Climatewire reports (via Keith Kloor) that
"The Heartland Institute's failed billboard campaign attacking the existence of climate change is driving a surge of corporate donors to abandon the group and prompting a mutiny among its Washington-based staff, which is decamping for less volatile surroundings, according to sources.It's hard not to think that the now-notorious billboards weren't put up by the Heartland Institute in part due to an excess of confidence in the wake of the Peter Gleick affair. They thought they were dealt a strong hand, but seriously overplayed it. Then Joe Bast's refusal to apologize compounded the error:
"At the center of the retreat is a contingent of insurance companies and trade groups that donated more than $1 million over the last two years to the libertarian group's Center on Finance, Insurance and Real Estate in Washington, D.C., for programs related to federal insurance reform.
"The center's efforts, which are often entwined with environmental policies, were damaged beyond repair by the increasingly strident campaign against climate change science coming from Heartland's Chicago headquarters, according to industry sources."
"We know that our billboard angered and disappointed many of Heartland’s friends and supporters, but we hope they understand what we were trying to do with this experiment. We do not apologize for running the ad, and we will continue to experiment with ways to communicate the ‘realist’ message on the climate."If they go bust, Gleick, in a back-handed way, may deserve some of the credit. Maybe he was playing the long game the entire time (but I doubt it).
Added: The Heartland Institute ran this just the week before. Looks like someone didn't get the memo....