Blog Archive

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Peter Gleick vs Heartland Institute – Scorecard One Year Later. And the Winner Is?

It is no contest! 

Dr. Peter Gleick continues to advance science and offer tremendous public service while Heartland Institute is busy shooting itself in the foot trying to misinform the public and disparage our experts.

Picture (Device Independent Bitmap)
Dr. Peter Gleick
Picture (Device Independent Bitmap)
Heartland Institute

Climate scientists tell us that the world is warming due to massive emissions of heat-trapping gases and that warming is dangerous to society and nature. Medical experts agree that climate change is increasing our health-related illnesses. Military and intelligence experts consider climate change a grave national security threat. The re-insurance industry tells us that extreme weather events influenced by climate change are already costing us dearly. And of course, our own eyes tell us that the climate is not what it used to be and we are all feeling its painful effects already.
Imagine a car speeding toward a cliff. There are those like Dr. Peter Gleick who are warning us about that cliff while also offering solutions to avoid the coming disaster. And then there is Heartland Institute who consistently deny any warming, or say it is natural, or that even if human-caused will not be so bad. Worse, they accuse our experts of being comparable to terrorists and mass murderers.
One year ago today Peter Gleick posed as a Heartland insider to expose the evil nature of this institution. For the back story see: Heartland Institute: Hey Kids, Have a Smoke and Denial where I showed how Heartland was trying to undermine the science education being provided to our K-12 school children. Unfortunately, much of the news was focused on what Dr. Gleick did wrong and not what Heartland was doing wrong. As I wrote in Do Not Take Your Eyes Off Lex Luthor (Heartland Institute), Peter Gleick is a great man who made a mistake. The focus should NOT have been on him but on Heartland. It is easy to point the finger at Superman when he makes a mistake than it is to Lex Luthor who is expected to be the bad guy.
Then in May, 2012, Heartland Institute showed their true colors by posting large billboards in Chicago, IL that compared believers in global warming to the Unabomber with plans to also link climate experts to Osama bin Laden, Hitler, and Charles Manson.

What else was Heartland up to in the past year? James Taylor, senior fellow for environment policy at the Heartland Institute and managing editor of Environment & Climate News has been busy using his blog at Forbes to misinform its financial leaders and to disparage climate scientists. Reaching a new low even for him, he wrote this in December 2012:

“Ironically, real-world evidence shows global warming is benefiting Africa, so perhaps the United States and other Western democracies should seek compensatory cash transfers from Africa.”

Desperate Africans dying of hunger should send thank you money to the US? Billboards accusing climate experts as mass murderers and terrorists? Do I need to go on?

On the other hand, here is what Dr. Peter Gleick has been up to in the past year

Information below can be found at the Pacific Institute website and/or Google search.

A 21st Century U.S. Water Policy , released by Oxford University Press in May 2012, eds. Juliet Christian-Smith and Peter Gleick. Dr. Gleick also wrote two chapters in this book, described by Steven Solomon:

“It is the great achievement of Peter Gleick, long our foremost water policy thinker, and of Juliet Christian-Smith to transform the bewildering diversity and chaos that is current US water policy into a clear comprehensive vision of the big issues and challenges define the new water landscape. This is a must-read book and essential point-of-reference for anyone involved in water issues.”

Gleick, P.H. 2012. “A Way Forward? The Soft Path for Water.” In K. Weber (editor) Last Call at the Oasis: The Global Water Crisis and Where We Go from Here. Perseus Book Group, New York. pp. 85-102.
Gleick, P.H. (editor). 2013 (in press). The World’s Water, Volume 8: The Biennial Report on Freshwater Resources. Island Press, Washington, D.C.

Other Publications:
DeFries, R.S., E.C. Ellis, F.S. Chapin III, P.A. Matson, B.L. Turner II, A. Agrawal, P.J. Crutzen, C. Field, P. Gleick, P.M. Kareiva, E. Lambin, D.Liverman, E. Ostrom, P.A. Sanchez, and J. Syvitski. 2012. “Contract for Global Change Science to Contribute to a Sustainable Future.”BioScience, Vol. 62, pp. 603–606. Doi:10.1525/bio.2012.62.6.11.
Gleick, P.H., H. Cooley, J. Famiglietti, D. Lettenmaier, T. Oki, C. Vörösmarty, E. Wood. (In press.) “Improving Understanding of the Global Hydrologic Cycle. Observation and Analysis of the Climate System: The Global Water Cycle.” World Climate Research Program OSC Monograph.
Gleick, P.H. (In press.) “Water Projections and Scenarios: Thinking About our Water Future.” In P. Loucks (editor) Water and the Future of Humanity. Springer Press.
Fulton, J., H. Cooley, P.H. Gleick. 2012. California’s Water Footprint. Pacific Institute, Oakland, California.

Public Presentations:
March 8, 2012: Keynote Lecture at the California POWER conference in Los Angeles “California Water as a Microcosm: Lessons from Abroad”
April 16: Keynote Lecture at the Oxford University, United Kingdom Conference on Water Security, Risk, and Society:  “Peak Water, Peak Energy, and Climate:  Implications for Security”
April 24: Oxford, United Kingdom. The 2012 Oxford Amnesty Lecture: “The Human Right to Water: What Does it Really Mean?”
May 10: Calgary, Canada. Conference “Water in a World of Seven Billion.” Keynote address: “Peak Water Limits: New Constraints, New Solutions, and Climate Change”
July 2-6: International Water Week, Singapore. Chair of discussion group at the Water Leaders Summit.
September 13: Presentation at the Commonwealth Club, San Francisco: “The Future of our Water: Can We Learn from the Past?”
September 14: Presentation at the 2012 CleanTech Water Innovations Summit, Berkeley, California.
September 25: Presentation at the United Nations, New York Expert Panel Session on Water Security: “Water: Implications for Security”
October 1: EcoSummit Conference, Columbus, Ohio. Lecture “Soft Paths for Water: New Constraints, New Solutions.”
October 10: Host and speaker for the Chicago Ideas Festival Session on Water.
October 16: Lecture at the Council of Energy Research and Education Leaders (CEREL) 2012 Annual Conference: “Water, Energy, Climate” University of California, Berkeley
November 1: Speaker at the State and Regional Water Board Water Quality Coordinating Committee meeting, Sacramento, California. “Water, Energy, and Climate Challenges”
November 7: Lecture/Panel Discussion at the Commonwealth Club of California, INFORUM event “Water: Innovating for the Essential Resource.”  “Water and Climate Change in California”
November 8: Invited Presentation to ARUP Engineering Group, San Francisco: “An Overview to Water and Climate: Moving to a Sustainable Future”
November 10: Invited presentation at the Conference on “Groundwater and Climate Change in the Middle East.” University of California, Irvine.
November 13: Keynote Lecture at SPUR, San Francisco. “The Future of California’s Water: Sustainability in an Uncertain World.”
November 14: Keynote Lecture at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “The Science and Ethics of 21st Century Climate and Water Challenges.”
December 5: Invited Presentation, AGU Fall 2012 Meeting, San Francisco: “Hard water problems and soft water paths: The “supply versus demand” conundrum”.
January 15-17, 2013: Three presentations on water, energy, climate, and sustainability at the International Water Summit, Abu Dhabi.
January 24: Lecture at the University of California, Berkeley, “Peak Water and California: Sustainability in an Uncertain World.”

Other Service: 
Member on Editorial Board of three journals: Climatic Change, Environmental Research Letters, and Water Policy.

In May 2012, major full-length documentary “Last Call at the Oasis” starring Peter Gleick, Erin Brockovich, Jack Black, Jay Famiglietti, Robert Glennon. Participant Media.
(I saw this movie at a special screening during the AGU Fall 2012 Meeting. Peter was there to answer questions from the audence after the film ended. Great movie. Sad, but very informative.)


National Geographic ScienceBlogs regular column entitled “Significant Figures.”

Over the previous year (and many years before) who has advanced science and helped society to deal with the challenges posed by climate change? Dr. Peter Gleick or Heartland Institute?

Unanimous decision: 

Dr. Peter Gleick wins by a wide margin while Heartland Institute loses by its own KO. 

No comments: