The Pacific Institute’s Peter Gleick says he was blinded by frustration when he used subterfuge to obtain and leak the internal documents
Earlier this month, documents were allegedly leaked from the Heartland Institute — a think tank that questions human-caused climate change — which describe elements of the organization’s strategy to discredit climate science, and include background on funders. Now climate scientist Peter Gleick, the founder of the Pacific Institute, has admitted to using deception to obtain the information.
On his blog on the Huffington Post, Gleick said he first received a document about Heartland from an anonymous source. He goes on to describe how he received additional information:
I attempted to confirm the accuracy of the information in this document. In an effort to do so, and in a serious lapse of my own professional judgment and ethics, I solicited and received additional materials directly from the Heartland Institute under someone else’s name. The materials the Heartland Institute sent to me confirmed many of the facts in the original document, including especially their 2012 fundraising strategy and budget.
When the documents were first released, Heartland Institute threatened to pursue legal action against bloggers who published them. In a statement on its website responding to Gleick’s confession, Heartland says it’s consulting with legal counsel to decide on next steps.
We’ll continue following this story as it develops, here on the blog and on KQED News.