Green Watch

Creatures of the Green Lagoon: Paris Rises from the Dead

Creatures of the Green Lagoon: San Francisco Mega-Foundations Bankrolling Eco-Activism (full series)
Paris Rises from the Dead | Tom Steyer | Sea Change Foundation
Energy Foundation | ClimateWorks Foundation

Summary: San Francisco is awash in five things: Homeless people, discarded needles, garbage, human feces, and virtually unlimited cash for the environmental Left. This once great city by the bay is ground zero for a bundle of mega-donors, pass-through funders, and powerful activist groups trying to “green” America’s prosperity and energy independence into oblivion. In its place they envision the stuff of nightmares: the end of the oil, gas, and coal industries; nationwide fracking bans; a return to the Paris Climate Agreement; an unprecedented spike in household energy prices; a radical Green New Deal; and “environmental justice” retribution to punish so-called climate polluters with fines and even prison sentences.


“Do as I say, not as I do” may as well be the motto of the environmental Left. From their towers, eco-mandarins prognosticate a coming climate apocalypse and the freedoms we must sacrifice to stave it off. Yet they almost never live with the consequences of their own policies. The same global warming gurus who tell Midwestern Americans the icecaps are melting and the seas are rising because Americans still drive cars live in the world’s toniest coastal cities and own private yachts and jets.

No city is a greater testament to climate hypocrisy than San Francisco, home to some of the eco-Left’s biggest mega-donors: the Sea Change Foundation, the pass-through Energy Foundation, and Tom Steyer’s nonprofit network. Between them these giants have paid out over $2 billion in grants over the past two decades, almost all of it to left-wing groups lobbying for the disastrous Paris Climate Agreement, fracking bans, and a Green New Deal—the most extreme environmental policy agenda in American history.

This is the so-called New Energy Economy, paid for by billionaire hedge fund managers and ideologically motivated, tax-exempt foundations eager to remake America in their own image. Ironically, one of the billionaires, Steyer, earned much of his fortune trading in the oil and natural gas industry. If they get their way, expect a grim future of poverty and “environmental justice” prosecution in Soviet-style “People’s Courts.”

Will Paris Rise from the Dead?

On November 4, 2020—the day after the presidential election—the United States formally withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord, an international climate change agreement entered into by President Barack Obama in 2015 and a major 2016 campaign promise of President Trump.

While Obama officials negotiated the agreement as a foreign treaty, it never received a vote in the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate—analysis strongly suggests that environmental groups even advised the administration against describing Paris as a “treaty”—despite the Constitution’s clear requirement that foreign treaties must be ratified by the Senate. Nevertheless, proponents widely treated the agreement as legally binding (and so unassailable) because it forced enormous greenhouse gas emissions targets on the country.

By one estimate based on a U.S. Energy Department model, the Paris Climate Agreement could have cost the average family of four over $20,000 in lost income, raised household energy prices by as much as 20 percent, and cost the economy $2.5 trillion by 2035. Yet the effects on the global temperature would be minuscule. If United States cut all of its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, it would result in an estimated decrease of less than two-tenths of a degree Celsius by the end of the century.

Trump’s withdrawal from the disastrous “treaty” was a landmark victory for constitutional government and the American economy—but under a Democratic administration that victory has been reversed, and the country has reentered the Paris Climate Agreement after President Joe Biden signed an executive order to that effect, as he promised during presidential campaign to do on “Day One.”

That’s a scalp for activists in the eco-Left, the loudest supporters of the Paris “treaty,” none more so than Tom Steyer.


In the next installment, meet Tom Steyer—billionaire, major Democratic Party donor, former Democratic presidential candidate, and dedicated environmentalist with a wide streak of authoritarianism.

Hayden Ludwig

Hayden Ludwig is the Director of Policy Research at Restoration of America. He was formerly Senior Investigative Researcher at Capital Research Center. Ludwig is a native of Orange County, California,…
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