Announcer: Please note disclaimers at end of show. Welcome to Creating Wealth with Jason Hartman. During this program, Jason is going to tell you some really exciting things that you probably haven’t thought of before and a new slant on investing, fresh new approaches to America’s best investment that will enable you to create more wealth and happiness than you ever thought possible.
Jason is a genuine self-made multimillionaire, who not only talks the talk, but walks the walk. He’s been a successful investor for 20 years and currently owns properties in 11 states and 17 cities. This program will help you follow in Jason’s footsteps on the road to financial freedom. You really can do it. And now, here’s your host, Jason Hartman, with the Complete Solution for Real Estate InvestorsTM.
Jason Hartman: Good day and welcome to the Creating Wealth Show. This is your host, Jason Hartman; glad to have you here with me today. I just returned yesterday evening from Dallas, Texas. And again, met with a bunch of different property rehabbers out there and property managers and saw a lot of product. And again, I was very impressed with everything, but the weather. Yeah, it was a little hot and humid – too hot for my taste being a California person, but I still very, very much like the Dallas market. And we’re really into it again. We have some good opportunities there. So talk to our investment counselors about those properties and, of course, you can look at them on our website at www.JasonHartman.com and contact us that way. We’ll be glad to help you – some excellent properties. Excellent rental market, lots of disposable income for your prospective tenants there, fairly transient, which is good for landlords, and just a lot of good, good signs about it.
Well, today on Show No. 115, we have an interview with Steven Malloy, who is the author of “Green Hell” – yes “Green Hell” – how environmentalists plan to control your life and what you can do to stop them. Now, why would we be presenting this on the Creating Wealth Show you ask? Well, here’s why. I think that this is a rather important topic because it affects everything from a financial perspective. I mean, think about it. When new laws are made that property-owners need to conform to new more rigorous standards in construction or in environmental standards or whatever they are. I mean I remember years ago when people that were selling their homes had to put in low-flow toilets before they sold it. That was a bill that was going through the government at the time. And of course, there was a lot of opposition to it and some people were in favor and so on and so forth. And when you look at what this cost property owners, and what it does in terms of everybody, even if you don’t own property, in terms of your taxes, your rents. This is a significant worthwhile subject.
And I think that what is going on out there – I remember I went to New Zealand about six years ago maybe, I was there with my girlfriend at the time. And we rented a car and we travelled all through New Zealand. I went down initially for a business purpose, which was I did a keynote speech for the opening session of the National Speakers’ Association of New Zealand. They were opening a new chapter there of NSA, the National Speakers’ Association, which is a big global organization based here in the U.S. And did that and then Hilary and I travelled all around New Zealand. Rented a car and it was just a really neat trip. And New Zealand, if you haven’t been there, is just gorgeous and one of the things I joked about on that trip is I said, “You know, Hilary, I think I’m a closet tree-hugger” – never thinking much about being an environmentalist before – and certainly not like a lot of the more hippy-ish type environmentalists.
So, I want you to take from this, that certainly the environment is important. Our life depends on it. If the environment is not good, the air is not clean, the water is not clean, we can’t survive as people on this Earth. And every single one of us probably represents, I would say almost certainly, represents a net loss to the environment. No matter how conscientious you are, I would venture to say that every human being on Earth is a net deficit to the environment. You can recycle. You can do everything just right, but just the fact of you being here, you consume and you pollute. We all do.
And I don’t think we should feel tremendously guilty about that unless we’re conspicuous polluters, or conspicuous consumers. But I think that environmentalism, the modern version of environmentalism, has become really a socialist movement. One of the things that I like to say is that environmentalism is not a religion. So, I think this has to be tempered and balanced. And some of this discussion about “Green Hell” is really today considered probably pretty politically incorrect to be looking at this. But this movement, I tell you, has some dangerous elements to it.
And in the description of the book, he talks about how Big Brother – remember George Orwell’s Big Brother from the book “1984” – Big Brother has turned green. The environmental movement has cultivated a warm and fuzzy public image. But behind the smiley-face rhetoric of sustainability and conservation lays a dark agenda. The Greens aim to regulate your behavior, down-size your lifestyle, and invade the most intimate aspects of your personal life. In this book, it’s a stunning expose that unveils the authoritarian impulse underlying the green crusade.
And do you know what’s interesting about this folks? I remember when I was younger and more idealistic I used to support Greenpeace and I donated money to them and so forth. I wasn’t any kind of like radical environmental person, but I was just young and kind of conscientious and so I donated some money to Greenpeace. And I used to read their magazine that they would send me. Sure, it was on recycled paper and so forth. But what’s interesting is that the founder of Greenpeace has come out against a lot of the sort of modern environmental movement and the way that it’s gone. Many say that green is the new red, meaning socialism or communism. And they’re using the guise of being green, of the environment, which who would say they don’t want a better environment? Nobody on Earth in their right mind would say that. But they’re using this as a way to control, to tax, to redistribute wealth and really, to impoverish people in many ways.
And if you ever see a movie – many of you have probably seen an “Inconvenient Truth” by Al Gore, who I like to joke and say Al Gore is not a scientist, and he’s certainly not. If you see that, also make sure you see a movie called “The Great Global Warming Swindle”, which was a BBC documentary. And the BBC by no means is a conservative news organization. They’re pretty left wing most of the time, but they came out with this documentary and it’s interesting to kind of see both sides of the story. And I really don’t think in the mainstream media you see the sort of under belly, the dark side of environmentalism.
And so that’s what I want to talk about today on the show in the interview with Steve. And I think you’ll get a sense for it. It is costing you a lot of money. It is costing your tenants a lot of money. There are dangerous elements within the environmental movement and of course, my disclaimer here is that I like a nice environment, too. We all like a nice environment, but things need to be kept in perspective. And they need to be balanced.
A couple of other quick announcements: of course, look on our website at www.JasonHartman.com and be sure to register for the Masters weekend. It’s coming up October 10th and 11th. Be sure to talk to our investment counselors about some of the fantastic new financing opportunities available today. We’ve alluded to some of them on prior shows. New listeners, be sure to check out the “Core Content Shows” at www.JasonHartman.com. There are about seven shows that are kind of our core foundational content for our philosophy when it comes to investing and creating wealth.
And now, let’s go to the interview with Steve Malloy and let’s hear about the other side of the green movement
Interview with Steve Malloy, author of “Green Hell”
Jason Hartman: It’s my pleasure to welcome to the show, Steve Malloy. He’s the author of Green Hell and also runs a website JunkScience.com. This is a very important subject because it affects your life and your wealth and your freedom. Steve, it’s great to have you on.
Steve: Hey. Thanks for having me, Jason.
Jason Hartman: Good. Tell us about your new book, Green Hell.
Steve: Well, my book, Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them, is an effort to tell people about what green really means for them. You can’t pick up the newspaper, watch TV today without hearing about how we’re going green and green is great for you, or so they say. Some people even say green is green, meaning that green is going to make you money. And I’m trying to take the sheen off green and reveal what’s really behind the word and what’s really in store for you. People think that green is about the environment. Nothing could be further from the truth. There’s nothing that environmentalists, who I call the greens, want to do that’s going to improve the environment. Instead, what they’re trying to do is enhance government control that is going to make you poorer, less free. It’s going to make your life less convenient, less comfortable, and it’s going to provide no benefits to the environment. You’re not going to be healthier, wealthier, or the environment is not going to be cleaner. And so that’s kind of the message, the Green Hell. It’s kind of a ground-breaking book in this way. It’s not a debunking book about science. We’ve done those and there are plenty of those. What this is trying to do is just reveal what green is really all about.
Jason Hartman: So, Steve, I mean, how is it that, if what you’re saying is true, so many people can be fooled into “going green”?
Steve: Well, I don’t know that so many people are being fooled into it so much as no one’s really having a choice at this point. I mean you’ve got Barack Obama who I call the first green president, ramming this stuff through in the first year of his presidency. And then you also have the biggest companies in corporate America – I’m talking General Electric, Dupont, Alcoa, Dow Chemical, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley – you know, traditionally thought of as capitalistic companies, they’ve turned into rent seekers.
And they are pushing an agenda to have the government basically ensure revenues for them and revenues that taxpayers and consumers are going to be paying for. They’ve completely sold out capitalism. They’re the ones with the lobbyists in Washington, DC. They’re the ones that are teeing these issues up in Congress and allowing them to happen. If these companies were opposing global warming alarmism, for example, it would not be happening. But instead, they’re fueling it. They’re almost more of a threat than the hardcore greens with the social and political agenda.
Jason Hartman: What’s interesting about that is sort of the first level of understanding, it seems, is to why corporate America would be on the green bandwagon, is that it’s good P.R. It’s good publicity. And you know there’s a market there. There are obviously a lot of people who believe in the environmental movement and they believe in global warming, which has conveniently they’ve changed the name to “global climate change,” which I think is just too ironic. It used to be global warming, but when it’s cold out, it’s cold because of global warming.
Jason Hartman: I don’t know what universe this makes sense in, but it’s always kind of blown my mind. But you know it seems like it would be just a good P.R. tactic. Or maybe they’re saying, a mea culpa in that they’ve polluted, they’ve done bad things. They’ve been irresponsible corporate citizens and they’re trying to clean up their image.
Steve: Well, there’s no mea culpa going on. I mean I would divide it this way. I would say that at the core of this you have these hard core greens with the social and political agenda. Up from them, there are sort of two levels. There is you have well-intentioned members of the public, who think that this is really about the environment. And then you have corporations. And then I’ve bifurcated corporations further, companies that are doing the ’green-washing’ that you’re talking about, the P.R., and then companies that plan to engage in rent-seeking and have the government ensure their profits by forcing consumers to buy their products, or having taxpayers subsidize their products.
Jason Hartman: That phrase you used is “rent-seeking”?
Steve: Right, yeah, rent-seeking. It’s when you use the government to ensure your revenues either by, as I’ve said, forcing consumers to buy your products, like General Electric wants the government to force electric utilities to go into renewable energies, which means basically forcing utilities to buy wind turbines from GE, or attack their subsidies.
Jason Hartman: How convenient.
Steve: Yeah. How convenient. That’s the inconvenient truth. Or forcing taxpayers to subsidize like solar and wind.
Jason Hartman: I wish, Steve that every time I had a new idea for my business, I could just pass a law that would require everybody to buy my products. That would be great.
Steve: Right. So, let me finish my thought there.
Jason Hartman: Yeah.
Steve: So, you’ve got the well-intentioned people and then you have the corporations who’ve got either the green-washing thing, or the profit-seeking motive. I think that the hard-core greens look at these two groups. In Leninist terms, they’d be called useful idiots because, ultimately, all the well-intentioned people are doing and all the corporations are doing is implementing the green agenda. I mean, they are brainwashing all of society from kids as young as first grade, all the way up through college and adults. And constant advertisement on TV, we’ve got to go green, got to go green, got to go green. Well, green always means government control. There’s no green solution out there that is increasing anybody’s freedom. From my perspective, that is totally anti-American.
Jason Hartman: Very interesting. I’m a member of many groups, but one of them is the Public Relations Society of America. And I am looking at their newspaper, their sort of newspaper/news letter that I receive every month. The April 2009 issue that I just received today, and on the front it says the “Green Issue”. It’s got a big sign as like a billboard on the highway. It’s all about green and there’s a whole P.R. industry behind this.
Steve: Yeah, it’s the new virtue.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, it is. It’s interesting. What else do we need to know? I mean, what are the myths out there? And let’s just talk about everything from sort of recycling to carbon and the carbon offset schemes out there and so forth.
Steve: The over-all message is that there’s no aspect of your life that the greens don’t seek to control. I mean they want to tell you where to live, where to work, how many children you can have, what you can drive, what color car you can drive in California.
Jason Hartman: I heard that! I couldn’t believe that.
Jason Hartman: By the way for listeners that don’t know, we should mention that.
Jason Hartman: They now want people in California to drive cars that have something like a 25 percent reflective color paint.
Steve: Yeah. No black.
Jason Hartman: So, you can’t own a black car or a dark car now because it gets too hot and requires more air conditioning.
Jason Hartman: And what’s interesting about that, Steve is I heard someone respond to that saying that the darker the car, the more heat it absorbs and the better it is for the outside environment because it doesn’t heat up as much of the outside environment; whereas, a light color reflects the heat back into the outside environment. But no one thinks of that, of course, right?
Steve: Well, the whole thing is just totally insane anyway. To think that the color of a car is somehow going to bring about a meaningful environmental change just means your cheese has just flipped off your toast, if that’s what you’re thinking. So, what color car you can have, what you can eat; they don’t want you eating meat; how much water you can have, how much electricity you can use. Barack Obama and his stimulus package wants to put smart meters – there’s money in the stimulus package to put smart meters on everybody’s house so the utility can dictate how much electricity you use. So like on the hottest day in the year, when you need your air conditioning the most, they’re going to turn it off. So, it’s every aspect. Even what kind of toilet paper you can use. Greenpeace is now running a jihad against Charmin because you know fluffy toilet paper requires that trees be cut down, versus the sort of newspaper-like toilet paper like I guess what they use in Germany.
Jason Hartman: Right.
Steve: So, I mean there’s just no aspect of your life that they don’t want to control. I mean most people don’t realize that Barack Obama’s top science adviser, a guy name John Holdren, traces his roots back to the population control movement. He’s friends with the likes of Paul Ehrlich, who, in his book in 1968, “The Population Bomb,” recommended that the government add a sterilitate to the drinking water so that if you wanted to have children, you’d have to apply to the government to get the antidote. Now this kind of thinking is in the Obama administration.
Jason Hartman: That is very scary. I mean that’s basically back to eugenics isn’t it?
Steve: We’re not far from that. I mean, eugenics was targeted removal of people. These people just want all people to be gone. A few weeks ago, 2 weeks ago, I think, an advisor to the UK government came out and said half the UK population needs to go. Hilary Clinton’s science advisor in the State Department said that we need to cut down on population. I mean these are anti-people people.
Jason Hartman: What’s interesting about that, though, is it’s so contradictory to what most people think of as the left wing. The left wing encourages immigration, wants to feed Africa, wants to see developing countries have more resources. To some extent, I mean, the best thing you can do really to help the environment is just don’t have any more kids, right?
Steve: Well, yeah. It’s almost a generational thing. The baby boomer generation is extremely weird. I mean, when they were growing up, it was you know sex, drugs, rock and roll and you know anything goes. Today, boy if you’re a teenager caught with a cigarette, you’re in deep trouble.
Jason Hartman: Times sure have changed. Haven’t they?
Steve: Yeah, times have changed, right.
Jason Hartman: The big thing is this whole carbon off-set deal. And you know Al Gore has become a very very wealthy man since leaving the White House as Vice President, with his new green business. The movie came out and it was a big hit and you know the Cannes Film Festival, etc. And then, of course, you can conveniently buy carbon off-sets from his company. And I think someone said he left the White House with a net worth of like $1.5 million. And his net worth now is about $150 million.
Steve: Yeah. Yeah. And he plans on making billions more through green house gas regulation.
Jason Hartman: Green has been good for Gore, huh?
Steve: Oh, absolutely. And you mentioned carbon off-sets and it’s a great point. Last year, the general accounting office at the request of Congress did an investigation and they basically concluded that the carbon off-set industry is rife with fraud. People are paying money for what they think are reductions in green house gas emissions and they’re just – no one knows whether they’re getting anything. You have these brokers selling high-priced offsets and there’s just no way to know what’s going on. After all, carbon dioxide is colorless, odorless. Who knows whether any emissions are being reduced?
Jason Hartman: Yeah. Well, talk to us about some of the other chapters you have in the book here. You talk about power. You talk about the Rationing Rationale. I love some of the titles here in your table of contents: The More Pedestrian Life, Dieting, etc.
Steve: Right and one of the key chapters is “Power is Power,” about energy and how the environmentalists are causing energy chaos. They oppose coal, they oppose natural gas, they oppose oil, they oppose nuclear power. And most people think, “Oh, that’s because they want us to use solar and wind.” Well, if you look a little closer, you find that wherever major solar and wind projects crop up, they oppose them. Like the Kennedy’s are opposing the Cape Cod Wind Farm because you know they don’t want to see the turbines from their Hyannis Port compound. I live in Maryland. We have a very green governor, who has banned wind turbines from public lands as an eyesore. Last summer, the Bureau of Land Management placed a moratorium on solar projects on public land because they’re worried about the impacts of the construction on the desert critters. When you look a little more closely, you just see that the greens are opposed to everything. And as columnist, George Will says, “They’re really just creating chaos because out of chaos comes more government control.” And that’s really what it’s all about.
Jason Hartman: Well, in the words of Rahm Emanuel, “Let’s never miss a good crisis as an opportunity to create all sorts of new rules and legislations.” Right?
Steve: No. That’s right. They’re taking advantage of the current economic crisis. The stimulus package is anything but, except that it does have about $100 billion in there earmarked for green projects, green jobs, allegedly green jobs, and projects like the smart meters we talked about earlier. There’s also billions of dollars in there for – and this is really incredible – for something called “electricity decoupling”. Traditionally, electric utilities make money by selling electricity. And the more electricity they sell, the more money they make. Well, the greens want to change that. The greens want to figure out a way to ensure that electric company profitability stays the same while selling less electricity. Now, you don’t have to be too smart to figure out that what that entails is that you and I and all our listeners are going to be paying more money for less electricity. And of course, the utility companies are going to be forced into it and they’re not even going to be complaining because they’re going to be making the same amount of money.
Jason Hartman: I mean, what is the real motivation behind the government wanting to control more and more? I think most Americans kind of have the view that their elected representatives, of course, they all want to line their own pocket and of course, they want to increase their power and influence and so forth. But what is it about the political body that would want to turn off your air conditioning or turn off your heat in your house? What are they really getting out of that?
Steve: You’re going into the depths of personality there. I mean, there are many people whose mission in life and who get pleasure out of control. No government ever shrinks in size. Governments only expand. That’s why our founding fathers separated the branches of government and put checks and balances. We’re supposed to be a nation of laws and people, not big government. But we’re watching incredible expansion of government, even despite Ronald Reagan, I mean government has expanded. And now with green, I mean, it is just going to pervade every aspect of our lives.
Jason Hartman: And surely, I mean one reason they surely would want to do it is it increases revenue because it gives government the opportunity to levy fines. Every law is only enforceable because you can do something. You can fine a person, or a company for not obeying it.
Jason Hartman: And that’s really just another form of tax increase, isn’t it?
Steve: Yeah. I’m not sure why people are so enthralled with this. They think they can create a utopia where we can manage everybody. Well, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be managed, much less by the people that want to manage me. And I think most people can lead their own lives, make smart decisions, and I think that society will make more progress when many people are making decisions in their best interest versus having central planning, what Friedrich Hayek would call the “Road to Serfdom.” When the central planner makes the wrong decision, everybody pays the price. But in a free society, we all make our own decisions and markets kind of dictate what goes on, that’s less likely to happen.
Jason Hartman: Well, the market is so much more nimble and responsive.
Jason Hartman: Obviously, government is so massively inefficient. It’s just incredible.
Steve: And once it’s committed to a direction, how do you change it?
Jason Hartman: It changes very slowly, if ever. And it usually gets deeper into that direction because what I found, in my 20’s, which was only last year – just kidding – when I was in my 20’s, I served on a lot of committees and did a lot of charity work and stuff like that. And I found that the goal of any committee is to just increase its power and influence. And it really became less and less about the actual cause and more and more about how can we increase power? How can we make ourselves bigger?
Jason Hartman: Versus the concept of, say it was a disease-oriented committee – finding a cure! Isn’t that the whole point? Right?
Steve: Right. And that’s just the nature of bureaucracy, sort of ensuring its own existence. And then when you add this other layer on top of it, the green agenda, where they really are intent on controlling every aspect of our lives for whatever reason, it’s a real danger. So, in “Green Hell,” I’m trying to explain to people, “Look, this is what’s going to happen to you. Whether you believe the science or not about global warming, for example, this is what’s going to happen to you. Is this what you want?
Jason Hartman: You have a chapter in here entitled “Kiss your Health & Safety Goodbye”. Tell us what you’re talking about there.
Steve: Well, it’s basically just the unintended consequences – or maybe they’re really intended – of environmentalism. Probably the major story in there is the story about DDT. DDT was based on – the DDT ban in 1972 was based on junk science and as a result tens of millions of Africans have died needlessly from malaria over the ensuing decade.
Jason Hartman: So, that’s the pesticide DDT?
Steve: The pesticide DDT, the notorious pesticide DDT, which wasn’t so notorious, was actually a great public health achievement. But the greens have completely destroyed it. But moving on to our lives, we have the greens bringing compact fluorescent light bulbs into our homes. No longer can you just, if you break one of these bulbs, can you just throw it away. It’s if you believe the environmentalists and their scares about mercury, it’s actually a threat to your health. You have to follow like a 20-step procedure to clean it up and throw it away and you can’t throw it away in the household trash. You have to dispose of it as hazardous waste.
They’re trying to get flame retardants removed from furniture. So there’s a story in the book about how someone’s CFL caused someone’s house to burn down. Okay, well if there’s no flame retardant in your furniture, your house is going to burn that much quicker. They want us to drive smaller cars. Well, the only way we can make smaller cars is to make lighter cars. And the one thing we know since the 1970’s is that smaller cars are deadlier cars. The greens hate pesticides. They don’t want pesticides used in schools. So, of course there’s going to be more vermin in schools and yellow jackets. Your kids are going to come home stung by bees because school administrators can’t handle a bees’ nest or a hornets’ nest when they see it. They can’t just get the Raid and spray it there.
Jason Hartman: Very interesting.
Steve: So there’s a bunch of these things in the book that are going to affect your health and safety.
Jason Hartman: You know what I also heard that I just found amazingly scary is that there is actually – I guess there’s a bill in San Francisco that people will be looking through people’s trash to make sure that they sorted for recycling and fining people if they don’t sort properly.
Steve: Right. Nothing against garbage men, but apparently, we’re now going to deputize garbage men to issue people tickets for improperly sorting their trash and recycling.
Jason Hartman: And someone’s going to be looking through my trash.
Jason Hartman: Wow.
Steve: And you’ll get a couple hundred dollar fine. Is this really where we want to go? I mean, recycling can be a good thing, but it seems to work pretty well, basing it on a voluntary basis. Why do we want to empower garbage men to write tickets and make it this compliance thing?
Jason Hartman: Do you think people – really, other countries are picking on the U.S.A. in the green movement? I mean you look at the Kyoto Protocols.
Jason Hartman: Which are so much harder on Westernized, developed countries and oddly enough, or by wonderful coincidence – those are the countries that have the best human rights records. They have more freedom and they have better medicine and they have better mortality rates. People live longer, they live healthier. But it seems as though they’re the targets of the green movement versus the banana republics are not targets of them.
Steve: Right, well, there are a couple of things, too. Kyoto Protocol – the Europeans supposedly are trying to control their emissions. Meanwhile, China is building a new coal-fired power plant every week or every two weeks, so more than making up for whatever Europe thinks it’s controlling. But you’re very right that wealth is health and it’s the wealthiest nations have the cleanest environments and the poorest nations have the worst environments.
But one thing that’s very important is that the purpose of the Kyoto Protocol and an international treaty is to ensnare America and make America subject to UN energy and environment regulation and to make the U.S. less competitive economically – and the Europeans have a big interest in this. The Europeans, with their socialist economies, they struggle to be competitive with the U.S. And it is their goal and they’ve stated this – and this is one of the things I do in “Green Hell” – I use the environmentalists, the greens, the Europeans’ own words. These are not Steve Malloy’s; it is out of their mouths. One thing the Europeans have acknowledged is that this is a way to make Europe more competitive with the U.S. They’ll sign the same treaty as we do, but the laws will not be enforced in Europe, but they will be enforced here because of the American judicial system, the easy access to trial lawyers, the willingness of trial lawyers to sue for any reason. The greens are well-funded. They write the laws so that only they can sue. They write the laws so that if they go to court, it’s easier for them to win. So all these laws, the treaty would be enforceable here. It would not be enforced anywhere else in the world.
Jason Hartman: That’s just completely wrong to try and use the green movement to be more competitive. If the socialist countries of Europe want to be more competitive, why don’t they try being a little less socialist and letting capitalism rear its beautiful head and cause advancement, as it does elsewhere in the world?
Steve: Yeah. I know, but if you’re a control freak, I mean how do you arrest control away from these people, once you give it to them? I mean it almost takes a revolution to do that. It takes social upheaval to wrest control from them. And the Europeans have always been comfortable with this sort of socialist model, where industry is very close with the government. It’s almost like a fascistic model. In the U.S., we’ve always had much more distance between private industry and government. But that is changing now.
Jason Hartman: I think it’s changing especially with big business because big business seems to be very much in cahoots with big government nowadays. But small business isn’t. Small and medium-sized business really has its distance. But then, of course, they don’t get the bailouts and all the perks either.
Steve: Yeah, that’s right. And they’re the ones that are really inhibited by the increased regulation of the big business. Big businesses can afford regulation. They can afford Sarbanes Oxley, for example, it’s no big deal. But for smaller businesses, it’s much more of a burden. The regulatory hurdles for getting into the chemical, pharmaceutical, any sort of regulated business is much more difficult for young start-ups than it is for the rent-seeking behemoths. They lobby so that the laws favor them, not small, medium-sized businesses.
Jason Hartman: Right. They make it that the barrier to entry is much higher. And I say what ultimately comes out of that is a huge decline in innovation because when you have – I mean we saw it years ago as the big – the Rockefellers and the Carnegies and the big industrialists’ families really controlled the country in so many ways. And on one hand, you want to think well business is good, be business-friendly, but when anything becomes concentrated, when power is not well diversified over a broad populace, you have the ingredients for trouble. You have the ingredients for abuse. You have the ingredients for all kinds of problems. I mean, power corrupts and “absolute power corrupts absolutely” as the old saying goes.
Steve: Some of the rationale for growing larger is, “Well, it’s more efficient.” I think, and we’re hearing this now with energy efficiency, IBM has a new campaign – its think campaign, where they’re constantly talking about making us more efficient. It’s easy to lose sight that efficiency is not a goal within itself. People that lose sight of what efficiency really means, are going to wind up hurting people. People that have taken efficiency to the most ruthless extremes were the Nazis in World War II. The guy that ran Auschwitz and after he was convicted and sentenced to death, even after he was so severely rebuked by society, he’s still writing in his confession about how efficient he was in executing his mission.
And so when I see these IBM commercials about efficiency, they want everything to be run by computers. Efficiency is a goal in and of itself, and I don’t think that’s true. Yes, you know I don’t want to waste gas in my car, but on the other hand, I don’t want to be forced into some sort of electric car or some sort of ’econo-box’ just because it’s fuel efficient. I mean, I might want to pull my boat some place. I might want to take six kids some place, or go on vacation. I might want to go to the big box store and I can’t fit that stuff in a smart car.
Jason Hartman: But Steve, why should you have a boat?
Steve: Well, that’s true.
Jason Hartman: Why should you have six kids?
Steve: Well, Al Gore has one.
Jason Hartman: And why should you be going to a big box store? That’s just not right.
Steve: No. That’s right. And the greens, at the end of last year, in a magazine called “New Scientist,” it was really an incredible admission by them. There was like six or seven articles in a whole issue dedicated to why economic growth is bad for the planet.
Jason Hartman: That’s insane.
Steve: And can you imagine. Yeah. And I mean they’re feeling so empowered now that they’re actually coming out and saying what they really believe – economic growth is bad.
Jason Hartman: It’s as if every person, every professor at a university, who works a whopping 12 hours a week, gets to come out of the woodwork now and espouse their crazy ideas when they have no real world experience. It’s all just theory. When you read Karl Marx, it sounds great in theory.
Jason Hartman: But it denies the basic human nature, is that people are competitive. People want more. They want better for themselves. They want to create progress. And progress is good.
Steve: And the best example of that is, look at our President – here’s a guy who, his only experience, and in the private world is maybe a few months in a private law firm, which is hardly business. He has no feel for what business is all about, or creating jobs, meeting payroll. He just has no concept. And all his – a lot of his supporters, they’re all lawyers from Harvard University, privileged people. They’ve never really had to struggle. And maybe had the pleasure of coming up with an idea that works and making money off of it. I mean, I just don’t have the sense they really understand what wealth, economy, wealth creation, economies, and job making are all about.
Jason Hartman: Well, the other thing that’s interesting about the Obama administration is that for all the talk about change, it looks like the same old crew pretty much. I mean all the insiders, all the ’Clintonistas’.
Steve: Yeah, they’re professional government employees.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, they’ve never held a real job. Like you said, they’ve never made payroll. You try employing people and being responsible for their livelihood and their families, and I’ll tell you, that is a huge responsibility.
Steve: Yeah, but see, unlike employees that can quit if they think you’re a lousy boss, taxpayers can’t stop paying taxes.
Jason Hartman: Right.
Steve: Like they can’t even really fire you.
Jason Hartman: Well, it’s funny because I was on my Facebook page, I was complaining about California, where I’m based, but maybe not for long – complaining about the People’s Republic of California increasing the sales tax yesterday.
Jason Hartman: I mean a massive increase; it’s huge. People think, “Oh, well it only increased 1½ percent.” No. It increased almost 20 percent from where it was before. That’s the real increase. So people started chiming in with their comments and one guy said – and this is very popular now around the country, “Have a tea party, organize a tea party.”
Jason Hartman: And certainly you’ve seen those on the news and so forth. And I said, “Well, I think the tea party is a good idea, but the problem is, if I pour tea into the harbor, some environmentalist is going to come along and have me arrested and fined.” I can’t even do that anymore.
Steve: Yeah. I know.
Jason Hartman: It’s just gone beyond rational thought anymore. It really has. It’s interesting that the founder – I think it’s the founder, actually, not the former leader, but the founder of Greenpeace, which is obviously the best branded environmental organization in the world, I would say, has left that movement, and does not believe in global warming.
Steve: Patrick Moore.
Jason Hartman: Right. Okay. That’s his name. And the founder of the Weather Channel does not believe in it either, as well as thousands of other scientists around the world have totally debunked the Gore theories and so forth. What do you say about that?
Steve: Well, they’re absolutely right. I mean there is a group of 31,000 scientists that have signed a petition against global warming alarmism. The notion that what Al Gore says, “Two thousand scientists at the UN say global warming is real.” That’s not true. There are thousands of other scientists that say the opposite. There is no scientific evidence showing that human emissions of carbon dioxide drive climate, or are causing catastrophic climate change. I mean, that’s just simply not true despite what we’ve heard. Most people who were convinced perhaps by watching “An Inconvenient Truth” – I wonder if they know that a British court ruled that the movie was so inaccurate that before school children could watch the movie, it had to have a disclaimer saying that it had basically been disproved.
Jason Hartman: That is amazing. I mean, “The Great Global Warming Swindle” movie was the BBC documentary. And what’s interesting about that is the BBC would hardly be called a right-leaning organization. I mean the BBC is pretty leftist.
Jason Hartman: And even they published a documentary that really debunked “An Inconvenient Truth”.
Steve: Yeah. And the guy, Martin Durkin, the producer and director of “The Great Global Warming Swindle” is a Marxist – and global warming was even too much for him.
Jason Hartman: Wow, that’s quite a testimonial, it really is. Hey, I want to ask you about one more thing – back to the energy question because energy is such a big part of the economy. Every product we buy, every service we buy, we’re paying for energy as part of that purchase price. We’re paying for energy and, of course, government regulation and taxation, too. When it comes to energy, I think that far and away nuclear power is the safest, the cleanest – all things considered. I mean there has never been a real nuclear problem in the United States of America. I mean everybody goes back to Three Mile Island, which was, compared to the coal put into the air and the miners mining it and getting – what do they call it – black lung mining coal and all of the strip mining and so forth. Nuke is clean. I mean the environmentalists ought to be embracing nuclear power in my opinion as the best, safest, cleanest thing going.
Steve: Yeah. I mean, they don’t embrace nuclear because it works too well. I mean that’s the bottom line there. Nuclear power – right, if you’re worried about C02, nuclear would seem to be the answer because we can do it. Once you get a nuclear plant built, the electricity is pretty cheap. But it works too well for the environmentalists. They also have that hangover from the atomic bomb blasts. They don’t like anything nuclear. So, between that and the fact that nuclear power would sort of facilitate economic growth, those are strikes against it. So, they’re going to do whatever they can.
I know that the nuclear industry has got many applications pending now before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to build new reactors. And I know that there are some nuclear companies that had been supporting the greens on global warming, hoping that nuclear power would be the answer. And I’ve got news for them – the greens will never let more nuclear plants be built. If anyone that ever – even if you get the regulatory approvals, the day you stick the shovel in the ground to start the plant, the greens are going to roll out the grandmothers to lay in front of the bulldozers. It will just never happen.
Jason Hartman: What do we do about this? You have an organization called “The Free Enterprise Action Fund” and what is the action plan? I mean, people listening to this, some just fervently disagree I know. I’m sure I’ll receive emails and blog posts about this show.
Jason Hartman: But, of course, I think that they’re rather deceived. Don’t worry folks for those of you who are deceived – many people have been deceived throughout history. It’s not a big deal. We’ve all been deceived at one time or another. What does someone do about it? What is the action plan for us?
Steve: Well, there are a couple things. I think that, first, you really need to smarten up on these issues. And I think “Green Hell” is a good place to start. Next, from your local, state, and federal politicians, you need to grab them by the lapels and shake them, until they understand that this is not about the environment – this is about the left social and political agenda. People need to get active on a local level. After a hard day’s work, people go home, stay at home with their family, have dinner, work out, whatever. The greens are attending those City Council meetings, local planning commission meetings advancing the green agenda. And a lot of conservative libertarians have a laissez faire nature – this is not the time to be laissez faire. They need to become activists.
You asked about the “Free Enterprise Action Fund.” That’s a mutual fund that I co-manage. We started about four years ago because we saw the problem of CEO’s caving into the green agenda, whether it’s for green-washing or because they think they see some sort of profit to be had by advancing the green agenda. Counter-pressuring CEO’s to get them away from that left agenda and to get them to focus on shareholder value and the free enterprise system. So, if you’re a shareholder in a publicly-owned company and you see your company doing green stuff, exercise your rights as a shareholder. File a shareholder proposal. Write a letter to the CEO. They answer them. They care what people think. But if they don’t hear from anybody that objects, then they’re going to go green.
Jason Hartman: One more thing I’d like you to just maybe address in closing here. There are sensible things that really we all can do for the environment. And I don’t want this interview to come off as people thinking that all environmentalism is wrong. And it’s all a socialist movement because I don’t really think it is, all of it. I just think it’s been taken to the height of a religious fervor where it’s really like a radical religion. And I think that’s very scary. But what are the sensible things that are realistic and reasonable?
Steve: We all live on the same planet. We all want the same things for the environment. We want clean air, clean water, safe food. The environmentalists do not exist on a higher moral plane than the rest of us. They do not value a clean planet more than we do. So, that’s another lesson that we all need to learn. We all want the same thing there. But what they want to do now – regulate C02, regulate your entire life – has got nothing to do with improving the environment.
We talked about earlier how the wealthier people are, the better their environment is. The poorer people are, the worse their environment is. The lesson is clear; wealth is good for the environment. There’s nothing that the environmentalists want to do that is going to make us wealthier. There’s nothing they want to do that’s going to make our environment cleaner. Yeah, we have laws and regulations in place, largely made over the last forty years. They work. Our air is cleaner than it was 40 years ago. The water is cleaner than it was 40 years ago. Today, if you have an industrial plant and you discharge water into a river, for example, the water that goes out has to be cleaner than the water that went in. So, we are taking care of our environment. Don’t fall for what the environmentalists are telling you that, “Oh, the environment is going to hell in a hand basket.” Or, “The planet is dying,” or whatever; Al Gore: “The planet has a fever.” None of that stuff’s true. None of it has anything to do with the environment that we live in.
Jason Hartman: That’s good. So, on a personal level, act, but don’t be fooled by the mixed messages out there and what you’re hearing in the movement that is the religious fervor side of the movement.
Steve: I mean there may be reasonable things to do on the environment. But let’s make sure that what we’re doing is really going to benefit the environment and not just some special interest group.
Jason Hartman: Good stuff. Steve, in wrapping up, do you have a website people should visit?
Steve: The website is www.Junkscience.com.
Jason Hartman: Can they buy the book there?
Steve: They can buy the book there. But I also have a blog called www.GreenHellBlog.com, which is dedicated to spotlighting new developments and how the greens plan to control your life.
Jason Hartman: Fantastic. Well, thanks for joining us on the show and giving us a little bit of insight into what’s going on when you kind of read between the lines. We really appreciate it. And keep up the good work out there.
Steve: Thanks, Jason. I appreciate it.
Jason Hartman: Good luck with your book, okay?
Steve: All right. Bye.
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Duration: 46 minutes