Climate change activists and the scientists whose data they rely on were portrayed as perpetrators of a giant scam during a CPAC breakout session today. The session was sponsored by the Energy and Environment Legal Institute, a nonprofit with ties to the fossil fuel industry and right-wing political networks. The group was at CPAC to carry out what the Guardian has described as its core mission: “discrediting climate science and dismantling environmental regulations.”
They certainly aren’t subtle. The panel’s title was “Fake Climate News Camouflaging an Anti-Capitalist Agenda—and What President Trump Plans To Do About It.” Here’s the gist of the argument: Climate change science is the biggest scientific scandal in history, promoted by Marxist “watermelons” (green on the outside, red on the inside) in order to destroy western economies. But have no fear: salvation is here in the form of President Trump, who wants to shut down the Environmental Protection Agency and turn loose the tragically shackled energy industry.
The session was moderated by conservative journalist John Fund, and panelists included Tony Heller (who has written on climate under the pseudonym Stephen Goddard), James Delingpole from Breitbart U.K., and Steve Milloy, a senior policy fellow at E&E Legal and the author of books denouncing “junk science.”
According to these panelists, the climate change “debate”—such as it is—is not about different interpretations of what’s happening to the planet, but is rather a fight between “scumbags”—dishonest climate change activists—and “good guys” —those who are promoting skepticism about climate science.
Delingpole said that environmentalism has become a new religion that views man as a cancer on the earth rather than the beings given dominion over it. Heller walked through a power point presentation—slides available on his website—purporting to show that pretty much all of the U.S. government’s global warming data has been faked.
Milloy, described as a member of Trump’s industry-friendly EPA transition team, said he has been fighting the EPA for 26 years. Sure, he said, back in the 1970s, air was polluted and rivers caught on fire, but that was all taken care of by the 1990s. Having largely accomplished its original mission, he said, the EPA has moved on to trying to destroy the coal industry and strangling the American economy.
But now, he said excitedly, “we have an administration that is going to turn loose the American energy industry.” Trump was the only candidate, he noted, who said he wanted to abolish the EPA. He is excited about the prospect of new EPA chief Scott Pruitt going to war with environmentalists.