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 school rooms.
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.