As the Heartland Institute’s “skeptic’s” climate change conference opens today, the climate-denying organization is scrambling for donors to keep its budget on life support. Following the launch of Heartland’s offensive billboard campaign comparing those who believe in climate change to Ted Kaczynski, Charles Manson, and Fidel Castro, corporate sponsors have begun jumping ship and distancing themselves from the organization. This trend continued over the past weekend.
Over the last few weeks, Heartland has lost $825,000 in expected funds from corporate donors, including big names like BB&T, StateFarm, and GM. In addition, all but one staffer of the thinktank’s Washington, DC office absconded with Heartland’s biggest project, on the insurance industry. The insurance industry project, headed by Eli Lehrer, was sponsored by a group of national and international insurance companies who had begun to feel uncomfortable with the organization’s anti-climate change politics before the billboards were released. The insurance industry group dropped Heartland immediately following the release of the shock-tactic campaign.
"It's haemorrhaging," said Kert Davies, research director of Greenpeace, who has spent years tracking climate contrarian outfits. "Heartland's true colours finally came through, and now people are jumping ship in quick order."
The list of conference sponsors has shrunk by half, and the thinktank has begun accepting funds from a coal lobbying firm to balance its budget sheet.
Forecast the Facts has posted an infographic of the corporations who have dropped Heartland in recent weeks, highlighting the corporations still contributing to the anti-science organization.