A right-wing Chicago based “think tank” has had a controversial billboard taken down after just 1 day. The billboard depicted evil doers who happened to support climate change. For example; Charles Mason, Fidel Castro, Osama bin Laden, and James J. Lee. The billboard attracted very strong criticism from across the media. The organisers claim that the billboard advertisement was “an experiment” and was a success overall. One thing is for sure, the billboard has definitely turned people’s attention to climate change. But will their message me heard?
A Chicago-based, conservative and libertarian think tank has told the Washington Post that they are going to abandon a brief but controversial advertising campaign which claimed that “the most prominent advocates of global warming aren’t scientists. They are murderers, tyrants, and madmen.”
According to reporter Jason Samenow’s original report, the Heartland Institute, a group which promotes climate skepticism, launched a digital billboard campaign featuring Ted Kaczynski, aka the Unabomber.
The billboard, which was first publicly displayed on Thursday, was to be the first featuring a rogue’s gallery of terrorists, murderers, and cult leaders who also happened to be supporters of global climate change theory. Future billboards would have featured the likes of Charles Mason, Fidel Castro, Osama bin Laden, and James J. Lee, the man who took hostages at the Discovery Channel headquarters two years ago.
Members of the media were overwhelmingly damning in their criticism of the campaign.
Samenow called it “offensive” and in “poor taste,” adding that it was “highly regrettable the Heartland Institute, which has sought balance at its own global warming conferences by opening the doors to global warming believers, has chosen to demonize this point of view.”
Leo Hickman of the Guardian called it “quite possibly one of the most ill-judged poster campaigns in the history of ill-judged poster campaigns.”
Mike Lemonick of OPB News dubbed it “a breathtaking tour de force in logic: if a murderous lunatic believes something — anything at all — then everyone else who believes it is a murderous lunatic… According to them, anyone who considers anthropogenic climate change to be a serious threat would do anything — send mail bombs to strangers, send his disciples out to murder people or impose a politically repressive regime on a Caribbean Island.”
Brad Johnson of Forecast the Facts, a new campaign recently launched to spread information on global warming and help meteorologists better understand and explain climate change science, told USA Today’s Wendy Koch that the billboard was “outrageous and disgusting.”
Despite, or perhaps because of, the backlash, Samenow updated his report Friday afternoon to reflect Heartland Institute President and CEO Joseph Bast’s announcement that the campaign would be ending at 4:00pm CST.