Chapter Sixteen, Part I: The Communism Behind Environmentalism (UPDATED)

The specter of communism did not disappear with the disintegration of the Communist Party in Eastern Europe

The Epoch Times is serializing an adaptation from the Chinese of a new book, How the Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World, by the editorial team of the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

1. 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 Story

2. Climate Change

a. The Suppression of Opposing Voices
b. ‘Consensus’ in Climate Science

References

Introduction

The Creator provides the conditions for human life and all things on earth. Traditional cultures emphasize the benign, symbiotic relationship between man and nature. As the ancient Chinese philosopher Dong Zhongshu wrote in Luxuriant Dew of the Spring and Autumn Annals, “Everything on earth was created for the benefit of man.” [1] At the same time, people must maintain respect for nature, following the principles of heaven and earth.

In traditional Chinese philosophy, there is a balance between everything, as well as the imperative to avoid doing harm. The Confucian Doctrine of the Mean states: “Moral laws form one system with the laws by which heaven and earth support and contain, overshadow and canopy all things. … It is this same system of laws by which all created things are produced and develop themselves each in its order and system without injuring one another; that the operations of nature take their course without conflict or confusion.” [2] The Chinese ancients thus valued protection of the environment. According to legendary records, during the time of Emperor Yu the Great roughly four millennia ago, “in the three months of the spring, people didn’t take axes to the forest so the forest could flourish; in the three months of the summer, people didn’t put nets to rivers so fishes could breed.” [3] Zeng Zi, a disciple of Confucius, wrote, “Wood should only be cut down in the right seasons and animals only slaughtered at the right time.” [4]

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 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 environmental 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.”

This chapter will focus on how environmentalism as an ideology has come to be wed to communism, and how the environmental movement was hijacked, manipulated, and co-opted into serving communism’s aims.

1. Communism and the Environmental Movement

After 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.

In order to achieve this, communism must create or use an “enemy” that threatens all of humankind and intimidates the public around the world into handing over both individual liberty and state sovereignty. Creating global panic about looming environmental and ecological disasters is a route toward achieving its goals.

a. The Three Stages of Environmentalism

The formation and development of the environmental movement has been inextricably linked with communism. Its development can be broken down into three stages.

The First Stage

The 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.

In the last decade of this phase, from 1960 to 1970, two best-selling books — Silent Spring (1962) and The Population Bomb (1968) — brought environmentalism to the public arena. The former raised legitimate concerns about the damage done to the natural environment by chemical pesticides, while the latter advocated immediate and widespread population control, sowing the seeds for the anti-human undercurrents of the communist-influenced environmental movement.

The Second Stage

At 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, then quickly spread to other forms of battles 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 first Earth Day, held in 1970, marked the beginning of the second stage. Shortly after, in 1972, the United Nations held its first Conference on the Human Environment, in Stockholm. A battery of organizations and monitoring groups were rapidly formed. In the United States and Europe, these groups pushed governments by using protests, propaganda, activism under the guise of scientific research, and so on.

The Third Stage

The 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. In a speech, the general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, 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. [5]

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 environmental laws and regulations proliferated rapidly.

Owing to the politicization of environmentalist issues, propaganda and hype have overshadowed sound policy and scientific research, as will be discussed later in this chapter.

b. The Marxist Roots of Environmental Movements

Eastern 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.” [6] 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. [7]

Marx carefully studied von Liebig’s work when writing Das Kapital and used his arguments to attack the capitalist system. Marx praised von Liebig’s work for having “developed from the point of view of natural science, the negative, i.e., destructive, side of modern agriculture.” [8]

Marx regarded any effort to create wealth by using natural resources as a vicious cycle, with the conclusion that “a rational agriculture is incompatible with the capitalist system.”
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.

American meteorologist and author Brian Sussman wrote in his 2012 book Eco-Tyranny: How the Left’s Green Agenda Will Dismantle America that Marx and Lenin’s ideas form the basis of those of today’s environmentalists. In their view, no one has the right to profit from natural resources. “Whether it’s saving the forests, whales, snails, or the climate, it all comes back to a deep-rooted belief that the quest for such profit is immoral and will ultimately destroy the planet unless ground to a halt,” Sussman wrote. [9]

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 was buried in China. Strong described himself as “a socialist in ideology, a capitalist in methodology.” [10]

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.” [11] Strong lived in Beijing after his retirement, but died in Canada in 2015.

Natalie Grant Wraga, an expert on the Soviet Union’s disinformation tactics, wrote in a 1998 article: “Protection of the environment has become the principal tool for attack against the West and all it stands for. Protection of the environment may be used as a pretext to adopt a series of measures designed to undermine the industrial base of developed nations. It may also serve to introduce malaise by lowering their standard of living and implanting communist values.” [12]

c. Ecological Marxism

At 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. [13] 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.” [14]

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 damage to the natural environment generally, 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. [15]

The last century has proven wrong the Marxist prediction that capitalism would collapse in on itself. On the contrary, it continues to prosper. To keep up the fight against capitalism and private business, communists infused environmentalism with Marxist theory, adopting the new rallying cry of “ecological collapse.”

d. Ecological Socialism

As 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.

A good illustration of ecosocialism is The Ecosocialist Manifesto, written in 2001 by Joel Kovel and Michael Löwy. Kovel was an anti-Vietnam War activist and later psychiatry professor who ran unsuccessfully for the Green Party presidential nomination in 2000. Löwy, a sociologist, is a member of the Trotskyist Fourth International. In the manifesto, the authors resolve to “build a movement that can replace capitalism with a society in which common ownership of the means of production replaces capitalist ownership, and in which the preservation and restoration of ecosystems will be a fundamental part of all human activity.” They did not view ecosocialism as merely a branch of socialism, but rather as the new name of socialism in a new era. [16]

e. Making Green the New Red

When 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. [17] 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. [18]

Many communist parties in the West are directly involved in environmental-protection movements. Jack Mundey, a union activist and co-founder of Australia’s green ban movement, was a member of the Communist Party of Australia. His wife was the national president of the Party from 1979 to 1982. [19]

f. Manipulating the Rhetoric of Environmentalism

Starting 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 wage 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. [20]

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.” [21]

With more and more communist and socialist elements to strengthen environmentalism, “green peace” has made a full transition to red revolution.

g. Ecoterrorism

Due to its leftist influences, environmentalism has been relatively radical from the start. There are many branches, 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.” [22]

In 2005, the FBI announced that ELF and other extremist organizations were a serious terrorist threat to the United States, having claimed involvement in more than 1,200 criminal incidents, causing tens of millions of dollars in property damage, since 1990. [23] The organization’s actions have long since exceeded the limits of normal political protest or differences in views. Communist ideology has exploited hatred to turn some environmentalists into terrorists.

h. Greenpeace: Not a Peaceful Story

Greenpeace 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.” [24]

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. [25]

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. [26]

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.

In the above example, lawyers for the six Greenpeace members successfully persuaded the jury to accept their criminal behavior as legitimate, demonstrating that society can be misled into accepting specious and groundless arguments. All of this is part of the abandonment of universal values and is an indication of the moral downslide of society.

2. Climate Change

Climate change is a hot topic in today’s society, 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.

However, many members of the scientific community, such as retired Massachusetts Institute of Technology meteorology professor Richard Lindzen and former US Department of Energy Undersecretary Steven Koonin, have written that climate science isn’t, in fact, settled and that we lack the knowledge needed to make sound climate policy. [27] [28]

a. The Suppression of Opposing Voices

In 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. [29]

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.

Physicist Michael Griffin, a former NASA administrator, said in an interview with NPR in 2007:

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. [30]

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. [31]

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. [32]

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.

In his resignation letter, Bengtsson wrote:

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 expecting 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 expecting anything similar in such an original peaceful community as meteorology. Apparently it has been transformed in recent years. [33]

The transformation that Bengtsson observed was the result of communist ideology and struggle tactics hijacking environmental science.

The alleged scientific consensus regarding climate change has transformed climate-change theory into dogma. Climate change is a crucial tenet of today’s environmentalism, one treated as sacrosanct and inviolable. The scientists, media, and environmental activists who accept this tenet work together to spread the belief in an imminent ecological disaster. This has become an important tool used by the environmental movement to frighten the public into accepting leftist political agendas, including tax hikes and takeovers by big government, all in order to “save them” from doom. Through the process of establishing and solidifying this dogma, the techniques of communist-style political struggle are all apparent — including deception, mobbing, public shaming, and open conflict.

b. ‘Consensus’ in Climate Science

In 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.

In 1992, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) stated that its goal was to stabilize the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic (human-induced) interference with the climate system. It began with the assertion that climate change was caused by humans and was dangerous. [34] Therefore, the UNFCCC must operate under the assumption that humans are the culprits behind dangerous climate change, as this is necessary for the organization’s existence and survival. This assumption has also restricted the focus and scope of the IPCC’s inquiry. [35]

Statements of Uncertainty Removed From IPCC Reports

Before 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.

Seitz’s article in The Wall Street Journal stated, “In my more than 60 years as a member of the American scientific community, including service as president of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Physical Society, I have never witnessed a more disturbing corruption of the peer-review process than the events that led to this IPCC report.” [36]

The deleted statements included the following:

  • “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.” [37]

The IPCC claimed that all modifications were approved by the authors, but the changes reveal how the IPCC’s reporting was influenced by politics. The report mostly summarizes existing studies without adding original research. Because the existing research contains so many different views, achieving a consensus meant the IPCC simply got rid of the views that stood in the way.

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.” [38]
Put another way, the UNFCCC gave a homework assignment to the IPCC, making the answer they wanted clear. The IPCC then delivered what was required.

‘Disaster Consensus’ Overstated in IPCC Report

Paul 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.” [39]

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.” [40]

For example, environmentalists have been promoting the theory that insect-borne diseases such as malaria will wreak havoc as the climate warms. “Global warming will put millions more people at risk of malaria and dengue fever, according to a United Nations report that calls for an urgent review of the health dangers posed by climate change,” a Bloomberg article stated on November 27, 2007. [41]

But Reiter does not agree with this simple correlation, pointing out that malaria is not confined to tropical areas. Throughout the Russian Empire and Soviet Union in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, up to five million people died annually from the disease. [42] A 2011 study published in Biology Letters found that, contrary to the prevailing assumption, rising temperatures decrease a mosquitoes’ infectiousness and malaria transmission slows down. [43]

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. [44]

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.

David Deming, a geologist and geophysicist at the University of Oklahoma, obtained the 150-year historical temperature data for North America by studying ice cores and wrote an article about his research, which was published in Science. After publication, Deming said “a major researcher in the area of climate change” sent him an email saying, “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period,” according to Deming’s testimony at a US Senate hearing in 2006. The Medieval Warm Period refers to a period of unusually warm weather that began around AD 1000 and persisted until a cold period in the fourteenth century known as the “Little Ice Age.”

More than 780 scientists from 462 institutions in 40 countries had contributed to papers over the course of 20 years saying that the Medieval Warm Period existed, Deming testified. However, erasing this period from the historical curve of climate change strengthens the claim that any warming today is unprecedented. [45]

Though hundreds of scientific papers refute the IPCC’s alleged consensus, their assertions have been marginalized in the current academic and media environment.

Read Next: Chapter Sixteen, Part II

Updated July 2, 2020.

Read the series here: How the Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World

References

1. 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]

2. Confucius, The Universal Order or Conduct of Life, a Confucian Catechism (Being a Translation of One of the Four Confucian Books, Hitherto Known as the Doctrine of the Mean), (Shanghai: Shanghai Evening Post & Mercury Limited, 1906), 68, https://bit.ly/2T74Dsb.

3. Yi Zhou shu 逸周書 [Lost Book of Zhou], “Da Jujie” 大聚解, https://ctext.org/lost-book-of-zhou/da-ju/zh. [In Chinese]

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5. Wes Vernon, “The Marxist Roots of the Global Warming Scare,” Renew America, June 16, 2008, https://web.archive.org/web/20100724052619/http://www.renewamerica.com:80/columns/vernon/080616.

6. Friedrich Engels, “Notes and Fragments,” in Dialectics of Nature, trans. Clemens Dutt (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1883), 295–311, accessed via Marxists Internet Archive on April 30, 2020, https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1883/don/ch07g.htm.

7. Brian Sussman, Eco-Tyranny: How the Left’s Green Agenda Will Dismantle America (Washington, DC: WND Books, 2012), 8–9.

8. Karl Marx, as quoted in Sussman, Eco-Tyranny, 10.

9. Ibid., 11–15.

10. Maurice Strong, as quoted in Grace Baumgarten, Cannot Be Silenced (Grand Rapids, MI: WestBow Press, 2016).

11. Sussman, Eco-Tyranny, 35.

12. Natalie Grant Wraga, as quoted in Vernon, “The Marxist Roots.”

13. John Bellamy Foster, “Marx’s Ecology in Historical Perspective,” International Socialism Journal 96 (Winter 2002), http://pubs.socialistreviewindex.org.uk/isj96/foster.htm.

14. Ray Lankester, as quoted in Lewis S. Feuer, “The Friendship of Edwin Ray Lankester and Karl Marx: The Last Episode in Marx’s Intellectual Evolution,” Journal of the History of Ideas 40, no. 4: 633–648.

15. James O’Connor, Natural Causes: Essays in Ecological Marxism (New York: The Guilford Press, 1997).

16. Joel Kovel and Michael Löwy, “The First Ecosocialist Manifesto,” September 2001, accessed April 30, 2020, http://green.left.sweb.cz/frame/Manifesto.html.

17. Bob Brown and Peter Singer, The Greens (Melbourne: Text Publishing Company, 1996), 55.

18. Mikhail Gorbachev, “We Have a Real Emergency,” The New York Times, December 9, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/10/opinion/10iht-edgorbachev.html.

19. “Jack Mundey,” Sydney’s Aldermen, accessed April 30, 2020, http://www.sydneyaldermen.com.au/alderman/jack-mundey.

20. Saul Alinsky, “Tactics,” in Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals (New York: Vintage Books, 1971).

21. Zombie, “Climate Movement Drops Mask, Admits Communist Agenda,” PJ Media, September 23, 2014, https://pjmedia.com/zombie/2014/9/23/climate-movement-drops-mask-admits-communist-agenda.

22. Dan Barry and Al Baker, “For ‘Eco-Terrorism’ Group, a Hidden Structure and Public Messages,” The New York Times, January 8, 2001, https://www.nytimes.com/2001/01/08/nyregion/for-eco-terrorism-group-a-hidden-structure-and-public-messages.html.

23. Noel Moand, “A Spark That Ignited a Flame: The Evolution of the Earth Liberation Front,” in Igniting a Revolution: Voices in Defense of the Earth, eds. Steven Best and Anthony J. Nocella, II (Oakland, CA: AK Press, 2006), 47.

24. Paul Watson, as quoted in Leslie Spencer, Jan Bollwerk, and Richard C. Morais, “The Not So Peaceful World of Greenpeace,” Forbes, November 1991, accessed via the Heartland Institute, https://www.heartland.org/_template-assets/documents/publications/the_not_so_peaceful_world_of_greenpeace.pdf.

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26. John Vidal, “Not Guilty: The Greenpeace Activists Who Used Climate Change as a Legal Defence,” The Guardian, Sept 10, 2008, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2008/sep/11/activists.kingsnorthclimatecamp.

27. Richard Lindzen, “The Climate Science Isn’t Settled,” The Wall Street Journal, last updated November 30, 2009, https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748703939404574567423917025400.

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29. Steven E. Koonin, “A ‘Red Team’ Exercise Would Strengthen Climate Science,” The Wall Street Journal, April 20, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-red-team-exercise-would-strengthen-climate-science-1492728579.

30. Michael Griffin, “NASA Chief Questions Urgency of Global Warming,” interview by Steve Inskeep, National Public Radio, May 31, 2007, https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=10571499.

31. Alicia Chang, “NASA Chief Regrets Remarks on Global Warming,” NBC News, June 5, 2007, http://www.nbcnews.com/id/19058588/ns/us_news-environment/t/nasa-chief-regrets-remarks-global-warming.

32. Michael Griffin, as quoted in Rebecca Wright, Sandra Johnson, and Steven J. Dick, eds., NASA at 50: Interviews With NASA’s Senior Leadership (Washington, DC: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2009), 18, https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/716218main_nasa_at_50-ebook.pdf.

33. Lennart Bengtsson, as quoted in “Lennart Bengtsson Resigns: GWPF Voices Shock and Concern at the Extent of Intolerance Within the Climate Science Community,” The Global Warming Policy Foundation, May 5, 2014, http://www.thegwpf.org/lennart-bengtsson-resigns-gwpf-voices-shock-and-concern-at-the-extent-of-intolerance-within-the-climate-science-community.

34. US Congress, House, Committee on Science, Space and Technology of the United States House of Representatives, Hearing on Climate Science: Assumptions, Policy Implications and the Scientific Method, 115th Cong., 1st sess., March 29, 2017, https://docs.house.gov/meetings/SY/SY00/20170329/105796/HHRG-115-SY00-Wstate-CurryJ-20170329.pdf.

35. Ibid.

36. Frederick Seitz, “Major Deception on Global Warming,” The Wall Street Journal, June 12, 1996, https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB834512411338954000.

37. Ibid.

38. Tim Higham, as quoted in Larry Bell, “The New York Times’ Global Warming Hysteria Ignores 17 Years of Flat Global Temperatures,” Forbes, August 21, 2013, https://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2013/08/21/the-new-york-times-global-warming-hysteria-ignores-17-years-of-flat-global-temperatures.

39. Paul Reiter, as quoted in Christopher C. Horner, Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud, and Deception to Keep You Misinformed (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2008), 319.

40. US Congress, Senate, Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Projected and Past Effects of Climate Change: A Focus on Marine and Terrestrial Systems, 109th Cong., 2nd sess., April 26, 2006.

41. Bloomberg, as quoted in James Taylor, “Mosquitoes Ignore Global Warming Predictions,” Forbes, October 5, 2011, https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2011/10/05/mosquitoes-ignore-global-warming-predictions/#20938da66c1b.

42. Leonard J. Bruce-Chwatt, “Malaria Research and Eradication in the USSR,” World Health Organization Bulletin, 1959, accessed via National Institutes of Health on April 30, 2020, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2537933/pdf/bullwho00505-0074.pdf.

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44. Christopher Landsea, as quoted in James Taylor, “Climate Scientist Quits IPCC, Blasts Politicized ‘Preconceived Agendas,’” The Heartland Institute, April 1, 2005, https://www.heartland.org/news-opinion/news/climate-scientist-quits-ipcc-blasts-politicized-preconceived-agendas?source=policybot.

45. US Congress, Senate, Committee on Environment and Public Works, Full Committee Hearing on Climate Change and the Media, 109th Cong., 2nd sess., December 6, 2006, https://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/hearings?ID=BFE4D91D-802A-23AD-4306-B4121BF7ECED.