Editorial by Rona Fried
With this kind of hogwash going around, it’s no wonder Americans are confused about climate change.
This is an example of the kind of press release we regularly receive from conservative, right-wing, climate-change bashing Heartland Institute. Like so many similar organizations, this group is part of the Koch Brothers’ web.
Press Release Title: Benefits of Global Warming Greatly Exceed Costs, New Study Says
Why would they release this "ground-breaking" report now? Because the science-based United Nations group will soon release the latest update on climate change research – the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Heartland has come up with their own name for their non-science-based, fantasy group that challenges IPCC’s findings every time they come out. Notice the slight change in the name – sleight of hand:
The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) – pretty cool, huh? – will hold a press conference on its report, Climate Change Reconsidered, hoping reporters will cover it, confusing Americans with the latest misinformation.
Here’s the BOGUS press release:
An international panel of climate scientists and economists will release a massive new report April 9 that finds the benefits of global warming "greatly exceed any plausible estimate of its
The report summarizes scholarly research published as recently as January 2014 on the impacts, costs, and benefits of climate change. Hefty chapters summarize thousands of peer-reviewed studies of the impact of rising levels of carbon dioxide – a greenhouse gas produced during the burning of fossil fuels – on plants and soils, agriculture, forests, wildlife, ocean life, and humankind.
The authors find higher levels of carbon dioxide and warmer temperatures benefit nearly all plants, leading to more
leaves, more fruit, more vigorous growth, and greater resistance to pests, drought, and other forms of "stress." Wildlife benefits as their habitats grow and expand. Even polar bears, the poster child of anti-global warming activist groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), are benefiting from warmer temperatures [editor’s note: if benefiting means starvation].
"Despite thousands of scientific articles affirming numerous benefits of rising temperatures and atmospheric CO2, IPCC
makes almost no mention of any positive externalities resulting from such," said one of the report’s lead authors, Dr. Craig D. Idso. "Climate Change Reconsidered II corrects this failure, presenting an analysis of thousands of neglected research studies
IPCC has downplayed or ignored in its reports so that scientists, politicians, educators, and the general public can be better informed and make decisions about the potential impacts of CO2-induced climate change."
The authors look closely at claims climate change will injure coral and other forms of marine life, possibly leading to some species extinctions. They conclude such claims lack scientific foundation
and often are grossly exaggerated. Corals have survived warming periods in the past that caused ocean temperatures and sea levels to be much higher than today’s levels or those likely to occur in the next century.
The authors contend the world’s economies are heavily dependent on fossil fuels because such fuels are and will continue to
be safer, less expensive, more reliable, and of vastly greater supply than alternative fuels such as wind and solar. Dramatically reducing the use of fossil fuels would have devastating effects on workers and consumers of both the developed and developing worlds, leading to severe hardship and even deaths.
Rather than continue to fight what is most likely a natural and unstoppable phenomenon, the authors call for adopting new
energy and environmental policies that acknowledge current market and environmental realities. Such policies would encourage economic growth as the foundation for a cleaner environment, responsible development and use of fossil fuels until superior energy sources are found, and repeal of many of the regulations, subsidies, and taxes passed at the height of the man-made global
Natural, Unstoppable Phenomenon
Although it’s far from "natural" to pump the amount of fossil fuels into the air that humanity continues to do, one thing Heartland is correct about: because of misinformation like this that’s preventing the US from taking action, climate change WILL soon be unstoppable and irreversible.
Here’s what the Economist says about Heartland: "The Heartland Institute is the world’s most prominent think tank promoting skepticism about man-made climate change." Heartland proudly displays the quote at the top of its "Center on Climate & Environmental Policy" website, but that’s not all they do:
"We also address other environmental issues including renewable portfolio standards (RPS), clean air standards, smart drilling and hydraulic fracturing, sustainable development, food safety, and more."
Yes, Heartland Institute, we know who you are and what you do. What we don’t know is how you sleep at night.
Rona Fried, Ph.D. is CEO of SustainableBusiness.com and is sick and tired of this nonsense.
It’s incredible to me that we have to fear losing the Senate in 2014 to people who think like this. Please people, get out and vote – don’t stay home!
This article addresses Heartland’s assertions about more carbon equals greater plant growth: