FILE - In this Jan. 20, 2015 file photo, a plume of steam billows from the coal-fired Merrimack Station in Bow, N.H. If the nation doesn’t do more, the U.S. probably won’t quite meet the dramatic heat-trapping gas reduction goal it promised in last year’s Paris agreement to battle climate change, according to a new study. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)

Sound Energy, Not Junk Science, is Focus of Climate Change Conference

I covered Heartland Institute’s 12th annual International Conference of Climate Change last week in Washington, D.C. This two-day conference will center around energy policy and counter junk science that dominated policy under the previous administration. A complete list of panels can be found here.

Go here to see sessions that played out these last two days:

Livestream Youtube Day 1: (Constitution Ballroom A-B) (Constitution Ballroom C-F)

Livestream Youtube Day 2: (Constitution Ballroom A-B) (Constitution Ballroom C-F)


The theme of this year’s conference  “Resetting U.S. Climate Policy,” which is expected to happen under Trump’s administration. Featured speakers in include Rep. Lamar Smith, Sen. John Barrasso, Christopher Monckton, Myron Ebell, Steve Milloy, Benjamin Zycher, Fred Singer, Willie Soon, Craig Idso, Ross McKitrick, and many more. Conference organizers have billed this event as one that’ll “cover the very latest in non-alarmist science, economics and policy on energy and the environment.”

Here are some tweets from the event:

While sitting in on several panels yesterday, I heard some very interesting things from esteemed scientists and professors who study actual climate science.

The first panel I sat on was “Environmental Economics” featuring various economists and experts. One panelist said, “Human health and live expectancy increase at very time pollutants increase,” adding that benefits far exceed the harm of pollution.

E. Calvin Beisner of Cornwall Alliance said “capitalism is a much better defender of the environment than socialism is” and encouraged conference goers to watch the documentary, “Where the Grass is Greener” on Biblical stewardship versus climate alarmism.  He added to “allow markets to work out,” as entrepreneurship and the environment should work in sync — not against one another.

Another panel I sat on in was called “Fossil Fuels and Human Prosperity.” It featured three notable scientists. One was Indian-born Indur Goklany, who has worked for the Department of Interior as their Assistant Director of Programs, Science and Technology Policy. He has also been critical of population control.

He primarily discussed how the proliferation of fossil fuels replaced bounty harvest–especially since the industrial Revolution–to make basic functions and quality of life better. His speech focused on debunking the notion that as carbon dioxide goes up, life will become miserable. He detailed why this assertion is not true, citing maps and research showing how CO2 increase led to a spur in population and life expectancy thanks to technological and modern advancements.  Goklany added  that global population is wealthier as a result of overall poverty falling.

The next panelist was Craig Idso, who runs the website His presentation was titled, “Direct Monetary Benfits of Rising Atmospheric C02 on Global Food Production.”

The premise of his talk was that atmospheric carbon dioxide is the basic food of plants and that without increasing levels of it – which are wholly opposed to by environmental activists – there would be fewer plants. His analysis on the subject is found in the publication “The Positive Externalities of Carbon Dioxide” – first comprehensive analysis to explore this. He lamented how the media and government deliberately obfuscate facts on C02 benefits. He concluded his remarks by saying, “Atmospheric C02 isn’t a pollutant, it is an elixir of life.”

The final panelist was Roger Bezdek, who talked from the standpoint of the added economic value of C02. He discussed how fossil fuels result in $2 trillion/year just for U.S.

As CO2 goes up, so does GDP, Bezdek remarked. One figure he produced was that $1.8 trillion produced by the fossil fuels industry leads to about 15 million in jobs. Bezdek noted how ludicrous it would deb to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80-90 percent less.

Another panel I wanted to highlight was the Fossil Fuels and the Environment, featuring experts Richard Trzupek, Susan Crockford, and Tom Wysmuller.


Dr. Susan Crockford’s lecture on polar bear population intrigued me the most out of the three panelists. She discussed the radical environmentalist push to make polar bears the center of the so-called man-caused global warming debate. Unbeknownst to many, Rockford noted, polar bears were listed as “vulnerable” species until 1976. By 1996, the species was moved to “Least Concern” category. Hysteria however prompted their addition back on the threatened, or vulnerable category, group again in 2006 based on future threats. She noted how environmental activists use Endangered Species Act rules to force the US gov’t to “protect” polar bears in 2005, which were thriving. However, they sought to pigeonhole polar bears in the “vulnerable” category using faulty models and predictors, namely the illusory correlation of rapid sea ice decline leading to polar bear population decline. Dr. Crockford also noted that polar bears general eat little during the summer as seals are hard to catch. (In fact, current ice conditions have spelled good news for both seals and polar bears.) As a result, well-fed fears survive summer in land or sea ice. Her recommendation? A comprehensive unbiased review (or audit) of the ESA and enforcement of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

The panels were supplemented by appearances from several lawmakers. Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) keynoted the lunch session on Thursday.

Overall, this conference brought a much-needed conversation to the climate change debate. Hundreds of attendees from across the globe descended to Washington, D.C. to partake in conference festivities relating to energy issues and the real climate debate.

Heartland Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that seeks to offer free-market solutions to social and economic problems. To learn more about them, go here.

About the author

Gabriella Hoffman

Gabriella Hoffman is a media strategist based in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area. She has written for The Resurgent since March 2016 and serves as their D.C. Correspondent.

View all posts