Breaking news in the climate denial front. The 'Think Tank', The Heartland Institute who has always been very secretive about both it's funding and who it in turns funds has had an Insider release the Heartland Institutes budget, and fund-raising plan. Already some quite interesting revelations are coming to light across this interweb thingy;

Links to the released documents are available there "so that others can also scrutinize the documents and bring their expertise to the task".

Should be interesting and may be a blow for the Denial Machine.


Reviews of the documents in this leak are coming in thick and fast and some from very credible sources like Scientific American:


  1. Laz i'm afriad you may have just shot yourself in the foot here.

    One of the documents has already been confirmed as a fake and the others show evidence of manipulation, with indicators that point to one of the 'releasing' blogs.

    This story has further to run and it'd be worth us all waiting for more info to come in before getting too excited.

    This isn't like climategate where the legitimacy has never been questioned.

    1. I have made no claims about authenticity. But when Scientific American take it seriously it is certainly worth following.

  2. Fair enough- i was just urging a bit of caution; especially as it now seems 24 hrs later that the only document that's even remotely incriminating is almost certianly a fake.

  3. I have added yet more links, including from Discovery News and included the Heartland Press release about a fake document above, but I have not found any of the alleged donors denying their funding contributions, nor any of those receiving funding denying that this isn't true.

    Watts appears to have admitted he has received $90,000 via The Heartland Institute for a new website, even though news of his funding appears in the 'Fake' document. But he doesn't seem to see any difference between qualified scientists getting funding openly through universities by applying for research grants, and an poorly qualified retired broadcast meteorologist getting concealed funding from a political advocacy group.

    1. Just noticed this in one of the documents that isn't the 'fake';
      "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."

      Dissuading teachers from teaching science is a pretty damming objective.

  4. Laz.

    I'm very interested to see where this goes myself, and i've made no conclusions myself off the available information (as yet there is not enough information), but a few points.

    1- that 'teachers' quote is being heavily disputed. It seems that the (currently thought to be) non-faked documents have been edited to add a different meaning to the text.

    I'm not sure if this is correct, but on first pass it seemed plausable (given the evidence they were giving).

    So i'd take the whole release with a pinch of salt at the moment.

    2- except the funding that is. I think the funding is pretty clear in this point- though again there have been 'edits' and disputes surrounding this. Apparently two of the larger figures were for medical research, not climate research- so again, it doesn't seem 100% clear.

    What i think IS evident is that heartland, a primarily sceptical outfit, has been funding research into climate science surrounding areas that it finds incomplete. They have also been doing some 'marketing' to get their side across.

    Which is hardly suprising given their objective (reopening the debate on cAGW and countering the IPCC's position).

    Additionally even taking ALL the funding into account (ignoring the questios over the actual allocation of large parts of it), it is still dwarved, by orders, upon orders of magnitude by the pro- side. IN fact, Al Gore himself has aspent more than the heartland institute on marketing.

    I think this is a bit of a storm in a tea cup- unlike climategate 1 + 2, there doesn't really seem to be a smoking gun. If the documents had shown data manipulation, deletion, deliberate attempts to mislead and with hold information- then it'd be a REALLY juicy story (and i think it'd re-dress the balance of the debate somewhat), but as it stands (and if you take a step back and look at it dispattionatley and take into account all the disputed parts, it seems a bit of a non-story.

    Though i thoroughly understand the furor whipped up by certain elements of the bloggospher/net. People are clearly out for 'revenge' as it were.

    1. Labmunkey, you seem to have a distorted perspective of this.

      First, for example the Heartland Institute does not do or fund research. It is funded anonymously and funds organisations and individuals in turn covertly.

      Any research from any of the scientists it is giving money to, will be carried out through the normal process. Clearly the funds provided are solely for work on opinion pieces, talks and anything that furthers Heartland, and it's funders agenda.

      I see some feel it is OK to compare this funding with that for real research, but scientific funding is through an open grant process. A professor running research does not get any more in his pay cheque. Running research and publishing is usually part of the tenure. The grant being used to collect and analyse data and pay associate researchers - normally students.

      Second the 'Climategate' stuff has never altered any of the science in anyway so I'm not sure what the smoking gun stuff is about.

      Third, the teaching stuff makes it clear that one, still anonymous donor wants his version of AGW taught to school kids and has been funding a non climate scientist to write the modules for him. Even if the modules never got acceptance in US national schools they would and probably still will end in in certain private schools and used for the US home-schooling. These modules will be used to teach more advocacy than science.

      Have you any links to altering the text of these documents? To my knowledge Heartland have only claimed one was a fake and said nothing about changes to the others.