free html hit counter Peak Oil Debunked: 106. THE GREENING OF HATE

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Richard Heinberg, author of "The Party's Over" is a "peak oil" promoter and population reduction advocate whose book sports endorsements from Virginia Deane Abernethy and David Pimental.

Who are these people?

The greening of hate
Interview of Betsy Hartmann by Fred Pearce, [20 February 2003]

The poor are to blame for environmental decline because they have been putting their own ecosystems under intolerable population pressure. That's the hidden ideology of far too many environmentalists in the US who really should know better, says Betsy Hartmann, a radical feminist and academic. So much for the green on the outside, red on the inside label that's often hung round eco-campaigners; some conservationists, she told Fred Pearce recently, are the new conservatives

What do you think is going on among environmentalists? Is the right wing taking over?

I first realised that the right wing was attempting to penetrate the mainstream environment movement when I sat on a panel at an environmental meeting in the University of Oregon in 1994. Beside me was a professor and environmentalist, Virginia Abernethy of Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. She seemed to me to blame immigrants for overpopulating our country and destroying our environment. Some of the audience liked her ideas but I thought they were racist.

I started to investigate and found she wasn't alone among conservationists. She was a leader of the group called the Carrying Capacity Network, which sounds like a benign environmental organisation but its main campaign is to halt what it calls mass migration to the US. They blame migrants for destroying pristine America. For instance, they blame Mexican migrants for starting fires in national forests near the border. This group has prominent environmental scientists on its advisory board. People like biologist Tom Lovejoy, the green economist Herman Daly and the ecologist David Pimental. I call this the greening of hate.Source
Buzzing over to Carrying Capacity Network, I notice a lot of big peak oil "names" on the Boards of Directors and Advisors:
Virginia Abernethy, David Pimentel, Albert A. Bartlett, William Catton, Jr., Marcia Pimentel...

Here's some of their recent "action alerts":
What's New at CCN

* September 2005 URGENT: NEW HEALTH THREAT - Mass immigration bringing (ever more) new diseases to the U.S. - Now more than ever a moratorium is crucial to Stem the Tide and Prevent an Epidemic

* June 2005 URGENT: NEW THREAT - Bill Would Amnesty Millions of Illegals - URGENT: NEW THREAT - Bill Would Amnesty Millions of Illegals CCN's HOLISTIC STRATEGY STOPS THE TRIPLE THREAT to U.S. Social Security, Jobs, and Border Security Social Security Serious Immediate Threat - Must Act NOW

* May 2005 IMPORTING VIOLENCE: How mass immigration is bringing violent crime to your community - Culture is just one determinant of individual behavior – and is never predictive of any particular behavior or particular person's behavior. Nevertheless, violence characterizes some of the diverse cultures that are increasingly represented in the United States.

Virginia Abernethy has definitely got some racial issues. She's on the editorial board of the "Occidental Quartlerly".

The Quarterly believes, among other things, that: "4. The European identity of the United States and its people should be maintained. Immigration into the United States should be restricted to selected people of European ancestry."

I don't think we can blame Heinberg for this woman (yet), but this is definitely another case of white racists glomming onto peak oil, much like the BNP in Britain. Here's Virginia's picture:


At Wednesday, September 21, 2005 at 5:16:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would you really call those people "big peak oil names"? AFAIK, the real big names are Simmons, Savinar, Ruppert, Kunstler, Heinberg...

At Wednesday, September 21, 2005 at 5:59:00 AM PDT, Blogger JD said...

Pimental is constantly being cited regarding EROEI, and carrying capacity. Catton is the original overshoot/die-off source. Bartlett's video lecture on the exponential function is a peak oil standard. Pimental, Catton and Bartlett provide the intellectual substructure of peak oil. The fellows you mention are the hucksters.

At Wednesday, September 21, 2005 at 10:11:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JD, since you seem to be determined to raise awareness about this important issue, I think it is important for people to read this article i.e. the relation of Green Ecology to Eco-fascism.
Many enviros are aware of this and people of left-origin are fighting it. It is interesting that many of the peak oilers are eager to stress that neither the left nor the right can offer innovative solutions.
I was surpised to find Herman Daly in the list of the people you mentioned. But then again, it might be true that his steady state economy is not one of more equitable distribution but one of continuing exploitation and misery. There are multiple stable points in any system in steady state after all.
Peter Staudenmaier and Janet Biehl also wrote a book about the German experience in the 30s. The introduction and a couple of chapters can be found here:

A small passage from the intro:
"In ways that sometimes approximate beliefs of progressive-minded ecologists, these reactionary and outright fascist ecologists emphasize the supremacy of the "Earth" over people; evoke "feelings" and intuition at the expense of reason; and uphold a crude sociobiologistic and even Malthusian biologism."

At Wednesday, September 21, 2005 at 4:35:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scraping the barrel a bit here. Why you still put Peak Oil in inverted commas is a little strange considering your blog is mostly about this. Peak oil 'promoter'? Or analyst perhaps? i.e. a more neutral use of language. I don't know how fair you are to Herman Daly etc. but thi little blog post could be much more specific about what is being claimed.
Pimental, Catton, and Bartlett are part of the Peak Oil cluster of names but most people interested in this are completely liberal. It does attract loonies but then so does free-market capitalism or any important part of our lifeworld.
I was part of the group who set up the Peak Oil UK conference which Nick Griffin attended. This guy is small cheese and has no real profile in the UK. The Scottish Socialist Party are also aware of Peak Oil so...I guess everyone is really...all shades of the political spectrum.
So if you want to build a case on anecdotes then fair enough but it won't do for anyone with any intelligence.
I see your hero is William S. Burroughs...a murderer, a drug addict, a bad writer with no this to be your career path?

At Wednesday, September 21, 2005 at 11:38:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, this kinda explains my suspicions on these hardcore overshoot guys...Bartlet's video is great masturbation material for lots of peak oiliers but I've always found it kinda irrelevant...doing linear extrapolations of current growth rates into the future is not very usefull.

At Thursday, September 22, 2005 at 6:49:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey there,

Maybe it was a coincidence, but I just printed the same article in a thread over at Rigorous Intuition...another one of our LOOOOONG threads debating Peak Oil..

You can check it out here:

My take, as you'll see, is that, besides being bad science, Peak Oil is being used to set up the idea that a "die off" is inevitable, allowing all KINDS of horrible policies. I started the thread with the Stanton article in ASPO, which I got from you but I did not credit this site until a few posts are given credit, however.

Check it out and post if you like. I never get attacked so much as when I post on this topic. Wonder why that is?

One last request...have you or anyone you know done analysis of ASPO's "depletion protocol" -- the so-called Uppsala accord? It's mentioned in the Stanton article but just in case he's not interpreting it correctly I'm curious as to exactly how ASPO views this happening in practice.

At Friday, September 23, 2005 at 12:56:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JD wrote:

Virginia Abernethy has definitely got some racial issues. She's on the editorial board of the "Occidental Quartlerly".

The Quarterly believes, among other things, that: "4. The European identity of the United States and its people should be maintained. Immigration into the United States should be restricted to selected people of European ancestry."

I don't think we can blame Heinberg for this woman (yet), but this is definitely another case of white racists glomming onto peak oil

me: JD, I don't think you should throw the word "racist" around so loosely. That happens so much it has almost robbed the word of any utility other than as an inflammatory pejorative. In this particular case--based solely on what you have written about Dr. Abernethy above, not any other info I may not be privy to--it looks to me that your cry of "racism" is a little like the boy who cried wolf. Given the racial problems that have plagued the United States since its inception, and still plague it with no end in sight, I fail to see the "racism" inherent in thinking that it is probably unwise, and likely to increase occasions for racial and ethnic conflict, to make the United States even more multi-racial than it already is. And while racial conflict may have had an especially nasty history in the US, there is no country where different races, in significant numbers, truly live together in harmony and equality. Not even in Brazil or other Latin American countries. Why make a bad situation worse? That isn't the moral high ground, it's just folly; and objecting to something foolish doesn't necessarily make one a racist.

And even if it did, JD's recurring, paranoid-sounding harping on the "vast right wing conspiracy," even if it were objectively true (which it is not--more below), is totally irrelevant to the question of whether the Peak Oil doomers are correct or not. That is a strictly empirical question, not a political one.

Furthermore, as one writer has already pointed out, obsession with Peak Oil is overwhelmingly a phenomenon of the left; and not the center-left which dominates the public discourse and politics of all western societies, but the "hard" left. In fact, most of the people who dream of eliminating most of the human race either for its own good or for nature's good are ideologically aligned with the left, not the right. The exceptions merely prove the rule.

At Sunday, September 25, 2005 at 3:06:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous, go visit Occidental Quarterly, of which Abernathy is an editorial advisor and see if you can possibly defend them as non racist.

A quote:

The European identity of the United States and its people should be maintained. Immigration into the United States should be restricted to selected people of European ancestry.

The site:

Page showing her on the advisory board:

At Monday, September 26, 2005 at 3:45:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Dream's End and JD:

JD: Glad to see you're not trying to paint Heinberg as an anti-immigrant racist: there is not a hint of such in his writings. His publisher, New Society Press, is also progressive and anti-racist. My bet is they'll pull the problematic endorsements from any subsequent printings if they are made aware of the issue.

DE: Here is a link to good background info on the Uppsala Protocol from Heinberg himself:

As an aside: Stanton -- who clearly IS a fascist -- seems to dismiss the Uppsala Protocol without any serious analysis in favor of his preferred Fascist Future. (Check JD's sidebar links for the reference posted on the ASPO Ireland site.)

At Friday, September 30, 2005 at 12:13:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heinberg on Heinberg

"I'm sure there are a lot of people who pick up The Party’s Over and read it and think of me as a doom-and-gloomer. That was the substance of most of the comments and feedback I was getting in the first year or two after the book was published. But now I find people coming up to me and saying, “Thanks for being so hopeful.” It's very strange. I think other people have published books that were more doom-and-gloom than The Party’s Over like The Long Emergency, and by comparison I look like a moderate and even sometimes hopeful. I think it's important that people either come away from a lecture or a book with a sense of what they can do, some possibility, because if you're just giving people the message that the end is coming and there's nothing you can do about it you're not doing them that much of a favor."

From an interview and discussion with Heinberg at The Oil Drum.

At Monday, October 3, 2005 at 9:04:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heinberg on Heinberg (2)....
If you read the last paragraph that Heinberg wrote in 2003 about his book
then one can get an idea that Heinberg is in bed with both Pimentel and Abernathy.
And all the "hard facts" etc he speaks about amount to Eco-fascism

At Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 5:51:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

all the "hard facts" etc he speaks about amount to Eco-fascism....


Holy pretzel logic batman FACTS = ECO-FASCISM?

Certain facts MAY lead to a future dominated by a leadership of eco-fascists, green-fascists, or whatever you may call them, but the FACTS that led to that POSSIBLE future do not change. Facts are facts.


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