Think Tank Reverses Course on Climate Lobbying
* Related Story: The Sureness of Global Warming Skeptics *
When the Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based free-market think tank, sponsored a conference of climate change skeptics in D.C. earlier this month, it directly contradicted the group's assertion that it was not attempting to influence policy in Washington as stated to CWG only three months ago. It also signaled a willingness on the part of climate change skeptics to exert renewed influence in Washington as Congress considers expansive climate change legislation.
Up until this latest conference, Heartland had maintained that its sponsorship of the "International Conferences on Climate Change" was not aimed at lobbying Washington. But the Institute's stated purpose for the June 2 conference was "to expose Congressional staff and journalists to leading scientists and economists in the nation's capital" who "support the view that global warming is not a crisis and that immediate action to reduce emissions is not necessary." This comes at a time when many scientists have been arguing that delaying emissions reductions further will only incur greater economic, environmental and social risks.
Keep reading for more on the Heartland Institute's change of heart on climate lobbying...
CWG questioned Heartland Institute president Joseph Bast last week on the purpose of the D.C. meeting. In an email exchange, Bast stated: "The general purpose of this conference was the same [as earlier conferences]... to demonstrate the breadth and depth of support for the global warming realist position in the scientific community. The reason we moved up the date, changed the location, and presented a shorter schedule ... was to bring our message to elected officials in Washington D.C. in time to inform the debate over climate and energy policy."
These statements are in direct conflict with a letter Bast sent to CWG in March, which came in response to a story on a similar Heartland Institute conference that took place in New York that month. At that time, Bast stated, "Our purpose is to bring scientists, economists, and policy experts together to address issues overlooked or ignored by the IPCC [the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] .... 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."
| June 18, 2009; 1:15 PM ET
Categories: Climate Change, Freedman, News & Notes
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