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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.

Hucksterism and Self-Dealing at the Sierra Club: Environmentalists rake in big bucks from Global Warming activism and the War on Coal

Hucksterism and Self-Dealing at the Sierra Club
Environmentalists rake in big bucks from Global Warming activism and the War on Coal [pdf here]

By David W. Schnare

Summary: The Sierra Club and its sister foundation have abandoned their traditional charitable mission of conserving America’s wilderness lands in order to chase dollars that can be had for themselves and their leaders and donors by engaging in business activities—including promoting some businesses at the expense of other businesses. They have left not only their mission but the law governing nonprofits far behind.

When a group like the Sierra Club morphs from a mainstream conservation group into a radical “green” organization, you would expect it to take extreme positions on the issues with which it deals. But you might be surprised by the extent to which the tax-exempt Sierra Club, its affiliated foundation (also tax-exempt), and its board members gain financially from the War on Coal and other causes the Club supports.

The Sierra Club generates about a million dollars a year in taxable unrelated business income on which there is no evidence that it is paying taxes or intends to. Further, as a nonprofit organization, it may not compete with commercial businesses, yet there is clear evidence it does. The Club operates a store selling all manner of goods. Worse, the Club has become the marketing arm for two private companies selling solar panels. Each of these activities is suspect. None of these activities represents the core purposes of the Sierra Club. Both types of activities—direct sales in competition with for-profit businesses, and acting as the marketing arm for private companies—constitute participation in commercial business.

Both the Sierra Club and its affiliated Sierra Club Foundation, have received tax-exempt status Read all »

Green Watch September 2014: Pyramid Scheme: Meet the “green” radicals who want to plan your menu

Pyramid Scheme
Meet the “green” radicals who want to plan your menu [PDF here]

By Erik Telford

“Has any attention been paid to farmers’ markets with respect to carbon footprint and sustainability?”

When a taxpayer-funded committee met recently to design the government’s guidelines for nutrition—nutrition!—the committee addressed that concern. As the Obama administration seeks to influence, even control, what we eat, the stuff of satire is now reality.

Meet the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC): 15 career academics hand-selected by the administration to set the government’s official guidelines for healthful eating. The professors of DGAC have a unique view of the world of nutrition, and it has more to do with the “green” movement’s quest for nirvana than food science and common sense.

Their work is the basis for the Food Pyramid, which in turn is used Read all »

Green Watch: Who Watches the Watchmen?: As Global Warming theory collapses, the ignorant news media resort to censorship and name-calling

Who Watches the Watchmen?
As Global Warming theory collapses, the ignorant news media resort to censorship and name-calling (PDF here)
By Steven J. Allen and Julia A. Seymour

Summary: The news media have fostered panic and junk science regarding earth’s climate for longer than you realize. As far back as 1895, the New York Times was repeating dire warnings of climate disaster from scientists. Every few decades, however, the apocalypse that supposedly threatens us shifts: first, global cooling was the danger, then warming, then cooling, and in recent decades the scare is once again warming. Now the problem is also what the media refuse to report, as censorship silences all who keep an open mind on the science involved, rather than mouthing the “consensus.”

They can’t win a fair fight. So they don’t fight fair.

Global Warming theory is collapsing around us. When Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth won the Oscar for Best Documentary in 2007, the current Global Warming pause (some call it a “lull” or “hiatus”) was already nine years old. Even if Warming resumes (or, to put it another way, even if the Ice Age continues to be over), proponents of Warming theory have been discredited, their computer models—the only “proof” of their theories—having crashed and burned.

With so much at stake—wealth for perpetrators of “green energy” like wind and solar; tenure for “green” professors; power for “green” politicians and bureaucrats; credibility for “green” journalists—you might expect them to become desperate, and you would be right. Nowhere is that desperation more obvious than in the news media Read all »

Green Watch: Europe’s Greens Hit Stormy Weather: Europeans are moving away from “green” policies that caused energy prices to soar

Europe’s Greens Hit Stormy Weather
Europeans are moving away from “green” policies that caused energy prices to soar [PDF here]

By Michael Bastasch

Summary: Thanks to rebellions among the people and second thoughts among the politicians, European nations are beginning to see the folly of “green” policies they have enacted. As skyrocketing energy costs throttle consumers and businesses, and even lead to deaths, Europeans are turning back to domestic, carbon-based energy sources like coal and natural gas. The new trend is also pushed along by fears of a newly aggressive Russia, whose current dominance in natural gas production threatens other nations’ security.

It’s been called the European counterpart to the Tea Party movement—a grassroots uprising across countries that are members of the European Union (EU), a rebellion against rule by elitist bureaucrats. And a major component driving Europeans to this revolt is those bureaucrats’ “green” policies that hinder businesses of all sorts, raise electricity prices, and push people into so-called “energy poverty.”

In Britain, where cold weather caused 31,000 deaths last winter, a political party that defiantly promotes a scientific approach to the Global Warming issue—and so is smeared by environmental extremists—has become the fastest-growing party in modern British history. Indeed, that party, Read all »

The “Consensus”—or Else! Dumbing-down science education: The National Center for Science Education and Global Warming

The “Consensus”—or Else!
Dumbing-down science education: The National Center for Science Education and Global Warming (PDF here)
By Casey Luskin

Summary: The National Center for Science Education targets the nation’s schools in order to enforce the supposed “consensus” on hot-button scientific controversies—specifically, evolutionary theory and Global Warming theory. Its dogmatic approach violates principles of free speech and academic freedom, and actually makes it less likely that students will receive the science education they need if they are to make informed decisions in the future.

The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) is a nonprofit group that is described as a watchdog over the education of the nation’s children. Its core mission: to enforce a purported “scientific consensus” on hot-button issues, particularly evolutionary theory (NCSE’s focus since the 1980s) and Global Warming theory (NCSE’s focus since 2012).

NCSE’s supporters see it as an organization that protects science from the attack of ignorant, religious, countrified yahoos and bumpkins. Its detractors see it as a campaign to stifle the free and open debate that is critical to a free society and that is a necessary condition for scientific progress.

Critics believe that, by seeking to put a lid on scientific controversies, NCSE actually serves as an impediment to science education—such that many school systems and individual teachers avoid teaching about the topics extensively, or avoid the topics entirely, in order to avoid the wrath of “consensus” enforcers. As a result, America’s schoolchildren learn neither the facts Read all »

June Green Watch notes

The Obama administration announced, “On America’s path toward a clean energy future, solar power is an increasing- ly important building block. That’s why we installed solar panels on the roof of the White House; it’s a clear sign of our commitment to energy efficiency.” The administration claims that the solar array will provide 6.3 kilowatts of power when the sun is shining. On an average day, that works out to less than one-and-a-half percent of estimated White House electricity usage. That’s less than the percentage by which U.S. residential electricity usage typically increases in a year.

Read all »

Mora County and the Parachute Organizers: Environmental extremists target a poor county for a ban on all drilling, not just fracking

Mora County and the Parachute Organizers
Environmental extremists target a poor county for a ban on all drilling, not just fracking
By Marita Noon

Green Watch May 2014 (pdf here)

Summary: In northern New Mexico, in one of the nation’s poorest counties, environmentalists wage war against efforts to drill for oil and gas. They hope to take this fight to cities and counties across the country. Behind Mora County’s ban on drilling—not just on fracking, but on all drilling for hydrocarbons—lies a Pennsylvania group that uses “Democracy Schools” to spread its message and that wants to extend “rights” to plants. (Really.)

In April 2013, county commissioners voted 2-to-1 to make Mora County, New Mexico (population 4,481), the first jurisdiction in the country to ban all oil and gas exploration and production outright. It was a triumph for an organization, the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, based some 1,700 miles away in Pennsylvania.

The Mora County ordinance states: “It shall be unlawful for any corporation to engage in the extraction of oil, natural gas, or other hydrocarbons within Mora County.” In June 2013, the commission voted to expand the ban to individuals as well. Additionally, under the ordinance, any permits or licenses issued by either the federal or state government that would allow activities that would compromise the county’s rights would be considered invalid.

Governments in other places have banned or imposed a moratorium on fracking (hydraulic fracturing). In some localities, such as nearby Santa Fe County, officials have enacted regulations that so restrict drilling practices as to create an effective ban on oil and gas drilling. But only Mora County has been so extreme as to totally outlaw all development of hydrocarbons.

John Olivas was elected to the county commission in 2010 on a pledge to enact the ban—the sole plank in his platform, according to the Roswell Daily Record. With the support of another commissioner, he took over in 2013 as chairman of the three-member body, ousting a ban opponent from the chair. (She remained on the commission as a member, and cast the dissenting vote on the ban.)

Sofia Martinez, a local “environmental justice” activist who supports a moratorium on drilling, but not a ban, complained that, at the session where the ban was passed, most participants were outsiders. “From the record, we know that 31 people spoke on the ordinance, [and] at least 2/3 were not from Mora County,” she wrote. “They were in the majority of cases ‘parachute organizers’ from Santa Fe and San Miguel County. Poor Mora County, so far from Heaven, so close to Santa Fe and Pennsylvania.”

Chairman Olivas, it should be noted, wears two hats. In addition to chairing the county commission, he is described on the website of an environmentalist group, the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance (NM Wild), as the organization’s Traditional Community Organizer (Click here for the rest of the story.)

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 »