Heartland Institute documents reveal strategy of attacks against climate science

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:15 PM GMT on February 17, 2012

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Documents illegally leaked from the Heartland Institute, one of the most active groups engaged in attacking the science of climate change, provide an unprecedented look into how these groups operate. The story was broken Tuesday by DeSmogBlog, a website dedicated to exposing false claims about climate change science. The documents reveal that donors to Heartland included oil billionaire Charles Koch, and Heartland has spent several million dollars over the past five years to undermine climate science. Tens of thousands of dollars are slated to go this year to well-known climate contrarians S.Fred Singer, Craig Idso, and Anthony Watts of the Watts Up With That? website. Naturally, the leaked documents have lit up the blogosphere, but none of the revelations are particularly surprising. The U.S. has a very successful and well-funded climate change denial industry, primarily funded by fossil fuel companies, that has spent hundreds of millions of dollars over the past few decades on a PR campaign against climate change science. I made a lengthy post on the subject in 2009 called, The Manufactured Doubt industry and the hacked email controversy. I won't say more here, but getenergysmartnow.com has compiled a long list of blogs that have interesting posts on the Heartland Institute affair for those interested in following this story.



Eight books challenging the Manufactured Doubt industry
Important scientific findings should always be challenged with the goal of finding flaws and improving our scientific understanding. But there's nothing a scientist hates more than to see good science attacked and the reputations of good scientists smeared in name of protecting corporate profits or ideology. A number of scientists have fought back against the recent unfounded assaults on climate change science by publishing books calling attention to the Manufactured Doubt industry's tactics and goals. Anyone priding themselves on being a open-minded skeptic of human-caused global warming should challenge their skepticism by reading one of these works. I thought so highly of Unscientific America, Merchants of Doubt, and Climate Coverup, that I donated 50 copies of these books to undergraduates at the University of Michigan last year. Here's a short synopsis of eight books published in the past three years defending climate change science against the attacks of the Manufactured Doubt industry:

Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming, by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway. If you're going to read one book on the attacks on climate science, this should probably be the one--Dr. Oreskes, a history professor at UC San Diego, was voted climate change communicator of the year in 2011. A review of Merchants of Doubt and a video of her defending her book against skeptics is at climateprogress.org, my favorite website for staying current on the politics of climate change. From the review: "Make the journey with them, and you’ll see renowned scientists abandon science, you’ll see environmentalism equated with communism, and you’ll discover the connection between the Cold War and climate denial. And for the most part, you’ll be entertained along the way."

Climate Cover-up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming, by desmogblog.com co-founders James Hoggan and Richard Littlemore. The main author, James Hoggan, owns a Canadian public relations firm, and is intimately familiar with how public relations campaigns work. It's another fascinating and very readable book.

Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future, by science writer Chris Mooney. He writes a blog focusing on science communication called the intersection. This is a fantastic book, and should be required reading for all college science majors.

Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand, by Haydn Washington and John Cook. John Cook writes for one of my favorite climate science blogs, skepticalscience.com, which focuses on debunking false skeptic claims about climate science. The book does a great job debunking all the classic climate change denial arguments.

Doubt is Their Product: How Industry's Assault on Science Threatens Your Health, by George Washington University epidemiologist David Michaels, who now heads the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). This meticulously-researched book has just one chapter on climate change, and focuses more on tobacco and hazardous chemicals. About the the tobacco industry's Manufactured Doubt campaigns, Michaels wrote: "the industry understood that the public is in no position to distinguish good science from bad. Create doubt, uncertainty, and confusion. Throw mud at the anti-smoking research under the assumption that some of it is bound to stick. And buy time, lots of it, in the bargain". The title of Michaels' book comes from a 1969 memo from a tobacco company executive: "Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the 'body of fact' that exists in the minds of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy".

The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines, by climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann. Dr. Mann is the originator of the much-debated "hockey stick" graph of global temperatures over the past 1,000 years, which looks like a hockey stick due to the sharp increase in temperatures in recent decades. This book just came out last week, and I hope to write a review on it this spring. Dr. Mann is one of the main contributors to my favorite web site for staying current on climate change research, realclimate.org. John Cook of skepticalscience.com wrote a review, calling it "an eye-opening account of the lengths the opponents of climate science will go to in their campaign to slander climate scientists and distract the public from the realities of human caused global warming."

Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America by Shawn Lawrence Otto. I haven't had a chance to read this one yet, but it looks interesting. A review by Katherine O’Konski of Climate Science Watch called the book "a fascinating look at the status of science in American society."

The Inquisition of Climate Science, by Dr. James Lawrence Powell, a geochemist with a distinguished career as a college teacher, college president, museum director, and author of books on earth science for general audiences. I haven't read it, but John Cook of skepticalscience.com wrote a review, calling it "a must-read for anyone who wishes to understand the full scope of the denial industry and their modern day persecution of climate science."

Have a great weekend, everyone! I'll be taking a few vacation days next week, and wunderground meteorologist Angela Fritz will probably be doing most of the blogging for me during the coming week.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting SPLbeater:


ya i know, but we atleast got a dusting :D


maybe somethin else may develop to my west...hopefully

oh and it aint ended yet..its almost ended
We have an inch in Chapel Hill. It was a nice snow burst. Most of it fell in 20 minutes.
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1229. pottery
Quoting WxGeekVA:


1st thing I do is give a million bucks to each of my family members. Then I hit the club. After the club I don't know what to do next except impulse buy everything from moon bounces to cartons of Head-On.....
Hi.
I have been meaning to tell you about the fact that I'm really your brother.
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Quoting WxGeekVA:


Here's the 12Z GFS only 24 hours later... This shouldn't be ignored with the consistency that it has...



when is this?
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Quoting uncwhurricane85:


sorry your chances are over radar shows its ended


ya i know, but we atleast got a dusting :D


maybe somethin else may develop to my west...hopefully

oh and it aint ended yet..its almost ended
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting SPLbeater:


i cant win the lottery because i dont play the lotery because thata gambling. and i dont do that:)

but if i did ever get that much money, i would be buying a nice house, a good vehcile, some Rockford Fosgate amplifiers, a few Fi 18" subwoofers, and getting a serious car audio system. then use the rest for muscle building equipment.



1st thing I do is give a million bucks to each of my family members. Then I hit the club. After the club I don't know what to do next except impulse buy everything from moon bounces to cartons of Head-On.....

Where would I even use that anyway..

Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3468
Now that the rain has stopped, the final total from Rocky Point, North Carolina is....

5 inches
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31469
Quoting SPLbeater:
my dad just opened front door. snow and sleet coming down...hard!!


sorry your chances are over radar shows its ended
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Quoting caneswatch:


If I won the lottery, i'd be playing golf, training myself, and making my way to the PGA Tour.


i cant win the lottery because i dont play the lotery because thata gambling. and i dont do that:)

but if i did ever get that much money, i would be buying a nice house, a good vehcile, some Rockford Fosgate amplifiers, a few Fi 18" subwoofers, and getting a serious car audio system. then use the rest for muscle building equipment.

Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting WxGeekVA:


New Weather Geek motto "In long range 18Z GFS We Trust"

EDIT: This was on the 12Z GFS too...


Here's the 12Z GFS only 24 hours later... This shouldn't be ignored with the consistency that it has...

Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3468
Quoting WxGeekVA:


New Weather Geek motto "In long range 18Z GFS We Trust"


i noticed this morning a small period of snow showers forecast for me on saturday, but havnt checked out that timeframe yet. it isnt showing that tiny blue bar no more, so maybe nothin lol
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
As a stockholder in a major oil company that is doing quite well at present, I say that weather blogs should not be used for propaganda from the AGW leftist groups.
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Quoting SPLbeater:


actually i live in Sanford, and there is sleet coming down for the last 20 minutes and running.

take observations over radar, please:)

i would rather work for my living. Because then i know i cant be called lazy, or always avoiding work. around my town, when people mention my family, they think of how hard me, my bro and my dad work. and thats not a joke:)


If I won the lottery, i'd be playing golf, training myself, and making my way to the PGA Tour.
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1208 WxGeekVA "Because I would rather sit around on $100M than work every day. And I don't know who wouldn't!"

Sitting around on $100million sounds too much like work to me.
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New Weather Geek motto "In long range 18Z GFS We Trust"

EDIT: This was on the 12Z GFS too...
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3468
Quoting SPLbeater:
LOL the NWS has current conditions listed as "unknown Precip" lol. i know its sleet, but weather there is also freezing rain or snow i cant tell at all

Either way, its winter weather!!

Unknown precipitation usually means sleet or freezing drizzle/rain.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31469
LOL the NWS has current conditions listed as "unknown Precip" lol. i know its sleet, but weather there is also freezing rain or snow i cant tell at all

Either way, its winter weather!!
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Then you must live more towards the Goldston area, because it's all rain in Sanford...for now.


actually i live in Sanford, and there is sleet coming down for the last 20 minutes and running.

take observations over radar, please:)
Quoting WxGeekVA:


Because I would rather sit around on $100M than work every day. And I don't know who wouldn't!


i would rather work for my living. Because then i know i cant be called lazy, or always avoiding work. around my town, when people mention my family, they think of how hard me, my bro and my dad work. and thats not a joke:)
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Check out this 95 mph monster named Giovanna...

Woah! Amazing! What a monster!!!
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31469
Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Check out this 95 mph monster named Giovanna...


WOWWWWWWW!
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3468
Quoting WxGeekVA:


Because I would rather sit around on $100M than work every day. And I don't know who wouldn't!


Word!
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Quoting SPLbeater:



why dont you want a job?


It's a PITA to find one!
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Check out this 95 mph monster named Giovanna...
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Quoting SPLbeater:



why dont you want a job?


Because I would rather sit around on $100M than work every day. And I don't know who wouldn't!
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3468

this blog is DEAD right now
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I feel neglected by mother nature.
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Quoting SPLbeater:
my dad just opened front door. snow and sleet coming down...hard!!

Then you must live more towards the Goldston area, because it's all rain in Sanford...for now.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31469
Quoting caneswatch:


After you're done, can I borrow it so I can have the winning Powerball numbers so I don't have to worry about a job?



why dont you want a job?
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
my dad just opened front door. snow and sleet coming down...hard!!
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Can I borrow your crystal ball?


After you're done, can I borrow it so I can have the winning Powerball numbers so I don't have to worry about a job?
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Quoting RTSplayer:


Do you play online?

I can tell you, skill gaps are huge.

I used to spot people pieces back in high school and win anyway. Then one day this guy at college tore me up badly.

I've never really played online. Only against the computer. Haven't played vs humans in years.


yeah i play online, right now im tearing through level 4.
won 23 and drawn 13. not really hard.

i usually wait till i win 50 to move up a level:D
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Snow kncokin on the door of my county...0.o
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting SPLbeater:


i would say im pretty good. i remember when i thought my friends played good. recently we had a match, and they didnt take hardly any peices before i had em in checkmate lol. currently teaching my grandmother:D


Do you play online?

I can tell you, skill gaps are huge.

I used to spot people pieces back in high school and win anyway. Then one day this guy at college tore me up badly.

I've never really played online. Only against the computer. Haven't played vs humans in years.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting Articuno:

That's a nasty cell in the bottom right corner

Also near raleigh they're probaly getting some thundersnow with that cell and the heavy snow line next to it
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Quoting yqt1001:


Half an inch of snow would melt on the ground upon impact. Not even worth noting. Depending on the ground temperature vs. air temp ratio, it could be 1-3 inches before you notice accumulation.


aww dont discourage me....:D
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting hydrus:
Check out the massive front on the CMC in 144 hours. Actually south of the Bay of Compeche.


RIP SE ridge!!!!!
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Quoting yqt1001:


Half an inch of snow would melt on the ground upon impact. Not even worth noting. Depending on the ground temperature vs. air temp ratio, it could be 1-3 inches before you notice accumulation.


thank you my thoughts exactly
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

That's a nasty cell in the bottom right corner
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


thearea of snow when it gets to sanford will ony be about 60 miles wide by the time its starts to accum. due to the warm ground temps it will have already stopped, then it will melt before sunrise anyway..its N.C. thats how it happens
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1192. yqt1001
Quoting SPLbeater:


no no, this is the current one. the last time i will refer to models on this system.

yeah i in sanford but more then 0.50 inch is more then possible...its like, uh....half likely xD


Half an inch of snow would melt on the ground upon impact. Not even worth noting. Depending on the ground temperature vs. air temp ratio, it could be 1-3 inches before you notice accumulation.
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Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31469
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

The maximum would probably be 1.5"..


you spelled minimum wrong, its M-i-n-i-m-u-m
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting washingtonian115:
The models are talking about a snow storm???Again.


no no, this is the current one. the last time i will refer to models on this system.
Quoting uncwhurricane85:


you are in sanford you will hardly get a 1/2 inch. boone, you for sure will not get anything close to 4


yeah i in sanford but more then 0.50 inch is more then possible...its like, uh....half likely xD
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting SPLbeater:


i would say im pretty good. i remember when i thought my friends played good. recently we had a match, and they didnt take hardly any peices before i had em in checkmate lol. currently teaching my grandmother:D



awesome your still here to argue lol. AT THE LEAST, it would be 2.50 inches if it pans out from 18Z

The maximum would probably be 1.5"..
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31469
Quoting PensacolaDoug:


U any good?


i would say im pretty good. i remember when i thought my friends played good. recently we had a match, and they didnt take hardly any peices before i had em in checkmate lol. currently teaching my grandmother:D

Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Around an inch.



awesome your still here to argue lol. AT THE LEAST, it would be 2.50 inches if it pans out from 18Z
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
1186. yqt1001
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Around an inch.



That can't be right. O_o There's not 12 inches of snow here, more like 7-10.

Though it's amazing to see how far north the snowline is this year though. It's not even 6 hours south of me that there is green ground.
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Quoting SPLbeater:



are you just sad u wont get any??


you are in sanford you will hardly get a 1/2 inch. boone, you for sure will not get anything close to 4
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Quoting CaribBoy:
2012 season = bust

Can I borrow your crystal ball?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31469
Quoting SPLbeater:
BUT..the 18Z GFS has completed earlier, and i nw see a new level of snowfall forecast...a 1:5 ratio would give me 2.85 inches. a 1:10 ratio would give me 5.7 inches :D


Hey TA, want to argue this one? lol..the last one kinda died..

Around an inch.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31469
Quoting CaribBoy:


Low SSTs and developping El Nino...


Low SSTs can change by summer and the el nino may not last
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9720
Quoting SPLbeater:
BUT..the 18Z GFS has completed earlier, and i nw see a new level of snowfall forecast...a 1:5 ratio would give me 2.85 inches. a 1:10 ratio would give me 5.7 inches :D


Hey TA, want to argue this one? lol..the last one kinda died..
The models are talking about a snow storm???Again.
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Quoting SPLbeater:
Nah, i go play chess :D


U any good?
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.