On February 21st 2012 at 9.59am, Steve McIntyre wrote to David Appell re climatologist Peter Gleick stealing the identity of a Heartland Institute director and releasing several confidential documents plus a "strategy" paper he'd forged outright:
I appreciate your recognition of my thoughts on the matter. People asked me if I felt any vindication when I saw the Climategate emails. I didn't. My initial reaction was exhaustion and disappointment that people could think and act that way. Monbiot's first instinct on Climategate was far more correct (and could have dealt with things) than the subsequent reaction led by people like Gleick.
I think that it was too bad for all parties that the "inquiries" didn't do a proper job of considering all points of view and ended up hardening lines, rather than achieving the reconciliation that a good inquiry should. (My grandfather chaired some important inquiries in Canada and one of my best friends has been counsel on important recent Canadian inquiries e.g. the Arar inquiry.)
We actually seem to agree on more than one would think. I've always liked your motto: "Rule #1: You can never ask too many questions."
BTW I am convinced that Gleick was the author of the fake memo and that we haven't reached bottom on this story yet.
The following day David Appell replied:
From: David Appell
Sent: February-22-12 12:36 AM
To: Steve McIntyre
Subject: Re: Gleick
Hey Steve, thanks for writing.... Yes, I thought your comments on this were very good, as well as something similar you said (on a video I saw) at a Heartland conference, I thought, about disliking the personal attacks after Climategate 1.... It seems like some people are really being driven crazy by the climate debate.
For whatever reason, Climategate 2 really opened my eyes. The behind-the-scenes organizing of public points of views, intolerance, etc -- it's just not how I believe scientists should behave, even when under pressure. The revelation that Mann was looking for investigate journalists to "expose" you really soured me. (I told him so in a late night email I probably shouldn't have written, and he doesn't answer me anymore when I ask him something) It's just not honorable. By all means, fight hard, but fight fair. And the extreme politicization coming from Gleick and Mooney is really unacceptable. I just can't understand (and it angers me) how Mooney is invited to give talks everywhere and invited onto the AGU Board of Directors and held up as some master communicator when he's so extremely politically biased, and to boot knows absolutely nothing of the science -- and now his new book is actually suggesting that conservatives are somehow medically or psychologically deficient for believing "more wrong things" (that's a quote from his book advertisement), and not just in science but also in history, economic policy, and foreign policy! It seems he wants to be the left's Ann Coulter, and I can't stand that no matter what one's politics.
And since CG2 I've just been more attuned to the large and deep uncertainties in all of climate science, especially the models. And Revkin's quote seemed reached me: "Do I trust climate science? As a living body of intellectual inquiry exploring profoundly complex questions, yes. Do I trust all climate scientists, research institutions, funding sources, journals and others involved in this arena to convey the full context of findings and to avoid sometimes stepping beyond the data? I wouldn't be a journalist if I answered yes."
I guess, as in the motto you like (thanks), I'm just trying to ask more questions, about everything.