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PRESS RELEASE: Heartland Institute Excluded by Local Organizers of ‘Open Forum’ on Climate Change

May 5, 2017

On Saturday, May 6, North Central College in Naperville, Illinois will be hosting an event organized by Illinois Congressman Bill Foster (D-14) dubbed an “open forum on climate change.”

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL – On Saturday, May 6, North Central College in Naperville, Illinois will be hosting an event organized by Illinois Congressman Bill Foster (D-14) dubbed an “open forum on climate change.” According to the college’s website, the program begins at 9:30 a.m, and organizations dealing with matters related to climate change will have materials for distribution from 9:00 to 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 to noon. Along with Rep. Foster, participants include WGN Chief Meteorologist Tom Skilling; Paul Bloom, associate professor of physics at North Central College; Mary Gade, president of Gade Environmental Group, LLC; and Doug Sisterson, research meteorologist at Argonne National Laboratory.

Although the event’s website says “It’s time for an honest discussion on the facts,” only the alarmist side of the contentious climate change debate will be distributing literature or making presentations. The Heartland Institute – identified by The Economist as “the world’s most prominent think tank promoting skepticism about man-made climate change” – was not invited to participate in the “open forum.” Heartland contacted North Central College and asked if it could offer a dissenting view, and were told the event was organized and controlled by Foster’s office, and we would not be allowed to participate.

If you are covering this event, The Heartland Institute can help you provide more balanced coverage. To book an interview with a Heartland spokesperson, please contact Heartland Institute Director of Communications Jim Lakely at media@heartland.org or on his cell at 312/731-9364.

The following statement by Lakely may be used for attribution:

“It is a shame Rep. Bill Foster has so little confidence in his position that he will not allow a single voice to dissent from climate alarmist dogma. No other organization is in a better position than The Heartland Institute to present the scientific arguments that show human activity is not causing a climate crisis. And, literally, we are positioned just north of the college in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago.

“The college administrators, too, have failed. Upon seeing the program line-up, they should have insisted it present a balanced and academic view of the science and state of the international climate debate. Heartland stands ready to fill that role next time to avoid a similar disservice to its students, the campus community, and the city of Naperville.”


The Heartland Institute is a 33-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois. It has hosted 12 International Conferences on Climate Change, most recently in March 2017 in Washington, DC, and since 2009 has published thousands of pages of peer-reviewed scientific research on climate change in the Climate Change Reconsidered series of volumes.

For more information about The Heartland Institute visit our website or call 312/377-4000.

Author
Jim Lakely is the Director of Communications of The Heartland Institute.
jlakely@heartland.org @jlakely