A few weeks ago Dave Hansford, the environmental writer for the New Zealand Listener, wrote an article on how global warming deniers create an illusion of dissent:

In November, three members of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition – Bryan Leyland, Owen McShane and Vincent Gray – spoke at UN climate talks in Denpasar in support of a US-based conservative group, the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT). They told delegates “climate change is a non-problem” and that they should “have the courage to do nothing”.

Leyland says CFACT did not pay him to attend the Bali talks, but acknowledges some expenses were met by the Chicago-based Heartland Institute, funded “almost exclusively from rich people”, he says, “who are worried about this issue entirely out of their concern for sound science and the fate of free enterprise”.

People like oil giant ExxonMobil. The Union of Concerned Scientists says the oil giant gave US$16 million ($19.6 million) to conservative groups – CFACT among them – between 1998 and 2005. The union says this was “to manufacture uncertainty” on the issue of climate change.

ExxonMobil’s reports show it has granted $791,500 to Heartland since 1998, and its public affairs adviser, Walter Buckholtz, appears on Heartland’s 2005 tax return as its “government relations adviser”.

Heartland’s Joseph Bast responded with a letter demanding that Hansford be fired.

Hansford reports ExxonMobil’s giving to conservative groups, including my organisation, The Heartland Institute, between 1998 and 2005. He fails to report what percentage of the total income of the conservative movement, or Heartland in particular, this amounted to. For Heartland, it was never more than 5% of the organisation’s annual budget. I’m sure it was far less than 5% of the entire movement’s income during this time.

If funding dictates an organisation’s views on global warming, then why aren’t conservative groups 95% in the alarmist camp? …

Umm, because the other 95% of their funding doesn’t come from folks who wnat Heartlan to support IPCC?

I don’t know how writers like Hansford sleep at night. If he has even a shred of personal integrity, he should apologise for his attacks on the growing number of scientists who say the threat of global warming has been over-sold, and promise to never again write on this subject. And his publisher should accept nothing less.

And that’s what has happened. Gareth Renowden has the full story.

Comments

  1. #1 bi -- Intl. J. Inact.
    April 16, 2008

    I’ve used WebCite to archive the article and the letters page. So if anything changes, at least we’ll know what’s being changed and how.

    The self-proclaimed Galileos are looking more like an Inquisition again… and no, I’m not surprised.

  2. #2 Jim
    April 16, 2008

    That should be Heartland Institute in your title, not Heritage. I demand your resignation.

  3. #3 bi -- Intl. J. Inact.
    April 16, 2008

    Um, can we pressure for someone to get fired just because we don’t like him? OK, normally when you want to see someone booted, you need to write up a long 1,000-word essay which lists in detail all his crimes against humanity. But at the end of the day, it’s just because we don’t like this guy, right? So can we just cut through all that bullcrap and get on with things already? :-)

    Take for example, this guy named Prof. Cooper. I could try to write a long condemnation of his sins, but seriously it’d be a lot easier if I could simply write,

    I just don’t like this guy, OK? Better get him fired real soon, or someone’ll start doing bad things to you.

    Or how about getting this guy fired:

    This guy’s news stories suck. Get him fired now or you’ll soon know the true meaning of “Death by 1,000 Paper Cuts”.

  4. #4 Boris
    April 16, 2008

    So the Heartland choose to whore themselves out for only 5% of their budget. That only proves they are cheap whores.

    I guess it’s fair though, since Heartland fired James M. Taylor for fabricating a quotation in the Chicago Sun Times, as Tim pointed out last year.

    Wait. they didn’t?

  5. #5 Demesure
    April 16, 2008

    “So the Heartland choose to whore themselves out for only 5% of their budget. That only proves they are cheap whores.”

    _#4
    What that only proves is some people with sicked mind are willing to see whores in anybody who disagrees with them. With 5% funding, dissenters are cheap whores, with 95%, dear whores, whores in any case. Head they lose, tail you win.

  6. #6 QrazyQat
    April 16, 2008

    Yes, Demesure, those rich people’s foundations are only out to fund searches for the truth. None of them are out to fund the reactionary wishes of their donors, nor to further their shortsighted, self-indulgent goals. Not one.

  7. #7 WotWot
    April 16, 2008

    Leyland says CFACT did not pay him to attend the Bali talks, but acknowledges some expenses were met by the Chicago-based Heartland Institute, funded “almost exclusively from rich people”, he says, “who are worried about this issue entirely out of their concern for sound science and the fate of free enterprise”.

    Do they seriously expect us to believe that?

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

  8. #8 David
    April 16, 2008

    WotWot@7 – I doubt if they care whether _we_ believe it. They’re more interested in convincing the bulk of people who don’t really understand climate science, and who’d really like there not to be a problem.

  9. #9 bi -- Intl. J. Inact.
    April 17, 2008

    From 1986 to 2006, the Heartland Institute received

    $375,000 from the Sarah Scaife Foundation[1][2]
    $37,578 from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation[2][3][4]
    $40,000 from the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation[2][3][5]

    [1] policy network support
    [2] general operating support / general program / general
    [3] educational programs / educational study
    [4] industrial policy in Illinois (is that a euphemism for “lobbying”?)
    [5] publication program

    = = =

    By the way, do you notice something? No donations for “scientific research” yet…

  10. #10 Boris
    April 17, 2008

    What that only proves is some people with sicked mind are willing to see whores in anybody who disagrees with them.

    It’s not the disagreeing that makes them whores; it’s the lying. Way to pay attention, Demesure.

  11. #11 Geoff
    April 17, 2008

    Outrageous!

  12. #12 Peter Bickle
    April 18, 2008

    Hi all

    See mr hot topic has had to apologise:
    http://hot-topic.co.nz/2008/04/18/the-law-won-again/
    Boo hoo.

    regards from an honest New Zealander
    Peter Bickle

  13. #13 Gareth
    April 18, 2008

    I see Peter’s forgotten to take his pills again.

  14. #14 jre
    April 18, 2008

    Well, it takes Heartland to lie, the Listener to bully, and Bickle to applaud the lying and bullying. Kind of a slide from pathos to bathos.

    F. Bi has usefully pointed out that the article may be easily retrieved from the Google cache, and has made a copy for future reference. In my view, it deserves wider exposure — if only to discourage this kind of abuse in future.

  15. #15 Peter Bickle
    April 18, 2008

    Gareth, at least they are not the BS pills you regularly take. You get a thread, don’t follow the story and you have to apologise, get over it pal.

  16. #16 bi -- Intl. J. Inact.
    April 18, 2008

    We don’t have enough money to stop global warming, but we sure have enough money to dish out freedom-loving legal letters. Yee-ha!

  17. #17 Chris O'Neill
    April 19, 2008

    regards from an honest New Zealander

    This reminds us that you can’t believe a New Zealander unless he tells you he’s honest.

  18. #18 tco
    April 20, 2008

    peanuts