4 p.m. update: Heartland Institute President and CEO Joe Bast has issued the following statement:
We will stop running [the billboard] at 4:00 p.m. CST today. (It’s a digital billboard, so a simple phone call is all it takes.)
The Heartland Institute knew this was a risk when deciding to test it, but decided it was a necessary price to make an emotional appeal to people who otherwise aren’t following the climate change debate.
For every bit of science that tells against human-caused global warming, there are five that argue for it, starting with the basic fact that high CO2 levels and high temperatures are strongly correlated across the history of the planet. The crazy people are the ones who can read the actual science on this subject and not be at least a little worried.
The hardest freeze in 50 to 60 years.
Finally, she goes on to say that extreme weather in her area is up 10% from some source called the Gulf of Maine Council on Marine Environment. Well, of course, you can’t find that fact anywhere on the source she links. And besides, even if Maine extreme weather is up, it can’t be because of warming because Maine seems to be cooling.
This is just a classic example of the observer bias that is driving the whole “extreme weather” meme.
Okay, yes, it is not the most sophisticated advertising campaign in world history. But I don't remember greens getting their panties in a bunch on the 700,000 previous occasions (that's a rough estimate) when non-belief in global warming was likened to being a terrorist, a Nazi, or Beelzebub. Indeed, greens – including some of those who choked on their muesli this morning when they heard about Heartland's advert antics – are world experts in comparing their critics to Hitler and other assorted nutjobs.
And just this week PBS NewsHour aired clips from a misleading Heartland video and let Taylor tell its audience that weather extremes have not worsened and that "across the board, we've seen that warmer climate, warmer temperatures have always benefitted humans and continue to do so." PBS noted that "these are views challenged by scientific evidence." If that's the case, why air them?