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Heritage Foundation Finally Acknowledges Climate Change as Global Priority

In a freakish yet more-than-welcome "dramatic reversal" (their own words!), the Heritage Foundation's Nicolas Loris blogged last Thursday about the importance of climate change, as outlined in a recent Royal Society summary on the topic.  Read for yourself (note, I truncated some things here and did some selective editing there, but please don't think I'm taking things out of context):

"Great Britain’s most prominent scientific body [the Royal Society] still asserts that greenhouse gas gases [sic] resulting from human activity contributes to warming.  [T]he group urged the U.K. government to take urgent action to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and to do so “as fast as possible.”  The U.S. took that message to heart. The current Administration is attempting to tip the balance in favor of renewable energy by advocating a cap-and-trade system and renewable electricity mandates and has allocated additional billions of dollars in government spending for government-picked clean energy sources. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving down a long regulatory path to regulate CO2 under the Clean Air Act because CO2 and five other greenhouse gases (GHGs) threaten public health and the environment."

For Heritage to report the position of the Royal Society and the efforts of the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions was refreshingly encouraging.  In explaining their U-turn, Heritage states, "We should welcome an objective scientific debate on global warming," and admitted that the hundreds of thousands of dollars they have received from Exxon as well as the $3.3 million obtained from the billionaire Koch brothers had affected their previous positions.

In gesture of their new position, the Heritage Foundation is today hosting fellow fence-jumper Bjorn Lomborg at a movie screening based on one of his books.  Lomborg, whose book and associated movie "Cool It" made clear his belief that money was not well spent on addressing global warming, now calls for investments in measures that could contribute to the mitigation of the crisis.

Why Heritage is showing a movie that seems to counter Lomborg's new position is a bit confusing.  Given all the recent changes of heart, hopefully they intend to deliver a public apology for their previous obstructionism to those already suffering from the symptoms of climate change.

Either way, it's great to see the Heritage Foundation doing the right thing, and to realize how silly it can be to take things out of context.

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