By Tom Harris & Dr. Jay Lehr
03 Aug 2019
The new president of The Heartland Institute, Frank Lasee, was not exaggerating when he described the 13th International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC13) as “the most important climate change and energy event of the year.”
Speaking about the July 25 conference held at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., Lasee explained, “ICCC13 demonstrated that the Climate Delusion is not based on sound science or economics. It is wasting trillions of dollars and threatening our way of life, while propping up the drive for world socialism.”
This was a common theme throughout ICCC13. The Climate Delusion, relying on bad science and misguided economics, is damaging America and threatening the world.
The conference sold out with over 300 attendees, launched with a translated video address by Dominik Kolorz, a Polish trade union activist and the chairman of the Śląsko-Dąbrowski Solidarity, the largest regional union structure in Poland. Kolorz could not be at the conference because he had to support union workers in a protest against the closing of furnaces in one of the largest employers in Śląsko, a major steel plant, due to misguided European Union climate policy. “You can see that the effects of climate policy, already noticeable, can be very dramatic in a social context,” said Kolorz. “We do not deny that we are in a period of global warming. But … there is no scientific consensus, in our opinion, about human responsibility for climate change…”
Kolorz expressed strong concern about the long-term consequences of UN climate policy, stating, “what the European Union proposes to us in the frame of climate policy is…a liquidation of industry operating in Poland. It’s not just about banning the coal. It’s not only the elimination of conventional energy, but it is really about the decarbonizing of the industry in Poland but also in Europe, we would deal with the liquidation of the metallurgical, steel and cement industries…What can happen in Poland if we stick to the dogma of the climate policy—we will lose about half a million jobs in the next 20 years.
“I can declare that we in Poland are ready, under the auspicious of Solidarity, to actually lead to an economic, social, scientific conference on which different types of views will collide—those who say that man is responsible for climate change and the skeptical ones,” said Kolorz.
He told the audience, “Now, Solidarity with you can expose the lie that conducted climate policy is good for humans. Let us lead a policy that is really good for the citizens of the world but let us not lead the policy that is stuffed with lies and which would really lead to the fact that the rich will be even richer and the poor will be even poorer.”
This was followed by the presentation of the “Dauntless Purveyor of Climate Truth Award” to the junior author of this article, Dr. Jay Lehr, for his many years of fearless communication of climate science realities to the public. In his acceptance speech, Lehr focused on the real drivers of the climate scare—attempts by the left to impose world socialism and put society under ever more government control. Lehr demonstrated the Climate Delusion by listing twelve variables that, while crucially important to any calculation of projected Earth temperatures, are not well understood.
ICCC13 Panel One concerned “Scientific Observations,” in particular, the science presented in Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels, the latest volume of peer-reviewed research by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC). The panel also focused on climate modeling vs. observed temperature data, and the Sun’s dominant influence on climate change. Dr. Nir J. Shaviv of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem explained that “There are no arguments proving that warming is mostly human.” Shaviv maintained that future warming will be benign, supporting his position with convincing data.
After tracing the history of the IPCC and the NIPCC, Dr. David Legates of the University of Delaware proposed that NIPCC reports be encapsulated in an online format that would be quick and easy for students and others to access.
Dr. Roy W. Spencer of the University of Alabama in Huntsville described how poorly computer models correlate with real climate change and concluded that there is no climate crisis or climate emergency. “Even if observed warming is due to increasing CO2 (carbon dioxide), it’s too weak to notice in your lifetime,” he said. Spencer also explained that “damaging tornadoes are down 50% since we started monitoring them in the 1950s. You wouldn’t know that from listening to the media every time a tornado hits a town.”
Panel 2 on Energy and Climate Economics was outstanding in making the real costs of the Climate Delusion clear and irrefutable. Kevin Dayaratna of the Heritage Foundation offered a simple explanation of the various mathematical models used to determine the costs to society of eliminating fossil fuels. No matter how he sliced it, the results are draconian. Dr. Ben Zycher, resident scholar of the American Enterprise Institute, and Dr. Roger Bezdek described the absurdity of attempting to shift away from fossil fuels to unstable so-called renewable energy. Considering what goes into developing a wind turbine or a solar farm, it is clear that they are not really green and never economical without the government paying most of the bill. Zycher emphasized that “‘Clean’ power is not clean.” It requires huge land use and creates “heavy-metal pollution, noise, flicker effects, solar panel waste, wildlife destruction,” among other negative impacts of alternative energy sources. He also focused on the “anti-human core” and the “authoritarian implications” of the Green New Deal proposed by the Democrats.
In his luncheon keynote speech, Representative Tom McClintock (R-Calif., ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee) asserted that future generations “will remember with gratitude and admiration that there were organizations like Heartland…to lead us out of the darkness of fear and hysteria and into the light of the bright future that our advancing technology and freedom can and surely will deliver, if we let them.”
Christopher Monckton, the Viscount Monckton of Brenchley (UK), followed up with a highly technical talk in which he demonstrated that “Global warming will be small, slow, harmless and net beneficial. There is no case, rational, scientific, political, economic, social, moral or other for any mitigation of global warming. It’s over!”
At the lunch event, James Taylor, Heartland senior fellow, Environment and Energy Policy, introduced an open letter to President Donald Trump that he wrote and co-signed with nine other climate realists. The letter, which was included in the material given to all conference attendees, thanked the president for “speaking out against the fake climate crisis,” and asked for his help:
- By appointing the Commission on Climate Security proposed by National Security Council scientist Dr. Will Happer. “It is a winning political argument to point out that you are supporting more scientific investigation and inquiry, rather than less,” the letter explained.
- “We ask that you tweet frequently about the Climate Delusion to break through the media blackout that has kept much of the public from learning about the Climate Realist position.”
The letter explained Trump’s important role in ending the Climate Delusion: “Without your help, it is likely the current media blackout imposed on the truth about the very minor role of CO2 in temperature forcing and the net benefits of a warmer climate will continue unabated.”
Attached to the open letter were 10 pages of supporting documentation demonstrating many of the mistakes in the Climate Delusion.
Dr. Craig Idso, Dr. Patrick Michaels, and Anthony Watts pulled the curtain away from the doctored data promoted by NASA and NOAA in Panel 3. They all showed that when the initial data did not support the Climate Delusion, alarmists found ways to convince people that the data needed to be adjusted. Idso focused on the data that does indeed prove that CO2 is the lifeblood of all vegetation, with plant growth always increasing with increasing levels of the gas.
This panel flipped the politically-correct argument on its head by proving with data and diagrams that increasing CO2 is not damaging the planet and its inhabitants, but instead is yielding huge benefits for life on Earth. They collectively emphasized that at the time of World War II, CO2 levels [about 300 parts per million (ppm)] were too close to plant starvation, which occurs with less than 150 ppm of CO2. Satellite photographs showed major greening of nearly every continent in the past 40 years. Particular increases are now seen in the rain forests along the equator.
The real-world benefits of increasing CO2 fly in the face of the propaganda produced by the United Nations and associated organizations that benefit by trying to increase the size of government in response to fraudulent fears.
The first speaker in Panel 4, “Winning Public Policy Options,” was Douglas Pollock from the University of Chile. His efforts to warn institutions about the unnecessary harm that fighting climate change is causing resulted in his views being banned in Chile and throughout Latin America. Pollock explained what has been happening in Chile as a cautionary tale about what can happen in North America if we follow their disastrous devotion to green energy. Pollock said that the impact on global temperature of Chile’s plans would be 0.0000115 deg C per decade. The wind and solar sources Chile has brought online recently “have meant an average cost at least nine times higher than those of traditional sources,” concluded Pollock.
James Taylor next explained the futility of conservatives trying to appeal to the left and influence the center by supporting the climate scare. He said, “Scientifically, economically, politically, if you are a Republican and you are pushing for these types of programs [lesser versions of the Green New Deal], you are a loser.” As the senior author of this article (Tom Harris) and moderator of Panel 4 commented after Taylor’s talk, “I wish you’d been an advisor to our previous prime minister Stephen Harper because he was elected as a climate skeptic and, in an attempt to appease the left and attract the middle vote, he moved over to become a climate alarmist. And the media still massacred him and he lost the last election.”
Finally, Myron Ebell, director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Energy and Environment, explained the debate that has gone on inside the Trump administration concerning the delayed Happer climate change commission. He also described two petitions launched by CEI. The first was for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to re-open the CO2 Endangerment Finding. Because of a new OMB (Office of Management and Budget) memorandum, the EPA has 120 days to answer the petition. The second petition was asking NASA to withdraw the misguided statements on their web site about 97% of scientists agreeing with the so-called global warming consensus.
“Let’s push back against the deep state that still has its tentacles around the White House,” concluded Ebell. No wonder the Business Insider commented, “Myron Ebell may be enemy #1 to the current climate change community.”
Panel 5, Advancing from Theory to Practice, discussed how fossil fuels are still very much a key part of the future of the world, and how America is leading the way. This panel made it clear that converting the world from coal, natural gas, oil and nuclear power can never happen in practice. But the effort to even attempt it will greatly damage the entire world population with the poorest suffering the most as energy costs skyrocket and brownouts and blackouts become the order of the day.
During panel 5, Dr. Benny Peiser, Director of the London, England-based Global Warming Policy Forum, gave an eye-opening talk about the negative impacts that installation of wind and solar energy projects were causing all over Europe. Germany’s poor judgment in this area, Peiser said, was destroying its leadership in all areas of high-tech manufacturing as a result of the tripling of their energy costs. For every kilowatt they produce with wind or sun, they must have a fossil fuel plant at the ready to take over when the wind and solar power are not adequate.
Lord Monckton gave a stirring speech in Panel 5 in which he demonstrated the “unit abatement cost of abating 1 degree C of anthropogenic global warming by policies equivalent to Britain’s zero-emissions plan was $273 trillion per degree C abated.” That is over one-quarter of a quadrillion dollars. “It is ten times more expensive, on these optimistic assumptions, to try to mitigate global warming than to let it happen and adapt to it,” Monckton concluded.
Also speaking in Panel 5 was Jennifer Fielder, CEO of the American Lands Council and a Montana state senator. She explained why nationally-controlled lands managed by distant, unaccountable bureaucrats in Washington, combined with the influence of far-left extremists in the environmental movement, have resulted in dirty air, polluted water, decimated wildlife, blocked access and economically devastated, depressed and unsafe communities. The solution, said Fielder, was to entrust the land to people who live close to the land in the states.
During the evening meeting at the closing session, awards were given to three of the world’s most expert climate scientists:
- Dr. Tim Ball received the “Lifetime Achievement in Climate Science Award.” In his acceptance speech, Dr. Ball explained how wealthy Canadian businessman, the late Maurice Strong, engineered much of the climate scare through the United Nations.
- Dr. Patrick Michaels received the “Courage in Defense of Science Award.” In his acceptance address, he summarized the high points of his efforts to stop the fraudulent alarmist movement’s promotion of the Climate Delusion.
- Dr. Richard Lindzen received the “Frederick Seitz Memorial Award.” In his acceptance speech, he cited many of the great scientists who came before him who seriously questioned the climate scare.
The conference came to a close with prominent meteorologist Joe Bastardi regaling the audience with his childhood love of weather, storms, and hurricanes. Now in his 60s, Joe showed amazing childhood enthusiasm for his work. He took the audience on a tour of the greatest hurricanes to hit the East coast of the United States over the last 100 years. While everyone was transfixed by his narrative, Joe’s phone rang. He paused and answered it, putting the caller on speakerphone. Out of the phone came the voice of “President Trump” complimenting Heartland for great work on climate change. “Trump” said, “One thing on climate: it’s just like the fake news story on Russia, which was a complete hoax, by the way, a complete hoax; there is no collusion between CO2 and temperature, no collusion whatsoever.” We may never know for sure whether or not it was indeed President Trump. We certainly would like to think so.
ICCC13 was one of the best of all of Heartland’s climate realist events yet. It will go a long way to helping end the Climate Delusion.