Reprinted with Permission: (Also see bottom of page for extensive Round Up of reactions to Heartland document controversy)
Heartland Institute Responds to Stolen and Fake Documents
FEBRUARY 15, 2012 – The following statement from The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more information, contact Communications Director Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/377-4000.
Yesterday afternoon, two advocacy groups posted online several documents they claimed were The Heartland Institute’s 2012 budget, fundraising, and strategy plans. Some of these documents were stolen from Heartland, at least one is a fake, and some may have been altered.
The stolen documents appear to have been written by Heartland’s president for a board meeting that took place on January 17. He was traveling at the time this story broke yesterday afternoon and still has not had the opportunity to read them all to see if they were altered. Therefore, the authenticity of those documents has not been confirmed.
Since then, the documents have been widely reposted on the Internet, again with no effort to confirm their authenticity.
One document, titled “Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy,” is a total fake apparently intended to defame and discredit The Heartland Institute. It was not written by anyone associated with The Heartland Institute. It does not express Heartland’s goals, plans, or tactics. It contains several obvious and gross misstatements of fact.
We respectfully ask all activists, bloggers, and other journalists to immediately remove all of these documents and any quotations taken from them, especially the fake “climate strategy” memo and any quotations from the same, from their blogs, Web sites, and publications, and to publish retractions.
The individuals who have commented so far on these documents did not wait for Heartland to confirm or deny the authenticity of the documents. We believe their actions constitute civil and possibly criminal offenses for which we plan to pursue charges and collect payment for damages, including damages to our reputation. We ask them in particular to immediately remove these documents and all statements about them from the blogs, Web sites, and publications, and to publish retractions.
How did this happen? The stolen documents were obtained by an unknown person who fraudulently assumed the identity of a Heartland board member and persuaded a staff member here to “re-send” board materials to a new email address. Identity theft and computer fraud are criminal offenses subject to imprisonment. We intend to find this person and see him or her put in prison for these crimes.
Apologies: The Heartland Institute apologizes to the donors whose identities were revealed by this theft. We promise anonymity to many of our donors, and we realize that the major reason these documents were stolen and faked was to make it more difficult for donors to support our work. We also apologize to Heartland staff, directors, and our allies in the fight to bring sound science to the global warming debate, who have had their privacy violated and their integrity impugned.
Lessons: Disagreement over the causes, consequences, and best policy responses to climate change runs deep. We understand that.
But honest disagreement should never be used to justify the criminal acts and fraud that occurred in the past 24 hours. As a matter of common decency and journalistic ethics, we ask everyone in the climate change debate to sit back and think about what just happened.
Those persons who posted these documents and wrote about them before we had a chance to comment on their authenticity should be ashamed of their deeds, and their bad behavior should be taken into account when judging their credibility now and in the future.
The Heartland Institute is a 28-year-old national nonprofit organization with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Washington, DC. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site at http://www.heartland.org or call 312/377-4000.
Round up of Heartland Int. Doc. Leak: Skeptical sums are loose change compared to billions funneled to green groups, alarmist research establishments’
For more go to: www.ClimateDepot.com
Heartland documents: what’s the big deal? ‘These [skeptical] sums are loose change compared to the billions that are funneled to green groups, alarmist research establishments…’‘…smear blogs, propaganda organizations and the like. For alarmists to complain about such tiny sums is simply laughable’
‘With tiny budgets like $310 million, $100 million, & $95 million respectively, how can Greenpeace, Sierra Club, & NRDC *ever* hope to compete with mighty Heartland’s $6.5 million?’ — Revealed: The ‘heart of the climate denial machine’ allegedly relies on $200k per year donated from Koch to Heartland
‘The IPCC is a very different organization, and also the CRU/UEA, with explicit requirements for government accountability. So in terms of a scandal, I would have to say that Heartlandgate is nowhere near Climategate’
Tell me what’s horrible about this: ‘To Anthony Watts, I say: Congratulations for convincing Heartland to fund a project…’‘…that might actually permit the public to have access to better graphics than provided by NOAA and which, at least as described in the shocking memo seems to be perfectly legitimate’
‘Instead the hyped non-denier-gate shows just how incredibly successful the Heartland Institute is. Look at the numbers. The skeptics have managed to turn the propaganda around against a tide of money, and it is really some achievement. Greenpeace $300m 2010; WWF $710m; Pew Charitable Trust $360m 2010; Sierra Club $56m 2010; NSW climate change fund; Heartland Institute $6.4m’
Flashback: NASA’s James Hansen’s growing financial scandal, now over a million dollars of outside income — ‘Hansen, an astronomer, received approximately $1.6 million in outside, direct cash income in the past five years for work related to —and, according to his benefactors, often expressly for —his public service as a global warming activist’
Heartland Inst. Responds: Warmist Touted Climate Skeptic Document ‘a total fake’ — Others documents may have been ‘altered’ One document, titled ‘Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy,’ is a total fake…It was not written by anyone associated with The Heartland Institute. It does not express Heartland’s goals, plans, or tactics. It contains several obvious and gross misstatements of fact’
Heartland Institute bad – DeSmogBlog says so! ‘Did you know the Heartland Institute employs skeptics?’ ‘And it’s ‘suggested’ they get money from people who agree with them and have interests in carbon dense energy!’
‘According to the most recent data on guidestar.org, Joe Romm’s Center for American Progress spends 10 times as much money as Morano’s CFACT’ — ‘And Greenpeace spends one hundred times as much money annually as Morano’s CFACT’
Warmists Declare: ‘Heartland Institute Exposed: Internal Documents Unmask Heart of Climate Denial Machine’ — Warmists giddy: ‘Stay tuned for more details as DeSmogBlog and others dig through this trove of Heartland Institute documents’
Warmist headbangers go ape over Heartland finance leak: Warmists ‘think this is some kind of equivalent to Climategate (v1 and v2), which demonstrated widespread scientific fraud, manipulation of data, destruction of emails and avoidance of FOI requests on the part of the consensus boys’
Hooray, staunch privacy advocate Andy Revkin of NYT has once again been replaced by heroic whistle-blowing Andy!!! ‘Remember during ClimateGate, when Andy was all about privacy and not sharing documents not intended for the public eye? Now that he thinks he sees a ‘confidential’ Heartland memo, he’s already tweeted about it four times in an hour’
‘Internal documents acquired by ThinkProgress Green reveal that 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’
Rebuttal: ‘Heartland is a great group. Dave Wojick is a great guy. K-12 students would be lucky to have a curriculum designed by the pair’