Wingnut Welfare Climate Con

Not that we didn’t already know it, but the wingnut welfare industry is thoroughly corrupt and it turns out that one of the most thoroughly corrupt is the climate science skeptic sector:

The Heartland Institute, an influential rightwing thinktank based in Chicago, which has long pushed misinformation about climate change, is currently having its own Wizard of Oz moment following the leaking of internal documents which reveal the true extent of its funding and efforts to cast doubt on climate science[…]

Most eyes will probably fall first on the “Anonymous Donor” who, the documents show, personally funded Heartland’s “climate change projects” to the tune of $8,602,267 between 2007 and 2011. The largest donation came in 2008 when “he” donated $3.3m – the same year that Heartland began its annual climate change conferences which have attracted just about every prominent climate sceptic since. This mystery donor has apparently pledged a further $1m for “climate change projects” during 2012[…]

The document entitled “2012 Climate Strategy” (pdf) is also already getting lots of attention. It shows that Heartland will “increase climate project fundraising” by “pursuing additional support from the Charles G. Koch Foundation” who “returned as a Heartland donor in 2011 with a contribution of $200,000″. It adds: “Other contributions will be pursued for this [climate] work, especially from corporations whose interests are threatened by climate policies.” The funding of climate sceptic thinktanks in the US by corporate vested interests such as the Koch brothers has almost become a cliché, but here we have cast-iron proof of its influence, intent and extent.

I guess it’s not in the “interest” of these people for their children and grandchildren to live on a planet that isn’t undergoing massive global disruption. I hope they leave them enough money to move to the 51st state on the moon because they’re going to need it.

Read the whole thing.

Perhaps more unsettling is the document’s revelation that Heartland is actively developing a “Global Warming Curriculum for K-12 Classrooms”:

Principals and teachers are heavily biased toward the alarmist perspective. To counter this we are considering launching an effort to develop alternative materials for K-12 classrooms. We are pursuing a proposal from Dr. David Wojick to produce a global warming curriculum for K-12 schools. Dr. Wojick is a consultant with the Office of Scientific and Technical Information at the U.S. Department of Energy in the area of information and communication 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. We tentatively plan to pay Dr. Wojick $100,000 for 20 modules in 2012, with funding pledged by the Anonymous Donor.

The co-ordinated effort to undermine the teaching of climate science in US classrooms has been noted before, but this still takes the breath away. Let’s just repeat that sentence so it can be fully digested: “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.”

This is beginning to have that “Inquisition” feel to it. (In fact, someone has recently written a book called The Inquisition of Climate Science.)

This particular sector of the wingnut welfare industry has to be the most cynical among them. They are willing to destroy the world for a buck. In fact, my last post about the Heartland Institute was during the Fukishima crisis:

[I]f you want total reassurance, catch the General Buck “I’m not saying we won’t get our hair mussed” Turgidson of nuclear scientists, from the wingnut “Heartland Institute”. He is appearing all over television saying that Fukishima is working perfectly and anyone who says otherwise is a punk:

Heartland Science Director Jay Lehr was a guest on more than a dozen TV and radio programs today, talking about the crisis at the nuclear power plants in Japan. Tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern, Jay will be on “Hannity” on the Fox News Channel.

Short version of his message: This is nothing like Chernobyl, and (officially) still qualifies as less serious than Three Mile Island. It was the first “don’t panic” message Jay delivered publicly to the local Fox News station in Chicago on Friday. And others commentators are now repeating it as the MSM starts to catch up to him in its coverage.

You can listen to or download Jay’s appearance on the Sean Hannity Show with the player above. Click hereto listen to Jay on the G. Gordon Liddy Show.

In what might come as a bit of a surprise to our right-leaning readers, Jay has been on MSNBC twice to talk about this crisis, and might be on again tomorrow. A producer for MSNBC said Jay was “just a fantastic guest.”

There’s more here.

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