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Denialgate: Gleick confesses to being intermediate leaker

Holy cow... there's a new development in Denialgate. John Callender has a summary, and a plausible theory of what actually happened behind the scenes.

Whoa. From climate scientist Peter Gleick, whose writing on water issues I've been following for a while, comes this bombshell: The Origin of the Heartland Documents. [...]

The question I can't stop wondering about is this: Who sent Gleick the original [2012 Climate Strategy] memo [from the Heartland Institute]? [...]

Some people are speculating that Gleick may have faked the strategy document himself. [...]

[But c]onsider this alternate scenario: Maybe the folks at Heartland themselves sent Gleick the strategy document, on purpose, hoping he would publish it. Then they could deny it as fake and discredit him. I confess that this was one of the first things I wondered when the story first broke [...]. But I abandoned the idea because it didn't seem to make sense: The real documents in the larger batch were the sort of thing Heartland would never have released on purpose.

But the timeline according to Gleick makes the "Heartland dirty trick" theory seem more credible. Heartland could have faked the strategy memo, including enough true-ish information to be credible, but not so much detail as to be actually damaging to them. They could have sent it to Gleick, hoping he would publish it, after which they could discredit him for releasing the fake. But they didn't count on his being crafty enough to get the other documents via the social-engineering attack. Confronted by the release of the full batch, they scratch their heads a bit, then settle on attacking the leak of the faked memo, as per the original plan, while blustering and hand-waving as to the other documents.

And Gareth Renowden once more points out Heartland's hypocrisy regarding the document leak.

So were Gleick's actions legal or not? Well, I think I wasn't too far off the mark when I wrote that

In America, an act can be as legal or illegal as you want, as long as the price is right. Actually the phrase "in America" is redundant, because in America, the whole world is America, and besides if someone doesn't like the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change], they can always extradite Rajendra Pachauri, or bomb his house, or both.

Finally, there's still no word from HostDime about