Heartland Institute Tricked Video Subject in "Unstoppable Solar Cycles"

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The principal subject of a Heartland Institute DVD that challenges the science of global warming says she was tricked into participating.

Rie Oldenburg, curator of the Narsaq Museum in Southern Greenland, says she was told that she was contributing to a video on Norse history. But she was horrified to learn that the interview was used to contribute to a DVD that denies the human contribution to climate change.

The video, Unstoppable Solar Cycles: The Real Story of Greenland, was produced by the Idea Channel, an advocacy organization that exists to promote the free-market economic theories of Milton Friedman. Idea Channel spokesperson Christina Belsky said last week that the video was funded by a private donor and by the Heartland Institute, which has been distributing it to high schools in Canada and sending it out, unsolicited, to other individuals. Belsky said the Idea Channel also plans to rework the material and send out a new version to schools in the United States through another right-wing advocacy organization called Izzit.org.

When informed about the full content of the DVD (which the Idea Channel had never brought to her attention), Rie Oldenburg said, “I am somewhat horrified.” The Narsaq Museum had just helped convene an environmental seminar intended to call people’s attention to the dangers of human-caused climate change, she said.

Oldenburg said the video team had called her on short notice and had provided nothing in writing as to their intentions. She said they also told Ingibjorg Gisladottir that they were shooting the video for the Discovery Channel.

The Heartland Institute has taken over from the Competitive Enterprise Institute as the leading American think tank in the battle to deny global warming. Heartland sponsored the Denial-a-palooza in New York in March this year and has been the leading distributor of a bogus scientific paper that purports to include the work of 500 highly qualified scientists in denying climate science. Although dozens of scientists have condemned Heartland and the paper, and have demanded that their names be withdrawn – a demand that Heartland has now rejected.

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