“Scientist Peter Gleick apologises for ‘serious lapse in judgment and ethics’, but supporters say Heartland remains the villain.”
The Guardian reports:
… For some campaigners, such as Naomi Klein, Gleick was an unalloyed hero, who should be sent some “Twitter love”, she wrote on Tuesday.
“Heartland has been subverting well-understood science for years,” wrote Scott Mandia, co-founder of the climate science rapid response team. “They also subvert the education of our schoolchildren by trying to ‘teach the controversy’ where none exists.”
Mandia went on: “Peter Gleick, a scientist who is also a journalist, just used the same tricks that any investigative reporter uses to uncover the truth. He is the hero and Heartland remains the villain. He will have many people lining up to support him.”
Others acknowledged Gleick’s wrongdoing, but said it should be viewed in the context of the work of Heartland and other entities devoted to spreading disinformation about science.
“What Peter Gleick did was unethical. He acknowledges that from a point of view of professional ethics there is no defending those actions,” said Dale Jamieson, an expert on ethics who heads the environmental studies programme at New York University. “But relative to what has been going on on the climate denial side this is a fairly small breach of ethics.”
He also rejected the suggestion that Gleick’s wrongdoing could hurt the cause of climate change, or undermine the credibility of scientists.
“Whatever moral high ground there is in science comes from doing science,” he said. “The failing that Peter Gleick engaged in is not a scientific failing. It is just a personal failure“… [Emphasis added]