The Heartland Institute, the world’s most prominent think-tank promoting scepticism about man-made climate change, is getting a lot of heat. In recent weeks it has lost an estimated $825,000 in expected donations, a couple of directors and almost its entire branch in Washington, DC. At its annual shindig in Chicago this week, the institute’s president, Joseph Bast, said Heartland had “discovered who our real friends are.” The 100-odd guests who failed to show up for the “7th Climate Conference” were not among them.
The institute’s problems began in February when an American water scientist, Peter Gleick, published internal Heartland documents that he had obtained under a false name. They provided details of its accounts—including references to an anonymous donor who gave $8.6m between 2007 and 2011—and of a plan to send teaching materials denouncing global warming to American primary schools.