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)
The Vatican, faithful Catholics around the world, and UN climate alarmists heard us. One climate expert for the UN — Peter Raven — even took Heartland’s name in vain inside the halls of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences where the one-day summit was held on Tuesday.
Perhaps then there is hope, then, that Francis’ upcoming encyclical will be less reflective of the unscientific alarmism of the United Nations and more responsive to reality: The globe is not dangerously warming, and the poor of the world should not be kept in poverty in service to that myth.
The members of Heartland’s mission to the Holy See brought with them a mix of expertise on the science, the policy, and the morality of putting the Catholic Church’s authority behind the United Nations’ climate agenda:
- E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D., national spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation
- Hal Doiron, former NASA Skylab and Space Shuttle engineer
- Richard Keen, Ph.D., meteorology instructor at the University of Colorado
- Christopher Monckton, chief policy advisor to the Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI)
- Marc Morano, executive editor and chief correspondent, ClimateDepot.com
- Tom Sheahen, Ph.D., vice chairman of the Science and Environmental Policy Project Board of Directors
- Elizabeth Yore, J.D., former General Counsel at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Virginia
We held two events: A Monday press conference explaining why the Pope should not put his moral authority behind the UN’s climate work, and a Tuesday luncheon featuring a deeper dive into climate science, as well as and exploration of fiscally and morally sound climate policy decisions.
Representatives from the following 11 news outlets attended:
- Associated Press
- BNA Bloomberg
- The New York Times
- The Boston Globe
- The Times of London
- The London Telegraph
- The Guardian (UK)
- National Catholic Register
- Catholic News Service
- Catholic Reporter
- EWTN (the largest Catholic network in 144 million homes)
From there, the fact that Heartland was in Rome to serve as a voice for sound science and sensible policy was picked up by hundreds (if not thousands) of news outlets around the world. A few samples:
ABBY CORNISH: Sylvia, there are those who believe the Pope shouldn’t be involved in this debate. And was their voice represented at the conference?
SYLVIA POGGIOLI: Well, not as speakers, but the – some were there as observers. They were members of the Chicago-based Heartland Institute, and they held a press conference here yesterday urging the pope not to back the United Nations’s climate agenda.
[Marc] Morano was part of a delegation of self-proclaimed “climate skeptics” led by the Chicago-based Heartland Institute, a conservative think tank, that came to Rome to challenge the symposium’s findings. Jim Lakely, the director of communications for the institute, said Monday that the delegates wanted to “prevent the pope from making the mistake” of listening only to what they believe are climate change alarmists.
The skeptical Chicago-based Heartland Institute, a conservative think tank, sent a team to Rome urging the pope not to lend his moral authority to the U.N.’s climate agenda and warning that he would just be confusing Catholics by writing an encyclical about it.
The Heartland Institute, a Chicago think tank that says climate change is not human-induced, sent a delegation to Rome to contest the premise of the conference.
Heartland member Christopher Monckton of Britain, told reporters that the pope “should listen to both sides of the scientific argument … not only people of one, narrow, poisonous political and scientific viewpoint”.
While Pope Francis discussed the challenges of climate change, a few hundred yards away, in a hotel conference room on the broad avenue that leads to St Peter’s Basilica, sceptics accused the UN and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of scare-mongering on the issue.
“The Pope has great moral authority but he’s not an authority on climate science. He’s a learned man but the IPCC has got it wrong,” Jim Lakely of the Heartland Institute …
“The Pope would make a grave mistake if he put his moral authority behind scientists saying that climate change is a threat to the world. Many scientists have concluded that human activity is a minor player. The Earth has been warming since the end of the last Ice Age.”
It was the first time the Heartland Institute, which is based in Chicago and has been described by the New York Times as “the primary American organisation pushing climate change scepticism,” had travelled to Rome to try to influence a pope.
“I hope our impact on the debate ahead of the Pope’s encyclical will be very significant. There are 1.2 billion Catholics in the world and they tend to pay attention to what the Pope says,” said Mr Lakely.
Speakers at Monday’s press conference opposing the Vatican event sharply criticized the meeting and bluntly offered advice to the pope.
Monckton, who was an advisor to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, started his address by quoting from the Bible at length in Latin, specifically a passage where Jesus tells Pontius Pilate he has come to “bear witness to the truth.”
“It is not the business of the church to stray from the field of faith and morals and wander into the playground that is science,” Monckton said.
The Independent (UK)
Two prominent British climate change sceptics travelled to the Vatican seeking to convert the Pope to their cause – only to be interrupted by “papal heavies” half-way through making their point.
Christopher Monckton has a lot to say about that last excerpt at this podcast. Monckton also reveals that Peter Raven of the United Nations’ IPCC kicked off the panel discussions with a six-minute denunciation of The Heartland Institute, as well as others who insist that climate policy be based on sound science.
Listen to the podcast, and more to be written later on how Heartland’s name echoed in the Vatican.