Heartland documents: what's the big deal?


UPDATE: Heartland indicates that the document discussed here is a fabrication:

“One document, titled “Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy,” is a total fake apparently intended to defame and discredit The Heartland Institute. It was not written by anyone associated with The Heartland Institute. It does not express Heartland’s goals, plans, or tactics. It contains several obvious and gross misstatements of fact.”

Heartland request in their press release that copies of this document be removed, and I am therefore complying with that request. My comments on it remain here.

See ACM’s further post on this here.

Having downloaded and perused the bundle of Heartland financial and strategy documents released on MeDog’sGlob today, I thought it may be instructive to summarise their nature and substance.

The “smoking gun” that the headbangers claim is a one-and-a-half page document entitled “Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy”. [link removed]. This, apparently, in all of its 58 lines, exposed the blackened “heart of climate change denial”, so let’s take a close look at it:


Dangerous policy actions is precisely correct, given that billions of dollars is being diverted away from the real urgent causes of fighting poverty and disease, and instead is being pissed up the wall on climate mitigation policies based on science that is compromised and in many cases corrupt.


As mentioned in the previous post, these sums are loose change compared to the billions that are funnelled to green groups, alarmist research establishments, smear blogs, propaganda organisations and the like. For alarmists to complain about such tiny sums is simply laughable.


The headbangers object to this because they want our children to be indoctrinated with the purest form of alarmist propaganda from an early age. Despite the fact that there is much uncertainty surrounding the magnitude of man’s effect on the climate (irrespective of how much The Cause try to suppress it), the curriculum of most schools is heavily weighted towards politically-correct climate alarmism. Realism is frowned upon and should, in their view, be eliminated.

Just wait, you’ll next hear them compare climate realism to creationism… ding, there is is! And we all know that creationism shouldn’t be given “equal weight” in the classroom – and rightly so. But there is no comparison, of course, as it is a tired and worn out straw man argument, but it is disappointingly successful at suppressing dissent. So any action that may redress the balance in the classroom must be encouraged.

UPDATE: The headbangers on Twitter, like George Monbiot, have focussed on that one sentence “two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science” as an attempt to promote an anti-science agenda. Moonbat tweets:

RTFM, pal

This is clearly nonsense. This document has a number of grammatical errors including in the previous line a missing “a” before curriculum. It is likely that the word “the” is missing, since it would be ludicrous for Heartland to suggest that it is attempting to “dissuade teachers from teaching science”.

And indeed, the Funding Plan at page 18 expands on this single paragraph and mentions nothing about such dissuasion. Indeed Wojick’s background is in environmental and science education – how likely is it that someone like him would advocate dissuading teachers from teaching science? The fact is, Monbiot skim-read the typo-filled summary reproduced here, and set off to smear before checking his facts, as usual. Plus ça change.


Why shouldn’t there be a rebuttal to the IPCC’s politically motivated tome (at a tiny fraction of the wasted billions of the UN)? $400k is, again, chicken feed. And any scientist with an ounce of integrity (of which there are virtually none in climate alarmist circles) would welcome the opportunity to consider opposing views as a way towards greater truth and understanding. But no, that will never do. The Cause must not be diluted by any possible challenges. Politics masquerading as science. Again.


Look at all those filthy deniers in the pay of Heartland. Disgraceful. I have already commented that these sums are loose change. Don’t mention Al Gore. Oops, I just did. For alarmists to complain about this is pure, undiluted hypocrisy.


Apart from their desire to keep opposing voices out, with which I sympathise but disagree with (despite the fact that The Cause regularly attempts to suppress opposing voices in the pal-review literature), the remainder is reasonable. Try to engage those who at least have demonstrated some degree of calm detachment. Judith Curry, certainly, but Revkin…? But again, the headbangers don’t want dialogue. They want their own way. All the time. And smear and ridicule anyone who dares question any aspect of The Cause.

The remainder of the documents are a Fundraising Plan and Budget for 2012 (both pretty much a yawn) and IRS Form 990 (Return of Organisation Exempt from Income Tax – MeDog’sGlob is making a number of potentially highly defamatory allegations about this document – I hope they’ve got their lawyers reviewing their rantings – but I will defer to other experts on this subject of US tax law) and various unremarkable agendas and minutes.

So in summary, if that’s all they’ve got, well BIG FREAKING DEAL. If there’s more, let’s see it.

Calling this an equivalent of Climategate is like comparing alarmist funding to sceptics funding… (little joke there). However, it does demonstrate how desperate The Cause is to smear and discredit those who are asking difficult questions – for which they often have no answer – except misrepresentation and spin.

UPDATE: Ben Pile at Climate Resistance has more here. And at Bishop Hill here, where he reveals all of Anthony Watts’ comments to the Guardian were left on the cutting room floor. Quelle surprise, encore…

UPDATE 2: I am totally unfunded by Big Oil or any other organisation, so I invite you all to click the Donate button above – to help pay for my flash new server which, I hope, has speeded up your reading experience no end over the last couple of weeks!


  1. For the Left, the only freedom of speech is for their speech. Anyone who disagrees is supposed to shut up and go away or be suppressed.

    This kerfuffle is just a manifestation of that mindset.

    However, the people at Heartland need to learn English Grammar and do a better job of applying it, even to their internal documents. I expect ignorance and sloppiness from the irrational gaia religionists on the Left, not the people who are trying to bring objectivity and reality to the discussion – like Heartland.

  2. Well said, Simon. I particularly liked your 2nd update, and though I can’t promise the alleged funding of Big Oil or (god forbid I have that kind of money) the gravy train that is AGW, I thought I’d send a small token of thanks. (Should get it through paypal in 3-5 days, so they tell me 🙂

  3. These documents show clearly that the constant claims of ‘well funded climate denialism’ were never true. Alarmists simply made them up. This denier funding doesn’t add up to a hill of beans.

    As a skeptic myself, I never really knew if deniers were well funded or not. Now I know they never were well funded. Its the greenies who have been well funded all along.

    Thank you Desmogblog. Nice work.

  4. The key thing to note here is that our AGW-promoter friends have only one fallback position to rely on when it comes to explaining why the public should not listen to skeptic scientists: they have to marginalize these guys, NOT by showing how skeptic climate assessments are wrong, but by claiming the skeptics are corrupt.

    Nobody in the mainstream media ever checked the veracity of this accusation. I point out the big problem with that lapse of journalistic integrity here: “Monumental fault in manmade global warming notion hiding in plain sight” http://junkscience.com/2011/12/24/monumental-fault-in-manmade-global-warming-notion-hiding-in-plain-sight/

  5. Andrew Bolt has a nice little story of a guy who started to call inches of rain ‘Flanneries’ in honour of the current permanent drought we are not having. And that his whole neighbourhood has taken to doing the same.

    Jo Nova has a comparison of funding with green groups – so here’s the idea. ‘Flannery’ is now also a unit of annual climate funding of $180,000/yr.

    So Bob Carter rakes in 0.1 flannery, Jim Hansen receives a modest 9 flanneries and the Sierra Club received a positively miserly 35 flanneries worth from the apparently-not-quite-completely-evil fossil fuel industry during 2007-2010 until they were caught out.

    And me and Simon managed 0.00 flanneries 😦

  6. Michael Tait via Facebook says:

    FFS … it has nothing to do with left/right BS paradigm belief systems and if you think it does then you are the victim of indoctrination and propaganda . It is Global Elitists pushing AGW BS, these people own the banking system and want all the wealth for themselves. They fund supposed “righwing” politics and supposed “leftwing” politics . They do this so they can control and manipulate people who can’t think for themselves and are sheep like and nee to be a part of the flock/herd and use the system of Divide and Conquer to keep the unwashed masses in there place … WAKE T.F. UP !

  7. Joe Romm’s website ThinkProgress is one of five websites nominated for Best of Politics at blogi.ie


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