US-based neo-conservative think-tank the Heartland Institute,
which has emerged over the last year as the ringleader of global
warming denial and is partly funded by Exxon Mobil (1), has
published an international list of 500 scientists whose work it
alleges undermines the idea of human-induced climate change.
Five New Zealanders appear on the list (2). A significant number
of the scientists, including the five New Zealanders, are very
upset at their inclusion and have requested their names be removed.
See below for some of their responses (3).
The five have today issued a public statement strongly objecting
to the implication that they support Heartland's position and
reiterating their support for the findings of the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as to global warming and its
"The sceptics have sunk to new depths if they're prepared to
mislead the public by using with the names of upstanding New
Zealand climate scientists," says Greenpeace climate campaigner
The incident comes just as a notorious New Zealand sceptic
linked to the Heartland Institute puts his case to the Finance and
Expenditure Select Committee on the Government's emissions trading
"Owen McShane, who was paid by Heartland to speak at their
conference in New York in March, gave evidence to the Committee
this morning that climate change is a hoax," said Boxer. "If this
latest incident is any indication of the veracity of sceptics'
case, let's hope the Select Committee paid no heed to his
Heartlands also helped Mr McShane - and fellow member of the NZ
Climate Science Coalition Bryan Leyland - travel to the recent UN
climate conference in Bali, where they ran workshops to try and
draw attention to his anti-climate science argument, to little
"Sceptics are like the huge number of species in the world - at
risk of extinction from the truth about climate change," said
In 2004, Greenpeace launched the research project ExxonSecrets
to highlight the more than decade-long campaign by Exxon-funded
think tanks to deny the urgency of global warming and delay action
to fix the problem.
See here for a map of Heartland, its staff and associates, the
Exxon-funded groups they are linked with and the NZ Climate Science
Other contacts: Simon Boxer – Greenpeace climate campaigner - 021905549
Kathy Cumming – Greenpeace Communications – 021495216
Notes: (1) The Heartland Institute is the neo-conservative group leading the anti-climate science charge in the US. The organisation has strong links with the tobacco industry and, along with a massive campaign against the science of global warming – and Al Gore - also questions laws on tobacco and the science linking second hand smoke with health problems. The Heartland statement the scientists are objecting to can be found here: http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=21978
(2) The five scientists concerned are Associate Professor Chris Hendy (University of Waikato), Dr Matt McGlone (Science Team Leader, Landcare Research), Dr Neville Moar (retired DSIR,), Dr Jim Salinger (Principal Scientist, NIWA) and Dr Peter Wardle (retired DSIR, FRSNZ)
(3) International climate blog DeSmog Blog wrote to some of the scientists on the Heartland list. These are some of the responses:
“I am horrified to find my name on such a list. I have spent the last 20 years arguing the opposite.” - Dr. David Sugden. Professor of Geography, University of Edinburgh.
“I have NO doubts ..the recent changes in global climate ARE man-induced. I insist that you immediately remove my name from this list since I did not give you permission to put it there.” - Dr. Gregory Cutter, Professor, Department of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Old Dominion University.
“Please remove my name. What you have done is totally unethical!!" Dr. Svante Bjorck, Geo Biosphere Science Centre, Lund University.
“I don't believe any of my work can be used to support any of the statements listed in the article." - Dr. Robert Whittaker, Professor of Biogeography, University of Oxford.
Exp. contact date: 2008-07-09 00:00:00