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« Conservative Home against wind subsidies | Main | Heartland says key memo was fake »

Watts' analysis

Anthony Watts has published an analysis of the fake Heartland strategy document, looking at the text and document metadata, both of which seem to confirm that it is not what it purports to be.

Perhaps more interestingly, some of the details of how the document came to light have appeared, and it seems that DeSmog had the documents for only an hour before posting them online. As several people have commented, the contrast with Anthony's conduct when the Climategate emails fell into his lap could not be starker. The WUWT team held onto the UEA disclosures for several days while they tried to authenticate them rather than assuming the worst and rushing to publish.

The fallout from the headlong rush to damn Heartland and Anthony looks as though it is going to be interesting too:

The question to ask then is this: who benefits the most from the existence of such a document? A disgruntled employee? Hardly. Such things often backfire. And, who would know best how to craft such a document for maximum public impact? I think the answers are there, but the question needs to be asked. From what I hear, Heartland is going for criminal prosecution and/or civil liabilities on this one. They certainly have a case.

All of those news outlets and bloggers that regurgitated this document and the claims in it without checking for the veracity of it first are going to have some defending to do to. The Guardian seems particularly vulnerable.

I think that's right. GuardianEco seems to have an unfortunate approach to factual accuracy and this is yet another instance of the behaviour we have seen before. Amusingly, Leo Hickman was ribbing me the other day for mentioning Fox News in the same breath as the Guardian. I don't watch TV much, so I can't really compare the two, but I wonder if Murdoch's baby has done anything comparable to the Guardian's latest.

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Reader Comments (98)

My tennpennorth of deduction about the faker. I must have been watching too many FBI Files or something……..

I agree that this is a fake. Leaving aside the technical stuff, it just doesn’t have the ‘look and feel’ that such a real document on such a topic would have, The other exhibits show that Heartland’s internal workings are pretty professional, that they have a house style, that they are used to being exact in their work and run their office in an organised way.

It is (to me at least) inonceivable that a senior staff member would write such an important document (for if real it would be the strategic plan) for internal consumption in a style so far removed from the norm.

But we must assume that the faker believed that their rather inept attempt at a forgery would be taken at face value. What can this tell us about his/her identity?

1. They are not at all familiar with the ways, habits and mindset of senior staff in any institution. The ‘ambience’ is wrong, the phrasing is wrong, the general tone of the document is wrong for the way those guys work. Compare and contrast the fake with the thoroughly researched and argued real ‘Fundraising Plan’ to see the difference.

2. We can rule out any of the established pro-AGW groups like Greenpeace or WWF or those sort of guys. They may be very misguided, but they are not naive. They would do a professional job that would last more than 24 hours of scrutiny.

3. There is (I think) no factual detail in the fake that cannot be gleaned from the other released documents. No further supporting detail, no ‘mood music’. It is, in essence, just a rehash of the other documents with a supposedly disobliging commentary added to it. We can conclude that this is unlikely to come from a Heartland insider or disgruntled employee – unless at a very junior level like security staff, cleaner or janitor.

4. The faker is familiar with the ‘Climate Wars’. And some of the phrasing betrays their own position ‘We pay to undermine the official UN IPCC reports’ is a tell. As is ‘other contributions….from corporations whose interests are threatened by climate policies’. And of course ‘two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science’.

I’d guess (no surprises here) that the faker is to the far side of the pro green, anti corporation side of the debate.

5. The wording and phrasing seems to be (though wrong for the supposed purpose) consistent throughout. This is not a document that has had multiple editors, or at least had had one overriding editor to impose the uniform style. But my feeling is that it was done by one individual

6. The faker must have assumed that he would get away with it – that his fake would be accepted. He has a high regard for his own abilities, and probably little regard for those of others.

7. This was an opportunistic fake, not a planned scam. Once he/she had obtained the real Heartland documents and found them to be thoroughly dull, they needed something to spice their adventure up a bit. And this is the result. I doubt that they spent more than a few hours constructing it, and the timeline shows that they were keen to get rid of the evidence asap. Not for them the patience of a two-year wait for Climategate 2.

My best guess is that this was done by a bright individual working alone, with no actual experience in large institutions. A ‘greenie’ with a computer and a scanner. Not an insider. One with a high regard for himself, but not a mastermind planning their every move ten years ahead.

I’ll leave others to consider what ‘profile’ this may fit, but my personal view is tending to the spotty youth working away alone in his bedroom. Or a disgruntled middle-aged loner.

Time will tell

Feb 16, 2012 at 8:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

The irony is that I always thought that if in all of the climategate megabytes there was found only a couple of lines or just a single digit of of deliberate fakery then that would undermine the credibility of the whole set. Now there is a good possibility that all the money quotes and leverage were coming from one doc in the denier-gate now it seems it doesn't matter. The NYT have an article up still happily leveraging the alleged fake.

Why did I worry so much?

Maybe this will unleash a new def-con level in the debate* of this oh, so polite sown up, grown up consensus enlightenment science ;)

* Yes I mean war

Feb 16, 2012 at 9:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

Still wading through the posts and comments on this fakegate, I've been amazed that the blatant difference between the Heartland document theft-and-fake and Climategate 1&2 have not got much if any attention.

Heartland is a private think tank - it is privately funded.
UEA and CRU are public institutions, funded by the tax payer (us).
Their data have been paid for by us,thus we have the right to see them. Hiding behind FOIA denials led to Climategate 1&2.

Heartland says whom they fund, who is giving them donations is irrelevant (unless you're a watermelon).
The reports and project they fund are out in the open. They do not get tax money from lobbyists who are secretly funded by e.g. the EU with our money!

Therefore the uproar on the watermelon side, Grauniad, BBC and the usual suspect blogs are not just pure propaganda to muddy the waters. They are typical smears, trying to make scientific date look suspect simply because of the source of funding.
Of course they would do this - after all, using hidden funds to screw the science in aid of propaganda is what they do.

Well, the Bible had something to say about this waayyy before the IPCC and Climategate.
It's about searching for the splinter in one's brother's eye while disregarding the plank in one's own ...

Feb 16, 2012 at 9:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterViv Evans

In the Wild West of the Web you need to differentiate yourself and add value.

The Guardian has just shown itself to be a 2 bid gun slinger, no different than the hundreds of others in town. Blogs. News sites that are nothing more than newsfeeds.

They think they are a combination of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. But they are not.

Proper journalists, rather than eco-zealots masquerading as hacks, check their sources before the shootout.

A warped view of your own moral righteousness does not mean the Sheriff's badge is yours by rights.

When is the Guardian going to return to its values of being the town's gazette exposing the corruption of the land grabbing green vested interests? Rather than just the voice of those green vested interests.

Feb 16, 2012 at 9:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

I believe Richard Black may be in some trouble, and have written to tell him so. Anthony's not one for legislation, probably because he hasn't got the money, but he should complain to the BBC, I have, and I vowed I never would, because both Mr. Black and I believe it is futile. However, in my new found enthusiasm for recording the omissions of the BBC at the BBC I copied my comments to the Trust, for posterity.

I don't know about anyone else, but we seem to be faced with a peculiarly daft bunch of t0$$ers in the warmist camp. At least three Guardian writers were trumpeting it within hours of getting the document from demosmog. What sort of journalists would write up a story on a "leaked" paper they hadn't confirmed was real. Well, maybe the sort who trumpet a report telling them that progressives are more intelligent than conservatives for a start.. I do hope Heartland have a field day, because we're so used to this sort of sensational untruth being given airtime and the correction and apology never appearing.

Feb 16, 2012 at 9:16 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

LatimerAlder: I am not ruling out a sceptic who wants to demonstrate the utter idiocy of the warmist journos. If that's what was intended, mission accomplished.

Feb 16, 2012 at 9:18 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

FAKE SCIENCE - Hockey Stick

FAKE REPORTS - Himalayan Glaciers

FAKE DOCUMENTS - Heartland Institute

The level of dishonesty on Climate Change is simply breathtaking, it is both systematic and systemic.

We now have a new 'gate' - FakeGate.

We now have a new phrase - Climate Change Fakery (CCF)

The rush to judgement reveals that the Monbiots, the Revkins and the Blacks are keen to fool themselves. They would rather deal in falsehoods to sustain a noble cause than deal with reality.

Feb 16, 2012 at 9:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

I posted this a little while ago on Watt's up, where it was ignored. I do think the points made are valid however, so am reposting here.


Is it not highly amusing that this mysterious Defender of the book-cookers, himself cooked the books? A liar telling lies in order to defend the Liars of Mann-kind? But this is of secondary importance: obviously the truth would have come out very quickly.

Do not let the TRUE objective of all this be lost from view: firstly to try and strip the Heartland Institute itself of its financial backers, and secondarily but most importantly to make people more wary to back ANY similar group. This would be classical if the Defender where the CIA – there is a term for this exact thing, but I cannot recall it at the moment. In any case, all else is secondary to this purpose – the clear and obvious Goal, of this as-yet unidentified Defender of the Manns.

I know this is all obvious, but I have yet to see this issue raised to the centrality it requires.


A bit more thought: the singular goal was to make people more hesitant to donate money to any anti-AGW group, period. The faked document was created in order to give the Leftists something 'nasty' publish, i.e. to spread it all far and wide as fast as possible - after all, that the main document is fake would have (and did) come out very quickly.

Feb 16, 2012 at 9:20 AM | Unregistered Commentercb

I disagree that the source of funds for Heartland is irrelevant. It is important to be able to trace the money from top to bottom. Sceptics go on, rightly, about transparency and it is wrong to blithely state that Heartlands funding is the exception.

Feb 16, 2012 at 9:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterArgusfreak

I've written enough reports — press, press release, internal — in my life and I would not disagree with one word of your assessment or, in the technical aspects, with Anthony Watts' interpretation either.
Whatever the other documents are, the "2012 Heartland Climate Strategy" may have been the work of a disgruntled employee but did not emanate from The Heartland Institute itself and only someone who was desperate to believe it did would have given it credence.

Feb 16, 2012 at 9:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

I also like Latimer's analysis, and this bit sounded especially on track

He has a high regard for his own abilities, and probably little regard for those of others.

That fits exactly with the narcissistic mentality which many Left/Greens specialize in, as the US psychiatrist Dr Sanity points out:

The postmodern left is under the delusion that they are better people; more pure and virtuous; more compassionate and loving; more fair-minded and tolerant than those who oppose them.

Feb 16, 2012 at 9:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford


'I am not ruling out a sceptic who wants to demonstrate the utter idiocy of the warmist journos. If that's what was intended, mission accomplished'

I started from that point too. But two things intervened.

The first is that the fake is so transparent that surely no sceptic would come up with it for fear that it would be rumbled immediately.

And the second is Occam's Razor. Too complicated a chain of events to plot with a decent chance of pulling it off. High risk for only limited gain..a poor bet.

But time will tell.......

Feb 16, 2012 at 9:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Somebody ought to do some comparison, how long did it take the Guardian and the BBC to acknowledge Climategate compared to how long they needed to write about "Heartlandgate"...

Feb 16, 2012 at 9:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito

I think this may have the opposite effect. Such dishonesty and the rush to judgement by CAGWists may actually see Heartland coffers being filled up to the brim. People may judge that the only way to deal with such dishonesty is to ensure that organisations like the HI and GWPF continue in their roles as watchdogs offering up counter-arguements for public consumption.

The reality is that FakeGate is another own goal for the army of CAGWists - they have lost the moral ground to a small group of sceptics.

Feb 16, 2012 at 9:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

With regards to the BBC (Black) and Guardian (Hickman and others) is it worth an advisory memo to the Leveson inquiry.

Feb 16, 2012 at 9:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterAnoneumouse


With ClimateGate the Guardian and BBC responded in this fashion if I remember,

1. We await confirmation.

2. It is not important enough to report on.

3. The emails were stolen and we don't report on such matters in this way.

With FakeGate we had;

1. Stuff confirmation

2. This of huge importance we have to report

3. So what if the documents were stolen, and

4. So what if they are fake.

You are dealing with institutional and ideological bias at the Guardian and the BBC. Lies matter to these people.

Feb 16, 2012 at 9:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac


I didn't thnk of the Leveson inquiry I wonder if this story is too late? There is a current Leveson web site

We’re interested in hearing from professionals and the public with
information and examples in response to the specific questions below.
Your answers may be considered as potential evidence to the inquiry.

The issue of stories that attract a high degree of press attention but
subsequently turn out to be false was raised at the seminars. The
Inquiry would be interested in submissions from editors, reporters and
subjects of such stories - why they occur (what are the pressures that
drive press interest), and how they occur (what checks and balances
are or should be in place to stop this happening and why do they
sometimes not operate)?

Feb 16, 2012 at 9:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In the Basement

It's gone ever so quiet over at the grauinad.

Hickman posted last night at 8:47 that Heartland had said one of the documents was a fake. And nothing since.

But the enviro headline has moved on to some tedious guff about estimating fossil fuel reserves. Perhaps it is in the hope that it will bore everybody into such a torpor that they will ignore the elephant in the bathroom?

Is it also too much to hope that Leo and his little green lion cubs are stuck in an 'Oh F...k!' editorial meeting all morning trying to see if they can emerge from this without egg all over their faces?

Feb 16, 2012 at 10:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Remember this?


date: Wed, 29 Aug 2007 12:03:05 -0400
from: "Michael E. Mann"..
subject: Re: Something not to pass on
to: Phil Jone...

I would not respond to this. They will misrepresent and take out of
context anything you give them. This is a set up. They will certainly
publish this, and will ignore any evidence to the contrary that you
provide. s They are going after Wei-Chyung because he's U.S. and there
is a higher threshold for establishing libel. Nonetheless, he should
consider filing a defamation lawsuit, perhaps you too.

I have been talking w/ folks in the states about finding an
investigative journalist to investigate and expose McIntyre, and his
thusfar unexplored connections with fossil fuel interests.Perhaps the
same needs to be done w/ this Keenan guy.

I believe that the only way to stop these people is by exposing them and
discrediting them....

Perhaps we should not be too surprised at the lengths cAGWists will go to sustaing their belief.

Feb 16, 2012 at 10:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

The Guardian has five articles up on the Heartland documents. The fourth is headed “Heartland Institute claims fraud after leak of climate change documents” and one of the Hickman articles has a reference to the Heartland fraud claim buried at the bottom of the article.
Otherwise, the three first articles continue to quote the fake document as if nothing had happened.
Amazingly, the latest article, published after the fake document was revealed, continues to quote the other documents, which Heartland has not confirmed as being genuine, with no reference at all to the forgery.
Next stop, the Press Complaints Commission?

Feb 16, 2012 at 10:23 AM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

Cross post from WUWT:

"Now I understand why we've been 'given' consensus science, CAGW and the rest, and why warmists are clinging on to these memes for dear life.

The poor dears are simply too thick to use their own little grey cells.

What is so hard to understand that the $44,000 are for a project which is in work, and not yet published?

How many times do they need to have Anthony say this? Does he have to post this every ten minutes until they finally, after hours and days, actually get it?

Strewth - until now, I had still assumed there was enough intelligence spread around. Seems all they are capable of is repeating what they've been told by 'teacher', with no input from their own neurones.


Feb 16, 2012 at 10:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterViv Evans

I am coming round to the suggestion that it was a plant to encourage warmist journos to beclown themselves (and hopefully expose themselves to legal action as an added bonus).

Latimer Alder thinks that it was too transparent for that, but some will recall how crude the faked Bush service record was that hooked Dan Rather. We are dealing with some very aggressive and dumb fish here, who just can't resist taking a bait that confirms their own prejudices.

No sceptic ever got caught out by underestimating the progressive press' intelligence.

Feb 16, 2012 at 10:31 AM | Unregistered Commenterjim west

This is quite harsh from geronimo (9:16 AM):
I don't know about anyone else, but we seem to be faced with a peculiarly daft bunch of t0$$ers in the warmist camp.
But it strikes a chord with an amateur observer like me. I think there must be large numbers of non-daft and otherwise admirable people in the 'warmist camp' who merely enjoy a naive trust in the likes of the IPCC and the Royal Society and the WWF, and who have not given much investigative time of their own to look into the issues, and who do not set about pushing their views on to others as a profession.

But who is there with such professional interest and actions in the warmist camp, who can win at least a grudging admiration from those who take opposing views? Not admiration for their political and financial (narrow scope) effectiveness, which is often very impressive, but rather admiration for their sense of responsibility with whatever level of climate knowledge they might claim, or for their attitudes to their critics or to the young or to the world's most vulnerable and poor people, or for their integrity in sharing and indeed promoting known weaknesses of their data or their arguments or their computer models, or for the verisimilitude of their graphical displays intended or stumbled into, wide public use?

This episode with its shoddy treatment of the Heartland Institute does not add many brownie points in the credit column of the alarmists' ledger. Indeed, I fear my personal opinion of such people as the Guardian's eco-activists has now slipped down another notch or two. Now that's about as far from being a big deal as you can get, but only if my reaction is a very rare and isolated one. It may well not be.

Feb 16, 2012 at 10:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

The Guardian will have to respond to the way they have reported this story without seeking confirmation and checking the authenticity of the documents. This is highly damaging to the paper. See summary of its editorial code;


“A newspaper’s primary office is the gathering of news. At the peril of its soul it must see that the supply is not tainted.”

The most important currency of the Guardian is trust. This is as true today as when CP Scott marked the centenary of the founding of the newspaper with his famous essay on journalism in 1921.
The purpose of this code is, above all, to protect and foster the bond of trust between the Guardian (in print and online) and its readers, and therefore to protect the integrity of the paper and of the editorial content it carries.

Feb 16, 2012 at 10:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Argusfreak wrote on Feb 16, 2012 at 9:21 AM:

I disagree that the source of funds for Heartland is irrelevant. It is important to be able to trace the money from top to bottom. Sceptics go on, rightly, about transparency and it is wrong to blithely state that Heartlands funding is the exception.

Leaving aside the slight difference between a private think tank, being privately funded as opposed to public institutions funded by us, who also, having no say where their taxes go to, are giving some funds to NGOs - yes, let's have all the funding cards on the table.
So why is it that diligent, private persons and bloggers have to wade through Climategate 1&2 e-mails to find out that 'Big Oil' has been giving more to e.g. CRU (publicly funded by us), while those trying to smear Anthony for the pitiful sum which he hasn't even received yet?

If it is so bad to be funded by 'Big Oil' - then surely all CRU data must now be kicked into the ton because they're big-oil-contaminated, no?

Those who claim perfect financial transparency of funding money and fundees is a must would do well to get the huge NGOs and certain blogs to give a lead as to where their money is coming from.
Or are they scared of the identity of some of their funders, such as David Suzuki and George Soros, becoming public knowledge?

Splinter v plank ....

Feb 16, 2012 at 10:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterViv Evans

FakeGate is becoming seriously enjoyable. On the one hand, we have some rather dull documents that demonstrate just how limited are Heartland's funds compared with those available to the warmists - completely undermining the "well-funded denial machine" jibe and demonstrating how facts and logic can defeat overwhelming funds and publicity. And, on the other, we have a fake document - demonstrating the inadequacy, lack of imagination and childishness of warmist thinking. And the cherry on the cake is the way this has exposed the bias and hypocrisy of the warmist media - especially the BBC and Guardian.

Feb 16, 2012 at 10:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterRobin Guenier

I don't think it was plant because the damage will be too great to manage.

As Latimer said, Occam's should apply, the trouble with the more complex double bluff theory is the assumption that anybody can manage to contain a story like this, only to do "just enough" damage and no more, and then reel it back in again to go ta, da! This is just a fantasy.
The media nowadays is its own beast and this story has got its trousers on and is alive on its own. I think nobody should be under the illusion that the HI will not be damaged by this leak/hack/theft even if the significant parts turned out to be faked.
If the key doc isn't a fake then the HI will be rightly buried for trying to bluster it out. But either way the current doubt should have been enough to prompt some real journalistic work to sort it all out - but the alarmists who made the best captital out of it, rather seem to have gone into bit of a bovine holding pattern of CYA action instead, their culture is not truth searching but passive mooching in their own cow-pats, so they are now just holding their breath hoping its not a fake.


I thought my opinion of enviro journos couldn't get lower but no, well done, it has gone into minus figures.

Feb 16, 2012 at 10:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

I too agree with Latimer's analysis - except that (as I had mentioned in the earlier thread) my reading of the "incriminating" document suggested to me that it might be yet another Mashey mashup. Here are some further thoughts I had posted in Judith Curry's Heartland thread:

[someone had written:]

what we have actually learned from this episode is that absurd Mannian claims regarding “big-oil backed well-funded climate denial movement” (or similar drivel du jour) are exposed as utter deceit.

Indeed! In fact, one might even speculate that the smoggrifiers just might have decided to cook this up in order to provide a smidgin of “evidence” for Mann to use for his baseless claims while on his self-promotion tour.

The willingness of so many advocacy-churnalists to jump on this “story” (without doing any due diligence) reminds me somewhat of the faux-photography used to discredit Israel.

My guess is that when all the facts are on the table, these self-same churnalists will pretend that they don’t exist – just as they’ve pretended, for example, that Donna Laframboise’s (easily verifiable) exposé of the IPCC does not exist!

But in the meantime, the alarmists may be well on their way to earning themselves the sobriquet of “false alarmists” – and their cheer-leading churnalists will be left with egg on their respective (and less respected by the tweet, if not the day) faces.

Feb 16, 2012 at 10:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterHilary Ostrov

Biased BBC ( weighs in this morning with a piece which begins as follows:

'Richard Black has plumbed new depths of partisanship. Here, with vicious claws out and fists flying, he sneeringly attacks the Heartland Institute, an organisation which on meagre resources, bravely tries to take on the climate lobby. For Mr Black - and no doubt the full complement of his cheering BBC eco-nut chums - they belong to a most vile category of existence - they are"of overtly libertarian bent". Their crime? Some emails suggesting that the Institute tries to raise modest amounts of money to fund its activities have fallen into his greenie chums' hands. Actually, one of them might be a fake, and there's a strong suggestion that they were obtained by stealth, if not illegally. But for Mr Black all that's irrelevant - it's a cue to parade all of his greenie bile and to make it sound as if the Institute is a criminal gang for daring to suggest that there might be opposition to his views. I love especially his phrasing of this:

It's probably most notable (or notorious) for holding an annual "climate-sceptic" conference in Washington DC.

This is spiteful, nasty name-calling journalism at its very worst, and he even venomously head-butts the mild Anthony Watts, whose What's Up With That? website bends over backwards to be decent to everyone in the climate debate arena, including Mr Black. '

See the link for the rest of that post. I think it fair to say that their esteem for Mr Black has not been increased by his recent piece of writing. Nor, I am sorry to say, has mine.

Feb 16, 2012 at 11:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

James D is up and running:


Fakegate it is...

Feb 16, 2012 at 11:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

It is the willingness to rush to judgement that is most revealing about FakeGate. It shows how much the other 'gates' hurt the cAGW cause and how high profile eco-commentators were full of spite and desperate for revenge on sceptics.

Even Richard Betts chimed in with angry-like comments about the fake document as though it were true.

My initial thoughts were that they must be truthfull because the Guardian, the BBC and such sources as the New York Times would not have been so foolish to publish without checking the facts first. None of them did so on a subject we are continually told is of the highest importance.

We now know that cAGW is dependent on Fake Science, Fake Reports, Fake Documents, Fake Journalism and Fake Anger.

That tells us much more about the human condition than anything about this planet's climate.

Feb 16, 2012 at 11:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

"Fakegate it is..."


Feb 16, 2012 at 11:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterRobin Guenier

Slightly off topic but does anyone know why "The Blackboard" is not responding, I'm getting Access Denied when I click on the link. It might just be the volume of traffic but I wondered if anyone knew.

Feb 16, 2012 at 11:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterEddy

From the Richard "I'm an impartial science reporter" Black BBC article some AGW prof claims that Heartland is attempting to brainwash school children. Well, well, if forcing children to listen to & read AGW promoting literature/films/vidoes, without a dissenting balancing voice to be heard isn't brainwashing, I don't know what is! This chap ought to read his history a bit more, try Goebells!

Feb 16, 2012 at 11:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

What I find hard to believe is that a smart (assuming here) organization as Desmog would fall for this plant. If this turns out to be a fake, Soggyblog has done real damage to its own reputation - whatever shreds it formerly had. Utterly pathetic.

If Heartland were truly writing stuff like "lets get together and 'undermine' the IPCC" - I want them off the table. I usually such a crude understanding of the climate debate with a different end of the spectrum.

Don't underestimate the value of desmog though - as per some of the lazy warmies, their brand of smearing and innuendo represents the pinnacle of investigative journalism. You know the recent Michael Mann book - it has James Hoggan dripping from every page. The references at the end, for editorial sources, are pretty much limited to three sources: Hoggan's Climate Cover-up, Oreskes' Merchants of Doubt, and on occasion, the now long in the tooth Gelbspan book. Gelbspan's book is particularly remarkable in this regard - based on 'internal conservate think-tank memos'. Oreskes' book is based on 'tobacco company memos'. I don't know what Hoggan's book is based on.

I can understand news outlets falling for this sort of a thing, but what about the bloggers? Why are so many, so willing to believe the worst about the Heartland Institute?

Feb 16, 2012 at 11:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub


They do not believe the worst. This just fits in with their world-view. This is how they see "us". These people can only rationalise the "opposition" to CAGW propaganda by thinking they are the good guys and the others the bad guys.

I live on the other side of the old Iron Curtain. The same thing happened during the cold war.

How can people not see the justness of their cause. Those people can only be evil.

Feb 16, 2012 at 11:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

The fact that the genuine and innocuous documents were a month old, whereas the fake one was days old, suggests to me that someone passed on the HI's emails to some ecofascist, who found they weren't incriminating enough so spoofed up another of his own.

The obvious suspects would the smogblog characters themselves. Otherwise we have to postulate that an ecofascist loony got hold of the documents but had no means of publishing them. So loony #1 passes them to a second ecofascist loony, who could have published them, but didn't do so because there was nothing juicy in them. So loony #2 ineptly fakes up an extra document that is juicy and passes them on again to ecofascist loony #3, who does publish them, not noticing that one sticks out as unlike the others.

It seems far likelier to me that loony #2 does not exist at all, and that instead, the documents went from fascist #1 straight to fascist #3, who sexed them up with a forgery and then published. This requires us to posit one fewer loony while fitting the metadata.

Feb 16, 2012 at 11:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

Latimer Alder (Feb 16, 2012 at 10:20 AM)
“Is it also too much to hope that Leo and his little green lion cubs are stuck in an 'Oh F...k!' editorial meeting all morning.. ?”

We can only hope. In normal news organisations there’d be sackings. Montford v Ward, Lawson, Doug Keenan ... how may times have the lawyers had to be called in to deal with cockups at Guardian Environment?
As far as I can see, only the Guardian and Black at the BBC fell for this. Surely editors will now question the wisdom of transforming an entire section of their newspaper/website into a propaganda organ?

Ward and Monbiot can thank their lucky stars they only thittered on the subject. They must be switting themselves. (have I got that right?)

Feb 16, 2012 at 11:41 AM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

Well we sceptics do have a story to tell to school children.

1. Don't believe every word spoken by a scientists.

2. Don't believe every word reported by the UN.

3. Don't believe every word printed in newspapers.

4. Don't listen to angry people.

5. Do your own fact checking.

6. Listen to all the arguements.

7. Come to your own views.

8. Don't let others belittle you because you may think differently.

That is what should be taught in the classroom.

Feb 16, 2012 at 11:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Isn't UK libel law a wonderful thing?

Feb 16, 2012 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub

These documents are 'hot' all right, in a matter of 24 hours they have become too hot to touch.

Feb 16, 2012 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

I remember how the Guardian wriggled out its spot by giving Richard North 'space' to write a 'reply' to Monbiot. Someone get in touch with the Heartland gang and tell them not to fall for the bait.

Feb 16, 2012 at 11:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Eddy, I'm also having problems with the Blackboard. Oddly I can read it in chrome but not in firefox. Not much help, but you're not the only one!

Feb 16, 2012 at 11:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Jones

I'm not really a fan of HI. Don't they encourage "Intelligent Design"?

Feb 16, 2012 at 11:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterRobinson

@ shub

If Heartland were truly writing stuff like "lets get together and 'undermine' the IPCC" - I want them off the table.

I'm surprised you say this. The IPCC is the warmists' trump card: it's the authority on which their whole argument rests.

If you are Sally Clark, imprisoned for murdering each of your children successively because the other side's expert witness said no other explanation was possible, then clearly you're going to have to take down Sir Roy Meadow. You are not going to win by hairsplitting that you weren't actually there, or by agreeing that yes, your children were all murdered but that it must have been someone else. You have to discredit Meadow entirely - using proper science - so his opinion is completely removed from the picture. Take him down and the other side has literally nothing.

The parallel with the IPCC is exact. The whole case for the tax-suppress-and-control agenda is that the IPCC's "science" says we have to do it. Take down the IPCC and there's nothing.

There is no point taking down Lord Stern; all he did was come up with the wrong number, but still based on the IPCC's assertions of catastrophe.

There is no point mocking the Society of American Foresters, or the Science Academy of Ghana, or the Soil Science Society of America. They have no expertise in climate science, but it doesn't matter because they are nodding dogs agreeing with the IPCC, which is wrongly assumed to have such expertise.

It seems obvious to me that the IPCC needs first to be undermined so it can then be disbanded.Otherwise it is like trying to win at cricket without bowling any of the other side out, or winning the Battle of Britain without shooting down any planes.

Clausewitz got it - you win wars by confronting the enemy's main strength in the main theatre and breaking it.

The IPCC is the problem; eliminate it and it's all over.

Feb 16, 2012 at 12:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

@Feb 16, 2012 at 11:42 AM | Mac

You mean don't trust adult's right?

Feb 16, 2012 at 12:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterShevva

Eddy, Jonathan, Lucia hosts The Blackboard herself rather than using a provider like blogspot, squarespace, or wordpress. As a result, she spends a lot of time tinkering with it, protecting it from bot attacks and so on. She has a number of posts, e.g. this one: recounting her various travails. I doubt it is anything ominous - she probably has more traffic than usual for the moment. I can read it fine.

Feb 16, 2012 at 12:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Harvey

"Slightly off topic but does anyone know why "The Blackboard" is not responding, I'm getting Access Denied when I click on the link. (...)"


I'm having the same problem.
I assumed I had done something wrong (but that's probably what comes of having a Catholic mother).

Feb 16, 2012 at 12:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterartwest


The opposite in fact. Having children growing up into adults then learning that they have been fed a kind of fearful propaganda at schools by adults with agendas leads to distrust in schooling.

At school there is an need for adults to be open and honest about what is being taught to kids. That is the only way to build trust between teachers, the parents and school children. Kids should trust adults.

Feb 16, 2012 at 12:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Jeremy Harvey
Thanks for that info. That will teach me to post without refreshing first.

Feb 16, 2012 at 12:28 PM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

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