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Leaked Heartland Institute Documents Reveal Opposition To Science

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the scientists-cause-global-warming dept.

Education 615

New submitter bheerssen writes with an excerpt from an article by The Bad Astronomer: "The Heartland Institute — a self-described 'think tank' that actually serves in part as a way for climate change denialism to get funded — has a potentially embarrassing situation on their hands. Someone going by the handle 'Heartland Insider' has anonymously released quite a few of what are claimed to be internal documents from Heartland, revealing the Institute's strategies, funds, and much more." At least one site has the documents in question.

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Relevant portion of one of the documents (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045213)

Principals and teachers are heavily biased toward the alarmist perspective. To counter this we are considering launching an effort to develop alternative materials for K-12 classrooms. We are pursuing a proposal from Dr. David Wojick to produce a global warming curriculum for K-12 schools. Dr. Wojick is a consultant with the office of Scientific and Technical Information at the U.S. Department of Energy in the area of information and communication science. His effort will focus on providing a curriculum that shows that the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain--two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science. We tentatively plan to pay Dr. Wojick $100,000 for 20 modules in 2012, with funding pledged by the Anonymous Donor.

Wow, they didn't even bother to put the "science" in quotation marks. Guess they *really* never thought these documents would get out. Pretty dumb to use that kind of language, even in purely internal communications. About all they can say at this point is that it was a poorly-proofed typo (that they *meant* to say "bad science" or something). But even that would qualify as a Freudian slip of the fingers, methinks.

Even creepier is the way they capitalize "the Anonymous Donor." Makes me think of a guy petting a cat in a secret island compound somewhere.

Re:Relevant portion of one of the documents (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045253)

>Even creepier is the way they capitalize "the Anonymous Donor." Makes me think of a guy petting a cat in a secret island compound somewhere.

Yep, that's me.

Re:Relevant portion of one of the documents (4, Funny)

Saintwolf (1224524) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045273)

He said "anonymous donor" not "anonymous coward"

Re:Relevant portion of one of the documents (5, Funny)

Captain Hook (923766) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045947)

He couldn't use the same name on both sites or he wouldn't be anonymous *rolls eyes*

So... (0, Troll)

cirby (2599) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045325)

The big argument about this being a "smoking gun" is one sentence, where someone typed "dissuading teachers from teaching science" instead of "dissuading teachers from teaching this lousy excuse for a science?"

Pretty weak stuff, overall.

On the other hand, the entire Heartland anti-AGW fund is smaller than the one bribe, er, "grant" paid to one NASA administrator, and a tiny drop in the bucket compared to the various government pro-AGW propaganda expenditures.

Re:So... (5, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045461)

Wait, NOW context matters? Where were you when your fellow "skeptics" (I put that term in quotes, because most of your fellows who call themselves that are lousy skeptics) were pulling out half-sentence quotes from emails to prove a vast and global conspiracy?

Re:So... (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045523)

Yes, well, when the shoe is on the other foot and all that...

Re:So... (4, Insightful)

dougmc (70836) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045903)

Wait, NOW context matters? Where were you when your fellow "skeptics"

Context always matters.

If somebody tells you that context doesn't matter, then you should consider that that person probably is lying to you or at least isn't giving you the full truth. Whatever side they're on.

It's also not fair to beat somebody up over what somebody else who may or may not have similar beliefs said. If one person who supports cause X says something, and somebody else who supports cause X says something else -- that's not evidence of hypocrisy. It's evidence of disagreement, and if you really do think that everybody who supports cause X agrees on everything, the problem is with you, not them.

And yes, this is just one sentence. It could be exactly what they meant, or it could just be a miswording of things -- it certainly wouldn't be the first. One will have to look at context to figure out what they really meant.

Re:So... (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045465)

I don't know about that. If they considered Climate Change/Global Warming as not science it would seem they would refer it that way. Just like when someone tries to lump Intelligent Design as a science, I immediately have to correct them about that. ID is not science. At best it's conjecture; at worst it's religion trying to pass itself as science.

Re:So... (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045569)

The difference being that ID has maybe two or three actual scientists who work in fields related to biology backing it, and the most important one of those, Michael Behe, doesn't even publish peer reviewed articles that deal with his ID claims. AGW on the other hand, is widely accepted by most researchers in climatology and related fields, the debate being more about the degree of influence of human activity or the speed at which changes will occur.

In other words, it isn't the same thing at all.

Re:So... (3, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045681)

I agree with you on why Climate Change is science and ID is not. In the context of the email, I would think that if the Heartland Institute did not consider Climate Change as science, they would have referred it as such. Of course we don't know what was in the mind of the author, but my reading is that they do consider it science but are opposed to it being taught. Thus they are anti-science in this regard.

Re:So... (5, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045683)

The big argument about this being a "smoking gun" is one sentence, where someone typed "dissuading teachers from teaching science" instead of "dissuading teachers from teaching this lousy excuse for a science?"

With just 5 minutes scanning the documents, I saw that. And also the fact that Fred Singer is paid $60,000 per annum to "regularly and publicly counter the alarmist AGW message." Now that's quite a bonus given that his employer is the University of Virginia. This isn't paying a professor to do research, this is paying a professor to do propaganda.

This is the real smoking gun. There are a handful of scientists worldwide that deny the AGW consensus. The question is why? The assumption used to be that they were handsomely paid to do it. That is now fact.

Re:So... (5, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045913)

By revelation of these emails, Fred Singer's respect in peer reviewed literature has dropped to slightly lower than the asshole liars who used to publish "peer reviewed" studies backed by tobacco companies claiming that tobacco smoke isn't related to cancer...

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045719)

No.... the big argument, the smoking gun, is the preponderance of documents in which HI discusses hiding funds and controlling information channels.

Re:So... (2)

Yokaze (70883) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045793)

Even if would take your explanation, what kind of mindset would shorten "this lousy excuse for a science" to "science"?

> On the other hand, the entire Heartland anti-AGW fund is smaller than the one bribe, er, "grant" paid to one NASA administrator, and a tiny drop in the bucket compared to the various government pro-AGW propaganda expenditures.

Taking into account the amount of factual results produce, I would say, the Heartland Institute receives a disproportionate amount of money.

Science, it works in the sense, that for example, that it allows us to produce rockets, which got us to the moon.
If the Heartland Institute produces something similar, then I would consider it putting it in the same league as a single NASA administrator.

Re:Relevant portion of one of the documents (-1, Flamebait)

thomasw_lrd (1203850) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045345)

Principals and teachers are heavily biased toward the alarmist perspective. To counter this we are considering launching an effort to develop alternative materials for K-12 classrooms. We are pursuing a proposal from Dr. David Wojick to produce a global warming curriculum for K-12 schools. Dr. Wojick is a consultant with the office of Scientific and Technical Information at the U.S. Department of Energy in the area of information and communication science. His effort will focus on providing a curriculum that shows that the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain--two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teachingthe science [of climate change]. We tentatively plan to pay Dr. Wojick $100,000 for 20 modules in 2012, with funding pledged by the Anonymous Donor.

Wow, they didn't even bother to put the "science" in quotation marks. Guess they *really* never thought these documents would get out. Pretty dumb to use that kind of language, even in purely internal communications. About all they can say at this point is that it was a poorly-proofed typo (that they *meant* to say "bad science" or something). But even that would qualify as a Freudian slip of the fingers, methinks.

Even creepier is the way they capitalize "the Anonymous Donor." Makes me think of a guy petting a cat in a secret island compound somewhere.

FTFY.

Since this was internal it was probably assumed they were talking about Climate Change science, and not all science in general.

And really how is this news. Group that doesn't like something pays people to push their viewpoint on someone else. I think they're called lobbyists in D.C.

Re:Relevant portion of one of the documents (1)

thomasw_lrd (1203850) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045399)

Look I proof read twice and still fucked it up.

Re:Relevant portion of one of the documents (5, Insightful)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045489)

You know what? I'm tired of these apathetic replies that say "Yeah so? Bad stuff happens. Nothing new".

Yes, people with a lot of money will sometimes pay other people to do bad/evil stuff for them...

The fact that everyone knows this doesn't mean we should just look away. On the contrary we should seek these guys and stop them. Hence why this is news. We get to find out about people paying for bad things and people doing bad things for money. We can stop and/or prosecute them.

Re:Relevant portion of one of the documents (1, Insightful)

jhcurtis (840746) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045595)

In that case, we should be looking at the process used to award government grants to people who propose studies with the goal of proving man-made global warming while denying funds to those who are trying to disprove man-made global warming. After all, the vast majority of funding for pro-global warming studies comes from government grants where even one grant exceeds the total spent by private groups to oppose this viewpoint.

Re:Relevant portion of one of the documents (2)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045747)

Well if you know that happens tell all your friends and everyone you know. It's going to take a long time but at some point enough people will understand and care about what happens. When that happens the governments won't be able to ignore the people and force companies to change a little. In time we will succeed, we just have to keep trying.

Re:Relevant portion of one of the documents (2)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045527)

Considering that those who disbelieve in climate change vocally brush up against the political party/circle that disbelieve evolution, science doesn't seem completely out of the ballpark. Being internal also means they may just being dropping the pretense.

Logically, I agree with you if I look at this by itself. But, I've been burned too many times being optimistic and hopeful. Hopefully you are right. I really don't want another bru-ha-ha over this. "Climate-gate" was embarrassing enough. We don't need an anti-climate-gate.

Re:Relevant portion of one of the documents (-1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045349)

Teachers don't want to teach science that's controversial and uncertain. News at eleven.

Next you'll be complaining about people pushing evolution training as a means of discouraging teachers from teaching controvrsial and uncertain 'Creation Science'.

I've no idea what the rest of these documents say, but if this is the worst you can drag out of them it looks like desperation on the part of those who deny that climate changes naturally.

Re:Relevant portion of one of the documents (5, Funny)

eternaldoctorwho (2563923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045433)

News at eleven.

You know, everyone keeps mentioning this. I wait for it every day, but 11 comes and goes without any news. Are you sure you don't mean "News at 10"?

Re:Relevant portion of one of the documents (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045715)

Context [wikipedia.org] matters [catb.org] people.

That's why just knowing the words and grammer isn't sufficient when learning a language.

Re:Relevant portion of one of the documents (1)

eternaldoctorwho (2563923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045931)

Woosh.

it's the film that is at 11 (1)

hcpxvi (773888) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045735)

Apparently, in the distant past, TV announcers in the USA would use the phrase "Film at 11" to mean that the film that was normally on at 10pm, after the 9pm news, would be an hour later tonight, as momentous events required an extra hour of news coverage. Hence the non-sarcastic use of "Film at 11" to mean "That's big news" and the sarcastic use meaning "That is not really news at all."

Re:it's the film that is at 11 (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045857)

are you really that dumb?

east coast time has had TV news on at 6pm and 11pm. have you never been to the east coast of the US?

the news centers are all east coast based and for quite a long time, the east coast did 'run' the country. washington, dc is also east coast time (hint).

Re:Relevant portion of one of the documents (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045781)

Move farther east and the news will move with you.

Re:Relevant portion of one of the documents (1)

amck (34780) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045929)

Kids these days.
Its "Film at 11".
Back in the day when film was this stuff that needed processing, they would take a film camera, film the event, bring it back and show it. But it wouldn't make the 6 O'clock news; it would typically be ready by 11pm. Hence "film at 11".

Hilarious (2)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045437)

How did science get from this definition:

The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

... to the bastardized meaning used in the American media?

What happened America? You used to be cool.

Re:Hilarious (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045815)

Power corrupts people. Desire for power corrupts people's language.

dont try to fucking rationalize this. (3, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045643)

this is red hands evidence of private interests brainwashing people, and doing it through private whores who pose as 'science' institutions.

if you undermine and rationalize the impact of this, you serve their interests and justify them.

Re:Relevant portion of one of the documents (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045711)

What I hear from friends who teach, and one specifically tasked with overseeing science education for a few grades for a county, many teachers are hesitant to teach science period. They feel they don't understand it well and rather than seek help they screw over their students by choosing to find ways to avoid teaching it. By muddying the waters, you encourage that sort of uncertainty. As a note, these teachers are serving major suburbs outside Houston, so well enough off neighborhoods, but it is Texas.

Re:Relevant portion of one of the documents (5, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045963)

I grew up in the South and once had a science teacher flat out tell us that she wouldn't teach us anything that wasn't *directly* from the approved text, because she wasn't going to risk her job just so we could learn. No kidding, if you asked her a question, she would find a relevant passage from the book and just start reading. If an answer wasn't in the book, she would just ignore the question. This was back when evolution and anything else remotely controversial wasn't even mentioned in textbooks, not in the South anyway. And of course, there are no teachers unions or anything like that, so good luck if you say the wrong thing.

Re:Relevant portion of one of the documents (4, Informative)

crawling_chaos (23007) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045761)

part of those who deny that climate changes naturally.

And the straw men come out in force. I am not aware of anyone sane who denies that there is such a thing a natural climate change. If that's the best you've got, you are even weaker ground.

Interestingly enough, the Heartland Institute used to work for the Phillip Morris to deny that tobacco was a health risk. While this does not make their position automatically invalid, it doesn't help that they've been involved in the past to put profits ahead of scientific fact. Are you unwilling to cast any skepticism toward their positions based on that track record of paid for lies?

I think the real problem is that if humans are causing global warming, it is feared that there is no Libertarian solution to the problem, thus disproving the "markets, markets, uber alles" dogma rather conclusively. Rather than accepting the science and trying to find a solution that is compatible with deeply held political views, it is easier to deny the science. We see the same from the Greens with regard to modern nuclear plants, which are far cleaner suppliers of baseline power overall than the current alternatives.

Re:Relevant portion of one of the documents (1, Insightful)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045353)

"the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain – two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science"

From that, it sure sounds like they want to dissuade teachers from teaching science.

It's not an especially well written sentence, but jumping on it as proof that they are anti-science seems a bit of a stretch. Unfortunately both sides of this subject have gotten far too emotional to even consider the possibility that the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.

Re:Relevant portion of one of the documents (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045401)

even consider the possibility that the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.

When you put a far left kook and a far right kook in a room, you don't get "the middle" you get an insane asylum.

Re:Relevant portion of one of the documents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045463)

I was wondering what the semi-official Heritage foundation response to this article would be. Seems to be the extra lame 'both sides are as bad' thing. Keep working on the 'the author is a hack because...' as you might have it done before the story gets too old.

Re:Relevant portion of one of the documents (5, Insightful)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045471)

Unfortunately both sides of this subject have gotten far too emotional to even consider the possibility that the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.

I know, on one side we've got loads of data, models, research... On the other side, denial.

If only we took half the data and half the denial, we'd ALL be right!

Hang on (0)

boligmic (188232) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045751)

I know, on one side we've got loads of data, models, research... On the other side, WARMING CLOWNS!

Here, I corrected this for you.

Re:Relevant portion of one of the documents (1, Flamebait)

prisoner-of-enigma (535770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045859)

I know, on one side we've got loads of data, models, research... On the other side, denial.

And that's where you ran off the rails. One side has data, models, and research, and they've drawn conclusions from it. The other side (the ones you say that have nothing but "denial") says the data, models, and research is not comprehensive enough to support the grandiose claims being made, and they have their own data, models, research, and conclusions which conflict with the AGW proponents.

Now if this were *real* science, one side or the other would be able to unequivocally silence the other with incontrivertable facts. But that's *not* the case because the AGW proponents can't *prove* their case any more than the opponents can disprove it. Their data have at times been suspect, their models are gross oversimplifications of the real world, and their research -- as is the case with all grant-funded research -- is subject to potential ideological and financial bias in either direction.

What turns me off from the whole AGW camp is their smug elitism, claiming they've got all the data and all the answers and how dare you question them. Science is *about* defending your claims, and incredible claims require incredible evidence. Every time an AGW supporter says "but we have all we need to know," I just tune them out. You *don't* have all the data. Your models *aren't* accurate simulacrums of our biosphere. Your research *is* subject to bias. If you'd just admit it then perhaps you'd gain more supporters. Instead, you get more shrill every time somebody doesn't immediately toe the AGW line regardless of *why* they're skeptical.

Re:Relevant portion of one of the documents (0)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045875)

I know, on one side we've got loads of data, models, research... On the other side, denial.

Yes, all this data that proves the point beyond all doubt. But when questioned, there is no debate of scientific merit or discussion of flaws, real or perceived, in the data. There is labeling the counter opinion "deniers" while firmly placing your hands over your ears.

Kind of like back in the day where conventional wisdom said the earth was flat and "deniers" were killed rather than mocked.

Science that cannot tolerate being questioned is not science.

Re:Relevant portion of one of the documents (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045951)

More than just denial.If it was just guys shaking their fists I wouldn't care. But we're talking about well-funded groups with political and media allies who are quite happy to spread disinformation as widely as possible. For instance, the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph in Britain, on topics like alternative energy sources and AGW are pretty much oil company shills, and not even very shameless about it. Christopher Booker, the guy that denies tobacco harm, asbestos harm and even makes rude noises about evolution, basically has free reign to write any amount of ludicrous anti-AGW crap he wants.

Re:Relevant portion of one of the documents (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045957)

Is there any evidence that climate change is not happening as described scientists working for politically varied governments around the world [ccchina.gov.cn] ?

Doesn't it seem that active climate-change denial and science opposition is a US-based phenomenon, being used for political and financial gain? Is this the "invisible hand" at work?

Best to Exercise Caution at This Point (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045393)

Just to point out that the real incriminating evidence comes from the "2012 Climate Strategy" document that could be falsified. The other documents, like the budget, look pretty legit but the document you are citing is a page and a half. Wouldn't take much for me, someone who is ultra opposed to the Heartland Institute, to dream that up in a short afternoon with a six pack. I'm poking through the rest of them and am not finding the same sort of evidence. So it's possible that someone could have gotten their hands on a few legit documents (like the budget) and created this one and added it to the group. The metadata on the meeting agendas and such read "jbast" while the metadata on the climate strategy document reads "Joseph Bast." Entirely possible they were created two different ways but then why does the climate strategy document appear photoscanned? Is he photoscanning his own internal documents? Why? Or did someone want this to look legit, photoscan it and then write "Joseph Bast" as the author to make it look authentic?

I'm just pleading for people to exercise caution. I think that the best approach for this is to put forth questions towards Dr. Wojick about his funding and move forward with caution. This is the internet. This is an area where I require a lot of verification before I believe something. The climate strategy document is awful convenient and as someone who's use to corporate bullshit, I can tell you my manager could easily produce a 15 page document on our team's "vision" and "mission statements" or "strategy." Mostly to prove he's worth something but also because that just seems to be how they roll. Two pages can be made up and I would imagine the real thing would have a lot more fluff and a lot more boring in it. I'm not saying this document is a fake, I'm just urging everyone to exercise caution before you look like a rube.

Re:Relevant portion of one of the documents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045407)

Not only Anonymous Donor... but *the* Anonymous Donor.. all bow before the great AD!

Pay no attention (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045239)

Nothing to see here. Move along...

Re:Pay no attention (4, Insightful)

DynamoJoe (879038) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045307)

That's pretty much what FOX News will say.
Who am I kidding? FOX isn't going to run this at all.

Re:Pay no attention (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045377)

Ha, you'll be lucky if *CNN* even runs it. They're way too busy showing important interviews with Whitney Houston's maid to fit such silly science news in.

Re:Pay no attention (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045451)

Slam Fox all you want but I'm not seeing this kind of thing on MSNBC either. Maybe it's time to put away the hyperbole and hold mainstream "journalism" responsible as a whole?
 
Oh noes! That wouldn't fit your agenda. Kinda like how Fox does it, isn't it? Pot meet kettle.

Totally different than scientists' emails leaking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045607)

Clearly this is the doing of evil hackers blowing up vans and stealing emails.

Close your curtains and get a vicious attack dog.

Cue the deniers... (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045271)

Cue the climate change denials in 3...2...1...

Re:Cue the deniers... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045289)

Jews did climate change.

Re:Cue the deniers... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045343)

Cue the climate change denials in 3...2...1...

Nice try but your clever use of math will not fool us.

Re:Cue the deniers... (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045883)

and besides, its turtles all the way down!

Re:Cue the deniers... (2)

Tr3vin (1220548) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045685)

Just because the numbers are trending doesn't mean that the deniers will show up. For all we know, 5 will be next. Numbers are funny like that.

Don't worry, treason charges will be filed soon (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045305)

Clearly this cannot be allowed to stand. The ofenbder will be punished to the full extent of the law, and then some! FRMITAP!

Re:Don't worry, treason charges will be filed soon (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045337)

They could try the old Scientology "These documents are copyrighted!" tact to stop people from posting them. But that presumes they've never heard of the Streisand Effect, and are stupid as hell.

Re:Don't worry, treason charges will be filed soon (1)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045369)

Which means we should expect to see something along those lines...

Re:Don't worry, treason charges will be filed soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045371)

We should only pray (ha!) that they will be that stupid.

Do they talk about "Hide the decline" anywhere? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045331)

Or, rather, "hiding the rise"?

You mean I can get paid? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045365)

I can be paid to call Human-induced Climate Change a crock of shit? Sign me up! Can I also be paid to advocate that sugar is sweet and the sun is bright?

Confirmation of what we already knew... (5, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045383)

We've all known these groups were anti-science. While seeing it spelled out on paper is amusing, and satisfying, I doubt that very many minds are going to be changed by this information. The people that populate and fund these groups ignore anything and everything that conflicts with their ideas as it is.

These people are used to the extreme mental acrobatics necessary to deny the reality right in front of them. This will be written off as "liberal lies and smear tactics" pretty much immediately. It's not so much that they believe the crap these groups spew, a lot of people simply take the opposite stance of their political opponents regardless. Since climate change is a "liberal" thing, it's all a lie, because all "liberals" are liars.

Still, like I said, it's nice to see what we've all already suspected confirmed in writing. These guys are in the same league as Big Tobacco with their bullshit.

Re:Confirmation of what we already knew... (4, Interesting)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045521)

"Still, like I said, it's nice to see what we've all already suspected confirmed in writing. These guys are in the same league as Big Tobacco with their bullshit."

Same league? They're on the same *team*!

"Heartland also continues to collect money from Philip Morris parent company Altria as well as from the tobacco giant Reynolds American, while maintaining ongoing advocacy against policies related to smoking and health."
http://www.desmogblog.com/heartland-insider-exposes-institute-s-budget-and-strategy [desmogblog.com]

Re:Confirmation of what we already knew... (3, Interesting)

KhabaLox (1906148) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045765)

Microsoft also gave $61k in 2011. I wonder how much they'll give in 2012 now that this is leaked.

Re:Confirmation of what we already knew... (1, Insightful)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045591)

"We've all known" is shorthand for "I'm always right and need no evidence or logic to support my position"; and that's anti-science.

Re:Confirmation of what we already knew... (1)

mvdwege (243851) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045697)

No, it's shorthand for "We've tried finding rational arguments in their spew for years and we have decided to give up".

Mart

Re:Confirmation of what we already knew... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045679)

If you read the documents, there is nothing there. Just a budget and a few names, no real discussion and such.

Anybody who thinks that think tanks don't do the bidding of donors is nuts. Dems do it too, get over it. This isn't a game of science, its a game of who can yell the loudest. The Climate Change group can yell louder.

Re:Confirmation of what we already knew... (1)

chichilalescu (1647065) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045755)

actually, rich people think like this: as long as my children are rich enough, then they won't be affected by climate change. if they're not rich enough, they might have problems of some sort no matter what the climate does.
so to hell with the climate, and just get the kids rich.

An Ignorant Population Is More Easily Controlled (3, Interesting)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045435)

Better to have your population ignorant, fearful and easily alarmed. Not only are they easily controlled, but pseudo-science is big business in this country. I wonder if their end goal is a fascist state, or if they're simply trying to preserve their economic advantage.

Re:An Ignorant Population Is More Easily Controlle (0, Flamebait)

jhcurtis (840746) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045691)

I could not have described the Global Warming Alarmists and the Democrat Party 's position any better! Very insightful.

Re:An Ignorant Population Is More Easily Controlle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045703)

Better to have your population ignorant, fearful and easily alarmed. Not only are they easily controlled, but pseudo-science is big business in this country. I wonder if their end goal is a fascist state, or if they're simply trying to preserve their economic advantage.

Given that one of their stated goals is to rein in the alarmism about man-made climate change and offer their own explanations, my guess is their end goal is to give the population more information so they aren't afraid and easily alarmed.

Re:An Ignorant Population Is More Easily Controlle (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045773)

I wonder if their end goal is a fascist state, or if they're simply trying to preserve their economic advantage.

I'm sure they are simply a business making a living doing the bidding of whoever pays. You know. Like members of congress. I think it was Sam Houston that said in a letter to D.C., "Find me someone willing to clean up the streets and I'll find you someone willing to sell horse shit."

Re:An Ignorant Population Is More Easily Controlle (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045917)

I wonder if their end goal is a fascist state, or if they're simply trying to preserve their economic advantage.

Same thing really - eventually the economic advantage is enough that it causes the masses to resent the privileged class, who then must enlist the power of the state to enforce its economic advantage (or else the masses will simply use force to recover the wealth currently going to the privileged class). The state, in turn, must then ignore the will of the people in favor of the corporations, and eventually a nucleus of pliant politicians and corporate overlords is running everything.

Re:An Ignorant Population Is More Easily Controlle (1)

SyntheticTruth (17753) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045943)

"I wonder if their end goal is a fascist state, or if they're simply trying to preserve their economic advantage."

Yes.

I know one of these guys (3, Interesting)

KhabaLox (1906148) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045467)

I used to butt heads with Jim Lakely [heartland.org] on a small, multi-author politically slanted blog [infinitemonkeysblog.com] he contributed to. I was friends with him briefly on FB, but I couldn't take his near constant right-wing/libertarian rantings. By all accounts he's an intelligent guy, but he has some of the craziest ideas. He's a really good fit for that organization. When he got that job, the action at the blog dried up, which was unfortunate. I had a lot of fun debating there, as one of only about 3 active left-leaners.

Re:I know one of these guys (5, Interesting)

KhabaLox (1906148) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045689)

Regarding authenticity, I can confirm the information relating to Ben Boychuk in the budget document. He did indeed leave Heartland for Manhattan Institute. I had dinner with the guy once, but he de-friended me on FB because I kept challenging the crazy links he would post.

the united states is such a joke (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045473)

what a bunch of clowns.

Sensationalist "journalism," needs real analysis (0)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045483)

Curious, but of little interest absent non-ideological analysis. So far the only alleged issue is a single sentence, and any charges related to it would need corroborating actions or statements to back it up. Discover Magazine uses the sentence to deflect attention away from Climategate, while Mr. Littlemore uses an ineffective guilt by association logical fallacy to smear Heartland. If the documents are legitimate, then I'll just wait until a serious, non-sensationalist source of analysis without an ax to grind (or can keep it sheathed for the duration) gets around to it. That would be the scientific way to process it.

Re:Sensationalist "journalism," needs real analysi (2)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045757)

So far the only alleged issue is a single sentence

No, there is more in the article. E.g.: This influential audience has usually been reliably anti-climate and it is important to keep opposing voices out.

What kind of science? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045487)

Interesting stuff. I think blind opposition to fact is bad, but honestly, a lot of what's taken as science these days is just theory anyway. Science fact should be based on fact, and theory should be open to different perspectives - which it often isn't.

Think of the Children (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045529)

Our society seems to use "think of the children" to justify just about everything... except when, you know, children actually need to be protected. Children aren't equipped to rationally weigh the validity of information presented to them by teachers. This is why the majority of children who are educated in a closed society under repressive Sharia Law believe that law to be rational and just. Of course, that is hardly the only religious example, and religion doesn't monopolize the practice. Rewriting the history taught to children has occurred throughout the history of human civilization, and has happened in every region of the world.

I am simply exhausted with the control that special interest groups have over politicians of all parties. I can't help but wonder what the amount of money used to influence politics at all levels could accomplish if directed toward more useful enterprises. Politicians do have a duty to consider the health of corporations (like those funding the waste of space that is the Heartland Institute), but they REPRESENT PEOPLE. As impossible as this is, I truly wish that only individuals could contribute to candidates (with very low monetary limits, as well).

Whatever the era or style of government, courtiers (lobbyists) have always represented one of the greatest threats to the common interest of the people.

Seriously, we're going to worry about... (0, Troll)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045531)

...people spending 6.5 million to defend science, while a handful of warmist organizations have budgets of nearly 500 million?

http://tomnelson.blogspot.com/2012/02/with-tiny-budgets-like-310-million-100.html [blogspot.com]

C'mon, guys, if you're going to say that money is a corrupting influence here, *follow the money*.

Re:Seriously, we're going to worry about... (2)

FhnuZoag (875558) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045705)

Greenpeace does a crapload of things other than things relating to climate change. This is far from a valid comparison - you might as well compare Greenpeace's budget to 'skeptic organisation' ExxonMobile's revenues of $486.429 billion.

Re:Seriously, we're going to worry about... (0, Troll)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045851)

Funny, though, with 486.429 BILLION, ExxonMobile apparently has only managed to funnel 6.5 million of that to defenders of science?

The fact of the matter here is that if you follow the money, the vast majority of it has been spent on perpetuating the alarmist cause. Money funneled from taxpayers through the government to warmist supporters has vastly outweighed any money spent by any corporations to skeptics.

Make no mistake about it - if you want to argue that the problem here is money, the warmists have a way bigger problem.

And heck, even if you want to argue the problem here is science, the warmists have yet to present a cogent falsifiable hypothesis of catastrophic anthropogenic warming :)

Re:Seriously, we're going to worry about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045909)

Score -1. The knee-jerk faithful are flush with mod points today.

Confirmation? (1)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045545)

Anybody able to find any internal clues to show that this info is real and not faked? It looks right, but I can't find any proof that this isn't a hoax.

Re:Confirmation? (4, Insightful)

accessbob (962147) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045865)

From today's Guardian newspaper in the UK:

"There is nothing I can tell you," Jim Lakely, Heartland's communications director, said in a telephone interview. "We are investigating what we have seen on the internet and we will have more to say in the morning." Lakely made no attempt to deny the veracity of information contained in the documents.

You call it denial, I call it data-driven science (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045609)

http://theinconvenientskeptic.com/2012/02/2011-global-sea-level-dropped-back-to-2008-levels/

2011 was an interesting year for the Earth’s oceans. The relative sea level (RSL) in 2011 was not only lower than 2010, it was also lower than 2009. All of the different satellite measurements agree with that, but perhaps even more interesting is that the European RSL measurement shows that the sea level in 2011 was even lower than it was back in 2005. That particular satellite shows that there has been almost no net change in the Earth’s sea level over the past 8 years.

All of the different measurements agree that the rate that the sea level is rising is not increasing. All of them show a steady decrease in the rate of sea level rise. This is the opposite of what the predictions were a decade ago for global warming. Of course such predictions are full of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) that is so typical of global warming articles, these include statements that 100 million people will be displaced soon because of sea level rise.

To future victories! (1)

Coisiche (2000870) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045615)

Now that the institute has lost the battle it was paid to fight, I mean that completely aligned with it's ideology, over the health risks of second hand smoke; it can now join in over the prevailing nonsense about AGW.

Agenda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045657)

Just take some time at http://news.heartland.org/energy-and-environment?page=2 , they have a well defined agenda.

"Climategate" (2)

KhabaLox (1906148) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045677)

The funny thing is these guys were chortling mightily at the release of the "Climategate" emails a couple of years ago.

Is this Alanis Morissette-ironic, or actual-ironic?

Um, so what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045701)

What's the big deal? One easily spun sentence in a memo from a so-called "right-wing think tank"? And this is somehow more convincing than all the demonstrable factual errors which Al Gore trumpeted in his propaganda movies?

Isn't this Anti-american? (3, Insightful)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045823)

As a Brit reading this, I see it as deliberately trying to diminishing the capability of the US work force. How many great accomplishments would have been impossible if it were not for your nations commitment to science. To be able take the sum of the worlds knowledge and put a man on the moon is wonderful. China (or any other industrial nation) isn't going to put itself back into the dark ages and I'm sure they'll be happy to take advantage and will continue to invest in as much science as they can.
So regardless of religion, at some point (or at what point does) the doctrine have a detrimental effect to a nation and become Anti-american or unpatriotic ?
I really hope British cynicism will keep such topics confined to awful daytime TV discussion shows and not in the real world. /rant over.

I dunno why so many are AGW (5, Insightful)

DontBlameCanada (1325547) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045829)

Climate science indicates that the world is warming. Whether the globe is warming to human activity or excess flatulation from aardvarks is immaterial.

The best models indicate that the trend will continue. The best theoretic models predict that this will cause the polar ice caps to change: some cause it to melt, others to increase in size. Both outcomes are dire, massive increase in ocean levels resulting in New York becoming New Venice or a mile thick wall of ice rolling down over the Northern Hemisphere.

I'm a software engineer. I don't pretend to understand climatology, however I do know how to manage risk. When the evidence is pointing to a potential disaster, be it projects running late, major requirements being added at the last minute or something akin to the end of the world as we know it, I don't waste time with the "finger of blame". I ask, how do we mitigate the issue?

Since we don't know the root cause (or if there is even a single root cause), lets take action on all fronts and use this as an opportunity to make our lifestyles more sustainable and less impactful on the planet. Legislate lower vehicular emissions and mass transit use. Use incentives to get people to cycle or walk. Require companies to institute work-from-home plans. Slap taxes on pollution from industries to force them to reduce their emissions. Bar import of goods from countries that don't adhere to the global standard. Humans (and the companies they run) are adaptable, they'll find other work.

If we're wrong and global warming isn't actually happening, at least we'll have some positive outcomes. If we're right, maybe we can prevent a total catastrophe. Inaction, garners little or no benefit if human-caused GW isn't actually occurring, but will be a direct contributor to disaster if it is.

The Canadian fishing industry is a good example. Those folks who lost their jobs are hurting, but they are alive and there is some chance that the fishing will reopen. If GW is real, millions if not billions will die from starvation, be displaced into refugee camps as their towns are flooded or be impacted by regional conflicts as countries struggle to deal with the changing climate.

Does "Think Tank" == Lobbyist Group? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045853)

It seems to me that it does. But, I have not done an exhaustive study.

Once again, the Koch Bros manning the funnel (4, Interesting)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045889)

FTFA: "uses that advocacy to raise money from oil companies and other corporations whose interests are threatened by climate policies. Heartland particularly celebrates the funding that it receives from the fossil fuel fortune being the Charles G. Koch Foundation."

Once again it comes down to Oil and Money with one organization steering the whole ship. Lessee... so the shopping list must look a bit like this:

[x] legal system pwned by koch
[x] judicial system pwned by koch
[x] polictical system pwned by koch
[ ] education sytsem pwned by koch

An opportunity for IT.... (2)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#39045897)

Since some secular IT workers occupy positions of trust in superstitionist groups, and have the skill to leak information without getting busted (the Bradley Manning attention-whore model is not what to do!). they should consider doing so for the good of mankind.

IT workers can spy on superstitionists over time. Superstitionist political moves rely on hiding in the dark. IT folk can dump info (not from your own IP and don't forget MAC spoofing) into the light, and expose their machinations.

IT workers are taken for granted, their reach is considerable, and with malice and planning they can take the fight to the enemy. Don't forget to "follow the money".

biz8?atch (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045941)

show 7hat FrreBSD here, please do it has to be fun

Leaked Heartland Documents (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39045945)

Wow, denier funding is peanuts. These documents contradict the constant claims of 'well funded climate denialism'. It shows they were never true, alarmists simply made them up.

For years I never really knew if deniers were well funded or not. Now I know they were never well funded.

Its the greenies who have been well funded all along.

Thank you Desmogblog. Nice work

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