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Listen: How to Sell a Pretend Climate Movement: Reading Act IV of Cory Morningstar’s Series on the NGO Industrial Complex

Listen: How to Sell a Pretend Climate Movement: Reading Act IV of Cory Morningstar’s Series on the NGO Industrial Complex

Ghion Journal

September 18, 2019

By Stephen Boni

 

 

About 43% of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were lawyers. After the establishment of the United States government, over a near 250-year period, the number of lawyers in Congress has, by-and-large, mirrored that original percentage. In fact, our current Congress is made up of 43% lawyers. This is a powerful voting block of like-minded people.

Additionally, it isn’t much of a secret how important legal expertise is to modern corporations and how many lawyers exist among their executive ranks. And America’s most prominent corporations represent the financial backing of nearly all members of Congress.

The way lawyers have been trained to think, the skills they possess, the way they maneuver, and what they maneuver for casts a massive shadow over what kinds of decisions get made for our society—and what kind of loose consensus (or acquiescence) gets achieved in order for those decisions to stick.

What I’m talking about is how those decisions are sold to us. Because, at this point, there are very few societal decisions that are made from the ground up by regular citizens.

As I sat in front of the Words of Others podcast mic this week to read Act IV of Cory Morningstar’s multi-part series on how the corporate elite are using a string of nonprofits, foundations and advocacy organizations to engineer a specific set of likely ineffectual responses to the climate and pollution crisis, I noticed how she highlighted elite use of nuanced language—language that smacks of lawyerly thinking—as one of the key methods members of the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) industrial complex use to mask the basic assumptions behind the solutions they want the world to adopt.

It’s interesting to me that it was this aspect of Morningstar’s piece that jumped out. The issue of precise but deceptive language is not the focal point of the article. What her piece zeroes in on, actually, is the evidence of a coordinated, psychologically thought through marketing campaign cutting across the entire swath of NGOs currently inserting themselves into the climate crisis movement.

But a marketing campaign is about storytelling—and storytelling is, in large part, about the use of language. And the language used to sell us a movement is consciously connected by its salespeople to the language used to sell the movement’s solutions.

About a quarter of the way through the piece, Morningstar notes the use of a very specific phrase in the proposals of NGO-connected elites to define their specific goal for reducing carbon emissions: “Net Zero Emissions”.

As she explains, this is a very precise modification of carbon goals articulated by NGOs in previous years, and certainly a departure from what grassroots climate activists seek. Because “net zero emissions” doesn’t mean a massive reduction in the amount of carbon we’re pumping into the atmosphere:

Rather, it is the amount of emissions being put into the atmosphere being equal to the amount being “captured.”

To achieve that carbon capture, the NGO industrial complex is seeking huge investments for carbon capture storage technology, investments they don’t want to make with their own money but want to take from pension funds and our tax dollars. And, as Morningstar laid out in Act III of her series (which you can listen to here), they want to securitize these investments in green technology so they can become a series of financial products that invigorate growth in a now perpetually sluggish capitalist economy.

This tricky use of language as a sales technique is remarkably precise. It’s not just marketing-ese. It’s downright lawyerly. “Net Zero Emissions” sounds good, doesn’t it? But it doesn’t mean genuinely cutting carbon emissions, reducing consumption, or pollution, or anything, honestly, that would hinder corporate profits.

Since the biosphere has not a single care about what our economic system is, and is only reacting to our very physical waste, “net zero emissions” is no solution at all. There is nothing adaptive about it. It places perceived economic needs over the healing needs of the Earth—which we need healthy for our own precarious wellbeing. But you would only know that by digging into the phrase, and most of us don’t parse the world like that or have the time to think about such things too deeply.

These lawyerly manipulations are not only effective at diverting us from genuine adaptive solutions to climate change and pollution, they’re also tailor-made to make sense to the lawyerly sensibilities of Congress, which, as we remember, is made up of people who have a vested interest in pursuing “solutions” (and use of the public purse) that meet the needs of their corporate donors.

In both politics and astro-turfed movements, we see this linguistic move time and again. Barack Obama was one of the most gifted practitioners when he was campaigning to be president. He knew—as the elites who run the world’s NGOs know—that citizens understand instinctively that things are so bad that only some kind of systemic change will make them better. Since that type of change was not his goal, he concocted a rhetorical style so open to interpretation, so precise and conscious in its use of vague language, that he was able to convince most of the voting public that he was their voice for sweeping change.

Even thought he wasn’t.

That particular use of precision; precision as a way to conceal, is built in to marketing to be sure, but even more so, it’s built in to legal language. In our Constitution itself, written by men steeped in legal thinking, we can see the good and evil sides of legal language’s ability to both reveal and hide meaning.

We live in a complex, often faceless society. Inverted totalitarianism, as theorized by famed historian Sheldon Wolin, gets expressed through the anonymity of the corporate state. Large nonprofits, foundations, NGOs and their backers on Wall Street are an embedded part of that corporate state.

In her extensive research and her journalism, Cory Morningstar is not trying to shit on Greta Thunberg or the Extinction Rebellion activists currently shutting down parts of London. She’s trying to tear apart that legalese-influenced language so we can inoculate ourselves against propaganda—and pursue ground-up solutions that actually have a chance of ensuring us a healthier planet, a healthier society and a healthier life.

After all, wouldn’t it be interesting if those taking part in these movements, armed with a little knowledge on who’s running these organizations, turned on their putative masters and spun the movement out of their control?

Now wouldn’t that be a kick in the pants?

Incidentally, here’s how you can listen to the first three parts of Morningstar’s series:

Act I

Act II

Act III

As always, thanks for reading and thanks for listening.

 

[Stephen Boni is both Ghion Journal’s current editor and a contributing writer. His main interest is in analyzing the workings of empire and exploring ways to dismantle and replace systems of oppression. A conflicted New Englander with an affinity for people, music and avoiding isms, he lives in Oakland, California with his wife and young daughter.]

 

Listen: Making Money Off of Green Debt: Cory Morningstar Finds Corporate Wolves Behind Environmental Sheep

Listen: Making Money Off of Green Debt: Cory Morningstar Finds Corporate Wolves Behind Environmental Sheep

Ghion Journal

October 4, 2019

By Stephen Boni

“Listen: Making Money Off of Green Debt: Cory Morningstar Finds Corporate Wolves Behind Environmental Sheep”

 

 

Building through the privatization-friendly Reagan-Bush era of the 1980s, ramping up significantly with Bill Clinton’s signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in the 1990s, and solidified through the de facto repeal of the post-Great Depression separation between investment and commercial banks at the end of Clinton’s scandal-plagued final term in office at the turn of the millenium, the United States went through a very noticeable shift in how its economy functioned. Even people who didn’t pay attention to such things could feel it.

While the fundamentals of large-scale state capitalism remained—in which the U.S. government used debt and taxpayer dollars to provide the corporate sector with expensive research and development (the internet, for example), and offered crucial patent protection, favorable interest rates, extra cash in the form of subsidies, a wonderfully loophole-ridden tax code, near nonexistent enforcement of antitrust and environmental law, suppression of trade unions, and the stacking of government jobs and judicial appointments with pro-corporate professionals—the actual physical manifestations of the U.S. economy that those structures support were abandoned in ways they never had been before.

No longer did large investment firms or the stock market spend their time rewarding companies that invested in their own development, equipment, channels of distribution, growth and productivity of their workforces, etc. NAFTA, with its incentive to move jobs to other countries (particularly Mexico, which has even fewer environmental protections and drastically lower labor costs), made much of that boring, analytical work unnecessary.

So what was the newly unleashed finance sector of the economy supposed to make real money off of? Sure, they could preside over the mammoth corporate mergers and acquisitions that Reagan had freed up. That brought in some cash. The newly released internet offered speculative benefits as well. But the real money turned out to be, ironically, in the absence of money. It turned out to be in debt. Corporate debt, which could be packaged up into securities and sold to investors, but even more, the debt (mostly mortgage-related) that regular citizens were racking up to maintain their lifestyles in a less welcoming economy. Now that….oh wow, the transmogrification of that shaky debt into securities was the true windfall.

All of this fiddling around with debt was the hallmark of an economy that now focused much of its energy on finance and imaginary “products” that had no real physical presence in the real economy. We all know what came of that in 2008. One of the best explainers of how and why our economy—and indeed the world economy—blew apart was Matt Taibbi who, in a colloquial and hilariously sarcastic series of articles in Rolling Stone, famously described the investment bank Goldman Sachs as a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”

The Next Financial Frontier

All of this is old hat by now, right? Nothing about this current formation of our economy has really changed in the decade following the crash of 2008. Obama gave our money to the debt-ridden banks; a shit-ton of people lost their jobs and their homes; local tax revenues dried up; and the propped up and bloated finance sector simply found a new way to profit off citizen debt by creating securities out of student loan and car loan debt. Capitalism, in its current American form, could only really make money, easy money, fast money (for an ever decreasing slice of the population) out of made-up financial illusions.

Even if you subtract the recent and growing social unrest—seen through the brief flash of the quickly beaten down and co-opted Occupy and Black Lives Matter movements, the proliferation of white nationalist and xenophobic groups, and the explosion of voter political disobedience in the forms of the 2016 Sanders and Trump campaigns—American capitalism has clearly been running into a dead end. Right now, even the biggest fans of our current economy in the financial world are anticipating a train wreck in which the latest debt bubble, which also includes corporate debt, will explode, leaving even more people in desperate trouble as a result.

This is the context that Cory Morningstar is operating in with Act III of her multi-part series called “The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg. For Consent: The Most Inconvenient Truth. Capitalism is in Danger of Falling Apart.”

You can listen to the piece here and I believe you can learn a lot from it.

And you can hear Acts I & II of the series through the Words of Others podcast.

As Cory documents through the various sections of her article—particularly in her exploration of the investor-backed and nominally African solar power provider M-Kopa—the goal of the Western corporate elites who are operating in the background of “climate strike” activists and the organizations with which they’re affiliated is not to find a way out of a dead ending capitalism. It is not to engineer a low-carbon, less consumptive, less polluted, more equal world. Not at all. They’re trying to engineer what is essentially a fantasy—a slightly less carbon producing, still consumptive, slightly less polluted, equally unequal world that maintains the current position of the elite capitalist class (a class they all belong to).

To make that happen, it’s all about inflating a new financial bubble. As Cory explores, using a variety of primary source material, if the debt of corporations and regular citizens could be turned into financial securities and sold as investments to hedge funds, pension funds and other institutions, then why not create a new form of debt related to greening the economy? And why not do it on the backs of the poor and the non-white? And why not prove the investment potential of that debt so it can be similarly securitized and sold by major financial firms? Capitalism rescued! At least for a little while longer.

This is what Al Gore and his cohorts are trying to unlock. This is their mission. And guiding inspirational movements led by relatable teenagers such as Greta Thunberg is how they gain the critical mass among the general population they need to grease the wheels of government and industry and make their banal dream a reality.

It’s this insight that make’s Morningstar’s series so important. She is trying to help you see the wolves and their sharp smiles peeking out from behind those cuddly lambs you want to help and support.

As always, thanks for reading and thanks for listening.

 

[Stephen Boni is both Ghion Journal’s current editor and a contributing writer. His main interest is in analyzing the workings of empire and exploring ways to dismantle and replace systems of oppression. A conflicted New Englander with an affinity for people, music and avoiding isms, he lives in Oakland, California with his wife and young daughter.]

Listen: What Do We See When We See Earth? Reading Act II of Cory Morningstar’s Research into the NGO Industrial Complex

Listen: What Do We See When We See Earth? Reading Act II of Cory Morningstar’s Research into the NGO Industrial Complex

Ghion Journal

September 18, 2019

“Listen: What Do We See When We See Earth? Reading Act II of Cory Morningstar’s Research into the NGO Industrial Complex”

 

By Stephen Boni

 

 

The planet Earth; the strange, beautiful, indifferent, often brutal, often tender home we inhabit, exists in a way that’s so much bigger, so much more complex, so much more mysterious than any civilization human beings can set on top of it.

When you step out of whatever shelter you’ve got each morning, all of that astonishing simply presented timelessness is just there. In all its IS-ness. On the land and in the air. I’ve written this before in other essays. If you’re really dialed in, you can feel the whole thing breathe. The pure being of this place, even with all of the concrete, fumes and trash we’ve imposed on it, is an enormous overwhelming pulse. It is it’s own inspiration, in a sense.

Despite cars and computers and nuclear fission and human beings, Earth itself remains stubbornly, ahistorically, gloriously uninterested in what we’re up to.

I used to believe this. I used to believe this was at least a piece of the ultimate truth that would necessarily live beyond my ability to comprehend.

But climate change has taught me something else. Earth reacts to what we’ve lain on top of it, underneath it and above it. It’s reacting right now. It’s been reacting for centuries. It’s not indifferent; not in the way I previously thought. And it’s heated reaction to our pollution, our war, our methane, and our ever-increasing carbon emissions is killing some of us—and may kill a whole lot more of us down the line.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

There’s a scene from the much-maligned Zabriskie Point, the 1970 counterculture film by Italian director Michaelangelo Antonioni, in which an American family, tourists, drive up to the edge of an extraordinary canyon. A geological testament to Earth’s paradox of constant change and absolute stillness. And the father of the family gets out of the car to look at this sublimity and says something to the tune of “wow, honey, this would be a great spot for a restaurant and a gift shop. We could make some real money up here.”

It’s a quick scene. The voices of the actors are muffled by the naturalistic sound design, the interference of car and wind. But it lands like a mule-kick. Antonioni set the film in the U.S. for a reason. In 1970, as now (though dwindling), we’re the hegemon. It’s our culture that sees nature as a chance to make a buck, and thus afford us luxuries that take us further away from the Earth on which our feet are planted (and what gives us life in the first place). He gives America too much credit, of course. The logic of capitalism is a near worldwide phenomenon and the United States is perhaps the current greatest devotee.

In Act II of her 6-part series about what lies behind today’s deceptively youth-driven climate justice movements, the independent investigative journalist/activist Cory Morningstar delves into non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the members of the corporate elite who conceive them, run them, and use them to redirect the passionate energies of young people, who want us to get off this toxic carbon carousel, towards profit-making projects.

You can listen to The Words of Others podcast to hear a reading of Act II, The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg: The Inconvenient Truth Behind Youth Co-Optation.

What Morningstar gets at in her research is this: the wealthy philanthropists, marketers, economists, politicians and corporate players are merely more well-heeled versions of the middle-class family man looking out and finding a way to unsee the massive canyon in Zabriskie Point. Although they understand that climate change is real, that the choking of earth’s ecosystems through waste and pollution is real, they don’t gaze upon this destruction as an impetus to abandon capitalism as a system. They don’t kneel down in shame and gratitude and rejoicing that we yet can remake our relationship to our home, this Earth.

Instead, they see it as a way to make a buck.

But they can only make a buck off of this rolling catastrophe if they shove a quiet, thoughtful teenager in front of us. Galvanize us through heart and empathy. And redirect our tender emotions not into collective ecosystem restoration, but rather into “make-a-buck” solutions that will only serve to reproduce our separation from this home, from one another, and from the ineffable meaning that could nurture our brief time here.

And I can’t help thinking how paltry it all is.

When you read about kids across the country getting off school to take part in the climate strike, pay attention to who stands behind brave Greta Thunberg. Pay attention to who talks after her.

Who is waiting there to channel your energy to heal this place into the weightless unmeaning futility of make-a-buck?

As always, thanks for reading and thanks for listening.

 

[Stephen Boni is both Ghion Journal’s current editor and a contributing writer. His main interest is in analyzing the workings of empire and exploring ways to dismantle and replace systems of oppression. A conflicted New Englander with an affinity for people, music and avoiding isms, he lives in Oakland, California with his wife and young daughter.]

 

Listen: Don’t Take Movements at Face Value: Reading Cory Morningstar’s Research into Environmental Activist Greta Thunberg

Listen: Don’t Take Movements at Face Value: Reading Cory Morningstar’s Research into Environmental Activist Greta Thunberg

Ghion Journal

September 5, 2019

By Stephen Boni

 

 

A few years back, I was working on a writing and interview project for a national nonprofit in which I spent time with professionals who focused on sustainability. I wasn’t hanging out with Julia “Butterfly” Hill or the descendants of Edward Abbey. These were people who were firmly part of the professional class and operating inside the system to varying degrees. Not everyone’s a radical and I found many of my interview subjects to be fascinating individuals who had accomplished worthwhile things.

However, one issue threw me for a minor loop. During a discussion with a guy who was involved in the financial end of foundation work on climate change and ecosystems, he termed the natural processes occurring in ecosystems as “ecosystem services” that need to be quantified monetarily. “That’s weird”, I thought, so I probed and he enthusiastically explained how financializing the functioning of ecosystems would help the foundation he worked for create “deals” to structure the ways in which they would use their resources to help preserve or restore ecosystems in various parts of the world.

His explanation made a certain amount of sense at the time, but the framing of natural processes to fit within a concept of markets and payments troubled me. On a planet undergoing constant (albeit often barely perceptible) evolutionary change, as well as continual stress due to the massive impact of capitalist economic models enacted on its ‘body’, I wondered how helpful it was to frame the millions-of-years-old interdependently balanced functioning of ecosystems as, essentially, an enterprise. Enterprises within capitalism seek growth at all costs. Ecosystems and the atmosphere don’t conform to or care about these constructs, so what was this financialization effort really all about?

In the years since I conducted that interview, I’ve continued to look askance at the idea that we can avoid catastrophic ecosystem collapse by conceptualizing earth’s materials, relationships and processes as nothing more than a new set of markets within capitalism.

With this uncomfortable feeling remaining near the surface of my consciousness, earlier this year I discovered the investigative journalism of Cory Morningstar (an admittedly late discovery, since she’s been writing for 10 years or more), who does in-depth research into the connections between nonprofits, startups, marketing, movement building, and the long-range planning of politicians and the capitalist class. Her series, the Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg, has helped me get a lot more concrete about the disquiet I experienced as I interviewed sustainability professionals.

With the backdrop this week of the AOC-allied climate group ‘The Sunrise Movement’ praising presidential candidates like Elizabeth Warren (who has done next to nothing for the climate during her time as Senator) for environmental plans she discussed on a recent televised town hall, I thought it would be helpful to continue our podcast reading series—recently given the title “The Words of Others”—with the first section of Morningstar’s 6-part investigation into media celebrity Greta Thunberg and the climate organizations to which she’s connected.

Morningstar’s work (all six pieces have also been compiled in book form) may prove instructive as those of us who are concerned about our survival on this planet try to focus on what activity can genuinely make a positive difference for the climate, the atmosphere and the health of our ecosystems.

Listen here:

 

 

[Stephen Boni is both Ghion Journal’s current editor and a contributing writer. His main interest is in analyzing the workings of empire and exploring ways to dismantle and replace systems of oppression. A conflicted New Englander with an affinity for people, music and avoiding isms, he lives in Oakland, California with his wife and young daughter.]

Perfect Distractions and Fantastical Mitigation Plans

Perfect Distractions and Fantastical Mitigation Plans

October 19, 2019

By Michael Swifte

 

 

 

The recent UN Climate Action Summit in New York delivered both spectacle and much ignored signifiers of political will. I would say it was a failure in terms of any meaningful or effective action to deliver anything like a fossil fuel phase out. At the centre of the spectacle was Greta Thunberg, the perfect distraction, urging us to honour Paris targets, recognise ‘the science’ and act on climate. Greta laments inaction from world leaders like most of us do – this is a continuing theme. And like most of us, Greta sees inaction as a result of the political will failing to deliver on decades of rhetoric. Sadly though, the mitigation plans of the powerful, the key signifiers of political will for continued relentless extractivism never enter the public conversation.

Perfect distractions come with talking points and bring framing to the issue they come to embody. Like the Extinction Rebellion leaders, and Green New Deal proponents, Greta, under advice from a range of experts, leaves the fantastical assumptions in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) mitigation plans well alone. Kevin Anderson, who has given Greta advice in the past, despairs at the “technical utopias”, unfathomable quantities of biomass burning, and as-yet-not-invented air capture machines that fill three of the four IPCC mitigation ‘pathways’. I’m astonished that even the one pathway commissioned by the IPCC that could be called a ‘degrowth’ pathway is also rarely discussed.

While the IPCC present fantastical mitigation plans supposedly representing the global consensus but with little basis in reality; the statements, networking activities, and research & development investments of fossil fuel giants tell another story. Events held, messages provided, and statements released during the UN Climate Action Summit show that the oil and gas industry are getting exactly what they want. Relentless extractivism in service of the consumer economy was the big winner around which climate action plans will be built.

Political will and the UN Climate Action Summit

On September 22, the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) met for a dinner at the Gramercy Park Hotel. Emily Atkin reported on this event in her ‘Heated’ newsletter providing a transcript of a message presented by the Special Adviser to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

The transcript of Guterres’ message is the primary source for a significant moment. It wasn’t till the next day, the same day Greta was giving her “how dare you” speech that the substance of the OGCI mitigation plans was revealed.

Chris Lang from Redd-Monitor laid out how the summit failed saying “Obviously, none of the “action plans” involved leaving any fossil fuel in the ground.”, and noting that the OGCI also support the #NaturalClimateSolutions (NCS) campaign promoted by George Monbiot and Greta Thunberg.

The International Energy Agency’s Clean Energy Ministerial made public an embargoed media release from the OGCI at 12.01am on September 23 announcing their “Kickstarter” initiative in partnership with the OGCI to “unlock large scale investment” in CCUS with an emphasis on “low carbon industrial hubs” for CO2 export. [SOURCE]

Oil and Gas Climate Initiative

Oil and Gas Climate Initiative

 

On September 19, just in time for the summit George Monbiot and Greta Thunberg became spokesfaces for #NaturalClimateSolutions on the Guardian News, YouTube channel.

Stephen Corry from Survival International responded to the new video in worthy style pointing to the corporate relationships and big philanthropy behind the hashtag. In a September 20 Twitter thread, Corry takes Monbiot to task pointing to corporations that partner with the Big Conservation NGOs behind the NCS campaign.

On September 21, International Day of Struggle Against Monoculture Tree Plantations, Gary Graham Hughes from Biofuelwatch and Souparna Lahiri from Global Forest Coalition sounded a warning to Greta and those who would meet under the banner of #NatureBasedSolutions at the summit. They made their position, a challenge to Greta and summit attendees very clear saying “Acres of monoculture plantations, bioenergy, and offsets are false solutions – bad for climate, undermining real solutions and bad for humanity.”

On September 26, Cory Morningstar published her detailed write up of the the extensive networks behind #NaturalClimateSolutions. The networks explicated demonstrate the deep connections between the corporate world, big conservation, environmental NGOs, media, governments and the global consensus apparatus of the United Nations.

Any well resourced emissions wonk at the summit would have known what the fossil fools want to do. Our global corporate energy leaders reveal certain details of their plans and they have to spruik their plans to particular people in particular ways. I suspect they’re grateful for the lack of scrutiny from the mainstream media and the NGO aligned press who routinely fail to report or unpack the political will.

When the Atlantic Council hosted the 2019 Global Energy Forum in January, it was made very plain that CCS was necessary for any future energy plans. A panel discussion included representatives of the International Energy Agency, OGCI, Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences, The Institute of Energy Economics-Japan, and Saudi Aramco. Saudi Aramco’s Chief Technology Officer, Ahmad Al Khowaiter, made a statement at this panel discussion that really stuck out for me. “CO2 is a valuable feedstock, we should not forget that”. It’s a statement that acknowledges a barely understood reality: the oil industry has retained latent demand for liquefied CO2 for decades. [SOURCE]

It stands to reason that the oil industry would fight to access liquefied CO2 as the best means to do enhanced oil recovery to get the last remaining drops of oil from depleted oil fields and get paid a subsidy to sequester CO2 in the process. The global consumer market demands throughput of oil for the full range of products derived from oil, not merely the transport fuel products.

National Defense Authorization Act

On April 10, I watched the C-SPAN live stream of the Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) as it met to discuss and vote on the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies Act (USE IT Act). The USE IT Act is crucial to the expansion of the 45Q tax credit which is an effective subsidy for CO2 enhanced oil recovery and the full gamut of carbon capture and storage projects including ‘clean coal’ and ‘clean hydrogen’.

The meeting began with chair John Barrasso outlining the purpose of the meeting before offering an opportunity for members to comment on the bills before the committee. Ranking member Tom Carper spoke to the bills before John Barrasso called a recess so that Democrat members could make quorum at which point Tom Carper said “I’ve asked my staff to reach out far and wide to get as many  Democrats here as quickly as we can so thank you for your patience.”

While C-SPAN may provide livestreamed content, the archive of video, audio and transcripts available on the their website is subject to the discretion of the individual committee chairs. The EPW committee did not provide video to the C-SPAN archive preferring to post an edited video to their YouTube channel and archived webcast on their website. They did however provide audio of the complete proceedings of the April 10 meeting. [C-SPAN audio] [Archived webcast]

In April, a WKOG member called the EPW Committee office to check the attendance records for both the February 27 and April 10 meetings. They discovered that on February 27, three of the Green New Deal cosponsors were in attendance, but Bernie Sanders was absent. None of the three Green New Deal cosponsors spoke to the USE IT Act on February 27. On April 10, all four Green New Deal cosponsors were absent. This means that Bernie Sanders was absent for both meetings. Was the absence of the four Green New Deal cosponsors the cause of the recess called by John Barrasso at the April 10 meeting? Were the four Green New Deal Resolution cosponsors absent to manufacture the eventual unanimous vote for the USE IT Act?

On June 27, the USE IT Act passed the Senate 86 votes to 8 as part of S. 1790 National Defense Authorization Act 2020. The four Green New Deal cosponsors, Ed Markey, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand and Bernie Sanders voted against the bill.

In an amendment to S. 1790 before it was voted up in the House of Representatives on September 17, Sec. 6001 which contained the USE IT Act provisions was removed.

[SOURCE]

On August 30, the Carbon Capture Coalition sent a letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate Committee on Armed Services asking that USE IT Act provisions be included as an amendment to HR. 2500. National Defense Authorization Act 2020.

It is time to pass this important and widely-supported climate and energy legislation, and the NDAA provides an appropriate opportunity to do so.

[SOURCE][SOURCE]

The vote on the House of Representatives NDAA will likely take place on November 20 or 21.

If the USE IT Act provisions pass then it will unleash an unstoppable wave of CCUS projects including fossil hydrogen projects and CO2 enhanced oil recovery projects. The success of the USE IT Act provisions will ensure the success of the 9+ bipartisan bills designed to deliver R&D, new pipelines and a raft of bureaucratic measures to support the implementation of 45Q tax credits. Cory Morningstar outlines most of these bills in her detailed investigation into the ‘Design to Win’ philanthropies.

Mitigation plans and technology

The truth about the mitigation plans of the powerful is masked in the public discourse by language, conflated logics and expansive silence. The political will that has been demonstrated for carbon capture and storage for fossil fuel extraction and refining should be held in contrast to the ‘pathways’ developed through the global consensus building processes of the IPCC.

Three of the four IPCC pathways rely heavily on what are called ‘negative emissions technologies’ (NETs). The ‘technology’ on which the IPCC rely most heavily is called BECCS, or biomass with CCS applied. Biomass is currently being used in Europe in place of coal, and is regarded by some as a ‘renewable energy’. Biomass is used as an offset against emissions created when it is burned in place of coal as it is regarded to have sequestered carbon when it was part of a plant. When you read articles about renewable energy beating out fossil fuel energy in the UK or Germany, you can be sure biomass offsets helped. The implementation of BECCS will require access to geological storage of CO2, the preserve of fossil fuel extraction companies like Equinor, Chevron, Woodside and Shell.

A ‘negative emissions technology’ is not a technology as such, but rather it is a collection of processes that upon the application of certain accounting can be said to have produced zero emissions. Geological storage of CO2 is a crucial process in transforming biomass burning into a negative emissions technology. If any implementation of the IPCC pathways were to take place any time soon then access to geological storage of CO2 would be absolutely necessary for BECCS to be effective.

On September 5, the Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Kjell-Borge Freiburgh called for “international support” to amend the London Protocol to allow for under sea geological storage and export infrastructure to support the implementation of CCS. The full title of the London Protocol is the ‘London Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter’. It is an international agreement to assist in making regional agreements. Amendments to the London Protocol have long been seen as the last regulatory hurdle to large scale under sea storage of CO2. [SOURCE]

The IPCC has three working groups covering three key areas: science and carbon budgets, social and ecological impacts, and mitigation. As observed by Kevin Anderson on Twitter, Greta Thunberg does not speak about the mitigation pathways presented by Working Group 3 on mitigation, rather she focusses on Working Group 1 on “physical science”. Having followed the discourse on mitigation pathways following Thelma Krug’s unheralded presentation at last year’s GHGT-14 conference in Melbourne, I can say with certainty that none of the four pathways have ever been discussed by XR leaders, Greta Thunberg or Green New Deal proponents. Indeed, the climate justice friendly media mouthpieces have rarely if ever examined the IPCC pathways.

[SOURCE: Thelma Krug]

Kevin Anderson is Professor of Energy and Climate Change, holding a joint chair in the School of Engineering at the University of Manchester and in Centre for Sustainability and the Environment at Uppsala University

Kevin Anderson is Professor of Energy and Climate Change, holding a joint chair in the School of Engineering at the University of Manchester and in the Centre for Sustainability and the Environment at Uppsala University

 

One of the unexamined pathways presented by the IPCC Working Group 3 is called P.1. or Grubler et al ‘Low Energy Demand’ scenario, which is the only degrowth scenario they provide. Grubler LED is also the only scenario/pathway not reliant on BECCS. Jason Hickel writing in Real-World Economics Review outlines degrowth as a radical and positive strategy for tackling climate targets. It is highly significant that so very little has been said about the Grubler LED pathway as it is the only pathway that provides any opportunity to deliver a fossil fuel phase out, which is, at least through suggestion, a principle objective of all climate justice groups including XR leaders and Green New Deal proponents.

People should study what Kevin Anderson has to say about IPCC scenarios. He is very concerned about the abundance of negative emissions technologies. He can’t see how the three BECCS and carbon dioxide removal (CDR) ‘technologies’ can deliver enough mitigation in time. In a video entitled ‘Delivering on 2 degrees,’ he notes that the IPCC scenario data base is loaded with NETs reliant scenarios.

In his response to the UK government’s “net zero” proposal following its declaration of a ‘climate emergency,’ makes it very clear that the fantastical quantities of BECCS and reliance on undeveloped air capture machines were already damaging the possibility of decisive action.   

Already the tentative potential of NETs is being used to undermine the requirement for immediate and widespread decarbonisation, passing further unacceptable burdens and risks onto the next generation.

[SOURCE]

Shortly after announcing a ‘climate emergency’ the UK’s Committee on Climate Change indicated that they would much prefer to produce ‘clean’ hydrogen from steam reforming LNG than through renewable energy and electrolysis with water. Steam reforming is a process where fossil gas is coverted into hydrogen and other gases producing a stream of pure liquefied CO2 for enhanced oil and gas recovery, geological storage or other commercial applications. Clearly the renewable option was being discarded by the Committee on Climate Change, but this was not a concern for the XR leaders who don’t appear to be doing what it takes to keep fossil fuels in the ground.  

Our scenarios assume that hydrogen production at scale is done via gas-reforming with CCS rather than electrolysis

[SOURCE]

Here is a remarkable interview with the Coordinating Lead Author of Chapter 4 (on mitigation) of the IPCC AR6 Special Report, Heleen de Coninck. It is remarkable because it reveals how the language and framing of technologies and extractive processes has shifted around carbon capture and storage over several IPCC reports. The interviewer was compelled to ask a rather absurd sounding question that highlights how IPCC reports have framed and reframed technologies and extractive processes in producing mitigation scenarios.

Ah, so you’re saying in AR3, CCS was still weird?

[SOURCE]

Rob Urie is one of the few writers to take an honest look at the technologies that the IPCC modelling requires. I think this is one of the most important pieces of writing that any informed person can read to understand where we are right now and where we are likely to be heading in the near future.

Three of the four scenarios to keep the rise in global temperatures at or below 1.5 degrees Celsius presented by the IPCC in their 2018 paper require ‘negative emissions’ technologies—methods of actively removing carbon from the atmosphere. Some of these, like reforestation, are superficially attractive to the environmentally inclined. The problems come both through the fine print and the focus on climate rather than the environment.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Greta Thunberg, Green Barbarism and #ClimateStrike

By Azhar Moideen

Greta Thunberg,
Image Courtesy : Twitter/@GretaThunberg

 

Every few years, in a crisis situation, a child captures the attention of the world and plays a huge role in convincing nay-sayers, silencing critics and seemingly ties the hands of the global ruling establishment into taking swift action. It happened in Afghanistan more than once, in Iraq and recently in Syria.

Now it has happened all over the world thanks to the passionate and compelling Greta Thunberg. In a world devoid of real adult heroes, children become unlikely superheroes to look up to. In just about a year after Thunberg began striking school to protest, alone, outside the Swedish Parliament, she has appeared on the cover of Time, featured in a Vice documentary, addressed climate and political conferences including the World Economic Forum and the United Nations (UN) Climate Action Summit, published a collection of her speeches (under the Penguin catalogue), won praise from world leaders, influenced the European Union’s budget and she has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. All this, for spearheading a global climate strike, which included protests in India.

‘India’s Greta Thunberg’: Seven-year-old Licypriya Kangujam from Manipur

In most respects, mobilising millions of people the world over, including trade union representatives, for what became the largest climate protest ever, is no mean feat. However, if the past be our guide, the working class should be cautious while extending support. Instead of being carried away by the number of people mobilised and the positive media coverage Thunberg got, the Third World needs to ask whether the movement has their best interest in mind. After all, even Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai was used by Western imperialist interests and discarded when she spoke against them.

Alongside the meteoric rise of Thunberg, last year bears witness to dubious new environmental NGOs such as Extinction Rebellion and We Mean Business. Over the same period, ideas like the Green New Deal also captured new ground. Investigative reportage (such as by Cory Morningstar) exposes the non-profit-industrial complex that boosts and benefits from the popular surge of interest that ‘influencers’ gain.

The coterie managing Thunberg’s media appearances include the world’s biggest philanthropic foundations, whose contributions to the climate debate have essentially weakened plans to mitigate the effects of climate change. Their interests controlled the negotiations that led to the Paris Agreement, which treats worst-case scenarios as an acceptable 50:50 chance. Dire warnings of negotiators from developing countries were conveniently forgotten.

These handful of philanthrocapitalists, despite contributing 0.1% to climate finance, have significantly influenced the climate debate: developing and promoting voluntary, market-based and bottom-up approaches can only be deemed a failure. They have erased the radical nature of grassroots environmental movements and propped up capitalist-friendly solutions such as carbon-trading instead. They call for “net-zero” emissions by pushing technologies such as Carbon Capture and Storage, which have delivered poor results so far and only offset fossil fuel emission—or burn even more fossil fuel through Enhanced Oil Recovery.

If this is not enough, they now plan to implement “negative emissions” technologies such as the unproven BECCS, which, apart from uncertain benefits and large known nitrous oxide emissions, also requires vast tracts of land, fertilizer production and freshwater consumption. One scenario, for example, would require land three times the size of India. Such requirements have already led to large-scale land grab. Researchers are already talking of a new type of appropriation of nature called ‘green grabbing’. No wonder, the likes of Extinction Rebellion pit themselves against established climate activist groups.

The Green New Deal is another new buzzword, advertised through glitzy ad campaigns and supermodels. It is well known that funding NGOs such as Extinction Rebellion helps corporates mobilise people into backing a consensus created by them. Political leaders such as Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the United States (US), whose plans amount to Climate Imperialism, will end up forcing debt onto poor countries to purchase US-manufactured climate tech.

These “clean” technologies demand large amounts of minerals, which are currently being mined from Third World countries in unsafe environmentally-hazardous conditions. This is social engineering under the guise of action against climate change. And Greta Thunberg is their figurehead.

Thunberg famously was invited to make a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos and what she said was replete with the talking points and keywords these organisations use. She later appeared on a video sponsored by the WEF, along with David Attenborough and Jane Goodall, who frequently espouse neo-Malthusian ideas such as blaming over-population for climate change—a debunked racist myth being revived in climate-mitigating talks. They also raise fears over migrants and climate refugees, which later popped up in banners during the Climate Strike. All this, when the average American’s annual carbon footprint is around 2,000 times that of a Chad resident, and the average Briton’s carbon dioxide footprint in a day matches that of a Kenyan in an year.

The WEF, composed of big capitalist firms from all over the world, recently announced a Strategic Partnership Framework with the UN—a move roundly criticised for weakening of the role of nations in global decision-making. Apart from the Paris Agreement, they have dipped their toes into collaborations with Bill Gates’ Mission Innovation to develop instruments for public-private investment in clean energy.

Their promotion of “nature-based” climate solutions got a big boost when Thunberg and George Monbiot ran a campaign endorsing it. The list of “allies” they mention include the main promoters of the UN’s REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) programme as a carbon-trading mechanism, including The Nature Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Society, Conservation International, and Nature4Climate.

The businesses which are planning to use these solutions to drive indigenous communities from their sources of livelihood and mint a seven-fold return on an annual investment of US$320 billion include Unilever, whose CEO is on the record that such climate action is the only way to grow the economy. No wonder, Shell has announced $300 million for it while burning fossil fuels. And the UN quietly complies.

Gone are the days when equity and common but differentiated responsibilities were integral to climate negotiations. Thunberg advocates that elected representatives “listen to the scientists”, but the background paper of the UN Climate Action Summit, United in Science, prepared by a “scientific advisory committee” abandoned any references to equity and common but differentiated responsibilities, thus placing the major burden of future mitigation on India and other developing countries.

The Climate Strike that led up to the Summit backed the call to declare a Climate Emergency, a move that could pave the way for governments to dig into public money to support green big business under the pretence of taking urgent action. Urgency has replaced equity as a basic element of climate action, poorer nations be damned.

It should not surprise that in all these plans, there is no talk about anti-capitalism and anti-imperialism, the bedrock of the radical environmental movement. No understanding that the exploitation of labour and nature go hand in hand. No mention that the US military is the biggest institutional polluter, producing more greenhouse gas emissions than most countries on the planet. No denunciation of war, an inevitable corollary of Imperialism, as a significant cause of environmental damage. No account for the colonization of the atmospheric space that is needed for the use of fossil fuels for the development of the global South. No acknowledgement that the effects of climate change exacerbates already existing global inequality, and environmentalism itself delivers enhanced revenue streams for corporations under this system. No space for indigenous people who fought for the cause, nor people’s agreements on climate change (which they led) that recognised that what was needed was the end of capitalism.

Capitalism is “in danger of falling apart” and the bourgeoisie are here to save it. This is environmental activism brought to you by the captains of the industry. The ‘NGO-ization of resistance’ ensures that there is a manufactured consent for the ruling class agenda – the ‘unlocking’ of public money to finance huge capital investments. Class consciousness has been erased and the oppressed are made to identify with the oppressor. It is no different in India.

The people organising the protests claim most Indians lack awareness about the issue and that the only ones conscious are the middle and upper class elites. They hide the fact that the poor, organised by progressive and democratic mass movements, are fighting for some measures required for mitigation—provision of public transport, prioritising basic needs over luxuries, and radical redistribution of wealth. They forget that adivasis are at the forefront of the fight against capitalism and its destruction of the environment.

Thunberg was one of the favourites to win the Nobel Peace Prize this year. It did not happen. But there will be more of her and #ClimateStrike in the near future. “We already have all the facts and solutions. All we have to do is wake up and change,” says she, but what we see is capitalist “solutions” that demand our acquiescence. The rhetoric of the Left, of women’s empowerment, poverty-reduction, fighting inequality, rights of the disabled, and so on will all be used.

The  should not be distracted—it will not be long before imperialist attacks are sold under the name of the environment and, closer to home, authoritarianism is greenwashed. It is either Socialism or Climate Barbarism.

 

[Azhar Moideen is doing his Masters in Humanities at IIT Madras.]

To Adapt to the Escalating Climate Crisis, Mere Reform Will Not Be Enough

To Adapt to the Escalating Climate Crisis, Mere Reform Will Not Be Enough

Greanville Post

October 16, 2019

“To Adapt to the Escalating Climate Crisis, Mere Reform Will Not Be Enough”

By Rainer Shea

 

 

As I’ve watched young people around the world take part in the climate actions of the last month, I’ve gotten the sense that I’m watching a spectacle which has been orchestrated to create the illusion that we’re still in an earlier, more stable time for the planet’s climate. Legitimate as the passion and commitment of this generation of teen climate activists is, their efforts are being packaged by the political and media establishment in a way that encourages denial about our true situation. These ruling institutions neither want us to recognize the real solutions to the crisis, nor do they want us to see the irrecoverable and massive damage that’s already been done to the climate. We’re told that if we restructure capitalism with the help of the “green” corporations and NGOs that are backing Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion, a catastrophic outcome can be prevented. Supposedly radical politicians like Bernie Sanders promise that by making an appeal for corporations to partially reduce emissions within a capitalist framework, we can save the world. People want to believe the claims of these “green” capitalists because they want to believe that our living arrangements won’t fundamentally need to change in order for humanity to survive.

 

Sustainable Brands website, August 30, 2019 [Source] [Extinction Rebellion website]

These sources of false hope let Western capitalist society continue to ignore the primary role that imperialism and militarism have in the climate crisis, to view the capitalist governments as legitimate, and to not try to break away from the philosophy of capitalism and endless growth. The lifestyle tweaks that we’re told will save the planet—eating less meat, carpooling, flicking off the light when you leave the room—won’t be able to solve the problem even if society were to largely adopt them. The climate solutions that the capitalists present to us are designed to make us feel better while we keep letting the system move us closer to apocalypse.

To survive, we must recognize two truths about this crisis: that it’s no longer possible to avert a substantial catastrophe, and that global capitalism must be toppled in order for the human race to have a future. Once we understand the former fact, it becomes easy to accept the latter.

When you examine the state of the world, it’s not hard to see that something needs to drastically change. Extreme inequality amid neoliberal policies and rampant corporate power has made the Western countries in many ways part of the so-called Third World. As American power declines, the imperialist wars are continuing and tensions between the most powerful countries are escalating. Another global recession looms at the same time as a stable and comfortable life has become impossible even for most Americans to attain. Refugees are fleeing the worst dangers in their home countries, and are being met with inhumane treatment by the reactionary governments of the core imperialist nations. All of these capitalist crises are intertwined with the climate collapse that’s threatening the foundations of civilization.

The goals of the Paris climate agreement, which require reducing emissions by around 45 percent before 2030 so as to avoid a 1.5 degree Celsius warming, most definitely aren’t going to be met. Global greenhouse gas emissions hit a record high in 2018, indicating that we’ll be at 1.5 by 2030. The climate feedback loop will quickly turn this into 2 degrees in the following years, which will turn into somewhere between 3 and 5 degrees by 2100. It’s estimated that with just 2 degrees of warming, sea level rise will engulf 280 million people, earthquakes will kill 17 million, and over 200 million will die from droughts and famine.

Just ten years from now, this transition will be far enough along that the basic structures of capitalist society will no longer be stable. In June, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights issued a report which said that more than 120 million people could be forced into poverty by 2030 due to the destroyed property and resource scarcity that climate change-related disasters will cause. In response, more social services will be cut, society will become more militarized, and more immigrants will be deported, imprisoned, or left to die in disease-riddled concentration camps.

Such cruelties against the victims of climate change are realistic, and are all already being carried out because in a world that’s falling to pieces, the feeling of desperation drives a survival instinct that makes people devalue the lives of their fellow human beings. Capitalism, with its fixation on competition, is a key driver behind this impulse to exclude and eliminate the immigrants who seek to share in the West’s relative stability. This is why Philip Alston, the author of the U.N.’s June report, said that barring radical systemic change, “Human rights might not survive the coming upheaval.”

As the warming continues, increasing food and water scarcity, flooding, deadly heat waves, epidemics, and inequality will set off wars and civil unrest. Where stable states still exist, the prevailing paradigm will range from heightened government vigilance to outright martial law. Otherwise, borders will become less clearly defined and the existing governments will lose their power, making for a global version of the Middle East in the wake of the wars in Iraq and Syria. The vacuum will be filled with militant groups. In the Arab world these new monopolies on violence have been ISIS and Al Qaeda, and in North America they could easily become white supremacist paramilitaries.

None of this can be prevented by voting for Democrats, or changing one’s personal lifestyle, or participating in climate demonstrations that are sanctioned by the corporatocracy. The momentum of the climate’s destabilization is unstoppable, and the fascistic political forces that have emerged amid the crisis aren’t going away. However, my message with this essay isn’t to become apathetic in the face of what’s happening to us, but to embrace a worldview of realism that allows us to actually combat the problem.

We in the Western world must take guidance from the colonized people who are struggling for their liberation from imperial control and the capitalist carbon economy. Our goal should be not to reform capitalism, but to overthrow the capitalist centers of government and replace them with ecosocialist power structures. This is what the Chavistas are trying to do in Venezuela, which is moving towards an ecosocialist revolution where the country weans itself off from dependence on oil markets. Bolivia, whose socialist president Evo Morales has given the environment legal protections that are equivalent to human rights, provides further inspiration for the new systems that we’re capable of building.


The path to taking over the power of the state and seizing the means of production, as the socialists in these countries are trying to do, requires building mass movements that aren’t co-opted by the influence of the capitalist class. Our objectives need to be unambiguous: an end to capitalism and an end to all forms of imperialism, which entails decolonization.

The people of Venezuela and Bolivia are lucky to have been able to use electoral means to install a government that attempts to pursue these goals. In the U.S., where electoral politics are rigged against third parties and a deadly police state has been created, freedom will only be gained by working to usurp the authority of the capitalist state. India’s Maoist gurriellas (or the Naxalites) are doing this by taking territory away from their region’s government, as are Mexico’s communist Zapatistas. These groups are building strongholds for the larger movements to take down capitalism, which gain greater potential for victory the more that capitalism’s crises escalate; capitalist regimes that are under threat of being overthrown can already be found in Haiti and Honduras, whose U.S.-backed governments may well soon be ousted through sustained proletarian rebellions.

To replicate these liberation movements worldwide, we must stop denying the extremity of the crisis and fight capitalism with the knowledge that we’re fighting for our survival. To commit to their battle against India’s corporate-controlled government, the Naxalites have had to experience the desperation of living in a severely impoverished underclass that’s increasingly suffering from water shortages amid the climate crisis. We Westerners can’t be kept complacent by the fact that our conditions are marginally better than theirs.

In the coming years, we’re not going to be living out a scenario where capitalism changes itself into something sustainable. We’re counting down to the collapse of civilization’s current configuration and, in my view, all that can save us now is the construction of a new ecosocialist civilization in its place.

 

[Rainer Shea uses the written word to deconstruct establishment propaganda and to promote meaningful political action. His articles can also be found at Revolution Dispatch]

A 100 Trillion Dollar Storytelling Campaign

A 100 Trillion Dollar Storytelling Campaign

October 6, 2019

By Cory Morningstar

 

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

 

— Marilyn Buck

 

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

 

— Malcolm X

 

We Mean Business, April 2019 Newsletter

We Mean Business, April 2019 Newsletter

 

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

— Hiroyuki Hamada, artist

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

[Further reading: ACT IV: They Mean Business]

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

— Malcolm X

 

Volume I:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Volume II:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[ACT VII forthcoming]

 

 

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

The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg – for Consent: Natural Climate Manipulations  [Volume II, Act VI]

The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg – for Consent: Natural Climate Manipulations [Volume II, Act VI]

September 26, 2019

By Cory Morningstar

 

 

The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg – for Consent series has been written in two volumes. [Volume I: ACT IACT IIACT IIIACT IVACT VACT VIAddenda I] [Book form] [Volume II: An Object Lesson In SpectacleACT IACT IIACT IIIACT IVACT V]

 

“I’m convinced of my disagreement with the counterrevolution – imperialism – fascism – religions – stupidity – capitalism – and the whole gamut of bourgeois tricks – I wish to cooperate with the revolution in transforming the world into a classless one so that we can attain a better rhythm for the oppressed classes.”

 

— Frida Kahlo

 

“The oppressors do not favor promoting the community as a whole, but rather selected leaders.”

 

Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed

 

“Capitalism, a vicious system, does not merely seek to rip off our labor and resources but it seeks to confound our thinking. It seeks to make us think we’re thinking when in fact we’re not thinking but merely reacting to stimuli.”

 

Stokely Carmichael

 

September 20, 2019, Business for Nature, Twitter

September 20, 2019, Business for Nature, Twitter. Launched on July 2, 2019, the coalition founders are We Mean Business, the World Economic Forum, The Nature Conservancy, WWF, the Natural Capital Coalition, the World Resources Institute, the IUCN, The Food and Land Use Coalition, Confederation of Indian Industry, Entreprises pour l’Environnement (EpE), Tropical Forest Alliance, and the International Chamber of Commerce

 

Greta Thunberg’s video on natural climate solutions, done with George Monbiot, has reached more than 1 billion people in less than 24 hours.  More than a third of the events of Climate Week focus on nature-based solutions, demonstrating the huge amount of innovation and progress taking place on the ground.”

 

Nature4Climate, September 22, 2019

On September 19, 2019, a short film featuring Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot was launched in advance of the September 20 global climate strikes organized by GCCA NGOs. The film (trending and recommended on YouTube), emphasizing the urgency of funding “natural solutions”, was paid for by Conservation International and the *Food and Land Use Coalition, with “guidance” provided by Nature4Climate (The Nature Conservancy, We Mean Business, WWF, UN-REDD, et al.) and Natural Climate Solutions. [*Member foundations include ClimateWorks, the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, Good Energies, and Margaret Cargill.]

 

YouthWashing

Here, Greta Thunberg becomes the official face for, and of, corporate capture. The rebranding of REDD (the UN “reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation” market mechanism), and the coming New Deal for Nature – under the auspices and brand of “natural climate solutions”.

To understand how this transpired, we need to step back in time to April 3, 2019.

 

Business For Nature co-founders

Business For Nature co-founders. Further reading: The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg – for Consent: They Mean Business [Volume II, Act IV]

September 19, 2019, Callum Grieve, co-founder, We Mean Business, Twitter

September 19, 2019, Callum Grieve, co-founder, We Mean Business, Twitter. Further reading: The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg – for Consent: The Behavioural Change Project “To Change Everything” [Volume II, Act V]

“It all sounds so simple and reassuring. No one needs to change anything. The airline industry can continue to expand. The oil industry can continue drilling. We can stop worrying and leave it to the experts. Just a few techno-fixes, and nature will solve climate change for us. Obviously, this is bullshit. It’s a form of climate denial – pretending that we can address climate breakdown without even talking about keeping fossil fuels in the ground.”

 

March 3, 2019, Chris Lang, The REDD Monitor, “Natural Climate Solutions: ‘It really is time that governments stopped trying to find more ways to offset their fossil fuel emissions'”

April 3, 2019 – The Launch

Illustration: Al Boardman

Illustration: Al Boardman

April 3, 2019. The launch of the Natural Climate Solutions project by George Monbiot and The Guardian

April 3, 2019. The launch of the Natural Climate Solutions project by George Monbiot and The Guardian

 

On April 3, 2019, The Guardian published an open letter entitled “A Natural Solution to the Climate Disaster – Climate and ecological crises can be tackled by restoring forests and other valuable ecosystems, say scientists and activists”.

The letter, written by The Guardian’s George Monbiot, is co-signed by establishment-endorsed eco-celebs Greta Thunberg, Naomi Klein, Bill McKibben, and other “leaders”/celebrities associated with the liberal climate “movement”. The “movement” that evades all systemic drivers of climate change and ecological devastation (militarism, capitalism, imperialism, colonialism, patriarchy, etc.).

The letter –  addressed to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), governments and NGOs – is republished on the Natural Climate Solutions website.

Launched on April 3, 2019 (coinciding with The Guardian coverage), the Natural Climate Solutions project was created “for the promotion of an important and exciting environmental initiative, led by journalist and author George Monbiot.” [Source]

The said mission of Natural Climate Solutions (website created March 15, 2019) is to “catalyse global enthusiasm for drawing down carbon by restoring ecosystems: the single most undervalued and underfunded tool for climate mitigation.”[Emphasis added]

In real life, this mission to “catalyse global enthusiasm” effectively serves the United Nations carbon market mechanism UN-REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation). In addition, it is a construct being created that will build the acquiescence required for the coming “New Deal For Nature” to be adopted in 2020. That is, the privatization, commodification, and objectification of nature, global in scale. That is, emerging markets and land acquisitions. That is, “payments for ecosystem services”. That is the financialization of nature, the corporate coup d’état of the commons that has finally come to wait on our doorstep.

Mark R. Tercek is the former president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy stepping down June 7, 2019. [A #MeToo scandal engulfs The Nature Conservancy]. He is co-author of the book Nature’s Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature

Mark R. Tercek is the former president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy stepping down June 7, 2019. [A #MeToo scandal engulfs The Nature Conservancy]. He is co-author of the book Nature’s Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature

[A #MeToo scandal engulfs The Nature Conservancy].

To be clear, as this research will demonstrate, the very same NGOs which set the Natural Capital agenda and protocols (via the Natural Capital Coalition, which has absorbed TEEB) – with the Nature Conservancy and We Mean Business at the helm, are also the architects of the term “natural climate solutions”.

Monbiot has consistently and publicly voiced disapproval for “putting a price on nature”. [One such example: May 15, 2018]. Yet, consider that Monbiot has never utilized his influential platform to oppose the coming “New Deal For Nature”.

The said purpose of Natural Climate Solutions is to “direct public attention towards this issue and champion the work of others.” [Emphasis added]

The “work of others” that Natural Climate Solutions seeks to direct the public’s attention to takes one to the “Our Allies” page:

There are several wonderful organisations already working hard to highlight and implement Natural Climate Solutions. Please follow these links and support their efforts.” [Emphasis added]

The allies (“wonderful organizations”) that Natural Climate Solution highlights [1], which it encourages people to follow and support, include many at the helm of the “New Deal For Nature” such as WWF, Conservation International, Avaaz, Greenpeace, Nature Needs Half, etc.

Photograph by Ron Poling

Photograph by Ron Poling

 

“Conservation: The Quiet Spread of Imperialism.”

 

— Mordecai Ogada

Here, we find perhaps the most grotesque aspect of the Monbiot/Guardian project of all. The deliberate endeavour to rally support for and redirect citizens to WWF. As both Monbiot and The Guardian are fully aware, WWF bears responsibility for decades of human rights violations including torture, rape and murder, a direct result of “conservation” schemes. In March 2019 in part 1 of an investigative series, BuzzFeed News revealed that WWF, “funds, equips, and works directly with anti-poaching forces that have beaten, tortured, sexually assaulted, and killed people living near wildlife parks across Asia and Africa.” Part 4 of the investigation (published July 11, 2019) reported that “WWF-Backed Guards Raped Pregnant Women And Tortured Villagers At A Wildlife Park Funded By The US Government.”

Such “conservation projects” have been consistently displacing Indigenous peoples under the guise of conservation while inflicting misery. This has been meticulously documented by Survival International and others. By presenting WWF as an “ally” amongst many “wonderful organizations” Monbiot demonstrates a complete disregard for the decades of work by conservationists such as Mordecai Ogada, Noga Shanee, Reclaim Conservation, and Stephen Corry, executive director of Survival International. By extension, Monbiot turns a willful blind eye to the plight of Indigenous peoples who have been separated from the land they defend. Whose lives and tribal communities have been completely destroyed by these very organizations to which Monbiot directs his followers.

 

 

[Watch: WWF – Silence of the Pandas, © Wilfried Huismann, Germany 2011]

[Further reading: The Big Conservation Lie, The Untold Story of Wildlife Conservation in Kenya, John Mbaria & Mordecai Ogada, 2017]

 

Natural Climate Solutions allies

Natural Climate Solutions allies

 

“Guardian joins growing chorus for natural climate solutions –N4C is delighted that the Guardian and in particular George Monbiot has catalyzed so many diverse voices to champion the cause of natural climate solutions”

 

– Nature4Climate News, Guardian joins growing chorus for natural climate solutions, April 3, 2019

Upon its launch on April 3, 2019, the Natural Climate Solutions project had 29 allies (today it lists 48). The most important one to look at, to demonstrate the leveraging of market solutions via the branding and terminology of “natural climate solutions”, is the first ally listed: Nature4Climate, an initiative created by The Nature Conservancy.

Nature4Climate

April 3, 2019, "Guardian joins growing chorus for natural climate solutions." Promotion of Monbiot's "Natural Climate Solutions", by Natural Climate Solutions "ally" Nature4Climate. Prior to April 3, 2019, the branding of "natural climate solutions" was already well-established by institutions, corporations and NGOs. Demonstrating solidarity to Nature4Climate, this tweet was "liked" by Monbiot

April 3, 2019, “Guardian joins growing chorus for natural climate solutions.” Promotion of Monbiot’s “Natural Climate Solutions”, by Natural Climate Solutions “ally” Nature4Climate. Prior to April 3, 2019, the branding of “natural climate solutions” was already well-established by institutions, corporations and NGOs. Demonstrating solidarity to Nature4Climate, this tweet was “liked” by Monbiot

 

April 4, 2019, Conservation International (CI) expresses its support for "natural climate solutions".  Fast facts: 2018 revenues for CI were in access of 145 million USD (145,013,840.) Wes Bush, CEO of Northrup Grumman, one of the world's largest weapons manufacturers, serves on the board of Conservation International, while Rob Walton, from the Walmart empire, serves as chairman of the executive committee. [2018 Form 990]

April 4, 2019, Conservation International (CI) expresses its support for “natural climate solutions”.  Fast facts: 2018 revenues for CI were in access of 145 million USD (145,013,840.) Wes Bush, CEO of Northrup Grumman, one of the world’s largest weapons manufacturers, serves on the board of Conservation International, while Rob Walton, from the Walmart empire, serves as chairman of the executive committee. [2018 Form 990]

 

Conservation International, A New Deal for Nature: "Countries are in the process of negotiating a new global biodiversity framework through the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which has been called a “New Deal for Nature.” This pact, expected to be agreed in Beijing in late 2020, will lay out the global strategy for protecting nature through 2030." Identified in the Level 2 Actions for "mainstreaming biodiversity" is "incorporating the value of biodiversity into national accounting processes". [Source]

Conservation International, A New Deal for Nature: “Countries are in the process of negotiating a new global biodiversity framework through the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which has been called a “New Deal for Nature.” This pact, expected to be agreed in Beijing in late 2020, will lay out the global strategy for protecting nature through 2030.” Identified in the Level 2 Actions for “mainstreaming biodiversity” is “incorporating the value of biodiversity into national accounting processes”. [Source]

The Nature Conservancy’s Nature4Climate

Nature4Climate partners

Nature4Climate partners

 

Launched on June 20, 2018, (on the first day of the two-day Ministerial on Climate Action) as a five-year initiative, the Nature4Climate initiative was created as an instrument for strategic communications to escalate the “solutions” (i.e. market solutions) sought by the Nature Conservancy, WWF, We Mean Business et al:

“Nature4Climate (N4C) is a new campaigning vehicle which is supported by a multi-stakeholder coalition. Its purpose is to use strategic communications to drive action on natural climate solutions.”

“Nature4Climate (N4C) is an initiative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN-REDD, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Conservation International (CI), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Woods Hole Research Center, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), World Resources Institute (WRI), We Mean Business (WMB) and WWF that aims to increase investment and action on natural climate solutions in support of the 2015 Paris climate agreement. The N4C partners work together to catalyze partnerships between governments, civil society, business and investors that use nature-based solutions to climate change.” [Source]

Here, we can add that We Mean Business (co-founder of the Nature4Climate initiative as stated above) was formed with the assistance of both Greenpeace and Purpose, the public relations arm of Avaaz specializing in behavioural change. [Further reading: They Mean Business, Volume II, Act IV].

“We bring voices from governments, IGOs, NGOs, and business – underpinned by a steering group with communications and advocacy representation currently from CBD, CI, TNC, the UNDP, WHRC, WRI and WWF.”

The NGOs and institutions represented on the Nature4Climate steering committee include CBD (United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity), CI (Conservation International), TNC (The Nature Conservancy), the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), WHRC (Woods Hole Research Center), WRI (the World Resources Institute) and WWF (World Wildlife Foundation). All of the aforementioned are leading “natural capital” architects and advocates of the “New Deal For Nature” – that is, the financialization of nature, global in scale.

“Countries are in the process of negotiating a new global biodiversity framework through the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which has been called a “New Deal for Nature.” This pact, expected to be agreed in Beijing in late 2020, will lay out the global strategy for protecting nature through 2030. Conservation International will contribute our expertise to this process, to ensure the recognition of the value of nature for all aspects of human well-being.”

 

— DEAL FOR NATURE, Conservation International and the post-2020 global biodiversity framework [Source][Emphasis added]

Here again, we have the same high-level institutions, NGOs and individuals corralling millions of people toward a fourth industrial revolution sought by the ruling classes. A “New Climate Economy“, largely targeting the Global South. A new era of “green” colonialism, under the guise of saving the planet.

“It’s impossible for a white person to believe in capitalism and not believe in racism. You can’t have capitalism without racism.”

 

Malcolm X, 1964, speech at the Militant Labor Forum Hall, New York City, May 29, 1964 [In response to the Harlem “Hate-Gang” scare]

Nature4Climate Voices, Paul Polman: served in senior leadership roles at both Nestlé and Procter & Gamble prior to becoming CEO of Unilever (2009-2018), B Team chair, chair of the International Chamber of Commerce, appointed to the U.N. Secretary General’s High-level Panel responsible for developing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), founding member of the World Business & Sustainable Development Commission, U.N.-appointed SDG Advocate, leading member of Financing Capitalism for the Long-Term (FCLT), the Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism, the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate and the Food and Land Use Coalition (which he chairs), counsellor and chair of the Global Advisory Board of One Young World (co-founded by “B Team expert” David Jones), named an Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) for services to business in 2018, a non-executive director of Dow since 2010. Stern also serves as commissioner to the Energy Transitions Commission and has been selected to serve as a One Planet Lab member, the aforementioned high-level advisory group steered by the French Government. [Further reading: The New Green Deal is the Trojan Horse for the Financialization of Nature, Volume I, Act V and A Design to Win — A Multi-Billion Dollar Investment, Volume II, Act I]

Nature4Climate Voices, Paul Polman: served in senior leadership roles at both Nestlé and Procter & Gamble prior to becoming CEO of Unilever (2009-2018), B Team chair, chair of the International Chamber of Commerce, appointed to the U.N. Secretary General’s High-level Panel responsible for developing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), founding member of the World Business & Sustainable Development Commission, U.N.-appointed SDG Advocate, leading member of Financing Capitalism for the Long-Term (FCLT), the Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism, the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate and the Food and Land Use Coalition (which he chairs), counsellor and chair of the Global Advisory Board of One Young World (co-founded by “B Team expert” David Jones), named an Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) for services to business in 2018, a non-executive director of Dow since 2010. Stern also serves as commissioner to the Energy Transitions Commission and has been selected to serve as a One Planet Lab member, the aforementioned high-level advisory group steered by the French Government. [Further reading: The New Green Deal is the Trojan Horse for the Financialization of Nature, Volume I, Act V and A Design to Win — A Multi-Billion Dollar Investment, Volume II, Act I]

Nature4Climate Voices, Christiana Figueres: former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) from 2010 to 2016, vice-chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, ClimateWorks Board Member, World Bank Climate Leader, B Team leader, leader of Mission2020, and board member of both the World Resources Institute and Unilever. Figueres is also identified as a “distinguished member” of Conservation International. [Further reading: To Plunder What Little Remains: It’s Going To Be Tremendous, Volume II, Act III]

Nature4Climate Voices, Christiana Figueres: former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) from 2010 to 2016, vice-chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, ClimateWorks Board Member, World Bank Climate Leader, B Team leader, leader of Mission2020, and board member of both the World Resources Institute and Unilever. Figueres is also identified as a “distinguished member” of Conservation International. [Further reading: To Plunder What Little Remains: It’s Going To Be Tremendous, Volume II, Act III]

Nature4Climate Voices, Nicolas Stern: international advisor to the Global CCS Institute, co-chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate overseeing The New Climate Economy, chair of SYSTEMIQ board of directors, former World Bank chief economist. [Further reading: A Design to Win — A Multi-Billion Dollar Investment, Volume II, Act I]

Nature4Climate Voices, Nicolas Stern: international advisor to the Global CCS Institute, co-chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate overseeing The New Climate Economy, chair of SYSTEMIQ board of directors, former World Bank chief economist. [Further reading: A Design to Win — A Multi-Billion Dollar Investment, Volume II, Act I]

Nature4Climate Voices, Achim Steiner: UNDP Administrator, and former advisory board member of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB - now the Natural Climate Coalition, i.e. the financialization of nature), voice for the 2009 Green New Deal [Further reading: They Mean Business [Volume II, Act IV]

Nature4Climate Voices, Achim Steiner: UNDP Administrator, and former advisory board member of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB – now the Natural Climate Coalition, i.e. the financialization of nature), voice for the 2009 Green New Deal [Further reading: They Mean Business [Volume II, Act IV]

 

April 3, 2019: Nature4Climate promoting Monbiot's project. Demonstrating solidarity, Monbiot "liked" the tweet

April 3, 2019: Nature4Climate promoting Monbiot’s project. Demonstrating solidarity, Monbiot “liked” the tweet

 

August 30, 2019: Delivering on the Paris Agreement. From the paper This Changes Nothing: The Paris Agreement to Ignore Reality authored by Clive L. Spash, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna, Austria: "Unfortunately, many environmental non-governmental organisations have bought into this illogical reasoning and justify their support as being pragmatic. Neoliberal language is rife across their reports and policy recommendations and their adoption of natural capital, ecosystems services, offsetting and market trading. These new environmental pragmatists believe, without justification, that the financialisation of Nature will help prevent its destruction."

August 30, 2019: Delivering on the Paris Agreement. From the paper This Changes Nothing: The Paris Agreement to Ignore Reality authored by Clive L. Spash, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna, Austria: “Unfortunately, many environmental non-governmental organisations have bought into this illogical reasoning and justify their support as being pragmatic. Neoliberal language is rife across their reports and policy recommendations and their adoption of natural capital, ecosystems services, offsetting and market trading. These new environmental pragmatists believe, without justification, that the financialisation of Nature will help prevent its destruction.”

 

April 3, 2019: Justin Adams promote Monbiot's project on the morning of its launch hashtag: #theforgottensolution

April 3, 2019: Justin Adams promote Monbiot’s project on the morning of its launch hashtag: #theforgottensolution

 

One of the first individuals to promote Monbiot’s Natural Climate Solutions on the day of its launch was Justin Adams. Adams joined The World Economic Forum to lead the Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA) [2] in November 2018. [Nature Conservancy, Our People: “Executive Director, Tropical Forest Alliance (Currently seconded to the TFA from The Nature Conservancy)]. Prior to the TFA, Adams spent five years as the Global Managing Director for Lands at the Nature Conservancy where he launched and led all the organisation’s work on Natural Climate Solutions and set up the nature4climate partnership.” Adams served as an advisor to the World Bank from 2012 to 2014 supporting the design and fundraising for the $300M BioCarbon Fund. [Source][Bio] The first initiative launched by TFA 2020 was the Africa Palm Oil initiative, currently ongoing, targeted at the development and implementation of regional principles for “responsible” palm oil development in West and Central Africa. [Source]

Here we must add that there is no such thing as “responsible palm oil” at industrial scale. Almost 20 years ago (2001), WWF and partners began designing the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). It launched in 2004. Yet, in the past 25 years as much as 76 million acres of forest in Indonesia alone has been cut down for palm oil plantations. In 2013, Mongabay cited the global deforestation accredited to palm oil at 136 million acres. Now it moves to encroach on and decimate Africa. RSPO is just one of many billion dollar certification schemes initiated by WWF. Certification is a means to pay to destroy – under the guise of sustainability. It is a lie. The global palm oil industry (production at scale) is not and can never be sustainable.

The Nature Conservancy, Nature 4Climate and “The Forgotten Solution”

February 17, 2016: "The Forgotten Climate Solution", "Natural Climate Solutions", The Nature Conservancy

February 17, 2016: “The Forgotten Climate Solution”, “Natural Climate Solutions”, The Nature Conservancy

 

In 2018, Nature4Climate launched the “The Forgotten Solution”(conceptualized in 2016, see image above) – a glossy advertising campaign featuring a Hollywood-esque movie trailer. Featuring its own newsroom, The Forgotten Solutions website utilizes the 350.org font that has proven to resonate with the public.

“THE FORGOTTEN SOLUTION (2018) – Official Trailer [HD] – Movietrailers” [Running time: 1m:18s]

Corporations, institutions and NGOs promoting “The Forgotten Solutions” include Connect4Climate (the World Bank), UN-REDD+, WBCSD, We Mean Business, UNREDD+, the Global Landscapes Forum, Shell, the Ford Foundation, and billionaire Richard Branson (The B Team, We Mean Business), to name but a few.

September 3, 2018, Global Landscapes Forum. During the closing remarks of the Global Landscapes Forum on December 9, 2018, at COP24, Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace International stressed that in addition to shifting global focus from the oil and transportation sectors to land and forests, additional co-operation was required to reach consensus on the New Deal for Nature.[Further reading: The House is On Fire! & the 100 Trillion Dollar Rescue, Volume I, ACT VI] The GLF was formed in 2013 by the World Bank, the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the United Nations Environment Programme

September 3, 2018, Global Landscapes Forum. During the closing remarks of the Global Landscapes Forum on December 9, 2018, at COP24, Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace International stressed that in addition to shifting global focus from the oil and transportation sectors to land and forests, additional co-operation was required to reach consensus on the New Deal for Nature.[Further reading: The House is On Fire! & the 100 Trillion Dollar Rescue, Volume I, ACT VI] The GLF was formed in 2013 by the World Bank, the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the United Nations Environment Programme

 

September 8, 2018, Connect4Climate (World Bank)

September 8, 2018, Connect4Climate (World Bank)

 

September 11, 2018, The Ford Foundation promoting both "natural climate solutions" and "the forgotten solution"

September 11, 2018, The Ford Foundation promoting both “natural climate solutions” and “the forgotten solution”

 

December 10, 2018, Achim Steiner promotes the "Forgotten Solutions". Steiner will appear this week at the Social Good Summit (founded and/or financed by the UN, Purpose, Gates Foundation, etc.) with Greta Thunberg and Christiana Figueres. Steiner, UNDP Administrator is a former advisory board member of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB). TEEB, initiated in 2008, and officially launched in 2012, hosted by UNEP and backed by the European Commission and countries including Germany, Norway, and the United Kingdom, has since been absorbed/rebranded into the Natural Capital Coalition. The Natural Capital Coalition is working with the world’s most powerful corporations and institutions for the implementation of the financialization of nature.]

December 10, 2018, Achim Steiner promotes the “Forgotten Solutions”. Steiner will appear this week at the Social Good Summit (founded and/or financed by the UN, Purpose, Gates Foundation, etc.) with Greta Thunberg and Christiana Figueres. Steiner, UNDP Administrator is a former advisory board member of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB). TEEB, initiated in 2008, and officially launched in 2012, hosted by UNEP and backed by the European Commission and countries including Germany, Norway, and the United Kingdom, has since been absorbed/rebranded into the Natural Capital Coalition. The Natural Capital Coalition is working with the world’s most powerful corporations and institutions for the implementation of the financialization of nature.]

 

December 11, 2018, We Mean Business, promoting We Mean Business co-founder, WBCSD: "Bring natural climate solutions into your business today" #TheForgottenSolution

December 11, 2018, We Mean Business, promoting We Mean Business co-founder, WBCSD: “Bring natural climate solutions into your business today” #TheForgottenSolution

 

December 11, 2018, Shell, WBCSD, "the forgotten solution" as promoted by We Mean Business

December 11, 2018, Shell, WBCSD, “the forgotten solution” as promoted by We Mean Business

 

December 11, 2018, Justin Adams for The Nature Conservancy, as promoted by We Mean Business

December 11, 2018, Justin Adams for The Nature Conservancy, as promoted by We Mean Business

 

December 12, 2018, UN-REDD+

December 12, 2018, UN-REDD+

 

June 28, 2019, Richard Branson promoting the celebrity-endorsed "Forgotten Solution". The utilization of celebrity, fetishized in the West, is a much-used tool as a means to expand capital, build brand recognition and break through market resistance

June 28, 2019, Richard Branson promoting the celebrity-endorsed “Forgotten Solution”. The utilization of celebrity, fetishized in the West, is a much-used tool as a means to expand capital, build brand recognition and break through market resistance

  • Nature4Climate partners

One of the first institutions to highlight Monbiot’s Natural Climate Solutions launch (April 3, 2019) was the Food and Land Use Coalition. This coalition was initiated under the Business and Sustainable Development Commission leadership led by Paul Polman, former Unilever CEO, and Mark Malloch-Brown, former UN Deputy Secretary-General and Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) who conceptualized the International Crisis Group in 1993 (with Mort Abramowitz), where he serves as chair. Member foundations include ClimateWorks, the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, Good Energies, and Margaret Cargill. [Source][Board] [Further reading: Controlling the Narrative,Volume II, Act II]

The Food and Land Use Coalition is supported by partners, including the Business and Sustainable Development Commission (housed at SYSTEMIQ), the EAT Foundation, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), and the New Climate Economy (housed at World Resources Institute). [Source] SYSTEMIQ, is advancing the blended finance vehicle (leveraging public funds for private investments into emerging markets) for the Climate Finance Partnership.

April 3, 2018, Food and Land Use Coalition promoting the freshly launched "Natural Climate Solutions" campaign and website. Tagged users included SYSTEMIQ, EAT, New Climate Economy, SDSN, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) WBCSD, IIASA, World Resources Institute, Unilever, and Yara International

April 3, 2018, Food and Land Use Coalition promoting the freshly launched “Natural Climate Solutions” campaign and website. Tagged users included SYSTEMIQ, EAT, New Climate Economy, SDSN, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) WBCSD, IIASA, World Resources Institute, Unilever, and Yara International

 

November 27, 2018, Food and Land Use Coalition congratulating We Mean Business co-founder, WBCSD, on winning an award for its film on "natural climate solutions"

November 27, 2018, Food and Land Use Coalition congratulating We Mean Business co-founder, WBCSD, on winning an award for its film on “natural climate solutions”

 

December 3, 2018: Food and Land Use Coalition promoting "natural climate solutions" and "The Forgotten Solution"

December 3, 2018: Food and Land Use Coalition promoting “natural climate solutions” and “The Forgotten Solution”

 

January 27, 2019, Food and Land Use Coalition promoting "natural climate solutions"

January 27, 2019, Food and Land Use Coalition promoting “natural climate solutions”

 

As the corporate social media accounts demonstrate, the branding of the term “natural climate solutions” was already well established prior to Monbiot’s project launched on April 3, 2019, with a surge in its promotion in December 2018 for COP24 (following the launch of Nature4Climate in June 2018). In fact, the term was being promoted by The Nature Conservancy in 2016 to highlight a parallel revenue stream generated from carbon offset permits.

In the 2016 video below by The Nature Conservancy, Justin Adams remarks:

In many other parts of the world you have forest dependent communities, you have indigenous communities, who know very well how to protect their natural environment. They see the natural world and their own world as much more integrated.”

The Nature Conservancy, February 8, 2016 [Running time: 4m:5s]:

The question here is why those in the Global South should be expected to retain their critical roles as protectors of the natural world, simply because the Western societies are too unaware, or too insatiable, to do so. The “other” – are expected to continue protecting their natural environment so the white man in the West can continue to pollute. We can also observe that these communities, in many parts of the world Adams speaks of, do not inflict war, displacement or any misery whatsoever on other communities in the world.

November 24, 2017, The term "natural climate solutions" in reference to the "Natural Climate Solutions" study, published on October 16, 2017 and introduced by The Nature Conservancy the same day. The study suggests that "nature's mitigation potential is estimated at 11.3 billion tons in 2030—the equivalent of stopping burning oil globally." Here holds the promise for corporate polluters: the continued burning of fossil fuels, coupled with land acquisition (theft) via carbon markets/offsets - all under the guise of stewardship

November 24, 2017, The term “natural climate solutions” in reference to the “Natural Climate Solutions” study, published on October 16, 2017 and introduced by The Nature Conservancy the same day. The study suggests that “nature’s mitigation potential is estimated at 11.3 billion tons in 2030—the equivalent of stopping burning oil globally.” Here holds the promise for corporate polluters: the continued burning of fossil fuels, coupled with land acquisition (theft) via carbon markets/offsets – all under the guise of stewardship

The Big Sell

The Monbiot Natural Climate Solutions “plan” (“by supporting the efforts of others, we want to help bring together two issues that have mostly been considered in isolation: climate breakdown and ecological breakdown”) lends itself as a vehicle for “herding cats”. This is an expression attributed by Forbes, to the efforts of the GCCA alliance in 2014. It was used in reference to the method in which GCCA mobilized the populace for 2014 the People’s Climate March. A march orchestrated to serve the interests of those that financed and organized it (the trial version of what we witnessed on September 20, 2019), with the Rockefeller Brothers Fund at the helm. The herding is essential in order to attain acquiescence and, even demand, for something so ugly it requires the utilization of extraordinarily beautiful imagery, holistic linguistics, coupled with celebrity power, Hollywood trailers, slick marketing and emotive imagery to bring it into policy. Natural Climate Solutions deliberately stays at arm’s length from any direct association with a “New Deal For Nature” (the financialization in nature to be implemented in 2020) and instead sends the new supporters it “herds” into the clutches of the big “conservation” NGOs that are privatizing nature. From the Natural Climate Solutions website:

Our plan is to generate the publicity and enthusiasm required to bring this issue to the front of people’s minds. In doing so, we hope to catalyse and accelerate the work of the excellent organisations already operating in this field.”

 

—Natural Climate Solutions website [Emphasis added]

Like magic, with the sleight of hand, the very corporate term “natural capital solutions”, is transformed into the benevolent “natural climate solutions”. In the transition from the corporate boardroom, into the public realm, the two terms are thus entwined and at once largely indistinguishable. What we have is a rebranding exercise. Thus we have George Monbiot, The World Bank, the World Economic Forum, the UN REDD Programme, The Nature Conservancy (via Nature4Climate), Conservation International, Natural Capital Partners, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), WWF – all sharing the identical branded term.

Here it is imperative to highlight the fact that Conservation International, WWF, IUCN, WBCSD, are all founding members of the Natural Capital Coalition. [Natural Capital Coalition founders]

The architects of the financialization of nature enjoy the penthouse suite of what constitutes a five-star de facto clearing house for institutions, corporations and “conservation” NGOs that serve capital.

 

July 29, 2019, World Economic Form (now partnered with the United Nations) promoting #NaturalClimateSolutions

July 29, 2019, World Economic Form (now partnered with the United Nations) promoting #NaturalClimateSolutions

 

September 18, 2019, World Economic Forum, partner to the United Nations and Voice For The Planet, promoting the #NewDealForNature (created by WEF and WWF)

September 18, 2019, World Economic Forum, partner to the United Nations and Voice For The Planet, promoting the #NewDealForNature (created by WEF and WWF)

 

September 8, 2018: James Lloyd promoting the People's Climate March in tandem with "The Forgotten Solution"

September 8, 2018: James Lloyd promoting the People’s Climate March in tandem with “The Forgotten Solution”

 

September 8, 2018, GCCA/TckTckTck promoting "The Forgotten Solution"

September 8, 2018, GCCA/TckTckTck promoting “The Forgotten Solution”

 

August 24, 2018: James Lloyd: "Scientists call on California governor to OK carbon credits ..."

August 24, 2018: James Lloyd: “Scientists call on California governor to OK carbon credits …”

 

James Lloyd , project lead at Nature4Climate and Natural Climate Solutions stakeholder manager at The Nature Conservancy, Twitter, April 3, 2019

James Lloyd , project lead at Nature4Climate and Natural Climate Solutions stakeholder manager at The Nature Conservancy, Twitter, April 3, 2019

 

September 19, 2019: James Lloyd , project lead at Nature4Climate and Natural Climate Solutions stakeholder manager at The Nature Conservancy, pinned Tweet

September 19, 2019: James Lloyd , project lead at Nature4Climate and Natural Climate Solutions stakeholder manager at The Nature Conservancy, pinned Tweet

 

April 18, 2019, Natural Climate Solutions, The Forgotten Solution

April 18, 2019, Natural Climate Solutions, The Forgotten Solution

 

The Art of Playing Obtuse

 

April 3, 2019, Twitter

April 3, 2019, Twitter

 

On the first day of the launch, Monbiot announces: “We’ve launched a website explaining #theforgottensolution and directing people to the wonderful organizations seeking to help nature to help stop #ClimateBreakdown.”

Yet nature doesn’t need man’s “help” to “help stop climate breakdown”, she simply needs to be left alone. Released from the corporate chokehold killing her. And she certainly does not need help from egregious “conservation” NGOs notorious for land acquisitions (in servitude to corporations and ruling classes), and displacement of Indigenous peoples which has been long documented.

April 3, 2019, Twitter

April 3, 2019, Twitter

 

April 3, 2019, Twitter

April 3, 2019, Twitter

 

Natural Climate Solutions google search – which is which?

Natural Climate Solutions google search – which is which?

 

Natural Climate Solutions google search – which is which?

Natural Climate Solutions google search – which is which?

 

Following the April 3, 2019 launch of “Natural Climate Solutions” Monbiot is challenged by a person who understands the intent behind the branding of “natural climate solutions” by institutions, corporations and “conservation” NGOs that serve capital. Monbiot, a recognized influencer with global reach, responds as follows: “Just because some people hijack this approach for their own ends does not invalidate it. It’s like saying that because David Cameron cynically promoted his Big Society as a substitute for government, all community projects “played into his hands”. Perspective please.”

The individual who challenged Monbiot responds: “Some people”? You’re evidently unaware that this concept has already been thoroughly co-opted by the WBCSD, Shell, Equinor, the International Emissions Trading Association, International Paper etc.”

Monbiot’s response? – “All the more reason to reclaim it from them.”

Monbiot’s weak defense does not hold water.

This would be akin to anti-imperialists “reclaiming” the term “responsibility to protect” – to protect citizens of targeted states. While at the same time, US-led NATO forces are preparing to annihilate a sovereign state for resources – building consent by using the identical term. If this were to take place, the said “anti-imperialists” repetition of this term would expose them as fraudulent, as individuals deliberately in servitude to empire.

“As the cognitive linguist George Lakoff points out, when you use the frames and language of your opponents, you don’t persuade them to adopt your point of view. Instead you adopt theirs, while strengthening their resistance to your objectives.”

 

George Monbiot, The UK government wants to put a price on nature – but that will destroy it, May 15, 2018

In the same article cited above, Monbiot writes: “…Tony Juniper – who in other respects is an admirable defender of the living world – says he will use his new post as head of campaigns at WWF to promote the natural capital agenda.”]

Today, Monbiot is essentially herding the populace to WWF. The most important campaign of both WWF and Conservation International is the “New Deal For Nature” (also marketed as “Voices or the Planet”). Finance, corporations, government, industry, institutions (UN, IPBES, CBD), and those at the helm of the non-profit industrial understands exactly what it is. Everyone that is, except the public.

Trondheim, Norway, 2 July, 2019WWF issued a rallying cry for an urgent New Deal for Nature and People for halting biodiversity loss by 2030 at conference for Biodiversity in Trondheim Norway which starts today. [Emphasis added]

Monbiot informs his audience that “new scientific studies reveal #rewilding has a much greater potential for carbon drawdown than almost anyone imaged” – yet Monbiot did not call his project “Rewilding the Earth” or “Rewilding for Climate” or any other name with the word rewilding.

“The Panda Bare”, on Twitter, further elucidates: “The vast majority of what is typically described as #NaturalClimateSolutions” has got nothing to do with rewilding – in fact massive areas of new plantation.”

April 3, 2019, Twitter

April 3, 2019, Twitter

 

As the launch day wears on, Monbiot again reiterates his desire for people to follow the groups he lists. He writes: “Usually writing and thinking about #ClimateBreakdown is pretty soul-destroying. But these new discoveries thrill and delight me. Please help us to spread the message, by RTing this thread, directing people to the site and encouraging them to support the group we list.” Tagged users include Greta Thunberg, Margaret Atwood, Philip Pullman, Michael Mann, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, RSPB, Tim Christopherson, and Nature4Climate.

September 13, 2019, Twitter: Tim Christophersen coordinates the work on forests and climate change at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), including UNEP’s role within the UN-REDD Programme, a collaborative initiative of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and UNEP

September 13, 2019, Twitter: Tim Christophersen coordinates the work on forests and climate change at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), including UNEP’s role within the UN-REDD Programme, a collaborative initiative of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and UNEP

 

April 3, 2019, George Monbiot, Twitter

April 3, 2019, George Monbiot, Twitter

 

April 23, 2019, Natural Capital Solutions promoting "The Forgotten Solution"

April 23, 2019, Natural Capital Solutions promoting “The Forgotten Solution”

 

On social media (Twitter) Monbiot feigns aggravation that, despite a concerted effort working with a public relations firm, his campaign is being ignored by broadcast media. This is fairly ironic considering his access to and subsequent exposure from The Guardian alone. It also reveals the privilege and entitlement held by white liberal “activists” who have been deemed safe for public consumption by the establishment. Most legitimate grassroots groups are given zero exposure for new campaigns by mainstream media, let alone colossal exposure by The Guardian.

April 3, 2019, George Monbiot, Twitter

April 3, 2019, George Monbiot, Twitter

 

April 3, 2019, George Monbiot, Twitter

April 3, 2019, George Monbiot, Twitter

 

Other tweets accompanying the launch included one in which Monbiot tagged “some wonderful people whom I think will love this approach:” who could help spread the word. The tagged individuals (influencers) included Caroline Lucas, Chris Packham, Avaaz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Gore, Mark Lynas, Russell Brand, and Ai Weiwei. If only we could all be as environmentally conscious as Leonardo DiCaprio, especially those in the Global South, perhaps then we could save the planet. [Further reading: The Age of Storytelling, Volume II, ACT II]

April 3, 2019: The tagged individuals (influencers) included Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Gore, and Avaaz. Avaaz/ Purpose: utilizing the behavioural economics of hatred to wage wars on sovereign states in servitude to empire, while deploying emotive campaigns to "save the planet". The fact that war is a key driver of both ecological destruction and climate change appears to be lost on it's followers

April 3, 2019: The tagged individuals (influencers) included Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Gore, and Avaaz. Avaaz/ Purpose: utilizing the behavioural economics of hatred to wage wars on sovereign states in servitude to empire, while deploying emotive campaigns to “save the planet”. The fact that war is a key driver of both ecological destruction and climate change appears to be lost on it’s followers

  • March 20, 2018: The Nature Conservancy "working hard on 'natural climate solutions'" with the McDonald's corporation

The Natural Climate Solutions Project

The first "follows" chosen by for the Natural Climate Solutions Twitter account

The first “follows” chosen by for the Natural Climate Solutions Twitter account

 

The first “follows” chosen by for the Natural Climate Solutions Twitter account are its three founders (inclusive of Monbiot who is #1). The next accounts chosen to follow are Wetlands International (#4), followed by Nature4Climate (#5) and the aforementioned James Lloyd (#6), the project lead at Nature4Climate and Natural Climate Solutions stakeholder manager at The Nature Conservancy. [“Working at the interface of strategic communications and external affairs for nature and climate change. [Nature4Climate Steering Committee] The fifth is Youth4Nature, which is partnered with Nature Conservancy.

May 3, 2019: Recruiting the youth. Partners: The Nature Conservancy & Nature4Climate

May 3, 2019: Recruiting the youth. Partners: The Nature Conservancy & Nature4Climate

 

Following the April 3, 2019 launch of Natural Climate Solutions, we see Extinction Rebellion, YouthStrike4Climate, and those flying under the “grassroots activism” banner, in unison with the most egregious corporations and “conservation” NGOs on the planet (which work in servitude to these very corporations) all sharing the same branding meme #naturalclimatesolutions.

This is yet another step forward in the engineered evolution of “together” – an orchestrated effort to bring corporations and civil society together as one. The employment of soft-power to give the illusion that class divisions no longer exist.

“It’s odd, to say the least, to hear a spokesperson for Shell promoting natural climate solutions, and to hear George Monbiot apparently promoting the same thing.”

 

Chris Lang, The REDD Monitor, April 5, 2019

In the same way that global “green new deals” are setting the stage for the “new deal for nature” which is slowly and cautiously being introduced to the public, “natural climate solutions” can help achieve public acceptance for the “new deal for nature”. These are the applications of behavioural change strategies as outlined by Avaaz/Purpose founder Jeremy Heimans. Akin to “killing green” to build the “green economy”, [“we’ll build the green economy, we just won’t talk about it and we won’t say that we’re doing it.”] today corporations, states and financial institutions intend to fully privatize and monetize every aspect of nature – to build the “new” capitalist economy. They just won’t talk about it and they won’t say that they’re doing it.

This is the new agenda.

September 16, 2019, The Financial Times, "Protect the future of free enterprise and wealth creation by pursuing profit with purpose. This is the new agenda."

September 16, 2019, The Financial Times, “Protect the future of free enterprise and wealth creation by pursuing profit with purpose. This is the new agenda.”

“However, while the critique of capitalism is the starting point, the analysis cannot simply stop there; it must confront the reality of generalized monopoly-finance capital now operating on a world scale and the deep, systematic division of the world into center and periphery, global North and global South—a division only worsened by climate change. It is in this larger imperialist context that capitalism exists as an actual historical system in the twenty-first century, and it is this that must be opposed.”

 

Imperialism in the Anthropocene, May 21, 2019

The methodology of marketing “natural climate solutions” is this: We will “kill market solutions – to save market solutions”. Here, it can be added that Purpose and Greenpeace assisted in the creation of Nature4Climate co-founder, We Mean Business.

The ruling classes have devised a marketing strategy to sell us the unthinkable (the monetizing of nature, global in scale) by not divulging what lies beneath the surface.

Patterns appear as branding to target youth broadens its scope. [Nature4Climate, YouthStrike4Climate, Fridays4future, Youth4Nature.]

Branding that appeals to corporations

Branding that appeals to corporations

 

Branding that appeals to corporations and governments

Branding that appeals to corporations and governments

 

Branding for an already established conservative audience

Branding for an already established conservative audience

 

Branding to reach a liberal and youth demographic

Branding to reach a liberal and youth demographic

 

Leads on the Natural Climate Solution project led by Monbiot include Charlie Latimer (Charotte Lattimer, Charlotte Martineau), consultant (clients include UNDP, UNICEF, UN OCHA and UNRWA), Patrick Sterling, former director of product for The Guardian, and Al Boardman, a graphics designer whose clients include “some of the most respected international brands, organisations and agencies in the world; the likes of Apple, Google, Twitter, IBM and BBC amongst them.”

Further, we have Sandrine Dixson-Declève, John Elkington, Paul Simpson, all identified as members of the advisory panel of Guardian Sustainable Business. Dixson-Declève served as the chief partnership officer for UN Agency Sustainable Energy for All. Prior to this position, she served as the director of the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (also referred to as EU Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, a corporate partner of GCCA/TckTckTck in 2009); vice chair, European Biofuels Technology Platform; board member, We Mean Business; and the advisory board of the oil and gas major Sasol. [Bio] Today Dixson-Declève serves as co-president of the Club of Rome. [Further reading: “Emerging From the emergency: Harnessing the momentum”]. Elkington is the founder of Volans, a B Team expert and Extinction Rebellion Business Signatory. Paul Simpson is the CEO of CDP, a co-founder of We Mean Business.

Here we can add that The Guardian’s Sustainable Business Leadership section is sponsored by Xynteo, a group that includes Shell, Woodside, and Statoil. Xynteo: “We are reinventing growth”. [Source]Dixson-Declève serves as special advisor to the Xynteo & Energy Transition Commission (ETC). [Source]

The Guardian Sustainable Business (GSB) Australia advisory council membership has included representatives of WWF, ClimateWorks, 350.org, and Greenpeace (2015) [Source] [An inquiry submitted on September 1, 2019, to The Guardian on members and status of Guardian Sustainable Business advisory panel/panels was unanswered.] Greenpeace International director Jennifer Morgan clearly supports the “new deal for nature” as demonstrated in ACT VI, Volume I of The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg for Consent series, while Greenpeace USA executive director Annie Leonard has co-founded Earth Economics which aims at “identifying, monetizing, and valuing natural capital and ecosystem services”. All hands are on deck.

Earth Economics branding : "We Take Nature Into Account" - "What Is Your Planet Worth?"

Greenpeace USA executive director Annie Leonard has co-founded Earth Economics which aims at “identifying, monetizing, and valuing natural capital and ecosystem services”. Earth Economics branding : “We Take Nature Into Account” – “What Is Your Planet Worth?”

 

The Natural Climate Solutions “call to action” page offers holistic proposals and states that it is opposed to offsets. Yet on April 8, 2019, the carbon certification corporation Verra (formerly the Verified Carbon Standard) was added to the list of allies on the Natural Climate Solutions website. Further, the REDD projects that Shell purchases carbon credits from are certified by Verra. [Source] The Natural Climate Solutions-Verra alliance was disclosed by the REDD Monitor on April 9, 2019. On May 21, 2019, Verra disappeared from the list of allies.

REDD+ (the UN’s program to “Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation”) was devised as a strategy to enable business as usual to continue in the face of irrefutable evidence of the role of fossil fuel emissions in driving climate change.

Rather than cut emissions at the source, forests and their ability to store carbon became the sole focus of the UN and the World Bank.  The REDD+ scheme allows corporations and states to buy the carbon stored in forests elsewhere to supposedly “offset” the fossil fuel emissions they are producing.  However, because the carbon stored in the forest has to be verifiably protected, anyone living in the forest – including those who historically protected it in the first place – have to be removed to ensure they do not use any of that carbon.  On the other end of the equation, people living around the polluting industry’s that have “offset” their emissions continue to suffer the health impacts of living in a toxic environment.  Finally, there is no legitimate scientific evidence that temporarily stored biological carbon, in the form of forests, can “offset” fossil carbon, which is a highly condensed permanent form of carbon that was previously locked underground for millions of years. [Learn more at the Global Justice Ecology Project (GJEP). GJEP explores and exposes the intertwined root causes of social injustice, ecological destruction, and economic domination.]

What Natural Climate Solutions does not reference, or oppose, is the “new deal for nature”. In fact, this “new deal”, which is advancing quickly, is not opposed by any environmental “leaders” that have been placed at the vanguard of the spectacle by the ruling classes. This is the foundational structure of the system, functioning exactly as intended.

Consider that while earlier this year, over 100 NGOs publicly condemned Shell’s launch of a 300 million USD “natural climate solutions” carbon offsetting scheme, there is no dissent whatsoever over Shell’s major partnership in the Natural Capital Coalition. There is practically little to no dissent to the Natural Capital Coalition, its “conservation” partners, nor its plans to commodify the global commons. For the past decade; The Natural Capital Coalition (which absorbed TEEB, initiated in 2008) has been developing the tools and protocols for a new global system of finance where all nature will be assigned a monetary value. It is now time to present the unthinkable to the public in a manner in which it will not only be accepted, but demanded. This requires building global acceptance which will only be possible utilizing unprecedented global behavioural change strategies, methods and manipulations.

[Natural Capital Coalition advisory council][Natural Capital Coalition partners]

October 29, 2015: Dow Chemical, The Nature Conservancy, "Nature's Fortune"

October 29, 2015: Dow Chemical, The Nature Conservancy, “Nature’s Fortune”

 

The NGOs & institutions that developed the Natural Capital Protocol

The NGOs & institutions that developed the Natural Capital Protocol

Natural Capital Coalition organizations

Natural Capital Coalition organizations

Natural Capital Coalition promoting IPBES, 2019

Natural Capital Coalition promoting IPBES, 2019

 

Chris Lang of the REDD Monitor asks the question: “Natural Climate Solutions – in whose interest?” This is the fundamental question given that the massive advertising campaign behind this effort – and foundations (with investment portfolios in the billions) do not invest in any solutions other than market solutions, or solutions that serve to expand their influence and power (such as societal behaviour modification). “Natural climate solutions” must not be perceived as altruistic or holistic – it is a branding term to increase profits and land acquisitions for corporations.

Monbiot cites “three crucial opportunities over the next two years for ensuring that Natural Climate Solutions receive the global attention they deserve”. [1) The UN Climate Summit this month, 2) COP 15 of the Convention on Biodiversity in 2020, and 3) the UN COP 26 in 2020, at which countries are supposed to put forward their new Nationally Determined Contributions.] [Source]

Yet, as pointed out by the Redd Monitor, “Two-thirds of the countries who signed on to the Paris Agreement have already included Natural Climate Solutions in their Nationally Determined Contributions. More than 100 countries include natural solutions in their adaptation plans, and 27 countries include them in their mitigation plans. They are doing so in order to allow continued pollution from fossil fuels – either in their own country or elsewhere.” [Source]

This clearly demonstrates that the intent of the campaign is hardly to influence states, rather the purpose is to influence and shape public perception.

Monbiot, June 26, 2019, “Shell is not a green saviour. It’s a planetary death machine”:

“But the company’s strategy is working. A remarkable number of people who should be fighting Shell instead see it as a green alternative to Exxon, persuaded by what is, in comparison with the company’s filthy investments, a tiny sop. Shell has longstanding relationships with four “environmental partners”: the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the Nature Conservancy, Wetlands International, and Earthwatch. I believe it is just as wrong for these groups to take its money as it is for the RSC to take money from BP. It surprises me that there is not as much pressure on them to break their links as there has been, for example, on the British Museum, whose relationship with BP is becoming a national embarrassment.

Monbiot places quotation around “environmental partners” in reference to the NGOs – two of which are “allies” of his own project, and one, that being Nature Conservancy, which created Nature4Climate, led by The  Natural Climate Solutions stakeholder manager at The Nature Conservancy. The British Museum should be embarrassed, but Monbiot should be embarrassed even more.

The final paragraph:

“But naivety about Shell is not confined to its partners. Plenty of well-intentioned organisations and people, who share my enthusiasm for natural climate solutions, appear so desperate to clutch at any straws of hope that they are prepared to see this company as part of the solution. Shell is not our friend. It is an engine of planetary destruction.”

And here we can paint Monbiot’s “allies” with the identical brush. And so desperate are the citizenry, that they will clutch the “natural climate solutions” straw that has been produced for mass consumption.

  • In 2018, Nature4Climate launched the “The Forgotten Solution”(conceptualized in 2016) – a glossy advertising campaign featuring a Hollywood-esque movie trailer. Featuring its own newsroom, The Forgotten Solutions website utilizes the 350.org font that has proven to resonate with the public.

From Strategy to Implementation

The WWF-WEF campaign for the New Deal For Nature (Voice for the Planet) is supported by Nature4Climate.

The Voice For The Planet campaign is a vehicle to build public support for the "New Deal For Nature" in 2020. Created by WEF "Global Shapers" and WWF

The Voice For The Planet campaign is a vehicle to build public support for the “New Deal For Nature” in 2020. Created by WEF “Global Shapers” and WWF

 

The overlap between the New Deal For Nature public partners (Voice For the Planet) and the Natural Climate Solutions partners is as follows: WWF, Conservation International, International Union For The Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the United Nations Environment Programme, Nature4Climate, Royal Society For The Protection of Birds and Birdlife International.

And while The Nature Conservancy (Voice for the Planet partner) is not listed as an “ally” of Natural Climate Solutions, as demonstrated, it remains at arm’s length. A single degree of separation made possible by the creation of Nature4Climate, the primary ally of Natural Climate Solutions.

The research for this article was compiled on September 1, 2019. Since this time, we can observe how this branding strategy has been implemented, in real time.

Corporate Knights – The Voice for Clean Capitalism, April 20, 2015

September, 19, 2019, Climate Change and Nature-based Solutions: Top 30 Influencers and Brands:

“Onalytica have analysed an audience of 3.5k sustainability influencers to understand current perception and awareness of Nature-based solutions within the Climate Change debate and how organisations can leverage those influencers to drive policy change.”

Onalytica’s report opens with an introduction from Lloyd [“This conversation needs to be reflected in the real economy.”]It then identifies the top 100 influencers on the Twitter for “nature-based solutions”. The number one influencer identified is George Monbiot with an influencer score of 100%. Second to Monbiot is Greta Thunberg with an influencer score of 67.56%. Onalytica directs its readers to the nature4climate website for more information.

Chart: "This data was collected from our Influencer Relationship Management software (IRM). If you are interested in learning more about identifying, managing and engaging with influencers click below to request a demo!"

Chart: “This data was collected from our Influencer Relationship Management software (IRM). If you are interested in learning more about identifying, managing and engaging with influencers click below to request a demo!”

 

The top 30 “brands” identified by Onalytica in driving the most engagement on the “nature-based solutions conversation” include the World Resources Institute [Volume I, Act IV], The World Bank, The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, WWF, C40 Cities and Extinction Rebellion. [Full list]

At this juncture we can recall the question imperative put forward by John Elkington, founder of Volans and initial signatory to Extinction Rebellion Business (which quickly disappeared after its public launch).

John Elkington, founder of Volans, B Team expert and Extinction Rebellion Business Signatory

John Elkington, founder of Volans, B Team expert and Extinction Rebellion Business Signatory

 

Global Strike

 

September 19, 2019: Conservation International Website

September 19, 2019: Conservation International Website

 

On September 19, 2019, the United Nations, the Government of Norway, Conservation International, Environmental Defense Fund and The Nature Conservancy celebrated that the California Air Resources Board adopted the Tropical Forest Standard, a new vehicle for the expansion of carbon offsets into tropical forest regions. Prior to approval by California Air Resources Board (CARB) the standard was narrowly reviewed by a self selected group state legislators through an exclusive stakeholder process dominated by Conservation International, TNC and EDF. [“The purpose of the California Tropical Forest Standard is to establish robust criteria against which to assess jurisdictions seeking to link their sector-based crediting programs that reduce emissions from tropical deforestation with an emissions trading system (ETS), such as California’s Cap-and-Trade Program.”]

“Forest carbon offsets neither protect forests nor reduce emissions. Forest carbon offsets are an unjust false solution to climate change that enables business and pollution as usual, condemning forests and communities globally to its devastating impacts. If what is proposed as a solution to catastrophic climate change jeopardizes other people or ecosystems it cannot claim to be just or sustainable.” [Source]

 

The Thunberg-Monbiot film, emphasizing the urgency of funding “natural solutions”, was paid for by Conservation International and the aforementioned *Food and Land Use Coalition, with “guidance” provided by Nature4Climate (The Nature Conservancy, We Mean Business, WWF, UN-REDD, et al.) and Natural Climate Solutions. [*Member foundations include ClimateWorks, the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, Good Energies, and Margaret Cargill.]

The Thunberg-Monbiot film, emphasizing the urgency of funding “natural solutions”, was paid for by Conservation International and the aforementioned *Food and Land Use Coalition, with “guidance” provided by Nature4Climate (The Nature Conservancy, We Mean Business, WWF, UN-REDD, et al.) and Natural Climate Solutions. [*Member foundations include ClimateWorks, the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, Good Energies, and Margaret Cargill.]

 

September 20, 2019: The Nature Conservancy promoting the film with term "natural climate solutions". Tagged are Thunberg and Mobiot. Note the utilization of the "Spredfast" software

September 20, 2019: The Nature Conservancy promoting the film with term “natural climate solutions”. Tagged are Thunberg and Mobiot. Note the utilization of the “Spredfast” software

 

Spredfast: "Seamless interactions and a 360-customer view, now possible with our @salesforce Social Care integration."

Spredfast: “Seamless interactions and a 360-customer view, now possible with our @salesforce Social Care integration.”

 

Marc Benioff: Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Salesforce, one of the fastest-growing cloud-based software corporation in the world. He is a member of the board of trustees, World Economic Forum and inaugural Chair, World Economic Forum Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Marc Benioff: Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Salesforce, one of the fastest-growing cloud-based software corporation in the world. He is a member of the board of trustees, World Economic Forum and inaugural Chair, World Economic Forum Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

 

January 24, 2019: Marc Benioff: Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Salesforce, WEF

January 24, 2019: Marc Benioff: Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Salesforce, WEF

 

September 19, 2019: Conservation International promoting Thunberg-Monbiot film with #NaturalClimateSolutions hashtag

September 19, 2019: Conservation International promoting Thunberg-Monbiot film with #NaturalClimateSolutions hashtag

 

September 20, 2019: Billionaire Richard Branson, founder of The B Team, promoting Thunberg-Monbiot film. The B Team is a co-founder of We Mean Business - overseeing the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit with WEF

September 20, 2019: Billionaire Richard Branson, founder of The B Team, promoting Thunberg-Monbiot film. The B Team is a co-founder of We Mean Business – overseeing the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit with WEF

 

March 20, 2018: McDonald's corporation "working hard on #naturalclimatesolutions"

March 20, 2018: McDonald’s corporation “working hard on #naturalclimatesolutions”

 

September 18, 2019

On cue, We Mean Business co-founders – united with NGOs, global institutions, and media – coordinate their efforts in promoting the video, ensuring it will go viral. At once, We Mean Business co-founders – united with NGOs, global institutions – and the hundreds of corporations they represent, are now affiliated with Thunberg. The citizenry is encouraged to “love thy enemy”, “changing together” in order to save the power elite. [The Behavioural Change Project “To Change Everything”, Volume II, Act V]

At once, a united front is projected. Corporate power and society are united as one. Effectively erased is the dividing line between corporate “conservation” NGOs and the citizenry. The enemy is at once made friendly and wholesome by aligning itself with Thunberg and Monbiot, presented as icons for the environment by the establishment they serve. If Greta Thunberg trusts Conservation International, then you can too. This is no different from Thunberg doing an ad for a vegan menu at McDonalds – while it continues to participate in the cruel and grotesque livestock production industry that pollutes and destroys land, forests, and ecosystems.

September 19, 2019: Amazon announces partnership with The Nature Conservancy for the implementation of "natural climate solutions" initiatives

September 19, 2019: Amazon announces partnership with The Nature Conservancy for the implementation of “natural climate solutions” initiatives

 

September 20, 2019: The Nature Conservancy

September 20, 2019: The Nature Conservancy

 

Financial Times, September 16, 2019 launch: "CAPITALISM. TIME FOR A RESET. THIS IS THE NEW AGENDA. This is "the Financial Times' biggest campaign since the 2008 global recession."

Financial Times, September 16, 2019 launch: “CAPITALISM. TIME FOR A RESET. THIS IS THE NEW AGENDA. This is “the Financial Times’ biggest campaign since the 2008 global recession.”

 

In the same way that Hitler and Goebbels, in the 20th  century, utilized youthwashing as a means of psychological warfare in order to  carry out a genocide on a population they believed as inferior, today the ruling class, in conjunction with corporate power, have restored youthwashing for the 21st century as an effective means to continue an ongoing genocide of the natural world, and all life which she graciously sustains. Life, believed to be inferior, by those committing the atrocities. By those seeking societal consent to continue.

September 18, 2019: The Nature Conservancy promoting #GlobalClimateStrike in conjunction with the "New Deal For Nature and People"

September 18, 2019: The Nature Conservancy promoting #GlobalClimateStrike in conjunction with the “New Deal For Nature and People”

 

The “New Deal For Nature” is a scheme so grotesque that it can only be sold to the public by utilizing the most effective tools for cutting through market resistance – that being celebrity. The NGOs comprising the non-profit industrial complex, coupled with the deployment of celebrity, are literally banking on the successful manipulation of the citizenry.

A natural climate solution would be the end of the military industrial complex. The end of the relentless assault on our Earth, our brothers and sisters, and all life, waged by the US Pentagon. A natural climate solution would be discontinuing the production of all superfluous “goods“. A natural climate solution would be returning stolen lands to those from whom they were stolen.

Stokely Carmichael asked the pivotal question in 1966:

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

On September 20, 2019, millions of people went to the streets. Those walls could have been torn down. Instead they were propped up.

I quote Carmichael, as what constitutes mainstream activism in the West, has become nothing more than a parody. We must stop identifying with the ruling class. We are not part of it. And all the luxury consumer brands that one can buy on credit, will not make it any less so. Emulating the rich is a devised marketing stratagem that creates a false sense of belonging in a system designed and protected to serve the rich.

The question is, will we break away from the clutches of manufactured false demigods and align ourselves with revolutionary grassroots groups, or will we continue to uphold those that protect the very system destroying our natural world? Although the outlook looks bleak, the future is not yet written.

Clive Spash

Clive Spash

 

 

 

 

Further Reading:

[REDD Monitor: Offsetting fossil fuel emissions with tree planting and ‘natural climate solutions’: science, magical thinking, or pure PR?, July 4, 2019]

[REDD Monitor: Shell and Natural Climate Solutions: US$300 million for carbon offsets, April 4, 2019]

[REDD Monitor: Is the new Natural Climate Solutions campaign a distraction from the need to leave fossil fuels in the ground?, April 5, 2019]

End Notes:

[1]

  • NATURE4CLIMATE
  • ROYAL SOCIETY FOR THE PROTECTION OF BIRDS
  • UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME*
  • REWILDING BRITAIN
  • FRIENDS OF THE EARTH
  • AVAAZ
  • GREENPEACE
  • LEONARDO DI CAPRIO FOUNDATION
  • NATURE NEEDS HALF
  • DAVID SUZUKI FOUNDATION
  • WILDERNESS SOCIETY
  • REWILDING EUROPE
  • WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY
  • EQUATOR INITIATIVE
  • FOUNDATION EARTH
  • CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL
  • TREESISTERS
  • CLIMATE LAND AMBITION AND RIGHTS ALLIANCE
  • THE GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP ON FOREST AND LANDSCAPE RESTORATION
  • GLOBAL LANDSCAPES FORUM
  • WILD FOR LIFE
  • WWF | WORLD WIDE FUND FOR NATURE
  • GLOBAL PEATLANDS INITIATIVE
  • SIERRA CLUB
  • NATURE BASED SOLUTIONS INITIATIVE
  • FERN
  • EU BIOMASS LEGAL CASE
  • HEALTH IN HARMONY
  • EUROPEAN OUTDOOR CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION
  • SANCTUARY ASIA
  • SCOTLAND: THE BIG PICTURE
  • PLAN VIVO
  • NORTHEAST WILDERNESS TRUST
  • WILD FOUNDATION
  • BIRDLIFE INTERNATIONAL
  • JOHN MUIR TRUST
  • IUCN | INTERNATIONAL UNION FOR THE CONSERVATIONS OF NATURE
  • WETLANDS INTERNATIONAL
  • URBAN BIODIVERSITY HUB
  • PUBLIC PASTURES – PUBLIC INTEREST
  • GO CONSCIOUS EARTH
  • OCEANSWELL
  • PLANT-FOR-THE-PLANET
  • ALLIANCE FOR FOOD SOVEREIGNTY IN AFRICA
  • AFRICAN CONSERVATION FOUNDATION
  • TRUE NATURE FOUNDATION
  • A ROCHA
  • THE EUROPEAN NATURE TRUST

[April 4, 2019][April 6, 2019][June 13, 2019]

[2] “The Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 was founded in 2012 at Rio+20 after the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) committed to zero net deforestation by 2020 for palm oil, soy, beef, and  paper and pulp supply chains in 2010. The CGF partnered with the US government to create the public-private alliance with the mission of mobilizing all actors to collaborate in reducing commodity-driven tropical deforestation.

In support of the commitments of TFA 2020 partners to reduce deforestation in tropical forest countries, TFA 2020 has throughout the years grown its partner members and continues to bring on board those key actors committed to tackling deforestation. Since June 2015, the Tropical Forest Alliance Secretariat is hosted at the World Economic Forum offices in Geneva, with financial support of the governments of the Norway and United Kingdom.” [Source]

In Defense of Cory Morningstar’s Manufacturing for Consent Series

In Defense of Cory Morningstar’s Manufacturing for Consent Series

September 20, 2019

By Hiroyuki Hamada

 

 

 

Good investigative journalism doesn’t only reveal hidden mechanisms of our time; it also exposes those who refuse to confront the mechanisms. Remember when the late Bruce Dixon courageously and cogently called Bernie Sanders “a sheep dog candidate”? Remember when Eva Bartlett, Vanessa Beeley and others truly stood with Syrian people in opposing the western intervention? I do. Those who could not face the reality came up with all sorts of profanities and ill conceived theories to demonize the messengers.

Cory Morningstar has been a dedicated environmental activist with a sound track record, who has closely worked with various NGOs. She is a mother. She is an avid gardener. She is an honest person with empathy, passion, love for people, love for our fellow creatures and love for nature. Her human character and sense of justice has culminated in her keen insights, observations and analyses. Her writings have inspired many of us to see the depth and scope of capitalist institutions as part of the social dynamics affecting our consciousness. Her meticulous pursuit of facts in illustrating mechanisms of our world evokes a sense of awe. She is a respected colleague in our struggle toward a better tomorrow.

While her latest series, The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg—for Consent: The Political Economy of the Non-Profit Industrial Complex Volume I and Volume II, has been wildly praised as a ground-breaking milestone in depicting the vast mechanism of exploitation and subjugation involving the Non-Profit Industrial Complex, it has been also maliciously misrepresented.

One of the very common, yet blatantly erroneous criticisms, centers around the series’ focus on the young activist Greta Thunberg. Why do they attack the author as a child abuser? The series does not attack the 16-yearold activist at all. It points out those organizations and individuals which closely surround her in forming a momentum for their agenda. It delineates how the mobilization fits within the larger framework of corporate “environmentalism”, colonialism, global capitalism and imperialism. The trickery of the accusation that the work attacks a child and smears the youth-led activism follows the same pattern of lies and deceptions unfolding against serious journalism for some time. It reflects how the establishment successfully dominates our minds as it dominates the hierarchy of money and violence. The ruling class actually abuses children by making them pawns for lucrative business projects—such as carbon capture and storage, “renewable energy” schemes, carbon trading and so on (the series discusses why they do not work extensively). They trick the innocent youth into digging their own graves while making profits out of it. Remember people called you racist, when you pointed out President Obama’s drone killings? Remember people called you misogynist when you criticized Secretary Clinton’s colonial policies? Those who did didn’t mind brown people blown into pieces, and didn’t mind the colonial oppression of women in colonized lands. The capitalist hierarchy structurally forces us to embrace the values, norms and beliefs of the ruling class, as it trains people to climb the social ladder as expected. The momentum to accuse Morningstar’s work as a child abuse stems from the same psychological projection of accusers’ own complicity in consecrating a teenager as an invincible saint of their movement.

Then there is the most typical argument to condone obvious institutional tendencies of inhumanity: “things aren’t always black and white”. Of course there are good environmentalists doing good work as well. We have gone through this in so many incarnations. When we point out police brutality, we hear “not all police officers are bad”. When we point out obvious racism among us: “not all white people are racist”. Those are certainly true. But could we also say “not all slave masters were evil”, “not all Kings and queens were evil”, “not all colonizers were evil”, and so on? Well, sure. But does that mean we can bring back slavery, feudalism or colonialism? No. Refusal to talk about the systematic inhumanity inflicted by the system tolerates the status quo as acceptable.

And please do stop with the “but the movement gives us hope” nonsense. What happened when we were sold “hope”, “change” and “forward”, and received colonial wars, big bank bailouts, global surveillance and loss of legal protections during the Obama presidency? We got Donald Trump. When the system squeezes already oppressed people while shuttering their hope and making them embrace fear, people try their best to hold onto whatever they have. They embrace an illusion of salvation in authoritarian lies and hatred against “others”. It is extremely important that we strive to discuss such a mechanism among us instead of jumping into the same momentum. We must discuss the true hope of building a momentum moving beyond the lies and deceptions coming out of the destructive hierarchy.

Morningstar states in The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg—for Consent: The Political Economy of Non Profit Industrial Complex Volume II Act IV:

“Consider that collectively, the populace appears to believe that not only is it possible to colonize another planet, but that we will do so in the not-so-distant future. This is incredible considering the massive odds of and colossal barriers to such an endeavour succeeding. Thus, it is alarming, that this same populace appears not to believe it is not possible to create new societies where necessity is detached from want (superfluous consumer goods). This begs the question – have we been fully conditioned to believe only those that represent hegemonic interests? It is a sound question considering the billionaires of the world are currently petrified of the capitalist system collapsing – while those oppressed by the capitalist system believe it cannot be dismantled. Yet we can dismantle institutions. We can dismantle the capitalist economic system devouring what remains of the natural world – but not if we identify with our oppressors and the very system that enslaves us. It is our natural world and her living natural communities that sustain us. Not industrial civilization – not technology.”

Hopelessness and cynicism do creep up to justify the status quo. But we also must recognize that such a position does away with putting our efforts toward standing with the truly oppressed ones.

Morningstar’s series meticulously documents how powerful global organizations seek ways to cultivate a consensus for their trajectory. And it carefully states, with facts, why the trajectory does not lead to achieving their promises—preventing climate change and other environmental calamities. The illustrated mechanism has been revealed over and over through their past crimes—the co-ordinated actions of industries, bankers, politicians, NGOs, UN, global financial institutions and media have culminated into colonial wars, cover-ups of nuclear disasters, regime change, and other corporate, colonial and imperial policies. There is nothing speculative, coincidental or conspiratorial about the series. It is based on careful research, honesty, courage to face the real issue and true love for humanity. It is again curiously indicative that those who engage in a conspiracy to mobilize the people according to their agendas accuse those who see through the attempt as “conspiracy theorist”. The use of the derogatory term invented by the US intelligence agency to label dissidents as tin-hat wearing nuts jobs hardly proves their legitimacy.

Moreover, I must say that it is extremely odd and disingenuous that the series has been portrayed as a refusal to take any action, instead insisting on ideological purity. Such an attack has been coming from those who have been pointing out the same moneyed network in forwarding corporatism, colonialism and militarism by manipulating popular opinions. What is the difference between opposing destructive colonial wars and opposing colonization of nature/co-optation of activism? More specifically, what prompts some of them to say “what is your solution?”, “we can’t wait for capitalism to be overthrown to solve climate change” and so on. The obvious falsehood of such an angle is the stark absence of solutions within their own “green momentum”. Morningstar’s research does not talk about the necessity of establishing a communist statehood or overthrowing capitalism in order to solve the impending crisis. It simply states facts in a cohesive manner. Consequently, it certainly indicates the systematic structural issues presented by the hierarchy of money and violence. The research clearly names individuals and organizations that are involved in mobilizing the population in installing government policies that are lucrative to the associated corporations and beneficial to the imperial framework. Capitalist hegemony does present itself as a source of predicaments of our time. But is that new to us?

Needless to say, for those of us who believe in the Marxist perspective, the solution amounts to a structural transformation of our society into one that doesn’t monopolize the means of production for the ruling class.  Economic activities must be subservient to harmonious existence of the people, environment and other species. And our social interactions must be under a control of such aims, instead of financial and social power of the ruling class. But make no mistake that that is simply an ultimate direction. Just as we voice our objections against any form of inhumanity regardless of our systematic problem, when we see certain environmental policies being subservient to the corporate agenda, likely to result in worsened conditions for the people, we discuss them. There shouldn’t be anything different about pointing out the US military aggression and the fallacy of US environmental policies, especially when they are forwarded by the same western establishment. When we find the carbon capture schemes to be disingenuous, for example, we simply point it out. We demand an answer to why corporate “solutions” are upheld as people’s “solutions”. And people who buy into false narratives should be noted as not credible leaders in people’s movement. So the question “what is your solution?” really should be directed at those who subscribe to those erroneous “solutions.” They need to be asked how those solutions would be a worthy cause at the first place, and why cogent criticisms against implementations of destructive schemes cannot be embraced because “we can’t wait for a socialist revolution”.

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

Please do read The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg—for Consent: The Political Economy of Non Profit Industrial Complex Volume I and II. It gives us an excellent starting point in learning how to build a better tomorrow for all of us.

 

[Hiroyuki Hamada is an artist. Exhibiting widely in gallery and non-commercial settings alike, Hamada has been the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, twice received New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships in sculpture, and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. Alongside his career as an artist, his writing can be found at various outlets online.]