My new video – Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels

In the first part of a new video series, I give an outline of Chapter One of Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels, which covers environmental economics. I explain the role of economics in protecting the environment. In a nutshell, it’s this: economic prosperity gives humans the time to care about the environment. Otherwise it’s just a day-to-day battle for survival. As Dr. John Christy put it:

“We are not morally bad people for taking carbon and turning it into the energy that offers life to humanity in a world that would otherwise be brutal,”

“On the contrary, we are good people for doing so.”

“Without energy, life is brutal and short.”

Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20150703181333/http:/www.al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/06/uah_climate_scientist_question.html

By the way, this is the very first video production in the new broadcast video studio I setup for Heartland in Chicago about two weeks ago. From it, live streaming to the web, major networks, and video production will be possible. Entirely donated equipment; no “big oil” or political funds were used. Since it was a work week for me when we did this first test, I didn’t have a suit, dress shirt, and tie. So, you’ll have to settle for my polo shirt. 😉

More on the book:

The fifth volume in the Climate Change Reconsidered series, Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels,produced by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), was publicly released on December 4, 2018 in Katowice, Poland — the host city of the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The 768-page print edition was released in March 2019 and is available for purchase online at the Heartland Institute store and at Amazon.com. A Kindle ebook edition is also available.

Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels assesses the costs and benefits of the use of fossil fuels (principally coal, oil, and natural gas) by reviewing scientific and economic literature on organic chemistry, climate science, public health, economic history, human security, and theoretical studies based on integrated assessment models (IAMs). It is the fifth volume in the Climate Change Reconsidered series and, like the preceding volumes, it focuses on research overlooked or ignored by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Previous volumes in the Climate Change Reconsidered series were published in 200920112013, and 2014. Those volumes — along with separate executive summaries for each report— are available for free online on this site. Use the links on this page or use the pull-down menu that appears when clicking on the tab titled “Volumes” at the top of this page. Print copies can be ordered at The Heartland Institute’s online store or at Amazon.com.

The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) is an international network of climate scientists sponsored by three nonprofit organizations: the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP), and The Heartland Institute. It was convened in 2003 to provide an independent review of the reports produced by the United Nations’ IPCC.

Additional background information about Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels is available at these links:


Anthony Watts is a senior fellow for climate and environment at The Heartland Institute.

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57 thoughts on “My new video – Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels

    • Yes, thanks, Anthony. And thanks for joining the Heartland Institute.

      And to all others, please join and contribute to the Heartland Institute. They do excellent work in the area of climate communications, as in this video, and other areas of the economy such as taxation and healthcare. Please visit their website. https://www.heartland.org

  1. Good video! Just look to the Third World, people whose total existence is scratching out a living have no time or inclination to do anything to “clean up” the environment. Here in the western hemisphere increasing numbers of them bend all their efforts to escape the soul crushing poverty induced by socialism by illegally entering other countries and sucking down their tax dollar provided “benefits” while bringing their total disregard for the environment around them to us. Europe has already begun its slide by allowing an ever increasing flood of illegals, all of whom are trashing the local environment each place they gather.

    Like it or not, cheap energy and prosperity are the only solutions to any environmental problems.

    • “It is unknown how may Einsteins, Picassos and daVincis have seen their incredible intellect and potential squandered gathering firewood in Sub-Saharan Africa.” – Shoshin

      • Or many other places. Certain their was a vast wastage of human potential in Ukraine and Georgia when the Great Stalin punished them for not accomplishing the impossible when he ordered they do so. And east&central Europe during the late ’30s and early ’40s. Lots of waste, America doing its share since the early 1970s, and don’t forget China’s cultural revolution and enforced one baby policies. Yea, lots of waste, and it continues to have the same, repeating, particular political leaning. Funny how that works out.

      • Yes, developed nations allowing their citizens to advance themselves is good, now if we can get the Third World shyteholes on the trolley we could make some progress.

  2. The thing about moral hazards is SOLID. Nassim Nicholas Taleb describes the problem eloquently in Skin in the Game.

    Folks like AOC and BS have nothing to lose when their misguided policies go wrong. The rest of us pay the price. Similarly, the IYIs (Intelligent Yet Idiot), who purport to predict the consequences of anthropogenic CO2 emissions, have benefited mightily from their alarmism. (Some even claim to be Nobel Prize winners.) Yet, they bear no responsibility when their prognostications prove to be false. AOC and BS should not be able to claim that they were only listening to the experts. They should know that such expert predictions are no more accurate than would be produced by a dart-throwing chimp.

    The best thing we can do for the world is to find a way to hold the prognosticators responsible for their failed predictions. Folks like Paul Ehrlich should be held incommunicado so they cannot further pollute the world with their crap.

    • Can’t hold them incommunicado. First amendment. Better to hold them up to ridicule.

      Ehrlich has done much to deserve ridicule.

      Sometimes I think the saying that science advances one dead scientist at s time is true.

    • “They should know that such expert predictions are no more accurate than would be produced by a dart-throwing chimp.”
      It is worse than that. The dart throwing chimp actually has a chance to be right, where the “experts” deliberately lie and have no chance what-so-ever.

    • Loved Taleb’s Skin in the Game. But I thought his best work was Anti-Fragile as it applies so well the the top-down Soviet-model of today’s Big Science with their climate models trying to tell real climate how to behave. Like it somehow cares.

      My new read I’m still working though and re-reading chapters is Vaclav Smil’s Energy and Civilization.

      I haven’t read Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels. But I hope Anthony and the Heartland Institute thinkers have read Dr Smil’s works and incorporated his ideas-observations of energy density revolutions and humanity’s advancements. And what that means for civilization’s future of de-evolution if we go backwards to lower energy density solar and wind power, rather than forward to higher energy density nuclear power.

      • Joel O’Bryan says:
        “My new read I’m still working though and re-reading chapters is Vaclav Smil’s Energy and Civilization.
        I haven’t read Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels. But I hope Anthony and the Heartland Institute thinkers have read Dr Smil’s works and incorporated his ideas-observations of energy density revolutions and humanity’s advancements. And what that means for civilization’s future of de-evolution if we go backwards to lower energy density solar and wind power, rather than forward to higher energy density nuclear power.”
        ___________________________________________________________________________________________
        In his 2017 revised book “Energy and Civilisation” Dr. Smil outlines the phenomenal changes that energy density has made to human progress ~ but in the end he has accepted the mantra that our use of hydrocarbons will raise CO2 so much as to cause the catastrophic increase temperature of the earth. On pg 440 he anticipates that the entire Antarctic ice sheet melting will cause sea-level to rise 58 meters (190 feet)!
        He has embraced the “planetary boundaries” idea of “sustainability and resilience” espoused by the Stockholm Resiliance Center https://www.stockholmresilience.org/research/planetary-boundaries.html
        This is not good!

    • People still worship they guy, I guess because (1) he “cares”, and (2) they assume he will eventually be correct.

      • Prior to 2008, Taleb observed that Black Swan events were likely to happen. Then the markets crashed. The thing is, he didn’t predict the market crash per se. He just observed that unpredictable, dramatic, events happen. He also pointed out that you can order your affairs in such a manner as to reduce the effects of such Black Swan events even if you don’t know what they will be or when they will happen.

        So, what’s to disagree with?

  3. It would be good if the videos were mirrored on a site accessibile in China where YouTube is blocked.

  4. commieBob July 14, 2019 at 5:47 am
    T… Folks like Paul Ehrlich should be held incommunicado so they cannot further pollute the world with their crap.
    ——————————
    But then it is claimed on here that some non climate change professors are prevented from communicating their beliefs.

    So what do you want – freedom of speech or controlled speech?

    • So you are saying deliberate lies and fraud should count as free speech?
      So I guess we should do away with defamation and libel laws?
      No hate speech laws either because they get in the way of free speech?

      There have always been limits to free speech even in USA with it’s bill of rights.

      I think the issue is the left and greens selectively go for the cover of free speech when it suits them. On one hand they want to hold oil companies etc to account for what they say and know and yet get a little uncomfortable when it comes back the other way.

      So consistency required do you want everyone held accountable for what they say and do or no-one it’s an A & B choice and should hold for both sides.

      • Actually LDB, Hate Speech laws need to go the way of the dodo. It should never be illegal to tell the truth, yet in Europe, if you say anything historically accurate about a religion that will not be named, you can be sent to prison. I can understand prosecuting someone if they are threatening physical harm to some ethnic group, but just pointing out the actual statements and published religious rulings should not lead to a court case, ever!

        The only speech that should conceivably lead to prosecution is that which is assault – the actual threatening of bodily harm. (Remember: Assault is telling someone you are going to punch them; Battery is actually doing so.)

      • If I were you boyo I would sell my Fossil investments while you can. They will go the way of the livery business in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I pray for that day!!

        • If I were boyo, I’d get my crystal ball retuned.
          There is no chance of fossil fuels “going away”, not for the next several hundred years at least.

          Why do you pray for 90% of humanity to die?

        • Yet another leftard heard from. Please, PLEASE invest your OPM in green energy, I love seeing idiots on the streets begging for food after they throw all their parent’s money away.

    • ghalfrunt you equate one person with the entire site. Seems dishonest.

      If commiebob ever said something about freedom of speech and you think he now wants to restrict it call him out not the site.

      • Moving the goal posts and building straw men among the only excercises ghalfrunt is familiar with.

    • I want meaningful consequences for failed serial prognosticators. Anyway, speech that is dangerous and false is not protected. link

    • Agreed.

      Folks with opinions which are easily challenged as baseless, illogical, socially dangerous, or immoral don’t need to be throttled or censored: They should instead be encouraged to attempt to defend their positions in the marketplace of ideas, thus exposing the falsifiable underpinnings of their thoughts.

      If this results in a public unwinding of a given opinion through logic or proper scientific inquiry (sometimes leading to ridicule), so be it. An understanding of the facts, research, and incentives behind the contrasting views will have been presented, enriching us all.

      Now….if only the world-wide press could understand this concept, instead of trying to promote a biased narrative. In their zeal to be the gatekeepers of thought, they have totally corrupted the marketplace of ideas.

      Sidebar: It seems a certain major US publication promotes the idea “Democracy dies in darkness.” Ironically, the idealogical slant of this publication is well known, along with their penchant for not telling both sides of a story, therefore creating censored “darkness”. What, then, is their goal for our representative republic which they errantly refer to as a democracy?

  5. 2hotel9 July 14, 2019 at 5:4
    … Just look to the Third World, people whose total existence is scratching out a living have no time or inclination to do anything to “clean up” the environment. Here in the western hemisphere increasing numbers of them bend all their efforts to escape the soul crushing poverty induced by socialism by illegally entering other countries and sucking down their tax dollar provided “benefits” w…
    ———————————–
    I hardly think that the political situation they are fleeing is socialist. More like militarist dictators,

    The west is profiting by selling these obnoxious “governments” weapons to enable them to destroy each other. Many are valid refugees trying to escape certain death.

    • So you are saying that most problem militarist dictators aren’t socialist … wow you really are bright 🙂

      Syria : Bashar al-Assad .. Ba’ath Party (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ba%27ath_Party_(Syrian-dominated_faction) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bashar_al-Assad)

      North Korea: Kim Jong-Un …
      Quote: “According to its 2016 constitution, it is a self-described revolutionary and socialist state “guided in its activities by the Juche idea and the Songun idea”
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Korea

      Russia: Vladimir Putin
      It is a socialist state by definition of it’s constitution.

      China: Xi Jinping
      Should not need evidence it fully claims to be a socialist country.

      • LdB

        I have an acquaintance who lives in Russia. He’s British, moved there shortly following the fall of the wall, and has lived there since.

        He tells me the Russian population are possessive of their ‘newly’ found Democracy, far more so than the UK and, arguably, the US.

        The city he lives and works in is modern, multicultural and multi religious, with Mosques, Temples and Churches, and there has not been a religious conflict in 400 years. It has virtually no crime on the streets (one might guess the authorities aren’t as tolerant as the UK and US about it) and no vagrancy at all. Hardly surprising as people sleeping on the streets die at -40C in the winter very quickly.

        Employment is good and the city is a technical hotspot with one of the main industries being jet engine manufacture for various commercial and military aeroplanes. There are also a number of Universities.

        He’a a journalist for an energy publication devoted to the Oil and Gas industry, which is also a major employer in the area, and he travels freely, from the international airport within 20 minutes drive from the city centre, to Europe and the US. No restrictions, no interrogations, just free passage.

        The cost of living is cheap, his three bedroom, city centre luxury apartment cost him around $60,000. Income tax is around 13% for which everyone receives free healthcare, other than having to pay for their medication, which is also cheap. Private attention to a broken ankle cost him around $100.

        So whilst the perception we have of Russia might be negative, it’s probably best we speak to people who live there rather than listening to the media.

        BTW, it seems Putin really is adored.

        • I have no issue with that but try speaking out against Putin 🙂

          The funny part is all these socialists living among us would be in re-education camps or against the wall if they tried the stuff they do in the society they hate.

          • LdB

            I have no issue with that but try speaking out against Putin” 🙂

            The acquaintance I speak of is a Scot. We moan about everything. It seems that free speech is encouraged unless there is overt defiance.

            The worst criticism he makes about the country is that change comes slowly because of the ingrained reliance on bureaucracy. But then if you buy a bit of land, you can build what you want on it providing it conforms to basic building safety regulations. Unlike in the UK where building anything is a bureaucratic nightmare.

          • The worst criticism he makes about the country is that change comes slowly because of the ingrained reliance on bureaucracy.

            Speaking of slow change – something about toads and boiling water comes to mind when I think of Putin and his citizenry.

            And Putin isn’t the toad . . .

    • That you don’t think is self evident.
      In what passes as your mind, because someone is a military dictator they can’t also be a socialist.
      Also, in your mind, only the US sells weapons to dictators? Really?

      Have you ever come out of your mom’s basement?

    • They “voted” in socialists, no matter what flavor, and now they are paying the price. Add to that they bring the same cancer everywhere they go, just like those fleeing California and New York. You really should take the money your poor, old grandma is giving you for typing lessons and spend it on a clue or two. Reality. All you have to do is accept it.

  6. Typically this would be a standard climate denial approach. It is troup at best conflating xenophobic patriarchal conflation, and status quo carbon economics. In less than 10 years this guy and his minders will be dead from heat stroke, insect viruses, and foul water.

    • We can only hope so! Leftist stupidity has brought back cholera, typhus, yellow fever and polio. All who have helped to bring this about deserve to die from their actions. Slowly, without medical care or pity.

  7. “People who oppose the immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are just as ethical or moral as those who support such actions.”

    Ha. No, Mr. Watts, that would be very sad indeed. People who want to control other people’s actions, limit their choices, and reduce them to poverty and misery based on failed computer models are immoral people. Resentment, envy and lust for power drive Marxists. The fact that they see themselves as altruists only adds hypocrisy and self-delusion to their wickedness.

    “The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves.” – William Hazlitt

    • Dingdingding! We gots us a winner! Am I allowed to cut&paste this for use eleswhere?

      “. People who want to control other people’s actions, limit their choices, and reduce them to poverty and misery based on failed computer models are immoral people. Resentment, envy and lust for power drive Marxists. The fact that they see themselves as altruists only adds hypocrisy and self-delusion to their wickedness.”

      That really sums a lot of points up quite concisely.

    • I’ve looked for it but can’t find it.
      I saw a video clip years ago of Hillary when she was pushing her healthcare plan before Congress while Bill was President.
      She was asked if she would control people’s behavior through taxes.
      Her answer was, “I would if I could.”

  8. I have a problem with “local private property owners”. Really big private property owners – say billionaires – are about as remote as the federal government. But the point of having a long-term interest is well taken.

    I worked for a medium-sized company which entered into an alliance with a much bigger company. They signed a 15-year agreement. I told my boss that the company would be in an inferior position in 15 years. – Yes, I know, but I’ll be retired then.

  9. Anthony

    My abiding principle is that 90% of voters are not scientists, economists, environmentalists, philosophers etc. they are just ordinary folks. Appeal to the 90%, not the highly educated amongst us, there are too few to influence politicians.

    As a layman, my comments are, you are trying too hard to cram too much information into a short video clip, overlaid with visual messages that make the whole thing difficult to digest. I’m listening and reading simultaneously and whilst some can do that, I can’t.

    I would far rather see the real Anthony Watts, without a Heartland Institute background, explaining things his way, naturally, and with passion.

    For some hints, you might want to watch the meticulous, but languid presentation style of David Attenborough. For all he talks BS about climate, his presentations on wildlife are riveting. Jacques Cousteau also had the same style, and whilst you have nether their budget nor time, a minute added to the video to relax and explain things without appearing to conform to an Autocue would be more persuasive.

  10. Here’s retired Bob Brown past Leader of the Australian Greens having an epiphany on his Foundation website-
    https://www.bobbrown.org.au/tarkine_updates_090719
    NIMBY trumps planet saving for these climate changers

    Although Bob doesn’t live within cooee of Robbins Island it’s the sympatico for the views of like minded Green Tasmanians that suddenly brings out the bird chopper meme in them with wind turbines and note the idyllic cottage with the wood fire-
    https://www.bobbrownphotos.com/product/bob-at-oura-oura-liffey-tasmania-photo-by-paul/
    Naturally Bob will use fossil fuels to get up to Queensland during the last Federal election to berate banana benders over their proposed Adani coal mine as he can easily afford it on his parliamentary pension.

    Note particularly the interstate xenophobia before the equally snide global one-
    “Tasmania already has more than enough electricity to meet its own needs. So the Robbins Island power output is to be exported to the mainland via a new submarine cable.”
    Think locally stink globally eh Bob?

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