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Friday, February 17, 2012

Rotten Science in the Heartland: continued

If you believe that this one document is fake, then I have an island off the coast of Ocean Springs, Mississippi foe sale, really cheap. They are just doing damage control 101.

From the huffington post:
Shawn Lawrence Otto

Posted: 02/15/2012 9:18 am
Update 5:25PM CT Feb 15, 2012: I contacted Jim Lakely, the communications director for the Heartland Institute, to follow up on the leak. Lakely reiterated a statement that appeared on the Heartland Institute website earlier this afternoon, stating that the "strategy document" identified in the below article is a fake. Here is what Lakely told me later this afternoon:
The "strategy" memo is a complete fabrication. No one who works for The Heartland Institute or is associated with our organization produced that document. It is a fake produced, presumably, by the person who stole the identity of one of our board members.
The Heartland Institute has not said this about the other documents in the leak. This lends credibility to the belief that the other documents are real, as does Heartland's characterization of them as not "fake" but "stolen."
It is important to note that although Lakely made the above statement, he did not respond to a separate, repeated inquiry about whether Heartland has spoken to David Wojick about preparing a K-12 global warming curriculum. Wojick didn't return an email inquiry either as of this writing. But a $75,000 expenditure for a "K-12 Climate Education Project" to be developed by Wojick appears on page 19 of the leaked budget document (PDF), which is among the documents Heartland says were "stolen," with quarterly payments of $25,000 slated for June, September, and December. The group's Fundraising Plan says that:
Dr. Wojick has conducted extensive research on environmental and science education for the Department of Energy. In the course of this research, he has identified what subjects and concepts teachers must teach, and in what order (year by year), in order to harmonize with national test requirements. He has contacts at virtually all the national organizations involved in producing, certifying, and promoting science curricula.
Dr. Wojick proposes to begin work on "modules" for grades 10-12 on climate change ("whether humans are changing the climate is a major scientific controversy"), climate models ("models are used to explore various hypotheses about how climate works. Their reliability is controversial"), and air pollution ("whether CO2 is a pollutant is controversial. It is the global food supply and natural emissions are 20 times higher than human emissions").
Wojick would produce modules for Grades 7-9 on environmental impact ("environmental impact is often difficult to determine. For example there is a major controversy over whether or not humans are changing the weather"), for Grade 6 on water resources and weather systems, and so on.
We tentatively plan to pay Dr. Wojick $5,000 per module, about $25,000 a quarter, starting in the second quarter of 2012, for this work. The Anonymous Donor has pledged the first $100,000 for this project, and we will circulate a proposal to match and then expand upon that investment.

But Jen Stuntsman, a DOE spokesperson, gave me the following statement about Wojick, who the Heartland Institute lists as one of their experts:
David Wojick has been a part-time support contractor for the Office of Scientific and Technical Information since 2003, working to help the office manage and organize its electronic databases. He has never advised or conducted research for the Department on climate change or any other scientific topic, and the office he works for is not a research organization. As would be the case for any of the Department's roughly 100,000 contractors, his collaboration with the Heartland Institute is outside of any consulting work he has done with the Department, and any comments he makes on the subject matter of climate change are made as a public citizen and are not reflective of any Energy Department policies or research.
Also notable among the other documents is the Fundraising Plan (PDF), which notes current contributions from major U.S. corporations, including Microsoft, State Farm and GM, as well as the Charles G. Koch Foundation, which Heartland expects to increase its contribution by 800 percent in this election year.
The Fundraising Plan also details Heartland's intent on using its pro-fracking communications efforts to raise funds in 2012:
We have not, however, yet attempted to raise funds from businesses with a financial interest in fracking. In 2012 we intend to correct that oversight and approach dozens of companies and trade associations that are actively seeking allies in this battle.
Once again, this approach is not based on science, but on doing the dirty work of vested interests to make rhetorical arguments to protect those interests regardless of what the science may say.
Thus while Heartland has expressly denied the authenticity of the Strategy document, it does nevertheless seem to be essentially in line with the strategy as actually put forth in their undisputed budget and fundraising documents.


A major event in the U.S. political battle over climate change happened this week with the unauthorized release of secret internal documents that reveal the finances and truly Machiavellian strategy of the Heartland Institute, a leading oil-industry-funded disinformation machine designed to spread propaganda and cast doubt on the settled science of anthropogenic global warming.
Tuesday morning, an anonymous person set up a Gmail account and used it to send incriminating internal strategy and budget documents to the email inboxes of bloggers who write about science denialism and climate change, then immediately cancelled the gmail account. The documents appear to be genuine and have been checked against other sources, which confirm their authenticity. If true, they show a pattern of breathtaking mendacity.
Take, for instance, the Heartland Institute's strategy of promoting climate science disinformation and propaganda in America's K-12 science classes, among the children who will be most impacted by it. The group is "pursuing a proposal from Dr. David Wojick to produce a global warming curriculum for K-12 schools." According to the Heartland Institute, Wojick is a consultant with the Office of Scientific and Technical Information at the U.S. Department of Energy in the area of information and communication science. Fair enough, except when you read on.

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.

There, in black and white in the group's strategy document, is the truly nefarious, unAmerican, bald-faced goal: to dissuade American science teachers from teaching science. The group plans to pay Wojick $100,000 do develop a 20-module curriculum of obfuscation.
In an American science education crisis, where American students are ranking far down in international science rankings, this strategy should be inviting calls from congress for an investigation. Who is this Heartland Institute, who are their funders, what schools are adopting this curricula, and who is the mysterious "Anonymous donor" who is funding much of the miseducation of America's students? What other misinformation for political ends is being pushed into American science classrooms?

PISA rankings

But the disinformation being played on the American people doesn't stop there. Heartland brags about how it has worked

to undermine the official United Nation's IPCC reports and paid a team of writers $388,000 in 2011 to work on a series of editions of Climate Change Reconsidered.

This statement alone is enough to cast withering scientific doubt on anything and everything the Heartland Institute has ever produced. At the time, the Heartland Institute said of its Reconsidered report, "This isn't 'denial,' it's just common sense."
Any organization whose stated goal is not the discovery or communication of knowledge, but the political goal to "undermine" official reports is by definition not doing anything remotely like either science or common sense, but is instead using the language of science to work toward a predetermined ideological objective.
In other words, rhetoric. Any reporter who now quotes or sources from a Heartland Institute report should realize that they are, by the Heartland Institute's own admission, printing ideologically-driven propaganda, not measurement-driven knowledge.
If you thought that was bad enough, consider the Heartland Institute's true objective, as evidenced by their "increased climate project fundraising" goals.
Other contributions will be pursued for this work, especially from corporations whose interests are threatened by climate policies.
And this is where it is laid bare. In my book Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America, I show why science is never partisan, but science is always political. That is because whenever it creates new knowledge, that knowledge either confirms or challenges somebody's vested interests -- and those vested interests fight back.
In 1633, the seat of world political and economic power was the Vatican, and the Roman Catholic Church went to absurd lengths to indict the scientist Galileo and cast doubt on his simple observations:
1. The proposition that the sun is in the center of the world and
immovable from its place is absurd, philosophically false, and
formally heretical; because it is expressly contrary to Holy Scriptures.
2. The proposition that the earth is not the center of the world, nor
immovable, but that it moves, and also with a diurnal action, is also
absurd, philosophically false, and, theologically considered, at least
erroneous in faith.
Today, the seat of world political and economic power is the U.S. energy industry. Koch Industries, for example, is the second largest private held company in America, and a major donor to the Heartland Institute. With a market cap of $407 billion, Exxon-Mobil is the world's most valuable company, period.
It's no wonder energy companies find the simple, repeatable measurements of climate scientists threatening. But now we see just how nefarious are the lengths of disinformation to which some of them will go.
BEST global temperatures

Anyone who is on the fence about whether climate change is really happening should consider the breathtaking, unAmerican manipulation of their minds and the minds of their children that makes up the core strategy of one of America's leading voices putting out supposedly "scientific" reports that question climate change.
The Heartland Institute has shown it has no credibility -- but worse, it has no heart.

Get Shawn Lawrence Otto's new book: Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America, Starred Kirkus Review; Starred Publishers Weekly review. Visit him at Like him on Facebook. Join to get the presidential candidates to debate science.
Other stories on the Heartland documents

Environment Canada and NRTEE versus the Fraser Institute: An issue of quality

(I dont think this anynonmous donor id Ted Danson or Larry David)

Heartland Institute budget and strategy revealed

[Update Feb. 15.  John Mashey has released a very timely report on Heartland and SEPP, Fake science, fakexperts, funny finances, free of tax, at Desmogblog (PDF 5Mb) with  summaries from Richard Littlemore,  and Mashey himself.]
[Update Feb. 15. Several news outles (e.g. the Guardian) are reporting that Heartland  has branded one of the Heartland documents, the 2012 Climate Strategy, to be a forgery. (See also the Heartland press release).  Since its authenticity is in question, I have decided to remove quotes from it as well as the link to that particular document. The Heartland projects discussed remain the same. I have removed one paragraph quoting the "expanded communication strategy".]
DesmogBlog today released an archive of Heartland Institute budget and  strategy documents apparently leaked by someone with high level access.
An anonymous donor calling him (or her)self “Heartland Insider” has released the Heartland Institute’s budget, fundraising plan, its Climate Strategy for 2012 and sundry other documents (all attached) that prove all of the worst allegations that have been levelled against the organization.
The documents give a clear picture of Heartland money flows, showing exact amounts being paid to Heartland employees, and more importantly, the scientists involved in the ongoing NIPCC effort to disrupt the forthcoming IPCC AR5.
Heartland’s  list of  major projects also includes a new K-12 “global warming curriculum”.   The curriculum will promote the idea  that anthropogenic climate change is  a “major scientific controversy”, and seems to steer clear of the actual science.
Dr. Wojick proposes to begin work on “modules” for grades 10-12 on climate change (“whether humans are changing the climate is a major scientific controversy”), climate models (“models are used to explore various hypotheses about how climate works. Their reliability is controversial”), and air pollution (“whether CO2 is a pollutant is controversial. It is the global food supply and natural emissions are 20 times higher than human emissions”).
This “teach the controversy” approach (as opposed to teaching the actual science)  seems similar to  the anti-science effort of the Fraser Institute a couple of years back.
And most of Heartland’s funding sources have now been laid bare, with the notable exception of the  tightly guarded identity of a single “anonymous donor” who has given $13 million over the last five years. Other donors range from the Charles Koch foundation down through several recognizable tobacco and pharmaceutical companies, and even Microsoft.
Here are three  two of the most important released documents, with some highlights from each.

2012 Fundraising Plan (includes project descriptions)
Here are key excerpts from the Heartland’s the fund raising plan document, featuring two of 10 new and relaunched projects, and speak for themselves.
A major new project is the Global Warming Curriculum for K-12 Schools.
Many people lament the absence of educational material suitable for K-12 students on global warming that isn’t alarmist or overtly political. Heartland has tried to make material available to teachers, but has had only limited success. Principals and teachers are heavily biased toward the alarmist perspective. Moreover, material for classroom use must be carefully written to meet curriculum guidelines, and the amount of time teachers have for supplemental material is steadily shrinking due to the spread of standardized tests in K-12 education.
… Dr. [David] Wojick proposes to begin work on “modules” for grades 10-12 on climate change (“whether humans are changing the climate is a major scientific controversy”), climate models (“models are used to explore various hypotheses about how climate works. Their reliability is
controversial”), and air pollution (“whether CO2 is a pollutant is controversial. It is the global food supply and natural emissions are 20 times higher than human emissions”). Wojick would produce modules for Grades 7-9 on environmental impact (“environmental impact is often difficult to determine. For example there is a major controversy over whether or not humans are changing the weather”), for Grade 6 on water resources and weather systems, and so on.
The strategy also calls for continued support for the so-called Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) and its contributors. A major new edition is planned to counter the real IPCC’s Ar5, to be released in 2013.
Heartland sponsors the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), an international network of scientists who write and speak out on climate change. Heartland pays a team of scientists approximately $300,000 a year to work on a series of editions of Climate Change Reconsidered, the most comprehensive and authoritative rebuttal of the United Nations’ IPCC reports. Another $88,000 is earmarked for Heartland staff, incremental expenses, and overhead for editing, expense reimbursement for the authors, and marketing.
NIPCC is currently funded by two gifts a year from two foundations, both of them requesting anonymity. In 2012 we plan to solicit gifts from other donors to add to what these two donors are giving in order to cover more of our fixed costs for promoting the first two Climate Change Reconsidered volumes and writing and editing the volume scheduled for release in 2013. We hope to raise $200,000 in 2012.
(For those interested, Mike Mann and Gavin Schmidt delivered a devastating critique of an earlier edition of the NIPCC back in 2008).
The 2012 budget document (see below) calls for monthly stipends to NIPCC editors Craig Idso ($11,600), Fred Singer ($5,000) and Robert Carter ($1,667).
Canadian NIPCC chapter authors listed as receiving ongoing Heartland support in the form of monthly stipends include:
  • MadhavKhandekar (Chapter 1.3, Extreme Events, Environment Canada)
  • Mitch Taylor (Chapter 2.2, Terrestrial Animals, Lakehead University)
Khandekar is best known as long time science advisor to the Alberta-based Friends of Science (and he’s long gone from Environment Canada, by the way). Taylor has been explaining to all who will listen (such as the Frontier Centre for Public Policy) that polar bears are thriving and not threatened by climate change.
[Discussion of the expanded communication strategy removed. ]
Heartland is planning a major boost in its fundraising efforts in 2012. But the document also shows the recent and projected donations of donors big and small.
Table 4 on p. 9 lists some fundraising events planned for 2012, including a lunch with John Stossel and an “Emerging Issues Forum” targeting state legislators that will piggyback on this year’s National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) meeting in Chicago. Heartland will even pay travel and hotel expenses for 70 legislators to attend the Forum.
But the document focuses on the prospects for tapping existing and new donors. By far the biggest donor is the revered “anonymous donor” who gave  a disappointing $979,000 in 2011 after giving more than $12 million over 2007-2010. Heartland is hoping to up that to $1.25 million this year. That donor appears to have helped Heartland “ramp up” and was apparently a strong supporter of Heartland’s global warming conferences. No doubt, the identity of this deep-pocketed backer will give rise to much speculation.
The extensive list of existing donors to be targeted include (with previous donation year and amount in parentheses):
  • Allied World Assurance Company Holdings (2011: $40,000)
  • Altria Client Services, Inc. [Philip Morris parent] (2011: $50,000)
  • AT&T for IT&T News (2010: $70,000)
  • Charles Koch Foundation (2011: $25,000)
  • Credit Union National Association (2011: $30,000) [not to be confused with the National Credit Union Association]
  • Eli Lilly & Company (2010: $25,000)
  • General Motors Foundation (2011: $15,000)
  • Microsoft Corporation (2010: $0, 2011: $60,908)
  • Nucor [Steel production & recycling] (2010: $400,000)
  • Reynolds American Inc. (2011: $110,000)
The lists even name the main project of interest for each donor (although the acronyms are not evident at present). [These acronyms have been decoded below, and correspond mostly to various Heartland serial publications, along with some projects.]
2012 Heartland Budget
Heartland is projecting a boost in revenues from $4.6 million in 2011, to $7.7 million in 2012. That will enable an operating budget of $6.5 million, as well as topping up the fund balance a further $1.2 million. The new emphasis on fundraising is reflected in the more than doubling of that item from $338K in 2011 to $800K in 2012. Management and administration take $478K while”government relations” will have an eye-opening $539,158 (up from $$423.319 in 2011).
That last number especially will make it hard for Heartland to evade charges of carrying on in effect lobbying activities.


A little more conservative approach......

Is Turnabout Fair Play?

It’s hard to resist looking at the newly leaked documents from the contemptible Heartland Institute.
I was actually most shocked by their hand in trying to protect Governor Walker’s putsch in Wisconsin. “Angry Badger” indeed…
But shouldn’t people, no matter how nasty, get to keep their secrets? Is this ethically all that different from the CRU hacking? I’m serious. Those who think the CRU hacking was a perfectly fine thing need not respond.
UPDATE: The bit about “dissuading teachers from teaching science” was presumably just a sloppy edit, right? But then again, an embarrassing choice of words in a document intended to be private is not something that these guys would harp on for years on end, say if it came from a real scientist, right? So we surely shouldn’t make a fuss about this, right?
“Principals and teachers are heavily biased toward the alarmist perspective. To counter this we are considering launching an effort to develop alternative materials for K-12 classrooms. We are pursuing a proposal from Dr. David Wojick to produce a global warming curriculum for K-12 schools. Dr. Wojick is a consultant with the Office of Scientific and Technical Information at the U.S. Department of Energy in the area of information and communication science. 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.”
- from the Climate Strategy document. (emphasisadded)
UPDATE – regardless of this revealing slip, (and of what the revealed documents imply about Heartland’s legitimacy as a 501c3 charitable organization, a topic that John Mashey has been pursuing assiduously),
Chris Mooney (in email, quoted with permission) spots perhaps the most surprising and most disturbing aspect of the documents in what is NOT there.
most of our ideological opponents think they’re actually right about the science, which means they would not want to prevent science from being taught, but rather prevent what they view as biased environmentalist science being taught. That there is no indication of this here is very, very striking.
UPDATE Feb 15: As is often the case with climate blogstorms, Adam Siegel is doing a good job of keeping up with fresh links at Get Energy Smart Now.
UPDATE Feb 15: Not a peep out of Watts yet. This morning he is featuring an especially clueless rant about El Nino instead. “It is infeasible that El NiƱo can arise from atmosphere and sun alone by warming this mass of water. Neither air temp or solar radiance change enough to cause this phenomena.” Well, yeah. “This phenomena” [sic] is caused by an anomalous strengthening or weakening of the trade winds, leading to warm water increasingly sloshing over and piling up in the west Pacific, or the pile sloshing back over to the east, meanwhile reinforcing the trade wind anomaly so it becomes sticky. The system is reset when the positive El Nino phase (warm in the east) radiates extra heat into space. These vertical cross sections along the equator should give the idea. The “atmosphere and sun” are not alleged by anyone to “warm this mass of water” on the oscillation’s time scale. The denier explanation? Volcanoes.

UPDATE Feb 15: Bishop Hill seems to have had the response delegated to him. “Nothing to see here,” is of course what they are saying. Given the context, that wears a little thin.
dissuade teachers from teaching science”? “we sponsor the NIPCC to undermine the official United Nation’s IPCC reports”?(see below) “This influential audience has usually been reliably anti-climate and it is important to keep opposing voices out.”
Hmmm… Interesting positions for a non-profit to take.
Pity we don’t have ten years of emails to trawl through. Perhaps they’d release those?
UPDATE Feb 15: Watts finally replies. My response:
1) I do not begrudge anyone funding for publicly exposing data in an honest and even-handed way. The general incapacity of the scientific institutions for doing so in a reasonable, up-to-date, convenient way is quite a legitimate point of complaint. And Watts may well do this honestly, because unlike Heartland in general, he appears to “buy his own dog food”. I can imagine how this could be mishandled, but I’m not one for prior restraint.
2) Watts has a very good point that Gore purportedly has $300 million (total) compared with Heartland’s 5 to 10 million per year. Is Gore’s counter-campaign ineffective, and if so why?
Both are good topics for further discussion, unlike the silliness that usually passes for science over at Watts’. But both of the above are clearly intended to deflect interest from Heartland’s obviously revealed indifference to the facts of the matter, and its as-suspected dubious status as a 501c3.
UPDATE Feb 15: Heartland Press Release:
Yesterday afternoon, two advocacy groups posted online several documents they claimed were The Heartland Institute’s 2012 budget, fundraising, and strategy plans. Some of these documents were stolen from Heartland, at least one is a fake, and some may have been altered.
The stolen documents appear to have been written by Heartland’s president for a board meeting that took place on January 17. He was traveling at the time this story broke yesterday afternoon and still has not had the opportunity to read them all to see if they were altered. Therefore, the authenticity of those documents has not been confirmed.
Since then, the documents have been widely reposted on the Internet, again with no effort to confirm their authenticity.
One document, titled “Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy,” is a total fake apparently intended to defame and discredit The Heartland Institute. It was not written by anyone associated with The Heartland Institute. It does not express Heartland’s goals, plans, or tactics. It contains several obvious and gross misstatements of fact.
We respectfully ask all activists, bloggers, and other journalists to immediately remove all of these documents and any quotations taken from them, especially the fake “climate strategy” memo and any quotations from the same, from their blogs, Web sites, and publications, and to publish retractions.
The individuals who have commented so far on these documents did not wait for Heartland to confirm or deny the authenticity of the documents. We believe their actions constitute civil and possibly criminal offenses for which we plan to pursue charges and collect payment for damages, including damages to our reputation. We ask them in particular to immediately remove these documents and all statements about them from the blogs, Web sites, and publications, and to publish retractions.
How did this happen? The stolen documents were obtained by an unknown person who fraudulently assumed the identity of a Heartland board member and persuaded a staff member here to “re-send” board materials to a new email address. Identity theft and computer fraud are criminal offenses subject to imprisonment. We intend to find this person and see him or her put in prison for these crimes.
Apologies: The Heartland Institute apologizes to the donors whose identities were revealed by this theft. We promise anonymity to many of our donors, and we realize that the major reason these documents were stolen and faked was to make it more difficult for donors to support our work. We also apologize to Heartland staff, directors, and our allies in the fight to bring sound science to the global warming debate, who have had their privacy violated and their integrity impugned.
Lessons: Disagreement over the causes, consequences, and best policy responses to climate change runs deep. We understand that.
But 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.
RESPONSE: Heartland is challenging the veracity of the document containing all three of the most damning statements. I have no information about the provenance of these documents. Again, people who ought to know are saying that they are plausible, but that is hardly a proof of authenticity.
Heartland’s aggressive approach is interesting given their past position on the CRU hacking.
My main interest here is in trying to establish some good for the goose and good for the gander rules. Some people on both “sides” are reluctant to see any equivalence. Heartland, not surprisingly, is among them.
Borehole item(s).

My favorite post on this, tell it brother Peter. You are an angry fighter for the truth, and my friend now.

How is Joe Bast Like Joe Camel? Looks Like We’re Going to Find Out…..

February 15, 2012

How is Joe Bast like Joe Camel?
Well, let’s see –  they both promote the sale of addictive poisons to children, they both are funded by the tobacco industry, and they both are leading proponents of the anti-science movement that threatens to cripple our education system and our economy.
Joe Bast is the  President and CEO of the Heartland Institute, a right wing “think” tank in Chicago that has been the prime mover behind major disinformation initiatives on both global climate and tobacco dangers.
Mr. Bast is well known for insisting that the science of climate change is “science is very sketchy, very uncertain..”, as well as famously asserting that  “No victim of cancer, heart disease, etc. can “prove” his or her cancer or heart disease was caused by exposure to secondhand smoke.” 
Not surprisingly, the Heartland has been the recipient of major funding from both tobacco and fossil fuel interests over the years.
We’re going to be finding out a lot more about the Heartland Institute and their operations in coming weeks and months, thanks to an anonymous whistleblower who, on Valentine’s Day, opened a gmail account, sent a bundle of damning internal documents to key climate bloggers and researchers around the country, then closed the account and disappeared.
Now, in a statement, Heartland is admitting that the budget and donor documents are genuine, but claiming that an alleged “Policy” paper is a forgery.
See the Documents here
It is clear from the documents that Heartland advocates against responsible climate mitigation and then uses that advocacy to raise money from oil companies and “other corporations whose interests are threatened by climate policies.” Heartland particularly celebrates the funding that it receives from the fossil fuel fortune being the Charles G. Koch Foundation.
Heartland also continues to collect money from Philip Morris parent company Altria as well as from the tobacco giant Reynolds American, while maintaining ongoing advocacy against policies related to smoking and health.
Heartland’s policy positions, strategies and budget distinguish it clear as a lobby firm that is misrepresenting itself as a “think tank” – it budgets $4.1 million of its $6.4 million in projected expenditures for Editorial, Government Relations, Communications, Fundraising, and Publications, and the only activity it plans that could vaguely be considered policy development is the writing of a curriculum package for use in confusing high schoolers about climate change.
Among the documents were tantalizing clues as to where major funding for the climate denial movement is coming from, and who it’s going to.
The information is flying faster than any one person can keep up.
As stated above, Heartland has now released a statement claiming that one of the alleged internal documents is a fake. It’s worth noting that several credible sources have pronounced the material genuine.  I will keep updating the situation as best I can.

Joe Romm at ClimateProgress:
Racing around the internet are some internal documents that appear to be from the Heartland Institute, a relatively obscure hard-core anti-science think tank. As DeSmogBlog explains, “An anonymous donor calling him (or her)self ‘Heartland Insider’ has released the Heartland Institute’s budget, fundraising plan… and sundry other documents (all attached) that prove all of the worst allegations that have been levelled against the organization.”
Personally, I was skeptical of these docs, at least until I read the 2012 Fundraising Plan, which attacks the temperature station data of the “the National Aeronautics and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).” That kind of error is classic Heartland.
And here’s another apparent blunder: “The Charles G. Koch Foundation returned as a Heartland donor in 2011. We expect to ramp up their level of support in 2012 and gain access to the network of philanthropists they work with.”
Those Heartland folks are such satirists.  Philanthropy “etymologically means the love of humanity,” whereas funding climate denial and inaction, as the Kochs do, is perhaps the cruelest thing you could possibly do to humanity.
My colleague Brad Johnson has just blogged on Heartland’s “Secret, Corporate-Funded Plan To Teach Children That Climate Change Is A Hoax,” which I’ll excerpt at the end. It’s funny in the way that The Shining was funny.
These documents just make no sense, kind of like climate science denial itself.  Perhaps this is a spoof put out by The Onion.
An alleged document that is being examined, and which Heartland now states is a fake –  describes a plan to pay a consultant 100,000 dollars to prepare a program designed for  ”dissuading teachers from teaching science”.
Earlier today, ThinkProgress reported that a Heartland insider had confirmed the document and explained its rationale:
James M. Taylor, a senior fellow at the Heartland Institute, told ThinkProgress Green in an e-mail why the group is developing its denier curriculum:
We are concerned that schools are teaching climate change issues in a manner that is not consistent with sound science and that is designed to lead students to the erroneous belief that humans are causing a global warming crisis. We hope that our efforts will restore sound science to climate change education and discourage the political propaganda that too often passes as “education”.
In Heartland’s statement, it is acknowledged that that budget and donor information are genuine, and apologizes for the security breach.
Apologies: The Heartland Institute apologizes to the donors whose identities were revealed by this theft. We promise anonymity to many of our donors, and we realize that the major reason these documents were stolen and faked was to make it more difficult for donors to support our work. We also apologize to Heartland staff, directors, and our allies in the fight to bring sound science to the global warming debate, who have had their privacy violated and their integrity impugned.
Ironically, Heartland’s position seems to be that stealing electronic documents from right wing think tanks are viewed as a serious crime, while stealing emails from climate scientists and University labs are considered behavior to be lauded and encouraged.
How did this happen? The stolen documents were obtained by an unknown person who fraudulently assumed the identity of a Heartland board member and persuaded a staff member here to “re-send” board materials to a new email address. Identity theft and computer fraud are criminal offenses subject to imprisonment. We intend to find this person and see him or her put in prison for these crimes.
UPDATES: More good takes sprouting up all over -

We now live in an Orwellian world where up is down and left is right and one's science is more concerned with one's finances and political leanings than lab results. The results, instead of applying American creativity and ingenuity to solve problems we spend all our resources fighting over whether they really exist, and the rest of the world passes up by like a crazy man on the sidewalk looking in the sky, and crying out the sky is falling, no wait it isnt, it is falling over and over again. We have become non competitive in many fields, with alternative energy being one of them because of this garbage. All to jeep the status quo, which is impossible to do in a chnaging world.

I had some concerns over global warming theory. I know the earth is getting warmer and the climate more viotile, and that our carbon emissions can not be helping the issue. My question is how much impact do we really have and  can we really do anything about it.  We know that the earth's climate is really very unstable and the last 1000 years are the most stable in history with the last 100 the most stable and predictable century. So my question was what is that is all just coming to an end anyway as part of a natural cycle. Then a show a show on NOVA on PBS  (Where I try to get real science) about global dimming, or how the sun is actually less bright now.

This leaves no doubt that we are screwing up the climate and causing global warming  even though it is not about global warming. Just watch it, iy is scarier than Friday the 13th to me. By the way, who funded this show and NOVA?

Funding for NOVA is provided by ExxonMobil, David H. Koch, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and public television viewers.

ExxonMobil, David H. Koch, HHMI, CPB

Makes you go, hummmmmmm. Maybe the oil industry isnt really the total villian here.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Something is Rotten in the Heartland: The Science of denial paid for by Big Business

In a very interesting development a batch of documents have been leaked out of the anti global warming think tank the Heartland group. I included this here as this group is well known to us in the civil litigation world as an offspring of the now discredited Tobacco Institute hilariously portrayed in the movie "Thank you for smoking" The groups are discussed at lenght in the 2005 Scientific America article Doubt is their product by David Micheal  (  and the Darker Side of Daubert by Ned Miltenberg.

As stated in Scientific America:

Few scientific challenges are more complex than understanding the health risks of a chemical or drug. Investigators cannot feed toxic compounds to people to see what doses cause cancer. Instead laboratory researchers rely on animal tests, and epidemiologists examine the human exposures that have already happened in the field. Both types of studies have many uncertainties, and scientists must extrapolate from the evidence to make causal inferences and recommend protective measures. Because absolute certainty is rarely an option, regulatory programs would not be effective if such proof were required. Government officials have to use the best available evidence to set limits for harmful chemicals and determine the safety of pharmaceuticals.

Uncertainty is an inherent problem of science, but manufactured uncertainty is another matter entirely. Over the past three decades, industry groups have frequently become involved in the investigative process when their interests are threatened. If, for example, studies show that a company is exposing its workers to dangerous levels of a certain chemical, the business typically responds by hiring its own researchers to cast doubt on the studies. Or if a pharmaceutical firm faces questions about the safety of one of its drugs, its executives trumpet company-sponsored trials that show no significant health risks while ignoring or hiding other studies that are much less reassuring. The vilification of threatening research as "junk science" and the corresponding sanctification of industry-commissioned research as "sound science" has become nothing less than standard operating procedure in some parts of corporate America.

The trend has been enough to alarm scientist all over the world. It is nothing new as the entire purpose of some groups like the Tobacco institute was to create uncertainly. Will smoking kill you, well maybe maybe not. The same ploy was done in industrial settings with Asbestos, Silicosis, benzene poisoning, MTBE, you name it. You publish something other than corporate America's line you may get a visit from a real man in black, threatening your funding, or your life. Whistle blowers end up more often than not, dead in a ditch like Karen Silkwood, or hiding out in fear like Jeffery Wigand. Every big business has their "go to" guys. Just like Coast residents found out what many of knew for years State farm and Allstate have Hagee Engineering and Rimkus ready to do their bidding among others. We were starting to see a little behind that curtain, when Scruggs stepped over the line. What really happened we all know but know can never prove. No indictments, even though the documents were admittedly forged. What a country!

 So now we get a look behind the veil in the "anti climate change industry" and one of their foot soldiers Heartland.

Heartland Institute Exposed: Internal Documents Unmask Heart of Climate Denial Machine

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Internal Heartland Institute strategy and funding documents obtained by DeSmogBlog expose the heart of the climate denial machine – its current plans, many of its funders, and details that confirm what DeSmogBlog and others have reported for years. The heart of the climate denial machine relies on huge corporate and foundation funding from U.S. businesses including Microsoft, Koch Industries, Altria (parent company of Philip Morris) RJR Tobacco and more.
We are releasing the entire trove of documents now to allow crowd-sourcing of the material. Here are a few quick highlights, stay tuned for much more.

-Confirmation that Charles G. Koch Foundation is again funding Heartland Institute’s global warming disinformation campaign. Greenpeace’s Koch reports show the last time Heartland received Koch funding was in 1999.

The January 2012 Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy states:
We will also pursue additional support from the Charles G. Koch Foundation. They returned as a Heartland donor in 2011 with a contribution of $200,000. We expect to push up their level of support in 2012 and gain access to their network of philanthropists, if our focus continues to align with their interests. Other contributions will be pursued for this work, especially from corporations whose interests are threatened by climate policies.”
-Heartland Institute’s global warming denial machine is chiefly – and perhaps entirely – funded by one Anonymous donor:
Our climate work is attractive to funders, especially our key Anonymous Donor (whose contribution dropped from $1,664,150 in 2010 to $979,000 in 2011 - about 20% of our total 2011 revenue). He has promised an increase in 2012…”
-Confirmation of exact amounts flowing to certain key climate contrarians.
funding for high-profile individuals who regularly and publicly counter the alarmist AGW message. At the moment, this funding goes primarily to Craig Idso ($11,600 per month), Fred Singer ($5,000 per month, plus expenses), Robert Carter ($1,667 per month), and a number of other individuals, but we will consider expanding it, if funding can be found.”

-As Brad Johnson reported today at ThinkProgress, confirmation that Heartland is working with David Wojick, a U.S. Energy Department contract worker and coal industry consultant, to develop a ‘Global Warming Curriculum for K-12 Schools.’
-Forbes and other business press are favored outlets for Heartland’s dissemination of climate denial messages, and the group is worried about maintaining that exclusive space. They note in particular the work of Dr. Peter Gleick:
Efforts at places such as Forbes are especially important now that they have begun to allow high-profile climate scientists (such as Gleick) to post warmist science essays that counter our own. This influential audience has usually been reliably anti-climate and it is important to keep opposing voices out.” (emphasis added)
Note the irony here that Heartland Institute – one of the major mouthpieces behind the debunked ‘Climategate’ email theft who harped about the suppression of denier voices in peer-reviewed literature – now defending its turf in the unscientific business magazine realm.
-Interesting mentions of Andrew Revkin as a potential ally worth “cultivating,” along with Judith Curry.
Efforts might also include cultivating more neutral voices with big audiences (such as Revkin at DotEarth/NYTimes, who has a well-known antipathy for some of the more extreme AGW communicators such as Romm, Trenberth, and Hansen) or Curry (who has become popular with our supporters).”
-Confirmation that skeptic blogger Anthony Watts is part of Heartland’s funded network of misinformation communicators.
We have also pledged to help raise around $90,000 in 2012 for Anthony Watts to help him create a new website to track temperature station data.”
Stay tuned for more details as DeSmogBlog and others dig through this trove of Heartland Institute documents. The Heartland Institute's legacy of evasion of this level of transparency and accountability has now been shattered. 
Read the documents [all PDF]:
January 2012 Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy
Minutes of January 17 board meeting (.doc)

Agenda for January 17, 2012 Board Meeting

Board Meeting Package January 17, 2012

Board Directory January 2012

Binder 1 (maybe overlap with above documents)

2012 Heartland Budget
2012 Heartland Fundraising Plan
2010 Heartland IRS Form 990 (public document)
Stay tuned… see also DeSmogBlog's Richard Littlemore's coverage.

2012 Climate Strategy.pdf96.54 KB
Minutes of January 17 meeting.doc50.84 KB
Board Meeting Package January 17.pdf7.47 KB
Board Directory 01-18-12.pdf12.51 KB
Agenda for January 17 Meeting.pdf8.49 KB
Binder1.pdf67.68 KB
(1-15-2012) 2012 Heartland Budget.pdf126.68 KB
(1-15-2012) 2012 Fundraising Plan.pdf91.32 KB
2010_IRS_Form_990.pdf2.7 MB

Heartland Institute's Leaked Documents Reveal Climate Skepticism Efforts

More than $14 million of the money used by the Chicago-based Heartland Institute would come from one anonymous man, according to the leaked documents prepared for a meeting of the group's board.
Heartland is one of the loudest voices denying man-made global warming, hosting the largest international scientific conference of skeptics on climate change. Several of its documents were leaked this week to the news media, showing the planning and money behind its efforts. Heartland said some of the documents weren't accurate, but declined to be more specific.
As detailed in the papers, Heartland's plans for this year included paying an Energy Department consultant $100,000 to design a curriculum to teach school children that mainstream global warming science is in dispute, even though it's a fact accepted by the federal government and nearly every scientific professional organization. It also pays prominent global warming skeptics more than $300,000 a year and plans to raise $88,000 to help a former television weatherman set up a new temperature records website.
"The stolen documents appear to have been written by Heartland's president for a board meeting that took place on Jan. 17," Heartland said in a statement. "The authenticity of those documents has not been confirmed." The institute singled out one of the six documents — claiming to be a summary of efforts on the issue of global warming — as a fake.
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."
Five government and university climate scientists contacted said they were most disturbed by Wojick's project, fearing the teaching would be more propaganda rooted in politics than peer-reviewed science.
Businesses and other interests often offer free curriculum materials to financially strapped schools, hoping that teachers will use them and help disseminate their views or promote their products.
Energy Department spokeswoman Jen Stutsman said Wojick's federal work has nothing to do with climate change and that the agency maintains that global warming is real and manmade.
Heartland also planned to spend $210,000 to help Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas tour the nation to speak about municipal debt, according to one document. Pappas lost to Barack Obama in the 2004 Democratic primary for a U.S. Senate seat. Pappas confirmed this in a phone interview, saying what Heartland was doing was exposing a "financial tsunami" of municipal debt.
The leaked document also discusses a new million-dollar Heartland initiative to promote the ability of patients to use experimental drugs that have not yet received federal safety approval, and efforts to support embattled Wisconsin Republican leaders in "Operation Angry Badger." Those parts of the documents were not independently confirmed.
The documents also show Heartland has raised more than $2 million from large insurance companies and nearly half a million dollars from tobacco interests.
A person who emailed 15 media and bloggers as "Heartland insider" sent six different documents purporting to be from the libertarian think tank. The insider then killed the email account used to send the documents and could not be reached. Heartland spokesman Jim Lakely would not confirm or deny the claims made in the five documents that he did not call fake.
The most sensational parts of the documents — and much of what has been confirmed independently — had to do with global warming and efforts to spread doubt into what mainstream scientists are saying. Experts long have thought Heartland and other groups were working to muddy the waters about global warming, said Harry Lambright, a Syracuse University public policy professor who specializes in environment, science and technology issues.
"Scientifically there is no controversy. Politically, there is a controversy because there are political interest groups making it a controversy," Lambright said. "It's not about science. It's about politics. To some extent they are winning the battle."
A 2010 study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences surveyed more than 1,300 most cited and published climate scientists and found that 97 percent of them said climate change was a man-made problem. Yet, public opinion polls show far more doubt in the American public.
An environmental advocacy group, Forecast the Facts, on Thursday started a petition and social media campaign to complain to two of Heartland's corporate donors listed on the documents, Microsoft and General Motors. The two were not the biggest donors; Microsoft donated $69,000 over three years, while the General Motors Foundation gave $45,000. But those are companies that "need to hear from their customers" that they are not happy about promoting climate skepticism, especially after General Motors got a government bailout, campaign director Daniel Souweine said.
General Motors spokesman Greg Martin said the company's foundation gives money to "a variety of different groups holding a variety of opinions." Microsoft said through its public relations agency that it donates software to 44,000 nonprofits that pass IRS standards, as Heartland does, and that it considers climate change a serious issue.
The documents showed how heavily Heartland relies on a single person it identified only as "Anonymous Donor." In the past six years, the man has given $14.26 million to the institute, nearly half its $33.9 million in revenue.
Heartland Institute:
Forecast the Facts campaign against Heartland donors:

Democracy in America

THE Economist: American politics

Climate-change scepticism

Trouble in the Heartland

Feb 15th 2012, 17:29 by J.A. | LONDON
ASSUMING they are substantially authentic, the trove of confidential documents from the Heartland Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Chicago, leaked to the blogosphere on February 14th provide an interesting view of one of Americas more prominent agents of climate-change scepticism.
The documents were first published on the DeSmogBlog, which claimed to have got them from a Heartland insider. They have since been gleefully scoured by various online newspapers and bloggers, including the Carbon Brief, which have highlighted the following alleged revelations.
• The Heartland Institute provides $300,000 a year in stipends to the climate-sceptical Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), apparently to help it question and counter the conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The NIPCC, which holds regular shindigs for sceptical scientists in New York and Washington, claims to be an international panel of nongovernment scientists and scholars who have come together to understand the causes and consequences of climate change.
• The Heartland Institute is considering paying a sometime consultant for the Department of Energy up to $100,000 a year to produce teaching materials designed to spread climate-change scepticism. David Wojick is a consultant with the Office of Scientific and Technical Information at the department in the area of information and communication science. He was allegedly hired to write modules, for $5,000 apiece, that could fit into the existing science curriculum in such a way as to stress doubts over the basic verities of climate science.
On February 15th the Heartland Institute claimed that, of eight allegedly leaked documents, one was a fake and the others had been obtained through deception. It did not dispute the authenticity of the remaining seven documents, but said it was still looking into whether they might have been “altered”. Meanwhile the gleeful greens said they were sticking to their story. They noted that the institute’s plans for a sceptical curriculum were also mentioned in its allegedly leaked budget document and had been confirmed by Mr Wojick. Similarly, the budget document confirmed the institute’s donations to the NIPCC and other sceptical scientists.
In addition to these plums, the leaked trove (uncertainties admitted) provides some more predictable details on the institute’s finances. It suggests that this was expected to be a bumper year, with funding expected to rise by 70% in 2012, to $7.7m. They also refer to an open-handed anonymous donor, who provided $8.6m to the institute for work on climate change between 2007 and 2011.
The greens are inevitably drawing comparisons between this trove and the revelation of e-mails from climatologists at Britain's University of East Anglia, which suggested they had sometimes taken steps to disguise their adjustments of inconvenient palaeo-data. Known as climategate, that was a great embarrassment for the scientists involved. Worse, the alleged sloppiness with data referred to in the emails was ludicrously inflated by many sceptics to call into question the basic verities of climate science. Affording the same status to the publishing of the Heartland Institute's alleged tawdry secrets would be unwise. But it certainly looks embarrassing for the institute.

Secrets of anti-climate stratagem

Leaked financial reports and documents from a US-based think tank that denies the risks of human-caused climate change show links to an Australian academic and detail a strategy to pursue funds from corporations affected by climate policies.
The documents from the Chicago-based Heartland Institute -- leaked online by climate news site DeSmogBlog -- also reveal the think tank has been moulding its messages to fit the requirements of funders, contrary to its own public claims.
According to a "proposed budget" statement for 2012, Australian scientist Bob Carter will receive $1667 per month for his work on the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change -- a rebuttal written by Heartland-paid scientists to question the well-regarded UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Carter’s affiliation is listed in the document as "James Cook University & Institute for Public Affairs".
The Institute for Public Affairs has previously sponsored Heartland’s climate change conferences -- where Carter has been a regular speaker -- which almost exclusively feature experts and academics who disagree that human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases through burning fossil fuels represent a significant risk.
The document also discloses that the foundation of oil magnates Charles and David Koch gave the institute $200,000 last year. Also discussed is a key but unnamed "anonymous donor" who has given more than $2.5 million in the past two years for the institute’s climate work. According to Heartland’s website:
"We do not take positions in order to appease or avoid losing support from individual donors ... People contribute to The Heartland Institute because they share our belief that better information and understanding can improve public policies in such important areas as education, environmental protection, and health care."
Yet in the leaked memo, Heartland states that "if our focus continues to align with their interests" then they expect the Koch brothers to contribute more funds. The memo also states it will actively pursue funding from corporations who stand to lose out from climate change policies:
"Our climate work is attractive to funders, especially our key Anonymous Donor (whose contribution dropped from $1,664,150 in 2010 to $979,000 in 2011 -- about 20 per cent of our total 2011 revenue). He has promised an increase in 2012 -- see the 2011 fourth quarter financial report.
"We will also pursue additional support from the Charles G. Koch Foundation. They returned as a Heartland donor in 2011 with a contribution of $200,000. We expect to push up their level of support in 2012 and gain access to their network of philanthropists, if our focus continues to align with their interests. Other contributions will be pursued for this work, especially from corporations whose interests are threatened by climate policies."
In 2011, the documents show Heartland paid a team of writers $388,000 to work on a series of reports under their Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change project. This project, the report says, is being funded by two foundations that have "both requested anonymity". Professor Carter was a lead author on the NIPCC’s latest "interim report".
In a document titled "2012 Fundraising Plan", it is revealed that its "anonymous donor" has given $8.6 million since 2007 for "global warming projects". Funders to other general Heartland projects are revealed to include some major corporations, including Microsoft, Pfizer, Time Warner Cable, Eli Lilly and Bayer.
The "confidential memo" dated January 2012 outlines a climate strategy for Heartland, which claims is "leading the fight to prevent the implementation of dangerous policy actions to address the supposed risks of global warming".
The memo also states how Heartland "plays an important role" in broader communications on climate change. In particular, Heartland highlights the work of its senior environment policy fellow James Taylor’s blog on Forbes:
"Through his Forbes blog and related high-profile outlets, our conferences and through co-ordination with external networks (such as WUWT and other groups capable of rapidly mobilising responses to new scientific findings, news stories, or unfavourable blog posts)."
The memo says that Heartland is concerned Forbes has begun to publish articles containing "warmist science" that "counter our own":
"This influential audience has usually been reliably anti-climate and it is important to keep opposing voices out."
If funding can be obtained, the memo concludes, then existing efforts will be expanded and new ventures developed.
DeSmogBlog (for which this author is a paid contributor) has made all the documents available on its website.
This story first appeared on on February 15. Republished with permission.

Leaked docs offer insight into how climate-skeptic groups operate

at 04:13 PM ET, 02/16/2012
Recently, the DesmogBlog got its hands on a trove of alleged internal fund-raising documents from the Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based nonprofit that spends a lot of time trying to dispute mainstream climate science. Do they actually tell us anything?

No money for you, buddy. (Nathan Denette/AP)
First, some important details. At least one of the “strategy” documents (PDF) acquired by DesmogBlog appears to be a forgery — Heartland insists that it is a “total fake” — but the forged document doesn’t say anything that’s not included in the other fund-raising documents, which are not currently in dispute. (The Heartland Institute confirms that the fund-raising documents were inadvertently sent to an imposter who had set up a counterfeit e-mail address.) And, on the surface, there’s not a lot that’s new here: It’s been well-known for ages that skeptic groups spend a lot of money trying to call into question the scientific consensus on man-made global warming. But the documents do offer some fuller insight into how these organizations operate. For instance:
1) There’s still a lot of money in climate denial. The documents show that the Heartland Institute expects to raise $7.7 million this year. Not all of this is for climate-related matters — the libertarian group does work on a wide variety of public-policy issues, from health care to state pensions. Still, judging from the documents, the group has spent at least several million dollars attacking climate science over the past few years.
And those broadsides are getting increasingly more sophisticated. For instance, back in 2007, after the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its big report on the state of climate science — a comprehensive summary of what climatologists know about global warming — it took two full years for the Heartland Institute to set up its own “alternate” report savaging the consensus. That’s quite a delay. This time around, however, Heartland is trying to raise at least $200,000 to make sure that it has its “Climate Change Reconsidered” report ready as soon as the IPCC releases its next big assessment in 2013. Skeptics are getting better at rapid response.
2) Big oil companies seem to be increasingly minor players in the skeptic arena. Seven years ago, most climate-skeptic groups could be traced back to money pouring out of ExxonMobil and the American Petroleum Institute — see Chris Mooney’s old expose from 2005 for details. One surprising thing about the Heartland documents, however, is that big oil companies don’t seem to be major donors. The Koch Charitable Foundation — a conservative charity linked to one of the country’s largest private oil refineries — chipped in $25,000 in 2011, but that was devoted specifically for a health care research program.* Exxon, for its part, stopped donating back in 2006 after heavy pressure from environmental groups (up to that point, the oil giant had chipped in $675,000).
Indeed, according to the documents, most of the climate-denial money seems to come from individual donors, particularly a person referred to as “the Anonymous Donor,” who gave $14.26 million over the past six years (nearly half of the group’s revenue). That’s one possible sign that climate skepticism is no longer the sole concern of self-interested fossil-fuel companies trying to fend off regulations — it’s become a self-sustaining ideological endeavor, with no shortage of committed backers.
3) Many firms don’t like being associated with climate denial. The Heartland documents reveal that the organizations gets money in small doses from hitherto anonymous companies like Microsoft and GlaxoSmithKline, often for reasons not related to climate (Microsoft, for instance, hands out software licenses to certain nonprofits). But when contacted by the New York Times, those firms were quick to distance themselves from Heartland’s stance on global warming. “We absolutely do not endorse or support their views on the environment or climate change,” said a spokeswoman for GlaxoSmithKline, a pharmaceutical maker.
4) Skeptic money doesn’t necessarily corrupt, but it can amplify marginal viewpoints. It’s sometimes suggested that climate skeptics are somehow corrupt because they take money from oil companies and the like. But Craig Idso, a skeptical scientist who receives $11,600 a month from the Heartland Institute, offers a more nuanced defense in his interview with Andy Revkin. Idso says that he has long opposed the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change — even before he was getting paid by Heartland.
That seems quite plausible. It’s doubtful that many skeptics meaningfully alter their views in order to receive money from groups like Heartland. More likely, the effect of all this money is to increase the visibility and reach of once-marginalized folks who were already inclined to criticize climate science. (And, yes, a person’s funding sources have very little bearing on the actual merits of his or her views.)
5) The climate wars are moving to the classroom. One of Heartland’s fundraising documents lays out the group’s plans to spend $100,000 per year to develop a curriculum for schools that would call basic climate science into question. (“Principals and teachers are heavily biased toward the alarmist perspective,” one Heartland document laments.”) A senior fellow at Heartland confirmed these general details to Brad Johnson of ThinkProgress. We’ve already seen battles over the teaching of evolution in public schools around the country. It wouldn’t be surprising to see local fights over climate science next.
*Clarification : The Koch Foundation’s $25,000 contribution in 2011 was for health care research, and not for anything climate-related.

The scariest part of all this to me is their plan to create doubt among our children by using money and power to influence textbooks and the teaching of our children. Hitler, Heimler, and Goebbels would be so proud.  Can you say Mein Kemp!