Institute, that is . In March it organized a conference on climate change in New York which I attended, and one of the heartland execs. has just sent me this letter. My response is in italics
"I am writing to protest the misrepresentation of the views of scientists who spoke at the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change, hosted by The Heartland Institute in March, in the BBC series “Earth: The Climate Wars.”
The BBC series is entirely one-sided and riddled with scientific errors. We regret that film taken at our conference was used in such a partisan and even mean-spirited piece of propaganda. It was particularly unfair and unethical to deliberately quote out of context scientists who spoke at our conference, plainly with the intent to mislead viewers about what they actually said and believe.
For example, climatologist Dr. Patrick Michaels gave a 30-minute keynote presentation at the International Conference with a theme (that has appeared in virtually all of his writing on the subject) that while some warming is taking place and human activity is partly responsible, there is no evidence that a pending global warming crisis. Michaels demonstrates how many "skeptics" in the global warming debate do not "deny" the basic science of climate change, but rather, understand that science better than most of the "alarmists" in the debate. Global warming is "real," but it is not a "crisis."
What does Taylor take us for? Could this be the same Pat Michaels seen before and since on Fox TV and elsewhere declaring global temperatures are flatlining and / or likely to head down for years to come ?
BBC presented a few of Michaels’ short statements out of context to assert that he “is in surprising agreement with the advocates of global warming.” BBC entirely and deliberately obscures Michaels' central point, that it is the amount of warming and its likely consequences that are the crux of the debate.
BBC showed a brief clip of Dr. Roy Spencer, who oversees satellite temperature data for NASA, acknowledging minor errors that needed correction in the NASA temperature datasets.
Translation: The satellite temperature trend aberrantly pointed down for decades while in reality temperatures were going up. The rest of the record speaks loudly to the mendacity of Taylor’s contention that Michaels and fellow keynote speaker Fred Singer have acknowledged the reality of global warming all along. A month before Spencer freely admitted the reversal in Science, the Michaels and Singer baldly denied in a Cato institute article that a satellite screw–up had occurred at all, insisting instead that ground-based instruments were at fault satellite data interpretation algorithm pointed the orbiting instrument’s global temperature trend down instead of up for a decade.
BBC then took Spencer’s statement out of context to assert that Spencer now agrees that the corrupted data from poorly located surface temperature stations confirm an alarming rise in global temperatures. Even the most cursory look at Dr. Spencer’s scientific website confirms that Dr. Spencer certainly does not believe what BBC asserted he believes.
A deeper look reveals that he did indeed, - just read his statements on the older pages of the same website. Taylor has really put his foot in it by trying to deny the scientific record. -- in a 2004 Cato Institute paper, Michaels loudly declared the ground and balloon data were right and the satellites wrong , and denied the reversal of the satellite temperature trend that Spercer acknowledged in Science at .
BBC repeatedly asserts that only a very small minority of “maverick” scientists disagrees with the proposition that humans are causing a global warming crisis. Yet BBC fails to mention that there were more than 500 "skeptical" scientists, economists, and policy experts at the conference.
Taylor fails to mention that most of them were sent by the political and religious think tanks , newspapers and magazines that employ them , and that all who spoke, myself included – ( I have written for the WSJ on the political abuse of science ), received $1,000 plus expenses , from the Heartland Institute for doing so. Those who were paid to attend far outnumbered those who paid in the hope of learning anything new, and any scientists who did – must have been sorely disappointed, since scarcely a paper presented there has been scientifically published in the peer reviewed literature.
fails to mention that more than 32,000 scientists have signed a petition presented by a past president of the National Academy of Sciences documenting that humans are not creating a global warming crisis.
BBC also fails to mention that an international survey completed by more than 500 climate scientists found widespread doubts about how much of the warming of the 20th century was due to human activities and the reliability of forecasts of future warming. Or that fewer than half of the scientists surveyed believe the science is sufficiently settled to justify turning the issue of global warming over to policymakers.
The BBC goes to great lengths to assert that scientists at the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change engaged in a scientifically baseless and mean-spirited campaign to cast doubt on Michael Mann’s infamous “hockey stick” graph of alleged global temperatures during the past 1,000 years. The BBC somehow fails to note that a panel of scientists and statisticians appointed by the U.S. Congress concluded that the hockey stick graph is based on cherry-picked data and is not supported by sound science.
The BBC failed to report that The Heartland Institute invited scientists who believe global warming is a crisis to attend its conference and defend their thesis; none attended. (Joseph Bast reported this in his opening remarks at the conference; it was not a secret.)
That's not true. Taylor can hide behind the word "crisis" but I stood up to be counted when bast raised the rhetorical question ' How many people here believe in global warming ? ' which sits very oddly with his present equivocation. and found the event overrun with evangelists and political operatives up to and including Ralph Reed and Marc Morano bent on converting me from what they styled the “Warmist” creed.
Or that the conference featured one hundred speakers from a dozen countries and more than 30 universities who delivered presentations that asked questions that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change refuses to address, and delivered reports on new research casting doubt on the fundamental assumptions of the alarmist position. Somehow, the BBC managed to miss those presentations, and its "documentary" hides them from its viewers. That is a disservice to the BBC's viewers.
Thankfully, the BBC has a chance to "get it right." The Heartland Institute is hosting a second International Conference on Climate Change, once again in New York, on March 8-10, and we once again expect to attract hundreds of scientists from around the world “
Really ? There were well over a hundred speakers, but from day one to the end , I could find only 20 individuals presenting anything touching on the science in question . At both of the conferences main events- a dinner and a luncheon , Bast twice summoned all those styling themselves scientists to be photographed for the record .
The numbers talk- instead of the hundreds Taylor claims but a grand total of 19 of his equally mythical cohort 32,000 came forward . if Heartland wants to persuade us more qualify as bona fide scientists , it should run the lot through Science Citation Indes, Scirrus and Google Scholar – a list of their peer reviewed publications before the conference and since would be most illuminating, since I am still awaiting the appearance of the keynote speech in an AGU journal.
“ who want to be heard in the debate over global warming. The BBC is once again welcome to attend and film presentations. This time, we hope they have the integrity and honesty to share with the BBC's viewers what the speakers actually have to say.”
I am looking forward to seeing it. especially in the light of this e-mail from Senator Inhofe's office :
"The organizers of a March 2008 conference that brought together more than 500 scientists, economists, and other experts on global warming today unveiled plans to hold a second conference on March 8-10, 2009, once again in New York City.
The 2009 International Conference on Climate Change will serve as a platform for scientists and policy analysts from around the world who question the theory of man-made climate change. This year's theme, "Global Warming Crisis: Cancelled," calls attention to new research findings that contradict the conclusions of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.
Hosting the conference for the second consecutive year will be The Heartland Institute, ...
"Last March we proved that the skeptics in the debate over global warming constitute the center or mainstream of the scientific community, 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. Opinion polls and political events, including the defeat of 'cap-and-trade' legislation in the U.S. Senate, also suggest this 'crisis' is over. It has been cancelled by sound science and common sense."
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) Inhofe Staff