The Cost of Society of Radical Environmentalism

By Allan M.R. MacRae, B.A.Sc., M.Eng

  1. Introduction.

Ever wonder why extremists attack honest scientists who oppose global warming and climate change hysteria? Ever wonder why climate extremists refuse to debate the science?

It is because global warming and climate change alarmism was never about the science – it was always a false narrative, a smokescreen for the totalitarian objectives of the extreme left.

The novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four”, written by George Orwell in 1949, foresaw a time “when much of the world has fallen victim to perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance, historical negationism and propaganda”. It now appears that Orwell had remarkable foresight.

Here is the realNineteen Eighty-Four”, an interview that year with ex-KGB officer and Soviet defector Yuri Bezmenov, who described their long-term program to ideologically undermine the western democracies. Jump to 1:07:30 for Bezmenov’s discussion of “ideological subversion”. It is all about manipulating the “useful idiots” – the pro-Soviet leftists within the democracies.

One commenter on the video wrote: “this is crazy, almost everything predicted by this guy is already happening.” Bernie Sanders, AOC and other socialist-Democrats are openly saying what Bezmenov predicted decades ago. The last democracies are under attack by leftist extremists.

All over the world, countries that once had a future have fallen into dictatorship, poverty and misery. It is notable that of the ~167 large countries in the world, most are totalitarian states, and all but “the chosen few” citizens of these countries suffer under brutal leftist dictatorships.

Radical greens have used wildly exaggerated stories of runaway global warming and climate change to stampede the gullible, in order to achieve their political objectives. The greens claim to be pro-environment, but their policies have done enormous environmental damage. Radical greens have also been destructive to humanity, causing millions of deaths. I wrote recently:

“Modern Green Death probably started with the 1972-2002 effective ban of DDT, which caused global deaths from malaria to increase from about 1 million to almost two million per year. Most of these deaths were children under five in sub-Saharan Africa…”

“…radical greens (really radical leftists) are the great killers of our time. Now the greens are blinding and killing babies by opposing golden rice…” 

“The Green movement is really a smokescreen for the old Marxists – and they are the great killers of our age.”

 2. Radical Greens Have Cost Trillions of Dollars and Hundreds of Millions of Lives.

Here is some of the supporting evidence:

“Carson made little effort to provide a balanced perspective and consistently ignored key evidence that would have contradicted her work. Thus, while the book provided a range of notable ideas, a number of Carson’s major arguments rested on what can only be described as deliberate ignorance.”

https://iea.org.uk/publications/research/malaria-and-the-ddt-story

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  • The fierce green opposition to golden rice, actions that blinded and killed millions more children; References here, here, here and here.
  • The misallocation of scarce global resources for costly, destructive intermittent ‘green energy’ schemes, which are not green and produce little useful (dispatchable) energy;
  • Properly allocated, a fraction of the trillions of dollars squandered on green energy schemes could have installed clean drinking water and sanitation systems into every community on the planet, saving the lives of many tens of millions of children and adults; the remaining funds could have significantly reduced deaths from malaria and malnutrition;
    “Global Crises, Global Solutions”, The 1st Copenhagen Consensus. Bjørn Lomborg ed., 2004.
  • The number of Excess Winter Deaths and shattered lives caused by runaway energy costs in the developed world and lack of access to modern energy in the developing world probably exceeds the tens of millions of malaria deaths caused by the DDT ban; Excess Winter Deaths (more deaths in winter than non-winter months) total more than two million souls per year, which demonstrates that Earth is colder-than-optimum for humanity;
  • Indoor air pollution from cooking fires contributes to illness and premature death in the developing world, especially among women and children;
  • In addition to runaway energy costs and increased winter deaths, intermittent wind and solar power schemes have reduced grid reliability and increased the risk of power outages;
  • Huge areas of agricultural land have been diverted from growing food to biofuels production, driving up food costs and causing hunger among the world’s poorest people.

3. There is NO credible scientific evidence that climate is highly sensitive to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), and ample evidence to the contrary. Catastrophic human-made global warming is a false crisis.

Competent scientists have known this fact for decades. In a written debate in 2002 sponsored by APEGA and co-authored on our side by Dr. Sallie Baliunas, Dr. Tim Patterson and me, we concluded:

“Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist.”

“The ultimate agenda of pro-Kyoto advocates is to eliminate fossil fuels, but this would result in a catastrophic shortfall in global energy supply – the wasteful, inefficient energy solutions proposed by Kyoto advocates simply cannot replace fossil fuels.”

Many scientific observations demonstrate that both these statements are still correct.

The current usage of the term “climate change” is vague and the definition is routinely changed – it is a “non-falsifiable hypothesis”. It is therefore non-scientific nonsense.

“A theory that is not refutable by any conceivable event is non-scientific.” – Karl Popper

Climate has always changed. Current climate is not unusual and is beneficial to humanity and the environment. Earth is in a ~10,000 year warm period (‘interglacial’) within a ~100,000 year cycle of alternating glaciations and interglacials. A warm period is NOT a crisis. A glacial period (‘ice age’) with a 2 km thick continental glacier covering much of the world is a crisis.

The term “catastrophic human-made global warming” is a falsifiable hypothesis, and it was falsified decades ago – when fossil fuel combustion and atmospheric CO2 increased sharply after ~1940, while global temperature cooled from ~1945 to ~1977. Temperature records have been ‘adjusted’ to hide this cooling. There is no credible evidence that weather is more chaotic now – both hurricanes and tornadoes are at multi-decade low levels of activity.

Even if all the observed global warming is ascribed to increasing atmospheric CO2, the calculated maximum climate sensitivity to a hypothetical doubling of atmospheric CO2 is only about 1 degree C, which is not enough to produce dangerous global warming. Ref. here & here.

Global warming alarmism is based on the false assumption that increasing atmospheric CO2 causes catastrophic global warming. In fact, atmospheric CO2 changes lag global temperature changes at all measured time scales. Tropical Sea Surface Temperature changes, then tropical humidity changes, then atmospheric temperature changes, then CO2 changes, in that order.

Climate computer models cited by the IPCC and other climate activists employ much higher assumed sensitivity values that create false alarm. The ability to predict is perhaps the most objective measure of scientific competence. All the scary predictions by climate activists of dangerous global warming and wilder weather have proven false-to-date. The global warming / climate change alarmists have a perfectly negative predictive track record, so no sensible person should believe them.

Based on current knowledge, the only significant impact of increasing atmospheric CO2 is greatly increased plant and crop yields, and possibly some minor beneficial warming of climate.

4. Humanity needs modern energy to survive – to grow and transport our food and provide shelter, warmth and ~everything we need to live. Wind and solar power are too intermittent and too diffuse to be practical or effective. Green energy schemes have been costly failures.

Fully ~85% of global primary energy is from fossil fuels – oil, coal and natural gas. The remaining ~15% is almost all nuclear and hydro. Green energy has increased from above 1% to less than 2%, despite many trillions of dollars in wasted subsidies. The 85% fossil fuels component is essentially unchanged in past decades, and is unlikely to significantly change in future decades.

The fatal flaw of grid-connected green energy is that it is not green and produces little useful (dispatchable) energy, primarily due to intermittency – the wind does not blow all the time, and the Sun shines only part of the day. Intermittent grid-connected green energy requires almost 100% backup (‘spinning reserve’) from conventional energy sources. Intermittent wind and solar electrical generation schemes typically do not even significantly reduce CO2 emissions – all they do is increase energy costs and reduce grid reliability.

http://joannenova.com.au/2018/01/who-would-have-thought-nations-with-more-renewables-have-more-expensive-electricity/

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Claims that grid-scale energy storage will solve the intermittency problem have proven false to date. The only proven grid-scale ‘super-battery’ is pumped storage, and suitable sites are rare – Alberta is bigger than many countries, and has no sites suitable for grid-scale pumped storage systems.

5. The trillions of dollars of scarce global resources wasted on global warming hysteria, anti-fossil fuel fanaticism and green energy schemes, properly deployed, could have improved and saved many millions of lives.

About two million children below the age of five die from contaminated water every year – about 70 million dead kids since the advent of global warming alarmism. Bjørn Lomborg estimates that a fraction of these squandered green energy funds could have put clean water and sanitation systems into every community in the world.

Waste of funds and loss of opportunity due to global warming alarmism and green energy nonsense have harmed people around the world. In North America, Europe and Australia, trillions of dollars have been wasted on grid-connected green energy schemes that have increased energy costs, increased winter mortality, and reduced the stability of electrical grids.

In the developing world, the installation of electrical energy grids has been stalled for decades due to false global warming alarmism.In the winter of 2017-2018, England and Wales experienced over 50,000 excess winter deaths (more deaths in the winter months than non-winter). That British per-capita excess winter death rate was ~three times the average excess winter death rate of the USA and Canada.

Energy costs are much higher in Britain, due to radical green opposition in the UK to the fracking of gassy shales.

The anti-oil-pipeline campaign has cost ~$120 billion dollars in lost oil revenues and destroyed ~200,000 jobs in Alberta and across Canada. This is an enormous financial and job loss for Canada. Canada, mostly Alberta, is the fifth largest oil producer in the world and the largest foreign supplier of energy to the USA. References here and here.The funds wasted on baseless global warming hysteria, anti-fossil-fuel fanaticism and destructive green energy schemes, properly deployed, could have saved or improved the lives of many millions of people.

6. The conduct of climate activists has been destructive, deceitful and violent.

Global warming alarmists have shouted down legitimate debate and committed deceitful and violent acts in support of their false cause.

The Climategate emails provide irrefutable evidence of scientific collusion and fraudulent misconduct. In Canada, skeptic climatologist Dr. Tim Ball and other skeptics have received threats, and buildings related to the energy industry including the Calgary Petroleum Club were firebombed. In the USA, skeptic scientists have had their homes invaded, and several highly competent skeptic scientists have been harassed and driven from their academic posts.

7. Radical greens have caused enormous harm to the environment, for example:

  • Clear-cutting the tropical rainforests to grow sugar cane and palm oil for biofuels;
  • Accelerated draining of the vital Ogallala aquifer in the USA for corn ethanol and biodiesel production;
  • Clear-cutting forests in the eastern USA to provide wood for the Drax power plant in Britain;
  • Destructive bird-and-bat-chopping wind power turbines.

8. Why are the radical greens so anti-environmental?

Dr. Patrick Moore, a co-founder and Past-President of Greenpeace, provided the answer decades ago. Moore observed that Eco-Extremism is the new ‘false-front’ for economic Marxists, who were discredited after the fall of the Soviet Union circa 1990 and took over the Green movement to further their political objectives. This is described in Moore’s essay, “Hard Choices for the Environmental Movement” written in 1994 – note “The Rise of Eco-Extremism”.

For radical greens, it was never about the environment – the environment was a smokescreen for their extreme-left totalitarian political objectives. When radical green extremists take power, it will be ‘One Man, One Vote, Once’ – the end of democracy.

To understand radical green objectives, see http://www.green-agenda.com/, excerpted below:

  • The common enemy of humanity is man. In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself.”
    – Club of Rome, premier environmental think-tank, consultants to the United Nations
  • “We need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination… So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts… Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.”
    – Prof. Stephen Schneider, Stanford Professor of Climatology, lead author of many IPCC reports
  • “Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”
    – Maurice Strong, founder of the UN Environment Programme
  • “The extinction of the human species may not only be inevitable but a good thing.”
    – Christopher Manes, Earth First!
  • “A massive campaign must be launched to de-develop the United States. De-development means bringing our economic system into line with the realities of ecology and the world resource situation.”
    – Paul Ehrlich, Professor of Population Studies
  • “One American burdens the earth much more than twenty Bangladeshes. This is a terrible thing to say. In order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it’s just as bad not to say it.”
    – Jacques Cousteau, UNESCO Courier
  • “No matter if the science of global warming is all phony… climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.”
    – Christine Stewart, former Canadian Minister of the Environment
  • “I suspect that eradicating small pox was wrong. It played an important part in balancing ecosystems.”
    – John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal
  • “We’ve got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.”
    – Timothy Wirth, President of the UN Foundation
  • “The extinction of Homo Sapiens would mean survival or millions, if not billions, of Earth-dwelling species. Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on Earth – social and environmental.”
    – Ingrid Newkirk, former President of PETA

    • “The goal now is a socialist, redistributionist society, which is nature’s proper steward and society’s only hope.”
      – David Brower, 
      first Executive Director of the Sierra Club, founder of Friends of the Earth

9. Conclusion

Radical green extremists have cost society trillions of dollars and many millions of lives. Banning DDT and radical green opposition to golden rice blinded and killed tens of millions of children.

Green energy and CO2 abatement schemes, driven by false fears of catastrophic global warming, have severely damaged the environment and have squandered trillions of dollars of scarce global resources that should have been allocated to serve the real, immediate needs of humanity. Properly allocated, these wasted funds might have ended malaria and world hunger.

The number of shattered lives caused by radical-green activism rivals the death tolls of the great killers of the 20th Century – Stalin, Hitler and Mao – radical greens advocate similar extreme-left totalitarian policies and are indifferent to their resulting environmental damage and human suffering… … and if unchecked, radical environmentalism will cost us our freedom.

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