A billboard in Chicago, paid for by The Heartland Institute, along the inbound Eisenhower Expressway in Maywood, Illinois. The billboards compare supporters of climate science to Ted Kaczynski, Charles Manson, and Fidel Castro. Photograph: The Heartland Institute

[Update: Heartland Institute President and CEO Joe Bast has issued the following statement:

“We will stop running [the billboard] at 4:00 p.m. CST today. (It’s a digital billboard, so a simple phone call is all it takes.)
 
“The Heartland Institute knew this was a risk when deciding to test it, but decided it was a necessary price to make an emotional appeal to people who otherwise aren’t following the climate change debate.”

Parody of the aborted Heartland Institute billboard campaign against climate science, featuring Joseph Bast, CEO of Heartland. via Horatio Algeranon / tamino.wordpress.com

Also, Eli Rabett points out that Heartland has compared Al Gore to the Unabomber before: Billboards are just repeats of garbage on Heartland's website.]

By Leo Hickman
4 May 2012

It really is hard to know where to begin with this one. But let's start with: "What on earth were they thinking?"

The Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based rightwing thinktank notorious for promoting climate scepticism, has launched quite possibly one of the most ill-judged poster campaigns in the history of ill-judged poster campaigns.

I'll let its own press release for its upcoming conference explain, as there's simply no need to finesse it further:

Billboards in Chicago paid for by The Heartland Institute point out that some of the world's most notorious criminals say they "still believe in global warming" – and ask viewers if they do, too. … The billboard series features Ted Kaczynski, the infamous Unabomber; Charles Manson, a mass murderer; and Fidel Castro, a tyrant. Other global warming alarmists who may appear on future billboards include Osama bin Laden and James J. Lee (who took hostages inside the headquarters of the Discovery Channel in 2010).

These rogues and villains were chosen because they made public statements about how man-made global warming is a crisis and how mankind must take immediate and drastic actions to stop it.

Why did Heartland choose to feature these people on its billboards? Because what these murderers and madmen have said differs very little from what spokespersons for the United Nations, journalists for the "mainstream" media, and liberal politicians say about global warming. The point is that believing in global warming is not "mainstream," smart, or sophisticated. In fact, it is just the opposite of those things. Still believing in man-made global warming – after all the scientific discoveries and revelations that point against this theory – is more than a little nutty. In fact, some really crazy people use it to justify immoral and frightening behavior.

But then comes the best bit:

Of course, not all global warming alarmists are murderers or tyrants. […]

It adds:

The people who still believe in man-made global warming are mostly on the radical fringe of society. This is why the most prominent advocates of global warming aren't scientists. They are murderers, tyrants, and madmen.

The bigger question, beyond trying to analyse the collective mentality of an organisation that would sign off a poster campaign like this, is whether it will now lead any of the speakers, attendees and sponsors to pull out of the conference and dissociate themselves from this thinktank.

As a result of the embarrassment caused by the release earlier this year of its internal funding documents, the US car giant GM pulled the plug on its funding for Heartland. Will Microsoft, Pfizer or GlaxoSmithKline, for example, now also choose to cut their funding to this organisation? […]

Heartland Institute compares belief in global warming to mass murder

2 comments :

  1. Anonymous said...

    Microsoft supports the Heartland Institute? Windows always did seem like it was designed by a diabolical madman.  

  2. Anonymous said...

    Whoa!!!

    "This is why the most prominent advocates of global warming aren't scientists. They are murderers, tyrants, and madmen."

    Actually, the most prominent ARE scientists. The above statement is a bald-face lie.

    They're certainly not 'murderers, tyrants and madmen', but educated individuals, organizations and entire agencies dedicated to the research and investigation of climate science.

    But if they're all madmen, then we should all just ignore their claims -- and what the climate is doing outside of every door in the world.

    Definitely one of the more outrageous propaganda campaigns I've seen yet.

    Which means they are getting desperate, going beyond mere name calling and now trying to equate 'believers' (and the science) to terrorism.

    But this will backfire on them, very very badly.

    Big Climate deniers like this are truly climate terrorists. This latest campaign by the Heartland is massive propaganda (which the true idiots will fall for, ie., Alex Jones and ilk).

    Thanks Des, an interesting but disturbing "catch".~Survival Acres~  

 

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