Shadowy Big-Oil-funded forces are on a mission to blacken the name of billionaire eco-evangelist Tom Steyer. Or so his friends have told Bloomberg.
“They are going to try to dirty him up,” said Court, a Steyer ally. “He is personally committed on a moral level to preventing a 4-degree temperature change that is irreversible, and he has $3 billion to pursue his passion.”
I have a couple of problems with this imaginative thesis, presumably advanced with Steyer’s blessing in order to distract from unhelpful stories like this one about his latest egregious eco-fail in California.
1. How would it be possible, even with the combined resources of Chevron, Exxon, BP, Shell, Petrobras and whoever else, to cause more reputational damage to Tom Steyer than he has already achieved through his own magisterial efforts?
Sure he must have been clever or cunning sometime to have made at all that money for himself. But his more recent career, ever since deciding his new job was to save the world from ManBearPig, has been a succession of humiliating failures.
His NextGen SuperPac was a massive flop.
In Florida, it dispatched more than 500 staffers and volunteers to criticize Governor Rick Scott’s energy policies and used a “Noah’s ark” to show the threat of rising ocean levels. Scott still won re-election.
So was his Proposition 39 in California which, at yet further cost to the taxpayer, was supposed to have created 11,000 new “green jobs” a year. In fact the true figure has been closer to 600 green jobs a year, each costing $175,000 – and quite likely killing many more real jobs than the fake ones it created.
2. Apart from the unfortunate fact that Big Oil is notoriously niggardly when it comes to rewarding its defenders (it prefers to greenwash its image by cozying up to environmentalists instead), the tragic truth is that it has absolutely no need to pay journalists to slag off the likes of Tom Steyer. That’s because anyone who believes in free markets, scientific evidence, economic growth or moral integrity – and we do still exist – would happily to do so without large cash incentives.
Of course, when you stop to think about it for a moment, you can come up with a list of things in the world that are worse than Tom Steyer: ISIS; pubic lice; chlamydia; Boko Haram; Barack Obama; Libya; genocide; the Rape of Nanking; being eaten by a saltwater crocodile; Attila the Hun; being stung in the throat by a wasp while eating a scone and jam and having to perform an emergency auto-tracheotomy with a Bic biro; etc
So there are some worse things than Tom Steyer, definitely. But not that many. For while it’s true that he’s not as overtly committed to the forces of darkness as, say, Pol Pot was, or as Kim Jong-Un is, the net effect of his well meaning meddling is undoubtedly to contribute volumes to the sum total of human misery.
The same applies, of course, to George Soros and this grisly-sounding moral preener from Virginia Tom Clarke – both of whom, as Steve Milloy notes, have bought heavily into coal of late, despite both having a long track record of campaigning against fossil fuels and of bigging up their environmental credentials.
Let’s take a step back and try to put some perspective on what is going on here.
A cabal of favoured businessmen with close ties to the ruling regime has been presented with a heaven-sent opportunity to buy up valuable businesses at fire sale prices which were driven to rock bottom levels as a direct result of policies created by that ruling regime.
When this happens in banana republics we shrug our shoulders because this is what you expect of banana republics.
When it happened in Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, and in the aftermath of the break up of the Soviet Union, likewise.
You can see movies about this stuff. One recent one I’d recommend, Leviathan, tells the story of an ordinary guy in Putin’s Russia whose attractive, sea-view home is compulsorarily purchased at a fraction of its true value by a corrupt local party boss with close ties to the regime. It is immensely depressing. It makes Lilya 4 Ever look like Seven Brides For Seven Brothers. Your only consolation amid the relentless bleakness is the thought that at least you don’t live in Putin’s Russia, you live in the free west where the rule of law and property rights still apply…
Except of course they don’t. Certainly not in Obama’s USA they don’t.
I don’t doubt that what Soros, Clarke and Steyer and their ilk are doing is technically legal. (They’ll have paid their lawyers handsomely to make sure of that).
But in terms of natural justice and morality, it stinks.
No, I’ll go further than that. What these unconscionable creeps are doing is evil – all the more so because of the way they seek to dress up their vulture capitalism as being socially motivated.
Big Oil did not pay me to say this. I’m happy to say this anyway. George Soros, Tom Clarke and Tom Steyer are the scum of the earth. And about the only people worse than them, in the West at any rate, are the even bigger scuzzballs who created the regulatory regime which made their crony-capitalist rapine possible. Especially the creep right at the top.