Archives

Written by
American Psychopathy

American Psychopathy

September 20, 2019

by John Steppling

“American Psychopathy”

 

 

American Psycho (1991) by Bret Easton Ellis

 

“Not only are we not going to have wars between major powers in this era of fascist upsurge (of course, as will be discussed, we shall have other wars), but, by the same token, this fascist upsurge will not burn out through any cataclysmic war. What we are likely to see is a lingering fascism of less murderous intensity, which, when in power, does not necessarily do away with all the forms of bourgeois democracy, does not necessarily physically annihilate the opposition, and may even allow itself to get voted out of power occasionally. But since its successor government, as long as it remains within the confines of the neoliberal strategy, will also be incapable of alleviating the crisis, the fascist elements are likely to return to power as well. And whether the fascist elements are in or out of power, they will remain a potent force working toward the fascification of the society and the polity, even while promoting corporate interests within a regime of globalization of finance, and hence permanently maintaining the “partnership between big business and fascist upstarts.”

 

– Utsa Patnaik and Prabhat Patnaik (Monthly Review, July 1st, 2019)

 

“The poor shall inherit the earth or there will be no earth left to inherit.”

 

– John Bellemy Foster (Monthly Review, 2019)

 

“The people want wholesome dread. They want to fear something. They want someone to frighten them and make them shudderingly submissive.”

 

– Ernst Rohm (Hitler’s chief of the SA)

There seems to be two branches of what I see as a drive toward global domination, global hegemony, by the ruling class. One is the Trump phenomenon and the narratives and political actions that accompany his presidency (often in the background). Second is the new ruling corporate control of environmentalism.

I quote Cory Morningstar a lot and that is with good reason. Its nearly impossible to pull quotes from her work because there are too many choices. Read the entirety of it.

There is a lot to read and it might be useful to start at the end, with the most recent material, and work backwards. But I will return to this. The linkage between Trump’s cartoon presidency and the corporate takeover of environmentalism is anchored in recognizing the magic thinking involved, but more, to stop and recognize that the manufacturing of narratives here is really about a manufacturing of obedience to authority. Especially in our post modern (sic) epoch, *institutional authority*. And to see that Trump is only carrying out policy sanctioned and supported by the ruling class (and perfectly amenable to the DNC). Now one need look no further than Hollywood to see the outlines of narrative change. The rehabilitation of fascism is everywhere. In everything. The normalizing of fascist style helps normalize and make coherent the presidency of Don Trump.

Much has been written about the CIA and Department of Defense infiltration of Hollywood. There are numerous obvious storytelling staples; the problems in any global situation are the result of a few bad apples or rogue agents. It is never that the institution is corrupt or intentionally causing death and suffering.

“The content of film and television is directly, regularly, and secretly determined by the US government, led by the CIA and Pentagon. More visible since the 1980s is what we identify as a distinct genre: ‘national security cinema’—namely, those films that follow self-serving official histories and exalt in the righteousness of US foreign policy. ( ) National security entertainment promotes violent, self-regarding, American-centric solutions to international problems based on twisted readings of history. However, even those products that don’t meet such a lamentable yardstick are still to some degree designed to recruit personnel and, in doing so, must adhere to the desired self-image of the national security state. ”

 

– Matthew Alford, Tom Secker (National Security Cinema – Government Control in Hollywood)

There is a constant pro war slant to nearly all films that even indirectly touch on U.S. politics and/or the government. The first given is that war is inevitable and when involving the U.S. military it is a necessary and beneficent activity. There is a tacit and often openly direct support and praise of mass surveillance — even on ordinary citizens or citizens of friendly nations. The world is depicted as if threat existed on every corner and such trifles as torture or political manipulations are both routine and absolutely crucial to keep you, the viewer, safe. The message is always that new dangers are unprecedented and unique. Civil liberties are treated with the same contempt Obama showed for them. The exaggeration of threat, in fact, runs through nearly everything in mass media. There is also an exaggeration of the abilities of the surveillance industry (one aspect of the new magical thinking).

But the really pernicious aspect of government influence in media comes in more subtle forms. The most prominent of which is the normalizing of not just illegal military or CIA activity, but the normalizing of and encouragement to fawn before authority, to trust said authority, and to feel OK about one’s own attraction to those knee high Nazi jack boots, or the shiny nickel plated Sig Sauer 9mm the hero is fondling. So routine is the seduction of the audience with technologies of violence that it passes without comment. Directors and DPs automatically default to having the camera caress the gun, tank, rifle, or uniform. This extends to domestic U.S. police forces, too. It is allowable to show sadistic cops on occasion because sadism itself is acceptable, and even sort of sexy. It is allowable to show the U.S. interfering in the political elections of foreign sovereign states because any nation not the United States (and U.K.) will benefit from said interference. And here another branch of this propaganda should be noted ( which will segue nicely back to Trump and environmentalism) and that is white supremacism. The single constant in narratives from Hollywood is that of American exceptionalism. And really, the examples are just too numerous to list. The ideological footprint of ruling class values is indelible and unchanging. Wealth is a virtue and the rich are responsible, and when they are not they are punished by others in the 1%. Just like the new corporate environmentalism, the message is, let the ruling class decide.

The values of the ruling classes in the U.S. and U.K. are always evident if one only looks. (So much has changed since those emigre German Jewish directors fled to Hollywood in the 40s). And of course lip service is, to a degree, paid to fairness and equality, but never to any idea of economic equality or social influence. That is the province of the very rich and aristocratic. Which is why I find it so curious that many of the left (pseudo or soft left) don’t even blink when those with honorifics before their name, with royal titles, issue proclamations about climate change or overpopulation or new Green corporate solutions. These are always white people, mind you. I mean African Kings don’t count. Tribal elders don’t count. The British aristocracy are very big on preserving their privileges at game preserves and France remains a colonial administrator in its former African holdings (see Uranium mining). But more than that, of course, the ruling class is the face of the new environmentalism. Unless its an Asperger’s fifteen year old who increasingly (and painfully) appears in distress and cognitive confusion. This is not an attack on Greta, that attack is being carried out by the white billionaire faces of western capital. But I will be accused of attacking her, and that in itself is an aspect of how the new propaganda works.

Which reminds me, where are all the black (African or otherwise) climate experts? The only one, really, is Warren Washington. The new Green feels very white. Facing monumental problems of pollution, both on land and perhaps especially in oceans, people have retreated to very non political positions that are either a kind of Hollywood disaster apocalypse fantasy, or new age smart phone Gaia anthropomorphism. I wrote before about the demand that everyone submit to the consensus- – meaning not that the earth is getting warmer or even why, but the moral hand wringing and outrage at those not submitting. The demand is that one join in the outrage and alarmism. The very term *denialism* suggests the typical bourgeois response to anything disruptive of their privilege. The constant outpouring of articles, in mainstream glossy magazines (and their cyber equivalents) and news outlets are always framed a certain way. A recent social media post by Keith Harmon Snow on a lay out in National Geographic laid it out this way..

“With help from National Geographic and Proctor and Gamble (P&G), you can save the world. ACTIVATE. Be a good Global Citizen.

 

This is corporate greenwashing and corporate capitalism steering or creating “social justice” movements that will serve capitalism, while expropriating true social justice and true social justice movements, and thereby diffusing and destroying any valid legitimate meaningful POTENTIAL social movements. P&G is a nasty chemical/pharmaceutical/medical industrial giant responsible for Toxic carcinogenic products, price-fixing, palm oil monoculture plantations, child slavery, media propaganda, testing on animals, false advertising and massive pollution and other forms of destruction of the environment. Did you know that P&G produced the first home radio and TV serials, and because P&G was known for manufacturing detergents, these became known as “Soap operas”?

 

This is racist white supremacist whitewashing. Using images of smiling indigenous people, in full (airbrushed) color, in their natural or unnatural environments, for malicious propaganda purposes. Propaganda = perception management. National Geographic is a racist corporate platform that cannot ever be trusted. (Pretty pictures, though; though generally and almost always decontextualized).”

The entire thrust of the new corporate and billionaire backed projects on climate action are there to preserve a hierarchical status quo. It is to rescue Capitalism itself. And the implications of much of it are near genocidal. I think it is not an accident that the grave problems of industrial pollution (just think the waste sites for cyber technology) are relatively forgotten in these narratives from the ruling class. Those waste sites are in the poorest countries on earth, they are not outside Bethesda,Maryland or in Connecticut. And these new marketing campaigns, employing massive guilt inducing techniques of persuasion, have created a fairly safe and morally superior niche psychic space for the haute bourgeoisie to look down on the problems that their class created and attribute them to either the poor, or just the anodyne *everyone*.

The term 6th Mass Extinction gets a lot of usage. Its a marketers dream, actually. In fact the first time I heard that term I thought, wow, that is gonna have traction. If you just said oh, we’re all going to die off in a half century you would not garner this kind of following. But give it a kind of pseudo brand, specify it, make it special — not just extinction, but SIXTH mass extinction….and the white boogie class will fall over themselves salivating. Its pure seduction. Its like a kind of generalized identification with something bigger than you. Even though its also a sort of pessimism selfie. It sounds smarty pants to say, too. Oh we’re in the SIXTH mass extinction don’t you know.

There is almost no dialogue about this stuff. There are proclamations. Public life is carried out by proclamation and twitter. Meanwhile the U.S. election season has arrived. And never before, perhaps, has the Democratic Party put on such a pathetic show. Joe Biden can barely speak. Its senile gibberish half the time. The other front runner — and clearly now the candidate of western capital, is Elizabeth Warren. Im wondering how those rimless spectacles will play west of the Rockies. Not well …which is fine because the Democrats don’t want to win this one. This is Trump time. For only a man mentored at the feet of Roy Cohn could so effortlessly usher in the theatrical presentation of full blown fascism to America. Trump normalizes old school fascism. Everything can be blamed on Trump. And that is what the ruling class wants, you see. If Biden has an embolism and Warren turns out to be just too bookish (appearing) then there is always the black cop, Kamala Harris (whose future is likely as a federal DA) or Bernie. Except Bernie doesn’t want the nomination. That’s not his gig. The loud mouthed and utterly opportunistic shill will be what he always was, a ballot bag man for the more telegenic DNC candidates of choice. There is also the potential for a late comer to the DRC party. Too early for AOC (who may be, actually, too dumb for national electoral politics. And that bar has been set very low. Think Dan Quayle) and Chelsea (Clinton not Manning, although…), but its not impossible to think someone out there might provide better optics than Biden or Warren.

The debates themselves are so idiotic, so inane and nearly literally infantile, that it is hard to gain a clear picture of what the public thinks they are watching. But then the sub-literacy of America is stunning to behold. And perhaps the loss of even the most basic moral coherency among the bourgeoisie is resulting in the stultifying character of the Spectacle these days. The sordid and unsettling saga of cheerleader and killer (er…corpse abuser) Skyler Richardson is sort of the avatar for this era. A society that produces a Skyler Richardson …and one that cannot find the means to deal with her crimes…is a terribly sick place. But then this is also the era of drone assassination on order of the President (Obama) which took the life of a teenage citizen of the U.S. This is the era in which Julian Assange is driven toward complete physical and mental collapse by the state, for releasing the truth to the public while Mike Pompeo brags about lying. An era of wanton wholesale lying at the state level (think the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Syria, Venezuela, North Korea, Iran). Wholesale lying of a kind that the public is now utterly inured to –a lying that is expected and anticipated. A persistent assault of lies and distortions that have all but eroded the very idea of the truth. But then this an era in which transparent visible stupidity is more asset than detriment. And the problem is that crimes and viciousness of those in power …both in the U.K. and U.S. is just not answered. The Grenfell Tower fire is another avatar of class violence today. Boris Johnson (Kipling admirer and open OPEN overt racist) now is the head of state for Great Britain. But he is the shadow of Trump. A pale homunculus version of the Donald. And the hair. I mean, the hair?

But the vast militarism of the U.S. and its proxies is polluting enormous areas of earth, killing sea mammals and indoctrinating hundreds of thousands of ill educated poor kids to the joys of shooting Arab families, the pleasures of torture, and career building bullying seems to have exceeded all limits of rationality. A military system that teaches hate and racism and xenophobia. A system that tolerates (at the very least) rape. A military that gets something like 5 billion dollars a day to play with. And all those democrats on stage this week, ALL of them signed off on more militarism.

Someone said to me this week, when I mentioned Bernie’s attack on Maduro and Chavez, ‘well, he has to say that, he’s trying to win an election’. He *HAS* to say it. He is forced to lie. They have a gun to his dog’s head. Or, more likely, that bellowing fool probably believes it. Why does anyone like Bernie? Honestly, I get Liz Warren. The college educated white liberal finds their mirror ideal image in Warren. I get Biden even. He is familiar. And shit, Reagan was senile and barely able to actually speak in complete sentences and yet he was labeled ‘the great communicator’. So senility has its charms for America it seems. But Bernie is so nakedly disingenuous and mendacious. I don’t get it.

“Transformations in the economic base of the system and its accompanying class structures have changed the conditions for the exercise of power. Political domination is now expressed through a new-style “political class” and a media clergy, both dedicated exclusively to serving the abstract capitalism of generalized monopolies. The ideology of the “individual as king” and the illusions of the “movement” that wants to transform the world, even “change life”(!)—without posing the question of workers and peoples seizing power—only reinforce capital’s new methods of exercising power.”

 

– Samir Amin (Monthly Review, July 2019)

The above paragraph is a useful description of contemporary capitalism and a cogent comment on the various new green deals or extinction rebellions etc. And set against the surreal comedy of the U.S. election season, the new Corporate environmentalists are paving the way for normalizing a global state of emergency. If one thinks back just a bit, the Boston Marathon bombing was the front edge for testing how compliant the population might be when their city is being shut down. Totally compliant was the answer. And this is going to be the tactic. Declare a state of emergency that is for your own good.

“The sober images of Thunberg, as depicted and shared by the Climate Group, and the media at large, are very much intentional as outlined in the document “Leading the Public into Emergency Mode: A New Strategy for the Climate Movement“published by The Climate Mobilization:

 

‘The way we respond to threats — by entering emergency mode or by remaining in normal mode — is highly contagious. Imagine the fire alarm goes off in an office building. How seriously should you take it? How do you know if it is a drill or a real fire? Those questions will be predominantly answered by the actions and communications of the people around you, particularly people designated as leaders. If they are chatting and taking their time exiting the building, you will assume that this is a drill. If people are moving with haste, faces stern and focused, communicating with urgency and gravity, you will assume there is real danger and exit as quickly as possible.’”

 

– Cory Morningstar (ibid)

Just the title, We Mean Business. None of this, of course, has anything to do with saving life and protecting the planet. None has anything to do with a radical de-militarizing of the Imperialist states. Nobody is suggesting the rich change the way they live. You poor folks, well, yeah, you might have to change a little (and oh, live in a FEMA camp, but not forever….we don’t think). Allow me to just pick one bio here, from Morningstar’s work, to illustrate the fascistic ideology of those driving so much of this new marketed environmentalism. Executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) from 2010 to 2016, is the very privileged Christina Figueres, late of Georgetown and the London School of Economics , an anthropologist and economist who presided over the UN climate negotiations that culminated in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

“Although meticulous in detail, Figueres biography on her personal website neglects to disclose her royal connection to Costa Rica. On Figueres’ lengthy Wikipedia entry, it is disclosed, in a single sentence, that her father, José Figueres Ferrer, served as President of Costa Rica on three separate occasions. In August 1953, the Guatemalan Communist paper, Octubre, characterized the new president of Costa Rica, José “Don Pepe” Figueres, as an “unconditional servant of American imperialism” and the latest “United Fruit Company President.” Both pro-American and anti-communist, José Figueres supported the 1954 Guatemalan coup d’état overthrowing Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán, President of Guatemala from 1951 to 1954. [Further reading: Resistance and Accommodation: The United States and the Nationalism of José Figueres, 1953–1957.]

 

Figueres’ mother, Karen Olsen Beck, served as Costa Rican Ambassador to Israel in 1982 and was a member of the Costa Rica Legislative Assembly.

 

Figueres’ brother José María Figueres also served as President of Costa Rica from 1994 to 1998. In 2013, he co-founded the Global Ocean Commission, an initiative funded by the Pew Charitable Trust, the Adessium Foundation in the Netherlands, and U.S. philanthropic group Oceans 5. Former Greenpeace adviser Simon Reddy would serve as the commission’s executive secretary. [Source] María Figueres serves as chair to the Global Ocean Commission (since rebranded to Mission Ocean) with David Miliband (recently featured on the Global Optimism podcast series), and Trevor Manuel (one of South Africa’s longest serving Ministers of Finance, now Minister in the Presidency and head of the National Planning Commission). The original members of the Global Ocean Commission remain unchanged in 2019 with one member having deceased. Members include John Podesta (chair of the Center for American Progress and a former White House chief of staff and member of the ClimateWorks board of directors), Sri Mulyani Indrawati (managing director and chief operating officer of the World Bank Group), Pascal Lamy (former director-general of the World Trade Organisation) and other high profile individuals. María Figueres is also the co-founder of Ocean Unite. This is important, as the oceans are set to be privatized under the “New Deal For Nature” scheme.”

 

Cory Morningstar (ibid)

Again, anti communism, and all the usual fingerprints of U.S. imperial foreign policy. Its like six degrees of fascist separation. And yet I guarantee you will read her quotes in any number of articles on climate change and green new deals. For again, the template has always been, let the ruling class decide.

Figueres is also a “distinguished member” of Conservation International — along with chairman for Northrop Grumman, and Al Gore, and oh, a former Walmart chairman. Not to mention Figueres married Konrad Von Ritter of the World Bank. But yeah, I’m sure Greta knew all this when she accepted the invite.

Infantile and intoxicated with an almost masochistic love of authority. That is the average American today. The problem with the new (sic) environmentalism is that it is driven by western interests, and the narrative shaped by western interests. There is more than just a residual racism involved, it is there at the very most basic level. The narratives that are shaping today’s generation are largely the products of Langely and the DoD, and increasingly they feature a nostalgic rehabilitation of fascist style (at first) and now content. Fascism is becoming fashionable. Its cool. And the fascism of Trump is a bit like the McGuffin of this master narrative. Trump’s cartoon twitter fascism is decried while legitimate fascist principles are being more inextricably and quietly baked into daily life.

The U.S. Imperialist state knows a global crises is coming. And probably the most acute area will be water. When there is a clear unanimity among global capitalists, one should see this as a symptom — and distrust the narrative. Whatever the exact degree of environmental harm due specifically to climate change, there is the undeniable desperation among the ruling elite. And an undeniable crises of pollution. If royalty and billionaires are flocking to exploit the Greta phenomenon (and to help shape that narrative), one should be highly suspicious of the solutions and strategies being offered. The fact that militarism and the packaging industry are relatively ignored in the presentation of the new green movement suggests more suspicion. Instead of *everyone* not using straws or single use plastic bags, how about just stop producing them.

The ruling class today has doubled down on smearing communism and socialism. The manufacturing of new kitsch demonized bios of Mao or Ho Chi Minh or Thomas Sankara… or even the Black Panthers suggests fear. Substitute Ocasio-Cortez for real socialism, call Bernie a socialist, too, and then pretend much of the new faux left (infiltrated by crack pot LaRouche-ites and various forms of libertarianism) is oppositional and argue with it — the better to disappear real socialist literature (see Google and Facebook censorship). Praise the most innocuous apolitical philosophy (or just the Nazi metaphysics of Heidegger) of post structuralism while, again, disappearing the work of Marx or Lenin and discredit an Adorno or a Gramsci. Or, make sure such work is taken out of context. And in fine arts applaud identity based banality and then disappear the working class voice. And then keep prescribing mind numbing drugs. Reduce public education to simple training in compliance. And keep praising those in uniform. Always.

“Thus madness reappears in the very posture which pretends to fight it.”

 

– Guy Debord (Society of the Spectacle)

 

“Despite this opposition, neoliberal capitalism cannot ward off the challenge it is facing for long. It has no vision for reinventing itself. Interestingly, in the period after the First World War, when capitalism was on the verge of sinking into a crisis, the idea of state intervention as a way of its revival had already been mooted, though its coming into vogue only occurred at the end of the Second World War. Today, neoliberal capitalism does not even have an idea of how it can recover and revitalize itself. And weapons like domestic fascism in the third world and direct imperialist intervention cannot for long save it from the anger of the masses that is building up against it.”

 

– Utsa Patnaik and Prabhat Patnaik (ibid)

I keep reading about how unprecedented was Hurricane Dorian. Well, no. The legendary Galveston hurricane of 1900 remains the single greatest natural made tragedy in U.S. History. (and the second greatest was The Okeechobee Hurricane of 1928, and then Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Maria along with the The Chenière Caminada Hurricane of 1893). The environmental crises is real. The marketing of it is not necessary. Why then does it exist.

Once upon a time they wrote songs about human tragedies. Dylan might be the last songwriter to address tragedy.

As Sam Collins wrote on the youtube video of Sin Killer Griffin’s recording of Wasn’t it a Mighty Storm, a song about the Galveston tragedy..courtesy of John Lomax…

“there were many songs. But the one that has endured, deservingly, is called “Wasn’t That a Mighty Storm” – which, from what we know, began life as a spiritual in the black church.

At least the church seems to be the first place it surfaced into public view. Back in those days, almost every major public event inspired songs, which spread like text messages spread today, so the precise origin of songs is often hard to pin down.

But “Wasn’t That a Mighty Storm” fit perfectly into the black spiritual tradition – a tale of hardship and trouble and the sometimes inscrutable hand of God with which we troubled sinners in this hard mortal world simply had to live.

Part of it went like this:

Galveston had a seawall
To keep the water down,
But the high tide from the ocean
Washed water over the town.
Wasn’t that a mighty storm!
Oh, wasn’t that a mighty storm with water!
Wasn’t that a mighty storm
That blew all the people away!
Their trumpets gave them warning,
“You’d better leave this place.”
They never thought of leaving
Till death looked them in the face.
Death like a cruel master,
As the wind began to blow,
Rode out on a train of horses.
Death calls, you gotta go.

It was not a happy song. But then, it was not a happy event – and topical songs of the early 20th century thrived on unhappy events. There were literally hundreds of songs about the sinking of the Titanic, dozens about the killer Mississippi floods of 1927.

The song was apparently first recorded in 1934 by Library of Congress folk song collector John Lomax on a visit to Darrington State Farm, a prison in Sandy Point, Tex.

Lomax’s recording was by a preacher named Sin-Killer Griffin, with the prison inmates serving as his congregation.

Sin-Killer was a well-known preacher, with a mesmerizing delivery and full confidence in the name he had given himself. Death was a subject on which he preached frequently.

Relatively little is known about his life, which makes it all the more intriguing that back in 1889, in Denton, Tex., a “Sin-Killer Griffin” tried to organize black Americans to invade Africa.

There is some evidence this was the same Sin-Killer Griffin who resurfaced before John Lomax 45 years later, though we have no way of knowing for sure.”

 

[John Steppling is an original founding member of the Padua Hills Playwrights Festival, a two-time NEA recipient, Rockefeller Fellow in theatre, and PEN-West winner for playwriting. Plays produced in LA, NYC, SF, Louisville, and at universities across the US, as well in Warsaw, Lodz, Paris, London and Krakow. Taught screenwriting and curated the cinematheque for five years at the Polish National Film School in Lodz, Poland. A collection of plays, Sea of Cortez & Other Plays was published in 1999, and his book on aesthetics, Aesthetic Resistance and Dis-Interest was published by Mimesis International in 2016.]

In Defense of Cory Morningstar’s Manufacturing for Consent Series

In Defense of Cory Morningstar’s Manufacturing for Consent Series

September 20, 2019

By Hiroyuki Hamada

 

 

 

Good investigative journalism doesn’t only reveal hidden mechanisms of our time; it also exposes those who refuse to confront the mechanisms. Remember when the late Bruce Dixon courageously and cogently called Bernie Sanders “a sheep dog candidate”? Remember when Eva Bartlett, Vanessa Beeley and others truly stood with Syrian people in opposing the western intervention? I do. Those who could not face the reality came up with all sorts of profanities and ill conceived theories to demonize the messengers.

Cory Morningstar has been a dedicated environmental activist with a sound track record, who has closely worked with various NGOs. She is a mother. She is an avid gardener. She is an honest person with empathy, passion, love for people, love for our fellow creatures and love for nature. Her human character and sense of justice has culminated in her keen insights, observations and analyses. Her writings have inspired many of us to see the depth and scope of capitalist institutions as part of the social dynamics affecting our consciousness. Her meticulous pursuit of facts in illustrating mechanisms of our world evokes a sense of awe. She is a respected colleague in our struggle toward a better tomorrow.

While her latest series, The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg—for Consent: The Political Economy of the Non-Profit Industrial Complex Volume I and Volume II, has been wildly praised as a ground-breaking milestone in depicting the vast mechanism of exploitation and subjugation involving the Non-Profit Industrial Complex, it has been also maliciously misrepresented.

One of the very common, yet blatantly erroneous criticisms, centers around the series’ focus on the young activist Greta Thunberg. Why do they attack the author as a child abuser? The series does not attack the 16-yearold activist at all. It points out those organizations and individuals which closely surround her in forming a momentum for their agenda. It delineates how the mobilization fits within the larger framework of corporate “environmentalism”, colonialism, global capitalism and imperialism. The trickery of the accusation that the work attacks a child and smears the youth-led activism follows the same pattern of lies and deceptions unfolding against serious journalism for some time. It reflects how the establishment successfully dominates our minds as it dominates the hierarchy of money and violence. The ruling class actually abuses children by making them pawns for lucrative business projects—such as carbon capture and storage, “renewable energy” schemes, carbon trading and so on (the series discusses why they do not work extensively). They trick the innocent youth into digging their own graves while making profits out of it. Remember people called you racist, when you pointed out President Obama’s drone killings? Remember people called you misogynist when you criticized Secretary Clinton’s colonial policies? Those who did didn’t mind brown people blown into pieces, and didn’t mind the colonial oppression of women in colonized lands. The capitalist hierarchy structurally forces us to embrace the values, norms and beliefs of the ruling class, as it trains people to climb the social ladder as expected. The momentum to accuse Morningstar’s work as a child abuse stems from the same psychological projection of accusers’ own complicity in consecrating a teenager as an invincible saint of their movement.

Then there is the most typical argument to condone obvious institutional tendencies of inhumanity: “things aren’t always black and white”. Of course there are good environmentalists doing good work as well. We have gone through this in so many incarnations. When we point out police brutality, we hear “not all police officers are bad”. When we point out obvious racism among us: “not all white people are racist”. Those are certainly true. But could we also say “not all slave masters were evil”, “not all Kings and queens were evil”, “not all colonizers were evil”, and so on? Well, sure. But does that mean we can bring back slavery, feudalism or colonialism? No. Refusal to talk about the systematic inhumanity inflicted by the system tolerates the status quo as acceptable.

And please do stop with the “but the movement gives us hope” nonsense. What happened when we were sold “hope”, “change” and “forward”, and received colonial wars, big bank bailouts, global surveillance and loss of legal protections during the Obama presidency? We got Donald Trump. When the system squeezes already oppressed people while shuttering their hope and making them embrace fear, people try their best to hold onto whatever they have. They embrace an illusion of salvation in authoritarian lies and hatred against “others”. It is extremely important that we strive to discuss such a mechanism among us instead of jumping into the same momentum. We must discuss the true hope of building a momentum moving beyond the lies and deceptions coming out of the destructive hierarchy.

Morningstar states in The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg—for Consent: The Political Economy of Non Profit Industrial Complex Volume II Act IV:

“Consider that collectively, the populace appears to believe that not only is it possible to colonize another planet, but that we will do so in the not-so-distant future. This is incredible considering the massive odds of and colossal barriers to such an endeavour succeeding. Thus, it is alarming, that this same populace appears not to believe it is not possible to create new societies where necessity is detached from want (superfluous consumer goods). This begs the question – have we been fully conditioned to believe only those that represent hegemonic interests? It is a sound question considering the billionaires of the world are currently petrified of the capitalist system collapsing – while those oppressed by the capitalist system believe it cannot be dismantled. Yet we can dismantle institutions. We can dismantle the capitalist economic system devouring what remains of the natural world – but not if we identify with our oppressors and the very system that enslaves us. It is our natural world and her living natural communities that sustain us. Not industrial civilization – not technology.”

Hopelessness and cynicism do creep up to justify the status quo. But we also must recognize that such a position does away with putting our efforts toward standing with the truly oppressed ones.

Morningstar’s series meticulously documents how powerful global organizations seek ways to cultivate a consensus for their trajectory. And it carefully states, with facts, why the trajectory does not lead to achieving their promises—preventing climate change and other environmental calamities. The illustrated mechanism has been revealed over and over through their past crimes—the co-ordinated actions of industries, bankers, politicians, NGOs, UN, global financial institutions and media have culminated into colonial wars, cover-ups of nuclear disasters, regime change, and other corporate, colonial and imperial policies. There is nothing speculative, coincidental or conspiratorial about the series. It is based on careful research, honesty, courage to face the real issue and true love for humanity. It is again curiously indicative that those who engage in a conspiracy to mobilize the people according to their agendas accuse those who see through the attempt as “conspiracy theorist”. The use of the derogatory term invented by the US intelligence agency to label dissidents as tin-hat wearing nuts jobs hardly proves their legitimacy.

Moreover, I must say that it is extremely odd and disingenuous that the series has been portrayed as a refusal to take any action, instead insisting on ideological purity. Such an attack has been coming from those who have been pointing out the same moneyed network in forwarding corporatism, colonialism and militarism by manipulating popular opinions. What is the difference between opposing destructive colonial wars and opposing colonization of nature/co-optation of activism? More specifically, what prompts some of them to say “what is your solution?”, “we can’t wait for capitalism to be overthrown to solve climate change” and so on. The obvious falsehood of such an angle is the stark absence of solutions within their own “green momentum”. Morningstar’s research does not talk about the necessity of establishing a communist statehood or overthrowing capitalism in order to solve the impending crisis. It simply states facts in a cohesive manner. Consequently, it certainly indicates the systematic structural issues presented by the hierarchy of money and violence. The research clearly names individuals and organizations that are involved in mobilizing the population in installing government policies that are lucrative to the associated corporations and beneficial to the imperial framework. Capitalist hegemony does present itself as a source of predicaments of our time. But is that new to us?

Needless to say, for those of us who believe in the Marxist perspective, the solution amounts to a structural transformation of our society into one that doesn’t monopolize the means of production for the ruling class.  Economic activities must be subservient to harmonious existence of the people, environment and other species. And our social interactions must be under a control of such aims, instead of financial and social power of the ruling class. But make no mistake that that is simply an ultimate direction. Just as we voice our objections against any form of inhumanity regardless of our systematic problem, when we see certain environmental policies being subservient to the corporate agenda, likely to result in worsened conditions for the people, we discuss them. There shouldn’t be anything different about pointing out the US military aggression and the fallacy of US environmental policies, especially when they are forwarded by the same western establishment. When we find the carbon capture schemes to be disingenuous, for example, we simply point it out. We demand an answer to why corporate “solutions” are upheld as people’s “solutions”. And people who buy into false narratives should be noted as not credible leaders in people’s movement. So the question “what is your solution?” really should be directed at those who subscribe to those erroneous “solutions.” They need to be asked how those solutions would be a worthy cause at the first place, and why cogent criticisms against implementations of destructive schemes cannot be embraced because “we can’t wait for a socialist revolution”.

What people desperately need today is good investigative reports like those presented by Cory Morningstar, along with our educational efforts to reveal the mechanisms of our time. We must learn how the unprecedented wealth accumulation among the very few ends up protected by layers and layers of moneyed social institutions co-ordinating to perpetuate the system, while progressively oppressive financial pressure and state violence against already oppressed people keep herding people into the capitalist framework. When we face the sad reality of people embracing policies that allow the powerful minorities to exploit and subjugate them over and over, what we need is not a popular mobilization guided by vague slogans easily subsumed by the imperial framework. Such a method would lead to draconian enforcement of corporate “solutions” according to their definition of “problems”. It is a recipe for bringing about a fascist order. What we need is openness and willingness to learn how we are domesticated by the authoritarian framework so that the actions are guided by the interests of the people in forming a society that allows true liberation of the people in a mutually respectful and harmonious manner.

Please do read The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg—for Consent: The Political Economy of Non Profit Industrial Complex Volume I and II. It gives us an excellent starting point in learning how to build a better tomorrow for all of us.

 

[Hiroyuki Hamada is an artist. Exhibiting widely in gallery and non-commercial settings alike, Hamada has been the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, twice received New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships in sculpture, and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. Alongside his career as an artist, his writing can be found at various outlets online.]

 

Just Say No to Fake Action

Just Say No to Fake Action

Art for Culture Change

September 19, 2019

 

 

Listen: Green Imperialism [A Spencer Latu Show Podcast]

Listen: Green Imperialism [A Spencer Latu Show Podcast]

September 18, 2019

 

 

“The Spencer Latu Show is a progressive politics show that speaks truth to power. We provide much needed coverage, and media criticism of stories at the municipal, provincial, national and international level from the perspective of two progressive working class students; Spencer Latu and Ajeetpal Gill. We are based out of UBC in Vancouver BC.”

In this episode (#47) Spencer discusses green imperialism and its support of regime change in Bolivia.

Click on the link to listen [Running time: 29m:42s]:

https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/47-green-imperialism/id1437295482?i=1000450321821

 

 

 

The Paris Agreement is a Suicide Pact – This is Why

The Paris Agreement is a Suicide Pact – This is Why

September 19, 2019

“The Paris Agreement is a Suicide Pact – This is Why”

 

The following is an excerpt from the paper This Changes Nothing: The Paris Agreement to Ignore Reality authored by Clive L. Spash, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna, Austria

 

“The Paris Agreement signifies commitment to sustained industrial growth, risk management over disaster prevention, and future inventions and technology as saviour. The primary commitment of the international community is to maintain the current social and economic system. The result is denial that tackling GHG emissions is incompatible with sustained economic growth. The reality is that Nation States and international corporations are engaged in an unremitting and ongoing expansion of fossil fuel energy exploration, extraction and combustion, and the construction of related infrastructure for production and consumption. The targets and promises of the Paris Agreement bear no relationship to biophysical or social and economic reality.”

Globalizations, 2016
Vol. 13, No. 6, 928–933,

The Paris Agreement follows suit and claims that: ‘Accelerating, encouraging and enabling innovation is critical for an effective, long-term global response to climate change and promoting change does not require new technology which, even when successful, takes decades to move from invention to innovation to implementation. That time frame is a luxury that has already been squandered by decades of inaction and fossil fuel expansion. The reduction of GHGs is necessary immediately using existing appropriate (not high) technology, changing infrastructure, systemic transformation and control of demand.

Therein lies the problem with the Paris Agreement; it is a fantasy which lacks any actual plan of how to achieve the targets for emissions reductions. There are no mentions of GHG sources, not a single comment on fossil fuel use, nothing about how to stop the expansion of fracking, shale oil or explorations for oil and gas in the Arctic and Antarctic. Similarly, there are no means for enforcement. Article 15 on implementation and compliance establishes an expert committee that will be ‘non-adversarial and non-punitive’, which means that it has no teeth and can do nothing about non-compliance. Then, there is Article 28, which offers the withdrawal option without any sanctions. Everyone seems to have already conveniently forgotten how Canada backed out of the Kyoto Protocol in order to frack on a massive and environmentally catastrophic industrial scale.

What is the point of trusting the governments who sign up to this agreement with one hand while investing ever more in fossil fuel extraction, combustion and consumption with the other? These are the same governments who know the world already has proven fossil fuel reserves that exceed the amount that can be combusted by at least three times,[3] for an even chance of achieving 2C, but continue exploring for more. They are the same governments promoting 7 per cent growth rates and the proliferation of industrialisation and modern energy infrastructure including advanced fossil fuel technology (UN Resolution A/RES/70/1). So, they give us promises of 1.5C while constructing infrastructure and supporting production processes requiring massive fossil fuel expansion in an economic system built on mass conspicuous consumption and a throwaway fashion culture.

The divorce of economic and energy policy from the targets of Article 2 can only be seen as either total cynicism or total delusion on the part of the negotiators applauding in Paris. Perhaps they are all highly trained in the Orwellian art of doublethink. In any case, the aspirational targets bear no relationship at all to the reality of what governments, and their business partners, are actually doing today,[4] or the other treaties the same governments are simultaneously signing. The economic system is already committed to continue exploiting resources as fast as possible in the race for ever-increasing material and energy throughput. Just look at the European Community’s Horizon 20:20 goals and their promotion of growth and competition and the ongoing push for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Apparently, economic growth is the priority to be protected and promoted above all else.

The contradiction at the heart of the Paris Agreement is actually unsurprising because the powerful lobbying for growth as the solution to climate change has for some time been orchestrated by corporate business and financiers using the rhetoric of a green economy. As I have noted elsewhere (Spash, 2014), this has involved the combination of arguments for growth alleviating poverty with the necessity of environmental risk management, and ‘green’ technology promoted through trillions of dollars being directed towards ‘entrepreneurs’ (i.e. multinational corporations), to create a ‘new economy’. Technology and innovation are key to this position with its neo-Austrian economics and ‘free market’ rhetoric. Climate change policy must be crafted accordingly to serve the capital accumulating growth economy, and so the latter becomes the solution to (not the cause of) the former.

litovsky_pes

Unfortunately, many environmental non-governmental organisations have bought into this illogical reasoning and justify their support as being pragmatic. Neoliberal language is rife across their reports and policy recommendations and their adoption of natural capital, ecosystems services, offsetting and market trading. These new environmental pragmatists believe, without justification, that the financialisation of Nature will help prevent its destruction. Thus, environmentalists promote carbon emissions trading but pay little attention to its dangers and failures (Spash, 2010). For example, Nat Keohane of the Environmental Defence Fund has noted on their website how they pushed in the corridors of Paris for ‘an opening for markets’. The right-wing government of New Zealand, leading an 18-country lobby, also had its negotiators pushing for the same international carbon markets. However, you will not find emissions trading, markets, cap and trade or offsets, mentioned in the doublespeak of the Agreement, but rather the term ‘internationally transferred mitigation outcomes’ (clause 108 and Article 6), something Keohane applauds.

Doublespeak and wording that is strategically ambiguous is the high point of international diplomacy in the Paris Agreement. This is what made the Agreement possible and why it is so meaningless. Do not look for the words oil, natural gas, coal or fracking because they do not merit even one single mention. Nor indeed is there anything about addressing the sources of human GHG emissions, or the structures that promote them. Consider something as fundamental as energy use. The one sentence that mentions energy appears in the preamble and merely acknowledges the need to promote ‘sustainable energy in developing countries, in particular in Africa’.

What the Paris Agreement tells is a bizarrely unreal story. Apparently, the cause of climate change is not fossil fuel combustion or energy sources but inadequate technology and the solution is sustainable development (i.e. economic growth and industrialisation) and poverty alleviation. As far as the current production and consumption systems are concerned, little needs to change. There are no elites consuming the vast majority of the world’s resources, no multinational corporations or fossil fuel industry needing to be controlled, no capital accumulating competitive systems promoting trade and fighting over resources and emitting vast amounts of GHGs through military expenditure and wars, and no governments expanding fossil fuel use and dependency.

The unreality of this document is only matched by the unreality of the praise given to it by the media and others. This is a sign of how much strategic ambiguity and doublespeak have now become an accepted way for international politics to be conducted and reported. People can even applaud stating that the whole UNFCCC has failed for over 20 years and the planet is headed well beyond 2C. The rhetorical flourish of successful agreement is meant to hide a total lack of substance. The Paris Agreement is at heart a document that consists of independent unilateral unenforceable targets but is being sold as a multi-lateral consensus with firm commitments.

In the final analysis, a simple test of the effectiveness of the Paris Agreement would have been a dramatic drop in the share price of the fossil fuel industry, which is loaded with toxic assets.

cnpvipdukaibprq

That is, a serious agreement would have written-off all the fossil fuel reserves that cannot be burnt without heading way beyond the already exceed 2C target. This would have revealed the financial balance sheets that are bankrupt. Nothing happened to the stock market because the Paris Agreement is perceived by the fossil fuel industry, and financial markets, as no threat to business as usual, and possibly it is even a great opportunity for new financial instruments and ongoing economic exploitation of the planet, with trillions to come to the energy industry in subsidies for innovation and technology development.

In reality, the Paris Agreement is a compilation of nationally determined intended contradictions. The UNFCCC Secretariat advanced no plan of action and its latest Agreement is totally divorced from the operations of the current economic and political systems. Human-induced climate change can now conveniently slip off the political and media agenda until the time comes for the next major cop-out due in 2023 when a ‘stock-taking’ exercise is scheduled. By then few, if any, of the politicians responsible for this farce are likely to be in office, and neither they nor the bureaucrats and negotiators who have celebrated this great success will ever be held accountable. An acceleration of climate change impacts seems to be the only thing that will now alter the complacency of the global community.

 

Download the full paper: 2016-Spash-This-Changes-Nothing

 

[3] The excess of three times is based upon large conservative estimates of the available remaining budget, namely 1400 Gt of CO2, under a 50% chance of achieving 28C (Raupach et al., 2014, p. 874). IPCC (2013) calculations are much lower, but even these have been criticised as neither up-to-date (referencing 2011) nor adequately taking into account non-energy emissions which reduce the amount left for fossil fuels. Doing so leads Anderson (2015) to estimate the remaining budget for energy emissions over the period 2015–2100, at about 650 Gt of CO2 for a ‘likely’ (66%) chance of staying below 28C. On this basis, the excess of reserves is over 6 times the available budget. Going down to 1.58C and/or increasing the chance of achieving the target increase(s) the excess even further.
[4] The commitments already made to exploiting new fossil fuel sources by 2012 were estimated as leading to the release of 300 Gt CO2 equivalent between 2012 and 2050 (Meindertsma & Blok, 2012). This is being added to the existing excess of unburnable stocks for the 28C target (McGlade & Ekins, 2015); see also previous note.

 

[Professor Clive L. Spash holds the Chair of Public Policy & Governance at WU in Vienna and is Editor-in-Chief of Environmental Values. He has conducted research on climate change economics and policy for over 25 years and his work in the area includes the book Greenhouse economics: Value and ethics as well as numerous articles. His critique of carbon trading was the subject of attempted censorship while he was a senior civil servant at the CSIRO in Australia. More information can be found at www.clivespash.org.]

Green-smearing from Nicaragua to Bolivia

Tortilla con Sal

September 4, 2019

“Green-smearing from Nicaragua to Bolivia”

By Stephen Sefton

 

 

On one level the intensifying deceit of Western media foreign affairs coverage corresponds to the increasing desperation of Western elites confronting their failing global power and influence. But it also signals yet another crisis of capitalist economic growth. After 1945, North America and Western Europe based their genocidal imperialism on a social compact promising prosperity to their peoples at home in exchange for their collusion in imperialist military aggression and neocolonial crimes overseas. That system operated successfully based on the fundamental neocolonial fiction that Western governments and societies promote freedom, justice and democracy around the world, while doing the very opposite.

Now, stagnation and recession in the U.S. and its allied countries demand new dimensions to the endless psychological warfare necessary to sustain the basic neocolonial fiction. Psychological warfare in North America and Europe works to create enduring false beliefs generating, over time, permanent false memories, all serving the purposes of Western elite perception management. That is why the authorities in Sweden, Britain and the U.S. elites have been so vengeful and vindictive towards Julian Assange, among innumerable other less high profile victims. Anyone who effectively exposes the big neocolonial lie is met with the sadistic vindictive revenge of the elites they defied.

A fundamental dimension of contemporary psychological warfare has been dual-purpose corporate co-option of non-governmental organizations. In that psy-warfare dimension, NGOs serve both as disinformation partners with Western news media and too as false interlocutors in international forums and institutions, where they attack governments challenging the U.S. elites and their allies. They actively subvert governments inside countries challenging the West, for example, in Latin America, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia. But they also pervert due process in institutions like the UN, posing as civil society but in fact serving Western elite corporate imperatives, for example in international human rights and environmental mechanisms and forums.

Among these NGOs figure high profile human rights organizations like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the International Federation for Human Rights and Avaaz along with environmental organizations from 350.org and the World Resource Institute to Global Witness and Greenpeace. An increasing interrelationship has developed between corporate NGO funding and the exploitation of people’s general willingness to volunteer for and support apparently good causes. Symbolic of this is the way World Economic Forum attendees like Kumi Naidoo move readily between top management from one NGO to another, in Naidoo’s case from Greenpeace to Amnesty International. From Libya and Syria to Venezuela and Nicaragua, Amnesty International has played a key role using false reports to demonize governments resisting the U.S. and its allies.

As Cory Morningstar has pointed out, Greenpeace is a key player in promoting the corporate driven New Deal for Nature aimed at financializing what remains of the natural world, especially its biodiversity, as a way of engineering a “Fourth Industrial Revolution”. Western corporate greed underlies the identical patterns of news media and NGO misrepresentation and outright deceit supporting regime change offensives against Libya and Syria, or Venezuela and Nicaragua. Right now, that very same pattern of media and NGO manipulation is clearly at work preparing for an intervention to prevent Evo Morales being re-elected as President of Bolivia.

Bruno Sgarzini and Wyatt Reed have noted how Western media and NGOs have falsely attacked Evo Morales blaming him for not controlling the fires in Bolivia’s Amazon. This is exactly what happened in Nicaragua immediately prior to the coup attempt in 2018 when the Nicaraguan authorities were fighting a fire in the Indio Maíz Biological Reserve. That episode softened up Nicaraguan public opinion and set in motion social media networks involving thousands of youth activists trained for that purpose beforehand over several years with U.S. and also European government funding. In mid-April 2018, barely a week after the Indio Maiz fire was extinguished; those networks launched a social media blitzkrieg of lies and inventions marking the start of the actual coup attempt. A practically identical process is well under way now in Bolivia, which holds presidential elections next October 20th.

The timing of the fires in Bolivia’s Amazon is extremely propitious from the perspective of the U.S. authorities and their allies. It takes almost two months for the effects to wear off of the initial psy-warfare bitzkrieg of the kind waged against Nicaragua in 2018 and against Brazil’s Worker’s Party as part of Jair Bolsonaro’s successful 2018 election campaign that same year. Bolivia will almost certainly experience the same kind of psy-warfare assault via social media prior to the October elections. The campaign will be timed to optimize the effect of mass false accusations of government wrongdoing and corruption along with false media and NGO claims of security force repression. Opposition activists are likely to exploit peaceful demonstrations on indigenous peoples and environmental issues so as to commit murderous provocations, just as they did in Nicaragua and Venezuela.

All of these tactics are likely be deployed against Bolivia so as to destroy the current prestige and high levels of support for President Evo Morales. In Bolivia, as in Nicaragua and Venezuela, the governing progressive political movement enjoys around 35-40% core electoral support, the right wing opposition have around 25-30% with 30-40% of voters uncommitted. The Western elites know they need to motivate something over half of those uncommitted voters against Evo Morales so as to get the right wing government they so desperately need in Bolivia to try and make good the unmitigated debacle of Mauricio Macri’s right wing government in Argentina.

The intensity of any Western media and NGO campaign against Morales is likely to reach similar levels as their cynical campaigns of lies and defamation against Venezuela and Nicaragua. Should that offensive go ahead, as seems probable, the difference will be that this time Evo Morales and his team are alert and unlikely to be taken by surprise as the Nicaraguan authorities were by the vicious, sudden attack against them in April 2018. A likely variation in Bolivia’s case will be a higher profile of environmentalist NGOs working in tandem with their human rights counterparts feeding misrepresentations and downright lies into Western news media. For the U.S. and European Union elites the regional geopolitical stakes are high enough to make an attack on Bolivia imperative.

 

[Stephen Sefton is a member of the Tortilla con Sal collective based in Nicaragua]

New Dark Age

New Dark Age

Center for World Indigenous Studies

September 3, 2019

By Jay Taber

“New Dark Age”

 

 

As we watch UN member states flail around dealing with climate change impacts and The Globalization of Poverty, it is perhaps worth revisiting a paper by my colleague Phil Williams from 2008. In From The New Middle Ages To A New Dark Age: The Decline Of The State And U.S. Strategy, Dr. Williams examines the spread of disorder and discusses the need for a more holistic approach and a more coherent organizational structure. Rather than continue to focus on defeating enemies, notes Professor Williams, the US and other states will soon need to learn to manage chaos.

In his 2011 post Climate Change Ghost Dance: Duck and Cover, Rudolph C. Ryser likened the climate change talks in Durban to a ghost dance. As a glaring example of the failure of modern states to meet the needs of humanity, the death of the Kyoto protocols signals the beginning of a new dark age. As we come to terms with the ravaging of Earth and every living being in order to satisfy the insatiable appetite of Wall Street, we will need new tools and ancient wisdom to see us through. Abandoning faith in institutions and markets is a good first step.

Descending into a New Dark Age—an era ruled by transnational criminal networks—total chaos is becoming our new social reality. Due to the corroding influence of Agents of Chaos, we are already in a permanent state of war worldwide. The embedded nihilism in the U.S. State Department–after 50 years of intentional fraud–is astounding.

Escalating instability—caused by state-imposed austerity, internally displaced persons, war refugees, climate change, and a skyrocketing membership in religious fundamentalism—means our ability to mentally cope is diminishing. And the agents of chaos are in the driver’s seat. Indeed, the United States—with a Christian fundamentalist Vice President– is one heartbeat away from a theocracy.

As spiritual warriors like Sarah Palin battle to create a theocracy in the United States, American Indians are caught between tribal sovereignty and white rage. With the Tea Party on a rampage to reassert Christian white supremacy in American public institutions, it behooves us to understand the Puritan roots of this holy war.

Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria–-a documentary about antibiotics misuse that has promulgated untreatable lethal disease—suggests consumerism, and its attendant climate change impacts, might not be a future problem. As the age of antibiotics comes to an end, uncontrollable outbreaks of deadly bacteria threaten global public health. Likewise, the untreatable lethal disease of Puritanical conservatism–now attacking socialism and the Indigenous Peoples Movement–threatens democracy.

In Bron Taylor’s 2011 Religion Dispatches essay Debate Over Mother Earth’s Rights Stirs Fears of Pagan Socialism, he notes that, “Religious and political conservatives have long feared the global march of paganism and socialism. In their view,” says Taylor, “it was bad enough when Earth Day emerged in 1972, promoting a socialist agenda. But now, under the auspices of the United Nations, the notion has evolved into the overtly pagan, and thus doubly dangerous, International Mother Earth Day.”

With all 192 member states of the UN General Assembly supporting a 2009 resolution proclaiming International Mother Earth Day as proposed by the socialist Bolivian President Evo Morales, American conservatives hostile to environmentalism responded with their usual religious hysteria.

In Paul de Armond’s 1996 essay A Not So Distant Mirror, he observes that, “I never expected to find parallels between the militant heretics of the Middle Ages and the current convulsions on the far right. The realization thrust itself upon me while I was trying to understand what I was witnessing as I attended meetings of the ‘property rights’ groups which began promoting militia organizing in early 1994.

Everyone seemed instinctively to know what part they played; the endless rants by a variety of characters full of not only themselves, but also full of a sense of a divine mission in struggling against unholy forces. The typical far right meeting is very similar to a service in a lay Christian fellowship of the more militant fundamentalist evangelicals.”

Palin’s followers, who believe she has been anointed for this task by God, in 2008 were already discussing the necessity of assassinating her GOP running mate McCain if he interfered with Palin’s plan. According to religious scholars, the October 2008 anti-Muslim hate campaign in the US Midwest was a warm-up exercise for adherents of Palin’s religion and her domestic terrorism support base in the Militia Movement.

The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg – for Consent: The Behavioural Change Project “To Change Everything” [Volume II, Act V]

The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg – for Consent: The Behavioural Change Project “To Change Everything” [Volume II, Act V]

September 18, 2019

By Cory Morningstar

 

The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg – for Consent series has been written in two volumes.

[Volume I: ACT IACT IIACT IIIACT IVACT VACT VIAddenda I] [Book form]

[Volume II: An Object Lesson In SpectacleACT IACT IIACT IIIACT IVACT V] [ACTS VI & VII forthcoming]

 

 

“All experts serve the state and the media and only in that way do they achieve their status. Every expert follows his master, for all former possibilities for independence have been gradually reduced to nil by present society’s mode of organization.”

 

Guy Debord, Paris, February-April 1988, Comments on the Society of the Spectacle

 

The Climate Group Launches We Mean Business & Climate Optimist 

“With respect to environmental governance, the effect of this is to sustain ‘the paradoxical idea that capitalist markets are the answer to their own ecological contradictions’. In service to this fantasy, celebrity promotion helps to mobilize affect and desire in support of environmental causes, focusing attention on splashy, sensation-filled spectacle supporting the win-win narrative and thereby conjuring an aura of environmentalism ‘as exciting, exotic, erotic, and glamorous—as ‘sexy'”.

 

Blinded by the Stars? Celebrity, Fantasy, and Desire in Neoliberal Environmental Governance, Robert Fletcher

On September 5, 2014, The Climate Group announced that the launch of We Mean Business [Volume II, Act IV] would take place later that month on September 22, the eve of the UN Climate Summit, in order to “catalyze action around climate change and bring it back to the top of the global agenda”. The founding partners of We Mean Business are Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), the B Team, Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), Ceres, The Climate Group, the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). Together, these entities represent the world’s most powerful corporations and investors.

Ahead of the launch (on September 9, 2014) a press conference was held by Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres; and Nigel Topping, executive director of CDP. The conference focused on the role of corporations and investors at the UN Climate Summit and during climate negotiations, as well as the UN climate chief expectations from CEOs leading up to Paris 2015.

The media contact provided for both the press conference led by Figueres and the We Mean Business launch was that of Callum Grieve of We Mean Business. Grieve, who created and led the first Climate Week NYC in 2009 is identified by WWF as co-founder of We Mean Business. As disclosed in Volume II, Act IV Grieve shared the tweet of the *”lonely” girl on a sidewalk, Greta Thunberg, on the very first day of her strike, August 20, 2018. As the third person to reply to the initial tweet, Grieve would include the following people and institutions: We Don’t have Time, The Climate Museum, Greta Thunberg, Jamie Margolin (youth founder of This Is Zero Hour), Zero Hour, Youth Climate March LA, This is Zero Hour Ft. Lauderdale, Greenpeace International, Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, and the UNFCCC, the “official Twitter account of UN Climate Change”. [*Ingmar Rentzhog, founder and CEO of We Don’t Have Time, Volume I, Act I]

As touched upon in Volume II, Act II, Grieve is the communications specialist for Christiana Figueres “Every Breath Matters” campaign. He is the former communications director for We Mean Business, The Climate Group (co-founder of We Mean Business), and Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL). Grieve has coordinated high-level climate change communications campaigns and interventions for the United Nations, the World Bank Group, and several Fortune 500 companies.

Callum is the co-founder and director of Counter Culture, a brand development firm specializing in behavioural change campaigns and storytelling, focused on climate change and energy. The co-founder of Counter Culture is Emily Farnworth, head of climate initiatives at the World Economic Forum, former director of Counter Culture and former campaign director of the We Mean Business RE100 initiative led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP. [Incorporated April 26, 2011, dissolved December 19, 2017, the Twitter account for Counter Culture has been inactive since May 11, 2018.]

WWF website, May 11, 2015: "We Mean Business – changing the climate challenge narrative... One area We Mean Business is focusing on is carbon pricing. “It seemed that businesses were becoming confused with all the things that they were being asked to sign on to. So we helped create something called the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, which the World Bank is now driving with the UN Global Compact and many of our partners.”

WWF website, May 11, 2015: “We Mean Business – changing the climate challenge narrative… One area We Mean Business is focusing on is carbon pricing. “It seemed that businesses were becoming confused with all the things that they were being asked to sign on to. So we helped create something called the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, which the World Bank is now driving with the UN Global Compact and many of our partners.”

 

August 20, 2018: Callum Grieve Twitter post on the first day of Thunberg's climate strike. Hashtag: #WeDontHaveTime

August 20, 2018: Callum Grieve Twitter post on the first day of Thunberg’s climate strike. Hashtag: #WeDontHaveTime

 

The Climate Group’s initiatives are brought forward as part of the We Mean Business Coalition. Such initiatives include RE100 (renewable power), EP100 (energy productivity), and EV100 (electric vehicles). [Source] [Further reading on The Climate Group: ACT IV]

By far the most popular initiative of The Climate Group is the annual event created by Grieve: Climate Week NYC.

On September 19, 2017, The Climate Group launched Climate Week NYC 2017 with a high-profile opening ceremony attended by B Team leader billionaire Richard Branson, UN representatives, governors, NGOs and corporate entities such as PepsiCo, Bank of America, and Walmart. Showcasing “the unstoppable force for action on climate change”, the ceremony highlighted the launch of the Climate Optimist campaign created “to change the dominant narrative on climate change.”

“We also launched the Climate Optimist campaign, in partnership with Futerra, which aims to spread the word about climate action and focus on what is happening, rather than the doom and gloom.”

 

— Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group, former head of Forum for the Future and Médecins Sans Frontières

 

“In the last eight weeks Mars and VF Corporation and Interface and Ashden and DivestInvest and EcoMedia came on board to help us launch this campaign.”

 

Solitaire Townsend, Co-Founder, Futerra, [Source]

The Climate Optimist campaign created by The Climate Group

The Climate Optimist campaign created by The Climate Group

 

The Climate Optimist Twitter account (created July 2017) would post its first “tweet” on September 25, 2017. The Climate Optimist concept, largely consisting of celebrity endorsement, appears to be more or less sitting in the wings at this time, having been effectively replaced by Christiana Figueres “Global Optimism” project.

The Medium is the Message

September 20, 2010: Kelly Rigg (centre), director of GCCA/TckTckTck (Climate Week NYC partner) speaks during the Opening Ceremony for Climate Week NYC Monday in New York. Christiana Figueres is seated on the right. Rigg: "And Christiana I just want to say, civil society has your back."

September 20, 2010: Kelly Rigg (centre), director of GCCA/TckTckTck (Climate Week NYC partner) speaks during the Opening Ceremony for Climate Week NYC Monday in New York. Christiana Figueres is seated on the right. Rigg: “And Christiana I just want to say, civil society has your back.”

 

During the years 2003-2009, new joint collaborations were forged to create a global platform where three entities – corporations, state and civil society – would all fuse together as one. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the non-profit industrial complex and the foundation funding made possible via oligarchs, corporations and capitalism itself, would facilitate the transition. [1] Pivotal to this evolution would be the corporate and foundation funded “progressive media”. The social engineering project to “change everything” is today perhaps the most successful behavioural sciences experiment in modern history.

The creation of ClimateWorks, GCCA (both officially launched in 2008), The Climate Group (2003), Climate Week NYC (2009), and other heavily financed projects would essentially culminate as an overlapping force of key players that would saturate and dominate the discussions surrounding climate. NGOs, such as those that formed the GCCA, would soft peddle feel-good messages to the public, while the critical discussions led by (and serving) corporate power took place behind closed doors unabated, with little to no dissent. Climate Week NYC (“shaping markets and setting policy“) was formed as a partnership between The Climate Group, the United Nations, the UN Foundation, the City of New York, the Government of Denmark, the GCCA TckTckTck campaign, and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). Climate Week NYC, takes place every September in New York City and features the campaigns of We Mean Business.

“Today more than 3,000 events in more than 120 countries around the world the TckTckTck campaign has organized what we call global wake up events to our leaders. We feel that now is the time for all of us government, business and civil society to stand shoulder to shoulder to work together…”

 

Kumi Naidoo, Chair TckTckTck Campaign, Executive Director of Greenpeace International, 6th segment of the Opening Ceremony of Climate Week NYC, September 2009

Behavioural Change: “Together” and “Equality”

Today, the project for corporations, Annex 1 states and citizenry “to come together as one”, has been largely realized. The distinct boundaries between working class, ruling class, and the corporation rebranded with a caring human face, continue to be strategically and deliberately blurred. Orchestrated movements, comprising the Euro-Anglo (shrinking) middle class are embraced, regardless of vaguely understood elite/corporate origins. Manufactured demigods and deities (framed as “leaders” and “activists”) are predominantly white from elite backgrounds and/or privilege. As this relationship becomes more and more normalized, via a decade of societal conditioning, those tasked with implementing the “together” (i.e. we are all equal) ideology become more excelled in their ability to create discourse. That is, to shift all discussion away from class analysis – and even eliminate the issue of class altogether. The grotesque irony of corporate behemoths that purposely impoverish the world’s most vulnerable while plundering the planet for profits, feigning concern over inequality, goes largely undetected.

“What they do manage to do is deliver an added punishment on the poor and working class, people who are struggling to make ends meet. It places an unfair level of guilt on ordinary people whose impact on the environment is relatively negligible compared to the enormous destruction caused by the fossil fuel industry, mining companies, plastic and packaging production, shipping and the military industrial complex. Seldom (if ever) questioned are the basic foundations of the current economic order which is driving the decimation of the biosphere for the benefit of the wealthy Davos jet set.”

 

Kenn Orphan, March 2019

“The U.S. military hides statistics on its petroleum usage and its disposal of chemical waste, and of course the severe consequences of all the current ongoing U.S. wars (see Cholera in Yemen just for starters). The socio-political landscape is seeing the rise of global fascism as well as a continuing migration of wealth to the very top tier of the class hierarchy. Homes are being built with servants quarters for the first time in over a hundred years. It is a return to both Victorian values and social structure and in a wider sense a return to feudalism. The homeless camps that circle every American city speak to the extreme fragility of the social fabric in the West today. A fragility that both planned and exploited by the ruling classes.”

 

John Steppling, June 2019

+++

The Framing and Language Utilized to Create the Required Momentum

“To Change Everything We Need Everyone”

 

“Not only is tackling climate change compatible with economic growth… it is the only way that we are getting economic growth from the 21st century onwards.”

 

Paul Polman, Chair of the B Team, Chair of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Vice Chair of the UN Global Compact Board and member of the International Business Council of World Economic Forum (WEF), August, 4, 2014 [Emphasis added]

“Oh, I say you been misled. You been had. You been took.”

 

— Malcolm X, 1964

Above: Susan Rockefeller, Co-executive producer of the “This Changes Everything” documentary film and founding partner of Louverture Films, LLC. Louverture is the production company for the documentary film “This Changes Everything” (with The Message Productions, LLC / Klein Lewis Productions). Photo: Rockefeller at her home on the Upper East Side in Manhattan, New York, on September 8, 2015. Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)

 

We cannot change everything – without everyone.”

 

Solitaire Townsend, co-founder, Futerra, at the “Climate Optimism” global launch, Climate Week, September, 2017 (with Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group)

 

To change everything, we need everyone. It is time for all of us to unleash mass resistance – we urge the adults to join us. On September 20th we call for a global general strike.”

 

— Greta Thunberg, May 23, 2019, Twitter

Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group, June 18, 2019

Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group, June 18, 2019

 

"Change Everything" - Illustration from the US Green New Deal promotional video directed by Naomi Klein: "A Message from the Future With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez"

“Change Everything” – Illustration from the US Green New Deal promotional video directed by Naomi Klein: “A Message from the Future With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez”

 

2014 People's Climate March: "To Change Everything We Need Everyone"

2014 People’s Climate March: “To Change Everything We Need Everyone”

 

This Changes Everything started with “The Message” project financed in its infancy by Rockefeller and several foundations in 2011. In 2014 the first stage of “The Message” project launched with the book published by Naomi Klein (350.org director and Leap founder) “This Changes Everything”. [Further reading: “Financing ‘The Message‘ Behind Naomi Klein’s ‘This Changes Everything’ Project”] The book was launched in advance of the first People’s Climate March which took place on September 21, 2014. The march was organized by GCCA/TckTckTck, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Climate Nexus (a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors), 350.org (incubated by the Rockefeller Foundation), the Rasmussen Foundation and USCAN. The People’s March was mobilized as a means to build momentum for the United Nations Climate Summit in New York City.

From this juncture forward, “This Changes Everything”, in its many variations, has indeed served as the central “message” for desired behaviours sought by the ruling classes.

“Emphasis by repetition gains acceptance for an idea, particularly if the repetition comes from different sources.”

 

Edward L. Bernays, Biography of an Idea: The Founding Principles of Public Relations, 1965

Within the repetitive language and framing that inundates our collective psyche – ever so subtly coaxing our subconscious to acquiesce to the “new climate economy” – we find the words: change, everything, everyone and together. “To Change Everything, We Need Everyone.” “This Changes Everything.” “Changing Together.”

From Naomi Klein, to 350.org, to WWF, to We Mean Business, to the World Bank, to The Climate Group, to the Green New Deal, to Greta Thunberg – the remixed slogans with identical language are reverberated from the corridors of the non-profit industrial complex and hallways of the power elite. The shared marketing slogans coalesce with the shared neoliberal ideologies. Ideologies undergoing a restructuring in a desperate attempt to maintain an economic system in decline.

The language continues right up to the present year with Naomi Klein presenting the video production “A Message From the Future With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez” to the call for the September Global Strike by Greta Thunberg via Twitter: “To change everything, we need everyone.”[Shared at 2:22 PM – 23 May 2019, the tweet had 2.9k “retweets” and 6.8K “likes” on 23 May 2019 at 9:54PM EST].

The B Team, Toward A Plan B For Business, Fostering Collaboration

The B Team, Toward A Plan B For Business, Fostering Collaboration

 

2014, Purpose, People's Climate March: "To Change Everything We Need Everyone"

2014, Purpose, People’s Climate March: “To Change Everything We Need Everyone”

 

2015, WWF, Paris: "To Change Everything We Need Everyone"

2015, WWF, Paris: “To Change Everything We Need Everyone”

 

2019, 350.org: "We Need Everyone"

2019, 350.org: “We Need Everyone”

 

2019, 350.org: "School Strikers: 'We Need Everyone'"

2019, 350.org: “School Strikers: ‘We Need Everyone'”

 

The purpose of “the message” is paramount. This is the subtle, yet effective, erasure of class divisions. The peasants can sleep soundly knowing they and the corporation (or NGO) that has seized their land share the same values. The interests of those at the helm of Goldman Sachs are no different from those espoused by the plumbers, factory workers, and working class. There is no common enemy, as we are united as one. Inequality will be corrected under a new reformed capitalism sometime in the near future.

This can be illustrated in the article written by Greenpeace International Executive Director Jennifer Morgan, in collaboration with The B Team’s Sharon Burrows (January 21, 2019, Davos). The following is an excerpt from their article Tackling the Twin Challenges of Climate Change and Inequality:

“Meanwhile, the world’s richest one percent took home 82 percent of all new wealth last year and, according to the World Bank, almost half of all people worldwide are one medical bill or crop failure away from destitution. Inequality continues to rise as the world warms.”

The said solution provided by Morgan and Burrows is tragic to say the least: “We need the Davos elite to change the rules of the global economy to benefit people and the planet alike.” The citizenry must “demand the fundamental and urgent change we need” – from those that enslave us and destroy our natural world.

And here the word “together” presents itself once again. Morgan and Burrows surmise their argument with:

“We are determined and excited that together, as environmentalists and trade unionists, we can face up to the twin challenges of inequality and climate change. Will the ‘Davos Man’ join us?[Emphasis added]

The idea that “the Davos Man” (the billionaire oppressor) would consider joining the oppressed, impoverished and exploited, or that such a union would be a beneficial one, is an insult to both the world’s most vulnerable citizens and to the workers of the world. Black Panther Assata Shakur, now living in exile in Cuba, dispelled this myth and dangerous discourse in a single sentence: “Nobody in the world, nobody in history, has ever gotten their freedom by appealing to the moral sense of the people who were oppressing them.” Yet this is exactly what those in servitude to the ruling class would like you to believe can happen. At one time, fairytales were written for children. Today, they are written for adults.

The United Nations goes further than Morgan and Burrows in framing the gross inequality with the following statistic provided by Oxfam:

26 people own the same wealth as the poorest 3.8 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity.” [Emphasis in original.]

And indeed this is shocking as it is grotesque. But to comprehend the real new-found concern and focus on inequality between the world’s billionaires and those monetarily impoverished [“The New Focus: Inequality“], one must keep reading.

At the heart of “the new focus, “inequality” represents something far more important than eradicating poverty and distributing wealth equally amongst the world’s citizens; rather, the real crisis is the growing fear of billionaires – that capitalism could collapse – due to a citizenry no longer willing to be compliant.

The UN divulges that in 2018 “79% of Latin Americans said their countries were governed in the interest of the powerful — the highest number since 2004.” This statistic is derived from the April 5, 2019 report “Ruling for the few? How Weak Legitimacy Can Hinder Compliance and Cooperation in LAC countries” written by Luis Felipe López-Calva, UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean.

From the report:

“The increasingly widespread belief that countries are governed to benefit “the few” rather than “the many” suggests that the legitimacy of institutions may be declining in the region…. Voluntary compliance is a key enabler of cooperation and coordination, and thus ultimately an important foundation of positive governance-development dynamics.

 

As explained by Margaret Levi, “…citizens are willing to go along with a policy they do not prefer as long as it is made according to a process they deem legitimate, and they are less willing to comply with a policy they like if the process was problematic. One widely used measure of willingness of citizens to cooperate is tax morale…. In the graph, the share of people responding greater than 5 is shown as those that think it is “justifiable” to evade taxes. What we see is that while a majority of citizens in all countries manifest disagreement with the idea of evading taxes, there is a clear and positive relationship between the share of people who think their country is governed in the interest of a few powerful groups and the share who think it is justifiable to evade taxes…. If citizens do not believe that institutions are responsive to the needs of all, they may choose not to cooperate. We can think of this as “opting out” of the social contract.” [Emphasis in original]

Chapter 4 of the same UN report features a quote by Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator, and former advisory board member of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (*TEEB):

“Inequality is causing all of us a great deal of unease. In many of our societies, it is triggering a great deal of polarization, a questioning of fundamentals – whether it is the social compact, whether it is the role of government, whether it is the role of capital…” [Source] [Emphasis added]

[*TEEB, launched in 2012, hosted by UNEP and backed by the European Commission and countries including Germany, Norway, and the United Kingdom, has since been absorbed/rebranded into the Natural Capital Coalition. The Natural Capital Coalition is working with the world’s most powerful corporations and institutions for the implementation of the financialization of nature.]

The UN report continues: “Inequality has jeopardized economic growth and created a serious barrier to eradicating poverty, the bedrock of the 2030 Agenda. But inequality is not natural or inevitable. It stems from policies, laws, cultural norms, corruption, and other issues that can be addressed.”

While it is true that “inequality is not natural or inevitable”, the statement that it “stems from policies, laws, cultural norms, corruption, and other issues that can be addressed” is a convenient alibi. Inequality is a by-product of the capitalist economic system. It can be “addressed” by the UN for infinity, that is true. It cannot and will not, however, be solved inside of the capitalist system, as the system is built upon and dependent upon exploitation.

“In 2017, an estimated 82% of the wealth created globally went to the top 1% of the world’s population. Wages in many parts of the world remain flat. Despite important recent progress in tackling poverty, just under half of Africa’s population still lacks access to electricity today.” [New Climate Economy]

Following the rollout of the global “green new deals” masking the 100 trillion dollar bailout, we can expect the 82% of the wealth created globally that went to the top 1% – to rise. We can expect wages in many parts of the world to remain flat, and despite the promise of job creation (a key selling feature for the GND), the exact opposite is more likely to be true. The fourth industrial revolution is “characterised by increasing globalisation and the rise of automation. Indeed, the growth of new technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) is having a profound effect on labour markets, with some economists suggesting that automation could potentially replace over half of all jobs by 2055.” [New Climate Economy]

Ironically, the featured image on the cover of this same Sustainable Development Goals report is a young girl in Afghanistan standing at a chalkboard. While feigning concern for the Earth, her inhabitants, and inequality, the US and NATO states have spent trillions of dollars financing their deadly resource wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Death, devastation, and environmental degradation, are exempted from discussions with the modern environmental “movement” – as is organized resistance to the US Pentagon – a leading contributor to climate change. Consider the June 27, 2019 article “The Pentagon’s Outsized Part in the Climate Fight” authored by 350.org founder Bill McKibben, minimizing militarism’s horrific impact. One can only wonder how a victim of US warfare would feel reading McKibben’s optimistic opinion on the world’s most destructive war machine.

November 24, 2015: "Coffees of the Secretary-General" series, Author Naomi Klein (left) with Angel Gurría OECD Secretary-General, member of the Board of Trustees, World Economic Forum, advisory board member for the Global Green Growth Forum (3GF)

November 24, 2015: “Coffees of the Secretary-General” series, Author Naomi Klein (left) with Angel Gurría OECD Secretary-General, member of the Board of Trustees, World Economic Forum, advisory board member for the Global Green Growth Forum (3GF)

 

The Framing and Language Utilized to Create the Required Momentum

Together

to·geth·er Dictionary result for together: 1. with or in proximity to another person or people. “together they climbed the dark stairs. synonyms: with each other, in conjunction, jointly, conjointly, in cooperation, cooperatively, in collaboration, in partnership, in combination, as one, in unison, in concert, concertedly, with one accord, in league, in alliance, in collusion, side by side, hand in hand, hand in glove, shoulder to shoulder, cheek by jowl; informal in cahoots “friends who work together”

Connect4Climate (World Bank): Changing Together

Connect4Climate (World Bank): Changing Together

 

December 4, 2018, WWF: "Stronger Together For Climate Action", COP24 climate change summit, Katowice, Poland, photo by Omar Marques

December 4, 2018, WWF: “Stronger Together For Climate Action”, COP24 climate change summit, Katowice, Poland, photo by Omar Marques

 

2018, COP24, United Nations: "Changing Together"

2018, COP24, United Nations: “Changing Together”

 

The European Bank: "Changing Together"

The European Bank: “Changing Together”

 

September 20, 2019: The “Global General Strike”

“And in 1964 this seems to be the year, because what can the white man use now to fool us after he put down that march on Washington? And you see all through that now. He tricked you, had you marching down to Washington. Yes, had you marching back and forth between the feet of a dead man named Lincoln and another dead man named George Washington singing “We Shall Overcome.” He made a chump out of you. He made a fool out of you. He made you think you were going somewhere and you end up going nowhere but between Lincoln and Washington.”

 

— Malcolm X, 1964

On May 23, 2019, the Greta Thunberg Twitter account announced “To change everything, we need everyone. It is time for all of us to unleash mass resistance – we urge the adults to join us. On September 20th we call for a global general strike.

Also on May 23, 2018, The Guardian published a letter credited to “Greta Thunberg and 46 youth activists”: Young People Have Led the Climate Strikes. Now We Need Adults to Join Us Too – But to change everything, we need everyone. It is time for all of us to unleash mass resistance – we have shown that collective action does work. We need to escalate the pressure to make sure that change happens, and we must escalate together.”

May 23, 2019: Author and 350.org board member Naomi Klein shares a social media post by 350’s Strategy and Communications Director, Jamie Henn. Henn is recognized by Future Stewards (Leaders Quest, Mission 2020, The B Team) as a “deep practitioner”: “Committed leaders will increase pressure on their peers to engage – establishing a new norm.[Source]

The following day (May 24, 2019), The Guardian published a letter of support and endorsement of the global strike credited to “Naomi Klein, Bill McKibben and others”: “It’s a one-day climate strike, if you will – and it will not be the last. This is going to be the beginning of a week of action all over the world. And we hope to make it a turning point in history. “Others” included the following signatories: Christiana Figueres (B Team leader, Global Optimist, etc.), KC Golden (350.org), Annie Leonard (executive director of Greenpeace USA and co-founder of Earth Economics), Michael Mann (The Climate Mobilization board), Jennifer Morgan (executive director of Greenpeace International), Kumi Naidoo (executive director of Amnesty International), Gus Speth (The Climate Mobilization board, World Resources Institute founder), billionaire Tom Steyer (founder of Next Gen NGO), and Farhana Yamin (Track Zero and Extinction Rebellion leader). [2] Here we have Christiana Figueres slowly being brought into the public foray of elite “activism” by The Guardian with those such as 350’s McKibben and Klein.

Above: Global Climate Strike website [This Global Climate Strike event registration is hosted by 350.org.”] International partners include 350.org, Avaaz, Greenpeace, WWF, Oxfam, Amnesty International, Extinction Rebellion, Fridays for Future, Friends of the Earth International, Global Greengrants Fund, and Patagonia [3]

MoveOn is a co-founder of Avaaz: “US Youth Climate Strike is working with MoveOn

The “global strike”, coinciding with the Climate Week NYC event is, in reality, the opening act for the UN Climate Action Summit.

“Recent climate strikes have shown that young people and civil society are demanding action on climate and want to be engaged in the decision making process. The time to respond with action is now.”

 

Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit, Track #3: Youth Engagement & Public Mobilization, V.3 – 31 May 2019

The UN Climate Action Summit commences on September 23, 2019: “There is still time to tackle climate change, but it will require an unprecedented effort from all sectors of society. The Summit will showcase a leap in collective national political ambition and it will demonstrate massive movements in the real economy in support of the agenda. Together, these developments will send strong market and political signals and inject momentum in the ‘race to the top’ among countries, companies, cities and civil society that is needed to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.” [Source][Emphasis added]

“Internally, the necessary acquiescence to established powers and institutions is garnered by public relations counsels through the selective presentation of information, repetition, emotional manipulation, and appeals to popularity and authority. Interestingly, contemporary writer and notable propagandist Walter Lippmann referred to this process as the ‘manufacture of consent.'” [See Public Opinion by Walter Lippmann][Source]

In order to achieve a much sought “Paris-like moment”, the UN has set up a steering committee of 25 “distinguished individuals” and “key advisory committees”. “The overarching purpose of the Key Advisory Committees is to ensure that the Secretary-General’s 2019 Climate Action Summit delivers major outcomes on enhanced climate ambition.” [Source]

Laurence Tubiana, CEO of the European Climate Foundation (ClimateWorks) serves as co-chair of the Ambition Advisory Group. Christiana Figueres serves the Youth & Mobilization “action stream”. Other steering committee members include Nicolas Stern (The Global CCS Institute – carbon capture and storage), Paul Polman (New Climate Economy, B Team chair, International Chamber of Commerce chair, UN Global Compact Board vice-chair, member of the International Business Council of World Economic Forum), and Achim Steiner (TEEB, the financialization of nature, Green New Deal 2009). [Full list]

Christiana Figueres heads the UN taskforce for the Youth & Mobilization committee. Source: United Nations website

Christiana Figueres heads the UN taskforce for the Youth & Mobilization committee. Source: United Nations website

 

The UN Secretary-General has prioritized six action portfolios and three additional key areas. The second key area identified is “Youth Engagement and Public Mobilization: To mobilize people worldwide to take action on climate change and ensure that young people are integrated and represented across all aspects of the Summit.” [Source] [Track #3 work plan]

Leading the youth engagement and public mobilization for September 21, 2019 are GCCA co-founding NGOs Greenpeace International, 350.org, Avaaz and CAN International. Here, we can add that the money being funnelled into these NGOs is phenomenal. Consider 350.org (with assets of $11,249,637.00 in 2017) received funding from 197 foundations in 2017. These included US ClimateWorks, the European Climate Foundation (arm of ClimateWorks), and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

Others at the helm of youth engagement include WEF Global Shapers (World Economic Forum), The B Team (We Mean Business), World Resources Institute, and YouTube. [88] (Here it can be noted that Voice For the Planet is an WEF Global Shapers initiative managed by WWF. It is more than likely that very few, if any, youth that comprise the WEF Global Shapers actually comprehend that the Voice For The Planet campaign is in fact a campaign to advance the financialization of nature.)

Youth Engagement and public mobilization partners in the lead up to September 21, 2019 United Nations Climate Action Summit

Youth Engagement and public mobilization partners in the lead up to September 21, 2019 United Nations Climate Action Summit

 

Highlighted under “The Road to the Youth Climate Summit” section on the UN website is the May 29, 2019 meeting between UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Greta Thunberg at the R20 Austrian World Summit, which links to a photo of Guterres and Thunberg on the UN Instagram account. The message to the millennials following Thunberg is that Guterres is an ally, as is the UN. The behaviour change insights offices working with governments across the globe would refer to this media event as “nudging”.

Behavioural Insights World Map 2018 - Who has institutionalised behavioural insights in public policy (verified by the @OECD) Behavioral Economics #Nudge

Behavioural Insights World Map 2018 – Who has institutionalised behavioural insights in public policy (verified by the @OECD) Behavioral Economics #Nudge

 

The “Expected Outcomes Objective” of the working plan is to “respond to the unprecedented mobilization of young people worldwide who are demanding ambitious climate action in the lead-up to the Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit.” In other words, give the appearance of concessions and victories to the organized and orchestrated mobilizations, financed and organized by the very same powers who will thus respond with the so-desired market solutions that will further destroy the biosphere.

Highlights from the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit outcomes convey what “success” looks like in the face of a global relentless assault on our planet that sustains all life:

“Starbucks’ CEO Kevin Johnson announce that Starbucks commits to design, build and renovate — and, importantly, operate— 10,000 greener stores globally by 2025.”

 

[Source: 2018 Global Climate Action Summit Outcomes]

 

At the Global Climate Action Summit, more than 100 jurisdictions — including California, the world’s fifth largest economy — and over 70 big cities that are home to more than 425 million people, as well as a significant number of companies — including heavy industrial emitters and financial institutions — joined those who have explicitly pledged to reach carbon neutrality by mid-century.

 

[Source: 2018 Global Climate Action Summit Outcomes] [Here, it must again be stated that “carbon neutrality” has nothing to do with stopping emissions. Rather, the term allows for continued business as usual while simultaneously accelerating carbon markets/offsets.]

Under the “youth engagement and public mobilization” section titled “intergenerational dialogue”, it is odd to find the “youth leaders of climate action” defined as “now talismanic”. Definitions of talismanic. 1. adj possessing or believed to possess magic power especially protective power. Perhaps written in reference to Thunberg’s mother’s metaphor in her recently published book, that Greta can see CO2 with her naked eye. [Source]

The intergenerational dialogue continues to the strategy of providing youth leaders “a chance to ask bold and provocative questions of political leaders as well as propose concrete solutions in a UN setting will be an important statement that the voices of youth are being listened to, and more importantly are being responded to” with the expected outcome as follows: “Through partnerships with the private sector, philanthropic foundations, and/or celebrity influencers, XX people reached worldwide as a result of innovative public engagement campaigns.”

Other expected outcomes are the complete omission of militarism, restrictions on aviation, the elimination of industrial livestock production, and any policy whatsoever that could hinder economic growth of the industrial machine destroying the planet.

It is incredible, yet completely predictable, that to date, the Twitter account belonging to Miss Thunberg, with 5,102  “tweets” for action on climate (accessed September 7, 2019), has yet to create a single post highlighting the primary drivers of climate change: militarism, imperialism, colonialism and capitalism. It’s not as though Miss Thunberg does not understand what war is, as she has mentioned the word “war” at least twice in reference to solving climate change:

“How do you solve landing on the moon for the first time? How do you solve a war? I’m sure as soon as we recognise that we are in a climate emergency, we’ll find solutions.”— Greta Thunberg in UK Parliament

 

“We need to change the system, as if we were in crisis, as if there were a war going on.” [Source]

The omission of war is quite an interesting oversight considering Thunberg has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. A Norwegian lawmaker who nominated Thunberg for the prize states that “climate threats are perhaps one of the most important contributions to war and conflict.” – yet no one in a position of power and influence states the opposite reality: war and conflict are one of the most important contributions to the climate threat.

Recently, there was one small exception. On June 26, 2019, Thunberg retweeted a post on militarism’s contribution to climate change. The following morning on June 27, 2019, at 7am, an article authored by Bill McKibben (referenced earlier in this act) on minimizing militarism’s impact, was published by The New York Review of Books.

Rather than a call for a global general strike that could “make the economy scream” in defiance of US militarism – the largest polluter in the world, a call for a global strike has been issued by Thunberg et al. for Friday, September 20, 2019 – which will launch the UN Climate Action Summit on September 23, 2019. An institution and summit that bows down to corporate power and Annex 1 NATO states. An institution that has been successfully captured by the WEF – the architects of the fourth industrial revolution.

“The UN Climate Action Summit team invites input and leadership from businesses in the planning of the event throughout the year, and is working with the UN Global Compact, the We Mean Business coalition, the International Chamber of Commerce and the World Economic Forum to coordinate these efforts.”

 

— Briefing on Private Sector Engagement in the UN Climate Action Summit, 2019 [Emphasis added]

 

“To strengthen and preserve this [Liberal World] order, however, will require a renewal of American leadership in the international system. The present world order has been forged by many hands and peoples, but the role of the United States in both shaping and defending it has been critical. American military power, the dynamism of the U.S. economy, and the great number of close alliances and friendships that the United States enjoys with other powers and peoples have provided the critical architecture in which this liberal world order has flourished. A weakening of America’s commitment or its capabilities, or both, would invariably lead to its collapse.”

 

Strengthening the Liberal World Order, A World Economic Forum White Paper, April 25, 2016 [Emphasis added]

Emerging from Emergency – Harnessing the Momentum

Citizen protests and legal actions against companies, governments and individuals will undoubtedly become an increasing leverage opportunity in support of this emergency approach and have already begun.”

 

Club Of Rome “The Climate Emergency Plan”, launched with We Don’t Have Time and Global Utmaning, December, 2018

The July 4, 2019 high-level Roundtable “Emerging from Emergency – Urgency as a Catalyst for Action and Regeneration” again introduces as the original cast of the Manufacturing for Consent series:

“The Club of Rome will take part in the inaugural London Climate Action Week, which runs from 1st – 8th July. Co-President, Sandrine Dixson-Declève, will speak at a GLOBE international event (1st July) at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, on the role of parliament in responding to the Climate Emergency. On Thursday 4th July, the Club of Rome will host a high-level Roundtable at Chatham House (“Emerging from Emergency) on harnessing the momentum generated by the growing climate emergency narrative, to shift from mere declarations to action. The meeting will convene the various strands of the climate emergency and sustainability space – activists, problem-holders and solution providers – in order to co-design concrete solutions for genuine impact.  – invite only.” [Source]

February 10, 2019: Sandrine Dixson, #voicefortheplanet, #newdealfornature

February 10, 2019: Sandrine Dixson, #voicefortheplanet, #newdealfornature

 

Until recently, Sandrine Dixson was Chief Partnership Officer for UN Agency Sustainable Energy for All. Prior to this position, Dixson served as the Director of the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) (also referred to as EU Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change). CLG, a co-founder of We Mean Business, is the same group of corporations that the climate umbrella group TckTckTck (now simply known as GCCA) had partnered with in its formation prior to COP15 – that threw the G77 states under the bus in Copenhagen, in servitude to their funders. Dixson’s bio is extensive as are her past and current advisory positions inclusive of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). She is a member of The Guardian’s Sustainable Business Advisory Board; former vice chair of the European Biofuels Technology Platform, a former board member of We Mean Business and served on the Advisory Board of the Oil and Gas major African oil corporation Sasol. Dixson worked with Al Gore in 1992. In 2017 she served as moderator for Norwegian CCS policy at a seminar in the European Parliament. [Full bio]

July 10, 2019: The Under2 Coalition (The Climate Group): “Global ‘Climate Emergency’ declarations are soaring as governments work towards long-term carbon neutrality.” The Climate Group business campaigns “are brought to you as part of the We Mean Business coalition.”

The challenge now is to shift from merely sounding the alarm to giving policy-makers and the business community the policy tools and levers of change which genuinely respond to the emergency.”

 

City of London website

The “Emerging from Emergency” roundtable event was organized by The Club of Rome in partnership with EIT Climate-KICETC/SystemIQWe Mean Business and E3G.

“The challenge now is to shift from merely sounding the alarm to giving policy-makers and the business community the policy tools and levers of change which genuinely respond to the emergency. The other key intervenors for this session are: Nigel Topping (We Mean Business), Chad Frischman (Project Drawdown) and Cynthia Scharf (Carnegie Climate Governance Initiative).” [Source]

If only to demonstrate the degree of overlap, here it is of interest that the president and executive director of the Sunrise Movement is Michael Dorsey a full member of the Club of Rome. [ACT V]

+++

“And that’s the real question faction the white activists today. Can they tear down the institutions that have put us all in the trick bag we’ve been into for the last hundreds of years?”

 

Black Power by Stokely Carmichael, 1966

As media hypes the global climate mobilizations in perfect synchronicity with a tsunami of “12 years until climate apocalypse” news articles saturating our collective psyches, global climate emergency declarations announced by states, and all levels of government, are indeed soaring. As this series has demonstrated, and as confirmed by the July 4, 2019, high-level roundtable (“Emerging from Emergency – Urgency as a Catalyst for Action and Regeneration”) this feat has been a high-level orchestrated endeavour. Indeed, the stakes could not be higher. Late-stage capitalism is faltering with economic growth in freefall. The climate mobilizations beget the declarations, beget the policy, beget the budgets, beget the finance.

The policy and legislation are instrumental to unlocking the public funds for so-called “climate infrastructure” projects (predominantly in the Global South). Infrastructure and technologies that will be paid by the citizenry, to be owned by the billionaires. We must never lose sight that the terrifying news regarding our rapidly deteriorating natural world is real, but the reason for the media saturation (spectacle) has nothing to do with protecting the natural world nor the climate – and everything to do with rebooting global economic growth and saving the capitalist system itself. Consider the Global Optimist meme shared by We Mean Business: “People are desperate for something to happen.” The message is this: No one can save you but us. Accept our solutions, or die. Another world is possible, but only if that world is designed by the ruling classes that maintain and expand current power structure. One could call this psychological manipulation, or hegemonic coercion.

This is the gentle transition into the new age of neo-feudalism. Social engineering and behavioural change campaigns have been employed to make hierarchical class invisible, in real time.

The environmental NGOs comprising the non-profit industrial complex exist as corporate front groups. They insulate, protect, and assist in the expansion of existing power structures that facilitate capitalism. NGOs cannot and will not stop climate change because this would be counterintuitive to why they were created. They are funded to the tune of trillions by foundations which, in many cases, assisted in their development and incubation, because they function precisely as they were designed to function.

The answers to the multiple ecological crises upon us, will not be found within the capitalist system that created them. Continuing down this path of denial is time wasted while the world burns.

“Capitalism is borne on manic wings. The economic elite move from corporate skyscrapers and high rise rooftops in order to travel by helicopter, where upon landing, they board private, luxury jets, then, whereupon landing again, they are transported by helicopter to corporate skyscrapers and high rise rooftops. Touching the earth is a fleeting experience. The ruling class have lost touch with ground level verities. In a classical sense, such displays of hubris were understood as the progenitor of madness. The gods first elevate those they drive mad.”

 

Bodies on the Ground and the Rise and Rise of the Economic Elite, August 12, 2019

 

 

End Notes

[1] On May 30, 2007 it was announced that “HSBC has created a five-year, US$100 million partnership to respond to the urgent threat of climate change world-wide with the support of The Climate Group, Earthwatch Institute, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) and WWF… HSBC’s US$100 million partnership – including the largest donations to each of these charities and the largest donation ever made by a British company.” [Source]

[2] “Christiana Figueres, Prof Tim Flannery, Nancy Fraser, KC Golden, Tom BK Goldtooth, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Dr John Hewson, John Holloway, Prof Lesley Hughes, Tomás Insua, Satvir Kaur, Barbara Kingsolver, Winona LaDuke, Jenni Laiti, Bruno Latour, Annie Leonard, Michael Mann, Gina McCarthy, Heather McGhee, Luca Mercalli, Moema Miranda, Jennifer Morgan, Tadzio Müller, Kumi Naidoo, Mohamed Nasheed, Carlo Petrini, Dr Anne Poelina, Mark Ruffalo, Peter Sarsgaard, Dr Vandana Shiva, Rebecca Solnit, Gus Speth, Prof Will Steffen, Tom Steyer, Chris Taylor, Terry Tempest-Williams, Aurélie Trouvé, Farhana Yamin, Lennox Yearwood are signatories to this article.” [Source]

[3] INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS

  • Accountable Now
  • Action for Sustainable Development (A4SD)
  • ActionAid International
  • Amnesty International
  • Avaaz (GCCA co-founder)
  • CAN International
  • CARE International
  • CIVICUS
  • Christian Aid
  • Demand Climate Justice
  • Earth Day Network
  • Earth Strike
  • Extinction Rebellion
  • Fridays for Future
  • Friends of the Earth International
  • Fund our Future
  • Global Catholic Climate Movement
  • Global Forest Coalition
  • Global Greengrants Fund
  • Global Justice Now
  • Global Policy Forum
  • GreenFaith
  • Greenpeace International
  • Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF)
  • Indigenous Environment Network (IEN)
  • International Student Environmental Coalition
  • International Tibet Network
  • International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)
  • Oil Change International
  • Our Kids’ Climate
  • Oxfam
  • Pan African Climate Justice Alliance
  • Parents for Future Global
  • Patagonia
  • Polar Bears International
  • Slow Food
  • War on Want
  • Women’s March Global
  • World Wide Fund for Nature International (WWF)
  • Yes! 4 Humanity

 

The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg – for Consent: They Mean Business [Volume II, Act IV]

The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg – for Consent: They Mean Business [Volume II, Act IV]

September 17, 2019

By Cory Morningstar

 

The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg – for Consent series has been written in two volumes.

[Volume I: ACT IACT IIACT IIIACT IVACT VACT VIAddenda I] [Book form]

[Volume II: An Object Lesson In SpectacleACT IACT IIACT IIIACT IVACT V] [ACTS VI & VII forthcoming]

 

 

We Mean Business

Above: On February 20, 2019, We Mean Business promoted the “It’s Going to Be Tremendous” podcast series via its Twitter account. The podcast series co-hosted by Christiana Figueres features interviews with We Mean Business CEO Nigel Topping, Greta Thunberg and Jane Goodall. Funding for Global Optimism is provided by We Mean Business.

The founding partners of We Mean Business are Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) (full membership and associate members list), CDP, Ceres, The B Team, The Climate Group, The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) [1], and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). Together, these organizations represent the most powerful – and ruthless – corporations on the planet, groups salivating to unleash 100 trillion dollars to fuel the fourth industrial revolution.

We Mean Business represents 477 investors with 34 trillion USD in assets. [July 4, 2019]

Above: The We Mean Business co-founders

Nigel Topping is the CEO of the We Mean Business Coalition, a founding member of the We Mean Business board, as well as the former executive director of CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project). CDP is “a global NGO which has brought together 655 of the world’s investors, representing assets under management of over $78 trillion, to engage with over 6000 of the largest public corporations on the business implications of climate change.” [Source] ClimateWorks [Act I] shares the physical address, inclusive of suite, of both the CDP (West, Americas) and the Climate Policy Initiative (CPI). [235 Montgomery Street, Suite 1300, San Francisco, CA 94104][CPI Website][CDP website]

Topping also serves on the boards of several institutions, including the Science-Based Targets Initiative, the Energy Transitions Commission, the Grantham Institute, the London Pension Funds Authority, and Daimler. [LinkedIn]

In order to support the implementation of its work, We Mean Business collaborates with a number of other organizations. The implementation partners of We Mean Business include the World Resources Institute, WWF, the Rocky Mountain Institute, the United Nations Global Compact, and C40 Cities [2] while network partners include the New Climate Economy, Mission 2020, E3G, the United Nations Environment Programme, and the World Bank. [Full list]

Sitting on the We Mean Business Board are Peter Bakker, WBCSD president; Helen Clarkson, CEO of The Climate Group; Aron Cramer, CEO of BSR; Steve Howard (co-chair), former chief sustainability officer for IKEA; Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres; Paul Simpson, CEO of CDP; Halla Tómasdóttir, CEO of The B Team; Nigel Topping, CEO of We Mean Business; Eliot Whittington, director of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group; and Celine Herweijer (co-chair), partner and global innovation and sustainability leader of PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers).

The We Mean Business Compliance Committee consists of the aforementioned Steve Howard; Bruce Boyd, principal and senior managing director at Arabella Advisors; Elizabeth McKeon, head of strategy at IKEA Foundation; and Michael Northrop, sustainable development program director at Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

The We Mean Business Corporate Advisory Group includes representatives from UltraTech Cement, Mahindra, BT (British Telecom), Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Community Energy England, Unilever, Interface, CLP Group (China Light and Power Co), Iberdrola, IKEA, and Yes Bank. [Source]

The We Mean Business Coalition was launched in 2014 by Steve Howard who had previously set up The Climate Group in 2003.

Howard served as chief sustainability officer (CSO) at IKEA Group having served on IKEA’s Executive Group Management from 2011-2017. In addition to co-chairing We Mean Business, Howard sits on the board of SE4ALL (Sustainable Energy For All) and serves as co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Environmental and Natural Resource Security. [Further reading: Fit for whose purpose? Private funding and corporate influence in the United Nations, Sustainable Energy For All, pp. 86-96]

Above: Image from We Mean Business April 2019 edition newsletter

We Mean Business & Purpose Create the Climate Campaign Lab

 

 

 

New Power: “The ability to harness the connected crowd to get what you want”

 

Jeremy Heimans, co-founder Purpose/Avaaz, B Team expert [Source]

The June 12, 2018 We Mean Business article “Profiles of Paris: Steve Howard on helping business be a force for good” shares the history of those who assisted in the formation of the We Mean Business coalition:

“Hannah and I reached out to others, to leaders at the Climate Group, Ceres, WBCSD, BSR, and CDP, CLG and the B Team. Some of us met at the fringes of Climate Week NYC and then in October 2013, this group of busy people travelled to a small hotel in Wassenaar in the Netherlands to spend a weekend planning something different…”

Howard outlines the assistance in forming We Mean Business provided by three main NGOs: World Resources Institute, Greenpeace, and WWF, as well as two pivotal institutions that assisted, ITUC and the UNFCCC.

“Dominic Waughray [bio] and the WEF team supported us (a lot) at Davos where we met again. (The WEF team through initiatives such as the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders have been hugely effective in promoting business action on climate). We reached out to other business leaders, friends in Unilever, Marks and Spencer, DSM, Swiss Re and others. We talked through our plans with, Andrew Steer at WRI, Kumi Nadoo in Greenpeace, Sam Smith in WWF and Sharan Burrow from ITUC and Christiana Figueres in the UNFCCC. Sam had worked with the Climate seven group of NGOs and was generous with her advice on coalition building. We met as a group with the climate seven. We needed to make sure that if we had a super business coalition on climate change that it was genuinely credible with civil society leaders…”

Howard further discloses that the initial funding for We Mean Business came from IKEA, a founding partner in Macron’s Climate Finance Partnership:

“I spoke at length with Per Heggenes at IKEA Foundation and he could see we had a powerful idea. Per gave me a slot of the limited time at his next board meeting…A few minutes later the board agreed to 20 million Euros…When you have to move fast there is little or no time for mistakes. I asked people I really trusted if they would step up and amongst others Jim Walker bravely agreed to be seconded from the Climate Group as secretariat CEO, and Callum Grieve, who I had worked with on the launch of Climate Week NYC a few years before, stepped in on communications.”

Howard confirms the corporate uptake, not only for Climate Week NYC 2014, but for the People’s Climate March:

“We Mean Business launched at Climate Week NYC 2014. Together with the new IKEA Group CEO Peter Agnefjäll, we joined the Climate March, with other business leaders from Virgin, Unilever, NRG, Patagonia and many others. IKEA colleagues promoted the People’s Climate March on the IKEA home page in twenty countries. We had reached out to business contacts everywhere. Tim Cook from Apple joined us on the Climate Week stage to be interviewed by Christiana Figueres…”

Climate Week NYC 2019 sponsors and partners include, but are not limited to: Salesforce, McKinsey, Bank of America, Unilever, IKEA, ClimateWorks, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Global Citizen (youth and climate activism partner), We Mean Business, and the UN Climate Action Summit. [3] [Source]

Here, Howard’s full disclosure on the relationship with Purpose – the for-profit public relations arm of Avaaz, specializing in behavioural change, “new power” and “ownerless movements” – is striking. Again, we see the theme of corporations and civil society uniting as one under the banner of climate:

“Alongside We Mean Business, Hannah and I had been working with the communications and campaign organisation Purpose to set up a climate campaign lab. We wanted bold breakthrough messages that people would mobilize behind. Purpose were looking at the creation or amplification of ownerless memes and 100% renewable really caught their attention. It got wider traction. And on the final run up to Paris “100% Renewable” got lifted even further and became the call to action for Greenpeace, Avaaz and others. Hundreds of businesses and civil society organisations with the same message so loud and clear you could not miss it.

Howard cites the corporations and monies involved at an early stage, as well as the assistance from Jim Walker, director of partnerships at Sustainable Energy for All. Walker is a co-founder of The Climate Group as well as the founding CEO of We Mean Business. He sits on the advisory board of Energy Unlocked (“Our 2016 EPIC project and platform was supported by ClimateWorks Foundation”), IronOak Energy and Green Collar Foods, and is the executive director of Thirst. In 2014, he established the Climate Mobilization Fund “to assist the IKEA Foundation and others in mobilizing business and civil society action on climate change”:

“At the beginning of 2015, Jim Walker moved to manage the coalition’s funding and Nigel Topping jumped from CDP into the CEO role for the secretariat… As I write this in March 2018, more than 700 companies, with a market capitalisation of over US$15.7 trillion have made more than 1,170 commitments…”

In addition, Walker serves as an advisor to the Purpose Climate Lab. [Source] [Source]

Prior to Paris, the IKEA Foundation doubled its annual funding for the We Mean Business initiative. A press release announcing IKEA’s additional gift of 1 billion EUR “to finance climate action” by 2020 was understood as a means to place “positive pressure” on governments:

“The June before Paris [2015] there was a climate finance meeting of negotiators in Bonn: negotiations were slow. After the decision on We Mean Business, the IKEA Foundation board had just decided to double its annual funding, with an extra 100 million Euros per year going to climate change by 2020. Alongside an IKEA group commitment to a further 600 million Euros into wind and solar energy we had a commitment of 1 billion Euros to finance climate action by 2020. Real, additional money. We announced the 1 billion Euros in Bonn. Yes, the press coverage was good, but we did it for the moment, to put positive pressure on governments.”

In the same way, Greta Thunberg and the climate strikes amplify the “positive pressure” strategy. That is the rationale behind the generous media exposure afforded to the strikes. Rather than the “solutions” appearing top down, they are perceived as being driven by society. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. Encouraging the citizenry to bask under the illusion that the ruling elite must answer to the populace, this quickly transforms into a heightened and euphoric feeling of new-found “people power” amongst the populace. It is in this defining moment that the “solutions” waiting in the wings, can finally emerge.

In the following paragraph, Howard is clear that the role of government to accommodate the “new climate economy” is to develop long-term, well-designed policy frameworks which corporations “can plan on and invest in”:

“We went to the Abu Dhabi Ascent: the pre-COP summit in January 2015. The dialogue between ministers and the private sector was a little limited. From memory, I think it was only Paul Polman (who was absolutely relentless on the run up to Paris) from Unilever and myself that spoke in plenary from the business community… For a business leader I made the rare interjection of saying, “you can regulate us, you can price carbon, you can tax us, but make it long, loud and legal.” We needed policy makers to understand, businesses do not like bureaucracy and red tape but they do like long-term well-designed policy frameworks that you can plan on and invest in

 

By the time of Paris the coalition partners were in lock-step. Ed Cameron from BSR (with great support from the policy folk in CLG, CERES and other partners) was working as policy director for the coalition and had worked across the teams to craft a business brief with 8 common policy asks. Business leaders were supported and the forward-thinking business community had a common message for negotiators… Many, many, business leaders worked either on the stage or behind the scenes… “

Acknowledging that “clear solid funding is a massive enabler” of the We Mean Business coalition, Howard recognizes those most involved. In the second paragraph, Howard expresses his gratitude to those belonging to NGOs and institutions:

“My greatest thanks go to the leaders of the partners, to Mindy Lubber [Ceres], Peter Bakker [President and CEO of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)], Aron Cramer [President and CEO of BSR], Paul Simpson [CEO, CDP], Raj Joshi [The B Team], Keith Tuffley [Managing Partner & CEO The B Team], Sandrine Dixson-Declève [former Director of the EU Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change], Mark Kenber [CEO of The Climate Group] and Helen Clarkson [CEO of The Climate Group]. They took a risk. They took a more challenging path than going alone. Many others across the partners have played key roles, Leah Seligmann [The B Team] and Jean Oelwang [President and Trustee for Virgin Unite and Senior Partner at the B Team], Anne Kelly, Jill Duggan [Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group], Eliot Whittington [Prince of Wales’s UK Corporate Leaders Group], Damian Ryan, Lance Pierce [President of CDP North America] and Maria Mendiluce [WBCSD].

 

Others deserve our thanks for their partnership and encouragement, Andrew Steer at WRI, Kumi Naidoo, then at Greenpeace, Achim Steiner, Dominic Waughray and the WEF team, Sam Smith and colleagues in WWF, the wider climate seven, Sharan Burrow from ITUC for always building bridges and community and Christiana Figueres and the team at the UNFCCC for creating space.”

Inclusive of Dominic Waughray, who leads Global Public Goods (which “seeks to help shape the existing global governance architecture by adapting to today’s multipolar reality and working to encourage more private-sector capital, entrepreneurship and Fourth Industrial Revolution innovation into public-private cooperation”) all of the institutions recognized by Howard, have been disclosed in the Manufacturing for Consent series as the leading institutions behind the elite-sought fourth industrial revolution as a means to reboot the global economic system, coupled with the coming financialization of nature.

Above: We Mean Business, October 5, 2015, Twitter

 

We Mean Business Co-founder – The B Team

 

The B Team, co-founded by Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz (former CEO of Puma SE), was formed and incubated by Branson’s Virgin Unite and partner organizations in 2013.

Major funders of The B Team include the Ford FoundationKering GroupGuilherme LealStrive MasiyiwaJoann McPikeThe Tiffany and Co. FoundationThe Rockefeller FoundationUnilever and Virgin Unite.

Other major financial supporters at inception included billionaire Derek Handley (CEO of B Team upon launch) and One Young World co-founded by David Jones. Jones is the former CEO of Havas Media and co-creator of the 2009 TckTckTck campaign. Jones, “B Team expert”, is also the founder of You & Mr Jones, a holding company that is one-part venture capitalist, one-part consultancy and one-part agency. The consultancy arm is Blood “the world’s first brandtech™ group”. Jones is the author of Who Cares Wins and served on the Facebook Client Council. In 2019, You & Mr Jones purchased a majority stake in Oliver owner Inside Ideas Group for an estimated $200m. Oliver’s biggest client is Unilever. [Source]

Above: TckTckTck Flickr: “The Press Conference of the ‘Beds are Burning’ Launch in Paris was well attended as Kofi Annan, David Jones, Mélanie Laurent, Manu Katché and many other supporters of the campaign made their appearance.”

The B Team Leaders are as follows:

  • Arianna Huffington: founder of The Huffington Post, founder and CEO of Thrive Global
  • Christiana Figueres: Convener of Mission 2020, vice chair of the Global Covenant of MayorsClimate Leader for the World Bank, Distinguished Fellow of Conservation International, board member of Climate Works and the World Resources Institute, member of the Rockefeller Foundation Economic Council on Planetary Health
  • David Crane: investor and strategic advisor
  • Emmanuel Faber: chairman and chief executive officer of Danone
  • François-Henri Pinault: CEO and chairman of luxury brand Kering
  • Guilherme Leal: co-founder of Natura, serves on the boards of WWF Brazil and the United Nations Global Compact
  • Hamdi Ulukaya: founder, chairman and CEO of Chobani
  • Isabelle Kocher: CEO of ENGIE, the world’s largest independent power producer
  • Jochen Zeitz: co-founder and co-chair of The B Team, founder of the Zeitz Foundation, served 18 years as chairman and CEO of PUMA SE
  • Kathy Calvin: president and CEO of the United Nations Foundation, former president of the AOL Time Warner Foundation, previously served in senior positions at AOL, Hill and Knowlton, and U.S. News & World Report
  • Marc Benioff: chairman and co-CEO of Salesforce
  • Mary Robinson: president of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, former President of Ireland from 1990-1997, member of Richard Branson’s The Elders
  • Mats Granryd: director general of Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA), commissioner on the World Business & Sustainable Development Commission
  • Mo Ibrahim: founder and chair of the MoIbrahim Foundation, founder of Mobile Systems International (MSI) and Celtel International, founding chairman of Satya Capital, (a private equity fund focused on Africa), chairman of TPG-Satya
  • Muhammad Yunus: chairman of Grameen Bank
  • Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: chair of Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, former Finance Minister of Nigeria and former managing director of the World Bank
  • Oliver Bäte: CEO of Allianz SE
  • Paul Polman: served in senior leadership roles at both Nestlé and Procter & Gamble prior to becoming CEO of Unilever (2009-2018), appointed to the U.N. Secretary General’s High-level Panel responsible for developing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), founding member of the World Business & Sustainable Development Commission, U.N.-appointed SDG Advocate, leading member of Financing Capitalism for the Long-Term (FCLT), the Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism, the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate and the Food and Land Use Coalition (which he chairs), counsellor and chair of the Global Advisory Board of One Young World (co-founded by the aforementioned “B Team expert” David Jones), named an Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) for services to business in 2018, a non-executive director of Dow since 2010.
  • Ratan Tata: former chairman of Tata Sons, Tata has been conferred the honorary title of Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, Tata Industries, Tata Motors, Tata Steel and Tata Chemicals. During his tenure, the group’s revenues grew manifold, totalling over 100 billion USD in 2011-12. He serves on the board of directors at Alcoa as well as on the international advisory boards of Mitsubishi Corporation, JP Morgan Chase, Rolls-Royce, Temasek Holdings, and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
  • Sharan Burrow: general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), commissioner on the World Business & Sustainable Development Commission, Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy observer and advisor
  • Yolanda Kakabadse: president of WWF International from January 2010-December 2017
  • Zhang Yue: chairman and founder of Broad Air Conditioning
  • [B Team Leaders] [B Team Experts] [B Team Founder Circle and Programmatic Donors]

    Above: On February 23, 2017, The B Team and Safaricom announced plans to create The B Team – Eastern Africa

    The B Team experts roster is also extensive. It includes:

  • Alexander Grashow: a senior advisor and lead moderator for the Clinton Global Initiative
  • Heather Grady: senior fellow, Global Philanthropy for Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
  • Mindy S. Lubber: president and a founding board member of Ceres, coordinator of Ceres’ Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP), founder of Green Century Capital Management
  • Jeremy Heimans: co-founder of Avaaz, co-founder and CEO of Purpose, “a home for building 21st century movements and ventures that use the power of participation to change the world”, advisor to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the ACLU and Google, recipient of the Ford Foundation’s 75th Anniversary Visionary Award, World Economic Forum Young Global Leader
  • Hunter Lovins: president of Natural Capitalism Solutions, author of The Way Out: Kickstarting Capitalism to Save Our Economic Ass – a sequel to the international best-seller Natural Capitalism
  • John Fullerton: founder and president of Capital Institute, active impact investor through his Level 3 Capital Advisors, former managing director of JPMorgan, a director of the New Economy Coalition, full member of the Club of Rome, creator of the “Future of Finance” blog at CapitalInstitute.org, which is syndicated with The Guardian, Huffington Post, CSRWire, and other media outlets
  • John Elkington: founding partner and executive chairman of Volans, a consultancy and think-tank driving market-based solutions to the future’s greatest challenges, signatory to the XR Business initiative, member of the WWF Council of Ambassadors, member of the Advisory Board of The Climate Group‘s Clean Revolution Campaign, serves on Newsweek’s Green Rankings Advisory Board, Kering’s Technical Advisory Board, and the advisory board of The Social Stock Exchange just launched by the UK Prime Minister. He is also identified as a member of the Guardian Sustainable Business advisory panel.

    Above: The B Team website, July 17, 2017: “Earlier this year Virgin Unite shared the news that Christiana Figueres – former UN climate chief and convener of Mission 2020 – had joined Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz (B Team co-founders) as one of the B Team’s newest global leaders.” [Source]

    Above: The B Team website, January 30, 2019: Greta Thunberg, Climate Activist, Kringlaskolan Södertälje, Sweden, speaking at the Session “Preparing for Climate Disruption” at the Annual Meeting 2019 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, January 25, 2019. Congress Centre – Jakobshorn, Copyright by World Economic Forum / Mattias Nutt [The B Team: To B or Not To B in Davos]

    Above: The B Team, March 27, 2019 newsletter: “On March 15, an estimated 1.6 million students in 120 countries participated in the Global Student Climate Strike, calling on leaders to act with the urgency the climate crisis needs. Inspired and humbled by their courage, our Leaders shared their support and thanked these students for reminding the world what its leaders are accountable for—their future.”

    Above: The B Team Twitter account, March 15, 2019

    Above: The “New Power” advocates: January 22, 2014, Kumi Naidoo, Twitter | From left: Richard Branson, Kumi Naidoo, Jeremy Heimans (Avaaz/Purpose)

    Working as part of the Natural Capital Coalition, The B Team supported the development of “the first global, standard Natural Capital Protocol” in 2016. The protocol creates “a set of tools for corporations to “measure their impacts and dependencies on nature”. These tools will be used to support the global plan to monetise nature (a “new deal for nature”). Because “what you can’t value what you can’t measure”. The protocol was launched in 2016, following pilots by more than 40 corporations including luxury brand Kering (B Team major funder, Kering CEO a B Team expert) and Dow Chemical (Dow CEO a B Team “leader”).

    Above: Natural Capital Protocol partners

    Above: The Natural Capital Coalition

    Above: Finance For One Planet, CoP Financial Institutions and Natural Capital, 2016 [Source]

    The B Team continues to grow and expand its coalition of corporate executives. In 2018, Indra Nooyi, chairman and former CEO of PepsiCo, joined the coalition. More recently, The B Team welcomed Ajay Banga, president and CEO of MasterCard. Another B Team leader is Andrew Liveris, chairman and CEO of Dow Chemical Company. Liveris also serves as a member of The Nature Conservancy’s Latin America Conservation Council, and the Concordia Leadership Council. [Full bio].

     

    Purpose

    Purpose, which worked with We Mean Business to set up its climate campaign lab, creates cause-related campaigns for non-profits, foundations, and corporations. Purpose clients and partners include IKEA, Unilever, and the Ford and Rockefeller foundations, to name a few (see image below).

    One may need reminding that Purpose “movements” are not decrying the more than 300 assassinations of Colombian leaders over the last two years [August 9, 2018, Source], a tragic number which is no doubt higher today. Rather, they are organizing Concordia Summits to facilitate an advancing privatization in Columbia (and the world at large) as they court right-wing politicians and oligarchs. This can best be described as “power in white face”.

    If power dominated through hierarchy and coercion – the emergent “new power” model dominates with influence and persuasion. And while this has been achieved for some decades now by the NGOs comprising the non-profit industrial complex, a growing number of corporations, institutions and states, are now applying it to their business models. The main differences are that first, the organizers remain invisible, and second, the populace is manipulated into believing that they control said movements.

    At the helm of this new model is Avaaz/Purpose co-founder Jeremy Heimans. Purpose, the PR firm (with many arms) specializes in movement building and behavioural change.

    Heiman’s vision is to organize “people not as citizens but as consumers” so as to further empower corporations and brands that he refers to as “the angels”. Among the firm’s partners are some of the world’s most powerful corporations, foundations and institutions, including The Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation, Unilever,  IKEA, General Electric, Starbucks, TED, Oxfam, SEIU, WHO, UNICEF, ACLU, British Telecom, the Concordia Summit and Nike. Collaborators include We Mean Business and The B Team which is registered to the address of Purpose New York.

    Video. Jeremy Heimans & Timms: Kaepernick is New Power’s 6 Billion Dollar Man [Running time: 0:45s]:

    With strong ties and loyalties to many elite institutions and oligarchs, such as Purpose partner the United Nations (where Heimans cut his teeth as in intern in 1999), the Omidyar Network, and Virgin’s Richard Branson (founder of The B Team, The Elders, Carbon War Room, etc.), Purpose now has a global presence with seven international offices operating in New York, San Francisco, London, New Delhi, Nairobi, Sao Paulo, and Sydney. This expansion is in line with new behavioural insight teams, which are steadily proliferating in government buildings across the globe.

    [Further reading: Purpose Goes to Latin America, Part I, August 8, 2018]

    +++

    New Power

    “Whoever mobilizes is going to win. And if you are understanding new power you can end up on top. Welcome to the new power world.”

    The above quote is taken from the marketing video for the book titled New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World–and How to Make It Work for You (released April 3, 2018). The book authored by Jeremy Heimans (Avaaz/Purpose) and Henry Timms (until recently, the CEO of 92nd Street Y, a 143-year-old institution located in New York City) follows their prior publications: New Power: How It’s Changing The 21st Century (2018) and Why You Need To Know and Understanding ‘New Power’ (Harvard Business Review, 2014).

    Timms is the creator and co-founder of Giving Tuesday, “a classic new power movement”. [Source] Giving Tuesday is funded by such giants as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Facebook. In February 2019, it was announced that Timms would leave 92Y for the Lincoln Centre for Performing Arts where he now serves as president and CEO. Timms continues as co-chair of 92Y’s Belfer Center for Innovation and Social Impact and in guiding Giving Tuesday.

    Former U.S. President Barack Obama accompanied by Melinda and Bill Gates speaks at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Goalkeepers event in New York, U.S., September 20, 2017. REUTERS/Elizabeth Shafiroff

     

    At the 2015 Concordia summit, Heimans and Timms co-moderated a panel. Their session, “Introducing: New Power in a Multi-stakeholder World,” featured an exciting line-up of speakers, each pioneering change in their respective industries in innovative ways.”

    This year, on September 22-24, 2019, the Concordia Annual Summit is set to be “the largest and most inclusive nonpartisan forum” held alongside the United Nations General Assembly. [Source]

    New Power has been named best book of 2018 by the Financial Times, Bloomberg, Fortune, Inc. and CNBC, and Heimans has advised institutions such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google and Unilever. A Harvard University grad and McKinsey & Co. alum, Heimans has addressed the World Economic Forum, the United Nations, TED, and the Aspen Institute. [Source]

    On September 30, 2019, at this year’s World Leadership Forum dinner, the Foreign Policy Association will honor Heimans. Hosted by the Foreign Policy Association and coinciding with the United Nations General Assembly, the World Leadership Forum is one of the foremost public forums on global affairs. Individual admissions can be purchased for 1,000.00 USD. [Source]

    [Further reading: Purpose Goes to Latin America, Part I]

    “The future will be a battle over mobilization.”

     

    Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms, New Power

    Social Good

    The creation of the Social Good Summit (launched in 2012) is attributed to Timms, in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Ericsson, the United Nations Development Programme, and Mashable.

    Following the Social Good Summit came the launch of the SocialGood “community”. The founding partners of the SocialGood community include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Case Foundation, Caterpillar, Cisco, Enactus, Mashable, the Rockefeller Foundation, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Foundation, and 92Y. [Source]

    This year’s speakers at the Social Good summit include Greta Thunberg, Christiana Figueres, founding partner of Global Optimism and former executive secretary of the UN Climate Convention, [ACT II], and Kumi Naidoo, secretary general of Amnesty International, former president/CEO of both Greenpeace and TckTckTck. Also featured is Achim Steiner, administrator of the United Nations Development Programme. Steiner is a former advisory board member of TEEB – now the Natural Capital Coalition (the financialization of nature under the guise/branding of a “New Deal for Nature”).

    Video: Towards a Global Green New Deal, UN Environment, December 28, 2009 [Running time: 6:20]:

    The video above features Achim Steiner promoting the Green New Deal in 2009. Back then, it was promoted as a solution to save the economy; now, it is promoted as a solution to save the climate. In both instances, its sole purpose has been to inject growth into a global economic system on the verge of collapse. The main difference today is that the Green New Deal encompasses the assigning of monetary value to nature. This will transform the global financial system itself, bringing into existence a new financial accounting system which has taken well over a decade to refine. The Green New Deal is essentially a Trojan horse for the ultimate corporate coup of the commons.

    “Can investment in green industry technologies and nature-based assets help lift the world out of recession? UNEP and its UN partners are confident it can. According to Achim Steiner, the Executive Director of UNEP its already happening. He says getting out of the recession will be a boost to building a new green economy. Environmentally-focused investment represents an historic opportunity for 21st century prosperity and job generation.”

     

    Towards a Global Green New Deal, UN Environment, December 28, 2009

     

    “This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model, for the first time in human history.”

     

    — Christiana Figueres, UNFCC Executive Secretary, February 3, 2015 Press Conference, Brussels [Source]

    The strategy to exploit the ecological crisis, in order to save economic growth, is not new. After an initial and fairly short-lived backlash against the “green economy” (growth under the guise of green, UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio, 2012), the power elite regrouped. By 2014, Avaaz/Purpose founder Jeremy Heimans would disclose the strategy to “kill green” in order to save it. The green economy was repackaged as the “new economy”.

    “Chakrabarti had an unexpected disclosure. “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal,” he said, “is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all.” Ricketts greeted this startling notion with an attentive poker face. “Do you guys think of it as a climate thing?” Chakrabarti continued. “Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.”

     

    AOC’s Chief of Change -Saikat Chakrabarti isn’t just running her office. He’s guiding a movement, Washington Post, July 10, 2019

    The Climate Group

    Leading up to the September 2019 media sensation in conjunction with the United Nations Climate Action Summit, the Concordia Summit, and the global climate strikes is Climate Week NYC. This annual event is a project of The Climate Group, co-founder of We Mean Business.

    The Rockefeller Brothers Fund also acts as an incubator for in-house projects which later evolve into free-standing institutions – a case in point being ‘The Climate Group’, launched in London in 2004. The Climate Group coalition includes more than 50 of the world’s largest corporations and sub-national governments, from financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs, to media institutions such as Bloomberg to IT conglomerates such as Hewlett Packard. [4]

    The Climate Group functions as the secretariat for the Under2 Coalition, an alliance of state and regional governments. As of 2017, the Under2 Coalition brings together over 220 governments from 43 countries, representing 1.3 billion people and 43% of the global economy. The Climate Group’s initiatives “RE100“, “EP100” and “EV100” are run as part of the We Mean Business coalition.

    Climate Week NYC was founded in 2009 as a partnership between The Climate Group, the United Nations, TckTckTck, the UN Foundation, the City of New York, the Government of Denmark, and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).

    Climate Week NYC 2019, taking place September 23-29, is the biggest Climate Week event in the world. This year, there is a predominant focus on youth with Global Citizen as a key partner. Partners of Global Citizen include Citi, P&G, Coca-Cola Africa, Microsoft, Forbes, Havas, and Johnson & Johnson. [Global Citizen Partners]

    Above: July 18, 2019: “Climate Week NYC 2019 is partnering with international advocacy organization Global Citizen for its Youth and Climate Activism Program. The program will reflect the global leadership of young people and its influence on climate action and align with the Youth and Public Mobilization theme of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit.” [Source] Global Citizen partners include P&G, National Geographic and Radical Media.

    “Today’s youth are leading the charge on protecting both people and planet from catastrophic climate change, and through our partnership with Climate Week NYC, we are excited to equip them with the tools and resources to effect more change through the Youth and Climate Activism Program. 2020 will be a pivotal year to catalyze efforts…”

     

    Michael Sheldrick, Vice President of Global Policy and Government Affairs at Global Citizen

     

    “The Youth and Climate Activism Program will bring together a number of events specifically focused on engaging and working with young people seeking to engage in climate action and will be the lead focus for Climate Week NYC 2019.”

     

    Helen Clarkson, CEO of The Climate Group

     

    “Young leaders are stepping up across the world, calling on everyone to join them on their mission to create a cleaner and healthier planet for future generations. As business leaders, NGOs, and government officials, we must work together and use our influence to step up and help catalyze impactful change.”

     

    — Suzanne DiBianca, Chief Impact Officer and EVP of Corporate Relations at Salesforce

    Video. Global Citizen Festival 2019, NYC’s Central Park, September 28, 2019 [Running time: 0:30s]:

    “Join Queen + Adam Lambert, Pharrell Williams, Alicia Keys, OneRepublic, H.E.R., and Carole King in NYC’s Central Park … Download the Global Citizen app today to start taking action and earn your free tickets.”

    Above: The Climate Group welcomes Greta Thunberg – its most successful social experiment to date, Twitter

    Above: Teen Vogue climate strike special issue, September 16, 2019

    The sober images of Thunberg, as depicted and shared by the Climate Group, and the media at large, are very much intentional as outlined in the orginal document “Leading the Public into Emergency Mode: A New Strategy for the Climate Movement” published by The Climate Mobilization:

    “The way we respond to threats — by entering emergency mode or by remaining in normal mode — is highly contagious. Imagine the fire alarm goes off in an office building. How seriously should you take it? How do you know if it is a drill or a real fire? Those questions will be predominantly answered by the actions and communications of the people around you, particularly people designated as leaders. If they are chatting and taking their time exiting the building, you will assume that this is a drill. If people are moving with haste, faces stern and focused, communicating with urgency and gravity, you will assume there is real danger and exit as quickly as possible.” [Section: Both Emergency Mode and Normal Mode Are Contagious] [Emphasis in original]

    The American exceptionalism ideology espoused by the Climate Mobilization is shared by many inclusive of the World Business Academy:

    “And if you really want to know how much money a green environment is going to create, I would urge you to look at the economy the United States of America in 1939 in compared to the economy of the United States of America in 1947… it turns out we got really rich by doing the right thing. We mobilized. We saved democracy for the free world and in the process we built the Western democracy that’s been running the world for them ever since. The same or better awaits us if Margaret Klein Solomon is successful and I believe she will be with her efforts at Climate mobilization.”

     

    Rinaldo Brutoco, World Business Academy, introduction for The Climate Mobilization founder, Margaret Klein Salamon, Event: “2019: The Year of Climate Mobilization”, February 2019, [Source]

     

    Climate Week 2017 Sponsors

    Business For Nature

    “…our natural world provides environmental services to our economy worth over $125 trillion annually.”

     

    Business For Nature website

     

    “Business for Nature calls on governments to adopt a new deal for nature and people in 2020.”

     

    “How can business deliver for Nature?… promoting policy changes to governments to establish the policy frameworks needed to drive economic changes at scale.”

     

    “THE OCEAN ECONOMY ESTIMATED TO BE WORTH $2.5 TRILLION PER ANNUM”

    New coalitions are forming to assist in the implementation of the financialization of nature. That is, the privatization of nature, global in scale, ushered in under the guise of protecting biodiversity. WWF leads the public charge with the “New Deal For Nature” and “Voice for the Planet” campaigns, while the Natural Capital Coalition, with institutions and NGOs such as the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES – a Natural Capital Coalition partner), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), The Nature Conservancy and Conservation International work in united servitude to corporate power to advance the total capture of nature’s “services”.

    One recently formed coalition is Business For Nature. Launched on July 2, 2019, the coalition founders are We Mean Business, the World Economic Forum, The Nature Conservancy, WWF, the Natural Capital Coalition, the World Resources Institute, the IUCN, The Food and Land Use Coalition, Confederation of Indian Industry, Entreprises pour l’Environnement (EpE), Tropical Forest Alliance, and the International Chamber of Commerce.

    “2020 is a unique opportunity for businesses to call on governments to adopt policies to level the playing field to incentivise the wider business community to act and enable a global transformation.”

     

    Business For Nature website

    The financialization of nature is coming. And while the media and NGOs work overtime to ensure that the citizenry remains focused on Extinction Rebellion antics, the global climate strikes, and the spectacle at large, the “New Deal for Nature” continues to accelerate forward with zero dissent. There is not a single word of opposition, or even reference to its existence from climate “movements” such as Extinction Rebellion or 350.org. Nor is there a single word of dissent from young Thunberg, who is enclosed by those working toward the “New Deal For Nature” campaign that holistically masks the full commodification of the planet’s “ecosystem services” at scale (i.e. new markets).

    Above: John Elkington, founder of Volans, B Team “expert”, and Extinction Rebellion Business signatory

    Momentum is needed. Get your marching boots on. Demand your politicians and governments align with the Paris Agreement – a politically correct suicide pact.

    Business for Nature calls on governments to adopt a new deal for nature and people in 2020 and to adopt policies to change the rules of the economic game to ensure a future in which people and nature thrive together.”

     

    “2020 is a unique opportunity for businesses to call on governments to adopt policies to level the playing field to incentivise the wider business community to act and enable a global transformation.”

     

    The risks create ‘significant opportunities’ … $22.6 trillion opportunity for water infrastructure by 2050″

    The Business for Nature website features the WWF video presentation “Sustainability: The Only Business Plan For Our Planet” (published on May 16, 2019). This video is the condensed version for the longer WWF video presentation “Our Planet: Our Business” (published on June 27, 2019).

    WWF – “Our Planet: Our Business”

    “The global business community can be a powerful force to drive action for nature – find out why we are confident that change is possible. Our Planet: Our Business, a new film for business inspired by the Netflix series Our Planet, is available to watch now.” [Source]

    The Our Planet series launched on Netflix in April 2019. The series – a collaboration between WWF, Netflix and Silverback Films – it  showcases the world’s “rich natural wonders, iconic species and wildlife spectacles that still remain”. Within the first month of its release, the film was watched in over 25 million homes around the world, making it the most successful documentary series ever produced by Netflix. “It was the first series of its kind to carry an important conservation message at its heart.” [Source: WWF].

    But this is not the whole truth.

    A partial truth is disclosed in the April 5, 2019 article “Landmark documentary series Our Planet highlights need for global action to protect nature, says WWF”:

    “WWF is calling on the public to stand up for the planet and is asking global leaders to address our nature emergency by working together to develop a global plan of action, a New Deal for Nature and People… In 2020 we have the chance to put the world on the path to a better future, due to a historic coming together of key international decisions on environment, climate and sustainable development that have the potential to put our planet at the heart of our economic, political and financial systems.”

    The purpose of the series was to carry an important conservation message – with behavioural economics at its heart. That is, to slowly build acquiescence for, and acceptance of, the coming financialization of nature. That is, the grotesque commodification of nature, shrouded behind stunningly beautiful and heart-wrenching emotive images which provoke angst, empathy and urgency while the new financial instruments which will assign monetary value to nature are never spoken of. Senior influencer “Sir” David Attenborough plays a pivotal role for the coming “New Deal For Nature” in servitude to the ruling classes.

    Above: David Phillips, We Don’t Have Time Board of Advisors

    Featured in the WWF promotional video, “Our Planet: Our Business” include Christiana Figueres, Attenborough (face for the New Deal For Nature) and “crude capitalist” Anand Mahindra:

    “My main task as a crude capitalist is to dismiss two myths. The first myth is that there is a trade-off between choosing to do something to improve the climate.”

     

    Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group speaking to Al Gore & company, We Mean Business, January 25, 2018

    In the WWF “new film for business”, we have the long-awaited for introduction of monetizing the natural world, cautiously being introduced to the public:

    “It’s only as we have started to lose things that we have begun to realise the true value of nature. As Earth’s biodiversity drops, things we have taken for granted start to disappear. Clean air and water, the food we eat, the soil it grows in. A benign climate, productive seas. A healthy world provides us and our businesses with all of these for free. But if we were to place a value on them? The services that biodiversity provides for us are estimated to be worth twice as much as the entire globe’s GDP.”

     

    This is not about saving our planet, this is about saving ourselves. We are the chief beneficiaries of our biodiverse, stable home. Our civilisation won’t work without it. To change this situation will require action on an industrial scale, and at an unparalleled speed. We have just ten years to drastically alter our path.”

    To sell the 21st century fairytale that capitalism will be magically reinvented, transformed to be both ethical and sustainable, the hegemonic forces at the helm of the current global economy will require two things: first, segments of the population that have been thoroughly conditioned to swallow assurances defying all logic and physical realities, and second, “narrative[s] around how your products are sustainable and healthy”, with impact stories as well:

    “If you ask any other generation, “What is the purpose of business?” they will say, “What colour is the sky? The purpose of business is to make money.” If you ask millennials that question, forty-seven percent said some version of the purpose of business is to improve society and protect the environment. This is a fundamental sea-change in the way an entire generation thinks about business. It’s going to mean that if you want to attract the top talent and retain them, if you want to win over millennial customers and attract the thirty trillion dollars of capital that’s currently being given to millennials by the baby boomer generation, you’re going to have to have a narrative around how your products are sustainable and healthy. You’re going to have to have an impact story as well.”

     

    Seth Bannon, founding partner of the venture capital firm Fifty Years

    Bannon (quoted above), the WWF chosen conduit to the millennial demographic so desired by the corporate ruling class, explains how capitalism and greed can co-exist to create a better world. There is no need for sacrifice:

    “We’re actually trying to prove that you don’t have to concede on anything. We want to convince the purely greedy capitalists that if all they want to do is make more money, they should still invest in these companies that are solving these big problems.”

     

    Seth Bannon, founding partner of the venture capital firm Fifty Years

    And what is this concession-free solution that will alter the global capitalist economic system – in which violence and exploitation prove necessary in order for the system to maintain and extend its hegemony– to a magically transformed ethical, gentler capitalism? Bannon describes the transformation as a “new conception”:

    “We believe that business as usual, this business that’s meant about purely chasing profits, is on the way out. And there’s a new conception of business that’s going to take its place. That’s about not only generating profit, but actually solving social or environmental issues.”

     

    Seth Bannon, founding partner of the venture capital firm Fifty Years

    In this “new conception of business”, there are no limitations placed upon the industrial economic system:

    “The broad strategy for this new business as usual is clear. We just have to make sure that everything we do, we can do forever.”

    Here, WWF acknowledged the growth imperative within the capitalist economic system – without mentioning the actual capitalist economic system itself. How will the growth issue be resolved while maintaining the very economic system that is absolutely dependent upon it? The answer is revealed in WWF’s point 5 – “reimagine success”:

    “The most damaging element of today’s society is its quest for perpetual growth. ‘We’ve got an economic system that depends upon growing forever. How does that reconcile itself with a thriving planet?’ Growth for growth’s sake will have to lose its attraction. ‘We cannot think of economic success if we’re deteriorating the environment, and I think that has to be in the essence of each person that wants to lead a country, to lead a company.’ The new sustainable economy will readdress this. ‘We need to create economies that allow us to thrive, whether or not they grow. But something can thrive without getting bigger. It’s just thrumming, alive, creating, regenerating, doing well, and it looks great to us and we feel the energy in that.’ Our reinvented model for Business As Usual will ultimately begin to mimic nature. Adapting to thrive within the finite world about it. Indeed, there is no alternative.”

    This poor explanation resembling a new age mantra, is worse than wrong – it is nonsense. Reimagining success will not stop the growth imperative inherently built into the capitalist economic system. There will be no “reinvented model for business as usual” within the capitalist economic system that does not collapse without growth. “The new sustainable economy will readdress this” means, in real terms, “we really have no fucking clue”.

    The last sentence “[i]ndeed, there is no alternative”, as highlighted above, is the lie they want you to believe. Consider that collectively, the populace appears to believe that not only is it possible to colonize another planet, but that we will do so in the not-so-distant future. This is incredible considering the massive odds of and colossal barriers to such an endeavour succeeding. Thus, it is alarming, that this same populace appears not to believe it is not possible to create new societies where necessity is detached from want (superfluous consumer goods). This begs the question – have we been fully conditioned to believe only those that represent hegemonic interests? It is a sound question considering the billionaires of the world are currently petrified of the capitalist system collapsing – while those oppressed by the capitalist system believe it cannot be dismantled. Yet we can dismantle institutions. We can dismantle the capitalist economic system devouring what remains of the natural world – but not if we identify with our oppressors and the very system that enslaves us. It is our natural world and her living natural communities that sustain us. Not industrial civilization – not technology.

    The following film segment leads to an introduction to Greta Thunberg:

    “We have come here to let you know that change is coming, whether you like it or not.”

    Thunberg’s pivotal role in the global campaign to save global growth is found within this dialogue: “So the vital thing the business community needs to do is come together to encourage politicians to set the global frameworks that will accelerate progress to a sustainable world.”

    Featured in the film is Ellen MacArthur. MacArthur is assisting in the building of momentum toward a said “circular economy” having founded the New Plastics Economy initiative unveiled in January 2019 at Davos. The Coca-Cola Company, Danone, MARS, Novamont, L’Oréal, PepsiCo, Unilever, Amcor, and Veolia are the initiative’s Core Partners. Other partners include Evian, Google, H&M, Intesa Sanpaolo, and Nike. New Plastics Economy “Knowledge Partners” include Arup, IDEO, McKinsey, and SYSTEMIQ.

    Above: Sarkozy awards Ellen MacArthur the Légion d’Honneur, 2008 [Yachting World]

    Above: Sarkozy awards Ellen MacArthur the Légion d’Honneur, 2008 [Yachting World]

    Above from left: Ellen MacArthur, Evian’s global brand director, Patricia Oliva, Christiana Figueres, and Stella McCartney, WEF Arctic Basecamp, Davos, 2019Stella McCartney is a luxury lifestyle brand that was launched under the designer’s name in a partnership with Kering. A 2017 report found that “the equivalent of one dustbin truck-worth of textiles is landfilled every second.”

    In the WWF feature, MacArthur assures the viewer there is no such thing as waste: “Waste is just a resource in the wrong place.” Consider this phrase the new mantra for the world’s most powerful yet reformed capitalists intent on business-as-usual rebranded under the guise of sustainability saviours. Here’s hoping we can store all the world’s nuclear waste (i.e. resource in the wrong place) in the front yard of one of MacArthur’s residences.

    While Mahindra of the Mahindra Group highlights his commitment (on behalf of his two hundred and twenty-five thousand colleagues) that “by the year 2040, the entire Mahindra Group of companies would be carbon neutral” (think offsets), Dave Lewis, CEO of Tesco explains the corporation’s commitment to recyclable plastics:

    “WWF narrator: “Even the most complex, global business communities will work to eliminate waste.”

     

    Lewis: “We asked all of our suppliers to tell us exactly which material was in their packaging. And we said, By the end of 2019, we want to take no material into our business that’s not recyclable. Can you manage that? If we do set a standard, most of our suppliers will want to come with us. We can do that. As a responsible business, why wouldn’t we?” (dramatic theme music plays in background)

    There is no plan to largely eliminate plastics.

    Lewis further assures us:

    “For both palm oil and soy, we have sustainable sources for one hundred percent of what we sell within the UK and in Central Europe, and about forty percent in our Asia business. So we have a commitment to get to one hundred percent in total.”

    As discussed within this series, there is no such thing as sustainable palm or soy, produced at industrial scale. There are only billion dollar certification schemes conceptualized by WWF et al. which excel in the art of greenwashing in order to protect and maintain guilt-free consumption in the Global North. Displacement, landgrabbing, and bulldozing biodiversity/death of sentient life are the price those in the Global South must pay for those in the Global North to spread Nutella on their morning toast and other irrelevant things we consume in exchange of our natural world. In the face of a climate emergency with twelve said years to stave off collapse, one cannot be expected to give up Nutella*, Unilever Dove “beauty bars”, and other “essentials” the Global North cannot be expected to go without. [*Ferrero who manufactures Nutella, purchased Nestlé’s U.S. confectionary business in 2018. Halloween in the Global North is a palm oil bloodbath that literally continues unabated.]

    In regard to the decimation of the Earth’s remaining forests (many lost to palm and soy monoculture), the President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvadaro assures us:

    “Now we have shown that it’s possible to reverse deforestation. We’ve done that in the last decades. We reached twenty percent of our coverage with forests, and we managed to increase that to fifty percent, currently.”

    Yet, the September 26, 2018 scientific paper The ephemerality of secondary forests in southern Costa Rica demonstrates that half of Costa Rica’s regrown forests are gone within two decades: “Secondary forests are vital parts of the ecosystem, but in Costa Rica many of them are re-cleared before achieving old-growth levels of biodiversity.” [Source] What is equally grotesque is the fact that no one questions what has happened to the living sentient animals that must have existed in these cleared swathes of forests. In the spectacle, stunning animals and wildlife who many humans empathize with are exploited via (stunning) visuals as a means to create acquiescence and even desire for a global “New Deal For Nature”.

    In real life, utilizing language and framing – the single reference of “biodiversity” creates a collective acceptance of “afforestation”, land acquisitions and theft via “conservation”, and carbon markets (inclusive of REDD+). With the application of a single word, coupled with a false market solution, all conjured images of sentient animals facing ominous peril are instantly saved then filed away. Out of sight, out of mind, out of existence. As Western societies become more and more disconnected from the natural world, it becomes much easier to sell “solutions” that accept the death and subsequent loss of diverse tree communities, insects, amphibians, flora and fauna. This can be witnessed today for climate mobilizations that first and foremost demand “green” energy technologies, technologies which promise the further annihilation of life in the natural world.

    There is certainly more to be deconstructed in the WWF business feature film, but let us digress. One only has to follow the work of Stephen Corry to observe the torture, rape, murder and displacement of Tribal Peoples carried out under the WWF banner of “conservation”. It is well documented and horrific. However, having conditioned society to no longer read beyond 140 characters or so, it is an easy feat to sell the “New Deal For Nature” when your advertising content contains the most beautiful images found in our human existence – the physical planet and all of her life forms.

    Climate change is a direct product of capitalism and will not be mitigated by more capitalism. Ecological devastation, resource depletion, and collapsing ecosystems are all a direct result of capitalism. This destruction of our natural world will not and cannot be halted by more capitalism – regardless of what colour or adjective is placed in front of it.

     

     

    End Notes

    [1] The Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change (CLG), a group hosted by the University of Cambridge’s Programme for Industry, describes itself as comprising “business leaders from major UK, EU and international companies who believe that there is an urgent need to develop new and longer-term policies for tackling climate change.” In September 2008 18 corporate executives signed a letter from the UK CLG to the leaders of the three largest UK political parties — supporting the UK Climate Bill before the parliament and support for the European Union adopting a target of a 30% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. In the letter, the UK CLG stated that, in the context of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme, it supported including unspecified “existing technologies must be deployed rapidly and a range of new technologies must be brought to market” (E.ON, one of the signatories to the letter, was touting a raft of new power stations it was proposing across Europe as being “CCS-ready”).

    The inclusion of the CEOs of E.ON UK and BAA as signatories to the letter drew a scathing response from Ben Stewart, the Greenpeace communications director. “This is hypocrisy of the purest strain. It’s astounding that E.ON would call for action on climate change when they’re agitating to build Britain’s first coal-fired power stations in decades. It makes an environmentalist’s jaw drop to see the BAA logo on this letter when they’re trying to expand airports across the nation,” he told the Guardian. “This is like Howard Marks [a convicted drug smuggler] calling for a crackdown on pot. If the executives of these companies want action on climate change they should immediately lock themselves in their boardrooms and not come out until Kingsnorth and Heathrow expansion have been dropped.” [Source: Sourcewatch]

    In 2010, The Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change was identified as a partner in the TckTckTck campaign, co-founded by Greenpeace. [Source]

    [2] “C40 Cities connects 96 of the world’s greatest cities to take bold climate action, leading the way towards a healthier and more sustainable future. Representing 700+ million citizens and one quarter of the global economy, mayors of the C40 cities are committed to delivering on the most ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement at the local level, as well as to cleaning the air we breathe. The current chair of C40 is Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo; and three-term Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg serves as President of the Board. C40’s work is made possible by our three strategic funders: Bloomberg Philanthropies, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), and Realdania.” [Source] In 2011 a formal merger transpired between C40 and CCI’s Cities Program, forged by President Clinton and then Mayor of New York City and C40 Chair, Michael R. Bloomberg. [Source]

    [3] Full list: Climate Week NYC 2019 sponsors and partners include Salesforce, McKinsey, Bank of America, Engie Impact, Unilever, AT & T, Estee Lauder, International Copper Association, Orsted, Exelon, PWC, IKEA, BT, National Grid, TCI Co., ABInBev, Trane, Morrison Foerster, Natixis, ClimateWorks, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, NYC Official Guide, Global Citizen (youth and climate activism partner), We Mean Business, Kigali, Raw, Alchemy Mill, 3Degrees, The New Republic, Nationale Postcode Loteri, UN Climate Action Summit.  [Source]

    [4] The Climate Group: The Rockefeller Brothers Fund also acts as an incubator for in-house projects that later evolve into free-standing institutions – a case in point being ‘The Climate Group’, launched in London in 2004. The Climate Group coalition includes more than 50 of the world’s largest corporations and sub-national governments, including big polluters such as energy giants BP and Duke Energy, as well as several partner organizations, one being that of the big NGO Avaaz. The Climate Group are advocates of unproven carbon capture and storage technology (CCS), nuclear power and biomass as crucial technologies for a low-carbon economy. The Climate Group works closely with other business lobby groups, including the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA). The IETA has worked consistently to sabotage climate action. The Climate Group also works on other initiatives, one being that of the ‘Voluntary Carbon Standard’, a global standard for voluntary offset projects. One marketing strategist company labeled the Climate Group’s campaign ‘Together’ as “the best inoculation against greenwash”. The Climate Group has operations in Australia, China, Europe, India, and North America. It was a partner to the ‘Copenhagen Climate Council’.

     

     

     

     

    The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg – for Consent: To Plunder What Little Remains: It’s Going To Be Tremendous [Volume II, Act III]

    The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg – for Consent: To Plunder What Little Remains: It’s Going To Be Tremendous [Volume II, Act III]

    By Cory Morningstar

    September 15, 2019

     

    The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg – for Consent series has been written in two volumes.

    [Volume I: ACT IACT IIACT IIIACT IVACT VACT VIAddenda I] [Book form]

    [Volume II: An Object Lesson In SpectacleACT IACT IIACT IIIACT IVACT V] [ACTS VI & VII forthcoming]

     

    Unlocking Finance – the Growth Story of the Century

    “Therein lies the failure of the environmental movement in its pragmatic neoliberalism. That the mainstream media is obsessed by framing its reportage in terms of financial and economic consequences is hardly a secret (see Chalmers, 2012). What is less readily admitted is the extent to which ENGOs have done likewise and so lost their connection to the non-human world that environmentalism aimed to represent in the first place. In the appeasement of presumed state and corporate economic interests, the language of environmental values is commonly reformulated to actually deny the existence of value in nature, non-human to non-human value and even the importance of human to non-human relationships. There is only the human-to-human relationship and associated values, and clearly some humans are more equal than others.”

     

    Environmentalism and Democracy in the Age of Nationalism & Corporate Capitalism, Clive Spash, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna, Austria, December 14, 2017

    Above: [Left to right] Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group; Al Gore, Former Vice President of the United States, Chairman, The Climate Reality Project; and Christiana Figueres, the Mission2020 Convenor. Photo Credits: Max Thabiso Edkins/Connect4Climate [Source]

    In 2017, the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) held a panel discussion titled “Unlocking Financing for Climate Action“. The June 9, 2017 article, “Invest4Climate Inspiration to Unlock Financing for Climate Action” published on the Connect4Climate website outlines the imperative to mobilize trillions of dollars in private and public investment. Erik Solheim, executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme from 2016 to 2018, would remark “there is every reason to be a global optimist” while Christiana Figueres made clear that the discussion was about “unlocking financing for economic growth that, by the way, has climate benefits…This is the story of growth of this century.” [1] [Source] Today, Solheim serves as executive director for the New Plastics Economy.

    Connect4Climate is a global partnership program under the Communication for Climate Change Multi-Donor Trust Fund of the World Bank Group. The 2018 COP24 Stepping Up Climate Action campaign was initiated by the United Nations (UN) with Connect4Climate. As touched upon in ACT II of the Manufacturing Consent series [“The Inconvenient Truth Behind Youth Co-optation“], the “global leaders, thinkers, activists and influencers” serving as spokespeople for the campaign included Greta Thunberg.

     

    “Global Optimism, Ltd., a purpose-driven enterprise focused on social and environmental change”, was launched in January 2019. [Source]

    The Global Optimism Twitter account was created in October 2017 and would become active on April 4, 2019.

    Above: It’s Going to be Tremendous, Source: Twitter

    On January 24, 2019, the Washington Post published an op-ed titled “Davos, This is Outrageous”, authored by Christiana Figueres and Greta Thunberg:

    The two of us are from different generations, yet we stand together in Davos, hoping to be joined by more people of all ages and from all places. We are going to do everything we can to put an end to dirty fuels and dirty air so we can improve the prospects of people everywhere. The future is going to be tremendous.” [Emphasis added]

    It’s Going to be Tremendous – by Global Optimism

    What’s more, the decisions we take over the next two to three years are crucial for the unprecedented structural changes needed to safeguard our climate and clean up our air. Now is the time: the world is expected to invest about US$90trn on infrastructure in the period up to 2030, and much of this will be allocated in the next few years.”

     

    Christiana Figueres, The Power Behind Climate Action, The Economist Intelligence Unit, March 15, 2019

    Global Optimism – “a purpose driven enterprise focused on social and environmental change” [Source] – was founded by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac. The initial funding for Global Optimism was provided by We Mean Business.

    The Global Optimism YouTube channel was created on May 28, 2018. “It’s Going to be Tremendous” is a pilot series of podcasts produced by Global Optimism:

    “It’s Going to be Tremendous, a new podcast about living with optimism in a time of change, has just completed its pilot mini series. Co-hosted by Christiana Figueres, Tom Rivett-Carnac and Paul Dickinson, the episodes explored issues such as the progress on climate change since the Paris Agreement, the role of student protests, and the rise of electric vehicles in cities. Guests were Jane Goodall, President Carloa Alvarado Quesada of Costa Rica, Nigel Topping and Greta Thunberg.” [Source] [Emphasis added]

    The United Nations Global Goals promoted a video trailer for the podcast on February 11, 2019. After airing the short pilot season in April 2019, “It’s Going to be Tremendous” was rebranded to “Outrage and Optimism“.

    On May 21, 2019, “Outrage & Optimism” released a bonus podcast featuring Greta Thunberg. In this podcast, Rivett-Carnac disclosed that he, and his co-hosts (Paul Dickinson and Figueres), shared living arrangements with Thunberg and her father while attending the January 2019 World Economic Forum in Davos. [“A few months ago in Davos, at the World Economic Forum, we shared an apartment with Greta and her dad Svante, and had the opportunity to get to know them.”] According to Thunberg’s father, Svante Thunberg, Greta is assisted by various climate organizations. This includes “Every Breath Matters”, a campaign co-founded by Figueres, that arranged for Greta’s presence in Davos. (This is further explored in Volume II of this series.)

    The new episodes of “Outrage & Optimism” consist of thirteen separate podcasts (as of July 18, 2019), including a recent episode titled “Everyone is Needed” with 350.org founder, Bill McKibben, and two “bonus” podcasts featuring Greta Thunberg and Jane Goodall. Other guests include David Miliband, CEO of the International Rescue Committee and former UK Foreign Secretary, United Nations Environment Global Goodwill Ambassador and WWF Ambassador Ellie Goulding, and English broadcaster David Attenborough. Both Goulding and Attenborough are prestigious influencers for the “New Deal For Nature” (the financialization of nature under the guise of protecting biodiversity) and the UN.

    Rion magazine, January 25, 2019: “Global music star, UN Environment Global Goodwill Ambassador and WWF Ambassador, Ellie Goulding [centre] woke up the World Economic Forum at Davos to climate change.” Standing left of Goulding is Christiana Figueres.

    Publicly disclosed Global Optimism “strategic engagements” include The World Bank, DeepMind (artificial intelligence), Stanford (the financialization of nature), the Under2 Coalition (The Climate Group), Eni (oil and gas), the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (“smart cities”), Richard Branson’s B Team (co-founder of We Mean Business), ClimateWorks Foundation, Conservation International (board members include representatives of Northrup, Walmart, Generation Investment), Leaders’ Quest, Acciona (infrastructure at scale), and FIA (Formula E Championship).

    Co-founder Tom Rivett-Carnac is the managing partner of Global Optimism. He serves as Senior Advisor to both the board of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, and to the Climate Leaders of the President of the World Bank Group. Rivett-Carnac is the former President and CEO of CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) North America. Prior to these positions, he served as senior advisor to then executive secretary of the UN Climate Convention, Christiana Figueres. Rivett-Carnac also serves as chief strategist to Mission 2020 unveiled in 2016. [2] [Full bio]

    Outrage & Optimism co-host Paul Dickinson co-founded the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) in the year 2000. CDP is “an entity that utilizes the financial markets to drive greater disclosure of climate change related risks and opportunities in the operations of listed companies.” Currently, more than 7,000 corporations work with CDP. The organization launched a North American program as a sponsored project within the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors in 2007. CDP is also a founding partner of We Mean Business launched in 2014. A more recent venture is Dickinson’s agency “Beautiful Corporations” inspired by a book he authored which was published by the Financial Times in 2000.

    Global Optimism has launched several initiatives including Mission 2020Profiles of ParisFuture Stewards and Every Breath Matters.

    Profiles of Paris

    From the Profiles of Paris website:

    “Please explore the remarkable stories of the people who created the Paris Agreement, and what it means for the future.” [Emphasis added]

    Before we continue to explore “the remarkable stories” of those behind the creation of the Paris Agreement and what “it means for the future”, including Bill Gates Mission Innovation’s partnership with the Global Covenant of Mayors, which will bring us “smart cities”, it is essential that we first explore the profiles of the Figueres family dynasty.

    Christiana Figueres

    “Collectively we are writing a business plan for the world. The feasibility study phase has finished… it is high time to execute.” – Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC at Climate Week NYC, September 2014, [Source]

    Above: Costa Rican postage stamp honouring Christiana Figueres [Source]

    The privileged background of Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) from 2010 to 2016, may not be well known by those outside of the elite establishment. On her personal website, Figueres informs us that “in the natural world, a newly discovered tropical moth (Struthoscelis christianafigueresae), a wasp (Pseudapanteles christianafigueresae) and an orchid (Vanilla karen-christianae) have been named after her,” and that Costa Rica has recently issued a commemorative postage stamp in her honour.

    After serving as a member of the Costa Rican climate negotiating team from 1995 to 2009, and having played a number of key roles in the governance of the UNFCC, Figueres formally joined the Secretariat in 2010.

    Figueres, an anthropologist, economist and analyst having studied at the London School of Economics (LSE) and Georgetown University, presided over the UN climate negotiations that culminated in the 2015 Paris Agreement. For this achievement Ms. Figueres has been credited with “forging a new brand of collaborative diplomacy”. With almost four decades of experience in multilateral negotiations, high-level national and international policy, coupled with extensive involvement in the corporate/private sector, in 2016, TIME magazine named Figueres one of the 100 most influential people in the world. As a side note, on May 16, 2019, Greta Thunberg was included in TIME’s 2019 list of 100 most influential people, as well as one of 10 “Next Generation Leaders” of 2019, as well as gracing the TIME magazine cover.

    Today, Figueres serves as vice-chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, ClimateWorks Board Member, World Bank Climate Leader, B Team leader, leader of Mission2020, and board member of both the World Resources Institute and Unilever.

    “Collectively we are writing a business plan for the world. The feasibility study phase is finished… it is high time to execute.”

     

    — Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Climate Week NYC, 2014

    Christiana Figures video. Climate Week NYC, 2014 [Running time: 3m:17s]:

    Outrage and Optimism video. Christiana Figueres in support of Extinction Rebellion, [Running time: 1:05]:

    Figueres is also identified as a “distinguished member” of Conservation International. [Other “distinguished members” of Conservation International include those such as Wes Bush chairman, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Mark Ferguson, founding partner, Generation Investment Management (with Al Gore and Goldman Sachs’s David Blood), and Rob Walton, chairman of the board (retired), Walmart, who all serve on the board of directors.][Source]

    While studying at the LSE, Figueres met and later married Konrad von Ritter, former head of the World Bank’s sustainable development unit. Von Ritter founded the Global WEnergy corporation in Singapore. His work with the World Bank spans two decades. [Bio]

    Although meticulous in detail, Figueres biography on her personal website neglects to disclose her royal connection to Costa Rica. On Figueres’ lengthy Wikipedia entry, it is disclosed, in a single sentence, that her father, José Figueres Ferrer [3], served as President of Costa Rica on three separate occasions. In August 1953, the Guatemalan Communist paper, Octubre, characterized the new president of Costa Rica, José “Don Pepe” Figueres, as an “unconditional servant of American imperialism” and the latest “United Fruit Company President.” Both pro-American and anti-communist, José Figueres supported the 1954 Guatemalan coup d’état overthrowing Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán, President of Guatemala from 1951 to 1954. [4] [Further reading: Resistance and Accommodation: The United States and the Nationalism of José Figueres, 1953–1957.]

    Figueres’ mother, Karen Olsen Beck, served as Costa Rican Ambassador to Israel in 1982 and was a member of the Costa Rica Legislative Assembly.

    Figueres’ brother José María Figueres also served as President of Costa Rica from 1994 to 1998. In 2013, he co-founded the Global Ocean Commission, an initiative funded by the Pew Charitable Trust, the Adessium Foundation in the Netherlands, and U.S. philanthropic group Oceans 5. Former Greenpeace adviser Simon Reddy would serve as the commission’s executive secretary. [Source] María Figueres serves as chair to the Global Ocean Commission (since rebranded to Mission Ocean) with David Miliband (recently featured on the Global Optimism podcast series), and Trevor Manuel (one of South Africa’s longest serving Ministers of Finance, now Minister in the Presidency and head of the National Planning Commission). The original members of the Global Ocean Commission remain unchanged in 2019 with one member having deceased. Members include John Podesta (chair of the Center for American Progress and a former White House chief of staff and member of the ClimateWorks board of directors), Sri Mulyani Indrawati (managing director and chief operating officer of the World Bank Group), Pascal Lamy (former director-general of the World Trade Organisation) and other high profile individuals. María Figueres is also the co-founder of Ocean Unite. This is important, as the oceans are set to be privatized under the “New Deal For Nature” scheme.

    Other key roles held by José Figueres include serving as president for the Carbon War Room (founded by Richard Branson, which has since merged with The Rocky Mountain Institute). José Figueres has occupied an instrumental role in the leading institutions disclosed and explored in the 2019 Manufacturing for Consent series [ACT VI]. He has served as director for the World Wildlife Fund, the World Resources Institute, and the Stockholm Environment Institute. [Source] He served as the first CEO of the World Economic Forum in 2003, and later served as CEO of Concordia 21 (a global convener, campaigner, and innovation incubator with over 50 heads of state, 600 corporate executives and 300 press. Over 20 trillion USD in private sector assets are represented with a key focus on privatization in Latin America).

    Christiana Figueres:

  • Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 2010-2016
  • Vice-chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, [June 22, 2016 European Commission press release; partnered with the World Bank on December 12, 2017]
  • B Team Leader [Source]
  • Climate Leader for the World Bank [Source]
  • Distinguished Fellow of Conservation International [Source]
  • Board member of Climate Works
  • Board member of the World Resources Institute
  • Board member of Unilever
  • Member of the Rockefeller Foundation Economic Council on Planetary Health
  • Fellow of DeepMind: “DeepMind is the world leader in artificial intelligence research and its application for positive impact.” DeepMind was acquired by Google in 2014, its largest European acquisition to date, and is now part of the Alphabet group.
  • Member of the commission on the Global Consequences of Renewable Energy Transformation [Source]
  • Ambassador of the Under 2 Coalition (The Climate Group)
  • Advisory Board member of ENI (An Italian multinational oil and gas corporation identified as one of the “global supermajors”, it has operations in 79 countries. It is the world’s 11th largest industrial corporation.)
  • Board member of ACCIONA (a Spanish conglomerate founded on the development and management of infrastructure (construction, water, industrial and services) and renewable energy.
  • Co-chair of the Advisory Committee for Formula E, electric vehicle racing (one might wonder why car racing for sport/entertainment would be maintained in the face of the climate emergency declared by the ruling classes.)
  • Chair of the Lancet Countdown High Level Advisory Board
  • Parliament of the World’s Religion member
  • UN Climate Action Summit 2019, Youth & Mobilization steering committee
  •  

    To further define “the new discipline of planetary health” The Rockefeller Foundation Economic Council on Planetary Health was established on June 1, 2017 at the Oxford Martin School. The Rockefeller Foundation directed a 15 million USD grant toward establishing the pillars of a new planetary health discipline. The concept of planetary health is directly aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are planned to be achieved by 2030.

    Chaired by former president of Mexico and current director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, Ernesto Zedillo, other members of the Rockefeller Foundation Economic Council on Planetary Health include Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway and Director-General of the WHO, Christiana Figueres, former executive secretary of the UNFCCC, Nicholas Stern, international advisor for the Global CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) Institute and vice-chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, former Chief Economist of the World Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, commissioner serving Energy Transitions, Indraprasad Gordhanbhai (I.G.) Patel, professor of Economics and Government, London School of Economics and member of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, Mark Tercek, former president and CEO, The Nature Conservancy, Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Group and Paul Polman, former CEO of Unilever, co-chair of the New Climate Economy, vice-chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, member of the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum, founding member of The B Team, board member to the UN Global Compact, former chair of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and founder of the recently launched foundation and corporation called Imagine. [Full list]

    • January 25, 2013, Christiana Figueres, Kumi Naidoo, the executive director of Greenpeace & GCCA/TckTckTck World Economic Forum

    Future Stewards

    Above: January 24, 2019, WEF, Davos, Arctic Basecamp. William Pfeiffer (left), executive chairman and co-founder of Globalgate Entertainment, senior advisor to Lionsgate, Bono (right) Source: Twitter

    Future Stewards is a coalition of three partners: Leaders’ Quest, Global Optimism and We Mean Business. Their stated aim “over the next five to 10 years is to unlock the collective will – across business, government and civil society – to achieve a regenerative future. To realise this goal, “Future Stewards creates experiential programmes that equip teams, organisations and partnerships to work with major influencers to accelerate transformation.” [Source]

    Past participants include Zia Kahn, The Rockefeller Foundation, Asholk Vaswani, Barclays UK, Jamie Henn, 350.org, Peter Wheeler, The Nature Conservancy, Jim Hagemann, World Economic Forum, and Virginie Helias, Procter & Gamble. [Source] The next high-profile quest takes place at the Arctic Basecamp, at the 2020 World Economic Forum:

    “Arctic Basecamp, Leaders’ Quest, Global Optimism and We Mean Business are pleased to announce Basecamp Quest 2020… The 1.5-day glacier-based programme will take place immediately before the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos, January 2020… We’ll travel from Davos to a nearby ice field and stay overnight… The programme will include: Deep dive discussions on how free markets can respond — and the role of leaders in reimagining capitalism… The programme is open to senior leaders from all sectors.”

     

    Leaders’ Quest Website [Full description] [Emphasis added]

    2019 Arctic Basecamp guests included the aforementioned Ellie Goulding, Greta Thunberg, Christiana Figueres, Deb Duggan (Redd), and many others of elite and celebrity status. Bono, also in attendance, also has his hand in the climate strikes. Luisa Neubauer, “youth ambassador” to ONE (founded by Bono) is the highly groomed young Thunberg’s shadow. Wherever Greta appears, ONE’s Neubauer is not too far away. Serving as the figurehead/spokesperson for “Fridays for Future” (climate strikes) Neubauer is often referred to as “the German Greta”. Neubauer’s CV already reads as prestigious with references to Greenpeace, Right Livelihood Award Foundation and 350.org.

    Deborah Dugan, CEO of RED (the sister organization of ONE founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver) until May 2019, was also present at the WEF Arctic Basecamp. Prior to RED, Dugan was President of Disney Publishing Worldwide, a $2 billion retail division of the Walt Disney Company.

    • January 12, 2018: Luisa Neubauer, Twitter: "Thrilled to have the chance to meet RED's CEO, Deb Dugan"

    January 24, 2019: WEF, Davos, Arctic Basecamp, Greta Thunberg (left) with Christiana Figueres (right) Source: Twitter

    January 24, 2019: WEF, Davos, Arctic Basecamp, Jane Goodall (left), Greta Thunberg (centre), Deborah Dugan (right)  Source: Twitter

    Clients at Leaders’ Quest include Actis, Bain & Company, Barclays, British Airways, Daimler, DMGT, Oxfam, Procter & Gamble, Rockefeller Foundation, Russell Reynolds Associates, SAP, and UBM. [Source]

    “We came up with a tremendous amount of energy, many fresh connections, and new thinking that will be really helpful to us at the Rockefeller Foundation.”

     

    Zia Khan, Vice President for Strategy & Evaluation, The Rockefeller Foundation [Source]

     

    “…the world is expected to invest around $90 trillion in infrastructure over the next 15 years. The next two to three years are crucial in securing a fundamental shift of direction for this to happen.”

     

    Nigel Topping, December 8, 2016, Leaders’ Quest Website

    Future Nightmares

    “To paraphrase former French president Jacques Chirac in 2002, our house is indeed burning down, only now we stare, uncritically, at philanthropists.”

     

    The Failure of Climate Philanthropy by Edouard Morena, November 12, 2018 [Source]

    The question never asked is this: What does 90 trillion USD of growth equate to in CO2 emissions and pollution? What does 90 trillion USD in new growth look like in depleted resources? Considering we are already inflicted severe devastation on the planet up to this point, hence our multiple ecological crises, the idea that we grind up even more of our natural world and turn it into capital – is truly staggering. The climate “movement” demands we plunder what remains of the exhausted planet – in order the save the climate.

    On June 1, 2019, We Mean Business via social media put forward the question: “What if one of the biggest things stopping us from saving the ocean was money? What if it didn’t have to be?”

    It’s not money that will save the oceans. It’s not for lack of financing that we cannot restore health to the oceans. Rather, the very thing destroying the oceans is the pursuit of money. Earth’s natural resources are extracted, pulverized and reduced into commodities. The faster the rate of destruction and exploitation – the faster the financial gains (profits) are realized. The greater the intensity of destruction and exploitation – the higher the profits.

    Herding its audience to the predetermined answer (“@nature_org presents 4 innovative solutions for #WorldOceansDay“) we find The Nature Conservancy’s promotional video “How Do We Pay For Healthy Oceans?“. This falls under the jurisdiction of Nature Conservancy’s “Blue Growth” strategy, one of eight areas of focus highlighted in the “Global Insights” division. The Nature Conservancy, a co-founder of Nature4Climate with We Mean Business, is a leader in the financialization of nature scheme (the “New Deal For Nature” that no NGO, climate “leader” or “movement” opposes). The “How Do We Pay For Healthy Oceans” advertisement asks four questions:

    1. “What if – restructuring debt for island and coastal nations protected 15% more oceans in just five years?” [Answer: Colonization, coercion, theft, ocean grabbing]
    2. “What if – investors put the fastest-growing form of food production on a sustainable path?” [Answer: Industrial fish farming, infectious pathogens, virulent diseases]
    3. “What if – carbon markets helped pay to restore coastal wetlands?” [Answer: Already proven not to work.]
    4. “What if – a coral reef had its own insurance policy?” [Answer: Sounds similar to Walmart taking out life insurance policies on employees who have a terminal illness.]

    “It’s no longer what if. Nature – The investment of our lifetime” — The Nature Conservancy

    The latest colour on the greenwash palette is turquoise blue

    Mitigation/species banking (also referred to as “biodiversity offsets”) has created new markets. This is a fairly new instrument for corporations, industry and entrepreneurs to create faux wetlands (“replacement wetland”) for massive financial gain (sold as credits to developers) – that simultaneously – provide a legal instrument for developers to pave over and destroy vital wetlands that have slowly evolved in nature. As an example of how ridiculous it is to compare an impromptu wetland created by humans, to wetlands having evolved naturally in nature, consider sedge meadows have taken millennia to establish themselves. To expect species wiped out in the wetlands – being paved over at breakneck speed – and magically find and thrive in manufactured wetlands – is magical thinking that deliberately ignores and disregards sacred biological processes that can never be replicated by man. To be clear – in order for a developer to be permitted to destroy a wetland – it only needs purchase a credit/credits in a newly created/faux wetland.

    For a crash course in how a mitigation bank actually assists and propels ecosystem destruction at breakneck speed – one need look no further than what has unfolded in Madison, USA. The wetland credits not only offset and negated any/all responsibility to protect or restore natural habitat – they created the legal means to destroy them completely.

    Creative Destruction

    In the same article encompassing the aforementioned quote by We Mean Business CEO Nigel Topping, Topping reflects on “the need to create a just transition to ensure Schumpeterian creative destruction does not leave a trail of unemployed, angry voters in its wake.” This is vital to explore, as it demonstrates the ideology of those at the helm of the “new climate economy” required to rescue capitalism. The term “creative destruction” is a concept in economics. Joseph Schumpeter derived the concept from the work of Karl Marx, concluding that creative-destructive forces unleashed by capitalism would eventually lead to its demise as a system. Despite this conclusion, the theory of “creative destruction” was reframed and popularized as a theory of economic innovation and natural business cycle. In essence, a co-optation of theory and rebranding exercise. Alongside neoliberalism, the term became popular to describe/justify corporate decisions such as downsizing in order to increase corporate profits under the guise of efficiency, boldness, and dynamism.

    In The Communist Manifesto of 1848,  Marx and Friedrich Engels elaborate on the crisis tendency of capitalism in terms of “the enforced destruction of a mass of productive forces”:

    “And how does the bourgeoisie get over these crises? On the one hand by enforced destruction of a mass of productive forces; on the other, by the conquest of new markets, and by the more thorough exploitation of the old ones. That is to say, by paving the way for more extensive and more destructive crises, and by diminishing the means whereby crises are prevented.” [p. 17]

    Written in 1848, one can easily envision this passage featured on the first page of the New Climate Economy handbook.

    David Harvey sums up the differences between Marx’s usage of these concepts and Schumpeter’s: “Both Karl Marx and Joseph Schumpeter wrote at length on the ‘creative-destructive’ tendencies inherent in capitalism. While Marx clearly admired capitalism’s creativity he […] strongly emphasised its self-destructiveness. The Schumpeterians have all along gloried in capitalism’s endless creativity while treating the destructiveness as mostly a matter of the normal costs of doing business”. [The Enigma of Capital and the Crises of Capitalism, 2010]

    Current Nightmares – The Corporate Capture of the UN

    “Prompted by the uncertainties about the stability of globalisation, in 2009 the World Economic Forum (WEF) convened an international expert group to formulate a new system of global governance. This project was led by the three most senior leaders of the World Economic Forum (WEF) – Klaus Schwab, its Executive Chairman; Mark Malloch-Brown, then its Vice-Chairman; and Richard Samans, its Managing Director…  What is ingenious and disturbing is that the WEF multi-stakeholder governance proposal does not require approval or disapproval by any intergovernmental body.”

     

    Multi-stakeholderism: A Corporate Push for a New Form of Global Governance, The Transnational Institute, January 19, 2019

    As touched upon in the Manufacturing Consent series, the World Economic Forum (WEF) is at the helm of the global transition to a fourth industrial revolution. The interlocking directorate between those that steer the WEF ship and those that lead the most powerful institutions, corporations, states and NGOs – is what could be termed a 21st century matrix of global hegemony.

    13 June 2019: UN and WEF Sign MOU on Strategic Partnership Framework for 2030 Agenda. “Secretary-General António Guterres (centre right) and Klaus Schwab (centre left), Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, witness the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the United Nations and the World Economic Forum on the Strategic Partnership Framework for the 2030 Agenda by Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed (right) and Børge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum.” United Nations, New York, Photo # 811012, UN Website

    A July 2, 2019 article sheds light on a new development: “How the United Nations is quietly being turned into a public-private partnership – A new agreement with the World Economic Forum gives multinational corporations influence over matters of global governance.” From the article:

    A new corporate and government marriage quietly took place last week when the leadership of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the United Nations (UN) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to partner with each other. While this MOU is proudly displayed on the WEF website, it is nowhere to be found on the UN website. The only indication on the UN website of this important new development is a picture of the pen used to sign the agreement, and two pictures of the signing ceremony…

     

    Now the new WEF-UN agreement creates a second special place for multinational corporations inside the UN. There is no similar institutional home in the UN system for civil society, for academics, for religious leaders, or for youth…

     

    The agreement announces new multistakeholder partnerships to deliver public goods in the fields of education, women, financing, climate change, and health.” [Emphasis added]

    As pointed out in the article, the WEF-UN agreement circumvented the intergovernmental review process by 193 member states. It is doubtful that sovereign states such as Bolivia, Cuba, Venezuela, Eritrea, Nicaragua, Syria, Iran, etc. would have agreed to hand the world’s most egregious corporations the planet on a plate.

    The author observes, “[I]t is hard to imagine a national government signing a similar formal partnership with one of its business organizations.” This is true, and yet such partnerships are happening behind closed doors with virtually no public oversight. Consider Bill Gates’ Mission Innovation: “Mission Innovation (MI) is a global initiative of 24 countries and the European Commission (on behalf of the European Union).” Together, these member states seek to double public investment in clean energy RD&D on behalf of the private sector. [Source] Other groups with the same/similar model include Under 2 Coalition, a Western-led coalition of 220 states led by The Climate Group, the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), the Global CCS Institute, and C40 cities, to name just a few. All represent coalitions created in order to propel economic growth in the private sector.

    “Our Members are setting the course for the future of CCS. They include the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Japan and Australia, and multinationals such as Shell, ExxonMobil, Toshiba, Kawasaki and BHP.”

     

    — Global CCS Institute website

    Akin to “sanctions (and trade blockades) and currency devaluation [as] weapons of mass destruction, often applied prior to economic restructuring or military obliteration, just as “winning hearts and minds” is a weapon of economic occupation” [5] the “Strategic Partnership Framework for the 2030 Agenda” must be considered the weapon of choice for the renewed colonization of the Global South under the guise of a climate emergency. A “winning hearts and minds” behavioural change project, as method of soft power for a planetary economic occupation and destruction.

    “At the same time, it [the agreement] avoids any commitment to reduce global inequality, to make energy affordable, to hold multinational corporations accountable for human rights violations, or even to rein in the behavior of the WEF’s firms that act inconsistently to the re-defined goals set out in the agreement.”

     

    How the United Nations is quietly being turned into a public-private partnership, Open Democracy, July 2, 2019

    In essence, this partnership represents a coup d’état of the United Nations. A United Nations which has long been bending to corporate power and influence has finally succumbed.

    With governments bypassed and media silent, this coup represents the strengthening of the global corporatocracy that now dominates the world. They are accountable to no one.

    “The UN-WEF partnership document indicates the UN’s structural subserviency to the western hegemony. It’s an expression of the global capitalist hierarchy manifesting in the shape of international institution. Lying to people is a fundamental building block of the empire.”

     

    Hiroyuki Hamada, artist

    At the same time, efforts towards global tax co-operation continue to advance. The Platform for Collaboration on Tax continues to gain momentum and is being positioned on centre stage, yet makes zero mention in the media or news outlets. Under the guise of a “growing importance of taxation in the debate to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Platform for Collaboration on Tax (PCT) initiative reduces the UN to one of four players (alongside the World Bank, IMF and OECD) and is not accountable for SDG implementation.” [Source]

    As Al Gore siphons one quarter of a Kenyan’s yearly salary for a solar television and light kit, the World Bank et al. are preparing to tax the most vulnerable populations in the developing and emerging states, under the pretense of mitigating an ecological crisis created by the rich.

    Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, Mission Innovation, “Smart Cities”

    “(…) the politicians actually, behind the scenes, including this current government, are telling us they need a social movement like ours to give them the social permission to do the necessary.”

     

    — Extinction Rebellion co-founder Gail Bradbrook, April 18, 2019

    Above: December 13, 2018, Global Covenant of Mayors promoting Greta Thunberg for climate action. Source: Twitter

    As we peel back the layers of an orchestrated movement that serves to protect the ruling classes and the suicidal capitalist system itself, we need to look at Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (Global Covenant of Mayors).

    The Global Covenant of Mayors is partnered with both the World Bank [December 12, 2017] and Bill Gates’ Mission Innovation [May 28, 2019]. Mission Innovation is (thus far) partnered with 24 states and the European Commission [6] – on behalf of the European Union. [“These 25 members have committed to seek to double public investment in clean energy RD&D and are engaging with the private sector, fostering international collaboration and celebrating innovators.’] Because we cannot expect billionaires such as Bill Gates to pay for their own research, development and deployment (RD&D) that will further enslave us, the money must come from the peasants (i.e. tax dollars and pension funds).

    The Compact of Mayors officially merged with the Covenant of Mayors in 2016. The Global Covenant of Mayors unites more than 9,209 cities (already committed) in 132 countries across six continents. This represents the world’s largest coalition. The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy formally brings together the European Union’s Covenant of Mayors and the Compact of Mayors. [Source]

    The Global Covenant of Mayors board is co-chaired by former European Commission vice-president Maroš Šef?ovi? and former New York City Mayor and the U.N. Secretary-General’s special envoy for climate action, Michael Bloomberg. As of March 2019, Bloomberg, who, like Al Gore, has publicly feigned concern on economic inequality and the growing gap between rich and poor, was ranked as the 9th-richest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of $57.1 billion. Bloomberg is heavily invested in both fracking and natural gas.

    Christiana Figueres serves as vice-chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors. Tasked with her role as a “World Bank Climate Leader”, the leader of Mission2020 (“exponential transformation” focusing on six sectors that will play a key role in municipal governments and “Green New Deals”), board member of the World Resources Institute, ClimateWorks, Unilever, etc. – her role in the implementation of the fourth industrial revolution, in all of its realms, cannot be understated.

    Current UNFCCC executive secretary, Patricia Espinosa, serves an advisor and observer to the Global Covenant of Mayors board.

    [The Global Covenant of Mayors Founders Council comprises groups and institutions including C40 Cities, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), and the European Commission. [73]

    Smart cities are identified as the “backbone of climate action”. For the maxed-out West, “climate emergency” means in large part, smart cities. As emphasized in this series, for the largely untapped Global South, “climate emergency” means continued, even renewed colonization, under the guise of green.

    The Exponential Climate Action Roadmap (Global Climate Action Summit, September, 2018) reports that, “[T]he next technologies down the ramp are artificial intelligence, 5G networks, digital fabrication, smart sensors, the large-scale deployment of the internet of things and drones.” [p. 91, Source]

    Consider the recent launch of Partnership on AI (Artificial Intelligence). Partners include Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, PayPal, Sony, UNDP, Carnegie, BSR (co-founder of We Mean Business), and NGOs in servitude to imperialism such as Access Now (Avaaz), Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Witness. [Full partner list] There are no partners from either Latin America or Africa.

    “The Partnership [on AI] was formally established in late 2016, led by a group of AI researchers representing six of the world’s largest technology companies: Apple, Amazon, DeepMind and Google, Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft. In 2017 the addition of six not-for-profit Board members expanded the Partnership into a multi-stakeholder organization – which now represents a community of 50+ member organizations.” [Source]

    On January 23, 2019, the World Economic Forum announced its own “Artificial Intelligence Council”. The membership of the AI Council includes political figures such as the now former British Prime Minister Theresa May with many “iconic business figures” at the helm. [Source]

    Here, it is critical to pay heed to the dire warning by Dr. Martin Pall to the National Institutes of Health.

    Video: Dr. Martin Pall to the Health in Buildings Roundtable, “The 5G Rollout Is Absolutely Insane.” [Running Time: 9:08]:

    https://youtu.be/kBsUWbUB6PE

    A key partner in the race toward “smart cities” is Google, also co-founder of the aforementioned “The Partnership on AI”.  More and more, we are collectively and deliberately being alienated from the natural world. The more technology, the more entrenched and enslaved in the suicidal system we become. An epidemic in depression in the West is just an example of the collateral damage.

    The “Smart City Expo World Congress 2018, Digital Transformation” can still be found on the Smart City Expo website. Supporting institutions included the European Commission, C40 Cities, ICLEI, the World Bank, CDP, and the Covenant of Mayors. The Smart City Expo World Congress 2019, Cities Made of Dreams, will take place in Barcelona from November 19-21, 2019.

    The reporting and data partners of the Global Covenant of Mayors include many of the same entities explored in the 2019 Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg series: The Climate Group, World Resources Institute, WWF, the World Bank, the UN, and the CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project).

    As “smart trees” are installed to fight air pollution in “smart cities”, real trees will be churned into biofuel under the guise of the branded terms “clean energy” (already happening at scale) and “net zero”. This is not protection of biodiversity, this is a future as envisioned by psychopaths.

    This is what “sustainability” looks like through the lens of a capitalist. Source: Twitter

    Former UNFCCC executive secretary Christiana Figueres, Global Covenant of Mayors vice-chair. Source: Twitter

    The technologies desired for the “fourth industrial revolution”, the “climate emergency” declarations and adjacent legislation required to unlock the funding required in order to save the capitalist economic system, this is all happening very quickly by design in said response to the global mobilizations demanding action on climate change. Each municipality declaring a climate emergency is presented as a victory for the people and the planet. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    The Future is CCS & Nuclear

    And while the masses in the West are hypnotized by elite financed/manufactured global climate mobilizations – in the real world, Bill Gates Mission Innovation, Christiana Figueres and Michael Bloomberg’s Global Covenant of Mayors (partnered with the World Bank) et al. were scaling up their efforts at the CEM10/MI-4 [The 10th Clean Energy Ministerial and 4th  Mission Innovation Ministerial] held in Vancouver, Canada from May 27–May 29, 2019. During this event, hosting the ministers of 25 governments, Mission Innovation and the Global Covenant of Mayors entered into a formal collaboration.

    Here too, youth were being primed to embrace the “fourth industrial revolution”:

    “For the first time, CEM10/MI-4 will feature a Youth Program…70 youth clean energy leaders from over 25 countries will join us in Vancouver to be agents of change for our energy future. In addition, through a partnership with Student Energy, over 50,000 youth in over 130 countries will be engaged through social media, promotional videos and livestreaming of select events at CEM10/MI-4.” [Source] [CEM and MI Youth Leaders Forum]

    Bill Gates addressed the opening plenary session in Vancouver, highlighting the new partnerships between Breakthrough Energy and Canada (May 27, 2019), and Breakthrough Energy and the European Commission (Breakthrough Energy Europe, October 17, 2018):

    “The “Nuclear Innovation: Clean Energy Future” (NICE Future) is an international collaboration under CEM that envisions a world in which nuclear energy innovation plays a key role and advances clean energy goals. At CEM10, the NICE Future initiative will be releasing a book, Breakthroughs: Nuclear Innovation in a Clean Energy System, that tells the stories of the people and the solutions that are driving near-term innovation in nuclear energy. Its goal is to generate excitement and create ideas about what nuclear energy’s role can be in clean energy systems of the future.”

     

    In servitude to capital by design, NGOs are called upon to facilitate the transition to the fourth industrial revolution. Trillions of dollars are funneled from corporations, Annex 1 states, hedge funds, into foundations, into the NGOS comprising the non-profit industrial complex. The funds, made politically correct by utilizing language via the term “grants” are, in reality, investments. These tax-free investments enable billionaires to have the world shaped and designed in their image.

    At the helm of the climate mobilizations being orchestrated at scale, are the same NGOs who co-founded the Global Campaign for Climate Action (GCCA/TckTckTck) – tasked with “herding the cats” since 2009. The purpose is to give the citizenry a sense of inclusion and ownership in critical decision making. The illusion that we, the citizenry, are in the driver’s seat. The accelerated servitude, oppression and exploitation will not be forced upon us. Rather, we will have demanded it.

    The “fourth industrial revolution” will be a “smart industrial revolution”. The “climate emergency” will amount to, when put into practice, the further destruction of the natural world. This global campaign has nothing to do with the climate and everything to do with saving capitalism. This is the maintaining and expansion of current power structures.

    A fully “smart city” is on the way for those in the West. Simultaneously, the financialization of nature, not the true protection of biodiversity, is the shared goal. The two will coalesce to form a “smart” dystopian hell.

    Further, those that comprise the World Economic Forum have been handed the keys to the planet.

     

    No, it’s not “going to be tremendous”. It’s going to be a nightmare.

     

     

    End Notes:

    [1] “During the 2017 Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) the panel discussion “Unlocking Financing for Climate Action” sent an inspirational message. The question was how to mobilize the trillions of dollars in private and public investment needed to ensure that the world meets the Paris Climate Change Agreement’s aim of keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius.

    The high level-panel featured the President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim, the Former Vice President of the United States and Chairman, Al Gore, the Mission2020 Convenor, Christiana Figueres, the Founder and Chairman of Skoll Foundation, Jeff Skoll, the Minister of Finance of Sweden, Magdalena Andersson, the UNEP Executive Director Erik Solheim, and it was moderated by the journalist Ghida Fakhry. To a capacity audience at the World Bank headquarters the overall message was one of optimism, that it is possible to tackle climate change by raising the necessary finances….

    Al Gore emphasized that he is optimistic with regards to dealing with climate change: “There is no doubt in my mind that we will solve the climate crisis.” Pointing to the importance of a sustainable revolution, the Former Vice President of the United States made sure to highlight the importance of urgency: “How quickly we win this” is determined by how much finance can be leveraged.

    The inspiration throughout the discussion was noticeable, as expressed by Erik Solheim: “There is every reason to be a global optimist.” Christiana Figueres underlined that the discussion is actually about “unlocking financing for economic growth that, by the way, has climate benefits…This is the story of growth of this century.” [Emphasis in original]

    [2] Tom Rivett-Carnac:

    • Serves as senior advisor to the Board of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (a network of more than 7,500 cities), and to the Climate Leaders of the president of the World Bank Group.
    • Founder and chief strategist of Mission 2020.
    • Managing partner of Global Optimism
    • Former senior advisor to the executive secretary of the UN Climate Convention, Christiana Figueres. (“From this position he was responsible for political strategy and for the integration of non state actors into the international negotiation process. Leading an independent strategy team inside the Office of the Executive Secretary, he held this position up to and during the successful negotiations in Lima (COP 20) and Paris (COP 21), which resulted in the historic Paris Accords.”)
    • Former President and CEO of CDP North America (“an entity that utilizes the financial markets to drive greater disclosure of climate change related risks and opportunities in the operations of listed companies.” Currently more than 7,000 corporations work with CDP
    • Research fellow at Stanford University, home of “natural capital” research (the financialization of nature).
    • Has held, or continues to hold, Advisory positions at the Clinton Global Initiative, NY Stock Exchange, Leaders’ Quest and the Global Impact Investment Network. [Source] [Source]

     

    [3] “Contrary to dogmatic Marxist formulas, Figueres had the support of the country’s oligarchs that felt threatened by Calderon’s reforms. In 1948, after Calderon lost the election to a candidate backed by Figueres, the legislature dominated by Calderon’s party overturned the results—thus leading to a civil war that cost the lives of 2,000 Costa Ricans. Fighting on Calderon’s side was the Communist Party, while Figueres’s forces were composed mostly of students and professionals funded by sectors of the bourgeoisie. Figueres sought not only to topple Calderon but to foment revolutions against the big three oligarchs in the region: Batista, Somoza and Trujillo. As should be obvious, attempts to pigeonhole Costa Rican history are doomed.

    After taking power, Figueres vowed to continue with Calderon’s social programs and to deepen them under the new Social Democratic party he founded. From that point on, Costa Rica became the bête noire of American imperialism and its allies in the region. Despite the threat they posed, Figueres believed a regular army was not only unnecessary but an institution that could easily transform Costa Rica into just another oligarchy. Instead, he urged the creation of a citizens militia but only during a national emergency—an approach not that different from that of the founding fathers of the USA.

    The last twenty minutes or so of the film deal with the enormous pressures being put on Costa Rica to “get with the program”, which meant agreeing to free trade deals and even backing Bush’s invasion of Iraq as part of the “coalition of the willing”. Costa Rica went along with the first demand but rejected the second. As a willing partner in the Washington Consensus, Costa Rica is being transformed into a poster child for neoliberalism with Walmart stores replacing locally-owned small stores and five star hotels springing up everywhere to lure tourists.” [Source]

    [4] Guzmán was instrumental in the ten-year Guatemalan Revolution, which represented some of the few years of representative democracy in Guatemalan history. Code-named Operation PBSUCCESS, it installed the military dictatorship of Carlos Castillo Armas, the first in a series of U.S.-backed authoritarian rulers in Guatemala.

    The 1954 Guatemalan coup d’état was a covert operation carried out by the CIA that deposed the democratically elected Guatemalan President Jacobo Árbenz and ended the Guatemalan Revolution of 1944–1954. Code-named Operation PBSUCCESS, it installed the military dictatorship of Carlos Castillo Armas, the first in a series of U.S.-backed authoritarian rulers in Guatemala. backed by a heavy campaign of psychological warfare. Castillo Armas quickly assumed dictatorial powers, banning opposition parties, imprisoning and torturing political opponents, and reversing the social reforms of the revolution. Nearly four decades of civil war followed, as leftist guerrillas fought a series of U.S.-backed authoritarian regimes whose brutalities included a genocide of the Maya peoples.

    [5] “Geo-Economics and Geo-Politics Drive Successive Eras of Predatory Globalization and Social Engineering: Historical emergence of climate change, gender equity, and anti-racism as State doctrines”, by Denis G. Rancourt, Ontario Civil Liberties Association, OCLA Report 2019-1, April 2019, http://ocla.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/OCLA_Report_2019-1.pdf.

    [6] The European Commission is the executive branch of the European Union, responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the EU treaties and managing the day-to-day business of the EU. [Source]