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  • Climate Skeptics Win by Revealing Costs Not Disputing Science

Climate Skeptics Win by Revealing Costs Not Disputing Science

William L. Kovacs

December 2023

Climate Skeptics Win by Revealing Costs Not Disputing Science

(Part II of III parts) 

Part I discussed how the Progressive Left transitioned their climate strategy from one of oppressive regulations during the Obama administration to giving away massive amounts of money during the Biden administration. This policy change made all the difference in gaining general support from the American business community for the uncontrolled development of green technology. If the climate skeptics are to compete for public support, they must change their strategy from scientific studies that are largely unread to a clear presentation of the real costs of green technology to the general public.

Winston Churchill provided the world with sage advice on how to understand politics when he stated, “I no longer listen to what people say, I just watch what they do. Behavior never lies.” It’s time for the climate skeptics to transition from discussing scientific flaws in the Progressive’s climate policy to implementing a strategy that focuses on what changes the public’s behavior. To undertake this approach, the skeptics must recognize:

(1) their real opponent, in addition to the federal government, is now the American business community;

(2) the American people believe climate change is occurring; however, they are not willing to pay for costly climate change policies or bear the burden of hosting the massive facilities in their communities and

(3) the competitive market still works; skeptics must aggressively use it to defeat unprofitable projects before they harm the nation.

Adopting this approach requires the climate skeptics to lay bare the values of the American business community. Business is agnostic on principles. It does not care if our government is capitalist or socialist or a deep-state faux Republic. Business follows the money no matter who is giving it out, the federal government or the Chinese Communist Party that provides subsidized slave labor to U.S. businesses. Trillions flow from the government to corporations to produce what the government wants to be made and purchased, notwithstanding the costs to its citizens or the effect on a functioning society. Climate change is merely the vehicle the federal government uses to buy support to control society.

Understanding the greed of American businesses explains why automakers make more electric vehicles than they can sell, even when faced with significant losses such as Ford’s Mustang Mach E and its F-150 lightning. Subsidies explain why American businesses make lightbulbs, dishwashers, air conditioners, low-flush toilets, and dozens of other products that perform less effectively than older products and are considerably more expensive. It’s money, money, money that makes business go round.

As part of the federal global warming misinformation campaign that supports its green agenda, numerous federally funded groups reviewed 88,125 climate studies. Amazingly, more than 99.9 % supported the proposition that humans cause climate change. Unfortunately, few studies release the underlying data for peer review and reproducibility. Moreover, the federal government refuses to implement the Information Quality Act. Such refusals mean the federal government and its climate supporters can misinform the public about its science.

The climate skeptics cannot compete with the federal government’s propaganda machine and the greed of big business. A new approach is needed since the climate skeptics cannot give up and move to Galt’s Gulch.

Taxpayer support stops when they have to pay for or live with the consequences of government policies.

71% of Americans believe climate change is occurring and caused entirely or mainly by human activity. Gallup found that 80% of Americans believe they understand global warming very well or fairly well, and 58% want policies that dramatically reduce fossil fuels within 10 – 20 years. Yet, while firmly believing that human activity causes climate change, a Reuter poll found that only one-third of Americans would spend $100 a year to address it. Americans clearly do not understand they are already paying handsomely for the federal government’s green tech follies.

The adage “Don’t tax you, don’t tax me, tax that fellow behind the tree!” seems to be the prevailing American philosophy for addressing climate change.

Americans do not want to pay to address climate change and do not want the green energy facilities in their backyards. The “Renewable Rejection Database” proves this point. Between 2015 and 2023, 435 communities in the U.S. rejected or restricted big wind projects. The solar industry has seen local communities reject 173 big projects since 2021. The reasons are too much land utilized, noise, sleep disturbance, red-blinking lights all night, too ugly, conflicts with community growth plans, reduced food production, and fear of depreciating land values.

Markets still work, so the skeptics must find ways to allow them to work.

While the American business community loves free money from the government, it still hates losing money. Even with trillions in subsidies, an increasing number of wind and solar projects across the nation are running into problems that harm the economics of the projects. Thousands of these projects need help connecting to local power grids that might need more extensive power lines and new transformers. The high cost of these upgrades translates into canceled projects.

Other projects are abandoned due to a lack of credit. While the government shovels subsidies to green industries, many banks won’t extend the additional needed credit to complete construction because of a facility’s poor balance sheet. A cancellation of wind farms in New Jersey is a recent example. Orsted, a sizeable Danish wind farm developer, dropped two mega-projects offshore due to $4 billion in cost overruns.

The Wall Street Journal noted offshore wind power is “bleeding cash.” Today, offshore wind project costs are 49% more than in 2019. About  60% of all offshore wind projects awarded have been canceled or are at risk of cancellation.

The Li-Cycle battery recycling facility’s initial construction cost was $ 700 million. Today, its completion cost is estimated at $ 1 billion, a price so significant that it likely will force the federal government to honor its loan guarantees if the project is to be completed.

Overall, the green industry is in the proverbial toilet. The Environmental, Social, and Governance (“ESG”) woke investment funds, the baskets holding the industry’s stock for consumers to invest in, are having their worst year since 2011. The green industry is not a good investment. Over time, many of these government monuments to green technology will be abandoned across the national landscape, creating more of a drain on the treasury and local communities as they litter the nation with hazardous waste.

For the climate skeptics to bring sanity back to the climate change debate, they need to clearly explain to the American people the significant costs the government is imposing on them to implement its climate agenda.

William L. Kovacs has served as senior vice president for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, chief counsel to a congressional committee, chairman of a state environmental board, and a partner in law D.C. law firms. His book Reform the Kakistocracy received the 2021 Independent Press Award for Political/Social Change. Kovacs also led the business coalition’s lobbying activities against Obama’s legislative climate proposals. He can be contacted at [email protected].

Part I. Memo to Climate Skeptics: You’re Losing, Change Strategies







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  • ESG’s perverse, narrow, fraudulent ethical principles

ESG’s perverse, narrow, fraudulent ethical principles

Paul Driessen

December 2022

ESG’s perverse, narrow, fraudulent ethical principles

Failure of basic fiduciary duties to investors is just the tip of ESG fraud iceberg

Warning: Your retirement fund may have been Shanghaied by BlackRock or other Wall Street asset managers who’ve unilaterally decided that the tens of trillions of dollars of other people’s money they control should be used to advance political causes they favor – to “make the world a better place.”

As most people know, ESG stands for Environmental protection, Social justice, and Governance of corporate and societal affairs. They’re all noble-sounding causes. However, under ESG they’re centered around progressive, woke agendas, with prevention of “manmade climate cataclysms” uppermost. Fund assets are used to drive “net zero” climate agendas and punish or de-fund fossil fuel companies.

That narrow focus creates serious problems. Those trillions of dollars are supposed to be passively invested in index and other funds, under fiduciary obligations to secure maximum returns in support of state, local, corporate and personal retirement and investment accounts. Under ESG, however, strong returns are too often sacrificed to serve politicized agendas, often in collusion with governments, activists and other financial institutions, and thus also in violation of antitrust laws and basic ethical principles.

That’s why Asset manager Vanguard recently left the UN-sponsored “Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero.” Meanwhile, Arizona, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas, West Virginia and other states are pulling tens of billions of dollars out of BlackRock, State Street and other Wall Street asset management firms, for violating fiduciary duties. It’s just the tip of the fraud iceberg.

Woke ESG practitioners also employ narrow ES&G definitions to virtue-signal, pontificate and impose prescriptive agendas with little or no regard for the consequences. When the “existential threat of manmade climate change” is the primary arbiter, enormous problems associated with replacing fossil fuels with “clean renewable energy” are simply ignored, suppressed and censored out of the analysis.

People and planet realities absolutely have to be included in any ethical ESG analysis.

Environmental protection. Rather than looking only at the temperatures, storms, droughts, rising seas and other environmental costs that climate models falsely blame on fossil fuel emissions – any accurate and honest ESG scorecard must also assess the enormous ecological impacts from wind-solar-battery (WSB) energy systems that will supposedly replace oil, gas and coal.

WSB systems and associated transmission lines do not appear spontaneously, via Materials Acquisition for Global Industrial Change (MAGIC). They require mining on unprecedented scales. President Biden’s initial batch of offshore wind turbines alone would require 110,000 tons of copper, refined from 25,000,000 tons of ore, after removing 40,000,000 tons of overburden – plus millions of tons of iron, manganese, aluminum, nickel, concrete, plastics and other materials … from billions of tons of ores.

Replacing all U.S. coal and gas electricity generation with WSB – plus gasoline vehicles and gas stoves and furnaces – would require tens of thousands of wind turbines, billions of solar panels, billions of battery modules for vehicles and backup electricity storage, and thousands of miles of new transmission lines. Has BlackRock calculated the ore body and mining requirements for that? For a global transition?

All those turbines, panels, modules, transmission lines, mines, processing plants and factories have to be located somewhere. Have the ESG potentates determined in whose backyards they will go? (Probably not Larry Fink’s or John Kerry’s.) Have they assessed the impacts on scenery, habitats and wildlife? the air and water pollution from the mines and other operations? the likelihood that endangered right whales would be driven to extinction by wind turbine installations off the U.S. Atlantic Coast?

Do all these WSB mines, foundries, factories and impacts even get (obviously negative) ESG scores?

Social justice. ESG theology holds that the poor and people of color suffer most from climate change. In reality, they benefit most from having abundant, reliable, affordable fuels and electricity – for cars, jobs, modern homes, cooking, heat and air conditioning. In fact, the poor and people of color are not faring all that well in Britain and Europe, where the “transition to green energy” is well underway.

Over seven million British households have fallen into “fuel poverty” this winter, and special “warm rooms” have been set up to help people survive freezing weather. Recent headlines warn that Britain could have nationwide blackouts and extensive factory shutdowns and layoffs this winter. In Germany, families are stocking up on candles, so that they can at least read while they shiver jobless in their homes.

People are dying – who would have survived illnesses and preexisting health conditions if they hadn’t been so impoverished, cold and malnourished. In the USA, 14% of seniors have skipped meals and 10% delayed or canceled medical procedures or rationed prescription medications in 2022 because of sharply rising energy, food and other prices. Honest ESG scores would factor all this in, as well.

Developing countries desperately need dependable, affordable electricity to create jobs, lift families out of poverty, modernize homes, schools and hospitals, provide clean water, and replace wood and animal dung for cooking and heating. Even today, millions of parents and children die from respiratory and intestinal diseases that are unheard of in wealthy countries, because they don’t have electricity.

ESG scoring ignores all of this, actively stymies investment in fossil fuel power plants in African and other countries, and attempts to limit financing to wind and solar energy and whatever jobs and living standards this limited, weather-dependent energy can support. That’s hardly ethical or socially responsible.

Governance of corporate and societal affairs. ESG activists and financial institutions coopt and collude with corporate, federal, state and local governments to serve the climate crisis agenda, and drive investment out of fossil fuel endeavors and into “renewable” energy. In essence, this is fascism, an economic system in which government doesn’t own the means of production, but controls them through laws, policies and arrangements with financial institutions, corporations, activists, media and academia.

Equally troublesome, ESG inevitably results in modern industrialized nations de-developing, as their factories and jobs migrate to China, India and other countries that are not obligated under climate agreements to reduce their coal and natural gas use anytime soon, have no intention of doing so, and are burning record amounts of coal to ensure reliable and affordable electricity.

This also raises disturbing national security concerns, as the United States and its allies become ever more dependent on Chinese factories and Chinese controlled supply chains for wind, solar, battery, transformer, communication, computing, healthcare and even defense/weaponry raw materials and technologies.

ESG advocates minimize these concerns, even as they ignore how soaring raw material demands under Net Zero agendas would trigger skyrocketing prices for increasingly scarce commodities, and thus imperil the energy infrastructures and economies of nations across the globe.

The words scam and fraud come to mind. But an even better term has its origins in China – Shanghaied: using trickery, intimidation or violence to force someone to serve your navy … or company. In this case, ESG pressures are forcing investors, companies and countries to serve the interest of China’s government and corporate sectors, which control supply chains and manufacturing for technologies of every description, especially in the energy sector. ESG scorecards pay no attention to this, either.

In fact, BlackRock, State Street, other ESG stalwarts, and their government and environmentalist allies seem intent on destroying our planet with “green” energy, to save it from fossil fuel calamities that exist in climate models and fevered imaginations (as in “Earth has a fever”) … but not in the Real World.

This Christmas or Hanukkah, let’s all give our friends, relatives and financial institutions the gift of wise, honest, accurate and insightful Environmental, Social and Governance principles.

Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of books and articles on energy, environmental and human rights issues.


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  • New Green Republics: Utopia or the Elites Inherit the Earth?

New Green Republics: Utopia or the Elites Inherit the Earth?

William L. Kovacs

August 2022

New Green Republics:  Utopia or the Elites Inherit the Earth?

As governments and their institutions, big business, financial institutions, environmental groups, and the radical left are consumed with anxiety over climate change, they seem to ignore every other issue confronting humanity. Or, is their use of climate change a false narrative to hide their real intent? The recent baffling actions by governments in Sri Lanka and the Netherlands point to the establishment of “New Green Republics.” The Biden administration is attempting to pursue a similar course.

Sri Lanka is an island nation off the coast of India. It had been rebuilding itself for decades after years of authoritarian rule. Its agriculture yield had so dramatically increased it had become a middle-income nation until its government banned the use of fertilizers for growing crops. The nation quickly became a nightmare with people starving, a third of its land dormant, crop yields cut in half, energy shortages and skyrocketing inflation. The people revolted.

At the same time, the Netherlands government announced plans to cut emissions of nitrogen and ammonia thereby forcing the closure of thousands of family farms. Another baffling move since Dutch farmers are the second largest food exporters in the world. The farmers launched protests similar to the Canadian truckers. The protests are ongoing.

Across the world, governments are seeking to ban new factory farms, pesticides, and even the use of pesticides on private property, beef, turkey, chicken, and cheese. Environmentalists are even organizing a revolution against factory-made food. To some, the entire food system is a threat to the environment.

Several commentators attribute Sri Lanka’s fall to its president’s “being under the spell of western green elites peddling organic agriculture and seeking a high ESG” (Environment, Social and Governance) rating. Sri Lanka has a near-perfect ESG score of 98. The U.S. has a 51, down with Cuba and Bulgaria. The Netherlands has a 90.7 ESG score.

These woke-type governments are choosing “climate and ESG goals at the expense of feeding their populations and enabling citizens to keep their homes warm during the winter.” These governments, including the Biden administration, seem to be under some type of a spell that blocks their use of common sense to work for the betterment of their people.

Unfortunately, for all who somehow give credence to ESG scores, they are like all other ranking efforts, subjective to the narrative to be achieved. An ESG score is defined as a numerical measure of how a corporation or country is perceived to be performing on a wide range of environmental, social, and governance topics. The operative word in the definition is “perceived.” How is the nation perceived? There is a gap between what is real and what is perceived. It’s simply a branding effort.  Moreover, for government ratings, an ESG rating “explains” how a nation’s risk factors impact the long-term sustainability of the economy, in addition to its debt.

This is where government decisions become baffling. Why would a country with a growing economy and high ESG rating intentionally ban pesticides and harm the economy and health of its people? Why would the Biden administration want to eliminate fossil fuels and the 6,000 essential products made from the components, to sabotage the living standards of most citizens?

These decisions simply do not make sense.

Decisions to throw a nation into turmoil actually conflict with the goal of ESG which is to help investors assess the sustainability of a country. A nation in chaos is not sustainable under any circumstances. These arbitrary decisions more closely resemble decisions made by Caligula, the Roman emperor who gave his horse a majestic house and, to prove his absolute power, sought to appoint the horse to the high office of consul, before being assassinated.

A “spell” to protect the environment should cause the bewitched ruler to protect the environment; whereas destroying the means to produce food or energy, the ruler is forcing the nation into chaos, perhaps revolution. Both outcomes would destroy the environment. There must be a more existential reason.  Either it is a drive to form a utopia, or it’s the implementation of the long-held belief of the radical environmental community that humanity is a cancer on the earth, and must go.

Finding utopia has been a dream of philosophers for centuries. Their dreams are structured around a beneficial elite; religious dogma, science, machine rule, communism, or totalitarianism. Perhaps the elite would retry one of these worn-out systems, but it is almost impossible to keep seven billion people down on the farm after they had some exposure to freedom, food, and energy.

If the ruler takes the utopian path, it would have to take the path described by some as the “Great Reset.”  ESG would become a “social credit system to drive ownership and production away from the non-woke or non-compliant.” It is a system in which profitable monopolies and the state rule by controlling big data, artificial intelligence, genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics. Humans would only know what the elite allow them to know. All human thought would be transferred to the elite. The human mind would be in an “inescapable prison. “The major problem with the utopian model is the difficulty of feeding seven billion humans. The elite would have to develop a massive food production system which would be extremely expensive, especially with bans on many foods. It would literally require the enslavement of much of the population. Since the cost of all living in utopia is too high, the elite need an easier plan to implement.

Plan B, is the plan the radical community has written about for a century, the mass reduction of humans. The Left’s Little Red Book on Forming a New Green Republic is a collection of quotations from the radical left that supports this view in their own words.

The famous undersea explorer, Jacque-Yves-Cousteau noted “It’s terrible to have to say this. The world population must be stabilized and to do that we must eliminate 350,000 people per day This is so horrible to contemplate that we shouldn’t even say it. But the general situation in which we are involved is lamentable.”

One of the wishes of Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, President of the World Wildlife Fund International was “If I were reincarnated, I would wish to be returned to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.” And, our college-age students are being taught that government must focus on reducing the world population by at least 80%.

Perhaps the most honest discussion of humans being cancer on the earth is presented in a 2019 essay in Culturico, a Swiss Cultural platform that bills itself as fighting misinformation.  Culturico compares humans to cancer cells. The environment is our host and the selfish, harmful actions of humans are destroying the host, just as a tumor would destroy living organisms in our body. The platform goes through the five steps of how tumors spread cancer. The essay ends with the question, “Can we conclude that humans are a cancer? Yes, we are.”

If the environmental community believes its own writings, and there is no reason to doubt its beliefs, its long-term goal is to radically reduce the human population on this planet. So, the next time some ruler, be it president, minister, or chief, performs a baffling act that harms a large number of people for some inexplicable reason, ask yourself what the rulers’ real intentions are. The ruler may be stupid, evil, or power-hungry but the ruler may be following the elite’s playbook of wanting humans gone so the elite can inhabit the earth without us cancer cells threatening their reign of the planet.


William L. Kovacs has served as senior vice-president for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, chief counsel to a congressional committee, and a partner in law D.C. law firms, and his book Reform the Kakistocracy is the winner of the 2021 Independent Press Award for Political/Social Change. His second book, The Left’s Little Red Book on Forming a New Green Republic is a collection of quotes from the Left on how to control society by eliminating capitalism, people, and truth.