Joseph Bast

Joseph Bast

Credentials

Background

Joseph Bast co-founded the Heartland Institute in 1984 with David M. Padden (1927 - 2011) and serves as Heartland's CEOTim Huelskamp, a former member of Congress, succeeded Bast as Heartland's president in July 2017. [43], [54], [44], [56]

According to Bast, the Heartland Institute “reaches more national and state elected officials, more often, than any other think tank,” having 270 policy advisors in all 50 states. [43], [54], [44]

Bast's resume at Heartland notes that he has published several of Heartland’s periodicals since 1997 including School Reform News, Environment & Climate News, Health Care News, Budget & Tax News. It also notes that Bast “oversaw its growth from an annual budget in 1984 of $20,000 to a 2017 budget of $6 million and a full-time staff of 40.” [56]

Bast studied economics as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago. He is the author of several free-market books promoting free-market solutions to public policy problems including Eco-sanity: a common sense guide to environmentalism. [42]

Joseph Bast & Tobacco

Bast is author of “Please Don’t Poop in My Salad (and other essays opposing the war against smoking)” published by the Heartland Institute in 2006. He has also published other pro-smoking views since, including a chapter in Smoking by Laura K. Egendorf on how “Anti-smoking Policies are Unfair and Ineffective.” [14][56]

Bast later denied that he had ever dismissed concerns about the risks of smoking, then reluctantly stood by his previous stance after being read his own words. Speaking with Republic Report:  [13]

Republic Report: “In 1998, you wrote in a Heartland op-ed that smoking cigarettes has little to no adverse health effects,” we noted. “Do you stand by that?”

No, I never wrote that,” replied Bast. “Why would I have written something like that?” [13]

Bast asked to see the op-ed, and promised to “contest” it. After reading his piece, which claimed that moderate smoking is not deadly and has “few, if any adverse health effects,” Bast said that he actually stood by those words. [57], [13]

Joe bast is also mentioned in at least 50 documents on file at the tobacco industry documents library hosted at the University of San Francisco. Some samples below.

July, 2002

In an edition of The Heartlander, Bast reiterated his view that tobacco companies should be allowed to advertise comparative health claims. Bast wrote: [59]

“I recently attended a debate over tobacco advertising in which Matthew Meyers, head of the Coalition for Tobacco-Free Kids and a leading anti-tobacco activist, said adult smokers must be denied access to comparative health claims in order to avoid attracting children to tobacco products. Whether advertising targets teenagers or has much influence over their decisions is much disputed. (I addressed that subject back in 1996 in an essay titled 'Joe Camel is Innocent!' which you can still find on Heartland's Web site.) But more to the point, Meyers has no right to deprive smokers of information about the choices they are making.” [59]

May 29, 2002

Bast wrote to Secretary Donald S. Clark of the FTC, arguing in favor of a request by the US. Smokeless Tobacco Company that they should be able to advertise smokeless tobacco as lower risk compared to cigarette smoking. Bast lamented the “chilling effect of overregulation of advertising,” and cited the First Amendment right to commercial speech as support. [60]

January 2, 2002

Bast sent a letter to the editor of the Chicago Tribune, writing that “the legal challenges could be, and properly should be, stopped” against the tobacco industry. A copy of the letter was forwarded to Emily Sedgwick of Americans for Tax Reform, according to archived tobacco industry documents. [61]

“Besides thousands of frivolous civil suits pursued by lawyers who long ago forgot the meaning of justice, the U .S . Justice Department itself wants $50 million in taxpayer dollars to pursue a legal case against the tobacco industry initiated by the Clinton administration. When will it end?” Bast asked. [61]

September 23, 1999

Budget documents apparently documenting pending grants for tobacco company Phillip Morris included an official request from Joe Bast for $35,000 in funding for the Heartland Institute. Bast sent the funding request to Roy Marden, Manager of Industry Affairs and Phillip Morris, to renew funding for the Heartland institute in 1999. The letter notes that Marden's funding levels have already granted him a seat on Heartland's Board of Directors. Below is an excerpt from the letter, with emphasis added: [62]

“Thank you for inviting me to request renewed general operating support for The Heartland Institute for 1999. I note that Philip Morris contributed $5,000 last August (for a Gold Table at our annual benefit) and $25,000 in October (general operating support). It also has allowed you to serve on our Board of Directors, which has produced many positive results for the entire organization.

Because Heartland does many things that benefit Philip Morris' bottom line, things that no other organization does, I hope you will consider boosting your general operating support this year to $30,000 and once again reserve a Gold Table for an additional $5,000.” [62]

A June 1999 document lists Philip Morris Company among Heartland's “Platinum Sponsors” who donated $40,000 or more. [63]

October 1998

An archived “weekly bullet report” for Phillip Morris's “federal tobacco team” notes that at least one member of the team met with Joe Bast, while another “Met with Heartland Institute officials and JPH.” The details of the meetings are not listed. [64]

June 1, 1998

Bast is the author of “Smoking Under Seige,” where he describes a “war on tobacco” that “will affect your civil and economic liberties in major ways.” [65], [66]

“So whether or not you smoke, you have good reasons to oppose the lawsuits against tobacco companies as well as any proposed settlement. Please don't stand quietly by while any industry is taken down by a gang of self-serving lawyers, bureaucrats, and politicians,” Bast concluded. [65]

May 30, 1997

Bast forward a memo to “Heartland Members and allies with a special interest in tobacco” announcing Heartland's new report titled “The States vs. the Tobacco Industry: Smoke and Assorted Mirrors.” [67]

“I think you will find it a timely contribution to the ongoing debate over government regulation of the tobacco industry,” Bast wrote. [67]

August 21, 1996

Bast wrote an article titled “Joe Camel Is Innocent!” and published via Heartland where he offers “a few words in defense of smoking.” Bast points to news pieces by Peter Jennings of ABC and columnist Garry Willis who argued that the use of the cartoon Joe Camel “somehow proves that Camels’ manufacturer, R. J. Reynolds, is targeting kids.” Bast argues that, in fact, “cartoons are used to pitch scores of products that could only be of use to adults.” [68]

Bast also responded to Jennings's and Willis's claims that Republican opposition to FDA regulation could be due to campaign contributions from the tobacco industry:

“With respect to smoking, there’s plenty of evidence—including a recent study by the Congressional Research Service-that sound science concerning the health effects of 'second-hand smoke' doesn’t support the claims being made by EPA and FDA,” Bast responded. [68]

Heartland International Conferences on Climate Change (ICCC)

Bast helped organize and introduce the First (March 2008), Second (March 2009), Third (June 2009), Fourth (May 2010), Fifth (Oct 2010), Sixth (June 2011), Seventh (May 2012), Eighth (November 2012), Ninth (July 2014), and Tenth (March 2017), Eleventh and Twelfth “International Conferences on Climate Change” (ICCCs). 

Stance on Climate Change

Bast claims that most scientists believe that human activity has no appreciable effects on the climate, citing a (since-debunked) 17,000-name petition run by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine

Some of Bast's assertions include that: [1]

  • “Most scientists do not believe human activities threaten to disrupt the
    Earth's climate” (This is referring to the Oregon Petition).
  • “Our most reliable sources of temperature data show no global warming
    trend.”
  • “Global climate computer models are too crude to predict future climate
    changes.”
  • “The IPCC did not prove that human activities are causing global warming.”
  • “A modest amount of global warming, should it occur, would be beneficial
    to the natural world and to human civilization.”
  • “Efforts to quickly reduce human greenhouse gas emissions would be costly
    and would not stop Earth's climate from changing.”
  • “The best strategy to pursue is 'no regrets.' The alternative to demands
    for immediate action to “stop global warming” is not to do nothing.”

Key Quotes

October 2017

A leaked email from Joe Bast revealed what he viewed as key takeaway points from the Heartland Institute's closed-door meetings on the “Red Team – Blue Team exercise on climate change” proposed by Scott Pruitt's EPAAs E&E News reported, the email and notes provided “a broad look at skeptics' policy playbook under the Trump administration while exposing stark suspicions about Pruitt.” View the first of several points below: [71], [53]

”* How to effectively market our ideas was a theme of many presentations, many
remarks during the panels, and conversation over meals. Among the ideas I heard
offered, we should…

* be briefing news reporters and news readers at Fox News.
* reach the President by tweeting on the issue.
* hold more congressional hearings.
* simplify the issue by focusing on one or only a few arguments and images.
* identify a few good spokespersons and focus on promoting them.
* stop chasing the other side’s latest argument and focus instead on the benefits of CO2.
* focus on the 'tuning scandal' that discredits the models.
* turn debate from referring to median temperatures to high temperatures, which show no trend.
* find independent funding for Roy Spencer, David Schnare, Willie Soon, Craig Idso, David Legates, etc.
* push Pruitt to start a proceeding for reconsideration of the Endangerment Finding… he won’t do it without pressure.
* we need to be able to say 'EPA is reconsidering whether CO2 is a pollutant.'”

Bast adds:

”* Many people said 'we need a PR plan' or a 'single strategy,' otherwise we will continue to lose the battle with AGW alarmists. I (Joe Bast) observed that (a) we aren’t losing, in fact we are winning the global warming war as shown by public opinion polls, election results, scientific journals, and the agenda of the President of the United States, (b) Heartland, CEI, and other organizations and individuals in the room do have plans and strategies, (c) a marketing plan is much more than agreeing (with you) on a few slogans or spokespersons, and (d) adopting a single strategy is unrealistic and unlikely to be effective. We can always do better, and will, but we should not stop doing what is working.

* The briefing revealed that Heartland, CEI, Cato, Heritage, and other groups have done a poor job communicating their STRATEGIES to people in the room. More transparency is needed. We tend to hide, or at least not advertise, our playbooks for fear the other side will use them to launch counter-offenses, which we are sure would be far better funded and more warmly received by the media than our own efforts. But we ought to find a way to communicate our plans to our friends.”

March 31, 2014

Regarding the NIPCC's contradictory conclusions to the IPCC's 2014 assessment report:

“How could two teams of scientists come to such obviously contradictory conclusions on seemingly every point that matters in the debate over global warming? There are many reasons why scientists disagree, the subject, by the way, of an excellent book a couple years ago titled Wrong by David H. Freedman. A big reason is IPCC is producing what academics call “post-normal science” while NIPCC is producing old-fashioned “real science.” [10]

March 26, 2014

Leading up to the Heartland Institute's Ninth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-9) in Las Vegas, Nevada, July 7-9, 2014, Jim Lakely and Joseph Bast publish a press release in which Bast is quoted:

“The scientists Heartland works with demanded we host a ninth conference this year to foster a much-needed frank, honest, and open discussion of the current state of climate science and we just couldn’t refuse. The public, the press, and the scientific community will all benefit from learning about the latest research and observational data that indicate climate science is anything but ‘settled.’” [17]

September 19, 2013

“The IPCC – and all the mainstream media and environmental extremists who cite it uncritically — really have become a joke in the scientific community.” [8]

In reference to the Chinese Academy of Sciences' rebuttal of the IPCC's assessment, just months before COP19 in Warsaw, Poland, Bast said:

“This is a historic moment in the global debate about climate change… The translation and publication of a comprehensive critique of the IPPC’s alarmist reports by a leading national academy of sciences is one more sign of the trend toward skepticism and away from alarmism.” [7]

“The benefits of a modest warming would outweigh the costs – by $8.4 billion a year in 1990 dollars by the year 2060, according to Robert Mendelsohn at Yale University – thanks to longer growing seasons, more wood fiber production, lower construction costs, lower mortality rates, and lower rates of morbidity (illness).” [2]

July 1998

In an opinion piece in The Heartlander, Bast claimed: [57]

“Exposure to small amounts of a toxic substance is often benign because the human body has a natural ability to repair itself.”

”[…] The fact that smoking in moderation has few, if any, adverse health effects has astounding importance in the tobacco debate.”

Key Deeds

November 9, 2017

Joe Bast was a speaker at the Heartland Institute's “America First Energy Conference” at the Marriott Hotel in Houston, Texas. [75]

The original event description read as follows: [47]

At the America First Energy Conference, we plan to examine—one year and one day after Trump’s shocking Election Day victory—the following:

Where does Trump’s America First Energy Plan stand?

How much progress has been made in implementing it, and what remains to be done?

What scientific and economic evidence is there that the plan is putting the nation on the right path for economic growth, environmental protection, or both?”

In a fundraising letter obtained by DeSmog before the conference, Fred Palmer had promoted the event as having the goal to “review the scientific and economic evidence that exposes the fraud inherent in the Obama-era regulation regime” while discussing “the overwhelming benefits of fossil fuels to us all.” [48]

Many of the other speakers have regularly spoken at the Heartland Institute's past ICCCs. Notable speaker included Joe Bast, Fred PalmerRoger BezdekH. Sterling BurnettHal Doiron, Paul DriessenJohn Dale DunnMyron Ebell, Heartland's new President Tim HuelskampCraig IdsoDavid LegatesJay LehrAnthony LupoRoss McKitrickSteve MilloyTodd MyersJohn Nothdurt, David Schnare, and numerous others. [49]

As reported at the Houston Chronicle, speakers notably included two Trump Administration officials: Richard W. Westerdale II of the State Department and Vincent DeVito of the Department of Interior. David Bernhardt, deputy secretary of the Interior Department, was also formerly listed as a Heartland conference speaker, but apparently withdrew. [73]

Scott Pruitt also addressed the conference in a recorded video, personally thanking Heartland for “what you're doing to advance energy” and “for what you're doing to advance natural resources. [76]

The Climate Investigations Center put up a parody of the America First Energy conference website, complete with profiles on the individual speakers and highlighting their corporate funding and ties to groups such as the Cooler Heads Coalition (CHC). [74]

October 12, 2017

Bast commented on President Donald Trump's appointment of Kathleen Hartnett-White as chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), pending approval. Bast was quoted in a October 13 Heartland Institute newsletter: [50]

With his nomination of Kathleen Hartnett White, President Trump continues to make excellent choices for his nominations in the areas of environmental protection and energy. White is an outstanding candidate for this important position. Her past service as a chairman and commissioner of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality gives her the proper experience, and her work before and after that with private-sector groups engaged in environment and energy policy shows a deep familiarity with the issues and trade-offs involved. Best of all, White’s writing and public speaking make it clear she is committed to reversing the intense politicization of science and policy that occurred under President Obama and that started even before then,” Bast said, adding, “We finally will have a head of CEQ who genuinely understands the science and economics of energy policy, and who will resist efforts to debase and ‘weaponize’ it in support of a political agenda.”  [51]

Hartnett-White has a history of representing fossil fuel interests. During her tenure as chair of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), appointed by then-governor Rick Perry, the TCEQ was found to “not consistently ensure violators are held accountable.” According to a 2003 Texas State Audit, polluters “often have economic benefits that exceed their penalties, which could reduce their incentive to comply.” [52]

As head of the CEQ, Hartnett-White would be in charge of coordinating interagency science, climate, and environmental policy and oversee things such as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process and agency compliance with that law. [50]

Though CEQ oversees the NEPA process, it remains unclear how seriously Hartnett-White will take the NEPA review process, for decades seen as a bedrock of U.S. environmental regulation since NEPA became law in 1970,” DeSmog's Steve Horn reported[50]

September 28, 2017

According to leaked emails, The Heartland Institute held closed door meetings to identify candidates for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's “red team” exercise on climate change. As E&E News reported, Bast's email, which includes his notes of one of the meetings, provided “a broad look at skeptics' policy playbook under the Trump administration while exposing stark suspicions about Pruitt.” [53]

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's proposal for a Red Team-Blue Team exercise is vague, probably would not be effective, and is unlikely to come about,” Bast wrote in the email. “More likely to occur is a similar exercise directed by the head of another department (NASA, NOAA, or OSTP) with more interest than Pruitt has shown in the scientific debate and more likely to stick around to see the results.”

One of Bast's key points in the email is to “find independent funding for Roy Spencer, David Schnare, Willie Soon, Craig Idso, David Legates, etc.” E&E News notes that Craig Ids, who heads the Center for Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, “has long promoted the benefits of carbon dioxide” and “Idso's work has been supported by Heartland as well as energy companies.” [72]

View Bast's complete email below:

According to the notes, those present at the meeting included David Shnare who “described how policy can be changed from 'inside the swamp' via seven 'legal points of entry' such as legal challenges under the Information Quality Act and violations of peer review,” Heartland president Tim Huelskamp, David Legates, Harry MacDougald, and Jim Lakely.

June 1, 2017

The Illinois Review reported that Joe Bast was seated in the Rose Garden, by invitation, when Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement: [38]

“Although The Heartland Institute has been subject to many attacks from so-called global alarmists, after Joe Bast’s presence was spotted in the Rose Garden an effort was made to harm President Trump by attacking Heartland’s Joe Bast,” The Illinois Review wrote. [38]

Bast, writing at the Heartland Institute's blog, said “I was honored to be invited, and view it as a sign that our efforts for the past 20 years on the climate change issue have not gone unnoticed.  But the left noticed my attendance as well, and so this week they tried to hurt President Trump by attacking me.” [39]

In the article, Bast also penned a response to four U.S. senators who had mailed U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos asking for correspondence between the Heartland Institute and her department. Bast's June 8 letter reads: [40], [41]

“For the record, The Heartland Institute has contacted nearly all members of the Trump cabinet. We have sent extensive information to more than 100 members of the administration explaining who we are, enclosing multiple publications (including books, policy studies, and videos) of most relevance to their positions, and offering to make our extensive network of some 370 policy experts available to provide further assistance. Some have gotten back to us.” [41]

May 26, 2017

Writing at the Heartland Institute's blog Somewhat Reasonable, Bast makes a few recommendations on “good short references to the climate debate to share with family and friends over the Memorial Day holiday.” Bast's article, titled “Happy Memorial Day, You Stupid, Arrogant, Liberal Global Warming Alarmist!” [37]

Bast points to an outdated 1922 article on Artic ice as a good “conversation starter” and “a good way to poke a stick in the eye of your global warming alarmist friends.” [37]

Global warming alarmists often claim the recent Arctic warming is unprecedented or must be due to the human presence. On its face, the 1922 article makes those claims dubious. Closer study reveals they haven’t made the case,” Bast wrote. [37]

Among the “short references” listed by Bast include work by by Craig IdsoRobert CarterS. Fred Singer, Joe Bast (himself), Anthony Watts, and the Heartland Institute's newsletter. [37]

May 8, 2017

Bast, representing Heartland, is a signatory to an open letter to President Donald J. Trump urging him “to withdraw fully from the Paris Climate Treaty and to stop all taxpayer funding of UN global warming programs.” [34]

DeSmog reported that the 40 groups represented in the letter, including the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), The Heartland Institute, and the Heritage Foundation, have received a combined total of millions of dollars from the Koch Brothers, ExxonMobil, and other industry groups. [35]

Analysis also showed that the groups accepted about $80 million through Donors Capital Fund and Donors Trust, two groups that have been confirmed is a key financial source for key U.S-based climate change denial groups. [36]

March 23, 2017

Joseph Bast presented at the Heartland-Institute's ”International Conference on Climate Change” (ICCC12), providing opening remarks for breakfast, lunch, and dinner keynotes. [32]

In an interview with Mother Jones, Bast said that rescinding the EPA's endangerment finding was the “number one priority” that he sees for the EPA under Trump. “We’ve been at this for 33 years. We have a lot of people in our network, and many of these people are now in this new administration,” Bast said. He added that Transition staff and new appointees in the Trump administration “occasionally ask us for advice and names of people.” [33]

Opening remarks (Breakfast Keynotes)

Dinner Keynotes (Thursday)

Lunch Keynotes (Friday)

January 12, 2017

Joseph Bast was a signatory to a January 12, 2017 official letter of support (PDF) for Scott Pruitt, in which numerous groups, including The Heartland Institute, American Energy Alliance (AEA), and others, declared that the Senate should “swiftly approve his nomination” for Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

 Other signatories of the letter included: [30]

July 12, 2016

Joseph Bast, representing the Heartland Institute, was a signatory to a “Coalition” open letter pushing back against what the Heartland Institute describes as an “affront to free speech.” The groups are responding to the recent Web of Denial Resolution brought up in the Senate, calling out fossil fuel industry-funded groups denying climate change. [26]

According to the Climate Investigations Center, all but one of the open letter's signatory organizations have taken money (totaling at least $92 million since 1997) from the “climate denial web” including Koch Brothers' various foundations, ExxonMobil, and two “Dark Money” organizations, Donors Trust and Donors Capital Fund. [29]

Championed by Senators Whitehouse, Markey, Schatz, Boxer, Merkley, Warren, Sanders, and Franken, the resolution condemns what they are calling the #WebOfDenial — “interconnected groups – funded by the Koch brothers, major fossil fuel companies like ExxonMobil and Peabody Coal, identity-scrubbing groups like Donors Trust and Donors Capital, and their allies – developed and executed a massive campaign to deceive the public about climate change to halt climate action and protect their bottom lines.” [27]

The open letter addresses the senators, calling them “tyrants”: 

“We hear you. Your threat is clear: There is a heavy and inconvenient cost to disagreeing with you. Calls for debate will be met with political retribution. That’s called tyranny. And, we reject it.” [28]

The full list of signatories and their respective organizations is as follows:

May 18, 2016

Joseph Bast was a signatory to a full page color advertisement in The New York Times titled “Abuse of Power” (PDF) sponsored by The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI).  The ad serves as an open letter from 43 signatories including organizations and individuals in response to  New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker, and the coalition of Attorneys General investigating groups denying man-made climate change[23][24]

Attempts to intimidate CEI and our allies and silence our policy research are unconstitutional,” said CEI president Kent Lassman. “The First Amendment protects us and everyone has a duty to respect it – even state attorneys general.  CEI will continue to fight for all Americans to support the causes in which they believe.” [23]

The Competitive Enterprise Institute received a subpoena from AG Walker on April 7, 2016. On April 20, CEI filed an objection to the subpoena calling it “offensive,” “un-American,” and “unlawful,” and are contending that AG Walker is “violating CEI’s First Amendment rights.”  [23]

The “freedom of speech” argument was echoed by ExxonMobil's legal team, as well as numerous other conservative groups including the Pacific Legal Foundation, and Heritage Foundation and the recently-formed Free Speech in Science Project, a group created by the same lawyers who defended the Competitive Enterprise Institute in the past. [25]

The CEI letter lists the following signatories:

March, 2015

Joseph Bast is one of several climate change skeptics cc'd on an email from S. Fred Singer in hopes of countering the documentary film “Merchants of Doubt,” which exposes the network of climate change skeptics and deniers trying to delay legislative action on climate change.  

The October, 2014 email was leaked to journalists before the documentary was released. “Can I sue for damages?” Singer asked in the email. “Can we get an injunction against the documentary?”

InsideClimate News reports in their article “Leaked Email Reveals Who's Who List of Climate Denialists,” how “Many of those copied on the email thread, such as Singer and communications specialist Steven Milloy, have financial ties to the tobacco, chemical, and oil and gas industries and have worked to defend them since the 1990s.” [18]

InsideClimate News also documented all those who were cc'd on the email, including the following skeptics and groups:

DeSmog covered the emails here: “Merchants of Doubt Film Debuts, Textbook Denial Attack Campaign Led By Fred Singer Ensues” and DeSmog also archived a full copy of the Singer email thread (PDF).

August 2014

Joseph Bast testified at a Travis County Texas court hearing regarding the Texas Taxpayers’ Savings Grant Programs (“TTSGP”). The court questions Bast's credibility as a witness (PDF, p. 335 - 336):
“Mr. Joseph Bast, president and CEO of the Heartland Institute, testified for the Intervenors regarding the Texas Taxpayers’ Savings Grant Programs (“TTSGP”), a school voucher bill that failed in the 82nd Legislative Session. As a threshold matter, this Court finds that Mr. Bast is not a credible witness and that he did not offer reliable opinions in this matter. While Mr. Bast described himself as an economist, he holds neither undergraduate nor graduate degrees in economics, and the highest level of education he completed was high school. Mr. Bast testified that he is 100% committed to the long-term goal of getting government out of the business of educating its own voting citizens. Further, his use of inflammatory and irresponsible language regarding global warming, and his admission that the long term goal of his advocacy of vouchers is to dismantle the 'socialist' public education system further undermine his credibility with this Court.”  [20]

May 26, 2014

Joe Bast co-wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal with Roy Spencer entitled, “The Myth of the Climate Change '97%'.” In the commentary attacking the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate science, Spencer and Bast argued that, “There is no basis for the claim that 97% of scientists believe that man-made climate change is a dangerous problem.”

May 19, 2014

As Center for Media and Democracy's PR Watch reports, Joseph Bast was featured on part of a Showtime series titled “Years of Living Dangerously” profiling climate change skeptics. A preview of the interview is available here. [21], [22]

May 6, 2014

Joseph Bast was interviewed by Dorothy Tucker, of CBS 2 News in Chicago, “to give the other side of [the] story about President Obama's National Climate Assessment report.” [16]

1:22-1:40 “We have always had floods, we have always had droughts … I think they [The Obama Administration] are trying to whip up public support and attention for a political agenda. He [Obama] is attempting to shut down coal generation in the United States, and in its place, heavily subsidizing wind and solar, and biofuels.” [16]

April 30, 2014

At a mining conference in Denver, CO, Republic Report, cross-posted on DeSmogBlog, spoke to Heartland Institute's president, Joseph Bast, about his past support for the tobacco industry. When first asked by Republic Report, Bast denied that he had ever dismissed concerns about the risks of smoking. [13]

In a report entitled, “Please Don't Poop in My Salad,” (PDF) released by Heartland and written by Bast in July of 2006, Bast was quoted on page 57 (pg. 65 in PDF format), “A fourth lie is that even moderate smoking is deadly. Several experts (including two who are very anti-smoking) have told me that smoking fewer than seven cigarettes a day does not raise a smoker's risk of lung cancer.” [14]

View Basts's response below:[15]

March 31, 2014

Bast published an Op/Ed piece in Forbes the same week the IPCC released its latest report: “Working Group II Contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report.” In the article, Bast states that the NIPCC's latest report, released that same day, fully addresses the IPCC's eight “reasons for concern” made in the final draft of its Summary for Policymakers. Bast asks Forbes' readers to not just wonder if man-made global warming is a crisis, but to “understand it yourself,” by “read[ing] one or a few chapters of one of the NIPCC reports, and ask if what you read is logical, factual, and relevant to the debate.” [10]

March 15, 2013 

Joseph Bast, alongside Walter Cunningham, Thomas Wysmuller, and Harold Doiron spoke at a panel discussion of The Right Climate Stuff (TRCS) where they explain “why they are urging government agencies to cease their ‘unbridled advocacy’ of Anthropogenic Global Warming & Return Integrity to the Scientific Method.” [19] In January 2013, TRCS issued this summary of its findings as follows , according to a press release:

  1. The science that predicts the extent of anthropogenic global warming is not settled science.
  2. There is no convincing physical evidence of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming.
  3. Computer models need to be validated before being used in critical decision-making.
  4. Because there is no immediate threat of global warming requiring swift corrective action, we have time to study global climate changes and improve our prediction accuracy.
  5. The U.S. government is over-reacting to concerns about anthropogenic global warming.
  6. A wider range of solution options should be studied for global warming or cooling threats from any credible cause.

September 18, 2013

Joseph Bast and Willie Soon appeared on Fox News Channel's, “Special Report with Bret Baier” to discuss the release of “Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science,” published for the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) by The Heartland Institute. [9]

May 23, 2012

The Heartland Institute's Seventh “International Conference on Climate Change,” took place on May 23, 2012 in Chicago. Heartland President Joseph Bast, during his closing remarks of the conference, appealed for funding from the crowd due to lower attendence numbers and an insufficient ability to raise funds: 

Please consider supporting the Heartland Institute. These conferences are expensive, and I’m not a good fundraiser so as a result I don’t raise enough money to cover them, we really scramble to make payroll as a result to cover these expenses. If you can afford to make a contribution, please do. If you know someone, if you’ve got a rich uncle or somebody in the family or somebody that you work with, please give them a call and ask them if they would consider making a tax-deductable contribution to the Heartland Institute.” [11]

May 4, 2012

The Heartland Institute released a billboard campaign in Chicago featuring “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski, Charles Manson and Fidel Castro. Heartland's intent with the campaign was to portray those who believe in the overwhelming evidence of man-made climate change as “radical [and] on the fringe of society.” [12]

 
 

In a statement announcing the billboard campaign, Heartland explained its rationale as:  [55]

“Because what these murderers and madmen have said differs very little from what spokespersons for the United Nations, journalists for the “mainstream” media, and liberal politicians say about global warming….


The point is that believing in global warming is not “mainstream,” smart, or sophisticated. In fact, it is just the opposite of those things. Still believing in man-made global warming – after all the scientific discoveries and revelations that point against this theory – is more than a little nutty. In fact, some really crazy people use it to justify immoral and frightening behavior.”

The billboard was immediately and widely condemned as outrageous and offensive. Bast soon issued a statement to The Washington Post, rather unapologetically stating:

“We will stop running [the billboard] at 4:00 p.m. CST today. (It’s a digital billboard, so a simple phone call is all it takes.) The Heartland Institute knew this was a risk when deciding to test it, but decided it was a necessary price to make an emotional appeal to people who otherwise aren’t following the climate change debate.” [12]

June 21, 2005

Testified before the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Committee on Environmental Resources and Energy, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on the  “Cost of Greenhouse Gas Control” (PDF).

August 2, 2002

Bast was signed to a letter to President Bush written by Myron Ebell and Fred L. Smith. The letter congratulated President George W. Bush for not attending the World Summit on sustainable Development in Johannesburg, and warned against a “a World Environmental Organization,” which the authors described as “the worst possible outcome at Johannesburg.” [31]

1995

Wrote and designed a series of six brochures on environmental issues for distribution to elected officials, journalists, and other audiences. [3]

November 1995

Bast, representing the Heartland Institute, was a confirmed speaker at the 1995 “National Orientation Conference” hosted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), according to archived tobacco industry documents on file at the UCSF Industry Documents Library. [58], [69]

1991

Bast presented a workshop at ALEC's 1991 Washington State meeting, according to archived documents. Bast presented at a workshop titled “Controlling State Spending: How to Work With State Think Tanks” sponsored by the Heritage Foundation. [70]

“This workshop will give examples of how state-level public policy 'think tanks' are contributing to policymakers' understanding of budget and spending issues—particularly structural, long-term problems—while also elevating the level of public debate against the backdrop of special interest politics and bureaucratic inertia. A directory of state-based policy research institutes will be distributed with consulting assistance outlined for ALEC members seeking to help establish institutes in states that do not yet have one,” the description read. [70]

Other speakers at the workshop included:

  • J. Stanley Marshall — President, the James Madison Institute
  • Charles D. Baker — Director, the Pioneer Institute Massachusetts.
  • John Carlson — President, The Washington Institute for Policy Studies
  • Michael Sanera — Executive Director, the Barry M. Goldwater Insitute for Public Policy Research

1989

Wrote, co-directed, and co-produced a 20-minute video titled “Coming Out of the Ice.” The video covered a variety of public policy issues such as tort reform, privatization, school reform, and taxes. [3]

Affiliations

Publications

Bast is the coauthor of 12 books, including Rebuilding America's Schools (1990), Why We Spend Too Much on Health Care (1992), Eco-Sanity: A Common-Sense Guide to Environmentalism (1994), and Education & Capitalism (2003). [3]

He has not published any articles in peer-reviewed journals on the subject of climate change. A list of his books, publications, and policy studies is available at his archived profile at the Heartland Institute. [45]

Resources

  1. Joseph Bast. “Eight Reasons Why Global Warming is a Scam” (PDF), The Heartland Institute, February 1, 2003.

  2. “Testimony by Joseph L. Bast President, The Heartland Institute to the Environment Committee of the Iowa House Monday, February 9, 2004” (PDF), The Heartland Institute.

  3. Joseph L. Bast - 2008 Resumé.” The Heartland Institute. Archived February 20, 2012. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/tyQD1

  4. Staff and Board Members: Joseph L. Bast,” Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. Archived April 23, 2011. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/hF77v

  5. The Heartland Institute,” SourceWatch.

  6. Joseph Bast,” SourceWatch.

  7. Chinese Translate Climate Change Reconsidered Volumes,” The Heartland Institute, August 14, 2013. Archived August 5, 2014. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/aP5zC

  8. Joe Bast, Willie Soon talking 'Climate Change Reconsidered' on Fox News,” The Heartland Institute, September 19, 2013.

  9. NIPCC Climate Report Covered on 'Special Report with Bret Baier',” . YouTube video uploaded by user “The Heartland Institute,” September 17, 2013.

  10. The IPCC's Latest Report Deliberately Excludes and Misrepresents Important Climate Science,” Forbes, March 31, 2014. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/vZ2RQ

  11. Joe Bast Announces the Death of Denial-a-Palooza at Final Heartland ICCC Conference,” DeSmogBlog, May 23, 2012.

  12. Will Heartland Institute's Corporate Funders Tacitly Endorse Comparing Climate realists to Bin Laden and the Unabomber?” DeSmogBlog, May 4, 2012.

  13. VIDEO: Heartland Institute Reluctantly Stands by Denial of Cigarette Smoking Risks,” Republic Report, April 30, 2014. Archived October 21, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/HtjZt

  14. Joseph Bast. “Please Don't Poop in My Salad” (PDF), Heartland Institute, July, 2006. Archived May 5, 2014.

  15. “Heartland Institute's tobacco denial,” YouTube video uploaded by user “Evidence Squared,” April 18, 2014.

  16. Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast on CBS 2 in Chicago Talking Climate,” HeartlandTube, May 7, 2014. Archived July 1, 2014.

  17. Jim Lakely, Joseph Bast. “International Gathering of Scientists Skeptical of Man-Caused Global Warming to Take Place in Las Vegas from July 7 to July 9,” Heartland Institute, March 26, 2014. Archived August 17, 2014. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/LFJvl

  18. Katherine Bagley. “Leaked Email Reveals Who's Who List of Climate Denialists,” InsideClimate News. March 12, 2015.

  19. Jim Lakely. “Apollo 7 Astronaut Walter Cunningham to Headline 'Right Climate Stuff' Event at CPAC 2013,” The Heartland Institute, March 8, 2013.

  20. The Texas Taxpayer & Student Fairness Coalition et al. vs Williams et al. (pdf),” D-1-GN-11-003130, (District Court of Travis County Texas 2014), 335 to 336. Original also on DocumentCloud. Archived at Internet Archive, June 9, 2015.

  21. Showtime Exposes Climate Change Deniers, like James Taylor and Joseph Bast's Heartland Institute,” PR Watch, May 19, 2014. Archived January 25, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/7Gk4r

  22. Years of Living Dangerously: Episode 6,” Showtime. Archived January 25, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/x3Bp8

  23. CEI Runs “Abuse of Power” Ad In New York Times,” Competitive Enterprise Institute, May 18, 2016. Archived May 31, 2016.

  24. “Abuse of Power: All Americans have the right to support causes they believe in” (PDF), Competitive Enterprise Institute. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.

  25. Steve Horn. “Exxon's Lawyer in Climate Science Probe Has History Helping Big Tobacco and NFL Defend Against Health Claims,” DeSmogBlog, May 10, 2016.

  26. Jim Lakely. “#WebOfDenial Push by Senate Dems Exposes Their Hatred of Free Speech,” Somewhat Reasonable (Heartland Institute Blog), July 12, 2016. Archived July 14, 2016.

  27. Brendan Demelle. “Senators Launch Resolution, Speech Blitz Calling Out #WebOfDenial Blocking Climate Action,” DeSmog, July 11, 2016.

  28. Coalition Letter to Senate Web of Denial Resolution (PDF). Retrieved from the Heartland Institute. Archived .pdf on file at DeSMogBlog.

  29. Cindy Baxter. “Front Groups Attacking #WebofDenial Senate Action Took Over $92M in Dark, Dirty Money,” Desmog, July 14, 2016. Originally posted at Climate Investigations Center.

  30. “Dear Senators,” (PDF), Competitive Enterprise Institute, January 12, 2017. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  31. An Open Letter To President Bush About The World Summit On Sustainable Development,“ Competitive Enterprise Institute, August 2, 2002. Archived November 5, 2002. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/mMFvn

  32. International Conference on Climate Change 12,” YouTube video uploaded by user The Heartland Institute, March 23, 2017. 

  33. Rebecca Weber. “Leading Global Warming Deniers Just Told Us What They Want Trump to Do: Be Afraid,” Mother Jones, March 24, 2017. Archived April 11, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/0rFXj

  34. “Dear Mr. President” (PDF), retrieved from Competitive Enterprise Institute. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  35. Graham Readfearn. “Conservative Groups Pushing Trump To Exit Paris Climate Deal Have Taken Millions From Koch Brothers, Exxon,” DeSmog, May 10, 2017.

  36. Susanne Goldberg. “Conservative groups spend up to $1bn a year to fight action on climate change,” The Guardian, December 20, 2013. Archived May 12, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/TB2yy

  37. Happy Memorial Day, You Stupid, Arrogant, Liberal Global Warming Alarmist!” Somewhat Reasonable, May 26, 2017. Archived May 27, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/oVnPF

  38. Nancy Thorner. “THORNER: RADICAL ENVIRONMENTALISTS BLAME HEARTLAND INSTITUTE FOR TRUMP'S PARIS ACCORD DECISION,” Illinois Review, June 12, 2017. Archived June 19, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/5VOa9

  39. Joe Bast. “Four Liberal U.S. Senators Attack Heartland, and We Reply,” Heartland Institute, June 9, 2017. Archived June 19, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/4Ap56

  40. Dear Secretary DeVos,” United States Senate, June 7, 2017. Retrieved from Heartland.org.

  41. Re: Your recent shameful conduct with regard to our communications with the Trump administration” (PDF), The Heartland Institute, June 8, 2017.

  42. Joseph Bast,” Heartland Institute. Archived June 20, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/3Bne4

  43. ABOUT US,” The Heartland Institute. Archied June 20, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/9omX9

  44. Joe Bast. “History of The Heartland Institute” (PDF), Heartland Institute, December 2016.

  45. Joseph L. Bast - 2008 Resumé,” The Heartland Institute. Archied February 20, 2012. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/tyQD1

  46. Joseph L. Bast: 2013 Resumé” (PDF), The Heartland Institute.

  47. About,” America First Energy. Archived October 11, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/8bTTJ

  48. October 2017 Fundraising letter by Fred Palmer. On file at Desmog.

  49. SPEAKERS,” America First Energy. Archived October 10, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/OJWeX

  50. Steve Horn. “Trump Names Climate Denier Kathleen Hartnett-White to Head White House Environmental Council,” DeSmog, October 13, 2017.

  51. “Heartland Institute Experts React to Trump’s Appointment of Kathleen Hartnett White for CEQ,” The Heartland Institute. Archived newsletter .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  52. An Audit Report on The Commission on Environmental Quality’s Enforcement and Permitting Functions for Selected Programs” (PDF), State Auditor's Office, December 2003.

  53. Skeptics suspicious of Pruitt plan to press him on red team,” E&E News, October 16, 2017. Archived October 17, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/aolE0

  54. PRESS RELEASEHEARTLAND INSTITUTE NAMES FORMER CONGRESSMAN TIM HUELSKAMP INCOMING PRESIDENT,” The Heartland Institute, June 29, 2017.  Archived June 30, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/mzEuW

  55. Jim Lakely. “'Do You Still Believe in Global Warming?' Billboards Hit Chicago,” The Heartland Institute, May 3, 2012. Archived November 23, 2014. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/KsPdV

  56. “Joseph K. Bast: 2017 Resumé” (PDF), The Heartland Institute.

  57. Joseph L. Bast. “Five Lies about Tobacco,” The Heartlander, July 1998.

  58. Dear ALEC Private Sector Member,” American Legislative Exchance Council, November 1995. Retrieved from UCSF Industry Documents Library. Bates No. TI10930905

  59. What Smokers Deserve to Know,” The Heartland Institute, July 2002. Retrieved from UCSF Industry Documents Library. Bates number 5001013374-5001013388.

  60. Dear Secretary Clark:”, May 29, 2002. Retrieved from UCSF Industry Documents Library. Bates number 5001013365-5001013373.

  61. Joe Bast. “Dear Editor,” Americans for Tax Reform (forwarded email). Retrieved from UCSF Industry Documents Library. Bates number 2085235040.

  62. Public Policy Review Committee Meeting: AGENDA,” Retrieved from UCSF Industry Documents Library. Bates number 2073204225-2073204271.

  63. Heartland Sponsors,” The Heartland Institute. Retrieved from UCSF Industry Documents Library. Bates number 2073204232-2073204245.

  64. Weekly Bullet Report For Federal Tobacco Team” Philip Morris Companies Inc. Retrieved from UCSF Industry Documents Library. Bates number 2078294765-2078294768.

  65. Smoking Under Siege: Why It Matters to You,” UCSF Industry Documents Library. Undated. Bates No. TI10892470-TI10892471.

  66. SMOKING UNDER SIEGE: WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU,” The Heartland Institute, June 1, 1997. Archived October 22, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/aVuWc

  67. Memorandum - May 30, 1997The Heartland Institute. Retrieved from UCSF Industry Documents Library. Bates number 2072174262.

  68. Joe Camel is Innocent!A Heartland Perspective August 21, 1996.

  69. 400 Legislators Expected at ALEC '95 NOC,” American Legislative Exchange Council, November 22, 1995. Retrieved from Retrieved from UCSF Industry Documents Library. Bates number TI10930686.

  70. This year, Washington State will serve as host to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) […],” American Legislative Exchange Council. Retrieved from Retrieved from UCSF Industry Documents Library. Bates number TI24220444.

  71. Joe Bast. “Friends,” The Heartland Institute, October 12, 2017. Retrieved from Natural Resources Defense Council.

  72. Chelsea Harvey and Scott Waldman. “Some groups want more CO2. Here's what that means,” E&E News, October 17, 2017. Archived October 24, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/RAvgm

  73. James Osborne. “Trump officials to appear at Houston event hosted by climate skeptics,” Houston Chronicle, November 2, 2017. Archived November 20, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/XPtYc

  74. America First Energy Conference Stacked with Climate Change Deniers,” Climate Investigations Center, November 6, 2017. Archived November 20, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/mISrd

  75. JOSEPH BAST,” America First Energy Conference. Archived November 20, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/0P3z2

  76. Scott Pruitt,” America First Energy ConferenceArchived November 20, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/X4F6m

Profile image screenshot from YouTube, Joe Bast speaking at the Heartland Institute's 12th International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC12).