Koch Brothers front group Heartland Institute Ends Experiment with ‘Unabomber’ Global Warming Billboard

It is sometimes difficult to explain to people that live outside the United States why the question of ‘Global Warming’ is still being debated there.  The fact that the earth is warming is pretty obvious for anyone with the ability to count. However, for anyone that has been exposed to more than a couple hours of US television, welcome to the twilight zone.  Pro fossil-fuel organizations spend hundreds of millions of dollars on TV ads which distort energy issue beyond recognition.

On American TV coal is clean, natural gas doesn’t have any environmental side effects at all and domestic fossil fuel production is the ONLY path to future prosperity.  The scientists at the big oil companies are also nature’s very best friends.  It is a wonderful and harmonious world.

One of the organizations at the forefront of this culture of disinformation is the Heartland Institute.  In short, they are an organization that corporations go to, pay money and in exchange they get a bogus ‘scientific’ report that say basically whatever they want it to say.  This report will then be touted as something ‘scientific’ and pumped out to the media.  Propaganda to order – Stalin would be impressed.  Major funders – Koch Industries.

You may remember when they made news earlier this year when a list of their donors and their unedited intentions were made public.

A libertarian thinktank devoted to discrediting climate change received funds from corporations such as Microsoft and General Motors that are publicly committed to social responsibility, leaked documents reveal.

The inner workings of the Heartland Institute were laid bare on Tuesday night when an “insider” emailed confidential documents detailing its strategy and fundraising network to DeSmogBlog, which monitors industry efforts to discredit climate science.

Much of Heartland’s work to discredit climate change is funded by a single anonymous donor, the papers reveal. However, a 2012 fundraising plan also indicated that Heartland has in the past received funds from a host of major corporations for other projects – including companies that publicly support action on climate change.

Along with tobacco giants Altria and Reynolds America, and drug firms GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Eli Lilley, major corporations have given over $1.1m in the past two years to the institute, and are planning to give another $705,000 this year.

This revealing moment infuriated donors and shined a light on how much of a scam this organization really is.  Even the credibility they had with parties ‘wanting to believe global warming is not real’ had been destroyed.  The scam was fully exposed.

What is their response to this organizational challenge?  A publicity stunt.  Compare people who believe in Global Warming to mass murderers. Yes, really.

May 4, 2012 – The Heartland Institute has pulled its global warming billboard starring Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber whose manifesto expressed his belief in catastrophic man-caused global warming. The digital billboard ran for exactly 24 hours along the Eisenhower Expressway near Chicago in the suburb of Maywood, Illinois.

“This provocative billboard was always intended to be an experiment. And after just 24 hours the results are in: It got people’s attention.

“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.

“The Heartland Institute doesn’t often do ‘provocative’ communication. In fact, we’ve spent 15 years presenting the economic and scientific arguments that counter global warming alarmism. No one has worked harder, or better, on that task than Heartland. We will continue to do that – especially at our next International Conference on Climate Change in Chicago from May 21 – 23.

“Heartland has spent millions of dollars contributing to the real debate over climate change, and $200 for a one-day digital billboard. In return, we’ve been subjected to the most uncivil name-calling and disparagement you can possibly imagine from climate alarmists. The other side of the climate debate seems to be playing by different rules. This experiment produced further proof of that.

“We know that our billboard angered and disappointed many of Heartland’s friends and supporters, but we hope they understand what we were trying to do with this experiment. We do not apologize for running the ad, and we will continue to experiment with ways to communicate the ‘realist’ message on the climate.”

So you may be wondering how can an organization with a collective emotional intelligence of a 6 year old keep operating?  The Koch Brothers fund it, that is how.  

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