A group of climate scientists has written a letter to the Heartland Institute urging the nonprofit group to “recognize how its attacks on science and scientists have helped poison the debate over climate change policy,” The Guardian newspaper reports.
The institute found itself in a quandary this week when its own internal documents were leaked online by an anonymous party. Among other things, the documents described a plan by Heartland to promote a school curriculum casting global warming as a controversial theory rather than one on which there was a scientific consensus.
“We know what it feels like to have private information stolen and posted online via illegal hacking,” the scientists write in the letter, posted online by The Guardian. “It happened to climate researchers in 2009 and again in 2011.”
Yet “in 2009, the Heartland Institute was among the groups that spread false allegations about what these stolen e-mails said,” the letter continues. “Despite multiple independent investigations, which demonstrated that allegations against scientists were false, the Heartland Institute continued to attack scientists based on the stolen e-mails.”