What David Suzuki and I have in common

Rather a lot, actually.


We’re both scientists, although he is one of far greater renown. We’re both global warming activists, although he has far greater reach.

And we have about the same regard for the so-called “Heartland Institute.” Evidently they sent some of their propaganda to Suzuki. In his response, he didn’t spare their feelings. He even corrected modified their address for his response:

Suzuki makes it plain that he has a rather low opinion of the so-called “Heartland Institute”

In case you have trouble reading his handwriting, here’s the text of his message:


I am a scientist and I take great umbrage at being sent such a load of crap from a bullshit shill organization for the oil industry. You are the most anti-science group I can imagine.

As for me … I quite agree. With Suzuki.

Now why, some of the bunnies may be wondering, am I (and now you) privy to what is essentially a private communication? It’s because Jim Lakely of the so-called “Heartland Institute” decided to make it public. On the WUWT blog no less. My blushes!

Lakely’s theme is that “David didn’t get the memo that we should tone down the rhetoric and try to get along.” But … when is private communication “rhetoric”? Oh yeah — when Jim Lakely decides it is!

Gosh … I wonder how well the so-called “Heartland Institute” tones down the rhetoric and tries to get along?

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44 responses to “What David Suzuki and I have in common

  1. You mean the “Heartland-we’re-not-Unibombers Institute?”

  2. They’re losing it. Whatever little of it they have left.

  3. Eileen Kinley

    Given the connection between Dr. Suzuki and deSmogBlog (Jim Hoggan being involved with both), I can well imagine why Heartland would use any opportunity to demonize Dr. Suzuki.

  4. Horatio Algeranon

    “David and Goliath”
    — Horatio Algeranon’s versification of David Suzuki

    As a scientist, I take great umbrage
    At being sent a load of dumbrage
    From a Heartland shill for fossil fuel,
    An anti-science, colossal tool.

  5. Any one here know how one lgoes about lobbying for Horatio to be named poet Laureate of the US?

  6. Tamino, you have great analytical chops. Want to try and take on a real tough one? Tackle the issue of global oil monopsony premium. You can take on the big money behind Heartland (and Karl Rove etc.) directly by tackling this issue.

    My site isn’t really set up to take a lot of comments, but I went ahead and put up some links to my pdf decks, and includes links to the relevant papers, in a comment on the very inactive Energy Economics Exchange on the Energy Institute at Haas site (UC Berkeley).
    http://energyathaas.wordpress.com/2012/10/07/what-if-anything-to-do-about-california-gasoline-price-spikes/#comment-1598

    I wish I could pay you, and maybe some day I can.

  7. Hey, the Heartland Institute isn’t all bad! Copying across a comment made by a guy who appears to be a rich, white, senior, Republican, conservative investor, commenting on James Taylor’s latest opinion piece in Forbes:

    “Enter Your CommentCongratulations to Mr.Taylor and his fellow Heartland Fellows on having made the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek.

    Hurricanes are heat engines, and the inability of Taylor’s posse to integrate the impact of this year’s astonishingly high atlantic water tempertures on the energy budget of this vast cyclonic storm richly deserves Republican opprobrium.

    The sustained and irredeemable idiocy of their denial of the scientifically obvious may have impressed the half of the electorate with three digit IQ’s enough to cost Governor Romney the election.”

    I agree. Though for me, that’s not a problem. I would not congratulate Heartland for making the cover of Businessweek, but costing Romney the White House really does earn them my gratitude.

    Go Heartland! Hurrah for WUWT! Keep crazy and carry on. If you carry on digging, I’m sure you’ll find the bottom of that hole, honest.

  8. Astonishing how HI folks don’t appear to have an inkling of how crazy they appear. Hermetic; oblivious; trapped in a self-imposed mental jail of agreement.

  9. Philippe Chantreau

    “Tone down the rethoric”, coming from the fruitcakes who committed the unabomber billboard idiocy, sounds like, well, their usual rethoric. Anyone listening to these buffoons needs their head checked.

  10. Lars Karlsson

    Suzuki expresses that his intelligence has been insulted by HI.

    That WUWT post, on the other hand, only appeals to those whose intelligence cannot be insulted.

  11. Great job, David Suzuki! How embarrassing for the Heatland folks that they think that being shot down by a scientists is something they can benefit from publisizing. Not a all surprizing from the folk who brought us the billboard in Chicago. Maybe they think that the connection between science and murderers is already fixed in everyone’s mind.

  12. Yup, me and David, we be *bros*…agreed with Doug Bostrom: HI folks are, IMNSHO, looking increasingly like the tin-hatted fools they have always been: I posit that we (rational, fact- and data-based folks) *must* keep up the pressure on our elected officials, contiunue to write opposing, science-base rebuttals to loopy stuff on whatever media they may appear, to stem this tide of “lukewarmism.”

  13. I have been reading about “Benfords Law”. It seems to be a great tool for ferriting out bullshit numbers in a wide variety of numerical data. Has anyone ever used this tool with regard to rediculous numbers used by heart land and WUWT etc.
    I am far too numericaly challenged and lazy to attempt this myself but it might be an interesting project for some one if indeed it is applicable to climate science.

  14. Good for Dr. Suzuki. I can’t imagine what the Heartland Institute was trying to accomplish by releasing it? I wouldn’t have any problem with that sort of bluntness in public. I remember as well a release of some of Dr. Tyrone Hayes’ communications regarding Atrazine safety, apparently meant to discredit him, but a quite amusing, sassy, and interesting read.

  15. “David didn’t get the memo that we should tone down the rhetoric and try to get along.”

    As if Suzuki and Heartland should ever be described as “we”.

    • And Heartland won’t ever get a clue that you gotta be crazier than Ted Kaczynski and more dangerous to civilization than Ted Bundy to doubt AGW. A group whose go to guy for “commentary” on climate science is Lord(ish) Christopher Monckton, a right wing has been political hack with a journalism degree – remind you of anyone?

  16. I can’t believe that this got published at that august scientific blog, WTFUWT! Saint Anthony surely was on holiday, and one of his minions ran amok. I’m starting to doubt Wattsian infallibility…

    • Horatio Algeranon

      “Blog amuck”
      — by Horatio Algeranon

      Tony Watts
      Has blog amuck
      Too many years
      At “WTF?”

  17. I suspect that Heartland is experiencing the same giggly excitement and sense of accomplishment that a small child feels when his annoying antics finally attract the attention of a grownup.

  18. Has everyone forgotten how Heartland praised Enron?
    Search for “God and the Free Market”

  19. hmm they didn’t blur out Suzuki’s postal address

  20. Slightly OT, but anyone else here freaked out by how uncannily correct Nate Silver’s projection of the election results was? Not only every state correct, but even down to the relative uncertainty for the swing states? This xkcd comic springs to mind:
    http://xkcd.com/54/

  21. Tamino, you said “We’re both scientists, although he is one of far greater renown. We’re both global warming activists, although he has far greater reach.” I would say you are too modest.

    Despite being less widely known than Suzuki I think your contributions to climate science have been invaluable. I routinely provide links to your work and to this blog but have never linked to Suzuki’s. Your ability to tease out the underlying patterns of change from noisy data, and explain it succinctly makes you both a capable practitioner and communicator of science. I should add that I admire your willingness to take on the obfuscators.

    [Response: Thank you.]

  22. Is renown a discipline ?

  23. No one is as renowned for being famous as Big Bird.

  24. Heartland’s conference rooms are empty and their billboards are rejected. Luckily, Watts can always be relied upon to push their propaganda. I mean, what else are they paying him for?

  25. While riding high on his predictions about the election, could Nate Silver be induced to bring his statistical talents to the aid of global warming. He has enough profile to actually catch attention no?

  26. Duly noted..