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Neo-Liberalism and the Defanging of Feminism
Climate Hypocrisy

Climate Hypocrisy

September 29, 2019

By Jay Taber

 

 

Patterns of conformity in the behavior of youth–misled by pied pipers of the non-profit industrial complex–are easy to see when one removes the blinders of bliss. We’ve now seen three rounds of mass outpourings of manipulated kids, in synchronized colors, on tour buses provided by oil industry sponsors. Without the spectacle, selfies and free pizza, you’d hardly know what this nonsense was about. I mean, it’s not like first world kids burning petroleum to attend climate change festivals is going to alleviate the utter misery of globalized poverty required to make their lives easy as texting.

The third and fourth world societies–plundered for their high-tech minerals devoured by the first and second world–are simply expendable.

[Jay Thomas Taber is an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies, a correspondent to Forum for Global Exchange, and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal. Since 1994, he has served as communications director at Public Good Project, a volunteer network of researchers, analysts and journalists engaged in defending democracy. As a consultant, he has assisted indigenous peoples in the European Court of Human Rights and at the United Nations.]

Just Say No to Fake Action

Just Say No to Fake Action

Art for Culture Change

September 19, 2019

 

 

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 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]

 

 

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

 

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

 

The Climate Group Launches We Mean Business & Climate Optimist 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

The Climate Optimist campaign created by The Climate Group

The Climate Optimist campaign created by The Climate Group

 

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

The Medium is the Message

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

Behavioural Change: “Together” and “Equality”

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

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

 

Kenn Orphan, March 2019

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

 

John Steppling, June 2019

+++

The Framing and Language Utilized to Create the Required Momentum

“To Change Everything We Need Everyone”

 

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

 

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

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

 

— Malcolm X, 1964

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

 

We cannot change everything – without everyone.”

 

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

 

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

 

— Greta Thunberg, May 23, 2019, Twitter

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

2019, 350.org: "We Need Everyone"

2019, 350.org: “We Need Everyone”

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From the report:

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Framing and Language Utilized to Create the Required Momentum

Together

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

Connect4Climate (World Bank): Changing Together

Connect4Climate (World Bank): Changing Together

 

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

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

 

2018, COP24, United Nations: "Changing Together"

2018, COP24, United Nations: “Changing Together”

 

The European Bank: "Changing Together"

The European Bank: “Changing Together”

 

September 20, 2019: The “Global General Strike”

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

 

— Malcolm X, 1964

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

[Source: 2018 Global Climate Action Summit Outcomes]

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Emerging from Emergency – Harnessing the Momentum

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

City of London website

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

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

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

+++

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

 

Black Power by Stokely Carmichael, 1966

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

End Notes

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

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

[3] INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS

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

 

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

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

September 17, 2019

By Cory Morningstar

 

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

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

[Volume II: An Object Lesson In SpectacleACT IACT IIACT IIIACT IVACT V • 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]

 

 

We Mean Business

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

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

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

Above: The We Mean Business co-founders

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Above: Image from We Mean Business April 2019 edition newsletter

We Mean Business & Purpose Create the Climate Campaign Lab

 

 

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

We Mean Business Co-founder – The B Team

 

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

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

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

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

The B Team Leaders are as follows:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Above: Natural Capital Protocol partners

    Above: The Natural Capital Coalition

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

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

     

    Purpose

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    +++

    New Power

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

    “The future will be a battle over mobilization.”

     

    Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms, New Power

    Social Good

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

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

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

     

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

    The Climate Group

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

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

     

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

     

    Helen Clarkson, CEO of The Climate Group

     

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

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

     

    Climate Week 2017 Sponsors

    Business For Nature

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

     

    Business For Nature website

     

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

     

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

     

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

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

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

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

     

    Business For Nature website

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

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

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

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

     

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

     

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

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

    WWF – “Our Planet: Our Business”

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

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

    But this is not the whole truth.

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

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

    There is no plan to largely eliminate plastics.

    Lewis further assures us:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

    End Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

     

     

    The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg For Consent: 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

    “A Design to Win — A Multi-Billion Dollar Investment [VOLUME II, ACT I]”

     

    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]

     

     

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

     

    The Design To Win Report

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

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The Hewlett Foundation

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

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

     

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

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

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

     

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

    Kramer serves on the ClimateWorks board of directors.

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

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

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

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

    Design To Win: Carbon Capture and Storage

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

     

    June 12th, 2019, Clean Technica

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

     

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Carbon Capture & Storage = Enhanced Oil Recovery

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

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

     

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

    The Failure of Climate Philanthropy, December 11, 2018

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

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

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

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

    ECF Management & Supervisory Board

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

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

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

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

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

    Also serving the ECF supervisory board:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

              The ClimateWorks Leadership & Board

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

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

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

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

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

              [ClimateWorks Board of Directors]

              Green New Deal Cosponsors – No Dissent Against CCS

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

               

              Our Efforts, CAFT website

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

               

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

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

               

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

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

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

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

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

               

              Australian activist Michael Swifte

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

               

              — Hewlett Foundation, Climate Initiative strategy 2018-2023

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

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

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

               

              Imperialism and the Stupid Show, June 11, 2019

              The Global CCS Institute

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

               

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

               

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

               

              The Global CCS Institute website

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

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

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

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

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

              Global CCS Institute strategic partners include:

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

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

                                     

                                    — United States Energy Association Briefing, May 16, 2019

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

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

                                     

                                    The Global CCS Institute

                                     

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

                                     

                                    The Global CCS Institute [Emphasis added]

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

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

                                     

                                    The Global CCS Institute

                                     

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

                                     

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

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

                                    The Land is Sacred

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

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

                                     

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

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

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

                                     

                                    The Supply Chain of Violence, August 2019, Nature

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

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

                                    +++

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

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

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

                                     

                                    May 10, 2019 climate change video, BoschGlobal

                                     

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

                                     

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

                                    An Astronomical Injection of Money into Climate Messaging

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

                                     

                                    Oak Foundation website

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                  The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation

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

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

                                                                   

                                                                  Former US President Bill Clinton, 2006 [Source]

                                                                   

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

                                                                   

                                                                  Susan Mackenzie, Philanthropy UK, 2006

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

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

                                                                   

                                                                  — New York Times, November 13, 2006

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

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

                                                                  January 8, 2014

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

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

                                                                   

                                                                  The billion-dollar bankroller, October 1, 2018

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

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

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

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

                                                                   

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                   

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

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

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

                                                                   

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                  The CIFF Leadership

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

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

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

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

                                                                  [CIFF Board of Trustees and Executive Team]

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                  +++

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

                                                                   

                                                                  End Notes:

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

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

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

                                                                   

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

                                                                  [4] ClimateWorks regional partners:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                  [9]

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                  [15]

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

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

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

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

                                                                   

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

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

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

                                                                  The Art of Annihilation

                                                                  September 10, 2019

                                                                  By Cory Morningstar

                                                                   

                                                                  The 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]

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                  An object lesson in spectacle

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

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

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

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

                                                                  Common Dreams, February 21, 2019:

                                                                  Greta Thunberg, literally changing the world

                                                                   

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

                                                                   

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

                                                                   

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

                                                                  Reuters, February 21, 2019:

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

                                                                   

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

                                                                  CNBC, February 22, 2019:

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

                                                                   

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

                                                                  Global Citizen, February 22, 2019:

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

                                                                   

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

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

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

                                                                   

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

                                                                   

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

                                                                   

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

                                                                   

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

                                                                   

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

                                                                   

                                                                  +++

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                  Not so fast.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                  End Notes

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

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

                                                                  [3] InvestEU:

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                  Political Climate

                                                                  Deep City Chronicles

                                                                  July 17, 2019

                                                                   By Raul Diego

                                                                   

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

                                                                  The Vacuum

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

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

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

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

                                                                  This is Zero Hour – The Movie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                  The Real Cultural Appropriation

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

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

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

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

                                                                   

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                  Greta Climate Superstar

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                  The Wolves and the Fools

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

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

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

                                                                   

                                                                  [Raul Diego is the Founder & Editor of Deep City Chronicles, in pursuit of his passion as a writer, photojournalist and documentary filmmaker after too many years in the world of advertising and graphic design. You can follow Raul Diego on Twitter.]
                                                                  The Global Goals to Further Corporate Capture Presents: The United Nations Foundation Partnerships

                                                                  The Global Goals to Further Corporate Capture Presents: The United Nations Foundation Partnerships

                                                                  Wrong Kind of Green

                                                                  June 18, 2019

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                  “It’s about industrial transformation on a scale we’ve never seen before.” – Sharan Burrow, B Team, International Trade Union Confederation

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                  +++

                                                                  “For this reason, the UN Security Council must be abolished. Rather than fostering peace among nations, this body has promoted wars and invasions by imperial powers in their quest for the natural resources available in the invaded countries. Instead of a Security Council, today we have an insecurity council of imperial wars….

                                                                   

                                                                  The time has come for the nations of the South.

                                                                   

                                                                  In the past, we were colonized and enslaved. Our stolen labour built empires in the North.

                                                                   

                                                                  Today, with every step we take for our liberation, the empires grow decadent and begin to crumble.

                                                                   

                                                                  However, our liberation is not only the emancipation of the peoples of the South. Our liberation is also for the whole of humanity. We are not fighting to dominate anyone. We are fighting to ensure that no one becomes dominated.

                                                                   

                                                                  Only we can save the source of life and society: Mother Earth. Our planet is under a death threat from the greed of predatory and insane capitalism.”

                                                                  Evo Morales, President of Bolivia, gave this talk at the summit of the Group of 77 plus China, meeting in Santa Clara, Bolivia, on June 14, 2014.

                                                                  +++

                                                                   

                                                                  UNITED NATIONS FOUNDATION PARTNERS

                                                                  Disney
                                                                  Royal Dutch Shell
                                                                  The Nike Foundation
                                                                  Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
                                                                  Johnson & Johnson
                                                                  Vodafone Foundation
                                                                  Walgreens
                                                                  William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
                                                                  BNY Mellon
                                                                  Takeda Pharmaceutical Company
                                                                  Stephen Curry

                                                                  Below you will find a list of our larger financial partners since 2016.

                                                                  BILATERAL AND MULTILATERAL DONORS

                                                                  • Government of Australia
                                                                  • Government of Canada
                                                                  • Government of Denmark
                                                                  • Government of Finland
                                                                  • Government of Germany
                                                                  • Government of Norway
                                                                  • Government of Sweden
                                                                  • Government of the Netherlands
                                                                  • Government of the United Arab Emirates UAE + Sharjah Media Centre
                                                                  • Government of the United Kingdom
                                                                  • Government of the United States
                                                                  • The World Bank

                                                                   

                                                                  • FOUNDATIONS AND NON-PROFITS

                                                                    • Akila & S. Somesegar Family Foundation
                                                                    • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority
                                                                    • American Red Cross
                                                                    • Angélica Fuentes Foundation
                                                                    • Ariadne Getty Foundation
                                                                    • Barr Foundation
                                                                    • Benito & Frances C. Gaguine Foundation
                                                                    • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
                                                                    • Bloomberg Family Foundation
                                                                    • Boston Foundation
                                                                    • California Community Foundation
                                                                    • CARE International
                                                                    • Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
                                                                    • Children’s Investment Fund Foundation
                                                                    • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
                                                                    • ClimateWorks Foundation
                                                                    • Dalio Philanthropies
                                                                    • David & Lucile Packard Foundation
                                                                    • DOEN Foundation
                                                                    • Ed and Mary Schreck Foundation
                                                                    • Ford Foundation
                                                                    • Fuserna Foundation
                                                                    • GAVI
                                                                    • Hinduja Foundation
                                                                    • J.C.C. Fund
                                                                    • John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
                                                                    • Junior Chamber International
                                                                    • Kathryn B McQuade Foundation
                                                                    • Keisuke Honda
                                                                    • KR Foundation
                                                                    • Lear Family Foundation
                                                                    • Lions Club International Foundation
                                                                    • MAC Aids Fund
                                                                    • MCJ Amelior Foundation
                                                                    • Mickey Ross Endowment
                                                                    • Muirfield Foundation
                                                                    • National Philanthropic Trust
                                                                    • Naveen and Anu Jain Foundation
                                                                    • New Venture Fund
                                                                    • Nielsen Foundation
                                                                    • Osprey Foundation
                                                                    • Pivotal Ventures
                                                                    • Project Perpetual
                                                                    • Renaissance Charitable Foundation
                                                                    • Rexel Foundation
                                                                    • Rockefeller Brothers Fund
                                                                    • Rockefeller Foundation
                                                                    • SCA
                                                                    • Seton Hall University
                                                                    • Silicon Valley Community Foundation
                                                                    • Simon Estes Foundation
                                                                    • Skoll Foundation
                                                                    • Stephen and Ayesha Curry Family Foundation
                                                                    • Summit Foundation
                                                                    • Swedish Postcode Foundation
                                                                    • TE Connectivity Foundation
                                                                    • The United Methodist Church’s General Board of Global Ministries
                                                                    • Tides Foundation
                                                                    • Turner Foundation
                                                                    • Vergstiftelsen Foundation
                                                                    • Wallace Global Fund
                                                                    • Wellcome Trust
                                                                    • WestWind Foundation
                                                                    • William & Flora Hewlett Foundation
                                                                    • Women’s National Basketball Players Association Foundation
                                                                    • World Lung Foundation

                                                                  • CORPORATIONS

                                                                    • Abraaj Group
                                                                    • Al Ansari Exchange LLC
                                                                    • Al-Dabbagh Group
                                                                    • Alibaba Group
                                                                    • Amazon Web Services
                                                                    • American Institute of Architects
                                                                    • AOL Charitable Foundation
                                                                    • Aptive
                                                                    • Astellas USA Foundation
                                                                    • Aviva
                                                                    • Bank of America
                                                                    • Barclays
                                                                    • Beach House Group
                                                                    • Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD)
                                                                    • Bioré
                                                                    • Blackbaud
                                                                    • BNY Mellon
                                                                    • Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS)
                                                                    • Caterpillar Foundation
                                                                    • Cemex
                                                                    • Chevron
                                                                    • Dell
                                                                    • Diamonds Unleashed
                                                                    • Dietel Partners
                                                                    • Dogan Holdings
                                                                    • Edelman Public Relations
                                                                    • Eli Lilly
                                                                    • Ericsson
                                                                    • Essity
                                                                    • Exxon Mobil Foundation
                                                                    • Fabletics
                                                                    • Gap Inc.
                                                                    • Goldman Sachs
                                                                    • Google
                                                                    • Grundfos
                                                                    • GSK
                                                                    • GSMA
                                                                    • Guggenheim Partners
                                                                    • H&M
                                                                    • IFC Asset Management Company
                                                                    • Inmarsat Global Limited
                                                                    • Investec
                                                                    • Johnson & Johnson
                                                                    • JP Morgan
                                                                    • Kaiser Permanente
                                                                    • Kenneth Cole Productions
                                                                    • Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base
                                                                    • Lululemon
                                                                    • Mac AIDS Fund
                                                                    • MAM USA Corporation
                                                                    • Manitou Group
                                                                    • Mann Global Health
                                                                    • Mars, Incorporated
                                                                    • Mashable
                                                                    • Mastercard
                                                                    • McKinsey & Co.
                                                                    • Merck & Co.
                                                                    • MetLife
                                                                    • MixLids
                                                                    • MMG Limited
                                                                    • Morgan Stanley Global Impact Funding (GIFT)
                                                                    • Nestlé
                                                                    • Newman’s Own Foundation
                                                                    • Nike Foundation
                                                                    • Nike, Inc.
                                                                    • Oath
                                                                    • Olam International
                                                                    • Ooredoo
                                                                    • Parachute
                                                                    • Pearson Education Inc.
                                                                    • Pfizer Inc.
                                                                    • Philips
                                                                    • Porter Novelli
                                                                    • Proctor & Gamble
                                                                    • PwC
                                                                    • Q22
                                                                    • Qualcomm
                                                                    • Royal Dutch Shell
                                                                    • Safaricom
                                                                    • Samsung
                                                                    • SAP Public Services
                                                                    • Sumitomo Chemical
                                                                    • Swarovski
                                                                    • Takeda Pharmaceutical Company
                                                                    • Target
                                                                    • TE Connectivity (TE Foundation)
                                                                    • Temasek
                                                                    • Terminix
                                                                    • The Coca-Cola Company
                                                                    • The Kellogg Company
                                                                    • The Walt Disney Company
                                                                    • Unilever
                                                                    • United States Liability Insurance Corporation
                                                                    • UPS Foundation
                                                                    • Vestergaard
                                                                    • Viacom
                                                                    • Vodafone Americas Foundation
                                                                    • Walgreens Boots Alliance
                                                                    • White & Case LLP
                                                                    • WME
                                                                    • Yara International
                                                                    • Zhong Yi Corporation
                                                                  The New Suits of Capitalist Developmentalism: The New Green Period of Capitalism and its Ecological and Citizen Avant-garde

                                                                  The New Suits of Capitalist Developmentalism: The New Green Period of Capitalism and its Ecological and Citizen Avant-garde

                                                                  Kaosenlared

                                                                  May 21, 2019

                                                                  By Miquel Amorós

                                                                   

                                                                  [*Translated from Spanish to English via DeepL translator – Original version in Spanish here.]

                                                                   

                                                                  The new green period of capitalism and its ecological and citizen avant-garde.

                                                                  10 Eco-Friendly Luxury Fashion Brands – Armani [Source]


                                                                  The capitalist world is debating in an unprecedented ecological crisis that threatens its continuity as a system based on the pursuit of private profit. From the pollution of air, water and soil to the accumulation of waste and rubbish; from the depletion of natural resources to the extinction of species; from the urbanizing tide to climate change; it seems that a sword of Damocles hangs over the market society. Leaders from all spheres of activity are concerned about unstoppable environmental degradation, including a reorganization of production and consumption according to inevitable ecological imperatives. Many people are convinced that the capitalist system of exploitation cannot be maintained in any other way. The contradiction between growth (the accumulation of capital) and its destructive effects (the ecological disaster), will have to be overcome with a compromise between industry and nature, or better between their respective spectacular representation: on the one hand, the high executives and on the other, the patented ecologists. We are entering a new period of capitalism, the “green” stage, where new gadgets and technological systems – “renewable” energy plants, electric cars, GMOs, big data, 5G networks, etc. – will try to harmonize economic development with the territory and the resources it contains, thus facilitating “sustainable” growth and making the current, motorized and consumerist way of life compatible with the natural environment, or better yet, with what remains of it.

                                                                  Xiuhtezcatl Martinez – Barneys The Window. Photographed by Roe Ethridge / Styled by Brian Molloy / BOGLIOLI K2 Wool Hopsack Two-Button Suit / COMME DES GARÇONS PLAY Men’s Chuck Taylor 1970’s High-Top Sneakers [Source: Barneys New York]

                                                                  The “energy transition” is but one aspect of the “economic transition” towards ecocapitalism, which, starting from the wild (neoliberal) incorporation of nature into the market, now reaches a phase where mercantilization will be regulated by corporate and state mechanisms. It is an industrial, financial and political operation of great importance that is going to change everything so that nothing changes, so that everything remains the same.The new technologies introduced after 1945, in the postwar period, (manufacture of cements, fertilizers, additives and detergents, more powerful engines, additives, thermal power stations, “atoms for peace”, etc.) were the factors that triggered the plundering of resources, the emission of pollutants and metropolitanization, exponentially increasing the power of transnational corporations. The economic growth became a destructive element of first order, but also, in the major cause of social stabilization, of a much greater efficiency than the unions or the workers parties. Consequently, developmentalism came to shape the policies of all kinds of governments. Employment was the worker’s only means of gaining the status of consumer, motorist and inhabitant of the periphery, so that the creation of jobs then became the primary objective of the “political class”, both right-wing and left-wing. The immediate interests of the wage-earning masses integrated in the market were aligned with those of the businessmen and the parties, to the point of firmly opposing any ecological corrective that endangered growth and, consequently, jobs. Ultimately, “dying of cancer is preferable to dying of starvation,” as some said. Unfortunately, workers have been strong supporters of business continuity, urbanization and parliamentarism, not caring about the negative impact this could have on their environment, their freedom or their lives. That is why the ecological conscience has crystallized almost exclusively in sectors that are inactive or almost so, such as academics, neo-rurals, precarious, students or pensioners. The fight against noxiousness has before it a social barrier that is difficult to overcome as long as the defence of the workplace is a priority for the majority of the population; if the contradiction is not overcome, the defence of the institutions will take precedence over the defence of the territory and the autonomy of the struggles.It is up to the state to channel the protests, encourage the formation of a pragmatic ecological elite and pave the way for the new green capitalism, if necessary by promulgating a “climate alarm state”.

                                                                  Faced with a politically and socially blocked situation, the international ruling class takes the initiative by trying to direct the long march of the techno-industrial economy towards profitable “sustainability” for its own benefit and without real opposition, either by eliminating old jobs, or by creating new ones. The destruction continues and even increases, but it is certainly about saving capitalism, not the planet. Extractive ecology produces profits even in the short term; however, markets are not strong enough to initiate a process of “green” reconversion, nor are technological innovations alone, in view of which the first steps depend largely on the State. It is up to the state to channel the protests, encourage the formation of a pragmatic ecological elite and pave the way for the new green capitalism, if necessary by promulgating a “climate alarm state”. As a result, the ecological crisis – which today is presented as a climate issue – becomes trivially political. Meanwhile, the environmental movement is infiltrated by agents of the multinationals and bought with funds of various origins, resulting in a political network of influences at the service of a new kind of capitalism. The same thing happened with the NGOs. At that moment, the purge of extremisms is necessary for the transformation of the green party of decomposition into an instrument of the dominant order. The message of moderation obedient to the little belligerent slogans would not reach the manipulable masses if the anti-system “fundamentalists” were not isolated as soon as possible, or as the informal hierarchies of ecologism-spectacle say, “bridged”.

                                                                  Targeted demographics – Promotional illustrations/video for Green New Deal

                                                                  The movement against climate change has given rise to a registered “brand”, Extinction/Rebellion, which covers the environmentalist flank of left-wing citizenry, giving it arguments in favour of state mediation of the crisis. Those who appeal to the state certainly cannot be branded as “radicals,” since while they are against “extinction,” they are not against capital. Nor against any concrete responsible; one of its principles reads as follows: “we avoid accusing and pointing at people, because we live in a toxic system”. No concrete individual (no leader) can be considered guilty of anything. For a climbing mentality, not all leaders, not all capitalists, are equal, and ecological reforms can even be beneficial to the majority. They are potential allies and benefactors. Thus, the declared objectives of eco-citizenship do not go that way. They limit themselves to pressuring governments to force them to “tell the truth to the citizens”, to take “decarbonizing” measures foreseen in the “energy transition” and to decree the creation of “supervising citizen assemblies”, true political springboards for the arrivists. Their weapon: the non-violent mobilization of 3.5% of the “citizens”. No revolutions, because they imply violence and do not respect “democracy”, that is, the system of parties and ranks. They do not want to put an end to the capitalist regime, they want to transform it, making it “circular” and “carbon neutral”. We will not overlook the fact that the majority of waste is irrecyclable and that the production of “clean” energies implies the consumption of enormous quantities of fossil fuels. The professionals of citizen ecology do not want to destroy the State either, the great tree under whose shadow their personal careers thrive and their placement strategies work. The ecological crisis is reduced by this captive ecologism to a political problem that can be solved by the heights thanks to a Roosevelt-style Green New Deal: a new pact for the global economy between the world’s ruling class, the political bureaucracy and its environmental advisors that imposes measures for the reduction of polluting emissions and the storage of atmospheric carbon dioxide that the multiple conferences on climate change have failed to impose. Something extremely suspicious, like everything that comes from the system. The “dual” citizen strategies are “symbiotic”, not ruptured. Ecosystems would be restored by harmonizing conflicting interests from within. Duality consists precisely in collaborating (acting in symbiosis) with the institutions on the one hand, and mobilizing the catastrophe-sensitive masses on the other. However, the mobilizations are nothing more than a spectacular display of purely symbolic support. They do not aspire to much, as they do not question the status quo, not saying a word about the symbiosis of governments to those who are pressured by markets, growth or globalisation.

                                                                  It has been proven that since the Johannesburg summit in 2002, if not before, the capitalist world is aware that its uncontrolled functioning produces such a level of destruction that it is in danger of collapsing. It is more than evident that despite the resistance to regulation by countries whose stability and influence depend on hard extractivism or unhindered development, capitalism as a whole has entered a green developmental phase and is trying to establish controls (Agenda 21, creation of the Green Climate Fund, fifth IPCC report, Paris Agreement, the 24 different COPs). This explains the epidemic of realism and opportunism that has taken over the ecological media “in action” to the point of provoking an avalanche of demands for employment in the political-administrative field. The militants do not want to close their doors, especially when there is a good remuneration, so that all the ideals are kept in their pockets. In truth, it is not only the capitalists who would benefit from a state of alarm. The new subsidized ecologism follows in the wake of “green” developmentism based on “renewable” industrial energies, and sustains the alarmist leaders of capitalism against the negationists. All their efforts are devoted to adjusting the industrial and consumerist way of life with the preservation of the natural environment, despite the fact that the results have not been flattering until today: greenhouse gas emissions, far from being reduced as established by international agreements, have reached record figures. With the optimism of a newly enlightened novice, they want economic growth, necessary for the survival of capitalism, and the territory, necessary for the conservation of biodiversity, at least in appearance, to be marvelous, no matter how much the global temperature continues to rise and the climate is degrading. Incomparable advantages of the symbiotic method and the reformist narrative!


                                                                  Pentagon Fuel Use, Climate Change, and the Costs of War, Neta C. Crawford, Boston University, June 12, 2019

                                                                  Those responsible for global warming and pollution, and those responsible for precariousness and exclusion are the same, but those who fight them are often not. They are two battlefields, the one of imbalance and the one of inequality, which do not finish converging and not because a cohort of vocational bureaucrats appears under the stones, trying to carve out a future for themselves by acting as an intermediary. Aspiring leaders have their days numbered because ordinary people lose their meekness when their means of subsistence are affected and they no longer allow themselves to be domesticated with the ease of days of abundance in less aggressive climates. The weakness of world-capital lies not in the climate, not even in health, but in supplies. The day when the techno-industrial system – either from the markets, or from the State – stops satisfying the needs of a large part of the population, or in other words, when due to the climate or any other factor the supply fails, the era of insurrections will come. A failed system that hinders the mobility of its subjects and puts them in immediate danger of starvation is a corpse system. It is probable that in the heat of the protest, community structures will be recomposed, fundamental to ensure the autonomy of the revolts. If civil society succeeds in organizing itself on the margins of institutions and bureaucracies, then ecological struggles will converge with wage struggles, as reflected in the praxis of a unified social conscience. And that slogan heard in the French rebellion of the “yellow vests”: “end of the month, end of the world” will reveal all its meaning.

                                                                  Miguel Amorós


                                                                  Talks on 12 May 2019 at the book exchange fair in L’Orxa (Alicante) and on 18 May at the Biblioteca Social El Rebrot Bord, Albaida (Valencia).

                                                                  A New Volkisch Mythos

                                                                  A New Volkisch Mythos

                                                                  Counterpunch

                                                                  May 23, 2019

                                                                  By John Steppling

                                                                  A New Volkisch Mythos

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                  Greta is able to see what other people cannot see.  She can see carbon dioxide with the naked eye. She sees how it flows out of chimneys and and changes the atmosphere in a landfill.

                                                                  — Malena Ernman, Scenes from the heart. Our life for the climate (mother of Greta Thunberg),May 3, 2019 

                                                                   

                                                                  If you want to be more ecologically minded, good for you. But don’t be under the bizarre American illusion that your individual action is a substitute for collective action, for systemic change.

                                                                  — Umair Haque, Medium, May 2019

                                                                   

                                                                  “Capitalism is in danger of falling apart.”

                                                                  – Al Gore

                                                                   

                                                                  A psychotic world we live in. The madmen are in power. How long have we known this?

                                                                  — Phillip K. Dick, Man in the High Castle, January 24, 2012

                                                                   

                                                                  There is a clear problem with most environmental discussions or debates. The problem is, in short form, a lack of class analysis.

                                                                  This is most evident in the manufacturing of the overpopulation argument. But it is prevalent in nearly all discussions about global warming or rising sea levels or most anything relating to planetary ecology, really.

                                                                  What is bothersome here is that the voices I am hearing warning of mankind’s immanent demise are mostly ruling class voices.

                                                                  Richard Leakey says:

                                                                  I am increasingly convinced that in the tropics, and particularly in the poorer nations, protecting nature everywhere is an effort with diminishing returns. I believe that protected areas (that is areas of land set aside by governments and governed by national statutes) such as national parks and national forests are the best targets if nature is to be protected.

                                                                  So give up on the poor, can’t save them.

                                                                  And Leakey goes on:

                                                                  Whilst state-owned wildlife land, designated as national parks, is vital, in some countries private land may also be secured by state laws that allow for private ownership of title. Thus an individual can use such land for wildlife and nature protection for the duration of the term of the title and this can be equally as secure as a national park.

                                                                  Okay, so create spaces for the rich to be safe from the restive natives.

                                                                  And finally Leakey writes:

                                                                  Not all countries have constitutional provision for private ownership of land, and instead occupancy and land use are regulated by lease hold. In respect to conservation, this is certainly a better option than group-owned or community-owned land where in time wildlife could be untenable given governance arrangements on community-owned assets.

                                                                  As a general trend what I am hearing is the validation of what amounts to royalist wisdom and the dangers of community control of anything. The message is ‘we can’t risk it, the danger is so extreme that the practical solution is to allow the elite class to control the planet in order to save it.’ The elites and/or corporate control. All the so-called New Green Deal solutions are there, it seems, to save capitalism before saving the planet.

                                                                  Now, one of the curious contradictions in the climate discourse is the selective trust in certain institutions. The western based (and funded) NGOs have a pretty long track record now of craven support for U.S. government foreign policy decisions. Take Amnesty International’s (AI) recent comments on Venezuela.

                                                                  Chuck Kauffman from Alliance for Global Justice observed vis a vis AI’s near fascistic litany of lies: “They don’t seem to even care about their credibility anymore.” The open naked Imperialist aggression against Venezuela, and the attendant propaganda slandering Maduro, is now a staple of all the candidates for the Democratic Party. And, Amnesty is also co founder of Global Campaign for Climate Action…a group that also receives monies from the Pew trust, the creepy AVAAZ, the World Wildlife Fund, and Union of Concerned Scientists. Now, just a quick word on the UCS. On the board sits William K. Reilly, former appointee by George Bush to head the environmental protection agency. There are also members that sit on the Council for Foreign Relations, a nuclear scientist who writes on security issues, a lawyer for the US Dept. of Energy.

                                                                  And yet, many people rightly concerned about global pollution and over industrialization seem to have no problem accepting the word of these same western backed NGOs when it comes to issues of ecology. They know Amnesty lies, but if the topic is climate change, they leap onboard. Clive Splash (He currently holds the Chair of Public Policy and Governance at Vienna University of Economics and Business, appointed in 2010. He is also Editor-in-Chief of the academic journal Environmental Values) writes:

                                                                  The existing institutions of modern economies are those supporting economic growth. The growth priority has been made clear by the over 3500 economists supporting a climate tax and opposing structural change. Similarly, Lord Stern is the academic figure head of the New Climate Economy, a concept created by members of the Davos elite, with its ‘Better Growth, Better Climate’ reports. Their explicitly stated concern is that: “In the long term, if climate change is not tackled, growth itself will be at risk.” Change is coming and the corporations and billionaires are fully aware of this. They have been actively lobbying on climate and environment since Johannesburg (Earth Summit 2002) and were a dominant force at Paris. They have also long been seeking to control the environmental movement for their own ends.

                                                                  Again, we hear that echo of the ruling class (Lord ….LORD Stern?!) and the anti communist agenda at work here. Leave it to the elite class, the captains of Capital, to decide policy. And the first order of business is to save capitalism and that means to save growth. The poor are there to be slaves, not to decide policy. What one sees in Extinction Rebellion and in the Greta Thunberg brand is described pithily by Clive Splash…”When hegemonic power is threatened it captures the movement leaders and neutralises them by bringing them into the power circles and takes the initiative away from radical revolutionary change.”

                                                                  One of the refrains I have heard (and have had directed at me) is, well, we can’t wait for socialism. This is a natural response from a very frightened populace. And it is exactly this response that the ruling class counts on. The infiltration of radical movements has a long sordid history. Ask the Black Panthers. Today the very real threats and dangers of global warming and over-industrialization are being funneled into places that shift the blame from the ruling two or three percent and onto its victims. This is, of course, exactly what the overpopulation alarm does. I see headlines such as *Humans Plunder the Planet* but not *Ruling Class Plundering Humanity AND the Planet*. I see books such as Climategeddon — amusingly penned by a former author of diet self help books and…wait for it….a high ranking Scientologist. But I have had people quote Wollersheim to me. Next stop the Sea Org.

                                                                  More trenchant was this week’s bit of Imperialist green concern from war friendly candidate Elizabeth Warren, who expressed worry that global warming might effect the readiness of America’s military. (death of irony moment?) On twitter Club de Cordeliers noted…

                                                                  Under Warren’s proposal, each murdered child will be stamped with the slogan: This Killing Achieved with Net Zero Carbon Emissions.

                                                                  That the U.S. military is the greatest consumer of petroleum products worldwide seems beside the point. Or, let’s return briefly to Greta Thunberg — who can probably just be referred to as *Greta* these days without risk of confusion. She held up a cute homemade sign for a selfie …tweeting it to jillions of followers. The sign read ‘Let Russia Strike for Climate’. Apparently the *Greta* is getting good advice from Hillary Clinton or Bolton or Elliot Abrams, someone — who knows. She is certainly to be considered *NATO friendly* at this point. The visibility that Elizabeth Warren commands, and that which Greta commands now, too, is an indication that one should be highly credulous. The giant electronic telecom giants and the mainstream electronic media, social media, TV, all of it is in the hands of a relatively few people. These narratives, all of them, are vetted for ideological compliance with corporatism, Imperialism, and a de-facto racism or better put, white supremacy. Visibility is earned, and it’s not arbitrary. And if a *Greta* suddenly appears, rest assured she has handlers. I mean, it’s simply a given, and there are no exceptions.

                                                                  So there are several problems looming that tangentially connect to overpopulation alarms. One of them is a recolonizing of Africa (and the recolonizing of former communist countries continues apace, as well). But here Africa, in particular, is viewed as a huge resource for raw materials sought after in the West. The re-colonizing takes several forms but here is a typical example.

                                                                  As Cory Morningstar observed vis a vis this …“Can you imagine @WWF promoting the sterilization of women living around national parks in Europe or the US? The fact they consider it acceptable in India and Africa is racism, pure and simple.”

                                                                  The white west (and Bill and Melinda Gates leading the charge) are rather unapologetically determined to stop the global south from reproducing. Sterilization and vasectomy suggestions (voluntary, of course) are to be found in countless U.N. sponsored (and USAID sponsored) pamphlets and directives for missions in Africa.

                                                                  The new alarmist propaganda tends toward sensationalizing what are a few basic truths, sometimes half truths, and building a sort of screenplay to a disaster movie out of these. The influence of Hollywood apocalyptic film and TV cannot be over-emphasized, actually. For those films are both unconscious projections of the ruling class, and the audience embrace of this stuff speaks to unconscious fears as well. The elite producers of this crap fear the marauding masses (zombies) and the bourgeois audience fear black sites and Bloody Gina’s reprisals if they stray too far off message (like voting for a third party). A good deal of the new environmental panic is not based on the actual (and I hasten to emphasize real) problems and crises, but are more the conditioned response from audiences trained for thirty years, at least, to kitsch media entertainments. People see life unfold like an action movie. Sea levels can’t just rise and destroy infrastructure and crops, wash away beach front property, no, they have to completely submerge Baltimore, Oslo, and London. The sum effect of this is actually to have the real and severe problems in retreat.

                                                                  Watch Madonna’s Eurovision performance (in Israel where she was never not going to perform), with lyrics like “not everyone is coming to the future, not everyone is gonna last.”

                                                                  There is now coming out of Hollywood a near endless stream of dystopian ‘end of times’ films, which (as I have noted before) are reconstruction fables as well. But now the end of times includes the rehabilitation of Big Brother. The state emerges as a sort of necessary mechanism for culling the herd. Madonna was also sporting blond plaited hair and an eye patch. So maybe it’s just me but this new volkish imagery is growing and being used in ways that familiarize the public with fascist motifs.

                                                                  Thus, when we are talking about “völkisch” or “Überfremdung,” we are automatically producing images that are inevitably linked to a fascist past. “Überfremdung” describes the fear of being flooded with foreigners, a foreign infiltration. The Duden dictionary explained the term in 1934 as “the intrusion of alien races.” ( ) What is concerning about these “poor words” in the first place is the imagery inherent to them, one that conveys fascism without speaking it. Such words are racist in establishing a hierarchy of ethnicity and, in that way, they have the potential to createm or exacerbate, false divisions between and within societies. The word “völkisch” creates a sense of belonging, an imaginal feature to help distinguish between the in-group and the out-group. The word “Überfremdung” works similarly by implying that there is an abundance of strangers invading the ‘German race.’ What seems to have changed, however, is the definition of the out-group or the enemy. Promoted by PEGIDA and the AfD, the new threat are Muslim immigrants and the idea of the “Islamization” of the Western culture. Thus, this becomes a powerful example for the political myth of the clash of civilizations between Islam and the West.

                                                                  — Alexa Lenz, Public Seminar, July 14, 2017

                                                                   

                                                                  The ideological road to National Socialism was paved not by Nietzschean self-awareness and self-overcoming, but by völkisch self-congratulation.

                                                                  Roderick Stackelberg, Idealism Debased: From Volkisch Ideology to National Socialism, March 1, 1981

                                                                  The first volley in the reclamation of volkish language was Bush’s use of the word “Homeland” when he created a new security service. Quite a few people noticed the connection to the German word Heimat. The far right parties in Europe now appropriate a good deal of Nazi symbology, while the even more virulent racism of a Macron (or Sarkozy) is ignored. PEGIDA and the AfD, in Germany, are really pretty much openly using Nazi rhetoric and symbol (both of which are technically against the law).

                                                                  Cassirer (1973) analyzed three potential techniques that enabled the myth of Nazism: the magical use of words, the use of rituals and, finally, the recourse to prophecy. Nazi politicians managed to charge words with feelings and violent passions, therefore transforming their semantic meaning to convey magical imagery.

                                                                  —Alexa Lenz, (Ibid.)

                                                                  I will only add here, as a sort of thought experiment, that one compare the TIME magazine cover of Greta, with the photos in, what Remco Ensel, in an excellent monograph on the Dutch “Heimat” portrait photography called *Dutch Face-ism”, an expression of Völkisch Nationalism circa WW2 and tell me there is no equivalence. (or the VICE lead photo, or even Greta’s facebook portrait).

                                                                  Now I know there are many people who will perceive this as an attack on Greta. It’s not. I am certain this young woman has almost zero awareness of any of the implications of her exploitation. And remember, too, that one of the most common rhetorical tactics of fascist apologetics (pretending to be liberal) is to re-state your argument incorrectly and then to respond to their manufactured distortion. It’s a version of straw man arguing. Couple this with the convenient appellation *denier*. If you say, wait, there were no rape camps in Serbia. You are immediately labeled a denier. It matters not at all that you would be correct in saying this. The corporate ruling class take-over of many green movements has a sum effect of reducing rights. For that is the logic of fascism. Remove rights but create space for the self expression of resentments. Property rights will remain untouched.

                                                                  The opportunistic proprietor class capitalist sees enormous profit in Green endeavours now. Just as Mike Pompeo sees melting arctic ice as an “opportunity”. Never underestimate the capacity for brutish insensitivity in the lower functioning humanoids that serve as representatives of the ruling elite. It is bottomless, in fact. Bolton, Pompeo, Abrams, Kushner, Biden…this is the Troglodyte political class.

                                                                  Brian Davey wrote about Thunberg, vis a vis her appearance in Katowice at a climate gathering:

                                                                  What’s more it is richest 5% of the planet that consume 50% of planetary carbon – so the very people who are promoting this campaign must cut back the most. Instead they want to expand the economy. But how is this to be made compatible with reducing carbon emissions?

                                                                   

                                                                  It isn’t – but a careful looks at the language of nature financialisation refers to carbon neutrality, not zero carbon. This is “convenient language when one of the main pillars of the business model is the sale of carbon offsets – rationalizing a continuance of the same carbon based lifestyle by constructing a faux fantasy one, that anyone with monetary wealth, can buy into.

                                                                  — Brian Davey, Credo; Economic Beliefs in a World in Crises, January 2015

                                                                  This is a bit like buying indulgences in the Medieval Catholic Church. So perhaps what is needed is a Martin Luther of environmentalism.

                                                                  The ruling class and its marketing apparatus recognized early on that Green language would serve as cover while they re-tooled their industries. Green took on those magical connotations. Cut to Greta’s mother explaining that her daughter was *different*; i.e. magical. She could *see* carbon dioxide. Trust me there will be green Angels, soon, helping further carbon neutrality.

                                                                  But there is another issue cutting across much of this, and that is a strange new war on children (and on motherhood in the global south, and black mothers in the U.S.). Although *new* is the wrong word. Whether by design of just as a natural tendency in the residual Puritans of America, the media message has been of late to normalize cruelty to children. From tearing babies from the arms of immigrant mothers and dropping them into cages, or the arrest of suspension of due process in Israeli arrests of children and youth, to the spike in jail time for minors across the U.S. In the 1990s, incarceration of minors rose 311 %.

                                                                  Across the United States, thousands of children have been sentenced as adults and sent to adult prisons. Children as young as eight have been prosecuted as adults { } Some 10,000 children are housed in adult jails and prisons on any given day in America. Children are five times more likely to be sexually assaulted in adult prisons than in juvenile facilities and face increased risk of suicide.

                                                                  —Equal Justice Initative, Children in Prison 2018

                                                                  The rates for youth have declined slightly over the last few years but mostly due to teenagers aging out of the statistics. That ANY child was ever tried as an adult is all by itself a horror. In the U.S. infants born to black mothers die at twice the rate of those born to white mothers. Poverty is the obvious first reason, but structural racism…the stress of increased contact with the criminal justice system also undermines the health of the newborn.

                                                                  67 percent of black women who are incarcerated are incarcerated for nonviolent offenses. So the majority of black women and girls are not incarcerated for violent offenses…( ) There’s a large percentage of women who are single mothers. I’m fortunate to have a significant other that supports me and supported me when I was behind the walls. But most women don’t have that. So they’re forced to take care of their children alone. And so when you’re forced to take care of your children alone, you don’t have the type of credentials that you need in order to access a job that’s a livable wage. And that’s the type of wages that you can take your family on vacations, and enroll your kids in extracurricular activities, you tend to find some non-traditional ways to make money.”“67 percent of black women who are incarcerated are incarcerated for nonviolent offenses. So the majority of black women and girls are not incarcerated for violent offenses…( ) There’s a large percentage of women who are single mothers. I’m fortunate to have a significant other that supports me and supported me when I was behind the walls. But most women don’t have that. So they’re forced to take care of their children alone. And so when you’re forced to take care of your children alone, you don’t have the type of credentials that you need in order to access a job that’s a livable wage. And that’s the type of wages that you can take your family on vacations, and enroll your kids in extracurricular activities, you tend to find some non-traditional ways to make money.

                                                                  — Nicole Hanson, Rattling the Bars, Real News Network

                                                                   

                                                                  Neglect is often considered to be a failure, on the part of a caretaker, to provide adequate supervision, emotional nurturance, appropriate medical care, food, clothing, and shelter for a child. This definition also aligns with a definition of poverty, where poverty is considered to be inadequate food, shelter, and clothing.

                                                                  — Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2014

                                                                  Child neglect is then, almost by definition, synonymous with poverty. Those damn poor people just can’t take care of their kids. And yet they breed so much, ya know? Maybe it wouldn’t be such a darn bad thing if we clipped the men…know what I’m saying, Earl?

                                                                  In fact, one of the side bar implications in Melinda Gates programs is to strongly associate pregnancy with disease (not for rich white people, of course). And the overpopulation argument feeds in this directly.

                                                                  There is not enough space to even scratch the surface here to list the inequalities operative in racial hierarchies in the U.S. What is important here to start to recognize the codes at work. Walter Benjamin famously said that “The logical result of Fascism is the introduction of aesthetics into political life.” But more importantly, at the end of that same essay (Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction) he added…

                                                                  Its (mankind) self-alienation has reached such a degree that it can experience its own destruction as an aesthetic pleasure of the first order.

                                                                  Capitalism has abandoned humanity. A shamefully neglected infrastructure has exacerbated the effects of global warming. The loss of jobs, mostly to robots, engenders confusion and anxiety, but also deep resentment. And we are well past the time when anyone thinks robots provide superior service. The need to keep escalating conflict, both at home with a militarized and racist police apparatus, and abroad via a gargantuan military whose size defies all rational comprehension. The suffering inflicted on the world by the U.S. and its proxies (Saudi Arabia, Israel primarily) is so enormous that it is hard to grasp it in its totality. And this confusion breeds reaction. The confusion seems not, however, to breed questioning.

                                                                  When capitalism reaches its point of diminishing return, it deliberately creates a crisis or an appearance of a crisis in order to stage a ritual of a rebirth. The crisis is designed to corner everyone to rely on the capitalist framework for survival. This functions to divide people into two groups: a group which sees through the mechanism and a group that insists on solving the “crisis” no matter how (meaning solving it according to the acceptable ways). The establishment destroys the anti-capitalist momentum while co-opting dissident voices, giving them credentials, awards, positions in the hierarchy. The process eliminates enemies while augmenting the capitalist hierarchy.

                                                                  — Hiroyuki Hamada (in conversation with me)

                                                                  The real problems of ocean acidification, plastic pollution of those same seas, and the endless over production of certain crops that destroy land and poison pollinating insects, these problems are simply the result of needless and pointless industrial growth, a growth that has no rational need driving it. Hunger exists in a world of surplus food. The engine is maximizing profit. And why do so many people seem to just reflexively trust *science*? Trust without even a cursory check on who funds the study, or the institution. And the manufacture of fear is a staple of the ruling class. Fear of germs (from Asia or Africa, of course), or asteroids, or the ignoring of obvious testing failures which goes back to thalidomide. That and the very imperfect world of statistical analysis (see Harvard and Yale sociologists circa 1986 and the spinster’s beware warning) etc. The point is only that while it is clear global warming and pollution present enormous challenges, ones that may change the way nearly everyone on the planet lives, there is also clarity that a crises in Capitalism is forcing an increasing propaganda machine to validate the class hierarchies, and which is rehabilitating the most obscene thinking of the colonial and Victorian era. People are being indoctrinated to experience domination as salutary. Junk science abounds everywhere (facial recognition anyone? blood splatter?) but when it comes to climate and Green issues the bourgeois populace simply does not want to hear it. Which leads me to the idea of a cultic group think going on. And maybe this is tied into the acute narcissism of the boomers. Because just anecdotally my experience is that they WANT disaster. It provides self importance. They demand action and responsibility, but the most dire warnings are received with a barely suppressed pleasure.

                                                                  The liberal white American today cannot tolerate the world going on around them with people they have been trained to see as inferior. Fear of the dark skinned global south (I mean Melinda Gates actually has a brochure in one of her projects to teach African women how to hold their baby, because I guess, you know, that’s something they clearly don’t know about), they fear the numbers, they fear fecundity (something that has dropped precipitously in the advanced West), they fear being in close proximity to the poor, the ‘other’ (migration), and they fear exposing their children to this ‘threat’, most of all. Consider that there is a huge movement on the right to ban abortion. And yet, largely, these same people are thrilled with Bill and Melinda Gates work to stop African reproduction. So it’s clearly not too many people, it’s just too many black people.

                                                                  The new Volkish body politic is conflating global warming and the poor.

                                                                  …the “longing for myth” reflected the pervasive experience of “dislocation and disorientation” precipitated by industrialization, revolution, and the dissolution of community values in the abstract conception of secular society, compounded by the fragmentation of German society “along confessional, social, and territorial lines”; the splintering of traditional social and cultural bonds gave rise to the desire for an “aesthetic-religious imagery” that would “unite modern society just as Greek mythology had supposedly once united the polis.

                                                                  — Nicholas Huzsvai (honors thesis, unpublished)

                                                                  Over two million people languish in nightmarish prisons in the U.S. Most for non violent crimes. And today the target is increasingly children and women of colour. But people respond with arguments of distraction, just as they are narcotized by screen distractions. The children not targeted for jail are given anti depressants.

                                                                  And Gabor Mate has written (following Robert Bly) that fathers and mothers both today work twice as long and with less security and for less money than they did three generations ago.

                                                                  Quite the opposite is true now. Far from being helped, working women are actively penalized if they wish to extend the time they are at home caring for their children. For men, it is not even considered reasonable to think of “interrupting” their careers in order to share in that process. Society does little to establish expert and compassionate day care for those children during whose early years the parent(s), for one reason or another, cannot avoid the necessity of working outside the home. Poor women, especially in the U.S., are economically terrorized by the welfare system into entrusting their infants to appallingly inadequate care situations, and then must spend hours daily traveling to low-paying jobs that barely allow their families a subsistence income.

                                                                  — Gabor Maté, Scattered Minds: The Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder,

                                                                  Leading to what Bly called “the rage of the unparented”. This is America, then, today. Children are targeted by law enforcement — think of the use of gang injunctions, prop 21 in California — which, again, allowed for minors to be sentenced as adults. California has, in fact, been the leading laboratory for terrorizing youth.

                                                                  The collateral consequences of an adult conviction are severe. An adult criminal conviction stays on a youth’s permanent record, which can prevent him or her from voting, securing housing, getting financial aid or public benefits, and finding a job. Further, the juvenile justice system is intended to be rehabilitative, whereas the adult criminal system is not. Youth tried in adult court lose the opportunity to access many of treatment and rehabilitative options available in the juvenile system.

                                                                  — National Center for Youth Law

                                                                  Poor women, and particularly black and latino women, have been zeroed in on by the justice system and now are the fastest growing segment of the carceral state. Their children are warehoused, usually chemically warehoused if they prove in the least disruptive. But this only mirrors in much harsher way the white children of the affluent. For even the petit bourgeois youth is afflicted by a culture of screen addicted distractions and coercive infantile propaganda and entertainments. And they are likely the children of parents who were also distracted and anxious. And the parents of those parents. Three or four generations now who have not been provided with any sense of community.

                                                                  A quick glance at the statistics: Children 0 to 5 years, over 600,000 are on one of the following: ADHD medication, anti depressants, anti psychotics, and anti anxiety drugs. But if you look at kids 6 to 17, there are SEVEN MILLION being medicated. I was told by a friend that in the run up to the millennium, in a gallup poll, that a majority of people welcomed an apocalypse of some kind — and the reason given was a belief that nothing was going to get better. They were expecting only worse to come. And, of course, they were largely correct.

                                                                  Hollywood has been normalizing a mix of the sadistic and the sexual for going on fifty years, only now the spectre of Big Brother looms over everything, and this is presented as a virtue. There is in this new mythos forming around end-times thinking, an erotic representation of duty to power, and it elicits a kind of frisson. Fascism is now being updated, and it serves up a menu of catastrophe and individualism. Daily life is a combination of drudgery, tedium, meaningless work, and insecurity. And parents are weary of their neurotic complaining children. In sum I think people in the West no longer dream Utopian.

                                                                   

                                                                  [John Steppling is an original founding member of the Padua Hills Playwrights Festival, a two-time NEA recipient, Rockefeller Fellow in theatre, and PEN-West winner for playwrighting. He’s had plays produced in LA, NYC, SF, Louisville, and at universities across the US, as well in Warsaw, Lodz, Paris, London and Krakow. He has taught screenwriting and curated the cinematheque for five years at the Polish National Film School in Lodz, Poland. Plays include The Shaper, Dream Coast, Standard of the Breed, The Thrill, Wheel of Fortune, Dogmouth, and Phantom Luck, which won the 2010 LA Award for best play. Film credits include 52 Pick-up (directed by John Frankenheimer, 1985) and Animal Factory (directed by Steve Buscemi, 1999). A collection of his plays was published in 1999 by Sun & Moon Press as Sea of Cortez and Other Plays. He lives with wife Gunnhild Skrodal Steppling; they divide their time between Norway and the high desert of southern California. He is artistic director of the theatre collective Gunfighter Nation. Read other articles by John, or visit John’s website.]