Climate Skeptic Organization Feels the Heat

UPDATE: The Heartland Institute has responded. See bottom of this post for an excerpt.

Somebody sent the Heartland Institute a wicked Valentine. It was probably meant for Joseph Bast, Heartland’s President and CEO. Based on my reading of the leaked documents, I’m thinking that a recently fired employee or someone still there is not feeling a lot of love for Bast and the way he runs his organization.

The whistleblower/insider sent an email around to a bunch of folks yesterday, which got forwarded to me. While the documents have been disseminated on the internet, nobody reporting on this appears to have mentioned the accompanying email:

Dear Friends (15 of you):

In the interest of transparency, I think you should see these files from the Heartland Institute. Look especially at the 2012 fundraising and budget documents, the information about donors, and compare to the 2010 990 tax form. But other things might also interest or intrigue you. This is all I have. And this email account will be removed after I send.

Translation: Follow the money. That’s what one citizen auditor (John Mashey) was already doing when Bast got his unwelcome Valentine. Desmogblog says of the Mashey report:

It both corroborates and is corroborated by the leaked Heartland documents, which reinforce Mashey’s conclusion that Heartland is a for-profit public relations and lobbying firm that is operating with non-profit status by misrepresenting the nature of its activities in its own tax filings.

I haven’t read Mashy’s audit yet, but after having plowed through the (presumably real) Heartland documents posted online, I wouldn’t be surprised if the IRS is moved to do its own audit of the Heartland Institute, or at the very least revisit the organization’s 501(c)(3) non-profit status.

Meanwhile, the way Heartland goes about its propaganda mission (as revealed by the docs) is already providing much fodder for the climate wars.

UPDATE: The Heartland Institute, in response, claims:

Yesterday afternoon, two advocacy groups posted online several documents they claimed were The Heartland Institute’s 2012 budget, fundraising, and strategy plans. Some of these documents were stolen from Heartland, at least one is a fake, and some may have been altered.

Well this story just got a whole lot more interesting.

140 Responses to “Climate Skeptic Organization Feels the Heat”

  1. stan says:

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Obama decided to turn loose the IRS dogs on conservative non-profits the way that Clinton did.  But the list of left-wing propaganda outfits that violate IRS rules is orders of magnitude longer and involves staggering amounts of money.  Compare and contrast the Soros’ funded Media Matters and Heartland.

    The left tells us that the nasty cancer that their billions represent is of no importance, but get hysterical over the Heartland hangnail of a few million.   

  2. Mike Mangan says:

    LOL!  Alarmists are all a-flutter about Heartland’s tiny budget when they have the hundreds of millions of Big Green dollars on their side?  When a whistleblower inside UEA releases the Climategate emails you people wail about how a great crime has been committed and how dare we look into private documents, but now?  Oooh!  Ooh! Look!  Those dastardly skeptics are raising money!!  
    Heartland could disappear today and it wouldn’t make any difference in how normal people look at your mythology.  You’re opposed by free men and women across the globe, proud, angry, and uncompensated.  Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc!  🙂

  3. hunter says:

    Good luck with this.
    Wait until we get to look at RC, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, WWF, FoE, PETA, Humane Society, etc. etc. etc.

  4. jeffn says:

    This is classic. Right after a post about partisanship we get a post which essentially says: “they have been caught doing the same thing our groups do! Why aren’t you outraged!?!”
    Well, if we had a mandatory 5 year public service requirement we would put a stop to this!
    Tell me, why should a person who isn’t tribally connected to either Greenpeace or Heartland give a rat’s ass about this story? They don’t, so the story – just the similar expose of media matters this week- is intended for the people who like this game.

  5. Louise says:

    I find it interesting that the denialist attempt at damage limitation is leading the comments section so far.

  6. Marlowe Johnson says:

    well this post certainly is an interesting ink-blot test 🙂

    in other shocking news, the sun rose in the east and is expected to set in the west!

  7. Joshua says:

    Translation of the first four posts = “Mommy, mommy, they do it tooouuuu.”
    Never seen that before.

  8. harrywr2 says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the IRS is moved to do its own audit of the Heartland Institute
    What is the legal definition of ‘non-partisan’. To me anyone espousing views to the left or right of my political view is a ‘partisan’.
    Hence…since there is no universally applicable definition of ‘partisan’ there can’t be any way to define what would be ‘non-partisan’.

  9. BBD says:

    It’s funny. I got banned from Bishop Hill for asking questions about who/what funds the GWPF ‘think tank’ (which Montford writes for on occasion and is clearly involved with).
    ‘It doesn’t matter!’ I was told, and ‘donors have a right to confidentiality’.
    Of course it doesn’t matter. Of course there’s nothing to hide. Of course these ‘think tanks’ aren’t policy-distortion exercises run by vested corporate interests. Silly me.
    Pretending that this is all fine and dandy – ie ignoring the facts – is something contrarians are already skilled at doing. Expect a bravura display of denial from the usual quarters.

  10. jeffn says:

    #9, BBD- you intentionally miss the point… again.
    It matters who funds GWPF, Heartland, Greenpeace, Media Matters, WWF, IPCC.
    You care more about who funds certain organizations on that list, I care who funds certain other organizations on that list and as a result, the apolitical know that neither of us is really all that worked up about funding. The exposes of the Heartland and of Media Matters (the latter of which I find simply hilarious, admittedly for tribal reasons) are entertainment for the tiny sliver of the population  who are really into politics.
    Enjoy your show! Seriously, enjoy it. I think they’re fun too.

  11. Joshua says:

    -1- – jeffn

    “I care who funds certain other organizations on that list and as a result, the apolitical know that neither of us is really all that worked up about funding.”

    Wow! I came to a climate blog and some honesty broke out.

    I really have never seen that before.

  12. grypo says:

    Take ’em all down.  They’re just a bunch neo-liberal crap-tanks.

  13. BBD says:

    I’m not missing the point and you are generating a smokescreen.
    The point is that anonymity allows vested corporate interests to finance policy distortion machines like the Heartland, the GWPF, Marshall, Cato etc.
    You think this is okay – I think it’s anti-democratic. That’s the point. 
    (Note prediction from # 9: Expect a bravura display of denial from the usual quarters).


  14. Sashka says:

    @ 7
    Do they do it too or not?

  15. jeffn says:

    BBD- just to clarify, you believe that contributions used to get out messages you disagree with are “bad” while secret vested interest contributions used to put out messages you agree with are, by definition, “not bad”
    And the apolitical are supposed to take from this that you have a principled stand on vested interest money?
    The fact that you are utterly blind to the double standard is really really funny. I just bet you can’t understand why they haven’t passed a law that exempts issue funding (hint- adding the phrase “for messages I don’t like” after the word “prohibition” is unconstitutional in the US. It’s crazy, I know, but we let everyone talk here.)

  16. D. Robinson says:

    Did anybody on either side ever read something from Heartland or attend an event of theirs without preconceptions of their bias?  If so your not an objective skeptic.
    Anybody ever read anything from Greenpeace or WWF without preconceptions of their bias.  If so you’re not an objective warmist.
    Keith thinks this is a ‘wicked’ scandal but that climategate is window dressing.  Louise is surprised by the damage limitation attempts by the evil deniers.  JeffN says it doesn’t matter, BBD is outraged, outraged he says! 
    Film at 11.

  17. hunter says:

    I would support a complete review of all NGO’s and 501c3 and foundations and for cancellation of tax free or charitable status of any of them engaged in primarily political action, as well as those whose over head expense absorbs more than a reasonable amount of the revenues.
    But as the history shows, the reviews are traditionally done by leftist groups against those they oppose, with a few notable exceptions like ACORN and Media Matters. But somehow those groups live on to continue pushing leftist agendas.

  18. hunter says:

    Your outrage on this is pure bullshit and you know it, by the way.

  19. Tom Scharf says:

    Next thing you know, we will find out that Media Matters isn’t on the up and up either.

    Most think tanks are by definition biased.  Heartland has always been a mouthpiece for the conservative viewpoint.

    However, if they are cooking the books, they need to pay the penalty just like anyone else. 

  20. Joshua says:

    My point is that moral equivocation in the climate debate is counterproductive.
    IMO, anyone “concerned” about politicization of the science should avoid justifying politicization of the science by pointing to politicization of the science.

  21. Tom Scharf says:


    Freedom of speech might be a subject you may want to look into.  

    Given the choice between the willd wild west of everyone screaming whatever they want versus having some “apolitical” authority sort out who is allowed to speak, I’ll take the WWW (pun intended).

    It may be contrary to logic, but the most propaganda free environment possible may also be the one with the most propaganda.


  22. Jeff says:

    I’m confused. I mean I guess its slightly embarrassing to have your fundraising strategies out there for all to see, but — prior to this release — how exactly did people think Heartland raised money? Do you think those ridiculous NIPCC reports produce themselves?

  23. BBD says:

    What ‘outrage’ is that?
    Do stop making things up for effect.

  24. BBD says:

    Tom Scharf
    Covert back-channel subversions bought with behind-the-scenes money are not free speech. They are its opposite.
    Interestingly, last time I had this discussion, the ‘sceptics’ formed ranks to defend the right of hidden, vested corporate interest to warp public policy to suit its own ends. ‘Free speech’ was mentioned approvingly – even righteously – several times.
    (Note prediction from # 9: Expect a bravura display of denial from the usual quarters).

  25. Jarmo says:

    For those not interested in the eternal battle between good and evil, David Roberts has produced part 4 of his rebound analysis.

    His solution in uniquely green 🙂  

  26. Menth says:

    Well I for one thought the fine work done by the Heartland institute was of the most objective and unbiased intent. The fact that this group can now be shown to have spent money espousing a particular view on a matter will no doubt tarnish the heretofore upstanding reputation of this institute. Shame on you Heartland institute, I trusted you!

  27. Joshua says:

    Here’s an aspect of this issue that I find interesting:
    I have exchanged many a blog comment with David Wojick – and while not entirely infrequently he has written ad hom attacks to me based in facile reasoning, on many other occasions he has exchanged views with me in good faith .
    Now in one of the documents released, it says that he was being contracted to develop curricula that would be “effective” at “dissuading teachers from teaching science.” That is truly a bizarre document.
    I disagree with David on much. Very strongly, in fact. Still, I find it hard to believe that he would be involved in an effort as described in the document. I don’t think it is impossible because he has shown a strong tribalism in his attacks against me, and he has openly said that his primary interest in the climate debate is political in nature. Still, my first reaction is to think that there must be something here that I don’t understand. Something that could explain why, although the document suggests otherwise, he would not be accepting $100,000 to create curricula to “dissuade teachers from teaching science.”
    If that <b>were</b> the intent of Heartland, I would expect David to produce documentation that he voiced strong opposition to such a goal, as well as evidence that the curricula he has produced make a good-faith effort to present both sides of the climate debate in a fair manner.
    In other words, it seems to me that the first reaction should be to give him the benefit of the doubt with an expectation of evidence. Trust, but verify. Instead, what I see are  “realists” assuming that such a bizarre intent – to dissuade teachers from teaching science – is really the goal of Heartland and David.
    This reminds me of the reaction to “hide the decline,” except in reverse. Nefarious motivations for the “hide the decline” comment were assumed by “skeptics,” and plausible explanations were dismissed out of hand. Why? In my view, because of motivation reasoning, confirmation bias, etc.
    I look forward to reading David Wojick’s explanation of the document and some evidence that he wasn’t creating propagandist curricula for students. With such evidence presented, he should continue to be given the benefit of the doubt.
    Absent such an explanation, I think that he deserves severe criticism.

  28. Keith Kloor says:

    From the Economist:

    Gleeful greens are inevitably drawing comparisons between this trove and the revelation of e-mails from climatologists at Britain’s University of East Anglia, which suggested they had sometimes taken steps to disguise their adjustments of inconvenient palaeo-data. Known as “climategate”, that was a great embarrassment for the scientists involved. Worse, the alleged sloppiness with data referred to in the emails was ludicrously inflated by many sceptics to call into question the basic verities of climate science. Affording the same status to the publishing of the Heartland Institute’s alleged tawdry secrets would be unwise. But it is certainly embarrassing for the institute, which has so far taken no steps to deny the trove’s veracity.

  29. Sashka says:

    @ 20
    Some people would say that moral equivocation between bank robber and pickpocket is not ambiguous.

  30. Artifex says:


    Rather than vague allegations, aren’t journalists supposed to be about facts. Digging through either the probably boring minutia of the Heartland docs or the cherry picked spin of Mashey’s stuff probably is not the best use of ones time. What in specific do you find troubling and why ? 

  31. Jay Currie says:

    Gee, Heartland makes grants to people it agrees with. Not much of a story but interesting.

    More interesting is the asymmetry between the effect of this story and Climategate. The Heartland story will confirm in the minds of the dwindling band of war mists that evil corporate interests are t the root of skepticism. The Climategate revelations pretty much toppled the entire Kyoto edifice. The Heartland story will provide the Rohms of the world with a stick to beat a few skeptics, Climategate undermined the credibility of much of the science used to support the assorted flavours of CAGW.

    Climategate 1&2 exposed illegal activity, data manipulation, pal review and a culture of corruption which taints the entire IPCC process; Heartland funded Watts presenting the (as yet unchallenged) state of the temperature recording system in the US.

    If you want to get a sense of proportion here simply ask which will be more interesting: Climategate 3 or another trove of Heartland documents. 

    But have fun amidst the ruins warmists. 

  32. Nullius in Verba says:

    I don’t think Keith is making any firm statements because we don’t know what the status of the documents is or what Heartland’s reply will be.
    From a quick skim of the commentary, the significant points appear to be a statement about “dissuading teachers teaching science” which if they really said that is definitely embarassing, although possibly it was careless wording. (Or maybe an idiot wrote it.) And if they’re making a profit while claiming to be non-profit, or otherwise falsifying their accounts, that’s obviously serious – although again given the complexity of most organisational accountancy, I’d wait for more information before leaping to conclusions. It’s very easy to misunderstand.
    The stuff about funding is old hat, and of no real concern for Heartland-supporters. As a variety of people have pointed out, greens and climate scientists do much the same and get a lot more for it.
    Heartland work down at the political end of the debate, and I don’t normally have much interest in that sort of tabloid stuff. They’re not all that influential, although they probably have a higher profile than one would expect for their size – probably because of all the publicity they get from their detractors. It’s a palpable hit that will probably grab headlines for a few days – although I’d wait for the response before jumping to any conclusions – but I don’t think it will have any long-term effect.

  33. NewYorkJ says:


    Heartland plays an important role in climate communications, especially through our in-house experts (e.g., Taylor) through his Forbes blog and related high profile outlets, our conferences, and through coordination with external networks (such as WUWT and other groups capable of rapidly mobilizing responses to new scientific findings, news stories, or unfavorable blog posts). Efforts at places such as Forbes are especially important now that they have begun to allow highprofile climate scientists (such as Gleick) to post warmist science essays that counter our own. This influential audience has usually been reliably anti-climate and it is important to keep opposing voices out. Efforts might also include cultivating more neutral voices with big audiences (such as Revkin at DotEarth/NYTimes, who has a well-known antipathy for some of
    the more extreme AGW communicators such as Rornm, Trenberth, and Hansen) or Curry (who has become popular with our supporters). We have  also pledged to help raise around $90,000 in 2012 for Anthony Watts to help him create a new website to track temperature station data.

    We are pursuing a proposal from Dr. David Wojick to produce a global warming curriculum for K-12 schools. “¦ His effort will 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 wouldn’t want our teachers teaching science, would we?  Pretty disgusting stuff.  Oh, I’m sure they’d like to rephrase that to “bad science” or some nonsense.  But that wouldn’t be truthful.

    Remember that the anti-science stance of the Heartland Institute is not just confined to climate science.

    As for Fred Singer, aside from the occasional crankish comment, I didn’t realize he’s still very active in the denialist world.  What was he getting paid $5K per month for?

  34. Capo says:

    <em>As a variety of people have pointed out, greens and climate scientists do much the same and get a lot more for it.</em>
    Really? Do Greenpeace or WWF pay people for writing IPCC reports?
    Do greens raise funds for dissuading people from climate science?
    If you reduce lobbyism and funding to numbers of dollars, you might miss some important differences.

  35. Lewis Deane says:

    Hi Keith,
    I’m glad you’re ‘back in the fight’ and posting more regularly. I think this whole dispute has got somewhat stail – which means, actually, the participants are jaded and stale – no new thinking, you see.
    But, returning, once more, to the fray, I ask, weren’t you somewhat reticent, on an earlier occassion, about ‘pouncing’ on ‘leaked’ documents. Ironic. As for ‘The Heartland Institute’, quelle surprise! Any ‘institute’ that has ‘heart’ at the ‘heart’ of its self can hardly be worth considering! 
    I’ve been doing some thinking and this is the result:
    (To all ‘left’ or ‘right’ wing nutters:) Ah, but it is as if the ‘establishment’ has all the ‘power’? But, in fact, power is nebulous and merely clusters, here and there, with the ebb tide and flotsam and jetsam of the sea that is history. There is no ‘power’ – that is why, in times of crises, like now, people have always retreated and internalized this discourse – this discourse of power. The ancients used to worry who about who was ‘noble’, not who was powerful. ‘Megalospychia’, he of ‘great soul’, not who had the ‘power’ or ‘riches’ or stupidity of brutishness. Hence, Stoicism and hence, finally, their retreat from all the mere chatter and ephemera of ‘worldly’ ‘concerns’ – the weakness of their philosophy.

    The point is this will pass and the ‘truth’ or ‘lies’ will out but there is no conspiracy, rather a ‘confederacy of dunces’ and it is better to dispute with yourself what is the truth rather than ‘others’.

  36. Dave H says:

    @Jay Currie
    So I take it you agree with the notion of an entirely anonymous benefactor channelling money through a charitable organisation with the express intent of corrupting science education?

  37. Dave H says:

    The Forbes connection (“keep opposing voices out”) is interesting, given both the recent suppression of a scientific statement they received in favour of promoting a fringe “skeptical” one prominently, complete with errors and lies.
    One would assume based on these revelations the objectivity of that particular outlet must be regarded as suspect, no?

  38. EdG says:

    Oh this is fun.

    Desmogblog is linked to David Suzuki, and in Canada the charitable status of the Suzuki Foundation (and other ‘environmental’ groups) is under more intense scrutiny than ever before (thanks to the Northern Gateway pipeline proposal)… so it looks like there could be plenty more of this kind of whistleblowing on all sides coming.

    But given the big picture and the relative propaganda expenditures, I don’t think this approach is going to be very helpful to the AGW cause. But it will be eagerly embraced and heavily used fodder for the ‘Big Oil conspiracy’ gang.

    Just checked WUWT and there is a response: 

  39. Joshua says:

    I gotta say – this is sad.
    With the constant “concern” I have read from “skeptics” about the politicization of the science in the climate debate, I’d like to hope that I’d see quite a few “skeptics” step up and express concern about these revelations about what’s going on behind the scenes of Heartland’s politicization of the climate debate.
    While thus far I have read quite a few responses from “skeptics” about these revelations, not only have I not seen quite a few statements of concern, I haven’t even see a few. In fact, I haven’t seen even one.

  40. Lewis Deane says:

    I hope you don’t think I’m having another ‘turn’ but let this be an addenda or nota bene to my previous post (re; ‘retreat from the ephemera of politics’!):
    The Age Of Darkness.

    The chatter on the wind is the irritation
    Of the street: drunks or illiterate poor
    Claiming back bitter heritage of dark
    Or barbaric recompense of pillage.
    The habited Romans on their destined sword
    Of solitary circlings; burnt books,
    Artefact’s in whose flames is seen the death
    Of some peculiar, personal march
    To some incongruous goal. Not sacrificed
    But burnt with the words and flaming tongue
    Taking all in a lying confession
    Of confounded biographies.
    The time heralded on an ox skin drum
    And thus brought to a passive, anonymous march,
    A world of strangers.
    Copyright Lewis Deane.

  41. Keith Kloor says:

    Heartland responds here. I will put an update in my post. I’m at a conference now (and for the next few days), so I’ll be able to check comments only sporadically. I’ll try responding more in full later on.

  42. stan says:

    We know from the e-mails that the alarmist scientists not only worked extremely hard to corrupt the science that was taught in schools, they worked extremely hard to corrupt science.  The biggest joke I think I’ve read in a long while is the alarmist alarm upthread about the “dissuading teachers” quote.  They have no problem with Algore’s Inconvient joke being taught to kids.  They have no problem that the IPCC is a pack of lies or that realscience is ridiculous propaganda, or that climate scientists have engaged in a decades long lie to the governments of the world. 

    Hard to get up too much sympathy for the pitch black pot getting upset that the white saucer has a speck of black on it from cigarette ash.  

  43. NewYorkJ says:

    Anthony Watts:

    “AGW proponents seem hell bent on trying to repeat this ‘linked to’ nonsense at any cost,” he wrote last May. “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 ““ Anthony.”

  44. Nullius in Verba says:

    “The Forbes connection (“keep opposing voices out”) is interesting […] One would assume based on these revelations the objectivity of that particular outlet must be regarded as suspect, no?”
    “So far, we’ve simply deleted all of the attempts by McIntyre and his minions to draw attention to this at RealClimate.” Michael Mann, 2009.
    Ad hominem arguments – drawing conclusions based on the people arguing rather than the content of the argument – is fallacious reasoning, but if you want to take that line, people like Heartland still have piles more ammunition of that sort than you do. RealClimate cannot be regarded as suspect simply because they were set up by a PR agency, and journals can’t be regarded as suspect simply because some unknown idiot politico has suggested trying to keep opposing voices out – in fact, since the magazine had just upset them by not keeping them out, that would seem reason to trust the magazine more. The idea of keeping opposing voices out is wrong, it’s the same mistake Mann & Co. made with the scientific journals. It’s a very common sentiment – as the long historical opposition to free speech has shown. All we can do is keep on explaining why it’s such a bad idea.

  45. Email headers keith.
    We shared the IP of the hacker

  46. Lewis Deane says:

    By the way this is a stupidity based on an oxymoron: that no ‘institute’ that lobbies does so without funding: the funding for ‘Friends of the Earth’ (and, therefore, no friends of mine), from Shell, from BP and from the EU massively dwarfs anything the Heartland Institute could dream of. As for Greenpeace they do not disclose their real funding because it’s from the ‘citizen’. But their coffers run into hundreds of millions of $. This is typical of the hysteria and absurdity of the ‘Green’ establishment that, being so uncertain of their position, they pounce on any scrap to substantiate it. This is no ‘climate gate’ – did the ‘heartland institute claim to be a scientific research center? No -this is desperation gate!

  47. NewYorkJ says:

    NiV: Ad hominem arguments ““ drawing conclusions based on the people arguing rather than the content of the argument ““ is fallacious reasoning,

    So is omitting context from a quote, or making accusations or insinuations of fraud, which is what McI and his minions brought with the Yamal claims, off-topic repetitions of which RC apparently felt compelled to remove from their blog until Keith Briffa (very ill at the time) could respond.

    Nice false equivalence, though.

  48. Sashka says:

    So the flagship of the denialist fleet runs on a few millions of dollars with the biggest donor contributing under $1M last year.

    I wonder how does the “concerned” group of posters feel about the incredible effectiveness of this budget. You realize that even a small department of earth sciences in any university is much better funded, right?

  49. harrywr2 says:

    Joshua Says: 

    I’d like to hope that I’d see quite a few “skeptics” step up and express concern about these revelations about what’s going on behind the scenes of Heartland’s politicization of the climate debate.
    Why? Heartland is a conservative leaning ‘think tank with a ‘chump change’ budget. They don’t politicize anything anymore then the ‘Center for American Progress’.
    Maybe someone should ask Joe Romm how much he gets PAID to blog.

  50. Sashka says:

    @ 39

    I’m not a skeptic, I’m an uncertaintist. I had little sympathy to HI before and I have even less now.

  51. Nullius in Verba says:

    Are people here not making accusations or insinuations of fraud? And have they not been repeated many times before Heartland could respond?
    The quote’s context does not have any bearing on the point, which was about an outlet that excluded opposing voices, and whether that discredited the outlet. My point was that it didn’t discredit the outlet – RealClimate’s technical arguments cannot be disputed by pointing out their desire to exclude opposition. My point was that this tactic is fallacious when used against RealClimate, and hence defended them. I simply used them as the example in the hopes that I could thereby bypass the confirmation bias. You wouldn’t be as keen to find something wrong with an argument defending Mann’s credibility.
    The discussion is moot now, pending further information, since Heartland claim the document is a fake anyway. We’ll have to wait and see.

  52. Keith did you check document properties?
    would be weird if the properties didnt make sense

  53. Joshua says:

    Harry –
    Why? Because the documents show a systematic and concerted effort to politicize the climate debate. Heartland is, by it’s very nature, a political advocacy group. Apparently, they are directly paying scientists who participate, quite prominently, in the climate debate. These are scientists who are prominently held forth as “experts” on the questions of science.
    Now that is not, in my view, some kind of moral failing. But when “skeptics” have, for years, pearl clutched from their fainting couches with deep “concern” about the politicization of the science in the climate debate, for them to turn around and dismiss this as insignificant seems highly hypocritical to me.
    Being hypocritical is not a moral failing either. It is what it is: evidence of how the climate debate is riddled with motivated reasoning, confirmation bias, etc., and full of people who are not interested in addressing that fact in a serious manner.

  54. Martha says:

    Joshua, among other things, you must have missed his exchange with Fred recently at ClimateEtc., where he says he’s working on it.   😉
    Basically, the answer is yes:  at least, it is a plan that  is clearlyl consistent with Heartland and Wojick’s activities. 

    Don’t forget, among many similar things, Heartland mailed out that ridiculous pseudo-science “˜Skeptics Handbook’ to every school Board in the U.S.  This is the same goal, new idea for format.  🙁 

    Heartland’s activities and agenda are no secret and I think you already know that Wojick’s employed as a consultant:

    David “I am a cognitive scientist” “I have PhD in epistemology” “IPCC expert reviewer”” Wojick.  ;-). 
    But maybe he knows something about climate science, all the same?  No such luck.  In fact, Wojick is known to most objective observers as a retired engineer who demonstrates little to no understanding of climate science and spends most of his time on web and internet-based communication and consultancy misleading industry and corporate funded groups who wish to be misled about climate science or wish to mislead the public, amusedly contributing to propaganda for conservative media, blogs and front groups like Heartland and Cato and spamming as many science sites as he can as an endpoint to his career and continued enjoyment of his estate horse farm.

    His behaviour is discouraging to anyone seriously concerned about the issues, but it is all part of democracy. 🙂

  55. hey keith: document properties.   what’s missing from the document that heartland says is fake?  you guessed it.

    All the other documents were created on the same day 1/16 prior to the board meeting ( oh and one on 1/25) 

    the forgery.. empty properties. weird.  Do a little digging and post the IP of the guy who sent you the mails. 

  56. stan says:


       But I don’t really see anything horrifying in Anthony’s company having obtained funding in January to create a web site. Nor do I find anything horrifying in the notion that the domain name and web site plan hasn’t been unveiled instantly. Nor am I horrified that in the past, when Anthony had not gotten funding and was doing what he did for free, he told people that he was doing what he did for free and not because someone had hired him to do it.”


  57. Lewis Deane says:

    Steven Mosher, could you be a bit more explicit. I know nothing of these ‘documents’ and care even less, except for the fuss that is being made out of them. So, what’s the provenance?

  58. Keith Kloor says:


    Am way ahead of you. I would have loved to be on the original list of recipients and got a look at the IP address. It’s the first thing I thought of last night.

    Alas, as I mentioned in my post, just the email itself was forwarded to me. And because I’m at a conference, I don’t have the capacity to dig into this. My priority is to attend social science sessions.

    Personally, I find aspects of this entire story strange. That includes how/who disseminated the documents and Heartland’s response. 

    One thing you can be sure of: their damage control efforts are going to fuel journalistic interest in the story. Not sure that’s what they intended. But I look forward to seeing where the story goes.

  59. Lewis Deane says:

    NiV: Ad hominem arguments ““ drawing conclusions based on the people arguing rather than the content of the argument ““ is fallacious reasoning,

    So is omitting context from a quote, or making accusations or insinuations of fraud, which is what McI and his minions brought with the Yamal claims, off-topic repetitions of which RC apparently felt compelled to remove from their blog until Keith Briffa (very ill at the time) could respond.

    Nice false equivalence, though.
    You can’t ‘make accusations of insinuations of fraud’ but that is how tenuous your argument always is. You have nothing to base it on but merely project your own nefarious feelings. There is no ‘context’, as you well know but the written and published text. You wish there to be one, a ‘motive’, an ‘insinuation’ so you could slime your own insinuation on to them. But, look, no hands, ingenuous to the last. Don’t assume of others what you assume of yourself. And stop libeling McIntyre or I will sue you even if he won’t.

  60. Barry Woods says:

    The BBC’s Richard Black misrepresents the project WUWT was to be funded:

    “Further funding will go to climate blogger and former meteorologist Anthony Watts for a web-based project aiming to demonstrate problems in the US network of temperature monitoring stations ““ an issue whose irrelevance to the big questions of climate change was emphatically demonstrated last year by the Berkeley Earth Project, which found station quality was not a factor in modern measurements of global warming.”

    ie the money was nothing of the sort, it was clearly described as a project for making public weather data more easily and accessibly available to the public
    Richards predjudices seem to be at work. this is misrepresentation and potentially reputationally damaging to WUWT

    The documents state (pdf) that in January his company ItWorks/IntelliWeather was paid $44,000 to “create a new website devoted to accessing the new temperature data from NOAA’s web site and converting them into easy-to-understand graphs that can be easily found and understood by weathermen and the general interested public”. A total of $88,000 (pdf) is expected to be handed to Watts for the project by the end of 2012.

  61. Joshua says:

    # 54 – Martha
    David has said over at Climate Etc., quite explicitly, that his primary interest in the climate debate is political in nature.
    I hope that “skeptics” consider that as they step up to the plate to defend  (via moral equivocation, “Mommy, mommy, they do it tooouuuu arguments, etc.) Heartland hiring him to develop educational materials.
    In the end, David’s materials should be judged based on their intrinsic quality. But that criterion of intrinsic value should be used irrespectively of one’s position on the climate debate spectrum.  In my view, any attempt to dismiss Heartland’s political goals in paying climate scientists and for the development of curricula fails to qualify as a legitimate skeptic.
    This is not a complicated issue, in my view.

  62. Lewis Deane says:

    I misread that – i was not ‘of’ but ‘or’ – nevertheless my argument still tands.

  63. Lewis Deane says:

    Forgive me, I was distracted, doing five things at once!

  64. NewYorkJ says:

    NiV: The quote’s context does not have any bearing on the point, which was about an outlet that excluded opposing voices,

    That’s an odd assertion.  Because within 2 days of the quote you took out of context, here is a post on the topic, with 750+ comments, many of them opposing views.

    You want to rethink that spin.  Maybe they just didn’t want their colleague to be smeared with off-topic comments before they and their colleagues have a chance to look into the allegations.

    Not the same as trying to get opposing voices removed from Forbes, but that quote might be difficult to confirm one way or the other (Heartland is denying it for now).

    At the very least, we have some new openness and transparency, namely where (notoriously secretive) and others get some of their funding.  Funny to watch deniers act shocked and violated by all of this, given “ClimateGate”.

  65. Keith. The “forged” document has been sanitized. No document properties.
    it also appears to get the budget figures wrong and doesnt read like the document it purports to be. weirdness.

  66. Keith Kloor says:

    Just to be clear, how the documents were obtained and what is contained in them represent two different discussions.

    If Heartland is to be taken at its word, somebody conned a board member into handing them over. If so, then that person (the con) is likely the one who circulated the docs around the internet. 

    Getting to the bottom of that story should be interesting. 

    But as to what the documents say, well, that’s fair game right? And as Joshua has pointed out here, climate skeptics who complain about this but who loved citing stolen climate science emails chapter and verse reveal themselves to be hypocritical.


  67. Also, I’m only kidding about having the police take your computers.
    What we need is a timeline.. kinda like we wrote for climategate. who knew what when. Investigating identity theft and forging a document to destroy the reputation of a non profit.. wow, could be fun.
    That said, heartland puts out crap.

  68. Keith Kloor says:


    What I don’t get is this: why would a saboteur risk undercutting the legitimacy of the real docs by fooling around with one of them? Seems stupid on his/her part, if this is the case. 

    Why not leave well enough alone and let the real docs speak for themselves? (Again, this is going with the assumption that Heartland is telling the truth with their claim that the strategy doc is a fake, and I’m not sold on that.) 

  69. NewYorkJ says:

    Barry (#60),

    You might want to include the previous 3 paragraphs from the Heartland doc (see #38).  Richard Black got it mostly right this time, but neglects to mention that Watts’ own published work shows that problems with station data don’t noticeably affect the mean observed trend.  The new Watts project looks to be another propaganda effort to continue to push the false notion that the data isn’t reliable, by showing cute graphs spinning the data.

  70. stan says:


    You keep misssing the point.  The only doc that even has a shred of embarassment associated with it is the forgery.

  71. Joshua says:

    “You keep misssing the point.  The only doc that even has a shred of embarassment associated with it is the forgery.”

    Fascinating. So here we have a “skeptic” saying that a systematic initiative to politicize climate science should not be embarrassing.

  72. Keith Kloor says:

    Stan, you wouldn’t be biased or anything? 🙂 

    Look, I realize that this is another bit of unpleasant cognitive dissonance for climate skeptics (last exhibited on mass scale over Muller & BEST).

    I’m not interesting in getting into a back and forth over this with partisans. It was a similar waste of my time when I tried debating the legitimate questions raised by climategate with climate concerned folks.

    People on both sides of the spectrum have their own tribal allegiances. I get that. 

  73. Keith Kloor says:

    Just catching up with related thread over at Climate Etc. Steven Mosher, just want to say that you are right to call out lack of redaction by Desmogblog & others. Also, something about that email sent out didn’t smell right to me, which is another reason why I posted it.

    As for this, please wait until I return home for the raid. 🙂 And don’t take my kids DS’s or there will be hell to pay.

  74. Nullius in Verba says:

    “Maybe they just didn’t want their colleague to be smeared with off-topic comments before they and their colleagues have a chance to look into the allegations.”
    Maybe Heartland wouldn’t, either?
    “At the very least, we have some new openness and transparency, namely where (notoriously secretive) and others get some of their funding.  Funny to watch deniers act shocked and violated by all of this, given “ClimateGate”.”
    How many times does it have to be said?
    Funding. Doesn’t. Matter.
    Most of the sceptics who have commented are not getting bent out of shape over the fact the documents appear to have been nicked – although they are making a point of the hypocrisy of those who wouldn’t touch ClimateGate for that reason. They’re primarily irritated that this zombie argument about funding has popped up once again.
    Most sceptics are not funded, just as most believers in AGW are not funded. (You’re not funded, are you?) It has nothing to do with the argument anyway. And what funding there is is primarily on the side of the environmentalists and alarmists, by a factor of hundreds to thousands. The little bit that goes to sceptics is chump change. (Scepticism doesn’t get anywhere near enough funding.) If funding by vested interests was really a disqualifier, that would dispose of people like CRU, Hansen, and Pachauri automatically. But it’s a bad argument, which is why we also spend hours trying to figure out the science.
    If they’d hacked Heartland to expose scientific errors being knowingly made, I’d be fine with that. We don’t want that sort of thing on our side. But to do it for some lame argument about Heartland giving money to sceptics, as if anyone didn’t know that, is a weak justification for illegality. And to then mix in faked documents is merely further illustration of their moral stature.
    I think they’re going to regret doing that. Now whatever outrage might have been built up over Heartland is going to get overshadowed by the green side faking the evidence and uncritically believing it. It’s like the whole debate, in microcosm.

  75. willard says:


    I’d be interested to post your poem.  There’s too much adjectives for my taste, but the expression of estrangement when looking at these weekly episodes matters to me.  Is it OK with you? 

    If not, I could take this other one too: 

    It would make me sad, as I really like that one. 

  76. Artifex says:

    Nullis says:
    Most sceptics are not funded, just as most believers in AGW are not funded. (You’re not funded, are you?)

    Actually I think Keith is funded by what is essentially an environmental endowment via the Yale forum at this point. In fact, my understanding of why he was dropping this blog was due to the fact he wanted funding here and wasn’t getting it.

  77. Lewis Deane says:

    Yeah, OK, Willard, as long as you acknowledge me. As for two many objectives, I did write that 30 years ago, in my ‘yoof’!

  78. stan says:


    We keep waiting for someone to say something intelligent about whatever it is about which we are supposed to have cognitive dissonance.  Waiting….  

    And if we apply the same standard that warmists used during the climategate news about what constitutes a scandal , we should all be celebrating at full roar that this supposed exposure proves that skeptics are the most honest people in the world.  That is, if we were to use the same standards.   

  79. Lewis Deane says:

    The ‘neverendindingaudit’ one is how I write now, Willard. A way of speaking, allusive but plain, that has taken a lifetime to learn. People admire the bombast of my old language. Enough of me!

  80. NewYorkJ says:

    NiV: Funding. Doesn’t. Matter.

    Great.  Then the donors and recipients of the funding should have no problem documenting the cash flows going forward, rather than hiding it as they’ve done.

    I disagree though, as I suspect some parents concerned about their children being duped with material presented by industry-funded anti-science groups, material that has little to no support within the scientific community might.  Sometimes determing that starts with following the funding.

    Funding that absolutely demands a certain outcome is by itself tainted, but it can still gain credibility by submitting such work for peer review to reputable journals, so it’s given another look by qualified experts, which Heartland chooses not to do.

    As for climate scientists getting more funding than deniers, well heliocentrists also get more total funding than geocentrists, so that’s a strange argument.  Although note that top “skeptics” receive some of the same types of funding (government grants, university salaries) which does not appear to affect their results.

    But this stuff has been covered here ad naseum.

  81. Lewis Deane says:

    Keith, the point is ‘hypocrisy’ is obviously a two way street. When many were crying ‘O my nickers’ because climategate seemed to out them now, you, in fact, pounce on the nearest glimpse of a possible rotunde. I can always tell when your position is shaky, because then you always rush back to your computer to compose a ‘defense’!

  82. […] the intention of the person who disseminated them. On his blog, the environment writer Keith Kloor posted an excerpt from the e-mail message that apparently was sent with the documents to an initial batch of 15 […]

  83. Bob Koss says:

    I posted this over at Judith’s earlier. After reading Keith’s #68 I figured I’d put it here also.
    Maybe we should be crediting Heartland with a “blinder well played”.

    Surreptitiously deliver to your opponent actual internal documents which show the comparative paucity of resources being spent in holding your opponent to arguably no worse than a draw. Include a fake, but supposedly damning document for your opponent to drool over. You then admit to the legitimate documents, while pointing out the document they are drooling over is fake due to being the only one without an author.

    Sounds to me like it should be a money raiser for your side. Meanwhile donors to your opponent are thinking. WTF. All the money I’ve donated to these clowns has evidently been pissed away if they can’t do better than achieve a draw against an organization with so few resources. I think I’ll find better things to donate to.

  84. Lewis Deane says:

    NYJ, you mean like industry funded FoE, the Democratic Party and every God damn NGO on ‘your’ side you can think of! You really take the biscuit – what a surprise!

  85. Menth says:

    79.”As for climate scientists getting more funding than deniers, well heliocentrists also get more total funding than geocentrists, so that’s a strange argument.”
    I believe the argument being made is that advocacy groups such as the Hearthland Institute are financially dwarfed by environmental advocacy groups. Greenpeace or Friends of the Environment are not the same as climate scientists, as much as those organizations would enjoy the conflation of  the two.

  86. harrywr2 says:

    NewYorkJ Says:
    The new Watts project looks to be another propaganda effort
    Based on what evidence? Do you have some preview screenshots?
    Or are just engaging in malicious slander?

  87. Lewis Deane says:

    What is objectionable, what is unconscionable is the vitriol, the snideness, the underhand, overblown irrationality of certain fellows. It really is not polite or civilized. To insinuate this and to insinuate that is, perhaps, passable in the playground (though I never liked it) but here, among people of good will,  surely not, NYJ?

  88. Lewis Deane says:

    The new Watts project looks to be another propaganda effort
    Based on what evidence? Do you have some preview screenshots?
    Or are just engaging in malicious slander?
    But it is you who has been slandering. Must I remind you:
    insinuations of fraud, which is what McI and his minions brought with the Yamal claims

  89. Lewis Deane says:

    That should be tighter: This was your accusation, New York J (whatever!?):
    insinuations of fraud, which is what McI….brought with the Yamal claims

  90. Lewis Deane says:

    Nothing was resolved, no one’s bets’ were
    Taken in. The fight between the fat one
    And the fat one got distracted by the lady
    In the back stalls taking of her top. So
    She was taken and when we had returned
    Back to the fight our guts rumbled in tune.
    We walked blessing the night air like we once
    Blessed our mothers. And said ‘We will never return’.
    Perhaps we wont?

  91. Keith Kloor says:

    David Appell does what Mosher suggested.

    Also, Andy Revkin has a post up.

  92. NewYorkJ says:



    Every few months, weathermen report that a temperature record ““ either high or low ““ has been broken somewhere in the U.S. This is not surprising, since weather is highly variable and reliable
    instrument records date back less than 100 years old. Regrettably, news of these broken records is often used by environmental extremists as evidence that human emissions are causing either
    global warming or the more ambiguous “climate change.”

    Anthony Watts, a meteorologist who hosts, one of the most popular and influential science blogs in the world, has documented that many of the temperature stations relied on by weathermen are compromised by heat radiating from nearby buildings, machines, or paved surfaces. It is not uncommon for these stations to over-state temperatures by 3 or 4 degrees or more, enough to set spurious records.
    Because of Watts’ past work exposing flaws in the current network of temperature stations (work that The Heartland Institute supported and promoted), the National Aeronautics and Atmospheric
    Administration (NOAA), the government agency responsible for maintaining temperature stations in the U.S., has designated a new network of higher-quality temperature stations that meet its citing specifications. Unfortunately, NOAA doesn’t widely publicize data from this new network, and puts raw data in spreadsheets buried on one of its Web sites.

    Anthony Watts proposes to create a new Web site…

    You see, the preview material from Heartland gives us a good idea of what this so innocent-sounding new website will be up to.

  93. EdG says:

    Other than the apparent fact that somebody created a fake document, which appears to be the only ‘bad’ thing in this whole leak, I don’t see much exciting here – but I do understand why some people would choose to.

  94. grypo says:

    Find out the date and time that the docs were sent off to leaker/id thief.

  95. Lewis Deane says:

    NewYorkJ (have I mentioned how much I despise pseudonyms?)
    It was pretty transparent, Lewis:
    No it wasn’t and isn’t: don’t refer to someone else – if you make a claim, back it up with textual evidence, here, or stop making that claim. McIntyre never accused anyone of ‘fraud’ and you know it. Make your claim stick or apologies. Be a human being (I was going to say ‘man’ but who knows your gender, never mind your provenance?)

  96. NewYorkJ says:

    Lewis: McIntyre never accused anyone of “˜fraud’ and you know it.

    That was not my statement.  You morphed “making accusations or insinuations of fraud, which is what McI and his minions” into simply “accused” and “McIntyre”, which is dishonst.  “Insinuate” is clearly supported by the McI rhetoric that DC highlights (you fool no one by being obtuse on this), and I can find some outright accusations by some of his minions.  Given what’s occured since then, it’s McI that owes Dr. Briffa and others a big apology.  Since you misrepresented my statement and falsely accused me of “slandering”, I’m done with you.

  97. Lewis Deane says:

    #94 Your just outrageous, NewYorkJ, worse than McCarthy. Are you or have you ever been mentioned by the Heartland Institute? If your the wrong side of my line you are condemned.
    Nothing, I repeat nothing, in the text you quote is a ‘preview’ but in reference to common knowledge. There is no preview here but a purview. You are doing exactly what you have accused the ‘non-admitters’ to have done. But, unfortunately, for you, they had real text and substance on their side. You have none. Your weakness really shows.

  98. Lewis Deane says:

    I don’t care if your done with me – who are you to be done with me? You might parse your statements but anyone who knows plain English can read them. If you knew anything you would know that Briffa (the poor little man) owed and owes McIntyre an apology, but most of all Jones and CRU and, besides that, to a very minor, minor extant, you. Not that he needs my defending and not that you would attempt to broadside him, even with your pseudonym. He’s to smart and you know it.
    As for the Yamal affair, that is not the headline here and I will not be as such distracted. I just find you of a type of commentary that, today, is objectionable. Off point and meaningless.

  99. Keith Kloor says:

    Lewis Deane & NewYorkJ,


    Artifax (76),

    Your understanding would be wrong. But I wish I was funded by someone/anyone. 🙂

    I do get paid for my writing that appears outside this blog. 

  100. Jay Currie says:

    I suspect this is about to get very interesting.
    Assume for the moment that the initial evidence that one of the docs is a fake turns out to be correct. Will DeSmog pull down the posts? Will Richard Black slink off to well deserved oblivion? Will the Guardian finally just shut its doors?
    Likely not. But the real desperation of the CAGW claque will have been exposed. And Heartland will have the pleasure of chasing down whoever obtained and released the documents. This can’t end well for the claque (as, I think, our host is rather uncomfortably aware.)
    I have beer, I have popcorn….Let the games begin.

  101. jeffn says:

    #92. Hilarious. 100 quatloos that Joshua is calling this whole thing an irrelevant distraction by the weekend. The fun part of this is that the media poodles ran it with their usual dilligence. One thing you do not want to get busted doing is getting a journalist to run with a fake document. Even the hacks. If CBS fired Dan Rather any rag would dump their naive greenbeater. If this was a setup, it was brilliantly simple- and the targets were BBC and guardian.

  102. Lewis Deane says:

    And stop this about ‘minions’ – it’s typical to imagine people you appose as some kind of Stalin pushing and pulling pieces across a board – it is the projection of inadequacy to imagine of your opponent that he is some ‘evil’ Svengali or Devil with ‘extraordinary powers’. This brings us back to the Heartland Institute and the whole ‘big carbon interest’ conspiracy. An idea that the facts show, again and again, do not stand up to scrutiny, just as your paranoia about a lone blogger, McIntyre, who has no minions, has ever stood up to scrutiny. The ‘idee fixe’ of a fanatic is that ‘others’ (there are no real others for such people) cannot see the ‘light’. Rational argument has nothing to do with ‘motive’, ‘seeing’ or ‘light’! Thank our stars.

  103. grypo says:

    Keith, this was posted by a commenter at Desmog

    I would like to give an advise for checking the authenticity of the PDF in question.
    This method should work if the person used a major public email service like Google or Yahoo.
    The person who has the original email should download it with some client like Outlook or Thunderbird (but not The Bat, which has a buggy export) and post it as an .eml file – with headers and all.
    The crucial part of the email is the DKIM signature. It is added by all major servers and it verifies not only the body of the email, but also the attachments and the main headers. There are several online DKIM verification forms, so verifying should not be a problem. If it passes verification, then it was indeed sent out from HI. 

  104. Lewis Deane says:

    Keith, your link to Andy at #92 refers nowhere!

  105. Keith Kloor says:

    Then click on link at #82

  106. willard says:


    Replacing what is before “dotearth” in Keith’s URL by “http”, e&. gives you 

    Good luck!

  107. Lewis Deane says:

    In the end, this is stupid and I’ll resist crowing ‘egg on whose face’. If this is all you people can be distracted by – rather than real issues like, what is the best energy future for us, with or without ‘global warming’ (what an absurd meme, in the first place, no matter what one thinks of the substance!), something Roger Pielke Jnr, in an adult fashion, is often asking; or whether we in the west will be left a choice even to decide, and what economic prospect we might have and have left our children etc etc – if this Heartland nonsense is all you see, then I pity you. I’ll continue to attempt to distract you, now and then, into thinking, to provoke thought, because I believe in you, if nothing else, mankind, but pay attention. For, hark, the twelve bells of midnight have begun – can you not hear?

  108. Nick Stokes says:

    <i>steven mosher Says: February 15th, 2012 at 5:44 pm
    “Keith. The “forged” document has been sanitized. No document properties.”</i>

    I think it’s a scanned paper doc. The properties attribute it to Epson Scan.

  109. Lewis Deane says:

    Thanks, Willard (did you use my poem? I wrote it when I was 17!!) and Keith. Gotcha.

  110. willard says:


    It should appear tomorrow or so.

    Be patient. 

  111. Artifex says:


    My apologies, I had assumed that you were paid by the Yale Climate Forum which was the rational for you continuing to write there. 

    The Yale Climate Forum takes cash from  Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment .

  112. Jeff Norris says:

    Nick Stokes
    The fact that the document was produced from a scan does not prove it to be a forgery but does arouse suspicion.  I suspect this will be explained away by saying that Mr. Leaker had access to all the other documents in electronic form but the super secret document was kept from him until one day while cleaning the Board Room he found it in the waste bucket.  In fact it was the shock after reading this super secret document that compelled him as a matter of conscience to release it and all the other documents.  

    Overall this could be very interesting.  I can imagine  years from now many climate changes threads will be side tracked into accusations of  fake or real.


  113. kdk33 says:

    Why? Because the documents show a systematic and concerted effort to politicize the climate debate.

    The bastards.  I mean, warmists want to pass laws limiting CO2 emissions.  Sign treaties.  Enable beaurocracies.  Thyey want to artifically raise the price of energy – hence everything  – via the government.

    And the heartland is politicizing the debate.  Really.

    You can’t make this stuff up.

  114. Lewis Deane says:

    Like folding and unfolding snow, the cerebrum
    Stirs with the wind until finally flattened.

    “It is not how much coal you have but what you do
    Whilst it burns.” Ralph Waldo Emerson.

  115. Lewis Deane says:

    Artifax #113, don’t be silly. If I were Keith I would reply with the poem Pope wrote for Queen Anne’s dog (in case he were lost it was inside a silver clasp attached to the dogs collar!):
    I am the Queen dog at Kew:
    Pray, whose dog are you?

  116. Lewis Deane says:

    I am the Queen’s dog at Kew:
    Pray, whose dog are you?

  117. hunter says:

    You “concerned
     folks shot the wad a bit prematurely on this one. Why is ‘fake but true’ so frequently associated with the progressive side of the spectrum these days?

  118. Yes scanned.
    on feb 13.
    all the documents are electronic. except the smoking gun.
    the document doesnt read like a strategy. It reads like something Peter Gleick would write

  119. Its easy. Just do what I did. Assume fake until proven real by the owners admission. Basically the skeptical approach demanded by anthony when we got the CRU mails.
    Its easy to change your principles when you have none

  120. J Bowers says:

    The INGO Acountability Charter
    Signatories include: Action Aid International, Amnesty International, Earthrights International, Greenpeace, Oxfam, Malaria Consortium, The Forest Trust, World Vision International.
    Been in operation since 2006.

  121. J Bowers says:

    Just to make sure the relevant passage from the INGO charter is read:
    “Ethical Fundraising
    We respect the rights of donors: to be informed about causes for which we are fundraising; to be informed about how their donation is being used; to have their names deleted from mailing lists; to be informed of the status and authority of fundraisers; and to anonymity except in cases where the size of their donation is such that it might be relevant to our independence.
    Personally, I believe the identities of all donors who donate large amounts above a certain threshold, to any tax exempt organisation which has any contact with legislators in a way that intended to influence legislative deliberations or decision,s should be available for all to see, regardless of who they are. If they don’t like it then the organisation doesn’t get to accept their money or must return it, end of, tough luck.

  122. grypo says:

    Reposting everywhere:

    I used a pdfinfo script to analyse the memos. The info I got is that all the meta data dates changed on the day of the leak in the Pacific time zone (-8 GMT). This is likely where our thief resides. This is also where the “fake” was created on 2/13. The other docs, with the exception of the IRS form were in the central time zone (-6 GMT). The IRS form was -4 GMT. This has been corroborated by a commenter at Lucia’s. Based on this, and I’m not sure if I’ve covered every base, the strategy memo is a fake.
    The only other option would be if the create dates were faked, highly, highly unlikely or, the sender from HI didn’t have the doc, and someone from the west coast scanned it , emailed to her to send to the leaker. This, to me, doesn’t seem likely either. Logically, I have to go with HI’s story.

  123. grypo says:

    The only difference between my data and Duke’s is that I get -4 GMT for the IRS doc, which is strange

  124. grypo says:

    The leaker or HI would need to reproduce the email sent to the leaker and see if the date/time on the email is before or after the create date on the scanned strategy memo.

  125. Martha says:

    “In my view, any attempt to dismiss Heartland’s political goals in paying climate scientists and for the development of curricula fails to qualify as a legitimate skeptic”
    Yes and to be clear, Heartland does not have a climate scientist on the payroll there, Joshua:  David is not a climate scientist.  If you mean his ability to cite Fred Singer, Fred has not read or done any science in half a century.  Etc.
    “David’s materials should be judged based on their intrinsic quality”
    Exactly.  No need for an ad hominem argument.  He could be every bit the irrational retired necon engineer that he says he is, and still have a right opinion, say, on climate science.  The chances are slim, it is possible ““ except he is climate science illiterate, as anyone who reads his abundant oeuvre all over the internet, can plainly see. 
    My comment was mostly directed to your personal shock, since you often do not choose to see what is right in front of your face.  Where is your judgment?  David said he was interested in how to get his views into the school science curriculum, he is employed by Heartland, Heartland freely admits its “˜advocacy’ of its views in schools, and David has (shock!) independently confirmed his proposal.  There are no mysteries, here, regarding strategies.  The issue is justification.  Have you got one, on their behalf?  I would need clear reasons for the benefits of their actions for society.
    “This is not a complicated issue, in my view”
    No, it is not a complicated issue.  The cut and past references to Heartland by so many self-described “˜skeptics’ ARE crap.
    And who finds anything surprising or new about the funding issues disclosed?  It’s consistent with public knowledge.  

    Again, however, to be clear, it s not the amount of funding that is even necessarily the main issue:   it’s the disproportionate influence of Heartland and its network on legislature.  If you understand much about the three levels of government and their dysfunction, you understand that this is completely undemocratic and does not represent the public exercising its will.  In fact, it doesn’t even represent the will of the state:   it has represented a relatively small and dedicated neocon lobby that continues to dust itself off and use the system in ways that constitute extraordinary abuses of legislative power in a democracy.

    I encourage you to be more realistic.  I know you’re smart, but this example with David and your disappointment suggests you are  rather easily misled by your preconceptions, and your personal insights about someone’s sincerity, knowledge, etc., are not as good as you think. 

    Sure, let’s wait and see… but I’ll  take Steven’s almost pedantic pursuit of transparency over your ‘I gotta feel it in my heart to believe it’ approach.  People need to know when their own feelings are a good guide to knowing, and when they’re not.  🙁

  126. Jeff Norris says:

    The Daily Caller is currently doing an expose/hit piece on the left wing advocacy group Media Matters.
    Besides anonymous insiders the piece also uses information like Tax returns, budgeting information and shockingly an internal memo from 2009
    “According to an internal memo obtained by TheDC, Media Matters intends to spend nearly $20 million in 2012 to influence news coverage. ”

    Read more:
    This series of articles started running FEB 12th.  As Mosher has painstakingly tried to point out even semi-professional journalist try to verify their information and give the other side a chance to respond before publishing their store.  Of course this gives the subject some warning that a story is about to break.
    While this may be a mere coincidence it would be interesting to learn when according to Heartland their information was stolen and if any other right wing advocacy groups had similar attempts of theft. 
    My speculation is that someone is employing the “Chicago Way” in a broader political battle.
      Ness: I want to get Capone! I don’t know how to do it.
    Malone: You wanna know how to get Capone? They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. *That’s* the *Chicago* way! And that’s how you get Capone. Now do you want to do that? Are you ready to do that? I’m offering you a deal. Do you want this deal?

  127. Dean says:

    Most people don’t know what the legal definition of non-partisan as it respects 501c3 organization is. I used to run one and am familiar with it. It only involves spending money and making endorsements in partisan political activities, i.e. elections, and to a lesser degree legislation. The latter is allowed to a small degree but many 501c3s avoid it anyway so that they don’t get into the time-consuming effort to prove that the degree they are doing it is okay.

    Being ideological is not the same as being partisan. I haven’t followed the accusations against Media Matters, but I know that includes efforts against Fox News. Since they are not legally a political outfit, that is not partisan.

    It was conservatives who pioneered the non-partisan but ideological 501c3 structure in the 1980’s and liberals played catch-up for a long time. There is a lot that a 501c3 can do that indirectly affects partisan politics but which is legal nonetheless. There is a gray area in the definitions and many organizations on the left and the right push that limit.

    Anything that Heartland might do to affect educational curriculums is unlikely to affect it’s 501c3 status. Efforts to defeat politicians who support climate actions, or actions directly against specific laws could affect it. But when it comes to lobbying it needs to apply to specific legislation being considered, not general concepts, like “cap and trade.’ With the definition of nonpartisan, being against cap and trade is not a problem. Being against a cap and trade bill is much different.

    Here is an important point: if an organization loses it’s 501c3 status, everybody who donated to it during the period of the not-allowed activity and took a tax deduction on that contribution will lose that tax deduction and the IRS will go after them for that extra tax. 

  128. […] Kloor, Climate Skeptic Organization Feels the Heat, […]

  129. Sashka says:

    @ Martha
    Fred has not read or done any science in half a century.
    Not even in his bedroom? Are you sure?

  130. grypo says:


    How would the material about Scott Walker in the Fundraising doc effect their status?

  131. Dave Burton says:

    The “2012 Climate Strategy.pdf” document, which Heartland says is a forgery, is the one that the shocking quotes come from.  I noticed several suspicious things about it:
    1. It uses the term “anti-climate” to refer to Heartland’s own position — a derogatory term which climate skeptic outfits <i>never</i> use to describe their positions.
    2. It is written in the first person, yet there’s no indication of who wrote it.  (Have you ever seen a memo like that?)
    3. The PDF is time-stamped with a Pacific Standard Time timestamp: “2012-02-13T12:41:52-08:00”  (“-8:00” means PST)  But Heartland is in Chicago (two timezones away), and none of its directors are in the Pacific time zone.  Most are in Illinois, and none are in or even near the Pacific time zone.
    So it appears likely that, as Heartland claims, the document really is a (rather clumsy) forgery.  Is anyone really surprised?

  132. Dean says:


    You’re referring to Operation Angry Badger? The regs prohibit expending 501c3 money to influence an election. The five points listed or that project don’t appear to involve spending funds to affect the effort to recall Walker as described. The document indicates an underlying intent to defend Walker in that election however, but I wouldn’t put it any further than being in the gray area at the worst for them, based in the short description there.

    Note that a strategy document in and of itself doesn’t involve much in the way of expending funds. If they start spending that money and are careful not to mention the election in anything they pay to print or say while on the clock, then I doubt it would put them at risk. You have to follow the money to put the status at risk.

    Nobody gives up their constitutional right to have an opinion about elections because they work for a 501c3, as long as it doesn’t involve the organization’s funds,

  133. lucia says:

    What was the date and time of the email to the 15?

  134. Keith Kloor says:


    David Appell asked me this, too, and he posted my response.

  135. Joshua says:

    Lucia –
    Seems I’m not the only one who thinks that it is worth asking the question of whether it’s fair to ask a question:

  136. […] source of the documents provides information from the “Dear Friends (15 of you):” email Kloor discussed. Oh how I wish we could all see the […]

  137. lucia says:

    Keith– Thanks. People at my blog were arguing about when Desmog blog got those. Now we have better info.

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