As far-right groups go, the Heartland Institute hasn’t quite reached household-name status yet, but it’s working on it. The group’s strange new billboards, at a minimum, will probably help push the group’s notoriety.
The Heartland Institute is “a tax-exempt organization which promotes conspiracy theories about climate scientists, distorts climate science, and attacks regulation of air and water pollution.” Despite support from corporate allies, the group has become so extreme that high-profile supporters, including GM and AT&T, no longer want anything to do with the outfit.
Instead of moderating its views and aiming for the mainstream, the Heartland Institute is buying billboards along highways in Chicago. Joe Romm reported today:
The Heartland Institute has launched one of the most offensive billboard campaigns in U.S. history. The Chicago-based anti-science think tank is comparing all those who accept climate science – and the journalists who report on it accurately – to Charles Manson, the Unabomber, and Osama Bin Laden.
The Guardian described this as “possibly one of the most ill-judged poster campaigns in the history of ill-judged poster campaigns.”
Of course, the Heartland Institute doesn’t quite see it that way. In its defense of the group’s propaganda, the Heartland Institute says it’s eager to convince people that “believing in global warming” is not “sophisticated,” and to do so, it’s noting that “murderers and madmen” agree with those who accept climate science.
Perhaps the group can use some of its remaining funds to buy a textbook on Logical Fallacies 101?
Andrew Sullivan added, “In some ways, this is an almost perfect illustration of what has happened to the ‘right.’ A refusal to acknowledge scientific reality; and a brutalist style of public propaganda that focuses entirely on guilt by the most extreme association.”