There is a writer for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Marlo Lewis, whose work we republished (with permission) in December 2006 as an EcoWorld feature story. In his report, “Al Gore’s ‘Truth:’ One-Sided, Misleading, Exaggerated, Speculative, Wrong,” the author skewers the global warming alarmists. We find Mr. Lewis’s style to be a bit confrontational, and by no means are all of his assertions beyond debate. But we run work by people like him because it’s frightening and offensive that anyone might say we shouldn’t. We don’t think much of anything having to do with global warming is beyond debate, and even if it is, debate should always be permitted in a free society.
There is no doubt that people are going overboard with all this global warming hysteria. It is being used to justify anything by anyone. Most of the practical impacts so far are completely useless from a climate standpoint, if not catastrophically flawed, such as European carbon offsets financing rainforest destruction to grow biofuel crops.
So when someone tries to silence an author we have embraced, someone who isn’t automatically buying into all of this hype and hate and fear, we must expose the injustice. We’ve recently learned of an email sent by Michael Eckhart, the President of the American Council On Renewable Energy, to Marlo Lewis:
You are so full of crap.
You have been proven wrong. The entire world has proven you wrong. You are the last guy on Earth to get it. Take this warning from me, Marlo. It is my intention to destroy your career as a liar. If you produce one more editorial against climate change, I will launch a campaign against your professional integrity. I will call you a liar and charlatan to the Harvard community of which you and I are members. I will call you out as a man who has been bought by Corporate America. Go ahead, guy. Take me on.
Michael T. Eckhart
American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE)
We’ve heard this nonsense before. “The entire world has proven you wrong.” That is a strong statement, but offers no evidence.
I don’t agree with the policies being advocated by Gore and the rest of them. I think the role of anthropogenic CO2 in climate change requires vigorous debate. Moreover, I think the cost and benefit of doing something about anthropogenic CO2 is prohibitive compared to the cost to do something about rainforest destruction, an empty Aral Sea, collapsing ocean fisheries, and financing more coal scrubbers and clean coal plants. If you listen to Gore, we have to sequester CO2 from coal, when for far, far less money, we could clean nearly all of the pollution (except for the CO2) out of coal emissions. So we choke, and they build coal plants anyway, laughing at the environmentalists who wait for this dubious perfection, and who are no longer trying to make them simply install a better scrubber.
People like Mr. Eckhart should be challenged, because if you study the rhetoric of the global warming alarmists, it is becoming fascist. Among their leaders, accusations that global warming skeptics are “traitors” are being allowed to stand. This sort of rhetoric will escalate if it isn’t challenged, and will lead to ill-considered policies and possibly much worse. The idea that the U.S. Supreme Court has declared CO2 a “pollutant” is sinister. It is akin to declaring the earth is flat; it is just dead wrong. Plants love CO2.
As far as I’m concerned, Marlo Lewis can say anything he wants. The Competitive Enterprise Institute is a fairly small outfit, with a budget of a few million per year. When the torch-holders for skepticism are reduced to lone holdouts such as this small nonprofit think tank with a handful of writers, freedom loving people all over the world better wake up before it’s too late for more than Orangutans. Mr. Eckhart should apologize to Mr. Lewis, and ACORE should thrive on innovation and competitive excellence, not advance through Machiavellian personal attack and dire threats.