Nucor CEO Dan Dimicco stands by the Heartland Institute and denies his climate denial

by Jesse Coleman

June 18, 2012

Climate change denial is a set of organized attempts to downplay, deny or dismiss the scientific consensus on the extent of global warming, its significance, and its connection to human behavior, especially for commercial or ideological reasons. Source: Wikipedia

In a bold and innovative new move for climate change deniers, Dan Dimicco, the CEO of Nucor – one of the largest steel companies in the U.S – has denied that the Heartland Institute is involved in climate change science denial.

For background, the Heartland Institute is a corporate front group, well known for attacking scientific findings that their corporate paymasters find inconvenient. Heartland has denied the health effects of tobacco smoke while taking millions of dollars from tobacco corporations, and currently denies the cause and effects of global climate change, while being paid by major carbon polluters like the oil and gas industry and Nucor. Nucor has given over $500,000 to Heartland in the last 3 years, specifically for attacks on climate science.

Dimiccos denial of Heartlands climate denial came in the form of a letter to a concerned Nucor shareholder. The letter contains a number of outright fallacies, chronicled below:

“Heartland does not deny climate change”

Really? Then why has Heartland organized 7 conferences on climate denial? Why does Heartland president Joe Bast frequently say things like: “Most scientists do not believe human activities threaten to disrupt the Earth’s climate.” See this blog by ThinkProgressfor a longer list of Heartland’s climate denial.

“[Heartland] supports research and scholarly debate on causes and effects of climate change”

An example of research and scholarly debate:

The Heartland Institute unveiled this banner in Chicago in anticipation of their latest climate denial conference. In addition to the usual attacks on climate science and scientists, this year’s conference also delved in to other fanatical conspiracy theories, like the belief that President Barack Obamas Hawaiian birth certificate is not real.

“It is entirely appropriate for Nucor and other like minded companies and groups to fund the Heartland Institute.”

Because of Heartlands extreme climate stance and indefensible tactics, many major corporations have distanced themselves from Heartland. In 2007 ExxonMobil, a major funder of climate science attacks, stopped funding the Institute, saying they could no longer support groups that serve as a distraction to the climate issue. In the last six months, 19 other major corporations like GM, Pepsico, and Bayer have cut ties with Heartland over their climate stance. These major corporations dont think supporting Heartland is appropriate, why does Nucor?

Though it is tempting to find Dan Dimiccos (picture right) absurd comments on Heartland and the climate change debate laughable, it is a deadly serious issue. If all people act responsibly, including Nucor and the rest of the steel industry, overcoming the threats of climate change will be an enormous task. If industry leaders likeNucorcontinue to sit on the sidelines – or worse, intentionally obstruct climate solutions, people and the planet will suffer immensely.

Tell Nucor to stop obstructing solutions to climate change and stop funding attacks on climate science. Nucor needs to create a coherent and fact based stance on climate and stand by it.

Sign this petition and tell denier Dan Dimicco to stop funding attacks on climate science.

Nucor Response Letter (PDF)

Nucor Response Letter (Text)

We Need Your Voice. Join Us!

Want to learn more about tax-deductible giving, donating stock and estate planning?

Visit Greenpeace Fund, a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) charitable entity created to increase public awareness and understanding of environmental issues through research, the media and educational programs.