Global Warming: Man or Myth?

Scientists can also wear their citizen hats

Heartland Serves Threatening Letters, Climate Science Legal Defense Fund & PEER Hit Back

with 24 comments

Heartland Institute Got Caught With Their Pants Down

Heartland Institute Got Caught With Their Pants Down

As blogged by me and many, many others, Heartland Institute got caught with their pants down when internal documents revealed what we have known for a long time: they are undermining the education of our children.

Read on for a surprising new development….

The blogger community along with mainstream media has been spanking Heartland Institute for the past week – and deservedly so. Heartland broke a sacred rule:


The LA Times issued a scathing editorial titled Climate denial in the classroom and The Guardian described John Mashey’s bombshell report which shows Heartland Institute may have violated the IRS rules under which they operate.

Could that be an IRS agent knocking on the door?

Could that be an IRS agent knocking on the door?

How did Heartland respond to all of this negative attention?

Heartland Instiute Using Legal Scare Tactics

They sent threatening letters to many in the journalism community who had the courage to shine a light on their flat earth agenda. The victims of this legal threat included a 71 year old veteran and a mom. Amber Jamieson of Crikey reported on these legal scare tactics and her story includes a copy of the letter that Heartland is currently sending around. These people are whistleblowers and they should be protected by law.

Today, The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund along with its fiscal sponsor, Public Employees for Environmental Protection (PEER), has sent the following letter to Heartland:

February 21, 2012

Ms. Maureen Martin
General Counsel
The Heartland Institute
One South Wacker Drive #2740
Chicago, IL 60606

Dear Ms. Martin:

As a community that has been through similar invasions of our privacy, we understand what you are going through. We were struck by the eloquence of your words in describing your situation. We could not think of a better way to describe our feelings than with the words you’ve crafted.

Forgive us for taking the following paragraphs from your website and recent letters to members of the blogger and journalistic community, but as it is often said imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

In November 2009 groups posted online several documents they claimed were the emails of climate scientists. These documents were stolen from Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.

Disagreement over the causes, consequences, and best policy responses to climate change runs deep. We understand that.

But honest disagreement should never be used to justify the criminal acts and fraud that occurred. As a matter of common decency and journalistic ethics, we ask everyone in the climate change debate to sit back and think about what just happened. Those persons who posted these documents and wrote about them before we had a chance to comment on their authenticity should be ashamed of their deeds, and their bad behavior should be taken into account when judging their credibility now and in the future.

Furthermore, the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund views the malicious and fraudulent manner in which the Climatic Research Unit documents were obtained and/or thereafter disseminated, as well as the repeated blogs about them, as providing the basis for civil actions against those who obtained and/or disseminated them and blogged about them. The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund fully intends to pursue all possible actionable civil remedies to the fullest extent of the law.

We respectfully ask the Heartland Institute, all activists, bloggers, and other journalists to immediately remove all of these documents and any quotations taken from them, from their blogs, Web sites, and publications, and to publish retractions.


Scott A. Mandia & Joshua Wolfe
Climate Science Legal Defense Fund: “Protecting the Scientific Endeavor”

Jeff Ruch
PEER Executive Director

So now the ball is in their court (along with thousands of climate deniers who salivated over the stolen CRU emails in 2009 and are still doing so today.)

Climate Science Legal Defense Fund & PEER Return Heartland's Serve

Climate Science Legal Defense Fund & PEER Return Heartland's Serve

Heartland has set up a legal defense fund to help them dig out of this huge hole they have created for themselves.  I guess Heartland thinks the millions of dollars of funding they get is not enough or perhaps they have already spent that money.

Teaching kids that the earth is flat is getting very expensive these days!

The good guys have a legal defense fund also.  Of course, we raise pennies to their dollars but at least we have truth and integrity on our side.  I suggest that we all donate to the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund right now

I would like ours to be bigger than theirs!

Let's make CSLDF's bigger than Heartland's

Let's make CSLDF's bigger than Heartland's

Update (5:00 PM EST): I received the same FedEx letter from Heartland that others have received. You can view page 1 and page 2 of that letter.

Others commenting on this story:


24 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Nice. Let’s see how they try to spin (or ignore) this serve.


    February 21, 2012 at 2:15 pm

  2. Beautiful!!! Great writing and wonderful images, and a great idea!

    Susan Anderson

    February 21, 2012 at 5:25 pm

  3. Does the Heartland Institute have the leaked climategate emails on it’s website?

    You say:
    “We respectfully ask the Heartland Institute, all activists, bloggers, and other journalists to immediately remove all of these documents and any quotations taken from them, from their blogs, Web sites, and publications, and to publish retractions.”

    Do you plan on removing the leaked Heartland Institute docs quotations from your website?

    Do you plan on publishing retractions?

    Test Foo

    February 21, 2012 at 5:41 pm

  4. […] segnala una lettera Chi la fa, l’aspetti che suscita una nuova ondata di ilarità – dopo quella di Bast che chiedeva noccioline alla […]

  5. People were surprised by Heartland’s plans to mess with K-12 education.
    I wasn’t, see why:
    Fakeducation For Years From Heartland.

    The 5-minute trailer is a must-see, but take a look at the 8-page new appendix for Fake science that pulls the fakeducation (faked you kay shun) examples together with commentary. Heartland has tried for years, ineptly.

    John Mashey

    February 21, 2012 at 11:45 pm

  6. Prof Mandia said:
    “…….when internal documents revealed what we have known for a long time: they are undermining the education of our children.”

    The documents are fake so you owe the Heartland Institute an apology for the above comment. My guess is that you will refuse to apologise and invoke the “Fake but Accurate” defense as perfected by Dan Rather.

    What a dilemma, “Eat Crow or Destroy Your Credibility”.


    February 22, 2012 at 2:14 am

    • Mr. Camel what’s fake about Heartland Institute’s plan for education:

      “Dr. Wojick proposes to begin work on “modules” for grades 10-12 on climate change (“whether humans are changing the climate is a major scientific controversy“), climate models (“models are used to explore various hypotheses about how climate works. Their reliability is controversial”), and air pollution (“whether CO2 is a pollutant is controversial. It is the global food supply and natural emissions are 20 times higher than human emissions”).

      “Wojick would produce modules for Grades 7-9 on environmental impact (“environmental impact is often difficult to determine. For example there is a major controversy over whether or not humans are changing the weather“), for Grade 6 on water resources and weather systems, and so on.

      “Wojick will receive $5,000 per module, with twenty modules produced a year. Wojick, who manages the Climate Change Debate listserv, is not a climate scientist. His doctorate is in epistomology.”
      ~ ~ ~
      Sure looks like some solid documentation.
      ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

      What’s fake about all the crazy-making lies about climatology Heartland Institute is already famous for??


      February 22, 2012 at 2:21 am

  7. Hello Scott,
    Great job, keep up the good fight.
    I wanted to let you know I’ve mirrored your post over at my little effort.


    February 22, 2012 at 2:15 am

  8. This camel takes charges of “messing with public education” seriously. Thus far I have set up six charter schools with over 2,000 students and plan to set up many more. Here is one of them:

    There are only a handful of charter high schools in North Carolina and most of them can be found in the top 10% of the state’s 360 schools when it comes to SAT achievement. Check it out at the NC DPI web site:

    While the Woods school was equal 4th last year, the NC School of Science & Mathematics and the NC School of the Arts operate with special advantages. They use competetive examinations to select students while all the others must accept applicants by lottery. The Woods school has about 500 students and a waiting list of 600+.


    February 22, 2012 at 2:33 am

  9. citizenchallenge,

    I have no idea who Wojick is but are you disagreeing with the statements that you attribute to him?

    1. Climate models are controversial.
    2. The idea that Carbon Dioxide is a pollutant is controversial.

    While I agree with Wojick on point #1 he is way too timid on point #2. Carbon Dioxide is not a pollutant. If its concentration were to fall below 150 ppm most plants and animals would perish. Concentrations as high as 7,000 ppm were present during times of immense plant productivity and levels of over 1,000 ppm contributed to the explosion of mammalian species and numbers during the Eocene.


    February 22, 2012 at 2:52 am

    • Is that the hot-house Eocene without any ice-caps and lots of methane, or the ice-house Eocene ?
      What do you think the sea-levels were during the hot-house period ?


      February 22, 2012 at 1:54 pm

      • JSmith,
        According to Scotese there were no permanent polar ice caps during the Eocene. Certainly no “Ice-house Eocene”. Sea levels were significantly higher than today with Florida and half of India submerged (50 Million Years Before Present). However with the continents dancing around, rising and falling, it is a little difficult to put an exact figure on sea levels compared to today. Maybe 120 feet above today’s levels? Do you have a better guess?

        Getting back to Wojick, he got an honorable mention at Climate etc. :


        February 22, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    • “The Eocene is not only known for containing the warmest period during the Cenozoic, but it also marked the decline into an icehouse climate and the rapid expansion of the Antarctic ice sheet. The transition from a warming climate into a cooling climate began at ~49 million years ago. Isotopes of carbon and oxygen indicated a shift into a global cooling climate.[9] The cause of the cooling has been attributed to a significant decrease of >2000 ppm in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations.[6] One proposed cause of the reduction in carbon dioxide during the warming to cooling transition was the Azolla event. The increased warmth at the poles, the isolated Arctic basin during the early Eocene, and the significantly high amounts of carbon dioxide possibly led to azolla blooms across the Arctic Ocean.[9] The isolation of the Arctic Ocean led to stagnant waters and as the azolla sank to the sea floor, they became part of the sediments and effectively sequestered the carbon. The ability for the azolla to sequester carbon is exceptional, and the enhanced burial of azolla could have had a significant effect on the world atmospheric carbon content and may have been the event to begin the transition into an ice house climate. Cooling after this event continued due to continual decrease in atmospheric carbon dioxide from organic productivity and weathering from mountain building”[10]:

      If you can read that and still somehow fail to realize how important CO2 is for driving the climate’s temps both up and down, then you’re incapable of rational thought.

      So perhaps something more your style is in order.

      Ever watch the movie “Apollo 13”? Do you remember what the name of the gas was whose buildup threatened their very lives if they didn’t find some way quickly to reduce it’s presence in the cabin? That’s right. CO2. Not CO, the more well-known toxic gas (also based on carbon), but good-ol’ CO2…the one you have somehow convinced yourself equates to wonderful-weather delivering, life-affirming sunshine and tropical babes lined up from Timbuktu to Tuktuyuktuk. Boy, are you in for a surprise cuz’ “it just aint so!”

      Gary Williams

      December 7, 2013 at 4:50 am

  10. Well, gallopingcamel, you seemed to be implying that the Eocene was a good example of the benefits of high CO2 concentrations. High sea-levels, however, reveal that things are never that simple, i.e. high CO2 does not necessarily mean that things will be positive, especially for humans.
    You can find a graph of past sea-levels here. It’s not something you should be wishing for.

    As for the ice-house, that came at the end of the Eocene. when CO2 levels dropped to twice what they are now.

    Basically, don’t imagine that higher levels of CO2 necessarily lead to ‘good times’ for us or our future.


    February 22, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    • JSmith, thanks for those links. It seems that my guess for sea level was on the low side!

      You seem to have the idea that high atmospheric CO2 concentrations are somehow responsible for rising sea levels.

      During warm periods such as most of the Eocene, the oceans heat up causing CO2 to be released into the atmosphere (the solubility of gasses in water falls with temperature). For confirmation, take a look at the ice core records that show CO2 lagging temperature by 600-800 years over the last 750,000 years.

      At the same time continental and polar ice melts, causing sea levels to rise. Correlation between sea level and CO2 concentrations does not imply causation.

      At this point I apologise to Prof Mandia for dragging this thread “Off Topic”.


      February 23, 2012 at 1:06 pm

      • Actually, high CO2 levels mean high temperatures, mean disappearing ice, mean high sea-levels, mean bad news for humanity.
        Again, don’t wish for high CO2 levels or think that it will mean good times for humanity.


        February 23, 2012 at 4:48 pm

  11. Congratulations on getting the Heartland Letter! This has become a true Badge of Honor among those who are publicly working towards truth in climate science! (I wonder if Watts got one.) As the letter concludes with an invitiation to contact Heartland’s general counsel “if you require further information,” I hope you and your colleagues who have received this letter do that, and publicly bombard Heartland with a thousand questions regarding the documents. Here, off the top of my head, are my unsolicited ideas:

    1. Why have nearly ten days passed since the release of the documents and you have yet confirm or deny the authenticity of a single document beyond the “strategy memo,” which you were able to do within hours of its release? These documents are not that long, and it would appear to be a very easy matter to deny their authenticity with a quick visual comparison to your copies of your internal documents?

    2. What is “unlawful” about a writing a blog or web page about these documents? Can you cite a law or court case?

    3. You state that the “strategy memo” contains “several obvious and gross misstatements of fact.” Nothing is “obvious” to me. Can you address any specific “facts” that are “misstatements” and how those statements should be rewritten to be an accurate portrayal of Heartland’s strategy and mission? I will gladly post that information up on my website for all to see what the heartland Instutute does state is an accurate fact!

    Have fun …


    February 23, 2012 at 9:06 am

  12. […] I have written about in the previous two blog posts (Hey Kids, Have a Smoke and Denial and Heartland Serves Threatening Letters, Climate Science Legal Defense Fund & PEER Hit Back), Heartland Institute has a history of undermining science education and supporting the Big Tobacco […]

  13. […] Heartland Serves Threatening Letters, Climate Science Legal Defense Fund & PEER Hit Back […]

  14. Scott Mandia, it’s been about ten months. Has Heartland followed up with any more threats or actions… or have they gone silently into the night with this tactic?

    PS. thanks Gary Williams, for that excellent response to our pals.


    December 7, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    • Not a peep!

      Scott Mandia

      December 8, 2013 at 8:45 am

      • Congratulations !

        Puts a whole new spin on Heartland Institute originating out of the Windy City, considering all the bluster they specialize in.

        And I’m not much for juvenile humor, but I did have to smile seeing that in addition to originating out of the Windy City – they are located at the number One South Wacker Drive. Seems somehow fitting.


        December 8, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    • You’re very welcome! I had fun writing it actually 😉

      Gary Williams

      December 9, 2013 at 12:57 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: