So who is Gleick? Some anonymous cyberhacker with a grudge against climate skeptics? Not quite. Gleick is a prominent environmental activist, head of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security in Oakland, Calif. He’s also a formerMacArthur Foundation ”genius grant” recipient, and … chair of the American Geophysical Union’s Task Force on Scientific Ethics.
You get a rational debate when both sides are able to fully air their evidence and interpretations. Scientists shouldn’t — can’t — be in the business of trying to discredit opponents with sneaky Internet ruses, even if some of their opponents sometimes stoop to such dishonest tactics. Note that we’re not dropping any sly hints here about Heartland, which in this drama is the victim of chicanery.
Instead, remember Climategate in 2009? Just when it seemed the world was about to get serious about battling global warming, hackers released a trove of stolen emails. Those emails showed how a cadre of the world’s top climate scientists attempted to muzzle skeptics, freeze out independent researchers who disagreed with their theories, and fuzz over evidence that cast doubt on their own work.
We still do not know whether the release the Climategate emails was a hacker or an insider, but with that correction, the editorial is wonderful. Read the whole thing.