James Garvey: Peter Gleick lied, but was it justified by the wider good?

Yes, according to Garvey.

James Garvey writes in the Guardian:

A lie is a lie. There may be other considerations, but that’s main motivation behind the condemnation of Peter Gleick, the scientist who used an assumed name to obtain documents produced by the Heartland Institute.

He’s been criticised for a lack of scientific integrity, and those who fund his post are “concerned about any allegations of unethical conduct”. Everyone is having a go at Gleick, including Gleick: he called his actions a lapse of “professional judgment and ethics”. Are his actions wrong just because he lied?…

Did Gleick go too far? I’m not sure he did, but I do wonder whether some climate scientists go anywhere near far enough.

Read the entire commentary.

5 thoughts on “James Garvey: Peter Gleick lied, but was it justified by the wider good?”

  1. He didn’t just lie, he committed fraud. That’s a much more serious matter and one which I suspect will cause him much consternation in the future.

  2. From Garvey’s profile: James Garvey is secretary of the Royal Institute of Philosophy and author of The Ethics of Climate Change

    First Gleick, then Garvey.

    It looks like we have a consensus. Ethos – used “to describe the guiding beliefs or ideals that characterize a community.” I’m writing that one down.

    Ethicists – can’t live honestly with ’em. Can’t live dishonestly without ’em.

  3. The issues became known as ‘situation ethics’ back in the 60’s (an early example of political correctness), but it all boils down to the same rationalizations and the old double standard: “It’s wrong for *them* to do it, but it is OK for *us* to do it because we are the good guys and they are evil.”
    The fact is that if you compromise a Principle you reduce it from being a Principle to being a convenience.
    A compromised principle is like a ‘slightly damaged bubble’ – as illusionary as a free lunch. TANSTAAFL
    This touches on the basic difference between leaders, who maintain their principles as guideposts for making decisions, and politicians who make deals rather than decisions.
    Now that the warmists have proven themselves corruptible, the simple problem is “What will it take to make them sell out?” This of course will have to be dealt with on an individual basis.

  4. The ends justify the means is an endemic tenet in all radical groups, communist, fascist, environmental; they all subscribe.

  5. If by going far enough, you mean actually distancing yourself from the activist pollution, climate scientists who still want to be considered climate scientists haven’t gone anywhere near far enough. It’s not easy under this Lysenko/Garvey/Gleick/Trenberth/Mann activism, but that’s how far they need to go.

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