Heartland Serves Threatening Letters, Climate Science Legal Defense Fund & PEER Hit Back
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:
REGARDLESS OF YOUR POLITICS, IT IS NEVER OK TO HURT CHILDREN.
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.
How did Heartland respond to all of this negative attention?
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
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”
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.)
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!
Others commenting on this story:
- Brian Angliss, Climate scientist defense group and Peter Gleick illustrate Heartland’s irony and hypocrisy, Scholars & Rogues
- Peter Sinclair, Pot Meet Kettle, Climate Denial Crock of the Week
- Brian Angliss, Heartland uses PR director’s email for delivering threats of legal action, Scholars and Rogues
- Amber Jamieson, Heartland launches legal action against climate change bloggers, journos, Crikey
- Gary Wamsley, Heartland Institute threatens 71-year-old veteran, Recorder Online
- Christine, Heartland Institute Threatens Legal Action Against Mom Working For A Better World, 350 or Bust
- BigCityLib, Heartland Institute Starts Threatening Bloggers (Including Canadians), BigCityLib Strikes Back
- Miles Grant, NWF Pledges to Fight Heartland Institute Intimidation Campaign, National Wildlife Federation
- Brad Johnson, CAPAF General Counsel Responds To Heartland Institute, Thinkprogress Green
- Zavhary Shahan, Climate Science Legal Defense Fund Flips the Theme of Heartland’s Letter, Planetsave
- Jonathan Rosenblum, Heartland Institute: Hoist With its Own Petard, PR Watch
- Brian Angliss, The ethos of The Heartland Institute: brazen hypocrisy, Scholars & Rogues
- Cindy Baxter, How Heartland lied to me and illegally recorded the lies, Hot Topic