About every four years, the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) produces a voluminous Assessment Report (AR) on the state of global warming science, such as it is. Two years after each AR, the IPCC produces an updating Interim Report.
In 2008, The Heartland Institute, headquartered in Chicago, began organizing international conferences of scientists from across the globe who want to raise and discuss intellectually troubling questions and doubts regarding the theory that human activity is causing ultimately catastrophic global warming. Six conferences have taken place to date, attracting more than 3,000 scientists, journalists, and interested citizens from all over the world.
(Full disclosure: I am a Heartland Senior Fellow, one of several affiliations I have with free-market think tanks and advocacy groups.)
In 2009, Heartland published Climate Change Reconsidered: The Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC). That 860-page careful, dispassionate, thoroughly scientific volume, produced in conjunction with the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) and the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, explored the full range of alternative views to the UN's IPCC. Two years later, Heartland published the 418 page Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2011 Interim Report of the NIPCC, which updated the research regarding global warming and "climate change" since the 2009 volume.
Through these activities and more like them, Heartland has become the international headquarters of the scientific alternative to the UN's IPCC, now providing full scale rebuttals to the UN's own massive reports. Any speaker, any authority, any journalist or bureaucrat asserting the catastrophic danger of supposed man-caused global warming needs to be asked for their response to Climate Change Reconsidered. If they have none, then they are not qualified to address the subject.
This is the essential background to understanding "Fakegate," the strange and still being written story of the decline and fall of political activist Peter Gleick, who had successfully engineered a long career posing as an objective climate scientist. Gleick, who has announced he is taking a "temporary, short-term leave of absence" as president of the Pacific Institute, also served until recently as chairman of the science integrity task force of the American Geophysical Union.