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The Heartland Institute, the Chicago-based right wing think tank notorious for its coordination, organisation and funding of climate denial around the world (including New Zealand), has set new standards for bad taste by launching an advertising campaign for its upcoming climate “conference” that compares those who want action on climate change to terrorists, murderers and tyrants. The first billboard, featuring “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski, appeared beside the Eisenhower Expressway in Chicago yesterday:

Heartbomb

Jim Lakely, Heartland’s Director of Communications outlines the campaign:

The billboard series features Ted Kaczynski, the infamous Unabomber; Charles Manson, a mass murderer; and Fidel Castro, a tyrant. Other global warming alarmists who may appear on future billboards include Osama bin Laden and James J. Lee (who took hostages inside the headquarters of the Discovery Channel in 2010).

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.

So have the Pope and the Dalai Lama. Are those august personages “rogues and villains” too?

Heartland’s press release ploughs on:

…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.

Of course, not all global warming alarmists are murderers or tyrants.

Let’s be thankful for small mercies.

This despicable little campaign smacks of desperation. Unable to win any scientific argument, or to bend an ever-warming reality to its political views, and faced with dwindling interest from the mainstream media in the US, Heartland has resorted to tawdry sensationalism in an attempt to draw attention to its pathetic little denialist networking event. For an organisation that has made a specialism of breathtaking hypocrisy, this sets new standards. But don’t expect Bast & co, or any of their speakers and supporters to apologise. I confidently predict that the high horses that are so promptly mounted when any sceptic perceives the faintest slight will have mysteriously disappeared to some distant paddock. And yes, Anthony Watts, I’m looking at you…

See also: Leo Hickman at The Guardian.

Update: The internet is on the case:

Heartlandkittens

(hat tip: Daniel Bird)

[Richard Thompson]