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Global warming promoter admits duping skeptic group to obtain documents
Legislation to fight global warming has disappeared from Washington’s policy agenda, but the battle over climate science continues to escalate.
The latest skirmish culminated in the admission Monday night by Peter Gleick, a climate scientist and author, that he assumed a fake identity to obtain documents that would expose the inner workings of a climate skeptic group.
“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,” Gleick wrote in a post on his Huffington Post blog.
Even some scientists who are organizing to counter the claims of climate skeptics in public, such as University of Illinois atmospheric sciences professor Don Wuebbles, said he and his colleagues need to be careful in how they wage their fight.
“Scientists need to get out the truth, but we should not be playing games,” Wuebbles wrote in an e-mail. “So it is inappropriate to try to get information in an illegal manner, no matter how strongly we feel these groups out there are misrepresenting the science and how they are being manipulative of the public.”
Gleick, who studies the hydrological cycle, serves as president of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security in Oakland, Calif. He said he used someone else’s name to obtain internal documents from Heartland after receiving an anonymous memo containing information about its funders and about its “apparent efforts to muddy public understanding about climate science and policy.” Gleick said he then passed the documents on to journalists and climate experts. The DeSmog Blog posted the documents last week.
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