Tonight: Colorado Mesa University Hosts Climate Change Denier

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Heartland Institute climate skeptic Billboard

Colorado Mesa University is hosting climate change denier Steve Goreham this evening, for a speech titled “Energy, Climate Change & Public Policy.”

Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese promotes tonight’s speech at CMU by climate change denier Steve Goreham

Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese promoted the event on her Facebook page.

Pugliese has publicly rejected global warming, saying, “It is not a proven scientific theory. There is not evidence to support it.” Pugliese did not return a call requesting comment.

Goreham is the Executive Director of the Climate Science Coalition of America and a policy advisor to the Heartland Institute, a Koch-funded advocacy group that has disputed the reality of climate change and global warming for decades.

The organization’s claims are so dubious that esteemed scientific journal Nature felt the need to editorialize about its suspect assertions back in 2011, saying: “the Heartland Institute’s climate conferences…are curious affairs designed to gather and share contrarian views, in which science is secondary to wild accusations and political propaganda.”

While not a scientist himself, Goreham says he is a “researcher on environmental issues,” who has published several books disputing climate change. Reviews of his writing have not been particularly kind, such as this 2013 review in the Guardian, “Heartland Institute wastes real scientists’ time – yet again.”

In an author’s note to one of his earlier books, Goreham states,

“the science clearly shows that global warming is due to natural causes, despite the tidal wave of world belief in man-made climate change.

Goreham is also a founding member of the group “Climate Exit,” which urges countries to withdraw from international climate accords in the strongest of terms: “The world must abandon this suicidal Global Warming crusade. Man does not and cannot control the climate.”

Dr. Deborah Kennard, Professor of Environmental Science & Technology at Colorado Mesa University plans on attending the talk and has encouraged her students in the Environmental Studies department to do so as well.

“Human influence on current changes in our climate isn’t debated in the scientific community anymore,” said Kennard. “Nevertheless we’re using this speech as a teaching moment so our students can see how scientific information is misinterpreted outside of scientific circles.”

In a guest column for the Grand Junction Sentinel, Steve Soychak, Director of CMU’s Landman Energy Management Program which is sponsoring Goreham’s talk, argued the benefits of fossil fuels and against the efficacy of renewable energy sources.

Soychak wrote: “It is ludicrous to think that we could live in a modern society without fossil fuels… Intermittent energy sources such as wind turbines and solar panels are also fossil-fuel derivatives. They…use a great deal of energy for the processing/manufacturing of carbon steel, silicon, lightweight materials, magnets, plastics, concrete, and many other materials…I have never been able to calculate a reasonable payout or rate of return on a wind turbine without subsidies or when including the rebuilding costs.”

Soychak also said he initially intended the event to be a debate and reached out to CSU’s Center for the New Energy Economy, the Governor’s Energy Office, Xcel Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory Center, but was told nobody was available. Reasons included “we don’t debate policy” and “you should have an economist rather than an engineer debate these issues.”

Reached for comment, Colorado Sierra Club Director Jim Alexee said “Coloradans are past the point of denying climate change. Everyday we see it impacting our lives. This speaker is obviously out of step with Coloradans and 99.7% of the world’s scientists.” Citing a poll his organization released Wednesday, Alexee noted that “84% of Coloradans want the federal government to act on combating climate change, and 79% of Colorado supports moving the state to 100% clean energy.”

The speech takes place at 6:00pm tonight in the Meyer Ballroom of CMU’s University Center, 1455 N 12th St in Grand Junction.

Colorado Mesa University’s mission statement asserts that “the university has an obligation to offer the highest quality academic programs and services to those whom it serves to enable them to prepare for their future.”

This story was first published on the Colorado Times Recorder.

26 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Diogenesdemar says:

    Ted Kaczynski ????? . . . 

    . . . Damn straight! Right on! Way to show those uppity newby Windsor punk posers ya’ll ain’t givin’ up your tin-foil crown without a fight!  

    How ‘bout a little west-slope climate-change crazy right to the ol’ nadderoonies, huh?!! That’s what I’m talkin’ about . . . 

  2. Lucy Montrose says:

    Nice passive-aggressive way of saying people who agree with scientific evidence are crazy. Even terrorists. 

    Go fork yourselves, Heartland.

    • Curmudgeon says:

      Funny how Greg Walcher, who sits on Heartland's Policy Advisory Board, gets a regular editorial in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.  They don't mention his position at Heartland, but they do say he's President of "The Natural Resources Group", because that sounds a lot better.  


  3. Curmudgeon says:

    Grand Junction, Colorado; home of Proud Deplorables and willful, pig-headed ignorance.  

    But hey, there's Juco! 

  4. Duke Cox says:

    This sort of crap is why Mesa College still isn't worthy of being called a university.

    Soychack is an adjunct professor, I believe, who, in 2005, while employed as a landman/mouthpiece by Williams, or Barrett, or whatever O&G company it was, told a member of the GVCA in Rifle…."You might as well shut up. This is our town now and if you don't like it, you can leave."

    This is the same man who shills non-stop for the Jordan Cove CNG Hustle. He came in through the Craig Meis/ Brian Macke connection and has been helping Mesa College become CMU (Colorado Methane University. This sort of nonsense will continue as long as Tim Foster sleeps with the Oily Boys…figuratively, of course.

    • Lucy Montrose says:

      Soychack sure loves preening and puffing out his chest and doing all those other mating and dominance displays. A tom cat who sprays in everyone's bed and is devoid of charm.

  5. Voyageur says:

    Hell, I was an adjunct professor many years.  I'm also author of the line "adjunct" is Latin for "underpaid."

  6. JohnInDenver says:

    Steve Goreham, presented by Steve Goreham, talking about books by Steve Goreham,  Were the books published by Steve Goreham? I found one of his three listing a publisher of "New Lenox Books." Looking for that imprint, I find it has published … one book.

    I suppose it is nice Goreham's backers are contributing the cost of the room to the University.  And perhaps it will provide something to sponsoring student group "Landman Energy Management Club." 

  7. deathpigeon | they/them says:

    I still believe that industrial society has been a disaster for the human race. Do you?

    • deathpigeon | they/them says:

      (Anyway, this reminds me of people saying the Green New Deal reads like the Unabomber manifesto, which is only said by people who have read neither of them, lol.)

    • mamajama55 says:

      Not entirely. But there isn't any balance in the present American system- Industrial costs are socialized and the benefits are privatized, as many have said before.

      I tried living without industrially produced "stuff" in an Oregon commune once, making or recycling what we needed, and found it to be dreary.  Plus it's just too  much work. Chop wood, carry water, sew, take care of the bambinos, take care of the animals, take care of the garden, cook, clean up, chop wood, carry water, rinse, repeat.  One really has no leisure time except in the dead of winter. As Lucy wrote earlier, 

      Nobody ever created anything of beauty when they were stuck in survival mode!

      It doesn't help that it rains all the damn time in Oregon.

      I have no idea if that's what you were getting at. That heartland site is chilling – Newt Gingrich's admonition to "replace the left" in action.


      • deathpigeon | they/them says:

        I hear what helps with living without industrially produced stuff is getting a cabin in the woods and mailing bombs to universities and airlines then publishing your manifesto about how we should abolish industrial society and get found out because your brother recognized your writing style. (Jk jk. Lol.)

    • Voyageur says:

      Oh, yeah, industrial society sucks.  I so miss the dark ages, the inquisition, the black death and the 18 hour day.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Interesting, DP.

      I’ve gotta’ say I’m more than a little surprised to find out that you’d be one of the ones to consider living a stone-age existence?

      Maybe you want to try it for a week or two before you make any permanent commitments? Maybe wait a couple of months, when it’s a little warmer outside?

      PS: Be sure and let us know how much better your life is, huh? Keep in touch when you’ve got some free time — not grubbing around for roots, or rooting around for grubs. I mean, you do know how to send smoke signals, right?

    • Curmudgeon says:

      Well, there's a surprise. 

      • Conserv. Head Banger says:

        Surprise about what?

        • Curmudgeon says:

          It's not, that's what I'm saying. 

        • Duke Cox says:

          Maybe he is shocked to see you, seemingly an otherwise literate and reasonably intelligent person reactively post links to such drivel…or…maybe not.

          • Conserv. Head Banger says:

            So you think that only lefties are concerned about climate change? Or a web site that debunks global warming skeptics is drivel? Now I'm surprised.

            • Duke Cox says:

              1. Yes

              2. Yes

              3. So what?

              P.S. A site that CLAIMS to debunk anthropogenic climate change does not necessarily DO SO.

              • deathpigeon | they/them says:

                Ok, let's be real. The right usually only claims they don't care about climate change. Like, why do you think Trump is trying to build the wall, question the status of refugees, and mass militarization? What major process in the world is going to produce mass migrations because of, for example, flooding, hurricanes, etc? What's going to create a ton of refugees with justifications that can be questioned by the right more easily than the current ones? And what is going to lead to wars over resources as, for example, rising heat makes drinkable water more scarce?

                The right does care about climate change. They just don't want to fix it. They want to win in the mass violence it creates.

              • Conserv. Head Banger says:

                Sorry, Duke. I thought you were a better reader than that. Perhaps you can share your specific reasoning as to why Skeptical Science is “drivel.”

                And maybe I can dig up some more links for you. 

                • Duke Cox says:

                  You need not waste your time. I am not playing your game. I do not have the time nor inclination to bandy words about with insincere and impertinent people. 

                  I will do my best to ignore your bullshit… I really will.

                  • Conserv. Head Banger says:

                    Old rule of college debate, Duke. When one has a weak case, deride and belittle your opponent to draw attention away from that weakness. Live long and prosper in your Mesa County silo.

                    By the way, Duke, last time I checked, Kathleen Sgamma is not an oily "boy."

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