Forgive us for taking the following paragraphs from your website and recent letters to members of the blogger and journalistic community, but as it is often said imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

In November 2009 groups posted online several documents they claimed were the emails of climate scientists. These documents were stolen from Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.

Disagreement over the causes, consequences, and best policy responses to climate change runs deep. We understand that.

But honest disagreement should never be used to justify the criminal acts and fraud that occurred. As a matter of common decency and journalistic ethics, we ask everyone in the climate change debate to sit back and think about what just happened. Those persons who posted these documents and wrote about them before we had a chance to comment on their authenticity should be ashamed of their deeds, and their bad behavior should be taken into account when judging their credibility now and in the future.

Furthermore, the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund views the malicious and fraudulent manner in which the Climatic Research Unit documents were obtained and/or thereafter disseminated, as well as the repeated blogs about them, as providing the basis for civil actions against those who obtained and/or disseminated them and blogged about them. The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund fully intends to pursue all possible actionable civil remedies to the fullest extent of the law.

We respectfully ask the Heartland Institute, all activists, bloggers, and other journalists to immediately remove all of these documents and any quotations taken from them, from their blogs, Web sites, and publications, and to publish retractions.


Scott A. Mandia & Joshua Wolfe
Climate Science Legal Defense Fund: “Protecting the Scientific Endeavor”

Jeff Ruch
PEER Executive Director


66 Responses to “Pot, Meet Kettle”

  1. […] climategate and the Heartland Institute’s involvement in that. Here’s the letter (h/t Climate Denial Crock of the Week): February 21, […]

  2. Atta boys! Up and at em! Good one, Jeff! Make them feel the keen edge of our legal sword!


    p.s. Has anyone yet any evidence to contradict my assertion that daveburton is in reality a computer program set to automatically churn out contrarian swill in response to any post about climate that makes sense? If so I’d like to see it.

  3. […] The fizzling of the scandal not yet formally known as ‘deniergate’ continues to fester in the murky fringes of reality, as revealed recently in Desmogblog, Huffingtonpost and Peter Sinclair’s Crock of the Week. […]

  4. What’s all this breast-beating in the scientific community over Gleick’s deceiving Heartland to get information that exposes it as the right-wing lie factory it is? What this institution is doing is aiding and abetting an immense crime against humanity. They are committing a monstrous fraud every day. Fraud is SOP for Heartland. Fraud is its raison d’etre. And we apologize because one member of our team did not play fair in exposing this?

    Should have given Hitler fair warning about D-Day, I suppose. Was not cricket, that deception. Shame.

    • daveburton Says:

      Good grief, get a grip on reality, Kelly. Gleick is the liar, Heartland isn’t. Heartland works for scientific rigor; they expose fraud, they do not commit it. Gleick committed fraud on behalf of “your team,” and owes a lot more than an apology.

      Joe Bast explains it well:

      • ozonator Says:

        Hired legal terrorists by the EssoKochs, Heartland is partly responsible for the 2+ million dead people resulting from my correct AGW predictions. They are owed a spot in any nation’s prison, gibbet, or clean-up crew around Japanese nuke plants.

        • daveburton Says:

          Ozonator, your Climate Movement’s consistently wrong CAGW projections have surely killed some people, due to malnutrition, because of soaring grain prices, as Western nations turn vast amounts of food into ethanol for fuel, to cut their carbon dioxide emissions. But Heartland has worked to stop those misguided policies and prevent the tragedies that result from them. Here’s a good article on the subject, from Heartland’s web site:

          You also need to watch the Joe Bast interview, above.

          • owlbrudder Says:

            your Climate Movement’s

            What movement is that? Do you mean The Great Big Worldwide Conspiracy Of Scientists, Astronomers, Mathematicians And Anyone Who Does Not Support The Tea Party?

            consistently wrong CAGW projections

            You can give links to the peer reviewed science supporting this claim? Consistent? Wrong? CAGW? Projections?

            have surely killed some people, due to malnutrition, because of soaring grain prices, as Western nations turn vast amounts of food into ethanol for fuel, to cut their carbon dioxide emissions.

            You can provide links to the peer reviewed science supporting this claim? How many deaths do you attribute to this?

            But Heartland has worked to stop those misguided policies and prevent the tragedies that result from them.

            Misguided policies are the province of politics. Science advises, government enacts, business profits. Are you saying that Heartland has been actively lobbying politicians to influence policies? Isn’t that illegal for an organisation claiming charitable tax status?

            Your comment is a Gish Gallop: The Gish Gallop is an informal name for a debating technique that involves drowning the opponent in such a torrent of half-truths, lies, and straw-man arguments that the opponent cannot possibly answer every falsehood that has been raised. RationalWiki

          • daveburton Says:

            consistently wrong CAGW projections:

            The way Heartland works to stop misguided policies (like corn -> ethanol -> fuel -> high food prices -> malnutrition and starvation in the third world) is by excellent research, which informs policy-makers.

          • owlbrudder Says:

            consistently wrong CAGW projections:

            Wow! An unattributed, non-peer-reviewed graph! “Take that, you pesky scientists”, says daveburton. Unfortunately, Dave, it doesn’t meet any criterion of credibility. Try again. The topic is consistency, wrongness, CAGW and projections. Point me to a scientific, peer-reviewed paper proving your point, or withdraw the allegation.

            The way Heartland works to stop misguided policies

            There you go again, characterising policies as misguided, when the debate science can contribute to is about the science, not the politics.

            (like corn -> ethanol -> fuel -> high food prices -> malnutrition and starvation in the third world) is by excellent research,

            So where is the peer reviewed scientific literature supporting that ‘excellent research’? How many people are dying? Where?

            which informs policy-makers.

            So Heartland really is a political lobbyist, not a charity? I thought so.

            Another Gish Gallop. You seem to be full of them. Got any facts, or are you just going to continue to wave your arms?

      • owlbrudder Says:

        Heartland works for scientific rigor; they expose fraud, they do not commit it.

        That rather depends on your definitions of ‘scientific rigor’ and ‘fraud’. I suspect yours would disagree with mine.

        • Dennis Cox Says:

          As a matter of fact Here’s what kind of integrity and “scientific rigor” we can expect to hear more of from them.

          They publicly trashed Mark Boslough saying that he was a nobody who wasn’t even a scientist. But if they had bothered to check their facts, and look up his CV before writing about him they would have found that He has a B.S. in Physics from Colorado State University, and an MS and PhD in Applied Physics from Caltech, where his research focused on geophysics.

          That they are willing to use baldfaced lies, and ad hominem attacks to discredit scientists who disagree with them is therefore a proven fact.

          Bottom line: they will say anything about anyone. And with no regard for the truth so long as it is supportive of their own agenda.

          • daveburton Says:

            The good folks at Heartland are honest, they are not infallible. They made a mistake, and corrected it promptly, as you can see from the footnote on their article.

      • daveburton:

        “Heartland works for scientific rigor; they expose fraud, they do not commit it. “

        Another bald-faced and easily -demonstrable lie from you, Dave. Are you working on a trifecta?

        Heartland made outrageously false statements about climate scientists in the e-mailgate fiasco, and never retracted their slander/libel when three independent commissions proved their statements false.

        You really seem to not have any sense of ethics at all as far as I can tell.

        • daveburton Says:

          Heartland was right on-target w/r/t the Climategate revelations. The so-called investigations that claimed to have exonerated the Climategate culprits were deeply flawed. Even Monibot at one time admitted that “the [Climategate] emails are very damaging,” and comprehensive independent review found that:

          The scientists involved in the CRU controversy violated fundamental ethical principles governing taxpayer-funded research and, in some cases, may have violated federal laws. In addition to these findings, we believe the emails and accompanying documents seriously compromise the IPCC-backed “consensus” and its central conclusion that anthropogenic emissions are inexorably leading to environmental catastrophes.

          An independent inquiry conducted by the UK’s Information Commissioner has already concluded that the scientists employed by the University of East Anglia, and who were at the center of the controversy, violated the UK’s Freedom of Information Act….

          In our view, the CRU documents and emails reveal, among other things, unethical and potentially illegal behavior by some of the world’s preeminent climate scientists.

          • Obstructing release of damaging data and information;
          • Manipulating data to reach preconceived conclusions;
          • Colluding to pressure journal editors who published work questioning the climate science “consensus”; and
          • Assuming activist roles to influence the political process.

          • owlbrudder Says:

            “The so-called investigations that claimed to have exonerated the Climategate culprits were deeply flawed.”

            You make this allegation and support it with a minority Senate Report pumped out by that paragon of virtue, Sen. James Inhofe.

            A press release shows how independent that little witch-hunt really was:

            Sen. James Inhofe, R-OK, the leading critic of global warming alarmism in Congress, will kick off The Heartland Institute’s sixth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-6) at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 30, with a breakfast keynote address. Inhofe will be joined at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, DC by scores of state and federal elected officials, more than 50 think tank cosponsors, and some 300 scientists, economists, and policy experts who dispute the claim that “the science is settled” on the causes, consequences, or policy implications of climate change.

            I think we can agree that Inhofe had a clear agenda when he created that minority “comprehensive independent review”. You’re not very good at this, are you?

          • daveburton Says:

            “Minority” in this case simply means Republican. It’s the best independent review of the Climategate scandal to date, that I know of.

            Unfortunately, the Democrats’ staff weren’t interested in doing an independent review of the Climategate scandal. It seems that Al Gore and his allies have succeeded in so politicizing climate issues that, within the Democrat Party, science is subordinated to politics. I wish it were otherwise.

            Fortunately, most Republicans still care about sound science. I suggest that you read the report. I gave you the link, but here it is again.

          • owlbrudder Says:

            A quick Google for ‘Climategate enquiries’ turned up a wikipedia entry, with this snippet:

            “Eight committees investigated the allegations and published reports, finding no evidence of fraud or scientific misconduct.[14] The Muir Russell report stated, however, “We do find that there has been a consistent pattern of failing to display the proper degree of openness, both on the part of CRU scientists and on the part of the UEA.”[15][16] The scientific consensus that global warming is occurring as a result of human activity remained unchanged at the end of the investigations.”

            The reference [14] contains this list of enquiries you could have chosen from:

            “The eight major investigations covered by secondary sources include: House of Commons Science and Technology Committee(UK); Independent Climate Change Review(UK); International Science Assessment Panel(UK); Pennsylvania State University first panel and second panel(US); United States Environmental Protection Agency(US); Department of Commerce(US); National Science Foundation(US)”

            In spite of the findings of these investigations, you propose that the only credible report comes from the Republican Party, the writing of which report was, at the very least, aided and abetted by Sen. Inhofe. The fact that Sen. Inhofe has obvious ties to Heartland has already been pointed out, so I am left to assume that your worldview says Sen. Inhofe, the Republican Party and the Heartland Institute are the only credible and independent sources of information on this topic.

            As before, our definitions of “credible and independent” differ.

  5. Less like a robot and more like that miserable Knight with hacked limbs that doesn’t admit when he’s defeated. Just here to naysay. No logical interaction. Waste of time. Anybody hazard a guess why Heartland has not been investigated for 501 (c) 3 fraud? Who is protecting them? The whole thing revolves around concealing their donor sources. If they are 501 (charitable, what a joke) they don’t reveal donors. If they are lobbying, they have to. Thus, they squeal like a pig when their sources are revealed. That’s the greatest way to have them dry up. None of those corporations wants to admit to their hidden agenda.

    • daveburton Says:

      The reason they no longer list their donors is that their donors were getting harassed by Climate Movement activists.

      • owlbrudder Says:

        Yet Heartland thinks it’s OK for Marc Morano’s Climate Depot to post email addresses of people like Katharine Hayhoe and encourage tinfiol hat nutters to harass them? Seems a bit hypocritical to me. There is a pattern building up here.

  6. I, too, Christopher, keep coming back to Monty Python when looking for analogies to describe the denalists. What is “Lord” Monckton, after all, but a particularly grotesque, outrageous character out of a Python sketch? Those Australian laughing boys (Hamster wheel?) were on the right track when they interviewed Monckton based on the conceit that he was in reality a Sasha Baron Cohen character. Daveburton just another grotesque.

    One could well imagine the Pythons, that troup of doughty satirists, taking on the anti-science movement, bringing it to its knees in a most entertaining (for us, not them) way.

    Oh for a champion!

  7. Dennis Cox Says:

    daveburton said:

    “The good folks at Heartland are honest, they are not infallible. They made a mistake, and corrected it promptly, as you can see from the footnote on their article

    Let’s get real here. Heartland didn’t correct their claim in that that article that Mark had no academic credentials until after the facts of Mark’s CV were stuffed down their throats. If they had even the slightest trace of academic integrity they would’ve checked their facts first. Instead, the only acknowledgement we see is a little footnote in fine print italics at the bottom of the page. They owed him an apology for their slanderous ad hominem crap. Yet they stuck their guns with the libelous descriptive of “Hoaxster”. And yet now we hear them crying foul! This is perfectly consistent with the theme of this thread; that of the pot calling the kettle black.

    But since we have established Mark’s credentials as valid, in doing so we have in fact validated everything he said about the folks at Heartland as straight up honest fact.

    So, since we’ve established the validity of his opinions in this matter. And now that the truth that Heartland routinely trashes the reputations of legitimate scientists who disagree with their agenda is established as unassailable fact. Maybe what Mark had to say about them deserves a second read. And for those who haven’t read it yet. Mark’s original article, Heartland Institute sends a valentine was posted on the Santa Fe New Mexican on January 21. 

    • daveburton Says:

      Heartland’s use of the term “hoaxter,” meaning someone who perpetrates a hoax, is accurate. However, a complaint was raised that the original phrasing of the title was ambiguous, and could have been interpreted to indicated that his claim be a scientist was a hoax, so they changed to phrasing to be clear.

      The second paragraph of the Heartland article explains why they call him a hoaxter:

      “Prior to his January 24 New Mexican article, Boslough’s greatest claim to fame was getting caught making up fictional entries for the so-called Darwin Awards and inventing an Internet hoax lying about laws passed by the Alabama state legislature. Now his greatest claim to fame may be championing hateful anti-science rhetoric on the very day President Obama in his State of the Union Address calls for greater civility and respect in political discourse.”

      For all his name-calling, Boslough did not dispute any of that.

      Now, whether those hoaxes were his greatest claim to fame or not is debatable, but it is indisputably true that Boslough is a hoaxter.

    • daveburton Says:

      Here’s a write-up about one of the hoaxter’s most well-known hoaxes:

    • daveburton Says:

      Boslough’s organization, NMSR, seems quite proud of another of his hoaxes. They say, “Our little ‘Alabama Legislature mandates pi=3’ April Fool’s story (NMSR Reports, April 1998, May 1998) is still going strong!”

      The fake report claimed that Republicans and a “a traditional values group” pushed through a law in the Alabama legislature to change the value of Pi to exactly three. It quoted a supposed spokesman for the traditional values group saying, “We just want to return pi to its traditional value, which, according to the Bible, is three.”

      Now, Dennis, why don’t you explain why you think calling Mark Boslough a “hoaxter” is “libelous?”

  8. daveburton Says:

    Well, that explains it. I can see why Gleick was so sore at Heartland:

  9. I think the robot just blew a fuse. He’s so far off topic he landed on the moon. OK,. now back to global warming, which all the major denier scientiists, like Christie, Muller, and Michaels agree is happening. Oh, robot didn’t get the memo? Excuse me, I meant intrepid limbless knight.

  10. daveburton asserts:

    “Well, that explains it. I can see why Gleick was so sore at Heartland:

    Oh, I see. Dr Glieck turns down an all expense-paid trip to a warm weather venue of a Heartland big money junket for their big-money donors (remember, this outfit claims to be a charity!) and…

    Glieck is the villain!

    daveburton – you really don’t have any ethics, do you? You will say anything, no matter how unprovenanced, no matter how speculative, no matter how counter to prevailing evidence to promote your case. A case which is contrary to all the world’s prestigious scientific institutions, peer-reviewed literature, and common sense. And you do this whilst ascribing conspiracy theory to your opponents! What a fracking maroon.

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