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Mission Statement

The Institute for the Human Environment is a non-profit educational organization advocating for the continued development and improvement of society and the natural environment. Its mission is to support the unfettered use of fossil fuels so that the industrial evolution of the human community can continue unoppressed by the heavy hand of government.

The concept of the human environment, which includes both the natural world and humanity's impact upon it, has its origin the U.S. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, but it was more succinctly defined by the nations of the world-including the United States-in the Stockholm Declaration on the Human Environment in 1972. Among the principles set forth in this latter Declaration is the philosophy that protecting the human environment not only includes safeguarding the natural environment, it also includes defending a fundamental right of society to utilize and transform the natural environment so as to sustain and enhance the quality of human life.

It is unfortunate, however, that in recent years governments have abandoned this balanced approach to protecting the human environment. Far too many regulations and laws have tilted the scales toward safeguarding the natural environment at the expense of humanity. The most egregious example of such in our day includes government and private sector efforts to restrict the use of fossil fuels via tax, caps or fiat limits on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Such efforts are based upon the false notion that CO2 emissions are polluting the atmosphere and causing dangerous global warming. However, nothing could be further from the truth. The real story is that CO2 emissions and fossil fuel use have actually enhanced life and improved the standard of living.

Nevertheless, forces opposing fossil fuel use have grown in both number and political power. Their efforts enabled President Obama's EPA to declare in late 2009 that CO2 emissions resulting from the combustion of carbon-based fossil fuels are a "current threat" to human health and welfare. This so-called Endangerment Finding, however, was not the result of rigorous scientific study and debate; EPA relied too heavily on flawed computer model projections of possible harms that might occur in the distant future, and in the process they chose to ignore real-world observations that invalidated the conclusions reached from computer models projections. The EPA also failed to properly analyze and account for critical (and very significant) direct and indirect benefits of fossil fuels and CO2 emissions resulting from the combustion of fossil fuels in reaching their Endangerment Finding, benefits of which, if included, would have likely reversed their decision.

It is undeniable that fossil energy initiated (and continues to sustain) the Industrial Revolution and the many human and environmental benefits that have emerged therefrom. Without adequate supplies of low-cost centralized energy, few, if any, of the major technological and innovative advancements of the past two centuries that have enhanced and prolonged human life could have occurred. Additionally, without the increased CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use over the past two centuries, Earth's terrestrial biosphere would be nowhere near as vigorous or productive as it is today. Rather, it would be devoid of the growth-enhancing, water-saving and stress-alleviating benefits it has reaped in managed and unmanaged ecosystems from rising levels of atmospheric CO2 since the Industrial Revolution began.

When considering and accounting for such positive externalities, it becomes scientifically and morally indefensible to demonize fossil fuel use and declare CO2 emissions a current threat to human health and welfare. Consequently, it is the Institute's position that more, not less, fossil fuel use is needed to enhance the future human environment. Thus, a primary goal of the Institute is to bring these facts to light so as to reverse the 2009 Endangerment Finding and restore critical balance to the human environment as originally outlined in NEPA and the Stockholm Declaration.

Presently, the Institute operates as a program of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, a 501 (c) 3 public charity. Tax-deductible donations supporting the Institute's mission can be made through the Center here. In time, it is anticipated that the Institute will become its own non-profit entity advocating for the betterment of humanity and the natural environment. Please join us on this journey and make a donation today!