An anonymous leaker sent a number of climate-science related bloggers/blog sites a trove of internal documents from libertarian Heartland Institute. While the material points to many nefarious Heartland Institute efforts, such as supporting undermining of Wisconsin’s public education, the most extensive material is about Heartland’s heartless efforts to foster disinformation about climate science, to undermine Americans’ access to accurate information, and to weaken America’s K-12 science education.
In what looks almost certainly to be backed by focused group testing, the made public K-12 climate disinformation strategy targets “dissuading teachers from teaching science”. Here is the key paragraph from the (now-disputed) heartless “climate education” plans
Principals and teachers are heavily biased toward the alarmist perspective. To counter this we are considering launching an effort to develop alternative materials for K-12 classrooms. We are pursuing a proposal…to produce a global warming curriculum for K-12 schools…[this] 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.
Yes, the heartless Heartland Institute plans to spend significant sums of money to develop an anti-science curriculum to foster confusion about climate change in line with Luntz’ political guidance to use ‘climate change’ because it fosters uncertainty about the state of climate science and will undermine efforts to act to mitigate climate change to help us avoid catastrophic climate chaos. Let is be clear that Heartland isn’t interested in honest examination of science (after all, why would Heartland’s Climate Change wiki be closed to actual science if they were interested in truth?) or fostering an educational system that better prepares American students for the science-related challenges and opportunities that will dominate the 21st century. No, in support of polluting interests, the Heartland Institute’s climate strategy is targeted at “dissuading teachers from teaching science”.
“Dissuading teachers from teaching science …”
It is hard to imagine a worse objective or more heartless for anything claiming to be an educational initiative.
While there is much to be learned from this Valentine’s Day breaking DissuadeGate data dump from within the science denier world, among the items of real interest in this Heart-Less Valentine’s Day news item: an anonymous lover (“Anonymous Donor”) of the Heartland Institute‘s efforts to infect America’s youth with anti-science syndrome. One person, according to the (now disputed) January 2012 Heart-less Climate Denial Strategy document (pdf), provides over 20 percent of Heartland‘s entire budget with plans to increase that funding;
Our climate work is attractive to funders, especially our key Anonymous Donor (whose contribution dropped from $1,664,150 in 2010 to $979,000 in 2011 – about 20% of our total 2011 revenue). He has promised an increase in 2012…”
Yes, in addition to the significant Koch-otopus support ($100,000s per year plus access to Koch’s secret cabal of right-wing funders), Heartland’s heartless disinformation efforts targeting the undermining of America’s science education with promotion of anti-science syndrome are funded anonymously. Hmmm … Don’t you want to know who is trying to manipulate your child’s education to support their financial interests?
I can not prove that these documents are real or fake. As possible, I will pass on information that comes along about this. (DeSmogBlog has commented on this.) Have a look at the documents and make up your own mind.
Let us be clear, however, that the Heartland Institute has been engaged — systematically — in demeaning climate science and sowing confusion as to the science. This, sigh, fostered credibility as to the document release along with the delayed responsiveness to numerous media requests for comment.
And, for a moment, let us consider what The Heartland Institute argued related to the criminal theft of material from East Anglia University (e.g., re ClimateGate):
“The release of these documents creates an opportunity for reporters, academics, politicians, and others who relied on the IPCC to form their opinions about global warming to stop and reconsider their position. The experts they trusted and quoted in the past have been caught red-handed plotting to conceal data, hide temperature trends that contradict their predictions, and keep critics from appearing in peer-reviewed journals. This is new and real evidence that they should examine and then comment on publicly.”
UPDATE TO UPDATE: At Mother Jones, Kate Sheppard has a Heartland fundraising letter building on this situation. Internal Heartland Institute Email Blasts “Lamestream Media” for Climate Leak discusses the leak and Heartland’s claims / statements.
It’s worth noting that Heartland didn’t seem to mind when emails between climate scientists that were stolen from a server, made public, and lied about on the internet—either the first or second time it happened. It’s only now that that type of behavior is “just despicable,” a “violation of journalistic ethics,” and a criminal offense.
Now Heartland [is] using the incident to fundraise, according to an email to donors obtained by Mother Jones on Wednesday night. The email complains that “scores of bloggers and left-wing activists and their pets in the lamestream media” are posting and quoting the documents. It also asks for donations to the organization’s legal defense fund to fight “false and defamatory” stories. And it apologizes to funders whose names were made public by the incident: “We promise anonymity to many of our donors because nobody wants the risk of nutty environmentalists or Occupy Wall Street goons harassing them. We know that privacy is important to you.”
This situation clearly has some resonance and parallels with “ClimateGate“. Let’s explore, however, some differences:
1. Unlike the illegal breaking into East Anglia’s computers, the Heartless Valentine’s Day material does not look to have come from an outside theft but from an insider who has chosen, for whatever reason, to ‘leak’ the material (almost certainly without authorization) and be a(n anonymous) whistleblower.
2. Unlike the selective leaking of the stolen East Anglia’s email correspondance, the Heartless Valentine’s Day material has been, from the get go, put into public in its entirety — with any ‘cherry-picking’ of material that leads to misrepresentation easily discovered.
3. Unlike the stolen East Anglia’s email correspondance, the Heartless Valentine’s Day material are completed (formal) documents. This isn’t back and forth draft material between colleagues, engaged in what they saw as interactions with colleagues as they sought to figure out how to move forward, but the formalized results of drafts/etc … There is something quite different between one’s informal (midnight …) email and an institution’s formalized planning documents.
4. Sigh, unlike with the distorted coverage the stolen East Anglia correspondence with the RWSM machine (from bloggers to Hannity/Beck to Faux “News” to the RNC …) backing, we cannot expect that the nation’s “journalists” will give front page attention to this heartless effort advocating “dissuading teachers from teaching science”.
And, well, as for the motivation of the leaker — perhaps he (or she) was motivated, on Valentine’s Day 2012, by a love of the planet’s ability to support modern human civilization.
Discussions of the Heartless Documents
- Brendan DeMelle, Heartland Institute Exposed: Internal Documents Unmask Heart of Climate Denial Machine, DeSmogBlog (links to all of the leaked documents)
- Kate Sheppard, Internal Heartland Institute Email Blasts “Lamestream Media” for Climate Leak, Mother Jones
- Chris Mooney, “Dissuading Teachers From Teaching Science”: The Leak of Alleged Heartland Institute Documents, The Intersection
- Joe Romm, Heartland Documents Reveal Fringe Denial Group Plans to Pursue Koch Money, Dupe Children and Cultivate Revkin, Climate Progress
- James Hrynyshyn, The Heart(land) of the Denial Campaign, Class M
- Leo Hickman, Leaked Heartland Institute documents pull back curtain on climate scepticism, The Guardian
- Suzanne Goldenberg, Leak exposes how Heartland Institute works to undermine climate science, The Guardian
- Suzanne Goldenberg, Suzanne Goldenberg, Leak exposes how Heartland Institute works to undermine climate science, The Guardian, The Guardian
- Heartland Institute budget and strategy revealed, DeepClimate
- Greg Laden, HeartlandGate: Anti-Science Institute’s Insider Reveals Secrets, Culture as Science — Science as Culture
- Greg Laden, The Meaning of Heartland Gate, Culture as Science — Science as Culture
- Brad Johnson, INTERNAL DOCUMENTS: The Secret, Corporate-Funded Plan To Teach Children That Climate Change Is A Hoax, Think Progress: Green
- Brad Johnson, CONFIRMED: Anti-Science Blogger Admits Heartland Institute’s ‘Special Project’ To Distort Temperature Data, Think Progress: Green
- Peter Sinclair, How is Joe Bast Like Joe Camel? Looks Like We’re Going to Find Out….., Climate Denial Crock of the The Week
- Michael Tobis, Is Turnabout Fair Play?, Planet 3.0 — Beyond Sustainability
- Shawn Lawrence Otto, Climate Denial Bombshell, NeoRenaissance
- Jonathan Eisen, Leaked insider docs from Heartland Institute goal: “dissuading teachers from teaching science” (ps hey Scholarly Kitchen do you support this?), The Tree of Life
- Zachary Shanan, Fossil-Fuel-Funded Think Tank, Heartland Institute, Exposed (Deniergate? Heartlandgate? Pick a Name), Clean Technica
- Phil Plait, Breaking news: A look behind the curtain of the Heartland Institute’s climate change spin, Bad Astronomy
- Christian Hunt, Undermining the IPCC, keeping opposing voices out, dissuading the teaching of science – Heartland in its own words?, The Carbon Brief
- William Connelly, Heartland, Stoat
- Keith Kloor, Climate Skeptic Organization Feels the Heat, Collide-a-Scape
- Steve Zwick, Blog reveals Climate Change Denier Group’s Corporate Backers, Forbes
- Will Nichols, Will Heartland Institute scandal force transparency on corporate donors?, BusinessGreen
- J.A., Trouble in the Heartland?, The Economist
- Richard Littlemore, Mashey Report Confirms Heartland’s Manipulation; Exposes Singer’s Deception, DeSmogBlog
- Canucks On Heartland Institute Payroll, Big City Lib Strikes Back
- Katherine Stewart, The new anti-science assault on US schools, The Guardian
- Miles Grant, While It Complained of Being Silenced, Heartland Institute Worked to Silence Climate Scientists, The Green Miles
- Gareth, The real Climategate: Heartland’s hypocrisy on display, The Hot Topic
- Amber Jamieson, Who’s the Anonymous Donor keeping a climate sceptic think tank afloat?, Crikey
- Graham Readfern, Leaked docs from climate-denying think tank reveal strategy, Crikey
- Meghan McCardle, Leaked Docs From Heartland Institute Cause a Stir—but Is One a Fake?, The Atlantic
- Jess Zimmerman, How the Heartland Institute plans to wreck education, Grist
- Professor Scott Mandia, Heartland Institute: Hey Kids, Have a Smoke and Denial, Global Warming: Man or Myth?
- Stephanie Pappas, Leaked: Conservative Group Plans Anti-Climate Education Program, Live Science
- Shawn Lawrence Otto, They’re Coming for Your Kids: Heartland Institute’s Plan to Brainwash Children, Neorenaissance
- John Mashey, Fake science, fakexperts, funny finances, free of tax, DeSmogBlog
- Neela Banerjee, Climate change doubter Heartland Institute documents leaked, Los Angeles Times
- Shawn Lawrence Otto, They’re coming for your kids, Huffington Post
- Mike Haubrich, Phony Credentialism at the Heartland Institute, Tangled up in a Blue Guy
- Nina Burleigh, Secret papers turn up heat on global-warming deniers, Salon
- Seth Borenstein, INFLUENCE GAME: Leaks show group’s climate efforts, Associated Press
- Miles Grant, Heartland Institute Greets Denialgate With (Wait For It) More Denial, The Green Miles
- Josh Israel and Brad Johnson, EXPOSED: The 19 Public Corporations Funding The Climate Denier Think Tank Heartland Institute, Think Progress: Green
- Kevin Knobloch, Living in a Glass House in the Heartland, The Equation (Union of Concerned Scientists)
- Suzanne Goldenberg, Heartland Institute faces fresh scrutiny over tax status, The Guardian
- Kevin Coyle, From the Heartland: An Inside Look at the Extreme Right’s War on K-12 Climate and Environmental Education, Wildlife Promise (National Wildlife Federation)
- dana1987 and jg, DenialGate – Infographic Illustrating the Heartland Denial Funding Machine, Skeptical Science
- Neil Crowden, Call to reveal ALL funding behind climate sceptics, Climate and Health Council
- Bob Ward, Leaked files expose Heartland Institute’s secrets, New Scientist
- Richard Matthews, Heartland Institute’s Deniergate: A New Definition for Irony, Green Conduct News
- A Siegel, Heartland Republicans call for Heartland investigation, Get Energy Smart! NOW!
- A Siegel, Climate Scientist Empathy for Climate-Denier Heartland Institute’s travails …, Get Energy Smart! NOW!
NOTE: Updates with additional items will now be done with dates of adding the material.
17 February 2012
18 February 2012
NOTE / COMMENT:
Clearly, my focus (and the primary portion of the material) is on Heartland’s heartless climate disinformation efforts. But, to reiterate, Heartland is involved in other things of concern / interest. For example, from the totally Heartless 2012 budget document, there is the $91,500 in the 2012 budget for “Operation Angry Badger”
OPERATION ANGRY BADGER
A research and education project built to take advantage of the public interest in
Wisconsin’s Act 10 generated by recall elections that could take place. Publications Dept.
budget includes printing and mailing three reports and brochures.
Hmmm … might this sort of activity (and information) attract the attention of ‘non-Green’-oriented commentators to help them understand how critical climate change and science can and should be in the political process?