“YOU have an important decision to make,” wrote Diane Bast from the conservative Heartland Institute in a memo posted to science teachers across the US last month.
“Will you tell your students the “science is settled” on global warming, as the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims it is?”
The Heartland Institute likes to ask disingenuous questions like this. Who can forget its disastrous billboard campaign of last year with that picture of terrorist and murderer Ted “Unabomber” Kaczynski and the words “I still believe in Global Warming. Do you?”
Not surprisingly, after hearing of the billboard key private sponsors and funders of Heartland pulled their support quicker than you can say “What on earth were they thinking?”
The Heartland Institute is a conservative free market “think tank” that has made the ideologically-driven denial of climate change science one its core causes. The organisation has accepted millions of dollars from the likes of Exxon, family foundations built on polluting industries and many millions more via a slush fund financed by anonymous conservative millionaires.
Diane Bast, the wife of Heartland president Joseph Bast, was writing to the science teachers to introduce the free copies of its enclosed Nongovernmental Panel on Climate Change report - Climate Change Reconsidered II.
“Like the IPCC's reports, NIPCC's reports cite thousands of articles appearing in peer-reviewed science journals relevant to the subject of human-induced climate change,” wrote Bast, who said the report was “comprehensive, objective, and faithful to the scientific method.”
Yet the report is anything but. Australian astrophysicist Dr Michael Brown, of Monash University in Melbourne, described it succinctly as “partisan pseudoscience”. Dr Brown wrote in The Conversation: