What do an Austrian rapper, an English comedian, a U.S. Congressman and 500 scientists have in common? For one, you could find them all at the 9th International Conference on Climate Change (#ICCC9). The event, sponsored by political think-tank The Heartland Institute, brought people from all over the world together to learn about the science of climate change at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, July 7-9 2014.
The Heartland Institute was founded in 1984 with the mission of researching and promoting free-market solutions to the nation’s problems. It employes 29 full-time staff, includes over 200 academics who participate in its peer review process, and counts over 160 elected officials on its legislative advisory board.
Heartland President and CEO Joseph Bast introduced Joe Bastardi, a consultant on weather prediction frequently seen on shows such as Fox News Live, The O’Reilly Factor, The Colbert Report, and CBS’s The Early Show. Bastardi took a humorous look at the global warming movement’s foibles, titling his presentation, with a tip of the hat to Jefferson Airplane, “When the Truth is Found to be Lies.”
He presented charts which he said showed serious contradictions and inconsistencies in the claims of “global warming alarmists,” concluding that people who claimed Elvis was still alive had more valid claims than the global warming crowd. He concluded with an appeal that people work on improving climate education, asking that the science showing that the sun, oceans and stochastic events, not CO2, influence climate be taught in the schools.
The second keynote was presented by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, who drew upon his many years in public service and a brief stint as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times to support his skepticism about claims of climate change alarmists.
In order to illustrate why it is difficult to get complicated scientific ideas explained clearly in mass media, Rohrabacher recalled an incident when his editor at the LA Times sent him to cover a presentation by a group of oceanographers who were to explain the impact an oil spill had on the California coast line. As he entered the offices where the presentation was scheduled, he saw a young woman holding a rubber duck, covered with oil, yelling, “Murderers, murderers!”
When he asked her why, she said that she had been hitchhiking into LA that morning and a man picked her up and promised her a place to stay if she would stand here, hold the duck, and yell.
Despite the spurious nature of the “demonstration,” Rohrabacher said, it was the image of the girl and oil-covered duck that made the front pages and TV news, not the scientific presentation.
Rohrabacher then recounted a long list of pseudo-science scares which had created brief tempests, including alar on apples, acid rain, cyclamate sweetener, the cranberry scare of the mid-fifties, the new ice age, Three Mile Island, freon in spray cans and the ozone hole. What all of these had in common, he said, was that they scared people, caused government to waste money, create more regulations, and take actions which usually lined someone’s pockets. He pointed out just how rich global warming had made Al Gore.
Rohrabacher concluded with an appeal to those at the conference to not lose hope and continue the battle to get the truth about climate change better known. “Hold firm to the truth,” he said, “and the American people will rush to us and we will win this battle.”
The evening ended up with performances by English comedian James Delingpole, who is also the editor of the London branch of breitbart.com, and Austrian rap artist Kilez More. After performing his climate change rap, with subtitles on the video, More spoke about the importance of reaching out to young people through the culture. “When they realize that money is being spent on preventing a theoretical global warming a hundred years from now that could be helping people today, they pay attention.” More concluded, “History has shown us when everyone has the same opinion, its time to take a second look.”