The ransomware hacking of the Koch-owned Colonial Pipeline is exactly the sort of uncertain energy-relevant situation that climate deniers love to exploit with disinformation. This time though, they seem to be having a bit of trouble blaming this fossil fuel infrastructure problem on climate activists. Not that they’re not trying.
It started incoherently, with Clear Energy Alliance tweeting Tuesday: “Like the #GreenNewDeal? We'll ask again later if the #ColonialPipelineHack isn't fixed by the end of the week. Deep, deep cuts to #energy usage is a tactic being used by activist groups and the politicians they control. The goal? To control you.”
Hmm, yes, maybe these Russian ransomware hackers are actually the Sunrise kids in disguise!
Kyle Smith at the National Review had a similarly insane thought, suggesting the hackers “are just environmentalists” and that “Biden is an ardently pro-fuel-limits guy in a moment when fuel is limited.” Uh huh. Apparently, Smith thinks that had Biden not cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline, which would’ve brought Canadian oil to the Gulf of Mexico for export, or put a pause of federal leasing of public lands for fossil fuel extraction, which wouldn’t start pumping for years, this problem of distributing refined petroleum products wouldn't be so bad.
“Maybe it would be nice to have more energy supply rather than less,” he writes, as though this were a problem of supply and not one of delivery.
Always one to one-up conspiratorial nonsense, Marc Morano excerpted Smith’s piece for a post at Climate Depot. Before you can get to the post itself, though, you have to wade through a literally 341-word-long header that really calls into question Morano’s wellbeing. The headline itself is actually two headlines, both Smith’s NR headline, plus a “flashback” one from 2013: ‘Maybe the Pipeline Terrorists Are Just Environmentalists’ – Flashback: ‘We will dismantle the Pipeline…by any means necessary’.
That’s followed by a sub-head consisting of a bolded 163-word excerpt of Smith’s post, which is itself followed by four “flashback” links to old Climate Depot posts from 2013 about pipeline protests and former NASA climate head James Hansen’s supposed encouragement of “eco-terrorism,” complete with two different image illustrations.
Only after scrolling through that hodge-podge of formatting chaos do you get to the post’s actual byline and date, and then you have to read a tweet promoting Smith’s post, and then you can get to the actual excerpt of Smith’s National Review piece. One that you know is entirely divorced from reality from the start because one of the first things Smith writes is that “Donald Trump’s presidency was just about crisis-free, for the first three years anyway.”
Yes, of course, notoriously calm and undramatic Donald Trump, known for his even keel, aversion to drama, and master handling of crises. (If that’s got you laughing and rolling your eyes, pop on over to the American Thinker, where they’re very mad at DOE secretary Jennifer Granholm for smiling too much.)
Speaking of Trump, it was his advisor Larry Kudlow that really went hardest on the conspiracy theory angle for Fox Business. He didn’t attack environmentalists, though. Instead, he somehow connected it to Gaza bloodshed: “I believe the cyber hacking in the U.S. Southeast is absolutely linked to the Hamas shooting war on Israel.”
How? Well, ironic as it may be for the Trump administration alum to blame Russia for cybercrimes, Kudlow said, “As far as Hamas is concerned, Hamas, of course, a terrorist state of Iran. Iran, itself, is a terrorist country. Now, who’s Iran’s biggest backer? You guessed it – Russia. At every turn, Russia makes mischief on behalf of Iran and against the U.S., and Israel, and the Abraham Accords. By the way, let’s give China some credit too, because they are a large financier and oil buyer of Iran.”
Now, listing a bunch of countries is not exactly a coherent conspiracy theory. But that’s why Tucker Carlson makes the big bucks. He can distill that sort of nonsense down to five words: “They did this on purpose.” Not to be outdone in the crazy conspiracy department, Glenn Beck, long having abandoned his brief “I’m sorry for Trumpism” image rehabilitation attempt, thinks that maybe it’s all part of the left’s plan to nationalize the oil and gas industry.
Which means that the conspiracy theories have officially gotten so crazy they’ve come around again, and might actually be starting to make sense!