Climate change isn’t about the environment
BY MARK W. HENDRICKSON
I discussed in my previous column some of the scientific issues pertaining to the climate change alarm sounded by a press release issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “Summary for Policymakers of IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC Approved by Government,” released on Oct. 8, 2018.
The IPCC is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change.
Now, let’s do a thought experiment: Pretend for a moment that you have never heard of “global warming” or “climate change.”
Focus entirely on the IPCC’s policy recommendations. The press release calls for “rapid and far-reaching” changes “in land, energy, industry, buildings, transports, and cities.” Among other major changes the U.N. wishes to oversee, as Brian McNicoll of Accuracy in Media summarized with the irony of massive understatement, “all we have to do is eat a third less meat, move into smaller houses, use mass transit, and switch entirely from fossil fuels to renewables.”
Question: What kind of political agenda does that sound like to you? The environmentalist movement today is dominated by an ideology that seeks massive government power over every important sphere of human activity.
Individual liberty must be curtailed. Environmentalism is simply the latest iteration of those illiberal ideologies—fascism, socialism, and communism—that share the worldview that the world is a critically messed up place that can only be saved if governments strip away individual rights and compel the masses to obey a government-designed central plan.
Without a doubt, the U.N. leans heavily toward socialism. Goal No. 10 of United Nations Agenda 2030 aims to “reduce inequality within and among countries,” which will “only be possible if wealth is shared.” The document goes on to advocate “making fundamental changes in the way that our societies produce and consume goods and services”—typical top-down central economic planning.
Climate Change Is About Wealth Distribution
Senior IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer has openly said, “One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. Instead, climate change policy is about how we redistribute … the world’s wealth.” There you have it from a climate change insider: The real agenda is wealth redistribution. Climate change is merely a convenient pretext.
And what about environmentalists here in the United States—do they have similar political goals? Yes, they do. I first became aware of the leftist orientation of the Green Movement in the 1970s. As a young teacher, I would periodically send a modest contribution to various environmentalist groups—the Sierra Club, the Cousteau Society, et al.
However, the more I read their publications, the clearer it became that these groups were not only lobbying for cleaner air and water—very worthy goals both then and now—they were also using—misusing, as I saw it—my donations to promote an entire slate of leftist/progressive causes, including unilateral U.S. disarmament in the face of Soviet aggression around the world, abortion, labor union privileges, etc.
Fast forward to the early 1990s, when the Soviet Union imploded. Socialism was discredited globally, but what happened to American socialist intellectuals and activists? Far from repenting and forsaking government control of economic activity, they cloaked their desire for bigger government in the green garb of environmentalism. That gave rise to the term “watermelon”—green on the outside but dark pink within.
At a Moscow conference in 1990, Mikhail Gorbachev, general secretary of the Communist Party, candidly said, “the threat of environmental crisis will be the international disaster key to unlock the new world order.” Gorbachev explicitly called for an international Green organization to further that agenda. Here’s where the plot thickens: Al Gore reportedly attended that conference.
We highly recommend Mark Hendrickson’s: The Big Picture: The Science, Politics, and Economics of Climate Change (2018)
The late Natalie Grant, an expert on Soviet disinformation, wrote in a 1998 article, entitled “Green Cross: Gorbachev and Enviro-Communism,” that Gorbachev’s plan included having environmental scare stories concocted and disseminated by pro-Moscow sympathizers and gullible dupes in academia, the sciences, and the press.
Today, there is abundant evidence of Russian involvement in domestic anti-fracking and anti-pipeline campaigns. The goal is to cripple U.S. production of fossil fuels so Russia can gain market share. Here, the Russians and the U.S. Greens make common cause.
The Russia-Environmentalist Connection
Kenneth Stiles, a retired CIA officer, has found a money trail leading from Russian energy interests through Bermuda to various U.S. environmentalist groups. Stiles declared that “without a doubt,” “environmental groups are … agents of influence to Moscow through [a] networking system of shell companies and foundations.”
It’s no coincidence that the IPCC issued its latest dire predictions just a month before the biennial elections in the United States. The IPCC would love to help Democrats retake control of Congress in next week’s [Nov. 2018] midterm elections. They seek revenge for President Donald Trump having the courage to withdraw from the so-called “Paris Climate Agreement,” which was a huge redistribute-the-wealth scheme. Surprise! It isn’t just the Russians who want to influence U.S. elections.
There is one more important indicator that climate-change hysteria isn’t primarily about the environment. Why is “green” a synonym for environment? It’s because we believe a healthy environment is lush and green, not barren and brown. That being the case, the environmentalist movement should be acknowledging with gratitude, and celebrating with joy the fact that the world has become noticeably greener over the past few decades.
A global study conducted by an international team of scientists and published two years ago in the journal “Nature Climate Change” found that Earth’s “greening over the past 33 years … is equivalent to adding a green continent about two times the size of the mainland USA.”
The primary cause of this global greening is the increased concentration of CO2—the elixir of plant life—in Earth’s atmosphere.
So what do the self-professed “greens” want? They clamor for anti-green policies. They want drastic reductions in CO2 emissions—bad for plants—reduced use of relatively cheap energy (especially bad for poor people), and they seek to impose heavy government controls over our daily lives—bad for everyone who isn’t one of the national and global political elites or their minions.
It isn’t within human capability to decide what Earth’s temperature will be in the coming years. However, it is very much within our power to decide whether we want to live in a free, prosperous society or in a highly regimented, poor society. The anti-green Greens favor the latter. I do not. Where do you stand?
This article appeared first in TheEpochTimes.com.
Self-Educated American Contributing Editor, Mark Hendrickson, is Adjunct Professor of Economics at Grove City College and Fellow for Economic and Social Policy at The Center for Vision & Values. He is also a contributing editor of The St. Croix Review, sits on the Council of Scholars of the Commonwealth Foundation, and is a columnist at TheEpochTimes.com
Dr. Hendrickson’s most recent books include: The Big Picture: The Science, Politics, and Economics of Climate Change (2018), Problems with Picketty: Flaws and Fallacies in Capital in the 21st Century (2015), Famous But Nameless: Inspiration and Lessons from the Bible’s Anonymous Characters (2011); and God and Man on Wall Street: The Conscience of Capitalism (with Craig Columbus, 2012).