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Climate Change

 

The Issue

The debate over global warming is the most consequential public policy debate taking place today in the United States and around the world. The stakes are enormous.

According to some scientists, stabilizing the climate would require reducing carbon dioxide emissions 80 percent or even more by the middle of the century. Rationing access to energy and forcing a transition to alternatives to fossil fuels would reduce the quality of life of billions of people around the world, squander one of America’s greatest comparative advantages among the world’s nations, and cause the premature death of millions of people.

Most scientists do not believe human greenhouse gas emissions are a proven threat to the environment or to human well-being, despite a barrage of propaganda insisting otherwise coming from the environmental movement and echoed by its sycophants in the mainstream media. Surveys and article-counting exercises alleged to show a “consensus” invariably ask the wrong questions (e.g., is climate change happening, rather than whether a human impact is likely to be dangerous) or are methodologically flawed. More reliable research shows the science community is deeply divided and unsure about the causes and consequences of climate change.

Our Stance

The Heartland Institute has participated in the global debate over climate policy since 1993, when it published an influential book titled Eco-Sanity: A Common-Sense Guide to Environmentalism. Our position has always been that if human emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases pose a threat to the natural world and human health, then actions to avoid the threat would be necessary. But if the best-available research shows there is little danger or that there is nothing we can do to prevent climate change, then we should oppose legislation adopted in the name of “stopping” global warming.

Featured Subtopics

Flourishing corn crop
The evidence is overwhelming that rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have will continue to help plants thrive, leading to greater biodiversity, shrinking deserts, expanded habitat for wildlife, and more food for a growing human population.
Woman with questioning look
The claim of “scientific consensus” on the causes and consequences of climate change is without merit. There is no survey or study showing “consensus” on any of the most important scientific issues in the climate change debate.
Chart showing upward economic growth
Economics can show committed environmentalists how they can better achieve their goals by recognizing fundamental economic principles such as the need to make trade-offs, to measure costs and benefits, and to take into account such economic concepts as discount rates and marginal costs.
Kids studying science in a lab
Overwhelming scientific evidence suggests the greenhouse gas-induced global climate signal is so small as to be embedded within the background variability of the natural climate system and is not dangerous. At the same time, global temperature change is occurring, as it always naturally does.

Additional Subtopics

  • Adaptation
  • Alarmism
  • Carbon Sequestrian
  • Climate Change Regulation
  • Climate Models
  • Human Effects
  • IPCC
  • Media Bias
  • NIPCC
  • Private Initiatives
  • Realism
  • Temperatures

Videos

Title: What's the One Question Al Gore Will Never Answer?
Description: Lord Christopher Monckton, a Special Advisor to former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and renowned mathematician, sheds light on the one question Al Gore and other climate alarmists will never answer. What should the mean global surface temperature be?

Climate Change Experts Team

The Heartland Institute's experts on climate change/global warming re available for legislative testimony, speaking engagements, and media interviews.

Staff & Fellows Policy Experts