The Heartland Institute
||The neutrality of this article is disputed. (August 2015)|
||The lead section of this article may need to be rewritten. The reason given is: it does not represent a summary of the entire article per WP:LEAD. (April 2015)|
|Key people||President and CEO: Joseph L. Bast
Chairman: Herbert J. Walberg
(FYE December 2013)
|Slogan||Ideas that Empower People|
|Location||One South Wacker
Chicago, Illinois, USA
The Heartland Institute is an American conservative and libertarian public policy think tank founded in 1984 and based in Chicago. The Institute conducts work on issues including education reform, government spending, taxation, healthcare, education, tobacco policy, global warming, hydraulic fracturing, information technology, and free-market environmentalism.
The Heartland Institute is the primary American supporter of climate change denial. It rejects the scientific consensus that global warming poses a significant danger to the planet and that human activity is driving it, and says that policies to fight it would be damaging to the economy.
- 1 History
- 2 Policy positions
- 3 Actions on global warming
- 3.1 Heartland's list of scientists said to doubt global warming
- 3.2 Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change and Climate Change Reconsidered
- 3.3 International Conferences on Climate Change
- 3.4 May 2012 billboard campaign
- 3.5 October 2012 repeal of mandates on renewable energy
- 3.6 June 2013 Chinese Academy of Sciences
- 3.7 April 2015 Vatican Council on climate change
- 4 Funding
- 5 2012 release of internal documents
- 6 Periodicals
- 7 Books
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 External links
The Heartland Institute was founded in 1984 by Chicago investor David H. Padden, who served as the organization's chairman until 1995. Padden had been a director of the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C., since its founding as the Charles Koch Foundation in 1974. Padden was also a former director of Citizens for a Sound Economy, the Acton Institute, the Foundation for Economic Education, and the Center for Libertarian Studies.
At age 26, Joseph L. Bast became Heartland's first employee, and remains Heartland's first and only president and chief executive officer. Bast's wife Diane is Heartland's publications director.
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 nationwide.
After the election of U.S. President Barack Obama in November 2008, the Heartland Institute became involved with the Tea Party movement. According to the organization's director of communications, speaking at the sixth International Conference on Climate Change in 2011: "The support of the Tea Party groups across the country has been extremely valuable." Heartland was among the organizers of the September 2009 Tea Party protest march, the Taxpayer March on Washington. In support of the Tea Party movement, Heartland offered free literature and other assistance to Tea Party activists, created a website "www.teapartytoolbox.org", and distributed a free book, The Patriot's Toolbox.
Heartland says it has a full-time staff of 29, including editors and senior fellows, as well as 222 unpaid policy advisors. As of 2015, the Heartland Institute's board of directors includes Bast, Chicago real estate property manager Robert Buford, Texas lobbyist Jeff Judson, investment fund manager Brian D. Singer, and Dan Hales. Heartland is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity. It reported revenues of $4.8 million in 2013.
The Heartland Institute promotes climate change denial, advocates for smoker's rights, for the privatization of public resources including school privatization, for school vouchers, for lower taxes and against subsidies and tax credits for individual businesses, and against an expanded federal role in health care, among other issues.
In addition to lobbying activities, Heartland hosts an internet application called "Policybot" which serves as a clearinghouse for research from organizations such as The Heritage Foundation, the American Legislative Exchange Council, and the Cato Institute.
According to the 2014 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report (Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program, University of Pennsylvania), Heartland is number 69 (of 70) of "Think Tanks with the Most Significant Impact on Public Policy".
Heartland has long questioned the links between tobacco smoking, secondhand smoke, and lung cancer and the social costs imposed by smokers. One of Heartland’s first and most prominent campaigns was against tobacco regulation. According to the Los Angeles Times, Heartland's advocacy for the tobacco industry is one of the two things Heartland is most widely known for.
During the 1990s, the Heartland Institute worked with tobacco company Philip Morris to question the links between smoking, secondhand smoke and health risks. Philip Morris commissioned Heartland to write and distribute reports. Heartland published a policy study which summarized a jointly prepared report by the Association of Private Enterprise Education and Philip Morris. The Heartland Institute also undertook a variety of other activities on behalf of the tobacco industry, including meeting with legislators, holding off-the-record briefings, and producing op-eds, radio interviews, and letters.:233-234
A 1993 internal "Five Year Plan" from Philip Morris to address environmental tobacco smoke regulation called for support for the efforts of the Heartland Institute. In 1996, Heartland president and chief executive officer Joe Bast wrote an essay entitled "Joe Camel is Innocent!," which said that contributions from the tobacco industry to Republican political campaigns were most likely because Republicans "have been leading the fight against the use of 'junk science' by the Food and Drug Administration and its evil twin, the Environmental Protection Agency." In the "President's Letter" in the July 1998 issue of The Heartlander, the Heartland Institute's magazine, Bast wrote an essay "Five Lies about Tobacco", which said "smoking in moderation has few, if any, adverse health effects." In 1999, Bast referenced the essays in soliciting financial support from Philip Morris, writing "Heartland does many things that benefit Philip Morris' bottom line, things that no other organization does." A Philip Morris executive, the firm's manager of industrial affairs, was a member of the board of directors of the Heartland Institute.
In 2005, the Heartland Institute opposed Chicago's public smoking ban, one of the strictest bans in the country.
In 2006, the Heartland Institute published Please Don't Poop in My Salad: And Other Essays Against the War on Smoking, an anthology of essays written over the 1990s and 2000s that broadly defends smokers.
The Heartland Institute disagrees with the scientific consensus on climate change, but does not dispute that climate change itself is occurring. Rather, it says that human activities are not driving climate change, the amount of climate change is not catastrophic, and might be beneficial, and that the economic costs of trying to mitigate climate change exceed the benefits. According to the New York Times, Heartland is "the primary American organization pushing climate change skepticism." Heartland uses a characterization from The Economist, "the world’s most prominent think tank promoting skepticism about man-made climate change” as a banner on the main page of the environmental section of their website.
In their 2010 book Merchants of Doubt, Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway wrote that the Heartland Institute was known "for its persistent questioning of climate science, for its promotion of 'experts' who have done little, if any, peer-reviewed climate research, and for its sponsorship of a conference in New York City in 2008 alleging that the scientific community's work on global warming is fake.":233 The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society in a chapter "Organized Climate Change Denial" identified Heartland as a conservative think tank with a strong interest in environmental and climate issues involved in climate change denial.:149 Heartland "emerged as a leading force in climate change denial" in the decade 2003-2013, according to sociology professor Riley Dunlap of Oklahoma State University and political science professor Peter J. Jacques of the University of Central Florida. Heartland Institute staff "recognize that climate change is a profound threat to our economic and social systems and therefore deny its scientific reality," wrote Naomi Klein in This Changes Everything.:211
The Heartland Institute is a critic of current federal, state, and local budgets and tax codes. Several of Heartland Institute's budgetary views include privatization of federal services to a competitive marketplace, changing the tax code to a more simplified version of the current code, and implementing Taxpayer Savings Grants.
In 1987, the Heartland Institute advocated for tenant ownership of the Chicago Housing Authority's Cabrini-Green Homes public housing complex through a cooperative or condominium conversion. In 1990, the Heartland Institute advocated for lower taxes in Illinois to foster job growth.
The Institute advocated for the privatization of Illinois' toll highway system in 1999 and 2000. In 2008, the Institute opposed state subsidies and tax credits for local film productions, saying the economic benefits are less than the incentives.
The Heartland Institute supports the availability of charter schools, providing education tax credits to attend private schools, expanding federal vouchers for low-income students to attend a public or private school of their family's choosing, and the Parent Trigger reform that started in California. The Institute supports the introduction of market reforms into the public education system to increase competition and provide more options and greater choice for parents and their children.
In 2014 the Institute published Rewards: How to use rewards to help children learn - and why teachers don't use them well co-authored by Heartland president Joseph Bast, which argued that the public education system should embrace incentives and rewards to spur student achievement.
The Heartland Institute advocates for free-market reforms in healthcare and opposes federal control over the healthcare industry. Heartland supports Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), replacing federal tax deductions for employer-based healthcare with a refundable tax credit to allow individual choice over health insurance, removing state and Federal healthcare regulations aimed at providers and consumers of healthcare, and reducing litigation costs which are associated with malpractice suits.
In 2015 the Institute filed an amicus curiae brief in in support of the petitioner in King v. Burwell, a Supreme Court case challenging income tax subsidies to those who enroll in health insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act via the federal as opposed to the state health insurance exchanges.
The Heartland Institute advocates for hydraulic fracturing, a well-stimulation technique in which rock is fractured by pressurized liquid composed of water, sand, and chemicals. Heartland published essays in support of hydraulic fracturing in the Chicago Tribune, the New York Post, The Hill, Crain's Chicago Business, and others. On March 20, 2015, Heartland's science director defended hydraulic fracturing on the Your World With Neil Cavuto program on Fox News.
Actions on global warming
Heartland's list of scientists said to doubt global warming
In 2008, a bibliography written by Dennis T. Avery was posted on Heartland’s website, titled "500 Scientists with Documented Doubts of Man-Made Global Warming Scares”. In late April 2008, Heartland reported that the website DeSmogBlog had "targeted The Heartland Institute in late April 2008, and in particular two lists posted on Heartland’s Web site of scientists whose published work contradicts some of the main tenets of global warming alarmism." The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the work of Jim Salinger, chief scientist at New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, was "misrepresented" as part of a "denial campaign". In response to criticism, the Heartland Institute changed the title of the list to “500 Scientists Whose Research Contradicts Man-Made Global Warming Scares.” Heartland did not remove any scientist's name from the list.
Avery explained, "Not all of these researchers would describe themselves as global warming skeptics...but the evidence in their studies is there for all to see.”[nb 1] Heartland's "reply to critics" page states, "Heartland posted a bibliography of peer-reviewed articles, originally produced by Avery for the Hudson Institute, that question one or more of the fundamental assumptions of the global warming alarmists e.g., whether the Medieval Warm Period was global, whether it was warmer than the second half of the 20th century, etc." and concludes, "The important point at the base of this controversy is that the published work of many scientists, even those who publicly support the alarmist position in the global warming debate, supports the view that most or all of the modern warming is due to natural causes."
Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change and Climate Change Reconsidered
Since 2008, Heartland has published the work of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), an international group of scientists who analyze the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other published, peer-reviewed studies that relate to climate change. The aggregated work of the NIPCC is known as "Climate Change Reconsidered" and concludes, in contradiction to the IPCC, that human emissions will not lead to dangerous global warming and climate change.
International Conferences on Climate Change
Heartland's conventions of climate change doubters are one of the things Heartland is most widely known for, according to the Los Angeles Times. Between 2008 and 2015 the Heartland Institute has organized ten International Conferences on Climate Change, bringing together hundreds of global warming skeptics. Conference speakers have included Richard Lindzen, a professor of meteorology at MIT; Roy Spencer, a research scientist and climatologist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville; S. Fred Singer, a senior fellow of the Heartland Institute and 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 geologist and former NASA astronaut and Apollo 17 moonwalker; Dr. John Theon, atmospheric scientist and former NASA supervisor; and Wei-Hock "Willie" Soon, a part-time employee of the Solar and Stellar Physics (SSP) Division of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
In the first conference, participants criticized the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Al Gore. In 2010 the BBC reported that the heavily politicized nature of the Heartland conferences led some "moderate" climate skeptics to avoid them. In an article in The Nation, the 6th conference was described as "the premier gathering for those dedicated to denying the overwhelming scientific consensus that human activity is warming the planet". The 7th conference (May 2012) was the main subject of the October 2012 documentary, Climate of Doubt, by Frontline, a public television series of original, in-depth documentaries. At the conclusion of the 7th conference, Heartland president Joseph Bast announced that the organization might discontinue the conferences, but the eighth conference was held in Munich, Germany later the same year (30 November and 1 December 2012). The ninth conference was held during July of 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The tenth conference is scheduled for June 11-12, 2015 in Washington D.C.
May 2012 billboard campaign
On May 4, 2012, the Institute launched a digital billboard advertisement campaign in the Chicago area featuring a photo of Ted Kaczynski, the "Unabomber" whose mail bombs killed three people and injured 23 others, and asking the question, “I still believe in global warming, do you?” The Institute planned for the campaign to feature murderer Charles Manson, communist leader Fidel Castro and perhaps Osama bin Laden, asking the same question. In a statement, the Institute justified the billboards saying "the most prominent advocates of global warming aren’t scientists. They are murderers, tyrants, and madmen."
The billboard reportedly "unleashed a social media-fed campaign, including a petition from the advocacy group Forecast the Facts calling on Heartland’s corporate backers to immediately pull their funding," and prompted Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) to threaten to cancel his speech at the upcoming seventh International Conference on Climate Change organized by Heartland. (Sensenbrenner ultimately did speak at the conference.) Within 24 hours Heartland cancelled the campaign, although its president refused to apologize for it.[nb 2] The advertising campaign led to the resignation of two of the Institute's 12 board members, and the resignation of almost the entire Heartland Washington D.C. office, taking the Institute's biggest project (on insurance) with it. The staff of the former Heartland insurance project founded the R Street Institute and announced they "will not promote climate change skepticism."
Following the 2012 document leak and the controversial billboard campaign, substantial funding was lost as corporate donors, including the General Motors Foundation, sought to dissociate themselves from the Institute. According to the advocacy group Forecast the Facts, Heartland lost more than $825,000, or one third of planned corporate fundraising for the year. The shortfall led to sponsorship of the Institute's May 2012 climate conference by Illinois' coal lobby, the Illinois Coal Association, the Institute's "first publicly acknowledged donations from the coal industry," and the Heritage Foundation. The billboard controversy led to the loss of substantial corporate funding, including telecommunications firm AT&T, financial service firm BB&T, alcoholic beverage company Diageo and about two dozen insurance companies, including State Farm and the United Services Automobile Association. Pharmaceutical companies Amgen, Eli Lilly, Bayer and GlaxoSmithKline ended financial support. Heartland's May, 2012 climate conference was smaller than previous years.
October 2012 repeal of mandates on renewable energy
The Heartland Institute wrote model legislation to repeal mandates on renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, and presented the model legislation to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a nonprofit organization of conservative state legislators and private sector representatives that drafts and shares model state-level legislation for distribution among state governments in the United States. ALEC's board of directors adopted the model legislation in October 2012.
June 2013 Chinese Academy of Sciences
In 2013, the Chinese Academy of Sciences published a report from the Heartland Institute in order to better understand the public debate and encourage discussion of other views. The preface included a disclaimer that the Academy did not endorse the views in the report, but in June, the Heartland Institute falsely announced that the Chinese Academy of Sciences supported their views, and said the publication placed significant scientific weight against climate change. The Chinese Academy of Sciences, responding to the announcement, said "The claim of the Heartland Institute about CAS’ endorsement of its report is completely false," clarified that they did not endorse the views of the Heartland Institute, and asked for a retraction.
April 2015 Vatican Council on climate change
On 28 April 2015, the Catholic Church convened a council to discuss the religious implications of global warming. Held at the Vatican and hosted by the Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Sciences, it was attended by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, as well as national presidents, CEOs, academics, scientists, and representatives of the world's major religions. The Heartland Institute sent a delegation in an attempt to present a dissenting opinion. It held a “prebuttal” of the conference and argued that climate science does not justify papal recognition of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. After the council ended, a representative (Marc Morano) from the Heartland Institute broke into a press briefing being given by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who was reporting on his meeting with the Pope. He interrupted the Secretary-General and the moderator, asking that global-warming skeptics being allowed to speak. After a few minutes, he was escorted from the premises by Vatican officials. In response to the papal encyclical “Laudato Si'”, which outlined the Church’s moral case for addressing climate change, and in anticipation of Pope Francis’ September, 2015 visit to the United States, Gene Koprowski, director of marketing for the Heartland Institute, suggested that the Pope's pronouncements on climate change indicate that “pagan forms are returning to the Church this day." 
The Heartland Institute no longer discloses its funding sources, stating that it had ended its practice of donor transparency after experiencing the organized harassment of its donors.  According to its brochures, Heartland receives money from approximately 5,000 individuals and organizations, and no single corporate entity donates more than 5% of the operating budget, although the figure for individual donors can be much higher, with a single anonymous donor providing $4.6 million in 2008, and $979,000 in 2011, accounting for 20% of Heartland's overall budget, according to reports of a leaked fundraising plan. Heartland states that it does not accept government funds and does not conduct contract research for special-interest groups.
In 2010, MediaTransparency said that Heartland 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.[dead link] Between 2002 and 2010, Donors Trust, a nonprofit donor-advised fund, granted $13.5 million to the Heartland Institute. In 2011, the Institute received $25,000 from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation. The Charles Koch Foundation states that the contribution was "$25,000 to the Heartland Institute in 2011 for research in healthcare, not climate change, and this was the first and only donation the Foundation made to the institute in more than a decade".
Oil and gas companies have contributed to the Heartland Institute, including $736,500 from ExxonMobil between 1998 and 2005. Greenpeace reported that Heartland received almost $800,000 from ExxonMobil. In 2008, ExxonMobil said that it would stop funding to groups skeptical of climate warming, including Heartland. Joseph Bast, president of the Heartland Institute, argued that ExxonMobil was simply distancing itself from Heartland out of concern for its public image.
The Heartland Institute has also received funding and support from tobacco companies Philip Morris,:234 Altria and Reynolds American, and pharmaceutical industry firms GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Eli Lilly. State Farm Insurance, USAA and Diageo are former supporters. The Independent reported that Heartland's receipt of donations from Exxon and Philip Morris indicates a "direct link...between anti-global warming sceptics funded by the oil industry and the opponents of the scientific evidence showing that passive smoking can damage people's health." The Heartland Institutes opposes legislation on passive smoking as infringing on personal liberty and the rights of owners of bars and other establishments.
As of 2006, the Walton Family Foundation had contributed approximately $300,000 to Heartland. The Institute published an op-ed in the Louisville Courier-Journal defending Wal-Mart against criticism over its treatment of workers. The Walton Family Foundation donations were not disclosed in the op-ed, and the editor of the Courier-Journal stated that he was unaware of the connection and would probably not have published the op-ed had he known of it. The St. Petersburg Times described the Heartland Institute as "particularly energetic defending Wal-Mart." Heartland has stated that its authors were not "paid to defend Wal-Mart" and did not receive funding from the corporation; it did not disclose the approximately $300,000 received from the Walton Family Foundation.
In 2012, a large number of sponsors withdrew funding due to the leak of their climate change strategy and the controversy over their billboard campaign. The Institute lost an estimated $825,000, or one third of planned corporate fundraising for the year.
2012 release of internal documents
On February 14, 2012, the global warming blog DeSmogBlog published more than one hundred pages of internal Heartland documents; initially anonymously sourced but later found to come via Peter Gleick.   The documents included a fundraising plan, board of directors meeting minutes, and the organization's 2012 budget. The documents were analysed by major media, including The New York Times, The Guardian, United Press International and the Associated Press. Donors to the Heartland Institute disclosed included the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, Microsoft, General Motors, Comcast, Reynolds American, Philip Morris, Amgen, Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Eli Lilly, liquor companies, and an anonymous donor who had given $13 million over the past five years.
The documents contained details of payments to support climate skeptics and their programs, namely the founder of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change Craig Idso ($11,600 per month), physicist Fred Singer ($5,000 plus expenses per month), geologist Robert M. Carter ($1,667 per month) and $90,000 to blogger and former meteorologist Anthony Watts. The documents also revealed the Heartland Institute's plan to develop curriculum materials to be provided to teachers in the United States to promote climate skepticism, plans confirmed by the Associated Press. The documents also disclosed Heartland's $612,000 plan to support Wisconsin Act 10 and to influence the Wisconsin's recall elections called "Operation Angry Badger." Carter and Watts confirmed receiving payments.
Several environmental organizations called on General Motors and Microsoft to sever their ties with Heartland. Climate scientists called on Heartland to "recognise how its attacks on science and scientists have poisoned the debate about climate change policy."
The Heartland Institute publishes four monthly public policy newspapers aimed at state legislators:
- 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.
- Bast, Joseph L. (2006). Please Don't Poop in My Salad. Chicago: The Heartland Institute. ISBN 0978695909.
- Bast, Joseph L.; Gilder, George; Gilroy, Leonard; Glans, Matthew; Haney, Hance; Lehrer, Eli; Moore, Adrian; Stanek, Steve; Vedder, Richard; Walberg, Herbert J. (October 1, 2010). The Patriot's Toolbox: Eighty Principles for Restoring Our Freedom and Prosperity (PDF). The Heartland Institute. ISBN 1934791334.
- Idso, Craig Douglas; Singer, Siegfried Fred (2009). Climate change reconsidered: 2009 report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change. The Heartland Institute. ISBN 978-1934791288.
- Singer, S. Fred (2008). Nature, not human activity, rules the climate. The Heartland Institute. ISBN 978-1934791011.
- Watts, Anthony (2009). Is the US surface temperature record reliable?. The Heartland Institute. ISBN 978-1934791295.
- 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."
- President Joseph Bast issued a statement saying: "We know that our billboard angered and disappointed many of Heartland’s friends and supporters, but we hope they understand what we were trying to do with this experiment. We do not apologize for running the ad, and we will continue to experiment with ways to communicate the ‘realist’ message on the climate."
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...the Heartland Institute, the primary American organization pushing climate change skepticism...
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The Heartland Institute, a leading think-tank promoting climate change denial...
- Michael Mann (2013). The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines. Columbia University Press. p. 64. ISBN 0231152558.
Many organizations have settled in the Potemkin village of climate change denial. Among them are the American Enterprise Institute...Heartland Institute
- James Hoggan, Richard Littlemore (2009). Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming. Greystone Books Ltd. p. 79. ISBN 1553654854.
Similarly, the Heartland Institute, a small regional think tank in the 1990s, emerged as a leading force in climate change denial in the past decade
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They include right-wing think tanks such as the Heartland Institute...
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The first international conference designed to question the scientific consensus on climate change is being sponsored by a right-wing American think-tank which receives money from the oil industry.
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At the world's biggest gathering of climate change sceptics, organised by the right-wing Heartland Institute...
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Jay Lehr, science director at the right-wing Heartland Institute, concurs.
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