Only in America. The recent Heartland Climate Conference in the ‘Free State’ of Florida was about much more than its headline billing. It was about a confirmation of traditional American values, free enterprise, free speech, patriotism, the nuclear family and tolerance for religious faith. In short, everything the modern Left despises. Climate change’s cult worship of a new religion of Gaia is just another stick to beat America’s traditional values and impose the collectivist new order of societal control of all thought, word and deed. Nothing like this ferocity of opposition is to be found in Europe. In the U.K., the number of elected Conservative politicians genuinely pushing back against the Left’s destructive agenda can be almost counted on the hand of Dr. Ian Plimer’s sawmill worker.
This is not a gathering of conspiracy nuts. There are no rabbit holes to escape from the reality of basic, hard sceptical science in this gathering. One of the seminar rooms was named in memory of Walt Cunningham, a physicist, past conference attender and an all round American hero having piloted the first Apollo mission. A climate sceptic and realist who did believe man went to the moon, a view shared, understandably, by fellow sceptics Buzz Aldrin and Apollo 17 scientist Harrison Schmitt. The latter, incidentally, helps confirm Plimer’s illustrated suggestion that geologists who believe humans cause all or most climate change are in exceedingly short supply.
One particularly insidious way the Left seeks economic control is through environmental, social and governance (ESG) scores. These enable unelected supra-national interest groups to change financial systems and traditional ways of assessing risk and allocating capital. This is a planned move away from shareholder capitalism to ‘stakeholder’ collectivism, where companies are punished if they fail to show sufficient subservience to climate and social justice issues.
Last year, Marlo Oaks, the Utah State Treasurer, pulled $100 million from Blackrock, one of the foremost promoters of ESG investing. Companies like Blackrock are not just holding shares in companies, they are engaging with them and changing them, said Oaks. Using the example of ExxonMobil, he noted that companies like Blackrock forced it to sell assets, which promptly ended up under Chinese control. “This engagement is undermining America,” he charged. When you shut down alternative viewpoints, you destroy innovation, he said. You end up with ‘experts’ running society such as the WEF, UN and the EU. “They all do such a wonderful job,” he added (to laughter).
Already there are a number of examples of the chaos that ESG is starting to cause with the catastrophe in Sri Lanka being the most prominent example to date. In April 2021, the Sri Lankan Government went down the ESG route at the urging of various international bodies and banned chemical fertiliser. Needless to say, crop production fell off a cliff with food shortages and hunger, followed by political collapse as the then president was run out of town. The Netherlands is following a similar EU directive and ordering massive cuts in the use of nitrogen fertiliser. Netherlands is a major world food grower and exporter, but its Government is driving many of its farmers off the land.