A controversial billboard campaign by the Heartland Institute comes under fire from critics who say it likens climate-change scientists to terrorists.
A mugshot of Unabomber Ted Kaczynski with the words "I still believe in Global Warming. Do you?" greeted motorists last Thursday from a billboard along Chicago's Eisenhower Expressway. The Heartland Institute is now weathering media fallout after unveiling this controversial billboard campaign and has canceled plans to post other placards bearing pictures of Charles Manson, Fidel Castro, Osama bin Laden and environmental militant James J. Lee. "These rogues and villains were chosen," reads the institute's website, "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."
The Chicago-based non-profit think tank is an outspoken pundit of climate-change skepticism. But its billboard prompted U.S. Representative James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) to rethink his scheduled speaking appearance at the Heartland Institute's upcoming International Conference on Climate Change. His press secretary told the Washington Post, "Congressman Sensenbrenner will not participate in the upcoming Climate Change Conference if the Heartland Institute decides to continue this ad campaign."
Author Donna Laframboise announced she will not attend the conference as planned. She recently published a book exposing fraud in the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change but says her association with Heartland has now harmed her reputation. She complains she has been unwittingly and "publicly linked to an organization that thinks it's OK to equate people concerned about climate change with psychopaths."
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