Every Voice Matters
Steady pressure from a group of committed activists resulted in 19 corporations pulling over $1 million of funding for the Heartland Institute, that oil-slicked, fossil-fueled think-tank responsible for all the “theory” behind climate change denial. This sent Joe Bast, President of Heartland, into a state of panic. At the most recent climate-denial conference, Bast was desperate enough to ask attendees if they had a “rich uncle” who could help out.
Nothing is more depressing than the reality of climate-change, except for the fact that there even exists such a thing as climate-change deniers, let alone an institutionalized, well-funded, corporate alliance of such people. However, amidst this debilitating atmosphere, the recent decline in support for Heartland glimmers as a redemptive ray of hope.
Some people think that Heartland was doomed to fail simply because their entire project is based on straight-up lies. Others root Heartland’s demise on their ridiculous (and self-destructive) billboard campaign which foolishly asserted that the only “people who believe in global warming” are Unabombers. While each of these suppositions are somewhat true, both overlook the vital role that direct action had in dismantling Heartland’s reputation. Over 20,000 ordinary citizens put incessant pressure on General Motors to withdraw their support from Heartland. After weeks of phone calls, emails, facebook messages, and singling out GM’s CEO, GM pulled its support on March 28—a month before the infamous billboard even went up.
Since GM left Heartland far before the billboard debacle, it proves that a group of citizens united for a cause can and do have power over corporations. This ability to sway GM was due to the sheer volume of dedicated individuals who raised their indignant and empowered voices in protest. This serious coup proves that each voice truly matters in fighting climate-change.
Image: "Forecast the Facts and Heartland's Corporate Supporters" by Forecast the Facts on FlickrTweet