Heartland Institute Responds to Occupy Protests of Climate Conference

Published May 22, 2012

May 22, 2012 – A NATO Summit advisory issued at 8:15 a.m. today indicates that Occupy Chicago plans a protest designed to disrupt The Heartland Institute’s Seventh International Conference on Climate Change at the Hilton Chicago Hotel.

A left-wing advocacy group called “Forecast the Facts” is also planning a protest of the conference.

The following statement from Joseph Bast, president of The Heartland Institute, may be used for attribution:

“Is man-made global warming a fact, or a failed hypothesis? Does the evidence show that climate change is primarily a natural phenomena, and likely to have positive effects on human health and the environment, or does it show a major human effect and that harms are likely to outweigh benefits?

“These are the questions being addressed at the global warming conference these protesters are trying to disrupt today. The Seventh International Conference on Climate Change is a meeting of some 300 people who share an interest in debating the causes and consequences of climate change. The speakers include some of the world’s leading experts on the causes and consequences of climate change, former astronauts and NASA scientists, and political leaders.

“Whether knowingly or not, these protesters are trying to stifle academic freedom and free speech. They are trying to shout down people whose only offense is to question a political dogma called man-made global warming.

“Sixty think tanks and civic and business organizations have joined The Heartland Institute in cohosting this conference, the seventh such conference Heartland has organized in five years. More than 3,000 people have attended these conferences. Hundreds of scientists from scores of countries have attended.

“We are part of the ongoing debate over the causes and consequences of climate change, whether radical environmentalists and their allies in the media choose report that or not. We encourage people to review the extensive research and commentary on climate change that appears on our Web site, as well as videos of presentations made at the current and past ICCCs.

“Make up your own mind. Join the debate.”

 The following statement from James M. Taylor, senior fellow for environment policy The Heartland Institute, may be used for attribution:

“These are the last-gasp efforts of left-wing extremists who have been defeated in the scientific debate and the court of public opinion.

“We reserved several dozen speaker slots for prominent warmists to discuss and debate climate change issues at the Seventh International Conference on Climate Change. The alarmists are instead sending rabble-rousers and the professionally unemployed to make their best scientific arguments. I suspect the scientists speaking at the conference know a little more about climate change than Occupy Climate Science.”

The Heartland Institute is a 28-year-old national nonprofit organization with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Washington, DC. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at [email protected].