Year 3, Month 2, Day 27: Because The Water Hyacinths…Had Clogged The River

The Washington Post weighs in on “Denialgate.” Pearl-clutching:

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.

Gleick’s admission “is the latest in an escalating spiral of polarizing warfare between self-described ‘Climate Hawks’ and so-called Climate Deniers,” which leaves the majority of scientists and the public “caught in the crossfire,” American University professor Matthew C. Nisbet, who studies the issues, wrote in a blog entry.

What Gleick deserves is pretty far removed from what he’s gonna get. Sent February 21:

Heartland Institute’s claim of victimhood in the wake of the release of its confidential documents is absurd. They are heavily funded by some of the most powerful corporations in the world, with an agenda built around the wholesale propagation of falsehoods in the public sphere. When a single individual (the justifiably infuriated climatologist Peter Gleick) carries out a specifically-targeted sting operation (a “retail” falsehood, if you will) that exposes a massive infrastructure of mendacity, he deserves the thanks of the nation, not a fusillade of obloquy.

Given that climate change deniers routinely distort the truth in grotesque and massively harmful ways, why should Gleick’s fib give us the vapors? Heartland’s “educational” programs undercut the Jeffersonian ideal of a “well-informed citizenry.” Gleick’s actions, conversely, reflect a deep and abiding patriotism that our third President, a man whose love of scientific truth matched his love of country, would surely recognize and applaud.

Warren Senders

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