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A Story No Climate Reporter Wants to Pursue

By Keith Kloor
Mar 12, 2012 10:05 AMNov 20, 2019 2:26 AM


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In the immediate aftermath of Peter Gleick's confession, reaction was passionate and wide-ranging. The news dominated the climate blogosphere for weeks, with every climate blog having something to say on the matter (with the conspicuous exception of RealClimate). The story was also dutifully covered in the mainstream media. The first wave focused on Gleick's admission. The second wave was the response to it. Any stories that followed after that mostly reported on the repercussions to Gleick. Since then, no reporters on the climate beat have seemed eager to follow up on the mostdubious angle to the whole story. That brings me to this post by Steve McIntyre, which compares the Gleick affair to Watergate and some of its principal characters. McIntyre writes:

Much recent commentary has characterized Gleick as a "hero", some invoking [Daniel] Ellsberg as a precedent. But a closer examination of Watergate events shows that Gleick's conduct is more evocative of Howard Hunt and Gordon Liddy than of Ellsberg.

It's worth noting that Liddy went on to fame and fortune, with his best-selling book and syndicated radio show. He has also been lionized by the right wing in the United States. It's too early to say what lies ahead for Gleick. So far, the story of his entanglement with the Heartland Institute is what he has written. It's not clear to me that any reporters are interested in pursuing it.

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