Here on the ground for the Heartland Institute's Denial-a-palooza, which would more aptly be labeled Yawn-fest 2008.
With the conference winding down, there's yet to be anything new or groundbreaking to occur - just the same old tired lines (read: global cooling in the 70's and the medieval warming period), by the same group of people we've been writing about on DeSmogBlog for the last two years.
Of course, Heartland would have us all believe that this conference is an extravaganza of scientific inquiry, a “smashing success” they're calling it. But the media isn't buying that - most major outlets I talked to at the conference are not swallowing Heartland's talking points. Most are here to report on the dying days of the climate denial industry.
And dying days they are.
One reporter told me that if this conference was held two years ago, oil companies like ExxonMobil would have been all over it and would most likely have been the lead sponsor. But, even ExxonMobil wouldn't touch this circus with a 100-foot pole. In fact, no company is, the entire conference is being sponsored by freemarket right-wing think tanks.
No doubt, Heartland will be disappointed with the outcome of their attempt at reinvigorating the appearance of major scientific debate about the effect human activity, our continued over-consumption of oil, gas and coal, has on our earth's climate.
Unfortunately, this conference will also force Heartland and their industry-friendly think tank friends to go back to the drawing board and develop the next generation of PR spin, which could,if we all sit back in the belief that this battle is over, continue to sow public confusion and delay government, corporate and individual action on global warming.