Parsing the Pacific Institute
Jun 11, 2012
Bishop Hill in Climate: fakegate

Jim Lindgren, writing at law blog the Volokh Conspiracy, has been parsing the Pacific Institute's statement about reinstating Peter Gleick as president, and in particular the following phrase:

An independent review conducted by outside counsel on behalf of the Institute has supported what Dr. Gleick has stated publicly regarding his interaction with the Heartland Institute.

Lindgren notes that, being forged, the strategy document was not part of Gleick's interaction with the Heartland Institute. Gleick, you will remember, has said that he received it anonymously in the post. Lindgren concludes that there's a problem.

You’ve heard of non-denial denials. This is a non-confirmation confirmation.  Any lawyer worth his salt would read the Pacific Institute’s statement and assume that, while the investigation supported Gleick on the issue that no one disputed (“regarding his interaction with the Heartland Institute”), it probably did not support (or was silent) on the issue on which the Heartland Institute seemed to have the more likely explanation.

So there are two possibilities: EITHER (1) the report did not support Gleick on the origin of the fake document and the Board of the Pacific Institute is now trying to mislead the public with an evasive press release, OR (2) the Board of the Pacific Institute is extremely incompetent at writing press releases.


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