HeartlandGate: Anti-Science Institute's Insider Reveals Secrets

This seems to be fairly big news. The Heartland Institute is a conservative and libertarian "think" tank that cut its teeth on denying the dangers of cigarette smoking back in the 1990s. These days the Heartland Institute seems to be focused on Anthropogenic Climate Change Denialism and Science Denialism in general.


A piece of one of the revealed documents suggesting that the Heartland Institute wants to "dissuade teachers from teaching science."

Well, just a few hours ago, members of the climate change science, journalism, and blogging community received an interesting Valentine's Day gift from someone who must be a Heartland Institute insider: The institute's budget, fundraising plan, climate related strategy, and numerous other things. The story broke here on Desmog Blog.

Here's the details:

The 2012 fundraising plan ((1-15-2012) 2012 Fundraising Plan.pdf) claims that Heartland will raise $7.7 million in 2012, up by 70% from 2011. One of the most interesting revelations of this document is an "anonymous donor" who gave just under one million in 2011 and who plans to give 1.25 million for 2012.

The budget ((1-15-2012) 2012 Heartland Budget (2).pdf) gives an idea of the institute's activities (lots of communications and lobbying). Most interesting are the funds that will be spent on fighting science in schools and other venues. $75,000 is set aside for:

K-12 Climate Education Project
Payments to David Wojick for K-12 Global Warming Lesson Plan modules plus a Website featuring the same. Estimate quarterly payments of $25,000 in June, September, and December.

We know this to be an effort to fight the teaching of good climate science in schools, much like efforts we've seen before to force creationism into science classes in order to damage science teaching. It is probably in the interest of those who donate to Heartland to have a poorly informed populace when it comes to science.

The documents include an agenda for a January 17th 2012 meeting of the directors of the Heartland Institute (2 Agenda for January 17 Meeting.pdf), a 2010 Federal IRS Form 990 (2010_IRS_Form_990 (2).pdf) and a Janurary 2012 document addressing the 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy (2012 Climate Strategy (3).pdf)

In that document we learn about efforts to increase climate related fundraising, noting the "key Anonymous Donor" and additional support from the Charles G. Koch Foundation. The afore mentioned K-12 Classrooms project is outlined. Specifically, the document states:

Development of our "Global Warming Cirriculum for K-12 Classrooms" project.
Principals and teachers are heavily biased towards the alarmist perspective. To counter this we are considering launching an effort to develop alternative materials for K-12 classrooms. We are pursuing a proposal from Dr. David Wojick to produce a global warming cirriculum for K-12 schools. Dr. Wojick is a consultant with the Office of Scientific and Technical Information at the U.S. Department of Energy in the area of information and communication science. His effort wil focus on providing curriculum that shows that the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain -- two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science. We tentatively plan to pay Dr. Wojick $100,000 for 20 modules in 2012, with funding pledged by the Anonymous Donor.

There is a larger document that appears to be supporting materials for the January 17th meeting (Binder1 (2).pdf). One of the more interesting parts of this document is the discussion of decreased funding to the institute (on page 15 of the PDF file).

The details of the board of directors of the Heartland Institute are provided in one document (Board Directory 01-18-12.pdf). That includes their emails and phone numbers in case you want to contact any of them and ask why they hate the Planet Earth or something. And finally, a cover memo for the entire package for the January 17th meeting (Board Meeting Package January 17.pdf)

(And, yes, I did just give you all these links is approximate reverse order that the documents were probably originally passed out originally.)

I have no idea who the individual is who passed these documents on, nor do I have an idea who the Anonymous Donor with all the money to spend on ruining the planet and messing with the education of our children. The former is something of a hero, the later, a villain.

Here are a few other blog posts on the material:

I'm have a hard time stifling the "bwahahaha."

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).


More like this

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…
Someone has leaked a treasure trove of insider documents from the Heartland Institute, which until now has been a major source of climate change obfuscation in the U.S. There's plenty of illuminating information to chew on, including detailed budgets and an IRS 990 form. Shades of "climategate"…
I don't get it. First there was Climategate, in which hackers illegally broke into a server at the University of East Anglia and stole a pile of emails from climate researchers. The denialists seemed to be fine with that, and quote-mined the heck out of the documents to find damning statements,…
A secret fundraising document from a shadowy anti-science institute was accidentally made public. The document candidly lays out the anti-science agenda of group, including efforts to undermine science education in public schools, but also plans to broadly redefine society. The year was 1998, and…

The fundraising plan has a list of past donors, corporations and individuals.

I hope that main stream media contacts those corporations and individuals to get an understanding of what they are trying to convey.

I think the whistle-blower doesn't have to worry, they have a written whistle-blower policy. (IRS 990 page 6 line 13). ;)

Have any of these shills testified about AGW under oath?

I note that Wojick is one of the authors at the "Scholarly Kitchen Blog" which has a decidedly anti-open access bent. See my post for a little bit more detail on this. Not sure if/how the anti-open access stance related to the anti-science stance but it is certainly curious.

Ahhh the ol' C02 is natural/necessary argument.
So is selenium. Go eat excessive amounts of that.

Who gives a shit about Al Gore's movie? Please stop derailing the thread. Please address points that were actually made/discuss topics that were actually discussed.

This is why scientists say the debate is over, you guys don't debate. You make up crap and change topics with irrelevant/paranoid/made up/ anti-intellectual rants.

By Drivebyposter (not verified) on 14 Feb 2012 #permalink

I like the way J.Doug Swallow calls others "unscientific" in a paragraph full of confused science. Well, he seems confused by it all, anyway...

J.Doug Swallow - Thank you for that quote from the great climate scientist Mark Twain. As my daughter would say, "Are you for real?"

Interesting that the quoted section at the top doesn't even mention anthropogenic at all. Just that climate change is controversial and uncertain (which is obviously not true).

daedalus2u - I wouldn't keep my hopes up regarding the mainstream media. If they dig into it at all, they will just fall back on the usual he said / she said non-reporting.

In all seriousness, J.Doug Swallow's posts should be removed and further posts blocked.

Giving any kind of voice to these kinds of people may be entertaining in their absurdness, but is exactly why in 2012 we still have a confused public that does not know who to listen to, and why countries like the US have made no progress towards meaningful climate change mitigation.

By Peter Reefman (not verified) on 15 Feb 2012 #permalink

Wow. Seldom do I see naked evil like this. We all know this is what they're doing, and I think deep down, they know it too, but to see it spelled out like that is rare. Normally they lie even to themselves, I think -- how else could they justify what they do? And there's a bit of that even here, with that "alarmist" term at the beginning. But, to admit to "dissuading teachers from teaching science", as a goal? That's cartoon villain territory.

Which makes me wonder, a little, if this document is legitimate.

charlatans want people to believe ... that a trace gas that comprises .036% of the total atmosphere and that is essential for life on earth as we know it, CO2, ... is somehow responsible for what something as complicated as the earth's climate

The funniest thing about Swallow's argument is (1) CO2 is a trace gas that can't do anything as significant as affect climate and (2) CO2 is essential for life on earth. That's right. Carbon dioxide is both impotent and essential. Oops.

Coincidentally every lab experiment every done trying to correlate "warming" with CO2 has failed! If you can show me some empirical test results I would be glad to look at them - NOTE not computer models or explanations - test results. Everyone is well aware of IR radiation on CO2 and that CO2 infused atmospheres cool slower but to date there has not been one reproducible experiment that links CO2 to warming in the atmosphere - a rather inconvenient fact wouldn't you say?

We're conducting that experiment on a large scale, currently. We've taken an inhabited planet and are pumping the atmosphere full of greenhouse gasses and tracking the result.
The vast majority of the experts observing the experiment agree that the result is likely to be negative for the subjects - there are disagreements about how negative, and how fast, and what steps might be taken to prevent a negative (or more negative) result. Because of this, they have suggested that the experiment be stopped on ethical grounds.
There are others observing, of course, who aren't convinced yet that the experiment is going to be bad for the subjects. Persumably, if it turns out that it was, they'll just say "oops" and move on to the next...
Um, I mean relocate to the other...
Hmm, they'll reset the test by simply...

Oh, dear.

I'm dumbstruck by Swallow. The hubris of ignorance full throttle. Your comments are so profoundly ignorant, it's tantamount to trying to argue that the world is flat. That Co2 and other greenhouse gasses is so fundamentally well understood, so well demonstrated, that to argue the opposite is baffling.

I'll assume for now that you're not being disengenous. Do you have any evidence for the position you're taking? As far as I am aware the weight of evidence is against you and it looks like you're just making stuff up.

There are no properly designed experiments to show that CO2 causes warming that have -failed-. CO2 causes warming every time it's tried.

The reason can be verified with any spectrograph. CO2 absorbs heat from the earth's surface on its way out to space and reradiates it in random directions. Any diversion toward the ground during this exit warms the earth.

Simply check any satellite spectrum of the light being emitted by the Earth, and two big valleys at around 4 and 14 micrometers show the energy trapped in the atmosphere by CO2. Global Warming is occurring, CO2 is the largest man-made culprit, and CO2 from fossil fuels now accounts for approximately 40% of that in the air -- and it's rising at up to 3% per year.

p.s. Those who mention water vapor forget one thing: rain.


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.

If they are faked, why pursue "criminal and civil action"? Sounds suspiciously like "Those are documents are not ours! And you are violating our copyright by posting them!"

Don't feed the (ignorant or lying) trolls on a topic this important. Note how at least half of this thread has been distracted from the methods, aims and funding of the Heartland Institute.

Now we return to the regularly scheduled topic...

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 15 Feb 2012 #permalink

Swallow, I do not believe you.

Swallow, you're not real bright are you? I enjoyed reading all the different examples of how insignificant a number like 392ppm must seem to an idiot. So obviously an increase of 100ppm or so must seem even less significant to your tiny brain.

Well I have a question for you. Did you know that the gas hydrogen sulphide is toxic at 10ppm and will kill you at concentrations as small as 50ppm. That's an increase of only 40ppm so it must be pretty insignificant. Perhaps you could write a list of examples of similar ratios and then deny that the hydrogen sulphide will kill you. Perhaps you could attempt to prove it with an experiment - go and inhale 50ppm and write back when it doesn't kill you.

By Crumblenaut (not verified) on 15 Feb 2012 #permalink

I think it can be taken as read that, until J.Doug Swallow carries out the CO2 experiment I provided a link to; thought hard about the PETM and how glaciations works; and states whether he would enter a room with an iddy biddy amount of H2S (or HCN) in the air, he can be looked on as a troll without much of a clue.
Surely there can't be people like that in real life ?

If you check out various comments pages around the web (the Guardian, etc), you'll see that Swallow is pretty unusual, yet fairly typical. He's unusual, in that he hasn't mentioned Heartland at all, yet typical in that in order to avoid Heartland, they are going back to basics (CO2 is life!).

The level of denial over the documents is fantastic. The trolls have started by arguing that the documents are fake. No, and Heartland admits that only one is fake (which one?).

Then they say its doesn't matter, and that its fair comment, even though the documents clearly refer to influence peddling. This arguement then gets sidelined by attacking Desmogblog, Skeptical Science, Real Climate, etc. Since its the documents which are in question, this line is less than convincing.

Then they just hand wave. Its a truely wonderful sight, as cognative dissonence completely takes over. Watts Up must be a blood bath, as his true believers try to explain away the $44 grand he gets from Heartland. Actually, having just checked it, its even sadder. The memo is apparently a fake (although Desmogblog points out that the details in it are similar to other authentic documents). There are lots of other points that they make, but this one stood out

'It gets the operational details ( budget) wrong â especially the points about my project, rounding up to $90,000 from a very specific budget number of $88,000. This suggests trying to inflate the number for a purpose.'

The extra two grand does point to a monumentual conspiracy, doesn't it?
The commenters are currently trying to have a go at the Guardian, etc. My guess is that the rights talking point will be that there is nothing to see, and the memo is clearly a fake, so Heartland is being sinned against. Whether the hacks go for that line remains to be seen. Hopefull someone will start asking Lawson questions, and it will be interesting to see what he says.

In the meantime, buy beer and popcorn...

OK - its worse -

one comment on WattsUP -

'Now we have a document which is so fraudulent it instantly brings to mind The Protocols of Elders of Zion forgery.

What is worse is that the climate doomsday cult and its followers expect people to believe the narrative is true even if the document itself is forged.

This is like saying âjust because the protocols proved to be forgery doesnât mean Jews arenât out to get youâ.

The hypocrisy, the duplicity, the ignorance, the gullibility, the hard-headedness, the closed-mindedness and the malevolence of the CAGW True Believer would put any anti-semite to shame.'

Yep, they really are nuts, although apparently not as crazy as the fact that James Delingpole is apparently rooting to Barack Obama. We have truely entered the Twilight Zone.

I love the way the commenters at WUWT are all coming out with combinations of the following :

'It's not true.'

'Even if it is true, how can the wonderful Mr Watts survive without making money - it's about time he got some reward.'

'It may be true but it's nothing compared to the squillions spent on Hansen and by Gore.'

'I don't care. Here's some (more) money, Mr Watts.'

'This is a criminal act, unlike the hero who released (definitely not hacked !) the CRU emails.'

'Look, a squirrel...'

J.Doug Swallow, would you enter a room with an iddy biddy amount (i.e. a minor constituent) of H2S (or HCN) in the air ?

" I have worked around Hydrogen sulfide; therefore, I know more about it than you do."

Given your other blatant lies and misrepresentations, why should anyone believe this?

Their biggest expense is editorials, apparently a million dollars (times a couple of dozen similar organisations) is all it takes to buy the free press these days.

I call Poe's Law on Swallow...

What is the deal there Drivebyposter? You do not think that CO2 is natural or necessary? How well do you think life on earth would do lacking it? Then you say this: "Please stop derailing the thread. Please address points that were actually made/discuss topics that were actually discussed."
Was the issue about selenium? Maybe in your delusional mind it was; but, actually it was not. I stuck to the issue far more than some fool like you has that will not even present their own name and I can see why you will not.

This is an excellent example of the child-like concrete thinking that underlies a lot of pseudo-scientific belief. The concept of arguing for one thing, by drawing an analogy to another thing, seems beyond him.

"Swallow," how about we immediately replace one out of every million molecules in your body with a molecule of plutonium and see how it treats you.

There are a lot of suspicious things about the "2012 Climate Strategy.pdf" document that Heartland says is fake (the one that all the shocking quotes come from):

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.

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

Updating the denial from around the web, check out the Richard Black's BBC blog http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17048991 - you can clearly see the lines of defence, which are pretty much as JSmith laid out.

Most of the commenters pounce on the 'forgery' claim, while bypassing the rest of the documents. Since one of the documents is possibly 'faked' (according to Heartland), there is evidently no need to actually probe what the documents actually say. In fact its seems to be a rapidly developing meme that the hack/'fake' doc is some kind of deep black ops by 'warmers', and by reporting the story, the BBC is going to be sued.

Next tactic is false equivalence - Greenpeace gets much more money, Solyana, Al Gore, etc. Watts apparently deserves all that money, becuase graphs are hard.

Then you have the hardwavers, CO2 is not to blame, etc.
What surprises me is the huge number of comments (238), and the vast majority are by deniers. I suspect the word has gone out, and the line has been decreed (or its some kind of mass hysteria). 'Oh look..a squirrel....'

As an admitted non-scientist (I love humanities!) I am disappointed to see that having come here to read a scientific debate I see something that has been turned political.

Here is someone (me) who has as much apparent scientific knowledge as "Swallow" begging not to let people like him with obviously political motives hijack the scientific discussion.

When he is allowed to point the discussion AWAY from science he has won. Scientists are easily manipulated by people like this. It needs to stop and we need to return to science.

DON'T let people like this yank your chain: you will never win against a religious perspective that is immune from empirical evidence. Faith is all he needs snd you will never change that.

By DuaneBidoux (not verified) on 16 Feb 2012 #permalink

I tried to question Watts over on WUWT with regard to the statement he made last year :

"Heh, I've yet to see that check or any from Exxon-Mobil or any other energy or development company. Somebody must be stealing checks out of my mailbox. /sarc â Anthony."

I tried to discover whether he knew the Heartland money was coming to him at that stage; whether he was in the processing of searching for money from such organisations at that time; and why he had limited his decription to oil, energy and development companies, i.e. could he add in Heartland and similar organisations into that quote and still claim it as being true.

First attempt was censored. Second attempt disappeared.
What's up with that indeed !

(By the way, with regard to the BBC being swarmed by those in denial, that probably comes from some commenters at WUWT, who are also encouraging all the Wattsits to complain to the BBC, MPs, Regulators (whoever) in writing, email, text, pigeon, etc. They are not happy little bunnies)

JSmith - Its not just the BBC, the Guardian has a huge number (although there is now some pushback), and a fair number on the NYT. They must be really unhappy to make so much noise, so the attacks are hitting home.

I notice 'Dave Burton has turned up here as well with exactly the same post as he has on Stoat and every other website I've checked out (He's 'ncdave' at the Guardian). Someone has been very busy, although copying and pasting does save a lot of time...

Someone on the Guardian comments page does make the observation: 'You seem remarkably familiar with the language, location and inner workings of all Heartland employees, office work and communications and to some degree this extends to all other skeptical outfits too. How would that be? Sounds like you may even work for them yourself.' - Indeed.

Heh. Newsflash! Heartland Institute Spends It's Millions Doing Pretty Much Exactly What We've All Suspected For Years!

By Stevarious (not verified) on 17 Feb 2012 #permalink

Regarding the blog WattsUpWithThat, JSmith wrote: "First attempt was censored. Second attempt disappeared. What's up with that indeed !"

Come on, you know Anthony never censors or deletes polite comments from his blog. All his faithful followers tell us so!


By Chris Winter (not verified) on 19 Feb 2012 #permalink

Where do you get "the strategy document is a fraud" from that?

What peter did, actually, would get him a Pulitzer prize if he was a journalist.

1. There is nothing in that story that supports the notion that the strategy document is a fake. And its pretty clear now that all the other documents are genuine.
2. Its not clear that any laws were broken.
3. Gleick, unlike the CRU email thief has come forward and taken responsibility and apologized for his actions. Advantage AGW consensus.
4. Revkin's crocodile tears regarding:

The broader tragedy is that his decision to go to such extremes in his fight with Heartland has greatly set back any prospects of the country having the ârational public debateâ that he wrote â correctly â is so desperately needed.

are revolting.

The strategy document was a fraud...

You might want to work on your reading comprehension. The link you provided does not assert that, let alone provide any solid evidence.

A massive fail for the always credulous CAGW faithful.

And this changes the scientific evidence...how exactly?

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 20 Feb 2012 #permalink

@34, Dave Burton:

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.

Additional detail (in later posts) now out now points to an explanation: that was the first document, which Gleick (based in Oakland, California) says he received via snail mail.

Exactly who are you? A wacko environmentalist in need of attention and a purpose in life or just some sorry as fag?
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

By desotojm@vzw.b… (not verified) on 27 Feb 2012 #permalink

The people who said the earth was not flat were, basically, burned at the stake. Funny how the same thing is happening today to anyone who questions the validity of the science behind man-made global warming/climate change theory.

James, you are an absurd little man.


"The people who said the earth was not flat were, basically, burned at the stake."

James, your grasp of science appears to be matched by your grasp of history. Which is to say you have no grasp of either.

Ok, it was 'witches' (women), Muslims, Jews, and anyone the Catholic Church, and some other Chistian denominations, didn't feel keen on, that were burned at the stake. You might have noticed Greg's post on this recently. Heretics tortured, imprisoned, and murdered in hideous ways-- by the high-minded, anti-science god-fearin' men in robes who thought they were the enforcers of divine truth-- these deaths likely numbered in the millions.

So, no it wasn't the 'flat-earthers' that were burned at the stake; the flat-earthers who were hold outs on the whole notion that the earth was not a spheroid body, as late as the 1800's. (And apparently 2014, if we count you James):


"English writer Samuel Rowbotham (1816–1885), writing under the pseudonym "Parallax," produced a pamphlet called Zetetic Astronomy in 1849 arguing for a flat Earth and published results of many experiments that tested the curvatures of water over a long drainage ditch, followed by another called 'The inconsistency of Modern Astronomy and its Opposition to the Scripture.' One of his supporters, John Hampden, lost a bet to Alfred Russel Wallace in the famous Bedford Level Experiment, which attempted to prove it. In 1877 Hampden produced a book called "A New Manual of Biblical Cosmography".

See James, the earth is not, um, actually flat. So if you're saying it was unfair of those meanie sciency types to tell the flat-earthers that they were wrong, and so it's also wrong for those meanie sciency types to tell anthropogenic climate change denialists, evolution denialists, 'earth is more than 6000 years old' denialists, that they are all simply wrong, then you are, in technical terms, addled in the brain-pan.

And scientists have not been in the habit of persecuting people, even when they hold ridiculously false beliefs; no James, that's been the ultra-religious maniacs over countless centuries, when their fairy tales and delusions run smack up against basic reality, that have felt the need, and assumed the right, to murder people for simply asking questions. Scientists settle things with data and reasoned argument. Religious fanatics, of all stripes, scream, threaten, discriminate, enslave, demean and murder those that disagree. So it has been for millennia, so it is today.

By phillydoug (not verified) on 13 Mar 2014 #permalink