Heartland Double Standard: Institute Tried to Scam Greenpeace for Internal Documents

Wed, 2012-03-14 09:02Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

Heartland Double Standard: Institute Tried to Scam Greenpeace for Internal Documents

A Heartland Institute front man* phoned a Greenpeace activist and lied about his identity in an effort to get her to turn over UN climate conference documents to which he had no legitimate access. Heartland senior fellow James Taylor then boasted about the scam in a press release decrying what he described as Greenpeace's preferential access to UN information.

Now, in a belated act of optimism, Greenpeace's Cindy Baxter has written a letter to Heartland (attached below) requesting an explanation for the double standard. Baxter is asking, in effect, why Heartland thinks it's completely okay for them to misrepresent themselves, repeatedly, and to celebrate the misrepresentations of others who are attacking climate scientists, but then gets all righteous when someone suckers them into handing over their entire budget and fundraising policy for 2012.

The Heartland misrepresentation about which Baxter is now complaining occurred in 2007 at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference in Bali. The Heartland caller phoned Baxter at four in the morning (Bali time), claiming to represent a U.S. environmental organization and asking if she would hand over the UNFCCC media list - which Heartland clearly had failed to secure through legitimate means.

Baxter demurred, after which Taylor sent out a press release, recounting the conversation, linking to a (possibly illegal) recording that Heartland had made of the phonecall, and “exposing” the fact that Greenpeace has a better working relationship than Heartland with just about everyone in the climate, diplomatic and scientific communities.

At the time, Baxter brushed off the incident as nothing more than you would expect from an organization that exists to take money from tobacco firms and oil moguls and then misrepresent the health risks of smoking and the science of climate change.

But lately, Baxter has grown annoyed by the double standard. Heartland, which naively emailed the whole briefing package for its January Board of Directors meeting to a complete stranger (which turned out to be the climate scientist Peter Gleick), has been apoplectic about Gleick's trickiness in seducing them into performing that St. Valentine's Day Striptease (the documents were all released on February 14). Heartland President Joe Bast (who must still be trembling at the knowledge that his job is on the line, for the incompetence of his security measures if not for getting caught playing board members against one another), has said that in claiming in an email to be a Heartland board member, Gleick had committed a “crime” that was unforgiveable.

Yet Heartland holds itself to no such standard. In addition to the Taylor misrepresentation above, Heartland also financed a disingenuous climate video in 2008 called Unstoppable Solar Cycles: The Real Story of Greenland. In the process of shooting that work of fiction, the film crew had misrepresented itself and the ultimate purpose of the film to its subjects in Greenland, including one Rie Oldenburg, curator of the Narsaq Museum. Oldenburg said the Heartlanders told her the film was about Greenland history and made no mention at all that it was an attack on climate science that was being prepared for distribution to school children in America.

Joe Bast also thought it was perfectly acceptable - in fact a public service - when someone broke into the East Anglia University Climatic Research Unit and stole thousands of personal emails, thereafter cherrypicking and distributing out-of-context quotes in an effort to attack the credibility of the correspondents.

Given this history, it was more than an act of optimism for Baxter to write Heartland for an explanation. Heartland doesn't explain. They never apologized to Rie Oldenburg. They have never responded to DeSmogBlog queries about their board package (even though Bast insists that we should have waited for a response before releasing the documents).

Finally, they have not apologised to Dr. David Watkins, a perfectly legitimate scientist who was embarrassed to be listed - incorrectly - among the brigade of climate science-denying “experts” whom Heartland keeps on retainer. (Watkins called and wrote to Heartland, pointing out that they had never paid him - and that he would not accept their money - and asking for an explanation. They have neither answered his phone calls nor written in response.)

There is, apparently, one standard for legitimate organizations and scientists, but not one that Heartland has any intention of meeting.

*An earlier iteration of this post identified the caller as James Taylor - perhaps incorrectly. While Taylor may well have been the perpetrator (he was the signatory on the resulting press release), Cindy Baxter points out that, especially given that the caller originally lied about his identity, she could not say with any certainty whether it was Taylor or someone else calling on Heartland's behalf.

AttachmentSize
Baxter_Heartland_letter.pdf116.84 KB

Comments

Is it possible to press charges against Heartland for their deceptive attempt to steal documents?

Can anyone be sent to jail for misrepresenting who they are to get those documents?

Isn't recording a call like that called wiretapping and illegal?  (It varies from place to place, I'm just curious.)

 

I suppose its only attempted crimes since Baxter wasn't as stupid as they are.

 

I know... maybe we should all call heartland directors and employees at 4am and ask!  That sounds like fun.  (Don't forget to record the call.)

This is so freakin' hilarious that we'd have to make it up if it weren't so freakin' true.

"Stupidity did not flee the country once George W. Bush left office," as Lewis Black so poignantly observes, "When it come to idiots, our country is like whack-a-mole."

http://comedians.jokes.com/lewis-black/videos/lewis-black---stupid-question

Just watch the extras for Fawlty Towers.  He modeled the show after real people and stories.

Cleese says, "You just can't make this stuff up."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKhEw7nD9C4

"Come back here & take what's comin' to ya. I'll bite your legs off."

"Oldenburg said the Heartlanders told her the film was about Greenland history and made no mention at all that it was an attack on climate science that was being prepared for distribution to school children in America."

+

"Finally, they have not apologised to Dr. David Watkins, a perfectly legitimate scientist who was embarrassed to be listed - incorrectly - among the brigade of climate science-denying "experts" whom Heartland keeps on retainer."

+

"Help me understand, then, how your public position squares with the fact that the
Heartland Institute did the same thing – to me – when it suited its interests"

+

"To recap, the Heartland Institute used a false organizational identity in order to obtain an
internal document. It also surreptitiously recorded a telephone conversation (illegally, I
believe, if it was done from your home state of Illinois) then posted it online to attack me
in the same sort of privacy invasion you’ve been complaining about"

 

That's how they roll. Deniers & Liars for Hire. Deniers denigrate GreenPeace for exposing the truth and applaud denier orgs like Heartland for concealing the truth.

This is the "give us our freedom & liberty" crowd.

 

 

 

 

 

I'm surprised Desmogblog is still banging away at this, since their Fakegate fiasco blew up in their face the other week.

Well, gotta give 'em points for persistence, LOL!

Sadly, Desmog and their tiny audience of believers are in fact the only ones still trying to attack Heartland while the rest of the world and the MSM have moved on after crucifying the former scientist/activist/crook known as Peter Gleick.

They have nothing left, it's actually quite pathetic.

Then why would Heartland be working so hard at smeering Desmogblog?

Kind of a David and Goliath thing with Heartland being Goliath?

(Yes... I'm on Heartland's email list.  Sadly they haven't sent any more board meeting notes. :-)  )

"Sadly, Desmog and their tiny audience of believers are in fact the only ones still trying to attack Heartland while the rest of the world and the MSM have moved on"

Your argument isn't logical. If you believe Desmog has such a small footprint or influence in such matters, or has such a small readership, then why does it bother you at all what they say?

Clearly you think Desmog gets good bang for it's buck & you are keen to shut that down.

"after crucifying the former scientist/activist/crook known as Peter Gleick."

Who? Denier blogs?

"They have nothing left"

Then why worry yourself?

 

.. the attempted fakegate?

"since their Fakegate fiasco"

It's only known by that on denier blogs or right wing press.

"blew up in their face the other week."

How? They found the champion who deftly acquired factual documentation. It still doesn't change the fact that the documents were real. Only denier blogs believe they are fake, despite most of the things in the documents being verified by even Watts himself. While Heartland by first admitting the documents were all real & then later said some were fake, but couldn't say what.

Be assured the documents will be passed around the net for years to come regardless of how you want to spin it.

 

 

 

I still believe that Tayor set a "honey trap" for Peter Gleick because Gleick had the audacity to publicly call Taylor out on one of Taylor's op-eds posted on Forbes.

 

Believe it or not, James Taylor is a regular guest poster of op-eds on Forbes.com.

His post of today, "Shock Poll: Meteorologists Are Global Warming Skeptics" is a clear example of how he distorts reality to peddle his right-wing nut propaganda.

To access this piece of poppycock, go to:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2012/03/14/shock-poll-meteorologists-are-global-warming-skeptics/    

 

Couldn't Watkins sue them for libel or threaten to unless they remove his name and apologize?

re: Chas Rasper

Tiny audience maybe but big shadow . Some big money oil stink tank is paying people like chas to watch Desmog and make stupid comments. Nice work if you can get it; and have no scruples.

I can understand the original hohum. Greenpeace has had corporate interests attack in boats, with guns and with explosives. Bast is pretty harmless in comparison.

 

Achieving and maintaining health is an ongoing process, shaped by both the evolution of health care knowledge and practices as well as personal strategies and organized interventions for staying healthy. Thanks.
Regards,
 

http://theholisticsolution.com/

[x]

This is a guest post by Kert Davies, cross-posted with permission from Climate Investigations Center.

This week the Heartland Institute will release another chapter of its NIPCC, the “not the IPCC” document that will tell you the opposite of the main message that’s been coming from the prestigious IPCC...

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