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Green Watch

From international green groups to local activists, Green Watch keeps tabs on the money, political connections, and policy goals of the modern environmental movement.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: How a U.N. group manipulates science to “prove” Global Warming

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
How a U.N. group manipulates science to “prove” Global Warming (pdf here)
By Kevin Mooney

Summary: The most prestigious international group claiming we face a global warming crisis has a history of twisting the scientific evidence involved in the controversy. It is so duplicitous that it has even misrepresented the findings of its own reports.

W hy do so many people believe in Global Warming theory? Global Warming theory isn’t just that the earth is getting warmer, any more than the theory of evolution is that things evolve or the theory of relativity is that everything is relative. There’s a lot more to it than just warming. Global Warming theory (sometimes fudged as “climate change” theory), in the words of Green Watch editor Steven J. Allen, is “that the earth as a whole is getting catastrophically warmer due not to natural causes but to ‘greenhouse gas’ emissions—especially carbon dioxide (CO2)—from human industry, transportation, and energy generation, and that the looming catastrophe of Global Warming can be averted with policies that are compatible with peace, prosperity, freedom, and democracy.” That’s a lot of believe, and it’s inconsistent with what we know about both physical science and human behavior.
Earth’s temperatures have been stable since about 1998, according to satellite [click here for the rest]

Green Watch: A Strategy Built on Nervous Moms: Fearmongers seek to block technology that could feed multitudes

A Strategy Built on Nervous Moms
Fearmongers seek to block technology that could feed multitudes (pdf here

By Julie Gunlock

Summary: In a very real sense, genetically modified food has existed for millennia. Recent scientific advances in the field are decreasing starvation, helping the world’s poor, and lowering food costs at your neighborhood grocery store. Unable to counter these advances for mankind, environmental activists have taken to scaring mothers that such food will poison their children, in the hope that nervous moms will pressure government to suppress “frankenfood,” even in the absence of any scientific evidence that it is harmful.

In politics, fear is a powerful weapon. Throughout human history, politicians and activists have exploited fear—fear of people who come from other places or who look different from oneself, fear of other religions or systems of belief, and, as in the case of genetically modified foods, fear of changing technology. Read all »

The Social Cost of Carbon: Pseudoscience, deception, and a grab for power—all in one magic number

The Social Cost of Carbon
Pseudoscience, deception, and a grab for power—all in one magic number
By Marlo Lewis (PDF here.)

Summary: The Social Cost of Carbon is a number guesstimated by economists and then manipulated by bureaucrats and envi¬ronmentalists to justify government activi¬ties ranging from the shutdown of coal-fired power plants to the regulation of microwave oven clocks. The problem is that it’s a made-up number with no scientific validity, put out by flawed computer models using data from other flawed models and ignoring the huge cost of not using carbon-based energy. Read all »

McAuliffe vs. Cuccinelli: Virginia Race a Bellwether?

McAuliffe vs. Cuccinelli: Virginia Race a Bellwether?

Environmentalists flood the 2013 elections with cash

By Michael Bastasch and Steven J. Allen (PDF here)

Summary: Environmentalists poured mil­lions into the 2013 elections, achieving considerable success even when the candi­dates they backed had severe weaknesses. Ironically, one of the biggest contributors made his own fortune in fossil fuels.

Off-year lections are often bell­wethers, indicators of how politics will turn in the electoral cycles that follow. Off-off-year elections—those conducted in odd-numbered years—often serve as laboratories in which political parties and interest groups try out new strategies and tactics. In these elections, with fewer races on the ballot, people in politics can experiment, innovate, and lay the foundation for future campaigns.

On several fronts, 2013 was a key year for the environmentalist movement, as “greens” sought to punish their enemies (especially skeptics of Global Warming theory) and reward their friends (including politicians who will help secure funding for Global Warming advocacy and “green crony-capitalism”). Environmentalists pumped millions into state and local races across the country, targeting Republicans in general as well as Democrats they con­sidered too moderate. Virginia in particular became a critical battleground, as Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a Republican, ran for governor against Democrat Terry McAuliffe, an operative for Bill and Hill­ary Clinton.

Cuccinelli is hated by “greens.” He has been one of the most vocal opponents of the Obama administration’s War on Coal. As Virginia’s top legal officer, he investigated an academic corruption case in which state funds were used to promote Global Warming theory. He filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency when EPA bureaucrats sought to regulate storm-water runoff as a form of pollution. Among candidates for of­fice in 2013, he was Public Enemy #1 to environmentalists.

Meanwhile, McAuliffe was running as a new sort of entrepreneur—one who at­tains wealth by gaming the system, using political connections, and taking advan­tage of a complex system of government grants, subsidies, and mandates designed to promote wind and solar energy, elec­tric cars, and other projects favored by “greens.” Read all »

Green Watch December 2013: [Part 3] Climate policies lock chains on developing nations

Climate policies lock chains on developing nations

By Steve Goreham  (Green Watch, December 2013 – PDF here

Today, more than 1.2 billion people around the globe do not have access to electricity. Hundreds of millions of others struggle with unreliable power. Power outages in­terrupt factory production, students walk to airports to read under the lights, and schools and hospitals lack vital electrical power.

As part of his climate change initiative announced in June, President Obama declared, “Today I’m calling for an end of public financing for new coal plants overseas unless they deploy carbon capture technologies, or there’s no other viable way for the poorest countries to generate electricity.”

Restrictions on financing will reduce the supply and increase the cost of electrical power in developing nations, thereby pro­longing global poverty. The World Bank Read all »

Green Watch December 2013: [Part 2] On Carl Sagan, blacklisting, and the poor

On Carl Sagan, blacklisting, and the poor

The role of left-wing foundations in the rise of religious environmentalism

By Steven J. Allen  (Green Watch, December 2013 – PDF here

As noted above, a turning point in the rela­tionship between the religious community and supporters of Global Warming theory was the “Open Letter to the American Religious Community” put together by TV personality Carl Sagan, an agnostic astronomer at Cornell.

Sagan, also remembered for the catch­phrase “billions and billions,” was the voice of popular science in the 1980s and a proponent of several questionable ideas. He popularized the Drake Equation, which fantastically overstates the prob­ability of intelligent life on other planets. He promoted now-discredited “arms race” theory regarding the Cold War and described the U.S. and Soviets as like “two men standing waist deep in gasoline, one with three matches, the other with five.”

He was the most vocal proponent of “nu­clear winter” theory, which held that the U.S. nuclear arsenal was useless because Read all »

Green Watch December 2013: [Part 1] Greening the Churches: The role of left-wing foundations in the rise of religious environmentalism

Greening the Churches

The role of left-wing foundations in the rise of religious environmentalism

By E. Calvin Beisner (Green Watch, December 2013 – PDF here

Summary: The infiltration of “green” ideol­ogy into American religious groups has taken decades to occur. It has also required millions of quietly delivered dollars from left-wing do­nors, who otherwise have little respect for the religious persons whose minds they hope to sway—or for the traditional moral teachings on respect for human life and the poor that are central to America’s religious institutions.

The effort to turn American Christians into soldiers for the environmental movement began decades ago. A critical moment occurred in 1990, when Carl Sagan, the astronomer famed for his PBS series “Cosmos,” spearheaded a group of scientists (including 32 Nobel Laureates) who signed Read all »

Green Watch November 2013: The Black Box: EPA defies Congress on “secret science” used to justify environmental regulations

The Black Box

EPA defies Congress on “secret science” used to justify environmental regulations (Green Watch, November 2013 – PDF here

By James M. Taylor

Summary: Environmental Protection Agency rules greatly affect the quality of life in the United Statesnot only in terms of air pol­lution, but in terms of economic growth and job creation. Yet EPA’s decisions are rooted in information that is hidden away from both Congress and the American people.

“Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.” – Louis Brandeis

The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology has issued its first subpoena in 21 years. The target: “secret science” used by the Envi­ronmental Protection Agency.

In the face of repeated requests over the past two years, the EPA has refused to provide Congress with the secret information that the agency employs to justify draconian restrictions—federal regulations that are shutting down power plants, raising fuel prices, and creating a tremendous burden on the country’s economy.

Amazingly, “clean air” rules that critically affect every American are being formulated by unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats, based on data (purported data, anyway) that not even the people’s elected representa­tives are allowed to see.

“By denying the Committee’s request, the agency prevents Congress Read all »

The EPA’s War Against the States: States are supposed to lead in fighting pollution, but federal bureaucrats have usurped the states’ role

 The EPA’s War Against the States

States are supposed to lead in fighting pollution, but federal bureaucrats have usurped the states’ role (Green Watch, October 2013 – PDF here

By William Yeatman

Summary: Congress intended the Environ­mental Protection Agency to work closely with state and local officials—those nearest to the people. But since 2009, the Environ­mental Protection Agency has waged war on the states. In an end-run around the Constitution, the EPA has collaborated with environmentalist groups such as the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council to implement policies that have little to do with protecting the environment.

The Environmental Protection Agency, proposed by President Nixon, was created by Congress in 1970. “Co­operative federalism” was to be part of the EPA’s foundation.

Federalism involves dividing governmental power between a central government (what we now call the federal government) and regional governments (the states). It is em­bodied in the U.S. Constitution and protected by the 10th Amendment, which was written to stop the federal government from usurping the authority of the states and the people.

Under the principle of “cooperative federal­ism,” the EPA was supposed to work with state governments as partners in protecting the environment. That arrangement made perfect sense. Most environmental prob­lems in 1970 were local. For example, Los Angeles with its smog and Cleveland with its river pollution faced widely varying challenges with regard to the environment. Maine and Texas and Alaska had very dif­ferent concerns.

It is an axiom in American politics that our system works best when power is kept closest to the people, and that local officials are best suited to solving local problems. It didn’t make sense to have Washington bureaucrats impose one-size-fits-all solu­tions in every place in the country. Impos­ing regulations from Washington without regard to local priorities—protecting jobs, for example—could have unnecessarily negative, even disastrous consequences.

Congress intended Read all »

The President’s Utility: Crony capitalism in Chicago turns “green” into greenbacks

The President’s Utility

Crony capitalism in Chicago turns “green” into greenbacks (Green Watch, September 2013 – PDF here)

By Ed Lasky

Summary: Exelon has made countless millions off its political connections and stands to make a fortune off Obama administration energy policies. Its story brings together the President’s former campaign director, his former chief of staff, and others who operate “the Chicago way.”

“We are proud to be the President’s utility.” — Elizabeth Moler

A gaffe, they say, is when someone in politics accidentally tells the truth. When Elizabeth Moler, the chief lobbyist for utility giant Exelon, said in 2009 that Exelon is proud to be the President’s utility, she threw a spotlight on the ties between Barack Obama and a company that stands to make billions off the President’s environmental policies.

Those ties include Obama’s campaign chief David Axelrod, who worked for Exelon, and the President’s first chief of staff at the White House, Rahm Emanuel, who negotiated the merger that created the company. An Exelon board member, John W. Rogers, was described by the New York Times as “a friend of the president’s and one of his top fund-raisers.” The President’s mentor in the Illinois State Senate, Emil Jones, was described by the Washington Examiner as “wrapped around [Exelon’s] finger.”

Even the late Thomas G. Ayers, who served as Exelon’s president and CEO, plays a role in this story. (Ayers, you may recall, was the father of terrorist Bill Ayers and the father-in-law of terrorist Bernardine Dohrn. Read all »