By Brad Friedman on 5/4/2012, 11:28am PT  

In what must certainly be the most offensive and absurd mainstream attack on climate science to date, the corporate-funded extremist group Heartland Institute is now comparing climate scientists and journalists who report on their work to mass murderers such as Osama Bin Laden, Ted "The Unabomber" Kaczynski and Charles Manson.

Yes, the sociopathic liars and serial propagandists at the rightwing Heartland Institute are comparing those who believe in science to sociopathic terrorists and serial killers. And they aren't just doing it in off-the-radar fundraising emails to supporters, they're doing it in an expensive and public billboard campaign on the streets of Chicago which the UK's Guardian describes today as "possibly one of the most ill-judged poster campaigns in the history of ill-judged poster campaigns"...

But it's not "ill-judged" at all. This is what Heartland does. And that's why it's so remarkable that while corporations such as AT&T and GM have ceased funding the extremist Rightwing "think thank" recently, after internal documents revealed they were attempting to force climate denial misinformation into school textbooks, companies such as Microsoft and State Farm and (much less surprisingly) the Koch brothers and the rest of the fossil fuel industry continue to fund their efforts.

But it's not just scientists who this group condemns as mass murderers, journalists and "liberal politicians" are, apparently, also right up there with Charlie Manson, in the eyes --- and words --- of the Heartland Institute...

Joe Romm at Climate Progress reports that "This is not some 'oops' moment by an individual overzealous Heartland employee with catastrophically poor judgment. Quite the reverse. This is a collective act by the Institute expressing its core worldview."

Romm goes on to quote how Heartland, in a "robust defense" of their expensive billboard campaign, launched in conjunction with their upcoming hoax anti-climate change conference in Chicago (they deceptively call it their "7th International Conference on Climate Change"), justifies their latest appalling scheme:

Billboards in Chicago paid for by The Heartland Institute point out that some of the world’s most notorious criminals say they “still believe in global warming” – and ask viewers if they do, too…

The billboard series features Ted Kaczynski, the infamous Unabomber; Charles Manson, a mass murderer; and Fidel Castro, a tyrant. Other global warming alarmists who may appear on future billboards include Osama bin Laden and James J. Lee (who took hostages inside the headquarters of the Discovery Channel in 2010).

These rogues and villains were chosen because they made public statements about how man-made global warming is a crisis and how mankind must take immediate and drastic actions to stop it.

Why did Heartland choose to feature these people on its billboards?

Because what these murderers and madmen have said differs very little from what spokespersons for the United Nations, journalists for the “mainstream” media, and liberal politicians say about global warming....

The point is that believing in global warming is not “mainstream,” smart, or sophisticated. In fact, it is just the opposite of those things. Still believing in man-made global warming – after all the scientific discoveries and revelations that point against this theory – is more than a little nutty. In fact, some really crazy people use it to justify immoral and frightening behavior.

But, as Romm points out, Heartland isn't all bad, since they note: "Of course, not all global warming alarmists are murderers or tyrants."

They then add:

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.

See Romm's coverage for more on the discredited reasons that Heartland uses to justify these kind of attacks.

We suppose it'll take the murder of a climate scientist or environmental journalist or two --- after all, who wouldn't be justified in taking the life of a "mass murderer", right? --- before this bullshit ends. Actually, that wouldn't likely end it either, but it might result in otherwise mainstream corporations finally becoming embarrassed enough to stop partnering with and giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to twisted, dangerous, propaganda organizations such as the shameful Heartland Institute.