Leaked documents reveal corporate funders behind climate denier campaign


DeSmogBlog and others have obtained leaked internal documents from U.S. right wing think tank the Heartland Institute that confirm its corporate funding, revealing 2012 climate denial strategies to influence teachers and plans to and bring more fossil fuel company funding alongside. The documents reveal the existence of a major anonymous donor as well as substantial donations from the Koch brothers.


@Microsoft @GM Phillip Morris, Koch Brothers: funding Heartland to ensure kids don’t learn about climate change http://t.co/i27iq1jO #deniergate

Key Points

  • The Heartland Institute is one of the U.S. think tanks at the heart of the campaign denying climate science.  These documents prove many of the worst allegations made against the organization over their two-decade fight against climate science.
  • Leaked documents show that they have a secret donor who has given more than $1 million for them to run this climate science denial campaign.  Other funders include Microsoft, Phillip Morris and the Koch brothers.
  • The documents contain plans to undermine the US school curriculum in climate science, and a fundraising drive that could target “…corporations whose interests are threatened by climate policies.”  The documents were leaked to DeSmogBlog by an insider.


The Chicago-based Heartland Institute is one of the leading U.S. think tanks at the forefront of climate denial, recently running annual conferences sponsored by a global network of similar organizations.




Additional Coverage:

  • Desmogblog’s initial report on the leaked documents, and more analysis in a follow-up report.
  • The Guardian’s report on the documents including, an excellent summary of the,“startling revelations and the unambiguous, clear intent of language used will certainly act to shine a much stronger spotlight on how climate sceptics, particularly in the US, operate and collude.”
  • Huffington Post report describing Heartland’s actions as “truly Machiavellian strategy.”
  • MSNBC report focusing on the Heartland’s plans to teach climate skepticism in American schools.
  • Discover Magazine compares Heartland’s statement on 2009 ‘Climategate’ scandal and the current ‘deniergate’ situation.
  • Think Progress Green on Heartland’s plans for anti-climate science in school curriculum.
  • Greg Laden’s piece breaking down Heartland’s fundraising strategy and  the K-12 scheme.
  • Climate Crock post comparing Heartland’s Joe Bast to Joe Camel.
  • Graham Readfearn talks to one of the scientists about being paid by Heartland.
  • Deep Climate’s breakdown of the Heartland documents including analysis of the K-12 education plan.
  • Guardian report from 2010 on past efforts to strip climate science from American K-12 classrooms

More Tweets

@kellyrigg  Corporate funders of Heartland: @Bayer @GM @pfizer @Microsoft @GSK: #Climate denial in your name. U ok with that? #deniergate

RT @GeorgeMonbiot: Among Heartland Inst’s objectives: “dissuading teachers from teaching science.” I kid you not. http://t.co/i27iq1jO #deniergate

RT @drgrist: @HeartlandInst pays climate skeptics: Fred Singer $5K/month, Anthony Watts on track for $90,000 in 2012. http://is.gd/Lm5wwp #deniergate

RT @DeSmogBlog Heartland Institute Exposed: Internal Documents Unmask Heart of Climate Denial Machine bit.ly/zkscsl

RT @GuardianEco Leak exposes how Heartland Institute works to undermine climate science gu.com/p/35fdf/tf