Heartland Institute Experts Comment on Obama’s Climate Speech at United Nations

President Obama today addressed the Climate Summit at the United Nations, promising to take more executive actions at home, and work more closely with other countries abroad, to fight climate change.

The following statements from environment 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.

“President Obama may be taking the lead on new global warming initiatives, but few world leaders critical to the success of any prominent climate agreement appear willing to follow. The leaders of China, India, Russia, and Germany are all skipping the U.N. climate gathering. Since they are among the largest CO2 emitters, without their agreement, CO2 will continue to rise whatever America and the rest of the world does.

“The thing is, they’ve finally recognized the climate farce for what it is: a giant wealth transfer scheme from the poor in rich countries to the rich in poor countries.

“While Obama commits to squandering U.S. taxpayers’ hard-earned money subsidizing green energy schemes in poor countries, the leaders of China, India, Russia, and Germany are concentrating on improving economic conditions in their own countries.

“Unable to get an ineffective, costly climate treaty through the Senate, Obama has evidently decided to burnish his environmental credentials and cement his green legacy with measures which sound good but will ultimately do nothing to prevent climate change and will inevitably harm our economy. I guess that will be the next president’s problem to deal with.”

H. Sterling Burnett
Research Fellow, Environment & Energy Policy
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, Environment & Climate News
[email protected]

“This is nothing but the latest round of executive orders that will bypass Congress and probably violate the U.S. Constitution. Don’t forget that in July 1997, the United States Senate voted unanimously against the very initiatives now proposed by President Obama. Those senators included current Obama cabinet members John Kerry and Chuck Hagel.

S. Fred Singer
Senior Fellow, Environment
The Heartland Institute
Science and Environmental Policy Project
[email protected]

“President Obama’s climate agenda will succeed in sending our nation into poverty. Many of his programs promote needless spending of tax dollars on renewable energy sources of wind, solar, ethanol from corn, other biofuels, etc. that are not competitive with abundant, inexpensive, and geographically distributed coal, oil, and natural gas. For a nation going into debt about $1.5 billion per day, these intrusions into the marketplace cause debt to spiral out of control.

“There is a vast amount of experimental data showing increased atmospheric carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels has a negligible effect on global warming or using President Obama’s term ‘climate change.’ The most obvious at this time is the pause in global warming the past 17 years in which increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide is the highest in a millennia. Using unworkable computer models for global climate change policy shows a total lack of common sense.”

James H. Rust
Professor of nuclear engineering (Ret.), Georgia Tech
Policy Advisor
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“The critical scientific measure of whether or not increased atmospheric carbon dioxide will cause significant global warming is the sensitivity of the earth’s temperatures to a doubling of carbon dioxide. Since 1979, the estimate has been 1.5 ºC to 4.5 ºC — about 3º to 8ºF. U.S. government reports estimate U.S. expenditures on climate change top $165 billion, with over $35 billion given to climate science between 1993 and 2013. Yet, the latest report (2013) by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change places the sensitivity at 1.5 ºC to 4.5 ºC, the same as it was 35 years ago.

“The simple fact is that there has been no warming of the atmosphere for over a decade and no warming of the surface for over 15 years, which government-funded climate science cannot explain. The failure of the government to advance scientific knowledge provides a clear illustration of the problems in critical assumptions in the research, as well as how the research is being conducted. All the pomp of the UN and its activities cannot hide these deficiencies.

“Further spending on climate change is unjustified until these deficiencies are directly addressed with a comprehensive understanding of the natural causes of global warming/climate change — a topic which is largely ignored or minimized by government-financed science.”

Kenneth Haapala
Executive Vice President
Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
[email protected]

“President Obama’s speech to the United Nations regarding climate change ignores the fact that humanity has nothing to do with the changes that occur in the Earth’s climate and has never played a role in affecting or influencing those changes. They are part of massive and natural cycles from warmth to coolness and back again that have occurred over the course of billions of years. They are all related to the cycles of the Sun and are influenced by our atmosphere, our oceans, volcanic activity, and other factors far beyond anything humanity can alter. Moreover, they occur over periods that reflect centuries, such as the last mini-ice age that lasted from 1300 to 1850.

“To suggest that the United Nations or any other global form of governance has anything to do with the climate is false. This is about depriving people of their freedom.”

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

“Obama only offers hypothetical solutions to imaginary climate change in a vague distant future as a distraction from the real and growing social, economic, political and military problems that have been left to fester under his administration.”

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

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