Experts speaking in opposition to the UN’s climate alarm will be debating empty chairs when journalist John Stossel moderates “Climate Challenge: Bright Lights, Big City … Bigger Debate” to be held on September 23rd in New York City’s Times Square. Aside from one expert who cannot participate since he is overseas, none of the invited scientists who support the climate scare will dare attend. Borrowing a line from Data, the android on Star Trek, The Next Generation, we ask them,

“Do you consider your position so weak that it cannot withstand a debate?”

Here is the story: On September 23rd, the United Nations will convene its Climate Action Summit 2019 before its General Assembly session in New York City. The UN Web site describes their event as follows:

[its purpose is] to raise the global level of ambition to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and to galvanize action that can limit climate change to 2°C and even 1.5°C as science now asks.

The Secretary-General is calling on all leaders to come to New York in September with concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050.

The truth is⏤any serious attempts to make such dramatic greenhouse gas emission reductions will result in huge costs to society and will involve massive changes to the way Americans live. Jim Lakely, Director of Communications for The Heartland Institute, the Arlington Heights, Illinois-based free market think tank that is organizing the Times Square debate, asks, “Doesn’t the wholesale reordering of our society demand at least a little bit of public debate? We think so.” 

Consequently, Heartland has invited some of the country’s most prominent individuals who are often quoted in media reports about their grave concerns about climate change to represent the UN’s side of the climate debate. This included:

  • Dr. Kevin Trenberth, a Distinguished Senior Scientist in the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research
  • Dr. Michael Mann, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State, with joint appointments in the Department of Geosciences and the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute (EESI). He is also director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center (ESSC) 
  • Dr. Donald Wuebbles, the Harry E. Preble Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Illinois
  • Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, identified on her Web site asa professor in the Department of Political Science, a director of the Climate Center, and an associate in the Public Health program of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Texas Tech University.”
  • Dr. Brenda Ekwurzel, a senior climate scientist and the director of climate science for the Climate & Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS)
  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), politician and activist who serves as the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district.

James Taylor, director of the Arthur B. Robinson Center at Heartland, summed up the importance of this event,

“Scientific knowledge and public understanding of important issues benefit from more information, discussion, and debate, not less. I hope and expect this event will advance scientific knowledge by facilitating more cooperative and productive discussions among expert scientists regarding an asserted climate crisis hypothesis.”

Putting their money where their mouth is, when Heartland invited the above people to take part in the debate, they promised to cover all their travel expenses and also contribute $1,000 to the charity of their choice, if they participated. Here is the complete text of the Heartland invitation to each of the above:

[NOTE: This letter is sent on behalf of Frank Lasée, president of The Heartland Institute.]

The Heartland Institute hereby invites you to participate in an interactive discussion and debate on climate change in New York City on September 23 in conjunction with the United Nations Climate Action Summit. The goal of the Heartland Institute event is to broaden public knowledge about the most important and most discussed issues related to climate change.

The event will feature up to five climate experts and policymakers who warn of an imminent climate crisis, and up to five climate experts and policymakers who are skeptical of an asserted crisis. Each evenly matched side will be given equal time to make their case in a live event streamed globally on YouTube. Each participant will be given time to make an opening statement as well as answer questions posed by a moderator. One participant from each side will be allowed to present a final summary.

We welcome suggested questions from each side. The moderator’s questions may also include:

    • Does the world really have just 12 years left to radically transform our lifestyles and energy sources to prevent unstoppable and catastrophic climate change?
    • Will melting glaciers release cataclysmic ancient diseases?
    • How have United Nations climate models fared in their temperature predictions?
    • How much of the observed warming is caused by people and how much is caused by nature?
    • Is climate change making extreme weather events more frequent and severe?
    • Is climate change causing a refugee crisis?
    • Is observed climate change already harming food production?
    • What observational evidence would induce you to change your current position on the causes and consequences of climate change?
    • Would action by the United States or Western democracies have much impact without substantial reductions from China and other rapidly developing nations?
    • Is it possible for scientists with differing views to cooperate together rather than form isolated camps?

The Heartland Institute will cover all of your travel expenses and will contribute $1,000 to the charity of your choice in lieu of a personal honorarium. We hope this event will provide a valuable public service by increasing public knowledge on key climate change issues and also bringing together scientists from all perspectives to facilitate greater future cooperation and scientific advancement.

Frank Lasée
The Heartland Institute

Jim Lakely
Director of Communications
The Heartland Institute
3939 North Wilke Road
Arlington Heights, IL 60004
o: 312-377-4000
f: 312-277-4122
c: 312-731-9364

Aside from AOC, who did not respond, all of invited proponents of the UN’s climate position declined. Trenberth said he could not participate since he was in New Zealand. Wuebbles said no, as did Ekwurzel. Hayhoe and Mann claimed on Twitter that they had not been invited but after Lakely showed clearly that they had been (see Twitter screen captures below), both declined to participate, mocking the debate as being unnecessary.

Representing the many scientists who do not support the UN’s climate alarm, will be the following prominent climate experts who have often defended their findings and views in public:

  • Dr. Patrick Michaels, an American climatologist and former senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute and research professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia
  • Dr. David Legates, climatology professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Delaware
  • Dr. Willie Soon, an astrophysicist and a geoscientist based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

We can be sure Michaels, Legates and Soon will show up, but they will face empty chairs. This is a great shame. The public deserve to hear a proper debate between experts who have different perspectives about the causes and consequences of climate change. Andrew Bonvicini, Professional Geophysicist and President of Friends of Science Society, speculated on the reasons alarmist scientists will not debate those who disagree:

“There is no value for the alarmists to debate facts. Alarmists do not care about facts – they focus on emotions. Emotional outbursts do not need to be founded on facts. Realists call for open debate but the alarmists run away.”

Lakely summed up:

“It is long past time that we have a real debate from people on both sides of this issue about what is happening to our climate. This debate has never been more important than now, especially considering the views and plans put forth by the Democratic candidates for president.”

To date, the alarmists have nothing but cherry-picked physical evidence to support their position along with mathematical equations said to reflect how the climate system works. This, despite the fact that we know little about how clouds affect climate, how vegetation impacts our atmosphere, how land and air interact, how land and sea interact, and obvious unknowns regarding continental drift and even how the crust of the Earth and its molten center relate to each other.

John Stossel clearly believes that the United Nations should not go unopposed in its belief that our Earth will be destroyed if mankind continues to raise the living standards of the world’s poor through the use of inexpensive and reliable fossil fuels. We agree. And, unless scientists who support the UN’s climate catastrophe scenario are prepared to publicly defend their positions in open debate with other experts who disagree, no one should take anything they say seriously.

Here are the details of the ‘debate’:

WHAT: Climate change debate: “Climate Challenge: Bright Lights, Big City … Bigger Debate” – see–bigger-debate

WHEN: Monday, September 23, 2019 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET

WHO: Climate experts Dr. Patrick Michaels, Dr. David Legates, and Dr. Willie Soon, vs. ‘empty chairs?’ Event moderated by journalist John Stossel

WHERE: New York Marriott Marquis, 1535 Broadway, New York, NY 10036