A Free-Market Energy Blog

DeSmog on IEA-UK: Guilty as Charged!

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- April 23, 2024

“Great work, Institute for Economic Affairs! May the honor of being on DeSmog’s hit list raise awareness of your noble mission and attract new donors.”

DeSmog’s enemies list has grown so long and distinguished that it refutes its “hit-piece” mission. Fact is, there is a vast scientifically literate middle that exposes the flawed case for climate catastrophism and forced energy transformation.

My DeSmog’s 1,000: A Badge of Honor congratulated the army of truth-seekers, while noting that many deserving individuals and groups remain. (Our Mark Krebs and Kassie Andrews are just two–all can apply.) [1]

Here are some rebuttals that mostly reprint what DeSmog has to say about its enemies as correct–and even heroic against the termite aspirations of the governmental Climate Industrial Complex.

In alphabetical order:

Robert Bryce (April 28, 2020)

John Christy (February 5, 2019)

Derrick Hollie (February 13, 2019)

Steven Koonin (December 7, 2022)

Isaac Orr (October 21, 2019)

Vaclav Smil (April 28, 2022)

and myself: Robert L. Bradley Jr. (March 7, 2018)

The latest from DeSmog, IEA Think Tank Contributes to Climate Science Denial Documentary, by Sam Bright (April 5, 2024), mentions a lot of good analysis and conclusions from the Institute for Economic Affairs (London). The quotations below speak for themselves, leaving out the ad hominem and guilt-by-association paragraphs that assert rather than debate. [My reactions are in bold.]

In the documentary [Climate The Movie: The Cold Truth], [IEA’s Stephen] Davies claims that climate activists want to impose an “austere” life on ordinary people. “Behind all the talk about a climate emergency, climate crisis” is “an animus and hostility towards” working-class people, “their lifestyle, their beliefs and a desire to change it by force if necessary,” he says. [Correct]

The film suggests that we shouldn’t be worried about greenhouse gas emissions, because plants need carbon dioxide. “We’re in a CO2 famine,” one interviewee claims. [True]

Climate The Movie producer Thomas Nelson told DeSmog that “I see the misguided fight against carbon dioxide as being as crazy as fighting against oxygen or water vapour, and I think scaring innocent children about this is deeply evil”. [True … and fantastic]

The IEA has extensive influence in politics and the media. It was pivotal to Liz Truss’s short-lived premiership as prime minister, and has boasted of its access to Conservative ministers and MPs. During the year ending March 2023, the IEA appeared in the media on 5,265 occasions, a figure 43 percent higher than its previous peak in 2019. [Bloody Good!]

The group has also received donations from a number of philanthropic trusts accused of channelling funds from the fossil fuel industry and helping to support climate science denial groups. The IEA is a member of the Atlas Network – an international collaboration of “extreme” free market groups that have been accused of promoting the interests of fossil fuel companies and other large corporations. [True … good going]

The IEA is a prominent supporter of the continued and extended use of fossil fuels. The group has advocated for the ban to be lifted on fracking for shale gas, calling it the “moral and economic choice”. The IEA has also said that a ban on new North Sea oil and gas would be “madness,” has criticised the windfall tax imposed on North Sea oil and gas firms, and said that the government’s commitment to “max out” the UK’s fossil fuel reserves is a “welcome step”. [Correct!]

“Clearly the IEA is now ramping up its climate culture war and the Conservative Party has been following suit. The cross-party consensus on climate action we used to have in Parliament is under strain like never before.” [True … great deliverable]

During the documentary, Davies suggests that action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is being used to limit the freedom of individuals. He claims that climate activists want to impose “a much more austere simple kind of lifestyle” on people “in which the consumption choices of the great bulk of the population are controlled or even prohibited.” [True]

Davies adds that: “What you have here is a classic example of class hypocrisy and self-interest masquerading as public spirited concern. You could take these kinds of green socialists more seriously if they lived off grid, they cut their own consumption down to the minimum, they never flew. Instead you get constant talk about how human consumption is destroying the planet but the people making all this talk show absolutely no signs of reducing their own.” [True]

The documentary also features an interview with Benny Peiser, the director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) – the UK’s leading climate science denial group. Peiser has previously claimed that it would be “extraordinary anyone should think there is a climate crisis,” while the GWPF has expressed the view that carbon dioxide has been mischaracterised as pollution, when in fact it is a “benefit to the planet.” [Sound]

The documentary also features Claire Fox, a member of the House of Lords who was nominated for a peerage by former prime minister Boris Johnson in 2020. Fox used the documentary to claim that, by tackling climate change, people will be forced to pay more “to simply live the lives that they were leading.” She suggests that supporters of climate action are trying to “take away what we consider to be not luxuries but necessities.” [True]

The brochure also lists the IEA’s chief operating officer Andy Mayer, who has said that the government should “get rid of” its target of achieving net zero emissions by 2050, which he called a “very hard left, socialist, central-planning model.” [Correct]

Great work, Institute for Economic Affairs! May the honor of being on DeSmog’s hit list raise awareness of your noble mission and attract new donations.”

[1] To be considered for DeSmog’s “Climate Disinformation Database,” contact them here.

One Comment for “DeSmog on IEA-UK: Guilty as Charged!”

  1. Kassie Andrews  

    Truth lovers unite! These are rookie numbers – We’ve gotta pump these numbers up! Congratulations to Institute for Economic Affairs!


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