Climate Change Denial: Heartless Heartland is now also headless
As we discussed last week, the Heartland Institute is apparently all but broke, and recently fired about half its staff. On Saturday, the organization announced that its president has resigned, and the board has appointed James Taylor as its new president.
We wish James, whose brother Jerry has said that denier myths are propagated “with full knowledge they were being misleading,” all the luck and success he deserves in keeping Heartland’s sinking ship afloat.
Apparently, Taylor is relying on Anthony Watts to use his website as a press release clearinghouse – that seems to be the only place where one can find information about Heartland’s newest website, ClimateRealism.com. Judging by recent posts, the plan appears to be to use this site as a place to talk about current events, pointing to the recently launched ClimateAtAGlance website as a citation to claim “nu uh” to whatever real science says. Basically, both sites appear to be little more than new packaging for the same old myths.
So with the organization’s finances apparently in shambles, who’s left still giving Heartland money? The Center for Media and Democracy has compiled some donor information on the over $16 million in Heartland contributions between 2014 and 2019.
What reporter Alex Kotch found was that while the Mercer family has kicked in over $2.5 million, and other family foundations have donated hundreds of thousands apiece, the bulk of the group’s money is coming through Donors Capital Fund and Donors Trust, two groups that exist as funding pass throughs. This allows donors, like the Kochs, or ExxonMobil, or others, to give money to one of these groups, and then those groups disburse the funds to groups like Heartland. That way Heartland can keep getting some $10 million dollars without anyone knowing who gave it to them.
If you funded a group that hired someone who marched alongside neo-Nazis as the new face of the organization, you probably wouldn’t want anyone to know, either.
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(Crossposted with DailyKos.)