May 4, 2012 – The Heartland Institute has pulled its global warming billboard starring Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber whose manifesto expressed his belief in catastrophic man-caused global warming. The digital billboard ran for exactly 24 hours along the Eisenhower Expressway near Chicago in the suburb of Maywood, Illinois.
The following statement by Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast may be used for attribution. For more information, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at [email protected] or 312-377-4000.
“This provocative billboard was always intended to be an experiment. And after just 24 hours the results are in: It got people’s attention.
“This billboard was deliberately provocative, an attempt to turn the tables on the climate alarmists by using their own tactics but with the opposite message. We found it interesting that the ad seemed to evoke reactions more passionate than when leading alarmists compare climate realists to Nazis or declare they are imposing on our children a mass death sentence. We leave it to others to determine why that is so.
“The Heartland Institute doesn’t often do ‘provocative’ communication. In fact, we’ve spent 15 years presenting the economic and scientific arguments that counter global warming alarmism. No one has worked harder, or better, on that task than Heartland. We will continue to do that – especially at our next International Conference on Climate Change in Chicago from May 21 – 23.
“Heartland has spent millions of dollars contributing to the real debate over climate change, and $200 for a one-day digital billboard. In return, we’ve been subjected to the most uncivil name-calling and disparagement you can possibly imagine from climate alarmists. The other side of the climate debate seems to be playing by different rules. This experiment produced further proof of that.
“We know that our billboard angered and disappointed many of Heartland’s friends and supporters, but we hope they understand what we were trying to do with this experiment. We do not apologize for running the ad, and we will continue to experiment with ways to communicate the ‘realist’ message on the climate.”
The Heartland Institute is a 28-year-old national nonprofit organization with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Washington, DC. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.