Report from the Heartland Institute Climate Change Conference

Source:  Amercian Thinker

by Nancy Thorner

Most likely American Thinker readers are aware that the Heartland Institute held its Fourth International Conference on Climate Change earlier in the week – May 16 – 18.  I’m still feeling electrified from the impact the event had on me.

The Heartland Institute of Chicago, Joseph L. Bast, President, held its Fourth International Conference on Climate Change in Chicago at the Marriott Magnificent Mile Hotel on Michigan Avenue from May 16 – l8. The Heartland Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan Chicago-based research organization founded in 1984. Its purpose is to discover, develop and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information about the Heartland Institute, visit or call 312/377-4000.

It is appropriate that the theme of this year’s conference was Reconsidering the Science and Economics, as much has happened since Heartland’s Third International Conference on Climate Change held in Washington, D.C. in June of last year. Among the happenings: It was in November of last year that emails and other documents from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia revealed a pattern of mismanagement of temperature data, interference with peer review, and an effort to suppress academic debate on global warming (Climategate). In December of 2009, negotiations in Copenhagen, meant as a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, collapsed, leaving the world without a binding international agreement after Kyoto expires in 2012.
Attending Heartland’s Fourth International Conference were seventy-three distinguished scientists, economists, and policy experts from twenty-three countries. The speakers were all united in thought that the time is now to reconsider the science and economics of global warming. New scientific discoveries cast doubt on how much of the warming during the twentieth century was man-caused, and how much was due to natural causes. Governments around the world have begun to recognize the astronomical cost of reducing emissions, and how the cost of slowing or stopping global warming might exceed the societal benefits. Even so, not all seventy-three of the invited guests agreed on the causes, extent, or the consequences of climate change.

Among the seventy-three distinguished speakers were two global climate believers: 1) Tam Hunt, J.D. who owns and runs Community Renewable Solutions LLC and is also a lecturer in Climate Change Law and Policy at UC Santa Barbara’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management (a graduate-level program), and 2) A. Scott Denning, PhD, a professor at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, a joint project of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Colorado State University.

Although Heartland Institute extended invitations to many global warming believers, only Hunt and Denning were brave enough to accept. Heartland’s president, Joseph L. Bast, hopes to persuade more speakers with opposing viewpoints to attend next year’s conference.

The electricity generated by the speakers was felt by the 700-plus individuals who registered to attend the conference. As examples of the caliber of distinguished guest speaker, I’ve arbitrarily chosen those that I came in contact at the conference and whose names are known to many: Howard Hayden, PhD; Christopher C. Horner, J.D.; Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger; Jay H. Lehr, PhD; Ben Lieberman; Richard Lindzen, PhD; Stephen Mcintyre; Patrick J. Michaels, PhD; Lord Christopher Monckton; Ian Plimer, PhD; S. Fred Singer, PhD; Roy W. Spencer, PhD; and James M. Taylor, J.S. To view the names of all speakers and conference events go to:

Four of the above guest speakers participated in book signing sessions: Ian Plimer, PhD – Heaven and Earth: Global Warming, the Missing Science; Roy W. Spencer, PhD – The Great Global Warming Blunder: How Mother Nature Fooled the World’s Top Scientists; S. Fred Singer, PhD – Hot Talk, Cold Science; and Christopher C. Horner, J.D. – Power Grab: How Obama’s Green Policies Will Steal your Freedom and Bankrupt America.

Much visited by convention participants were thirteen Conference Exhibitors. All thirteen deserve recognition, but to list all would not be practical in this format. Pajamas Media deserves special recognition because of its “on location” coverage from the Copenhagen Climate Conference. Its online video arm of the new media company, Pajamas Media, has also been in the forefront and broken many key stories on the global warming controversy from both the scientific and business perspectives. Pajamas Media videotaped the entire Heartland Conference.

My one regret is that I could not listen to the presentations of all seventy-three of the distinguished speakers. Tracks were set up from which conference participants could select those speakers they wished to hear based on their interests. Four tracks were available at each of the five sessions, three on Monday and two on Tuesday. Two of tracks were devoted to Science and one track each to Economics and Public Policy. Each of the four tracks in every session featured either three or four guest speakers. With this in mind, as a participant who attended all five of the sessions, I was limited to hearing, at the most, seventeen of the featured speakers. Additionally, however, there were two keynote speakers at Sunday’s opening supper and two each at breakfast and lunch on both Monday and Tuesday.

As a conference participant, I would like to comment about two of the guest speakers. One of them, James Delingpole, was the only non-scientist in the group of seventy three. He is an author, broadcaster, and blogger who helped break the Climategate story in the United Kingdom. Having earned an English degree from Oxford University, Delingpole “felt like a shepherd boy who had been transported to Mt. Olympus.”

According to Delingpole, the Climategate story fell into his lap and changed his life. His pitch to the conference attendees was how we represent the happy people who want a good life. Also, that we have a place in this war. The war we are fighting is for our liberty. It is between two opposing views of the world. It’s also a propaganda war. James Delingpole is the author of Obamaland: I’ve Seen Your Future And It Doesn’t Work.
There could be no question as to the climax of the conference. Even the president of Heartland Institute, Joseph Bast, concluded as much, when he decided to present the wrap-up of the conference before Lord Christopher Monckton had spoken at the final lunch gathering on Tuesday, May 18. Lord Monckton is chief policy adviser to the Science and Public Policy Institute. Monckton was also a policy adviser to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. He now travels the world, all for the truth of sound science. Monckton describes truth “as the center of every lasting consensus.”
Lord Monckton’s speech was anticipated by all and he didn’t disappoint. His tongue-in-cheek British humor was entertaining, but then Monckton turned serious. It was because of Lord Monckton that the “Hockey Stick” report by the IPPC was thoroughly discredited. As Monckton described it, bogus facts were used to construct the computer model in an attempt to show that the rate of global warming is accelerating and that it’s because of man.
According to Lord Monckton, even if all economic activity were closed down to forestall global warming for a period of 100 years, the temperature reduction would only amount to 1 degree Fahrenheit. This would be the height of folly and cruelty!
In speaking about Cap and Trade, Monckton warned how any measure to curtail global warming would result in abject failure. Monckton then listed three current approaches that are doomed to failure because they would have no effect on climate change: Kerry-Lieberman Bill, EPA regulations, and an attempt to push a new treaty at Cancun to replace the failed Copenhagen one.

Further words of truth spoken by Lord Monckton described how science and economics cannot be divorced from politics, that Cap and Trade is nothing less than an attempt by the rich and powerful to take away the chance for the little guy to face up to the big guy, and that scientific truth will always remain the truth because it doesn’t matter how many lies are told.

It was during the conclusion of Lord Monckton’s remarks – Global Warming: The Trojan that Menaces Global Freedom – when not a dry eye was left in the room. In a dramatic presentation, Monckton quoted Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Not only did Lord Monckton tear up, but so did his attentive and enraptured audience, as Monckton passionately intoned its final words: “. . .that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Listed below are but a few of the many salient facts about global warming which conference participants were privileged to hear:
  • Weather stations can no longer be trusted. 90% of the 1,064 weather stations do not meet government standards because contamination is present.
  • The billions of dollars spent by government and others to fund science just perpetuates problems rather than solving them. Funding only continues if research shows what those funding it wish it to prove, otherwise funding is discontinued.
  • If temperature can’t be projected for a week, how is itpossible to project temperature to 2050 and beyond?
  • The public is susceptible to scare tactics: Silent Spring, byRachel Carson, published in September of 1962, helped to start the environmental movement. A marine biologist, Carson documented the detrimental effects of pesticides on the environment, which led to the banning of DDT here in the U.S. and millions of deathsin malaria-prone countries.
  • 70% of the public believes that we’re almost running out of fossil fuel.
  • Uncertainty allows for the possibility of disaster. Something must be done even though that something might make things worse.
  • Computer models are not reliable because garbage in yields garbage out. Facts are often cherry-picked and can be tweaked to create the results that the computer modeler is looking for.
  • Peer review is a way of screening out opposing views. Skeptics of climate change have a difficult time getting published.
  • The influence of CO2 is so small that it’s at a noise level.
  • Science education is in a general decline. Students are taught that science is based on evidence, and yet all they are presented are inaccurate models.
It was disconcerting and even unconscionable that the Chicago media ignored Heartland’s Fourth International Conference on Climate Change. While there were reporters and TV stations present at the conference, they were not from Chicago media sources. The bias shown by the Chicago media is unforgiveable.

Shame on the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, and the Daily Herald for not even including a short blurb in their newspapers about Heartland’s outstanding Fourth International Conference on Climate Change with its distinguished world-wide list of speakers. Sadly the media has taken the politically approved stance that global warming is man-made. As such the media is not about to inform its readers of the thousands of leading scientists around the world who reject global warming. Is it any wonder that newspapers are losing subscribers, when they only tell one side of the story? Kudos to Pajama Media for filming the entire conference!

A Heartland Institute sign prominently displayed at the conference said it all: “Global Warming? It is not man made, it’s a natural variation, the human impact is very small, computer models are flawed, and there is no “consensus”. Global Warming is also not harmful, past warmings were beneficial, no current warming harms, future warmings will be modest, and warming is better.

Sixty four cosponsors from twenty three different countries signed on to Heartland’s Fourth International Conference on Climate Change including Americans for Prosperity, Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, Freedom Works, Illinois Policy Institute,, George C. Marshall Institute, National Center for Public Policy Research, and the Science and Public Policy Institute.