Talk:Peter Gleick

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Peter Gleick admits deceptively obtaining the Heartland Institute documents[edit]

--TS 01:23, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

  • Andy Revkin's report at NY Times: "Gleick has admitted to an act that leaves his reputation in ruins and threatens to undercut the cause he spent so much time pursuing." --Pete Tillman (talk) 01:47, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for adding it. I removed a reference to the incident from the lead on the grounds of recentism, but it may well belong there. I think the main problem is that the lead is a bit too big and sprawly to begin with. I'll probably feel happier about the lead position in a day or two when we can judge how big this affair is going to be. I used the term "fraudulent", and I assume there are legal implications, but I don't know US federal law on this. --TS 04:02, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm fine with that, Tony. Quite a... remarkable development. Cheers, Pete Tillman (talk) 06:01, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Forbes: "Peter Gleick Admits to Stealing Heartland Documents" (headline) [1]

NPR: Climate Scientist Admits To Lying, Leaking Documents [2] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:55, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

I absolutely think someone should remove the word "disgrace" from the lede. Sgerbic (talk) 02:55, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
I suppose you're right - not supported by the source. Guettarda (talk) 03:07, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Support for Gleick, Scott Mandia quote[edit]

  • The Heartland Science Denial Documents and the Future of the Planet, by Greg Laden "Had Peter Gleick obtained these documents using certain methods, and had he been a journalist, he would be up for a Pulitzer prize for investigative reporting. Had he obtained the collaborating evidence of Heartland's unsavory strategies using a slightly different approach, he'd be fired by his editor. The thing is, Peter Gleick is not a journalist and it is absurd to hold him to "Journalistic Standards." Peter is like the rest of us: He knows enough about the science, the politics, and the economics surrounding the issue of Anthropogenic Climate Change to have been very frustrated with the mindless zombie-like hate filled denialist movement, bought and paid for by the corporations and individuals with the most to gain from ignoring the science, to have risked falling on his sword for the benefit of the next generation. Thank you Peter." - I hope editors can agree it is important to reflect competing views on Gleick's role in this rapidly unfolding scandal. I note this entry has been subject to vandalism, and this has been commented about on twitter Shambala2011 (talk) 14:58, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
  • It is nuts to include this blog as a source. Aside from that, what the blog says is ridiculous: Nothing in Gleick's confession makes the memo more credible. It remains a completely unsourced piece of paper, even if (as seems more likely) Gleick didn't write it himself. MikeR613 (talk) 15:14, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
  • It was a poor source, but we urgently need something like it to balance things up a bit. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 16:28, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
    • I don't see what needs to be balanced. There may be a few partisans who think it's great what he did. I doubt they will appear in acceptable sources. Gavin Schmidt has already said: "Schadenfreude is a cheap thrill: fun but ephemeral. Gleick's actions were completely irresponsible and while the information uncovered was interesting (if unsurprising), it in no way justified his actions. There is an integrity required to do science (and talk about it credibly), and he has unfortunately failed this test. The public discussion on this issue will be much the poorer for this - both directly because this event is (yet) another reason not to have a serious discussion, but also indirectly because his voice as an advocate of science, once powerful, has now been diminished. - gavin" - I imagine most sensible people will follow his lead. MikeR613 (talk) 17:07, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
The quote from the blogger Mandia is, I believe, Undue. When the subject of the article apologizes expresses remorse for serious ethical lapse, the New York Times speaks of "ruined" career, Forbes speaks of theft, we can't just throw in a "he's a hero" quote from a partisan blogger. It isn't balance. It seems the very definition of undue.Capitalismojo (talk) 22:42, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
So you believe the negative quote from one source is 'neutral' and therefore the positive quote from another is not? Sorry, neutrality does not go one way only. Either remove all criticism or praises or leave both sides. Besides you have to read between the lines in his apology. He had to say what he did. (talk) 23:06, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Prof. Mandia's a prominent rep of a pretty large group -- see the Guardian article [1]. Also see [2] (scroll down). --Pete Tillman (talk) 23:22, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

  • Now that the Mandia quote is in the article, it looks unbalanced to me. And/or WP:UNDUE, community college guy vs. NY Times. I wonder if we should hold off on such things for a few days? If we do use it, we probably should also use the TIME quote ("firing offense"), which amounts to a rebuttal. But that kinda opens the Op-ed can of worms. What do others think? Thanks, Pete Tillman (talk) 00:09, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
I fiddled with it a bit & am happier with the WP:Weight, but see what you think. Thanks, Pete Tillman (talk) 00:15, 22 February 2012 (UTC)


The current wording presents serious WP:BLP problems - calling it "fraud" when sources call it "deception" or "under false premises" is unacceptable. Guettarda (talk) 14:14, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Editorial license is acceptable. We decide how to phrase things as long as we are accurate. See Fraud Law & Legal Definition. --Wattsfan (talk) 20:21, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Specifically, "Fraud is generally defined in the law as an intentional misrepresentation of material existing fact made by one person to another with knowledge of its falsity and for the purpose of inducing the other person to act, and upon which the other person relies with resulting injury or damage." In this instance "material existing fact" = "his claimed identity". --Wattsfan (talk) 20:24, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
It's a BLP issue - we shouldn't use the word 'fraud'. If anyone intends to add it to the article I strongly they suggest they take it up at WP:BLPN first. If of course it becomes a word frequently used in reliable sources then we can quote them. Dougweller (talk) 20:33, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Banning the word "fraud" is the way to doublespeak and 1984. Sad, really, that anyone would want to ban the word, like Guettarda or Dougweller propose.

We're pretty careful here to stick to what the reliable sources say -- which is what the editors above are pointing out.
Thank you. I thought Wattsfan responded rather directly and substantively above and I will not rehash his arguments. (talk) 12:59, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
And, in Megan McArdle's latest column, she speculates that Gleick might "risk a wire-fraud conviction" with his deception. Worth a read, a very amusing (and sharp!) writer.
Could you please sign your posts? It's the pen-squiggle icon on the toolbar, or just four ~s. Thanks, Pete Tillman (talk) 05:39, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I read the McArdle article early last evening. Very thorough. I haven't been bothering signing as I do not have an account and prefer not to have one, and as my IP is shared with an entire 37-story building, sooner or later someone else will be using the same signature knowingly or unknowingly. (talk) 12:59, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
We should neither ban the word "fraud" nor use it cavalierly. If used as part of a quote from a solid RS, we should be on solid ground. OTOH, if we infer it from RS material, we have to be very careful to make sure it is not synthesis or OR. While I am personally convinced by those who have examined the issue, my personal convictions aren't sufficient to warrant the use of the word outside of a quote in an article. --SPhilbrick(Talk) 17:56, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Please note that when McArdle uses the term "fraud" in "risk a wire-fraud conviction" she is NOT referring to the alleged fake document, she is referring to his alleged deception in obtaining the valid documents. She does go on to to point out a number of uncomfortable facts which point to Gleick as the author, but she stops short of assertion he is the author. We cannot connect the dots. --SPhilbrick(Talk) 19:24, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Storm alert[edit]

Heartland vs Gleick[edit]

Heartland Institute incident[edit]

The "Heartland Institute incident" section had a number of major problems. The first is that it launched right into Gleick's statement without providing the reader with any context. I have tried to remedy that my linking to a section on the leaked memos. After all, most people have no idea what this flap is about. It's still likely to be confusing to the average reader, but at least there's a link that might help them figure out what's going on.

Secondly, more than a third of the article (based on characters of readable prose) was about the Heartland incident. That despite the fact that there was almost nothing about the significance of the leaked documents. And much of that was a lengthy quote from Joe Bast who, after all, isn't a neutral party here. All in all, there were serious WP:COATRACK issues with the article.

I have tried to make it a bit cleared what the issue is, and to make it a bit less disproportionate. It still needs a lot of work, but hopefully it's a step at least in the direction of basic WP:BLP compliance...WP:UNDUE is probably too far a bridge at this moment, but I hope in their excitement editors will try to keep focus on the fact that we're trying to write an encyclopaedia here. Guettarda (talk) 05:18, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

With the exception of the use of the word "leak" this text looks good to me. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 07:39, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm also concerned about the use of the word "leak". Peter Gleick has no standing within Heartland, so it is inaccurate and misleading to describe his action as a "leak". I propose "theft", which appears to be what he's broadly confessed to. Nikon tog (talk) 20:34, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
"Theft" would be highly problematic without a source saying this. I also don't like using the word in cases like this where the item taken from the victim has been copied rather than removed. In the second instance "the leak" could perhaps be replaced by "the unauthorized release"? The first sentence is more difficult, but I'm not sure that this sentence serves much purpose, and it might be simplest just to delete it? Jonathan A Jones (talk) 22:56, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Good points. I've just changed the first sentence in the "Heartland Institute incident" section to:
On February 20, 2012, Gleick announced he was responsible for the unauthorized distribution of documents from the Heartland Institute in mid-February.
(By just saying "documents from" the H.I. we avoid the issue of whether one of the docs Gleick distributed was forged.)
What do other editors think? CWC 00:28, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
Not bad, but one of the documents distributed by Gleick wasn't from the HI, so the wording still needs work.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 00:40, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
Yet another Guardian article from Suzanne Goldenberg: Scientist who lied to obtain Heartland documents faces fight to save job. Developments at the Pacific Institute, but probably best to monitor these rather than act on them immediately. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 08:31, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
And now Nature is weighing in: Over the line: Dishonesty, however tempting, is the wrong way to tackle climate sceptics. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 09:30, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
I edited the sentence about the "two-page 'Strategy Memo'," but it seems a bit tangential. Maybe it should be removed to avoid coatracking. Tom Harrison Talk 18:53, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Washington Times is getting excitable: EDITORIAL: Global warming’s desperate caper, Climate scientist’s theft of Heartland document backfires. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 10:47, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

The Washington Times is not a reliable source--unless our standards have fallen somewhat. The Washington Times has dabbled in conspiracy theories of the "X is a secret Muslim" type--no doubt to the amusement of our historian descendants in distant centuries hence, piecing together just how to describe the history of this crazy epoch. --TS 11:47, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the heads up; it did seem a little over excited... Jonathan A Jones (talk) 14:23, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Selective List of Honors, NCSE appointment and withdrawal[edit]

The opening paragraph lists Dr. Glecik's honors and appointments starting in 1987. Apparently some editors think that listing his most recent honors, such as his appointment to National Center for Science Education, is not correct. This, I think, is highly selective and unencyclopedic. (talk) 10:45, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

No, I think it doesn't belong in the lead (no list belongs in the lead), and the way you are adding it, with the quote ""Gleick is certainly the right man for the job." to this article and at National Center for Science Education [3] is to make a pov point and I note that you also tried to use the word fraud here and at Pacific Institute. I have no objection to it being mentioned in a way that doesn't try to take a stab at the NCSE and in the appropriate place. Dougweller (talk) 11:54, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
The lead (as written as of 7:00am GMT-6 23.feb.2012) lists Dr. Gleick's appointments starting in the 1980's. It seems unencyclopedic to selectively only mention some appointments. (talk) 12:29, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
The resignation of Dr. Gleick from the American Geophysical Union Task Force on Scientific Ethics mentions the rationale of such action as "personal, private reasons". It seems unbalanced to not provide the rationale for the appointment of Dr. Gleick to National Center for Science Education as "Gleick is certainly the right man for the job.", when the NCSE itself advances such rationale at the top of its second paragraph on its press release hosted at the NCSE. (talk) 12:29, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
I left a further comment here in error. Apologies. (talk) 12:29, 23 February 2012 (UTC) (talk) 12:41, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Gleick's appointment to the NCSE board has been rescinded: [4], Gleick "apologized to NCSE for his behavior with regard to the Heartland Institute documents and offered to withdraw from the board, on which he was scheduled to begin serving as of February 25, 2012. His offer was accepted." Something about this probably should be added to the Heartland section, with his AGU board resignation.
I don't like our current mention of his original appointment to NCSE board in the lede, but I'm too tired to fool with it now. Fold them together maybe? Drop the right man quote from lede, I think. The whole Heartland lede bit needs a rewrite, I think. Best, Pete Tillman (talk) 07:57, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Sorry Pete Tillman, I hadn't seen your post when I added my new section below. Looks like we are on the same page, though. I'm leaning toward the following - include a sentence (using the existing ref) in the incident section "The National Center for Science Education announced the appointment of Gleick to their Board of Directors, but in an update to the original announcement, stated that he would not be joining the board." --SPhilbrick(Talk) 14:49, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

"Current event" notice[edit]

We had a {{Current}} notice at the top of the "Heartland Institute incident" subsection, but user:Yellowdesk took it out, citing Template:Current#Guidelines. So I created a custom notice:

Feel free to copyedit/rewrite/revert this notice. Cheers, CWC 20:50, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Thanks. I like this version a lot better. And it may help ordinary readers, as well as exciteable new editors.... Best, Pete Tillman (talk) 07:19, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Bast retracts part of WSJ video[edit]

Heres a statement dated Feb 22:

“In a February 21 interview with the Wall Street Journal Online, I mistakenly stated The Heartland Institute has concluded Peter Gleick forged the climate strategy memo he released to DeSmog Blog, Think Progress, and other bloggers and Web sites. That is not the case. The document indeed is fake, as Heartland has previously stated. While many others have suggested Mr. Gleick is the likely author of that memo, Heartland’s investigation into the matter continues. We should have more information shortly. I regret the error.”

I'm too tired right now to work out how this should affect the article. CWC 23:50, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Since Bast is no longer mentioned by name in the article, and the decision has been made to not mention allegations Gleick forged the "Strategy Memo", it shouldn't affect the article at all. The article says only that the Heartland Institute alleges the "Strategy Memo" is a forgery, which is still true. --Yaush (talk) 03:31, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
I agree.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 14:44, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Proposed change to lede - what should be done to body?[edit]

The lede contained a statement that Gleick joined the NSCE Board. This inclusion has two issues:

  1. The lede is supposed to be a summary of information contained in the body of the article, and that fact is not mentioned in the body.
  2. While the original release claims that he "has joined NCSE's board of directors" the update states that "Dr. Gleick will not be joining the NCSE board".

In view of the apparent fact that he never actually served on the board, this item doesn't really deserve to be in the lede, and arguably, doesn't deserve inclusion in the body, other than possibly as part of the fallout of the incident.

I propose removing the sentence from the lede. I am agnostic on whether some mention should be included in the discussion of the incident in the body, although lean toward yes. What do others think?--SPhilbrick(Talk) 14:42, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Hearing no objection, I removed the statement from the lede, and added a sentence to the relevant section.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 14:38, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

On leave from Pacific Institute[edit]

There are now multiple reports that Gleick is on leave from the Pacific Insititute, e.g. Peter Gleick on leave from Pacific Institute over Heartland leak. (Interestingly this article also provides sourcing for the claim that Gleick impersonated a Heartland board member, though the phrasing is cautious.) Jonathan A Jones (talk) 10:24, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Fallout from the Heartland Incident[edit]

With the Guardian reporting on the suspension from the Pacific Institute we have a series of results, perhaps it is time to have a Heartland subsection Fallout. It could consist of reactions and consequences. ( notable consequences)

  • Removed from AGU ethics group
  • Resigned from NCSE board
  • Removed from San Fransisco Chronicle
  • (Temporary) Suspension from Pacific Institue

As well as notable reactions: NYT, Time, Atlantic Monthly, etc.

These are all well sourced and certainly noteworthy. Capitalismojo (talk) 14:21, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Gleick is reliably reported to have engaged the famous crisis manager Chris Lehane and prominent white collar criminal defense attorney John Keker should those facts be added as well?Capitalismojo (talk) 14:36, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
IMO, the association with Lehane and Keker does not yet rise to the level deserving mention. Should they take actions resulting in public statements which are reported by the press, I'd reconsider.
The AGU resignation is mentioned, and I just moved the NCSE decision down from the lede, so the second paragraph of the incident section is becoming the fallout paragraph. I think the SFC decision deserves mention, although I haven't read the announcement, so I'd like to see clarification that it was related.
I think the leave of absence from Pacific also belongs there (I don't believe "suspension" is the right word, unless I've missed something). I think it is a bit early for press reactions (as opposed to press reports of developments), unless I missed your point. --SPhilbrick(Talk) 14:50, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
I see the leave of absence is mentioned in the lede, so it should be included in the incident section.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 14:52, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
I like this two paragraph approach for the Heartland section, and I'll add something on the leave of absence down there. I suspect that the lede should probably be trimmed further, but am happy to leave that to others for the moment. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 15:56, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
I agree, the lede is bordering on weight issues, but I don't see an obvious way to trim it down. One option is to just wait, as I suspect there will be more to come, and it may then become more obvious how to wrote a one or two sentence paragraph along the lines of "Gleick involved in incident, which lead to fallout."--SPhilbrick(Talk) 16:07, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
Very sensible: there are two obvious ways the fallout could run, and in both cases the lede practically writes itself. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 17:32, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

An excellent discussion that added to and improved the article. Well done everyone. Capitalismojo (talk) 23:26, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

I second that. Just read the lede and it is well worded.Sgerbic (talk) 03:39, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
Third to the "well done". I tweaked the NCSE wording, and I suggest substituting a quote or precis of the statement of concern from the Pacific Institiute board, for the lengthy Gleick quote we now have. Suggest
The Board of Directors earlier stated it was "deeply concerned and is actively reviewing information about the recent events" involving Gleick and the Heartland documents. Cite [5], PACIFIC INSTITUTE BOARD OF DIRECTORS STATEMENT, Feb 22, 2012. --Pete Tillman (talk) 02:37, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
I made this change, with slightly different wording -- annoyingly, PI overwrites their older press releases with the newest one. -- Pete Tillman (talk) 21:22, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Category:Jewish American scientists[edit]

An edit summarised as restore a category went much further,[6] so I've undone it back to the consensus as above, and looked at restoring Category:Jewish American scientists. There's no mention of Jewishness in this article, though there is in his brother James Gleick's bio. I've no strong opinion on this, but a sourced mention would be good. . . dave souza, talk 14:13, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Our policy says "Categories regarding religious beliefs or sexual orientation should not be used unless the subject has publicly self-identified with the belief or orientation in question, and the subject's beliefs or sexual orientation are relevant to their public life or notability, according to reliable published sources.". Let's stick to that. Dougweller (talk) 14:37, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Pronunciation guide[edit]

A couple of days ago I questioned the removal of the guide ("glick") here. With no response there and still feeling it's appropriate, I've restored it today. Swliv (talk) 17:52, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Have you read WP:MOSIPA? It's quite specific on how you should do this sort of thing (though it's not clear on what sourcing is acceptable). Jonathan A Jones (talk) 18:40, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
Could the OP please post his/her source? In a bit of Googling, I couldn't find anything reliable-looking. James Gleick, his brother, doesn't give it. TIA, Pete Tillman (talk) 20:11, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

I'll look at MOSIPA, but meanwhile there is a reference on the page. That's how the name was pronounced on NPR; one has to listen to it to confirm; I'll note that in the footnote if we go forward. Swliv (talk) 22:54, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Confirmation: "Peter Gleick on Peak Water" video.
I was confused because a couple of TV news items pronounced it "Gleek" -- but surely a clip featuring Gleick has it right! --Pete Tillman (talk) 14:17, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

WP:MOSIPA was it exactly. Now using the template; and the confirmation (YouTube) source (maybe not absolutely necessary on the page, but it looked like a good added source for the article overall). Thanks much all for help. Swliv (talk) 16:12, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Just to be clear, it's actually the announcer who says Gleick's name in the intro to the Peak Water video. -- Pete Tillman (talk) 22:37, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I removed it since I wasn't really convienced that it was that necessary. I will defer to what other people think is best. Thank you, --Mollskman (talk) 02:18, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Current-event template[edit]

Is it time to remove "current event" ("Ambox") template on the Heartland section? Seems a little out-of-date itself at this point to me. A thought. Swliv (talk) 16:12, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

From the guy who added that box: yeah, it's not completely relevant right now. However ... I expect further controversy (eg., legal actions), so we'll probably want it (or something similar) in the future, so we might want to leave it there, rather than removing it and later adding it back. I don't care which, so I'll let someone else decide. CWC 02:55, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
I agree, both with removing it, and saving it for later, as I expect that the results of the investigations will provoke a bit more editing, but I have no idea when those will be completed and reported.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 18:01, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

My experience is that the later and trial phases are more settled, Wiki-wise. Still potential for controversy but less pell-mell sort of editing. I'm inclined from this and the above feedback to remove it with the potential of course to put it back if needed. I'll wait a bit before acting. Thanks. Swliv (talk) 20:01, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Include report[edit]

  • Peter H. Gleick, China and Water. in The World's Water, 2008-2009; The Biennial Report on Freshwater Resources (Washington, D.C.; Island Press, 2009) (talk) 08:46, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).