UPDATE by Lowell: Note the Fred Singer, mentioned below, is a professor emeritus at UVA. For more on Singer, see DeSmogBlog, which broke this story and which is doing superb work on this issue.
With so much at stake for climate change deniers who make millions, or even billions, of dollars as a direct or indirect result of their fossil fuel intensive business practices, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that these same businesses have financed pseudo “non-profits” like the Heartland Institute to permeate their lies about climate change throughout American society. Indeed, a new report by John Mashey has uncovered the skeletons that the Heartland Institute has attempted to keep inside its closet like its naked efforts to subvert the truth of climate change with denial-rhetoric bankrolled by (guess who) the Charles G. Koch Foundation and a number of others.
Here are a few of the no-no’s perpetrated by the Heartland Institute according to Mashey’s report:
1.Heartland’s publication, Environment and Climate News, is rife with “science” stories that are demonstrably untruthful or misleading.
2.Heartland has spent lavishly on conferences whose only apparent function was to sow confusion about climate science. It also has paid government employees and politicians to attend these events.
3. Heartland has sponsored Fred Singer and Craig Idso to produce the so-called Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change s a regular and organized attack on the legitimate reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This too was corroborated in the Heartland budget documents, which show that both Idso and Singer on on retainer at Heartland.
4. While insisting in its tax filings that it is a think tank, Heartland constantly advertises among potential donors its ability to reach and influence US legislators in apparent violation of lobbying rules.
While millions of Americans feel the ill-effects of climate change and millions of individuals throughout the world suffer through some of the consequences as well, the Heartland Institute has been called out for what it truly is, a heartless institute whose only motivation and overriding goal is profit.
Clearly, our political representatives should swiftly and enthusiastically prosecute “think tanks” like the Heartland Institute who subvert the law of the land to spread untruths about issues that could have devastating consequences if left unchecked. The rule of law applies to everyone, including think tanks with billion dollar friends.