[This is the transcript of my regular KVMR commentary broadcast on 24 February 2012. Addended to it are links to reports on the Heartland Institute’s current issue with Dr Peter Gleick.]
I want to put the current Heartland Institute imbroglio into its proper and larger context – namely, the ongoing and intensifying efforts by the media and institutional Left to silence the country’s conservative voices. Before looking at the Heartland dust-up, let’s go back a few years.
About 1920, radio burst onto the national scene as the cheapest and most effective way to get the word out to people numbering in the thousands that quickly multiplied into the millions. Everyone from plumbers to politicians began using the new medium to hawk their wares, ideas, and opinions. Politically we were still in the thrall of Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson’s progressivism. And therefore only seven years later, Congress became so worried about the widespread impact of radio on ideas and opinions, that it passed the Radio Act of 1927.
Academic Mark Goodman wrote an important and lavishly referenced paper wherein he states that “…Congressmen feared radio's potential power to prompt radical political or social reform, spread indecent language, and to monopolize opinions. Therefore, the FRC (forerunner of the FCC) was empowered to protect listeners from those who would not operate radio for ‘public interest, convenience, and necessity.’” That started what has become our government’s on-and-off war on free speech.
Returning to climate change and the Heartland Institute – a distinctly conservative public policy think tank. It has long been skeptical about the science behind claims of manmade global warming, and the work of UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC. That the IPCC put out a very dodgy piece of work is acknowledged by most of the scientific community. Nevertheless, the IPCC report and its updates remain the main force behind progressive governments implementing Agenda21, UN’s blueprint for a brave new world wherein every last aspect of life on this planet will be under strict regulatory control.
Climate change skeptics were first ignored, then dismissed, then vilified as knuckle dragging ‘deniers’. After that, they were actively attacked according to the best practices of socialist Saul Alinsky’s playbook. But as IPCC’s science scandals began simmering, the progressives organized around science-free demagogues like Al Gore and other equally qualified leftwing public figures. Gore continues to assure us that “polluters and ideologues (are) spending hundreds of millions of dollars each year on misleading advertisements in the mass media.”
The Heartland Institute was identified as the belly of deniers’ beast, and had to be silenced. Its climate skepticism was said to be lavishly funded by the likes of large oil companies and the evil Koch brothers. They are the present day infidels of what Harpers magazine already in 1995 identified as the “high-powered engine of disinformation”.
Enter Dr Peter Gleick, well-known MacArthur Award genius, climate scientist, and (fasten seatbelts please) ethicist. Through a torturous series of perfidies, Gleick stole and disseminated documents both forged and internal to Heartland. They purported to show the institute’s lavish funding and shadowy plans to warp the nation’s K-12 minds about climate change. Today the reports about Gleick continue on numerous media outlets and blogs. However, the bottom line is that the ethicist has confessed his undoings, and that there is no substance to his intended fabrications.
For reference, consider that the Koch brothers have contributed only $25K, and that to a Heartland healthcare study. Big oil is not even a contributor to climate skepticism; they will make billions from today’s fossil fuels foolishness. However, to promote climate hysteria, the World Wildlife Fund alone will spend $65M compared to Heartland’s $200K to develop classroom materials explaining climate change skepticism. Heartland also plans spending $388K to counter the UN’s current budget of six plus million dollars to further propagandize IPCC’s repeatedly sanitized results.
From a broader perspective we note that last year major climate change champions, Natural Resources Defense Council and the World Wildlife Fund, took in $95M and $238M respectively. On top of that we have the administration’s $2.6B plan to fund research into “the global changes that have resulted primarily from global over-dependence on fossil fuels.”
To the extent that a conspiracy exists to mess with middling minds, it is the well-funded progressive onslaught, and not the modestly funded and openly publicized programs of the Heartland Institute that should concern us.
My name is Rebane, and I also expand on these and other themes in my Union columns, and on georgerebane.com where this transcript with linked references appears. These opinions are not necessarily shared by KVMR. Thank you for listening.
Addendum: The following links are germane and provide background to this commentary.
Watts up with that?