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The Heartland Institute
Heartland Logo.png
Type 501(c)(3)
Headquarters 19 South LaSalle Street Suite 903
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Staff President and CEO: Joseph L. Bast
Executive VP: Dan Miller
VP: Kevin Fitzgerald
Chairman: Herbert J. Walberg
Area served Worldwide
Revenue US$2,747,328 (2006)[1]
Website www.heartland.org

The Heartland Institute is an American libertarian/conservative free market-oriented public policy think tank based in Chicago, Illinois. It was founded in 1984 and conducts research and advocacy work on issues including government spending, taxation, healthcare, tobacco policy, global warming, information technology and free-market environmentalism.

The Heartland Institute is designated as a 501(c)(3)non-profit by the Internal Revenue Service and advised by a 15 member board of directors, which meets quarterly. As of 2008, it has a full-time staff of 30, including editors and senior fellows.[2]

Contents

History and leadership

In its early years, the Heartland Institute focused on policies relevant to the Midwestern United States. Since 1993 it has focused on reaching elected officials and opinion leaders in all 50 states. In addition to research, the Heartland Institute features an Internet application called PolicyBot which serves as a clearinghouse for research from other conservative think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation, the American Legislative Exchange Council, and the Cato Institute. The Institute's president and CEO is Joseph L. Bast.

Heartland has been criticized for employing executives from such corporations as ExxonMobil and Philip Morris on its board of directors and in its public relations department.[3][4] The Heartland Institute disputes this criticism, stating that "no one on Heartland's board of directors works for a tobacco company (Roy Marden retired years ago) or for an oil company (Walter Buchholtz was on the board but no longer is)."[5]

Funding

The Heartland Institute receives donations from approximately 1,600 individuals, foundations, and corporations. No single corporate entity donates more than 5% of the operating budget, according to brochures from the company. [6] Heartland states that it does not accept government funds and does not conduct "contract" research for special-interest groups.[7]

MediaTransparency reported that the Heartland Institute received funding from politically conservative foundations such as the Castle Rock Foundation, the Sarah Scaife Foundation, the John M. Olin Foundation, and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.[8]

Oil companies have contributed substantially to the Heartland Institute.[9] ExxonMobil contributed a total of $560,000 between 1998 and 2005.[10] This included $119,000 in 2005, ExxonMobil's largest gift to Heartland in that period. Nearly 40% of funds from ExxonMobil were specifically designated for climate change projects.[11] As of 2008, the Heartland Institute had received almost $800,000 from ExxonMobil.[12]

During the time that the Heartland Institute was contesting the health risks of secondhand smoke, it received significant funding from Philip Morris.[13][14]

Positions

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Global warming

The institute is a member organization of the Cooler Heads Coalition, which describes itself as "an informal and ad-hoc group focused on dispelling the myths of global warming."[15] The Cooler Heads Coalition is affiliated with the Competitive Enterprise Institute and receives funding from oil companies.[16]

Heartland's publications, which are edited by James Taylor, a Florida-based lawyer who servers as the Institute's Environmental "expert," make the following assertions about climate change:

  • "Most scientists do not believe human activities threaten to disrupt the Earth's climate."[17]
  • "The most reliable temperature data show no global warming trend."[17]
  • "A modest amount of global warming, should it occur, would be beneficial to the natural world and to human civilization."[17]
  • "The best strategy to pursue is one of 'no regrets'."[17]

In March 2008, and again in March 2009 the Heartland Institute sponsored an international conference bringing hundreds of global warming skeptics to New York City. Speakers included Richard Lindzen, a professor of meteorology at MIT; Roy Spencer, a former NASA scientist; S. Fred Singer, who was founding dean of the School of Environmental and Planetary Sciences at the University of Miami and founding director of the National Weather Satellite Service; Harrison Schmitt, a former NASA astronaut and Apollo 17 moonwalker; and John Theon, a former NASA administrator. Participants criticized the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Al Gore.[18][19]

In April 2008, environmental journalist Richard Littlemore wrote that a bibliography written by Dennis Avery and posted on Heartland’s Web site, titled "500 Scientists with Documented Doubts of Man-Made Global Warming Scares,”[20] included at least 45 scientists who neither knew of their inclusion as "coauthors" of the article, nor agreed with its claims regarding global warming. Dozens of the scientists asked the Heartland Institute to remove their names from the list; for instance, Gregory Cutter of Old Dominion University wrote, "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. Robert Whittaker, Professor of Biogeography, University of Oxford wrote "Please remove my name. What you have done is totally unethical!" [21]

In response, the Heartland Institute refused to remove any names from the list. It quoted Dennis Avery saying “Not all of these researchers would describe themselves as global warming skeptics,” said Avery, “but the evidence in their studies is there for all to see.” Heartland’s president, Joseph Bast, wrote “They have no right -- legally or ethically -- to demand that their names be removed from a bibliography composed by researchers with whom they disagree. Their names probably appear in hundreds or thousands of bibliographies accompanying other articles or in books with which they disagree. Do they plan to sue hundreds or thousands of their colleagues? The proper response is to engage in scholarly debate, not demand imperiously that the other side redact its publications.” [22]

Tobacco

The Institute has been actively involved in debate over tobacco policy, opposing restrictions on smoking and criticizing science which documents the harms of secondhand smoke.[23] Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights reported that there is a the close financial and organizational relationship between the tobacco industry and the Heartland Institute, and described the Heartland Institute as "an active partner of the tobacco industry".[24]

Publications

The Heartland Institute publishes five monthly public policy newspapers covering events three months after the fact, featuring articles written primarily by college-age freelance writers who receive little oversight or guidance. These include: Budget and Tax News, which advocates lower taxes and balanced budgets for states and the federal government; School Reform News, which calls for greater competition and school choice; Environment & Climate News, which focuses on "market-based environmental protection"; Health Care News, devoted to consumer-driven health care reform and edited by Ben Domenech; and Infotech and Telecom News, which covers the technology and telecommunications industries from a free market perspective. The five monthly publications have a circulation total of nearly 200,000.[25]

References

  1. ^ IRS Form 990 (2006), The Heartland Institute
  2. ^ "About Us". Heartland Institute. http://www.heartland.org/about/.  
  3. ^ Fleishman, Glenn (February 1, 2005). "Sock Puppets of Industry". WNN WiFi Net News. http://wifinetnews.com/archives/004765.html.  
  4. ^ Smith, Kit (August 10–24, 2005). "A Mighty Wind: Wind Power Threatens Corporate Bottom Line". The Beast. http://www.buffalobeast.com/81/wind.htm.  
  5. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions: Is Heartland a 'Front Group'?". Heartland Institute. http://heartland.org/FAQArticle.cfm?faqId=25. Retrieved 2008-08-22.  
  6. ^ http://www.heartland.org/FAQArticle.cfm?faqId=7
  7. ^ Bast, Joseph (April 13, 2007). "Welcome to The Heartland Institute!". Heartlander. The Heartland Institute. http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=10582.  
  8. ^ "Heartland Institute Funding". MediaTransparency. http://www.mediatransparency.com/recipientgrants.php?recipientID=152. Retrieved June 20, 2008.  
  9. ^ "Put a Tiger in Your Think Tank". Mother Jones. May/June 2005. http://motherjones.com/politics/2005/05/put-tiger-your-think-tank. Retrieved December 28, 2009.  
  10. ^ "Statement of Dr. James McCarthy" (PDF). House Science Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight. March 28, 2007. pp. 4. http://democrats.science.house.gov/Media/File/Commdocs/hearings/2007/oversight/28mar/mccarthy_testimony.pdf. Retrieved August 21, 2008.  
  11. ^ "Smoke, Mirrors & Hot Air—How ExxonMobil Uses Big Tobacco’s Tactics to Manufacture Uncertainty on Climate Science" (PDF). Union of Concerned Scientists. January 2007. p. 32. http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/global_warming/exxon_report.pdf. Retrieved Setpember 25, 2009.  
  12. ^ McKnight, David (August 2, 2008). "The climate change smokescreen". Sydney Morning Herald. http://www.smh.com.au/news/global-warming/the-climate-change-smokescreen/2008/08/01/1217097533885.html. Retrieved December 28, 2009.  
  13. ^ Connor, Steve (March 3, 2008). "Tobacco and oil pay for climate conference". The Independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/tobacco-and-oil-pay-for-climate-conference-790474.html?r=RSS. Retrieved December 28, 2009.  
  14. ^ England, Matthew (June 17, 2009). "How noisy naysayers led Fielding on to false path". Brisbane Times. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/how-noisy-naysayers-led-fielding-on-to-false-path-20090616-cghf.html. Retrieved December 28, 2009.  
  15. ^ "About GlobalWarming.org". Cooler Heads Coalition. http://www.globalwarming.org/about. Retrieved 2008-08-22.  
  16. ^ Hammond, Keith (December 4, 1997). "Wingnuts in Sheep's Clothing". Mother Jones. http://motherjones.com/politics/1997/12/wingnuts-sheeps-clothing. Retrieved December 28, 2009.  
  17. ^ a b c d Heartland Institute's "Instant Expert Guide: Global Warming" retrieved 4 March 2008
  18. ^ Cool View of Science at Meeting on Warming, by Andrew C. Revkin. Published in the New York Times on March 4, 2008; accessed March 4, 2008.
  19. ^ Tobacco and oil pay for climate conference, by Steve Connor. Published in The Independent on March 3, 2008; accessed March 4, 2008.
  20. ^ 500 Scientists Whose Research Contradicts Man-Made Global Warming Scares, by Dennis T. Avery. From the Heartland Institute website; published September 14, 2007, accessed June 20, 2008.
  21. ^ 500 Scientists with Documented Doubts - about the Heartland Institute?, by Richard Littlemore. Published April 29, 2008; accessed June 20, 2008.
  22. ^ "Controversy Arises Over Lists of Scientists Whose Research Contradicts Man-Made Global Warming Scares" (press release). Heartland Institute. May 5, 2008.
  23. ^ Talking Points on the Proposed Chicago Smoking Ban
    by Joseph L. Bast - by Joseph L. Bast - The Heartland Institute
  24. ^ Heartland Institute page from Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights. Accessed June 20, 2008.
  25. ^ "Staff: Joseph Bast". Heartland Institute. http://www.heartland.org/about/profileresults.html?profile=6110DE2CC2614EF79267933376E6B380&directory=0490F571009CFDBBCAA4E62B8A3EBAE2. Retrieved 2009-12-10.  

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