Will Congress condemn this ad?

The Heartland Institute is investing $1 million in advertisements that headline:

Freedom, not Climate, is at Risk

Global Warming is NOT A CRISIS

These ads will be promoting Czech President Vaclav Klaus, who rivals Dick Cheney for his climate denialist attitudes.

Klaus had a despicable OPED in Financial Times earlier this year, discussed by Jerome A Paris in the heavily recommended/visited diary Unbelievable: a fight to death for nuance.  

Let us be clear, Global Warming might not be “a” crisis, only because it might turn out to be “the” crisis.

According to the Prague Post,

President Václav Klaus is getting help from a right-wing U.S. think tank this month to spread a message many see as anti-environmentalist and some Czechs say reflects badly on their country.

Well, come off it, far from just “some Czechs” think this reflects badly on their country.  The OPED, earlier this year, was disingenous and truthiness incarnate (putting as politely as possible).  

For example, a comment that I posted to FT as a question to Klaus:

You write: “”scientific consensus”, which is always achieved only by a loud minority, never by a silent majority”.

What evidence do you have of some form of “silent majority” of experts on climate issues who disagree with the base points in the IPCC reports and believe that they are too pessimistic?

Who should I believe about the scientific communities viewpoints?  The heads of the world’s National Academies of Science or a politician who chooses to prominently cite a science fiction novelist?

For other bloggers questions, check out Unbelievable: a fight to death for nuance.  (See my discussion of Klaus within Deniers’ new Hot Topic: Predicting a Global Freeze.)

What is going on?

The U.S. group, called theHeartland Institute, is featuring Klaus in its $1 million ad campaign that declares “Global Warming is Not a Crisis.” Klaus is pictured next to a photograph of former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, who is known for championing the message that global warming is a threat to the planet.

Well, it seems to me that the Czech President is taking on the next Nobel Peace Prize winner.  

Now, about Heartland, it is hard to know where to start other than, well, it is loudly Global Warming Denier sound machine institution.  For just a taste of them, you could take a quick Desmogblog‘s review of one of their works appropriately titled Ew, I just stepped in a Heartland study!”   Well, only a few quick examples of problems there, but they point to the misleading approaches.

If you go to Heartland, you can quickly end up on their heavily footnoted and utterly misleading truthiness.  For example, one question is CO2 levels in the atmosphere today are at record high levels. True of False.  Answer, truth, is “False”.  Oh, wow, Al Gore is being proved to be a left-wing loony disconnected with the facts.  How about if the question were phrased differently:  “CO2 levels in the atmosphere are at record high levels for the past 1 million years and for all human history.  True or False?” Answer, True … hmmm would that change your opinion.  Stephen Colbert would be extremely proud of Heartland’s truthiness.

The ads, which are running in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Times,

A million dollars of ads … major newspapers … that will be crowed about, I promise, by deniers and skeptics.

promise that Klaus “will debunk global warming myths at the UN Sept. 24.”Klaus is one of approximately 40 leaders who will get five minutes each at a conference on climate change at the UN headquarters in New York City.”It will be a gathering of Gore-ites, so they’re going to be shocked that they invited me ‘by mistake,’ too. And I’m going to give a very tough speech,” Klaus said

Wow … one of 40 leaders who will call Global Warming not real … and at odds with every major scientific institution on Earth.  Almost makes you wish Colin Powell were giving the presentation, no, for the likelihood that it will have any connection with reality.

Without a doubt, Vaclav Havel sings a duo with George W Bush’s White House, Don’t Worry, Be Happy

What is Heartland’s explanation for the $1 million?

“The global warming debate is starting to reveal [that] the cautionary and fact-based approach of Heartland and President Klaus is correct,” says Thomas Swiss, the director of public relations for The Heartland Institute. “We reached out to President Klaus because he is a great defender of freedom. After living under oppressive big government, he really gets the potential damage that big government regulations can cause.”

Get it, Heartland=Libertarian and, well, we could talk about the Exxon funding (note that Heartland only received more than $300,000 Exxon 2002-2005.), but is there any chance that that could matter?  And, well, Exxon did promise that they weren’t funding skeptics anymore so … and Heartland denies it.

Gore calls us ‘shills’ for ExxonMobil,” [Heartland] says. “In fact, less than 5 percent of Heartland’s budget comes from all energy producers combined. We represent energy consumers.” [Heartland] says the funds for the ad campaign came from “business leaders not affiliated with energy producers” who feel the global warming issue is a battle between big government and free market

Well, see the article for at least one credible source who questions Heartland on this issue …

“The general pattern is defensive of corporations and generally opposed to environmental and health regulations that corporations see as burdensome,” According to Sheldon Rampton, research director at the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD,. He characterizes the group as a “significant player” among right-wing think tanks and says its tone tends to be “a little more strident than some of the other think tanks, who try to sound more measured and scholarly.”

Klaus is at odds with even his own government, as his own environment minister has critized the planned speech.

And, well, Czech politicians (and others) are concerned that the speech will have real implications for the Czech Republic. They hope for a seat on the UN Security Council and worry that nations fearful of Global Warming will vote against giving Klaus that sort of soap boxes to peddle his dangerous truthiness.

“There is no doubt that if he delivers such a controversial speech we will not receive the votes of the island countries.” [Environment Minister Martin Bursík is also] Furthermore, the environment minister is concerned that Klaus’ views are out of step with the rest of Europe and positions taken by the government.

But, clearly, the consequences go beyond a question a vote for a UNSC seat.  Why spend $1 million on ads? Who will take these seriously?  I promise you, many of the same people who condemned so loudly a MoveOn ad in the New York Times will gleefully embrace this one …  And, well, to answer the question in my title: no, Congress will not condemn this ad.  And, well, this ad is a fundamental threat to the future, to all of us, to all of US.  

Ask yourself:  Are you doing
your part to

Are you ready
  to do your part?


2 responses to “Will Congress condemn this ad?

  1. Nice to see what is considered a “top denier” … who focuses on the images as, somehow, my thought as to serious arguments / issues from my side as to “proof” of Global Warming.

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