An Open Letter to the Heartland Institute from Bill McKibben

Dear Mr. Bast-

Earlier today you and the companies that support you announced a set of billboards in Chicago suggesting that serial killers were pretty much the only people who feared climate change.

I’d like to thank you for doing that. The billboards are ugly, but they convey with graphic intensity the desperation of those who have fought on the side of the fossil fuel companies for a quarter century. As you know, the polling data in fact indicates that growing majorities of Americans are deeply concerned about climate change, and eager to see our political leaders address it. And the demand for action is at least as strong in the rest of the world.

I know you’d like your opponents to be murderers and crazed fanatics—that would make your job easier. But as it happens, this weekend will see more than a thousand events in most countries of the planet, arranged by entirely ordinary people who have already felt the sting of climate change. You can watch the pictures at 350.org—we’ll be blogging them as fast as we can. What you’ll see are people of every race and creed, united in the hope that the floods and droughts we’ve already suffered will be enough to sway the hearts and minds of our leaders.

Given the frantic and reckless nature of those billboards, I think its safe to conclude were making headway fast.

Best,

Bill McKibben

p.s.–Oh, and we’ll be writing to your sponsors too, along these lines: Dear Microsoft: Thanks for sponsoring the Heartland Institute, and its billboards insisting that those who fight against global warming are mass murderers. We’re always more inclined to do business with those who call us serial killers!

 

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