It’s been a while since I indulged my Peter Gleick obsession, but the propensity to geek out whenever I see his name remains. Case in point: this mention by Steve McIntyre, who was blogging about a different issue (itself an interesting salvo in the climate wars), in the course of which he gave a thumbnail recap of the Gleick affair: Anatomy of the Lewandowsky Scam.
Before considering the Lewandowsky scam, let’s first review the Peter Gleick scam and, in particular, how it’s been sanitized in warmist legend, a legend to which Lewandowsky himself has been a notable contributor.
As is well known, Gleick impersonated a Heartland director, tricking a secretary into sending him board documents. But having got the board documents, Gleick did not simply announce his coup and distribute the documents under his own name. Instead Gleick forged a grotesque memo and distributed it, along with the other documents, pretending to be a “Heartland Insider”. It was this forged document that generated the most lurid commentary by the Guardian and other sympathizers. Gleick’s tendentious forgery was characterized by Megan McArdle of the Atlantic as reading “like it was written from the secret villain lair in a Batman comic. By an intern.”
Lewandowsky saw nothing wrong with any aspect of Gleick’s conduct – not even the forgery. In an editorial last February, Lewandowsky compared Gleick’s deception to Winston Churchill misdirecting the Germans on invasion plans, concluding that “it is a matter of personal moral judgment whether that public good justifies Gleick’s sting operation to obtain those revelations”.
Update: McIntyre’s discussion of Gleick was just a digression from the main point of his post, which concerned a survey that apparently was conducted by Stephan Lewandowsky, an Australian psychology professor, who used the survey results as part of a paper on ideologically-based rejection of science. See here for more from Lewandowsky on that: Bloggers’ Hall of Amnesia, and here for an interesting datapoint from McIntyre on how the operators of the blog hosting Lewandowsky’s postings are now censoring McIntyre, apparently for raising questions about Lewandowsky’s handling of fake submissions as part of his survey design: Lewandowsky Censors Discussion of Fake Data.
The whole thing is kind of interesting, in a petty, sucks-the-will-to-live-out-of-me way. Not unlike the Gleick affair. It turns out that when people get into pissing contests with each other, a certain amount of pee splashes around. This is true even when the people involved have advanced degrees. Which I guess should not be a surprise at this point.