On June 6, the San Francisco-based Pacific Institute’s board of directors issued a statement welcoming Dr. Peter Gleick back to his position as president of the institute, from which he had stepped down in February, after admitting to identity theft and stealing confidential documents from the Heartland Institute, a free-market think tank in Chicago that challenges global-warming alarmism. Dr. Gleick, a prominent environmental activist, was one of the global-warming movement’s rock stars: recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Foundation “Genius” fellowship; elected to the National Academy of Sciences; named launch chairman of the new Task Force on Scientific Ethics and Integrity of the American Geophysical Union; author, lecturer, a favorite media expert on climate change and scientific ethics. In 2007, ironically, he testified before a U.S. Senate Committee on “Climate Change Research and Scientific Integrity: Threats to the Integrity of Science.”
Integrity. Ethics. Dr. Gleick posed as the great defender of these virtues and regularly issued diatribes accusing skeptics of anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming of being vicious and unethical. “Fakegate” showed that Gleick himself was seriously ethically challenged. But, while admitting that his actions in Fakegate constituted a “serious lapse of my own and professional judgment and ethics,” Gleick’s admission (which amounted to 'fessing up after being caught) may have hidden another, more grievous crime, the fabrication of a false Heartland Institute document and the public dissemination of that document with the intent of discrediting and damaging Heartland. The Pacific Institute board’s statement studiously avoids dealing with the serious matter of the fake Heartland document that was fabricated with documents Gleick had purloined. It also is notably silent regarding Gleick’s possible knowing and direct involvement in the efforts by environmental extremists to harm Heartland financially by targeting its donors identified in the documents Gleick stole.
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