Heartland Institute Bankrolls Dishonest Global Warming Campaign

Saturday, April 28, 2007 at 11:53 PM

There's a fairly large display ad on page A21 of Thursday's New York Times with a large caption reading "Challenge Debate" followed by even larger letters proclaiming that "Global Warming is Not a Crisis." The ad has a picture of Lord Monckton labeled "For" and a picture of Al Gore labeled "Against."

The ad concludes with the statement, "For more information about this challenge debate and global warming, please go to http://www.globalwarmingheartland.org."

Sounds like there's going to be a serious debate of some kind somewhere, huh? Wrongo, you gullible fool! I went to the Heartland web site, and surprise of surprises, it's a site devoted to debunking the idea that global warming is anything to worry about. The site does have a link to an article by Joseph L. Bast titled Why won't Al Gore debate? Bast answers his own question:

Maybe it's because climate alarmists tend to lose when they debate climate realists. Or because most scientists do not support climate alarmism.

Other possibilities abound. Start with the fact that The Heartland Institute is obviously a very partisan little group, the mission of which is to:
... discover and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. Such solutions include parental choice in education, market-based approaches to environmental protection, privatization of public services, and deregulation in areas where property rights and markets do a better job than government bureaucracies.
In fact, the mission statement page has a link to a tribute to Milton Friedman.

In another document, the institute sets out what the it calls "a Free Market Approach to the Uncertain Risks of Climate Change." This approach has four main policy points, three of which are to deregulate electricity markets, deregulate transportation markets, and deregulate everything in general to "remove regulatory barriers to innovation". Point number four is to do away with energy subsidies.

As for Lord Monckton and his views on global warming, The Guardian in November 2006 described the good Lord's views -- published in two segments in the Sunday Telegraph -- as follows:

Monckton's analysis looks impressive. It is nonsense from start to finish ... There is scarcely a line in Lord Monckton's paper which is not wildly wrong.
The Guardian goes into considerable detail on what the Lord got wrong and who says it's wrong. And reveals that Monckton really has no scientific credentials at all.

As for the Heartland Institute itself, Source Watch reviews its historical ties to the tobacco industry, its funding, including over $4 million in 2005, and its funding sources, including the Scaife and Walton foundations and ExxonMobil.

So the way I see it, the ad is aimed at the gullible and uninformed, who either will see the ad and think that opinion is seriously split on global warming, or will actually follow up by going to the Heartland web site and find all kinds of stuff that looks on the surface to be scientific and diligent, and very, very much against the idea that there is serious global warming of a kind that needs to be addressed by humans.

Web site visitors, of course, will also be left with the impression that Gore is afraid to debate the Lord.

A large display ad in the New York Times is pretty expensive, of course, but what's a few thousand dollars to the protectors of the heartland, especially when they're supported by some of the richest and politically motivated foundations and companies in the world?


as usual - ad hominem. Is that all you've got or is there some leap of faith here and some generalisation from a particular that you can use to 'prove' that the Guardian is the purveyor of all objective thought in the universe. Come back when you have data.

The rise of the pseudo scientists is a very real concern. Like astro-turfers in blog-world they exist to muddy the waters of a debate. Essentially, the whole "global warming/ climate change" debate is a no-brainer. Do a few billion souls have an undeniable negative impact on the enviroment? Obviously they do, along with all their attendant industries. The real question behind the debate is "how best to cut down on dangerous emissions and create cleaner energy technology?" How that legitimate debate got turned into "Is global warming real or not?" is at least partially explained by this story.

Anyone trying to argue the negative on that latter question is a fool.

Anyone not trying to answer that first legitimate question is a bigger fool.

Why won't either one of them debate publicly about a major cause of global warming - EATING MEAT! Everyone should know by now that the raising of livestock for both the meat and dairy industries emits ENORMOUS amounts of pollution in our air, land, and water sources. Although both of these men are upstanding citizens of our great communties, why do both Gore and the Lord ignore that debate??? I think we all know the answer to that.

So let me understand the editor's stance; If you disagree with Al Gore's opinion of Global Warming you are foolish at best, and an idealogue at worst. I must be completely ignorant then because I know that Al Gore is an 'alarmist' and most of the examples he provides are half-truthes and a couple of out right lies. The Earth is warming, also the Earth has warmed before, and THAT is Science is well.

Let's not confuse the debate(s) that we need to respect our planet and take every measure practical to avoid pollution, with the consensus that Al Gore is right and if you disagree with his movie your against conservation in whole or disbelieve global warming.
Obviously we need to be sensative to our Country and our world and the sooner we fade out fossil fuels the better... for everyone.

However my very dear friend's 12 year old son now has nightmares about global warming and becomes hypertensive during rain showers fearing a flood after screening Gore's movie. No 12 year old child should fear Global Warming, they're CHILDREN AL! What they should be taught in Schools is conservationalism and good practices to reduce littering and pollution. Let's be honest here, the majority of schools are controlled by progressive liberal thinkers who set the curriculum and could introduce this issue responsibly rather than "scaring them straight"... to a therapist.

However my very dear friend's 12 year old son now has nightmares about global warming and becomes hypertensive during rain showers fearing a flood after screening Gore's movie. No 12 year old child should fear Global Warming, they're CHILDREN AL!

Maybe your dear friend should not allow his 12-year-old child to watch movies he's not ready to see.


"the editor's stance; If you disagree with Al Gore's opinion of Global Warming you are foolish at best, and an idealogue at worst"

That is not my stance, and I don't know where you get that from the post. My point is the huckster come-on from Heartland Institute, which is pretty clearly a propaganda outlet with a whole lot of money to throw around.

From what I, a non-scientist, can tell, Lord Monckton's views are, in fact, scientific nonsense. The fact that I think his views are nonsense is hardly the equivalent of saying that anyone who disagrees with Gore is foolish.

I could write a 50-page analysis of gravity which was utter nonsense, challenge those who specialize in the field of gravitational forces to a debate, and cry "foul" or "conspiracy" when they declined. My claim would not be justified.

It would help a lot on this site and most others that I visit if people responded to what was actually said, rather than to a conclusion the commenter reached based on many levels of extrapolation and assumption.

Disputing the posted response regarding the 12 Year old watching "An Inconvenient Truth" and the author suggesting that the parent not allow the child to view the movie... Your recommendation is correct, however, the movie was shown in his SCHOOL, not in the presence of the Parents.

The fact is if Al and the rest of the politicians and liberal hollywood would walk their talk, maybe they would be taken more seriuosly. Live it before you preach it. To drive up to your private jet in your Prius is NOT being a good steward, seems to me it's like parants saying do as I say not as I do.

The point of the ads seems simple to me. Al Gore is touting himself as the man with the plan. He by the way is not a expert either! Let's make it clear Al is not a climate scientist.

The ads are to challenge Gore. We know he won't debate. How would that benefit him? It wouldn't. They know Gore won't debate. That's not the point. The point is to start a discussion to to challenge the "consensus" that supposedly exists in global warming science. I know thats not true. If you read the Dennis Bray and Hans von Storch survey you'll see that. Plus, there is no consensus in science and there never will be. Science is not consensus. Everyone knows computer climate models are prone to error. Heck the IPCC is tailoring back their forcasts yet again. We have a lot to learn about climate change in the world.

Heartland clearly has a agenda but doesn't everyone? Watching the Watchers has an agenda. Bias is injected into everything. Everyone has a political leaning in one form or another. The idea is to be as transparant as possible.

My problem with Gore is that he says its not a political issue but rather a moral issue. If that is the case why is he trying to use government (run by politicians) as the instrument of change. If people really want to change how they live won't they do that on their own? Is government the source of morality in the world? I think that is a trick bag no one wants to dive into.

The real issue behind global alarmism and global warming is not whether the planet is warming but why and what does it all mean? More importantly who benefits from this? Like I said earlier everyone has bias and an agenda.

The Guardian has an agenda. The media is not very good at being fair and balanced. We all know that. You cite the Guardian they cite another paper. Look lets pull the emotion out of this issue and look at if for what it really is. A an issue of great importance that should be tackled through continued scientific study and R&D into better technology and fuels.

Finally what Al Gore states is the worst-case-scenario. That is fear raising. It isn't right to do! Scared straight doesn't work in this instance. If neo-con's are spit at in the media for fear raising with regards to the war on terror, the left shouldn't do it with regards to climate change.


P.S. In twenty years---our cities won't be polluted and our air will be cleaner than it is now. Just like its cleaner than it was in the 1970's a fact few people want to admit to. The fear raisers will come up with another time table like they always do. Americans are crafty, will figure this out without massive government growth and taxation and legislation.

Anyone trying to compare the 1970s to the present isn't taking into account the vast increase in energy consumption and waste production that world has seen since then. Oil consumption in the developing world alone has quadrupled since then.

In the 60s, the world was going to be ended by global cooling. The science didn't make that much sense, but that didn't stop an alarmist media lookingfor something to report from making a big deal out of it. pseudo-science has been alive and well for a long time..as long as there's something to report, someone will pay for your outcome based research so you can continue to submit a budget and 'get to the bottom of it'.

When global warming was first brought before the united nations, reports of future temperature spikes were off by significant margins. If you remember, alarmists in the early 80s were telling us that we'd all be dead by now due to nuclear winter (which i note has not happened), or because global warming would have covered most existing coasts with cool water by now (which i note has not happened).

Another irritating thing is that the explanation of disaster keeps shifting. A few decades ago, we were going to have to move into caves and away from mountains because the earth wouldn't be warm enough and life of the surface was going to become untenable. In the 80s all we heard about was rising ocean waters from melting ice caps. When global warming lost momentum (and therefore funding), we were told that global warming would change the weather in disastrous and unexpected ways. We were told that rising sea levels were not as dangerous as a drop in ocean surface temperatures because melting glaciers would change evaporation and rain and such. A year ago that suddenly wasn't the case anymore. Then we were hearing that global warming was responsible for an increased intensity in hurricanes because surface temperatures were rising. Did the ice stop melting as the air got warmer? We were told by smug liberals 'just wait til next year if you don't believe me.' Even more ridiculous, a massive tsunami was blamed on global warming (which really means was blamed on the US). tsunamis are largely seismic events. temperature has nothing to do with them. Finally last few weeks i've heard that global warming is to blame for the lack of hurricane intensity this last year.

Crichton makes an excellent point in his book State of Fear. Global warming organizations are corrupt. They are manned by an amazing ratio of lawyers to scientists. Read that book and you'll come to understand a lot about modern global warming. Don't say Crichton writes fiction, as far as most of you know, the whole of global warming is or isn't fiction. it's like a religion to some poeple: knock the idea and you are a fool destined for disaster. But most supporters (any supporters?) of this global warming fad don't kow anything about research or meteorology, you just use this issue as a way to insult conservative thought.

and most believers are hypocrites. they all drive as much as i do. al gore spends 22 times the amount of energy in one of his four houses as the average american family. he flies every week on a private 10 seat jet instead of going by train or taking a plane that is already going where he is. And he recommends that you buy carbon offsets as part of a new trend to be green: spend money on ghost credits that will one day become law. you will have to buy them to be allowed to drive or fly. Every nation but china will have to purchase them. from al gore's company so he can make a huge profit and produce nothing.

I don't want the government telling me when i can't fly. Or even knowing whether i got on a plane this year. And al gore is a crook and a hypocrite. finally, I am not moved by anyone who says a conservative think group is propaganda, and fuels that statement with a sole opinion from the nation, as if it weren't an equally partisan publication. duh

It appears that the MAJORITY of the people do not understand 'global warming' on a scientific level, and the MAJORITY of the scientific community refuse to give out DETAILS on how 'global warming' is determined. So for the average HUMAN some questions to ask your LEADERS or MOVIE STARS or ANYONE who promotes 'global warming' are as follow:

Do you know the difference between CLIMATE and WEATHER?
Do you know the difference between GLOBAL and LOCAL?
Do you know how temperature is measured?
Do you know where the thermometers of the WORLD are located?
Do you know approximately 70 percent of the earth is covered in water and how that effecs the WEATHER and CLIMATE?
Do you know how CONCRETE, ASPHALT, etc. etc. warm up the LOCAL envirnoment and can RADICALLY change the thermometer reading?
How is data from one location compared to the date in a distant location?
Do you know that the earth's CLIMATE has been around for MILLIONS of years and that HUMANS only have data for about hundreds of years (if that)?
How does one go about making a 'leap of faith' from only a few data points when talking about something that has been around for MILLIONS of years?
Do you know the difference between HEAT and TEMPERATURE? or how to measure HEAT and TEMPERATURE?
Where is the SATELLITE data?

There are many more questions to ask but here are just a few that the average HUMAN should be asking. Just because someone in a lab coat comes or politician or whoever begins to talk SCIENCE to the ignorant does not mean we do not question there methods of attaining data, how they justify their conclusion, etc.. After all, SCIENCE is based on the scientific method. We should be asking these people about their METHODS.

I think the MAJORITY of the people believe in 'global warming' because they do not know anything about 'global warming'. When people are ignorant about something it is very easy to convince them about the thing they are ignorant about. The debate is not about the existence of 'global warming' but the HUMAN contribution to 'global warming'.

Another thought for the uncritical: Weather is a periodic phenomenon. We have four seasons, it gets cold and warm and nice and etc. etc.. If we are experiencing a 'global warming' then sometime in the 'near?' future this 'warming' has to fluctuate to 'less warm' and even 'less warm'. Does anyone know how to grow crops to feed BILLIONS of people when it is 'cold' for a long period of time?

well said!

"the MAJORITY of the scientific community refuse to give out DETAILS on how 'global warming' is determined."

Why do you say that? There are lots of sources that try to provide the scientific basis for their conclusion that earth is warming and that man's activities are playing some causal role in the warming.

In 1994, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued "Technical Guidelines for Assessing Climate Change Impacts and Adaptations with a Summary for Policy Makers and a Technical Summary"; The guidleines are out of print, but exist in many libraries around the world.

The 4th IPCC 2007 report on The Physical Basis of Climate Change
can be accessed via links here; a Summary can be accessed here

Wikipedia offers a starting point for referencing with a review of what various scientific organizations have had to say about climate change.

So, I am reading this summary, and I think I understand most of the terms, insofar as i am not a climatologist. And I have encountered a lot of language that basically tells me we're wasting money on this 'research'.

If I came to my boss and used language like this:

"..progress in understanding.."
"..estimates of projected future climate change.."
"..improvements in understanding of processes and their simulation in models, and more extensive exploration of uncertainty ranges."

These phrases are all in one paragraph. They tell me the researchers are looking for an outcome and have massaged the numbers to find what they want. If George Bush came to most global warmologists and said "We estimate a possible reduction in terrorist attacks in the US over the next 5-30 years due to development of voting democracy in certain Middle-Eastern regions.", they would assail him for his failure to be specific. Does he know where to strike and whether for certain that will reduce terrorism on US soil? Why wouldn't he say so?

Remember that global warmology was started by a presentation to the United Nations in the 70s - it has always been a socialist phenomenon. Its original projections were wildly off. But millions of dollars have been poured into the research of something that had no credibility a decade after its first attempt to scare us all into anticapitalist behavior. Remember also that this is the turning point where the UN started looking to the US to pay for everything while simultaneously dismissing American interests and calling us names. Maybe it's because we aren't a nation of antiSemites like most of Europe. For whatever reason, global warmology is anticapitalist in nature. We're being told we MUST change our ways, that it's primarily America's fault, etc.

Funny that in the 70s and 80s, Communism killed millions, and Soviet maneuvers (including the threat of military annihilation) toppled more than a dozen nations and installed their own super-rich elitists while forcing poverty on almost an entire continent. But neither global warming nor nuclear winter killed a single person. And liberals assailed reagan for almost killing millions and for making the rich richer and the poor poorer. As Coulter says, if you want to know what a liberal is up to, find out what they are accusing someone of.

Eh...you're either reasonable or not..I don't mean to proselytize a party or political spectrum. I'm just talking about how global warmology is defended by outcome-based research. Also, it is an example of what bad things can be done when a religion becomes too organized.

Let's go to ice cores. I think ice cores are funny. We can't effectively date them because carbon dating is iffy, and largely outcome-based. Did you know that if a human fossil doesn't fit into an anthropologist's theory for its age, the data will be massaged until it works for them. Ever notice new discoveries never radically change the view of the earth's age or of any other assumptions we have? You never hear 'researchers learned today that previous estimates of the methane levels of planets we have never sent probes to are not necessarily accurate, since we have never been there and only have nine or ten (sorry, Pluto) models to estimate from. You only hear how previous assumptions were right on, and because of those assumptions we now know even more. A livable planet that doesn't rotate around its red sun but once every 200 years? Sure - let researchers tell you exactly what temperature it is and whether there is ample fresh water - it's 20 lightyears away.

Just realized how long this is. Sorry, and I had a tough day at work today so I know I am not very organized. My point about ice cores is this: is that reliable research? Not so many trees where you can still take an ice core that reaches back 650,000 years like the summary suggests. Did they take any ice cores in Florida? LA? Lower Greece (where the pollution is so bad it might look like mid80s projections of LA)? Not likely. Less ice, more trees. More trees, big change in carbon dioxide. Some times more, sometimes less. This alone makes me think ice cores aren't reliable.

As I said, this is very long, I just wanted to point out that you have to take global warming research on faith, cause that's what the researchers are doing. Only they also want you to spend money on Al Gore's company, cause he funds their research. Buying carbon offsets isn't doing anything but lining the pockets of rich elitists who don't care if it keeps entire nations poor. If you want to know what a liberal is up to...

I read this article, ready to evaluate the arguments and weigh the evidence presented, but it's just an ad hominem attack on the Heartland Institute. It's like saying, "I don't trust A, therefore A's argument is dishonest." Except it's worse, because the Heartland Institute isn't making an argument, but offering to make an argument. "I don't trust A, therefore A's support of a debate that challenges my ideas is dishonest." What a joke!

A petition to encourage Al Gore to debate global warming:

Heartland Institute most certainly IS making an argument--read the load of anti-global warming mtl there.

Some folks just love to play the "ad hominem" claim to avoid the fact that a source is clearly--beyond any doubt--biased. But they only make that claim when the biased source supports their beliefs.

Many comments here defend any criticism of Republicans, Bush, conservatives, or even the kind of dishonest ads that Heartland used by immediate resort to ad hominem attacks on the critic--socialist, commie, fascist, loser, and on and on.

You don't have to be an Al Gore fan or a believer in man-made global warming to be offended by the dishonesty of Heartland.

First, ad hominem is ad hominem..it is insulting someone because you don't want to address the facts of the debate. There's no 'ad hominem is what republicans say when they don't want to address the facts.' If the article above calls heartland a 'very partisan little group', that's meant to rob credibility without addressing the point of heartland. If it says heartland is financed by rich people who don't care about spending money, the point of the views expressed by heartland is not addressed. If the ad will only make sense to the 'gullible and misinformed' {I note here that there are no responses to my or anyone else's specific indictments of global warmology here, perhaps it isn't the unbelievers who are uninformed.}, that's an insult. It doesn't address the belief of the heartland writers that global warming is economic slavery in progress. It just says only dumb people will believe the heartland ad.

Hey - the allegation of dishonesty is an insult. And where is heartland dishonest? An ad challenging al gore to a debate,and when you click on it, you go to a web site saying 'why won't he debate?' How about Al Gore is dishonest? Before you yell 'ad hominem', don't think I said it. How about the most accurate forecaster of hurricane activity in the history of meteorology? He called Gore dishonest and alarmist..in the middle of new orleans no less. Likely he knows a thing or two about climate. And while the above article is insulting Lord Monckton, what exactly are Al Gore's scientific credentials? Heck..what are my scientific credentials? And in multiple forums across the internet I have yet to be taken to task on factuality. Not that I'm super great...it's just that the facts don't support global warmology. And the reactions of typical global warmologists are typically full of - you guessed it - argumentum and hominem.

The heartland site is definitely presenting an argument: we don't believe global warming is a crisis event caused by mankind. also, al gore won't debate us on this. And that should tell you something. It's like Hillary's 'listening tours', where anyone who has anything to say is an invited speaker or part of a program of softball questions designed to make her look good in front of all the people who AREN'T allowed to ask anything. Al Gore holds a forum, takes approved questions, and if he can't handle one, refers you to a web site where some spin artist is already crafting a carefully worded response. That's been Al Gore his whole life.

I want a global warmologist to explain why it is ok for Gore to represent global warming and own a company selling carbon credits. And I'd also like to know how carbon credits are going to save the world and not just give rich liberals an excuse to power their four houses and somehow not look like a hypocrite. Finally, I'd like to see tonight's episode of LOST, but my wife forgot to record it for me. Very sad.

oh yeah...and in addition to ad hominem, accusing someone of saying something they didn't say is another logical fallicy. In the statements above, no one is called a loser or fascist. I assert that global warming is a socialist move, designed to discourage free markets and blame capitalism for the end of the world. That's not an insult to any particular person, that's just fact. Global warming is exactly that machine today and was born out of that...climate...in the UN when the world was making fun of conservatives for caling communists evil. Which they undeniably were.

So, devoid of ad hominem to hide behind (if you want to know what a liberal is up to...), when is someone going to defend actual global warmology instead of attacking the unbelievers?

Bias does not preclude honesty.

I see the American Petroleum Institute posts here, obviously, and as "visitor".

Actually, there's a pretty good chance that the visitors objecting to the "ad hominem" stuff, and to the underlying science, are from good old Heartland itself.

They seem to have a very vigorous monitoring program to find and respond to all global warming posts, letters to the editor, etc. (Guess how much money it takes to do that).

Check out this piece in the Napa Valley Register by a person who wrote a global warming letter. It immediately drew a lengthy response from the "media specialist" of the Heartland Institute's head office in Chicago.

Face it Heartland, an attack is only "ad hominem" when the purpose of talking about the beliefs and character of an entity is to avoid the substance of the argument.

Ain't nothin' ad hominem about pointing out the obvious, paid, partisan bias of one party to an argument in order to giv it the right degree of skepticism. Nope; ain't ad hominem at all.

We challenged Heartland Institute to another debate, we like to call "Smoking is bad for you, really." After a little back and forth between us and Joseph Bast and one of his prestigous "senior fellows," we haven't heard any more from them.

I am just going to keep posting the challenge until we hear a yes or no.

I even made a poster, you'd think that would be enough?

Check it out: www.desmogblog.com

There is absolutely no doubt that Global Warming is a fact. No one denies it and since it has been a fact of life for 18,000 years, or so.

The 'debate' is over whether mankind is responsible for Global Warming (GW).

Since GW has been going on for thousands of years before the industrial revolution -- it is clear that mankind did NOT start GW.

So, the 'debate' progresses to the next point: mankind's CO2 emissions are increasing GW -- how could it be otherwise, and since our CO2 is added to that of the natural world's CO2 production.

Then, of course, the 'debate' then focuses on mankind's input of CO2 . . . which is three (3) percent of the annual CO2 totals: .03(period.)

The environmentally challenged thinks that is enough to prove we are destroying the planet, while 'cooler' heads think their debate opponents are complete loons; totally around the bend. . .

The GW 'consensus' is all about getting money and power for social engineering, and where they can jet around the world in 'conference' but you can't drive your SUV, say 'nappy,' smoke tobacco or eat what you care to eat . . .

They are already acting out as petty dictators -- just read the comments, above!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not everyone who opposes you is part of an interest group. I'd say the vast majority of us are concerned citizens trying to determine whether politics is masquerading as science.

The challenge to debate whether smoking is good for you would be equivalent--if Heartland actually made the claim that smoking is good for you.

"The challenge to debate whether smoking is good for you would be equivalent--if Heartland actually made the claim that smoking is good for you."

But....Heartland has in the past made the claim that smoking is "not bad" for you, and apparently still claims that smoking isn't that bad for you.

And the proposed debate was whether smoking is bad for you, not whether it's good for you.

I've also come across a 7-year old kid who claims that staying up until 3 am on school nights is good for you. He's challeneged me to a debate. Do I have to debate him, or can I just use "ad hominems" to dismiss his argument based on his age and self-interest?

Heartland is well-funded and pretty slick (in a greasy marketing kind of way). Their web site explanation of who funds them is crafted to give the appearance of incredible openness: "It was the policy of The Heartland Institute, until late in 2004, to identify on its Internet site (www.heartland.org) all corporate and foundation donors, though not the amounts of their gifts."

But not the amounts of their gifts. Want to knwo why? Because almost ALL of the foundation money came from a very few of the most far right wing foundations you can find.

Using the site Media Transparency, you can find out that from 1986 through 2005, Heartland received a total of $2,912,555 from non-profit foundations. Of that amount, a whopping $2.3 million came from 5 foundations: Barre Seid Foundation, Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Walton Family Foundation, Charlotte and Walter Kohler Charitable Trust, and Sarah Scaife Foundation. (& that doesn't count that little half a million they got from ExxonMobil, because Exxon's not a foundation).

They are funded by the extreme right, they have long defended smoking as best they could given the state of the medical evidence against them, and they are active in fighting against cities and towns who want to provide their citizens with wireless internet access (scroll down to the entry captioned "Sock Puppet Talks, Unravels").

And their debate ad is a come-on.

In a court of law, their credibility would be shot to hell right there, the weight of their opinion reduced to the point that you could use it to fill a hot air balloon.

umm...i wish i could remember the names of all the classic fallicies represented here. i am very tired, or i would try to just make up amusing names for them, but in case they wouldn't be that funny due to my sleep deprivation, i'll just point out the offenses.

first, the american petroleum thing is ad hominem, right? it's an insult. you aren't credible because you aremotivated by greed. but i'm not. i don't make a dime off petroleum. i pay the same price to fill my little 4 cylinder car as anyone else. but i understand that the problem is really supply and demand. and i undestand that liberals were successful in hiking future gas prices by not allowing new refineries toopen the last thirty years. after all, gas prices would drop dramatically if oil weren't bussed around the world three times before it actually came to our country.

i don't think the assertion that conservative posters are plants from heartland is ad hominem, but it's someawful failure in argumentation. first, what would that have to do with the content of the messages? is my disbelief in global warmology based on science? refute the science, then. who cares where i am from or not. is it based on the hypocrisy of the champions of global warmology? as crichton wrote, the only thing worse than a limousine liberal is a gulf stream environmentalist. refute the corruption of the united nations, or the assertion that there are more lawyers behind the climate scare than scientists. don't start guessing where anonymous posts are from as if that changes the argument. i've never even heard of heartland before i stumbled onto this column. i think it was a link from drudge. i got nothing to do with the group, but i sure would like to see gore debate. i love watching him lose debates. he says the most incredible things, like his completely detail free meanderings about alternatives to oil. when bush responded with his excitement over the advances clean coal technology had made because of private investment, al gore couldn't answer his next question until he had helped pioneer clean coal technology (which he couldn't mention until bush gave him inspiration). i guess he pioneered the internet, too.

i couldn't care less what anyone else says about smoking. clearly smoking is dumb. i know there are experts who disagree, but i hold to that fact that it's smoke. i have no partnership with the tobacco industry. to say so is some kind of logical fallicy. to imply that what heartland says about global warming is wrong because they disupte the health risks of smoking is fallicy. the two are not related. if you are simply indicting credibility, i repeat what the wise poster said above: bias does not preclude honesty. although in the case of abc news there seems to be an exception. "mr president, the [false] charge is serious. Answer the [false] charge."

i am exactly a concerned citizen who believes politics is masquerading as science. well said, sir/madame. i do believe that global warmology also serves the purpose of evil though. there's million of dollars in keeping that machine alive. at time, global warming was on life support but people still kept pumping money into the outcome based research. it's like jon edwards (the fetus whisperer). not a shred of science to back up a number of his suits, and yet because of the dynamics of putting one charismatic snake oil salesman in front of 12 random people, health care and prenatal costs have skyrocketed in some (read southeastern) parts of the country, and medical schools are not pumping out the number of new ob/gyns they used to.

and i don't much care where anyone gets their money. that doesn't by itself impugn credibility. everything george soros says is socialistic at best and venomously antichristian or antiamerican at..well..most of the time. does that mean every group that gets some of his money is just like him? or necessarily wrong? nope. i'll admit it amps the percentage, since george soros' goal is to destabilize wold economies for fun and profit. but you have to look at statements and groups in their context, not in someone else's. i have friends who have smoked pot..am i a pot smoker? i gave money to george bush..does that mean i am exactly like everyone who gave money to george bush? no way. and you can bet, if i had unlimited funds, i'd use them to make a difference. throw me a fat lottery ticket and i'll try to change the outcome of opinion and elections. not because i am an evil monolirth, but because if i feel i am fighting the fight i am going to fight hard. maybe heartland is the same, maybe not. and so we return to the stuff of their arguments against globl warmology and the human cause of the 'crisis'. i note we aren't really talking about that. we are still talking about the credibility of arguments and not the arguments themselves.

so, who wants to talk about carbon dating, argon levels, and measured temperatures the last hundred years?

"refute the science, then. who cares where i am from or not"

Well, in case you missed it, the actual post that sparked these comments doesn't happen to be about the substantive question(s) of global warming. It is about what I did and still do view as dishonesty from Heartland Institute. You can disagree with that if you have a different definition of honesty than I do.

The post here is not about whether the globe is warming; if so what is causing the warming; or what, if anything we should try to do about it.

I'm not qualified to analyze the science on my own, any more than I'm qualified to analyze the science underlying nuclear power. Just not qualified. Which is also true of the vast majority of "skeptics" who have posted comments, if not all of them.

And WTW isn't the place for a discussion of the substance of the science underlying global warming theory, for the same reasons.

So to all the skeptic commenters who happen to be trolls, troll somewhere else. You've earned your paycheck. You can harp on ad hominem until your next talking point memo arrives, it's of no interest to me. The sad thing is that any real debate over any important issue in this country today is automatically polluted by people whose sole goal is to muddy the waters enough that ordinary people won't be able to make any sense of anything.

To those skeptic commentators who may be genuinely interested in the substance of the science, there are plenty of other sites that specialize in climate issues, including this one, which even has a blog where, surprise, "skeptic" trolls show up regularly. For a more scientific approach, there's this one.

And for anyone interested in the state of the actual science that appears in the scientific journals, there's this review from Science magazine, in December of 2004.

I have nothing more to say about this post, unless someone has an actual, sensible, rational comment about the actual point of the post.

Yes, the dismissal of the child's argument that that staying up until 3 am on school nights is good for you, based on the child's age and self-interest, would be an ad hominem attack, by definition: you would be arguing against the person making the argument rather than the argument itself.

Not debating everyone who challenges you is not necessarily evidence that your position is untenable, but your refusal is certainly suspicious when 1) you champion that position to the extent of publishing a book and filming a documentary and 2) your challenger's position is supported by thousands of bona fide scientists in relevant fields of study. If these two conditions held in your 7-year old example, then yes, I would say that if you hope to maintain any credibility, you would have to debate that child.

Of course, both these conditions are present with respect to Al Gore's refusal to debate Lord Monckton, which explains why a significant portion of the comments written in the petition urging Gore to debate are from Gore's supporters.

I think that you guys should stop Global Warming!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well you guys need to know that we are in danger. Us people need to work soming out to help our world become a better world. Global warming is very bad all the polluting is destroying our envioment. Togther we should work as a team.


Anyone going to the web site linked in the preceding comment (realfactsofglobalwarming.blogspot.com) should know that this is yet another cite that collects and regurgitates the output of propaganda outlets in the pay of the energy industry and big business which opposes all government regulation (and most government functions).

Much of what you'll find there is from sources like CEI (Competitive Enterprise Institute), which could easily be called Heartland by another name. CEI and Heartland share advocacy for tobacco companies and hostility to anything resembling global warming. They share tobacco lobby funding and energy industry funding. They share a core "philosophy" that government regulation is bad, private property rights are the answer to everything, and mainstream scientists are really just politicians in sheeps' clothing.

For info on CEI, including funding, see here; as to the extremes of support for tobacco, see here.

CEI's President and founder, Fred Smith, is the author of The Irresponsibility of Corporate Social Responsibility, which includes the following:

...Individuals can decide that they would like to spend their money on some environmental project or some issue or problems in Romania or Burma, and so forth. But in a society as heterogeneous as the United States is, there are a very large number of things we might want to do. And rather than the corporation acting as our big daddy, making those decisions for us, spending the money that would otherwise be dispersed to the population, maybe some others have different goals and different ideas. And should we not be able to pick up our choices, our values and advance them?

The whole idea of the corporate social responsibility movement is to take away the choices we have and to give them to the elites, the politically preferred rulers of our society the NGO, nongovernmental organization. NGO, bad title. Anyone who knows the NGO movement in practice knows it is not a non-governmental organization. It is a PGO - pro-government organization. They have never seen a government program they did not want to expand.

Myron Ebell heads CEI's Global Warming and International Environmental Policy project. After the EPA submitted the "Climate Action Report 2002" to the UN, Ebell wrote a memo to the now infamous Philip A. Cooney, then chief of staff of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, which said:

we made the decision this morning to do as much as we could to deflect criticism by blaming the EPA for freelancing. It seems to me that the folks at the EPA are the obvious fall guys, and we would only hope that the fall guy (or gal) should be as high up as possible. I have done several interviews and have stressed that the president needs to get everyone rowing in the same direction. Perhaps tomorrow we will call for (Christine Todd Whitman) to be fired. I know that that doesn't sound like much help, but it seems to me that our only leverage to push you in the right direction is to drive a wedge between the President and those in the Administration who think they are serving the president's best interests by publishing this rubbish.

Cooney, by the way, is the lawyer/economist who radically altered the wording and import of several official government reports on climate change.

And pursuant to that same site? Notice the use of the operand "real", when the many posts there all are specific to the same masters of misinformation that Exxon, BP and others so adore. Of course, use the word "real", as a site named madeupcraptofoolthegullible.com isn't that appealing.

As I read through these comments, all I see are emotions riding high on both sides of an inane argument. The debate of global warming should be thrown aside as it has become fodder for our politicians. It's been an excellent way for them to polarize us. Whether the threat is real or not, don't we all want to become more energy independent? Don't we all want cleaner air and water for our children? Spur growth in cleaner industries? As our population grows, we are devouring our natural resources. THAT is the threat at hand.

Is this a comments section or a section for a global warming denialist shill to spout pages and pages of diatribe trying to counter the article?