The unauthorized release of supposedly scandalous Heartland Institute documents has been pretty thoroughly addressed on many blogs over the last day or so. The documents are being used in an attempt to “expose” a “well-funded” “climate denial machine”, which is laughable on several levels.
The only document involved that could be viewed as damning in any way is almost certainly a fake. The others are fairly boring, unless you really are surprised that any organization would take (very modest) donations to explore alternative hypotheses on the subject of global warming and climate change.
Supporting alternative hypotheses in science…what a scandal!
Only fringe lunatic save-the-Earth-by-killing-everyone-but-me types could really believe that any organization would actually promote “dissuading teachers from teaching science”. The person who wrote this obviously fraudulent Heartland goal clearly knows little about science or what kind of organization Heartland is.
That so many media outlets (especially the Guardian) ran with the story without checking its veracity is another black eye for what passes as journalism these days.
I know Joe Bast, the president and CEO of Heartland. He is of the highest character and intelligence, and I would consider his motives on the climate subject to be at or above anyone I have met in this business, on either side of the issue. This is why I agree to take part in the Heartland climate conferences, for less than half of my normal speaking fee. I don’t necessarily agree with all the science and ideas presented there, but I would rather it be presented and discussed than be censored, which is the U.N. IPCC’s modus operandi.
The last conference even showcased a debate between me (a “luke-warmer”, I’m told) and a scientist-supporter of the IPCC position. That’s a level of openness you will not find on the IPCC’s side of the issue.
Due to popular demand, Joe organized the last conference without sufficient funding. At the end of the conference he confided that he was still trying to find donors who would cover the expenses. It almost seemed like his organization really didn’t need the headaches involved in the effort, but no one else was stepping up to the plate to do a job which needed to be done.
The real scandal is that it took a private organization like Heartland to compile the hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific publications which suggest that increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere might not be a problem for humanity or the biosphere. This is what the IPCC should have done, if it had any scientific objectivity.
I hope that this hoax backfires on the person who started it. I hope it leads to even more donations to Heartland, which has played the role of David in its battle against the Goliath multi-billion dollar climate alarmist machine.