Tag Archive: heartland institute


Too many of their opponents are intellectual thugs.

Steven F. Hayward

March 5, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 24

The forlorn and increasingly desperate climate campaign achieved a new level of ineptitude last week when what had looked like a minor embarrassment for one of its critics—the Chicago-based Heartland Institute—turned out to be a full-fledged catastrophe for itself. A moment’s reflection on the root of this episode points to why the climate campaign is out of (greenhouse) gas.

In an obvious attempt to inflict a symmetrical Climategate-style scandal on the skeptic community, someone representing himself as a Heartland Institute insider “leaked” internal documents for Heartland’s most recent board of directors meeting to a fringe environmental blog, along with a photocopy of a supposed Heartland “strategy memo” outlining a plan to disseminate a public school curriculum aimed at “dissuading teachers from teaching science.”

This ham-handed phrase (one of many) should have been a tipoff to treat the document dump with some .  .  . skepticism (a trait that has gone missing from much of the climate science community). But more than a few environmental blogs and mainstream news outlets ran with the story of how this “leak” exposed the nefarious “antiscience” Neanderthals of Heartland and their fossil fuel paymasters. But the strategy memo is a fake, probably created because the genuine internal documents are fairly ho-hum. It seems the climate campaign is now taking its tactics from Dan “fake but accurate” Rather.

Why Heartland? And how did the “leaker” get his hands on authentic Heartland board materials that are obviously the source for the faked strategy memo? The Heartland Institute sponsors the most significant annual gathering of climate skeptics, usually in New York, Chicago, or Washington, D.C.—a conference that attracts hundreds of scientists and activists from around the globe, including most of the top skeptical scientists, such as MIT’s Richard Lindzen, Yale’s Robert Mendelsohn, and career EPA official Alan Carlin. By assembling a critical mass of serious dissenting opinion, the Heartland conference dispels the favorite climate campaign talking point that there’s virtually no one of repute, and no arguments of merit, outside the -so-called consensus of imminent climate catastrophe.

The Heartland conferences have been too big for the media to ignore completely, though coverage has been spare and grudging. The conferences are also a morale booster for skeptics, who tend to be isolated and relentlessly assailed in their scattered outposts. It is worth adding that Heartland has always extended invitations to the leading “mainstream” figures to speak or debate at the conference, including Al Gore, NASA’s James Hansen, and senior officials from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (Heartland typically receives no response from such figures.)

The most likely instigator of an anti-Heartland provocation would be someone from among the political activists of the environmental movement, such as the merry pranksters of Greenpeace, who have been known to paw through the garbage cans of climate skeptics looking for evidence of payoffs from the fossil fuel industry (which, contrary to left-wing paranoia, has tended rather to be a generous funder of the climate catastrophe campaign). But shortly after the document dump, Ross Kaminsky, an unpaid senior fellow and former Heartland board member now with the American Spectator, noticed something odd in the digital fingerprint of the “strategy memo.” It had been scanned on an Epson printer/scanner on Monday, February 13, on the West Coast (not in the Midwest, where Heartland is located), just one day before the entire document dump appeared online for the first time. Like the famous little detail of when and how Alger Hiss disposed of his old Ford, this date and location will turn out to be a key piece of evidence unraveling the full story, some of which still remains shrouded.

So how did the official Heartland documents get out? Someone claiming to be a board member emailed an unsuspecting Heartland staffer, asking that a set of board documents be sent to a new email address. This act may have violated California and Illinois criminal statutes prohibiting false representation, and perhaps some federal statutes pertaining to wire fraud as well.

Kaminsky and a second blogger, Steven Mosher, piled up the anomalies: The leaked board documents were not scanned but were original software-produced documents, which moreover have a time stamp from Heartland’s Central time zone. Hence the “strategy memo,” if authentic, would have had to be obtained by some other channel. These and other clues led both Kaminsky and Mosher to go public with the accusation that the most likely perpetrator was Peter Gleick, a semi-prominent environmental scientist in Oakland, California.

Gleick is known chiefly for his work on water issues, for which he enjoys a deserved reputation for his data-driven research (though he gets the remedies wrong). He has been as well a peripheral but aggressive figure in the climate wars, notable for the angry and politicized tone of his participation. Gleick is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and was, until two weeks ago, the chairman of an American Geophysical Union task force on scientific -ethics. He’s also a columnist for Forbes magazine’s website and a recipient of one of those MacArthur Foundation “genius” grants that typically go to the trendy and politically correct.

Making a direct accusation as Kaminsky and Mosher did is a strong and potentially libelous move, and the green blogosphere closed ranks quickly around Gleick. One poster wrote: “I hope that Mr. Kaminsky will be prepared [to] fully retract and apologize to Dr. Gleick once he is ruled out as the possible culprit.” But then the other shoe dropped: Gleick confessed on Monday, February 20, that he was the person who had deceived Heartland into emailing their board documents. Gleick claimed, though, that he had received the phony strategy memo anonymously early in the year by mail. He explained in a column for theHuffington Post: “I attempted to confirm the accuracy of the information in this document. In an effort to do so, and in a serious lapse of my own and professional judgment and ethics, I solicited and received additional materials directly from the Heartland Institute under someone else’s name.”

Gleick’s story doesn’t add up, given that many of the details in the phony “strategy memo” could only have been composed by someone with prior access to the complete board materials that Gleick says hesubsequently sought out. So far Gleick is the only person known to have had access to the Heartland internal board documents. And he has not been forthcoming about the details of the phony memo. Was there a postmark? Did he keep the envelope and the original document that he scanned? Why does he think he was singled out to receive this information, rather than a reporter? The only thing missing right now to make Gleick’s story weaker is an old Woodstock typewriter.

Then there is the content of the memo itself, which tellingly is written in the first person but bears no one’s name as an author. One is supposed to presume it came from Heartland’s president, Joe Bast, but it is not quite his style. Megan McArdle of the Atlantic sums it up nicely: “It reads like it was written from the secret villain lair in a Batman comic. By an intern.” Numerous observers have pointed to items in the memo that are strikingly inauthentic or alien to the conservative think tank world, but one in particular strikes me—a curious passage about the need for “expanded communication”:

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. Efforts might also include cultivating more neutral voices with big audiences (such as [Andrew] Revkin at Dot­Earth/NYTimes, who has a well-known antipathy for some of the more extreme AGW [anthropogenic global warming] communicators .  .  .

As curious as the reference to Gleick and Forbes is (Gleick shares space at Forbes with Heartland’s James Taylor, which is another interesting circumstance), the reference to Andy Revkin is more intriguing. Revkin is a New York Times science blogger who reports climate issues fairly straight up, though his own sympathies are with the climate campaign. Perhaps because he is basically sympathetic, Revkin’s occasional departures from the party line have been a source of annoyance for more ardent climate campaigners; one of the emails from the first cache of leaked Climategate documents in 2009 complained that Revkin wasn’t “reliable,” and University of Illinois climate alarmist Michael Schlesinger threatened Revkin directly with the “big cutoff” if he didn’t mend his ways. Was the language in the phony Heartland memo another attempt to try to shame Revkin into falling in line by suggesting he’s not hostile enough towards climate skeptics?

After Gleick’s semi-confession, Revkin wrote for the Times that “Gleick’s use of deception in pursuit of his cause after years of calling out climate deception has destroyed his credibility and harmed others,” and that his actions “surely will sustain suspicion that he created the summary [strategy memo].”

Gleick looks set to be spending a good chunk of his MacArthur genius prize winnings on lawyers; he’s retained the same criminal attorney that Andrew Fastow of Enron used for his defense against fraud charges. And Gleick has hired Clinton/Gore crisis manager Chris Lehane. Heartland, for its part, has set up a legal defense fund to pursue a civil case against Gleick, presenting the ultimate irony: -Gleick’s attack may well help Heartland raise more money.

More than a few observers have asked why anyone should trust Gleick’s scientific judgment if his judgment about how to deal with climate skeptics is so bad. -Gleick’s defense of his motives would be laughable if it weren’t so pathetic: “My judgment was blinded by my frustration with the ongoing efforts—often anonymous, well-funded, and coordinated—to attack climate science and scientists and prevent this debate, and by the lack of transparency of the organizations involved.”

Let’s take these in order. Anony-mous? True, Heartland’s board documents reveal seven-figure contributions for their climate work from one “anonymous donor,” but environmental organizations take in many multiples of Heartland’s total budget in anonymous donations washed through the left-wing Tides Foundation. The Environmental Defense Fund thanks 141 anonymous donors in one recent report. “Well-funded”? Heartland’s total budget for all its issues, which include health care, education, and technology policy, is around $4.4 million, an amount that would disappear into a single line item in the budget for the Natural Resources Defense Council ($99 million in revenues in 2010). Last year, the Wall Street Journal reports, the World Wildlife Fund spent $68.5 million just on “public education.”

The dog that didn’t bark for the climateers in this story is the great disappointment that Heartland receives only a tiny amount of funding from fossil fuel sources—and none from ExxonMobil, still the bête noireof the climateers. Meanwhile, it was revealed this week that natural gas mogul T. Boone Pickens had given $453,000 to the left-wing Center for American Progress for its “clean energy” projects, and Chesapeake Energy gave the Sierra Club over $25 million (anonymously until it leaked out) for the Club’s anti-coal ad campaign. Turns out the greens take in much more money from fossil fuel interests than the skeptics do.

Finally, “coordinated”? Few public policy efforts have ever had the massive institutional and financial coordination that the climate change cause enjoys. That tiny Heartland, with but a single annual conference and a few phone-book-sized reports summarizing the skeptical case, can derange the climate campaign so thoroughly is an indicator of the weakness and thorough politicization of climate alarmism.

The Gleick episode exposes again a movement that disdains arguing with its critics, choosing demonization over persuasion and debate. A confident movement would face and crush its critics if its case were unassailable, as it claims. The climate change fight doesn’t even rise to the level of David and Goliath. Heartland is more like a David fighting a hundred Goliaths. Yet the serial ineptitude of the climate campaign shows that a tiny David doesn’t need to throw a rock against a Goliath who swings his mighty club and only hits himself square in the forehead.

Steven F. Hayward is the F. K. Weyerhaeuser fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and author, most recently, of The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Presidents: From Wilson to Obama (Regnery).


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Alan Caruba  —   February 16, 2012

No comments   |   Printer Friendly

Full disclosure: Years ago I received a small stipend from The Heartland Institute to help cover the costs of writing articles regarding the global warming hoax, well before it was exposed in 2009 when emails between its perpetrators—the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—revealed the total lack of real science involved. I have continued to expose the hoax without any support from Heartland or any other entity.

A total of six conferences on climate change have been sponsored by The Heartland Institute. I attended the first conference in New York City in 2008 and my initial observation was that virtually no one from the press was there and the meager coverage it received disparaged it.

This week, a major smear campaign against the Institute erupted as the result of an act of deception and thievery that may well result in criminal charges against its as yet unknown perpetrator.

The President of the Institute, Joe Bast, immediately informed its supporters, directors, donors and friends that someone pretending to be a board member had sent Heartland an email claiming to be a director and asking that documents regarding a January board meeting be re-sent.

A clever ruse, but the result was that elements of the confidential documents were then posted on a number of so-called climate blogs and from there to various members of the media who, with the exception of The Guardian, took no steps whatever to verify the authenticity of the documents, some of which Heartland says were either a concoction of lies or altered to convey inaccurate information.

The leading disseminator of the global warming hoax, The New York Times, published its version on Wednesday, February 15th, titled “Leak Offers Glimpse of Campaign Against Climate Science.”

Suffice to say, the “climate science” served up by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been a pack of lies from the day it first convened. Its “science” was based on computer models rigged by co-conspirators that include Michael Mann of Penn State University and Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia.

The original leak of their emails in November 2009 instantly revealed the extent of their efforts to spread the hoax and to suppress any expression of doubt regarding it. A second release in 2011 confirmed what anyone paying any attention already knew.

The “warmists,” a name applied to global warming hoaxers, launched into a paroxysm of denial that has not stopped to this day. Their respective universities have since engaged in every possible way to hide the documentation they claimed supported their claims. Suffice to say, the global warming hoax was the golden goose for everyone who received literally billions in public and private funding.

We have reached the point where the warmists have been claiming that global warming causes global cooling! Along the way the bogus warming has been blamed for thousands of utterly absurd events and trends. What really worried the perpetrators was the fact that the planet had entered a cooling cycle in 1998.

At the heart of the hoax was the claim that carbon dioxide (CO2) was causing the Earth to heat and that CO2 emissions must be reduced to save the Earth. Next to oxygen, CO2 is vital to all life on Earth as it sustains all vegetation which in turn sustains every creature that depends on it as a source of food. It represents a mere 0.033% of the Earth’s atmosphere and is referred to by warmists as a “greenhouse gas.” It is, as any meteorologist or climatologist will tell you, the atmosphere that protects the Earth from becoming a dissociated planet like Mars.

The New York Times article is a case study in bad journalism and bias on a scale for which this failing newspaper is renowned. The Times reported that “Leaked documents suggest that an organization known for attacking climate science is planning a new push to undermine the teaching of global warming in public schools, the latest indication that climate change is becoming part of the nation’s culture wars.”

Wrong, so wrong. Polls have demonstrated that global warming is last on a list of concerns by the public. It barely registers because the public has concluded that it is either a hoax or just not happening. Teaching global warming in the nation’s schools constitutes a crime against the truth and the students.

The Times article makes much of the amounts some donors to Heartland have contributed, but in each cited case, with one exception, the donations had nothing to do with its rebuttal of global warming science.

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

The exact magnitude is zero. Thousands of scientists have signed petitions denouncing global warming as a hoax. The Times lies.

A post at The Daily Bayonet on February 14th said it well: “What the Heartland documents show is how badly warmists have been beaten by those with a fraction of the resources they’ve enjoyed. Al Gore spent $300 million advertising the global warming hoax. Greenpeace, the WWF (World Wildlife Fund), the Sierra Club, the National Resources Defense Council, NASA, NOAA, the UN and nation states have collectively poured billions into climate research, alternative energies, and propaganda, supported along the way by most of the broadcast and print media.”

The Times will continue to publish lies about global warming, as will others like Time and Newsweek magazines. The attacks on Heartland and the many scientists and others like myself who debunk this fraud will continue, but their efforts are just the dying gasp of the greatest hoax of the modern era.

There’s a reason the theme of Heartland’s sixth conference in 2011 was “Restoring the Scientific Method.” Real science does not depend on declaring “a consensus” before the hypothesis has been thoroughly tested, a process that often involves years of effort. Meanwhile, the planet continues to cool.

The Anatomy of a Global Warming Smear

Alan Caruba  —   February 16, 2012
No comments   |   Printer Friendly

Full disclosure: Years ago I received a small stipend from The Heartland Institute to help cover the costs of writing articles regarding the global warming hoax, well before it was exposed in 2009 when emails between its perpetrators—the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—revealed the total lack of real science involved. I have continued to expose the hoax without any support from Heartland or any other entity.

A total of six conferences on climate change have been sponsored by The Heartland Institute. I attended the first conference in New York City in 2008 and my initial observation was that virtually no one from the press was there and the meager coverage it received disparaged it.

This week, a major smear campaign against the Institute erupted as the result of an act of deception and thievery that may well result in criminal charges against its as yet unknown perpetrator.

The President of the Institute, Joe Bast, immediately informed its supporters, directors, donors and friends that someone pretending to be a board member had sent Heartland an email claiming to be a director and asking that documents regarding a January board meeting be re-sent.

A clever ruse, but the result was that elements of the confidential documents were then posted on a number of so-called climate blogs and from there to various members of the media who, with the exception of The Guardian, took no steps whatever to verify the authenticity of the documents, some of which Heartland says were either a concoction of lies or altered to convey inaccurate information.

The leading disseminator of the global warming hoax, The New York Times, published its version on Wednesday, February 15th, titled “Leak Offers Glimpse of Campaign Against Climate Science.”

Suffice to say, the “climate science” served up by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been a pack of lies from the day it first convened. Its “science” was based on computer models rigged by co-conspirators that include Michael Mann of Penn State University and Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia.

The original leak of their emails in November 2009 instantly revealed the extent of their efforts to spread the hoax and to suppress any expression of doubt regarding it. A second release in 2011 confirmed what anyone paying any attention already knew.

The “warmists,” a name applied to global warming hoaxers, launched into a paroxysm of denial that has not stopped to this day. Their respective universities have since engaged in every possible way to hide the documentation they claimed supported their claims. Suffice to say, the global warming hoax was the golden goose for everyone who received literally billions in public and private funding.

We have reached the point where the warmists have been claiming that global warming causes global cooling! Along the way the bogus warming has been blamed for thousands of utterly absurd events and trends. What really worried the perpetrators was the fact that the planet had entered a cooling cycle in 1998.

At the heart of the hoax was the claim that carbon dioxide (CO2) was causing the Earth to heat and that CO2 emissions must be reduced to save the Earth. Next to oxygen, CO2 is vital to all life on Earth as it sustains all vegetation which in turn sustains every creature that depends on it as a source of food. It represents a mere 0.033% of the Earth’s atmosphere and is referred to by warmists as a “greenhouse gas.” It is, as any meteorologist or climatologist will tell you, the atmosphere that protects the Earth from becoming a dissociated planet like Mars.

The New York Times article is a case study in bad journalism and bias on a scale for which this failing newspaper is renowned. The Times reported that “Leaked documents suggest that an organization known for attacking climate science is planning a new push to undermine the teaching of global warming in public schools, the latest indication that climate change is becoming part of the nation’s culture wars.”

Wrong, so wrong. Polls have demonstrated that global warming is last on a list of concerns by the public. It barely registers because the public has concluded that it is either a hoax or just not happening. Teaching global warming in the nation’s schools constitutes a crime against the truth and the students.

The Times article makes much of the amounts some donors to Heartland have contributed, but in each cited case, with one exception, the donations had nothing to do with its rebuttal of global warming science.

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

The exact magnitude is zero. Thousands of scientists have signed petitions denouncing global warming as a hoax. The Times lies.

A post at The Daily Bayonet on February 14th said it well: “What the Heartland documents show is how badly warmists have been beaten by those with a fraction of the resources they’ve enjoyed. Al Gore spent $300 million advertising the global warming hoax. Greenpeace, the WWF (World Wildlife Fund), the Sierra Club, the National Resources Defense Council, NASA, NOAA, the UN and nation states have collectively poured billions into climate research, alternative energies, and propaganda, supported along the way by most of the broadcast and print media.”

The Times will continue to publish lies about global warming, as will others like Time and Newsweek magazines. The attacks on Heartland and the many scientists and others like myself who debunk this fraud will continue, but their efforts are just the dying gasp of the greatest hoax of the modern era.

There’s a reason the theme of Heartland’s sixth conference in 2011 was “Restoring the Scientific Method.” Real science does not depend on declaring “a consensus” before the hypothesis has been thoroughly tested, a process that often involves years of effort. Meanwhile, the planet continues to cool.

 

 

Pacific Institute

GET UPDATES FROM PETER H. GLEICK

The Origin of the Heartland Documents

Posted: 02/20/2012 7:45 pm
 Since the release in mid-February of a series of documents related to the internal strategy of the Heartland Institute to cast doubt on climate science, there has been extensive speculation about the origin of the documents and intense discussion about what they reveal. Given the need for reliance on facts in the public climate debate, I am issuing the following statement.

At the beginning of 2012, I received an anonymous document in the mail describing what appeared to be details of the Heartland Institute’s climate program strategy. It contained information about their funders and the Institute’s apparent efforts to muddy public understanding about climate science and policy. I do not know the source of that original document but assumed it was sent to me because of my past exchanges with Heartland and because I was named in it.

Given the potential impact however, I attempted to confirm the accuracy of the information in this document. In an effort to do so, and in a serious lapse of my own and professional judgment and ethics, I solicited and received additional materials directly from the Heartland Institute under someone else’s name. The materials the Heartland Institute sent to me confirmed many of the facts in the original document, including especially their 2012 fundraising strategy and budget. I forwarded, anonymously, the documents I had received to a set of journalists and experts working on climate issues. I can explicitly confirm, as can the Heartland Institute, that the documents they emailed to me are identical to the documents that have been made public. I made no changes or alterations of any kind to any of the Heartland Institute documents or to the original anonymous communication.

I will not comment on the substance or implications of the materials; others have and are doing so. I only note that the scientific understanding of the reality and risks of climate change is strong, compelling, and increasingly disturbing, and a rational public debate is desperately needed. My judgment was blinded by my frustration with the ongoing efforts — often anonymous, well-funded, and coordinated — to attack climate science and scientists and prevent this debate, and by the lack of transparency of the organizations involved. Nevertheless I deeply regret my own actions in this case. I offer my personal apologies to all those affected.

Peter Gleick

 Follow Peter H. Gleick on Twitter: www.twitter.com/PeterGleick
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