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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

 

 

 

This article serves as ACT III, in the second volume of the series The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg – for Consent. [Volume I: Act I, ACT II, ACT III, ACT IV, ACT V, ACT VI, Addenda: I] [Volume II: Excerpt, Act I, ACT II]

 

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.

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]

    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 help achieve this. 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.

     

    • February 22, 2016: ICLEI promoting "smart cities" initiatives

     

    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]

     

     

    The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg – for Consent: Controlling the Narrative [Volume II, Act II]

    The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg – for Consent: Controlling the Narrative [Volume II, Act II]

    September 14, 2019

    By Cory Morningstar

     

     

    ClimateWorks, European Climate Foundation, the Global Strategic Communications Council & the Global Call for Climate Action

     

     

    “On March 15, there was a global protest under “Fridays For Future” which saw demonstrations in Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Guwahati. Students from over 1,300 towns and cities went on planned strikes across the world on Friday, according to a statement from the Global Strategic Communications Council (GSCC).”

     

    March 16, 2019, The Asian Age, City Youth Protest Climate Change

     

    “I can’t breathe. Should I stop going to school?” “Kids need clean air”. “No more excuses”. These were some of the phrases on placards Delhi-NCR students carried as they joined the global “Fridays for Future” protest against climate change, urging governments and authorities to tackle the problem. The protests were started by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg in August 2018, becoming a regular event on the 15th of every month. Students from over 1,300 towns and cities went on planned strikes across the world Friday, a statement from the Global Strategic Communications Council (GSCC) said.”

     

    March 17, 2019, Over 500 Delhi-NCR Students Join ‘Fridays For Future’ Climate Change Protest

    Above: The European Climate Foundation Funders [Source]

    In Volume II, ACT I, we explored the origins of US ClimateWorks and its core system in Europe, the European Climate Foundation (ECF).

    As “the core of the ClimateWorks system in Europe“, the ECF constitutes an integral part of the regional global network created by the San Francisco-based ClimateWorks. ClimateWorks works to oversee and shape climate-related policy work worldwide. Launched in 2008 – the same year as ClimateWorks) – the ECF is a regranting foundation like its US counterpart.

    Hewlett Foundation President Larry Kramer explains: “And here, too, the solution was ingenious. To begin, they proposed to create a central hub—the ClimateWorks Foundation—which would serve as grantor of funds to a coordinated global network… To work on transportation in Europe, then, ClimateWorks would simply channel money to ECF and ICCT [International Council on Clean Transportation] to work together on the problem.”

    As discussed in Volume II, Act I, ClimateWorks is the largest recipient of climate philanthropy in the world having received over 1.3 billion USD since its inception. [March 1, 2018, Source]

    “In September 2018, in the largest-ever philanthropic investment focused on climate change mitigation, 29 philanthropists pledged USD 4 billion over five years to combat climate change.” [Source]

    [Further reading on ClimateWorks and the ECF: The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg For Consent – A Design To Win: A Multi-Billion Dollar Investment, Volume II, ACT I]

    Serving as media director for both the European Climate Foundation (ECF) and the Global Strategic Communications Council (GSCC) is Daniel Donner.

    Donner also presides over media relations and events for Greta Thunberg and family. [Source] [Source]

    “Based in Brussels, Daniel works with media strategy and outreach as part of the ECF’s Strategic Communications team, focusing on both news media and digital platforms. He maintains relationships with key media correspondents and keeps them informed about international stories on energy and climate change, with the aim to raise the media narrative of EU climate ambition.” [Source]

    As an example of Donner’s experience in climate change policy, in relation to governments and municipalities, one can read his July 5, 2017 C40 cities press release for the C40 Cities and Climate Action Network:

    “Hundreds of cities, states and regions, businesses, investors, and civil society are moving to implement the Paris Agreement ahead of G20 meeting in Hamburg.”

    Funders of the ECF include ClimateWorks (created by the Hewlett, Packard and McKnight foundations), the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the KR Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Oak Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Ikea Foundation, along with many more identified in the Climate Finance Partnership and Blended Finance Taskforce such as the Government of France, the Government of Germany, BlackRock and Grantham. The Climate Finance Partnership was established by French President Emmanuel Macron at the September 2018 One Planet Summit as a vehicle to tap into and mobilize institutional capital – by leveraging public funds. [Further reading: Volume I, Acts IV and VI of the Manufacturing for Consent series]

    ClimateWorks receives funding for specific programs from foundations including the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, the Ford FoundationThe Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

    +++

    The Global Strategic Communications Council (GSCC) is a global communications network, set up by the ECF. Its purpose “is to plan and deliver strategic communications in the climate and energy fields at both the international and national levels.” [Source, p. 106]

    “The network brings together communications specialists from around the world, each focusing on a particular country or region. They collaborate with and assist a wide range of actors: corporate, government, institutional, media, NGO, think tanks. Part of their work involves identifying high-potential campaigns and individuals, and helping them to plan their actions, target the right audiences and formulate their baseline messages, making sure along the way that each campaign bolsters an overarching narrative. Through the combination of behind-the-scenes (GSCC) and public communications activities, the ESC sought to shape the public debate around climate change.” [Source, p. 107] [Emphasis added]

    Countries with GSCC-affiliated experts are growing. States represented thus far include as Australia, Poland, China, India, Brazil, France, Germany, Turkey, the EU, the UK, and the US.[Source] [Source]

    As the Manufacturing Greta Thunberg For Consent series has demonstrated, the Global Call for Climate Action (GCCA) has played a leading and critical role as lead organizer and behavioural change agent in the climate “movement” realm over the last decade. In ACT VI of the series, we touched upon three other instrumental actors who have shaped present and future climate policies to reflect the desires of the ruling classes: the European Climate Foundation’s Global Strategic Communications Council (GSCC), the Climate Briefing Service (CBS), and the International Policies and Politics Initiative (IPPI).

    Funders of the Global Call for Climate Action (GCCA) include ClimateWorks, the European Climate Foundation, International Policy and Politics Initiative (IPPI), the Oak Foundation, Foundation of Prince Albert II of Monaco, the Government of France, Purpose (Avaaz), the Government of Québec, The Rockefeller Foundation, the UNFCCC Secretariat, and the VK Rasmussen Foundation. [1] [Source] In 2017, GCCA secured new funding from the Global Strategic Communications Council (GSCC), the Waterloo Foundation, and the Institute for Climate and Society. [Source]

    Jennifer Morgan, current executive director of Greenpeace International, (instrumental in the formation, launching and management of the GCCA) was also in charge of coordinating the International Policies and Politics Initiative (IPPI) formed in 2013. Leading up to COP15, IPPI worked closely with the European Climate Foundation’s (ECF) strategic communications team. [Further reading: A Decade of Strategic and Methodical Social Engineering, Volume I, ACT VI, Crescendo]

    “IPPI was initially intended as a “discrete ECF programme” whose role was to “work behind the scenes.” While the ECF had given rise to the original idea and while it housed its dedicated staff, IPPI was very much presented as an autonomous and “unbranded” initiative (“unbranded” as in not linked to any particular organization). Jennifer Morgan from the WRI was appointed as its coordinator.”[Source, p. 101][Emphasis added]

    The overlap between the Global Call for Climate Action (GCCA) and the European Climate Foundation’s Global Strategic Communications Council (GSCC) is extensive. As is the overlap between GCCA, GSCC, the CBS, and the IPPI. Yet, whereas GCCA played the lead role in the public realm, GSCC, like CBS and IPPI, would work behind the scenes as a largely invisible entity. [2]

    “Secondly, whereas the GCCA pushed its partners to adopt, publicize and rally behind a common brand—TckTckTck—CBS and IPPI adopted a behind-the-scenes, unbranded approach, supplying partners with information and suggested key messaging but without ever appearing as the source of that information and messaging. CBS briefing recipients were systematically reminded that they were ‘confidential and not for public circulation.'” [Source, p. 111][Emphasis added]

    This overlap extended to Climate Nexus [3], a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, and organizer of the 2014 People’s Climate March in collaboration with with foundations and GCCA NGOs.

    “The underlying idea was to ‘nurture and engage influential constituencies (industry alliances, ambassadors, foreign affairs think tanks, mayors, states and regions, security officials, humanitarian organisations) with a view of aligning organisations around political interventions as agreed with the relevant national communications capacity of the region.’ At the national and regional levels, this required identifying key narratives and spokespeople. To do this, CBS built up a team of country leads or ‘relationship managers.’ There again, there was an overlap between CBS, the GSCC and other associated communications outfits (Climate Nexus, [The Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit] ECIU, etc.).” [Source, p. 112][Emphasis added]

    By 2015, following the GCCA and the Climate Action Network (CAN-International) inaugural meeting in Paris the year prior, the groups had morphed into the “tightly focused, unbranded, Global Strategic Communications Committee (GSCC+) aimed at delivering powerful, positive messages ahead of the Paris COP21”:

    Close integration among GSCC+ partners meant that, by Paris, coordination reached unprecedented levels, allowing us to operate in multiple languages worldwide before, during and after the COP. Work included media and policy analysis, pitching proactive stories, and a reactive strategy for unforeseeable threats and opportunities, involving a team including op-ed writers, graphic designers, social media campaigners, photographers and videographers. GCCA staff held key roles in this team, taking joint responsibility for overall coordination and rapid response, and leading the visual media crew, including the production of daily video newscasts broadcast via GreenTV. As part of this initiative, more than 350 participants from 107 different countries languages and 70 countries. Together, we framed the Paris Summit as a vital stepping stone in the ongoing and inevitable transition from fossil fuels to renewables and greater climate resilience, and our ‘Road Through Paris’ message had a huge impact on media coverage at and after COP21 – aligning and amplifying the ‘good news’ story that the transition is both necessary and desirable.” [Source: Global Call for Climate Action Annual Report 2015–2016, p. 4][Emphasis added] [4]

    Among CAN International funders in 2015 were Avaaz, ClimateWorks, European Climate Foundation, Greenpeace, GSCC, Res Publica (co-founder of Avaaz), and WWF. [For the full list, see CAN’s 2015 Annual Report.]

    “Within the climate community gravitating around the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) space, one group in particular was especially satisfied with the Paris outcome. The members of this group were not just satisfied with the agreement but with themselves. They were convinced that they had played a pivotal role in the Paris success. Cutting across a variety of organizations and interests, this group of activists, consultants, business representatives, policy analysts, public figures, climate experts, communications and media specialists, and data analysts worked together—and often in collaboration with the UNFCCC and Parties to the negotiation—in the months and years leading up to COP21 to create the conditions for a “successful” Paris outcome. Late into the evening of December 12, at the Climate Action Network (CAN) International celebratory event in central Paris, members of this highly qualified and experienced network of individuals were celebrating not only the agreement but also their contribution to its realization. As they sang along to Queen’s “We are the Champions!” they had themselves in mind. This was their moment. This was their agreement.”

     

    The Price of Climate Action: Philanthropic Foundations in the International Climate Debate, 2016, Edouard Morena] [p. 3] [Emphasis added]

    Those who served on the GCCA Board of Directors in 2015-2016 include GCCA Board Vice-Chair Phil Ireland (Purpose), Online Progressive Engagement Network), Hoda Baraka (350.org), Fatima Denton (WWF International), Lo Sze Ping (WWF China), and Farhana Yamin, Associate Fellow, Chatham House, and recognized by the Financial Times as “one of the movement’s leading voices” in Extinction Rebellion.

    “Over the next two years, GCCA aims to grow its new entrant network to 4,000+ members.”

     

    Global Call for Climate Action Annual Report, 2015–2016 [Source]

    The interlocking directorate between those serving ClimateWorks/EFC and the foundations, institutions and leading NGOs with “designs to win”, can be illustrated in the following brief examples:

  • Tim Nuthall serves as the international communications director at the European Climate Foundation. During 2016 Nuthall served as the communications director of the Christiana Figueres’ campaign to become the new secretary general of the United Nations. [Source] Nuthall was also short-listed for the 2014-2016 International Council for Science (ICSU) Road to Paris top “20 people we want to hear more from in the climate change debate.” [Source] [5]
  •  

  • Tom Brookes is executive director, strategic communications, and a member of the ECF Executive Management Team. Based in Brussels, Brookes works to advance the policy response to climate change, and has responsibility for external communications, public affairs, and political communications strategy for the ECF, its affiliates, and network. [Source] Having joined the ECF in 2009, Brookes is also senior advisor on international strategic communications for the ClimateWorks Foundation and executive director of the Global Strategic Communications Council (GSCC). [Source]
  •  

  • Christian Teriete is part of the ECF’s Strategic Communications unit working as the network director to coordinate the activities of an international team of communications specialists. Prior to joining the ECF in 2016, Teriete served as communications director for the Global Call for Climate Action (GCCA). Prior to joining the GCCA in 2010, Teriete spent seven years working for WWF. From 2004 to 2006, he managed communications for the global PowerSwitch campaign. From 2007 to 2010, he coordinated WWF’s climate and energy campaigns in the Asia-Pacific region. [Source]
  •  

  • Andrew Schenkel “works primarily with the Global Strategic Communications Council, a global network of communications professionals in the field of climate and energy.” Prior to this role, Schenkel served as both communications Director and managing editor and director of special projects for Global Call for Climate Action – GCCA. [Source]
  •  

  • James Lorenz serves as Southeast Asia manager for the Global Strategic Communications Council (GSCC). “The role has required diplomacy, tact and leadership to forge relationships with a broad range of stakeholders – from investors at Vietnam Holdings, to Mission2020, led by former Executive Director of the UNFCCC, Christiana Figueres.” Prior to this Lorenz served as Australia lead to the GSCC. Prior to his work at GSCC, Lorenz served as senior media advisor, media manager, head of communications for Greenpeace Australia Pacific. [Source: Lorenz CV]
  •  

  • Aarti Khosla is director of Climate Trends. Prior to this position, Khosla was climate and energy communications specialist for Global Strategic Communications Council India for four years. Prior to this position, Khosla served WWF for seven years. [Source]
  •  

    As an example of the collaborative efforts between GSCC and affiliates, one can observe the Social Media Communications hybrid capacity-training program led by GSCC and assisted by GCCA co-founder Avaaz. [“Social Media Communications Skill Share (SMC) is a hybrid capacity building training organized by GSCC,Bankwatch and European Beyond Coal Campaign.] SMC aims to address the needs of the civil society organizations in Central Eastern Europe and Balkans Region”.] All online learning modules, weeks one to four were led by GSCC affiliates. Week 1 was led by GSCC’s Devin Bahceci (climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace) and Greg McNevin (communications director for Europe Beyond Coal, former strategic communications directors for GCCA, and former media relations specialist for Greenpeace). Week 2 was led by Daniel Donner (Thunberg media manager) and Paul Batty, both of GSCC, while the social media campaigning and engagement webinar was to be conducted by Iain Keith of Avaaz. The webinars were open to all interested people from the Europe Beyond Coal network and partner organizations. A day camp to “focus building skills together on concrete case of social media campaigning” was also organized. [Source]

    The ECF is the leading partner of the Beyond Coal campaign in Europe. Bloomberg Philanthropies is a major funder of ECF:

    “November 9 2017, New York, NY— Just after announcing a renewed commitment of $64 million to the Beyond Coal campaign in the United States and during this year’s UN Climate Conference COP 23 in Bonn, Germany, Michael R. Bloomberg, U.N. Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, announced a $50 million-dollar commitment to partners worldwide to catalyze a global effort to move nations away from coal dependence. European Climate Foundation will be the leading partner in Europe.”

     

    Michael R. Bloomberg Commits $50 Million to International Effort to Move Beyond Coal, Reinforcing Leadership on Global Climate Action, ECF website

    As coal was phased out, natural gas moved in to take its place with energy corporations planning to add at least 150 new gas plants and thousands of miles of pipelines in the years ahead, in the US alone. [June 26, 2019: “As Coal Fades in the U.S., Natural Gas Becomes the Climate Battleground”] It’s par for the course that Willett Advisors, the investment arm for the personal and philanthropic assets of Michael Bloomberg, specializes in oil and gas. Here, we can note that the lead at the environment program at Bloomberg Philanthropies sits on the ECF supervisory board. [Further reading: Volume II, ACT I]

    +++

    A pivotal role in foundation funding, is hegemonic control and further colonization over states struggling to achieve or maintain their right to sovereignty. The protection and expansion of imperial foreign policies and economic interests is paramount. Consider that from 2015 to 2016, the Oak Foundation provided funding to the ECF in order to “expand and improve the public discourse on climate change and energy issues in India”. Not the Netherlands, where the project is based, but India. [“Starting with a focus on COP21, GSCC is working across a diverse set of partnerships including civil society groups, policy makers and the informed public to mainstream the discussions on climate change and energy in India.”] This is nothing more egregious than continued colonization under the guise of climate protection. [Source]

    Whereas 20th century missionaries carried out their conquests in servitude to colonial states, in the 21st century it has been international NGOs for the most part fulfilling this endeavour. A transition is underway, however. Whereas the NGOs comprising the non-profit industrial complex are this century’s primary force multipliers, today, in an avant-garde brave new world – meets society of spectacle, the new improved, modern weapon of choice has become the citizenry of a targeted demographic, who can be made to demand a camouflaged destruction of their own shared futures. Consumers have been shaped into prosumers – product and brand advocates –  who now take the lead in demanding products and/or change/reform. This new role is encouraged, nurtured, and repurposed by corporations as leverage to bolster their profits, growth and credibility under the guise of capitulation and benevolence. Unwittingly, the collective can be made to demand their own further servitude and enslavement under the guise of empowerment. Made both invisible and irrelevant is the labourer, now recognized as human capital, who with little to no disposable income, has become largely disposable.

    +++

    The European Climate Foundation (ECF) has provided the GSCC millions in funding since its inception. More recently, and notably, on August 9, 2018, the ECF granted the GSCC and the Philanthropy Task Force just over one million dollars:

    “This grant will support the European Climate Foundation’s Philanthropy Task Force. This was inspired by French President Emmanuel Macron to catalyze both private donors and development agencies to support climate mitigation in Southeast Asia, clean energy innovation, global clean air campaigns, and efforts to protect land-based carbon sinks. The second part of the grant will support ECF’s Global Strategic Climate Communications program. This grant will fund the GSCC’s core program and its India program. The key focus in this grant period is to create narratives of climate ambition at key moments throughout the year, both at international and national levels, in order to help turn sectors and governments from a simple commitment to the Paris Agreement to implementing its measures in earnest.” [Source][Emphasis added]

    The ECF grant exemplifies the cohesion between the European Climate Foundation’s Philanthropy Task Force with the European Climate Foundation’s Global Strategic Climate Communications program. Hence, the Philanthropy Task Force and the Global Strategic Climate Communications program can be considered shared/joint endeavours. Both endeavours belonging to the European Climate Foundation, “the core of the ClimateWorks system in Europe”.

    The Natural Capital Summit led by ClimateWorks Australia took place from June 6-7, 2019, as part of Climate Week Queensland 2019. A Natural Capital Roadmap was developed which will provide a framework for accelerating “natural capital thinking” in Australia. “The program is contributing to and benefiting from participation in the global Food and Land Use Coalition, led by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the World Resources Institute and others.” [Source]

    Rebrand: From Corporate Sycophant to Corporate Activist

    Both the Global Strategic Communications Council (GSCC) and Christiana Figueres are slowly being introduced and embedded into the public “activism” realm. The May 2, 2019 article “United Zero Emission Union until 2050 – recommends the Climate Change Committee” reports, “After the protests of Extinction Rebellion, climate strikes involving Greta Thunberg and the announcement of a climate threat by the parliaments of Scotland, Wales and the United Kingdom, climate change is at the top of the political agenda in the UK, even removing Brexit.” The article, which quotes both Christiana Figueres (highlighting her leadership position with Mission2020 as well as her past position as the executive secretary of the UNFCCC) and WWF, is published by Wojciech Makowski, Global Strategic Communications Council (GSCC).

    Another recent example of the Figueres rebranding from elite and corporate strategist to activist can be explored in the April 12, 2019 op-ed written by Figueres with 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben. This follows an op-ed written by Figueres with Greta Thunberg in January 2019 as touched upon in this Volume of this series.

    On June 18, 2019, an additional case in point of Figueres being brought into the mainstream fold of manufactured activism can be identified in the form of an Extinction Rebellion podcast. A description of the Extinction Rebellion Podcast Episode 4 – Looking Forwards reads: “In our first episode since April’s International Rebellion, the Extinction Rebellion Podcast discusses the future.” The interview was highlighted in the June 26, 2019 XR newsletter. The episode also features The Guardian’s George Monbiot.

    L-R: Aarti Khosla (GSCC India), Christiana Figueres (Mission 2020 Convenor and former head of the UNFCCC), Dr. Arvind Kumar (Founder and Trustee, Lung Care Foundation), and Shweta Narayan (Healthy Energy Initiative India Coordinator) November 8, 2018 [Source]

    Within this series, we will spend a brief moment highlighting the close-knit relationship between Christiana Figueres and GCCA co-founder Avaaz. Avaaz’s for-profit sister org, Purpose, is a New York public relations firm specializing in behavioural change for clients. As the material demonstrates, Avaaz promotes and assists Figueres. Figueres, in turn, promotes Avaaz.

    We also need to highlight the relationship between Farhana Yamin (Extinction Rebellion) and Avaaz. The Avaaz branding and campaigns are heavily promoted through Yamin’s NGO “Track 0” website and affiliated Twitter account. Yamin, an “invitation only CBS participant” with others such as Iain Keith (Avaaz) and Jamie Henn (350.org) – also attended the 2015 Avaaz retreat with those such as Rajiv Joshi, Managing Director of Richard Branson’s The B Team. The B Team, is co-founder of We Mean Business. B Team leader and experts include Christiana Figueres and Avaaz/Purpose co-founder Jeremy Heimans. The B Team is managed by Purpose. Both Purpose and Greenpeace assisted in the creation of We Mean Business. [Volume 1, ACT ]

    We Have A Plan – M2020

    The Nature (“international weekly journal of science”), June 28, 2017 paper “Three Years to Safeguard Our Climate” [Christiana Figueres et al – Christiana Figueres, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, founder of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Gail Whiteman, Professor in-Residence at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), Johan Rockström, Chief Scientist of Conservation International, co-chair of the Future Earth Advisory Committee, Anthony Hobley, CEO of Carbon Tracker, and Stefan Rahmstorf oceanographer and climatologist at the Potsdam Institute] outlines a “six-point plan for turning the tide of the world’s carbon dioxide by 2020.”

    An excerpt from the Nature paper highlights the imperative, with a concession for the global economy:

    “After roughly 1°C of global warming driven by human activity, ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are already losing mass at an increasing rate. Summer sea ice is disappearing in the Arctic and coral reefs are dying from heat stress — entire ecosystems are starting to collapse… The magnitude of the challenge can be grasped by computing a budget for CO2emissions — the maximum amount of the gas that can be released before the temperature limit is breached… If the current rate of annual emissions stays at this level, we would have to drop them almost immediately to zero once we exhaust the budget. Such a ‘jump to distress’ is in no one’s interest. A more gradual descent would allow the global economy time to adapt smoothly.” [Emphasis added]

    Here, we must note three things: 1) The global temperature not to exceed has always been 1°C (UNAGG, 1998). It was adjusted to 2°C by economist William Nordhaus in order to allow for continued global economic growth. 2) Even if emissions stopped tomorrow, the world will still be locked in to 2-4+°C (V. Ramanathan and Y. Feng, 2008), and 3) There is no remaining carbon budget, which should be obvious by the ecological devastation that has already taken place, as highlighted by authors.

    From the paper:

    The fossil-free economy is already profitable and creating jobs (www.clean200.org). A report this year by the International Renewable Energy Agency and the IEA shows that efforts to stop climate change could boost the global economy by $19 trillion. The IEA has also said that implementing the Paris agreement will unlock $13.5 trillion or more before 2050.”

    One wonders how a global economy enhanced by 19 trillion dollars, and the unlocking of trillions more, has anything to do with nature – in a scientific nature journal or otherwise (aside from contributing to nature’s further obliteration).

    The paper identifies six milestones in six sectors to prioritize actions developed by many of the NGOs and institutions laid out in the Manufacturing for Consent series: “Developed with knowledge leaders, these were reviewed and refined in collaboration with analysts at Yale University, the Climate Action Tracker consortium, Carbon Tracker, the low-carbon coalition We Mean Business, the Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT), advisory firm SYSTEMIQ [explored in Volume II], the New Climate Economy project and Conservation International.”

    And although carbon-intensive industries (iron, steel, cement, chemicals, oil, gas, etc.) are identified in the paper as emitting “more than one-fifth of the world’s CO2, excluding their electricity and heat demands”, neither the scientists Rockström, Schellnhuber, nor the signatories of the paper who now declare a global “climate emergency” deem it essential that we put the brakes on industrialization as quickly as possible. Rather, the goal is to accelerate it.

    The Signatories to the paper are most, if not all, those explored in this series, including World Resources Institute, the European Climate Foundation, ClimateWorks, Generation Investment, New Climate Economy, SystemIQ, Grantham Institute, The B Team, the Business and Sustainable Development Commission, C40 Cities, CERES, We Mean Business, Unilever, Carbon Disclosure Project, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Conservation International, Sustainable Energy for All, International Trade Union Confederation General Secretary, and Climate Action Network. [The full list of co-signatories are identified in the paper’s supplementary information.] [6]

    These six sectors and milestones then form Christiana Figueres Mission2020 campaign, an initiative of Figueres’ Global Optimism project: The Climate Turning Point report published in April 2017 states: “These six milestones provide a vision for where we need to be by 2020 in order to successfully meet the climate turning point.”[Source]

    The Tracking Progress of the 2020 Climate Turning Point report was published by World Resources Institute in February 2019:

     The research shows that we are not yet on track. Despite encouraging progress in some areas such as the uptake of renewable energy, in many other areas, extraordinary action is necessary to meet the milestones. Encouragingly WRI analysis points to tremendous, untapped opportunities to scale up and accelerate action across all sectors.” [Source] [Emphasis in original]

    If the populace followed these institutions rather than NGOs such as Greenpeace, 350.org et al, we would not be easy fodder for such manipulation, as we are at present.

    M2020: Be A Part of It

    Echoing the sentiment and support for the September 2019 United Nations Climate Action Summit is Figueres’ M2020 NGO:

    “BE A PART OF IT – Sept 23, 2019, | New York City”

    The call for further mobilization can be found under the “#2020 Don’t Be Late” section, on the Mission2020 website:

    The heartbeat moments below represent a few of the key opportunities to step up and engage in accelerating climate action so that we can meet the 2020 climate turning point.”

    This “activism” sought by Figueres, We Mean Business, et al., poses zero threat to the system destroying our world, or to those that oversee it. Rather, the “activism” eagerly bolstered by the ruling classes, has been identified as the strategic apparatus which can save the very system itself.

    The two “heartbeat moments” identified by M2020 are the #FridaysForFuture global climate strikes, “an opportunity for school children and adults alike to raise the voice of urgency for climate action and urge leaders to follow the Paris Agreement”, and The UN Secretary-General’s Summit in September 2019: “UN Secretary-General António Guterres is bringing world leaders, from government, finance, business, and civil society to the UN Climate Summit on 23 September 2019. All relevant stakeholders who demonstrate the highest level of ambition and action will be invited to profile their efforts.” [Emphasis added]

    “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.”

     

    Clive Spash, This Changes Nothing – The Paris Agreement to Ignore Reality, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna, Austria, 2016

    Organizations contributing to the “2020 Climate Turning Point” report highlighted by Mission2020, what is best described as a continuum of the June 28, 2017 paper “Three Years to Safeguard Our Climate“, again include the same “leaders”, institutions and many of those identified in the Manufacturing Consent series. These include The New Climate Economy, SYSTEMIQ, We Mean Business, Conservation International, and World Resources Institute. [Full list] In section four, addressing global industrial processes, the need to accelerate the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) is highlighted.

    The Age of Storytelling

    In 2015, Laurence Tubiana represented France as French ambassador and the lead negotiator for COP 21. In 2018, French president Macron appointed Tubiana to France’s High Council on Climate Change. Like Figueres, Tubiana is recognized as a leading architect of the Paris Agreement.

    Leading up to COP21 Tubiana, Figueres (in her role as Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), and members of the Climate Group attended the July 2015 World Summit Climate & Territories–Lyon (France). A pivotal focus of the meeting was the implementation if the carbon market, “a Tool for Green Economic Development”. [Press release, July 10, 2015]

    “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.”

     

    Clive Spash, This Changes Nothing – The Paris Agreement to Ignore Reality, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna, Austria, 2016

    Today, as touched upon on this series, Tubiana serves as CEO to ECF alongside serving high-level appointments (One Planet Climate Lab, Energy Transitions Commission, etc.).

    On March 20, 2019, the ECF website highlighted the fact that “Laurence Tubiana, ECF CEO, and key leading architect of the landmark Paris Agreement listed in the World’s 100 most influential people in Climate Policy in 2019”.

    Also highlighted by the ECF were Greta Thunberg, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, “the youngest ever US congresswoman and lead advocate of the Green New Deal”, and David Attenborough. Attenborough serves as an influencer for the financialization of nature under the guise of “New Deal For Nature” as well as a voice for a population control that exclusively targets the Global South.

    More and more, members of the ruling class, and those they appoint, or accept, are believed to the 21st century saviours. Saviours for a planet we are fully prepared and willing to sacrifice, on the promise (fantasies and outright falsehoods) that green technology will save our Western privilege.

    The transition, and normalization, of a fully commodified activism is now a fait accompli. Collectively, the Western populace has been socially conditioned to the concept, and has fully accepted (if not embraced) a 21st century corporate “activism”.

    +++

    October 24, 2016, We Could Be At The Dawn of Climate Friendly Air Travel:

    “With 30,000 new large aircraft taking off in the near future, Christiana Figueres and Laurence Tubiana say now is the time to decouple increased CO2 emissions from aviation growth. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, demand for air travel is growing, with more than 30,000 new large aircraft expected to take to the skies in the next few years. But if we are to sustain growth in air travel without aggravating global warming, we must quickly reduce aviation-related CO2 emissions, which are substantial and not covered by the Paris climate agreement that more than 190 countries agreed to last December. Fortunately, now is the perfect time to decouple aviation emissions from air-travel growth…”

    The delusion and oxymoron behind the concept of “carbon-smart flying” inspired by Figueres and Tubiana masks the grim fact that 50% of all global greenhouse gas emissions are created by a mere 1% of the population – that is, anyone that can afford to get on a plane. [Further reading: Volume II, Act I] Yet, such fictions are brazenly told as the Western citizenry is hungry to hear them, and more importantly to believe in them. This is the age of storytelling.

    An integral part of the global “green growth” fairytale is the concept of “decoupling”. [Ecological Indicators, December 2018: “When emissions grow less rapidly than GDP environmental economists speak of relative decoupling; if emissions even decrease relative to the pace of economic growth, then decoupling is absolute.”] [7]

    “Despite all the green-growth nonsense, decoupling in line with 1.5-2°C carbon budgets is a pipedream.”

     

    Kevin Anderson, Professor of Energy and Climate Change at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, November 13, 2018

    In response to a question put forward by a journalist, if peak emissions by 2020 is “mission impossible”, Christiana Figueres, responds as follows, referencing a decoupling of emissions:

    “The fact is that now we now have confirmation from different sources, independent sources that we are on for the third year in a row we have actually flattened out in emissions. So for the three years in a row we’ve had flat GHG emissions, greenhouse gas emissions, and we have an increasing GDP. So we could already be beginning to decouple greenhouse gas emissions from GDP. The fact is we are already walking in the right direction. Now what we’re trying to do actually is just increase the pace and the scale.”

    Kevin Anderson, Professor of Energy and Climate Change at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research sheds some much needed light on such fantasy: ” Taking account of UK CO2 from aviation & shipping & from its imports & exports & the UK’s CO2 emissions in 2016 were virtually unchanged from 1990. Real decoupling at a level even approaching what Paris requires has not yet occurred within any nation.” [Anderson, August 24, 2018]. Anderson adds: “I would add that no nation is even approaching doing what “they feasibly can” – & will continue to fail whilst we worship the God of mammon, ephemeral economics, & green-growth (i.e. decoupling) the unholy trinity.” [Anderson: November 18, 2018]

    It is of interest to note that in a largely positive framing of decoupling published by The Guardian, [April 14, 2016: “Is it possible to reduce CO2 emissions and grow the global economy?”] Anderson’s thoughtful and critical commentary was largely disregarded. Anderson’s comment: “In the absence of the huge uptake of highly speculative negative emissions technologies, the concept of green growth within the wealthier industrialized nations is very misleading – all the more once allowance is made for the equity considerations enshrined in the agreement” – was shortened to – “The concept of green growth is very misleading.” Further, Anderson was cited in the article as “an avowed pessimist” for offering a response based on reality rather than one based on wishful thinking – 21st century parables that pay allegiance to the current neoliberal paradigm. [Anderson’s full commentary, April 16, 2016]

    The journalist submits a second, very straightforward question to Figueres: “Emissions from aviation are rising as people want to fly more. Should we just fly less?”

    Incredibly, yet par for the (growth) course, Figueres does not agree unequivocally that “yes, we should fly less”, rather she responds that flying less is the wrong approach:

    “The fact is that you cannot exempt any sector of the economy from these efforts. So you can’t say okay we’re not going to fly because aviation is too high emitting. No that’s the wrong approach.”

    Figueres then shifts the topic to two recent announcements from a “very small start-up as well as from Siemens that they foresee that ten years from now they will be having airplanes that are fully electric with clean energy and that have a thousand kilometer range.” Here again, we have decision-making and legislation (or lack of) being based and dependent upon technologies not yet invented. Technologies that may or may not be realized decades into the future.

    Figueres then concedes, if only slightly: “But [for] the time being if you want to be responsible, yes definitely go for the mobility with the low submissions, but that cannot exempt any sector. Every sector needs to bring down to the submissions. And aviation is coming.”

    [Full interview: published April 12, 2017]

    Yes. Aviation is certainly coming. Consider the recent announcement that Leonardo DiCaprio is joining with billionaire investors and philanthropists Laurene Powell Jobs and Brian Sheth to create Earth Alliance, “a new non-profit environmental powerhouse.” Sheth is the co-founder and president of private equity firm Vista Equity Partners. Powell Jobs, widow of former Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs, over the last year, has helped fund Boom Supersonic, a project to create an “economically-viable supersonic airliner” via her Emerson Collective. Yes, these are the people that are going to “tackle climate change”.

    “The Emerson Collective —an org. headed by Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs —is one of a number of investors to take part in a $100 million round of funding for Boom…a 55-seat aircraft that is touted to fly at speeds of up to match 2.2 once completed.”

     

    January 8, 2019, Laurene Powell Jobs’ Emerson Collective contributing to $100M funding round for Boom Supersonic

    On another note, consider Conservation International (leading the implementation of the financialization of nature) reports in 2017 that its chairman [2017 earnings: 616,343.00 USD] and CEO [2017 earnings: 442,606.00 USD] “may travel first class due to the frequency and length of the trips required.” [2017 990, p. 124] The Nature Conservancy has similar guidelines. The travel budget for Conservation International came in at just under 11 million dollars in 2017.

    According to the WWF, unregulated carbon pollution from aviation is the fastest-growing source of the greenhouse gas emissions driving global climate change. Current expansion plans for the aviation industry could lead to emissions from this sector tripling by 2040. [Source] Of course, WWF does not address militarism nor the US pentagon, nor does any other entity or “leader” in a position of power or influence. Regardless, the concept of “environmentally sustainable aviation” put forward by Figueres and Tubiana flies in the face of Figueres’ “Every Breath Matters” campaign. Every breath matters, but the necessity for aviation profits and economic growth matters far more.

    “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.”

    Every Breath Matters

    According to Greta Thunberg’s father, Svante Thunberg, Greta is assisted by various climate organizations. This includes the “Every Breath Matters” group that arranged for Greta’s presence in Davos where she was publicly accompanied by Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace International. Every Breath Matters was unveiled to the public on October 30, 2018 by its co-chair Christiana Figueres. The Every Breath Matters campaign is a collaboration between the Berggruen Institute, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, and Figueres’ Global Optimism.

    The Every Breath Matters group of “clean air champions” includes:

  • Christiana Figueres, Former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and Convenor of Mission 2020
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, Chairman of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation
  • Greta Thunberg, Climate Activist
  • Tedros Adhanom, Director-General of the World Health Organization
  • [Full list]

    All inquiries for Every Breath Matters were directed to Callum Grieve, the communications specialist for “Every Breath Matters“. Grieve is the former communications director for We Mean Business, The Climate Group (co-founder of We Mean Business), and Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) [8]. He has coordinated high-level climate change communications campaigns and interventions for the United Nations, the World Bank Group, and several Fortune 500 companies. [“Led communications for a coalition of the world’s most influential business leaders and investors to help secure the most ambitious global climate agreement possible at COP21.”] In addition to the aforementioned roles, Grieve created and led Climate Week NYC. He is a co-founder and director of Counter Culture, a for-profit brand development firm specializing in behavioural change campaigns and storytelling, still in its initial stages. [Source]

    Callum Grieve tweets to Greta Thunberg on the very first day of her now infamous strike. Others who tweeted to or about Greta on the first day of her strike (August 20, 2018) include Sasja Beslik, Head of Sustainable Finance at Nordea Bank who would later write Thunberg a personal letter in the virtues of capitalism, publicizing it via Twitter. [The Thunberg Twitter account created in June, 2018 also follows Beslik.]

    “Nordea boss says climate protests are ‘just the beginning'” — BBC, April 17, 2019

     

    At this juncture we should reflect upon the following information disclosed by Bloomberg on August 10, 2019 in the article “Climate Changed – Greta Thunberg and ‘Flight Shame’ Are Fueling a Carbon Offset Boom”:

    “Campaigning by climate activist Greta Thunberg and filmmaker-naturalist David Attenborough is persuading pollution-conscious fliers to try and mitigate the environmental damage caused by their flights.

     

    Sales of so-called carbon offsets are soaring: Myclimate, a Swiss nonprofit whose clients include Deutsche Lufthansa AG, reported a five-fold uptake in its credits in a year. At Ryanair Holdings Plc, Europe’s largest discount carrier, the number of customers making voluntary offset payments has almost doubled in 18 months.”

    From “Activist” for Capital to Influencer

    On the sample list of participants from the We Mean Business, Leaders’ Quest and Mission 2020 [All explored within Volume II] document outlining the “Pathfinders and Deep Practitioners Programs” from 2017, recognizable names include 350.org’s Henn. The term “Deep Practitioners” is applied to a cohort of “30 senior leaders of influential private, public and civil society organizations, who are willing to collaborate across sectors and change their own patterns of behavior.” “Global Influencers will create public and private opportunities for influential leaders to join the collective movement. Committed leaders will increase pressure on their peers to engage – establishing a new norm.” [Source] [Further reading: Volume II]

    The shaping and moulding of our increasing corporatized planet is being carried out by a select group of meticulously groomed people in servitude to a ruling class founded on white supremacist values and American exceptionalism.

    April 1, 2019 From left: Greta Thunberg and Luisa Neubauer, *ONE youth ambassador with Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research directors Ottmar Edenhofer and Johan Rockström. Source: Detlev Scheerbarth. *ONE was co-founded in 2004 by Bono in partnership with eleven non-profits/NGOs including GCCA co-founder and Purpose partner Oxfam. Funding was provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

    Here, we can reflect upon the “Pathfinders and Deep Practitioners” as shaped, moulded, imagined and desired by We Mean Business and partner NGOs founded by Figueres. In this regard, young Thunberg has exceeded all expectations. Consider Thunberg’s May 2019 interview by Brandon Hurlbut for Political Climate (presented/funded by the USC Schwarzenegger Institute and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation) when asked for her advice for US climate activists:

    “I think just to stick to your message and don’t come with any demands, any specific demands. Leave that to the scientists because we don’t have the proper education to do that. Now we should only [be] focusing on speaking on behalf of the scientists and telling people to listen to them. And that is what I’m trying to do. And to not have opinions yourself, but always refer to science.”

    “Activism” with no demands – is “establishing a new norm”. A dream for corporate power and ruling classes – a nightmare for the working class and those in the Global South who do not have the luxury to afford such lax dissent.

    The mantra (talking point), put forward by young Thunberg, that we (collective society) should “not have opinions, but always refer to science” is an incredibly dangerous proposal. Consider such unequivocal support by society for scientist Johan Rockström, chief scientist of the corporate NGO powerhouse Conservation International, a leading advocate behind the implementation of the financialization of nature.

    Peter Kareiva is the former chief scientist at The Nature Conservancy and co-founder of the Natural Capital Project. Kareiva states that “money can buy you nature”. And this, of course, inadvertently reveals the other side of the equation – that those with no money cannot buy nature. And we are all aware of who has the money. This single ideology alone, now held by many scientists (see the excellent work by ecological economist Clive Spash) is more than enough to demonstrate that scientists are not deities to be obeyed without question. In fact, with Western science playing a leading role in the destruction of the natural world and all life she sustains, while biodiversity that remains intact is under the care and protection of Indigenous populations, this really begs the question of who should be in charge of our multiple ecological crises. Those who have demonstrated they can destroy it – or those who have demonstrated they can protect it. The answer is obvious, yet power will never be given. It must be taken.

    “But remember, this power of the people on top depends on the obedience of the people below. When people stop obeying, they have no power.”

     

    Howard Zinn

    Unite Behind the Science

    We are subjected to the branding term “Unite Behind the Science” pushed hard by the UN-WEF Partnership. This is coupled with a heavy emphasis from the exploited Thunberg, who serves as the face and voice of the movement, to “listen to the science”. The sentiment, which is a subtle yet direct directive, is reverberated throughout international media outlets.

    The slogan “Unite Behind the Science” is not meant to be a call to protect Earth. Here, we have science being used as a tool, and even a weapon, to privatize the commons under the guise of protecting nature, climate and biodiversity. It is meant to unleash a new era of privatization and plunder. All aboard the New Deals for Nature train: New Deal For Nature, Voice for the Planet, New Deal for Nature and People, and Global Deal For Nature (“© Copyright Global Deal for Nature, a project of Sustainable Markets Foundation”).

    Also trending is the “Natural Climate Solutions” terminology, being rolled out by The Nature Conservancy project “Nature4Climate” in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN-REDD, Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Conservation International (CI), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Woods Hole Research Center, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), World Resources Institute (WRI), We Mean Business (WMB), and WWF (the dirty dozen). The new term providing a holistic cover for carbon offsets – a rebranding exercise for the carbon market mechanism UN-REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation).

    Above: James Lloyd, project lead at Nature4Climate and Natural Climate Solutions stakeholder manager at The Nature Conservancy, Twitter

    Above: One of the first institutions to highlight Monbiot’s Natural Climate Solutions launch (April 3, 2019) was the Food and Land Use Coalition. This coalition was initiated under Business and Sustainable Development Commission leadership led by former Unilever CEO Paul Polman and Mark Malloch-Brown, recently appointed to the UN Foundation board. Member foundations include ClimateWorks, the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, Ford Foundation, Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, Good Energies, and Margaret Cargill. 

    The Planetary Boundaries Are Not Intended to Limit Growth

    “The failure to put the issue of imperialism in the Anthropocene at the center of its analysis is the greatest weakness of the Western ecological movement. It is often acknowledged that the effects of climate change and the crossing of planetary boundaries in general are having their greatest effects on the global South, where millions are already suffering from climate change… Nevertheless, there is very little consciousness at present that imperialism, representing the global rift inherent in the world capitalist system, is an active force organized against ecological revolution, seeking to lock in the fossil fuel system and the current regime of maximal environmental degradation and human exploitation. Twenty-first-century imperialism is, in this sense, the exterminist phase of capitalism.”

     

    — Imperialism in the Anthropocene, July 1, 2019

     

    At the 2015 WEF annual gathering in Davos, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Stockholm Resilience Centre held a press conference titled “Planetary Boundaries: Blueprint for Managing Systemic Global Risk” in order to highlight the “New Global Context for the Planet”. Speakers on the panel included Georg Schmitt, head of corporate affairs, World Economic Forum, Johan Rockström, director, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Marco Lambertini, director-general, WWF International, Jan Eliasson, deputy secretary-general, United Nations, and Hans Vestberg, chief executive officer, Verizon Communications. [Wall Street Journal, September 12, 2019: Verizon Ventures Prepares for 5G Startup Wave]

    Rockström declared:

    I represent the global community of earth system scientists, that today stand on a vast mountain of empirical evidence, to conclude from a scientific perspective, that the new global context is really about recognizing that humanity has become a global force of change at the planetary scale. We can today unfortunately envisage the global world economy itself disrupting the stability of the earth system.

     

    Science has now finally been able to translate this into a constructive new paradigm for world development. Shedding off the old sustainable development paradigm which as you are all aware is about economic growth and minimizing environmental impacts to recognize that the economy must operate within the safe operating space of the planetary boundaries.”

    As the press conference comes to a close, Rockström assures his audience that “using planetary boundaries is not a way to hamper development. It is rather a way to put the incentives in place, to guide the kind of incentives and innovations that Hans in talking about. So it is about a transformation of abundance within a safe operating space. So it is not limited growth – but growth within limits.”

    In the age of storytelling, we call this convenient doublespeak – the utilization of language to disguise the truth. In a planet under siege by a global corporatocracy, what should be absolute partition between science and corporate power, is instead, shattered, blurred and enmeshed.

    “The scaling of solutions is the biggest challenge we have.”

     

    Hans Vestberg, CEO of Verizon Communications, WEF, 2015 press conference, Planetary Boundaries: Blueprint for Managing Systemic Global Risk

    +++

    In addition to his position as director designate of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and chief scientist at Conservation International Johan Rockström serves as co-chair of the Future Earth Advisory Committee.

    In the July 16, 2019 article “Three steps to meeting the climate and nature emergency”, Rockström articulates how society must move from incremental to exponential action.

    In the first major step identified by Rockström, he divulges a new commission: “First, the scientific community needs urgently to explore targets and set scientific boundaries for the entire Earth system, beyond those set to combat climate change. As part of a new global commons alliance, the first Earth Commission, to be announced later this year, will do just that.”

    Outlining the second step, Rockström states the imperative to “go beyond GDP as a measure of economic and social wellbeing“. What Rockström is actually speaking to is the assigning of monetary value to nature’s “goods and services”. That is, the financialization of nature via the coming “New Deal For Nature”. This ties into the third major step articulated by Rockström:

    “And, finally, we need to take full advantage of 2020, a super-year for international policy on the environment, with three big milestones in the journey to build global co-operation. The UN Convention on Biological Diversity will meet to agree new targets. On climate, nations must submit more ambitious targets for the Paris Agreement. And a UN ocean summit may reshape marine policy for the next generation.” [Emphasis added]

    Again, this is emotive holistic linguistics framing for the very ugly monetization of nature.

    “This leads to an intriguing possibility. In 2020, the UN will 75 years old. Following the lead of the UK and Ireland, is it now time for the UN to declare a climate and nature emergency?”

     

    Johan Rockström, director, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, chief scientist, Conservation International, July 16, 2019

    Rockström ends his article stating: “The next decade must bring the fastest economic transition in history to prosperity that protects the planet. This is necessary, achievable and desirable. But the work must start now.” [Emphasis added]

    Here again, we must pay close attention to the language, framing and repetition. The phrase “this is necessary, achievable and desirable” is one echoed by partner “climate leaders” and faux environmental groups:

    “Bending the emissions curve by 2020. Net zero by 2050. Necessary, desirable and achievable.”

     

    Christina Figueres, Twitter

     

    “2020: the necessary, desirable and achievable turning point to safeguard our climate.”

     

    Leonardo DiCaprio website

     

    “Corporate climate action: what’s necessary, desirable and achievable.”

     

    Natural Capital Partners

     

    “Within the next three decades, the Fourth Industrial Revolution — driven by digitalization such as mobile internet, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things — will transform everyone’s lives and every business on the planet… With the goal of catalyzing broad and rapid progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. This is necessary, desirable and achievable.”

     

    Step Up Declaration, Harnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution

    Other institutions, NGOs and declarations reverberating the terminology and/or sharing articles attributed to Figueres (containing the “desirable” phrase), include the Grantham Institute, Futerra, The B Team, the UNFCC, and so on.

    +++

    In May 2016, the map “Indigenous Peoples, Protected Areas and Natural Ecosystems in Central America,” released by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), is the most comprehensive map of its kind ever produced for the region. The map details that “approximately 51 percent of Central America’s current forest cover is either inside or adjacent to indigenous territory”. [Source]

    Upon release of the map, Grethel Aguilar, Regional Director of the IUCN Office for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean stated: “You cannot talk about conservation without speaking of indigenous peoples and their role as the guardians of our most delicate lands and waters. This map shows that where indigenous people live, you will find the best preserved natural resources. They depend on those natural resources to survive, and the rest of society depends on their role in safeguarding those resources for the well-being of us all.” [Source]

    Actions speak louder than words, however, with IUCN a leading partner in the Natural Capital Coalition tasked with the financialization of nature. That is, the corporate coup of the Earth’s commons. [“IUCN’s Global Business and Biodiversity Programme, along with World Business Council for Sustainable Development and a consortium of organisations, has led the business outreach on the new Natural Capital Protocol (the Protocol)”.] [Source]

    In addition, IUCN is a co-founder of “Business for Nature” and “We Value Nature”. [Both to be explored in this Volume.]

    If we are to listen to the science, we must come to the conclusion that the stolen lands we occupy must be returned to the Indigenous peoples – with zero strings attached. We reach the inevitable conclusion that those who stole the land, those who carried out genocide against Indigenous peoples (which continues to this day), those who have destroyed our natural world, those who create global institutions to which they appoint themselves, have no authority whatsoever to “lead” the global citizenry in any way, shape, or form.

    Global Commons Alliance – “A Plan For the Planet”

    “What we need—and urgently—is a radical shift in perception by the private sector to view the global goals as the greatest economic opportunity any generation has had, rather than a burden and constraint to growth.”

     

    — Mark Malloch-Brown, Chair of the Business and Sustainable Development Commission, The Opportunity of the Commons, Global Environment Facility (GEF), IUCN, Global Commons Alliance, July 19, 2018, p. 4

    “Davos, Switzerland – Standing outside in the pitch-black cold at the World Economic Forum on January 23, 2019, a panel including Future Earth and partners announced to a live audience their intent to launch an Earth Commission.”

     

    Future Earth website, January 31, 2019

     

    “The Global Commons Alliance is a massive collaboration developed by world leading institutions.”

     

    Global Commons Alliance website

    In January 2019, the “Why our Planet needs an Earth Commission” lecture was hosted by Arctic Basecamp with long-standing partner Christiana Figueres. Moderated by Gail Whiteman (professor in-residence at WBCSD and co-founder of the Davos Arctic Basecamp), the panel included Rockström, Amy Luers, executive director of Future Earth, Nigel Topping, CEO of We Mean Business, and Greta Thunberg. The Earth Commission would be led by Future Earth and the International Union on the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). [Source]

    Future Earth, launched at Rio+20 (2012) is funded extensively by foundations, governments and institutions including ClimateWorks, The European Climate Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and the Skoll Foundation. [Full list] It is governed by institutions including the United Nations Environment Programme. [Full list of Governing Councils] Partners include IPCC, the UN and IPBES. [Partners] The Future Earth Twitter account was created in December 2012. The Climate Group and GCCA/TckTckTck are included within the first 22 chosen accounts chosen to follow out of 883.

    The Global Commons Alliance brands itself as a new 21st century platform to transform the global economy under the pretense that doing so will benefit society and “sustain the natural systems of Earth”.

    Many of the names found under the heading of “Systems Change” are those now well-recognized within this series:

  • Naoko Ishii: CEO and chair of the Global Environment Facility and co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy, co-chair of the Advisory Network of the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy. [9]
  • Johan Rockström: Conservation International chief scientist, director designate of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, co-chair of the Future Earth Advisory Committee
  • Christiana Figueres: former executive secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), B Team Leader, Global Covenant of Mayors
  • Dominic Waughray: managing director, head of the Centre for Global Public Goods, World Economic Forum
  • Andrew Steer: president and chief executive officer, World Resources Institute, former Special Envoy for Climate Change, World Bank
  • Amy Luers: executive director, Future Earth
  • Nigel Topping: CEO, We Mean Business
  • Sunny Verghese: WBCSD chair, co-founder, CEO of Olam International, (to be explored in Volume II)
  • Inger Anderson: UNEP executive director, former director general of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
  •  

    The organizations and institutions comprising the Global Commons Alliance include the World Economic Forum, We Mean Business Coalition, the World Resources Institute, the Natural Capital Coalition, CDP, Conservation International, International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the WBCSD, WWF, the Potsdam Institute and the Stockholm Resilience Centre.

    The Global Commons Alliance partners [accessed September 13, 2019]:

  • BSR™ (Business for Social Responsibility™)
  • CDP
  • Ceres
  • Circle of Blue
  • Conservation International
  • EAT
  • Future Earth
  • Globaïa
  • Global Environment Facility
  • International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
  • Natural Capital Coalition
  • Ocean Unite
  • Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
  • Stockholm Resilience Centre
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • UN Global Compact
  • UNEP-WCMC
  • WBCSD
  • We Mean Business Coalition
  • World Benchmarking Alliance
  • World Economic Forum
  • World Resources Institute
  • WWF
  • “In July 2016, the world took a giant step towards natural capital accounting by officially launching the Natural Capital Protocol— opening a new pathway for companies… The combination of systems transformation at the industry and business level, and economic restructuring on the financial and reporting level, will push the world in the right direction. But we need to abandon incrementalism in favour of complete transformation.

     

    — Peter Bakker, President of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Transformative change to safeguard the global commons could mobilise investment, The Opportunity of the Commons, Global Environment Facility (GEF), IUCN, Global Commons Alliance, July 19, 2018, p. 29 [Emphasis added]

     

     

    “Large reductions in the rate of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon—80% between 2004 and 2014—open up opportunities for an alternative model based on seeing the Amazon as a global public good of biological assets for creating high-value products and ecosystem services… We are rapidly gaining understanding of how things are created in nature, how organisms sense their surroundings, how they move in their environment and how they behave and function. This is bringing within reach a third pathway where we aggressively research, develop, and scale up a new high-tech approach that sees the Amazon as a global public good of biological assets that can enable the creation of innovative high value products, services and platforms for current, and entirely new, markets.”

     

    — The Amazon’s new industrial revolution, Carlos Nobre, Member of the UN Scientific Advisory Board for Global Sustainability and Juan Carlos Castilla-Rubio, Chairman of Space Time Ventures and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Environment and Resource Security, The Opportunity of the Commons, Global Environment Facility (GEF), IUCN, Global Commons Alliance, July 19, 2018, p. 42 [Emphasis added]

     

    A Plan For the Planet – The First Earth Commission

    The Earth Commission (to be announced later this year according to Rockström) is to comprise a select team of scientists. Future Earth will host the Earth Commission’s scientific secretariat in collaboration with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). The Commission will be “part of an extensive network which is complementary to and builds on existing assessments, such as the IPCC, IPBES and GEO [Global Environment Outlook] reports.”

    The insights of the Earth Commission will be central for informing the work of the new Science Based Targets network. This network will consist of a group of international NGOs that will create “practical applications”, and scalable solutions for corporations and cities. In addition, the NGO network will develop methodologies for corporations and municipalities “to set specific science-based targets to guide policies and practice.”

    The Earth Commission structure is set up very much like ClimateWorks:

    Again, we bear witness to the global mobilization of hundreds of millions, even billions, of citizens by a small yet powerful set of hegemonic institutions.

    +++

    Today we can learn more from the inspirational words and sound guidance left behind by Indigenous peoples and murdered revolutionaries, than all the scientists and experts in servitude to Western ideology combined. Thomas Sankara:

    “Colonial plunder has decimated our forests without the slightest thought of replenishing them for our tomorrows. The unpunished disruption of the biosphere by savage and murderous forays on the land and in the air continues.

     

    As Karl Marx said, those who live in a palace do not think about the same things, nor in the same way, as those who live in a hut. This struggle to defend the trees and forests is above all a struggle against imperialism. Because imperialism is the arsonist setting fire to our forests and our savannas…

     

    We can win this struggle if we choose to be architects and not simply bees. It will be the victory of consciousness over instinct. The bee and the architect, yes! If the author of these lines will allow me, I will extend this twofold analogy to a threefold one: the bee, the architect, and the revolutionary architect.”

     

    [Thomas Sankara: Imperialism is the Arsonist of our Forests and Savannas, at the International Conference on Trees and Forests, Paris, February 5, 1986]

    The solutions to our multiple ecological crises will not be discovered by Mission Innovation, Google, nor Verizon. The knowledge to live in harmony with the Earth already exists. The knowledge is retained and understood by the planet’s Indigenous peoples struggling to maintain their existence in the Earth’s remaining forests and natural spaces, protecting what remains of the Earth’s living natural communities.

    The fact that WWF, at the helm of the “new climate economy” being propelled forward by the UN-WEF Partnership, bears responsibility for the mass displacement, torture, murder and rape of Indigenous peoples with no public outcry from the Western citizenry, sheds an ugly light on white supremacist values that infect Western science, Western academia and Western society as a whole.

    The revolutionary architects are not to be found in the ivory towers of the West. We continue to indulge in willful blindness at our own peril.

     

     

    End Notes:

    [1] Other funders include the Compton Foundation, Instituto Arapyaú, Instituto Ekos Brasil, Kendeda Foundation, The Minor Foundation for Major Challenges, and the Stichting Global Climate Action.

    [2] “CBS’s emphasis on information sharing and coordination between stakeholders mirrors the GCCA’s own capacity-building approach. The fact that Jennifer Morgan, who had played an instrumental role in launching the GCCA, was now in charge of IPPI and was actively involved in the CBS project supports this idea. A number of those who were active in CBS had also been involved in the GCCA. Like the GCCA’s nerve centre, the CBS’s “global team” brought together members of the international climate community representing a wide array of both insider and outsider organizations—environmental and development NGOs, climate networks, campaign groups, think tanks and research organizations, as well as foundations. While some NGOs were initially reluctant to join, arguing that there was a risk of overlap between their activities and those of CBS, the global team ultimately brought together representatives from the most prominent and active organizations in the international climate arena. As with the GCCA, among those who were not represented were groups associated with the climate justice movement. Members of the “global team” regularly took part in conference calls, strategy sessions, workshops and conferences to share views, information and intelligence on policy-related issues, and collectively establish strategic priorities.” [Source: The Price of Climate Action-Philanthropic Foundations in the International Climate Debate, published in 2016 by Edouard Morena, p. 110]

    [3] On November 15, 2018, the Climate Markets and Investment Association reported that the parties that comprise the Climate Finance Partnership would “work together to finalize the design and structure of what we anticipate will be a flagship blended capital investment vehicle by the end of the first quarter, 2019.” All media inquiries pertaining to this announcement were to be directed to Climate Nexus (People’s Climate March) or the European Climate Foundation.

    [4] GCCA’s multi-lingual digital publishing stream, The Tree, rose to meet the needs of this historic year, putting its network-based approach to good use keeping thousands of influencers informed and intervening in key climate debates. By the end of 2015, The Tree counted more than 2,500 actively engaged influencers (977 in Europe, 803 in North America, 493 in Australasia, and the remaining 293 in Latin America) – a rise of nearly 1,000 since 2014 – and had a cumulative potential Twitter reach of over 26 million. The Tree was also GCCA’s primary vehicle for circulating the ‘Road Through Paris’ narrative, working in five languages across nine countries and regions during COP21, with seven Tree editors on the ground in Paris to support the GSCC+ communications efforts and deliver special daily Tree Alerts for the network. [Source: Global Call for Climate Action Annual Report 2015–2016, p. 5]

    [5] “Thanks to all our judges for their nominations, and apologies that a lot of their excellent recommendations didn’t make it to the final fifteen: Alice Bows-Larkin, Max Boycoff, Simon Buckle, Mike Childs, Tan Copsey, Susannah Eliott, Sam Geall, Will Grant, Fiona Fox, Leo Hickman, Brendan Montague, Tim Nuthall, James Painter, Chris Rapley, John Timmer, James Wilsdon.” [Source]

    [6] Three years to safeguard our climate (Nature 546, 593–595; 2017), co-signatories:

  • Andrew Steer, president and CEO, World Resources Institute
  •  

  • Caio Koch-Weser, chairman, European Climate Foundation
  •  

  • Charlotte Pera, president and CEO, ClimateWorks
  •  

  • Daniela Saltzman, director, Generation Investment Management
  •  

  • David Blood, senior partner, Generation Investment Management
  •  

  • Helen Mountford, programme director, New Climate Economy
  •  

  • Jeremy Oppenheim, partner, SystemIQ
  •  

  • Joanna Haigh, co-director, Grantham Institute for Climate Change & Environment
  •  

  • Keith Tuffley, managing partner and CEO, B Team
  •  

  • Laurence Tubiana, CEO, European Climate Foundation (ECF)
  •  

  • Mark Malloch-Brown, chair, Business and Sustainable Development Commission
  •  

  • Mark Watts, executive director, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group
  •  

  • Mary Robinson, president and chair of the board of trustees, the Mary Robinson Foundation
  •  

  • Mindy Lubber, president, CERES
  •  

  • Nigel Topping, CEO, We Mean Business
  •  

  • Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever
  •  

  • Paul Simpson, CEO, Carbon Disclosure Project
  •  

  • Peter Bakker, president and CEO, World Business Council for Sustainable Development
  •  

  • Peter Seligmann, chairman, CEO and co-founder, Conservation International
  •  

  • Rachel Kyte, CEO, Sustainable Energy for All
  •  

  • Sharan Burrow, International Trade Union Confederation, general secretary
  •  

  • Tom Brookes, executive director, strategic communications, European Climate Foundation
  •  

  • Tomas Insua, executive director, Global Catholic Climate Movement
  •  

  • Wael Hmaidan, international director, Climate Action Network (CAN)
  •  

  • Yacob Mulugetta, professor of Energy and Development
  •  

    [Source]

    [7] “The environmental devastation this would entail is meant to be addressed by the ‘endeavour to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation’, which is meaningless unless undertaken in absolute terms and that is simply impossible for the industrial economy being promoted in Goal 9. Yet, hoping for technological miracles fits well with faith in a never-ending economic expansion of material and energy throughput.” Source: Clive Spash, This Changes Nothing – The Paris Agreement to Ignore Reality, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna, Austria, 2016

    [8] “Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) is yet another striking example of the emerging trend of gradually shifting (“outsourcing”) activities from the UN to a multi-stakeholder body positioned outside the UN system, while still using the name and reputation of the UN… In addition to participating in the deliberations of the High-Level Group, the business actors also provided financial support. As the Report of the Co-Chairs from September 2012 pointed out, “(t)he Sustainable Energy for All initiative has depended on generous contributions from its sup-porters,” including, in addition to a few government donors, the UN Foundation, Masdar (the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company), the Bank of America, First Solar, Johnson Controls, Veolia Environment, and the International Copper Association. In addition, the consulting firm Accenture and the Norwegian oil company Statoil seconded senior man-agers to the Sustainable Energy for All secretariat, and Statoil designed the Sustainable Energy for All logo.” [Source: Fit for whose purpose? Private funding and corporate influence in the United Nations, 2015]

    [9] Naoko Ishii, elected as CEO and Chair of the Global Environment Facility in 2012. Before Joining the GEF, Naoko was Japan Deputy Vice Minister of Finance, and represented the Japanese Government during the design of the Green Climate Fund. She worked as a Country Director for the World Bank, and has held positions at the IMF and Harvard Institute for International Development. Naoko is co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy, and co-chair of the Advisory Network of the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy. She is a special advisor to the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, a Commissioner for the Global Adaptation Commission, Member of the Leadership Council of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and of the Advisory Committee of Future Earth. [Source]

    The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg For Consent: A Design to Win — A Multi-Billion Dollar Investment [VOLUME II, ACT I]

    The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg For Consent: A Design to Win — A Multi-Billion Dollar Investment [VOLUME II, ACT I]

    September 11, 2019

    By Cory Morningstar

     

     

     

    “On the back of the Design to Win report (2007), a group of large liberal foundations proceeded to align their strategies and pool resources through common initiatives and projects, and most notable the creation of the ClimateWorks Foundation.” —The Price of Climate Action: Philanthropic Foundations in the International Climate Debate, 2016, Edouard Morena] [p. 41] [Emphasis added]

     

    The Design To Win Report

    The 2007 report Design To Win: Philanthropy’s Role in the Fight Against Global Warming would serve to shape the future of the climate movement. The result of a commissioned study funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Energy Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the Oak Foundation, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Design To Win “served as a catalyst for an unprecedented outpouring of funding on energy and climate issues. Implicit to the report was the idea that the ‘market knows best’ and that the role of regulators is to create the right conditions and send the right signals for a transition to a low-carbon economy.” [1]

    The report would serve as the founding document for the creation of the ClimateWorks Foundation (ClimateWorks). ClimateWorks was launched in 2008 with the support of three foundations: the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the McKnight Foundation. [Source] In 2008, the Hewlett Foundation alone pledged 500 million USD to ClimateWorks. This represented the single largest grant in Hewlett’s history. [Source] Packard would match it. Additional funding would come from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the United Nations. [2]

    Hal Harvey, who led the formation of ClimateWorks, would take the title of CEO and ex-officio member. [Source] During the formation of ClimateWorks, Harvey held the title of environment program director at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (2001 to 2008). Prior to this role, from 1990 to 2001, Harvey served as founder and president of the Energy Foundation established in partnership with the Pew, MacArthur, and Rockefeller foundations. [3] Harvey would depart from ClimateWorks in 2012.

    ClimateWorks would serve as a tax exempt regranting foundation for vetted and compliant messenger NGOs to geographically advance the strategies, ideologies and goals espoused by ClimateWorks through the creation of a global network: the Energy Foundation in North America, the Energy Foundation China ProgrammeIniciativa Climatica de MexicoInstituto Clima e Sociedade in Brazil, and the European Climate Foundation. The Climate and Land Use Alliance would be created for the network in 2010. [4] [Source] The European Climate Foundation, which plays a leading role in this series is, in essence, a tentacle of ClimateWorks, as are the other ClimateWorks global network partners. Hewlett Foundation President Larry Kramer explains:

    “And here, too, the solution was ingenious. To begin, they proposed to create a central hub—the ClimateWorks Foundation—which would serve as grantor of funds to a coordinated global network. The network, in turn, consisted of two sorts of organizations. First, there were “regional climate foundations” or RFCs. RFCs had expertise in particular geographies and would serve as regrantors of funds from ClimateWorks to the most appropriate NGOs for particular work… A second set of organizations were called “best practices networks” or BPNs. These brought expertise in particular sectors, one in each sector for a total of seven. So, there was the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), and the Institute for Industrial Productivity, and so on. To work on transportation in Europe, then, ClimateWorks would simply channel money to ECF and ICCT [International Council on Clean Transportation] to work together on the problem.” [5] [Emphasis added]

     

    — Smith Celebration Lecture, February 7, 2017, Larry Kramer, President William & Flora Hewlett Foundation

    That being said, the ECF receives major funding outside of ClimateWorks. Major funders have included the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (UK), the McCall MacBain Foundation (Switzerland), the Oak Foundation (Switzerland), Nationale Postcode Loterij (Netherlands) and Villum Fonden (Denmark). A lack of respect for work/state sovereignty resulted in disagreements and friction with ClimateWorks. [ClimateWorks Foundation Case Study, 2015, “Deliberate Leadership and Wicked Problems”, pp. 38-39]

    Working with a host of select grantees, ClimateWorks and partners “fund fine-grained grant portfolios to pursue regional initiatives.” The resulted are closely monitored in order to “continuously adapt our efforts to be increasingly effective.”

    To ensure that the practices, policies, and legislation shaped and sought by ClimateWorks would be adopted at scale, the foundations were advised (by the California Environmental Associates consulting group) to pursue a variety of strategies. Outreach and pubic engagement would be instrumental. Reaching the voting base and “consumers” by utilizing the media was recognized as instrumental in order to build the political support required to implement desired reforms and policies in place of countries in and outside of its own borders – a soft power imperialism.

    Above: ClimateWorks, September 20, 2016 (Climate Week 2016 NYC)

    The creation of ClimateWorks dovetails with the inception of the Global Campaign for Climate Action (GCCA), conceptualized in 2006 and launched in 2008. GCCA dominated the United Nations 15th Conference of the Parties (COP 15) held in Copenhagen under the TckTckTck campaign umbrella.

    [Further reading: The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg – A Decade of Social Manipulation for the Corporate Capture of Nature [ACT VI – Crescendo]

    “Support existing NGOs with deep knowledge of local conditions and needed strategies; create new organizations as necessary….In other cases, additional NGOs may be necessary to develop new, innovative approaches.” [Design to Win, p. 47]

    Together, GCCA (as the human face) and ClimateWorks (as the corporate body) would establish and lead what could be described as a defacto climate cartel. This cartel would successfully marginalize grassroots movements, peasant movements, Indigenous peoples, Indigenous knowledge, the G77, and small island states, thereby ensuring the climate debate remained firmly entrenched within the framework of neoliberalism while dominated by Western ideologies and finance. Those in the Global South who contributed nothing to the climate crisis would be effectively crushed under the imperial boot of those that created the crisis. Consider that there are 100 countries in the world that produce less than 0.1% of global greenhouse gas emissions. [Source]

    Above: Global Campaign for Climate Action (GCCA) founding partners

    ClimateWorks is the largest recipient of climate philanthropy in the world having received over 1.3 billion USD since its inception. [March 1, 2018, Source]

    The second largest is the ClimateWorks regional partner, the Energy Foundation which has received approximately 940 million USD. [March 1, 2018, Source]

    In addition to ClimateWorks’ founding partners/funders (the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Oak Foundation, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation), today they are joined by the KR Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to make up the core funders.

    The ClimateWorks portfolio funders include the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, the Ford Foundation, The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, [6] and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. [Source]

    The Hewlett Foundation has provided the bulk of ClimateWorks funding. Since its inception to 2015, ClimateWorks has received more than half of its funding from Hewlett. Other foundations which have contributed significant funds to ClimateWorks include the Foundation to Promote Open Society (Soros), the Energy Foundation, and the Sea Change Foundation (founded by Nat Simons and Laura Baxter-Simons).

    The years and decades of colossal injections of funding serve an instrumental purpose: the mass distribution of messaging that will effectively strengthen the preconstructed narratives, and the building of networks to seek the desired results. [ClimateWorks Research Partners]

    The Hewlett Foundation

    In order for this body of work to stay on task, we cannot delve into every foundation behind ClimateWorks without becoming lost in a sea of oblivion. Suffice to say that the most critical role of the foundation is to maintain influence (i.e. dominance) over an acquiescent populace in servitude to corporations, capital, industry, and the ideologies  protecting current power structures. This can be observed in Hewlett Foundation Climate Initiative strategy developed for 2018-2023:

    “Climate philanthropy needs to invest more in research, analysis, and advocacy for policies that drive innovation in advanced energy systems and technologies. This includes finding ways to unlock public funding for the early stages of innovation and encouraging private investment for the commercial deployment of viable new technologies.”

     

    “We will focus philanthropic support more on sub-national efforts (led by states, regions, utilities, businesses, and more), continue to work with the private sector on clean-energy investment, and continue our efforts to build public will for policies that address climate change and promote clean energy.”

     

    “We will invest in a portfolio of efforts to support scientific and technological progress, especially carbon removal and advanced zero-emission technologies including nuclear power. This will require both risk tolerance and a willingness to embrace outcomes over a longer-than-usual time scale.

    “But it’s important first to recognize that the triumph of market ideology did not occur organically. It was, in fact, an intentional, cultivated, and — most important for present purposes — well-funded effort.”

     

    — Beyond Neoliberalism: Rethinking Political Economy, April 26, 2018, p. 9

    On December 11, 2017, Hewlett announced it would donate 600 million USD over a five-year period (2018-2023) to “nonprofits globally working on solving climate change.” [Source]

    On April 26, 2018, the Hewlett Foundation announced the launch of a two-year, “$10 million exploratory effort to support research on new ideas and intellectual frameworks in economics and economic policymaking.”

    The new undertaking will be part of Hewlett’s Special Projects initiative managed by Jennifer Harris, a senior fellow in the office of the Hewlett Foundation president. Harris is also a senior fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institution, as well as a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. Prior to her role at Hewlett, Harris was a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations specializing in U.S. foreign policy in relation to climate, energy and economic policy. In 2011, as a member of the secretary’s policy planning staff at the U.S. State Department, Harris served as the lead architect of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s economic statecraft agenda. [Full bio]

    One such “special project” of Hewlett is “Beyond Neoliberalism: Rethinking Political Economy.”

    Yet circumstances are ripe for the emergence of a new 21st-century social contract. Philanthropy can help support fresh thinking about policy that can inspire citizens and open new space for people on the left and the right to solve problems.”

     

    Larry Kramer, president of the Hewlett Foundation, April 26, 2018 [Emphasis added]

     

    Most important, the free market movement was paid for — backed every step of the way by sympathetic foundations and philanthropists who provided the resources to succeed.”

     

    Beyond Neoliberalism: Rethinking Political Economy, April 26, 2018, p. 12

    The Beyond Neoliberalism: Rethinking Political Economy paper authored by Hewlett Foundation president Larry Kramer exemplifies the need for a new economic paradigm. In the paper, Kramer recalls the key and pivotal role of philanthropy in bringing the current “neoliberal” ideology into dominance. This theme captures the current essence of billionaires who are growing increasingly fearful that late-stage capitalism is failing – leaving them exposed and on equal footing with the working classes in the Global North and the campesinas/campesinos in the Global South. The peasantry and the working class whose very existence has become more volatile under the neoliberal model ushered in by foundations and institutions in servitude to the power elite. One can only imagine the fear and sheer terror being felt by the world’s most powerful and influential billionaires in imagining a future that could well resemble the existence of those they exploit. [Beyond Neoliberalism Public Board Memo, April 26, 2018]

    “We must reject the notion that our only choice is between neoliberalism and socialism. We must develop new ideas.”

     

    Beyond Neoliberalism: Rethinking Political Economy, April 26, 2018, p. 17

    Kramer serves on the ClimateWorks board of directors.

    In order to save capitalism itself, foundations seek to convince the populace that under a new intellectual paradigm, capitalism can be reformed via “impact investing” and the commodification of nature. It can’t.

    “The participants in the 20th-century debates about political economy understood this perfectly well. As [Milton] Friedman’s senior colleague and intellectual mentor, Friedrich Hayek, observed, “experience indicates that once a great body of intellectuals have accepted a philosophy, it is only a question of time until these views become the governing force of politicsHayek was not wrong to believe that the ideas and philosophies that come to prevail almost always originate among elites, but intellectual and political leaders now have to persuade fellow citizens of the rightness of their ideas.”

     

    — Beyond Neoliberalism: Rethinking Political Economy, April 26, 2018, p. 6 & p. 10

     

    No one believes we can or should abandon all the tenets of neoliberal thought, much less that we can live without an important role for free markets, which play an indispensable role in many contexts.”

     

    Beyond Neoliberalism: Rethinking Political Economy, April 26, 2018, p.17

    It’s not only the Global South the ruling class are intent on recolonizing. They are also recolonizing our minds.

    While the Hewlett Foundation defines the climate change as “an urgent global crisis that affects every problem philanthropy seeks to solve”, its own investments in corporate stock (3,341,965,570 USD, 2017) include a bevy of gas, and crude/petroleum, energy infrastructure and mining corporations. The list is extensive with the word “gas” identifying 33 investments, “crude” – 42, and “oil” – 47. Examples include Western Gas Partners, Sunoco, Kinder Morgan, Enbridge, Westlake Chemical Partners, BP Midstream Partners, TransCanada, Williams, Plains All American Pipeline, MPLX, Andeavor Logistics (since purchased by MPLX0, petroleum/energy infrastructure), Shell, Vale (one of the largest mining corporations in the world), Energy Transfer, Crown Castle (5G) and Black Stone Minerals. Other investments (many in the 10-20 million USD range) include Novartis, Wells Fargo, Lloyds, Walmart, Costco, McDonalds, MasterCard, Visa, Nestle, EBay, Microsoft, Kraft Heinz, Starbucks, Visa, Lowes, Facebook, Apple and Alphabet (Google). Hewlett’s largest energy investments are in Energy Transfer Partners and MPLX. [Investments – corporate stock: pp. 449-456] [Hewlett’s corporate bonds, largely consisting of fossil fuels can be viewed on pp. 457-466] [Source: The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation 990 Form, 2017]

    Design To Win: Carbon Capture and Storage

    “[The] best carbon capture facility in [the] world emits 25 times more CO2 than sequestered”

     

    June 12th, 2019, Clean Technica

    “Philanthropists must get CCS over the hump and make it practical for deployment in the U.S., China and India within the next decade.”
    Design To Win, 2007, p. 25

     

    “CCS, which remains in its infancy, deserves a critical push from philanthropy so that it can be rapidly deployed where demand for coal power is the greatest.”
    Design To Win, 2007  p.22

     

    “Policy Reform Spurs Carbon Markets: These policies – together with carbon pricing – can create vibrant new markets for the cleanest technologies and attract the massive sums of private capital needed to transform the world economy.”
    Design To Win, 2007  p.16

    A significant investment in carbon capture storage, as well as its rapid deployment is called for in the Design To Win report. Ignored by the NGOs who claim to represent civil society, CCS industry advocates are more than aware of the foundational support: “For instance, CCS was the largest single carbon abatement option in the global power sector identified in the Design to Win report from 2007, which called for significant investment in CCS.” [7]

    What constitutes the scale of rapid deployment is identified in the 2013 Carbon Tracker report “Unburnable Carbon“:

    “Given that the average annual rate of storage in 2015 is projected by the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute (2012) to be about 2.25 million tonnes for 16 CCS projects, a total of nearly 3800 CCS projects would need to be operating by 2050 under the idealised scenario.” [p. 12]

    Glen Peters, research director at CICERO, Norway’s leading institute for interdisciplinary climate research, offers an even starker view stating that the world will require 10,000 carbon capture and storage plants by 2050. [Source]

    As with all the shaping of our shared futures by the elite, the pathway to CCS is clear in the 2008 Green Alliance paper, A Last Chance for Coal, with contributions from Ben Caldecott (Carbon Tracker Initiative and the Natural Capital Declaration) while at the Policy Exchange think tank. The paper notes that it is critical Europe’s commitment to CCS be realized before 2020; 12 short years away from the paper’s publication date. [Source] The year 2020 is a critical date of vast significance – a recurring deadline for all environmental market solutions to be in place – including “The New Deal For Nature” (i.e. assigning monetary value to all of nature).

    More alarming yet is the fact that CCS demands massive volumes of freshwater. In regions where CCS will be implemented at scale, such demand could very well push rivers and water sources beyond the limits of what they can provide (i.e. what can be stolen.)

    “The consumption of freshwater from thermal power could rise considerably with widescale adoption of CCS, with potentially a doubling of freshwater consumption from 2010 levels by 2050.”

     

    Water and climate risks to power generation with carbon capture and storage, February 12, 2016

    It is important to observe that although CCS is largely associated with coal, this is an incorrect assumption.

    June 26, 2019, As Coal Fades in the U.S., Natural Gas Becomes the Climate Battleground:

    “Nationwide, energy companies plan to add at least 150 new gas plants and thousands of miles of pipelines in the years ahead. A rush to build gas-fired plants, even though they emit only half as much carbon pollution as coal, has the potential to lock in decades of new fossil-fuel use right as scientists say emissions need to fall drastically by midcentury to avert the worst impacts of global warming. ‘Gas infrastructure that’s built today is going to be with us for 30 years,’ said Daniel Cohan, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Rice University. ‘But if you look at scenarios that take climate change seriously, that say we need to get to net zero emissions by 2050,’ he said, ‘that’s not going to be compatible with gas plants that don’t capture their carbon.’[Emphasis added]

    Indeed, “antipathy towards coal risks locking in hi-CO2 gas infrastructure”. (Kevin Anderson). Of course this is why “climate leader” Michael Bloomberg, a proponent of both nuclear and fracking, has financed the “Beyond Coal” campaigns in the United States and Europe [November 9, 2017, led by the European Climate Foundation] in excess of one hundred million USD, having recently announced an additional gift (i.e. investment) of 500 million dollars. [8] Somewhere between January 4, 2019 and June 7, 2019 the “Beyond Carbon” initiative became a “Bloomberg Philanthropies – Beyond Carbon” initiative with Bloomberg himself being a main highlight on the homepage and website. [This will be explored further in the series.]

    To be clear, 3,800, or perhaps even 10,000 CCS plants, are required to ensure that “consumers” in the West can continue to purchase and use egregious and unnecessary consumer items such as leaf blowers. In tandem with “direct air capture” (“negative emissions technology” / NETS) and afforestation fantasies, CCS plants deliver an assurance that those in the West can continue to fly extended families, friends and relatives to countries we impoverish for exotic weddings while simultaneously sharing climate emergency posts on social media. Thousands upon thousands of CCS plants that will hopefully keep safe our access to Coca-Cola, McDonalds and Unilever products. All of these things, plus a trillion other things that are not only not in any way required to live happy, healthy and productive lives, but directly contribute to our own ill health and demise.

    September 20, 2016, ClimateWorks: “The world needs to mobilize $90 trillion over the next 15 years to save our planet from the worst effects of climate change.” Here, the question never asked was, and continues to be, what volume of CO2 emissions are created by 90 trillion dollars of additional development (that will both contribute to and accelerate climate change impacts and temperature rise) – and how much environmental devastation does 90 trillion dollars of additional infrastructure demand. The third question would be, where will the vast majority of environmental devastation required to achieve these goals take place. This consideration is irrelevant to the ruling elite and Western society as a whole, as American exceptionalism coupled with a white supremacist ideology has fully normalized the plunder of the Global South to feed the rapacious Global North. Today these questions continue to be avoided and circumvented as the urgency to unlock 90-100 trillion dollars for new infrastructure (by 2050), identified and sought by institutions such as World Economic Forum and the New Climate Economy, accelerates.

    Here, it can be noted that the Carbon Tracker Initiative (“aligning capital markets with climate reality”), the Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit, the Climate Bonds Initiative, Track 0, InfluenceMap, the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, all share the same address as the European Climate Foundation: 40 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3UD, United Kingdom.

    It must be stated that while the ClimateWorks Design to Win report advocated for CCS for the future, the insignificant funding toward its implementation between 2008-2011 demonstrates that CCS was not yet a priority. These were the “Cap-and-Trade” years. “Funding was also highly concentrated among a handful of organizations. Just 25 groups received more than half of the money distributed. Almost all were highly professionalized national groups that specialized in legal and policy analysis, pushing for policy action by way of inside-the-Beltway negotiation, coalition building, and compromise. Major recipients, for example, included the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and the Bipartisan Policy Center, a centrist think tank (Nisbet, 2011).” [Source]

    Carbon Capture & Storage = Enhanced Oil Recovery

    April 10, 2019, World’s largest CO2 pipeline under construction in Alberta, Canada

    “A new $470 million pipeline is being built in Alberta that will allow for production of an additional one billion barrels of light oil, but most Canadians have probably never heard of it. It has received little media attention outside of Alberta and appears to have generated little if any attention or objections from environmental groups.

     

    The pipeline we do not know, Business In Vancouver website, April 9, 2019

    Carbon capture and storage promises “business as usual” remains firmly intact for industry. Yet, it is actually worse than this. Not only can industry continue to emit, CCS infrastructure doubles as a means of reviving/expanding oil production via “enhanced oil recovery” (EOR):

    “In the U.S., most captured carbon has gone to enhanced oil recovery, a process that pushes out more oil from a producing well after the extractor has already used primary and secondary methods. That added revenue from EOR helped Petra Nova’s economics. It’s also used at other plants like the Great Plains Synfuels Plant in North Dakota.”

     

    — With 43 Carbon-Capture Projects Lined Up Worldwide, Supporters Cheer Industry Momentum, December 11, 2018

    A 2015 report by the US Department of Energy discloses that over the history of technological carbon capture projects (commenced in the 1970s), all of which are tied to the fossil fuel industry, the vast majority of sequestered CO2 and accompanying pipeline infrastructure has been utilized to pump more oil out of existing and exhausted oil wells (i.e. enhanced oil recovery).

    Adding to the above projection that CCS at scale has the potential to double our freshwater consumption by 2050, add to this the volume of freshwater demanded by enhanced oil recovery:

    “Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) uses the most nonsaline water of all other recovery technologies.”

    Who will pay for our collective and continued demise? Calgary, Canada, August 2, 2018:

    “Enhance Energy Inc. (“Enhance”) and Wolf Carbon Solutions Inc., an affiliate of Wolf Midstream (“Wolf”), are pleased to announce the two parties have entered into a project development and coordination agreement related to the construction and operation of the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line (“ACTL”). The ACTL is a 240-kilometre pipeline that will collect carbon dioxide (“CO2“) from industrial emitters in and around Alberta’s Industrial Heartland and transport it to aging reservoirs throughout central and southern Alberta for secure storage and enhanced oil recovery (“EOR”) projects…

     

    The construction of ACTL will be funded by Wolf in part through investments made by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (“CPPIB”) of up to $305 million. Additional public funding for the ACTL project of $63 million has been provided by the Government of Canada under the Federal EcoETI Program and the Federal Clean Energy Fund Program, and $223 million in construction funding has been approved under the Province of Alberta’s Carbon Capture and Storage Funding Act (2009).

     

    Through its CO2 EOR scheme, the Company is able to safely capture and permanently sequester CO2 while increasing production

     

    Wolf Midstream is a Calgary-based private company backed by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (“CPPIB”).” [Emphasis added]

    The working class and citizenry at large will pay for the billion dollar oil giants to extract more oil from deleted reservoirs – to be consumed and burned – under the guise of saving the planet. The citizenry pays for it (without consent), while the corporations reap the profits (and tax breaks). The public assumes the majority of risk.

    Recent “progress” on the ACTL shows the 16-inch diameter pipe being put into place under the North Saskatchewan River.

    CCS and EOR are not solutions to “save the planet” – they are an all-out assault on the decimated planet and all life she graciously sustains.

    The Right Hand of ClimateWorks – The European Climate Foundation (ECF)

    “In Europe, for instance, the ECF—which channels and redistributes funds from a number of prominent climate funders—acts as an unavoidable access point for anyone wishing to seriously engage in the climate debate.”

     

    The Failure of Climate Philanthropy, December 11, 2018

    The ECF is “linked to the central office (ClimateWorks] by common purpose and the funding each received from it.” [Source] In 2013, the ECF website offered this description: “The ECF is affiliated with the ClimateWorks Network and is the core of the ClimateWorks system in Europe.” [Source] Like ClimateWorks, ECF functions as a regranting foundation.

    “The European Climate Foundation (ECF) was established in 2008 as a major philanthropic initiative to promote climate and energy policies that greatly reduce Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions and to help Europe play a stronger international leadership role to mitigate climate change. The ECF is funded by major multi-year commitments from donors in Europe and the United States. The ECF is part of the international ClimateWorks Network that shares goals, strategies and resources to address the global challenge of climate change mitigation with a global network of aligned organizations.” [Emphasis added] [Source]

    The ECF was founded by George Polk who served as CEO and chairman of the executive committee. Polk’s background is extensive. Polk served as a senior advisor and executive board member of ClimateWorks, as well as serving as a senior advisor on climate change to McKinsey & Company. From 2008-2012, ClimateWorks paid McKinsey & Company 42.4 million USD, most of which was for “work to develop a deep analysis of the carbon abatement opportunities of the largest economies in the world”. [Source] Polk, with Norman Crowley, created The Cloud, which would become Europe’s largest wifi hotspot provider. The Cloud was purchased by Rupert Murdoch’s BSkyB for 80 million USD in 2011. In 2011, Crowley would then found Crowley Carbon, where Polk would serve as chair. [Source] [Source]

    In addition, Polk was founder and CEO of the short-term Catalyst Project (an initiative related to the COP15 negotiations). He has served as a director of Richard Branson‘s Carbon War Room, now merged with the Rocky Mountain Institute where Polk serves as chair to the board of trustees. Polk served as an advisor/partner to a $1 billion initiative by George Soros to invest private equity “in ways which accelerate the development and diffusion of climate change technologies and business models.” [Source] Polk also serves as the director of Powerspan (a clean energies technology corporation that in 2009 sought to mobilize investment for carbon capture technology), as well as a senior advisor to SYSTEMIQ (which will be explored further in this series). Polk serves as the Managing Partner of Tulum Trust, “a private equity firm which manages private equity investments on behalf a small number of large family offices with a focus on generating excellent returns while having a meaningful impact on climate change.” [Source]

    ECF Management & Supervisory Board

    The European Climate Foundation supervisory board and fellows further exemplifies the interlocking directorate of the non-profit industrial complex, with many funders, institutions and states having present, past or rotating/intermittent representation.

    Laurence Tubiana is the CEO of the ECF. Prior to serving the ECF, Tubiana was France’s Climate Change Ambassador and Special Representative for COP21. Tubiana is considered a key architect of the landmark Paris Agreement with Christiana Figueres. Following COP21, she was appointed High Level Champion for Climate Action by the UN. The Climate Finance Partnership has been developed under the auspices of the Task Force on Philanthropic Innovation, which is led by Laurence Tubiana. In addition, Tubiana has recently been selected to serve as a One Planet Lab member, a high level advisory group steered by the French Government. She has also been selected to serve as co-chair of the Ambition Advisory Group for the upcoming United Nations 2019 Climate Action Summit in New York City. Tubiana also serves as a commissioner to the Energy Transitions Commission. [Full Bio]

    Tom Brookes is executive director of strategic communications, and a member of the ECF Executive Management Team. Brookes is responsible for “external communications, public affairs, and political communications strategy for the ECF, its affiliates, and network”. He serves as senior advisor of global communications strategies for the ClimateWorks Foundation. [Bio]

    Kate Hampton serves as vice-chair to the supervisory board of the ECF. Hampton is the CEO of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF).

    Joining Hampton on the supervisory board of the ECF is Jonathan Pershing, program director of environment at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, former special envoy for climate change at the U.S. State Department and lead U.S. negotiator to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

    Also serving the ECF supervisory board:

    • Charlotte Pera: president and CEO of ClimateWorks
      • Connie Hedegaard: former European Commissioner for Climate Action
        • Sharon Burrow: B Team vice-chair, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, member of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate
          • Leonardo Lacerda: environment programme director at Oak Foundation, formerly with WWF
            • Antha N. Williams: lead at the environment program at Bloomberg Philanthropies
            • In five separate grants the Hewlett Foundation [9] funded the European Climate Foundation 31,730,000.00 USD in 2017.[Source] More recently (June 14, 2019) Hewlett gifted 4,840,000.00 USD to ClimateWorks for its Carbon Dioxide Removal Initiative: “The Fund will seed policy research, convenings, thought leadership, and communications outreach around natural and technological carbon dioxide removal.”

              The activities of the Rotterdam Climate Initiative (RCI) are supported by the European Climate Foundation. RCI is involved in European initiatives on CCS, such as the Berlin Forum on “sustainable” fossil fuels, the European Technology Platform for Zero Emission Fossil Fuel Power Plants and the North Sea Basin Task Force.” [Source] RCI is a member of the Global CCS Institute. “Rotterdam was one of the first ports to consider a carbon capture and storage project, through the ROAD project – co-financed by the Dutch government, the European Commission and the Global CCS Institute.” [August 30, 2018, Source] The European Commission is also a partner to Climeworks, a corporation specializing in direct air capture.

              On May 14, 2019, the European Commission Foundation announced the establishment of an advisory council. The four founding members of the Advisory Council include:

              -Caio Koch-Weser: former chair of the ECF Supervisory Board who will serve as chair, member of the Board at the World Resources Institute, member  of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate overseeing The New Climate Economy [Bio]

              -Mary Robinson: B Team Leader, former President of Ireland, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, former member of the ECF supervisory board, chair of Richard Branson’s Elders

              -Nicholas Stern: international advisor to the Global CCS Institute, co-chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate overseeing The New Climate Economy, chair of SYSTEMIQ board of directors, former World Bank chief economist

              -Paul Polman: B Team chair, Vice Chair of the UN Global Compact, co-chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate overseeing The New Climate Economy, former CEO Unilever, chair of the International Chamber of Commerce

              The European Climate Foundation is at the helm of the Climate Finance Partnership. The Climate Finance Partnership, introduced in ACT VI of the Manufacturing for Consent series, will be further explored in this second volume.

              The ClimateWorks Leadership & Board

              Charlotte Pera is the current president and CEO of ClimateWorks, a position she has held since 2012. Prior to joining ClimateWorks, she served as the director of U.S. programs at the Energy Foundation, a ClimateWorks regional network partner. Pera served as a special advisor to the European Climate Foundation when it launched in 2008. She currently serves on its supervisory board. The CEO position pays within the medium spectrum of the non-profit industry. Pera’s reported salary for 2017 was 497,630.00 USD with additional compensation in the amount of 52,060.00 USD. [2017 Form 990]

              The ClimateWorks board of directors includes John Podesta, founder of the think tank Center for American Progress. Having served as co-chair of former US president, Barack Obama’s transition team in 2008, Podesta would go on to serve as counselor to Obama from 2014-2015. More recently, Podesta served on Obama’s Global Development Council and the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Prior to founding the Center for American Progress in 2003, Podesta served as White House chief of staff to former US president Bill Clinton. [Bio] [10]

              William K. Reilly, ClimateWorks founding chair, is a founding partner of Aqua International Partners, a private equity fund that invests in corporations engaged in water and renewable energy. He also serves as a senior advisor to TPG Capital, an international investment partnership. Demonstrating how prestigious titles and appointments readily overlap, Reilly served as the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1989-1993), president of the World Wildlife Fund (1985-1989), president of The Conservation Foundation (1973-1989), and director of the Rockefeller Task Force on Land Use and Urban Growth (1972-1973). [Bio] [11]

              The ClimateWorks board chair is Susan Tierney, senior advisor for the Analysis Group, specializing in the electric and gas industries. Tierney serves as vice-chair to the board of the World Resources Institute. A former assistant secretary for policy at the U.S. Department of Energy, she is chairman of the board of the ClimateWorks’s regional network partner,the Energy Foundation, and a co-chair of the National Commission on Energy Policy. [Bio] Tierney also serves on the Clean Air Task Force (CATF). “CATF’s Decarbonized Fossil Energy work aims to enable global energy system decarbonization by 2070. CATF works towards this goal by developing and advocating for policies aimed at making carbon capture technologies cost competitive with using dirty fossil fuels for power generation and for use in the industrial sector, globally.” [Source] CATF is a member of the Carbon Capture Coalition.

              The following institutions are also represented on the ClimateWorks board of directors: European Climate Foundation (the aforementioned Caio Koch-Weser), the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation (Larry Kramer), the David & Lucile Packard Foundation (Carol Larson), Stanford University (Pamela Matson and Franklin M. “Lynn” Orr), the Oak Foundation (Kristian Parker).

              [ClimateWorks Board of Directors]

              Green New Deal Cosponsors – No Dissent Against CCS

              “The amount of carbon dioxide released globally from energy use is staggering at 36 billion tonnes. For power plants that will continue to use coal and natural gas, carbon capture can mitigate CO2 emissions. Global industrial sources such as chemical, cement, iron and steel production account for approximately a fifth of all CO2 emissions, which cannot be mitigated through any other technology other than carbon capture and sequestration.”

               

              Our Efforts, CAFT website

              The adoption of the FUTURE ACT (February 2018) by the US Congress, is driving industry forward via the expansion of the 45Q tax credits for carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) projects. CCUS technology has also gained ground via other bills including the USE-IT Act. The USE-IT is making its way through U.S. Congress with unanimous votes via the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW).

              Under the new 45Q tax credit, projects are entitled to $35 per tonne of carbon captured and utilized for enhanced oil recovery and $50 per tonne for carbon captured and stored in geological storage. The previous credits were $10 and $20, respectively.

              The USE-IT Act will serve to expand tax credits for oil, gas, and coal industries, while facilitating the construction of dozens of CO2 pipelines much like the previously discussed Alberta Carbon Trunk Line (ACTL). [ACTL status]

              Although the Green New Deal proposal claims to advocate for vulnerable and frontline communities, the reality is the polar opposite with the USE-IT Act being allowed to commence forward by both US Senator Bernie Sanders and the Green New Deal co-sponsors.

              In similar fashion, US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez whose team helped craft the 2018 New Green Deal resurgence, has endorsed New York’s recently unveiled climate plan. The Climate Leadership & Community Protection Act has been heralded as “moonshot”, “historic” and “one of the World’s Most Ambitious Climate Plans”. The plan promises more than a tripling of solar by 2025. The percentage of NYC electricity from solar in 2019? 1.40%. The plan does not discount the use of carbon capture and storage.

              Akin to the Stop the Keystone Campaign paving the way for Warren Buffet’s 21st century rail dynasty to take hold (crude via rail) – all while Buffett’s family foundation (NoVo) pumps tens of millions into Tides, the foundation that oversees the anti-pipeline campaigns. Akin to Willett Advisors, the investment arm for the personal and philanthropic assets of Michael Bloomberg, specializing in oil and gas – which has displaced coal – all while Bloomberg funds the Beyond Coal campaign to the tune of hundreds of millions. Capitalism never sleeps. Today the climate “movement” keeps all eyes on the “climate emergency” mobilizations as the carbon capture storage and all other false solutions gain traction – far away from the public eye.

              “I’ll require those technologies — anything from high-performance solar cells and technologies to improve energy efficiency in buildings to energy storage and clean carbon-capture technologies — to be made right here in the United States by American workers.”

               

              — U.S. Green New Deal co-sponsor Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), July 25, 2019

              “The adoption by Congress of the FUTURE Act in February was a major step toward ensuring that carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) can be an important tool in the kit for addressing global warming.”

               

              Kurt Waltzer, Clean Air Task Force (CATF), June 22, 2018 [12]

              The U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) ties into the Green New Deal via the minority member list of the EPW; senators Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Ed Markey – the four co-sponsors of the Green New Deal resolution. [Source]

              On Wednesday February 27, 2019, Kurt Waltzer, Managing Director for the Clean Air Task Force (CATF), discussed the USE-IT Act at the EPW meeting as one of three speakers representing industry. CATF is a leading advocate for CCS and so-called clean coal technologies.

              While Republican and Democrat co-sponsors asked questions, no questions were forthcoming from the three co-sponsors of the Green New Deal who were in attendance: Booker, Gillibrand, and Markey. Sanders did not attend the vital meeting. The next EPW meeting to push the USE-IT Act bill through legislation would take place April 10, 2019. On this occasion, Booker, Gillibrand, Markey and Sanders did not attend either. To date, the CCUS bill has been voted upon three times – each time unanimous. [Source: Office of US Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and Michael Swifte]

              “I try to direct folks to the fields of contestation where authentic resistance ought to happen. Where silence falls in the wake of inaction. You would think 600 enviro groups could convince four Green New Deal co-sponsors to actually go to the Senate committee meetings they’re paid to attend and vote according to their supporters’ fervent aims.”

               

              Australian activist Michael Swifte

              The “Enhancing Fossil Fuel Energy Carbon Technology” (EFFECT) Act (introduced on April 11, 2019), if passed, will authorize a full suite of carbon, capture, utilization, storage, and removal technology programs.

              “‘The EFFECT Act would help bring carbon capture and utilization technologies to bearIn promoting an all-the-above energy approach, the United States must tap into its fossil fuel resources in the most clean, efficient manner possible.”
              April 11, 2019

              In addition to the adoption of the FUTURE Act and the USE-IT Act there are at present a minimum of eight additional bipartisan acts that will enable a future of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) – if allowed to succeed in the US Congress:

              1.  Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act
              2.  Financing Our Energy Future Act: “Newly eligible energy resources would include solar, wind, hydropower, marine and hydrokinetic energy, fuel cells, energy storage, combined heat and power, biomass, waste heat to power, renewable fuels, biorefineries, energy efficient buildings, and carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS).” Endorsers include Ceres, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and National Wildlife Federation. [Full list]
              3. Enhancing Fossil Fuel Energy Carbon Technology Act
              4. Carbon Capture Improvement Act
              5. Carbon Capture Prize Act
              6. CarbonCapture Modernization Act
              7. Launching Energy Advancement and Development through Innovations for Natural Gas Act of 2019
              8. Fossil Energy Research and Development Act of 2019

              At this same time, as part of the bipartisan Carbon Dividend Act and Baker-Schultz Plan, a “climate liability waiver” is being sought for big polluters.

              The Hewlett Foundation is a supporter of the Clean Air Task Force. [Source]

              “Solving the problem will likely also require large investments in “negative emissions”—chiefly carbon capture and storage, soil carbon sequestration, and afforestation, but possibly also direct air capture or geoengineering”.

               

              — Hewlett Foundation, Climate Initiative strategy 2018-2023

              [Further reading: Extractivism is Winning and the Green New Deal is the Perfect Distraction, February 6, 2019]

              [Further reading: The Green New Deal Has an AFL-CIO Problem, January 7, 2019]

              “This is the era of Bana and now Greta; it is the digital age of internet marketing, a tool even for ISIS. And the age of an american populace searching for environmental solutions at the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream section of the super market. Or at the Prius dealership. There are no capitalist solutions. Full stop. Indulging this stuff is an absolute waste of time. The Green New Deal et al….waste of time. The environmental crises is real but obscured by western media, not clarified. Education is critically important, and stopping the extreme privilege of the elite class. Equality is the real green.”

               

              Imperialism and the Stupid Show, June 11, 2019

              The Global CCS Institute

              “The evidence makes it clear. CO2 needs to be removed from the atmosphere, known as carbon dioxide removal (CDR), using negative emissions technologies (NETs) to meet global warming targets. Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) is emerging as the best solution to decarbonise emission-intensive industries and sectors and enable negative emissions.”

               

              Bioenergy and Carbon Capture and Storage, The Global CCS Institute, March 14, 2019

               

              “The Institute has a unique and unrivalled membership including governments, global corporations, private industry and academia. Amongst its representation, are the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Japan and Australia, and multinationals such as Shell, ExxonMobil, Toshiba, Kawasaki and BHP.”

               

              The Global CCS Institute website

              The Global CCS Institute is “the world’s leading authority on carbon capture and storage (CCS) – an international climate change organisation whose mission is to accelerate the deployment of CCS as an imperative technology in tackling climate change and providing energy security.” Following the announcement of the institute by the Australian Government in September 2008, Norway and the UK announced their support for the project as did WWF. Masdar (Abu Dhabi), The Climate Group, Anglo American and Shell International would become the founding partners as would Alstom, Mitsubishi Corporation, Rio Tinto Ltd, Services Petroliers Schlumberger, and Xstrata Coal. The institute was formally launched in April 2009. [13]

              With a team of approximately 40 professionals, its diverse international membership includes “governments, global corporations, private companies, research bodies and non-governmental organisations; all of whom are committed to CCS as an integral part of a clean energy future. Amongst its representation, are the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Japan and Australia, and multinationals such as Shell, ExxonMobil, Toshiba, Kawasaki and BHP.” The Global CCS Institute is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, with offices in Washington D.C., Brussels, Beijing, London and Tokyo. [Source] [Source]

              Serving as an international advisor to the Global CCS Institute is Nicholas Stern.

              From 2000-2003, Stern served as chief economist and senior vice president to the World Bank. He currently serves as the IG Patel Professor of Economics and Government and has served as chair of the Grantham Research Institute since its inception in 2008. From 2003-2007, Stern was head of the Government Economic Service and Adviser to the UK Government on the Economics of Climate Change and Development, reporting to the Prime Minister. In 2006, he authored the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change which received international attention. From 2004-2005, he oversaw the Report of the Commission for Africa. [Bio][Source]

              In addition to his extensive background [14], most notably, Stern serves as co-chair to the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate – now the New Climate Economy. Discussed in ACT V of the Manufacturing Consent series, the New Climate Economy is at the helm of the “fourth industrial revolution” with the World Economic Forum and the World Resources Institute. Stern also serves as commissioner to the Energy Transitions Commission and has been selected to serve as a One Planet Lab member, the aforementioned high-level advisory group steered by the French Government.

              Global CCS Institute strategic partners include:

              • Asian Development Bank
                • Bellona Foundation
                  • Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum
                    • Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
                      • International Energy Agency
                        • International Energy Agency Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme
                          • International Energy Forum
                            • The Climate Group
                              • United Nations Industrial Development Organisation
                                • William J Clinton Foundation
                                  • World Bank
                                  • The links for the majority of the Global CCS Institute annual membership lists no longer exist, however, the 2014 and 2015 membership (375 members for both 2014 and 2015) can still be accessed. [Global CCS Institute 2014 membership, Global CCS Institute 2015 membership] Collaborating participants in 2014 include the European Commission, the International Energy Agency, the International Energy Forum, OPEC and the World Bank.

                                    “The International Energy Agency has established that carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a critical component in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.”

                                     

                                    — United States Energy Association Briefing, May 16, 2019

                                    The requirement to keep our suicidal living arrangements intact is made clear:

                                    “CCS is endorsed by the highest echelons of science and academia which confirm that it is the only mitigation technology able to deeply decarbonise large industrial sectors. CCS is the only technology capable of reducing large-scale emissions from myriad industrial sources, particularly the gigantic steel, cement and petrochemical industries.”

                                     

                                    The Global CCS Institute

                                     

                                    “CCS is the only technology able to curtail emissions from the more than 500 new coal plants currently being built around the world (and the additional 1000 in planning). In the IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario, around 210 gigawatts of coal plants are fitted with CCS globally, 150 GW of which are in China.”

                                     

                                    The Global CCS Institute [Emphasis added]

                                    BECCS (Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage) refers to the application of CCS to bioenergy production. The marketing of BECCS promises large-scale negative emissions when CCS is applied to the “transformation” (death) of trees and crops (to be largely genetically engineered and planted using drones) into energy fuels. The Global CCS Institute supports BECCS alongside organisations including the Royal Society, the International Energy Agency, Stanford University and Imperial College London (amongst others). [Source: The Global CCS Institute]

                                    “[F]or BECCS technology to be truly effective in reducing CO2 emissions, massive tracts of arable land need to be cultivated and these are not always available, or easily utilised.”

                                     

                                    The Global CCS Institute

                                     

                                    “In a recent reality check, scientists estimated what it would take to sequester 1 billion tonnes of carbon using BECCS based on switchgrass feedstock. Their findings showed a startling 218-990 million hectares of land would have to be converted to switchgrass (which is 14-65 times as much land as the US uses to grow corn for ethanol); also 17-79 million tonnes of fertiliser a year – which would be 75% of all global nitrogen fertiliser used at present; and 1.6-7.4 trillion cubic metres of water a year.”

                                     

                                    — ‘Uncertainties’ is an understatement, when it comes to BECCS, November 10, 2014

                                    As the tireless Rachel Smolker, co-director of Biofuelwatch, has argued for the past decade, “the carbon consequences of bioenergy [are] far from “climate friendly” or “carbon neutral,” a myth that has been perpetuated by industry proponents and even parroted by many naive environmentalists.” [Source] Yet Smolker’s reference to “naive environmentalists” is far too kind. The truth is, most naive environmentalists are not environmentalists at all. They are lobbyists presented as environmentalists (via framing and spectacle), well rewarded and financially compensated for their “activism”. An activist fights to protect nature – not lobbies to destroy it. [Last-ditch climate option or wishful thinking?, Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage, 2015 BECCS Report, Smoke and Mirrors Report.]

                                    The Land is Sacred

                                    Guatemala: Petén at the center of the sustainable development plans of the NGOs, March 22, 2019

                                    “Both by origin and by position in capitalist society, worker and peasant are blood brothers.”

                                     

                                    The Coalition of the Working Class and the Peasantry under Capitalism [Source]

                                    Once upon a time, environmentalism actually meant the defence of the natural world. The soil, the microorganisms. The water. Everything that the natural world offered in all of her glory. Then came a very dark time, when environmentalism came to encompass the defence of an economic system that benefited the few. Today, we witness the “herding of cats” (GCCA) mobilized to further destroy the environment – under the guise of a climate change emergency. The spectacle repackages and presents the tragedy as environmental activism.

                                    “We distinguish between large-scale violence linked to armed conflicts (civil, guerrilla or international) rooted in struggles over natural resources, and that aimed at individuals or particular communities or groups of individuals due to their acts of resistance and/or protection of their land or environmental rights. Environmental defenders currently face a wave of violence that includes threats of physical harm, intimidation and criminalization. We focus on the deaths of environmental defenders.”

                                     

                                    The Supply Chain of Violence, August 2019, Nature

                                    In 2019, the words “activist” and “environmentalist” have become commodified and meaningless. It’s past time to replace them both with one term that cannot be subjected to rebranding or reframing – land defenders. The act of defending the natural world by any means necessary. There is a reason that land defenders in occupied countries continue to be murdered, rather than featured on the covers of Vogue and GQ. The reason being – they pose a threat to the very system orchestrating the spectacle that we are currently subjected to. “In 2017, at least 185 environmental and land defenders were killed. Of these, Indigenous peoples died in higher numbers than any other group.” [Source] August 5, 2019: “At least 1,558 people in 50 states were killed between 2002 and 2017 while trying to protect their land, water or local wildlife.” [Source] None of these land defenders, prior to their executions, were given international press coverage, let alone presented as heroic by the media. None were bolstered to international fame. None were featured on the cover of Time magazine, or lavished praise by heads of state, the World Bank or CEOs.

                                    To a society made oblivious and subservient by the spectacle, violence and death upon the marginalized “other” is normalized, while all the glaring contradictions go undetected, or worse, disregarded.

                                    +++

                                    Here we must recall that the term “net zero” does not mean zero emissions – and that the term “100 percent renewable energy” generally refers to electricity which constitutes approximately 20 percent of total energy use. To be clear, approximately 80% of total energy usage is not electricity. Therefore, to keep the engine of global industrialization running – in order to maintain current power structures – CCS and negative emissions technologies (NETs) are a requirement. All the rest is more or less storytelling. The CCS/NETs fantasy is what the ruling classes hope will keep the populace entrenched in the false belief that our planetary crises can be resolved within the global capitalist framework. To rub salt further into the wounds of disenchantment, in many instances, the largest component of the aforementioned 20% which is categorized as “renewable energy” – is actually biomass. The destruction, death, chipping and burning of the planet’s last remaining forests – along with all the biodiversity they once held.

                                    More key “solutions” to be implemented by the world’s largest corporations are investments into “green” energy for electricity (with biofuels at the forefront) coupled with “certified environmental projects” (carbon offsets).

                                    “It is impossible to radically cut emissions right away – but it is possible to neutralize our global annual co2 emissions of 3.3 million metric tonnes in the short term…”

                                     

                                    May 10, 2019 climate change video, BoschGlobal

                                     

                                    “These organizations’ concept of conservation can be seen as part of the neoliberal model, given the way in which Protected Areas are viewed economically. If the State wants to conserve, it has to pay to do so.”

                                     

                                    Guatemala: Petén at the center of the sustainable development plans of the NGOs, March 22, 2019

                                    An Astronomical Injection of Money into Climate Messaging

                                    “In September 2018, in the largest-ever philanthropic investment focused on climate change mitigation, 29 philanthropists pledged USD 4 billion over five years to combat climate change. Oak has pledged USD 75 million. This represents a broad global commitment to accelerate proven climate and clean-energy strategies, spur innovation and support organisations around the world to protect the air we breathe and the communities we call home.”

                                     

                                    Oak Foundation website

                                    Since 2009, the Oak Foundation has channeled a phenomenal amount of funding into ClimateWorks and designated climate change initiatives via selected NGOs. A partner in the ‘Design to Win’ platform for climate philanthropy, Oak is represented on both the ClimateWorks and ECF boards. Prior to the Oak’s 75 million USD commitment to ClimateWorks announced on September 14, 2018, Oak had gifted this same amount to ClimateWorks in 2014. [Source] The September 14, 2018 announcement of a 4 billion USD pledge by 29 foundation/philanthropies [15] would represent the largest philanthropic investment in climate mitigation in history.

                                    The largest recipient of Oak funding is ClimateWorks ($167 million), followed by the European Climate Foundation ($41 million), WWF ($24 million), Climate Nexus, a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors ($17 million), Human Rights Watch ($13 million) and Greenpeace ($10.5 million). There is an imperative here to understand that these organizations are the key to the behavioural change for the global populace – change sought and heavily financed by foundations. (Of special interest is the funding emphasis on NGO campaigns in Brazil. [16])

                                    • Access Now (Avaaz), 2018: $1,200,000.00
                                      • 350.org, 2011-2017: $3,998,834.00
                                        • Amnesty, 2011-2018: $3,600,000.00
                                          • C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (led by Michael Bloomberg), 2017-2018: $3,250,000.00
                                            • Carbon Tracker, 2014-2018: $1,690,800.00
                                              • Climate Works, 2009-2018: $167,100,000.00
                                                • European Climate Foundation, 2008-2018: $41,246,517.00
                                                  • Global Call For Climate Action (GCCA/TckTckTck), 2009-2016: $7,223,746.00
                                                    • Greenpeace, 2005-2018: $10,535,158.00
                                                      • Human Rights Watch, 2008-2018: $12,981,535.00
                                                        • More In Common, 2018 (Purpose): $400,000.00
                                                          • Purpose (Avaaz), 2012-2018 (Brazil campaigns): $4,624,781.00
                                                            • Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Inc., 2010-2018 (Climate Nexus): $16,877,743.00
                                                              • World Resources Institute, 2007-2018: $5,455,658.00
                                                                • WWF, 2005-2018: $23,834,441.00
                                                                • [Source: Oak Foundation. All current grants / Latest update 22.02.2019]

                                                                  Here, it is wise to pause and reflect upon the fact that the astronomical aforementioned funding from the Oak Foundation to the aforementioned handful of NGOs represents only the monies received from a single foundation – not taking into account the monies received from a multitude of other foundations. Further, the few NGOs identified in Oak’s grantee list, represent a tiny handful of organizations and accompanying grants – out of hundreds and thousands. One could rightly muse that the non-profit industrial complex is the largest army in the world.

                                                                  The pledge of 4 billion USD announced on September 14, 2018, “the largest-ever philanthropic investment focused on climate change mitigation” (ClimateWorks press release), demands that one takes a closer look at the foundations aligning their interests, led by ClimateWorks. Backers include Bloomberg Philanthropies, Grantham Foundation, IKEA Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Sea Change Foundation, Sir Christopher Hohn and The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Turner Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. [Full list]

                                                                  Of these foundations most, if not all, are aligned with the existing Blended Finance Taskforce, or the blended finance vehicle being developed under the auspices of the Climate Finance Partnership (announced September 26, 2018 at the One Planet Summit). The blended finance vehicles have been identified as the key to mobilize institutional capital for climate infrastructure in the developing world, by unlocking public funds. This 4 billion dollar “commitment” must be recognized as not a gift, but rather as an investment in their own expanding fortunes. Indeed, the press release itself cites the 4 billion as an investment. Today’s “climate wealth opportunity” is an opportunity for “philanthropists” to expand their epic largesse accumulated via the exploitation of labour coupled with the destruction of the natural world. Through the magic of language and framing, the money captured from the citizenry is repackaged as a gift from those that stole it. Criminals repackaged into divine beings via the media construct and societal conditioning.

                                                                  “This initiative is a breakthrough, and very welcomed by civil society. Political leaders need to feel the pressure from their constituencies to prioritize action on climate change. By supporting a strong base of mobilizers, influencers and change agents in local communities around the world, this commitment can help accomplish that.”

                                                                  Wael Hmaidan, executive director of Climate Action Network (CAN) International, Philanthropic Community Announces $4 Billion Commitment to Combat Climate Change, September 14, 2018 [Emphasis added]

                                                                  One may wonder how foundations have acquired these billions of dollars. Wael Hmaidan, executive director of Climate Action Network (CAN) International (quoted above) was an invitation only participant of the Climate Briefing Service (CBS) at COP15. A service created in order to control and dominate the communications, talking points and narrative on climate change. [A Decade of Social Manipulation for the Corporate Capture of Nature – Crescendo]

                                                                  One grantee of the CBS was The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF). We will explore it briefly.

                                                                  The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation

                                                                  In 2003, investor and hedge fund manager Christopher Cooper-Hohn founded the very private and exclusive Children’s Investment Fund (TCI), “a successful — and controversial — hedge fund that has become a gadfly to corporate giants like CSX, the American railroad.” Cooper’s then spouse, Jamie Cooper-Hohn, would oversee the affiliated charity, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF). The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation was financed by a portion of the fund’s fees generated by the hedge fund in order to finance the foundation. CIFF received its initial funding as donations from The Children’s Investment Fund Management which manages the London-based hedge fund.

                                                                  “The marriage of business and philanthropy that is at the heart of the Children’s Investment Fund and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation provides a great tool to effect serious change in the developing world.”

                                                                   

                                                                  Former US President Bill Clinton, 2006 [Source]

                                                                   

                                                                  “We are on the cusp of a sea change,” she said, citing a large increase in new wealth, the changing role of the state and the emergence of private equity and hedge fund donors as factors driving that change.”

                                                                   

                                                                  Susan Mackenzie, Philanthropy UK, 2006

                                                                  In 2004, the fund generated returns of between 42 to 44%  (depending on the class of share invested in). Returns for 2005 were 50 to 52%. [Source] In 2008, the New York Times reported that investors who had been with the fund since the beginning were rewarded with a 42% annual internal rate of return. In 2013, TCI’s flagship Master Fund generated a whopping 47% return representing one of the highest performing hedge funds in the world. Again, in 2016 it was reported that the “TCI Enjoys Record Year With 47% Return”.

                                                                  “Competitors praise Mr. Hohn’s business model for the hedge fund. ‘Hohn is a marketing genius,’ said a hedge fund manager. ‘Who wants to go up against a firm whose name is the Children’s Investment Fund?'”

                                                                   

                                                                  — New York Times, November 13, 2006

                                                                  The New York Times would also report that “about 90 percent of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation’s assets are reinvested with T.C.I.”, adding a quote by Jamie Cooper-Hohn: “It is hard to match those returns with any other investment. I may have a biased perspective, but we have one of the best investment firms in the world taking care of our capital.”

                                                                  “TCI’s returns were fueled by its investments in the British Royal Mail, which went public last year, News Corp. and European Aeronautic Defense and Space, the parent of airplane-maker Airbus.”

                                                                  January 8, 2014

                                                                  Following the divorce of the Cooper-Hohns in 2014, the firm no longer contributes to the children’s charity as per the fees built into the original business model (that funneled money into CIFF, the charitable arm of TCI), but instead makes contributions on a discretionary basis.

                                                                  “Hohn — whose net worth was recently pegged at $3 billion by Forbes — returned to activist investing and through TCI bought large stakes in Australian railway company QR National, Japan Tobacco and News Corp. Today, the fund also maintains large stakes in telecommunications company Charter Communications, European plane manufacturer Airbus and global agricultural firm Syngenta.”

                                                                   

                                                                  The billion-dollar bankroller, October 1, 2018

                                                                  In 2018, TCI’s steady and enormous returns crashed. January 11, 2019, Extraordinary’ Month Heaps Further Pain on Hedge Funds:

                                                                  “Activist investor Chris Hohn of TCI Fund Management Ltd., who has never lost money in a year except for 2008, saw a 7 percent loss in December that erased nearly all of his gains for 2018, according to a letter to investors seen by Bloomberg.”

                                                                  With capitalism “in danger of falling apart” (July 27, 2014, Al Gore) and global economic growth “now in free fall (Globe & Mail, January 3, 2019), again, it must be painfully reiterated that the global climate change mobilizations are not being orchestrated and propelled for the purpose of “saving the planet”, rather, the mobilizations have been designed and encouraged for the sole purpose of saving capitalism. To save the world’s billionaires from the horrific fate of being equal to the wage worker that they exploit.

                                                                  “The most important principle that I have about having an impact is that the people who have their hands on the various levers of power to change things have got to consider this an emergency. That this is a crisis situation, and if we don’t resolve it well, we are going to have a serious situation.”

                                                                   

                                                                  — Ray Dalio, founder of the world’s Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund with $160 billion in assets, April 25, 2019 [17]

                                                                  December 12, 2017, the One Planet Summit at the Elysée palace in Paris: French President Emmanuel Macron (3rdR) meets with English investor Christopher Hohn (L), US businessman and politician Michael Bloomberg (2ndL), US entrepreneur Bill Gates (behind Bloomberg), British entrepreneur Richard Branson (4thL), US businessmen CraigMcCaw (R) and Nat Simons (2ndR), US technical expert Eric Gimon (5thR) and President of Virgin Unite, Jean Oelwang (7thR) AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT

                                                                  Like Al Gore’s Generation Investment, whose own holdings fail to reflect his feigned concern over climate and poverty in the Global South (which his investments exacerbate), TCI’s holdings are in railway (an industry which has experienced a spectacular revival due to the transport of oil via rail led by both Warren Buffet and Bill Gates), Google/Alphabet, communications (television, media, cable) and chemicals – while the charitable arm – the CIFF – is firmly entrenched in colonial mindset, with a focus on “family planning” in the Global South.

                                                                  May 8, 2017: “Pfizer Inc., the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) today announced a multi-year extension of their collaboration to further broaden access to Pfizer’s all-in-one injectable contraceptive, Sayana® Press (medroxyprogesterone acetate), for women most in need in some of the world’s poorest countries.”

                                                                  Working with the Gates Foundation, the Clinton Foundation and others, CIFF is focused on managing the reproductive rights of women and girls in the Global South using “Long-acting Reversible Contraceptives” (LARCs). This is not about women’s rights, rather it is about dominance, control and white supremacist values/ideologies. Of course, it is also about profits and new markets: “By the end of 2016, 6.4 million units of Sayana Press were shipped to 20 developing world countries, potentially reaching more than 1.5 million women – up from 350,000 women at the end of 2014. Pfizer is continuing to make investments in its manufacturing facilities to meet the expected increase in market demand.” [Source]

                                                                  The contraceptive injection contains a progestogen hormone called depo medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA). Studies convey that DMPA can raise the risk of HIV infection in exposed women by approximately 40%. Depo-Provera is the injected contraceptive encouraged and supplied by imperial NGOs, corporations and institutions such as WWF, Johnson & Johnson and USAID. Sayana Press is very similar to Depo-Provera and also contains DMPA. The injections are required every 12 weeks. Infertility and bone density loss are just two more of the many associated health risks of DMPA/LARCs.

                                                                  CIFF has committed 43 million USD “to create a sustainable global market for Sayana Press to increase access to an innovative contraceptive choice for girls and women”. Partners in this venture targeting Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia include Concept Foundation, Crown Agents, DKT International, FHI360, JSI, Marie Stopes International, PATH, Pfizer and The United Nations Population Fund. Other funders of the colonial project include Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, DFID, UNFPA and USAID. [Source] [November 18, 2016: “Nearly half a million doses of Sayana Press (DMPA-SC in Uniject) administered in four countries: As access to Sayana® Press (subcutaneous depot medroxyprogesterone acetate, or DMPA-SC in Uniject™) expands globally, PATH has monitored product consumption in four pilot introduction countries: Burkina Faso, Niger, Senegal, and Uganda.”] [Source]

                                                                  An uncomfortable yet necessary question is required at this juncture. How many teenage climate strikers in Sweden, Belgium, Paris, inclusive of young Greta Thunberg, are receiving Sayana Press or Depo-Provera injections in response to over population concerns and “innovative contraceptive choice for girls and women”? The question of course is rhetorical, as we all know the answer: none.

                                                                  The image above demonstrates what populations are unequivocally responsible for the bulk of global greenhouse gas emissions. This is not new information. Rather, like the Indigenous led People’s Agreement of Cochabamba, produced in 2010, the paper and contents were ignored, marginalized and made invisible.

                                                                  “The world’s richest half-billion people are responsible for 50 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions.”

                                                                   

                                                                  Consumption Dwarfs Population as Main Environmental Threat, April 13, 2009

                                                                  In 2007, Professor Stephen Pacala of Princeton University calculated the emissions per person based on 6.5 billion people. He concluded that the wealthiest 15% emit 75% of all global greenhouse gas emissions while the 3 billion poorest people emit essentially nothing. In the 2009 paper, Sharing Global CO2 Emission Reductions Among One Billion High Emitters, the authors highlighted that “one billion high emitters” was chosen as a metaphor for a globally coordinated attack on climate change.

                                                                  “In contrast, the rich are really spectacular emitters. …the top 500 million people [7.5% of humanity] emit half the greenhouse emissions. These people are really rich by global standards. Every single one of them earns more than the average American and they also occur in all the countries of the world…

                                                                   

                                                                  “Pacala’s data shows the globally wealthy could solve the crisis. Most importantly, it also shows there is absolutely no other way. Humanity must cut fossil fuel emissions massively and the only people who can cut global fossil fuel use to the extent needed are the wealthiest 15%. Furthermore, most of the cuts will need to be made by the wealthiest 7.5%, because they are using almost all of it. The globally wealthy must make the major reductions.” [Source]

                                                                  Today, Pacala chairs a 24-member national committee (the Carbon Mitigation Initiative) calling for an immediate push for CO2-removal technology (NETs). [Source]

                                                                  Showing the direct correlation between income/wealth and emissions, a 1996 study surmised that citizens in the U.S. who earned in excess of $75,000 generated nearly four times the CO2 emissions as those who earned less than $10,000. The authors of the book “A Climate of Injustice: Global Inequality, North-South Politics, and Climate Policy”, who cited this study, state that while comparing the disparities between nations was difficult, a single definitive observation could be made: “It can be said with confidence that the world’s richest people cause emissions thousands of times greater than those of the world’s poorest.” [Source]

                                                                  Kevin Anderson, Professor of Energy and Climate Change at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, has stated in numerous lectures that 50% of the global greenhouse gas emissions are created by the world’s richest 1% (the Pareto 80:20 rule). Anderson recently detailed the huge potential reductions in carbon emissions if the world’s top 10% of emitters were forced to reduce their carbon emissions to the level of a typical EU citizen – global emissions would be cut by 33%. [Source] The not so invisible irony of this, not lost on Anderson, is that the 1% comprises the ruling classes in control of the global economy – inclusive of the policy makers, scientists, and all of those controlling the narrative. Under the very top tier (the billionaire and millionaire class) would be those who can afford to get on a plane.

                                                                  At this juncture, we could discuss the high-level meetings being organized by the black supremacist bourgeoisie in the Global South in response to the planetary ecological crises being created by the richest 10% in the Global North. Those responsible for half of the global greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, we cannot, as there are none.

                                                                  The CIFF Leadership

                                                                  Today, Kate Hampton serves as the CEO of CIFF. As outlined earlier within this segment, Hampton serves as vice-chair to the supervisory board of the European Climate Foundation (ECF).

                                                                  Hampton is a member of the FP2020 (family planning for brown people) Reference Group and has been featured in the top 100 Profiles of Paris, “a collection of stories from the key people who created the Paris Agreement” created by Christiana Figueres. Prior to serving CIFF, Hampton was Head of Policy at Climate Change Capital, a boutique investment firm with $1.5 billion under management. In addition, Hampton served as Head of the Climate Change Campaign for Friends of the Earth International. She has served as Senior Policy Advisor for the United Kingdom’s G8 and EU presidencies in 2005, and as a Sherpa to the EU High-Level Group on Competitiveness, Energy and Environment in 2007. In 2008, Hampton was named a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. [Source]

                                                                  Graeme Sweeney serves as the current Chairman of the Board for CIFF. Following a 35-year career at Royal Dutch Shell, which included heading its global renewable business, Sweeney is a founder of the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute. [Full bio]

                                                                  In 2016, Mark Malloch-Brown stepped down as interim chairman and rotating off the CIFF board after five years as a trustee. Malloch-Brown is the founder of the International Crisis Group and Open Society Foundations Global Board Member. He is a former number two in the United Nations and has served in the British Cabinet and Foreign Office. Other positions served include World Bank vice president, lead international partner in a political consulting firm, and vice chairman of the World Economic Forum. Malloch-Brown is the co-founder and former chair of The Business and Sustainable Development Commission. On March 18, 2019, Malloch-Brown was appointed board member of the United Nations. [Full Bio]

                                                                  [CIFF Board of Trustees and Executive Team]

                                                                  Other CIFF benefactors include C40 cities (Michael Bloomberg and Bill Clinton), an implementation partner of We Mean Business, with grants in the amount of 9,640,000.00, 24,300,000.00, and 6,522,000.00 USD. [Source] [Source] [Source]

                                                                  A sum of 20.9 million USD has been granted by the CIFF to the European Climate Foundation, making it the single largest benefactor under the climate and energy category. [Source]

                                                                  On a side note, Chris Hohn (CIFF), Tom Steyer (Next Gen), Richard Branson (The B Team, We Mean Business, The Elders, The Carbon War Room, etc.), Mark Benioff (Salesforce) – are all co-founders of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition. Launched in 2015 at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, the coalition has a keen focus on the expansion of nuclear.

                                                                  On May 29, 2019, the European Commission announced the launch of a €100 million clean energy investment fund in partnership with Breakthrough Energy, the “Breakthrough Energy Ventures Europe.” In reality, outside of the spectacle,this partnership was already sealed on October 2017, 2018: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker: “We must push for the modernisation of Europe’s economy and industry in order to meet the ambitious targets put in place to protect our planet. Pooling public and private investment in new, innovative clean energy technology is key to enabling long-term solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Maroš Šef?ovi?,Vice-President of the Commission for the Energy Union, remarked: “The scale and speed of what is needed to reach our climate goals require innovative thinking and bold action. Not only is this new public-private investment vehicle being set up in record time, it will also serve as an example of us joining forces to accelerate breakthrough innovation in Europe.” The release added:Breakthrough Energy Europe links public funding with long-term risk capital so that clean energy research and innovation can be brought to market faster and more efficiently… It is a pilot project that can serve as a model for similar initiatives in other thematic areas.” [Emphasis added]

                                                                  It is worth observing that as of March 29, 2019, the TCI hedge fund was up 18%.

                                                                  +++

                                                                  In Volume II we take a closer look at the Climate Finance Partnership.

                                                                   

                                                                  End Notes:

                                                                  [1] The Price of Climate Action: Philanthropic Foundations in the International Climate Debate, 2016, Edouard Morena, Bartosiewicz and Miley.  p. 51]

                                                                  [2] ClimateWorks grantors: 2009, 2010, and 2011 annual reports:

                                                                  • Arcadia Fund
                                                                  • Children’s Investment Fund Foundation
                                                                  • Dutch Postcode Lottery
                                                                  • Elizabeth Simons
                                                                  • Ford Foundation
                                                                  • Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
                                                                  • Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment
                                                                  • Grousbeck Family Foundation
                                                                  • Heising-Simons Foundation
                                                                  • John and Ann Doerr
                                                                  • Kresge Foundation
                                                                  • Mark Heising
                                                                  • McCall MacBain Foundation
                                                                  • Meher Pudumjee
                                                                  • Mertz Gilmore Foundation
                                                                  • Oak Foundation
                                                                  • Pirojsha Godrej Foundation
                                                                  • Pisces Foundation
                                                                  • Robertson Foundation
                                                                  • Rockefeller Foundation
                                                                  • Schmidt Family Foundation
                                                                  • Stiftung Mercator
                                                                  • Stordalen Foundation
                                                                  • Tilia Fund
                                                                  • TomKat Charitable Trust
                                                                  • TOSA Foundation
                                                                  • United Nations Environment Programme—Global Environment Facility

                                                                   

                                                                  [3] The concept of the Energy Foundation “came from three recently appointed foundation presidents—Peter Goldmark (Rockefeller Foundation), Rebecca Rimel (Pew Charitable Trusts) and Adele Simmons (MacArthur Foundation)… Having validated the business plan, the three foundations proceeded to officially launch the EF in 1991 through a combined promissory grant of 20 million USD. By 1998, contributions to the EF were in excess of 100 million USD.” [Source: The Price of Climate Action-Philanthropic Foundations in the International Climate Debate, 2016, Edouard Morena, p. 45]

                                                                  [4] ClimateWorks regional partners:

                                                                  1) CLIMATE AND LAND USE ALLIANCE (CLUA): a “donor collaborative” of 6 foundations focused on forests and sustainable land as a means to “combating climate change”. Hosted at ClimateWorks Foundation, CLUA was established in 2006 by founding members ClimateWorks Foundation, Ford Foundation, Foundation, David & Lucile Packard, and the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation. CLUA was later joined by Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies (MACP) and Good Energies Foundation. It works not in the US, but in Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and Central America while simultaneously pursuing “a complementary global agenda of promoting policies, programs and finance in favor of sustainable land use.” [Source: Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors]

                                                                  2) ENERGY FOUNDATION CHINA (EF China): a program of the Energy Foundation with a focus on in the eight sectors of buildings, electric utilities, environmental management, industry, low-carbon development, renewable energy, sustainable cities and transportation. An English website.

                                                                  3) ENERGY FOUNDATION (EF): Founded in 1991, the EF programs focus on making the buildings, power, and transportation sectors more efficient, and on advancing policy solutions that build markets for clean energy technology. Grantees include business, health, labor, environmental, faith, property-rights, and consumer groups, as well as military organizations, think tanks, and universities.

                                                                  4) EUROPEAN CLIMATE FOUNDATION (ECF): Founded in 2008, the ECF was launched as “a major philanthropic collaboration” to promote climate and energy policies that position Europe as an international leader role in climate mitigation.

                                                                  5) INICIATIVA CLIMATICA DE MEXICO (ICM): The ICM programs focus on decarbonizing the electricity sector, low-carbon transportation, and national climate policy.

                                                                  6) INSTITUTO CLIMA E SOCIEDADE (ICS): “a hub for philanthropy in Brazil, providing grant support to civil society, academic, and government institutions and convening diverse stakeholders to catalyze action on climate policy, clean and efficient electricity, and urban mobility.”

                                                                  [5] Full text: “And here, too, the solution was ingenious. To begin, they proposed to create a central hub—the ClimateWorks Foundation—which would serve as grantor of funds to a coordinated global network. The network, in turn, consisted of two sorts of organizations. First, there were “regional climate foundations” or RFCs. RFCs had expertise in particular geographies and would serve as regrantors of funds from ClimateWorks to the most appropriate NGOs for particular work. There was, for example, the Energy Foundation in the U.S., the European Climate Foundation (or ECF) in Europe, Energy FoundationChina in China, Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation in India, Latin America Regional Climate Initiative (LARCI) in Latin America, and Climate and Land Use Alliance (CLUA) in Indonesia (though it also works in Central and South America). A second set of organizations were called “best practices networks” or BPNs. These brought expertise in particular sectors, one in each sector for a total of seven. So, there was the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), and the Institute for Industrial Productivity, and so on. To work on transportation in Europe, then, ClimateWorks would simply channel money to ECF and ICCT to work together on the problem.”
                                                                  — Smith Celebration Lecture,
                                                                  February 7, 2017, Larry Kramer, President William & Flora Hewlett Foundation

                                                                  [6] “The Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust was formed in 2005 by Jeremy Grantham, Co-Founder and Chief Investment Strategist of Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo (GMO) and his wife Hannelore. GMO currently manages approximately $80 billion in a variety of strategies for institutional investors. The Trust is a 501(c)(3) public charity and a Type II 509(a)(2) supporting organization that supports charities whose mission is environmental protection. Its endowment is approximately $250 million and its trustees include representatives from The Nature Conservancy, The World Wildlife Fund-US and Rare in addition to Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham.” [Source]

                                                                  [7] Interview with CATF founder Armand Cohen in 2013: https://www.openphilanthropy.org/sites/default/files/Armond_Cohen_7-23-13_%28public%29.pdf

                                                                  [8] “For his part, philanthropist Michael Bloomberg via his foundation and other donations is estimated since 2011 to have devoted $164 million to political and legal campaigns to shut down coal-fired power plants in the United States and he recently announced an additional $50 million in funding to expand such efforts to other countries.” (Carrington, 2017) [Source]

                                                                  [9]

                                                                  [10] John Podesta is the founder and a board member of the Washington, D.C.-based think tank Center for American Progress. He served as Counselor to US President Barack Obama from January 2014 to February 2015. His duties included overseeing climate change and energy policy. In 2008, he served as co-chair of President Obama’s transition team, where he coordinated the priorities of the incoming administration’s agenda, oversaw the development of its policies, and spearheaded its appointments of major cabinet secretaries and political appointees. Prior to founding the Center for American Progress in 2003, Podesta served as White House chief of staff to US President Bill Clinton. He also recently served on President Obama’s Global Development Council and the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. Additionally, Podesta has held numerous positions on Capitol Hill, including counselor to Democratic Leader Sen. Thomas A. Daschle (1995-1996). A Chicago native, Podesta is a graduate of Knox College and the Georgetown University Law Center, where he is currently a visiting professor of law. He is the author of The Power of Progress: How America’s Progressives Can (Once Again) Save Our Economy, Our Climate and Our Country. [Source]

                                                                  [11] Reilly is also a senior advisor to TPG Capital LP, an international investment partnership. He headed the U.S. Delegation to the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development in Rio in 1992. He holds a B.A. degree from Yale, a J.D. from Harvard, and an M.S. in urban planning from Columbia University. [Source]

                                                                  [12] An announcement on June 19th is the first proof of concept that this 45Q tax incentive will drive more commercial investment. Occidental Petroleum and White Energy are now evaluating a project to capture up to 700,000 tons of CO2 from two of White Energy’s ethanol facilities in Hereford and Plainview, Texas. The oil field storage site, owned by Oxy, is in the same Permian Basin region and already has a geologic storage monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) plan approved by the US EPA. Depending on the results of the evaluation, the project could come on line as early as 2021. In a sense, it’s no surprise that an industrial source with low cost CO2 that’s near an oil field is looking to undertake such a project. But what’s clear from the companies’ joint statement is that the new 45Q incentive is what prompted them to take this step. [Source]

                                                                  [13] The Global CCS Institute became a legal entity in June 2009 when it was incorporated under the Australian Corporations Act 2001 as a public company and began operating independently as of July 2009. The Institute is a not-for-profit entity, limited by guarantee, and owned by its Members, with the Australian Government initially committing $100 million AUD annual funding to the organisation for a four-year period. [Source][Source][Source] [Source]

                                                                  [14] Stern serves as chair of the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, IG Patel Professor of Economics and Government at the LSE, President of the Royal Economic Society, Director of the India Observatory, and Fellow of the British Academy. [Source]

                                                                  [15]

                                                                  1. Barr Foundation
                                                                  2. Bloomberg Philanthropies
                                                                  3. Bullitt Foundation
                                                                  4. Dee & Richard Lawrence and OIF
                                                                  5. Grantham Foundation
                                                                  6. Growald Family Fund
                                                                  7. Heising-Simons Foundation
                                                                  8. IKEA Foundation
                                                                  9. Ivey Foundation
                                                                  10. John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
                                                                  11. Joyce Foundation
                                                                  12. KR Foundation
                                                                  13. Kresge Foundation
                                                                  14. McKinney Family Foundation
                                                                  15. McKnight Foundation
                                                                  16. Oak Foundation
                                                                  17. Pirojsha Godrej Foundation
                                                                  18. Pisces Foundation
                                                                  19. Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF)
                                                                  20. Sea Change Foundation
                                                                  21. Sir Christopher Hohn and The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF)
                                                                  22. The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
                                                                  23. The Educational Foundation of America
                                                                  24. The George Gund Foundation
                                                                  25. The Grove Foundation
                                                                  26. The JPB Foundation
                                                                  27. Turner Foundation
                                                                  28. William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
                                                                  29. Yellow Chair Foundation

                                                                  “Prominent funders included the Gordon and Betty Moore, Sea Change, Hewlett, and Packard foundations on the larger end, and smaller thought-leader funders such as the Rockefeller Brothers and Rockefeller Family philanthropies and the UN Foundation.” [p. 6: ClimateWorks Foundation: Lessons in Leadership and Learning December 2015, Source]

                                                                  [16] This Oak funding included 2.65 million to assist Climate Works in support of Instituto Clima e Sociedade which has separately received more than 5 million from Oak since 2018 to set up as a climate grantmaking organization in Brazil. Also notable is the 800K given to Purpose Climate Lab in Brazil.” [Source: www.oakfnd.org/assets/oak-foundation_-all-currrent-grants_latest-update-22.02.2019.pdf]

                                                                  [17] Ray Dalio is the founder of the world’s biggest hedge fund. Bridgewater Associates has $160 billion in assets. In 2018 its largest fund rose 14%, even as hedge funds broadly lost an average of 6%. Dalio himself has a net worth north of $18 billion. [Source]

                                                                   

                                                                  [Cory Morningstar is an independent investigative journalist, writer and environmental activist, focusing on global ecological collapse and political analysis of the non-profit industrial complex. She resides in Canada. Her recent writings can be found on Wrong Kind of Green, The Art of Annihilation and Counterpunch. Her writing has also been published by Bolivia Rising and Cambio, the official newspaper of the Plurinational State of Bolivia. You can support her independent journalism via Patreon.]

                                                                  An Object Lesson In Spectacle [Excerpt From the Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg for Consent – Volume II]

                                                                  An Object Lesson In Spectacle [Excerpt From the Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg for Consent – Volume II]

                                                                  The Art of Annihilation

                                                                  September 10, 2019

                                                                  By Cory Morningstar

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                  [The second volume of the Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg for Consent series will be released over the month of September.]

                                                                   

                                                                  An object lesson in spectacle

                                                                  On February 21, 2019, accompanied with much media fanfare, Greta Thunberg spoke alongside then European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker at the ‘Civil Society for rEUnaissance’ event in Brussels:

                                                                  “The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) discussed the key role that organised civil society must play for the future of Europe during an event on 21 February 2019 – just over 90 days from the European elections – that brought together the highest representatives of the European institutions and civil society organisations from across the entire EU.”

                                                                  Thunberg’s opening speech was followed by remarks from Juncker, who had kissed Thunberg’s hand upon introduction. The event took place alongside approximately 10,000 youth climate strikers, with politicians, officials, lobbyists and journalists abound. [1] Praising the climate strike movement, Juncker announced that one quarter of the EU budget would be spent on climate mitigation from 2021 to 2027.

                                                                  Around the world, the media reaction was instant and sensational.

                                                                  Common Dreams, February 21, 2019:

                                                                  Greta Thunberg, literally changing the world

                                                                   

                                                                  Sixteen-year-old climate action leader Greta Thunberg stood alongside European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker Thursday in Brussels as he indicated—after weeks of climate strikes around the world inspired by the Swedish teenager—that the European Union has heard the demands of young people and pledged a quarter of $1 trillion budget over the next seven years to address the crisis of a rapidly heating planet.

                                                                   

                                                                  In the financial period beginning in 2021, Juncker said, the EU will devote a quarter of its budget to solving the crisis.

                                                                   

                                                                  “Every fourth euro spent within the EU budget will go towards action to mitigate climate change,” Juncker said. The plan will spend billions over seven years…”

                                                                  Reuters, February 21, 2019:

                                                                  “Swedish student leader wins EU pledge to spend billions on climate…

                                                                   

                                                                  In the next financial period from 2021 to 2027, every fourth euro spent within the EU budget will go towards action to mitigate climate change,’ Juncker said of his proposal for the EU budget, which is typically 1 percent of the bloc’s economic output, or 1 trillion euros ($1.13 trillion) over seven years.”

                                                                  CNBC, February 22, 2019:

                                                                  “EU’s Juncker proposes billions of spending on climate change after a 16-year-old’s speech…

                                                                   

                                                                  Every fourth euro spent within the EU budget will go towards climate mitigation actions between 2021 and 2027, Jean-Claude Juncker says.”

                                                                  Global Citizen, February 22, 2019:

                                                                  “EU Boosts Climate Change Budget After Greta Thunberg SpeechFollowing a speech by student climate activist Greta Thunberg in Brussels on Thursday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced the EU should spend hundreds of billions of euros combating climate change during the next 10 years. Juncker proposed that between 2021 to 2027, every fourth euro spent within the EU budget go toward action to mitigate climate change.”

                                                                   

                                                                  Above: Sasja Beslik, head of Sustainable Finance at Nordea Bank shares a photo Jean-Claude Juncker kissing the hand of Greta Thunberg. On the very first day of Thunberg’s strike (August 20, 2019), she would share a post on Twitter. Within hours Beslik shared the Thunberg post adding his own commentary.

                                                                  The said victory would be highly referenced as a shining example of power conceding to Thunberg and the youth mobilizations, from that day forward to the present:

                                                                  “These days, the New York Times and Financial Times are profiling her, and the EU has proposed to spend billions of dollars to address climate change, right after one of her speeches.”

                                                                   

                                                                  Pulsar, intelligence trends and techniques, addressing the influence of Greta Thunberg, February 28, 2019

                                                                   

                                                                  “And the movement is winning. In February 2019, President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, standing next to Greta, stated his intent to spend hundreds of billions of euros on climate change mitigation, amounting to a fourth of the EU budget.”

                                                                   

                                                                  Why We’re Striking on September 20th, Global Greengrants Fund, September 3, 2019

                                                                   

                                                                  “She has “compelled the EU’s Jean-Claude Juncker to dedicate every fourth Euro to be spent between 2021-27 to climate action,” said Leah Qusba, deputy director of Alliance for Climate Education, a non-profit climate education organization That is translating youth movement building into real political action.”

                                                                   

                                                                  CBS News, Youth are changing the game on climate change, March 13, 2019

                                                                   

                                                                  +++

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                  Not so fast.

                                                                  May 3, 2018, EU plans to massively increase spending on climate change:

                                                                  “The European Commission has put forward its future budgetary plans, which include spending a quarter of its entire finances on tackling climate change.”

                                                                  On September 26, 2018, during the One Planet Summit, the following announcement was made:

                                                                  “The European Commission proposed to dedicate 25% of the next European Union budget (2021-2027), i.e. EUR 320 billion to climate objectives and foresees a dedicated financial support for sustainable infrastructure investments through the “InvestEU” programme, expected to leverage more than EUR 150 billion.” [Source] [Emphasis in original]

                                                                  The February 21, 2019 identical “win”, sensationalized to the world, had, in fact, already been pledged on September 26, 2018. The One Planet summit is a partnership of the World Bank, the United Nations (now officially subservient to the World Economic Forum), the Government of France, and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

                                                                  To be clear, the financing that the European Commission had earmarked was not a concession in response to Greta Thunberg’s speech given that day, nor the climate strikes orchestrated with Global Call for Climate Action (GCCA/TckTckTck) at the helm. Here we see how reality can be made to turn on its head. Waving the magic wand of spectacle, a decision made on September 26, 2018 with the World Bank et al – is turned into a victorious changing of tide for the populace. [2]

                                                                  What is not shared with the citizenry, is that the InvestEU programme [3] opens the door for the financing of carbon capture and storage, carbon-intensive bio-energy plants, “smart” grids, and ecosystem services financing (the financialization of nature) – all by leveraging private finance with public funds. All made invisible by the spectacle. As growth is sacrilege under the capitalist economic system (paramount to life itself), a major component of InvestEU is research and innovation in order to allow the suicidal system to continue and expand.

                                                                  Following the One Planet announcement on September 26, 2018, on October 17, 2018, the EU signed a memorandum of understanding between Mission Innovation’s Breakthrough Energy (Bill Gates et al) and the European Commission. The memorandum states that through the partnership formed with the European Commission (to form Breakthrough Energy Europe), Breakthrough Energy Europe portfolio corporations [4] will have preferential access to any/all funding “from relevant EU Programmes—including, but not limited to the European Innovation Council (EIC) in its future pilot and fully-fledged phases, InnovFin EDP and its successor(s) under InvestEU, the future EU financial instrument for the period 2021-2027.” Breakthrough Energy Europe individuals include Richard Branson, Bill Gates. Jack Ma, Mark Zuckerberg, George Soros, and Chris Hohn (the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation) [Full list]

                                                                  Today, we have the United Nations on its knees to the World Economic Forum (WEF). The WEF having announced the “UN-Forum Partnership” (signed on June 13, 2019) is now at the helm of the so-called Sustainable Development Goals. In addition to this corporate coup d’état, we can bear witness to elected governments handing over billions of dollars (exploited from the working class) to the world’s most powerful billionaires and corporations via Breakthrough Energy partnerships. The same entities destroying our natural world (and devolving societies), are now in charge of most, if not all, decision making regarding our multiple ecological crises and shared futures.

                                                                  From left: Borge Brend, president of the World Economic Forum (WEF), Klaus Schwab, WEF founder and chief executive, António Guterres, UN secretary-general, and Amina Mohammed, UN deputy secretary-general. On June 13, 2019, the UN secretary-general, signed the UN-Forum Partnership with the World Economic Forum to accelerate the Sustainable Development Goals. The meeting was held at United Nations headquarters.

                                                                  As Mission Innovation is partnered with the European Commission (on behalf of the European Union) and 24 states – we can fully expect similar memoranda to be signed in each of the states that have entered into partnership with Mission Innovation. (No, there were no referenda.)

                                                                  “The smug acceptance of what exists can also merge with purely spectacular rebellion; this reflects the simple fact that dissatisfaction itself became a commodity as soon as economic abundance could extend production to the processing of such raw materials.”  — Guy Debord,  Society of the Spectacle

                                                                  Such strategic and conniving theatre displays a patronising and an elitist contempt for the populace. There is no doubt that those behind Thunberg were not fully aware of the EU pledge made in 2018, or of the accompanying InvestEU programme. The European Climate Foundation is the European arm of US ClimateWorks. ClimateWorks is the largest beneficiary of climate “philanthropy” (i.e. investment) in the world. This is paramount, as all media relations and events for Greta Thunberg and her family are presided over by a media director for the European Climate Foundation and its Global Strategic Communications Council. [This is further explored in Volume II.]

                                                                  As the thunder of triumphant applause shakes the global stadium, the joke is on us.

                                                                  In 1959, the revolutionary Che Guevara remarked to journalist José Pardo Llada that “newspapers are instruments of the oligarchy.” Today, six decades later, the non-profit industrial complex and even “activism” itself must both be considered as instruments crafted and wielded by the 21st century oligarchs.

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                  End Notes

                                                                  [1] In addition to the above event, is an awkward and irrelevant conversation between EESC President Luca Jahier and Thunberg which was released for public consumption: https://youtu.be/TiUhBwTwaf8

                                                                  [2] Climate Action Network (CAN is a co-founder of GCCA), published a news article outlining the proposal on May 2, 2018.

                                                                  [3] InvestEU:

                                                                  InvestEU is the successor to the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) or ‘Juncker Plan’ created to mobilize private/investment finance using guarantees from EU budget funds (tax dollars). Only 50% of projects under the sustainable infrastructure window need to contribute to EU climate and environment objectives while there is no exclusion of fossil fuel or carbon-intensive investments. [Source]

                                                                  Infrastructure for carbon-capture, and for carbon storage in industrial processes, bio-energy plants and manufacturing facilities towards the energy transition are eligible for financing and investment operations. [See full policy document]

                                                                  It will also house the “Natural Capital Financing Facility” (NCFF). Stepping up biodiversity and  ecosystem services financing is considered one of the prerequisites for achieving the EU’s 2020 biodiversity goals. The NCFF’s four project categories are 1) Projects using Payments for Ecosystem Services – payments involving payment or compensation for the benefits provided by ecosystems, 2) “Green” infrastructure projects – investments in “natural capital” that generate a range of “goods and services”, 3) Projects developing biodiversity offsets – “conservation measures designed to compensate for the unavoidable damage to biodiversity arising from development projects“, andInnovative pro-biodiversity and adaptation businesses.” [Source]

                                                                  The InvestEU programme will streamline and consolidate the EU financial instruments. The Innovation Fund will work in synergy with the InvestEU and other EU programmes on research and innovation for “low-carbon technologies”. The Innovation Fund will finance “a broad variety of projects achieving an optimal balance of a wide range of innovative technologies in all eligible sectors (energy intensive industries, renewable energy, energy storage, CCS and CCU) and Member States”. It will fund sufficiently mature projects that promise the biggest innovation potential. [Source]

                                                                   “To enable CCS to fulfil its role in delivering this long-term Strategy, action must begin now. Support mechanisms such as the Innovation Fund, Connecting Europe Facility and InvestEU programme, will all be critical for delivering the first EU CCS clusters.” [Source]

                                                                  [4] In December 2016, members of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition formed Breakthrough Energy Ventures. At the 2017 One Planet Summit in Paris, Breakthrough Energy announced the expansion of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition from the 26 private investors announced at COP21 to include corporations, institutional investors and banks to accelerate the commercialization of new energy technologies. The additional members include: African Rainbow Capital, African Rainbow Minerals, BNP, Paribas, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Energy Impact Partners, ENGIE, General Electric, Microsoft, National Grid, OGCI Climate Investments, Prelude Ventures, Reliance Industries Limited, SAP SE, Total, University of California, Virgin Group, Wells Fargo, and the Wheatsheaf Group. The Breakthrough Energy Coalition also announced the piloting of public-private partnerships with five Mission Innovation members, including the EC.” [Source]

                                                                  Green Fascism

                                                                  Center for World Indigenous Studies

                                                                  August 13, 2019

                                                                  By Jay Taber

                                                                   

                                                                  “Capitalism’s Last Supper” – by Stephanie McMillan

                                                                   

                                                                  In his latest article on green fascism, NEA/PEN playwright John Steppling examines the New Volkisch Mythos of *Greta* that “is the validation of what amounts to royalist wisdom and the dangers of community control of anything…All the so-called New Green Deal solutions are there, it seems, to save capitalism before saving the planet.”

                                                                  As Steppling observed in Scurrying Fascist Cockroaches, “the Green New Deal is the fig leaf that provides material for this manufacturing of a new fascist narrative. The green fascism of these new ‘products’ from the Democratic Party laboratories is pretty much in line with what Bill Clinton ushered in and what Obama sort of perfected.”

                                                                  As he remarks,

                                                                  “The same fingerprints are always found. The Gates Foundation, 350.org, the US state department and an assortment of varied NGOs of the moment.”

                                                                  In my post Heart of Darkness, I wrote, “In terms of relevance to the indigenous nations often referred to as the Fourth World, the rollouts from the COP21 gathering of UN member states, Wall Street-funded NGOs, and the global financial elite resemble colonial initiatives undertaken as a result of similar 19th Century gatherings to carve up the world for capitalism. Then, as now, indigenous territories and resources were targeted for expropriation through coercion, with Africa being a prime target.”

                                                                   

                                                                  Going out with a bang. Source: Tumblr

                                                                  When France invaded Mali in 2013 with the blessing of the UN, it was to obtain the uranium needed to fuel nuclear power plants in France, at the expense of the indigenous Tuareg. With nuclear power development as the number one green initiative under the Bill Gates plan, Navajo and other American tribes that have uranium deposits or nuclear waste sites can expect to be treated with equal disdain.

                                                                  As noted at Global Research, “Uranium is France’s key energy resource, according to the World Nuclear Association, with 75 percent of the European nation’s electricity being produced from nuclear energy, which explains French dependency on uranium. According to mineral resource analysts, beneath the deserts in Northern Mali and Eastern Niger, territory now exclusively claimed by the nomadic Tuareg tribes, exists the world’s third largest uranium reserves as well as substantial oil reserves.”

                                                                  According to African history scholar Dr. Leonard Jeffries, the French don’t need permission to intervene in their former colonies because of the accords they forced on them before granting independence. “For five decades,” he says, “France has maintained a neo-colonial relationship that gave France control of components of the new African states, including their economies and military institutions.”

                                                                  As reported at CEASEFIRE, France opened 2013 with a series of airstrikes on Northern Mali allegedly to prevent the establishment of a terrorist state, but had its eyes on something far more important. Like its neighbour, Niger, Mali is rich in uranium. “Following the ‘oil shock of 1973 in which the oil producing nations sharply increased the price of oil, the French decided an alternative route was needed. This alternative was nuclear energy.”

                                                                  France now has 59 nuclear reactors, and, although Niger has been France’s primary uranium trading partner in the region, 5,200 tonnes of untapped uranium sources in Mali make “a favourable government and a suppressed civil society all the more urgent.”

                                                                  Following the ethnic cleansing of Tuareg by the NATO-backed, Al-Qaeda affiliated rebels, a united Tuareg resistance has the potential to erode power from the central Mali government, and even control areas of land in which the Tuareg live, but the French want to mine. Thus the French had to brand the Tuareg as terrorists to justify its invasion.

                                                                  While world leaders at COP 21 in Paris fawned over the Breakthrough Energy Coalition as world saviors promoting so-called ‘climate solutions’, the reality is that these con artists are setting us up for a global heist that we’ll be paying for long into the future. Breakthrough Energy Coalition is an assemblage of private sector venture capitalists whose agenda is carbon capture and nuclear power, both of which are unsafe, and require enormous public subsidies.

                                                                  Two of the architects of the so-called ‘climate solutions’ — e.g. Bill Gates and George Soros — are noted for past involvement in serious fraud. The Green New Deal—like the Universal Climate Change Agreement—is nuclear power in a green outfit.

                                                                   

                                                                  Political Climate

                                                                  Deep City Chronicles

                                                                  July 17, 2019

                                                                   By Raul Diego

                                                                   

                                                                  MIAMI, FL – July 13: Climate action stage skirt banner at the This is Zero Hour Conference in Miami, Florida on July, 13, 2019 | PHOTO CREDIT: Raul Diego for deepcitychronicles ©2019 Deep City Chronicles. All Rights Reserved.

                                                                  The Vacuum

                                                                  Solutions to the crisis, so far, have been full of more hot air than the Caribbean jet stream in an El Niño year. Pounced on by special interests looking to consolidate power or advance agendas, many so-called climate change movements stop short of addressing the actual problem because doing so threatens the very power structure they belong to.

                                                                  The environmental movement in the United States resulted from precisely such a challenge to the status quo. Specifically, the booming post-war pesticide industry when Rachel Carson published her seminal book “Silent Spring” and revealed the dangers of DDT. The outcry drove the push to ban the noxious chemical and a new awareness of our habitat’s fragility arose among the general population.

                                                                  The industrial pesticide camp didn’t just back down, of course. In fact, they came up with far worse ideas like the infamous, cancer-causing Round Up and invested heavily in marketing to hide their horrible effects from us. Many ecologically-minded organizations, like Sierra Club and others sprang up in the same period and have grown into multi-million dollar concerns, which expend as much energy raising money to run their operations as they do fighting the climate crisis. It’s debatable whether, on balance, they are having a net positive effect on the issue at all.

                                                                  We now have a global environmental advocacy industry, that organizes hundreds of international conferences, rallies and branded awareness campaigns around the world. Much of their work is tied to established political networks and end up serving the interests of the friendliest public servants.

                                                                  This is Zero Hour – The Movie

                                                                  Last weekend, a climate change youth conference called “This is Zero Hour” was held in Miami. Dozens of teenage organizers and distinguished panel guests were flown in from around the country to participate in the three-day event held at the Miami Airport Convention Center (MACC).  Any contradictions arising from the choice of venue and the highly publicized position against air travel by the conference’s biggest draw and environmental celebrity, Greta Thunberg, were likely overlooked on account of cost considerations.

                                                                  Attendance was underwhelming, to say the least. Unsurprising if one considers the general bent of Miami’s politics. Despite facing one of the most immediate threats in sea level rise, many of the city’s residents still consider climate change to be a hoax. That said, the low turn out had more to do with the inexperience of its teenage organizers than with a scarcity of environmental activists in South Florida, which certainly do exist.

                                                                  Nevertheless, the hand of the grown-ups was conspicuous throughout the proceedings. Specifically, in the multi-person professional camera crew walking around with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of film and sound equipment. At least two documentaries were being produced (excluding my own), and one of those was being commissioned by the office of Nancy Pelosi.

                                                                  At least one of the speakers, was also representing the Speaker’s office and occasionally used the stage to encourage audience members to participate in the film by volunteering for on-camera interviews. All three crews looked like they worked for the same company. They carried identical camera stabilizing gear and the teams were all configured the same way: a camera operator, sound guy with a boom and a production assistant.

                                                                  The film crews’ presence was so ubiquitous, it seemed as if the conference itself was organized just for the purposes of making the film. One instance, in particular, convinced me that this was, in fact, the case:

                                                                  During a session called “Indigenous Stories from the Frontlines”, which featured a panel of 5 Native girls who were supposed to share accounts of their experience as indigenous women in the context of the climate crisis, one of the camera men got up on the stage, pulled up a chair and sat just a few feet away from the panel, while the production assistant directed the operator from below.

                                                                  This brazen move blocked my camera’s shot of the panel, along with other independent press who had set up on that side of the room. I immediately approached the production assistant to ask if her camera guy intended to stay in that spot for the entire session, to which she responded in the affirmative. Miffed, I promptly moved my tripod-mounted camera to the other side.

                                                                  Confirmation of who was actually in charge came after the session had already begun. The production assistant, whom I believe was actually directing all the crews, made the panelists stop and move their chairs to accommodate the shot! I was flabbergasted.

                                                                  As someone with ample experience covering conferences as both outside press and as official videographer for the organizing party, I am thoroughly familiar with the protocol and this level of interference in conference proceedings is unheard of. Even in the capacity of official event videographer, intrusion of this sort is never allowed.

                                                                  This was bad enough, but a more sinister reality started to become clear to me as the panel session unfolded.

                                                                  The Real Cultural Appropriation

                                                                  I don’t share the outrage over so-called cultural appropriation prevalent in some circles, that believe fashion or gastronomy are akin to intellectual property belonging to the cultures in which they emerged. Not only does this promote the terrible notion that is intellectual property, itself, but it is this kind of exchange of styles and ingredients in which cultures are created. But, I digress.

                                                                  To me, true cultural appropriation is what happened at the “This is Zero Hour” conference with its hijacking of the plight of indigenous people in an attempt to add a veneer of legitimacy to the brand, for lack of a better term.

                                                                  This became evident in the contrast between the panel comprising the five Native women and the panel immediately preceding it. Perhaps most obvious example was the initiation of each days’ conference itinerary with a take on the indigenous tradition known as “Land Recognition” – an acknowledgement of the territory one is on and expression of gratitude for those who reside in it. Had this been performed by any one of the Native people who were part of the conference, perhaps I’d be less cynical. But, in both cases, the stripped down imitation of indigenous protocol was carried out by teen age white girls, high up on the organizers’ hierarchy.

                                                                  MIAMI, FL – July 13: Reserved seat signage at the This is Zero Hour Conference in Miami, Florida on July, 13, 2019 | PHOTO CREDIT: Raul Diego for deepcitychronicles ©2019 Deep City Chronicles. All Rights Reserved.

                                                                   

                                                                  It really hit home as I witnessed the panel I referred to above, “Indigenous Stories from the Frontlines”. The camera crews paid far more attention to this panel than any other during the whole conference. In addition to the events I described above, multiple cameras were deployed to capture audience reaction, as well. I, myself, had come on this second day just to cover this particular panel, so all the extra buzz seemed to augur a riveting session. Boy, was I wrong.

                                                                  No, it wasn’t the fault of the panelists. The five girls were clearly ready to share the realities of their experience with the audience. Important stories that go to the very core of what this climate crisis really is. Alas, there was a different agenda in the works. It started off suspiciously enough, with the young male panel moderator going into a profuse and exalted introduction.

                                                                  A question was then put to all the panelists, which each took turns answering. A good start about indigenous women’s role in the climate fight. The second question took an unnecessary turn into identity politics, probing matters of the panelists’ sexuality. Fine, I thought. A sign of the times, but I was anxious for the conversation to get back to the issue at hand. To my utter shock – and the panelists – that’s where it ended. The moderator blurted out something about the previous panel running too long and that lunch time had arrived.

                                                                  I couldn’t believe it. What should have been one of the most interesting sessions – certainly the most vital – was inexplicably cut short because of… lunch? The entire panel session lasted less than 20 minutes, if that. Meanwhile, every other panel had covered its allotted time and many had gone well over the hour.

                                                                  Taken on its own, this was bad enough. A lack of respect, at the very least. But, when you consider what had just transpired minutes earlier on the same stage, the questions start to run into darker territory.

                                                                  Greta Climate Superstar

                                                                  She might as well have been taken straight out of a fairytale. Her long double-braided hair, large eyes and button nose would have set her up for a starring role in a live-action Hollywood production of Hansel & Gretel, had other factors not brought her into the spotlight as a poster child for a youth climate change movement, instead.

                                                                  Greta Thunberg deserves a more in-depth take than I am going to give her in this article and I intend to do so in my documentary, but for now we just need to know that she was the marquee guest, albeit via Skype, of the Zero Hour conference.

                                                                  She was joined by several other youth climate activists from around the globe through a group Skype call in a panel session called Strikers Webinar, alluding to the school strikes (ostensibly) initiated by the young Swede. The actual start of the session was delayed nearly half an hour, between sorting out the connections and the self-introduction of each panelist.

                                                                  No matter. The session continued uninterrupted for another hour with the bulk of the speaking opportunities thrown Greta’s way. Audience engagement covered part of the time. Some had questions for Greta, others simply wanted to express their admiration. At another point, one of the organizers declared the 16-year old to be the leader of the entire world’s climate change youth movement, to loud cheers.

                                                                  For the few kids in the audience, it was an inspirational moment and perhaps a catalyst for further involvement in the issue of climate change and, as such, it had value. But, even more important then, was to follow that up with the reality on the ground, which was what the next panel session of indigenous women was supposed to impart.

                                                                  They just got the bubble gum-flavored, sparkly, sanitized version of what climate change really means. As did everybody else there.

                                                                  The Wolves and the Fools

                                                                  We can be sure that Pelosi’s movie will not show us the full picture of our impending ecological disaster, either. The camera crews got the shots they needed to craft the story she and proponents of the green new deal want you to hear. They will decorate it with Native faces and names to give it a ring of truth.

                                                                  Youth is the time for idealism. That’s when our passion outweighs our knowledge. At the same time, it is only through that passion that real change takes place.

                                                                  The teenagers who put in all the hard work to organize this event and those who participated in the panels have no idea what’s really happening behind the scenes, in their sponsors’ offices back in D.C. It is up to the adults in the room to make sure they know.

                                                                   

                                                                  [Raul Diego is the Founder & Editor of Deep City Chronicles, in pursuit of his passion as a writer, photojournalist and documentary filmmaker after too many years in the world of advertising and graphic design. You can follow Raul Diego on Twitter.]

                                                                  Degrowth Means the Production of Necessary, not Superfluous Goods

                                                                  Nullus Locus Sine Genio

                                                                  August 3, 2019

                                                                  By Robin Monotti Graziadei

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                  To define “degrowth” we first need to define “growth”.

                                                                  What do we mean by the word “growth”?

                                                                  Pasolini answered that this growth we talk about is specifically “a “growth” whose outline has already been formed and fixed in the context of bourgeois industrialization.

                                                                  It’s evident: those who want “growth” in that sense are those who produce; that is the industrialists. And, as “growth” in Italy is this growth, they are more exactly those industrialists who produce superfluous goods.

                                                                  Pier Paolo Pasolini “Growth and Progress” (1973)

                                                                  Therefore by “degrowth” we mean decoupling from this outline of growth which has already been formed and fixed in the context of bourgeois industrialization: which essentially means growth as the production of superfluous goods.

                                                                  Today’s term “degrowth” actually means what Pasolini calls “progress”: the production of necessary, not superfluous goods.

                                                                  Those who want progress want the creation and the production of necessary goods.

                                                                  Pier Paolo Pasolini:

                                                                  Therefore this growth we talk about actually means the production of superfluous goods & this degrowth we talk about means the production of necessary goods. There are many other structural signifiers in the economic use of the word “growth” which should not go without mention. First among them is the unit of measure of “growth” as Gross Domestic Product or GDP.

                                                                  There is of course no qualification or distinction or any attempt to measure or quantify whether GDP is achieved via the production of necessary or superfluous goods or services. It is this idea of value-less growth that the term degrowth seeks to challenge as it wants progress instead of value-less growth at all costs.

                                                                  Secondly, the word “domestic” in Gross Domestic Product or GDP firmly roots this growth in the territory of the nation state, in competition with other nation states, making no distinctions for growth at regional or metropolitan scales. National competition, not national aid is embedded in the notion of “growth” as defined by the measure of GDP.

                                                                  Degrowth is simply another word for progress decoupled from the bourgeois definition of growth as the industrial production of superfluous goods & services.

                                                                  Degrowth does not mean ungrowth, lack of growth, stagnation, economic downturn, depression or recession, that would be anti-growth, meaning lack of growth or negative growth, not degrowth. Degrowth means to remove from growth superfluous goods and services; it is a discretionary form of growth.

                                                                  Therefore the real meaning of the word degrowth is a form of progress outside of the market logic of the production of superfluous goods inherent in bourgeois industrial capitalism. Degrowth is simply, given the limited natural resources of planet earth, an intelligent form of progress which only factors necessary goods or services.

                                                                  Defining what is necessary and what is superfluous in the degrowth definition of eliminating the superfluous from production is not possible at a general but only at a culturally specific level: it varies from culture to culture, from community to community, locality to locality. We should all determine what is superfluous collectively by asking that question of our own cultures as we are inevitably consumers of products: we can stop paying & participating in the production of what we consider superfluous. For example, when Pasolini was asked whether he was also part of the consumerist cycle as he published books and directed films, Pasolini admitted to one degree that he was, as it’s impossible to fully escape the cycle of consumerist production, but in another way he wasn’t, because by his analysis of the word “consume”, in his view his was a production of poetic works and poetry can’t be consumed like a superfluous product can.

                                                                  Pasolini’s is a language based analysis: he learnt Italian before some of its words, like in many other languages, were hijacked by definitions derived exclusively from economic theory. There lies the freshness of his analysis: in the refusal to subjugate language to the economy, in defining words used in language from the point of view of their original meaning rooted in a pre-industrial era. Therefore when Pasolini says poetry can’t be consumed, he means consumption in the original meaning: to consume something so it’s ready to be discarded, which is not the case with his poetry, still being published and translated today. His is a literary not technocratic language.

                                                                  What I argue here is that because we are living in a pervasive market logic of bourgeois industrial growth, to avoid participating in the production and exchange of superfluous goods & to save the planet from destructive consumerism, self sufficiency, whether at an individual, family, community, village, town, city, metropolis or national scale offers us all a strategy towards implementing the progress of human life on planet earth that now is implied by the word “degrowth”.

                                                                  [Robin Monotti Graziadei is a London based architectlecturer and film producer. He lectures on cultural sustainability at the International Society of Biourbanism summer school and beyond and is also a contributor to the Journal of Biourbanism and AD Architectural Design. You can follow him on twitter: @robinmonotti]

                                                                  In Thrall to Regression

                                                                  July 20, 2019

                                                                  By John Steppling

                                                                  In Thrall to Regression

                                                                   

                                                                  Gabrielle de Montmollin , photography.

                                                                   

                                                                  “The rose is without why; she blossoms because she blossoms. She pays no attention to herself, does not ask if anyone sees her.”
                                                                  Angelus Silesius

                                                                  “I never had a memory for myself, but always for others.”
                                                                  Masha Ivashintsova

                                                                  “What you didn’t see, don’t say…having seen keep quiet.”
                                                                  Solon (Apophthegmata)

                                                                  “The capitalistic order produces modes of human relations even in their unconscious representations…”
                                                                  Felix Guattari (in conversation)

                                                                   

                                                                  There is a collective regression to contemporary thinking. Or maybe it is the loss of thinking itself. But overlaying this can be seen a collection of resentments and fears, of desires and identifications with power and aggression. And some of this is being played out in the climate discourse. I continue to refer to Cory Morningstar’s work (Wrong Kind of Green http://www.wrongkindofgreen.org/ ) where capitalism and class hierarchies are subsumed in a broader generalized (and confused) identification with, on the surface, action against global warming but also, on another perhaps deeper level, with Capital itself. With the ruling class and with authority.

                                                                  Dagmar Herzog has written several excellent books that serve to both recapture the radical roots of psychoanalysis and to trace the pernicious effects of social and political and sexual conservatism in the U.S. that neutralised the radical nature of early Freudianism. And her work in very pertinent in light of the current mass capitulation to Capitalism (and aggression particularly) in contemporary anti-thinking.

                                                                  Robert Gotzfried, photography (from his series on bowling alleys in southern Germany).

                                                                  “Meanwhile companies have to change their business models at least every decade to keep up with a world in which the prices are stagnant or falling and new challengers can pop up to take advantage of cheap financing.{ }Shvets said: “In a world of private sector dominance, clear (and relatively predictable) private sector signals and information gaps, there are significant trading opportunities. This is not the world we inhabit.”
                                                                  Ben Moshinsky (Greenwich Time, Feb 25th, 2018, Capitalism is Dead)

                                                                  The global environmental crisis, while real is also being politicized because it offers just what Moshinsky above is referring to. It is the ticket out of stagnation and a way to supplement war as the only means to destroy surplus labor and surplus capital. The point here is that climate projects offer huge benefits for investors and the leaders of western business.

                                                                  And what is taking place in another register is a populace who no longer think with any degree of autonomy and who, more to the point, identify with Capital — and certainly this is true of liberals in America, but also much of the new faux left.

                                                                  Richard Lloyd Lewis, photography.

                                                                  One of Herzog’s best chapters in Cold War Freud is on the legacies of Nazism. And it is hugely useful to the discussions of contemporary American culture. Her observations on the sudden and unexpected popularity that greeted zoologist Konrad Lorenz’ book On Aggression (the English translation of the German title..which read literally as The So Called Evil; The Natural History of Aggression) are to the point here. The book came out in English in 1966, in German, the original, in 1963) . It is interesting that Paul Erhlich’s The Population Bomb came out in 1968, and both books became University campus standards and both were immensely popular with the general public. This marked a sharp course correction for the sixties.

                                                                  “Both in the Anglo-American and in the West German context, Lorenz’s book on aggression would often be read in conjunction with two further books exploring the animal origins of human behavior published a few years later: the American playwright (and student of behavioral science) Robert Ardrey’s The Territorial Imperative (1966) and the British zoologist Desmond Morris’ The Naked Ape (1967). One strand of public fascination with these texts clearly had to do with a wave of interest in biological as opposed to sociological explanations of human nature – and not least with a desire to re-secure traditional notions of gender in an era of rapidly changing social roles for men and women. However, there was something distinctively post-Nazi German about the glowing appreciation and fervor with which Lorenz’s specific contribution to the wider project of analogizing from animals to humans was embraced.”

                                                                  Dagmar Herzog (Cold War Freud)

                                                                  Esther Bubley, photography, U.S. High School 1945.

                                                                  The idea of aggression as a force for good has its obvious appeal to a warlike Nation such as the U.S., but the more unfortunate influence that came out of Lorenz’ book (and Morris’ especially) was a simplified and simplistic blueprint for history and society. Aggression then, took its place alongside greed (Ayn Rand and The Virtue of Selfishness 1964) and, yes, selfishness as pseudo scientific theories of human behavior. And this pop faux science text of Lorenz was to establish a certain best sellers litany of hugely influential books that rationalized what were actually the deforming principles of Capitalism — and all of them can trace their logic back to racist and Christian beliefs in white supremacy. This is the reading list of eugenicists and military leaders, of political speech writers and global bureaucrats. Lorenz book can be seen as the great grandfather to Jared Diamond and David Graeber, or Malcolm Gladwell, or Pinker or Stephen Jay Gould. I even like some of the stuff Graeber has written, he can be genuinely amusing. But then I suspect Goebbels could be amusing, too.

                                                                  The point is that Lorenz book was a watershed in pseudo academics. He was the first real lit phenom for non fiction. Desmond Morris was close behind. And both books carried with them a creepy whiff of eugenics and Nazism. You can draw a straight line from Konrad Lorenz to TED talks.

                                                                  István Sándorfi

                                                                  Herzog quotes Max Horkheimer (from Lessons of Fascism)…“it is no longer the son’s fear of the father that is the typical psychological fact but the father’s secret fear of the son.” This comment came in the context of re-thinking the centrality of Freud’s Oedipus conflict.Herzog later quotes psychoanalyst Paul Parin“Psychoanalysis is not possible without an attack on the status quo; the critique of society is intrinsic to it.” (Psyche 1990) Parin in another essay noted that the story of the history of psychoanalysis is also the story of its deterioration. The radical thrust of the original Vienna circle around Freud (Otto Fenichel in particular) has very consciously been erased.And I will note, in semi anecdotal fashion, that while Horkheimer was right, and many post Freudian agree, there are two statistics regarding fathers …well three actually….that I find fascinating. I wrote a boxing show for HBO (never produced) and during my research I visited a lot of fight clubs and went to a lot of fights. The Nevada medical examiner was next me front row at a Vegas fight and recently a fighter had died in England. I forget who. But the Doc told me…there have been thirteen ring deaths in Nevada since they began keeping records. And in each case the fighter who died was managed by his father, who in each case was his cornerman. Second …a highly disproportionate number of convicted killers in American prisons are “juniors” (meaning they are named after their father). And third, Richard Rhodes (The Making of the Atomic Bomb) noted that among the scientists at Berkeley, recruited for the Manhatten Project, a disproportionate number were fatherless.

                                                                  Arcangelo Ianelli

                                                                  Rhodes also wrote…“found that scientists think about problems in much the same way artists do. Scientists and artists proved less similar in personality than in cognition, but both groups were similarly different from businessmen.” But then this was still mid century. And on through the early years of NASA, science was still different. And to notice this difference is important, I think.

                                                                  And there is a kind of triangulation, or Euclidean graph of some sort embedded in 20th century thinking and its relationship to violence and aggression. From Nazi death camps to Hiroshima to Korea to Vietnam, and then later the U.S. anti communist violence in Central America and U.S./NATO aggressions across the Arab world. And as Capital imploded — culminating, in a fashion, in 2008, the ruling elite of international finance were rethinking their earlier strategies. And throughout this short 21st century the role of screen dominated life in the West looms. All of these points could be catalogued in sub groupings; stuff like the fall of the USSR, the dismantling of Yugoslavia (which was, of course, a U.S. and NATO crime) and the escalating recolonizing of Africa. Across this is a populace viewed as mostly disposable. And a populace, and this means the shrinking deracinated bourgeosie, too, that are in flight from reality. The climate crises (imagine scare quotes) has come to the rescue as an emotional and psychological refuge. Advertised as the place of “too late” — an impossible mental country that is built on institutional science. On the IDEA of credibility that white institutional science carries with it. A myth that arose in its current incarnation after WW2.

                                                                  Ryann Ford, photography (Clines Corners, NM).

                                                                  Now, this is to be seen quite separately from the real issues of global warming and more acutely, pollution and over fishing and big agriculture etc. No, this is a land where science, a kind of carefully constructed narrative about greenhouse gases and melting ice caps and thawing permafrost. In fact the issues are nearly infinite. And they are there, as both a kind of mental escape story and as a means to obscure the real dangers and problems — most of which have been around for forty, fifty, or eighty years.The belief in science is not irrational. But there is a constructed picture of second science (per Adorno’s second nature) that one sees most obviously in Hollywood film and TV. Medical shows in which doctors seem to know all specialties and every diagnostic theory ever written, and from memory. Espionage where technology surveils remote Hotels in Burundi or Genoa, where facial recognition works flawlessly and in nano-seconds. Science, technology, and a belief in an idealized future converge in a fantasy that has supplanted reality. In social media one frequently reads angry debates between non scientists who regurgitate statistics and data as if they were themselves graduates of MIT. None of them are but they are deeply invested emotionally in this slowly coalescing narrative of ‘end times’.

                                                                  So prolonged and ubiquitous are these entertainments that they have come to feel real. And certainly are emotionally real to a majority of people in the West. It is a strategy (of government) that works at chipping away the confidence of the population, the citizenry, to limit hope and optimism, but just not completely.

                                                                  Ahmad Zakii Anwar

                                                                  “Ends are ‘deployed.’ This is particularly evident in the popular press, where apocalyptic scenarios are used as a commonplace trope. The end – even if it refers to the last day of a department store sale – is a kind of publicity stunt, an effective means of emotionally intensifying an issue to push special aims and interests. To proclaim an apocalyptic, catastrophic end is to invoke a ‘shock horror’ calamity that will somehow overwhelm and foreclose aspects of our future. In other words, endings are political. They are phenomena of popular discourse and powerful interests.”
                                                                  Paul Corcoran (Awaiting Apocalypse)

                                                                  I wrote before about Zombie films and post apocalyptic Hollywood product — both TV and film. The salient point about both these overlapping genres is that they are reconstruction narratives.

                                                                  “When habitations have been destroyed, people will spontaneously move toward major or safe buildings, such as churches, schools, and hospitals. They will seek one another, forming small groups, of family, friends, or even strangers. These groups are often only temporary but may bring intense involvement. Group identification contributes to the ‘honeymoon’ euphoria and ‘therapeutic community’ effects of this post disaster period.”
                                                                  Paul Corcoran (ibid)

                                                                  Ivo Saliger (favorite Nazi Party painter).

                                                                  The appeal of things being “too late” or “we are doomed” is that it grants one the space to relax. You don’t have your kids tuition for next year? No problem, we are all going to be dying of thirst and eating corpses. Now that may be superficial, but it is also in a simple sense true. The long arc of erosion in western bourgeois entitlements is not hard to track. After 2008 I think the state gave up trying to convince people, any people, about an American Dream. Picket fence houses cost millions of dollars and tens of thousands sit empty across the U.S. Permission to give up is, obviously, attractive psychologically for many on the left. And I continue to see this in communists I know, socialists of all stripes, or and so called progressive liberals. But the white American liberal is entrenched in a belief in the status quo. He still wants to save it, because his real estate office is just now showing a profit, or his new line of men’s underwear is breaking even and he hopes the summer line of speedos can get him out into the black. Or the new personal trainer service has finally got some B list clients. He has submitted to the narrative but aligns with the capitalist solutions.

                                                                  Frenchman Flat, Nevada, April 1955. Observers for 22 ton kiloton nuclear detonation.

                                                                  The superficial nihilism of climate warnings is beginning to resemble tabloid stories about Area 51 or the like. A genuine and sincere concern is automatically trivialized. And perhaps surprisingly these trivializations also carry embedded within them qualities of antisemitism and Orientalism. For all reflex dissent is directed toward fascist identification. And this in turn might profitably been viewed in terms of the growing fascist symbology and image increasingly employed in mainstream marketing. There are curious overlaps in all this, I think. Michael Barkun wrote his book A Culture of Conspiracy, about how UFO and alien conspiracies often employ antisemitic tropes.

                                                                  “Although belief in a New World Order conspiracy assumes the existence of a master plot responsible for many aspects of the world’s evil, conspiracists differ in the arrangement of the conspiratorial hierarchy { }… such superconspiracies tend to be structured in the form of plots nested within plots, each layer more evil,powerful,and inclusive than those beneath. Hence the architects of conspiracy scenarios are free to place Jews at any of a number of points in the hierarchy—at the pinnacle, in a subordinate position, or as victims completely outside the domain of evil. { } Anti-Semitism appears in several forms. Sometimes traditional antiJewish stereotypes are projected onto a world of alien races, so that some extraterrestrials function as surrogate Jews; that is, they receive the physical and behavioral characteristics imputed to Jews in traditional anti-Semitism. This refracted racism can occur even in writers who view Jews themselves as innocent victims.”

                                                                  There are echoes of Orientalist racism in the UFO abductee narratives. Aliens replace Native American tribes and the frontier is no longer the Western U.S. but some fantasy space locale or hollow earth or whatever. The narrative architecture remains the same.

                                                                  Candido Portinari

                                                                  And the need for sexual decontamination remains. Genuine environmental problems, and they are enormous, are re-directed toward that which is click bait and titillating, or, which pander to the new dream of end times. The current rise of fascist sensibility and values is reflected in not just the racism and Islamaphobia that is present in mainstream media (more on that below) but in the curious relationship between a new Puritanism and an embrace of the pornographic.

                                                                  “Das Schwarze Korps, in short, expressly disavowed exactly the activities in which it was engaged. It did just that which it said it was not doing. Incitement and disavowal were inseparable. { } What is clear is that Der Sturmer’s recurrent detailed descriptions of sexual outrages gave readers crucial moral permission to hate without guilt (since Jews were continually described as aggressing on Germans) even as the ubiquitous declaration that Nazism was battling filth provided a ready excuse to display naked women and keep people’s attention fixed on sex. This manipulation of the discourses of sexual morality was particularly evident at those moments when the regime managed to have things both ways at once: to present itself as the guardian of good taste and pristine morals and to titillate and pander to the pleasures of looking.”
                                                                  Dagmar Herzog (Sex After Fascism)

                                                                  Western society today has it both ways all the time. An endless concern for “triggers” at University level courses (truly astounding) and the 24/7 stream of erotic titillation. Nearly every single advertisement is at some level selling the product with sex. At the same time, literally, bad words {sic} are censored out of television. Much of this overlaps with a new (relatively) war on children. Children in the West are quickly (at least poor kids) returning to the state of the early industrial revolution in England.

                                                                  Moataz Nasr

                                                                  Now, it is interesting to examine how national identities are fashioned by class elitism, but how they also take on their own curious life and mythology. How in a superficial sort of way the scapegoating mechanism is provided by Nationalistic pride and patriotism. Mexico is the shadow land to the white U.S.A. Austria serves in a way as Germany’s inferior little cousin, Paraguay is Brazil’s Mexico, and Poland is both red headed step child to Germany AND Russia and more recently the Czech Republic. But even Poland has a Mexico in Ukraine. None of these examples are parallel and if you take England and Ireland you see the lack of parallelism. And yet, the very idea of a nation, the very ur-logic of statehood, of citizenship, is entwined with a need for inferiors to abuse and ridicule. The reality is, of course, that Paraguay is among the happiest and most congenial of countries on earth, and Mexico, notwithstanding the abuses suffered at the hands of its northern neighbors, remains a culturally advanced country with a long history of great architects and painters. The stereotyping of nationalism is intwined with resentment and projection. What one individually cannot accomplish is projected toward the inferior other (nation).

                                                                  Adolf Wissel (Among Hitler’s favorite painters).

                                                                  The new fascism is also playing upon a kind of incorporation of kitsch multiculturalism and identity politics. One of the characteristics of the realist art loved by Hitler and the Nazis is the blankness of the expressions. The entire representation of the human resembled autism. (see, again, The Skin Ego by Didier Anzieu). There is both a volkish teutonic idealised Aryan form, but one that is without personality. Nobody in Nazi art is ever really *looking* at anything — or rather no women are, and only a few men. That quality has resurfaced in contemporary marketing. And in Hollywood. As a footnote to the approved art of the Nazi Party, one gets the sense that when Heidegger wrote so endlessly about those humble leather shoes of the humble farmer or woodsman, he was writing about the shoes he saw in all those paintings of Wissel and Sepp Hilz, not any shoes he ever saw anywhere in rural Germany. They always did give off a slight oder of kitsch.

                                                                  The role of power and authority is masked by concentrated capital. And increasingly the modern institution is even more impersonal than ever before. In fact often one cannot reach a single human being that works in any capacity for big institutions.

                                                                  “In an age in which capitalism is apparently consolidating its global dominance..the concept of reification has largely been replaced in social theory by concepts such as ‘globalization’ and ‘reflexive modernization’- ideas which carry all the trappings thatLukács associates with bourgeois thought: inevitability and inexorability. “
                                                                  Timothy Bewes (Reification, Anxiety of Late Capitalism)

                                                                  Bo Bartlett

                                                                  Lukács is very pertinent to this moment of Capital’s opportunistic cooption of environmentalism.

                                                                  “Reflexive modernization thus, in a certain sense, presents the reconciliation of subject and object sought by Lukács, but in reverse; rather than the proletariat awakening to its objective historical role, uniting political subjectivity and objective history in the moment of revolution, reflexive modernization accredits the objective world with autonomy and agency -‘subjectivity’. “
                                                                  Timothy Bewes (ibid)

                                                                  This is a little like the thrust of much of the new extinction discourse, which samples freely from new age rhetoric. The earth is now personalized. Not just made subjective or metaphorical (though it are often both of those) but customized and individually tailored. One chooses the earth one wants and needs.

                                                                  “We have already described the characteristic features of this situation several times: man in capitalist society confronts a reality ‘made’ by himself (as a class) which appears to him to be a natural phenomenon alien to himself; he is wholly at the mercy of its ‘laws’, his activity is confined to the exploitation of the inexorable fulfilment of certain individual laws for his own (egoistic) interests. But even while ‘acting’ he remains, in the nature of the case, the object and not the subject of events. The field of his activity thus becomes wholly internalised: it consists on the one hand of the awareness of the laws which he uses and, on the other, of his awareness of his inner reactions to the course taken by events.
                                                                  This situation generates very important and unavoidable problem-complexes and conceptual ambivalences which are decisive for the way in which bourgeois man understands himself in his relation to the world. Thus the word ‘nature’ becomes highly ambiguous. We have already drawn attention to the idea, formulated most lucidly by Kant but essentially unchanged since Kepler and Galileo, of nature as the “aggregate of systems of the laws” governing what happens. Parallel to this conception whose development out of the economic structures of capitalism has been shown repeatedly, there is another conception of nature, a value concept, wholly different from the first one and embracing a wholly different cluster of meanings.”

                                                                  Georg Lukács (The Antinomies of Bourgeois Thought)

                                                                  Albert Bierstadt

                                                                  Bewes tries to make the point that the concept of reification is itself reified. The truth is actually that the concept that claims the concept of reification is reified, is what is reified. And this is not an endless stream — I think that is where it stops. Sleight of hand theoretical dealing from the bottom of the deck has a pretty limited shelf life, as it were.

                                                                  Benjamin, all the way back in Origins of German Tragic Drama, emphasized that different forms of cultural expression arise in different eras in order to express the predominant myth of the time. Gillian Rose observed:

                                                                  ” The myth comprises the history of the significance which the society of the time has given to nature, and, as a myth, presents that significance as eternal. Benjamin calls this Naturgeschichte (the history of nature).” { The Melancholy Science}. Now Adorno in his earlier writings sought to adjust Lukács idea of nature — meaning that nature was not anything physical but rather the myth, the historical given as it is presented to that era. This is again what Adorno came to call ‘second nature’. The conventions of nature, the fossilised and rigid mythology is presented AS nature. And therein lies the transmission of a mental deadness. Benjamin saw the turgid melodrama of trauerspeil as a vision of fallen nature (and fallen man). Adorno, as Rose points out, saw all history as the story of nature’s fall. Second nature is always melancholy, then. Now without getting into this too deeply here, the germane point is that nature is never free from an inherited mythology. Real actual physical nature is always mythological.

                                                                  Liang Ban

                                                                  And for Adorno, all that is mythological is illusion. And here one returns to reification. All of culture reflects how society sees itself (that’s the simple definition). Commodities are part of culture and never more so than today. In fact everything is commodified. The subject is commodified and it is perhaps that final step into self objectification, or self reification, that has precipitated the current developing cult of non thinking. And cross cutting this is just how removed one might want to view the fascist militarism that invades screen life ever more acutely.

                                                                  As an anecdote, I saw the other day on twitter someone post a map of some global warming, the arctic I believe, in deep purples and red to signify extreme heat and warning. The person posting this wrote that seeing this map made him ‘literally nauseous’. I think it is worth pondering this a moment. This was not a photo of dead children in Gaza or Afghanistan or Iraq. It was not children held in U.S. custody at the border nor was it a graphic description of mass rape by the Cedras junta in Haiti. No, it was a red and purple coloured map. And the personalized pseudo confessional tone of the declaration speaks to the new pop confession — meant to both self chastise somehow, but more, to self congratulate. Was this person made sick by military atrocities or scenes of torture? I doubt it. Where once the final bastion of moral outrage was the child molester, that reservoir of charged moral energy has migrated to climate discourse. But then this is the coalescing of a new second nature — the conventions of climate *end times*. Ok, back to a brief few notes on reification and natural history.

                                                                  Adorno in letters to Krenk, wrote…

                                                                  “the causes of human suffering are … glossed over not denounced in the lament over reification.”

                                                                  Howard Russell Butler

                                                                  This is very telling, really. Adorno was never happy with reification per se, as a concept. And he chatised Benjamin for his use of it, too. But he went ahead and wrote extensively about it anyway…because, I think, he knew it cannot be escaped. And Adorno in an early essay, The Idea of Natural History, was coming to grips with a coming exterminationist sensibility embedded in capitalism and instrumental logic.“Heidegger’s philosophy was the philosophical form of mythic terror taken by the disaster of the 1930s. “
                                                                  Robert Hullot-Kentor (Things Beyond Resemblance)

                                                                  This is excruciatingly relevant to the contemporary terror of Capital, the rise of genuine fascistic principles. And the climate question is directly representiative of this trend. Allow me two longer quotes here, spliced together, from Hullot-Kentor’s introductory essay on The Idea of Natural History.

                                                                  “The historical voyage itself has become a natural event. External mimicry of the natural force of the cyclops becomes internal self-identical mimesis, ultimately the order of the ratio, which is itself a structure of the selfsacrifice of particularity to universality. Thus, in its conscious control of nature, the self has triumphed by becoming opaque to its selfreproduction as second nature. { } The rigidified self, structured by internalized sacrifice, pays for its survival by forgetting that it has renounced itself in the process. The nemesis of the ruse of the dialectic of enlightenment is that the control gained over the other amounts to the forfeiture of true self-control.”

                                                                  Yuken Teruya

                                                                  In Heidegger there are various strategies employed by neologisms that are trotted out to provide faux depth (and here Freud would enter the question, again, actually). This kitsch mythos is reproduced today by a kind of visual neologism evident in advertising. But the point is that the hollowing out of thought has corresponded with a hollowing out of experience and a hollowing out of the self.

                                                                  “From the formalism of mythic names and ordinances, which would rule men and history as does nature,there emerges nominalism—or the prototype of bourgeois thinking.”
                                                                  Adorno & Horkheimer (Dialectic of Enlightenment)

                                                                  As Hullot-Kentor notes of Odysseus, the flight from mythic nature only reproduces it. The contemporary fetish of pseudo scientific jargon is the continuing attempt to make culture (and history) into nature. There is this anxiety attached to the personalized version of Nature. Not only is Nature personalized but the subject position is personalized, customized and presented as history. History has become second nature. And the transformation of history into Nature was also evident in both Benjamin and Lukács.

                                                                  Bruno V. Roels, photography.

                                                                  And this history is today more withered and forgotten — the amnesia of contemporary processes of thought runs throughout contemporary political theatre and throughout the climate discourse. With no longer a memory of nature there is no longer a critique of illusion. We live in the domain of illusion and second nature. Meaning is only the appearance of meaning. And because of the truncated and hollow subjective there is the resort to emotional magnification.

                                                                  “This is apparent in the phenomenon of the semblance of second nature, which is a semblance because it is the mere appearance of meaning. Although it is historically produced, this semblance appears mythical: that is, as archaic, as emphatically expressive, as an engulfing whirlpool.”
                                                                  Robert Hullot-Kentor (ibid)

                                                                  The real primary thrust of Adorno’s theory of art has to do with reification. The critique of reification by way of reification, as Hullot-Kentor put it. But the point here is that contemporary discourse has lost the capacity to differentiate semblance and we arrive at a new, or third nature. As obtuse as this may seem it is the kernel of the problem of today’s public conversation. And contemporary consciousness is literally the consciousness of the screen. Third nature is the blank implied infinity of the screen, where the discussion takes one to the insights of Jonathan Beller (in an earlier post). Image condenses history as slavery and domination, racism and colonial logic.

                                                                  Lukács

                                                                  Jonathan Bewes quotes Godard from 2 or 3 Things I know About Her…made in 1966.“Something can make me cry . . . but the reason for those tears is not directly connected with the actual tears that trickle down my cheeks. . . . Everything I do can be described but not necessarily the reasons for which I do it.”

                                                                  The anthropomorphic notion of Earth is there to feel nauseous about. There are bright colours on a map. And behind every claim on the emotional disfigurement of contemporary consciousness are institutions of power. It is nearly impossible to find science free of U.S. government mediation.

                                                                  “Anxiety is so prevalent in late capitalist society that it has become a defining quality of that society. Not only is reification inseparable from the anxiety towards it; anxiety is always anxiety about reification.”
                                                                  Jonathan Bewes (ibid)

                                                                  And this finally leads one to look at the dream of end-times.

                                                                  The empty debate on the spectacle — that is, on the activities of the world’s owners — is thus organized by the spectacle itself: everything is said about the extensive means at its disposal, to ensure that nothing is said about their extensive deployment. Rather than talk of the spectacle, people often prefer to use the term ‘media.’ And by this they mean to describe a mere instrument, a kind of public service which with impartial professionalism’ would facilitate the new wealth of mass communication through mass media a form of communication which has at last attained a unilateral purity, whereby decisions already taken are presented for passive admiration. For what is communicated are orders; and with perfect harmony, those who give them are also those who tell us what they think of them.”
                                                                  Guy Debord (Comments on Society of the Spectacle)

                                                                  Masha Ivashintosva, photography (Statue of Seneca).

                                                                  Marx noted that the commodity “reflects back to human beings the social characteristics of their own labor as objective characteristics of the products of labor themselves, as social natural-qualities of these things.”

                                                                  ” While Marx’s analysis of commodity fetishism was indispensable to his conceptualization of social relations, Benjamin is also keen to stress exploitation and the conditions in which labouring occurs. The fashion industry provides, for Benjamin, a ‘dialectical image’ of the deadly social relations of production, illustrating both the reifying effects of the exchange mechanism and the brutal physical conditions that attend work. In Marx’s account, the textile industry is central to the formation of the factory system of exploitation. It was in the cotton mills that women and children were employed en masse, cheaply, and mechanically spinning materials harvested by growing numbers of slaves, born to work and worked to death, in the US slave states. Das Kapital supplies a materialist core for Benjamin’s idea of the fashionable body as, symbolically and concretely, intimate with death. Marx details how ‘the murderous, meaningless caprices of fashion’ are linked to the anarchy of production, where demand cannot be predicted and where gluts lead to starvation. The connections between products and death alert Benjamin to the fact that everything consumed has been produced under conditions that occasioned suffering.”
                                                                  Esther Leslie (Overpowering Conformism)

                                                                  Kitty Kraus

                                                                  Suffering congeals under the rule of progress. It becomes the appearance of history, and of nature both. The commodity form always has implied its fetish character and cannot hide its murderous assault on life. The owners of the world decide what to feel compassion about. Not people, not dead children or torture victims but *earth* itself, an earth that is personal and magical and alive — a Disney cartoon world in which people rarely impinge. It is the regressive return of animism in a sense, which was once eradicated in the project of disenchantment. But returns today as its own inversion. Positivism and instrumental reason have progressed and left magic behind, except when it is an instrumental magic. And anyway, its not really animism — for such is not possible in the realm of hollowed out damaged cognition. The emotional inflation is a reaction to the anxiety of reification itself. There is a silent mental panic that feeds a deep crippling anxiety and that anxiety is expressed in moralistic condemnations, in shaming and stigmatizing. And social media is the perfect digital stocks or pillory.The violence of Capital, the destruction of the environment, this has all been occurring for a couple hundred years. As Hullot-Kentor put it in his introduction to a volume on Adorno (Things Beyond Resemblance)…’history stands in thrall to regression’. And this because history is stained indelibly with violence and domination. For Americans Nature is claimed and owned — and regression is what is seen in the anti Utopian ethos of the new green capitalist environmentalism. Anti Utopian because the dream of the hollowed mind is one of damage control. And class reflex seems natural itself — let the owners of the earth deal with managing the clean up. Or…let the ruling class and their machinery, both literal and figurative, execute the global triage that is advertised as the ONLY way forward. Forward but back.

                                                                  “The stubborn belief in progress and trust in a mass base is founded on social democracy’s fetishization of quantitative accumulation in all its forms. This connection between the stubborn belief in progress and faith in a mass base is further identified with the political will for ‘servile inclusion in an uncontrollable apparatus’.”
                                                                  Esther Leslie (ibid)

                                                                  Robby Muller, photography. (Poloroids from Paris Texas set).

                                                                   

                                                                  [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.]

                                                                   

                                                                  Green Autarky: Self Sufficiency Against the Growth Based Model of Industrial Capitalism

                                                                  Nullus Locus Sine Genio – No place without spirit

                                                                  July 30, 2019

                                                                  By Robin Monotti Graziadei

                                                                  Green Autarky: Self Sufficiency Against the Growth Based Model of Industrial Capitalism

                                                                   

                                                                  Pier Paolo Pasolini: “Intelligence will never have much value in the collective judgment of this public’s opinion.”

                                                                  Those who want “growth” in that sense are those who produce; that is the industrialists. And, as “growth” in Italy is this growth, they are more exactly those industrialists who produce superfluous goods. Technology (applied science) has created the possibility of a practically unlimited industrialization, of a solidly transnational character. The consumers of superfluous goods, on their part, irrationally and unknowingly agree in wanting “growth” (this growth). For them it means social advancement and liberation, with a consequent repudiation of the cultural values that had provided them with the models of being the “poor”, the “workers”, the “savers”, the “soldiers”, the “believers”. The “masses” are therefore for “growth”: but they live this ideology only existentially, and existentially they carry the new values of consumerism. This does not deny that their choice is decisive, triumphalist and adamant. – Pier Paolo Pasolini “Growth and Progress” (1973)

                                                                  The model which environmental or ecological awareness places under threat is the “growth” based model of industry based capitalism.

                                                                  It is the “growth” based model of industrial capitalism which is the main driving force behind the production of superfluous goods.

                                                                  It is the industrial production of superfluous goods which is the main driving force behind today’s dominant ideology of mass consumerism.

                                                                  The environmental problem this raises is that there are not enough resources, not enough nature to pursue a growth based industrial model of capitalism and save the planet’s ecology at the same time, given that industrial capitalism comes intrinsic and intertwined with the mass production of superfluous goods and the ideology of mass consumerism.

                                                                  It is clear that in order to save the planet it is the industry based model of economic growth that needs to go.

                                                                  Industrialists and financiers are very aware of this, and are once again turning the problem on its head.

                                                                  They have turned ecological concern of the masses into a marketing campaign for industrially produced renewable energy.

                                                                  This is because they are trying to save their own profits, not the planet.

                                                                  They are trying to save the “growth” based model of industrial capitalism, not the ecology.

                                                                  Any form of energy, also renewable energy, that is deployed on an industrial scale in order to supply a “growth” based model of industrial capitalism will ultimately destroy the ecology of the planet.

                                                                  Therefore they are putting a human face on industrial renewable energy in order to save the growth based model of capitalism which provides them huge profits.

                                                                  They are up to their old tricks, and need to be exposed for the frauds they are and have always been.

                                                                  The new human face of “Green” renewable industrial energy is also a fraud if its not divested from a growth based model of industrial capitalism and also is a declared anti-war of aggression position at the same time: corporate neocolonialist wars for resources are the direct result of unfettered growth based capitalism, as the supply chains of renewable energy on an industrial scale means many more wars in mineral rich regions such as Congo, and other regions of Africa.

                                                                  It is the growth based model of capitalism it feeds which is the problem of industrial production, regardless of the colour of its energy.

                                                                  Therefore growth based capitalism and industrial production are two sides of the same coin: you can’t separate one from the other.

                                                                  The entire first world society that has already experienced a growth based economy needs to be the first to transition towards a de-growth economy, an economy of self sufficiency where you eat and consume what you really need. This needs to happen outside the logic of consumerism promoted by industrial capitalism. Growth based industry seeks economic profits globally and it is this model which ultimately depletes the planet environmentally at a global scale and economically only enriches industrialists and their shareholders while impoverishing everyone else.

                                                                  It does not matter if the new face of industry is now “Green” energy: It is still a massive fraud if it does not promote a de-growth model which moves away from industrial production for profit to production for self sufficiency (to survive on at a local scale not to sell on a global scale). That is why self sufficiency is also a key concept of the de-growth model.

                                                                   

                                                                  [Robin Monotti Graziadei is an Italian architect and film producer based in London. He is the managing partner of Robin Monotti Architects, a firm that he founded in 2007. In 2010, Monotti won the RIBA and Royal Parks Foundation’s International Drinking Fountain Design Competition with his Watering Holes fountain design. In 2016 Robin co-founded the film production company Luminous Arts Productions. You can follow him on twitter.]

                                                                  Trees, GE Trees & Nature to Save Capitalism from Itself: New Report

                                                                  Trees, GE Trees & Nature to Save Capitalism from Itself: New Report

                                                                  The Campaign to STOP GE Trees

                                                                  July 18, 2019

                                                                   

                                                                  Trees, GE Trees & Nature to Save Capitalism from Itself: New Report

                                                                  Raleigh exhibit depicts gasoline from genetically engineered trees. photo: Langelle/GJEP

                                                                  Trees to Solve the World’s Problems?

                                                                  From Genetically Engineered Trees for the Bioeconomy – to the Trillion Tree Proposal and Business for Nature

                                                                  Traducción al Español

                                                                  Tradução para o Português

                                                                  By Anne Petermann and Orin Langelle, Global Justice Ecology Project

                                                                   

                                                                  This report examines events and research publicized between 23 June and 4 July 2019 that discuss the mass-use of trees to enable the unsustainable lifestyles of the world’s top 1% in the face of looming ecological catastrophe: from trees genetically engineered to feed the “green” manufacture of energy, plastics and chemicals; the planting of trillions of trees to reduce global atmospheric carbon levels; and “reforms” to the economic system to allow future profit-making under the guise of biodiversity protection.

                                                                  The three events where these proposals were brought out were the International Union of Forest Research Organization’s 2019 Tree Biotechnology Conference 23-29 June at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, The Global Tree Restoration Potential, a new study published on 4 July in Science, and the launch of Business for Nature initiatives in China and Norway on 2 July.

                                                                   

                                                                  IUFRO Tree Biotechnology Conference

                                                                  The International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) held its biennial 2019 Tree Biotechnology Conference over 23-29 June at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. This was the first Tree Biotechnology Conference held by IUFRO since June 2017 when their conference in Concepción, Chile was met with days of protests and disruptions by Mapuche activists, students and others. The 2019 Tree Biotech conference was originally announced to take place in Curitiba, Brazil. It appears that the conference was suddenly moved to Raleigh, North Carolina because of the protests at the last Tree Biotech conference in Chile and the fact that Brazil’s Landless Workers Movement, Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST), has a long history of being militantly anti-GE tree. [1] NC State was likely chosen as it is the hub for many different efforts pursuing and promoting GE trees, including use of gene-editing on trees, and researching new ways to sell GE trees to a resistant public–a major theme of this year’s Tree Biotechnology Conference.

                                                                  The effects of the 2017 protests could be felt at this year’s Tree Biotechnology Conference, which included constant police presence both inside and outside of the venue, pleas to attendees to consider taking over the top three leadership roles in the event, and confusion as to when or where the next conference might take place, and even whether to continue to use the controversial term “biotechnology.” The lack of public presence by some of the most outspoken leaders in the tree biotechnology field and leading GE tree company ArborGen, further underscored the anxiety of the event.

                                                                  While the future of the Tree Biotech Conferences is uncertain, what was not at question was the desire by industry to use specially designed GE trees as a feedstock for the future “bioeconomy”, which was addressed in a closing series of presentations. Unlocking the sugars in trees, necessary to transform them into fuels, plastics, chemicals and other products, however, has proven a major challenge. This was reflected in the rising emphasis at the 2019 conference on the genetic engineering technique known as CRISPR. The ecological and social implications of the massive increase in demand for wood to fuel this “bioeconomy” or the risks associated with the GE trees involved, were not addressed.

                                                                  Rodolphe Barrangou presents on CRISPR Photo:Langelle/GJEP

                                                                  Rodolphe Barrangou, NC State professor and editor of The CRISPR Journal gave the opening keynote for the IUFRO Tree Biotechnology Conference, highlighting his personal efforts to bring CRISPR and other gene editing techniques into the forestry sector. He referred to human history as “BC” – Before CRISPR” vs “AD – after the death of the other recombinant technologies.” He also pointed out that “the [CRISPR commercialization] bottleneck [is] acceptance by regulators and society.”

                                                                  To solve this problem, he envisioned a CRISPR gene editing process that would achieve a “non-transgenic…non-GMO [regulatory] approval.” Barrangou feared that if people understood that CRISPR is still genetic engineering, it would be the downfall of CRISPR’s commercial success—and make it harder for his new CRISPR startup focusing on developing CRISPR for forest trees to become profitable.

                                                                  CRISPR would use artificial intelligence and machine learning in forest trees, he explained, to predict what genomes, sequences and pathways to “knock out, turn on, turn off,” in order to find the relevant traits of interest to industry. He did, however, admit that CRISPR scientists are “nowhere near understanding tree genomics as well as we understand human genomics due to the fact that tree genomes are so much bigger and more complex.”

                                                                  But the excitement around CRISPR as a new tool to genetically engineer trees was evident at the conference, which included several other presentations on CRISPR in trees, including use of CRISPR to modify tree branching in order to grow trees much more densely in plantations. If implemented, this would have serious repercussions for communities and biodiversity near the plantations, as the existing problems with forced displacements, fresh water loss and inundation with agrotoxins like fertilizers and pesticides would be greatly exacerbated.

                                                                  This lack of concern about the larger implications and risks of GE trees by researchers has led to decades of global opposition, a fact which was discussed during a lengthy panel session on “Societal Acceptance of Forest Biotechnology.” The session was focused on ways to encourage the public to accept GE trees. It opened with a presentation by Jared Westbrook, Director of Science of the American Chestnut Foundation, on using GE to restore the American chestnut—documented as being a “test case” to make GE trees more palatable to the public. The session was focused on ways to encourage the public to accept GE trees. It opened with a presentation by Jared Westbrook, Director of Science of the American Chestnut Foundation, on using GE to restore the American chestnut—documented as being a “test case” to make GE trees more palatable to the public. The second presentation in the session discussed the findings of a survey by Mark Needham conducted to see how to convince the public of the benefits of using GE trees in forest restoration schemes, especially the GE American chestnut. The panel discussion that followed included participation by Westbrook, Needham, GE tree pioneer Ron Sederoff and a representative from GE tree company FuturaGene. The conversation among the panelists and the audience was very candid about the worries around public opinion, the potential for increased regulations on CRISPR, and the ban on GE trees by the Forest Stewardship Council.

                                                                  The general malaise of the conference continued at its closing dinner, normally a gala celebration, which was without enthusiasm and repeated the pleas for willing volunteers to take over the organizing of future activities.

                                                                   

                                                                  Trillion Tree Planting Proposal

                                                                  Less than one week after the close of the IUFRO Tree Biotech Conference, a study was published in Science titled The Global Tree Restoration Potential, projecting the ability to mitigate climate change by the mass-planting of trillions of trees across the globe. [2]

                                                                  The study, developed by Crowther Labs and ETH Zürich, with the help of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, was hailed as a miracle cure for climate change—the surefire solution to allow dominant culture to continue uninterrupted by ecological collapse. The study, however, is fraught with unanswered questions and serious red flags. One major flag is the study’s reliance on the UN FAO’s definition of forests, which is any area 10% covered by trees, and does not exclude monoculture tree plantations–despite repeated calls by forest protection groups to do so. According to the World Rainforest Movement, the FAO definition “discards other life-forms as well as the biological and cultural diversity that define a forest while ignoring the social and environmental impacts of plantations.” [3]

                                                                  What this means is that the trillion trees being promoted could easily include vast monocultures of non-native trees, or even GE trees, due to the FAO’s intentionally overbroad definition of forests. [4] This fact is confirmed by a decision made at the 2003 UN Climate Conference in Milan that GE trees could be used in forest carbon plantations.

                                                                  Another serious flag is the involvement in this study of researchers linked to the UN’s program to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD). [5] The REDD program has been actively opposed by Indigenous Peoples and forest dependent communities since its inception. REDD schemes take over forested lands to “protect” (and sell) the carbon they store—and have resulted in the forced displacement of communities that live in those forests. [6]

                                                                  Because the trillion tree proposal repeatedly refers to generating tree cover “in the absence of”, or “with minimal” human activity on 1.7 billion hectares, it could easily result in mass-displacements of rural, poor and Indigenous communities from those lands.

                                                                  An additional problem with the study comes from its math. The authors admit that the 300 gigatons of carbon projected to be stored by these trillion trees will not be realized until the trees are mature, which could take decades. [7] Meanwhile 10Gt of C02 are being emitted annually. [8] Particularly in boreal forest zones, a major emphasis of the study, trees grow very, very slowly. Add to this the study’s lack of interest in the increasing rate of destruction of existing critical forests that is occurring—such as the 88% rise in deforestation rates in Brazil’s Amazon over the past year [9] –and it reads more like a fairy tale than a serious recommendation for mitigating climate change.

                                                                   

                                                                  Trees as the Engine for a Green Future of Consumption

                                                                  While seemingly at odds, both the Crowther Lab study on vastly expanding global tree cover to store carbon, and the proposal by GE tree researchers to vastly increase demand for trees by genetically engineering them to replace fossil fuels for the industrial production of everything from electricity to plastics, fall in the same false worldview where the mass-use of trees becomes the path to a “clean, green future”. Both are, at their essence, cynical and opportunistic schemes to avoid real, fundamental social, economic and political change in order to enable overconsumption as usual in the face of overwhelming evidence that rapid and fundamental changes at all levels of society must be undertaken—a call that has been taken up by the National Academies of Sciences [10] and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. [11]

                                                                   

                                                                  Business for Nature?

                                                                  Along with these false solutions to climate change emerged another subterfuge to use forests and the natural world to accelerate profit-making under a “clean, green” veneer. On 2 July, a Business for Nature scheme was announced simultaneously at a World Economic Forum meeting in China and Norway’s Trondheim Conference on Biodiversity.

                                                                  The idea is not new. In 2008 in Bonn, Germany, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) launched its own Business and Biodiversity Initiative that included models for marketing environmental services, the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Programme (BBOP), The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB), and a new Green Development Mechanism. [12]

                                                                  The Business for Nature initiative, however, is renewing the scheme using the urgency of ecological crises, as evidenced by its website headline Nature Loss is Threatening Our Economies–Urgent Actions and Collaborations are Needed. [13]

                                                                  The opening of the site lists statistics on the “massive loss of nature” while studiously avoiding any indication as to the causes, which have been driven by the very belief underpinning the initiative, that humans are somehow separate from “nature.” The site highlights the Global Risk Report which “identified environmental risks as among the greatest systemic risks to our global economy,” adding that “only nuclear war would be more destructive.”

                                                                  In the twisted logic of the Business for Nature scheme, “nature protection” is unironically promoted as “essential for prosperous business,” including the activities that have led us to this ecological crisis–i.e. ongoing natural resource extraction.

                                                                  The grand finale of their proposal highlights the “significant opportunities” (massive profits) to be made from protecting the “ecosystem services” of nature:

                                                                  “$2 trillion in opportunities in food and land system transformation alone

                                                                  $22.6 trillion opportunity for water infrastructure by 2050

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

                                                                  In its pledge to forests, it touts a massive ‘reforestation’ campaign, along with a commitment to REDD, and the “elimination of deforestation by 2030” which would magically be achieved with no plan to reduce demand for wood products.

                                                                  In fact, the future of “green business,” fueled by a bioeconomy, requires a huge increase in wood consumption.

                                                                   

                                                                  CRISPR to Manufacture the Perfect (Unregulated) GE Tree?

                                                                  And this is where the Tree Biotechnology Conference, The Global Tree Restoration Potential and Business for Nature may overlap is through the genetic engineering technology known as CRISPR. [14]

                                                                  The overall impression from the IUFRO Tree Biotechnology Conference was that scientists and industry are banking on emerging technologies like CRISPR and a rising demand for wood products and designer GE trees to meet the future market for forest health, climate mitigation and the bioeconomy.

                                                                  Would CRISPR be used as part of the trillion tree effort? Will it be used to genetically engineer trees to be specially adapted to particular biomes? Or to withstand climate change, insect attacks, or other stresses?

                                                                  There are uncomfortable connections between the work to create genetically engineered CRISPR trees and the Trillion Tree study. ETH Zürich in Switzerland, home of the Crowther Lab that led the study, for example, is considered one of the best biotechnology schools in Europe. In March it awarded the Richard R. Ernst Gold Medal to Emmanuelle Charpentier, one of the scientists who discovered the CRISPR gene editing tool, and sits on the Editorial Board of The CRISPR Journal with Barrangou. And Crowther likes to boast that his lab includes experts in geospacial mapping, remote sensing and genetic techniques. It is easy to see where genetically engineered CRISPR trees could fit into the scheme to cover the planet in carbon sucking GE trees that could be then cut down and pulped, chipped or digested into sugars to feed the insatiable and unsustainable demand for building materials, energies, plastics, etc. The demand which has fed the global economy and has helped lead us to the brink of disaster.

                                                                   

                                                                  Except for the European Regulation on Gene Editing

                                                                  During the IUFRO Tree Biotechnology Conference panel on societal acceptance of GE trees, researcher Wout Boerjan, of the Ghent Institute in Belgium, a long-time campaigner for the deregulation of GE trees, discussed his fears about the EU decision to treat gene edited trees and other organisms the same as other GMOs. “If gene editing falls under the GM regulation, many new companies will not start. There are many new ideas based on CRISPR/CAS and they can only develop into a company if it’s not going to be so expensive to bring these products on the market. So, if you have a new edited plant and you need to go through the regulatory system, which is extremely expensive, these small companies cannot afford it and the product will not come to the market, so the whole innovation in Europe will just fall flat.” [15].

                                                                  Miron Abramson, of GE tree company FuturaGene, responded that he was less concerned about gene editing perceived as GMO, “So we will treat it as GE and I don’t see any disadvantage or advantage in this case, but just another tool.”

                                                                   

                                                                  A Voice of Experience Offers a Word of Caution

                                                                  But the Tree Biotechnology conference was not without its cautionary voices. On the societal acceptance panel, Professor Ron Sederoff, considered the father of tree biotechnology, remarked that, “There are people who are kept up at night worrying about this technology and I might be one of them. One opponent of GE technology, David Suzuki, makes an argument that is widely considered that science shouldn’t be trusted with new technology. That science does things that are inherently dangerous and we don’t know what to expect, and I think that’s the core of his argument. But I agree that that’s right. There are people who simply have a fear of new technology, and I think they have a good reason. Looking back on human history, there has been misuse of every major technology that has been invented…We haven’t even thought about the potential for the misuse of the technology that we’re talking about. But I think it’s there…I think that there are worries, and I think that CRISPR, for example, poses a threat because it makes things [that exist outside of the law] and if you could do anything you want to and you were malevolently inclined, you might be able to take pathogens that affect people or ecology or forests and [use CRISPR to combine their traits] and make new things. I think there are things to worry about.” [16]

                                                                   

                                                                  Transformation not Reformation: Join the Resurgence!

                                                                  Global Justice Ecology Project (globaljusticeecology.org), coordinating body of the international Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees, (stopgetrees.org) is issuing this report and critique of the 2019 IUFRO Tree Biotechnology Conference, the Trillion Tree Campaign and Business for Natureinitiative because of our commitment to expose ecologically and socially destructive false solutions that enable business as usual. This is a step in our work to help create a movement that can fundamentally transform political, social and economic systems in order to address the multiple ecological crises threatening the future survival of humans and millions of other species.

                                                                  For this reason, we are also co-organizing The Resurgence: 2019 North American Forest & Climate Movement Convergence, 11-14 October in the Shawnee National Forest of Southern Illinois. This strategic action session, open to forest and climate activists, organizers and others is aimed at uncovering root causes of the ecological crises we face and developing new strategies to address them. (For info: forestclimateconvergence.org)

                                                                  To protect forests and communities from the impacts of climate catastrophe, we must actively opposeunjust market-based and profit-oriented false solutions to climate change, such as those described above. If what is proposed as a solution to catastrophic climate change jeopardizes other people or ecosystems it cannot claim to be just or sustainable.

                                                                  To keep forests intact, we must fundamentally transform the dominant political and economic systems and transition to small-scale, local and traditional systems.

                                                                  We can clearly see the result of the dominant political and economic system in the form of climate and other crises, including loss of fresh water and arable land, ocean collapse, mass-extinction and extreme weather, as well as escalating human rights abuses including forced displacements, migrations and genocide.

                                                                  These systems cannot be simply reformed. We must organize to fundamentally confront and transform them. Even the generally conservative National Academy of Sciences agrees. A paper they published on 6 August 2018 concludes, “[A] Stabilized Earth trajectory requires deliberate management of humanity’s relationship with the rest of the Earth System if the world is to avoid crossing a planetary threshold. We suggest that a deep transformation based on a fundamental reorientation of human values, equity, behavior, institutions, economies, and technologies is required.” [10]

                                                                  For information on how to join this effort for systemic transformation, visit The Resurgence: 2019 North American Forest & Climate Movement Convergence http://forestclimateconvergence.org

                                                                   

                                                                  NOTES

                                                                  [1] CTNBio Meeting to Approve GE Trees Cancelled – FuturaGene Taken Over (2015) https://stopgetrees.org/victory-ctnbio-occupied-meeting-cancelled-no-approval-ge-trees/ and see Interview with a Militant of the MST (2017) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GeqRRM7A5s&list=PLJIqsEBkCVM2edxllRUp2a0zTwPI0CMjq&index=4&t=561s

                                                                  [2] The Global Tree Restoration Potential (2019) https://science.sciencemag.org/content/365/6448/76

                                                                  [3] For decades, World Rainforest Movement and others have demanded that the FAO change its forest definition, which “reduces a forest to any area covered by trees. In doing so, the FAO definition discards other life-forms as well as the biological, cyclical and cultural diversity that define a forest in its continuous interconnection with forest-dependent communities. FAO’s reductionist definition also allows the companies behind tens of millions of industrial fast-growing plantations to claim their monocultures are ‘planted forests’. Countries’ forest statistics thus count these fast-growing industrial monocultures as ‘forests’, in spite of the well-documented social and environmental impacts such plantations have caused around the world.” In 2009, WRM explained, “the definition of forests is not an academic or linguistic discussion: it is a political issue having serious social and environmental consequences at the ground level. Defining plantations as forests empowers the corporate sector – particularly plantation companies – and disempowers local communities opposing them to protect their livelihoods. The FAO continues playing this role by refusing to change its definition.” https://wrm.org.uy/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Compilaci%C3%B3n-21-de-Marzo-2018-EN.pdf

                                                                  [4] Use of the FAO definition means that “reforestation” efforts could easily become tree monocultures, or even GE tree plantations, since there is no official difference between them. While the Crowther Lab distances itself from the question of monocultures in its online follow up [https://www.crowtherlab.com/tree-restoration-potential-qa/] use of the FAO definition of forests means monocultures cannot be avoided. And at the FAO’s World Forestry Conference in 2009 in Buenos Aires, sessions addressing reforestation, afforestation, forest restoration, sustainable forest management, and net zero deforestation all advocated the planting of tree monocultures.[http://climate-connections.org/2009/10/23/world-forestry-congress-or-how-i-learned-to-stop-worrying-and-love-plantations/]

                                                                  [5] National Forest Monitoring and Information Systems for a transparent and truthful REDD+ process (FAO) https://www.researchgate.net/project/National-Forest-Monitoring-and-Information-Systems-for-a-transparent-and-truthful-REDD-process-FAO

                                                                  [6] Sky Protector Briefing Paper https://skyprotector.org/2018/08/19/sky-protector-briefing-paper-8-2/ also see the film A Darker Shade of Green, REDD Alert and the Future of Forests https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPFPUhsWMaQ and

                                                                  REDD-Monitor’s Offsetting fossil fuel emissions with tree planting and ‘natural climate solutions’: science, magical thinking, or pure PR? https://redd-monitor.org/2019/07/04/offsetting-fossil-fuel-emissions-with-tree-planting-and-natural-climate-solutions-science-magical-thinking-or-pure-pr/

                                                                  [7] “Of course, the carbon capture associated with global restoration could not be instantaneous because it would take several decades for forests to reach maturity. Nevertheless, under the assumption that most of this additional carbon was sourced from the atmosphere, reaching this maximum restoration potential would reduce a considerable proportion of the global anthropogenic carbon burden (~300 GtC) to date.” (1). The global tree restoration potential https://science.sciencemag.org/content/365/6448/76

                                                                  [8] According to the Global Carbon Project: https://www.co2.earth/global-co2-emissions

                                                                  [9] Brazil: huge rise in Amazon destruction under Bolsonaro, figures showThe Guardian, 3 July 2019 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/03/brazil-amazon-rainforest-deforestation-environment

                                                                  [10] Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, August 2018: Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocenehttps://www.pnas.org/content/115/33/8252

                                                                  [11] “Limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society. With clear benefits to people and natural ecosystems, limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared to 2°C could go hand in hand with ensuring a more sustainable and equitable society,” Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Summary for Policymakers https://www.ipcc.ch/2018/10/08/summary-for-policymakers-of-ipcc-special-report-on-global-warming-of-1-5c-approved-by-governments/

                                                                  [12] The Green Shock Doctrine, p. 4 https://globaljusticeecology.org/green-shock-doctrine/

                                                                  [13] Business for Nature website: https://businessfornature.org/

                                                                  [14] CRISPR is a gene editing technique in which CRISPR and the RNA segments and enzymes it produces are used to identify and modify specific DNA sequences in the genome of other organisms https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/CRISPR

                                                                  [15] 2019 IUFRO Tree Biotechnology Conference session on “Societal Acceptance of Tree Biotechnology” (Quote found at 49:47)https://mediasite.wolfware.ncsu.edu/online/Play/f9f72a14f48f4b4bb5a58222979e4afd1d?catalog=b9038d70a4ff49dbaab35ddc1a25705821

                                                                  [16] 2019 IUFRO Tree Biotechnology Conference session on “Societal Acceptance of Tree Biotechnology” (Quote found at 1:28:04)https://mediasite.wolfware.ncsu.edu/online/Play/f9f72a14f48f4b4bb5a58222979e4afd1d?catalog=b9038d70a4ff49dbaab35ddc1a25705821

                                                                   

                                                                  [The Campaign to STOP GE Treesis a national and international alliance of organizations that have united toward the goal of prohibiting the ecologically and socially devastating release of genetically engineered trees into the environment. Global Justice Ecology Project coordinates, administrates and fundraises for the campaign. World Rainforest Movement, based in Uruguay, is the Southern Contact for the Campaign and has materials in English, Spanish and Portuguese.]