First we take Manhattan

homer.jpg Steve Jobs, Apple’s iCEO, is said to possess a “reality distortion field” that allows him to make all Apple products sound great – even when they’re mundane. To quote Wikipedia: “RDF is the idea that Steve Jobs is able to convince people to believe almost anything with a mix of charm, charisma, bluster, exaggeration, and marketing.” It’s a perfect description of The Heartland Institute’s approach to climate change in its announcement of a second International Conference on Climate Change. Helpfully sub-titled Global Warming Crisis: Cancelled (so that there can be no confusion about its main thrust), it’s to be held in New York next March. It promises to be a major paradigm shift in the climate debate[1. Not really, I’m being sarcastic.], according to bombastic Heartland boss Joseph Bast:

Last March we proved that the skeptics in the debate over global warming constitute the center or mainstream of the scientific community[2. Not really, he’s making that up.], while the alarmists are on the fringe,” said Heartland President Joseph Bast. “In the past six months, the science has grown even more convincing that global warming is not a crisis[3. No, it hasn’t – if anything it’s become more convincing that things are worse than we thought.].

There’s a bit more detail about Heartland’s take on the climate problem on the conference background page:

Until the debate over global warming was politicized in the 1990s, the scientific “consensus” was that the Modern Warming is moderate and natural[4. No, it wasn’t.]. Books and recent literature reviews suggest this is still the consensus[5. He’s making things up again], even though it contradicts the alarmists’ views.


Distinguished scholars[6. Mostly “grumpy old deniers“.] from the U.S. and around the world have addressed these questions seriously and without institutional bias[7. But with lashings of political bias.]. Their findings[8. They made them up.] suggest the Modern Warming is moderate and partly or even mostly a natural recovery from the Little Ice Age; that the consequences of moderate warming are positive for humanity and wildlife[9. Only in La-la Land]; that predictions of future warming are wildly unreliable; that the costs of trying to “stop global warming” exceed hypothetical benefits by a factor of 10 or more[10. Only by applying La-la Economicsâ„¢]; and more.

The RDF is strong in this Bast. So strong, he could almost whisk his audience off to another planet – rather convenient, because many of the speakers seem (judging by some of their “work“) to be already there.

Where next for this conference, I wonder? Berlin?

[Title reference: one, two]

6 thoughts on “First we take Manhattan”

  1. Good old “natural recovery from the Little Ice Age”, as if climate is some kind of rubber band that, due to internal dynamics alone, returns to its initial state after perturbation. A lovely little non-explanation.

  2. I expect the NZ CSC will be there in force. Bob Carter is on the speaker list, and Terry Dunleavy is secretary of the International CSC. They’ll be queuing up to fawn over everybody’s favourite Looney Lordâ„¢…

  3. Fragment,

    Quite, the whole thing about an elastic band is that it’s properties cause a rebound. Where is the denialists’ evidence for such a property in climate? How much “rebound” should I expect from stretching a glass rod?

    I don’t know if you’ve seen this but, from the BBC…
    Arctic ice thickness ‘plummets’

    The thickness of Arctic sea ice “plummeted” last winter, thinning by as much as 49 centimetres (1.6ft) in some regions, satellite data has revealed.

    A study by UK researchers showed that the ice thickness had been fairly constant for the previous five winters.

    The team from University College London added that the results provided the first definitive proof that the overall volume of Arctic ice was decreasing….

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