I may be flattering myself, but I may have become a target of the Heartland Institute. If you are not familiar with this prize group, they are one of the prime climate change denier organizations. If they really are targeting me then I am truly flattered.
I made some comments on a blog posting by Tom Donelson on a website called Texas GOP Vote pointing out many flaws in his claims. What happened? I got challenged to a debate by James Rust of the Heartland Institute. He wanted each of us to put up $10,000 for a two hour debate. The winner got to donate the money to his choice of charity. I don’t work for charity, and I certainly am not going to be crazy enough to pay $10,000 for every chance to debate a denier. With their stack of money I would go broke very quickly. Instead, I invited him to take up my $10,000 Global Warming Skeptic Challenge. So far, no submission from him. Funny, if it is as much of a sure thing as they claim, you would think it wouldn’t be any trouble for them to prove their point. Well, what do you expect, after all.
Then, today, I received a comment from Russell Cook, also of the Heartland Institute. It seemed to me to be some kind of intimidating message. He wanted me to reveal what proof I had of my statements and he wanted to know if I had all of this clandestine information on skeptics. Really weird. What I find very interesting is that the Heartland Institute has someone on their staff (payroll?) with (according to their webpage) a job description that includes this statement:
He specializes in research of the origins of accusations leveled at skeptics and the associations of people surrounding it, most notably anti-skeptic book author Ross Gelbspan.
Really? They have a guy for the purpose of hunting down people that criticize deniers? And, he specializes in one author in particular? This really says an awful (emphasis on awful) lot about the Heartland Institute and Russell Cook.
Now, this blog is not about exposing deniers and criticizing them, no matter how much fun it is. This blog is to discuss the issues of global warming and highlight science on the subject. But, when something is put forward by groups of individuals it is reasonable to investigate the background of those individuals. It really is unfortunate that all the climate change deniers have what I would generously call questionable backgrounds. That is not the point of my postings, but it is relevant.
So, I have now been challenged by two individuals from the Heartland Institute within a matter of a couple of weeks. Why in the world do they feel so threatened by a little blogger like me? If this blog and my comments upset them so much, wait until they read my book. Boy, are they gonna be pissed!