This seems to be fairly big news. The Heartland Institute is a conservative and libertarian “think” tank that cut its teeth on denying the dangers of cigarette smoking back in the 1990s. These days the Heartland Institute seems to be focused on Anthropogenic Climate Change Denialism and Science Denialism in general.
Well, just a few hours ago, members of the climate change science, journalism, and blogging community received an interesting Valentine’s Day gift from someone who must be a Heartland Institute insider: The institute’s budget, fundraising plan, climate related strategy, and numerous other things. The story broke here on Desmog Blog.
Here’s the details:
The 2012 fundraising plan ((1-15-2012) 2012 Fundraising Plan.pdf) claims that Heartland will raise $7.7 million in 2012, up by 70% from 2011. One of the most interesting revelations of this document is an “anonymous donor” who gave just under one million in 2011 and who plans to give 1.25 million for 2012.
The budget ((1-15-2012) 2012 Heartland Budget (2).pdf) gives an idea of the institute’s activities (lots of communications and lobbying). Most interesting are the funds that will be spent on fighting science in schools and other venues. $75,000 is set aside for:
K-12 Climate Education Project
Payments to David Wojick for K-12 Global Warming Lesson Plan modules plus a Website featuring the same. Estimate quarterly payments of $25,000 in June, September, and December.
We know this to be an effort to fight the teaching of good climate science in schools, much like efforts we’ve seen before to force creationism into science classes in order to damage science teaching. It is probably in the interest of those who donate to Heartland to have a poorly informed populace when it comes to science.
The documents include an agenda for a January 17th 2012 meeting of the directors of the Heartland Institute (2 Agenda for January 17 Meeting.pdf), a 2010 Federal IRS Form 990 (2010_IRS_Form_990 (2).pdf) and a Janurary 2012 document addressing the 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy (2012 Climate Strategy (3).pdf)
In that document we learn about efforts to increase climate related fundraising, noting the “key Anonymous Donor” and additional support from the Charles G. Koch Foundation. The afore mentioned K-12 Classrooms project is outlined. Specifically, the document states:
Development of our “Global Warming Cirriculum for K-12 Classrooms” project.
Principals and teachers are heavily biased towards 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 cirriculum 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 wil focus on providing 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.
There is a larger document that appears to be supporting materials for the January 17th meeting (Binder1 (2).pdf). One of the more interesting parts of this document is the discussion of decreased funding to the institute (on page 15 of the PDF file).
The details of the board of directors of the Heartland Institute are provided in one document (Board Directory 01-18-12.pdf). That includes their emails and phone numbers in case you want to contact any of them and ask why they hate the Planet Earth or something. And finally, a cover memo for the entire package for the January 17th meeting (Board Meeting Package January 17.pdf)
(And, yes, I did just give you all these links is approximate reverse order that the documents were probably originally passed out originally.)
I have no idea who the individual is who passed these documents on, nor do I have an idea who the Anonymous Donor with all the money to spend on ruining the planet and messing with the education of our children. The former is something of a hero, the later, a villain.
Here are a few other blog posts on the material:
- Heartland Institute Exposed: Internal Documents Unmask Heart of Climate Denial Machine
- INTERNAL DOCUMENTS: The Secret, Corporate-Funded Plan To Teach Children That Climate Change Is A Hoax
- Heartland Institute budget and strategy revealed
- How is Joe Bast Like Joe Camel? Looks Like We’re Going To Find Out..
- Is Turnabout Fair Play?
- Leaked insider docs from Heartland Institute goal: “dissuading teachers from teaching science” #climate #Heartland #ScholarlyKitchen
- Leaked Heartland Institute documents pull back curtain on climate scepticism
- Leak exposes how Heartland Institute works to undermine climate science
- The Heart(land) of the Denial Campaign
- Zachary Shanan, Fossil-Fuel-Funded Think Tank, Heartland Institute, Exposed (Deniergate? Heartlandgate? Pick a Name), Clean Technica
- Phil Plait, Breaking news: A look behind the curtain of the Heartland Institute’s climate change spin, Bad Astronomy
- Christian Hunt, Undermining the IPCC, keeping opposing voices out, dissuading the teaching of science – Heartland in its own words?, The Carbon Brief
- Canucks On Heartland Institute Payroll
I’m have a hard time stifling the “bwahahaha.”
Disclaimer: The Heartland Institute is now claiming that these documents have likely been altered or faked, and are threatening to pursue criminal and civil charges against all bloggers who posted comments on them or links to them.
I can not prove that these documents are real or fake. I will certainly pass on to you any information that comes along about this. Have a look at the documents and make up your own mind (before I am forced by guys in suits to take down the links).