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.

Monday, September 12, 2016

By Nancy Thorner – 

As previously discussed, (read it here) renowned scientist, speaker, author and Heartland Institute Science Director Dr. Jay Lehr and Colorado State University Atmospheric Science Professor Dr. Scott Denning debated two film clips from Al Gore’s Oscar-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. The debate was hosted by The Heartland Institute on Wednesday, August 31, 2016, to determine how the movie has fared through the test of time on its 10th anniversary.

The first two film clips debated in Part 1 were; “Solar Radiation in the Form of Light Waves Passes Through the Atmosphere,” and “The Coral Reefs Off the Coast of Australia Are Being Bleached and Destroyed Due to Global Warming.” (View the entire debate here.) In Part 2, I will recount how Lehr and Denning debated the final four of the six featured film clips.

Film Clip #3: Fresh Meltwater is Tunneling Straight Down Through Greenland.

Claim: Tony Blair’s Scientific Advisor said in 2005 that if Greenland breaks up (even half of it) maps will have to be withdrawn because the Netherlands and other low lying areas would be covered with water. Among areas affected would be San Francisco Bay, Beijing, Shanghai, and Calcutta.

Denning: Sea level rising has gotten much worse because of melting ice. Ice can melt very fast with a huge impact, such as in property loss and the creation of a refugee crisis worse than the one that exists today.

Lehr: This is fear mongering at its worst, a global warming fraud that is casting an extremely negative impact on the future of the world. Between 1000 and 1250 there was farming in Greenland during a mini warming period. Corn and barley were grown. As far as loss to our economy, billions have already been squandered trying to develop green energy to replace fossil fuels. Why? Because green energy sources are more expensive to operate and maintain.

Film Clip #4: Polar Bears Are Endangered Because Ice Is Melting.

Claim: Polar bears have drowned when having to swim 60 miles to find ice and food.

Lehr: Polar bears can swim 100 miles. This cuddly little icon of global warming was a poor choice for Gore. Polar bears have been around for 500,000 years and are thriving today, with ample evidence population is increasing. Some 10,000 visitors come every year to view the polar bears feed at Churchill Matoba (Hudson Bay) where polar bears have been studied for 21 years. Polar bears coming to feed at Churchill increase every year.

Denning: Denning didn’t deny the increase in polar bear population at Churchill, but as ice is the habitat of the polar bear, due to melting ice there is less habitat available for polar bears. As Denning did when he spoke about the exposure of the Great Coral Reef as being a side issue to global warming, he likewise considered the polar bear a side issue in the overall discussion of climate change. Economics once again became the dominant issue for Denning as he reiterated the lost economic growth that would take place if 10 times more fossil fuel were burnt as has occurred to date.

Film Clip #5: Are We Capable of Rising Above Ourselves and History?

Claim: After all, freedom and self-determination was established here in the U.S. and spread around the world. We landed on the moon and defeated fascism.

Denning: We are fortunate global warming is a problem that is not all that expensive to solve. Our problems today aren’t as difficult to deal with as were some that faced our forefathers. Our grandparents did well for themselves by building roads, bridges and highways. Our generation built the Internet. The American people are capable of solving problems. We know how to do it. Economics was again cited: A 1 percent reduction in GPD over the next century beats a 25 percent reduction if we fail to deal with the global warming problem now.

Lehr: The mention of economics by Denning raised his dander. Lehr mentioned that we have already spent well over $1 trillion with zero results in trying to develop alternate salable and affordable sources of energy to reduce CO2. The U.S. and France were cited as the only countries that have reduced CO2 levels: France because of using nuclear energy, and the U.S. because of scrubbers installed on coal plants. As a nation, we are capable of doing great things. However, the so-called global warming crisis is fear mongering, which hasn’t yet, nor will ever, come true.

Film Clip #6: Gore compared a photo of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa taken 30 years ago with one recently taken.

Claim: Human-caused global warming is causing the famed Snows of Kilimanjaro to disappear.

Lehr: Lehr had no quibble about the photos. At 19,340 feet high, Kilimanjaro was losing ice long before man began pumping CO2 into the atmosphere. Since the temperature at the top of Kilimanjaro has never risen above freezing, why then is the ice melting? Lehr attributed the melting to what is known in physics as “sublimation” from solid to gas. Because of deforestation over the centuries at lower levels, the resulting dry air rises up the mountain and causes ice to go from solid to gas. Like the polar bear, Dr. Lehr considered Kilimanjaro a poor choice by Al Gore to include in his movie.

Denning: The melting is not just happening at Kilimanjaro, but at every mountain in the world. 70 million people depend on water from melting mountain snow. In Colorado, a state Denning is familiar with, snow pack is down 20 percent since 1980, and this has happened with only 1 degree F of global warming. What will happen if 10 times more fossil fuel is burnt?

Debate Wrap up

Denning: He noted again his three S’s of climate change: Simple, Serious, Solvable. In referencing how Lehr denies climate change is taking place even if 10 times as much fossil fuel is used, Denning challenges Lehr’s inability to explain why. According to Denning, it’s very easy to explain: heat in, heat out. When six-and-a-half watts was added to the world for 100 centuries, the sea rose hundreds of feet. When either heat or cold is added, temperature changes occurs as they did during the Medieval warming period and the mini ice age which followed.

If we deal with the problem now, it will cost our kids a hundred times less than if we fail to take immediate steps to solve global warming. Denning strongly suggested that as a free market think tank The Heartland Institute must become involved or else the Left will take over completely. The market system is not weak. We must be brave. Modern free-market solutions must be applied. As civilization comes from inside us, this nation will be just fine if our kids remain creative and hardworking.

Lehr: In offering a critique of his challenger, Lehr questioned how it was possible to like someone yet disagree so much with everything he says? Lehr spoke of global warming as a political ploy to gain power. Global cooling was tried during the ’70s, but that didn’t scare the world. Global warming is not about the environment; it is about reducing individual freedom. It’s also about the elimination of fossil fuels. But why eliminate fossil fuels when they are improving the quality of live all across the world? This nation is awash in shale gas. In Colorado, for instance, there is more oil and gas reserves than in all of Saudi Arabia. Yet the push continues to replace fossil fuels with wind and solar power when both require backup energy sources.

Climate alarmists are predicting how the weather will be much warmer 100 years down the road with possible catastrophic results, even though predicting the weather one week ahead is risky to attempt. Eliminating the generous subsidies given to developers of wind and solar power will bring out new and better things. As an self-described extremely optimistic person, Lehr opined how the future is always better than what went before, but this still doesn’t prevent a new scenario of doom and gloom from being offered up during next year’s Earth Day celebration.

Debate Finale

Jim Lakely, communications director at The Heartland Institute, fielded question for Lehr and Denning from event participants and from those watching the live-stream on YouTube. (Click here to view.)

Not disputed was what is considered our most valuable resource which is found between our ears, the human mind.

Notable is that global warming is near the bottom of the list of concerns people have around the world. And global warming deserves to be near the bottom of the list. As related in this recent, hard-hitting and credible article about climate change posted on September 2, 2016, Tens of Thousands of Scientists Declare Climate Change A Hoax, a staggering 30,000 scientists have come forward saying man-made climate change is a hoax perpetuated by the elite in order to make money.

One of the experts is Weather Channel Founder John Coleman, who warns that huge fortunes are being realized by man-made climate change proponents such as Al Gore. In a recent interview with Climate Depot, Natural News reports:

“Al Gore may emerge from the shadows to declare victory in the ‘global warming’ debate if Hillary Clinton moves into the White House. Yes, if that happens and the new climate regulations become the law of the land, they will be next to impossible to overturn for four to eight years.”

Monday, September 12, 2016 at 10:30 AM | Permalink