Year 3, Month 2, Day 28: You Know You Know

More pearl-clutching over the fib heard round the world, this time from the San Francisco Chronicle:

The latest national uproar over climate change science has damaged, if not ruined, the reputation of one of the Bay Area’s most prominent scholars and raised serious questions about ethics during what has become a roiling political and ideological debate.

Peter Gleick, a MacArthur Foundation fellow and co-founder and president of Oakland’s Pacific Institute, admitted Monday that he had posed as someone else and obtained confidential internal papers from the Heartland Institute, a libertarian group that has questioned the reality of human-caused global warming.

I used yesterday’s letter to the WaPo as a model. Sent February 22:

Let’s all shed a few tears in sympathy for Heartland Institute. Massively subsidized by some of the world’s most powerful corporations, these industrial-scale liars have finally been exposed as, well, liars. Who wouldn’t cry victimhood under such circumstances? And who cares that Heartland’s massive misrepresentations of scientific fact have been a core component of conservative obduracy on addressing climate change? It’s more fun to pillory climatologist Peter Gleick, who used a single strategically-targeted misrepresentation to expose Heartland’s mendacity.

Heartland’s plans to teach climate-change denial in our nation’s schools are profoundly unpatriotic. Remember Thomas Jefferson’s vision of a “well-informed citizenry,” and ask yourself: would the Sage of Monticello (a man who loved scientific truth as much as he loved his country) be outraged by Peter Gleick’s fib, or by the institutionalized anti-science pseudo-education that prompted it?

Warren Senders

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