More Corporate Funders Drop Heartland – Pfizer, Nucor, and Others Remain
by Jesse Coleman
Adding to a growing list of defections, Eli Lilly, BB&T Bank, and PepsiCo have announced they will not fund the Heartland Institute in 2012. They join State Farm, USAA, and others who have stopped financial support of the Chicago front group after [caption id="attachment_6203" align="alignright" width="290" caption="Heartland Institute's billboard"][/caption] Heartland released a billboard featuring a picture of Ted Kaczynski next to the text I still believe in Global Warming. Do You? Sign our petition asking the rest of Heartland's corporate sponsors to stop funding climate science denial. Just for background, Heartlands fringe positions on science and loose grasp of reality is no secret in corporate circles. Heartlands climate stance is so extreme that ExxonMobil, the great patron of climate science denial, dropped them years ago - saying they could no longer support groups that serve as a distraction to the climate issue. Heartland peddles its own pseudo-science that contradicts the vast majority of scientists in the world, and observable reality. As James Hansen recently wrote in the New York Times, climate change can be conclusively linked to recent extreme weather conditions like the major heat wave that killed hundreds across Europe and the excruciating drought the western U.S. is still suffering from. (At right: A cow stuck in the mud in Texas, photograph by Jay Janner, 2011) However, in part because the effects of global climate change have become perceptible to most Americans, fewer and fewer people are buying Heartlands BS about climate science. Which leads to the Big Questions: - where does Heartland get the money to buy crazy billboards? Where do they get the money to pay for climate denying school curriculum? With Exxon gone, which anti-science corporations still support Heartlands looney climate denial meetings? For starters: Pfizer. Pfizer, the giant drug company, is a leading sponsor of the Heartland Institute. But wait you say, doesn't Pfizer have a strong statement about the serious threats posed by climate change and the necessity of cutting greenhouse emissions? Yes, yes they do. But, Pfizer also has a history of saying the right thing to the public while doing the exact opposite behind closed doors. Take healthcare reform for example; Pfizer publicly supported president Obamas Healthcare reform while quietly giving the Heartland Institute hundreds of thousands of dollars to savage the president and the healthcare law. Side note: Pfizer is no stranger to being called out for their affiliations to unsavory corporate front groups. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the group that helped for-profit prison companies write and pass immigration bills that put more people in jail - and helped gun groups write and pass the Stand Your Ground law in Florida, (which protected the killer of teenage Trayvon Martin) counts Pfizer as a corporate sponsor. At a protest calling for Pfizer to drop ALEC, eight people were arrested outside of Pfizers gates. In a telling show of corporate hubris, Pfizer never even responded to the demonstrators requests. Nucor, the steel manufacturer, is also a Heartland funder. According to leaked internal documents from the Heartland Institute, Nucor directly funds Heartlands climate work. Like Pfizer, Nucor talks openly about solutions to climate change, and their website proudly proclaims Concerns about climate change not taken lightly by Nucor.