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Planet of the Humans Backlash

Journal of People, Peasants and Workers

May 11, 2020

By Yves Engler

 

Planet of the Humans

The backlash may be more revealing than the film itself, but both inform us where we are at in the fight against climate change and ecological collapse. The environmental establishment’s frenzied attacks against Planet of the Humans says a lot about its commitment to big money and technological solutions.

A number of prominent individuals tried to ban the film by Jeff Gibbs and Michael Moore. Others berated the filmmakers for being white, male and overweight. Many thought leaders have declared they won’t watch it.

Despite the hullabaloo, the central points in the film aren’t particularly controversial. Corporate-industrial society is driving human civilization/humanity towards the ecological abyss and environmental groups have largely made peace with capitalism. As such, they tout (profitable) techno fixes that are sometimes more ecologically damaging than fossil fuels (such as biomass or ethanol) or require incredible amounts of resources/space if pursued on a mass scale (such as solar and wind). It also notes the number of human beings on the planet has grown more than sevenfold over the past 200 years.

It should not be controversial to note that the corporate consumption juggernaut is destroying our ability to survive on this planet. From agroindustry razing animal habitat to plastic manufacturers’ waste killing sea life to the auto industrial complex’s greenhouse gases, the examples of corporations wreaking ecological havoc are manifold. Every year since 1969 humanity’s resource consumption has exceeded earth’s capacity to regenerate those resources by an ever-greater volume.

It is a statement of fact that environmental groups have deep ties to the corporate set. Almost all the major environmental groups receive significant cash from the mega-rich or their foundations. Many of them partner directly with large corporations. Additionally, their outreach strategies often rely on corporate media and other business-mediated spheres. It beggars belief that these dependencies don’t shape their policy positions.

A number of the film’s points on ‘renewable’ energy are also entirely uncontroversial. It’s insane to label ripping down forests for energy as “green”. Or turning cropland into fuel for private automobiles. The film’s depiction of the minerals/resource/space required for solar and wind power deserves a far better response than “the data is out of date”.

The green establishment’s hyperventilating over the film suggests an unhealthy fixation/link to specific ‘renewable’ industries. But there are downsides to almost everything.

Extremely low GHG emitting electricity is not particularly complicated. In Québec, where I live, electricity is largely carbon free (and run by a publicly owned enterprise with an overwhelmingly unionized workforce, to boot). But, Hydro-Québec’s dams destroy ecosystems and require taking vast land from politically marginalized (indigenous) people. Likewise, nuclear power (also publicly owned and unionized) provides most of France’s electricity. But, that form of energy also has significant downsides.

In the US in 2019 63% of electricity came from fossil fuels, 20% from nuclear and 17% from ‘renewables’. But, even if one could flip the proportion of fossil fuels to ‘renewables’ around overnight there’s another statistic that is equally important. Since 1950 US electricity consumption has grown 13-fold and it continues to increase. That’s before putting barely any of the country’s 285 million registered private automobiles onto the grid. Electricity consumption is growing at a fast clip in China, India and elsewhere.

Oil is another source of energy that is growing rapidly. Up from 60 million barrels a day in 1980 and 86 million in 2010, 100 million barrels of oil were consumed daily in 2019. That number is projected to reach 140 million by 2040.

On one point I agree entirely with critics of the film. It’s unfair to (even indirectly) equate Bill McKibben with Al Gore. Representing the progressive end of the environmental establishment, McKibben has engaged in and stoked climate activism. Gore was Vice President when the US led the destruction of the former Yugoslavia, bombed Sudan and sanctioned Iraq.

Still, it’s ridiculous for McKibben and others to dismiss the film’s criticism of his decade-long promotion of biomass and refusal to come clean on 350.org’s donors as divisive. “I truly hope that Michael Moore does not succeed at dividing the climate movement. Too many have fought too long to build it”, he tweeted with a link to his response in Rolling Stone titled “‘A Bomb in the Center of the Climate Movement’: Michael Moore Damages Our Most Important Goal.” Echoing this theme, Naomi Klein came to her 350.org comrade’s defence tweeting, “it is truly demoralising how much damage this film has done at a moment when many are ready for deep change.” Democracy NowCommon Dreams, the Guardian and other media picked up her remark.

If it is divisive to criticize McKibben’s positions, then the same must be said of his own criticisms aimed at those demanding the Pentagon be highlighted in decarbonization efforts. In a June New York Review of Books column titled “The Pentagon’s Outsized Part in the Climate Fight” McKibben pours cold water on those who have asked him about the importance of “shrinking the size of the US military” (the world’s largest single institutional emitter of fossil fuels) in the fight for a sustainable planet. In fact, his piece suggests the Pentagon is well-positioned to combat the climate crisis since right wingers are more likely to listen to their climate warnings and the institution has massive research capacities to develop green technologies. McKibben seems to be saying the green movement should (could) co-opt the greatest purveyor of violence and destruction in the history of humanity! (In the Wrong Kind of Green blog Luke Orsborne offers a cogent breakdown of McKibben’s militarism.)

McKibben’s repeated advocacy of the private electric car could also be considered divisive. In Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? McKibben calls for “millions and millions of electric cars and buses” (alongside “building a hell of lot of factories to turn out thousands of acres of solar panels, and wind turbines the length of football fields.”) Does anyone believe the planet can sustain a transportation/urban planning system with most of the world’s 7.8 billion people owning 3,000-pound vehicles?

When an electric car is powered from a grid that is 63% fossil fuels the GHG it contributes per kilometer of travel is generally slightly less than an internal combustion engine. But the production and destruction phases for electric vehicles tend to be more energy intensive and they still require the extraction and development of significant amounts of resources. Additionally, the private car underpins a land, energy and resource intensive big box retail/suburban economy. (For details see my co-authored Stop Signs: Cars and Capitalism on the Road to Economic, Social and Ecological Decay.)

Moreover, as Death by Car recently pointed out, “electric vehicles are haloware — a product that exists to distract attention from continuing SUV and pickup sales. If this thesis is correct, then it is a huge mistake for progressive forces to express enthusiasm” for electric vehicles. Of the 86 million new passenger and light commercial vehicles sold globally in 2018 about 1.2 million of them were powered by battery-only electric engines while 37 million were pickups and SUVs. In other words, for every new battery-electric car there were 30 new SUVs/pickups sold. Alongside growing buzz about electric vehicles, the number of SUVs increased from 35 million to 200 million between 2010 and 2018.

McKibben and associates’ ability to frame the film as divisive rests on the stark power imbalance between the ‘green’ capitalist and degrowth outlooks. While there are few profits in the consume-less worldview, McKibben is situated at the progressive end of a network of organizations, commentators and media outlets empowered by hundreds of billions of dollars of ‘green’ capitalism. This milieu has counterposed solar, wind and biomass to the hyper fossil fuel emitting coal, natural gas and oil industries. But, they aren’t keen on discussing the limitations of their preferred energies and the fundamentally unsustainable nature of limitless energy (or other) consumption. And they certainly don’t want any spotlight placed on environmental groups ties to the mega-rich and an unsustainable model.

Fragments of wind turbine blades await burial at the Casper Regional Landfill in Wyoming. Photographer: Benjamin Rasmussen

But, in reality it’s not the criticism that bothers. Wrong Kind of GreenDeath by CarCounterpunch and various other small leftist websites and initiatives have long documented McKibben and associates’ concessions to the dominant order. Often more harshly than in the film. What is unique about Planet of the Humans is that these criticisms have been put forward by leftists with some power (Michael Moore’s name and the funds for a full-length documentary, most obviously.) In other words, the backlash is not a response to the facts or argument, per se, but the ‘mainstreaming’ of the critique.

The environmental establishment’s ability to generate hundreds of hit pieces against Planet of the Humans suggests the movement/outlook has amassed substantial power. But, it’s not always clear to what ends. Most indicators of sustainability are trending in the wrong direction at the same time as top environmental figures have risen to the summits of power. Québec’s most prominent environmentalist, Steven Guilbeault, recently became a cabinet minister in the Liberal government while the former head of World Wildlife Fund Canada, Gerald Butts, was Justin Trudeau’s chief of staff. These individuals happily participate in a government that oversaw a 15 million tonne increase in Canada’s GHG emissions in 2018 and then decided to purchase a massive tar sands pipeline.

The incredible popularity of Planet of the Humans — seven million views on YouTube — suggests many are worried about the ecological calamity humanity is facing. Many also sense that the solutions environmental groups are putting forward don’t add up.

The lesson to be learned from the film and the frenzied attacks against it is that questioning the system — be that capitalism or the mainstream environmental movement — won’t make you friends in high places.

 

[Yves Engler is the author of 10 books, including A Propaganda System: How Canada’s Government, Corporations, Media and Academia Sell War and ExploitationRead other articles by Yves.]

Clinton to McKibben to Steyer to Podesta: Comments on Planet of the Humans by Michael Swifte

May 20, 2020

by Michael Swifte, Wrong Kind of Green Collective

 

 

“I think that the mainstream climate movement needs to collapse. It needs to end. And that the very comfortable organizers within that mainstream climate movement working in those NGO jobs – they need to fail. I think they need to be brought down. I think they need to have a little bit of hardship and a bit of suffering, and they need to create space for those historically oppressed groups.” [1]

 

— Tim DeChristopher, Transformation without Apocalypse – Episode #6 [SOURCE]

 

To understand the “damage” Bill McKibben claims the Planet of the Humans documentary has done to the climate justice movement you have to look at where 350 dot org began.

A fifty million dollar beginning

Bill McKibben has been in a dance with philanthropo-capitalists for more than a decade. He may not have been paid to be the face of 350 dot org but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t ‘corporate’ money around.

There was corporate and philanthropic money from the start. Bill Clinton announced 50 million from a “range of corporate and non-profit partners” for 1Sky at the 2007 Clinton Global Initiative. Bill McKibben was on the board of 1Sky in 2009 before it was merged with 350 dot org.

Watch this video and ask yourself how anyone could claim to be a leader of a ‘grassroots’ organisation or say that 350 dot org was ever a “rag-tag bunch of kids”. Watch the video.

 

Cory Morningstar has been tracking, analysing and cataloguing this stuff for 10 years, and by “this stuff” I mean the global capture of climate justice activism through #networkedhegemony at the behest of the non profit industrial complex #NPIC. Cory follows the money, analyses the networks, and interrogates the messaging.

#NewPower networks connect 350 dot org to a vast web of similarly funded campaigns and critically deliver opportunities to shape the Democratic party agenda. 350’s global expansion was built on replicating the organisations, institutions and campaigns that positioned it in the US and Canada.

Here are some links providing deep background on the #NewPower constructs and networks that empower the ‘climate cartel’.

‘Rockefellers’ 1Sky Unveils the New 350.org | More $ – More Delusion’

http://www.theartofannihilation.com/rockefellers-1sky-unveils-the-new-350-org-more-more-delusion/

‘SumOfUs are Corporate Whores | Some Of Us Are Not’

http://www.theartofannihilation.com/sumofus-are-corporate-whores-some-of-us-are-not/

Jessica Bailey at Rockefeller Brothers Fund actually used the word ‘merger’ to describe the union of the 2 campaign organizations incubated by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

“Bill McKibben, who has been a 1Sky board member and will chair the new 350.org board, once referred to 1Sky as the U.S. Embassy for 350.org and 350.org as 1Sky’s foreign legion.[] Matching 350.org’s talent for mass mobilization and online action with 1Sky’s advocacy and field campaign experience is tremendously exciting. Mergers are tough, and I applaud the leaders in both organizations for recognizing they’d be stronger together.“ [SOURCE]

Comments on Planet of the Humans

Planet of the Humans is a worthy documentary for it’s revelations about “green energy” and the failures of the climate justice movement. It is a testament to Jeff Gibbs’ extensive documentation and long commitment to environmental issues. I was pleased that it included the Climate Challenge segment with Karyn Strickler pitching a question from Cory Morningstar to Bill McKibben, and I was glad the film makers told the truth about Ivanpah and Robert F Kennedy Jr’s ties to fossil fuel giants.

Planet of the Humans is mostly about North America, and while it opens up a range of departure points for discussion of planetary issues, it’s a documentary about North American humans and westerners more generally, not the 100s of millions of blameless people who struggle to put food on the table. I found the discussion of the ‘population issue’ concerning given how little time had been given to putting global consumer markets into perspective, but documentary making is about access, and Jeff Gibbs has gained access to the world of “green energy” in North America. Michael Moore brings access of a different but equally vital kind, if you want to make a splash with a documentary.

Departure points are vital if we’re to make the most of what Planet of the Humans has highlighted as key issues. If the climate justice movement has failed and the environmental movement has been captured by billionaires, what else have they messed up? What are the other billionaire philanthropists doing to capture the efforts of environmental campaigners? What new diabolical schemes are planned to keep business as usual going?

People who feel inspired or moved by Planet of the Humans should look into biomass burning in Europe and the future plans for burying CO2 produced from burning biomass under the North Sea. American and European philanthropies have invested staggering amounts of money into organisations like the European Climate Foundation which is part of a global empire of similar organisations. The IPCC mitigation pathways are replete with the term BECCS (bio-energy with carbon capture and storage).

I watched Planet of the Humans after watching the Earth Day livestream discussion with Michael Moore, Jeff Gibbs and Ozzie Zehner. I hope that Michael Moore’s endorsement of Bernie Sanders and his plea that we put environmentalism into the hands of young people like the Sunrise Movement which was incubated by the Sierra Club is not the position of all three film makers. We can’t take Michael Moore’s words as a call to action so we are going to have to make our own calls to action.

Watch the full video of Karyn Strickler interviewing Bill McKibben on Climate Challenge here:

 

Departure point: John Podesta and a parallel climate campaign

In 2007 a plan was launched by 6 foundations. This plan #DesigntoWin produced the ClimateWorks Foundation, headed by John Podesta, which has spearheaded the incubation and funding of re-granting NGOs globally. ClimateWorks is perhaps the world’s largest recipient of  climate philanthropy having received more than 1.3 billion USD since it’s inception in 2008.

John Podesta has a long relationship with the Clintons, both as politicians and philanthropists. In the various roles he has played – always as a Democrat – his focus has been on the future of energy and how to message a position on climate change for the party and for the global philanthropo-capitalist agendas.

Have a read of the Wikileaks ‘Podesta Emails’ that refer to Bill McKibben and/or Tom Steyer. Check out the ‘climate tick tocks’ for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, the updates from philanthropist-billionaires like Tom Steyer and Henry Sandler, or Chris Lehane’s ‘big idea’ briefing that became the ‘Clean Power Plan’ (more business as usual). [SOURCE]

Podesta is always engaged with philanthropists. The Sandler Foundation helped establish the Center for American Progress which Podesta heads up. It helped fund the Australian climate justice regranting NGO the Sunrise Project and the US Beyond Coal campaign. Tom Steyer, a former Wall St banker, hedge fund manager and friend of Nancy Pelosi befriended Podesta who welcomed him into his Center for American Progress. Podesta encouraged Steyer to start his NextGen Climate Action Committee. It is likely that Steyer’s dubious defection from the ranks of billionaire fossil fuel investors and hedge fund managers was orchestrated under the advice of Chris Lehane. Steyer’s defection would see him join with McKibben and 350 at high profile events, and according to the Podesta emails they were in regular contact.

350/McKibben have been a foil for Democrat positioning on climate. The non profit industrial complex needed a global climate justice brand, and it needed to nestle it in a web of networks all connected by funded talking points and touchstone pieces in Rolling Stone and Grist. Granting and regranting NGOs pass over talking points in their transactions with grant recipients. Billionaires on every continent get to play the game.

Important background on the Design to Win plan here:

http://www.wrongkindofgreen.org/2019/09/11/the-manufacturing-of-greta-thunberg-for-consent-volume-ii-act-i-a-design-to-win-a-multi-billion-dollar-investment/

Background on the largely ignored mitigation plans of big oil & gas here:

http://www.wrongkindofgreen.org/2019/10/19/perfect-distractions-and-fantastical-mitigation-plans/

Departure point: The Steyer-Taylor Center and financing for CCS

Tom Steyer and his wife Kat Taylor fund the Steyer Taylor Center at Stanford. The center was headed from it’s founding in 2011 until September 2018 by Dan Reicher who has spoken in favour of financing to support carbon capture and storage on numerous occasions.

Dan Reicher is a Clinton administration energy wonk who spent some of the Obama years at Google. He’s the Founding Executive Director of the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy & Finance, but is now at the Stanford Woods Institute. Reicher explains how the future is all laid out for enhanced oil recovery with CO2 in this 2016 video. His slides include the prexisting CO2 pipeline maps for enhanced oil recovery.

 

A quote from the video:

“Carbon capture and sequestration is a key climate change strategy. You ask the IPCC, you ask the International Energy Agency.”

Reicher argues that with the CO2 pipeline infrastructure that is already in place and the right financial instruments “Full scale cost effective CCS” is deliverable.

Here is Reicher discussing private activity bonds and CCS. In the past he has spoken about the usefulness of master limited partnerships. Both of these financial instruments have been included in bipartisan bills currently before congress.

“It’s less about how to make it work technically these days but more about how to make it work financially,” [SOURCE]

Here is a quote from Reicher speaking at the Exxon funded Global Climate and Energy Project – Research Symposium in 2015.

“We really need to be using CCS for coal, natural gas, and a whole host of industrial carbon sources. But the costs are too high,” [SOURCE]

The Steyer-Taylor Center has partnered with the Exxon incubated and funded Global Climate and Energy Project which was ended in August 2019.  Exxon are a founding member of the Strategic Energy Alliance along with Bank of America who support the – Sustainable Finance Initiative along with the Steyer-Taylor Center. [SOURCE]

Departure point: The Green New Deal and the failing phase out

Dan Lashof is the director of the World Resources Institute and the current COO of Tom Steyer’s NextGen Climate America and Nextgen Policy Center. In January Lashof co-wrote an opinion piece for the Houston Chronicle with Occidental Petroleum – Low Carbon Ventures president Richard Jackson. Oxy’s air capture plans support their enhanced oil recovery efforts and net zero targets through negative emissions from their planned air capture for CO2 enhanced oil recovery project. [SOURCE]

There’s a lot of interest in Oxy’s direct air capture plans which are supported by Carbon Engineering who have a long list of investors including Bill Gates, Murray Edwards, Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, LLC, Chevron Technology Ventures and BHP. [SOURCE]

The World Resources Institute provided 2 of the 3 Data for Progress researchers that developed the #netzero language that made it into the Green New Deal resolution. After the resolution came and went it has become clear that any sort of commitment to a fossil fuel phase out had been abandoned.

Important background on the ties between the World Resources Institute and Data for Progress here:

http://www.wrongkindofgreen.org/2019/02/13/the-manufacturing-of-greta-thunberg-for-consent-the-new-green-deal-is-the-trojan-horse-for-the-financialization-of-nature/

The Green New Deal has taken some of the pressure from McKibben/350. The Clean Power Plan was business as usual, but a little bit cleaner. The GND allows Democrats to appear to be taking a harder line on climate,  but it’s a vehicle that has little legislative substance.

The Green New Deal must be failing to deliver a fossil fuel phase out if the director of the WRI, a so called ‘environmental advocate’, can share a by-line with a big oil executive to spruik a project that is the opposite of phasing out fossil fuels and seemingly nobody cares.

Here’s a quote from Dan Lashof regarding Oxy’s air capture for CO2 enhanced oil recovery project that clearly shows he’s not working for a fossil fuel phase out.

“On the other hand, to the extent that you’re expanding the total energy resources base and extending the fossil-fuel era, obviously that doesn’t solve the climate problem.” [SOURCE]

Data for Progress, New Green Deal Research Director and World Resources Institute US, Manager for Climate Action and Data, Greg Carlock referred to a WRI working paper on direct air capture in a recent blog post for WRI. The paper refers to Oxy’s DAC for CO2 EOR project as an example of where investments are increasing.

“Some companies interested in combining enhanced oil recovery with direct air capture are increasing investments. For example, Occidental Petroleum is partnering with Carbon Engineering to build potentially several direct air capture plants.” [SOURCE]

Departure point: Drax, BECCS and the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative

  1. On April 21, 2020, while the global oil market was in free fall, it was reported that a formal agreement had been signed confirming that Drax would be part of a consortium that included Equinor and Phillips 66 to develop “the world’s first net zero carbon industrial cluster” in Humber, UK. [SOURCE]

 

  1. Equinor are a member of the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative who are funding the Teesside CCS cluster. [SOURCE]

 

  1. Drax have been trialling BECCS (bio-energy with CCS) in the UK. [SOURCE]

 

  1. The lions share of the biomass burned by the Drax Group is from North America. [SOURCE]

 

  1. BECCS is in 3 of the 4 pathways offered by the IPCC working group on mitigation. [SOURCE]

Departure point: European Climate Foundation and industrial CCS clusters

Laurence Tubiana is a former French ambassador to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and CEO of the European Climate Foundation.

 

“The phase when abatement of emissions from industry was considered impossible is over. Industry leaders are looking at totally disruptive technologies and visions.” [SOURCE]

I could try and explain how the ECF is positioned to shape the ‘climate solutions’ on offer, but Cory Morningstar has already done it perfectly:

“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.” [Background on the European Climate Foundation]

3 key points about European Climate Foundation

  1. The European Climate Foundation commissioned Element Energy to prepare 2 reports. One report is on carbon capture utilisation and storage for gas, coal, oil and biomass, and the other is on liquid fuels (hydrogen) which will largely come from processing North Sea gas and sequestering the CO2 in geological storage or from electrolysis using electricity largely supplied from the grid that is ostensibly renewable.
  2. Element Energy prepared reports for the developers of Teesside CCS industrial cluster and for the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative which are funding the Teesside CCS cluster as part of their UN endorsed Kickstarter Initiative investments.
  3. It is clear that the European Climate Foundation which is part of the ClimateWorks empire under the Design to Win plan, are 100% in support of further entrenching fossil fuel extraction and use as part of their #NetZero

5 studies relating to BECCS and industrial clusters in Europe

2018: Study funded by the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative

‘Policy Mechanisms to support the large-scale deployment of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)’

“Element Energy and Vivid Economics have assessed policy mechanisms that could accelerate the deployment of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) to the scale required to meet climate change targets. The report begins by considering why, despite the central role that CCS plays in many deep decarbonisation trajectories, CCS has failed to build momentum. Having identified the problems, the work lays out policy and market mechanisms that could stimulate investment across the stages of deployment, acknowledges regional circumstances, and suggests principles that could help governments and firms to collaborate. Note that in this report CCS includes CCUS (carbon capture, utilisation and storage) in those cases where storage is permanent.'” [SOURCE]

2018: Study funded by the European Climate Foundation

‘Low-carbon cars in Europe: A socio-economic assessment’

“Hydrogen production for the transport sector is expected to be dominated by water electrolysers, steam methane reforming (SMR) and by-product from industrial processes (for example chloralkali plants). These sources form the basis of the production mix in this study. Other potential sources include waste or biomass gasification, or SMR with carbon capture and storage. These additional routes could potentially provide low cost, low carbon hydrogen, but are not yet technically or economically proven and have not been included in the cost assumptions below.” [SOURCE]

2017: Study funded by the European Climate Foundation and Industrial Innovation for Competitiveness (i24c)

‘Deployment of an industrial Carbon Capture and Storage cluster in Europe: A funding pathway’

“The 2020s will be a make-or-break decade for so many aspects of the low carbon transition. CCS in industrial plants needs to be part of the picture. Getting the financing right is clearly an essential first step. But we also need to establish the right frameworks for shared liability between operators and tackle some of the concerns the public and some policymakers still harbour over industrial CCS. This report shows the way for at least one of the hurdles related to CCS. I hope you enjoy reading it.” [SOURCE]

2011: Study funded by the One North East Regional Development Agency and the North East Process Industries Cluster.

‘Tees Valley CCS Network’

“An Element Energy study has looked at the logistics of implementing a shared CCS pipeline network in the Tees Valley to connect major CO2 emitters in one of the UK’s largest industrial clusters. By Harsh Pershad, Element Energy”[SOURCE]

2019: Study prepared for European Climate Foundation in collaboration with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Climate-KIC, the Energy Transitions Commission, RE:Source,and SITRA.

‘Industrial Transformation 2050: Pathways to Net-Zero Emissions from EU Heavy Industry’

“BIOMASS WILL BE REQUIRED PRIMARILY FOR FEEDSTOCK Achieving net zero emissions for the economy as a whole will lead to multiple competing claims on scarce biomass re-sources. The use of biomass for fuel or feedstock can compete with alternative uses for land like food or feed production, conservation for maintained biodiversity, or as a ‘sink’ for CO2 emissions. Furthermore, once the biomass has been extracted, there are multiple competing uses, from simple combustion for heat or electricity generation (the largest use today) to the production of transportation fuels, or use with CCS for ‘negative emissions’ to offset remaining emissions in other sectors.” [SOURCE]

2017: Research paper prepared for Chatham House by independent policy analyst Duncan Brack

‘Woody Biomass for Power and Heat: Impacts on the Global Climate’

“Biomass is classified as a source of renewable energy in national policy frameworks, benefiting from financial and regulatory support on the grounds that, like other renewables, it is a carbon-neutral energy source. It is not carbon-neutral at the point of combustion, however; if biomass is burnt in the presence of oxygen, it produces carbon dioxide. The argument is increasingly made that its use can have negative impacts on the global climate. This classification as carbon-neutral derives from either or both of two assumptions. First, that biomass emissions are part of a natural cycle in which forest growth absorbs the carbon emitted by burning wood for energy. Second, that biomass emissions are accounted for in the land-use sector, and not in the energy sector, under international rules for greenhouse gas emissions.”

 

“Many of the models used to predict the impacts of biomass use assume that mill and forest residues are the main feedstock used for energy, and biomass pellet and energy companies tend to claim the same, though they often group ‘low-grade wood’ with ‘forest residues’, although their impact on the climate is not the same. Evidence suggests, however, that various types of roundwood are generally the main source of feedstock for large industrial pellet facilities. Forest residues are often unsuitable for use because of their high ash, dirt and alkali salt content.” [SOURCE]

 

End notes:

[1] Verbatim: “I think that the, the mainstream climate movement, needs to, needs to collapse. It needs to end. Um, and, and that the very comfortable organizers within that mainstream climate movement, ah, working in those NGO jobs, um, they, they need to fail. Um, I think they need to be brought down. I think they, they need to, ah, have a little bit of hardship and a bit of suffering, and they need to create space for, ah, for those historically oppressed groups.” Tim DeChristopher, Transformation without Apocalypse – Episode #6

 

[Michael Swifte is an Australian activist and a member of the Wrong Kind of Green critical thinking collective.]

Green Capital and Environmental “Leaders” Won’t Save Us

Undisciplined Environments

May 20, 2020

By Alexander Dunlap

 

People are outraged! Jeffery Gibbs’s new documentary, Planet of the Humans – co-produced by Michael Moore and Ozzie Zehner – has shocked and awed “progressive” critics, fuelling a steady stream of outcry. “It is truly demoralizing how much damage this film has done at a moment when many are ready for deep change,” exclaims Naomi Klein on Twitter.

Much of the concern voiced is correct, yet it detracts away from two fundamental messages: “renewable energy” is dependent on extreme mineral and hydrocarbon extraction, and mainstream environmentalism has “sold out.” This, in many ways, is old news for political ecologists, especially those involved in environmental conflicts concerning wind powerhydroelectric dams and mineral extraction development, yet the pandemonium generated by this film deserves some clarification.

Important Criticisms: Caveat

The documentary has some foundational flaws. It underestimates the efficiency and capacity of wind and solar technologies. The data is old and the range of people interviewed limited. More damaging, however, is their discussion of population. Yes, population is an issue, and voluntary initiatives to control it are adopted by some environmentalists (for instance, degrowth advocates). Yet, modes of consumption and production will always be the determining factors for how populations will articulate catastrophic ecological and climatic impacts.

The problem with the “overpopulation” narrative is that it condemns all of humanity for the present socio-ecological situation. Even if, later in the documentary, corporations, financial consultants and their “environmental movement” collaborators become the main focus of critique, the directors largely neglect class, race, and gender as issues related to environmental degradation.

At the same time, the film forgets the socio-ecological values of different groups. It overwrites the variegated agency of (a “pluriverse” of) people, positioning Indigenous land defenders at war with extraction in the background, and not acknowledging in any way their different socio-ecological practices and relationships. The lack of clarity surrounding these issues, or the missing explicit support for environmental struggles against green capitalism and extraction is damaging, ultimately taking away from issues that deserve popular acknowledgment in the film.

Film segment title page reviewing the extraction necessary for so-called renewables (Screenshot: 36’55”). Source: youtube.com

 

So-called Renewable Energy

The outraged critics need to realize that the distinction between fossil fuels and so-called renewable energy is exaggerated. Every aspect of so-called renewable energy requires hydrocarbons and hydrocarbon-based facilities for equipment construction and operation; mining; processing, manufacturing, transportation and the security personnel to enforce land control for these projects. Hence, I proposed the term “fossil fuel+” as a replacement for the inaccurate concept of “renewable energy.”

Ethnographic research investigating natural resource extraction for fossil fuel+ systems remain insightful in this regard. Modelling studies, however, have exposed the seriousness of resource extraction and waste for fossil fuel+ systems. Drawing on a World Bank report, Jason Hickel estimates that making 2050 renewable energy targets will require mining “34 million metric tons of copper, 40 million tons of lead, 50 million tons of zinc, 162 million tons of aluminium, and no less than 4.8 billion tons of iron.”

This also includes increases in other minerals essential to solar, wind and battery technologies over the same period:  35-70% neodymium, 38-105% in silver, 920% in indium, 2,700% increases in lithium and is compounded with further increases (70%) with the promotion of electric vehicles.

Moreover, Benjamin Sovacool and colleagues calculate a single 3.1 MW wind turbine creates “772 to 1807 tons of landfill waste, 40 to 85 tons of waste sent for incineration and about 7.3 tons of e-waste per unit.” This does not even account for mineral processing, component manufacturing, transportation or provisions for security personnel to facilitate security operations of “renewable energy” extraction sites or development sites. Remember: “It takes 500,000 gallons of water to produce a single ton of lithium.”

Critics of the film declare to speak in the name of science. Yet this is a question of research design and methodology. Fossil fuel+ projects are frequently justified by carbon accounting and modelling practices imbued with capitalist ideologies and technological utopianism, which – more to the point – are separated from the political contexts, neglect various forms of pollution (e.g., industrial wastes), local struggles and violence emanating from “green” and corresponding mining projects that animate fossil fuel+ development.

Corporate Environmentalism

Land defenders are well aware of corporate co-optation of environmental struggles. Jeff Gibbs and colleagues are correct to highlight these connections as this problem has only intensified. Submedia.tv released a documentary nearly 10 years ago demonstrating at length the problem of environmental NGOs co-opting struggles and marginalizing land defenders. This segment, moreover, documented the connection between large environmental NGOs, such as Greenpeace and Sierra Club, and their staff going to work in mineral extraction and timber industries. Does anyone remember how, in 2014, Greenpeace lost £3 million in currency speculation? The proclaimed mission and actions of environmental NGOs frequently do not add up.

The “NGOization” of struggle has emerged as a body of literature. Meanwhile, Cory Morningstar’s updated the connection of green capitalists, “climate youth leaders” and the new (corporate) environmental movement, charting trends and issues many ignore or fail to understand. Planet of the Humans documents a small piece of this compared to Morningstar’s work, focusing primarily on Al Gore, Bill Mckibben and their financial managers and partners.

While Al Gore is no surprise, some film reviewers suggest Bill McKibben’s exposé was startling, if not personally offensive. “I have never taken a penny from green energy companies or mutual funds or anyone else with a role in these fights, ” explains Mckibben in a Rolling Stone interview, “I’ve never been paid by environmental groups either, not even 350.org, which I founded and which I’ve given all I have to give.”

The film presents some damaging evidence. For instance, it shows McKibben sitting on a panel at the “Investors and Environmentalists Sustainable Proposal,” discussing a “40-50 trillion ‘green energy fund’” with The World Resource Institutes’ David Blood, who “spent 18 years at Goldman Sachs including serving as CEO of Goldman Sachs Asset Management.” Moreover, 350.org’s collaboration with the “Green Century Funds” makes a clear connection to how manufactured or self-styled “environmental leaders” (see 1:15:14) are clearly in bed with green capitalism and efforts to financialize nature.

The No Deal for Nature Campaign is particularly relevant in this regard. The exposé of corporate environmentalism and collaborative efforts to financialize nature holds. The film highlights the timeless issues of “leaders,” but also how single-issue campaigning – built on carbon accounting and narrowing its focus to “fossil fuels” – disables itself from holistic assessments and offers itself to the construction of a “green” or “climate” economy their movement leaders are invested in promoting.

 

David Blood (co-founder of Generation Investment with Al Gore) and 350.org’s Bill McKibben: featured keynotes for divestment partner, Ceres.

 

Conclusion

The film deserves both hostility and love. Hostility for carelessly discussing population issues, homogenizing different people – a socio-ecological-cultural flattening – and lacking, even in passing, respect for those fighting the mines, energy factories and politicians small and large, formal and informal. The film would have benefited from a more refined scope and tighter narrative, with a greater diversity of participants, from Indigenous groups struggling against fossil fuel+ projects, to political ecologists and environmental anthropologists.

Yet the film also deserves love, as it highlights a neglected and sensitive issue for many: how the (mainstream) “environmental movement” has been corporatized, how its actions are not working, and how “renewable energy”/fossil fuel+ systems are not ecologically sustainable. The film is correct to publicize these issues, even if most popular media outlets are having a less than intelligent conversation about the contested issues within the film. Instead of writing the film off as “demoralizing“, it should resituate one’s hopes and realities concerning environmental struggle.

Concern has also been voiced about the film “dividing” the environmental movement. But the movement is already divided, to the extent that environmental “leaders” are divided from their “flock”, and “light” green (capitalist) movements try to extinguish or recuperate “dark” green radical critique and action. Autonomous, horizontal and leaderless resistance akin to the multiplicity of land struggles taking place across the world, should be what climate activists gain inspiration from – not McKibben or Gore. Earth First!, for instance, – not without its critiques – represents an alternative mass-organizational model, discarding leaders and dedicated to organizing discussion space and direct action.

Those shocked by Planet of the Humans’ revelations concerning “renewable energy” and environmental movement “leaders” are either unfamiliar with the boundless treachery of capitalist society or have yet to commit themselves to fighting the capture, domestication and exploitation of human and nonhuman resources near and far.

[Alexander Dunlap holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands. His PhD thesis examined the socio-ecological impact of wind energy development on Indigenous people in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec region of Oaxaca, Mexico. Alexander’s work has critically examined police-military transformations, market-based conservation, wind energy development and extractive projects more generally with coal mining in Germany and copper mining in Peru. Current research investigates the formation of transnational-super grids and the connections between conventional and renewable extraction industries.]

Featured image: Planet of the Humans poster. Source: planetofthehumans.com.

 

WATCH: Planet of the Humans [Full Film]

WATCH: Planet of the Humans [Full Film]

April 22, 2020

 


WKOG caveat: Industrial civilization is destroying all life on Earth. Human destruction of biodiversity is not created equally: “Yet tribal peoples are the best conservationists and guardians of the natural world, and 80% of our planet’s biodiversity is found in tribal territories.” [Further reading: The best conservationists made our environment and can save it, Stephen Corry] Human population is often identified as a problem because it strains the world’s resources and pollutes. [1] The first and most efficient way to address over consumption is to reduce consumption in the North is to a) redistribute the resources, (all arable land, etc.) to the Global South, to sustain those in the Global South, and b) phase out the production of all superfluous consumer products that harm life and biodiversity. [Further reading: Too Many Africans?, July 11, 2019] An analysis of population growth that accounts for the vast differences in consumption across class and region is critical in examining the worldwide environmental crisis.

 

Jeff Gibbs, Writer, Producer, Director:  “At long last our film “Planet of the Humans” is now released to the world! It’s one of the happiest days of my life, and a day I fervently hope has a role in initiating some real change in the world. “Planet of the Humans”  is now available free of charge to everyone on planet Earth courtesy of our partnership with Michael Moore. Please help us spread the word by sharing, blogging, posting, tweeting, emailing, or pony expressing your enthusiasm and urgency about why people must see this movie.”

Planet of the Humans takes a harsh look at how the environmental movement has lost the battle through well-meaning but disastrous choices, including the belief that solar panels and windmills would save us, and by giving in to the corporate interests of Wall Street.

Jeff Gibbs, the writer/producer/director of Planet of the Humans, has dared to say what no one will – that “we are losing the battle to stop climate change because we are following environmental leaders, many of whom are well-intentioned, but who’ve sold out the green movement to wealthy interests and corporate America.” This film is the wake-up call to the reality which we are afraid to face: that in the midst of a human-caused extinction event, the so-called “environmental movement’s” answer is to push for techno-fixes and band-aids. “It’s too little, too late,” says Gibbs. “Removed from the debate is the only thing that might save us: getting a grip on our out-of-control human presence and consumption. [1] Why is this not the issue? Because that would be bad for profits, bad for business.”

“Have we environmentalists fallen for illusions, ‘green’ illusions, that are anything but green, because we’re scared that this is the end — and we’ve pinned all our hopes on things like solar panels and wind turbines? No amount of batteries are going to save us, and that is the urgent warning of this film.”

This compelling, must-see movie – a full-frontal assault on our sacred cows – is guaranteed to generate anger, debate, and, hopefully, a willingness to see our survival in a new way—before it’s too late.

[Jeff Gibbs, Writer, Producer, Director | Ozzie Zehner, Producer | Michael Moore, Executive Producer]

 

[1]

A 100 Trillion Dollar Storytelling Campaign

A 100 Trillion Dollar Storytelling Campaign

October 6, 2019

By Cory Morningstar

 

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

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

[Volume II: An Object Lesson In SpectacleACT IACT IIACT IIIACT IVACT V • ACT VI] [ACTS VIII & IX forthcoming]

• A 100 Trillion Dollar Storytelling Campaign [A Short Story] [Oct 2 2019]

• The Global Climate Strikes: No, this was not co-optation. This was and is PR. A brief timeline [Oct 6 2019]

 

 

“To even embark on a strategy of rebuilding and realization-to renew a liberating vision of justice and human rights – we must be clear about the strengths of state power and be prepared to defend ourselves against that power. The repressive apparatus is powerful, with its fingers stretched into every crevice or crack in the state’s hegemony it can find.”

 

— Marilyn Buck

 

“They put your mind right in a bag, and take it wherever they want.”

 

— Malcolm X

 

We Mean Business, April 2019 Newsletter

We Mean Business, April 2019 Newsletter

 

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

— Hiroyuki Hamada, artist

 

On August 20, 2018, Ingmar Rentzhog, the founder and CEO of We Don’t Have Time posted the “lonely girl” tweet. The tweet featured Greta Thunberg. This was the first day of her climate strike. She sat on a sidewalk and said nothing beside a sign. Just two months prior, social media accounts had been created in her name. Rentzhog, whose tech corporation is partnered with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, tagged five Twitter accounts: Greta Thunberg, Zero Hour (youth movement), Jamie Margolin (the teenage founder of Zero Hour), Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, and the People’s Climate Strike Twitter account.

The third person to respond to Rentzhog’s tweet was We Mean Business co-founder Callum Grieve. Grieve responded to Greta with a personal message adding the hashtag #WeDontHaveTime. We Mean Business represents 477 investors with 34 trillion USD in assets. [July 4, 2019] The founding partners of We Mean Business are BSR, CDP, Ceres, The B Team, The Climate Group, The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG), and the WBCSD. Together, these organizations represent the most powerful – and ruthless – corporations on the planet, groups salivating to unleash 100 trillion dollars to fuel the fourth industrial revolution. To save a global economic system teetering on collapse.

September 22, 2019: "Rebooting the entire world and creating a new economy", We Mean Business Twitter account

September 22, 2019: “Rebooting the entire world and creating a new economy”, We Mean Business Twitter account

 

The Climate Group, co-founder of We Mean Business. July 19, 2018, #WeDontHaveTime hashtag, tagged: This Is Zero Hour

The Climate Group, co-founder of We Mean Business. July 19, 2018, #WeDontHaveTime hashtag, tagged: This Is Zero Hour

 

Grieve is the co-founder and director of Counter Culture, a brand development firm specializing in behavioural change campaigns and storytelling. He created Climate Week NYC for The Climate Group which launched in 2009. He has also coordinated high-level climate change communications campaigns and interventions for the United Nations, the World Bank Group, and several Fortune 500 companies. He also manages the Every Breath Matters campaign founded by Christiana Figueres, the former UNFCCC executive secretary credited with the Paris Agreement.

In response to the Thunberg tweet, Grieve added the following accounts to Rentzhog’s original tweet: The Climate Museum, Youth Climate March LA, This is Zero Hour Ft. Lauderdale, Greenpeace International, and the UNFCCC, the “official Twitter account of UN Climate Change”.

[Further reading: ACT IV: They Mean Business]

Suffice to say that tweet was code for “it’s started”. Covered by media on day one, within 12 days Thunberg would be featured in The Guardian. The rest is history.

The NGOs and foundations learned how to “herd cats” successfully for the People’s Climate March in September 2014, but never in their wildest dreams could they have imagined that in September 2019 they would so easily herd millions.

September 30, 2019: We Mean Business Post-Climate Week Newsletter

September 30, 2019: We Mean Business Post-Climate Week Newsletter

 

On September 25, 2019, the United Nations answered the global strikes with the call for a Global Green New Deal. It is quite fascinating that none of the groups and leading proponents who have mobilized the populace to demand a “Green New Deal” are sharing the UN announcement with the corresponding 201-page report. Perhaps it is because with this report, in which the word “growth” appears 392 times, it will be difficult to convince a populace that this is anything but what it actually is – a desperate attempt to save the global capitalist economic system destroying our planet.

UN calls for ‘Global Green New Deal’ to boost world economy:

“In a fresh report, the UN trade, investment and development agency (UNCTAD) called for countries to join forces and enable trillions of dollars in public sector investments to help reboot the global economy… What is needed, he told journalists, is to apply the same ambitious model used in the United States to overcome the Great Depression in the 1930s and apply it “at a global scale”… Looming global recession… UNCTAD’s flagship Trade and Development report painted a bleak picture of the global economic outlook, warning that the world risks slumping into recession next year… Even ignoring the worst downside risks, the report projected that global growth would fall to 2.3 percent this year from 3.0 percent in 2018, cautioning that global recession in 2020 was now “a clear and present danger“. [Emphasis added]

Even the reference to “climate” within the report is recognized as both a means and justification for global growth. (“A climate for change: The case for a global green expansion”)

One must wonder when the marchers and strikers will be notified.

 

“It is impossible for capitalism to survive, primarily because the system of capitalism needs some blood to suck. Capitalism used to be like an eagle, but now it’s more like a vulture. It used to be strong enough to go and suck anybody’s blood whether they were strong or not. But now it has become more cowardly, like the vulture, and it can only suck the blood of the helpless. As the nations of the world free themselves, the capitalism has less victims, less to suck, and it becomes weaker and weaker. It’s only a matter of time in my opinion before it will collapse completely.”

 

— Malcolm X

 

Volume I:

ACT I: The Political Economy of the Non-Profit Industrial Complex [https://bit.ly/2XkVrTR]

ACT II: The Inconvenient Truth Behind Youth Co-optation [https://bit.ly/2VibAYp]

ACT III: The Most Inconvenient Truth: “Capitalism is in Danger of Falling Apart” [https://bit.ly/2tBHp2B]

ACT IV: The House is On Fire! & the 100 Trillion Dollar Rescue [https://bit.ly/2TZyUKd]

ACT V: The Green New Deal is the Trojan Horse for the Financialization of Nature [https://bit.ly/2TZyOlP]

ACT VI: A Decade of Social Manipulation for the Corporate Capture of Nature [Crescendo] [https://bit.ly/2U7YBbx]

Addenda I: The Branding of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — By Any Means Necessary [https://bit.ly/2kpDDIv]

Volume I in book form: https://amzn.to/2kV6Jj9

Volume II:

An Object Lesson In Spectacle [An introduction to Volume II] [https://bit.ly/2kKLAZc]

ACT I: A Design to Win — A Multi-Billion Dollar Investment [https://bit.ly/2mjmYXF]

ACT II: Controlling the Narrative [https://bit.ly/2msdlpP]

ACT III: To Plunder What Little Remains: It’s Going To Be Tremendous [https://bit.ly/2m61flO]

ACT IV: They Mean Business [https://bit.ly/2mkPZSP]

ACT V: The Behavioural Change Project “To Change Everything” [https://bit.ly/2mr3pwL]

ACT VI: Natural Climate Manipulations [https://bit.ly/2MjT1zZ]

[ACT VII forthcoming]

 

 

[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.]

Green-smearing from Nicaragua to Bolivia

Tortilla con Sal

September 4, 2019

“Green-smearing from Nicaragua to Bolivia”

By Stephen Sefton

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

September 18, 2019

By Cory Morningstar

 

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

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

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

• A 100 Trillion Dollar Storytelling Campaign [A Short Story] [Oct 2 2019]

• The Global Climate Strikes: No, this was not co-optation. This was and is PR. A brief timeline [Oct 6 2019]

 

 

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

 

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

 

The Climate Group Launches We Mean Business & Climate Optimist 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

The Climate Optimist campaign created by The Climate Group

The Climate Optimist campaign created by The Climate Group

 

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

The Medium is the Message

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

Behavioural Change: “Together” and “Equality”

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

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

 

Kenn Orphan, March 2019

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

 

John Steppling, June 2019

+++

The Framing and Language Utilized to Create the Required Momentum

“To Change Everything We Need Everyone”

 

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

 

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

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

 

— Malcolm X, 1964

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

 

We cannot change everything – without everyone.”

 

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

 

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

 

— Greta Thunberg, May 23, 2019, Twitter

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

2019, 350.org: "We Need Everyone"

2019, 350.org: “We Need Everyone”

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From the report:

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Framing and Language Utilized to Create the Required Momentum

Together

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

Connect4Climate (World Bank): Changing Together

Connect4Climate (World Bank): Changing Together

 

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

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

 

2018, COP24, United Nations: "Changing Together"

2018, COP24, United Nations: “Changing Together”

 

The European Bank: "Changing Together"

The European Bank: “Changing Together”

 

September 20, 2019: The “Global General Strike”

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

 

— Malcolm X, 1964

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

[Source: 2018 Global Climate Action Summit Outcomes]

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Emerging from Emergency – Harnessing the Momentum

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

City of London website

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

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

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

+++

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

 

Black Power by Stokely Carmichael, 1966

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

End Notes

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

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

[3] INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS

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

 

The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg For Consent: 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

 

 

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

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

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

• A 100 Trillion Dollar Storytelling Campaign [A Short Story] [Oct 2 2019]

• The Global Climate Strikes: No, this was not co-optation. This was and is PR. A brief timeline [Oct 6 2019]

 

 

“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.]

                                                                Extinction Rebellion Training, or How to Control Radical Resistance from the ‘Obstructive Left’

                                                                May 6, 2019

                                                                By Cory Morningstar

                                                                 

                                                                 

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

                                                                – Jeremy Heimans, co-founder Purpose/Avaaz, B Team Expert

                                                                 

                                                                Above: XR local coordinator training document. Diagram: The “US” circle on the top signifies Extinction Rebellion. The middle circle identifies “mostly obstructive” political activists (“hard left”) that must be bypassed in order to reach the bottom circle. The bottom circle represents the non-political citizens, the target audience of XR.

                                                                Background

                                                                Extinction Rebellion (XR) officially launched on October 31, 2018. On November 2, 2018, a video was uploaded to the Extinction Rebellion YouTube account. The video documents the training session held by XR co-founder Roger Hallam: “This was filmed at the Extinction Rebellion Local Coordinator training in Bristol. Roger Hallam explains some the key dynamics of building a mass movement from the level of personal resilience to creating system change.”

                                                                Here, it is critical to remind oneself, that this is the XR mass organizing model for the mobilization of a global citizenry. Consider between the official launch on October 31, 2018, in the UK, to December 6, 2018, it grew to over 130 groups, across 22 countries. By January 29, 2019, the Extinction Rebellion groups spanned across 50 countries. On April 27, 2019 XR reported they were nearing 400 branches globally.

                                                                The global expansion is being led by Margaret Klein Salamon [Source], founder of The Climate Mobilization, who launched the Extinction Rebellion US Twitter account on October 31, 2018 – the same day as the launch of Extinction Rebellion in the UK. The Extinction Rebellion demands are not only complementary to The Climate Mobilization’s emergency strategy now in motion; they are a mirror image of it with the slogan, “Tell the Truth”. [Further reading: The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg – for Consent: The House is On Fire! & the 100 Trillion Dollar Rescue, ACT IV]

                                                                Training the XR Local Coordinators

                                                                Above: Extinction Rebellion co-founder Roger Hallam

                                                                During the training session, Hallam draws a chart with three circles. The small circle on the top signifies Extinction Rebellion – people that want to get things done. The middle circle is quickly identified as the contentious one. This circle identifies the “mostly obstructive”, highly political, a “hard left”, which must be bypassed in order to reach the bottom circle. The bottom circle, the largest in size, represents the non-political citizens, the target audience of XR: “The people who’re shitting themselves and want something to be done but aren’t highly political.” [Source: XR Local Coordinator Training]

                                                                Hallam:

                                                                “I’m just going to finish on something that’s a bit of a taboo subject, okay? But it’s another major issue you’re going to find when you organize, which is difficult, political people.

                                                                 

                                                                Okay, so I’m going to do a little chart here.

                                                                 

                                                                You usually find, like most of us people in this room, that are really political, but we’re really practical because we want to get some things done. Okay?

                                                                 

                                                                And then below us, in inverted commas, there’s another group of people that are really political and don’t want to get things done, because they’re so political. (lots of laughter). I will separate those people out in a minute.

                                                                 

                                                                And then below that, this is like a thousand times bigger, they really want to do something well there actually not political, you see what I mean.

                                                                 

                                                                These people really want to get things done. Then they go down here and try to involve these people, and these people basically grind it to death.”

                                                                Hallam speaks of the dangers posed by the “extreme hard left” viewpoints, “extreme intersectionalism” (“we need to be all perfect and that sort of stuff”), extreme desire for diversity, “extreme veganism”, etc. His examples are deliberately misleading and ridiculous. His mention of anarchism provokes more laughter.

                                                                Hallam concedes “and often they’re right” yet has zero interest in empowering this group to further empower the bottom “non-political” masses targeted by XR. Rather, his aim is to recruit the ones that can be persuaded into adopting pragmatism, while silencing those that refuse to conform.

                                                                In the Rebellion business, ethics isn’t a driving force, rather it is a detriment:

                                                                “Look, all the most effective movements have a central concept and that concept is balance. Balance the pragmatic need and the ethical imperative to change society versus the need to be eternally ethical.”

                                                                The message is clear – target the practical and pragmatic. Distance yourself from the self-centered “purists”.

                                                                “They’re [the 20%) not actually interested in political effectiveness. They’re interested in a political approach that makes them feel good.”

                                                                Although XR claims, “We are working to build a movement that is participatory, decentralised, and inclusive” – this runs in stark contrast to XR’s own conduct:

                                                                “The name of the game is to bypass these people, or at least recruit the little bit of them that get it … and go down here. And that’s how we’ve managed to mobilize thousands of people in three months. By having a public meeting. And if the public meeting is constructed around participative principles, you won’t have the SWP [Socialist Workers Party] guy standing up at the end. Everyone’s feeling good and he does a rant about how it has to be socialist, otherwise it’s rubbish. Which brings everybody down. It happens over and over again. And how we do that, we don’t have a Q & A. Q&A’s encourage nerdy people and absolutists, (laughter), we all know this, right? I mean you can have a Q&A if you’re super confident and you’re in a group of people that are generally like, in the real world, but if you have a public meeting 8o% of the people will be normal people, who are basically interested in the issue, and 20% of the people will be political absolutists. And they will there to appropriate your energy.”

                                                                And this ideology upheld by Hallam is the very foundational ideology being taught, encouraged and nurtured by Extinction Rebellion. Hallam: “This is how you mobilize lots of people.”

                                                                This , in essence, forms the key strategy of Extinction Rebellion. To isolate radical voices and to dominate the narrative. While targeting the non-practical and pragmatic. A narrative and an orchestrated campaign that serves the ruling class. To give a faux sense of inclusion, while mocking those who have, first and foremost, an allegiance to the Earth. Framing those who recognize that the very capitalist system destroying all life on our finite planet, will not and cannot be magically reformed to save us, as “political absolutists”. As Hallam effectively frames those identified in the middle circle as not “normal”, he seeks assurances from his students by ending sentences with a pleasant “yeah?” and “okay?”, at which point – largely due to the power of conformity in a group setting – they agree. Laughter ensues. There is no challenge to Hallam’s diatribe. The deliberate framing of those that do not conform as “obstructive” is effective social engineering.

                                                                Although Extinction Rebellion takes no position against capitalism, Hallam has no issue with taking a swipe at socialism. Using the Mondragon experiment in Spain as an example, Hallam explains that the central concept must be balance, “not socialism or anything”.

                                                                These are the main points captured by/for the XR Local Coordinators:

                                                                “They’re [the middle group] not interested in political effectiveness, they’re interested in things being perfect and good. This is not a personal judgment, but it won’t help.”

                                                                 

                                                                The majority, to be herded like cats (GCCA/TckTckTck – Global Call for Climate Action) are “[T]he people who’re shitting themselves and want something to be done but aren’t highly political.”

                                                                 

                                                                “Don’t have a Q & A. This allows the extreme people who want it to be one way to bring everyone else down.”

                                                                 

                                                                80% are normal people [and] 20% political absolutists. There to appropriate your energy.”

                                                                 

                                                                “It’s not about climate change information, it’s about the emotional way that we say it – needs to create that emotional response, personal reactions are incredibly powerful.”

                                                                For XR leadership, the enemy of Rebellion is not corporate dominance such as Unilever or Volans (as recently confirmed by XR Business). The enemy of Rebellion is not the capitalist economic system devouring everything in its path. The enemy of the Rebellion is the radical activist, prepared to defend the Earth “by any means necessary”.

                                                                 

                                                                Pacifism as Pathology

                                                                “In certain situations, preaching nonviolence can be a kind of violence. Also, it is the kind of terminology that dovetails beautifully with the ‘human rights’ discourse in which, from an exalted position of faux neutrality, politics, morality, and justice can be airbrushed out of the picture, all parties can be declared human rights offenders, and the status quo can be maintained.” —  Arundhati Roy, How to Think About Empire

                                                                Hallam recommends to his students that they study: “The Psychology of Persuasion“, “The Radical Think Tank” (“How to Win“), and “This is an Uprising” by Mark Engler (with glowing forewords by 350.org’s Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein).

                                                                Here, is another orchestrated and ongoing effort to further pacify the working class in servitude to the state. One would be wise to toss “This is an Uprising” and instead read “Bloodless Lies: Book Review of This is an Uprising” (November 7, 2016). This is an excellent example of what those enmeshed in the non-profit industrial complex do not want you to read.

                                                                Rather than educating citizens why it is paramount that we become revolutionaries in order to protect the last vestiges of the natural world, Hallam encourages his newly-minted coordinators to embrace the role of “generalists”. [XR Generalists: “run meetings, be good with people, know how society changes, etc.; Revolutionary theorists – hard work is already done!; Books to read – This is an Uprising (Mark Engler)”] [Source]

                                                                +++

                                                                The Elites in Service to Capital

                                                                As touched upon in the conclusion of the Manufacturing Greta Thunberg for Consent series, ACT VI, Extinction Rebellion ties to some of the world’s most powerful NGOs at the helm of the non-profit industrial complex (Avaaz, 350.org, Greenpeace et al.). A largely white-led movement serving white power.

                                                                XR co-founder Gail Bradbrook, is also highly influential with decade-long ties to the tech industry. In his workshop, Hallam chuckles when he laments, “Like Gail, she’s got these connections with the elites. She’s on the phone with George [Monbiot]”. Bradbrook’s “connections with the elites” is no exaggeration. Featured in “The Financial Times”, the prestigious publication writes of Bradbrook: “Clad in a crimson coat and matching hat as she dashes between fundraising discussions with a London hedge-fund owner and meetings to rally Extinction Rebellion volunteers…” Indeed, “activism” has never been so en vogue, and a £50,000 donation by a hedge-fund owner to Extinction Rebellion [Source], raises no eyebrows whatsoever. It is safe to say that the hallowed out remnants of Western environmentalism have reached a new stage of commodification and normalization of such. This is not rebellion. This is business. Of course Bradbrook is not the only elite at the helm.

                                                                Above: Farhana Yamin at the prestigious Extinction Rebellion headquarters [Photo: Vice]

                                                                Farhana Yamin is “one of the movement’s leading voices” in Extinction Rebellion (Financial Times). Yamin who “spent 27 years in UN climate negotiations” and “helped midwife the 2015 Paris Agreement to curb greenhouse gas emissions” serves as a board member/trustee to Greenpeace. [Source: The rise of Extinction Rebellion, The Financial Times, April 12, 2019]

                                                                “Yamin, the international lawyer, who is also a trustee of Greenpeace UK and will soon take up an advisory role at the World Wildlife Fund, wants to build a bridge with existing organisations to forge a much bigger “movement of movements”. “We need to tap into the new form of leadership that’s being asked of us now,” she says. [Source: “Extinction Rebellion, inside the new climate resistance”, The Financial Times, April 10, 2019]

                                                                Former Vogue “climate warrior” (2015), Yamin is the founder and CEO of Track 0: “Track 0 is an independent, not-for-profit organization serving as a hub to support all those transitioning to a clean, fair and bright future for future generations around the world compatible with the goals set out in the Paris Agreement. We convene leaders and provide strategic research, training, advice, communications and networking support to governments, businesses, investors, philanthropies, communities and campaigns run by civil society.”

                                                                Partners of Track 0 include GCCA (TckTckTck), CAN (Climate Action Network), Avaaz, ClimateWorks (The Climate Group, We Mean Business), The Rockefeller Foundation, E3G (founder of GCCA), The Prince of Wales Corporate Leaders Group, European Climate Foundation and Chatham House. [Full list]

                                                                Advisory members of Track 0 include Sharon Johnson, “CEO Havas Media Re:Purpose”. This is incredible yet not surprising as Havas created the 2009 TckTckTck campaign a decade ago. Other advisory members include Betsy Taylor (served on boards of One Sky which merged with 350.org, Ceres, The Climate Mobilization, etc.), and Bernice Lee, Director, Climate Change at World Economic Forum.

                                                                One can glance through the Track 0 “Individuals & Organizations on Track” section to understand who is considered “on track” for “net zero” by Yamin et al. Certainly not those obstructionists found in Hallam’s middle circle.

                                                                In addition to founding Track 0, Yamin is an associate fellow at Chatham House and a member of the Global Agenda Council on Climate Change at the World Economic Forum.

                                                                 

                                                                Above: Track 0, Twitter

                                                                Yamin served as an adviser to the European Commission on the emissions trading directive from 1998-2002, later serving as special adviser to Connie Hedegaard, EU Commissioner for Climate Action. “She is lead author of three assessment reports for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on adaptation and mitigation issues. She continues to provide legal, strategy and policy advice to NGOs, foundations and developing nations on international climate change negotiations under the UNFCCC.” [Source]

                                                                As discussed in “A Decade of Strategic and Methodical Social Engineering”, while the International Policies and Politics Initiative and GCCA controlled the “movement” at COP15,  the same forces also controlled the message via the Carbon Briefing Service (CBS). The news service was launched by Jennifer Morgan (WWF, WRI, Greenpeace,etc.) and Liz Gallagher (E3G) in late 2014 with additional funding by the ClimateWorks Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, the Oak Foundation, the Villum Foundation and Avaaz. [Source] Yamin was a participant of the invitation only group. [Source]

                                                                In 2015 Yamin attended a week-long retreat hosted by Avaaz. [Source]

                                                                Those who have read my past work as well as the Greta series, will know Greenpeace and World Wildlife Fund are both founders of GCCA (TckTckTck) – and are both at the helm of this faux movement. These NGOs and others at the helm of the non-profit industrial complex are tasked with creating another “Paris moment” momentum needed for the coming financialization of nature to be implemented in 2020 (#NewDealForNature) – as well as the unlocking of monies needed for the fourth industrial revolution (to save capitalism itself).

                                                                Above: Track 0, Twitter

                                                                Above: Avaaz endorsement by Christiana Figueres [Source: Avaaz website]

                                                                Above: Track 0 highlights, September 24, 2014

                                                                Here we witness the social-organizational psychology experts grooming tomorrows “new champions“, “global shapers” and “new power” “thought-leaders” as determined and ultimately dictated by the world’s most powerful elites. In the 21st century, psychology is not only an extremely important tool in influencing public opinion, it is now considered to be perhaps the single and most important tool. The necessity to comprehend the mental processes, desires and social patterns of the populace at large cannot be understated. Working in lock-step with controlled media and the best marketing executives foundation money can buy, today’s faux activists, thought-leaders and media lapdogs are the very mechanisms of modern-day perception.  – The Pygmalion Virus in Three Acts [2017 AVAAZ SERIES | PART II]

                                                                +++

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

                                                                +++

                                                                In 1966, Stokely Carmichael stated: “And that’s the real question facing the white activists today. Can they tear down the institutions that have put us all in the trick bag we’ve been into for the last hundreds of years?”

                                                                This is the real question facing legitimate activists today. Are we tearing down the institutions, or keeping them propped up? Extinction Rebellion has been tasked with the propping up of the very institutions we must dismantle. There is a reason manufactured “environmentalists” and celebrities are recognized as key influencers. It is a deliberate undertaking that Hallam recommends “Rules for Revolutionaries” (based on US Senator Bernie Sanders’s presidential run), rather than highlighting true revolutionaries such as Marilyn Buck, Malcolm X, or the land defenders on the frontlines today. The ones who often receive no press (until they are murdered). The ones that would belong to Hallam’s middle circle. It is a burying of radical political resistance. A reframing of resistance – into an obedient compliance. Note that Rules for Revolutionaries is written by Zach Exley, current advisor to US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. It is notable that praise for the book, from a bevy of authors includes Robert B. Reich, author of Saving Capitalism.

                                                                The influencers for the ruling classes are worth their weight in gold.

                                                                We Mean Business – Top Ten Climate Change Influencers, Twitter

                                                                British actress/celebrity Emma Thompson, Extinction Rebellion festivities, April 19, 2019

                                                                Emma Thompson for Global Optimist. The Climate Optimist campaign was launched in 2017 by The Climate Group in partnership with Futerra

                                                                Emotion – Not Information

                                                                Another critical imperative Hallam highlights for mass mobilization is “emotion – not information”. Hallam laments that the people who will lead the “rebellion” will be young people:

                                                                “The last thing to reiterate is the emotion – not the information … so the people that are going to lead this rebellion are going to be young people, 14 & 15 year olds …omg – a 14 year-old is in tears, right?, on television, about what’s happening…”

                                                                Thus, a key strategy for XR was (and continues to be) “How to engage with younger people – youth mobilisation, talks in schools/colleges, figuring out how to engage on ‘youth’ social media.” [Source]

                                                                We Mean Business is ecstatic over the climate strikes. As is Christiana Figueres.

                                                                Figueres, an anthropologist, economist and analyst having studied at London School of Economics and Georgetown University presided over the negotiations that led to the 2015 Paris Agreement. For this achievement Ms. Figueres has been recognized as “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.

                                                                Today, Figueres serves as vice-chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy; member of the board of directors of ClimateWorks; World Bank Climate Leader; B Team leader, leader of Mission2020 (“exponential transformation” focusing on six sectors that will play a key role in municipal governments and “Green New Deals”); and board member of the World Resources Institute.

                                                                Christiana Figueres (top right corner) podcast series: It’s Going To Be Tremendous

                                                                When the oppressor and the oppressed find themselves cheering as one, this is indeed “tremendous” for the elites. Yet, as the designs of the ruling elites take hold, which is already well under way, we will soon recognize that the citizenry themselves were grossly manipulated to usher in a nightmare that would only further their own demise.

                                                                [Further reading: So who exactly is Christiana Figueres?]

                                                                Above: The We Mean Business newsletter, April 30, 2019

                                                                April 30, 2019: “Welcome to the April edition of the We Mean Business coalition newsletter…Amid fresh waves of protests demanding accelerated climate action, more and more businesses and policy makers are stepping up and delivering the level of systemic change required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

                                                                We Mean Business – “a coalition of organizations working with thousands of the world’s most influential businesses and investors.” The founding partners of We Mean Business are: Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) (full membership and associate members list), CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), Ceres, The B Team, The Climate Group, The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) and World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

                                                                The Climate Group was incubated by Rockefeller Brothers Fund as an in-house project that later evolved into a free-standing institution.

                                                                Together, these groups represent the most powerful – and ruthless – corporations on the planet, salivating to unleash trillions of dollars for the fourth industrial revolution. This, coupled with the financialization of nature, will create new markets, reboot global economic growth, and most importantly, rescue the global economic capitalist system that is destroying our biosphere.

                                                                We Mean Business, February 20, 2019: “People are desperate for something to happen.” Twitter

                                                                Christiana Figueres, B Team Leader [Source]. The B Team is a founder of We Mean Business

                                                                Emotion To Mask Information: BioEnergy Carbon Capture Storage

                                                                “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

                                                                In the May 3, 2019 Extinction Rebellion newsletter (#20), the subject line reads “Parliament meets our first demand!” In the body of text: “There’s plenty of more obvious good news, though – most prominently Parliament’s declaration of climate and environment emergency.” What XR does not share with the public is that the UK CCC climate legislation was a victory for the carbon capture and storage (CCS) industry. In similar fashion to the financialization of nature, carbon capture legislation and projects are making huge strides behind closed doors – with zero opposition.

                                                                Global CCS Institute, May 2, 2019, Twitter:

                                                                “The Institute welcomes @theCCCuk report, which recommends that the UK commits to cutting its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to net-zero by 2050 and highlights the crucial role #carboncapture and storage needs to play to achieve this goal.  #NetZeroUK #climateaction”

                                                                A zero emissions industrial civilization is not possible. For the continuance of industrial civilization, CCS is a necessity.  This is the promise of unabated business as usual. The future of energy will be dominated by the burning of our remaining forests, coupled with CCS. Akin to the depleted uranium left for future generations to contend with, CCS will inject the increasing CO2 into the ravaged Earth. This is the gift to be left to Greta Thunberg and the youth she inspires.  A gift to span generations.

                                                                More than this, “net zero” does not mean zero emissions. And it never did. Yet another inconvenient truth is that ‘The terms ‘net zero emissions’ and ‘carbon neutrality’ are interchangeable. This is the beauty of language and framing.

                                                                “Carbon Neutral is a term used to describe the state of an entity (such as a company, service, product or event), where the carbon emissions caused by them have been balanced out by funding an equivalent amount of carbon savings elsewhere in the world.” Carbon neutrality is most often sought/achieved through carbon offsetting (purchasing offsets, trading and projects).

                                                                Question by Richard Branson’s The Elders NGO to Farhana Yamin (2014): How is carbon neutrality different to ‘net zero emissions’?

                                                                Answer by Yamin: “The terms ‘net zero emissions’ and ‘carbon neutrality’ are interchangeable.”

                                                                Q: Global News, Dec 3, 2018: What is net-zero emissions?

                                                                A: Catherine Abreau, executive director of the Climate Action Network: “In short, it means the amount of emissions being put into the atmosphere is equal to the amount being captured.”

                                                                Militarism – as one of the key drivers of climate change, ecological devastation, and death of millions, remains a non-issue. The global “green new deals” guarantee further imperialism and an escalation in wars. These realities have been deliberately and successfully removed from the conversation. They are buried in the 20% circle with the purists.

                                                                “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.” — March 14, 2019, Bioenergy and Carbon Capture and Storage, 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

                                                                Emotion to Mask Information: The Financialization of Nature

                                                                 

                                                                The next phase for the implementation of the financialization of nature commenced April 29, 2019 with the IPBES Global Assessment gathering (the IPCC for Biodiversity).

                                                                The “first global biodiversity assessment in 14 years”, will be released on May 6, 2019, with the expected “summary for policymakers” section. We can expect a top “scientific endorsement” for a full package of financialization of nature policy tools, including global metrics for valuation, commodification and offset schemes.

                                                                The five-day gathering was held last week at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, ending on May 4, 2019.

                                                                There were no protests.

                                                                Above: John Elkington: Co-founder of Volans, B Team expert (founded by Richard Branson, The B Team is a co-founder of We Mean Business), member of the WWF Council of Ambassadors, and Extinction Rebellion Business signatory (along with Gail Bradbrook, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion)

                                                                Together, these deals read like the biggest land grab since Britannia ruled the waves. This is the big deployment of measurement and financial instruments that the corporate sector, finance and ruling classes have developed. Every little bit of sequestration will be used to further satisfy natural capital ambitions under the guise of climate protection.

                                                                The public face of this grotesque undertaking are the campaigns “New Deal For Nature” and “Voice For The Planet”. These are being led by WWF – co-founder of GCCA. The NGOs comprising the GCCA have played the lead role in orchestrating the global mobilizations for climate change over the past decade, in full servitude to their funders.

                                                                The “Voice For the Planet” is especially egregious, as it is presented by the World Economic Forum “Global Shapers” youth group.

                                                                The gross exploitation of youth for capital expansion rivals only the gross exploitation of Indigenous peoples. The appropriation and utilization of Indigenous imagery to promote market solutions is long documented.

                                                                The world’s most powerful corporations and NGO partners appropriate Indigenous culture imagery for emotive branding as they unleash and uphold market “solutions” which further displace Indigenous peoples. They undermined the 2010 Indigenous led People’s Agreement and then buried it. They speak of Indigenous protection – while they actively promote “green” marketing schemes and “green new deals” that will further displace Indigenous peoples. That will further accelerate the ongoing genocide of Indigenous Peoples.

                                                                Promotional illustrations/video for Green New Deal by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis for support of the New Green Deal

                                                                +++

                                                                They exploit the global youth to steal the natural world the beneath their feet.

                                                                They exploit the love for nature – to further enslave nature.

                                                                As GCCA co-founder WWF aids and abets Indigenous displacement, beatings and deaths, under the guise of conservation, GCCA partners are silent. This is the normalizing of a continued colonization repackaged under the guise of conservation and “green”.

                                                                Industrial civilization – is the enemy of the natural world. We defend industrial civilization – or we defend the planet. This is the choice. The question is, which side are we on?

                                                                And the answer to that question is perhaps the most terrifying thing of all.

                                                                “No One Believed in Capitalist Schemes and Promises Any More” part of the new “Scenes from the Revolution” series. Acrylic on canvas, 30″x30″, Artist: Stephanie McMillan

                                                                 

                                                                 

                                                                [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.]

                                                                 

                                                                Further resources:

                                                                “Trees don’t grow on money – or why you don’t get to rebel against extinction”, by Tim Hayward

                                                                Climate Capitalists, by Winter Oak Press

                                                                “This Changes Nothing, The Paris Agreement to Ignore Reality”, by Clive Spash

                                                                Video: Selling Extinction, by Prolekult

                                                                Between the Devil and the Green New Deal

                                                                “New Power” – “The ability to harness the connected crowd to get what you want” – Jeremy Heimans, co-founder Purpose/Avaaz, B Team Expert

                                                                WATCH: Selling Extinction

                                                                WATCH: Selling Extinction

                                                                Prolekult Films

                                                                Published April 26, 2019

                                                                “Selling Extinction is a short introduction to the capitalist notion of a “Green New Deal”, the NGOs that support it and the recent Extinction Rebellion protests in London.” [Running time: 23:43]

                                                                 

                                                                [Prolekult is a Marxist film, writing and culture platform based in Birmingham, England. The project is presently run by James Bell (writing and narration) and Alex Bushell (editing and filming). The purpose of the project is to provide high-quality film content looking at world politics, culture and economics from a Marxist perspective. You can support them on Patreon and follow them on Twitter.]

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