Racing around the internet are some internal documents that appear to be from the Heartland Institute, a relatively obscure hard-core anti-science think tank. As DeSmogBlog explains, “An anonymous donor calling him (or her)self ‘Heartland Insider’ has released the Heartland Institute’s budget, fundraising plan… and sundry other documents (all attached) that prove all of the worst allegations that have been levelled against the organization.” See update below.
Personally, I was skeptical of these docs, at least until I read the 2012 Fundraising Plan, which attacks the temperature station data of the “the National Aeronautics and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).” That kind of error is classic Heartland.
And here’s another apparent blunder: “The Charles G. Koch Foundation returned as a Heartland donor in 2011. We expect to ramp up their level of support in 2012 and gain access to the network of philanthropists they work with.”
Those Heartland folks are such satirists. Philanthropy “etymologically means the love of humanity,” whereas funding climate denial and inaction, as the Kochs do, is perhaps the cruelest thing you could possibly do to humanity.
My colleague Brad Johnson has just blogged on Heartland’s “Secret, Corporate-Funded Plan To Teach Children That Climate Change Is A Hoax,” which I’ll excerpt at the end. It’s funny in the way that The Shining was funny.
These documents just make no sense, kind of like climate science denial itself. Perhaps this is a spoof put out by The Onion.
Certainly the page on Heartland’s secret plans to dupe children supports the latter theory:
And who could believe that “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” would get paid cash money to push a bunch of easily debunked lies on school children, of all people. Heck, the International Energy Agency has said the world is on pace for 11°F warming, and “Even School Children Know This Will Have Catastrophic Implications for All of Us.”
If these documents are real, they revealed the desperate efforts of a fringe denial group to deceive children and ruin their future. No, this must be from the brilliant staff at The Onion. And they almost had us fooled!
UPDATE: I have updated this post. Heartland has not yet denied the authenticity of any of the excerpts now quoted here, saying only that their authenticity “has not been confirmed” and claiming that another document distributed to the press was a fake. ThinkProgress does not know the identity of the anonymous source of the documents or his or her connection, if any, to Heartland. They assert these documents were acquired through trickery and are asking people not to write about any of this — but that plea sounds like more satire given what they wrote about the stolen Climategate emails:
Last week, someone (probably a whistle-blower at the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, England) released emails and other documents….
The release of these documents creates an opportunity for reporters, academics, politicians, and others who relied on the IPCC to form their opinions about global warming to stop and reconsider their position. The experts they trusted and quoted in the past have been caught red-handed plotting to conceal data, hide temperature trends that contradict their predictions, and keep critics from appearing in peer-reviewed journals. This is new and real evidence that they should examine and then comment on publicly.
UPDATE: ThinkProgress is among several publications to have published documents related to the Heartland Institute. The documents were sent to us from an anonymous source, and the identity of the source was unknown to ThinkProgress at the time. The source later revealed himself