Steven Milloy on Jim Manzi, Big Oil, & Global Warming

We find Steven Milloy at to be consistently entertaining, and almost always right. So it’s our duty to critique his critique of Jim Manzi’s (of the partisan publication National Review) shocking leap onto the stop-industrial-CO2 (at any cost) bandwagon.

Here’s what Manzi wrote:

“It is no longer possible, scientifically or politically, to deny that human activities have very likely increased global temperatures; what remains in dispute is the precise magnitude of the human impact. Conservatives should accept this reality — and move on to the question of what we should do about it.”

Apparently Manzi is doing damage control – he’s decided that global warming hysteria is here to stay, and if the two-party system is to survive in America, the Republicans need to get with the program. As journalists, of course, we stay above the partisan political fray – but our concern with the agenda of the global warming alarmists is well documented. And we are unabashedly in favor of free-market solutions to environmental challenges – the solutions proposed to combat the global warming boogyman are an accelerating exercise in collectivism and tyranny that should make any student of history shudder with dread.

Milloy deconstructs Manzi’s perspective with his usual verve.

Here’s one nugget:

“Manzi’s is a recipe for social, political and economic disaster – not just for conservatives, but for everyone, with the possible exception of the misanthropic, back-to-nature socialists among us.”

The heart of Milloy’s essay, however, is where he lists the hidden agendas of the global warming alarmists. His reasons are sound, although he misses one of the biggest of all…

“First, there are the radical left-wing environmentalists whose goal – through control of energy production and use, and ultimately the economy – is global socialism. As Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore related in the recent Channel 4 (UK) documentary, entitled ‘The Great Global Warming Swindle,’ by the mid-1980s, environmental goals – e.g., clean air and clean water – had become so mainstream that activists had to adopt more extreme positions to remain anti-establishment. Then when the Berlin Wall fell and the Cold War ended, many “peace-niks” and left-wing political activists moved over to environmental activism, bringing their ‘neo-Marxist’ political philosophy with them. As Moore puts it, environmentalism became the ‘new guise for anti-capitalism.”

Milloy also indicts the Europeans, claiming Margaret Thatcher nurtured the global warming crowd back in the 1980′s because that was a way she could advocate nuclear power without having to openly fight the unions who controlled the coal mining industry.

But while Milloy alludes to the allure global warming hysteria presents to businesses who exploit these emotions to move product and attract subsidies, he doesn’t go far enough. It has been a common refrain among global warming alarmists that any scientist or advocate who questions global warming is probably funded by oil companies. Well that was then. Top management at oil companies aren’t stupid. If 90% of the world’s energy production comes from burning something, and if the entire political establishment in the world is hell-bent to curtail burning anything because it’s going to destroy the planet, then the price of oil will stay in the stratosphere, and only the established cartels will continue to pump oil, and their profits will reach unprecedented levels.

When the oil companies tried to inject reason into the global warming debate – back when it was still a debate, oil companies were fighting the good fight – and now they’ve said fine, hang yourselves, we’ll just get richer. The real question is, if you want to demonize oil companies (which we do not want to do, thank you very much), is what took them so long. Global warming hysteria is the best thing that ever happened to big oil.

10 Responses to “Steven Milloy on Jim Manzi, Big Oil, & Global Warming”
  1. Jim Manzi says:

    I’m the author of this article, and I’ve provided a point-by-point response to Steven Milloy’s critcisms here (part 1):

    and here (part 2):

  2. Harold Pierce Jr says:

    Listen up Jim Manzi:

    Go learn some chemistry. In 1990 the concentration of carbon dioxide in standard dry air was 0.028% by volume, i.e., diddly squat! Presently the concentration of carbon dioxide in the aforementioned standard dry air is 0.038%, diddly squat. If diddly squat did diddly prior and up to 1900, diddly squat is doing diddly now!!

    Go to: and learn something about the atmosphere. Ignore all comments about global warming.

    Go to:

    A brillant 15-year high schooler, Kirsten Byrnes has got it absolutely right. And she shall bring down Don Al Gore and white-coated wiseguy Jim “Jimmy White Coat” Hansen.

    The proposal that greenhouse gases cause global warming is a scam divised by Don Al “Fat Al” Gore, Godfather of the American Enviromental Mafia, Ken Lay, et al to get filthy rich by setting up these companies that trade carbon credits. Here is how they did this.

    The 1997 Koyoto Accord target for greenhouse emission reduction were set at 5% below that of 1990. Why were these numbers chosen? The oil embargoes of the early 1970′s was the wake up call on energy use. By 1990 the engineers had eliminated inefficient use in industry and commerace and in new residental construction. Thus the corrupt pinstripes and white-coated wiseguys knew with absolute certainity that these targets could never ever be met by a county no matter what technologies were implemented. Hence, enter Don Al Gore and his capos on Wall Steet. Hence enter Don Al Gore’s purchase of white-coated wiseguy and enforcer Jim Hansen. Hence the award of a really big can of Heinz beans to him to secure his loyalty and promote him as an as accomplished scientist. In acadamia we another name for these wiseguys: white-coated welfare queens.

    As they say up here in Canada, Smarten up Jimmy!

    Harold Pierce Jr, B.Sc.(Hon), Ph.D.

    PS: Don’t ever mess around with us chemists especially this one!

  3. Harold Pierce Jr says:


    You are just as bad as Steve “Snip Snip” McIntyre and Roger “Razor Roger” Pielke, Sr. with your censorship of my posts. Where are your guts young man? I call ‘em as as see’em. Kirsten Byrnes ain’t pulling no punches! And neither should you.

    Why did I call Jim Manzi a “clueless jerk” because that is exactly what he is. With all the the resources available to him, he just didn’t do his homework or seek out experts such as Roy Spencer who could explain to him why present data do not show that any global warming or climate change has actually ocurred. He could also explain to him all the trickery and flim-flammery the IPPC uses to promote the hypothesis that greenhouse gases cause cause global warming.

    Here is a simple example of flim-flammery. You read in the popular press that the IPPC estimates that the mean global temperature has increased by about 0.6 +/- 0.2 deg C since 1990. What is this number and what does it really mean. To the non-scientist it probably looks OK. But to a scientists who measures temperature routinely, he would say “You have got to be kidding me. Weather stations use thermometers that can be read to +/- 0.1 deg? Give me a break!”

    What the number really means is this: It is the range of global mean temperatures that the various “bookeeping” methods give after crunching a century of station temperature records. What the IPPC did not report is the standard deviation. For the station temperature records that I have examined the standard deviations range from about +/- 1 deg to +/- 8 deg. The latter is for the station at Telluride, CO. This is why most all meterologists reject the claims of those climatologists supporting global warming that station temperature records can be as input for their computer models.

    Here is what I posted on Steve “Snip Snip” M’s site: Sniff, I smell massage oil! Sniff, Sniff, Or Maybe snake oil! Sniff, Sniff, Sniff, Whoa! It is a blend of massage oil and snake oil! Sniff, Sniff…Sniff, Sniff. And it is mostly snake oil! He snipped it, but Razor Roger didn’t when I posted it on his site!

    You have a nice day. I’ve got to crunch some more weather station temperature records. I have finished weather station code named Diddly Squat 1. BTW, The results are for sale. My asking price is one million dollars!!!

  4. Jim Manzi says:

    Yes, apparently I skipped the organic chemistry course where we learn the technical term “diddly squat”.

    Jim Manzi

  5. Ed Ring says:

    Manzi – in the conclusion of your rebuttal to Milloy’s criticism of your article in the National Review, you say the following: “Here are the groups that Milloy posits are parts of a conspiracy to hose us: environmentalists, Margaret Thatcher, Europe, scientists, American business and the US Congress. Who’s not part of it? Do you really think it’s a smart political idea to run against all of them?”

    Yes – Jim, I do. And from my perspective, I couldn’t care less who is in the White House in 2008. I’m not even sure I’d object to some scheme to keep the price of energy up, if the proceeds were used for things that mattered, like reforesting the tropics and cleaning up noxious pollutants. But instead we’re burning the biosphere, everywhere, for “biofuel” – it is the newest scourge on our planet, this biofuel – and we’re doing NOTHING to help the Chinese scrub their coal emissions because we actually think they’re going to stop burning coal, or – yeah, right – convince them to “sequester” the emissions.

    Do you want to live in a world where central planners, in the name of environmentalist values, have made it so only the richest elites can still afford to have homes with yards, so sacred “open space” is preserved – under government management of course? Where energy and water is rationed, and everywhere, the industrial/prison glare of fluorescent lights is the only illumination we’re allowed after sundown? Because that’s where we’re headed – and you should be part of the fight to stop this hideous nonsense.

    Your job, Mr. Manzi, should be to articulate environmentalist values that expose the hidden agendas of all of them – because all the elites win in this new game of global warming, big business and misanthropic socialist malthusians alike.

  6. Harold Pierce Jr says:

    Ed, you are just plain nuts! Get out an atlas of the world. Canada and Russia are essentially unpopulated. There are just oodles everything for everybody in these two countries. The area of Canada is like 3 trillion acres yet the population is only about 33 miliion. You want some elbow room? Then come to Super Natural, Beautiful British Columbia, the Best Place on Earth to Live!

  7. Ed says:

    Harold – I am not nuts, you misunderstand me. There’s plenty of elbow room in California, too, 158,000 square miles of mostly underpopulated land. Yet if you believe the “open space” fanatics, California is about to run out of sacred open space and therefore we must counteract “sprawl” by restricting all home construction to within existing cities. This movement on the part of environmentalists to force everyone to live within artificial boundaries in order to preserve open space has consequences – congestion, crime, and unaffordable, unpleasant housing. It is based on a false premise, that we don’t have enough open space, and must be challenged along with many other elements of environmentalist conventional wisdom.

  8. ed wheeler says:

    Different Ed (Wheeler) says:

    Ed “redwood” is right, and as Dr. Pierce says, Manzi really is clueless. Unfortunately, there are innumerable Al “chicken little” Gores out there who say there is no longer any doubt that the Earth is doomed because of anthropogenic CO2 emissions that are the cause of soon to be catatrophic global warming UNLESS we mend our fossil fuel using ways! (sorry, long sentence). To Ed’s point, big oil companies have not constructed any new refineries or drilled new oil wells offshore because of opposition by various environmental groups and EPA regulations that demand an environmental impact statement that may take 5 years or more to complete. After that, lawsuits follow. Why bother when you (oil companies) know you can sell all the oil and gasoline you have at high prices DUE to the lack of any new wells or refineries? $$$$$$. As a fellow PhD chemist, I think Harold Pierce and I would get along quite well and I would accept an invite to vivsit B.C. Please everyone read my two global warming essays on the Ecoworld site. Mr. Manzi might be surprised to find that the “hockey stick” paper by Michael Mann is a fraud. So much for “scientific” evidence used by the very political U.N. committee of pseudo scientists (IPCC) used to support the global warming fearmongering

  9. Daniel says:

    Currently I’m living in Hong Kong probably one of the densest cities in the world. Urban sprawl has been limited here for a long time. 45% of Hong Kong’s total land area is considered country park, free to use for everyone, including all campsites. Anyone of those country parks can be reached within 10-15 minutes using public transportation. Hong Kong as an excellent public transport system, that allows me to travel anywhere in Hong Kong at most times. Traffic jams are a rare site, so it’s easy to be on time as buses run on a 5min frquency. Flat sizes here average 700sqft for two bedrooms and 950 sqft for three bedrooms. Many modern housing developments have spacious garden areas with bbq sites and recreational facilities. Recreation facilities include gym, badminton courts, ping pong tables, piano room, reading room, bowling alley, golf centre, tennis courts, swimming pool, sauna, hot tub, function and entertainment room. We refer to our outdoor pool as ‘The Lake’ and there is an indoor pool as well. In my free time, I either go mountain biking, single track xc through the jungle, go to a beach, or do some hiking. One of the trails behind our complex stretches for 100kms without ever having to cut through an urban zone. I do not find Hong Kong congested, things are always moving at a good pace, Housing is very pleasant, and in a recent report it was declared one of the safest cities in the world.

    My home is Toronto, a town suffering from massive urban sprawl. Most people live in single homes. Even though Toronto seems like a green city, it is very hard to find true nature. Most parks can be crossed on a bicycle within 3-5 minutes, barely enough to get the heart rate up. If I want to go somewhere outside the downtown core, I need to rely on private transportation. Last time I did a major trip on public transportation in Toronto, i took me 3.5 hours to get to my desination. Private transportation is expensive that I don’t want to pay for just to get around the city. Driving is extremely stressful (I didn’t realize this until I haven’t driven for two years.) and the roads of Toronto are heavily congested and traffic is unpredictable, thus I’m often late for appointments. People have swimming pools in their backyards, but yet again, a puddle that doesn’t provide a workout. There are few good hiking opportunities in Toronto. On the weekend people are busy fixing and cleaning up their homes. In Hong Kong I clean my pad for 1 hour and then it’s time to play.

    On a recent trip to Vancouver I decided to go for a hike up the mountains on the North shore of town. My paths were blocked by private property that was spreading around the mountainside, taking the best sights of town.

    National park areas are free for everyone to use, no matter religion, race, sex, etc. Free to go as your heart pleases. It’s private poperty that restricts freedom to the movement of people.

  10. Ed Ring says:

    Daniel – I believe in striking a balance between creating public open space and respecting private property rights, including the right to develop. Hong Kong is an important example, because the world is urbanizing much faster than global population is increasing. So around the mega-cities of the world especially, the balance may fall more in favor of creating public open space.

    But the point of this post is that there are many unintended consequences. There is no “denial industry” regarding global warming, because virtually every powerful vested interest gains from global warming alarm, including big oil.

    Unintended consequences also exist with respect to land development. Often when you have a greenbelt around a city, you end up creating ultra-leapfrog development. This happened in London, where establishing the greenbelt around London stimulated growth in all the towns just beyond the greenbelt.

    Zoning to restrict development also leads to artificially inflated home prices. This has been especially the case in California, where you have to be rich to truly afford a home.


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