Heartland Institute's "Journalist Guide on Global Warming Experts" Misguided

UPDATE: I’ve started a List of Global Warming and Climate Change Experts for Media on DeSmogBlog, this one includes a lot of well-known scientists actively publishing in the scientific fields related to global warming and climate change.

Please drop me a line at: [email protected] with any additional names you would suggest.

Given the economic crisis we’re in that’s due in large part to the unrestricted abuse of the “free market” even the most jaded of sorts must now be more than a little wary about the expertise of the so-called “free market” think tanks that abound in the United States.

One such free-market champion, the Heartland Institute has sent out a “Journalist’s Guide to Global Warming Experts” in the hopes that somehow journalists will be fooled into thinking that the list they have been provided is “the nation’s leading experts on climate change and related topics.”

Nation’s leading experts in global warming?

It’s amazing what will pass for an expert these days. Well, at least by the Heartland Institute’s standards, which include:

Calvin E. Beisner, the evangelical organizer who once posed the question regarding AIDS funding:

[but] is it rational to allocate $3.5 billion dollars to fight a disease that is almost 100 percent self-inflicted by people intent on immoral and irrational behavior?

Sterling H. Burnett, Fox News pundit and think tank fellow, who once compared Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth to films made by Adolf Hitler’s chief propagandist, Joseph Goebells:

“You don’t go see Joseph Goebbels’ films to see the truth about Nazi Germany. You don’t want to go see Al Gore’s film to see the truth about global warming.”

Dennis Avery, think tank fellow for the Hudson Institute, who once argued that:

”.. organic farming would produce more cancer, not less,” because, “…it’s hard to get kids to eat shabby-looking produce.”

Myron Ebbel, another think tanker working for the oil-friendly Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). 

Tom Harris, founder of the now defunct oil-lobby connected Natural Resource Stewardship Project.

These guys are about as expert in the science of global warming as I am in knitting sweaters. At the least, they sure as heck aren’t the nation’s leading experts.

The list goes on and on and you can check out our comprehensive research database to cross-reference more names.  And if you are media and if you are looking for a comprehensive list of the climate change denial industry, than look no further than the Heartland Institute’s guide.


Hmmm.  I wonder how many peer-reviewed scientific journal articles any of these guys have which actually refute climate change.  Probably none, as usual.

What would that mean to you?  They are credible?  Or are they a priori not credible just because they are skeptical?  Recall that AGW is the only discipline in science that prevents, ridicules, and tries to pretend skepticsm does not apply.  It’s for that very reason alone I challenge AGW at ever opporunity.

Here is one article that just does not square with AGW orthodoxy.


(Accepted by Energy and Environment Aug 2008)

Limits on CO

2 Climate Forcing from Recent Temperature Data of Earth

David H. Douglass

a and John R. Christy



The global atmospheric temperature anomalies of

Earth reached a maximum in 1998 which has not been exceeded during the subsequent 10 years. The global anomalies are calculated from the average of climate effects occurring in the tropical and the extratropical latitude bands. El Niño/La Niña effects in the tropical band are shown to explain the 1998 maximum while variations in the background of the global anomalies largely come from climate effects in the northern extratropics. These effects do not have the signature associated with CO2 climate forcing. However, the data show a small underlying positive trend that is consistent with CO2

climate forcing with no-feedback.

Or is this just a priori nonsence in your view, to be just rejected out of hand.

Isnt it amazing, that dyed in the wool deniers like JRW, reject the mountain of peer-reviewed science and focus on some piece of dross [rhymes with ‘plit’ a real word - (the material thrown-up by a ploughshare)] from Energy and Environment.

That piece is intellectual dishonesty to the nth degree.  If it was possible to quantify the anomaly of the 1997-98 El Niño and remove it from the system, it would be very apparent that the planet continued to warm, uninterrupted, until 2007 (when a La Niña occurred to give anomalously low temperatures).  It is also a sign of poor science if it is published in E&E, a journal not recognized as peer-reviewed by the Institute for Scientific Information (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institute_for_Scientific_Information).