Thorner: New chapter in global warming debate realized at Heartland’s ICCC-12

March 31, 2017



Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 8.45.56 AM
Heartland Institute’s President and Founder Joe Bast

By Nancy Thorner – 

The Obama administration used concern over “global warming” as a false flag operation to advance it’s left-wing agenda to “transform” the country’s energy sector. This makes global warming policy — not global warming itself — the greatest threat facing this nation. This was one of the themes of The Heartland Institute’s Twelfth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-12), held in Washington D.C. on March 23-24, 2007.

According to Heartland President Joseph Bast in opening remarks, the election of Donald Trump on November 8 opened a new chapter in the global warming debate, creating hope that a new pro-environment, pro-energy, and pro-jobs agenda will be created to benefit the American people.  ICCC-12 was the first major conference on climate change to take place after Trump’s election, and its 40-some speakers presented the science and economics that are the foundation of that new agenda.  Speaker after speaker rejected the policies and claims of President Barack Obama and showed optimism about the possibility of dismantling these policies now that Donald Trump is in office.

Of note is that four special awards were presented to those who had made huge contributions to the Climate Debate.

  • Col. Walter Cunningham is best known as pilot of Apollo 7, the first manned flight test of the Apollo Program to land a man on the Moon. 
  • J. Scott Armstrong, Ph.D., a professor at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, was applauded for his research on forecasting.
  • Myron Ebell, director of energy and environment policy for the Competitive Enterprise Institute and chair of the Trump administration’s EPA transition team.
  • Dr. John Barrasso, M.D. (R-WY) is chairman of the Senate Committee on Environments and Public Works (EPA).  Unfortunately Barrasso was unable to attend to receive his award in person because of the House debate on replacing Obamacare.

Three Republican legislators were scheduled to appear at ICCC-12, but only Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) could attend in person.  Senator Barrasso, M.D., a reward recipient, received his award In absentia, while Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma made his remarks through a video presentation. Unfortunately, many legislators were tied up in their respective Chambers during ICCC-12, House members with repealing Obamacare and Senate members in dealing with Chief Justice nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch.

Joseph Bast, president and CEO of The Heartland Institute welcomes guests

Joseph Bast, president and CEO of The Heartland Institute, welcomed an enthusiastic group of 300 attendees. The meeting included eleven panels and five plenary sessions offering views on such topics as climate science, environmental economics, and the relationship between fossil fuels and human prosperity, the environment; human health; and world peace.

On Heartland’s agenda was an impressive group of keynote speakers including Lord Christopher Monckton for his wit and humor as well as mastering of mathematics and statistics; Patrick Michaels, a climate scientist with the Cato Institute who has written numerous books on the subject; Roger Helmer, a member of the European Parliament; and Heartland Science Director Jay Lehr, who delivered a presentation he and others at Heartland had prepared to deliver to President-elect Trump in person.

Bast related how EPA Director, Scott Pruitt, recently remarked on CNBC that human activity is not the primary activity of the global warming that we see. More good news followed when Bast recounted a remark made by Trump’s budget director when announcing that global warming activities were not going to be funded because the president doesn’t think the issue is important. 

Climate “realists” have won the public opinion debate, Bast claimed. He cited survey data showing most Americans don’t believe human activity is responsible for most global warming, further stating that “42% of Americans don’t want to spend a dollar more to prevent global warming.”  Bast then related how the Trump administration has proposed cutting EPA funding by 1/3, and how the subsidies shoring up the wind and solar industry are soon to be on the cutting block. Without those subsidies, wind and solar energy would be unaffordable. Britain, Spain, Germany, and Australia are all cutting back on their sustainable energy funding, Bast said.

Breakfast, Thursday, March 23:  Keynote Address, Jay Lehr, Ph.D., Senior Fellow and Science Director of The Heartland Institute  

Following opening remarks, Joe Bast spoke about the 20-minute presentation The Heartland Institute was asked to prepare and present to explain global warming to President-elect Trump. Jay Lehr, PhD. was selected to share Heartland’s compilation of facts based on sound scientific research to President-elect Trump. Lehr’s direct presentation never happened, but Heartland’s message was shared with others in the Trump administration.   

With this in mind, Mr. Bast called Dr. Jay Lehr to the podium to present Heartland’s slide presentation as prepared for President-elect Trump. Lehr, who delivers one or two addresses a week all across the country, was described by Bast as the most popular speaker expressing climate change realism in the country today. 

Dr. Jay Lehr’s Powerpoint Keynote Breakfast presentation addressed the elimination the EPA and turning its functions back to the states to legislate.  Dr. Lehr playfully suggested that he might be paying penance for a 1971 crime, for when joining the Nixon administration he helped create the EPA. As Dr. Lehr remarked:  “For 10 years the EPA did some good work, but since 1980 no good has come from the EPA.” 

As to devolving the EPA, Dr. Lehr states the following reasons:

  • The states are eminently capable of, and should be responsible for, the protection of our air land water.
  • His plan migrates that responsibility from the EPA to the states over a 5-year plan, and thereby materially alters the existing structure of the EPA, which is worthy of serious consideration.

Lehr went on to explain how there are 14 separate offices within the EPA, each having their own staff and budgets, but only 5 of the offices deal with the environment:  1) Office of Water; 2) Office and Air and Radiation; 3) Office of Chemical Safety and Emergency Response; 4) Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response; and 5) Office of Research and Development. 

What’s more, two of the offices belong in the Bureau of Indian Affairs 1) Office of American Indian Environmental Affairs and 2) Office of International and Tribal Affairs, while seven more of the offices within the EPA are entirely non-scientific in nature: (Office of Policy; Office of General Council; Office of Chief Financial Officer; Office of Environmental Information; Office of Administration and Resource Management; Office of the Enforcement and Compliance Management; and Office of the Administrator).

According to Dr. Lehr, only 4 useful pieces of EPA legislation were created in its first ten years of existence from 1971 to1980.  They are:  

1.  Water Pollution Control Act (later renamed as the Clean Water).

2.  Safe Drinking Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recover Act, Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (which covers deep mining too).

3.  Clean Air Act, Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). 

4.  Comprehensive Environmental Response compensation and Liability Act (Superfund).

As to the reach and size of the EPA, Lehr cited 15,000 employees spread between Washington DC and 10 regional offices and a few research centers, with a total budget of $8.2 billion.  Most importantly, what are taxpayers getting for the $8.2 billion budget of the EPA?  No actual environmental protection is produced.  This is all done by the 50 State Agencies. 

Given such a dismal record by the EPA, these stated conclusions are sound and need to be implemented by the Trump administration:  

  • We must aggressively trim, restructure and eliminate multiple programs within the federal system that have any association with the god of Sustainability, especially and starting with the EPA. 
  • It is incumbent upon use to strive to deliver the truth to the American people with good science, properly constructed legislation, and policy-making that is grounded in the Iron Law of Regulation.

Dr. Lehr asked each participant to set a target to change the minds of 5 people in a year who believe in global warming. With 200 individuals in the room, 1,000 individuals would be reached.

An addendum to article  

President Donald Trump on Tuesday, March 28, 2017, issued an “energy independence” executive order to undo several of the Obama administration’s climate change regulations. 

Happening so soon after Heartland’s successful ICCC-12 event in Washington, D.C., Trump’s sweeping executive order on Climate Policy, sorely needed, was greeted with much acclamation and applause.   

  • Orders the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review and repeal, or revise, the Clean Power Plan is the backbone of President Barack Obama’s climate agenda, requiring states to transform their electricity mix away from conventional fuels toward renewables.
  • Eliminates the use of the “social cost of carbon.” This figure, called the “social cost of carbon,” is a dollar amount that federal agencies apply to different regulations to calculate the “climate benefit” of abated co2 emissions. In 2015, the social cost of carbon was said to be $36 per ton.
  • Rescinds moratorium on new coal leases and methane emissions from oil and gas operations on federal lands. Under Obama, the Department of Interior would not issue new coal mining leases on federal lands until the agency conducted a more comprehensive environmental review that included the estimated effects the lease would have on global warming.
  • Repeals guidance on agencies taking global warming into account when conducting National Environmental Policy Act reviews.  The National Environmental Policy Act requires federal agencies to conduct comprehensive environmental assessments for a wide range of projects, including permitting of infrastructure.

Live stream archives:  All sessions and speakers at ICCC-12 can be viewed here at Heartland’s Live Stream Archives.

Future articles by Nancy Thorner dealing with Heartland’s ICCC-12 will cover Fossil Fuels and Human Prosperity, Fossil Fuels and World Peace, Climate Politics and Policy, and Sustainability.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s