May 10, 2012

Forecast the Facts Campaign Shifts Focus to Pfizer and Entire Health Care Industry

Oakland, CA – The ongoing campaign that has successfully led to eight companies pulling their support for the climate-change denying Heartland Institute has shifted its focus to pharmaceutical company Pfizer and the entire health care industry. “Pfizer’s contention that they take climate change seriously seems like a sham as long as they are funding a group that equates belief in climate change with being a murderer or a serial killer,” said Daniel Souweine, campaign director of Forecast the Facts.

Forecast the Facts members will be flooding Pfizer’s phones and social media sites with calls for the company to pull their support. Prior to doing so, Forecast the Facts asked Pfizer whether they plan to continue funding Heartland even after the group ran a billboard comparing people who believe in global warming to Ted Kaczynski, aka the Unabomber. Pfizer responded via email, saying:

“We do not agree with the Heartland Institute’s position on climate change and have said so publicly a number of times. We also review our engagement with outside organizations regularly.”

Heartland gave the following explanation for their billboard campaign, which also was slated to include images of Osama Bin Laden and Charles Manson:

“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.”

Given Pfizer’s statement on climate change, it would appear that Heartland considers them on the radical fringe of society. Pfizer’s statement reads, in part:

"As a science-based health care company, Pfizer has long recognized the risks posed by global climate change, such as more severe weather events and potential adverse impacts on human health, and has, as a precautionary step, taken significant voluntary action to reduce its own greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions."

Pfizer is just one of several pharmaceutical companies that fund Heartland. Others include Eli Lilly, Glaxo Smith Kline, Amgen, and trade association PhRMA. Several of those companies also have strong statements on climate change. Heartland's health care work has accounted for more than $500,000 in corporate funding over the past two years.

During the past two months, Forecast the Facts has led the campaign calling on corporations to pull their support from Heartland, mobilizing more than 20,000 people in the process. Automobile giant General Motors was the first to respond, ending their twenty-year relationship with Heartland on March 28. After Heartland responded with the offensive billboards, numerous other companies defected, including beverage maker Diageo, the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers, Renaissance Re, XL Group, Allied World Assurance, and USAA. Eight companies and corporate associations have now publicly pulled out of the Heartland Institute.

Forecast the Facts is a member-driven organization dedicated to ensuring that Americans are accurately informed about climate change, founded in 2012.

See the Forecast the Facts petition here.

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Who We Are

Forecast the Facts is dedicated to ensuring that Americans hear the truth about climate change: that temperatures are increasing, human activity is largely responsible, and that our world is already experiencing the effects. We do this by empowering everyday people to speak out in the face of misinformation and hold accountable those who mislead the public.

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Daniel Kessler
510-501-1779
daniel.kessler@engagementlab.org
@danieljkessler

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