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Questioning the climate crusade

April 25, 2010

From the 16th to 18th of May the Heartland Institute will be hosting their 4th international conference on climate change in Chicago.

Heartland takes a position that has variously been described as “denialist”, “skeptical” or “realist”, but which I like to call “non-scared”. I say that because the conference includes science contrarians (Willie Soon, Richard Lindzen, Fred Singer, Chris Monckton), but it also includes people who accept the mainstream story of a warming planet caused by greenhouse gases (and I cautiously include myself in that category) but who nonetheless don’t believe this represents an impending catastrophe, and it certainly doesn’t justify rushing into bad public policy.

I went along to their 2nd conference in March 2009 as a representative of the Australian Libertarian Society, which is a co-sponsor, and thought it was a very worthwhile event. The quality of the speakers was variable, with some unconvincing presentations mixed in with some interesting and high-quality talks. I particularly liked Pat Michaels (who I later arranged to visit Australia as a guest of the CIS), Gabrial Calzada, Myron Ebell, and Ross McKitrick. Thankfully, all of those speakers will be back for this conference.

This time around I was lucky enough to be able to arrange one of the sessions. The speakers for our 90 minutes include Senator Cory Bernardi (talking about how Australia avoided an ETS), Dr Joseph Clark (talking about non-government responses to climate change) and myself (looking at the economics of the governments ETS policy).

Other Australians at the conference will include Alan Moran, William Kininmonth, Kesten Green, Ian Plimer, Bob Carter and Garth Paltridge. Tim Andrews has even threatened to fly up from Washington DC to be a guest star.

If you would like to join us, I do have some free conference tickets available, though you’ll have to arrange your own flights (check www.kayak.com for cheap flights) and accommodation. Those interested can contact me on john.humphreys99@gmail.com

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