Recently, I attended a conference in New York City entitled “Global Warming: Was It Ever Really a Crisis?” Sponsored by the Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based nonpartisan public policy think tank, it was attended by over 600 scientists, economists, and policy makers who characterize themselves as “climate realists” as opposed to “climate alarmists”. Climate realists believe that the danger of climate change has been exaggerated both as to the magnitude and the degree of human causation, and that most of the proposed “solutions” are not viable anyway.
The summary below provides an overview of the seven issues discussed at the conference: the definition of the problem, and the three scientific and three economic objections to climate alarmism.
The Nature of the Problem
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is added to the atmosphere by the burning of fossil fuels, which include coal, gasoline, natural gas, and oil. CO2 traps some infrared radiation reflected back from the surface of the earth, and can therefore cause some additional heat to be retained. Gases with this property are called greenhouse gases. Water vapor is also a greenhouse gas.