Monday, September 17, 2012

free market think tank conference opens in Chicago with President defections intake affect the group's finances

The first Heartland Institute Conference on Climate Change in 2008 had all the hallmarks of a major scientific conclave - unless a large number of real scientists. Hundreds of opponents of climate change, with some academics among them, to banquet a luxury hotel in Times Square, which is supposed to be a reasoned debate on climate change.

But as the last climate conference opens in Heartland Hotel in Chicago on Monday, says the study center for reasoned debate lie in tatters and his uncertain financial future.


says "stay above the fray" climate wars exploded by a poster campaign in early believers comparing climate change to Ted Kaczynski Unabomer and a document that bite February unveiled a plan to sow doubt among students from kindergarten to the existence of climate change.

With his reputation, Heartland's financial future is also threatened by the exodus of private donors and key personnel.

In a blog on the site of the fire Heartland President Joseph Bast organization deserters were admitted Heartland "abandon us in this difficult time."

recent weeks, Heartland has lost at least $ 825,000 in funds earmarked for the year 2012, more than 35% of the funds raised for corporate donors, according to forecasts made campaign group, what drives companies to boycott the organization.

The organization was forced to recover the money through his first public recognition of the gifts of the coal industry. The main entrance Illinois coal is a sponsor of the conference at the end of this week, Heartland claims infringe function independently of the interests of fossil fuels.


Washington DC office, but one of the employees, he began to take over Heartland projects involving the insurance industry, with them.

Aa administration

quit, speakers canceled at the last minute, and required long Heartland partners remove their name from their website. The sponsors of the conference has been reduced by almost half since 2010, and many sponsors websites is only operating on the right fringe.

"bleeding," said Kert Davies, research director of Greenpeace, which has spent years follow climate suits contrary. "True Colors Heartland has finally arrived, and now people are jumping ship so fast."

Heartland does not look like you're about to take a course of corrective action.

In his message, Bast defended the ads, wrote: "Our billboard was made:. Unabomber was motivated by concern about global warming man for crimes he committed "He then described climatologist Michael Mann and activist Bill McKibben as" crazy. "

The result

public Heartland began in February, when the scientist Peter Gleick lied to obtain highly sensitive materials, including a list of donors.

The publicity surrounding the list of donors, it is difficult for companies in the public commitment to sustainability, such as General Motors Foundation to continue funding Heartland. GM Foundation announced as soon as it ended its support of $ 15,000 per year.

But what had been a gradual collapse accelerated when posting Heartland climate conference with a sign on a highway in Chicago compare believers in climate science for the Unabomber.

"The announcement was ill-advised," he said. "I am a conservative free market with a long resume rightmost and, if not all, my team is the same description and found it very problematic. Stay with Heartland simply was not possible because of this poster. "

demolished the fence 24 hours, but by then, the announcement went viral.

Lehrer, maintaining the separation was amicable, said the cartel had undermined Heartland claims to be a conservative think serious.
"did not reflect the seriousness that I want to bring to the public," Lehrer said in a telephone interview. "As someone who is primarily concerned with the full assurance that it must believe be taken seriously and there is certainly something important climate risks and climate change must be taken into account in the insurance market. Trivialising them is not compatible with liberal thought. Suggesting that only thought people who are crazy not good for the free market. "

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