A plum platform
Cleveland eventually invited Droz to present his arguments on sea-level rise before a spattering of coastal legislators at the state House in late 2011.
Droz brought a version of his stock slide show, explaining the pitfalls associated with supporting green energy. It was a plum platform.
Birkland said the shifting tone in North Carolina politics over the past few years has made it easier for activists like Droz to gain such an audience.
"Some people are looking for advocates like this to ratify their broader ideological belief system," Birkland said.
"It's about politics, not about science."
Sea-level rise was not the only issue that brought Droz before the Legislature that year.
Tilting against wind farms
Pamlico County Commissioner Christine Mele reached out to Droz after learning of his stance against wind farms.
Droz believes wind farms to be inefficient, unnecessary sources of energy whose only proponents are the manufacturers and developers responsible for installing the turbines and other requisite equipment.
He sees several problems with wind farms and the state's requirement that investor-owned utilities meet at least 12.5 percent of the energy needs through renewable energy sources or efficiency efforts.
Aside from being overpriced and unreliable, turbines require a traditional power plant to fill the gaps in intermittent wind, resulting in no consequential reduction in CO2 emissions, Droz said.
He bases these arguments on the same sort of extensive, if selective, research that has driven many of his positions. Perhaps not surprisingly, he runs a website on the wind energy and the electrical energy sector: Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions.
At the time Mele reached out to Droz, her county was facing plans from the Wind Capital Group for a 150 megawatt wind farm that would cover 20,000 acres, power 30,000 to 40,000 homes and feature from 55 to 94 turbines with blades and towers that would soar upwards of 500 feet in the air.
Mele declined to comment for this article. But after reaching out to him, the lawmaker traveled to Droz' home in Morehead City, more than 40 miles to the south.
Mele asked if he would present his opinions before the Legislature.
Soon after, the House majority whip called. And on Nov. 28, 2011, there was Droz, again delivering his 168-slide PowerPoint presentation to lawmakers.
A 'cadre of good people'
Over the years Droz has built up a Rolodex stacked with contacts he describes as a "cadre of good people" – namely those who saw eye-to-eye with him on various environmental causes.
Many in this cadre, however, have seen their work and theories on issues such as global warming rejected by the broader scientific community. One example is William Gray, a meteorology professor at Colorado State University. Another is Nicola Scafetta, a physicist at Duke University.
Scafetta co-authored a 2006 study that claimed the sun was responsible for up to 50 percent of perceived global warming since 1900. When his methodologies were called into question, Scafetta refused to release the code to the computer program he used to make his assertions. The science blog Real Climate has an entire section dedicated to debunking Scafetta's claims.
Droz has also tied himself to various special-interest groups working to stop climate policy, ease development restrictions and stem green energy efforts. He is a Senior Fellow at the American Tradition Institute. He's presented at the Heritage Foundation's annual climate conference and at a John Locke Foundation workshop on wind power.