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« Evidence to the Justice Committee | Main | Public should be charged to see their own papers »
Wednesday
Feb152012

Heartland docs leaked

Some documents have been leaked from the Heartland Institute, which detail its funding of various sceptics - Idso, Carter and Singer - together with some funding for Anthony Watts' temperature stations project. They're stolen documents, I tell you, stolen!

There are apparently nine or ten documents, which will no doubt be scanned for evidence of malfeasance. I haven't seen any serious allegations as yet.

There's coverage all over the place. Try here for starters.

 

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Reader Comments (123)

'They're stolen documents, I tell you, stolen!'.

Just like the ClimateGate emails. Was similar outrage expressed over them on this site? I haven't time to check and am just wondering!

Feb 15, 2012 at 7:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlleagra

Alleagra - you need to understand irony.

Feb 15, 2012 at 7:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterHenry

"With tiny budgets like $310 million, $100 million, and $95 million respectively, how can lovable underdogs like Greenpeace, Sierra Club, and NRDC *ever* hope to compete with mighty Heartland's $6.5 million? "

Tom Nelson's headline on the Heartland affair. \
http://tomnelson.blogspot.com/2012/02/with-tiny-budgets-like-310-million-100.html

Feb 15, 2012 at 7:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

These people are funded? I am shocked, I tell you, shocked!

Feb 15, 2012 at 7:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

Alleagra - His Grace was being ironic, and poking fun at the reaction of the alarmists when the climategate emails were leaked.

Feb 15, 2012 at 7:43 AM | Unregistered Commenterlapogus

Storm meet tea cup

Feb 15, 2012 at 7:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterMarcH

Another opportunity for Warmists to display their hypocrisy. As if we needed one.

Feb 15, 2012 at 7:55 AM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

They've found the smoking gun of funding! Up until now, I've been figuring the Heartland just created money out of the thin air like the Bank of England.

Man oh Man there will be so many enquiries!

Feb 15, 2012 at 8:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul

Quotes "certain" to me made:

"We refuse to look at them. They are stolen. " James Randerson, the Guardian

Feb 15, 2012 at 8:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

Dr Evil: "Here's the plan. We get the warhead and we hold the world ransom for... one milion dollars." And the Heartland Institute has six and a half times that! Golly gosh, no wonder the likes of Greenpeace and WWF are quaking in their boots.

Feb 15, 2012 at 8:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

Quotes "certain" to me made part II:

"It is just not right that people are funded for PR purposes by outside interests. " Bob Ward, FGS.

Feb 15, 2012 at 8:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

Alleagra: Wow! You're right! Nobody seems to have ever said the climategate emails were "stolen" on this site.

You appear to have had an irony bipass operation, I was wondering if they can be reversed, can they do you know? I only ask on behalf of Mrs geronimo, who unlike you didn't need the operation, but could certainly do with the reversal,

Feb 15, 2012 at 8:30 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Wow "Heartland Insider" giving us the news that there have been efforts by sceptic groups to "Dupe children" and "cultivate Revkin" who knew the parallels would be so close ;)

Looking forward to analyse the outflow of this, definitely a good thing to have more information I'm certainly going to be more interested in a meta study and am going to track the upcoming column inches and journalistic bravery in the eventual analysis ;)

Feb 15, 2012 at 8:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

The truth is out. It was Big heartland institute oil who gave collosal amounts of money to the SSP. Oh the criminalityof it all.

/ sarc off / irony off

Feb 15, 2012 at 9:05 AM | Unregistered Commenterstephen richards

Warmists, like all Leftists who stroll about on the high moral ground, usually get there having had a hypocrisy by-pass operation. Their high moral ground outrage about their own 'stolen' emails will be airbrushed as they rain down contempt on Heartland funded deniers, (evidence arising from equally 'stolen' emails), and Heartland itself.

Feb 15, 2012 at 9:05 AM | Unregistered Commenterbill

@the leopard in the basement

..and I am already writing my grant application for a meta study of all the meta studies. We will attempt to discover the funding sources of all the meta studies and see if we can link these directly or indirectly to the phases of the moon, the global temperature anomaly or the number of words uttered (by broadcast date) in every episode of Coronation Street since its debut when I were a lad.....

Should be a totally gripping project. Hang on for a roller-coaster ride......

Feb 15, 2012 at 9:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Having read Suzanne Goldenburgs article it appears that she has a major concern that the Heartland Institute is funded by "one or two wealthy individuals".

I wonder if she has similar concerns about the funding given by Jeremy Grantham and David Suzuki and many others to causes that they believe in ?

Feb 15, 2012 at 9:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin

@Latimer Alder

Yes, however I fully anticipate that it will be an eventual study by the occasional visiting professor of applied narcotics at the University of Please Yourself, California which will become the touchstone paper that will finally bury skepticism of anything for good ;)

Feb 15, 2012 at 9:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

We need Climategate 3 to put the mob back into place.

Feb 15, 2012 at 9:22 AM | Unregistered CommentersHx

Suzanne Goldenberg’s report in the Guardian says:
“The Valentine's Day exposé of Heartland is reminscent to a certain extent of the hacking of emails from the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit in 2009. Those documents helped sink the UN's climate summit later that year”.

Hold your fire on the irony and let the Guardian fall deeper into the trap.

Feb 15, 2012 at 9:26 AM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

'Alleagra - you need to understand irony.:'

A fair cop! I fell hook line and sinker for that one! And there's me (English, believe it or not) thinking that Americans don't get irony.

Feb 15, 2012 at 9:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlleagra

The Guardian only exists because of a charitable trust, and some more profitable titles.

If it had to let its current editorial policy guide its "profitability" it would have sunk long long ago.

Without funding the Guardian would die.

But that is different of course...

Feb 15, 2012 at 9:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

Bob Ward and George Monbiot are in spasms over this passage:

"His 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"


George describes this as:

"Among Heartland Inst's objectives: "dissuading teachers from teaching science." I kid you not."

https://twitter.com/#!/GeorgeMonbiot/status/169713162696921089


George excitedly fails in his interpretation - the report *asserts* that teachers are dissuaded from teaching science (as opposed to catechism I guess) *because* the subject is controversial, and aims to counter that fact.

Buffoon.

Feb 15, 2012 at 9:35 AM | Unregistered Commentermrsean2k

Alleagra; one small extra step: Bishop Hill is a UK blog publishing out of Scotland.

Feb 15, 2012 at 9:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Carr

Re; Geofchambers

So according to the guardian the Heartland's documents being released is an "exposé" and the UEA's emails being released is "hacking".

No double standards there then.

Feb 15, 2012 at 9:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

Why do 'sceptics' here trust the Heatland institute? They are a lobby firm in the same way Green NGOs lobby government, one funded by corporate membership and the others by public individuals. Interested parties for both sides of the argument may have valid arguments [good for Heartland to fund an open access database] but swallow one instead of the other because they are on *your* side doesn't make you a sceptic.

Feb 15, 2012 at 9:52 AM | Unregistered Commenteriwannabeasceptic

Re: iwannabeasceptic

What makes you think sceptics here trust the Heartland Institute?

Feb 15, 2012 at 9:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

Funny thing when you look at the numbers , there actual tiny and no where near the vast amounts of ‘big oil funding ‘ which is claimed to0 exist . Even taken at face value compared to the money Hansen pulls in or just the 150,000 St Gore charges for a ‘visit’ , this really is peanuts. So you have to say , AGW skeptics are doing a poor job of making cash compared to AGW alarmists .

Feb 15, 2012 at 9:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

Re: iwannabeasceptic

Just to be clear, I don't trust the following:
The Heartland Institute,
The GWPF,
The Grantham Institute,
The UEA,
Greenpeace,
WWF,
Any organisation with climate change, global warming, green, or environment in its title.
Many many more.

Feb 15, 2012 at 9:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

Following this story round the internet, already its clear that the sophists of the Left are making the case that this bunch of stolen/leaked/hacked emails are of a totally different order to Climategate stolen/leaked/hacked emails therefore it is right and proper to discuss them. A positional relativism akin to Greenpeace's demanding of Michaels emails being OK (and quickly released by UVa) whereas Cucinelli's demanding of Mann's not OK (and strenuously being resisted by UVa). In short the moral high ground of Leftist ethics reduces to, "Whatever supports our position, regardless, is good; whatever harms our position, regardless, is bad". Intellectual honesty, truth, whatever, just bourgeois conceits. And that ethical position of course that spills over into the 'science'. Fiddling a few temps here, ignoring facts which undermine the case there etc etc, so what? We're Progressives, don't you know?

Feb 15, 2012 at 9:59 AM | Unregistered Commenterbill

IWBS
I always assume there is a vested interest. As long as I can see what it is then I'm happy to then take a look at the argument and run it through the sanity checker, then the credentiometer. When I can't see an obvious interest, then I go looking for that first. I'm usually very suspicious of imposingly named groups (Centre for This That and The Other, or Institute for Global Obfuscation or somesuch). In such cases I find the paper trail of ownership and funding usually quite illuminating, as it more often than not leads to my pocket.

Bob Ward can't complain about pressure and lobby groups funded by individuals, as, blow me down, he's a paid advocate of a pressure and lobby group funded by an individual.

Feb 15, 2012 at 10:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

Perhaps this will go some way to putting to rest the idea that sceptics are well organised and well funded. Which is especially laughable in comparison to the amount of taxpayer funding, as well as NGO funding, of alarmism.

Feb 15, 2012 at 10:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

Information should be free.

Feb 15, 2012 at 10:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Bill

Well put. If there was an upvote button, I'd use it. :-)

Feb 15, 2012 at 10:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

If commenters here are interested in getting their views over to a wider public, I suggest they wait till Monbiot or Ward explode on the Guardian’s Environment pages, and then drop on them like a ton of - well, Guardian readers (80% of whom are sceptics, judging by the “recommends”).
I know how tempting it is to concentrate on the irony - to point out that no-one at Heartland has suggested destroying data or getting editors sacked, or rejoiced at the death of a colleague. What they’ve done, apparently, is pay people to write stuff. Just as Jeremy Grantham and Auto Dealer pay Ward and Monbiot to write stuff. But will anyone in the mainstream media put the Heartland stuff and the Ward/Monbiot stuff back to back and see which is right?

Feb 15, 2012 at 10:10 AM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

Ben PIle at
http://www.climate-resistance.org/
has collected Bob Ward’s tweets on the subject. His comments are spot on, as usual.

Feb 15, 2012 at 10:18 AM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

SHOCK HORROR - Climate skeptics support climate skepticism.

Lets get all the information into the public domain in order to have an open debate by the protagonists.

Lets see Mann's emails. Lets see who funds GWPF. Lets have an open IPCC process. Lets see the links between green groups and climate scientists, the media and politicians. Lets see who is funding who.

Feb 15, 2012 at 10:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

@terrys
it is heartening [!] to here that, but I disagree with the reference to UEA, which is governed by strict charter along with the rest of UK Uni. The other 'demon' Monbiot was one the first to criticise the lack of openness of [1 department] UEA and championed free access to scientific papers. It is publishing houses who put up paywalls for people to access information the publishers received for free.

Feb 15, 2012 at 10:33 AM | Unregistered Commenteriwannabeasceptic

OMG my typos are epidemic today, must be low on blod sugar! here=hear, 'one of * the first'

Feb 15, 2012 at 10:35 AM | Unregistered Commenteriwannabeasceptic

@mac- we have seen Mann's emails and they really are dull, academics discussing stuff academics talk about, the only way to make them fruity was to leave out context and half the sentence. But, yes open access to relationships in such high profile bodies is essential, which was the *only* issue in climategate. However non mass membership based organisations tend to be far more shady and the academic system does need a good clean across all disciplines.

Feb 15, 2012 at 10:45 AM | Unregistered Commenteriwannabeasceptic

I have funded Steve McIntyre (£50) and the Bish (£10) in the past. Small donations I know, apologies if this causes embarrassment.

To my eternal shame I have given more in the dark and dim past to environmental groups. Never again.

Any charity that has a policy on climate change I avoid like the plague. I only support local charities now - small overhead, money goes to source.

Feb 15, 2012 at 10:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

I must admit I was mildly disappointed not to have been listed alongside Andy Revkin and Judy Curry as someone "who has a well-known antipathy for some of the more extreme AGW communicators such as Romm...." :-)

However, assuming this document is genuine, the two quotes in the 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy that are definitely quite revealing and important are:

This influential audience [Forbes] has usually been reliably anti-climate and it is important to keep opposing voices out

and:

At present we sponsor the NIPCC to undermine the official United Nation's IPCC reports

As someone who considers it completely acceptable to question and discuss mainstream views in an open and honest manner, and indeed as someone who actively promotes such discussion even in the face of advice against this, these points are of key concern as they appear to be counter to the idea of genuine, constructive discussion.

Of course many people will tell me that is naive to expect otherwise!

One of the reasons I go on Bishop Hill and Climate Audit is that opposing voices are not kept out, and that a proper discussion can (usually) be had. I hope fans of these blogs will take note of the apparent strategy by Heartland to oppose free debate and simply try to cause damage, rather than engaging in genuine discussion.

(And yes, before you ask, I do think that "suppression of opposing voices" and "undermining" would be wrong no matter which "side" does it.)

However, we don't seem to have had a response from Heartland yet, so it will be interesting to see what they say on the appearance that they actively set out to "undermine" and "keep opposing voices out".

Feb 15, 2012 at 10:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Betts

For once I agree with RB we need an open and honest debate.

That can only proceed if all information, relevant or not, is in the open. That includes scientific, financial, political and ideological links involving all the protagonists.

To get the ball rolling.

Richard Betts have you links with green groups and have you made donations to such groups?

Feb 15, 2012 at 10:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

iwannabea,

You are trolling. You don't believe what you write.

Feb 15, 2012 at 11:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Re: iwannabeasceptic

... the only way to make them fruity was to leave out context and half the sentence.

The only example I have seen of "half the sentence being left out" is when it referred to the health of family member and the leaker censored it. Perhaps you could provide a single example of half a sentence being left that does not fall into a similar category?
As for context, the full email chain is there in many instances and provides the full context. Those whose emails have been released have had ample opportunity to provide an alternative context and have failed to do so.

Feb 15, 2012 at 11:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

Just doing some back checks.

I think I've given more money to GreenPeace than the WWF and FoE (I'm bad), but I've given more to the Red Cross, Save The Children, Médecins Sans Frontières and Amnesty International (I'm not that bad).

Feb 15, 2012 at 11:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Richard, I think you will find that the words "undermine" and "keep opposing voices out" are just the daily jargon commonly used and contextually understood by all those in think-tankery; just as 'trick' and 'hide the decline' are common and contextually sensible in academia, and therefore of no particular moment whatever. .

Feb 15, 2012 at 11:14 AM | Unregistered Commenterbill

No one can support phrases and words such as "it is important to keep opposing voices out" and "undermine"; just as no one can support the use of phrases and words such as "hide the decline" and "trick".

We need an honest and open debate, and that can only be done by having all the information in the public domain.

Feb 15, 2012 at 11:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Richard, everyone knows that the NIPCC report is not an unbiased objective review of the science. It only exists because of the failure of the IPCC to be balanced and objective. It makes it clear in its preface that the report was produced out of concern that the IPCC provokes an irrational fear of AGW based on incomplete and faulty science. So there's not as much of a story here as some are claiming.

Feb 15, 2012 at 11:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Matthews

Richard, everyone knows that the NIPCC report is not an unbiased objective review of the science. It only exists because of the failure of the IPCC to be balanced and objective. It makes it clear in its preface that the report was produced out of concern that the IPCC provokes an irrational fear of AGW based on incomplete and faulty science. So there's not as much of a story here as some are claiming.

Feb 15, 2012 at 11:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Matthews

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