Heartland Institute Responds to Activist Groups’ Attempt to Purge Texas Text Books of Inconvenient Climate Science Facts

Published September 17, 2014

The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) and the Texas Freedom Network, two left-wing activist groups, released a report this week claiming non-alarmist facts about the climate “distort” science and must be removed from drafts of new social studies textbooks for Texas public schools.

The five-page report, titled “Analysis of Climate Change in Proposed Social Studies Textbooks for Texas Public Schools,” singled out The Heartland Institute for criticism, saying it has no standing to provide balance to the alarmist views of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The Heartland Institute has published five reports of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), which amount to more than 3,000 pages of research with several thousand citations from peer-reviewed scientific literature. The two latest reports are Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science (2013) and Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts (2014).

Among the claims of the NCSE and the Texas Freedom Network:

– 97 percent of all climate scientists believe human activity is causing a climate crisis; and

– No prominent climate scientists believe Earth is in a cooling trend.

The Heartland Institute has long pointed out that the “97 percent consensus” figure often cited by activists and the media is a myth based on a purposeful misreading of flawed surveys. It is also a fact that, based on NASA satellite temperature data collected by Remote Sensing Systems, atmospheric temperatures have not risen for more than 17 years. In addition, Dr. Judith Curry, professor and former chair at the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech University, noted in a presentation this week that the IPCC has acknowledged a “hiatus” in global warming, adding that evidence of a global cooling phase continues to accumulate.

Read the summaries and reports of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) at the Climate Change Reconsidered website. Watch hundreds of presentations by leading scientists who reject climate alarmism at the archive site for The Heartland Institute’s nine International Conferences on Climate Change.

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.

“The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) has long used attacks on Heartland as a fundraising tactic, and this latest flimsy report is part of that effort. Even the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was forced to admit earlier this year what the data shows their alarmist predictions of runaway global warming have not come to pass.

“Students in Texas and across the country need to know the truth, which is obtained through strict adherence to the scientific method, not alarmism and appeals to authority. The IPCC’s Nobel Peace Prize – accepted in person by a politician and a bureaucrat – doesn’t make its politicized claims about the climate infallible. In fact, it only makes them more suspect.”

Jim Lakely
Director of Communications
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) asserts the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the world’s leading scientific authority on climate science. Such an assertion is nonsense. IPCC is a political rather than a scientific organization. Its participants are chosen by governments, not scientific organizations. Many of its participants are not even scientists. Its lead authors are often agenda-driven environmental activists from groups such as the World Wildlife Fund, Environmental Defense, and Greenpeace. “In contrast to IPCC, the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) is a scientific report, written by scientists, with hundreds of pages of text and thousands of citations to peer-reviewed literature indicating global warming is not a human-created crisis. Even if environmental activists at NCSE refuse to acknowledge this, practicing scientists do.

“NCSE grossly misrepresented the results of two surveys in an attempt to attack science and shut down scientific discussion and debate. NCSE falsely claimed the two surveys (which themselves contain serious methodological flaws) rule out significant natural contribution to recent global warming. Instead, the two surveys merely claim human activity is a significant factor.

“Obviously, one significant factor does not exclude other significant factors, including factors of even greater significance. NCSE misrepresents these two surveys because NCSE has no valid justification for shutting down scientific discussion and debate on such a contested issue. NCSE has lost all scientific credibility by so grossly misrepresenting its two asserted sources of supporting evidence.”

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

“Textbooks should always strive for accuracy and avoid political spin. Nowhere is this more true than on questions of science. Concerning the ongoing scientific debate surrounding the causes and consequences of climate change, the proposed Texas textbooks have struck the right note. Any claim that a consensus of 97 percent of scientists agree that humans are causing catastrophic global warming is false, and those making the claim know it.

“One can only hope that the members of the Texas Board of Education reviewing these books will stand up for students and not buckle under the pressure being applied by these activist groups to alter these books in order to deny the open questions in the climate change debate.”

H. Sterling Burnett
Research Fellow, Environment & Energy Policy
Managing Editor, Environment & Climate News
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.