Join Roger Ream ’76 in this week’s Liberty + Leadership Podcast as he speaks with venture capitalist, scientist, and author, Stephen Einhorn.
Roger and Stephen discuss his most recent book, “Climate Change: What They Rarely Teach In College.” They also cover recent trends in the climate discussion, including how global temperatures are measured and how efforts to combat climate change can enrich the powerful, with very little benefit to the poor.
Stephen Einhorn is the co-founder of Capital Midwest Funds, which invests in revenue-stage companies, and was recently named one of Wisconsin’s Most Influential Business Leaders. Prior to his work in venture capital funding, Stephen was a merger and acquisition consultant, and started his career as a paint chemist. In addition to his most recent book on climate change, he authored the book “If You Try to Please Everybody…You Will Lose Your Ass: Jokes and Reflections on Business and Life.”
Stephen received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Cornell University and a Master of Science in polymeric materials from the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute. He and his wife Nancy have been stalwart supports of TFAS for more than 20 years.
The transcript below is lightly edited for clarity.
Roger Ream [00:00:00] Hello and welcome. I’m Roger Ream and this is the Liberty and Leadership Podcast, a conversation with TFAS alumni, supporters, faculty and friends who are making a real impact in public policy, business, philanthropy, law and journalism. Today, I’m excited to be joined by Steve Einhorn, founder of Capital Midwest Fund in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Steve and his wife, Nancy, have supported TFAS for nearly 20 years. He is the author of several books. The latest “Climate Change: What They Rarely Teach In College.” That book will be the subject of much of our conversation today. Steve has been named one of Wisconsin’s most influential business leaders. He’s accomplished that after shifting careers from paint chemist to merger and acquisition consultant to venture capitalist. To give you a sense of how our conversation might go today, I’ll mention that his first book is “If You Try To Please Everybody…You Will Lose Your Ass: Jokes and Reflections on Business and Life.” Steve, thank you so much for joining me.
Stephen Einhorn [00:01:14] Well, it’s a pleasure to be here and I’m looking forward to speaking to you about this book, but the joke book is actually much more fun, guys.
Roger Ream [00:01:24] Well, you have some of your wit is in the climate change book as well. So, I’ll give you credit for that. What I say is you’ve written a readable book on a very hot topic, pardon the pun there, which is climate change. Your book is full of data, empirical and historical. It’s full of science, but it’s organized in a very reader friendly manner. Anyone can, I think, read this book. Any educated person. You don’t need a science degree. It even includes your wonderful wit, as I said. So, let me begin with one simple question to start us off. Given your background, what inspired you to write this book? Why a book on climate change?
Stephen Einhorn [00:02:05] About a half dozen years ago, I sponsored a debate at Cornell on climate change because it was one of the topics that was hush hush. You couldn’t really talk about. And we couldn’t get anyone to debate on the side of is not a problem. And all of the professors took the position, well, there’s a major problem. So, when I thought about it, I said: “Okay, I’m going to look into this.” So, I started to look into the different issues that would be: how are the polar bears doing, forest fires, hurricanes? Every time I looked into an issue, what I found was that there was no justification for the other side or very, very minimal justification for what everybody’s being told. Now, I read a few of the books and what I learned is the science, it was very complicated and difficult and there was jargon, scientific jargon. So, I decided there was a need for just a simple book which provided the scientific information, and most of the information comes from the US government and eliminates the jargon. That’s kind of pleasant to read, and just not that too complicated there. So, that’s what I tried to write.
Roger Ream [00:03:25] Well, and you succeeded. I didn’t mention what I introduced you, that you do have a science background and that you’re a graduate of Cornell, as is your wife. So, it is appropriate that you sponsored this debate at Cornell. Well, let’s tackle some of the issues that you address in your book. You know, what’s your assessment of the risks of global warming? Should we be concerned? And does the problem require a drastic policy response?
Stephen Einhorn [00:03:53] Well, actually, we’ve had a drastic policy response to a non-issue. What do you do when there’s no problem and you spend a lot of money trying to solve a non-problem? I think that we really have to start with the last week because during the last week, every one of us has been told we’ve had the warmest days ever. Wow. Isn’t this proof that there is climate change and global warming is really something we should be worried and scared about? Okay. Here’s what’s really happened. And I know this because I’ve studied this for several years. It took me two years to write the book, and I’ve been following the science pretty carefully. If you are listening to this, you probably don’t even know what the warmest year was during your lifetime. Now, global warming is a major problem. Why don’t you know? You don’t know because no one will tell you. I’ll tell you. The warmest year was 2016. That was the warmest year. That’s seven years ago. No one will tell you that because it will make you realize, guess what? The last six years have been cooler. Well, if the last six years have been cooler and 2016 was the warmest year, how much should a person worry about global warming? Just think about that. Now let’s talk about the last week. I don’t know how anyone could have escaped into reading anything that we had the warmest days ever. Here is something that they didn’t tell you. We knew last year, those of us that were following the science, that this was going to be a warm year. How do we know? We know because this was an El Nino year. El Nino goes up and down. El Nino actually is something that starts in the Pacific Ocean. The Pacific Ocean warms and then it goes around the world and around the world, and before you know it, it can be warm or El Nino can have a cool year. The same thing happens, except now it’s a cool year. Now, if you combine that with the thought that when there are volcanoes. Volcanoes put a lot of crap into the air and that blocks the sun from getting these rays from out of our atmosphere, and then they come back, and that also causes warmth. You can actually plot it. You can plot going back 100 years and every seven or eight years, it’s warm. That’s the El Nino effect. And guess what? We’ve known this in 1600. In South America, the fishermen noticed that every couple years it got to be warm and that affected their fishing. So, it’s no surprise.
Roger Ream [00:06:55] Steve, let me ask a question about that. I know that they try to measure temperature at various temperature measuring stations around the world. Obviously, these stations don’t exist on two thirds of the earth. I assume not where there isn’t land. I know that in many of the places where they’ve been measuring temperature for years, cities have grown up around those stations that corrupt the data. How do they make these judgments that 2016 was the hottest year, it’s been cooler since then? Is that data we can rely on?
Stephen Einhorn [00:07:34] Well, the answer is, partially yes. It’s partially yes, because there are several different groups. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Berkeley Earth, all of these are different groups that measure temperatures around the world. Usually they’re very, very close. So, in general, we do know and there is agreement that 2016 was the warmest year to date. On the other hand, Anthony Watts at the Heartland Institute has actually gone and seen where these measurements are taken from. Where is the hot weather stations, the temperature stations? What he’s found is they’re corrupted, and the reason that they’re corrupted is because they’re not supposed to be too close to concrete, to close the buildings because they tend to be a degree or two higher, but over 90% are corrupted. So, whatever we’re getting, our higher temperatures then are really there. So, that’s why I mean, the answer is partially yes and partially no.
Roger Ream [00:08:41] Is there any consensus on what is the ideal temperature of the earth and what deviation is something that should concern us? I’m old enough to remember talk of the coming Ice Age, wasn’t that many years ago, but how did how does the scientific community try to figure out what is the ideal temperature?
Stephen Einhorn [00:09:02] Well, it’s really interesting because a good portion of the scientific community actually believes there is an ideal temperature. For example, they might say in the United States, it might be in the fifties, or if they happen to be in Australia, they might say it’s in the seventies. They do agree in general that there is an ideal temperature and that one degree higher than today, one degree centigrade higher than just today will be a disaster. That they agree upon, but they don’t agree as to what the ideal temperature is. Another part about this is, is something that people don’t realize. For the past 100 years, every year has been within plus or minus one degree centigrade. What’s amazing about our climate is how consistent it is. When you think about 100 years, we can assure you that the last 20 years have all been plus or minus a half a degree in terms of temperature. That’s for the entire world. Isn’t that remarkable?
Roger Ream [00:09:59] AI would assume that’s determined mostly by solar activity on the sun.
Stephen Einhorn [00:10:07] Yes.
Roger Ream [00:10:08] Not other factors?
Stephen Einhorn [00:10:09] Yes. We’re misled. We’re told that fossil fuels generate more atmospheric carbon dioxide, which in turn heats up the earth, and that’s why we should all be scared and frightened about what’s going to happen by 2030. But actually, and we know this, we know there is a university professor at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, who did calculations and 98% of all radiant heat, and it’s measured in watts per square meter, that there’s over 300 watts per square meter generated by the sun. Whereas the change in carbon dioxide from two or 300 parts per million to 400 parts per million, which is what’s happened during our lifetime, is about one and a half watts per square meter. In other words, the carbon dioxide contributes about one half degree, probably one-half percentage of the total amount of heat. So, what really happens on Earth? The sun has a good year and it’s going well, and it wants to generate a little more heat, it does or doesn’t, carbon dioxide has virtually nothing to do with this. You can prove that by just following what’s happened on the heat on earth, because the heat on earth is gone. We’ve had 30 years from 2044 to 2076 where it was cooler, and then the last six years have been cooler than 2016. There’s virtually no correlation between carbon dioxide and heat. The most important example is we did an experiment. Humans did an experiment, and it was just a few years ago that was 2020. The experiment we did is we shut down many businesses, shut down the universities, stopped flying planes and stopped driving, because of the COVID 19. So, what happened actually? If you think about it, they’re predicting that if you have less carbon dioxide growth, you’re going to have a cold year. But it turns out the 2020, which was the COVID year, was the second warmest year. Now, what happened in 2021, exactly the opposite. Planes started to fly and everything else went back to normal. We use more fossil fuels, generated more carbon dioxide, and we had a cooler year. There is no connection between the two. So, I’m just bringing out that this carbon dioxide atmosphere, the issue as far as generating warmth or heat on earth is just not accurate.
Roger Ream [00:12:55] Well, in your in your book, which, by the way, is available to anyone listening to this at your website site: climatechangeus.com. You can order the book there through Amazon and I recommend it. You tackle the various issues that some argue are going to be the result of CO2 emissions warming our climate. If we could talk about some of those, you address in your book. One is the extinction of a variety of species. Most notably, we hear about the polar bears, the beautiful, lovable polar bears. Is there a worry about extinctions if we don’t take action immediately?
Stephen Einhorn [00:13:41] The biggest worry about polar bears, which is significant, is that if you don’t contribute to these alarmists, climate people, they’re not going to have enough money. That is the biggest problem with polar bears. Actually, polar bears were headed for extinction and that was before 1973. The reason they were headed for extinction is that they kept getting shot. Their fur made wonderful rugs and people wanted those rugs. In 1973, the nations that have polar bears: U.S., Canada and Russia all made a pact they wouldn’t shoot polar bears. As a result, since then, we now have three times as many polar bears as when they stopped shooting them. We have about 30,000 in the wild from 10,000. So, the big deal about polar bears, just leave them alone. The polar bears don’t care about you contributing to causes that are going to protect them because they don’t need protection. What happens is these people need money to survive at their businesses. That’s all that’s happening.
Roger Ream [00:14:46] Well, related, I guess, is the issue of the oceans rising. There’s been a lot of concern that the major cities of the world that are located on bodies of water risk being inundated by rising ocean levels. Is there truth to that, Steve?
Stephen Einhorn [00:15:03] Well, you’re hitting now the most frightening of all of the issues. Will the seas rise, accelerating their rise to the extent that we’re going to have millions and even billions of eco refugees who have to move to higher land? When you go back in history, we have Al Gore. Al Gore, of course, is the leading genius on the other side. He wrote Inconvenient Truth, which is the single most important book ever written on the environment. What he tells us is that soon, the oceans are going to rise 20 feet. Okay, 20 feet. So, we’ve got to be worried about that. Except if you look at the last 15 years, the oceans have risen two inches. So, he’s off by 99 times. We do have information. The thing about the government that’s so interesting is the government almost always prints accurate historic information, and then they make projections which have nothing to do with the historical information. So, for example, NASA calculate, and they’ve only been doing this for 25, 30 years, they calculate that the seas are rising at 3.4 millimeters per year. That’s an inch every seven, eight years. That’s what this is, an inch every seven years. So, what that means is you get a foot on average every 80 years, in terms of sea rise. When you go to the major cities in the world, the seven largest cities: New York and in New York in eight years the seas are going to rise one inch.
Roger Ream [00:16:48] Every eight years? Okay.
Stephen Einhorn [00:16:50] Every eight years, one inch. In Los Angeles every 25 years, one inch. And the same thing goes for Buenos Aires, Calcutta, Mumbai, Shanghai and Tokyo. Those are the other major cities in the world that are seacoast cities, and every one of them is somewhere between 7-8 years and 20-25 years for one inch.
Roger Ream [00:17:11] Is that is the differential due to is the Pacific rising at a different rate than the Atlantic? Is that why LA is different from New York?
Stephen Einhorn [00:17:18] I haven’t studied the difference in the oceans, but there really is quite a change. In fact, Stockholm, the seas actually decrease in height there. So, there’s really there’s nothing here to worry about. But here’s the problem, and this is a major problem. All our actions seemed to be based upon the Paris Agreement, the Deficit Reduction Act, which passed $400 billion, but actually, according to Goldman Sachs, is going to cost us $1.2 trillion. That was based on the Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement is based upon the U.N., U.N., IPCC. Now, the U.N., IPCC has told us that since 1900, the seas have risen three times. They’ve accelerated three times so that they were maybe one millimeter, 1.3 millimeters a year in 1900. And now they’re 3.7 and they’re going to multiply three times. This isn’t just an increase, an ordinary increase every year, which is what’s happened in the real world. This is an accelerated increase there. Well, none of this has happened. I spoke to someone from the U.N. who specializes on the sea level rise, and I asked her if she could name one place in the world where this happened? And she said no. She couldn’t. She gets back to me next month with where it has risen three times since.
Roger Ream [00:18:48] Don’t hold your breath.
Stephen Einhorn [00:18:49] It hasn’t happened there.
Roger Ream [00:18:51] If the seas rise, as you said, at about seven inches every eight years, that seems like a non-problem in that. You know, beachfront property is replaced every 80 years. Houses are torn down and rebuilt every 80 to 100 years, and you can adjust for a seven-inch rise efficiently or very economically. Why is there this concern that’s expressed so much about the oceans rising, if what you’re telling me is that it’s a very, very slow process, and not something to worry about? Why are they pushing this agenda that we’re going to be inundated? Is it bad science?
Stephen Einhorn [00:19:39] Well, it has due to some extent with how they play with words. They don’t use words properly. For example, Hurricane Ida is proof that climate change is here, and we’ve got a major problem with hurricanes. But of course, that is just not accurate. Hurricane Ida is an example of weather. It’s one event. Climates, what happens over several years. So, every time anything happens that’s perhaps a little bit unusual and certainly a detrimental to people become proof that we have climate change and global warming. But you have to distinguish one event from several years to really understand climate or get a better picture of what’s happening, and there’s virtually nothing happening there.
Roger Ream [00:20:27] Yeah, I heard. You know, as we’re recording this today, there’s been some terrible flooding in parts of New York and Vermont. And I heard one report say that the rainfalls and the flooding is the worst flooding in New York since Hurricane Irene about 12 years ago. So, it sounded very dramatic when she said: “This is the worst flooding they’ve ever had in this region since Hurricane Irene.” So, I Googled Hurricane Irene and I saw just 12 years ago. Are hurricanes getting more intense and more frequent or is that a myth?
Stephen Einhorn [00:21:04] Well, there is the claim that they’re becoming more intense. I checked it out and the best I could find out was the claim was on average, they’re 2% faster. What that means is that a category four hurricane that’s going 130 miles an hour, they claimed is going 134 miles an hour. But that’s not really a very major difference. In fact, it’s within the margin of error and maybe nothing is happening. As far as the amount of hurricanes, they don’t talk about it because they know there are not more hurricanes now than the past 100 years. They’re almost the same. Not year to year, but over a period of years. For the last hundred years, they’ve been very stable. So, there are not more hurricanes. That’s not an issue. With tornadoes, there have been fewer tornadoes over the past few years. Maybe there’s been one year here where there’s been a little bit more, but basically there’s been no increase in tornadoes either. So, this is a talk that isn’t supported by scientific facts. These are measured, by the way, by the government, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. So, we have a very clear picture of what’s there.
Roger Ream [00:22:21] Another subject, which I think you do cover in your book, is the frequency of droughts and impact of droughts. Has there been an increase in the frequency of droughts?
Stephen Einhorn [00:22:36] No, we have just as much dry land as wetlands. Well, there’s a little bit more wetlands now than there have been 25 years ago. We’ve had a little bit more rain. But once again, this has very little of anything to do with the claim of global warming or carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Roger Ream [00:22:58] Steve, if we take the actions advocated by the people you describe in your book as the activists, the people that think we need to take immediate action to address CO2 emissions and combat climate change, what’s the impact of a decision to dramatically reduce the use of fossil fuels, which I know play a very important part in our economy today still, even as we build windmills and so put in solar panels and try to force people into electric cars?
Stephen Einhorn [00:23:32] It’s an interesting question about cars for our fossil fuels, because on the one hand. The best records I’ve heard is we only have a couple of hundred years left of fossil fuels. So, there really is an advantage not to use as much as possible. But the way to do it is really through technology. I know we’re working with one company that’s doing liquid cooling and it’ll save say, that it would get out in the marketplace efficiently, maybe £12 millions of carbon dioxide every year. So, the solution really is to do it, let industry do this. And the industry wants to do it because they want to save money. If you use less fuel, you’re going to save money. That’s basically how it goes. So that’s a real plus. Regarding the others renewable energies as competitors, it’s fine, but they also compete on even basis a capitalistic free market basis where there’s no should be no supports by governments for anywhere. Let them compete in the marketplace and whatever people want, they should be able to get.
Roger Ream [00:24:37] Is there technology being developed that replaces the use of fossil fuels in areas beyond just energy production, because I know fossil fuels are used in important things like fertilizers, plastics, tires, many, many applications in our economy today? Are technologies coming along that you think would replace the use of fossil fuels and those other products?
Stephen Einhorn [00:25:06] Every type of energy has certain advantages and disadvantages. So, nuclear has no carbon dioxide and some of them are cheaper, some of them are better. But it gets back to competition. I don’t know of any new energy source that’s going to be beneficial in every way. It gets down to a large extent, this whole bit about carbon dioxide. The question is that good or bad? Well, the Supreme Court has ruled that carbon dioxide is actually a pollutant, which is remarkable because we know plants. If there was no carbon dioxide and there’d be no humans because the plants are generating oxygen, as you know, from photosynthesis, that’s what they do. The petals close and they think they won’t be able to generate oxygen. They don’t generate oxygen. We’re not going to be breathing a lot. So, I’m not sure I answered the question, Roger, but that’s my understanding of how this do.
Roger Ream [00:26:05] I mean, I think too many people think of: Oh, we can go to electric cars. We can use solar panels and windmills and reduce our use of fossil fuels, but fossil fuels have so many other uses in our economy. I don’t think you can use a windmill or a solar panel to make a tire or to make beauty products, fertilizers, paint, so many things. Our clothes, so much of what we wear is made out of fossil fuels.
Stephen Einhorn [00:26:41] Yes. You can’t make a soda, which with bubbles, unless you have carbon dioxide. So, it can’t be too much of a pollutant there, unless you like your coke flat.
Roger Ream [00:26:50] So, I imagine the effort to reduce the CO2 emissions comes with a tremendous price tag and a lower standard of living for everyone on this planet, if we force the reduction in CO2 emissions.
Stephen Einhorn [00:27:04] The problem is control. If you may or may not believe in global warming, climate change, but if you want to control other people, there’s no better way than to say you’re going to control carbon dioxide because that’s basically what you’re doing. If you say we can’t use fossil fuels, you’re really saying we don’t want to atmospheric carbon dioxide. But if that’s the case, then that means that they’re going to tell us what type of meats we should eat, what type of utensils we should have, how we’re going to heat our buildings, how we’re going to drive, move. You can control human life tremendously, and if you tend to have more, I’ll say socialistic methods, beliefs where the government can make better decisions than individual people, then there’s nothing better than attacking carbon dioxide to get your way.
Roger Ream [00:28:02] In your book, you suggest there isn’t the consensus among climate scientists that were led to believe there is. What evidence do you have that, you know, there are people in the climate community that disagree with work of the U.N., IPCC or other groups? I’d like you to address that, because I think that’s an important point about this idea of whether there’s this consensus or not.
Stephen Einhorn [00:28:30] There was a group a dozen years ago called the Oregon Group, and there were 31,000 scientists who all agreed that human activity is not causing serious problems with climate change or global warming. It’s just not happening. So, you have the number of people who live there, but there’s silence. Of course, it’s the Heartland Institute, there’s a CO2 group, there are dozens of groups that would side with what we’re talking about, namely that there’s no problem. So, that exists. The problem is that you have almost a monopoly. Monopoly is why the government, the universities and the media. You take those three, you can’t get the other side. I’ve been trying to have a debate at a university on climate change. No one will debate because it’s settled science, it’s disinformation, and I’m a climate denier. That’s how it is. So, there’s no debate on college. There’s no way of getting the information out about what we’re talking. I think that addresses why people believe there’s a consensus. Of course, consensus has nothing to do with science as it said, if it’s the consensus it’s not science, if it’s that science, it’s not consensus. So, either is or isn’t. You don’t vote on carbon dioxide. It’s either doesn’t or does something or doesn’t.
Roger Ream [00:30:03] Well, at the outset of your book, you describe kind of the climate science community is divided between what you call the activists and the realists. Activists or those you suggest are wanting immediate action to do something about climate and about CO2 emissions, and you grant, which is probably a good approach strategically, that they’re both acting in good faith. But at the same time, you point out in your book that and there have been many instances where the climate activists have filed lawsuits to try to shut down people who disagree with them. They’ve tried to intimidate and cancel the climate realists, the climate skeptics. Since you just touched on that our most activists, you think acting in good faith or is there this desire to accumulate power and money that comes from it? I mean, Al Gore has made himself rich talking about climate beyond anything he ever was able to do as a U.S. senator in terms of accumulating wealth. Is that just a tactic is in your book?
Stephen Einhorn [00:31:14] It’s tough because what happens is all of us have a confirmation bias. We start, we learn something, we believe it, and then we tend not to see ideas that oppose that. This is a major problem for the activists. There are other major problems that are equally maybe even more important. One has to do with money. If you whether you believe in global warming and climate change or not. If you’re rich, there has never, ever been a policy that has made richer, rich people richer than climate change. It’s never happened. We’ve had $4 trillion of money spent on climate change and global warming. And a poor person has never, ever bought a Tesla for $66,000. A poor people are not major shareholders in utilities that have millions and millions of dollars for poor subsidies for energy. So, this is a tremendous way to transfer money from the poor to the rich. Al Gore, who was of modest means, is now one of the wealthiest people in the country. He thinks we need another $4 trillion, but he’s been wrong on everything that he’s promoted in terms of what’s happened. And maybe I should just talk for just a half a minute here on what the problem is. How can they have such weird positions compared to reality? And it has to do with computer projections. You see, if you go through history, it’s always the same. If you see the water the water hasn’t been accelerated, in the sea rise. They’ve gone the same amount. Hasn’t been a large increase in temperature over these 100 years and nothing of the last six years. But that’s history. Now, if you’re going to be an activist, it’s different. So, for example, you don’t measure how much the water has risen. Why do that? Instead, let’s talk about the glaciers. I know from estimating what’s coming off the glaciers or what’s happening with barometric pressure or what’s happening in the poles there. And because of human activity, I put all these factors together. Now, I can make a projection. But when they do, these projections, UN has been wrong. They made projections in 1980s, a 100 out of 100 were wrong, and they were on average three times expecting more heat than what occurred during the past 25 years. So, this is important factors to explain why they believe what they’re believing, because they don’t look at the information and they ignore history. That’s why what I’m talking about is science, which is coming from the historical records of the NOAA and NASA and the EPA. They all get good, accurate passive records from the past, but then they make projections which have nothing to do with reality.
Roger Ream [00:34:19] Well, when you talk about how much has been spent already, the trillions that have been spent to combat CO2 emissions and deal with climate, it reminds me of Tom Soles comment that there are no solutions, there are only tradeoffs, and all of that money could be used to address real problems like clean water that is an important issue in many parts of the world. To deal with the eradication of diseases, to provide food, clothing and shelter to people. This is money taken for other uses to address problems that may not be as serious as many of these people claim. It’s really astounding because they’re not only are they spending all this money, but they’re reducing GDP along the way for future generations and hurting our ability to address these issues at a later time.
Stephen Einhorn [00:35:19] I think you’ve hit it. Maybe indirectly, but you have hit it. It’s not only that it’s $4 trillion. It’s the government spending $4 trillion. Governments just don’t have the ability to handle this efficiently. If that $4 trillion were in the hands of people, we have a much better civilization. People would be healthier. They’d be wealthier. They’d be living longer. Oh, that’s another thing. When you go over this this U.N. stuff and all of these activists, what they’re telling us is: we’re going to be poorer, we’re going to have less education, we’re going to be less healthy, we’re going to live shorter lives. The exact opposite has happened during the past 100 years. While temperatures have risen, longevity is increased by 20 years. We’re 70 times wealthier than we were 100 years ago. So, we’re living longer, we have more wealth and we’re better educated. We have another 30% or so that are our can read that they’re literate. They couldn’t read 50 or 100 years ago. So, now they’re telling us exactly what’s happened in the past when the temperatures have increased, now everything’s going to decrease. We’re going to be living shorter lives while the temperatures rise faster. Totally inconsistent with reality in history.
Roger Ream [00:36:38] The subtitle of your book is “What They Rarely Teach in College.” Did you can get to some college campuses to talk about this topic or to be an audiences of college students?
Stephen Einhorn [00:36:51] I’ve had great success and great failure. The success is I can speak at almost any college. I’ve spoken at Michigan, Michigan State, Concordia and Cornell. But the bad news is I talk to people who already agree with me that there’s not a problem. There are those who believe that there is a problem, which is 90% of the campus and almost 100% of the professors just they won’t talk, they won’t debate, they won’t participate. So, that’s what that’s why I wrote what they rarely teach in college, because it is very rare. Oh, Hillsdale may teach it, but there isn’t a hell of a lot of others that would consider both sides of a discussion like this.
Roger Ream [00:37:34] Yeah, that’s unfortunate, because I know you’re someone who likes to engage with others who may not agree and have the same opinion as you., that’s where what’s meaningful in this area is to have that kind of conversation with people. You and your wife, Nancy, have been generous in supporting our Capitol Hill Lecture Series. I think now we’re in our 11th year of bringing a variety of very interesting speakers up to Capitol Hill to speak to all the interns and many staff who work on Capitol Hill. There’s probably a bias there, too, of getting mostly friendly audience. But we don’t always do that, as you’ve witnessed, some of the speakers get very challenging questions. Could you give me your impressions of that lecture program that you’ve generously funded with us when you’ve had the chance to come out each year?
Stephen Einhorn [00:38:30] Well, from my perspective and the Nancy’s perspective, it really is a deal. It’s not that expensive. We have remarkable speakers, the quality is extremely high, the knowledge level is there, the kids, whether it’s two, three, 400 kids, they’re all excited about it, and so we feel we’re getting a bargain for the contribution that we’re making.
Roger Ream [00:38:52] Yeah, well, thank you. I’m glad you’re going to be out this summer to participate in one and have lunch with some of our students afterwards. Those are always interesting conversations you get to have with students in our program, but I do need to one year look for six or seven students who are entirely hostile to kind of the ideas that you and I share, because that might make for a more interesting lunch, but we’re looking forward to it. I think we’ve picked out some great students for you and Nancy to have lunch with this year. You did go to Cornell you mentioned, you had an honor to speak. Do you get picketed there or does the other side just ignore you?
Stephen Einhorn [00:39:38] When we sponsored the lecture at Cornell, there were 180 students in the class, and the lecturer who was responsible for leading the class advised the class not to tell anyone what was happening. The reason was he didn’t want to have any excitement. He didn’t want anyone marching outside. And, you know, some folks like Ann Colter came to Cornell just this past year and were shouted down and were unable to speak. So, it’s a problem. It’s not just Cornell. It’s a lot of a major liberal colleges just have an issue with allowing dissension or disagreements.
Roger Ream [00:40:27] We’ll let you get in the last word here. I just want to again plug your book: “Climate Change: What They Rarely Teach in College,” which, as you said, is available at climatechangeus.com. We haven’t covered everything in the book. It’s very well-organized. You have a chapter on someone who’s, I guess, even surpassed Al Gore in promoting dramatic action, Greta Thunberg, who you cover in a chapter in here. But what I but I really liked when I got to the end of your book, Steve, is that you write an apology for each side in this debate for the climate realist who say we go 100 years from now and turns out he was wrong, that we should have acted much earlier and more dramatically to address climate and address CO2 emissions. What would that person tell people 100 years from now, and then you wrote an apology from the activists apologizing that we spent the trillions and trillions of dollars we did and reduced our standard of living for a problem that didn’t exist. I don’t know if you want to touch on that, but I thought that was a very fitting way to conclude your book. If you don’t want to touch on it, we can just tell people to buy the book if they want to read it.
Stephen Einhorn [00:41:46] The point I was trying to make is, it’s just one that I think everyone knows. No one can be certain about the future at all. But if we’re wrong, then the activist is wrong because they’re projecting things from the future that never happened in the past. If those who believe, as I do, that we study the history of what’s happened in the science and the history of what’s happened, and that doesn’t happen in the future, that means that the past has changed dramatically there. So, the point was, and I repeated that the future, we don’t know about the future, but we do know that the odds are high that the future is going to be very similar to the past because the Earth has had amazingly consistent weather or I should say, climate, for the past 100, 150 years. There’s no reason to believe that we should be worried. I’m glad you mentioned Greta Thunberg, too, because her position basically is: if you don’t do what I say, I will never forgive you. This is psychiatric child stuff that needs help. What is she talking about? We’re talking about science, and she’s wrong about everything that she promotes because it’s all emotional and it’s based upon this these fictions that are generated about the future.
Roger Ream [00:43:10] Yeah, well, there’s a tremendous amount of hubris that certainly affects this whole topic and not just with her. I appreciate you joining me today to talk about your book. It’s been my pleasure. It was a pleasure to read the book and then to review it again this week to prepare for this conversation. You’ve done a great service. For people who want to get the book it’s at climatechangeus.com. As I said, it’s full of some interesting charts and graphs that are easy to review, it’s written in a very readable style. Thanks, I think, to Steve’s wife Nancy, who edited it, and Steve injects his great wit throughout as well to carry reader through the book. So, thank you very much, Steve. I appreciate you joining me. It’s been a pleasure.
Stephen Einhorn [00:44:06] Well, thank you. It’s my pleasure.
Roger Ream [00:44:10] Thank you for listening to the Liberty and Leadership podcast. Please don’t forget to subscribe, download, like or share the show on Apple, Spotify or YouTube or wherever you listen to your podcast. If you like this episode, I ask you to rate and review it. And if you have a comment or question for the show, please drop us an email at podcast@TFAS.org. The Liberty and Leadership Podcast is produced at kglobal studios in Washington, D.C. I’m your host, Roger Ream, and until next time, show courage in things large and small.
About the Podcast
TFAS has reached more than 46,000 students and professionals through academic programs, fellowships and seminars. Representing more than 140 countries, TFAS alumni are courageous leaders throughout the world forging careers in politics, government, public policy, business, philanthropy, law and the media.
Join TFAS President Roger Ream ’76 as he reconnects with these outstanding alumni to share experiences, swap career stories, and find out what makes their leadership journey unique. With prominent congressmen, judges and journalists among the mix, each episode is sure to excite your interest in what makes TFAS special.
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