In response to growing protest, the CEO of General Motors publicly committed to reviewing his corporation’s funding of the Heartland Insitute, the radical right-wing organization that is planning a campaign to spread climate-science denial in public classrooms. Over 10,000 GM owners have signed a petition organized by Forecast the Facts to get GM to pledge not to support Heartland’s attacks on science. GM CEO Dan Akerson told Climate One’s Greg Dalton at a San Francisco Commonwealth Club appearance that he does not agree with Heartland’s climate denial.
Akerson stated that he was castigated by other GM executives after saying that he believes global warming is real, calling dissent on climate science “healthy.” He described GM’s efforts to reduce its ecological footprint and distanced himself from the work of the GM Foundation, the charitable arm of General Motors that made the contribution. Akerson then promised to review his company’s support for the Heartland Institute:
This is $15,000 that was committed to before I came in. I also think the Heartland Institute, I’m told, does other things. I find this interesting. I won’t go any further, but I’m going to take another look at it when I get back to Detroit. I’ll leave it at that.
Before the petition effort, GM spokesperson earlier defended the corporation’s support for the Heartland Institute, calling its work “careful and considerate.”
“I always say actions matter more than words,” Akerson said at the beginning of his response.
Forecast the Facts director Daniel Souweine issued this reply:
We are encouraged that CEO Dan Akerson has committed to review GM’s funding of the Heartland Institute. We hope that review leads to the result that more than 10,000 GM owners have been asking for: a public commitment by GM to stop funding Heartland immediately.
One in a series of posts about the Heartland Institute’s inner workings, from internal documents acquired by ThinkProgress Green. ThinkProgress is among several publications to have published documents attributed to the Heartland Institute and sent to us from an anonymous and then unknown source. The source later revealed himself. Heartland Institute has issued several press releases claiming that one document (“2012 Climate Strategy”) is fake and asserting other claims regarding the other documents. ThinkProgress has taken down the “2012 Climate Strategy” document as it determines the document’s authenticity.