Free Speech at the Heartland Institute

Wed, 2008-03-05 07:36Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

Free Speech at the Heartland Institute

And who are you that we should care one whit about your opinion?

With that tart quip, Diane Bast of the Heartland Institute dismissed a recent query about the rationale for its last-stand global warming denial conference . Bast, presumably is related to Joseph Bast, founder and president of the Heartland Institute.

Here is the query that elicited Diane Bast's incurious response:

Why is the Heartland Institute paying skeptical scientists to speak at a 'conference'?

At most scientific conferences, scientists are not paid to speak. It's an honor just to be invited to give a talk, and they're lucky to get some travel expenses paid or the conference fee waived.

The Heartland Institute (right-wing “think tank” with ties to the tobacco and oil industries) is inviting scientists to a 'conference' called “The 2008 International Conference on Climate Change”.

“The purpose of the conference is to generate international media attention to the fact that many scientists believe forecasts of rapid warming and catastrophic events are not supported by sound science, and that expensive campaigns to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are not necessary or cost-effective.”

The purpose of conferences is usually to discuss ideas and data in order to advance scientific understanding, not to attract PR. And the Heartland Institute is paying skeptical scientists $1000 to speak at the 'conference'.

What do you think are the motivations behind this 'conference'?

Previous Comments

How much did they pay Stossel to speak? He usually gets $30,000-$50,000 per appearance.

This is a link to a WSJ article about the conference. Apparently the HI offered Gore his regular $200,000 fee to appear at the conference in New York, which he turned down. He attended the Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) conference in Monterey, California instead, and spoke for free.

Fern Mackenzie

Al Gore spoke for free?? It’s about time. His outrageous speaking fees have convinced many he is into this whole thing a lot more for the money and himself and not so much for the environment.

You just can’t win with this sort of double-edged “logic”.

If Gore didn’t take up Heartland’s invitation, then he was obviously a coward.

If Gore did take up Heartland’s invitation, then he was in it just for the money.

If Gore did take up Heartland’s invitation but turned away the money, then he was just doing it for show.

… Well, Gore was right in simply ignoring these idiots(*) and doing his own thing. Indeed, to turn Diane Bast’s words against herself, why should Gore care one whit about what these idiots think? They’ll just find some flimsy excuse to launch potshots at him regardless.

- - -

(*) um, “climate realists”

Frank Bi,

The bottom line is that temperature and CO2 concentrations are linked. In recent ice ages, natural changes in the climate (due to orbit changes for example) led to cooling of the climate system. This caused a fall in CO2 concentrations which weakened the greenhouse effect and amplified the cooling. Now the link between temperature and CO2 is working in the opposite direction. Human-induced increases in CO2 is enhancing the greenhouse effect and amplifying the recent warming.

The bottom line is that changes in solar activity do affect global temperatures. However, what research also shows is that increased greenhouse gas concentrations have a much greater effect than changes in the Sun’s energy over the last 50 years.

The bottom line is that the range of available information is now consistent with increased warming through the troposphere (the lowest region of the atmosphere).

The bottom line is, even if cosmic rays have a detectable effect on climate (and this remains unproven), measured solar activity over the last few decades has not significantly changed and cannot explain the continued warming trend. In contrast, increases in CO2 are well measured and its warming effect is well quantified. It offers the most plausible explanation of most of the recent warming and future increases.

The bottom line is that current models enable us to attribute the causes of past climate change and predict the main features of the future climate with a high degree of confidence. We now need to provide more regional detail and more complete analysis of extreme events

The folks at HI are just doing what guys have taught them: Use PR to fight PR from guys like you who know squat aboutscience and what is really going down with all this climate change claptrap and global warming gobblygook.

You all should consider this: If all the goals and objectives of the “enviromentalists” were fulfilled, the result would be the destruction of capitalism and western democracy. If that were to happen, you all would be out of work!

The enviros never complain much about gold, sliver, diamond, ruby, emerald and sapphire mines because they don’t want to offend the silk-stocking enviormentalists and limosine liberals in New York City! Ya know, the guys who donate “pocket change” to them so they won’t have to go out and get a real life job like tying re-rod on the thirteenth floor of a high rise under construction when it’s 2 deg C and pouring down rain!

Lying is justified because I (Harold) lied about the other side being liars.

Yeah… I could never get this denialist “logic”.

Frank Bi,

You watch your stupid mouth, young man, or I will track you down and wash it out with Grandma’s Lye Soap!

Are calling Dr. Pierce a liar? Are you calling all the folks that attended this conference liars?

You had better have rock-solid proof to back up all of your allegations.

Here is one reason why there are a great many skeptical scientists.

Go to Figure SPM-2 in the AR4-SPM. Except for solar irradiance, all the values are not determined by measurements with instruments. In fact, theoretical equations and statistical procedures are used to estimate these values. More importantly there are no instruments that have the required sensitivity, accuracy and precision to measure these values. In the same manner, all of the important negative and positive feedback amplifications factors are also not measured. In fact some of them are arbitrarily assigned or adjusted so that the models give projections somewhat in agreement with current physical measurements.

The most contentious hypothesis of climate models is the water vapor feedback mechanism and the feedback amplification factor. No experiment has ever demonstrated that this mechanism actually exits.

To date the IPCC has produced only computational speculation and conjecture, and the results of the so-called “computer modeling experiments” are just theoretical projections. Experiments take place in the real world and not in any virtual world. The IPCC is only 90% certain that the activity of humans cause or contribute significantly contribute global warming and any climate change. Are you willing to bet the farm on a guesstimate of 90%, which might actually be only 80%?

In his “Farewell Address to the American People” and after warning of the threat of the military-indutrial complex to the body politic, the late President Eisenhower issued a more ominous warning:

“Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect,as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technologial elite”

HPJ says: “The most contentious hypothesis of climate models is the water vapor feedback mechanism and the feedback amplification factor. No experiment has ever demonstrated that this mechanism actually exits”.

Do you ever bother to check the peer reviewed scientific literature before making any of your inane remarks?

Try this paper in Science for starters:

“Climate models predict that the concentration of water vapor in the upper troposphere could double by the end of the century as a result of increases in greenhouse gases. Such moistening plays a key role in amplifying the rate at which the climate warms in response to anthropogenic activities, but has been difficult to detect because of deficiencies in conventional observing systems. We use satellite measurements to highlight a distinct radiative signature of upper tropospheric moistening over the period 1982 to 2004. The observed moistening is accurately captured by climate model simulations and lends further credence to model projections of future global warming”.

Is this not an “experiment” in your view because it doesn’t involve test tubes and foul smelling products from an organic chemist’s lab?

You have been inhaling too many insect pheromones, Harold, or was it really tetrahydrocannabinoids you were working with? Whatever, the results of your experiments seem to have had a negative effect on the functioning of the neurones in your addled brain.

Ian Forrester

Hello Frank!

FYI, Insect pheromones have quite fragrant aromas.

The measurements are for only 18 years and include the El Ninos of 1982-83, 1986-87, 1990-96, and 1997-98. The climate is entering a cool cycle and the upper atmosphere moisture content is slowly declining. Satellites don’t directly measure humidity as radiosondes do. They monitor certain frequency bands of the IR. These data are processed by computers which relate these measurements to
moisture content. However due to the enormous amount of air traffic it is possible that some of this moisture results from the combustion of jet fuel,

For example _one_ Boeing 747-400ER on a long fight will deposit about 600,000 kg of CO2 and 247,000 kg of water vapor in the atmosphere. If the plane is flying in the tropics these will stay in the troposphere. However if the plane flies over the north pole most of exhaust gases will be deposited in the lower stratosphere. If you go to any large int. airport, there are more jet planes than house sparrows.

I never have, do not now or never wiil smoke the foul smelling pot. THC is a member of a class of nat. products from plants known as chromenes. Some of these compound are potent disrupters of insect growth and reproduction.
Scary stuff!

That’s the whole point, no? Or are you saying that the Boeing 747 is a “natural” cause and thus not “anthopogenic”?

By the way, is Naomi Oreskes fat?

Frank Bi, fact-addict and anti-lie bigot

“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

Talk about about scare-mongering! Fern Mackenzie

Hello Fern!

Google “enviromentalists and anarchists”. Don’t you recall the stories last year about high-profile anarchists who were hired by “Global Exchange, an enviro outfit in San Francisco, to train Calgary city slickers in protest action and tactics for “The Showdown at Athabasca” in late summer. The anarchists were Hudema and Roselle. Google these guys. The latter was a founding member of ELF, a bunch of thugs and vandals who go around burning select properties to the ground. Fortunately, they haven’t killed anyone yet. H&R are very dangerous and ruthless men. Protest didn’t happen because of a stike by the workers.

Do you recall the anarchists that staged protests in Halifax in the spring? These professional gunslinger protestors were to go on to Calgary for the Showdown, which was billed as the biggest protest in Canada for protection of the environment.

Do we Lotus Landers really care about the frozen boondocks in nothern Alberta? I don’t.

I’m Albertan. I care about them. But you can go to hell, Harold.

Hello VJ!

I forget to mention that in summertime there are hoards of mosquitos, black flies, punkies, chiggers, ticks, fleas, mites, lice and a great many other biting, stinging, and blood-sucking creatures that I don’t even want to know about.

BTW, when was the last time you went hiking and camping
in the Wood Buffalo National Park? Or any of the parks along the Rocky Moutains

Vancouver’s best kept secret: No mosquitos in the summertime!

VJ screeched:

“I’m Albertan. I care about them. But you can go to hell, Harold.”

Sure you do, VJ. You care all about the environment in northern Alberta, even if you have likely never been there.

Your “caring”, evidently, doesn’t extend to the people who actually live and work there, however.

So, Harold, you found a couple of supposedly unsavory people who call themselves “environmentalists” and you extrapolate from that to conclude that I'm an anarchist bent on the destruction of the capitalist system. (Boy, my wife's gonna be mad when she hears ….)

Now I have found someone who called himself “Pierce” who was a great train robber. Can I borrow your logic and assume that you are a boastful criminal who should, perhaps be locked up just out of an abundant sense of caution?

I didn’t call you anarchist, and you know very well to whom I am refering. Most of them are in Europe and they show up at various meetings such as G8 conferences. Currently, these enviros are in several countries protesting proposed mining projects, but they never show up at diamond mines like the Argyle mine in Australia. Too
remote and too hot for them.

What is this nonsense about Pierce the train robber?
Since the Pierce Clan is out the hills of Kentucky, I just might be related to Franklin Pierce.

BTW Richard, you are not a scientist so what do you really know about climate science? The answer is zip!

You probably don’t know that the climate modelers are using the wrong conc of carbon dioxide in their calculations. And they don’t even know this. Also they have no method of taking into account the constantly fluctuating temporal and spatial distribution of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It never is 388 ppmv which is the conc for standard dry air, which is air at 273.15 K
and 1 atm pressure and comprised of nitrogen, oxygen, and the inert gases as determined by analyses of air samples at Mauna Loa. This reference state exists at no site on the earth. In real or ambient air it usually much less but that depends. In southern California it is probably much higher.

If you are so certain that the climate modelers have failed to take these things into account, as you suggest here and at length in another thread, why not challenge them over at to explain themselves? Either they will slap themselves in the forehead and cry with one voice “Why didn’t we think of that?” or they will give you a scientific explanation of how they arrived at their numbers.

Fern Mackenzie

The only slapping sound would be the strip they tear off him and then beat him with…

Hello Fern!

If I tried to post the following text on RC, Gavin the Grinch would just wack it. He has done this to me on several occasions.

Carbon Dioxide in Real Air.

The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere as determined by analysis of ambient air at Mauna Loa Observatory (elev ca 12,000 ft)is reported for “Standard Dry Air” which is air at 273.16 K and 1 atm pressure and is comprised of nitrogen, oxygen and the inert gases. These are the reference conditions always used for reporting the composition of the atmosphere based on analysis of ambient air at a particular site by various methods. The value is only valid for the Mauna Loa site and bear no relationship to the concentration of CO2 in “Real Air” at any other site. “Real Air” is term for ambient air at the intake ports of air seperation plants and is used in the HVAC industries (GO: htttp:// for more info).

In general, the composition and physical properties of real air are quite site specfic, variable and depend primarily on elevation and fluctuating air temperature, atm. pressure, and absolute humidity, and to a lessor extent on the seasons and weather, site surface and geophysical features (e.g., ocean, mountains, desert, forests, cropland, urbanization, etc) and on biological and human activities at and around the site. Clouds and the temperature of large water bodies will also effect the concentration of CO2 in the air above them.

For example, if standard dry air is heated to 30 deg C the mole number declines by about 10% but the relative ratio of the gases in the real air will remain about the same. This is origin of the phase “well-mixed gases in the troposphere”

Standard air has 388 ml of pure CO2. At 30 deg C this value drops to 350 ml. If the air were to become saturated with water vapor (ca, 4% by volume), the amount of CO2 declines to about 336 ml.

Air pressure declines about 1 psi per 2000 ft increase in elevation. This would lower the density of the air and thus absolute amount of the gases per unit volume. However, air temperature drops about 6 deg C per 2000 ft increse in elevation. This would increase the density of air. Thus absolute amount of the gases per unit volume of air becomes a complex fuction of these variables as well as the above mentioned fluctuating air temperatute, atm. pressure and absolute humidity.

Since clouds have a high surface area and CO2 is quite soluble in water (cf. soda water), the amount of CO2 in the air will be altered and depend the cloud density, i.e, the amount of water per cubic meter. If the clouds move into warmer air and dissipate, the CO2 will be released to air. If the clouds move into cooler air and rain is formed, the CO2 will be transported to the surface and its disposition will depend on that surface. Over the oceans the CO2 will mix in the water quickly. Over the land, however, the nature of the surface will effect whether the CO2 is retained in the water (e.g., porous soil) or released back to the air (e.g., hot concrete or rocks or plant leaves, etc).

Over water the amount of CO2 in the air will be influnced by the temperature of the upper layers. The solubility of CO2 decline rapidly with increasing water temperature and can be about 60% lower in water at 30 deg C than water at 0 deg C. As warm tropical water moves to the poles, it’s temperature slowly drops and by the time it reaches the polar region the salt water temperaure can be about 0 deg C, and can hold about 2.5 times as much CO2 as the warm tropical warter. How much CO2 is absorbed will depend on air presssure and temperaure, wind, wave action, salinity and biological activity, etc.

Consider biologial activity in the ocean. During daylight hours phytoplankton fix CO2 whlie all organism respire. At night all plants and animals respire and release CO2.

What all of the above boils down to is this: There is no uniform spatial and temporal distribution of CO2 in real or ambient air as expessed in an absolute amount per unit volume of air. Climate models would probably give better or more realistic projections if the absolute amount of CO2 per unit volume is used (e.g., milligrams or millimoles/cubic meter) and some method for estimating the above mentioned spatial and temporal distribution(s).

I first posted this comment on the JunkScience Forum Blog 24 February 2008 @ 3:30 PM.

I believe Harold just used a whole lot of space to say basicly nothing….

Hello Tom!

My comment is just straight-forward atmospheric chemistry.
If I am wrong, cough up a rebuttal! In the tropics the conc of CO2 in real air at sea level is most certainly not 388 ppmv.

1 masl.
According to NOAA January 2007….385 ppm CO2…
Of course it’s over a year out of date so I’m sure it’s higher now.

Nice work, Tom! Knocked Harold’s socks off!

The conc. of CO2 at Guam is for standard dry air. It is not the conc in ambient taken for analysis.

NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory
Global Monitoring Division
Reference Gas Preparation and Calibration
4.4 Drying System
The stability of many trace gases is sensitive to water vapor and especially sensitive to liquid water. Therefore the drying step is important in the preparation of any gas standards.”

I would take that to mean: if you don’t dry it, you can’t test it.
If NOAA says there is 385 ppm CO2 at Guam…it works for me.
After all, it’s what they do…

“you are not a scientist so what do you really know about climate science?”

I don’t know that much about climate science, but I do know what bullcrap is. And you’re spouting it.

Now, if you can give a specific criticism of a specific climate model which has been proposed in a specific scientific paper, then tell us about it. Otherwise, your “in-depth” criticisms only apply to the “climate models” in the alternate universe imagined in your own head.

Frank Bi,

See my reply to Fern. I’m not imaging anything. I call’em as I see’em. Did you ever get around to checking out the late John Daly’s website ( and the Station Temperature Data base? Go do to your homework, then come back and tell me what you have learned. I instructed Stephen B. to this but he has yet to file his report here. Apparently, his brain probably started to burn out after he saw the temperature-time plots for Death Valley, Dodge City, and Tombstone, and turned to black toast after visiting Alice Springs, AU.

Which part of “give a specific criticism of a specific climate model which has been proposed in a specific scientific paper” do you not understand?

Frank Bi,

John Daly’s site is full of “denier” claptrap that wouldn’t have a prayer of passing the peer-review test. The methodology is so flawed that it is useless. I’ll stick to the IPCC, NCDC, GISS, etc. for my information.

Did you check out any of the temp-time series plots for these remote weather stations? Anybody can make these plots using any of the readily available temperature data bases (e.g., GISTEMP, USHCN, GHCN, HADCRUT3, etc) and then do least squares analyses to determine the trends of temp change.

If you live in Canada, you can go to Environment Canada’s website and download station temp records for FREE.
dailydata_e.html (Make sure the “D” of “Data” is in caps).
When you get there, do a custom search for Osooyos, print out the records and do temp-times series plot of the annual Tmax and Tmin. Then do a least-squares analysis to determine the temp trend line. Osooyos is a weather station in a semi-arid region. If CO2 has any effect on temperature, then you would expect a slow rise in Tmin and
this should correlate with the increase in CO2 conc.

Go do this, Stephen, and when you finish this project come back tell us the results.

BTW, just how is JD’s methodology flawed?

Harold Pierce, I’m going to repeat myself here:

Which part of “give a specific criticism of a specific climate model which has been proposed in a specific scientific paper” do you not understand?

You’ve done nothing other than repeatedly dodge the issue. Unless you tell us exactly which climate model in which paper by which author(s) your “results” supposedly falsify, all your “temp-time series plots” count as zilch.

- - -

By the way, since you said Al Gore is fat, I’d also like to know: Is James Hansen fat as well? What about William Connolley, is he fat too? Is Gavin Schmidt also fat? And Naomi Oreskes, is she fat?

Tell us, Harold Pierce, tell us!

Frank Bi,

I won’t do this. Why would I use Osooyos? I would then be determining Osooyos warming, not GLOBAL warming. Or are you just trying to cherry-pick to the extreme? (A common tactic of the “denier” movement, by the way.) I’m also not going to waste my time on stuff that’s already been done when there are more important things to do.

FYI, you should look at this site for some data:

Pretty much all the temperature or SST data there shows an increase in the 20th Century.

This is how global mean temp is estimated. Usually, the annual mean temp of a weather station is plotted as a function of time. A least square analysis is done. The slope of this line gives trend as deg/century. All these data are then analyzed by stat procedures to give the global mean temperature which is usually reported as an anomaly from a base reference period. GISS uses a base reference from 1951-89 IIRC. The Hadley Center uses 1951-80 for the base referemce interval IIRC.

Actually there a no analyses that separate Tmax and Tmin for this analysis. According to Roger Pielke Sr et al the best metric to use for these studies is Tmax.

Harold Pierce:

Why Osooyos?

And is Naomi Oreskes fat?

Frank Bi, fact-addict and anti-lie bigot

“Al `Fat Al’ Gore [is fat]” – Harold Pierce

I’m not lazy, Harold. Also, your procedure may work for a thousand stations worldwide, but if one were to use only one station, they’d get absolutely no information about GLOBAL warming! That’s why they call it GLOBAL WARMING and not LOCAL WARMING! Get that through your head!

Plus, I won’t rely on either of the RPs for this. I’ll trust the IPCC, the largest peer-reviewed scientific investigation in history (whose projections are actually likely very conservative).

Hello Stephen!

In these climate studies, you have start somewhere, someplace. There are many remote weather stations in the world whose temp records haven’t been analyzed. Osooyos is one of these.

Don’t trust some of data bases. The temp records in GISTEMP data base have been sliced, diced and homogenized.
GO: for more info to learn how these temp records have been given DDM!

Your are not a very curious fellow, Stephen.

Ya know, if these flames get any hotter, we are going to scorch the earth, boil the oceans and all life forms will be extinquished!

You really show how low the “denier” crowd will go, Harold.

This temperature record work has already been done. What’s the point of doing something over again? It’s a WASTE OF TIME!!!

I’m not going to climatefraudit, either, as M&M haven’t done anything near what Jim Hansen or Michael Mann have done in their careers.

So, Harold, shut up. You’ve added NOTHING to this blog, only lied and misled the public.

Don’t call me a liar in public. If you continue to do so, I will track you down, capture you and then wash your stupid mouth out with a double scrubbing of Grandma’s Lye Soap!

I don’t think you are a liar, Harold, just wildly wrong-headed and stubborn. You know not that you know naught, unable to admit that you are out of your depth. You may be a bio- (organic-?) chemistry PhD, but that doesn’t make you a climate scientist.

Fern Mackenzie

Berg, that is. I long ago visited John Daly’s site and did quite a lot of looking into his background, and reaction to his hypotheses among people qualified to critique them. His views just don’t hold up. As for being whacked by Gavin, it may be that your material didn’t pass the criteria for factual content &/or relevance for them to bother posting it for discussion.

Fern Mackenzie

Hello Fern!

Out of respect for the dead, did you read his obituaries?

BTW, provide some links to “…people qualified to critique them.”

Any solid info that refutes AGW is whacked by Gavin the Grinch. And what does he really know about the chemistry and physics of the atmosphere? GG is math guy and computer jock not an experimental scientist.

…and by the way, is Naomi Oreskes fat too?

Frank Bi,

yes, I did. I also checked him out on more objective sites, and looked into his publications and theories. Sorry, not buying it.

Fern Mackenzie

Hello Fern!

His temperature-time plots speak for themselves. He used the GISTEMP and HadCRU data bases for constructing them.
These are freely available to anyone.

Did you checkout the plots for the Canadian weather stations and then go to GISTEMP data base to see if there
were any changes in the trends since ca 2000?

BTW, I think Frank and Fern would make a real nice team and you all should set a blog!

Al Gore’s wealth has increased from $2 million to at least $35 million in the last eight years.

“Mr. Gore doesn’t disclose much about his personal finances, but Bloomberg News came across a regulatory filing disclosing that he recently invested $35 million with the Capricorn Investment Group, a firm that Bloomberg said puts clients’ assets into hedge funds and invests in “makers of environmentally friendly products.” That’s a big wad of cash for someone who reported barely $2 million in assets in 2000, when his job as vice president came to an end.”

Yeah right, and Al Gore the Antichrist paid off James Hansen, Michael Mann, Gavin Schmidt, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. in order to promote his Global Warming Scam. All without a single paper trace.

And I recall reading that there’s no economy and no jobs to be had in alternative energies. Where did I read that… ah yes, I think it was from your Robworld! (And Haroldworld, might I add.)

But Robworld isn’t about science, it’s about hurling insults no matter what, an’t it?

- - -

Given that one just can’t win with the denialists’ double-edged “logic” where anything Al Gore does is by definition wrong, it’s little wonder that pretty much nobody listens to them anymore. And which is why the Heartland folks have to rely on cheap publicity stunts like John Coleman threatening to sue Al Gore.

Frank Bi,

To further his carbon credit scam of ripping off a gullible public, Al “Fat Al” Gore needed some scientific muscle so he hired climate hitman James “Jimmy the Enforcer” Hansen. He was paid one really nice big can of Heinz beans for services.

Is Naomi Oreskes fat too?

Frank Bi,



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