Friday, 26 December 2008

The Heartland Institute

One of the best known skeptics in the Low Countries is economist Hans Labohm, a man with a long history of membership in all sort of think-thanks, and a man who made it as a "climate expert" for the Heartland Institute, a libertarian thinkthank notorious for being one of the most intellectual dishonest groups polluting the climate change debate.

Heartland is one of the hosts of the infamous global warming quiz i mentioned before, but they do have a long record of more serious fraudulent efforts in distorting the AGW debate, and receive lots of funding to do so.

Ecological writer Dave Hansford wrote an article in the New Zealand Listener in which he claims :
ExxonMobil’s reports show it has granted $791,500 to Heartland since 1998
The article sure didn't please the Heartland Institute's co-founder and president Joseph L Bast as can be seen in this letter he wrote to the magazine, ending with :
Joseph L. Bast Heartland Institute global warming is a myth
Joseph Bast
I don't know how writers like Hansford sleep at night. If he has even a shred of personal integrity, he should apologise for his attacks on the growing number of scientists who say the threat of global warming has been over-sold, and promise to never again write on this subject. And his publisher should accept nothing less.
This is an remarkable agressive answer. And a question to censor the opinions of the author. The freedom loving libertarian seems to have double standards on what freedom is.

Heartland's latest effort was this report, which fits in a long history of organised denialism : in the past they p.ex. organised this "conference" on climate change, because they felt that :
Actual surveys of climate scientists and recent reviews of the scholarly literature both show the so-called “skeptics” may actually be in the majority of the climate science community. They do not lack scholarly credentials or scientific integrity, but a platform from which they can be heard. Their voices have been drowned out by publicity built upon the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an entity with an agenda to build support for the theory of man-made catastrophic global warming.
To make sure to be able to give a platform to those poor scientsists, Heartland sent mailings like crazy to any scientists they could get an adress from inviting thousands to come to the past conference and offered payment to the visiting scientists (which is very unusual on normal conferences). It was an enormous succes, as this article in the New York Times reports :
The meeting was largely framed around science, but after the luncheon, when an organizer made an announcement asking all of the scientists in the large hall to move to the front for a group picture, 19 men did so.
19.

In my office alone, there are more scientists agreeing with AGW.

And those 19 are the same names appearing everywhere : Singer, Spencer, Soon, etc. Men whom lost any scientific credibility long time ago and have spent most of their efforts in producing noise to pollute the scientific debate.

The lack of scientists wasn't all that much of a problem though, because the aim of the 2007 conference was very clear, as Heartlands website stated :
The purpose of the conference is to generate international media attention to the fact that many scientists believe forecasts of rapid warming and catastrophic events are not supported by sound science, and that expensive campaigns to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are not necessary or cost-effective.
So it wasn't about science at all, it was nothing but PR.


Despite having a conference without scientists, just like Inhofe, Heartland published a list of 500 scientists whom's work according to Heartland supposedly refutes AGW. Many honest scientists were shocked to find out their names appeared in this fraudulent "Heartland 500" which makes statements opposite on what their work actually is concluding.

In response to the story on Desmogblog that many of the 500 demanded their names to be removed from that list, Heartland released this statement :
In response to the complaints, The Heartland Institute has changed the headlines that its PR department had chosen for some of the documents related to the lists, from “500 Scientists with Documented Doubts of Man-Made Global Warming Scares” to “500 Scientists Whose Research Contradicts Man-Made Global Warming Scares.”
Or in other words : like it or not, but Heartland will abuse your name, even if everything you do demonstrates they are wrong. It's one of the many things demonstrating Heartland's dishonesty.

No better way to demonstrate the totally ridiculousness of the list, than the fact that according to Heartland even Michael "hockeystick" Mann's work demonstrates there's no AGW. I'm not fooling ya, he does appear on the list. Pretty mind numbing, isn't it ?


Heartland's history of climate change denialism isn't over yet, as next year they'll have a new conference where no scientists will come demonstrating AGW is a hoax.

The speakers will be the same ones as ever . Some people will never learn.

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