The Real Story of Heartland: The Template of Lies

February 17, 2012

Take some time to view the video above, well worth it. Then read the post below.

Guest post by Kaitlin Alexander:

Exhibit A:

“There is no experimental data to support the hypothesis that smoking causes lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, or chronic bronchitis………any number of things can influence the onset of a disease. The list includes genetics, diet, workplace environment, and stress…….we understand public anxiety about smoking causing disease, but are concerned that many of these much-publicized associations are ill-informed and misleading……….the media continue to uncritically accept and vigorously promote an anti-smoking agenda…….after hundreds of millions of dollars spent on clinical research, and decades of screaming headlines, we have no more certainty today about smoking causing disease than we did decades ago……….if even a small part of the time and money spent trying to link smoking to cancer were spent instead on studying the other causes of cancer, millions of lives could be saved.”

Exhibit B:

“The claim that human activities cause climate change has not been scientifically proven……….it is a reductionist error and not keeping with the current theories of climate science to attempt  to assign each temperature change to an exclusive single cause………..the use of results from flawed computer models to frighten people by attributing catastrophic future change to current human activities may be misleading and is highly regrettable……..that emotionalism can override objective analysis is illustrated by the headlines………..despite millions of dollars spent by the government on climate modeling and research, many questions about the relationship between human activities and global temperature change remain unanswered……….indeed, many scientists are becoming concerned that preoccupation with anthropogenic global warming may be both unfounded and dangerous – unfounded because evidence on many critical points is conflicting, dangerous because it diverts attention from other suspected hazards.”

Now read the originals.

Exhibit A

“There is no experimental data to support the hypothesis that increases in hydrocarbon use or in atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are causing or can be expected to cause unfavourable changes in global temperatures, weather, or landscape…….any number of things can influence earth’s temperature. The list includes volcanic eruptions, variations in the amount of energy received from the sun, El Niños, and La Niñas – all of which are natural………we understand public anxiety about climate change, but are concerned that many of these much publicized predictions are ill-informed and misleading……….the media continue to uncritically accept and vigorously promote shrill global warming alarmism………after hundreds of millions of dollars spent on climate modeling, and decades of screaming headlines, we have no more certainty today about global warming prediction than we did decades ago………..if even a small part of the money spent trying to reduce carbon dioxide emissions were spent instead on fighting hunger or disease in Third World countries, millions of lives could be saved.”

-from the various articles on the Heartland Institute’s global warming page

Exhibit B

“The claim that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer has not been scientifically proven……… is a reductionist error and not keeping with the current theories of cancer causation to attempt to assign each cancer to an exclusive single cause…………the use of results from flawed population studies to frighten people by attributing large numbers of death yearly to smoking may be misleading and is most regrettable……….that emotionalism can override objective analysis is illustrated by the headlines………despite millions of dollars spent by the government on smoking and health-related research, many questions about the relationship between smoking and disease remain unanswered…………indeed, many scientists are becoming concerned that preoccupation with smoking may be both unfounded and dangerous – unfounded because evidence on many critical points is conflicting, dangerous because it diverts attention from other suspected hazards.”

-from Smoking and Health: 1964-1979: The Continuing Controversy, published in 1979 by the Tobacco Institute

If I hadn’t told you which set of quotes was unchanged, and which I had replaced words like “smoking” and “cancer” with “human activities” and “climate change”, or vice versa, would you even have known the difference?


68 Responses to “The Real Story of Heartland: The Template of Lies”

  1. Fascinating to see John Stossel investigating the Tobacco industry misinformation campaign, whereas now he’s aiding the climate denialist misinformation campaign. In fact, one of Heartland’s biggest fundraisers for 2012 is a dinner with John Stossel.

  2. daveburton Says:

    It is ironic (and symptomatic of the disease infecting climatology) that when a Climate Movement activist smears the Heartland Institute with a forged document full of lies, the Climate Movement blogsphere reacts by accusing the victims of lying.

    • SJ Says:

      Accusing Heartland of lying is like accusing a chef of cooking.

      • daveburton Says:

        1. That accusation is nonsense. Heartland is a genuinely Good institution, dedicated to the twin ideals of liberty and scientific rigor.

        2. Even if the accusation were true, which it is not, your reaction is akin to convicting a rapist after he’s been exonerated by DNA evidence, because “even if he’s not guilty of that, he’s surely guilty of something.”

        It is now clear that some anonymous Climate Movement activist forged a damning document to smear the Heartland Institute with lies. The only possible reaction for a just person is outrage at the wrong that was done by the Climate Movement activist to Heartland, regardless of what he thinks of either Heartland or the Climate Movement.

        A just person stands up for justice regardless of what they think of the victim of an injustice.

        • greenman3610 Says:

          the liberty of tobacco companies to sell addictive poisons to children.
          right. it speaks volumes about who they are, and who you are.

          See John Mashey’s study of Heartland p 38.

          the Joe Camel ads started in 1987.
          ““A 1991 study … found that by age of six over ninety percent of American kids
          were able to recognize Joe Camel;… about the same name (and face) recognition
          as Mickey Mouse. …
          from the beginning of the blitz in 1987, Camel’s share of the under-eighteen
          market jumped from 0.5 to a whopping 33 percent in just three years”
          now read Joe Bast’s ringing defense of Joe Camel

          Click to access 1532.pdf

          p 43
          see also Bast’s bootlicking letter to Roy Marden of Phillip Morris (Marden was on the Heartland board, and solicited the letter)
          “Because Heartland does many things that benefit Philip Morris’ bottom line,
          things that no other organization does, I hope you will consider boosting your
          general operating support this year to $30,000 and once again reserve a Gold
          Table for an additional $5,000.
          We genuinely need your financial support. Maybe by the end of this letter you’ll
          agree that we merit even greater support; I certainly hope so.”

          this is your freedom fighter.
          If I was you, I’d go look in a mirror, then take a shower.

          • daveburton Says:

            Peter, this sort of smear is beneath you. You should be ashamed.

            Bast did not defend “selling addictive poisons to children.” He very carefully made the point that “Joe Camel” was NOT being used to market tobacco to children. What Bast defended was TRUTH, for which you seem to have little regard.

            Listen, I hate smoking. I’ve been an anti-smoking zealot for over 30 years. Smoking a cigarette is like wearing a a big sign that says, “I’m stupid and I smell bad.”

            But there’s something I hate even more than smoking, and that’s lying. Lying for a good cause is just like lying for a bad cause: it is dishonest. I detest the rampant dishonesty in the Climate Movement, and I am grateful for people like Bast and Milloy who are passionately dedicated to TRUTH, without regard for how popular or unpopular it might be.

          • greenman3610 Says:

            right. Joe camel not aimed at kids.
            its just a coincidence that Camel’s share of the kids market jumped dramatically after the campaign started.
            again, this so speaks volumes about your ability to selectively screen reality.
            I guess its called denial.

          • daveburton Says:

            As Jerry Pournelle famously noted, “You can prove anything if you can make up your data.”

            What you called a “study” of under-18 cigarette sales, which claimed that Camel’s share of that market increased 66-fold over three years, was not a peer-reviewed study, it was an uncorroborated report issued by an anti-smoking advocacy organization.

        • jasonpettitt Says:

          I spurted coffee

        • Dave, sometimes it’s best for the twin ideals of scientific rigor and liberty to reach a compromise, for example the Montreal Protocol.

    • ozonator Says:

      Modern assistant coaches of de-lousing showers and hired liars. “This is … the first international conference devoted to answering questions overlooked by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. … they will cause “more preventable death and suffering than was caused in the last century by Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot combined.” … The Heartland Institute … since as early as 1798 … Winners don’t exaggerate. Winners don’t lie. … a catastrophe has been dis-proven by the fact that this conference is taking place” (“2008 International Conference on Climate Change – Opening Remarks delivered Sunday, March 2, 2008”; Joseph L. ‘pilodinal cyst’ Bast, Conference Host, President, The Heartland Institute; “‘Yes, we plead guilty … ‘Skeptics will proudly celebrate … Climate Depot takes full responsibility for the fate of your children and grandchildren from any future man-made climate catastrophe” (“Australian PM warns skeptics ‘are too ‘dangerous to ignore’ and are ‘holding the world to ransom’”, By Marc Morano, Climate Depot Editorial”;, 11/6/09).

      In reality, among the 2+ million dead resulting from my AGW predictions from their employers and free AGW dumping – “Philippines Earthquake 2012: 6.8 Quake Kills 43, Looting Runs Rampant” (By IBTIMES STAFF REPORTER;, 2/6/12). With condolences, I predicted this quake in . Lacking a check from Dave Burton or Marc ‘pilodinal cyster’ Morano, “Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto yesterday asked the Catholic faithful to assist the victims of the 6.9 magnitude quake in Negros Oriental. … He also assured them that he and Pope Benedict XVI are praying for them” (“Catholics urged to help earthquake victims”; By Danny Dangcalan, The Philippine Star;, 2/15/12).

  3. indulisb Says:

    It would be much more powerful visually to have the tobacco and climate quotes done line by line- top line tobacco, line below climate. Colour coded- brown for tobacco, green for climate (showing greenwashing)?

  4. indulisb Says:

    Let’s look at the facts then, instead of the smears. In this article there are quotes from the Heartland Institute which can be found by anyone who can use a web search engine, in under a minute.

    These climate change texts are almost word-for-word identical to the statements issued by the Tobacco lobby about tobacco and health.

    So, *this* article on *this* web page is accurate, is not a smear, and can be shown to be so by anyone who wants to see just how much spin there is- and how little science- coming out of the Heartland Institute.

  5. climatesight Says:

    Thanks for the hat tip, Peter! That was one of my most popular posts, and it has suddenly become very relevant.

  6. daveburton Says:

    At :44 the first video tosses off gigantic lie:

    “the Climate Security Act… failed to pass. …with the overwhelming majority of climate scientists… onboard with the science of global warming…”

    That bill was a cap & trade scheme, which was defeated because the best evidence indicated that it would be massively destructive to the welfare of the American people, with no environmental benefit at all. Only 48 Senators voted for it, and President Bush wisely pledged to veto it.

    The claim of overwhelming expert support for such misguided legislation is purest nonsense.

    It really irks me that the Climate Movement takes surveys indicating near consensus for some things, and misrepresents them as evidence for consensus on other, very different things. Sure, most scientists agree that the the world was a bit warmer by the end of the 20th century than at the beginning, but they’re deeply divided about the causes, the implications, and the appropriate response.

    At around 2:00 in the video, we see a montage of 1950s tobacco ads with logos of organizations that wouldn’t exist for 30-40 years… and this outrageous dishonesty is in a video that is supposedly about dishonesty!!!

    How ironic can you get?

    And it gets worse from there, with wild accusations of “money laundering” and scientific prostitution against the institutions and people who do the best public policy research in the world.

    It is absolutely shameful.

  7. Mahn England Says:

    “ Sure, most scientists agree that the world was a bit warmer by the end of the 20th century than at the beginning, but they’re deeply divided about the causes, the implications, and the appropriate response.”

    Where is this deep division among most scientists?

    Cause (singular): Increased atmospheric carbon dioxide emitted by human activity.
    Implication (singular): A climate change that will adversely impact our current mode of existence.
    Response: Mitigate, adapt and/or suffer…it’s over to the people and their governments to take the action.

    Dave have you considered applying for a position at Heartland…with the spin you impart you could have written both Exhibits A and B.

    • daveburton Says:

      Harris polled 500 leading American Meteorological and Geophysical scientists in early 2007, and even back then there was no consensus. They found that:
      “97% agree that ‘global average temperatures have increased’ during the past century. But not everyone attributes that rise to human activity. A slight majority (52%) believe this warming was human-induced, 30% see it as the result of natural temperature fluctuations and the rest are unsure.”

      Over 9,000(!!!) American Ph.D. scientists have signed this petition:

      “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”

      I’d love to work at Heartland! Perhaps you’d like to write me a letter of recommendation?

      • jasonpettitt Says:

        daveburton, you may wish to avoid the following video

      • Martin Lack Says:

        Hundreds of people with PhD’s believe that 9/11 was an inside job.

        That does not make them right.

        Out of a population of 310 million, it means nothing.

        97% of climate scientists say climate change is a problem.

        Now that, I believe, is significant.

      • greenman3610 Says:

        “I’d love to work at Heartland! Perhaps you’d like to write me a letter of recommendation?”

        Anytime. You have sterling qualifications.

        • g2-b31f1590b0e74a6d1af4639162aa7f3f Says:

          Sterling qualifications indeed — the two most important qualifications are incompetence and dishonesty (denier arguments run the full range of complete incompetence to complete dishonesty).

          Just got through reading Dr. Mann’s book, and very important common thread that runs through denier arguments is *incompetence*. I had forgotten about some of the more memorable denier screwups over the past few years.

          A sampling:

          1) A study put out by McIntyre and Michaels where the fed in latitude data in degrees to trig functions that expected radians. Michaels ran with that paper, claiming that it invalidated the global temperature record until blogger “deltoid” discovered the degree/radian blunder.

          2) Edward Wegman showing that he didn’t understand a basic concept that he should have learned in high-school (diffusion) during Congressional testimony about CO2 in the atmosphere.

          • g2-b31f1590b0e74a6d1af4639162aa7f3f Says:

            (truncated post continued)

            3) The “Mann’s method makes hockey sticks from random noise” claim put out by McIntyre and McKitrick is incompetent on multiple levels. Then M&M generated their “random noise”, they used a noise model what was “trained” with tree-ring data. But they failed to detrend (that is, remove the “hockey stick” global warming) signal first. So their noise model was contaminated with “hockey stick” signal! This is a fundamental concept in time-series analysis. If you are going to use real data to generate a noise model, you have to remove the signal first! Other screwups involve failure to implement the proper principal component selection procedure. These are not high-level esoteric mathematical issues; they are college-undergraduate screwups!

            4) The infamous Soon/Baliunas paper — truly an epic fustercluck. A college undergraduate science/statistics student would have no trouble identifying multiple #@$!ups in the paper’s methodology.

            I could go on with more examples, but this should suffice for now.

            Highlighting denier “incompetence” won’t deter rank-and-file denier message-board trolls, but perhaps this approach might embarrass deniers higher up in the food-chain (like Dr. Wegman, etc.) into changing their conduct a bit. IMO, with climate-scientists being all gentlemanly and scholarly, they haven’t pushed this angle bluntly enough. Denier screwups are in many cases so basic and fundamental that they can be explained in non-technical language that average Joes and Janes can understand.

  8. Over 9,000(!!!) American Ph.D. scientists have signed this petition:

    Well, no.
    Not really.

    32000 Scientists

  9. daveburton Says:

    Yes, really. Over 9000 Ph.D. American scientists have signed the Oregon Petition. That’s a fact.

    It is hilarious that, in rebuttal, you cite a video that begins with at 1950s TV ad for cigarettes, with a voice-over saying, “in the late 1970s, Dr. Seitz began…” Talk about deceptive!

    Is that the best you can do?

    No wonder the Climate Movement is now resorting to forgeries, to try to discredit climate realists.

    • ozonator Says:

      Poor Davy
      You can’t lie and buy your way into heaven. Some of your AGW victims are waiting for a little of that blood money. “A total of 51 people are now confirmed dead in the magnitude 6.9 earthquake that struck the province of Negros Oriental more than a week ago. At least 62 others remain missing. … A total of 14,867 houses were damaged in the quake” (“Negros quake death toll climbs to 51”;
      Reports from Jeff Canoy, ABS-CBN News; ANC;, 2/17/12).

      I have seen pictures of the home of Oregon Petition. I can’t believe that all that paperwork survived the proximity to the meth lab.

      • daveburton Says:

        Can someone translate that, pls?

        • ozonator Says:


          You have been like a consistent monkey paid not to pull the corks from the heaviest pigs at the sham county fair.

          AGW hit your 9000 postcard collection and meth lab in Oregon and beyond with multiple nuke-releases of energy.
          Also a proxy for von Singer’s thermometer, this week’s Vancouver, Northern California, Oregon, and Brewer’s nasty finger Arizona were a correct AGW quake predictions from moi made on 2/4/12 under –

          Now blurton, this will take denier PhD level work of cut and paste, click, and/or scroll to read the Word of Bob. Warning, do not use scratch – n- sniff!

          • daveburton Says:

            Uh… I meant can someone else translate it, please?

          • Translating Ozonator’s metaphorical English to literal English is a tad challenging. Let me try.
            You’re a tool.
            Reality trumps the OSI petition.
            A 350 sq mile chunk of an Antarctic glacier is about to turn into an iceberg.
            You’re a ventriloquist’s dummy. (That’s still too metaphorical.)

          • daveburton Says:

            And what about the part about the earthquake?

          • Dave, I don’t know why Ozonator thinks that recent earthquakes and AGW are connected events. Perhaps, some geologists hypothesize that as forces on the earth’s crust are redistributed due to melting ice, earthquakes patterns will be affected. Ozonator?

          • ozonator Says:

            EssoKoch and other geologists = quakes impossible to predict.

            My AGW post in this website and linked AGW post in this blog = correct quake predictions aka not impossible, weekly examples of AGW events. Thus, the ‘religion’ of science is as good as it gets with “SENIOR seismologist Clive Collins was on duty … at Geoscience Australia’s Canberra operations centre … earthquake prediction continues to elude scientists. … “Earthquakes are totally out of the blue in 99.9 per cent of cases.” … the holy grail of geology — earthquake forecasting” (“Lack of a crystal ball frustrates scientists”; Cheryl Jones From: The Australian;, 2/26/11).

  10. Yes, really. Over 9000 Ph.D. American scientists have signed the Oregon Petition. That’s a fact.

    Are you sure?

    32000 Scientists

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