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Denialgate - Internal Heartland Documents Expose Climate Denial Funding Network

Posted on 15 February 2012 by dana1981

This is a combined re-post of two major exposé posts on DeSmogBlog (here and here) regarding internal Heartland Institute strategy and funding documents.

*UPDATE 3* Desmogblog have removed the document Board Directory 01-18-12.pdf from their website as it contained home addresses.  

*UPDATE 2* the link to the climate strategy document below has been removed, as Heartland disputes its authenticity.

*UPDATE* DeSmogBlog now reports on a prepared statement from Heartland Institute regarding the leak:  

The Heartland Institute has confirmed in a prepared statement that it mistakenly emailed its board materials to an anonymous third party - confirming the source of the documents released here on the DeSmogBlog yesterday.

Heartland then goes on allege that one of the documents (the Climate Strategy) is a fake.

The DeSmogBlog has reviewed that Strategy document and compared its content to other material we have in hand. It addresses five elements:

The Increased Climate Project Fundraising material is reproduced in and confirmed by Heartland's own budget.

The "Global Warming Curriculum for K-12 Classrooms" is also a Heartland budget item and has been confirmed independently by the author, Dr. David Wojick.

The Funding for Parallel Organizations; Funding for Selected Individuals Outside Heartland are both reproduced and confirmed in the Heartland budget. And Anthony Watts has confirmed independently the payments in Expanded Climate Communications.

The DeSmogBlog has received no direct communications from the Heartland Institute identifying any misstatement of fact in the "Climate Strategy" document and is therefore leaving the material available to those who may judge their content and veracity based on these and other sources.

*SkS note: Heartland could easily prove the strategy document is a fake by releasing the email which they claim contained the released documents.


Heartland Insider Exposes Institute's Budget and Strategy

An anonymous donor calling him (or her)self "Heartland Insider" has released the Heartland Institute's budget, fundraising plan, its Climate Strategy for 2012 and sundry other documents (all attached) that prove all of the worst allegations that have been levelled against the organization.

It is clear from the documents that Heartland advocates against responsible climate mitigation and then uses that advocacy to raise money from oil companies and "other corporations whose interests are threatened by climate policies." Heartland particularly celebrates the funding that it receives from the fossil fuel fortune being the Charles G. Koch Foundation.

Heartland also continues to collect money from Philip Morris parent company Altria as well as from the tobacco giant Reynolds American, while maintaining ongoing advocacy against policies related to smoking and health.

Heartland's policy positions, strategies and budget distinguish it clear as a lobby firm that is misrepresenting itself as a "think tank" - it budgets $4.1 million of its $6.4 million in projected expenditures for Editorial, Government Relations, Communications, Fundraising, and Publications, and the only activity it plans that could vaguely be considered policy development is the writing of a curriculum package for use in confusing high schoolers about climate change.

There will be more comment and analysis to follow on DeSmogBlog and elsewhere, but we wanted to make this information available so that others can also scrutinize the documents and bring their expertise to the task.

AttachmentSize
(1-15-2012) 2012 Fundraising Plan.pdf 89.87 KB
(1-15-2012) 2012 Heartland Budget (2).pdf 124.62 KB
2 Agenda for January 17 Meeting.pdf 7.4 KB
2010_IRS_Form_990 (2).pdf 2.7 MB
 
Binder1 (2).pdf 55.36 KB
Board Directory 01-18-12.pdf 11.28 KB
Board Meeting Package January 17.pdf 6.84 KB

Heartland Institute Exposed: Internal Documents Unmask Heart of Climate Denial Machine

Internal Heartland Institute strategy and funding documents obtained by DeSmogBlog expose the heart of the climate denial machine – its current plans, many of its funders, and details that confirm what DeSmogBlog and others have reported for years. The heart of the climate denial machine relies on huge corporate and foundation funding from U.S. businesses including Microsoft, Koch Industries, Altria (parent company of Philip Morris) RJR Tobacco and more.

We are releasing the entire trove of documents now to allow crowd-sourcing of the material. Here are a few quick highlights, stay tuned for much more. -Confirmation that Charles G. Koch Foundation is again funding Heartland Institute’s global warming disinformation campaign. Greenpeace’s Koch reports show the last time Heartland received Koch funding was in 1999

The January 2012 Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy states:

We will also pursue additional support from the Charles G. Koch Foundation. They returned as a Heartland donor in 2011 with a contribution of $200,000. We expect to push up their level of support in 2012 and gain access to their network of philanthropists, if our focus continues to align with their interests. Other contributions will be pursued for this work, especially from corporations whose interests are threatened by climate policies.”

-Heartland Institute’s global warming denial machine is chiefly – and perhaps entirely – funded by one Anonymous donor:

Our climate work is attractive to funders, especially our key Anonymous Donor (whose contribution dropped from $1,664,150 in 2010 to $979,000 in 2011 - about 20% of our total 2011 revenue). He has promised an increase in 2012…”

-Confirmation of exact amounts flowing to certain key climate contrarians. 

funding for high-profile individuals who regularly and publicly counter the alarmist AGW message. At the moment, this funding goes primarily to Craig Idso ($11,600 per month), Fred Singer ($5,000 per month, plus expenses), Robert Carter ($1,667 per month), and a number of other individuals, but we will consider expanding it, if funding can be found.”

-As Brad Johnson reported today at ThinkProgress, confirmation that Heartland is working with David Wojick, a U.S. Energy Department contract worker and coal industry consultant, to develop a ‘Global Warming Curriculum for K-12 Schools.’

-Forbes and other business press are favored outlets for Heartland’s dissemination of climate denial messages, and the group is worried about maintaining that exclusive space. They note in particular the work of Dr. Peter Gleick:

Efforts at places such as Forbes are especially important now that they have begun to allow high-profile climate scientists (such as Gleick) to post warmist science essays that counter our own. This influential audience has usually been reliably anti-climate and it is important to keep opposing voices out.” (emphasis added)

Note the irony here that Heartland Institute – one of the major mouthpieces behind the debunked ‘Climategate’ email theft who harped about the suppression of denier voices in peer-reviewed literature – now defending its turf in the unscientific business magazine realm.

-Interesting mentions of Andrew Revkin as a potential ally worth “cultivating,” along with Judith Curry.

Efforts might also include cultivating more neutral voices with big audiences (such as Revkin at DotEarth/NYTimes, who has a well-known antipathy for some of the more extreme AGW communicators such as Romm, Trenberth, and Hansen) or Curry (who has become popular with our supporters).”

-Confirmation that skeptic blogger Anthony Watts is part of Heartland’s funded network of misinformation communicators.

We have also pledged to help raise around $90,000 in 2012 for Anthony Watts to help him create a new website to track temperature station data.”

Stay tuned for more details as DeSmogBlog and others dig through this trove of Heartland Institute documents. The Heartland Institute's legacy of evasion of this level of transparency and accountability has now been shattered.

Read the documents [all PDF]:

Minutes of January 17 board meeting (.doc)

Agenda for January 17, 2012 Board Meeting

Board Meeting Package January 17, 2012

Board Directory January 2012


Binder 1 (maybe overlap with above documents)

2012 Heartland Budget

2012 Heartland Fundraising Plan

2010 Heartland IRS Form 990 (public document)

Stay tuned… see also DeSmogBlog's Richard Littlemore's coverage.

AttachmentSize
 
Minutes of January 17 meeting.doc 50.84 KB
Board Meeting Package January 17.pdf 7.47 KB
Board Directory 01-18-12.pdf 12.51 KB
Agenda for January 17 Meeting.pdf 8.49 KB
Binder1.pdf 67.68 KB
(1-15-2012) 2012 Heartland Budget.pdf 126.68 KB
(1-15-2012) 2012 Fundraising Plan.pdf 91.32 KB
2010_IRS_Form_990.pdf 2.7 MB

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Comments 201 to 250 out of 256:

  1. On current evidence we should now regard the "strategy document as a fake.

    In particular Joseph Bast has now reportedly brought in the police to investigate a matter of identity theft. If he has no reason to suspect identity theft, that makes him liable for criminal charges. If he claims to have brought the matter before police in a fund raising document, while not having done so, that makes him liable for fraud. Therefore the presumption must be that some of the documents where obtained by phishing.

    It should be noted that Duke C, in a comment at Lucia's Blackboard, claims to have time stamps of the "strategy" document that breaks it down to Greenwich Mean Time plus offset, providing evidence that the strategy document was scanned in the Pacific time zone of the US (or equivalent in Canada, or Mexico etc). As the Heartland Institute does not have offices on the West Coast, it follows that the document was almost certainly not scanned in HI offices.

    It is not reasonable to believe that a person so remote from the HI offices as the US West Coast would have a physical copy of the strategy document, but also need to phish in order to get copies of the other documents (excluding the 990 form). Therefore, in order to have such a document they must have created it themselves, or had it created by an accomplice. Hence, by my estimation on current evidence, it is very likely (>90% probability) that the document is a fake.

    It should further be noted that my earlier inference that this is an internal job is flawed. Specifically the 990 form which was not phished is, apparently, published on the web and has been for some time. Therefore, while it was accessed before December 6th, 2011, and was not phished, that could have been done by any interested person.

    Finally, the most reasonable conclusion given this evidence is that the leaked information, like that for the University of East Anglia, was obtained by criminal activity. This certainly gives reasonable grounds to have ethical qualms about discussing and distributing information contained within the documents. Everybody must look to their own conscience on that point.
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  2. 200, Camburn,

    I never said any. You think the US military and the CIA should be required to divulge all information?

    On research... if we have researchers working on brilliant and novel new energy sources or engineering techniques, do you think that information should be available to other countries and private investors to exploit?

    No, obviously not.

    Research is already well monitored and governed by the universities, peers and funding sources that grant those funds. That sort of openness is not required.

    "Charitable organizations," however, appear free to do anything they please to further the interests of either specific industries or the people who got rich in those industries, while skirting tax laws and hiding the true nature of their efforts.

    Unlike you, I'm not in the least bit concerned about some nefarious scientist secretly plotting to clone Joseph Stalin from the hairs on one of his old brushes.

    I am concerned about people who already have substantially more power and influence than other people further exploiting the system to work to their benefit.
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  3. 201, Tom,

    There is one flaw in all of that PDF-Pacific time logic. I'm not saying it's likely, but... physical copies of the strategy memo could have been delivered by hand/mail to people who then scanned and disseminated it electronically. It could also have been acquired by someone several weeks ago, when it was written, in Chicago, taken to the west coast, and scanned there at the last minute to include it with the other electronic documents.

    The fact that it came from a physical document really means that you can't prove anything from it (except that the leak/thief, or one of the recipients of the documents, was in the Pacific time zone a few days ago).

    I'm not saying this is likely, and my personal feeling is that it is a fake... there's just no reason for a memo like that to be written, and with a somewhat more churlish tone than the other, more professional sounding documents. It doesn't say much of anything that doesn't appear elsewhere. It's redundant and useless.

    It's also a wholly unnecessary inclusion. The rest of the documents are damning enough on their own. There's no reason for anyone to pretty-up some quotable variations on a theme.
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  4. Tom Curtis @ 201,

    I agree with your analysis. It looks like the act of someone with more zeal than judgment. Someone willing to use phishing to get these papers is all too likely to try to improve their haul.

    What do these papers show? Not much that we did not aready suspect. John Mashey's investigations have actually turned up far more. The main thing that they should do is to put the tax exempt status of the Heartland Institute under investigation.
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  5. Sphaerica @203, it is always possible, for example, that a member of the board was part of a small strategy meeting before the main board meeting in which a paper document was distributed, and in which strategy was planned for the board meeting. It is further possible that that paper document was then taken back to LA or Seattle (or wherever) and scanned. However, somebody with access to a limited circulation document as suggested by this theory would not need to phish in order to get the other documents.

    Therefore, on evidence available the supposition must be that the strategy document is a fake.

    If it emerges that the purported email from Bast to donors is itself a fake, or that Bast is charged for fraud based on that email, then we have reason to revise that opinion. But as it stands, I believe we must accept and act on the belief that it is a fake.
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  6. Gringo @ 171, I love the comment:
    We promise anonymity to many of our donors because nobody wants the risk of nutty environmentalists or Occupy Wall Street goons harassing them.
    On the other hand, it is fine for right wing-nuts to post email addresses of climate scientists like Katharine Hayhoe and incite their loyal nutty mercenaries to send the victim vicious and threatening emails, slash their victim's car tyres and generally harass them. I have been unable to find any evidence of the Heartland Institute decrying such behaviour and it strains credulity to suggest they don't know it is happening. As reported by Peter Sinclair at Climate Denial Crock of the Week:
    Hayhoe had her name and email contact published by the ever-cuddly Marc “climate scientists should be flogged” Morano, grand Wazir of the Sharia school of Climate denial.
    Such a nice chap. I wonder if he has his hand in the H.I. till, too.
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  7. Doug H, that's easily answered: http://heartland.org/marc-morano
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  8. 205, Tom,

    You are starting from the premise that phishing was in fact the method by which the documents were obtained. The only evidence for this is the Heartland claim.

    If that claim is false, I'm not sure Best is guilty of fraud just for lying (or being mistaken) about the nature of the theft. He quite likely would not want to admit that he allowed someone (a disgruntled employee) access to his computer and files. This would not sit well with people who give you hundreds of thousands of dollars to be just a little more careful than that.

    It would be obstruction of justice if it were a lie and he said that to any official agents brought in to investigate the issue, but they would quickly see the e-mail records and such and corroborate the claim. If no authorities (beyond their own lawyers) are brought in, then there's no obstruction of justice.

    With that said... as I said, I do believe the document is a fake, and phishing is certainly the most plausible method.

    I'm merely pointing out that your logic is flawed. There is not sufficient evidence at present to arrive at the conclusion that the document must be a fake.

    [Again, I'm pretty sure it may be, but it doesn't much matter if it is or is not, outside of diminishing the impact of the entire release, which makes it's inclusion a tactical error of the gravest proportions, because it's going to give HI a lot of traction on avoiding the real, damning content of their documents, such as trying to influence elections in Wisconsin and influence what is actually taught in schools... can you imagine their furor if Greenpeace were exposed for an equivalent effort to influence curriculum in schools for environmental purposes?]
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  9. Sphaerica @ 208,
    Tim's main argument is that making a knowingly false complaint to the police would be stupid. If they have made such a complaint then their story is probably true.

    Could they have lied to donors about making such a complaint. Again, unlikely.
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  10. Sphaerica @208, in Australia, and I presume in the US, knowingly making false statements with the purpose of obtaining money is fraud, and a criminal offense. Joseph Bast has purportedly written to his donors:

    "We have reported the identity theft and computer fraud to the police and to the FBI. We are asking the bloggers and reporters to immediately remove these documents and all statements about them from the blogs, Web sites, and publications, and to publish retractions.

    But we aren't holding our breath.

    The individuals who have commented so far on these documents did not wait for Heartland to confirm or deny the authenticity of the documents. We believe their actions constitute civil and possibly criminal offenses for which we can pursue charges and collect payment for damages, including damages to our reputation.
    Litigation is expensive, and it surely wasn't in our budget for 2012. But we don¹t think the criminals who did this ought to be allowed to skate away without penalty.
    We are creating a legal defense fund to support litigation, starting immediately, to demand that false and defamatory material be removed from blogs and Web sites and publications, and that the true criminals in this case be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
    Can you make a charitable contribution to our legal defense fund?

    You would be helping us defend ourselves against a cowardly and criminal attack. You would also help us take down a notch some of the left-wing activists and their friends who so plainly crossed the line this time."


    That is clearly a request for money, and the basis of that request includes the claim that he has taken the matter to police and FBI. If he has in fact not taken the matter to police and FBI, then a conviction for fraud will be hard to avoid. Assuming that he is not terminally stupid, it therefore, follows that Bast has indeed reported an incident of alleged "identity theft and computer fraud" to police and the FBI.

    In Australia,and presumably in the US, knowingly and falsely alleging a crime to police where none has been committed is also a criminal offense. Therefore again, excluding terminal stupidity, that indicates that Bast has not only reported an incident of alleged "identity theft and computer fraud" to police and the FBI, but he believes that identity theft and computer fraud to have occurred. Given that he believes that and is in a reasonable position to know (as we are not), the presumption must be that that is what occurred.

    Now it may be that Bast is wrong. For example, it may be that the person Bast sort information on in the issue is in fact the the person who sent the documents to desmogblog as an act of whistle blowing, and have falsely represented the case in order to cover their tracks. But that is a big assumption to make on a "maybe", and should not be the basis of our actions. What is more, if that is the case, it will undoubtedly emerge as the result of the police and/or FBI investigation. In that case we can revise our opinions when that emerges. In the meantime we lose nothing by assuming that the documents (excluding the 990 form) where obtained by criminal activity, and that the strategy document is a fraud.
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  11. Eric, @207, thanks for the quick response confirming my worst fears. Mr. Morano certainly has dirt on his hands. It makes the H.I. hand-wringing about left-wing nutters even more hypocritical, if that were possible.

    Let's all treat the Strategy document as tainted and just use the legitimate documents as a stick to beat them with. Do I have any qualms about using information that may have been dishonestly acquired? Yes, to exactly the same extent that H.I. have qualms about misrepresenting the stolen UEA emails, conspiring to distort the teaching of science in schools, or supporting intemperate activists such as Mr. Morano.
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  12. Regarding the so-called faked stragey document, I think the jury is still out. HI has a strong motive for denying the document, and it's the most deniable because it only exists in scanned form. In contrast it's hard to understand what motive the leaker might have for gilding the lily in this way, especially if his/ her main objective was incite IRS scrutiny of HI's charitable status.

    According to this article, which contains direct quotes from HI's local FBI office, no complaint has been received nor is there any obvious legal basis for an investigation.

    Heartland Instition raising money off "Denialgate"
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  13. mistigiri:

    An article in The Atlantic gives cogent reasons, based on study of the content of the Strategy document, that it is probably fake:
    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/02/leaked-docs-from-heartland-institute-cause-a-stir-but-is-one-a-fake/253165/

    It's worth reading.
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  14. nealjking, yes, I'd seen the Atlantic article.

    I'm inclined to agree with Richard Littlemore on desmogblog, that it's up to HI to provide evidence that the strategy document was faked, or that the other documents have been altered. On the HI website they are still claiming that the "authenticity of those documents has not yet been confirmed". I think it's legitimate to ask why not.
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  15. mistigiri:

    Standard procedure: They're never going to confirm or deny. The only reason they disavowed the Strategy doc was that it made them look too bad (in addition to probably being faked).
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  16. The Atlantic article makes a good case (except for an inexplicable erroneous tangent on the history of human chromosome research) and, along with other issues discussed in this thread, makes it seem likely that the strategy memo was faked. Which, if true, is just annoying. Where does this impulse to muck up important revelations by introducing an element of fraud that allows the whole thing to be questioned come from?

    It will be interesting to see whether we hear anything further about a police investigation. I think alot of us have a natural inclination to view Heartland's moral bankruptcy as inevitably tied to illegalities which would prevent them from going to the police. However, given the continual weakening of laws against 'influence peddling' in the US Heartland's actions may well be perfectly 'legitimate'... which is a whole other kind of depressing.
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  17. CBDunkerson:

    Their activity with the Angry Badger project (helping the governor of Wisconsin fight off a recall effort) could be beyond the scope for a tax-exempt non-profit of their type. That should really be investigated.
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  18. Tom,

    I don't think the Australian definition of fraud is particularly applicable here. In the strictest sense what you are saying is true, but in reality, proving something like that in a court of law in the USA becomes very, very hard. Free speech is protected to an extreme, and that includes lying. I imagine that in order to be prosecuted first you'd have to find someone who wanted to press charges, and that would be someone who gave them money and felt cheated. How likely is that? Then they'd have to prove they wouldn't have given money otherwise, and that he knowingly lied for the sole purpose of getting their money (for instance, he could argue that he was just trying to save face for his institution and prevent people from balking at giving money that they would otherwise have given).

    Fraud in the USA is pretty much out as an applicable crime.

    Obstruction of justice (lying to the police) in any fashion, on the other hand, is taken very seriously, and is often used to punish people who can't be found guilty of their crimes. "Yeah, sure, we know he killed 23 people, but we can't prove a single on of them. But we can prove that he lied about being in Seattle the day of the first murder, so we've got him on obstruction of justice!"

    But even there:

    (a) He must have reported it to the police (and he is welcome to lie about having reported it without actually doing so, although a lie like that will eventually bite him).

    (b) Someone must prove that it was not a phishing attack.

    (c) Someone must prove that he knew it was not a phishing attack (and if he's not very tech-savvy, then it's easy enough to claim it until he's blue in the face, with the defense that he never really understood what he was talking about).

    (d) He must not be so arrogant as to believe that he can get away with anything.

    (e) He must not have strong enough connections in business, politics, and government that lets him get away with anything.

    Note that on (b), proving that it was not a phishing attack... that may not be too hard. I mean, it should be trivially easy to prove that it was a phishing attack, unless they hire a cyber-security expert to properly fake the e-mail trail (and the embedded timezone stamp in the scanned PDF gives you some clue as to how tricky that can be).

    So if he really has engaged the police/FBI, and it really was a phishing attack, they are sure of that already... but won't say a word while they follow the trail (identify the actual e-mail server, subpoena server log files there and along the way, etc.).
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  19. This story hasn't made it to a lot media outlets. A few newspapers, that's all. My impression was that the story about hacked emails achieved a wide distribution quite rapidly.

    Could this be due to the probably faked document?
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  20. mistigrl,

    It may well have been reported to the Chicago Police (who would say nothing, to protect their investigation), but that the FBI had no grounds for jurisdiction (except for the timestamp on the scanned PDF, there's no evidence that the activity crossed state boundaries... I don't know what the rules are there, but it may well be that simple procedure here is to let the local authorities handle it until they go to the feds).

    It's also a question whether or not a crime has been committed, even if it was done by phishing. Identity theft laws are fairly new. In Illinois, for instance, the existing laws on the books all seem to focus on monetary gain. They are fairly explicit not merely about the act of impersonating someone, but also the intent and outcome.

    Illinois: Identify Theft Law 2006 94-0827

    Note that one must argue in the underlined section below that receiving copies of original documents (which the owner still retains -- they haven't been "stolen" in that the owner still possesses them) constitutes "obtaining other property" in an actionable sense. Since the intent of the law is clearly to prevent one party from stealing things of monetary value from another, I would strongly question its applicability in this case.
    (a) A person commits the offense of identity theft when he
    or she knowingly:
    (1) uses any personal identifying information or
    personal identification document of another person to
    fraudulently obtain credit, money, goods, services, or
    other property
    , or
    (2) uses any personal identification information or
    personal identification document of another with intent to
    commit any felony theft or other felony violation of State
    law not set forth in paragraph (1) of this subsection (a),
    or
    (3) obtains, records, possesses, sells, transfers,
    purchases, or manufactures any personal identification
    information or personal identification document of another
    with intent to commit or to aid or abet another in
    committing any felony theft or other felony violation of
    State law, or...


    Public Act 094-0036

    Applicability of the above law almost works, because the "thief" stole the names of people. But the law states that those names must explicitly be tied to SS numbers or credit card or bank account numbers. As they have not, the law does not apply.

    I'm not a lawyer, and I've only done some quick googling, so maybe there is a law somewhere that applies.

    But there is no clear answer that any crime has been committed, even if the documents were obtained by phishing.
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  21. 219 - Martin
    "Could this be due to the probably faked document?"

    With respect, that's missing the point.
    The reason things like not just the CRU emails but any little bit of research hits the media is because the 'denial' side has a machine in place to do that.

    Academic climate research has no such machine. Occasionally universities will do a press release - one amongst many that universities send to the media. And sites like DesMog and SkS etc. post stuff up... it's no where near as professional!

    IMHO, also, media outlets like news papers, forbs etc. know that a good juicy AGW article gets lots of comments. Comments mean page views, page views mean advertising... the more outrageous, the more anger provoking the better the advertising income... I recon that's the core success of the Tea Party.
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  22. Martin @219

    This was carried in the NYT on page 12 or something a couple of days ago. Still, you're point is probably correct. My sense is that it isn't seen as news because most journalists and editors have always known what the true nature of HI is - that of a counter-information campaign whose purpose is to muddy scientific justification for regulation. It is an agenda driven PR effort, not an attempt to get at objective truth.

    The travesty is that, given that knowledge, credible outlets still give them a hearing as if they represent a valid scientific opinion rather than a partisan voice. This gives the impression that scientists also constitute a block of people with a similarly partisan voice, rather than a community of people following a completely different path -- simply struggling to understand the world using the scientific method. As a society we've been so entrained into he he said/she said, horse-race approach to describing conflict that most cannot see the difference.

    Re communication...The fact that the scientific community is actually a diverse hodgepodge of people that is not motivated by partisan issues is the very reason we are not good at communicating this stuff. Effective communication in mainstream media requires a coherent, sharpened message. The less nuance the better. Partisan or special interest groups simply have the advantage there because they can dispense with the nuance to serve a purpose. Our prupose is harmed by doing so.

    Now evolution and climate change should represent cases where the scientific community can unite to communicate better because the consensus is so overwhleming. However, the lack of a partisan agenda is something that filters down to the very structure of our institutions; the dearth of support for effective communication and the in consistency in messaging between institutions is a product of the scientific mission. That communication leadership will have to come from umbrella organizations or outside the scientific community.
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  23. re: 204
    Not much surprised me, although details filled some holes in spreadsheets and certain details clarified the almost-certain identity of A.D. [Don't ask.] Also, I was slightly surprised to see Big Tobacco still well-engaged, $50K from Altria, $110K from Reynolds American in 2011. The tobacco archives had nothing I could find after ~2001, and it seemed like they were trimming, but they were still on the cigarette dole, even higher.
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  24. Peter Gleik has admitted that he obtained some of the documents fraudulently from Heartland.

    He claims that the other document, apparently the one that Heartland has identified as being fake landed on his doorstep in the mail.

    People on other blogs, several days agonoted simalarities between the writing style of the strategy document and posts and comments by Peter Gleik. He appears to deny this on his vauguely worded admission. See DotEarth: http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/20/peter-gleick-admits-to-deception-in-obtaining-heartland-climate-files/
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  25. How Revkin overreacts:

    Gleick’s use of deception in pursuit of his cause after years of calling out climate deception has destroyed his credibility and harmed others. ... That is his personal tragedy and shame (and I’m sure devastating for his colleagues, friends and family).

    Who are the real deceivers here? Gleick? or those sponsoring fake research and preparing an anti-science curriculum for high schools?
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  26. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-h-gleick/-the-origin-of-the-heartl_b_1289669.html

    It appears Peter Gleick is at the center of the documents ocming out. I feel bad that it turned out this way. Heartland has guaranteed they will be agressive about whoever is at the center of this. It will be interesting to see how the story turns out.
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  27. What a mess. The spin-o-rama drama dances out of control. Meanwhile, off in a quiet corner, the planet just keeps on warming.

    Revkin sells. That's what he's good for. The whole climate scene is just a mass of exchange value for him. He'll milk it until the false dichotomy becomes obvious to even the most unobservant, and then he'll move on to milk some other alleged debate.
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  28. @muoncounter, Gleick's deception produced that "anti-science curriculum" you use to legitimize his deception. The dog is chasing it's own tail.
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  29. The headpost by Dana1981 ends with " *SkS note: Heartland could easily prove the strategy document is a fake by releasing the email which they claim contained the released documents."

    Peter Gleick has stated that the strategy document was not part of the e-mail package from Heartland.

    Perhaps that note should be updated to " *SkS note: Heartland could easily prove the strategy document is a fake by proving that they did not mail or slip under Gleick's door the strategy memo".

    It should be noted that, for several days now, there has been speculation based upon writing style that Gleick is the author of the stategy memo. This speculation preceded the admission by Gleick that he obtained the other documents under false pretenses.

    It should be noted that Peter Gleick did not explicitly say that he did not write the strategy memo, although his carefully worded admission leaves that impression.
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  30. 229 - Charlie A

    How does

    I can explicitly confirm, as can the Heartland Institute, that the documents they emailed to me are identical to the documents that have been made public. I made no changes or alterations of any kind to any of the Heartland Institute documents or to the original anonymous communication

    leave the impression that he wrote anything that "have been made public"?
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  31. Fascinating developments indeed.

    It is important to note this is getting nasty. Heartland's Joe Bast is keeping busy hassling many online publishers, including harassment of a 71 year old veteran activities, it is interesting to see at that Col. Gary Wamsley is also being harassed by one “Dave Burton” who is passing himself off as “IPCC AR5 WG1 FOD (First Order Draft) Expert Reviewer” and “Member, NC Sea Level Rise Impact Study Advisory Committee”.

    This from a guy who has one self published paper sea level rise and a long post promoting climategate on his site, and with 41 hits so far for cut and paste comments appears to be a ‘paid by the post’ blogger for Heartland.

    Anthony Watts of WUWT has also claimed to have been accepted as an Expert Reviewer on AR5 WG1 FOD.

    One is left to wonder how many other climate science denier Heartland supporters have been similarly admitted by the IPCC, and to hope the IPCC displays the same courage as Peter Gleick in blowing the whistle on these folks.
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  32. Anthony Watts an IPCC expert reviewer? Of what? The chapter on carbon dioxide snow? Oi!

    Dikran, thanks for the explanation.
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  33. Muon at 225
    What are referring to by this statement?

    "Who are the real deceivers here? Gleick? or those sponsoring fake research and preparing an anti-science curriculum for high schools?"

    Do you have an example of the anti-science curriculum, or are you going off the faked document?

    And, are you supporting Gleick, or suitably disappointed?
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  34. Most curious.

    If Gleick received the "Strategy" document first, then the other documents are in fact a confirmation of it. Many have noted the identical content between the documents - but Gleick simply didn't have the board meeting notes available to him when he received the Strategy writeup.

    This makes me wonder if the person who sent the Strategy doc to Gleick is indeed on the board.
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  35. KR at 234
    The "strategy" document clearly uses a different format and different phrasing. The word choices ("dissuading them from teaching science") are obviously not what any "denier" would use. That is a "warmist" phrase.

    The fact that the strategy document has identical content to the other documents is easily and logically explainable because it was written after the others. Gleick was dishonest in his actions as his confession shows. That alone casts doubts on the veracity of his claim that the "strategy" document simply showed up on his doorstep.
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  36. Muon at 225
    Before anyone anyone makes a claim that the science curriculum being developed is "anti-science", perhaps they should review that curriculum. I am sure it will be made publicy available and we can all comment to our hearts content. Until then, any commenting is pure speculation.

    Some speculating of my own: it seems like the curriculum will pretty much align what is currently found in textbooks and AP College Board materials.

    From Environmental Science by Holt, Rinehart and Winston:

    “However, not all scientists agree that the observed global warming is due to greenhouse gases. Some scientists believe that the warming is part of natural climatic variability. They point out that widespread fluctuations in temperature have occurred throughout geologic time.”

    And, from the College Board AP Environmental Science Workshop Materials:

    “In contrast, global warming is a much more controversial and speculative phenomenon that possibly could result from increasing atmospheric concentrations of certain radiatively active trace gases. Moreover, some of the dire environmental consequences of global warming—such as rising ocean levels, coastal flooding, ecosystem shifts, crop failures, increased severe weather, floods, and droughts—are even more uncertain and depend on the accuracy of complex computer models to predict future weather and climate. Whereas implications of the greenhouse effect can be determined directly from fundamental scientific principles, environmental scenarios predicted for global warming are subject to the limitations of stochastic models which, as critics point out, cannot be relied upon to predict the weather a week in advance, let alone several decades in the future. This is not to say that the predictions of such models are incorrect, only that one should recognize that the conclusions carry with them much more scientific uncertainty than those of global warming itself. Understanding this difference in predictability is of interest to everyone but especially important for the environmental science student.”

    Hardly anti-science.
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    Moderator Response: [Dikran Marsupial] tags (hopefully) fixed
  37. apiratelooksat50 - Perhaps you missed the conditionals in my post?

    "If Gleick received the "Strategy" document first, then the other documents are in fact a confirmation of it."

    As to the word choice question - that's just not a supportable argument. I've seen many of the tobacco industry memos, written by some of the same people currently working for/with Heartland (such as Fred Singer). Those are memos written by people who knew they were deceiving the public, and the phrasing in the tobacco memos clearly shows it.

    As to the veracity of the Strategy document, we'll have to see what comes to light. In the meantime, it appears that the rest of the documents - the fundraising, budget, etc. - have been confirmed as accurate. And there's plenty of information in those to be concerned with.
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  38. apirate @236, the AP workshop quote is clearly anti-science. Anybody who can write "...environmental scenarios predicted for global warming are subject to the limitations of stochastic models which, as critics point out, cannot be relied upon to predict the weather a week in advance, let alone several decades in the future" without immediately pointing out that climate models are not trying to predict weather in advance, but climate is either written by somebody with no understanding of climate science, or a clear determination to misrepresent it. Suggesting that predictions of future climate consequences are entirely reliant on stochastic models rather than, say, comparisons with climate states in past periods of exceptional warmth such as the Holocene Climactic Optimum, or the Eemian also shows a woeful lack of understanding, and is clearly going to mislead students about the state of scientific knowledge.

    Will you provide me with an exact reference so that a complaint to the publishers for that evil crime of deceiving children in the name of education can be corrected.
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  39. Apirate.

    I agree wth KR. Your argument amounts to "if the language indicates fraud, it must be incorrect." You can't start evaluating the veracity of a statement by assuming a priori based on its content that it can't have been said. It's tautological.

    The statement "... environmental scenarios predicted for global warming are subject to the limitations of stochastic models which, as critics point out, cannot be relied upon to predict the weather a week in advance, let alone several decades in the future" is actually anti science in that it is patently wrong.

    First, the models are not "stochastic models" by any definition I am aware, which would typically require parameters to vary through time like random variables. They are also not designed to predict weather. Using that criterion to assess their reliability is like saying that models of natural selection are incorrect because they can't predict which birds will arrive at my feeder today. However, just as evolutionary models can predict other things perfectly well -- an average tendency to optimize resource use, the genetic relatedness of all birds -- climate models do just fine at what they are intended to do. Finally, the case for climate change simply does not rest solely on the models. Someone who states such is woefully uninformed about the matter.

    Ooops I see Tom has already answered! Just to emphasize, then.
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  40. Note that the AP Workshop material posted by pirate is only from one section of the workshop, and the paragraph in question seems to ignore the defining presence of prior paragraphs. The key item for that workshop section, though, is that it is based on material published no later than 1999 (excepting one 2006 publication). It is not informed by AR4 and later model advancements and a decade's worth of data.
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  41. apiratelooksat50 - "Before anyone anyone makes a claim that the science curriculum being developed is "anti-science", perhaps they should review that curriculum."

    From the Heartland fundraising document:

    "Dr. Wojick proposes to begin work on “modules” for grades 10-12 on climate change (“whether humans are changing the climate is a major scientific controversy”), climate models (“models are used to explore various hypotheses about how climate works. Their reliability is controversial”), and air pollution (“whether CO2 is a pollutant is controversial. It is the global food supply and natural emissions are 20 times higher than human emissions”).

    Wojick would produce modules for Grades 7-9 on environmental impact (“environmental impact is often difficult to determine. For example there is a major controversy over whether or not humans are changing the weather”), for Grade 6 on water resources and weather systems, and so on."
    (emphasis added)

    If you were to claim that those goals were not anti-science, I would have to say you haven't been following the science at all. And I would direct you to the 2007 IPCC report, and to the current literature.
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  42. What edition of Environmental Science are you reading from, pirate?
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  43. TC at 238
    The direct link to AP College Board website is here.

    If you go to the main site and poke around. There is a fair amount of climate change material on different pages.

    Another excerpt from the workshop materials: "The process of changing from one equilibrium temperature to a higher one is the phenomenon referred to as global warming, and the gases that contribute to this process are called greenhouse gases. Carbon dioxide is an important greenhouse gas, but water vapor, methane, and other trace gases also can contribute to enhanced infrared radiation. The physical basis of the greenhouse effect is well understood, and the effects of increasing infrared active gases can be calculated with a fair degree of certainty. Most future environmental scenarios are based on an
    assumption of doubling the concentration of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and using computer models to predict a new equilibrium temperature. These models
    are based on firm theory and can be calibrated by using historical data. But most such models suffer from a need to estimate unknown factors such as the effect of clouds or temporal increases in water vapor. Accordingly, environmental implications and specific regional climate predictions resulting from such models are more uncertain than global warming itself."

    I am okay with that. And, I bet you are, too.
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  44. DSL at 242
    The edition I am cut/pasting from is 2004. You can access it through www.nexuslearning.net. I have the 2008 edition in my room and the climate change/global warming section in it is expanded and has taken on a more definitive tone.

    Unfortunately, most school districts (that I know of) are still using the 2004 editions due to budget issues. And, that is the real travesty. Supplemental resources that are fair and balanced would be welcomed by most teachers.
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  45. I suspect that the Heartland Institute purposely concocted a faux strategy document and mailed it to Gleick in hopes that he would make it public. What they did not anticipate is that he would surreptitiously acquire internal email documents from them. What ensued is a "sting operation" gone awry.
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  46. apirate - profoundly disappointed. The means matter, and I think Gleick's actions were dishonest, not justified and profoundly damaging for improving public understanding of climate science.
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  47. pirate: "Before anyone anyone makes a claim that the science curriculum being developed is "anti-science",..."

    Review whatever you like. But read the motivation for the curriculum, which was confirmed as genuine by Dr. Wojick:

    Many people lament the absence of educational material suitable for K-12 students on global warming that isn't alarmist or overtly political. ... Principals and teachers are heavily biased toward the alarmist perspective.

    And you expect that whatever materials that follow will not be 'overtly political'? How can anything that is built on that preamble not be anti-science?

    If you need a refresher on what anti-science can sound like, look here.

    "When it comes to the management of the Earth, they are the anti-science ones. We are the ones who stand for science, and technology, and using the resources we have to be able to make sure that we have a quality of life in this country and (that we) maintain a good and stable environment ..."

    Like it or not, this is partly a political struggle. Before condemning Gleick, be sure you've condemned those who profited from sensationalizing hacked emails.
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  48. Only "partly a political struggle"? Although I'd defer to muoncounter on just about anything else, I think this rather understates the situation here. A very sophisticated analysis of the campaign we confront is provided recently by Associate Professor Donald Brown of Penn State University's Environmental Ethics, Science and Law Department at Think Progress.

    An if anyone needs a reminder of how responsive and unrepentantly duplicitous our friends over at Heartland are, please take a few deep breaths and steel yourself for a brief look at Fakegate.

    The #deniergate induced Heartland trainwreck has a long way to play out yet, but we can be sure it will get a lot more ugly and messy down here in the trenches of the climate war.

    However it's certainly not too soon to recognise the enormous debt of gratitude we owe to Dr Peter Gleick for blowing the whistle on this fraudulent abuse of the public interest. If Heartland wish to sue me for saying so I'll be only too happy to provide them with my details.
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  49. GreenCooling @ 248 said
    "steel yourself for a brief look at Fakegate."
    It takes a strong stomach, I must admit.

    Methinks the Heartland doth protest too much. I wonder who they are fooling? The confirmed-valid documents provide enough rope to hang them, with any luck.

    The disputed document is still just that: disputed. Hands up all those who agree that it is a fake, just because Heartland says so.
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  50. The take-away is that scientists, truth seekers at their core, are simply not good at deceiving - this yet again underscores the vast body of scientific knowledge that tells us the world is warming, and man is to blame.
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