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Two speakers have withdrawn from the conference.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Lakeland confirms that economist Ross McKitrick has now also withdrawn.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. Lazarus Says:

    Surely this organisation can’t continue because it cant be see as a credible way to get value for funding after all this?

  2. The domino effect & not before time

    • Martin Lack Says:

      Agreed. Combined with the recent opinion poll indicating that 75% of Americans believe anthropogenic climate disruption is a real problem that must be tackled (which appears to have emboldened the otherwise reclusive Obama sin Laden to speak out on the subject), I really do hope that this is the first nail in the coffin of organised climate change denial.

  3. omnologos Says:

    Peter – please read what you post, before posting it. thanks.

    • omnologos Says:

      Not sure who’s the superclever person who put already a “negative” on my previous comment but he or she hasn’t read the FtF press release either. At least give it a try!!

      • Mike Says:

        It was me, because this fixation you lot have with spelling gets a bit tiring. I picked up the Obama typo as well but being the intelligent person I am, figured out in a nanosecond that it really wasn’t that important. I am extremely confident that even my young daughter here in Australia would understand the context, skip it and focus on the important point that Heartland is finally starting to get what it deserves, after all, that is the importnant part of the message. I left that typo there so you would have something else trivial to pick on.

        • omnologos Says:

          Mike – your explanation is meaningless. The press release had already travelled several times around the world by the time I spotted the typo. And it was all the more funny, given the context….like seeing a preacher talk about abstinence on TV, with a pack of condoms unwittingly left in the background.

          Anyway…I have contacted Brad Johnson via Twitter and everything’s been fixed now. A big “oops!” should be in order.

      • greenman3610 Says:

        I’m checking to see if you are paying attention. Thanks.

  4. Peter Mizla Says:

    I was reading over at Forbes today- their environmental reporter writes this incredible piece…..

    “Even forgetting that professors and scientific researchers at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Penn, Columbia, MIT, NASA, NOAA, etc., have spoken at the Heartland Institute’s annual International Conference on Climate Change, we are quite happy to have meteorologists like Joe Bastardi and Anthony Watts speak at our conference. And if David Roberts thinks such meteorologists are unqualified to hold their own in the scientific debate, I encourage him to present a better qualified scientist to sit on the same panel and debate these scientists one-on-one.”

    I was lying on the floor laughing.

  5. bobchewie Says:

    sorry peter i posted my latest in wrong place..aplogies to all..
    its from this link.

    “Are there other examples of socialists that have come to embrace environmentalism? Indeed, there is an environmentalist in power today. Libya’s dictator, Muammar Al Qadhafi is an unabashed Green Socialist (I prefer to call him a Green Communist). In fact, Qadhafi has written a book that many Greens believe is the manifesto for Green Socialism. This book is titled The Green Book (it is a three volume set). I have read all three volumes and each one was quite disturbing. In this book, he talks about capitalist exploitation, money, profits, plants, animals, people, and families: all in a manner that ring familiar with the dogma chanted by such groups as Greenpeace, PETA, Earth First!, among others. The following points highlight several of Colonel Qadhafi’s views as conveyed by The Green Book:”

    so environmentaists are evil mad dictators..therefore need to be wiped out…

  6. bobchewie Says:

    @peter i found more mad stuff , this from a tory (UK conservative)

    Christopher Columbus Caused The Little Ice Age

  7. Secretary-General Calls Climate Change ‘Quintessential Global Challenge’, Citing
    also Crime, Pandemics, in Security Council Meeting on New Challenges to Peace

  8. […] They have been derided by critics. Many leading company’s, such as State Farm, Diageo, GM, and many others  have dropped their funding of the Heartland institute, leading to them to pull the plug on the […]

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