Heartland Institute Experts React to Obama’s Effort to Link Human Health and Climate Change

The White House released a plan today called “Actions to Protect Communities From The Impacts of Climate Change,” which seeks to link global warming to threats to human health. The initiative includes several executive actions the administration will take in the coming months.

The following statements from environmental 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.

“Once again, the current administration reveals its utter disdain and contempt of scientific truth. Study after study published in the peer-reviewed literature demonstrate that the narrative of climate change alarmism, based on model projections, is crumbling under the weight of real world observations. Nowhere is this more evident than in discussions on the potential impacts of climate on human health, where observations consistently demonstrate that net human mortality and morbidity are reduced as global climate warms.

“Cold kills far more people than heat. Any warming that might occur from climate change in the future will save far more lives at the cold end of the temperature spectrum than those lost at the warm end, creating a net benefit for human health. It is inconceivable that the president and his administration would ignore such well-documented facts and promote policy that will actually cost lives! But then again, facts never seem to matter to ideologues, even if their actions cause more harm than good.”

Craig D. Idso
Senior Fellow, Environment
The Heartland Institute
Co-editor, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change
[email protected]
Dr. Idso is the lead author of Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts (2014).

“Until the president gets the science right, we can hardly expect him to provide sound leadership or good policies on climate change. Nearly everything the president said is wrong. Climate change, if it poses any true threat of harm, is at best a distant threat – with fewer, less severe hurricanes and greater crop yields, rather than the opposite, being the norm. As time goes by without temperatures rising, climate models predicting dangerous climate changes are becoming less and less credible. Linking asthma and children’s health problems to climate change is the worst form of hype. The president has no credible evidence to back up his claims, but rather he tries to use scary threats to children to push is unpopular climate agenda. Obama’s climate actions are likely to cause far more harm to people, especially the poor, than any purported threats from global warming.”

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

“When politicians talk about climate, I always wonder what they mean since things like radiative transfer and fluid mechanics are out of bounds in public discourse. Do they have anything remotely physical in mind? Increases in hurricane activity certainly have not happened. The rest of the old standard hyper-hyped indicators of climate change listed by the White House, including the one called ‘temperature,’ haven’t changed either.

“Apparently cases of asthma have grown, assuming numbers of past cases have not been adjusted downward for ‘calibration’ reasons. Is this what climate change means then? Global asthma-ing? If so, the surgeon general must now be regarded as a climate scientist. But what do I know? I am just a mathematician.”

Christopher Essex
Professor and Associate Chair
Department of Applied Mathematics
University of Western Ontario
[email protected]

“Earth’s climate always has changed, is always changing, and always will change – but not from fossil-fuel use. Solar fluctuations, deep ocean circulation patterns, and other powerful natural forces have driven climate change and weather events throughout Earth’s history and will continue to do so. President Barack Obama’s hubris is breathtaking. He now thinks his army of regulators can control our planet’s temperature and climate by tweaking emissions of plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide, a mere 0.04 percent of the atmosphere.

“These executive diktats have nothing to do with protecting our communities. They’re all about money, power, and control. They focus on exaggerated or fabricated ‘dangers’ conjured up by computer models, regulators, and anti-hydrocarbon activists – and studiously ignore the enormous harm their policies will wreak on the families, communities, and ecological values.

“America’s communities do not need to be protected from climate change. They need to be protected from the excesses of authoritarian presidents and bureaucrats. They need to have energy-based wealth and technology to respond and adapt to whatever weather events and climate changes nature may visit upon them, and 82 percent of that energy still comes from fossil fuels.”

Paul Driessen
Senior Policy Advisor
Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow
Policy Advisor, Energy and Environment Policy
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“If President Barack Obama really was ‘committed to combating the health impacts of climate change and protecting the health of future generations,’ he would promote an expansion of coal-fired electricity generation. After all, the United States is the Saudi Arabia of inexpensive, high-quality coal and has sufficient resources to provide the vitally needed secure electric power Americans must have to ensure their health for generations to come.

“The president is bent on dismantling America’s coal sector, choosing instead to promote flimsy, expensive sources such as wind and solar power. If he really believed we were headed towards a climate crisis, he would encourage the growth of America’s cheapest, most-powerful sources of power, coal being obviously first on the list. To do otherwise is as irrational as a ship captain ordering his crew to man the lifeboats because a major storm is approaching.”

Tom Harris
Executive Director
International Climate Science Coalition
Ottawa, Canada
Policy Advisor, Energy and Environment
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“If anthropogenic global warming theory ever proved to be accurate, it would be a wonderful, net-net benefit for the environment. By allowing for more food to be produced on less land thanks to warmer temperatures, existing natural habitats would be left intact, as was the case when farmers experienced bumper harvests during every other warm period throughout history.

“Sadly, it appears the planet’s atmosphere has not warmed for the past 18 years. So farmers only currently benefit from slightly elevated CO2 levels released since the Industrial Revolution, 25 percent of which were released in the past quarter century.

“Agricultural emissions is far-and-away the single biggest contributor of CO2 emissions in modern economies. And, ironically, advanced technologies like synthetic fertilizer, pesticides, and genetic engineering drastically reduce the amount of fossil fuel farmers use, thereby reducing CO2 emissions, which would mitigate the predicted effects of global warming … again, if only they were true. So, the question is: Does President Barack Obama really believe CO2 is ‘pollution’ even though it boosts plant growth? Maybe someone should ask him.”

Mischa Popoff
Policy Advisor
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“The White House is picking winners and losers using energy policy. It is not obvious solar energy is economical by the systems constructed today. Many sellers of solar panels for residents are using fraudulent claims, hyping the so-called economic benefits of these systems. If the public is made aware of the fraud, sales will cease except for the most brain-challenged people in the country. By the way, these are the type of individuals supporting President Barack Obama’s policies.

“Due to government interference in the marketplace, the nation has 200 distilleries for producing ethanol from corn. This was due to industry responding to the mandates for ethanol use by the Energy Security and Independence Act of 2007, which mandated increasing the use of renewable fuels and called for a total use of 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2022. The mandate was 18 billion gallons by 2014, of which 14 billion gallons could be ethanol made from corn. Billions were spent building the ethanol distilleries we don’t need and artificially producing over 100,000 jobs that are not needed. Now we can’t stop this useless program.

“President Barack Obama’s interference in the energy marketplace pushed 75,000 veterans into jobs installing solar panels. But by 2020, these operations may be as obsolete as those making buggy whips. Also note that for President Barack Obama, horse transportation does not immediately produce carbon dioxide that causes global warming, but it will increase the more serious greenhouse gas methane due to flatulence.

“President Barack Obama is fully engaged in the huge ‘climate change’ hoax that lacks any basis in science. On March 31, he announced that he intends to ensure that the United States will slash its greenhouse gas emissions 26 percent below 2005 emissions levels by 2025 in order to keep pledges made to fulfill the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

“He failed to mention that such levels would be comparable to what they were in the U.S. Civil War era 150 years ago. He also failed to mention that the United States made no such commitment to the 1992 Kyoto Treaty. Indeed, the Senate refused to ratify it because it was deemed a threat to our nation’s economy and energy security.

“There is no need, globally or nationally, to reduce such emissions. It would be a crime against humanity, especially for the millions that would be denied electrical power or would see its cost rise exponentially.”

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

The Heartland Institute is a 31-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.