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Heartland Institute sinks to a new low & Even the GOP Can't Take It

Heartland Institute sinks to a new low & Even the GOP Can't Take It

The Heartland Institute, a far-right climate change denying "thinktank" has put up a series of billboards so disgusting, so vile, that I find it difficult to find words to tell you just how disgusting and vile they are.

So instead, I’ll show you one:

When I first heard of this earlier today, I thought it was a joke. No one would seriously do this, right? Creating an actual billboard like this would be taking Poe’s Law and aiming right between your own eyes!

But it’s real. Heartland actually put these up, and according to their press release, they’re proud of it. And other people Heartland has on the billboards? Charles Manson, Fidel Castro, and they’re considering putting up some with Osama bin Laden.

Yes, seriously.

I could go on and on about just how incredibly offensive this is, but you can read about it here, here, here, and here. [UPDATE: And here, here, and here.]

Still, there’s one thing I do want to highlight. The press release is a non-stop firehose of misinformation and spin, but among the venom-dripping things they say, one bit of crazy stands out:

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.

Actually, "a solid majority" of Americans think global warming is real. They’re the radical fringe? As usual, the global warming deniers accuse others of doing what the deniers themselves are guilty of.

And the prominent advocates of global warming aren’t scientists? Like Michael Mann and James Hansen? Oh wait, those two are actual climate scientists. You know, the kind of people who are experts in climate science. The kind who don’t tend to sign climate change denial screeds.

Also, the "murderers, tyrants, and madmen" line? Nice, Heartland, nice. Rhetoric like that really makes you look sober, sane, and willing to discuss things rationally.

Always remember, this is the reality Heartland is trying to deny:

The Earth is warming up. The rate of warming has increased in the past century or so. This corresponds to the time of the Industrial Revolution, when we started dumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases warm the planet (hence the name) — if they didn’t we’d have an average temperature below the freezing point of water. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas which is dumped into the atmosphere by humans to the tune of 30 billion tons per year, 100 times the amount from volcanoes. And finally, approximately 97% of climatologists who actually study climate agree that global warming is real, and caused by humans.

Those are the facts. It’s hard to believe anyone takes Heartland seriously at this point. And while they’re fiddling, the world burns.

Leading GOPer chastises right wing group for comparing climate believers to mass murderers

As you may have heard, the Heartland Institute, a right-wing anti-climate-science think tank, has launched a billboard campaign that’s getting widely pilloried on the Web — it compares people who accept climate science as legitimate to Osama Bin Laden, Charles Manson, and the Unibomber.

Now the Heartland Institute has suffered its first major defection in the way of GOP public officials: GOP Rep. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, a leading climate “skeptic,” will be pulling out of an upcoming conference sponsored by the group where he was supposed to speak, his spokesman confirms to me.

The billboards, which were first reported by the UK Guardian, show the Unabomber or Manson saying: ”I still believe in Global Warming. Do you?” Future billboards may include Bin Laden, reported the Guardian, which referred to the billboards as “possibly one of the most ill-judged poster campaigns in the history of ill-judged poster campaigns.”

The group has a conference set for later this month, and one of the featured speakers is Sensenbrenner. I asked Sensenbrenner’s spokesperson, Amanda Infield, if he’s still participating. She emails:

Congressman Sensenbrenner will not participate in the upcoming Climate Change Conference if the Heartland Institute decides to continue this ad campaign. We have contacted the Heartland Institute and voiced these same concerns to them.
Joe Romm reports that a several major corporations have ended their support for Heartland, but many still continue to bankroll it, and many other prominent voices are expected to speak at Heartland’s conference.

As Andrew Sullivan, writing about the billboards, put it: “In some ways, this is an almost perfect illustration of what has happened to the `right.’ A refusal to acknowledge scientific reality; and a brutalist style of public propaganda that focuses entirely on guilt by the most extreme association.”

Indeed, it’s likely that the pressure will increase, via social media, for these companies and voices to sever their ties with Heartland until they pull the billboards down. As Sensenbrenner has showed by pulling out, there are some positions that are too extreme for “climate skeptical” mainstream Republicans to countenance, such as comparing climate change science believers to mass murderers.

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stephley stephley 4 years
It's becoming more of right wing thing here: just toss a wild claim or two, then disappear from the thread - unless they're screaming that everyone else is racist, then they'll stick around.
mydiadem mydiadem 4 years
As I've said a million times here and Dave still refuses to read it or understand it - I work for one of the top 5 science based mega corporations in the world. All of our scientists believe in global warming and that its man made. They did internal studies because we are a strong lobbying power and want to know if global warming is true because it will effect business. They all agreed its true, our company has come out publicly and said its true. You act like data is something sitting in a cave someone you have to collect. Data is everywhere! You look at the past and see the trends. In science you observe and come to conclusions. There is no conspiracy of hiding data, that's an absurd idea to a scientist.
stephley stephley 4 years
What proof have you got that most of the world's scientists accept a theory for which there is no data Dave? How does it benefit them - and please don't pull out that old they get paid for it canard, as it has been proven repeatedly that the big money is in the denial business. What proof have you got that any nation signed any global warming treaty just for aid?
UnDave35 UnDave35 4 years
I don't know. The conversation could've gone: "Sign this, or our aid stops." "Sure I'll sign it. Oh, and it says the US is the biggest contributers, so they GET to pay the most? Great!"
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 4 years
(didn't finish my thought) my point here is presenting that data makes a hell of a lot more sense than this unibomber giberish.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 4 years
I seriously doubt several countries would have signed a global warming treaty without data UnDave. That makes no sense what so ever. Now if there is opposing data let's see it.
UnDave35 UnDave35 4 years
The issue is the data that "proves" GWT is not available to be debated or examined. To me, that is the most damning evidence. If there is nothing to hide, why not make the data available? Because the data doesn't match the conclusion, unless the data is manipulated.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 4 years
This is what I don't get about their approach. If there are scientists who have a contrary theory why aren't they embarrassing those scientists and putting their studies forward. If you want to convince people show them how you come to your conclusion don't just mud sling and repeat that some anonymous scientists are contrary to global warming.
stephley stephley 4 years
No, those are facts. No one's data disappeared. And this: "These same scientists can't predict with accuracy what the climate will be in the next 10 years, as is appearant from their predictions in 2000" is barely English and certainly not based on reality.
UnDave35 UnDave35 4 years
:rotfl:: "Those are the facts." No, those are beliefs. These same scientists can't predict with accuracy what the climate will be in the next 10 years, as is appearant from their predictions in 2000. Their science is flawed, and when pressed, their "data" disappeared.

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