disseminate misinformation about climate science."
Heartland's Burnett: "A brief timeout on behalf of the Heartlander Digital Magazine.
The Heartlander Digital Magazine is a unique product among right leaning think-tanks, published by the Heartland Institute this daily news site is overseen by managing editors for each of its six sections and produced by a team of writers who cover current events from a Free Market Perspective updated with fresh stories. Every day the Heartlander Magazine provides readers with vital counter-spin to the mainstream medias take on the important domestic policy issues of the day.
... Get fully informed, get the Free Market angle to today's news, visit us."
What about learning from the information at hand ? ?
This dedication to playing games and sanctioning spin over substance and striving to understand the full scope of available information is appalling.
The mission of The Heartland Institute is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. Such solutions include parental choice in education, choice and personal responsibility in health care, market-based approaches to environmental protection, privatization of public services, and deregulation in areas where property rights and markets do a better job than government bureaucracies.
(I've added a couple highlights here and there.)
Then we move on to the direct funding by Heartland – and its "anonymous donor" – of various climate sceptic scientists:
As scientists who have had their emails stolen, posted online and grossly misrepresented, we can appreciate the difficulties the Heartland Institute is currently experiencing following the online posting of the organization’s internal documents earlier this week.
However, we are greatly disappointed by their content, which indicates the organization is continuing its campaign to discredit mainstream climate science and to undermine the teaching of well-established climate science in the classroom.
We know what it feels like to have private information stolen and posted online via illegal hacking. It happened to climate researchers in 2009 and again in 2011. Personal emails were culled through and taken out of context before they were posted online. In 2009, the Heartland Institute was among the groups that spread false allegations about what these stolen emails said.
Despite multiple independent investigations, which demonstrated that allegations against scientists were false, the Heartland Institute continued to attack scientists based on the stolen emails. When more stolen emails were posted online in 2011, the Heartland Institute again pointed to their release and spread false claims about scientists.
So although we can agree that stealing documents and posting them online is not an acceptable practice, we would be remiss if we did not point out that the Heartland Institute has had no qualms about utilizing and distorting emails stolen from scientists.
We hope the Heartland Institute will heed its own advice to “think about what has happened” and recognize how its attacks on science and scientists have helped poison the debate over climate change policy. The Heartland Institute has chosen to undermine public understanding of basic scientific facts and personally attack climate researchers rather than engage in a civil debate about climate change policy options.
These are the facts: Climate change is occurring. Human activity is the primary cause of recent climate change. Climate change is already disrupting many human and natural systems. The more heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions that go into the atmosphere, the more severe those disruptions will become. Major scientific assessments from the Royal Society, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, United States Global Change Research Program and other authoritative sources agree on these points.
What businesses, policymakers, advocacy groups and citizens choose to do in response to those facts should be informed by the science. But those decisions are also necessarily informed by economic, ethical, ideological, and other considerations. While the Heartland Institute is entitled to its views on policy, we object to its practice of spreading misinformation about climate research and personally attacking climate scientists to further its goals.
We hope the Heartland Institute will begin to play a more constructive role in the policy debate. Refraining from misleading attacks on climate science and climate researchers would be a welcome first step toward having an honest, fact-based debate about the policy responses to climate change.
Ray Bradley, PhD, Director of the Climate System Research Center, University of Massachusetts
David Karoly, PhD, ARC Federation Fellow and Professor, University of Melbourne, Australia
Michael Mann, PhD, Director, Earth System Science Center, Pennsylvania State University
Jonathan Overpeck, PhD, Professor of Geosciences and Atmospheric Sciences, Univ. of Arizona
Ben Santer, PhD, Research Scientist, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Gavin Schmidt, PhD, Climate Scientist, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
Kevin Trenberth, ScD, Distinguished Senior Scientist, Climate Analysis Section, National Center for Atmospheric Research
The Alternative Reality of the Heartland Institute’s “NIPCC” Report
- Average citizens “understand” (recognize) uncertainties in climate science; recognition of uncertainties becomes part of the “conventional wisdom”
- Media “understands” (recognizes) uncertainties in climate science
- Media coverage reflects balance on climate science and recognition of the validity of viewpoints that challenge the current “conventional wisdom”
Tactics: These tactics will be undertaken between now and the next climate meeting in Buenos Aires/Argentina, in November 1998, and will be continued thereafter, as appropriate. Activities will be launched as soon as the plan is approved, funding obtained, and the necessary resources (e.g., public relations counsel) arranged and deployed. In all cases, tactical implementation will be fully integrated with other elements of this action plan, most especially Strategy II (National Climate Science Data Center).
Identify, recruit and train a team of five independent scientists to participate in media outreach. These will be individuals who do not have a long history of visibility and/or participation in the climate change debate. Rather, this team will consist of new faces who will add their voices to those recognized scientists who already are vocal.
- Develop a global climate science information kit for media including peer-reviewed papers that undercut the “conventional wisdom”on climate science. This kit also will include understandable communications, including simple fact sheets that present scientific uncertainties in language that the media and public can understand.
- Conduct briefings by media-trained scientists for science writers in the top 20 media markets, using the information kits. Distribute the information kits to daily newspapers nationwide with offer of scientists to brief reporters at each paper. Develop, disseminate radio news releases featuring scientists nationwide, and offer scientists to appear on radio talk shows across the country.
- Produce, distribute a steady stream of climate science information via facsimile and e-mail to science writers around the country.
- Produce, distribute via syndicate and directly to newspapers nationwide a steady stream of op-ed columns and letters to the editor authored by scientists.
- Convince one of the major news national TV journalists (e.g., John Stossel ) to produce a report examining the scientific underpinnings of the Kyoto treaty.
- Organize, promote and conduct through grassroots organizations a series of campus/community workshops/debates on climate science in 10 most important states during the period mid-August through October, 1998.
- Consider advertising the scientific uncertainties in select markets to support national, regional and local (e.g., workshops / debates), as appropriate. […]
The strategy will have the added benefit of providing a platform for credible, constructive criticism of the opposition’s position on the science. […]
- The GCSDC will become a one-stop resource on climate science for members of Congress, the media, industry and all others concerned. It will be in constant contact with the best climate scientists and ensure that their findings and views receive appropriate attention. It will provide them with the logistical and moral support they have been lacking. In short, it will be a sound scientific alternative to the IPCC. […]
The danger in the Heartland Institute's mass mailing is that some K-12 teachers may mistake what they see for real science. K-12 teachers teach a wide range of subjects in which they have variable experience and expertise. As climate science is incorporated into courses, many teachers find themselves looking for information to use in class. And here, delivered right to their mailbox, is Heartland's report dressed up to look like a real scientific assessment from that group...what was the name, again? NIPCC? IPCC? Are they different?
Here’s how teachers can tell the difference:
The latest IPCC report, by contrast, was drafted by 259 scientists from 39 countries, supported by over 600 reviewers and contributors. IPCC scientists are unpaid and volunteer their expertise.
But the real scandal is that Soon, who is not a climate scientist and who has aligned himself with the decidedly unscientific Heartland Institute, is continuing to stand by the integrity of his work, which deviates sharply from the vast majority of climate science. If he is, as he claimed, “willing to debate the substance of my research and competing views of climate change with anyone, anytime, anywhere,” he might want to start with the climate scientists listed in this exhaustive round-up of all the ways in which the substance of his research has been debated and discredited on its scientific merit alone. ...