Jim covered Congress and The White House during the George W. Bush administration for The Washington Times, and worked as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California. He has appeared on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, and many local and national talk radio shows to talk politics and policy.
Latest posts by Jim Lakely (see all)
We here at The Heartland Institute know a thing or two about global warming skepticism. Indeed, you could say we wrote the book. So count us as a little surprised that a play about global warming skepticism called “The Heretic” is now running in London — and that the left-wing Guardian newspaper gave it favorable notice. A quick summary from that remarkable review of the play:
[The play] starts from a promising premise: the isolation of Dr Diane Cassell, a leading light in the earth sciences department of a Yorkshire university. Her speciality is measuring sea levels in the Maldives, and her pragmatism leads her to conclude they have not risen in 20 years.
Inevitably her climate-change scepticism lands her in trouble: She gets death threats from Sacred Earth Militia, is at odds with her anorexic Greenpeace daughter, and is eventually suspended by her faculty boss and former lover. Her consolation is a student, Ben, whom she induces to share her strictly scientific approach to global warming.
The story of being ostracized — and even threatened — for daring to state publicly that the climate data leads to a non-alarmist position is not uncommon to the many scientists who have presented their heterodox findings at Heartland’s five International Conferences on Climate Change. (Click the following links for footage of conference one, and two, and three, and four and five.)
Long-time British television presenter Johnny Ball (now retired) is especially moved by the production of that play. Ball had produced science shows for the BBC for decades, and he wrote a piece in the London Daily Mail today titled “Beware the global warming fascists: Johnny Ball on how he has been vilified for daring to question green orthodoxy.” Of the play, Ball wrote:
I could already sink to my knees in gratitude. Because in my own quiet and reasonable way, I am that global warming heretic.
The Daily Mail gave Ball ample room to explain that passage, and the provocative-but-accurate headline. His essay is not to be missed.
We’ll post some excerpts here, but you really should read the whole thing.
In the past decade or so I’ve been mocked, vilified, besmirched — I’ve even been booed off a theatre stage — simply for expressing the view that the case for global warming and climate change, and in particular the emphasis on the damage caused by carbon dioxide, the so-called greenhouse gas that is going to do [us in], has been massively over-stated.
For daring to take this contrarian view, I’ve lost bookings, had talks cancelled and been the subject of a sinister internet campaign against me that only came to an end following the intervention of the police.
There was even a painful moment recently when if you Googled my name, the second site that came up mysteriously redirected you to a site offering explicit pornographic pictures.
Ball on what the policies of the “climate-change zealots” will do:
… we are spending so much money on reducing carbon emissions that there is a danger of us bankrupting ourselves — and future generations — to solve a problem that in the opinions of a growing number of scientists and opinion-formers has been wildly exaggerated.
Ball on how he came to see “green energy” as a dead end:
I instinctively warmed to the almost Heath Robinson-like engineering behind those early attempts to harvest the energy of the wind and the waves, the tide and the sun. But there was a big problem: Hard as I tried, I couldn’t make the sums add up. These devices either didn’t produce anything like enough energy, or the energy they produced was too expensive to be economically viable.
None came close to reproducing the power of the physical process that has driven our civilisation since the Industrial Revolution … Until renewable energy could [match] that, I couldn’t see how it had a serious future. I checked the sums — they were right — and walked away.
Ball on the burden a “green” future (as demanded by the alarmists) will impose on all of us:
The result is a growing burden of green taxes, renewable energy subsidies and unseen charges that will cost us — and particularly our children — billions and billions of pounds.
Already, these additional costs are adding 50 per cent to all our energy bills, and 50 per cent to air-fares. At a time of severe economic hardship, when thousands of jobs are being lost and households struggle to make ends meet, this is a potentially ruinous burden. …
I want a clean, green planet. But this obsession with controlling carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere is now as dangerous as it is ridiculous.
It’s hard to not keep excerpting until I post almost everything Ball wrote. Happily, there is plenty to chew in his comprehensive piece. Ball explains how the “consensus” data has been manipulated to fit the pre-set conclusion of the alarmists. He writes about how additional CO2 emitted in the atmosphere is not necessarily a bad thing, how the ecosystem has self-correcting mechanisms (two molecules of water vapor are produced for every molecule of CO2 human activity creates), and how the United Nations’ “science” on this matter is hopelessly error-ridden and corrupt.
But Ball, who made his reputation as being a sort of “Bill Nye the Science Guy” for British children, is especially concerned about the insidious “brainwashing” of the world’s youth on this topic. Like Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney — the producers of the stirring anti-alarmist documentary “Not Evil, Just Wrong” — Ball is troubled that children believe a horrible (and untrue) ghost story.
[Schoolchildren] tell me how worried they are about global warming, rising sea-levels and, having seen alarmist films such as Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth,” the imminent prospect of all human life being wiped out.
And this breaks my heart. I want children to be excited about the future, not cowed by it. I want them to grow up in a world which is going to be better than the one their parents knew, not significantly worse. I want them to grow up excited by technology and new inventions, not worrying about where the electricity is going to come from to power them.
And that exciting future could still be theirs. There is plenty of power out there if we’ll only let them have it.
That power comes not from the dead ends of wind, solar and biofuels. It comes from clean coal, natural gas and nuclear energy — and the “ordinary” energy sources that currently fuel the world, and are not “killing” the planet. Alas, the dystopian future the life-controlling alarmists peddle has no room for optimism, common sense, or scientific truth.