Thursday, April 17, 2008

Golden Ostrich Award for April 2008

The Golden Ostrich Award goes to James M. Taylor for his tireless efforts on behalf of the Heartland Institute to enlist the help of witless, rural politicians in promoting his traveling snake oil show, ostensibly to demonstrate the fair and balanced view of global warming.

The Heartland Institute campaigns against the Kyoto Protocol, which is aimed at countering global warming and the promotion of genetically engineered crops and products. Heartland supports the privatization of public services; opposes tobacco control measures and denies the health effects of second-hand smoke.

The Heartland Institute has received $791,500 from ExxonMobil since 1998.

The Heartland Institute created a web site in the Spring of 2007,, which asserts that there is no scientific consensus on global warming and features a list of experts, as well as a list of like-minded think tanks, many of whom have received funding from ExxonMobil and other polluters.

Walter F. Buchholtz, an ExxonMobil executive, serves as Heartland's Government Relations Advisor, reference Heartland's 2005 IRS Form 990, pg. 15, which is available at:

The Heartland Institute formerly sponsored and hosted, a web site which claimed to be dedicated to objective research on global warming, but presented heavily biased research in the FAQ section, by organizations such as the American Petroleum Institute.

Analysis of ExxonMobil’s 2006 World Giving Report demonstrates that ExxonMobil is still funneling millions of dollars to dozens of organizations that deny and distort the best available science on global warming, despite ExxonMobil's statements to the contrary. ExxonMobil has found itself in a firestorm of criticism. Respected scientists in the U.S. and in the U.K., and U.S. policy makers are urging the ExxonMobil to end its long-time disinformation campaign on global warming.

The Heartland Institute is also funded by the tobacco industry. According to a 1995 internal report by Philip Morris USA on its corporate contributions, Philip Morris uses its contributions "as a strategic tool to promote our overall business objectives and to advance our government affairs agenda", in particular by supporting "the work of free market 'think tanks' and other public policy groups whose philosophy is consistent with our point of view".

Roy Marden was a Corporate Affairs Policy Analyst and Manager of Industry Affairs at Philip Morris Companies in New York City, a position he left on May 15, 2003. He started working for Philip Morris circa 1985. He remains a director of The Heartland Institute… funded by the tobacco company.

An internal list compiled by Philip Morris of its "public policy grants" for 1995, lists forty-seven organizations for which Marden is designated as a contact. [2] Most of the listed organizations were also recipients of funding from the company. While the Heartland Institute once disclosed its major supporters, it now refuses to publicly disclose the funds received from corporate and foundation supporter.

“The Great Global Warming Swindle” (video/movie) is a pseudo-documentary in which British television producer and director Martin Durkin has fraudulently misrepresented both the data involved and scientists who have researched global climate. The program was originally aired on England’s Channel 4 (The Supermarket Tabloid of the airwaves). Channel 4 has had to issue a prime-time apology for broadcasting a prior Martin Durkin sleazebag, pseudo-documentary.

“The Great Global Warming Swindle” is aimed at, and appeals to the “Don’t bother me with the facts - I’ve already made up my mind” audience. A Leading US climate scientist is considering legal action after he says he was duped into appearing in a Channel 4 documentary that claimed man-made global warming is a myth. Carl Wunsch, professor of physical oceanography at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said,"The Great Global Warming Swindle" is "grossly distorted" and "as close to pure propaganda as anything since World War Two".

Martin Durkin has links to the Revolutionary Communist Party and its offshoots; Living Marxism and Spiked, a magazine and associated political network that promotes libertarian views, and is highly critical of environmentalism.


Sponsored by...

State Representatives:
Mark Olson
Tom Hackbarth
Sondra Erickson
Tom Emmer
Joyce Pepin
Bruce Anderson
Rob Eastland
Chris Delaforest
Ryan Flugaur

State Senators:
Mike Jungbauer
Betsy Wergin
Amy Kock
Warren Limmer

Update, May 11, 2008:

U of M scientists protest their inclusion on think tank's list of climate change deniers