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SFGate drops climate researcher in scandal

SFGate has dropped an unpaid blog by prominent climate researcher Peter Gleick after he admitted to fraudulently obtaining documents from global warming skeptics who challenged his work.

Gleick, head of the Oakland-based Pacific Institute, admitted on Monday that he posed as someone else to obtain internal memos from the Heartland Institute, a think tank that argues that global warming is not caused by human activity.

SFGate executive producer Alana Nguyen said the Chronicle-owned website had discontinued Gleick’s unpaid blog because it was part of a feature reserved for local “luminaries.”

“We decide who is a luminary,” she told Reuters. “That kind of admission is something that affects your reputation in the community, and we strive to have people with a good reputation in the community.”

Any journalist who obtained information in the way Gleick did would be fired from a traditional newsroom, the Poynter Institute’s Kelly McBride told Reuters. She said reporters should not use information from the memos that Gleick obtained without taking pains to verify it.

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