Forecast the Facts tracks corporations that have withdrawn funding support from the Heartland Institute as a result of its extreme climate science denial. In response to the concerns of more than 150,000 people, a growing number of corporations have ended their support of the climate change-denying Heartland Institute, costing Heartland more than $800,000. forecastthefacts.org

[The Forecast the Facts petition against Heartland is here: Heartland's 2012 Funding: Fading Quickly.]

By Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent, www.guardian.co.uk
20 May 2012

The first Heartland Institute conference on climate change in 2008 had all the trappings of a major scientific conclave – minus large numbers of real scientists. Hundreds of climate change contrarians, with a few academics among them, descended into the banquet rooms of a lavish Times Square hotel for what was purported to be a reasoned debate about climate change.

But as the latest Heartland climate conference opens in a Chicago hotel on Monday, the thinktank's claims to reasoned debate lie in shreds and its financial future remains uncertain.

Heartland's claims to "stay above the fray" of the climate wars was exploded by a billboard campaign earlier this month comparing climate change believers to the Unabomer Ted Kaczynski, and a document sting last February that revealed a plan to spread doubt among kindergarteners on the existence of climate change.

Along with the damage to its reputation, Heartland's financial future is also threatened by an exodus of corporate donors as well as key members of staff.

In a fiery blogpost on the Heartland website, the organisation's president Joseph Bast admitted Heartland's defectors were "abandoning us in this moment of need".

Over the last few weeks, Heartland has lost at least $825,000 in expected funds for 2012, or more than 35% of the funds its planned to raise from corporate donors, according to the campaign group Forecast the Facts, which is pushing companies to boycott the organisation.

The organisation has been forced to make up those funds by taking its first publicly acknowledged donations from the coal industry. The main Illinois coal lobby is a last-minute sponsor of this week's conference, undermining Heartland's claims to operate independently of fossil fuel interests.

Its entire Washington DC office, barring one staffer, decamped, taking Heartland's biggest project, involving the insurance industry, with them.

Board directors quit, conference speakers cancelled at short-notice, and associates of long standing demanded Heartland remove their names from its website. The list of conference sponsors shrank by nearly half from 2010, and many of those listed sponsors are just websites operating on the rightwing fringe.

"It's haemorrhaging," said Kert Davies, research director of Greenpeace, who has spent years tracking climate contrarian outfits. "Heartland's true colours finally came through, and now people are jumping ship in quick order."

It does not look like Heartland is about to adopt a corrective course of action.

In his post, Bast defended the ads, writing: "Our billboard was factual: the Unabomber was motivated by concern over man-made global warming to do the terrible crimes he committed." He went on to describe climate scientist Michael Mann and activist Bill McKibben as "madmen". […]

Heartland Institute facing uncertain future as staff depart and cash dries up

1 comments :

  1. Anonymous said...

    Good to see the exodus from the stupidity that this entire organization represents.

    Joseph Bast is a fool and an unrepentant moron. Sorry, but it's dead obvious how incredibly out of touch this man is with the reality of the world around him.

    "In his post, Bast defended the ads, writing: "Our billboard was factual: the Unabomber was motivated by concern over man-made global warming to do the terrible crimes he committed."

    It is highly unlikely that Bast has even read the Unabomber manifesto. If he had -- he would have realized that Ted Kaczynski was concerned about far, far more then just global warming. Global warming was NOT what drove Kaczynski to action.

    Bast is an ill-informed idiot, and now his entire organization is paying the price [long overdue] for the incredibly stupid position that they've taken.

    Glad to see it. About time.

    ~Survival Acres~  

 

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