Greenpeace Response To Heartland PR – May
From Greenpeace Climate Campaigner Simon Boxer.
It is perfectly understandable that the Heartland Institute is upset –it’s been revealed as completely misrepresenting esteemed scientists to make its case. But there is no need for it to take its embarrassment out on Greenpeace.
Let’s be clear. Heartland is a free-market, anti-regulation right wing think-tank which last year organized the biggest gathering of climate sceptics seen for years in New York. As for funding, Heartland used to publicly state who its corporate and foundation funders were; these days it refuses to. What we know however is that in the past Heartland has received funding from ExxonMobil ($676, 500 since 1998), with the oil giant specifically tagging its 04’ funding to
Heartland for its "climate change efforts". Heartland’s funding has also come from foundations such as the Charles Koch Foundation (big oil), and Richard Scaife, (well-known right-wing billionaire). One can make their own judgments about these funding streams. Former board members include Walter F. Buchholtz, “Government Relations and Issues Advisor” to Exxon (he then took on the same role for Heartland in 2005). Current board members include a former staff member from tobacco company Phillip Morris.
Heartland's original statement listing the scientists is unequivocal: "The following list includes more than 500 qualified researchers whose research in professional journals provides historic and/or physical proxy evidence that:..." and goes on to list a number of classic sceptic contentions. Heartland is refusing to change this statement and it is this statement the New Zealand scientists have a major problem with.
Mr Bast reveals that the authors of the list are Dr Fred S Singer and Denis Avery. It’s important to note that neither are climate scientists. Dr. Singer has always asserted the issue of global warming has been "blown out of proportion" by "eco-activists". He reported that smog is little more than an irritant to people with breathing problems, despite more than 20 years of scientific evidence to the contrary. He has proposed that defending our planet from incoming comets is more important than reducing the threat of global warming. And he has supported the commercial hunting of whales. There seems to be no limits to the breadth of Dr. Singer’s opinions or his willingness to speak out. Rarely does the scientific base of his arguments stand up to scrutiny.