May 21, 2012

Climate Activists Plan Coordinated Actions to Highlight Corporate Support of Heartlands Institute's Anti-Science Conference

The national campaign calling on corporations to end their support of the climate change-denying Heartland Institute has galvanized more than 150,000 people and led eleven companies to cut their ties to the radical group, including General Motors and State Farm. Now the organizations leading that campaign, including Forecast the Facts, are mobilizing around Heartland’s signature climate-denial conference to make sure the remaining corporate supporters continue to get the message.

“Given that the Heartland Institute’s conference is the preeminent gathering to promote conspiracy theories about climate science, it’s amazing that major corporations, many of which profess to care about climate change, continue to support their efforts,” said Brad Johnson, campaign manager of Forecast the Facts. “We are going to make sure those corporations are aware that huge numbers of people — including their customers and shareholders — find that unacceptable.”

Forecast the Facts, SumOfUs.org and 350.org have organized their members to “crowd-fund” bicycle-driven billboards that parody the Heartland Institute’s Unabomber ads. These people-powered ads, which feature Heartland supporters Pfizer, Comcast, and Microsoft, will circle downtown Chicago during Heartland’s climate change denial conference at the Hilton Chicago beginning Monday morning.

The ads include the logos of the aforementioned corporations, the amount of their recent contributions to the Heartland Institute, and the message, “We still support climate deniers. Do you?”

"The Heartland conference is one of the most brazen examples of how the fossil fuel industry funds climate change denialism for its own profit, at the expense of the millions of people around the world already suffering from massive climate disruptions -- floods, droughts, and more. Do Pfizer, Microsoft, and Comcast really want to be complicit in this human tragedy by continuing to fund Heartland?"

The bicycle ads will feature content that was rejected by Clear Channel Chicago. Clear Channel ran a Heartland Institute ad featuring the Unambomber on its digital billboard network in Chicago, but rejected the Forecast the Facts parody because it criticized a corporation.Clear Channel also rejected proposed alternative billboards from Forecast the Facts. Then Clear Channel executives falsely informed the press that they rejected the ads for legal concerns.

In addition to the ads, Forecast the Facts will be joining local activists as well as members of SumOfUs.org, the Sierra Club, and the League of Conservation Voters in a grassroots rally on Tuesday morning outside the Hilton Chicago.

Tuesday, May 22 schedule and photo opportunities:

10am— Activists gather at the Cloud Gate in Millennium Park’s AT&T Plaza, and begin march to Hilton Chicago

11:00am— Arrive at the Hilton Chicago Hotel and the Heartland Institute’s Conference on Climate Change Denial at 720 S Michigan Ave.

11:15am— Speakers discuss climate science and Heartland's denialism in Grant Park, across from the Hilton Chicago

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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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Brant Olson
Campaign Director
Phone: 510-859-7490
Email: brant@forecastthefacts.org
Twitter: @branto

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