Caesars Entertainment, one of the world’s largest casino-resort operators, is set to host the climate change-denying Super Bowl at its iconic Caesars Palace in Las Vegas this month.
On October 15, the Illinois-based Heartland Institute is scheduled to hold its three-day “International Conference on Climate Change,” an annual convention at which the right-wing think tank cut its teeth for the tobacco industry in the 1990s. Carries its steady parade of pundits and detractors who disapprove of climate science.
This year’s event, called “The Great Reset: Climate Realism Vs. Climate Socialism,” will at the forefront of the conspiracy that world governments are simply using climate change to control people’s lives.
“The Global Climate Agenda, as promoted by the United Nations, aims to overhaul the entire global economy, introduce socialism, and forever transform societies in which individual liberty and economic freedom are crushed,” the event details reads.
The list of keynote speakers is one that has been involved in the denial movement, which includes William HapperJoe, retired Princeton University physics professor served as a consultant for President Donald Trump and declared that the Earth is in the midst of a “CO2 famine”; Myron Abel, director of the Right Wing Competitive Enterprise Institute, which Trump led the EPA transition team and one was main figure Trump’s decision Removal US from the historic Paris Climate Agreement; and Steve Milloy, a former cigarette and coal lobbyist, who also serviced Trump on the EPA transition team.
Like most casinos, Caesars Entertainment hosts all kinds of events. The company itself donates to candidates across the ideological spectrum, but, since 2012, generally contributed more each election cycle for democratic campaigns. But the Heartland event counters the $25 billion casino giant’s own corporate promises on climate change, with UN scientists “using a methodology set by” to formulate a plan to eliminate planet-heating emissions in its supply chain. is included.
of the company Website Offers an entire page on climate change and its “commitment to science-based goals.” On top of that, the company defers Its “climate leadership” and states that it is committed to developing “science-based” climate goals and “dedicated to collaborating with other organizations to advance industry-wide and holistic corporate climate leadership.” “
The firm, which owns Caesars Palace and dozens of other casino resorts, did not respond to a request for comment on Monday. But less than two months ago, the company pulled the plug At a convention it was scheduled to be hosted in Las Vegas on behalf of a group that supports a fringe conspiracy known as QAnon.
The Heartland Institute’s conference was initially named the “Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change”, or NIPCC. The name was an unabashed effort to brand the modest gathering of heartland fringe scientists and political cranks as a legitimate alternative to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, made up of top researchers from more than 100 countries in premier global climate science. body is.
Heartland’s hard-line climate denial in the early 2000s may have filled its coffers as oil and coal companies pumped money into their campaigns to harass scientists and mislead the public that accumulated carbon is in the atmosphere. What does it do. But by the early 2010s, even Exxon Mobil Corp, one of climate science’s staunch opponents, had stopped giving money to Heartland.
Far-right megadonors stepped in to fill the void. Hedge fund billionaires Robert and Rebekah Mercer began giving millions to the nonprofit. The donation helped propel the institution, giving Heartland in Washington newfound influence when former President Donald Trump, a fellow recipient of Mercer funding, took office and blinded the federal government to the long-understood realities of fossils. began a harmful but quick search for fuel-induced warming.
Still, it didn’t take long for the group to investigate afresh. In 2017, stepping up the leadership of the new Environmental Protection Agency to host a public debate on climate science, Heartland proposed as one of its debaters A convicted child sex offender. within months, revealed that one of Heartland’s top executives had defended the nonprofit’s former marketing chief against allegations that he stalked and harassed a young female employee.
In 2019, the once-ascending think tank returned to its ideological fortress, denying that and other major news outlets stifling credentials to cover that year’s conference held at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, “its There will be no certification for the convention,” Heartland’s Jim Lakeley wrote at the time. “You can watch the live-stream if you want to cover it.”
By 2020, Heartland’s brand of outright climate denial had begun to lose its sway as rising disasters embodied what scientists had warned for decades that uncontrolled emissions would come. It attempted to gain relevance by removing a German teenager from obscurity who, with her blond hair and serious tone, offered up her own version of Swedish teen Greta Thunberg, whose climate protests inspired a global movement.
But Naomi Seibut, the so-called anti-Greta, garnered more negative attention once she was a teenager. ties to neo-Nazis And white nationalist agitators emerged. Seibut will also speak at Heartland’s conference in Las Vegas.
By the end of winter 2020, Heartland lay off at least 10 employees Amidst the financial crisis.
“Heartland is broken,” said one longtime employee in a text message. Received those days.
Tickets for the Heartland event at Caesars Palace go for $250 per person.