I Still Believe in Global Warming. Do You?

After spending the 90’s helping the tobacco industry hide the dangers of secondhand smoke, The Heartland Institute is still around and still working the wrong side of the debate, presently functioning as “the primary American organization pushing climate change skepticism.”

This is the billboard they paid to put up in Illinois ahead of their 7th annual ‘The Climate Isn’t Changing’ Conference.  Two others included Fidel Castro and Charles Manson with the same line.  All three variations were taken down after the resulting public outcry.

This is the billboard Forecast the Facts attempted to put up in response, but failed to get Clear Channel’s approval.

This is the billboard Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project successfully replied with.

How did Heartland not suffer a fatal heart attack from its smoky past?  Because when there’s money on the wrong side of the debate, the bullshit never ends.  That’s why this time there’s an effort under way to cut off the flow of funds to this cancerous institution.  A third of their funding has already fled and you can help wise up the stragglers.

A few corporate donations shouldn’t be enough to shoot humanity in the foot.  Not if we’re paying attention and can find the time to occasionally sign a petition or make a phone call. We’re not all going to agree, but how about we move on to arguing about how we get ourselves out of this mess.

Bank of Coal (or Did Santa Give it to Them?)

No one is happy with Bank of America.  As their annual shareholder meeting draws to a close in Charlotte, NC today, four days of protests will be reaching their height while BofA’s stock continues to languish at lows it has not seen since the early 90’s.

There have been calls to stop doing business with Bank of America.  There’s a petition and song about breaking up the bank.  It was ranked #5 among America’s least reputable companies and named the second worst company in the country two years in a row.  They tried to raise debit card fees, backed down from the resulting outrage, and yet are already working more fees back in.  And now, as the possibility of their own credit rating getting a downgrade looms, their CEO’s pay has quadrupled

Where do you even begin cleaning up that mess?  An apology would be a start, but this one turned out to be a bit of economic fan fiction.  Meanwhile, Bank of America continues doing business, such as being the largest financier of the U.S. coal industry, which earned their stadium in Charlotte a recent rebranding campaign.

Aside from generating 42% of the electricity produced in the U.S. during 2011, there’s not much good to say about coal either.  If you’re tired of the usual laundry list of coal’s consequences, then maybe a report from Harvard pegging the best estimate of coal’s annual cost to the U.S. public at a third of a trillion, $75 billion in Appalachia alone, might be of interest.

The most alarming thought, however, is the simple combination of a desperate bank and a literally dirty business.  If no one is walking away from money on a good day, Bank of America will likely be the last to admit that it’s $4.3 billion coal business is as toxic as it’s purchase of Countrywide, a contender for the worst deal in history.  …  That’s why they’ll probably need a little help.

If you’d like to join in breaking the news to them, there’s a protest going down, a petition going around and a good chance you haven’t heard the end of this story.

[Stock Chart from Google Finance, Image from Rainforest Action Network via WeArePowerShift.org]

100 Years Ago in Cleveland…

The Time Bandits
Internal Memo
April 27, 2012

Re: 100 Years Ago in Cleveland…

This poster from The Industrial Worker seems straightforward…

(click through to enlarge)

..but in the end begs the question, how critical are little girls with shovels to the structure of our society and do we owe them thanks or… what?

[via Disinformation (via Retronaut)]

Banks Saying Sorry (or What You Won’t Find When You Open Up Your Letterbox Tomorrow)

What if this really was a letter from Bank of America’s CEO offering up a confession?  Go ahead, pretend…

It’s not the real McCoy of course.  Unknown person(s) have taken it upon themselves to write this letter for Bank of America and you can find out more about why at YourBofA.com.  The site has been set up to solicit ideas and encourage creativity in reimagining your Bank of America, including a bank ad meme generator, for which Ape Con Myth wrote a few entries.  Click through to share your favorite!

In situations like this, it’s important to start out light.

Ease into your subject.  What is the point of a bank in the first place?

If a bank is a business, then should banking be a mutually beneficial arrangement?

Bank of America was a presumptuous name from the start.  General Bank might have been a more appropriate choice, but they wanted the whole enchilada.  The question is, was it a self-fulfilling prophecy that they turned out to be as bad with their money as us?

[Your Bank of America via Forbes] [Related: Hungry, Hungry Hippos (or Banking Mergers 1990-2009]

With Choices Like These

Ape Con Myth
Internal Memo
April 11, 2012

Re: With Choices Like These

Who forgot to open a file on advertising?  00265 it is then.  Thanks to Hulu for the incredible specimen with which we start this collection.

How many people do you think found out?

Perhaps the first thing to do here is not start a long game of what’s wrong with this picture.  Let’s find out for ourselves.  Not about Scientology, but advertising. While it would seem we are all so connected these days that word of mouth could save us from the constant interruption and visual noise, let’s go the other direction with it first and be part of the supposed problem.

Is it alright that it only takes a few cents to get this in front of thousands of eyeballs?

Things Doing and To Be Done

As Captain Monterey Jack said, “Thomas Edison was a great man, but he was bastard to his wife and kids.”

That’s not the real story of course, but we’re just here for a glimpse of a mighty to-do list, which just happened to be penned by the fourth most prolific inventor in history*…

That’s just the first of five pages.  You can see the rest of this list and more in Rutgers’ collection.

[via Lists of Note]

* Legally at least.

To the Ends of the Earth and Back

Occupy Wall Street might have started in Zuccotti Park on September 17th, 2011, but it is streaming into 2012 attached to no particular stretch of land, except for those on Earth.  Stories from the 99% are still pouring in from around the globe and the word ‘Occupy’ has been seen on signs from the Arctic tundra to Antarctica.

What’s next?

What isn’t next?

[Pics via Neatorama, Collage via OWS]
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