Ladies and Gentlemen, I Give You Demagoguery


Wow. I didn’t think I could be shocked by anything in politics anymore, especially when it comes from the right wing. I thought they’d hit bottom. I was wrong. This is the most appalling bit of demagoguery I have ever witnessed in two decades of writing about politics:



And here’s what the Heartland Institute, which put out this and other billboards, has to say about it:

The billboard series features Ted Kaczynski, the infamous Unabomber; Charles Manson, a mass murderer; and Fidel Castro, a tyrant. Other global warming alarmists who may appear on future billboards include Osama bin Laden and James J. Lee (who took hostages inside the headquarters of the Discovery Channel in 2010).

These rogues and villains were chosen because they made public statements about how man-made global warming is a crisis and how mankind must take immediate and drastic actions to stop it…

Because what these murderers and madmen have said differs very little from what spokespersons for the United Nations, journalists for the “mainstream” media, and liberal politicians say about global warming…

The point is that believing in global warming is not “mainstream,” smart, or sophisticated. In fact, it is just the opposite of those things. Still believing in man-made global warming – after all the scientific discoveries and revelations that point against this theory – is more than a little nutty. In fact, some really crazy people use it to justify immoral and frightening behavior…

Scientific, political, and public support for the theory of man-made global warming is collapsing. Most scientists and 60 percent of the general public (in the U.S.) do not believe man-made global warming is a problem. (Keep reading for proof of these statements.) 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.

There is no low that is too low. There is nothing so crazy and vile that they won’t say it. I’m sure it will shock no one to find out that the Heartland Institute is funded, at least in part, by the Charles Koch Foundation. And Exxon. And that they are prominent members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Oh, and they’ve given more than $600,000 to support Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and others facing recall in that state. Every corporation and foundation that funds them should be pressured to drop their support of this disgusting organization.

There is no bottom to this barrel. It’s demagogues and liars all the way down.

Comments

  1. grumpyoldfart says

    It’s America, the people are extremely gullible, so the campaign will probably succeed.

  2. slc1 says

    And, of course, two professors at UVA, Fred Singer and Pat Michaels are associated with this despicable outfit. Of course, coming from a state that elected Koo Koo Ken Cuccinelli to statewide office, this is not unexpected.

  3. addiepray says

    But it’s a fun and easy game to play:
    (Picture of Hitler, or Kony, or Breivik) I believe in Jesus… Do you?
    (Picture of Hitler) I hate communism… Do you?
    (Picture of Osama Bin Laden) I think homosexuality is wrong… Do you?

  4. Brain Hertz says

    Maybe we need a counter to this in the form of a campaign against those bastards who advocate humane treatment of pets. Because you know who was kind to his dog, don’t you?

  5. raven says

    I’m pretty blase about Global Warming.

    In the 1980’s, this was predicted from a graph of rising CO2 and basic physics, the greenhouse effect.

    So it is now happening. Surprise.

    We aren’t going to do anything. It’s too late anyway. The lead time for a carbon capture coal burning plant is 20 years. Virtually none are even planned.

    The global warming is happening advocates have lost the battle. But they will certainly win the war. Because it will happen whether anyone believes it or not. Reality doesn’t give a damn what humans think.

    The arctic sea ice is rapidly disappearing. IIRC, 4 out of the last 5 years have all been record or near record lows. It will be gone by 2030. I’m wondering what the global warming deniers are going to say when that happens.

  6. raven says

    I’ll add here that we will just adapt. All we can do.

    It won’t be easy but it won’t be impossible.

    The maximum sea level rise predicted by 2100 is 3 feet. We can deal with that, although it is going to be an expensive and rough undertaking.

    FWIW, what I said is more or less the climatologists consensus, as much as the scientific community ever agrees on anything. They know nothing will be done, and that it is too late. The new word for them is “adaptation”.

    At this point, they just hope the new witch hunt directed at them doesn’t get out of hand and they lose their jobs. Or worse.

  7. mucklededun says

    Heartland…is that the same mail-order outfit that sends out catalogs with whoopee cushions & coffee mugs in the shape of toilets & T-shirts that say I’m With Stupid? I was actually thinking about ordering one of those undergarments that makes your beer gut disappear.

  8. slc1 says

    Just as a matter of history, the Heartland Foundation was originally founded by the tobacco companies to spread disinformation about smoking and lung cancer.

  9. slc1 says

    Re raven @ #5

    Actually, the melting of the ice caps at the North pole will cause a lowering in sea levels as the density of ice is less then water. The real issue is the ice fields and glaciers on Greenland. If all the ice fields and glaciers on Greenland melted by the end of the century, sea level rise could be as much as 23 feet! Not too good for places like Boston and New York City, not to mention Florida.

    http://www.global-adventures.us/2012/05/04/greenland-ice-sheet-glaciers/

  10. fastlane says

    We need to see if we can get someone to interview (the living) people that they put on the billboards and ask who they’ll vote for…..

  11. Sastra says

    I just thought of an odd question. Ted Kaczynski is still alive and incarcerated in Colorado: technically speaking — could he sue?

    After all, I seriously doubt that anyone at Heartland Institute ever contacted the guy for permission to use his image and personal ‘endorsement.’

  12. Brain Hertz says

    Actually, the melting of the ice caps at the North pole will cause a lowering in sea levels as the density of ice is less then water.

    No, it will make no difference to sea levels. The difference in density exactly accounts for the proportion of ice that is currently above the surface. Put it another way, the mass of water displaced by the ice is exactly the same as the mass of the ice (and the mass of additional water that there will be when it melts).

    Other than that, I agree with your point; it doesn’t matter from a sea-level point of view if there is melting at the north pole, but it does matter if there is significant melting in Greenland or Antarctica.

  13. Chiroptera says

    Brain Hertz, #14: No, it will make no difference to sea levels.

    If I recall correctly, the predicted rise in sea levels will be due to the thermal expansion of the warmer sea water.

    I haven’t actually tried to work out the calculations to see whether this is plausible.

  14. busterggi says

    If I hit the lottery this weekend you expect to see a series of billboards with pictures of Hitler, Dahmer and other illustrious Christians saying’ “I still believe in Christ do you”.

  15. Doug Little says

    busterggi,

    Make sure that you erect them beside the Heartland ones so that people get the point or their heads explode, one or the other.

  16. slc1 says

    Re Brian Hertz @ #14

    Mr. Hertz is correct. The ocean level would rise if, somehow, the unmelted ice were forced down into the water at the North Pole. Obviously, this PhD physicist had a brain fart.

    Of course, this doesn’t take into account what may happen at the South Pole, where, unlike the North Pole, the ice rests on solid ground. Melting of all the ice at the South Pole, in addition to Greenland, I suspect, would raise ocean levels a lot more then 23 feet.

    Re Chiroptera @ #15

    That is correct. If ocean temperatures rise, the density of water drops (assuming that the water temperature is greater then 4 degrees Celsius), increasing the volume of a given mass. I think this may have been included in the 23 foot figure mentioned in the link.

  17. says

    Why are you so surprised? Liebertarians have been explicitly accusing environmentalists of wanting to bring Mankind back to the Dark Ages since 1978.

    Yet another case of liebertarians pretending to disagree with Republicans while the Republicans use all of their most deranged and asinine talking-points.

  18. slc1 says

    Aside from everything else, what is the evidence that Osama bin Laden, Fidel Castro, or Charles Manson had/have the slightest interest in climate change?

  19. slc1 says

    I’m sure it will shock no one to find out that the Heartland Institute is funded, at least in part, by the Charles Koch Foundation. And Exxon.

    It is my information that Exxon ceased funding the Heartland Institute 2 or 3 years ago.

  20. trog69 says

    Hitler had a mustache. Now I’m an anti-semitic, genocidal maniac. And so is that old Italian lady 2 doors down from me.

    It’s like half the block is Naziville.

  21. says

    The maximum sea level rise predicted by 2100 is 3 feet. We can deal with that, although it is going to be an expensive and rough undertaking.

    And it’s a good thing sea levels will just stop rising at that point. Otherwise, we’d eventually have to figure out what to do with 5, 10, or 20 ft.

  22. Moggie says

    slc1:

    Aside from everything else, what is the evidence that Osama bin Laden, Fidel Castro, or Charles Manson had/have the slightest interest in climate change?

    Cuba signed and ratified the Kyoto Protocol (unlike the US), during the time Castro was president. No doubt he’d have been extensively briefed on the issue, and he damn well should have had an interest.

  23. scienceavenger says

    …after all the scientific discoveries and revelations that point against this theory…

    I note he doesn’t list any of these discoveries and revelations. I can’t imagine why.

  24. krisrhodes says

    This is fucked up. Can this actually work to persuade people Who are undecided? Surely people will look at this and dismiss it as dishonest?

    As for libertarians- there is nothing libertarian about externalizing costs that basically result in vast human suffering. The problem is tribalism and ignorance.

  25. imthegenieicandoanything says

    The stupidity, ignorance, and insanity that expresses itself as nearly pristine dishonesty in ‘Mer’kin “Consevatism” is proof that their dishonest (and cluelessness) are like the Japanese description of Hell: there IS no bottom.

  26. Michael Heath says

    krisrhodes writes:

    As for libertarians- there is nothing libertarian about externalizing costs that basically result in vast human suffering. The problem is tribalism and ignorance.

    I’ve observed ivory-tower libertarians with no power or influence that are comfortable conceding the reality of externalities regarding topics which aren’t currently in a state of flux but instead static, i.e., nothing is at stake. If the discussion is abstract and inconsequential, than sure, we see such behavior.

    But I’ve yet to find libertarians in general that are comfortable sufficiently framing the topic on public policy matters which are being hotly debated where the premises within the framework of that particular policy debate make it difficult to impossible to avoid an increased role for government, i.e., they can’t make a cogent limited government argument and therefore seek to avoid the very premises that make increased government intervention so compelling. In fact I often see them diverting to analogies that aren’t illustrative of the topic debated, a classic avoidance tactic. And I don’t know of any with any power or influence that are capable of confronting and making good arguments within the relevant framework either.

    So from a practical perspective I disagree with you; from my personal observation, this type of behavior is an attribute of libertarianism. Similar to how the current state of conservatism is so divorced from its laudable Burkean roots, the psychology of those attracted to both ideologies better defines their respective movements than the approaches adherents inherit from their predecessors. So we can easily predict a dependence on these types of rhetorical fallacies, which is exactly what we also get.

  27. llewelly says

    1 to 2 meters of sea level rise expected by 2100:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/09/how-much-will-sea-level-rise/

    Of course the sea won’t magically stop rising in 2100. But sea level rise beyond 2100 is much more dependent on what we do, and various other factors.

    Greenland Ice Sheet: 6.6 meters of sea level rise equivalent.
    West Antarctic Ice Sheet: 8 meters of sea level rise equivalent.
    East Antarctic Ice Sheet: 65 meters of sea level rise equivalent.

    http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs2-00/

  28. says

    As for libertarians- there is nothing libertarian about externalizing costs that basically result in vast human suffering. The problem is tribalism and ignorance.

    Which the liebertarians knowingly pander to, every chance they get, whenever it suits the interests of their corporate clients.

    And yes, liebertarian policies are all about externalizing the social and environmental cost of whatever policies Our Brave Captains Of Industry want to engage in. That’s why they advocate radical tax cuts and deregulation in all areas of human endeavor, remember? IF you can’t see that, then my only advice to you is, stop playacting and spit out the tea.

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