This News Release went out today:
DeSmogBlog challenges Heartland Institute to argue tobacco rather than climate change
VANCOUVER – Yesterday, the Chicago-based Heartland Institute launched an ad campaign calling former vice president Gore to a public debate on global warming. In response, the DeSmogBlog challenges the Heartland Institute to a debate on the harmful effects of second-hand tobacco smoke.
“The Heartland Institute has a history of trying to create scientific confusion where there is none,” DeSmogBlog.com co-founder and veteran PR professional, Jim Hoggan said today. “For years they have blown smoke for the tobacco industry. Now they’re representing the fossil fuel industry in the fight against sensible climate change legislation.”
“Well, if they’re really interested in free public debate about science, let’s talk tobacco.”
Heartland’s position is on the record. In a 2004 article on the Institute’s website, Heartland states: “Cigarettes offer real benefits for the elderly, the clumsy, the forgetful, and the easily distracted. (These benefits have been intentionally underplayed by the public health community.)” Heartland president Joseph Bast has even argued that smoking moderately presents no risk whatsoever.
“This is typical,” said Hoggan. “They know they can’t win this debate any more than they can win on climate change; but as long as they keep alive a flicker of doubt, they can prevent positive action.”
In its challenge, Heartland proposed the topic: “Global warming is not a crisis.” In keeping, the DeSmogBlog proposes: “Smoking is bad for you, really.” The DeSmogBlog will meet any tobacco apologist that Heartland can dig up in any forum. As a special bonus, there will be a short seminar on the correlation between the Heartland Institute’s corporate funding and the “free market solutions” that the think tank supports.
The DeSmogBlog is an advocacy website dedicated to clearing away the public relations pollution that clouds climate science. It specializes in demonstrating links between climate change denial and fossil fuel funding. The Heartland Institute, for example, has received more than $500,000 from ExxonMobil.A correction to this post has been made, see here.