Climate Reality Forum Confronts U.N.’s COP25 Meeting with Science

Published December 19, 2019

The Heartland Institute hosted a Climate Reality Forum in Madrid with an international cast of scientists and policy analysts to balance the discussion at the 25th Conference of the Parties (COP 25) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The five-hour event featured presentations on climate science and policy by experts from Canada, Chile, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Speakers included physicist Guus Berkout, Ph.D.; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hurricane researcher Stanley Goldenberg; award-winning physicist Will Happer, Ph.D., a former top science advisor to President Donald Trump; Tom Harris, executive director of the International Climate Science Coalition; and Lord Christopher Monckton.

Wolfgang Muller, director of the European Institute on Klimate and Energy; Douglas Pollock, a civil engineer from Chile; youth climate activist Naomi Seibt; James Taylor, director of the Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy at The Heartland Institute; and meteorologist Anthony Watts, a senior fellow with The Heartland Institute, also spoke at the conference.

Trump Administration Perspective

Happer was the headline speaker at the on December 3 event, making his first public comments since returning to Princeton University from the Trump administration in October 2019.

Happer said human greenhouse gas emissions are not creating a climate crisis and are having much less effect on global temperatures than climate models have predicted. Happer also outlined many of the benefits of higher atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, including a dramatic greening of the Earth as more carbon dioxide serves as aerial fertilizer for crops and vegetation.

Happer joined Taylor and Heartland Institute Director of Communications Jim Lakely for a discussion of insights gained working for Trump. Happer said Trump firmly agrees with climate realists that humans are not causing a climate crisis, and he expressed some disappointment the people in charge of Trump’s reelection campaign are deemphasizing climate change.

Happer concluded by expressing confidence Trump will continue to advance a sound-science agenda if elected to a second term.

Temperature Data Corruption

Watts showed most official temperature stations are corrupted by artificial heat sources and other factors giving the appearance of greater warming in recent decades than has been measured by satellites and by instruments aboard atmospheric balloons.

In addition, government gatekeepers “homogenize” the surface temperature readings to accentuate the corrupted, artificially warm readings while minimizing more accurate, cooler readings, Watts said. Also, government bureaucrats consistently readjust temperature readings from the early twentieth century downward, making current readings appear to show more warming than has actually occurred, Watts said.

Hurricanes Not Getting Worse

Goldenberg said there is no signal indicating hurricanes are becoming more frequent or severe as the planet warms, presenting data showing hurricanes long ago were just as frequent and powerful as the hurricanes today blamed on anthropogenic climate change.

With no statistical trend of worsening hurricane activity, claims made by activists, international bureaucrats, and some scientists that global warming is making hurricanes worse conflict with the best available science, Goldenberg said.

Taylor said even the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) acknowledges the lack of evidence the recent warming trend is intensifying hurricanes. Taylor quoted the IPCC’s 2018 Interim Report, which states, “There is low confidence in any observed long-term (i.e., 40 years or more) increases in tropical cyclone activity (i.e., intensity, frequency, duration).”

Chile’s Climate Riots

Pollock recounted how the Chilean government brought about the civil unrest that ultimately forced Santiago, Chile, to abandon plans to host COP25, which was moved at the last minute to Madrid, Spain to take place in the first two weeks of December.

Recently imposed carbon dioxide taxes and renewable energy projects caused a dramatic spike in Chilean electricity costs, making the country’s energy prices the highest in South America, Pollock said. When the Chilean government also switched the Santiago Metro rail system to renewable power, the resulting fare increase spurred citizens to take to the streets in protest.

The steep energy price hikes and resulting civil unrest could have been avoided had the Chilean government prioritized energy affordability over currying favor with the U.N.’s climate establishment, said Pollock.

‘Insult to Science’

Nineteen-year-old German YouTube personality Naomi Seibt closed out the forum by chronicling her loss of belief in a climate crisis and resulting conversion to climate realism.

“I was an innocent young girl, and I thought that by hugging trees I could save the planet,” Seibt said.

After factchecking the assertions of her teachers and the media, Seibt realized propaganda was trumping science in the climate change debate, she told the audience.

“It is important we keep questioning the narrative that is out there, instead of promoting it,” Seibt said. “These days, climate change science really isn’t science at all.

“They draw their conclusions before even testing their hypotheses,” Seibt said. “And they base their assumptions on completely incoherent models, which is just an insult to science itself.”

Media Success

In just 10 days, videos from Heartland’s Madrid Climate Reality Forum generated more than 280,000 views on YouTube, more than 4,000 comments, and 14,000 “likes,” resulting in a positive rating of 97 percent.

The event was covered by dozens of news outlets, both internationally and in the United States, including France TV, De Telegraph in the Netherlands, Spain’s Diary Now, and Breitbart News, the Daily Kos, and the Washington Times.

Heartland announced plans to host another Climate Reality Forum in October 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland, site of the U.N.’s COP26 meeting. The institute hosted a similar event at the 2018 U.N. COP24 meeting in Katowice, Poland.

James Taylor ([email protected]) is director of the Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy at The Heartland Institute.

Internet Info

Climate Reality Forum, The Heartland Institute, December 3, 2019: