ICCC-10 at the Heartland Institute

I’ve spent a lot of time over the past two days watching the live feeds from the Heartland Institute’s climate conference. I regard the climate war as a proxy for the tobacco war, because they’re structurally almost identical, right down to being about the supposed dangers posed by trace amounts of gases in the atmosphere.

The principal difference between the two wars is the tobacco war has been conducted for a lot longer than the climate war, and I believe that the tobacco warriors wrote the playbook for both.

Another key difference, in my opinion, is that the tobacco war directly and intimately and adversely affects hundreds of millions of smokers (e.g. being exiled to the outdoors) in ways that the climate war doesn’t.

Despite all the similarities between the two wars, the climate warriors don’t seem to notice them. Tobacco hardly ever gets mentioned, although one of the speakers at the conference, James Enstrom, has dogs in both races. When he spoke, I was hoping that he’d say that the climate war was just like the tobacco war. But he stuck to the climate science. Although I got the impression, from the few mentions that tobacco got, that the climate sceptics at the Heartland Institute weren’t rabid antismokers.

The main thing I noticed was that they were all very optimistic. They believe that they’ve won the argument against the climate alarmists. I couldn’t see why they were so sure of that, because President Obama is going to be heading to Paris this year to try to get a treaty signed at the IPCC conference to be held there. Lots of people are true believers in global warming, and both the mainstream media and governments remain on the side of the alarmists. So I don’t see what’s been won.

Another difference was that the climate sceptics at the Heartland Institute all seemed to believe that their real enemy was the climate science alarmist community, and not the world’s governments. One speaker said that if Barack Obama took a lie detector test, he’d be shown to not be lying about the supposed climate threat, because he simply believed what he was told by his alarmist advisors. But then why does Obama have alarmist advisors?  In the tobacco war, in which the government is paying outfits like ASH to lobby them, it always looks to me like both lobbyists and lobbied are hand in glove with each other, and working together to dupe the voters.

Another similarity between the climate and tobacco wars is that in both cases there are bunch of professionals on one side, and a bunch of amateurs on the other. The professionals have got all the money, all the credentials, and all the peer-reviewed publications. And I think this is why most people still believe the alarmist professionals, whose job it is to do the climate science (and the tobacco science). And these days ‘amateurs’ in any field are regarded as people who don’t really know what they’re doing. In fact, it’s surprising that climate (and tobacco) scepticism is as widespread as it is.

And maybe one reason why the climate sceptics don’t want to expand to become tobacco sceptics as well is because that is the path that leads to becoming sceptical about all science. While it’s only the climate alarmist professionals who are regarded as producing junk science – or as one speaker described it, “pathological science” -, there isn’t a wider problem with science as a whole. But once the can has more than one worm in it, it becomes a whole new can of worms, and just fixing climate science isn’t going to be enough.

We will see. There were lots of good speeches, with perhaps the best made by Mark Steyn, who is currently engaged in litigation with Michael Mann, the creator of the Hockey Stick. There were also several good speeches by Christopher Monckton. They can all be found at the Heartland Institute.

As well as this cartoon:



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23 Responses to ICCC-10 at the Heartland Institute

  1. castello2 says:

    Of coarse the right wing nut Heartland folks will deny climate change. They are largely funded by big oil and the Koch Bros. Half the media has been swayed as well.

    • smokervoter says:

      I ♥ oil myself. The bigger the better. We just overtook Saudi Arabia in oil production and I’m pleased as punch.

      How else can “I Get Around” in my “Little Deuce Coup” and have some “Fun, Fun, Fun” till that jet-settin’ lefty billionaire George Soros takes the T-Bird away.

    • waltc says:

      Congratulations. You win The Golden Parrot Award for using the terms “big oil,” “Koch Brothers” and “right-wing nut” all in a single sentence.

  2. Smoking Lamp says:

    The antismoking lobby is now trying to remove exemption to the existing smoking ban in Pennsylvania. The proposed bill would remove all existing exemptions, prohibit smoking at outdoor patios, and ban vaping in the same spaces. It use the alleged risks of second hand smoke as its justification. See “Expansion of Pennsylvania’s indoor smoking ban to be revisited” at

  3. waltc says:

    Totally OT : what font do you use here, Frank?

  4. mikef317 says:

    While they naturally don’t question the “truth” about primary smoking, Heartland ( https://www.heartland.org ) does have some “pro” tobacco material. They used to be bigger on this, but in recent years they’ve concentrated more on global warming.

    Scroll to the bottom of their webpage. At the right, under the Issues column, click on Tobacco.

    People familiar with anti-smoking probably won’t learn anything new.

    • mikef317 says:

      Second thoughts.

      The people at Heartland obviously know that claims about the dangers of secondhand smoke are bogus. They keep their knowledge well hidden.

      Except for a few intrepid bloggers, almost no one challenges the conventional wisdom about tobacco. To do so is to automatically be classified as a nut. No matter how logically reasoned, your opinions on any subject can then be rejected because you disagree with Tobacco Control.

      Pro global warming “scientists” often compare “Big Oil” to “Big Tobacco.” The latter lied about smoking and lung cancer; the former now lie about their deadly product destroying the planet. Such obviously false (or certainly debatable) statements about tobacco are almost never challenged.

      Quote: “And maybe one reason why the climate sceptics don’t want to expand to become tobacco sceptics as well is because that is the path that leads to becoming skeptical about all science.”

      Bravo! The war against obesity. And salt. And sugar. The cholesterol fiasco. The failure to replicate findings. The ubiquitous misuse of statistics. The corruption of science goes well beyond the issues of tobacco and global warming.

      • Frank Davis says:

        The people at Heartland obviously know that claims about the dangers of secondhand smoke are bogus. They keep their knowledge well hidden.

        Except for a few intrepid bloggers, almost no one challenges the conventional wisdom about tobacco. To do so is to automatically be classified as a nut.

        That’s a much better explanation than mine why they stay clear of the tobacco issue. Questioning the conventional wisdom about tobacco has become all but impossible. Anyone who doubts it is classified as a nut. And most people don’t want to be classified as nuts.

        But as one of those intrepid bloggers who question the conventional wisdom about tobacco, I really don’t mind if I’m classified as a nut. In fact, I rather delight in it. I think anyone who questions any item of conventional wisdom has to be a bit of a nut of some sort. I think anyone who is going to do new science, or new anything, of any kind whatsoever has to start out by questioning conventional wisdom, and trying to think about things in a new way, and that means becoming an outsider.

        I’ve always questioned conventional wisdom. Idle Theory was my lifetime attempt to question the conventional wisdom about a whole bunch of things, and in doing so I became a bit of a nut. In fact, sometimes I thought I really was nuts myself. So I’m very used to worrying if I’m a bit nuts. But it’s really just what comes with the terrain, once you step off the straight and narrow path, just like worrying about getting malaria goes with visiting Africa.

        In some ways, what’s called Political Correctness is an unquestionable conventional wisdom, any excursion from which is greeted with howls of rage. It’s a sort of prison to keep people inside. A prison without walls. A prison that is policed by the prisoners themselves, who immediately report any excursion outside the perimeter – which is just a line scraped in the sand – beyond which only Denialists and Flat-Earthers are said to be found.

        And these sorts of restrictions have always been around. Isaac Newton worked away for years in isolation, developing the laws of motion and the calculus, but he didn’t dare tell anybody about it (apart from one or two confidantes), because he feared “prejudice” (the political correctness of the 17th century). It was fully 20 years before he was asked to set out his findings. And it was only when he was asked that he felt able to publicly step outside the prescribed perimeter, without being branded as a heretic or a madman. The constraints on thinking ‘outside the box’ were almost certainly far stronger in the 17thC than they are today.

  5. Koos says:

    I agree that questioning the lethal effects of primary smoking nowadays immediately disqualifies one as a nutcase. Global warming sceptics therefore carefully avoid to be placed in the camp of the ‘smoking-kills-you-deniers’. A camp where the ‘warmists’ continually try to put them in.
    The general public has, in my mind, almost generally been won by the anti tobacco movement’s arguments. Virtually everyone is convinced by now that smoking tobacco is extremely harmful if not deadly. The only public dispute left has to do with ETS and with free will, not with science concerning the effects of primary smoking.
    I must say that, on first glance, the anti-smoker’s case seems very plausible and convincing. More so than the global warming case in my opinion. Once one starts to get some hard facts on AGW the indications that something alarming might be happening are unbelievably flimsy. Average mean atmosphere temps allegedly having increased by 0.8C over a 200(!) year period, where everyday/night temp differences amount to over a 100C across the globe. Although the politicians and the media do their utmost to convince the public otherwise, general belief is that the global warming scare is not to be taken too seriously. Whether this will stop the ‘ruling class’ to push through crazy policies is a different matter unfortunately.
    Where smoking is concerned I was surprised to find the amazing similarities with AGW science once I dug deeper (a.o.through your beautiful site and Rick White’s book).

    • Frank Davis says:

      The general public has, in my mind, almost generally been won by the anti tobacco movement’s arguments.

      Nobody ever looks at the arguments, which are buried in 60-year-old research papers.

      It’s not a matter of argument or reason. The general public has simply been conditioned by 60 years of being told repetitively and authoritatively that smoking kills. You have to be a nutcase of some sort to not believe it. Most people find it absolutely impossible to think any differently.

      • nisakiman says:

        Yes, even some of the most sceptical, like Chris Snowdon for instance, are convinced of the deadly effects of smoking, and that it causes lung cancer and heart attacks. That’s why he’s switched to vaping.

        I believed it all for years, too. It was only when they started the SHS thing, and mooting bans on the back of it, that I suddenly sat up and took notice. Because the original concept of smoking causing LC is believable, particularly when it is being rammed down your throat for years on end. I just never questioned it. But the whole concept of SHS being harmful just flies in the face of both commonsense and experience. I couldn’t accept that claim at face value, even though most people seemed to think it was plausible.

        So that’s when I started investigating, and the more I found out, the more I realised how utterly amoral the purveyors of the anti-smoking message are. I take grave exception to being lied to and deceived, which is why I am now an implacable enemy of all things Tobacco Control related. I don’t trust a word any of them utter, and that includes their claims of how ‘Smoking Kills’. It’s bullshit. It hasn’t killed me, nor has it ever killed anyone I know. They are compulsive liars, and I won’t listen to (or at least, I won’t give credence to) their hyperbolic rantings ever again.

        • Rose says:

          I never believed, I was born in the days of the toxic industrial fogs that genuinely did kill people and I knew the tobacco plant was just another harmless member of the potato family.

          But I was OK with not being a believer and paid the non believer’s tax without a murmur, I thought it was going to help the NHS and therefore considered it more as a charitable donation to the needy.

          After all, everyone is entiltled to their own opinion, or so I thought.

        • nisakiman says:

          That’s interesting that you never believed the propaganda, Rose. For me, I guess it wasn’t so much that I believed it all, more that it was sort of background noise that I never really questioned.

          I didn’t really experience the smogs that killed so many, as I was in Singapore during the early 50s, and when we came back to UK in 1956 we were living out in the sticks in Ascot.

          I certainly knew nothing about the tobacco plant or its family, never having been particularly interested in gardening. And nobody I knew ever cast doubt on the orthodoxy that smoking was really, really bad for you. After all, it was the ‘experts’ who pronounced on these matters, and who were we to doubt? I just ignored it and went my own way.

        • Rose says:


          Yorkshire Post-1962 – I was 6 years old and we went into Leeds shopping every Saturday, to get there we drove along the main road which ran through Kirkstall.

          “LONDON and Leeds were the areas worst hit by smog yesterday. In London last night the number of deaths neared the 70 mark and in Leeds over 50 people were in hospital “acutely ill” with respiratory illness”

          “The Department of Scientific and Industrial Research also said that the sulphur dioxide concentration was six and five times higher than normal.

          Pollution compared to that of the 1952 smog, the experts said. But without the Clean Air Act conditions would have been worse than in 1952.

          In the Kirkstall Road area of Leeds, the sulphur dioxide concentration was greater than that registered in London in 1952. At 5,185 microgrammes per cubic metre it was the highest ever registered in the city.
          The smoke content of the air has decreased since the last bad smog in 1959 said Mr RA Dalley the city’s analyst. This was due to the smoke control zone.”

          “Fog mixed with smoke, chemicals and fumes, such as the major industrial conurbations and London have suffered in the last three days, damages lung tissue, stomach lining, nasal passages.
          Children’s lungs so damaged “will never be the same again”.

          The Royal College of Physicans report on Smoking and Health was published in 1962, the same year as that article.

          Doll’s London Hospitals study was published just two years before the Great London Smog, now estimated to have killed 12,000 people not the 4,000 people the Government of the day originally reported, they used a cut off date of four days, did not record the patients taken to other hospitals outside the centre, or the people who continued to die after that date.

          My notes –
          Air Pollution and The Great London Smog

          As for plants, as a child I read books on plants like other children read books on dinosaurs. I must have been a very odd child, I read books on wildflowers and garden flowers and knew all the latin names, most of which I have probably forgotten.
          As for vegetables, what small gardener could possibly resist learning about a group of plants called the Nightshades?

      • Koos says:

        Agreed. But the brainwash has been thorough and extremely effective. The public has hardly any doubts left on the subject. From that respect the case seems to be lost. The case for (or rather: against) AGW is not (yet).

  6. Joe L. says:

    And these days ‘amateurs’ in any field are regarded as people who don’t really know what they’re doing.

    So true, Frank, and so goddamn ironic. How can anyone believe ‘professional’ scientists to be objective, when the entire reason they are ‘professional’ is because someone is paying them to perform their ‘research’? It is the ‘amateurs’ who are truly breaking ground and making unbiased discoveries. ‘Professional’ scientists == politicians == sanctified liars.

    • Marvin says:

      Agreed, this is a pet peeve of mine, the implication that “amateur” equals poor quality and “professional” equals good quality, while in reality amateur means not being paid for the work and professional means being paid for it. In the world of computing there is a myriad of software (open source) produced by unpaid “amateurs” which far outstrips the commercially produced “professional” products both in quality and security, eg. browsers, operating systems and numerous applications. As an aside, commercially produced “professional” software is easy to hack, because in these organisations “time is money” and as a result coding and testing is rushed and
      incomplete, bugs and security flaws are often found by the dedicated “amateur” with time on his hands.

  7. Rose says:


    Now this is something that had never crossed my mind until last night when it was on the Papers Review.

    Food worth £10 million binned due to fears of ‘contamination’ by migrants
    13 Jun 2015

    “Fruit and vegetables worth £10million have been thrown away since the start of the year due to “contamination” fears caused by stowaways breaking into lorries bound for Britain.
    Up to £2 million pounds is lost each week as suppliers are forced to dump perishable goods amid worsening levels of security at the port of Calais, freight bosses claimed.

    Shops and distributors are rejecting fresh goods amid concerns groups of migrants hidden inside heavy goods vehicles could render them unsafe to eat, they said.”

    ” Almost a third of Britain’s fresh produce comes from mainland Europe.
    But Mr Hookham told The Times: “We have some lorries being surrounded by dozens, if not hundreds, of people, trying locks, attempting to get into containers, stowing themselves underneath or even slitting open curtain-sided vehicles to get in. It’s chaos.”

    “It is fresh produce, it’s for immediate consumption and not packaged in a way that makes the product totally sealed, and therefore if you have people in the back there is a risk of contamination”.

    Do you think that maybe a very small part of the fairly recent rash of government funded miserablists purpose may be as a distraction from more important things?

  8. DenisO says:

    Just for those who don’t know, Presidents of the U.S. do not have the power to make treaties; they usually negotiate them, but the Senate has to approve them by 2/3rds majority. I can guarantee they will not ratify a global warming agreement. The conference in Europe is to get all those “believing” people together for a circle-jerk that all hope will make them feel better.
    In fact, they probably feel worse than persecuted smokers who also suffer shunning.

  9. Pingback: Prisons of the Mind | Frank Davis

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