Energy & Environment

Higher Ed: Professors would rather burn climate skeptic book than read it

Higher Ed: Professors would rather burn climate skeptic book than read it

On April 24 while introducing John Lott at our latest Authors Series event, I mentioned to the audience that The Heartland Institute had distributed 100,000 copies of Steve Goreham’s book The Mad, Mad, Mad World of ClimatismSome of the global warming alarmists who received the book did not appreciate the gift, and told me so in nasty emails.

“Too bad,” I said, to laughs. “Maybe they could burn the book to keep warm in this record cold spring, which might be a sign of the coming global cooling.”

I was just joking. I didn’t know I was psychic.

I’d like to say that the picture for this post says it all — and it certainly proves in one image the thesis of Goreham’s book — but let’s break it down.

The man holding the book is Craig Clements, associate professor at theDepartment of Meteorology and Climate Science at San Jose State University. The woman holding the match is Alison Bridgerthe chair of the department. Surely, these two educators — who are paid by the poor taxpayers of California — posted this picture on the department’s website a copule of days ago to get a laugh.

No doubt bellies were jiggling aplenty among the faculty … until the pic got shared around. The post and photo were taken down Thursday, but the Internet is forever. Heartland friend Anthony Watts has thwarted this Soviet-style attempt at “disappearing” an inconvenient photo, saving a classic from “theFahrenheit 451 department” for posterity.

For crying out loud, I thought Al Gore was a PR nightmare for the climate alarmist side withhis crazy rants. But two public university climate scientists think it’s a good idea to post a picture of themselves getting ready to burn a book filled with what they consider to be apostasy? How open-minded. How liberal. How disgusting. But the joke — as sick as it is — turns out to be on those who pose as the intellectual betters of you and me.

The Heartland Institute has produced and promoted a immense amount of research that questions the dogma of man-caused catastrophic climate change — which is why The Economist magazine calls Heartland “the world’s most prominent think tank promoting skepticism about man-made climate change.”

Heartland has hosted eight international conferences on climate change attended by thousands — and always open to a public examination of the science with folks who think like Bridger and Clements, with (sadly) too few takers. In 2009, we published the 800-plus pageClimate Change Reconsidered, which is filled with scientific research that questions alarmist dogma. In 2011, we published the 400-plus page Climate Change Reconsidered: 2011 Interim Report, filled with more of the same. A new edition of Climate Change Reconsidered is scheduled for publication this fall, with another on the way in 2014. And that is just scratching the surface of what is out there in the scientific community to rebut the hypothesis — which is looking shakier by the month — that man is causing an out-of-control warming of the planet.

Heartland must be having an impact if the leftist reflex to seeing our latest project — the wide distribution of a book that boils down a lot of this research for a layman audience — is to pull out the book of matches. Thanks for making Goreham’s point, professors! The enviro-left in academia has “progressed” from ignoring all this non-alarmist evidence, to trying to dismiss it, to failing at that, to refusing to debate, to fudging data and blackballing contrarian evidence, to committing crimes against The Heartland Institute, to now showing the world that putting a match to evidence from the “other side” is a reasonable reaction. Pathetic. We are witnessing the death throes of a cult in real time, and it ain’t pretty.

Yeah, the pic was a gag. But it matters that such a gag was an instinctual, casual reaction to Goreham’s book — and one that had to be (unsuccessfully) thrown into the memory hole. The upshot: Goreham was interviewed by Sean Hannity and Dennis Miller this week about his book and the affliction known as “climatism” that appears to be entering its desperate phase. Those interviews, to an audience of millions, will be shared in this space soon.

Listen to me talk to Steve Goreham about his book at the Heartland Daily Podcast. And listen to Goreham on Sean Hannity’s radio show on Thursday.

UPDATE: Read more about this at Watts Up With ThatTom NelsonSPPIPJ Media,Armchair GeneralReligious AtrocitiesThe College FixFreedomWorks, and FreeRepublic. The comments at Watts Up With That are 200-plus and counting … and a lot of them are quite witty.

UPDATE: A commenter over at Watts Up With That, Bob Shapiro, emailed Dorothy Poole, chief of staff to the president of San Jose State University. and he got a reply:

“Thank you for sharing your concerns. The Department of Meteorology and Climate Science has removed the material in question from its website, and regrets what was clearly an ill-conceived attempt at satire. Please be assured the university does not condone book burning for any reason.”

Well, that clears things up. Book burning at SJSU: Bad. Satire: Not taught at SJSU. Ill-conceived smugness: Encouraged until embarrassing  Glad that’s clear now.

Jim Lakely is the the director of communications at The Heartland Institute

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