Confidential documents leaked from The Heartland Institute reveal how big business pays for climate change denial, including by paying climate sceptic Australian scientists. Mike Ludwig from Truthout reports.
The climate-change-denying think tank The Heartland Institute pays monthly stipends to vocal global warming sceptics, received $200,000 from the Charles G. Koch Foundation in 2011 and received a total of $3.4 million from corporations in 2010 and 2011, according to internal documents released last night.
DeSmogBlog released the documents Tuesday night to expose its rival in the global warming debate. The blog received the documents from an anonymous "Heartland Insider." Here's the inside scoop and more on Heartland:
- Craig Idso, chairman of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change and other think tanks, receives $11,600 per month from Heartland. Idso's study centre is funded in part by Exxon Mobile and he recently spoke on the benefits of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide levels at the American Legislative Exchange Council's annual meeting, according to SourceWatch.org.
- Australian global warming sceptic Professor Bob Carter receives $1,667 per month, but denied doing the bidding of Heartland in an Australian newspaper on Wednesday.
- Fred Singer of the climate-change-denying Science and Environmental Policy Project receives $5,000 a month from Heartland.
- Singer's group helped establish NIPCC [Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change], which Heartland sponsors to "undermine" the reports by the United Nation's climate change panel, according to Heartland documents. Two anonymous foundations supply the NIPCC funding.
- Heartland has a "key" anonymous donor who gave $1.6 million in 2010 and $979,000 in 2011.
- Heartland's income totalled $4.6 million in 2011.
- The Charles G. Koch Foundation of Koch brother's fame gave Heartland $200,000 in 2011 and promised more money in 2012. The Koch family made much of its riches from fossil fuels and their foundation routinely supports conservative politicians and causes.
- Heartland's proposed 2012 budget includes $75,000 to develop a "Global Warming Curriculum for K-12 Classrooms," as proposed by a government consultant who wants to develop alternative classroom materials. Several states have introduced legislation that would give climate change scepticism a place in the classroom.
- From Heartland's climate strategy: "Efforts at places such as Forbes are especially important now that they have begun to allow high profile climate scientists (such as Gleick) to post warmist science essays that counter our own. This influential audience has usually been reliably anti-climate and it is important to keep opposing voices out."
- Heartland has a right-wing agenda beyond climate change. The group proposed $667,217 in 2012 for its "Free to Choose Medicine" campaign, which wants to give consumers the right to take prescription drugs before they are evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
(This story was originally published in Truthout on 15 February 2002 and has been republished under a Creative Commons licence.)