Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Opening the lid on propaganda machine

Over at DeSmogBlog (which you should read regularly), Brendan DeMelle has released a large batch of internal documents from the Heartland Institute, one of the main conduits for climate denial funds from the Koch brothers. The documents apparently came from a disgruntled Heartland insider.

Those of you who follow the propaganda blitz will see plenty of familiar names among the recipients of Heartland funds: Craig Idso, Judith Curry, Fred Singer, Anthony Watts, and even the blandly moderate Andrew Revkin, who should be "cultivated," according to the documents. The level of giving really clarifies why these often debunked voices keep at it -- they're getting well-paid.

There are also plans to fund a pro-fossil fuel disinformation campaign against the teaching of climate science in school, pushing the long-debunked notion that the science is unclear. The goal is to dissuade teachers from touching the topic at all.

Maybe it's time to start putting pressure on the publicly held corporations that also give money to Heartland. The list includes Microsoft, Altria and other tobacco peddlers, as well as the usual assortment of coal companies. It would also be revealing to discover the identity of the Anonymous Donor who has given over $8 million to the Institute over several years. I'm not surprised to see the tobacco and fossil fuel companies on the list. But Microsoft should get a thorough drubbing for joining such ghastly company.

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