Tag Archives: Heartland Institute

Heartland’s “Anonymous Donor”?

In the wake of the leak of several apparently official documents from the Heartland Institute (along with one highly disputed two-page memo), much speculation has focused on the identity of an anonymous donor who has reportedly donated more than $13 million to Heartland in the last six years.

A number of possibilities have been put forward over the last days, but a clear front runner has emerged as Heartland’s likely primary donor. And the winner is …

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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”.]

[Update Feb. 23. On Feruary 20, Peter Gleick, head of the Pacific Institute, admitted to using deception to obtain the Heartland documents and has apologized for doing so. He says he did so in a misguided effort to confirm details in the controversial Climate Strategy memo that he had received anonymously in the mail. For its part, Heartland branded Gleick’s story as “unbelievable”, implicitly accusing him of having forged the document. ]

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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.

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IOP Energy Group founder is featured speaker at upcoming Heartland conference

The controversy over the Institute of Physics biased submission to the U.K. Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee’s  investigation of the stolen emails from East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit is about to get a whole lot hotter.

Terri Jackson, IOP Energy Group “founder” and a key proponent of various IOP pro-skeptic initiatives, is using her past association with the group to advance her new career as a “climate realist”.  Her IOP affiliation is hammered in every interview and profile, and was listed with her signature to the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Challenge open letter to the U.N. Not only that, it’s  the sole affiliation given for her upcoming stint as featured speaker at – wait for it – the upcoming Heartland Institute sponsored climate conference in Chicago, where Jackson will join U.K. contrarian heavyweights like Piers Corbyn and Lord Christopher Monckton.

Meanwhile, disturbing indications have emerged that the IOP submission may have been leaked in advance to Monckton, raising new questions about the legitimacy of the submission and the process behind it. It’s high time the IOP stopped clinging to the pretense that all is well and started cleaning up this mess.

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Canadians front and centre at 2nd Heartland Conference

Heartland Conference Logo - March 8-10, 2009

The “climate change skeptic” right-wing think tank Heartland Institute has been quietly updating its list of almost 60 speakers for the second annual International Conference on Climate Change to be held in New York this March – and Canadian skeptics are front and centre. And in at least two cases, the official affiliations listed for speakers appear unlikely to be bona fide.

Last year’s inaugural event was derided by climate scientists as a PR sham masquerading as a scientific conference. Conference speakers, most of whom are not practicing climate scientists, are paid a generous honorarium and all travel expenses. Funding sources are not disclosed, but the Heartland Institute has received $676,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998.

This year’s meeting will feature first time invitee Stephen McIntyre, founder of the popular ClimateAudit blog, as one of six headliners. McIntyre is described by Heartland as a “devastating critic of the temperature record of the past 1,000 years”, but has published only one peer-reviewed article in a recognized science journal.

Interestingly, McIntyre’s listed affiliation is with the University of Toronto. McIntyre’s connection to the University is unclear, although he does apparently have a University email address.

Among the other five confirmed Canadian speakers, undoubtedly the most controversial is Lawrence Solomon, listed as affiliated with the National Post, a national Canadian daily newspaper. Solomon is the author of The Deniers, a book based on a long series of individual profiles written for the Post. He has recently launched attacks in the Post on Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University, as seen  here and here. Solomon is executive director of Energy Probe, a non-profit group that “works for  environmental sustainability by promoting property rights.” (Closer scrutiny of this group  is clearly warranted, but will have to wait for a future post).

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