EPA ‘Public Listening Session’ Turns Into Sierra Club Talking Session

EPA Listening Session EPA Listening Session

Images from: National Resources Defense Council blog

Guest essay by Taylor Smith

Last week I attended an Environmental Protection Agency “Public Listening Session” held here in Chicago. I had only been to one other such hearing in the past as a college student, when my professor took myself and the rest of the International Studies class to see a public hearing on Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s famous Act 10 legislation.

Public hearings I would soon learn (before I would ironically go on to land my first job in government relations), are not the most thrilling experiences in the world. But in fairness, it’s not like I was expecting much: For basically a whole day, one speaker after another testifies to a panel of government officials about why they support or oppose a certain policy. Usually the speakers are an eclectic mix of industry representatives, activists, academics, students, and even religious leaders.

Although the EPA hearing yielded the same mix of speakers, this time I noticed they were all wearing green Sierra Club “Climate Action Now” shirts.

The reason for this, I would later learn, was that the Sierra Club had mobilized hundreds of activists, transported them via bus (I presume of the fossil-fuel powered kind), prepped their testimonies the night before, and completely dominated the morning speaker slots. (There were several coal industry representatives in the morning, and a few other dissenters, including Heartland Policy Adviser Paul Driessen, who covered his experience here). By the afternoon, the Sierra Club had completely monopolized the speaking time (at least in the room I was in).

After the hearing, everyone was invited to a “Climate Social”  held at the Sierra Club’s office  with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, and Illinois state Sen. Michael Frerichs.

Now maybe it’s just me, but I felt a slight level of discomfort when I saw a single organization dominate a “public” hearing in the way that they did. I don’t care what the organization is or what they say they stand for, because if their 2011 listed revenue is over $97 million, then you know not all of it could have fallen in their laps from heaven.

EPA Listening Session EPA Listening Session

Left: NRDC Chicago Staff: David Weiskopf, Blake Korb, Sylvia Garcia-Sadowski. Images from: National Resources Defense Council blog

For example, we know Chesapeake Energy, a large natural gas producer, contributed more than $25 million to the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign— the same campaign whose organizers were at the hearing and bused several people down from around the Midwest and prepped their testimonies.

But going back to the policy discussion, two things struck me about the speeches I heard — from both the climate activists, and the few coal-affiliated dissenters:

1) Lots of talk about reducing carbon dioxide, hardly any on reducing temperature. As I wrote to the Baltimore Sun once, the question shouldn’t so much be “How much carbon dioxide can we possibly reduce?” But rather, “How much temperature can we realistically save?” The latter question provides a much clearer picture when assessing exactly how much CO2 reduction would be worth its economic cost. The former doesn’t attach any long-term value to CO2 reduction, as if any CO2 reduction were worth its economic cost. Handy for political expediency — which as anyone who works in government relations knows, is half the political battle.

So why is temperature discussion always ignored? One reason might have to do with Dr. Pat Michaels’ research, which found if U.S. CO2 emissions were to be reduced to zero, the resulting temperature decrease would not be scientifically detectable.

So it should be obvious why many climate activists don’t like discussing temperature reduction relative to reducing CO2. But many speakers from the coal industry also didn’t like discussing temperature, instead discussing how electricity prices will go up or how jobs will be lost. Those points are important. But unless a more concrete value is ascribed to the amount of CO2 that activists say needs to be reduced, it’s always going to be perceived as outweighing any economic cost.

2) China and India. According to Diana Furchtgott-Roth:

Other countries are increasing emissions. China, India, and Germany are expanding coal consumption, according to the International Energy Agency. Global coal use will rise by 1.2 billion tons in five years. “By 2017,” according to a December 2012 IEA report, “coal will come close to surpassing oil as the world’s top energy source.”2 Mr. Obama’s reductions in U.S. emissions, with their associated costs, will just be a drop in the global bucket.

Which leads to two additional key quotes:

Even if rising greenhouse gas emissions are affecting the climate, actions by the United States will not be helpful in the absence of changes by China and India.

and

To reduce global greenhouse gas emissions in a less costly manner, America could assist China and India develop shale gas from hydrofracturing and build natural-gas fired plants to reduce their reliance on coal. Or, America could ship coal to China, because U.S. coal burns cleaner than Chinese coal. The majority of China’s coal (54 percent) is bituminous, which has a carbon content ranging from 45 to 86 percent. On the other hand, 47 percent of the U.S.’s coal, a plurality, is subbituminous, which contains a carbon content of only 35 to 45 percent.

But many of the Sierra Club activists opposed both hydrofracturing and nuclear. So what exactly would they support? Short of a blackout?

 
Advertisements

63 thoughts on “EPA ‘Public Listening Session’ Turns Into Sierra Club Talking Session

  1. If we reduce carbon dioxide to the same level as 15 years ago, the temperature will be the same as it was 15 years ago. No? /sarc

  2. “But many of the Sierra Club activists opposed both hydrofracturing and nuclear. So what exactly would they support? Short of a blackout?”
    Oh… I dunno, but I’d think that showing up in loincloths would be a clue as to where they’d like us to be. BTW, I hear the Hunter-Gatherers have a strong Union; the IBHG or something like that (International Brotherhood of Hunter Gatherers).
    Thank you very much for the report, Taylor.

  3. I would say it’s just PR, but it’s not that anymore. These kinds of things have become nothing but scripted kabuki theater, run by activists in government and out for the sole purpose of generating a paper trail which they hope will justify them doing whatever they want to do. Of course, they have always been set on doing whatever they want, no matter what, hearings or no hearings, so the existence or non-existence of these hearings has no bearing on what is actually going to happen.
    No one who isn’t in on milking the gravy train would ever bother going to one of these useless pieces of nonsense anymore (other than men like the sainted but masochistic author of this piece) Since they could accomplish the exact same goals at much less expense by simply publishing a scripted transcript the next day and pretending to have the meeting. I would once have said that would have been faking it, but since the entire process is a fraud packed in a fake wrapped in a web of unbreakable lies, there’s no point. I think the only reason left for having these is because some EPA officials need a paper trail to justify their salaries and their travel expenses and massive wet-bar bills when they travel to carry out one of these ridiculously useless dog and pony shows.
    The world, and every one of us, would be massively better off if all of these things were canceled forever and our rulers just nakedly did whatever the heck they wanted to. At least that would be honest theft.

  4. Sierra Club = controlled opposition. Public hearing yeah right. The famous “stakeholders” of communitarianism and Post-Normal Science.

  5. “So why is temperature discussion always ignored? ” — OP
    Strictly, for one set, temperature is just a means to an end; and the end is reducing human industry. In the other, asking questions about controlling temperature is to ask how we can control weather. And doing just that would ask to many hard questions, and introduce too many scofflaws that are well familiar with just how bad 5 day forecasts are.
    “But unless a more concrete value is ascribed to the amount of CO2 that activists say needs to be reduced, it’s always going to be perceived as outweighing any economic cost.”
    Which is precisely why this discussion will not happen. It’s salesmanship and public speech acts about which religion you belong to. Everyone else cannot be given quarter; as they’ll stroll into the pasture and do lewd things to the sacred oxen with a thermometer.

  6. The Sierra Club cares little about pollution. It’s all liberal politics. Always there to support expensive removal of the last microgram of sulphur from transportation diesel ($100 billion a year with no detectable effect on air quality)… but narry a word about taxing Chinese imports to pay for their wholesale pollution of the planet. Chinese are fellow travelers you see.

  7. “But many of the Sierra Club activists opposed both hydrofracturing and nuclear. So what exactly would they support? Short of a blackout?”
    I can tell you what the “educated” and “intellectual” ones support; Outright communism.
    Anybody who has studied this knows that they (the greens, or watermelons) don’t support environmental protection nearly as much as they support hobbling any capitalist economy and reducing freedom through governmental fiat.
    If this were not true they would put their efforts forth in places where the environmental damage is much more severe. Such as China, Venezuela and the former Soviet Union. You see, private enterprise in a democratic society is far more likely to take care of its resources in a reasonable and safe manner than any all powerful government or subsidiary agent.
    But they aren’t really interested in helping the masses, who are easily the most harmed by this type of (insert euphemism for un-petrified coprolite here).
    And they’re better than you because they care more. So they will shout you down.
    The rest of them, the non-educated, non-intellectual members of these groups, just see green and think ‘pretty color and it makes me feel smart and all warm and fuzzy’. These are the ‘useful idiots’ to whom Engals referred.
    At some point, the green shirts turn brown.

  8. ” So what exactly would they support? Short of a blackout?”
    More donations. To “fight global warming”, of course. They were going door to door in my neighborhood a while back. I laughed and laughed and laughed.

  9. Back in the late 1990s there were environmental hearings for the proposed Voiseys Bay nickel mine (which would finally open 8 years later). The hearings were in St. John’s, the capital city of Newfoundland.
    One noted speaker showed up in a pilot’s uniform, claiming to be a fighter pilot from Goose Bay (located a few hundred kilometers from the proposed mine site). He claimed that while flying into St. John’s he noticed the main river that emptied into the harbour was totally polluted as was the harbour where raw sewage had been pumped in directly without treatment for decades. He went on to wonder why the locals would be so upset about possible environmental damage to a proposed mine site 1,500 km away when their own back yard was a steaming cesspool.
    The fighter pilot turned out to be CodCo comic Andy Jones (a local Newfie himself) but the people in the crowd were not assumed. I chuckled the whole of the day. But his point was never lost on me. Environmental activists often seem to end up upset about something that never affects them directly.

  10. Temperature is never discussed by the Warmists, as when they do discuss it they encounter adverse calculations and find themselves in ridiculous situations. Instead they prefer to declare CO2 a noxious gas despite the fact that plants depend on it and benefit from more. Having done that they can spend all their time talking about reducing CO2 as if was a virtue in itself. Then they shift ‘Warming’ to ‘Climate Change’ so that whatever happens, they can blame CO2 for it (whatever it is). Their true aim is to shut down civilisation and get us back into the caves, pre-fire. It is all political and zero Science.

  11. For some reason the photos above of those enviro activists wearing their coats outside on a chilly Chicago day in November brings to mind a rather stunning scene I saw in a West Chicago suburb a few years back. A middle aged woman, clearly homeless, was walking down the sidewalk wearing a bulky winter coat that stretched down to her mid-calf. The thing is, it was a sweltering July day in the Midwest. I couldn’t believe it. A young woman, my passenger in the car, was much older in wisdom than I. She explained to me that homeless people, that woman included, are terrified of losing their coats and won’t take them off or part with them for any reason since when winter comes and rears its head, and it will, not having that heavy coat is tantamount to death. Summer heat, while dangerous to many, for those in the know, such as that homeless woman, does not carry the ferocity winter cold does. I wonder if those young and vigorous activists; well tended, well fed, and amply endowed with the necessities of life; realize how close to calamity’s hidden door they actually frolic. If they did they just might respect what the modern world thanklessly provided to them and not concern themselves with phantom threats such as the minute possibility of a warmer Earth.

  12. @ Jquip says:
    November 20, 2013 at 3:01 pm
    “So why is temperature discussion always ignored? ” — OP
    Strictly, for one set, temperature is just a means to an end; and the end is reducing human industry.
    ********************************************************
    Precisely. But that implies a reduction in human population, true? And corresponding reductions in standards of living. Instead of “back to the future”, they desire “back to the distant past” of short, miserable lives, disease, starvation, etc. What a wonderful world they envision. /sarc

  13. These are like people who would walk through a grocery store, pick up anything they want, never look at the prices and then tell the guy behind them in line to pick up the check.
    Has the Sierra Club ever put a price (monetary or human) on decarbonizing the world economy? I’ve never seen one.

  14. To reduce global greenhouse gas emissions in a less costly manner, America could assist China and India develop shale gas from hydrofracturing and build natural-gas fired plants to reduce their reliance on coal. Or, America could ship coal to China, because U.S. coal burns cleaner than Chinese coal. The majority of China’s coal (54 percent) is bituminous, which has a carbon content ranging from 45 to 86 percent. On the other hand, 47 percent of the U.S.’s coal, a plurality, is subbituminous, which contains a carbon content of only 35 to 45 percent.

    “Cleaner burning”? Are they serious? Sub-bituminous coal is filthy! You have to burn up to twice as much to get the same amount of heat as you would from bituminous or anthracite coal. What isn’t water is what gets converted to flyash and all the PM2.5 everyone is wailing about nowadays.

  15. OT but hard to ignore, Climate Progress is touting “A bright spot in UN Climate negotiations.Progress in gender equality”
    seriously? Of course that’s what it’s all about. I think the next goal for the UN Climate negotiations should be sexual preference equality. I mean, after all, that’s what’s important, isn’t it.?

  16. @ Sasja (3:14pm) — Amen!
    Good to see you post again –it’s been awhile. Hope all is well.
    Janice
    *****************
    Dirk H. and Bob Kutz and Tom J. — precisely. They are THAT e-vil (or brainwashed, as the case may be).
    The great thing is…. communism is LOSING all over the world. For one recent example, see the tax protestors in Brittany in northern France.
    Further, before long, most of those well-dressed young protesters will have real jobs and be paying a mortgage and will begin to resent being forced to hand over large chunks of cash to the government… . Only the borderline psychotic (seriously…… have you listened to and taken a good look at them? — they are clearly NOT healthy) hang in there pushing socialism past their 30’s. The rest, the majority, will give their old coat to a homeless person, drive a Holy Car, eat “organic food,” and call it good.
    (And…. some of them will come to WUWT and find out the facts! #(:))
    GO, A-TH-Y and MODS — WUWT IS THE BEST!!
    Yes, we must, nevertheless, be forever vigilant (communists, unlike their policies, are here to stay and must be continually countered). Those snakes h-ate light, so, our battle strategy is a simple one: the brilliant light of truth.
    GOOD FOR YOU, TAYLOR! Keep on shining — keep those dirty rats in the corners.
    Thanks for the well-written report.

  17. Bob Tisdale says:
    November 20, 2013 at 2:54 pm
    Thanks, Taylor. I don’t believe I would have had the patience to sit through more that a few minutes.
    Regards
    =====================================================================
    Been sitting through public hearings for 30 years. I guess I’m fortunate I didn’t end up before a judge, but I would have asked for a jury of my peers. Even had a County Commissioner threaten me and my family before one and then sat a couple seats from me during the meeting.
    My post-doc advisor almost talked me into joining the Sierra Club in 1975, then I discovered they really don’t like people.

  18. Liberal in Australian politics is conservative (right). I believe, correct me if I am wrong, that when many people in other regions use the term, ‘liberal’ they are referring more to left wing!

  19. But many of the Sierra Club activists opposed both hydrofracturing and nuclear. So what exactly would they support? Short of a blackout?
    ===============
    How many drove to the meeting? They must be in agreement with more CO2. Or do the want someone else to go first?

  20. GunnyGene: “But that implies a reduction in human population, true? ”
    That’s the standard assumption. But I’m not so certain of it myself. One of the things about reducing farming back to subsistence style concerns is that there aren’t any combines or tractors. Which means you need more people to work an acre than previously. That means a higher population density in agricultural areas as well as an incentive to have kids. They work for room and board. But it means not just lower pop density in urban areas, but that *there is nothing to do anywhere.* No iPhones, iPods, Bejeweled, and so on. And when you’re dirt bored in unlit evenings, and you need more kids anyways…
    About the only guarantee in having a reduction in population track a reduction in human industry is to collective farms. Forcefully, or by choice in various commune experiments that have been done.

  21. Re: the pictures,….. I’ll say it again.
    Why are those protesters smiling ?
    I thought this was serious, not a feel good photo-op.
    They look like they will be surprised when the music stops, and there are no chairs left.
    The sooner the better for everyone.

  22. Janice Moore
    November 20, 2013 at 4:06 pm
    ‘Further, before long, most of those well-dressed young protesters will have real jobs and be paying a mortgage and …’
    Hi Janice! I hate to say it but I think those protesters are going to have to wait for ‘real jobs’ at least until 2016.

  23. There is no difference between our two political parties. They just argue a different lie for their own political gain.
    cn

  24. “Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.”
    ― H.L. Mencken,
    I realize how awful this sounds, but lately, the delusions of those who “govern” us are becoming so destructive, so politicized and so disconnected from anything I recognize as reality that I’m not sure anything short of force will stop them. I mean, are we really going to let some bureaucrats at the EPA destroy our economy based on fantasy? Not me…

  25. The train has already left the station regarding the EPA and our government.
    I coach chess at 4 different schools here in Indiana and am friends with many of the teachers. My 2nd grade grand daughter was taught that carbon dioxide from humans is pollution in science class last year. The junior high science teachers teach the same thing.
    When they get to our local college, the environmental science professor teaches the same thing.
    They are being indoctrinated into a religious cult with the brainwashing starting early and continuing thru higher education.
    Even in the face of hard evidence and empirical data that contradicts what they were taught, these kids can’t’ recognize it. They would need to be deprogrammed.
    It goes beyond that. I was a classmate and friend of Jeff Masters back at the University of Michigan 30+ years ago. Nice guy and extraordinarily bright(better student than me). When you have climate authorities like him in a position to provide expert testimony and opinions for those that are just looking for high priests of global warming religion to push their biased and fraudulent agenda. With this, there is more than enough ammunition to trample on authentic science(scientists) to win the political battle.
    I have never lost a debate with an alarmist but the problem is that they always go away believing what they did before hand, often reverting to the “well, even if CO2 isn’t pollution, or global warming isn’t that bad, these actions will make our planet cleaner” response.

  26. Chuck Nolan says:
    November 20, 2013 at 6:05 pm
    There is no difference between our two political parties. They just argue a different lie for their own political gain.
    cn
    ===========
    Hopefully without opening a whole Pandora’s Box,… we elect them.
    They give us two choices: bad or worse 🙂
    WUWT.

  27. In response to: Larry Siders says: November 20, 2013 at 3:06 pm
    “The Sierra Club cares little about pollution. It’s all liberal politics”
    There is nothing “liberal” about Sierra Club politics, not even the old fashioned liberal politics of LBJ, or even those of Carters ilk, before Bill Clinton moved the Dems even further leftward. Do not besmirch the respectable label of “liberal” (as a respectable opponent of “conservatives” in American history), especially “classical liberals” of which I remain one, and one who may be a true conservative. You know — limited government, fiscal responsibility, individual responsibility, equality of opportunity, etc., the American Way.
    The Sierra Club has been taken over by died-in-the-wool socialist-communist-farthest left activists. Like most other boards of our environmental organizations, they weaseled their way into control and then pretended they are the mouth pieces. If you checked, most real “environmentalists’ (today one must go back to “conservationist” to have a realistic, scientific perspective) left the Sierra Club years ago, as I did — a once faithful member. Most American citizens do not agree with, in fact, abhor marxist-socialists. Don’t go to their showcases. Instead, protest their frauds.
    Obama and his cronies were, are, never will be “liberal”, or even “progressive” in American historical terms. They are out-and-out, died-in-the-wool, communists of the mao-marxist-socialist-and-now-islamist(as they collude with fascism too) variety.

  28. Well said. Back in May 2011 when the New Zealand government was busy instituting it’s Emissions Trading Scheme, I asked the same question of our Minster for Climate Change (yes, we do have a Minister in charge of the climate!). How much will our ETS reduce the global temperature by?
    I’d already worked out that New Zealand’s contribution, even assuming the IPCC’s dire predictions were correct, was something like 0.00001 degrees C. The Minister’s official reply had a lot of spin about how climate change is an international problem and we have to do our part etc , etc but did include the statement “Acting alone, the environmental benefit of emissions reductions by New Zealand would be negligible”. I replied that if the benefits of emissions reduction were negligible, then why were we committing the country to such massive costs? Needless to say I didn’t get a response to that one.

  29. The Royal Society did the same sort of thing when they had a two day “love in” to discuss the AR5.

  30. “For example, we know Chesapeake Energy, a large natural gas producer, contributed more than $25 million to the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign— the same campaign whose organizers were at the hearing and bused several people down from around the Midwest and prepped their testimonies.”
    Warning: truthful, insightful, following-the-money statements like this have the deleterious, reactive effect of making some people ventilate about “communism” and “socialism.” In fact, it happens all the time in these threads.

  31. Hm, missed a word in the t-shirt text. It should have been:
    CO2 IS NEEDED FOR GREEN LIFE! for extra punch …
    Janice,
    then you’d have missed one or two comments … (last one was earlier this week in one of the vulcano posts.) Sometimes work has to be prioritized … 😉

  32. Dear Lil’ Fella from Oz,
    What an adorable name. Good answers have been given, but, to answer you directly, in the U.S., “liberal” in the last 30 years or so has come to designate what we used to call “socialist” and even “communist” 60 years ago. They want BIG government to take over just about every aspect of society (via regulations and taxes, mainly). “Liberal” in the Friedrich Hayek classic sense is nearly defunct as a term, here.
    As my liberal friend said to me one evening after I said, “I like liberty,” in reference to some pretty tacky (but joyful and full of refreshing enthusiasm) Christmas light displays we’d just walked past: “I like rules. Liberals feel good about themselves by having lots of rules that they obey. And they are control freaks, so, you have to obey them, too!
    The two main parties, Republican and Democrat, at the national organization level, are essentially the same, at this time. In principle, the Republicans are for ordered liberty, free markets, strong defense, and the least government necessary for essential services. Democrats, in principle, are “liberal” (see above). In practice, the Democrats and RINO’S (Republicans in Name Only) are promoting confiscatory taxing and heavy regulation of the economy. The Democrats like to style themselves the “democratic” party — they are not. “Tyrannic” would be a far more accurate description.
    Hoping that synopsis was helpful,
    Janice
    ********************************************************
    Hi, Tom J.! #(:)) Yes, (sigh) I think you’re correct. I thought about that even as I went ahead and posted my comment (anyway, heh). Good point!
    Janice

  33. Nice article but…. I am not sure if any other comment covers this but here goes- There is not much point in demonising bituminous coal as being high-carbon vs sub-bituminous coal being low-carbon. Bituminous coal contains a lot more energy per tonne than sub-bituminous coal. So you get the same heat by burning less of it. In my neck of the woods the bituminous coal contains fewer contaminants than the sub-bituminous coal (think sulphur and ash). In additition these two broad classes of coal tend to have very different end uses. Bituminous coal is often of the coking variety and is commonly used in steel making. Sub-bituminous coal does not have the necessary qualities so can’t be used in steel making. It tends to be used to fire boilers and electric power stations.
    A substantial part of the difference between the two classes of coal comes down to the water content and the volatile content. Sub-bituminous coal tends to have a high inherent-moisture content and this can be as high as 25% of the mass of the coal.

  34. Lil Fella from OZ says: November 20, 2013 at 5:06 pm
    pyromancer76 describes it well at 6:36 pm: You know — limited government, fiscal responsibility, individual responsibility, equality of opportunity, etc., the American Way. – pretty much the opposite of Socialism, Communism and National Socialism (yes, it originated from Bolshevism and still share many “values” with the other left wing ideologies. Leftists tries to push them over to the right wing, as they can’t stand the competition. All summed up, the Communism has cost more lives …). When crossing the pond, it changed political side for some unknown reason, but I suspect it is only over there …

  35. Follow the Money — you make a good point (at 7:02pm today). Bear in mind, though, that the money contribution by Giant Gas may have been for strategic reasons other than simply trying to elbow King Coal out of the market.
    I think there is more than one causation (for AGW policy promotion), operating. Some of us think the controlling causation is the socialist control goals of the Democrats and RINOs. Others think it is simply the greed that invigorates the free market at its most virulent. It, as I’m sure you would agree, is a combination of both.
    Those who would have Big Government (i.e., socialists) control the energy sector of the economy make Giant Gas’s attempt to influence public policy possible. Thus, I would argue, it is the socialist mindset that is the controlling cause and the root at which we need to direct our efforts for liberty.

  36. @ Rob R. (7:37pm) — thank you for that very helpful and relevant information.
    @ Sasja — glad to know you are doing well, just busy. I didn’t go to those volcano threads… so many threads, so little time!!

  37. I lived thru the 70’s cooling scare (made lots of money shoveling snow as a kid), now they want me to give all that money back (plus) , to put me right back into that climate, now that I’m too old to shovel all that snow ?
    Or is there a special climate they have in mind, where the snow/rain/floods/drought etc., are just right.
    If there is, I wish they would tell us, then we could plan for it.
    It would help to know, for the children’s sake.

  38. We’re governed by the greens now. They are running our nations into the ground as their policy is directed at starving our economies from energy, food and water. Their sustainable and renewable energy policies already have caused thousands of un-nescessary deaths in the poor countries, the bio fuel mandate in the US and the EU is directly linked with the Arab Spring Revolutions that started as a food protest and in the West we saw 24000 additional deaths last winter in the UK due to hypothermia, mostly elderly people who are forced to choose between food or the energy bill. They already have blood on their hands.
    As for their core business, protecting the trees, I really wonder what they have to say about Europe’s new bio fuel mandate that orders coal fired power plants to mix 1/3 of coal with 2/3 of wood chips imported from the swamp forests in Georgia.
    Let it be clear that the Greens and their policies now have become the worst threat to human civilization of our times and the biggest threat to our biosphere.
    If we don’t stop them their policies will quickly become irreversible and the result will be a slaughterhouse that will turn the combined crimes against humanity perpetrated by Stalin, Hitler, Mao and Pol Pot into a walk in the park.
    They are irresponsible morons and we better do something about it.

  39. Follow the Money says:
    November 20, 2013 at 7:02 pm
    “Warning: truthful, insightful, following-the-money statements like this have the deleterious, reactive effect of making some people ventilate about “communism” and “socialism.” In fact, it happens all the time in these threads.”
    Well tough.

  40. Listening Session? Hah! The only way EPA listens to the American Public is if the NSA is helping. Everybody knows that the NSA is the only agency of the US government that actually listens.

  41. “Green” is the new red. However, it is even more virulent and more dangerous to democracy and to humanity.

  42. Astroturfing by phony NGO’s is major industry.
    Sierra Club and Greenpeace and the other big green companies are multi-billion dollar rackets that produce nothing, do almost nothing to actually help the environment, and shake down corporations and governments with greenmail.

  43. The “sierra-club”, thru lawsuits & prb’ly kickbacks, pretty much dictates what American Electric Power (I’m a stockholder) does nowadays.

  44. “But many of the Sierra Club activists opposed both hydrofracturing and nuclear. So what exactly would they support? Short of a blackout?”
    In Atlas Shrugged, John Galt invented an electrostatic motor that pulled energy out of thin air. And that’s what the greens want for the future — imaginary devices to provide clean unlimited power. And preferably these engines grow on trees, as long as the trees aren’t GMO.

  45. Follow the Money says:
    November 20, 2013 at 7:02 pm
    “For example, we know Chesapeake Energy, a large natural gas producer, contributed more than $25 million to the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign— the same campaign whose organizers were at the hearing and bused several people down from around the Midwest and prepped their testimonies.”
    Warning: truthful, insightful, following-the-money statements like this have the deleterious, reactive effect of making some people ventilate about “communism” and “socialism.” In fact, it happens all the time in these threads.

    Big companies partnering with big government isn’t communism, but it’s the form of socialism more correctly known as ‘fascism.’
    BTW: Fascism is not about race or hyper-nationalism or anti-Semitism but is a form of socialism that appears to be capitalistic because it permits the private ownership of the means of production. See Mussolini for more information. Also see The Road to Serfdom in which Hayek comments on how easily Marxist and Communists easily transferred their alliance to fascism because those ideologies were/are so similar.

  46. Excellent article!
    =============================
    pyromancer76 says:
    The Sierra Club has been taken over by died-in-the-wool socialist-communist-farthest left activists. Like most other boards of our environmental organizations, they weaseled their way into control and then pretended they are the mouth pieces.
    Actually, they are the mouthpieces. That was the long term goal. This insidious takeover has happened to so many formerly respectable organizations that there can be no doubt it was a planned campaign. The KGB did not end with the coming down of the Berlin Wall. They just changed their name to the FSB. The players remained the same.
    The confused ‘Dumb Scientist’ regularly trots out his long list of professional societies such as the AMS, the APS, etc., in his appeals to authority. As Prof Richard Lindzen writes, those societies have been taken over by activists who now speak for the 99% of rank-and-file members, most of whom who do not agree with the publicly stated positions. Those positions are political, not scientific.
    Now the Sierra Club has been taken over by hard-Left ideologues, who forced a coup against the former Sierra Club president and board. They now control hundreds of $millions in annual income, to be used in agitprop like this takeover of the EPA’s ‘public listening’ session.
    Most Americans are not even aware of what is happening, or that the corrupt EPA condones and encourages this self-serving propaganda.

    • Many scientists don’t bother to understand the epistemology of social science, so they think using terms like Marxism or socialism are epithets – because elites in society tell them this is so. This dates back to McCarthy’s days – but what never gets mentioned by the leftists is that since Soviet archives were opened (for a while, before Putin closed them again) it’s been shown that many of McCarthy’s targets inside and outside of govt were in fact Soviet agents of influence.
      Today we face a fully fused, Marxism based left due to their own efforts to rationalize their competing, idiotic beliefs. “Interectionalism” is the innocuous term used to bring together 3rd wave feminism, queer theory, Critical Theory (overtly Marxist in origin), Rawlsian Social Justice and environmental activism. This unified ‘critique’ of society is the ideological basis for much of what goes on in the environmental movement.
      Put more directly and simply for those who’d rather do math or study particles. when Marxists deliberately infused post modern and post structuralist thought (a la Foucault or Ford or Derrida take your pick) with Marxism, this gave permision for the ‘justice’ crowd to abandon antique notions of “reason” and even the meaning of language. You see, due to this special knowledge, they can “see” the power structure that controls everything (and of course it’s controlled by evil, white, male capitalists) and our use of reason and data and argument itself are innately corrupt.
      The political strategy of the old left and New Left expressly permits anything in the acquisition of power to dismantle the innately immoral, repressive and exploitative power structure we troglodytes fight to maintain. AGW introduces the highest moral imperative to do so in their minds – the very survival of humanity and the planet (trying not to giggle). This gives them moral license to do anything and say anything. In other words, their enterprise is innately intellectually corrupt and in fact, anti-intellectual.
      Dismissing people who note this as somehow uninformed or crazy only reveals your own ignorance and sadly, most scientists have little substantive knowledge of what’s going on in the social sciences and humanities. Many scientists in academic settings actually turn a blind eye to the inanity of the social justice warrior types as they know if they object their will be trouble and as long as they can do their science, many don’t really care. They end up like the smug commenter on this thread, treading a ‘middle position’ that doesn’t even actually exist…

  47. It is great for Glenn to note that we need to acknowledge that this broad Marxist agenda is out there. It is all in writing over the 100 plus years of Marxism. It is not acknowledged for three reasons: first, addressing injustice simply is a good idea, so that does not raise eyebrows – the end game is universal misery, but making the world a better place sounds good enough to any of us and all of us; second – they have realized they cannot use the terms ‘socialist,’ ‘marxist’ or ‘communist’ and get anywhere in the U.S over the recent 100 years, so they have been surreptitious about their agenda – they have a different meaning for the word ‘democracy’ than the widely recognized concept formerly taught in public school civics class. third, they have teamed up with single-issue advocates to mutually advance agendas, and those people are truly interested in their causes. as an example, there most definitely have been ‘civil rights’ issues to address in the U.S., large employers should not be exploiting workers, and the environment needs to be conserved or managed. So, one labor union activist may simply be seeking a more fair work situation for himself/herself or colleagues, while his or her buddy left new York to come down to west Virginia specifically to organize and unionize yet another group of laborers not to improve coal-mining but to lead to the eventual workers revolution.
    I used to be active in democratic party politics. not any more. being for the promotion of illegal immigration does not make sense to me, but if your political ideals include no nations, then you don’t really care about borders. in the democratic party the more powerful positions still require the candidate to have religion (we could even handle a Catholic when considering JFK), but rank and file the “democratic” party is generally hostile to religion, except certain Marxist-centered religion, such as the Marxist-origin ‘liberation theology’ of our president’s home church. In the most recent demo nominating convention, “we” boo-ed God – thrice. There are those who mix religion and Marxism, but Marxist thinking is largely clearly atheistic. A hand up? Sure. A hand-out? maybe not so much. But many in the “democratic” party have adopted the socialist view that wealth needs to be redistributed, even if that means one person never works, or works very much, his or her entire life. Jess Jackson Jr has advocated that we each are entitled to a job, a car, a college degree, and a home. Entitled. Sounds good, but that is fundamentally a different model of civics and government than our current system.
    Why do I not like it that a great portion of democrats favor everyone being entitled to a home? Because the only way to do this is to have us all in one of those soviet apartment block buildings. as lousy as our current system is, I don’t see Marxism as improving things for anyone except the party bureaucrats.
    We democrats have not noticed the reddening of the demo party – the reds formed the knee-jerk “McCarthyism” meme – I have in recent years had a long-term ‘democrat’ colleague tell mme that there are no communists in the united states of America – that is all McCarthyism john birch red-meat-for-conservatives rhetoric.
    with Occupy, we passed a point where anyone with half a brain could reasonably defend that position. But many of us ‘democrats’ carry on with the ‘McCarthyism.’
    as noted above, many of the suspected reds were reds! The NYT just ran an opinion piece on ‘my mother, the secret socialist.’ these people have writings and organizations, etc. We ‘democrats’ just have a cult-like blind spot.
    So, yes – this has crept up on us. I don’t believe there is middle ground – they are agenda driven. The thinking has gotten into govt and education very well, and into John Muir’s organization as well.

  48. One more quick point. I’m a frequent visitor/reader here, but normally don’t pipe up as I’m not a scientist nor am I technically informed enough to participate in the debate’s productively. I am somewhat numerate and am very interested in science, but I don’t have a substantive contribution to make usually, so I just spectate. I love the dialog her and learn so much from it.
    My comment is not meant to drive dialog into a political ditch here as frankly most political conversations are not productive in my opinion. However the worldview of the left is central to the promotion of AGW. I think the saddest part of all that is that many well meaning people have been duped by these frauds. Most of us do not have the ability to sort out these arguments – or may just not have the time to. So, we end up trusting sources and sadly, that trust has been abused.
    This is nothing new in dealing with leftists. I actually have very little hope of a resolution because society evolves forward, not backwards. In fact, I believe that in the U.S. we will continue to see govt grow, our freedom attenuate and and increase in the politicization of more and more areas of society. One very simple way of explaining what’s going on with AGW histeria is that it stems from the increased role of govt in funding science directly, and even more so, via higher education. Anything that comes under control of the govt will become politicized – it’s axiomatic.
    I see no hope of rolling back the leviathan, rather, collapse and revolution are much more likely. Before that, we’ll likely end up in an authoritarian state with do-gooders running everything.
    Okay, let’s return to our original programming now. Some thinker once said “Politics is a vexation of the spirit” (too lazy to google it, sorry). I find that very true. While I’m here, let me also say a huge thanks to Anthony Watts and everyone else here. It’s a huge help to skeptics like me.

  49. @ More Soylent Green:
    In Atlas Shrugged, John Galt invented an electrostatic motor that pulled energy out of thin air. And that’s what the greens want for the future — imaginary devices to provide clean unlimited power. And preferably these engines grow on trees, as long as the trees aren’t GMO.
    Ah, but remember: Galt destroyed his motor rather than let them use it. A pity we aren’t all so brave.

  50. Glenn Donovan says:
    November 21, 2013 at 12:50 pm
    “I see no hope of rolling back the leviathan, rather, collapse and revolution are much more likely.”
    =======================
    Well, what the heck, you’ll probably read it here first.
    “Revolutions” need to start somewhere.
    It will be a slow roll back, in fact, it is happening right now.

    • Wishful thinking – don’t confuse Obama’s incompetence and inevitable fall from grace with the collapse of the left. Let me ask you, how do you think societal change happens? What would you do if you wanted to “fundamentally transform” a country?
      First off, you don’t need a majority to control/change a country. You need to overtake the major institutions. The left knows this and very intentionally has overtaken education from top to bottom, and particularly the elite intellectuals in academia. Leftists dominate the “news media” (not talk radio, that is a reaction to it) whether it’s print, tv or web. They also dominate the non-profit/NGO community. Leftist values also dominate entertainment, the arts and literature. And this was all intentional.
      Obama’s success or failure does not change these fundamentals. The left will simply revise history as they move forward, just as they have about Bill Clinton’s record or even JFK’s. Or as they have done at Northeast university, laying claim Lincoln as a Democrat. I’m not kidding, they have a plaque to Lincoln there and they close it with the label – Democrat. Students there don’t even know Lincoln was a founder of the Republican party. They don’t know that the Democrats opposed the civil rights movement and was the party of Jim Crow and segregation. Obama’s failure or success has no effect on any of that.
      The demographics are in their favor as well. All the demographic groups the left panders too are on the rise – women, hispanics, blacks, the working class. Just look at how the under 30 crowd votes, the future is extremely bleak for those trying to stop the left.

  51. more soylent green! says:
    November 21, 2013 at 9:28 am
    “But many of the Sierra Club activists opposed both hydrofracturing and nuclear. So what exactly would they support? Short of a blackout?”
    In Atlas Shrugged, John Galt invented an electrostatic motor that pulled energy out of thin air. And that’s what the greens want for the future — imaginary devices to provide clean unlimited power.

    Not imaginary, according to promoters of the Papp engine, which is a potential Deus ex Machina that would be even more remarkable than Rossi’s e-cat “cold fusion” gadget. It uses, supposedly, some sort of unknown nuclear reaction triggered by a spark in a sealed cylinder containing a mix of noble gases in a modified gasoline or diesel engine to provide 6000 hours of free 150 horsepower. The designer, Bob Rohner, a former assistant to Joseph Papp, wants beaucoup bux before revealing the secret. He & his deceased brother allegedly got it perfected and running six months ago. (An earlier version was supposedly debunked.)
    Here’s the link to the home page of his site — click on the tabs at the top for more. It’s worth it just for entertainment value, which I fear may be all it amounts to. Still, you never know . . . .
    http://www.rohnermachine.com

Comments are closed.