James Delingpole is a writer, journalist and broadcaster who is right about everything. He is the author of numerous fantastically entertaining books including 365 Ways to Drive a Liberal Crazy, Welcome To Obamaland: I've Seen Your Future And It Doesn't Work, How To Be Right, and the Coward series of WWII adventure novels. His website is www.jamesdelingpole.com. I would like to thank James for allowing me to publish his works. RK
Your glorious green future!
Sorry, I find Europe so paralysingly depressing I can't possibly blog about it. Instead, here's a piece of investigative journalism to gladden the heart from Norman Rogers – a physicist and senior advisor at the Heartland Institute.
It describes how he cunningly infiltrated his way into the belly of the Green Beast – aka the America's oldest environmental organisation, the Sierra Club – using the brilliantly clever device of paying for membership. Like Greenpeace, like the WWF, the Sierra Club would love you to imagine that it is a plucky little David battling the Goliaths of Big Carbon, Big Industry, Big Pollution, Big Corporate Greed, Big Koch, and so on. In fact – again like Greenpeace, like the WWF – it is enormously well-funded with an $84 million annual budget and 1.4 million members. This would be nice if it didn't use all that money and influence promoting such terrible causes.
As Rogers notes in American Thinker:
The Sierra Club idolizes nature and demonizes man. It glorifies economic parasitism and practices junk science.
The article's fascinating and well worth reading in full, especially for the bit where the Sierra Club's green panelists start squirming over the issue of all the birds that are killed by wind farms. The Sierra Club, of course, is a huge advocate of wind farms.
But the bit that interested me most was Rogers's description of the "linear no threshold hypothesis." It sounds to me rather similar to the "Precautionary Principle" – another of those flimsy, superficially plausible excuses trotted out by the green movement to justify banning pretty much anything that smacks of capitalism, commonsense or scientific progress.
The Sierra Club campaign against coal is motivated by a desire to reduce CO2 emissions to prevent global warming. But since global warming skepticism and global warming fatigue are widespread, the club has opted for a junk science approach to reach its goals. The club tells people that their babies will die, or at least get asthma, if coal plants continue to operate. Although the cause of asthma is not known, it is suspected that it is related to the high levels of cleanliness in advanced countries that denies children and their immune systems exposure to the dirt and filth found in primitive places. This is known as the hygiene hypothesis. The incidence of asthma is about 50 times higher in developed countries compared to rural Africa. For all the Sierra Club knows, coal plants may prevent asthma. Given the hygiene hypothesis, that seems plausible.
With junk science, it is easy to scare people. There are many things that are bad for us that are present at low levels in the environment — for example, mercury, lead, radiation, or tobacco smoke. The junk science approach to trace toxins is to claim that if a high level of the bad thing would cause X people to get sick, then a level 10,000 times smaller must cause 1/10,000 as many people to get sick. Given 300 million people in the country, this math can give you thousands of people getting sick from low levels of mercury, lead, radiation, or secondhand tobacco smoke. This approach is known as the linear no threshold hypothesis.
The Sierra Club and its ally, the Environmental Protection Agency, lean on the small emissions of mercury from burning coal to work up a calculation of deaths from coal. They minimize the fact that much of the mercury falling on the U.S. comes from China, volcanoes, or even from burning dead bodies with mercury-based fillings in their teeth. Mercury pollution becomes an excuse to get rid of coal. Arguing the science behind such claims often degenerates into a paper chase about statistics and what studies are good or bad. From the bureaucratic point of view, the linear no threshold hypothesis is wonderful because it means that problems are never solved and there is always a need for more bureaucratic activity.
I think that of all the things I discovered while researching my book Watermelons, this was the one that shocked me most: the outrageous power wielded by democratically unaccountable environmental NGOs, with the budgets of big corporations and the political philosophy of Marxists. As Donna Laframboise describes in her brilliant book The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken For The World's Top Climate Expert they've heavily infiltrated the IPCC. And as this terrifying video featuring Friends of the Earth green activist turned Labour peer Bryony Worthington shows, they've also had a grotesquely disproportionate influence on British government policy. Meanwhile we learn from FOIAs by Chris Horner that NASA's chief activist-scientist James Hansen was paid (on top of his federal salary) $250 an hour by a Canadian law firm to testify in a campaign against an Alberta oil sand company.
Worth thinking about, next time you hear a green charity bleating about the evils of all those climate deniers out there lavishly funded by Big Oil. God, I so picked the wrong side to be on: if I'd chosen to join the junk science, eco-fascist climate scam, I wouldn't be so worried about what's happening to the global economy. A) because I'd be so rich it wouldn't matter. And B) because I'd probably be quite pleased it was going down the toilet. After all isn't deindustrialisation, the preservation of "scarce resources" and a return to the bracing, back-breaking misery of the Agrarian age what the Watermelons of Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, the WWF, NASA and Friends of the Earth been campaigning for all along?