By Robert Bradley Jr.
“Though Martis’s crusade hasn’t been covered much by national media, clean energy advocates say it’s actively hamstringing the fight against climate change in the Midwest. A clean energy executive told HEATED and Distilled that if Martis gets to a community before them, their projects are almost certain to be blocked by the local government. The executive asked for anonymity in fear of being targeted by Martis.” (Heated, below)
“This piece is part of a new round of hits on people like myself who advocate for equitable siting of renewable energy projects. This new assault is being driven by current efforts in the Midwest by the renewable energy lobby to take away local control of wind and solar zoning precisely because it is demonstrably so unpopular and faces an ever-larger backlash.” (Martis, below)
“Meet the man fueling clean energy opposition in the Midwest” by Michael Thomas is the latest from Heated, self-described as “A newsletter for people who are pissed off about the climate crisis.” The subtitle of the Thomas article is: “Kevon Martis and a group of fossil fuel-funded allies have led a decades-long campaign to sow fear and misinformation about renewable energy. It’s working.”
Thomas’s insinuations are old ones: that Kevon Martis is a fossil fuel shill, a zealot, and [fill in the blank]. In fact, Martis can and has been characterized as a heroic public citizen, waking up his fellow ordinary citizens about industrializing the pristine for bad, unneeded energy. (For more on Martis, see here.) And what he is doing is happening across the country, as Robert Bryce updates at his Renewable Rejection Database.
Some quotations from the Heated piece follow, followed by a rebuttal from Kevon Martis:
- [Kevon Martis is] the public face of one of the most influential anti-renewable efforts in the country.
- “Aided by a small group of allies—many of whom receive money from the fossil fuel industry—Martis has helped pass dozens of laws that ban or severely restrict clean energy development in towns and counties across the Midwest.”
- “Though Martis’s crusade hasn’t been covered much by national media, clean energy advocates say it’s actively hamstringing the fight against climate change in the Midwest.”
- A clean energy executive told HEATED and Distilled that if Martis gets to a community before them, their projects are almost certain to be blocked by the local government. The executive asked for anonymity in fear of being targeted by Martis.
- “The … ad helped IICC secure its first victory. In July 2011, Riga passed one of the country’s most restrictive wind turbine ordinances, effectively banning wind energy projects in the area. Martis quickly expanded the campaign, eventually helping pass similar ordinances in nine other towns and counties.
- ‘…”IICC successfully helped block a law that would have required utilities in Michigan to generate 25 percent of their energy from renewables by 2025.”
- “In order to pass these laws, he’s used misinformation and fear-based tactics that wind up dividing entire communities.”
- “Martis declined to be interviewed for this story. In an email to HEATED and Distilled, he expressed offense at being described as an opponent of clean energy. ‘Objective ‘journalists’ don’t lead with insulting pejorative phrases like ‘opposition to clean energy,’” he wrote. At the bottom of the email he added “#fail #bias”.”
- “Today Martis … continues to run advertising campaigns asking residents to block solar and wind projects and regularly spreads misinformation on Facebook.”
- “Martis has said his overall strategy is to sow fear among pro-renewable politicians. In a recent Facebook post, Martis wrote, ‘Your county commissioners will not be moved by facts. They will be moved by political fear.’”
- “Martis attended an event in Washington D.C. with some of the country’s most influential climate deniers.”
- Disinformation was a key part of IICC’s strategy from the beginning. As a part of their first campaign, the group bought a TV ad that claimed a proposed wind farm in southeast Michigan could “harm your families’ health, significantly reduce property values, and damage TV and radio signals, possibly depriving your family of important safety alerts.”
The full attack on Martis is here. But obviously, the climate alarmists and forced energy transformationists (whose whole agenda depends on government coercion) do not like Martis to have success playing political hard ball like they do. Climate exaggeration and extremism is okay, but not Martis’s fact-based presentations and follow-up that exposes the economic and ecological downsides of government-enabled, dilute, intermittent energy sources.
Congratulations Kevon Martis!
Rebuttal from Martis
Kevon Martis emailed me these quick points, reproduced below.
- This is a rehash of every bogus hit piece ever printed about me. It is the latest in a long line of eco-drivel attacks going back to Mike Barnard, David Anderson and Peter Sinclair.
- The piece quotes me out of context in multiple places particularly in the way it attempts to paint me as a person inciting violence. I have never advocated for violence.
- I help communities, largely at my own expense, because as a Christian (and not a very good one), I believe when someone asks for help and I have the means to help, I should help.
- My Facebook quote referring to violent acts by others as a cautionary tale to legislators seeking to force high percentage of utility scale wind and solar projects into rural communities is not incitement. It is a hyperbolic way to draw attention to the forces unleashed by the senseless destruction of rural or wild places with massive energy harvesting machines. I do not condone it nor encourage it. But the risk is real. Thus, the true cost of high percentages of wind and solar coercion into rural communities very well could include the cost of a new statehouse. Not a threat, not an incitement: an observation
- The article continues a common theme that people opposed to the de-wilding of rural places caused by wind and solar development, pejoratively referred to as the “antis” are borderline terrorists, and that I somehow am personally responsible for inciting them.
- I have seen outrageous behavior by people at local meetings where wind or solar projects are being proposes and resisted. Nine out of ten times, the bad actors are the wind/solar leaseholders, and at least one time I had to deploy a sheriff’s deputy to compel an attorney representing Invenergy to stop disrupting a local citizens’ meeting.
- This piece paints a picture of a man-ME-who apparently possesses so much dark power of persuasion, bordering on the Grima Wormtongue, that a mere 40 minute zoning talk can turn a crowd of renewable energy supporters into fossil-fuel-charmed Martis sycophants. If I had that kind of power, I would be in Zermatt right now in front of a fireplace watching it snow, spending my vast fortune accrued from an amazing career in PR and marketing, not remodeling people’s bathrooms!
- The truth is, 2,000 acre solar farms surrounding people’s homes or 4 townships of 600’ tall wind turbines are despised out-of-the-box by people around the world. And since I do not possess omnipresence and I am not a polyglot, it is impossible to blame me for the “antis” in France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Scotland, England or Austria.
- The saddest part of the piece is the false claim by my neighbor John Tuckerman who claims that I was a frustrated housebuilder who took revenge on my own township when the township rejected my proposed development. In other words, “If I can’t have my housing development, I am going to take your wind turbines away”. The fact is that I never applied for nor proposed any such development and did not own or have any interest in any buildable acreage in my township at that time. The claim is simply a lie–and not a new but an old one.
- This piece is part of a new round of hits on people like myself who advocate for equitable siting of renewable energy projects. This new assault is being driven by current efforts in the Midwest by the renewable energy lobby to take away local control of wind and solar zoning precisely because it is demonstrably so unpopular and faces an ever-larger backlash.
- While they failed in Indiana in their first attempt, they just succeeded in Illinois and are pushing hard in Michigan. These hit pieces are peddled to sympathetic state legislators and the punch line is this: We need the state to take control of wind and solar zoning because One Man is stopping all development and One Man cannot have such power. And that One Man is me.
- The truth is that in Michigan, even with township level control of zoning and in spite of all the opposition these projects are fostering in rural communities, the wind industry in particular has been more successful getting more iron into the ground here in Michigan than in states like Ohio and Wisconsin who actually have state control of renewable energy siting
- Finally, this piece paints me as a vicious villain, red in tooth and claw, inciting mad mobs of “Anti-clean-energy” zombies around the Midwest with wild claims of health impacts, wind turbine cancer and pervasive environmental contamination from PV solar arrays. The truth is much more mundane. I give a 40-60 minute wind or solar zoning talk, answer questions and then go home. The links to two talks are here and here. Don’t be fooled by the catchy click bait title: Zoning for Utility Scale Solar: What Michigan Townships Need to Know
Thanks for what you do! As an imperfect, God fearing, old white male I feel your pain!
I would like to point out one small mistake, however. You describe unreliable energy machines as “energy harvesting.” In actuality they primarily harvest taxpayer funded subsidies; they are not very effficient or inexpensive in their claimed purpose, but for sucking up public funds they could make a black hole jealous!
Hang in there, Kevon, you’re getting something good done. The trick seems to be to find the right audience, because, you can only convince someone stupid of one thing: somehow they are smarter than everyone else.
Telling lies about anyone who opposes them has always been the first response of those who know without a doubt that they are saving the world.
When you’re having to more or less make it up as you go along you certainly need…
After many years, if not decades, of telling us weather isn’t climate, more recently it seems it is.
“1. Climate change denier claim: “This is the coldest winter we’ve had in years! So much for global warming.”
There’s a difference between climate and weather: Weather fluctuates day in, day out, whereas climate refers to long term trends”
Day in, day out fluctuation? Well, that really depends on the narrative, doesn’t it?
“Hurricane Ian is no anomaly. The climate crisis is making storms more powerful”
Oh, and that article was penned by no less than Penn state prisoner, or is that professor? Michael Mann. Are you sitting comfortably, children? Then, I’ll begin…
“Climate change once seemed a distant threat. No more. We now know its face, and all too well. We see it in every hurricane, torrential rainstorm, flood, heatwave, wildfire and drought. It’s even detectable in our daily weather. “
The goalposts have been moved so often that the pitch is beginning to look like it should be twinned with the moon.
“Oh, and that article was penned by no less than Penn state prisoner, or is that professor? Michael Mann. Are you sitting comfortably, children? Then, I’ll begin…
“Climate change once seemed a distant threat. No more. We now know its face, and all too well. We see it in every hurricane, torrential rainstorm, flood, heatwave, wildfire and drought. It’s even detectable in our daily weather.”
Michael Mann is such a liar!
The only thing the climate change alarmists have in their quiver is to falsely claim that every thunderstorm is caused by CO2, and will get worse if we inject more CO2 into the atmosphere. Without any evidence showing a connection between CO2 and any weather phenomenon, I might add.
Climate change alarmists don’t need evidence. They see what they want to see in every weather event. Claiming weather events are evidence of a CO2 connection is delusional for the dupes, or criminal, for the deliberate liars, like Michael Mann.
Perhaps green organisations should seek a ban on fear-based political campaigns?
I’m sure Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and other environmental charities would support large fines on anyone using fear-based advertising campaigns to influence a political debate.
We should reach across the aisle and campaign, together, for this improvement to our democratic debate.
The trouble is that these “true believes” work in a Marcusian framework. Anything a sceptic says is “misinformation” regardless of whether it is true or not, and anything they say is a crucial warning of the “end times” to come should man kind not embrace their vision of salvation regardless of whether it is a bald faced lie. They will not hesitate to use, and are already using, the Marcusian idea of Repressive Tolerance. Attempting a good faith negotiation with them would be futile.
It would be fantastic if we could just have a rational discussion with them and resolve the issues in a sensible way. But that does not seem to be possible. The only way many of those in thrall of the climate cult might break out is after significant social and economic pain. We’re headed in that direction fast right now. Unfortunately, the sceptical among us will also be hit with this pain.
As soon as you hear the buzzwords “misinformation” or “disinformation” you know you are providing actual INFORMATION. Nothing “mis” or “dis” about it.
Nothing angers zealots more than truth.
the truth is the greatest enemy of the State – Joseph Goebbels
Neil Oliver has a good piece on the practice of name calling and demonization that is so prevalent today:
Somebody buy that man a beer.
Or a “wee dram”.
“This piece is part of a new round of hits on people like myself who advocate for equitable siting of renewable energy projects.”
There is no “equitable siting of renewable energy projects.”
Sure there is. It’s called NOWHERE.
Well, now, I would be fine if they were required to build any “renewable” facility on the land surrounding the residences (primary or vacation) of those who are forcing them down our throats. No other facilities to be built until that land is exhausted.
“equitable siting of renewable energy projects”
My first thought on reading this was, Martha’s Vineyard would be good place to start with “equitable siting”. Let the rich see, and have a share in, how the other half lives. That’s equitable.
True. Because there’s nothing “equitable” about building them anywhere.
After all, what exactly is “equitable” about building something that makes the grid more expensive and less reliable, with all the costs borne by those who don’t have money to waste and all the benefits received by those who have money to burn?!
And all in pursuit of non-solutions to imaginary problems.
There’s always more in the background of this stuff. The “Heated” newsletter is the so-called “journalist” Emily Atkin, I did a July 2021 GelbspanFiles blog post on her specific journalism inadequacies when it comes to asking the most elemental of questions concerning what she was presented to report.
“Drilled” (in the first paragraph block quote of this guest post here) is another alleged “journalist,” Amy Westervelt, who also runs a site called “Rigged.” I have a tag category at GelbspanFiles dedicated to her enslavement to regurgitating the “crooked skeptic scientists” accusation. She and her pals could consolidate her “Drilled” / “Rigged” sites into just one, and more accurately call it “Smear of AGW Skeptics R Us.”
… my bad, it appears the word “Drilled” was an auto-correct typo for the word “Distilled,” meaning the article that originated at the “Distilled” substack page which was shared at the “Heated” substack page.
“A newsletter for people who are pissed off about the climate crisis.”
I’m just pissed off that people have been led to believe there’s a climate crisis.
As with all such things, you must be on target to draw so much fire
I’m nearly through watching the video at the first link.
I really liked his response to the question from a person with pronouns he/his/him (at around 1:26:00) who was worried about the ‘climate arson’ (I presume he wasn’t referring to wind/solar projects) coming through his computer, and which activists of colour had consulted with.
Kevon thought it was high time that communities of colour got to experience the benefits of wind and solar projects plonked in their back yards, just as they are in other communities.
Let me point out that the foot print of Fermi nuke plant is much smaller than shown in the discussion. The size of the reactor and turbine building is about the size a Walmart.
Most of the land shown is property that belongs to DTE and not required to make electricity.
I have also worked at sites with multiple reactors and the size of the site does not change.
When I worked in the control room of Fermi it was designed for multiple reactors. I lived in a rural township between two large cities because I liked rural living. I grew in the intercity of a city not too far away.
I think large wind turbines would improve such places. It would give the drug dealers something else to shoot at!
Mandating wind and solar in a place that has poor wind and solar is stupid. When I retired I did not move back to Michigan, I moved to a place with lots of wind farms because I like sailing.
When you see signs that the next gas station is 100 miles, getting mile set back is not too hard.
Wonder if Kevon ever passed through my county in Texas. Wind farms , and recently solar farms crowd the landscape just across the county line in all directions, but no development here yet. Apparently the county commissioners voted the county as a no renewables zone some time before I arrived around 12 years ago. Only solar that I’m aware of are the panels powering remote water well pumps. I know some folks in the county south of me who had bought a small parcel of rural land for their retirement home. Before they could actually move out there, the wind developers moved through, and their place is now almost uninhabitable. Only people who don’t seem to mind the constant low range noise are those who were lucky enough to have a turbine situated on their land–nice monthly check. Suspect that the majority of them no longer actually live on their land
Anyway, I am extremely grateful for the foresight of my counties overlords.
Keep up the good work Kevon.
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I read all the Master Resource articles and often recommend them on my own climate and energy blog, including this one when it was published. This was a disturbing article to read. Coming here, we can forget how vicious leftists are especially if you read the original full character attack:
Meet the man fueling clean energy opposition in the Midwest (heated.world)
My climate science and energy blog
Honest Climate Science and Energy
Kevon, just viewed your presentations. Wonderful insights. Michigan is blessed to have a man of your determination and intellectual acumen involved in sorting out the wind and solar zoning issues and sharing such compelling wisdom. You’ve leveled the playing field with the developers for those that heed your insights.
Great fact at 13:40 into his talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-WS8KFRGj0. MISO itself estimates that the cost of CO2 avoidance by the proposed Michigan wind-power project is $237/t!