PR Watch on the Heartland Conference: The Monkeys and Their Organ Grinders

Bob Burton at Sourcewatch has substantial piece up on the Heartland Institute’s climate change conference in New York.

Choice quote:

“Many global warming skeptics directly or indirectly receive funding from the oil, coal or other industries with a stake in the dangerous status quo. Of course, revelations of such funding torpedo the skeptics’ credibility. Perhaps that’s why Heartland, in describing its skeptics conference, insists that “no corporate sponsorships or dollars earmarked for the event were solicited or accepted.” The claim may sound reassuring, but we should take it with a grain of salt, especially since Heartland is not disclosing which foundations are funding the conference.”

Here’s the entire article: Monkeys and their Organ Grinders

Heartland Conference Speakers and Attendees still fighting the Cold War

Attending panel discussions at the Heartland Climate Change Conference in New York has me looking over my shoulder checking for the next Red Army invasion.

While the context of the conference is climate change it seems that for many panel members and attendees this is less about science than it is about warding off the socialist plot that is supposedly closing in on America.

I attended an afternoon session featuring evangelical think tanker Cal Beisner and the Monsanto/ExxonMobil sweetheart of the “civil rights” movement Roy Innis.

Before the panel presentation even began, the two guys sitting down from me were going on about the “Liberal media conspiracy” while a blogger bragged to the women next to me that he was quoted on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show today.

Beisner spent the majority of his talk stroking his own ego with the big close being a screed about the “eco imperialists” who are bent on condeming the poor of the world.

The real show was Innis, who began with a strange argument that if you’ve never been to the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR), why should you care if they drill in it for oil. His argument was that those against drilling in ANWR were innocent citizens who had been subjected to “heavy propaganda and conspiracy about the environment and the earth.”

And the source of this “heavy propoganda?” Innis paints a picture that America is running the risk of being overtaken by some kind of new world order of communists. As Innis explains, there is a “conspiracy against decency” of “radical environmentalists” of which oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens is somehow involved. And this grand conspiracy is putting all of us under threat from “Soviet like thinking.” He ends with a warning to us all: “Let us not be tricked like Lenin did the Bolsheviks.”

The crowd giggled with glee and while I was too young to ever attend a Reagan rally, I bet this is probably what they were like. But this is not 1981, it’s 2009 and what in the heck does Communism have to do with climate change? Nothing of course, but Innis knows that this “socialist conspiracy theory” plays to a crowd that is looking for any reason they can to continue to ignore the realities of climate change.

National Post Disgraces Itself Again (Again)

Lorne Gunter of the National Post disgraced himself yet again this weekend with another outrageously inaccurate column about something he apparently knows nothing about: climate science.

Gunter held forward William Happer as his climate skeptic champion to put those dullards at the IPCC to shame. He crows that Happer “is hardly a climate change ‘denier’ ”, and is instead “one of the world’s leading experts on the interactions of visible and infrared radiation with gases.”

A quick internet search reveals that Happer is not climate researcher at all. His recent publications relate to MRI imaging in the lungs of rats.

Perhaps more revealing is that Happer is also the Chairman of the George C. Marshall Institute – a right wing thing tank that has received $715,000 from Exxon Mobil since 1998. The usual list of Exxon-funded hacks have also been involved with this “Institute”, including Sallie Baliunas, Willie Soon, and Patrick J. Michaels.

National Post Disgraces Itself Again

Poland is a long way from New York, and the distance illustrates the vast gulf between truth and rhetoric in how many in the mainstream media continue to cover climate science.

Last year, not a single English language Canadian news reporter was sent to cover the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Poznan in Poland (except Richard Littlemore of DeSmog Blog).

Yet even as they teeter of the edge of bankruptcy, the National Post felt it important to have a reporter covering the climate denier’s conference held this week at the swank Marriott Marquis in New York and sponsored by the notoriously unethical Heartland Institute.

The UN Conference featured actual scientists and had the potential to generate real news on how the world might come to grips with climate change.

The Heartland Conference is instead a retread of last year’s denialpoloza, featuring the same washed up hacks on the oil industry payroll.

Report: How to Manufacture Public Doubt about Global Warming

With the Heartland’s Institute’s “International Climate Change Conference” (aka. Denial-palooza) we thought it would be a good time to launch our new report: “How to Manufacture Public Doubt - analysis of the public relations techniques used by the climate denial industry.”

So please grab a copy, enjoy and consider emailing the link on to your friends, blogging on it, Tweeting it and/or sending to your friends of Facebook.

You can donwload the PDF version here: “How to Manufacture Public Doubt - analysis of the public relations techniques used by the climate denial industry.”

Here’s an excerpt:

There is a long and well-documented history of the development of very effective public relations techniques that are used to create doubt about the realities of scientific conclusions that threaten to impose government regulation on corporations. Most of these techniques were developed and honed by public relations professionals working on behalf of the tobacco companies to downplay the harmful health effects of cigarettes in the late 80’s and early 90’s. For the last ten years or so, these same PR techniques have been used very effectively by free-market think tanks and fossil-fuel funded organizations to sow public doubt about the realities of climate change in the hopes of delaying government action on the issue.

- 1969 internal Brown and Williamson strategy document


Subscribe to DeSmogBlog