‘Declare Independence from Climate Hysteria,’ Physicist Says

Published May 18, 2017

Princeton University physicist William Happer provided the closing luncheon keynote address at The Heartland Institute’s 12th International Conference on Climate Change, telling attendees how to combat widespread “climate hysteria.”

Happer met with the Trump administration in January to discuss the position of director of the President’s Office of Science and Technology, which oversees federal science policy and research.

Warming ‘a Popular Delusion’

In his presentation, titled “Independence Now,” Happer said the current state of climate science indicates there is no need for hysterics, because the harms from carbon dioxide and climate change have been overblown.

“It’s time to declare independence from climate hysteria,” said Happer. “One of the things [climate realists] got to work hard on is to explain to the world … climate hysteria is just that: hysteria. We’re doing all sorts of stupid things. It’s a popular delusion we somehow have to bring to an end.”

Several facts should bring about independence from climate hysteria if the public becomes aware of them, Happer said. First, climate models don’t work. They fail to accurately portray historical temperature changes as carbon-dioxide levels have risen.

Second, the world’s climate changes regardless of carbon-dioxide levels, with the current change being mild compared to what’s been experienced in the past.

Third, increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide benefit humanity because carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. In fact, it’s essential to plant and animal life. Historically, Earth flourished at much higher carbon-dioxide levels than today’s level, Happer said. The planet becomes greener and crop yields increase with more carbon dioxide.

Fourth, it’s immoral to deprive the world of fossil fuels. People living in poverty need access to fossil fuels to raise themselves out of poverty, and it’s wrong to deny them such access based on rich nations’ climate hysteria.

To get these messages out to the American people, Trump should convene a “blue ribbon Team B,” panel, Happer said. The team would examine how well climate research is working, how well we understand the factors affecting climate, and whether the information climate researchers are providing is factual and evidence-based.

The ultimate goal of the Team B would be to “bring the facts about climate to the American people,” said Happer.

As an example of his Team B concept, Happer pointed to a commission created during the Ford administration in the 1970s to investigate the weaknesses of intelligence-gathering at agencies such as the CIA during the Cold War.

“[A Team B] certainly give us a lot more defensive weapons against Europeans and some of our own people who are fanatics about [climate change],” Happer said. “We need a government study with the imprimatur of the government. I have no doubt the realists will win in that study.”

Happer concluded his presentation by saying the American people need a new relationship with science and scientists.

“We have become the captives in the past few years of a scientific-technological elite,” Happer said, referring to the warning President Dwight Eisenhower issued in his 1961 farewell address concerning the dangers of federal funding of scientific research.

“Now is the time to declare independence from that,” Happer said.

Michael McGrady ([email protected]writes from Colorado Springs, Colorado.


William Happer, “Independence Now,” 12th International Conference on Climate Change, March 24, 2017: http://climateconferences.heartland.org/william-happer-iccc-12-keynote-independence-now/