Momentum to Continue

Published May 1, 2008

In his concluding remarks at the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change hosted by The Heartland Institute and more than 50 cosponsors, Heartland President Joseph Bast laid out an agenda for future collaboration.

Items on the follow-up agenda include expansion of the International Climate Science Coalition, completion and release of the report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, publication of books and a new journal on climate science, posting of videos of all the presentations online, creation of a speakers bureau, and planning for a follow-up conference in 2009.

In the audience, parallels were being drawn between this conference and the first meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society in 1947–which led to the creation of an institution that played a key role in the resurrection of classical liberalism worldwide and the intellectual defeat of socialism.

“I have never attended a conference before, much less helped organize and host one, where so many people in the audience were so energized, engaged in the debate, and so obviously happy to be there,” Bast said in an interview for this story.

“I saw friendships being created that I expect will last for lifetimes,” Bast noted. “The level of intellectual engagement was apparent from lively question-and-answer sessions and dueling presentations on several panels, the kind of free-spirited debate that is virtually absent from the global warming alarmist camp.

“It’s hard to imagine how this conference could have been more successful,” Bast added. “The pure quality of speakers and presentations, and the excitement and passion of the audience, is almost overwhelming. We thought we were just bringing together some scientists and other experts to make a point; we may have ended up launching an intellectual movement.”

Harriette Johnson