U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) threatened climate realists with criminal prosecution in an interview with E&E News, published yesterday. Whitehouse said Democrats gaining control of the U.S. Senate would be key to launching investigations, hauling climate realists in front of Senate show trials, “or even potentially in grand juries.”

E&E News reported Whitehouse is “keen on investigating the fossil fuel industry and what he sees as a massive conspiracy of dark money hindering action on climate change.”

In the interview, Whitehouse said:

“If we are not vigorously investigating that with all of the tools at our disposal, then that machinery will continue undisturbed to do its dirty work of denial and obstruction,” Whitehouse said.

“If it’s having to explain itself to legislative committees, or produce discovery about its activities in litigation, or even potentially in grand juries, then there’s a whole different complexion to our prospects going forward.”

Whitehouse explicitly singled out The Heartland Institute, which publishes ClimateRealism.com, for his threats.

“Who funded 200,000 fake textbooks that the Heartland Institute mailed around to schoolteachers all around the country? That’s a hell of a big expense…,” Whitehouse said.

Whitehouse appears to be referencing Heartland sending 300,000 copies of the book, Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming, to K-through-12 and college science teachers throughout America. The book was co-authored by Ph.D. climate scientists S. Fred Singer, Robert Carter, and Craig Idso. Whitehouse does not appear to have a climate science Ph.D. degree.

Ironically, Whitehouse revealed his fascination with “dark money” conspiracy theories, and expressed his threats to prosecute people on the basis of his conspiracy theories, on the same day billionaire tech baron Jeff Bezos announced the first distributions from a $10 billion fund Bezos has set aside to advance climate alarmism. Recipients of Bezos’ money include dark-money climate activist groups ClimateWorks Foundation, Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, Union of Concerned Scientists, World Resources Institute, and World Wildlife Fund – none of which publicly disclose the full list of their donors.

The costs for The Heartland Institute publishing and distributing Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming came up somewhat short of $10 billion. The Heartland Institute has an annual budget that varies between $3 million and $7 million, not $10 billion.

James Taylor is the President of the Heartland Institute. Taylor is also director of Heartland's Arthur B. Robinson Center for Climate and Environmental Policy. Taylor is the former managing editor (2001-2014) of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly publication devoted to sound science and free-market environmentalism.


  1. Heartland you have my support. The Democrats spell trouble for Canada as well. To maintain life on this planet we need more carbon dioxide, not less. With only 410 parts per million (0.04%) of the gases in the atmosphere, carbon dioxide has little, if any, effect on the climate. Climate alarmism is the biggest hoax of our times.

  2. Sheldon Whitehouse a Senator, and if the Senate remains in the GOP majority, it would be the GOP-controlled Senate that could turn the tables on Whitehouse’s notions about dark money-funded disinformation efforts. The real disinformation in this issue is not found in alleged fossil fuel industry efforts to undercut the certainty of man-caused global warming, but instead in the efforts of a core clique of enviro-activists who actively work to undercut the credibility of skeptic climate scientists and the credibility of skeptic organizations like Heartland, CFACT, and others via utterly false accusations about being paid industry-sourced dark money.

    Heartland, CFACT, and the other skeptic organizations have the tools they can provide to Senate committee members can for use in fighting back against this in their own Senate investigations. I covered the highly suspect amounts of money going the efforts to smear skeptics in my GelbspanFiles blog post, “Why did the Greenpeace USA Executive Director cross the Road?” http://gelbspanfiles.com/?p=9687, where I showed the multi-millions of dark money being received by two ex-Greepeace administrators who were recently exposed as being part of a coordinated effort to bring down Exxon. With regard to how the Democrat-controlled U.S. House exploits one other particular enviro-activist’s disinformation, I showed how GOP committee members could raise serious, crippling questions about that person’s credibility in my “Naomi Oreskes – the gift that keeps on giving, Pt 1” http://gelbspanfiles.com/?p=9222 . My Part 2 blog post on that individual detailed how she needed to be protected within a sham Democrat Senators-only ‘hearing.’ Imagine the fireworks if the GOP remains control of the Senate and if she was called by GOP Senators to face tough questions at a real Senate committee hearings.

    And that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg on how GOP Representatives and Senators can fight back against the likes of Sheldon Whitehouse’s suggested inquisitions. I’ve also detailed how Senator Whitehouse himself is vulnerable to tough questioning on his apparent associations with particular enviro-activists: “What Naomi Didn’t Say, Sharon & Sheldon Did” http://gelbspanfiles.com/?p=9426

  3. Good, get all the facts regarding “dark money” out in the open for examination. I’m thinking environmental activists have a LOT more potential dirty laundry than “Big Oil” could ever imagine…

    • That may likely be true. The implication of my GelbspanFiles blog post “What Does Nearly $5 million Buy?” ( http://gelbspanfiles.com/?p=9968 ) was that ‘Big Oil’ wasn’t the entity that needed to be investigated about dark money connections to disinformation campaigns, but instead that investigations should be turned 180° toward a particular clique of enviro-activists who seem to be swimming in more dark money recently while they continue in efforts to smear the character of skeptic climate scientists that they first started doing nearly 30 years ago.

  4. Lets hope he gets the case before a senior court, the higher the better and get the case for and against this computer theory analysed in an area which cannot be censored.

  5. Dear Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse… “I’m a climate sceptic. I don’t believe CO2 or man is the cause for any change in the climate.” Come and get me!

  6. But he is immune from being scrutinized for his whacko ideas of wasting tons of cash on non-existent problems? What investments doe he have that profit from “climate” initiatives.
    Prosecute people for having ideas that are against his own? His idea of free speech.

  7. […] Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) is hostile to open debate over climate science and policy. Sadly, he’s far from being the only one. Many progressive Democrats, and their lapdogs in the mainstream media, have long been calling for a climate inquisition: prosecution, fines, imprisonment, and reeducation camps for economists, scientists, and political analysts whose research has led them to question whether humans are causing a climate catastrophe or that big government must impose harsh restrictions on the public in order to prevent it. […]


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