A Center for American Progress (CAP) conference call to refute the claims of climate deniers deemed climate skeptics as a close-minded and shrinking minority spending much of the call insulting the intellect and motives of the Heartland Institute which held a scientific conference on climate skepticism a couple weeks ago.
When asked if anyone from the CAP was attending the Heartland Institute’s conference, Joseph Romm a senior fellow at CAP responded: “The people who are presenting have standard talking points they present that are long debunked in scientific literature. And there is nothing to be gained by asking questions of people whose minds are not open to the scientific evidence, and I will say many of the people presenting have launched pretty scurrilous attacks on leading climate scientists, and I don’t think that from a scientific perspective; they’re not credible sources.”
Peter Glick President of the Pacific Institute who was also on the call commented: “I haven’t been invited to the Heartland Conference. Second, I wouldn’t go. I go to many meetings as it is, and the interesting science is being done elsewhere. This is not a science conference. It’s a political conference. It’s a way for a small community, and I would argue a diminishing community, to get together in a self-support kind of role. Joe’s point is right; there is no science that is going to be discussed there that is new or interesting.”
Nothing more true to science then refusing an opportunity to debate other scientists fact by fact, right?
I asked Jim Lakely, Communications Director for the Heartland Institute: could you explain the reasoning and timeline of the Heartland Institute's invite to Center for American Progress Scientists to attend the International Conference on Climate Change?
Lakely responded by email, “we always invite the 'other side' to these events because we're actually interested in a discussion about what the science says about the climate. Few accept the invitation. Indeed, Romm and Glick rejected (again) their invitations, saying there was no new science to discuss. If they bothered to show up, they'd realize how wrong that is.
In fact, however, Romm sent reporters from his blog, Climate Progress -- a division of Think Progress, which is a division of the Center for American Progress. Our president, Joe Bast, sat down this morning for an interview with them. We'll talk to anyone because we're not afraid of debate, and because we know the truth about what the science says.
I should note that the scientists, who are attending this event, and our five previous conferences, don't get invitations to the events Romm and Glick attend. Draw your own conclusions.”
I then asked Lakely: how would you respond to the assertions that your organization adds nothing to the scientific dialogue and that this week's conference has no scientific value?
Lakely responded, “it's simply false. Two scientists here are presenting papers that will soon be published in peer-reviewed journals. This is common at all our conferences. Romm and Glick have no standing to assert otherwise when they won't accept our invitations to attend and question our presenters, nor even watch the live stream of the event.”
The Heartland Institute’s Sixth Annual International Conference on Climate Change includes balanced debate between noted believers and skeptics. Furthermore, among the speakers is Professor Emeritus of environmental science at the University of Virginia who with all his qualifications is a climate skeptic.
The Heartland Institute’s written response to CAP’s attack on their credibility and a live stream of the Conference can be found on the Heartland Institute’s website: http://www.heartland.org/environmentandclimate-news.org/index.html.
Jerad McHenry is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying political science and journalism interested in grassroots, advocacy, policy, and media relations.