the book Green Tyranny—a fantastic history of the environmental alarmism movement—author Rupert Darwall lays responsibility for the beginning of this movement at the feet of the Germans and the Swedes.
In 1967, a Swedish scientist published the first ever “theory” on acid rain. Four years later, Bert Bolin, a Swede who would go on to chair the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), wrote the first-ever government report on acid rain.
It was a typical government report. Ninety pages long, it starts out with certainty: “The emission of sulfur into the atmosphere . . . has proved to be a major environmental problem.” Fifty pages later, however, Bolin admits to some doubt when he says, “It is very difficult to prove that damage . . . has in fact occurred.” Nevertheless, the government report concludes decisively, “A reduction in the total emissions both in Sweden and in adjacent countries is required” (emphasis added).
It was in Germany where environmentalists and antinuclear activists entered into holy matrimony. Scaling back on nuclear power, making life difficult for owners of fossil-fuel power plants, and subsidizing unreliable and inefficient solar and wind farms has been Germany’s consistent policy in the decades since. The result has been skyrocketing energy prices and an increasingly unreliable electrical grid. German engineers—having designed a bit of redundancy into their system—had historically never had problems with their electrical grid. However, by 2012, the country experienced one thousand brownouts. In 2013, that number was up to twenty-five hundred, and it has continued getting worse since. As a result, Germany’s industrial base, always a world leader, has been sadly declining as businesses choose to leave the country in search of more reliable electrical pastures.
In 1988, the IPCC was established during a meeting in Geneva, presided over by many of the same characters who’d been leading Sweden and Germany’s environmentalist movements during the preceding decades.