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RFK Jr.: Green hero turned anti-vaccine activist takes on Biden – As climate skeptics welcome him – Morano: ‘We need to realign coalitions to oppose Covid & climate coercion’

By Scott Waldman | 05/18/2023 06:59 AM EDT

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was once a hero of the environment in New York.

He helped push a fracking ban. As an environmental lawyer, he spent more than three decades fighting for a cleaner Hudson River. He protected New York City’s reservoir in the Catskills. He pressed for the closure of the Indian Point nuclear plant. He founded an environmental group devoted to water protection that has worked on six continents.

That Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is gone.

The long shot presidential candidate and onetime crusader for environmental protections has transformed into a font of anti-vaccine misinformation and conspiracies. That includes promoting false claims about the assassination of his father, former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, and his uncle, President John F. Kennedy.

“It’s hard not to be sad about it,” said Alex Beauchamp, Northeast region director for Food & Water Watch, who was a Kennedy ally during the years long fight to ban fracking in New York.

“You start to have a couple of crazy views, and then, all of a sudden, you’re a full-blown conspiracy theorist,” Beauchamp said. “I do think it changed; I don’t think he was the same 10 years ago.”

Last month, Kennedy officially launched his bid against President Joe Biden in the Democratic primary. Since then, his poll numbers have been surprisingly strong, reaching as high as 21 percent, according to FiveThirtyEight, a media and poll tracking site. That puts him in a similar position to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in his uphill battle against former President Donald Trump on the Republican side.

The Kennedy campaign did not respond to a request for comment. However, in an interview last month with a New York radio station, Kennedy blamed the media for portraying him as “crazy” and said people would be open to his ideas.

“When they see me, I don’t look like the mischaracterizations,” he said. “It may be that people just want something different.”

Kennedy’s environmental work in New York is the type of resume that climate-minded Democrats could embrace — had he not clouded it with his public persona of the last few years.

Kennedy, with his famous lineage and long career of battling and beating polluters, was a regular presence at the New York State Capitol. He’d stand atop its grand staircase looking down at hundreds of cheering activists hanging on to his every word as he railed against fracking, Hudson River pollution and greedy corporations poisoning natural resources.

But over the last decade, Kennedy’s visits to the New York State Capitol became less about environmental causes and more about attacking the safety and efficacy of vaccines. It’s there where he began to split his time as an anti-vaccine activist and as a climate champion. He would spout discredited claims about vaccines causing autism one day, and then the next, he would be back to the Hudson River protections.

By 2015, Kennedy was using his name to host press conferences where he pushed false claims about vaccines harming children who receive meningitis shots. He wasn’t holding forth on the grand Capitol staircase, however, and in June of that year, he crowded reporters into a small basement room off the Capitol with angry parents who claimed vaccines had caused autism in their children, a thoroughly debunked claim.

Kennedy and his supporters shouted at reporters for hiding the “truth” about vaccines. He flipped over a poster board and began writing, in small, barely legible script, formulas that he claimed proved his point that additives in vaccines were harming children.

Kennedy told reporters that vaccines were “making our children dumber and … giving them injuries.”

It was a difficult moment.

In the first weeks of his presidential campaign, Kennedy has not rejected climate science, but now claims that climate policy is part of an international conspiracy involving Bill Gates and the World Economic Forum. That type of rhetoric fits squarely with the “Great Reset” conspiracy, which holds that governments will exploit the protocols of the Covid-19 era to force “climate lockdowns,” including forcing people to eat bugs instead of meat.

“Climate issues and pollution issues are being exploited by, you know, the World Economic Forum and Bill Gates and all of these big, you know, mega-billionaires, the same way that Covid was exploited, to use it as an excuse to clamp down top-down totalitarian controls on society,” Kennedy recently told radio show host Kim Iversen, who has also trafficked in conspiracy theories around Covid-19 and vaccines.

Some in New York who fought alongside Kennedy for years feel betrayed.

Kennedy waged so many important environmental battles in New York for so many years that the activist community mostly looked the other way when he started to ramp up his anti-scientific screeds against public health, said former state Assemblyman Steven Englebright (D), who chaired the Environmental Conservation Committee. He said the Kennedy name and the long record of success discouraged people from ostracizing their erratic ally at a time when he alternated between climate and anti-vaccine causes.

“I don’t see that man anymore. From what I see, he’s eccentric at best and maybe disturbed,” Englebright said. “He has lost his way in a direction away from science, and the other word for science is facts.”

The new Kennedy is a purveyor of cherry-picked and junk science who claims public health officials act like Nazis, compares Anthony Fauci to Adolf Hitler and invokes Anne Frank when discussing vaccinations. His own family is horrified at what he is doing to harm the public at large and the political legacy he inherited.

“Bobby’s lies and fear-mongering yesterday were both sickening and repulsive,” Kerry Kennedy wrote on Twitter after her brother referenced Anne Frank. “I strongly condemn him for his hateful rhetoric.”

More recently, Kerry Kennedy has made it clear that the family does not support his presidential run.

“I love my brother Bobby, but I do not share or endorse his opinions on many issues, including the Covid pandemic, vacawsaKennedy once told Marc Morano, a conservative activist who runs a prominent climate denial blog, that those who reject climate science should be held criminally liable and that polluters should be thrown in jail. Now, Morano says, all is forgiven because Kennedy is “undergoing a genuine transformation over his views on the climate agenda.”

He considers the new Kennedy an ally in his fight to sow doubt and distrust around climate science, vaccine research and Covid-19 public health measures.

“I have received some flak from my fellow climate skeptics for being so welcoming and forgiving to RFK Jr., given his hostile history to anyone opposing the climate ‘consensus,’ but I truly believe we are at a pivotal point in U.S. history where we need to realign coalitions to oppose Covid and climate coercion,” he said.


Bonus Material: Here are the full comments I gave E&E reporter Scott Waldman on RFK Jr.: 

Marc Morano comments: Climate Depot publisher and Great Reset author: 

The last three years have seen a monumental change in political alliances. No longer is it Left versus Right, but freedom versus tyranny. Who thought we would see alliances between conservatives with people like Naomi, Wolf, Jimmy Dore, Russell Brand, and RFK Jr.!?

The COVID lockdowns, vaccine mandates, and the public health manufactured ‘consensus’ that the world should follow China on lockdowns really shattered the old Left, Right paradigm.

RFK Jr. is being red-pilled by COVID to now expose that the same forces (UN, WEF, WHO) that pushed China-inspired COVID tyranny on the world are also pushing climate tyranny on the world. See: RFK Jr. red-pilled on climate agenda?! RFK Jr. declares climate ‘being exploited by the WEF & Bill Gates’ in ‘the same way that COVID was exploited’ – ‘Top-down totalitarian controls on society’

In my book, The Great Reset, I welcomed an alliance with RFK Jr. and climate skeptics. I officially granted him pardon for his past jail climate ‘denier’ comments. It was my 2014 interview with him at the New York City climate march that made his jailing ‘deniers’ comments go viral both then and now.

Page 252 of my book:  I wrote. “All is forgiven by me for him wanting to jail climate skeptics after this anti-lockdown speech! Maybe climate skeptics can work with RFK Jr. on opposing the climate agenda someday. Climate skeptics have a big tent. We welcomed progressives Michael Moore & Michael Shellenberger, in 2020, and I am ready to welcome RFK Jr. to our issue as well.”

I have received some flack from my fellow climate skeptics for being so welcoming and forgiving to RFK Jr., given his hostile history to anyone opposing the climate ‘consensus’, but I truly believe we are at a pivotal point in U.S. history where we need to realign coalitions to oppose COVID AND climate coercion.

I also believe that RFK Jr. is undergoing a genuine transformation over his views on the climate agenda — not necessarily on his scientific view of climate change. There is no way that he could accurately expose the WHO/UN/WEF and other public health organizations’ COVID ‘solutions’ and not see the same players pushing the same type of ‘solutions’ on climate change.

In many ways, RFK Jr. is helping the Democrat Party base wake up to the global institutions and government bureaucracies’ push to strip away more and more freedoms in the name of fighting viruses and/or climate change. Given the incredible similarities in COVID and climate change, RFK Jr.’s dalliance on the national political scene will help expose how the UN/WHO/WEF are using a ginned-up climate scare to gain more power and control and strip away our freedoms.

You will find many 2024 voters may just as easily pull the lever for RFK Jr. or Donald Trump.”

End Morano comments as submitted to E&E. 

Flashback 2014: