The Heartland Institute is once again pulling no punches in their quest to spread misinformation on climate science.
In the run-up to the odd return of Heartland's infamous Denial-a-Palooza conference series next month in Las Vegas, the right wing think tank has purchased a large ad section of the conservative newspaper The Washington Times, where they are offering any scientist, business interest group, or concerned citizen the chance to publish their challenge to the science behind climate change. The only caveat is that they’ll have to pay Heartland the hefty sum of $10,000 for the right to be published.
Joe Corbe from The Washington Times is trying to help Heartland in their quest to find deniers, and he sent out the following letter to potential clients (h/t Salon.com's Lindsay Abrams):
As you may know, The Heartland Institute is hosting a Washington Times Special section to showcase organizations and scientists from around the world who question whether “man-made global warming” will be harmful to plants, animals, or human welfare. This section will be featured prominently at the 9th International Conference on Climate Change next week.
With this, you are invited to be a part of this special print and digital section with an op-ed in print and digital formats.
You can support the section and have the chance to write an edit and compliment the issue with a full page, full color display ad for your organization for just $10,000. The section will appear online at www.washingtontimes.com and will be advertised with over a million impressions online and with over 500,000 emails.
SPACE IS LIMITED and we are closing space on the issue very soon – Deadline is END OF DAY FRIDAY for a reservation and next Monday to coordinate details/edit/Ad.
Anyway, please call or email as soon as possible if you would like to participate.
Thanks and look forward to our discussion.
The Washington Times
Salon.com contributor Lindsay Abrams points out that Corbe claims that there is nothing particularly unusual about Heartland’s ad buy and plea, and he says that plenty of companies engage in this type of “native advertising.”
The ad buy has less to do with “native advertising” as Corbe puts it, and more to do with the fact that the Heartland Institute, and by extension the Koch brothers' network of climate denial shops, are getting more and more desperate in their attempts to mislead the public about the growing threat of climate change.
With President Obama’s recent call to get serious about curtailing carbon emissions and protecting the environment, and the Supreme Court’s decision to (mostly) uphold the EPA’s authority to regulate emissions, dirty energy industry barons like the Koch’s have found themselves on the losing side of the fight.
But the bigger problem facing Heartland is that their mask has been torn off in recent years, and they are no longer able to fool the public about both their intentions and their funders.
In early 2012, DeSmogBlog published internal Heartland documents that detailed the group’s strategy for spreading misinformation about climate change, including plans to mislead school children.
Heartland was also dealt a major blow when their “I still believe in global warming” Unabomber billboard caused a backlash among their own donors, forcing some to cut ties with the group.
There are fewer and fewer people willing to join the losing side of the climate change deniers, and Heartland is certainly feeling the sting of dejection.
But as long as there is money coming in from oil, tobacco and extreme right wing funders, Heartland will continue to limp on, even if they must do so increasingly alone.