Regent Nancy Boettger, a former GOP state legislator, listens to the meeting of the Iowa Board of Regents at the Levitt Center for University Advancement at the University of Iowa in Iowa City on June 2. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
After Regent Nancy Boettger warned Iowa State University last month to keep free speech in mind while teaching the “politically charged subject” of climate science, she gave at the ISU a pair of books from International Non-Governmental Panel on Climate Change – which denies the notion of human-induced climate change.
“The human impact on the global climate is small, and any warming that may occur as a result of human emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases is likely to have little effect on global temperatures. , cryosphere (ice-covered areas), hydrosphere (oceans, lakes, and rivers), or weather,” according to a summary of one of two books Boettger provided to ISU, both of which are part of the “Climate Change Reconsidered II” series out of the panel.
The two books Boettger provided to the ISU after the regents approved the university’s new bachelor of science degree in climate science – with its attached free speech disclaimer – are:
- “Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science”, summarized as an “independent, comprehensive and authoritative report on the current state of climate science”.
- “Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts”, published in April 2014.
In response to questions from The Gazette about how or if the ISU plans to use the materials in its new program, spokesman Rob Schweers said: “The books will be shared with the Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences, which offers the Climate Science program. Teachers will be free to use these resources for their courses as they see fit.
NIPCC vs. IPCC
The International Non-Governmental Panel on Climate Change is a global group of non-governmental scientists and scholars who claim to present a “realistic assessment of the science and economics of global warming”. It says its members “are not predisposed to believe that climate change is caused by human emissions of greenhouse gases” and offers a “second opinion” on the work done by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. climate change.
The IPCC is the United Nations body for scientific assessment related to climate change, established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme. It aims to “provide governments at all levels with scientific information that they can use to develop climate policies”.
The IPCC currently has 195 member governments. Its assessment reports are subject to expert reviews and the final product of its sixth report is expected later this year or early 2023.
“Human-induced climate change, including more frequent and intense extreme events, has caused widespread negative impacts and related loss and damage on nature and people, beyond natural climate variability” , he reported in February.
In one of the books Boettger provided to ISU, the authors criticized the IPCC and its findings. “Many scientists, policy makers, and engaged citizens have expressed concern about the possibility that man-made emissions of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide, could cause dangerous climate change,” according to the book’s summary. “One of the main reasons for this public alarm is a series of reports published by the United Nations (IPCC).
The book’s summary promises to interpret a “major scientific report that refutes this claim”.
Among the entities that support the books provided by Boettger, ISU is the Scientific and environmental policy projectcreated by S. Fred Singer “to challenge government environmental policies based on poor science.”
Singer – died in 2020 aged 95, according to a New York Times obituary — was a physicist who received the label of “Merchant of Doubt” for his arguments against the threat of climate change.
His project “examines questionable government policies, no matter how popular, to determine whether the policies are based on the rigorous application of the scientific method and not just a passing fad,” according to the organization Singer founded.
Another book sponsor is The Heartland Institutewhich calls itself an “action group” as well as a “think tank” focused on personal freedom and limited government.
In his most recent annual reportthe institute has released progress from its “Center on Climate and Environmental Policy,” which produces a “comprehensive program of research and education aimed at increasing energy freedom in the United States and around the world.”
“Our efforts have earned us the title of ‘the world’s largest think tank supporting skepticism about man-made climate change,'” according to the center, which said it had hundreds of thousands of contacts. with lawmakers in 2017.
The Heartland Institute has drawn strong criticism, particularly from the National Center for Science Education – who a few years ago issued a statement debunk a mass mailing the institute sent to K-12 and middle school teachers to promote its new report “Climate Change Reconsidered.”
“With its mailing, Heartland encourages teachers to use the NIPCC in the classroom, as if it were a scientifically credible rival to the IPCC,” according to the center. “That wouldn’t be a good idea… At least three studies have shown that more than 97% of climatologists have concluded that human activity is warming the global climate system.”
The UIS reports its new bachelor’s degree in climate science major was born out of an urgent need for a “well-trained and adaptable workforce” to cope with the worsening impacts of climate change – such as the financial cost of “extreme events such as floods, droughts and heat waves or widespread crop failures”.
“All students who complete the Bachelor of Science in Climate Science will have a solid grounding in the functioning of the climate system, knowledge of the impacts of climate on society and relevant sustainability and mitigation options, and be proficient in climate analysis. data and science communication,” according to the program description.
The university expects demand to increase, with 25 enrollments this fall and up to 120 enrollments by the fifth year.
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