Climate-Change Scientist Stole Documents From Pro-Petroleum Think Tank

A Berkeley-based climate change scientist is accused of stealing documents from a pro-energy industry think tank.

By Chris Roberts
|  Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012  |  Updated 2:36 PM PDT
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Climate-Change Scientist Stole Documents From Pro-Petroleum Think Tank

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Climate change documents from a pro-energy industry think tank were obtained by a Berkeley scientist.

It's not the what, but the how that's landed a Berkeley-based scientist in hot water after he obtained documents from a think tank known for dismissing global warming theories under false pretenses.

Peter Gleick, 55, is a renown water expert who testifies before Congress and has received the famed MacArthur "genius grant." Gleick, the president of the Pacific Institute in Oakland, is also the man who lied about his identity in order to receive documents from the Heartland Institute in Chicago regarding global warming, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Fundraising and strategy documents from the Heartland Institute were posted on the Web by Gleick, who admitted in a Huffington Post blog post on Monday that he'd lied and said he was a board member in order to receive the documents.

The Heartland Institute cried foul and said that Gleick should be jailed for identity theft, computer fraud, and receiving stolen documents -- one of which is fake. Gleick is not currently commenting to media, but said on his blog that the documents he received matched ones he'd received earlier in the year from an anonymous leaker.

Legal experts said that it's unlikely that Gleick will be charged with a crime, but that he might be sued in civil court by the Heartland people. And that could backfire on them, if more confidential documents are unearthed in court.

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