By Michael Greer (@thetalentscout)
Although I’ve known for a long time that our children are being steeped in the Liberal view of the world at our universities, I had no idea how truly perverted and dangerous it was until I attended the “21st Century EcoSocialism Conference” at the University of California at Santa Barbara this weekend. This event was extremely disturbing.
The Conference began Friday night with the screening of a documentary entitled, “Climate Deadline” by Richard Widick. Widick is a Sociologist at the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies at UCSB. He is currently writing a book, “Climate of Empire: Inside the Struggle over Global Climate Governance”.
Dr. Widick was introduced by John Foran, Professor of Sociology at UCSB, Executive Producer of the film and organizer of the Conference. Widwick bounced onto the stage like Rocky. Grinning, he said how happy he was to be with all these “Socialists” and “Welcome, Comrades!” He spoke about having attended the United Nations Climate Conventions for last four years, both as an observer and an activist protesting outside. His film covers those Conventions. He is giddy about the upcoming Convention in Paris this December as there are BIG plans for this convention.
The film had interviews in the hallways of the conference interspersed with protests outside. Police in riot gear lobbing tear gas canisters at angry crowds. There were interviews with delegates from France, Brazil, the Serra Club, and others. But most revealing were from Christina Figueres, executive secretary of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change. This woman revealed the true goal of these conferences. She said, “This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.”
The young woman representing Brazil also confirmed Ms. Figueres statement by saying the Conference had nothing to do with climate but was about the redistribution of wealth. She said it was about who would be “allowed” to own what. The film ended with views of a chaotic protest march outside the Convention with the crowd singing, “That’s why I’m a socialist.”
After the film Richard Widick and John Foran took the stage for questions and answers. I was struck by how joyful Dr. Widwick was. He never stopped grinning. He spoke laughingly about how difficult it was to hold a camera while ducking tear gas canisters and said if anyone wanted to volunteer to be cameraman at Decembers Conference email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When they asked for questions, I raised my hand and was given the microphone. Foolish them. I thanked Dr. Widwick for his honesty in telling us what Climate Change was really about. It’s about global governance, global socialism, and the destruction of Capitalism. I said Capitalism has brought more people out of poverty than any other system and socialism spreads poverty not wealth so I didn’t think many people would like that. I said there hasn’t been any warming in more than 18 years and CO2 is not a pollutant, it is nutrient necessary for life.
Dr. Widwick seemed shocked and said something about how this would protect private property. I asked him what the UN’s position on private property was. He said the UN had no position on private property. I said, of course it did, their position is that private property is the main source of the accumulation of wealth which isn’t “fair” and that all property should belong to government. As I got up to leave, Mr. Foran said he was offended that I would insult their intelligence. A man sitting behind me said, “sit down, you might learn something.” I replied, “not likely.”
Saturday morning the Conference began with Roberta Cordero giving a Greeting to the Gathering that explained that the land UCSB was on had been stolen from the Chumash Indians. During the day we were reminded numerous times that we needed to be respectful of our being on Chumash land (neglecting to mention the humongous casino they have built next to the small two story Danish town of Solvang).
Mr. Foran (dressed in a rumpled t-shirt that said “System Change, not Climate Change”, rumpled black cargo shorts and tennis shoes) told us that we didn’t give our leaders authority to destroy the world. I’m sure he and I have differing ideas on who is destroying what. He introduced three men who were joining us by Skype from different parts of the world. Jeremy Brecher, from somewhere in the USA, spoke about the culture of resistance and civil disobedience. Mr. Brecher is of the age that one might imagine he had been involved in the protests of the 60’s. His rhetoric was dusted off from the 60’s.
From Paris, Skye Boughsty-Marshall told us how they were preparing for the December COP (this is what attendees call the UN Climate Change Conferences. It stands for Conference Of Partners). They are co-ordinating global radical EcoSocialism. November 28th and 29th they are planning “Incidents” in Europe. November 30th they are having “Climate Games”. They plan mass blockades of corporate buildings during meetings of the “Climate Criminals”. As the COP is about to adjourn they plan to form three circles around the conference building. The first circle inside the building blocking exits. The second and third outside the building blocking anyone from leaving. They plan to demand delegates sign an agreement that includes their demands. They are hoping for violence and police action that will unfold in front of the world. But Skye wanted us to also be mindful of the more passive activists as there is a place for them.
From South Africa, Patrick Bond said it was important to link climate to EVERYTHING. They need union support and, as many of them belong to unions, they should be able to recruit people. He said making it about climate not socialism will make it easier to get people with other views to join them.
The next two speakers were in person. Both young, attractive and very radical socialists. Ben Manski is from Seattle. He said those of us who are radicals must stop the the economic machine. He spoke of building a Red/Green movement before the May Day/Earth Day celebration. He suggested “climate strikes” that include shutting down roads, shutting down buildings, and universities. He said to go to climatestrike.org and nextsystem.org for more information.
Emily Williams, a pretty blond, is hoping to make a powerful statement in Paris (she will be there) by locking people in the Conference until they agree to their demands. No concessions. She bragged about getting UCSB to divest from coal.
A man got up and wanted to know where everyone was from. He asked all from Los Angeles stand up and about a third stood. Many were from the Bay area and Seattle. About a third were students from UCSB. I’d guess there were about 150 people in attendance, about 30 of them speakers.
Lunch was followed by four break out sessions from 1:15pm to 2:45pm. “Converging Storms: the Crises if Energy, Capitalism and the Environment”, “Ecology and Marxism”, “Paris COP21: What Do EcoSocialists Think Can be Done There for Radical Climate Justice” and “The Capitalist Patriarchy and the Climate Crisis: Can Real Climate Justice Be Had without Gender Justice and Vice Versa?”
I chose the last one about “Gender Justice” (whatever that is). A very sincere, young woman, Julie Gorecki was the presenter. She asked us to go around the room and give our names and why we were there. She said she should have asked us what pronoun we wanted to use. Were there any who prefer “they” and one young asian man said he would. “They”? She said to please remember to use the preferred pronoun and if we forget we will be gently reminded. Although she was very bright and used lofty scholarly terms she spoke as though she were speaking to kindergarten students not adults. She spoke about the institutionalized domination of women, especially southern indigenous women and women of color. She used very intellectual, scholarly terms like “gender binary”, “eco-feminism”, “dualistic thinking”, “micro-agression”, etc.. She spoke of capitalism being paternalistic. She talked about the oppression of women, the culture of rape, the subservience of domestic work and child care, and apparently it’s all caused by paternalistic Capitalism.
When she opened it up for discussion I said I thought it was all an interesting intellectual exercise but that I hadn’t felt oppressed by men. I said I have two daughters who are very successful as are their friends, many of whom made more money than their husband in this evil Capitalistic country. I asked what system has brought more people out of poverty than Capitalism. One young woman said that was my experience but not the experience of others. I replied it is the experience of very many. That there have been women leading countries (Margaret Thatcher, Eva Peron, Golda Meier), women CEO’s, women Secretaries of State, women business owners, and many of color. When the session ended Ms. Gorecki told me how much she appreciated my comments and that I handled the hostility gracefully. She said she thought it was healthy to open the discussion to different points of view.
The next break out session was from 3:00pm to 4:30pm, with the subjects of, “The Struggle Against Coal Exports in Oakland”, “Front Line Hotspots in British Columbia, Canada”, “Tools of Re-evaluation Counceling for Climate Activists”, and “Capitalism and Climate Change: Organizing Tools and Experiences in Los Angeles”.
I chose the “Experiences in Los Angeles” one. It was presented by David Klein, professor of Environmental Science at the California State University at Northridge (CSUN). Seated at the front and around the room were grotesque puppets. They were made by students of Edie Klein (wife of David, who also teaches at Northridge) to depict what Capitalists look like. Again we were asked to go around the room and say our name and why we were there. I said my name and that my daughter graduated from Northridge with a degree in Environmental Science and that neither she nor I believed man was causing global warming.
Professor Klein introduced his wife, a perky little blond with bright red lipstick, who announced, “I’m Edie, I’m a proud anti-Capitalist”. She told us about her students who knew nothing about Capitalism until she set them straight. She said she likes to think up fun projects called “Art and Spectacle” to help her students understand the evils of Capitalism. She had them make the puppets and she also had them make a replica of Wall Street out of match sticks, six feet high and twelve feet long. When it was finished they burned it down to her great joy.
Klein then gave us the Global Warming data that he teaches his students. He said he tells his students to use the word Capitalism at least twice a week in a negative way. He said college should be free through PhD’s. Healthcare should be free. We should be paid full time to work 15 hours a week. He said to think of all you could do if you only worked 15 hours a week. He said students ask him what they should say if someone calls them a Marxist. He said, “say, Thank you”.
Klein is a member of a group, “System Change, Not Climate Change” (which IMO says it all). There are chapters of this group across the nation, apparently. He asked one of his students to tell us about a group she was forming at CSUN. She spoke about how difficult it was. When she quoted Noam Chomsky I wasn’t surprised. She had been working on it a year and it was just starting to come together. Another woman said she was trying to start a group in Los Angeles and was having a hard time as well. It was suggested they not mention Marxism but use Climate Change. She said she only had about 15 members which was met with pleasant surprise. They couldn’t believe she had that many members. That made me feel a little better because I was beginning to think they had more supporters than they actually have.
When the session was over a woman came and stood in front of me with a big smile on her face. She said, “Well, how do you feel?” “Did you learn something?” Obviously, she thought I was simply uninformed and surely Professor Klein had convinced me. I told her I didn’t learn anything I hadn’t heard before and no, it didn’t change my mind. She asked if she could interview me and I agreed. She asked what I thought of EcoSocialism. I said I was appalled. I was appalled our children are being taught by people who want to overthrow our system. I was appalled that they are being taught Capitalism is evil when it has brought more people out of poverty than any other system. I said even in this horrible economy we create millionaires every day. I said Capitalism may have been corrupted but you fix it you don’t destroy it. She asked why I didn’t believe man was causing Climate Change. I told her I belong to a group that brings experts, scientists, world leaders, etc from around the world and I get my information from people actually involved in the science and politics of the subject. I held up a list of the scientists, just from California, who don’t believe man is causing Climate Change. It’s about 20 pages of single spaced names. It’s an impressive list and, of course, no one there ever heard of the Petition Project.
There were two other activities going on that definitely deserve mention, one was, “Climate Science, Terror Management Theory and the Psycho-Social Limitation to Climate Justice Activism” and “Guided Loving Kindness-Equanimity Meditation: Strengthen Your Mind as an EcoSocialist Activist”. I was really curious how EcoSocialist activism and loving kindness could be compatible.
The next break out session from 4:45pm to 6:15pm included, “Collective Liberation: Building a Democracy Movement in the Age of Corporate Personhood”, “Uniting Labor, Environmentalists and the Unemployed in EcoSocialism”, “Woman’s Labor, Capitalism and the Climate”, and “You Can’t Have Capitalism Without Racism: The Politics of Environmental Justice”.
I’m pretty sure Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce, Denzel Washington, Michael Jordan, Sean Combs, etc, etc, etc have benefited from Capitalism, so I was curious how Capitalism was racist. As I took a seat a young Black man came to sit next to me. He shook my hand and introduced himself as David. He said he really appreciated what I said during the “Gender Justice” session. He said I was very brave coming to this conference and he probably wouldn’t agree with me on many things but he thought they needed to hear what I had to say. I told him they have intellectualized the subject to the point that they completely ignore human nature, the male, female dynamic, the physiology of the sexes, and common sense.
Once again we went around the room introducing ourselves. This time two students, Unique Vance and Nia Mitchell, who were presenting this session asked that what person that has “passed on” would we like to have dinner with. When I said I’d like to have dinner with Andrew Breitbart, David laughed and said he really liked me.
The session began with Columbus bringing mass colonization, slavery and institutionalized white supremacy. And, of course, the genocide of the indigenous people. Capitalism causes racism, exploitation and domination. Individualism is selfish and doesn’t care about the “Common Good”. The Prison Industrial Complex is a Capitalist dream. Even though Blacks are 12% of the population but 44% of the prison population, it isn’t because they commit more crime, it’s due to racism. When the student presenters announced we were going to do some role playing, I decided that was a good time to make my escape.
I left the Conference at that point. Even though there was another session from 7:30pm to 9:00pm entitled, “Plenary Session 2: Building a Diverse Radical Climate Justice Movement”.
I also missed the following day, Sunday, that was an entire day of activist training with the following subjects:
- “Decolonizing the Food System”
- “Class, Diet, Climate Change and Social Justice”
- “Monarchs to Migrants: Breaking Down the Borders”
- “What if the Water Can’t be Stopped: Resilience Plans in an Age of Sea Level Rise”
- “Organizing Broad-based Climate Justice Events: The West-Coast Road to Paris”
- “The Bernie Sanders Campaign: What Do EcoSocialists, Greens, and Other Radicals Think?” (I’m so sad I missed this one but my head had already exploded).
- “Flood the System”
- “EcoSocialist Strategizing for a Water Future”
This was a UCSB sanctioned event organized by Professors who are teaching this to our children. These Professors were sociologists not atmospheric scientists. They are using information from the supposed 97% of the scientists who say man is causing Global Warming/Climate Change. They offer no opposing data or opinions, nor do they want to hear any. When people say not to listen to other opinions, you NEED to listen to those opinions.
The trouble is that 97% claim is based on a study done by John Cook, an Australian blogger/global warming activist. He and his Global Change Institute team did a study. They published the results of their study and the media ran with it. The British news paper The Register had this headline, “Climate scientists agree: Humans cause global warming” with the sub-headline that read, “Of those who have an opinion, over 97% say we’re to blame”. “OF THOSE WHO HAVE AN OPINION” that is the key phrase. And just who are “those who have an opinion” in the Cook study.
Cook looked for scientists who published papers on global warming. Cook used the key words “global climate change” and “global warming”. Those key words brought up more alarmist papers than skeptic papers as skeptic papers aren’t as likely to use those keywords in their titles.
Another researcher, Brandon Shollenberger, as well as another Australian researcher, Jo Nova, independently, looked into Cook’s study. Cook sent questionnaires to 11,944 scientists who had written peer-reviewed papers. 7930 didn’t respond. 3896 responded that man could be causing “some” warming. 64 responded that man could be causing most warming. 41 responded that man IS causing most of the warming. But ZERO said it was catastrophic. The 97% claim comes from a very small number of “those who have an opinion”. This is a great example of how a BIG lie repeated often enough becomes fact……aided and abetted by the main stream media…….and academia.