The Heartland Institute's Own ClimateGate?

The Heartland Institute, a powerful non-profit think tank that in my opinion appeared to take great joy in participating in the witch hunt associated with the ClimateGate non-scandal*, looks like they may have one of their own to deal with – but will it be without the “non”?

Leaked documents obtained by DeSmogBlog reportedly from The Heartland Institute “expose the heart of the climate denial machine” – and who some of its donors are. But hold the bus.

In a statement on the Heartland Institute’s site posted by Jim Lakely; director of communications, the organization claims some of the leaked documents were stolen; at least one is a fake, and some may have been altered.

Mr. Lake goes on to say:

“We respectfully ask all activists, bloggers, and other journalists to immediately remove all of these documents and any quotations taken from them, especially the fake “climate strategy” memo and any quotations from the same, from their blogs, Web sites, and publications, and to publish retractions.”

… given this is an unfolding situation and truth often being the first casualty of war (so to speak) – well, that and the fact The Heartland Institute is contemplating legal action against anyone who commented on the documents before giving Heartland the opportunity to confirm or deny, I’m going to respect that request at this point.

Whether DeSmogBlog heeds Heartland’s request to remove the documents currently on their site remains to be seen… and as to what the real truth behind all this is, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Perhaps we’ll never know.

Heartland Institute is a registered non-profit in the USA, so I’m assuming if there is real cause to question their activities after this incident, there will be some sort of official investigation. While they may not receive contributions from the government, they are still taxpayer funded in a way through not having to pay tax on their revenue.

No doubt they will be carrying out a few investigations of their own to find out the identity of the person who supplied DeSmogBlog with the documents.

*”ClimateGate” was the incident where emails gained through the illegal hacking of a server at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in 2009 were selectively quoted by some parties to back claims of a climate change conspiracy; that scientists were falsifying data to prove anthropogenic climate change was occurring.

Multiple committees investigated the allegations and found no evidence of fraud or scientific misconduct.

The ClimateGate “scandal” was seized upon by organizations such as the Heartland Institute to further their own stance; which according to a Wikipedia entry on the organization is:

“The Heartland Institute questions the scientific consensus on climate change, arguing that global warming is not occurring and, further, that warming would be beneficial if it did occur.”

At the time of writing, a search on the term “climategate” on the Heartland Institute site returned over 153 different documents on that incident and the even lesser subsequent non-scandal called “ClimateGate 2”. Plenty of interesting reading there if the mood takes you.

It was and remains a popular topic for The Heartland Institute and I guess the findings from those investigations that cleared the scientists of any misconduct must have been quite disappointing for them.