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Climate Hustle

Heartland takes climate foolishness to a Biblical level

Posted on 28 April 2015 by John Abraham

I just received a notice that made me laugh. The Heartland Institute, one of the groups responsible for misleading the public about climate change, sent out a notice about an upcoming Papal event. The event itself sounds great, it is a workshop on April 28th to address global warming. I have written about the bold action taken by Pope Francis; he is clearly a leader amongst the faith community on this topic which is already having large societal and human health impacts. At the upcoming events, world leaders in science, business, and religion will congregate to work toward solutions to help protect the most vulnerable. 

Of course, this is all bad news for those who are trying to sweep the problem of climate change under the rug. That brings us to the Heartland Institute. They are asking their members and readers to tell the Pope that climate change is not a crisis. In an email I received, it is stated that Heartland will be bringing “real scientists to Rome” to dissuade the Pope from taking climate change seriously.

So, who are these “real” scientists that can show us climate change either isn’t happening or isn’t serious? Well, if you’ve followed climate change research over the past few years, you will have noticed that the number of scientists who share Heartland’s view is dwindling fast. The few remaining scientists either aren’t climate scientists at all or their work has been revealed as faulty.

Feel free to click on the Heartland list of “experts”. There you will find “experts” such as Steve Goreham, an electrical engineer who wrote a nonsense book on climate change that was filled with factual errors and misinterpretations, as I discussed here. Another so-called “expert” is S. Akasofu who has written an article on climate change that was soundly debunked here

There are other so-called experts include people such as Paul Chesser who works at the National Legal and Policy Center, Sterling Brunett who is an advisor for the conservative organization ALEC, Marc Morano who spent years working for Rush Limbaugh and was an advisor and speech writer for Senator Inhofe, and James Taylor, who reportedly has degrees in government and law. Perhaps the best known scientist among their list is the famous Willie Soon, who has been in the news lately for working on climate change without properly disclosing funding. 

So which of these “experts” will Heartland be sending to Rome to instruct the Pope? I daresay the Pontifical Academy of Sciences is quite capable of serving as a resource to the Pope. They are quite clear in their understanding of the threat ofclimate change. Their conclusions are backed by scientists and science organizations from around the world.

I teach at a Catholic University. As a professor at such an institution, I am proud that the Pope is living a Catholic mission of caring for those who are being impacted by climate change. It is clear that people of faith around the globe are taking more seriously the impact today’s actions have on future generations. It is hard to imagine a motivation more crucial than that of faith to help us move to rational and just solutions to this common problem.

For further perspective, my colleague Dr. Bernard Brady, Professor and Chair of the Theology Department at the University of St. Thomas said,

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Comments

Comments 1 to 18:

  1. I suggest firmly supporting your neck and head before reading on...

    I will not dignify this with a link, but it is from the Heartland website and googling all or part of the quote will show that is true.

    ...The Vatican workshop is already being presented by the liberal media as an endorsement by the Catholic Church of policies that are profoundly anti-poor and anti-life. ...

    Good Stewardship

    Most people agree that safeguarding creation – and being a good steward of the environment – is a high moral obligation. If human activity posed a genuine threat to the world’s climate, then some action would be appropriate. But global warming alarmists wave off any evidence that the threat is small or even nonexistent, and they call for policies that would shut down virtually all economic activity around the world. These unnecessary policies would cause the suffering and even death of billions of people. All people of faith should rise up in opposition to such policies.

    Certain persons currently scheduled to speak at the workshop, including UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon and Jeffrey Sachs, director of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, are outspoken advocates of the man-made global warming hypothesis. They and other climate alarmists have misrepresented the facts, concocted false data, and tried to shut down a reasonable, scientific debate on the issue of climate change. This conduct violates the Eighth Commandment: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”...

    Lecturing the Pope on the eighth commandment while breaking it to bits!!! Gotta say they have some lot of hutzpah! Actually something tells me they googled "what is the Catholic Church against" and just worked in every catch phrase they could into a word salad. It certainly doesn't display the depth of scholarship I'd expect from, say, a Jesuit-trained writer.

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  2. Over the past few days, I have been posting links to articles about the Pope's initiatives on the SkS Facebook page. This week's News Roundup will also include a number of articles on this topic.

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  3. The pontifical Acadamy will tear heartlands "expert" a new one!

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  4. It is important to not refer to the Heartland Institute as a 'religion based group'. They are simply one of the many groups created by the collective of people who want to be able to get away with their desired but unacceptable attitudes and activity. Some of the groups created by this collective of callous greedy and intolerant people try to disguise themselves as 'religious'. Others claim to be objective investigators of economic matters. Heartland does boh the religious and economic masked nonsense.

    All such disguised groups make selective use and misrepresentation of information, including selective parts of religious texts, as the basis for their claims. They will try to claim things even though it is possible to better understand the objective truth that has recently developed about those things. And religious objective truth seekers will indeed justifiably tear apart and dismiss claims made by such people.

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  5. As stated on their website, Heartland is a libertarian/free market economic policy group.  Their ventures into religion as are far off-topic from their stated purpose as their ventures into scientific research.

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  6. "Policy group", i.e. lobbyists. 

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  7. What does the Heartland Institute and Satan, Prince of Darkness have in common. . .

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    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Very close to the line here.

  8. The articles I've read on this included comments from another Heartland Inst. representative, Lord Christopher Moncton, whose reputation as a "top climate scientist" is well known to readers of SkS.

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  9. OPOF writes: "It is important to not refer to the Heartland Institute as a 'religion based group'."

    True enough they are a libertarian organization who count's the childishness of Ayn Rand as a profound Truth - their founders and members have roots in the Reaganomics doctrine that endless growth is possible, "too much is never enough" and that "greed is good".  

    But, challenge them on their talking points and it's nothing but silence.

    fyi - Sunday, April 26, 2015

    #11 Questions for Heartland's Burnett, re Dr. Mann and more -

    The CC/Steele Landscapesandcycles Debate

    http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com/2015/04/11heartland-drmann-ccsteeledebate.html

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  10. Didja ever notice that those who **claim** to believe in Intelligent Design are usually the ones most likely to muck that Intelligent Design all up?

    If you believe in Intelligent Design then how could you possibly justify mucking up the Intelligent Design that set CO2 levels for Human existance at ~270ppm by raising it to 400pmm, or in other words an imbalance of nearly 50% from the Intelligent Design?

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  11. Corrextion KR

    Not just Lobbyists but UNTAXED untaxed weakly Regulated Lobbyists .....

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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] The use of "all caps" constitutes shouting and is prohibited by the SkS Comments Policy.

  12. I take it this is mostly a non-US audience here .... Here's a little fact about American Politics that has been true since the 80's ...

    During an election year (I'm from Iowa, the first in the nation caucus/primary and believe me the 2016 election is already in full swing mode here) ALL Conservative groups become Religious Based Groups. All you have to do is see who the Republican/Conservative candidates are talking to here in Iowa and it's 90% religous based organizations

    When you say "radical right" today, I think of these moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others who are trying to take the Republican Party away from the Republican Party, and make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye.

    - Barry "The Last Conservative" Goldwater, 1994 Washington Post interview

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  13. @10, don't forget 440ppm is locked in!

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  14. Are italics Politically Coerrect for emphasis of certian words or phrasse that deserve emphasis? Writing is such a poor way to convey ideas compared to orally 

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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] The use of italics and/or bold font is acceptable.

  15. longjohn119, if you see it in the selection of modifications in the writing window, then it's ok.

    On the off chance that your comment was void of irony, I'll point out that superiority of the spoken word has not led to its being adopted by science as the primary means of communicating ideas.

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  16. Well DSL if that were even remotely true Science wouldn't be losing so badly to the Spoken Propagandists on the Right ...... They've been drubbing you guys for over 20 years and I just explained to you why that's true. 

     

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  17. longjohn, you said, "Writing is such a poor way to convey ideas compared to orally."  If that were true, scientific journals would be audio based.  Oral communication requires simplification of complex ideas.  

    But perhaps you meant to contextualize your claim more than you actually did.  Perhaps you meant to say that oral communicators get their ideas across more powerfully than scientists with their gobs and gobs of paragraphs.  Regardless, the written vs. oral argument has little to do with the trainwreck that occurs when science is communicated to the general public. 

    There are two primary conditions that allow "doubt-mongers" to be highly successful in their work.  The first is that these folk can misrepresent the science without being held accountable in any meaningful way.  The second is that the general public, by and large, has no basis for judging the truth value of a claim about the science.  None.  And so they turn to heuristics.  There's simply nothing else to do, other than checking out the claim by working through the scientific context for weeks, months, years (I've done this — seven years now I've been working through the published science in my spare time).  

    A tiny fraction of the general public who accept the theory of AGW can actually articulate the basic theory.  They simply trust scientists and/or the theory fits in with their environmental politics, anti-capitalist politics, etc. And those of the general public who doubt do so for similar, if opposing, reasons.  

    Where oral vs. written does enter into it is through the idea that writing forces a greater responsibility on the reader, because the ideas are always present (one can stop and re-read) and the mode allows more complexity.  Yet misrepresentation is just as easy in writing as it is on talk radio; all one needs is an audience that doesn't understand the science but already always knows what is right.

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  18. longjohn, I should have added that the problem I described is obvious, but that doesn't make it easy to solve.  The only way to solve it is through years of training in disciplined critical thinking, and that still doesn't always work (see the Dunning-Kruger effect).

    How much evidence should it take to convince someone that a proposition is true enough to act upon? Go to Las Vegas and you'll find thousands of people who doubt AGW yet spend tens of thousands of diollars on a crapshoot.  Wall Street preys on these types of people, people who just can't seem to apply consistent, disciplined thought and a mind not burdened with the bolted-down furniture of ideology.

    It's a mess.  The "drubbing" is not the fault of scientists.  The fault lies in a collection of social/cultural processes that has de-emphasized what's at stake in the arrangement of democracy.  Education is in the middle of those processes, but it's not the source of the problem. 

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