Paul Driessen


Paul Driessen photo
Paul Driessen is a senior fellow with the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, nonprofit public policy institutes that focus on energy, the environment, economic development and international affairs. Paul Driessen is author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power, Black death

Older articles by Paul Driessen

Most Recent Articles by Paul Driessen:

Tesla battery, subsidy and sustainability fantasies

Jul 23, 2017 — Paul Driessen

The first justification was that internal combustion engines polluted too much. But emissions steadily declined, and today’s cars emit about 3% of what their predecessors did. Then it was oil imports: electric vehicles (EVs) would reduce foreign dependency and balance of trade deficits. Bountiful oil and natural gas supplies from America’s hydraulic fracturing revolution finally eliminated that as an argument.

Now the focus is on climate change. Every EV sale will help prevent assumed and asserted manmade temperature, climate and weather disasters, we’re told—even if their total sales represented less than 1% of all U.S. car and light truck sales in 2016 (Tesla sold 47,184 of the 17,557,955 vehicles sold nationwide last year), and plug-in EVs account for barely 0.15% of 1.4 billion vehicles on the road worldwide.

Insanity and hypocrisy Down Under

Jul 17, 2017 — Paul Driessen

The Wall Street Journal called it the energy shortage “no one saw coming.” Actually, a lot of people did see it coming. But intent on pursuing their “dangerous manmade climate change” and “renewable energy will save the planet” agendas, the political classes ignored them. So the stage was set.

As an Australia-wide heat wave sent temperatures soaring above 105 degrees F (40.6 C) in early 2017, air conditioning demand skyrocketed. But Adelaide, South Australia is heavily dependent on wind turbines for electricity generation—and there was no wind. Regulators told the local natural gas-fired power plant to ramp up its output, but it couldn’t get enough gas to do so. To avoid a massive, widespread blackout, regulators shut off power to 90,000 homes, leaving angry families sweltering in the dark.

According to the Journal, Aussie politicians and the wind industry, the primary problem was businesses that exported 62% of Australia’s natural gas production in 2016, leaving insufficient supplies to run gas backup power plants that are supposed to step in when wind and solar power fail. Policy makers “didn’t ensure enough gas would remain at home” and couldn’t foresee temperatures soaring with no wind.

The crisis of integrity-deficient science

Jul 10, 2017 — Paul Driessen

The epidemic of agenda-driven science by press release and falsification has reached crisis proportions.

In just the past week: Duke University admitted that its researchers had falsified or fabricated data that were used to get $113 million in EPA grants—and advance the agency’s air pollution and “environmental justice” programs. A New England Journal of Medicine (NJEM) article and editorial claimed the same pollutants kill people—but blatantly ignored multiple studies demonstrating that there is no significant, evidence-based relationship between fine particulates and human illness or mortality.

In an even more outrageous case, the American Academy for the Advancement of Science’s journal Science published an article whose authors violated multiple guidelines for scientific integrity. The article claimed two years of field studies in three countries show exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides reduces the ability of honeybees and wild bees to survive winters and establish new populations and hives the following year. Not only did the authors’ own data contradict that assertion—they kept extensive data out of their analysis and incorporated only what supported their (pre-determined?) conclusions.

Monumental, unsustainable environmental impacts

Jul 2, 2017 — Paul Driessen

Demands that the world replace fossil fuels with wind, solar and biofuel energy—to prevent supposed catastrophes caused by manmade global warming and climate change—ignore three fundamental flaws.

1) In the Real World outside the realm of computer models, the unprecedented warming and disasters are simply not happening: not with temperatures, rising seas, extreme weather or other alleged problems.

2) The process of convicting oil, gas, coal and carbon dioxide emissions of climate cataclysms has been unscientific and disingenuous. It ignores fluctuations in solar energy, cosmic rays, oceanic currents and multiple other powerful natural forces that have controlled Earth’s climate since the dawn of time, dwarfing any role played by CO2. It ignores the enormous benefits of carbon-based energy that created and still powers the modern world, and continues to lift billions out of poverty, disease and early death.

We should be glad the US is out

Jun 26, 2017 — Paul Driessen

Ten states, some 150 cities, and 1,100 businesses, universities and organizations insist “We are still in”—committed to the Paris climate agreement and determined to continue reducing carbon dioxide emissions and preventing climate change. In the process, WASI members claim, they will create jobs and promote innovation, trade and international competitiveness. It’s mostly hype, puffery and belief in tooth fairies.

Let’s begin with the climate. When Delaware signed on to WASI, for example, Governor Carney cited rising average temperatures, rising sea levels, and an increase in extreme weather events. In Delaware, sea level rise is almost entirely due to subsiding land resulting from compaction of glacial outwash, isostatic response from the retreat of the ice sheets more than 12,000 years ago, and groundwater extraction.

Advancing scientific integrity on bees

Jun 19, 2017 — Paul Driessen

Second Lady Karen Pence and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recently teamed up to install a honeybee hive on the grounds of the Vice President’s residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington, DC. This will serve as a “great example” of what people can do to help “reverse the decline” in managed honeybee colonies around the country, the secretary said.

Helping bees and educating people about bee problems is a good idea. However, if the hive is an attempt to reduce media and environmentalist criticism of Trump Administration policies—or put the Pences and Ag Department on the “right” side of the “bee-pocalypse” issue—it will backfire. It will also undermine administration efforts to advance evidence-based science, restore integrity to scientific and regulatory processes, promote safe modern technologies, and support continued crop production and exports.

More rational policies in our future?

Jun 11, 2017 — Paul Driessen

In the wake of President Trump’s exit from the Paris climate treaty, reactions from other quarters were predictably swift, nasty, sanctimonious and hypocritical.

Al Gore paused near one of the private jets he takes to hector lesser mortals to say the action will bring “a global weather apocalypse.” Billionaire Tom Steyer got rich selling coal but called the President’s action “a traitorous act of war.” Actor-activist Mark Ruffalo railed that Trump has “the death of whole nations on his hands.” Michael Moore said the action was “a crime against humanity.” Former President Obama said it threatened “the one planet we’ve got” (to say nothing of what’s left of his executive orders legacy).

In truth, President Trump’s bold decision underscores the ill-informed science, economics, ethics and energy politics that have driven climate cataclysm caterwauling for decades. His exit decision, his insistence that NATO members pay their agreed dues for defending Europe, the impacts of widespread green energy poverty, and the hard economic and environmental realities of wind, solar and biofuel “alternatives” to fossil fuels will likely awaken other leaders—and persuade other nations to Exit Paris.

Exiting the Mad Hatter’s climate tea party

Jun 3, 2017 — Paul Driessen

I can guess why a raven is like a writing-desk, Alice said. “Do you mean you think you can find out the answer?” said the March Hare. “Exactly so,” said Alice. “Then you should say what you mean,” the March Hare went on. “I do,” Alice replied. “At least I mean what I say. That’s the same thing, you know.”

“Not the same thing a bit!” said the Hatter. “You might just as well say, ‘I see what I eat’ is the same thing as ‘I eat what I see’!” “You might just as well say,” added the Dormouse, ‘I breathe when I sleep’ is the same thing as ‘I sleep when I breathe’!” “It IS the same thing with you,” said the Hatter.

Can you imagine stumbling upon the Mad Hatter’s tea party, watching as the discussions become increasingly absurd—and yet wanting a permanent seat at the table? Could Lewis Carroll have been having nightmares about the Paris climate treaty when he wrote Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland?

Please Exit the Paris Climate Treaty

May 30, 2017 — Paul Driessen

Dear Mr. President:

Are you are still wondering whether to Exit Paris? Overseas and US officials, environmentalists and bureaucrats urge you to Remain. But you promised voters you would Exit. Please keep your promises.

Exit Paris isn’t about the environment. It’s about letting us utilize our fossil fuel energy to create jobs, rebuild our economy, and Make America Great Again. It’s about avoiding immense transfer payments from the USA to foreign governments, bureaucrats and parties unaccountable to Trump-voting taxpayers.

Worse, even if the USA Remains, and the repulsive payments flow, Paris offers no help in removing real air pollutants. Carbon dioxide isn’t one of them, by the way: it’s plant food, not poison.

Nipping a legal problem in the bud

May 28, 2017 — Paul Driessen

One of my recent articles predicted that the Fish & Wildlife Service’s endangered species designation for the rusty patched bumblebee would lead to its being used to delay or block construction projects and pesticide use on hundreds of millions of acres of US farmland. The abuses have already begun.

Projects in Minnesota and elsewhere have been delayed, while people tried to ascertain that no bees were actually nesting in the areas. Now a federal district court judge has ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency failed to consult with the FWS before approving 59 products containing neonicotinoid pesticides that are used primarily as seed coatings for corn, canola, cotton, potato, sugar beet and other crops.

As crops bud and grow, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt must nip this problem in the bud. Thankfully, Judge Maxine Chesney has given them the means to do so.

Land, energy and mineral lockdowns

May 15, 2017 — Paul Driessen

President Trump has directed Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to review recent land withdrawals under the 1906 Antiquities Act, to determine whether some should be reversed or reduced in size.

The review is long overdue. The act was intended to protect areas of historic, prehistoric or scientific value, with areas designated as monuments to be the smallest size compatible with the proper care and management of objects or sites to be protected. The first designation, the 1,347-acre Devils Tower National Monument (NM) respected that intent, as have most designations since then.

Refocusing a Chicago water summit

May 7, 2017 — Paul Driessen

President Trump’s proposal to reduce the Environmental Protection Agency’s $8.1-billion budget by $1.6 billion was cut to an $80-million trim in the omnibus spending bill. However, the EPA funding and staff controversy will undoubtedly resume during the next budgetary battles in September.

That’s fueling consternation and con jobs in the heartland. According to press releases, funds for cleaning up the Great Lakes, eliminating lead poisoning, stopping oil pollution and “ensuring justice” for affected groups are “on the chopping block.” Community leaders, government officials, academics and activists will therefore meet May 10-11 in Chicago for a Freshwater Lab Summit, to “engage the public” and map out strategies for preserving Obama environmental staffs, budgets, programs, policies and priorities.

Ignorance, intolerance, violence

May 1, 2017 — Paul Driessen

Recent science and climate marches demonstrated how misinformed, indoctrinated, politicized and anti-Trump these activists are – and how indifferent about condemning millions in industrialized nations and billions in developing countries to green energy poverty. Amid it all, University of Michigan history professor Juan Cole helped illustrate how the marchers became so ignorant, insensitive and intolerant.

It’s always amazed me how frequently academics, journalists, politicians and students confuse poisonous carbon monoxide (CO) with plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide (CO2). But Professor Cole’s April 17 article in The Nation presents unfathomable ignorance from the intellectual class that is “educating” our young people, while displaying and teaching intolerance toward countervailing facts and viewpoints.

Green Energy Poverty Week

Apr 24, 2017 — Paul Driessen

April 22 was Earth Day, the March for Science and Lenin’s birthday (which many say is appropriate, since environmentalism is now green on the outside and red, anti-free enterprise on the inside). April 29 will feature the People’s Climate March and the usual “Climate change is real” inanity.

The Climate March website says these forces of “The Resistance” intend to show President Trump they will fight his hated energy agenda every step of the way. Science March organizers say they won’t tolerate anyone who tries to “skew, ignore, misuse or interfere with science.”

Watch Video and Sign the Petition to President Trump: Get the U.S. Out of the Paris Climate Treaty

Apr 18, 2017 — Paul Driessen

Myron Ebell is Director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Energy and Environment. He provides the following background on what is happening with President Trump’s possibly wavering promise to withdraw the United States from the heavy-handed Paris climate (non)treaty. He urges Americans to watch CEI’s short new video … and sign a petition asking the President to keep his vitally important promise.

Informative talking points, articles and blog posts follow the link to the CEI video. Cal Beisner’s article is especially valuable, as it succinctly presents the most important reasons the United States and President Trump should take a seat at the head of the table, and lead the world away from this disastrous agreement – which would destroy modern industrial economies, distribute their wealth to other nations, and do virtually nothing to reduce future global warming or prevent future climate changes or extreme weather events.