Heartland’s Joe Bast answers questions about Durban conference

December 17, 2011

The 194-party climate change conference in Durban, Africa, ended on Sunday, December 11, after 13 so-called hectic days of negotiations that ran a day and a half over schedule.

Although the results of the Durban conference is being credited for putting the world on track for the first time for a comprehensive binding global treaty of climate change, are the results mostly hype with no substance (mostly wishful thinking?), l meaning Durban was just as inconsequential as past global warming conferences?

Only two year ago President Barack Obama made an appearance, as did Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton, at the UN climate conference in Copenhagen, at which time Obama could only produce a non-binding agreement that even he didn’t agree to sign.

While the Copenhagen conference received wall-to-wall coverage, the Durban conference was for the most part ignored by the America media, although I did read several brief accounts of the conference in several Chicagoland newspapers.

Nevertheless, the Obama administration did sign on to the U.N. Durban climate conference deal worked out in the final hours of the South Africa meeting.

According to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the deal represents “an important advance in our work on climate change.”  But even though a deal was reached, any meaningful “real-world” results will ultimately depend on how Asia reacts (China and India),rather than Africa and the West, to a new global climate accord with legal force. Such an accord would presumably be negotiated 2015 and would require major developing nations to make cuts in emissions (The existing 1997 Kyoto climate treaty only applied to industrialized nations like the U.S.).

Just what is included in the four document deal, officially called “the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action” that is being hailed as a break through in some quarters, but which fails to mention penalties for countries who try to tie their emissions to legal restraints?

1.  Gives new life to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which applied only to industrial countries like the U.S.  Carbon emissions targets slated to expire next year were extended for another five years.

2.  Obliges major developing nations like China and India which were excluded under Kyoto to accept legally binding emissions targets in the future by 2020 at the latest.

3.  Sets up the structure and governing bodies of the Green Climate Fund which will receive and distribute the billions of dollars promised yearly to poor countries to help them adapt to climate change and to low-carbon growth.

4.  Issues rules for monitoring and verifying emissions reductions, protecting forests, transferring clean technologies to developing countries and scores of technical issues.

As is my practice, I rely on The Heartland institute in Chicago, Joseph Bast, CEO, to keep me on the straight and narrow path regarding the issue of climate change so as to keep me grounded in reality, instead of allowing myself to wander off in all directions.  Recently Joseph Bast sent me this excellent report that was presented to the UN Durban climate summit:

The report — from A-Z, and in keeping with scientific reality — details how the claims of the promoters of man-made climate fears are failing.  Included in the A-Z report are key facts, peer-reviewed studies and the latest data and developments with links for further reading, on an exhaustive range of global warming claims.

After reading the A-Z report, I found myself harboring two questions which seemed to negate the feelings of Joe Bast and Jay Lehr, Ph.D, Science Director at the Heartland Institute, that the “global warming delusion” might be on its last legs. (See, for example, http://heartland.org/policy-documents/bast-unwinding-great-global-warming-delusion )

My first question posed to Mr. Bast had to do with the mandates and rules and regulations being issued presently by the EPA and by FIAT by President Obama, without Congressional approval.

I shared the following concerns:

*Electric cars are being promoted, even though they do need energy produced by some means to operate.

*What about the restrictions being placed by the EPA on coal-fired plants, which will result in many of the plants shutting down because the required updates are too costly to install?

*Drilling for oil has become frowned upon and is being presented as the greatest cause of global warming related to CO2 emissions.

*Then there is fracking with the claim that water is being polluted through the fracking process.

*And what about nuclear power which is safe, green and gives the biggest bang for the buck?  After Japan, nuclear power has once again been vilified as a source of power.  I’m still smarting from the decision made by John Rowe of Exelon Corporation to decommision the Dual Zion Nuclear Plant in northern Illinois that still had much life in it, forever removing from the electrical grid its 2,100 MW of electrical power.

*Instead, wind and solar power is being pushed here in Il as in other states, where mandates have been set up as to how much power must be generated by these two sources of power, sources which would not exist except for the hugs subsidies given to those who wish to invest in these follies.

The email response back from Mr. Bast was too good not to share, knowing that many are likewise frustrated with the hoax that is global warming and feel that other side is winning:

“Everything you say is correct except this:  ‘Things already seem to be snowballing out of control.’

Unsustainable trends, by definition, must end or be reversed.  The green movement is waxing now, but the waning stage is well within sight.  As social movement go, this one is running out of gas as its leaders are discredited, the factual basis is exposed as fraudulent, the costs become absurdly high and impossible to hide, and (alas) new ‘crises’ come along to take their place.

So this too shall pass.  Jay Lehr and I seem to share a vision of the day, not so far ahead, when all those windmills are standing still, their subsidies cancelled, their motors dead and gears rusted tight, birds roosting on their rotors, monuments to the folly of the global warming movement.  We have no doubt that this will happen in a few years, five if Obama loses, ten if he wins.  An expensive lesson, perhaps, but a lesson learned nevertheless by gullible taxpayers and rate-payers, and a constant reminder of the lies of environmentalists

‘Mommy, why aren’t the windmills spinning?”  “Because the environmentalists lied to us.'”

Another nagging question I felt compelled to ask Mr. Bast was how can the liberal indoctrination education of Global Warming be stopped which seems to be on a course to do irreparable harm to this nation in the years to come?

Although I have been troubled for some time by the liberal indoctrination of children on many issues, the scope and reach of Global Warming indoctrination in schools throughout this nation was brought foremost to my mind upon receiving a letter by mail from the Cornwall Alliance, Dr. E. Calvin Beisner, Founder.  http://www.cornwallalliance.org/about/

Dr. Beisner noted how extreme environmental indoctrination is going on from kindergarten through graduate school.

Although protecting the environment sounds innocuous, being offered instead are not moderate views of environmental awareness and stewardship almost all Americans can agree on, but an extreme agenda based on the most radical strains of environmental activism.

Beisner describes indoctrination as the process of passing ideas and attitutdes that lead to a permanent pattern of thinking.  It is distinguished from education by the fact that the indoctrinated students are expected not to qustion or critically examine the doctrine they have learned.

According to Dr. Beisner:

“Children are being taught that the American way of life is destroying the planet.  That there are too many people, using up too many resources, and putting out too much pollution. That this is all unsustainable and the earth will be destroyed if we don’t stop our modern way of life. Of course, government is always the solution to these problem.”

Everywhere you look, in the name of ‘saving the planet’ and ‘protecting wildlife,’ an ideologically driven movement that is rally a ‘Green religion’ indoctrinating our kids.  A religion that includes worship of ‘Gaia,’ the Earth goddess.”

The following link comes with the blessing of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website.  It is a downloadable document for teachers targeted at kids as a “student resource” aimed at force-feeding the idea that human-induced, catastrophic global warming is an established fact.  I’m sure you will be as outraged as I was when I read the false claims made by the EPA in “Frequently Asked Questions About Global Warming and Climate Change.”   http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/downloads/Climate_Basics.pdf

At the federal level, leading Green zealot in the Congress, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), is urging Energy Secretary Steven Chu to launch an intense national “Climate-change education” campaign to stem the diminished public understanding and interest in climate change.

Recently President Obama told Scholastic News Kids Reporters during a TV interview that one of the greatest challenges facing their generation is climate change.

After presenting my concerns to Joseph Bast about the magnitude of the global warming lies that are ensnaring children and young people, I was once again reassured by the following prompt response back from Mr. Bast whose comments were once again worthy of sharing in their entirety:

“You ask, “How can the liberal indoctrination education of Global Warming be stopped which is on a course to do irreparable harm to this nation in the years to come?”

I don’t think it can be stopped. We can try to get some counter- balancing commentary into the classroom in the form of books, videos, and lesson plans, but they will only rarely be used or endorsed by teachers, and will be buried under the avalanche of propaganda from the other side. But the same is true of other important topics in K-12 schools – American history, economics, religion, and gender issues are all taught in a distorted and often even frightening way.

Kids survive this.  The smart ones will discover that they can stand out  from their peers by voicing a dissenting position, and in truth, this rarely leads to punishment in the lower grades.  Most teachers reward independent thinking, and more than a few doubt the science and truth behind the PC garbage they teach all day.

The migration of books and information to the Internet breaks the control that teachers once had on what K-12 students could read. Homeschoolers especially rave about our Web-based resources, and since homeschooled kids are disproportionately represented among high achievers, we are having a highly leveraged impact.

Over the years we’ve sent publications to teachers and school board members, and we may do so again.  But I think the better strategy is to go directly to students, at an age when they can read and think critically.  “Skepticism” is the grown-up attitude toward global warming alarmism.  Kids realize that by the time they graduate, or shortly thereafter . . . I think and hope!”    jbast@heartland.org

Recently Human Events published an article titled, Top 10 Inconvenient Truths about Global Warming. http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=48070

It is essential that the EPA downloadable document being used by teachers to indoctrinate children in man-made global warming all over this nation is thrown in the trash bin where is belongs.  Instead, teaching the truth about global warming must become the norm.

A few days ago while attending a local school board meeting of District 67 in Lake Forest (K – 5), I observed first-hand how students are being taught, starting at the kindergarten level, about saving water, saving trees, and yes, even lies about global warming.  I left the meeting with a heavy heart upon the realization that even the upscale Lake Forest School Districts #67 and #115 have climbed aboard the Global Warming Express.   In the words of a 2nd grade teacher, “Citizen activists are are being created.”

From Human Events’ Top 10 inconvenient Truths about Global Warming:  “Evidence is growing that the small amount of warming seen in the 1980s and the 1990s was caused by natural events and was not “man-made.”  Prominent scientists have advanced theories that solar eruptions, tidal activity and other natural factors have warming tendencies.  Considering the Earth has always had periods of warming and cooling, why would an increase of 0.8 degrees Celsius over a hundred years be of such concern?

A little warming isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  What’s wrong about a longer growing season in Northern Europe, a thawed Northwest Passage in Canada, or easier energy extraction in Siberia?  Not to mention the economic impact of lower heating bills in New England?”

Pacifying the climate alarmists would mean that the U.S. would have to accept the prospect of a long-term moribund economy.   May common sense prevail, and as shared by Joseph Bast, “Unsustainable trends, by definition, must end or be reversed.”


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