Global Warming: Man or Myth?

Scientists can also wear their citizen hats

Peter Gleick vs Heartland Institute – Scorecard One Year Later. And the Winner Is?

with 22 comments

It is no contest. Dr. Peter Gleick continues to advance science and offer tremendous public service while Heartland Institute is busy shooting itself in the foot trying to misinform the public and disparage our experts.

Dr. Peter Gleick

Dr. Peter Gleick


Heartland Institute

Heartland Institute

Climate scientists tell us that the world is warming due to massive emissions of heat-trapping gases and that warming is dangerous to society and nature. Medical experts agree that climate change is increasing our health-related illnesses. Military and intelligence experts consider climate change a grave national security threat. The re-insurance industry tells us that extreme weather events influenced by climate change are already costing us dearly. And of course, our own eyes tell us that the climate is not what it used to be and we are all feeling its painful effects already.

Imagine a car speeding toward a cliff. There are those like Dr. Peter Gleick who are warning us about that cliff while also offering solutions to avoid the coming disaster. And then there is Heartland Institute who consistently deny any warming, or say it is natural, or that even if human-caused will not be so bad. Worse, they accuse our experts of being comparable to terrorists and mass murderers. Drive, baby, drive.

One year ago today Peter Gleick posed as a Heartland insider to expose the evil nature of this institution. For the back story see: Heartland Institute: Hey Kids, Have a Smoke and Denial where I showed how Heartland was trying to undermine the science education being provided to our K-12 school children. Unfortunately, much of the news was focused on what Dr. Gleick did wrong and not what Heartland was doing wrong. As I wrote in Do Not Take Your Eyes Off Lex Luthor (Heartland Institute), Peter Gleick is a great man who made a mistake. The focus should NOT have been on him but on Heartland. It is easy to point the finger at Superman when he makes a mistake than it is to Lex Luthor who is expected to be the bad guy.

Then in May, 2012, Heartland Institute showed their true colors by posting large billboards in Chicago, IL that compared believers in global warming to the Unabomber with plans to also link climate experts to Osama bin Laden, Hitler, and Charles Manson.

What else was Heartland up to in the past year? James Taylor, senior fellow for environment policy at the Heartland Institute and managing editor of Environment & Climate News has been busy using his blog at Forbes to misinform its financial readers and to disparage climate scientists. Reaching a new low even for him, he wrote this in December 2012:

“Ironically, real-world evidence shows global warming is benefiting Africa, so perhaps the United States and other Western democracies should seek compensatory cash transfers from Africa.”

Desperate Africans dying of hunger should send thank you money to the US? Billboards accusing climate experts as mass murderers and terrorists? Do I need to go on?

On the other hand, here is what Dr. Peter Gleick has been up to in the past year: (Information below can be found at the Pacific Institute website and/or Google search)


A 21st Century U.S. Water Policy , released by Oxford University Press in May 2012, eds. Juliet Christian-Smith and Peter Gleick. Dr. Gleick also wrote two chapters in this book, described by Steven Solomon:

“It is the great achievement of Peter Gleick, long our foremost water policy thinker, and of Juliet Christian-Smith to transform the bewildering diversity and chaos that is current US water policy into a clear comprehensive vision of the big issues and challenges define the new water landscape. This is a must-read book and essential point-of-reference for anyone involved in water issues.”

Gleick, P.H. 2012. “A Way Forward? The Soft Path for Water.” In K. Weber (editor) Last Call at the Oasis: The Global Water Crisis and Where We Go from Here. Perseus Book Group, New York. pp. 85-102.

Gleick, P.H. (editor). 2013 (in press). The World’s Water, Volume 8: The Biennial Report on Freshwater Resources. Island Press, Washington, D.C.

Other Publications:

DeFries, R.S., E.C. Ellis, F.S. Chapin III, P.A. Matson, B.L. Turner II, A. Agrawal, P.J. Crutzen, C. Field, P. Gleick, P.M. Kareiva, E. Lambin, D.Liverman, E. Ostrom, P.A. Sanchez, and J. Syvitski. 2012. “Contract for Global Change Science to Contribute to a Sustainable Future.” BioScience, Vol. 62, pp. 603–606. Doi:10.1525/bio.2012.62.6.11.

Gleick, P.H., H. Cooley, J. Famiglietti, D. Lettenmaier, T. Oki, C. Vörösmarty, E. Wood. (In press.) “Improving Understanding of the Global Hydrologic Cycle. Observation and Analysis of the Climate System: The Global Water Cycle.” World Climate Research Program OSC Monograph.

Gleick, P.H. (In press.) “Water Projections and Scenarios: Thinking About our Water Future.” In P. Loucks (editor) Water and the Future of Humanity. Springer Press.

Fulton, J., H. Cooley, P.H. Gleick. 2012. California’s Water Footprint. Pacific Institute, Oakland, California.

Public Presentations:

March 8, 2012: Keynote Lecture at the California POWER conference in Los Angeles “California Water as a Microcosm: Lessons from Abroad”

April 16: Keynote Lecture at the Oxford University, United Kingdom Conference on Water Security, Risk, and Society:  “Peak Water, Peak Energy, and Climate:  Implications for Security”

April 24: Oxford, United Kingdom. The 2012 Oxford Amnesty Lecture: “The Human Right to Water: What Does it Really Mean?”

May 10: Calgary, Canada. Conference “Water in a World of Seven Billion.” Keynote address: “Peak Water Limits: New Constraints, New Solutions, and Climate Change”

July 2-6: International Water Week, Singapore. Chair of discussion group at the Water Leaders Summit.

September 13: Presentation at the Commonwealth Club, San Francisco: “The Future of our Water: Can We Learn from the Past?”

September 14: Presentation at the 2012 CleanTech Water Innovations Summit, Berkeley, California.

September 25: Presentation at the United Nations, New York Expert Panel Session on Water Security: “Water: Implications for Security”

October 1: EcoSummit Conference, Columbus, Ohio. Lecture “Soft Paths for Water: New Constraints, New Solutions.”

October 10: Host and speaker for the Chicago Ideas Festival Session on Water.

October 16: Lecture at the Council of Energy Research and Education Leaders (CEREL) 2012 Annual Conference: “Water, Energy, Climate” University of California, Berkeley

November 1: Speaker at the State and Regional Water Board Water Quality Coordinating Committee meeting, Sacramento, California. “Water, Energy, and Climate Challenges”

November 7: Lecture/Panel Discussion at the Commonwealth Club of California, INFORUM event “Water: Innovating for the Essential Resource.”  “Water and Climate Change in California”

November 8: Invited Presentation to ARUP Engineering Group, San Francisco: “An Overview to Water and Climate: Moving to a Sustainable Future”

November 10: Invited presentation at the Conference on “Groundwater and Climate Change in the Middle East.” University of California, Irvine.

November 13: Keynote Lecture at SPUR, San Francisco. “The Future of California’s Water: Sustainability in an Uncertain World.”

November 14: Keynote Lecture at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “The Science and Ethics of 21st Century Climate and Water Challenges.”

December 5: Invited Presentation, AGU Fall 2012 Meeting, San Francisco: “Hard water problems and soft water paths: The “supply versus demand” conundrum”.

January 15-17, 2013: Three presentations on water, energy, climate, and sustainability at the International Water Summit, Abu Dhabi.

January 24: Lecture at the University of California, Berkeley, “Peak Water and California: Sustainability in an Uncertain World.”


In May 2012, major full-length documentary “Last Call at the Oasis” starring Peter Gleick, Erin Brockovich, Jack Black, Jay Famiglietti, Robert Glennon. Participant Media.

(I saw this movie at a special screening during the AGU Fall 2012 Meeting. Peter was there to answer questions from the auidence after the film ended. Great movie. Sad, but very informative.)


Huffington Post

National Geographic ScienceBlogs regular column entitled “Significant Figures.”

Other Service:

Member on Editorial Board of three journals: Climatic Change, Environmental Research Letters, and Water Policy.

Over the previous year (and many years before) who has advanced science and helped society to deal with the challenges posed by climate change? Dr. Peter Gleick or Heartland Institute?

Unanimous decision: 

Dr. Peter Gleick wins by a wide margin while Heartland Institute loses by its own KO. 

Also see:

The Return of Fakegate by Michael Tobis at Planet 3.0

Valentine’s Day at the Heartland Institute by Mark Boslough at Huffington Post

Peter Gleick vs Heartland Institute by Greg Laden at ScienceBlogs

Downside of the Conservative Brain by @MobyT9 at Hot Whopper

Happy anniversary FakeGate! by Coby Beck at ScienceBlogs

Galileo and Gleick by Eli at Rabett Run


Written by Scott Mandia

February 14, 2013 at 10:50 am

22 Responses

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  1. Number of wire fraud offences committed
    Gleick-1 Heartland-0


    February 14, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    • Notice, too, AGW promoters’ enslavement to that Heartland billboard. It may have been not the best idea in the history of PR, but it most certainly continues to this day to point out a fundamental problem:

      “Heartland Institute ‘Unabomber billboard’ brings out Global Warming Alarmists’ One-Trick Pony”

      Russell Cook (@questionAGW)

      February 15, 2013 at 11:43 am

      • The fundamental problem is people like Russell Cook, who have decided to close their eyes when presented with the evidence (hint: IPCC report summarizing the literature).


        February 16, 2013 at 1:51 pm

      • The fundamental problem is people like Marco, who have decided to close their eyes when presented with highly detailed skeptic climate assessments citing peer-reviewed science journal-published papers (hint: NIPCC Reports ).

        Mandia: The NIPCC is not a serious scientific publication which is not surprising given that it is from S. Fred Singer – a serial “mistake” artist

        Human-caused global warming (AGW) is settled fact. The debate is how much warmer it will get and what the likely impacts will be. I suggest you move on to solid ground to argue the solutions to climate change and not the cause. Then you will be taken more seriously.

        Russell C

        February 18, 2013 at 11:40 am

      • Gotta love people citing the NIPCC report in evidence. Case closed, ideological blinkers on Russell Cook (and a preemptive strike: I do *not* want AGW to be true, but am not afraid to accept inconvenient truths).


        February 20, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    • Sez commenter “Marco” on February 20, 2013 ” … case closed … ”

      Apparently we all will have to simply trust Marco on his statement, since he offers not a scintilla of a reason WHY the case is closed. But will he choose to indulge us with point after point on what specifically is wrong with the NIPCC reports or the peer-reviewed science journal-published papers cited within it? I think not. Notice how Marco also claims I have my ‘ideological’ blinkers on. But can he offer a scintilla of proof of what my ideology actually is? I doubt it. But the obvious question prompted from that failure is, why would he make an assertion that he has no hope of proving?

      • Russell, the problem with the NIPCC reports is that it selectively cites the literature and distorts the papers such as to make claims they actually don’t. A good example is all those supposed “MWP” papers, where the MWP needs to be defined to be somewhere between 900 AD and 1300 AD to fit, and where cold periods in this same period are just simply ignored. The NIPCC report also managed, a few years ago, to assert the satellite record showed a global cooling, ignoring the major correction Spencer and Christy had to make.

        And anyone who reads the foreword to those reports simply cannot even remotely argue that ideology is not playing a major role in the assembly of these reports. Unless you wear ideological blinders, upon which you just nod when someone in the foreword argues there’s one big hoax (without using the word hoax) going on.

        And yes, I can easily show proof of what your ideology is: an ideology in which you will blindly accept anything as long as it somehow contradicts AGW or ridicules it. That’s obvious from your own writings referring to amongst others serial liar John O’Sullivan (a liar to the extent that Barry Woods, no “AGW believer”, got upset enough to expose his lies), Joe Bastardi, who claims CO2 is not well-mixed, screw the measurements that show it is, and Anthony Watts, who for years proclaimed with pictures that there was a warm bias…and then co-authored a paper that showed there wasn’t.


        April 12, 2013 at 12:52 pm

  2. Dr Gleick’s excuse for his “mistake” was that a “rational debate” on climate change was needed.

    It’s hard to take this seriously. Heartland had invited Gleick personally to debate (or speak) at their annual gatherings. He never took them up on it.

    Brad Keyes

    February 14, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    • The Heartland annual gatherings are not the place to have a rational debate. Just look at the programme and those visiting to get an idea of how “rational” these people are.

      Also, how can you have a rational debate with people who misrepresent the literature (see James Taylor’s recent Forbes column, where his deliberate misrepresentation is called out by the authors of the study he cites in support). Not the first time that happens.

      Finally, he gave them an opportunity to get some credibility: show us your funding sources. Surely a charitable organization has nothing to hide?


      February 16, 2013 at 1:55 pm

      • Personally, I see nothing irrational about the highly detailed science-based presentations given at Heartland conferences ( ). If commenter Marco is confident that people will immediately recognize what he describes, then he will have no problem directing them to watch the presentations and judge for themselves. What I see are climate assessments that contradict what the IPCC claims, nothing more. I can’t tell which side is right.

        Perhaps Marco, having some kind of expertise in climate science, will bless us with detailed info on what exactly is irrational about the presentations at Heartland.

        Regarding the plea for disclosure of how funds them, Marco inadvertently opens a larger question. What possible relevance does funding have? If the insinuation is that it corrupts what skeptics say, then we must see actual evidence that money paid was in exchange for demonstratively false fabricated papers, reports, viewpoints, etc. Where exactly is that evidence? Because without it, all anybody has is money donated because the donors apparently agree with what is being said. Correct?

        Mandia: So you think this is “science”?
        Heartland Institute Billboard - Not Science At All

        Russell C

        February 18, 2013 at 11:57 am

      • LOL! Highly detailed science-based? Ideological complaints about how AGW is a hoax to raise taxes.

        Anyone who gets Joe Bastardi to give a “scientific presentation” simply does not know the difference between a crank and a scientist. To give you an example of the type of pseudoscientist Bastardi is, here’s a discussion of some of the howlers he made on TV:
        Perhaps he was just being nice to his hosts, saying what he thought they wanted to hear, but in reality he just made himself look very stupid. Unfortunately, people like Russell Cook will probably not want to hear this, so I expect you’ll not want to accept this.

        We also have serial distorter Bob Carter:

        Click to access v40_i2_02_ward.pdf

        And how about that bastion of scientific eminence Don Easterbrook? Well….

        Well, sorry, but a line up that contains these three is already enough for me to know that science *will* be distorted. But no, Heartland’s conference also included Sensenbrenner, Watts, Gray, Horner, etc. etc. etc.


        February 20, 2013 at 2:02 pm

  3. […] Scott Mandia at “Global Warming: Man or Myth?” has written a one-year-later retrospective of Gleick vs. Heartland. Check it out: Peter Gleick vs Heartland Institute – Scorecard One Year Later. And the Winner Is? […]

  4. […] – Scott Mandia […]

  5. You have to wonder at the cognitive dissonance required by organisations like Heartland, in their increasingly desperate attempts to deny reality.

    Firstly they tell us that climate change is not occuring. Now they tell us that climate change is good for us. Come on guys – a little consistency would make you look less idiotic.


    February 17, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    • “Firstly they tell us that climate change is not occuring.”

      Someone actually said this?

      Brad Keyes

      February 17, 2013 at 9:36 pm

  6. […] 2013/02/14: SMandia: Peter Gleick vs Heartland Institute – Scorecard One Year Later. And the W… […]

  7. […] Scott Mandia at “Global Warming: Man or Myth?” has written a one-year-later retrospective of Gleick vs. Heartland. Check it out: Peter Gleick vs Heartland Institute – Scorecard One Year Later. And the Winner Is? […]

  8. Heartland’s failed attempt to sicc federal prosecutors on Gleick bids fair to backfire- it seems their ‘Science Director’ Jay Lehr , plead guilty and was sentenced to prison in 1983 for defrauding the EPA of ~$200,000:

    Russell Seitz

    February 19, 2013 at 10:27 am

  9. February 2013 and HI is at it AGAIN with new billboards and a totally new and inane catchword: “climatism”: I am using this to teach my students how to spot a ridiculous argument, i.e., think critically. Of course, the answer to the big fat question on the billboard is: BOTH! The statements are not mutually exclusive. HI must be both evil AND stupid — or expect everyone else to be.


    February 28, 2013 at 8:40 pm

  10. Ha! Climatism, is it? HI must like him because he has a degree in mechanical engineering.

    I spent some time on Steve Goreham’s previous attempt (called simply “Climatism”). My review is incomplete, but it’s enough to show Goreham for the denialist he is.

    Chris Winter

    April 11, 2013 at 12:38 am

    • Thanks Chris. HI’s cards promised that it would send me a free copy of their book “The Mad, Mad World of Climatism” but it has not arrived yet. I can hardly contain my excitement.

      April 2. 2013

      April 11, 2013 at 1:24 pm

  11. Nice job of tongueing the arse of someone who committed wire fraud and forgery while contributing to an ‘ethics’ effort.
    I don’t care what side someone is on in the climate debate; this incident should at least have been a career-ending one, if not resultant in a criminal prosecution- which were anyone AG other than a corrupt hack, there likely would have been.
    The fact that Heartland is clearly an agendist group excuses nothing. Leave them to the other agendist groups.
    When academics descend to this kind of behavior, they cease to have input of any validity.

    G A.Graham

    June 2, 2014 at 7:35 am

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