- - Monday, September 9, 2019

Scientific advancement benefits from more information, discussion and debate rather than less. With that in mind, The Heartland Institute is hosting public forums on climate change, beginning with livestreamed sessions Sept. 23, 2019, in New York City. Heartland has invited prominent man-made climate crisis advocates Kevin Trenberth, Michael Mann, Donald Wuebbles, Katharine Hayhoe, Brenda Ekwurzel and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to participate in the New York event.

Heartland will send invitations to Gavin Schmidt, Al Gore, Bill Nye, Bill McKibben and Susan Solomon — also prominent advocates of a man-caused climate crisis — to speak in a public forum in Colorado Springs on Oct. 29, 2019.

We are pleased to invite the above-mentioned public figures to join us at these informational forums. For too long, there hasn’t been any interactive discussions and cooperative sharing of information between the two camps of scientists — those who are raising the alarm of an imminent man-made climate crisis and those who aren’t alarmed because they believe our climate naturally changes over time, with or without man’s input, or who believe that the warming that is likely to occur in the coming century will not be detrimental to human health or well-being.

Worse, the lack of cooperative dialogue has devolved into outright hostility and ostracism between the two camps. Rather than form cliques that bad-mouth or shun each other, scientists seeking more understanding of climate change issues should work respectfully with each other to find common ground and solutions, if solutions are indeed necessary. We believe public discussions can serve to end the personal hostility that has for too long characterized this debate, facilitate cooperation among scientists with competing theories and educate the public on the most important climate change issues.

The general public is split on whether Earth’s recent modest warming is the precursor of an imminent crisis. Polls indicate a small majority would like to see policymakers keep climate change issues on their radar, but few favor spending a lot of their money on climate change or consider climate change a high-priority voting issue. Nevertheless, more scientific information will lead to better public understanding, as well as better scientific understanding, of climate change issues.

Scientists who are skeptical of the declared climate crisis point out the following facts:

•The ongoing, modest warming that has lifted us out of the Little Ice Age began well over 100 years ago — long before there were coal-fired power plants and SUVs.

•People are benefiting from the Earth’s recent gentle warming, including record-setting crop yields and an increase in global vegetation. Remember the 1970s when it was the scientific consensus that we needed to take action against global cooling and the coming ice age?

•Global temperatures during recent decades have risen at a much slower pace than United Nations’ predictions.

•Objective weather data show little, if any, intensifying of extreme weather events. Weather events like tornadoes and hurricanes are clearly becoming less frequent and less severe.

•There has been reduction in cold-induced premature deaths in recent years, thanks to global warming — and cold-induced deaths are 20 times more likely than heat-related deaths.

Heartland hopes our invited guests who believe in an imminent climate crisis will share their perspectives on the above points and bring facts that will make their points clearly and convincingly. This will make these discussions valuable — all scientific perspectives and facts can be presented and assessed. Science and public knowledge will be the ultimate winners.

The Sept. 23 forum in the Big Apple will coincide with the U.N. Climate Change Summit in the same city. The Oct. 29 Colorado Springs event will precede an important meeting of state legislators and other important influencers at the State Policy Network’s annual meeting. Visit heartland.org for more information about these events as the dates approach.

If the dates Heartland has chosen do not work in the schedules of the invited, we are willing to schedule additional future dates that work for Kevin Trenberth, Michael Mann, Don Wuebbles, Katharine Hayhoe, Brenda Ekwurzel, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Gavin Schmidt, Al Gore, Bill Nye, Bill McKibben and Susan Solomon. We are doing this because we believe and expect that the contributions of these invited guests will supplement those of scientists who are skeptical of a man-made climate crisis and will provide the most complete possible picture of climate science information for the American people and global policymakers.

Frank Lase (flasee@heartland.org) is president of The Heartland Institute, a national free-market think tank based in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

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