Diageo: Liquor giant backs away from science-dissembling Heartland Institute

The London-based liquor giant Diageo has joined the companies that are criticizing or cutting off the Heartland Institute in protest over its campaigns to confuse people about climate science and to cast prominent climate activists as “murderers, tyrants and madmen.”

As Leo Hickman reports in the Guardian, a Diageo spokester said: “Diageo vigorously opposes climate scepticism and our actions are proof of this. Diageo's only association with the Heartland Institute was limited to a small contribution made two years ago specifically related to an excise tax issue. Diageo has no plans to work with the Heartland Institute in the future.”

This news came a day after Microsoft also criticized Heartland, (although the world's second-richest computer company has not indicated that it will STOP supporting Heartland in the future). Auto giant General Motors cut off its funding of Heartland in March in apparent embarrassment over being associated with the Chicago-based “think” tank's anti-science activism. (Heartland is a big promoter of tobacco as well as a dissembler about climate science.

Look here for an excellent compilation of all the public corporations that have or continue to support Heartland (and hat's off to Brad Johnson and ForcastTheFacts.org.)

Heartland has also lost friends from the billboard campaign likening climate activists to Unabomber Ted Kaczynski. The blogger Donna Laframboise, who has worked hard to build her reputation as a rabid critic of the climate consensus, now says that her association with Heartland has harmed that reputation, so she has pulled out of the Heartland Institute's coming Denial-a-palooza.

Fraser Institute fellow and Steve McIntyre's sometime-writing buddy Ross McKitrick has also been critical. Even weatherman and WattsUpWithThat auteur Anthony Watts has bitten the hand that feeds (Heartland is funding Watt's “research”), describing the campaign as “ugly” and a “huge misstep.” His readers agree. A WUWT poll asking, “Is Heartland's billboard campaign a blunder,” was running more than 70% yes by midday Sunday, May 6.