Only 93 percent?
The only true conspiracy.
FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) is an important US law that allows the public access to government records. Anyone can file a FOIA. Most scientists are employed by universities, which are subject to FOIA requests. A right-wing group called “American Tradition Institute” has filed several requests to review emails of climate scientists, especially communications those scientists have had with the media, such as the New York Times, etc.
The issue gets complicated from there - issues of intimidation, conspiracy, free speech, politics, etc. It’s an interesting question - should government employed scientists’ emails be made public?
UPDATE: Please read the story.
UPDATE II: What about students’ emails, who get government funding from TA-ing, dorm monitoring, scholarships, lab grants, government loans, etc.?
More excellent coverage of “denialgate.”
“In the wake of reports linking theHeartland Institute to an alleged anti-science campaign, several scientists, as well as the President of the Union of Concerned Scientists, are publicly asking Heartland to to desist from spreading misinformation and attacking scientists. This news comes as 19 public corporations have been identified for supporting Heartland.
Scientists speak up:
Coverage of “denialgate” is increasing. Reblog if you can…
“Heartland, which bills itself as anti-regulatory and libertarian, annually produces climate change “denier” conferences and pays expenses for elected officials to attend. For example, the budget shows that Heartland allocated $304,704 for scientists supporting its contrarian views in 2012.
One of these scientists is Fred S. Singer, a physicist and National Weather Bureau satellite center founder, who is said to receive $5,000 a month. The same day as the document leak, a science watchdog named John Mashey released a detailed investigation into Singer and his Science and Environmental Policy Project, indicating that he failed to properly fill out income forms for the foundation. Singer has previously worked with Heartland arguing that secondhand smoke is harmless. One of Heartland’s funders, according to the documents, is Phillip Morris.
Other scientists, researchers and pseudo-scientists on the Heartland payroll include a former California TV weatherman, Anthony Watts, who runs an anti-climate change science blog called WUWT (Watts Up With That). Heartland budgeted him $90,000 for a “special project.”
On his blog yesterday, Watts admitted taking an unspecified sum:
Heartland simply helped me find a donor for funding a special project having to do with presenting some new NOAA surface data in a public friendly graphical form, something NOAA themselves is not doing, but should be. I approached them in the fall of 2011 asking for help, on this project not the other way around.
The Heartland budget allocates more than half a million dollars for “government relations” and another $800,000 for communications. Besides the big-budget annual climate conference, another $25,920 was budgeted for eight “Heartland Capital Events” identified as “events in state capitals for elected officials,” at $3,240 each.
As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Heartland is legally barred from using its tax-free income of $7.7 million to lobby for or against legislation. The fact that the group appears to be intending to do just that could transform the group’s ongoing public relations disaster into a legal problem. Heartland’s activities are no surprise to environmentalist watchdogs, but actual proof of moneys spent on lobbying activities might affect their legal status, if the IRS bothers to investigate.
Besides trying to influence public (and lawmaker) opinion on fossil fuels and climate change, Heartland works on other overtly political projects that have nothing to do with climate change. The group gave $612,000 for something called “Operation Angry Badger,” aimed at the nonscientific goal of supporting Wisconsin’s anti-union Gov. Scott Walker, who is targeted for recall by progressives.”
Read the rest at Salon
These internal documents from the climate denier machine
will might facilitate much spilling-of-the-ink on enviro and lefty blogs, aggregators, and news outlets in the days to come. Climate advocates will be, of course, quite jubilant in their “I told you so” commentary. I suspect there will be lots of celebration that deniers are exposed for what they are - corporate funded shills.
But, seriously, how will this document dump matter? What will be the effect? For example, will the Koch brothers stop funding deniers?? Will the Heartland Institute suddenly see the light and stop finding ways to impact public opinion on climate?
As a result of a leak, it seems to me these denier groups would just tighten up their internal messaging to prevent future mistakes. I don’t have faith in the enviros to capitalize on this (very interesting) leak. I’ve argued many times on this tumblr that environmentalists are (unfortunately) not very adept at messaging or staying focused on one topic. They’re fantastic reactionaries, but terrible at visioning and affecting change.
Internal documents acquired by ThinkProgress Green reveal that the Heartland Institute, a right-wing think tank funded by the Koch brothers, Microsoft, and other top corporations, is planning to develop a “global warming curriculum” for elementary schoolchildren that presents climate science as “a major scientific controversy.” This effort, at a cost of $100,000 a year, will be developed by Dr. David E. Wojick, a coal-industry consultant.
“Principals and teachers are heavily biased toward the alarmist perspective,” Heartland’s confidential 2012 fundraising document bemoans. The group believes that Wojick’s project has “potential for great success,” because he has “contacts at virtually all the national organizations involved in producing, certifying, and promoting scientific curricula.” The document explains that Wojick will produce “modules” that promote the conspiratorial claim that climate change is “controversial”:
Read the rest of the document at Think Progress