- B.A., English Writing, University of Pittsburgh (1988 – 1992). 
Accredited journalists were kicked out of a sparsely attended climate denial conference hosted by the US oil-and tobacco-funded Heartland Institute today in Paris.
Heartland's ‘Day of Examining the Data’ event was repeatedly advertised as open to the public and media. However the freedom-of-speech espousing think tank had French security guards from the Hotel California outside the COP21 official venue remove DeSmog UK journalists.
Why? Because the 9 am press conference was now apparently a private event.
Jim Lakely, the communications director for the oil and tobacco funded think tank, withdrew media credentials made and handed to Brendan Montague, editor of DeSmog UK, and asked hotel security to remove the reporter from the ICCC-10 event at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington DC.
Gene Koprowski, director of marketing, said he “refused to be drawn into a philosophical debate” when asked whether a think tank claiming to champion personal liberty and press freedom should begin blacklisting members of the media.
Yesterday, the Heritage Foundation hosted The Heartland Institute's CEO Joseph Bast, along with two of Heartland's contracted climate denial scientists (Willie Soon and Bob Carter), to present their new report that denies the seriousness of global warming. Greenpeace was there to ask Heartland about the report's funders, including billionaire Barre Seid, and to challenge Heartland's assertion that their work has any scientific validity (it doesn't). See the video for yourself.
THERE’S a section on the Heartland Institute’s website pointing readers to “Stuff We Wish We Wrote”.
After events over the last year or so, the chaps at the fossil fuel-funded “think tank” might want to add a new section with the title “Stuff We Wish We Hadn’t Wrote”.
The Heartland Institute, for those who don’t know, is a Chicago-based group promoting any view or position that argues we shouldn’t do anything about human-caused climate change. They run campaigns, hold conferences, write op-eds in the media and pay contrarian scientists.
Right there on the think-tank’s homepage, the group proudly displays a quote from The Economist magazine describing Heartland as “The world's most prominent think-tank promoting scepticism about man-made climate change.”
Yet as is the case with most things Heartland says about climate change, things are not always as they seem. Heartland’s boastful quote is taken out of context and comes from this article in The Economist, documenting a spectacular own goal by Heartland.
Heartland, The Economist wrote, had lost an estimated $825,000 in funding after running a billboard campaign that equated acceptance of human-caused global warming to the values of serial killer Ted “Unabomber” Kaczynski.
So when The Economist was describing Heartland as a prominent think-tank promoting climate science denial, it wasn’t doing it in a good way. No wonder then that Heartland didn’t hyperlink the quote.
This brings us to Heartland’s most recent example of self-aggrandizing – implying the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) thinks they’re awesome because it translated two of Heartland’s reports, only to be told by aforementioned academy to apologise for misrepresenting what they had actually done. Here are the nuts and bolts of the story. On June 11, Heartland released a statement detailing how CAS had translated two volumes of its NIPCC reports – Climate Change Reconsidered.
It’s been a month since the Heartland Institute was caught in a St. Valentine’s Day Striptease – inadvertently exposing its entire budget and fundraising plan. Yet an objective analysis of the resulting internet and mainstream media coverage has to credit Heartland’s spin machine with having put in a remarkable performance. Heartland’s own staff members and its echo chamber of denialist blogs have been shameless – and stunningly successful – in deflecting responsibility from the institute’s own sins and onto the scientist who duped Heartland into handing over a treasure trove of internal documents.
There are three potential explanations for this turn of events:
In the ongoing controversy over whether former astronaut and New Mexico Senator Harrison Schmitt intentionally misled NASA with his 2009 white paper on climate change, we come to the age old questions: What did Schmitt know? And when did he know it?
Schmitt says in that paper that “Artic (sic) sea ice has returned to 1989 levels of coverage.” When Dr. Mark Boslough, a physicist and computational modeler at Sandia National Laboratories brought to Schmitt’s attention that this was incorrect, Schmitt failed to correct it. Well, not everyone likes to admit making a mistake.
But was it a mistake?