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Global-Warming Skeptics Raise A Storm In New York

"Human contribution is small, probably not zero, and it's small compared to these other factors which we cannot change," such as the sun and ocean currents, said one conference participant.
"Human contribution is small, probably not zero, and it's small compared to these other factors which we cannot change," such as the sun and ocean currents, said one conference participant.
By Nikola Krastev
NEW YORK -- These are tough times to be a skeptic about global warming.

Two years ago, an international United Nations panel concluded with near certainty that human activity plays a role in the planet's rising temperatures. And now, the new U.S. administration has vowed to spearhead international efforts to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

But more than 600 people gathered in New York City this week at the International Conference on Climate Change say they are up to the challenge.

Joseph Bast, president of the Heartland Institute, which organized the conference, argues that the extent and causes of global warming are far from proven. The goal of the gathering, he tells RFE/RL, is to provide a forum to challenge people like former U.S. Vice President Al Gore with a healthy dose of skepticism.

"We think we have a great story to tell that more and more prominent scientists are coming out saying global warming is not a crisis, that the question of what causes it and how extensive it's going to be are wide open in the scientific community," Bast said.

"And that message is not effectively reaching enough people," he adds. "So, by holding an event like this we hope that we can get the attention of more people and eventually have an effect on public policy."

There is a special urgency at this year's gathering. Governments around the world are working on plans to further tax greenhouse-gas emissions, while U.S. President Barack Obama has proposed to roll greenhouse-gas emissions back to their 1990s levels.

'Vehicle For Government Intervention'

But many conference participants say those efforts are misguided. Those who acknowledge global warming is happening say the Earth is going through a natural, periodic cycle, with industrial activity contributing very little to the process.
By the ideology which uses or misuses it -- it has gradually turned into the most efficient vehicle for advocating extensive government intervention into all fields of life and for suppressing human freedom and economic prosperity.


The Heartland Institute bills itself as a free-market think tank. Until 2006, the Chicago-based group received money from oil giant Exxon Mobil, although that has now stopped. The institute has not shied away from taking up other controversial causes. For example, it also seeks to decrease high taxes on cigarettes and curbs on smokers.

The keynote speech was delivered by Czech President Vaclav Klaus, who has become well-known for his opinions on the issue. Speaking to students at Columbia University a day later, he reaffirmed his vocal opposition to the concept that global warming is man-made.

"The problem is not global warming," Klaus said. "By the ideology which uses or misuses it -- it has gradually turned into the most efficient vehicle for advocating extensive government intervention into all fields of life and for suppressing human freedom and economic prosperity."

'An Overstated Truth'?

Al Gore has won worldwide acclaim for his environmental activities and especially for raising awareness about climate change with the film "An Inconvenient Truth." In 2007 he won the Nobel Peace Prize along with the UN panel for his climate-change-awareness activities.

Bast of the Heartland Institute argues that although Gore is the most prominent spokesman for the man-made climate-change cause, his arguments lie "way outside the mainstream scientific community."

Czech President Vaclav Klaus is a well-known skeptic of climate change.
"Very few qualified scientists would say that Al Gore and what he says in his film is accurate. He grossly overstates the possibility of sea-level rise for example," Bast says.

"There's simply no peer-reviewed scientific literature that would justify predictions of a 20-foot [6-meter] rise in sea level, and yet that's very prominent in his film."

Dr. Howard MacCabee, an oncologist in California and a conference participant, says that even very liberal estimates show that industrial pollution by itself has negligible or little effect on global warming.

"Human contribution is small, probably not zero, and it's small compared to these other factors which we cannot change. We cannot change the sun, we cannot change [the sun's] multidecadal oscillations, we can't change ocean currents, we can't stop El Nino," MacCabee says.

"El Nino was the biggest spike on the temperature for the past 40 years. That was in 1998 and the hottest year in our recent history was the 1998, the year of El Nino, which has nothing to do with CO2 [carbon dioxide]," he adds.

For now, the conference participants seem to be losing the argument.

A recent opinion poll in the United States showed that 58 percent of respondents believe climate change is at least partly caused by humans. But another poll, by the Pew Research Center, indicates that in these times of economic turmoil, addressing climate change is not a top priority for many Americans.
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by: JER0ME from: Sydney, Australia
March 10, 2009 13:17
Individuals CAN prevent Global Warming<br /><br />I am not completely convinced CO2 has anything to do with Global Warming. That notwithstanding, I am certain that reducing our reliance on fossil fuels is both a good idea and necessary, for a large number of obvious reasons.<br /><br />The good news is that we can all make a difference. It goes way beyond buying a few (polluting) low energy light bulbs, and will have a real impact if even half of those concerned about Global Warming follow the proposals. The beauty is that even if only half do this, it makes no difference what the rest do! Renewable energy will become cheaper than fossil fuels with enough investment in the technology, and everyone will move over naturally!<br /><br />Firstly, buy renewable energy. <br /><br />As far as I am aware, you have the choice to buy renewable electricity in all developed countries. If you cannot now, you should campaign for that inalienable right immediately. Currently our own household buys 25% of our electricity as renewable, costing us about US$33 extra per year. 100% would cost US$183)*.<br /><br />Some argue that if millions of householders (and industries, I would hope) buy renewable energy, there will not be enough. If you do not buy it, there will NEVER be enough. If you do, the money will be used to INVEST in infrastructure for future renewable energy, so making the expense just as effective.<br /><br />Merely by choosing to buy this, you are immediately and directly investing in the renewable energy industry, and sending a powerful and undeniable message to those who matter, the people who actually generate electricity, not environmentalists or politicians who may have different agenda.<br /><br />Secondly, stop investing in 'Big Oil' and 'Big Coal'.<br /><br />It comes as a shock to many ordinary citizens to be told that the huge greedy corporations actually make money for THEM, not for some faceless consortium. Sure, corporate flunkies may make millions of dollars, but WE, as investors, make billions, and even trillions. Their huge payouts and massive junkets are insignificant compared to the profits the companies make for their investors.<br /><br />You may well think that you do not invest in these companies, but if you have a pension or investment fund, you almost certainly do. These funds will, quite obviously, be invested in the very companies that make the most profits and returns for their investors. All these corporations are doing is actually acting effectively YOUR instruction, ie to get the best possible return. If WE stop investing in them, they fail, and will be forced to change their practices to survive in a capitalist environment.<br /><br />The answer is to choose ethical investments (there may be different names). Talk to your financial adviser and make the switch now. ONLY YOU control your investments. Make the choice and stop letting others do it for you.<br /><br />The message is that YOU control the future of energy production with your wallets. The bad news is that it will cost, but nothing the environmentalists or governments will ever do about this issue will cost you less than this, and most of what they want to do will take control away from you and waste most of your expenditure in bureaucratic bungling and misguided foolishness, in my opinion. This simple two-step approach has all the potential to work and with no complex side effects that I can see immediately. It has a direct and immediate effect. <br /><br />It is so rare that we are able to do something so straightforward in this complex world. If Global Warming concerns you, I urge you to put your money where your mouth is, and make an immediate difference TODAY, before the power is taken away from you.<br /><br />* Based on a usage of 5,000 kWh of electricity.<br />Source: http://www.originenergy.com.au/1142/Green-energy-FAQs#extracost<br /><br />http://www.carbonclimate.info/2009/03/individuals-can-prevent-global-warming.html

by: Ol' JB from: S.C.
March 10, 2009 13:21
The attempts by certain powerful people to use scare tactics about &quot;global warming&quot; appear to be a thinly-disguised effort to justify more and more government control over the daily activities of businesses and people in general.

by: Frank Nord from: Montreal
March 10, 2009 13:34
Kinda conflict of interest, no? Devious though Exxon Mobil, very devious. In the long littany of ecological crime, you're easily enemy number one.<br />From Valdeez, to depletion of the earth's fossil fuels to CO2 emissions to your pathetic attempts to &quot;green&quot; your corporate image through a spate of twisted TV commercials, you take the cake.

by: Fillo
March 10, 2009 13:55
Human activities are a small drop in a very large bucket when it comes to the Earth's warming. I am all for alternative energy as a means of saving money and becoming more self sufficient, as well as bettering our own health (not breathing in so many pollutants).

by: Mike from: Washington State, USA
March 10, 2009 15:28
Not bad journalism on this issue, but, nevertheless, the mention of Exxon was a cheap shot. How often, in the onslaught of articles on man-made global warming and the horrors that await us because of it, are the sources of funding for THAT point of view brought into question? I have never seen such an article in mainstream media. Also, the RFE/RL article infers by omission that Heartland is the only organization that disagrees with IPCC findings and also quotes and oncologist, inferring that climatologists and geophysicists are not part of the numbers who are skeptics. For the truth, do an internet search of &quot;global warming skeptics&quot; and you will find hundreds of highly qualified detractors from the status quo. Read their qualifications, read their opinions. Educate yourselves!!

by: Antonio Sosa from: Florida
March 10, 2009 15:41
Thinking people all over the world are realizing that man-made global warming is a hoax that threatens our future and the future of our children. The Pope is right about the dangerous dogma of the environmentalist movement. So is Vaclav Klaus, president of the European Union, when he states that &quot;environmentalism is the new communism and climate change is a DANGEROUS myth.&quot;<br /><br />In agreement with the Pope and Klaus, more than 650 international scientists dissented last over the man-made global warming claims. They are more than 12 times the number of UN scientists (52) who authored the media-hyped IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers.

by: Earl_E from: Jacksonville
March 10, 2009 16:21
Energy. Human energy. A Chevron commercial. Ford, 29 mpg and smart cars. Bagdad, oil, terrorism.<br /><br />Seem like all you see on commercial and PBS television are ads for cars, gasoline, and news stories on Bagdad bombings.<br /><br />Do you feel like the world revolves around oil?<br /><br />Is your countries foreign policy more about access to oil, and your military spending more about keeping sea lanes open and pipelines secure?<br /><br />A free market is what lacks in the energy markets. This oil socialism has not only bled our military, it has now pushed our economy over the edge and bankrupted America.<br /><br />And these guys want to argue it has no impact.<br /><br />Not going to even address the emmissions, air, water and soil poisoning... just want you to know OIL is the spiralling down drag on the economy... <br /><br />Oil is why we live in an embedded socialistic energy economy, and if Exxon had to pay for the military cover, oil would have been replaced 50 years ago by electric.<br /><br />Profits as if climate and people don't matter. If it is economically feasable to destroy the world, we will.

by: WestHighlander from: Lexington, MA
March 10, 2009 16:22
5 Quick Points:<br />1) CO2 is the fuel of life itself -- without CO2 -- no plants, no bugs, no birds, no fish and no people, etc. -- Earth is a dead rock<br />2) It is the Sun that makes it possible for life on the Earth -- no Sun -- no plants... -- Earth is a ball of ice<br />3) Without human intervention it has been both warmer and cooler than it currently is and -- we have more often thrived in a warmer climate than the opposite<br />4) Contrary to the statements in the AlGore Opus -- the geological record of CO2 and proxies for the global temperature indicate that increases in CO2 have lagged global temperature -- typically by hundreds of years<br />5) From geological data on Carbon 14 (radio-carbon) and Beryllium 10 as proxies of Solar activity and recent direct observation -- Solar activity varies on many timescales from minutes to millennia -- more solar activity has tended to precede increased global temperatures -- solar activity had recently been very high (so-called Grand Maximum) -- however -- for the past two years it has been very very low<br /><br />Moral of the story -- Mot likely -- It's the Sun that is responsible for the recent mild climate -- and we might be in for a Cold and unpleasant near future

by: Ron Cram from: Irvine CA
March 10, 2009 19:13
Actually, since 2007 a number of important peer-reviewed papers have been published indicating AGW will probably not catastrophic. Each of these papers were published after the IPCC cutoff date so they could not be included in the AR4. The important papers include the climate sensitivity estimate by Stephen Schwartz of Brookhaven National Lab, a new low climate sensitivity estimate (looking at CO2 and aerosols) by Petr Chylek of Los Alamos National Lab, a new negative feedback over the tropics by Roy Spencer of UAH (potentially confirming the Iris hypothesis posed by Richard Lindzen of MIT). Many more articles are worthy of mention but space will not allow. Spencer and Lindzen are presenting at the Heartland Conference, as are William Cotton, Stephen McIntyre, Craig Loehle and many more people with impressive publication records. Most skeptics feel the tide as turned on the science and they are now vindicated.

by: Antonio Sosa from: Florida
March 10, 2009 21:33
Man-made global warming is a hoax that threatens our future and the future of our children. <br /><br />Thinking people all over the world are realizing that man-made global warming is a hoax that threatens our future and the future of our children. More than 650 international scientists dissented last year over the man-made global warming claims. They are more than 12 times the number of UN scientists (52) who authored the media-hyped IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers. http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&amp;ContentRecord_id=2674e64f-802a-23ad-490b-bd9faf4dcdb7<br /><br />Additionally, more than 31,000 American scientists have signed onto a petition that states, &quot;There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate…&quot; http://www.petitionproject.org/index.html<br /><br />&quot;Progressive&quot; (communist) politicians like Obama seem determined to force us to swallow the man-made global warming scam. We need to defend ourselves from the UN and these politicians, who threaten our future and the future of our children. Based on a lie, they have already wasted billions and plan to increase taxes, limit development, and enslave us. <br /><br />If not stopped, the global warming scam will enrich the scammers (Gore and Obama’s Wall Street friends), increase the power of the U.N. and communists like Obama, and multiply poverty and servitude for the rest of us.
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