Our Common Good

Peter Gleick, the water expert who admitted to and apologised for carrying out an exposé of confidential Heartland materials, is due to speak on 24 April as part of a prestigous lecture series.

The annual Oxford Amnesty lectures are an important fundraiser for Amnesty International, although they are not directly organised by the human rights organisation or by the university.

This year’s theme of the lectures is Protect the Human/Protect the Planet. Gleick is an internationally recognised water expert.

However, Heartland Institute argued that Gleick should be barred from appearing at Oxford because of his admitted role in tricking the thinktank to turn over confidential documents outlining its fundraising plans and key donors.

Heartland says one of the documents is a fake, and accused Gleick of the forgery. Gleick has apologised for his role in the affair.

The documents, which revealed a project to sway teaching of science to children in kindergarten, sparked a furore about the role of Heartland and its network of paid bloggers and experts in influencing public attitudes on climate change.

The revelations were not surprising to campaigners, who were familiar with Heartland’s climate mission. However, they did bring embarrassment to some of Heartland’s corporate donors. General Motors last month pulled its funding from Heartland.