Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Document leak from the Heartland Institute

Documents leaked from the Heartland Institute reveal its funding sources (including Charles G. Koch and an unnamed single donor providing about 20% of their total revenue) and recipients of funding (including $5,000/mo to Fred Singer and a plan to raise $90,000 for blogger Anthony Watts in 2012).

The Heartland Institute is essentially the Tobacco Institute for climate change denial.  See previous posts as this blog with the Heartland Institute tag.

UPDATE (February 18, 2012): It appears that one of the documents, the one with the most embarrassing statements, was a forgery--but the statements I've made above all appear to be confirmed.

UPDATE (February 21, 2012): Climate scientist Peter Gleick has confessed to being the leaker of the documents, but claims the apparently forged document was mailed to him anonymously and he scanned it in before distributing it with the others which he obtained by subterfuge after receiving the anonymous mailing.  The oddities and errors in the forged document, however, strongly suggest Gleick himself forged the document after receiving the others.


Unknown said...

The blogger makes a good case for the memo being a forgery. But why forge a memo that contains real information? I don't get it. That sullies the whole release, by providing Heartland with a legitimate talking point. By the way, you should see all the hand-wringing taking place on Skeptical Science over whether or not it's "ethical" to post leaked documents.

W_Chow said...


I don't think the memo was forged by Gleick based on quantitative textual analysis (and Michael Tobis's first comment in Otto's blog is very apropos), as well as by evaluating the memo's content line-by-line with the other leaked documents.

But all this speculation on the memo's origin and authorship really is separate to the central issue -- i.e. the other documents, which appear to be genuinely legitimate and authored/emailed by Bast himself. Even without the memo, their content is pretty damning, and Ed Markey has requested for the originals -- lets see how Heartland (and Bast, whom I think is in deep, deep trouble over this leak) -- responds.

If anything, I'm saddened somewhat to see how ASU comes off looking pretty poorly from the Heartland budget documents. I'm still amazed that (1) Balling gets $12K a year to write a single chapter in a contrarian document with little actual science, and (2) Craig Idso gets a six-figure annual salary to edit the NIPCC document. It doesn't really show the university's climate bona fides in a good light, does it?