Wednesday, February 15, 2012

While It Complained of Being Silenced, Heartland Institute Worked to Silence Climate Scientists

The Green Miles has been tracking the Heartland Institute's shenanigans for years now, but even I couldn't imagine something like the scandal that's unfolding today. Leaked internal documents detail Heartland's plan to use a secret funder's money to replace climate science with polluter propaganda in America's school curriculum.

Having once come close to being forcibly ejected from a Heartland conference, I especially enjoyed an aspect of Heartland's public relations strategy as detailed by E&E News reporter Jean Chemnick (subscription required):
Later in the memo, its author warns that the business and financial magazine Forbes, which publishes a blog by Heartland Institute senior fellow James Taylor, has "begun to allow high-profile climate scientists (such as [Peter] 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," the memo states.
Here's Heartland's 2009 Washington Post ad complaining “politicians…and the media routinely ignore and silence the scientists, economists and other experts who say global warming isn’t a crisis”:

So while Heartland was complaining publicly that they were being ignored & silenced, the documents show they were working behind the scenes to make sure climate scientists were ignored & silenced.

In the sage words of Anchorman ... why don't you stop talking for a while? Maybe sit the next couple of plays out.

UPDATE: Heartland claims the documents were not theirs AND that they were stolen. Wrap your brain around that one.


ncdave4life said...

The "2012 Climate Strategy" document, which Heartland says is a forgery, is the one that the shocking quotes come from. I noticed several suspicious things about it:

1. It refers to Heartland's own position as "anti-climate." But that's a derogatory term which climate skeptic outfits never use to describe their positions.

2. It's written in the first person, yet there's no indication of who wrote it. (Have you ever seen a memo like that?)

3. The PDF is time-stamped with a Pacific Standard Time date & time: "2012-02-13T12:41:52-08:00" ("-8:00" means PST) But Heartland is in Chicago (two time-zones away), and none of its directors are in the Pacific time-zone. Most are in Illinois. None of them live anywhere near the Pacific time-zone.

So it appears likely that, just as Heartland claims, the document is a (rather clumsy) forgery.|

Is anyone surprised?

Coyote said...

The reason you liked the document so much is that it is a forgery by someone who shares your worldview. Rather than being an actual strategy document, it is the strategy document that climate alarmists think Heartland would write

The bits in the document about stopping teachers from teaching science is particularly telling

For those of us at least somewhat inside the tent of the skeptic community, the goal of “dissuading teachers from teaching science” is a total disconnect. I have never had any skeptic in even the most private of conversations even hint at such a goal. The skeptic view is that science education vis a vis climate and other environmental matters tends to be shallow, or one-sided, or politicized — in other words broken in some way and needing repair. In this way, most every prominent skeptic that works even a bit in the science/data end of things believes him or herself to be supporting, helping, and fixing science. In fact, many skeptics believe that the continued positive reception of catastrophic global warming theory is a function of the general scientific illiteracy of Americans and points to a need for more and better science education.

The only people who believe skeptics are anti-science per se, and therefore might believe skeptics would scheme to dissuade teachers from teaching science, are the more political alarmists. For years, I presume partially in an effort to avoid debate, certain alarmists have taken the ad hominem position that skeptics are anti-science. And many probably well-meaning alarmists believe this about skeptics (since they may have not actually met any skeptics to know differently). The person who wrote this fake memo almost had to be an alarmist, and probably was of the middling, more junior sort, the type of person who does not craft the talking points but is a recipient of them and true believer.

TheGreenMiles said...

Heartland is only claiming one of the many documents is a forgery. Looks like these documents were willingly (if gullibly) handed over.