Table of Contents1. Communism and the Environmental Movement
a. The Three Stages of Environmentalism b. The Marxist Roots of Environmental Movements c. Ecological Marxism d. Ecological Socialism e. Making Green the New Red f. Manipulating the Rhetoric of Environmentalism g. Ecoterrorism h. Greenpeace: Not a Peaceful Story2. Climate Change
a. The Suppression of Opposing Voices b. ‘Consensus’ in Climate ScienceReferences
Such quotes reflect the traditional ideas, found not just in China but also in ancient cultures around the world, of practicing moderation in all things and of cherishing and protecting the natural environment.
Since the Industrial Revolution, society has become increasingly aware of the severe ecological damage caused by pollution. Starting in the West, this damage has been partially offset by the passage of laws and regulations to protect the environment. In first-world countries, the importance of environmental protection is universally acknowledged.
Less well-understood, however, is how environmentalist narratives dominant in society today have been shaped and manipulated by communism. Though the rationale for environmental protection is legitimate, and many people have a genuine desire to improve the environment and safeguard humanity’s future prosperity, communist elements have commandeered much of the environmental movement to advance their own political agendas. Communism’s infiltration of environmentalism has been underway virtually since the beginning of the movement.
Environmental science is a complex field of study, with research that remains far from conclusive findings on subjects such as climate change. Yet under the influence of left-wing ideology, many “green” activists and organizations have simplified and turned environmental protection into a highly politicized struggle, often employing extreme methods and radical narratives — sometimes to the point of religious fervor. Rather than following the ancient teachings of moderation and conservation, radical leftist environmentalists eschew morality and tradition in their crusade against everything they deem the “enemy” of environmentalism, from private business to procreation. Mixed with other radical movements, the green cause has come to be defined by misleading propaganda and authoritarian political measures, turning environmentalism into a kind of “communism-lite.”
1. Communism and the Environmental MovementAfter the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Eastern European communist bloc, communists continued to spread their influence in both Eastern and Western societies, while also seeking to establish a tightly controlled global government.
a. The Three Stages of EnvironmentalismThe environmental movement's formation and development bear significant influence from communist ideology. Its development can be broken down into three stages.
The First StageThe first stage was a theoretical “gestation period,” which can be traced to the years from the 1848 publication of The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, through to the first Earth Day in 1970.
Marx and his followers did not regard environmentalism as the focus of their theoretical discourse, but Marxist atheism and materialism were naturally consistent with the main tendency of the modern environmental movement. Marx declared that capitalism is opposed to nature (that is, the environment). Marxists devised the term “ecosystem” and quietly infused environmentalism with various public issues.
The Second StageAt the macro level, the counterculture of the 1960s functioned almost like a military parade of communist elements in the West. They took the stage by co-opting the civil rights and anti-war movements, and then quickly spread to other forms of struggle against the “system,” including the feminist movement, the sexual revolution, and environmentalism. This is the root of the upsurge in environmental ideology and agitation.
The Third StageThe third stage began on the eve of the Cold War’s conclusion, when communism was in political collapse in Eastern Europe. Around this time, communists began to change gears by pushing the narrative of “saving the world.”
In 1988, the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme created the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and the concept of global warming began to enter the political realm. In 1990, months before the collapse of the Soviet Union, Moscow hosted an international conference on the environment. Speaking at the conference, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev advocated for the establishment of an international environmental monitoring system and a covenant to protect “unique environmental zones.” He also expressed support for UN environmental programs, and a follow-up conference, which was subsequently held in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 
What seemed to be the majority of Western environmentalists accepted these proposals and came to view global, man-made climate change as the primary threat to humankind. Propaganda that used environmental protection as an excuse for heavy-handed policies suddenly escalated, and the number and scale of environmental laws and regulations proliferated rapidly.
b. The Marxist Roots of Environmental MovementsEastern tradition views human beings as the spirit of all matter and one of the Three Talents (heaven, earth, and human beings), while Western religions teach that man was created by God in his own image. Thus, human life is endowed with higher value, purpose, and dignity. Nature exists to nourish humankind, and humans have an obligation to treasure and care for the natural environment.
In the eyes of atheists and materialists, however, human life has no such special quality. Engels wrote in one of his essays, “Life is the mode of existence of protein bodies.”  In this view, human life is no more than a configuration of proteins, no different in any essential manner from animals or plants — thus, it is only logical that humans may be deprived of freedom, and even their lives, for the supposed cause of protecting nature.
In the update to his 1840s book on organic chemistry, German chemist Justus von Liebig criticized British farmers for using imported guano as a fertilizer. British agriculture had benefited from the bird manure, an efficient fertilizer, and crop yields had significantly increased. By the middle of the nineteenth century, the British had ample high-quality food sources. Von Liebig listed various arguments against overreliance on the imported fertilizer, among which was the impact that collecting the guano had on island bird populations, as well as its long-term unsustainability. He also objected to the longer lifespans and larger families of the well-fed British populace, arguing that more people meant more environmental damage. 
After Vladimir Lenin and his Bolshevik Party launched their 1917 coup in Russia, they quickly promulgated the Decree on Land and the Decree on Forests to nationalize land, forest, water, mineral, animal, and plant resources, and prevent the public from using them without authorization.
The global environmental movement has involved a large number of thinkers, politicians, scientists, social activists, and media personalities. This text does not have sufficient space to enumerate their thoughts, speeches, and actions in full, but one figure cannot be ignored: Maurice Strong, the founder and first executive director of the UN Environment Programme. Strong, a Canadian, also organized UN conferences including the 1972 Conference on the Human Environment and the 1992 Conference on Environment and Development. He was deeply influenced by his cousin, Anna Louise Strong, a well-known pro-communist journalist who supported the Chinese communist movement and was buried in China. Strong described himself as “a socialist in ideology, a capitalist in methodology.” 
Strong came to occupy an important place in the global environmental movement. The views espoused by the UN agency led by Strong appear almost identical to Marxist theory; the preamble to the report of the 1976 World Conference on Human Settlements read: “Private land ownership is a principal instrument of accumulating wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice. Public control of land use is therefore indispensable.”  Strong lived in Beijing after his retirement, but died in Canada in 2015.
c. Ecological MarxismAt the juncture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, British scientist Arthur Tansley originated the ideas of ecology and the ecosystem. Tansley was the first chairman of the British Ecological Society, and while attending University College, London, he was deeply influenced by Darwinian zoologist Ray Lankester.  Both were Fabian socialists. Lankester was a frequent houseguest and friend of Marx; he once wrote to Marx saying that he was studying Das Kapital (Marx’s 1867 text) “with the greatest pleasure and profit.” 
The originating links between ecological ideas and Marxism appear to emerge in these connections between Tansley, Lankester, and Marx. While environmentalism is an ideology concerned with protecting the environment against general damage and misuse, ecology concerns the relationship between living things and their environment, and thus provides the theoretical basis for defining the harm done to the environment. Eco-Marxism takes these ideas a step further, adding the concept of ecological crises to augment its arguments about the economic collapse of capitalism. It seeks to expand the supposed conflict between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat by adding an inherent conflict between production and the environment. This is the theory of double crisis or double conflict. In Marxist theory, the primary conflict of capitalism is between productive forces and the relations of production, while the secondary conflict happens between the environment of production (the ecosystem) and the productive forces (capitalism). In a Marxist view, the primary conflict leads to economic crisis, while the secondary conflict leads to ecological crisis. 
d. Ecological SocialismAs its name suggests, ecosocialism is an ideology combining ecology and socialism. Inserting typical socialist demands, such as “social justice,” along with ecological concerns is an attempt to advance socialist ideology in new ways.
e. Making Green the New RedWhen environmentalism entered politics, green politics, or ecopolitics, was born. Green parties, now established in many countries, are the result of green politics, which typically extends beyond environmental protection to include left-wing programs such as social justice, feminism, anti-war activism, and pacifism. Global Greens, for instance, is an international organization associated with the Green Party, and its 2001 charter is heavily influenced by Marxist ideology.  After the fall of communist regimes in Eastern Europe, many former communist party members and remaining communist forces joined or established green parties, strengthening the leftist character of green politics.
Former Soviet leader Gorbachev also tried and failed to re-enter politics. He then switched to environmentalism and established Green Cross International. Gorbachev has often promoted the establishment of a world government to prevent ecological disaster. 
f. Manipulating the Rhetoric of EnvironmentalismStarting mass movements is one of communism’s strategies for spreading its influence across nations and the world. Many environmental organizations mobilize large numbers of people to take part in environmental protection campaigns. They have lobbied and hijacked government institutions to formulate and enforce unreasonable agreements and regulations. They have also created violent incidents in order to silence the general public.
As the radical leftist Saul Alinsky stated, it is necessary to hide the true purposes of a movement and mobilize people on a large scale to act in support of local, temporary, plausible, or benign goals. When people become accustomed to these moderate forms of activism, it is relatively easy to get them to act for more radical aims. “Remember: once you organize people around something as commonly agreed upon as pollution, then an organized people is on the move. From there it’s a short and natural step to political pollution, to Pentagon pollution,” Alinsky wrote. 
A variety of leftist groups use environmentalism as ideological packaging to carry out street actions advocating revolution. For example, if a country has a “people’s climate movement,” you can infer that it is a product of communist parties. In the United States, the organizations involved include the Communist Party USA, Socialist Action, the Maoist Revolutionary Communist Party USA, the Ecological Society of America, the Socialist Workers Party, Socialist Alternative, the Democratic Socialists of America, and so on. Such groups hosted the People’s Climate March, parading with a sea of red flags through major American cities, including the nation's capital. Slogans at these events have included “System change, not climate change,” “Capitalism is killing us,” “Capitalism is destroying the environment,” “Capitalism is killing the planet,” and “Fight for a socialist future.” 
g. EcoterrorismThere are many branches of radical environmentalism, including deep ecology, ecofeminism, social ecology, and bioregionalism, with some being extremely radical. The most well-known include groups such as Earth First! and Earth Liberation Front, which utilize direct action — often destructive acts known as ecoterrorism — to stop activities they consider damaging to the environment.
Earth First! was named in 1979, and its slogan is “No compromise in defense of Mother Earth!” The group targets logging operations, dam construction sites, and other projects using direct action and “creative civil disobedience.” One of the group’s well-known tactics is called tree sitting, in which members sit under or climb up trees to prevent logging. These operations have attracted many leftists, anarchists, and others seeking to rebel against mainstream society.
In 1992, some of the more radical members started a branch called Earth Liberation Front (ELF), copying the ELF name from the Environmental Life Force group that was disbanded in 1978, as well as adopting its guerrilla tactics, particularly arson. In December 2000, ELF perpetrated a series of crimes on Long Island, New York. The radicals smashed hundreds of windows and spray-painted graffiti in a housing development and at the corporate offices of McDonald’s, and set fire to sixteen buildings in a condominium development, as well as at least four luxury homes. The main justification for the arson was that the homes were the “future dens of the wealthy elite” and were being built over forest and wetlands. While committing these direct actions, ELF used the slogan “If you build it, we will burn it.” 
h. Greenpeace: Not a Peaceful StoryGreenpeace was established in 1971 and is the largest environmental organization in the world, with offices in more than fifty countries and annual revenues of more than $350 million. It is also one of the more radical environmental organizations.
Greenpeace co-founder Paul Watson, who left the organization in 1977, said: “The secret to [former chairman] David McTaggart’s success is the secret to Greenpeace’s success: It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true. ... You are what the media define you to be. [Greenpeace] became a myth, and a myth-generating machine.” 
Patrick Moore, another co-founder, was committed to environmental protection, but left the organization after 15 years, saying it had taken “a sharp turn to the political left.” It had developed into an extremist organization displaying hostility toward all industrial production and reflecting an agenda based more on politics than on sound science. 
In 2007, six Greenpeace members broke into a British coal power plant and were subsequently sued for causing damage worth about 30,000 British pounds. They admitted to attempting to shut down the power plant, but claimed that they were doing it to prevent even greater damage (an environmental crisis due to greenhouse gases). The court cleared the six of wrongdoing. Before this, Greenpeace had chalked up several court wins over actions such as damaging a fighter jet and nuclear submarine equipment, and occupying Britain's largest waste incinerator. 
The strategy of radical environmental organizations such as Greenpeace is to use any means necessary to achieve their goals. On this point, radical environmentalism is highly consistent with communism. Traditional Marxism-Leninism uses the promise of an eventual utopia to justify killing, arson, and robbery. Similarly, under the banner of environmentalism, communists play up environmental crises to legitimize violent and illegal tactics.
2. Climate ChangeClimate change is one of the hottest topics in public discourse today, with celebrities, media personalities, politicians, and members of the general public weighing in. The most frequently heard assertion is that the emission of greenhouse gases by humans has caused global warming that will lead to climate disasters.
Advocates claim that this conclusion is reached through scientific consensus and that the science is settled. To some environmentalists, people who reject this conclusion are not only considered anti-science, but also anti-humanity. The voices of those who oppose the prevailing view are stifled, seldom appearing in the media or academic journals, in order to maintain the image of a consensus.
The aforementioned Greenpeace members who damaged the power plant were acquitted in part because a famous expert and proponent of this alleged consensus testified on their behalf. He claimed that the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the power plant each day would lead to the extinction of up to four hundred animal species.
a. The Suppression of Opposing VoicesIn one article, Koonin wrote:
The public is largely unaware of the intense debates within climate science. At a recent national laboratory meeting, I observed more than 100 active government and university researchers challenge one another as they strove to separate human impacts from the climate’s natural variability. At issue were not nuances, but fundamental aspects of our understanding, such as the apparent — and unexpected — slowing of global sea-level rise over the past two decades. The issues hotly debated by scientists include whether environmental warming is caused primarily by human activity or by natural factors; how warm the world will be by the end of the twenty-first century; whether humans even have the ability to predict how the climate will change in the future; and whether there is an impending ecological disaster.
I have no doubt that ... a trend of global warming exists. I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with. To assume that it is a problem is to assume that the state of earth’s climate today is the optimal climate, the best climate that we could have or ever have had and that we need to take steps to make sure that it doesn’t change. First of all, I don’t think it’s within the power of human beings to assure that the climate does not change, as millions of years of history have shown, and second of all, I guess I would ask which human beings — where and when — are to be accorded the privilege of deciding that this particular climate that we have right here today, right now, is the best climate for all other human beings. I think that’s a rather arrogant position for people to take. Although Griffin was expressing the humility that scientists should have, he immediately encountered severe criticism from the media and some climate scientists, who called his remarks ignorant. The following week, in a closed meeting at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, Griffin apologized to NASA employees for causing controversy. 
A few months later, in an interview for a NASA publication, Griffin said: “I personally think people have gone overboard in the discussion of climate change, to the point where it has become almost not legitimate to view it as a technical subject. It has almost acquired religious status, which I find deplorable.”
Taking Griffin’s observation, the use of all means to stifle scientific debate itself violates the spirit of science, as scientific progress itself is the result of debate. “You develop your theories, publish your data, advance your concept, and others shoot it down, or try to. Scientific consensus evolves in that way,” he said. 
In a similar experience to Griffin's, Swedish meteorologist Lennart Bengtsson received immediate and intense backlash from his peers around the world when he was asked to join the board for the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), a think tank that challenges global warming theories. The pressure was so intense that he felt forced to tender his resignation from the foundation within two weeks.
I have been put under such an enormous group pressure in recent days from all over the world that has become virtually unbearable to me. If this is going to continue I will be unable to conduct my normal work and will even start to worry about my health and safety. I see therefore no other way out therefore than resigning from GWPF. I had not expect[ed] such an enormous world-wide pressure put at me from a community that I have been close to all my active life. Colleagues are withdrawing their support, other colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship etc.
I see no limit and end to what will happen. It is a situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy. I would never have expect[ed] anything similar in such an original peaceful community as meteorology. Apparently it has been transformed in recent years. The transformation that Bengtsson observed was the result of communist ideology and struggle tactics hijacking environmental science.
b. ‘Consensus’ in Climate ScienceIn 1988, the UN’s IPCC was established to assess and synthesize the science related to climate change. One of its missions is to evaluate existing scientific research on climate change and release an authoritative report every several years. These reports are designed to provide a scientific basis for governments in their policy making. They are authored by hundreds of scientists and reviewed by thousands more. Hence, the reports' conclusions are often described as being the consensus of thousands of the world’s top scientists.
Statements of Uncertainty Removed From IPCC ReportsBefore the IPCC released its 1995 Second Assessment Report, world-renowned physicist Frederick Seitz obtained a copy. Seitz later discovered that the final report was not the same version that contributing scientists had approved. All statements expressing uncertainty about the effects of human activity on climate change had been deleted.
- “None of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed [climate] changes to the specific cause of increases in greenhouse gases.”
- “No study to date has positively attributed all or part [of the climate change observed to date] to anthropogenic [man-made] causes.”
- “Any claims of positive detection of significant climate change are likely to remain controversial until uncertainties in the total natural variability of the climate system are reduced.” 
In April 2000, a first draft of the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report said, “There has been a discernible human influence on global climate.” The second draft in October said, “It is likely that increasing concentrations of anthropogenic greenhouse gases have contributed significantly to observed warming over the past 50 years.” In the final, official conclusion, the statement was even stronger: “Most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.”
When the UN Environment Programme’s spokesman, Tim Higham, was asked about the scientific basis behind the change, he told New Scientist, “There was no new science, but the scientists wanted to present a clear and strong message to policymakers.” 
‘Disaster Consensus’ Overstated in IPCC ReportPaul Reiter, medical entomology professor at the Pasteur Institute in France, is a leading expert on malaria and other insect-borne diseases. He disagreed with the IPCC report and had to threaten legal action against the IPCC to get his name removed from the list of two thousand top scientists who were said to have endorsed it. He said that the IPCC “make[s] it seem that all the top scientists are agreed, but it’s not true.” 
In his testimony during a US Senate hearing on April 26, 2006, Reiter said: “A galling aspect of the debate is that this spurious ‘science’ is endorsed in the public forum by influential panels of ‘experts.’ I refer particularly to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Every five years, this UN-based organization publishes a ‘consensus of the world’s top scientists’ on all aspects of climate change. Quite apart from the dubious process by which these scientists are selected, such consensus is the stuff of politics, not of science.” 
Another scientist who withdrew from the IPCC accused the organization of using so-called disaster consensus as part of its operational culture. Meteorologist Christopher Landsea, a former hurricane researcher at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and a lead author of the IPCC’s fourth assessment report, withdrew from the IPCC in January 2005. In an open letter, he stated, “I personally cannot in good faith continue to contribute to a process that I view as both being motivated by preconceived agendas and being scientifically unsound.” He urged the IPCC to confirm that the report would adhere to science rather than sensationalism. 
Landsea criticized the lead author of the IPCC report’s chapter on hurricane activity for ignoring the scientific studies that could not prove that increased hurricane activity was related to man-made global warming. Instead, the lead author of the report spoke at a high-profile press conference in which it was asserted that global warming was "likely to continue spurring more outbreaks of intense hurricane activity," and gave several interviews before the report was published presenting the same view.
Though hundreds of scientific papers refute the IPCC’s alleged consensus, their assertions have been marginalized in the current academic and media environment.
References1. Dong Zhongshu 董仲舒, Chunqiu fan lu, di shisi 春秋繁露 [Luxuriant Dew of the Spring and Autumn Annals], fu zhi xiang 服制象 [“Images for the Regulation of Dress”], 14, https://ctext.org/chun-qiu-fan-lu/fu-zhi-xiang/zh. The line in question appears both as “天之生物也，以养人” and “天地之生萬物也以養人.” [In Chinese]
9. Ibid., 11–15.
12. Natalie Grant Wraga, as quoted in Vernon, “The Marxist Roots.”