John Christy Debates William Schlesinger

by Paul Chesser, Heartland Institute Correspondent on February 12, 2009

Last night in Hickory, N.C., in a forum co-sponsored by the John Locke Foundation and the Reese Institute for Conservation of Natural Resources, atmospheric scientist John Christy debated William Schlesinger, former dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. It was a skeptic vs. alarmist smackdown, and the local newspaper of record, the Daily Record, thinks that Christy may have prevailed (see sidebar):

An informal, unscientific survey revealed that many attendees, regardless of age, think global warming is overblown and people should not panic about the future.

Schlesinger said most people don’t want to recognize the problem, that they hope it will just go away. “It won’t,” he said. “It will only get worse.”

Show me the evidence was Christy’s mantra. The data doesn’t justify the gloom and doom, he said. Wishful thinking or not, a lot of people who attended the forum agree with Christy.

My colleague at the Locke Foundation, vice president for research (and debate timekeeper) Roy Cordato, had a much stronger take with which I agree, as you might expect:

…Schlesinger said that he was not going to discuss the science. He then went directly to rattling off scary scenarios about the future. So about two thirds of his talk was scare mongering with no actual defense of the hypothesis that human induced catastrophic global warming is in the process of occurring. What is interesting is that in “skipping over the science” he flipped through a number of slides that he had prepared to use including the now infamous and discredited “hockey stick” graph showing 900 years of no climate change and the last 100 years of dramatic warming.

You can watch the whole 75-minute debate on the Locke Foundation’s blog. It’s also posted in eight pieces on YouTube.

ShaneScheid February 12, 2009 at 11:42 am

Mr. Christy is my new hero. Not because of his position on this issue (that is a no-brainer), but because he actually managed to secure a debate with these people. Mr. Christy should share his secret with the rest of us.

Paul Chesser, Climat February 12, 2009 at 11:55 am

The Reese Institute and the John Locke Foundation secured the debate — mostly Reese I would guess.

Bill Turlay February 12, 2009 at 12:31 pm

The statement that "I will not debate you" is featured in the new Chris Horner book "Red Hot Lies." They will not debate (not because the debate is over since 31,000 Petition Project signers say it is not) but because the alarmists cannot win debating climate science. Science and Mother Nature are proving them wrong big time.

It is about money and power. Follow the money trail. Al Snore is a prime example. He left the Clinton administration in 2001 with a net worth of $2 million. In 2008, his estimated net worth is some $100 million. Preaching the AGW gospel according to Al Snore has been very lucritive to him and his followers. In the past 20 years federal and state grants to Snore believers in acedemia have totaled $50 billion while skeptical scientist have received only $19 million. You tell me who is selling his soul for financial gain and his scientific integrity.

Dick Poole February 14, 2009 at 4:05 am


Where can I get that $50 billion figure verified with more detail. I have long suspected that only the hysterics get funding but didn't have the facts. Thenks

brad.tittle February 13, 2009 at 1:15 pm

But that $19 Million came from "Big Oil" and is much more devestating than the Billions that the other side got.

Leif Smith February 16, 2009 at 9:41 am

Brad, Oil companies' financial interest in this debate is probably no greater than the financial interests of their opponents. Both have large financial stakes. I'm an investor in an electric motor company that may make a lot of money because of well because of global warming funding for electric vehicles.

automotive floor jac March 14, 2009 at 2:16 am

I must say, that I could not agree with you in 100%, but it's just my opinion, which indeed could be wrong.

p.s. You have a very good template for your blog. Where have you got it from?

Dll March 14, 2009 at 4:12 am

In 2008, his estimated net worth is some $100 million. Preaching the AGW gospel according to Al Snore has been very lucritive to him and his followers. dll

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