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« Evidence to the Justice Committee | Main | Public should be charged to see their own papers »

Heartland docs leaked

Some documents have been leaked from the Heartland Institute, which detail its funding of various sceptics - Idso, Carter and Singer - together with some funding for Anthony Watts' temperature stations project. They're stolen documents, I tell you, stolen!

There are apparently nine or ten documents, which will no doubt be scanned for evidence of malfeasance. I haven't seen any serious allegations as yet.

There's coverage all over the place. Try here for starters.


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Reader Comments (123)

@shub- is that it! I'm a troll, is that the most you can summon, why not challenge me on my presumptions?- read my forum post Sceptic skeptic, and maybe try and string an argument together. The process of science is the best system we have, but it ain't perfect- repeating myths, moving with the pack, and taking an immovable stance doesn't come anywhere near it. It is not being a sceptic, so what are you?

Feb 15, 2012 at 11:25 AM | Unregistered Commenteriwannabeasceptic

"is that it! I'm a troll, is that the most you can summon, why not challenge me on my presumptions?"

Don't you agree that, if I were to do that, it would have precious little with the Heartland documents?

Feb 15, 2012 at 11:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Richard when you come off your fence and answer my question about where you stand on 'Hide the Decline' then we can seriously talk.. otherwise it is the silence of the scientists..

Greenpeace still claim 300k Climate change deaths...
yuh7Where are the scienhtists doing there duty and saying that is rubbish (that is Greenpeace UK) who have been bending politicians ears...

Franny Armstrong, (10:10) publically states 300k climate change deaths.. I hope you set her straight on that when she had a tour of the Met Office..

Science is horrible politicised in America, but by scientist silence in the UK, I consider it nearly as bad..
Professor J Jones, has felt fit to take a stand on some issues, foi of data (and Don Keller), 'hide the decline' WHERE are all the other scientists. Where are those standing up for the corruption of peer review, the treatment of other scientists, De Freitas, etc.

I'm absoluely fed up with the 'dancing around climate science sensibilities' - maybe it is time to be tougher and more robust...

22,000 real children die EVERY day in this world by totally preventable causes. CAGW is a horrible moral delusion.

Feb 15, 2012 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

I've spent the morning watching the great and the good and the smug of the twitterari - bang on about climate deniers..

This offends me greatly.

I find it 'incredibly infuriating' to be in the position and environment where my children are growing up..

And their father, when he asks questions and expects answers, is called a 'climate denier' and dismissed as of no consequence and labelled as bad, mad or stupid, depending what linkage is being used tha day to deny my voice (creationist, fossil fuel, truther, holocaust, crank, etc)

Feb 15, 2012 at 11:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods


Perhaps their response will be along the lines of "we have HAD to adopt the same practices of the Alarmists exactly because it is these practices that the alarmists have repeatedly used to ensure that opposing voices are kept out of the debate on Mann Made Global Warmibg (tm).

And as someone has already pointed out there will be lots of nashing of the teeth by the Mann Made Global Warming Creationists (tm) about this leak of 'stolen' documents and how it proves how nasty the 'denialists' are but by golly, isn't it interesting how uninteresting it was when those stolen climate gate emails were released?!?



Feb 15, 2012 at 11:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

@shub- don't quite get where you are coming from-
if I were to do that, it would have precious little with the Heartland documents?- it would have little what?

And the whole UEA /climategate is exactly what dismays me. There is no chink in the armour, I am not going to play AGW Top Trumps as it is pointless- but on the easiest debuked rumour-
what year was the email written?
did any climate sceptic say that that year showed a decline in temperatures?
was the issue of divergence ever covered up?

The issue of climategate was public access, but to continue to recycle [as green as it is] the same mis-information only serves the establishment who can dismiss any kind of awkward question and probing inquiry as the act of desperate, gullible, political driven denialists.

Feb 15, 2012 at 12:01 PM | Unregistered Commenteriwannabeasceptic

Well said. Is Greenpeace really still quoting the 300,000 deaths? Don’t they know that this figure comes from a defunct shell organisation fronted by Kofi Annan, quoting the PR company Dalberg Associates, quoting the MunichRe insurance company, who made it up?

Of course Richard Betts and Mac are right that keeping opposing voices out and undermining the opposition are wrong. I’m sure everyone here would be happy to see His Grace sift through the Heartland document and list everything which he considers unacceptable. Will the mainstream media do the same for the Climategate emails?

Feb 15, 2012 at 12:11 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

wannabe - yeah, all academics write emails about getting PI tails put on their critics.

Feb 15, 2012 at 12:24 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Barry Woods - agreed, if only one percent of the effort that goes into spin and controlled messaging went into honestly answering questions. Watch your back - PI's will be at your bins.... :-)

Feb 15, 2012 at 12:28 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Well Richard Betts do you have links to green groups and have you made donations to them?

Feb 15, 2012 at 12:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Greenpeace - climate change killing 315 k people..
same dodgy GHF report..

Feb 15, 2012 at 12:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Just to make my position clear, if anyone is at all interested. I deplore anyone seeking to prevent any opinions being heard, especially in science.

Feb 15, 2012 at 12:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterArthur Dent

Odd that Anthony Watts hasn't yet said a word about this on his own blog. It is as if nothing has happened. Is this wise? Why respond to the story in other blogs instead of WUWT?

Feb 15, 2012 at 1:09 PM | Unregistered CommentersHx

Surely the Heartland Institute is a pressure group and a PR organisation which has already made up it's mind about their stance and is actually tasked with keeping down dissenting voices and undermining the opposing views?
I do not find this particularly edifying, but I am not surprised. It is their job. That is what it exists to do.

It is when scientific establishments do the same,then such actions must be howled down.

I would not hold Greenpeace to the same standards as I would hold the Royal Society.

Feb 15, 2012 at 1:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage


It's also silly o'clock in the morning, unless of course you believe it's a conspiracy of silence!?!??!


Feb 15, 2012 at 1:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

NOT to mention that he has already commented to the Guardian about the stolen documents.


Feb 15, 2012 at 1:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Barry Woods:

Greenpeace still claim 300k Climate change deaths... Where are the scientists doing their duty and saying that is rubbish

Absolutely key question Barry. Your passion is directed with laser clarity here.

However I have real misgivings about people demanding that Richard Betts should tell us about his charitable giving. Why on earth should he? And above all what on earth is it about blogs that people using pseudonyms demand such things from someone using his real name with a real career and reputation to think about? Weird and morally up the spout.

Feb 15, 2012 at 1:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Lets protect the leakers.

People should be congratulating those who have provided evidence of wrong doing in science and politics.

It is only those who have something to hide that should be fearful. Isn't that true Richard Betts?

Feb 15, 2012 at 1:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Feb 15, 2012 at 10:59 AM | Mac

Richard Betts have you links with green groups and have you made donations to such groups?

I'm not, and never have been, a member of any environmental NGOs (like Greenpeace, FOE etc etc) not any humanitarian ones like Oxfam, Christian Aid etc.

I've made minor donations to Oxfam in my local shop, and have probably put the odd bit of change in the Christian Aid envelope when it comes through the door.

My wife and her friend run a little group in our village which some would probably describe as the local "green group" - they have done things like organise community recycling before the local council got up to speed, and community events where local food producers (cider, honey, pork etc) can sell to local people direct.

I did attend the Live Earth pop concert at Wembley at the request of the organisers, as one of the people providing the artists with background info. There was a team of people from Stop Climate Chaos who were briefing them on the campaign message, but my role was different to that - I was there to answer any deeper questions that anyone had. Eddy Izzard, for example, is a very clever guy and wanted to know about stuff in more detail, so I had a good chat with him (although I emphasis I was not doing NGO "messaging". Also (and this is one of my favourite stories to bore people with!) I had an incredibly detailed and technical conversation with the Pussy Cat Dolls about a wide range of issues such as carbon sequestration and ocean acidification - Nicole Sherzinger in particular was very well-informed. On the other hand, I was merely asked to move out of the way by Madonna's PA when she came passing through with her huge entourage in tow. But I disgress.... the point was, I was at the same event as NGOs, but clearly in a neutral role.

I've also come into contact with 10:10 occasionally - I attended the premier of Age of Stupid, but when asked, I did not say that the Met Office endorsed the film - and moreover the Met Office did not sign up to 10:10.

(Barry: when Franny came here, we did indeed have a full and frank discussion about scientific uncertainties and the limits of attribution of past impacts, and I've also challenged her on more than one occasion about the 2 degrees thing.)

My team do carry out some work with funding from some environmental NGOs (such as WWF) on a strictly objective basis - being very careful about the uncertainties in future projections etc and being careful not to let the case be overstated. This includes things like an analysis of the IPCC AR4 climate projections for a particular region or subject of interest. As with government work, we never let anyone put words in our mouths, and are fully prepared to not accept the funding if the client disagrees with our neutral and objective approach.

I have of course also been involved in briefing Robert Napier in his capacity as chairman of the Met Office board. I also often brief visitors who are associated with environmental groups (as well as visitors from industry bodies such as multinational mining companies - and indeed sometimes going to their HQs to brief their board members). I also briefed HRH The Prince of Wales on our work on the rainforests.

I also once attended an informal dinner organised by Edward Goldsmith, along with Bianco Jagger. I remember having to work quite hard to try to convince Goldsmith that the situation wasn't as catastrophic as he thought!

I did once speak at a conference immediately before Al Gore, in the days when An Inconvenient Truth was merely a powerpoint presentation not a movie. My presentation was "The Scientific Background" or something like that. Actually Goldsmith was also at the same conference, I remember listening to him explain to Romano Prodi, then president of the European Commission, why there should not even be a European Commission....! :-)

I think that pretty much covers anything that may count as "links to green groups" as far as I can recall. There may be other specific details, but you get the general picture -

Feb 15, 2012 at 2:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Betts

Was Nicole as hot in real life as she appears on the tv??!?!?

Come on Richard, this IS a vital scientific question!!!!



Feb 15, 2012 at 2:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Feb 15, 2012 at 1:38 PM | Richard Drake

Thank you (even though I did answer the question!)

I do agree that it is very strange to be in a discussion with anonymous people who ask personal details without revealing any of their own.

Anyway, back to work.....

Feb 15, 2012 at 2:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Betts

Feb 15, 2012 at 2:05 PM | Mailman

I think that's a question for the pub, not a blog.... :-)

I REALLY must get back to work now!

Feb 15, 2012 at 2:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Betts

Feb 15, 2012 at 2:05 PM | Mailman

Although actually I can't resist telling you that the discussion with Nicole and the other Dolls was actually in their dressing room..... :-)


Feb 15, 2012 at 2:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Betts

Richard Betts
Many thanks for that statement, Richard. That was above and beyond the call of duty in my view.

Feb 15, 2012 at 2:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

Well that was fun. While you were all clamouring round Betts to get his autograph, Hickman’s had a commentable article up at
for the past 2 hours

Feb 15, 2012 at 2:40 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

Wait a minute. Leaked emails are stolen yes, but they were stolen then posted on the web for public viewing. These are private paper documents which were stolen, then smuggled out and given directly to other people. It is no different than stealing a home stereo and delivering it to someone else for money.

What I'd like to know is how much was paid for the documents.

I hope Desmogblog has deep pockets for their defence. I've got my beer and popcorn ready, this is going to be good. Wahoo!

Feb 15, 2012 at 2:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterklem

You old dog Richard :)

Feb 15, 2012 at 3:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Does anyone other than the inhabitants of its echo chamber pay any attention to desmogblog's pathetic witterings?
On the rare occasions when I pay a visit I make sure I'm well equipped with Gaviscon before I go.
The site's six most recent postings are:
• Mashey Report Confirms Heartland's Manipulation
• Fake science, fakexperts, funny finances, free of tax
• Heartland Insider Exposes Institute's Budget and Strategy
• Heartland Institute Exposed: Internal Documents Unmask Heart of Climate Denial Machine
• Unethical Oil: Why Is Canada Killing Wolves and Muzzling Scientists To Protect Tar Sands Interests?
• A Curious Tale of Monckton, Rinehart and Blaming God For Bushfire Deaths

The last six postings on WUWT (excluding 'Quote of the Week) are:
• Do underwater volcanoes have an effect on ENSO?
• Microbes and their impact within Climate Models
• Sea level still not cooperating with predictions
• Homeland Security takes on The Carrington Event
• A fish story from Antarctica
• Oh, Canada! (a report on funding cuts at Environment Canada)

Everyone to his own, but I know which of the two I would (a) be more inclined to trust; (b) more inclined to visit; (c) be more inclined to give money to.
You can agree with Watts or not but there's more honest science at WUWT then you'll ever find at desmogblog.

Come to that, there's more honest everything than you'll find ...

Feb 15, 2012 at 3:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

Dr Betts -
I second Mike Jackson's comment earlier (2:22 PM). I don't think it's proper to ask for your personal donations to such organisations, although I appreciate your candour.

The discussion about the Met Office seems to be within bounds, although of course it is perfectly true that you may not subscribe to everything which the MO publish.

Now about the celebrity gossip -- well, all I can say is ;) Who said the life of a scientist is to be sealed up in a lab all the time? [Actually, it's good to hear that performers can be as thoughtful as "real people" about such matters -- as a general rule, one hears superficial rubbish. Come to think of it...maybe not so very different after all! Locals here excepted, of course.]

Feb 15, 2012 at 3:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW

I don't give a stuff about celebrities.. the met office digned thstcsyatemrnt supporting CRU. Be in no doubt that is what it was.. and claims science is under attack are frequent..

Science is under attack, by this that hide declines, withhold data, nibble the peer review process, pack journal boards, keeps papers out, try to have words with other scientists bosses, to stop them FOI ing CRU. Etc.. delete FOI able emails, back channels for IPCC.

Like Prof Muller, why should I give CRU or Tyndall centre the time if day..

Tyndalls Mike Holmes funding Harrabin's CMEP to keep Prof P Afoot of the emails.

The Met office, walker institute, hadley centre silence, is support and condemns them (the organizations) as poltics advocates first. Science second..

Why has not the Met Office felt with 'hide the decline' publically.

Feb 15, 2012 at 3:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Smartphone and 4 year old - and I lose the ability to type when cross.

Feb 15, 2012 at 3:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

You type good for a 4 year old. And I love it when you get cross.
Now everyone, get over to CiF and show the Graun what a well organised bunch of oil-funded sockpuppets we are. Organising you lot is like getting a bunch of lemmings back on the bus after an outing to Beachy Head.

Feb 15, 2012 at 3:58 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

Richard Betts. Thanks for that.

I may have inadvertently funded your research for WWF with my past contributions. I thought I was saving pandas, but I obviously wasn't. Won't make that mistake again.

PS I once met Sean Connery in a shop - he told me to "bugger off".

Feb 15, 2012 at 3:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

CiF have told me to "bugger off" on many occasions, but you expect that from them.

Feb 15, 2012 at 4:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac


The comments are illuminating. Lots of hyperventilating going on because someone donated a few million to the institute, with the clear smear being big oil (GASP!!!). Then there is the usual "you from heartland" or "what are you being paid to come here" or "if only the denialists would publish their work for peer review" or "Koch brothers are teh evil.

The other thing that stands out is how utterly pedantic the alarmists are. I don't know about you but to me their stance is clearly to stop teachers from teaching that Mann made global warming (tm) is settled science. But to these guys they just black dot on "teaching science" full stop. And of course this is then tied to how creationists work, It is rather ironic though as the "creationists" in this 'war on science' is in fact the very side the warmists support with religious fervour.



Feb 15, 2012 at 4:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Reverend 'Bishop' I have sinned - I have donated to Oxfam in the past (and I still keep buying secondhand books from them even now, great selection particularly in St Ives!)

"Are you now, or have you ever been" a source of donations to 'deniers'?
I confess everything.....I have donated to WUWT, Roger Tattersall, Richard North and even Bishop Hill!

Feb 15, 2012 at 4:14 PM | Unregistered Commentermeltemian

meltemian you do realise that Oxfam consider that climate change is now the number one threat in fighting poverty and hunger world wide. This group is spending £ millions in fighting the good fight on climate change, instead of filling hungry bellies.

I wouldn't go anywhere near Oxfam, they are betraying millions far less well off than us.

Feb 15, 2012 at 4:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

... and Oxfam were one of the sponsors of the Kofi Annan/Dalberg Associates report which invented the 300,000 deaths-from-climate-change rumour. And to think the £1.99 I gave them for Monbiot’s book helped. I can’t live with myself.

Feb 15, 2012 at 4:32 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

It is worth re-iterating check out charitable organisations stances on climate change before you contribute. A lot of charities are being blinded by climate change and are diverting (and wasting) huge sums of your money into projects, events and reports that are simply miles away from their original intent. Oxfam is a classic example of good western intentions leading to continued third-world hell for millions of people. Climate change kills but not in the way that most people imagine.

Feb 15, 2012 at 4:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

I know, I know!!! It's an's only the books honestly, I can't go 'cold turkey' yet!

Feb 15, 2012 at 4:43 PM | Unregistered Commentermeltemian

meltemian - don't do it.

Feb 15, 2012 at 4:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

I've been traveling all day. Any "out of context" quotes yet? (for the we've learnt, ANY quote can be declared as "out of context").

I wonder if the BIG NEWS of the day is that a private group has been discovered doing in private whatever it had said to be doing in public as well? What next, secret ManU papers showing their nefarious plans to buy good players to win the Premiership?

Feb 15, 2012 at 4:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito

Climate Depot seems to think these are fakes.

Feb 15, 2012 at 5:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoss H

Possibly... still waiting. (See Above)

Feb 15, 2012 at 5:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoss H

Wouldn't that be funny if they were fake? :)



Feb 15, 2012 at 5:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Ross H --
Given the confirmation from Watts about the funding for his project, it seems unlikely to be fake.

Feb 15, 2012 at 5:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW

Doesn't need to be a total fabrication to be a forgery still

Feb 15, 2012 at 5:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito


Agreed, it does seem unlikely. Not even sure it's referring to all or just one of the documents. Just though I would throw it out there.

Feb 15, 2012 at 5:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoss H

Reading comprehension must be hard to acquire in an echo-chamber.

I've been reading comments, on blogs, which try to take this sentence to mean Heartland is out to dissuade teachers from teaching science...“His effort will focus on providing curriculum that shows that the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain – two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science.”

Poor Tardish thinking...reread the sentence in whole. it is the lack of "controversy and uncertainty" being taught in schools - that dissuade NORMAL SCIENCE from being taught about climate,

Feb 15, 2012 at 5:43 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim;)

Old shoe. New foot. Bad fit.

Feb 15, 2012 at 5:57 PM | Unregistered Commentertadchem

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