We just sent this email out to everyone who signed our petition against the Heartland Institute. 

Dear friends,

You probably remember this billboard:

That’s the ad that the Heartland Institute put up in Chicago a couple weeks ago, comparing people who believe in climate change to psychopaths like the unabomber. As soon as we saw the billboard, we teamed up with diverse coalition to launch a campaign to fight back against the Heartland Institute’s distortion and poor taste, and petitioned Heartland’s corporate sponsors to drop their support.

Well, we’ve got some good news: the campaign to neutralize the Heartland Institute is working. Over 150,000 people have already signed on, and a number of Heartland’s corporate sponsors have already pulled out, including Pepsi, State Farm, and Eli Lilly. Now, our friends at Forecast the Facts are taking the lead in on phase two of this campaign: turning up the heat on Heartland with a series of creative tactics.

The next big push in the campaign is deploy crowd-funded, bike-powered billboards targeting Heartland’s corporate sponsors, like this: 

Bike ad targeting Heartland and Pfizer, a corporate sponsor

Why are we using bike-powered billboards? Two reasons:

1) We want to be in the right place at the right time: this week, the Heartland Institute is hosting their annual conference for climate deniers. The media loves this story, so they’ll be sure to be there — and our people-powered billboards will be front and center. These highly visible moving ads that will be towed around downtown Chicago today, Tuesday, and Wednesday — the same days that Heartland is holding their major climate change denial conference.

2) When we tried to rent the same billboards that the Heartland Institute used, Clear Channel (the media company that owns the billboards) told us that “You can’t criticize corporations.” It’s ridiculous: Clear Channel was perfectly OK with Heartland comparing anyone who believed in climate change to a mass murderer, but they censor any ad criticizing a corporation. Rather than get distracted by this censorship, we found a clean, green way around it. 

Our friends at SumOfUs are also joining in (and are hosting the online donation page) — we need to raise at least $4,000, so if you can chip in anything at all please click here: www.350.org/en/bikes-vs-heartland

While Forecast the Facts does the important work of further discrediting the Heartland Institute, we’re going to be finding new ways to connect the dots between the impacts of climate change and the broader climate crisis, as well as getting our new campaign against fossil fuel subsidies going at full speed (in the last week alone, over 120,000 people have added their names to a new bill to end these polluter handouts — sign on here if you haven’t added your name yet!)

We hope you’ll take part in all of these efforts. Stopping climate change is going to take a lot of different approaches — good thing our movement is getting big enough and diverse enough to work on multiple fronts!


Phil Aroneanu for the 350.org Team

More Links and Info

Billboard Wars, Chapter 2 (or Is It 3?) – NYTimes.com go.350.org/Jj7MyJ

Remaining Heartland Institute corporate sponsors: go.350.org/Jj7Sq2

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