Prior to this spring, the Heartland Institute was a relatively obscure think tank that was primarily known for organizing an annual conference of people who take issue with mainstream climate science. That changed when an environmental researcher tricked the group into sending him internal documents, setting off a public drama that ended up leaving both parties worse off (Heartland lost sponsors, while the researcher had to resign a number of his positions).
Apparently, the experience left Heartland craving more public controversy, and it responded with what can best be described as a bit of trolling. In advance of this year's climate-skeptic conference, Heartland paid for a billboard that showed a picture of the Unabomber accompanied by the text "I still believe in Global Warming. Do You?" In a press release, Heartland said future iterations would feature Charles Manson, Fidel Castro, and possibly Osama bin Laden.
Instead, the campaign was stopped after 24 hours as prominent conference speakers threatened to cancel and a number of the Institute's financial backers threatened to depart.