Heartland Institute Warming Skeptics Victimized by Fraud But Still Blamed by Environmental Reporter Revkin
Andrew Revkin, former environmental reporter for the New York Times, and now “Dot Earth” blogger for the paper, showed a stark double standard in his reporting Wednesday on a batch of documents obtained by fraud from the Heartland Institute, a group skeptical of human-based global warming hysteria. Revkin even blamed the victim of the fraud for failing to condemn the previous leak of the "Climategate" emails.
At first glance the incident is similar to Climategate -- the leaked emails from the East Anglia Climatic Research Unit that rocked the scientific world in November 2009 and helped erode support for apocalyptic predictions of global warming. The emails included some shockingly shoddy science and venomous attacks on climate-change dissenters by ostensibly objective climate scientists, and documented attempts to avoid legal Freedom of Information Act requests.
Yet while Revkin's reporting has constantly spotlighted the Heartland Institute and other groups for taking corporate funding, he seems to assume climate-change scientists, who receive government funding while actively avoiding legal FOIA requests, are somehow immune to vested interests, such as keeping up the (now fading) drumbeat of a climate crisis.
Revkin's Climate-gate post on Dot Earth (written back when he was a fulltime reporter) took a dim view of the release of the emails, assuming illegality although the leaker has never been identified, leaving open the possibility an internal whistleblower was responsible.
The documents appear to have been acquired illegally and contain all manner of private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye, so they won't be posted here. But a quick sift of skeptics' Web sites will point anyone to plenty of sources.
In a July 2010 post he even asked,“Was the East Anglia Incident a Crime?”
But Revkin showed none of that moral disapproval in his Wednesday reporting, when it came to the undeniable theft from the Heartland Institute, a group skeptical of global warming:
A blog storm began building Tuesday and broke on Wednesday as environmental groups posted a batch of documents -- ranging from tax forms to lists of donors to a 2012 Heartland “climate strategy” -- that appeared to expose the group’s game plan, budgets and backers in remarkable detail.
Late on Wednesday, Heartland posted a statement asserting that the strategy document was a “total fake” and the others, while appearing to be authentic, might have been altered and were, in any case, obtained through criminal means.
Revkin quoted Heartland: “Identity theft and computer fraud are criminal offenses subject to imprisonment. We intend to find this person and see him or her put in prison for these crimes....honest disagreement should never be used to justify the criminal acts and fraud that occurred in the past 24 hours.” He then accused Heartland of hypocrisy, while signaling to readers that he agrees with the global warming alarmists:
Wouldn’t it have been great if a similar message had some from the group and its allies after the mass release of e-mails and files from the University of East Anglia climatic research center in 2009 and last year -- documents that skeptics quickly and repeatedly over-interpreted as a damning “Climategate”? That hasn’t been Heartland’s approach.
And it certainly isn’t Revkin’s approach now.