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Climate Denial Goes Vegas

They say comedy is just a funny way of being serious. So it’s natural that a deepening climate crisis would produce a deepening well of climate comedy. We don’t yet have our climate-themed Dr. Strangelove, but there’s now a feature film’s worth of gags, skits, and riffs exploring the lighter side of a cooking planet. Stand-up comics, from mainline stars like Louis C.K. to niche acts like the Christian comic Paul Kerensa, have mined climate change for material. Climate activist groups like 350.org have recently begun to take a cue from Comedy Central. Even NASA climatologists have gotten awkwardly into the act.

Like the global temperature, the phenomenon is on an upswing. In May, a New Yorker science blogger mused on the benefits of employing a “comedic frame" in climate coverage. A couple weeks later, the Guardian collected climate-comedy highpoints, from The Onion to “Ali G.” The newest item on the list came from a May bit from an exasperated John Oliver on the media habit of “balancing” the climate consensus with fringe skeptics.

The biggest sign the genre is maturing hums with neon. Today, Chicago’s Heartland Institute, the kings of unintentional climate-comedy, will hit the Vegas strip with a three-day show at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, featuring a chorus line’s worth of hilarious climate rejectionists. The line-up will collectively perform the energy-policy equivalent of a Henny Youngman routine: “Take my planet capable of supporting civilization.Please!

The think tank that flacked for Big Tobacco against the science of lung cancer will perform off the same playbook to flack for Big Carbon against the science of greenhouse gases. Tickets to see these self-styled climate researchers and political operatives — almost none of whom are climate or earth systems scientists and nearly all of them funded at one- or two-degrees remove by oil and coal interests — run $129, including meals.

On the Strip, Heartland speakers will pretend to be qualified to dissent from the equivalent to the National Academy of Sciences of every industrial country. Against the faint ring of slot machines, they’ll dismiss the stark warnings of experts from 130 countries who contribute to the authoritative assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Because the first rule of improv comedy is “Yes, and…”, some Heartland speakers will concede that, yes, man-made warming is occurring. The kicker comes when they echo Heartland’s April report concluding that this is a net positive for all carbon-based life forms. With this pivot toward “Yes, and…”, Heartland is ensuring they’ll continue to have topical comedy fodder for years to come, even after their carbon denial becomes as outdated as their lung cancer material.  

Heartland’s Vegas appearance also suggests a strategy to avoid repeating the troupe’s 2012 funding crisis. Instead of depending on corporate contributions, Heartland could find steady revenue as a regular sell-out act on the Strip. They aren’t in a position to challenge Carrot Top for a headlining residency at the MGM Grand, but in a city whose economic base is expected to suffer devastating effects from climate change, there is a role for a group with years’ worth of climate change gags, including slide shows and props. Heartland policy advisor Norman Rodgers, for example, would kill audiences with classic one-liners such as, “The few examples of coal or oil companies actually giving money to dissenters or dissenting organizations are so minor that one suspects that the gift was an accident or bureaucratic snafu.” James Taylor would have them rolling with lines like, “I successfully completed Ivy League atmospheric science courses, so I’m a scientist by training.”

If Don Rickles can make a Vegas career as the “Merchant of Venom,” the folks at Heartland can make a run as the “Merchants of Doubt.” The timing could not be better. Nevada’s nearly 50 golf courses will likely soon be wilting under heat waves and water shortages, and the dwindling number of tourists visiting Vegas will want more air-conditioned entertainment. To draw these crowds, Heartland just needs to punch-up its clunky ad copy, which now reads, “Come to fabulous Las Vegas to meet leading scientists from around the world who question whether ‘man-made global warming’ will be harmful to plants, animals, or human welfare.” A permanent show needs something that sparkles, like the tagline for the Cirque Du Soleil show “O: An aquatic masterpiece of surrealism and theatrical romance.”

Heartland’s might read, “Take the Money and Run: A planet-crushing masterpiece of delusion and breathtaking corruption.”

There are other benefits to turning Heartland events into entertainment spectacles worthy of a Vegas marquee. Real scientists would no longer have to “tie up all our time fighting denialist propaganda,” as astronomer Phil Plait put it. Instead, they could relegate Heartland coverage to the entertainment critics at Variety and Las Vegas Magazine. Heartland is a good bet to open to rave local reviews. They already have friends at the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Heartland is also getting into the movie side of show business. Its main co-sponsor in Vegas this week is the concurrent libertarian event, FreedomFest, held at Planet Hollywood. On Wednesday night, Heartland ticket-holders are invited to attend the debut the film, Atlas Shrugged 3: Where is John Galt? Fox Business host and popular climate comedian John Stossel will introduce the screening and broadcast his show from the FreedomFest floor.

Media Matters has produced brief playbill bios of Heartland’s Vegas cast

Habibullo Abdussamatov
Bob Armstrong
Ron Arnold
Tim Ball
Joe Bastardi
E. Calvin Beisner
Larry Bell
Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen    
Barry Brill
Robert M. Carter
George Christensen
John Coleman
Russell Cook
Walter Cunningham
Joe D’Aleo
Harold Doiron
John Dale Dunn
Don Easterbrook
Myron Ebell
Willis Eschenbach
Peter Ferrara

Terrence Flower
Patrick Garofalo
Fred Goldberg
Stanley Goldenberg            
Steve Goreham
Laurence Gould
William Gray
Kenneth Haapala
Tom Harris
Howard Hayden
Tony Heller
Craig Idso
Jim Johnston
Olavi Karner
Richard Keen
Madhav Khandekar
David Kreutzer
William Kininmonth
Jay Lehr
Marlo Lewis
Craig Loehle

Sebastian L. Lüning
Anthony Lupo
Jennifer Marohasy
Patrick Michaels
Christopher Monckton
Patrick Moore
Marc Morano
Nils-Axel Mörner
Marita Noon
Tiffany Roberts
Norm Rogers
Hon. Dana Rohrabacher         
Craig Rucker
S. Fred Singer
Willie Soon
Roy Spencer
H. Leighton Steward
Anthony Watts
Thomas Wysmuller

Joe Bastardi

Day Job: Meteorologist at Weatherbell Analytics.

Industry Ties: The American Tradition Institute (recently re-launched as the Energy & Environment Legal Institute). Also “heavily involved” In forecasting for corporate energy clients.

Fox News Guest: ”Fox regularly turns to him to analyze climate research

Climate Expertise: Bastardi has published no articles in peer-reviewed journals on any subject. His views aresharply at odds with those of working scientists in the field. Multiple climate scientists have stated that his claims are “completely wrong,” scientifically incorrect,” and “nonsense.”

He Said It: On Fox News in 2011, Bastardi claimed that the theory of human-induced climate change “contradicts what we call the first law of thermodynamics. Energy can be neither created nor destroyed. So to look for input of energy into the atmosphere, you have to come from a foreign source.”

Dana Rohrabacher

Day Job: Republican Congressman from California, sits on House Science Committee.

Industry Ties: Campaign contributions from Exxon Mobil, Koch Industries, Marathon Petroleum, Halliburton, and Chevron.

Fox News Guest: Regular appearances on both Fox News and Foxnews.com.

Climate Expertise: None

He Said It: He has suggested that “prehistoric climate change could have been caused by ‘dinosaur flatulence,’” Policy.Mic reported.

Patrick Moore

Day Job: Canadian public relations specialist; Chair of the Nuclear Energy Institute and founder of Greenspirit Strategies; frequently described as “co-founder of Greenpeace” (Greenpeace has released a statementputting this in context.)

Industry Ties: Moore has been a spokesman for fossil fuel-intensive industries for more than 20 years.

Fox News Guest: Regular appearances and frequently cited. When he told lawmakers there is no evidence man is contributing to climate change, Fox wrote about it. Many of his statements have been picked up on various Fox segments where they use his “cofounder of Greenpeace” title. In a February segment on The Real Story With Gretchen CarlsonCarlson touted ”a stunning admission about climate change” from “the co-founder of Greenpeace, who says there is no scientific proof that man is contributing to climate change.”

Climate Expertise: None

He Said It: ”Weather is just weather, like the cold weather we’re getting this year. It has not warmed for the last 17 years. We know that for sure. And that brings into question the whole hypothesis.”

John Coleman

Day Job: Founder of the Weather Channel and weatherman on KUSI News.

Industry Ties: He is associated with Heartland Institute

Fox News guest: Fox picked up his 2009 article “scolding" Al Gore and have referenced him on multiple programs, including The Five and The O’Reilly Factor

Climate Expertise: According to the Columbia Journalism Review, "Coleman had spent half a century in the trenches of TV weathercasting… But his work was more a highly technical art than a science. His degree, received fifty years earlier at the University of Illinois, was in journalism."

He said it: “I have studied. I have thought about it. I know I am correct.”

John Dale Dunn, M.D.

Day Job: Emergency doctor in Brownwood, Texas; policy advisor for the Heartland Institute and the American Council on Science and Health.  He taught environmental law at Howard Payne University in Texas.

Industry Ties: He’s a policy advisor for the Heartland Institute.

Climate Expertise: None

He said it: ”I assert that warm[ing] is good for human health and that global warming, even the most extreme estimates, will not create heat illness or death increase…”

Dr. William Kininmonth

Day Job: Retired Australian meteorologist, runs the Australasian Climate Research Institute, which is based out of Kininmonth’s home.

Industry Ties: Multiple: Business Council of Australia, Heartland Institute, Fraser Institute, International Climate Science Coalition, Science and Public Policy Institute.

Climate Expertise: He has no published peer-reviewed research on climate change, aside from Energy & Environment, a journal designed to house the pseudo-academic work of climate skeptics.
He said it: ”Alarmism over climate is of great benefit to many, providing government funding for academic research and a reason for government bureaucracies to grow.”

Dr. William Gray

Day Job:  Professor of Meteorology at Colorado State University

Industry Ties: Heartland Institute “Global Warming Expert”

Fox News guest: Yes.

Climate Expertise: Specializes in tropical meteorology.

He said it: ”Gore believed in global warming almost as much as Hitler believed there was something wrong with the Jews.”

Dr. Roy Spencer

Day Job:  Research scientist at University of Alabama in Huntsville

Industry Ties: Cornwall Alliance For the Stewardship of Creation (previously “Interfaith Stewardship Alliance”), International Climate and Environmental Change Assessment Project (ICECAP), The Heartland Institute, George C. Marshall Institute

Fox News guest: Yes.

Climate Expertise: One of the few actual climate scientists who does not recognize manmade climate change. Spencer has published numerous research articles in peer-reviewed journals on the subject of satellite climate measurements. He’s also a Creationist.

He said it: ”As long as they continue to call people like me ‘deniers’, I will call them ‘global warming Nazis.’”

James L. Johnston

Day Job: Senior Fellow for Energy and Regulatory Policy, The Heartland Institute

Industry Ties: In 1993, he retired as senior economist for Amoco, an oil company, after working there for nearly two decades. Also worked at the RAND corporation, Institute for Defense Analyses, and the Secretary’s Office of the U.S. Treasury.

Climate Expertise: None

He said it: ”For a firm facing such dangers from government-funded designs for reducing greenhouse gases, it would be prudent to support financial analysts and free-market institutions not committed to government solutions.”

David Kreutzer

Day Job: Research Fellow in Energy Economics and Climate Change at The Heritage Foundation

Industry Ties: Kreutzer worked as an economist at Berman and Company, a Washington-based public affairs firm, prior to coming on board in 2008 at Heritage. For James Madison University’s International Business Program, he also taught economics.

Fox News guest: Has appeared on several programs and has written op-eds.

Climate Expertise: None

He said it: ”A decade of global cooling … threatens to undermine the scientific foundation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”

Marlo Lewis

Day Job: Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and chairman of the Cooler Heads Coalition

Industry Ties: The CEI benefits from funding from energy interests, including Koch Family Foundations, ExxonMobil, Texaco, American Petroleum Institute. He has long been on the front lines of industry’s war on science.

Fox News Guest: He’s written many op-eds on climate change.

Climate Expertise: None.

He said it: Lewis thinks we should just move cities that might go underwater.

Kenneth Haapala

Day Job: Vice President of the Science and Environmental Policy Project

Industry Ties: The Heartland Institute, The Science and Environmental Policy Project

Climate Expertise: None

He said it: ”Carbon dioxide is a necessary food for green plants, thus necessary for life on this planet as we generally recognize it.”

Norman Rogers

Day Job: A “volunteer” advisor to The Heartland Institute. He runs his own website where he writes about his study of global warming as a “retirement project.”

Industry Ties: The Heartland Institute

Climate Expertise: None

He said it: ”The few examples of coal or oil companies actually giving money to dissenters or dissenting organizations are so minor that one suspects that the gift was an accident or bureaucratic snafu.”

Tom Harris

Day Job: Executive Director of the International Climate Science Coalition, a “group of climate change skeptics that has received funding from the Heartland Institute.

Industry Ties: Director of Operations of the High Park Group, a lobbying organization for the energy industry until 2006. This has apparently been deleted from their website.

Climate Expertise: None

He said it: ”All the companies want is to see information coming out about research that supports their side. They wouldn’t have to if all sides were covered (by the media)…. If we got to half a million (dollars), I’d be thrilled.”

Walter Cunningham

Day Job: Retired astronaut; current lecturer and speaker.

Industry Ties: Has served as the director of a number of public and private companies, including those in the venture capital, real estate, offshore pipeline and consulting engineering industries. Exxon Mobil-affiliated Tech Central Station lists him as a roundtable member. Exxon also gave this group $95,000 in contributions since 1998 for “Climate Change Support.”

Fox News guest: Has appeared on Fox talking about how NASA puts “politics over science”.

Climate Expertise: None

He said it: ”After years of looking, I have not found one piece of empirical evidence that man-made CO2 has a significant impact on global climate.”

Craig Idso

Day Job: Founder of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change which has the mission to “separate reality from rhetoric in the emotionally-charged debate that swirls around the subject of carbon dioxide and global change.”

Industry Ties: Heartland, Peabody Energy, and the Science and Public Policy Institute. 

Climate Expertise: None

He said it: ”Atmospheric CO2 enrichment brings growth and prosperity to man and nature alike.”

Dr. Willie Soon

Day Job: astrophysicist

Industry Ties: Has received much of his research funding from the oil and gas industry. See “Researcher helps sow climate-change doubt: Industry-funded Cambridge astrophysicist adds to partisan divide”.This goes into some of his Industry connections.

Climate Expertise: Many of Soon’s articles are not published in peer-reviewed journals, but by organizations skeptical of climate change such as the Fraser Institute (here and here), The George C. Marshall Institute  (here), and in the skeptical science journal Energy & Environment (here). One paper that Soon authored and was published in two peer-reviewed journals received research funding from the oil lobbying group, American Petroleum Institute.

He said it: ”I don’t like to claim that I am an expert on anything, but I have enough knowledge about climate science and climate system to be able to write scientific papers and go to meetings and talk about monsoon systems and talk about any other things that you want to discuss about climate science issues. I’m as qualified as anybody that you know on this planet on this topic.”

Dr. S. Fred Singer

Day Job: President of the Science and Environmental Policy Project

Industry Ties: The Cato Institute, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Heritage Foundation, Heartland Institute andothersAccording to SourceWatch, Singer has also done consulting work for major oil companies including Texaco, Arco, Shell, Sun, Unocal, the Electric Power Institute, Florida Power and the American Gas Association. Has previously worked for the tobacco industry to debunk the “junk science” linking their products to cancer.

Fox News guest: Regular on Fox News.

Climate Expertise: One of a few climate deniers with a history of relevant work published in peer-reviewed journals.

He said it: ”Let’s face it. People like warmer climates.”

Robert M. Carter

Day Job: Science Policy Advisor at Australia’s Institute of Public Affairs, which has received funding from oil companies and whose directors sit on the boards of companies in the fossil fuel sector. He’s also an “expert” at the Heartland Institute and Chief Science Advisor to the International Climate Science Coalition.

Industry Ties: See above.

Climate Expertise: A geologist by training, Carter wrote a book titled, Climate: The Counter-Consensus.

He said it: As paraphrased by the Sydney Morning Herald: “The role of peer review in scientific literature is overstressed, and whether or not a scientist had been funded by the fossil fuel industry [i]s irrelevant to the validity of research.”

Ron Arnold

Day Job: Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise (CDFE); writes a column for the Washington Examiner.

Industry Ties: CDFE has received money from Coors Foundation, Georgia Pacific, Louisiana-Pacific, Pacific Lumber, Exxon, DuPont and others.

Fox News guest: Has appeared on numerous Fox programs.

Climate Expertise: None

He said it: ”We want to destroy environmentalists by taking their money and their members.”

Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen

Day Job: Editor, Energy & Environment, which has been described as the place skeptics “go to when they are rejected by the mainstream, peer-reviewed science” journals.

Industry Ties: She is a contributing author at the Oil, Gas & Energy Law Intelligence online portal and an advising member at The Scientific Alliance.

Fox News guest: Has been quoted in Fox articles.

Climate Expertise: None, although she describes herself as an ” ‘expert' on the science and politics of global warming since the late 1980s.”

She said it: “To count as science, such knowledge seeking should not have ulterior motives such as growing rich and powerful, for that would lead to bias and selection. I found my niche where nature meets culture, in environmental politics and policy.”

Larry Bell

Day Job: Professor of Architecture at the University of Houston, blogger at Forbes.com

Industry Ties: Heartland Institute.  

Climate Expertise: None, despite writing Climate of Corruption.

He said it: ”Pointing the finger at carbon dioxide as the culprit is a convenient way, of course, of vilifying carbon based fuels.”

Leighton Steward

Day Job: President and Chairman of Plants Need CO2, a group founded in 2009 with the mission “to educate the public on the positive effects of additional atmospheric CO2 and help prevent the inadvertent negative impact to human, plant and animal life if we reduce CO2.”

Industry Ties: He was Vice Chairman of the American oil and gas company Burlington Resources, Inc. until his retirement in 2000. DeSmogBlog reported that: “According to his profile at EOG Resources (formerly Enron Oil and Gas Company) where he is a director, Steward has extensive experience in the oil and gas exploration and production industry and has also worked with The Louisiana Land and Exploration Company as President, Chief Operating Officer and, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer from 1989 until its acquisition by Burlington Resources Inc. in 1997.” He is also an “Honorary Director” at the American Petroleum Institute.

Fox News guest: Yes

Climate Expertise: None

He said it: ”CO2 is a great airborne fertilizer.”

Thomas Wysmuller

Day Job: Owner of Colderside.com, “The Colder Side of Global Warming,” and lecturer. His Heartland biohighlights his work as a NASA meteorologist, but he just interned there. 

Industry Ties: Heartland Institute

Climate Expertise: None

He said it: ”The largest contributor to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the warming oceans.” (via SeaCoastOnline)

Harold (Hal) Doiron

Day Job: Retired NASA scientist

Industry Ties: ”Studied methods to reduce costs of drilling for oil and gas for” the Reed Tool Company, DeSmogBlog reported.

Climate Expertise: None

He said it: ”The physics, chemical, biological and heat transfer processes involved in Climate Change modeling and analysis are similar to large, complex systems familiar to Aerospace Engineers.”

Dr. Patrick Michaels

Day Job: Director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute and has taught environmental sciences professor at the University of Virginia

Industry Ties: Expert and visiting scientist at the George C. Marshall Institute, expert and senior fellow at Cato Institute, policy expert at the Heritage Foundation. Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, Tech Central Station, and more In an interview with Fareed Zakaria in 2010, he estimated that 40 percent of his work is funded by the petroleum industry.

Fox News guest: He’s a regular commentator on climate change issues on Fox News and other conservative news outlets. He also writes regularly for Forbes.

Climate Expertise: Michaels has published research papers in peer-reviewed climate journals. According to DeSmogBlog, “Some of Michaels’s papers were published in the journal Climate Research  around the time that climate skeptic Chris de Freitas was serving as one of the journal’s editors. Half of the journal’s editors resigned over poor quality control in mid-2003. Additionally, he has published some of his papers in the journal Energy and Environment, run by fellow skeptic Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen.”

He said it: ”By the year 2000, plus or minus a few, the vogue environmental calamity will be an ice age. And this nouvelle apocalypse, revised version, will predict that global warming will cause sea level to fall.”

Hon. George Christensen

Day Job: Member of the Australian House of Representatives, representing the coal state of Queensland.

Industry Ties: Heartland Institute

Climate Expertise: None

He said it: ”It seems to me that before we go down the track of removing people’s property rights or introducing carbon taxes in the name of stopping man-made climate change, we should really work out what the facts are. That is why I believe it is high time we had a Royal Commission to determine the scientific facts on the theory of man-made climate change.”

Jay Lehr

Day Job:  Science director at The Heartland Institute and lecturer.

Industry Ties: Outside of his work for the Heartland Institute, Jay Lehr’s current client list includes biotech giant Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences Canada, a division of Dow Chemical.

Fox News guest: Yes, and recently.

Climate Expertise: None

He said it: ”The debate is over, if there ever was one.” And: “Why people are so alarmed about [extreme weather], I have no clue.”

Sebastian Luning

Day Job: Senior geologist with the oil and gas company RWE Dea in Hamburg; Co-author of Die Kalte Sonne(The Cold Sun), which argued climate change is the result of solar flares and cycles.

Industry Ties: Heartland Institute. His co-author on The Cold Sun was Fritz Vahrenholt, CEO of his energy firm.

Climate Expertise: None

Dr. Habibullo Abdussamatov

Day Job: Director of Space Research the Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in at St. Petersburg, Russia

Industry Ties: Russian government

Climate Expertise: NoneHe said it: ”The Earth passed the peak of global warming in 1998-2005.” Last year he predicted a “Little Ice Age" within three decades.

Dr. Howard Hayden

Day Job: Retired professor of physics, University of Connecticut. He edits The Energy Advocate, a monthly newsletter that serves as a mouthpiece for the energy and technology industries.

Industry Ties: He’s spoken at multiple Heartland conferences and is one of their “experts,” also a memberof the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, which received more than half of $1 million in funding by ExxonMobil since since 1998.

Fox News guest: He’s quoted in FoxNews articles about climate.

Climate Expertise: None

He said it: ”A warmer world is a better world. Look at weather-related death rates in winter and in summer, and the case is overwhelming that warmer is better.”

Steve Goreham

Day Job: Author, The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatismexecutive director of the Climate Science Coalition of America.

Industry Ties: Prior to the page being apparently hacked, “Goreham’s profile on Climatism.netdescribes him as an engineer and business executive with extensive experience at Fortune 100 public companies and private firms,” DeSmogBlog reported.

Fox News guest: Yes

Climate Expertise: None

He said it: ”I’m just a layperson … I’m also a relative newcomer to the climate battle.”

Marita Noon

Day Job: Executive director for both Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE), a lobby group funded by New Mexico oil and gas industry interests. Prior to her work in energy, she worked as a motivational speaker and author.

Industry Ties: See above.

Climate Expertise: None

She said it: ”America is poised to become the "no pee" section of the global swimming pool.”

Craig Rucker

Day Job: Director for Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, or CFACT, a fossil fuel-funded group.

Industry Ties: According to Greenpeace’s report, Dealing In Doubt, CFACT has received over $4.1 million in funds from Donor’s Trust and Donor’s Capital Fund between 2002-2011, and additional $582,000 from ExxonMobil between 1998-2012.

Fox News guest: Yes

Climate Expertise: None

He said it: ”The Obama administration’s war on coal is a disaster in the making for the U.S. economy.”

Marc Morano

Day Job: Blogger at Climate Depot, a blog sponsored by the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow.

Industry Ties: CFACT’s 2011 financial disclosure form lists Morano as the highest paid member of its staff, each year receiving a $150,000 salary. Former employee of the Media Research Center, which has received more than $400,000 from ExxonMobil.

Fox News guest: Many times.

Climate Expertise: None.

He said it: ”[In] the fall of 2009, more Americans believed in haunted houses than manmade global warming, and I’m not making that up. Science wins in the end.”

Joseph D’Aleo

Day Job: Executive director, International Climate and Environmental Change Assessment Project (ICECAP); colleague of Joe Bastardi at AccuWeather.

Climate Expertise: None. Co-published one article on global cooling in the non-peer review journal Energy & Environment which only 25 libraries around the world carry.

He said it: ”Warming not ‘global’. It is shown in satellite data to be northern hemisphere only… Warming (global mean and northern hemisphere) stopped in the 1990s.”

Fred Goldberg

Day Job: Swedish Royal Institute of Technology (adjunct, but RIT has stated that he is “not currently employed.”)

Industry Ties: Heartland 

Climate Expertise: None, despite Goldberg being a signatory on an open letter to United Nation’s Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that said stopping climate change is impossible, calling it “a natural phenomenon that has affected humanity through the ages.”

He said it: ”It is, of course, the Sun that drives everything, and clouds are making problems for the Sun.”

E. Calvin Beisner

Day Job: Spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation and speaker on the application of the Biblical worldview to economics, government, and environmental policy. Known as a “leading evangelical climate-change skeptic.”

Industry Ties: Advisory Board member of CFACT.

Fox News guest: Yes

Climate Expertise: None

He said it: From Beisner’s “Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming”: “We believe Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence —are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory. Earth’s climate system is no exception. Recent global warming is one of many natural cycles of warming and cooling in geologic history.”

Dr. Craig Loehle

Day Job: Scientist for the paper industry’s National Council for Air and Stream Improvement

Industry Ties: Expert for The Heartland Institute.

Fox News guest: Cited on FoxNews.com

Climate Expertise: Several of his papers related to climate were published in the skeptic journal Energy & Environment.

He said it: ”I am not part of a conspiracy and am not directed by anyone … Only a fraction of my work concerns climate change.”

Myron Ebell

Day Job: Director of Energy and Global Warming Policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute

Industry Ties: The Competitive Enterprise Institute has enjoyed funding from, among others, Exxon Mobil, the American Petroleum Institute, Texaco, General Motors, Richard Mellon Scaife’s foundations, and the Koch family foundations

Fox News guest: Yes, including his regularly featured op-ed on FoxNews.com.

Climate Expertise: None

He said it: ”We felt that if you concede the science is settled and that there’s a consensus, you cannot— the moral high ground has been ceded to the alarmists.”

Madhav Khandekar

Day Job: Meteorologist, Environment Canada (retired)

Industry Ties: An “expert” at Heartland, a member of International Climate Science Coalition

Climate Expertise: ”According to a search of 22,000 academic journals, Khandekar has published 19 pieces of research in peer-reviewed journals, mainly in the area of El Nino and climate. Many of his papers on climate change were published in the journal Energy and Environment, a journal which has been criticized for its peer review process and which is edited by global warming skeptic Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen,” DeSmogBlog reported.

He said it: ”I don’t see that CO2 is inducing any climate change. CO2 may have induced a small amount of warming that we saw in the 80’s and 90’s but more importantly CO2 is an inert gas, it is not a pollutant.”

Barry Brill

Day Job: New Zealand-based lawyer and the former Minister of Science & Technology and Minister of Energy. He is currently chairman of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition.

Industry Ties: Has served as chairman or director at Power New Zealand Ltd.,  Electricity Supply Association of NZ, Business New Zealand, Pacific Energy Corp, Petrocorp Exploration, and more fossil fuel companies.

Climate Expertise: None

He said it: ”The official temperature record is wrong.”

Dr. Jennifer Marohasy

Day Job: Adjunct research fellow in the Centre for Plant and Water Science at Central Queensland University and former senior fellow at the conservative Australian think tank, the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), and adirector of the Australian Environment Foundation.

Climate Expertise: None

She said it: From her official bio: “Jennifer Marohasy is an Australian biologist and libertarian who holds unpopular opinions on a range of important environmental issues.”

Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner

Day Job: Stockholm University (retired)

Climate Expertise: He appears to have written no peer-reviewed journal articles.

He said it: Mörner claims to have paranormal abilities to find land-bound water using only a dowsing rod and the power of his imagination. Also, writing in the Guardian, George Monbiot relates: “In 2007, Mörner and his collaborator, a homeopath and amateur archaeologist called Bob Lind, were reprimanded by the Scania County archaeologist in Sweden for damaging an Iron Age cemetery during their quest to demonstrate the ‘Bronze Age calendar alignments,’ which would somehow help to show that this local graveyard was in fact an ancient Hellenic trading centre.”

Dr. Stanley Goldenberg

Day Job: Meteorologist for the Hurricane Research Division, Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory/National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.

Industry Ties: Heartland Institute Speaker

Fox News guest: Yes, and Fox News’ Brit Hume has quoted him.  

Climate Expertise: Studied meteorology under fellow climate change skeptic Jim O’Brien.

He said it: "It takes guts to do and be outspoken.”

Anthony Watts

Day Job: Blogger at “Watts Up With That?”;  Chief meteorologist for KPAY, an AM Fox News affiliate in Chico, California

Industry Ties: Watts was paid by the Heartland Institute for his work on temperature stations and is a regular speaker at Heartland conferences.

Fox News guest: Yes, and often writes for and cited on FoxNews.com.

Climate Expertise: None

He said it: ”The conclusion is inescapable: The U.S. temperature record is unreliable.”

Dr. Laurence “Larry” Gould

Day Job: Physics professor at the University of Hartford

Industry Ties: Heartland Institute “expert” who has spoken at their conferences.

Fox News guest: Yes, with Fox appearances listed on his website.

Climate Expertise: Gould published two peer-reviewed articles in the area of physics in the 1980s. Beganpublishing articles and giving presentations on climate change in 2003.  

He said it: ”This is the state of science education and environmental science, and what we have really is basically a porcupine of errors.”

Richard Keen

Day Job: Meteorology instructor at the University of Colorado.

Industry Ties: Regular at Heartland Institute conferences.

Climate Expertise: Has published a few climate-related articles in peer-reviewed journals. According to Keen, he has experience as a military meteorologist and has “done some climate modeling but when I was younger and less wise.”

He said it: From his presentation at the ICCC7: “The Warmers ‘jimmy’ the data to make it agree with the models and look like it is warming.”

Russell Cook

Day Job: Blogger and Contributing Editor, Environment & Climate News; writes regularly about the “smear of skeptic scientists" for Breitbart.com and RedState.

Industry Ties: He’s an “expert" for Heartland

Climate Expertise: None

He said it: ”No skeptic scientists ever had an opportunity to present the myriad faults in the idea of man-caused global warming.”

Tim Ball

Day Job: Author, The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science, and public speaker. A former geography professor at the University of Winnipeg, he calls himself a former climatology professor.

Industry Ties: Heartland Institute; Frontier Centre for Public PolicyFriends of Science (FoS).

Fox News guest: Was featured on “Exposed: The Climate of Fear,” a special Glenn Beck Program in 2007.

Climate Expertise: Has published a total of four papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals and on the historical climate in Canada. He has repeatedly misstated his credentials.

He said it: ”What’s wrong with global warming? There are lots of positive benefits to global warming.”

Robert “Bob” Armstrong

Day Job: Writes for his own website, CoSy.com, and calls himself ”a bleeding heart Libertarian with particular understanding of the nonscience of the CO2 global warming fraud.”

Industry Ties: Heartland

Climate Expertise: None

He said it: The eco-Nazis are willfully, consciously guilty of Crimes against Reality.”

Dr. Anthony Lupo

Day Job: Professor of Atmospheric Science, University of Missouri

Industry Ties: Has been paid  by the Heartland Institute to write “skeptic” reports. 

Climate Expertise: He has a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from Purdue University and has written a number of articles on the subject.

He said it: ”I try to keep my science independent of my politics as much as possible.”

Dr. Olavi Karner

Day Job: Tartu Observatory (Estonia)

Industry Ties: A contributor to Heartland reports.

Climate Expertise: He has written a number of articles on quantifying and modeling climate time series. His work is listed here.

He said it: The IPCC model results are “not relevant for understanding the current climate system variability.”

Christopher Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

Day Job: Roving speaker and heredity peer. Claims to have been the former science advisor to Margaret Thatcher and claims to be a member of the House of Lords but is not and never has been.

Industry Ties: He’s a contributor to the reports of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), which is a project sponsored by Heartland. He’s a Chief Policy Advisor, Science and Public Policy Institute for Heartland.

Fox News guest: A regular, he’s been on and been discussed on numerous shows.

Climate Expertise: According to George Monbiot at The Guardian, Monckton “has a degree in classics and a diploma in journalism and, as far as I can tell, no further qualifications.”

He said it: ”The right response to the non-problem of global warming is to have the courage to do nothing.”

Dr. Don Easterbrook

Day Job: Geology Professor Emeritus at Western Washington University

Industry Ties: Heartland. 

Fox News: Regularly cited on website.

Climate Expertise: Has published climate-related articles in peer-review journals

He said it: ”Global warming is over — at least for a few decades. However, the bad news is that global cooling is even more harmful to humans than global warming, and a cause for even greater concern.”

Willis Eschenbach

Day Job: Former masseuse and construction manager turned “independent” climate researcher

Industry Ties: Heartland

Climate Expertise: None

He said it: ”“I’ll let you in on a very dark, ugly secret — I don’t want trust in climate science to be restored.”

Rep. Pat Garofalo

Day Job: Member of Minnesota House of Representatives and serves as GOP Lead on the House Energy Policy Committee.

Industry Ties: He’s written for Heartland. State co-chair at ALEC, which is heavily funded by fossil-fuel interests. 

Fox News guest: No, but Garofalo made headlines this March when he tweeted, “Let’s be honest, 70% of teams in NBA could fold tomorrow + nobody would notice a difference w/ possible exception of increase in streetcrime.”

Climate Expertise: None. His only degree is in law enforcement.

He said it: ”Solar is dumb.”

Peter Ferrara

Day Job: Senior fellow for entitlement and budget policy at the Social Security Institute; general counsel of the American Civil Rights Union at the Heartland Institute.

Industry Ties: Heartland.

Fox News guest: Regular on web and broadcast.

Climate Expertise: ”While I am not a scientist, and write primarily on economics, tax policy and budget issues, I have been fascinated over the years by Heartland’s work on climate change.”

He said it: See above.

Terrence Flower

Day Job: Emeritus professor of mathematics and physics at St. Catherine University

Industry Ties: Heartland Institute; CFACT 

Climate Expertise: Has a background in infared astrophysics

He said it: ”There is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the earth.” — From the Global Warming Petition Project, of which Flower is a signee 

Tony Heller (AKA Steve Goddard) 

Day Job: Blogger in Fort Collins, Colo., under name “Steve Goddard”

Industry Ties: Claims that he can’t get any: “I have tried to obtain funding, but skeptics with money are terrified of political attacks directed by the White House and/or being targeted by the IRS.” 

Fox News Guest: Cited on Fox & Friends as proof the U.S. has been cooling since the 1930s.

Climate Expertise: Zero. He has a bachelor’s degree in geology from Arizona State University, and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Rice University, but he’s ”spent much of the past seven years studying the history of extreme weather, as well as the history and methodology behind the reported NOAA/NASA temperature record.”

He said it: ”My name is Tony Heller. I am a whistle blower. … If you want to learn more about climate history, I have assembled a large collection of old newspaper articles about the weather below 350 PPM CO2. If you read through this, you will understand that lowering CO2 will not make the weather any better, or worse.’” 

Tiffany Roberts

Day Job: Consultant for Republicans in the California state Senate.

Climate Expertise: None. Her background is in economics. 

She said it: Once praised cap-and-trade by telling the Scientific American, “If I’m under the cap, I make more and more money. If I’m above the cap, I’m paying more and more money… [Companies] are actually able to profit from that good behavior.”

h/t: Alexander Zaitchik at MMFA

Conservative media are citing an article in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (JPandS) to attack legitimate research on the causes of gun violence. While its title suggests that it is a serious research publication, the journal is published by a conspiracy-minded right-wing organization and has printed articlesquestioning the link between HIV and AIDS and theorizing that undocumented immigrants are spreading leprosy in the United States.

JPandS is published by conservative non-profit Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), an anti-healthcare reform advocacy group that opposes almost all government involvement in healthcare. The National Library of Medicine, which bills itself as “[t]he world’s largest biomedical library,” has twice declined to index JPandS in its database of medical reports. 

Still, an article by AAPS Executive Director Dr. Jane M. Orient has been cited by conservative media to attack calls for more research into the causes and prevention of gun violence by the Obama administration and the medical and scientific communities. AAPS aided the gun lobby in its successful endeavor to block the Centers for Disease Control from studying gun violence during the 1990s. 

In a September 23 op-ed for The Daily Caller, National Shooting Sports Foundation Senior Vice President and General Counsel Larry Keane cited Orient’s article to attack the scientifically supported claim that “fewer guns equals less violence”:

One of the anti-gun lobby’s leading arguments is that fewer guns equals less violence. This seems like a logical argument, and is often passed on as fact. But, as with most of the arguments the anti-gun left recycles over and over, the facts simply do not back it up.

In the fall issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons , Jane M. Orient, M.D. argues there is no evidence-based support for more gun control measures. Rather, the statistics gun-control proponents cite are cherry-picked from larger data sets that show no correlation between more gun laws and less violence.

Orient’s article was also approvingly cited by Breitbart.com’s AWR Hawkins and promoted by Guns.com. During a September 4 appearance on the National Rifle Association’s media arm, NRA News, Orient attacked “organized medicine” for calling for gun violence research and stated that “the best evidence we have” on gun violence “was collected by John Lott.” Lott, whose research on gun violence was cited in Orient’s JPandS article, has been widely discredited

Beyond relying on Lott’s disproven research, Orient cites a claim that “all 10 of the most violent cities, in which the population is predominantly black, have an enormous rate of out-of-wedlock births and illiteracy — and decades of rule by Democrats, often black and presumably always liberal,” to set up her question, “Is the liberal welfare state partly to blame for lawlessness and violence?”

Orient also theorizes that “organized medicine is determined to achieve federal control of firearms, with the potential, even likely consequence of enabling eventual confiscation,” and lists the threat of a “tyrannical government” as one of the “serious reasons for an armed citizenry.”

JPandS and AAPS promote a host of unscientific theories — medical and otherwise — and have delved into conspiracy theories about the Clinton presidency.

  • A 2005 JPandS article used incorrect data to claim that “[l]eprosy now is endemic to northeastern states because illegal aliens and other immigrants brought leprosy from India, Brazil, the Caribbean, and Mexico.” That research was later parroted on Lou Dobbs’ since-canceled CNN program.
  • The medical blog Science-Based Medicine has identified a number of JPandS articles that question the link between HIV and AIDS and noted the journal has published ”glowing reviews of two HIV/AIDS denialist books.”
  • In 2005, JPandS published an article that noted “[h]istorically, homosexual behavior has been viewed as both criminal and sinful ever since Judaism first defined it as an ‘abomination’ — along with incest, adultery, and bestiality.” The article purported to prove that “the ‘gay’ male lifestyle significantly increases the incidence of infectious disease and shortens life expectancy by about 20 years,” while furthering the myth that being gay is a choice.
  • Beyond medical research, JPandS publishes articles that deny the consequences and causes of climate change. Orient is listed as an “expert” by The Heartland Institute, one of the most insidious purveyors of climate denial.
  • A 2011 New York Times article described how in 2003 AAPS asked the Supreme Court to release death photos of Clinton administration Deputy White House Counsel Vincent Foster, who committed suicide in 1993. The AAPS legal brief sought to advance the conspiracy theory that Foster was murdered.
  • In a 2003 JPandS article, Andrew Schlafly, who has served as AAPS’ general counsel, suggested that the government bears some responsibility for the September 11 terrorist attacks because of its support for bans on the use of asbestos in buildings. Schlafly theorized that the substance’s fire-retardant properties would have saved lives during the attack and challenged science linking asbestos to cancer. His article claimed that government-funded studies on the collapse of the World Trade Center “are designed to exonerate government,” and that “[a] researcher would risk his career and future funding by asserting that government negligence or malfeasance contributed to the WTC collapse.” 
  • A July 2005 AAPS newsletter described embryonic stem cell research as “a weak pretext for picking taxpayers’ pockets.”

Orient previously pushed baseless claims as the author of an article for conspiracy website WND thatpurported to offer a scientific defense of former Rep. Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comment. After Akinengendered controversy in 2012 after claiming that pregnancy as the result of rape was rare because in cases of “legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” Orient published a column titled, “Akin Not Far Off Base In Rape Comment.” She claimed the congressman’s remark was backed by “some pro-life physicians.”

h/t: MMFA

Working out of an nondescript brick rowhouse in suburban Virginia, a little-known organization named Donors Trust, staffed by five employees, has steered hundreds of millions of dollars to the most influential think tanks, foundations, and advocacy groups in the conservative movement. Over the past decade, it has funded the right’s assault on labor unions, climate scientists, public schools, economic regulations, and the very premise of activist government. Yet unlike its nearest counterpart on the progressive side, the Tides Foundation, a bogeyman of Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly, Donors Trust has mostly avoided any real scrutiny. It is the dark-money ATM of the right.

Founded in 1999, Donors Trust (and an affiliated group, Donors Capital Fund) has raised north of $500 million and doled out $400 million to more than 1,000 conservative and libertarian groups, according to Whitney Ball, the group’s CEO. Donors Trust allows wealthy contributors who want to donate millions to the most important causes on the right to do so anonymously, essentially scrubbing the identity of those underwriting conservative and libertarian organizations. Wisconsin’s 2011 assault on collective bargaining rights? Donors Trust helped fund that. ALEC, the conservative bill mill? Donors Trust supports it. The climate deniers at the Heartland Institute? They get Donors Trust money, too.

Donors Trust is not the source of the money it hands out. Some 200 right-of-center funders who’ve given at least $10,000 fill the group’s coffers. Charities bankrolled by Charles and David Koch, the DeVoses, and the Bradleys, among other conservative benefactors, have given to Donors Trust. And other recipients of Donors Trust money include the Heritage Foundation, Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, the NRA’s Freedom Action Foundation, the Cato Institute, the American Enterprise Institute, the Federalist Society, and the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, chaired (PDF) by none other than David Koch. 

In a recent interview, Ball, who calls herself a libertarian, went to great lengths to stress that she’s no Koch brothers stooge, and that Donors Trust is not yet another appendage of the almighty "Kochtopus." She insists, “We were not created by them at all.”

Donors Trust is a so-called "donor-advised fund," a breed apart from a family foundation like, say, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, which helped build the conservative movement over decades with donations totaling tens of millions of dollars. The people who donate to Donors Trust don’t get final say over how their money is spent. But they get to recommend where their cash goes, and in exchange for giving up some control, they get a bigger tax write-off than they would with a family foundation. (And those who wish it get anonymity.)

Ball says she travels all over the country courting wealthy conservatives and libertarians, and attends Koch donor retreats and Cato “shareholder” meetings. The crux of her pitch is this: Rich folks can give to Donors Trust and rest easy knowing that their millions will continue bankrolling the conservative movement long into the future, even after their death.

Donors Trust grew out of the fear among right-leaning donors that their family foundations might end up in the hands of those who would fund centrist or, even worse, left-of-center causes. At the behest of the late Bruce Jacobs, a Seattle-area businessman and “paleocon” who didn’t want to underwrite a local community foundation, Ball and a conservative strategist named Kimberly Dennis created Donors Trust.

Donors Trust is the only honey-pot of its kind for right-leaning donors. But on the left, there’s theTides Foundation, which gives out tens of millions of dollars each year to thousands of left-leaning groups in the US and overseas (including Mother Jones' nonprofit arm, the Foundation for National Progress). Tides is a target of conspiracy theorists such as TV and radio host Glenn Beck, who hasfeatured Tides on his infamous connect-the-dots chalkboard. But Donors Trust’s strategic intent is far narrower and more coherent than Tides’. The groups funded by Donors Trust more or less pursue the same agenda—eliminate regulations, kneecap unions, shrink government, and transfer more power to the private sector.

Donors Trust keeps its contributors secret. Funders can ask Donor Trust to publicly identify their donations, but very few do, Ball says. The reasons for preferring anonymity are many. Some donors want to avoid attention; others don’t want their mailboxes and inboxes filling up with unwanted solicitations for more money.

Tax records, however, reveal some of the sugar-daddies of the conservative and libertarian movement who funnel big money through Donors Trust. The Knowledge and Progress Fund, a charity bankrolled by Charles Koch, gave $2 million in 2010. The DeVos family charity, another pillar of conservative politics, contributed $1 million in 2009 and $1.5 million in 2010. And yet another long-time bankroller of conservative politics, the Bradley family, donated $650,000 through their charity between 2001 and 2010.

h/t: Mother Jones