The image to the left is not a joke. It’s instead part of a just-cancelled Heartland Institute campaign — cancelled after howls of protests, including from a climate skeptic who refused to participate in a Heartland event if it went forward. The Unabomber billboard showed up on the Eisenhower Expressway in Chicago (home of the Institute) this week. Other billboards were to appear around the city with photos of notorious figures like Charles Manson, Osama bin Laden and Fidel Castro professing their belief in climate change. The Heartland Institute’s own press release explained the basis for the campaign:
Because what these murderers and madmen have said differs very little from what spokespersons for the United Nations, journalists for the “mainstream” media, and liberal politicians say about global warming. The point is that believing in global warming is not “mainstream,” smart, or sophisticated. In fact, it is just the opposite of those things. Still believing in man-made global warming – after all the scientific discoveries and revelations that point against this theory – is more than a little nutty. In fact, some really crazy people use it to justify immoral and frightening behavior.
Really, I’m close to speechless. Peter Gleick engaged in really stupid behavior in deceiving the Heartland Institute into parting with internal documents about their climate denialism. But if anyone had any doubts about the intensity of Heartland’s denialism or about its motives, this campaign ought to put those doubts to rest.