Monday, May 21, 2012

Was Heartland's Climate Strategy Memo Written on Joe Bast's Laptop?


“A review has cleared the scientist Peter Gleick of forging any documents in his expose of the rightwing Heartland Institute’s strategy and finances, the Guardian has learned.”---The Guardian (5-21-12)

The Guardian (5-21-12) is reporting that the famous water expert Dr. Peter Gleick has been cleared of the charge that he forged a controversial Climate Strategy memo and falsely attributed it to a Chicago-based climate change denialist think tank called the Heartland Institute.


Heartland's Joe Bast claims:


Heartland released a computer forensics report, conducted by Protek International, which states: “We conclude that the Memo did not originate on the Heartland System. It was not created on the Heartland System and was never present there prior to its February 14 posting online.”
Technically, Protek's claim is probably true; however, DeSmogBlog's Richard Littlemore (2-16-12) never said the Climate Strategy memo was on the "Heartland System." He hinted that it was "written on Joe Bast’s laptop":
The DeSmogBlog is committed to accuracy. Joe Bast says the document is a fake, a statement we take with a grain of salt given the Heartland Institute’s previous dissembling on the subject of climate change and its discredited position on the safety of second hand smoke. In the circumstances, if the Heartland Institute can offer any specific criticism of the Climate Strategy or any evidence that it was faked and not, actually, written on Joe Bast’s laptop, printed out and scanned, we would be pleased to consider that evidence.
I thought that point about the Climate Strategy memo being written on Joe Bast’s laptop was pretty interesting. Mr. Littlemore seemed very sure of himself. Perhaps someone should ask Mr. Bast if the controversial strategy memo was on his laptop. It would also be interesting to know why Richard Littlemore seemed to think that the Climate Strategy memo was "written on Joe Bast's laptop."


I wrote to the Chicago FBI spokesman Royden “Ross” Rice, to ask about Dr. Gleick's situation, and Agent Rice said: “No arrests have been made and no charges filed in connection with the Heartland Institute incident” (5-14-12). Of couse, something might happen later, but probably the federal government will not charge Dr. Gleick with any crime. I doubt that the Heartland Institute will sue Dr. Gleick, because a trial might reveal that the climate strategy memo is on Joe Bast's laptop. Hopefully, Dr. Gleick has dodged the bullet, but tricking the Heartland Institute into mailing him their internal documents made scientists look dishonest, which is what denialists are always saying. 

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