Heartland Institute Fellow disputes Pritzker, others on climate change
A senior fellow at the Heartland Institute believes Gov. J.B. Pritzker used debunked climate-change claims in his inaugural address to Illinois.
James Taylor, a senior fellow for environmental and climate change at the Heartland Institute, said climate alarmists play on people’s fears of change.
"A warming climate may be a change from the temperatures of 50 or 100 years ago, but the warming has clearly benefited human health and welfare," Taylor said in an interview with Prairie State Wire. "The best scientific evidence indicates the benefits will continue to occur."
Taylor said satellites have documented a greening of the earth.
"Crop production sets records nearly every year," Taylor said. "Extreme weather events still occur—as they always have—but objective data show they are becoming less frequent and severe. These developments should be celebrated, not vilified."
Taylor said it is important to remember that, in his view, the recent warming is a recovery from the Little Ice Age, which only ended a little more than a century ago. He said it was the coldest period in the past 10,000 years.
"Today’s temperatures may be ‘the hottest on record’ when climate alarmists define ‘the record’ as merely the past 100 years, but we know that temperatures have been significantly warmer than today for most of the past several thousand years," Taylor said. "Human civilization first developed, and then flourished, under warmer conditions than today. If people and nations survived and thrived during warmer conditions and with fewer technologies than today, why should we be so afraid of similar warmth—if we ever arrive at such warmth—when we have the benefit of modern technologies?"
Taylor said as the planet modestly warms, Illinois's growing seasons become more favorable for crop production.
"Spring temperatures have gotten warmer, allowing earlier and more productive spring crop growth," Taylor said. "Global warming theory suggests warming will occur more at nighttime and in the winter than during daytime and the summer, and this has been the case in Illinois."
Taylor said even as spring temperatures have improved, there has been no change in summer temperature and there has been a decline in the frequency of very hot summer days.
"Just as importantly, Illinois is benefitting from more frequent and regular precipitation, which reduces drought occurrence," Taylor said. "As a result, Illinois farmers set new production records nearly every year, in defiance of climate alarmism predictions."
Taylor said the global warming debate is often misrepresented in the media.
"The debate between alarmists and skeptics is not about whether the earth is warming or even if humans are playing some role in that warming," Taylor said. "The debate is whether warming is creating such harmful impacts that governments need to take action to stop it."
Taylor said the best evidence indicates just the opposite, that a warming world is a better world.
"More scientists believe this than the media reports, and more than 30,000 scientists have signed a summary of the science rebutting alarmist climate theory," Taylor said.