PragerU: What Is Big Green?

In the latest video from PragerU, Rogan O’Handley, otherwise known as DC Draino, shines the spotlight on “Big Green” — the environmental movement — which “doesn’t deal in billions” but in trillions and which has become “the richest, most powerful ‘Big’ in the world.”

“Until we see it for what is and reign it in,” O’Handley warns of the collection of organizations behind the movement, “it’s going to get even bigger.”

Big Green “intends to save the planet from oblivion” and is willing to “take over your life” and curtail your freedom in order to accomplish this mission. To “save the planet,” he says, the organizations require two things: “money, and power.” Yes, they already have a lot of both, but they’re hungry for more.

Before digging deeper, O’Handley defines his terms: When we say “Big Green” we are talking about the “major organizations that set the agenda for the movement,” which include Greenpeace, 350.Org, Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club, the World Wildlife Fund, and the collection of “politicians, bureaucrats, corporations, and media outlets who support and promote their agenda.”

O’Handley also clarifies a few important points before continuing, including that “the climate is changing,” that it appears to be “slowly warming,” that such changes “could cause serious environmental problems sometime in the distant future,” and that “industrialization probably plays a role in this warming process.”

While “reasonable people should be able to agree on this,” with Nancy Pelosi and Newt Gingrich effectively doing so in the 1990s, O’Handley argues that “Big Green has no interest in being reasonable.” After all, being reasonable can stand in the way of money and power.

On the subject of money, many of the organizations O’Handley lists are massively wealthy. Greenpeace, Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, and Sierra Club all have hundreds of millions of dollars in financial assets. Not only that, multiple corporations routinely write “big checks” to Big Green, such as Citigroup, which committed $100 billion to “combat climate change.”

“But the real money,” O’Handley warns, “is at the government level.” For example, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Obama administration directed more than $110 billion to be spent on renewable energy “investments.”

“What the taxpayer got for this investment other than long-forgotten $500 million dollar boondoggles like Solyndra,” O’Handley remarks, “is hard to say.”

This vast financial drain will not stop there. The Paris Climate Accord, for example, is estimated to cost the world $1 trillion to $2 trillion annually, and the minimum cost for The Green New Deal would be at least $52 trillion by some estimates.

But “money is only a means to an end” for Big Green, warns O’Handley. The end, he says, is power — more specifically, “the power to transform society into what they think it should be.” After all, Saikat Chakrabarti, the architect of the Green New Deal, described the proposed legislation as follows: “it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all…we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.”

Regardless of where you stand on this objective, O’Handley says, “don’t pretend it’s about protecting the environment.” Instead, “it’s about transferring more and more power to the government — at every level: federal, state, local.”

O’Handley argues that such power is being sought through scare tactics, with alarmist tales of a burning planet, rising seas and our eventual destruction being inevitable — “unless we listen to those masters of disaster, Al Gore, Bill McKibben and Greta Thunberg.”

O’Handley then points out that these “horror stories” have had multiple adverse effects, such as “higher energy bills” because of “massive subsidies for wind and solar power” and the impact of wind turbines on birdlife. Despite “all the-planet-is-burning fear mongering,” O’Handley says, “the world is cleaner, healthier, and richer than it has ever been,” and “deaths from natural disasters are at all-time lows.”

The reason for this, according to O’Handley, is that “human beings adapt when faced with climate problems.” The answer to issues like rising sea levels is to “build taller and better sea walls.” It worked for the Netherlands, with a large proportion of the country being below sea level. The answer to declining access to water is to “spread the gospel of drip irrigation and desalination.” It worked for Israel, with “more water than it needs” despite being “in the middle of a desert.” The answer to achieving “clean energy” is to “build more nuclear power plants.” Sweden, often lauded by the Left, “gets half of its energy from nuclear.”

O’Handley reminds us that “none of these simple, practical solutions makes much of an impact on Big Green. You don’t raise money off of common sense and you don’t get political power telling people how good things are and you certainly don’t become famous by being calm.”

“Big Green is not poor, not honest, and certainly not powerless,” O’Handley concludes. “It’s time we all plug in to that truth.”

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