Jim covered Congress and The White House during the George W. Bush administration for The Washington Times, and worked as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California. He has appeared on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, and many local and national talk radio shows to talk politics and policy.
Latest posts by Jim Lakely (see all)
Pierre Gosselin has carved out a unique niche in the climate blogging arena with his NoTricksZone blog, which brings “climate news from Germany in English.”
Gosselin wrote about how The Heartland Institute hosted a climate conference in Munich, Germany from November 30 – December 1. Or, I should say, Gosselin noticed how the environmental left in the United States and in Germany went into a panic about the conference.
Gosselin tears down DeSmog Blog’s hit piece on the conference, and pulls no punches. I’ll have more about DeSmog’s vapors in a minute. For now, I just have to sit and admire Gosselin’s high praise for Heartland — from the “you are defined by your enemies” category:
Few US organizations are feared and hated in Germany like the Heartland Institute is today. It’s probably number 2 on the list behind Marc Morano/CFACT. [Ed: Only No. 2? An insult!]
The Heartland Institute is supporting this weekend’s skeptic climate conference in Munich, being held by the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE) and is thus playing a role in urging the German public to take a closer look at the global warming science and the data underpinning it.
This, for the German climate hysteria movement, is intolerable. Heartland’s success at exposing the bad science behind global warming must not be repeated here in Germany…which is the holy alter of the climate catastrophe movement. It is the last real bastion.
Heartland must expect an extremely hostile welcome.
I can’t say what kind of welcome we’ve received. I didn’t go to Germany, but we’ll get a full report from Heartland Senior Fellow James M. Taylor, who presented at the conference, when he returns to the States. I’m expecting that DeSmog’s Kevin Grandia will be disappointed — as he and his colleagues often are.
In his post, Gosselin notes that the “fundamentalist warmist site Klimaretter” reprinted DeSmog’s uninformed screed for a German audience. (Gosselin says the website’s name translates to “Climate Rescuer,” FWIW.) I think I’ll let Gosselin take it for a while:
In the latest klimaretter piece, Grandia writes that “the Heartland Institute normally spreads its mischief in the USA” but there it has been discredited. “Now the notorious institute is trying to find new friends in Germany. It has found one.” Grandia writes that “at the conference in Munich, a small group of unqualified “experts” gets together to talk about their conspiracy theory that climate change is a “hoax”.
However the fact is that EIKE and the Heartland Institute are only interested in offering an alternative view of climate science, and to get answers to open questions. They have openly invited warmist scientists to attend. But instead of accepting and engaging in a dialogue, the warmists have responded with extremely hostile reactions and sharp intolerance. “There’s nothing to discuss. We are right,” they insist.
Grandia’s malicious piece has nothing to do with promoting the development of science and dialogue; rather it has everything to do with trying to marginalize and destroy perceived threats to their movement using Alinsky tactics. They’ve gotten very good at this, we have to admit, but they are still losing more than ever.
The above emphasis was mine. Despite DeSmog adhering to the left’s Bible, Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, they are losing — at least when it comes to the climate and attacks on The Heartland Institute. Let’s break it down.
RULE 1: Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.
Well, DeSmog considers Heartland is the enemy, and we know that DeSmog has little power. According to Compete.com, Desmog gets ten times less traffic than Heartland.org. Our digital magazine, the Heartlander — which is a sub-site of Heartland.org — gets twice to five times the regular traffic. Fail.
RULE 2: Never go outside the expertise of your people.
RULE 3: Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy. Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty.
RULE 4: Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.
Heartland’s book of rules is simple: Advance free-market solutions to social and economic problems. Pursue truth without fear. Fail.
RULE 5: Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.
DeSmog tries, but few laugh. Heartland experts — on the climate and on many other topics — are quoted often in the press and appear often on TV and radio. Fail.
RULE 6: A good tactic is one your people enjoy.
Well, if the DeSmog folks actually enjoy trying (and failing) to destroy their “enemies” instead of engaging in honest debate, good for them … I guess. Not exactly admirable, however. Non-fail?
RULE 7: A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.
DeSmog has been employing the same tactics for years to no effect. The public agrees that man is not causing a climate crisis, global warming ranked very low in what voters cared about in the presidential election — which is probably why climate alarmists were so upset it never came up in the debates.This tactic is definitely a drag, man. Fail.
RULE 8: Keep the pressure on. Never let up. Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new.
Well, I gotta hand it to DeSmog on this one. They never let up. But that is no victory. They are like Don Quixote, who kept tilting at windmills he thought were monsters. The irony, of course, is that DeSmog likes windmills. And Don Quixote eventually wised up. Hmmm. So, by strict definition: Non-fail, but potential for a Quixote-like return to sanity and, thus, “success.”
RULE 9: The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself. Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist.
The DeSmog folks’ “threatening” efforts are very much not so — despite their ego, and whatever their imagination cooks up about what Heartland does and why it does it. Fail.
RULE 10: If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive. Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog.
DeSmog has certainly been pushing the negative, but it has not become a positive for its side. Just ask Peter Gleick, who ruined his career by working with DeSmog in a failed attempt to harm Heartland. And the idea that the climate alarmist side is the “underdog” is laughable. They have the MSM, public schools telling a generation of school children that cars kill polar bears, etc. They push their “arguments” and scare-tactics without much resistance from the “establishment.” I won’t even provide links on this one. It’s that obvious.
As of now, Heartland has not experienced any actual violence as a result of our work, though we do receive threats of violence thanks to the left’s tactics. It’s a shame that it comes with this territory, but we remain unbowed. Fail.
RULE 11: The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative. Never let the enemy score points because you’re caught without a solution to the problem.
The attacks have not been successful, but let’s humor them. What is their “constructive alternative”? Let’s see … tax our economies to death, raise everyone’s energy bills by exponential amounts, subsidize failed “alternative” energy programs forever no matter how unsustainable, use good corn for fuel instead of food, stop driving cars, pour everyone into public transportation and high-density “sustainable” housing, threaten the extinction of birds by building windmill farms everywhere there’s a slight breeze, build immense solar farms that disrupt the environment of desert flora and fauna …
OK. I now realize that detailing every hare-brained “solution” of the green zealots is (1) making my head hurt, and (2) impossible to list in full and retain readers (and I applaud you for making it this far). In short, their plan is: Wholly reorganize society RIGHT NOW to maybe reduce the projected global temperature a century hence by a couple tenths of a degree. And while we do this, China, India and other developing economies continue burning fossil fuels at a rate that will make our return on the “investment” in green energy a negative of exponential proportions. That’s the solution? How about we allow our economies and knowledge to advance so we come up with better “green” solutions than that. That’s more sensible than pretending that devolving globally into an 18th Century lifestyle is either doable or reasonable, no? Fail.
RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.
DeSmog and the rest of Heartland’s “enemies” have certainly done their best to “win” on this rule. Heartland is a prime target. The Economist magazine has called Heartland “the world’s most prominent think tank promoting skepticism about man-made climate change.” That’s an honor we cherish so much, we promote it on our website. Heartland continues to be attacked, but our support network remains strong. The people of Heartland are also not “hurt” by these attacks. I’m not going anywhere — and neither is Joe Bast, Jay Lehr, James M. Taylor, or any of the hundreds of scholars who are proud of their association with Heartland. Fail.
So there you have it: the utter failure of Alinsky’s tactics to work on The Heartland Institute. The climate-alarmist left will continue to employ Alinsky’s tactics, but Heartland will continue to fight back with truth and a desire for honest debate. We will see who wins in the end — and who can be proud of how they behaved.
One last thing. Gosselin has a few words for the climate alarmists that attack Heartland and our latest conference in Germany:
I think you’re scared excrementless. Why are you so trembly-handed over an open discussion?
It’s obvious. Although the skeptics are out-funded (by a factor of at least 100), doubt over climate catastrophism keeps growing and spreading. Why? Could it have something to do with the desolate quality of the warmist science?
Yes. And that why Heartland was in Germany, and will continue its work around the world. The truth will prevail.