The real Climategate: Heartland’s hypocrisy on display

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.

See also:

Richard Black at the BBC

New York Times

LA Times

And [List updated17/2 – courtesy of Adam Seigel]…

80 thoughts on “The real Climategate: Heartland’s hypocrisy on display”

  1. So, Leyland, Treadgold and the rest, what do you have to say for yourselves? In taking your Court case against the hard-working scientists at NIWA, are you dancing to the tune of a foreign donor?

  2. It seems like the only damning document in this atempt to blacken heartland is a fake it will be interesting to find out whos responsible could be in a lot of trouble

    1. Some of us have carefully read the other documents,
      and the disputed one has ~zero real information not found elsewhere.Personally, I think it’s irrelevant.

      When the documents surfaced, I only glanced at that, but looked hard at the others, which inter-corrobarate with mine.
      The education plan is laid out in section H. of the Fundraising document, and it is perfectly consistent with Heartland’s efforts shown in Figure W.4.1, PARENTS line, and in the articles in App. Z.

    2. @radishman actually, no. Almost all of what’s in the strategy document (the so-called fake) is contained in the other documents, especially the fundraising strategy. I find it funny that Heartland inadvertently confirmed the veracity of the other documents by saying that the leaker persuaded the HI to send the board docs to their email address.

      But on a wider note, the hypocrisy is breathtaking – “victimised” deniers cry fraud for stolen documents? How they can make this claim with a straight face after climategate is beyond me.

      John Mashey your work is fantastic – I see ProfMandia has done a nice job with it.

    3. radishman,
      You’re clutching at straws. Read the documents again and try being honest.

      Dr Mashey is of course far more correct that you can ever know, or will acknowledge..

  3. Welcome back Gareth!

    It’s well worth reading the Readfearn piece with its focus on Carter.

    And speaking of hypocrisy, Heartland tells The Guardian:

    At any rate, our standing policy is to not discuss confidential documents…

    Well, lookee here!

    Mother Jones has got hold of what it says is a post-leak Heartland fundraising email aimed at their donors, too, which quotes Bast:

    Most of the leaked documents appear to have been written by me for a board meeting that took place on January 17. I have not yet had a chance to compare the ones that are posted online with the originals I wrote, so I don’t know if they are authentic or have been altered.

    It appears likely that it’s the ‘strategy’ doc at issue, and as John M has pointed out, it only contains info we already know from the other docs and other sources.

    It does contain that one zippy quote about discouraging teaching science which was – unsurprisingly – widely circulated, but, since we’re not Deniers whose entire existence is focused on distributing culled snippets of dubious provenance, we’ll have to forego the pleasure of using it for the time being.

    Now, for the Deniers, here’s the bit you don’t get – or, more accurately, refuse to get. In the Bast email Mother Jones has got hold of he asks –

    Can you make a charitable contribution to our legal defense fund?

    I see a great many of you dolts attempting to brush this whole thing off by saying ‘Wow, Lobbyists getting paid, so what? Non-story!’ Now, geniuses, why does this email say ‘charitable’?

    Ask John M!

  4. A few points.

    I agree this is an example of hypocracy in terms of the Climategate e-mails. That stated I detect a hint of hypocracy from this site as I believe you (Gareth) may have been reluctant to discuss them as they were stolen. I see no restraint on a virtually identical situation here. Throwing around charges of hypocracy when you yourself may be guilty is bad form in my book.

    I don’t see a problem with private individuals funding other private individuals. This is not ususal.

    There is no indication here that the Heartland institute is demanding a specific result from the people they pay the money to. They might very well expect that the people receiving the money will provide sypathetic actions but there is no indication that the money is dependent on them doing so.

    What is the problem with people receiving money to carry out research in this area? If it is bad science then it won’t stand up to scrutiny. If it isn’t bad science then it is surely adding something to the sum of information on the topic.

    Now I suspect that there will be some dodgy science that comes out of this. However that is easily countered. What people need to do is look at the positives. In this case there is more money being spent on Climate science. It allows the debate to continue.

    I’d be more worried if the Heartland institute was trying to stop funding streams for AGW climate studies. They are not so there really is no issue here.

    1. ‘Carrying out research’ Oh, puhleese! That’s just waffle – you’re smarter than that!

      Please try reading what the debate is actually about rather than lugging out the strawmen…

      ‘They might very well expect that the people receiving the money will provide sy[m]pathetic actions.’ Yes, they might, mightn’t they?! 😉

    2. “There is no indication here that the Heartland institute is demanding a specific result from the people they pay the money to. They might very well expect that the people receiving the money will provide sypathetic actions but there is no indication that the money is dependent on them doing so.”

      You obviously haven’t read the documents.

    3. Incredibly disingenuous, Gosman. None of Heartland’s money is used for original research, just to keep a campaign of misinformation going. It’s all a big PR effort designed to give politicians in the US cover for doing nothing – see, for instance, the views of the Republican candidates for the Presidency.

  5. I’ll add Peter Sinclair’s A Bright Spotlight on Heartland Donors to the list (sorry if I’ve missed it above!)

    This quotes from the NYT, which has written a surprisingly direct piece* that quotes from Heartland sponsors who clearly are not enjoying being publicly associated with the group’s denial activities.

    * –

    Heartland’s latest idea, the documents say, is a plan to create a curriculum for public schools intended to cast doubt on mainstream climate science and budgeted at $200,000 this year. The curriculum would claim, for instance, that “whether humans are changing the climate is a major scientific controversy.”

    It is in fact not a scientific controversy. The vast majority of climate scientists say that emissions generated by humans are changing the climate and putting the planet at long-term risk, although they are uncertain about the exact magnitude of that risk.

  6. I really, really urge people to read section 0.4 of Fakery.
    I make no claim to be a tax expert, but people at least need to read what’s there and look at the links. IF somebody knows more than I do about this, I’ll be happy to learn, but people need to know more than zero to comment meaningfully. Private individuals can give money to others to do what they want, but 501(c)(3) public charities must follow certain rules. It ought be very clear from Fakery that no science was being produced, other than occasional work at CSCDGC that was then over-interpreted.

    1. On searching the document fake with IRS- I found 285 instances so nearer 300 than 200 as is stated on page 8.

      Well done on yet another superbly documented investigation John.

      1. Thanks for the kind words.
        Some of the IRS- are in my definitions or allegations, rather than attached to specifics, so I didn’t think ti was fair to count those, and then to be conservative, I rounded down. Sharp yes on your part..

        Of course, if I attached IRS-3E to every “alarm*”, that would have been many more.

    2. John, I remember I found your presentation relating to your previous research helpful in sorting out the copious amounts of information you’d provided. (See here – 8th video down)

      Any potential/forthcoming presentations on the Heartland issues?

  7. Peter Sinclair has been nearly as busy as John M. Here’s his latest –

    The Real Story of Heartland

    This has a vid featuring David Michaels (a good ‘M’ not to be confused with the other one!) whom I greatly admire despite his having written a book – Doubt is Their Product – so infuriating that it literally made me ill! Well worth the read despite the above – you didn’t really think the professional disinformers had confined their activities to just smoking and climate, did you? Just remember, hurling it across the room will only damage your book, or your expensive reader…

    And John M, I’ve been making my way through fakery, and truly enjoyed the reference on P64 to Hot Topic and –

    Harris, Leyland and Dewhurst commented there, offering credibility calibration.


    It would be fascinating to get more insight into those post-07 largesse destinations ‘outside US’ or ‘East Asia and Pacific’. I’m sure we could all take a few guesses…

  8. You know, if Joe Bast really wants to save the image of Heartland from being tarnished, he could learn to shut up!

    Here he is squawking in response to the NYT article I linked to above:

    I say “authored” and not “reported,” because this story is filled with false assertions, innuendo, and outright lies. I will break it down, from the top.

    Actually, we’re trying to make the “teaching of global warming” much more rigorous by replacing propaganda and agenda-driven rhetoric with real science.

    Actually, we’re sharing the real opinions of real scientists on the causes, consequences, and likely future trajectory of climate change, and of economists and other policy experts on what should be done about it, if anything. And of course principals and teachers are biased… most are liberal Democrats, and large majorities of liberal Democrats believe in man-made global warming. [emphasis mine]

    The lamestream media have censored us, completely refused to report on our activities, and now they report a “rare glimpse” of what we’re up to?

    Our mission is not to “undermine climate science,” and even a superficial examination of our corpus of work should persuade anyone with half a brain that we are sincere. Our mission is to report climate science (and economics) more objectively than the environmentalists and left-wing nuts who are using the issue to support their legislative agendas.

    In fact, the piece is so extraordinary part of me is wondering if this is another potential ringer! But it seems like the real deal.

    The ultimate irony is that, thanks to their remarkable handling of this whole thing, no-one need any longer quote any of the leaked documents for great material!

  9. Didn’t I read just last week that a fossil fuel company (Chesapeake Gas) had given $25 million to the Sierra Club, so this activist charity could lobby in favor of climate change regulation?

    Then there’s EDF, WWF, Greenpeace,etc – all with budgets of hundreds of millions.

    Makes Heartlend look like a very small player – less than $2 million pa in opposing climate change regulation.

  10. Australis, the world is full of examples of corporations lobbying, suborning and outright buying support from politicians, NGOs and governments, as well as setting up PR front groups and astroturf organisations to assist that process.

    Heartland is an egregious instance of the insidious and destructive influence of corporations and wealthy individuals on human society and the ecosphere, but is certainly not the only one.

    That, however, does not immunise them from criticism and exposure, as your post tries to somehow imply.

  11. Given that there seems to be a fair bit of agreement that one of the documents is a fake, and furthermore that whoever requested the documents provided an email address, then we can reasonably assume that this episode may well work out not as intended by those responsible.

    Or as Roger Pielke Jr puts it,

    then the leaked Heartland documents will go down in history as one of the more spectacular own goals in the history of the climate debate (with the consequences proportional to the stature of the faker).

    1. You wish! And you really, really, do, don’t you? 😉

      Sorry, Andy – we already have multiple confirmations of the programs, funding, and donors, we have Bast making an absolute fool of himself (see the link above) and confirming that teachers and principals are all biased liberals, the evidence-based community – you know, like the Royal Society, AGU, NAS etc. – are now ‘left wing nuts’, they’re being unfairly persecuted by the ‘lamestream’ media (now, wasn’t that a smart move in a media war?), etc. etc.. Go and read it.

      For instance, did you miss this Andy?

      Because Heartland was not specific about what was fake and what was real, The Associated Press attempted to verify independently key parts of separate budget and fundraising documents that were leaked. The federal consultant working on the classroom curriculum, the former TV weatherman, a Chicago elected official who campaigns against hidden local debt and two corporate donors all confirmed to the AP that the sections in the document that pertained to them were accurate. No one the AP contacted said the budget or fundraising documents mentioning them were incorrect.

      David Wojick, a Virginia-based federal database contractor, said in an email that the document was accurate about his project to put curriculum materials in schools that promote climate skepticism.

      “My goal is to help them teach one of the greatest scientific debates in history,” Wojick said. “This means teaching both sides of the science, more science, not less.

      Of course you did – it’s disconfirming evidence, and you don’t really even know what that is, do you?

      And now we have another great challenge to their striking hypocrisy, via the link Cindy has already provided:

      We know what it feels like to have private information stolen and posted online via illegal hacking. It happened to climate researchers in 2009 and again in 2011. Personal emails were culled through and taken out of context before they were posted online. In 2009, the Heartland Institute was among the groups that spread false allegations about what these stolen emails said. Despite multiple independent investigations, which demonstrated that allegations against scientists were false, the Heartland Institute continued to attack scientists based on the stolen emails. When more stolen emails were posted online in 2011, the Heartland Institute again pointed to their release and spread false claims about scientists.

      Signed by Bradley, Karoly, Santer, Schmidt, Mann, Overpeck, and Trenberth.

      ‘Anyone with half a brain’? Bingo! You and your mates can whistle in the dark all you like…

      1. The Atlantic are taking a fairly critical view

        There are some comparisons to Climategate, but as yet we still don’t know for sure whether it was an inside job or a hacker.
        Furthermore, the emails have never been claimed to be not genuine.

        1. What, in ‘Climategate’? Inside job? Phrrrrrttt! Yeah, sure…

          How about the spin on all the emails, Andy? How ‘genuine’ was that?

          Here we are some 9 exonerating inquiries later, and some of your mates are still pretending for convenience’ sake that they believe ‘Mike used a trick to hide the decline in temperatures’ – though, to be fair, some are genuinely dense, so perhaps they really never have managed to parse anything beyond the convenient pavlovian cherrypicks that trigger their confirmation biases – and similar BS.

          And you must enjoy Wojick’s and Heartland’s call to teach the controversy in science, surely? Where can I have heard that before? 😉

          1. Discussion of climategate are probably off topic, but I acknowledge that the “Hide the decline” quote was misappropriated on several occasions, and refers to the divergence problem between tree ring data and land temperature records. I also acknowledge that the Trenberth quote of “the missing heat.. travesty..etc” has been quote mined and used out of context.

            The problem we have here, with the Heartland case, is that if there is a genuine case that there is a fake document, then the sceptics will seize on this and milk it for all it is worth, and some genuine areas for concern (like the tax status that has been mentioned, for example), will get overlooked, and the whole thing will turn into yet another circus act (oh yes he did, oh no he didn’t ….)

        2. That Atlantic Article is just plain BS
          It actually misrepresents the facts as acknowledged by the Heartland Institute. Indeed it is little more than a pack of lies. Megan McCardle must be angling for a job at Heartland I think. And you call that an analysis!
          Firstly the documents were sent, by Heartland to an email. They acknowledge that. Secondly, the contents of the supposed “fake”, are verified in the other documents. Thirdly, independent enquiries to people named in the documents as being funded by Heartland for specific purposes CONFIRM that that is the case.
          The whinging at Atlantic is little more that being caught with your pants down. Repeating the behaviour of all denialists, to deny whatever, whenever, “it wasn’t me”, “it was him”, ANYTHING but face up to the truth.

          I gather if you say something often enough it makes it true.

          1. Secondly, the contents of the supposed “fake”, are verified in the other documents

            So you are able to provide a “genuine”document from Heartland that states the following unambiguously:

            His effort will focus on providing curriculum that shows that the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain – two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science.

            and has anyone confirmed with Heartland that they wish to “dissuade teachers from teaching science”.

            This seems to me a shallow attempt to associate sceptics with creationists etc. I realise that is how many of you see us, but that isn’t my world view, and it is why I also suspect that this document is a fake (along with various other issues like the pdf metadata).

            1. The short answer

              For goodness sake John M here has linked to ALL the documents. They are readily available for you to read. The INDEPENDENT media have read them, they too conclude the same as every one else.

            2. Clunk! Big Fail!

              Seriously, Andy, what did I write here two days ago?

              It appears likely that it’s the ‘strategy’ doc at issue, and as John M has pointed out, it only contains info we already know from the other docs and other sources.

              It does contain that one zippy quote about discouraging teaching science which was – unsurprisingly – widely circulated, but, since we’re not Deniers whose entire existence is focused on distributing culled snippets of dubious provenance, we’ll have to forego the pleasure of using it for the time being.

              What, you honestly didn’t read or comprehend this, or you’re being a typical Denier and choosing to run with what’s convenient, whether it’s been disproved for you or not?

            3. bill February 19, 2012 at 11:39 am

              Clunk! Big Fail!

              Seriously, Andy, what did I write here two days ago?

              It does contain that one zippy quote about discouraging teaching science which was – unsurprisingly – widely circulated, but, since we’re not Deniers whose entire existence is focused on distributing culled snippets of dubious provenance, we’ll have to forego the pleasure of using it for the time being.

              Yes I read that, and I wondered whether you forgot that you said this on another thread

              that shows that the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain – two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science [emphasis added].We tentatively plan to pay Dr. Wojick $100,000 for 20 modules in 2012, with funding pledged by the Anonymous Donor.

            4. Clunk Two! The Sequel!

              And when did I offer that, Andy, relative to the piece I quoted above? Can you find an instance of me quoting any selection from this document after I acknowledged it’s veracity had been called into question?

              Will you acknowledge that I stated outright that for that reason we cannot currently use it, and that, not least due to Heartland’s own tactical ineptitude, we hardly needed it anymore anyway?

              Awaiting your response sans dissembling, please.

            5. In answer to bill again.

              This page at DesmogBlog has the money quote at the bottom of the page.

              All of this is, again, corroborated by the Heartland documents leaked earlier today. This, for example, is Heartland’s description of its Global Warming Curriculum for K-12 Classrooms Project, which it is paying Dr. David Wojick to Develop:

              “His effort will focus on providing curriculum that shows that the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain, two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science.”

              Most news sources have now corrected their copy to state that this is possibly a faked quote.
              Not, however, DeSmogBlog.

              We also note that the NZ Science Media Centre seemed to have pulled their page on the subject, now showing as a 404 not found.
              Whether this was intentional I don’t know.

            6. Andy, you really are making a fool of yourself. People can read the question I asked, you know, and can see you choosing to answer another question whose answer you prefer!

              Top tip: quit while you’re behind! 😉

              And since I’ve had to come back anyway, the biosolids continue to dynamically engage with the high-velocity rotational cooling device at the SMH.

              See any quote from the ‘strategy’ document there?

        3. Heartland essentially confirmed the majority of the documents itself. Indeed, if you look at the metadata on the .pdf’s they are all made by either JBast or Joseph Bast – except the scanned-in strategy document that many journalists have pointed out contain pretty similar material to the rest of it. We’ll probably never know whether it is fake or real, and the HI also probably knows that that’s the only document they can really dispute, but the story is pretty much contained in the fundraising strategy anyway.

          I thought it quite amusing that Heartland (inadvertently?) confirmed the veracity of the Board package by explaining how it got out – ie someone rang posing as a board member and got someone at the HI to send the docs to a new email address.

          I don’t think it’ll be too long before we know who the Anonymous Donor is.

  12. John M, when you have a moment.

    Just drawing attention to Steve C’s suggestion over at Deep Climate, re my home state’s Senator Cory Bernardi.

    Boy, wouldn’t he be a candidate?!

    Further to Steve C, I recall a couple of years ago he was running the CEI’s anti Earth Hour crap on his Conservative Leadership Foundation homepage and facebook.

    You know, the bit with this poster?

    Now, fans of idiocy might enjoy this one. Click the link to look at the map. Digest the poster’s solemn call. ‘Don’t be stuck in the dark with the communists’, right?

    Then tell me what country all those lights to the north and west of North Korea are in? Take your time…

      1. It’s really has been a close run thing that. I’m not so sure about Australian schools, bill. (Australia has not gone down the neo-liberal road quite as far as NZ and is a lot less cash strapped than NZ). But here, and from what I gather the US, schools, especially in poorer areas look for any cheap resources that they can lay their hands on, and if something is “freely on offer” – well!
        Having said that, I’m also well aware that there is a well formulated curriculum here in NZ which is based on sound science from experienced educators at secondary and tertiary levels. Heartland material would most likely be found wanting in more ways than one – especially as the writer of the material has no educational background.
        I can’t of course comment on the US Schools. One would hope that a similar curriculum would exist.

  13. Hmm, I missed that, but of course, see Fake science ….

    I almost had an Appendix on Fakeducation. (pronounced faked u kay shun) that pulled together the various threads of education from Figure W.4.1, the PARENTS category. Maybe I’ll do a blog post, since everybody got excited about the Wojick stuff … but I’d seen Heartland try different things for 4 years, and not have them work very well.

    But, let’s try the creationist/climate anti-science thread.
    Open the big PDF, search for frosty. That gets you Z.2007.04-9, about Frosty Hardison. You can read a quick summary there, including the explanation of why the article was already wrong when it was published.
    Of you can see the the real thing, about 5MB on p.9, but skim the whole issue, it’s a lot of fun.
    Joe Bast disproves all climate science and winter still exists. By herign a talk from Jay Lehr, PhD you can have Health and Happiness.

    Then there are ads for Sovereignty International. See especiallly Z.2007.10-5, an ad for this DVD – Global Warming or Global Governance. I’ve watched a little of the Trailer, but it seems broken right now … and I don’t quite wish to click on Install Plugin.

    Michael Coffman, PhD runs this. See Fakery G.4, ~p.53,where he gives a blurb about the NIPCC document, along with:
    Calvin Beissner, PhD
    William Mellberg, author, Moon Missions.
    Impressive: 3 PhDs … but read to find “the rest of the story.”
    Trust me, it will be amusing.

    And ot end with one more amusement, while many are obsessed with the minimal-info climate strategy document, some of us study the others very carefully, even as there is much useful info, even in detailed study of budgets. That can be mind-numbing but they are no wrose than From 990s, and every once something offers amusement.

    Seet the Heartland budget document, p.25.
    They spend about $50K Printing & mailing E&CN.
    However, one item says:

    ‘Roosters of the Apocalypse polybag? Decided against this.’

    Sigh, that would have made such a fine souvenir.

  14. Well, fancy that! Who could have imagined….

    “The function of the International Climate Science Coalition has less to do with science than with public relations, a strategy and budget document released by the group last year said.

    The coalition’s main activities seem to be writing letters to newspaper editors, ringing talkback radio programs and flooding websites with comments that attack climate change coverage.”

  15. The function of the International Climate Science Coalition has less to do with science than with public relations, a strategy and budget document released by the group last year said.
    Well, fancy that! Who could have imagined….

    “The coalition’s main activities seem to be writing letters to newspaper editors, ringing talkback radio programs and flooding websites with comments that attack climate change coverage.”

  16. Wow, this is just amazing stuff indeed. Not that it comes unexpected as it was clear to all who have a brain between their shoulders what must be going on.
    Surprising really is that even Watts is in the pay of this right wing anti-science lobby group….

    1. even Watts is in the pay …

      Anthony Watts was paid a one of fee to

      “create a new website devoted to accessing the new temperature data from NOAA’s web site and converting them into easy-to-understand graphs that can be easily found and understood by weathermen and the general interested public”. A total of $88,000 (pdf) is expected to be handed to Watts for the project by the end of 2012.

      according to Lucia’s interpretation.

      I don’t think I’d go quite so far to describe that as “anti-science”

      1. I said that the Heartland Institute is a right wing anti-science lobby group and I stand by that comment.
        I would love to have $88,000 for making a website too. Cool money indeed. And weather of not whatever Watts comes up with describes the data in a way that conforms with the science at hand, well let us be the judge of that when we see it…. but I am not holding my breath….

        1. One of the things that made me laugh was the description of Watts as ‘ha[ving] deep expertise in Web site design generally’. (Relax, Andy, it’s from the ‘fundraising’ PDF, not ‘strategy’, and it’s not important anyway. It does, however, touch on the issue of persistently overstated claims of proficiency.)

          Now, he’s still running the standard, default – and most-used – ‘twenty ten’ theme on a WordPress blog, the most commonly-used blogging platform in the world.

          And for ages there he was also using one of the 6 or so bog-standard banners that come with the theme, though he’s managed to upload another banner graphic (with the ‘interesting’ polynomial fit curve, IIRC?) more recently.

          Sure, he’s mastered a few of the widgets and all, and I notice he’s now got his own .ico file, but if he’s a ‘web expert’ – let alone a ‘deep’ web expert – on the basis of WUWT itself, well, there’s a hell of a lot of it about!…

          (Here’s one based on the same theme I set up for a mate in a couple of days. Specifically because it’s so easy for him to run himself, even while not being a geek and all!)

          Still, I suppose that in a world where Josh is a ‘dazzling cartoonist’, anything is possible… 😉

          1. My definition of ‘Anti-science’ would be this:
            Using fake-experts, promoting false information, including bogus research and carefully constructed arguments, using logical fallacies, subverted peer-review [e.g. Climate research under de Freitas], false claims and various other deceitful techniques intended variously to sow doubt, cause confusion, undermine the Public’s trust in and understanding of science. The intention being to promote a particular point of view or discredit a particular theory.

            For an alternative definition, see Wikipedia:

          2. Ultimately the best definition of anti-science is every trick and deceit that the denial industry has been using, and will try in the future.
            See: ‘The Machinery of Climate Anti-Science’, by John Mashey.

          3. The others have dealt to your question on the definition of “anti-science”.

            Let me add here my favorite definition of Science. Its from Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen), 965–1039, an old Islamic Scientist who is quoted to have said on the nature of the endeavor of Science:

            Truth is sought for its own sake. And those who are engaged upon the quest for anything for its own sake are not interested in other things. Finding the truth is difficult, and the road to it is rough.

            Nice, isn’t it? “And those who are engaged upon the quest for anything for its own sake are not interested in other things”…
            Now may I ask you then, can you list these “other things” that the Heartland institute and other like minded organizations are primarily interested in?

            1. Nice, isn’t it? “And those who are engaged upon the quest for anything for its own sake are not interested in other things”…

              So The Team are a completely objective group of scientists who are totally committed to objective truth, happy to share information and data with anyone who requests it, and don’t have a “Cause” that they are fighting for?

            2. ‘The Team’? Look out, you’re reverting to type, Andy. And proving our point in the process. Ta.

              Let me guess; ‘Fakegate’ not going well?

              Precisely how big a ‘team’ do you imagine is currently confirming the existence of AGW, Andy, if by that we mean research scientists? Sure, there’s only half-a-dozen with any actual qualifications on your side – and virtually nil research, even then – but that’s really not how it is in the world of actual, um, science science, is it?

              A foot soldier in the War Against Science; now, there’s an epitaph…

            3. Andy S: I asked a clear and simple question:
              can you list these “other things” that the Heartland institute and other like minded organizations are primarily interested in?

              You avoided to answer it.

              But perhaps their quest for money from donors who’s interests they represent answers the question. The documents are speaking for themselves….

            4. 1) Did you notice they are still on the tobacco dole, in 2011, $50K from Altria, $110K from Reynolds? Then the Tobacco Lounge Lady Lawyer Maureen Martin, writes threatening letters to blogs.

              2) For amusement, in the Budget document, one finds:
              “$0 Roosters of the Apocalypse polybag? Decided against this”
              Argh, I *wanted* one of those.
              Google roosters apocalypse
              to guess what that’s about.

            5. I also want a ‘Roosters of the Apocalypse’ polybag! If they do lose a few sponsors they could market these as a fundraiser, surely?

              Re the legal letters; um, yeah, my sense of them being Machiavellian Masterminds has somewhat eroded…

              Any word on the Anonymous Donor yet? I want to know that even more than I want a RotA Polybag!


            6. Thomas, I know not of The Other Things. Perhaps you could provide some real or faked evidence to support your thesis.

  17. Ah – Senator Bernardi!

    Just had a quick check on the register of Senators Interests – only up to 2010 at the moment, the main Senate site appears to be down.

    Anyway, we have Senator Cory Bernardi as follows:


    Travel and accommodation to the USA provided by the Heartland Institute.

    16-22 May 2010

    And here he is addressing the 4ICCC

    Inspired by Professor Ian Plimer… I did declare war on climate change and the climate change movement, and I’ve been battling it ever since… the mockumentary maker Al Gore… the deep green catastrophists, if you will, were capitalizing on genuine environmental concerns to fuel what I would regard as an anti-Western, anti-Industrialization agenda… making the case that [an] Emissions Trading Scheme* was simply a massive tax-threat by a big government that was intent on getting bigger… I, on the other hand, came to the USA, I met with Representative Sensenbrenner, Senator Inhofe, Myron Ebell from the CEI, and a number of other people in Washington… ‘

    Now, don’t be fooled by the monotonous voice and wooden delivery; I laughed several times! Looks like Heartland thought he was so entertaining they had him back for a reprise (register of Senator’s Interests again):

    19 Oct 2010

    Accommodation provided by The Heartland Institute, 30/9/10 and 1/10/10

    Now, in case you haven’t guessed already, this guy is the real deal wingnut, referring to Prime Minister Julia Gillard as ‘Ju-Liar’ – generally the province of your talkback ranter – in his blog, for instance (as in ‘Ju-Liar’s Carbon Con’!), and rabbiting on about the failures of ‘Multiculturalism’ and ‘The Left’, etc.. If you’re still not convinced, or a glutton for punishment, here he is on the ABC.

    The Heartland tie is not mentioned on his Conservative Leadership Foundation’s website, but his ties to the CEI certainly are, hence all the ‘don’t be stuck in the dark with the communists!’ (geographically-challenged) malarkey! Also mentioned are The Young Briton’s Foundation, The Young America’s Foundation and The Leadership Institute.

    *Liberal Party (that’s his own) policy at the time! Bernardi’s a big part of the reason their current policy is a bizarre species of non-market (socialist!) intervention they even call ‘Direct Action’!

    1. Ah; to clarify, the second round of accommodation HI paid for Bernardi wasn’t in the US, it was local:

      Fifth International Conference on Climate Change

      [I’ve added emphases for clarity, interest, and occasional amusement]

      Heartland’s Fifth International Conference on Climate Change was held October 1 at the Sheraton on the Park in Sydney, Australia. We held the event at the urging of Americans For Tax Reform, which held its annual Pacific Rim Policy Exchange at the same hotel the previous three days.

      Heartland’s all-day conference featured eight outstanding speakers from the “skeptical” side of the global warming debate who addressed a room filled to its 125-person capacity. The line-up of presenters were: Australian and New Zealander climate scientists Bob Carter, Chris de Freitas, David Evans, and Alan Moran; climate skeptic, author, and blogger Joanne Nova; Barun Mitra, founder and director of the Liberty Institute in India; Australian Senator Cory Bernardi; and Barry Brill, New Zealand’s former Minister of Science & Technology and former Minister of Energy and currently chairman of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition.

      De Freitas stressed that no research-based journal article with real-world data shows that human-caused carbon dioxide emissions will cause dangerous global warming. “The evidence simply doesn’t exist,” he said.

      Carter explained how paleo-climatologists track long-term changes in the eustatic (global average) sea level and in local relative sea levels (LRSLs). The non-scientists in the audience left knowing the foolishness of extrapolating projected global rises in sea levels and predicting that the Statue of Liberty will be up to her knees in water.

      Sen. Bernardi (Liberal – South Australia) gave the audience an update on attempts by his party to beat back economy-killing climate taxes in his country. The best way to defeat the tax is grassroots politics – challenges to false claims, letters, the Internet, word-of-mouth. Bernardi also expressed awe and admiration for America’s Tea Party Movement. [ 😉 ]

      Evans gave an amusing, yet informative, presentation denouncing instances of blatant deception by government scientists responsible for temperature records. His speech featured many slides of “official” government thermometers placed near refrigeration and air-conditioning outlets, walls, effluent grates, jet exhausts, etc. – all items that would artificially inflate the “global” temperature record. He also noted that 89 percent of America’s official temperature stations violate NOAA standards by being too close to man-made heat-generating and -trapping structures.

      Nova, Australia’s premiere “skeptical” environment blogger, made the obvious point that the drive to “go green” is not about the environment, but about money. Specifically, the campaign is about transferring the wealth of companies and nations to others who did not earn it. Those who oppose this scheme are attacked and demonized by advocacy groups with immensely more resources than the skeptics.

      Minister Brill closed the event by outlining the proceedings initiated by the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition seeking High Court orders. In short, developments are not breaking well for Kiwi climate alarmists. After a lengthy obstacle course ranging from requests under the Official Information Act to myriad parliamentary questions, the coalition was able to prove that the temperature record in New Zealand was inaccurate and seemingly deliberately manipulated to create the false appearance of a warming trend.

      1. Interesting how these people hang on to their honorary “titles”

        MINISTER Brill ceased being a minister of the crown in 1981 when he was defeated in the Kapiti electorate by Margaret Shields.

        I suppose it gives them some sort of importance…

        Macro Lt Cdr RNZN (Rtd)

      2. I promise I will pause my current prolific output here, [ 🙂 ! ] but for completeness I’m including my Letter to the Editor of the local paper re Bernardi:

        Dear Editor,

        It is with considerable alarm that I read your article ‘Climate debate evolves into school dispute’ (AdelaideNow 15/02/12) where Senator Cory Bernardi outlines his strategy for teaching climate change ‘skepticism’ in schools.

        This is a ‘teach the controversy’ strategy adopted straight from the Creationist/Intelligent Design playbook. It has no place in our schools attempting to oust evidence-based science.

        Your article, ironically, happens to have been published on the very day that leaked documents from a US thinktank, the Heartland Institute, revealed that it, too, is seeking to pursue this same strategy.

        Heartland is prominent in the denial of global warming, and equally famous for challenging the science of the harms caused by smoking.

        In 2010 Senator Bernardi spoke at the group’s Fourth International Climate Change Conference in the US, with travel and accommodation paid for by them.

        He told the conference he had ‘declared war’ on climate change, and ‘the climate change movement’.

        Later that same year Bernardi spoke similarly at another conference put on by Heartland, this time in Sydney, with the Institute paying for his accommodation. Here he also, according to the organization’s own newsletter, expressed ‘awe and admiration’ for America’s Tea Party movement.

        I remind the reader that this man and his allies are challenging science endorsed by our own CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology, and all the world’s major Academies of Science.

        I ask the Liberal Party, and its supporters, have you really also ‘declared war’ on a reality identified by our most prominent scientific institutions? Does this man, with his fringe views and alliances, really represent you, let alone all South Australians?

    2. Ah! Yes, Representative Sensenbrenner, another charmer from the GOP. Michelle Obama has more dignity in the nail on her little-finger than in that whole ‘corporate’ body who’s name beginning does not reflect his grasp of reality. I have seen a few mind-numbing displays of ideological stupid from this one – easy to find.

  18. It is now sadly clear what a bunch of rent boy scam artists de Freitas, Carter, Bernadi, Evans, Nova and Brill are.

    I worked with Barry Brill at the NZ Ministry of Energy in the 70s – just another dodgy corporate lawyer, in my considered opinion.

  19. It seems like my comment early in this discusion is coming into play .These heartland releases cannot be compared to uea emails which showed how dishonest climate science is

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