Only in America. The recent Heartland Climate Conference in the ‘Free State’ of Florida was about much more than its headline billing. It was about a confirmation of traditional American values, free enterprise, free speech, patriotism, the nuclear family and tolerance for religious faith. In short, everything the modern Left despises. Climate change’s cult worship of a new religion of Gaia is just another stick to beat America’s traditional values and impose the collectivist new order of societal control of all thought, word and deed. Nothing like this ferocity of opposition is to be found in Europe. In the U.K., the number of elected Conservative politicians genuinely pushing back against the Left’s destructive agenda can be almost counted on the hand of Dr. Ian Plimer’s sawmill worker.
This is not a gathering of conspiracy nuts. There are no rabbit holes to escape from the reality of basic, hard sceptical science in this gathering. One of the seminar rooms was named in memory of Walt Cunningham, a physicist, past conference attender and an all round American hero having piloted the first Apollo mission. A climate sceptic and realist who did believe man went to the moon, a view shared, understandably, by fellow sceptics Buzz Aldrin and Apollo 17 scientist Harrison Schmitt. The latter, incidentally, helps confirm Plimer’s illustrated suggestion that geologists who believe humans cause all or most climate change are in exceedingly short supply.
One particularly insidious way the Left seeks economic control is through environmental, social and governance (ESG) scores. These enable unelected supra-national interest groups to change financial systems and traditional ways of assessing risk and allocating capital. This is a planned move away from shareholder capitalism to ‘stakeholder’ collectivism, where companies are punished if they fail to show sufficient subservience to climate and social justice issues.
Last year, Marlo Oaks, the Utah State Treasurer, pulled $100 million from Blackrock, one of the foremost promoters of ESG investing. Companies like Blackrock are not just holding shares in companies, they are engaging with them and changing them, said Oaks. Using the example of ExxonMobil, he noted that companies like Blackrock forced it to sell assets, which promptly ended up under Chinese control. “This engagement is undermining America,” he charged. When you shut down alternative viewpoints, you destroy innovation, he said. You end up with ‘experts’ running society such as the WEF, UN and the EU. “They all do such a wonderful job,” he added (to laughter).
Already there are a number of examples of the chaos that ESG is starting to cause with the catastrophe in Sri Lanka being the most prominent example to date. In April 2021, the Sri Lankan Government went down the ESG route at the urging of various international bodies and banned chemical fertiliser. Needless to say, crop production fell off a cliff with food shortages and hunger, followed by political collapse as the then president was run out of town. The Netherlands is following a similar EU directive and ordering massive cuts in the use of nitrogen fertiliser. Netherlands is a major world food grower and exporter, but its Government is driving many of its farmers off the land.
What is the problem with nitrogen you might ask? It comprises 78% of the atmosphere and plants, which take it from the soil, cannot grow without it. Well, it combines with oxygen and forms nitrous oxide, which, of course, is a greenhouse gas, sometimes known as a ‘satanic gas’. David Legates is a professor of climatology at the University of Delaware and he notes that because of margin of error considerations, climate models do not actually calculate any warming effect. In fact, in the atmosphere, nitrous oxide accounts for just 334 parts per billion. If you want to stop N2O in the atmosphere, you have to stop agriculture, argues Legates. At the heart of this war on fertiliser is a grim Malthusian notion. If you cut down on its use, you will reduce the world’s population. Since the 1960s, world food production has soared and the number of people in poverty around the world has declined. If they get away with a fertiliser ban, they will kill half the planet, Legates noted.
But, of course, in rabbit hole territory we have the increasingly fanatical George Monbiot in full St Simeon Stylites mode climbing onto his Guardian perch to demand an end to farming. Useful of course to Bill Gates, whose Foundation helps bankroll the newspaper with millions of dollars, and is reported to be the biggest buyer and owner of farmland in America. Bill, at least, still seems to think that people will need to eat – and who better to provide when all the new innovative plant and insects diets are introduced?
Dr. Patrick Moore spoke about the benefits of genetically modified crops, noting that most fruits and vegetables had been purpose bred to have the traits we desired. He noted the campaign against Golden Rice, which is modified to introduce beta-carotene and help the body produce vitamin A. Golden Rice, he noted, would have saved the eyesight of countless people in the developing world who rely on white rice as a staple food. The banning move is led by Greenpeace, a movement he helped establish in the 1980s. “It is a crime against humanity for which they should be punished,” he thundered.
Lord Monckton has been a leading figure in British politics and journalism for many years. He is credited with the maths behind the current eight years and five month pause in global temperatures. Christopher Monckton also calculates that it is impossible to get to Net Zero once the cost of running an electricity grid with over 30% wind and solar is taken into account. Already, he noted, Britain was losing all its heavy energy dependent industry due to the high cost of electricity. But it gets worse. The metals required to get to Net Zero are too scare. There aren’t even enough metals for the first 15 years of zero fossil fuel. Then all the batteries and wind farms have to be replaced.
It’s all climate BS, a less polite Monckton might have remarked. But this, as caught recently on CNN, is the opinion of Republican Senator Ron Jackson. He is a noted opponent of U.S. Covid policy, arguing that many of the pandemic measures didn’t control the virus, but controlled the economy. In a keynote address, he told delegates that a word that defined science was scepticism. “I’m a sceptic about all those climate predictions from the Malthusians and doom mongers. Just all those failed predictions ought to open peoples’ minds to the fact that they are wrong,” he said.
He went on to warn about the threat the Left poses today. “We are voting ourselves into poverty,” he said. Conservatives just do not get that everything the Left does is to control their lives. When they are in power, they implement “crazy” policies. They defund the police, fail to prosecute crime and allow sex and drug trafficking across an open border. Whoever thought we would have to defend the nuclear family, or that gender-changing drugs would be given to children? We were engaged in a fight for freedom, he said. “It has been depressing to see how many people are willing to give up their freedoms in the face of climate propaganda,” he remarked, but the fight must be won.
Climate change has corrupted science, he continued. The mainstream media is in the hands of radical Leftists, and children are being indoctrinated in the schools. As in the U.K., he might have noted, the U.S. electricity grid is vulnerable to “green energy crap”. It’s insane, lunacy, crazy – how are you going to get rid of fossil fuels? he asked.
Again, as in the U.K., the mainstream media makes it all look normal, Sen. Jackson concluded.
Chris Morrison is the Daily Sceptic’s Environment Editor.