FEBRUARY 20, 2012 -- The Heartland Institute has issued the following statement concerning Peter Gleick's confession with respect to stolen and forged documents. For more updates and coverage, go to Fakegate.org.
The following statement by Heartland Institute President Joseph L. Bast may be used for attribution. For more information, contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-377-4000.
"Earlier this evening, Peter Gleick, a prominent figure in the global warming movement, confessed to stealing electronic documents from The Heartland Institute in an attempt to discredit and embarrass a group that disagrees with his views.
"Gleick's crime was a serious one. The documents he admits stealing contained personal information about Heartland staff members, donors, and allies, the release of which has violated their privacy and endangered their personal safety.
"An additional document Gleick represented as coming from The Heartland Institute, a forged memo purporting to set out our strategies on global warming, has been extensively cited by newspapers and in news releases and articles posted on Web sites and blogs around the world. It has caused major and permanent damage to the reputations of The Heartland Institute and many of the scientists, policy experts, and organizations we work with.
"A mere apology is not enough to undo the damage.
"In his statement, Gleick claims he committed this crime because he believed The Heartland Institute was preventing a "rational debate" from taking place over global warming. This is unbelievable. Heartland has repeatedly asked for real debate on this important topic. Gleick himself was specifically invited to attend a Heartland event to debate global warming just days before he stole the documents. He turned down the invitation.
"Gleick also claims he did not write the forged memo, but only stole the documents to confirm the content of the memo he received from an anonymous source. This too is unbelievable. Many independent commentators already have concluded the memo was most likely written by Gleick.
"We hope Gleick will make a more complete confession in the next few days.
"We are consulting with legal counsel to determine our next steps and plan to release a more complete statement about the situation tomorrow. In the meantime, we ask again that publishers, bloggers, and Web site hosts take the stolen and fraudulent documents off their sites, remove defamatory commentary based on them, and issue retractions."
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.