Rising Tide Chicago Disrupts Heartland Institute’s Climate Denial Conference

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Contact:  Josh Trost, 312 343-8259 email:thisperfectworld@yahoo.com

Rising Tide Chicago Action Video

“HEARTLAND’S LIES DESTROY OUR PLANET,” CLIMATE ACTIVISTS SAY
Activists protest “climate denier” mis-information at Heartland
Institute’s annual climate change conference

CHICAGO—Today, two climate action advocates with the group Rising Tide
Chicago challenged the nation’s biggest climate denier organization on its
home-turf – a national conference taking place in Chicago organized by the
now infamous Heartland Institute. The two activists displayed a banner
during the Conference which read “Heartland’s Lies Destroy Our Planet.”
The Protesters were escorted out of the building by security while
chanting.

The action came at the end of the second day of Heartlands “6th Annual
Climate Conference.” The fossil-fuel industry-funded Heartland Institute
is a self-proclaimed “think tank” fueling the climate change denial
industry to work against the public interest.

“I’m willing to risk my arrest, because if Heartland Institute gets its
way, it could be the end of civilization as we know it,” stated Alice
Coffey an activist who risked arrest at today’s event.

“Anyone who can deny climate change has never been to Texas where there is
an historic record drought caused by the climate crisis,  or Arizona,
where we no longer have monsoon season, but haboob season – just wind, and
dirt and heat, but no rain,” said Ian Fecke-Stoudt, who also participated
in the climate confrontation.

A second group held a rally outside the event earlier in the day.  Scores
of activists demonstrated outside the Hilton Hotel protesting the
Institute and the Conference while a banner was dropped from a hotel
window.

“The Heartland Institute exists to spread climate disinformation to
protect the profits of the few,” said Josh Trost of Rising Tide Chicago.
“Climate Deniers have no right participating in policy discussions.
Daily, the global scientific consensus strengthens as planetary health
indicators decline. Each lie is a theft from the remaining time we have to
act to limit escalating climate chaos.

“For the sake of the future of humanity, we demand the Heartland Institute
to respect the global scientific consensus and stop disseminating climate
lies,” Trost said.

James Hansen quoted in The Guardian said, “[Climate change] can’t be fixed
by individual specific changes; it has to be an across-the-board rising
fee on carbon emissions,” said Hansen. “We can’t simply say that there’s a
climate problem, and leave it to the politicians. They’re so clearly under
the influence of the fossil fuel industry that they’re coming up with
cockamamie solutions which aren’t solutions. That is the bottom line.”

In May 2012, DeSmog Blog reported that the Heartland Institute had added
the Illinois Coal Association (ICA) as a new “Gold Sponsor” for its 2012
ICCC-7 climate conference. ICA joined following the Heartland’s leaked
documents and Unabomber billboard campaign. In Heartland’s leaked 2012
Fundraising plan, Murray Energy gave $100,000 in 2010 and was expected to
give $40,000 in 2012; the company’s subsidiary, The American Coal Company,
is a member of the ICA.

The Heartland Institute has lead many mis-information campaigns which have
included:

  • Denying the harmful effects of tobacco
  • In 2010 the Institute defended BP during its infamous oil spill in
    the Gulf of Mexico
  • The Institute opposes the Great Lakes Water Resources Compact,
    which was signed into effect in December of 2005 by the governors of eight
    states that border the great lakes, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois,
    Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and New York, and the premiers of
    the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario. The compact was proposed in
    light of the unprecedented low levels of water in the lakes, which are now
    at the bottom end of the historical fluctuation range of 4-6 feet. In
    order to mitigate diminishing water levels, the compact will limit the
    consumption of water from the Great Lakes to areas within these eight
    states, or to areas outside of the boundary only by petition subject to
    strict regulation.

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Rising Tide is an international, all-volunteer, grassroots network of
groups and individuals who organize locally, promote community-based
solutions to the climate crisis and take direct action to confront the
root causes of climate change.

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