Heartland Institute Ensures Bad Book Has Great "Sales"

In a sustained campaign to stamp out responsible policymaking, the Heartland Institute has been distributing the denier text Unstoppable Global Warming - Every 1,500 Years to state politicians who are grappling with decisions about how to address global warming.

Late last week, the Hays Daily News reported that Heartland was behind the gift of an autographed copy of the book to Kansas Governor Kathleen Sibelius. DeSmogBlog regulars will recognize Sibelius as the woman behind a decision to block approvals for new coal-fired electricity plants in Kansas, a move that has inspired all manner of corporate underhandedness in response.

Now, the Des Moines Globe Gazette is reporting that Heartland also handed out copies of S. Fred Singer and Dennis Avery 's risible book to Iowa legislators who are considering new measures intended to combat climate change.

You can imagine the outrage that would filled the netwaves if some deep-pocketed soul offered state politicians copies of a decent, accurate climate change book, like Betsy Kolbert's Field Notes from a Catastrophe or Tim Flannery's The Weathermakers. There would be cries of outrage from industry-backed flaks at places like Heartland demanding that legislators also be forced to read something that would provide “balance” to the views held by an overwhelming majority of climate scientists (and reasonably well-informed people) the world over.

We can only hope that the legislators in question truly make an effort to inform themselves and are not taken in by what passes as the “best science” that oil money can buy.


Maybe they should hand out pencils, or calculators.

“Unstoppable Global Warming - Every 1,500 Years”… If this explains the current warming, then, let’s work back. Hmm, 2000 or so minus 1500 should be about 500 (although even this could be denied). Problem: no climate data from any source, not even the rounded freehand climate graphs of the deniers, shows a major warm period then. So even the title is wrong. And they find this compelling? Yikes.

I received an unsolicited copy from the Frontier Centre for Public Policy in Winnipeg. I sent them the following e-mail:


You are despicable in the way you allow for the propagation of lies, distortions and misrepresentation of Anthropogenic Global Warming.

I did not ask for a copy of the rubbish put out by Singer and Avery. These people are not scientists but liars.

Science is based on honesty and truthfulness. You do a great disservice to science by the unsolicited distribution of this garbage. Please take my name off your mailing lists and do not send me this rubbish again.


Ian Forrester”

I have not received a reply.

Ian Forrester

That must have been an unpleasant shock. If you haven’t already used it to paper your bird cage, may I make a suggestion? It might be worth reading it (with a healthy dram of single malt at your side –keep the bottle), or at least skimming it, just to see what sort of stuff they are spreading around. I intend to flip through it myself. It never hurts to know what sort of drivel is being suggested to policy makers in order to confront it effectively. It’s very handy to be able to say, “As a matter of fact, I HAVE read it, and it’s garbage.”

Fern Mackenzie

Just a note about one of your sources–

The Des Moines Globe Gazette does not exist. It is the Globe Gazette and it is the local paper in Mason City, IA. The writer of the article is part of the Des Moines bureau for the GG.

Tonight as my wife and I were dining on Scotland’s finest fare, haggis, neeps and chappit tatties (it is January 25th after all) washed down with a good glass of GlenLivet, I got to thinking that Burns has a poem for all occasions. After another glass and a review of my library I found this verse which was penned almost 225 years ago but it is almost as if he was describing Singer and Avery’s book:

“Some books are lies frae end to end,
And some great lies were never penn’d:
Ev’n ministers they hae been kenn’d,
In holy rapture,
A rousing whid at times to vend,
And nail’t wi’ Scripture”.

(the first verse of Death and Doctor Hornbook, Robert Burns 1785).

Ian Forrester

And a happy morning after (how’s your “heid?” I hoisted a dram myself).

Fern Mackenzie