ROCKWELL: Well, welcome to the Lew Rockwell Show. And how wonderful it is to have as our guest this morning from London, Mr. James Delingpole. Anybody who is interested in both good writing and the truth about climate science and all the various things that Al Gore is involved in – (laughing) – and similarly the green movement, the anti-human environmental movement, reads and loves James Delingpole in The Telegraph and The Spectator.
James, I used to read you in The Times, too, but since the pay wall went up, I'm sorry to say I don't. But –
– I highly recommend his books. We'll link to all of them in this podcast – Watermelon: The Green Movement's True Colors; 365 Ways to Drive a Liberal Crazy – that's a great title – (laughing) – Welcome to Obamaland: I've Seen Your Future and It Doesn't Work – just the three most recent ones.
So, James, since real science versus, quote, unquote, "science that we're always told to bow down in obsequious to," has long ago shown that the whole global warming thing is a bunch of hooey, what is the reason it continues to dominate?
DELINGPOLE: I think it's because, although they have effectively lost the science war, they continue to win the political war. Which is to say that all the mechanisms that they've set up over the last two decades for allowing their ponzi scheme to thrive, allowing all the corporatist rent seekers who stand to make billions of dollars out of this massive scam, these people are not going to go away easily.
A classic example of this is wind farms. Wind farms do not generate electricity on any commercially competitive level. The only reason that wind farms can survive is through government subsidy, which is – you know and I know, being good von Mises types – means money is stolen from the taxpayer and funneled into the pockets of rent-seeking businessmen.
Now, this is going on in Britain. Our prime minister, David Cameron, his father-in-law, Sir Reginald Sheffield, Bt. – that means he's a baronet. Sir Reginald Sheffield gets 1000 pounds every day from the taxpayer for allowing eight enormous wind turbines to be sited on his 2,000-acre estate. This is criminal. This is the opposite or Robin Hood. This is the rich being allowed, through government intervention, to take money from the poor.
And we see it going on in America as well. Obama has staked America's economic future on these mythical creatures called green jobs. And what about that $38.6 billion he has spent of your money on a loan guarantee program for clean tech start-up companies like Solyndra?
ROCKWELL: No, it's true. And, of course, also that sports car, electric sports car company has gotten vast subsidies, too, and these are cars that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece. So the whole thing is really for the benefit of the rich –
ROCKWELL: – the Hollywood types and so forth who are driving an electric car. And I'm all for electric cars, of course, if they're made in the market.
DELINGPOLE: Well, of course. And Hollywood stars are exactly the kind of people who have been backing the green ponzi scheme. Because if you're Leo DeCaprio, for example, you really don't have much time to actually read stuff about what's going on in the hard world of real science. All you deal with is that touchy-feely – oh, yeah, the baby polar bears, they're dying.
I've seen that picture. I've seen the picture of the polar bears on that ice floe –
– and they look all lonely and endangered. And I read somewhere that they're going to drown, so I better appear on the cover of Vanity Fair with a baby polar bear cub so that people know how nice and caring I am.
Well, Lew, you and I deal in the realm of fact. And if the facts show that the world is dangerously warming and that this dangerous warming process is genuinely due to human influence, then I think you and I would be the first to admit that something needed to be done. But the fact is, as I show in part of this book, Watermelon, the evidence for man-made global warming is vanishingly small, to the point of nonexistence. The only people who are predicting disastrous man-made climate-change catastrophe are computer modelers and economists who are part of this green ponzi scheme, and rent-seeking businessmen and scientists who want the grant money. But no earth scientist, no real scientist is predicting this stuff because the evidence speaks otherwise.
ROCKWELL: Well, even Al Gore obviously doesn't believe it. As you know, he recently bought a very expensive mansion right on the coast of California and it's right at sea level.
ROCKWELL: So if this is the guy who believes the oceans are rising, why – (laughing) – of course, he doesn't believe that. He knows it's all a trick. It's made him, of course, very rich.
DELINGPOLE: Well, any people, of course, who can afford these days to buy expensive waterside properties, are people who are involved in the global-warming industry. I mean, this guy called Tim Flannery, in Australia, has recently bought a luxury riverside home for himself on the money he gets from being Australia's climate commissioner. There is so much money involved in this ponzi scheme if you are on the right side of the debate.
You know, I am sick, as a so-called denier, of being accused by the other side of being in the pay of big oil.
I would love some money from big oil.
I would love some money –
ROCKWELL: Where's the check, yes – (laughing).
DELINGPOLE: – from the Koch brothers. But the fact is that unfortunately all the money goes the other way. There's a great Australian blogger called Joanne Nova who calculated that three and a half thousand times more money is spent funding global-warming true believers than is spent funding us evil deniers, skeptics, call us what you will.
ROCKWELL: Since the American media pretty much entirely blacked out the wonderful leaks from the East Anglia Climate Center –
ROCKWELL: – and you did such a great job of – and you did such a great job of publicizing it, you want to remind everybody what that was all about and what it showed?
DELINGPOLE: Yes. Climategate, it happened in the end of 2009, just before the Copenhagen Climate Summit. And what happened was that some person – we don't know who yet – some very good person leaked a massive cache of e-mails from the University of East Anglia, from the Climatic Research Unit. And the Climatic Research Unit is one of the four main data sets for global temperatures. These guys, the scientists at the CRU, as it's named, are at the very heart of the IPCC, which is, of course, what President Obama calls the gold standard of international climate science.
So in other words, these scientists are the guys who are writing the papers that tell your government and my government and governments all around the world that more of our money must be spent on climate mitigation, on climate research, and billions upon trillion of dollars must be wasted on these men's say so. And, yet, what we saw in these leaked e-mails, that these guys are, well, not to put too fine a point on this, a bunch of crooks. They have been exaggerating the data, torturing the data until it screams, you might say, showing what they want it to show, which is, of course, that we are getting hotter and hotter and, hey, it's all our fault. They show these scientists shutting out of the debate any scientists who disagree with them by bulling them, by closing down the journals which they write for. We see, in other words, scientists who are, in the public imagination, seekers of the truth, in fact, behaving more like criminals.
And one of the things that we are constantly told by people like Al Gore is that there is this thing called the "consensus." And the "consensus" of expert opinion among, they say, 98 percent or 97 percent of the world's climate scientists, is that man-made global warming is a real threat. Well, what Climategate shows is that the word of these scientists is not to be trusted.
And the fact is we know that there are thousands upon thousands of scientists, in all branches of the sciences – earth scientists; geologists; physicists; rocket scientists, like Fred Singer; people like Dick Lindzen – really serious, serious scientists – Freeman Dyson, one of possibly the world's greatest living scientist, who is now at Princeton – these people all question the so-called "consensus" on climate science. They believe that the man-made global warming scare has been grotesquely exaggerated. And yet, these guys' voices have been drowned out, or rather they've been hidden by the mainstream media, which has refused to report on them, preferring to report on the narrative put out by Al Gore. And this has been a disaster. It's been a disaster for science. It has been a disaster for the taxpayer.
ROCKWELL: But could something good come out of this in the sense that we should be skeptical of scientists? That they don't have some kind of special spiritual aura about them. They have to be questioned. Their arguments have to be examined like any of the other co-called experts and real experts who may be connected with particular points of view. That we have to – we just can't take their word for it. And I would say, especially when political correctness is used, when it becomes dangerous to state the other view, you know that they're trying to suppress stuff or they're trying to hide it. What is your view of what is happening among the intelligent laymen?
DELINGPOLE: Well, I mean, I suppose what – you ask me can any good come out of this. Yes, possibly, but I do think that this is one of the greatest economic and political disasters of our time. In fact, I describe it in the book as the greatest outbreak of mass hysteria in history, and also the most expensive outbreak of mass hysteria in history. We're often told that the Manhattan Project to build the nuclear bomb was the most expensive science project ever. Five times the cost of the Manhattan Project has already been spent on this climate scam. We are talking possibly trillions of dollars being wasted on it.
Now, you look at what happened to the global economy. It is on the edge of a cliff. It is my belief that when the disaster comes, one of the main causes of this disaster is the junk science and the political maneuvering, which has resulted from the corruption of science by the green lobby. And I think this is a real problem. Sure, it's fantastic news that in America and Britain people are growing more and more skeptical. It's great that Obama's Cap and Trade was defeated in the Senate. It's great that the Republican Party is waking up to the threat posed by the EPA. All this is good. But this is just damage-limitation exercises. I mean, I really, really do fear for the next 20 years of our future.
And it's not just because of this anthropogenic global warming scare. It's much bigger than that. In fact, my discovery when I was writing this book, Watermelon, is that AGW, OK, that is a proxy issue. What this is really about is the eternal debate, if you like, of what is man's purpose on the planet. What are we here for?
Now, if you listen to what the, sort of, founding fathers and mothers of the green movement say, people like Rachel Carson, they believe essentially that we are a blot on the landscape. In fact, there's a famous book you'll have heard of called Limits to Growth, which was written in 1972 by the Club of Rome. And one of the Club of Rome's famous phrases was, "The earth has a cancer and the cancer is man." Now, I've looked at a lot of books, like Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, Paul Ehrlich's The Population Bomb, and they all have the same belt and shawl (?), if you like. And that world view is that we humans are the problem, not the solution. That in order to preserve the planet for future generations, we must ration resources. We must hold back economic growth for the sake of the planet.
Now, you can imagine what kind of damage this does when this attitude becomes the default way of thinking for a generation. And we saw this in the '90s. I mean, you must have had this in America. We certainly had it in Britain. People started asking themselves questions like, there must be – is there not a life beyond economic growth? Surely, this economic growth is going to be bad for us. Surely, we should be doing something to stop all this consumption. Well, I'm sorry, but consumption is the means by which we improve ourselves. Without consumption, we do not have money to spend on medical research. We do not have money to spend improving our kids' education. We do not have money to spend on our kids' future. So the negative attitude of the green movement is, I would say, directly responsible for this awful situation in which we find ourselves today.
ROCKWELL: James, there's no question about it, they hate the human race.
ROCKWELL: Some of them actually call for the invention of new diseases to kill off 90 percent of the human race. Others of them aren't quite that open. But they all hate the human race. They hate the Industrial Revolution. They want us to move back to a time before the Industrial Revolution and, of course, most people to starve to death, is what would happen in that case. And –
DELINGPOLE: That's absolutely right.
ROCKWELL: – and the whole thing is nuts. I mean how –
DELINGPOLE: The greens have this idea that if only we could stop economic growth, we would somehow return to this pastoral tittle where we all frolicked in the fields with the sheep and swam in rivers and stuff. The fact is that the pre-industrial age was an age of back-breaking toil. Living on the land is not easy. The reason we have or did have such comfortable lives is as a result of the division of labor, because people gravitated towards the cities and began making money, enabling a few lucky people to have their bezeu farmsteads and their boutique lifestyles in the country. But we can't all have boutique lifestyles in the country. We can't all eat organic food. Because actually, if we all went organic, there wouldn't be enough food to feed us all.
You know, we need – look at – compare and contrast Norman Borlaug with Rachel Carson. Rachel Carson wrote this book called Silent Spring. It was the book that converted people like Al Gore to the cause of environmentalism. And one of the results of Silent Spring, of the junk science in Silent Spring, was that the most effective preventative measure against the malarial mosquito, DDT, was pretty much banned throughout the world. Now, as a result of that ban on DDT, millions of people in Africa and the rest of the third world died of malaria. So this woman, this heroine of the green movement, Rachel Carson, has blood on her hands.
Now compare and contract with a guy called Norman Borlaug. How many school kids have heard of Norman Borlaug? But Norman Borlaug saved the lives of billions of people. He is one of the great heroes of the 20th century. He was the father of the green revolution, not green in the Al Gore sense, but green in the real sense of growing stuff, feeding people, using an early version of genetically modified wheat. This was the guy who enabled India and Pakistan to feed themselves just as their populations were growing out of hand. But nobody has heard of Norman Borlaug. Everyone's heard of the mass murderer, Rachel Carson. Go figure!
ROCKWELL: Well, I know that in American public – I should say American government schools – frequently children take a pledge of allegiance to the earth –
– about how they'll never hurt the earth and always live for the earth. And, of course, this is a counter revolution, isn't it? I mean, the more traditional view sees the earth and everything on it as everything created for mankind's use. These people see us, as you say, as a cancer on the earth. In fact, I always find it interesting that we're never included in the environment. I mean, the environment is always everything on earth, every rock, every dolphin, every bird, every bug and so forth, but not mankind.
DELINGPOLE: Yes. Yes.
ROCKWELL: We're not part of the environment. We're, of course, opposed to, quote, unquote, "the environment," which is an artificial construct for propaganda purposes.
DELINGPOLE: Indeed, Lew. But it used not to be that way. You must be familiar with the work of the great Julian Simon, the man known as the Doomslayer.
ROCKWELL: Sure. Of course.
DELINGPOLE: And Julian Simon often took on these eco-catastrophes. I mean, he had that famous bet with Paul Ehrlich, which he won. But one of the things that Julian Simon noted, he studied this change to describe, in biological text books and in books about nature. And what he noticed was that about the mid 20th century, the tone changed, so that in books written pre-1950, animals, for example, birds, were judged according to how useful they were to us humans. So what Simon noticed was this developing misanthropy, which was creeping into scientific text books about the middle of the 20th century. In the past, he noted, the descriptions of many birds included evaluations of their effects on humanity in general and on farmers in particular. A bird that helped agriculture was more highly valued than a bird which harmed it. But modern books, by contrast, he noted, often evaluate human kind for its effect upon the birds rather than vice versa. In other words, suddenly, we became the problem. We became the bad guys. And what Simon said was that up until the mid 20th century, the human species was enjoined, according to Biblical tradition, to be fruitful and multiple. And now, increasingly, we have become – we're forced to see ourselves as a cancer to nature.
ROCKWELL: Well, very eloquent and, of course, exactly true. And it's so interesting, even though – and I think it's obviously a rule we can apply across the board – even though there are vast interests involved in making a lot of money out of this, it requires the wrong ideas to enable the whole thing. So really, the key problem is not Al Gore, as much as I dislike Al Gore –
ROCKWELL: – but it's the people like Rachel Carson and this counter religion, and that you're supposed to – really, the children in this country today are taught a counter religion that, every moment, you should think about every action you take, everything you purchase, whether you turn the air conditioner on or whether you're in a car, whatever, you should think, is this good for Mother Earth. And it's, of course, a mockery of actual religion, but extremely dangerous, the worship – and, in fact, some of these people actually think the Goddess Gaia is, in some sense, real.
DELINGPOLE: Well, I'm old enough to remember, Lew, a time – in my childhood, we weren't made to feel guilty about nature. Nature was something that we went out and enjoyed. We enjoyed long walks. We enjoyed identifying trees by their leaves. I had a pond at the bottom of my garden. I used to spend hours gazing at the newts and the dragon fly larvae and things. I knew about reptiles and amphibians. I traveled around the world with my dad, collecting specimens and stuff. No one loves nature and being in the middle of nature more than I do. I'm a nature boy. And yet, here I am having my name constantly blackened by the other side as though I'm some sort of evil guy with a fat cigar in my mouth and dollar signs on my suits. And, you know, when I go to the beach, I look at it and think, hey, wouldn't that beach be improved by a nice, juicy oil slick and –
– a few dying sea otters and pelicans. I don't think like that. No one thinks like that. Everyone wants the world to be a better, cleaner place. It's just that some of us understand that the way to make the world a cleaner, better place is through economic progress.
You know, I live in London. Had you gone to London in the middle of the 19th century, around 1850, and had you walked by the River Thames, you would have been nauseated by the stench emanating there from. In fact, there was a famous occasion where the smell got so bad that people getting off the train at Victoria Station were vomiting onto the platform at the stench. It was called the Great Stink.
Now, why did that Great Stink stop? Was it because there were Victorian versions of Green Peace and the World Wildlife Fund campaigning for government to make changes? No. The reason these changes happened was because the Victorians, being a very low-tax regime – they were probably paying no more than 10, 15 percent in taxes total. The economy was booming. And what happens when people get richer? We know this from the Kuznet Curve as well. We know that as people get richer, so they want a cleaner environment. Look at the damage that was done at – the environmental damage that was done in the 20th century. Where did the worst disasters happen? Where is the Aral Sea? Well, the Aral Sea disaster, of course, happened behind the Iron Curtain in all those disaster Communist countries where they didn't have enough money to spend on – you know, to divert towards looking after nature and cleaning up the environment. The Victorians could afford to clean up the Thames because they had the low-tax regime and they wanted it to be clean.
We all want the environment to be cleaner. But some of us understand that the best way of doing that is by allowing people to be free to make their money, allowing economies to grow, not by doing what the greens are doing, which is demanding that energy is more expensive. How is that going to make things better? How is that going to boost economic growth? How is that going to enable us to have more money to spare to save the environment? We are going to be killing ourselves because of this lunatic green ideology. We are reaping the rewards of 20 years of green indoctrination. And we are giving our children, the children that the greens supposedly care about, we are giving our future a worst future than we had ourselves. And that is an awful indictment of green ideology. It is a wicked ideology. It is a poisonous ideology. It is at least as bad as Communism and Nazism. And it has a lot of in common with Nazism, especially. No one was more green –
ROCKWELL: That's right.
DELINGPOLE: – than Adolph Hitler and Goering and Himmler. You know, Himmler wanted to feed the S.S. all organic food.
ROCKWELL: That's right.
DELINGPOLE: He was such a great believer in that kind of thing. The Germans were great believers in Lebensraum. They were great believers in the population problem. And we all know how they wanted to solve the population problem. They were just a bit more honest about it than Rachel Carson was. But these – the green movement is a movement of totalitarianism. And I think that – well, what I hope I've done in this book, Watermelon, is raise people's awareness of what is going on behind the smiling, caring mask of modern environmentalism. It has a very, very different face underneath. It's the face of hatred and misanthropy and despair.
ROCKWELL: James Delingpole, thank you for all the great work you do in fighting this fight. We'll, of course, direct everybody to your site, jamesdelingpole.com, to Watermelons and all your other wonderful books.
And I might just add that this is an ancient battle. This is nothing new. And St. Augustine writes about the – he says, can you believe the Mancians think that it's murder to pull up a tree, to cut down a bush or to kill a cow. And he said they love the dangerous and uncharted wilderness. Of course, he himself prefers to see a wonderful human settlement on the seashore. So this is nothing new. We've always had these anti-human forces. Thanks to the modern state, of course, they're far more prominent.
But you tell the truth. And everybody in the English-speaking world who cares about the issues looks to you or should look to you. So I can't thank you enough for coming on this morning.
DELINGPOLE: Thank you so much for having me. It's been an absolute pleasure.
ROCKWELL: Thank you, James. Bye-bye.
Well, thanks so much for listening to the Lew Rockwell Show today. Take a look at all the podcasts. There have been hundreds of them. There's a link on the upper right-hand corner of the LRC front page. Thank you.
Podcast date, November 22, 2011
November 5, 2012
Copyright © 2012 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.