The Heretics: A Legacy of Independence

Rich Trzupek is a veteran environmental consultant and senior advisor to the Heartland Institute. He is the author of the new book Regulators Gone Wild: How the EPA is Ruining American Industry (Encounter Books).


It’s time to wrap up The Heretics series. We haven’t come close to covering all of the scientists and researchers who question the tenets of global warming alarmism, but the small sampling of prominent skeptics featured on these pages should be enough to make it obvious that significant, sincere and scientifically valid arguments exist that refute the Gorethodoxy of so-called “climate change.”

In addition to the heretics we have featured, there are legions of others. Atmospheric physicists Fred Singer at the University of Virginia, Richard Lindzen at MIT and legendary meteorologist John Coleman, just to name a few, have been out on the front lines, waging a battle for scientific integrity, for years. The Heartland Institute, a cornucopia of information about global warming, has published the names of hundreds of skeptical scientists. More than thirty thousand scientists, including this one, have lent their names to the Global Warming Petition Project, declaring that they agree with the following statement:

“We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.

There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”

The myth of scientific consensus on global warming, once so prevalent, has been discredited to the point that only die-hard liberal policy makers still cling to it. About fifty percent of Americans now believes that natural planetary trends are responsible for climate change and public support for greenhouse gas regulation continues to dwindle. The alarmists are scrambling to repackage their message in hopes of rekindling the global warming fire, but they face daunting challenges. One can only cry wolf so many times before people start to tune you out.

When Al Gore’s disciples attempt to discredit skeptics, aka “denialists” in their world, they usually stick to a couple of themes. The first is to label the individual in question as a corporate stooge, usually with alleged ties to Exxon-Mobil, who has sold out science in exchange for a fat paycheck. The second is to declare that the skeptic is a crackpot who doesn’t really understand the science involved and is simply making wild, unverifiable assertions with no basis in reality. Neither claim can survive close scrutiny.

The supposed connection between Exxon-Mobil and skeptics, so near and dear to the hearts of alarmists like Greenpeace, is simply ludicrous. Consider just one example: According to Greenpeace’s website Exxon Secrets, the Heartland Institute is closely tied to the oil giant. However, Heartland points out that it has never received more than five percent of its funding from Exxon-Mobil and has not received any donations from the company since 2006.

Skeptic Dr. Roy Spencer works for the University of Alabama and has no ties to Exxon-Mobil or any other corporation. Skeptic Dr. Richard Lindzen is a respected professor at MIT, Steve McIntyre is a retired, independent mining engineer and Anthony Watts is a meteorologist. None of them can be tied to big oil, big coal or any other big business except by employing smears and innuendo. The skeptics, including this one, have been motivated by a deep respect for the scientific method, revulsion at the way that method has been perverted by alarmists and the fear that taking action to solve the non-existent problem of global warming will do irreparable harm to the global economy and the world’s inhabitants.

The second allegation, that skeptics don’t know what they are talking about, is equally foolish. Certainly there are those at the fringes of the blogosphere who make unsubstantiated, non-scientific arguments in opposition to global warming dogma. But, it’s equally true that there are plenty of people, including mainstream media figures like Thomas Friedman and Chris Matthews, who make equally unsubstantiated, non-scientific arguments in support of Gore’s agenda. When it comes to hard science, there is a strong body of legitimate research that suggests that while increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere can affect the climate, that effect is insignificant when compared to natural forces.

That is and has been the core of what skeptics like Spencer, McIntyre and Steve Milloy have been saying for a long time. Every legitimate scientist will acknowledge that human activity can influence our environment. The real question is: How much? There is a growing body of evidence that seems to show that answer to that question is “not much at all.” We have the heretics to thank for that answer. Without them, the world would be much farther along toward realizing the economic disaster that would follow if we tried to implement Al Gore’s carbon-free utopia in full.

  • tarleton

    Algore's carbon credits are the ''newage'' version of the indulgences that triggered the Reformation and soon we will have an honest uncorruptable scientist who will play the role of a Martin Luther
    I suspects there will be witchhunts and attempts to metaphorically burn heretics at the stake…..but you can only cry ''wolf'' so many times before all credibility is lost….fini Algore

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Swemson Swemson

    To sum it up………..

    Warming is Good!

    • peachey

      My nephew came up with a few slogans:
      Warming and sunshine……..good for growing flowers and children
      Warming……good for all life
      Warming is good… for everyone, everywhere
      Warming is just what is needed for life,everywhere
      Warming is what keeps life growing
      Warming is just what the earth needs
      Warming….is what the planet needs

      When he( age 11) emailed this I thought that he was such a smartie to have more brains than his teachers probably do.

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/Swemson Swemson

        Smart kid…

        I'm saving this… thanksfs

  • tarleton

    Algore reminds me of the concieted , befuddeled, corpulent priest from the Middle Ages and his gross hypocricy….how many mansions and private aircraft does he own…..''who will rid us of this meddlesome priest''?
    I 'm just waiting for the Gods of fate to step in and Algore to be the victim of a tornado or earthquake…this windbag of ozz …ecotwit…green dork , deserves it

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Swemson Swemson

      It sort of happened already, but on a very small scale unfortunately…

      On July 21st, 2009, the record for the coldest recorded temperature since the 1870's, when we were still in the Little Ice Age, was smashed in Algor's home town of Nashville.

      fs

  • tarleton

    Algore should be indicted for inciting a climate of hysteria…this sanctimonious'' windbag of ozz'' needs to be deflated…..he's still deranged over his'' stolen election'' and is determined to be the world guru of climatology
    If it were not for the good people of Tenessee , this twit would be President ! ! !
    Obama is bad enough , but President Gore would have been too painful to endure

    In a democracy , you get the goverment you deserve…..I guess we didn't quite deserve this dork

  • Judy K. Warner

    You mention the Global Warming Petition, but nowhere, here or anywhere else, have I seen any discussion of the scientists behind the project. Perhaps that's because he doesn't seek publicity, and doesn't appear on TV or write for websites. The article he wrote with his son (a scientist) and another scientist is circulated with the petition and appears here: http://www.petitionproject.org/review_article.php

    His name is Arthur Robinson. In addition to his scientific work, he puts out a splendid newsletter called Access to Energy, a monthly publication that combines commentary on liberty and energy with scientific information. He is a top scientist who was the colleague of Linus Pauling. As his six homeschooled children grow up they are also becoming noted scientists. He's the kind of guy who should be the subject of profiles all over, but as I said, perhaps he doesn't want publicity, he just wants to do his work. If you look at his main site — http://www.oism.org/ — you will find links to all the different things he is involved in.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/The_Inquisitor The_Inquisitor

      I used to subscribe to Access to Energy maybe thirty years ago, but Arthur Robinson does not sound like a familiar name. I suspect Robinson continued after the person whose name escapes me bowed out. Can you fill me in on the history?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/ryukyu ryukyu

    I wouldn't worry too much about Kyoto since we'd have to change our Constitution to sign it. They just use it to string the left along. As far as tying Big Oil to the Heartland, does that mean that PBS is also in the pocket of Big Oil? I don't think so.

  • james wheaton

    It is clear that publications like this and its authors are part of the echo chamber of climate change denial. Stand back and look at what you are saying – it is a carbon copy of what was done with tobacco and other "inconvenient truths" and many of the players are the same. It is all merely orchestrated sowing of doubt and confusion. If you are part of it – shame on you. If you have been duped by it – shame on you anyway.

    As what eventually happened with big tobacco, changes will be made. Sanity will prevail in spite of the denial machine. To combat the effects of global warming there will be rules and market forces which will involve new technologies for renewable energy, and a price on carbon. Bet on it.

    And the sooner the likes of you and your ilk move aside, the sooner we can start mitigating the effects. Hopefully our children will be OK. Thanks to you, there is plenty of doubt about that.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/ryukyu ryukyu

      You're as forth coming with the data to back up your claims as the rest of the Goracle acolytes.

    • George Nedway

      Yes James, big tobacco fought for cigarettes and lost. Now which of you do-gooders is going to speak out about smoking marijuana which does similar lung damage if not worse because it is drawn more deeply into the lungs. I'm waiting. Today's science depends heavily on whose ox is "gored."
      George

    • P.N. Garland

      so sad james, you are with the well spoken but clueless.

    • Democracy First

      Follow the money: Huge grants to scientists to prove – but not disprove – AGW theory; huge tax increases – and what liberal government doesn't want more money, more programs, more to spend?; huge corprotations looking to be enriched exponentially by the trading of carbon credits; huge income flows to the UN and transfers to all the 3rd world countries making up a majority of that institution; Al Gore looking to be the first green billionaire – ever see the list if his investments that stand to earn hinm an unimaginable fortune if AGW theory is acted upon?

      As I said, follow the money and you'll see what motivates so many to claim theory to be fact, and to ignore all evidence to the contrary.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Rifleman Rifleman

      Too bad, so sad, people are catching on to the scam. "Climate change," is a self-fulfilling prophecy, and if you've been watching since the early '70s, a 'solution' in search of a problem. I wouldn't bet on the carbon racket, but you can always count on there being plenty of suckers and dupes. I just printed up a fresh batch of carbon credits, if you'd like to buy some.

    • Ron Benvenutti

      Part 1 – Maybe it would be a good idea to start from the beginning of this "climate change" debate, the current name that, until recently, was "man-made global warming", that used to be the "global cooling" scare back in the early 1970's – see Popular Science and The New York Times during that time.
      By the way, it was the same handful of "scientists" (Hanson, Mann, et al) then predicting the end of the world in an ice blanket, that, when they realized that the natural warming cycle was reversing (once again, every 20-30 years), began to trumpet the end of the world from warming from the 1980's onward.

    • Ron Benvenutti

      Part 2 -Since they realized that the warming was actually coming on too slowly to really scare the public, they began to "invent" computerized climate modeling systems, that they could then slowly "push" in the warming direction, along with fabricating data (the infamous "hock stick graph" that has since been proven to be a complete fraud and admitted so by its author Mann), eliminating cool temperature readings by sleight of hand and then by outright fraud (see all the climate gate email revelations and raw data literally discarded to avoid FOI requests), and within the last 10 years, as new satellite recording systems began to replace the doctored land-based temperature recording stations that have now been shown to have been fraudulently manipulated by these "scientists", not only have the satellite readings shown no global warming, but have begun to show global cooling for the last 10 years.

    • Ron Benvenutti

      Part 3 – At the same time as the satellites began to indicate a cooling trend, these fraudulent "scientists" have been trumpeting "the warmest decade on record", and the "warmest year on record" – they got away early on with this by refusing access to both their raw data (which they finally had to destroy to attempt to hide their fraud) and doctored climate modeling computer software that they refused to provide to interested climate scientists that they knew would discover their fraud.
      The point of all this is that the earth has been warming up ever since the end of the last 'major' ice age of 10,000 years ago, has gone through 'minor' swings of cooling and re-warming –

    • Ron Benvenutti

      Part 4 – i.e. the warming trend that allowed the Vikings to farm Greenland and Newfoundland a thousand years ago, the ‘Little Ice Age’ of the 14th Century that brought on the The Black Death Plague, and the severe cold snap in the 1890’s that froze the Hudson River solidly enough to stop all boat traffic and allow people to walk across from New Jersey to New York – all before there were enough people on the earth to matter and long before the industrial revolution began to roar ahead with coal or oil burning.

    • Ron Benvenutti

      Part 5 – And now, in spite of a huge increase in world population and huge oil and coal consumption over the last 4 or 5 decades, the earth is, once again, going through a cooling cycle, that seems to coincide with recently revealed findings of unusual sun spot cycle activity (or, lack thereof) and better understanding of the mechanics of the sun’s interior – see most recent articles by NASA on the sun – that seems to affect the amount of clouds in the upper atmosphere – the most potent temperature mediator, far more important than any other contributor to the greenhouse effect.

    • Ron Benvenutti

      Part 6 – Add to the variability of the sun’s output to the possible effects from the changing ocean currents, the constant movement of the continents from plate tectonics, volcano eruptions and comet strikes, and the wobble of the earth that does affect the amount of heat from the sun reaching the earth’s surface, it is highly unlikely than ANY human effort could affect nature’s own cycles, one way or the other.
      Not an easy subject to put across in a few sentences.

  • peachey

    James,
    As with tobacco, the evidence was there for evaluation and scientific scrutiny.As with the global warming hoax, there is no scientific data, no cause and effect, no adherence to the scientific method and absolutely no integrity of discovery by those that have sought to enrich themselves through grants, laws and taxation. You do not need to subscribe to the global warming religion of hysteria and "the sky is falling" to believe that alternative methods of energy using all and any sources is immediately needed. However, for those that do not understand the scientific method of discovery, I will explain that in order for a "discovery and it's principles" to be considered valid, then the data and all associated discovery methods must be made available for all to verify or disprove. The GW "scientists" conspired and deliberately with malice destroyed all data that would have proven their "theory".With this turn of events one needs to look at the source of the GW hoax and see the back door attempt to massively tax and enrich only the few rich that would reap the benefits.

  • Twister

    Where is more food? In a hot Africa or in a cold North Pole? Warming would be beneficial, but, the TRUTH is – it is global COOLING.
    Now – why don't the media demand from Algor, self-proclaimend "Inventor of the Internet" and a "Scientist" knowing more than real ones – giving back the Nobel Prize?
    Printed main stream media – please use thinner paper, we may save on toilet paper, you useless, lying, brown-nosed cretins.

  • Rationalist

    Human activity has the power to turn the earth's surface into charred masses overnight, and that's a scientific fact.

    • Democracy First

      Yeah, but we're unlikely to solve global cooling with a thousand nuke detonations.

    • Wideband

      What do you base that on? Give me a credible source to reference that.

  • brimp

    Al Gore recently stated before Congress that nobody has refuted his global warming BS. This is a lie. He should be held for lying to Congress.

  • USMCSniper

    An Inconvenient Truth grossed about $50 million at the box office and millions more in DVD and book sales. Crackpot Al Gore charges as much as $175,000 for an in-person presentation of his slide show that forms the basis for the film. He has also made over $100 million in his carbon footprint scam.