Exposed: Heartland’s climate disinformation campaign

by Guest Blogger

February 17, 2012

This blog first appeared onLeft Foot Forward.

Leaked documents from inside one of Americas most powerful thinktanks haverevealeda multi-million dollar systematic disinformation campaign to cast doubt on the science of climate change.

The explosive documents posted onDesmogblog a website dedicated to monitoring groups that peddle false claims about climate science show that some of the wealthiest and most polluting corporations in the world, including General Motors, Bayer, Pfizer, GSK and Microsoft, are helping to fund the Heartland Institute.

One of the leaked memos shows one anonymous donor paid the group more than $8.6m between 2007 and 2011 to promote climate change denial. The billionaire oil barons the Koch brothers are also implicated.

One of the revelations is that the best read climate blog in the world, Watts Up With That, is set toreceive$90,000 in 2012 as part of their campaign. The man who runs the blog, Anthony Watts, is frequently quoted in major British media outlets including The Times. Two years ago,Left Foot Forward revealedhow Watts was tweeting links to the British National Party.

Similarly, scientists receiving platforms on some of the biggest broadcasters in the world includingthe BBC are being paid monthly retainers to peddle a climate sceptic line. One documentsays:

At the moment, this funding goes primarily to Craig Idso ($11,600 per month), Fred Singer ($5,000 per month, plus expenses), Robert Carter ($1,667 per month), and a number of other individuals, but we will consider expanding it, if funding can be found.

A particularlysinister objectiveof their campaign is “dissuading teachers from teaching science” partof their “global warming curriculum project”. For thisa coal industry insiderhas been hired, at the expense of $100,000 a year, todevelop a planto teach children that climate change is a hoax.

Another document says that Heartland has not yet tried:

To raise funds from businesses with a financial interest in (shale gas) fracking. In 2012 we intend to correct that oversight.

The leak will raise new questions about who is funding Lord Lawsons influential lobby group in the UK, Global Warming Policy Foundation. Lord Lawson has consistently refused to reveal who is funding their campaign.

David Hendersonis both a fellow of the Heartland Institute and chair of the advisory board of the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

The director of this group, Benny Peiser, as well as Telegraph columnist James Delingpole, havespokenat a major conference of climate deniers organised by the Heartland Institute.

You can read all the leaked documents onDeSmogBlog.

This blog first appeared onLeft Foot Forward.

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