Heartland Insitute Backs off Fraudulent List - Refuses to Apologize

Mon, 2008-05-05 14:45Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

Heartland Insitute Backs off Fraudulent List - Refuses to Apologize

The Heartland Institute has withdrawn its claim of having identified “500 Scientists with Documented Doubts about Global Warming Scares,” but is refusing the demands by dozens of those scientists to be removed from the Heartland's original offending document.

Heartland President Joseph Bast rationalizes that aside from the misleading headline, “none of the articles and news releases produced by The Heartland Institute or the Hudson Institute (the original source of the lists) claims that all of the scientists who appear in the lists currently doubt that the modern warming is man-made.”

Sure Joe. Even in its redacted form, the Heartland “paper,” written by Dennis T. Avery, says of those scientists that “the peer-reviewed studies they have published in professional journals provid(e) historic and/or physical proxy evidence that:

1) Most of the recent global warming has been caused by a long, moderate, natural cycle rather than by the burning of fossil fuels: (and seven other equally off-base conclusions).”

Scientists have responded by saying things like, “I have been spent the last 20 years arguing the opposite,” and “I don't believe any of my work can be used to support any of the statements listed in the article.”

Bast also argues that the paper merely listed the scientists in its “references,” citing their work, rather than claiming their personal cooperation. Once again: even if you look at the “paper” as it remains today , the implication of endorsement is overwhelming.

Bast finally points out that the DeSmogBlog and the “disgruntled scientists” waited seven months before complaining about Heartland's shoddy work, and he wonders why.

Well, two possible reasons. One is that Heartland just doesn't rise very high on the scientific horizon. Legitimate scientists appear not to read the stuff that Heartland writes. The other reason is that, even among us skeptics at the DeSmogBlog, we tend too frequently to make the mistake of believing what we read. If the Heartland says they have a list of people who contest the science of climate change, we sometimes try to figure out who those people are and who's paying for their opinions, but we don't generally assume that Heartland is just making it up.

It took us too long to figure that out this time. We'll be more careful in the future. 


Previous Comments

“The [DeSmog]blog persuaded some of the scientists appearing in the lists to ask that their names be removed from the lists.”

As if the scientists were not able to do that of their own volition. Cute.

” … from ‘500 Scientists with Documented Doubts of Man-Made Global Warming Scares’ to ‘500 Scientists Whose Research Contradicts Man-Made Global Warming Scares.’”

Arranging chairs on the Titanic deck. The title is even more incorrect than it was originally!

“We plan to make no further changes to the articles or to the lists.”

And the “co-authors” title is still academically misleading—but then I suppose the HI wouldn’t care about that.

“They have no right – legally or ethically – to demand that their names be removed from a bibliography composed by researchers with whom they disagree.”

Possibly not, but the “co-authors” title is still misleading, as is the claim that all the research cited contradicts claims of anthropogenic global warming. Making such claims is disreputable and can only lead to more people discounting the Heartland Institute.

“Their names probably appear in hundreds or thousands of bibliographies accompanying other articles or in books with which they disagree.”

That may be the case. However, I rather doubt in those cases that inferences (such as those created by the two titles) are used to suggest the researchers support claims with which they disagree.

“Do they plan to sue hundreds or thousands of their colleagues?”

I doubt it, because their colleagues are much more careful (and respectful) than this. If this sort of action occurred in a scholarly journal, there would properly be an outcry. Academic honesty and integrity are central to scholarship; I see little evidence of that here.

“They are embarrassed – as they should be – to see their names in a list of scientists whose peer-reviewed published work suggests the modern warming might be due to a natural 1,500-year climate cycle.”

No, they are likely embarrassed to see their names in a publication no reputable scholarly publishing house would touch.

“The number of peer-reviewed scientists who’ve recently found physical evidence of natural climate cycles now exceeds 700.”

Newsflash: that number is far greater than 700. No reputable climate scientist has ever denied the existence and influence of “natural climate cycles.” Nice try, though.

“The point should be obvious: There is no scientific consensus that global warming is a crisis.”

That statement just does not stand up to proper scrutiny.

Charles,

What real scientists would have the time or desire to stay up to date on the PR BS being spewed by the HI at all times?

Also I’m sure they made those points on their own volition once made aware of what was going on.

Really, why should we expect an apology from the Heartland Institute? We live presently in a nation, broken form the top, where everyone else and thier brother does whatever they feel they need to to escape responsibility. It happens in Corporate America, it happens in the White House, it happens in the Churches, it happens in cabs, it happens at the 7-11. What surprises me is that the HI didn’t try to spin harder and do oneof their trademakr bait and switches where a new list or article mysteriously appears to repalce the falicious one. Maybe they are just too tired.

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