Featured Participatory Project: Who Sponsored and Spoke at Heartland's Climate Conference?

A week ago the Exxon-funded think tank, the Heartland Institute, hosted what it dubbed The 2008 International Conference on Climate Change. In his opening remarks, Heartland's President Joseph L. Bast posed the question "Are the scientists and economists who ask these questions just a fringe group, outside the scientific mainstream?" He insisted they weren't, but his own framing of the question reflects how marginalized and defensive the global warming skeptics have become.

The detailed list of conference speakers and co-sponsors posted by Heartland on the conference website provides a pretty comprehensive guide to the global network of skeptics. (There may be a few of those speaking at the conference who aren't skeptics but the presenters list is dominated by people from the usual collection of free-market think tanks). In all likelihood, the most active global warming skeptics in the years ahead will come from within the ranks of those individuals and groups at the conference.

So our challenge is to ensure that there is at least a 'stub' page in SourceWatch on each of the speakers and sponsoring think tanks as a quick reference resource for interested citizens and journalists. (A stub page need only comprise a sentence or two and some basic formatting, but the more comprehensive it is the better). Once created, the new page will be indexed by Google and other search engines and quickly rise to near the top of search results. If you would like to help, go to the project page and follow the steps set out in the notes. Have fun, and thanks for your help!


For the record, The Heartland Institute’s entire annual budget less than 5% comes from energy companies and in total only 16% comes from all corporations. The vast majority of our funds, 84%, come from individuals and foundations, and we do not accept any government financing at all. Private individuals with no connections to the energy industry funded the entirety of our conference.

The Heartland Institute strongly objects when energy companies’ solicit massive taxpayer funded subsides for environmentally and economically damaging products such as land intensive ethanol production and endangered species killing wind turbines. We continue to object to these policies even though a number of the corporations that donate money to us profit from these policies being in place. The argument that we take our philosophical positions based on who funds us is laughable.
For those of you interested in the true reasons behind the Heartland Institute stance on the climate change debate, please go to www.globalwarmingheartland.org for more information.

-Greg, Legislative Specialist for the Heartland Institute

"The vast majority of our funds, 84%, come from individuals and foundations..."

...but what corporations and individuals support those foundations? Since Heartland Institute no longer tells the public which foundations it gets support from, for all we know those foundations might get most or all of their support from energy or other corporations whose vested interests lie in protecting the status quo, and/or other entities and individuals heavily invested in them.

If the argument that you take your philosophical positions based on who funds you is so laughable, why not let us all in on the laugh and tell us who funds you?