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McKibben’s Divestment Tour – Brought to You by Wall Street [Part IX of an Investigative Report] [Mainstreaming Sustainable Capitalism]

The Art of Annihilation

April 30, 2015

Part nine of an investigative series by Cory Morningstar

Divestment Investigative Report Series [Further Reading]: Part IPart IIPart IIIPart IVPart VPart VIPart VIIPart VIIIPart IXPart XPart XIPart XIIPart XIII

 

“Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.” — Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

 

Prologue: A Coup d’état of Nature – Led by the Non-Profit Industrial Complex

It is somewhat ironic that anti-REDD climate activists, faux green organizations (in contrast to legitimate grassroots organizations that do exist, although few and far between) and self-proclaimed environmentalists, who consider themselves progressive will speak out against the commodification of nature’s natural resources while simultaneously promoting the toothless divestment campaign promoted by the useless mainstream groups allegedly on the left. It’s ironic because the divestment campaign will result (succeed) in a colossal injection of money shifting over to the very portfolios heavily invested in, thus dependent upon, the intense commodification and privatization of Earth’s last remaining forests, (via REDD, environmental “markets” and the like). This tour de force will be executed with cunning precision under the guise of environmental stewardship and “internalizing negative externalities through appropriate pricing.” Thus, ironically (if in appearances only), the greatest surge in the ultimate corporate capture of Earth’s final remaining resources is being led, and will be accomplished, by the very environmentalists and environmental groups that claim to oppose such corporate domination and capture.

Beyond shelling out billions of tax-exempt dollars (i.e., investments) to those institutions most accommodating in the non-profit industrial complex (otherwise known as foundations), the corporations need not lift a finger to sell this pseudo green agenda to the people in the environmental movement; the feat is being carried out by a tag team comprised of the legitimate and the faux environmentalists. As the public is wholly ignorant and gullible, it almost has no comprehension of the following:

  1. the magnitude of our ecological crisis
  2. the root causes of the planetary crisis, or
  3. the non-profit industrial complex as an instrument of hegemony.

The commodification of the commons will represent the greatest, and most cunning, coup d’état in the history of corporate dominance – an extraordinary fait accompli of unparalleled scale, with unimaginable repercussions for humanity and all life.

Further, it matters little whether or not the money is moved from direct investments in fossil fuel corporations to so-called “socially responsible investments.” The fact of the matter is that all corporations on the planet (and therefore by extension, all investments on the planet) are dependent upon and will continue to require massive amounts of fossil fuels to continue to grow and expand ad infinitum – as required by the industrialized capitalist economic system.

The windmills and solar panels serve as beautiful (marketing) imagery as a panacea for our energy issues, yet they are illusory – the fake veneer for the commodification of the commons, which is the fundamental objective of Wall Street, the very advisers of the divestment campaign.

Thus we find ourselves unwilling to acknowledge the necessity to dismantle the industrialized capitalist economic system, choosing instead to embrace an illusion designed by corporate power.

+++

 

Al Gore and David Blood

Blood & Gore Generation: of Commodification, Privatization, and Indoctrination

“Between 2008 and 2011 the company had raised profits of nearly $218 million from institutions and wealthy investors. By 2008 Gore was able to put $35 million into hedge funds and private partnerships through the Capricorn Investment Group, a Palo Alto company founded by his Canadian billionaire buddy Jeffrey Skoll, the first president of eBay Inc.” — Forbes, November 3, 2013

 

“Civil society has a central role in accelerating the transition towards Sustainable Capitalism. NGOs must take a 360-degree approach to the process of mainstreaming Sustainable Capitalism, realising their ability to influence stakeholders in every part of the business ecosystem. NGOs must engage with investors, companies, regulators and policy makers to encourage the rapid and effective adoption of Sustainable Capitalism through campaigns, lobbying efforts and partnerships with the private sector.” — Sustainable Investment Paper, Generation, February 15, 2012

For an accurate grasp of the true objective behind a national/international marketing campaign (the Keystone Pipeline campaign is another fine example), one is wise to bypass the non-profit industrial complex (NPIC) in its entirety and go directly to researching the investment firms and corporations who are set to increase market share and reap billions in profits via such campaigns. Campaigns funded by foundations (set up by the oligarchs) serve and protect the system with well-oiled precision. Billions of dollars funnelled into the NPIC laundering machine, on which corporations would be taxed otherwise, have never been such a sound and secure investment.

Perhaps the most telling and revealing of the world the NPIC wishes us to embrace is the investment firm recommended by 350.org et al: Generation. [PDF: A Complete Guide to Reinvestment] Under the section “What types of reinvestment exist?, Mutual Funds,” the top two examples listed (four in total) are 1) Generation Investment Management Climate Solutions Fund II and 2) Generation Investment Management Credit Fund.

“We are advocates for Sustainable Capitalism…. The first, which is our principal platform for activity, is a partnership model whereby we collaborate with individuals, organizations, and institutions in our effort to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable form of capitalism. In addition, the Foundation also supports select grant-giving related to the field of Sustainable Capitalism, engagement with the local communities where we operate, and an employee gift-matching program.” — Generation Foundation

Generation is an independent, private, owner-managed partnership with offices in London and New York. The firm was co-founded in 2004 by Al Gore and David Blood. From 1985 to 1999, Blood served in various positions at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. From 1999 to 2003, Blood served as a Co-Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Blood served as a director of Goldman Sachs International. Blood sits on many boards including his director position held at NewForests (“establishes US presence in May 2007 to capitalise on growing investment interest in environmental markets in the US”). Its investment strategies focus on forests, timberland, and environmental markets; “NewForests have a limited number of private accounts clients to develop particular project and policy expertise in reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) in other countries.” (REDD and Biomass). Blood also holds a position as director of The Nature Conservancy, the revolving door for Goldman Sachs executives. [Blood’s full bio].

Mark Ferguson, Peter Harris, Peter Knight and Colin Mark Le Duc are also co-founders of Generation Investment. Both Ferguson and Harris held prestigious positions at Sachs. Al Gore is Co-Founder, Chairman, and Partner of The Climate Solutions Fund of which Marc Le Duk is also a co-founder.

Generation is largely an institutional investment management firm, operating at the wholesale level (major pension funds, foundations, etc). The corporatocracy and covertness behind such investing is apparent when one considers the fact that law restricts the amount of information that firms (that focus on institutional clients) can provide, to “ensure that the general public is not enticed into investing in unsuitable and overly complex products”. [1]

“Mainstreaming Sustainable Capitalism by *2020 will require independent, collaborative and voluntary action by companies, investors, government and civil society, which we hope to accelerate by advancing the discourse on the economic benefits of sustainability.” — Sustainable Investment Paper, Generation, February 15, 2012

[*David Blood: “…we say in our paper 2020, the truth is we have a view that it really needs to happen by 2015 – otherwise we are increasingly in trouble.” Breakthrough Capitalism Forum lecture, May 29, 2012]

A key area of focus is to ensure the capitalist system is kept intact; to establish the acceptable parameters of the “market revolution.” In particular, in concise language, Blood and Gore make it exceptionally clear that alternatives to the suicidal capitalist system need not, should not and will not be considered:

“Capitalism has great strengths and is fundamentally superior to any other system for organising economic activity. It is more efficient in allocating resources and in matching supply and demand. It is demonstrably effective in wealth creation. It is more congruent with higher levels of freedom and self-governance than any other system. It unlocks a higher fraction of the human potential with ubiquitous, organic incentives that reward hard work, ingenuity, and innovation. These strengths are why it is at the foundation of every successful economy.

 

“Critically, capitalism has proven itself to be adaptable and flexible enough to fit the specific needs of particular countries. Capitalism comes in many forms, from that practised in the US to the very different model that has been adopted within communist China. The causes and consequences of these variations are, of course, significant – but the more important fact remains: the mainstream debate is about how to practise capitalism not whether we should choose between capitalism and some other system.” [Emphasis added] [Source]

Generation Investment is acknowledged for its contribution in the May 2013 41-page document Institutional Pathways to Fossil-Free Investing in collaboration with Phil Aroneanu and Jamie Henn of 350.org, Bob Massie of the New Economics Institute and others interconnected within this campaign. The sponsors listed are 350.org, Responsible Endowments Coalition (REC), Sustainable Endowments Institute and Tellus Institute. [2]

“By Year Five of the simulation, the portfolio has become fossil free and its five-percent targeted reinvestment has been allocated, across a variety of asset classes, as shown in Figure 4. Half of the target (2.5 percent of the entire portfolio) can be re-allocated to sustainable, fossil-free domestic and international public equities, through existing strategies with investment managers such as Generation Investment Management, Impax Asset Management, Portfolio 21, and Trillium Asset Management, among others.” — Institutional Pathways to Fossil-Free Investing

Video: Ceres lecture featuring Bill McKibben with David Blood:

https://vimeo.com/66321774

Generation’s key action is “to accelerate mainstreaming Sustainable Capitalism.” Insight into the coming corporate capture / commodification of the commons via the global implementation of “payments for ecosystem services” (PES) is made clear under the Current Initiatives section where it is stated: “Until there are policies that establish a fair price for widely understood externalities, academics and financial professionals should strive to quantify the impact of stranded assets and analyze the subsequent implications for assessing investment opportunities.” [Emphasis added.]

The top three sectors of focus for Generation are key to how the 21st century is being shaped: 1) Agricultural and Forestry Solutions (think genetic engineering, biomass burning, land grabs, and commodification of forests/REDD 2); Behaviour Change (think Avaaz/Purpose); 3) Bio-based Fuels, Plastics and Chemicals. (See all key sectors of focus that have been publicly disclosed.) (Note that 350.org et al are now publicly campaigning on/promoting the false solution of biofuels.)

Three such partnerships (publicly disclosed) include World Resources Institute, Natural Resource Defense Council (both represented on the Ceres board of directors), and The Climate Reality Project (formerly identified as Alliance for Climate Protection). Under Memberships and Initiatives, we find Ceres, the Ceres Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, and many others.

“We provide business-building expertise, access to Generation’s investment, corporate, NGO and sustainability networks and a long term strategic perspective and commitment to our portfolio companies.” [Source]

And the icing on the cake:

“Five percent of the profitability of the firm is allocated to The Generation Foundation, which will support global non-profit sustainability initiatives.”

Gore and Blood identify five key imperatives that “have the potential to accelerate the transition to Sustainable Capitalism”. The first imperative identified is the need to identify and incorporate risks from stranded assets.

Enter Carbon Tracker.

Carbon Tracker

carbon-tracker-presentation-anthony-hobley-at-sitra-helsinki-21-may-2014-10-638

Ruse: noun 1. an action intended to mislead, deceive, or trick; stratagem

Utilizing research from the Potsdam Institute [3], Carbon Tracker made the case for “unburnable carbon” in the July 2011 seminal report “Unburnable Carbon: are the world’s financial markets carrying a carbon bubble?” The report suggested that the top 100 coal and 100 oil-and-gas companies had a combined value in 2011 of $7.42 trillion, much of it based on reserves that can never be used. Such reserves are one example considered by Tracker that have the potential to become stranded assets – thereby exposing investors to risk. The tracker employs (and supplies) the so-called “carbon budget” as a measure (and apparatus) as to how much more carbon the world can continue to “safely” burn.

“The concept of ‘stranded assets‘ gained prominence last year when another report by the Carbon Tracker Initiative calculated that 60-80% of the world’s coal, oil, and gas reserves would be ‘unburnable’ if the world leaders agreed to emissions reductions to limit warming to 2°C…. In essence, any price on carbon or emissions reduction policy could cut oil demand enough to strand any number of a company’s proven reserves.” — Desmog Blog, September 13, 2014

Carbon Tracker’s second “unburnable carbon” report (Unburnable Carbon 2013: Wasted Capital and Stranded Assets (PDF) is co-authored with LSE’s (London School of Economics) Grantham Research Institute. The Institute has been financed/supported in part by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) through a grant for US$2.16 million (£1.35 million) to fund several research project areas from 2012 to 2014. LSE’s Grantham Research Institute membership includes (but is not limited to) Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund; Vikram Singh Mehta, chairman of Shell Companies (India); Carter Roberts, president and CEO of WWF (US); and Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, chairman of EL Rothschild Ltd.

The aim of the Grantham Research Institute is to strengthen the analytical and empirical underpinnings of the ‘green growth’ concept in relation to both developing and developed countries.” [Source] [GGGI Partners] Yvo de Boer is the Director-General of GGGI [People]. Prior to joining the global accountancy firm KPMG in 2010, Mr. de Boer led the international process to respond to climate change in the role of Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) from 2006 to 2010.

Carbon Tracker could very much be considered the key stratagem, foundation, glue and more importantly, a veil or even a shield for both the divestment campaign (global in scale), and the so-called carbon “budget.” Reports, data and papers released by this foundation-financed think tank are pumped through the channels of power, the result being the legitimization of concepts that have no basis in reality if it were not for the non-profit industrial complex, in tandem with media, ensuring no one states – or even notices – the obvious, that the emperor has no clothes.

“A vain Emperor who cares about nothing except wearing and displaying clothes hires two swindlers who promise him the finest, best suit of clothes from a fabric invisible to anyone who is unfit for his position or ‘hopelessly stupid.’ The Emperor’s ministers cannot see the clothing themselves, but pretend that they can for fear of appearing unfit for their positions and the Emperor does the same. Finally the swindlers report that the suit is finished, they mime dressing him and the Emperor marches in procession before his subjects. The townsfolk play along with the pretense, not wanting to appear unfit for their positions or stupid. Then a child in the crowd, too young to understand the desirability of keeping up the pretense, blurts out that the Emperor is wearing nothing at all and the cry is taken up by others. The Emperor cringes, suspects the assertion is true, but continues the procession.” [Source]

In this instance, the emperor is the oligarchy as a collective, the ministers are the sycophants that comprise the NPIC, and the townsfolk – not wanting to appear stupid or undeserving.

Reports such as Carbon Tracker’s serve to legitimate, normalize and thus sanction the already capitalist-sanctioned “activism” that deliberately assists in pushing forward particular policies and agendas already conceptualized (years and even decades in advance) by the funders and the elite.

carbon-tracker-presentation-anthony-hobley-at-sitra-helsinki-21-may-2014-3-1024

Consider who finances the work of the Carbon Tracker. “The work of Carbon Tracker has been made possible by the vision and openness to innovation shown by organisations such as the following”: The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Tellus Mater Foundation, Generation Foundation, Wallace Global Fund, The European Climate Foundation, The Growald Family Fund, The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust ,The Polden Puckham Charitable Foundation, The Ashden Trust, Zennstrom Philanthropies, MAVA Foundation, The Velux Foundation, and The Grantham Foundation. After you consider the “who” behind the financing, consider “why” the financing.

Wallace Global Fund refers to its interest in funding Carbon Tracker as Support for a collaboration between climate activists and financial analysts seeking to align the action of world capital markets with the reality of global warming.”

“The ability to deal with people is as purchasable a commodity as sugar or coffee and I will pay more for that ability than for any other under the sun.” — John D. Rockefeller

Millions of dollars funnelled through foundations into institutions, who in turn churn out reports, serve a pivotal purpose. Slick reports, marketing and PR build security (and acceptance/acquiescence amongst the populace) for the investment strategies belonging to the endowments (as well as the trustees) of the very foundations such institutions/NGOs are funded by. This is nothing more than polished PR at arm’s length intended/financed to promote said investments – as well as divestments. The appearance of an independent think tank evokes trust in the public realm. The oligarchs know how to manage, shape and modify behavioural change amongst the public. We are a public of rampant consumption and continued devolution, by design. There is little doubt that the billions of dollars the elite have pumped into the NPIC must quantify as one of the best long-term investments they have ever made.

The concepts of carbon budget, stranded assets and carbon asset bubbles have indeed gained traction with many people. This is in part due to the repetitive messaging of familiar language and unthreatening implications (via a massive injection of funding; Rockefeller et al must be pleased), the précis being that a person of privilege and monetary wealth can simply move his/her money from coal or Exxon and re-invest it into “clean” investments such as massive solar projects in deliberately impoverished Africa that will export the energy to those who already have it in Europe, geothermal, biomass projects that burn the remaining Earth’s forests and whole cultures into ashes, or REDD, which commodifies Earth’s forests for the even further expansion of capital. Pick your poison wisely. In less than 30 minutes we have “saved the world” and we still retain our wealth and privilege. Yet in reality, nothing has changed, the system demands continued growth, clean energy demands fossil fuels and vast resources from an already depleted planet, and the world continues to warm. To divest and feel no consequences is far preferred (by the 1% creating 50% of all global GHG emissions) than actual/tangible divesting from vacations (flying), personal automobiles, clothes dryers, steaks, lawn-mowers, leaf-blowers, Starbucks, etc. etc. etc. – including iPhones, iPods, iEverthing, with emphasis on the word “I.”

“The investor effort, called the Carbon Asset Risk (CAR) initiative, is being coordinated by Ceres and the Carbon Tracker initiative, with support from the Global Investor Coalition on Climate Change.” — Ceres Press Release, October 24, 2013

The organizations behind the quickly-emerging “new” economy are all very much interwoven, as are the players and key people. James Leaton, Research Director for the Carbon Tracker Initiative (2010 onward), was recently featured at the May 1-2, 2013 Ceres conference with 350.org’s McKibben and Bob Massie (former president and CEO of the New Economy Coalition). Leaton was also featured at the INCR Annual Meeting at the Ceres conference titled The 21st Century Investor: Ceres Blueprint for Sustainable Investing conference which took place April 30, 2013.

Carbon Tracker is identified as one of the key NGOs engaged with the US Divest-Invest Coordinating Committee (USCC). The combination of a need to be both an environmentalist and a capitalist (definitely not in that order) in the organization is represented in the following job posting:

As You Sow job description, February 13, 2015: “Organizations in the Coalition: 350.org, Responsible Endowments Coalition, Intentional Endowments Network, Hip-Hop Caucus, Energy Action Coalition, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Black Mesa Water Coalition, Carbon Tracker, California Student Sustainability Coalition, Divest-Invest Philanthropy, Divest-Invest Individual, Fenton Communications, Mayors Innovation Project, Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES), New Economy Coalition, GreenFaith, Healthcare without Harm, Sustainable Initiatives at Partners HealthCare, As You Sow, or other organizations engaged with Divest-Invest.”

Key staff at Carbon Tracker demonstrate that a vital prerequisite to being hired/chosen by the Tracker is vast experience in carbon markets.

Prior to his role at Carbon Tracker, Leaton was a sustainability and climate change consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, focusing on the financial sector, advising blue chip clients on risks and “opportunities.” Prior to PricewaterhouseCoopers, Leaton spent five years at WWF as a senior policy advisor, focusing on the links between energy and finance.

“‘Assets are already being written down due to increasing competition between energy sources, air quality standards being introduced to reduce health impacts, and measures to reduce carbon pollution combining to change the energy landscape,’ said James Leaton, Research Director at Carbon Tracker. ‘Avoiding high cost, high carbon projects which are failing to deliver a return on capital will improve shareholder returns.'” — Ceres Press Release, October 24, 2013

Mark Fulton is currently an adviser to the Carbon Tracker Initiative and Senior Fellow at Ceres. He is a recognized economist (of 35 years) and market strategist at leading financial institutions including Citigroup, Salomon Bros and County Natwest. Prior to this role, Fulton was head of research at Deutsche Bank Climate Change Advisors at Deutsche Bank (from 2007 to 2012). He is currently a member of the Capital Markets Climate Initiative, UK Department of Energy and Climate Change. From 2010 to 2012 he was co-chair of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Finance Initiative Climate Change Working Group. In 2011 and 2012, Fulton served on the technical committee of the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All.

“‘Many of the responses investors have received from the companies thus far acknowledge that there is a legitimate risk issue around carbon reserves, and companies are open to continued engagement from the investor community to determine the scope,’ said Mark Fulton, a member of the Carbon Tracker’s Advisory Board and a Ceres adviser.” — Ceres Press Release, October 24, 2013

Anthony Hobley has been Chief Executive Officer of the Carbon Tracker Initiative since February 2014. Hobley played a key role in helping design the UK’s pilot emissions trading scheme and also in developing key aspects of the EU ETS (Emissions Trading System). Hobley was seconded to Norton Rose Fulbright’s Sydney office between 2010 and 2012 where he was heavily involved in the development of the emerging carbon and clean energy markets in Australia and Asia. He was a key figure behind the creation of the business advocacy group Businesses for a Clean Economy, a coalition of businesses arguing for a price on carbon. Anthony was also behind the creation of the business group Climate Markets & Investment Association where he is the current president. He also sits on the boards of the Verified Carbon Standards Association and on the Advisory Board to the Climate Bonds Initiative. [Source | Full Bio]

The Carbon Tracker advisory board is made up of representatives of carbon market institutions.

The board includes: Nick Robins (co-director of the UNEP Green Finance Enquiry), Lois Guthrie (CEO of the Carbon Disclosure Standards Board), Tessa Tennant (founder and board member, Association for Sustainable and Responsible Investment in Asia – ASrIA), Ben Caldecott (programme director, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford) Catherine Howarth (CEO at ShareAction), James Stacey (head of sustainable finance strategy at Earth Capital Partners), Jemma Green (previously VP of sustainable finance at JP Morgan), Meg Brown (previously director of climate and sustainability research at Citi Investment Research), Stanislas Dupré (founder & director at 2° Investing Initiative), Bevis Longstreth (previously commissioner of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Laura Sandys (member of parliament for South Thanet), Mark Lewis (senior sustainability analyst and co-ordinator of energy transition & climate change research at Kepler Cheuvreux), and Neil Morisetti (director of strategy at UCL Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy Department, previously special representative for climate change at the UK Foreign Secretary.)

Ben Caldecott’s elite standing in the interlocking directorate is extensive. Identified as a British environmentalist, economist, and commentator, he serves on the advisory board of Carbon Tracker, and as a trustee of the Green Alliance think tank. He serves as head of government advisory for Bloomberg New Energy Finance, director of the Stranded Assets Programme at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, adviser to The Prince of Wales’ International Sustainability Unit, academic visitor at the Bank of England, and visiting fellow at the University of Sydney. He is head of European Policy at Climate Change Capital, directing the CCC think tank and advising CCC funds and clients on the development of policy-driven markets. Caldecott has previously worked as research director for environment and energy at the think tank Policy Exchange. Caldecott serves on the advisory network of the Natural Capital Declaration, which is key (discussed at length further in this report). Caldecott has worked in parliament and for a number of different UK government departments and international organisations, including UNEP and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO).

Caldecott has been instrumental in building government support for “clean coal.” Thus, UK leaders are all calling for an end to unabated coal – code for carbon capture and sequestration/storage.

Ben C

Above: Business Summit on Climate Leadership 2011 Speakers. Ben Caldecott – Head of European Policy, Climate Change Capital, second in from far right (Flickr, Climate Group)

Carbon capture and sequestration (CSS) and enhanced oil recovery (EOR) (which uses the sequestered CO2 to recover more oil out of depleted oil fields) is a critical component of the “new economy.” CCS is to gain acceptance as a vital component of the new “low carbon” economy where societies can continue production/burning of both coal and oil under the guise of “emissions reduction measures.” In tandem with the quiet proliferation of biomass (supported by the NPIC) and other false solutions, this economy has already begun:

“In the Weyburn oil field in Saskatchewan, Canada – where CO2 from the Dakota Gasification Company’s coal gasification plant in Beulah, ND is piped north to pump into the oil field, buying 25 more years of oil production – 2.8 times more CO2 would be released from all of the extra oil they expect to produce than the amount they ‘sequester’ (ignoring reports of leakage). In the Permian Basin (TX/NM), 47% of the amount of CO2 pumped into the ground is re-released by burning the extra oil produced (that would otherwise stay in the ground).” [Source]

Stephen Tindale, former executive director of Greenpeace UK, is another “environmentalist” in support of carbon capture and storage. In a series on his website Climate Answers , the commentary CCS: What the EU Needs to Do – Part 1, with Nick Horler, chief executive of ScottishPower, is supported by Caldecott. Both Tindale and Caldecott have contributed significant language and concepts to the discourse on climate since this 2010 piece. Here we witness just one aspect of the many realms of genius behind the marketing/branding of the instrumental stranded/bubble/budget language that has “changed everything.” Coal in particular, has been identified and condemned by both the media and NPIC as a coming stranded asset. Thus coal is “saved” from stranded status when CCS is deployed; the “carbon bubble” refrains from bursting; and the amount of “unburnable carbon” in the “carbon budget” reduced.

As with all the shaping of our shared futures by the elite, the pathway to CCS is clear in the 2008 Green Alliance paper, A Last Chance for Coal, with contributions from Ben Caldecott while at the Policy Exchange think tank. The paper notes that it is critical Europe’s commitment to CCS be realized before 2020; 12 short years away from the paper’s publication date. The year 2020 is a critical date of vast significance – a recurring deadline for all environmental market solutions to be in place.

While the front figures in the “movement” such as 350’s Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein repeat and inflate the language of stranded assets, carbon bubbles, budgets, divestment and renewable energy, the issue of CCS is rarely mentioned or touched upon, while the most critical issue that has ever faced humanity, the financialization of nature, via the global implementation of “payments for ecosystem services,” receives no attention whatsoever. It’s not that these appointed “leaders” don’t understand the “this changes everything” world that the oligarchs have been working toward for decades. They do. Consider that Caldecott, as a key figure in the delivering/marketing of mainstream finance to “clean energy” partnered with 350.org for the 2014 “Stranded Down Under Tour” in Australia.

“It appears to us that divestment is the bait and engagement is the fishing rod – divestment is vital in hooking people’s attention, and the engagement tools and analysis is [sic] essential to reel the capex [capital expenditures] in. Investors and NGOs now need to have the patience to catch enough fish.” — Carbon Tracker Website

Most, if not all organizations and investment firms promoting or affiliated with the divestment campaign have vested interests in the expansion of false solutions such as CCS, biomass, carbon credits/trading and environmental markets – all clamouring to cash in on the promise of the most unparalleled wealth opportunity of the 21st century.

The Investor Expectations: Oil and Gas Companies was developed by the IIGCC with support from Ceres’ INCR, IGCC and AIGCC. It builds on the Carbon Asset Risk (CAR) Initiative, through which 75 investors managing more than $3 trillion in assets engaged with 45 of the world’s largest fossil fuel companies. The CAR initiative is coordinated by Ceres and Carbon Tracker, with support from IIGCC and IGCC, which lead engagement with fossil fuel companies in Europe and Australia/New Zealand respectively.

The Carbon Asset Risk (CAR) Initiative: “In the long term, investors want to see fossil fuel companies adapt, remaining successful by: Focusing on fewer projects at the low end of the cost curve; Returning capital to investors; and Diversifying business toward cleaner, lower-carbon energy sources, including renewables, energy efficiency and carbon capture and storage (CCS).”

Divest-Invest

“The transition to a low-carbon economy will be the most significant economic change in history. It will be deeper, more fundamental than the industrial revolution, and faster than the technology revolution. And it’s going to happen in the next five to 10 years…. The leadership of Divest-Invest is important, the leadership at 350.org.” — David Blood, Generation Investment, Divest-Invest Transcript, Fenton Communications, Wallace Global Fund, and Inst. for Policy Studies, September 22, 2014

 

The common definition of a Divest-Invest commitment is a pledge to divest from the top fossil fuel companies within five years and to move those assets into clean energy investments. As the movement has spread, participants have tailored the timing and sequence of commitments to their particular circumstances. The working group has recognized the variety of these circumstances and has designed this process to allow institutions to meet both their fiduciary and moral responsibilities. — Arabella Advisors, Measuring the Global Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement, September 19, 2014

The global divestment campaign targets 200 of the world’s largest publicly traded fossil-fuel corporations: 100 from oil and gas and 100 from coal. These are ranked according to the size of their proven reserves. The Measuring the Global Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement report (September 19, 2014) discloses the following:

“The working group relied upon self-reported data from individual commitments to determine the number and scope of divest-invest pledges. Individuals agreed to a standard pledge, and most completed a brief survey. The standard pledge (available at http://divestinvest.org/individual) states:

  1. I will make no new investments in the top 200 oil, gas, and coal companies [as defined by the Carbon Tracker 200].
  2. I will sell my existing assets tied to these oil, gas, and coal investments within three to five years.
  3. I will invest in the new energy economy.

It is critical to note the language and the framing of the divest-invest campaign (which isn’t necessarily the same as divestment at large). To begin, the term “new” (in #3) refers to both the “new economy” and, in this instance, the “new energy economy,” which is strategic. As discussed in 2014 by Avaaz/Purpose Inc. co-founder Jeremy Heimans, the former term “green” (as in “green economy”) is, for all marketing intents and purposes, dead. For clarity, individuals agree to not invest in the top 100 public coal, oil and gas companies listed by the “Carbon Tracker 200.” All other investments appear to be fair game: biofuel/biomass, nuclear, the military-industrial complex/weapons industry, the chemical industry, factory farming, aviation, BNSF, pornography… it’s all up for grabs. One can move their investments from Exxon over to Lockheed Martin & make a killing – both literally and figuratively. Not only is there a plethora of fuel-intensive stock options/investments, those divesting are given a full five years to follow through on their commitment “to meet both their fiduciary and moral responsibilities,” meaning that a corporation/entity can announce their “commitment,” have 350.org greenwash their persona, and then five years later, when staff positions, economic opportunities, etc. have changed, toss it out with the bath water if they wish to do so. Further, it is not enough to simply divest – one must agree, most importantly, to “invest in the new energy economy.” Thus, the idea of starving the corporate stranglehold, even if only in a limited way, is effectively out the window.

Oil services companies, pipeline companies, refiners, holding facility companies, etc. are all fair game for those wishing to divest. Yet the reality is that none of these industries/companies make their big money from shareholders or stock markets. These companies make the bulk of their profits by booking reserves and selling their product directly to market. Further, most of the capital for the shale gas and oil revolution comes from private equity. “Big oil” has not been at the centre of it. Rather, the centre is comprised of smaller independent and private companies. The more one understands the industries and the business, the more one comes to the realization of what a hoax the “divest-invest” campaign actually is.

Divest-Invest Philanthropy

Divest Invest Allies and Advisors

The Divest-Invest NGO is comprised of three pillars: 1) Divest-Invest Philanthropy [4], 2) Divest-Invest Individual and 3) the Divest-Invest Advisors and Allies.

In her role as CEO of Phoenix Global Impact, Jenna Nicholas is consulting with the World Bank on social impact bonds; she is coordinating the Divest-Invest: Philanthropy Initiative, appointed by the Wallace Global Fund as of March 2014. Nicholas is an associate to Calvert Special Equities and sits on the advisory groups of the Impact Hub DC, Nexus Global Youth Summit and High Water Women. [Full Bio]

Allies and advisors of the Divest-Invest campaign are to ensure success: “Advisors and allies keep core campaign staff informed on various financial, business, community and legal trends relevant to the pledge and/or steps for follow-through…. In collaboration with Divest-Invest Philanthropy and many other movement partners and allies, we are accelerating the transition to a sustainable and equitable economy. [Source]

Such groups are popping up everywhere. Whether there are dozens, hundreds or even thousands has yet to be ascertained. But one thing is certain. They have been tactically preparing for the “new economy” windfall.

Consider the 2° Investing Initiative [2°ii], a multi-stakeholder think tank working to align the financial sector with 2°C climate goals: “Our association consists of more than 30 member organizations and 60 individual members, most of whom are serving in financial institutions (banks, asset management, private equity, brokerage, etc.). Some other members are experts from different fields (consulting, accounting, extra-financial analysis, etc.), either researchers (economy, climate economics), or public servants. Two of our members are Members of the European Parliament (former Ministers of Environment in their respective countries).”

Members:

2C Investing Members

Peers and links within this particular interlocking directorate include the Carbon Tracker Initiative (which coined the term “carbon bubble”), Long Finance, Finance Watch, OECD, Climate Change Capital, UNEP-FI (a partnership between the United Nations Environment Programme and financial institutions), Asset Owners Disclosure Project, Climate Policy Initiative, E3G (Third Generation Environmentalism), CDC Climat, McKinsey Global Institute, Climate Bonds Initiative, BNEF (Bloomberg), GABV (Global Alliance for Banking on Values), BankTrack and The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC is a Ceres initiative).

Over and over again we witness (yet ignore) the interlocking directorate: NGOs, executive board members, advisors, fellows, CEOs, politicians, bankers and media – all working together for the expansion of capital markets. And although the divestment campaign appears fresh out of nowhere, the NGOs assigned to capture the public’s trust, waiting in the wings, did not simply fall from the summer sky. The organizing and deployment is precise, strategic, seductive and global in scale.

As one investigates the history and financing of the divestment campaign, one begins to recognize specific organizations that appear/overlap more frequently than others, for example, Ceres, Ceres entities, United Nations organizations, 350.org and Carbon Tracker. These groups lead in shaping the public opinion and providing the discourse required to implement already conceived/awaiting policies that serve hegemonic interests (expansion of capital markets), while simultaneously securing, strengthening and insulating capitalism itself.

Investment Terminology

In the July 7, 2014 article, Why the Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement is a Farce, the author sheds much needed light on investment terminologies and information that are little understood by the average citizen:

“Notice the words ‘publicly traded.’ In other words, fossil fuel divestment would target only major corporations that are listed on the stock market. But pension funds and endowments, the entities largely targeted by the 350.org campaign, invest hundreds of billions of dollars in privately traded securities, such as hedge funds and private equity – vehicles that are invested at all levels of the fossil fuel economy. (In particular, hedge funds and private equity have been found to be the key financial backers of the fracking boom.) Were the Massachusetts divestment bill to pass, state pension funds would invariably still be invested in the fossil fuel economy.”

The20billioncarbonbubble1

Graphic: Public companies represent a small piece of the pie; $7 trillion in fossil fuel reserves as opposed to private and national companies that represent three times this market size. Source

The cautionary reference to hedge funds is significant. Note that Blood & Gore’s Generation Investment is a hedge fund. Also note the tight relationship between 350.org founder Bill McKibben, hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer, the US Democratic Party and the crème de la crème of the establishment Left (to be discussed later in this report). On May 6, 2014 CNN reported that the top 25 hedge fund managers took home $21 billion among them.

The author [Why the Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement is a Farce] continues:

“The divestment campaign argues that 200 publicly traded fossil fuel companies dominate the fossil fuel exploration market. But they ignore that such companies frequently depend on private equity and hedge funds for financing new investments when large banks are uninterested in taking on further risk. The public can rarely (if ever) verify that these types of arrangements take place, even if it is a teacher attempting to verify what her pension fund is doing with her money.

 

“The divestment campaign argues that 200 publicly traded fossil fuel companies dominate the fossil fuel exploration market. But they ignore that such companies frequently depend on private equity and hedge funds for financing new investments when large banks are uninterested in taking on further risk. The public can rarely (if ever) verify that these types of arrangements take place, even if it is a teacher attempting to verify what her pension fund is doing with her money.

 

“Pension funds and endowments have not always invested in the private market. In the 1980s and before, in fact, they were almost exclusively invested in publicly traded securities. Laws such as the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Investment Company Act of 1940 allowed the public to verify how the companies in which pension funds and endowments were investing used their funds and provided transparency to investors in order to prevent fraudulent activity.

 

“By focusing only on publicly traded securities, the fossil fuel divestment campaign ignores the corporate misdeeds of a sector that holds billions of dollars of investments in a dirty energy economy.

 

“The same is not possible with privately traded alternative investments, which have been on the rise since the early 1990s. (It is difficult to ascertain why exactly pension funds and endowments have funneled assets into private markets, as there is little evidence that they perform any better than stocks and bonds and a great deal of evidence that they are far riskier. Private market money managers are notorious as great salesmen, and a series of pay-to-play scandals have implicated some of the largest hedge funds and private equity firms.) Regardless, today pension funds and endowments are by far the largest investors in hedge funds and private equity.” [Emphasis added]

carbon-tracker-presentation-anthony-hobley-at-sitra-helsinki-21-may-2014-6-1024

Above: Private and institutional investors represent Carbon Tracker’s largest/key target audience.

The author continues, citing conflict of interest:

“Further compromising the campaign is its questionable line of funding. It has received at least $350,000 from Jeremy Grantham, a hedge fund manager who oversees more than $500 million in assets for public pension funds in Massachusetts. According to a report from Inside Philanthropy, 350.org also receives funding from billionaire hedge fund manager Tom Steyer. (The organization declined to state exactly how much money it has received from Steyer and Grantham.)

 

“Farallon Capital Management, which Steyer founded, has major investments at all levels of the fossil fuel economy. While he is no longer at the helm, during his leadership it pursued major deals in fossil fuels, as a recent report from Reuters showed. In fact, the firm had been a target of student activists before he began funding them.

“Grantham, for his part, argued in an interview with The Guardian that he felt that student activists should ‘stamp their feet’ to get their university endowments to divest from fossil fuels ‘because they can do that.’ With his firm’s significant investments in the fossil fuel economy – according to first quarter 2014 filings, $1.2 billion in Chevron, $570 million in ExxonMobil and $240 million in Monsanto – he, apparently, cannot.” [Emphasis added]

Jeremy Grantham apparently encourages others to stamp their feet and divest while his firm, decidedly, does not. He is not alone. Following the media saturation of September 22, 2014 that hailed the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) divestment as a historic world event, few reported that RBF had decided to hang on to their Exxon stocks. [This is discussed at length later in this report.]

Here it is important to recall that Carbon Tracker is affiliated with London School of Economics Grantham Research Institute. Jeremy Grantham co-founded the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment in 1997. Funding was given to both Imperial College London and London School of Economics to establish the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment. In 2011, the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment donated $1 million to both the Sierra Club and Nature Conservancy, and $2 million to the Environmental Defense Fund. The Foundation has also provided support to Greenpeace, the WWF and the Smithsonian. [Source] As noted earlier in this report, London School of Economics Grantham Research Institute membership includes (but is not limited to) Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund; Vikram Singh Mehta, chairman of Shell Companies (India); Carter Roberts, president and CEO of WWF (US); and Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, chairman of EL Rothschild Ltd.

In the July 10, 2014 rebuttal, Why a Movement is Never a Farce, the author frames the divestment campaign as a Gandhi-esque movement. Yet there are items that an astute citizen must consider distinct red flags: “Endorsements have come from such unexpected places as the World Bank, and even former Treasury Secretary and Goldman Sachs’ COO Henry Paulson this past week.” Given the references to Gandhi and endorsements that “have come from such unexpected places as the World Bank,” it is of interest to note that Martin Luther King’s first trip to India to study Gandhi was paid for by the RJ Reynolds (tobacco empire) family (funneled through Quaker group American Friends Service Committee.) In a letter, an AFSC official writes that the trip seems to have been designed as a photo-op to “build up King as a world figure, and to have this buildup recorded in the US.”

The author then writes: “It is a sign of divestment’s power that it has gained endorsements from the likes of Wall Street, but we shouldn’t fool ourselves into trusting either Wall Street or the White House to show us the way to a new economy. Accepting endorsement, however, is not the same as taking direction; fossil fuel divestment is a grassroots movement led by students, not billionaires, and is firmly committed to justice and solidarity. I know because myself and countless other students and recent alumni – with the vital support of nonprofits – have poured the last few years of our lives into building it. Call that misdirected, sure, but don’t call it Astroturf.”

Yet it’s not “a sign of divestment’s power that it has gained endorsements from the likes of Wall Street” – the divestment campaign is Wall Street. 350.org (with McKibben at the helm) developed the divestment campaign in consultation with Wall Street. The author is, however, correct that the purpose of the divestment campaign is very much “to show us the way to a new economy.” As 21st century lambs of the oligarch, well-intentioned students are utilized, used and misdirected via tactical manipulation.

Steyer, Bloomberg, Soros & the Democrats

McKibben and Steyer March-7

Photo: People’s Climate March, 2014. Bill McKibben (350.org founder) with Tom Steyer, hedge fund billionaire and founder of Generation Next

“It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it.” — George Carlin

An example of so-called progressive media amplifying Carbon Tracker’s disapproval of coal use in China (Carbon Tracker report: “Energy Access: why coal is not the way out of energy poverty”) appears straightforward. As does the slide presentation published October 29, 2014 by Carbon Tracker: Is Coal a Sinking Ship? Yet perhaps it isn’t.

Consider that the demand for coal in both China and India is going to do nothing but grow. Then consider this: In an effort to support its own mines and workers and economy, China is in the process of cutting all purchases of imported coal as rapidly as possible (April 14, 2015: “China’s coal imports decline by 42 percent during first quarter…. The international coal market is saddled with excessive supplies for the moment….”). India, still trying to provide basic power to citizens, is also rejecting further dependence on international coal. On November 12, 2014 the Power and Coal Minister of India, Piyush Goyal, stated “in the next two or three years we should be able to stop imports of thermal coal.” This position has been endorsed by India’s Prime Minister. This certainly puts a damper on U.S. plans to ship an additional 100 million tons of coal per year to Asia via three proposed coal ports – an aggravating deterrent that must also extend to Australia which plans to open mega coal mines in Queensland’s Galilee Basin, as well as the world’s largest port (at Abbot Point right in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef) for export to China. Not only does India have more coal than Australia, India has 57 times more labourers.

A “no coal for China” anthem as sung by the non-profit industrial complex can also be interpreted as de facto promotion of natural gas/fracking, nuclear, etc. Consider the Bloomberg media coverage (referencing Carbon Tracker) in the article covering China moving from coal to gas. As Bloomberg (Bloomberg Philanthropies being a financial backer of Carbon Tracker) has been financing the fracking boom, one might question if there is a coordinated effort between Michael Bloomberg and former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson who, along with billionaire Tom Steyer’s Next Generation, have launched the Risky Business Project.

From the Risky Business website:

“Launched in October, 2013, the Risky Business Project focuses on quantifying and publicizing the economic risks from the impacts of a changing climate.

 

“Risky Business Project co-chairs Michael R. Bloomberg, Henry Paulson, and Tom Steyer tasked the Rhodium Group, an economic research firm that specializes in analyzing disruptive global trends, with an independent assessment of the economic risks posed by a changing climate in the U.S. Rhodium convened a research team co-led by climate scientist Dr. Robert Kopp of Rutgers University and economist Dr. Solomon Hsiang of the University of California, Berkeley. Rhodium also partnered with Risk Management Solutions (RMS), the world’s largest catastrophe-modeling company for insurance, reinsurance, and investment-management companies around the world. The team’s complete assessment, along with technical appendices, is available at Rhodium’s website, climateprospectus.rhg.com.”

The Risky Business Project is a joint partnership of Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Paulson Institute, and TomKat Charitable Trust (established in 2009 with funding from Tom Steyer and Kat Taylor), one of many financiers of 350.org (see image below). Additional support for the project has been provided by the Skoll Global Threats Fund, the Rockefeller Family Fund, the McKnight Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Heising-Simons Foundation. Staff support for the Risky Business Project is provided by Next Generation, also co-founded by Steyer.

350 Funders

Bloomberg Philanthropies also invests in oil and gas via Willet Advisors. Logic dictates that due to its holdings/investments in the gas/fracking industry, Bloomberg will therefore highlight any victories against dirty coal – including faux ones. Thus although the divestment campaign is successful in the stigmatization of coal corporations, the label of corporate pariah does not extend to carbon sequestration schemes, industrial biomass and a score of other false solutions that will comprise the bulk share of the “clean” economy. Rather, such false solutions are grossly labeled as victorious and sought after by the appointed “leaders” of the environmental “movement.” Consider the re-tweet of the article Shell’s Global Warming Strategy Is Psychopathic & Paranoid, Says Former UK Climate Envoy by Bill McKibben in which the gist of the argument is why Shell is dragging their feet on carbon capture and sequestration. Further consider that the Bureau of Land Management’s plan to convert Nevada’s Pinyon Forests to biomass that threatens ancient rituals is backed by partner organizations such as Sierra Club, in partnership with Barrick Gold and Barrick Corp. This is just one instance of biomass facilities planned or already in operation under the guise of “clean” energy and/or carbon neutrality.

Bill McKibben Tweet CCS Shell 2

Steyer must be considered king hedge fund bourgeois extraordinaire with close ties to those in power. Time magazine, May 22, 2014: “So when Barack Obama appeared at Tom Steyer’s San Francisco home for a fundraiser last year, the President had to know there would be an ask. The 56-year-old Steyer is a hedge-fund billionaire and a major-league Democratic donor.”

August 6, 2014, Politico:

Billionaire Tom Steyer joined fellow liberal billionaire George Soros for a lunchtime meeting with Obama adviser John Podesta at the White House on Feb. 20, according to White House visitor logs. That was just days after Steyer pledged to spend $100 million on the midterm elections. Steyer also met with Podesta on March 31, along with NextGen Climate Action COO Josh Fryday and Denver attorney Ted White, managing partner of Fahr LLC, an ‘umbrella entity’ for Steyer’s various organizations.

 

“According to records, Steyer has visited the White House on at least 12 occasions since 2009 for meetings with top-level administration officials including Rahm Emanuel, Bill Daley, Pete Rouse, Heather Zichal, Jon Carson and David Lane. Those records only cover through April, and Steyer is known to have attended a June 25 meeting with Podesta, John Holdren, Valerie Jarrett and others to discuss his ‘Risky Business’ report on climate change.”

Exploiting climate change destruction to garner votes for the Democrats is par for the course within the NPIC; exploiting climate change destruction to further unprecedented “climate wealth opportunities” is not only the best game in town – it’s the best game on the industrialized planet.

 

Next: Part X

 

[Cory Morningstar is an independent investigative journalist, writer and environmental activist, focusing on global ecological collapse and political analysis of the non-profit industrial complex. She resides in Canada. Her recent writings can be found on Wrong Kind of Green, The Art of Annihilation, Counterpunch, Political Context, Canadians for Action on Climate Change and Countercurrents. Her writing has also been published by Bolivia Rising and Cambio, the official newspaper of the Plurinational State of Bolivia. You can follow her on twitter @elleprovocateur]

 

EndNotes:

[1] Source: “M. Mills, personal communication, 2010.” In Howell, Robert. “The Challenge of Sustainability for the Financial Sector.” International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability.

[2] The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment (US) also serves to promote the divestment campaign in the “Education Center” where one finds “Fossil Fuels, Divestment & Reinvestment.” Within this section, under other resources, the link titled Institutional Pathways to Fossil Free Investing brings us back to the May 2013 41-page document Institutional Pathways to Fossil-Free Investing [emphasis added].

[3] “Thanks to the Carbon Bubble report, we now have some better numbers to help us grapple with that question. Based on research by the Potsdam Institute, the report suggests that if the world wants an 80% chance of staying within the 2ºC limit, we should avoid emitting more than 565 gigatonnes (GT) of CO2 by 2050. That equates to just one-fifth of the world’s total proven fossil fuel reserves, which contain enough carbon to produce a massive 2,795GT of CO2, the report estimates.”

[4] The DivestInvest Philanthropy steering committee and working group members include: Ellen Dorsey, Ellen Friedman, Richard Woo, Tom VanDyck, Melissa Beck, Jenna Nicholas, Farhad Ebrahimi, Vic de Luca, David Gordon, Florence Miller, Peter Martin, Anne Stetson, Jon Jensen, John Goldstein, Shally Shanker and Ginny Quick.

350.org: Selling a Lie

Seemorerocks

by Kevin Hester

March 9, 2015

I shouldn’t really be surprised that the Guardian, which has hitherto been one of the better sources of information on climate change has adopted the stance it has in the editorial by retiring editor Alan Rusbridge.

After all this is the newspaper that, almost above all others has acted as a liberal attack dog for the neocons in its crusade against Russian and Vladimir Putin.

The article started out saying all the things that one might expect from a mainstream source on climate change and then Rusbridge brought in Bill McKibben and 350.org.

In particular this:

565 gigatons: “Scientists estimate that humans can pour roughly 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by mid-century and still have some reasonable hope of staying below 2C,” is how McKibben crisply puts it. Few dispute that this idea of a global “carbon budget” is broadly right.

The Guardian has become the vehicle for a Big Lie that in the face of all the science it has produced over the years to say otherwise. We are told by McKibben in one breathe that not only is 2C a workable goal but that we still have ‘wiggle room’ and can continue to emit CO2 into the atmosphere just so long as we don’t put too much – and we start to divest from investment in fossil fuels.

Guy McPherson was recently asked if he had read McKibben’s work and he quipped that he has no time for fiction.

Quite.

The biggest danger these days comes not from the reptilian climate change deniers of the Republican Party. Indeed, the biggest danger comes from the liberal flank, from McPherson calls abrupt climate change denial.

As we have come to know 350.org is receiving funding from corporate America and even talks about “our friends in Wall Street”. The line comes down from the top: from McKibben, and his “friends in Wall Street” tell McKibben what the acceptable message is.

The aim is to obfuscate and take the discussion away from the realities that show that climate change is NOW and that, with a growing number of positive self-reinforcing feedbacks (including the growing release into the atmosphere of a gas, methane, that is a more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2. the train has long left the station.

We musn’t know that 2C (which already threatens our ability to practise agriculture and feed ourselves) is already baked into the cake with CO2 remaining in the atmosphere for a thousand years and a lead time between emissions and the effects of warming being felt.

We musn’t know how close the Arctic is to melting; about the melting permafrost and the release of methane and the real-time connections will increasingly extreme and unpredictable weather.

That might get people to really question closely about how all this came about and that would take people back to Wall Street and the Infinite Growth Paradigm that is not at all challenged by the mainstream environmental movement.

Instead the corporates would like the masses to put their energy into signing petitions, appealing to President Barack Obama, changing their light bulbs, driving a Prius and divesting from investment in the fossil fuel industry.

Above all we should donate our money and build the 350.org movement.

Anything but being radical – getting to the root of the matter.

350.org and the liberal, white. middle class, male Americans that stand behind the likes of Global Warming Fact of the Day (from which the author, Guy McPherson, Paul Beckwith and other friends have been ejected) play their role in reinforcing the comforting idea that real climate change is somewhere off in the future and we must believe the conservative science ‘consensus’ rather than those who have, through actual observations shown that the computer models are sorely lacking in their ability to explain the reality of abrupt climate change.

The article, which I wrote in 2013 [link] expresses not even the half of the sordid reality of the betrayal by the liberals, and by McKibben and his organisation.

I would recommend a careful reading of the articles by Cory Morningstar that express the full, sordid reality behind 350.org…..

For the full story read these two articles by Cory Morningstar

Queen of Con | Comrade Klein: Queen Klein

Public Good Project

August 22, 2014

by Jay Taber

RAN Klein

Above: REVEL 2011 Awardee Naomi Klein with Michael Kieschnick. Michael Kieschnick is a founder  (1 of 3 individuals)  and president of Credo Mobile. Prior to co-founding Working Assets, he served at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as an economic advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown of California (1980–1982), and helped create several “socially responsible” investment funds. [Image: Rainforest Action Network via Flickr. Rainforest Action Network’s ultra white and ultra elite,  annual benefit REVEL event : “It was a gorgeous affair.”] Both Klein and 350.org counterpart Tom Kruse (Rockefeller Brothers Fund) are utilized to promote the illusion that “philanthropy is an engine that drives activism” when in truth, philanthropy is an engine that protects capital interests. Kieschnick (“eco” capitalist extraordinaire) and  Bill McKibben (Klein’s counterpart: 350.org/1Sky),  go back to at least 2007 during the days of Step It Up.

 

If Naomi Klein’s colossal con sets the standard for mesmerizing the infantile, then we might want to investigate how stating the obvious makes one a celebrity. When we examine Klein’s claim to fame, what is it that makes her such an iconic cult figure? Did she uncover some deep, dark secret? Reveal some sinister conspiracy? Unveil some magical alchemy?

The threat of climate change has been documented for over a decade; the causes are well-known. Any school child knows fossil fuel consumerism is the culprit, and that capitalism is the driving force.

So what new insight did Naomi Klein bring to the discussion? That ecological and social collapse means This Changes Everything? How trite can you get?

Nevertheless, as the queen of climate change, Comrade Klein has considerable influence, helped immensely by the capitalists sponsoring her royal float (350.org) in the upcoming parade of imbeciles. Her innate ability to mesmerize the infantile is undoubtedly her biggest asset, certainly a reason for Wall Street’s support for her charlatan charade.

Deceiving the despondent by celebrating silliness (i.e. fossil fuel divestment) is but one of Queen Klein’s devious skills; manipulating the credulous into marching behind her logo of false hope is the envy of Mad Men everywhere. At this rate, her brand recognition is right up there with the king of con, Barack Obama–master of Hope and Change!

 

[As an associate scholar of the Center for World Indigenous Studies and a contributing editor of Fourth World Journal, Jay Taber has assisted indigenous peoples seeking justice in such bodies as the European Court of Human Rights and the United Nations. Since 1994, he has served as the administrative director of Public Good Project.l

 

Inconvenient Truths About Tar Sands Action

Manufacturing Dissent

April 24, 2012

The Insider | Counterpunch

 

August 2011’s 350.org/BillMcKibben-lead Tar Sands Action was hailed by its ring-leaders as both “unprecedented” in nature, and in size, “the largest collective act of civil disobedience in the history
 of the climate movement.”    At the commencement of the action it even appeared as if a collective front had formed to do whatever it took to close down TransCanadas proposed Keystone XL pipeline, or “shut down the machine,” ala Mario Savio, if you will.

With a blaring headline, the Tar Sands Action announced on August 24, 2011 that the “Nations Largest Environmental Organizations
Stand Together To Oppose Oil Pipeline.” It was on that day that leaders from groups including Greenpeace USA, the Sierra Club, Rainforest Action Network, Friends of the Earth and the Environmental Defense Fund co-signed a letter to President Barack Obama telling him

“We want to let you know that there is not an inch of daylight between our policy position on the Keystone Pipeline and those of the very civil protesters being arrested daily outside the White House…It’s perhaps the biggest climate test you face between now and the election. If you block it, you will trigger a surge of enthusiasm from the green base that supported you so strongly in the last election.”

350.org Founder Bill McKibben remarked on the groups’ letter in a triumphant manner, “They’ve all shown that there is one way to demonstrate to the environmental base that the rhetoric of Obama’s 2008 campaign is still meaningful—and that’s to veto this pipeline.”

When all was said and done, some 1,252 activists from all walks of life had been arrested in front of the White House. A “movement is being born,” declared McKibben on September 3.

Really? Let’s examine this new “movement.”

Clearly it has thousands of fans, and has been widely celebrated as a stunning climate “victory” by grassroots activists. But is that the real story? Or was it in fact a manipulated charade, funded and run with loads of money from pro-Obama Democrats through non-transparent organizations like the Tides Foundation?

Noam Chomsky’s famous book on the American system of media and propaganda is titled, “Manufacturing Consent.” In this case of the Tar Sands Action we see how big liberal Democratic funders have mastered the propaganda technique of “manufacturing dissent.”

As will be seen, what occurred over the past several months was nothing more than well-funded, political theater and public relations. It was not social change, nor was it grassroots empowerment.

Quite the opposite, Tar Sands Action was a sophisticated, extremely well-funded model for creating the illusion of movement building, complete with mass civil disobedience, but the real goal, mirroring its cousin, “The 99 Spring,” was (and is) to hammer Republicans and fire up grassroots enthusiasm for Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

Tar Sands Action: Part of Broader Tides Foundation “Tar Sands Campaign” 

When green groups announced, in an elated manner, that they had a united front to shut down the Keystone XL, what they really should have said, if they were being honest, is that they had a united funding pool and accompanying message machine, feeding from the trough of the Tides Foundation, a non-transparent slush fund into which numerous other institutional and wealthy private money managers pool cash into political “activist” campaigns.

To the public the campaign was referred to as the “Tar Sands Action,” but to insiders it is simply known as the “Tar Sands Campaign,” and sometimes also referred to as the No Tar Sands Coalition or the No Tar Sands Oil Coalition.” The Tar Sands Action is but one small piece of an ongoing multiyear campaign that began in August  2009, with Corporate Ethics International (CEI) serving as the Campaign’s “nerve center.”

The timing of the Tides Foundation August 2009 gift was interesting given that it began several months into the President Barack Obama’s first term. Perhaps the raison d’etre was to manufacture an Obama a “green victory” during his first term in the run up to the 2012 election? More on that to come.

The Campaign is the “largest cross-border collaborative environmental campaign ever waged,” proclaimed CEI on its website. CEI oversees the Business Ethics Network, or BEN. Kenny Bruno, a former member of Greenpeace USA’s Board of Directors, serves as the Campaign Coordinator, according to this LinkedIn page. His “speciality,” according to his Linked In, “is the combination of research, writing, media work, advocacy, coalition building and action known as ‘campaigns.’”

The key funder of this Campaign — though not made public by CEI — is the Tides Foundation. A January 2012 story in the Financial Post explains, “In both the U.S. and Canada, a large number of the groups that campaign against [tar sands] oil are funded by Tides USA…Tides USA and its sister organization, Tides Canada, have paid a total of US$10.2-million to 44 organizations…In 2010 alone, Tides USA made grants to 36 groups specifically for something called the ‘Tar Sands Campaign.’”

The story goes on to explain, “The top recipient of money for the Tides ‘Tar Sands campaign’ is [CEI]…From 2009 to 2010, Tides USA nearly doubled payments to CEI, to $1,450,000 from $750,000.” The list of the NGO’s funded by “Tar Sands Campaign” slush fund can be seen here. Naturally, it was most of the organizations “standing together” on the front lines of the Tar Sands Action to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline.

A July  2008 PowerPoint presentation goes further in demonstrating how the Tar Sands Campaign funding stream works, with insiders at the meeting referring to the millions flowing in simply as the “Tides Tar Sands Fund.”

Presenters at this meeting included the likes of Michael Northrop, Program Officer of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund; Michael Marx, then Executive Director of CEI and now head of the Sierra ClubsBeyond Oil Campaign; and Susan CaseyLefkowitz, Director of the Natural Resource Defense Council’s International Program. “Tax records from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund indicate that it sent $1.25 million to Michael Marx’s organization, Corporate Ethics International, between December 2007 and November 2010,” explained the right-wing website, The Daily Caller, in a February 2012 investigation.

Rockefeller Brothers Fund, it should also be recalled, is the key patron of Bill McKibbens 350.org (of Standard Oil fame), which explains 350.org’s role in leading the Tar Sands Action.

What’s obvious here is that the Tar Sands Action was the climax of the years-long elite-funded Green NGO campaign to stop the Keystone XL. But why all the money invested to stop one measly pipeline anyway?

Unpacking the Tar Sands Action: Reviving “Brand Obama” 

Never mentioned in the Tar Sands Campaign/Tar Sands Action conversation by the likes of Bill McKibben and Friends, of course, was the fact that Obama had already approved a key tar sands pipeline in August 2009: Enbridges Alberta Clipper Pipeline. The Alberta Clipper moves tar sands crude from Alberta, Canada southeastward to Superior, WI at a rate of 450,000 barrels per day, where it is taken to the Murphy Oil refinery, then piped to various key markets. To borrow former Vice President and now “climate hawk” Al Gore’s documentary title, this is “an inconvenient truth,” to be certain.

Given the completely disastrous environmental track record of the President with an AllTheAboveenergy policy during his first term, ranging from boisterous approval of offshore oil drilling, Arctic drilling, shale gas drilling (“fracking”)support forclean coal development,” support for nuclear energy, you name it, the Tar Sands Action, it is clear for those willing to look, was a beyond desperate effort by Obama’s key patrons, funneling money to green NGOs vis-a-vis the Tides Foundation, to manufacture a green “victory” prior to the 2012 election to sell to his “voting base.”

It is really no wonder then, that Obama imagery and language reigned supreme for the Action. Examples:

?      In the June 2011 “call to actionfor the Tar Sands Action, McKibben and Friends wrote a letter requesting that actionists wear their Obama 2008 “Hope and Change” memorabilia to the front lines: “And another sartorial tip—if you wore an Obama button during the 2008 campaign, why not wear it again? We very much still want to believe in the promise of that young Senator who told us that with his election the ‘rise of the oceans would begin to slow and the planet start to heal.’”

?      NoKXLsigns featuring the ObamaOlogo from the his 2008 presidential campaign.

?      The trademarking of the “Yes We CanStop the Pipeline” chant, a throwback to the ridiculous ObamaYes We Canspeech he made in January 2008 in the aftermath of the New Hampshire primary second place finish, and the creepy chant it inspired in the run-up to his 2008 electoral victory over John McCain.

?      Scores of references to “exciting the green voting base” and “not alienating volunteers,” including asking Obama to “live up to his 2008 campaign promises.”

?      A peeved Ralph Nader described his experience at one of the days of the Action: “Observers told me that there were to be no criticisms of Barack Obama. McKibben wore an Obama pin on the stage. Obama t-shirts were seen out in the crowd.”

?      Most obvious, perhaps, was the Nov. 6, 2011 “make anOchain around the White Houseevent called for by the Tar Sands Action, symbolizing an “O” for Obama.

In the Sept. 3, 2011 Tar Sands Action “movement being born” statement, McKibben went so far to say, “We are not going to do President Obama the favor of attacking him. We are going to hold the Obama campaign to the standard it set in 2008. Denying this pipeline would send a jolt of electricity through the people that elected this president.”

English translation: The Tar Sands Action was nothing more than an astroturf movement and pawn of the elite Tides Foundation Democratic Party allied funders. It served merely as an attempt to reinvigorate his “voting base” that fell in love with what author Chris Hedges refers to as “Brand Obama” in 2008.

“Brand Obama offers us an image that appears radically individualistic and new. It inoculates us from seeing that the old engines of corporate power and the vast military-industrial complex continue to plunder the country,” explains Hedges. “Corporations, which control our politics, no longer produce products that are essentially different, but brands that are different. Brand Obama does not threaten the core of the corporate state any more than did Brand George W. Bush.”

The “Victory” Dance Charade 

On multiple occasions, the Tar Sands Action/Tar Sands Campaign and its supporters have danced thevictorydance, proclaiming a big win for the climate justice movement.

“Um, we won. You won,” stated McKibben on November 10 after the Obama Administration kicked the can down the road on the Keystone XL Pipeline decision until after the 2012 electoral campaign. “It’s important to understand how unlikely this victory is. Six months ago, almost no one outside the pipeline route even knew about Keystone,” he continued. “The American people spoke loudly about climate change and the president responded. There have been few even partial victories about global warming in recent years so that makes this an important day.”

Nearly 10,000 people shared the euphoric (and propagandistic) statement by McKibben on Facebook.

“In case you haven’t heard the thunderous celebration by the North American climate movement, today the State Dept is set to outright reject the Keystone XL pipeline. #booyah,” stated  350.org organizer Joshua Kahn Russell. “This is a reminder that people power works. Direct Action works. Social movements work. Grassroots organizing works. Lets take some time today to celebrate another huge victory. Every time we win, it builds our resolve for the next fight.”

Even principled radicals were elated and drank the kool-aid on this one. This includes the likes of the website Waging Nonviolence, the socialist group Solidarity, and author Naomi Klein.

The victory dance, of course, rings hollow for the indigenous communities suffering who live in Alberta close to tar sands extraction sites, for the suffering communities where tar sands pipelines and refineries are already a daily reality; for citizens who live in North Dakota where, due to lack of pipeline infrastructure, fracked oil and gas is being flared ofat unprecedented rates; and generally speaking, for those who understand full well how expansive the tar sands industry already is in North America. As Mother Jones made clear in a great January 2012 article, there’s no hiding fromthe tar sands oil at this point in time in this continent.

Another inconvenient truth: the tar sands oil will be transported with or without the Keystone XL.

This is due to the fact that one of President Obama’s most loyal billionaire patrons, Warren Buffett (one of the richest men on the planet), owner of the holding company Berkshire Hathaway, owns the railroad company BNSF via Berkshire. BNSF, in turn, has the capacity and will to rail more barrels of tar sands crude per day to the U.S. than does the Keystone XL, according to a January report written by DeSmogBlog.

Meanwhile, the oil continues to flow to coastal Texas anyway, with a lateMarch rubber stamp by the Obama Administration of the TransCanada Cushing Extension.

Tar Sands Action and Manufactured Dissent 

John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton, in their book “Toxic Sludge is Book For You: Lies, Damn Lies and the Public Relations Industry” have a key chapter titled “Divide and Conquer,” which explains how well-paid and well-trained PR professional work overtime, applying the classic tools of counterinsurgency (think “winning hearts and minds”) to destroy radical grassroots activist movements.

They explained:

“The public relations industry . . . carefully cultivates activists who can be coopted into working against the goals of their movement. This strategy has been outlined in detail by Ronald Duchin, senior vice-president of PR spy firm Mongoven, Biscoe and Duchin [MBD]. . . In a 1991 speech to the National Cattlemen’s Association, he described how MBD works to divide and conquer activist movements. Activists, he explained, fall into four distinct categories: ‘radicals,’ ‘opportunists,’ ‘idealists,’ and ‘realists,.’ He outlined a three-step strategy: (1) isolate the radicals; (2) ‘cultivate’ the idealists and ‘educate’ them into becoming realists; then (3) coopt the realists into agreeing with industry.

According to Duchin, radical activists ‘want to change the system; have underlying socio/political motives’ and see multinational corporations as ‘inherently evil. . . These organizations do not trust the . . . federal state and local governments to protect them and to safeguard the environment. They believe, rather, that individuals and local groups should have direct power over industry. . .

Duchin defines opportunists as people who engage in activism seeking ‘visibility, power, followers and, perhaps, even employment. . .The key to dealing with opportunists is to provide them with at least the perception of partial victory. . . If your industry can successfully bring about these relationships, the credibility of the radicals will be lost and opportunists can be counted on to share in the final policy solution.’”

Put in the context of the Keystone XL Pipeline, the “radicals” have long been isolated and were boxed out of having a voice at Keystone XL rallies. Ralph Nader, as one example, was denied a chance to speak and wrote publicly about the shenanigans surrounding that particular decision.

The “idealists” here were the rank-and-file day-to-day worker-bees writing press releases and doing social media work for 350.org and Friends who became True Believers in the mission, as well as the 1,000+ arrestees, many of whom ironically probably flew to Washington, DC to get arrested on planes fueled by tar sands crude.

The “realists”? Those who soon realized President Obama is a puppet of the oil and gas industry and will simply lie and cajole Obama into winning a second term and four more years cutting deals for multinational corporations at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

He is such a puppet, in fact, that one of the senior advisors of his campaign team, Broderick Johnson (husband of NPRsAll Things Consideredhost Michelle Norris), was formerly a lobbyist for Bryan Cave LLP and was contracted by TransCanada to lobby the Obama Administration on the Keystone XL pipeline. In addition, the Administration’s State Department team assigned to approve or disapprove of the pipeline was — surprise, surprise — stacked to the brim with revolving door ties to TransCanada, in a situation DeSmogBlog described well, calling it “State Department Oil Services.”

Exhibit A of “realist” behavior: the behavior of the Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters, Clean Water Action, and Environment America, who, in completely predictable fashion, have already endorsed Obama for President in 2012 despite his completely atrocious environmental record.

“The Sierra Club and our 1.4 million members and supporters share the same vision for America as the president for a prosperous and innovative economy that protects the air we breathe, the water we drink and the health of our families,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune in a statement to The Hill that could have come straight out of The Onion.

Coming full circle, 350.org and Democratic Party allied Friends have now re-charged their email lists for the upcoming election, having gained thousands upon thousands of new people to spread their message to and convert into clicktivists who will hopefully contribute money to the ObamaIm In” 2012 Presidential campaign, ecological landscape be damned.

“Civil Obedience” 

Activist John Stauber, author of the aforementioned “Toxic Sludge is Good for You,” weighed in on the manner, telling The Insider,

“Martin Luther King must be turning in his grave.  The much-hyped victory for civil disobedience at the White House claimed by 350.org last November is a mirage. Rather than civil disobedience, it looks now like civil obedience, pursuing the goal that President Obama smell like an Earth Day rose for his heroic stand against the XL Pipeline. The commentators in the mainstream corporate media never bought the progressive liberal hype flooding the blogosphere and media from Democracy Now! to The Nation. The crusty corporate media observers knew at the time that Obama was simply signaling that in 2013 he would be approving XL. Connecting the dots, as 350.org likes to say, it’s clear that the XL victory was a setup of epic proportions.”

Stauber continued,

“The truth is that real non-violent civil disobedience is a powerful strategy and tactic in the hands of a genuine, transparent movement of grassroots organizers. But both 350.org and its cousin The 99 Spring are driven by invisible funders with their own financial and political agenda who supply the money to do the organizing.

The jig’s up, says Stauber, but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost.

“I would love to see the real people who have bought the hype and taken these civil disobedience trainings, and who have gone through the arrests, rise up and seize control of their own movement.”

Genuine movements come from the grassroots, not the invisible patronage of millionaires and billionaires. As the old adage goes, “You live and you learn.”

The Insider is the pseudonym of an activist who works inside the Liberal Foundation-Funded Democratic Party-Allied Belly of the Beast.

Keystone XL | The Ivory Towers Crushing the Last Remnants of Climate Justice

By Cory Morningstar

January 20, 2011

 

A recent article was posted to an International Climate Justice Now! listserv written by “agent” Jamie Henn of 350.org/1Sky/Tar Sands Action. The 16 January 2012 article titled “Grassroots Strategy Is Key to Winning Keystone XL Fight” gave the impression that the mainstream green groups were a magnificent force to be dealt with due to an unprecedented “grassroots” effort united.

Really?

It appears he missed Tom Goldtooth’s (Indigenous Environmental Network) interview published 5 December 2011 by The Africa Report:

“We have challenged, and become very unpopular for raising the issue of, classism, which is [a] source of the problem and requires an economic analysis if the environmental and climate narrative is to be truthful…. Look at 350.org – we had to challenge them to bring us to stand with them on the pipeline issue. Bill McKibben, the ivory tower white academic, didn’t even want to take the time to bring people of colour to the organising. We managed a negotiation that allowed for both groups to unite.” … “Well, it is always the case with the media that ‘white is right’ or that global issues affecting people of color on the frontline should be represented by the type of voices that don’t engage, in a threatening way, the realities of capitalism. There are also many fashionable voices that become part of the establishment in the sense that while they do espouse the truth, it [does] not pose a threat for change, for ending the system, because someone has adopted a cause that they were not born into. The communities that live in the cancer hotspots, in the immediate environment, their voices are too real, too threatening. Meanwhile, infiltration continues – …”

 

When I start seeing articles posted on an international climate justice listserv from 350.org celebrating NRDC [1]and friends, co-opting MLK (Martin Luther King, Jr.) for their own (branding) purposes and legitimising the Obama tagline “Yes We Can” (language that in turn gives “hope” that citizens may see “a certain young senator from Illinois” re-emerge), with no dissent to be found, it tells me that my good friend and legitimate activist Sandy was right. This Climate Justice Network has become CAN (Climate Action Network)[2] in drag. [January 2012: “But as an openly gay man can I say that sometimes I read the cjn postings and feel like cjn at times is becoming CAN in drag, in other words we have been infiltrated, so I wonder whether it is too late to lock the chicken coop when the fox is already inside.”]

Tar Sands Action & the Paralysis of a Movement [PART III OF AN INVESTIGATIVE REPORT] [Unravelling the Deception of a False Movement]

Published September 23, 2011 by Political Context: http://bit.ly/n8KiGL and Canadians for Action on Climate Change: http://bit.ly/qYogFD

Part three of an investigative report by Cory Morningstar

Tar Sands Action & the Paralysis of a Movement Investigative Report Series [Further Reading]: Part I Part II  [Obedience – A New Requirement for the “Revolution”] Part III [ Unravelling the Deception of a False Movement]

 

 

 “The masses have never thirsted after truth. They turn aside from evidence that is not to their taste, preferring to deify error, if error seduce them. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim” – Gustave Le Bon, 1895

In 2007 Pembina Institute submitted their infamous tar sands Carbon Neutral by 2020 report to the federal government for hearings on energy and greenhouse gas emissions regulations. This report is a most valuable asset to industry as it portrays the false illusion that it is possible for the tar sands to become “sustainable”. Further, it is an environmental “leader” making the claim as opposed to industry – a gift to the industrial capitalists. The false solutions used to perpetuate such a myth are clearly defined under the Pembina “key conclusions” such as:Carbon neutrality can be achieved by combining on-site GHG reductions using measures such as energy efficiency and/or fuel switching (to lower carbon fuels), carbon capture and storage, and/or purchasing offsets.” On November 14, 2010, Globe and Mail Business reported that Pembina (while standing as a lead ENGO in Climate Action Network [1]) essentially supports the continuation of the tar sands. In the article, Jennifer Grant, oil sands program director with the Pembina Institute, was quoted as saying: “The government needs to identify what the environmental limits are in a cumulative sense for oil sands development to proceed responsibly….”

“We can only hope that the last vestiges of manifest destiny don’t kill us off completely. Poisoning our earth in the name of profits and billionaire well-being, this is what our capitalist society stands for. Everyone wants their name at the top of the marquee in this play of the grand delusion.” — Harold One Feather

On February 25, 2010, a Globe and Mail article titled “What the forestry industry is teaching the oil sands” is most revealing. In 1996, Tom Stephens was named chief executive officer of MacMillan Bloedel Corporation, whose clearcutting of old-growth forests had provoked rage, as well as the single-largest act of civil disobedience in Canadian history at Clayoquot Sound in B.C. Caught up in a public relations nightmare, MacMillan Bloedel had the insight that it would be far wiser to engage with specific leaders: “Rather than continuing to fight the protesters, they decided to engage with them, setting in motion a transformation of forest practices that not only assuaged opponents, but also led to more profits.” One such young protester who made up the “Women of Clayoquot” was today’s “green capitalist” Tzeporah Berman, who now works for Greenpeace International. (Berman is also an endorser of the Ottawa Tar Sands Action) Janet Annesley, who campaigned for Greenpeace on the Clayoquot Sound issue, is now vice-president of communications for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. Today, Stephens finds himself in a new environmental battle: “He is a director of TransCanada Corp., whose pipelines serve the oil sands and whose fortunes ride on their success. He knows the value of an industry confronting its environmental demons.” [Emphasis added]

That’s an understatement.

Video: Paul Watson speaks on Greenpeace (Running Time: 7:20)

Language

 

“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable …” George Orwell

Over the past years the original campaign phrase/message of “shut down the tar sands!” has slowly dissolved into much more passive language and verbal communication such as “there must be no more exploration of the tar sands until it can be done without destroying the environment.” On September 15, 2011 Council of Canadians announced the Canadian version of the tar sands civil obedience action to occur on Parliament Hill, Ottawa on September 26, 2011. The announcement calls for “an end to the destruction caused by the tar sands.”

The end of destruction caused by the tar sands is much different then calling for the shutting down of the tar sands. What constitutes destruction is not the same as ending production.

Further, even if it were possible – to extract tar sands without exploiting the Earth (which it is not), the end result is that the refined fossil fuels are burned. Burning equals CO2. Burning equals pollution.

On August 1, 2011 the following excerpt is taken from an article featured on the Indigenous Environmental Network website (quote originates from Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation):

“Until Alberta makes meaningful efforts to protect land, regulate industry and ensure that First Nations are at the table as full partners to develop solutions to the serious environmental challenges that government and industry are creating, they can count on our opposition to further development within the region.” [emphasis added]

 

Above image: The 2010 Boreal Award was presented to Chief Allan Adam by Boreal Leadership Council member Bob Walker, of Northwest and Ethical Investments. 2009 nominees in attendance included Kimberly-Clark, Suncor Energy Inc. Stephen Harper’s henchman, John Baird was presented with an award in 2008. The 2009 and 2010 gala was sponsored by Nexen, Al-Pac, Domtar and Suncor.

The Inner Workings of Corporate Environmentalism

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

From “The Decline of Big Green, Part One Shaky Foundations: Toxic Sources, Tainted Money” by Jeffrey St. Clair:

Philanthropy and its purposes haven’t changed much since Rockefeller millions were dispensed to winch the family name out of the mud, particularly after the Ludlow massacre when Rockefeller minions broke a strike by spraying with oil and then igniting tents filled with women and children.

…Nearly a century later, the environmental movement, supposedly big oil’s implacable foe, found itself on the receiving end of about $50 million a year from three oil conglomerates, operating through front groups politely described as private foundations. [2]

…In 1948 the family set up the Pew Charitable Trust, based in Philadelphia, with an endowment totalling nearly $4 billion in the year 2000. [3] …The utility of buying the loyalty of liberals impressed itself on the family rather late, in the 1980s. But since then they have more than made up for lost time. By the beginning of the second Clinton term, the Pew Charitable Trusts represented one of the largest donors to the environmental movement, with about $250 million a year invested. [4] …Pew rarely went it alone. It preferred to work in coalitions with those other foundations, which meant almost no radical opposition to their cautious environmental policies can get any money. [5]

…But this did not tell the full story of coercion through money. One of the conditions attached to the receipt of Pew grant money was that attention be focused on government actions. Corporate wrongdoers were not to be pursued. With Pew money rolling their way, the environmental opposition became muted, judicious and finally disappeared. As long-time New Mexico environmentalist Sam Hitt put it: “Pew comes into a region like a Death Star, creating organizations that are all hype and no substance, run by those whose primary aim is merely to maintain access to foundation funding.”

Meanwhile, the endowed money held by these trusts was carefully invested in the very corporations that a vigorous environmental movement would be adamantly opposing. An examination of Pew’s portfolio in 1995 revealed that its money was invested in timber firms, mining companies, oil companies, arms manufacturers and chemical companies. The annual yield from these investments far exceeded the dispensations to environmental groups. [6]

…In the crucial Clinton years, Alton Jones [another oil company that funds environmental groups] maintained an endowment of $220 million and in 1994 handed out $15.8 million in grants. [7]

…The last of the three big environmental foundations is the Rockefeller Family Fund. [8] …The Rockefeller Family Fund, in its 1993 IRS filing, held $3.5 million in oil and gas stocks, including Amerada Hess (one of the first companies to drill on Alaska’s North Slope and company convicted of price fixing) … and extensive holdings in the Ten Worst Corporations. [9] …The Rockefeller Family Fund also maintained hefty investments in mining companies, including ASARCO, an outfit with a distinctly noxious environmental rap sheet. Its activities have laid waste to western Montana, easily overwhelming the yelps of the Mineral Policy Center, which conducted a futile campaign against the company, partially funding by the RFF.

The Ross-run fund also invested money in FMC and Freeport-McMoRan, whose worldwide depredations were on the cutting edge not only of ecocide but – in Indonesia – of genocide as well. The Rockefeller Funds’ mineral and chemical companies holdings exceeded a million dollars in 1993.

In that same year, the RFF had a strong position in timber giant Weyerhaeuser, the largest private landowning company in North America. The potential for conflicts of interests endemic to all foundations with the ability to influence federal policy is sharply illustrated here. The Rockefeller Family Fund was one of the lead architects of the foundation-funded campaign to protect ancient forests on federal lands in the Pacific Northwest. Any reduction, actual or prospective, of timber available for logging on public lands drives up the value of privately-held timber tracts. The Fund was in a position to make a killing by buying Weyerhaeuser stock low and selling it high, before large-scale logging resumed on public lands.

The Family Fund was nicely covered because it also had holdings of $237,000 in Boise-Cascade, which at the time was the largest purchaser of federal timber sales in the Northwest. Indeed, in 1993 Boise-Cascade bought the rights to log the controversial Sugarloaf tract of 800-year-old Douglas fir trees in southern Oregon’s Siskiyou National Forest, courtesy of a released injunction engineered by a deal between the Clinton administration and environmental groups funded and closely supervised Ross’s organization. Ross also played a key role in the hiring of Democratic Party hack Bob Chlopak (another former Naderite) to oversee the conversion of a tough national grassroots movement to fight Clinton to the death over the permanent protection of old-growth forests into a supine national coalition that swiftly draped itself in the white flag of surrender.

Even after Donald Ross left the Rockefeller Family he continued to stride between two worlds. Ross formed a lobby / PR shop called M + R Strategic Services, where his clients, according to SourceWatch, included both environmental groups (the Nature Conservancy, NRD.C., the National Wildlife Federation and Earth Justice) and environmental foundations (Hewlitt Foundation, Patagonia, Lazar Foundation, and Wilberforce – as well as the Rockefeller Family Fund). He didn’t forget the corporations either. In 2009, Ross became chairman of the board of a defanged Greenpeace.

All of these foundations had their bets nicely covered, both politically and financially. The once unruly grassroots green movement was brought under tight control through annual disbursements of funds, rewarded on the condition that these groups follow the dictates of the funders. At times this meant giving up hard-won legal injunctions. In other instances, it meant refraining from filing politically sensitive lawsuits to stop timber sales or gold mines and muting its public criticism of Democratic politicians.

With court injunctions lifted, there was only one way for environmentalists to confront illegal and ecologically destructive operations: civil disobedience. And that was a tactic the big foundations would never underwrite. Disobey these conditions and a group risked the annual renewal of its funding. Precious few did.”

That is, until now. The web of deceit has grown much more sophisticated.

The Precedent for the Tar Sands Sell-Out Has Already Been Set – Junk Environmentalism

This is nothing new and we’ve seen it before.

It is imperative that citizens and grassroots recognize that many of the big greens behind The Tar Sands Action campaign (including RAN, Greenpeace, and the David Suzuki Foundation) are the same organizations that sold out the Boreal Forest in 2008 and 2010. Not all the groups sold out. There were exceptions. Most recently Greenpeace, WWF, and RAN are all under fire for what Dr. Glen Barry calls The Great Rainforest Heist: The FSC and REDD + conspiracy to log Earth’s last primary forests.

Daniel Kessler, the communications person for Tar Sands Action Group, now works for RAN as their Energy & Finance Communications Manager. RAN played an integral role in the sell-out of the Boreal Forest referred to in the above article. Prior to RAN Kessler worked as Manager of Communications at Greenpeace International. Kessler’s view of an environmental “success” mirrors his belief in the false illusion that green capitalism will save us. Kessler: “For Apple to go green would be a tremendous symbolic move for the green industry.”

Video: The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (Corporate Environmentalism in a Nutshell) (Running time: 61 seconds) Posted by The Forest Products Association Canada: The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement – Toronto News Conference highlights, with Avrim Lazar (FPAC) and Richard Brooks (Greenpeace).

Secret Agreement in the Works Between ENGOs and Tar Sands Industry

November 9, 2010: In the article titled “Secret Agreement in the Works Between ENGOs and Tar Sands Industry,” journalist Dru Oja Jay writes:

Will environmentalists continue to allow foundation funding to dictate to the movement? A slew of recent articles have pointed to the likelihood that some foundation-funded environmental groups and the tar sands extraction industry are getting ready to make peace and sign a deal. The precedent, these reports note, has been set with the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement and the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement. What the media coverage doesn’t mention is the actual character of these previous deals, and the unprecedented consolidation of funder influence in the hands of one man that is driving environmental groups toward such an agreement. [10] [11]

…On October 21, John Spears of the Toronto Star interviewed FPAC’s Avrim Lazar, who told Spears of the calls he was fielding from oil company executives curious about the logging companies’ experience finding common ground with environmental groups. Lazar said that an important precursor to an agreement is for both parties to recognize that tar sands operations have an environmental impact, but for environmentalists to ‘stop calling oil sands extraction an abomination that has to be stopped.’

…Oil companies left no doubt about their interest in an agreement. What about their ENGO partners?

They waited until October 23 to express interest. Ross McMillan, CEO of Tides Canada Foundation, wrote a letter to the Financial Post in response to a right wing attack on foundation funding for anti-tar sands work published on October 15.

“At Tides Canada we are working to bridge these two polarized camps,” wrote McMillan, referring to environmentalists and oil companies. McMillan, who was also slated to attend the aborted “fireside chat” [see 9] in April, went on to cite Tides’ role in the 2001 Great Bear Rainforest Agreement, which dealt with a massive area of BC’s central coast. When that agreement was signed, ForestEthics negotiators emerged from secret negotiations with logging companies to announce that they had signed a deal for 20 percent protection. That was less than half of what scientists said was the minimum area that would need to be preserved to avoid damaging biodiversity, and it violated protocol agreements they had signed with local ENGOs and First Nations. None of that mattered to the signatories, who proclaimed themselves victorious.

There are two key differences between agreements signed ten years ago, and those anticipated today.

First, deals have become even more transparently meaningless. Greenpeace and company literally declared that they had ‘saved the Boreal forest’ by signing an agreement that actually makes no net change in the amount of logging. No CBFA signatory can say with a straight face that they have protected an area the size of Germany, though press releases on their site still make that claim. Even the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement completely preserved 20 percent of the vast forest. Though some activists say that ENGOs subsequently turned a blind eye to clearcutting on Vancouver Island, negating even those gains.

Second, and most crucially, funders have consolidated control of funding for anti-tar sands campaigns to an unprecedented extent. Anyone who wants foundation funding (which most ENGOs rely on) for their campaigns has to talk to Corporate Ethics founder Michael Marx. Marx and his coordinators set funding priorities through the “Tar Sands Coalition,” a structure that, according to internal documents, is supposed to remain “invisible to the outside.”

All of the money for the Tar Sands Coalition comes through Tides Canada Foundation. We know little about where it originates, though the bulk of it comes from U.S. mega-foundations like the Pew Charitable Trusts, which outed itself as the architect of the CBFA after giving millions to environmental groups doing Boreal forest work. Other big donors include the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the David & Lucile Packard Foundation.

Together, they have given at least $4.3 million to tar sands campaigns since 2000. Together, they hold vast power to decide the fate of those campaigns.

Control over the vast majority of ENGO funding for tar sands work is firmly in the hands of Michael Marx, on behalf of foundations with a taste for collaborative agreements. Journalists seem willing to print claims about “saving the Boreal forest” or “protecting an area the size of Germany” without seeing any actual agreement. [12]

350.org Quietly Infiltrates Canada

 

3 March 2011, as found on The Pearson College website: “Dear Friends, Something exciting is brewing in Canada right now. 350.org is working with a new political organization called Leadnow, spearheaded by our friend Jamie Biggar, and we wanted you to be on the ground floor of this exciting initiative.”

Jamie Biggar is the co-founder and executive director of leadnow.ca. Biggar is an endorser and likely key organizer of, the Tar Sands Action in Ottawa. Adam Shedletzky is founding director and board representative of LeadNow modeled after MoveOn.org (USA) and GetUp.org.au. Shedletsky was the Canadian coordinator for the 350.org 10/10/10 global work party and a former management consultant. His background/education is global strategy and finance. In 2005 he co-founded It’s Getting Hot In Here (asdiscussed in the article Rockefellers’ 1Sky Unveils the New 350.org | More $ – More Delusion).

In the 2 September 2011 article, 350.org/LeadNow: Leadership or Sabotage?, the author states “Leadnow.ca is yet another unfocused, fuzzy, unprovocative and unimaginative organization dedicated to all the good things liberals crave. They are a perfect fit for our 350.org/1Sky group, detached as they are from political reality and dedicated to distracting and detaching the rest of us from meaningful, forceful action on global warming and the environment.”

Big Oil Funds the “Opposition”

“The ability to deal with people is as purchasable a commodity as sugar or coffee and I will pay more for that ability than for any other under the sun.” – David Rockefeller, current patriarch of the Rockefeller family and only surviving grandchild of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil

Another big green “leading the opposition” to the Keystone expansion is the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The largest donors to the NRDC include the Pew Foundation (Sun Oil/Sunoco), the W. Alton Jones Foundation (Citgo), and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (Standard Oil/Exxon Mobil). The Rockefeller family initiated the Environmental Grantmakers’ Association. The British Royals (BP) as well as Prince Bernhard (Shell) and the Rockefellers were principal actors in initiating the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) as well as the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWFN). The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) NGO partners with corporations such as Shell and boasts “corporate green” members such as NRDC. The IUCN has funding of approximately $100 million in 2010 with funding from the private sector increasing considerably. The three largest conservation organizations worldwide – The Nature Conservancy, WWF, and Conservation International combined revenues exceed $2 billion (2007), more than double their revenues in 2000. Of this, the three groups received at least $35 million more from their corporate partnerships in 2010 than in 2003, although their annual reports do not clarify all sources of corporate funding. Nature Conservancy’s president and CEO is former Goldman Sachs Group executive Mark Tercek. Former Nature Conservancy presidentHenry Paulson also made his rounds through the revolving doors of Goldman Sachs. Nature Conservancy board member, Muneer Satter, also originated from Goldman Sachs.

Access and control over the environmental movement ensures the ability of capitalism to shape and control the movement. This is why the corporations initiate and fund NGOs, co-opting militant environmentalism, and diminishing possible dissent. Funding NGOs, via tax-exempt foundations, is a good business investment. As an example, the Packard Foundation currently has approximately one billion dollars invested in the false illusion of successfully drilling methane hydrates.

“350.org: $1,661,440.00. 1Sky: $3,425,549.00. The plutocracy owning and controlling the movement? Priceless.”

Since 2000, U.S. foundations have provided approximately $300 million to Canadian organizations to undertake Canadian conservation initiatives and “reform” of Canadian resource-based industries. At minimum $210 million came from five U.S. foundations: the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation. Over $120 million in U.S. foundations’ money was designated to the Great Bear Rainforest Initiative on the coast of British Columbia and the Boreal Forest Initiative.

Since 2002, The Pew Charitable Trusts has spent $44 million on the Boreal Forest Initiative in Canada. Canada’s forests cover some of the planet’s largest deposits of minerals and energy resources. Two of Pew’s grants for the Boreal Forest Initiative are audaciously titled “British Columbia Mining.”

Many U.S. foundations have made grants that explicitly spell out over-reliance on fossil fuels as a matter of national security.

National security is an understatement.

Burn Your Obama Buttons

“The amount of blood thirst in this country is fucking barbaric.” – Nathaniel St. Clair, Counterpunch

 

Like victims of abuse, the liberal Left call upon our abusers for a kinder, gentler, more “ethical” abuse. They stand by and support those who continue to tell us to wear our buttons to demonstrate our unwavering support of, and steadfast belief in, our abusers. They work hard to convince us that we, such moral citizens, can appeal to and thus change the abusers. Such illusion will sentence most all life on Earth to certain death.

In a July 2011 article, McKibben told us: “Bring Your Obama Buttons – Momentum Builds for White House Tar Sands Action.”

From the Bill McKibben article appearing July 10 2011, The Great American Carbon Bomb:

If you want to sign up to be part of it, here’s the place to go … Two weeks ago, for instance, a few veteran environmentalists, myself included, issued a call for protest against Canada’s plans to massively expand oil imports from the tar sands regions of Alberta. We set up a new website, tarsandsaction.org, and judging from the early response, it could result in the largest civil disobedience actions in the climate-change movement’s history on this continent, as hundreds, possibly thousands, of concerned activists converge on the White House in August. They’ll risk arrest to demand something simple and concrete from President Obama: that he refuse to grant a license for Keystone XL, a new pipeline from Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico that would vastly increase the flow of tar sands oil through the U.S., ensuring that the exploitation of Alberta’s tar sands will only increase.

Lecture by John Pilger: “Obama Is A Corporate Marketing Creation” (Running Time: 5:28). John Pilger is an Australian journalist and documentary maker. He has twice won Britain’s Journalist of the Year Award, and his documentaries have received awards in Britain and the U.S..

And the Oscar goes to Barack Obama, for his portrayal of an African American president …

And anyone to wear an Obama button in 2011 – as U.S. led occupations escalate, as the bombs fall on the citizens of Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Libya, while covert wars are underway in Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan – and as corporatism eats us alive – must seriously consider hiding their face in shame.

“If you tremble with indignation at every injustice, then you are a comrade of mine.” — Ernesto “Che” Guevara

If we wish to live in a world free of war, exploitation, oppression and ecological devastation, then we must embrace the reality that the global capitalist industrialized economic system – which serves the small ruling class – must be dismantled. There is no other way. And this is the unabated truth that McKibben and his disciples (think Greenpeace, RAN, NRDC, and on and on the list goes) choose to ignore. These groups, funded by the industrial machine itself, believe in the system; therefore they support the atrocities being committed in the name of profit. Ironically, the very groups that bask in the halo of non-violent civil disobedience are the very ones who constitute the authoritarian social relationships that prop up and defend violence.

Grassroots groups have been co-opted, marginalized, drowned out and made essentially irrelevant, if not invisible, by the institutional Left and their funders. Their symbolic campaigns and “efforts” to convey essential information regarding our ecological crisis have succeeded in ensuring that any attempt to convey the truth of the severity of our crisis is framed, thus perceived by the public at large, as “radical” and “fear-mongering.” (Radical is another term co-opted by the Right and now perceived by the public as a negative trait rather than its true meaning; to get to the root of the problem.) Any real movement to prevent the eradication of all life, from what is now aptly termed by scientists as “the sixth mass extinction,” must insist that all decisions be based on real-life circumstances and not on arbitrary ideologies that allow us to remain aloof.

Essential Reading

Essay: Pacifism as Pathology by Ward Churchill; 1984:

Pacifism as Pathology

Revised 2007 Version

How Non-Violence Protects the State by Peter Gelderloos: http://zinelibrary.info/files/How%20Nonviolence%20Protects%20The%20State.pdf

References

[1] The founding of the Climate Action Network (CAN) in 1988 can be traced back to the early players in the ENGO community, including Michael Oppenheimer of the corporate NGO, Environmental Defense Fund. CAN is a global network of over 700 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The stated goal of CAN is to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. This goal is severely problematic in (at minimum) 2 fundamental ways: 1) There is no such thing as “ecologically sustainable levels” of climate change, and 2) as opposed to states having to respond to approximately 300 groups demanding action on climate change, states instead bask in the comfort of having to deal with only one (that of CAN), which essentially demands little to nothing. CAN has seven regional coordinating offices that coordinate these efforts in Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, Europe, Latin America, North America, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Members include organizations from around the globe, including the largest corporate greens such as World Wildlife Fund [WWF], Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.

[2] through [9] Source: Jeffrey St. Clair is the author of Been Brown So Long It Looked Like Green to Me: the Politics of Nature and Grand Theft Pentagon. His newest book, Born Under a Bad Sky, is published by AK Press / CounterPunch books.

[2] According to an analysis of financial reports from the Clinton years, the top givers were the Sun Oil Company (Sunoco) and Oryx Energy, which controlled vast holdings of natural gas in Arkansas and across the oil patch. The Pew family once entirely controlled both Sunoco and Oryx, maintained large holdings in both, and was, in fact, sued for insider trading by Oryx shareholders. Excerpted from Green Scare: the New War on Environmentalism by Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank.

[3] In its early days the foundation (a collection of seven separate trusts) was vociferously rightwing, with money going to the John Birch Society, to Billy Graham. Excerpted from Green Scare: the New War on Environmentalism by Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank.

[4] During Clinton’s time, the Pew environmental sector was headed by Joshua Reichert. Reichert and his subordinates, Tom Wathen and John Gilroy, not only allocated money to individual Pew projects, such as the Endangered Species Coalition, but they also helped direct the donations of other foundations mustered in the Environmental Grantmakers’ Association. Excerpted from Green Scare: the New War on Environmentalism by Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank.

[5] There were some notable foundations that objected to Pew’s leveraged buyouts of environmental campaigns, notably the Levinson, Patagonia, and Turner Foundations. Excerpted from Green Scare: the New War on Environmentalism by Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank.

[6] Take just one of the seven Pew trust funds: the Pew Memorial Trust. This enterprise made $205 million in “investment income” in 1993 from such stocks as Weyerhaeuser ($16 million), the mining concern Phelps-Dodge ($3.7 million), International Paper ($4.56 million), and Atlantic Richfield, which was pushing hard to open even more of the Arctic to oil drilling ($6.1 million). The annual income yield from rape-and-pillage companies accruing to Pew in this single trust was twice as large as its total grants, and six times as large as all of Pew’s environmental dispensations that year (about $20 million in 1993). Excerpted from Green Scare: the New War on Environmentalism by Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank.

[7] Next of the big three in environmental funding was an oil company known as Cities Services, which endowed the W. Alton Jones Foundation, based in Charlottesville, Virginia. (In the merger frenzy of the 1980s, Cities was ultimately taken over by Occidental Petroleum, in a move that saved Ivan Boesky from financial ruin. It was later parceled off to the Southland Corporation, owners of Seven Eleven; then finally, in 1990, it was sold to Petroleos de Venezuela). According to the charity’s charter, the purpose of the foundation was two-fold: preservation of biological diversity and elimination of the threat of nuclear war. Although, Alton Jones doled out about $14 million a year to environmental causes during the Clinton years with the same engulf-and-neuter tactic of Pew, this apostle of peace maintained very large holdings in arms manufacturers, including Martin-Marietta ($3.26 million), Raytheon ($1.32 million), Boeing ($1.38 million), and GE ($1.4 million). Alton Jones’ portfolio was also enhanced by income from bonds floated by Charles Hurwitz’s Scotia-Pacific Holdings Company, a subsidiary of Maxxam, which was at that very moment trying to cut down the Headwaters Grove, the largest patch of privately owned redwoods in the world. The charity’s annual statement to the Internal Revenue Service also disclosed a $1.4 million stake in Louisiana-Pacific, then the large purchaser of timber from publicly-owned federal forests. The company had been convicted of felony violations of federal environmental laws at its pulp mill in Ketchikan, Alaska, where L-P was butchering its way through the Tongass National Forest. At the same time, Alton Jones maintained a position (just under $1 million in stock) in FMC, the big gold mining enterprise, whose dousing of endangered salmon habitat in Idaho with cyanide at the Beartrack Mine was greased by Clinton’s Commerce Secretary Ron Brown. Picking up revenue from FMC’s salmon destruction with one hand, in 1993 the foundation gave about $600,000 with the other hand to supposedly protect salmon habitat in the same area. The grants went to the compliant and docile groups in the region, such as the Pacific Rivers Council. At a crucial moment in January 1994, Pacific Rivers Council and the Wilderness Society – another recipient of W. Alton Jones cash – demanded that a federal judge suspend an injunction the groups had – to their great alarm – just won. The injunction had shut down FMC’s Beartrack Gold Mine, from which the company expected to make $300 million courtesy of the 1872 Mining Act, whose reform the Clinton administration carefully avoided. When the Wilderness Society’s attorneys asked Judge David Ezra to rescind the injunction, he was outraged, but had no alternative but to comply. FMC’s stock promptly soared, yielding extra earning for Alton Jones’ holdings in the mining concern. Excerpted from Green Scare: the New War on Environmentalism by Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank.

[8] “In the Clinton era, the RFF was run by ex-Naderite Donald Ross, who pulled down, according to IRS filings, $130,000 a year, plus another $23,000 in benefits. The relationship of the Family Fund to Rockefeller oil money scarcely needs stating. Though, the Fund dispensed a relatively puny $2 million a year in grants, it exercises great influence by dint of the foundation’s leadership of the Environmental Grantmaker’s Association. The Fund also functioned as a kind of staff college for foundation executives. Pew’s John Gilroy and Tom Wathen both learned their trade under Ross’s tutelage. In the 1980s, when the Multinational Monitor revealed that the ten largest foundations in America owned billions in stock in companies doing business in South Africa, Donald Ross lamented that many foundations “simply turn their portfolios over to a bank trust department or to outside managers and that’s the last they see of it.” Excerpted from Green Scare: the New War on Environmentalism by Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank.

[9] “… as listed by Multinational Monitor …” Excerpted from Green Scare: the New War on Environmentalism by Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank.

[10] Things got started back in April, when a secret “fireside chat” was planned between oil industry executives and ENGO leaders, including former Great Bear Rainforest Agreement negotiators Tzeporah Berman and Merran Smith, and representatives from Tides Canada, World Wildlife Fund, Pembina Institute, and others. After word circulated about the “informal, beer-in-hand” discussions, the meeting was called off – temporarily. Excerpt from the “Secret Agreement in the Works Between ENGOs and Tar Sands Industry” by journalist DruOja Jay.

[11] The idea hit the corporate media in September 2010, with reports that Syncrude Chairman Marcel Coutu had solicited David Suzuki to broker an agreement between environmentalists and tar sands operators. Suzuki rebuffed him, saying that a dialogue was not possible while oil companies were funding lies about their environmental impact. But the idea didn’t die – and neither did the lies. In October 2010, during a major ad campaign from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers that compared tar sands tailings to yogurt, the Edmonton Journal and Calgary Herald published a report by Sheila Pratt titled “Is an oilsands [sic] truce possible?” Pratt interviews Avrim Lazar, CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), the group of logging companies that signed an accord with Greenpeace, the David Suzuki Foundation, and several other Environmental Non-Governmental Organizations (ENGOs). That was the “Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement” (CBFA). Pratt repeats the false claim that the agreement preserves 72 million hectares of forest. In fact, the CBFA maintains the current rate of logging, simply shifting a small portion (about the size of metro Toronto) to areas outside of the Caribou Range. Furthermore, it requires ENGOs to defend the logging companies that signed against criticism and help them market their products. Of all of Pratt’s interviewees, only Greenpeace’s Mike Hudema states the obvious: it is not possible to green the tar sands. Excerpt from the “Secret Agreement in the Works Between ENGOs and Tar Sands Industry” by journalist DruOja Jay.

[12] “Our future hinges on the tar sands. Will any level of environmental destruction, loss of human life, or climate change be considered an acceptable cost to continue consumption of fossil fuels? Or is there a limit to the amount of destruction we will accept? If a secret agreement is allowed to go forward, then those who cannot accept ever-escalating destruction will have to fight other ENGOs in addition to fighting the oil companies. Will the Tar Sands Greenwashing Accord continue as planned?” Excerpt from the “Secret Agreement in the Works Between ENGOs and Tar Sands Industry” by journalist DruOja Jay. For more about ENGOs and the collaborative model, read the 2009 report “Offsetting Resistance: The effects of foundation funding from the Great Bear Rainforest to the Athabasca River,” by Macdonald Stainsby and DruOja Jay.

The Climate Cartel: 1Sky, 350.org and Rockefeller Brothers | Stronger as One

The Climate Cartel: 1Sky, 350.org and Rockefeller Brothers | Stronger as One

The Climate Cartel:1Sky, 350.org and Rockefeller Brothers | Stronger as One

By Cory Morningstar

Published July 7th, 2011 by Political Context: http://bit.ly/n8FG5T and Canadians for Action on Climate Change: http://bit.ly/r1REJ0

“The ability to deal with people is as purchasable a commodity as sugar or coffee and I will pay more for that ability than for any other under the sun.” – David Rockefeller , the current patriarch of the Rockefeller family and only surviving grandchild of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil.

Doublethink, a word coined by George Orwell in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, describes the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct, often in distinct social contexts. It is related to, but distinct from, hypocrisy and neutrality. Its opposite is cognitive dissonance, where the two beliefs cause conflict in one’s mind.” (source: Wikipedia)

[Doublethink is] “To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget, whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself — that was the ultimate subtlety; consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word ‘doublethink’ involved the use of doublethink.”

“The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them….To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.” – George Orwell, George (1949). Nineteen Eighty-Four. Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd, London, part 1, chapter 3, pp 32

Wikipedia: “Orwell explains that the Party could not protect its iron power without degrading its people with constant propaganda. Yet, knowledge of this brutal deception, even within the Inner Party itself, could lead to collapse of the state from within. Though Nineteen Eighty-Four is most famous for the Party’s pervasive surveillance of everyday life, this control means that the population of Oceaniaall of it, including the ruling elitecould be controlled and manipulated merely through the alteration of everyday thought and language. Newspeak is the method for controlling thought through language; doublethink is the method of directly controlling thought.

Moreover, doublethink’s self-deception allows the Party to maintain huge goals and realistic expectations.

Since 1949 (when Nineteen Eighty-Four was published), the word doublethink has become synonymous with relieving cognitive dissonance by ignoring the contradiction between two world viewsor even of deliberately seeking to relieve cognitive dissonance. Some schools of psychotherapy, such as cognitive therapy, encourage people to alter their own thoughts as a way of treating different psychological maladies.”

 

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

Fair warning to those who continue to support “the new” 350.org

In April of this year, 1Sky and 350.org announced their “official” merger, even though they were already intertwined from the outset.

As documented in the expose Rockefellers 1Sky Unveils the New 350.org | More $ More Delusion,today, having possibly reached peak delusion, we now actually have the Rockefellers at the helm of our faux climate movement and even the most intelligent people have chosen to embrace it. Even anti-capitalist websites are promoting Bill McKibben’s latest piece asking for civil disobedience and signed by McKibben, Naomi Klein, Maude Barlow and others including prominent 1Sky members.

Make no mistake that civil disobedience is absolutely imperative and that yes, the tar sands must be considered a death knell to the planet in relation to climate change, which continues to escalate at a rapid rate. And yes this call to action is certainly orders of magnitude more important than anything that McKibben has demonstrated in the past.

The question is why globalist plutocrats, such as the Rockefellers, fund the majority of the mainstream environmental movement and establish an organization that now calls for civil disobedience and the halt of tar sands expansion into the US? If the true meaning of climate justice were in fact to be realized, it would mean nothing less than the stripping of wealth of these very families and corporate entities. The very system which ensures global monetary wealth and power stay securely in the hands of the privileged few today is absolutely dependent upon and cannot succeed without continuous expanding raping, pillaging and degradation to our Earth and relentless exploitation of those most vulnerable.

Since these families and corporate entities have come to fund the mainstream environmental movement, we can safely conclude that they do not fear it. The reason is simple the climate justice “movement” represents no real threat to the globe’s wealthiest and most powerful. The global elites including the dominant Rockefellers shape, define and ultimately control the movement itself. Yet these big names do lend credibility to an organization whose legitimacy is essentially non-existent.

The carefully worded “call out” from McKibben even places restrictions on the participants:

“We will do it in dignified fashion, demonstrating that in this case we are the conservatives, and that our foes who would change the composition of the atmosphere are dangerous radicals.”

Framing the term “radical” as dangerous (radical is derived from the Latin word rdclis – having roots, from Latin rdix – a root, designed to act on or eliminate the root or cause of a pathological process), McKibben exhorts would-be participants to wear business attire and show support for Obama:

“Come dressed as if for a business meeting this is, in fact, serious business. And another sartorial tip if you wore an Obama button during the 2008 campaign, why not wear it again? We very much still want to believe in the promise of that young Senator who told us that with his election the ‘rise of the oceans would begin to slow and the planet start to heal.’ We don’t understand what combination of bureaucratic obstinacy and insider dealing has derailed those efforts, but we remember his request that his supporters continue on after the election to pressure the government for change. We’ll do what we can.”

McKibben’s message on aggressive non-violence?

“One thing we don’t want is a smash up: if you can’t control your passions, this action is not for you.”

On 30 June 2011, Jeff Goodell wrote in the Rolling Stone article, Politics: Time For Climate Activists to Get Tough:

“Interestingly, organizers are asking demonstrators to ditch Birkenstocks, torn jeans and tie-dyed T-shirts for button-down, business attire. ‘We need to be able to get across to people who the conservatives are and who the radicals are,’ McKibben said. ‘People need to understand how radical it is to change the composition of the atmosphere.’ By marching in button-downs, rally organizers are clearly borrowing a page from the Mississippi Freedom Riders of the 1960s, who, by arriving in the South as well-dressed, respectable students and citizens, helped expose the moral savagery of the white power establishment.

It may be a shrewd and effective strategy, but inviting a comparison between climate activists and the Freedom Riders only underscores how tame the fight against global warming has been so far. The Freedom Riders proved the power of peaceful action, but they also showed astonishing courage and a willingness to risk their lives to change the world. Buses were firebombed. Some of them were attacked by police dogs. Others were beaten bloody, had bones broken, skulls cracked. But their suffering inspired people. ‘If those kids are wiling to lay all that on the line, I should be able to screw up at least a little courage in order to support the movement,’ one person says in Breach of Peace, Eric Etheridge’s excellent book of portraits of Freedom Riders.”

If people wish to delude themselves that 1 Sky/350.org/McKibben is our saviour that will help us avoid our own self-annihilation, I guess they can go ahead and do so. This will prove to be a massive mistake for those who claim to work towards climate justice and claim to be opposed to the commodification of Earth’s final remaining natural resources. This misguided trust will also prove to be lethal to future generations, including today’s children.

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.

1Sky was a Rockefeller-initiated NGO an incubator project so to speak. Although I have documented this relationship extensively, the majority of people are only willing to see and believe what they want to see and believe. Cognitive dissonance, denial and Orwells doublespeak has proven to be a most effective strategy in the co-opting of an entire movement. On the website post below written by 1Sky Garth Brooks it is stated unequivocally that Rockefeller Brothers is a 1Sky strategic partner.

From the 1Sky Website: Weekly Round-Up 8/6/10:

“It makes me feel better, but I suspect others feel differently. Some even questioned if there was a movement. In their Grist piece, authors Kelsey Wirth, Rockefeller Family Fund’s Larry Shapiro, and Greenpeace USA’s Philip Radford put it bluntly on why the grassroots failed to help deliver a strong bill(Note: Rockefeller Brothers is a 1Sky donor and strategic partner).”

Rockefeller Fund manages approximately US$1 billion for descendants of John D. Rockefeller, the founder of Standard Oil Co., predecessor of U.S. oil giants Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips, all of which are tar sands developers.

For an imperative read see Offsetting Resistance and the secret structure of the tar sands coalition: “The emerging ‘North American Tar Sands Coalition,’ seeks to keep its decision-making body ‘invisible to the outside,’ while funnelling millions of dollars to its preferred groups.”

Such “campaigns” are superbly planned and executed using all tools available, with a heavy emphasis on distraction, language and manipulation using advanced and sophisticated psychology.

If the environmental movement and notable environmental leaders who speak out against capitalism (the root cause of climate change) and the fatal illusion of “green” capitalism believe that partnering and promoting an organization led by the Rockefellers, the Clintons, TckTckTck (supported/partnered with the Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, which includes members such as Shell) is not insane … then we really are in for a FAR WORSE situation than we realize.

Many will have taken notice by now of the big greens pushing REDD REDD being just one of the many market mechanisms the Rockefellers, with the industrial machine, have worked towards and funded with many a big green NGO to assist.

“Rockefeller was a donor to colleges all over the country and helped found the University of Chicago. Huntington, of the Central Pacific, gave money to two Negro colleges, Hampton Institute and Tuskegee Institute. Carnegie gave money to colleges and to libraries. Johns Hopkins was founded by a millionaire merchant, and millionaires Cornelius Vanderbilt, Ezra Cornell, James Duke, and Leland Stanford created universities in their own names. The rich, giving part of their enormous earnings in this way, became known as philanthropists.

These educational institutions did not encourage dissent; they trained the middlemen in the American system-the teachers, doctors, lawyers, administrators, engineers, technicians, politicians- those who would be paid to keep the system going, to be loyal buffers against trouble.” Howard Zinn from the book History is a Weapon, A Peoples History of the United States, Chapter 11 Robber Barons and Rebels

The illusion of democracy and good will is breathtaking.

Announcement on the Rockefeller Brothers Fund Website April 21, 2011

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

1Sky and 350.org: Stronger as One

Posted on 04/21/2011 in Sustainable Development

By Jessica Bailey

This month marked the exciting marriage of 1Sky and 350.org two grantees of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s Sustainable Development program. The announcement comes as environmental policy is hitting a new low in Washington: the House of Representatives just voted to deny the science of climate change; the recently passed federal budget cuts climate change-related programs by $49 million (including a ban on funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Service); the White House has opened up wide areas of the West for coal mining; and the environmental community is being forced to put everything it’s got into protecting the Clean Air Act a bill passed decades ago! These are challenging times for those of us working to advance solutions to climate change.

Despite the news coming from Washington, the announcement to merge 1Sky and 350.org two of the biggest movements on climate into a single organization under the banner of 350.org, gives me hope that we just might build a people-powered movement strong enough to protect this planet. 1Sky and 350.org were born around the same time and involved many of the same leaders. Bill McKibben, who has been a 1Sky board member and will chair the new 350.org board, once referred to 1Sky as the U.S. Embassy for 350.org and 350.org as 1Sky’s foreign legion. 1Sky was founded to support ambitious environmental action in the United States that would keep emissions targets to scientifically defendable levels, stop new coal-fired power plants, and build a green economy strong enough to create five million new green jobs. 350.org was founded to embed the concept of a wonky carbon emissions concept (350 ppm is the level of emissions in the atmosphere that scientists believe is safe) into the international negotiations in the run-up to the Copenhagen climate summit. While 1Sky didn’t deliver bold national policy and 350.org didn’t deliver a global treaty, both organizations have made significant progress in widening the tent of grassroots support for climate action. With the new political reality, it makes all the sense in the world to bring them together. Matching 350.org’s talent for mass mobilization and online action with 1Sky’s advocacy and field campaign experience is tremendously exciting. Mergers are tough, and I applaud the leaders in both organizations for recognizing they’d be stronger together.

The new 350.org has an aggressive plan to mobilize millions of people in a tech-savvy, citizen-driven movement that can finally build the support necessary for real climate action. The good news is they have a solid running start. The new campaign will have over 600,000 active supporters, thousands of volunteer community organizers in every state, and hundreds of partner organizations.

Let’s hope this happy union gives the climate movement the jumpstart it needs to compel our country to act on climate change before it’s too late.”

http://www.rbf.org/post/1sky-and-350org-stronger-one

“Some even believe we (the Rockefeller family) are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the USA characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure—one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.” – David Rockefeller

In April 2011 congressman Ron Paul, sent a stark message this week to ruling elite “internationalists” attempting to expand globalism via the Western military industrial complex “you will fail”.

Will they fail?

Certainly not unless we finally make an uncompromised decision to face reality dead-on.

If you are in support of “green” capitalism meaning BAU (business as usual) and keeping the world’s monetary wealth and power in the hands of a select few the furthest thing from climate justice then just keep supporting the new 350.org/1Sky, along with the other corporate greens. It is so grossly blatant, it is difficult to accept that people are choosing to be blind to it. If you believe the Rockefellers (and the handful of other elites who control the globe) wish for a new global economy based on any kind of justice and a re-distribution of wealth and power, you’re in seriously dangerous denial.

We don’t need Rockefeller and corporate mouthpieces planning our actions, “training” us to be passive and obedient, and telling us what we can and cannot do, what is appropriate versus what is not. We need civil disobedience but it must come from the grassroots up, not from the plutocrats down.

Today’s youth, Indigenous peoples of the world, indeed all the men and women alive today, have every right to rebel against 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.” The real violence is what is being allowed to happen on a daily basis to our Earth Mother and global and local ecosystems, to which we have chosen to turn a blind eye. Today, police states and corporate-controlled governments protect property, corporate interests, and industrialized economic growth over life itself. Drastic times require drastic measures; thus, all peoples 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.”

Refuse to be silenced. Go forward in self-defence. Do not negotiate life. Reject all compromise.

Reject all attempts for the industrial machine to smother, rehabilitate, co-opt, or psychologically marginalize our actions.

Attack the economic system as this is the only language those most powerful, who control the world’s monetary wealth, understand.

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 using all organizational tools in existence. This must be a united movement. Fuel distribution centres, pipelines, dams, roads, the industrial-military complex, banks, the stock exchange, politicians, CEOs: all must be targeted.

And for fuck’s sake, don’t wear a tie unless you really want to.

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

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/