Sycophants (yawn). Actual Witnesses of Gelbspan’s Accusation “Proof” are a Whole Other Matter

In my prior piece about the spread of Ross Gelbspan’s accusation that skeptic climate scientists are paid by the fossil fuel industry to “reposition global warming as theory rather than fact“, I barely skimmed the surface of the sheer number of repetitions of it. The first time I threw the phrase into an internet search, a virtual ocean of sycophant repetitions could be seen, I forget how many pages it ran even without the trick of putting the phrase in quote marks. Three+ years later, I can almost count the total number of people who have every appearance of actually witnessing Gelbspan’s famous ‘leaked/secret coal industry’ memos on the fingers of two hands. Each person’s involvement in the matter is beset with crippling problems.

Who are those individuals? Probably not the Desmogblog writer I mentioned in my 6/10 blog, who perhaps may have simply linked to the ICE memos at Greenpeace archive scans on a tip from the person I’m detailing in today’s blog. But certainly those people are Ross Gelbspan and Al Gore, as I noted in the last photos at my 6/10 blog and in more detail in my 2011 guest post at, along with three others I mentioned in my 6/10 blog, NY Times reporter Matt Wald and book authors Curtis Moore and Alan S. Miller. I detailed a little more about Miller in two AmericanThinker articles here and here. One more person who reported about the memos 15 days prior to the NY Times in 1991 was Mary O’Driscoll, a writer for The Energy Daily.

Considering John Passacantando was running the Ozone Action organization at the time when the words “According to documents obtained by Ozone Action and by Ross Gelbspan, several ICE strategies were laid out including: the repositioning of global warming as theory, not fact” were written in 1996, I add him to the list. Only four more people fit my definition of those who must have seen the actual documents, since they mention bits about the memos that no one else ever does: Gore Senate staffer Anthony Socci, science historian Naomi Oreskes, sustainability researcher Myanna Lahsen, and animal activist Gwenn Morreale.

Count them up. That’s only eleven people, and other than Wald and O’Driscoll, each have an association with no more than a degree or two of separation from either Ross Gelbspan or Al Gore. I’ll have one or more future blogs on the others, but since I mentioned in my 6/10 blog that I had not seen anyone link straight to the “leaked/secret coal industry” memos at Greenpeace’s archive scans, I need to spend a short time detailing Ms Morreale’s indirect link to those and the reason why it may be quite important.

Her March 5th, 2012 “Fakegate: Who’s the Fake?” blog piece’s 7th paragraph, contains both critical bits. Watch what happens when you click on what I have for her ICE web link (circa the spring of 2012).

In 1991, the Information Council for the Environment (ICE) was created by coal and mining associations with the objective to “reposition global warming as theory (not fact) if not a myth” and “attack the proponents [by comparing] global warming to historical or mythical instances of gloom and doom.” ICE disbanded soon after internal memos were leaked to the press.

The result sends you to a “Not Found” page, but the key is what is seen in the last few words of the web link url string within your browser window and in the Internet Archive window: “[2/3/17 Author’s addition: screencapture here for posterity]

A different situation happens when you click on that same link at this reproduction of her blog piece. Click on its ICE link, and it sends you to an oriental language page. [2/3/17 note: the page now doesn’t work at all, and I didn’t get a screencapture back in 2013]

Her blog piece is still currently online, but sometime after it appeared, her non-functioning Greenpeace archives link was changed to Desmogblog’s page category for the ICE campaign, which at that time span had only its entry from 3/26/10 in which none of its links went to Greenpeace.

But the kicker for me is her quoted phrase I red-highlighted. When anyone quotes something in that manner, it is assumed to mean those exact words are in the material being quoted. But in this case, those specific words are nowhere to be seen in Greenpeace’s ICE scans, nor anywhere else in Greenpeace archives in that exact form. And nowhere else on the entire internet that I can find.

We have two possibilities here: she either made up those extra words out of thin air, or else they really are in an unseen part of the document collection. The hint for that – just a hint, I should add, is seen in her bio at the blog site she wrote for (5th person down the page, backup link here). It says she “holds a M.A. in Media Ecology/Communications from New York University where she wrote her thesis on the contrarian’s use of propaganda to create a debate about climate change.” NYU apparently restricts sharing such grad papers, They did not allow me to see it when I asked for permission to do so, and I have not found it anywhere else.

Perhaps Ms Morreale is simply inept at creating web links and feels a need to punch up a story line. But combine the plausible-sounding wording in her blog piece with the bizarre manner in which her non-functional Greenpeace scans link was changed to a Desmogblog one, and this looks like smoke.

Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire. Stay tuned here, I’ll be pointing to a ever-thickening smoke in the Gelbspan/Gore accusation.