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« More Fakegate bits and pieces | Main | Curry and Mandia on Fakegate »
Friday
Feb242012

Politicians notice Fakegate

Rep Edward Markey of Massachusetts has written to Heartland asking for them to document the inaccuracies in the Fakegate documents and asking for originals.

In a letter to Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast, Markey asked the group for an explanation of any inaccuracies in the leaked documents as well as accurate versions of those documents.

“These documents appear to indicate that the Heartland Institute is receiving large donations from corporations for the direct purpose of discrediting the mainstream science of climate change and has planned to engage in a campaign to undermine the teaching of well-established science at our public schools,” Markey, the top Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, said in the letter.

If I recall correctly, Heartland's climate change activities were not actually corporate funded at all. What an extraordinary error to make.

I think it is probably worth Heartland documenting what is wrong in the fake document, since this is in the public realm. As to the real one, I suggest they tell him to mind his own business. Private matters should remain private.

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Reader Comments (39)

Has all the hallmarks of a blustery request for something in a loud voice which will no doubt not be fully complied with to the letter and therefore provoke the expected "Aha! I told you so!"

I notice there is no real overt reason given for the request except the usual underlying blowhard indignation. He seems to have based his whole research on the AP press release -

The AP also confirmed from David Wojick, who was identified in the released documents, that "the document was accurate about his project to put curriculum materials in schools that promote climate skepticism"

I like the use of quotes from the original article which heighten the nasty "promote" in a useful way the original AP was:

David Wojick, a Virginia-based federal database contractor, said in an email that the document was accurate about his project to put curriculum materials in schools that promote climate skepticism.

“My goal is to help them teach one of the greatest scientific debates in history,” Wojick said. “This means teaching both sides of the science, more science, not less.”

Still. It prove useful that there is some interest shown in the fake document.

Feb 24, 2012 at 6:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

What science of climate change is currently being taught in US schools?

Feb 24, 2012 at 7:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndy scrase

I'm not sure that Heartland can acknowledge the released documents as accurate. (Although there's no reason to suspect them as anything but. Excluding the climate strategy document, naturally.) Don't they contain personal information? But perhaps they would consider releasing a version with details redacted.

Feb 24, 2012 at 7:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW

"I think it is probably worth Heartland documenting what is wrong in the fake document, since this is in the public realm."

Yep - still waiting for that too. Are they saying it is fake as a document - i.e. as a single entity (it could have been put together from other stuff) or are they saying the contents are all fake as in not written by them ? This is not clear.

Feb 24, 2012 at 7:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris

Rep Edward Markey (D Massachusetts) has never been regarded as ,uch ,ore intelligent than a horse, merely as a good follower of his Party. In this case, though, he will no doubt soon announce that Heartland has [already] admitted that [all save one of] the documents are legitimate: I only wonder who actually suggested this sneaky approach to him.

Feb 24, 2012 at 7:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn A

If a partisan like Mr. Markey ever asked me to appear before congress I'd respectfully decline. If I was told I'd be held in contempt of congress I'd respond well the feeling is mutual.

Feb 24, 2012 at 7:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterSean

Markey should be told to go to hell.
He is not the judge of what is or is not creditable science.
He is certainly not a censor.
And he is not a prosecutor.
He is a lefty hack Congressman from Massachusetts.

Feb 24, 2012 at 7:21 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

"So that Members of congress and the public can understand more fully the Nature of The Hearland Institute's efforts to influence public understanding of generally accepted scientific truth"

I do hope the HI lecture him on what actually constitutes "scientific truth".

start with... What distinguishes a scientific theory from a non-scientific theory is that a scientific theory must be refutable in principle; a set of circumstances must potentially exist such that if observed it would logically prove the theory wrong.

and then include a graph showing modelled temps against actual temps, as in the recent WSJ ping pong match

Concerned Scientists Reply on Global Warming

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203646004577213244084429540.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

Feb 24, 2012 at 7:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrosty

You recall incorrectly - Heartland climate program support was specifically earmarked from multiple corporations, including BB&T, Contran, Murray Energy and Nucor. What an extraordinary error to make.

"Private matters should remain private."

I find it odd that you are clear that any institution that gets public money directly (regardless of how little) must be open to FOI requests and be completely transparent, but 501 c 3 entities for which donations can be made tax free (and thus are subsidized by the government - perhaps by as much as 35%) are strictly private and shouldn't have any obligation to be transparent. Hypocrisy much?

Feb 24, 2012 at 7:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank

Frank

Touche!

But yes, private organisations should be private, and public ones public. I think FOI should extend to state control, not to "in receipt of state funds". By control, I mean as businesses define it - majority control or overwhelming financial influence.

I think it would be better if all corporate taxes were abolished, thus removing the anomaly of tax-exempt organisations.

Feb 24, 2012 at 8:13 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Frank

Would you apply FOI to all organisations that receive tax-exempt donations? Including Greenpeace and WWF?

Before you submit a request, the last lot of tax-exempt interest on my Livret A account was spent on a couple of bottles of Mercurey to drink with Christmas dinner.

Feb 24, 2012 at 8:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterDreadnought

The issue isn't about Heartland paying taxes, but about the deductions the donors get for contributing to Heartland. This applies to individuals and corporations (not sure about foundations).

And yes, all publicly subsidized entities that benefit from tax-exempt donations should have public donor lists (perhaps for donations above a certain limit). If organisations want complete anonymity of donors they do not have to be 501 c 3 orgs and they do not have to be tax exempt. Transparency is a public good.

Feb 24, 2012 at 8:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank

If there were no corporate taxes, then then there should be no deductions for donations to corporate bodies.

Privacy is also a public good. That's why totalitarian states always tried to get everything out in the open.

Feb 24, 2012 at 8:45 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

This is just another diversionary stratagem from the CAGW trumpet blower's repertoire to deflect attention from an incredible and deeply damaging alarmist own goal.

Feb 24, 2012 at 8:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

Frank

I notice that Microsoft Corp are also Heartland donors, are they 'bad guys' now too ?

Nucor make steel and are involved in recycling, is that bad ?

I notice too that some donations come in from 'Big Credit Union' - truly scary and sinister.

Where is their modest funding allowed to come from in your eyes ?

Feb 24, 2012 at 8:53 PM | Unregistered Commenterjazznick

At least the US has a sprinkling of politicians where the penny has dropped on this nonsense. Hen's teeth here.

Feb 24, 2012 at 9:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

Frank

I think my analogy is a fair one. If Heartland is subsidised by the US government, then my Christmas wine is subsidised by the French state.

In the US do the donors get the deductions? In the UK it is the recipient of the donation that claims the tax relief.

As regards transparency, I would agree that all bodies that seek to influence legislation or government policy should reveal their sources of funding.

Feb 24, 2012 at 9:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterDreadnought

Pharos - This from Monckton shows the state of play in the UK.
=============
Afterwards, Dick (Lindzen) went to brief a Cabinet Minister (who shall be nameless, but he is a good egg, and privately regards catastrophic manmade “global warming” as nonsense). The Minister indicated – in effect, and with scarcely-concealed regret – that the party line set by David Cameron in response to various opinion polls, focus groups and other such artifices for identifying and following a consensus rather than setting a lead, and not the objective scientific and economic truth, was likely to remain the basis of UK climate policy.

In reality, orders issued to our elected nominal “government” by the hated, unelected Kommissars of the EU, our true government, who have exclusive competence to decide and dictate the UK’s environment and climate policies, are and will remain the basis of UK climate policy, regardless of what (or whether) Cameron and his vapid focus groups think (if “think” is the right word). Government of the people, by the people, for the people has perished from this once-free, formerly-democratic corner of the Earth. We have all the trappings of democracy and none of the reality.
===========
Until we get from under the EU jackboot we will be administered by the UN/EU and going to law may be our only way to get the issue out in the open.

Feb 24, 2012 at 9:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterjazznick

Are they saying it is fake as a document - i.e. as a single entity (it could have been put together from other stuff) or are they saying the contents are all fake as in not written by them ? This is not clear.
Feb 24, 2012 at 7:20 PM Chris

Well it may not be clear to you - but I think the rest of us probably know what a fake document is. It's one which pretends to be something that never existed in fact.

The line that maybe it's not so fake if it contains elements or ideas culled from various other real documents by related parties is just a poor attempt at Dan Rather's famous "fake but accurate" play - and look where that got him.

Feb 24, 2012 at 9:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

Frank,
Bunk. You want a little list so someone who agreess with you but has worse manners can intimidate those donors.
You neo-McCaorthyites are nearly always the ones squacking the loudest about how progressive you are.
Heartland qualifies as a 501c3, just like countless others. They all aprticipate to one degree or another in influencing policy at some level. You just don't like this. So go change the law. let's open the boooks on Greenpeace, WWF, etc. etc. etc. etc. And by all means, let's make NGO's be true NGO's and let's top government funding and donations of grants. Afterall, you can't be an Non Government Organization if you are cashing government checks, can you?
Play ball.

Feb 24, 2012 at 10:16 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Frank wrote:

"501 c 3 entities for which donations can be made tax free (and thus are subsidized by the government - perhaps by as much as 35%)"

False. Completely, utterly, irrevocably, damnably false.

The only theory under which the absence of a tax can be regarded as a subsidy is the theory that all income belongs to the government by right, and that what we keep, we keep only because of their toleration. That's totalitarian theory.

The United States is a free nation, in which private property rights are sacrosanct and the government is properly prohibited from infringing them except where explicitly permitted by the Constitution. If the law says that 501(c)(3) organizations do not pay taxes, then their income is theirs -- not by the good will of the government, but by God-given right.

Anybody who calls obedience to the tax laws a "subsidy" is a tyrant in sheep's clothing.

Feb 24, 2012 at 11:34 PM | Unregistered Commenterphilwynk

The proper thing to do with Congressman Markey is to ignore him.

I had the "pleasure" of talking with him on the phone back when I was an Ensign fresh out of OCS in the U.S. Navy. The man is a self-aggrandizing energetic idiot of near Gingrinchian proportions.

Feb 25, 2012 at 3:38 AM | Unregistered Commentertarran

Uh, forgive me for being obtuse, but if a document is faked, how can an original ever be produced, except by the artist?

Mark

Feb 25, 2012 at 6:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark T

"Uh, forgive me for being obtuse, but if a document is faked, how can an original ever be produced, except by the artist?"

That was also my first thought before reading the letter, but I have no objection to Markey checking the facts for himself. I welcome it. Sure, it has a partisan tone, but he is a politician.

Feb 25, 2012 at 8:53 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Senator Malarkey may regret the response, there is considerable speculation that the Heartland board member Gleick impersonated when carrying out his wire fraud was Harrison Hagan "Jack" Schmitt, former astronaut and US Senator

It is a criminal offence to impersonate a senator under the US federal penal code :-)

Besides, Malarkey's letter is just that, there is no Senate authority as it has not come from a committee, Heartland could choose to ignore it... but I bet they don't :-)

Feb 25, 2012 at 10:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterGras Albert

Interesting article in "The Times" today "publisher deleted phone hacking emails"
Court documents submitted claim that senior executives at News International
were involved in a deliberate attempt to destroy evidence.

News International declined to comment but has previously said that some emails were
deleted as part of a "house keeping" exercise.

Does this sound familiar?

Feb 25, 2012 at 10:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

The article which caught my attention in the Times today was: "Four admit blagging charges". It's about how law firms and insurance companies used private detectives to "blag" confidential personal information. One of the accused is a "self confessed blagger" who posed as a customer to persuade organisations to reveal personal data.

The accused are to be sentenced on Monday, and are likely to face prison sentences.

(There's another article as well: "David Miliband is paid £70, 000 for three days' work", stating he is being paid 20,000 a day for advising a Californian venture capital company investing millions in green technology. £20,000 a day? That's even more than I get as a software developer).

Feb 25, 2012 at 11:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Boyce

I have also posted this at WUWT where Anthony Watts has covered the Bishop's blog post.

Perhaps Ed Markey should reveal who pays for his junkets to the GLOBE International conferences, I suspect the US taxpayer even though they know nothing about it:

Read more at “United Socialist Nations”
http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/originals/un_progress_governance_via_climate_change.html

“US Congressman Ed Markey is the Co-Chairman of the GLOBE International Commission on Climate & Energy Security. Globe has close links with the Club of Rome whose Co-President, Ashok Khosla, is a member of Globe International and President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). It has become a de facto unofficial world government, whose members agree measures on behalf of the UN and then take those measures back to their own countries and seek to enact legislation to implement them. The web site says quite unashamedly that:

“Without the burden of formal governmental negotiating positions, legislators have the freedom to push the boundaries of what can be politically achieved. GLOBE’s vision is to create a critical mass of legislators within each of the parliaments of the major economies that can agree common legislative responses to the major global environmental challenges and demonstrate to leaders that there is cross-party support for more ambitious action. All major government policy decisions should be consistent with climate change goals.”

Congressman Wang Guangtao of the National People’s Congress of China and Congressman Ed
Markey of the United States Congress, jointly chaired the 2009 GLOBE Copenhagen Legislators Forum.

Nancy Pelosi addressed the forum via a video link: “On behalf of the U.S. Congress, I bring greetings to my fellow lawmakers at the GLOBE Legislators’ Forum in Copenhagen.”

“Your gathering reflects a fundamental truth: the climate crisis knows no borders. It touches every family and community, every neighborhood and nation. This is not an issue that will be resolved overnight, nor can a single country fix the problem alone. It demands “action, and action now.”


Ref: Jaznick: It goes beyond the EU to the UN. Have a look at the contribution from Oliver Letwin in the December UNEP magazine, (editor Geoffrey Lean):
http://www.unep.org/pdf/op_dec_2011/EN/OP-2011-12-EN-FULLVERSION.pdf

"The 1992 Rio Earth summit marked a momentous step forward in international cooperation on social and environmental issues. Twenty years on, we are faced with increasing pressures on the global economy, the global environment and the world’s poorest people. There could not be a better time for the world to lock in its commitment to sustainable development — and the Durban climate negotiations this winter and the Rio+20 conference, twenty years after the summit, next summer, provide the opportunity to do so."

They are operating in a parallel universe.

Feb 25, 2012 at 11:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterDennisA

OT, but talking about politicians....it seems that Gleick impersonated Harrison Schmitt a former U.S. Senator
(from Lucia's place)

Feb 25, 2012 at 11:41 AM | Unregistered Commenterharold

It's all about the chirrun. Note the nexus of Gleick and Wojick on education. Is the EPA now throwing Gleick, as in Ike, down the memory hole, and if so, why?
===============

Feb 25, 2012 at 4:35 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

When a wave of belief of this immense height crests the aspect is monumental, as can become the action of true believers as it crests. This CAGW social mania has been a rogue wave of science, and of polity, and of finance, and of public communication, and of public education.

I guess we can pray it's a rogue rather than just rough seas ahead.
============

Feb 25, 2012 at 4:45 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

"Private matters should remain private."

The irony!!

Feb 25, 2012 at 9:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterBart Verheggen

Bart

If you are thinking of the Climategate emails, I think you will find that those were public documents, paid for by the taxpayer.

Feb 25, 2012 at 9:45 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

I don't know about US high schools, but here's an excerpt from my daughter's Quebec grade 10 science text "Observatory", p. 234: "CLIMATE CHANGE is the abnormal modification of climatic conditions on Earth, caused by human activity".

And it goes downhill from there.

Feb 25, 2012 at 10:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeof Burbidge

"Private matters should remain private."

The tautology!!

Feb 25, 2012 at 10:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

on my Livret A account was spent on a couple of bottles of Mercurey to drink with Christmas dinner.

Feb 24, 2012 at 8:30 PM | Dreadnought

What part of France ?

Feb 26, 2012 at 12:28 PM | Unregistered Commenterstephen richards

I don't know about US high schools, but here's an excerpt from my daughter's Quebec grade 10 science text "Observatory", p. 234: "CLIMATE CHANGE is the abnormal modification of climatic conditions on Earth, caused by human activity".

And it goes downhill from there.

Feb 25, 2012 at 10:06 PM | Geof Burbidge

That is the definition of the words Climate change as used by the US government and the warmists. I don't mind too much that they use that as long as they explain that there is another dictionary definition.

But, of course, they don't, do they?

Feb 26, 2012 at 12:30 PM | Unregistered Commenterstephen richards

The United States is a free nation

Not for much longer. If Oblimey gets back in as he is very likely to do? OMG.

Feb 26, 2012 at 12:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterstephen richards

stephen richards

"What part of France?"

Me or the wine? We live in Basse Normandie. Mercurey is from the southern fringes of the Burgundy region.

Feb 26, 2012 at 1:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterDreadnought

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