Heartland's Billboards and Joe Romm's stunning hypocrisy

UPDATE5: 5/5/10:30AM Donna Laframboise pulls out of the conference.


Instead, those of us who had accepted Heartland’s invitation to take part in its conference found ourselves blindsided – a mere two weeks before the conference is set to begin – by a torrent of negative press. Suddenly, we were all publicly linked to an organization that thinks it’s OK to equate people concerned about climate change with psychopaths.

Blindsided is right. AFAIK, not one attendee was given the courtesy of weighing in on the billboard campaign beforehand, and if I had been given that courtesy my answer would have been a resounding NO. Instead, I believe we all got the notice after the fact.

UPDATE4: 7PM PST Heartland issues a press release ending the billboard

May 04, 2012

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.

The following statement by Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast may be used for attribution. For more information, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at jlakely@heartland.org or 312-377-4000.

“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.”


UPDATE3: 3:15PM PST I saw this private letter to Joe Bast earlier from Ross McKitrick, and I agreed with Ross in a reply. He has posted it on Climate Audit so I’ll share an excerpt here:

He wrote:  “This kind of fallacious, juvenile and inflammatory rhetoric does nothing to enhance your reputation…”

“…hands your opponents a huge stick to beat you with, and sullies the reputation of the speakers you had recruited. Any public sympathy you had built up as a result of the Gleick fiasco will be lost–and more besides–as a result of such a campaign. I urge you to withdraw it at once.”.


From Joe Bast via email:

We will stop running it at 4:00 p.m. CST today. (It’s a digital billboard, so a simple phone call is all it takes.)

UPDATE: I’ve added a simple poll at the bottom to gauge opinion on this issue. – Anthony

There’s a disturbance in the farce. Tom Nelson captures these:

Heartland Institute launches campaign linking terrorism, murder, and global warming belief – Capital Weather Gang – The Washington Post

Do you believe global warming is real, poses risks to the environment, and needs to be addressed? The Heartland Institute, a think-tank based in Chicago which has promoted climate skepticism, wants you to know you’re in some sinister company.

Twitter / @eilperin: In new ads, the Heartland …

In new ads, the Heartland Institute suggests only terrorists believe in the link b/w human activity and global warming: wapo.st/IOUuEI

Predictably, ThinkProgress/Climate Progress is all bent out of shape.


But Joe Romm and Brad Johnson (who now also runs “Forecast the Facts” to hassle TV weatherpeople) think nothing of making a similar comparison about “deniers”.

Speaking of “mass murderers and madmen”….


Romm of course will be unable to embrace his own hypocrisy, because he’s reportedly paid a six figure sum by the Center for American Progress to write the hateful detritus he produces daily.

That said, I’ll be blunt; I think Heartland’s billboard campaign is a huge misstep, and does nothing but piss people off and divide the debate further. IMHO it isn’t going to win any converts, and had they asked me I would have told them that it is a bad idea that will backfire on them.

Here’s what they have issued in a press release about it:

May 03, 2012

May 3, 2012 – Billboards in Chicago paid for by The Heartland Institute point out that some of the world’s most notorious criminals say they “still believe in global warming” – and ask viewers if they do, too.

Heartland’s first digital billboard – along the inbound Eisenhower Expressway (I-290) in Maywood – is the latest effort by the free-market think tank to inform the public about what it views as the collapsing scientific, political, and public support for the theory of man-made global warming. It is also reminding viewers of the questionable ethics of global warming’s most prominent proponents.

“The most prominent advocates of global warming aren’t scientists,” said Heartland’s president, Joseph Bast. “They are Charles Manson, a mass murderer; Fidel Castro, a tyrant; and Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber. Global warming alarmists include Osama bin Laden and James J. Lee (who took hostages inside the headquarters of the Discovery Channel in 2010).

Bast added, “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.” For more about the billboards and why Heartland says people should not still believe in global warming, click here.

Ugh. Ugly.

There’s more than enough climate ugliness to go around. Though, it seems harder and harder to find this ultimate warmist embarrassment.

Anybody that can help with Donna’s suggestion?

And there’s many more examples of climate ugliness from the left that we’ve seen.

On another note, the serially mendacious commenter known as “Dorlomin” left this comment over at the Romm shop:

dorlomin says:

Is this a good time to remind everyone of when Watts was posting the UK neonazi party, the BNPs, opinions on climate change?

I thought I should clear this up. First, “dorlomin” of course is all about smear, that’s his MO, and the MO of the many anonymous cowards who purvey such things without having any integrity or courage themselves.

Second, the simple fact is that I didn’t know about the association of the person making the claim that “Climate skepticism could soon be a criminal offence in UK


Third, when I learned who was behind the story, I immediately took it down because it was an inappropriate source, just like I don’t post videos from LaRouche and other fringe organizations.

Of course “dorlomin” and left foot forward would have you believe that I consort with these folks and have them over for drinks and dinner, rather than the fact that once I learned more, I found them offensive and immediately deleted the story.  It was my mistake for not checking sources further.

“dorlomin” is of course playing the very hate game he rants about, and is hypocritically blind just like Romm. The only difference is that one is paid to produce propoganda and the other is a coward.

But will Climate Progress delete their offensive story about climate deniers and terrorists? Not likely, it would hurt their sales figures image.


Note: multiple anti vote stuffing features are enabled in this poll. I’ve made the questions simple so that editorial bias in the questions is minimal.

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John W
May 4, 2012 10:52 am

Bad move by Heartland. Now it makes them look like they are playing climate games. Stick to the facts and science!

May 4, 2012 10:54 am

OH heartland, what have you done ?
It’s like a friend who gets drunk at a party and pukes on the hostesses dress.
He’s still a friend , but …….

May 4, 2012 10:56 am

What were Heartand thinking of ? Can someone ask them? This is in very poor taste irrespective of what the ‘other’ side does..

May 4, 2012 10:56 am

“That said, I’ll be blunt, I think Heartland’s billboard campaign is a huge misstep, and does nothing but piss people off and divide the debate further. IMHO it isn’t going to win any converts, and had they asked me I would have told them that it is a bad idea that will backfire on them.”
I’m so relieved to read this. I couldn’t agree more. This is just an awful idea, poorly conceived and guaranteed to do nothing but inflame. It doesn’t even make any sense…

May 4, 2012 10:59 am

Aww. That’s really nice of them… not.

May 4, 2012 11:01 am

This is a foolish choice by Heartland. It reduces their seriousness in my eyes, and I am a donor to Heartland. I urge them to end this immediately.
As to Romm’s hypocrisy- what else is new? Romm has never not been a loud mouthed jerk or a hypocrite.

May 4, 2012 11:05 am

Wait a min…………….
I was told that Heartland was a highly skilled and highly paid…..
…oh nevermind

Paul Westhaver
May 4, 2012 11:06 am

Glad to see that Romm circulated the billboard advertisement equating warmists to criminals. [snip] They lie about the climate. They commit science fraud. (Peter Gleick, Michael Mann, Phil Jones…)
Good on Romm for letting the other world…. his world…..look in the mirror for a few seconds…. hypocritical though it may be.

May 4, 2012 11:07 am

Are we sure gleick didn’t do a few more things on the side, while he was posing as a member of the board?
All joking aside, someone at Heartland made a serious mistake. The warmists are doing all they can to scrub their own extreme idiocies, re: ‘No pressure,’ from the internet, but they will hang onto this one tooth, appell and nail.

May 4, 2012 11:09 am

Osama believed in AGW – and he blamed AGW on the US:
…causing ZT to divine Osama’s urban heat island effected hiding place: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/29/strange-but-true-bin-laden-on-global-warming/#comment-303133
…but as yet no reward paid to ZT 🙁

May 4, 2012 11:10 am

I think this is really stupid they should withdraw it immediately. The alarmist will be jumping all over it it amazes me.

Ethically Civil
May 4, 2012 11:10 am

Sorry. That’s just unwise and sophomoric. The fact that Torquemada believed in God doesn’t impeach the work of Billy Graham or Mother Theresa.

May 4, 2012 11:12 am

Sad to see Heartland has sunk to Romm’s level. This is the sort of thing that almost justifies Gleick’s actions. I do hope Heartland, despite their frustrations, will get back to sound science.

May 4, 2012 11:12 am

I was going to make a donation myself, but this is just so poorly done it makes me wonder if they’re to be trusted. Jesus. We’re getting to be no better than the other side. I feel sick.

David, UK
May 4, 2012 11:13 am

Focussing on the Heartland’s billboard itself: I can’t understand the thinking behind this. Heartland have had the indisputable moral upper hand ever since Fakegate (and long before that in the eyes of many of us). And then they go and do this? I mean! Gleick would have happily faked up a story like this. Talk about own goal.

May 4, 2012 11:13 am

I come across dorlomin quite a bit on the Grauniad`s CiF page. He is, indeed, a coward.

May 4, 2012 11:14 am

BIG mistake by Heartland, just plain stupid. I hope that tank has not run out of ‘think’ because up ’til now I had a lot of respect for them. The pro/anti AGW ‘debate’ is getting crazier and I would love to know what muppet thought billboards like that were a good idea.

May 4, 2012 11:15 am

Add another vote to the ‘really dumb idea’ column…

May 4, 2012 11:15 am

Shouldn’t the ‘full up’ Warmista’s (Hot-stas?) know who they have ‘driven’ (read that ‘influenced’) with their CAGW drivel (Hansen and his coal ‘death’ trains for instance) over the years?
(I think HI may have just done that …)
BTW, for anyone still interested at this point, here is their rational: http://climateconference.heartland.org/our-billboards/

May 4, 2012 11:16 am

Thankyou for writing this paragraph;
“That said, I’ll be blunt, I think Heartland’s billboard campaign is a huge misstep, and does nothing but piss people off and divide the debate further. IMHO it isn’t going to win any converts, and had they asked me I would have told them that it is a bad idea that will backfire on them.”
The issues pertinent to any PR campaign are
Is it true?
Is it effective?
Don’t run the campaign if the answer to either question is ‘No’.
This Heartland Institute campaign is ‘true’ because it is factually accurate, but it is unlikely to be effective because its extremism is not likely to interest the uncommitted. Indeed, the campaign’s extremism is likely to repel the uncommitted (as the AGW-alarmist ‘red button’ video repelled all except the alarmists).
It is foolish to spend money on a campaign which is likely to have the opposite effect to that which is intended/desired.

May 4, 2012 11:16 am

Heartland have behaved like a bunch of poisonous clowns on this one. The first time I heard of them was on CiF when the Grauniad were tripping over each other to be the first one to shoot themselves in the foot over Gleickgate.

Bill Illis
May 4, 2012 11:17 am

Its just in poor taste and it is also irrelevant who believes or doesn’t believe in global warming.

John West
May 4, 2012 11:18 am

I think billboards of astronauts saying something like:
“Global Warming? Probably.”
“Man’s Fault? Doubtful. “
“Catastrophic? NOT.”
Would be better.

Don Keiller
May 4, 2012 11:18 am


May 4, 2012 11:19 am

A dumb move, but funny in a, we can be just as crass and stupid as you, type of way…

May 4, 2012 11:19 am

I still support their broad goals, but Heartland just blew the advantage they gained form Gleick’s scam.
I told the Heartland people I know exactly this in no uncertain terms. I urged them to take these billboards down, NOW, and to apologize for lowering themselves to the same level as Romm, gleick, 10:10, gore, hanse, Mann, ettc.
Sadly they make a good point about terrorists and tyrants, but they are way past inflammatory and prejudicial. And this reduces the sympathy they deserve for what Gleick (and pals) did to Heartland. this could hurt them financially more than what gleick could have dreamed of in his fakegate.

Brad R
May 4, 2012 11:22 am

“That said, I’ll be blunt; I think Heartland’s billboard campaign is a huge misstep, and does nothing but piss people off and divide the debate further. ”
Thanks for saying this; I agree. The last thing you want to do, when you have the moral high ground, is to give it up. Sure, the alarmists are in no position to complain, what with “deniers” and all…but now *we* are in no position to complain about *their* invidious comparisons. A bad move by Heartland, on many levels.

May 4, 2012 11:23 am

If those of us who are interested in preventing the Marxists from destroying civilization “stick with the science” we will loose. Exposing the true nature of the greenies is the only weapon we have. Hopefully the very few who’s brains are still capable of some function will see that they are nothing but tools of evil people out to enslave mankind.

May 4, 2012 11:24 am

Heartland’s justification for this ill-conceived direction can be found here:

May 4, 2012 11:27 am

Wrong approach. The public needs real information, not a list of the nuts that support CAGW. Give them some comforting facts.

May 4, 2012 11:28 am

Doesn’t it make you want to get out your checkbook and send more money to the Heartland stinktank? Science by political consesus = Mutual-inter-assumptive confabulation.
Who gives a rip who believes it or not? That’s not science, but religion. The important questions should be who’s doing real science? And what have they found that can be proven?

Michael F
May 4, 2012 11:29 am

Argh. After actually doing a lot of good by giving a platform for open debate, how could Heartland do something this foolish? Irrelevant to the debate (which we have long tried to keep focused on the science), foolish in its presentation and all around damaging to what they claim they support.
I would really like to hear what committee thought this was a good idea or who greenlighted this. They let the Poli Sci majors out the bar again it looks like.

May 4, 2012 11:30 am

Politicaly correct, isn’t always right. I believe Heartland has a point, global warming is the belief of mademenn and human haters.

May 4, 2012 11:31 am

Heartland you had it made with fakegate, and now with cagw crowd having a much bigger pr, you guys blew it bigtime.

May 4, 2012 11:33 am

I’m sure there are equally odious people who are skeptics on CAGW. But this would be equally irrelevant to the issue.
HI has jumped the shark on this one.

May 4, 2012 11:34 am

LOL – what makes any of you holy people think science decides the issue? Out here its all about propaganda and as any good strategists will tell you once the war is joined then all the fancy science has fallen to AGW propaganda as if it didn’t exist. Ask the Nazis how propaganda works or the communists – masters of propaganda all. There’s nothing pure about AGW, never was. And if we’re going to play with the big boys then get down in the trenches. Trillions of dollars spend by governments world wide wasn’t based on hard science – that was based on a long campaign of leftist newspaper, television, government paid lobbyists and climate “scientists” who played the propaganda game better than any of us.

May 4, 2012 11:35 am

Heartland aims, shoots…and hits itself in both feet.
This is incredible; they were winning by being squeaky clean and above the alarmist fray. Someone with clout tell them to remove it immediately with a big hands up and an admission that it was thoroughly ill conceived.

May 4, 2012 11:38 am

Just so shallow and down in the gutter, no different to pop stars appearing at politicians conventions or the argument it’s true because there is a “consensus”.

May 4, 2012 11:39 am

just dumb… utterly polarising (just preaching to very extreme members of the sceptic tribe)
very very dumb
(like 10:10) how could the not predict how it would be perceived and used.. Peter Gleick becomes a hero. Michael Mann, gets to say I told you so about Heartland, twitter frenzy about this about, a) how dumb Heartland are do this, b) this is what sceptics are like..
If Heartland are watching, pull it down now, and apologise, without reservation to ALL the sceptics (and everyone else) for doing something so dumb. Did they not see this is what Romm did with the Norwegian Killer..
Have I said it alllready..
I’ll say it again, dumb, offensive and polarising. Utterly counterproductive

May 4, 2012 11:40 am

Great, this garbage today and the ” connect the dots ” 350.org garbage tomorrow 🙁

May 4, 2012 11:44 am

Anonymous posting is not cowardly. That would be like saying that soldiers are cowardly because they wear camoflage. There was a time when it was actually considered cowardly to take off your red coat and put on camoflage. It was thought that a brave man didn’t hide, he stood up tall out in the open on the battlefield, instead of hiding behind a rock. But then people realized that if your goal is to protect your life and your freedom, you have no responsibility to make it easy for the bad guys to kill you. If you don’t care about proving your bravery, particularly because going into battle at all is proof enough, even with camoflage, then you are more likely to accomplish your goal with camoflage.
When posting about a controversial subject, anonymity gives some protection against retaliation. Valuing protection is not cowardice any more than camoflage is. It is just good sense. You wear a seatbelt, not because you’re scared or cowardly, but because it gives some protection.
On the other hand, if you are going to make slanderous factual assertions not based on the public record, or certain other nasty behaviors, then it may be appropriate for people to know who you really are so you can be held accountable .

May 4, 2012 11:44 am

I think the idea of billboards is great. We NEED to get the attention of the masses.However, I agree that a billboards more like John West proposed would be better. It seems most of the oblivious “sheep” out there have lost interest in global warming and they need to be re-engaged. The Obama administration, thru the EPA, contrary to what most people think, is still aggressively instituting the global warming agenda and it needs to be reversed. If we want an America that is still a world power and a leader in technology development we have to reverse course. We definitely need to get the majority of the people to wake up to what is happening and billboards would be a great way to bring it back to the forefront.

May 4, 2012 11:45 am

As a member of the English Defence League I know what it’s like to be smeared with the same brush as Anders Breivick because of a tenuous connection. I wonder if Wikipedia and Medal of Honor, which Breivick also cited, will receive the same treatment? Personally I think not.

May 4, 2012 11:46 am

It is not the way for science and or a civilized society to move forward.

May 4, 2012 11:47 am

Stunningly stupid.

Luther Bl't
May 4, 2012 11:47 am

IMO the UNO/Warmistas are guilty of institutional racism.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institutional_racism – “Institutional racism is the differential access to the goods, services, and opportunities of society.”
Now consider the Rio 1992, UNFCCC, and Kyoto Protocol – due to (a) the risk of CAGW, (b) the Precautionary Principle means that (c) only ‘carbon neutral’ sustainable development is to be allowed in the future, so (d) currently rich nations must curb further growth by (e) replacing traditional energy sources with ‘renewable’ energy, and they must also (f) levy ‘carbon’ taxes on their citizens to be transferred (g) via the UNO and subject to a ‘handling charge’ to (h) poor nations as compensation for the lack of goods, service, and opportunities – that is to say, the institutional racism – which they will have to endure in the future in order to be compliant.
Find a ‘watermelon’, and observe the reaction to this argument.

May 4, 2012 11:48 am

I see the warmists are howling with rage, they obviously are the type of people who can dish it out but not take it…

Jay P
May 4, 2012 11:49 am

It’s the true face of Climate Skepticism folks. You make make your bed, you gotta sleep in it.

May 4, 2012 11:49 am

BIG mistake Heartland, take them down and apologise

May 4, 2012 11:50 am

[snip. You know why. ~dbs, mod.]

May 4, 2012 11:51 am

We’re winning with facts, not politically inspired bulls**t. Besides, we believe in a degree or so of global warming coming out of the Little Ice Age. Just not in a politician’s ability to do anything about it.
Not helpful, guys at Heartland. You’d be better served pursuing criminal charges against Peter Gleik.

May 4, 2012 11:53 am

As my first post (above) explains, I think this PR campaign by the Heartland Institute (HI) is a serious mistake. I now write to say I think I know why the HI has made that mistake.
To begin I relate an anecdote.
I was talking with a representative of HI as the first HI climate conference (at which I was a speaker) was ending. He said (I think I quote him verbatim);
“This is great. All these journalists who’ve now heard all these top scientists speaking out. At last the public will hear about the ‘other side’ of this debate.”
I smiled and replied saying;
“I hope you’re right, but I don’t think so. I and others have been telling the truth about ‘global warming’ for decades to no effect. Journalists only publish news, and ‘Nothing to worry about’ is not news.”
The expression on his face told me he thought my reply was not good, so the conversation discontinued.
But I was proved right by subsequent events.
Since then, five more similar excellent HI climate conferences have been held, and all have had similar effect on journalists’ reporting of ‘climate skepticism’ (i.e. none). In fact things got worse:
when a BBC TV team attended an HI climate conference the result was a TV program which grossly distorted ‘climate skeptic’ views and used selective editing to misrepresent people the BBC had interviewed at the conference
the only significant response to the HI climate conferences has been Gleickgate (which also obtained little proper reportage in the media).
Being nice has not worked for HI and (understandably) the HI has got frustrated.
The HI has not reached the destination the HI hoped to obtain with its first climate conference. In these circumstances, a HI ‘change of direction’ is understandable. The PR campaign is such a change but, unfortunately, it steers straight at an iceberg. The campaign requires a course change or the next HI climate conference could imitate the Titanic.

May 4, 2012 11:53 am

Yea its a mistep from Heartland. Its cheap. Time to take it down and try another approach.

May 4, 2012 11:57 am

I don’t know. Yes I understand this is PERCEIVED to be over the top/nasty etc; but WHY ?
Consider : Anthony is taken to task because he posted a link to an utterance from a left wing organisation demonised as being NAZI (the BNP; if you dare read its manifesto is a socialist organisation; that is why it was called the National SOCIALIST Party).
No one thinks twice about those supporting Communists.
Yet Communism and Socialism make the National SOCIALIST tyrant Hitler look like a rank amateur in the crimes against humanity/mass murder stakes.
We are called deniers in an outright bid to make us look like Nazi sympathisers; meanwhile those doing so deny the following :
Scientific Method
Communism’s death toll
African Socialism’s death toll
That there was anything wrong with the 10:10 video
That there is anything wrong in lying
That there are moral absolutes (apart from the absolute that they are always without question right; even when they are wrong).
These people have infected our entire civilisations to the extent it is morally OK to support some of the biggest mass murderers in history (MaoZseDung; Stalin; Pohl Pot). But heaven help you if you dare question them; their motives or their right to order hoi poli around.
I can only assume some people in the Heartland Institute just got so sick of the sanctimonious preaching from the morally corrupt; that they cracked and decided it really was time to call a spade a spade.

May 4, 2012 11:58 am

A picture of Pachauri would have been far better.

May 4, 2012 11:59 am

FWIW….as a ‘pro-AGW’ scientist (whatever that is) it’s good to see the majority of posters here criticizing this. On either side, things like this are a mistake.

May 4, 2012 12:00 pm

Almost unbelievably foolish but ultimately, no matter what the Warmists would have people believe, the Heartland Institute are NOT “the sceptical case”.
Even a PR blunder of this size won’t alter the facts of Natural Climate Change, whereas ever time the other side do something similarly stupid with their propaganda they’re chipping away at the only “truth” they’ve got.

May 4, 2012 12:02 pm

This is hilarious – the blanket condemnation of Heartland and not one word on the AGW outrages printed on this same page.

May 4, 2012 12:05 pm

Send ’em an e-mail. Here’s mine:
Your current billboards associating climate alarmists with notorious criminals is, as they say, “Worse than a crime, it is a blunder.”

Luther Wu
May 4, 2012 12:07 pm

I needed a great big laugh on a Friday afternoon.
Thanks for posting this hilarity.

William Astley
May 4, 2012 12:08 pm

Pull the billboards!
The science does not support the extreme AGW paradigm. Carbon dioxide is not a poison. Billions of dollars has been wasted and will be wasted on ‘green’ scams which do not significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions such as the conversion of food to biofuel. The billboards do not communicate that message.
Silly, rude irrelevant billboards will not convince anyone and provide the media with an opportunity to attempt to marginalize the so called ‘skeptics’. (i.e. To discuss the billboards rather than to discuss the lack of warming, economics of wind farms and solar farms, and so on.)

May 4, 2012 12:09 pm

I don’t have any problem with hitting hard, but this is a mis-aimed hit.
If you’re going to do shocking visuals, birds chopped by a wind-turbine would be more to the point. Or the grave of a Malaysian farmer starved by biofuel speculators, or an elderly British woman frozen in her flat because she couldn’t pay the electric bill.

May 4, 2012 12:12 pm

I’d like to know what they were thinking. Can we now expect a contest to see who has the most crazies on their team? Kind of pointless and counterproductive, don’t you think?

P Walker
May 4, 2012 12:12 pm

I think it’s pretty funny , although stooping to Romm et al’s level is probably a mistake . That said , to take it down now would likely be seen as a victory for the “cause” .

Benjamin D Hillicoss
May 4, 2012 12:12 pm

damn heartland for telling the truth…the only difference between al gore and ted K is a few bombs

Berényi Péter
May 4, 2012 12:15 pm

This criminal/terrorist connection is somewhat over the top indeed. However, Enron’s Global Climate Change Statement could be publicized widely, with no comment whatsoever.
To counter all the warmista talk about Big Evil Business, just saying.

Bill Illis
May 4, 2012 12:16 pm

The annual Heartland climate change conference is coming up later this month in Chicago. Maybe it was done to create some controversy and thereby get more media attention (which would likely have to be provided through local media sources since national sources are unlikely to send crews etc.).

May 4, 2012 12:16 pm

Has this story been confirmed,this has got to be a fakegate 2

R Barker
May 4, 2012 12:17 pm

While the billboard campaign most likely seems very logical to the Heartland leadership, I had to read their rationale to see what point they were trying to make. The message is not billboard material unless it is immediately obvious to the people you want to reach. I could be wrong. Maybe I am the only one puzzled by what I saw.
Heartland had the high ground but will give it up with this billboard campaign. Quick, cover them up with something else or just paint them over for now and reply to the negative MSM publicity with a retraction, saying you simply made a mistake.

May 4, 2012 12:18 pm

“…had they asked me I would have told them that it is a bad idea that will backfire on them.”
When your enemy is busy making a mistake, don’t be distracting him!

Chad Woodburn
May 4, 2012 12:18 pm

Sadly, the poor choice by Heartland will for many catastrophic AGW believers merely cause them to reconsider supporting the unibomber as a hero.

May 4, 2012 12:19 pm

Comments on this issue are a stunning example of hypocrisy and cowardice in itself.
[snip – that’s over the top, sorry ~mod]

James Evans
May 4, 2012 12:20 pm

As a member of the English Defence League I know what it’s like to be smeared with the same brush as Anders Breivick because of a tenuous connection.
“Anthony is taken to task because he posted a link to an utterance from a left wing organisation demonised as being NAZI (the BNP; if you dare read its manifesto is a socialist organisation; that is why it was called the National SOCIALIST Party).”
This place is starting to worry me.

May 4, 2012 12:22 pm

/me not sanguine my comment will get posted, but i liked it so ima copy it from romm’s puddle:
gnomish says:
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
May 4, 2012 at 3:18 pm
i think it would be a nice idea if each of you, when you go home today, thinks of something he can do to reduce global hypocrisy.

May 4, 2012 12:23 pm

Your post at May 4, 2012 at 11:57 am is daft.
Fascists are right-wing and socialists are left-wing.
Fascists claim to be National Socialists because (everywhere except the US) socialism is liked and fascists know few people would vote for them if they said what they really are.
And the BNP is to the right of Genghis Khan.

May 4, 2012 12:23 pm

Benjamin D Hillicoss says:
May 4, 2012 at 12:12 pm
“damn heartland for telling the truth…the only difference between al gore and ted K is a few bombs”

John A
May 4, 2012 12:28 pm

I thought we’d passed the stage of giving credence to a proposition based on who believes or disbelieves that proposition a long time ago. Its a fallacy and a propaganda coup all rolled into one.

May 4, 2012 12:29 pm

Jay P says:
May 4, 2012 at 11:49 am
“It’s the true face of Climate Skepticism folks. You make make your bed, you gotta sleep in it.”

Gail Combs
May 4, 2012 12:30 pm

A very bad move on heartland’s part. WE had the moral high ground because we had pretty much reframed from the mud slinging allowing the other side to do it instead.
Heartland should have followed Anthony’s lead of politeness and civility. (Anthony is much more patient in that regard than I)

May 4, 2012 12:31 pm

How can Romm’s hypocrisy be stunning when it’s actually totally expected? I’d be stunned if he hadn’t compared skeptics to terrorists.

Ian Hoder
May 4, 2012 12:32 pm

Just let the facts speak for themselves and leave the fear mongering to the alarmists. Why play their game? They’re LOSING.

May 4, 2012 12:32 pm

Some reasoned comment from Brendan O’Neill…
“Okay, yes, it is not the most sophisticated advertising campaign in world history. But I don’t remember greens getting their panties in a bunch on the 700,000 previous occasions (that’s a rough estimate) when non-belief in global warming was likened to being a terrorist, a Nazi, or Beelzebub. Indeed, greens – including some of those who choked on their muesli this morning when they heard about Heartland’s advert antics – are world experts in comparing their critics to Hitler and other assorted nutjobs.”

May 4, 2012 12:35 pm

albertalad says:
May 4, 2012 at 11:34 am
LOL – what makes any of you holy people think science decides the issue? Out here its all about propaganda and as any good strategists will tell you once the war is joined then all the fancy science has fallen to AGW propaganda as if it didn’t exist.

A good point; the choir here (and mind you, there is nothing wrong or bad about choirs!) is only one ‘theater’ where events and media ‘happens’; then there is the larger ‘theater’ of Joe Six pack out there on the Dan Ryan Expressway in/around Chicago …
Mark me down as “No opinion” btw on this issue but I do see from where the concerns ‘spring’ or originate.
Meanwhile this will get/fetch far more press at low to no cost than HI could muster otherwise.
I might still like it explained by someone why it is egregious to point out the influence the CAGW crowd has had on some of our more notorious criminals (like Ted K.), too. At this point I don’t know how much ‘motive’ AGW was for some of these characters, but didn’t Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, have a copy of Algore’s book (Earth in the Balance) in his possession, or was it the parallel writing style the two had as when Algore’s book and Ted’s manifesto were compared?
Ted;s 35,000-word essay was titled: “Industrial Society and Its Future”. The FBI simply called it the “Unabomber Manifesto”:

Robin Hewitt
May 4, 2012 12:35 pm

Patently an ad campaign not aimed at WUWT readers, but WUWT readers don’t need persuading.
This is aimed at Homer Simpson.
The question is… Are there more Homer Simpsons than WUWT readers?

Tom J
May 4, 2012 12:36 pm

You mention that “…multiple anti vote stuffing features are enabled in this poll.” Don’t you realize that I’m from Chicago and voting “early and often” is our right? All kidding aside, I think this is a big blunder on the part of Heartland. For one thing it could make the nonsense that spewed out of Gleick’s mouth believable. If the Heartland’s ad didn’t backfire and proved to be successful PR it would still be a bad think. Finally, I had the misfortune a few years back, to have had a boss who said I looked like the Unabomber and took to calling me Ted Kaczynski in the office. And I’m a skeptic for chrissake!

May 4, 2012 12:37 pm

Light-heartedness is the key to effectiveness. Josh’s cartoons would have been better.
HI not only came up with a bad idea, it apparently didn’t “check it out” with sympathetic outsiders or a focus group first, which is just as bad a mistake (arrogant, headstrong).
How about posting charts of flat-lined temperatures, etc. over the caption, “The Warm Is Turning”?
Or a montage of dead windmills over a headline, “There are *** of these dead whirligigs in the US now, but still we’re building more–Why? (And why haven’t you been told this?)”
Or a photo of the pollution around a solar plant in China over the caption, “Clean? Green?”
It’s so simple.

May 4, 2012 12:37 pm

“This is incredible; they were winning by being squeaky clean and above the alarmist fray. Someone with clout tell them to remove it immediately with a big hands up and an admission that it was thoroughly ill conceived.”
Too late. Damage done. it’s now akin to Glieke’s “Serious lapse of professional judgement…”
this kind of thing is like getting pregnant. it’s something that can’t be done half-way. they are now in and have to face the consequences and the loss of the Ace in the hole.
Too bad.
Unfortunately Jay Lehr has a bit of a history of going off the handle at times and doing things which just don’t make sense.

John Whitman
May 4, 2012 12:40 pm

We have read in the main post about what some say who are critical of the Heartland billboards.
Here is part of the other side of the story from Heartland’s website which has a whole section about its billboards. Here is a small portion of what they say:

[ . . . ]
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.
Of course, not all global warming alarmists are murderers or tyrants. But the Climategate scandal and the more recent Fakegate scandal revealed that the leaders of the global warming movement are willing to break the law and the rules of ethics to shut down scientific debate and implement their left-wing agendas.
[ . . . ]

They are not pulling any punches nor apologizing. Let the discussion go on. It is time for a discussion of who supports alarmism and why.

David Ball
May 4, 2012 12:40 pm

If someone is throwing punches, should you just stand there? These guys are fighting REALLY dirty. The vast majority of the world couldn’t really give a fiddler’s fork about “global climate warming change catastrophe”. Should wake some people up anyway, …..

May 4, 2012 12:40 pm

The poll needs a “Yes, Thank G*d” option.

May 4, 2012 12:41 pm

I get what Heartland was after but they blew the execution of the campaign. They are tired of being painted as the ‘fringe’ when they (we) are not but trying to link CAGW belief to these madmen is a stretch too far and is unnecessarily offensive to boot.
I do agree that “winning on the science” isn’t going to work with a certain segment of the population. So, it’s good to try something else but not this. I would suggest going for humor/irony instead. It would be interesting to undertake a serious campaign about the evidence and catastrophic risks of the likely-to-continue natural global cooling. Think about the impact of such a campaign:
– It clearly shows that global warming is likely bogus (can’t cool and warm at once).
– Any attempts to refute the data (models aren’t accurate, temp measurements are approximate, etc) also undermine CAGW arguments.
– Mainstream media in search of a catastrophe story would snap it up.
– There is mounds of inarguable evidence, both current and historic.
– Global cooling can only be due to natural causes, so no policy proscriptions apply (however, it does highlight the real need for cost-effective, reliable 24/7 energy sources).
– Lots of fun creating valid cooling analogs for all the warming tropes: instead of greenhouse we have the icehouse house effect, instead of climate change we have the risk of our climate going ‘dormant’ (it would be disastrous if the climate stopped changing), theoretical cooling feedbacks might lead to ‘runaway cooling’, etc.
– Any discussion of the potential risks of CNGC (Catastrophic Natural Global Cooling), also makes a case for the benefits of warming.
If Heartland wants to ‘go negative’ with a counter-campaign to CAGW, this would be far more effective.

May 4, 2012 12:42 pm

I agree with most posters here that this is probably a big mistake, but the world of PR sometimes delivers some surprises. Speculation above that this was done to ensure coverage by the media of up coming events might make it worth while. Keep in mind the public relations axiom there is no such thing as bad publicity (assuming you can spin things properly after the story breaks).
There are several ways I can imagine that this could turn out to be a positive move in the long run. The folks most offended here are the folks that would not have their minds changed by any means. It could however be a gateway to discussion in the open media of how often the AGW crowd have openly called for totalitarian moves against skeptics. The media has largely ignored the implicit threat in those comments but sometimes a strategy to make discussion of an undesirable topic is to make it look reasonable compared to some far more extreme comment.
Only time will tell, and I think it is either a very bad mistake or a very risky move that “could” somehow in the long run be net beneficial. For example if Heartland has some shocking discovery to announce showing malicious intent by the primary advocates of AGW that this campaign would open the door to expose.
Heartland I think you blew it, but hope you know what you are doing!

May 4, 2012 12:43 pm

Simply put – 2 wrongs do not make a right (but 3 lefts do).

Mark C
May 4, 2012 12:50 pm

Ted Kaczynski probably believes that the sky is blue and that grass is green. Should I stop believing the same things just because Ted does?
Mr Bast needs to learn which side of the claymore mine is the “front” before setting it off. This belongs in the “I’m too dumb to be running an institute” bucket and the only sufficient apology is a resignation letter.

May 4, 2012 12:52 pm

Grossly overstating your case is a strategic error. Reasonable people will stop believing you and your opponents will gain ammunition.
How many times has Al Gore’s ill-considered contention that “the debate is over” been used against him? It’s practically a hashtag of the skeptical community.

May 4, 2012 12:55 pm

John Whitman,
I guess we’re not part of the consensus. I saw nothing dishonest about the billboard. But then, I always wear my heart on my sleeve.
I would have preferred to see a billboard with a picture of a reputable scientist or astronaut, with a good money quote.

May 4, 2012 12:55 pm

Hmmm, their ad is accurate but “ill-conceived, badly timed, stupid, shooting their feet, jumping the shark”!?!?! I guess we can forget using Hitler or Pol Pot in the next one huh?
Whole lotta groupthink and politically correct nonsense going on here. This is how we got here in the first place. This is why billions of dollars have already been wasted. This is why your children are being brainwashed behind your back as we speak. This is how eco-Zealots have thoroughly infiltrated government agencies and NGO’s. This is why the lesser of two evils, the (R) party is called the stupid party.
The way to defeat the enemy is to make THEIR position politically incorrect, not by friendly fire from a politically correct bandwagon. I stand with agree with these commenters and the 25 others that voted NO to the poll question …

DesertYote [May 4, 2012 at 11:23 am] says:
“If those of us who are interested in preventing the Marxists from destroying civilization “stick with the science” we will loose. Exposing the true nature of the greenies is the only weapon we have. Hopefully the very few who’s brains are still capable of some function will see that they are nothing but tools of evil people out to enslave mankind.”

Egfinn [May 4, 2012 at 11:30 am] says:
“Politicaly correct, isn’t always right. I believe Heartland has a point, global warming is the belief of mademenn and human haters.”

peter_dtm [May 4, 2012 at 11:57 am] says:
(… what he said …)

albertalad [May 4, 2012 at 12:02 pm] says:
“This is hilarious – the blanket condemnation of Heartland and not one word on the AGW outrages printed on this same page.”

Even after everything that has happened from dodging FOIA requests and in-your-face personal attacks, lots of folks seem to still actually believe that this is a nice academic argument about Science, to be won on some intellectual level in a tempered venue. Sorry, this is not really about Science, not the big picture. Science is just the means to an end in this situation. The red-green radical Socialist left is coming after you on many battlefields, not just Science.

Steven Kopits
May 4, 2012 12:56 pm

This was a devastatingly stupid misstep. Nearly 80% say it’s a blunder. And this is a skeptic website. The billboards should come down today. Don’t wait until tomorrow.
Issue a heart(land) felt apology. Quickly.

May 4, 2012 12:57 pm

richardscourtney says:
May 4, 2012 at 12:23 pm
hold your nose & read their manifesto – then come back and say they are not left wing

May 4, 2012 12:58 pm

Sorry I think something is really really wrong about this story

May 4, 2012 12:59 pm

James Evans says:
May 4, 2012 at 12:20 pm
“Anthony is taken to task because he posted a link to an utterance from a left wing organisation demonised as being NAZI (the BNP; if you dare read its manifesto is a socialist organisation; that is why it was called the National SOCIALIST Party).”
This place is starting to worry me.”
A little history for you, James.Henry Ford was an internationalist and a progressive; interested in “The Third Way” as it was called back then. What was the Third Way? The term describes attempts at finding something other than communism and capitalism that works. All kinds of systems have been proposed over time but during Henry Ford’s time several candidates existed:
-Stalin’s Soviet Union.
-a rising new movement in Germany.
-FDR’s progressive government with its planned economy. (An overview of the planning process is given in The Century Of The Self, a documentary by Adam Curtis)
Well, Ford supported Stalin (who changed the doctrine of the Soviet Union from “world revolution” to “socialism in one country” and embarked on rapid industrialization) by having his chief architect Albert Kahn’s company design the first 5 year plan for Stalin and 630 factories which were subsequently built by American and German companies.
And Ford also was the biggest benefactor of that new rising movement in Germany…. he later got a medal for it – in July 1938, the Adlerschild des Deutschen Reiches.
This modern distinction of communism as extreme left and that other movement as extreme right was obviously not apparent to Henry.

May 4, 2012 1:01 pm

What does Joe Romm have to do with this? Seriously, if you want, write two posts, but trying to drag Romm into something he has nothing to do with in the spirit of they also do it simply labels whoever does this sort of thing and not well. Remember what Mom Rabett said, just because Antony Watts does it is no reason for you to.
BTW what fraction of a Godwin is Ted Kaczynski?

May 4, 2012 1:02 pm

Sadly the Heartland advertisement has only a weak element of truth. Belief in CAGW (and it is a belief as there is no evidence) is indeed very much anti-Western, anti-American and anti-human civilization religion. It is a terrible thing to desire energy poverty and to desire to go back to horse and cart and no electricity (a sustainable existance). However, Heartland are making a grave mistake, those extremists who espouse CAGW may be misguided or gravy train fraudsters but this is still very very far from a terrorist.
Shame on you Heartland!

May 4, 2012 1:04 pm

I voted “no”. To date, “Warmists” have done great damage to the economies of the industrialized nations and caused incalculable human suffering throughout the world. And they continue to do so to this day, despite the growing, overwhelming evidence that they are WRONG! They are doing it for political power, personal gain and/or both. Some may really be trying to destroy the Western economies. So as far as I’m concerned, this puts them in the same category as Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot. This should be publicized. There may be better ways of doing it, but it still must be done.
Jay Davis

May 4, 2012 1:05 pm

Eli Rabett says:
“BTW what fraction of a Godwin is Ted Kaczynski?”
Truth hurts, doesn’t it, bunniboi?
And who are you, Joe Romm’s nanny? Does he need you for protection? Heh. Romm has a bunny to protect him.

Roger Clague
May 4, 2012 1:06 pm

THe Heartlands Institute say
“These rogues and villains were chosen because they made public statements about how man-made global warming is a crisis and how mankind must take immediate and drastic actions to stop it.
2. Why did Heartland choose to feature these people on its billboards?
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.”
They use the arguement of fault by association, which is not scientific.This is deliberately provocative and possibly ironic. They also asks us to “do our own research” and read theirs
This is an ad for the Climate Change Conference.I hope it will encourage people to attend and the media to report the conference and possibly also the science.

May 4, 2012 1:06 pm

This is a bad move for HI…. I’m not one to say you should always seek the very highest “moral high ground” when in this climate war street fight, but diving into the gutter with Joe Romm and people like the 10:10 campaign “splatter” video is not the way to go, either.
Heartland should fight hard and aggressively for sure, but I don’t see this kind of thing winning any support. It creates ‘notoriety’ not credibility. Sure, the more scurrilous C-AGWarmists ‘deserve’ this kind of treatment, no doubt. But in terms of the effectiveness of public discourse I can’t see this to be helpful to public understanding.
Also, what the ‘other’ side can get away with in rhetoric and and distortion is not an indicator of what ‘skeptics’ can get away with. To the extent this campaign should draw any media attention it will be used solely to portray HI as a fringe player wrestling with the likes of the Unabomber and Fidel Castro. That’s not where they want to be in the public debates!!
It’s like the saying “wrestle with a pig and you both get muddy, but the pig likes it” I’m sure that Ted Kazynski and Fidel Castro (if either is still sentient) might be glad for the notoriety and attention, but I can’t see why Heartland Institute wants to be mentioned in the same breath with the likes of them….

May 4, 2012 1:06 pm

Is Heartland trying to lose ALL their funding/ credibility, or what ?
I’m shocked by the ineptitude.

Paul in Sweden
May 4, 2012 1:07 pm

“That said, I’ll be blunt; I think Heartland’s billboard campaign is a huge misstep, and does nothing but piss people off and divide the debate further. ”
No it will not win any converts. It may stiffen some backbones and wake some of the dead.
After years of reading that CAGW may, might and possibly cause larger or smaller breast sizes and so much more; sometimes you have to call a spade a spade.

May 4, 2012 1:08 pm

I don’t think they should take it down…..
….just change the picture to this

Gunga Din
May 4, 2012 1:09 pm

I read the link with their rational. Because some nut-jobs believe in AGW doesn’t say anything about CAGW itself, doesn’t show how thin the ice is it is resting on, doesn’t show the deceit that has gone into it’s promotion and doesn’t show how it’s being used as an excuse to justify poor (at best) political decisions. Did I forget to mention how it has made most everything cost more?
I think they should replace everyone of them as soon as possible.
Put up a picture of our Energy Secretary with his quote about needing to raise gas prices.
Put up a picture of Obama with the quote about his plan would cause energy prices to skyrocket.
Put up a picture of Phil Jones and Mann and others with quotes from the Climategate emails.

May 4, 2012 1:10 pm

This reminds me, it’s time to make another donation to Heartland. Especially since Obama made Government Motors [GM] cut off funding to Heartland.

May 4, 2012 1:12 pm
Scottish Sceptic
May 4, 2012 1:13 pm

A superb piece of advertising … a shocking bit of science.
Do I condemn the Heartland for the cynical stooping to the level of the warmists “scientists” propagandists or do I congratulate them on the kind of advertising that gets noticed?
Let’s see. Are they scientists or lobbyists?
Never have I had to stoop so low as to defend lobbyists …

John Whitman
May 4, 2012 1:15 pm

Smokey says:
May 4, 2012 at 12:55 pm
John Whitman,
I guess we’re not part of the consensus. I saw nothing dishonest about the billboard. But then, I always wear my heart on my sleeve.

– – – – – – –
I found HI’s write up on the billboards very well put.
Gutsy move by HI. They ain’t no walflowers and I do not think they are looking for support of the adoring fans of political correctness. No warm fuzziness from HI. : )
I would have done it differently, but individual style is to be expected in any PR campaign. They have my respect with this.

May 4, 2012 1:16 pm

“The people who still believe in man-made global warming are mostly on the radical fringe of society.”
Yes, this is true. It is the fringe leftist politicians and econuts that spawned and heavily promoted AGW and it’s push for deindustrialization, like O’s Science Czar John Holdren and his wish to de-develop the United States. So the gist of what they say is true, and those in the middle that subscribe to AGW have been duped by this leftist fringe and MSM.
Maybe the Unabomber thing is a publicity stunt, and it’s true that he as an avid luddite was also going to jump on board any de-industrialization schemes. But, that not the type of fringe we are interested in highlighting. Leftist politicians, not murderers! So, the ad campaign seems unwise, at least at first glance. People don’t like Obama and the radical left… so why not stick to highlighting the leftist connections to the abhorrent AGW theory?

May 4, 2012 1:19 pm

wow, rapid response from Joe Bast…. now did they always conceive of it as just a momentary blast or is this a sudden change of course? I know that viral stuff on the web can be a huge multiplier, maybe this was meant as a brief guerilla move in the PR wars…. ha ha what fun the climate wars can be….

Phil C
May 4, 2012 1:21 pm

“That said, I’ll be blunt; I think Heartland’s billboard campaign is a huge misstep.”
Not very strong language, Anthony. I wonder if you’ve got a comparison of a scientific organization like AAAS, NAS, IPCC, Royal Society or AGU every doing anything remotely like this. Yet I’ve never know you to accept anything they’ve put on climate science out as accurate.

John Whitman
May 4, 2012 1:21 pm

This billboard campaign is very timely. Because of it I am going to have many more topics for good discussions at ICCC-7 !!
Bravo! Can’t wait.

May 4, 2012 1:24 pm

Sez Jason Samenow in his Washington Post whine:

“I can’t help but agree this campaign is offensive and in in­cred­ibly poor taste.”

Meaning that it’s true, it’s very effective, and he hates the hell out of it.
Don’tcha just love it when the target screams in agony to tell that you’ve got yourself a bull’s eye?

D. King
May 4, 2012 1:25 pm

Without comment!

Phil Ford
May 4, 2012 1:26 pm

This so disappointing – if Heartland had money to throw about on billboards it’s clear it lacked the imagination to use its money wisely. I’m angry, because idiocy like this plays right into the hands of our warmist critics who will now enjoy sticking the knife in – and frankly they have every right to. The shame of it is that this is a self-inflicted wound, right ahead of the Heartland conference. What a disaster. I’m so angry, right now.
Every day I have to deal with the sneering disapproval of pro-CAGW peers who consider my sceptical climate views some sort of mental disease; thanks to these clowns at Heartland my opponents now have a big fat handful of ammunition to use against me.
Any confidence I had in the Heartland Institute to use it’s limited resources wisely in the fight against climate alarmists just suffered a potentially fatal blow. I just can’t believe these people would be so irresponsible…

A random science geek
May 4, 2012 1:26 pm

How about this one.
Conspiracy #4
“Many believe that the government is actively denying the claims that the Earth is suffering climate change because it will affect profits of large corporations.”
You really can’t make this stuff up.

May 4, 2012 1:28 pm

From Joe Bast via email:
We will stop running it at 4:00 p.m. CST today. (It’s a digital billboard, so a simple phone call is all it takes.)
It is 3:25 CST right now, just make the f’n call if it is so simple.
Why wait.

from what I understand of billboard system scheduling (I do some digital signage myself) they only do updates once an hour…I got the note right at 1PM, so it was probably too late for the closest update to kick it. Bear in mind these signs run remotely via cell phone modems…not direct links where you can shut down right away. – Anthony

May 4, 2012 1:29 pm

to richardscourtney
I married into a family of journalists – from the U.K., now in the States. They woudl concur with your assessment. You can sell bad nows again and again and again. But as soon as you publish “there’s nothing to worry about – it’s all over. that’s the last paper you sell becuase of that issue.
What the skeptical community must recognize is that newspapers and radio and television are not in the entertainment or news business. They are in the business of providing an audience for their advertisers. PERIOD. Otherwise they will be OUT of business.

May 4, 2012 1:30 pm

Phil Ford,
Ever think of asking them what’s so dishonest about quoting a lunatic like Kazynski?
He doesn’t sound any different than most of the alarmist crowd, does he?

May 4, 2012 1:33 pm

Being right isn’t always good enough.
Some things are better left unsaid.
Heartland would be better served by giving people enough information for them to draw their own inescapable conclusions.

Paul Westhaver
May 4, 2012 1:36 pm

If I wasn’t clear enough in the previous post, I suggest the billboard be redesigned with Peter Gleick in handcuffs during his perp ……anticipated
Fair is fair. He IS a criminal. Let it be widely known that when you are a warmist you are in the company of criminals. Sound crass? Their crimes are crass. If you don’t want to be lumped in with the criminals, then speak out against them.
We wouldn’t need prisons and cops and shackles if the world was uniformly polite. There is a place for those who have attempted to ruin science through fraud at my/our expense. The worst of them, Gleick, Mann and Jones…. have this erudite pretense that make the crassness they should endure all the more deserving.

Pete Olson
May 4, 2012 1:39 pm

Just make them stop – this is stupid.

May 4, 2012 1:41 pm

Harrison Schmidt and Buzz Aldrin would be better billboard choices. Astronauts are some of the only real heroes left that folks will listen to. Get some short, to-the-point quotes from them, and run with it. Invite them to the Conference. Great publicity.

Follow the Money
May 4, 2012 1:43 pm

The biggest problem with the pr mini-offensive is that it lacks obvious humor, laughs. It could have been funny if it was paired with the warmista agitprop of the same ilk, for comparison purposes. Rather it feels like a teenage stunt, or an attempt of Heartland to try to get iconic “evil dude” status from the delusional lefties, like the “Koch Brothers” do. Those type of obsessions have the unintended benefit of broadcasting the target’s message even further.
Also, it seems to be a “righty” type of failed discussion which really is a diversion. That is, if your Any Rand-type view of the world is challenged by the facts of corporate and business involvement in the CAGW discourse and games, these sorts obsessively point at some screaming lefty control freaks as the “reason” and force behind CAGW. To see the business sides would place them in deep depression because rea;ity their Rand-ish view of the world that sees big business, or “industrialists,” as working for the common good by pursuing their own specfic, special individual money interests. If those last words don’t make a logical connection to you, you are not a right wing business fetishist.
Also, the campaign is amateur hour because it does not distringuish global warming from aspect of its amount, or the anthropogenic issue.

May 4, 2012 1:48 pm

I do believe that Heartland Institute people have been relentlessly smeared (as have you Anthony, and so many others, as all readers here know). But this billboard simply surrendered to the frustration and disgust that so many feel, saying “you smear us, now we’ll smear you right back!”
Of course the fact that murderers and psychopaths may have a particular view on something does not (logically) imply that others holding that view share anything else in common. Hitler and Himmler were reportedly vegetarians and nature lovers, but that doesn’t imply that vegetarians or nature lovers share other views in common with H&H, etc.
[I am something of a nature lover but not at all a vegetarian!]

May 4, 2012 1:49 pm

I don’t think ‘shockvertising’ works as though it may draw a lot of attention it can backfire by debasing, as well as losing, supporters of the product or idea being promoted.
Wiki: “This form of advertising is often controversial, disturbing, explicit and crass, and may entail bold and provocative political messages that challenge the public’s conventional understanding of the social order.
“This form of advertising may not only offend but can also frighten as well, using scare tactics and elements of fear to sell a product or deliver a public service message, making a high impact.
“Perceptual defense is the tendency for people to protect themselves against ideas, objects or situations that are threatening.This means that if a consumer finds a certain kind of advertising content threatening or disturbing, this message will be filtered out.”
I don’t know how many there are but, there is a dorlomin here:

May 4, 2012 1:51 pm

It’s been pulled,
“4 p.m. update: Heartland Institute President and CEO Joe Bast has issued the following statement:
We will stop running [the billboard] at 4:00 p.m. CST today. (It’s a digital billboard, so a simple phone call is all it takes.)
The Heartland Institute knew this was a risk when deciding to test it, but decided it was a necessary price to make an emotional appeal to people who otherwise aren’t following the climate change debate.”

May 4, 2012 1:53 pm

Just because the “new deniers” (warmist) sling mud from the gutter; it’s better to step away from the gutter than to jump into also. Heartland’s reputation has been harmed with this, and the results will be that they have done what the other side couldn’t.

May 4, 2012 1:57 pm

You don’t bring a bag of marshmallows and a hand full of willow sticks to a gun fight and expect to survive the battle. Same thing when you are fighting catastrophic global warming alarmism. Playing nice nice and acting like tolerant gentlemen simply won’t work. It is a knock down, no holds barred, brass knuckle, take no prisoners battle that we can’t afford to lose. They refuse to play honestly and honorably so we should pull no punches. When they are down we must make sure they stay down!

Steve from Rockwood
May 4, 2012 1:58 pm

Heartland just sharked. Shame on them.

Alan Clark of Dirty Oil-berta
May 4, 2012 1:58 pm

I have no issue with this tactic. You can hold true to Marquis of Queensbury rules if you like but after I get booted in the boys, I figure the opposition has decided to widen the boundaries of the contest. We’ve had much, much worse leveled on us not the least of which is the daily attribution of “flat-earthers” and “denier”.

Mike Mangan
May 4, 2012 1:58 pm

What a bunch of wheezy old women you people are. These people want to take your money and your freedom from you and then spit on you for believing in God or capitalism or sharing code or whatever. They have complete contempt for you and every value you hold dear. Not only is this billboard accurate it is coming at just the right time. I keep telling people that Alarmists deserve no better place in society than Birthers or Truthers. Most people have never absorbed anything about “climate change” except what they get in the background from mass media. If you have some kind of belief that you are participating in some sort of battle here then the name of the game is to influence these people. They already know instinctively that this is some sort of tree hugger nonsense but, hey, never really thought about it being cool or not. Show the faces that let them know they don’t want to be associated with these people and that mind set.
Keep the billboards up. If the usual suspects cry foul, give ’em the bird and keep firing. Make your point to the average voter. “You believe in global warming? What are you, some kind of nut?” Again and again without fear.
A lot of you are Breitbart fans. Watch one of his last videos and listen to the last three words he speaks. Take it to heart.

Steve from Rockwood
May 4, 2012 1:59 pm

Poptech says:
May 4, 2012 at 1:51 pm
It’s been pulled,
The Heartland Institute knew this was a risk when deciding to test it, but decided it was a necessary price to make an emotional appeal to people who otherwise aren’t following the climate change debate.”
Someone at Heartland is very very stupid.

May 4, 2012 2:02 pm

Anybody that can help with Donna’s suggestion?
I can’t find any contact info or a way to respond on her site. Would you please forward my contact info?

Steve from Rockwood
May 4, 2012 2:02 pm

You can either take the high road or circle the wagons. I thought taking the high road was working rather well for Heartland. It could also hurt their court case if they are planning one against Gleick. Credibility would be a factor and now Heartland has lost much of that.

May 4, 2012 2:03 pm

That strikes me as making the same error as a recent quote i read indicating that all non-warmists are also flat earthers and creationists. People have a very wide range of beliefs and seldom are the various topics linked. Anti-abortionists are not necessarily religious or pro-murder of doctors for example. There are many other examples of closely held beliefs/opinions that do not fit a simplistic pattern.
I know very little about HI, really only as sponsors of a climate conference, the Gleick affair and now this. One good, one victim and one clanger. They have certainly lost credibility from this.
At least that indicates they had credibility to lose – unlike many.

May 4, 2012 2:06 pm

My first thoughts were that their website might have been hacked. Unfortunately not. Epic fail chaps.

David, UK
May 4, 2012 2:08 pm

Another unfortunate faux pas for Heartland is that most sceptics don’t actually disbelieve in global warming – depending on the start date of course (I know it’s been flat for the last several years). We only question the cause and the magnitude.
On a positive note: When was the last time we saw warmists being so morally critical of one of their own? Doesn’t the very religious nature of environmentalism prevent them from criticising or questioning, lest the bubble bursts?
And if this billboard had replaced the words “still believe” with “don’t believe” you can bet they’d all be championing it, as we know Romm essentially already has. It’s good to be reminded of the different behaviours in the two camps.
Going forward, Heartland would do well to take down the billboard and issue an apology for the appalling judgement.

May 4, 2012 2:14 pm

That kind of stuff is a major fail for the alarmists, it cannot possibly be a success for the sceptics. Every time I see an alarmist pull a similar stunt, I chuckle to myself knowing that it only serves to illustrate their specious arguments and places their true nature on display for all to see. It’s a disappointment to see Heartland take such a low road.

May 4, 2012 2:16 pm

Hi Anthony – I am really pleased you took a leadership role in rejecting such inappropriate behavior! There is no place for such attacks in the discourse on climate science issues. Best Regards Roger Sr.

May 4, 2012 2:18 pm

Nothing wrong with taking the gloves off, but I seriously doubt this will work out the way Heartland hoped it would. Perhaps they expected the billboards to drive people to their website to read their justifications and get a quality education in the bargain? If so, I think they could have found more effective and less risky ways of doing so. Example: display an outrageous radical greenie quote along with pictures of Gore and Kaczynski, and ask which said it. Answer can be found at heartland.org. Point taken even by those who don’t click through. I bet they were trying to emulate the very successful revulsion-by-association antismoking billboard campaign of several years ago. Fail.
Sadly, Heartland = a think tank, with strong emphasis on the second word. I hope I’m wrong.

May 4, 2012 2:19 pm

What incredibly poor taste.

May 4, 2012 2:20 pm

On Warmists comment sections I have been called all kinds of names but always keep my relative cool. As Napoleon once said:

“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”

Sadly Heartland interrupted them. Warmists’ nasty tactics have been one reason they are inadvertently stoking skepticism.

Max Hugoson
May 4, 2012 2:22 pm

Dish it out. It’s a brutal world out there. When Sherman burned Atlanta to the ground, (after giving a couple days notice to the residents to VACATE…which they did!) he was roundly critisized. If I recall right his reply was, “War is HELL and I don’t intend to make it any better than that.”
Welcome to Hades Joel R.

May 4, 2012 2:27 pm

Eli Rabett says:
May 4, 2012 at 1:01 pm
“BTW what fraction of a Godwin is Ted Kaczynski?”
A millionth.

Follow the Money
May 4, 2012 2:28 pm

“Just because the “new deniers” (warmist) sling mud from the gutter; it’s better to step away from the gutter than to jump into also.”
They’re getting nastier because they are self-correcting their positions. They are trying to create a discussion milieu wherein it is accepted that they have always held the position that additional CO2 has some effect, no matter how small. The enemy “other” are not those who challenge “catastrophic” AGW as propelled by the UN and governments and gravy train science, but those who challenge the idea climate changes at all. Being lefties generally, they are susceptible to pseud0-scientific sounding argumentation. And being arrogant, they can never admit their own intellects were used against them. Heyhoe herself has said even one degree of warming is dangerous. Do you think she would of said that a few years ago, before public discussion of “climate feedbacks” brought that pseduo-science to closer inspection?
If you want to rattle their cages, you need to get them to say on the record how much warming will come, and if 1 degree of warming with CO2 doubling is dangerous and why. They are the Borg, you need to evolve against their evolving weapons systems. On our more reasonable side, we unfortunately have vocal rightists who believe this is a war on “capitalism,” which is true for only about 1% of the warmistas (prob. less). Can you imagine if Heartland ran a campaign showing how Enron, GE, Goldman, etc. etc. instigated and propeled this faux crisis? I can’t.

May 4, 2012 2:28 pm

I thought it was a hoax. It has to be. Skeptics have been on the receiving end of being demonized and this has always hurt the AGW cause. To start dishing it out, especially this way, is really ugly. Not only that, but they’re using a logical fallacy. Bombing is wrong. But that doesn’t mean everything else they believe in is automatically wrong. If those things are wrong, it should be because of facts, not because one of their other activities is criminal.

Dave L.
May 4, 2012 2:30 pm

Great attention getter in my opinion. Very effective too. I’ll wager the images and the association will linger in the subconscious of many individuals. Goody two-shoes ads put people to sleep; they are worthless. If the ads lead people to the Heartland Website, mission accomplished.

May 4, 2012 2:31 pm

The sad thing is H.I. was riding so high with that pathetic assist from Gleick. Man, they look bad. Heads should roll. The most painful thing is that we’ve given the other side so much ammo, which is something they’ve not had in a long while. I’m sick.

May 4, 2012 2:34 pm

I would rather they ‘dished it out’ with cold hard facts than with UTTER TRIPE like that billboard.

May 4, 2012 2:35 pm

A dignified reticence to comment whilst the Law takes its course would have been the appropriate action, IMHO

M Courtney
May 4, 2012 2:35 pm

The problem is it relies on guilt by association, not malice or just error.
It’s a dirty trick and should be condemned.
I guess this is Glieck’s victory. He portrayed HI as rightwing nutters, they lost all other funding and so now live up (or down) to expectations.
They have to get what funds are available to them.

May 4, 2012 2:35 pm

Meanwhile, our middling industries are being destroyed, our lives are being micro-managed, our freedoms are being whittled away – by the policies of marxists, both communist and fascist masquerading as the caring environmentalists – and so much more besides. Write the follow up ad campaign to stop people in their tracks without bringing in politics..

Sean Peake
May 4, 2012 2:37 pm

Mr Bast, make the call.

May 4, 2012 2:38 pm

I am glad I find myself in the minority again. To the extent that I offended moderators’ sensitivities (which are happily asleep when “ideologically acceptable” views are expressed using much stronger language here).
Heartland’s billboards are true, there is no discernible difference between environmental fanaticism, terrorism, and totalitarianism. “Huge misstep”? Only if you think that marching in step with the renegade “consensus” is a good thing.
I, for one, refuse to say “Baa!”

May 4, 2012 2:39 pm

“Jay P says:
May 4, 2012 at 11:49 am
It’s the true face of Climate Skepticism folks. You make make your bed, you gotta sleep in it.”
Considering we have Climate advocators talking about burning skeptics houses down I wouldn’t say the link to terrorism is all that far fetched. As much hate as I’ve had pushed my way I have to say I don’t have pity for the believers.

May 4, 2012 2:40 pm

Does the Heartland Institute not engage the professional services of a competent Advertising & PR Agency? Where were they in this?
What was the internal process for this at Heartland? If any agencies were involved, they need to be fired! And big FYI: the vast majority of agency creatives are left-of-center, they don’t mind sabotaging/sacrificing/resigning a client they don’t like and/or who make bad decisions.. like this whopper!
Peter Gleick, et al, must be counting his lucky stars!

AndyG55 (from down-under)
May 4, 2012 2:41 pm

Just a picture of Al Gore would have been as effective. with him jetting between mansions.
They should replace it with one thats says.
“Ok, now that was a bit over the top, but that is how those skeptical of global warming have been linked.” How do you think they feel. !!

Atomic Hairdryer
May 4, 2012 2:42 pm

Which is more dangerous, the Unabomber, or a scientist with political and media clout who’s expressed a belief that the Earth’s optimum population should be <2bn?

May 4, 2012 2:45 pm

Bad choice, stepping down to the level of Joe Romm.

Ted Clayton
May 4, 2012 2:49 pm

Mr. Watts & WUWT Co;
I’ve mentioned this before, and it becomes ever-more the truth.
Climate-alarmism weakens its case, reduces it stature, and loses public standing, with its characteristic over-reliance on sarcasm, smirk, ridicule, and what I will generalise as ‘punk-mouth’.
This is a form of rhetorical delinquency & vandalism – and is readily recognized as such. When this tactic is employed by Heartland; to the extent that it is allowed to become SOP at WUWT, we have chosen to let our own behaviour “reflect” the lowest & weakest of our adversary. We thus mould ourselves in their least-effective image.
A clear opportunity exists for WUWT to further-elevate its leading place in the public forum, and to further-enhance the admirable works it is able to perform, by eschewing the ‘clever-tongue’ indulgence. We are not here to show what creative smart-asses we are capable of being.
This is not just a Heartland problem. Let their error be an object-lesson, Mr. Watts & All, pointing to the hazard of this slippery-slope … and the height of the credibility-precipice at its base.
Your ally & fellow sceptic,
Ted Clayton
[REPLY: Welcome back, Mr. Clayton. You did, of course, read the whole thread? Anthony has quite clearly indicated that this is not in any way countenanced by WUWT, let alone an SOP. You’ll forgive a reference to theater? “… the angels have chose, to fight their battles below…” -REP]

May 4, 2012 2:52 pm

I’m beginning to connect the dots….dots….dots….dots….

May 4, 2012 2:52 pm

Dumb. Very simply dumb. A waste of money and probably goodwill.

May 4, 2012 2:57 pm

I see a lot of readers here letting off steam about Heartlands,see how the the Brits are doing it this weekendhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2139591/Full-steam-ahead-Golden-age-rail-travel-brought-life-Flying-Scotsman-service-charges-Yorkshire-Moors.html

May 4, 2012 2:59 pm

Interesting tactic – turnaround’s fair play and then some? Watch the “mainstream” Climate scientists, enc., squirm when the criticism first directed against Heartland is rather quickly found to apply more to the “mainstream” Climate Scientists themselves and then hopefully to their own Post Normal AGW “science”.
But it’s definitely a high stakes gamble! So naturally I voted for the tactic.

May 4, 2012 3:02 pm

Bad taste is bad taste. HI needs to acknowledge this major PR error and move on. McKitrick’s letter at CA says it all very well. The battle is best fought with good science, not nasty, cheap shots.

Henry chance
May 4, 2012 3:05 pm

Brilliant billboard. It was run as an actual experiment to see what kind of reaction would come from role reversals.
Role reversals are methods that sometimes apply when asking ethics questions.

Aunty Freeze
May 4, 2012 3:09 pm

What on earth were Heartland thinking? Advertisements like that will only put people off, not make people think. You gain respect from sticking to the moral high ground not advertising pictures of nutjobs to say if you believe in agw then you must be like him.
It should be about science, not political leanings, religion etc. Both sides are guilty of this and it really gets my goat. I’m a skeptic because of the science I have read. I’m not right wing, religious, in pay of big oil or a nature hater. My politics are left leaning, I don’t believe in any god, I create wildlife habitats and enjoy wildlife photography and no oil company is paying me a thing! Stick to the science, all the politics and religious stuff really puts me off.

May 4, 2012 3:10 pm

Heartland blew it on this one. The best thing they can do is to take it down immediately and admit they made a mistake. That it was over the line.
When you have science on your side, why go for cheap shots like this? It’s so unnecessary!

May 4, 2012 3:11 pm

Atomic Hairdryer says:
May 4, 2012 at 2:42 pm
Which is more dangerous, the Unabomber, or a scientist with political and media clout who’s expressed a belief that the Earth’s optimum population should be <2bn?

I see your point but it’s still bad TACTICS. We are in guerrilla warfare and you don’t make friends with the local villagers by killing their families. All Heartland has to do is stick to the science.

May 4, 2012 3:20 pm

Uhmm, we’re going to pretend murders didn’t happen in the name of this eco-madness?
There’s a difference between fact and fiction. The facts are people have been murdered because of this insane global warming fiasco.

May 4, 2012 3:22 pm

I wonder when was the last time that any “propaganda” from the warmist regime was repudiated with such speed and vigour?
Kudos to all that object to this kind of pugnacity. Having been “Gleicked” is no reason to sink below any level of propriety.
The facts support the argument and that should and will always be enough to win the day. Name-calling and wallowing are best left to the losers, as always.

May 4, 2012 3:22 pm

Dorlomin has attention seeking disorder. His obfuscative online personality is crafted around this disorder. You’ve just gifted him a mention on your popular blog so he’s happy.

Dr Burns
May 4, 2012 3:24 pm

I agree. Big mistake.

May 4, 2012 3:29 pm

Total loss of credibility.
They have let the side down. Now everyone who stood up for them over the recent scandal is tarred with the same brush. How can they expect any support after this?

Mike Bentley
May 4, 2012 3:33 pm

Yeah, probably not the best idea in the world (but factual and not libel). How’s about this – guy in a T shirt with I Believe in Human caused global warming is at the door with a manikin at his side. Caption I couldn’t find a real girl, so I brought this model…
OK, I’ll go to my room now…

son of mulder
May 4, 2012 3:35 pm

Stupid to do such a billboard.

May 4, 2012 3:37 pm

Ok, I get it, and many here get it… but how many of the people who actually saw the billboard actually have a clue where it came from or what it means? Very few… because the vast majority are still being inundated with the AGW “message”, and only that.
In advertising and in spreading a message, it is essential that the attitudes and reactions of the target audience are understood. It seems to me that this campaign failed to take into account that only a very small percentage of viewers will have any idea (or even interest) in what it means.
The net result is negative perception. The tiny portion who even “get” what it means will not be swayed by it… therefore it was a mistake, and will likely only have a negative result.
(PS… what did Wiebo Ludwig believe? And why would I care? And why does the CBC openly revere and worship this terrorist? And why do so many Canadians also agree with this Alberta version of the unabomber? http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/03/04/f-wiebo-ludwig-timeline.html?cmp=rss )

George Kominiak
May 4, 2012 3:40 pm

Looks like someone got to them:
Group pulls plug on billboard linking global warming believers to terrorists

May 4, 2012 3:40 pm

I’m heartily disgusted by the majority of responses on this thread, in which we find all sorts of noise about how Heartland “let down the side” and supposedly sank to the level of the Watermelon liars by making truthful observations about exemplary specimens of warmist Prominenten.
What the hell is going on with you people?
If it’s accepted as valid that you’re judged by the company you keep, then those maliciously misinformed suckers who feel inclined to believe in the AGW fraud really ought to learn something about the folks to whom they’re cleaving in their religious fervor, ought they not?

May 4, 2012 3:43 pm

Heartland – Stick to the Science – and let the facts speak for themselves.
This ugly childish behavior will have cost you more than you can imagine. Why sink to the lowest excesses of those whom you disagree with. It only serves to denigrate your own position to that of your detractors.

May 4, 2012 3:55 pm

Playing nice with radicals is a losing strategy.
Alinskyites are imposing their rules on your game:
Rule 4: Make opponents live up to their own book of rules. “You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.”
Alinskyites fear being caricatured and ridiculed, because they know it works:
Rule 5: Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It’s hard to counterattack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.

Robert Olsen
May 4, 2012 3:58 pm

Big mistake. Just when science is starting to get the upper hand, Heartland pulls this garbage. Whoever thought that this was a good idea should be looking for another job.

Ethically Civil
May 4, 2012 4:01 pm

I encourage everyone here to go to Heartland’s “contact” page. Email their media contact. Tell them that a no apologies apology isn’t enough. Let them know they have damaged every rational skeptic and non-alarmist. media@heartland.org ;

greg copeland
May 4, 2012 4:03 pm

There is nothing wrong with the ads. Get over it. You sanctimonious people do more harm to Hartland than Joe Rohm. Crawl down off those high-horses.

May 4, 2012 4:04 pm

Although they have now pulled the poster it will be used incessantly to deride anyone who disagrees with the CAGW theme.
Unlike a rant on a blog or an ill-judged public comment this was a planned action which has to raise serious questions about the group responsible.
Ross McKitrick’s letter refers to an imminent conference organised by Heartland: in my view it would be a huge mistake for him or any of the other leading campaigners to attend.

May 4, 2012 4:06 pm

AndyG55 (from down-under) says:
May 4, 2012 at 2:41 pm
“Ok, now that was a bit over the top, but that is how those skeptical of global warming have been linked.” How do you think they feel. !!
I like it…….but most people will not catch that one either
I don’t see any damage from this at all…….other than a few Appells in the loop…..most people will not even see it or catch it
I don’t think it’s a road Heartland should go down…..for all of the reasons mentioned

Craig Goodrich
May 4, 2012 4:06 pm

I voted “No, not a mistake” in the poll. This was a hard call, and I frankly think that those (including most commenters) who regard it as easy may be viewing the matter from a purely PR perspective.
Not that that perspective is irrelevant; it is quite likely more relevant than the perspective of Truth. And my personal grasp of PR has always been disastrous; just ask my wife.
But from the point of view of Science, Truth, and Objectivity — Heartland is absolutely right. The people pushing hardest for Global Warming (but not those who may believe it but not be pushing for it) are clearly the usual Leftist control-freak nutjobs.

May 4, 2012 4:07 pm

Who for goodness sake thought up thios ridiculous campaign at Heartland…Those ads will lose almost all the huge ground made by us in last 10 years, and send heartland into the bin!!!!
What were they thinking…absurd!!!!

May 4, 2012 4:07 pm

I didn’t vote in the poll because I think the word “blunder” overstates the case. It was, however, a mistake. I posted the following at ClimateAudit:
Heartland is over-reacting to the insanity of the behavior of the warmists. That said, I understand the anger of Joe Bast and his core group which must have precipitated these ads. In their defense, the ads themselves are not inaccurate. People like Kaczynski, Castro and Manson believe in the so-called consensus science because it dove-tails with their world view. Not unlike Gleick and Mann.
But a group like Heartland needs to respond to provocations with their head and not their heart. Glad to hear they’ve announced a strategic retreat. They win the argument by sponsoring conferences and funding good causes, not by trashing the opposition through guilt by association.

May 4, 2012 4:13 pm

Perhaps Joe Bast can borrow Mitt Romney’s Etch-a-Sketch? Of course, the etch-a-billboard is down as I write; I’m just being a smartass (sorry, Mr. Clayton!) Unfortunately, people have memories and the MSM etch them deeply when they wish to, no matter how frantically we invert and shake. And that is the heart of this error: Heartland cannot hope to get a pass from the media the way the warmist gaffes generally do. Propaganda is the warmists’ home court. When we choose to play there we had better be very well coached and in top form. And I do agree to a point with Mr. Clayton. While we all like to quip, our side need to make sure we maintain a substantial, objective, fact-based message at core. It’s OUR home court!

May 4, 2012 4:16 pm

I was wondering what Roger Pielke Jr was tweeting about :
“Heartland invited me to debate a skeptic at their mtg, I declined due to a conflict if I accepted, would have canceled after new ad campaign”
Until I visited WUWT and read this post.

May 4, 2012 4:19 pm

Anthony, you give the public too much credit for intelligence that they do not have.
Logical arguments do not sway the public. Scientific discussions are to complex for most people who are challenged by simple tasks like managing their own personal finances and who lack the attention span needed to invest in learning the subject matter well enough to appreciate your argument. Facts are nice to have on your side, but the truth, and good, do not win just because they should.
The left have stooped to dirty but successful propaganda techniques, appeals to emotion, claims of authority, attacks on the messenger, the big lie repeated often, creating fear, doubt and uncertainty, and setting up one scapegoat to blame (evil big oil capitalists and their nasty skeptic supporters).
If you want to fight public opinion making by the left then you need to break some eggs and get down in the trenches. History is littered with nice guys who did not win because they played fair and counted on truth to prevail.
The billboard’s implication that climate change activists are terrorists may be a clumsy effort, but it is not far off. Climate change activists are in a real sense agitating for the destruction of our economy and our lifestyle. Some of them go so far as to call for skeptics to be killed as in the 10:10 no pressure campaign and Hansen’s many threats, or to take actions like blowing up pipelines and shooting people at TV stations. Sounds like terrorism to me. Just the kind of real dirt that the public needs to begin to associate with the green movement if you want them to listen to your facts.

May 4, 2012 4:19 pm

An observation of verified fact is merely a datum. It’s only when the entirety of an argument is predicated on nothing more than that particular datum (in this instance the personal past histories of certain prominent True Believers in the AGW fraud) that a fallacy or even an arguable deviation from honorable conduct can be considered to have been committed.
In medicine we commonly discuss disease processes and treatment options while presenting specific (de-identified) patient histories in which the pertinent diagnoses were made and therapy undertaken. It’s called a “case presentation.”
That’s no more argumentum ad hominem or argument by association than are these observations by Heartland of the plain fact that the ranks of the AGW True Believers are replete with specimens who have no respect whatsoever for the individual human rights of innocent people.
Meaning that those innocent people out there have to be really skeptical of both the AGW conjecture and the schemers who are pushing it, right?
Heck, the Watermelons delight in attacking the (alleged) personal pecuniary motives of specific skeptics who give their Cargo Cult Science charlatans the razzberry, don’t they?
It is both truthful and effective for those of us on the responsibly skeptical side to voice perfectly honest observations about the character of conspicuous people who have made vehement public commitments to the most spectacular fraud in the history of the human race.

May 4, 2012 4:20 pm

Well, from the comments above I’d say the ad worked…

May 4, 2012 4:22 pm

Swaying public opinion requires a fine touch. It’s easy for it to go pear shaped. This ad was about as deft as a drunken bull elephant.

Ray R.
May 4, 2012 4:24 pm

Heartland’s ad is a stretch but the current state of the AGW debate calls for and may be effective by mocking those who still adhere to the theory. That is certainly the trajectory of the issue.

George Kominiak
May 4, 2012 4:28 pm

More “Bad Press… ”
From the Heartland: Schoolchildren, Climate, and… Mass Murder?
Huffington Post (blog)
In February, leaked internal budget (PDF) and fundraising (PDF) documents from the Chicago-based propaganda contractor The Heartland Institute exposed the group’s plans to spend $100000 to create a 20-unit national school science curriculum falsely …
See more at:
Too bad they did these dumb billboards!

May 4, 2012 4:32 pm

What an idiotic stunt. To make a mildly controversial statement to garner publicity, fair enough maybe, but this doesn’t even have a logical point to make. Charles Manson believes in global warming. So? He probably brushes his teeth too, but that doesn’t make tooth brushing evil. Why did they think this would be in any way clever or effective? They have a whole field of open goals to choose from in terms of the lies, statistical fabrications, failure of predictions, circular reasoning and cherry picking endemic in the suffocating CAGW establishment. They could win the argument on the disparity between models and observations alone. Yet they manage to choose the most quick and effective way to make themselves look like a bunch of loons and alienate themselves from those who would really like to see reason and clear thinking replace the politics and the stupid PR war we currently have. Nice one.

May 4, 2012 4:32 pm

The real problem is that the HI’s penny ante budget does not have the resources needed to buy the same kind of PR talent and media placement that the massively funded green activists have access to.

May 4, 2012 4:32 pm

Keep in mind a old rule of thumb for information releases. If the agency makes a press release (has speech or some other high profile event) and it happens on a Friday, they want it to happen but not get much press coverage. If they want wide press coverage they do it on Monday do it will run all weekend.
With that in mind, this was not intended for general public consumption, but was a targeted message at some specific demographic (such as news editors) who will notice it and perhaps decide to provide a camera crew and a reporter to the next HI climate conference.
If they wanted national coverage the would have run the bill board in Washington or New York, but this bill board was local in Chicago, their own home turf.
A few national news feeds picked it up but coverage of Cinco De Mayo and the Kentucy Derby, and today’s jobs reports will wipe this off the national news by tomorrow.
For what ever reason they wanted to plant a seed and get this association out there, possibly for future reference to compare and contrast the media reaction their comment and other AGW comments that have been in the same vein.
Note also the Ted Kaczynski was born in Chicago and went to Harvard (just like a lot of high profile pro global warmers). Had a Phd in Mathematics and taught at University of California. Save for his conviction for bombing he would be a prime example of the sort of person the AGW crowd look up to and assert are more knowledgeable of the science than the skeptics.
Based on those observations I think this was a tactical move to set up conditions for some future action.
All that said some PR folks have done some truely bone headed promotions that rank right up there with throwing turkeys out of helicopters (Thanks Les Nessman 😉 )

J Bowers
May 4, 2012 4:34 pm

“Looks like someone got to them:”
Sure they did: Ross McKitrick, Anthony Watts, Keith Kloor,… By the way, has anyone actually taken a look at the Unabomber’s manifesto to check if Heartland are factually correct? Oh, thought not. It’s actually available online for free if you know how to use Google. I certainly couldn’t find a single reference to global warming or climate change.

May 4, 2012 4:38 pm

Hm. Interesting. I voice comments contrary to the majority’s “Heartland made a big blunder” noise, and my posts disappear without a trace.
How Romm-ish.

May 4, 2012 4:42 pm

Ah, the wonders of the Intertubes. I remark on the curious absence of my previous comments critical of Mr. Watts’ and the majority’s condemnations of Heartland in this delightfully apt and manifestly gut-kicking advertising campaign, and those comments appear on the page.
[Reply: Certain words and phrasees trigger posts going into the Spam folder. This is a WordPress function, not a WUWT function. The Spam folder is not checked nearly as often as the awaiting Approval queue. If your comment doesn’t appear, ask us to check the Spam folder. It is not personal; all comments that don’t violate site Policy are posted. All of them. ~dbs, mod.]

Sceptical lefty
May 4, 2012 4:45 pm

Matching your opponents’ tactics by getting into the gutter will only work if you have a superior coercive machine. It also means that you have given up on the science and are willing to simply bash your opponents into submission. This is very bad tactics for the much smaller sceptical machine which has hitherto done very well by taking and retaining the high moral ground, consistently emphasising the science and, for the most part, observing gentlemanly standards.
Whatever the Warmists may deserve, I believe that the Heartland Institute has made a serious tactical error which they should immediately rectify.
You might keep in mind Milton’s words (slightly altered, for clarity) in his Areopagitica: “Then let Truth and Falsehood grapple. Whoever knew Truth to be worsted in a free and open encounter?” Let’s try to keep this free and open.

May 4, 2012 4:47 pm

They should refrain from emotional appeals. To retain their credibility they need to be perceived as objective and their position should be based on merit. It is especially critical now, since people have learned that the “global warming” campaign was designed to manipulate perception in order to support a political and economic agenda. The Heartland Institute cannot afford to embrace tactics already exploited by those interests.

May 4, 2012 4:49 pm

I have to admit that I never had a good feeling about the Heartland Institute and this lack of taste and implementation confirms it even more. I know politics makes strange bed fellows, but these guys are like the dudes that you never want to hear at the Karaoke bar – out of tune, out of tone, and out of touch.

May 4, 2012 4:51 pm

I have to wonder if HI tried running this campaign by Dave Wojick or not? I’d think he’d have shot it down. OTOH, if the late John Daly were still around I think he’d have liked it. I complained to him one time that he didn’t help the skeptics position by being so harsh personally with the warmers. He replied that you had to fight fire with fire. I’m with the majority here and think trying the left’s tactics against them is wrong and won’t work.

May 4, 2012 4:52 pm

Being nice and polite with bandits and thieves got us into two World Wars, Stalinist Russia, Nazi Germany, Maoist China, etc., etc., not mentioning numerous other catastrophes, conflicts, calamities, and social problems. And yet, the majority still insists on keeping up the smoke and mirrors of the non-existing “civilized debate.”
I’d say it is not “decency” any more. It is cowardice.

May 4, 2012 4:54 pm

Thanx for the baseless ad hominem attack, but Heartland is an excellent organization. It is a small counterweight to the CAGW behemoth. If you want to attack dishonesty and theft, there are Peter Gleick threads for that.

May 4, 2012 4:54 pm

While y’all are hyperventilating over this you might want to remember that the people shown ARE “environmentalists.” You also must remember that there is a LARGE contingent in the Gorebull Warming Camp who BELIEVE we need to seriously REDUCE the world population.
Tell me how they plan on doing this?!?!?!?!?!
In other words there is NOTHING misleading or dishonest and the signs are very appropriate in also reminding those in the Gorebull Warming camp who many of their ALLIES or FELLOW TRAVELERS really are!!! When you are a USEFUL IDIOT it is good to be reminded of that occasionally.

J Bowers
May 4, 2012 4:58 pm

“While y’all are hyperventilating over this you might want to remember that the people shown ARE “environmentalists.” “
Environmentalism wasn’t the basis for the HI billboard. Many sceptics are “environmentalists”, by the way.

May 4, 2012 5:00 pm

Definitely a boneheaded move by Heartland. The people behind this billboard fiasco should be fired immediately.

May 4, 2012 5:01 pm

J Bowers says:
May 4, 2012 at 4:34 pm
“Looks like someone got to them:”
Sure they did: Ross McKitrick, Anthony Watts, Keith Kloor,… By the way, has anyone actually taken a look at the Unabomber’s manifesto to check if Heartland are factually correct? Oh, thought not. It’s actually available online for free if you know how to use Google. I certainly couldn’t find a single reference to global warming or climate change.

Maybe you should have followed the link above associated with Ted Kasinky’s name that leads you directly to a quote from his manifesto.
“169. In the third place, it is not all certain that the survival of
the system will lead to less suffering than the breakdown of the
system would. The system has already caused, and is continuing to
cause , immense suffering all over the world. Ancient cultures, that
for hundreds of years gave people a satisfactory relationship with
each other and their environment, have been shattered by contact with
industrial society, and the result has been a whole catalogue of
economic, environmental, social and psychological problems. One of the
effects of the intrusion of industrial society has been that over much
of the world traditional controls on population have been thrown out
of balance. Hence the population explosion, with all that it implies.
Then there is the psychological suffering that is widespread
throughout the supposedly fortunate countries of the West (see
paragraphs 44, 45). No one knows what will happen as a result of ozone
depletion, the greenhouse effect and other environmental problems that
cannot yet be foreseen.
And, as nuclear proliferation has shown, new
technology cannot be kept out of the hands of dictators and
irresponsible Third World nations. Would you like to speculate abut
what Iraq or North Korea will do with genetic engineering?”

Of course many of us watched news coverage of his bombing campaign over the years and already knew well his anti-technology philosophy, and did not need to re-read old news.

May 4, 2012 5:04 pm

Tucci78 says:
May 4, 2012 at 4:42 pm
Ah, the wonders of the Intertubes. I remark on the curious absence of my previous comments critical of Mr. Watts’ and the majority’s condemnations of Heartland in this delightfully apt and manifestly gut-kicking advertising campaign, and those comments appear on the page.
Yep, now did you have anything to say ?

John M
May 4, 2012 5:08 pm

J Bowers
May 4, 2012 at 4:34 pm

I certainly couldn’t find a single reference to global warming or climate change.

Try greenhouse gas and greenhouse effect.

May 4, 2012 5:09 pm

Tucci78 says:
May 4, 2012 at 4:38 pm
Hm. Interesting. I voice comments contrary to the majority’s “Heartland made a big blunder” noise, and my posts disappear without a trace.
How Romm-ish
Tucci, you used the word f—r—-a—-u………. d
Wordpress doesn’t like that word….so wordpress dumped you into the spam folder
……has nothing to do with WUWT

May 4, 2012 5:18 pm

I immediately wrote to both Heartland: the billboard was a bizarre concept worthy of firing the PR firm and whoever at Heartland approved it. The ad hominem attack on warmists is unacceptable. Most CAGW believers are there because they have a deep belief in the goodness of others, that those in authority will not mislead them for ulterior, personal motives, that “scientists” cannot be purchased through fear of career or grant loss, and that they do not give the benefit of doubt to their own emotional desires. The feel-good, fuzzy Green who likes kittens and polar bear cubs drinking Coca-Cola are NOT the type of people that the average Joe wants to execute (Unabomber) or assassinate (bin Laden).
There is something called “preaching to the choir”. Heartland, through these ads, appealed to the rabid skeptic (note “rabid”), while aggressively insulting the supposed audience, the wavering warmist or new-to-the-conflict, undecided.
After 10-10 and Peter Gleick, you would think Heartland would have both a clue about fairness and a suspicion that the warmists think Heartland is made up of cruel neo-Nazis, and that maybe a softer image would be appropriate. Instead, the Heartland PR guys handed them the whip and leather boots.
Fire somebody. Publicly. Apologize for being on the toilet when this decision was made.
If I hadn’t come to question CAGW from my own technical work, those ads would have pushed me into the warmist camp. Just as 10-10 would have pushed me into the skeptic camp.
Jeez. You’d think we were working with adults here. Some of this stuff makes me want to say “A plague on both your houses.”
As for those on the Heartland program, like D. LaF: nicely done, Heartland. So all of those guys you’ve invited also think the “enemies” of Global warming and/or Heartland are psychotic killers?

S Basinger
May 4, 2012 5:21 pm

I agree with McKitrick, this is pretty childish. 1 very embarassing own-goal from the Heartland Institute. They should apologize immediately.

May 4, 2012 5:24 pm

Everyone has the right to defend themselves, even the Heartland Institute. Gleick et al went after them in a no holds barred criminal fashion and the best defense, is a bloody good offense. It has never been about science but politics and propaganda. We’d be fools to not play the same cards back at them.
They’re screaming loud because those ads are right on the nail.
Unpopular though it appears to be, their move gets my vote.

May 4, 2012 5:29 pm

DJ says:
May 4, 2012 at 11:58 am
A picture of Pachauri would have been far better.
Along with “I also believe in reincarnation too.” You know how some of leftists feel about religious stuff. It’s funny that they always tried to paint me as bible thumper yet I rarely ever step in church (mainly for weddings) when it had nothing to do with anything I was discussing over climate stuff. Crazy…

May 4, 2012 5:32 pm

Like everyone has said – a serious lapse in judgement (where have I heard that before?).
I daresay I was offended – because I believe in global warming. And I believe it global cooling. Its merely a question of timing and duration of a naturally cyclic process.
Further – I suspect that the CAGW could trot out some horrific persons on MY side of the debate as well.
But of course NOW they’re getting all sanctimonious about how offended they are (conviently forgetting their perjorative ‘denier’ term).
But they’re going to bash us without mercy. This stuff has no place in civilized debate – which I had THOUGHT that the Heartland was trying ro promote. Bad move, Heartland.

May 4, 2012 5:32 pm

Mike Mangan-
you nailed it. the thing is, ‘publick’ has lost the ability to define right and wrong. e.g., nobody expects honesty from their elected officials yet they repeatedly pay for and endorse them.
how can this be? democracy. gang-rape is the epitome of democracy. the greatest good for the greatest number – and voted by the majority. you see, americans have substituted the concept of need for the concept of rights. therefore, they are unable to argue for their rights – instead they have accepted gangsterism that is democracy and they side with one or another gang.
there is no virtue that can be achieved by this vice. they are too crippled to understand that, though they sometimes have a vague feeling about it.
the fact that the heartland comparison of unabomber to the ecocommunists is accurate to the tiniest degree. but even those who stand to benefit from this understanding lack the wit to appreciate it. they might not hug a tree, but they sure would hug a cannibal.
and that is why losing is inevitable. there is no morality they can define – they have substituted political consideration – acceding to emotional blackmail – as the standard of value to guide their actions. good obedient sheep.
i’m sure heartland never expected this particular publicity stunt (for that’s all they do – they produce nothing of lasting value and can not, for they are mere epiphytes on parasites) would bomb among their presumed target audience. they surely must know that prosecuting gleick would be a winner – but perhaps they wish to trade forbearance for some favors from the establishment – you know- influence among our rulers.
until people do stand up and say no, they are merely negotiating and their abuse is therefore a business arrangement agreed to by all parties. as long as they pay up, are polite, and vote- they have no right whatsoever to complain about abuse. they asked for it, paid for it, elected it and bread a vast population of willing suppliers by virtue of their huge demand for it.
if anything, at least heartland billboard was close to open defiance. i have to give them credit for having some avocadoes. in an avocadoless world, that makes them pretty special.

May 4, 2012 5:35 pm

Joe Bast’s Heartland Institute billboard expresses something I’ve thought about myself!
Why does no one discuss it? It is pretty obvious and offensive – but also a very very inconvenient Truth. What’s wrong with stating the facts about the dubious nature of the True Believing infamous fellow travelers?
Therefore, since I can see a lot of positive Truth telling, and since the Believers have very very deeply poisoned this well, I believe it may well clarify more than it obscures.
And thus, I think the stance Anthony defends – this will backfire – needs more support: who the Heck will remember ‘all the goodwill’ fallout from Gleick-gate in six months?
If one has to wrestle with pigs, how can anyone expect to stay clean?

May 4, 2012 5:41 pm

Quiz – who said it – Algore or the Unabomber?
“Did Al Gore say it? Or was it the Unabomber? It may be more difficult to decide than you think.
Each quote below is either from Al Gore’s Book Earth in the Balance or from the Unabomber’s Manifesto.”
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
“The twentieth century has not been kind to the constant human striving for a sense of purpose in life. Two world wars, the Holocaust, the invention of nuclear weapons, and now the global environmental crises have led many of us to wonder if survival – much less enlightened, joyous, and hopeful living – is possible. We retreat into the seductive tools and technologies of industrial civilization, but that only creates new problems as we become increasingly isolated from one another and disconnected from our roots.”
1. __ Gore __ Unabomber
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
“Again, we must not forget the lessons of World War II. The Resistance slowed the advance of fascism and scored important victories, but fascism continued its relentless march to domination until the rest of the world finally awoke and made the difference and made the defeat of fascism its central organizing principle from 1941 through 1945.”
2. __ Gore __ Unabomber
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
“It is not necessary for the sake of nature to set up some chimerical utopia or any new kind of social order. Nature takes care of itself: It was a spontaneous creation that existed long before any human society, and for countless centuries, many different kinds of human societies coexisted with nature without doing it an excessive amount of damage. Only with the Industrial Revolution did the effect of human society on nature become really devastating.”
3. __ Gore __ Unabomber
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
More – see link above

May 4, 2012 5:44 pm

At 4:52 PM on 4 May, Alexander Feht had written with punishing clarity:

Being nice and polite with bandits and thieves got us into two World Wars, Stalinist Russia, Nazi Germany, Maoist China, etc., etc., not mentioning numerous other catastrophes, conflicts, calamities, and social problems. And yet, the majority still insists on keeping up the smoke and mirrors of the non-existing “civilized debate.”
I’d say it is not “decency” any more. It is cowardice.

I wasn’t a line officer, but I think I can still give that a great big “Bravo Zulu.”

Ted Clayton
May 4, 2012 5:45 pm

Thank you, tho I never left – usually visit at least twice a day; just rarely speak up. 😉
The SOP that I refer to is not the sensational self-inflicted debacle that bids to reduce Heartland’s relevance, but the routine use of what the Left fondly euphemism as “snark”, here in the posts at WUWT.
There is a steady drizzle of such wince-worthy distractions in the post-Titles and content here on WUWT, such as are embraced at GRIST et al … current examples;
“I Feel a FAIL Coming On…”
“Jumping the shark…”
“[Sirs,] your crow pie is ready now.”
1.) Because WUWT is now well-established a leading go-to source for news on the Right side of the Debate-that-is-over, it does not need these attention-getting devices that – at their root – are what Nobodies employ to secure their first notice (and then hope their Content is actually of interest to the visitor). Snark-devices are not cost-free.
2.) The debate that has become the signature topic & success-venue of WUWT (tho I have it on impeccable rumour that Anthony Watts would love to wander other fields, too) is clearly going in Sceptics’ favour these days, and has been for some years now. Winners look better, when they look & act like winners. It is a ‘luxury’ that should be indulged – once one is winning, *be* the winner.
3.) Discipline is an essential ingredient of the Scientific Method & Position. As in the military, and conservative scenes in general, discipline is both a structural asset and an aesthetic element of the scientific personality/psychology. Judith Curry can turn a nice piece of humour … but she marches & salutes beautifully. Habitual snark is inherently antithetical of discipline.
If things continue as they are now for Anthropogenic Global Warming, it will not be long before the level of interest in it will begin to wane. As it finds its place between Phrenology and Phewey, its power to drive visitors to WUWT will fall. Mr. Watts will again wander the technical fields; take up anew interests neglected during the heyday of climate-arguments. He has the potential to convert the success of WUWT on the climate stage, to a new success on a stage of its/his own design.
I look forward to explorations inspired by asking, “what’s up with that?”.
[REPLY: It looks like almost two years since your last comment… would that some (perhaps even myself!) could exercise such restraint. Your comments are always welcome. Moderators are not really supposed to engage the commenters and I’ve far exceeded my allowance for the year today. WUWT encourages engagement. -REP]

May 4, 2012 5:48 pm

Okay, Okay cut the crap!! Everyone knows that having a view on an issue does not mean that you are in anyway similar to a criminal lunatic with either the same view you have or a view different from what you have, grow TF up!!
Our local mass murdering lunatic has a view? who would have thought.

May 4, 2012 5:49 pm

I also read Ross McKitrick’s letter earlier and he has hit the nail on the head. Heartland should not stoop so low. Heartland is supposed to be a professional outfit.
Pointman: It’s bad tactics no matter how you feel. Think about this: Just because someone you are opposed to commits war crimes does it make it OK for you to do likewise? An extreme example I know but I hope you get the gist of where I’m coming from.

Mike Bentley
May 4, 2012 5:49 pm

OK, I’m out of my room.
Although I’ve said this before on other threads, let me repeat here.
A friend and I volunteer at a school district owned planetarium. This is one of the modern computer powered full dome video systems that can do about any subject justice and with a huge wow factor to boot. Hard science is a snap with this equipment, and even languages, history, sociology and the like can be presentations on the big dome.
One question from both students and adults floored me. What about the horoscope being a month off and a new sign of the zodiac? Huh? So we went through and explained the signs were developed some 4000 years ago, and over time the axis of the earth has shifted and…usually at this point their eyes are glazing over.
This year it is the Mayan calendar that has everyone spooked. What’s going to happen on December 21st? (the calendar starts over!) OK, well no worries because the conjunction of the planets this year is 180 degrees and we’ve already experienced a conjunction in 1982 that was close to 90 degrees and….(the eyes glaze over)
My colleague and I are both skeptical of the AGW position, and make no bones about it when it is brought up. We don’t attempt to push too much just mention there is a large body of science that supports our position. (eyes glaze over).
Don’t underestimate the power of an elementary teacher. They, as a group, prevented NASA from declaring Pluto a Dwarf planet for 20 years. Not because of the facts, but because they had been teaching Pluto was a planet their entire career. They prevented, single handedly, that announcement from the time Pluto was discovered to be only 1400 miles in diameter until just a few years ago.
In short, my interaction with what will soon be a voting block hasn’t impressed me. These people are easily distracted by the unimportant but flashy (read Hollywood here) and the pronouncements of the “pretty people”.
With HI, I believe them to be a good organization. I hope there is a better plan then just this lousy billboard. I’ve got my fingers crossed. At the moment it seems a huge error – on many levels. I’ll be patient for a while so you can show me this was more than a shot in the dark.

May 4, 2012 5:49 pm

I agree with Pointman’s view, among others outside the consensus here. I really don’t understand the folks demanding that someone should be “fired” for this billboard.
I would like to ask those folks who are demanding someone’s head, if they personally contribute to Heartland? [I’ll assume the answer is No, unless they post that they do contribute.]
This was no big deal. Where is the untruth? In American jurisprudence, truth is an absolute defense. In fact, the lack of truth is pretty much entirely on the side of those pushing the CAGW scam. Why should they get another free pass? They hide out from any real debate, they only appear in tightly scripted, sympathetic venues… and now, no one is even allowed to show the kind of people who are pushing the Big Lie?? How does that work? Is the truth now off limits?
There is nothing wrong with showing the kind of people who support the “carbon” scare. Their policies unquestionably cause starvation and death, and closer to home their policies are the cause of rising food and gasoline prices. But we’re supposed to be all kissy-face with them? Why?
Since those sounding the false climate alarm are afraid to debate their position in public, too bad if it’s pointed out what kind of people they are, and what kind of people support their cause. The truth hurts the dishonest. That’s a good thing.
Finally, this has no comparison to ‘war crimes’. Heartland simply told the truth. Keep that in mind.

Markus Fitzhenry
May 4, 2012 5:54 pm

The early resonance within the warmist community seems that this type labeling is confronting to them. Why wouldn’t it?
Remember the equation of sckeptics as Holocast deniers. At this stage of the debate, when the sceptical view is holding and accelerating, they now have to manage negative perceptions of their humanitarian motives.
More heart and mind warfare by brokers like Heartland will see this mob of eco-warrior rent seekers off sooner rather than later. But their attack wedge isn’t the major one. New understandings and a cooling planet are quickly catching up.
Consider the change in the nature and polarisation of the debate since Climate-Gate 2, Glieck, ever more revealing data, Stevsmark, Nikolov, UHI, etc.
Tipping points, lines in the sand, whatever you call it, it has been crossed. This billboard reflects one mindset only in the new phase of the debate. Welcome to the future.

May 4, 2012 5:58 pm

“the most prominent advocates of global warming aren’t scientists. They are murderers, tyrants, and madmen.”
Mikhail Gorbachev quotes:
Further global progress is now possible only through a quest for universal consensus in the movement towards a new world order.
I am a Communist, a convinced Communist! For some that may be a fantasy. But to me it is my main goal.
“..Scores died and countless others suffered from diseases caused by exposure to radiation. Many could have been saved had Gorbachev done the decent thing. Chernobyl thus stands as tragic evidence of Gorbachev’s disdain both for nature and human life which, sadly, is all too often found in those who espouse the communist worldview.
Yet today this man is one of the world’s most prominent eco-lobbyists and an ardent proponent of global warming. The question is how we are to reconcile Gorbachev’s past behavior of environmental destructiveness with his present-day activism. We would do well to ponder this, because the answer sheds light not only on a wily personal reinvention, but also on the motives of those responsible for the creation and spreading of the global warming hysteria.”
Hmm, the political is still the strongest perhaps.., but I do think humour could be used to effect. I rather like the question posed by:
u.k.(us) says:
May 3, 2012 at 8:24 pm
multiple choice question for our fearless leaders.
12.500 years ago the Chicago area was:
A) Delightful
B) A swamp in need of draining
C) Future home of the most corrupt city in the country
D) Being scoured by a mile thick glacier, moving south-southwest

May 4, 2012 5:59 pm

Those pushing the green agenda are just as evil as Stalin, etc. We can not pretend that we are dealing with reasonable people who just have a difference of opinion. Being afraid to call the greenies out for what they are is just as bad as standing by silently as the fascists march across Europe.

May 4, 2012 6:07 pm

At 5:29 PM on 4 May, Nerd had recounted:

You know how some of leftists feel about religious stuff. It’s funny that they always tried to paint me as bible thumper yet I rarely ever step in church (mainly for weddings) when it had nothing to do with anything I was discussing over climate stuff. Crazy…

Having myself long been a confrontational George H. Smith atheist (in much the same sense as is Penn Jillette), I delight in the Watermelon warmistas’ hostility to the worshipers of the Great Sky Pixie while they themselves are victims of their hysterical uncritical acceptance of bilge no less preposterously fantastical.
It’s like something out of Saki (H.H. Munro) when he depicted resentment between a couple of mooching confidence men “…to support the truth of the old saying that two of a trade never agree.”
[Moderator’s Note: Tucci is re-working the sermon about the beam and the mote. Let’s not let this go any further. Please. -REP]

May 4, 2012 6:10 pm

@Jimbo. It’s not about how I feel, it’s about coldly assessing it as a piece of infowar propaganda. Ticks all the boxes, as far as I’m concerned. It’s not aimed at us superior beings in the blogosphere but Joe Public; simple, direct, the raw truth and nice and punchy.
Vocal climate skeptism needs to get out of the blogosphere closet and yes, that’ll involve getting down and dirty occasionally. It’s called fighting back. Why everyone is behaving like a virgin, who’s just got her bum pinched on this one, is beyond me.

D. King
May 4, 2012 6:13 pm

Oh, woe is me; Heartland has committed a terrible transgression. I think I’ll go to my room and cry or faint or something. Does anyone have a tissue?

May 4, 2012 6:18 pm

What the hell? HI has been in the trenches and taking the battle to the loons for years! Much longer than some of you johnny-come-lately half-ass wannabe skeptics.
[SNIP: James, I completely agree, but let’s not do this here or now. Please. -REP]

May 4, 2012 6:35 pm

James Sexton says:
May 4, 2012 at 6:18 pm

May 4, 2012 6:38 pm

D. King says:
May 4, 2012 at 6:13 pm
Oh, woe is me; Heartland has committed a terrible transgression. I think I’ll go to my room and cry or faint or something. Does anyone have a tissue?

I would really, really like to know what exactly that ‘terrible transgression’ is; can you point it out? And be specific as well please? (Your post may have missing a /sarc tag; IDK.)
Up-thread I asked:
“… why it is egregious to point out the influence the CAGW crowd has had on some of our more notorious criminals (like Ted K.), too. At this point I don’t know how much ‘motive’ AGW was for some of these characters, but didn’t Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, have a copy of Algore’s book (Earth in the Balance) in his possession, or was it the parallel writing style the two had as when Algore’s book and Ted’s [Unabomber] manifesto were compared?”
No answer to date …

ferd berple
May 4, 2012 6:43 pm

came across this poem, seemed appropriate:
Resist the NEOCON deniers. We must believe.
We must trust the carbon trading markets and corporations and politicians to manage the temperature of the planet.
We must call it consensus even though all of the thousands of consensus scientists all have personal and unique views of CO2 climate crisis.
We must trust the good and trustworthy politicians who promise to lower the seas and make the weather colder by taxing the air.
We must continue to believe in climate change crisis despite Obama not even mentioning the crisis in his state of the union address.
We must believe even though the number of consensus scientists vastly outnumbers the marching climate change protesters.
We must believe and spread our love for the planet as we condemn billions to a CO2 death just to make sure the kids turn the lights out more often and vote left.
We must believe even though the thousands of consensus scientists refuse to march in the streets themselves. Don’t they have families to save too?
Believe. Believe. Believe so we can defeat the evil bible thumping necons and those ignorant of the ways of THE SCIENCE!
ALGORE is my shepherd; I shall not think.
He maketh me lie down in Greenzi pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still-freezing waters.
He selleth my soul for CO2:
He leadeth me in the paths of self-righteousness for his own sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of reason,
I will fear no logic: for thou art with me and thinking for me;
Thy Gore’s family oil fortune and thy 10,000 square Gorey foot mansion, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a movie in the presence of contradictory evidence:
Thou anointest mine head with nonsense; my fear runneth over.
Surely blind faith and hysteria shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of ALGORE forever

May 4, 2012 6:48 pm

Well, well. So, WUWT must not be anything more than a relief valve.
Anything more is “over the top.”

May 4, 2012 6:50 pm

We held the ethical high ground until now. This was just plain stupid.

D. King
May 4, 2012 6:51 pm

_Jim says:
May 4, 2012 at 6:38 pm
Up-thread I posted a video.
and yes, the sarc tag was missing.

May 4, 2012 6:55 pm

This really perturbs me. (well what it does would get snipped, so I’ll leave the language . . . family friendly). This is a huge ‘own goal’. Far more damaging to Heartland than what Glieck did was to the Pacific Institute. Someone needs to resign over this. I think Heartland will have a long row to hoe to retrieve their credibility. And almost certainly their funding.
Jim asked:
“… why it is egregious to point out the influence the CAGW crowd has had on some of our more notorious criminals”
The answer Jim is. It isn’t relevant to the debate. There are bad people in the world and they say bad things. As we were told when we were young, two wrongs do not make a right. Up until today, the skeptic side had the high road. No longer. And if that doesn’t anger you, then you don’t understand the long term power of ethics.

Jimmy Haigh
May 4, 2012 6:57 pm

I’m with Pointman and Smokey here. The billboard states a fact: The Unabomber believes in CAGW

May 4, 2012 6:59 pm

To the U.S.A. Commander of the encircled town of Bastogne.
The fortune of war is changing. …. All the serious civilian losses caused by this artillery fire would not correspond with the well-known American humanity.
The German Commander.
To the German Commander.
The American Commander [General Anthony McAuliffe]

Jimmy Haigh
May 4, 2012 7:00 pm

…although I do see the other side of the argument…

May 4, 2012 7:02 pm

James Sexton says:
May 4, 2012 at 6:18 pm
What the hell? HI has been in the trenches and taking the battle to the loons for years! Much longer than some of you johnny-come-lately half-ass wannabe skeptics.
The answer is. Up until today, we could claim the high ground. That may not matter to mud wrestlers, but it does matter to real men and women of science. And up until today, we were winning. This is a catastrophic loss, caused by our own side. It will not be fatal, but it will set the debate back 10 years. I do not look forward to explaining why I don’t have to explain this.

Titan 28
May 4, 2012 7:05 pm

The ads are depressing. Stupid beyond redemption. But who in the heck thought them up? If a single person, that person needs to be fired. I don’t know how long the billboards were up, but no matter how short a time, this is a gift that is going to keep on giving. Dumb, dumb. Did Bast approve these billboards? If so, he needs to take a vacation.