It is an environmentalist’s dream come true. The once feared “Heartland Institute,” funded by the secretive Koch brothers in their campaign to undermine science and deny the plain evidence for climate change has just committed a very public suicide on the Eisenhower Expressway on the outskirts of Chicago.
That is where the first billboard appeared the other day to launch what has to be one of the kookiest public relations campaigns in history. I could scarcely believe my eyes when I saw the image on the internet — the disheviled “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski glowering down at commuters asking: “I still believe in Global Warming. Do you?” The weirdest part of it is that the Heartland folks actually put their name on the bottom of it for all to see. In other words, the notorious group has come out of the shadows (where they have been lurking for the last decade or so funding false front groups and harassing hard-working scientists) and finally fessed up to being the kooks and fanatics that we long suspected they were.
The free market “think tank” was discredited in February when documents leaked to the press revealed its plans to disseminate a new school curriculum which aims at “dissuading teachers from teaching science.” The documents detail how the organization has funded a rogue’s gallery of debunkers (mostly non-scientists) to sow seeds of doubt about the clear consensus of researchers worldwide that our climate is warming due to the rising levels of CO2 released into the atmosphere by the burning of fossil fuels.
But evidently this huge public fiasco only whetted Heartland’s appetite for punishment.
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