When the news first broke on this, I was reminded of something I had read about a year ago. I wrote a review of that great but disturbing book called Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Orekes and Erik M. Conway. I looked up the connection and found this on the the Wikipedia listing of the Heartland Institute:
In 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.”
Yes, this is indeed one of those organizations. I thought it might be worth restating my point from that review:
If the people can be led to believe that science is not, in general, trustworthy, then they can be convinced of any absurdity that favors a wealthy industry.
This book will be extremely disturbing for all scientists and followers of science. It is disturbing to all scientists, that is, who aren’t willing to prostitute their credentials out for personal gain.
I wish a scientist could have his (to be expected perhaps, the vast majority of deniers are male) credentials revoked for malpractice in the same manner as a physician.