In Response to: In Brief [6]

He urged a probe into the Bush ­administration’s complicity in 9/11. He slurred congressional Republicans with a crude anatomical epithet. The resulting flap forced him to resign as adviser to President Obama. So ­Princeton names him a “distinguished visiting fellow” teaching environmental politics?

Anyone wanting evidence that Van Jones will twist facts to push his agenda need only peruse his book, The Green Collar Economy. It argues that, in the grip of a “military-petroleum complex,” we’ve become “a vulture society” burning “our ancestors’ remains” for fuel. Only a “Green New Deal” to “completely overhaul” the economy will avert “eco-apocalypse.”

Read no further than the introduction, titled “Reality Check,” to discover the hoax behind this hyperventilated prose. To back up his claim that “oil companies are not finding any more oil fields,” Jones footnotes an article in The Wall Street Journal. Consult the article and you’ll find it says the opposite: “Big strikes are still possible. This month [November 2007], Petrobras announced a deep-water find off Brazil’s Atlantic coast that appears to be the largest discovery since [2000].”

The next footnote is supposed to support Jones’ view that “some experts” fear oil supplies have “already peaked and are heading for a permanent worldwide decline.” The “experts” Jones digs up, from an obscure German advocacy group, reported that “the peak of world oil production was in 2006.” That’s already proved wrong.

And so it goes, fact after putative fact. Should students have to subject Jones’ every word to a “reality check”?