It looks like another semi-prominent member of the Climate Alarmist community has gotten caught with his whole arm in the cookie jar. I’ve been waiting to see how the story that has become known as FakeGate (bet you haven’t seen any mention of that in the MSM) would play out before posting a summary, but The Weekly Standard has saved me the trouble. Wattsupwiththat has also been keeping the story at the top of its site since the first revelations about 2 weeks ago, and is up to their 58th update as of today.
The Weekly Standard article ends with some interesting comments and revelations:
More than a few observers have asked why anyone should trust Gleick’s scientific judgment if his judgment about how to deal with climate skeptics is so bad. -Gleick’s defense of his motives would be laughable if it weren’t so pathetic: “My judgment was blinded by my frustration with the ongoing efforts—often anonymous, well-funded, and coordinated—to attack climate science and scientists and prevent this debate, and by the lack of transparency of the organizations involved.”
Let’s take these in order. Anony-mous? True, Heartland’s board documents reveal seven-figure contributions for their climate work from one “anonymous donor,” but environmental organizations take in many multiples of Heartland’s total budget in anonymous donations washed through the left-wing Tides Foundation. The Environmental Defense Fund thanks 141 anonymous donors in one recent report. “Well-funded”? Heartland’s total budget for all its issues, which include health care, education, and technology policy, is around $4.4 million, an amount that would disappear into a single line item in the budget for the Natural Resources Defense Council ($99 million in revenues in 2010). Last year, the Wall Street Journal reports, the World Wildlife Fund spent $68.5 million just on “public education.”
The dog that didn’t bark for the climateers in this story is the great disappointment that Heartland receives only a tiny amount of funding from fossil fuel sources—and none from ExxonMobil, still the bête noire of the climateers. Meanwhile, it was revealed this week that natural gas mogul T. Boone Pickens had given $453,000 to the left-wing Center for American Progress for its “clean energy” projects, and Chesapeake Energy gave the Sierra Club over $25 million (anonymously until it leaked out) for the Club’s anti-coal ad campaign. Turns out the greens take in much more money from fossil fuel interests than the skeptics do.
Finally, “coordinated”? Few public policy efforts have ever had the massive institutional and financial coordination that the climate change cause enjoys. That tiny Heartland, with but a single annual conference and a few phone-book-sized reports summarizing the skeptical case, can derange the climate campaign so thoroughly is an indicator of the weakness and thorough politicization of climate alarmism.
The Gleick episode exposes again a movement that disdains arguing with its critics, choosing demonization over persuasion and debate. A confident movement would face and crush its critics if its case were unassailable, as it claims. The climate change fight doesn’t even rise to the level of David and Goliath. Heartland is more like a David fighting a hundred Goliaths. Yet the serial ineptitude of the climate campaign shows that a tiny David doesn’t need to throw a rock against a Goliath who swings his mighty club and only hits himself square in the forehead.
As most regular readers here know, I’ve followed this issue for a long time, although after the second release of emails known as ClimateGate 2 a few months ago, my interest in what will eventually become known as the greatest scientific scam of all time began to wane. FakeGate may well be the final nail in the AWG coffin. One can only hope.