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Desperate Times for Deniers

23 May 2012  |   Melissa Yeo

Tags: Climate Change

The Heartland Institute has announced that this year's climate denial conference will be its last. “At this point we have no plans to do another [International Conference on Climate Change],” said Joseph Bast, president of the Institute, in his closing remarks Wednesday.

Heartland faced harsh grassroots backlash after it put up billboards comparing climate change believers to the Unabomber. The controversial advertisement prompted an exodus of board directors, key staff members, and conference speakers, as well as an $825,000 drain in corporate sponsorship.

“I’m not a good fundraiser,” admitted Bast. “I don’t raise enough money to cover [these conferences].”

This year’s ICCC saw flagging support, with just 270 slated to participate compared to 800 attendees in past years, and well over 100 no-shows. The list of conference sponsors shrank by nearly half from 2010, with many of the remaining sponsors limited to organizations funded by Exxon Mobil and the Koch oil billionaire family.

The conference was just another episode in the Institute’s disastrous public relations campaign of the last few months, including this callous quote by policy adviser John Dunn:

“Warm is good for people, and it’s particularly good for people as they get older… The people that warm spells kill are already moribund.”

Yesterday, citizens held a rally outside the conference that was slammed by Heartland fellow James M. Taylor as “the last-gasp efforts of left-wing extremists who have been defeated in the scientific debate and the court of public opinion.”

Read more at DeSmogBlog.

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