by Alex Newman
KATOWICE, POLAND — The Trump administration held an event at the United Nations “COP 24” climate summit to promote the continued use of fossil fuels such as coal and oil, and particularly American innovation and energy exports. Obviously, the panel discussion by U.S. officials and the subject itself sparked outrage among man-made global-warming theorists at the UN seeking to restrict humanity’s access to cheap and reliable electricity, many of whom held a loud protest inside the venue during the event. But the message from the U.S. government came through loud and clear: So-called fossil fuels are here to stay, and will remain an important source of energy for the world long into the future.
Among other points, the side-event hosted by the Trump administration celebrated America’s ongoing expansion of energy production — especially liquefied natural gas. U.S. Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg, one of the U.S. officials on the panel, noted that “fossil fuels” would continue to be a crucial source of energy for the indefinite future, and that America was becoming a leader in the field of using these forms of energy in a “clean” and “efficient” way. In particular, he promoted U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas. U.S. officials also promoted nuclear energy, which many climate alarmists hate as well.
The promotion of these fuels at the UN “climate” event sparked outrage for days in advance among those whose livelihoods depend on the anti-CO2 narrative. And once the event began, protesters and “climate” activists did everything possible to disrupt it.
At one point, anti-energy activists stormed the stage with a banner reading “Keep it in the Ground,” a reference to keeping oil, gas, and other abundant energy sources off limits to energy-hungry human beings who need to heat their homes, cook their food, transport their goods and services, and so on. The activists — almost the whole crowd at that point — also screamed “keep it in the ground” as they clapped and stomped their feet and shouted anti-American hate speech. UN “police” formed a line to protect the protesters on stage as they shrieked. Critics expressed concern that UN security officials appeared to have allowed it to happen.
One of the activists, SustainUS youth delegation leader Aneesa Khan, called the Trump administration’s presence at the UN summit “a joke.” “His only priority is ensuring fossil fuel CEOs get every last dollar out of our communities,” claimed Khan. “I remember listening to my mother’s voice over the phone saying that our home in Chennai, India was flooded from a hurricane. The next year we didn’t have water because of a drought. I’ve seen my aunt and uncle breathe in some of the world’s most polluted air in New Delhi. No one should see loved ones suffer from a crisis that can be prevented. The U.S. elite has profited off fossil fuels for decades. It’s time for them to pay up and support to the world transition away from dirty energy.”
Of course, the notion that CO2 emissions cause hurricanes, droughts, or dirty air is ludicrous. Even climate alarmists do not normally claim that. But to ardent believers in the man-made warming hypothesis — MIT meteorologist Richard Lindzen calls them a cult, and former NASA climate scientist Roy Spencer calls them “global warming Nazis” — these established facts appear to mean little. The fact that, without cheap energy, droughts and other disasters would be far more catastrophic also seems to have eluded the alarmists.
Despite attracting the ire of well-funded global-warming theorists, the panel participants nonetheless appeared to buy into the fundamental presuppositions of climate alarmism, including the increasingly discredited notion that CO2 emissions are somehow bad or producing dangerous warming. While repeatedly vowing that fossil fuels would continue to be key in global energy markets, there was much hype from the panelists about “market de-carbonization” and using fossil fuels in a way that emits less CO2 into the atmosphere. This could be viewed as a shrewd move by the administration to redefine the narrative. However, it also is problematic to many Trump supporters.
During the question and answer session of the event, The New American magazine was able to ask the panel why U.S. officials were continuing to play along with the notion that there is something dirty or “unclean” about emissions of the “gas of life” carbon dioxide — even though President Trump ridiculed the man-made global-warming hypothesis as a “hoax” to aid the Communist Chinese while successfully campaigning for election. As regular readers of this magazine know well, human emissions of CO2 make up a fraction of one percent of the “greenhouse gases” present naturally in the atmosphere. And the evidence suggests that CO2 likely does not play even a minor role in climate or global temperatures, much less the defining role.
Officials thanked The New American for the question but did not directly provide an answer. “I’ve been in this job for a year,” Winberg responded. “The carbon capture and sequestration budget has been about $200 million for the last six or seven years, and has not declined. More importantly, no one — and I’ll repeat that; no one — has told me not to focus on CCUS. And so we are continuing to do that. Not only that, but the Department of Energy has been working on CCUS for the last quarter of a century. Nobody has told me to do otherwise.” The CCUS refers to technology that captures, utilizes and stores CO2 emissions to avoid having them go into the atmosphere, where they would eventually be absorbed by plants.
Climate Depot chief Marc Morano, a leading voice on the skeptical side of the climate debate, said the Trump administration appeared to be taking a page from the Bush administration on global warming. “Unfortunately they are not really challenging the science in public, even though they are rejecting the supposed solutions,” Morano told The New American after the event. “Trump’s position on this issue has not yet trickled down into the bureaucracy. And with [EPA chief] Scott Pruitt forced out by the media, we still have no senior official, including Energy Secretary Rick Perry, willing to challenge these people on the so-called science they are using to justify all this.”
Morano suggested that senior officials were missing an incredible opportunity. “I hate to see the Trump administration not exposing the UN and the alarmists on their bad science,” said Morano, author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change. “It is a huge missed opportunity to challenge and expose this stuff. Trump should have appointed a good replacement for Obama’s science czar, John Holdren. Somebody like Dr. William Happer of Princeton would have been great. I was sad to see Pruitt go. He really had the courage to stand up to this. But hopefully good things will continue to happen.”
While he was pleased with the many “good ideas” proposed by the Trump administration, Executive Director Craig Rucker with the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), a pro-liberty environmental group, could hardly believe the organized chaos that unfolded inside the UN venue. “It’s kind of a circus,” said Rucker just after the event finished. “But it’s an outrage that the UN is allowing this type of circus to go on, where disruptors can actually get inside and stop the program from going on.”
Rucker noted that at a recent UN climate summit, he had been kicked out merely for putting up a life-size Trump figure and shredding the UN climate agreement in the media section. “Meanwhile, at this Trump meeting, they are allowing scores of people to come forward, shout down the speakers, and nothing is done.” This is a “clear double standard,” he declared, vowing to get to the bottom of this “political bias” that is in violation of the UN’s own rules allowing diversity of viewpoints. But in the end, the UN is going to have a tough time trying to sell its agenda, as French authorities are figuring out now, Rucker said.
Also during the question and answer session at the U.S. event, a “youth ambassador,” who rambled about everything from the evils of Andrew Jackson’s Indian policy and the harm of “climate change” against “minority communities” to the alleged horrors of fracking and fossil fuels, asked how the administration justified continuing to allow Americans to use fossil fuels. Bizarrely, she refused to give her name or organization when asked by The New American magazine. An activist from Northern California lost her train of thought several times before blurting out, “I guess my question is, um, uh,” whether there is really 12 years to “save the world” from “climate change.”
Even before the event began, expensive PR gurus for a broad coalition of billionaire climate profiteers, radical leftists, and their useful idiots were sending e-mails with outraged quotes to all of the media at the UN summit. The press releases included quotes from all sorts of man-made global-warming theorists, brazenly inaccurate “research” on the panelists (they even misgendered one of them!), and talking points about the event, coal, and other issues on the agenda.
Billionaire anti-liberty extremist Michael Bloomberg, the “UN Special Envoy for Climate Action,” blasted the Trump administration for refusing to believe the widely ridiculed pseudo-scientific report released by Obama holdovers in the bureaucracy before the summit. Billionaire Chinese coal investor Tom Steyer, the rabid warmist and crony capitalist who founded “NextGen America,” claimed Trump was “actively working against progress by promoting the use of coal.” Steyer, who hosted an event earlier in the day that virtually nobody watched, also boasted that “subnational groups” were fighting back against the “dangerous ideas” presented by the Trump administration.
But the officials representing the U.S. government rejected the notion that cheap and abundant energy needs to be eliminated to save the “climate” from humans. “We support all energy,” said Wells Griffith, the U.S. principal deputy assistant secretary for international affairs at the U.S. Energy Department. “I can say, for the U.S., the policy is not to keep it in the ground, but to use it in a way that is clean and efficient.” Winberg, meanwhile, responded to a question by pointing out that people all over the world live in dire energy poverty, with many forced to burn wood and organic material just to survive.
Around the world, more and more governments are responding to the wishes of their citizens and resisting the UN’s jihad on free markets, liberty, prosperity, and low-cost energy. Even alarmist governments onboard the globalist bandwagon — France, most recently — have been forced by public outrage to back down. However, as the Trump administration’s side event made clear, the global-warming theorists do not intend to give up easily, and they have endless supplies of taxpayer money and fake-media support to continue waging war. But as with Lysenko’s quack pseudo-science in the Soviet Union, the truth will likely win out in the end, even if tremendous harm and pain must be inflicted on the innocent first.
Photo of protesters disrupting Trump Administration event at Katowice climate summit: AP Images
Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, was at the UN climate summit in Paris and has been at other key UN climate summits as well. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU or on Facebook.