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Brouhaha over Peter Gleick’s return to Pacific Institute

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Peter Gleick, the Berkeley scientist who took leave from Oakland-based Pacific Institute in February after admitting that he had faked his identity to obtain documents from a Chicago think tank that has downplayed global warming, has been reinstated to the institute he co-founded. And that has inflamed opponents of the widely-recognized water expert who say he should be prosecuted for fraud. Jeremy Miller at KQED’s Climate Watch blog says that while Pacific Institute hasn’t released documents detailing its purported investigation of Gleick, it nonetheless has cleared him of further wrongdoing. Officials at the Heartland Institute maintain that the documents Gleick admitted obtaining under false pretenses were forgeries and are outraged.
Heartland Institute president Joseph Bast issued a statement today taking Pacific Institute to task for reinstating Gleick and calling its investigation a sham:
“Whereas The Heartland Institute has been open and honest with the public and the press, sharing emails and the results of its own internal investigations, the Pacific Institute has refused to identify who conducted its investigation, to release its report, or even to respond to our inquires about what questions were asked of Gleick.
“As near as we can tell, this was not an investigation. It was a whitewash.
From yesteday’s Pacific Institute statement welcoming Gleick back to the fold:
Dr. Gleick has apologized publicly for his actions, which are not condoned by the Pacific Institute and run counter to the Institute’s policies and standard of ethics over its 25-year history. The Board of Directors accepts Dr. Gleick’s apology for his lapse in judgment. We look forward to his continuing in the Pacific Institute’s ongoing and vital mission to advance environmental protection, economic development, and social equity.

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