Heartland Funding Disinformation Echo Chamber

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The Heartland Institute has been using its corporate funding to create an echo chamber of experts-for-hire, subsidiary think tanks and websites which all work together to rebroadcast information in Heartland's manufactured controversy about climate change.

In the last week, Heartland has been able to rely on this network - and on its own considerable skill as a propaganda machine - to deflect responsibility for the recent revelations of its own improprieties.

The Heartland Valentine's Day document dump included Budget and Fundraising documents that confirm, for example, that in addition to keeping a stable of pseudo experts on retainer to challenge the world's foremost authorities on climate change, Heartland also makes large and regular investments in other organizations, such as the web-based climate-change denier (and weather man) Anthony Watts.

Watts, in turn, has stepped up this week as the Heartland public relations department, putting his WUWT site at Heartland's disposal for the release of statements and generally defending his benefactor and attacking its detractors.

Heartland's documents show that its largest regular payment to a single individual goes to Craig Idso, whose oil-funded Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change (CSCDGC) is, like Heartland's own institute, a tax dodge masquerading as an educational or research organization.

Given that donations to Heartland count as “charitable” deductions, it would be interesting to know if anyone is claiming a second deduction on Heartland's follow-on “donation” to Idso's CSCDGC. For that matter, is there a third potential deduction when Idso passes the money along to Robert Ferguson at the Science and Public Policy Institute - another policy hothouse whose “educational” output appears to be exclusively PR that aligns closely to the interests of Heartland's major funders.

Neither Idso nor Ferguson (who set up his SPPInstitute with foundational funding from Exxon) have taken a prominent role in defending Heartland in the past week, although Christopher Monckton, the SPPInstitute's Chief Policy Advisor and arguably the most discredited climate change denier in the English language, penned a guest post that ran on the Heartland PR site, WUWT.

Most impressive, however, in Heartland's campaign to spin this reputational catastrophe was its creation of the website www.fakegate.org.

Here is an organization that, after 10 days has still not found time to authenticate the documents that it broadcast (stupidly) to Dr. Peter Gleick. (Check the emails on the Fakegate lsite; Gleick wrote and said, “Could you please add … this personal email address to to the Board mailing list for all future Board communications?” and the credulous staff at Heartland said, sure. Say what you will about the ethical questions surrounding Gleick's actions, this was not exactly a sophisticated hack.)

Yet, in less than a week, it picked the its favourite meme “fakegate,” and ran up an entire website inlcuding everything from a section dedicated to inciting people to harass Heartland critics to a solicitation for funding for Heartland's “legal defence.”

Funny, people usually only need a legal defence is someone has sued them - or if they have done something illegal. Is there something we're missing?

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Some if not all of them, compliments of Joe Bast.

From: Joseph Bast Sent: Monday, January 16, 2012 10:28 AM

To: Art Margulis; Bob Burford; Dan Hales; Harrison Schmitt ([email protected]); Herbert Walberg; Jeff Judson; Jeff Madden; Jim Johnston; Joseph Bast; Paul Fisher; Raj Bal; Rich Collins; Robert Lamendola; Rose, Mike

cc: [redacted]

Subject: Heartland’s 2012 Budget and Fundraising Plan


Attached …

Yeah, stupidly.

Could you please add (or have the appropriate staff member add) this personal email address to the Board mailing list for all future Board communications? Do not delete my XXXX address – just add this one as a duplicate. And send a reply here, confirming?

Thank you.


Heartland Institute Board member


…and that worked! Holy Cow.

Not the sharpest pencils in the box, those Heartlanders.

Some really surprising comparisons of funding that put Heartland’s tiny budget in perspective at this bog;


While the warmists are successfully focusing attention on the minor-league operations of the Heartland Institute, with a total budget for all its issues, which include health care, education, and technology policy, of around $4.4 million, their own funding arrangements, amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars, are largely evading scrutiny.

The Climate Works Foundation, though, is of special interest as it was in 2008, awarded $460,800,000 from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, a grant-making organisation with assets of $7.2 billion, which disbursed $353,400,000 in grants in 2011. It has made another grant to Climate Works only last week of $100 million – bringing the total grants to this organisation to just short of $600 million.

Where such huge funding is devoted to global warming advocacy, and policy development, there must indeed be a distortion of the democratic process, especially where politicians are also being paid. These organisations must come clean about the sources of their money, and provide exact details of how much is paid to which organisations, for what purposes.

Note that the latest grant of $100 million for ClimateWorks was made on the day after the hippies got all hot under the collar about Heartland’s ‘huge’ annual budget of $4.4 million

While I don’t agree with his use of the tem ‘hippies’ it certainly seems like Heartland has lost the funding battle to the green behemouth known as the Climate Works Foundation.

Notice how Climate Works openly discloses its information on its website for everyone to see, unlike  Joe Bast who hides Heartland’s funders & financials in secret dark corners.

Who & what else is Joe Bast hiding from American taxpayers & the IRS

One aspect of the spin emerging to rationalize Heartland’s seemy and secretive money trail now that so much of it has been exposed, is to compare Hearland’s budget to that of larger groups like Greenpeace or, now, Climate Works. For Greenpeace, say what you will, they cover many more issues than climate, and they publish their budget for member scrutiny. 

As for Climate Works, this is a new name to me, but I note that they specifically say they operate as a foundation to distribute financial support to a large number of smaller local and regional efforts aimed at mitigation of and/or adaptation to climate change. While they also do policy analysis, it’s hard to see how they could be spending very much on P.R., if someone as immersed in the topic as I am has never even heard of them…


Looks like Wikileaks is about to release some new documents from think tank Stratfor in the next day or so.


Looking at their client list there is dozens of fossil fuel clients.


This is going to be juicy. WUWT is out shopping for turbo chargers for their spin machines right now.

Yep, they seem like nice people.

Disclosure of funders:


Doing real research, even on matters of policy:


Eating your own dog food:



..cost less money than real researchers performing real research.

And yes, the Heartland folks (including their grantees like Anthony Watts) are nothing more than a sorry lot of incompetent hacks.

Let me give you an example that proves what incompetent hacks they are:

From the Heartland Institute’s own “globalwarmingclassroom.info” lesson plan:

Massive Data Fraud in NOAA and NASA: […] The data used by NOAA and NASA is shown to have excluded temperature data from northern latitudes and high elevations since 1980 which automatically shows greatly increased temperatures that supposedly shows great man-caused global warming. Also discusses Britain’s Climate Research Unit’s (CRU) massive data manipulation called Climategate.

Folks, this is another incarnation of Watts’ long-debunked “dropped stations” claim.  It turns out that for a competent scientist/analyst, demonstrating that the “dropped stations” effect has no impact on global-average temperature computations is a few days’ worth of work (at *most*).

I addressed this very issue on another message-board – linky here: http://forums.signonsandiego.com/showpost.php?p=4323615&postcount=35

Other examples of their incompetent hackery are easy to find.

The bottom line is, the incompetent hacks at the Heartland Institute have *for years* making claims that can be debunked by competent scientists/programmers/analysts in a few *days*.

Its a matter of certainty.  And something they are woefully ignorant of;


“While the March 2010 anomaly was based on 14,488 stations, April and May were based on only 47 stations, all in the Antarctic (h/t Nick Stokes).”

I though they had smart people there;