Radical Environmentalists Blame Heartland Institute for Trump’s Paris Accord Decision

Paris at night

In announcing his decision in the Rose Garden on June 1st to end the United States’ affiliation with the Paris climate agreement, President Trump said:

The Paris climate accord is simply the latest example of Washington entering into an agreement that disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries, leaving American workers…and taxpayers to absorb the cost in terms of lost jobs, lower wages, shuttered factories, and vastly diminished economic production.

As John Carney of Breitbart News described the Paris climate agreement:

The Paris climate agreement, adopted on December 12, 2015 at the conclusion of the United Nation’s Climate Change Conference, was deeply flawed from its start. It was legally and constitutionally suspect, based on politics rather than science, and contained unrealistic goals. It promised not only a dramatic expansion of the administrative state and a huge increase in the regulatory burden on American businesses, it threatened to put the brakes on U.S. economic output at a time when most economists think the U.S. will struggle to achieve even a meager two percent growth.

Parties to the agreement were expected to begin taking measures to reduce emissions in 2020, mainly by enacting rules that sharply reduce carbon emissions. Countries were supposed to publicly announce “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” to combat climate change and periodically report on their progress.

The Obama administration announced the U.S. would commit to reduce emissions by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, a quarter of which was supposedly achievable by the implementation of the previous administration’s legally-questionable Clean Power Plan. To get the rest of the way, the U.S. would have to make major investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and cleaner motor vehicles. This likely explains why the Paris climate deal was so popular with many in Silicon Valley and many on Wall Street. It promised a bonanza of spending and investment, most likely subsidized by taxpayers, in technologies that wouldn’t otherwise be attractive. It was practically calling out for making self-driving, solar powered cars mandatory.

The Heartland Institute in the Crossfire

Predictably, President Trump faced a global tongue-lashing as big business and leaders in China and Europe united to condemn him for his decision to pull America out of the 2015 Paris climate accord.

It didn’t escape the attention of the Union of Concerned Scientists and other left-wing group — outraged because Trump is repealing Obama’s legacy– that Joe Bast, President and CEO of The Heartland Institute, by invitation, was seated in the Rose Garden when Trump announced his decision. Affiliated with the Heartland Institute, the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) has been doing outstanding work on the issue of climate change and remains at odds with the research being done by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). (NIPCC was founded by Fred Singer and other scientists in 2003 and is currently a joint project of three groups: The Heartland Institute, the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, and the Science and Environmental Policy Project. The left tries to portray NIPCC as something The Heartland Institute created to confuse the public. It is not. All along, its organizers have said It is the “Blue Team” to the IPCC/EPA “Red Team.”)

Although The Heartland Institute has been subject to many attacks from so-called global alarmists, after Joe Bast’s presence was spotted in the Rose Garden an effort was made to harm President Trump by attacking Heartland’s Joe Bast.

Democrat Senators Harass Heartland

Shared by Joe Bast was a letter sent to the Honorable Betsy DeVos, Secretary, United States Department of Education, on June 7, 2017, signed by four U.S. Senators — Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Edward Markey (D-MA) – demanding to know if her department “had contact with individuals associated with the Heartland Institute on climate, science, or science education issues,” and demanding as well copies of said correspondence, any information regarding discussions between Heartland and other White House staff members, and more.   The letter goes on to accuse The Heartland Institute of being a “notorious industry front group,” and worse.

The following day, June 8, 2017, Joe Bast addressed a letter to Senators Whitehouse, Warren, Schatz, and Markey.  A portion of the letter is below:   

For the record, The Heartland Institute has contacted nearly all members of the Trump cabinet. We have sent extensive information to more than 100 members of the administration explaining who we are, enclosing multiple publications (including books, policy studies, and videos) of most relevance to their positions, and offering to make our extensive network of some 370 policy experts available to provide further assistance. Some have gotten back to us.

We have published scores, possibly more than one hundred, commentaries and news releases and news stories calling attention to the new administration’s policy decisions, congratulating it when it has done what we believe to be the right things, and criticizing it when they have come up short.

Can any of you explain to me how this differs from the relationship the previous administration had with liberal advocacy groups? Can any of you explain why these contacts are illegitimate or against the public interest?

Your letter to Secretary DeVos describes The Heartland Institute as a “notorious industry front group.” This is false and defamatory.Heartland is a 33-year-old national nonprofit research and education organization with a broad funding base, a long history of taking positions at odds with “industry,” and has policies in place that protect its staff from undue influence from donors. All this is explained on our website in a section titled “Reply to Our Critics.”

Trump’s Withdrawal Fosters Defiance

This webpage has a long list of businesses, investors, government officials, university leaders, and others who apparently have pledged to do what they can to comply with the goals of the Paris Climate Treaty (and presumably the Clean Power Plan and other Obama-era executive orders and unconstitutional regulations) despite Trump’s decision to re-set U.S. climate change and energy policies.

Washington DC – A grand total of 1,219 governors, mayors, businesses, investors, and colleges and universities from across the U.S. or with significant operations in the U.S., representing the broadest cross section of the American economy yet assembled in pursuit of climate action, today declared their intent to continue to ensure the U.S. remains a global leader in reducing carbon emissions.

Signatories include leaders from 125 cities, 9 states, 902 businesses and investors, and 183 colleges and universities. Participating cities and states represent 120 million Americans and contribute $6.2 trillion to the U.S. economy, and include Oregon and cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Houston as well as smaller cities like Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Dubuque, Iowa. A mixture of private universities, state schools and community colleges, both small and large, have added their institutions to the statement. In total the undersigned businesses and investors account for a total annual revenue of $1.4 trillion and include over 20 Fortune 500 companies, including Apple, eBay, Gap Inc., Google, Intel, Microsoft, and Nike, in addition to hundreds of small businesses, have also signed the statement.

The signed statement calls “The Trump administration’s announcement [one that] undermines a key pillar in the fight against climate change [and a move which is] out of step with what is happening in the United States.”

Paris Climate Withdrawal Benefits

It remains to be seen whether defiance will translate into action.  Much of the defiance in coming from blue state and cities who are already in economic turmoil.

As John Carney described the Paris climate agreement:

  • Industrial Carnage. The regulations necessary to implement the Paris agreement would have cost the U.S. industrial sector 1.1 million jobs, according to a study commissioned by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. These job losses would center in cement, iron and steel, and petroleum refining. Industrial output would decline sharply.
  • Making America Poorer Again.  A Heritage Foundation study found that the Paris agreement would have increased the electricity costs of an American family of four by between 13 percent and 20 percent annually. It forecast a loss of income of $20,000 by 2035. In other words, American families would be paying more while making less. 
  • Much Poorer. The overall effect of the agreement would have been to reduce U.S. GDP by over $2.5 trillion and eliminate 400,000 jobs by 2035, according to Heritage’s study. This would exacerbate problems with government funding and deficits, make Social Security solvency more challenging, and increase reliance on government’s spending to support households.

What If?

A new peer-reviewed paper by Dr. Bjorn Lomborg published in the Global Policy journal measured the actual impact of all significant climate promises ahead of the Paris climate summit.

What Lomborg’s study revealed:

The climate impact of all Paris INDC promises is minuscule: if we measure the impact of every nation fulfilling every promise by 2030, the total temperature reduction will be 0.048°C (0.086°F) by 2100.

Given the economic repercussions for this nation and its citizens, remaining in the Paris climate accord for the sake of lowering the temperature by 0.086 degrees F by 2100 is something only fools would do.  The Paris climate accord is all about redistribution of wealth and control over people, as set forth by the United Nations.

And what if a period of Global Cooling is on the horizon?  Such predictions are becoming quite common, because, like in the past, a lack of sun spots can foretell a period of global

The Heartland Institute is not letting up on its efforts to spread the truth about climate change and other important public policy issues.

Please contact the four Democrat senators listed below to help defend the Heartland Institute and president Joe Bast against spurious attacks.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse – 202-224-2921   Fax: 202-228-6362
Senator Elizabeth Warren –  202-224-4543   Fax: 202-228-2072
Senator Brian Schatz – 202-224-3934   Fax: 202-228-1153
Senator Edward Markey – 202-224-2742   Fax:  202-224-2743
[Originally Published by Nancy Thorner at Illinois Review]