DeSmog

Utah's "Sutherland Institute" joins the Heartland misinformation campaign

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Part 1 of “Ew, I just stepped in a Heartland study!”

A headline on Utah’s KCPW public radio exclaims “Conservative Think Tank Says Global Warming Needs More Study,” originates from a news release issued by a group calling themselves the “Sutherland Institute.”

Sutherland president Paul T. Mero argues that there is so much uncertainty surrounding the science of climate change that it is just too early for government to form any public policy.

Mero and his Institute are touting a “study” (pdf) released earlier this year by their “sister” think tank, the dubious Heartland Institute as evidence of their conclusion.

Of course anything coming out of the Heartland Institute is questionable, however, Mero assures us all that “For skeptics, we went out of our way to include a special analysis of the methodology used to create this study. This report is an honest reflection of the international scientific community…”

Right. This “study” by the Heartland Institute, that is now being distributed to 10,000 Utahns, has so many holes I’ve decided to do a series of posts today highlighting its many subtle (and some not-so-subtle) little tricks and turns.

I’ve decided to call the series: “Ew, I just stepped in a Heartland study!”

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Kevin is a contributor and strategic adviser to DeSmog. He runs the digital marketing agency Spake Media House. Named a “Green Hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine and one of the “Top 50 Tweeters” on climate change and environment issues, Kevin has appeared in major news media outlets around the world for his work on digital campaigning. Kevin has been involved in the public policy arena in both the United States and Canada for more than a decade. For five years he was the managing editor of DeSmogBlog.com. In this role, Kevin’s research into the “climate denial industry” and the right-wing think tank networks was featured in news media articles around the world. He is most well known for his ground-breaking research into David and Charles Koch’s massive financial investments in the Republican and tea party networks. Kevin is the first person to be designated a “Certified Expert” on the political and community organizing platform NationBuilder. Prior to DeSmog, Kevin worked in various political and government roles. He was Senior Advisor to the Minister of State for Multiculturalism and a Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Asia Pacific, Foreign Affairs for the Government of Canada. Kevin also worked in various roles in the British Columbia provincial government in the Office of the Premier and the Ministry of Health. In 2008 Kevin co-founded a groundbreaking new online election tool called Vote for Environment which was later nominated for a World Summit Award in recognition of the world’s best e-Content and innovative ICT applications. Kevin moved to Washington, DC in 2010 where he worked for two years as the Director of Online Strategy for Greenpeace USA and has since returned to his hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

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