new york climate conference

The Heartland Institute and the Academy of Tobacco Studies

Long before the Heartland Institute was in the business of organizing events like the “International Climate Change Conference”  they were hard at work trying to minimize the negative public perception that second-hand tobacco smoke was bad for your health.

With that kind of past how could the media take the Heartland Institute and their upcoming climate conference seriously? Heartland could have easily played the role of the “Academy of Tobacco Studies” in the movie Thank you for Smoking.

How could anyone take seriously a group that took money from tobacco companies and downplayed the harmful effects of tobacco and then moved on to take money from oil companies and said global warming is all a big hoax?

A three year old could figure this one out.

Research on the "sponsors" behind the Heartland's New York Climate Change Conference

Like last year, the Heartland Institute is making it clear that no Big Oil companies are behind this year’s “International Conference on Climate Change” being held in New York in a couple of weeks.

The Heartland states on their website that:”The Heartland Institute, a 25-year-old national nonpartisan think-tank based in Chicago, said all of the event’s expenses will be covered by admission fees and individual and foundation donors to Heartland. No corporate dollars or sponsorships earmarked for the event were solicited or accepted.”


Of course, the whole thing becomes a little more gray when you look into the listed “co-sponsors” of the Heartland’s event, or should I say a little slick.

We’ve researched the funding history of all the organizations that the Heartland Institute has listed as co-sponsors for their 2009 International Conference on Climate Change and have found that over the years these groups have received in excess of $47 million from oil companies and right-wing foundations.

Interesting enough, the vast majority of the funding (76%) is not from who most would expect, but from a much quieter organization called the Scaife Family of Foundations. According the Media Transparency project, the Scaife Family of Foundations is, “financed by the Mellon industrial, oil and banking fortune. At one time its largest single holding was stock in the Gulf Oil Corporation. [Scaife] Became active in funding conservative causes in 1973, when Richard Mellon Scaife became chairman of the foundation.”

Here’s the permanent page we built with all the research on DeSmogBlog: Heartland Institute’s 2009 Climate Conference in New York: funding history of the sponsors

And here’s a PDF version you can download: Heartland Institute’s 2009 Climate Conference in New York: funding history of the sponsors

Here’s the breakdown:

ExxonMobil (1998-2006):                $6,199,000
Koch Foundations (1986-2006):      $4,438,920
Scaife Foundations (1985-2006):   $36,868,640

Grand Total:                               $47,506,560 

[By the way, DeSmogBlog will be at the Heartland event again this year]

Heartland Institute's 2009 Climate Conference in New York: funding history of the sponsors

Our research into the listed “sponsors” for the Heartland Institute’s upcoming “International Conference on Climate Change” finds that these organizations have received over $47 million from energy companies and right-wing foundations, with 78% of that total coming from the Scaife Family of foundations. 

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