ANY conference worth its salt needs a nice long list of sponsors to give the impression of widespread diverse support for whatever the conference organisers are advocating.
In the case of the Heartland Institute and their advocacy for the denial of the risks of human-caused climate change, their just-started conference for climate science misinformers in Chicago can boast official supporters from as far and wide as India, England, Austria and New Zealand.
But one of the most devoted and long-standing group of supporters for their climate change denial conferences over the years has come from Australia. This year there are four Australia-based groups listed as “co-sponsors” and over the history of the seven conferences no less than nine different Australian groups have been happy to have their organisation's name hitched to Heartland's colors.
A mistaken impression could be that there's widespread support for Heartland's extremist views in Australia. The word “co-sponsor” gives the impression that these organisations are willing to actually give up money to support.
Yet in at least one case, and probably several others, being a co-sponsor is as easy as contacting Heartland and saying that you agree with them.
The reality is that those supporting Heartland from Australia come from a small circle of active and loud free-market idealogues.