The Heartland Institute, a conservative free market Chicago
based “think tank”, is probably more responsible than the Cato Institute or the
George C. Marshall Institute for confusing the public about global warming and
stalling congress from addressing its threat to humanity.
In March 2013, in
time for Earth Day, Heartland mailed a package of bogus information to,
according to them, every school teacher, college professor, politician, and
media contact in America attempting to vilify established peer reviewed science
and legitimate scientists with their lies and misinformation. Heartland was also
on a rampage trying to dissuade teachers from teaching science in America’s
This package contained a book entitled, The Mad, Mad, Mad
World of Climatism. It also included a 10 minute DVD entitled Unstoppable Solar
Cycles: The Real Story of Greenland, a general brochure of the Heartland
Institute, and a postcard slamming Al Gore showing a bogus CO2 time line
claiming to prove that the planet is cooling, a claim running totally against
all legitimate scientific observations.
This mailing campaign is extremely audacious considering the
immense damage they did to themselves during their 7th Annual
Conference on Climate Change in Chicago when they posted an add on a billboard
along the Eisenhower Expressway with a picture of Unabomber Ted Kaczynski
saying, “I still believe in Global Warming. Do you?” They also planned to run
follow-up billboards with Osama bin Laden, Charles Manson, and Fidel Castro.
Heartland’s justification for the ads, “Because what these
murderers and madmen have said differs very little from what spokespersons for
the United Nations, journalists for the “mainstream” media, and liberal
politicians say about global warming.”
It is well known that oil tycoons the Koch Brothers, EXXON,
and other fossil related companies heavily finance the Heartland
Institute. But after the billboard
debacle 22 smaller corporate donors pulled their support. Considering the
diabolical intentions of the Heartland Institute it is amazing that AT&T,
Microsoft, Comcast, and the US Chamber of Commerce still finance their
shenanigans. Shame on them!
Now, to conceal donor contributions they filter the money
through organizations like the Philanthropy Roundtable, Donors Trust, and
Donors Capital Fund. While the investigation is going on at the IRS for
stalling Tea Party nonprofit applications, they should also investigate the Heartland
Institutes IRS violations.
Heartland’s diabolical fame began with their alliance with
the tobacco industry. They worked with Philip Morris to create doubt about the
science linking second-hand smoke to health risks. Then they nefariously defended
RJ Reynolds’ “Joe Camel” campaign targeting kids to start smoking by making it
look cool to smoke Joe Camel Cigarettes.
They used their scientist Fred Singer to dispute that tobacco is a
health risk and now they cart Singer out to dispute the peer reviewed science
about climate change.
In contrast to Heartland’s claims, a report released by the
International Energy Agency (IEA) about 2012 carbon dioxide emissions show that
world CO2 concentrations rose 1.4 percent in 2012 to a record high of 31.6
billion tons. At this rate of increase the world is on track to push global
temperatures up to between 6.5 and 9.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Climate scientists
warn that to maintain a livable planet we cannot exceed a 3.6 degree Fahrenheit
increase. This report is bad news - very bad news - and we haven’t even begun
to deal with CO2 emissions yet. In fact, we pump 90 million tons of CO2 into
the atmosphere every 24 hours by burning fossil fuels and CO2 concentration in
the atmosphere averages 397 parts per million (PPM) and twice has spiked to over
400 PPM, the highest since humans have inhabited the planet.
Besides fossil fuel industry money, what drives people at
the Heartland Institute to be so diabolical? They are profoundly responsible
for delaying actions that would cut CO2 and limit the impacts of climate change.
Their actions have condemned future generations, our children and grandchildren,
to an unpredictable and perilous world.