Call the Wah-mbulance. Increasingly Radioactive Heartland Says Critics Unfair.
May 8, 2012
Martin Luther King was right. The Universe bends toward justice.
And then, sometimes, it just breaks open like a big piñata….
Fallout continues from Heartland’s Unabomber billboard face plant.
— this tactic has backfired on Heartland. Even before the billboards went up they lost sponsorship from the Diageo liquor company, which makes such brands as Smirnoff and Guiness. In March, General Motors dropped Heartland as well. Even people who support climate change denialism are worried that their own reputations “[have] been harmed”.
And now, after a few bloggers wrote to State farm, the insurance company has announced they too will withdraw funding from Heartland Institute. State Farm specifically cites the billboards as the reason in their announcement.
The controversy began when the organization unveiled the first of a planned series of billboards which claimed that “the most prominent advocates of global warming aren’t scientists. They are murderers, tyrants, and madmen.” The first of the digital billboards featured Ted Kaczynski, aka the Unabomber, and featured the caption “I still believe in global warming. Do you?”
Future billboards would have featured the likes of Charles Mason, Fidel Castro, Osama bin Laden, and James J. Lee, the man who took hostages at the Discovery Channel headquarters two years ago. However, on Friday, the Chicago-based, conservative and libertarian think tank told the Washington Post that they were going to abandon the billboards, which were being used to promote an upcoming conference on climate change.
“This provocative billboard was always intended to be an experiment. And after just 24 hours the results are in: It got people’s attention,” Heartland Institute President and CEO Joseph Bast said in a May 4 statement. “This billboard was deliberately provocative, an attempt to turn the tables on the climate alarmists by using their own tactics but with the opposite message. We found it interesting that the ad seemed to evoke reactions more passionate than when leading alarmists compare climate realists to Nazis or declare they are imposing on our children a mass death sentence. We leave it to others to determine why that is so.”
“I still believe in Global Warming. Do you?”
Those were the words associated with the mug shot of Ted Kaczynski, aka the Unibomber, a terrorist who, over the course of 20 years, injured or killed 26 people around the country with mail bombs. Shortly after the billboard went live, however, media and bloggers caught wind of it and began publishing what would become a flood of blog posts and news articles taking Heartland to task for equating climate realists with mass murderers, terrorists, and lunatics.
Leo Hickman, writer of the Environment Blog at The Guardian, broke the story. He wrote that he was sufficiently shocked by the billboard’s insinuation to ask “What on earth were they [Heartland] thinking?” The Hill’s E2 Wire quoted Sierra Club spokesman Trey Pollard saying “[i]t must be embarrassing for Heartland’s donors like Exxon to have their money used in a way that compares the majority of their customers who believe in climate change to mass murderers.”Andrew Sullivan at The Daily Beast wrote that the billboard represented a “refusal to acknowledge scientific reality; and a brutalist style of public propaganda that focuses entirely on guilt by the most extreme association.”
Never before have logic and clear-minded thinking ever been used to so adroitly prove a point as they have today.
The Heartland Institute have just started a billboard campaign in Chicago that very not-ridiculously draw a direct line between believing in empirical evidence for anthropomorphic climate change and being a mass murdering psychopath…
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)…
[W]hat 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.
Oh no! But I believe in man-made climate change. Or — more to the point — I believe in science, and all the science points toward man-made climate change. Does that mean that I’m a genocidal serial killer? I mean, I can’t remember where I was last Wednesday night. What if I was out murdering thousands of members of a minority group?!
Of course, not all global warming alarmists are murderers or tyrants.
Oh, thank God! Then there’s still a chance for me. Quick, somebody tell me how to block dangerously rational thoughts from taking root in my head before it’s too late!
Has Heartland’s 15 minutes been cut somewhat short? Stay tuned – with their Denia-Palooza anti-science conference coming up in a few weeks, this story is still finding its legs. (I guess that’s another way of saying, somebody might be doing a video on this….)