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What, no Hitler?

The Heartland Institute is a conservative climate-denialist thinktank in the US. And this is their new ad campaign:

“The people who still believe in man-made global warming are mostly on the radical fringe of society. This is why the most prominent advocates of global warming aren’t scientists. They are murderers, tyrants, and madmen.”

In addition to Ted Kaczynski, Charles Manson and Fidel Castro are also featured. Osama bin Laden is in the works for a future billboard.

…What, were you hoping that I would say something funny to keep you from throwing your laptop across the room? Sorry, I got nothing. This is too fucked up even for me.

(Via Bad Astronomy)


  1. MichaelD says

    Well obviously Hitler didn’t believe in climate change so they can’t use him :P

    I guess we could run the opposite campaign bring up as many crazed murders and dictators that don’t believe in climate change. If only we weren’t shackled by a little thing called good taste…

  2. says

    I find it funny that they didn’t put quotes around the statement, indicating that it’s not a real quote. Not that it matters. Obvious fallacy is obvious.

  3. PDX_Greg says

    Saw this on BA myself; but I really posted this cause I just wanted to say thanks for getting your blagging back on!

    Four posts yesterday; it’s great to have you back! I realize it doesn’t mean you are abandoning your other lives for us and I don’t wish that on you, but just want to let you know we grow a little restless without some serious BlagHagging to feel righteously informed about.

    Great coverage of the “Do woman have too many rights?” debacle, by the way.

  4. Utakata says

    Well…citing Hitler as an example would be enacting Godwin’s law. These ads are embarrassingly a big joke enough without having that egg broken over their faces…

    *Looks at ad again*

    …then again, I wouldn’t put it pass them.

  5. KG says

    Obvious fallacy is obvious. – miller

    That doesn’t matter. It is not, and is not intended to be, an appeal to reason; it is, deliberately and consciously, an expression of hatred at its most malignant, intended to produce the same response in its audience. If climate scientists begin to be murdered, we will know exactly who, apart from the direct perpetrator, is to blame.

  6. jolo5309 says

    What, no Hitler?

    Bloody atheists, give them a Kaczynski and now they want a Hitler!

  7. Hans says

    Obviously we need to create some billboards of our own. We can keep the same format and characters, with a few new messages:

    * “I still believe in gravity, how about you?”

    * “I still believe in electricity, how about you?”

    * “I still believe in the germ theory of disease, how about you?”

    An alternative would be replace the murderers with scientists and have slogans “98% of climate scientists believe the evidence demonstrates human-caused global warming.” The latter is more direct, the former highlights Heartland’s Looney Toons stance.

  8. Drakk says

    What in the actual fuck? Just when I think I’ve seen the worst of the crazy…

  9. says

    Umh, the reason why the “most prominent advocates of global warming” aren’t scientists is that scientists hardly ever get prominent these days, and never as prominent as notorious murderers.

  10. says

    Hey, Heartland Institute: an overwhelming majority of murderers, tyrants and madmen wash their hands before meals, sleep in beds, and stuff food into their mouths assuming it’ll eventually be eliminated from the other end. Why haven’t you eliminated these decadent vices from your lifestyles?

  11. carpenterman says

    KG: “It is not, and is not intended to be, an appeal to reason.”
    Precisely. It is simply the the same tactics that have been used to such depressingly good effect over decades of election cycles. Pure emotional response is the goal; to actually bypass the forebrain entirely. And it works! Oh yes, it works; that’s why groups like this (and political parties) keep doing it. It doesn’t have to sway everyone; just enough to swing the pendulum their way. Lincolon said, “You can’t fool all the people all the time”. Well, you don’t have to. You don’t even have to fool all of the people some of the time or some of the people all the of time. Some of the people, some of the time; that’s enough, that’s enough. And it’s easy. Horribly easy.

  12. Dalillama says

    Motto of the Republican party today: You can fool some of the people all of the time;those are the schmucks we’re after.

  13. monad says

    Well…citing Hitler as an example would be enacting Godwin’s law.

    Citing Hitler would be a great ingratitude. Were he alive, I’m sure he would still believe in cheap propaganda; don’t they?

    Why has anyone ever taken think-tanks seriously? All they do at the best of times is present opinions as facts, and everyone can guess their opinions on everything. Even when right, they’re worthless.

  14. christophburschka says

    Do you know who else used logical fallacies as a rhetorical device? That’s right!

  15. Aral says

    I actually choose to take heart from this. They have no way to debate the scientific reality of the situation anymore, and are forced to resort to these pathetic pseudo-ad hominem attacks to keep their stance going. Fail on their part.

  16. smrnda says

    It is true – this purely emotional attempt to associate an idea with a small handful of people who agree with it (I wonder how many born-again Christians are in jail for murder or sex crimes, though I’m sure such a billboard would be attacked as choosing *non-representative* samples) rather than attacking the actual idea.

    As for the unabomber, I’m a mathematician, and he was pretty good at maths. I would say if a person so good at logical thought agreed with global warming, his opinion counts for me more than anyone who would associate themselves with anything labeled ‘heartland’ anything. I don’t agree with blowing shit up, but a person who can pull that off probably knows more about science than people from the ‘heartland whatever.’

  17. AlanMac says

    I see this as the first crack in the Religious Right’s Straussian tactics (Lies, religion, war fever). I looks to me that the pros have moved on and the amateurs are running the show.

    “The people who still believe in man-made global warming are mostly on the radical fringe of society. This is why the most prominent advocates of global warming aren’t scientists. They are murderers, tyrants, and madmen.”

    This is such a obvious bold faced lie that it pretty much gives the game away.
    The same thing is happening here in Canada. The ultra-right have started making ridiculous PR gaffes. The Mayor of Toronto is showing signs of paranoia and threatening to hide in his bunker unless the media does his bidding. They were unable to get elected in Alberta, their home Province, due to uncontrolled racist, bigoted and homophobic statements by their candidates, and a massive voter suppression campaign that backfired. The federal Conservatives have been burning through press secretaries faster then Darth Vadar burns through force commanders.

    Yep, second string is now on the field.

  18. AlanMac says

    The “..most prominent advocates of global warming.” are oil executives. Most scientist are against global warming as it will likely cause some sort of extinction event ( to make a long story short). However, the most prominent advocates of the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming are scientists.

    Now, what’s this about too much sax and violins on TV?

  19. godlesspanther says

    I have to make sure that I don’t believe anything that Ted Kaczynski might believe to be true because if I do then I will be exactly like him.

    Heartland must not think much of their supporters if they assume that they are stupid enough to find this ad at all compelling.

  20. Tony says

    Jen, the only reason I didn’t throw my laptop across the room is because I don’t have the money to buy a new one right now.

  21. KG says

    Heartland must not think much of their supporters if they assume that they are stupid enough to find this ad at all compelling. – godlesspanther

    It’s not their “supporters” in the sense of the people who fund them and to whose benefit they are working that the advert was aimed at, but the “Right-Wing Authoritarians” of Bob Altemeyer. If you haven’t read this work, do – the term doesn’t mean exactly what you might think, as uncritical supporters of the Communist Party in the USSR would count; I strongly suspect Heartland are well-acquainted with it.

  22. says

    No, no, don’t mock them, join them!

    Photo of Hitler: “I still believe in Jesus. Don’t you?”

    MUCH more effective than kittens….

  23. John Kruger says

    So, even Ted Kaczynski is not as crazy as right wing climate change deniers.

    Got it.

  24. says

    Barb, if you looked the performance of individual stocks during a year that the broad market indexes declined say 10 or 20%, you would still see some stocks that rose in value during that time.

    However, you couldn’t say “Well, the market can’t be down, because the stock price of XYZ Corp rose 7%!”

    It’s the same with climate change. Certain places in the world, because of their locations, geography and so forth, will see growth in ice cover. But outliers don’t disprove a trend.

  25. Randomfactor says

    Kaczynski hated “liberals” and “feminists.”

    And I suspect we could put up a billboard with his face and the legend “I support the Heartland Institute’s campaign to deny Global Warming. Do you?” and be telling the truth.*

    (*”From a certain point of view.”)

  26. Randomfactor says

    “My kitchen CAN’T be on fire. Look how cold it is in the freezer!”

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