Some notes on the Heartland Leak

Some notes on the Heartland Leak (2012-02-15). Anthony Watts urges us, as others have noted, to ‘pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!’ The revelation that he co-ordinates with and has received money from the Heartland Institute does not mean that he’s just an unscrupulous mouthpiece. He’s definitely not panicked by the exposure either.

James Hansen! Algore! The e-mails were stolen! Some of them are fake!

Anthony’s just collateral damage here though. The real story here is that the notoriously partisan Heartland Institute, a “free-market think tank” theoretically ‘providing information to inform policy debate’ but long regarded as the political home of climate denial, tobacco enthusiasm and government hating, has suffered an embarrassing “leak” of documents. Nothing like a little sunshine to make the bugs skitter.

Read about it at:

Of course this is totally different from the “Climategate” e-mails, which revealed that in private conversation some climate scientists didn’t hold high opinions of global warming deniers. The fact that the Heartland Institute spends most of its time and money scheming to confuse the public and to undermine objective scientific advice (i.e. funding Anthony Watts) is an irrelevance in comparison! Thus ending Global Warming forever.

Anthony’s personal defense boils down to noting that the Heartland Institute and an “Anonymous Donor” have (to our knowledge) only given him $44,000 for one particular project. Dr. James Hansen has received way more dough, therefore Anthony is less of a hypocrite. Now that’s what I call claiming the high ground.

However, Anthony’s concealed “scientific” funding came from a biased political organization. That’s a tough one to skate away from, huh?

Note to Anthony: you just look stupid when you try to contrast all money spent in support of any environmental cause to just the political funding for opposition to CO2 regulation. Unless of course the Heartland Institute and their ilk are also busy arguing on behalf of, for example, killing more endangered species or putting more mercury in fish.

2012-02-20 update: Peter Gleick, at the Huffington Post, is the source of the Heartland Institute leak and asserts their authenticity.

2012-05-22 update: After much caterwauling by the Heartland Institute about forgeries and the shameful behavior of nasty warmists, the true conclusion can be drawn: “Peter Gleick cleared of forging documents in Heartland expose

13 thoughts on “Some notes on the Heartland Leak

  1. Tony also cites the budgets of Greenpeace and the Sierra club as (squirrel) proof of something. He apparently doesn’t know that these groups work in more than Just Orange County or that they have multiple interests, not just climate. Of course, republicans (squirrel) don’t think other countries exist.

    Tony also seems sensitive today. My innocent comment that he like Idso, Carter, Singer et al were bought and (squirrel) sold was censored. No free speech for Tony.

    John McManus

    [Not firing on all cylinders today, is he? Of course Anthony never censors, so I have to deduct points from your entertaining "Up" reference.. - Ben]

  2. I emailed Anthony and basically told him he lost the high ground and the sweetheart contract is equivalent to a semen strained dress in the oval office and his equivocal response over the question “did you take the money or not” is about the same as saying “well, that depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is”.

    His best course of action IMO is to throw Heartland under the bus, give back the money, apologize profusely for succumbing to greed in accepting it in the first place, and beg for forgiveness. Everyone admires the person who humbly admits guilt and takes whatever lumps they have coming like a man. Nobody admires the equivocator, the cover-up, or the person who says the other side does worse things like two wrongs make a right.

    Sure Watts didn’t get as much money as Al Gore makes in a 10-minute appearance but taking any amount of money makes them both prostitutes it’s just a matter of which one can command a higher payment for services rendered. It’s either the smarter or prettier one that makes the most coin and Watts ain’t any more handsome than Gore so that eliminates one of the two possibilities…

    [I think in this context Anthony is the wearer of the little blue dress... His claim to the 'high ground' was never more than pretence anyway. As for Al Gore, everything he does is above board and ethically consistent, so I have not problem with his political activities. - Ben]

    • “Watts ain’t any more handsome than Gore so that eliminates one of the two possibilities…”

      Aw come on Dave. Watts is so ugly not even the blowflies will go near him.

      As for the news about rock-ape Carter? Delicious!

  3. As far I can tell, these documents only reinforce my opinion that micro-Watts is simply a simple cabin boy. $88K for a website? Whatever. He’s got a pretty good echo chamber going, and Heartland is happy to keep it going.

    What’s more interesting is that:

    • The mysterious Anonymous Donor donated more than half of Heartland’s revenues in 2010. Big no-no there. (Apparently snorey over at deepclimate believes that AD = Barre Seid).
    • Craig Idso gets nearly $140K for producing the laughable NIPCC reports. Anthony and his commenters bitch and moan about scientists making money hand over fist (conveniently ignoring the fact that every penny of scientific grants is accounted for; that US scientists on the 9-month system can only pay themselves at their university rate for the extra 3 months; and that IPCC authors are not remunerated for their efforts). But $140K for the NIPCC? No problem
    • The list of corporate donors is extensive, and they are already starting to distance themselves from their donations.
  4. If these documents were obtained without the consent of the institute then we should not read them, analyse them or comment on them, just to be consistent with our excuse for not discussing the content of the Climate Gate emails I & II.

    [Funny, the denialists were having none of that when it suited them, were they. - Ben]

    • What “excuse for not discussing the content of the Climate Gate emails I & II” are you talking about? I distinctly remember reading and participating in a whole lot of discussion of the content of those emails on Real Climate, Rabett Run, Stoat, here, etc.

    • That’s my point, but about the alarmists. The alarmists on the one hand refuse to discuss the content of the Climate Gate emails on the basis that they were not handed over willingly (despite FOIA!). But on the other hand the alarmists do not apply the same rule to these documents – some of which, unlike the Climate Gate emails, may have been faked. Not one of the Climate Gate emailers claimed that the emails were fakes. That is a big difference. [No the difference is that not one of the Climategate e-mails, which despite your selective memory were very widely discussed, revealed anything embarrassing. - Ben]

      All/most emails from Climate “science” related institutions both internal and external (as far as I am aware from my traffic) now contain a warning at the end, essentially warning the recipients not to say anything in the emails that they would not like to see become public due to the FOIA.

      It’s a bit like when the Sopranos gang use a public pay-phone to discuss “business” rather than their cellphones. [Nice smear. - Ben]

      “Hey, Paulie did you wac…” … “hey Tone, go to the payphone on the corner of… and we can discuss that thing you asked me to do”.

      “hey. [your fav climate scientist] did you arbitraily pick som…”, “hey [your second fav climate scientist], use your private email registered in Switzerland under a fake id and we can discuss making stuff go up when actually it is not. By the way, did you buy that Carbon Trading stock like I said? Looks like that 2011/2012 NH winter is gonna be the warmest on record when we are through with the analysis. No snow. Nada.” “[your fav climate scientist] he, he, he, winkedy wink….” [Sorry, your fantasies will not be taken into evidence. - Ben]

      • ” … not one of the Climategate e-mails… revealed anything embarrassing…”, Ben, 2012/02/16 at 4:52 PM.

        Sorry Ben, your fantasies will not be taken into evidence.

        [Awesome comeback! But wouldn't it have been better to provide a supporting example? - Ben]

  5. Glad to see you back, Ben! I figured this story would wake you from your mid-winter slumber. The slant over at WUWT is so predictable, so we shouldn’t lose sight of the really important story here. Heartland has been easily exposed for its political purpose rather than providing anything having to do with science. They claim that the strategy memo is a fake, but the rest are real. That assertion can be verified if they release the email message in which they claim the documents were released. (prediction: when we clean up our servers we delete …). Even without that memo there should be enough information about Heartland to damage their credibility with many of their donors.

    [Exactly. Anthony's the tail, not the dog. - Ben]

  6. From this attempt at damage limitation (in which we see a return to the CSI-style techniques so evident in the “Al Gore thermometer video” incident) we find the following:

    ‘From my perspective, it is almost if the person(s) looking at these said “we need more to get attention” and decided to create this document as the “red meat” needed to incite a response.’

    To which I reply, “Hide the decline! Hide the decline! Hide the decline!”

    [Who'd a thunk that Anthony would pick a conclusion and cast about for reasons to support it? Or that his independent-thinking readers would grasp the same straw like a long-lost relative? - Ben]

  7. Hmm, Joseph Bast is now actively seeking funds from all his donors, to seek private legal action against the leakers, Internet Bloggers and all the media publishing this according to “Politico” link.

    Me, I wonder, he appears to be truly ignorant of the “Striesand Effect“!

    John Mashey has found something is not quite right with Heartland’s senior consultant S Fred Singer too!

    I find it a bit ironic that Microsoft now links itself to a denialati anti-science institute with questionable activity concerning it’s tax free status hell bent on dumbing down education in the US!

    Climate Crocks ‘DeniaGate’ – Get it all here.

    “Killing the dog does not cure the bite.” Abraham Lincoln

  8. Since I have seen that this site is apparently made to have one part of the visitors who usually would go to Watts up with that, for me it’s not honest. Since I have seen that the discussions are frequently not scientifical, it’s not a site that it has to be seriously consider like a reference for this subject. If I believe that money can go to one side of skepticals I must believe that it’s the same for the others. So I don’t want to enter in this kind of concierge talk. Good luck.

    [Why on Earth would science be needed to reveal the dishonesty of Anthony's denialist bellowings? He has never risen above the level of a junior debate club. Perhaps your English is poor, but is your other argument really that if the "skepticals" are funded by political factions then real climate scientists must be too? Eek. - Ben]

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