The entire purpose of global-warming alarmism is to consolidate more power and control in the federal government, according to former Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C.

“I find it very convenient that the politicians who would seize power from the people and heavily regulate businesses on the threat of ill-defined climate catastrophe are usually the ones who wanted to control everything anyway,” DeMint told a large breakfasting crowd at the Washington Court Hotel Thursday. “It’s funny how that works out, and it’s clear what the goals are. It really is central power.”

The crowd was gathered in Washington, D.C. for the 10th International Conference on Climate Change, which took place Thursday and Friday. Hosted by the Heartland Institute, the event brought together skeptics of man-caused climate change from all over the world for two days of expert panels and keynote addresses.

“The facts are these: climate always changes,” said DeMint, now the president of the Heritage Foundation “Human activity might play a role, and … that’s not always a problem, especially not one to be solved by policies which could impoverish prosperous societies and destroy poor ones and not improve the environment. Contorting models and predictions to lie about this so one can advance a centralized political agenda is not simply an insult to science, it’s an offense against democracy.”

In a Thursday morning panel presentation, attendees learned exactly how models and predictions are contorted to make global warming appear to be a huge problem. Meteorologist and blogger Anthony Watts revealed the climate change data gatekeepers – those entities who filter information before it is disseminated for public consumption. He said there are four main types of gatekeepers – dataset curators, such as NOAA; organizations, such as the IPCC; press release services; and science journals.

What most people don’t know, according to Watts, is there is only one source of data on the Earth’s surface temperature – the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). That is why all of the dataset curators produce the same data. However, there exists independent satellite data that doesn’t agree with the single-source surface temperature data on temperature trends over the past 18 years. The latter shows an increase, while the former shows mostly steady temperatures.

Watts said the various gatekeepers adjust data sets all the time. Specifically, they adjust past temperatures downward so it looks like there has been a greater increase in temperature over time. Watts showed that the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, for example, has gradually adjusted the Earth’s past temperatures downward since 1980.

In addition to adjusting data, gatekeepers also infill missing data, according to Watts. Some temperature reporting stations have stopped reporting over time, and instead of simply skipping over them, dataset curators fill in a value.

Not only have some stations stopped reporting, said Watts, but others produce unreliable readings. He showed the audience photographs of two reporting stations in Arizona, both located in asphalt parking lots, which are naturally hotter than more remote areas. Meanwhile, the U.S. Climate Reference Network, with about 150 stations situated away from human beings, has reported essentially stable temperatures over the past several years, he said.

Watts said it can be misleading when agencies show the public only the average annual temperature of an area. As an example, he cited Las Vegas, where the average annual temperature has been rising since 1937. However, the average annual maximum temperature in Vegas has been flat or slightly decreasing. It is the average annual minimum temperature that has been rising, suggesting nights have gotten hotter while days have not.

Watts noted very few states saw record high temperatures in the past two decades. In fact, a plurality of record highs occurred in the 1930s. He also presented a graph showing the number of 90+ degree readings at all U.S. Historical Climate Network stations has been going down since the 1930s.

Recently, NOAA “erased” our current 18-year pause in global warming by adjusting past temperatures downward and recent temperatures upward. Watts claims the latter adjustment relied on problematic data from ship-based temperature readings, which can be driven upward by the ship engine’s heat. He said the 18-year warming hiatus remains in the satellite record.

“We’ve got the temperature record a victim of gatekeeping activity since its production methodology is not fully reproducible outside of the government,” Watts concluded. “We need a third party investigation. The surface temperature record has an overzealous adjustment scheme that adds warming. The resultant temperature data set is, in my opinion, not fit for purpose and not truly representative of the temperature history of the globe or the United States.”

Watts’s fellow panelist, Dr. J. Scott Armstrong, argued global warming alarmists do not follow a rational climate policy because they don’t adhere to “cumulative,” evidence-based methods. In fact, Armstrong said, the IPCC has stated “long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.” So instead of scientifically forecasting the future climate, they create computer-simulated scenarios about the future based on “expert judgments.” And he contended expert judgments are useless when it comes to complex, uncertain situations.

“The mass media keeps blaring this thing, and it’s very convincing to people,” Armstrong said. “It’s going to fail as this becomes a more high-involvement situation. It also is going to fail because repeating lies – you can repeat lies as long as people aren’t interested. Once they get interested, then repeating lies harms them.”

One message that has been repeated over and over in the media is that 97 percent of climate scientists agree global warming is very likely due to human activity. But Dr. Roy Spencer, another panelist and climatologist, seemed unimpressed by that data point.

“That 97 percent – even if it was 99 percent, it really doesn’t matter because it’s a herd mentality in climate science,” Spencer asserted. “Most of those people don’t know enough about the climate system, about feedbacks, to give an independent view on whether humans are causing significant climate change.”

Indeed, most of the speakers at the conference seemed to understand the massive mainstream opposition they face. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), who spoke at Thursday’s breakfast, said he’s been called a “prostitute” and accused of treason for his views on climate change. But he essentially laughed it off.

“If you don’t have the truth on your side, and you don’t have logic on your side, you do two things: you insult and you call names,” Inhofe told the crowd. “So this is what’s going on, and that’s always an indication that you’re winning, when they start that. It really is. You can’t let it bother you.”

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.