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.
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Correcting errors in prominent media reports about Heartland’s just-concluded Ninth International Conference on Climate Change is turning out to be an exhausting job. I did it earlier for Slate’s Will Oremus, and now it’s Abe Streep’s turn over at Bloomberg.
An interesting take on our conference. Some errors require correction, however.
1. Pat Garafalo is a state representative in Minnesota. That is, he serves in the Minnesota House of Representatives in St. Paul, not in Congress in Washington. You chatted him up at a two-hour dinner and still made that mistake? Good grief!
2. You wrote: “Called the ICCC for short, the acronym is an intentional echo of the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an international body that has published the most comprehensive studies of global warming. The ICCC, not IPCC, conference has been held in New York, Munich, and Chicago.”
I don’t believe that was intentional, but it could be. I’ve never asked Joe. But you have no possible way of knowing that it was “intentional” — because you didn’t ask me, nor can you read Joe’s mind — so how is that statement true?
Also: We’ve held our conferences in New York, Chicago, Washington, Munich, and Sydney.
3. You wrote: “Bast seemed to be trying to adjust to this shift in his speech, arguing that Heartland does not promote denial of a changing climate, but rather skepticism of the scientific consensus that anthropogenic (man-made) global warming is a grave threat to the planet.”
I’m assuming that you are operating on the constant lie by Heartland’s ideological enemies that we “deny climate change.” Heartland and the scientists it works with have never promoted “denial of a changing climate.” The climate is always changing. The question is whether man’s contribution to climate change rises above statistical noise and whether it is a crisis. So, since Heartland has never denied climate change, what Joe said is not really an adjustment. That’s been a consistent theme throughout now nine conferences on climate change.
4. You wrote that Joe Bastardi “touched the hem of full-blown denial.”
Bastardi did not deny that the climate changes. Watch it again. (He starts at about the 30-minute mark.)
5. You wrote about Peter Gleick.
Peter Gleick admitted to stealing our internal documents by pretending to be a member of Heartland’s board of directors via email. Something he sent to leftist websites to attack us was called a “climate strategy document,” which is a leftist fantasy about how Heartland operates. hat is the forgeddocument, and it’s obvious. Get caught up on all this at Fakegate.org.
6. You wrote of our event at the National Press Club in April to release the latest in the Climate Change Reconsidered series: “Turnout was minimal, the event cut short when multiple reporters asked why much of the science cited within came from the 1970s.”
I don’t recall seeing you there, so by what do you base that characterization? We actually had two consecutive press conferences in that room because of confusion about when the press release said it started. We were available to reporters for two hours. Joe answered questions about the dates of the citations from partisan reporters from the Guardian and a lefty website. We did not “cut it short” because of those questions. Again, how would you know? You weren’t there. Why don’t you share your source for that — if not with me with your readers?
7. You wrote: “Heartland’s strategy seemed to be to throw many theories at the wall and see what stuck.”
We don’t strategize with the scientists and policy experts who present. If there is any unified perspective of the skeptic scientists it’s that various natural factors are the main drivers of climate change. So it is really a surprise that scientists from varied disciplines are going to talk about/advocate for their own discipline as being a main driver?
We’re likely to have another conference next year. Maybe you’ll have a better understanding of what is going on the second time.
UPDATE, July 11: Abe replied today.
Garofalo’s title has been corrected. We regret that one. I’m sorry if you dispute other characterizations in the story, but we stand by it.