ALEC: Not the only corporate mouthpiece under fire

Here’s an encouraging development to ponder on a dreary Wednesday: Yet another corporate front group masquerading as a “think tank” is under heavy fire. This time it’s the Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based group of  market-fundamentalist Hooverites. 

Recently, these knuckleheads took their absurd global warming denial activities to a new and embarrassing level by launching a billboard campaign that attempted to link people who care about the planet’s health and survival to Ted Kaczinski, the “Unabomber.”

Happily, as this story points out, this was singularly dumb move:

The Heartland Institute’s failed billboard campaign attacking the existence of climate change is driving a surge of corporate donors to abandon the group and prompting a mutiny among its Washington-based staff, which is decamping for less volatile surroundings, according to sources.

At the center of the retreat is a contingent of insurance companies and trade groups that donated more than $1 million over the last two years to the libertarian group’s Center on Finance, Insurance and Real Estate in Washington, D.C., for programs related to federal insurance reform.

The center’s efforts, which are often entwined with environmental policies, were damaged beyond repair by the increasingly strident campaign against climate change science coming from Heartland’s Chicago headquarters, according to industry sources.

Growing unease among insurers crystallized late last week when Heartland purchased the first billboard in a campaign that likened climate advocacy to murder, terrorism and despotism. The electronic highway-side ad displayed a picture of Ted Kaczynski, who killed three people, next to the words “I still believe in Global Warming. Do you?”

“It was disgusting. It was revolting,” Brad Kading, president of the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers, said of the ad in an interview over the weekend. ‘It was a terrible mistake.'”


  1. Frank Burns

    May 9, 2012 at 9:46 am

    The billboard was certainly in poor taste but their message regarding the flawed theory that global warming is not caused by CO2 emissions is correct. There is no evidence that supports this theory. The ice volumes are back in the artic, the polar bears are reproducing like crazy, the sea levels are down and there have been no global temperature increases since 1998, yet CO2 levels have still been going up. Why should anyone believe that theory? Even long term warmists like James Lovelock are leaving the fold.


  2. gregflynn

    May 9, 2012 at 11:49 am

    You have been repeatedly told, but choose to ignore, the fact that 1998 was a temperature anomaly “warmed by the strongest El Niño of the past century”. When you account for the Southern Oscillation (El Nino-La Nina cycle) the underlying global warming trend continues unabated. The 5 year mean fluctuates but still trends up.

  3. david esmay

    May 9, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    @Frank,The GOP Flat Earth Society results are in, no global warming, the earth is 6,000 years old, and dinosaurs rode the ark.

  4. Frank Burns

    May 9, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Greg, no matter how you say it, cooling is not caused by warming. You are wrong the trend is now reversing to a cooling trend.


  5. gregflynn

    May 9, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    I’ll take NASA science and observations over the opinions of a right-wing conspiracy theorist. That article is from 2008. 1998 saw an anomalous temperature spike. The period after it can hardly be called a cooling trend.

  6. Frank Burns

    May 9, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    I don’t trust NASA’s data now that we’ve learned that Hansen keeps adjusting the temperatures of the past downward. You should open your eyes and look at what other scientists are saying.


  7. gregflynn

    May 10, 2012 at 9:48 am

    So, for climate science, trust the young British guy with no apparent qualifications who thinks the US government planned 9/11, that missiles were fired from the planes that struck the World Trade Center and that some of the hijackers are still alive.

  8. david esmay

    May 10, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Frank, you’re referencing a right wing conspiracy nut for scientific research. Seen any black helicopters lately? On another note, a T.V. meteorologist’s assertions funded by the Heartland Institute does not constitute, nor refute the findings of 99% of the world’s real scientists. The Koch’s pissed away a big chunk of money on Richard Muller, who came to the conclusion that climate change is real and we disproportionately contribute to it.

  9. Frank Burns

    May 10, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    The only conclusion that Richard Muller came up with is that climate change is real. Nobody disagrees with that. Climate change occurs regardless of the presence of mankind. He came to no conclusion regarding the source of climate change.

  10. […] No Comments The Heartland Institute, a far right “think” tank that has faced some controversy lately over its comparison of scientists and environmentalists to murderous terrorists, now has […]

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