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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Pfizer will no longer fund Heartland Institute

Heartland has lost over $1.3 million in support for their toxic misinformation
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Dear Tenney,
It’s been just over a year since internal documents leaked revealing the corporate money behind the climate change-denying Heartland Institute. We’ve pressured corporations to leave Heartland ever since, and the donor exodus recently continued with two big pieces of news:
After months of sustained campaigning by Forecast the Facts members, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer informed shareholders that it will no longer fund Heartland. Major telecommunications player Time Warner Cable soon followed suit, bringing the total number of corporations that have dropped Heartland since we launched our campaign last February to 22.Together, we’ve deprived Heartland of over $1.3 million in funding for their toxic misinformation.
Please take a moment to share the good news:
Not on Facebook or Twitter? Please forward this email to your friends and family to let them know the good news.
Pfizer and Time Warner Cable join major corporations like GM, State Farm, and Pepsi in recognizing that climate change denial has no place in their corporate giving portfolio. But their decision only came after sustained grassroots organizing from members like you. Here’s how it happened:
-Our Campaign Begins: When climate hero Peter Gleick obtained documents showing that dozens of major corporations were funding Heartland, the Forecast the Facts community sprang into action, and we started by challenging General Motors. Thousands of you signed and shared our petition to GM, and within weeks, 10,000 GM owners were clamoring for GM’s withdrawal. We displayed the passionate stories of GM owners against Heartland, and many more of us made calls to GM’s headquarters in Detroit. In early March, we met with GM CEO Dan Akerson face-to-face at an event in San Francisco, and successfully pushed for a question about GM’s support for Heartland. Akerson announced that he would review GM’s support for the Heartland Institute, prompting hundreds of us to write on GM’s Facebook page, until GM finally relented in March of last year.
-Heartland Releases Billboards, and We Escalate: Our campaign escalated when Heartland released offensive billboards comparing people who accept climate science to mass murderers. We coordinated with our friends at, and soon, the number of people calling for corporations to leave Heartland had grown to over 150,000. Facing that kind of pressure, corporations started to drop likes flies. Within weeks, the entire insurance industry had pulled out of Heartland, including majors names like State Farm and Nationwide. Big drug companies like Eli Lilly and Bayer announced their withdrawal too, but pharmaceutical giant Pfizer refused to commit to leaving Heartland.
-We Amplify Against Pfizer: Despite a corporate statement affirming climate science, Pfizer was resisting leaving Heartland. We responded with hundreds of member calls to Pfizer’s corporate headquarters, and hundreds of posts on their Facebook page. In late May, Forecast the Facts organized a “Drop Deniers Rally” outside Heartland’s annual climate change denial conference in Chicago, and members chipped in to help us fund bicycle-powered billboards that circled the conference all week, exposing Pfizer’s connection to Heartland. The Heartland Institute closed their climate denial conference byannouncingthat it would be their last. Feeling the heat, Pfizer representatives agreed to a call with Forecast the Facts, during which we stressed the views of our members: continuing to support an extreme organization devoted to climate change denial was inconsistent with Pfizer’s purported commitment to scientific integrity. Pfizer executives informed us they would review their support for Heartland, but were not yet willing to publicly withdraw.
-Over 2,000 Medical Professionals Call On Pfizer to Drop Heartland: While Pfizer dithered, we targeted it where it hurt most: among the doctors and medical professionals who prescribe Pfizer products. In addition to denying climate change, Heartland has for decades denied the health risks of tobacco use. So we organized over 2,000 medical professionals to sign a public letter to Pfizer’s CEO, insisting that Pfizer end its relationship with the anti-health, anti-science Heartland Institute. Bolstered by the support of the medical community, we designed infographics urging that Pfizer and Heartland stop being “part of the same pack,” and distributed flyers about Pfizer’s Heartland connection at its corporate headquarters in New York and at big biomedical conferences in San Francisco, Boston, and Kansas City.
-Ongoing campaigning: For months, we’ve called remaining Heartland holdoutsgenerated media coverage, and pushed back against Heartland's lies. Pfizer finally dropped Heartland at the end of 2012, and Time Warner Cable’s departure soon afterward means only a small handful of household names are left on the list of Heartland sponsors. The victories we’ve achieved against Heartland so far have been achieved only through the hard work and vigilance of members like you.
It’s important we take the time to celebrate our victories when they come. Please take a moment to share the good news online, or forward this email to friends to let them know.
Factually yours,
Daniel, Brad, Jordan, and the rest of the Forecast the Facts team
PS: Want to help more victories like this happen? Please consider making a donation to Forecast the Facts.
Summary of Corporate Support Lost By The Heartland Institute In 2012

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