Exposed: Government-Style ‘Fairness’ For The 1%

Liberals love to extol their deep compassion for the poor, whom conservatives allegedly don’t give a fig about. Thus, our Community-Organizer-in-Chief pontificates endlessly about income inequality, to justify his determination to “fundamentally transform” our nation, so that “everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.”

Those would be the same rules that let the IRS target conservatives, the VA make veterans wait months for treatment, and the EPA violate every standard of scientific integrity – with no repercussions. It’s clearly not corporations or most citizens who don’t play by the rules. It’s Obama bureaucrats, supporters and sycophants, who manipulate government powers to their financial and political advantage.

As to “fairness,” Mr. Obama’s politically-loaded definition is designed to inspire more class and racial warfare, especially among those who angrily assert that they are being abused by Big Oil, too-big-to-fail banks, callous healthcare insurers and other large corporations.

It’s also intended to distract from massive failures of so many liberal programs, such as Great Society welfare programs that have spent some $22 trillion to date and devastated black families and communities – and the Affordable Care Act, which has ensured that millions don’t get to keep their doctors but will get to pay another 20% in average premium increases for 2016, plus still higher deductibles.

But big-money donors, Hollywood actors and environmentalists increasingly call the shots on “fairness” issues in the energy and environmental policy arena. With the president calling climate change “the worst threat to future generations,” and more than 21,000 new regulations imposed since he took office, it’s clear that the 1 Percenters take priority over the 99 Percenters. Electric vehicles are a prime example.

At a starting price of $33,170 for a 2016 Chevy Volt to more than $101,000 for an electric Tesla Roadster (the cheapest model), these so-called “green” cars are far beyond the reach of most American families. In fact, most workers have less money today than 40 years ago: average American wages have fallen from $53,294 in 1973 to $50,383 in 2014, using constant 2014 numbers.

And yet, all levels of government have instigated numerous rules that favor electric and hybrid vehicles at the expense of American families, who continue to see costs rise for nearly every essential commodity, thanks to regulations, special tax treatments and executive actions. Only gasoline, diesel fuel and natural gas prices have fallen – thanks to the fracking revolution that has unleashed US oil and gas production.

Electric and hybrid car buyers get substantial government subsidies, including tax credits of $2,500 to $7,500 (depending on the car’s battery size). Electric utilities in several states also provide a special rate for plug-in vehicles, to reduce the cost of charging electric and hybrid cars. Some states even offer credits for the purchase of charging equipment. And it’s largely justified by global warming horror stories.

Many insurance companies, including Farmers, also support plug-in vehicle purchases via discounted auto insurance policies for electric and hybrid cars in Maryland and other states. Several states also offer free parking and free electric charging at government-operated, taxpayer-funded charging stations.

California also provides rebates to people who buy or lease green vehicles or buy specialized charging equipment to install in their homes. Sony Pictures Entertainment offers a $5,000 incentive to its wealthy Hollywood employees who purchase electric or hybrid cars.

In several jurisdictions, green car drivers can also avoid traffic morasses that the rest of us must endure. Special stickers give them access to HOV lanes (High Occupancy Vehicles) that drivers of gasoline-powered vehicles cannot enter without one or more passengers in the car.

In the District of Columbia, green car owners pay less on registration fees and get an exemption from the excise tax on their original certificate of title. Montana and several other states offer substantial tax credits and other benefits for electric car conversions. New Jersey gives a 10% discount on off-peak tolls for the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway. Warren, Rhode Island, gives residents with plug-in cars an excise tax exemption up to $100.

Who pays for all of these benefits (and many more that I haven’t listed)? We all do. Who benefits? Actor Leonardo DiCaprio for one – and others who share his lavish 0.01-percent lifestyle, while proudly driving their Teslas and flouting their sensitivity to ecological and climate “crises.”

These wealthy motorists also contribute less to transportation infrastructure. Drivers of gasoline and diesel-fueled vehicles pay a user fee each time they fill up: 18.4 cents per gallon in federal taxes for gasoline and 24.4 cents a gallon for diesel, to help pay for bridge and road construction and repairs. Electric and hybrid vehicle owners use the same roads and bridges – but pay zero to minimal fuel taxes.

Georgia, Washington and a few other states assess user fees on electric and hybrid vehicles to cover road projects, but politically connected green drivers strongly oppose them. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (who chaired a failed electric car company) repealed Virginia’s $64-a-year tax after he was elected.

According to a recent Experian Automotive study, owners of battery-powered cars are more than twice as wealthy as average Americans. They also tend to be richer and younger than those who buy hybrids. Of those who purchased electric cars in 2013, 21% had annual incomes of $175,000 or more.

Not surprisingly, seven of the top ten cities for green car shoppers are in California. This year’s top seller (a measly 17,000 sold through September) is the Tesla S, with an MSRP starting at $106,200. (The ten most popular “regular folks” vehicles sold 295,000 to 527,000 units apiece in 2014.)

Of course, the hefty sticker price does not include the multiple freebies Tesla owners receive: subsidies, rebates, tax forgiveness, and the other benefits that average Americans pay for but don’t enjoy. In the meantime, the Obama Administration continues inflicting financial pain on poor, minority and working class families through regulations and executive orders that raise costs and stop job creation in its tracks.

The worst of the lot is the new ground-level ozone standard, which has been called the most costly regulation in U.S. history. This rule alone threatens to destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs, curtail funding for highway improvements in national parks and other “nonattainment areas,” and prevent the expansion of businesses unless other similar businesses close down.

The deceptively named Clean Power Plan will sharply raise electricity costs for average ratepayers, while doing nothing to clean our air. New rules governing methane emissions will likely impair drilling and put upward pressure on oil and gas prices – the one bright spot that is helping working-class Americans save about $100 a month via lower fuel costs. The Obama EPA and Interior Department are also doing all they can to make more US onshore and offshore energy supplies off limits, wage war on all fossil fuels, and lock the United States into a punitive new climate treaty.

It is a litany of rules that only elitists with plenty of disposable income could love.

That is not fairness. It is an intentional way to enrich and empower the wealthy, while stealing from everyone else, by pushing through policies that penalize blue-collar workers and families but do little to improve health or environmental quality. What the president calls “fair” is legalized or dictatorial theft, perpetrated on the poor, to get Tom Steyer and Terry McAuliffe to raise more campaign funds for members of the president’s party.

Of course, President Obama isn’t the only one who uses the word “fair” in political remarks. In her first major speech on the economy, Hillary Clinton called for more lib-style “growth and fairness,” saying it would be “my mission from the first day I’m president to the last.” We can hardly wait.

This kind of crony-corporatist “compassion” has become the hallmark of environmentalism and climate change politics.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (, author of Eco-Imperialism: Green Power – Black Death, and coauthor of Cracking Big Green: Saving the World From the Save-the-Earth Money Machine.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

Is America Leading On The Paris Climate Treaty? It Shouldn’t.

What an unpalatable irony. The 1783 Treaty of Paris ended the Revolutionary War and created the United States. The 2015 Treaty of Paris could end what’s left of our democratic USA – and complete the “fundamental transformation” that the Obama Administration intends to impose by executive fiat.

Meanwhile, as a prelude to Paris, October 24 marked a full ten years since a category 3-5 hurricane last hit the United States. (Hurricane Wilma in 2005; Sandy hit as a Category 2.) That’s a record dating back at least to 1900. It’s also the first time since 1914 that no hurricanes formed anywhere in the Western Atlantic, Caribbean Sea or Gulf of Mexico through September 22 of any calendar year.

Global temperatures haven’t risen in 18 years and are more out of sync with computer model predictions with every passing year. Seas are rising at barely seven inches a century. Droughts and other “extreme weather events” are less frequent, severe and long-lasting than during the twentieth century. “Vanishing” Arctic and Greenland ice is freezing at historical rates, and growing at a record pace in Antarctica.

But President Obama still insists that dangerous climate change is happening now, and it is a “dereliction of duty” for military officers to deny that climate change “is an immediate risk to our national security.”

Meanwhile, the Washington Post intones: “Republicans’ most potent argument against acting on climate change – that other nations won’t cut emissions, so US efforts are useless – is crumbling. The European Union has had overlapping climate policies in place for years. China, the world’s largest emitter, continues to fill in details about how it will meet the landmark climate targets it announced a year ago. World negotiators are set to convene in Paris in November to bundle commitments from dozens of nations into a single agreement that should set the world on a path toward lower emissions.”

Right. A path toward less plant fertilizing carbon dioxide, to prevent “unprecedented disasters” that aren’t happening (except in SimPlanet computer models), by stabilizing a perpetually changing climate that is driven by powerful natural forces over which humans have no control – under a 2015 Paris treaty that will inflict global governance by unelected activists and bureaucrats, bring lower living standards to billions, and initiate wealth redistribution of at least $100 billion a year to ruling elites in poor countries.

For once, President Obama wants America to play a leadership role, through a war on carbon-based energy that his own EPA admits will reduce hypothetical global warming by an undetectable 0.02 degrees 85 years from now. If we slash our fossil fuel use, he insists, the rest of the world will follow. It’s delusional.

For once, we should lead from behind – instead of with brains in our behinds. A brief recap of what other nations are actually doing underscores how absurd and deceitful the White House, EPA and Post are.

European nations and the European Union have long claimed bragging rights for “leading the world” on “climate stabilization,” by replacing hydrocarbon fuels with renewable energy. Their efforts have done little to persuade poor nations to follow suit – but have sent EU energy prices skyrocketing, cost millions of Euro jobs and made the EU increasingly uncompetitive globally. Now, Europe says it will make an additional 40% emissions reduction by 2030, but only if a new Paris agreement is legally binding on all countries.

However, two months ago, China, India and Russia refused to sign a nonbinding US-sponsored statement calling for greater international cooperation to combat hypothetical warming and climate change. And virtually all developing countries oppose any agreement that calls for binding emission targets or even “obligatory review mechanisms” of their voluntary efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

What they do want is a treaty that guarantees $100 billion per year for climate change “mitigation, adaptation and compensation,” plus modern energy technologies given to them at no cost. And that appears to be only the opening ante. India environment minister Prakash Javadekar recently said “the bill for climate action for the world is not just $100 billion. It is in trillions of dollars per year.” Developed nations are “historically responsible” for climate change, he argues, and must ensure “justice” for developing countries by fully funding the Green Climate Fund. India alone must receive $2.5 trillion!

So far, pledges to the fund total just $700 million – and Prime Minister David Cameron has said Britain would provide a one-time contribution of only $9 million. He has called renewable energy “green crap” and plans to end all “green” subsidies by 2025, to reduce electricity prices that have sent millions of families into energy poverty and caused the loss of thousands of jobs in the UK steelmaking sector.

Germany’s reliance on coal continues to rise; it now generates 44% of its electricity from the black rock – more than any other EU nation. In Poland, Prime Minister Eva Kopacz says nuclear energy is no longer a priority, and her country’s energy security will instead focus increasingly on coal.

But it is in Asia where coal use and CO2 emissions will soar the most – underscoring how completely detached from reality the White House, EPA and Washington Post are.

China now gets some 75% of its electricity from coal. Its coal consumption declined slightly in 2014, as the Middle Kingdom turned slightly to natural gas and solar, for PR and to reduce serious air quality problems. However, it plans to build 363 new coal-fired power plants, with many plants likely outfitted or retrofitted with scrubbers and other equipment to reduce emissions of real, health-impairing pollution.

India will focus on “energy efficiency” and reduce its CO2 “emission intensity” (per unit of growth), but not its overall emissions. It will also boost its reliance on wind and solar power, mostly for remote areas that will not be connected to the subcontinent’s growing electrical grid anytime soon. However, it plans to open a new coal mine every month and double its coal production and use by 2020.

Pakistan is taking a similar path – as are Vietnam, the Philippines and other Southeast Asian nations. Even Japan plans to build 41 new coal-fired units over the next decade. Overall, says the International Energy Agency, Southeast Asia’s energy demand will soar 80% by 2040, and fossil fuels will provide some 80% of the region’s total energy mix by that date.

Africa will pursue a similar route to lifting its people out of poverty. No more solar panels on huts. The continent has abundant oil, coal and natural gas – and it intends to utilize those fuels, while it demands its “fair share” of free technology, “capacity building,” and climate “reparation” money.

During the 2011 UN climate conference in Durban, all nations agreed that the next treaty would have legally binding emission targets and mandatory reviews of emission reduction progress. They also set up the Green Climate Fund wealth redistribution scheme. Now those CO2-reduction pledges are in history’s dustbin, because developing nations believe they have the upper hand in any climate negotiations.

They’re probably right. President Obama told 60 Minutes his definition of leadership is “leading on climate change,” and he desperately wants a legacy beyond his Iran, Iraq, Syria, Russia, Ukraine, Bowe Bergdahl and economic disasters. Moreover, Western nations have created a climate monster and Climate Crisis Industry, which must be appeased with perpetual sacrifices: expensive and unreliable energy, fewer jobs, lower living standards and more dead people. No wonder Asian and African countries expect to get trillions of dollars, free energy technology, and a free pass from any binding commitments.

Voters, consumers, elected officials and courts must wake up and take action. House Speaker Paul Ryan, members of Congress, governors, business leaders and presidential candidates need to learn the facts, communicate forcefully, repudiate destructive energy and climate policies – and let the world know the Senate will reject any Obama treaty that binds the USA to slashing emissions and transferring its wealth.

Above all, they must debunk, defund and demolish the mountains of anti-fossil fuel, anti-job, anti-growth, anti-family regulations that Obama & Co. have imposed – or plan to impose before they leave office – in the name of preventing a climate crisis that exists only in their minds and models.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow ( and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

EPA Unleashes Health-Hammering Ozone Rules

A federal worker named Bob recently called our local talk-radio station, outraged that a failed budget deal could cause a government shutdown that leaves him unable to pay his bills. He blamed Republicans, failed to mention that compromise also involves Obama and Democrats – and left out another important detail: if there is a shutdown, when it ends he will get paid retroactively.

But when he and his fellow bureaucrats impose mountains of regulations, they cost businesses billions of dollars a year, kill millions of jobs, and leave thousands of families and hundreds of communities worse off, struggling to make ends meet. Those folks never get retroactive pay.

The Obama/EPA war on coal has shuttered power plants and mines across dozens of states, leaving thousands unemployed. That’s left truck and equipment makers, tool shops, steel mills and other suppliers – from Kentucky to Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Wisconsin and beyond – struggling to find customers. That impacts restaurants, grocery and clothing stores, schools, hospitals and other businesses: every lost mining or power plant job affects four jobs in other sectors of our far-flung economy.

Reduced drilling, due to low oil and gas prices and the emerging EPA and Big Green war on natural gas, compound these problems. So does the Pandora’s Box of other federal regulations: ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank and FATCA financial rules, and seemingly endless EPA dictates on soot and dust, puddles and creeks, carbon dioxide and other alleged problems, often for minuscule or imaginary benefits.

Complying just with federal regulations already costs American businesses and families over $1.9 trillion a year, and the EPA alone is tacking on an additional $100 billion in new costs this year.

The EPA refuses to calculate how many private sector jobs all this has killed or kept from being created, or how many people’s financial, physical and psychological health has been bludgeoned when they are rendered unemployed and unable to pay their bills. Nor have any bureaucrats been held accountable for regulations that are based on ideological agendas, junk science or even outright fraud, or for abusing their powers to go after conservative groups (the IRS) or even members of Congress (the Secret Service).

And now, the EPA has slapped us with yet another hugely expensive final rule – on ozone.

Just 18 years ago, the agency reduced allowable ambient ozone levels to 84 parts per billion (equivalent to 84 cents out of $10,000,000). In 2008, the Bush EPA lowered the standard again, to 75 ppb. But the Obama EPA wasn’t satisfied. In 2009, it said it would slash the standard to 70 or even 60 ppb.

However, this action would have been a political atomic bomb, so the White House postponed the decision until after the 2012 elections. Then, under yet another collusive sue-and-settle lawsuit between the EPA and rabid environmentalists, the EPA promised to finalize a new rule by October 1, 2015.

Now, the agency has “compromised” at 70 ppb. A Business Roundtable study found that almost every US county met the 84 ppb ozone standard, and 90% met the 75 ppb standard. A 60 ppb rule would have put 96% of those counties out of compliance, but even the 70 ppb rule will send many into noncompliance. It will hammer power generation, manufacturing and shale gas production, and raise electricity prices.

To understand how draconian it is, Grand Canyon National Park is now out-of-attainment, at 72 ppb. So are Mammoth Cave National Park at 75 ppb, Rocky Mountain National Park at 77, and Great Smokey Mountain National Park at 79. Yellowstone NP barely slips under the new EPA limbo bar at 66 ppb.

That’s because volatile organic compounds that are ozone precursors don’t come just from refineries, power plants, factories, automobiles and other hydrocarbon use. They come from volcanoes, hot springs and trees: deciduous trees emit VOCs on hot, sunny days; conifers emit them day and night. They also come from “clean, green” ethanol. A new NOAA study found that ethanol refineries emit up to 30 times more VOCs than originally assumed – and 170 times more than when ethanol is burned in cars.

The EPA doesn’t mention those inconvenient truths. It says its new standard will cost “only” $3.9 billion a year. That deliberately low-balled, out-of-thin-air number doesn’t even pass the laugh test. It is leagues removed from National Association of Manufacturers and other analyses that calculated a 65 ppb ozone standard would reduce America’s economic output by $140 billion annually and cost 1.4 million jobs lost or not created per year, for 25 years. Reality for 70 ppb is far closer to the NAM than to the EPA.

The simple fact is, the 70 ppb ozone rule is yet another rock shoved in the pocket of a drowning man. A measly 142,000 new jobs were created last month. Over 40 million Americans are unemployed, under-employed or have given up on finding a job. Over 47 million are on food stamps. The labor participation rate plunged to 62.4% in September, its lowest since October 1977, on a mere 34.5-hour work week.

So now, the EPA trumpets alleged health benefits. The new rule will result in fewer asthma attacks among children and save lives, the agency insists. Hogwash. As physician Charles Battig explains, the new standard will only save theoretical lives. The supposedly fewer ozone-related deaths will occur “in a computer-generated fantasy world, where epidemiological data-torturing takes place by bits and bytes, not in the hospital admission records for real-life patients.”

In that EPA world, lives theoretically saved are concocted using higher pollution levels from decades ago, when ozone and other air contaminants really did affect human health. The faulty data are fed into a series of computer models, to generate garbage in-garbage out calculations used to justify regulatory edicts.

But in the real world, aggregate emissions of ozone, particulate matter (soot), carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and lead plummeted 63% since 1980. Refinery emissions of volatile organic compounds were slashed 69% between 1990 and 2013, ozone-forming emissions are projected to decline another 36% over the next decade, and ground-level ozone levels have already fallen by a national average of 18% since 2000. Meanwhile, reported asthma rates have risen – but not because of pollution.

Today’s kids likely have more asthma attacks because they spend more time indoors, enjoy less time outside in the dirt, and don’t get exposed to enough allergens during childhood to reduce their immune hyperactivity and allergic hypersensitivity. They respond more readily to allergen exposures that would have caused few reactions in previous generations. Cold air can also trigger asthma attacks, as can higher pollen and fungi spore levels, and perhaps low-fat diets that reduce surfactant layers on lung tissues.

In short, national-park-level ozone is not the bogeyman that the EPA claims it is. However, the new rules will affect numerous states, counties, cities, industries – and highway safety projects that lose federal funding because natural sources, local emissions or even VOCs from China raise ozone levels above 70 ppb.

The EPA claims “only” 358 counties around the US will be pushed into nonattainment status by the arbitrary new standard. But even that is too many, and another 1,500 counties could be at risk if the EPA begins monitoring their ozone levels. That will affect job creation and preservation, especially in metro areas.

The National Association of Manufacturers, National Black Chamber of Commerce, American Association of Blacks in Energy, business owners and leaders, mayors, governors, state legislators, members of Congress, and health and traffic experts asked the EPA to retain the 2008 standard.

As Small Business and Entrepreneurship president Karen Kerrigan has noted, they pointed out that areas like Chicago, Gary and Denver, with large poor and minority populations, would lose tens of thousands of jobs, see average household incomes decline by hundreds of dollars a year, and be forced to spend billions of dollars to comply with the new standard. People’s health and well-being would decline, they emphasized, instead of improve. Kerrigan’s Center for Regulatory Solutions provided many more facts.

The EPA ignored them all, reiterated its false health benefit claims, and imposed the costly new standards.

Affected parties should file lawsuits to prevent the EPA from enforcing the new rule, courts should block the regulation, and Congress should delete EPA funding to implement this health-impairing program.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death, and coauthor of Cracking Big Green: Saving the world from the Save-the-Earth money machine.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

Pope Francis On Climate Change: A Conversation … Or A Lecture?

We must “enter into dialogue with all people about our common home,” Pope Francis recently told the US Congress, frequently quoting from his Laudato Si encyclical. “We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge … and its human roots concern and affect us all.”

I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately, the pontiff seems more interested in a lecture than a conversation on climate change, energy and economic development, and improving the lives of Earth’s poorest families.

The pope’s advisors believe humans are destroying our planet and dangerously changing its climate. Instead of seeking dialogue with those who disagree with them, they denounce and try to silence contrarian voices. They dominated the Vatican’s April 2015 summit, while experts who question claims that climate change is manmade or dangerous were not invited or permitted to speak, or even ask questions during the summit; nor was their input considered during the encyclical’s preparation.

Many of those advisors (Jeffrey Sachs, Hans Schellnhuber, Peter Wadhams, Naomi Oreskes and others) hold views that can best be described as extreme: on energy use, climate change, population control, and how much poor nations should be “permitted” to develop. They are deeply involved in and profit greatly from a $1.5-trillion government-funded climate crisis industry that owes its continued existence to perpetuating the manmade global warming narrative and silencing those they vilify as “climate deniers.”

They have little knowledge of the enormous complexities of Earth’s climate system – and little concern about the impacts their policy prescriptions have on US or EU working classes, or Third World poor. Those people may be protected against climate risks created by computer models; but their livelihoods, living standards, upward mobility, health and welfare are gravely impaired by policies imposed in the name of preventing climate and weather events that are no different, more frequent or more extreme than those which have affected and afflicted humans throughout our presence on this miraculous planet.

Yet, an official document issued by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences after the climate summit declared that “human-induced climate change is a scientific reality,” its “decisive mitigation is a moral and religious imperative for humanity,” and we now have the knowledge, technological ability and financial means to prevent manmade climate change. The document’s title demands “transformative solutions.”

The Laudato Si (“Praise Be to You”) encyclical continues in a similar vein. The Earth “is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth,” it declares. “Thousands of species are being lost” every year. “If present trends continue, this century may well witness extraordinary climate change and unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequences for all of us.”

Right after calling for a conversation, Pope Francis told Congress, “Now is the time for courageous actions,” to “avert the most serious effect of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity.”

None of these statements – nor proclamations and decrees from the White House and EPA – suggests that any of these church leaders, climate activists or government officials want anything remotely resembling a conversation. Furthermore, history and reality flatly contradict their assertions about climate disasters.

Coal, oil and natural gas began replacing wood, whale oil, water wheels, horses and human labor less than two centuries ago. Since then, billions of people have been lifted out of abject poverty, terminal disease, borderline starvation and early death. Average global life expectancy has soared from barely 30 (48 in the richest nations) in 1900 – to 71 today. American welfare families now live better than kings did in 1900.

Over just the last 25 years, again thanks mostly to carbon-based fuels, almost 1.5 billion people finally received the incredible blessings of electricity. And yet, 1.3 billion (equal to the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe) still rely entirely on wood, charcoal and animal dung for heating and cooking. Every year, 4-6 million of them (mostly women and young children) die from lung and intestinal diseases, due to breathing smoke from open fires and not having clean water, refrigeration and unspoiled food.

Climate activists nevertheless continue to campaign against coal and gas-fueled power plants in energy-deprived Africa and Asia – while other environmentalists rail against hydroelectric and nuclear power, against GMO crops that would survive droughts and feed millions, and against pesticides and the spatial mosquito repellant DDT that could eradicate malaria, slash poverty rates and save millions of lives.

Radio host Thom Hartmann told me 1.5 million Syrian refugees were heading to Europe because of a drought resulting from fossil fuel use and CO2 emissions. He went into high decibel mode when I said his claim was absurd – that they were fleeing genocidal ISIS butchers who are cutting off children’s heads.

In Britain, 1,700 workers are about to lose their jobs at the Redcar steel plant, along with 4,000 supply chain workers and contractors and many more people in communities that relied on those jobs – because climate concerns force factories to pay a £8 ($12) surcharge on their electricity bills for every ton of steel produced. In the USA, EPA’s climate, ozone, water and other regulations are already costing thousands of jobs, and impairing the welfare of numerous families, for marginal or delusional health and climate benefits.

This is not “preferential treatment for the poor.” It is war on women, children, workers and the poor. It protects people against dangers that exist only in climate change computer models and press releases – while eliminating jobs, sending families to welfare lines, and perpetuating energy deprivation, disease and malnutrition that kill millions of people every year.

Coal-fired power plants certainly pollute Chinese and Indian cities. But they produce critically needed electricity and greatly improve living standards. Readily available emission control technologies will be added when their citizens demand it and growing economies make the systems more affordable.

These hard realities make climate change a critical moral and social justice issue. So it seems fair to ask why Pope Francis appears unwilling to have a real conversation about these human rights issues – and about the most fundamental issue of all: whether humans are actually causing a climate crisis.

Weather experts cannot provide accurate forecasts seven weeks or even seven days in advance. Predicting the number of hurricanes before the season begins, or even in the midst of a season, is a hugely daunting task. Even as its intensity began to build, and even as the storm began pounding the Bahamas, specialists could not project Hurricane Joaquin’s ultimate force, trajectory or possible US landfall. Why would we trust models that assume carbon dioxide causes climate change and ignore numerous natural forces?

And why do we believe assertions that hurricanes and other storms will increase in number, intensity and duration because of CO2? Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels continue to rise, and yet this year marks the first time since 1914 that no hurricanes formed anywhere in the Western Atlantic, Caribbean Sea or Gulf of Mexico through September 22. And as of October 4, it has been 517 weeks since a Category 3-5 hurricane hit the continental United States. That’s a record dating back at least to 1900.

There is likewise no evidence that a single species has disappeared because of manmade climate change.

Finally, Pope Francis also decries “material greed” and worries about our “naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power,” under the “prevailing [capitalist] economic system.” In so doing, he fails to address the political greed that drives many politicians, bureaucrats and environmental activists. He seems to trust in the goodness of those who wield immense political power over what we think, say and do … and over the livelihoods, living standards and very lives of millions and billions of people – too often with little or no accountability for the consequences of their decisions.

So absolutely, let us have a real, open, robust conversation about these issues. And let us include everyone in it, because the energy, environmental and human rights challenges concern and affect us all.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death, and coauthor of Cracking Big Green: Saving the world from the Save-the-Earth money machine.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

Unbelievable: Alarmists Want Skeptics Prosecuted Under RICO

They haven’t employed the thumb screws, rack or auto-da-fe that churches and states once used to interrogate, silence and eliminate heretics and witches. However, global warming alarmists are well practiced in the modern equivalents, to protect their $1.5-trillion Climate Crisis Industry.

They see only what they want to see, and publicize only what they want us to see. They refuse to debate anyone who questions the nature, severity or reality of “manmade climate change dangers” that are the foundation of their demands that we slash fossil fuel use, lower our living standards, and accept global government planning of economies and massive climate “adaptation and reparation” payments.

They collude to hide and manipulate data, and employ computer models that make the Little Ice Age disappear and global temperatures climb rapidly after 1950. They pressure editors to keep contrarian papers out of scientific journals, and present false claims that 97% of scientists agree that humans are causing dangerous climate change. They take billions from government agencies whose policies and regulations they promote. They blindly ignore the serious adverse effects that their policies have on blue-collar families and the world’s poor. Imbued with religious zeal, now they’re really ramping it up.

Led by Jagadish Shukla and four associates at his George Mason University-based Institute of Global Environment and Society, NCAR researcher Kevin Trenberth and 14 little-known “climate scientists” joined in signing anastounding letter that shows how far they will go to defend their turf and cause.

It asks President Obama, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Obama science advisor John Holdren to investigate “organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change,” under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.

The letter claims the organizations’ actions “have been extensively documented,” and their “misdeeds” must be “stopped as soon as possible,” so that the world can “restabilize the Earth’s climate, before even more lasting damage is done” to human health, agriculture, biodiversity and the world’s poorest people.

The letter’s ironies, fallacies and falsehoods are almost too numerous to recount.

First, the attack on skeptic scientists was launched from a university named for George Mason, the patriot who wrote the original Virginia version of our Bill of Rights. They include freedom of speech, association, assembly, petitioning our government, and not having livelihoods and other property unreasonably seized. Sadly, it reflects the appalling state of “academic freedom” on too many campuses, which today celebrate every kind of diversity except diversity of opinion.

Second, this action is a blatant effort to (a) coerce, intimidate, slander and silence scientists and organizations that question human-caused climate dangers; (b) forcibly shut down skeptic research, funding, speech and publication; (c) destroy skeptics’ funding, businesses and livelihoods; (d) protect alarmist funding, standing and influence; and (e) bankrupt skeptics, who would have to spend personal fortunes responding to RICO charges and a Justice Department that has limitless resources at its disposal.

Third, the RICO-20 signed their names as members of university faculties and government agencies – suggesting that they represent their organizations and/or these organizations endorse their efforts. If that is the case, it represents another blatant double standard – and a tacit endorsement of the RICO agenda.

Will those institutions now demand that the RICO-20 remove any mention of their affiliations? Will they step forward to vigorously defend academic freedom, constitutional rights, and a scientific method that is severely undermined by this letter and other toxic battles over manmade climate cataclysm claims?

Fourth, RICO is used to prosecute underlying patterns or practices of criminal behavior. This letter may constitute just “acting out.” But whether it represents a pattern of alarmist parties illegally engaging in items (a) through (e) above by calling for criminal prosecution of climate skeptics – or whether opposing the ideological and political campaign for the anti-fossil fuel climate agenda constitutes the required “criminal enterprise” – remains unanswered.

In any event, the “misdeeds” alluded to in the RICO-20 letter are studies, reports and discussions that contradict alarmist allegations and what skeptics charge are exaggerations, fabrications and computer model failures that underlie those claims. This extensive library of challenges to the climate chaos thesis includes peer-reviewed NIPCC Climate Change Reconsidered reports, international climate skeptic conferences, and numerous articles, op-eds, interviews and briefings. They clearly undermine climate chaos theory, but they are protected free speech and reflect honest, replicable science.

This raises the fifth point, that “racketeering” means conducting a “racket.” The term is commonly understood to mean fraudulently offering to solve a problem, because the problem does not actually exist and/or the proffered “solution” would do nothing to solve the problem. Many would say this definition accurately describes the Climate Crisis Industry.

Climate change has been “real” throughout Earth and human history. Driven by powerful natural forces that we do not yet understand and certainly cannot control, it has ranged from gradual to sudden, from beneficial to harmful or even devastating. Contrary to alarmist assertions and computer models, there is still no observational evidence that what we are experiencing today: is different from what our ancestors confronted; is now driven by plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide instead of by the natural forces of yore; or could be prevented or controlled by ending fossil fuel use and dramatically lowering our living standards.

In fact, the notion that we can “restabilize” an unstable and frequently fluctuating planetary climate is ludicrous. So is any claim that carbon-based fuels are superfluous or readily dispensable – or that they are more damaging to human health, agriculture, biodiversity and the world’s poorest people than eliminating those fuels and relying on expensive, land-intensive, unreliable wind, solar and biofuel “substitutes.”

Equally doubtful is any suggestion that the IGES/COLA (Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies) can understand or predict Earth’s ongoing climate variations by focusing on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, and ignoring the solar, cosmic, oceanic and other natural forces that govern climate.

However, IGES/COLA derived 99.6% of its 2014 funding ($3.8 million in taxpayer money) from NASA, NOAA and the National Science Foundation, according to IRS Form 990 and other documents. Under the Obama Administration, those agencies have been almost completely co-opted by the alarmist climate agenda – and would likely terminate funding for any organization that expressed doubts about CO2, reduced its focus on greenhouse gases, or reengineered its climate models to reflect the full panoply of natural forces and thereby better assure accurate monsoon and climate forecasting.

Indeed, the latest Form 990 reveals that Dr. Shukla and his wife received salaries and other compensation totaling $499,145 in 2014 from their tax-exempt research organization. Dr. Shukla worked there only part-time, and his $333,048 compensation package “was presumably on top of his $250,866-per-year [George Mason] academic salary.” That totals $750,000 a year to the RICO-20 leader and his family “from public money for climate work & going after skeptics,” Professor Roger Pielke, Jr. wrote.

The ultimate irony would be an evenhanded investigation that exonerates the skeptic organizations that the RICO-20 want investigated – and results in charges against multiple corporations and organizations (and government agencies?) that engaged in collusion, data manipulation, junk modeling and other deceitful climate research practices that have been highlighted over the years.

The Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups could well be what inspired the now fashionable idea of using the Justice Department to prosecute political opponents. The failure of the IRS and DOJ to penalize any of the perpetrators in those cases suggests that prosecution of alarmist fraud or racketeering is highly unlikely under the current administration.

However, the new 2017 administration could take a very different position. At the very least, a new Congress and Executive Branch could derail the climate alarm money train, initiate robust (and long overdue) debate on climate science and models, provide equal funding to skeptics, and end the alarmism. Potential sauce for the gander should make Dr. Shukla and fellow alarmists think twice about their tactic.

This RICO travesty shows how desperate alarmists have become. They are losing the climate science fight. Their models are increasingly contradicted by reality. Their ad hominem attacks will ultimately fail.

They also face major odds in Paris, where they may get a toothless treaty that makes empty promises to redistribute hundreds of billions of dollars from Formerly Rich Countries whose energy use and economic growth are hobbled – but places no binding emission targets on poor countries that will keep developing, burning coal and sending atmospheric carbon dioxide levels ever higher … with no effect on the climate.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death, and coauthor of Cracking Big Green: Saving the world from the Save-the-Earth money machine.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by