Heartland Institute President Rips Senators for Repeating Lies about Climate Scientists

Published March 11, 2015

Joseph Bast responds sharply to letter asking for detailed accounting of Heartland’s funding

CHICAGO (March 11, 2015) – Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast says Democratic U.S. Sens. Ed Markey, Barbara Boxer, and Sheldon Whitehouse should be ashamed of themselves for abusing their offices as part of a campaign to “stigmatize and demonize” those who are skeptical of a human-caused climate crisis.

Bast’s remarks come in response to the senators’ February 25 letter demanding funding, planning, and organizational details from The Heartland Institute and 99 other businesses and nonprofit organizations that question the causes and consequences of global warming.

“Shame on you for abusing your public office in an attempt to silence public debate on such an important public policy topic,” Bast wrote in his letter, mailed yesterday. “I am grateful that a majority of members on the Committee on Environment and Public Works has strongly condemned your views and tactics.”

The three Democratic senators sent their February 25 letter in the wake of misleading news reports about prominent climate scientist Dr. Wei-Hock “Willie” Soon, who works for the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Bast also defended Dr. Soon, who has presented scientific findings at several climate conferences organized by Heartland.

“You repeat the vicious libel that Dr. Wei-Hock ‘Willie’ Soon failed to disclose funding for his work,” Bast wrote. “Are you not aware that neither his employer, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, nor the journal that published the scholarly article in question, Science Bulletin, has found Dr. Soon violated any of their rules or disclosure policies? Who asked you to repeat that lie?”

“I am very proud to report that The Heartland Institute has spent millions of dollars over the past ten years supporting scientific research that contradicts alarmist claims about climate change,” Bast wrote. “The New York Times calls us ‘the primary American organization pushing climate change skepticism.’ The Times is not a credible source on this topic, but you three probably find it persuasive.”

Bast also told Sens. Markey, Boxer, and Whitehouse that the totality of the information they will receive about Heartland’s funding, organization, and programs can be found on Heartland’s websites including www.heartland.org.

Read Bast’s full letter to Sens. Markey, Boxer, and Whitehouse at this link.

Read the letter from Sens. Markey, Boxer, and Whitehouse at this link.

Read the letter from 11 senators condemning Markey, Boxer, and Whitehouse at this link.

Read Bast’s letter to the 11 senators at this link.

The Heartland Institute is a 31-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, or to request an interview with Mr. Bast, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 312/731-9364.

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