Clmategate vs. deniergate, fake-gate or sucker-gate

Note: I’m having problems getting the table formatting to display the internal grid, but I’m going to post now, rather than wait to work out how to get around this.

The following is a comparison of the climategate and Heartland document release. I chose to compare them using the criteria provided by the PCC.  As far as I can see this is a pretty well open and shut case. The publication of information stolen from the Heartland Institute is against PCC code of conduct because there is no public interest and it breaks numerous sections whereas the release of climategate emails was fully justified by public interest.


Climate gate



University of East Anglia Emails

Heartland Institute




Type of information released

Emails and data

Board-meeting and fund-raising documents

Had it been requested under FOI



Required to be released under FOI



How obtained

Unknown as to whether legal or illegal means used

Obtained by deception.

Was the information accurate or otherwise break the
PCC requirement 1 (I) that “The Press must take care not to
publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including


Yes, both sceptics and non-sceptics agree.a key
document was fabricated.

Was there any breach of the PPC code on privacy 3
(i) Everyone is entitled to respect for his or her private and
family life, home, health and correspondence, including digital



Were any clandestine devices or subterfuges used in
breach of 10 (I) “The press must not seek to obtain or
publish material acquired by using hidden cameras or clandestine
listening devices; or by intercepting private or mobile telephone
calls, messages or emails; or by the unauthorised removal of
documents or photographs; or by accessing digitally-held private
information without consent.

Documents were obtained and it does not appear they
were authorised. However the exact circumstances are unknown and
it remains possible they were lost by the company or otherwise
obtained without resort to clandestine methods or subterfuge

The press clearly published material from messages
which were clearly obtained by an interception of emails intended
to go to a director using a subterfuge in clear breach of this

Was there a public interest defence?

i) Detecting or exposing crime or serious

The information commission ruled that the law on FOI
had been broken.

The is no suggestion of serious crime or

ii) Protecting public health and safety.

Not Applicable

Even if it were argued that global warming is a
threat to public safety, the information published did not provide
anything substantial or anything that could not be reasonably
guessed at by a outside observer using other publicly available
sources on the organisation.

iii) Preventing the public from being misled by an
action or statement of an individual or organisation.

It is generally accepted that the climate scientists
were saying one thing in private and saying something different in
public. The lack of warming is a notable example. This was a
substantial issue which went to the core of their public role and
the public had a right to know it was being misled.

No evidence that the public have been misled by the
Heartland institute has come out of these documents. The only
revelations of any substance are that e.g. Microsoft who publicly
support green issues were donating money but apparently for
appropriate projects.

Was a reasonal attempt made to verify the material
before publication.

Many organisations such as the BBC sat on the emails
for weeks.

Material from the documents was published very
quickly. In the case of the BBC, this was around 12hours and as
their journalist put it: “I have given them an opportunity
to deny explicitly that some of the contents are real, and they
have not done so – ergo, they are real.”

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23 Responses to Clmategate vs. deniergate, fake-gate or sucker-gate

  1. TinyCO2 says:

    I believe Mcrosoft donated software not cash, from a project that gives out free software to charities.

    There’s a laughable article saying that skeptics aren’t skeptics because we aren’t pouring over the HI documents and being shocked by them

    What part of – right wing lobby group gets money off right wing people and businesses to give to mostly right wing people who support right wing theories – needs scepticism? They are what they are. Who, in their right mind, doesn’t take lobbying with a pinch of salt? Any and all work should be measured on it’s merits not on the source of the funding. Only when the scientist/institution demonstrates serial mendacity or exemplary behaviour do you take the default position that the work is automatically wrong or right.

    • A bit like discovering that energy companies (i.e. BIG OIL) had been donating money to the British Wind Energy Association to promote grants for wind energy.

      I know the wind association have produced “educational” DVDs. I know they pay people to various research.

      The Scottish Renewables used to run the Scottish Parliamentary Renewable Energy Group … now that’s a real scandal … but it was well known, it is was obvious why the wind industry wanted to “help” the parliament develop its renewable energy policy.

  2. You can keep convincing yourselves that Heartland have done nothing wrong, but the public and the decision makers will see them for what they are. Great to see the denialist blogosphere tying itself in self-righteous knots over this one.

    I do hope Heartland’s ‘tax exempt’ status is revoked.

    • TinyCO2 says:

      The public don’t know and don’t care about Heartland. I’m not sure most sceptics care much either. They’ve done some useful stuff but frankly the warmist side has been far more effective – think 10:10 Splattergate, The 24hr Gorethon.

      I presume the tax exempt is at risk because of lobbying? Well ok, and what about Greenpeace and WWF?

    • Scots renewables show me anything that the hearttland institute has done wrong except expose the lies and deceit of your side?

      The reasons you don’t lie them is because they are telling the truth.

      The real sordid debacle is the green-inquisition of vultures tearing apart the carcass of the Heartland institute desperately trying to find anything incriminating and coming out with their hands and faces full of blood and guts holding high a trophy from the innards saying: “look isn’t it dirty”.

  3. And while we are on the subject – more good news on the Scottish climate change front oconcrning one of Heartland’s backers, ourt old favourites ExxonMobil.

    [If you are going to make unsubstantiated claims, do it on your own websited]

    Seems they have been forced to pay the biggest fine for an environmental offence in British history for failing to report greenhouse gas emissions from their ethylene plant in Fife. SEPA ahve hit them with a £2.8 million fine for neglecting to account for 33,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

    Short shrift for the dirty [snip] in Scotland . . . long may it continue.

    • TinyCO2 says:

      Except they’re not backers of Heartland. Don’t let little details get in the way of your gloating.

      Only an idiot wouldn’t realise that it will be Exxon’s customers who will ultimately pay for any fine and it will be Scottish jobs that will pay if/when they company decides to move to a less AGW phobic country.

      • chuck in st paul says:

        “Only an idiot wouldn’t realise that it will be Exxon’s customers who will ultimately pay for any fine…”

        consider who you sent that to – (*grin*)

      • TinyCO2 says:

        I actually regretted using the word after I’d sent it because a great many people DO forget that ultimately it’s us that pays. Taxes, fines, inquiries, ‘elf and safety, renewables and their subsidies, undergroud cables, job losses because we’re uncompetative, gold plating plans and many many more drains on the public. Our pusuit of a perfectly clean and safe world costs and unfortunately it’s only through nasty old business we can pay for it.

    • chuck in st paul says:

      There’s nothing ‘dirty’ about CO2. It’s plant food for goodness sakes.

  4. Pingback: ScottishSceptic: Climategate vs. deniergate, fake-gate or sucker-gate |

  5. I see the site owner has started editing comments here – bit of a slippery slope.

    • SR, when you use the word denier, you are being libellous. You are spreading malicious and vindictive lies which are part of an insidious vendetta against people like me who give up their own time, money and effort to stop the lies and deceit your side have been getting away with for years.

      I cannot think of a more disgraceful way to treat people that to smear people like me with a word intended to suggest holocaust denial.

      I have been tolerant so far, because you are part of a group that was misled about the sceptics because you could not see what people like the Heartland Institute were doing.

      Now you can see. Now you can see there is no BIG-OIL funding and that they are just a lobby/think-tank.


  6. michael eiseman says:

    The Climate Changers Creed or Alarmistas Code:

    If you can’t beat em with facts and data, hide the decline, refuse to share your data set and smear em with lies.

  7. dehness says:

    How pathetic that you continually try and polarize this issue with talk of “sides”.

    If you divide the two positions, there is (for all intents and purposes), every scientist in the world vs the side of vested interests. It’s the type of ignorant narcissistic rubes that post here, who have been totally bamboozled into being the foot soldiers of ignorance by think tanks like heartland that are the real obstacle to change. Whether they’re directly linked is exxon unimportant, they do, however, profit from the destruction of our future.

    [snip]: Let me remind you. There is no nationally or internationally recognized scientific institution of the planet that holds a dissenting position to the current consensus (AGW is leading to catastrophic change) on climate change. The last was the US National Association of Petroleum Geologists who updated it’s position to that of non-committal in 2007 after threats by it’s scientists against renewing membership in the organization if they failed to do so. Even the scientists with the most vested interest refuse to accept this position, they do so, because they grasp the gravity of the situation.

    There is no intellectual debate on this issue, only science vs ignorance.

    PS. To justify censorship in favor of your position by positing the conflation of routine terminology ([snip]) is an egregious and despicable act. Shame on you.

    • Dehness … I ought to be upset, but I thought your language was poetic: “the type of ignorant narcissistic rubes that post here, who have been totally bamboozled into being the foot soldiers of ignorance by think tanks like heartland that are the real obstacle to change.”

      However, despite the wonderful language and hand waving arguments of consensus, I think you’ll find that we sceptics have moved on and the real question is how much warming is caused by mankind. The key to that is the scale of any feedbacks.

    • TinyCO2 says:

      “they do, however, profit from the destruction of our future.” In what way?

      “ignorant narcissistic rubes that post here.” In what way are we ignorant narcissistic rubes? Because we use formatted tables? Because we can compare and contrast?

      “There is no intellectual debate on this issue, only science vs ignorance.” I agree, your side is very good at insults but rarely try debating the issues.

      As for the scientific institutions – shrug. They appear to have rubber stamped CAGW, in part because they, like you, are giving the science part of climate science too much credit. They certainly didn’t poll their members for opinions, so it represents a small subset of scientists. And what exactly did they ask? If the more outragious predictions from AGW supporters were placed before scientists unallied to climate it’s quite possible they’d balk. If you just ask does global warming exist and does man made CO2 play a part, even most sceptics would answer yes.

  8. As you are unable to cope with the ‘d’ word I shall refer to you as ‘snippers’ from now on on this blog. Meanwhile, kindly aply your censorious scissors to posters who use epithets like ‘alarmista’ and ‘warmista’, which with their overtones of guerilla warfare and killing are equally libellous.

    • SR, you may call us anything you like which has some truth and/or is funny. But the d word is neither truthful nor funny. Indeed, it is blatantly libelous.

      In this debate, it is equivalent to calling a black football player a monkey. Once, it might be funny. Repeated time and time and time again, it is harassment.

  9. Do you d**y AGW is happening and that is is a problem, yes or no?

    • TinyCO2 says:

      What right now? This month? This year? What rate of warming? Are the oceans warming at the moment? What percentage is man made? What problems? Hurricanes? Tornados? Floods?

      AGW never was a yes no question.

    • LamontT says:

      You have asked two questions. So that right there isn’t a yes or no answer.

      1. Is Anthropomorphic Global Warming [AGW] happening? Probably. I say that because while the urban island heat effect can be demonstrated it is less demonstrated that this is a global phenomenon and not a localized one. Still and all we will go with the assumption that man does contribute some factor to the total global warming that has happened in the last 160 years since the end of the little ice age.

      All research has pretty much confirmed that if man is contributing to that warming it is no more than 1/4 of the total warming seen in that period. That is it. so of the .6 degree or .8 degree warming we have seen in 160 years only 25% of that would be man’s contribution.

      2. is this a problem? Part two of your question. Frankly given the answer to part one the second part is clearly no. The results of warming and increased CO2 are generally positive and not negative. One has to stretch credulity to have any reason to panic if you look critically at it. Really the odds that warming could turn bad are less than 5% and much more likely less than 1%.

      • LamontT. Overall, your answer to 2 may be correct, but it is almost certain that there are some environments which are so marginal due to heat that even a small amount of warming will make them unusable.

        However, most deserts are deserts because of lack of rain not heat. The equator, is heavily vegetated and supports many people.

        Perhaps there is a desert somewhere, but Paradoxically, ice creates the biggest desert on earth, and if one thinks of desert as harmful, then melting ice is a huge benefit liberating masses of soil and sea to life.

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