The meaning of HeartlandGate

It will take some time before the meaning of HeartlandGate is realized. The released confidential documents are not extensive, but they are current, mainly related to a meeting that happened less than a month before their release. They don’t tell us anything that we didn’t suspect, but they give details that people outside this science denialist “think” tank did not know. The most important thing about these documents is probably this: We can now say without equivocation that global warming denialism and other science denialism is, at the institutional level, funded by wealthy individuals and the petroleum industry, that it is an explicit anti-science strategy, and that it has nothing to do with differences in interpretation of scientific data. Also, this strategy of claiming that “Global Warming is a Hoax” is bought and paid for.

The other thing we might be able to say, but we’d want to see the corresponding documents from next year’s meeting, is that the climate science denialism industry is becoming less well funded over time. Presumably, even corporations, institutions, and individuals who have a self interested reason to deny climate change or damage science education can see, eventually, when it is time to hold off or even give up. Money is money and tossing good money after bad is not wise and the people who underwrite this anti-science effort know this. The crazies (see comment sections here and elsewhere) will be left twisting in the wind like so many Bigfoot hunters and Ghost busters.

Here is a current list of posts that I know of addressing HeartlandGate:

Disclaimer: The Heartland Institute is now claiming that these documents have likely been altered or faked, and are threatening to pursue criminal and civil charges against all bloggers who posted comments on them or links to them.

I can not prove that these documents are real or fake. I will certainly pass on to you any information that comes along about this. Have a look at the documents and make up your own mind (before I am forced by guys in suits to take down the links).

Comments

  1. #1 gruebait
    February 15, 2012

    I was amused by the subdued reference to what I imagine were hissyfits by H.I. strategists over the appearance of several anti-denialist articles in Forbes lately.

    I was surprised when I first encountered one of them. I think the winds of popular opinion may in fact be shifting a bit.

  2. #2 MarlKarx
    February 16, 2012

    Love the Blog, Greg! Denialists are in such denial! Wouldn’t it be great if the consequences of AGW could be localized to just the immediate vicinity of those responsible for causing it! Then they would all die, and the rest of us would get to live in a pure and pristine world. Ha! It would reduce our overall carbon footprint more than a million-billion Priuses! Science! Keep up the good work!

  3. #3 NJ
    February 16, 2012

    MarlKarx @ 2:

    It would reduce our overall carbon footprint more than a million-billion Priuses!

    The over-the-top attempt at snark along with the weak Spoonerism for a ‘nym (and the allusion to communism) suggests that “MarlKarx” is just another sockpuppet for Rob Hood, the undertreated mentally ill person who haunts SB.

  4. #4 Arctic Kitty (Your Mom)
    February 16, 2012

    LOL. Greg steps in it. again.

  5. #5 TTT
    February 16, 2012

    Wouldn’t it be great if the consequences of AGW could be localized to just the immediate vicinity of those responsible for causing it

    It’s trolling but true at the same time. Except that the deniers should get it too.

  6. #6 Dave Burton
    February 16, 2012

    Well, the “2012 Climate Strategy.pdf” document (the one with the shocking quotes) is probably fake. Here’re the suspicious-smelling things I noticed about it:

    1. It uses the term “anti-climate” to refer to Heartland’s position — which neither Heartland nor any other climate skeptic outfit ever uses.

    2. It is written in the 1st person, yet with no indication of who wrote it.

    3. The PDF is time-stamped with a Pacific Standard Time timestamp, even though Heartland is in Chicago, and none of its directors are in the Pacific Time Zone, nor even in a State adjacent to the Pacific Time Zone.

    So it appears likely that, as Heartland claims, the document really is a fake, and a clumsy one, at that.

  7. #7 Greg Laden
    February 16, 2012

    Dave, your standards of evidence are rather weak. Also there is nothing of consequence in that document that isn’t elsewhere in the other documents. Why would someone fake a document that simply says what the other documents say? Heartland is stretching.

    Your track record for making stuff up to put in comments on this blog don’t afford you with a lot of credibility.

    Not that I’m saying I can prove it is not fake. But really, what else is Heartland going to say (other then perhaps the truth).

  8. #8 dean
    February 16, 2012

    You’re a busy man Dave – same message here and at Class M. The fact that your messages were identical caught my eye.

  9. #9 Jer
    February 16, 2012

    Also, apparently they’ve sent out an e-mail admitting that the documents were real, saying that the documents were obtained fraudulently via identity theft and apologizing to donor’s whose names appeared on the documents.

    Reproduction of the e-mail published here.

    So yeah – it looks real. They really are trying to undermine education in the US.

  10. #10 MarlKarx
    February 16, 2012

    So, how do we get this AGW under control? The Replukicans blocked all of Obama’s attempts to address it, somehow even when the Democrats controlled both houses of Congrease. We need legislation! The question is: Is enough to put the United States government in charge of the climate, or do we need to create a world government to control it? Maybe we can use some existing government entities as a model for global climate control. Something like the Department of Education, or the United Nations, for instance. Whatever the case, we had better hurry. According to Al Gore, we only have 3 more years before it is too late. Windmills!

  11. #11 Wow
    February 17, 2012

    You mean like a sort of coalition of world governments?

    You know, the one that made the invasion of a sovereign country and the murdering of many people (including the president!) legal and not a Neurember-type “waging of an aggressive war”?

    Or how about WTO or the NAFTA? meta-governmental institutions to aid US interests in political change throughout the world?

    I think the USA are already find and dandy about world government.

  12. #12 mikel
    February 17, 2012

    The question is: Is enough to put the United States government in charge of the climate, or do we need to create a world government to control it?

    No. International agreements should be enough. There is a history there. Look up chlorofluorocarbons.

    According to Al Gore, we only have 3 more years before it is too late. Windmills!

    Al Gore? Really? Have you not noticed that the only people on Earth who even think about Gore these days are AGW denialists?

  13. #13 MarlKarx
    February 17, 2012

    mikel @ 13 – You know, I heard some denialists talking the other day. They were claiming the the chloroflocarbon deal was ALSO a manufactured crisis (yeah, right!) and that it is what emboldened AGW peoples to start pushing their agenda. I told those guys they were morons! I actually said to them, “Have you seen Greg Laden’s blog!?!” Oh, and to an earlier poster, TIT @ 5, I fully meant to include the denialists as well! I think they should have to breath from a tank with air that has 400 ppm of CO2!!! DY! DY! DY! Right? Back to mikel @ 13 – now that you mention it, Al Gore is kind of an ahole. So do you think we have longer than 3 years? It can’t be much more than that can it?