Confessions of a former environmentalist


— Five reasons why I gave up on ‘green’ policies —

by Dr. Luke Conway

I used to be an environmentalist.

Dr. Luke Conway

I once wrote that “scientists are right about climate change.” I long opposed logging clear-cuts and excessive drilling. I even voted for the Green Party candidate (gasp!) for president. But this long-time supporter of environmentalism has completely abandoned its modern instantiation. Here are five reasons why.

1. Failed climate change predictions. Science is about accurate prediction. If Newton’s theory had failed to predict how apples fall, then it would be useless.

Few scientists have been as bad at this (basic) job as climate scientists. In one of the most comical episodes I’ve ever seen, climate scientists erected signs in Glacier National Park predicting its glaciers would be gone in 2020 — only to be forced to leave the signs after the predictions proved false. For a year, tourists to the park were met with a monument to the legacy of climate science: They stood looking simultaneously at glaciers … and the sign that promised, on the good authority of climate science, that the glaciers were not there.

Increasingly, climate scientists have appeared to me not as serious intellectuals but as the crazy old coot on the corner with a sign proclaiming: “The End is Near!” At some point, it is best to just avert your eyes and walk on by.

2. Where did the wild spaces go? Thoreau said of nature: “We need the tonic of wildness.” Thoreau was right about me at least. One of my primary motives for being an environmentalist was that I believed natural wild spaces were good for the soul.

I still believe that. But many modern environmentalists don’t. They have abandoned this idea and substituted in its place a cult-like obsession with a set of things that clearly won’t preserve wild spaces at all.

And that brings us to wind farms. I hate wind farms. They kill birds and destroy forest habitats. The blades are made of materials that fill waste dumps and can’t be recycled. They require lithium batteries that have to be mined with methods that create the very kinds of problems the “clean energy” movement is supposed to solve.

But for all that, my primary reason for hating wind farms is the same as my motive for opposing all those oil derricks years ago: They destroy the wild spaces of my sanity. They dilute Thoreau’s tonic.

The real problem is the scope of their effect. An oil derrick isn’t attractive—but it is a fairly contained ugliness. Wind farms, on the other hand, ruin everyone’s view for miles and miles and miles around. The higher you go in the Pennsylvania mountains, the more you ought to feel freedom. But the higher you go, the more likely you are to have your vast wild vistas displaced by wind turbines. Even if a specific turbine design is attractive, it still interrupts our ever-diminishing wild spaces. So unless you happen to be a rich Massachusetts politician with the power to stop wind farms from messing up your own pristine ocean view, the tonic you get from nature will be appreciably less curative.

Wind farms make oil derricks feel like pure mountain streams. Can we start drilling again soon?

3. Bullying over debate. One of the clear signs that a movement is rotten is when it resorts to silencing its opponents rather than debating them. The modern “green” movement contains the worst set of bullies I’ve ever seen; indeed, they serve as primary fodder for my forthcoming book called “Liberal Bullies.”

Rather than meet fact with fact, the movement increasingly calls people they disagree with climate deniers and engages in intentional censorship to silence the voice of opponents. Not only is this repugnant to those of us who value free speech, but it is also a clue that the movement doesn’t have a lot of substantive arguments. You don’t need to silence people when you can win an argument with facts.

4. Politics over facts. Speaking of facts: The relationship between science and politics only works when the causal arrow between them goes from scientific facts to politics. The modern green movement has that backwards.

I remember seeing a science presentation at a San Francisco aquarium where the speaker confidently asserted that Glacier National Park had less than 10 glaciers left. I thought that was odd because we had just visited the park and the park officials had told us there were over 40 glaciers. But trying to discuss this with a presumed expert was a parable of the modern movement: no amount of fact would change his conviction, because the facts didn’t fit his political beliefs.

5. Lack of a cost/benefit analysis. Even at the height of my pro-environmentalist sentiment, I wasn’t opposed to all oil drilling. I know we need energy; I use it every day. I just wanted moderation that purposefully preserved a significant amount of wild nature.

Well, across the board, the green movement increasingly just bludgeons us with simple-minded ideas that ignore the obvious costs of their policies. They push for recycling without considering the environmental costs of (say) moving recycled goods (even The Atlantic recently admitted that recycling wasn’t accomplishing all that much).

They push for climate change initiatives while dismissing the costs for everyday families. They don’t often consider that, compared to other methods, wind farms produce a small amount of energy relative to the destruction they cause.

Concluding Thoughts

All movements have problems, including my own. All movements have bullies, including my own. I realize there is a danger in hand-picking a few extreme examples here. There are plenty of good environmentalists. I know some of them. I don’t want to paint the entire movement with one brush.

And yet, from my little corner of the world, something seems amiss. The green movement has increasingly ignored common people’s real experiences in favor of an ever-narrowing and cult-like political agenda. If it ever regains a focus on the reality most of us inhabit, I’ll re-consider.

But I’m not holding my breath.

[Dr. Lucian (Luke) Gideon Conway III is a Professor of Psychology and a Fellow with the Institute for Faith & Freedom at Grove City (Penn.) College. He is the author of over 85 articles, commentaries, and book chapters on the psychology of politics and culture. Dr. Conway’s research has been featured in major media outlets such as the Washington Post, New York Times, Huffington Post, Psychology Today, USA Today, the Ben Shapiro Podcast, and BBC Radio. Further, he has written opinion pieces for outlets such as The Hill, Heterodox Academy, and London School of Economics U.S. Centre. He is the author of the book “Complex Simplicity: How Psychology Suggests Atheists are Wrong About Christianity.” You can follow him on twitter @LGConwayIII, on ResearchGate, or on Google Scholar.]


  1. Congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs for winning the Superbowl. I couldn’t have cared less about the outcome until MAGA world became unhinged with conspiracy theories about a pop star somehow influencing the NFL. That made it simple to choose a favorite.

    Truth is stranger than fiction.

  2. Take a look around you. You have to be blind not to see drastic changes in our environment. Climate change deniers are like Trumpers–they have been conned and believe what they want to believe (alternate facts, as Kelly Conway once dubbed them). I’ll trust what I see, and the 95 percent of scientists who study the environment and recognize the challenges ahead. Wake up, fools!

    • R 5 – You ended any pretense of being serious about bringing anyone over to your point of view with your last sentence, but I’ll work with you anyway. Agreed: the climate is changing.

      The climate has always been changing (palm trees found under glaciers), so the real question is, can we really tune the climate like the thermostat on a wall? If we can successfully adjust the climate, at what cost and who bears that cost?

      Estimates run into the hundreds of trillions of dollars to keep things cool by 2050. The US is $34,000,000,000,000+ in debt, and some believe we should also have an open border to add 7,000,000+ dependents (and counting) who are a further massive financial and social drain.

      As I look around, I see climate change leaders who say one thing, but do another. “The oceans will rise, flooding coastal regions”, yet one buys a nice $15M estate on Martha’s Vineyard, while another lives on Rehoboth Beach. Others want to ban our gas stoves, yet are pictured with a nice 8-burner in their kitchen.

      I’ve also noticed those who fly around the world from their huge, energy-eating estates in their private jets – – even to climate conferences! And they all eat beef, not bugs. I don’t see that they are that freaked out over climate change.

      So, yeah, I’m concerned for the environment. But I’m more concerned that we are dead broke as a country, the financial day of reckoning is a lot closer than whatever might happen climate-wise, and there are no signs of intelligent life in Washington DC.

      When someone can present a rational roadmap of the cost and benefits – – with the risks and rewards of the desired path – – that will successfully manage the climate within our means to do it, I’ll listen. Until then, based on what I see, I’m not the fool here.

    • Thanks Rebuttle5! Always happy to hear from someone concerned about the environment.

      2¢ you ask for a rational roadmap with the costs and benefits; I recommend you google “FACT SHEET: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces Roadmap for Nature-Based Solutions to Fight Climate Change, Strengthen Communities, and Support Local Economies” and download the 44-page roadmap. Then I expect you will support President Biden and the EPA in enacting these measures in the USA in cooperation with global allies.

      It’s a little silly for fiscal (or otherwise) conservatives to say they would support doing something about climate change if only someone had a clear-cut solution with a rational budget because such plans do exist and conservatives don’t support them. I imagine what they mean is: I will do something about climate change when the political party I support proposes a plan that requires nothing of me.

      • Jax – You just googled “climate” and “roadmap” to find something – – anything – – that you could cite, didn’t you? But you must not have read it, since it in no way tells us what we have to do, by when and at what cost to justify all of the climate spending and mandates to change the weather, or if that is even possible.

        You cited a “report of 5 recommendations for federal agencies to raise awareness of nature-based solutions and strategically accelerate their deployment at the necessary scale and pace”. It’s only a wish-list of “we could do this”, or “we should do that” in dense federal agency-speak.

        There are no specifics at all here, and certainly no discussion of how we pay for it when we are flat-busted broke as a nation.

        The potential climate solutions include “Increas(ing) appropriate engagement with Indigenous Knowledge holders”, “Assess(ing) the scale of opportunity and need for nature-based solutions” and my favorite, “Create prizes, challenges, and awards to increase innovation” – – as if saving mankind from annihilation isn’t motivation enough.

        Heck, they cannot even agree on a definition of what a “nature-based solution” to climate change is. They devote 2 pages of the report to highlight the 11 different definitions various government agencies and laws have.

        As I wrote before, the environment and climate change is a concern of mine. But I’ll remain skeptical until those who advocate abandoning fossil fuels, adding taxes, mandates and regulations, etc 1) “walk the talk” and 2) can present a rational roadmap of the cost and benefits – – with the risks and rewards of the desired path – – that will successfully manage the climate within our means to do it.

        Anyone (well, apparently almost anyone) who reads this report could see it is not even close to addressing the very real challenges to implementing the climate change agenda.

    • What drastic changes to our environment are you referring to?

      Can you provide some evidence about the claim that 95% of scientists agree that we have Catastrophic Manmade Climate Change?

      One could argue that the “climate change deniers” are the ones who pretend that the Medieval Warm Period, the Roman Warm Period, the Little Ice Age, etc. never happened. And geologists don’t tell us that Illinois was covered in ice 10,000 years ago and there is no evidence of palm trees in Alaska eons ago. Nope, until the last 50-100 years the climate was perfectly stable, co changes going on.

          • We really only have accurate reading for the last 150 years or so, a fraction of time in the Earths timeline..humans will be gone long before the Earth is.

          • I think you and I are in agreement that the data set of 150 years or less is way too small based on the age of the planet overall. California is a good example. Two years ago people wanted to dig a trench to move water all the way from the Mississippi river to help their drought, now they have lots of water. Thanks to huge snowfall and big rain storms. We ride around and a crazy unpredictable ball 🙂

    • Took me a little time to remember the details, but the 97% or 95% of scientists claim is total BS. There were a couple of surveys done many years ago that came up with those type of numbers but they were very poorly done from a scientific standpoint (but not from a PR perspective). They essentially counted any scientist who agreed that the planet was warming and that human emissions were a factor. Politicians and Greens then claimed that they said human emissions were primarily responsible and that the result would be catastrophic. Neither of those two points were remotely involved in the surveys.

      The old story about the fisherman and the one that got away fits nicely with this topic. Scientists write something and every time a Green or politician talks about their writing it grows.

      • The number I see most often is 90% of climate scientist adhere to the fact that anthropogenic increases in greenhouse gases accelerate global warming and climate change. Even if that figure was only 80%, that would be amazingly high in a concentrated field of study. Scientists are often arguing with each other, but the vast majority don’t seem to be in disagreement here.

        Can you find a credible source that identifies a lesser percentage of actual climate scientists who deny human-accelerated climate change?

        What to do about this phenomenon is a broader issue than just science. Arguing that the suggested solutions are worse than the problem like Penny does above is probably more productive than denying the scientific consensus.

        • Here are a couple of examples:

          In 2012 the American Meteorological Society surveyed its 2,00 members, receiving 1,862 responses. Of those, only 52% said they think global warming over 20th century has happened and is mostly man-made and 53% agree that there is conflict among AMS members in the question.

          So, first, this is down to 52%, not 80-95%. And second, even if the 52% is correct we haven’t established that this is a problem at all, never mind a big enough problem to justify massive costs and restrictions on freedom.

          A study by the Netherlands Environmental Agency found 66% agreement, but almost half of the respondents incorrectly indicated that warming had not slowed over the last 15-20 years (according to the IPCC itself). So, half of these scientists weren’t up to date on what was happening in global warming. And 3/4 of them disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement “Climate is chaotic and cannot be predicted”. This is from the IPCC report “In climate research and modeling we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states ins not possible”.

          Just a couple of examples, if you really need me to, I’m sure there are more.

          • First, there are 13,000+ members within the AMS I’m seeing. Not all are scientists or professionals. In fact, membership includes educators, students and enthusiasts of the meteorologic society. In the research paper that you cite Esteban, they (researchers) achieved a response rate of 26.3% (n=1,854) to their survey request. This was on all known e-mail addresses in the data base. In any case, you misread the overall research study conclusion or perhaps relied too heavily on someone else. Here’s their summary discussion …

            “Our findings regarding the degree of consensus about human-caused climate change among the most expert meteorologists are similar to those of Doran and Zimmerman (2009): 93% of actively publishing climate scientists indicated they are convinced that humans have contributed to global warming. Our findings also revealed that majorities of experts view human activity as the primary cause of recent climate change: 78% of climate experts actively publishing on climate change, 73% of all people actively publishing on climate change, and 62% of active publishers who mostly do not publish on climate change. These results, together with those of other similar studies, suggest high levels of expert consensus about human-caused climate change (Farnsworth and Lichter 2012; Bray 2010).”

          • Thanks Doon. This high consensus among publishing climate science stating that humans are accelerating climate change is not really argued by the climate science community in spite of what is fed to some on narrow, far-right news sources. What to do about it and how dire the situation has become or will become may offer more differences of opinion.

          • Typo on my part, the study I was citing said 7,000 members, it was done in 2012 and received 1,862 responses, so it may not be the same study.

            Your citation raises one of the issues I find problematic in most surveys – who is included as a scientist or climate scientist. It’s not clear to me that “actively publishing climate scientists” are more reliable than those not publishing, especially given the tendency for skeptics to be ostracized. They cite “climate experts”, did they explain what the criteria was to be so labeled? I notice they switch from more specific groups to “majorities of experts”.

            The 93% say that humans have contributed, not that humans are the primary cause.

            This citation doesn’t address the question of whether we should engage in the expensive and painful green transition.

            All that said, I appreciate your response, you brought specifics to the discussion, and I’ll review my sources more carefully.

            Throughout this repartee, I’m not saying there isn’t a case for catastrophic man-made climate change (I think it’s important to note that this isn’t about whether climate change is real). However, I believe that the cost and pain of the transition require a much higher burden of proof than I have seen.

  3. Trying to wade through the bull that the author used to be an environmentalist, voted for a Green Party candidate and so forth, I landed upon his first reason (of five) on why he gave up on what he calls green policies. And that first reason is “failed climate-change predictions.” He then cites an instance of a sign at Glacier National Park that was erected after the turn of this century, stating the glaciers in the park would be gone by 2020. And this is the author’s supporting claim example of failed predictions? Even knowing that there are only 25 glaciers left from an estimated 80 since the park was established in 1910?

    In any case I’m sure some of his supporting readers here will no doubt look forward to this Professor of Psychology’s other takes on other topics of concern, say in astrophysics with dark matter and dark energy. But seriously, I would prefer that he (Dr. Conway) stay within his wheelhouse of expertise in the future and perhaps address the topic of say … selective moral-decoupling in politics in the 21st century. Now that’s a subject matter with less debate, even among his own colleagues.

    • Well, he did only give that one example of failed predictions, perhaps in the interest of brevity, but he didn’t suggest that was the only case.

      If you look below, you’ll see references to the U.N. in 1989, Al Gore in 2006, Greta herself in 2018, “The Population Bomb” in 1968 and the computer models that always exaggerate warming.

      And while we’re at it, there’s this gem from Dr. David Vinner, published in Climate Research in March of 2000: “Snowfall is a thing of the past. Our children just aren’t going to know what snow is”.

      If we really need to, we can find quite a few more examples. There’s a reason for the joke “scientists say we only have 10 years left before they’ll have to issue another 10-year warning”.

        • What the heck, let’s run with it anyway:

          Sea levels could rise twenty feet, claimed Gore in his 2006 documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, a prediction that has brought rebuke even from those sympathetic to the climate cause.

          In his book review of Gore’s effort, James Hansen unequivocally stated: “We have at most ten years—not ten years to decide upon action, but ten years to alter fundamentally the trajectory of global greenhouse emissions.”

          Those are both from 2006, just FYI.

          Another scare-and-hide prediction came from Rajendra Pachauri. While head of a United Nations climate panel, he pleaded that without drastic action before 2012, it would be too late to save the planet. In the same year, Peter Wadhams, professor of ocean physics at the University of Cambridge, predicted “global disaster” from the demise of Arctic sea ice in four years. He too, has gone quiet.

          In 2009, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown predicted that the world had only 50 days to save the planet from global warming. But fifty days, six months, and eight years later, the earth seems fine.

          Ok, I’m going to try to stop now, but I’m having so much fun I can’t promise anything.

          • Esteban, I have to agree with Stanger’s response-question here. Using an analogy – if I place an ice cube on my countertop and state that it will be gone (melted) in 2 minutes and 30 seconds and it goes beyond that time frame, is that a failed prediction? And when that cube is still visibly present say at 4 minutes with 70% loss of mass volume, will reminders be needed that my prediction was drastically off? Well apparently, in some circles that answer is yes.

          • The author referred to failed predictions and was mocked for one silly example, so I thought someone should point out that there are, indeed, quite a few egregious examples of failed predictions.

            20 foot rise in sea levels, anyone?

            Only 10 years from 1989?

            If people who believe in Catastrophic Manmade Climate Change (the issue is not whether anyone believes in climate change, that is a natural process that has gone on for billions of years) want to be believed I suggest they not make absurd claims that there aren’t a lot of significant failed predictions. I tend to find that people who make outlandish claims that are way off-base are not reliable – referring to Al Gore and company here. I struggle with the idea that “OK, he makes a lot of kooky predictions, but I’m sure he’s got this figured out and we should put him in charge of our lives”.

            If someone is trying to sell me something and I notice straightaway that they’ve exaggerated the savings wildly, sorry, but I’m not going to trust the rest of what they say.

            I think your analogy would be more applicable if you said the ice cube would be gone in 10 minutes (the U.N.’s 10 years) but 35 minutes later it has barely changed.

            I believe that the burden of proof is on people who want to impose painful changes on us to show that human activity is driving climate change in a way that is going to be worse than their proposed cures. When the people trying to do this screw up dramatically and often I’m not ready to sign up. Their models don’t work, they fudge data, they suppress open scientific debate and they’ve made crazy claims – 20-foot sea level rises, no more snow, etc.

            There is definitely exaggeration involved as well. There are a few cases (at least) where someone involved in the cause told a friendly audience that we might have to exaggerate how sure we are and how bad this might be in order to get the public on board. I can find quotes if you need me to. And don’t get me started on the misrepresentations associated with RCP 8.5. Some people seize on the most extreme and unlikely scenarios and report them as if they’re damn near certain.

            And the sacrifices they want us to make are trivial compared to what China & India are doing.

            It’s possible that the Alarmists are right but given their screw-ups & dishonesty I’m not inclined to rely on them.

          • Esteban – I think our disaffection for someone who lies or exaggerates is tempered by political affiliation. You point to inaccuracies that were stated as sureties by environmentally interested folks.

            I wonder how many will be reluctant to believe and vote for a politician that promised a solid southern border wall financed completely by Mexico, a better nuclear deal with Iran, a much better health care plan than Obamacare, etc. from the ONLY one who could possibly accomplish such feats.

            We all seem to hold in much more contempt views that are disagreeable to us while giving a pass to those we are more favorable to.

            I guess that is just human nature.

  4. Judging by the responses from the far-left commenters here, Dr Lowry’s thesis must be over the target. Unfortunately, they spend more time trying to discredit the author and to defend the indefensible (eg greens don’t bully, windfarms are good for the environment, in favor of open borders …) than to look introspectively at the points he makes. One even got his usual swipe at Fox News in.

    Go back to his Concluding Thoughts. Dr Lowry is fairly balanced in his critique. He never said not to be a good steward of the environment.

    Dr Lowry’s main point is that he is not going to be associated with a “green movement that has increasingly ignored common people’s real experiences in favor of an ever-narrowing and cult-like political agenda”. You know, the ones that toss blood on priceless paintings, ban gas stoves, pipelines and LNG exports, or fly private jets to climate conferences.

    I agree with him. Start with being honest about the additional trillions of dollars in spending (which we don’t have) that this agenda requires, with no certain benefit. End the climate mandates that make our lives worse, but which improve nothing without the same (or greater) actions by China, India and Russia.

    Technology will advance and find true cost-effective energy solutions in the competitive market. In the meantime, the world needs fossil fuels. Demonizing those that recognize this does nothing to persuade them to your viewpoint.

  5. Great article Dr Conway.
    You may enjoy reading the Manhattan Contrarian site. Once of my favorite articles:
    – How About A Pilot Project To Demonstrate The Feasibility Of Fully Wind/Solar/Battery Electricity Generation?

  6. In 1989 the U.N. proclaimed that we only had 10 years left to save the planet from Global Warming.

    In 2006 Al Gore told us that by 2013 the Arctic might be ice-free in the Summer.

    In 2018 Greta tweeted that according to a top climate scientist we had to stop using fossil fuels in 5 years. Presumably Greta was in favor of this – it isn’t clear if she realized that it would involve killing billions of people.

    In 2009 we learned from internal emails that scientists at the University of East Anglia were gaming the system to silence scientists who weren’t on board with the Catastrophic Manmade Global Warming bandwagon.

    In those emails they admitted to each other (but not the public) that the “pause” in global warming was a disaster for their team and they couldn’t explain it.

    In 1968 we were told by “The Population Bomb” that mass starvation was inevitable by the 1980s. Some of the same people who supported this were/are heavily involved in selling Catastrophic Manmade Global Warming before it was rebranded as Climate Change. In January 2023 60 Minutes actually had its author, Paul Ehrlich, on the air to talk about Climate Change. Apparently being just a little bit wrong about the apocalypse doesn’t hurt your credibility over there.

    And the computer models that Climate Alarmists have been pumping out for 30+ years have always (yes, always) been proven to run too hot.

    Climate change is a natural process that has been going on for billions of years, it isn’t something new. Examples include the Medieval Warm Period, The Roman Warm Period and the Little Ice Age.

    Other than that…

  7. So I Googled the Institute For Faith and Freedom at Grove City to be sure it was a Christian organization. It seems incongruous for followers of Christ not to be good stewards of the environment.

    Father Richard Rohr (Franciscan priest and author) teaches, “A mature Christian sees Christ in everything and everyone else.” I agree.

    The same Christian concern for refugees at our borders (for instance) should extend to all of creation in the natural world. As Christians, we don’t get to pick and chose who or what is worthy of our care. We are in this together. No exceptions.

    (I’m sure I just illustrated Gman’s “emotion over reason”. I prefer “Love over fear”.)

    Fr. Rohr assures us, “”Christ” is another word for everything.” Especially for believers such as Mr. Conway, it behooves us to acknowledge and honor Him in all of creation, and treat it with respect and care.

    But this little old lady won’t bully him into it!

    • Suz, you seem to be a person of deep abiding faith and I totally respect that. I believe we all care for the environment, some certainly more than others. And of course there will be disagreement over how best to protect it. What we don’t need is the name calling, think climate change deniers or worse, while we work toward environmental solutions.

    • Suz, I’m afraid you missed the fellow’s point. He isn’t saying “screw the environment”, he’s saying that much of what is being done in the name of the environment is counter-productive, doing more harm than good.

      • Dear Gman and Esteban—I appreciate your thought provoking comments (and especially your generous tone).

        After re-reading the piece, however–“Confessions Of A Former Environmentalist”–it still sounds pretty close to “screw the environment”. The first two lines (“Five reasons why I gave up on “green” policies” and “I used to be an environmentalist”) sound to me like Mr. Conway is throwing in the towel. And encouraging others to do the same.

        “At some point, it is best just to avert your eyes and walk on by.”? Surely not.

  8. Why is this a column instead of a letter to the editor? By giving Dr. Conway this platform, The Citizen elevates his opinion over that of, say, Trey Hoffman, but there is no reason to do so as Dr. Conway has no particular expertise in climate science, making his opinion about as valuable as Trey’s when the subject is climate change/environmentalism. He’s a professor of psychology and a fellow at a conservative Christian college. These don’t make him a credible source of information about climate change. That doesn’t disqualify him from writing about environmentalism and climate change, but it would make his writing more credible if he provided sources for what he writes … and here he provides none. So why should we take his opinions as fact any more than we do Trey’s over on the letters to the editor page?

    That said, Dr. Conway wants us to believe that:

    1. Because some climate change predictions have failed, we should not be environmentalists. He has an anecdote of one failed prediction, but in truth many other predictors have been extremely accurate, including those Exxon-Mobile found in their own studies. Just google “Exxon predicted global warming with remarkable accuracy years ago” and follow the CNBC story. Predictions were made (and kept secret by the companies that wanted to cover up climate change), and some 60-63% of them have been accurate. Here, we see Dr. Conway is not entitled to any claims of expertise on climate change.

    2. Wind farms are ugly and drilling for oil is less ugly. These are both opinions, and neither is an adequate reason to reject environmentalism. Wind turbines can look less than natural in the landscape, but wind is a renewable resource and wind farms provide electricity without burning any fuel or polluting the air. Fossil fuels are not inexhaustible, and they contribute to pollution. You can visit energy-dot-gov and eia-dot-gov to learn the pros and cons of wind farms, but the pros outweigh the cons of fossil fuels by a mile … Canary Media reported in 2022 that in the same amount of time one average productive acre of oil leasing generates enough gasoline to drive a car 1,917 miles. One acre of fossil-gas leasing produces enough electricity to drive an electric car 99,572 miles. One acre of wind leasing beats them both, producing enough electricity to drive an electric car 117,919 miles. Dr. Conway may be an expert on what forms of energy production he finds attractive, but he clearly is not an expert on which ones are better for the environment.

    3. Green factions bully anti-green factions, so we should abandon concern for the environment. This plank in Dr. Conway’s platform is a nod to his upcoming book “Liberal Bullies,” which is very amusing coming from the side that complains about what snowflakes liberals are! The fact Dr. Conway can write drivel like this editorial and have it published as a column ipso factor proves he is not being bullied by any liberals (unless you count me!). LOL The fact Exxon was found not liable for covering up what they knew about climate change proves that no one is bullying climate change deniers. This is, in fact, the weakest of Dr. Conway’s arguments by my reckoning. He says, “the movement increasingly calls people they disagree with climate deniers and engages in intentional censorship to silence the voice of opponents,” but he provides no evidence of this, and the fact he is able to whinge about it in a public space like this makes clear that this silencing and bullying is NOT happening. Sheesh. Get over yourself.

    4. Because climate change has become a part of the political landscape, we should ignore it and not care about the environment. When it stops being political, then we can care? Hmmm … Dr. Conway “documents” this assertion with another anecdote: this one time a speaker wouldn’t debate with him about how many glaciers can melt on the head of a pin. Climate change is a global problem that will take a solution agreed to and acted upon by global governments, so of course politics are involved in it. It’s just a sad fact that only one of the two viable political parties in America has decided combating climate change is worth the effort. Because Dr. Conway identifies with the party that prefers business as usual over saving the planet, he concludes that he won’t be an environmentalist until environmentalism stops being political. That’s his choice — but it once again points out why we can’t trust him as a climate change expert.

    5. Environmentalists have not done a cost/benefit analysis. His proof of this is an Atlantic article that recycling is not making any difference in the climate change battle. At least for this one plank of his climate change denial platform, he does have a citation! That’s great! Sadly, his broadcast assertion that there has been NO cost/benefit analysis on the part of the environmentalists is simply wrong. Visit Legal-Planet dot org, and you will find numerous articles about climate change remedies, their costs, and their benefits. Google “Assessing the costs and benefits of climate change adaptation,” and you will see how the EU addresses these issues. Plenty of cost/benefit analysis has gone into proposed climate change prevention. The costs are significant in many cases, but the alternatives are devastating if we continue to destroy the planet, so saving the earth is an important benefit imho.

    I appreciate that Dr. Conway has a book to sell, and that poking the right-wing about climate change and/or their “freedoms” being impinged upon is great advertising, but I do wish The Citizen had made Dr. Conway peddle his climate change denial as a letter to the editor rather than giving him the imprimatur of being an expert or a columnist.

    • VJ – guess who else has “no particular expertise in climate science, making their opinion about as valuable as Trey’s when the subject is climate” (your words) – Al Gore, John Kerry, Greta Thunberg, and the rest of the climate apostles that scream and rant in front of the cameras, then gallivant around the world burning more jet fuel and carbon than most individuals will in a year. This gentleman actually has done thoughtful research and soul-searching…..maybe you should give his words a second look.

    • Jax – Thanks for your clear-eyed reply to yet another example of Grove City College propaganda. The contributions of the faculty at this hyper-partisan school are much like the contents of a Fox News broadcast. No matter what the subject, they infuse it with a far-right wing political spin full of anecdotal “evidence” that, as you point out, proves nothing beyond fealty to their echo chamber’s “truth.”

      The Grove City motto is: “Here’s the answer, now what’s the question?”

      • Thanks STF! Suz is so sweet everyone has a kind word for her! I’m so acerbic, I just make everyone mad. LOL.

        I had to look up Grove City to be sure what the deal was, but I found what I expected!

        I do appreciate you and Suz though, speaking up for the dreaded Greens.

        • Hiya Dear Jax—

          Ha! I think everyone has a kind word for me because they are convinced I’m an imbecile!

          You do all of the hard and time consuming work, and present a thorough case.
          I think you are brilliant.

          (You’re not bad either, STF!)

        • Grove City College is a highly partisan school that produces only right-wing spin on any topic. As has been noted, the opinion of this psychology professor from a third-rate institution on a topic he seems barely to understand is par for the Grove City course. As can be seen by the echo chamber responses here, it only tickles the ears of the already convinced.

          Truth is stranger than fiction.

          • Dear STF—
            I’m not particularly surprised that conservative thinkers aren’t
            concerned about environmental protection; that is their prerogative.

            What saddens me is, after identifying as “Christian” (as Dr Conway/Grove City College does) they discount projects that protect the Earth (and all that occupies it).

            I know I quote Richard Rohr frequently (especially on this subject, him being a Franciscan!). But here is a thought from William Blake (poet and print-maker) from The Blake Dictionary–

            Blake’s religion became really all-inclusive when he decided that everything that lives is Holy…that all things were created from the divine substance.

            Such a precious gift. Worthy of our care.

    • So, regarding item 1 – “we’re only wrong 40% of the time” is supposed to inspire confidence? And this is coming from sources friendly to their side.

      2 – “Fossil fuels are not inexhaustible” – true, but they’ll last far longer than we need even if we don’t force a transition. We have hundreds of years-worth of coal, and we were told we’d run out of oil by the 90’s. And the Greens don’t count nuclear power as renewable for whatever reason (or hydro).

      3 – Like Suz, you missed his point. He is not saying “screw the environment”. He is saying that much of what is being done is counterproductive. Also, there definitely is gamesmanship and dishonesty involved – calling people deniers is grotesque. No one denies that climate change is real, but some disagree about how much it is caused but human activity or what we should do about it. The Climategate story is one example of scientists being silenced. Numerous media outlets have publicly stated that they won’t entertain any disagreement with the orthodoxy. And a number of scientists have spoken up about the pressure to conform – Galileo had it easier. “The science is settled” – that is what the flat earthers exclaimed.

      4 – Like Suz, you missed his point. He isn’t saying “screw the environment”, he is arguing that much of what is being done is counterproductive.

      5 – Some Greens have done cost/benefit analyses, but they are usually based on unrealistic assumptions, such as extremely optimistic expectations about how fast the cost of wind & solar will come down. And if you actually read the scientific literature, such as the IPCC report, they don’t say we’re “destroying the planet” or that we have to “save the earth”, that’s what comes from the mouths of politicians and teenage dropouts with mental problems.

  9. Here, here Mr Conway! We’re all tired of being told that the ‘science is settled’, there’s no room for debate and name calling if one dares disagree. I see it as emotion over reason and highly politically charged. Thanks for your article.