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Giving Themselves a Hot Foot

The main thing that gives me hope for this country is that modern (so-called) conservatives are so ideologically driven that they cannot seem to avoid shooting themselves in the foot. Repeatedly. This explains why — despite having way more money than the 99% of us, most of the power, control of the mainstream media, a clear mission based on greed, and the certainty and single voice that comes from believing that you are on a mission from God — that progressives manage to win at least a few elections and even get a few reasonable laws passed.

The latest example of foot shooting comes from the Heartland Institute, one of the main funders and promoters of climate-change denialism. The last time we heard from Heartland, it was because a bunch of embarrassing internal documents were leaked, which revealed their strategy of sowing false doubt about climate change, including “dissuading teachers from teaching science“.

Heartland was one of the main organizations publicizing the manufactured controversy known as “Climategate”, based on internal emails and other documents. Now the tables are turned, and it is Heartland’s internal documents that have been revealed, and they are far worse.

But that was just a warmup. The Heartland Institute just put up a series of billboards that caused even their supporters to cringe.

Besides the Unabomber, the billboards also featured Charles Manson, Fidel Castro, and they announced they were planning on putting up more, including some with Osama bin Laden.

That is until they received universal condemnation, even from their supporters. Within a few hours, Heartland announced they were pulling the billboards.



  1. Max wrote:

    FYI, the “dissuading teachers from teaching science” document is a fake. If you have some time to kill, read this and related articles:

    Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 6:06 am | Permalink
  2. starluna wrote:

    I normally do not read the comments on blogs that I don’t personally participate in. 😉

    But I decided to look at the comments on the linked Discover Magazine blog piece because I am procrastinating on completing the grades and I was curious about what kind of discussion is found in the comments of a science blog. This was probably the best response that I saw:

    “Gosh! Here I was accepting the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change, but then I found out that the Unabomber agrees with me, so now I’m going to have to become a climate change denier. I sure hope I don’t find out he likes chocolate!”
    (Zapp Brannigan, May 4th, 2012 at 12:05 pm)

    Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink
  3. Iron Knee wrote:

    Max, your information is old and doesn’t stand up to new information. Your linked article speculates that the strategy document is a fake, but since then the person who leaked the documents has come forward — see — and has verified that the documents are indeed genuine.

    Heartland Institute, of course, continues to claim that the strategy document is fake, but given their record of lying about just about everything, I’m not willing to trust them on this one. See

    Besides, there is plenty of damning information about Heartland in the documents that even they admit are real, and the point of this post was the billboards. If you want to see how willing they are to lie, you can just read Heartland’s original press release for the billboards, where they lie repeatedly and shamelessly, claiming that “the most prominent advocates of global warming aren’t scientists. They are murderers, tyrants, and madmen.” This despite the clear fact that the overwhelming scientific consensus supports man-made climate change. This is the same group that supported the “Joe Camel” ad campaign (whose purpose was to get younger people to smoke) while taking money from the tobacco companies.

    Starluna, wouldn’t it be ironic to discover that the hubris and hot air coming from the Heartland Institute and other conservative “think tanks” was the leading cause of global warming? 🙂

    Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 10:10 am | Permalink
  4. TENTHIRTYTWO wrote:

    Ted Kaczynski still believes the Earth is round…DO YOU?!

    Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Permalink
  5. Max wrote:

    Iron, yes, Peter Gleick says that the fake document isn’t fake. That’s because if it is a fake, then he must have created it. Duh.

    I’m not trusting Heartland, not even a little. Their statement that the document is fake means nothing to me. The overwhelming evidence does.

    Sunday, May 6, 2012 at 6:51 am | Permalink