Heartland Institute, a climate skeptic United States-based group, is facing criticism after posting an ad comparing climate change proponents to terrorists. The organization has now pulled the ad after its own supporters urged organizers to do so.
Along the Eisenhower Expressway (I-290) in the suburbs of Chicago, the Heartland Institute, an organization composed of climate change skeptics, posted its first digital billboard advertisement that compares climate change scientists and advocates of man-made global warming to terrorists.
The “Do you still believe in global warming?” was a 24-hour experiment that featured Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, who was a firm believer of man-caused global warming. Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast said the purpose was to incite conversation.
“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,” said Bast in a press release. “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.”
Prior to the digital billboard ad being posted, Bast explained in a different news release that some of the most prominent proponents of man-caused global warming are not scientists, but rather the likes of Usama bin Laden, Fidel Castro, James J. Lee and Charles Manson.
“The leaders of the global warming movement have one thing in common: They are willing to use force and fraud to advance their fringe theory,” added the Heartland Institute president.
Heartland claims the ad brought an additional 10,000 people to its website.
Many have harshly criticized the ad, including Republican Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner and Canadian author Donna Lamframboise, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Sensenbrenner threatened to cancel his appearance to the institute’s 7th International Conference on Climate Change in Chicago from May 21 to 23. Lamframboise has already withdrawn from the conference.
The London Guardian is now reporting that Diageo, one of the world’s largest alcohol beverage companies, has pulled funding for the free-market think tank.
“Diageo vigorously opposes climate scepticism and our actions are proof of this,” a Diageo spokesperson told the British news outlet. “Diageo's only association with the Heartland Institute was limited to a small contribution made two years ago specifically related to an excise tax issue. Diageo has no plans to work with the Heartland Institute in the future.”