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Heartland Replies to Judith Curry I

February 24, 2012

Heartland Replies to Judith Curry I February 24, 2012 Dr. Judith Curry posted this commentary by Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast in reply to a commentary she posted that same day titled “Why Target Heartland,” http://judithcurry.

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Heartland Replies to Judith Curry I

February 24, 2012

Dr. Judith Curry posted this commentary by Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast in reply to a commentary she posted that same day titled “Why Target Heartland,” 


Dear Dr. Curry,

I read with interest your post, “Why Heartland?” Thankfully, I can’t read Peter Gleick’s mind, but I suspect he targeted us because we have done so very much  to document and rebut the assumptions and exaggerations of the global warming alarmists.  Please let me describe some of the ways we’ve done that, and you decide.

We send publications to every national, state, and 8,400 county and local officials in the U.S. on average about once a week. 79% of state legislators say they read at least one of our publications. “Environment & Climate News,” one of six monthly publications we produce, is read by 57% of state legislators, a higher percentage than read the New York Times. It has been published continuously for 15 years, and every issue features the work of leading climate realists. No other organization produces a regular publication that reaches more people with this message.

Many policymakers and other opinion leaders in the U.S. and around the world recognize the names of (to use those in your list) Pat Michael, Chris Horner, Anthony Watts, Steve McIntyre, Richard Lindzen, and Roy Spencer only because they read their work or about their work in Environment & Climate News.

ECN is just the tip of the iceberg. You know about our International Conferences on Climate Change (ICCCs) – six held since 2008, total attendance of more than 3,000 people. The press and online coverage of these conferences was greater than anything else done by climate realists, and the videos of the presentations posted online have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times. The personal connections created among scientists from all around the world created a genuine social movement in favor of a more realistic understanding of climate change.

You’ve commented favorably on Climate Change Reconsidered. Is there any book from the realist perspective that compares to it in terms of comprehensive coverage of the issues in the debate or citations to peer-reviewed literature? Someone sent me the following numbers about the 2009 edition: 37 contributing authors, 880 pages, 344 chapters and sections,and  4,235 source citations. The 2011 interim report was only about 400 pages long … I haven’t counted chapters and sources, but it too is much more comprehensive than anything else written from our perspective. Don’t get me wrong, I love the books from Pat Michaels and others and we promote them when we can. But Climate Change Reconsidered is the big reference book that the realist movement needed and didn’t have until we came along and helped create it.

In addition, we’ve distributed more than a million DVDs, nearly 2 million short booklets and reprints, and 200,000 copies of a New York Times best-seller. Most were sent to educators, opinion leaders, and policymakers over the course of the past five years. We deliberately bypassed the mainstream media, for reasons made obvious by their coverage of the Fakegate scandal. Our strategy worked. All surveys show informed opinion has moved decidedly in the direction of climate realism and away from alarmism.

Our science director Jay Lehr and senior fellow James Taylor criss-cross the country giving talks and participating in debates on climate change. Lehr often speaks two and three times a week to audiences reaching up to 1,000 and more, almost invariably getting standing ovations. He usually speaks to groups meeting in areas outside major metropolitan areas and university thought bubbles. He says “out there,” nobody “believes” in global warming anymore.

Not all that we’ve done should have escaped your attention. We ran full-page and smaller ads in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, and elsewhere … often featuring pictures of the scientists you mentioned and I list above, many of them challenging Al Gore to debate is critics.

As you can tell, I’m very proud of what The Heartland Institute has been able to do on a budget that is a mere fraction of what other organizations spend … and I should add that climate change is just one of five major topic areas we address. We are proud to provide a forum for the thousands of scientists and policy experts who actually understand climate change – how complex it is, how much we don’t know, and the difference between scientific knowledge and scientific forecasting — and don’t just “believe” it in. Together, we are making genuine contributions to the international scientific debate, changing public opinion, and improving public policy.

Thank you for your own fine efforts in this difficult debate, I hope to see you at our next ICCC, and best regards,


Joseph Bast
The Heartland Institute
One South Wacker Drive #2740
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone 312/377-4000
Web site

Joseph Bast is a Senior Fellow at The Heartland Institute. He cofounded Heartland in 1984, serving as executive director then as president & CEO until January 2018. His research and writing focuses on climate change and energy policy. @JosephLBast