The Heartland Institute has since removed its billboard comparing Al Gore’s views on climate to that of a terrorist, but the damage may already have been done.
The Heartland Institute doesn’t often do ‘provocative’ communication. In fact, we’ve spent 15 years presenting the economic and scientific arguments that counter global warming alarmism. No one has worked harder, or better, on that task than Heartland, yet we were ignored by the “mainstream” media and relentlessly demonized by groups on the left.
There’s no doubt that Heartland gets a bad run in the media, and while attention-grabbing this stunt is, it’s not the kind of attention you want.
But the liberal media and environmental activists went completely nuts. Even though comparisons of global warming skeptics to Nazis, war criminals, and Holocaust deniers are commonplace, they pretended that our simple and fact-based message was “over the top” and somehow beyond the realm of respectability. Well, we disagree.
While this exercise worked well to expose the hypocrisy of warmists like Joe Romm, who gleefully pointed of the climate views of Anders Breivik, you can guess what the narrative is going to be from the left. In their eyes, it is skeptics who participate in these cheap tactics; Monckton and now Heartland. This is a PR dream for the warmists and their MSM pals.
“Heartland has spent millions of dollars contributing to the real debate over climate change, and $200 for a one-day digital billboard. In return, we’ve been subjected to the most uncivil name-calling and disparagement you can possibly imagine from climate alarmists. The other side of the climate debate seems to be playing by different rules. This experiment produced further proof of that.
“We know that our billboard angered and disappointed many of Heartland’s friends and supporters, but we hope they understand what we were trying to do with this experiment. We do not apologize for running the ad, and we will continue to experiment with ways to communicate the ‘realist’ message on the climate.”
They started it? That’s the excuse?
Ross McKitrick is absolutely spot on.