First Open Letter to Directors of the Pacific Institute

FEBRUARY 29, 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 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 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.

February 29, 2012

Dear _________:

On February 27, the Pacific Institute made the following announcement:

The Board of Directors of the Pacific Institute is deeply concerned regarding recent events involving its president, Dr. Peter Gleick, and has hired an independent firm to review the allegations. The Board has agreed to Dr. Gleick’s request for a temporary leave of absence …

The Heartland Institute’s staff, directors, donors, and other victims of Mr. Gleick’s crime look forward to reviewing the outcome of your investigation. Please confirm that you intend to make public the results of your investigation.

I hope that you and the firm you have hired will pay special attention to the documents I have enclosed:

  • The emails Gleick exchanged with Heartland prior to committing his crime, in which he was respectfully invited to debate Heartland Senior Fellow James M. Taylor on the issue of climate change at Heartland’s anniversary benefit event in August. In these emails, Gleick is informed of Heartland’s policies regarding the confidentiality of its donors and why we adopted that policy. Gleick declined the invitation to debate.
  • The emails Gleick used to steal documents intended to be read only by members of Heartland’s board of directors. Gleick falsely assumed the identity of a member of Heartland’s board on the same day (January 27) that he declined the invitation to debate climate change with Taylor.
  • The forged memo Gleick included with the stolen documents and falsely represented, in his message accompanying the documents to 15 allies and journalists, to have come from The Heartland Institute. I have highlighted the forger’s own words, as opposed to text that was copied and pasted from the stolen documents, and included my own analysis of this fraudulent document.
  • Gleick’s partial confession, in which he admits to having stolen the documents but claims that the memo, which he previously said came from The Heartland Institute, came “in the mail” from an anonymous source. He claims he stole documents because “a rational public debate is desperately needed,” a debate he had just declined to participate in. He offers his “personal apologies to all those affected,” presumably including people he knew his actions had put in harm’s way. He does not say or offer to do anything that would limit or undo the harm he caused.

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.

Finally, please pass along the following questions to the “independent” firm you hired to investigate Gleick:

  • Did Gleick use Pacific Institute computers to establish the Gmail email account under the name of a Heartland board member?
  • Did Gleick use Pacific Institute computers to establish the Gmail email account under the name of “,” which he used to send the fake memo and the stolen documents to 15 media outlets?
  • Does the investigative firm intend to examine whether Gleick is the author of the fake memo?
  • Does the outside firm have access to all of the personal computers Gleick may have used to write and send the emails or to write the forged memo?
  • Is the fake memo or any trace of it on Gleick’s personal computer(s)?
  • Is the fake memo or any trace of it on the Pacific Institute’s computer system?
  • Is there evidence (as a blogger says) that the fake memo was scanned into a PDF document on a scanner at the Pacific Institute?
  • Does the Pacific Institute have possession of the hard copy of the fake memo or the envelope in which it was supposedly sent?
  • What steps does the Pacific Institute plan to take to preserve these and other documents relevant to the investigation?


Joseph L. Bast


The Heartland Institute