A group of hard-left environmentalists calling themselves “Deep Green Resistance” has referred to solar and wind energy projects as “government-backed hoaxes.” In fact, not only do these people openly acknowledge what almost no one on the Left does — that the solar and wind power schemes are grossly inefficient — they have also labeled Al Gore a significant monetary beneficiary of government-financed projects that were supposed to diminish fossil fuel use and carbon dioxide emissions.
But Deep Green Resistance (DGR) also calls for “stopping the global economy,” which means terminating the economic system that has made life far more livable for most of the Earth’s population.
Pointing to the leading government-backed “hoaxes,” DGR says:
Wind turbines, solar panels, and the grid itself are all manufactured using cheap energy from fossil fuels. Solar panels and wind turbines aren’t made out of nothing. They are made out of metals, plastics and chemicals mined out of the ground, transported, processed and manufactured. Each stage leaves behind a trail of devastation: habitat destruction, water contamination, toxic waste, slave labor, greenhouse gas emissions, wars, and corporate profits.... Renewable energy technologies rely heavily on government subsidies taken from taxpayers and given to large corporations.
While some of the DGR claims are overstated, they are correct in noting that every step in the production of renewable energy products relies on energy made available from processes they condemn.
While the honesty evident in pointing out that renewable energy projects are heavily dependent on fossil fuel use is admirable, the alternative these people suggest — doing away with the capitalist system — is unrealistic. Clean up the system; make it less expensive; increase its efficiency while lowering its cost etc., are all needed. But abolishing the use of coal, oil, and natural gas shouldn't be shelved unless retreating to a horse-and-buggy existence is recommended.
We nevertheless welcome the DGR exposure of Al Gore as a classic profiteer who has made a fortune by spreading misinformation about global warming and its new name, climate change. Al left the vice presidency in 2001 with a net personal wealth under $2 million. He is now worth somewhere in the order of $300 million. Where did the new millions come from? DGR tells us, “Much of his enviable fortune has come from being an inside investor in government-backed renewable energy projects, many of which went belly up after the insiders made off with millions, leaving hard-working U.S. taxpayers with the bill.”
Asked during a 2009 congressional investigation if he has personally profited from his advocacy of global warming claims, Gore responded with prevarications or, if you prefer, outright lies. Ever since he started claiming dire consequences if mankind didn't stop using autos, industrial production, cooling and heating buildings, etc., his personal portfolio has grown enormously, his promotion of inefficient solar panels and wind turbines has increased, his condemnation of workable energy projects has continued, and his reliance on a variety of falsehoods hasn’t changed.
Deep Green Resistance has provided “climate change skeptics” with additional common sense ammunition in the raging battle to continue properly using what God has filled the Earth with. And the group’s pointing to Al Gore’s self-aggrandizing falsehoods is also most welcome. We do urge, however, that DGR drop its call for terminating the “global industrial economy.” That seems a bit like attacking a pesky mosquito with an ICBM.
John F. McManus is president emeritus of The John Birch Society.