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Second Open Letter to Directors of the Pacific Institute

April 30, 2012 – Today, The Heartland Institute sent the letter below to the following members of the Board of Directors of the Pacific Institute:

Peter Boyer, Trustee, The Ayrshire Foundation

Gigi Coe, Trust for Conservative Innovation

Joan Diamond, Chairperson, The Nautilus Institute

Anne Ehrlich, Senior Research Associate, Stanford University

Eric Gimon, Department of Physics, University of California – Berkeley

Corey Goodman, Managing Director, venBio LLC

Margaret Gordon, Second Vice-President, Port of Oakland

Malo Andre Hutson, Affiliated Faculty, University of California

Olivier Marie, Business Strategist, Haas School of Business

Richard Morrison, California Advisory Board, The Trust for Public Land

Robert Stephens, President, MSWG, Inc.

Michael Watts, Geography Department, University of California, Berkeley

We will post at www.fakegate.org any replies we receive. Previous press releases from The Heartland Institute plus links to dozens of news reports and commentary on Gleick’s transgressions can be reviewed at Fakegate.org. The Heartland Institute is a 28-year-old national nonprofit organization with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Washington, DC. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.


 

Dear [Pacific Institute Director],

I am writing to follow up on a letter I sent on February 29 to all members of the Board of Directors of the Pacific Institute. That letter provided you with background information on the “Fakegate” scandal involving Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute.

In my previous letter, I wrote,

I hope you will tell me, as you review these documents, if you recognize the author of the highlighted text of the forged memo, and if you believe Gleick received it from an anonymous source, and if you believe Gleick has shown any personal remorse for what he has done.

Since that letter was sent, several new pieces of evidence pointing to Gleick as the author of the fake memo have emerged:

■ A computer analysis conducted by Juola & Associates, the premier provider of expert analysis and testimony in the field of text and authorship, concluded “it is more likely than not that Gleick is in fact the author/compiler of the document entitled ‘Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy,’ and further that the document does not represent a genuine strategy memo from the Heartland Institute.”

■ Anthony Watts, host of WattsUpWithThat, widely considered the world’s most popular and influential Web site on climate science, commented: “It seems very likely then, given the result of this analysis, plus the circumstances, proximity, motive, and opportunity, that Dr. Peter Gleick forged the document known as ‘Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy.’ The preponderance of the evidence points squarely to Gleick.”

■ A thorough forensic analysis of Heartland’s computers (and those owned by Heartland’s president and his spouse) by Protek International concludes “the Memo was not created on Heartland’s computer systems and never existed there, or within Heartland’s email systems, prior to its posting online on February 14, 2012.”

All three documents are enclosed, along with a background document about Fakegate that we are circulating widely.

Gleick has been widely condemned for his serious breach of ethics. For example, New York Times columnist Andrew Revkin wrote, “One way or the other, Gleick’s use of deception in pursuit of his cause after years of calling out climate deception has destroyed his credibility and harmed others.” Revkin went on to write, “The broader tragedy is that his decision to go to such extremes in his fight with Heartland has greatly set back any prospects of the country having the ‘rational public debate’ that he wrote – correctly – is so desperately needed.”

On February 27, 2012, in response to Gleick’s confession, the Pacific Institute announced the Board of Directors had agreed to Gleick’s “request for a temporary leave of absence” and installed Elena Schmidt as “acting executive director.” The institute also announced it had “hired an independent firm to review the allegations” because it was “deeply concerned” about Gleick’s unethical and possibly criminal conduct that has done great harm to The Heartland Institute.

Since that date, however, no member of the Pacific Institute’s board has even attempted to distance the Pacific Institute from Gleick’s behavior, and there has been no announcements regarding the results of the “review.”

Even more alarming, there has been no indication that Gleick’s “leave of absence” has interrupted his work for the Pacific Institute. On March 8, just 10 days after the institute accepted his “leave of absence,” Gleick delivered the opening plenary remarks at the California Water Policy conference in Los Angeles before an audience of 300 people. The conference Web site and media reports identified Gleick with his “president” title intact.

On April 16, Gleick took part in the International Water Security Conference in Oxford, England. Gleick was, again, part of a high-profile plenary panel and listed in the program as “President and Co-founder, Pacific Institute.” A news report by Reuters of the conference quoted Gleick extensively and identified him as a “leading water expert and head of the U.S.-based Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security.”

On April 24, Gleick spoke at the Oxford Amnesty Lecture – apparently part of a scheduled tour. The organizers of the lecture also identify him with his Pacific Institute affiliation and refused to cancel his speech after The Heartland Institute informed them of his theft and fraud.

Since February, Gleick and the Pacific Institute have been silent about every aspect of this matter, save a brief statement from each party. The Heartland Institute has spent countless hours and scarce financial resources publicly fighting to restore its reputation in the press, with the public, and with donors. It is long past time for the Pacific Institute to answer for its role in Peter Gleick’s scandal.

In light of the above facts, please respond to the following specific questions for the Pacific Institute:

1. Does the Pacific Institute think a punitive “temporary leave of absence” of just 10 days is sufficient in light of its board of directors being “deeply concerned” about Gleick’s actions?

2. If Gleick’s “temporary leave of absence” was over after 10 days, why has the Pacific Institute not publicly announced that Gleick was reinstated to his post as president?

3. If Gleick is still on a “temporary leave of absence,” does the Pacific Institute endorse his speaking tour under the organization’s name?

4. It has been two months since the Pacific Institute said it had hired an independent firm to investigate Gleick’s theft and fraud. When can The Heartland Institute and the public expect to see the results and an announcement of action by the Pacific Institute?

5. Does the independent investigation include examination of computers and other office equipment owned by the Pacific Institute?

The Heartland Institute requests prompt answers for the sake of the Pacific Institute’s reputation, and for our organization to better understand the nature of Gleick’s harmful acts of theft, fraud, and deceit.

Since no member of the Pacific Institute’s board replied to my previous letter, you can understand why this letter is being posted online at fakegate.org and blind copied to all of the Pacific Institute’s major donors.

Sincerely,

Joseph L. Bast
President
The Heartland Institute