To the Editor:
An incident of importance which morphed into "Fakegate" happened to a small but very influential think tank in Chicago, the Heartland Institute, because of the group's growing influence in the world as a skeptic of global warming.
Those who defy the accepted propaganda that there is man-made global warming by showing through its actions and publications that man-made global warming is a hoax will be targeted with attempts to destroy reputation and credibility.
The rise of environmentalism has generated a war on science, first by distorting it, and then by propagandizing the findings, studies and resulting claims based on them.
So it happened to the Heartland Institute in this day and age when pseudo-science can so easily by substituted for real science as a way for the left to gain control and power over the lives of the American people.
The Heartland Institute became a leading voice to debunk the hoax through its sponsorship of six international conferences which featured scientists and others who presented papers demonstrating "that 0.038 percent of CO2 in the atmosphere has little or no greenhouse effect on the Earth's climate or weather events."
Heartland's six international conferences on climate change attracted scientists worldwide, who employed science rather than pseudo-science in their presentations.
Among these scientists were such notables as Lord Monckton, special adviser to former Margaret Thatcher, and former Czech President Vaclav Klaus. Monckton and Klaus were featured guests at Heartland's fourth conference in May of 2010.
An economist by training, Klaus made the following statement in 2011:
"I'm convinced that after years of studying the phenomenon, global warming is not the real issue of temperature. That is the issue of a new ideology or a new religion. A religion or climate change or a religion of global warming. This is a religion which tells us that the people are responsible for the current, very small increase in temperatures. And they should be punished."
In light of Heartland's worldwide recognition as a global warming/climate change skeptic of merit, it was only a matter of time before rage would ensue among climate alarmists to single out Heartland for discrediting and destruction.
So it was on Jan. 27 of this year, that Peter Gleick stole the identity of a member of Heartland's board of directors and then used that identity to take corporate documents describing Heartland's budget, fundraising plans, and more. When those documents failed to produce a "smoking gun" -- for example, they showed that Heartland received only small amounts of funding from the Koch brothers and from fossil fuel companies -- Gleick or an ally forged a memo alleging to describe Heartland's "Global Warning Strategy."
On Feb. 14, Gleick sent forged documents to 15 allies in the environmental movement and mainstream media, resulting in a wave of criticism of Heartland's supposed plans to "infiltrate schools" and "undermine" climate science.
Gleick confessed to stealing the documents on Feb. 20, but media coverage of the event focused overwhelmingly on the false claims in the fake memo rather than on Gleick's actions.
Gleick's allies immediately used the forged memo and stolen documents to target Heartland's donors and the scientists who have helped write its publications.
A group calling itself "Forecast the Facts" challenged the chairman and CEO of General Motors to defend the company's foundation's support of an organization that opposes the teaching of science in public schools.
On Friday, March 30, General Motors spokesman David Barthmuss succumbed to what amounted to bullying, confirming that the company's foundation will no longer donate to The Heartland Institute.
Regarding the loss of General Motors as a source of funding, Heartland CEO Joseph Bast had this to say:
"The General Motors Foundation has been a supporter of the Heartland Institute for some 20 years. We regret the loss of their support, particularly since it was prompted by false claims contained in a fake memo circulated by disgraced climate scientist Peter Gleick."
Bast subsequently told me:
"The left has attacked our donors before, but never had a list, and never had a fake memo to use that made it sound like we were truly evil and deliberately misleading people about our program. That's what Fakegate provided...and the wacky left let loose the hounds at 'Forecast the Facts.'"
In the eyes of those who are global warming skeptics, Peter Gleick might be labeled as an uncouth and evil person, but not according to Paul Joseph Watson, an Oregon-based professor of sociology and environmental studies. In professor Watson's mind, Peter Gleick is the hero, while those having doubts about anthropogenic climate change are sick and in need of of treatment.
Even if evil is in the eyes of the beholder, destructive policies spawned by global alarmists and environmental extremists, and from state and federal government entities, cannot be permitted to stand unchallenged. In Heartland's case, there was nothing remotely scandalous in its behavior.
In an effort to move forward in a positive way from Fakegate, Bast announced on April 2 that the seventh international conference on climate change will be held in Chicago on May 21-23 to demonstrate, among other reasons, that the global warming skeptics movement has not lost any momentum due to the Fakegate scandal.
As I attended Heartland's fourth conference in Chicago, I can assure you that it will be an event that you will not wish to miss.
I'll be there to absorb all the great information presented to arm myself with scientific facts as I continue to challenge the fake pseudo-science that is being propagated to fool the public into believing that man-made global warming is for real.
Nancy J. Thorner
Lake Bluff, Ill.
To the Editor: