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Category — Heartland Institute (Joe Bast)

The Heartland Institute and Joe Bast: An Appreciation

[May 7th Update: The subjects of this post have been diminished by the very unwise decision to conduct a (quickly terminated) billboard campaign linking global warming beliefs to madmen. We all make mistakes, and this was a big one. Our side has little margin for error given the huge resources of the other side. We cannot become 'Joe Romm' (et al.) in the quest to fight Joe Romm (et al.)]

The scandal perpetrated by climate alarmist Peter Gleick has brought the libertarian think tank Heartland Institute and its founder, president, and CEO Joseph Bast into the spotlight.

Heartland’s free-market orientation led Bast et al. into climate-change science, economics, and policy. Criticism from the climate establishment led Heartland to add a section on its website, Reply to Critics, to rebut charges that it is a ‘front group’ or anti-science. Instead:

Heartland’s mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. Such solutions include parental choice in education, choice and personal responsibility in health care, market-based approaches to environmental protection, privatization of public services, and deregulation in areas where property rights and markets do a better job than government bureaucracies.

Kudos to Bast and Heartland to see a major threat to personal freedom and economic prosperity from ‘climate stabilization’ . Climate alarmism is arguably the anti-industrialist, neo-Malthusians last stand, and it is a recipe for open-ended Big Brother.

Students of the dynamics of government intervention can see how a beginning carbon cap-and-trade program could be tomorrow’s carbon police knocking on the door. Remember Jimmy Carter’s thermostat regulations in the 1970s? Seen another way, it is not hard to fear the mentality of the Peter Gleicks and Joe Romms and the Paul Ehrlichs of the world.

My Association with Heartland

I have known Joe Bast and Heartland (founded 1984) for at least twenty years. Not only is Bast a top libertarian entrepreneur and doer, but he is a scholar. His draft comments on Capitalism at Work: Business, Government, and Energy (2009) helped me immensely. How did he find the time to read, page by page, line by line, my manuscript, I asked myself?

Over the years, I have given four talks at events associated with Heartland: [Read more →]

March 2, 2012   7 Comments