by Judith Curry
I am starting to get requests from journalists to comment on the documents leaked from Heartland.
For background, here are some of the articles from the ‘green’ perspective that have been written on the topic (list pulled from getenergysmartnow):
- Brendan DeMelle, Heartland Institute Exposed: Internal Documents Unmask Heart of Climate Denial Machine, DeSmogBlog (links to all of the leaked documents)
- Chris Mooney, “Dissuading Teachers From Teaching Science”: The Leak of Alleged Heartland Institute Documents, The Intersection
- Joe Romm, Heartland Documents Reveal Fringe Denial Group Plans to Pursue Koch Money, Dupe Children and Cultivate Revkin, Climate Progress
- James Hrynyshyn, The Heart(land) of the Denial Campaign, Class M
- Leo Hickman, Leaked Heartland Institute documents pull back curtain on climate scepticism, The Guardian
- Suzanne Goldenberg, Leak exposes how Heartland Institute works to undermine climate science, The Guardian
- Heartland Institute budget and strategy revealed, DeepClimate
- Greg Laden, HeartlandGate: Anti-Science Institute’s Insider Reveals Secrets, Culture as Science — Science as Culture
- Greg Laden, The Meaning of Heartland Gate, Culture as Science — Science as Culture
- Brad Johnson, INTERNAL DOCUMENTS: The Secret, Corporate-Funded Plan To Teach Children That Climate Change Is A Hoax, Think Progress: Green
- Peter Sinclair, How is Joe Bast Like Joe Camel? Looks Like We’re Going to Find Out….., Climate Denial Crock of the The Week
- Michael Tobis, Is Turnabout Fair Play?, Planet 3.0 — Beyond Sustainability
- Shawn Lawrence Otto, Climate Denial Bombshell, NeoRenaissance
- Jonathan Eisen, Leaked insider docs from Heartland Institute goal: “dissuading teachers from teaching science” (ps hey Scholarly Kitchen do you support this?), The Tree of Life
- Zachary Shanan, Fossil-Fuel-Funded Think Tank, Heartland Institute, Exposed (Deniergate? Heartlandgate? Pick a Name), Clean Technica
- Phil Plait, Breaking news: A look behind the curtain of the Heartland Institute’s climate change spin, Bad Astronomy
- Christian Hunt, Undermining the IPCC, keeping opposing voices out, dissuading the teaching of science – Heartland in its own words?, The Carbon Brief
- William Connelly, Heartland, Stoat
- Keith Kloor, Climate Skeptic Organization Feels the Heat, Collide-a-Scape
- Steve Zwick, Blog reveals Climate Change Denier Group’s CorporateBackers, Forbes
- Will Nichols, Will Heartland Institute scandal force transparency on corporate donors?, BusinessGreen
- J.A., Trouble in the Heartland?, The Economist
- Richard Littlemore, Mashey Report Confirms Heartland’s Manipulation; Exposes Singer’s Deception, DeSmogBlog
- Canucks On Heartland Institute Payroll, Big City Lib Strikes Back
- Katherine Stewart, The new anti-science assault on US schools, The Guardian
- Jess Zimmerman, How the Heartland Institute plans to wreck education, Grist
For a perspective from the skeptical/libertarian side, see climatedepot.
- Heartland documents: what’s the big deal? ‘These [skeptical] sums are loose change compared to the billions that are funneled to green groups, alarmist research establishments…’‘.
- ‘With tiny budgets like $310 million, $100 million, & $95 million respectively, how can Greenpeace, Sierra Club, & NRDC *ever* hope to compete with mighty Heartland’s $6.5 million?’ — Revealed: The ‘heart of the climate denial machine’ allegedly relies on $200k per year donated from Koch to Heartland
- ‘How did Heartland allegedly win climate debate by buying scientists for $300k, while warmists lost it while splitting up $79 billion in US govt money?
- Heartland Institute bad – DeSmogBlog says so! ‘Did you know the Heartland Institute employs skeptics?’
- Warmist Kelly Rigg is outraged that a ‘well-funded’ organization should dare to spend a dollar to counter every 47 dollars spent by an organization she’s run campaigns for’
- Flashback: Read Climate Depot’s report on the warmist funding vs. skeptical funding — Warmists funding massive compared to paltry skeptical funding
- Warmist Tobis: ‘Is Turnabout Fair Play?’ — ‘The bit about ‘dissuading teachers from teaching science’ was presumably just a sloppy edit, right?’
- Heartland Institute documents leaked: ‘Documents published on Desmog blog & elsewhere, which appear to detail US think-tank’s budget and anti-climate-change strategy’
- Aussie Skeptical scientist denies he is mouthpiece of US climate-skeptic think tank
- ‘UK Greenie George Monbiot claims it’s ‘deeply sinister’ for one dollar in private money to be used to counter $100 in public money that NASA is using to promote the climate hoax’
- ‘According to the most recent data on guidestar.org, Joe Romm’s Center for American Progress spends 10 times as much money as Morano’s CFACT’ —
- Warmists Declare: ‘Heartland Institute Exposed: Internal Documents Unmask Heart of Climate Denial Machine’
- Warmist headbangers go ape over Heartland finance leak:
I wasn’t going to comment on this until the weekend, but looks like I better say something, since I was quick out the gate with my comments on Climategate. Here is the text of a statement I made to a reporter, when asked some specific questions:
A few weeks ago, I had a thread called ‘climate classroom‘ over at Climate Etc. David Wojick participated extensively in the comments on the thread, see his own blog post here. David Wojick engages extensively over at Climate Etc., he seems to have political views that are consonant with Heartland, but he does not come across as a propagandist. I don’t know exactly what he is trying do with this K-12 project, I will ask him and maybe discuss this on the blog this weekend.
My summary comment on the blog post was:
Why am I giving a “raspberry” to the NCSE initiative? This seems like propaganda, pure and simple. Keep it out of the K-12 classrooms.
With regards to K-12 education, there is no particular reason to teach ‘climate change’ in the K-12 curriculum. Climate change is a topic that is more suitable high school ‘science and society’ courses. In such courses, teaching the controversy would seem to be of paramount importance. Critical thinking and understanding the complex societal factors that are influenced by science and influence science itself would be of value in such a course, although intelligent and appropriate handling of such a course at the high school level is a challenge.
With regards to Heartland giving Wojick funds for K-12 education, it is not clear to me how this is different from the NCSE initiative. State and local governments need to make judgments regarding what materials are taught in K-12. If/how to teach climate change in K-12 remains an open issue.
With regards to Singer and Idso getting funds from Heartland, this is not surprising and they have never claimed not to be getting funds from such groups. Some scientists receive funds from organizations such as WWW, Environmental Defense, etc., so this is not something unique to Heartland. The funding that Watts is hoping to receive seems to be in a different category: he is looking for private funds for a specific project, rather than to be on a monthly retainer such as the others. This would seem to be similar to what Rich Muller pulled together to fund the BEST project (one of the donors was the Koch brothers). Personally, as an academic, I religiously steer clear of such funding (not that any of it has ever been offered to me, other than travel funds to attend an event); it compromises your appearance of objectivity. The problem is when a scientist receives such funds and does not declare it in a journal publication, review panel, or government advisory committee where there would be an explicit conflict of interest that should be declared. I don’t see that as an issue for Singer or Idso; most people are aware that they receive funds from orgs such as Heartland.
Re Heartland’s funding, I did a previous blog post on this: Blame on Heartland-Cato-Marshall-Etc. Much information about total amount and funding sources is publicly available from sourcewatch. The surprising thing is the paltry funding that the libertarian think tanks have relative to the green groups (e.g. WWF, Greenpeace, etc.) The more interesting question to me is how have these groups been so effective with so little funds, relative to the much larger expenditures by the green groups.
Re the parallels to Climategate. They are similar in the sense that they give us a behind the scenes peak at how the IPCC and Heartland works. In terms of moral equivalence, what Heartland is doing is not surprising; seems to be no different than what other advocacy groups do. The IPCC is a very different organization, and also the CRU/UEA, with explicit requirements for government accountability. So in terms of a scandal, I would have to say that Heartlandgate is nowhere near Climategate.