Another Donor Drops Heartland

May 9, 2012

Forecast the Facts:

San Francisco, CA – Forecast the Facts, an organization dedicated to ensuring that Americans are accurately informed about climate change, applauds the United Services Automobile Association’s (USAA) decision to immediately pull its support for the Heartland Institute. “Since the U.S. military has recognized climate change as a key national security threat, it’s fitting that USAA has pulled their support for an organization that uses Osama bin Laden as the poster child for belief in global warming,” said Forecast the Facts Campaign Manager Brad Johnson.

USAA is the Fortune-500 financial services company that serves 8.8 million U.S. military members and their families.

Forecast the Facts will now shift its campaign to the remaining corporations still funding Heartland, including Microsoft, Pfizer, and Comcast.

A USAA spokesperson announced their decision on Facebook, saying, “In light of recent personnel departures at Heartland, we decided to end our support for the organization.”

The staff of Heartland’s financial and insurance program left the organization after Heartland launched a billboard that compared people who believe in global warming to Ted Kaczynski, aka the Unabomber. Similar billboards featuring Charles Manson and Osama Bin Laden were planned, but Heartland suspended the ad campaign after widespread condemnation, including from its supporters.

USAA joins several other insurance companies that have already pulled their funding, including State Farm Insurance, Renaissance Re, the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers, XL Group, and Allied World Assurance.

UPDATE: per LATimes:

Two speakers have withdrawn from the conference. Donna Laframboise, who recently authored a book critiquing the work of the U.N. International Panel on Climate Change, withdrew from that conference. On her blog,, she said her reputation had been “harmed,” adding, “Suddenly, we were all publicly linked to an organization that thinks it’s OK to equate people concerned about climate change with psychopaths.”

Lakeland confirms that economist Ross McKitrick has now also withdrawn. In a letter sent to Heartland on Friday, he said, “You cannot simultaneously say that you want to promote a debate while equating the other side to terrorists and mass murderers.”

 …on Friday, Microsoft distanced itself from Heartland with a statement on its blog that read, in part, “the Heartland Institute’s position on climate change is diametrically opposed to Microsoft’s position. And we completely disagree with the group’s inflammatory and distasteful advertising campaign.”Asked if Heartland were damaged by the billboard, Lakely replied, “A lot of people seem to think so. As Joe Bast said in our statement, the billboard was intended to be provocative, and we expected the left to raise a stink about it. We were surprised that our friends and supporters were so put off by the billboard, and that’s why it was removed, out of respect for their opinions.”

18 Responses to “Another Donor Drops Heartland”

  1. […] close on the heels of the Heartland Institute’s disastrous, ill conceived billboard campaign campaign makes one wonder if someone has been switching the sugar cubes at Tea Party meetings lately. Look […]

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