Tales From the Heartland

By Keith Kloor
Feb 16, 2012 7:13 PMNov 19, 2019 11:57 PM


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The New York Times covers the developing Heartland Institute story:

Leaked documents suggest that an organization known for attacking climate science is planning a new push to undermine the teaching of global warming in public schools, the latest indication that climate change is becoming a part of the nation's culture wars.

It'll be interesting to see where this particular story goes. As the Times also mentions,

Heartland did declare one two-page document to be a forgery, although its tone and content closely matched that of other documents that the group did not dispute.

The supposed fake would be the one titled "Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy." In my first post on this story, I didn't refer to or quote from this "memo" because, quite frankly, something smelled fishy about it. I found the language in some passages a bit odd. (I'll perhaps elaborate in a future post.) Indeed, I wasn't comfortable discussing the specifics in any of the documents until they could be verified. That said, I found it plausible that a disgruntled insider was the source of the presumed leak. But Heartland now asserts that all of the documents (except the one it says is fabricated)

were obtained by an unknown person who fraudulently assumed the identity of a Heartland board member and persuaded a staff member here to "re-send" board materials to a new email address.

As for that "climate strategy" memo, David Appell compared its metadata to that of the other eight documents and says:

The "fake" memo definitely looks suspicious.

If that memo is confirmed to be a fake, then I'm confused as to why someone would risk distracting away from the disclosures of the authentic documents. The authentic content made public provides plenty of fodder in of itself. Why not just let the real docs speak for themselves? Weird. UPDATE: One commenter describes how he closely examined the documents; he believes "the strategy memo is a fake." Another commenter asserts:

In the end, arguing about whether it is fake or not is not entirely unlike arguing about whether climategate emails are the work of an whistle-blower or a crook. It's all rather beside the point. The details of any of the Heartland documents are far less important, IMO, than the larger-scale implications. The larger-scale implications are nothing new, but I do find it important that in watching the responses from "skeptics," I have yet to see one, one single solitary, lonely little response where a [climate] "skeptic" expresses even one iota of concern that the documents show a systematic and explicit effort to politicize climate science, and even more, politicize the teaching of climate science to children.

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