Joseph Bast is president and CEO of the Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based think tank that prioritizes campaigns to discredit climate change science, most notably by organizing a series of conferences that reject global warming science. Bast has edited or authored several books casting doubt upon global warming, and leads in publishing anti-climate science newsletters to all state and national elected officials. Bast co-founded the Heartland Institute with the late David Padden, a political ally of the Koch Brothers.
According to Heartland’s 2012 budget, Joseph Bast’s base-level salary will be $155,930, compared to $149,700 in 2009-2010 and $139,720 in 2008. Bast donates $5,000 back to Heartland each year. Diane Bast, Joseph’s wife, has an expected 2012 salary of $96,523 for her work with the Heartland Institute.
Bast claims to have been a “hippie” until 1993. On good leadership at libertarian think tanks such as the Heartland Institute, Joseph Bast explains, "My motto is, you need to find a used car salesman who’s a libertarian—an aggressive, articulate guy who wants to build an organization. Academics are almost uniquely not fit to head a think tank. They don’t have management or financial skills."
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