Cooper: Sanity on climate change?

Cooper: Sanity on climate change?

March 25th, 2017 by Clint Cooper in Opinion Free Press

Protestors bury their heads in the sand in an attempt to depict countries with a lack of concern over climate change at a 2011 summit in Durban, South Africa.

Photo by Schalk van Zuydam

Perhaps, at least for four years, we'll have some sanity — or at least rationality — on climate change.

Apparently, that's also the hope of folks who gathered this week for the 12th International Conference on Climate Change organized by The Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based nonprofit public policy research and educational organization,

Joseph Bast, president of The Heartland Institute, challenged the status quo of climate alarmists right off the bat with his opening remarks to the audience of 300 that included scientists, elected officials, medical doctors, economists and one astronaut.

"Most scientists don't believe climate change is mostly man-made and dangerous," he said. "Most of the public don't believe it, either. Now, we have a president [in Donald Trump] who doesn't believe it."

That's quite a difference from the commonly tossed about phrase of 97 percent of "climate scientists" believing in the theory of man-made global warming.

Indeed, commentator Bradley Gitz put that claim to the lie in this space earlier this week, noting the 97 percent figure was drawn from "questionable interpretation" of the results of a two-question 2009 survey by a University of Illinois graduate student and her adviser.

"The sample size used in the survey was tiny," he wrote, "the number of those who responded only a small minority of that tiny sample, and the number among the respondents who had actually done any kind of research on climate smaller still (thus a minority of a minority)."

Another conference speaker, climate scientist Willie Soon, has concluded research showing the human influence on climate is smaller and less predictable than claimed by government scientists who worked for the Obama administration.

"No one should be surprised," he said, "when history records that this conference and the 11 that preceded it played a major role in protecting open and objective science at a time when politics and the tactics of intimidation threatened to extinguish it."

Bast said he wanted to "plot a new course based on real scientific data and economic analysis" and not on the "alarmism and fake science that dominated policymaking during the Obama era."

We believe that's what most Americans want — not to deny what they've experienced, that we've had more warm days in the last 20 years than, say, in the previous 20 years, but to determine — minus the politics — if it's actually a part of temperature peaks and valleys over millennia. We also believe Americans want to plot a reasonable course of energy consumption, too — not, as Sen. Jim Inhofe told the conference, where "every administrative entity under Obama was forced to embrace climate change as a top priority," and where climate change was viewed as a "greater threat than terrorism."

The Obama administration, Inhofe said, spent $120 billion on climate change. Trump, he said, wants to return the role of federal agencies "to their statutory intent" instead of punishing the American people "with heavy handed regulations from Washington that give little or no actual environmental benefit."

That's rationality we can all appreciate.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Chattanooga Times Free Press Comments Policy

The Chattanooga Times Free Press web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Times Free Press web sites and any content on the Times Free Press web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Times Free Press, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Times Free Press websites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Chattanooga Times Free Press
400 East 11th Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403
Phone: 423-757-6315