Heartland Institute Climate Experts Respond to Obama Administration’s Climate Assessment Report

The Obama administration today released its third National Climate Assessment (NCA) predicting a series of calamities and urging action on the president’s climate agenda.

It stands in contrast to the conclusions of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, which released its latest scientific reports in September and March. A third report in the Climate Change Reconsidered series is due this summer to coincide with the Ninth International Conference on Climate Change from July 7–9 in Las Vegas.

The following statements from climate policy experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 312/731-9364.

“This laughably misleading report is the predictable result when hard-core environmental activists are chosen to write up a climate assessment for, and subject to the approval and revisions of, the Obama administration. It is like the punch line to a bad joke: ‘How many environmental activists does it take to put together an alarmist global warming report?’

“Leading authors of this report include staffers for activist groups like the Union of Concerned Scientists, Planet Forward, The Nature Conservancy, and Second Nature. Few objective climate experts will take this report seriously. Even those scientists who are not overtly affiliated with environmental activist groups were almost uniformly on the record as global warming alarmists before being chosen to write this report. The only real surprise in the report is it didn’t take the opportunity to trumpet the Union of Concerned Scientists’ call for U.S. unilateral nuclear disarmament.

“It would take a whole squadron of environmental activists years to come up with the whoppers told in this report. The report falsely asserts that global warming is causing more extreme weather events, more droughts, more record high temperatures, more wildfires, warmer winters, etc., when each and every one of these false assertions is contradicted by objective, verifiable evidence. It reads like a press release from The Nature Conservancy and the Union of Concerned Scientists – probably because it essentially is a press release from The Nature Conservancy and the Union of Concerned Scientists.”

James M. Taylor
Senior Fellow for Environmental Policy
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“The Obama administration’s climate report comes at a time when numerous polls demonstrate that climate change is a low priority for most Americans. A Wall Street Journal/NBC poll in January found climate change ranked last on a list of l5 issues when people were asked what the administration should make its priorities.

“What a different nation America could be were it not for Obama’s deliberate attack on the coal industry and other fossil fuels sources. In the name of reducing emissions climatologists believe play a minor role in climate change, Obama deliberately ignores the increasing use of coal in nations like China, Japan, and India. Nothing the U.S. does will impact the climate when the use of fossil fuels by other nations is factored in.”

Alan Caruba
Founder, The National Anxiety Center
Policy Advisor, The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“This report is a misdirection. Obama has entered his 2nd term lame duck status and with climate executive orders he does not need Congress to “do something” about global warming.  

“This report is contrary to peer-reviewed studies and observations. By every measure, so called extreme weather is showing no trend or declining trends on 50-100 year timescales. Droughts, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes are not increasing due to man-made global warming. 

“Why does the report now call ‘global warming’ a new name, so-called ‘climate disruption’? Simple answer: Due to earth’s failure to warm — no global warming for nearly 18 years – another name was necessary to attempt to gin up fear. Now every storm is offerred up as some sort of ‘proof’ of global warming. 

“This report is pre-determined science. Choose scientists and activists who agree with your political climate narrative and then have them endorse scary predictions of future.”

Marc Morano
Climate Depot
[email protected]

“The prime rule of politics is that things are seldom as good as is hoped or as bad as is feared. Obama came to office in a global swell of hope for ‘change’ to the better. Sadly, his performance has resulted in little of substance.To call it disappointing would be charitable. The current effort of his administration to revive the fading climate alarm smacks of desperation to rekindle faltering hope. If nothing else it seems singularly ill-timed and inappropriate.

“The mild warming trend that sparked the global warming scare has ceased for almost two decades, and a mild cooling now appears to be taking place. In recent years the rate of sea-level rise has declined, hurricanes and tornadoes are at record lows, polar sea ice is increasing and blizzards, droughts and floods are below past extremes. Attributing every extreme of weather to climate change is not reasonable, not science and not honest.

“Suddenly declaring an emergency because some researchers claim to have detected  an average warming of three-quarters of a degree amidst a very noisy global temperature record spanning over 100 degrees seems a bit of an overreaction when a similar amount of warming commonly takes place many mornings while we are eating breakfast. To add to the doubt, we have no idea how much of any purported warming might be due to fossil fuel use and how much may be due to measurement error, urban warming, ‘adjustments’ to the record and natural causes of variability. Even more absurd is that the only global effect of increased CO2 about which we are reasonably sure is a significant greening of arid regions and enhancement of food production.

“Meanwhile, back in the real world, major problems with unemployment, ballooning debt, unaffordable health care and education, debasement of basic rights, ongoing police state development, uncontrolled immigration and economic stagnation are all being left to fester while the administration tilts at windmills in a desperate search for popular approval. These are all hugely more certain, pressing and addressable problems than is some unknown degree of possible climate change a century from now.

“Climate change from fossil fuel emissions increasingly appears to have been greatly overestimated and in any event is likely to be rendered irrelevant by advances in technology. If Obama manages to implement a large scale climate change initiative his greatest ‘success’ may well prove to be in addressing a problem which never really existed and doing so when the rest of the world was backing away from such effort.”

Walter Starck
Policy Advisor, Environment
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

The Heartland Institute is a 30-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.