Skip to main content

Heartland billboard
Heartland Institute billboard

As reported by The Hill:

The Heartland Institute, a conservative think tank that disputes climate science, is adopting an aggressive PR strategy by launching Chicago-area billboards that associate belief in global warming with the Unabomber and Charles Manson.
This is the same Heartland Insititute that last year was revealed to be planning to instill climate denial disinformation into elementary school curricula. As explained by actual science professor Scott Mandia:
This indefensible action by Heartland Institute is a new low but is certainly not the first attack on science and its scientists.

Recall:

But with these billboards we now see just how deranged Heartland really is. More from The Hill:
Other billboards feature Charles Manson and Fidel Castro, the group said on its website, adding that “other global warming alarmists” who might appear in the future include Osama bin Laden and James J. Lee, who took hostages at the Discovery Channel headquarters in 2010 and was slain by police.

“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,” the Chicago-based group said on its website. “The point is that believing in global warming is not 'mainstream,' smart or sophisticated.”

Unless you happen to believe in science. As I elucidated a few months ago, the scientific bodies that officially acknowledge climate change include:
National Academies of Sciences, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, American Association for the Advancement of Science, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), American Physical Society, American Geophysical Union, American Chemical Society, American Meteorological Society, Geological Society of America, American Institute of Biological Sciences, American Society of Agronomy, American Society of Plant Biologists, American Statistical Association, Association of Ecosystem Research Centers, Botanical Society of America, Crop Science Society of America, Ecological Society of America, Natural Science Collections Alliance, Organization of Biological Field Stations, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, Society of Systematic Biologists, Soil Science Society of America, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Science Academies of the G8+5 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, United States, Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa), European Academy of Sciences and Arts, Australian Institute of Physics, and International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics.

Each of which must be, according to Heartland, neither smart or sophisticated.

In The Guardian, Leo Hickman quotes Heartland:

Of course, not all global warming alarmists are murderers or tyrants.
Well, that's a relief. It would be very worrisome if almost every serious science body on the planet was comprised of alarmists or murderers.

As Heartland prepares another denialist conference that obviously will exclude spokespeople for these scientific societies, Hickman asks:

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 continues to play the media, and with its next climate denial conference just around the corner, it's time the media and responsible corporations stopped playing along.

[UPDATE] After fierce pushback from the environmental and science communities, Heartland is backing down. Jason Samenow of the Washington Post reports that Heartland President and CEO Joe Bast has issued a 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.

That second paragraph yet again speaks to the lack of integrity and scientific accuracy of Heartland. And to reiterate from above, there is no scientific debate about climate change. Any ostensible debate is a deliberately illusory right wing political invention.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site