by Brendan DeMelle

14 February 12

from DeSmogBlog Website



Internal Heartland Institute strategy and funding documents obtained by DeSmogBlog expose the heart of the climate denial machine - its current plans, many of its funders, and details that confirm what DeSmogBlog and others have reported for years.


The heart of the climate denial machine relies on huge corporate and foundation funding from U.S. businesses including Microsoft, Koch Industries, Altria (parent company of Philip Morris) RJR Tobacco and more.

We are releasing the entire trove of documents now to allow crowd-sourcing of the material.


Here are a few quick highlights, stay tuned for much more.

  • Confirmation that Charles G. Koch Foundation is again funding Heartland Institute’s global warming disinformation campaign.


    [Update: Apparently even the Koch brothers think the Heartland Institute's climate denial program is too toxic to fund. On Wednesday, Koch confirmed that it did not cut a check for the $200K mentioned in the strategy memo after all. A statement released on and the states that "…the Charles Koch Foundation provided $25,000 to the Heartland Institute in 2011 for research in healthcare, not climate change, and this was the first and only donation the Foundation made to the institute in more than a decade. The Foundation has made no further commitments of funding to Heartland.”]

    Greenpeace’s Koch reports show the last time Heartland received Koch funding was in 1999.

    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.”

** The Heartland Institute alleges that the 2012 climate strategy document is a "fake" and has threatened the DeSmogBlog with legal action. However, the organization has not provided any proof to support its allegations. We see no basis in fact or law for us to remove this document, and will leave it available in the public interest.

  • Heartland Institute’s global warming denial machine is chiefly - and perhaps entirely - funded by one Anonymous donor:

Our climate work is attractive to funders, especially our key Anonymous Donor (whose contribution dropped from $1,664,150 in 2010 to $979,000 in 2011 - about 20% of our total 2011 revenue). He has promised an increase in 2012…”

  • Confirmation of exact amounts flowing to certain key climate contrarians.

“funding for high-profile individuals who regularly and publicly counter the alarmist AGW message.


At the moment, this funding goes primarily to Craig Idso ($11,600 per month), Fred Singer ($5,000 per month, plus expenses), Robert Carter ($1,667 per month), and a number of other individuals, but we will consider expanding it, if funding can be found.”

  • As Brad Johnson reported today at ThinkProgress, confirmation that Heartland is working with David Wojick, a U.S. Energy Department contract worker and coal industry consultant, to develop a ‘Global Warming Curriculum for K-12 Schools.’


  • Forbes and other business press are favored outlets for Heartland’s dissemination of climate denial messages, and the group is worried about maintaining that exclusive space.


    They note in particular the work of Dr. Peter Gleick:

“Efforts at places such as Forbes are especially important now that they have begun to allow high-profile climate scientists (such as Gleick) to post warmist science essays that counter our own.


This influential audience has usually been reliably anti-climate and it is important to keep opposing voices out.”

Note the irony here that Heartland Institute - one of the major mouthpieces behind the debunked ‘Climategate’ email theft who harped about the suppression of denier voices in peer-reviewed literature - now defending its turf in the unscientific business magazine realm.

  • Interesting mentions of Andrew Revkin as a potential ally worth “cultivating,” along with Judith Curry.

“Efforts might also include cultivating more neutral voices with big audiences (such as Revkin at DotEarth/NYTimes, who has a well-known antipathy for some of the more extreme AGW communicators such as Romm, Trenberth, and Hansen) or Curry (who has become popular with our supporters).”

  • Confirmation that skeptic blogger Anthony Watts is part of Heartland’s funded network of misinformation communicators.

“We have also pledged to help raise around $90,000 in 2012 for Anthony Watts to help him create a new website to track temperature station data.”

The Heartland Institute's legacy of evasion of this level of transparency and accountability has now been shattered.


Additional documentation