Review of Environmentalism Gone Mad:How a Sierra Club Activist and Senior EPA Analyst Discovered a Radical Green Energy Fantasy, by Alan Carlin (Mt. Vernon, Washington: Stairway Press), 565 pp., ISBN-978-1-941071-13-7, ISBN-978-1-941071-92-2; $24.62
It would be impossible to write a better book about environmentalism, global warming, government corruption, federal overreach, and the solutions to all the resulting problems.
Author Alan Carlin’s book provides an incredible look into his 38 years inside the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) after a significant stint working alongside the Sierra Club, and the degrees he earned in physics and economics add to the author’s unique perspective.
Do not be intimidated by the book’s length, because to be fair, it is three great books in one. It’s a memoir of a wonderful man and a brilliant scientist and economist, a short course in basic science and methodology, and a historical analysis of how many individuals, organizations, and governments cooperated to fabricate a catastrophic concern for a fraudulent global warming problem in order to gain unequaled power and money.
Over his career, Carlin has studied the science and economics of development projects all over the world, giving him rare insight into how to improve people’s quality of life while maintaining the environment. He started working for EPA at its founding in 1971, and watched from the beginning as it slowly become a wholly owned subsidiary of the radical environmental movement. Carlin describes in detail how EPA transformed from a problem-solving organization into a power-mad activist group.
Better than anyone before, Carlin reveals the motivations driving many environmental groups, who look to maintain their staffs and enhance their budgets and power rather than to protect the environment. Carlin says many academics recognized the advantages of helping create and sustain a government cash cow and are motivated to produce findings that perpetuate the fear-driven, yet lucrative, belief man is causing global warming.
Carlin also examines the United Nations’ desire to be the world’s most powerful governing body; how liberal politicians use pseudoscience to obtain green votes; the media’s motivation to find green stories that capture attention, even if untrue; and how public employees, drunk with power, take advantage of the climate change industry.
During his career, Carlin attempted to expose the scientific malfeasance, ineptitude, and outright corruption behind many modern environmental initiatives. Activists attacked his credentials as a result, and his supervisors at EPA forbade Carlin to work on climate change issues.
Provides Basic Science Course
Chapter 9 offers a basic introductory level course on science. Carlin uses the theory of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming as a sample of what science looks like when it’s at its worst. He also discusses the scientific process and peer-review publishing, all while exposing the complete failure of every Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report at every turn.
“What this means in plain English is that the U.S. government has wasted tens of billions of dollars building climate models that cannot begin to approximate the real climate and then compounded the error by asserting that the model results prove the necessity to spend trillions more remaking the energy economy of the U.S. and the world,” wrote Carlin.
Carlin says the scientific method has been abandoned by many of our most prestigious scientific societies, university professors, EPA, and the current president.
In making his case, Carlin shows how environmentalists employ many of the logical fallacies Aristotle detailed 2,000 ago. Prominent among the fallacies radical environmentalists and their political allies commit in pushing their climate agenda are the appeal to numbers and the appeal to authority. Carlin explains it really does not matter who the proponents of global warming are or what their backgrounds or status may be; the only relevant evidence comes through testing a hypothesis against real world observations.
Among the most powerful sections of the book is his list of 32 questions alarmists refuse to answer. For example, Carlin asks, “Why do [climate alarmists] persistently withhold the data on which their conclusions are based … [and] why are they vague about the methods used to produce the data from which they derive their results?”
Of equal interest is his easy-to-understand economic analysis of the foolish acts the U.S. government is undertaking to combat global warming, restrict the use of DDT, and mandate the use of biofuels, renewable energy, and recycling.
The Heartland Institute and I are on record as recommending phasing out EPA in favor of a proposed committee composed of each state’s own Environmental Protection Agency. Carlin’s solutions to the EPA-created regulatory nightmare include rescinding the carbon dioxide endangerment finding and all regulations based on it; encouraging environmentally responsible energy development; ending U.S. funding for climate research at EPA and support of the IPCC; ending the suppression of free speech by public employees; prohibiting EPA from using secret science; requiring a periodical review and evaluation of existing regulations; and requiring congressional review of all regulations surpassing an established cost ceiling.
“Radical environmentalists essentially advocate that the poor of the world should remain poor by living at subsistence levels in order to avoid emitting a gas that enables plants to grow better and makes it possible for humans to use energy to assist them in their daily tasks and ultimately leave much disease, malnutrition and other forms of deprivation behind,” wrote Carlin in a summary of his findings.
You will never regret investing your time reading this wonderful book.
Jay Lehr, Ph.D. is science director of The Heartland Institute.