New billboards designed by the Heartland Institute compare climate scientists to the Unabomber, and other mass murderers. Climate scientists and other writers respond.
Update, 5:23 p.m Eastern Time: In a statement by Heartland president Joseph Bast, the organization announced that it will be taking down the Unabomber billboard after only 24 hours. Bast wrote that the billboard was an "experiment" meant to "turn the tables" on climate-change advocates.
"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," Bast wrote. "We do not apologize for running the ad, and we will continue to experiment with ways to communicate the 'realist' message on the climate."
The "experiment" resulted in "uncivil name-calling and disparagement" from climate-change scientists and activists, Bast complained.
The billboards, paid for the Heartland Institute, are designed to promote the organization's International Congress on Climate Change in Chicago later this month. The Heartland Institute describes itself as a nonprofit devoted to promoting free-market solutions for social and economic problems.
Climate scientists are already reacting to the actions, calling them "truly heinous" and the work of individuals who don't get real global-warming science. In addition, they say the billboards will only bring global-warming skeptics and those who support global warming further apart.
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