Goldilocks1

By Nancy Thorner – 

When it comes to human-caused global warming, most people think there are two camps: “alarmists,” those who acknowledge it, and “deniers,” those who deny it. But this is far from true.  There are credible scientists – such as those at The Heartland Institute’s latest climate conference (ICCC-12) last month – that accede to the existence of some global warming taking place, but question to what extent man is to blame.

For instance, participants and scientists at Heartland’s conference, S. Fred Singer and Dennis Avery, maintain that a warmer planet will be beneficial for mankind and other species on the planet and that “corals, trees, birds, mammals, and butterflies are adapting well to the routine reality of changing climate.” Meanwhile, other reputable scientists attending ICCC-12 believe a period of cooler weather looms ahead in the not-too-distant future because of the lack of sunspots.

Now there is another camp, the “lukewarmers” as defined by Dr. Pat Michaels and Paul “Chip” Knapperberger. Both are recognized environmental climate scientists who believe that man-made global warming is real, but they refuse to buy into the politicized pseudoscience that has increasingly been used to buttress the case that global warming is also likely to be dangerous. In their book, Lukewarming: The New Climate Science That Changes Everything, Michaels and Knappenberger, refer to themselves as “lukewarmers,” and expose many myths about climate change.

In a way the lukewarming view of climate change set forth by Michaels and Knappenberger relates to the English Fairy Tale, The Story of The Three Bears. Goldilocks, in tasting the porridge that had been left to cool by the bears while they took a walk in a forest, found the Great Big Bear’s porridge too hot, the Middle-sized Bear’s porridge too cold, while the Little Wee Bear’s porridge was neither too hot or too cold.

The too-hot temperature of the Great Big Bear’s porridge is the same claim made by climate change alarmists like Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, who falsely predict catastrophic occurrences unless drastic measures are taken. The lukewarming concept of climate science introduced by Michaels and Knappenberger, represents the neither too hot or too cold porridge of the Little Wee Bear – or, just the right approach.

Michaels, the director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute, explained all this as a featured speaker April 19 at The Heartland Institute where he talked about his book. Michaels is a past president of the American Association of State Climatologists and was program chair for the Committee on Applied Climatology of the American Meteorological Society. He is the author or editor of six books on climate and its impact, and he was an author of the climate “paper of the year” awarded by the Association of American Geographers in 2004.

While introducing Michaels, Heartland Institute President Joe Bast expressed with apparent delight, three happenings of note in the past 100 days:  1) The election of Donald Trump as president, whose accomplishments are acceding expectations – such as Trump cutting EPA spending by 31 percent, which was long overdue. 2) Heartland’s latest climate conference (ICCC-12) held in Washington, D.C. in March – which attracted 300 participants without a formal invitation being sent. The conference featured 40 speakers attracted 55 members of the media, most of whom heretofore had not been interested in what Heartland had to say on the topic. 3) Heartland sending some 350,000 copies of Why Scientists Disagree with Global Warming to science teachers in K-12 and colleges, as well as 400 CEOs. The message: There is no consensus on global warming. The media and some activist teachers organizations have chosen to respond with accusations that Heartland’s mailing is an attempt at brainwashing – a notion Bast thoroughly rebutted.

 Michaels Explains his Lukewarmer Thesis

Michael’s remarks, tailored to his slide presentation, showed time and again the misuse of the flawed, always too-hot climate models, and the tremendous incentives that exist for their continued misuse. So it follows that unreasonable and unnecessary climate policies have been based on the too-hot and frequently manipulated climate models. Clearly, he said, if the climate models can’t properly simulate the past, they can’t be relied upon for the future – and are a terrible basis for energy and economic policy.

Other aspects of the Michael’s Lukewarmers Camp include:

  • Life thrived on Earth through hot time and cold, mostly with much higher CO2 concentrations and warmer temperatures than we are experiencing in the current era. This enhanced CO2 allows plants to take advantage of warmer temperature. Tropical rain forests have greatly increased because of the increase in CO2.
  • Market forces compel adaptation to all kinds of change, including slight changes in climate. Even if the United States continues to burn half of its corn production, the rest of the world still is able to produce tremendous amounts of food to meet the needs of its growing population.
  • Health effects of climate change on the U.S. are negligible and are likely to remain so. Forty-six percent of all U.S. deaths directly attributable to weather events from 1993 to 2006 were caused by excessive cold; 28 percent were from excessive heat.
  • After 75 years of rapidly increasing CO2 emission, hurricanes have responded only lukewarmly. Severe weather is a characteristic of earth’s atmosphere and every day some kind of story or extreme event will (and likely will) be associated with global warming. Even if the issue of the day were global cooling, such extreme weather events could be made to fit that paradigm, too.
  • Arctic ice has declined before, even in the last century before humans had put very much CO2 into the atmosphere. The Arctic was even ice free for long stretches, both before the end of the last ice age and afterwards.  The Washington Post on November 11, 1922 reported of hitherto unheard-of temperature in the Arctic zone. The seals were finding the water too hot and great masses of ice had been replaced by moraines of earth and stones. Nevertheless, there’s always plenty of ice in the Arctic Ocean, even in the beginning of the fall when it reaches its minimum extent.
  • As for the survival of the iconic polar bear, the polar bear has weathered – and maybe even prospered – during many periods when the Arctic summer’s end was ice free.
  • The Paris Climate Treaty is an unenforceable document that requires its signatories to prepare new “determined contributions” every five years, counts all warming since the Industrial Revolution as having been caused by greenhouse gas emissions, uses the mean sensitivity of the UN climate models, and requires an immediate cessation of all carbon dioxide emissions (fossil fuels) to meet its aspirational goal of keeping future warming below 1.5 degree C. This reduction in potential warming is operationally meaningless, and would result in a lukewarm agreement meant for a lukewarm world, in which only the United States and the EU stand to be harmed.

Michaels predicted a new warming of only six-tenths to a quarter degree by the end of the 21st century.  Accordingly, it makes no sense to plan for and then take measures to prepare for an event that has only a finite chance of happening, but which would greatly reduce our standard of living and further destroy this nation’s economy.

To watch the entire presentation by Michaels, click here.

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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.