Heartland Climate Deniers are Creepy Stalkers. Who Could have Guessed? Well, #Metoo

January 18, 2018


Racism, climate denial, and this.

Huffington Post:

Eugene Koprowski’s temper earned him a reputation around the office pretty quickly.

Koprowski started work as the marketing director at the Heartland Institute, a right-wing think tank based outside Chicago, in July 2015. Former colleagues say he frequently raised his voice and threw tantrums if they questioned him. One described him as “violent generally.” He sent condescending emails to a female colleague, reprimanding her in almost comically sinister terms: “We will have no more insubordination.”

Despite these outbursts, former colleagues say Koprowski enjoyed protected status in the office because of his friendship with Joseph Morris, a conservative Chicago lawyer who is also a major fundraiser for Heartland and a close ally to its chief executive, Joseph Bast.

HuffPost spoke to three former staffers who confirmed these accounts, but requested anonymity for fear of retribution or jeopardizing future employment in the libertarian policy community.


Heartland, they said, fostered a culture that allowed Koprowski, 52, to relentlessly harass a female subordinate half his age ― to the point where she took out a restraining order against him in October 2015. And though Koprowski was apparently fired sometime after the woman complained to human resources, her former colleagues say his termination came in response to other misbehavior ― not his repeated, undesired romantic pursuit of the woman who reported to him.

Even after he was allegedly fired, Heartland kept the former executive in its protective orbit, former staffers say. Morris, who is listed on Heartland’s website as a policy adviser, is defending Koprowski in court against charges racked up when he contacted the woman over and over again, violating the protective order. Some of those charges were dropped in December, days after the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that a cyberstalking law used to charge Koprowski was unconstitutional, but the case is ongoing.

The previously-unreported case of alleged stalking comes to light just as Heartland has become more powerful than ever. The think tank transformed itself over the past two decades from a defender of the tobacco industry ― under the banner of “smokers rights” ― to a leading proponent of climate change denial and champion of fossil fuels. Since the Trump administration came to power, Heartland has enjoyed unprecedented influence at the Environmental Protection Agency, and works closely with hard-line science skeptics in Congress such as Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.). EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt joined the members of Congress in November to speak at Heartland’s America First Energy Conference in Houston.



19 Responses to “Heartland Climate Deniers are Creepy Stalkers. Who Could have Guessed? Well, #Metoo”

  1. dumboldguy Says:

    No surprise here. I’d bet that too many Heartlanders also have child porn on their computers and abuse their pets as well.

    Russell Cook! You’re a Heartland insider! How about it—-tell us more about the evil and perversion that lurks within the walls of Heartland. You could make some big bucks wring a “tell all” book.

    • Russell Cook (@QuestionAGW) Says:

      You rang?

      As ever, one of the predictable things about you lads is how you leap to conclusions without ever doing real due diligence to make sure your beliefs actually hold water. Of course, I’m not a Heartland insider, thus I’m not the least bit privy to what goes on in their inner workings. It’s news to me about Koprowski, and since HuffPo is a place I trust about as far as I could throw it, such ‘news’ would have to be corroborated. But what of it anyway? You lot would disavow the complete ornithological work of Robert Stroud simply because he killed two people. Such is the hallmark of anti-science individuals, that they feel an irresistible need to defend agendas by trashing the personal character of their critics rather than participate in the arena of ideas.

      Face it “d.o.g.”, the only way I could tell you “about the evil and perversion that lurks within the walls of Heartland” is through a totally fabricated account of details I could never prove. But since you are willing to wager on what you believe goes on there, why don’t you endeavour to become bloody rich from writing such a book? Or at least write a guest post here on all you know about me and the place? Oh, wait, I know why you can’t: it’s because I don’t permit comments at my blog.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        “I’m not a Heartland insider, thus I’m not the least bit privy to what goes on in their inner workings”, says Russell. ROTFLMAO!!

        Those who have followed the sad story of Russell living in his mother’s basement for years (NOT joking) and then lifting himself out of the ranks of the unemployed by becoming a paid whore for Heartland and climate change denial will also be laughing.

        Russell is indeed connected to the inner workings of Heartland, so much so that he is one of several climate change skeptics cc’d on an email from S. Fred Singer in hopes of countering the documentary film “Merchants of Doubt,” which exposed the network of climate change skeptics and deniers trying to delay legislative action on climate change. Check out Russell and Fred on DeSmogBlog

        The October, 2014 email was leaked to journalists before the documentary was released. “Can I sue for damages?” Singer asked in the email. “Can we get an injunction against the documentary?” Remember also that Fred is the one that hired Russell as a Contributing Editor (Environment and Climate News) for Heartland and gave Russell the pin he so proudly wears on his baseball cap while speaking.

        InsideClimate News reported in their article “Leaked Email Reveals Who’s Who List of Climate Denialists,” how “Many of those copied on the email thread, such as Singer and communications specialist Steven Milloy, have financial ties to the tobacco, chemical, and oil and gas industries and have worked to defend them since the 1990s.”

        A truncated list of the more famous (except for Russell) deniers cc’d on the e-mail
        Timothy Ball
        Joseph “Joe” Bast
        Joe Bastardi
        **RUSSELL COOK** (emphasis added)
        Judith Curry
        James Delingpole
        Steve Goddard
        William Happer
        Patrick J. Michaels
        Steven J. Milloy
        Christopher Monckton
        Marc Morano
        Joanne Nova
        S. Fred Singer
        Wei-Hock (Willie) Soon
        Roy Spencer
        James Taylor
        Anthony Watts

        DeSmogBlog covered the emails here: “Merchants of Doubt Film Debuts, Textbook Denial Attack Campaign Led By Fred Singer Ensues” and DeSmogBlog also archived a full copy of the Singer email thread (PDF).

        PS Mother Jones has a followup to the HuffPost Piece, with more evasion from Heartland. Perhaps Russell will like this piece better?


        • Russell Cook (@QuestionAGW) Says:

          You’ll have to do better than that, lad. That email chain originated outside of Heartland, initiated by Dr Singer regarding promotional wording about Oreskes’ movie, as contrasted with wording within the movie. And as I already told you, Dr Singer had been emailing with me years earlier, knowing what I detail about the smear of sceptic scientists. And, Dr Singer does not work for Heartland, thus he could not hire me. Nobody has there, either. Plus, we’ve already beaten the other idea of yours to death: I don’t wear ballcaps. At least you remembered the pin gift detail correctly.

          Meanwhile, it turns out that if you’d gone straight to the source first, you’d see how there is actually more of a problem at HuffPo: https://www.heartland.org/news-opinion/news/huffington-attempts-to-smear-heartland-again Are you fellows ok with tougher scrutiny being aimed at HuffPo?

          • J4Zonian Says:

            So you care about the smear of climate scientists–that’s touching. Oh wait, when you say “skeptical” you mean climate-denying delayalists? Well, that’s ridiculous. Real skeptical scientists–those who’ve examined the evidence and accepted the obvious fact that the overwhelming weight of it shows that climate catastrophe is happening, entirely human-caused and dangerous, are smeared all the time, receive death threats, and are constantly harassed by Congress, and gosh, most of the time it turns out it’s Heartland that’s behind it.

            And btw, you say go straight to the source but only give a link to Heartland, one of the least accurate, honest and trustworthy source on the planet. Was that an attempt at humor or are you really that… well never mind. I know you are.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            Oh, I can certainly do better, Russell. “That chain originated outside of Heartland”, you say? BULLSHIT! “Dr Singer does not work for Heartland, thus he could not hire me. Nobody has there either”. BULLSHIT again! You constantly lie about how you and your Uncle Fred are not connected through Heartland (and about almost everything else). Anyone who can stomach going to your site can read in your own words bout how you brown-nosed your way into Singer’s orbit and took money from SEPP and Heartland. (WARNING—-visiting Russell’s site—GlobsOfS**T.com can be harmful to one’s mental health—only those who have been trained to recognize and deal with lying bullshit should go there)

            Just because Fred hides behind SEPP and NGIPCC and other “front” denial groups financed by the same people (the Kochs, Exxon et al), doesn’t mean he isn’t Heartland to the core—-they pay him $60,000 +$10,000 travel per year, and pay YOU $7200 per year as “Contributing Editor Environment and Climate news (and list you as an “expert” in Environment and Climate even though you have admitted yourself the you “know no science”—LMAO). And no one has “hired” you or Fred? When will you ever give it up?

            Anyone who has tracked Russell around the web has found that he does indeed earn his whore’s dollar denying and lying about climate change. He will make comments on “real” blogs like Crock in an attempt to confuse and obfuscate and write “articles” for RWNJ havens like American Stinker, Breitbart, and WUWT to further the ignorance of the base. GO AWAY, Russell. (and stop hacking the thumbs down feature on WordPress and giving my comments extra thumbs down).

            PS Another really funny joke from Russell is the “tougher scrutiny being leveled at HuffPo”. As J4Z says, a Heartland piece trying to wiggle out from under a scandal is hardly “tough scrutiney?—it’s just more lies and denial.

  2. lindaallengmagmailcom Says:

    Not surprising, sigh

  3. Sir Charles Says:

    Climate change denial is mass murder and should be treated accordingly.

    • J4Zonian Says:

      The people in Exxon and other oil corporations, and maybe API, Heartland and the other PR firms masquerading as think tanks, law firms, etc. have engaged in felonies–fraud, securities fraud, lying to their shareholders, etc. If anyone dies in connection with a felony, even if the death isn’t directly caused by the crime, in many places it can be charged as felony murder. We absolutely should start pushing hard for that to happen in connection with the many prosecutions and lawsuits working their way through the system now.

        • J4Zonian Says:

          I should also say that I’m not a fan of punishment; it’s pointless for people who do what they do because they’ve been pre-punished by childhood and the rest of life.

          So we should offer a way out of punishment for the people who were involved in this: a Truth and Reconciliation process. They plead guilty to all charges and are convicted, confess to everything they did, turn over all names and information, forfeit everything they accumulated during the time they were committing the crimes, and agree never to hold a position of responsibility (no executive decisions) in business, government, non-profit (or religion if that’s constitutional) or make public/media statements on energy, climate, ecology etc.. In exchange, they avoid prison. If it turns out they lied or withheld, or take an executive job, try to spread denial, etc. they go to prison for life for the billions of murders they’re responsible for.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            You would have people who are responsible for “billions of murders” undergo a “truth and reconciliation” process? Because they were “pre-punished by childhood and life” and you “don’t believe in punishment?

            Lord love a ruptured duck and JFC!! That is the most hippy-dippy pseudo psychological pseudo intellectual bullshit that you have EVER spouted on Crock. Just like Trump and his minions. these folks will lie, delay, point fingers elsewhere, and otherwise work to avoid ANY retribution—-even as the global warming disaster continues to worsen and even more die. One thing they will understand is JAIL—-right now and for long terms. Even better, a few need to be executed early on to get everyone’s attention.

            I myself am more in tune with the words of James “Mad Dog” Mattis, USMC, and Secretary of Defense, “There are some assholes in the world that just need to be shot.”

            Go sit out on the beach by your yurt, smoke your dope, play your bongos, and chant OM—-enjoy! When the SHTF and the savages run amok. you will be among the first to be wiped out.

          • J4Zonian Says:

            It surprises me not at all that you would be the one taking that position, but this is a practical solution. Nothing will be helped by putting them in jail. Everything will be harder.

            And how likely is it they’d really go there? When banksters crashed the world economy, Iceland put theirs in prison. The US didn’t. Not one. Where do you think the most guilty banksters live? In Iceland? It will be the same with imprisoning fossil fuel execs, who have at least as much money and power and more connections in government. Without a revolution, (which we desperately need, btw) what are the chances here? Probably the harsh actions I’m calling for won’t happen either but there’s more of a chance of that than prison and maybe some of it will happen.

            Nixon was still supported by many people their whole lives after he tried to take over the US with a coup and his administration tried to kill Daniel Ellsberg. The White House resident, inexplicably and disturbingly, still has support from more than a third of whoever–polled people, voters, likely voters.. People with money are able to rehabilitate their reputations no matter what real crimes and horrible things they’ve done–unless it’s sexual or there’s video. People can lie and get us into a war that kills hundreds of thousands, impoverishes millions and causes tens of thousands of severe birth defects and aren’t not as guilty as someone caught on video saying something nasty about a minority. –Not that that person shouldn’t be out, just that it’s not as serious a crime. Or a crime at all.

            Nothing about power and privilege is fair. The best we can do is get the whole truth, educate absolutely everyone about it, make it part of them like a central myth, and keep it from happening again. It would also be good to offer free lifelong counseling and psychological education so people also understand why it happened and how (and for the therapy itself, which everyone needs).

            What we need most is the truth–all of it. Every dollar spent, every lie created, every law firm, fake think tank, fake scientist, liberal arts moron posing as a scientist, the ones under the bridges and what lies exactly they were spreading, and everything about them… Only by offering relative immunity will we ever get even a fraction of that, and this is far better than giving anyone real immunity. We have to look past personal preference to the society we want to build after the horrors we’re about to face, and a large and pervasive example of practical compassion would go a long way to ending this dying dynasty and starting one that can both physically and psychologically thrive without destroying the ecological basis for life.

          • J4Zonian Says:

            PS One more point: They didn’t do this alone. We all–at least those of us with what most people posting here have–did it too. Yes, people were manipulated, but the psychological system that sustains the ones who deliberately lied and manipulated involves us all. Projection played a huge part in the Nuremberg trials and continues in the US culture of social-control-by-prison, and our continuing separation of “criminals” from normal people. How many elected or appointed federal officials are not guilty of war crimes, crimes against humanity? We caught the Nazi’s more virulent strain of Wetiko disease through the Wetiko dilemma–when attacked by the Wetiko infected, let yourselves be infected or let yourselves be wiped out.

            When wars of aggression against poor people of color are supported by a large majority of people in the US, when most people are willing to stay comfortable rather than work enough to change things, there’s an emotional disease behind it. To ignore that and continue to project onto those who were heroes in our culture for being rich and destroying the world, would be to cause it again. Prison is part of the system of mystification and gaslighting. Even if the “right” people could be put there it would still be that and would be the end of us, even if we survive this crisis.

          • Sir Charles Says:

            Well. Name, blame and shame them, and then put them into jail. Like this Bob Murray who is suing John Oliver for his show below:


  4. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    The Pepe Le Pews of the world come from just about every segment of society. The primary difference is how quickly an organization/industry/party deals with it.

  5. J4Zonian Says:

    Sir Charles,

    I love John Oliver’s stuff, and this piece is one of my favorites. It can be satisfying to bring someone off their pedestal with words like this. For some, I suppose it can even feel satisfying to put people in prison or have them killed. That’s a huge difference, and is the most primitive part of our psychology and society. It doesn’t have to be acted out, even though it’s sold to us about 200 times a night on television as the only solution to our problems. And it shouldn’t be acted out. We have better choices now than we did a thousand years ago–even 200 years ago. Thoreau, Tolstoy, Gandhi, King, the Quakers, and others have shown the way. A Truth and Reconciliation process is the most practical, most compassionate, wisest and best way to break with the old destructive way of thinking, feeling and acting, and make a real and symbolic move toward the better way.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Did I not warn you about what smoking dope does to your brain cells? Why do you not pay attention to your elders?

      Ghandi and King have shown us the way? LOL Yeah, how to get assassinated by right wing nut jobs and racists.

      The human species as a whole has proven itself incapable of consistently making “better choices”, and that’s why we’ve also had Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Hussein, Kim Jun Il, and a host of other murderous tinpot dictators “showing us the way”.

      Now the USA is showing the way with Trump, someone who is smarter and every thing else better than all the humans who have ever lived—-just ask him. If he is not stopped, we may find ourselves to be serfs in a corporate feudal state—-we are well on our way.

      BTW, The world’s richest 1% got 82% of the wealth in 2017. The 3.7 billion people who make up the bottom 50% saw NO increase in their wealth. Real and symbolic ways to move toward the better way? Grow the F up and stop dreaming—-anyone with a brain and the knowledge of what is going on in the world has become a rational fatalist—-you waste our time.

  6. J4Zonian Says:

    The country and the world are the way they are not just because of people like Russell whatshisname, but people who give up, are convinced we can’t make it at all better and all hope is lost, etc. Most people in the US don’t vote because they’ve been convinced, by plan or merely insane unconscious brilliance, like Trump’s,* that it’s pointless to take part. Above all, that beaten-into apathy suits the needs of the oligarchs. Guy McPherson is as destructive as the denying delayalists. People who take the worst away from the movements that Gandhi and King started, that their leaders got dead, are the epitome of idiot savants, ultra-laser-focused on one person while missing or grossly disinterpreted what happened to billions.

    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men [sic] should do nothing.” Edmund Burke

    *Trump succeeds not because he’s brilliant by any definition, but because the US has finally found a president who so perfectly matches its own disease (malignant narcissism) that whatever makes him feel good comforts millions on the right, the currently dominant half of the false dichotomy operating now. He spews out utter nonsense and they feel like he’s channeling their thoughts, a sign of how far down the path we’ve gone. But paths go both ways, and consigning ourselves to things that aren’t inevitable is a horrific thing to do to every other human on Earth.

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