Friday, February 17, 2012

Heartland Institute Greets Denialgate With (Wait For It) More Denial

Polluter front group the Heartland Institute is claiming it's the real victim of Denialgate. But as Jean Chemnick reports for E&E News (sub. req.), Heartland is providing little evidence to support its contentions:
The embattled Heartland Institute has roundly condemned journalists for writing about or posting a climate change strategy memo earlier this week that, while attributed to the organization, Heartland says is a "total fake."

But the memo was released late Tuesday night together with other budget and fundraising documents that the right-leaning think tank says appear to have been written by its president and mentions programs that are also detailed in the other documents.

The memo in question notes, for example, that one anonymous donor plans to pony up $100,000 to allow Heartland to develop a curriculum for schoolchildren that would "focus on providing curriculum that shows that the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain." The project is to be spearheaded by consultant David Wojick. The same project is mentioned on page 18 of the budget of the fundraising plan, which Heartland says may be genuine.
An Associated Press investigation also finds no reason to doubt the Denialgate documents' authenticity.

Heartland's bleating about documents which it apparently willingly handed over to someone posing as a board member stand in stark contrast to its gleeful reaction to hackers stealing the emails of climate scientists, which remains the subject of an active criminal investigation. As Zachary Shahan at writes, "Three years of nonsense and praise for 'Climategate' combined with the continual misrepresentation of what it actually was, and now the Heartland Institute wants to call in the referees and have us all sit peacefully in a thoughtful moment on how wrong it is to steal information and misrepresent people?"
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