“The attack on Paris will shadow the United Nations climate summit that starts Monday, but we cannot allow terrorism to derail the last-ditch effort to stabilize the climate and avert what most scientists see as an unfolding catastrophe.”
Sounds like boilerplate from the current President of the United States, who leads from the front on climate, and from behind, or not at all, on terrorism. It also has the rhetorical ring of Secretary of State John Kerry, who sees climate change as the main enemy, and who, speaking in French back in January, called the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks obscurantisme.
The writer is actually Tom Hayden, billed by the Sacramento Bee as “a former state senator who was Gov. Jerry Brown’s first solar energy commissioner in 1979 and attended the first United Nations climate summit in 1992.” So this guy is clearly wielding some heavy-duty qualifications.
According to Jerry Brown’s first solar energy commissioner, “California has a unique role to play in Paris because of its multicultural political leadership. Besides Brown, the state is sending Sens. Kevin de León, Ricardo Lara and Fran Pavley, and Assemblyman Richard Bloom.” Hard to argue with such hard data, but there’s more.
“Also, our state is putting more emphasis on environmental justice for the poor,” says the attendee at the first UN climate summit in 1992. “Environmental justice is an issue that will dominate the summit since less-developed countries complain of being hit hardest by extreme weather and pollution while being shortchanged in funding to mitigate or reverse the environmental damage.”
No word whether “most scientists” see it that way, whether the complaints have any merit, and no word where the “funding” will come from. Hayden is not one for detail but to his credit he stays on point.
“The recent terrorist attacks are no reason to retreat from the climate challenge,” he says. “They are more reason to act. Two years ago, Brown circulated a CIA threat assessment with charts depicting threats from climate change, including the rise of civil wars and immigrant upheavals. It was one case where the CIA was prescient.” So the 1992 UN attendee has strong back-up.
Tom Hayden is also the author of Listen Yankee! Why Cuba Matters, released in March and, as the cover explains, “based in part on conversations with Ricardo Alarcon” the Castro dictatorship’s longtime UN representative. “The Cuban Revolution has achieved its aim,” Hayden explained in an oped piece, “recognition of the sovereign right of its people to revolt against the Yankee Goliath and survive as a state in a sea of global solidarity.” Further, “After the fall of the Soviet Union, there was a decade of American triumphalism based on the mistaken belief that the Cuban state would collapse like East Germany. We underestimated Cuban nationalism.”
So after his stint as a legislator, Hayden took up the pen for sado-socialist dictators Fidel and Raul Castro. His earlier career emerged in the 2014 Leading with Honor: Leadership Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton by Lee Ellis, an American pilot shot down in Vietnam in November of 1967. As Ellis notes, the North Vietnamese tortured more than 95 percent of American POWs including eight tortured to death.
As a soundtrack to the physical tortures, Ellis explains, the captors piped in broadcasts by Tom Hayden. For Hayden, the American POWs were war criminals and their reports of torture were lies. Hayden was a propagandist for a Stalinist regime more repressive than its Soviet sponsors, just like Fidel Castro’s Cuba.
Now the former New Left celebrity, author of the famed Port Huron Statement, has turned to the climate challenge. With Hayden’s spin, it sounds like a re-run of the North-South economic dialogue. Hayden also provides evidence for climate change dogma as watermelon environmentalism: green outside, red inside.
The Sacramento Bee helpfully notes that Tom Hayden can be reached at [email protected]. Maybe some Vietnam veterans want to ask where they can get transcripts of the broadcasts he made while they were enduring tortures such as “the pretzel.” Maybe some Cuban refugee who reached Florida on a raft wants to consult him about conditions in Cuban prisons.
Other readers may want to ask Tom Hayden why, based on his record, anybody should pay him the slightest attention on climate. On the other hand, Tom Hayden was Jerry Brown’s first solar energy commissioner in 1979, and he attended the first United Nations climate summit in 1992. One wants to be careful before throwing down with someone like that.
Meanwhile, readers could get scientific climate information from the Bee’s November 30 page-one story, “Record cold frosts Sacramento area, with ‘real storm’ on the way.” The overnight temperature of 27 degrees was “a record low for that date, colder than the 28 degrees set in 2004.” Downtown it was 31, “tying a record set in 1952.”