I posted the following in response to an item on scienceblogs.com:
– and promptly received an email from the institute.
My post was prompted by a scienceblog post, titled: Alarmist global warming claims melt under scientific scrutiny? – after article of same name in Chigaco Times, which had – as you might expect – some of the silly stuff from righties and their ilk.
The blog post cited an article on Heartland Institute cite, with title: Himalayan Glaciers Are Growing … and Confounding Global Warming Alarmists This article includes statement:
– which startled me, so googled for info. Readily found, and press release from Newcastle University on the paper says:
Mountain climate change trends could predict water resources Mountain climate change trends could predict water resources – so the paper refers to just one area of the Himalayas, where results (and conditions) differ from those elsewhere. Selective use of info by the institute, then – distorting the truth close enough to lying, I figure. Anyways, my email from the institute was a generic one, included:
Heartland is especially interested in school choice and healthcare reform.
Regards, Tom Swiss Director – Public Relations The Heartland Institute
I emailed Tom back, saying they are trying to say global warming is a non issue; I'm trying to highlight science showing it's major problem. (Should have also mentioned he was being patronising here). No response.
Wikipedia entry on the institute tells of them receiving substantial funding from Exxon. Also, institute has long been pro-smoking, with money from Philip Morris, among others: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Heartland_Institute So, I suggest a name change, to the Heartless Institute.
Update, 16 Feb 2012, with news on BBC site after some leaked files show Heartland's strategy in attempting to ridicule global warming science, and funds from a mysterious "Anonymous Donor".
One thing that's clear from the documents is that the Heartland Institute is largely behind the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), a project that purports to mirror the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) by producing reports downplaying the extent of global warming as well as the involvement of greenhouse gas emissions in producing it.
The next target appears to be schools. The plan is to fund a consultant, David Wojick, to develop modules for use in classrooms.
Among the statements it might promulgate, according to the "2012 Fundraising Plan" document, are that "whether humans are changing the climate is a major scientific controversy" and "natural [CO2] emissions are 20 times higher than human emissions".
Chris Rapley, a climate change scientist at University College London, described the project as "brain-washing".
"This strikes at the very roots of truth and freedom in a democratic society, something I would have felt the American people would find abhorrent," he said.
a single source who is so important as to acquire his own set of capitals – the Anonymous Donor.
This man – the gender is specified – gave just under $1m last year, a little less than a quarter of the institute's income.