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back to article Heartland Institute documents leaked

Gifted amateurs and interested activists the world over are poring over documents published on the Desmog blog and elsewhere, which appear to detail the US think-tank the Heartland Institute’s budget and anti-climate-change strategy. A list of the documents can be found on Skeptical Science, here (I am referring to this list …

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Paris Hilton

clue me in

What the Hell is the heartland institute? Can't say I've heard of them before

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Devil

That's the point

http://www.desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/(1-15-2012)%202012%20Fundraising%20Plan.pdf

If you read through that one, pages 13-14 discuss their astroturf tactics - paid blog commenters as well as entire blogs created by their staff solely to push their agenda.

You're not supposed to know who they are.

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General Pance said:"The sad thing is these cynical vultures who cheer catastrophe have no practical solution bar driving energy prices beyond our reach."

After 25 years of the denialist industry successfully blocking any serious investment in alternatives to fossil fuels, we do indeed have fuck all other options left. Does that 'success' give you a hard on?

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Shirley, if you were serious you'd know if there were a viable alternative it would pay for its own research.

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Anonymous Coward

"Success at blocking any serious investment in alternatives to fossil fuels"? Are you nuts? What about the billions pissed up the wall on useless wind turbines?

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Re: clue me in

Heartland Institute is one of the larger Washington (okay, it's based in Chicago but it's virtual Washington) stink tanks. Supporting "free-market" ideas, it claims among its closest supporters such right-wing luminaries as Sen. Jim DeMint, Milton Friedman, and Grover Nordquist. Needless to say, it gets funding from fossil-fuel interests.

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Alarmist Trash

Jesus, conspiracy kook comment or what.

There have been billions, yes, billions, invested in a whole slew of "alternatives", everything from biofuels (with the consequent huge increase in food prices leading to starvation and death plus environmental degradation associated with, for example, palm oil plantations), wind turbines both on and off shore (massive fails in most cases), solar panels (Soylandra anyone ?), geothermal (sometimes successful), and others. Which of these many billions invested don't you want to count ? Which of the billions utterly wasted and the lives lost as a consequence don't you want to take responsibility for ?

Climate alarmists seem to have an incredibly narrow and utterly authoritarian viewpoint. Don't just believe the rightness of my thought, thou shalt think no other way. And who gets the power hungry "hard on" eh ?

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What's needed seems to be a clue stick

1) The HI is not "large." It barely classifies as micro.

2) From the "evidence" of these papers - the one AGW faithful are exclaiming about most loudly is a forgery - the HI appears to have a funding level equal to about one percent or less of UEA's climate unit alone. Also, make note that the CRU really IS funded by "big-oil." In other words, the HI seems to be far more effective on a faint smell of the money used in AGW research.

3) Returning to the forgery point, the returns of the theft (accomplished through an identity theft mode of operation - so apparently not genius level super hackers) were apparently were so innocuous that the recipients had to forge something that appeared at least slightly intriguing. The result is still remarkably innocuous.

4) Last, what were they thinking?? Releasing that "material" is tantamount to embarassing every serious (there have to be some) AGW researcher on the planet. Sceptics operating from homes, for free, or for occasional, pathetic grants - $44 K - have succeeded in profoundly challenging the conclusions of scientists who have spent hundreds of millions of $/pounds to conclude, "things are really going to get worse later, trust us."

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Re: Alarmist Trash

The biggest investments in 'alternative' biofuels have come from the U.S. government, and have little to do with any kind of environmental concern but a whole lot to do with the U.S. corn lobby and also with neoliberal U.S. foreign policy interests - the question of 'how to avoid dependence on foreign oil' is a very hot button topic in the U.S., given it doesn't like most oil producing countries much at all.

So it's hardly surprising that the fact that corn ethanol has just about no actual environmentally-positive credentials at all isn't having a lot of impact on the momentum of the corn ethanol lobby, because corn ethanol was never about the environment - or backed by any reputable environmental group - in the first place. Environmental groups actually haven't been particularly enthusiastic about 'biofuels' all along, and were among the _first_ to point out their potential negative impacts both in environmental and food supply contexts.

You don't seem to provide any evidence for your 'wind turbines are massive fails in most cases' claim. The biggest problems associated with wind turbines tend to be opposition at the planning stages, on aesthetic grounds (or, sometimes, animal welfare grounds). I haven't really seen any suggestions that they don't produce as much energy as they're claimed to.

I don't think there's a whole lot of controversy about solar power either, really; its limitations are hardly some kind of big secret. It's clear to anyone who does a bit of basic research that solar is still inefficient, expensive, and not a whole hell of a lot of use anywhere there isn't much sun.

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Re: clue me in

Surprisingly that just what they want, they want to manipulate the public from behind the scenes. They do want to publicise their existence let alone where their money comes from.

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Anonymous Coward

Will be interesting to see how the "mainstream" news media report this

But if I had to bet a week's wages I'd wager "not at all".

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Re: Will be interesting to see how the "mainstream" news media report this

You mean like the front page of the Guardian and all the more reputable TV news programmes... Guess you don't pay much attention then.

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Re: Re: Will be interesting to see how the "mainstream" news media report this

It'll be even more interesting to see whether the Guardian etc print any kind of retraction for using a fake document in their smear.

If you need any further proof that there's an aggressive conspiracy that's manipulating the media to silence dissent on this issue, you need only follow the progress of this story:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/15/notes-on-the-fake-heartland-document/

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Flame

Cue silence from the "liberal media"

Never mind the fact that the Dirty Fucking Hippies were proved right AGAIN, it's time to teach the controversy! Mmm, I love the taste of Koch in my mouth.

Say, where's Lewis Page when you need him?

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WTF?

ThinkProgress IS the liberal media

They are also shocking Obamites who are okay with Bush's policies if Obama does them.

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Trollface

"Say, where's Lewis Page when you need him?"

In one of the leaked documents?

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Anonymous Coward

Sigh

If only I had the wherewithal to use this sudden confusion to launch a spear-phishing attack with forged email headers.

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Holmes

You don't say!

"We have been following the Wisconsin debate closely, reporting on it in Budget & Tax News, commenting in op-eds and LTEs and on blogs"

So they pay people to comment on blogs, eh? Bowl me over with a feather. I'll be even more shocked if a bunch of their defenders show up here, around, oh, 9 AM, US Central Time...

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Wrong, little grasshopper

See AC, 8:14 GMT.

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Pint

Who says America has lost its work ethic?

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Just proves what I have always said about the AGW debate... Both sides are filled with people who won't let the facts get in the way of their beliefs....

Its the most important debate in my lifetime and it needs to be done dispassionately and sensibly without the hyperbole.

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Anonymous Coward

Bad writing, this is not news nor controversial

The Heartland Institute does not pretend to be conducting scientific research, only policy research, and is likely not using public funds. It is no scandal to have a strategic approach to advocacy on an issue; it is disingenuous of ThinkProgress or similar to intimate that they do not. (Unlike Occupy Wall Street, who actually don't, but only because they can't, not that they wouldn't.)

None of this is in any way comparable with a NSF-funded scientist donning the mantle of academia, cynically inventing a mathematical model to serve a presentation to Congress, or in that context, to say to a fellow scientists, "Why should I share my data with you, you will only try to prove me wrong?"

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Go

@AC 08:14 GMT

And now go and cash the cheque by Heartland

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Facepalm

>And now go and cash the cheque by Heartland

That's "discussion" nowadays.

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"a strategic approach to advocacy"

"The Heartland Institute does not pretend to be conducting scientific research, only policy research, and is likely not using public funds. It is no scandal to have a strategic approach to advocacy on an issue ..."

It seems the term "a strategic approach to advocacy" is the pubic relations industry's cutting-edge euphemism for "lying".

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Re: "a strategic approach to advocacy"

"Public", I mean. The public relations industry.

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Anonymous Coward

who cares

I'm getting on a bit, and don't think that climate change will affect me much, but I do wish to live long enough to watch some freaky weather tear up the east coast of the USA ripping up all in it's path ending in Washington DC being devastated.

I can then shout out (comment), well if it's not climate change, it must be God's will either way it's your own fault, you have spent the last two decades, hiding, ignoring and persuading your gullible electorate that climate change is not a problem or not a man made problem or is someone Else's problem, so I guess God will think you a bunch of sinners deserve this test of your faith, I can only hope that frothy,slick sick idiot Santorum is your leader at the time.

Off of my lawn you bunch of Godless, faithless idiots.

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Oh, really?

Mmm, so they're hoping for fifty-seven whole millions over the next year? Compared with how many _thousands_ of millions from governments (i.e., our taxes) and NGOs for the endless stream of alarmist propaganda?

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AGW denier propaganda

In case you hadn't noticed, governments around the world are desperately short of money while oil companies are announcing massive profits. The oil industry has a vast amount more money to spend, and lose, over this issue which is why they are desperately trying to cloud the facts and "dissuading teachers from teaching science".

Look here to see the answers to the myths, misinformation and propaganda being spread by the AGW deniers:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

All backed up by peer reviewed science. Where are the science backed denier arguments?

The recent report from the GRACE satellite data shows that 4.3 trillion tonnes of ice melted in the last 8 years alone:

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2012-036#4

The energy needed to melt that is 1.43405x10^21 J or, to put it into context, the output of a 1GW power station running for over 45,000 years. That energy is only a *fraction* of the energy that has gone into heating up the oceans in the same time period!

Where do you think that all the energy is coming from, given that incoming solar energy has been *decreasing* slightly over the last 30 years?

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@Nebulo

Given the choice between science and a bunch of religious nutters and oil company execs, I know which I choose. It's not even a choice.

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Re: AGW denier propaganda

Sapient, it was reading the egregious junk dished up by the likes of SkS and "Real" Climate which transformed me from the flabby, uninformed accepter of AGW that I was five or six years ago into the robust sceptic I am today. For starters, I'm still waiting to hear what phenomenon, if any, would be accepted by the CO2 Crew as a disproof of their conjecture, given that everything from the next Ice Age to the fires of Hell appear to have been declared "consistent with" AGW. That's not science, it's religion.

As it is, I have to ask, where's all _what_ energy coming from? There seems to have been rather a lot of _cold_ records set over the last few years for "the hottest decade ever". I'm looking forward to ever more bizarre claims of "consistency" over the next 2-3 decades of expected cooling.

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Re: Re: AGW denier propaganda

Here's a list of things that would falsify AGW:

1) CO2 is found not to absorb and re-emit infrared radiation after all

2) CO2 levels in the atmosphere found not to be rising

3) Infrared radiation emitted from the planet in the CO2 bands found to be unchanged, even though CO2 levels are rising

4) Same for infrared reflected back down to ground level from the atmosphere

5) Another energy source is found to fully explain the temperature rise

6) Temperatures fall over several decades

Now what would falsify your position? Nothing? Hmm, tables turned I feel.

If you actually looked at the science you would find that the number of record high temperatures being recorded is outnumbering record cold temperatures 2:1, which is exactly what one expects in a warming world:

http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009GL040736.shtml

Temperatures only look stable if you cherry pick land and atmosphere datasets for short periods of time and which don't cover what's happening in the oceans and the poles:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-cooling-intermediate.htm

On top of that there are several natural cooling trends at the moment (solar cycle, La Nina and aerosols) but if you take them out you get a much clearer view of the underlying trend:

http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/6/4/044022

Perhaps you would like to answer my question as to where you think the energy to melt 4.3 trillion tonnes of ice has come from, given solar input is declining?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: AGW denier propaganda

Sorry, but Skepticalscience (and what a misnomer that is) is a paid to comment alarmist site, sponsored by the Soros billions.

It is also full of trash (and that's not just the sycophantic commentators !). It is not backed up by "peer reviewed" but by a carefully cherry picked subset of peer reviewed. They still seem to thing that Michael Mann is a respectable climate researcher !

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Re: Re: Re: AGW denier propaganda

"6) Temperatures fall over several decades"

Very few so-called "skeptics" argue that temperatures haven't risen. But there is a significant school of thought that they won't continue to rise, for varying reasons. That's the thing with science, especially one as wooly as this: it's never settled.

Of course none of this matters, because the real issue is how we react to it. That's where the mountains of bullshit start, and no matter how much you want the sky to be falling you should still have the integrity to say no to the rampant profiteering that's been exploiting this scaremongering.

Taxing carbon will not suddenly invent cheap power. The incentive is already there for other reasons.

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Re: @Nebulo

So you're becoming a "denier" then ? I agree, the funding by the Oil Companies to Climate Alarmism is huge, and the alarmists do indeed act exactly like religious extremists, right down to the name calling (denier, denier !) and their absolute belief set that does not allow for dissent.

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Re: Oh, really?

Ah but actual scientists have to do actual work. All this lot are doing is making crap up.

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Anonymous Coward

Seems less climategate in reverse than Killian Memo to me.

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"Anthony Watts, it appears, received $US90,000 to relaunch his Website."

Actually, to launch another website, providing a public service. Not that Desmog would mention that, of course, but I'm surprised you didn't check.

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FAIL

Public services

Yeah, they're really vital.

"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."

We have far too many teachers teaching science, that's a big problem.

"Heartland plays an important role in climate communications, especially through our in-house experts (e.g., [James] Taylor) through his Forbes blog and related high profile outlets, our conferences, and through coordination with external networks (such as WUWT ['Watt's Up With That' Anthony Watt's 'public service' blog] and other groups capable of rapidly mobilizing responses to new scientific findings, news stories, or unfavorable blog posts)."

Is there any public need that CAN'T be met by an astroturf-funded blogswarm?

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Childcatcher

@James Pickett : You are right, it's not just climate denial!

"Actually, to launch another website,"

Would that be one of the Phillip Morris funded 'health' websites that these documents also show them being paid to set up.

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Anonymous Coward

scarshapedstar said: "We have far too many teachers teaching science, that's a big problem."

Is not what that passage means. Heartland believe science teachers *are already not teaching science* because the science is uncertain and controversial, and are instead teaching a 'settled science' partial view of climate science.

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"Is not what that passage means."

The leaked Heartland document says:

""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.""

They don't say they want teachers to teach correct science, they say they want to dissuade them from teaching science full stop. If you read the phrase literally.

And I thought that was what we were supposed to do since climate-gate isn't it?

Can I even shorten it to "His effort will focus on providing curriculum ... effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science"?

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Trollface

In fact

According to Watts, he applied - this year for help to fund a NEW site. The new site would present unadjusted data from NOAA so that the differences between raw data and the publicly disseminated variety would be accessible to the general public in a graphic form, rather like Woodfortrees. DeSmog simply doubled the amount <sarc>for some reason</sarc>, and neglected to note the actual reasons which are actually given, making up his own. He plainly wishes that Watts blog was in danger of failing somehow.

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Where does Al Gore get all his money?

Heartland should be tapping into a bit of that gold mine.

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Anonymous Coward

Not actually much money relatively.

Meanwhile the Australian Government has put aside 10 Million Dollars (almost twice Heartland's entire budget goal) propagandizing fear to justify its utterly pointless "Carbon" Tax:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/kids-play-abc-show-to-help-sell-climate-goals/story-e6frg6xf-1226270219470

No matter what you believe about the effect of CO2 on the climate, this tax can do nothing whatsoever to affect the weather.

You will know when a tax is working enough to reduce emissions by more than 80%: you won't be able to afford to use electricity.

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Re: Not actually much money relatively.

The only reason current energy supplies are cheap is that we are dumping much of the costs (and damage) on future generations to deal with. They will not thank us for doing this.

Raising the cost of fossil fuel use increases investment in clean energy supplies so they become cheaper. Eventually fossil fuels can be phased out, but this will take time.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/renewable-energy-is-too-expensive.htm

Economic study after study has shown that dealing with the problem now will be *much* cheaper than trying to deal with it once the damage is done and we are commited to a far warmer planet e.g.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stern_Review

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Re: Re: Not actually much money relatively.

Raising the cost of fossil fuel use raises the cost of living. Every part of living. Or put another way reduces the standard of living, contracts the economy and increases hardship.

It's fine to fantasize that making power more expensive will somehow make more expensive power more viable, but the goal should be making power cheaper.

If you think we're using a lot of C02 producing energy right now, just wait until the emerging industrial world, most of which lies in the tropics - and which has explosive population growth - demands air conditioning and the other trappings we enjoy right now.

Yes, there is a solution - if there is indeed a problem - and it's not changing our power source. It's culling 80% of the world's population. Starting with the most useless unproductive ones. Now which ones would that be?

Certainly save some money in aid wouldn't it?

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""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.”"

Amazingly hypocritical given the "climate scientists are suppressing our views" bleating by climate sceptics.

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Unhappy

Which is worse

Paying out evil oil-soaked dollars to buy influence, or faking data analysis and borking the peer-review process to hide it? The first is kind of normal, the second is on a deep moral level, unforgivable.

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