by Tom Gow, FFS VP
Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them by Steve Milloy (Regnery, 2009)
Perhaps you think the green movement is merely a fad perpetuated by overzealous conservationists with no deep consequences for you. Think again.
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In Green Hell, Steve Milloy demonstrates with exceptional clarity that our way of life — our health, mobility, comfort, prosperity, a first-world standard of living, and most especially our freedom — is at risk due to well organized and well funded revolutionaries.
We predict that Milloy’s timely exposure of the green agenda will make your blood boil — even if you are a veteran of the freedom fight.
As Milloy shows, America has a largely misunderstood enemy within our gates working to destroy our success and create an Orwellian nightmare. Because it is not clearly recognized for what it is, this subversive movement is much more dangerous than an obvious external enemy.
Green Hell is totally within the grasp of non-technical readers. Although Milloy is well versed in the science (he is the founder of junkscience.com), his book refrains from arguing the science. Instead, he lets the greens indict themselves with their outrageous record of incessant obstruction. After reading Green Hell, anyone with an ounce of commonsense should be outraged and concerned.
And that is the invaluable contribution of Green Hell. The research Milloy has assembled clearly reveals the underlying green agenda — government control of our lives and an enforced Spartan existence. Or as Milloy expresses it:
“Make no mistake: living green is really about someone else microregulating you — downsizing your dreams and plugging each one of us into a brand new social order for which we never bargained. It’s about … having the boundaries of your life drawn by others.
“The central concept of this book is that there is hardly any area of your life that the greens consider off limits to intrusion. There is almost no personal behavior of yours that they consider too trivial or sacrosanct to regulate.”
You may be thinking that Milloy is exaggerating the threat. But as Green Hell clearly shows, “this is how the greens themselves describe their intentions. Their words alone reveal their true intent: to curtail, to ration, to force, to deny, to compel, and to squeeze.”
Green Hell also reveals the credibility of the threat — the tremendous funding, high level support, and tactics that have been able to steamroll natural resistance and drive the green agenda forward.
Milloy’s warnings cannot be dismissed as the rantings of some radical author with a minimal following. Indeed, Milloy is a columnist for FoxNews and an adjunct scholar at the Competitive Free Enterprise Institute. The book’s jacket describes Milloy as “An outspoken defender of the free market against the junk science and false claims disseminated by the Greens, [whose] columns and op-ed pieces have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Financial Times, and Los Angeles Times.”
The Movement’s Structure
Milloy examines only briefly the “vast and multilayered network of private organizations working to advance green policy.” Instead, he has opted to focus on the actions and public policy impact of a few of the most prominent organizations within the network rather than its makeup:
“The green workhorses are the Natural Resources Defense Council boasting $88 million in annual revenue and $167 million in assets, according to Forbes, and the Environmental Defense Fund, enjoying $83 million in annual revenue and $108 million in assets.”
Milloy does, however, provide examples to differentiate the various layers of this network:
“From the Earth Liberation Front, an FBI-labeled terrorist group, to ‘street theater’ groups like Greenpeace and the Rainforest Action Network, to suit-and tie ‘mainstream’ activist organizations like the Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Defense Fund, to ‘old money’ private foundations like the Rockefeller Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts, the greens can muster an array of forces — protestors, lawyers, scientists, journalists, and others — to get things done.”
We include here a perhaps unnecessary disclaimer. We do not suggest, nor does Milloy, that the majority of those who identify with green causes have anything but genuine concern over the environment at heart. But the driving force behind the movement — follow the money — is subversive. What makes the green movement so dangerous is that “saving the planet” is really just a clever emotional pretext obscuring the movement’s driving agenda to empower government to regulate our downsized lives.
In Green Hell, Milloy also examines the successful strategies this network uses to implement its agenda and block economic progress. These include harnessing the courts, generating the appearance of mass support (allowing its allies in government to move forward), and pressuring politicians to conform by claiming the moral high ground:
“One of the most effective weapons in the greens’ arsenal has been their ingenious manipulation of language and, in turn, the framing of ideas. While green opponents have yet to even name their cause, the greens for a long time have shaped the debate through the use of loaded buzzwords and hard-to-argue modifiers….”
The greens realize that politicians find it enormously difficult to oppose “smart growth,” “optimum population,” or “sustainability,” terms which sound so responsible. Yet “smart growth” means isolated, crowded, self-contained communities, “optimum population” refers to government-enforced population control, and “sustainability” masks determined opposition to all economic activity and development.
The Green War on Energy
A primary green objective is to create scarcities, which then provide the pretext for government regulation and rationing. And what better place to bring a modern industrial nation to its knees than to starve it of energy?
In the late sixties and early seventies, the anti-nuclear movement, in cooperation with revolutionaries in government, largely killed the use of this American technology on American soil.
The current tactic to achieve energy scarcity, promoted by the Obama administration, is to emphasize the development of “renewable” energy, while attaching burdensome strings to the construction of power plants and the development of resources that can realistically supply our immediate energy needs, such as oil from shale. Colorado, as Milloy points out, is the Saudia Arabia of shale oil. Yet this resource has for years been off limits to development.
Green Hell provides a much-needed dose of reality regarding promises that a modern society can be run anytime soon on the alternative sources being touted, and Milloy points out the enormous expense in trying.
Moreover, when push comes to shove, as Milloy shows, green leaders will oppose even their “renewable” sources where these sources look like they might offer serious help, since the real but not advertised objective is no energy. The renewable energy campaign is really just a campaign to create shortages (at immense expense) that government can ration.
Milloy hits the nail on the head: “When combined with the supposed crisis of global warming, energy shortages provide the greens with an urgent rationale for unprecedented government action.”
In fact, the greens support a massive assault on virtually every alternative to satisfying human wants (even targeting the water supply, as we shall see). The only solution acceptable to the greens is mandatory regulation of human existence to a primitive level. The greens seek to bring this regulation about by inducing crises and shortages that justify Big Brother stepping in to save the day.
In support, Milloy quotes columnist George Will:
“For some people, environmentalism is collectivism in drag…. Rather, for them, changing society’s politics is the end, and environmental policies are mere means to that end.” [Many sixties-era, anti-Vietnam War protestors have simply found a new focus for socialist activism.]“One of the collectivists’ tactics is to produce scarcities, particularly of what makes modern society modern — the energy requisite for social dynamism and individual economy…. Focusing on one energy source at a time, they stress the environmental hazards of finding, developing, transporting, manufacturing or using oil, natural gas, coal or nuclear power.”
Milloy concludes: “But if the government were to use an energy crisis as a pretext to tighten its grip on the energy supply, it would vastly expand the state’s ability to dictate the everyday parameters of how we live our lives….. [E]nergy — the very thing that has enabled the American way of life — can also be used to quash it.”
The Green War on the Private Automobile
Americans owe much to the development and mass production of the automobile. For the better part of a century, the automobile has supported unparalleled mobility, prosperity, and freedom.
Yet the greens (in alliance with socialists in general) are conducting all out war on the private automobile. Milloy devotes an entire chapter to this war. For example, Milloy cites the Natural Resources Defense Council’s “Drive Less and Drive Smarter” pitch to San Francisco Bay residents: “It’s time to rethink our relationship with the automobile.”
Green suggestions for rethinking our relationship include the obvious leftist promotion of public transportation but also include “choose a compact neighborhood,” where you don’t need a car. And this highlights another green enemy “suburban sprawl” — in favor of high density living, which the greens cleverly refer to as “smart growth.”
As Milloy points out, the war on the private automobile involves more than just cutting oil consumption. Even the new federal standards for more fuel efficient cars do not satisfy the greens. (As Milloy points out, the new standards, in the absence of non-existent miracle technology, will simply force auto manufacturers to build lighter, less safe cars. And the Obama administration is pushing all kinds of unproductive, cost-prohibitive non-solutions, such as electric cars.)
In order to reduce driving, the “greens are working toward a more radical solution: ditching the gas tax in favor of a per-mile driving fee” — or as Milloy wisely observes, green politicians would likely saddle us with both.
A related green proposal is for “universal tolling.” The greens have been very successful in obstructing the building of new highways, notably in California. “As it turns out,” Milloy explains, “the greens only support converting existing roads into toll roads…. In practice, they oppose building new toll roads, because they see them as just another place for you to use your car.”
Regulating Human Existence
The greens work incessantly to create shortages, while propagandizing everyone that abundance is not sustainable. Indeed, a year prior to the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, Canadian multimillionaire Maurice Strong, the secretary-general for the Rio conference, wrote:
“It is clear that current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle-class … involving high meat intake, consumption of large amounts of frozen and ‘convenience’ foods, ownership of motor vehicles, numerous electric household appliances, home and workplace air-conditioning … expansive suburban housing … are not sustainable.” — August 1991 UNCED report.
By creating shortages, the greens expect to “force through dramatic, mandatory conservation laws.” Water, as Milloy points out, is by far the most abundant substance on the planet. But if the greens have their way, water “will soon be in desperately short supply.”
As an example of the anti-water agenda, Milloy points to the Sierra Club which “has a laundry list of action times to achieve this, including a nationwide moratorium on withdrawals from, and diversions of, rivers that could affect fish and wildlife or scenic values; groundwater use restrictions; a ban on transfers between watersheds; and redirecting federal efforts away from designing new water development projects and toward maintenance of existing projects.”
Milloy informs us that the greens have also developed arguments to oppose importing water from Canada, which holds about 20 percent of the world’s fresh water supply, and to prohibit diversions of Great Lakes water by pipeline or ship. They even seek to block exporting bottled water from the Great Lakes.
Enormous resources and organization are required to develop the “research,” legal briefs, and arguments to sustain the green assault. We are reminded of the warnings of Admiral Chester Ward, who as a long-time invited member of the Establishment’s Council on Foreign Relations resigned in disgust and described in an exposé how the CFR developed pressure on Congress and overcame public opposition:
“Once the ruling members of CFR have decided that the U.S. government should adopt a particular policy, the very substantial research facilities of CFR are put to work to develop arguments, intellectual and emotional, to support the new policy, and to confound and discredit, intellectually and politically, any opposition.”
Although bottled water is a massive industry, Milloy notes that green opposition is beginning to show some traction: “By September 2008, St. Louis and Seattle had passed their own bans on city purchases of bottled water, while Chicago now taxes the product.” Milloy summarizes: “Although it’s indisputable that we need water from somewhere, the greens are agitating to ensure that there is water nowhere. These efforts reflect the greens’ negative view of humankind’s very presence on earth.”
What Else Can They Regulate?
After regulating water, what else? “Food,” says Milloy:
“According to the greens, the food you choose to eat has dramatic ramifications for the environment — and therefore your diet is the rightful focus of public policy…. The NRDC advises you to ‘encourage businesses and government bodies to adopt procurement policies favoring locally grown, organic, and sustainably harvested foods that are minimally processed’ (emphasis added).”
But Milloy points out that the green worldwide campaign against pesticides flies in the face of the green harping on conservation. He quotes the Economist:
“So producing the world’s current agricultural crop organically [without chemical fertilizer] would require several times as much land as is currently cultivated. There wouldn’t be much room left for the rainforest.”
In Green Hell, Milloy has assembled many more examples of the hypocrisy of the advertised agenda of the green movement. He also includes a chapter devoted to demonstrating that key leaders within the movement — Al Gore, even Barack Obama — don’t walk the walk. Indeed greens are noted for holding international conferences in plush, air-conditioned hotels where they develop plans to curtail the air conditioning for the rest of us. It is refreshing to find that Milloy recognizes the true character of the movement — a Marxist power grab — and that, among its top leaders, pretended concern for the environment merely serves as an effective rallying cry.
Ideological Child Abuse
Perhaps, the most disturbing aspect of the green campaign is the effort to indoctrinate kids and turn them into “green shock troups.” Milloy offers several examples, including the movie Arctic Tale, co-written by one of Al Gore’s daughters. As the New York Post described the 2007 live-animal action drama, “At the end, a parade of multiracial cherubs marches in to try to turn your kids into roboscolds who will accuse you of killing polar bears if you buy frozen food, use bright light bulbs, stay in the shower too long or fail to buy a Prius.”
In 2008, a British energy company created a game to turn kids into energy police in order to “cut down on the climate crimes that are taking place in your home.” Forms kids could use to cite their parents for infractions were available online.
The passion to manipulate kids to support a revolutionary agenda and undermine respect for parental authority and traditional values is often found in the socialist school system. When encouraged by government power, history provides disturbing examples of where this can lead. During the Stalin era, for example, 14-year-old Pavlik Morozov was made into a “Hero of the Soviet Union” for betraying his parents. And Hitler had his Hitler Youth.
National Sovereignty and Security Also at Risk
Although Milloy devotes little space to the international green network, he does recognize that there is a broader agenda that threatens our national sovereignty and military readiness.
In fact, Milloy titles one section “National Sovereignty: It Was Nice While It Lasted” and notes: “[T]he greens aim to use the specter of a global warming catastrophe to subjugate America to global governance.” And he explains the dangers of global governance to our system of government and the constitutional protections for our rights.
With regard to the green danger to U.S. military readiness, Milloy reports on defense policies that could make army vehicles such as tanks more fuel efficient (and thereby lighter and more vulnerable in battle). He even chronicles a temporarily successful green action through the courts to restrict the use of sonar by U.S. submarines trying to defend our coast, all because of an alleged adverse impact on whales.
The Obama Administration
An important selling point for Green Hell is its timeliness. It was published well after the recent presidential election, so Milloy was able to include an entire chapter on what he calls America’s “First Green President.” Although we would dispute that President Obama is the nation’s “First Green President,” he is undoubtedly the nation’s most fervently green president.
Amazingly, many Americans know little about the man they elected as the federal government’s chief executive. Green Hell reveals that “the greens made an early investment in Obama’s political career,” which Obama later acknowledged was pivotal in helping him win the Illinois Senate seat in 2004.
Milloy specifically targets the appointments President Obama selected to implement his green agenda: “Perhaps the most notable — and worrisome is the naming of Carol Browner as White House coordinator of energy and climate policy.” Milloy describes her association with Al Gore and her work as head of the EPA in the Clinton administration. Highlighting a less well known part of her radical resume, Milloy points to her “recent membership in the Socialist International’s Commission for a Sustainable World Society, a group that aims to ‘establish a genuinely new international economic order.’”
Thankfully, Milloy seems to appreciate that partisan politics are not the answer and that Republicans also carry the green banner, if not always so blatantly: “There was virtually no daylight between Obama and John McCain on environmental and energy issues….” Nevertheless, the Obama administration is committed to pushing the pedal to the metal with the green agenda.
An Inadequate Solution
Milloy’s final chapter “Fighting Back” proposes to deliver on the promise in the subtitle “and What You Can Do to Stop Them.” Not surprisingly, however, a book that deals so capably with an analysis of the problem falls way short of offering an adequate solution.
In general, we have little quarrel with Milloy’s advice. Much of it is good, such as how to keep the “greens” from holding the moral high ground and how to win the war of words. And Milloy does demonstrate that “green” initiatives can be derailed. His examples of clever grassroots tactics that embarrassed the greens, some as personal undertakings, will undoubtedly encourage readers.
Our objection to Milloy’s “solution” is to what’s missing. We see the book as providing grossly inadequate leadership for a solution based on two shortcomings:
First, Milloy openly admits: “There’s no question that the greens have us out-funded and out-organized on every front.” But then he fails do draw the appropriate conclusion: that adequate opposition to the greens requires good organization, sound leadership, and a good plan.
Instead, Milloy recommends individual grassroots activity: “If You Can’t Out-gun Them, Out-smart Them.” He suggests ways readers can act individually, as they are inspired, suggesting that there are opportunities all around you — you can figuratively shoot in any direction. For example, at City Council meetings, Milloy suggests asking the embarrassing questions the greens don’t want asked: “Get your facts straight and make a nuisance of yourself.”
But the actions of a few of the book’s inspired readers cannot possibly stand up in volume or duration to the well organized and funded green onslaught. Part of the answer, therefore, has to be to build the counter organization to “Out-gun Them.” That is what Freedom First Society is working to accomplish.
And it is possible to “Out-gun Them” for, as Milloy himself points out, the greens lack “anything near the popular mandate they claim.” But Milloy fails even to advocate sharing his book with others to increase the number involved in the resistance. A “Suggested Reading and Viewing” appendix, however, does promote several works that we have recommended and would recommend.
Our second objection is based on the important principle, summarized by Napoleon Bonaparte, that “the purely defensive is doomed to defeat.” Incredibly, Green Hell is very much on target in taking the offensive to expose the real green game plan, behind its veil of pretended concern for the environment. In fact, Green Hell very capably exposes that game plan, in a more compelling way, than anything we have seen. Yet in the chapter on solutions, the action recommendations are limited to defending against green initiatives.
However, the lack of an adequate solution does not greatly diminish the book’s value as a wake-up tool if it is used as part of a larger program to offer the required leadership. Our criticism merely means that promoting the book alone is not a sufficient solution.
Although our review has highlighted several points from the book, concerned Americans need to read Green Hell in its entirety and then use the book, which is particularly convincing and supported by extensive documentation, to wake-up other Americans and especially bring it to the attention of local policy makers. And most importantly follow up to suggest a real solution, namely to build that counter-organization.
For follow-up reading, we highly recommend our own book, Organize for Victory!, which explains our solution for countering the forces working to impose total government on America.