Leaked Documents Reveal Strategy Of Climate Change Deniers

Global Warming - photo by Andrea Zeppilli

It’s no secret there is a coordinated effort to taint climate science by climate change deniers. Proof of their success is the fact that climate change is still framed as an open debate, even in the so-called liberal mainstream media. The strategy of the Heartland Institute of Chicago, one of the organizations behind this coordinated effort, has now been revealed after they were duped into releasing private information.

From Salon – Secret papers turn up heat on global-warming deniers:

On Tuesday, an individual claiming to be a Heartland donor persuaded the group to email him or her the group’s annual budget, its fundraising plan and a 2012 strategy paper, outlining the organization’s intent to insert contrarian views of climate change into the nation’s elementary schools.

There is consensus among nearly all climate scientists that the globe is warming and human activity is responsible. Within the scientific community there is always skepticism, but the human impact on heating the planet is no longer within the realm of debate. The debate has now shifted to how best to combat this problem. Climate change deniers and organizations like the Heartland Institute are having known of it, however. They know they are right, and they are on a relentless pursuit to fulfill pre-existing narratives like, the science isn’t settled, or global warming is a hoax or global warming is real but is not caused by human activity.

These deniers back studies and promote contrarian “evidence” with the explicit purpose of proving a pre-existing narrative. Getting to the truth is not on their agenda. But real science doesn’t work this way. A true scientist will form a theory and then go to work to prove or disprove this theory through evidence, tests, trials, and peer review. A true scientist is not trying to prove a pre-existing narrative. A true scientist is attempting to find answers and get to the truth about how things work and why things are the way they are.

Some people don’t want to hear it. Supporters of industries that profit from the fossil-fuel status quo routinely challenge those facts, and treat them as political talking points.

Heartland, which bills itself as anti-regulatory and libertarian, annually produces climate change “denier” conferences and pays expenses for elected officials to attend. For example, the budget shows that Heartland allocated $304,704 for scientists supporting its contrarian views in 2012.

Now climate change deniers are trying to introduce their talking points into school curriculum.

Worried that liberal (and, in their view, overpaid) public schoolteachers are turning young minds green with impunity, Heartland planned to pay a coal industry consultant named David Wojick about $25,000 per quarter, to create a curriculum to counter global warming education in schools.

This is a very alarming development. Deniers have been fairly successful in keeping the “debate” alive in the mainstream media and now they plan to use their tainted science to infect the minds of children.

It’s important to remember that these anti-climate science ideologues are not skeptics. They like to refer to themselves as skeptics because it makes them sound reasonable, maybe even scientific. The reality is that they are deniers not skeptics, because their ideology is constructed by the single goal of debunking legitimate climate science. They are not concerned with finding the truth, they are only concerned with winning their argument.


Update – 2012-02-21 at 2:41 pm:

Peter H. Gleick, the individual who duped the Heartland Institute – using a false identity – has written an article on The Huffington Post. In it he apologizes for the method he used to obtain the documents but stands by their authenticity.

From The Huffington Post – The Origin of the Heartland Documents:

Given the potential impact however, I attempted to confirm the accuracy of the information in this document.  In an effort to do so, and in a serious lapse of my own and professional judgment and ethics, I solicited and received additional materials directly from the Heartland Institute under someone else’s name.

I forwarded, anonymously, the documents I had received to a set of journalists and experts working on climate issues.  I can explicitly confirm, as can the Heartland Institute, that the documents they emailed to me are identical to the documents that have been made public. I made no changes or alterations of any kind to any of the Heartland Institute documents.


photo by Andrea Zeppilli via Flickr

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