This month’s “This Is Not Cool” Yale Forum video explores a phrase popularized — or more likely made infamous — by the recent Heartland Institute Chicago highway poster featuring Unabomber Ted Kaczynski: “murderers, tyrants, and madmen.”
In a word-association game, it’s unlikely that many would bring up the names of Margaret Thatcher, or of Columbia University’s Wallace Broecker. Nor, for that matter, those of NASA scientist James Hansen; of the late biochemist and novelist Isaac Asimov; of theoretical physicist, author and cosmologist Stephen Hawking; of the late Cornell University astrophysicist and author Carl Sagan; of Microsoft’s Bill Gates; of Navy Admiral David Titley; or of Nobel Laureate, and now Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu.
Through an artful selection and piecing-together of some historical video and audio materials featuring each of those individuals expressing deep concerns about climate change, the video tees-off from a Heartland remark — defending its poster prank while at the same time ending the effort — that “the most prominent advocates of global warming are murderers, tyrants, and madmen.”
That billboard campaign, the first featuring Kaczynski, initially had been intended to include subsequent posters featuring Fidel Castro, Osama bin Laden, and one or two additional scalawags and scoundrels. Instead, it has led a number of large corporate funders to follow-up Heartland’s pulling of the plug with a pulling of the plug on their own part: A number of well-known corporate sponsors have announced they are ceasing their relationships with, and funding for, further Heartland efforts.