It’s been a bad week for the Heartland Institute — the US lobby group recently shown to have funded New Zealand climate denialists. Documents leaked this week expose Heartland’s fund-raising and climate strategies to the cold light of day, and a major new piece of research by John Mashey demonstrates that Heartland has been acting outside of the rules governing the tax-exempt status it claims for itself.
Documents relating to a Heartland board meeting held in January were sent to a number of bloggers earlier this week, and have been made available by DeSmogBlog. The papers give a very full account of Heartland’s budget and plans for 2012, right down to individual staff salaries, and provide details of funding streams from players big and small. The largest — described as the “anonymous donor” — provided Heartland with $8.6 million over 2007-11 for its climate campaigns (see pps 20 and 21 of this document).
Key points from the documents:
- Heartland plans to create a “Global Warming Curriculum for K-12 Schools” that “isn’t alarmist or overtly political”, and plans to pay Dr David Wojick $25,000 a quarter to develop the materials.
- Heartland is planning to fund Fred Singer’s Not the IPCC project to the tune of $1.5 million over 2010-13, and is budgeting monthly payments of $11,600 to Craig Idso, $5,000 to Singer and $1,667 to Bob Carter during 2012.
- Anthony Watts (of µWatts fame) is being funded to the tune of $88,000 to develop a web site featuring US temperature data.
- Current funders include tobacco companies, fossil fuel interests, and even Microsoft.
Heartland claims the documents were stolen, and that one — relating to their strategy on climate denial — was faked, even though the main points in that “confidential memo” are corroborated by the other documents. The Heartland response includes threats of legal action against web sites and media carrying stories based on the documents, and says:
…honest disagreement should never be used to justify the criminal acts and fraud that occurred in the past 24 hours. As a matter of common decency and journalistic ethics, we ask everyone in the climate change debate to sit back and think about what just happened.
Those persons who posted these documents and wrote about them before we had a chance to comment on their authenticity should be ashamed of their deeds, and their bad behavior should be taken into account when judging their credibility now and in the future.
Back in 2009, when the emails stolen from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia first hit the web, Heartland president Joseph Bast wrote:
The release of these documents creates an opportunity for reporters, academics, politicians, and others who relied on the IPCC to form their opinions about global warming to stop and reconsider their position. The experts they trusted and quoted in the past have been caught red-handed plotting to conceal data, hide temperature trends that contradict their predictions, and keep critics from appearing in peer-reviewed journals. This is new and real evidence that they should examine and then comment on publicly.
The hypocrisy burns…
Meanwhile, the news that Bob Carter is retained by Heartland to undermine the work of mainstream science through the NIPCC is making waves in Australia (Graham Readfearn, SMH), but hasn’t yet been picked up in New Zealand. Carter’s role as a “science advisor” to the Heartland funded NZ Climate Science Coalition and its ICSC spin-off, as well as to Nigel Lawson’s secretive Global Warming Policy Foundation raises serious questions about just how lucrative denial can be, as well as illuminating the international web of climate denial.
Richard Black at the BBC
And [List updated17/2 – courtesy of Adam Seigel]…
- Brendan DeMelle, Heartland Institute Exposed: Internal Documents Unmask Heart of Climate Denial Machine, DeSmogBlog (links to all of the leaked documents)
- Kate Sheppard, Internal Heartland Institute Email Blasts “Lamestream Media” for Climate Leak, Mother Jones
- Chris Mooney, “Dissuading Teachers From Teaching Science”: The Leak of Alleged Heartland Institute Documents, The Intersection
- Joe Romm, Heartland Documents Reveal Fringe Denial Group Plans to Pursue Koch Money, Dupe Children and Cultivate Revkin, Climate Progress
- James Hrynyshyn, The Heart(land) of the Denial Campaign, Class M
- Leo Hickman, Leaked Heartland Institute documents pull back curtain on climate scepticism, The Guardian
- Suzanne Goldenberg, Leak exposes how Heartland Institute works to undermine climate science, The Guardian
- Suzanne Goldenberg, Suzanne Goldenberg, Leak exposes how Heartland Institute works to undermine climate science, The Guardian, The Guardian
- Heartland Institute budget and strategy revealed, DeepClimate
- Greg Laden, HeartlandGate: Anti-Science Institute’s Insider Reveals Secrets, Culture as Science — Science as Culture
- Greg Laden, The Meaning of Heartland Gate, Culture as Science — Science as Culture
- Brad Johnson, INTERNAL DOCUMENTS: The Secret, Corporate-Funded Plan To Teach Children That Climate Change Is A Hoax, Think Progress: Green
- Brad Johnson, CONFIRMED: Anti-Science Blogger Admits Heartland Institute’s ‘Special Project’ To Distort Temperature Data, Think Progress: Green
- Peter Sinclair, How is Joe Bast Like Joe Camel? Looks Like We’re Going to Find Out….., Climate Denial Crock of the The Week
- Michael Tobis, Is Turnabout Fair Play?, Planet 3.0 — Beyond Sustainability
- Shawn Lawrence Otto, Climate Denial Bombshell, NeoRenaissance
- Jonathan Eisen, Leaked insider docs from Heartland Institute goal: “dissuading teachers from teaching science” (ps hey Scholarly Kitchen do you support this?), The Tree of Life
- Zachary Shanan, Fossil-Fuel-Funded Think Tank, Heartland Institute, Exposed (Deniergate? Heartlandgate? Pick a Name), Clean Technica
- Phil Plait, Breaking news: A look behind the curtain of the Heartland Institute’s climate change spin, Bad Astronomy
- Christian Hunt, Undermining the IPCC, keeping opposing voices out, dissuading the teaching of science – Heartland in its own words?, The Carbon Brief
- William Connelly, Heartland, Stoat
- Keith Kloor, Climate Skeptic Organization Feels the Heat, Collide-a-Scape
- Steve Zwick, Blog reveals Climate Change Denier Group’s Corporate Backers, Forbes
- Will Nichols, Will Heartland Institute scandal force transparency on corporate donors?, BusinessGreen
- J.A., Trouble in the Heartland?, The Economist
- Richard Littlemore, Mashey Report Confirms Heartland’s Manipulation; Exposes Singer’s Deception, DeSmogBlog
- Canucks On Heartland Institute Payroll, Big City Lib Strikes Back
- Katherine Stewart, The new anti-science assault on US schools, The Guardian
- Miles Grant, While It Complained of Being Silenced, Heartland Institute Worked to Silence Climate Scientists, The Green Miles
- Amber Jamieson, Who’s the Anonymous Donor keeping a climate sceptic think tank afloat?, Crikey
- Graham Readfern, Leaked docs from climate-denying think tank reveal strategy, Crikey
- Meghan McCardle, Leaked Docs From Heartland Institute Cause a Stir—but Is One a Fake?, The Atlantic
- Jess Zimmerman, How the Heartland Institute plans to wreck education, Grist
- Seth Borenstein, INFLUENCE GAME: Leaks show group’s climate efforts, Associated Press
- Professor Scott Mandia, Heartland Institute: Hey Kids, Have a Smoke and Denial, Global Warming: Man or Myth?
- Stephanie Pappas, Leaked: Conservative Group Plans Anti-Climate Education Program, Live Science
- John Mashey, Fake science, fakexperts, funny finances, free of tax, DeSmogBlog
- A Siegel, Breaking: Heartless news for Valentine’s Day: “Dissuading Scientists from Teaching Science”, Get Energy Smart! NOW!