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Why I Refuse to Promote Bill McKibben

Why I Refuse to Promote Bill McKibben

Why I Refuse to Promote Bill McKibben

PublishedJuly 7, 2011by Political Context: http://bit.ly/pqOXts and Canadians for Action on Climate Change: http://bit.ly/pvnZQg

Image: Corporate media’s poster boy for the environmental movement, Bill McKibben.

“Nations and peoples are largely the stories they feed themselves. If they tell themselves stories that are lies, they will suffer the future consequences of those lies. If they tell themselves stories that face their own truths, they will free their histories for future flowerings.”Ben Okri, Nigerian poet and novelist

It continues to both concern and baffle me that those within the movement who coined the term “climate justice” continue to promote a false prophet who believes/hopes and promotes that greed can save us (see McKibben’s The Greenback Effect: Greed Has Helped Destroy the Planet – Maybe Now It Can Help Save It). Greed, of course, being one of the ugliest traits in the human species. Greed being the pivotal factor behind the “success” of capitalism. Greed being the reason the world’s wealthiest 15% contribute 75% of all global greenhouse gas emissions (Professor Stephen Pacala) on the backs of the poor and most vulnerable while simultaneously decimating and raping the Earth.

Throughout history, greed has proven to be lethal. Greed and justice cannot co-exist.

The premise that “greed can save us” is void of all ethics. It stems from either desperation or denial, or perhaps both combined.

Perhaps McKibben’s 350.org/1Sky partner – Climate Solutions (who McKibben praised/promoted in a recent article) – will soon see their wish list of “sustainable aviation,” biofuels and carbon offsets morph into a global reality. 350.org/1Sky partner Climate Solutions was a key player in the creation of 1Sky – an incubator project of the Rockefellers, who are pushing/funding REDD (the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation program) and many other false solutions that ensure power and monetary wealth remain exactly where it is – in the hands of the few.

Of course, James Hansen’s magic wand (which Hansen himself sometimes refers to) will be most imperative for such false solutions to succeed in cooling the planet and stopping the eradication of most life on Earth.

Do we reject biofuels, carbon offsets, the greenwash and delusional concepts like “sustainable aviation”? Or do we reject these false solutions only when promoted directly by industry and government? If we do reject false solutions outright, why do those who claim to seek climate justice turn a blind eye when our “friends” and “partners” support these false solutions that we must fight against?

Perhaps it is a good time to reflect upon the concept of living well, proposed by Bolivia, which describes the capitalist system and the effects of greed that it perpetuates like this:

“We suffer the severe effects of climate change, of the energy, food and financial crises. This is not the product of human beings in general, but of the existing inhuman capitalist system, with its unlimited industrial development. It is brought about by minority groups who control world power, concentrating wealth and power on themselves alone. Concentrating capital in only a few hands is no solution for humanity, neither for life itself, because as a consequence many lives are lost in floods, by intervention or by wars, so many lives through hunger, poverty and usually curable diseases. It brings selfishness, individualism, even regionalism, thirst for profit, the search for pleasure and luxury thinking only about profiting, never having regard to brotherhood among the human beings who live on planet Earth. This not only affects people, but also nature and the planet. And when the peoples organize themselves, or rise against oppression, those minority groups call for violence, weapons, and even military intervention from other countries.”

It must be remembered that McKibben, 350.org/1Sky and most all other “big greens” have rejected the People’s Agreement of Cochabamba rather than unite behind it, in favour of the false illusion of “green” capitalism.

No Logo

I, for one, choose not to promote organizations or individuals who embrace such a system so unfair that it is systematically destroying all life, nor those who purposely and continually reject and undermine the Cochabamba People’s Agreement. I leave this to the likes of Naomi Klein, who recently joined 350.org/1Sky and other key 350.org/1Sky messengers … celebrated individuals who have warned us of the dangers of unfettered capitalism, yet have chosen to embrace the “green” capitalist entity, 350.org/1Sky.

Over a decade ago, Klein brilliantly educated the public on the growing trend of corporations hijacking public entities, including our universities and museums. In a statement on BP’s sponsorship of the Tate Museum, to which Klein is listed as the first signatory, she/they write: “Corporate sponsorship does not exist in an ethical vacuum.”

Yet, hypocritically, when it comes to corporate power funding the entire mainstream environmental movement, Klein and others have not only failed to speak out against it – they have lent their names to it. In the environmental movement, it has been decided by Klein and others that corporate funding sponsorship does indeed exist in an ethical vacuum, thereby lending legitimacy and credibility to an organization that promotes and protects the branded logo 350 – and little else. As much as Klein and other celebrated anti-capitalists such as Vandana Shiva passionately deliver us the imperative truth, when it comes to 350.org/1Sky and pro-free market McKibben, they turn a blind eye to a movement shaped and funded by the industrial machine itself. As the push towards an illusory “green economy” and “climate wealth” strengthens, even those within the climate justice movement itself are covertly being estranged from the truth.

The videos below shed light on our free markets at work. These people represent only a glimpse of those who suffer at the hands of our current economic system. Climate “justice” or any kind of justice just cannot and can never exist in our capitalist economic system, as this system is dependent upon not only continued growth, but continued violence, oppression and exploitation of perhaps 85% of humanity – who emit a mere 25% of all emissions. This way of life is coming to an end. This system is destined to ultimately collapse – or kill us – whichever comes first.

If the definition of justice is “the quality of being just or fair” – our current economic system, that being capitalism, is the furthest thing from any kind of justice. The idea that we can avert climate genocide by embracing “green” capitalism is an illusion. It is a lie whereby the consequences will prove to be lethal beyond anything our species has ever witnessed. Those who truly seek justice must think long and hard about maintaining faith in a system that has finally brought us to the precipice. We may be trapped within it – but that does not mean we cannot fight like hell to break free.

Testimony of Rosa Elbira: Gang-rapes at a Canadian-owned mine in Guatemala:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSGuDk4cnz4&feature=player_embedded#at=15

The “Green Economy” to solve our climate crisis, in a nutshell (this is not a spoof): http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/energy-security-and-independence (don’t miss ten minutes in – featured in doc END:CIV):

Violent Evictions at El Estor, Guatemala: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgwtLuISE1Y&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

All That Glitters Isn’t Gold – 10 min. Trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tmqXc5rX8s&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

On the Origins of Green Liberalism: http://tedsteinberg.com/essays/can-capitalism-save-the-planet/

Cory Morningstar is climate justice activist whose recent writings can be found on Canadians for Action on Climate Change and The Art of Annihilation site where you can read her bio. You can follow her on Twitter: @elleprovocateur

Capitalism Trumps Climate

by Lorna Salzman

How many of you actually think that there are sincere and meaningful efforts being made to mitigate climate change? If your answer is yes, then what proof do you offer? What groups, individuals, policies or legislation do you think are making a difference or will in the near future? Why do you think so?

I will wager that more than half of you will answer yes to the first question and will then mention Bill McKibben and 350.org, and perhaps a few other obscure groups here or abroad that you have read about on the internet or in the news. But you will not be able to demonstrate exactly what these groups or individuals have accomplished, what they are doing right now, or what they say they will do in the future. That’s because almost none of them actually have real action plans that they believe in and which they are promoting.

The ugly truth is that the most influential and prominent of these groups are planning to do EXACTLY NOTHING. Do you think this is hyperbole? You won’t if you will take the time to find out who funds these groups and what their strategies are. I say “strategies” plural but that is incorrect.

There is only one strategy and that is to SAVE CAPITALISM. And they don’t even try to hide this or deny it. Let me say it again: these groups and their hidden funders and sponsors have only one objective: to use the climate change issue as a way of preserving markets and, most important, creating NEW ones. In other words, develop new ways of making profits that do not interfere with the present system or restrict economic growth.

You probably think: well, they mean renewable energy so what’s wrong with that? But if that were really the case, why was there such a massive campaign in this country not to promote renewable energy but to promote cap and trade? Why have they refused to support the things that would make renewable energy viable such as ending fossil fuel subsidies and tax breaks and taxing CO2? The cap and trade campaign was dreamed up by investment houses, brokers, financiers, and the coal industry, with a few big enviros alongside, to accomplish several things:

–delay as long as possible the shutdown of coal burning power plants;

–maintain the oil and natural gas-based economy as long and as cheaply as possible;

–push off indefinitely (to well past the year 2030) any serious efforts at reducing energy consumption through efficiency or other measures;

–avoid at all costs a carbon tax or anything that would increase energy costs and thereby stifle growth;

–keep existing federal subsidies and tax breaks for the fossil and nuclear industry.

This is by default our present national energy policy and no one, including 350.org/1Sky, has proposed anything different: no one in government, no one in industry, and no one in the top echelons of the environmental community, even though one of them, Gus Speth, knows full well what needs to be done.

None of this should be surprising, at least to those who have been paying attention or who have not bought hook, line and sinker the empty words of people like Bill McKibben, who is good at whipping crowds into a green frenzy but incapable of telling them what they should do. There is NO ENERGY AGENDA of any merit being pushed ANYWHERE, and anyone who thinks it is only the Republicans to blame is inhaling from the Big Bong. There is bipartisan and universal agreement that the first order of business is Business and the earth be damned. 350.org even sent out shameless mailings to business to curry favor with them and suck them in to believing that nothing drastic or costly need be done and that only a few nips and tucks at the margins were needed.

We are therefore being lied to, big time, by those who actually believe that climate change can be mitigated with minimal effort and cost, and that there need be no hardship or sacrifice at all. This is the latest in Comfort Food for the masses and reassurance for industry and the financial community. The only problem is that it comes with no guarantee that climate catastrophe will NOT happen. It is no better than the reassurances of the nuclear industry that a Fukushima-size disaster could never happen in this country. It is the ultimate in Happy Faces, in wishful thinking, and in calming the public’s fears.

But it is leading us over the cliff.

In case you think this is exaggeration, here is a promotional piece for Hunter Lovins, Amory Lovin’s ex-wife and an energy consultant in her own right.

FARRAR, STRAUS AND GIROUX PRESENTS

THE CLIMATE CAPITALISM TELEFORUM—A LIVE, NATIONAL, INTERACTIVE DISCUSSION OF CAPITALISM IN THE AGE OF CLIMATE CHANGE

WITH L. HUNTER LOVINS, FOUNDER OF NATURAL CAPITALISM SOLUTIONS, A TIME MAGAZINE HERO OF THE PLANET, AND NEWSWEEK’S “GREEN BUSINESS ICON”

Hardcover • 400 pp. • $27.95

ISBN 978-0-8090-3473-4

? Read More

? Sign Up for the April 29th Teleforum

? Read a preview excerpt from Climate Capitalism (PDF)

CLIMATE CAPITALISM

CAPITALISM IN THE AGE OF CLIMATE CHANGE

“A must-read for entrepreneurs, investors, industry experts, and corporations interested in capitalizing on the greatest wealth-creation opportunity of our lifetime: solving climate change.” —Jigar Shah, founder, SunEdison, and CEO, Carbon War Room

Whether you believe in climate change or not, it doesn’t matter. If your goal is profitability, you’ll act as if you do. As CLIMATE CAPITALISM shows, climate-protection efforts have failed because we have ignored the most powerful tool for unleashing the low-energy future: the business case. In their book, L. Hunter Lovins, president of Natural Capitalism Solutions and coauthor of Natural Capitalism, and Boyd Cohen, CEO of CO2IMPACT, draw on case studies of international corporations, small businesses, NGOs, and municipalities to demonstrate that efficiency and renewable energy equal the path to greater profitability and enhanced economic prosperity. Through addressing business opportunities across a range of sectors, including energy, buildings, transportation, and agriculture technologies, Lovins and Cohen powerfully address the future of capitalism in a carbon-constrained world and prove that climate change policy will promote, not hinder, the growth of our global economy.

Corporate executives, entrepreneurs, environmentalists, and concerned citizens will all find CLIMATE CAPITALISM a feisty, opportunity-rich read—one that offers a compelling road map for a new energy economy.

“A highly persuasive demonstration of how profitable economic choices can take us a long way toward dealing with climate disruption, the misguided aspects of our agriculture, oil’s strategically catastrophic monopoly over transportation, the poverty of the bottom billion, and much else. Creative and deftly crafted.”—Jim Woolsey, Former Director of CIA, Booz Allen Hamilton

“L. Hunter Lovins’ latest book should be on every CEO’s reading list and required in every corporate board room.”—Bill Becker, Executive Director, Presidential Climate Action Project

“One of the fastest growing areas in business schools today is entrepreneurship, and more specifically social entrepreneurship . . . . Climate Capitalism provides both direction and inspiration for these students who do not accept the artificial tradeoff between doing well and doing good.”—R. Bruce Hutton, dean emeritus, Daniels College of Business, University of Denver

“Nobody does a better job of laying out the business case for pursuing a cleaner, more profitable form of capitalism than Hunter Lovins.”—Andrew Winston, founder, Winston Eco-Strategies and author of Green Recovery

Note the claim that the “best case” for a low-energy future is “the business case”, stressing “the future of capitalism in a carbon-constrained world” followed by the promise that the global economy will GROW, not contract. Well, one might believe in this growth but what they don’t consider is the likelihood of a complete collapse of the global economy. If you start from a collapse, i.e. from nothing, then anything after that can be considered growth.

“Profitable economic choices” is the reward held out for not taking drastic action now in reducing energy use and mandating stringent energy efficiency measures….both of which would of course constrain growth. Having your cake and eating it too….

I do not doubt that Hunter Lovins and her associates truly believe and want a renewable energy economy. What I do doubt is whether they have read up on the science of climate change and the narrowing window of time left to us to get our house in order. Anyone who has read this knows full well that many scientists believe we are already past several tipping points and that we will be forced into adaptation and defensive measures. Where money will be found for these gigantic projects, “earth works”, to protect urban infrastructure is by no means clear. Will the budget cutters change their minds and dole out billions of dollars to the states to protect water supplies, power grids, sewage systems and transportation systems?

http://neoenigma.blogspot.com/2011/04/snickersnee_25.html

350.org on Facebook: Now You See It.Now You Don’t

Naomi Klein decided to join the board of 350.org. They are delighted, as you would be if one of the world’s most influential anti-capitalism writers joined your campaign.

Obviously this puts Naomi Klein’s writings in a whole new focus – she’s happy to be part of an organisation that received its seed money from a foundation that bears the name of the kinds of business empires she railed against in the Shock Doctrine. She’s happy to be part of an organisation that has recently forsaken its grass-roots members in favour of business partners in order to add a bit of money to its empty coffers.

They are happy, so they put something on their Facebook Page to say so. Not surprisingly the fans were also delighted and started posting gleefully, as they do on everything to do with 350.org.

Then someone posted a link to my previously mentioned article – it didn’t quite gel with the self-congratulatory sense of the rest of the comments, but criticism is criticism and 350.org are surely big enough to cope with a bit of that:

Apparently not. Within a few minutes the link was removed. Someone alerted me to this and I posted a comment asking why the link had been removed, and whether their recent merger with 1Sky was not just a way of saving money.

That post disappeared as well, as did the post of the person who originally alerted me to the link.

Then 350.org commented back, which you can see in the image below, along with the absence of the two posts being referred to:

That response in full:

“Hey Rachael and Keith. I’m a 350.org FB admin — and didn’t delete any comments, except the sudden notes you left accusing 350.org of deleting comments (could you have re-posted your criticism?) We do moderate comments, and will un-publish ones that are divisive, or seek to draw people into movement in-fighting. We don’t have time for that anymore. Critical discussion is a whole other ball-game — we welcome that, of course, and need it to keep evolving. Thanks.”

I highlighted a key phrase here – “Critical discussion is a whole other ball-game — we welcome that, of course” – in view of the next move by the 350.org administrators. They blocked both me and my contact from commenting further on the Facebook page. Not content with censoring anything that looked like dissent they decided to lock out any dissenters entirely, in case their rose-tinted views might be damaged in any way.

The following email has been sent to 350.org. I await their response:

Hi Guys

Well done for the brave move in banning people from your Facebook group. Glad to see that the merger with 1Sky is making you even more keen to avoid any kind of criticism rather than engage with the criticisms of symbolic action and working too closely to businesses.

Don’t worry, though, because the original screen captures of posts you deleted and people you banned are still available and will be appearing on a few websites soon.

I think it’s safe to say you ran out of money even with your appeals to business, which is why you have been forced to recombine with 1Sky. Call it a tactical retreat if you will, but I think there are a growing number of people who recognise that writing letters to senators and forming pretty pictures out of tee-lights isn’t really the way to undermine the planet killing system that’s loving every “action” that leaves them unscathed.

– the industrial system must be really crapping itself with this kind of hardline stuff.

Cheers

Keith Farnish
www.unsuitablog.org
www.timesupbook.com

http://thesietch.org/mysietch/keith/2011/04/08/350-org-on-facebook-now-you-see-it-now-you-dont/

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

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

April 18th, 2011

By Cory Morningstar

World’s Greatest Magic Trick

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” – George Orwell

On 6 April 2011 it was announced that the RINGO (Rockefeller initiated NGO) 1Sky and their sister organization 350.org have ‘officially merged’ into one mass climate movement – the ‘NEW’ 350.org.

Let the Vatican preach, hallefuckinglujah, as we double-up on the soma followed by a double shot of absinthe burning like the embers of hell. Thank you Rockefellers, Clintons, McKibben and friends. Make way for the onslaught of illusion in which green capitalism and false solutions will somehow save us. In one last final performance – the elites will now perform their final magical act that defies all logic. Drum roll please … ladies and gentleman … we will now embrace the same system which is systematically destroying us – splash it with a green patina … and now … this same system will magically save us. Justice for all! The illuminated signs flash toward the audience … applause! applause! applause!

Follow the Money

An example of what two prominent environmental groups, 1Sky and 350.org, receive from the Rockefeller foundations alone:

Step it Up and 350.org (Sustainable Markets Foundation)

·         $100,000 for 1 year awarded on March 13, 2008 to support its project, Step it Up’s new initiative called Project 350
·         40,000 2008 RFF Sustainable Markets Foundation | 350.org
·         $100,000 for 1 year awarded on March 3, 2009 for its Project 350
·         $200,000 for 1 year awarded on March 12, 2009 for its climate accountability project, The Sustainable Market Foundation
·         $75,000 for 1 year  awarded on November 7, 2009 for its project 350.org
·         $25,000 for 1 year awarded on March 22, 2010 for its Eco-Accountability project
·         $100,000 for 1 year awarded on June 17, 2010 for its 350.org project

1Sky Education Fund

·         $1,000,000 for 2 years awarded on December 13, 2007
·         $20,000 for 1 year awarded on November 17, 2008 for an alignment meeting of U.S. climate change leaders
·         200,000 2008 RFF
·         45,000 2008 RFF
·         $250,000 for 1 year awarded on June 18, 2009
·         $30,000 for 1 year awarded on April 9, 2009 to support a consultant to coordinate the alignment of U.S. climate change leaders and large grassroots organizations
·         $250,000 for 1 year awarded on November 2, 2009
·         $250,000 for 1 year awarded on November 19, 2009
·         50,000 2009 RFF
·         15,000 2009 RFF
·         20,000 2009 RFF

When 350.org, whom founder Bill McKibben describes as a ‘scruffy little outfit’, was requested to disclose their financial statements and provide complete list of funders in 2010, they responded via email that they would discuss this via a phone communication. The email communication can be read here. To date, they have not responded further. Karyn Strickler of Climate Challenge Media asked McKibben, in a 2010  interview, similar questions regarding the funding. You can listen to his response in the Strickler interview here:

This interview is unique as Strickler actually pins McKibben down on perhaps the first policy statement McKibben has offered – zero carbon by 2030. Yet, although McKibben admits in the Strickler interview that it is imperative to achieve zero emissions, you will not find this vital information, nor any other roadmap on what must occur in order to achieve 350 ppm on the 350.org website. 350.org, 1Sky, and friends have yet to speak to the media or the US Congress on the imperative of zero carbon, nor have they declared this position in their numerous communications with supporters and the general public. When it comes to the fact that we are: 1) already beyond dangerous climate interference (as declared by leading scientist John Holdren in 2006), 2) in a global planetary emergency (as declared by world-renowned climate scientist James Hansen in 2008) and 3) zero carbon is the only solution to our escalating climate emergency (as recognized by the IPCC) – the silence pounding within the walls of the non-profit industrial complex is deafening.

According to annual reports and internal revenue service reports collected by Climate Shift, 350.org’s revenue for 2009 was $1,661,440 and 1Sky’s revenue for 2009 was $3,425,549.

1Sky | A Project of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund

Image: www.radicalgraphics.org

“I believe there will ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those doing the oppressing. I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the system of exploitation. I believe that there will be that kind of clash, but I don’t think it will be based on the colour of the skin.” – Malcolm X

In the Rockefeller Family Fund 2007 annual report, it is clear that 1Sky is an actual Rockefeller-initiated NGO. Such incubator projects are common within powerful foundations, although the public has little knowledge of such practices. An example of a Rockefellers’ incubator for an in-house project that later evolved into a free-standing institution is The Climate Group, launched in London in 2004. [1] This practice allows corporate-funded foundation boards to exert influence on the policies and intent of projects. Such projects should be independent of corporate influence if the projects are truly intended to benefit the interests of civil society.

From the 2007 annual report:

“In December 2007, the Fund received a pledge from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Inc. in the amount of $1,000,000, designated to 1Sky, a project of the Fund, for which the Fund provides fiscal and legal oversight. As of December 31, 2007, $100,000 has been received by the Fund towards this pledge, with the remaining $900,000 receivable expected to be collected during 2008.”

At the same time of the 10:10:10 launch, 350.org revealed its first order of business – that of business. In 2011, the Green Market website published an article titled “350.org and Business.” The website promotes the 350 campaign to ask businesses to leave the US Chamber of Commerce in response to climate change; however, it neglected to critically analyze why such a campaign can only fail. The reality is that incrementalism in the face of a planetary emergency dooms humanity to failure. No amount of justification excuses any organization, large or small, to play politics in the face of our daunting climate reality. Yet 350.org is doing exactly that. Many may consider this a strong step and the greenwashing cabal will applaud; after all, if you have the token voice of the climate movement praising sweat-shop driven, mining-dependent Apple, you’ve won the day. However, the reality is this: No matter how many businesses leave the Chamber, they will still be doing what they do. Apple continues to abuse those most vulnerable while simultaneously destroying the environment for the sake of profit. Nike still manufactures shoes in China. A campaign such as this will never extricate these corporations from the business model they worship that enables several barrels of oil to be burned for the sake of the Swoosh through symbolic campaigning and the mighty victory this campaign seeks. No amount of symbolic campaigning will accomplish anything remotely close to a solution to the current planetary emergency. Such a campaign makes for good press for the times; however, in terms of outcomes, it will provide nothing of consequence to the solution set. It’s nothing less than delusion, if not a crime against humanity, that those who understand the science actually believe such campaigns are helpful beyond our psyches. Tragically, this undoubtedly will become more obvious rather soon.

The 2011 Power Shift conference is closing with no defined significance within the context of a required movement to mitigate an escalating global planetary emergency. The big green diversion makes it much easier to keep focused on the real agenda. The task at hand. Keeping the wealth and power in the hands of a few. As long as the elites control the Non-Profit Industrial Complex we will never defeat the climate crisis. Not ever. As long as the elites control the Non-Profit Industrial Complex, we will never stop the exploitation of neither people nor our shared environment. This is why we have no choice now but to walk away from the big green lie. A paramount victory for 2011 would be for citizens, climate justice activists, and community groups willing to deal in reality, to reject 350.org/1Sky outright. This would send an absolute message that the neo-liberal funded, non-profit industrial complex does NOT represent civil society. Such rejection states that Rockefeller and the ruling classes do not own us. Such rejection states that we reject the system that is successfully destroying us. This is the only way to take back the control which has hijacked the true grass-roots groups of the climate justice movement who are effectively marginalized and whose voices are drowned out. The non-profit industrial complex ensures this remains so.

Today | Orwellian Madness

Political Corruption and corporate dominance have reached dimensions of unparalleled magnitude.

The plutocracy has stolen approximately 40 trillion dollars from the people, leaving ordinary citizens to fight for imaginary scraps at the bottom of the barrel. The wealthiest 10% control 85% of the worlds monetary wealth, while the wealthiest 1% control 40%.

General Electric, the 4th most profitable corporation in the world in 2010, has successfully avoided all federal income taxes on its $14.2 billion profits, while 18 children starve to death every 60 seconds.

With the launch of 112 Tomahawk missiles on Libya, the US has now begun its fifth concurrent war/occupation. As award winning veteran journalist John Pilger so concisely states: “The Euro-American attack on Libya has nothing to do with protecting anyone; only the terminally naive believe such nonsense.”

Comprehensive coverage of Japan’s nuclear meltdown catastrophe and radiation levels around the world have disappeared from mainstream media.

Canadians have had their privacy rights stripped away in December 2010 via the quiet passage of Bill C-36. The bill essentially destroys the rule of law in Canada with its ability to bypass parliamentary procedures. Few noticed.

More African American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, even though crime rates are now at historical lows. [2] The ‘war on drugs’ is cited as a most significant reason, all while the pharmaceutical industry reaps in the profits ($500 billion each year), while quietly obtaining complete liability protection from vaccine injuries and deaths caused from government mandated vaccines. [3]

Actual criminals with psychopathic tendencies run rampant, receiving lavish bonuses and securing esteemed positions to protect the elitist circus, they are presented as successful and respected icons by corporate media and their subordinates.

And like the pharmaceutical industry thrives and depends upon sickness, fear, and disease, the military-industrial complex can only thrive and exist through new wars and occupations. It, too, is dependent upon the successful marketing of fear, passivity, and a society embedded with apathy.  Inherently, destructive industries are absolutely dependent upon these factors.

To be clear, multi-national corporations are not in the business of protecting the environment or your family; they are in the business of making the maximum profit possible via the highest available rate of return. Those who think this is not true would be well-advised to think again. (Mainstream news footage which appeared on national television in 2006 revealed the Bayer corporation had knowingly sold Aids tainted blood overseas. The US government had full knowledge yet did nothing: http://youtu.be/spnEaO3yumk) The current system feeds upon the most negative and most vulnerable character traits in our human family. In contrast, a physically and emotionally healthy society is the greatest threat to corporate wealth and domination. Likewise, a movement towards zero carbon societies based on liberation, empowerment, autonomy and self-determination leading to the formation of decentralized publicly owned energy systems, is the greatest threat to the fossil fuel industry and fossil fuel based economy that exists today.

Meanwhile, climate change is so far gone, scientists and professional activists have essentially accepted a 4C temperature rise as early as 2050, at which point Professor Kevin Anderson of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research believes we may have 10% of the global population remaining – approximately half a billion people. Methane hydrates have begun venting. Denialism runs deep.

Rockefellers’ 1Sky

From Rockefeller Family Fund 2008 annual report:

“Included in the financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2007 are the activities of the Environmental Grantmaker’s Association (EGA), a project of the Fund over the past two decades. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has granted EGA its 501(c)(3) status and as such, EGA became completely independent of the Fund effective January 1, 2008. For the first nine months of 2008, the Fund provided fiscal and legal oversight to 1Sky, another project of the Fund, and as such, the activities of 1Sky from January 1, 2008 through September 30, 2008 are included in the Fund’s financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2008. During 2008, the IRS granted 1Sky its 501(c)(3) status, and 1Sky became completely independent of the Fund effective October 1, 2008.

“In December 2007, the Fund received a pledge from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Inc. in the amount of $1,000,000, designated to 1Sky, a project of the Fund, for which the Fund provides fiscal and legal oversight. The Fund received $100,000 in 2007 toward this pledge and the remaining commitment of $900,000 was received in 2008.”

From Rockefeller Family Fund 2009 annual report:

“The Environmental Grantmaker’s Association (EGA), a project of the Fund over the past two decades, was granted its 501(c)(3) status by the Internal Reve­nue Service (IRS), and as such, EGA became completely independent of the Fund effective January 1, 2008. For the first nine months of 2008, the Fund provided fiscal and legal oversight to 1Sky, another project of the Fund, and as such, the activities of 1Sky from Janu­ary 1, 2008 through September 30, 2008 are included in the Fund’s financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2008. During 2008, the IRS granted 1Sky its 501(c)(3) status, and 1Sky became completely independent of the Fund effective October 1, 2008.”

Rockefeller | Getting REDDy to Cross the Finish Line

The following text appears 8 March 2010 in an article titled Getting REDDy to Cross the Finish Line, Two Decades in the Making: “It’s hard to imagine with all the progress REDD has achieved, that it all started less than 20 years ago with the Rio Summit in ’92, when the makings of a global sustainability architecture in the form of a climate treaty began to take shape. But a forestry treaty had yet to happen … With over 20 years of experience in the forestry sector, Michael Northrup, Program Director of Sustainable Development at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, was invited by the Pinchot Institute for Conservation to give a Distinguished Lecture, ‘After Copenhagen: Implications for U.S. Climate, Energy, and Forest Policy’ at the high brow, exclusive Cosmos Club. Northrup casually described to the 30 or so people in the room where we are with REDD today and how we got here. Plus he played the “name game” as he knew most of the people in the room.”

Of course, Rockefeller is not alone in its quest to lead and dominate on the promise of ‘green capitalism’; other members of the elites will not be left behind to feed on the breadcrumbs.  For example, The Climate and Land Use Alliance, whose member foundations include the ClimateWorks Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, have joined forces to push forward the false solution of REDD. Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environment Network:The carbon market solutions are not about mitigating climate, but are greenwashing policies that allow fossil fuel development to expand.” The Declaration created at the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth clearly condemned REDD, stating that it violates “the sovereignty of our Peoples.”

In October 2011, Rockefellers’ Northrup will be speaking at a forum to be held in China titled “Emission Trade toward Green Economy”.

On 1 May 2006 on the Climate Change Capital website, an article titled The Gold Mine in the Greenhouse publishes an abstract published in Environmental Finance by Michael Northrop and David Sassoon explaining how the Kyoto Protocol and EU Emissions Trading scheme, are laying new foundations for an international market directing capital to tackle climate change: “The port of Shenzhen in China faces south towards Hong Kong across a 35-kilometre stretch of water. Home to a mere 20,000 people in 1979, today you’ll find 12 million people there, a bursting economic development zone, a microcosm of the new China. Look a little closer and you’ll find the landfill that receives 600  truckloads of garbage a day. The piles grow ever higher and rot in the coastal sunshine. But even this refuse is now generating serious income.”

Yes, the more degradation to our Earth, the more money there is to be made by the wealthy few. This is what the plutocracy, inclusive of the Rockefellers, describes as climate wealth. The climate wealth plutocracy is funding the world’s token climate movement and utilizing, through manipulation, the naïve, well-intentioned individuals to set in place the necessary climate legislation – they have essentially written themselves. There is a reason why the legislation is completely inadequate and focused on false solutions and commodification of Earth’s final remaining natural resources. And when the ‘protesters’ show up on Capitol Hill to ‘demand’ the solutions – already written and agreed upon by the wealthy elites, they just sit back and laugh. The joke is on us. And what a cruel joke it is: short-term comfort and sanctioned denial in exchange for the lives of our children.

1Sky Science is Grossly False

Today, 1Sky proclaims itself one of the largest national campaigns in the country, with support of 605 organizations, 200,932 advocates, 4,230 volunteer ‘Climate Precinct Captains’ covering more than 394 congressional districts in 50 states, and a team of 38 including 21 organizers in 26 states working to mobilize constituent support. 1Sky states that “the scientific bottom line is that we need to cut carbon at least 25% by 2020 and at least 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. It’s what is necessary, and what is right.”  This statement is grossly false. The carbon budget presented by Hans Schellnhuber at the 4 Degrees & Beyond Conference in September 2009 stated that the high emitters including the US and Australia will have used up their entire carbon budget by 2019. At the time this budget was created it was stated that even if this target was achieved, it only gives the world a 67% chance at staying under a lethal 2C. When Schellnhuber briefed US President Obama on the fact that the US and friends have only years to reach zero carbon – just for the world to avoid a deadly global 2C – Obama chided Schellnhuber stating that this imperative was not grounded in ‘political reality’. Unfortunately for humanity, nature is not concerned with our political realities in the slightest and will not compromise. Keep in mind that today, at under 1C, we are advised by James Hansen that we have no cushion left. A recent study in 2010 discovered that even though the Pliocene Epoch (5.3 to 2.6 million years ago) was approximately 19ºC warmer than today, CO2 levels were only slightly higher than they are today.

Institutions such as 1Sky, many whom present themselves as grassroots, while labelled as ‘non-profit’ are manufactured and funded to serve the system and create a false pretext of dissent. And as long as such organizations refuse to focus on and examine the fundamental relationship between green capitalist logic and ecological disaster, they simply serve as nails in the coffin of humanity and nothing more than brilliantly executed distractions that allow us to embrace the comfort of denial. Yet one things remains certain – better is not better when better means dead.

Step it Up

In January 2007, Bill McKibben launched ‘Step It Up’, a national campaign calling on the US Congress to cut carbon emissions 80% by 2050. ‘Step It Up 2: Who’s a Leader?’ sent 14,000 messages to members of Congress to urge them to be ‘real leaders’ on climate change. Presidential candidates including John Edwards, Governor Bill Richardson, and Senators Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton attended Step It Up events and issued statements of support for the campaign’s goals.

Step it Up Morphs into 1Sky

1Sky is registered to John Fogerty, 1Sky executive director and director of the New Energy Economy.

James Gustave Speth is director of 1Sky, trustee of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, trustee of Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Director of World Resources Institute as well as holding many other esteemed positions.

Jessica Bailey, integral to the creation of 1Sky, is the Program Officer for the Rockefeller Brother Fund’s Sustainable Development program, where she focuses on climate change. Bailey also serves on the board of directors for 1Sky.

1Sky states it emerged from 3 retreats which took place in 2007. The first was said to have taken place in April of 2007 at the Garrison Institute. Funding of 10,000.00 was provided by the Rockefeller’s Brothers Fund.

The BIG ASK Climate Retreat was held from 11-13 July 2007. The programs relevance was promoted as sustainable development for the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities.

‘Leaders’ from across the climate movement joined with experts in the field of communications, branding, online organizing, and messaging to turn an idea into a campaign. Putting the pieces in place to spark this movement was the mandate for a meeting at Rockefeller Pocantico Centre. At this meeting, a presentation by Brand Taxi led to the selection of a name for the campaign: 1Sky. Presentations by the founders of Facebook.org and meetup.org helped refine an online organizing strategy. Conversations about communications strategy flowed from a presentation by J. Walter Thompson (JWT). Detailed discussions about the heart of the campaign – the policy platform around which it would be hubbed – led to the finalization of the ‘big ask.’ JWT is one of the largest advertising agencies in the United States and the fourth-biggest in the world. JWT Clients include the richest and most powerful corporations such as Shell. Finally, “the magic of Pocantico helped assure that each participant in the meeting became a partner in the campaign”. The 1Sky communications strategy was created by Fenton Communications, the nation’s ‘foremost media/communications firm’ for the non-profit industrial complex.

From 1 Sky’s 1st Annual Report: 2007-2008:

“We still have a long way to go, but we are very proud of our early achievements. Those accomplishments stem from the dedication and hard work of many leaders. The initial gathering in April 2007 and two subsequent retreats, the early strategic plan, the 1Sky Solutions, the early investments and the day-to-day efforts that launched 1Sky were executed by several people, but above all by KC Golden of Climate Solutions [K.C. Golden is Policy Director for Climate Solutions, a research and advocacy organization pioneering practical and profitable solutions to global warming], Jessica Bailey of Rockefeller Brothers Fund, John Fogarty of New Energy Economy and myself [Betsy Taylor – President of Board of Directors- Taylor is also founder of Center for a New American Dream] . Others who played absolutely essential roles include Jamie Henn, May Boeve, Will Bates and Bill McKibben of Step It Up/350, Bracken Hendricks of Center for American Progress, Van Jones of Green For All, film producer Marshall Herskovitz, Steve Smith of Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Jessy Tolkan and Billy Parish of Energy Action Coalition, Eli Lee of Center for Civic Policy, Sarah Jaynes of Washington Progress Alliance, Jonathan Rose of the Garrison Institute, Kelly Gallagher of the Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs, Greg Haegele of Sierra Club, Larry Schweiger and Jeremy Symons of National Wildlife Federation, Bill Becker of Presidential Climate Action Project, Emily Figdor of Environment America, Rev. Sally Bingham of The Regeneration Project, Kevin Knobloch of Union of Concerned Scientists, Mike Tidwell of Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Michael Noble of Fresh Energy, Harriet Barlow of HKH Foundation, Jesse Fink of MissionPoint Capital, Jon Isham of Middlebury College, Pam Johnson, and Robert Gass, facilitator and retreat designer par excellence. John Grace and Arthur Congdon of Brand Taxi, Inc. donated time and effort to create our name and brand. Garrison Institute donated staff and board time to help support two retreats. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund supported our second gathering at the Pocantico Conference Center and provided us with a bold early investment that leveraged grants from other key donors. The Clinton Global Initiative and Power Shift 2007 helped put us on the map, and EchoDitto donated time to help launch our interactive website. When we hired Gillian Caldwell as Campaign Director in September 2007, things rapidly accelerated forward. Indeed, the growth trajectory of this campaign has been breathtaking.”

In August of 2007, an article titled ‘Bill McKibben: Creating the World’s Biggest Grassroots Movement’ was published by Grist. (McKibben also serves on Grist’s Board of Directors). McKibben states: “In April, at 1400 iconic places across the nation, we made history and united around a common call to action. Then in November we came together under 1 Sky to present our leaders with the climate solutions that science and justice demand. Now it’s up to all of us keep this movement moving.” Bill exclaims:“When they get there, organizers will present them with the platform drawn up over the summer by One Sky, a new coalition of climate campaigners from around the country.”

The 1Sky donors list is massive. One donor, the Wallace Fund refer to 1Sky as the 1Sky Campaign/Rockefeller Family Fund. Sponsors during the first year of operations included the Rockefeller Family Fund, the Garrison Institute, and Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities. Monies from foundations and corporations for the first year totaled $1,973,381 while ‘individuals’ contributed $374,450.

In early 2008 climate code red authors David Spratt and Philip Sutton, asked direct questions on why the most pertinent information regarding climate change was not being shared with the public. In response to the questions raised, a comment suggests: “It’s time to ask: what if the “big ask” is actually B.S.?”

McKibben was not creating the ‘World’s Biggest Grassroots Movement’, he was in fact creating the world’s most heavily funded token movement tightly controlled by world’s most powerful ruling classes. This was a movement bought and paid for by the plutocrats for the peasants. 1Sky and all of the other interconnected heavily funded organizations are little more than convenient messengers for the ruling classes who continue to excel in ensuring ‘all the ducks are in a row’. Nothing is left to chance. Big Greens are a mere business expense in building up the empire. Further, they are a tax write-off.

Access to immense funding, the ruling classes and corporate media will ensure your message gets heard.

At the 2007 Clinton Global Initiative, President Clinton announced the 1Sky campaign. Clinton personally congratulated the 1Sky campaign’s commitment to accelerate bold federal policy on global warming. Rockefeller Brothers Fund President Stephen Heintz; Betsy Taylor, 1Sky Chair; and Jesse Fink, Mission Point Capital Partners, joined President Clinton on stage in recognition of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund commitment to 1Sky. The Rockefeller family contributed at minimum 1-5 million to the Clinton Foundation.

It’s common sense to understand that ‘government leaders’ are not going to feel pressured or threatened, no matter how many people show up on their doorstep, when the ‘platform’ McKibben speaks of is one that the very government with the ruling classes devised themselves and funded.

1Sky Year Two | 2008-2009

The National Teach-In on Global Warming Solutions

“Whether you believe in climate change or not, it doesn’t matter. If your goal is profitability, you’ll act as if you do.” – Promotion of the book Climate Capitalism by Hunter Lovins

On 31 January 2008 in an event titled “Focus the Nation” and 9 February 2009 in an event titled “Solutions for the First 100 Days”, 1Sky organized national days of engagement, involving over 2500 educational institutions and a million Americans. In 2009 the ‘National Teach-In’ was comprised of four opportunities to ‘engage your school or community in critical climate dialogue’. The second opportunity held on October 22, 2009 was a 350 teach-in which promoted a one hundred year global goal: stopping global warming. The advisory board for the National Teach-In included Hunter Lovins, President, Natural Capitalism Solutions, Gillian Caldwell, 1Sky Campaign Director, Billy Parish, co-founder of the Energy Action Coalition, Jessy Tolkan, Executive Director of Programs for Rockefeller funded Energy Action Coalition. Billy Parish is also on the board of directors of 1Sky as well as having integral involvement in Its Getting Hot In Here. In April of 2011, Lovins launched her new book; Climate Capitalism – Capitalism in the Age of Climate Change. Carbon War Room acclaimed: “Climate Capitalism is a must-read for entrepreneurs, investors, industry experts, and corporations interested in capitalizing on the greatest wealth-creation opportunity of our lifetime…”

On 3 April 2008 the Rockefeller Brothers Fund Awarded $1 Million to 1Sky. The total take from foundations and corporations reached $3,061,500 (89.5%) with ‘individuals’ totaling $246,707.60 (7%). On page 6 of the 1Sky 2nd annual report it features a photo of McKibben. Under the photo caption it states: “350/1Skys Bill McKibben”. Also in the report: “350.org and 1 Sky have been close partners ever since our common origins in the Step it Up Days of action in 2007. On November 18th 2008, 1 Sky and 350.org partner with the Energy Action Coalition to recruit over 4,000 grassroots activists.”

Most all of these groups and names listed thus far are signatories, if not playing influential roles within the Presidential Climate Action Plan Institution. A Rockefeller project. This is just a taste in a massive web of compromise, deceit, delusion and manipulation. The advisory committee of this influential Rockefeller project looks somewhat more progressive than the typical elite climate projects of the past. This is no accident. In order to have maximum effect, it is critical that these groups have credible, high-profile individuals who have demonstrated in the past they have the ability to engage citizens. Such individuals successfully help the project deflect criticism and minimize skepticism. One of the most corporate and compromised big green of all, NRDC, is featured on the front page of the PCAP website. Bill Becker, the Executive Director of the Presidential Climate Action Project was integral in the creation of 1Sky.

We can be absolutely certain of one thing. If we do have a revolution, a war time mobilization if you will to avert the climate crisis, not only will it not be televised but you can bet your life that it certainly isn’t going to be funded by the elites in the ruling classes, the Rockefellers of the world. They are anything but stupid. They are not about to fund the crucial changes that will enable us to shift the paradigm, rather, they are controlling the entire movement, ensuring the imperative changes, that threaten their very existence, will never occur. We are allowed to participate only in the illusion of real change. Citizens can be manipulated to believe they’re doing their part and have a voice in shaping such a revolutionary change. That’s why the plutocracy initiates it. However, the shape has already been formed – it is the shape of a big S with a line through it and it looks like this: $

From the article Can the climate bill’s death help build a living climate movement? The Rising can defeat the pirates of the new age written by Gary Lipow 7 Aug 2010: “In 2009, 1Sky celebrated the Waxman-Markey’s passage along with Greenpeace. Greenpeace nominally opposed the Waxman Markey bill initially yet remained and remains a member of 1Sky. It is believed that an ‘updated’ analysis of the Waxman Markey bill was posted the 1Sky website only after receiving much criticism and not on 6/4/09 as 1Sky claimed. If we do accept that the 1Sky analysis existed beforehand, then why were the deficiencies not made clear to 1Sky supporters? 1Sky claimed the proposed changes would ‘strengthen’ the bill while admitting that the reductions the bill would deliver would only be 28% emission reductions by 2020, with a 2005 baseline opposed to 1990.” Perhaps such riddles can be explained by the fact that the CEOs of the top ten green groups in the US rake in from $308,000 to $496,000 per year. (Remember that the next time they call you for a donation, needed to push corporate hand-out suicide pacts, passed off as “win-win” legislation.)

Other members of 1Sky read like a who’s who of Rockefeller grantees including the Rainforest Action Network who has been under attack by the real grassroots climate justice groups for their involvement in the selling out of the Boreal Rainforest with other ENGOs such as Greenpeace. The public was also left in the dark while the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA) was negotiated in secret between nine environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs) and 21 forestry companies. Indigenous governments and organizations were left out of the creation of the CBFA agreement. Most recently, Sandra Odendahl of Royal Bank Canada (RBC), finished giving a whirlwind tour of Trinidad where she proclaimed that the RBC agreement with RAN allows her to unveil investment plans for RBC in the country of Trinidad, thanks to the deal they obtained “in the oil sands”. RAN and others paved the way for this.

Do we really believe that the Clintons and the Rockefeller family had a whole Earth economy concept in mind when they pushed the 1Sky agenda forward? Do we really believe that elites had a vision to commence the deconstruction of the existing system and initiate a transition towards building an alternative system which would redistribute the wealth equally amongst citizens of the world? Do we believe the plutocrats would seek, let alone willingly abandon, dismantlement of the capitalist system which has brought our species to the precipice of self-annihilation. Do we believe the wealthy elites would celebrate and embrace the self-determination struggles of the planets citizens and indigenous peoples for their economic, social and cultural liberation? If we truly want to save some resemblance of a livable planet for our children, we must confront and reject the non-profit industrial complex, who in reality, cannot and will not bite the hand which feeds them – the hand upon which they depend, in order to continue to exist.

A People’s History of American Empire by Howard Zinn

April 20th, 2011 will mark the 97 year anniversary of the Ludlow Massacre resulted in the violent deaths of 19 people including 2 women and 11children were asphyxiated and burned to death during an attack on 1,200 striking coal miners. One of the 3 largest companies involved was the Rockefeller family-owned Colorado Fuel & Iron Company. Howard Zinn has described the Ludlow Massacre as “the culminating act of perhaps the most violent struggle between corporate power and laboring men in American history”.

Training the Puppets
Art of Leadership Retreat

1Sky bourgeoisie attended the Art of Leadership retreat workshop for social change leaders from the nonprofit, philanthropic, labor and ‘socially responsible’ business sectors facilitated by Robert Gass, facilitator and retreat designer par excellence. Each participant receives a “360-degree” performance evaluation to clarify areas for skills development. In the Art of Leadership, professional trainers deliver a curriculum that provides leaders with (a) clarity of vision in their work; (b) partnership skills, including listening, speaking, conflict resolution and negotiation; (c) “personal mastery” and emotional intelligence skills; (d) teamwork development skills; and (e) performance skills.  What to expect?  A four-day intensive residential seminar led by nationally recognized facilitators and held in a beautiful retreat setting.

1Sky also partnered with NYPIRG.

The 1Sky and 350.org PIRG Connection

350.org is registered by Sustainable Markets Foundation (SMF). Who is on the SMF Board of Directors?  Of three board members cited, one name is listed. Her name is Elizabeth Hitchcock. Hitchcock is public health advocate for US PIRG and the US PIRG Education Fund. Hitchcock researches and conducts advocacy campaigns. Prior to becoming public health advocate, she served for eleven years as the Communications Director for US PIRG, working with the program and field staffs of the state PIRGs to release reports to the national and local media. Prior to joining the US PIRG staff in 1990, she worked on a number of environmental campaigns with PIRGs in Massachusetts, New Jersey, California, and Florida.

The 350.org domain belongs to that of a Jay R. Halfon. An associate of Rockefeller, Jay R. Halfon is also listed as the executive and Director & General Counsel of Sustainable Markets Foundation.

Halfon was executive director of the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), with over 25 offices throughout New York State, for a decade ending in 1997.

Halfon is a practicing attorney specializing in the law of tax exempt organizations and a public policy strategist. He represents tax-exempt organizations, including public charities, private foundations, advocacy groups and political entities. From May 1998 to December 2001 Mr. Halfon served as executive director and general counsel of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He has a broad range of experience influencing public policy in both Congress and state legislatures. He is the director of Earthworks and former Director of TechRocks. TechRocks came into play from the merged operations of the Rockefeller Technology Project and Desktop Assistance.

The US Public Interest Research Group known as PIRG is a political lobby non-profit organization. The first PIRG was a public interest law firm started by Ralph Nader in Washington, D.C. and was far different from the modern conception of PIRG. The State PIRGs emerged in the early 1970s on college campuses across the country. After students organized on college campuses for nearly 10 years, the different State PIRGs established the D.C. arm, the US PIRG, to advocate for change on the national level. Nearly simultaneously, the PIRGs founded the Fund For Public Interest Research (FFPIR), the fundraising and citizen outreach arm of the PIRGs. Since the early 1990s, the fund has also canvassed for other groups, working very closely with the big green Sierra Club, and many others institutions within the non-profit industrial complex.

In the book Activism, Inc: How the Outsourcing of Grassroots Campaigns Is Strangling Progressive Politics in America by Columbia University sociologist Dana Fisher, Fisher writes that the outsourcing of grassroots organizing by groups like the Sierra Club and Greenpeace to organizations like the Fund has led to the decay of grassroots infrastructure and opportunities for involvement on the left. In response to the criticisms by Fisher and others, the PIRG Fund created a website, Canvassing Works. The site includes testimony by former fund staff who have moved into leading roles in other institutions within the non-profit industrial complex and testimony of big greens within the elitist circles, such as Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope and Randy Hayes of the Rainforest Action Network.

PIRG also receives Rockefeller foundation money while at the same time stating that they avoid any funding directly from corporations, stating that such funding would restrict their autonomy. No one is in a better position to tap into and influence the impressionable youth across North America than that of PIRG.

1Sky Steps it Up | 350.org

14 April 2008: In the same post where ‘Step It Up’ announces they have helped form 1Sky, 350.org is announced: “Meanwhile, the science around climate change has continued to darken. We all watched the Arctic melt last summer, and an ice shelf the size of Connecticut crumple in the southern ocean this winter. James Hansen, our foremost climatologist, has just issued the most important scientific assessment of global warming in many years, which you can read here. Basically, it calls for limiting carbon concentrations in the atmosphere to below 350 parts per million. In fact, Hansen says: “If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm. Therefore, our organizing team is launching a new venture: 350.org. The final website won’t be ready for a few weeks, but since you’re family we’re letting you know now. In fact, we hope very much that you’ll visit the preliminary website that we’ve set up and start figuring out how to help.

On 15 April 2008 Bill McKibben writes: “Don’t let it distract you from pressuring your Senator or from working with 1Sky — that remains crucial. In fact, think of us as the global arm of 1Sky. We just need this commitment to international action to be another part of your hard work on climate change. You can’t believe how encouraged people in other parts of the world are to find that Americans are working on these questions — it breaks down their sense that our country has turned its back on the rest of the world.”

In another article published 15 April 2008 McKibben ends with: “P.S. Some people have asked us if they can help financially in this new effort. The answer, of course, is yes — we could really use the money to hire organizers all around the globe. Some people, in fact, are committing to sending us $350 from the ‘economic stimulus’ checks the government is mailing out. You can donate online at http://www.350.org/donate but if you’d rather mail a check make it out to the Sustainable Markets Foundation. Sustainable Markets Foundation is the official name used (sometimes hyphenated with 350.org) for registering events with the United Nations climate talks.  The 2007 990 tax filing shows total revenue as $2099699, fundraising as zero, total expenses as $1250902, and $1118006 in net assets.

350.org is Registered to Sustainable Markets Foundation.
c/o Sustainable Markets Foundation
Attn Jay R. Halfon
80 Broad St., Ste. 1600
New York, NY 10004

A fiscal sponsor must be a non-profit and must have a mission that aligns with the project or organization being incubated. This is an IRS requirement. There are complexities to such an agreement. Fiscal sponsorship is more than a “money conduit” role, as the sponsor’s board assumes significant responsibility for the managed project. While day-to-day program management is handled by the incubating organization or project, the sponsor accepts both legal and financial liability for that group’s activities in addition to funds management.

350.org’s symbolic 10:10:10 campaign was funded by Global Greengrants Fund (GGF), a pro-REDD entity which works with, and receives funding from, the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation. GGF states: “Our advisers and partners are currently focusing on REDD and REDD+ efforts around climate mitigation. REDD stands for ‘Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and (forest) Degradation’. It is one of the areas of discussion at COP15 where some believe the most positive movement was made.” Yet, Indigenous groups across the world continue their struggle in opposition of REDD which aims to commodify the worlds remaining forests.

McKibben and 350.org events also promote biochar, yet another false solution opposed by grassroots climate justice groups all over the world.

To date, McKibben/350.org refuse to endorse or promote The People’s Agreement, agreed upon during the World’s People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth on April 22nd, 2010, in Cochabamba, Bolivia. The People’s Agreement is the first agreement, democratically written by global civil society, to uphold substantive positions on a range of policies, as well as demanding the necessary targets based on the realities nature and climate science demand.

In contrast, McKibben continues to highlight the 350.org campaign which claims to include over 100 of the most vulnerable countries signed onto the 350 ppm target, which 350.org presented in Copenhagen (COP15). Yet, privately, McKibben states, “The list of countries changes all the time, but I think this is the latest. It’s long – the trouble is, it only represents about 7% of total global emissions, Hence not much political power. Hence, much more work to do.” This statement is powerful. McKibben clearly equates the amount of emissions produced to the amount of political power one has. This statement that McKibben provides exemplifies why the current system is grossly unjust; yet he neither acknowledges nor attempts to critically analyze the meaning behind his own words. A global economic system, where over 100 countries represent a mere 7% of all global emissions, is a failed and unjust system. McKibben is clear: the lowest greenhouse gas-emitting states have no power – no matter how many they number. The major greenhouse gas-emitting, obstructionist states retain all power. In this capitalist system, the more destruction achieved, the more monetary wealth accumulates – money being the mechanism and the epitome of power. McKibben as much admits the capitalist system is blocking all progress – yet this is the very system he protects or otherwise condones – at all costs.

Manipulating the Well-Intentioned Youth | Power Shift

As with PIRG the Energy Action Coalition taps into youth across the US and  Canada. The work of Energy Action is focused on four strategic areas: campuses, communities, corporate practices, and politics.  It is part of the Global Youth Climate Movement. The Energy Action Coalition was founded in June 2004 at a meeting of representatives from almost 20 ENGOs in Washington, D.C.

In the fall of 2007, Step It Up partnered with Power Shift 2007. The first national youth climate conference, Power Shift ’07, took place from November 2 to 5, 2007 with between 5,000 and 6,000 students and young people in attendance. The aim of the conference was to: “urge elected officials to pass legislation which would include three planks taken from the platform of the climate advocacy coalition 1Sky.” Keynote speakers included Bill McKibben, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

PowerVote

In 2008 Powervote was a featured project of Bill Clinton’s Clinton Global Initiative, and hosted Al Gore in a live nationwide webcast. Over 350,000 young people got involved in the movement as climate voters and ‘new leaders’.

Power Shift 2009

Energy Action held a second national youth climate summit, Power Shift 2009 which took place February 27 through March 2, 2009 in Washington, D.C. The event drew over 12,000 student and youth climate activists, representing all 50 U.S. states, all Canadian provinces, and 13 other nations including Brazil, Austria, the United Kingdom. The goal of the conference was to “push the Obama administration and Congress to pass ‘bold, comprehensive, and just national climate legislation’ before entering international climate negotiations in December 2009.

Power Shift 2009 turns Orwellian

Meeting with key strategic members in Congress, these young activists were told that congress was ready to start promoting the essential legislation to achieve the just energy future we all deserve. The youth were told Power Shift needed a mobilization (they specifically asked for an “army”) on the ground spreading the word and gaining support. So, at Power Shift ’09 they gathered in record numbers, 12,000 plus, to demonstrate that the youth climate movement is that “army.” Power Shift claims the 2009 conference was the largest gathering of young people to solve the climate crisis in history. The Power Shift ’09 summer campaign seized the momentum from the conference and worked to organize the “army,” behind a highly strategized and unified national effort to pass climate and energy policy in 2009. During fall of 2009 there were 11 regional Power Shifts. Power Shift states:There couldn’t have been a more important time for these summits; the Senate was working on a much needed climate and energy bill and President Obama needed such legislation to head to the International Climate Negotiations in Copenhagen with the tools necessary to lead the world toward a ‘fair, ambitious & binding global treaty’.”  If this slogan sounds familiar … “A Fair, ambitious & binding global treaty” … it should.  It is the infamous corporate TckTckTck slogan which demands essentially nothing.

The critical questions we must ask ourselves are these: With access and opportunity to thousands of students, why were students not educated on the what the real climate targets are that must be achieved, and the fact that nature does not compromise regardless of our politics? Why were students not educated on false solutions? Why were students not made to understand the fact that the cost of the emergency measures that we must undertake, at break-neck speed, requires a non-negotiable diversion of the trillions of dollars from global military expenditures to environmental mitigation? Why did they not use their ‘army’ to demand real targets reflective of reality and climate science as opposed to grossly inadequate, watered down legislation?

‘It’s Getting Hot in Here’ (I’ll say)

“There is no doubt that the Capitalist class will blast and Burn this world before it leaves the stage of history. But it is we the workers who built these palaces and cities, who toiled the fields and worked the factories, and we can build them again, better than before. We are not afraid of ruins” – Buenaventura Durruti

The McKibben article titled Step It Up, Power Shift, and 1 Sky: A United Movement was featured on the website It’s Getting Hot in Here. It’s getting Hot in Here is registered to the ‘Energy Action Coalition’ (EAC) under the registrants name of Danny Marx. EAC states it is comprised of 50 youth-led environmental and social justice organizations including ‘Earth Day’, most noted recently for their repulsive climate wealth dinner event in 2010. Danny Marx is also the managing editor on Powershift09.org. Powershift is a project of the EAC. The team for It’s Getting Hot in Here is comprised of the following people; Matt Leonard ( RAN, TckTckTck climate insider, Greenpeace), Richard Graves (TckTckTck climate insider, online campaigner for the Global Campaign for Climate Action – A.K.A TckTckTck), Scott Parkin from RAN, Jamie Henn (co-coordinator of 350.org), Morgan Goodwin (TckTckTck climate insider, Avaaz), Juliana Williams (co-founder of the Cascade Climate Network) and Zoë Caron (TckTckTck climate insider, Board of Directors of Sierra Club Canada, founding member of the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition and climate policy and advocacy specialist for World Wildlife Fund Canada). The late Godfrey Rockefeller was a founder of WWF and a former executive director.

Confused? That’s o.k. – you’re supposed to be. And remember, this is just a tip of the iceberg.

Not to worry, on 2 March 2011, 350.org partner, the Havas created corporate lovechild tcktcktck announced “today you can change the Fate of the world for only $9.99!” In the eyes of TckTckTck, the fate of the world has literally been reduced to a cheap video game.

Like the Ku Klux Klan did not fund the civil rights movement, like the right-wing Christian fundamentalists did not fund the movement for gay rights, like the big oil Harper Government (formerly known as the Canadian government) is not going to fund the movement to abolish fossil fuels, the plutocracy is not about to fund any movement whose actions would could actually serve to deconstruct the current economic system, destroying the elites power to dominate and control.

Civil Society.  Manipulation.  Till death do we part.

As Jacque Fresco states unequivocally: “This shit has got to go.”

End.

Image: www.radicalgraphics.org

Cory Morningstar is climate justice activist whose recent writings can be found on Canadians for Action on Climate Change and The Art of Annihilation site where you can read her bio. You can follow her on Twitter: @elleprovocateur

References
[1] 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 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), which works consistently to sabotage climate action. The Climate Group also works on other initiatives, one being that of the ‘Voluntary Carbon Standard’, a new 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’.

[2] There are approximately 2 million inmates in state, federal and private prisons throughout the country. According to California Prison Focus, “no other society in human history has imprisoned so many of its own citizens.” The figures show that the United States has locked up more people than any other country: a half million more than China, which has a population five times greater than the U.S. Statistics reveal that the United States holds 25% of the world’s prison population, but only 5% of the world’s people. From less than 300,000 inmates in 1972, the jail population grew to 2 million by the year 2000. In 1990 it was one million. Ten years ago there were only five private prisons in the country, with a population of 2,000 inmates; now, there are 100, with 62,000 inmates. It is expected that by the coming decade, the number will hit 360,000, according to reports. (Global Research)

[3] On February 22, 2011, in a 6-2 decision, the Supreme Court granted pharmaceutical companies complete liability protection from vaccine injuries and deaths caused from government mandated vaccines. http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/7886018/no_pharma_liability.html?cat=25

Critical questions to ask before supporting any environmental organization to determine if they are the right people to represent your goals (suggested by the New York Climate Action Group):

·         What are their demands and what clear steps are they proposing to obtain them?
·         Do their actions match their purported goals?
·         What are their measures for quantifying any “realistic” effective compromise they have/would accept short of obtaining their goals?
·         Do they state consequences for all politicians responsible (not just the Republicans) for failure to work for what’s necessary effectively?
·         Do they take money from corporations or corporate-funded foundations?

350.org/1Sky:The Thinking Person’s Nightmare

SNICKERSNEE

350.org/1Sky:The Thinking Person’s Nightmare

April 11, 2011

by Lorna Salzman

Two items appeared on my screen a few days ago. The first announced the merger of 350.org and 1 Sky, two mass movement organizations claiming to be dedicated to stopping climate change. The first was founded by writer Bill McKibben. The second was long an affiliate of the first so an official merger is no surprise, nor is their Rockefeller funding. Nor is it a surprise that this merger won’t make any significant difference to resolution of the climate change issue. 350.org already unveiled its philosophical alliance with big business, overtly admitting what it had already done: abandoned grassroots resistance in order to curry favor with corporate money and power. Rest in peace, 350.org; we never believed in you anyway.

While 1Sky has taken some official positions on what needs to be done, 350.org never did. My open letter to McKibben in the May 3rd issue of The Nation last year laid out what I and other rather more militant activists decried: the refusal of the organization to articulate specific policies, taxes, incentives, and legislation to bring about their objective of reducing atmospheric CO2 concentrations back down to 350 parts per million (they are now about 390 and growing). Of course one does not get corporate or foundation grants by espousing climate change solutions that rock the boat, hence the unfocused generalizations and political side-stepping characteristic of 350.org from the beginning.

For a short period McKibben and I exchanged emails, until he cut me off, with him defending the raising of public consciousness as the primary goal and dismissing the notion of political action and lobbying as essentially useless. Though McKibben is far from being a leftist, this position – throwing weight behind mass organizing, demonstrations and direct action – has long been an article of faith on the left. This is what suppressed the birth of an American Green Party for seventeen years and can be found routinely in leftist journals. It is the very old "movement vs. party" argument that the US Green Party underwent in the 1980s and which persists today on the left. Who comprises this movement and who makes policies are unanswered questions as are the definition of democracy, legitimacy and internal accountability. These fundamentals are very likely to be stumbling blocks to the mass movement envisioned by 350.org, if it ever can get off its duff and actually propose policies for the public to support. Meanwhile, they are on extended sabbatical from the fight.

Which brings me to the second related point: the accession of leftist journalist Naomi Klein to the board of 1 Sky. Her announcement of this explicitly rejects appeals to "the elites", that is, in Congress, in favor of mass organizing. So the leftist article of faith has now been officially incorporated into the pro-business doctrine of the new entity comprised of 350.org and 1 Sky. Some of her pronouncements are little more than rhetoric: attacking "stalling tactics like action plans that get serious only in 2020"…the losing strategy of "lobbying elites behind closed doors", followed by a determination to "build the kind of mass movement that politicians cannot afford to ignore". Unfortunately it is their electoral constituency that they cannot afford to ignore, but Klein and 350.org are pretending otherwise. A million-person march on Washington to demand a reduction down to 350.org translates into exactly nada unless those million people confront their elected officials in ways they cannot ignore. This is not now in the cards at 350.org‘s table, and even less so with corporate partners holding the aces.

Left unsaid here is a back story about the whole Democratic Party and its supposed liberal wing who supported ineffective and ill-advised energy legislation and the large, wealthy Washington-based groups who have pushed the grassroots groups out of the nest, monopolize foundation grants, and transfix the mass media into thinking they speak for the whole movement, such as the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Defense Fund, who long ago abandoned their base constituency in order to curry favor with the elites Klein refers to. The other back story has been that the smaller and poorer groups have been crowded out but put up little resistance anyway. This became clear in the battle over cap and trade, where the Democrats seduced or bludgeoned many liberals into thinking this supremely capitalist tool had anything to do with reducing CO2 emissions. The opponents of cap and trade dithered too long and too late, as did McKibben himself, in exposing the real function and intent of cap and trade, which was to allow indefinite burning of coal so as to hamper energy efficiency, slow up a transition to renewables and make profits for brokers in the process.

How has it come about that the very thing that has allowed socially reactionary groups in this country to achieve notoriety has been adopted by groups purporting to oppose everything these retrogressive movements stand for? How has it become not only acceptable but praiseworthy to celebrate citizen apathy and civil disengagement from the political process? How has leftist cynicism been able to implant itself on middle of the road progressive movements, to the point where they can shamelessly boast about the inutility of involvement in politics and the reform of civil society institutions? And how can someone like Klein deplore the "deeply anti-democratic influence " of major polluters, while in effect telling the rest of us that we should abandon all avenues offering democratic participation and influence in favor of street theater and rallies?

There’s nothing like rejection of something you never tried.

Were these attitudes prevalent in the 1970s, it is likely that no environmental movement would have arisen. If one truly believes that governmental corruption is all-powerful to the point where one throws up one’s hands, only two stark choices remain: a stoic resignation to the forces of evil; or bomb throwing. Thus, 350.org/1Sky has literally gone on indefinite moral and intellectual vacation, where it will meet and commiserate with those on the left who can now say: See, we told you so; there is nothing else to do but rant and take to the streets. Thus, they are effectively shutting out the vast majority of people who long for strong principled leadership to push for political and electoral change.

The greens and left in this country have abandoned the climate change issue, not only for the above reasons but also because they have some peculiar and unsubstantiated notions about building coalitions of disparate interest groups to address comprehensive economic and political change. In this venture they will also meet head-on with other brick walls. But that’s another story for another time.

This just in:

Naomi Klein and Bill McKibben have just come out swinging and punching, calling for an invigorated mass movement of "bodies, passion, creativity"…..but to do what? They still won’t say.

What does this reluctance to announce an agenda mean? Does it mean they have none? Does it mean they are still figuring it out? Does it mean that they think that people shouting "stop global warming" is all we need? Or does it mean, as some of us think, that they are afraid to take strong positions commensurate with the threat out of fear of alienating their funders and the elites and the mass media?

Are they afraid to stand in front of us and say that we have to drastically and speedily reduce energy consumption across the board by raising prices through carbon taxes and an end to subsidies? Are they afraid to lead the mass movement they claim they have activated because they realize that reduced energy use on the scale required will profoundly affect the economy, changing the scale and purpose of production, jobs and consumption? In other words, are they afraid to look the capitalist growth society in the face, to say what they know full well must be done, and to do what is needed? Give us a clue, folks.

at 3:49 AM

http://neoenigma.blogspot.com/2011/04/snickersnee_11.html

2011 | The Big Green Race to Extinction

Published February 17th, 2011 by Political Context under the headline: 2011 | The Race to the Bottom Accelerates

By Cory Morningstar | http://bit.ly/i35O4J | http://bit.ly/gh2HRe | http://bit.ly/i8HdXq

 

2011 | The Race to the Bottom Accelerates

 

Illustration courtesy of Stephanie McMillan | CODE GREEN

“The Earth isn’t dying, it’s being killed, and those who are killing it have names and addresses.” – Utah Philips

As we now stand firmly on the precipice – staring irreversible climate catastrophe and natural resource depletion squarely in the face – the world accelerates its pace in a mad race to the bottom. Running with the baton are the world’s largest environmental NGOs – non-profit organizations. Although the industrial non-profit complex claims to speak for civil society, in reality these groups are the sanctioning agents of a planet which is rapidly becoming completely dominated by corporate control. These groups have been integral to lending legitimacy and credibility to the very corporations hell bent on destroying and commodifying what little remains of our increasingly fragile planet. What we are now witnessing is a race for the last remaining shared commons. Commons which should be protected and held ‘in trust’ for future generations – if only our governments were not mere puppets of corporate power and control.

WTF WEF: “Defining Civil Society, Once and For All”

“We are blinded, enchanted and finally enslaved by spectacle.” – Empire of Illusion, Chris Hedges

In the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting of 2005 one topic of significant importance was ‘Defining Civil Society, Once and For All’. The moderator Bassir Pour cited there was a 15 minute delay as many of the participants had been listening to the panel titled ‘The G8 and Africa: Rhetoric or Action? ‘ This panel had highlighted an example of ‘civil society in action’ in the form of a demonstration by Greenpeace, which Pour said put a smile on her lips because it was so peaceful. To be sure, there is nothing that makes a corporation or corporate-controlled government happier than a passive, unthreatening demonstration with no fighting spirit. Mind you, the same corporate entities do not uphold such similar peaceful ideologies for themselves to abide by. For example, in Columbia and other developing countries, Coca-Cola has murdered hundreds of union leaders. Dole has had no qualms in knowingly exposing banana workers to toxins resulting in sterilization. On December 26, 2009, Dora “Alicia” Recinos Sorto, age 32, was assassinated. Dora was the second anti-mining activist killed that week in the small community of Nueva Trinidad. Recinos Sorto was eight months pregnant and carrying her two-year old child when she was shot on her way back from doing laundry at a nearby river. Canadian Mining Company Pacific Rim has come under fire for these accelerating assassinations which continue today. In vulnerable countries such violence has become a daily part of life. Activists are targeted and become the invisible victims of the murderous economic system. Demonstrations have morphed from the fierce unwavering determination witnessed in the sixties to the ‘acceptable’ demonstrations now recognized today which are overwhelmingly ineffective. Such assembly line ‘protests’ undoubtedly inspire reactions from the global elite such as, “look at the cute proles who believe they can make a difference – adorable. Now let’s get back to business.” Touching on today’s ineffective movements, on 3 February 2011, Mr. Fish of truthdig.org asks the question: “What do we have now? An anti-war movement that is so gutless and so savagely unimaginative that, rather than gaining purpose and momentum in the face of our government’s ever-increasing disdain for peace in the Middle East, it has proved itself to be too lazy, even too cowardly, to face down the very disease of oligarchy that it had concocted itself to cure.” This statement can easily be applied to today’s environmental movement.

Pacific Rim Corporation: Above: Anti-Mining Activist Recinos Sorto – Assassinated

WEF: “Organizing Their Dream World”

One response to the question of ‘how to define civil society’ was that since big business foundations are incentivized by the tax code, corporations are not civil society, but foundations are. Therefore it should be no surprise the ‘big green’ groups who claim they receive no corporate funding can legitimately do so, merely because foundations serve as corporate front groups. The big greens are funded by the very foundations set up by the corporations who essentially serve as a money laundering service in what the elites proclaim as philanthro-capitalism. Others questions in the WEF discussion were: “Could an NGO formed by a corporation be part of civil society? Does acceptance of government contracts make an NGO an extension of government? Are the big NGOs still members of civil society?” In the summing up period, Pour said, Kofi Annan’s advice was the main point: to keep “organizing our dream world.”

The following year, at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of 2006 a topic of significant importance was ‘Building Trust in Public and Private Institutions’. Richard Edelman, President and CEO of Edelman, USA, reported that opinion leaders now trust NGOs more than business, media and government for information. “NGOs are the most trusted institution in nearly every market,” he stated. (Edelman’s Trust Barometer 2006 Seventh Global Opinion Leaders Study). He further reported that “Information conveyed by CEOs is at the bottom of the list, even lower than politicians, with organizations such as Amnesty International, WWF World Wide Fund for Nature, Greenpeace, and Médecins Sans Frontières at the top of the ranking.” Guy Ryder, General Secretary, International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), Brussels, corroborated the Edelman survey: “Trust matters. There is a feeling of bewilderment which dramatically impacts on people’s lives. They feel powerless; we do not have a means of expressing opinions. ‘Trust proximity’ is the thing that you are familiar with; it includes the things you understand.” Ryder further explained that for the ordinary person, “NGOs seem ‘more like me’ and convey the things that matter to me.” He noted that the fall of confidence in public institutions is the most alarming. “53% of people in the US want to be represented by trade unions, but corporate America stops this.” (Corporate America certainly does stop this. Corporate power has been utilizing corporate-owned media to its absolute advantage in a major attempt to turn the public sentiment against unions – the last remaining collective to threaten corporate power. The rhetoric spewed out by the corporate media is nothing less than incredible.)

Make no mistake, NGOs are recognized by corporate power as an absolutely essential element – indispensable for ensuring corporate power can quite easily advance their agenda.

First Place: Nature Conservancy

 

“Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate” – Bertrand Russell

At the front line of the race to the bottom we must recognize The Nature Conservancy for accepting the challenge of “protecting nature” in an announced new partnership with Dow Chemical who have generously gifted Nature Conservancy with a cool $10 million. Unfortunately, this ‘bankrolled consent’ most likely means Dow will be too financially strapped to clean up Bhopal – whose citizens continue to suffer to this day. Never mind last week it was announced that Dow’s profit has tripled. The corporation reported a profit of $511 million for the quarter ending in December 2010. Nature Conservancy’s president and CEO is none other than former Goldman Sachs Group executive, Mark Tercek. Perhaps not coincidentally, former Nature Conservancy president Henry Paulson also made his rounds through the revolving doors of the Goldman Sachs Group. Yet another Nature Conservancy board member, Muneer Satter, also originated from Goldman Sachs. You may recall the name Goldman Sachs – most known for their role in the brilliantly executed 2008 financial crisis which threw millions into poverty as the rich became even richer. As well, Nature Conservancy just hired a new marketing director in 2010 — former executive vice president for marketing at World Wrestling Entertainment. Prior to that position, he served as senior vice president for marketing at Showtime Networks. Showtime indeed. Fiction? Satire? Unfortunately not. If such organizations were not so dangerous, one would have to laugh. However, considering we are on the brink of exterminating our own children, this is truly sickening and no laughing matter. (Fyi – The Nature Conservancy has more than $3.7 billion in assets, annual revenue of $860 million – remember that when they ask you for your last 20 bucks.)

Second Place: Greenpeace International

And what does the world’s most recognized NGO plan to do in the face of cataclysmic climate change, as the opportunity to avoid irreversible planetary collapse slowly dissipates? It launches an international campaign to ‘green’ Facebook by Earth Day, April 22, 2011.

Enough said.

Update! 11 February 2011: “Today we need you to join a very special photo petition — … no, call it a competition — The 10 most-liked photos on Wednesday, 16 February at 17:00 CET will feature in an upcoming Greenpeace activity… (say no more, nudge nudge, wink wink). We also have campaign t-shirts for the top ten, and a CD of “Amchitka, The 1970 Concert that Launched Greenpeace,” featuring Joni Mitchell, Phil Ochs, and James Taylor, for the most popular photo of all. The funniest, weirdest, and most provocative photos will probably get the most ‘Likes’, so have some fun with it, submit your photo and get “liking” right away! Happy snapping, Team Facebook (at Greenpeace!)”

Third Place: WWF Presents National Sweater Day

 

“It’s time to Get Sweatered!” WWF-Canada announces a brand new campaign for Sweater Day, February 17, 2011. And after this you can look forward to shutting your lights off for that one hour a year in WWF’s annual Earth Hour campaign. As always, big greens frame the conversation on what an individual can do while vehemently neglecting to discuss the root cause of climate change – the current economic system. In this campaign, our youth is led to believe that small individual actions will help solve our environmental crisis. They can’t. Further, the crisis is framed to be most unthreatening, simply because the solution proposed requires so little effort. Of course, this campaign isn’t complete without prizes to feed the insatiable need to consume – which this campaign endorses by way of participation. (WWF International’s operating revenue totalled 224.2 million in 2010. Carter Roberts, CEO and President, took home a meagre $486,394 in 2008.)

Honourable Mentions: Friends of the Earth International


Courtesy of Keith Farnish’s Unsuitablog

“Find out about the Good Shopping Guide application: http://bit.ly/hH44mK Plus win an iPod touch! ” – Friends of the Earth via twitter

Friends of the Earth, 1970-2011
RIP

Worst Video

 

The video featuring a 2 minute summary of the COP16 conference and highlighting the brand TckTckTck makes light of our planetary emergency and tells the viewer… absolutely nothing. Further, the video frames Bolivia as an obstructionist to the negotiations when in fact Bolivia stood alone rejecting an agreement which will lead to mass genocide. Alone, Bolivia fought for life using powerful, ethical arguments, defending the people’s agreements adopted in Cochabamba which would protect Mother Earth, all species and future generations. All big greens have declined to endorse the People’s Agreement which places people before corporate profit. It appears this video, being promoted widely, was created by TckTckTck partner UKYCC.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76BgKe1naFc

First Prize for Most Dangerous: Greenpeace at the World Economic Forum

“Capitalism justified itself and was adopted as an economic principle on the express ground that it provides selfish motives for doing good, and that human beings will do nothing except for selfish motives” – George Bernard Shaw

In the frontline of global economic forums such as the WEF, commonly referred to simply as Davos, you will recognize the exceptionally orchestrated Greenpeace demonstrations. This is the Greenpeace that rides today on the coat-tails of the legacy laid down by the original Greenpeace founders decades ago.  A Greenpeace which in reality no longer exists. Before being co-opted by corporate power, Greenpeace consisted of grassroots activists who were not interested in discussing compromise. One such founder, Bob Hunter, wore a ‘fuck off’ sign around his neck in a public meetings. These real-life eco-warriors had no fear of ripping to shreds those who were destroying our planet.

A headline on an image posted on 10 January 2011 reads, “Sixty Greenpeace activists dressed in skeleton suits protest in front of the World Economic Forum conference against Dow Chemical”. The banners reads, “Clean up Bhopal Now!” The images are moving. Yet, in the background something much different is going on … behind the scenes … for those who dance in the elitist circle … the champagne flows almost as fast as the money.

 

7 February 2011, Kumi Naidoo, executive director of Greenpeace International and chair of the Havas creation TckTckTck ‘speaks to power’ in Johannesburg, South Africa. Naidoo explains that at the World Economic Forum in Davos he had meetings with no fewer than 15 chief executives of major corporations, men whose decisions help shape (destroy) our environment and affect workers’ rights (exploitation) and ultimately what kind of world we pass on to our children and grandchildren (irreversible climate hell with collapsed ecosystems). Naidoo states that the first meeting was a breakfast briefing with Unilever. Naidoo states he was invited by the chief executive to speak of the curious relationship his company enjoys with Greenpeace.

Curious. Yes. It is most interesting that TckTckTck creator Havas serves the world’s most powerful clients such as Unilver and EDF (nuclear).

For an excellent briefing on why Greenpeace working with corporate power for a better world is bullshit slash greenwash, Richard Samans offers an astute analysis in “Running the World After the Crash,” in Jan 2011 Foreign Policy. “Two years ago the elites were scared to death by the global crash, their economic nostrums discredited. Thousands of citizens took to the streets. Governments fell. Others desperately promised a new era of financial re-regulation, world cooperation on the environment and food crises created by neoliberalism and exponential growth. Then they regained confidence. Banks were “too big to fail”. The taxpayer was told to pay the bill for the playboys of the Western world. Trillions of private debt were transferred to the taxpayer (socialism for the rich) – a bill that our children and their children will have to pay. A further consequence: there is “no money left”, we are told, to finance climate action, international aid, schools, healthcare, housing, job creation and infrastructure. The elites are laughing all the way to the bank. And the high priests of the system (at Davos Jan 2011) say the next whirl of the financial wheel will be based on carbon credits.”


First Prize for Most Tasteless | Greenpeace Makes Light of Tibetan Oppression

Under attack for the tasteless 30 second Super Bowl commercial using Tibet, the corporation responsible, Groupon, stepped into the defensive mode. As images of Tibet were shown, actor Timothy Hutton read, “The people of Tibet are in trouble. Their very culture is in jeopardy.” The scene cuts to Hutton inside a restaurant: “But they still whip up an amazing fish curry. And since 200 of us bought at groupon.com we’re each getting 30 dollars worth of Tibetan food for just 15 dollars at Himalayan restaurant in Chicago.”

Although this ad is clearly distasteful and trivializes the incredibly serious issue of human rights violations in Tibet, Greenpeace, who also uses Groupon, defended the ad. “Greenpeace is happily participating in the campaign. The truth is that the ‘Save the Money’ campaign and the commercial are really helping us save the whales,” Greenpeace’s John Hocevar said in a blog post. He added, “They loved the idea of poking fun at themselves by talking about discounts as a noble cause.”

People aware of how the Tibetan culture is being destroyed in the conflict with China understand struggles of Tibet deserve respect.

From the Free Tibet website: “For Groupon the commercial has generated a lot of free media coverage and it could be argued that the advert has helped raise the profile of what is happening in Tibet, after all awareness is the first step to accountability. But it does put Tibetans and their suffering at the heart of the joke and when it’s used for commercial purposes that is exploitative. The commercial also exposes that fact that across the US and arguably the world the public know what is happening inside Tibet. But that leaves the uncomfortable fact that not enough of us are holding the Chinese Communist Party accountable for the suffering in Tibet, nor for that matter are our own governments being held accountable for their failure to hold China accountable for its appalling human rights record in Tibet.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reLqtMb4-e8&feature=related (What Remains of Us: This film was shot without the knowledge of the Chinese authorities, using small digital cameras, during nearly a dozen secret forays into Tibet between 1996 and 2004.)

First Prize for Most Predictable

 

Reformers who are always compromising, have not yet grasped the idea that truth is the only safe ground to stand upon.” – Elizabeth Stanton

 

Rockefeller funded 350.org wins hands down for the predictable launch of their Businesses For 350 Campaign.  How to get to 350?  You won’t find the answer on this site … maybe just keep recycling or consuming. It appears Bill McKibben of 350.org neglected to read our 10:10:10 critique from October 2010.

First Prize for Most Undetected Greenwash of 2010

TckTckTck – partner of 350.org, WWF, Greenpeace and hundreds of other NGOs – was created by Havas, one of the largest marketing and PR firms in the world. Havas clients include a torrent of the largest and most powerful corporations on the planet. Given that economic growth is the root cause of greenhouse gas emissions growth (they have been neck and neck for the last 50 years); and the raison d’etre of Havas is to ensure TckTckTck founding partner corporations including EDF (the largest nuclear corporation on the planet) increase profits through economic growth; TckTckTck was fatally compromised at its inception. In the 2010 ‘Public Eye’ campaign it states, “Organized since 2000, Public Eye reminds corporations with destructive business practices that actions have consequences, presenting ‘name and shame’ awards to the nastiest corporate players of the year and through these awards presents to the world the immoral nexus between corporate power and the political elite.” In 2010, following the Copenhagen disaster, Greenpeace Switzerland participated in naming the Public Eye Award to “the nastiest corporate player of the year”.  The nominees included GDF Suez and Roche – TckTckTck founding partners. In summary, Greenpeace, partner of TckTckTck (Kumi Naidoo chairs both Greenpeace International and TckTckTck, also known as GCCA) is in partnership with these same corporations (GDF Suez and Roche). Such campaigns and organizations make a mockery of those suffering on the front lines of the climate emergency today. The layers of deceit are breathtaking.

As of today there remains a shortcut link on the Havas website to www.tcktcktck.org to “join the fight for climate justice”. And business for Havas has never been better – new business remains strong. (€1.6 billion for the first nine months of the year, compared with €1.1 billion for the same period in 2009 (+42%)).

 

TckTckTck has removed their partner, the Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, from visibility on the www.tcktcktck.org website after screenshots and information of this collaboration were released to their supporters and partners using their own listserv. The TckTckTck partners within the Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change group include Shell, Coca-Cola and RBC. RBC is the number one financier of the most destructive project on the planet – the tar sands.  Over 1,000 corporate entities make up this TckTckTck partner group.

 

Eradicating Stupidity | Going Forward

“As for the bourgeois state, we are seeking to overcome it, to overthrow it.” Salvador Allende, 1970


 

 

Just as wearing sweaters will not make any meaningful dent in our climate crisis; just as turning Facebook green amounts to essentially nothing; just as ‘green’ shopping and more i-pods only serve to further destroy us; and just as the Nature Conservancy – Dow partnership will only serve to greenwash; consuming as a means of helping will not save whales or anything else. Every day, our current economic system continues brings us one day closer to cataclysmic, irreversible climate change and ecosystem collapse on a global scale.

And while we may not expect truth from the bloated NGOs, we should not accept it. Importantly, while we recognize the demise of ethics within the vast monopoly of NGOs who protect the very system that grips us securely in a stranglehold, we must also recognize that within these corporate structures are well-intentioned citizens and even activists who are just as frustrated by the censorship and symbolic ‘feel good’ campaigns that appeal to our society’s worst traits. Such traits such as individualism, greed, apathy and narcissism are integral for a profoundly weak and divided society. Therefore, such traits are kept fed and nourished by the corporate powers who are, in turn, completely dependent upon society’s successful indoctrination and feelings of powerlessness. Fortunately, for the ethical, yet repressed, campaigners on the inside, in 2011 we now have Enviroleaks – enabling those within the system to leak imperative documents, without fear of repercussion.

What else is new in 2011? To date, there are no mainstream NGOs who are willing to campaign on militarism and its massive contribution to climate change. One would think that this would be a sure ‘win’ upon which the NGOs should love to attach themselves. Really, how many people do you know that would oppose a campaign to end occupations and war? Known to most citizens, militarism in the US represents such a massive chunk of the budget, there is little money for anything else. Healthcare and education remain mere irritants of the lowest priority. Although this reckless budget will no doubt contribute to bankrupting the US sooner rather than later – only to line bank vaults of the corporations and the controlling plutocracy – the big greens are silent on the issue. It appears that millions of lives lost count for little.

And like we must stop the soothing yet false illusion that governments will someday do what they are supposed to do – represent their constituents and act in their best interests – we must also stop the false illusion that NGOs will confront the system and inspire a desperately needed uprising of the people who reject all false solutions while also demanding nothing less a new system which functions to serve only the essential needs of the people while protecting all life and our planet.

To date, the big greens refuse to tell supporters what the most critical aspects of climate change are, in spite of the insistent urging from climate justice activists. These are the imperatives every citizen has the right to know … and are not being told.

1)    In order to stabilize the planet, the world must achieve zero carbon emissions. Zero is the only number that matters and it must be achieved in a matter of years, not decades.  We are in a planetary emergency at less than 1ºC rise.

2)    The current economic system is the root cause of climate change.

3)    A mass mobilization on a global scale is needed to convert to a clean, perpetual zero carbon economy which rejects all false solutions including green capitalism.

The destructive campaigns of the big greens highlighted within this article are just a drop in the bucket of symbolic brand-building nonsense. Therefore the easiest direct action of 2011 is this: hit unsubscribe. The industrial non-profit complex claims to represent and speak for you in economic forums and government institutions around the world. They don’t. And if they have no members of civil society, they immediately lose their power to speak for us.  If they no longer speak for us, they can no longer use civil society as a tool allowing the expansion of the corporate agenda.

The pursuit of profit verses our responsibility to protect nature brings us to a tragic reality that is difficult to accept. Decades of doing nothing means it is now too late to stop climate change. Yet, perhaps it is not too late (we hope) to avert the magnitude of long-term impacts by cutting emissions to zero at break-neck speed. If we miss this closing window of opportunity, feedbacks take over, at which point cataclysmic climate change becomes irreversible. Nature takes over, and our planet becomes a living hell.

Message to the Youth: do-or-die


 

“But we won’t spend a buck a dime a single cent to preclude disaster for our children. As a mother and a grandmother this is the line that grips my heart. I see this as ageism gone viral. We don’t really care about our kids just our credit rating and OUR pensions. I guess Queen Victoria was totally effective when she said, “Children should be seen and not heard. Our so called economic system doesn’t hear the children at all. I guess soon we won’t have to see them either. Good for us adults, our campaign is a BIG success.” – FB comment

Why does society expect the next generation to clean up this mess of unparalleled magnitude – especially considering instead of being given essential tools for life skills, they were given remotes, posters of corporate prostitots, and truckloads of made-for-landfill plastic stuff bursting with toxins, chemicals and everything else that makes one ashamed to be human. This apocalyptic nightmare should never have been left to a generation of youth who have been raised and indoctrinated by corporate America – yet here we are – and the wrath of insatiable greed is about to grab our youth by the throat.

While we listen to Maude Barlow and other wise owls who tell us the next generation is the one that will change everything, we must recognize that today’s youth have become a reflection of our morally bankrupt society – beautiful children who have succumbed to become, most comfortably numb. Millions have come close to over-dosing on social media such as Facebook and texting. Ironically, social media is a wet dream for the globe’s largest marketing public relations firms who represent the world’s most powerful corporations. Marketing executives and corporate super-powers are salivating over what they envision as the greatest opportunity to exploit the planet’s youth. The corporate powers are masters in the art of acclimatizing civil society into believing that we have no control. They methodically hypnotize us to believe resistance is hopeless and therefore should be given up. This very system that enslaves us can continue its existence only if we accept that resistance is futile. Not unlike pedophiles who prey upon children, the plutocracy preys upon and is dependent upon a society easily lured with candy.

Things can change. 2011 marks a paradigm shift. The Egyptians have taught the world how to use the very social media tools corporate gods had hoped would serve to manipulate, control and distract us – and use these tools, instead, as weapons of mass-resistance. We now have WikiLeaks and Anonymous, bound to inspire creativity, coupled with revolt, in ways not yet imagined. The Egyptians have also taught the world what a revolution requires – nothing less than the courage and conviction of hundreds of thousands and even millions of bodies in the streets that refuse to leave until victory is achieved.

Today’s youth have, not only a right, but a moral obligation, to rebel and destroy the current power structures that exist. This is necessary in order to salvage what is left of a raped and pillaged planet on the brink of ecological collapse. Martin Luther King once said that you cannot commit an act of violence against a non-sentient object. Today, police states and corporate controlled governments protect property, corporate interests, and industrialized economic growth over life itself. Drastic times require drastic measures; thus, our youth have the right to destroy the suicidal structures now threatening humanity. Echoing the words of Malcolm X, they must defend that right “by any means necessary”. And we must support them as they seize this right, for we have failed them.

“Liberties are not given, they are taken.” – Aldous Huxley

Go forward in self defence. No longer can we passively witness the rape, abuse and desecration of our Earth Mother.  No longer can we passively witness the exploitation, violence and oppression subjected on our brothers and sisters. In our fight  for survival and for all life, love is the guiding principle, illuminating the centre of our struggle. We will not negotiate life. We reject all compromise. We will practise non-violence in the spirit of the Buddhist concept of aggressive non-violence understanding that one cannot commit an act of violence against a non-sentient object. Although we will exercise compassionate wrath, we recognize we have the right to defend ourselves and our Earth Mother. We intend to do so. Self-defence is not a crime. We will attack the economic system – as this is the only language it understands. We will collectively fight to reclaim our dignity and power. The burning flame at the heart of our fight for life will not be smothered, rehabilitated, co-opted, or psychologically marginalized. There will be no dilution of our fervour, no lowering of the flames, or any muting of our essential collective voice. And if our fire destroys, it is for the sake or protection and healing and bringing us together as one. Our love will burn brilliantly. The time is now.

“Individually we may see ourselves as free, yet as a collective, we are slaves. The point where we free ourselves from our own animal is that moment when we become enlightened, where we see ourselves not as a person at a single point in time, but as a continuity in blood and in thought, spanning generations and time.” Harold One Feather

It is past time to start enacting civil disobedience on a massive scale. Knowledge is the weapon and it is time to arm the masses. Fuel distribution centres, pipelines, the industrial-military-complex, banks, the stock exchange: all must be targeted. Go forward. Don’t look back. Be courageous. Be strong. The truth is on our side. Our parents could not find the courage, which means we must. The Earth, and all life on this planet, pumps through our veins. To feel it, go outside and lie under a tree. Look up at the sky. We are nature. Nature is us. Our time is running out.

“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

Cory Morningstar is climate justice activist whose recent writings can be found on Canadians for Action on Climate Change and The Art of Annihilation site where you can read her bio. You can follow her on Twitter: @elleprovocateur

Published February 17th, 2011 by Political Context under the headline: 2011 | The Race to the Bottom Accelerates

By Cory Morningstar | http://bit.ly/i35O4J | http://bit.ly/gh2HRe | http://bit.ly/i8HdXq

This piece continues the series being presented by Cory Morningstar and Gregory Vickrey and is part of their anticipated and controversial book and multimedia project due out in 2011.

2011 | The Race to the Bottom Accelerates

Illustration courtesy of Stephanie McMillan | CODE GREEN

“The Earth isn’t dying, it’s being killed, and those who are killing it have names and addresses.” – Utah Philips

As we now stand firmly on the precipice – staring irreversible climate catastrophe and natural resource depletion squarely in the face – the world accelerates its pace in a mad race to the bottom. Running with the baton are the world’s largest environmental NGOs – non-profit organizations. Although the industrial non-profit complex claims to speak for civil society, in reality these groups are the sanctioning agents of a planet which is rapidly becoming completely dominated by corporate control. These groups have been integral to lending legitimacy and credibility to the very corporations hell bent on destroying and commodifying what little remains of our increasingly fragile planet. What we are now witnessing is a race for the last remaining shared commons. Commons which should be protected and held ‘in trust’ for future generations – if only our governments were not mere puppets of corporate power and control.

WTF WEF: “Defining Civil Society, Once and For All”

“We are blinded, enchanted and finally enslaved by spectacle.” – Empire of Illusion, Chris Hedges

In the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting of 2005 one topic of significant importance was ‘Defining Civil Society, Once and For All’. The moderator Bassir Pour cited there was a 15 minute delay as many of the participants had been listening to the panel titled ‘The G8 and Africa: Rhetoric or Action? ‘ This panel had highlighted an example of ‘civil society in action’ in the form of a demonstration by Greenpeace, which Pour said put a smile on her lips because it was so peaceful. To be sure, there is nothing that makes a corporation or corporate-controlled government happier than a passive, unthreatening demonstration with no fighting spirit. Mind you, the same corporate entities do not uphold such similar peaceful ideologies for themselves to abide by. For example, in Columbia and other developing countries, Coca-Cola has murdered hundreds of union leaders. Dole has had no qualms in knowingly exposing banana workers to toxins resulting in sterilization. On December 26, 2009, Dora “Alicia” Recinos Sorto, age 32, was assassinated. Dora was the second anti-mining activist killed that week in the small community of Nueva Trinidad. Recinos Sorto was eight months pregnant and carrying her two-year old child when she was shot on her way back from doing laundry at a nearby river. Canadian Mining Company Pacific Rim has come under fire for these accelerating assassinations which continue today. In vulnerable countries such violence has become a daily part of life. Activists are targeted and become the invisible victims of the murderous economic system. Demonstrations have morphed from the fierce unwavering determination witnessed in the sixties to the ‘acceptable’ demonstrations now recognized today which are overwhelmingly ineffective. Such assembly line ‘protests’ undoubtedly inspire reactions from the global elite such as, “look at the cute proles who believe they can make a difference – adorable. Now let’s get back to business.” Touching on today’s ineffective movements, on 3 February 2011, Mr. Fish of truthdig.org asks the question: “What do we have now? An anti-war movement that is so gutless and so savagely unimaginative that, rather than gaining purpose and momentum in the face of our government’s ever-increasing disdain for peace in the Middle East, it has proved itself to be too lazy, even too cowardly, to face down the very disease of oligarchy that it had concocted itself to cure.” This statement can easily be applied to today’s environmental movement.

Pacific Rim Corporation: Above: Anti-Mining Activist Recinos Sorto – Assassinated

WEF: “Organizing Their Dream World”

One response to the question of ‘how to define civil society’ was that since big business foundations are incentivized by the tax code, corporations are not civil society, but foundations are. Therefore it should be no surprise the ‘big green’ groups who claim they receive no corporate funding can legitimately do so, merely because foundations serve as corporate front groups. The big greens are funded by the very foundations set up by the corporations who essentially serve as a money laundering service in what the elites proclaim as philanthro-capitalism. Others questions in the WEF discussion were: “Could an NGO formed by a corporation be part of civil society? Does acceptance of government contracts make an NGO an extension of government? Are the big NGOs still members of civil society?” In the summing up period, Pour said, Kofi Annan’s advice was the main point: to keep “organizing our dream world.”

The following year, at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of 2006 a topic of significant importance was ‘Building Trust in Public and Private Institutions’. Richard Edelman, President and CEO of Edelman, USA, reported that opinion leaders now trust NGOs more than business, media and government for information. “NGOs are the most trusted institution in nearly every market,” he stated. (Edelman’s Trust Barometer 2006 Seventh Global Opinion Leaders Study). He further reported that “Information conveyed by CEOs is at the bottom of the list, even lower than politicians, with organizations such as Amnesty International, WWF World Wide Fund for Nature, Greenpeace, and Médecins Sans Frontières at the top of the ranking.” Guy Ryder, General Secretary, International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), Brussels, corroborated the Edelman survey: “Trust matters. There is a feeling of bewilderment which dramatically impacts on people’s lives. They feel powerless; we do not have a means of expressing opinions. ‘Trust proximity’ is the thing that you are familiar with; it includes the things you understand.” Ryder further explained that for the ordinary person, “NGOs seem ‘more like me’ and convey the things that matter to me.” He noted that the fall of confidence in public institutions is the most alarming. “53% of people in the US want to be represented by trade unions, but corporate America stops this.” (Corporate America certainly does stop this. Corporate power has been utilizing corporate-owned media to its absolute advantage in a major attempt to turn the public sentiment against unions – the last remaining collective to threaten corporate power. The rhetoric spewed out by the corporate media is nothing less than incredible.)

Make no mistake, NGOs are recognized by corporate power as an absolutely essential element – indispensable for ensuring corporate power can quite easily advance their agenda.

First Place: Nature Conservancy

“Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate” – Bertrand Russell

At the front line of the race to the bottom we must recognize The Nature Conservancy for accepting the challenge of “protecting nature” in an announced new partnership with Dow Chemical who have generously gifted Nature Conservancy with a cool $10 million. Unfortunately, this ‘bankrolled consent’ most likely means Dow will be too financially strapped to clean up Bhopal – whose citizens continue to suffer to this day. Never mind last week it was announced that Dow’s profit has tripled. The corporation reported a profit of $511 million for the quarter ending in December 2010. Nature Conservancy’s president and CEO is none other than former Goldman Sachs Group executive, Mark Tercek. Perhaps not coincidentally, former Nature Conservancy president Henry Paulson also made his rounds through the revolving doors of the Goldman Sachs Group. Yet another Nature Conservancy board member, Muneer Satter, also originated from Goldman Sachs. You may recall the name Goldman Sachs – most known for their role in the brilliantly executed 2008 financial crisis which threw millions into poverty as the rich became even richer. As well, Nature Conservancy just hired a new marketing director in 2010 — former executive vice president for marketing at World Wrestling Entertainment. Prior to that position, he served as senior vice president for marketing at Showtime Networks. Showtime indeed. Fiction? Satire? Unfortunately not. If such organizations were not so dangerous, one would have to laugh. However, considering we are on the brink of exterminating our own children, this is truly sickening and no laughing matter. (Fyi – The Nature Conservancy has more than $3.7 billion in assets, annual revenue of $860 million – remember that when they ask you for your last 20 bucks.)

Second Place: Greenpeace International

And what does the world’s most recognized NGO plan to do in the face of cataclysmic climate change, as the opportunity to avoid irreversible planetary collapse slowly dissipates? It launches an international campaign to ‘green’ Facebook by Earth Day, April 22, 2011.

Enough said.

Update! 11 February 2011: “Today we need you to join a very special photo petition — … no, call it a competition — The 10 most-liked photos on Wednesday, 16 February at 17:00 CET will feature in an upcoming Greenpeace activity… (say no more, nudge nudge, wink wink). We also have campaign t-shirts for the top ten, and a CD of “Amchitka, The 1970 Concert that Launched Greenpeace,” featuring Joni Mitchell, Phil Ochs, and James Taylor, for the most popular photo of all. The funniest, weirdest, and most provocative photos will probably get the most ‘Likes’, so have some fun with it, submit your photo and get “liking” right away! Happy snapping, Team Facebook (at Greenpeace!)”

Third Place: WWF Presents National Sweater Day

“It’s time to Get Sweatered!” WWF-Canada announces a brand new campaign for Sweater Day, February 17, 2011. And after this you can look forward to shutting your lights off for that one hour a year in WWF’s annual Earth Hour campaign. As always, big greens frame the conversation on what an individual can do while vehemently neglecting to discuss the root cause of climate change – the current economic system. In this campaign, our youth is led to believe that small individual actions will help solve our environmental crisis. They can’t. Further, the crisis is framed to be most unthreatening, simply because the solution proposed requires so little effort. Of course, this campaign isn’t complete without prizes to feed the insatiable need to consume – which this campaign endorses by way of participation. (WWF International’s operating revenue totalled 224.2 million in 2010. Carter Roberts, CEO and President, took home a meagre $486,394 in 2008.)

Honourable Mentions: Friends of the Earth International


Courtesy of Keith Farnish’s Unsuitablog

“Find out about the Good Shopping Guide application: http://bit.ly/hH44mK Plus win an iPod touch! ” – Friends of the Earth via twitter

Friends of the Earth, 1970-2011
RIP

Worst Video

The video featuring a 2 minute summary of the COP16 conference and highlighting the brand TckTckTck makes light of our planetary emergency and tells the viewer… absolutely nothing. Further, the video frames Bolivia as an obstructionist to the negotiations when in fact Bolivia stood alone rejecting an agreement which will lead to mass genocide. Alone, Bolivia fought for life using powerful, ethical arguments, defending the people’s agreements adopted in Cochabamba which would protect Mother Earth, all species and future generations. All big greens have declined to endorse the People’s Agreement which places people before corporate profit. It appears this video, being promoted widely, was created by TckTckTck partner UKYCC.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76BgKe1naFc

First Prize for Most Dangerous: Greenpeace at the World Economic Forum

“Capitalism justified itself and was adopted as an economic principle on the express ground that it provides selfish motives for doing good, and that human beings will do nothing except for selfish motives” – George Bernard Shaw

In the frontline of global economic forums such as the WEF, commonly referred to simply as Davos, you will recognize the exceptionally orchestrated Greenpeace demonstrations. This is the Greenpeace that rides today on the coat-tails of the legacy laid down by the original Greenpeace founders decades ago.  A Greenpeace which in reality no longer exists. Before being co-opted by corporate power, Greenpeace consisted of grassroots activists who were not interested in discussing compromise. One such founder, Bob Hunter, wore a ‘fuck off’ sign around his neck in a public meetings. These real-life eco-warriors had no fear of ripping to shreds those who were destroying our planet.

A headline on an image posted on 10 January 2011 reads, “Sixty Greenpeace activists dressed in skeleton suits protest in front of the World Economic Forum conference against Dow Chemical”. The banners reads, “Clean up Bhopal Now!” The images are moving. Yet, in the background something much different is going on … behind the scenes … for those who dance in the elitist circle … the champagne flows almost as fast as the money.

7 February 2011, Kumi Naidoo, executive director of Greenpeace International and chair of the Havas creation TckTckTck ‘speaks to power’ in Johannesburg, South Africa. Naidoo explains that at the World Economic Forum in Davos he had meetings with no fewer than 15 chief executives of major corporations, men whose decisions help shape (destroy) our environment and affect workers’ rights (exploitation) and ultimately what kind of world we pass on to our children and grandchildren (irreversible climate hell with collapsed ecosystems). Naidoo states that the first meeting was a breakfast briefing with Unilever. Naidoo states he was invited by the chief executive to speak of the curious relationship his company enjoys with Greenpeace.

Curious. Yes. It is most interesting that TckTckTck creator Havas serves the world’s most powerful clients such as Unilver and EDF (nuclear).

For an excellent briefing on why Greenpeace working with corporate power for a better world is bullshit slash greenwash, Richard Samans offers an astute analysis in “Running the World After the Crash,” in Jan 2011 Foreign Policy. “Two years ago the elites were scared to death by the global crash, their economic nostrums discredited. Thousands of citizens took to the streets. Governments fell. Others desperately promised a new era of financial re-regulation, world cooperation on the environment and food crises created by neoliberalism and exponential growth. Then they regained confidence. Banks were “too big to fail”. The taxpayer was told to pay the bill for the playboys of the Western world. Trillions of private debt were transferred to the taxpayer (socialism for the rich) – a bill that our children and their children will have to pay. A further consequence: there is “no money left”, we are told, to finance climate action, international aid, schools, healthcare, housing, job creation and infrastructure. The elites are laughing all the way to the bank. And the high priests of the system (at Davos Jan 2011) say the next whirl of the financial wheel will be based on carbon credits.”


First Prize for Most Tasteless | Greenpeace Makes Light of Tibetan Oppression

Under attack for the tasteless 30 second Super Bowl commercial using Tibet, the corporation responsible, Groupon, stepped into the defensive mode. As images of Tibet were shown, actor Timothy Hutton read, “The people of Tibet are in trouble. Their very culture is in jeopardy.” The scene cuts to Hutton inside a restaurant: “But they still whip up an amazing fish curry. And since 200 of us bought at groupon.com we’re each getting 30 dollars worth of Tibetan food for just 15 dollars at Himalayan restaurant in Chicago.”

Although this ad is clearly distasteful and trivializes the incredibly serious issue of human rights violations in Tibet, Greenpeace, who also uses Groupon, defended the ad. “Greenpeace is happily participating in the campaign. The truth is that the ‘Save the Money’ campaign and the commercial are really helping us save the whales,” Greenpeace’s John Hocevar said in a blog post. He added, “They loved the idea of poking fun at themselves by talking about discounts as a noble cause.”

People aware of how the Tibetan culture is being destroyed in the conflict with China understand struggles of Tibet deserve respect.

From the Free Tibet website: “For Groupon the commercial has generated a lot of free media coverage and it could be argued that the advert has helped raise the profile of what is happening in Tibet, after all awareness is the first step to accountability. But it does put Tibetans and their suffering at the heart of the joke and when it’s used for commercial purposes that is exploitative. The commercial also exposes that fact that across the US and arguably the world the public know what is happening inside Tibet. But that leaves the uncomfortable fact that not enough of us are holding the Chinese Communist Party accountable for the suffering in Tibet, nor for that matter are our own governments being held accountable for their failure to hold China accountable for its appalling human rights record in Tibet.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reLqtMb4-e8&feature=related (What Remains of Us: This film was shot without the knowledge of the Chinese authorities, using small digital cameras, during nearly a dozen secret forays into Tibet between 1996 and 2004.)

First Prize for Most Predictable

Reformers who are always compromising, have not yet grasped the idea that truth is the only safe ground to stand upon.” – Elizabeth Stanton

Rockefeller funded 350.org wins hands down for the predictable launch of their Businesses For 350 Campaign.  How to get to 350?  You won’t find the answer on this site … maybe just keep recycling or consuming. It appears Bill McKibben of 350.org neglected to read our 10:10:10 critique from October 2010.

First Prize for Most Undetected Greenwash of 2010

TckTckTck – partner of 350.org, WWF, Greenpeace and hundreds of other NGOs – was created by Havas, one of the largest marketing and PR firms in the world. Havas clients include a torrent of the largest and most powerful corporations on the planet. Given that economic growth is the root cause of greenhouse gas emissions growth (they have been neck and neck for the last 50 years); and the raison d’etre of Havas is to ensure TckTckTck founding partner corporations including EDF (the largest nuclear corporation on the planet) increase profits through economic growth; TckTckTck was fatally compromised at its inception. In the 2010 ‘Public Eye’ campaign it states, “Organized since 2000, Public Eye reminds corporations with destructive business practices that actions have consequences, presenting ‘name and shame’ awards to the nastiest corporate players of the year and through these awards presents to the world the immoral nexus between corporate power and the political elite.” In 2010, following the Copenhagen disaster, Greenpeace Switzerland participated in naming the Public Eye Award to “the nastiest corporate player of the year”.  The nominees included GDF Suez and Roche – TckTckTck founding partners. In summary, Greenpeace, partner of TckTckTck (Kumi Naidoo chairs both Greenpeace International and TckTckTck, also known as GCCA) is in partnership with these same corporations (GDF Suez and Roche). Such campaigns and organizations make a mockery of those suffering on the front lines of the climate emergency today. The layers of deceit are breathtaking.

As of today there remains a shortcut link on the Havas website to www.tcktcktck.org to “join the fight for climate justice”. And business for Havas has never been better – new business remains strong. (€1.6 billion for the first nine months of the year, compared with €1.1 billion for the same period in 2009 (+42%)).

TckTckTck has removed their partner, the Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, from visibility on the www.tcktcktck.org website after screenshots and information of this collaboration were released to their supporters and partners using their own listserv. The TckTckTck partners within the Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change group include Shell, Coca-Cola and RBC. RBC is the number one financier of the most destructive project on the planet – the tar sands.  Over 1,000 corporate entities make up this TckTckTck partner group.

Eradicating Stupidity | Going Forward

“As for the bourgeois state, we are seeking to overcome it, to overthrow it.” Salvador Allende, 1970


Just as wearing sweaters will not make any meaningful dent in our climate crisis; just as turning Facebook green amounts to essentially nothing; just as ‘green’ shopping and more i-pods only serve to further destroy us; and just as the Nature Conservancy – Dow partnership will only serve to greenwash; consuming as a means of helping will not save whales or anything else. Every day, our current economic system continues brings us one day closer to cataclysmic, irreversible climate change and ecosystem collapse on a global scale.

And while we may not expect truth from the bloated NGOs, we should not accept it. Importantly, while we recognize the demise of ethics within the vast monopoly of NGOs who protect the very system that grips us securely in a stranglehold, we must also recognize that within these corporate structures are well-intentioned citizens and even activists who are just as frustrated by the censorship and symbolic ‘feel good’ campaigns that appeal to our society’s worst traits. Such traits such as individualism, greed, apathy and narcissism are integral for a profoundly weak and divided society. Therefore, such traits are kept fed and nourished by the corporate powers who are, in turn, completely dependent upon society’s successful indoctrination and feelings of powerlessness. Fortunately, for the ethical, yet repressed, campaigners on the inside, in 2011 we now have Enviroleaks – enabling those within the system to leak imperative documents, without fear of repercussion.

What else is new in 2011? To date, there are no mainstream NGOs who are willing to campaign on militarism and its massive contribution to climate change. One would think that this would be a sure ‘win’ upon which the NGOs should love to attach themselves. Really, how many people do you know that would oppose a campaign to end occupations and war? Known to most citizens, militarism in the US represents such a massive chunk of the budget, there is little money for anything else. Healthcare and education remain mere irritants of the lowest priority. Although this reckless budget will no doubt contribute to bankrupting the US sooner rather than later – only to line bank vaults of the corporations and the controlling plutocracy – the big greens are silent on the issue. It appears that millions of lives lost count for little.

And like we must stop the soothing yet false illusion that governments will someday do what they are supposed to do – represent their constituents and act in their best interests – we must also stop the false illusion that NGOs will confront the system and inspire a desperately needed uprising of the people who reject all false solutions while also demanding nothing less a new system which functions to serve only the essential needs of the people while protecting all life and our planet.

To date, the big greens refuse to tell supporters what the most critical aspects of climate change are, in spite of the insistent urging from climate justice activists. These are the imperatives every citizen has the right to know … and are not being told.

1)    In order to stabilize the planet, the world must achieve zero carbon emissions. Zero is the only number that matters and it must be achieved in a matter of years, not decades.  We are in a planetary emergency at less than 1ºC rise.

2)    The current economic system is the root cause of climate change.

3)    A mass mobilization on a global scale is needed to convert to a clean, perpetual zero carbon economy which rejects all false solutions including green capitalism.

The destructive campaigns of the big greens highlighted within this article are just a drop in the bucket of symbolic brand-building nonsense. Therefore the easiest direct action of 2011 is this: hit unsubscribe. The industrial non-profit complex claims to represent and speak for you in economic forums and government institutions around the world. They don’t. And if they have no members of civil society, they immediately lose their power to speak for us.  If they no longer speak for us, they can no longer use civil society as a tool allowing the expansion of the corporate agenda.

The pursuit of profit versus our responsibility to protect nature brings us to a tragic reality that is difficult to accept. Decades of doing nothing means it is now too late to stop climate change. Yet, perhaps it is not too late (we hope) to avert the magnitude of long-term impacts by cutting emissions to zero at break-neck speed. If we miss this closing window of opportunity, feedbacks take over, at which point cataclysmic climate change becomes irreversible. Nature takes over, and our planet becomes a living hell.

Message to the Youth: do-or-die


“But we won’t spend a buck a dime a single cent to preclude disaster for our children. As a mother and a grandmother this is the line that grips my heart. I see this as ageism gone viral. We don’t really care about our kids just our credit rating and OUR pensions. I guess Queen Victoria was totally effective when she said, “Children should be seen and not heard. Our so called economic system doesn’t hear the children at all. I guess soon we won’t have to see them either. Good for us adults, our campaign is a BIG success.” – FB comment

Why does society expect the next generation to clean up this mess of unparalleled magnitude – especially considering instead of being given essential tools for life skills, they were given remotes, posters of corporate prostitots, and truckloads of made-for-landfill plastic stuff bursting with toxins, chemicals and everything else that makes one ashamed to be human. This apocalyptic nightmare should never have been left to a generation of youth who have been raised and indoctrinated by corporate America – yet here we are – and the wrath of insatiable greed is about to grab our youth by the throat.

While we listen to Maude Barlow and other wise owls who tell us the next generation is the one that will change everything, we must recognize that today’s youth have become a reflection of our morally bankrupt society – beautiful children who have succumbed to become, most comfortably numb. Millions have come close to over-dosing on social media such as Facebook and texting. Ironically, social media is a wet dream for the globe’s largest marketing public relations firms who represent the world’s most powerful corporations. Marketing executives and corporate super-powers are salivating over what they envision as the greatest opportunity to exploit the planet’s youth. The corporate powers are masters in the art of acclimatizing civil society into believing that we have no control. They methodically hypnotize us to believe resistance is hopeless and therefore should be given up. This very system that enslaves us can continue its existence only if we accept that resistance is futile. Not unlike pedophiles who prey upon children, the plutocracy preys upon and is dependent upon a society easily lured with candy.

Things can change. 2011 marks a paradigm shift. The Egyptians have taught the world how to use the very social media tools corporate gods had hoped would serve to manipulate, control and distract us – and use these tools, instead, as weapons of mass-resistance. We now have WikiLeaks and Anonymous, bound to inspire creativity, coupled with revolt, in ways not yet imagined. The Egyptians have also taught the world what a revolution requires – nothing less than the courage and conviction of hundreds of thousands and even millions of bodies in the streets that refuse to leave until victory is achieved.

Today’s youth have, not only a right, but a moral obligation, to rebel and destroy the current power structures that exist. This is necessary in order to salvage what is left of a raped and pillaged planet on the brink of ecological collapse. Martin Luther King once said that you cannot commit an act of violence against a non-sentient object. Today, police states and corporate controlled governments protect property, corporate interests, and industrialized economic growth over life itself. Drastic times require drastic measures; thus, our youth have the right to destroy the suicidal structures now threatening humanity. Echoing the words of Malcolm X, they must defend that right “by any means necessary”. And we must support them as they seize this right, for we have failed them.

“Liberties are not given, they are taken.” – Aldous Huxley

Go forward in self defence. No longer can we passively witness the rape, abuse and desecration of our Earth Mother.  No longer can we passively witness the exploitation, violence and oppression subjected on our brothers and sisters. In our fight  for survival and for all life, love is the guiding principle, illuminating the centre of our struggle. We will not negotiate life. We reject all compromise. We will practise non-violence in the spirit of the Buddhist concept of aggressive non-violence understanding that one cannot commit an act of violence against a non-sentient object. Although we will exercise compassionate wrath, we recognize we have the right to defend ourselves and our Earth Mother. We intend to do so. Self-defence is not a crime. We will attack the economic system – as this is the only language it understands. We will collectively fight to reclaim our dignity and power. The burning flame at the heart of our fight for life will not be smothered, rehabilitated, co-opted, or psychologically marginalized. There will be no dilution of our fervour, no lowering of the flames, or any muting of our essential collective voice. And if our fire destroys, it is for the sake or protection and healing and bringing us together as one. Our love will burn brilliantly. The time is now.

“Individually we may see ourselves as free, yet as a collective, we are slaves. The point where we free ourselves from our own animal is that moment when we become enlightened, where we see ourselves not as a person at a single point in time, but as a continuity in blood and in thought, spanning generations and time.” Harold One Feather

It is past time to start enacting civil disobedience on a massive scale. Knowledge is the weapon and it is time to arm the masses. Fuel distribution centres, pipelines, the industrial-military-complex, banks, the stock exchange: all must be targeted. Go forward. Don’t look back. Be courageous. Be strong. The truth is on our side. Our parents could not find the courage, which means we must. The Earth, and all life on this planet, pumps through our veins. To feel it, go outside and lie under a tree. Look up at the sky. We are nature. Nature is us. Our time is running out.

“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Cory Morningstar is climate justice activist whose recent writings can be found on Canadians for Action on Climate Change and The Art of Annihilation site where you can read her bio. You can follow her on Twitter: @elleprovocateur Published February 17th, 2011 by Political Context under the headline: 2011 | The Race to the Bottom Accelerates

By Cory Morningstar | http://bit.ly/i35O4J | http://bit.ly/gh2HRe | http://bit.ly/i8HdXq

This piece continues the series being presented by Cory Morningstar and Gregory Vickrey and is part of their anticipated and controversial book and multimedia project due out in 2011.

2011 | The Race to the Bottom Accelerates

 

Illustration courtesy of Stephanie McMillan | CODE GREEN

“The Earth isn’t dying, it’s being killed, and those who are killing it have names and addresses.” – Utah Philips

As we now stand firmly on the precipice – staring irreversible climate catastrophe and natural resource depletion squarely in the face – the world accelerates its pace in a mad race to the bottom. Running with the baton are the world’s largest environmental NGOs – non-profit organizations. Although the industrial non-profit complex claims to speak for civil society, in reality these groups are the sanctioning agents of a planet which is rapidly becoming completely dominated by corporate control. These groups have been integral to lending legitimacy and credibility to the very corporations hell bent on destroying and commodifying what little remains of our increasingly fragile planet. What we are now witnessing is a race for the last remaining shared commons. Commons which should be protected and held ‘in trust’ for future generations – if only our governments were not mere puppets of corporate power and control.

WTF WEF: “Defining Civil Society, Once and For All”

“We are blinded, enchanted and finally enslaved by spectacle.” – Empire of Illusion, Chris Hedges

In the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting of 2005 one topic of significant importance was ‘Defining Civil Society, Once and For All’. The moderator Bassir Pour cited there was a 15 minute delay as many of the participants had been listening to the panel titled ‘The G8 and Africa: Rhetoric or Action? ‘ This panel had highlighted an example of ‘civil society in action’ in the form of a demonstration by Greenpeace, which Pour said put a smile on her lips because it was so peaceful. To be sure, there is nothing that makes a corporation or corporate-controlled government happier than a passive, unthreatening demonstration with no fighting spirit. Mind you, the same corporate entities do not uphold such similar peaceful ideologies for themselves to abide by. For example, in Columbia and other developing countries, Coca-Cola has murdered hundreds of union leaders. Dole has had no qualms in knowingly exposing banana workers to toxins resulting in sterilization. On December 26, 2009, Dora “Alicia” Recinos Sorto, age 32, was assassinated. Dora was the second anti-mining activist killed that week in the small community of Nueva Trinidad. Recinos Sorto was eight months pregnant and carrying her two-year old child when she was shot on her way back from doing laundry at a nearby river. Canadian Mining Company Pacific Rim has come under fire for these accelerating assassinations which continue today. In vulnerable countries such violence has become a daily part of life. Activists are targeted and become the invisible victims of the murderous economic system. Demonstrations have morphed from the fierce unwavering determination witnessed in the sixties to the ‘acceptable’ demonstrations now recognized today which are overwhelmingly ineffective. Such assembly line ‘protests’ undoubtedly inspire reactions from the global elite such as, “look at the cute proles who believe they can make a difference – adorable. Now let’s get back to business.” Touching on today’s ineffective movements, on 3 February 2011, Mr. Fish of truthdig.org asks the question: “What do we have now? An anti-war movement that is so gutless and so savagely unimaginative that, rather than gaining purpose and momentum in the face of our government’s ever-increasing disdain for peace in the Middle East, it has proved itself to be too lazy, even too cowardly, to face down the very disease of oligarchy that it had concocted itself to cure.” This statement can easily be applied to today’s environmental movement.

Pacific Rim Corporation: Above: Anti-Mining Activist Recinos Sorto – Assassinated

WEF: “Organizing Their Dream World”

One response to the question of ‘how to define civil society’ was that since big business foundations are incentivized by the tax code, corporations are not civil society, but foundations are. Therefore it should be no surprise the ‘big green’ groups who claim they receive no corporate funding can legitimately do so, merely because foundations serve as corporate front groups. The big greens are funded by the very foundations set up by the corporations who essentially serve as a money laundering service in what the elites proclaim as philanthro-capitalism. Others questions in the WEF discussion were: “Could an NGO formed by a corporation be part of civil society? Does acceptance of government contracts make an NGO an extension of government? Are the big NGOs still members of civil society?” In the summing up period, Pour said, Kofi Annan’s advice was the main point: to keep “organizing our dream world.”

The following year, at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of 2006 a topic of significant importance was ‘Building Trust in Public and Private Institutions’. Richard Edelman, President and CEO of Edelman, USA, reported that opinion leaders now trust NGOs more than business, media and government for information. “NGOs are the most trusted institution in nearly every market,” he stated. (Edelman’s Trust Barometer 2006 Seventh Global Opinion Leaders Study). He further reported that “Information conveyed by CEOs is at the bottom of the list, even lower than politicians, with organizations such as Amnesty International, WWF World Wide Fund for Nature, Greenpeace, and Médecins Sans Frontières at the top of the ranking.” Guy Ryder, General Secretary, International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), Brussels, corroborated the Edelman survey: “Trust matters. There is a feeling of bewilderment which dramatically impacts on people’s lives. They feel powerless; we do not have a means of expressing opinions. ‘Trust proximity’ is the thing that you are familiar with; it includes the things you understand.” Ryder further explained that for the ordinary person, “NGOs seem ‘more like me’ and convey the things that matter to me.” He noted that the fall of confidence in public institutions is the most alarming. “53% of people in the US want to be represented by trade unions, but corporate America stops this.” (Corporate America certainly does stop this. Corporate power has been utilizing corporate-owned media to its absolute advantage in a major attempt to turn the public sentiment against unions – the last remaining collective to threaten corporate power. The rhetoric spewed out by the corporate media is nothing less than incredible.)

Make no mistake, NGOs are recognized by corporate power as an absolutely essential element – indispensable for ensuring corporate power can quite easily advance their agenda.

First Place: Nature Conservancy

 

“Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate” – Bertrand Russell

At the front line of the race to the bottom we must recognize The Nature Conservancy for accepting the challenge of “protecting nature” in an announced new partnership with Dow Chemical who have generously gifted Nature Conservancy with a cool $10 million. Unfortunately, this ‘bankrolled consent’ most likely means Dow will be too financially strapped to clean up Bhopal – whose citizens continue to suffer to this day. Never mind last week it was announced that Dow’s profit has tripled. The corporation reported a profit of $511 million for the quarter ending in December 2010. Nature Conservancy’s president and CEO is none other than former Goldman Sachs Group executive, Mark Tercek. Perhaps not coincidentally, former Nature Conservancy president Henry Paulson also made his rounds through the revolving doors of the Goldman Sachs Group. Yet another Nature Conservancy board member, Muneer Satter, also originated from Goldman Sachs. You may recall the name Goldman Sachs – most known for their role in the brilliantly executed 2008 financial crisis which threw millions into poverty as the rich became even richer. As well, Nature Conservancy just hired a new marketing director in 2010 — former executive vice president for marketing at World Wrestling Entertainment. Prior to that position, he served as senior vice president for marketing at Showtime Networks. Showtime indeed. Fiction? Satire? Unfortunately not. If such organizations were not so dangerous, one would have to laugh. However, considering we are on the brink of exterminating our own children, this is truly sickening and no laughing matter. (Fyi – The Nature Conservancy has more than $3.7 billion in assets, annual revenue of $860 million – remember that when they ask you for your last 20 bucks.)

Second Place: Greenpeace International

And what does the world’s most recognized NGO plan to do in the face of cataclysmic climate change, as the opportunity to avoid irreversible planetary collapse slowly dissipates? It launches an international campaign to ‘green’ Facebook by Earth Day, April 22, 2011.

Enough said.

Update! 11 February 2011: “Today we need you to join a very special photo petition — … no, call it a competition — The 10 most-liked photos on Wednesday, 16 February at 17:00 CET will feature in an upcoming Greenpeace activity… (say no more, nudge nudge, wink wink). We also have campaign t-shirts for the top ten, and a CD of “Amchitka, The 1970 Concert that Launched Greenpeace,” featuring Joni Mitchell, Phil Ochs, and James Taylor, for the most popular photo of all. The funniest, weirdest, and most provocative photos will probably get the most ‘Likes’, so have some fun with it, submit your photo and get “liking” right away! Happy snapping, Team Facebook (at Greenpeace!)”

Third Place: WWF Presents National Sweater Day

 

“It’s time to Get Sweatered!” WWF-Canada announces a brand new campaign for Sweater Day, February 17, 2011. And after this you can look forward to shutting your lights off for that one hour a year in WWF’s annual Earth Hour campaign. As always, big greens frame the conversation on what an individual can do while vehemently neglecting to discuss the root cause of climate change – the current economic system. In this campaign, our youth is led to believe that small individual actions will help solve our environmental crisis. They can’t. Further, the crisis is framed to be most unthreatening, simply because the solution proposed requires so little effort. Of course, this campaign isn’t complete without prizes to feed the insatiable need to consume – which this campaign endorses by way of participation. (WWF International’s operating revenue totalled 224.2 million in 2010. Carter Roberts, CEO and President, took home a meagre $486,394 in 2008.)

Honourable Mentions: Friends of the Earth International


Courtesy of Keith Farnish’s Unsuitablog

“Find out about the Good Shopping Guide application: http://bit.ly/hH44mK Plus win an iPod touch! ” – Friends of the Earth via twitter

Friends of the Earth, 1970-2011
RIP

Worst Video

 

The video featuring a 2 minute summary of the COP16 conference and highlighting the brand TckTckTck makes light of our planetary emergency and tells the viewer… absolutely nothing. Further, the video frames Bolivia as an obstructionist to the negotiations when in fact Bolivia stood alone rejecting an agreement which will lead to mass genocide. Alone, Bolivia fought for life using powerful, ethical arguments, defending the people’s agreements adopted in Cochabamba which would protect Mother Earth, all species and future generations. All big greens have declined to endorse the People’s Agreement which places people before corporate profit. It appears this video, being promoted widely, was created by TckTckTck partner UKYCC.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76BgKe1naFc

First Prize for Most Dangerous: Greenpeace at the World Economic Forum

“Capitalism justified itself and was adopted as an economic principle on the express ground that it provides selfish motives for doing good, and that human beings will do nothing except for selfish motives” – George Bernard Shaw

In the frontline of global economic forums such as the WEF, commonly referred to simply as Davos, you will recognize the exceptionally orchestrated Greenpeace demonstrations. This is the Greenpeace that rides today on the coat-tails of the legacy laid down by the original Greenpeace founders decades ago.  A Greenpeace which in reality no longer exists. Before being co-opted by corporate power, Greenpeace consisted of grassroots activists who were not interested in discussing compromise. One such founder, Bob Hunter, wore a ‘fuck off’ sign around his neck in a public meetings. These real-life eco-warriors had no fear of ripping to shreds those who were destroying our planet.

A headline on an image posted on 10 January 2011 reads, “Sixty Greenpeace activists dressed in skeleton suits protest in front of the World Economic Forum conference against Dow Chemical”. The banners reads, “Clean up Bhopal Now!” The images are moving. Yet, in the background something much different is going on … behind the scenes … for those who dance in the elitist circle … the champagne flows almost as fast as the money.

 

7 February 2011, Kumi Naidoo, executive director of Greenpeace International and chair of the Havas creation TckTckTck ‘speaks to power’ in Johannesburg, South Africa. Naidoo explains that at the World Economic Forum in Davos he had meetings with no fewer than 15 chief executives of major corporations, men whose decisions help shape (destroy) our environment and affect workers’ rights (exploitation) and ultimately what kind of world we pass on to our children and grandchildren (irreversible climate hell with collapsed ecosystems). Naidoo states that the first meeting was a breakfast briefing with Unilever. Naidoo states he was invited by the chief executive to speak of the curious relationship his company enjoys with Greenpeace.

Curious. Yes. It is most interesting that TckTckTck creator Havas serves the world’s most powerful clients such as Unilver and EDF (nuclear).

For an excellent briefing on why Greenpeace working with corporate power for a better world is bullshit slash greenwash, Richard Samans offers an astute analysis in “Running the World After the Crash,” in Jan 2011 Foreign Policy. “Two years ago the elites were scared to death by the global crash, their economic nostrums discredited. Thousands of citizens took to the streets. Governments fell. Others desperately promised a new era of financial re-regulation, world cooperation on the environment and food crises created by neoliberalism and exponential growth. Then they regained confidence. Banks were “too big to fail”. The taxpayer was told to pay the bill for the playboys of the Western world. Trillions of private debt were transferred to the taxpayer (socialism for the rich) – a bill that our children and their children will have to pay. A further consequence: there is “no money left”, we are told, to finance climate action, international aid, schools, healthcare, housing, job creation and infrastructure. The elites are laughing all the way to the bank. And the high priests of the system (at Davos Jan 2011) say the next whirl of the financial wheel will be based on carbon credits.”


First Prize for Most Tasteless | Greenpeace Makes Light of Tibetan Oppression

Under attack for the tasteless 30 second Super Bowl commercial using Tibet, the corporation responsible, Groupon, stepped into the defensive mode. As images of Tibet were shown, actor Timothy Hutton read, “The people of Tibet are in trouble. Their very culture is in jeopardy.” The scene cuts to Hutton inside a restaurant: “But they still whip up an amazing fish curry. And since 200 of us bought at groupon.com we’re each getting 30 dollars worth of Tibetan food for just 15 dollars at Himalayan restaurant in Chicago.”

Although this ad is clearly distasteful and trivializes the incredibly serious issue of human rights violations in Tibet, Greenpeace, who also uses Groupon, defended the ad. “Greenpeace is happily participating in the campaign. The truth is that the ‘Save the Money’ campaign and the commercial are really helping us save the whales,” Greenpeace’s John Hocevar said in a blog post. He added, “They loved the idea of poking fun at themselves by talking about discounts as a noble cause.”

People aware of how the Tibetan culture is being destroyed in the conflict with China understand struggles of Tibet deserve respect.

From the Free Tibet website: “For Groupon the commercial has generated a lot of free media coverage and it could be argued that the advert has helped raise the profile of what is happening in Tibet, after all awareness is the first step to accountability. But it does put Tibetans and their suffering at the heart of the joke and when it’s used for commercial purposes that is exploitative. The commercial also exposes that fact that across the US and arguably the world the public know what is happening inside Tibet. But that leaves the uncomfortable fact that not enough of us are holding the Chinese Communist Party accountable for the suffering in Tibet, nor for that matter are our own governments being held accountable for their failure to hold China accountable for its appalling human rights record in Tibet.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reLqtMb4-e8&feature=related (What Remains of Us: This film was shot without the knowledge of the Chinese authorities, using small digital cameras, during nearly a dozen secret forays into Tibet between 1996 and 2004.)

First Prize for Most Predictable

 

Reformers who are always compromising, have not yet grasped the idea that truth is the only safe ground to stand upon.” – Elizabeth Stanton

 

Rockefeller funded 350.org wins hands down for the predictable launch of their Businesses For 350 Campaign.  How to get to 350?  You won’t find the answer on this site … maybe just keep recycling or consuming. It appears Bill McKibben of 350.org neglected to read our 10:10:10 critique from October 2010.

First Prize for Most Undetected Greenwash of 2010

TckTckTck – partner of 350.org, WWF, Greenpeace and hundreds of other NGOs – was created by Havas, one of the largest marketing and PR firms in the world. Havas clients include a torrent of the largest and most powerful corporations on the planet. Given that economic growth is the root cause of greenhouse gas emissions growth (they have been neck and neck for the last 50 years); and the raison d’etre of Havas is to ensure TckTckTck founding partner corporations including EDF (the largest nuclear corporation on the planet) increase profits through economic growth; TckTckTck was fatally compromised at its inception. In the 2010 ‘Public Eye’ campaign it states, “Organized since 2000, Public Eye reminds corporations with destructive business practices that actions have consequences, presenting ‘name and shame’ awards to the nastiest corporate players of the year and through these awards presents to the world the immoral nexus between corporate power and the political elite.” In 2010, following the Copenhagen disaster, Greenpeace Switzerland participated in naming the Public Eye Award to “the nastiest corporate player of the year”.  The nominees included GDF Suez and Roche – TckTckTck founding partners. In summary, Greenpeace, partner of TckTckTck (Kumi Naidoo chairs both Greenpeace International and TckTckTck, also known as GCCA) is in partnership with these same corporations (GDF Suez and Roche). Such campaigns and organizations make a mockery of those suffering on the front lines of the climate emergency today. The layers of deceit are breathtaking.

As of today there remains a shortcut link on the Havas website to www.tcktcktck.org to “join the fight for climate justice”. And business for Havas has never been better – new business remains strong. (€1.6 billion for the first nine months of the year, compared with €1.1 billion for the same period in 2009 (+42%)).

 

TckTckTck has removed their partner, the Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, from visibility on the www.tcktcktck.org website after screenshots and information of this collaboration were released to their supporters and partners using their own listserv. The TckTckTck partners within the Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change group include Shell, Coca-Cola and RBC. RBC is the number one financier of the most destructive project on the planet – the tar sands.  Over 1,000 corporate entities make up this TckTckTck partner group.

 

Eradicating Stupidity | Going Forward

“As for the bourgeois state, we are seeking to overcome it, to overthrow it.” Salvador Allende, 1970


 

 

Just as wearing sweaters will not make any meaningful dent in our climate crisis; just as turning Facebook green amounts to essentially nothing; just as ‘green’ shopping and more i-pods only serve to further destroy us; and just as the Nature Conservancy – Dow partnership will only serve to greenwash; consuming as a means of helping will not save whales or anything else. Every day, our current economic system continues brings us one day closer to cataclysmic, irreversible climate change and ecosystem collapse on a global scale.

And while we may not expect truth from the bloated NGOs, we should not accept it. Importantly, while we recognize the demise of ethics within the vast monopoly of NGOs who protect the very system that grips us securely in a stranglehold, we must also recognize that within these corporate structures are well-intentioned citizens and even activists who are just as frustrated by the censorship and symbolic ‘feel good’ campaigns that appeal to our society’s worst traits. Such traits such as individualism, greed, apathy and narcissism are integral for a profoundly weak and divided society. Therefore, such traits are kept fed and nourished by the corporate powers who are, in turn, completely dependent upon society’s successful indoctrination and feelings of powerlessness. Fortunately, for the ethical, yet repressed, campaigners on the inside, in 2011 we now have Enviroleaks – enabling those within the system to leak imperative documents, without fear of repercussion.

What else is new in 2011? To date, there are no mainstream NGOs who are willing to campaign on militarism and its massive contribution to climate change. One would think that this would be a sure ‘win’ upon which the NGOs should love to attach themselves. Really, how many people do you know that would oppose a campaign to end occupations and war? Known to most citizens, militarism in the US represents such a massive chunk of the budget, there is little money for anything else. Healthcare and education remain mere irritants of the lowest priority. Although this reckless budget will no doubt contribute to bankrupting the US sooner rather than later – only to line bank vaults of the corporations and the controlling plutocracy – the big greens are silent on the issue. It appears that millions of lives lost count for little.

And like we must stop the soothing yet false illusion that governments will someday do what they are supposed to do – represent their constituents and act in their best interests – we must also stop the false illusion that NGOs will confront the system and inspire a desperately needed uprising of the people who reject all false solutions while also demanding nothing less a new system which functions to serve only the essential needs of the people while protecting all life and our planet.

To date, the big greens refuse to tell supporters what the most critical aspects of climate change are, in spite of the insistent urging from climate justice activists. These are the imperatives every citizen has the right to know … and are not being told.

1)    In order to stabilize the planet, the world must achieve zero carbon emissions. Zero is the only number that matters and it must be achieved in a matter of years, not decades.  We are in a planetary emergency at less than 1ºC rise.

2)    The current economic system is the root cause of climate change.

3)    A mass mobilization on a global scale is needed to convert to a clean, perpetual zero carbon economy which rejects all false solutions including green capitalism.

The destructive campaigns of the big greens highlighted within this article are just a drop in the bucket of symbolic brand-building nonsense. Therefore the easiest direct action of 2011 is this: hit unsubscribe. The industrial non-profit complex claims to represent and speak for you in economic forums and government institutions around the world. They don’t. And if they have no members of civil society, they immediately lose their power to speak for us.  If they no longer speak for us, they can no longer use civil society as a tool allowing the expansion of the corporate agenda.

The pursuit of profit verses our responsibility to protect nature brings us to a tragic reality that is difficult to accept. Decades of doing nothing means it is now too late to stop climate change. Yet, perhaps it is not too late (we hope) to avert the magnitude of long-term impacts by cutting emissions to zero at break-neck speed. If we miss this closing window of opportunity, feedbacks take over, at which point cataclysmic climate change becomes irreversible. Nature takes over, and our planet becomes a living hell.

Message to the Youth: do-or-die


 

“But we won’t spend a buck a dime a single cent to preclude disaster for our children. As a mother and a grandmother this is the line that grips my heart. I see this as ageism gone viral. We don’t really care about our kids just our credit rating and OUR pensions. I guess Queen Victoria was totally effective when she said, “Children should be seen and not heard. Our so called economic system doesn’t hear the children at all. I guess soon we won’t have to see them either. Good for us adults, our campaign is a BIG success.” – FB comment

Why does society expect the next generation to clean up this mess of unparalleled magnitude – especially considering instead of being given essential tools for life skills, they were given remotes, posters of corporate prostitots, and truckloads of made-for-landfill plastic stuff bursting with toxins, chemicals and everything else that makes one ashamed to be human. This apocalyptic nightmare should never have been left to a generation of youth who have been raised and indoctrinated by corporate America – yet here we are – and the wrath of insatiable greed is about to grab our youth by the throat.

While we listen to Maude Barlow and other wise owls who tell us the next generation is the one that will change everything, we must recognize that today’s youth have become a reflection of our morally bankrupt society – beautiful children who have succumbed to become, most comfortably numb. Millions have come close to over-dosing on social media such as Facebook and texting. Ironically, social media is a wet dream for the globe’s largest marketing public relations firms who represent the world’s most powerful corporations. Marketing executives and corporate super-powers are salivating over what they envision as the greatest opportunity to exploit the planet’s youth. The corporate powers are masters in the art of acclimatizing civil society into believing that we have no control. They methodically hypnotize us to believe resistance is hopeless and therefore should be given up. This very system that enslaves us can continue its existence only if we accept that resistance is futile. Not unlike pedophiles who prey upon children, the plutocracy preys upon and is dependent upon a society easily lured with candy.

Things can change. 2011 marks a paradigm shift. The Egyptians have taught the world how to use the very social media tools corporate gods had hoped would serve to manipulate, control and distract us – and use these tools, instead, as weapons of mass-resistance. We now have WikiLeaks and Anonymous, bound to inspire creativity, coupled with revolt, in ways not yet imagined. The Egyptians have also taught the world what a revolution requires – nothing less than the courage and conviction of hundreds of thousands and even millions of bodies in the streets that refuse to leave until victory is achieved.

Today’s youth have, not only a right, but a moral obligation, to rebel and destroy the current power structures that exist. This is necessary in order to salvage what is left of a raped and pillaged planet on the brink of ecological collapse. Martin Luther King once said that you cannot commit an act of violence against a non-sentient object. Today, police states and corporate controlled governments protect property, corporate interests, and industrialized economic growth over life itself. Drastic times require drastic measures; thus, our youth have the right to destroy the suicidal structures now threatening humanity. Echoing the words of Malcolm X, they must defend that right “by any means necessary”. And we must support them as they seize this right, for we have failed them.

“Liberties are not given, they are taken.” – Aldous Huxley

Go forward in self defence. No longer can we passively witness the rape, abuse and desecration of our Earth Mother.  No longer can we passively witness the exploitation, violence and oppression subjected on our brothers and sisters. In our fight  for survival and for all life, love is the guiding principle, illuminating the centre of our struggle. We will not negotiate life. We reject all compromise. We will practise non-violence in the spirit of the Buddhist concept of aggressive non-violence understanding that one cannot commit an act of violence against a non-sentient object. Although we will exercise compassionate wrath, we recognize we have the right to defend ourselves and our Earth Mother. We intend to do so. Self-defence is not a crime. We will attack the economic system – as this is the only language it understands. We will collectively fight to reclaim our dignity and power. The burning flame at the heart of our fight for life will not be smothered, rehabilitated, co-opted, or psychologically marginalized. There will be no dilution of our fervour, no lowering of the flames, or any muting of our essential collective voice. And if our fire destroys, it is for the sake or protection and healing and bringing us together as one. Our love will burn brilliantly. The time is now.

“Individually we may see ourselves as free, yet as a collective, we are slaves. The point where we free ourselves from our own animal is that moment when we become enlightened, where we see ourselves not as a person at a single point in time, but as a continuity in blood and in thought, spanning generations and time.” Harold One Feather

It is past time to start enacting civil disobedience on a massive scale. Knowledge is the weapon and it is time to arm the masses. Fuel distribution centres, pipelines, the industrial-military-complex, banks, the stock exchange: all must be targeted. Go forward. Don’t look back. Be courageous. Be strong. The truth is on our side. Our parents could not find the courage, which means we must. The Earth, and all life on this planet, pumps through our veins. To feel it, go outside and lie under a tree. Look up at the sky. We are nature. Nature is us. Our time is running out.

“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

Cory Morningstar is climate justice activist whose recent writings can be found on Canadians for Action on Climate Change and The Art of Annihilation site where you can read her bio. You can follow her on Twitter: @elleprovocateur

Interview With Bill McKibben, Winner of Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship and Gregory Vickrey, Winner of International Peanut Butter Subsistence Prize

February 24th, 2011

Climate reality writer and activist Gregory Vickrey. (L) ( Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Founder of 350.org, writer and environmentalist Bill McKibben. (R) (Photo: Nancie Battaglia /
350.org)

Bill McKibben, Schumann distinguished scholar at Middlebury College, is the author of a dozen books about the environment, including “The End of Nature” (1989), regarded as the first book for a general audience about global warming. He is also founder of the global grassroots climate movement 350.org, which organized what CNN called “the most widespread day of political action in the planet’s history.” Most recently, he was the recipient of the annual $100,000 Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship. Of this honor, McKibben said:

“I’m a beginner as an organizer; it’s a great honor to be included on this list of people who have changed America for the better. I am deeply grateful to The Puffin Foundation and The Nation Institute for this recognition of my work. I am even more appreciative that this award is representative of a shared conviction that now is a singular moment in our history for all people of good conscience to come together in defense of the planet. Our work has never been more urgent.”

Gregory Vickrey, Peace of the Action distinguished board member and generally unknown writer and activist, is the author of not a few critiques of environmental organizations, including “Environmentalism is Dead”, likely one of the least read articles on Counterpunch, ever. He has been lucky to work with Cory Morningstar of Canadians for Action on Climate Change; otherwise, he’d be extra-unknown. Most recently, he was the recipient of the $0 Peanut Butter Subsistence Prize. Of this honor, Vickrey said:

“It sucks to be broke and targeted, but what can I do? The entire world is at stake. So few of us stick to our guns and speak the truth about climate change – recognizing it as the greatest crime against humanity in history – I’d hate to cull myself from that group. Even if it meant I could also afford jelly on occasion.”

On that note, I interviewed Bill McKibben and Gregory Vickrey and would like to share our conversation with you.

Mickey Z.: You’ve noted that this award highlights your shift from writer to organizer. Can you tell us more about how and why you made that shift?

Bill McKibben: At some point, it became obvious to me that we were losing badly in the global warming fight, and that one reason was we had no movement. All the scientific studies and policy plans on earth don’t get you very far if there’s no movement to push them. So we’re doing our best to build that – too late and too slowly, but as best we can.

Gregory Vickrey: I think Bill is genuine here. He did realize we are losing badly in the global warming fight – and we still are. It is important to question ourselves when we endeavor to build a movement. In Bill’s case, I think one of the first questions was funding. And that’s can be a dangerous question, especially when one considers the history of the environmental movement, and even recently sees organizations like The Nature Conservancy cutting deals with Dow Chemical. Unfortunately, with the incarnations of what was to become 350.org, we find seed money from the likes of Rockefeller Brothers Fund (think big oil), and we find a pronounced effort to create a brand, rather than a movement – and that strategy was created by Havas, one of the world’s largest marketing firms.

MZ: Of your work, Derrick Jensen has said: “One of the problems that I see with the vast majority of so-called solutions to global warming is that they take industrial capitalism as a given and the planet which must conform to industrial capitalism, as opposed to the other way around.” How do you respond to this critique?

BM: It strikes me that the single biggest variable explaining the structure of the world today is the availability of cheap fossil fuel – that’s what happened two hundred years ago to create the world we know, especially its centralization. I think if we can put a serious price on fossil fuel, one that reflects the damage it does to our earth, then the fuels that we will depend on – principally wind and sun – will push us in the direction of more localized economies. Those kind of changes have been the focus of my work as a writer in recent years.

GV: What strikes me is that Bill did not respond to the question that was asked. What Bill says instead is that we should depend upon the political system that got us into this mess to get us out of it by taxing the crap out of fossil fuels. Unfortunately, we could elect Bill (or me!) as president and we still wouldn’t get the policy in place to force corporations to kill the carbon economy. Jensen is on point with the quote you provided, and Bill and corporate brand 350.org ignore that part of reality.

MZ: So many people believe they’re already “doing their part,” e.g. recycling, using CFL bulbs, bringing their own bag to the grocery store etc. How do we help them see ASAP that this isn’t even remotely enough?

BM: Well, I think we keep encouraging them to become politically active too, not instead. It’s good to do what you can around your house; and our job is to help people realize that there are ways they can be effective in a larger sphere too. That’s what movements are. And especially with climate change, the feeling that you’re too small to make a difference can be crippling.

GV: This is another arena where Bill has no forthright response at the ready, because he and 350.org are not in the business of systemic change. They believe in green capitalsm, so changing light bulbs is good, recycling is good, etc. See, the “feel good” in recycling allows us to continue consuming at preposterous rates. Changing light bulbs damns us to suffer Jevons Paradox, and corporations love that. So 350.org loves that. Instead, we should be making people aware of reality: our only chance is effective zero carbon emissions, and we must get there in a matter of years. That means dramatic systemic change. That means drastic lifestyle changes. It’s apolitical, in the end, because Mother Nature doesn’t care about having a seat at the table in DC. She doesn’t need it.

MZ: The US Department of Defense is the world’s worst polluter, the planet’s top gas guzzler, and recipient of 53.3 percent of American taxpayer dollars. How does your work address this situation and the concurrent “untouchable” status the US military has among the majority of American citizens?

BM: I’m not sure it really does, directly. Indirectly, I think the biggest reason we have the oversized defense that we do is that we rely on distant and unstable sources of energy as the core of our economy. I remember one sign in particular from the early Anti-Iraq-War rallies I went to: “How did our oil end up under their sand?”

GV: Bill’s work doesn’t address militarism at all. We need to drastically cut military spending in order to subsidize systemic change in the short term, and that mechanism is the fastest way to start cutting carbon. You won’t find that on the 350.org website.

MZ: Since 51 percent of human-created greenhouse gases come from the industrial animal food business, are you encouraging people to adopt a plant-based diet lifestyle?

BM: I’ve written time and again that industrial agriculture, especially factory livestock farming, is a bane – not only for its greenhouse gases, but for myriad other reasons. Interestingly, though, scientific data from the last couple of years is leading to the conclusion that local, grasspastured, often-moved livestock, by the action of their hooves and the constant deposition of manure, improve soils enough to soak up more carbon and methane than they produce. (This would explain why, say, there could have been more ungulates on the continent 300 years ago than now without it being a curse to the atmosphere). So there may be hope for meat-eaters as well – but only if you know and understand where your dinner is coming from.

GV: Again, Bill misses the point. Beyond eliminating militarism, we can cut into our carbon budget most drastically and immediately by scrapping the agro-meat industry. In time, Bill’s scenario providing hope for voracious meat eaters may come into effect, but we do not have the time to gradually shrink agro-meats. If we implement a strategy of incrementalism here, we are doomed to suffer the worst effects of climate change.

MZ: Is there a question you’ve always wished to be asked during an interview? If so, please feel free to ask and answer now.

BM: I’ve … done a lot of interviews.

GV: How do we get to zero? In short, the United States, Canada, and Australia must get to zero emission before 2020, with most of the cuts occurring over the next 5 years. Europe, Japan, China, India, and a few other countries must accomplish the same before 2025. The rest of the developing world must accomplish the same before 2030. Even in the best of circumstances, this scenario does not protect us from the feedback loops that are not included in any of the predictive models. But it gives us our best shot. Assuming policy-makers balk at this, we need an all-out global uprising to overcome, overwhelm, and overtake the system, and to be prepared for massive sacrifice. The system and its masters will not be easily returned to the masses. We must give them no choice.

MZ: What do you like to do when not engaged in writing, organizing and activism? What inspires you outside of those realms?

BM: I like to be outdoors – cross-country skiing most of all, or hiking. That’s why I live in the woods. And that’s why it’s tough to be on the road so much organizing. But I love the people, especially the young people, who are my colleagues.

GV: I chase dogs and kids and soccer balls. I succumb to the “need” of college basketball. I wonder where my next meal is coming from.

MZ: How can readers connect with you and get involved with your work?

BM: By going to 350.org and signing up. We spent what little money we had on a website; it works in about a dozen languages, and we think it’s pretty sharp.

GV: People can learn more about Bill’s work here and here. People can go to my website to get in touch and learn more about climate reality; it works in one language – occasionally two when I can manage to get a translator – and it’s pretty sharp considering I still owe the guy who helped me with it some cash. Maybe I can fix him a peanut butter sandwich instead.

Note: The preceding interview is not real. Mickey Z. and Bill McKibben held an interview that may be found here; their sections remain the same. Gregory Vickrey’s sections are a fictitious addition meant to bring the reality of corporate brand 350.org to the fore, and to urge everyone to get serious about climate change. Wake up. Tear down. Rise up.

http://thesietch.org/mysietch/keith/2011/02/24/interview-with-bill-mckibben/

350.org reveals its first order of business: Business

350.org reveals its first order of business: Business

Lorna Salzman

2011-01-28

This appeal by 350.org to the business community defines the words "craven" and "capitulation".

First, assign your first grade students some simple tasks. Make them feel good about it. Pin a medal on them for good citizenship. Announce to the world that you have formed a partnership with business to clean things up a bit (caution: do not mention the fact that business bears the biggest blame for climate change by promoting economic growth and overconsumption since your pupils will have to clean up the mess all by themselves).

Then after your pupils pin a medal on you for not giving them too much homework or anything that would take too much time or money, touch them all up for contributions to your toothless empty campaign that cares more about protecting its Brand (350: The Fun Way to Save the World) than about protecting humanity and the earth. Invite them to a Power Breakfast to thank them for their support.

Take advantage of the "power"image of your Fearless Leader by insuring that his bland content-less message continues to be heard and absorbed by the public loudly enough that other voices with real solutions are drowned out and characterized as cranky contrarians or seething hypercritical activists who resent your Fearless Leader’s rise to fame.

350.org: Our First Order of Business is Business.

Eat your heart out, eco-freaks and radicals.

http://www.350.org/en/people/business#keep-reading

Manufacturing Discontent

Manufacturing Discontent
by Gregory Vickrey

This piece continues the series being presented by Cory Morningstar and Gregory Vickrey and is part of their anticipated and controversial book and multimedia project due out in 2011.

It is safe to assume that in modern political arenas, an approach to the climate change emergency through conventional directives will not work. Indeed, across every movement, from single payer health care to American wars and occupations abroad, the conventional has failed. And while we are very skilled at making excuses and providing analysis for some aspects of that failure, we are not very good at determining other, alternative mechanisms for change. The climate change movement is no exception to this reality.

Ineffective and otherwise corrupted major political parties in the United States and elsewhere reflect the failure of the masses to control our own political will, expand the solution sets we may desire, and reconstruct the fabric of society at its foundation. Corporate control of those parties, and more directly, elections and political offices, limits our collective effectiveness on the policy-making playgrounds of Washington DC and other capitals. And again, recent history on the global and national stages shows the climate movement no less co-opted by the rapacious institute of corporate control.

Capitalism is a sacrosanct concept for most, even though the modern system of capitalism isn’t pure by any means – in both positive and negative ways. Yet observing the modern capitalistic approach to the global economy through the climate lens demands we become critical of the very system that, to one degree or another, has provided for our lives of comfort in the first world. For instance, any analysis of a modern company like Nike demonstrates that both LeBron James and you and me can wear the hottest kicks as basketball season arrives, but those kicks are manufactured through the modern capitalistic directive of cheap labor – by the exploited hands of men, women, and children in southeast Asia in sweatshops and hell holes – and shipped worldwide via inefficient container ships and trucks wholly dependent upon fossil fuels.

Our shoes and sense of fashion, like nearly everything else in life, are intimately connected to the carbon economy.

Given that those in the climate change movement stand to piss off multi-national corporate conglomerates, the politicians they control, and LeBron James with any sort of meaningful approach, most have gone the way of standardized emails, sanitized campaigns, and symbolic actions.

NRDC was a lead author of the worthless bills peddled in the US Congress in 2010 that would have continued to subsidize fossil fuels and nuclear power, enriched the corporations behind their largest funders, and sacrificed future generations.

350.org wasted time, money, and activists organizing symbolic parties around the globe in the hopes that some leader somewhere would do something sometime, while selling a bunch of tshirts (guess where most are made) and propelling big oil (350 funders are dripping in it) back to the top of the greenwashing list.

The Nature Conservancy continues its close “win-win” partnership with BP.

Pensacola Beach

All three, and plenty more, would like to keep us convinced that if only we green our consumptive way of life, we can keep it, with little or no sacrifice.

They are wrong.

And that means we are wrong.

Realistically, we know at best we have until 2020 to fully enact the changes necessary to overcome the fossil fuel economy and all if its derivatives. There is nothing comfortable about that reality, but it is the only opportunity we have to stem the tide of the global climate emergency. No part of the current economic and political systems has the flexibility to bring appropriate leadership, action plans, and strength of will to the fore. To quote your favorite American Democrat, Barack Obama: “It took a hundred years for health care (d)reform.” The psychology of entrenchment alone prevents significant movement from happening within 10 years; further, the fossil fuel aspect of the economy is the engine that drives the thing, controlling or having a powerful hand in nearly every facet of life, as well as policy. Knowing that, what makes anyone one of us believe the powers-that-be will wake up early enough in the 10 year period to acknowledge the need for removal of the carbon economy and the corporations that drive it, implement that removal, and maintain civil society as it currently is all at the same time? For argument’s sake, if a person is put in power to dismantle it against the will of the fossil fuel stasi, what sort of civil unrest will the fossil fuel economy create in order to stall the mechanics of change and sustain themselves?

Critical reflection should quickly allow us to answer these questions.

We no longer can afford to be afraid to read the truth. We no longer can afford to be afraid to reflect on our failure. We no longer can afford to avoid answering. We no longer can afford to avoid challenging the system for what it is.

Manufacturing discontent is an important method for the climate movement to employ in order to implement sound reasoning for moving away from modern capitalism and its predatory effects to something of the people. It is probably the most important component, because learning the truth about corporate control of our lives inherently leads to discontent amongst all but the richest in society. In order to spread the truth, the movement must create the mechanisms to deliver it in light of the greenwashing, debtwashing, status quo delivery of commercial policy and politics. Yet the calculus for creation isn’t difficult. Most people are burdened to the point of despair by debt, disease, and disaster. The discontent rests uneasily beneath the surface.

We simply need to set it free.

It is a scary notion to think about enacting. Few things are scarier than recognizing the system that allows us our creature comforts will fail – whether we control it via transition or not. Knowing that we probably have 10 years to implement the change required is frightening. Afraid as we are, however, an alternative is coming, and the question remains as to whether or not that alternative way of life will be one we collectively design. Climate reality is forcing the decision upon us. The system is preventing any semblance of action designed to preserve life. The responsibility is ours.

Positive systemic change as a goal can profoundly effect our ability to salvage what we can under the climate emergency, and alter other despotic modern conditions besides, from resource wars to global poverty to individual health. Implementation of that change beyond the impacts of our collective dissent will require a new brand of strategy and tactics, employed under the banner of humanity.

Discontent will drive components of change from beginning to end, perpetuating failure or manufacturing success.

One significant baseline where discontent rages and appears ready to be shaped lies within the constructs of the modern financial system, and there are reasons to believe allies across the political spectrum can unite in common purpose – overwhelming the status quo. Those engaged in climate activism – and most types of activism geared towards the collective – tend to lose these potential allies from the start, typically because the issue in hand has been given false AKA’s or due to the general perception of the movement itself.

Take five minutes now to silently consider the peace movement over the last few years. Your judgment at the end of those moments will likely be sound and profound.

Now look around the globe, and observe France, Portugal, the UK, Greece…

Do you see what can be seen?

When the opportunity to do what is right presents itself, as well as the means, we need to rise up and grasp it; for when it comes, there are only two ends: prevail or fail.

Up next in the series: Streets and Policies – Actions and Enactions for Everyone, From Darfur to DC.

Gregory Vickrey is a consultant for various projects and may be reached at: gregory.

When Silence Kills | The Art of Annihilation

Published November 8, 2010 | Huntington News: http://bit.ly/d0OEOd | | http://bit.ly/bVUXif

As we stand on the edge of apocalypse, we must wake up and acknowledge that what the big greens are not saying is far more important than what they are saying.

From the Non-Profit Industrial Complex with Love. Excerpts from a controversial new book to be released 2010-2011. This article – When Silence Kills | The Art of Annihilation –is thethird in a series in which we continue to discuss the connection between environmental campaigns and their corporate sponsors.

When Silence Kills | The Art of Annihilation

By Cory Morningstar

 

“The evidence that large-scale climate change is unavoidable has now become so strong that healthy illusion is becoming unhealthy delusion. Hoping that a major disruption to the Earth’s climate can be avoided is a delusion. Optimism sustained against the facts, including unfounded beliefs in the power of consumer action or in technological rescue, risks turning hopes into fantasies. Sooner or later the constant striving to control events must come up against reality. How long will it be before well-meaning people who have accepted the message of green consumerism – that we can all make a difference by changing our personal behavior – begin to say to themselves, ‘I have been doing the right things for years, but the news about global warming just keeps getting worse?’ Clinging to hopefulness becomes a means of forestalling the truth.” – Clive Hamilton, Requiem for a Species

Criminal Negligence

What defines criminal negligence? In Canada, the criminal code states that lack of intent to harm is no defence if the damage results from conscious acts performed in careless disregard for others: “Everyone is criminally negligent who (a) in doing anything, or (b) in omitting to do anything that it is his duty to do, shows wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons” (where “duty” means a duty imposed by law). Significantly, Section 222(5)(b) states that “a person commits homicide when, directly or indirectly, by any means, he causes the death of a human being, by being negligent.”

In the United States, the definition of criminal negligence is even more compelling: “Crimes Committed Negligently (Article 33.1) A crime shall be deemed to be committed with clear intent, if the man or woman was conscious of the social danger of his actions (inaction), foresaw the possibility or the inevitability of the onset of socially dangerous consequences, and willed such consequences to ensue.” “A crime shall be deemed to be committed with indirect intent, if the man or woman realized the social danger of his actions (inaction), foresaw the possibility of the onset of socially dangerous consequences, did not wish, but consciously allowed these consequences or treated them with indifference.” “A Crime Committed by Negligence (Article 33.1): A criminal deed committed thoughtlessly or due to negligence shall be recognized as a crime committed by negligence.” “A crime shall be deemed to be committed thoughtlessly, if the man or woman has foreseen the possibility of the onset of socially dangerous consequences of his actions (inaction), but expected without valid reasons that these consequences would be prevented.” “A crime shall be deemed to be committed due to negligence if the man or woman has not foreseen the possibility of the onset of socially dangerous consequences of his actions (inaction), although he or she could and should have foreseen these consequences with reasonable.”

A Moral Minefield – RINGOS

Why is it that well informed international environmental NGOs who claim to represent the best interests of civil society are not accusing the climate skeptics, the big investment banks and the fossil fuel energy corporations of high crimes against humanity? Is it because they fear that their funding from wealthy friends such as the Rockefellers will decline?

Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, spoke March 19, 2010 at Innovative Philanthropy for the 21st Century: Harnessing the Power of Impact Investing: “In this second phase of philanthropic innovation, our Rockefeller Foundation predecessors helped establish the non-governmental organization sector as the ‘missing middle’ between giving and direct impact. This included support for entities – we call them RINGOS, Rockefeller Foundation Initiated NGOs.”

The concept of philanthropy was first embraced in the days of 19th century American robber barons. As the monetary wealth of these robber barons grew to astronomical levels, so did the anger of the working classes. Philanthropy was the answer to this problem, resulting in the end of public hostility and the acceptance of obscene individual wealth. And how we have evolved. Today, the CEOs of the top ten green groups in the U.S. rake in from $308,000 to $496,000 per year. (Remember that the next time they call you for a donation, needed to push corporate hand-out suicide pacts, passed off as “win-win” legislation.)

Meanwhile, the Global Humanitarian Forum reported in 2009 that every year, climate change leaves over 300,000 people dead and exacts economic losses of US$125 billion. Four billion people are vulnerable, and 500 million people are at extreme risk. An estimated 325 million people are seriously affected by climate change every year. This estimate is derived by attributing a 40 percent proportion of the increase in the number of weather-related disasters from 1980 to current climate change and a 4 percent proportion of the total seriously affected by environmental degradation based on negative health outcomes.

Sandy Gauntlett, Oceania focal point for the Global Forest Coalition, is amazed that no one has yet charged large corporations with negligent homicide as a result of their actions in deforestation. Gauntlett states: “When we look at the amount of climate gases resulting from deforestation alone, we see enough emissions created by some countries to account for the level of unprecedented climate catastrophes occurring around the planet.” He adds: “Even worse than the actions of the corporate criminals responsible for the rise in climate emissions, at least morally, are the actions of some of the large environmental NGOs. These NGOs, who made their names and reputations as defenders of the victims of environmental abuse, now seem to be courting the corporate lobby in the belief that within these actions lies the solution to all of the problems of the world created by the corporate lobby. These are the people to whom we have given our voices, our monies and our mandate. To think that they are prepared to even consider working with the creators of this devastation is like being stabbed in the back by an old friend.”

Gauntlett continues: “Even more so we, as Pacific Indigenous Peoples, ask that when they call for your donation, you remember the small island states who, 10 years ago, asked for urgent action by the rest of the world, pointing out that their (the industrialized world’s) growth was resulting in coral bleaching, flooding, and salination of the fresh water supplies without which the islands face a grim and very uncertain future. Several years ago, when French nuclear testing in the Pacific seemed at least partially responsible for contamination and health problems on small Pacific atolls, the Rainbow Warrior sailed out and relocated people from the most threatened islands. The world cheered these environmental heroes and all of us gave monies, time and energy to support Greenpeace and other organizations who were daring to take on the might of the developed world in defense of the small islands. So impactful was the campaign by Greenpeace at the time that the French Government sent saboteurs and spies into the harbour of a political ally to sink the flagship of the organization. A photographer paid for denying the French with his life. The scuttled ship was towed to Matauri Bay at the beaches of local Maori and sunk there as a permanent memorial to those horrible days. It is an incident I remember well as I had been on the ship only the day before. I later went on to work at Greenpeace as a fundraiser and believed passionately in their mission statement and campaigns.”

Gauntlett’s final words on this subject demonstrate a growing sentiment across the globe: “Amazingly, times change and the once proud and anti-market campaigners of Greenpeace seem to (like myself really) have grown old and tired of banging heads against brick walls, and with regret, I have decided to never again give money to or support Greenpeace while I am uncertain of the level of cooperation between them and the industrial lobby. After more than 30 years of environmental action and support, it is time that I took back my mandate and gave it instead to organisations that I trust with the same amount of certainty I once did with Greenpeace. They are certainly not alone and probably far from being the worst, but this is the country where the Rainbow Warrior lies as a memorial to defiance.”

The Ethics Resource Center’s 2007 National Nonprofit Ethics Survey reports troubling observations. The report states that conduct that violates the law or an organization’s standards is on the rise, and nonprofit violations have reached levels comparable to business and government. It observes that financial fraud is higher in nonprofit organizations than it is in business or government and furthermore, the boards, while critical in shaping the perceptions of employees with regard to ethics, are not setting clear ethics standards for their organizations. Where boards have heavy influence, we also see high levels of misconduct. In conclusion they state: “The recent erosion of ethical behavior in this sector is very troubling, and the trend cannot be allowed to continue.”

Runaway Climate Change

Leading climate expert James Hansen (among many other scientists from several disciplines) believes that methane clathrates (or hydrates) played a crucial role in the largest mass extinction, the “end-Permian” event 251 million years ago, in which more than 90 percent of terrestrial and marine species were exterminated. Methane clathrate is frozen methane gas that lies on ocean floor sediment off the continental coasts of our planet. Since 1992 it has been recognized that the shallow Arctic methane clathrates would be subject to melting by global warming, releasing methane gas into the atmosphere (U.S. Geological Survey Marine and Coastal Geology Program, Gas (Methane) Hydrates – A New Frontier, September 1992).

The end-Permian event was accompanied by a temperature rise of as little as 6ºC. Life took 50 million years to recover the diversity that had existed prior to the mass extinction. It is considered that methane clathrates may also have played a role in other mass extinctions, such as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), which occurred 55 million years ago. Hansen warns that humanity is putting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere today at a rate that is 10,000 times higher than the rate during the PETM.

In Hansen’s recent book, according to the penultimate chapter, The Venus Syndrome, it might be even worse. Hansen posits a possible future Earth in which a “runaway greenhouse effect” takes over: anthropogenic global warming from greenhouse gases causes a massive increase of water vapor into the atmosphere as the heated oceans evaporate, which in turn causes further warming. Today, the Arctic methane clathrate deposits are destabilizing, and if not re-stabilized will release vast amounts of methane into the atmosphere and add more acid to our oceans. The oceans will then become more acidified by dissolution of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This scenario would end all life on Earth. Today, the rate of ocean acidification exceeds anything witnessed in the past 65 million years.

Tragically, the Arctic summer sea ice has now passed its tipping point to melt down – the Arctic has finally shifted to a new climate pattern in which “normal” has become obsolete (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 21 October 2010). A recent study (funded by the National Science Foundation, the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council in Canada, the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, and the European Research Council) shows that even though during the Pliocene Epoch (2.6 to 5.3 million years ago) it was about 34 degrees Fahrenheit, or 19 degrees Celsius, warmer than today, CO2 levels were only slightly higher than present. According to another study by David Lawrence, this means that the rate of permafrost thaw will likely triple. No Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPPC) climate model currently incorporates the amplifying feedback from methane released by a defrosting tundra. Leading scientist Shakhova and colleagues estimate that roughly eight million tons of methane are now leaking into the atmosphere each year from the East Siberia Sea. As previously stated, studies suggest that the destabilization of methane clathrates likely triggered the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum that saw global temperatures rise by around 6°C (over 20,000 years as opposed to what we are experiencing / causing over 200 years) with a corresponding rise in sea level as the whole of the oceans warmed. The rate of carbon addition at that time almost equals the rate at which carbon is being released into the atmosphere today.

“My view is that the climate has already crossed at least one tipping point, about 1975-1976, and is now at a runaway state, implying that only emergency measures have a chance of making a difference…” “The costs of all of the above would require diversion of the trillions of dollars from global military expenditures to environmental mitigation.” – Andrew Glikson, Earth/Paleo-climate scientist

Drinking the Kool-Aid

The model-based projections of the rate of future global warming take no account of the loss of the Arctic summer ice, nor of the methane emissions from thawing permafrost, nor of the methane emissions from the melting Arctic gas hydrates. It has been well known for a long time that these are by far the greatest dangers, all unavoidable with enough warming. To date, the world has agreed to being led (to the gallows) by the climate modellers. Yet, the models have already been proved to be sensationally wrong. Modellers are not climate experts, nor in life sciences, nor ecologists – the climate science leaders are complex math/computer modellers. The reliance on models has given the governments and compromised NGOs an excuse to do nothing.

As it is, the IPCC relies on models that exclude approximately half of the adverse climate change impacts on food crop production (two examples being heat waves and floods). Even so, the IPCCstates that the absolute limit for agriculture is a 3ºC global average warming (from pre-1900). Beyond a 3ºC temperature increase, we had best consider that agriculture would enter into an irreversible decline headed to collapse in all regions of the world, even when we use the dangerously incomplete models that attempt to give us a sense of what is coming down the pipe.

What do the big greens have to tell us about the alarming changes to our food crop production now being witnessed? Nothing. The big greens have been deadly silent. They continue to ignore the risks and the projections of global warming and climate disruption on our food security. We have to expect disastrous impacts on northern hemisphere agriculture resulting from the loss of the summer sea ice in the Arctic. If the Arctic summer sea ice is already in irreversible melt down, as many scientists now believe, the food security situation of the northern hemisphere is no better, and perhaps even worse, than that of the southern hemisphere.

Meanwhile in Canada, the Harper regime government has the propaganda machine working overtime, selling the lie of “Climate Prosperity” to Canadian citizens while planning to slip 16 billion of our tax dollars to his friends at Lockheed Martin for F-35 stealth fighter jets. Compare this to the four-year, $1.43-billion ecoEnergy program, introduced in 2007, which provided money to corporations for the development of false solutions passed off as new clean-energy technology. This program expires in 2011. The new budget (2010) offers a token $25 million for the next four years. Military budgets have steadily increased from $15 billion in 2005-2006, to $18 billion in 2008-2009, and this year $20.6 billion – representing one-fifth of the total government direct program spending on an annual basis. The 2010 budget is 56% higher than the 1998-99 budget. But why spend money on clean, safe renewable energies that will save lives when you can spend money that results in the extermination of men, women and children in the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq? And why do anything to protect citizens from catastrophic climate change when you can unveil an outrageous greenwash campaign instead? For the Conservative government led by Stephen Bush Harper, this massive Suncor-sponsored campaign to reframe dangerous climate change as something positive for Canada’s economy and our children is just another example of the dangerous denialism that has slowly and effectively saturated the most critical issue of our time.

Denialism has proven to be almost as effective as Jonestown Kool-Aid. For many years, Western democracy has been considered and designed as governance by a process of negotiation and compromise between three partners: 1) governments 2) corporations, and 3) civil society (with the big greens at the forefront). In the case of our Earth, her inhabitants and climate, we must consider this nothing less than a three-way silent truce for global catastrophe.

“The truth, indeed, is something that mankind, for some mysterious reason, instinctively dislikes. Every man who tries to tell it is unpopular, and even when, by the sheer strength of his case, he prevails, he is put down as a scoundrel.” – H. L. Mencken,Chicago Tribune, 23 May 1926

Soma and the Big Greens | A Love Story

“The service had begun. The dedicated soma tablets were placed in the centre of the table. The loving cup of strawberry ice-cream somawas passed from hand to hand and, with the formula, ‘I drink to my annihilation,’ twelve times quaffed.” – Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World

In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, the soma routine was not a private addiction; it was nothing less than a political institution. Soma was the very essence of life, freedom and the pursuit of happiness – all of which were guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. However, this most valued of the slaves’ subjects’ absolute privileges was, at the same time, by far the most powerful instrument of rule in the dictator’s arsenal. The systematic drugging of citizens for the benefit of the state (and incidentally, of course, for their own pleasure and amusement) was a main vice in the policy of the world controllers. Soma was invaluable. The daily soma ration was nothing less than insurance against personal maladjustment, social unrest and the spread of subversive ideas. [www.huxley.net] Sound familiar?

Where is the line that distinguishes the bystander from the perpetrator when atrocity becomes both systemic and political? Passive messaging and symbolic campaigns creatively and successfully do nothing less than deny the existence of universal truth and scientific knowledge. Such brilliant tactics effectively and subtly refute the crisis, thus enabling further denial discourse and behavior. If we do not challenge and successfully eradicate what has evolved into the universalizing of symbolism and hegemonic ideology of the big greens, indeed, we will be crushed by them. The evidence is upon us that climate change is now incontrovertible, as is the realization that this is by far the greatest catastrophe to ever confront our species.

One Sky – But Many Puppets

Truth and Deception

“We were warned repeatedly by highly paid consultants and well-funded studies that discussion of global warming or the climate crisis was unproductive. But we reject the either/or dichotomy, and maintain, as our founding 1Sky principles above suggest, that we must be clear about the planetary emergency we are facing….” – 1Sky Board of Directors (Jessica Bailey, KC Golden, Bracken Hendricks, Bill McKibben, Billy Parish, Vicky Rateau, Gus Speth and Betsy Taylor), 6 August 2010

The above is a key statement that supports the (non)meaning behind what climate justice activists have come to call “the big greens.” Organizations whose CEOs live fat cat lifestyles thanks to exorbitant paychecks that exceed those of state senators. The faux climate movement no longer reflects the reality we must all face – now or never. This is it. Pollyanna’s cheerleading days have officially expired and it is time to send her and her fellow cheerleaders packing. On August 6, 2010 the big greens state that we must be clear about the planetary emergency we are facing, yet, immediately following this statement, they call upon citizens to celebrate and participate in a day of actions that had nothing to do with solving a planetary emergency and everything to do with perpetuating a meaningless brand.

McKibben and friends are planting daffodils in the shape of 3-5-0 as the planet advances in a crisis of such magnitude that our children will most likely not survive it. Not so surprising considering in Cochabamba Kelly Blynn, 350.org co-founder, explicitly stated that they (350.org) would NEVER change their brand (by endorsing/reflecting the 300 ppm as per the People’s Agreement) as 350 was “the most powerful brand in the world.” Her words – as spoken in Cochabamba in April 2010. McKibben now refers to the number 350 as “iconic.” They have come to believe their own hype. Pass the soma please….

We can acknowledge that 350.org has been most successful in creating global awareness in regards to the number 350 – that being the uppermost amount in parts per million of atmospheric carbon that humanity must target. However, the reality is that we are at 390 today and only accelerating. Is this considered dangerous climate interference as defined by the IPCC? The answer is yes. Did NASA’s James Hansen call upon civil society to declare a planetary emergency in 2008? The answer is yes. Yet McKibben and friends speak of neither. Hansen’s dire plea is ignored. Dead silence. Epic fail. Most critical, why do McKibben and friends not educate on the necessary emissions reductions we must achieve if we are ever to get back to 350? It has been known by scientists for years that only zero CO2 emissions can make atmospheric CO2 drop. Nothing less. Could it therefore be considered nothing less than criminal negligence for McKibben, 350.org and friends to tell us that we are on the road to hell but refuse to give directions to the only way to get off that road (a freshly paved one of eco-asphalt lined with happy daffodils and shiny new electric cars, no less)? The map to safety is M.I.A.

“No one on the corner has swag like us? – Hit me on my banner prepaid wireless? – We pack and deliver like UPS trucks? – Already in hell just pumping that gas – ??All I wanna do is (BANG BANG BANG BANG!)? – And (KKKAAAA CHING!) – ?And take your money” – Paper Planes, by M.I.A.

Message to Pollyanna – this is Cassandra. Please go away before you kill us all. We don’t want to go down on your sinking ship.

The big greens understand the global implications of runaway climate change – the implications being the elimination of humanity and all evolutionarily advanced life. They recognize the current major calamities all over the globe. Yet, they continue to deny out loud to the public the critical state of the atmosphere, confirmed by the world’s leading research organizations; NASA, NSCDC, Potsdam, Tyndall, Hadley-Met, CSIRO, BOM, the world’s academies of science and others. By depriving the public of the gravity of this emergency, big greens effectively ensure that humanity remains ineffective in the imperative, urgent task of implementing changes in our social and economic spheres – at a speed and magnitude of such force, the world has yet to ever witness an effort of such scale.

“We are unleashing hell on Australia.” – Prof. Neville Nicholls, world expert and lead author for the IPCC, Monash University

“… many, many scientists now … are frantically, hysterically worried.” – Professor Ann Henderson-Sellers, former head of the UN’s World Climate Research Program, now at Macquarie University

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, told the Oxford 4 Degrees and Beyond Conference that “Political reality must be grounded in physical reality or it’s completely useless.” Schellnhuber briefed U.S. officials from the Barack Obama administration who chided him that his findings were “not grounded in political reality” and that “the [U.S.] Senate will never agree to this.” Schellnhuber told them that the U.S. must reduce its emissions from its current 20 tonnes of carbon per person average to zero tonnes per person by 2020 to have even a chance of stabilizing the temperature increase at around 2ºC.

Could it be that 350.org does not campaign on the imperative of zero because 350 ppm, in fact, demands a zero fossil fuel economy at breakneck speed? This is a vital observation being that the money “donated” by such foundations as the Rockefeller Brothers Fund is only possible because of an explosive oil economy that continues to break record profits in the billions.

Did any of the big greens ever message the critical Potsdam Institute information to their supporters? (TckTckTck, for example, claims to have over 17 million members.) Of course not – informing U.S. citizens of the reality that they must achieve zero emissions by 2020 to avoid catastrophic 2ºC could result in: 1) negative impact on the economy, and/or 2) negative impact on NGO funding, and/or 3) negative impact on the brand.

Dangerous Messaging

The dangerous symbolic messaging that the big greens churn out has done far more damage than good. Such passive messaging, in which they excel, ensures that society remains indoctrinated under the illusion of happiness only made possible by consumer capitalism. This indoctrination has been suicidal. Literally. What is even uglier is that it seems McKibben and friends have accepted, therefore believe, their marketing strategists’s advice that there is no other way to reach their audience – other than to appeal to their selfish identity. Do they believe that their supporters (Americans being their primary target) are so shallow that the only way to entice change is to market campaigns and messaging that will lure citizens by feeding into the most negative characteristics of the human species – those of selfishness, greed and apathy? Such marketing campaigns succeed not by motivating people to make any meaningful change or sacrifice, rather such marketing motivates individuals to do only the actions that people may consider when they are not motivated enough to make a real change or sacrifice.

Big greens may not have zero faith in humanity – but they certainly do appear to have zero faith in their target audience. They have identified their audience first and foremost as self-serving consumers – as opposed to recognizing and building upon the fact that these are people. Citizens. With families. A reality that encompasses characteristics to be nourished. It is true that contemporary profit-driven, capitalistic and money-worshipping wealthy societies have fallen into a death trap, losing perspective and failing to realize that the value of money is totally subjective. However, does this mean that organizations should cater to these characteristics – brought about by relentless corporate messaging that has inundated and polluted our minds – thereby reaffirming them? Do we believe that our citizens are so shallow and so past the point of human sentience, empathy, capacity for critical thinking, and the ability to love beyond themselves that we just continue to distribute soma to the masses? Because the 21-year-old marketing prodigy told us so in between texting his investment banker on his Blackberry?

We may have lost our own self worth, beaten down by unwavering, relentless indoctrination – our bare souls laid siege by unabashed propaganda hell, but should the role of those who claim to speak for civil society not be the one to help civil society reclaim our humanness?

Fittingly, in our consumer capitalism society we now find that even social conscience itself has become a hot commodity. If the markets see our social conscience as an asset to exploit – and they absolutely do – at least this means we still collectively have a conscience, even if we have to peel back a thousand brands to eventually uncover it.

“People with strong intrinsic values must cease to be embarrassed by them. We should argue for the policies we want not on the grounds of expediency but on the grounds that they are empathetic and kind; and against others on the grounds that they are selfish and cruel. In asserting our values we become the change we want to see.” – George Monbiot

Unfortunately, the multimillion dollar social structure of the non-profit industrial complex is ruled by the expediency of public relations, politics and funding – not by high moral values. Furthermore, we are all ruled by the multi-billion-dollar banks who remind us of our enslavement to the system whenever we threaten to allow our moral values to lead us.

The bizarre “party” on 10:10:10 forgot to mention in the “top ten” ideas for the day that we must use all of our democratic powers and rights – including our moral obligation to break the laws that continue to protect the corporations while sentencing people to certain death. 350.org and partner TckTckTck proclaimed on 10:10:10, “We Own the Media Today.” In reality, the media own 350.

The Consequences of Modern Day Soma

Deconstruction, reconstruction, muzzling and outright lies within the corporate-owned mainstream media (MSM) have been a long-term barrier to truth. From organizing public support for controversial issues that threaten our very well being, even when our own children will be paying the ultimate price, to ensuring that certain political “leaders” are elected, or that women start smoking and the public keeps buying the consumer products they don’t need which ensures billions in corporate profits, the role of “communication” has been and remains pivotal. Today we witness that mainstream communication and public relations have become nothing more than basic propaganda, because the underlying facts and reality have to be reconstructed and watered down to make the message easy to swallow.

The plutocracy needs us to continue to buy crap we don’t need, consume things we don’t need, waste things we never needed to begin with, and most important of all – to quit thinking. Be passive. Be complacent. Dissent is effectively framed as unpatriotic or ungrateful. Take your soma three times a day, more if necessary.

The greatest threat to the corporate power that has a complete stranglehold on our global society, including governments, is a society of people who can sustain themselves independent of the corporate institution. A zero-carbon perpetual-energy world made up of citizens who embody and value the right to critical thinking, free of mind pollution, provides the greatest threat to corporate power. No corporation can dominate every drop of sunshine. No corporation can capture every breath of wind.

“So here we are, forming an orderly queue at the slaughterhouse gate. The punishment of the poor for the errors of the rich, the abandonment of universalism, the dismantling of the shelter the state provides: apart from a few small protests, none of this has yet brought us out fighting. The acceptance of policies which counteract our interests is the pervasive mystery of the 21st Century. In the United States, blue-collar workers angrily demand that they be left without healthcare, and insist that millionaires should pay less tax. In the UK we appear ready to abandon the social progress for which our ancestors risked their lives with barely a mutter of protest. What has happened to us?” – George Monbiot

2100|Tomatoes and Flat Screens for the Bourgeois

In a “good news scenario” posted on 4 October 2010, titled Policy Reform to 350, McKibben envisions the future. A scenario whereby global society reverses levels of CO2 in the atmosphere to 350ppm by 2100 – this made possible by the consequences suffered by way of devastation that finally resulted in the imperialist governments waking up and smelling the coffee – thus acting. McKibben assumes in this scenario that governments are simply unaware, which is not at all true. Governments are absolutely aware of the consequences that we will face – and they have chosen not to act. They have all been briefed, in no uncertain terms, by the world’s foremost scientists and military experts.

The scenario McKibben writes of is neither factual, nor is it scientific. Indeed, he omits the most critical aspect of failing to deal with this crisis at breakneck speed – that of the amplifying feedbacks, many of which are now operational. Climate change has a full spectrum of dangerous consequences spread over many centuries into the future, however McKibben makes no mention of this reality. The reality that this scenario excludes is this: If we do not stabilize the climate by achieving virtual zero carbon emissions within a decade (Annex 1, or developed, countries), positive feedback mechanisms will continue to amplify, and become irreversible. This would result in runaway climate change. Humans will not survive this. The positive feedbacks will not simply retreat when Nature sees that we have finally learned our lesson and repented, as McKibben fantasizes within the article. He makes zero mention of tipping points and the point of no return. In fact, his scenario is survivable, including plug-in cars, tomatoes and even flat screen televisions. There is no mention of the billions who will have perished south of the equator nor is there mention that Africa will now be a furnace – void of all life. In McKibben’s “good news scenario,” exceeding 2ºC does not lead to uncontrollable temperatures of 4ºC, 6ºC, 8ºC and higher. This fantasy demonstrates the ultimate in denialism. If the “leader” of 350.org is believing in such delusional fantasy while packaging it as possible and rational, we are in terminally serious trouble. NGOs should be opposing this nonsense head on – but they won’t. Because in the Non-Profit Industrial Complex, when it comes to the critical issues of climate change, mum is the word.

350.org would like you to believe that 350 ppm is the most important number in the world. Not true. 350 ppm is recognized by climatologist James Hansen as the highest tolerable carbon level allowing survival of life on Earth. In reality, we need to get back down to levels below 300 ppm in order to re-freeze the Arctic sea ice. Then return to pre-industrial levels, which we know were safe. Until then, the Arctic sea ice will continue to accelerate in its death spiral, accelerating feedbacks. As we lose the albedo effect (reflection of sun off the ice), the solar energy, rather than being reflected, is then absorbed into the ocean. Such warming amplifies further feedbacks such as ocean acidification and melting of permafrost, which has led to the current situation of destabilized methane hydrates that are now leaking methane into the atmosphere. There is double the amount of carbon in the methane hydrates than in the entire atmosphere. We’re talking big numbers here.

These are all tipping points, beyond which catastrophic runaway feedback loops become irreversible. At this point, no amount of human ingenuity will save us. No amount of monetary wealth will save us. The term runaway greenhouse effect is best described as the conditions that led to the current greenhouse state of Venus. Terrifying? Yes. Yet this is the path we are currently on. For anyone who wishes to see what is happening to our ice – as you read this – watch the unbelievable time lapse footage that has only recently been witnessed by scientists. It is nothing less than incredible. You will understand the enormity of our situation once you see these images: http://bit.ly/bbH8mV

Thawing frozen soils could unleash a carbon bomb – massive volumes of carbon dioxide and methane frozen in the earth’s soils are a “time-bomb ticking under our feet.” – World Congress of Soil Science, 4 August 2010

Watch for the next article – fourth in the series, in which we continue to discuss the connection between environmental campaigns and their corporate sponsors. Article number one in the series ‘10:10:10 – Marketing, Manipulation, and the Status Quo’ and article number two in the series ‘Explosive Climate Report Text Revealed’ can be read at: http://bit.ly/cUYCrn

Cory Morningstar is climate justice activist whose recent writings can be found on ‘Canadians for Action on Climate Change’ and ‘The Art of Annihilation’ site where you can read her bio. You can follow her on twitter:@elleprovocateur

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