More Funders Pull Out of Heartland Institute Over Ad Campaign
17 May 2012 - 10:55 by OOSKAnews Correspondent
united states, CHICAGO, IL — This week, pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, BB&T bank and PepsiCo became the latest companies to pull funding for conservative think tank the Heartland Institute.
The pullouts came weeks after the institute, which promotes climate change denial, launched a widely criticized marketing campaign that used billboards in Chicago to equate climate change believers to terrorists and criminals like Ted Kaczynski, Charles Manson and Osama bin Laden.
“Lilly is not funding Heartland in 2012 and has no plans to do so in the future,” David Marbaugh, communications director of Corporate Responsibility for Eli Lilly was quoted by Forecast the Facts as saying. “That type of ad is not consistent with how Lilly engages in public debate.”
The first to announce a pullout was Diageo, one of the world’s largest beverage companies. A Diageo spokeswoman told the Guardian newpaper: "Diageo vigorously opposes climate skepticism and our actions are proof of this. Diageo's only association with the Heartland Institute was limited to a small contribution made two years ago, specifically related to an excise tax issue. Diageo has no plans to work with the Heartland Institute in the future."
However, none of these pull outs will amount to much financial loss for the organization. Eli Lilly had given the most at $25,000 USD, while BB&T gave $16,105 USD and PepsiCo just $5,000 USD.
Also this week, the Heartland Institute announced final plans for its Seventh International Conference on Climate Change, to be held in Chicago next week.
The institute has been making headlines since March, when noted climate and water scientist Dr. Peter Gleick admitted he had fraudulently obtained documents from the organization.
A leading voice and popular speaker regarding water research and policy, Gleick, who co-founded the Pacific Institute in Oakland, California, admitted to posing as a member of the Heartland Institute board of directors on the telephone, successfully requesting documents that were sent to him at an email address created for the purpose.
"My judgment was blinded by my frustration with the ongoing efforts -- often anonymous, well-funded and coordinated -- to attack climate science and scientists ... and by the lack of transparency of the organizations involved," Gleick wrote in the Huffington Post.
This earlier controversy cost Heartland its first lost donor, when at the end of March General Motors said its corporate stance on climate change is that it is real, and that it would therefore no longer fund the organization.