Conservatives. They can’t help themselves when it comes to telling the truth. Case in point . . .

The Heartland Institute (what a great name is that!) is an All American Think Tank which believes in the goody goodness of the free market to solve all our problems. They like their tobacco, but now that all those little fibs the tobacco industry used to tell about how smoking is safe (or safer than you think, anyway) have been exposed by evil plaintiff’s attorneys (and a few nasty Attorney Generals, as well) they moved on to greener pastures as it were. Like the well oiled gold that can be found in them there hills of global warming skepticism.

Of course, they are completely independent of any outside influences (they say so right on their website). They come by their belief that man made global warming is a myth strictly on the basis of the evidence. Even if they have to invent that evidence. For example, their site has a list of 500 scientists whose research demonstrates that the science about global warming is still in up in the air! But let me quote them directly:

The following list includes more than 500 qualified researchers whose research in professional journals provides historic and/or physical proxy evidence that:

1) Most of the recent global warming has been caused by a long, moderate, natural cycle rather than by the burning of fossil fuels;

2) The sun’s varying radiance impacts the Earth’s climate as more or fewer cosmic rays create more or fewer of the low, wet clouds that act as the Earth’s thermostats, deflecting more or less solar heat out into space.

3) Sea levels are not rising rapidly nor are they likely to;

4) Wild species are not being driven to extinction but rather are increasing the biodiversity of our wildlands;

5) Fewer human deaths are likely rather than more as the current warming continues, since cold is far more dangerous and the Earth is always warming or cooling;

6) Food production is likely to thrive during the decades ahead, rather than collapsing due to climate overheating; or

7) Our storms are likely to be fewer and milder as the declining temperature differential between the equator and the poles reduces their power.

Five Hundred Scientists! That’s huge, as they say. How can anybody claim there is be a scientific consensus that human activity is a significant cause of global warming if 500 scientists say it isn’t? Huh?

Well the answer to that question is easier than you think. You see the good folks at DeSmogBlog decided to contact some of those scientists (122 to be precise) by email to see if their research really did raise doubts that global warming is caused by human activity and/or is happening at all. So far they have received replies from 45 of the scientists on the list who are shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, to discover that their names are included in Heartland’s list of The Five Hundred. Indeed, most of them are down right indignant that their research is being distorted by the Heartland Institute. Here, see for yourself:


“I am horrified to find my name on such a list. I have spent the last 20 years arguing the opposite.”

Dr. David Sugden. Professor of Geography, University of Edinburgh


“I have NO doubts ..the recent changes in global climate ARE man-induced. I insist that you immediately remove my name from this list since I did not give you permission to put it there.”

Dr. Gregory Cutter, Professor, Department of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Old Dominion University


“I don’t believe any of my work can be used to support any of the statements listed in the article.”

Dr. Robert Whittaker, Professor of Biogeography, University of Oxford


“Please remove my name. What you have done is totally unethical!!”

Dr. Svante Bjorck, Geo Biosphere Science Centre, Lund University


“I am very shocked to see my name in the list of “500 Scientists with Documented Doubts of Man-Made Global Warming Scares”. Because none of my research publications has ever indicated that the global warming is not as a consequence of anthropogenic greenhouse gases, I view that the inclusion of my name in such list without my permission or consensus has damaged my professional reputation as an atmospheric scientist.”

Dr. Ming Cai, Associate Professor, Department of Meteorology, Florida State University.


“They have taken our ice core research in Wyoming and twisted it to meet their own agenda. This is not science.”

Dr. Paul F. Schuster, Hydrologist, US Geological Survey

Well you get the idea. The good folks at the Heartland Institute just couldn’t find enough real scientists who believed like they do that global warming is all some sort of sinister plot invented by Al Gore, so they picked a bunch of names of scientists, apparently at random, and just lied their conservative buns off. I imagine they thought no one would ever actually contact these people to see if they really did, like, you know, support the Heartland Institute’s view that global warming is a liberal scam.

Or maybe they just didn’t care. Because once the lie is out there, its a lot harder to beat it back into its dark, slimy hidey hole with the truth. Imagine how many emails have already been sent around and around the the intertubes citing Heartland’s “List of The Five Hundred.” By now it’s probably already accepted as a matter of faith. Poor scientists whose names were stolen and reputations besmirched. Too late now. You’ll always be a part of the list of the few, the brave, the five hundred scientists who don’t believe in global climate change.

Still, don’t expect anyone in the media to report about this. Controversy sells. The truth? That’s a relative concept. As any good journalist can tell you, there’s always two sides to everything, and their job is just to report what each side says, no matter how ludicrous or blatantly false it might be. Just because the Heartland Institute had to lie and deceive and cheat to prove that their side had some faint odor of legitimacy wafting off its tattered bundle of misleading arguments is besides the point. Who are you gonna trust anyway, a bunch of outraged scientists or the good folks who accepted bribes received hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding from Exxon Mobil?


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