What does it look like if a person says, “I want in to the world of ecological protection”? What does that even mean?
I know of someone who had that exact generic wish. As usual with any problem surrounding anyone involved in the promulgation of the “crooked skeptic climate scientists” accusation …… there’s always more problems.
But let me first illustrate the basic situation this way: nobody has much of a problem with an ambitious outsider expressing a desire to become a major part of some high profile profession or glamor society enclave. A person might say he or she wants in to the car racing profession, or wants in to the high stakes world Wall Street investment banking, or wants in to the Hollywood movies scene, or in among astronomers making new discoveries in the far reaches of outer space. Fine. The rest of us might wish them well in those endeavors. Maybe they say they want in to the bruising world of politics, but when they do that, we might wonder if they actually have any personal political opinion they can readily and effectively defend, or do they just want to jump in and test the wind direction to see which fight will bring them the most fame? If they want in to the world of justice system prosecutors in order to nail bad guys to the wall, that looks even more suspect. All of us should be in on justice for crime victims, and likely can empathize with those victims. But when a person expresses no more than a really broad enthusiasm to jump into that arena, it looks like he or she just wants to get thrills out of participating in witch hunts.
Arguably, it’s problematic if a person only gushes vaguely, “I want in to the world of ecological protection.” Every responsible, caring individual citizen should favor basic environmental protection, and many of us would alert authorities if we saw someone acting illegally in a way that significantly hurts the environment. Would any of us want in as though it was some kind of glamor attraction? That sounds really insincere, and more like a desire to join a virtual lynch mob.
Witness the following verbatim transcription below.
It comes from the same 2004 ‘road trip interviewers’ (full 24 minute interview segment here) I noted briefly in my February 24, 2022 “Passacantando’s co-founding of Ozone Action ….. or not” blog post, where ex-Ozone Action founder / ex-Greenpeace USA executive director John Passacantando offered a detail about his ‘startup’ of Ozone Action which contradicted his other narratives about that, while telling his interviewers what his path was to his then-current job. Listen to what preceded that, starting at the 3:28 point where Passacantando attempts to justify “engagement” in controversial issues, and then adds more at the 4:06 point:
In my mind, my generation’s great fight, whether it’s World War II, or putting a man on the moon, or Vietnam, again whichever side you take on these things, it really doesn’t matter, it matters that you engage. You could be for the Vietnam war or against the Vietnam war, but you want to feel it, and you want to engage, right? You don’t want to kind of take a pass – “Well, I have no opinion on that”, right?
So here was this great challenge to what I thought was my generation, ecological protection. So I really wanted in. [swings his head in an exaggerated way] And somebody came along and asked me, an old friend of mine, if I would help him run a foundation that was funding a lot of environmental groups, so I did this for a couple of years, almost three years.
[Gestures in a more exaggerated way] And now I wanted in even more! And so they helped me start a small environmental group that was working on ozone depletion and then later on global warming. And then ultimately Greenpeace was looking for a new executive director, I survived the interview process, they finally offered me the job, and I said I will do it if I can merge these two groups together, Ozone Action, and I brought it in, tucked it in to Greenpeace.
Set aside the nonsensical statement that he was helped in starting a group that was already working – past tense – on ozone depletion, or that Greenpeace simply hired him and a couple of his Ozone Action employees and he brought in a giant pile of document scans, but few would describe that as any sort of corporate-style merger.
The key bit is his seemingly giddy desire to in on the “ecological protection” action, somewhere, somehow. Protection from whom? The bad guys, of course.
See the problem there? To protect the ecology of the Earth, you have to hunt down the bad guys and lynch ’em, at least figuratively. Or to characterize it more politely, “David versus Goliath.” But this mentality operates on several faults: that the ecology is being nearly irreparably harmed, and the perpetrators – no matter how they are characterized – are presumed guilty without even the effort to check if they might be innocent, and that the ‘evidence’ proving the harm and the guilt of the perpetrators is above reproach. It’s a effort driven by pure emotion.
In John Passacantando’s case, he likely saw that polar bears were going to go blind because of ozone depletion, thus the bad guys manufacturing chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that thins the ozone layer needed to be lynched. Polar bears subsequently dying from starvation resulting from the burning of fossil fuels which causes global warming leading to disappearing Arctic ice? Lynch the bad guys running ‘Big Coal & Oil’ companies.
Right out of the gate when he plunged into the “ecological protection” game, however, Passacantando probably never anticipated that he would have to defend the actual science behind his beliefs. Almost immediately, he was faced by PhD atmospheric physicist Dr S Fred Singer, who heavily questioned the idea that CFCs were responsible for ozone layer depletion, and who heavily questioned the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s idea that what little global warming we’ve experienced over the last 150 years is primarily caused by human activity.
Passacantando had no science expertise enabling him to refute any PhD-level scientist critics on the science of either issue, and likely understood the folly of tapping IPCC-associated scientists to debate skeptic scientists, which would only be interpreted by the public as evidence of an unsettled discussion. How do you steer the public away from listening to skeptic climate scientists? Label them as the bad guys …. on the payroll of ‘Big Coal & Oil.’
In case anyone hasn’t noticed, polar bears have not gone blind, and their populations are increasing.
Will the collective Gore-Oreskes-Gelbspan-“Greenpeace USA neé Ozone Action” accusation ever come up with material that could stand up in a courtroom evidentiary hearing proving a pay-for-performance arrangement existed between skeptic climate scientists and industry executives? Don’t bet the ranch on that.
When any of the 25+ “Exxon Knew”-style global warming lawsuits ever actually get underway in courtrooms, it is a sure bet that the defendants’ law firms will start asking tough questions about that apparent lack of viable evidence along with the motivations of the core promulgators of the “crooked skeptics” accusation. The same thing could happen if a Republican majority is regained in the U.S. House, where GOP committee members could launch investigations polar-opposite from the current ones that are figuratively trying to lynch fossil fuel company executives — the new goal potentially going so far as to determine whether the core promulgators of the “crooked skeptics” accusation perhaps committed epic libel / slander against skeptic climate scientists.
One of the questions that could arise in these situations is whether John Passacantando’s emotional desire to be in as a sort of judge/jury/executioner in the ‘ecological protection’ movement is suspect, made all the more suspect from his inexplicable exit out of the public eye and into what appears to be behind-the-scenes ‘ecological protection’ efforts that has netted him millions of dollars for reasons he does not share anywhere.
At this point, it is totally fair for anyone to ask, “Was it my own desire to simply want in to the skeptic side of man-caused global warming?” My answer is unequivocal:
I never had any desire whatsoever to be engaged / associated / involved in the issue in the first place. I was a skeptic back in 1988 resulting from the simplest of unanswered questions. By 2008, I ran headlong into unresolved questions of why a state governor would participate in a cap-and-trade plan when skeptic climate scientists said it was a bad idea. Unknown to me at that time, the reason was not that such participants were ignorant about those skeptics, the viral reason was that such skeptics ‘were corrupted by industry money.’ After a reporter asserted Ross Gelbspan and many others exposed this corruption, I simply asked who the others were, and when he refused to answer, I sought to answer his question for him by finding those other independent corroborators. Long story short, I never found other accusation corroborators besides him collaborating somehow with Passacantando’s Ozone Action.
I was never out to figuratively lynch anybody, all this has ever been on my part is an exercise in “just askin.'” My only goal was to bring this collective problem to the attention of Glenn Beck at Fox News, or somebody else with influential investigative resources, whereupon I could then be completely done with it, and could get back doing what ordinary private citizens do.
It’s an understatement from me to say I can’t begin to describe how much I want to be out of this issue. Why do I stay in? As the public safety adage goes, “If you see something, say something.” In my opinion, despite the enormous uphill struggle this is, my ongoing efforts to get all of this into the hands of people with major influence is the right thing to do.