In “Citizens’ Climate Lobby founder must rein in overaggressive volunteers” (May 28) I’m the “overaggressive volunteer” that Tom Harris is complaining about. I wrote a letter to this newspaper recently pointing out that Harris’ climate change denial pseudoscience is clandestinely funded by fossil fuel corporations. You can see the documentation for that on the DeSmog Blog (One of TIME magazine’s Top Ten Blogs). You can also read more about Harris on the award-winning Skeptical Science website, which is run by volunteer climate scientists. (Harris is not a climate scientist; he’s an engineer and he’s never published a peer-reviewed science paper in his life.)
A basic difference between Mr Harris and myself is that Harris believes, as he writes in has last letter, “It does not matter who funds us.” I believe it matters a lot. Harris’ conflict of interest is obvious. The fossil fuel industry secretively spends millions to run a climate denial operation using denier-for-hire “scientists” to make people believe A) global warning doesn’t exist/ isn’t a problem, or B) it isn’t manmade or C) it’s a problem that shouldn’t be addressed by reducing fossil fuel use.
The goal of the fossil fuel denial operation is to create all kinds of doubts and confusion in the public mind so no action is taken and fossil fuel corporate profits continue to roll in. (Scientific American online, “Dark Money” and “How to Make Friends and Bamboozle People About Climate Change”) That’s where Harris comes in.
Why else is Mr. Harris so opposed to solar and wind energy development? It’s something that a poll recently published by Reuters shows is supported by over 90% of Americans. Global warming aside, solar and wind energy development would create millions of US jobs (net) and add tens of billions annually to our GDP (REMI). Just last week there was an article in Newsweek saying that renewable energy will create over a million new US jobs,
Clean energy would also prevent over 30,000 deaths in the US annually from carbon pollution. (EPA) Over 800,000 die globally each year from the carbon pollution caused by burning fossil fuels. (World Health Organization). Isn’t that reason enough to phase out fossil fuels?
As for Mr.Harris’ animosity towards The Citizens Climate Lobby, this a classic case of the little guys, the average citizens, against big corporate special interests, which Harris represents.
CCL is a volunteer organization that operates on a shoestring. There are thousands of us all across the country and we’re doubling our membership every year. Check out our website to find out more about us.
CCL members simply care about the health and safety of their children and grandchildren and about having a safe and livable planet for future generations; and we know we have a practical and economically beneficial solution to global warming that’s backed by hard evidence. That’s why we write letters to the editor: to let other people know about our game-changing idea.
The worldwide scientific community agrees we must stop burning fossil fuels if we are to stop global warming. (IPCC)
The Citizens Climate Lobby advocates using free-market forces, rather than government regulations, to transition from fossil fuel to renewable power. Over 2,500 major economists agree and nine of them have Nobel Prizes. (Wikipedia) We know this plan works because it’s been successful in British Columbia for six years. (“The Economist”)
The plan the Citizens Climate Lobby supports would make all fossil fuel corporations pay a carbon pollution fee that increases annually. All of that money would be given directly to every American every month so they can use it to buy clean energy at a profit as fossil fuels become increasingly more expensive, Put the same increasing fee on imports from carbon polluters like China, till they reduce their imports, in the form of a “border tariff” and give that money to Americans so they can buy cheaper US products.
Pete Kuntz resides in Lancaster, Pa.