Saturday, May 5, 2012

What Was The Heartland Institute Thinking?

One of the most notorious anti-science organizations out there is The Heartland Institute. This place is literally owned and operated by the fossil-fuel industry and its supporters. Falsehood for falsehood, they are one of the most misleading organizations out there when it comes to climate change. They try to sound scientific and present themselves as an alternative source of scientific information, but everything they say has been repeatedly debunked. In addition to misinformation, they also engage in attacks on climate scientists with the two-fold mission of attempting to discredit them (if you can't refute the message, kill the messenger) and to intimidate other climate scientists. Unfortunately, both of these tactics are successful. Many people in the general public buy into what they say and many climate scientists refuse to speak publicly about their work for fear of personal attack. I spoke to one climate scientist who told me he has to employ a body guard when he makes public appearances because of the threats of physical attack that have been made against him

The next step in The Heartland Institute's campaign against climate scientist was to erect billboards in the Chicago area comparing climate scientists to Ted Kaczynski (the Unabomber), Charles Manson and Fidel Castro. The reaction was so negative, even among their supporters, that they immediately had them removed, but the damage was done. They showed their true colors and they showed they are not interested in any kind of discourse about climate change and what needs to be done about it. There is a great need for some level headed thinking in how to deal with climate change and The Heartland Institute and its supporters have shown they do not fit the bill.

What is ironic is that The Heartland Institute is the one that compares most closely to the criminals mentioned. Ted Kaczynski was anti-science, as is The Heartland Institute. Charles Manson was a serial killer that killed people to further his won goals, as does the owners and supporters of The Heartland Institute. And, Fidel Castro is the dictator of Cuba and, among other crimes against humanity, rigorously censors everything in Cuba. The Heartland Institute has shown they want censorship and engage in it at every opportunity.

The old saying is actions speak louder than words. The Heartland Institute did both this time and now we can see just exactly what kind of people they are.

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