This is always embarrassing, but we need to correct something in yesterday’s roundup: we described Tony Heller as a “climate conspiracist in denial about being a debunked conspiracy theorist,” who is not formally affiliated with a professional climate denial organization. This was true when we were drafting it on the 8th, but later that day, Heller posted on this blog that he’s now a member of the CO2 Coalition, the group created because climate denial was toxic for the George Marshall Institute, and later revealed as a great place to park secret oil money.
That means that 23 of the 30 active links were to fossil-fuel-front-group-affiliated entities, pushing the ratio of those to unbiased sources up from 73% up to 76%. Or in other words, instead of just over a quarter, it’s now less than a quarter of online climate denial sources that are independent from fossil fuel influence.
In our defense though, had we been on denier Twitter later in the day, we still wouldn’t have seen it, because Heller’s account was suspended Wednesday night. Per a screenshot posted to Heller’s Gab account, the suspension was for “spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19.”
Interestingly, Heller’s new CO2 Coalition friend Vijay Jayaraj seemed to disagree, tweeting a screenshot of the suspended account page with headline-styled caption “Suspended for Climate Truth” followed by “Desperation for climate control reaches new heights.”
Not that we’d be mad if that were the reason, because climate disinformation is just as serious a threat to the public as the COVID disinformation Heller spreads, but it’s odd that someone who should ostensibly be best positioned to understand Heller’s situation, given his newfound coalition-ship got it wrong. And Vijay Jayaraj isn’t just a member, but is on staff for the CO2 Coalition as a Research Associate, so the fact that he was so quick to post without doing any research should tell you all you need to know.
Anyway, we went looking at the CO2 Coalition’s about page to see who Heller’s fellow coalition members are, and were confronted with one of the longest lineup of old men's headshots we’ve seen since that time we signed Grandma up for the nursing home’s dating service.
The CO2 Coalition's 13 founders, board of directors and executive director are all white men either greying, balding, or both. Two of its three founders have passed away, and the third, William Happer, is at the point where he’s accidentally giving interviews where it looks like the world is on fire behind him.
Of the 69 members of the CO2 “coalition” of which Heller is now one, there are only six women, which is also probably about the same number of members who haven’t already eaten a dinner by 5pm on any given day.
Though the half-dozen members without headshots may prove us woefully mistaken, we’ve checked the bios and Jayaraj and member Samit Bhattacharyya, both from India, appear to be the only men of color in the entire group. There are more white men named John (6), William (5), David (4) Jim (2), Patrick (2), Jeff (2), Larry (2) and more headshots of men in black and white (4) than there are Black men (0).
Brazil-born Rafealla Nascimento is the only woman who might have to wonder if she’d be warmly welcome at the pretentious and “exclusive” (wink wink) 1960’s country club from which they apparently recruited the rest of the coalition members.
The same era that most of their scientific training dates back to as well, not at all coincidentally!