Joseph Bast

joseph-bast

Joseph Bast

 Credentials

Joseph Bast studied Economics as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago. According to Sourcewatch, he did not complete his degree.

 Background

Joseph Bast co-founded the Heartland Institute in 1984 with David M. Padder. He currently serves as the institute's president and CEO. 

Bast is also the publisher of Heartland’s monthly periodical, Environment and Climate News, as well four other like-minded publications. 

Bast studied economics as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago. He is the author of several books promoting free-market solutions to different public policy problems including Eco-sanity: a common sense guide to environmentalism. 

Stance on Climate Change

Bast claims that most scientists believe that human activity has no appreciable effects on the climate, citing a (since-debunked) 17,000-name petition run by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine

Some of Bast's assertions include that: [1]

  • “Most scientists do not believe human activities threaten to disrupt the
    Earth's climate” (This is referring to the Oregon Petition).
  • “Our most reliable sources of temperature data show no global warming
     trend.”
  • “Global climate computer models are too crude to predict future climate
     changes.”
  • “The IPCC did not prove that human activities are causing global warming.”
  • “A modest amount of global warming, should it occur, would be beneficial
    to the natural world and to human civilization.”
  • “Efforts to quickly reduce human greenhouse gas emissions would be costly
    and would not stop Earth's climate from changing.”
  • “The best strategy to pursue is 'no regrets.' The alternative to demands
    for immediate action to “stop global warming” is not to do nothing.”


Key Quotes

March 31, 2014

Regarding the NIPCC's contradictory conclusions to the IPCC's latest assessment report:

“How could two teams of scientists come to such obviously contradictory conclusions on seemingly every point that matters in the debate over global warming? There are many reasons why scientists disagree, the subject, by the way, of an excellent book a couple years ago titled Wrong by David H. Freedman. A big reason is IPCC is producing what academics call “post-normal science” while NIPCC is producing old-fashioned “real science.” [10]

March 26, 2014

Leading up to the Heartland Institute's Ninth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC-9) in Las Vegas, Nevada, July 7-9, 2014, Jim Lakely and Joseph Bast publish a press release in which Bast is quoted:

“The scientists Heartland works with demanded we host a ninth conference this year to foster a much-needed frank, honest, and open discussion of the current state of climate science and we just couldn’t refuse. The public, the press, and the scientific community will all benefit from learning about the latest research and observational data that indicate climate science is anything but ‘settled.’” [17]

September 19, 2013

“The IPCC – and all the mainstream media and environmental extremists who cite it uncritically — really have become a joke in the scientific community.” [8]

In reference to the Chinese Academy of Sciences' rebuttal of the IPCC's assessment, just months before COP19 in Warsaw, Poland, Bast said:

“This is a historic moment in the global debate about climate change… The translation and publication of a comprehensive critique of the IPPC’s alarmist reports by a leading national academy of sciences is one more sign of the trend toward skepticism and away from alarmism.” [7]

“The benefits of a modest warming would outweigh the costs – by $8.4 billion a year in 1990 dollars by the year 2060, according to Robert Mendelsohn at Yale University – thanks to longer growing seasons, more wood fiber production, lower construction costs, lower mortality rates, and lower rates of morbidity (illness).” [2]

Key Deeds

As the president and CEO of the Heartland Institute, Bast helped organize and introduce the First (March 2008), Second (March 2009), Third (June 2009), Fourth (May 2010), Fifth (Oct 2010), Sixth (June 2011), Seventh (May 2012), Eighth (November 2012), and Ninth (July 2014) international conferences on climate change. 

May 6, 2014

Joseph Bast was interviewed by Dorothy Tucker, of CBS 2 News in Chicago, “to give the other side of [the] story about President Obama's National Climate Assessment report.” [16]

1:22-1:40 “We have always had floods, we have always had droughts … I think they [The Obama Administration] are trying to whip up public support and attention for a political agenda. He [Obama] is attempting to shut down coal generation in the United States, and in its place, heavily subsidizing wind and solar, and biofuels.” [16]

April 30, 2014

At a mining conference in Denver, CO, Republic Report, cross-posted on DeSmogBlog, spoke to Heartland Institute's president, Joseph Bast, about his past support for the tobacco industry. When first asked by Republic Report, Bast denied that he had ever dismissed concerns about the risks of smoking. [13]

In a report entitled, “Please Don't Poop in My Salad,” (PDF) released by Heartland and written by Bast in July of 2006, Bast was quoted on page 57 (pg. 65 in PDF format), “A fourth lie is that even moderate smoking is deadly. Several experts (including two who are very anti-smoking) have told me that smoking fewer than seven cigarettes a day does not raise a smoker's risk of lung cancer.” [14]

Republic Report captured his response to the statement here [15]

March 31, 2014

Bast published an Op/Ed piece in Forbes the same week the IPCC released its latest report: “Working Group II Contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report.” In the article, Bast states that the NIPCC's latest report, released that same day, fully addresses the IPCC's eight “reasons for concern” made in the final draft of its Summary for Policymakers. Bast asks Forbes' readers to not just wonder if man-made global warming is a crisis, but to “understand it yourself,” by “read[ing] one or a few chapters of one of the NIPCC reports, and ask if what you read is logical, factual, and relevant to the debate.” [10]

September 18, 2013

Joseph Bast and Willie Soon appeared on Fox News Channel's, “Special Report with Bret Baier” to discuss the release of “Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science,” published for the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) by The Heartland Institute. [9]

May 23, 2012

The Heartland Institute's Seventh “International Conference on Climate Change,” took place on May 23, 2012 in Chicago. Heartland President Joseph Bast, during his closing remarks of the conference, appealed for funding from the crowd due to lower attendence numbers and an insufficient ability to raise funds: 

Please consider supporting the Heartland Institute. These conferences are expensive, and I’m not a good fundraiser so as a result I don’t raise enough money to cover them, we really scramble to make payroll as a result to cover these expenses. If you can afford to make a contribution, please do. If you know someone, if you’ve got a rich uncle or somebody in the family or somebody that you work with, please give them a call and ask them if they would consider making a tax-deductable contribution to the Heartland Institute.” [11]

May 4, 2012

The Heartland Institute released a billboard campaign in Chicago featuring “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski, Charles Manson and Fidel Castro. Heartland's intent with the campaign was to portray those who believe in the overwhelming evidence of man-made climate change as “radical [and] on the fringe of society.” [12]

 

In a statement announcing the billboard campaign, Heartland explained its rationale as: 

“Because what these murderers and madmen have said differs very little from what spokespersons for the United Nations, journalists for the “mainstream” media, and liberal politicians say about global warming….
The point is that believing in global warming is not “mainstream,” smart, or sophisticated. In fact, it is just the opposite of those things. Still believing in man-made global warming – after all the scientific discoveries and revelations that point against this theory – is more than a little nutty. In fact, some really crazy people use it to justify immoral and frightening behavior.”

The billboard was immediately and widely condemned as outrageous and offensive. Bast soon issued a statement to The Washington Post, rather unapologetically stating:

“We will stop running [the billboard] at 4:00 p.m. CST today. (It’s a digital billboard, so a simple phone call is all it takes.) The Heartland Institute knew this was a risk when deciding to test it, but decided it was a necessary price to make an emotional appeal to people who otherwise aren’t following the climate change debate.” [12]

June 21, 2005

Testified before the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Committee on Environmental Resources and Energy, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on the  “Cost of Greenhouse Gas Control”(PDF). [3]

1995

Wrote and designed a series of six brochures on environmental issues for distribution to elected officials, journalists, and other audiences. [3]

1989

Wrote, co-directed, and co-produced a 20-minute video titled Coming Out of the Ice.  The video covered a variety of public policy issues such as tort reform, privatization, school reform, and taxes. [3]

 Affiliations

Source: [3]

 Publications

Bast is the coauthor of 12 books, including Rebuilding America's Schools (1990), Why We Spend Too Much on Health Care (1992), Eco-Sanity: A Common-Sense Guide to Environmentalism (1994), and Education & Capitalism (2003). [3]

He has not published any articles in peer-reviewed journals on the subject of climate change. A list of his books, publications, and policy studies is available at his profile at the Heartland Institute.

 Resources

  1. Joseph Bast. “Eight Reasons Why Global Warming is a Scam” (PDF), The Heartland Institute, February 1, 2003.

  2. “Testimony by Joseph L. Bast President, The Heartland Institute
    to the Environment Committee of the Iowa House Monday, February 9, 2004” (PDF), The Heartland Institute.

  3. Joseph L. Bast - 2008 Resumé.” The Heartland Institute.

  4. Staff and Board Members: Joseph L. Bast,” Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.

  5. The Heartland Institute,” SourceWatch.

  6. Joseph Bast,” SourceWatch.

  7. Chinese Translate Climate Change Reconsidered Volumes,” The Heartland Institute, August 14, 2013.

  8. Joe Bast, Willie Soon talking 'Climate Change Reconsidered' on Fox News,” The Heartland Institute, September 19, 2013.

  9. NIPCC Climate Report Covered on 'Special Report with Bret Baier',” The Heartland Institute, September 17, 2013. Archived April 8, 2014.

  10. The IPCC's Latest Report Deliberately Excludes and Misrepresents Important Climate Science,” Forbes, March 31, 2014. Archived April 8, 2014.

  11. Joe Bast Announces the Death of Denial-a-Palooza at Final Heartland ICCC Conference,” DeSmogBlog, May 23, 2012.

  12. Will Heartland Institute's Corporate Funders Tacitly Endorse Comparing Climate realists to Bin Laden and the Unabomber?DeSmogBlog, May 4, 2012.

  13. VIDEO: Heartland Institute Reluctantly Stands by Denial of Cigarette Smoking Risks,” Republic Report, April 30, 2014. Archived May 5, 2014.

  14. Joseph Bast. “Please Don't Poop in My Salad” (PDF), Heartland Institute, July, 2006. Archived May 5, 2014.

  15. Joe Bast reluctantly reaffirms cigarette health risk denial,” Lee Fang, April 24, 2014. Archived May 5, 2014.

  16. Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast on CBS 2 in Chicago Talking Climate,” HeartlandTube, May 7, 2014. Archived July 1, 2014.

  17. Jim Lakely, Joseph Bast. “International Gathering of Scientists Skeptical of Man-Caused Global Warming to Take Place in Las Vegas from July 7 to July 9,” Heartland Institute, March 26, 2014. Archived July 1, 2014.

[x]
Heartland Unabomber Billboard

This is a guest post by David Suzuki.

The Heartland Institute’s recent International Climate Change Conference in Las Vegas illustrates climate change deniers’ desperate confusion. As Bloomberg News noted, “Heartland’s strategy seemed to be to throw many theories at the wall and see what stuck.” A who’s who of fossil fuel industry supporters and anti-science shills...

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