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Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 03/16/2009

Heartland Institute Criticizes CWG's Climate Post

By Andrew Freedman

* And Yet Another Gray Day: Full Forecast *

In response to my March 11 story "Dueling Climate Meetings Aim to Steer Policy," the Capital Weather Gang (CWG) received the following message from Joseph Bast, the president of the Chicago-based Heartland Institute, which is a free-market think tank. Last week, Bast's group hosted its second annual "International Conference on Climate Change" in New York City, which was billed as the "The world's largest-ever gathering of global warming skeptics."

My response to the message is shown in italics below Mr. Bast's email.

Thank you, Andrew Freedman, for commenting on The Heartland Institute's second annual conference on climate change. It was much more balanced than .... [the] awful coverage over at the NYT [New York Times], and we appreciate the difference.
Nevertheless, I have three questions, seriously, about your article:

Keep reading for Mr. Bast's questions and Andrew's response...

* Why do you repeatedly assert, without citing evidence, that the "vast majority" of climate scientists or "most scientists" think global warming is a crisis? In my opening remarks, I cited the only published international survey of climate scientists taken on the subject, which found 70% don't think climate models can predict future climates, and half don't think the climate science is well enough understood to hand the issue over to policymakers. Arthur Robinson used the Heartland event to release a 200-page directory of all 31,478 American scientists who signed his petition saying global warming is NOT a crisis, vastly more than any list the alarmists have ever been able to produce. (The guy and his family have gone over every name to confirm their validity, and is publishing the entire list ... what more can he do to overcome the completely baseless charges that the entire list is a "fraud"?) William Schlesinger, a prominent alarmist, admitted a couple weeks ago that 80% of the 2,000 or so "contributors" to the IPCC reports are not climate scientists, a point often made by skeptics in the past but ignored. The idea that the alarmists are a large majority of the climate science community, rather than a rather small but highly influential clique , while repeated often, is pretty obviously false. You need to update your narrative.
* Why do you imply that oil companies helped to fund the conference - which we state plainly and repeatedly on our Web site that they did not -- and yet don't mention funding by corporations pushing renewable fuels for the event taking place in Copenhagen? This is both inaccurate and obviously a double standard. (Cosponsors, by the way, didn't help finance the Heartland conference, they just helped promote it to their members, so their sources of funding are irrelevant.) And why would you trust Greenpeace to tell you about Heartland's funding? The two groups are obviously polar opposites on the climate issue. For the truth about our funding, go here. (Heartland gets less than 5% of its income from all corporations in the energy field COMBINED. We really believe this stuff!)
* Finally, you say the purpose of the Heartland conference was to influence policymakers in Washington, but the Copenhagen event is mostly scientific ... though perhaps a little policy oriented. I would say the ratios are just the opposite. Our purpose is to bring scientists, economists, and policy experts together to address issues overlooked or ignored by the IPCC. The Copenhagen event is contrived to build international support for a treaty before all the wind is out of the sails of the global warming scare. If we really wanted to influence policy we would have held the event in Washington, not New York - as many of the policy wonks at the conference have urged us to do, but we resist. And we wouldn't have bothered having guests from 20 countries.
While the keynote speakers talked about policy - that's what keynoters do at major conferences - we had 70 other speakers, mostly prominent scientists, getting into the details of real science. Did you really not see any merit in reporting that?
Just asking.
Joseph L. Bast
President The Heartland Institute


Dear Mr. Bast:

Thank you for your comments.

Regarding your first question, the story never asserted that the vast majority of scientists think global warming is a "crisis," nor did it refer to climate scientists as "alarmist." Rather, the story stated that the "dominant view" within the scientific community is that "man made climate change is likely to be damaging if action is not taken soon to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide." This is actually a mild statement, considering that numerous studies have been published that show that man made climate change has already begun affecting natural systems around the world.

Attributing the statement about mainstream climate science is not necessary in this case, since the description used takes into account the conclusions of virtually every major scientific research organization in the U.S. and abroad, which are familiar to most if not all readers at this point.

Your contention that a poll of scientists from a variety of fields somehow trumps the findings of the National Academy of Sciences, the U.N. IPCC, the American Geophysical Union, is unpersuasive.

Science is not conducted via petitions, but rather through rigorous, peer-reviewed research that seeks to repeatedly test hypotheses under different conditions, until the hypothesis is either proven to be robust enough that it is widely (but not necessarily universally) accepted, or tossed out in favor of other possible explanations.

On the issue of industry funding, the story stated that "conference organizers" have received fossil fuel industry funding, not that the New York conference was specifically sponsored by fossil fuel companies. The statement also referred to the funding in the past tense. However, the article should have noted that renewable energy companies helped support the Copenhagen conference.

The Greenpeace link was provided because that organization has been the most prominent group working to chronicle the fossil fuel industry's funding of climate science skeptic think tanks. The fact that Greenpeace is on the opposite end of the ideological spectrum from the Heartland Institute is not a sufficient justification to ignore their findings, which have been widely reported in the mainstream media and tacitly if not explicitly acknowledged by some energy companies.

Regarding the purpose of Heartland's conference compared to the Copenhagen event, the article made it quite clear that both events had a clear aim of using scientists to influence policymakers.

I hope I have sufficiently addressed some of your points, and that this stimulates further discussion from readers.


-Andrew Freedman

By Andrew Freedman  | March 16, 2009; 10:30 AM ET
Categories:  Climate Change, Freedman, News & Notes, Science  
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omg, andrew! he wants to the "the list"! get gavin or chris or somebody on it!

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 16, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

i mean "he wants to SEE the list." sorry i got a little excited...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 16, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Actually, this past winter wasn't all that mild, though the general lack of snow was rather disappointing around here. Quite a few ornamental plantings in this area may have suffered damage from deeply frozen ground this winter.

Farther north and west of us there was considerable snow on the ground, especially around Illinois/Indiana, which are now experiencing flooding.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | March 16, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

No matter what your views on climate change, there is no denying that lobbying over the issue has become a growth industry. In the last year alone, 770 companies, energy organizations, and interest groups hired an estimated 2,340 lobbyists to influence the climate change debate — 15% of all lobbyists and a 300% increase since 2003. There are now four climate lobbyists for every member of Congress. In 2008, these organizations spent more than $90 million lobbying on climate change legislation. To learn more about these groups and see who's lobbying, check out the Center for Public Integrity's Climate Change Lobby project at
Steve Carpinelli, Center for Public Intgrity

Posted by: scarpinelli | March 16, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

i'm a big fan of your organization and cause. are all those people on the list on your site of "major players" in climate lobbying "anti" global warming? i.e., are they denialists? there's a disappointing number of democrats on the list - i guess from oil-producing states...sheesh...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 16, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Dear Andrew,

As a meteorologist with over 40 years of experience, you can count me among the sceptics. Climatologist are well aware of the natural cycle that has undergone since birth. Warm periods have been followed by cool periods. Until this present cycle mankind wasn't around to influence the climate.

So the real question no one seems to want to answer, is what percentage of the latest warming cycle is natural and what is man made?

As meteorologist we know the accuracy of forecasts deteriates rapidly beyond 7 days.

So why do we believe global climate model results 50 or 100 years from now?

I doubt few would not agree that the contaminants we are putting in the air daily are healthy but what really is their effect on global climate change. Also, how do we get countries such as China and India to go along?

Until we answer some of these questions and convince much of the developing world to go along, it seems we need to be spending much more time and money on mitagating the effects to come from of the cycle currently underway!

Posted by: Jimbo77 | March 16, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

very interesting, seeing that you're a meteorologist (i.e., scientist).

do you think the earth is warming, but it's a natural cycle?

do you think it's warming, some of it is caused by man, but that we can't predict that it will continue warming in the future based on the data/models so far?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 16, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I modified my priorities and I had no intention of posting here, but this is just too much.

Mr. Freedman, in the column in question you wrote, -
"At the Heartland Institute's "International Conference on Climate Change," scientists and policy advocates asserted that the vast majority of climate scientists are woefully mistaken, and human activities are not the primary cause of recent climate change."

I could dedicate an afternoon to that sentence alone. There is so much wrong with it that it is funny. If only I had more time.

His criticism was, -
"Why do you repeatedly assert, without citing evidence, that the "vast majority" of climate scientists or "most scientists" think global warming is a crisis?"

Your reply to his criticism was, "Regarding your first question, the story never asserted that the vast majority of scientists think global warming is a "crisis," nor did it refer to climate scientists as "alarmist."

1. His criticism was your assertion that the "vast majority" of climate scientists agree with the current theory of man made global warming as being portrayed by you and the media in general. You decided to focus on the word "crisis". That is so disingenuous of you. Your articles clearly paint a picture of gloom and doom. You attempt to tie every natural disaster (flood, hurricane, fire, drought, etc...) to man made global warming. You continually paint picture after picture of crisis and catastrophe. And your rebuttal is, "I didn't use the word crisis"???? Just how deceitful and disingenuous can you be?
2. You have no rebuttal to his assertion that the vast majority of climate scientists agree with the skeptics. Don't point to the IPCC (I've shown just how few IPCC scientists agree with the theory, right here on this very web site!) or other organizations. Answer his criticism directly! The vast majority of climate scientists do NOT support the current AGW theory. If you believe they do, then prove it. List them by name and list their public statements on the theory.

Continued in my next comment

Posted by: Mr_Q | March 16, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Continued from my previous comment

3. In your original article you wrote, "scientists and policy advocates asserted" (referring to the climate scientists attending the Heartland's conference) ... "of climate scientists are woefully mistaken". I want to point out to your readers your choice of words. Notice that when referring to the climate scientists that attended the Heartland Institute conference, Mr. Freedman calls them "scientists and policy advocates". But when referring to the the scientists that support or agree with AGW, Mr. Freedman refers to them as "climate scientists". Not only are these scientists "climate scientists" but he magically proclaims them to be the "vast majority". It is absolutely unbelievable.

And apparently the anti AGW side of the debate only has scientists, whereas the pro AGW side of the debate has "climate scientists". Absolutely unbelievable! Your bias and double standard are showing.

To give you an idea of what kind of upside down world Mr. Freedman inhabits, ask yourself this, "Which side of the debate has all of the policy advocates?" It is the pro AGW side of the debate!! They are the ones advocating cap and trade, and Kyoto, and whatever solution du joir they can think of. The anti AGW side of the debate is the side saying, "No, slow down!" But it Mr. Freedman's upside down world, the side that is AGAINST all of the policy advocates and policies coming from the pro AGW side of the debate is the side with the "policy advocates".

And your upside logic infects your readers. Remember when one of your readers referred to the anti AGW crowd as the "partisans"? Remember how I had to explain the definition of partisan? Remember how I had to point out that those who argue against your cause are technically the anti-partisans?

You truly inhabit an upside down world Mr. Freedman, and you do a great disservice to your readers when you spread your convoluted logic.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | March 16, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

The fossil fuel industry can spew out all the discredited propaganda they want, but it won't change the facts.

Global Warming is real and is caused primarily by the burning of fossil fuels.

In the new Stimulus Bill, billions of dollars were provided for alternative energy, $50 billion was denied to nuclear, and hardly a drop went to fossil fuel.

The days of fraudulent accounting are at an end. Why should the fossil fuel industry be allowed to pollute the planet for free? Once you add back the cost of clean up, fossil fuel becomes prohibitively expensive compared to pollution free alternative energy.

The writing is on the wall, the fossil fuel industry is this century's buggy whip manufactures. Even Exxon-Mobil will fall into bankruptcy or be bought out within ten years, because they just can't compete against clean, pollution free, renewable alternative energy.

Posted by: kevinschmidt | March 16, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

hi mr. q. i see you want that list too. c'mon andrew, or some scientist out there, get that list started. (google "list of steves" - we need one for AGW - the list of jims. unfortunately, i guess jimbo77 won't be the first signatory...)

i sure hope you're right about accounting for the cost of pollution.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 16, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse


You should be a LOT more careful about what you tout as "facts". Much of what you posted here is not facts, but personal opinion, mostly of a political rather than a true scientific nature....and largely unsubstantiated at that.

Take a few minutes and read what Joseph Bash has to say, above, in his letter to Andrew Freeman. Bast, along with the Heartland Conference in general, have a pretty good idea of what they are talking about.

Mr. Q also does, to a lesser extent, but tends to suffer from a lack of tactfulness and manners in the process.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | March 16, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Q: You wrote: "The vast majority of climate scientists do NOT support the current AGW theory. If you believe they do, then prove it. List them by name and list their public statements on the theory." With this criticism, you're assuming that your view, which is wildly inaccurate, is correct, and somehow a poll or two of "experts" in various fields is more accurate than a reading of the body of scientific work on climate science, which shows little to no support of alternative views of the basic cause of recent climate change.

Whether one measures the majority viewpoint by reading the scientific literature on the subject, reading the statements of the scientific organizations (i.e. NAS, and yes, the IPCC as well) that have weighed in, or by scientists' public statements, it is clear that "current AGW theory", as you put it, is the dominant view in the scientific community. There is nothing disingenuous in covering this issue that way. It would be misleading, inaccurate, and dishonest to cover climate change in a manner that implies that scientists are equally divided on the question of what is causing global warming, or even that the skeptics are in the majority. That may have been the case in 1989, but it is no longer true in 2009.

Our science coverage here is based on the scientific literature. If you have a problem with that, I suggest you try to publish your own research proving conclusively that the majority view is either wrong or is not really the majority view, rather than attempting to modify our coverage to suit your fringe viewpoint.

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | March 16, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

but, andrew, his list is bigger than ours...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 16, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Your logic is absolutely horrible. You are asserting that since no one has published papers asserting that the minority view (that would be those who believe in the current AGW theory) is wrong, therefore it must be the majority view. You are attempting to say that the absence of something proves that you have a majority!?!? Have they stopped teaching logic in college.

Consider this -
Five people are riding in an elevator. One person passes gas and it truly stinks. The other four see no reason to comment on it. Does that mean that no one passed gas? Does their absence of comment prove that nothing happened?

Does the absence of papers against the AGW theory prove that theory is correct or, and this really shows how flawed that which you are trying to pass of as logic, or that those who believe in the AGW theory are a majority?

You need to go sue your college. You have been ripped off.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | March 16, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: MMCarhelp | March 16, 2009 2:15 PM

Actually, it is you who is trying to dishonestly assert your wrong headed opinions as facts.

If I am wrong, prove it. Although, I don't see how that is possible since science is on my side.

Global Warming is real and is caused primarily by the burning of fossil fuels. The majority of the world's credible climatologists agree with me.

Plus fradulent accounting allows the fossil fuel polluters to get off the hook from paying to clean up their pollution.

Alternative pollution free energy sources are rapidly replacing fossil fuel and nuclear power. They are here to stay. The Obama Administration and the Democrats in Congress have seen to that!
Get used to it.

Posted by: kevinschmidt | March 16, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Once again, Mr. Freedman, you have failed to respond logically to Mr. Q. He most definitely asked you to produce a list of "climate scientists," NOT a "poll or two of experts in the various fields." He is also asking for names and quotes from these climate scientists, not just an anonymous poll as you have suggested.

You also go back to the standard line of the IPCC report being the "majority view" while Mr. Q has pointed out just how few actual climate scientists were involved with this report. If you can't respond to his charge on this point, then you can't use this report to back up your claim that it is part of the majority opinion.

But stepping back a moment to look at a bigger picture: The main beef here is that the scientists who disagree with the AGW have been painted as a tiny minority on the fringes of science, when this could not be further from the truth. They may very well be a minority, but most definitely not fringe. This is a strong, growing group of scientists that is relevant and must be taken seriously.

Posted by: octopi213 | March 16, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

i'm telling you, we NEED this stupid list just so we don't have to keep clarifying what we mean by "minority view" and "skeptic". mr.q, et. al. are operating in a different reality where our "skeptics" are their "mainstream". i love the line about "few actual scientists".

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 16, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse


I can't begin to tell you how wrong you are in your "facts" and statements about what has been allotted by the new Stimulis package/what the Dems/O admin are doing to battle global warming. Your emotions on the issue and your DESIRE for the aforementioned to do something is getting the best of you.

You can be upset about it all you want, but sitting here and saying it's real is just impossible for me to digest. Weather has been accurately studied, recorded, researched, etc for hypothetically speaking; one atom in a dot of ink in the word "hiccup." If you want to be convinced by that much data, then I have a ocean front property in Arizona to see you too!'


Posted by: TheMot | March 16, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Octipi213: You are seriously accusing me of "failing to respond logically" to Mr. Q, when Mr. Q just discussed breaking wind in an elevator? Really?

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | March 16, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

the mot:
i think you mean "metaphorically speaking". using that logic we cannot know anything about geology, biology, astronomy, history either. for instance, no one was there to see mt. everest rise from the seafloor 50,000,000 years ago. scientists are pretty sure that's what happened. we've only been measuring it's growth for a few decades now, and it's possible that before the '60s mt everest was shrinking.

climate scientists are aware of many climate changes in the past. the fact that the earth has had wildly different climates than it has now, doesn't weaken the argument that THIS TIME we are the cause of it. civilization as we know it has arisen in roughly the current climate (past 5-8000 years). of course humans would survive practically any climate change but many plants and animals we know, love and depend on wouldn't.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 16, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

That comment from Mr. Q came after your evasive response to his criticism. Once again, you either refuse or cannot refute anything he has said up to this point. We are still waiting for you to respond.

Posted by: octopi213 | March 16, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse


If what you say that climate warming is caused by human activity and the burning of fossil fuels, then would you and your "credible" scientists please explain why climate has been changing (and world average temperatures going up and down) for billions of years, back to the earth's origin, long before there were any humans or the burning of fossil fuels, except perhaps by forest fires set naturally by lightning.

But, Hey, on second thought, maybe me and my colleagues ARE wrong. Maybe cave men DID have automobiles, aircraft, coal-fired power plants, and smoke stacks, producing all those emissions back THEN, too, like we have now. Gee.....that would explain the temperature ups and downs back then, too. Al Gore must have gotten a second Nobel peace prize.....for inventing a time machine that lets him go back and lecture the Stone Age inhabitants, too.

I'm really sorry that I questioned your judgement so rudely......please forgive me. I'll know better next time.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | March 16, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

A meteorologist should know the difference between weather and climate modeling:

Modeling Myths

Posted by: CapitalClimate | March 16, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

scientists have many theories for what has caused past climate changes. volcanos, natural outgassing etc DO have an effect. i think the generally held opinion is that previous changes have been the result of earth's orbital variations, the positions of the continents on the globe, asteroid impacts the sun's intensity and maybe some unknown unknown.(scientists think the level of this kind of activity we've seen in the last 120 years has not caused THIS climate change.) one thing that HAS changed is the level of CO2 in the air. we're producing a lot of CO2. hhhmmm....

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 16, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

And several of the rest of you need to follow the link to the article, "Belief and knowledge—a plea about language."

Posted by: CapitalClimate | March 16, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

i believe that's #5.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 16, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

#5, indeed.
How about it people, there are dozens more red herrings out there instead of regurgitating the same old ones every week?

Posted by: CapitalClimate | March 16, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Maybe cave men DID have automobiles, aircraft, coal-fired power plants, and smoke stacks, producing all those emissions back THEN, too, like we have now. Gee.....that would explain the temperature ups and downs back then, too. Al Gore must have gotten a second Nobel peace prize.....for inventing a time machine that lets him go back and lecture the Stone Age inhabitants, too.

I'm really sorry that I questioned your judgement so rudely......please forgive me. I'll know better next time.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | March 16, 2009 5:16 PM

Except for the last paragraph, by your comments, you prove yourself to be deluded and devoid of all rational thought.

There is a proven, direct correlation between the burning of fossil fuels and Global Warming that is far in excess of any naturally occurring causes.

Even if Global Warming was naturally occurring, which it isn't, it would be in our best interests to quickly find a way to stop it from radically altering the planet.

I'm so glad people like you no longer have a voice in our government. Finally, the adults are back in charge.

Posted by: kevinschmidt | March 16, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse


There ARE adults left in the government, unfortunately just not enough of them. In the Senate, for example, there are only about 40 or so left.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | March 16, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse


There ARE adults left in the government, unfortunately just not enough of them. In the Senate, for example, there are only about 40 or so left.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | March 16, 2009 7:14 PM

Yes, after you subtract all the Republican dodos, who are doomed to extinction in their next elections, Lieberman, and the Blue Dogs, there are only about 40 or so adults left in the Senate.

Posted by: kevinschmidt | March 16, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing how a bunch of intelligent people armed with facts, figures, opinions, agendas, etc., can take such a fascinating subject and let it spiral out of control. Shame on all of you.

Posted by: pjdunn1 | March 16, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

that link about belief/knowledge/language didn't work.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 16, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Dang, thot it was fixed once; try it now.

Posted by: CapitalClimate | March 16, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse


Positively the most profound statement that's been submitted - I couldn't agree with you more.

I'll just add that it should be obvious who is and who is not responsible for this most unfortunate state of affairs.

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | March 16, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Please no name calling here, please. I have/will unpublish comments that resort to name calling and/or break other rules (listed at the link above).

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 16, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

works now. good article. to be sure, we should be more precise with words like theory, hypothesis, belief etc...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 16, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Their r 4 things you will not change a persons opinion on, their religion, politics, who they marry & now climate change. All the he said, she said, arguing won't change 1 persons mind, & all it accomplishes is releasing alot of hot air.

Posted by: VaTechBob | March 16, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

You GW lovers are the same people who 20 years ago said we were all going to perish via acid rain and Nuke energy would wipe us off the face of the earth. Honestly, the convenient statistics you all bring forth every few years to make yourselves feel better about your station in life is just laughable. I can honestly, without equivocation sit here today and say that none of you have done one thing in your lives to stamp out your so called global warming then to slap a bumper sticker on your hybrid (which, the factory that produces its battery is the most polluting factory in the world), and preach your green ways. You still use gas, you still use as much electricity as anybody else in today's society, and the fact of the matter is you may talk the talk, but until you start living off the earth without using one ounce of fossil fuel, you are a hypocrite. I can guarantee you've all flown somewhere, driven more then 300 miles and wasted a ton of energy at home, so stop oppressing me with your "Republicans" are ruining this planet. Take your bleeding heart ideas to China or India and get the real criminals of the environment to stop polluting, otherwise, put a cap on your verbal pollution!!!

Posted by: TheMot | March 17, 2009 2:18 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, CWG, for sticking with this. Science is science, even when it ruffles a few feathers.

And, as an aside, don't you wonder sometimes when the last advocate for leeching was reluctantly persuaded by the evidence to change his mind?

Posted by: novamatt | March 17, 2009 7:05 AM | Report abuse

one reason we're all still driving carbon-spewing vehicles is the extremely effective campaign by energy companies to confuse the public about the science of global warming. i admit a grudging respect for the cleverness of their campaign. i can't help but think if all that cleverness had been properly channeled we might have better cars and power plants on line by now.

there was a leaked memo from exxon or the american petroleum institute a few years ago that stated something like "incertainty is our product" and "victory will be achieved when we've confused the public" (i'm sure some of you google experts can find the exact quotes). the plan is exactly like that of cigarette companies in the 70s - in fact some of the same lawyers/PR people are working on it. though i imagine some of these people are going to "h-e-double toothpicks" after their work is done here, again, i admit a grudging respect for the effectiveness of their campaign.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 17, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

One thing I haven't seen mentioned is the quote from our fearless leader, inventor of the internet, aka the ozone man. Remember he said we whould all be fried by now because of the ozone hole!

He's making a ton of money on this lastest craze!

Posted by: Jimbo77 | March 17, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

he wasn't wrong about that. scientists told us the problem was CFCs. i'm sure gore must have said something like "if we don't regulate CFC emissions we'll all be fried." we regulated CFC emissions and the problem is going away.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 17, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Yes, the US regulated CFCs but most of the rest of the world didn't! Sorry!!!!

Posted by: Jimbo77 | March 17, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Actually, the US was followed closely by the European Union, who I believe restricted CFC production/use in the late 90s. Even China has begun restricting CFC's as of several years ago. Still it hasn't reversed the problem as the largest ever ozone hole over the Antarctic was recorded in 2006.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | March 17, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

brian and jimbo77,
i found this on a nasa website:

The most recent world resolution regarding the problem of ozone depletion is the Montreal Protocol. The original Montreal Protocol was signed in the fall of 1987, based on negotiations started between european-scandinavian countries and the US over CFC's in aerosol sprays in 1983. The protocol has gone through a series of revisions (each one named after the city where the revision committee met) as new information from science and industry has become available. The latest one, held in Copenhagan in November of 1992, laid down the most stringent CFC phase-out schedule for CFC's for the world to date; and was signed by over 100 nations representing 95% of the world's current CFC consumption.

and, maybe one of you scientists can help me out here, but i believe current thinking is that since the regulations depletion has slowly started to reverse. and it may take 20-50 years before the problem is "solved".

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 17, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

It is hard to take a conference like the this one seriously when the first speaker in the first session doesn't believe that the changes of carbon dioxide in the past century are anthropogenic. And he wasn't the only speaker on the schedule arguing that. And it isn't a large schedule.

Even Fred Singer, skeptic-extraordinaire who never met a piece of science evidence that might support any regulation that he isn't willing to argue against, has been quoted as saying that skeptics need to drop the "natural CO2 rise" argument.

Posted by: marcusmarcus | March 17, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Bob Ryan here,

I'm happy to discuss what I have written in my 6 part series, answer questions, respond to comments about the science. As I outlined in my introduction, a few weeks ago, I will make every attempt to stay away from the politics and personal agendas. My only "agenda" is the best understanding possible for all of us of the science behind the global warming/change, climate change issue. I'd prefer not use the word "debate" since I'm sure not, as a snow lover, going to say, "Yea I'm in favor of global warming". I'm comfortable with my science credentials and background. For those interested I did have a couple links in my tome to publications and have my M.S. in atmospheric science from The University at Albany and worked for a number of years in the area of cloud physics before drifting into broadcast meteorology. I certainly am not a research climatologist but as a trained scientist/researcher in atmospheric science have tried to keep up to date on the science and in my series did try and lead readers to what I hope is an objective journey to better understand an often too political and even emotional subject. So I'm certainly happy to respond to Mr. Valentine and others. I'll try and respond quickly . . .as long as the weather and my "day job" stay reasonably quiet.

Bob Ryan

Posted by: bobryan1 | March 18, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Responding to comments here should not require much effort on your part, since very few of them do not have a political or personal agenda. Over 4 years of posting on the subject at CWG and at the predecessor site, only a microscopic percentage have ever been interested in the science.

Posted by: CapitalClimate | March 18, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

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