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Revealing leaked documents from the Heartland Institute

Revealing leaked documents from the Heartland Institute

The Heartland Institute supports anti-mainstream-science climate contrarians / deniers / faux-skeptics (see HERE). Contrarians provide fuel to right-wing media that oppose risk-management mitigation against climate change. 

News accounts regarding leaked and revealing documents from Heartland are now widespread. Below is a sampling, in rough chronological order as the story broke, along with the response from Heartland, a letter from climate scientists to Heartland, a legal opinion, and an analysis. Links are provided. Information in quotes "  " is copied from the sources. This article is more concerned with accounts of the documents, rather than the procedure irrelevant to the document contents of how the documents were obtained.

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The story starts with the website DeSmogBlog:

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

"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."

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The Guardian published an article:

"Leak exposes how Heartland Institute works to undermine climate science"

"Libertarian thinktank keeps prominent sceptics on its payroll and relies on millions in funding from carbon industry, papers suggest"

"The inner workings of a libertarian thinktank working to discredit the established science on climate change have been exposed by a leak of confidential documents detailing its strategy and fundraising networks."

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The New York Times weighed in with this article:

"Leak Offers Glimpse of Campaign Against Climate Science"

"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 a part of the nation’s culture wars."

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The Dot Earth blog of the NY Times analysis:

"The Heartland Files and the Climate Fight"

"The Heartland Institute, a private group backed by industry and independent donors opposed to government regulation, has for years supported an array of efforts fighting restrictions on greenhouse gases. There’s no great secret there.

A blog storm began building Tuesday and broke on Wednesday as environmental groups posted a batch of documents — ranging from tax forms to lists of donors to a 2012 Heartland “climate strategy” — that appeared to expose the group’s game plan, budgets and backers in remarkable detail."

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Graham Readfern's site has THIS information about Heartland and the contrarian Bob Carter:

"Bob Carter responds to Heartland leak"

"...The documents show Professor Carter will receive $1667 per month from Heartland in 2012 to work on a project called the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change...

[Carter] said he “emphatically denies” any suggestion that his opinion on climate change was swayed by funders, but then stated this would not matter in any case. “Professional scientists cannot have their opinion bought,” he said, adding it was not important who funded research, but whether or not it was correct.

This is an odd assertion for Professor Carter to make, given that he has regularly over the years attempted to suggest that mainstream climate scientists are motivated by research dollars. As far back as 2006, in the UK’s The Daily Telegraph, Professor Carter wrote: “scientists are under intense pressure to conform with the prevailing paradigm of climate alarmism if they wish to receive funding for their research.”

Oddly, on Professor Carter’s webpage he chooses to state that he receives no research funding from “special interest organisations such as environmental groups, energy companies or government departments”. "

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The Heartland Institute responded.

"Heartland Institute Responds to Stolen and Fake Documents"

"FEBRUARY 15, 2012 – The following statement from The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution."


"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..."

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Climate Scientists respond to the Heartland Institute

Letter: Climate Scientists to Heartland

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"Whistleblower Authenticates Heartland Documents" (DeSmogBlog)

"Climate scientist Peter Gleick has acknowledged that he was the person who convinced the Heartland Institute to hand over the contents of its January Board package, authenticating the documents beyond a doubt and further exposing the disinformation campaign Heartland has pursued in the last week, trying to discredit the information."

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"For Immediate Release, February 21, 2012

Contact: Bill Snape, (202) 536-9351

Center for Biological Diversity Statement on Heartland Misinformation Campaign

WASHINGTONBill Snape, senior counsel with the Center for Biological Diversity, issued the following statement in response to the release of internal documents of The Heartland Institute outlining its plans to cast doubt on climate science:

“The real story here lies in the contents of the documents that The Heartland Institute concedes are accurate. That is, while global temperatures rise and people are already suffering the health impacts of global warming, these documents show that Heartland’s goal is to perpetuate the massive lie that is climate change denial.”

“We can focus on how the documents were revealed or we can spend our time urging all levels of government to quickly and ambitiously curb global warming pollution before the story becomes the end of life on Earth as we know it.” "

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This DeSmogBlog analysis provides evidence that the controversial memo which has spectacularly damaging revelations about Heartland, and which Heartland claimed was "faked", is actually authentic:

"Evaluation shows "faked" Heartland Strategy memo is authentic"

"A line-by-line evaluation of the Climate Strategy memo, which the Heartland Institute has repeatedly denounced as a "fake" shows no “obvious and gross misstatements of fact,” as Heartland has alleged. On the contrary, the Climate Strategy document is corroborated by Heartland’s own material and/or by its allies and employees."

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Video - Heartland Department of Education

The Heartland documents contain a plan to subvert science in the classroom by promoting denier / contrarian / faux-skeptic climate pseudoscience in the schools. Here is a video on the subject:

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Glossary

Citation

Dash, J. (2012). Revealing leaked documents from the Heartland Institute. Retrieved from http://climate.uu-uno.org/view/article/51cbf2c57896bb431f6aaa00

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