The Not So Vast Conspiracy

Summary of WSJ editorial dated February 21, 2012

The attack mentality of the liberal media, was in the spotlight again this week with the widely carried story of the Heartland Institute, a conservative non-profit group.  Supposedly Heartland is anti-science lavishly funded by big oil and the Koch brothers.  Detailed documents released this week appear to reveal financial, donor and personnel information and outline the Institute's projects.  Heartland has stated that at least one of the documents is a fake and that other released documents may have been altered.

According to the Associated Press, "(Heartland) is one of the loudest voices denying human caused global warming hosting the largest scientific conference of skeptics on climate change".

The press, however, has chosen not to cover the possible fraud involved with the documents but to use them as "proof" that some well-funded vast right wing conspiracy has been uncovered.

Comparing Heartland funding of organization who are true believers in human caused global warming does not support the allegation that Heartland is more well-funded than the perpetuaters of global warming.

Heartland's revenues were $7.7 million this past year from private donors.  Mr. Koch's "heavy funding" amounted to  $25,000 of total donations or .3% of donations.  Last year the Natural Resources Defense Council reported $95.4 million in operating revenues while the World Wildlife Fund received $238.5 million.   

The amount of money that Heartland has budgeted for the " largest international scientific conference of skeptics" Heartland will spend $338,000.   Compared to the U.N. Inergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which will spend $6.5 million.  Meanwhile the White House has proposed spending of $2.6 billion on research into "the global changes that have resulted primarily from global over-dependence on fossil fuels."

(The Federal Government routinely spends a similar amount of money each year primarily to groups and panels that support climate change as man made with little or no money going to groups that do not.  This has the effect of forcing climate scientists into a particular viewpoint in order to keep their jobs.  See the  Federal government position and funding for climate change ).

Press coverage has focused on Heartland's plan to produce and distribute material suitable for K-12 students on global warming and why there isn't a need to panic.  Heartland is budgeting $200,000 for this project but has had limited success.  One reason may be that last year the World Wildlife Fund spent $68.5 million on "public education" alone.  Heartland is up against some obviously well-funded opposition.

Despite small budgets and low visibility, the government and media toadies believe that no skeptical organization is too small to attack for the audacity of presenting an argument counter to theirs.  This is the real travesty of not having an objective press.


More Resources

How Can Global Warming Scientists Spend So Much Money


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