A Free-Market Energy Blog

Climate Statism: Science, Poverty, Free Speech at Issue

By -- August 4, 2015

“Over the past three decades, fossil fuels helped 1.3 billion people get electricity and escape debilitating energy poverty – over 830 million because of coal. However, 1.3 billion people (the population of the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe combined) still do not have electricity…. That is why climate change is a critical moral issue.

Scientists who question the supposed “consensus” on climate change are routinely labeled “skeptics” or even “deniers,” in a not-so-subtle reference to Holocaust denial. It is an absurd charge.

All of us agree that climate change has been “real” since Earth and human history began. It is ongoing, periodically significant, sometimes sudden, sometimes destructive – and thus far always unpredictable.

Real Issues

What we do not accept is the notion of “dangerous manmade climate change,” driven solely or primarily by carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases … emitted as a result of using fossil fuels that have brought countless wondrous improvements to our human condition. We believe geology, history and current evidence clearly show that climate and weather fluctuations are driven by the sun and other powerful, complex, interacting natural forces that we still do not fully understand – and certainly cannot control.

Indeed, the central issue in this ongoing policy battle is not whether Planet Earth has warmed recently, or whether the climate continues to change. There is little doubt of that. The central issues are:

How much is it warming? How much (if any) of the recent warming and other climate changes are due to mankind’s use of fossil fuels and emission of greenhouse gases? How much is due to the same powerful natural forces that have driven climate and weather fluctuations throughout history? And will any changes be short-term or long-term … good, bad, neutral … or catastrophic (as mile-thick Ice Age glaciers were for much of the planet, and the Little Ice Age was for Europe and Asia)?

In reality, the danger is not climate change, which will always be with us. The clear and present danger is energy and economic restrictions imposed in the name of controlling Earth’s perpetually fickle climate – for those restrictions will perpetuate poverty, disease and death … and make it difficult to respond and adapt to future changes.

Evidence for Good, Not Bad, News

Numerous resources address climate and energy realities, and the human rights and health implications of restrictive energy policies, including: many of my articles, my Climate Hype Exposed and Miracle Molecule books, extensive reports by the NIPCC (Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change) and CO2 Science, the WattsUpWithThat and SEPP climate science websites, and Heartland Institute’s climate conferences and Vatican papers.

We climate realists have repeatedly called on alarmist climate scientists to look at The Real World outside their windows … and compare that world with the scary scenarios that they create with their computer models and present in their press releases. We have also repeatedly challenged them to discuss and debate these important climate, energy, health and economic issues with us. They have refused to do so.

It appears the Climate Crisis Industry has too much invested in climate catastrophes: prestige, political power, billions of dollars in research and renewable energy grants, and the desire to control energy use, livelihoods, living standards and entire economies.

Instead of reasoned debate, they continue to predict manmade climate chaos, and engage in increasingly vicious and vitriolic attacks on replicable evidence-based science; on the scientific method that brought centuries of profound planetary and human progress; and on any scientists, scholars or ethicists who raise inconvenient questions or threaten alarmist views, policies and funding.

Warring Against Science, Freedom, Humanity

They are also waging war on capitalism … on hydrocarbon energy … on poor, minority, blue-collar and working class families – and on the most powerless, destitute, deprived, diseased families on Earth.

Equally unsettling, in league with Liberal-Progressive-Leftist politicians, activists and media, climate alarmists are also attacking the very idea of free speech and open, robust debate.

Tactics used to advance the Climate Crisis agenda are too numerous to recount here, but many are shameful, intolerable, dishonest and even lethal.

One involves the “social cost of carbonanalysis devised by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other federal government agencies. It supposedly monetizes damages associated with alleged climate risks due to using carbon-based fuels. Originally, pegged at an arbitrary $22 per ton, the price was later arbitrarily raised to $36 a ton, and environmentalist pressure may send it higher still.

EPA factors in every conceivable cost, including imagined negative impacts of more fossil fuels and planetary warming on forests, water resources, coastal cities, wildlife and human health. But it completely ignores even the most obvious and enormous benefits of using fossil fuels: powering our economy, creating millions of jobs, improving people’s health and living standards, fertilizing crops and forests.

It also ignores the enormous human and environmental costs imposed by anti-carbon policies: blanketing habitats with wind turbines and solar panels, butchering birds and bats, destroying jobs, and reducing people’s living standards and life spans. To the regulators, these are not topics for discussion.

In fact, even if the United States eliminated fossil fuels, destroyed its economy, killed millions of jobs and let numerous people die – atmospheric carbon dioxide levels would continue to climb, because other nations will continue using hydrocarbon energy. And even if carbon dioxide were the only factor in global warming, the predicted planetary temperature a century from now would be only 0.02 degrees Celsius lower than if America continued doing business as usual.

False Alarms, Desperate Diversions

Further examples of fraudulent alarmist pseudo-science can be found in this article, this commentary, this ongoing analysis and the legal brief that the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow submitted to the Supreme Court of the United States in the dispute over EPA’s carbon dioxide regulations.

Attempts to terminate “skeptical” funding and silence “realist” researchers have been concerted and coordinated. In one example, Congressman Raul Grijalva and Senators Ed Markey, Barbara Boxer and Sheldon Whitehouse sent letters to universities, think tanks and companies, demanding details on skeptic scientists’ funding and activities. They asked for nothing from alarmist researchers.

Additional examples are addressed in this article and on this extensive website. The horrid impacts of climate change, energy and other environmental policies on poor families are addressed in detail in my Eco-Imperialism and Cracking Big Green books, and in numerous articles like this one.

Over the past three decades, fossil fuels helped 1.3 billion people get electricity and escape debilitating energy poverty – over 830 million because of coal. However, 1.3 billion people (the population of the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe combined) still do not have electricity. In India alone, more people than live in the USA still lack electricity. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 730 million (the population of Europe) still cook and heat with wood, charcoal and animal dung.

Hundreds of millions get horribly sick and four to six million die every year from lung and intestinal diseases, due to breathing smoke from open fires and not having clean water, refrigeration and safe food.

That is why climate change is a critical moral issue. Denying people access to abundant, reliable, affordable hydrocarbon energy is not just wrong. It is immoral – and lethal. It is an unconscionable crime against humanity to implement policies that pretend to protect the world’s energy-deprived masses from hypothetical manmade climate dangers decades from now – by perpetuating poverty, malnutrition and disease that kill millions of them tomorrow.

They Said It

But that is what Big Green elites seem to want. Here’s what a few of them have said, in their own words.

Population Bomb author Paul Ehrlich: “Giving society cheap energy is like giving an idiot child a machine gun.” The “instant death control” provided by DDT was “responsible for the drastic lowering of death rates” in underdeveloped countries – and those countries are not practicing a “birth rate solution.” So they must have a “death rate solution” imposed on them.

Ehrlich and Obama science advisor John Holdren: “We need to de-develop the United States – bring our economic system (especially patterns of consumption) into line with the realities of ecology and the global resource situation…. Once the United States has clearly started on the path of cleaning up its own mess, it can then turn its attention to the problems of de-developing the other developed countries, population control, and ecologically feasible development of the underdeveloped countries.” [emphasis added]

Christiana Figueres, the UN’s top climate official, says United Nations officials are undertaking “probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the global economic development model.” [emphasis added] And replace it with what, exactly?

Another IPCC director had this to say: “Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection. The next world climate summit is actually an economy summit, during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated.”

What this really means, of course, is a more “sustainable” and “equitable” distribution of less energy, fewer jobs, and greater deprivation, poverty, disease, malnutrition and early death – in the name of fairness, compassion, population control and climate change prevention.

The Left vs. Free Speech

These would-be global green dictators do not want to discuss any of this, least of all in robust, open, public debate. In fact, they are determined not to let anyone talk about it.

As liberal commentator Kirsten Powers puts it in her book, The Silencing: How the Left is killing free speech, the Illiberal Left is committed to tolerance, pluralism and reasoned debate only for themselves, and only to advance their intolerant agenda. Otherwise, they apply “authoritarian demands for intellectual conformity” and relentlessly demonize and try to silence anyone who speaks up or asks inconvenient questions.

Conservative political analyst George Will is equally blunt.

 Free speech has never been … more comprehensively, aggressively and dangerously threatened than it is now. Today they are attacking the theory of free speech … the desirability of free speech … and indeed the very possibility of free speech….”

Hillary Clinton and other prominent Democrats, Will notes, have gone so far as to say they want to “change the First Amendment, in order to further empower the political class to regulate the quantity, content and timing of political speech about the political class.”

Boston University professor emeritus Angelo Codevilla also hits the nail squarely on the head: “The ruling class demonizes any questioning of its demands by imposing modern equivalents of the slave-era ‘gag rule.’ They wage identity politics as war. Power over what we praise and blame, how we think and speak, is what they and theirs are all about.

“The pretexts differ” from issue to issue, he notes. “But the reality is the same: Bow or be persecuted. … Nor will reason protect you. No discussion of merits is tolerated. This is how conquerors treat defeated enemies. Yours is the burden of proving you’re on the correct side.”

“Consequently,” Codevilla says, “if we wish to remain who we are in the face of threats and declamations meant to force us to honor intellectual and moral falsehoods, we have no alternative but clearly and loudly to distinguish between true and false, and fully make the case for what we believe to be right.”

Anyone who wonders how far the Left is willing to go should consider how many conservative groups the IRS targeted – and how the Milwaukee prosecutor and police monitored emails, invaded homes, seized computers and records, and threatened jail for anyone who disclosed these abuses … so as to intimidate and silence Governor Scott Walker’s supporters and other conservative groups in Wisconsin.

Their actions do not merely affect and destroy our fundamental First Amendment rights of free speech, assembly, association and debate. They severely impact the unalienable rights of people everywhere to partake of the good jobs, health, welfare, living standards and true environmental justice that affordable, reliable energy and other modern technologies have blessed us with.

Denying people these basic human rights is immoral, and intolerable. We have no choice but to fight back with every fiber of our being.

We Have Had Enough!

As Professor Codevilla points out, President Lincoln “pressed slavery’s hard, ugly realities upon audiences that preferred to evade them. Lincoln brushed away the euphemisms and legal constructs in describing the slave trade’s merchandising of human beings.” We must do likewise on these issues.

We must not mince words regarding the evils that climate totalitarianism and eco-imperialism are inflicting on families, industries, communities and entire nations. We must confront the lies, abuses and abusers – and confront the world with the hard, ugly realities of what life would be under conditions imposed by the UN, EU, IPCC, EPA, White House and other environmental extremists.

We must demand that governors, state and federal legislators, attorneys general, and citizen, industry and scientific groups take a stand against these evils; take action to gain access to now-secret EPA, NOAA, IPCC and other data, computer codes, models and studies; and determine which policies and regulations are based on deception or fraud.

We must curb the excessive power and representation of environmentalists and bureaucrats in our government; restore federalism, the separation of powers, and the rightful authority of Congress and state governments; and end the too-typical practice of judicial rubberstamping even the most outrageous actions and power grabs by federal agencies.

We must demand that legislatures and courts terminate or suspend implementation of costly, fraudulent, destructive regulations, until genuine evidence-based science is restored to the regulatory process – and employed to evaluate the integrity, quality, validity and true costs of those regulations.

We must demand that elected officials end the practice of sue-and-settle lawsuits between government agencies and radical left-wing pressure groups. We must demand that they slash agency budgets, especially the billions of dollars that EPA and other agencies give every year to anti-people pressure groups.

We must demand passage of the Secret Science Reform Act. This legislation requires that EPA and other federal agencies develop regulations and the science behind them in the open, and allow outside experts, and other affected and interested parties to examine data, evidence and studies that supposedly support government standards and mandates that could cost billions of dollars and millions of jobs.

If we can restore the essential foundations of progress – science, innovation, affordable energy, free market capitalism, free speech and robust debate – our nation and world will have a rebirth of freedom, progress, opportunity, health and prosperity.

If we do not succeed, the steady economic, technological, health and human progress of the past 200 years will come to a painful, grinding halt.


Paul Driessen, senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, is author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death, and coauthor of Cracking Big Green: Saving the world from the Save-the-Earth money machine. This post is taken from his lecture to the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness annual meeting last weekend in Los Angeles.


  1. The climate front  

    […] debate has turned to argument and then gone sour. Climate Statism: Science, Poverty, Free Speech at Issue by Paul Driessen offers a description and a call to […]


  2. Robert Cherba  

    Excellent article! It’s interesting that the leaders of the student revolts in the ’60s, early ’70s demanded “free speech,”; now that they control the universities and most of the government and media, they only permit the speech they find acceptable. Everything else they label anti-something or something-phobic. Kirsten Powers has it completely right. Fortunately, I’m a grumpy old man of 78, so I won’t have to put up with illiberalism for too many more years.


  3. Mark Krebs  

    A great excerpt from The EPA’s Power Grab that seems very appropriate given the moment:

    Writing in The Atlantic, Mario Loyola and Richard Epstein describe the federal takeover of the states through “cooperative federalism” programs as an effort to “turn states into mere field offices of the federal government.” Already today, they point out, federal officials exert enormous influence over state budgets and state regulators, often behind the scenes. The new federalism replaces the “laboratories of democracy” with heavy-handed, once-size-fits-all solutions. Uniformity wins but diversity loses, along with innovation, local choice, and the Constitution’s necessary limits on government power.

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/386185/epas-power-grab-bill-peacock


  4. Still Searching For a Legacy | American Elephants  

    […] Climate Crisis industry is a war on capitalism, on hydrocarbon energy, on poor, minority, blue-collar and working class families — and on the […]


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