It was not probably the Valentine’s present the leading climate sceptic organisation, the Heartland Institute, was expecting.

But after years of exploiting ClimateGate and leaks from climate scientists, yesterday they were on the receiving end of their very own leak.

The climate denial watch-dog, DeSmogBlog, was leaked details of Heartland’s strategy and funding documents exposing the heart of the climate denial machine.

The documents confirm what many people have suspected for a while: That Heartland not only receives money to fund its own climate sceptic work, but it also funds other leading sceptics, such as Craig Idso who gets $11,600 per month and Fred Singer who receives $5,000 per month, plus expenses.

Heartland is also spending a whopping $388,000 for a team of sceptics to undermine the findings of the UN climate body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

One of the documents leaked is Heartland’s  Fundraising plan for this year, which exposes some of the world’s best known companies, such as Altria (parent company of Philip Morris) Bayer, Eli Lilly, General Motors, GlaxoSmithKline, Microsoft, Pfizer and Time Warner, as funding the climate denial movement.

The Fundraising plan also reveals that the Koch Brothers are once again funding the Institute’s global warming disinformation campaign. Up until yesterday it was thought that the last funding was over a decade ago.

One leaked document, the January 2012 Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy states: “We will also pursue additional support from the Charles G. Koch Foundation. They returned as a Heartland donor in 2011 with a contribution of $200,000. We expect to push up their level of support in 2012 and gain access to their network of philanthropists, if our focus continues to align with their interests. Other contributions will be pursued for this work, especially from corporations whose interests are threatened by climate policies.”

So here is confirmation in writing what many people have known for years. That the Heartland Institute is effectively acting as a front group for big oil and energy, raising money from companies which are threatened by climate policies, so that it can essentially do their dirty work in undermining legislation that threatens their corporate bottom line.

And in that sense, the boys from Heartland are essentially guns for hire.

And this is where it gets interesting. The documents show that Heartland’s climate change denial machine is chiefly funded by one donor, who is just called “Anonymous”: Their identity is not even disclosed in the confidential documents. But the accounts reveal that this one donor has donated $13 million to Heartland’s climate denial work over five years, with another $1 million planned this year.

For one person to have such a huge influence on a key climate sceptic think tank is both interesting and worrying. For years the climate sceptics have operated to clear double standards. On the one hand they have repeatedly argued that climate scientists must be transparent with their work and have inundated them with Freedom of Information requests, but at the same time they have refused to come clean over who funds them.

Surely it is now beholden on the Heartland to come clean and tell everyone who their “key Anonymous Donor” is?

In the interests of transparency and credibility, it is the least the Institute can do…


  • Maybe that ‘one’ donor could even be an organisation… an institution almost..

    One where a huge amount of the richest people on Earth, who control the strings of all the decision makers at all the highest levels – might have been a tad worried, by the fact that if we all converted our own methane into hydrogen and free electricity – we’d not have needed their oil any more!

    Goodness me, what a thought – it could even be an organisation such as Bilderberg!!

    Imagine how it might be – if only we could all see who was doing what, where – and sending us all over the place to dance their tune with no way of succeeding, because they’d wrapped the red tape so tightly around all of the available doors!

    Maybe ‘heart’land may not have received the valentine’s present they wished for in 2012 – but maybe, (just maybe), after 50 odd years of campaigning, WE did!!:D

    What an exciting prospect – and thank heavens for leaks (which aren’t in our own ARK ships!!:D)

  • Anyone in posession of those documents are in posession of stolen items. Releasing the information on those documents will encourage litigation. I hope Desmogblog has deep pockets.


  • These documents show clearly that the constant claims of ‘well funded climate denialism’ were never true. Alarmists simply made them up. This denier funding is peanuts.

    As a skeptic myself, I never really knew if deniers were well funded or not. Now I know they never were well funded. Its the greenies who have been well funded all along.

    Thank you Desmogblog. Nice work

  • klem – you know there are like 5 people who are actually considered climate scientists (specialists) who also believe climate change is not a real concern, right?
    and that other than them, the claims that you accept are put forth by non-specialists whose interests are in maintaining the status quo (which is a totally human response and understandable!) for various types of profits or just comfort, right?
    the overwhelming consensus of actual people who actually know the actual science and facts is that climate change is, in actuality, accelerated by human civilization and it poses an acute threat to said civilization. – which, i believe, is inevitable, but we might as well give ‘er a college try at decelerating this if we intend to continue to reproduce. in the end, we get the biggest shiniest darwin award of all (human) time. (oops – i guess you probably reject that “theory” too. he-he!)
    take-home message: it’s best that we leave the facts of a specific domain to the professionals of that domain.
    what is your field? law?

  • Wow!

    Peter Gleick (AKA Mr. Climate Crock of the Week, AKA Mr. Integrity in Science) confesses to stealing the doc’s. Law suits on the way.

    See you in jail Pete.

    Wow, wow, wow!

    It is so great being a climate denier. This is fun!

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