Keith E. Idso
- Ph.D., botany, Arizona State University (1997)
- M.S., agronomy and plant genetics, University of Arizona.
- B.S., agriculture, University of Arizona.
This is a guest post by Gus Van Harten, professor at the Osgoode Hall Law School and author of Sold Down the Yangtze: Canada's Lopsided Investment Deal with China. This post originally...
The Heartland Institute has been using its corporate funding to create an echo chamber of experts-for-hire, subsidiary think tanks and websites which all work together to rebroadcast information in Heartland's manufactured controversy about climate change.
In the last week, Heartland has been able to rely on this network - and on its own considerable skill as a propaganda machine - to deflect responsibility for the recent revelations of its own improprieties.
The Heartland Valentine's Day document dump included Budget and Fundraising documents that confirm, for example, that in addition to keeping a stable of pseudo experts on retainer to challenge the world's foremost authorities on climate change, Heartland also makes large and regular investments in other organizations, such as the web-based climate-change denier (and weather man) Anthony Watts.
Watts, in turn, has stepped up this week as the Heartland public relations department, putting his WUWT site at Heartland's disposal for the release of statements and generally defending his benefactor and attacking its detractors.
The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) recently published a flashy headline that reads, ’900+ Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism Of “Man-Made” Global Warming (AGW) Alarm’. The article links to a blog post on Populartechnology.net listing more than 900 papers which, according to the GWPF, refute “concern relating to a negative environmental or socio-economic effect of AGW, usually exaggerated as catastrophic.”
The “900+ papers” list is supposed to somehow prove that a score of scientists reject the scientific consensus on climate change. One might be persuaded by the big numbers. We’re not.
The public relations man and energy industry front group promoter Tom Harris has partnered with the Exxon-sponsored Idso family on a new petition dismissing the risks of climate change as “small to negligible.”
The petition is currently headlining at the WattsUpWithThat website, which probably shouldn’t surprise anyone, given that proprietor and weather guy Anthony Watts was one of the original signatories to one of the original silly climate petitions: the Leipzig Declaration.
These petitions are, in the most important ways, all the same. They feature the same cast of discredited characters (Pat Michaels, Fred Singer) and the same discredited arguments. The biggest such effort of the last 20 years was the Oregon Petition, which used a fraudulent National Academy of Sciences letterhead to solicit something in excess of 30,000 signatures from “scientists,” including a small handfull who had actually studied or practiced climate science.
But the point has never been to advance the science. The goal has been to give the impression that a legitimate scientific argument persists. And here we go again.