Hypothesis: Radical Greens are the Great Killers of Our Age
By Allan M.R. MacRae, B.A.Sc., M.Eng.
On December 6, 2018 I was informed in a letter from the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) that I was “the 2019 Summit Award recipient of the Centennial Leadership Award. This is APEGA’s most prestigious award and is given to members of APEGA in recognition of continued leadership in the profession and in the community, attaining the highest distinction relating to engineering or geoscience.” That award has now been withdrawn by the Executive and the unanimous vote of APEGA Council, because of posts I wrote on wattsupwiththat.com
Two of my several accomplishments that resulted in the Centennial Award were:
· Innovations, by myself or with colleagues, which created 500,000 jobs, caused $250 billion in capital investment in Alberta and made Canada the fifth-largest oil producer in the world;
· Taking decisive actions that incurred significant personal risks when staff at the Mazeppa sour gas project were afraid to act, which may have saved up to 300,000 lives in Calgary.
For brevity, I have not included in this treatise all the details and references that support my statements. For the record, I have two engineering degrees related to the earth sciences, have worked on six continents, and have diligently studied the subject fields since 1985. In the late 1960s I was a member of an environmental group at Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, which predated Greenpeace. We focused on real air, water and soil pollution, which was largely cleaned up by the 1980’s and 1990’s.
APEGA objected to my following posts, which were written as my personal opinions:
“In the 20th Century, socialists Stalin, Hitler and Mao caused the deaths of over 200 million people, mostly their own citizens. Lesser killers like Pol Pot and the many tin-pot dictators of South America and Africa killed and destroyed the lives of many more.
Modern Green Death probably started with the 1972-2002 effective ban of DDT, which caused global deaths from malaria to increase from about 1 million to almost two million per year. Most of these deaths were children under five in sub-Saharan Africa – just babies for Christ’s sake!”
– February 1, 2019
“…radical greens (really radical leftists) are the great killers of our time. Now the greens are blinding and killing babies by opposing golden rice…” – March 10, 2019
“The Green movement is really a smokescreen for the old Marxists – and they are the great killers of our age.” – March 11, 2019
APEGA refused to discuss the evidence, and baselessly claimed the moral high ground.
2. My hypothesis is that “Radical Greens are the Great Killers of Our Age”.
Here is some of the supporting evidence:
- The banning of DDT from ~1972 to 2002, which caused the malaria deaths of tens of millions of children under five years of age, and sickened and killed many more adults and children;
- The fierce green opposition to golden rice, actions that blinded and killed millions of children;
- The misallocation of scarce global resources for destructive intermittent “green energy” schemes, which are not green and produce little useful (dispatchable) energy;
- Properly allocated, a fraction of the trillions of dollars squandered on green energy schemes could have installed clean drinking water and sanitation systems into every community on the planet, saving the lives of many tens of millions of children and adults; the remaining funds could have significantly reduced deaths from malaria and malnutrition;
Global Crises, Global Solutions, The 1st Copenhagen Consensus, edited by Bjørn Lomborg, 2004,
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 648 pp.
- The number of Excess Winter Deaths and shattered lives caused by runaway energy costs in the developed world and lack of access to modern energy in the developing world probably exceeds the tens of millions of malaria deaths caused by the DDT ban; Excess Winter Deaths (more deaths in winter than non-winter months) total about two million souls per year, which demonstrates that Earth is colder-than-optimum for humanity;
- Indoor air pollution from cooking fires kills many women and children in the developing world;
- In addition to runaway energy costs and increased winter deaths, intermittent wind and solar power schemes have reduced grid reliability and increased the risk of power outages;
- Huge areas of agricultural land have been diverted from growing food to biofuels production, driving up food costs and causing hunger among the world’s poorest people.
3. There is NO credible scientific evidence that climate is highly sensitive to increasing atmospheric CO2, and ample evidence to the contrary. Catastrophic humanmade global warming is a false crisis.
Competent scientists have known this fact for decades. In a written debate in 2002 sponsored by APEGA and co-authored on our side by Dr. Sallie Baliunas, Dr. Tim Patterson and me, we concluded:
“Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist.”
“The ultimate agenda of pro-Kyoto advocates is to eliminate fossil fuels, but this would result in a catastrophic shortfall in global energy supply – the wasteful, inefficient energy solutions proposed by Kyoto advocates simply cannot replace fossil fuels.”
Many scientific observations demonstrate that both these statements are correct-to-date.
The current usage of the term “climate change” is vague and the definition is routinely changed in the literature, such that it has become a non-falsifiable hypothesis. It is therefore non-scientific nonsense.
“A theory that is not refutable by any conceivable event is non-scientific.” – Karl Popper
Climate has always changed. Current climate is not unusual and is beneficial to humanity and the environment. Earth is in a ~10,000 year warm period during a ~100,000 year cycle of global ice ages.
The term “catastrophic human-made global warming” is a falsifiable hypothesis, and it was falsified decades ago – when fossil fuel combustion and atmospheric CO2 increased sharply after ~1940, while global temperature cooled from ~1945 to ~1977. Also, there is no credible evidence that weather is becoming more chaotic – both hurricanes and tornadoes are at multi-decade low levels of activity.
Even if all the observed global warming is ascribed to increasing atmospheric CO2, the calculated maximum climate sensitivity to a hypothetical doubling of atmospheric CO2 is only about 1 degree C, which is not enough to produce dangerous global warming. https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/2017_christy_mcnider-1.pdf
Climate computer models cited by the IPCC and other climate activists employ much higher assumed sensitivity values that create false alarm. The ability to predict is perhaps the most objective measure of scientific competence. All the scary predictions by climate activists of dangerous global warming and wilder weather have proven false-to-date – a perfectly negative predictive track record.
Based on current knowledge, the only significant impact of increasing atmospheric CO2 is greatly increased plant and crop yields, and possibly some minor beneficial warming of climate.
4. Humanity needs modern energy to survive – to grow and transport our food and provide shelter, warmth and ~everything we need to live. Green energy schemes have been costly failures.
Fully ~85% of global primary energy is from fossil fuels – oil, coal and natural gas. The remaining ~15% is almost all nuclear and hydro. Green energy has increased from above 1% to less than 2%, despite many trillions of dollars in wasted subsidies. The 85% fossil fuels component is essentially unchanged in past decades, and is unlikely to significantly change in future decades.
The fatal flaw of grid-connected green energy is that it is not green and produces little useful (dispatchable) energy, primarily due to intermittency – the wind does not blow all the time, and the Sun shines only part of the day. Intermittent grid-connected green energy requires almost 100% backup (“spinning reserve”) from conventional energy sources. Renewable wind and solar electrical generation schemes typically do not even significantly reduce CO2 emissions – all they do is increase energy costs.
Claims that grid-scale energy storage will solve the intermittency problem have proven false to date. The only proven grid-scale “super-battery” is pumped storage, and suitable sites are rare – Alberta is bigger than many countries, and has no sites suitable for grid-scale pumped storage systems.
5. The trillions of dollars of scarce global resources wasted on global warming hysteria, anti-fossil fuel fanaticism and green energy schemes, properly deployed, could have improved and saved many lives.
About two million children below the age of five die from contaminated water every year – about 70 million dead kids since the advent of global warming alarmism. Bjørn Lomborg estimates that a fraction of these squandered green energy funds could have put clean water and sanitation systems into every community in the world.
Waste of funds and loss of opportunity due to global warming alarmism and green energy nonsense have harmed people around the world. In North America and Europe, trillions of dollars have been wasted on grid-connected green energy schemes that have increased energy costs, increased winter mortality, and reduced the stability of vital electrical grids.
In the developing world, the installation of electrical energy grids has been stalled for decades due to false global warming alarmism.
Last winter England and Wales experienced over 50,000 excess winter deaths. That British per-capita excess winter death rate was ~three times the average excess winter death rate of the USA and Canada.
Energy costs are much higher in Britain, due to radical green opposition to the fracking of gassy shales.
The anti-oil-pipeline campaign has cost ~$120 billion dollars in lost oil revenues and destroyed ~200,000 jobs in Alberta and across Canada. This is an enormous financial and job loss for Canada.
The funds wasted on baseless global warming hysteria, anti-fossil-fuel fanaticism and destructive green energy schemes, properly deployed, could have saved or improved the lives of many millions of people.
6. The conduct of climate activists has been destructive, deceitful and violent.
Global warming alarmists have shouted down legitimate debate and committed deceitful and violent acts in support of their false cause.
The Climategate emails provide irrefutable evidence of scientific collusion and fraudulent misconduct.
In Canada, skeptic climatologist Dr. Tim Ball and other skeptics have received threats, and buildings related to the energy industry including the Calgary Petroleum Club were firebombed. In the USA, skeptic scientists have had their homes invaded, and several highly competent skeptic scientists have been harassed and driven from their academic posts.
7. Radical greens have caused enormous harm to the environment, for example:
· Clear-cutting the tropical rainforests to grow sugar cane and palm oil for biofuels;
· Rapid draining of the vital Ogallala aquifer in the USA for corn ethanol and biodiesel production;
· Clear-cutting forests in the eastern USA to provide wood for the Drax power plant in Britain;
· Destructive bird-and-bat-chopping wind power turbines.
8. Why are the radical greens so anti-environmental?
Dr. Patrick Moore, a co-founder and Past-President of Greenpeace, provided the answer decades ago. Moore observed that Eco-Extremism is the new “false-front” for economic Marxists, who were discredited after the fall of the Soviet Union circa 1990 and took over the Green movement to further their political objectives. This is described in Moore’s essay, “Hard Choices for the Environmental Movement” written in 1994 – note especially “The Rise of Eco-Extremism”, at
For radical greens, it was never about the environment – the environment was a smokescreen for their extreme-left totalitarian political objectives.
To better understand radical green objectives, see http://www.green-agenda.com/, excerpted below:
· “The common enemy of humanity is man. In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself.”
– Club of Rome, premier environmental think-tank, consultants to the United Nations
· “We need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination… So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts… Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.”
– Prof. Stephen Schneider, Stanford Professor of Climatology, lead author of many IPCC reports
· “Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”
– Maurice Strong, founder of the UN Environment Programme
· “The extinction of the human species may not only be inevitable but a good thing.”
– Christopher Manes, Earth First!
· “A massive campaign must be launched to de-develop the United States. De-development means bringing our economic system into line with the realities of ecology and the world resource situation.”
– Paul Ehrlich, Professor of Population Studies
· “One American burdens the earth much more than twenty Bangladeshes. This is a terrible thing to say. In order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it’s just as bad not to say it.”
– Jacques Cousteau, UNESCO Courier
· “No matter if the science of global warming is all phony… climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.”
– Christine Stewart, former Canadian Minister of the Environment
· “I suspect that eradicating small pox was wrong. It played an important part in balancing ecosystems.”
– John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal
· “We’ve got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.”
– Timothy Wirth, President of the UN Foundation
· “The extinction of Homo Sapiens would mean survival or millions, if not billions, of Earth-dwelling species. Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on Earth – social and environmental.”
– Ingrid Newkirk, former President of PETA
· “The goal now is a socialist, redistributionist society, which is nature’s proper steward and society’s only hope.”
– David Brower, first Executive Director of the Sierra Club, founder of Friends of the Earth
The evidence strongly supports my hypothesis that “Radical Greens are the Great Killers of Our Age”.
The number of deaths and shattered lives caused by radical-green activism since ~1970 rivals the death tolls of the great killers of the 20th Century – Stalin, Hitler and Mao – they advocate similar extreme-left totalitarian policies and are indifferent to the resulting environmental damage and human suffering.