When a leak exposing Heartland Institute's internal documents revealed that General Motors was directing funding to the organization, it was only a matter of weeks before a campaign was launched to stop it. Heartland is one of the most prominent purveyors of climate skepticism, and it advances an agenda to weaken science education and public understanding of global warming.
So the climate advocacy group Forecast the Facts called on GM car owners to sign a petition asking the company to stop supporting the spread of climate misinformation. Before long, 10,000 owners had signed on, as well as more than 10,000 others. The effort was successful: Today, GM announced that it is withdrawing its support from Heartland.
GM reported the decision to the Climate One organization, which explains:
General Motors has decided to discontinue funding of the Heartland Institute, an organization that downplays the risks of climate disruption, three weeks after GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson was asked about it during a Climate One radio interview. GM spokesman Dave Barthmuss confirmed the move today.This hardly means that Heartland will up and cease operations—GM's contributions were relatively small—but the event's symbolic import is indeed notable: GM would rather stand with sound science than politically influential hucksters. And there are countless corporations that you can't say that about.