[Climate change is] an absolute travesty of scientific research that was motivated by those who, in my opinion, saw this as an opportunity to create a panic and a crisis for government to be able to step in and even more greatly control your life. ... I for one never bought the hoax.
Pope Benedict XVI has been consistent and clear [PDF] in saying that global leaders need to confront the challenge of climate change. His predecessor, Pope John Paul II, also called for climate action, as have many other leaders within the church hierarchy. Last year, the Vatican issued a report warning about the "serious and potentially irreversible impacts of global warming caused by the anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases."
When someone grabbed emails and documents from the computers of climate scientists and leaked them to the media in 2009, few organizations were as mirthful as the Heartland Institute, an outfit that has worked for years to spread the gospel of climate-change denial. Although multiple investigations into the scientists' emails debunked accusations that the researchers had subverted science and distorted data, Heartland and its allies used the so-called "Climategate" memos to tar climate science and bully the media into covering their dubious claims.
Last Monday, when an anonymous source (we now know it to be MacArthur-award-winning scientist and climate activist Peter Gleick) released internal Heartland memos to the press, the group had something else to say entirely.
The Heartland documents included details about a plan to introduce climate denial into grade school curricula and a list of major donors that includes a rogues' gallery of corporate interests. One document contained a summary of Heartland's work promoting fracking. Surprising? Hardly. Embarrassing? Apparently.
Here is a video of Rick Santorum lying about the history of clean air in America and specifically Pittsburgh.
The entire clip is full of howlers, including an applause line in which Santorum, who denies the science of climate change, says that environmentalism is "anti-science." But here's the one that grabbed me:
Todd Tanner will give you his gun when you pry it from his cold, convinced-of-the-nonexistence-of-climate-change hands. Tanner, the chair of the new group Conservation Hawks -- sportsmen (i.e. hunters) who don't want climate change to ruin their fun -- has challenged anyone to prove to him that climate change shouldn’t be a concern. If you win, he will give you, the Conservationist's Hal Herring reports, "his most prized possession: A Beretta Silver Pigeon 12 gauge over/under that was a gift from his wife, and has been a faithful companion on many a Montana bird hunt." (Grist List doesn’t know that much about guns but this one looks pretty much like the gun we’d want to own, if we owned a gun.)
Lest deniers think the man is joking, Herring assures us, "I know the gun, and I’ve hunted and fished with Todd for years. He’s not kidding. You convince him, he’ll give you the gun."
This article was written by Suzanne Goldenberg forThe Guardian.
It is almost possible to dismiss Michael Mann's account of a vast conspiracy by the fossil fuel industry to harass scientists and befuddle the public. His story of that campaign, and his own journey from naive computer geek to battle-hardened climate ninja, seems overwrought, maybe even paranoid.
But now comes the unauthorized release of documents showing how a libertarian think tank, the Heartland Institute, which has in the past been supported by Exxon, spent millions on lavish conferences attacking scientists and concocting projects to counter science teaching for kindergarteners.
The founder of Conservation Hawks, an organization of sportsmen dedicated to fighting climate change, will give up his gun if global warming is a hoax.
“If you can convince Conservation Hawks chairman Todd Tanner that he’s wasting his time, that he does not have to worry about climate change, he will present to you his most prized possession: a Beretta Silver Pigeon 12 gauge over/under that was a gift from his wife, and has been a faithful companion on many a Montana bird hunt,” Hal Herring writes at The Conservationist. “I know the gun, and I’ve hunted and fished with Todd for years. He’s not kidding. You convince him, he’ll give you the gun.” Tanner told The Conservationist:
DeSmogBlog has publicized documents that illuminate the Heartland Institute's denialist agenda, and who's footing the bill. The list of funders is interesting -- Kochs, Philip Morris, Microsoft -- and so is the news that they're handing out money to vocal deniers. But perhaps most sobering is their plan to undermine climate science in the classroom.
Looks like someone has pulled a Climategate on denialist think tank the Heartland Institute. (Is "think tank" the correct term for an institution devoted to spreading misinformation? Maybe "lie tank" is better.) Turns out that -- surprise surprise -- they take donations from the Koch brothers, as well as tobacco companies and Microsoft. And then they pay off pundits and scientists to publicly wage war on facts.