Quintillions (at least) of photons are streaking throughout the Internet bearing claims that the nefarious plans to undermine climate change science being hatched by the Chicago-based Heartland Institute in cahoots with its corporate masters have been revealed—in leaked documents no less. Much merriment (and hatred) is being expressed by those called AGW "alarmists" by the Heartlanders. The folks whose intemperate emails were leaked from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the Climategate scandal must be reveling in schadenfreude.
Particularly damning is a leaked document entitled "Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy" which purports to detail, among other things, what would amount to a disinformation campaign aimed at developing a counter climate change curriculum aimed K-12 education. According to this document:
Principals and teachers are heavily biased toward the alarmist perspective. To counter this we are considering launching an effort to develop alternative materials for K-12 classrooms. We are pursuing a proposal from Dr. David Wojick to produce a global warming curriculum for K-12 schools. Dr. Wojick is a consultant with the Office of Scientific and Technical Information at the U.S. Department of Energy in the area of information and communication science. His effort will focus on providing curriculum that shows that the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain—two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science.
Some "alarmist" blogs chortle knowingly that this "strategy" is a mirror image of that of the creationist Discovery Institute which aims to undermine the teaching of biological evolution in public schools. Some "alarmists" particularly highlight the last damning phrase, "two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science."
Ah, but is the document real? The Heartland Institute says it's a fake:
One document, titled "Confidential Memo: 2012 Heartland Climate Strategy," is a total fake apparently intended to defame and discredit The Heartland Institute. It was not written by anyone associated with The Heartland Institute. It does not express Heartland's goals, plans, or tactics. It contains several obvious and gross misstatements of fact.
Singling out this document implies that some of the less incendiary documents may be real. Will keep Reason readers posted as this story develops.
For some background see my column, "Lukewarmers, Denialists, and Other Climate Change Skeptics" in which I report from last summer's Sixth International Climate Change Conference put on by the Heartland Institute.