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COMMON DREAMS | Mainstream Green Groups Cave In on Climate

Note – This article has been endorsed by James Hansen.

Published on Tuesday, April 20, 2010 by CommonDreams.org

Mainstream Green Groups Cave In on Climate

Dangerously Allow Industry to Set Agenda

by Gary Houser and Cory Morningstar

“Governments will not put young people and nature above special financial interests without great public pressure. Such pressure is not possible as long as big environmental organizations provide cover. So the best hope is this — individuals must demand that the leaders change course or they will lose support.” – Dr. James Hansen

With climate scientists warning that we are in a global emergency and tipping points leading to runaway catastrophe will be crossed unless carbon pollution is rapidly reduced, one would expect groups identified as environmental defenders to be shifting into high gear. Instead, we are witnessing the unspeakably tragic spectacle of a mainstream environmental movement allowing itself to be seduced and co-opted by the very forces it should be vehemently opposing. At the very moment when moral leadership and courage are needed the most, what we see is a colossal failure of both – with potentially irreversible consequences for our civilization. If Congress chooses an inadequate response to the crisis, policies can get “locked in” which virtually guarantee that these tipping points are crossed. These organizations are using their significant financial resources to create a public impression that the “environmental community” has given its “stamp of approval” to this policy and to marginalize the voices of the genuine grassroots activists who represent the heart and soul of the climate movement. With nothing less than the future of the planet at stake, these groups must now be publicly challenged and held accountable for their actions.

The stage has been set for this necessary debate by publication of Johann Hari’s excellent commentary entitled “The Wrong Kind of Green“. In this piece, Hari provides important insight into some of the relevant history. He describes how in the 1980s and 1990s some of the larger environmental groups began to adopt a policy often called “corporate engagement”. The basic idea was that by participating in “partnerships” with corporations – some involving receipt of monetary contributions – there would be opportunity to exert positive influence.

It is not possible to look into the minds of those who promoted this shift. Perhaps there was a sincere hope that corporations would be moved toward more responsible behavior. Whatever the case, the critically important task at this time is not to evaluate possible motives but rather the real life consequences. To do so honestly, all self-interested blinders must be set aside.

The truth is that this policy has created a “slippery slope” leading to severely compromised stances – nowhere more apparent than in regard to the over-arching issue of climate. In 2007, a coalition was formed between corporations and environmental organizations called the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, or USCAP – whose purpose was to influence U.S. climate legislation. Some of the large groups that joined were Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), the Nature Conservancy, and National Wildlife Foundation. In January 2009, USCAP presented its proposals and these became the framework of the Waxman-Markey bill.

The physical context is that previously projected worst case scenarios are already being surpassed and humanity is running out of time. Ice is melting far more rapidly than expected, releasing the “albedo effect” where open water absorbs more heat and accelerates further melting. The normally quite cautious National Science Foundation is ringing alarm bells about the methane – a greenhouse gas over 30 times as powerful as CO2 – now venting from the Siberian seabeds. According to the NSF statement: “Release of even a fraction of the methane stored in the shelf could trigger abrupt climate warming.” These are only two examples of “reinforcing feedbacks” that can significantly move the process closer to tipping points.

Within a context so dire that in reality a war-time level of mobilization is needed, what kind of legislation is being offered? First of all, the emission reduction targets themselves – apart from the theoretical strategies for achieving them – categorically ignore the science. The goals do not even aim at stabilization at 350 ppm (let alone the lower figures more likely to be necessary) and the time frame for enacting meaningful reductions is not even remotely close to the speed needed to prevent disaster.

Beyond the issue of targets is that of reduction strategies. USCAP would like to see a trillion dollar carbon market put into place, where traders can claim “pollution rights” to the sky and seek profits from the exchange of such “rights”. Such a system – which would determine whether life-supporting ecosystems survive or collapse – would be placed into the same manipulative hands on Wall Street that brought on the financial meltdown. As this commentary goes to press, several traders in the European carbon market (the world’s prototype) have been arrested in connection with a

), NRDC and EDF are sending their own people to promote it at carbon trade conferences.

The next immoral concession is to allow the industry to “buy” its way out of actually reducing emissions by supporting so-called “offsets” – such as forest preservation projects in the developing world. Sounding plausible in theory, offsets are actually riddled with verification issues and defects such as loggers simply moving elsewhere. But the bottomline “wrong” here is that any form of offsetting should never be looked at as an alternative to reducing emissions. It should only be seen as an additional action to take.

Then there is the unbelievable capitulation represented by the removal of EPA authority to regulate coal-burning. Now that the EPA has finally been empowered by the Supreme Court to act against a carbon-fueled ecocide, this ability has been effectively stripped from the House bill without a murmur from the USCAP “greens”. The result of all these concessions is a pathetically weak bill that the Congressional Budget Office estimates will not even begin to reduce emissions until 2018. Other studies indicate that if all available offsets are used, reductions could actually be postponed an astonishing 19 years until 2029.

The USCAP “greens” proclaim that their positions are being driven by “political expediency”. But there is a stunning “disconnect” which these groups have been reticent to address. How does one negotiate with a melting iceberg? Can the inexorable laws of physics be placed “on hold” while emission reductions are scuttled in a process of political “horse-trading”? What is the meaning of “expediency” when it leads to the collapse of society as we know it? John Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Reseach, stated at the “4 Degrees and Beyond” conference at Oxford that “political reality must be grounded in physical reality or it is completely useless”.

The Sierra Club is experiencing what may be a positive change in leadership and to its credit has not adopted the policy of “corporate engagement” described, yet it has failed to truly mobilize its base against the dangerous shortcomings of the USCAP endorsed legislation. In 2008, the Sierra Club bestowed its highest honor – the John Muir Award – to climate scientist Dr. James Hansen. In presenting the award, Sierra Club President Allison Chin said: “He is truly a hero for preserving the environment”. How does the Sierra Club reconcile the honoring of this man for warning the world and then essentially ignore his core message that present climate legislation is based on false solutions that will waste precious time?

NRDC and EDF, on the other hand, have gone far beyond mere silence. While their websites claim a dedication to public service ( NRDC’s motto is “The Earth’s Best Defense”), they have been actively promoting the USCAP accomodation. If they had not lost sight of their original missions, they would have sought out members of Congress willing to stand up to the fossil fuel industry and used their resources (in 2008, NRDC had an operational budget of 87 million dollars) to throw weight behind them. Instead of emboldening this kind of voice, they have done the exact opposite by allowing industry to define what is “feasible”.

The real climate movement – the one with its backbone intact and composed of grassroots activists and principled groups like Friends of the Earth and Center for Biological Diversity – is already in a “David versus Goliath” situation as it tries to confront the most powerful lobby in the country. But that task has been made infinitely more difficult by these big budget groups using their money to isolate and “box in” the smaller ones.

We close this commentary with the following direct appeal to both the leadership and the members of these groups that have chosen the path of accommodation:

The verdict is in. Your experiment in “corporate engagement” has resulted in a disastrous failure that now threatens the planet. We fully expected the massive campaign from the fossil fuel industry to strip any substance from this legislation. But you have blindsided those of us who are fighting with all our hearts for the future of the earth. Your coffers have grown and now you are using this money to drown us out.

Your stance does not represent those in the grassroots movement, many of whom are young and see the disasters that are looming within their own lifetimes. In your comfortable offices, you do not speak for those willing to put themselves on the line and engage in nonviolent civil disobedience against the very forces you seek to accomodate. The rationale for your corporate “partnerships” was the issue of exerting influence. But the question begging to be asked is who influenced whom? Though your treasury is more full, what truly has been gained and what has been lost?

Your intentions may have been honorable, but the agenda of “defending earth” has been hijacked. Along the way, your vision became blurred and you lost sight of this mission. In this “experiment’, you are the ones who have been “had”. It now appears to have been a terrible Faustian bargain, and we are all paying the price. At the very moment of greatest need for an empowered public advocacy in the face of the most overwhelming threat in human history, your leadership is not to be found.

Your accommodation and your defense of abominably weak Congressional legislation has already had a destructive global impact. It was this legislation that set the bar intolerably low in Copenhagen and instigated a “race to the bottom”. The entire world-wide movement for climate sanity has become blocked by the denial, blindness, and paralysis embodied in U.S. climate policy. When you take this stance in the name of “defending the earth”, you are actually creating an insidious and dangerous deception.

For the sake of the planet, we appeal to your organizations to reclaim the integrity of your original visions. The position you presently advocate will squander the precious little time we have to implement true reductions before the irreversible tipping points are crossed. The stakes could not be higher. We ask that you join hands with the grassroots activists and groups and support the following eight points:

1) Officially recognize that we are truly in a global emergency and that irreversible tipping points are likely to be crossed if humanity does not act in time;

2) Officially recognize that this emergency is of such a magnitude that a war time level of mobilization is needed in order to effectively deal with it;

3) Stand squarely for the necessity that climate legislation be based on the setting of emission reduction targets and a time frame which are defined by the science;

4) Due to the severe ecosystem damage that will ensue in response to a 2 degree (celsius) rise, an overall goal of no more than one degree (celsius) rise must be sought;

5) Clearly renounce cap and trade and offsets as false solutions that will squander precious time;

6) Stand squarely against any attempt in Congress to strip EPA of its authority to regulate carbon;

7) Support a comprehensive approach to the crisis that combines elements of legislation, regulation, and public investment;

8) Support a legislative component based on a continually rising carbon fee with a 100% distribution of the proceeds to U.S. citizens, with the amount of the fee determined by an emission reduction schedule driven by science.

We also ask the members of these groups to withhold their organizational support until their leadership recognizes the necessity of these changes. On this defining issue of our time, may we strive to remove the barriers that divide us and work together.

Gary Houser is a public interest writer, documentary producer, and activist with Climate SOS seeking to raise awareness within the religious community (here) about the moral issues at stake and working to create a more empowered climate movement.

Cory Morningstar, in addition to being a mom, is an activist with Canadians for Action on Climate Change and has collated latest scientific findings here.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/04/20-1

NRDC Conflicts of Interest

A Cursory Analysis to Prompt Further Examination by An Inquiring Press Corp.

The Declared Mission of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is, ostensibly, “to foster the fundamental right of all people to have a voice in decisions that affect their environment. We seek to break down the pattern of disproportionate environmental burdens borne by people of color and others who face social or economic inequities. Ultimately, NRDC strives to help create a new way of life for humankind, one that can be sustained indefinitely without fouling or depleting the resources that support all life on Earth”.

When considering a few examples (below) of their Board Members’ financial interests, please consider what inclination the NRDC will have to work against the financial interests of their Board Members, when deciding on the organization’s position regarding pressing environmental issues. Would they, for instance, stand against their Board Members’ interests if these stand to profit greatly from a neo-liberal trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement (or the Colombia FTA) or from a deal with a major coal plant operator (like TXU) or an oil company that wants to cut a road deep into the Ecuadorian Amazon (like Conoco)?

(See here for details on anti-environmental positions taken by the NRDC.)

Based on the interests of Board Members of the NRDC, the ‘environmental’ organization’s advocacy for a dangerously inadequate U.S. climate policy comes off as self-dealing and self-serving.

    The Business Interests of Some NRDC Board Members

1. Richard E. Ayres, Esq.
The Ayres Law Group
We assist clients in high stakes regulatory proceedings, both informal and formal. We counsel clients on how to use the regulatory process to their own benefit often helping design regulatory proposals to be taken to EPA or important state pollution control agencies. We help our clients to understand what environmental regulations require – and don’t require – so they can stay in compliance and still achieve their business objectives. And we help those who may have enforcement issues with the Environmental Protection Agency.

2. Henry R. Breck, Trustee and Finance Chair of N.R.D.C.
Partner, Heronetta Holdings
Former member of the CIA and investment banker at Lehman Brothers. Also Chair of the Lehman Management Company.
See here and here.

Henry R. Breck has been Chairman of Ark Asset Management Co., Inc., a money management firm with $13 billion under management, since 1989. Previously, he was an investment banker at Lehman Brothers and Chairman of Lehman Management Company, the predecessor company to Ark Asset Management. Mr. Breck joined Lehman Brothers in 1968 and was made a partner in 1972. Prior to his investment banking career, Mr. Breck was employed by the Central Intelligence Agency. He also served in the United States Air Force.

The NRDC website, interestingly, changed from an earlier version which listed Breck’s association as Chair of Ark Asset Management. That’s confirmed here.

While Heronetta Holdings is quite opaque, Ark Asset Management is well known:

Ark Asset Management has three subsidiaries
(http://www.transnationale.org/companies/ark_asset_management.php) :
Covance, Inc., formerly, Hazleton Labs, Ralcorp Holdings, Inc, and Wolverine World Wide

Wolverine World Wide has holdings in Amgen, Apache Corp, Anadarko Petroleum, Bank of America, Chevron, Citigroup, Clorox (in 2002), ConocoPhillips, Dow (2002), Duke Energy, Exxonmobil, Freeport McMoran, Gap, General Electric, Halliburton, International Paper (2002), JP Morgan, Kimberly Clarke, Marathon Oil, Merck (2002), Merrill Lynch, National Oilwell Varko Inc,, Newmont Mining, Oil States International, Pfizer, Phillips Petroleum (2002), Pioneer Drilling, Precision Drilling Corp, Reliant Energy (2002), Royal Dutch Petroleum, United Technologies.

http://www.secinfo.com/dR92z.se.htm

Mr. Breck is also on the boards of Butler Capital Corporation and ASA Limited.

http://www.sec.gov/cgi-bin/own-disp?action=getissuer&CIK=0001230869

However, Breck is not listed as on the ASA board through their own website:

http://www.asaltd.com/about/bodirectors.asp

ASA Limited is a closed-end management investment company. The Company provides investors a vehicle to invest in a portfolio consisting primarily of the stocks of companies engaged in the exploration, mining or processing of gold, silver, platinum, diamonds or other precious minerals. The Company may invest in gold, silver and platinum bullion or securities. These securities seek to replicate the price movement of gold, silver or platinum bullion.

3. Ruben Kraiem, Partner, Covington and Burling
Rubén Kraiem is a partner at Covington & Burling LLP, where he co-chairs, with Stuart Eizenstat, the firm’s Carbon Markets, Climate Change and Clean Technology practice. His practice includes transactional work on behalf of investors and institutions in the carbon markets. He is involved also in legislative work on behalf of clients engaged in the climate change policy debate. Most recently, he was involved in promoting the proposed acquisition of TXU which resulted in three massive coal plants being built in Texas. Mr. Kraiem is an advisor to the Coalition for Rainforest Nations, and in this capacity he attended the Bali Conference on Climate Change (COP-13) in December, 2007. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Fordham Law School.

C&B’s practice in the Energy area:
We represent investor-owned utilities, independent power producers, local distribution companies, natural gas pipelines, energy marketers and traders, oil and gas producers, wind producers, electric cooperatives, large end-users, financiers, project developers, institutional equity investors, a coalition of electric generators, transmitters, distributors, and consumers, and project advisory firms in a wide range of regulatory, corporate, and legislative energy matters.

C&B’s practice in the Nuclear area: (note the revolving door)
The former Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Dr. Richard Meserve, has rejoined the firm and brings extensive experience on nuclear matters. We can provide experienced counseling and advisory services in connection with nuclear matters arising at the state and federal level.

4. Frederick A.O. Schwarz, Jr.; Chair Emeritus
Senior Counsel, Cravath, Swaine & Moore
Some of their clients as found at http://www.cravath.com/Cravath.html
Here are a few choice few of the most environmentally destructive ones:
Weyerhaeuser Company
In 2007, we represented Weyerhaeuser in the merger of its fine paper business with Domtar Inc. for approximately US$3.3 billion.

Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Inc. – Phelps Dodge Corp.
In 2007, we advised JPMorgan Chase and Merrill Lynch, as lead arrangers and underwriters, in connection with the financing of Freeport-McMoran’s purchase of Phelps Dodge for approximately US$23 billion, the largest mining acquisition on record.

Petroplus Holdings AG
In 2006, we represented the global coordinators (Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley) in connection with the CHF2.52 billion (equivalent to US$2.1 billion) 144A/Reg. S initial public offering of registered shares of Petroplus Holdings AG, one of the largest independent refiners and suppliers of unbranded petroleum products in Europe. The shares were listed on the SWX Swiss Exchange.

LS Power Equity Advisors, LLC
In 2006, we represented LS Power Equity Advisors, LLC in connection with a sale of assets to, and joint venture with, Dynegy.

Southern Peru Copper Corporation
In 2005, we represented the underwriters (led by Citigroup and UBS Investment Bank) in connection with the US$947 million registered common stock offering of Southern Peru Copper Corporation, the world’s largest publicly traded copper company as measured by reserves. The shares were listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Lima Stock Exchange.

Latin America
We have represented Vitro, Mexico’s largest glass maker, AmBev, the Brazilian beverage manufacturer, and GP Investimentos in a variety of transactions. In addition, we have represented JPMorgan Securities and Citigroup, as lead underwriters, in connection with the securities offerings of South American businesses, particularly in the pulp and paper manufacturing and mining sectors, which involve significant environmental issues.

5. Robert J. Fisher; Vice Chair, Director, GAP Inc.

http://www.gapsucks.org/gwa/history/wsj/

6. Michel Gelobter, Ph.D.
Founder, CEO, Cooler Inc.
“Cooler is an on-line, for-profit venture that enables consumers and retailers to buy and sell millions of everyday goods and services while offsetting their global warming impacts. ”
http://www.nelson.wisc.edu/news/stories/2008/gelobter.htm

NRDC’s Finances

The NRDC’s 2007 financial statement also reveals their millions of dollars of investment in the fossil fuel industry. Can we really expect them to be pushing for a transition towards renewables (i.e. not hydrocarbons or biofuels/biomass) when they are heavily invested in those? Two lines of credit from top carbon trading promoting banks – Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase – extend to NRDC 10s of millions of dollars at low interest.

The NRDC’s most recent financial statement has them investing $23 million of their endowment with the biggest underwriter of coal operations in the U.S., the Bank of America. It also shows the NRDC heavily invested in the Carlyle Group widely considered as profiting from no-bid contracts in an illegal invasion of a sovereign country launched to secure hydrocarbons. The Carlyle Group funds also include major holdings in the fossil fuel industry itself. These include massive ethanol biofuel and toxic gas infrastructure and service companies, like the major oil and gas player Cobalt, which seeks to extract oil and gas from the Gulf of Mexico and Africa, and Gibson Energy which provides “midstream services” to the oil and gas industry, services which have found their way to providing ’solutions’ to accessing hydrocarbons in Western Canada.

There are other intriguing Board Members to research for enquiring minds at the following link (a few are listed below):

http://www.nrdc.org/about/board.asp

Adam Albright; Vice Chair, Private investor; Environmentalist

Susan Crown, Principal, Henry Crown and Company; Executive, Foundation Chair, Community
Activist
Henry Crown and Company has holdings in Aspen Ski Resort.

http://biz.yahoo.com/ic/40/40214.html

Also in oil and gas:

http://investing.businessweek.com/businessweek/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=4304111

They are also an opaque investment company. So more info appreciated.

Bob Epstein
Co-Founder, Sybase, Inc., and Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2); Organizer and Director, New Resource Bank

Environmental Entrepreneurs – a few of these people w/links to both Hill & Knowlton (http://www.prwatch.org/search/node/hill+knowlton) and the NRDC; Creepy cousins

http://www.e2.org/jsp/controller?cmd=liqleader

Jill Tate Higgins, Private investor; General Partner, Lakeside Enterprises, L.P.
Nothing on her/Lakeside except that she’s also in E2

Bob Kerrey, President, The New School

Philip B. Korsant, Managing Member, Korsant Partners

http://www.secinfo.com/$/SEC/Name.asp?S=philip+b.+korsant

Maya Lin, Artist; Designer – Maya Lin was the proposed architect for a proposed paper de-inking facility on the South South Bronx waterfront, which was championed by NRDC. It took Bronx-wide mobilization to defeat this environmentally unjust project.

Philip (Pete) Ruegger III, Chair, Executive Committee, Simpson, Thatcher & Bartlett
Christine H. Russell, Ph.D., Environmentalist; Foundation director
Wendy Schmidt, President, The Schmidt Family Foundation; Founder, The 11th Hour Project
Max Stone, Managing Director, D.E. Shaw & Company, L.P.
Elizabeth Wiatt, Environmentalist; Founder, Leadership Council

HONORARY TRUSTEES
Dean E. Abrahamson, M.D., Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota
Robert O. Blake, U.S. Ambassador (retired)
Joan K. Davidson, Former Parks Commissioner, NY State; President Emeritus, The J.M. Kaplan
Fund
Frederick A. Terry, Jr.. Senior Counsel, Sullivan & Cromwell

http://www.actforclimatejustice.org/tools-resources/mcj-take-on-corportate-polluters-and-corporate-environmental-organizations/nrdc-conflicts-of-interest/

United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP)

Resources on the NRDC and USCAP

Members of the United States Climate Action Partnership

– Top climate scientist Dr. James Hansen: NRDC showing “poor judgment”

– Support for Carbon Trading Ignores History’s Lessons and Basic Economics, Leading Environmental Economist Charles Komanoff (of the Carbon Tax Center) declares. “Come Back, NRDC!” ( 4 minute video )

– Dr. James Hansen on “Why we’re targeting the NRDC Greenwash” (2 min video)

http://www.actforclimatejustice.org/tools-resources/mcj-take-on-corportate-polluters-and-corporate-environmental-organizations/united-states-climate-action-partnership-uscap/

NRDC’s Greatest (Environmental) Hits

From the Mobilization for Climate Justice Organization

NRDC – Undermining sound environmental campaigns through deal-making and betrayals

Here below are a few examples of this corporate-friendly “environmental” group’s greatest betrayals of sound, uncompromised environmental positions. At the end of this post, we offer some background on NRDC’s role in shaping current US climate policy and conclusions about US Climate Policy moving forward in an equitable, sound manner.

Our actions on Nov 30 sent a warning shot across the bows of corporate ‘greens’ who distort climate science on behalf of major polluters and are obstructing and undermining grassroots campaigns for a prompt transition to a just, low carbon economy.

The MCJ proposes a range of solutions (including leaving hydrocarbons in the ground and more).

Table of Contents

1. NRDC played a key role in the formation and promotion of the United States Climate Action Partnership (2007- present):
2. NRDC is promoting methane gas drilling despite absence of scientific studies (2007)
3. NRDC supports New Coal Plants
4. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the N.R.D.C.
5. Oil Giant Conoco and NRDC vs. the Ecuadorean Amazon and Huaorani – forest-dependent peoples (1991)
6. NRDC and Enron: Role in Utility Deregulation
7. A Kinder Gentler Alberta Tar Sands
8. Utility Shill NRDC attacks Prop. 7
Background on NRDC and Current Climate Policy
Conclusion

NRDC’s Greatest (Environmental) Hits

ACTION ALERT! Is Greenpeace International set to become GE – Greenpeace Electric?

Greenpeace International or Greenpeace Electric???

“One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised.”­ – Chinua Achebe ­ Nigerian Writer

First the tcktcktck scandal and now this. AT COP 15, the spokesperson for TckTckTck was Kumi Naidoo.  Kumi Naidoo is the Chair of  TckTckTck, as well as the executive director of Greenpeace International.

The recent decision by Greenpeace International to hire Tzeporah Berman to direct its global climate and energy campaign could be the most disastrous decision that Greenpeace has ever made. It is quite possible that this move may destroy the organizations reputation in such a damaging way it may never recover. The current economic system has caused us to have entered into what Dr. E.O. Wilson describes as ‘the sixth extinction’ – a phrase that many scientists are now using. We now face climate catastrophe on a dying planet already well on the pathway to a 6C temperature rise which will kill off most life. This recent appointment of Tzeporah Berman could be the greatest threat climate change justice has yet to face. Who is Tzeporah Berman anyway? Tzeporah Berman could be described as a Trojan horse for the biggest corporations on the planet. She has successfully entrenched her way into the position of bargaining away nature to the corporations, under the guise of an environmentalist. Perhaps this is a seemingly much better strategy than just having Pat Moore “ex-Greenpeace” running around supporting the corporations. The corporations have finally succeeded in placing a compromised ‘environmentalist’ into the very heart of Greenpeace – the most recognized environmental organization on the planet. The day after Tzeporah Berman announced her new Greenpeace role, she walked into an exclusive General Electric (GE) banquet (past the real environmental protesters) and delivered a speech supporting the privatization of some 600 rivers in British Columbia, Canada, for the benefit of GE and their subsidiaries and partners. So there was Greenpeace (not officially, of course, but in the public mind) endorsing the wholesale surrender of our environment to one of the most predatory corporations on the planet – GE has paid fines for illegal weapons trade fraud, money laundering, etc.

“There is nothing more dangerous than a shallow thinking compassionate person.” – Garrett Hardin

On a positive note – such a scandal may be the one that will finally expose the corporatization of compromised NGOs and the deafening silence on the reality of climate change which has been going on behind the scenes for quite some time – to which the public are mostly unaware.

Also amazing; right now, in the climate justice movement something extraordinarily important is happening.  After Copenhagen – a line is finally being drawn in the sand. True climate justice groups are now refusing to sign onto to any statement that endorses a temperature which exceeds a 1C temperature rise. As compromised NGOs are still clinging to the suicidal 1.5C – 2C temperatures, we will now finally see a clear divide. True climate justice groups verses the compromised NGOs. As well, true climate justice groups are now mobilizing to endorse a global emergency declaration on climate change. Again, those who do not sign on will be easily identified as those with vested interests.

The Tzeporah Berman specialty: Disaster Capitalism

The message behind disaster capitalism campaigning is this; climate change is “so urgent” that we have to turn the planet over to GE and other corporations to “save us.” This is all bullshit. This messaging is designed with the purpose of gaining corporate control of Earths natural assets. The question is, what has gone wrong at Greenpeace International? Is it i) lack of due-diligence, ii) lack of research ii) lack of knowledge or iv) is this the new direction of Greenpeace? Did they not speak to anyone in Canada who has dealt with Tzeporah Berman? (See extensive list of comments below including comments from Greenpeace co-founder Rex Weyler). With the Earth now passing several planetary boundaries and ecosystems now failing, with consequences that are detrimental or even catastrophic for large parts of the world – disaster capitalism is now set to explode.

General Electric

To help sell their corporate privatization of British Columbia (B.C.), Canada, GE placed Tzeporah on the cover of their magazine, Reader’s Digest. General Electric, which owns one of the world’s largest media conglomerates – as well as weapons production, weapons trade, and military contracts – owns Reader’s Digest through GE Capital with partners Bank of America and JPMorgan. GE has a history of using Reader’s Digest to hype its offspring, including a health Insurance company, its astroturf organizations, and now, their well trained “environmentalist,” Tzeporah Berman. Keep in mind that General Electric plays both sides of the climate “debate”. While they support astroturf organizations – such as Tzeporah’s “Power UP Canada” to sell their private acquisition of Canadian public assets; allegedly to build “alternative power” and “reduce global warming”, they simultaneously fund the organizations that deny global warming. GE funds the American Petroleum Institute, for example, and it’s astroturf affiliates such as “Energy Citizens,” who stage “grassroots” rallies to deny climate change and defeat climate legislation in the U.S. General Electric is a member of American Petroleum Institute (API), along with Dow, Bechtel, Halliburton, ExxonMobil, Shell, BP America, ConocoPhillips, General Siemens, Enbridge, and so forth.

GE is also a member of United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) – an organization which supports a target of 450-550 parts per million of CO2 – which is suicidal. USCA consists of corporately funded NGOs such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, The Nature Conservancy, World Resources Institute, Pew Center on Global Climate Change and these corporatized NGOs partner with the likes of Shell, The Dow Chemical Company and many more multinational corporations who continue to exploit both people and planet in the name of insatiable corporate profits. Will Greenpeace International be the next to get in bed with USCAP?

GE is a member through GE Oil & Gas Conmec and General Electric Inspection Services (both link directly to GE Energy) GE Energy is one of the world’s leading suppliers of power generation and delivery from coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear energy. GE is now moving into renewable resources such as water, wind, and solar by acquiring rights to those energy resources worldwide. In B.C. their plan is to privatize some 600 watersheds, acquire the water and energy resources, and then sell it back to the public at exorbitant prices they set with the corrupted government that they support. GE takes B.C. public and ecological assets and not even pays trinkets, but rather makes citizens pay with a liability to buy their power at a rate they’ve wrangled from Gordon Campbell and his accenture (former Arthur Anderson of the Enron cookie jar crowd) advisors. General Electric helped fund these climate change denial campaigns, while simultaneously using the urgency of global warming to make a grab for hundreds of rivers, tributaries, and watersheds in British Columbia, Canada. They’ve attached Tzeporah Berman to the deal to give it a green patina. One could argue that, Tzeporah, in essence, represents General Electric. She is now their allegedly friendly face of privatization. She stands in opposition to the people of British Columbia, the grass roots environmental organizations, the long-standing Canadian ecology groups – Greenpeace, Western Canada Wilderness Committee, BC Citizens for Public Power, Indigenous Environmental Network and others. General Electric: one of the most destructive corporations on the planet. Involved in global weapons manufacture and trade, with international criminal convictions for weapons trading fraud and money laundering, deeply institutionalized in the U.S. Defense Contract community, controlling massive media ownership – including Reader’s Digest.

Copenhagen For some, a tiny tax outweighs massive environmental destruction

On December 29than article by Roger Annis appeared on Climate & Capitalism; Here is an excerpt;

At first glance, it seemed that the “Yes Men” had scored another comedic coup for Mother Earth. CBC Radio news reported on December 16 that on the previous day, British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell was feted and presented an environmental award by many of Canada’s well-heeled “environmental groups” during the United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen. Hah! Great gag, guys! And very timely. An embarrassingly large number of people and agencies in Canada and abroad have been hoodwinked by the BC government’s claims to environmental stewardship and its greenwashing propaganda. But wait, the story proves to be true and not a gag at all! Campbell actually did receive an ‘Economy Wide Carbon Pricing’ award from Tzeporah Berman of PowerUp Canada, one of ten of Canada’s best funded “environmental groups” that endorsed the award, presented at a gala recognizing “acts of climate leadership” by municipal and provincial governments across Canada. Other award endorsers are the David Suzuki Foundation, the Ecology Action Centre, Environmental Defence, Équiterre, ForestEthics, the Green Energy Act Alliance, the Pembina Institute, TckTckTck, and WWF Canada.

Voices of dissent

The Sierra Club did not participate in the Copenhagen award gala. Executive Director George Heyman, a former long-time president of the BC Government Employees Union, said the BC Liberals have taken a lot of actions that are “deeply contradictory” to its greenwashing propaganda. Heyman pointed out that fuel is exempt from the soon-to-be-imposed Harmonized Sales Tax, but the labour for energy efficient home retrofits is not. “They’re also providing massive subsidies to the oil and gas industry. . . and supporting a massive pipeline to move dirty tar sands oil across B.C.,” he said. Voices of concern are on the rise from the Indigenous peoples living in the coal and gas rich regions. Writing in the Vancouver Sun on December 22, Kathie Dickie, Chief of the 800-member Fort Nelson First Nation, expressed grave concern over two giant gas processing facilities being built near Fort Nelson, in northeast B.C. Chief Dickie wrote there has been no meaningful consultation with her people concerning the environmental impacts of En Cana Corporation’s Cabin Gas Plant nor a Spectra Gas plant to be located 15 kilometers away. Cabin Gas, once constructed, will be the largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the province. One BC government official told the Fort Nelson First Nation that its 100-year old treaty with Canada does not guarantee clean air. “Imagine being told by a government official in 2009 that you have no say on the quality of air you or your children breathe! What parent would stand for it?” Dickie asked. The pale green groups that honored Gordon Campbell should be ashamed. His government should be condemned, not praised.

This must be stopped

There must be an international response. Please circulate this to all of your contacts concerned for the environment and climate justice. See the email addresses for Greenpeace staff below. We now stand on the cusp of the bleakest periods where we are confronted with the zero point of systemic collapse. Now is the time to be bold. No more compromise. We can no longer turn a blind eye to the corporatized NGOs who have hijacked the environmental movement. Such compromised NGO behaviour has been nothing less than an absolute detriment to the real environmental movement. The same compromised NGOs have and continue to obstruct real climate justice by keeping the public in the dark on the necessary targets we must demand to avert the climate crisis we now face. Below is one of the most truthful videos on climate change that exists today.

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”| George Orwell

[brightcove vid=52599643001&exp3=51061328001&surl=http://c.brightcove.com/services&pubid=50954724001&w=300&h=225]

The Vancouver Media Coop in Canada are promoting an excellent idea of having Greenpeace members and donors contact Greenpeace expressing their disapproval. This must happen on the largest possible scale.

The Pale Green Patina; How General Electric promotes their trained “Environmentalist”

General Electric is hyping Tzeporah Berman, BC’s pale green media princess, as “The New Face of Environmentalism” while she helps them sell their private power deals in Canada. Their goal: to privatize Canadian rivers for corporate profit. Stumping for GE: Sunday, February 15, 2010: The day after announcing her new “greenpeace” role, Tzeporah marched into the private General Electric banquet with the GE executives and security guards, past the Wilderness Committee and other protesters. Inside, she delivered a stump speech supporting the corporate privatization of B.C. wilderness rivers. She is also in favour of the Canadian Tar Sands … with similar phoney-green promises.

Here is the result of Tzeporah’s brand of industrial corporate faux environmentalism;

The once pristine Toba Inlet watershed

This individual who Greenpeace International has hired has successfully betrayed her homeland and alienated the real environmental movement. She crossed an environmental picket to promote the global privatization plans of General Electric.

Pale Green Goes Hollywood

Tzeporah & Paris: savouring the taste of fame

Ego knows no bounds. A taste for power

while cutting deals with corporations and selling of the natural world.

Ms. Berman presenting a “Green” Award to the man who privatized British Columbia, sold it to General Electric and other international corporations, who built highways across farmland and called it “green;” who reversed dioxin effluent safeguards that we fought for and instituted in B.C. to protect our water; who sold off the public and natural heritage of British Columbia and opened the doors to General Electric to occupy hundreds of watersheds, devastate riparian ecosystems, and destroy forests for transmission lines to carry expensive power to mines in the north and to sprawling cities in the U.S.

It’s not easy being the pale green patina over the corporate industrialization of Canada.

Comments from BC environmentalists

Barbara Stowe:

Barbara was a teenager at the first Greenpeace meetings in 1970. Her parents, Dorothy and Irving, are founders of Greenpeace.

“Tzeporah’s support of our anti-environmental, union-busting, social-program-slashing government during an election campaign last year appalled me. She certainly knew her remarks would be used to help the powers that be get re-elected (as did occur). At the best, her actions showed a disturbing lack of judgement. Her stance on the Run of River projects deeply concerns me, and as for applauding our premier because he was sly enough to know that instituting a carbon tax would pull votes from the Greens and other left leaning parties…well, I’m very concerned that GPI would consider working with someone with her views. Given the response of environmentalists in BC to her actions last year, there is no doubt that this hire would cause serious rifts between Greenpeace and the environmental community.”

Clayoquot Sound original activists:

The founders of Friends of Clayoquot Sound (FOCS) consider Tzeporah an opportunist who used them and Clayoquot to climb the publicity ladder into cozy deals with the logging companies. Tzeporah used other people’s jail time for her own advancement. She stepped on a lot of people to get inside the corporate boardrooms that she is now so comfortable in. Here are comments from early Clayoquot activists in Friends of Clayoquot Sound (FOCS):

Andrew Struthers in his history, The Green Shadow:

“Summer faded. The face of Mother Winter appeared in the sky over the Black Hole. Things got tense. Tzapata got into a giant queen bee struggle with Artemis, a woman who had been with the Friends since the Sulpher Pass days. Artemis got fired. When The Boss can tell you to clean out your desk, it’s just not anarchy anymore.”

Janie Jones:

Berman continued to queen bee her way through the FOCS, Greenpeace and then into her own organization ForestEthics and now, PowerUp Canada. Berman did not leadthe blocades at Clayoquot Sound as she claims. They were organized, led and financed (one American heiress pretty well underwrote the whole thing) by the Friends of Clayoquot Sound of whom Berman became a member. Most of the original Friends, all residents of the area, had already been convicted of protesting the clearcut logging the summer before and, as part of their conditions, could not attend the daily blockades at Kennedy Lake, which is why they invited the world come there and protest for them. Ms. Berman, a former fashion student from Toronto with no direct experience or knowledge of the forest industry or the BC culture it supported, was one of over ten thousand who showed up. Because of the void at the site combined with her natural leadership qualities, the charismatic and photogenicyoung Berman rose to prominence as model/spokesperson for the daily ritual of blockading, readings of injunction and arrests.”

Betty Krawczyk: The real Clayoquot forest activist – Author of Clayoquot: The Sound Of My Heart (January 1997) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betty_Krawczyk

Krawczyk is the woman who stood up to police, logging companies, and the courts, arrested many times at Clayoquot, Eagle Ridge Bluff, and other forest destruction sites. She did her first jail stint in 1993 at the age of 65, blockading logging trucks, and she’s still at it, today, at age 82. Here are some of her thoughts on Tzeporah’s betrayal of the B.C. environmental movement:

“Tzeporah Berman has evidently gone over to Gordon Campbell’s camp. Perhaps she is seeking a Liberal political appointment. Too bad. I can remember when she was an agent for change. But change will happen without her. It’s happening right now. She can allow herself to be used by the Campbell government as she likes, but the likes of the Campbell government have already been condemned to the dustbins of history. The private business model she advocates is no longer workable. It is killing the earth. And the economy. Good-bye, Tzeporah.”


Anita Burke: Former Sustainability Director for Shell Oil | Founder of the Catalyst Institute |http://www.catalystinstitute.com/

After leaving her Shell International sustainable development and energy portfolio Anita founded Catalyst Institute to do the work she was not allowed to do for the oil company, actually create a genuine sustainable future. She advises governments and businesses on operationalizing real sustainable development and socioeconomic change. Her comments, regarding the “green rift” created in Canada by Tzeporah and General Electric:

“The division was no accidental by-product of their actions. It was the purpose, at least for General Electric. Shell Oil purposefully planned and executed these types of rifts within the environmental movement when I was at Shell. Get em so busy arguing amoungst themselves that it will use up their resources and redirect them from the issues. Tzeporah is just a pawn in their game, and her ego is what they feed on, ego and fear. Sad day for BC. Sorrowful future for Tzeporah’s manipulated and misguided soul.”

Rex Weyler: 40 years in the Canadian environmental movement, Author of “Greenpeace: The Inside Story,” a co-founder of Greenpeace International:

Tzeporah Berman may be well intentioned, but she has embraced Disaster Capitalism, as described by Naomi Klein. She claims that climate change is so urgent, we must turn our natural assets over to General Electric, Plutonic Power, and other global corporations. She talks of “solving global warming,” and “new energy” but she possesses very little knowledge of ecology, energy, or biophysical economics. Perhaps she’s been duped into thinking that since climate warming is urgent, we should turn over our watersheds to General Electric to “solve global warming.” This is a new “green” phase of Disaster Capitalism. At best, this is a sad case of Garrett Harding’s “shallow thinking compassionate person.” At worst, this is an all-out betrayal of environmentalism, of the groups and activists who built the environmental movement in Canada and in the world, and a betrayal of the Earth itself. In any case, Tzeporah now speaks for General Electric, not for the Earth, not for wilderness, and not for our children’s future. And General Electric – one of the largest corporations in the world, involved in illegal weapons trading (for which they’ve paid fines), money laundering, and nuclear power – has one single agenda: acquire assets, increase company value, make profits, take the cash. And for this goal, they have one simple strategy regarding nature: Privatize everything. Turn the world into the private property of corporations, and sell it back to the public. On Sunday, February 14, 2010, at an exclusive General Electric banquet in Vancouver, Tzeporah supported GE’s privatization of Canadian rivers. She now represents corporate power, not ecology. Those of us in the ecology and environmental movement have to move on and do the real work.”

Donna Passmore: Campaigner with the Fraser Valley Conservation Coalition, battling the proposed Gateway project that Tzeporah’s “green” political friends in the B.C. Liberal government are building.

“I am disgusted by her stand on run-of-river private power projects.”

Notes from David Shipway:

35 year resident of Cortes Island near Toba Inlet | shipway@island.net | February 3, 2010

Run of river site plan details; Bute Inlet example; This is what the Tzeporah / General Electric “climate policy” is doing to Canadian Watersheds. GE is the big money behind this … with JPMorgan, & the usual crowd ..

“Plutonic Power” is a local GE partner ..

The hydrocarbon cost of Tzeporah Berman’s scheme with General Electric to occupy 300 rivers and watersheds in British Columbia, including 17 rivers in the Toba watershed. First you do the feasibility studies: fly all kinds of engineers, hydrologists, biologists and potential investors around in helicopters a few dozen times, have them work up a detailed plan in well-lit gas-heated offices somewhere, and deliver your plan to govt/public so they can spend lots of time and energy deliberating and dismantling it. Once it’s all a GO, Phase 1 is to build new access or fix any existing roads/bridges, clear various sites and bring in a huge temporary camp facility on several barges. This is the one Pluto set up in Toba, which houses 300 in luxury, was purpose built and shipped from Kamloops… Add a 100KW diesel generator running 24/7 for a year too. Phase 2 is to log and clear turbine and penstock sites with conventional diesel equip. This next pic is the steep trench for Montrose penstock beside the McGyver-Kennedy waterfall, soon barely a trickle. It has a total 2000 m. vertical head. This is approx. 6′ diam steel pipe is laid in a trench that often has to be dynamited through rock, then buried, presumably revegetated later:

A later photo shows they had a slide/blowout near the base, so assume some work has to be repeated. I don’t know how to quantify energy/carbon expense, but it looks like some of this route is heli-access only, so that means some earth-moving machinery and penstock pipe is flown in by chopper, after it has all been barged up the inlet, along with oodles of diesel and such. Not sure where the 2m. diam D penstock pipe comes from (China?), but it’s about 12mm wall thickness, and is epoxy or poly-coated, and the 10m. pieces are double-welded together on-site with portable diesel-powered welders. About 3Km of pipe for each powerhouse. Bute will have 17 of these. Phase 3 is “adjustable dam” and intake- lots of diesel-powed terraforming and concrete:

Phase 4 is turbine/powerhouse construction – first lots of site work with heavy equip.

then Build reinforced concrete powerhouse with steel roof, untold amounts of specialty materials and copper, Pluto’s turbines are imported from Austria, electrical stuff from US.

This is East Toba Powerhouse – 2 turbines with total of 123MW capacity, annual output estimated at 465 GWh. The output of those turbines require stepping up in voltage- so add power substations/transformers. Are they still using PCB’s ?

Phase 5 is transmission corridor – or as Tzeppie says, using General Electric language, “the transmission backbone” – built with road-based equipment and helicopter, for each plant, some 150 Kms x 50m wide transmission corridor logged (a permanent clearcut):

Most of the timber is just left to rot because helicopter time is too expensive to retrieve it. Finally, General Electric and their partners will plant 30m-tall steel towers by helicopter every few hundred metres, with big ceramic insulators and 3 runs of transmission wire. The Bute transmission line will run all the way down to Saltery Bay /Jervis Inlet, where it plugs into the Cheekeye-Dunsmuir line.

Vancouver Media Co-op | http://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/blog/macdonald/2824

Tzep calls for gentle tar sands, promotes GE

Tzeporah Berman is readying the ground to sell-out both Greenpeace and the anti-tar sands struggle… Berman is a master of publicity and is already setting the groundwork for future campaigns and betrayals, backroom deals and greenwashing the un-greenable. Since there is no such technology as “clean tar sands” anymore than clean coal, one must assume that this is right in line with why she is promoting the destruction of rivers in BC: to use them as “clean energy.” All members and donors to Greenpeace should IMMEDIATELY alert the organization that if she takes office they will pull all contributions to the organization that once had actual opposition to these kinds of massive destructive developments. Txeporah Berman will make deals with Suncor, in private backrooms. SHUT DOWN THE TAR SANDS, DO NOT MAKE THEM “FRIENDLY”.

Delores Broton: 30 years in the B.C. environmental movement, editor of the Watershed Sentinel for 15 years. One the most highly respected environmental voices in British Columbia. On the idea of Greenpeace hiring the person who betrayed the Canadian environmental movement:

“What were they thinking? Did they talk to anyone? Does Greenpeace do any due diligence?”

Bob Hunter (October 13, 1941–May 2, 2005) was a co-founder of Greenpeace in 1972. Hunter, the first President of Greenpeace, was a long-time campaigner for environmental causes. In 1971, the word “Greenpeace” hadn’t yet been coined.  Bob was a hippy journalist in Vancouver, a town which he described as having “the biggest concentration of tree-huggers, radicalized students, garbage-dump stoppers, shit-disturbing unionists, freeway fighters, pot smokers and growers, aging Trotskyites, condo killers, farmland savers, fish preservationists, animal rights activists, back-to-the-landers, vegetarians, nudists, Buddhists, and anti-spraying, anti-pollution marchers and picketers in the country, per capita, in the world.”

This is the Greenpeace the world fell in love with.   This is the Greenpeace that changed the world with a real movement.  Give us back our old Greenpeace!


What can you do? Take Action! Write Greenpeace today.

Forward this email or write your own concerns and comments to the following people:

  • Kumi Naidoo: kumi.naidoo@greenpeace.org | Executive Director, Greenpeace International
  • Jessica Wilson: jessica.wilson@greenpeace.org
  • Bruce Cox: Executive Director, Greenpeace Canada | cell: | bruce.cox@greenpeace.org
  • Nigel Campbell: nigel.campbell@greenpeace.org
  • Anne Dingwall: anne.dingwall@greenpeace.org |  Fundraising Director
  • Phil Radford: phil.radford@greenpeace.org | Exec. Director, USA
  • Jo Kuper: jo.kuper@greenpeace.org
  • Martin Lloyd: martin.lloyd@greenpeace.org
  • Gene Hashmi: gene.hashmi@greenpeace.org

“We are so presumptuous that we think we can separate our personal interest from that of humanity, and slander mankind without compromising ourselves” | Marquis De Vauvenargues, 1715-1747)Greenpeace International or Greenpeace Electric???

“One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised.”­ – Chinua Achebe ­ Nigerian Writer

First the tcktcktck scandal and now this. AT COP 15, the spokesperson for TckTckTck was Kumi Naidoo.  Kumi Naidoo is the Chair of  TckTckTck, as well as the executive director of Greenpeace International.

The recent decision by Greenpeace International to hire Tzeporah Berman to direct its global climate and energy campaign could be the most disastrous decision that Greenpeace has ever made. It is quite possible that this move may destroy the organizations reputation in such a damaging way it may never recover. The current economic system has caused us to have entered into what Dr. E.O. Wilson describes as ‘the sixth extinction’ – a phrase that many scientists are now using. We now face climate catastrophe on a dying planet already well on the pathway to a 6C temperature rise which will kill off most life. This recent appointment of Tzeporah Berman could be the greatest threat climate change justice has yet to face. Who is Tzeporah Berman anyway? Tzeporah Berman could be described as a Trojan horse for the biggest corporations on the planet. She has successfully entrenched her way into the position of bargaining away nature to the corporations, under the guise of an environmentalist. Perhaps this is a seemingly much better strategy than just having Pat Moore “ex-Greenpeace” running around supporting the corporations. The corporations have finally succeeded in placing a compromised ‘environmentalist’ into the very heart of Greenpeace – the most recognized environmental organization on the planet. The day after Tzeporah Berman announced her new Greenpeace role, she walked into an exclusive General Electric (GE) banquet (past the real environmental protesters) and delivered a speech supporting the privatization of some 600 rivers in British Columbia, Canada, for the benefit of GE and their subsidiaries and partners. So there was Greenpeace (not officially, of course, but in the public mind) endorsing the wholesale surrender of our environment to one of the most predatory corporations on the planet – GE has paid fines for illegal weapons trade fraud, money laundering, etc.

“There is nothing more dangerous than a shallow thinking compassionate person.” – Garrett Hardin

On a positive note – such a scandal may be the one that will finally expose the corporatization of compromised NGOs and the deafening silence on the reality of climate change which has been going on behind the scenes for quite some time – to which the public are mostly unaware.

Also amazing; right now, in the climate justice movement something extraordinarily important is happening.  After Copenhagen – a line is finally being drawn in the sand. True climate justice groups are now refusing to sign onto to any statement that endorses a temperature which exceeds a 1C temperature rise. As compromised NGOs are still clinging to the suicidal 1.5C – 2C temperatures, we will now finally see a clear divide. True climate justice groups versus the compromised NGOs. As well, true climate justice groups are now mobilizing to endorse a global emergency declaration on climate change. Again, those who do not sign on will be easily identified as those with vested interests.

The Tzeporah Berman specialty: Disaster Capitalism

The message behind disaster capitalism campaigning is this; climate change is “so urgent” that we have to turn the planet over to GE and other corporations to “save us.” This is all bullshit. This messaging is designed with the purpose of gaining corporate control of Earths natural assets. The question is, what has gone wrong at Greenpeace International? Is it i) lack of due-diligence, ii) lack of research ii) lack of knowledge or iv) is this the new direction of Greenpeace? Did they not speak to anyone in Canada who has dealt with Tzeporah Berman? (See extensive list of comments below including comments from Greenpeace co-founder Rex Weyler). With the Earth now passing several planetary boundaries and ecosystems now failing, with consequences that are detrimental or even catastrophic for large parts of the world – disaster capitalism is now set to explode.

General Electric

To help sell their corporate privatization of British Columbia (B.C.), Canada, GE placed Tzeporah on the cover of their magazine, Reader’s Digest. General Electric, which owns one of the world’s largest media conglomerates – as well as weapons production, weapons trade, and military contracts – owns Reader’s Digest through GE Capital with partners Bank of America and JPMorgan. GE has a history of using Reader’s Digest to hype its offspring, including a health Insurance company, its astroturf organizations, and now, their well trained “environmentalist,” Tzeporah Berman. Keep in mind that General Electric plays both sides of the climate “debate”. While they support astroturf organizations – such as Tzeporah’s “Power UP Canada” to sell their private acquisition of Canadian public assets; allegedly to build “alternative power” and “reduce global warming”, they simultaneously fund the organizations that deny global warming. GE funds the American Petroleum Institute, for example, and it’s astroturf affiliates such as “Energy Citizens,” who stage “grassroots” rallies to deny climate change and defeat climate legislation in the U.S. General Electric is a member of American Petroleum Institute (API), along with Dow, Bechtel, Halliburton, ExxonMobil, Shell, BP America, ConocoPhillips, General Siemens, Enbridge, and so forth.

GE is also a member of United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) – an organization which supports a target of 450-550 parts per million of CO2 – which is suicidal. USCA consists of corporately funded NGOs such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, The Nature Conservancy, World Resources Institute, Pew Center on Global Climate Change and these corporatized NGOs partner with the likes of Shell, The Dow Chemical Company and many more multinational corporations who continue to exploit both people and planet in the name of insatiable corporate profits. Will Greenpeace International be the next to get in bed with USCAP?

GE is a member through GE Oil & Gas Conmec and General Electric Inspection Services (both link directly to GE Energy) GE Energy is one of the world’s leading suppliers of power generation and delivery from coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear energy. GE is now moving into renewable resources such as water, wind, and solar by acquiring rights to those energy resources worldwide. In B.C. their plan is to privatize some 600 watersheds, acquire the water and energy resources, and then sell it back to the public at exorbitant prices they set with the corrupted government that they support. GE takes B.C. public and ecological assets and not even pays trinkets, but rather makes citizens pay with a liability to buy their power at a rate they’ve wrangled from Gordon Campbell and his accenture (former Arthur Anderson of the Enron cookie jar crowd) advisors. General Electric helped fund these climate change denial campaigns, while simultaneously using the urgency of global warming to make a grab for hundreds of rivers, tributaries, and watersheds in British Columbia, Canada. They’ve attached Tzeporah Berman to the deal to give it a green patina. One could argue that, Tzeporah, in essence, represents General Electric. She is now their allegedly friendly face of privatization. She stands in opposition to the people of British Columbia, the grass roots environmental organizations, the long-standing Canadian ecology groups – Greenpeace, Western Canada Wilderness Committee, BC Citizens for Public Power, Indigenous Environmental Network and others. General Electric: one of the most destructive corporations on the planet. Involved in global weapons manufacture and trade, with international criminal convictions for weapons trading fraud and money laundering, deeply institutionalized in the U.S. Defense Contract community, controlling massive media ownership – including Reader’s Digest.

Copenhagen For some, a tiny tax outweighs massive environmental destruction

On December 29than article by Roger Annis appeared on Climate & Capitalism; Here is an excerpt;

At first glance, it seemed that the “Yes Men” had scored another comedic coup for Mother Earth. CBC Radio news reported on December 16 that on the previous day, British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell was feted and presented an environmental award by many of Canada’s well-heeled “environmental groups” during the United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen. Hah! Great gag, guys! And very timely. An embarrassingly large number of people and agencies in Canada and abroad have been hoodwinked by the BC government’s claims to environmental stewardship and its greenwashing propaganda. But wait, the story proves to be true and not a gag at all! Campbell actually did receive an ‘Economy Wide Carbon Pricing’ award from Tzeporah Berman of PowerUp Canada, one of ten of Canada’s best funded “environmental groups” that endorsed the award, presented at a gala recognizing “acts of climate leadership” by municipal and provincial governments across Canada. Other award endorsers are the David Suzuki Foundation, the Ecology Action Centre, Environmental Defence, Équiterre, ForestEthics, the Green Energy Act Alliance, the Pembina Institute, TckTckTck, and WWF Canada.

Voices of dissent

The Sierra Club did not participate in the Copenhagen award gala. Executive Director George Heyman, a former long-time president of the BC Government Employees Union, said the BC Liberals have taken a lot of actions that are “deeply contradictory” to its greenwashing propaganda. Heyman pointed out that fuel is exempt from the soon-to-be-imposed Harmonized Sales Tax, but the labour for energy efficient home retrofits is not. “They’re also providing massive subsidies to the oil and gas industry. . . and supporting a massive pipeline to move dirty tar sands oil across B.C.,” he said. Voices of concern are on the rise from the Indigenous peoples living in the coal and gas rich regions. Writing in the Vancouver Sun on December 22, Kathie Dickie, Chief of the 800-member Fort Nelson First Nation, expressed grave concern over two giant gas processing facilities being built near Fort Nelson, in northeast B.C. Chief Dickie wrote there has been no meaningful consultation with her people concerning the environmental impacts of En Cana Corporation’s Cabin Gas Plant nor a Spectra Gas plant to be located 15 kilometers away. Cabin Gas, once constructed, will be the largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the province. One BC government official told the Fort Nelson First Nation that its 100-year old treaty with Canada does not guarantee clean air. “Imagine being told by a government official in 2009 that you have no say on the quality of air you or your children breathe! What parent would stand for it?” Dickie asked. The pale green groups that honored Gordon Campbell should be ashamed. His government should be condemned, not praised.

This must be stopped

There must be an international response. Please circulate this to all of your contacts concerned for the environment and climate justice. See the email addresses for Greenpeace staff below. We now stand on the cusp of the bleakest periods where we are confronted with the zero point of systemic collapse. Now is the time to be bold. No more compromise. We can no longer turn a blind eye to the corporatized NGOs who have hijacked the environmental movement. Such compromised NGO behaviour has been nothing less than an absolute detriment to the real environmental movement. The same compromised NGOs have and continue to obstruct real climate justice by keeping the public in the dark on the necessary targets we must demand to avert the climate crisis we now face. Below is one of the most truthful videos on climate change that exists today.

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”| George Orwell

[brightcove vid=52599643001&exp3=51061328001&surl=http://c.brightcove.com/services&pubid=50954724001&w=300&h=225]

The Vancouver Media Coop in Canada are promoting an excellent idea of having Greenpeace members and donors contact Greenpeace expressing their disapproval. This must happen on the largest possible scale.

The Pale Green Patina; How General Electric promotes their trained “Environmentalist”

 

General Electric is hyping Tzeporah Berman, BC’s pale green media princess, as “The New Face of Environmentalism” while she helps them sell their private power deals in Canada. Their goal: to privatize Canadian rivers for corporate profit. Stumping for GE: Sunday, February 15, 2010: The day after announcing her new “greenpeace” role, Tzeporah marched into the private General Electric banquet with the GE executives and security guards, past the Wilderness Committee and other protesters. Inside, she delivered a stump speech supporting the corporate privatization of B.C. wilderness rivers. She is also in favour of the Canadian Tar Sands … with similar phoney-green promises.

Here is the result of Tzeporah’s brand of industrial corporate faux environmentalism;

The once pristine Toba Inlet watershed

This individual who Greenpeace International has hired has successfully betrayed her homeland and alienated the real environmental movement. She crossed an environmental picket to promote the global privatization plans of General Electric.

Pale Green Goes Hollywood

Tzeporah & Paris: savouring the taste of fame

Ego knows no bounds. A taste for power

while cutting deals with corporations and selling of the natural world.

Ms. Berman presenting a “Green” Award to the man who privatized British Columbia, sold it to General Electric and other international corporations, who built highways across farmland and called it “green;” who reversed dioxin effluent safeguards that we fought for and instituted in B.C. to protect our water; who sold off the public and natural heritage of British Columbia and opened the doors to General Electric to occupy hundreds of watersheds, devastate riparian ecosystems, and destroy forests for transmission lines to carry expensive power to mines in the north and to sprawling cities in the U.S.

 

It’s not easy being the pale green patina over the corporate industrialization of Canada.

Comments from BC environmentalists

Barbara Stowe:

Barbara was a teenager at the first Greenpeace meetings in 1970. Her parents, Dorothy and Irving, are founders of Greenpeace.

“Tzeporah’s support of our anti-environmental, union-busting, social-program-slashing government during an election campaign last year appalled me. She certainly knew her remarks would be used to help the powers that be get re-elected (as did occur). At the best, her actions showed a disturbing lack of judgement. Her stance on the Run of River projects deeply concerns me, and as for applauding our premier because he was sly enough to know that instituting a carbon tax would pull votes from the Greens and other left leaning parties…well, I’m very concerned that GPI would consider working with someone with her views. Given the response of environmentalists in BC to her actions last year, there is no doubt that this hire would cause serious rifts between Greenpeace and the environmental community.”

Clayoquot Sound original activists:

The founders of Friends of Clayoquot Sound (FOCS) consider Tzeporah an opportunist who used them and Clayoquot to climb the publicity ladder into cozy deals with the logging companies. Tzeporah used other people’s jail time for her own advancement. She stepped on a lot of people to get inside the corporate boardrooms that she is now so comfortable in. Here are comments from early Clayoquot activists in Friends of Clayoquot Sound (FOCS):

Andrew Struthers in his history, The Green Shadow:

“Summer faded. The face of Mother Winter appeared in the sky over the Black Hole. Things got tense. Tzapata got into a giant queen bee struggle with Artemis, a woman who had been with the Friends since the Sulpher Pass days. Artemis got fired. When The Boss can tell you to clean out your desk, it’s just not anarchy anymore.”

Janie Jones:

Berman continued to queen bee her way through the FOCS, Greenpeace and then into her own organization ForestEthics and now, PowerUp Canada. Berman did not leadthe blocades at Clayoquot Sound as she claims. They were organized, led and financed (one American heiress pretty well underwrote the whole thing) by the Friends of Clayoquot Sound of whom Berman became a member. Most of the original Friends, all residents of the area, had already been convicted of protesting the clearcut logging the summer before and, as part of their conditions, could not attend the daily blockades at Kennedy Lake, which is why they invited the world come there and protest for them. Ms. Berman, a former fashion student from Toronto with no direct experience or knowledge of the forest industry or the BC culture it supported, was one of over ten thousand who showed up. Because of the void at the site combined with her natural leadership qualities, the charismatic and photogenicyoung Berman rose to prominence as model/spokesperson for the daily ritual of blockading, readings of injunction and arrests.”

Betty Krawczyk: The real Clayoquot forest activist – Author of Clayoquot: The Sound Of My Heart (January 1997) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betty_Krawczyk

Krawczyk is the woman who stood up to police, logging companies, and the courts, arrested many times at Clayoquot, Eagle Ridge Bluff, and other forest destruction sites. She did her first jail stint in 1993 at the age of 65, blockading logging trucks, and she’s still at it, today, at age 82. Here are some of her thoughts on Tzeporah’s betrayal of the B.C. environmental movement:

“Tzeporah Berman has evidently gone over to Gordon Campbell’s camp. Perhaps she is seeking a Liberal political appointment. Too bad. I can remember when she was an agent for change. But change will happen without her. It’s happening right now. She can allow herself to be used by the Campbell government as she likes, but the likes of the Campbell government have already been condemned to the dustbins of history. The private business model she advocates is no longer workable. It is killing the earth. And the economy. Good-bye, Tzeporah.”


Anita Burke: Former Sustainability Director for Shell Oil | Founder of the Catalyst Institute |http://www.catalystinstitute.com/

After leaving her Shell International sustainable development and energy portfolio Anita founded Catalyst Institute to do the work she was not allowed to do for the oil company, actually create a genuine sustainable future. She advises governments and businesses on operationalizing real sustainable development and socioeconomic change. Her comments, regarding the “green rift” created in Canada by Tzeporah and General Electric:

“The division was no accidental by-product of their actions. It was the purpose, at least for General Electric. Shell Oil purposefully planned and executed these types of rifts within the environmental movement when I was at Shell. Get em so busy arguing amoungst themselves that it will use up their resources and redirect them from the issues. Tzeporah is just a pawn in their game, and her ego is what they feed on, ego and fear. Sad day for BC. Sorrowful future for Tzeporah’s manipulated and misguided soul.”

Rex Weyler: 40 years in the Canadian environmental movement, Author of “Greenpeace: The Inside Story,” a co-founder of Greenpeace International:

Tzeporah Berman may be well intentioned, but she has embraced Disaster Capitalism, as described by Naomi Klein. She claims that climate change is so urgent, we must turn our natural assets over to General Electric, Plutonic Power, and other global corporations. She talks of “solving global warming,” and “new energy” but she possesses very little knowledge of ecology, energy, or biophysical economics. Perhaps she’s been duped into thinking that since climate warming is urgent, we should turn over our watersheds to General Electric to “solve global warming.” This is a new “green” phase of Disaster Capitalism. At best, this is a sad case of Garrett Harding’s “shallow thinking compassionate person.” At worst, this is an all-out betrayal of environmentalism, of the groups and activists who built the environmental movement in Canada and in the world, and a betrayal of the Earth itself. In any case, Tzeporah now speaks for General Electric, not for the Earth, not for wilderness, and not for our children’s future. And General Electric – one of the largest corporations in the world, involved in illegal weapons trading (for which they’ve paid fines), money laundering, and nuclear power – has one single agenda: acquire assets, increase company value, make profits, take the cash. And for this goal, they have one simple strategy regarding nature: Privatize everything. Turn the world into the private property of corporations, and sell it back to the public. On Sunday, February 14, 2010, at an exclusive General Electric banquet in Vancouver, Tzeporah supported GE’s privatization of Canadian rivers. She now represents corporate power, not ecology. Those of us in the ecology and environmental movement have to move on and do the real work.”

Donna Passmore: Campaigner with the Fraser Valley Conservation Coalition, battling the proposed Gateway project that Tzeporah’s “green” political friends in the B.C. Liberal government are building.

“I am disgusted by her stand on run-of-river private power projects.”

Notes from David Shipway:

35 year resident of Cortes Island near Toba Inlet | shipway@island.net | February 3, 2010

Run of river site plan details; Bute Inlet example; This is what the Tzeporah / General Electric “climate policy” is doing to Canadian Watersheds. GE is the big money behind this … with JPMorgan, & the usual crowd ..

“Plutonic Power” is a local GE partner ..

The hydrocarbon cost of Tzeporah Berman’s scheme with General Electric to occupy 300 rivers and watersheds in British Columbia, including 17 rivers in the Toba watershed. First you do the feasibility studies: fly all kinds of engineers, hydrologists, biologists and potential investors around in helicopters a few dozen times, have them work up a detailed plan in well-lit gas-heated offices somewhere, and deliver your plan to govt/public so they can spend lots of time and energy deliberating and dismantling it. Once it’s all a GO, Phase 1 is to build new access or fix any existing roads/bridges, clear various sites and bring in a huge temporary camp facility on several barges. This is the one Pluto set up in Toba, which houses 300 in luxury, was purpose built and shipped from Kamloops… Add a 100KW diesel generator running 24/7 for a year too. Phase 2 is to log and clear turbine and penstock sites with conventional diesel equip. This next pic is the steep trench for Montrose penstock beside the McGyver-Kennedy waterfall, soon barely a trickle. It has a total 2000 m. vertical head. This is approx. 6′ diam steel pipe is laid in a trench that often has to be dynamited through rock, then buried, presumably revegetated later:

A later photo shows they had a slide/blowout near the base, so assume some work has to be repeated. I don’t know how to quantify energy/carbon expense, but it looks like some of this route is heli-access only, so that means some earth-moving machinery and penstock pipe is flown in by chopper, after it has all been barged up the inlet, along with oodles of diesel and such. Not sure where the 2m. diam D penstock pipe comes from (China?), but it’s about 12mm wall thickness, and is epoxy or poly-coated, and the 10m. pieces are double-welded together on-site with portable diesel-powered welders. About 3Km of pipe for each powerhouse. Bute will have 17 of these. Phase 3 is “adjustable dam” and intake- lots of diesel-powed terraforming and concrete:

Phase 4 is turbine/powerhouse construction – first lots of site work with heavy equip.

then Build reinforced concrete powerhouse with steel roof, untold amounts of specialty materials and copper, Pluto’s turbines are imported from Austria, electrical stuff from US.

This is East Toba Powerhouse – 2 turbines with total of 123MW capacity, annual output estimated at 465 GWh. The output of those turbines require stepping up in voltage- so add power substations/transformers. Are they still using PCB’s ?

Phase 5 is transmission corridor – or as Tzeppie says, using General Electric language, “the transmission backbone” – built with road-based equipment and helicopter, for each plant, some 150 Kms x 50m wide transmission corridor logged (a permanent clearcut):

Most of the timber is just left to rot because helicopter time is too expensive to retrieve it. Finally, General Electric and their partners will plant 30m-tall steel towers by helicopter every few hundred metres, with big ceramic insulators and 3 runs of transmission wire. The Bute transmission line will run all the way down to Saltery Bay /Jervis Inlet, where it plugs into the Cheekeye-Dunsmuir line.

Vancouver Media Co-op | http://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/blog/macdonald/2824

Tzep calls for gentle tar sands, promotes GE

Tzeporah Berman is readying the ground to sell-out both Greenpeace and the anti-tar sands struggle… Berman is a master of publicity and is already setting the groundwork for future campaigns and betrayals, backroom deals and greenwashing the un-greenable. Since there is no such technology as “clean tar sands” anymore than clean coal, one must assume that this is right in line with why she is promoting the destruction of rivers in BC: to use them as “clean energy.” All members and donors to Greenpeace should IMMEDIATELY alert the organization that if she takes office they will pull all contributions to the organization that once had actual opposition to these kinds of massive destructive developments. Txeporah Berman will make deals with Suncor, in private backrooms. SHUT DOWN THE TAR SANDS, DO NOT MAKE THEM “FRIENDLY”.

Delores Broton: 30 years in the B.C. environmental movement, editor of the Watershed Sentinel for 15 years. One the most highly respected environmental voices in British Columbia. On the idea of Greenpeace hiring the person who betrayed the Canadian environmental movement:

“What were they thinking? Did they talk to anyone? Does Greenpeace do any due diligence?”

Bob Hunter (October 13, 1941–May 2, 2005) was a co-founder of Greenpeace in 1972. Hunter, the first President of Greenpeace, was a long-time campaigner for environmental causes. In 1971, the word “Greenpeace” hadn’t yet been coined.  Bob was a hippy journalist in Vancouver, a town which he described as having “the biggest concentration of tree-huggers, radicalized students, garbage-dump stoppers, shit-disturbing unionists, freeway fighters, pot smokers and growers, aging Trotskyites, condo killers, farmland savers, fish preservationists, animal rights activists, back-to-the-landers, vegetarians, nudists, Buddhists, and anti-spraying, anti-pollution marchers and picketers in the country, per capita, in the world.”

This is the Greenpeace the world fell in love with.   This is the Greenpeace that changed the world with a real movement.  Give us back our old Greenpeace!


What can you do? Take Action! Write Greenpeace today.

Forward this email or write your own concerns and comments to the following people:

  • Kumi Naidoo: kumi.naidoo@greenpeace.org | Executive Director, Greenpeace International
  • Jessica Wilson: jessica.wilson@greenpeace.org
  • Bruce Cox: Executive Director, Greenpeace Canada | cell: | bruce.cox@greenpeace.org
  • Nigel Campbell: nigel.campbell@greenpeace.org
  • Anne Dingwall: anne.dingwall@greenpeace.org |  Fundraising Director
  • Phil Radford: phil.radford@greenpeace.org | Exec. Director, USA
  • Jo Kuper: jo.kuper@greenpeace.org
  • Martin Lloyd: martin.lloyd@greenpeace.org
  • Gene Hashmi: gene.hashmi@greenpeace.org

“We are so presumptuous that we think we can separate our personal interest from that of humanity, and slander mankind without compromising ourselves” | Marquis De Vauvenargues, 1715-1747)Greenpeace International or Greenpeace Electric???

“One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised.”­ – Chinua Achebe ­ Nigerian Writer

First the tcktcktck scandal and now this. AT COP 15, the spokesperson for TckTckTck was Kumi Naidoo.  Kumi Naidoo is the Chair of  TckTckTck, as well as the executive director of Greenpeace International.

The recent decision by Greenpeace International to hire Tzeporah Berman to direct its global climate and energy campaign could be the most disastrous decision that Greenpeace has ever made. It is quite possible that this move may destroy the organizations reputation in such a damaging way it may never recover. The current economic system has caused us to have entered into what Dr. E.O. Wilson describes as ‘the sixth extinction’ – a phrase that many scientists are now using. We now face climate catastrophe on a dying planet already well on the pathway to a 6C temperature rise which will kill off most life. This recent appointment of Tzeporah Berman could be the greatest threat climate change justice has yet to face. Who is Tzeporah Berman anyway? Tzeporah Berman could be described as a Trojan horse for the biggest corporations on the planet. She has successfully entrenched her way into the position of bargaining away nature to the corporations, under the guise of an environmentalist. Perhaps this is a seemingly much better strategy than just having Pat Moore “ex-Greenpeace” running around supporting the corporations. The corporations have finally succeeded in placing a compromised ‘environmentalist’ into the very heart of Greenpeace – the most recognized environmental organization on the planet. The day after Tzeporah Berman announced her new Greenpeace role, she walked into an exclusive General Electric (GE) banquet (past the real environmental protesters) and delivered a speech supporting the privatization of some 600 rivers in British Columbia, Canada, for the benefit of GE and their subsidiaries and partners. So there was Greenpeace (not officially, of course, but in the public mind) endorsing the wholesale surrender of our environment to one of the most predatory corporations on the planet – GE has paid fines for illegal weapons trade fraud, money laundering, etc.

“There is nothing more dangerous than a shallow thinking compassionate person.” – Garrett Hardin

On a positive note – such a scandal may be the one that will finally expose the corporatization of compromised NGOs and the deafening silence on the reality of climate change which has been going on behind the scenes for quite some time – to which the public are mostly unaware.

Also amazing; right now, in the climate justice movement something extraordinarily important is happening.  After Copenhagen – a line is finally being drawn in the sand. True climate justice groups are now refusing to sign onto to any statement that endorses a temperature which exceeds a 1C temperature rise. As compromised NGOs are still clinging to the suicidal 1.5C – 2C temperatures, we will now finally see a clear divide. True climate justice groups verses the compromised NGOs. As well, true climate justice groups are now mobilizing to endorse a global emergency declaration on climate change. Again, those who do not sign on will be easily identified as those with vested interests.

The Tzeporah Berman specialty: Disaster Capitalism

The message behind disaster capitalism campaigning is this; climate change is “so urgent” that we have to turn the planet over to GE and other corporations to “save us.” This is all bullshit. This messaging is designed with the purpose of gaining corporate control of Earths natural assets. The question is, what has gone wrong at Greenpeace International? Is it i) lack of due-diligence, ii) lack of research ii) lack of knowledge or iv) is this the new direction of Greenpeace? Did they not speak to anyone in Canada who has dealt with Tzeporah Berman? (See extensive list of comments below including comments from Greenpeace co-founder Rex Weyler). With the Earth now passing several planetary boundaries and ecosystems now failing, with consequences that are detrimental or even catastrophic for large parts of the world – disaster capitalism is now set to explode.

General Electric

To help sell their corporate privatization of British Columbia (B.C.), Canada, GE placed Tzeporah on the cover of their magazine, Reader’s Digest. General Electric, which owns one of the world’s largest media conglomerates – as well as weapons production, weapons trade, and military contracts – owns Reader’s Digest through GE Capital with partners Bank of America and JPMorgan. GE has a history of using Reader’s Digest to hype its offspring, including a health Insurance company, its astroturf organizations, and now, their well trained “environmentalist,” Tzeporah Berman. Keep in mind that General Electric plays both sides of the climate “debate”. While they support astroturf organizations – such as Tzeporah’s “Power UP Canada” to sell their private acquisition of Canadian public assets; allegedly to build “alternative power” and “reduce global warming”, they simultaneously fund the organizations that deny global warming. GE funds the American Petroleum Institute, for example, and it’s astroturf affiliates such as “Energy Citizens,” who stage “grassroots” rallies to deny climate change and defeat climate legislation in the U.S. General Electric is a member of American Petroleum Institute (API), along with Dow, Bechtel, Halliburton, ExxonMobil, Shell, BP America, ConocoPhillips, General Siemens, Enbridge, and so forth.

GE is also a member of United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) – an organization which supports a target of 450-550 parts per million of CO2 – which is suicidal. USCA consists of corporately funded NGOs such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, The Nature Conservancy, World Resources Institute, Pew Center on Global Climate Change and these corporatized NGOs partner with the likes of Shell, The Dow Chemical Company and many more multinational corporations who continue to exploit both people and planet in the name of insatiable corporate profits. Will Greenpeace International be the next to get in bed with USCAP?

GE is a member through GE Oil & Gas Conmec and General Electric Inspection Services (both link directly to GE Energy) GE Energy is one of the world’s leading suppliers of power generation and delivery from coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear energy. GE is now moving into renewable resources such as water, wind, and solar by acquiring rights to those energy resources worldwide. In B.C. their plan is to privatize some 600 watersheds, acquire the water and energy resources, and then sell it back to the public at exorbitant prices they set with the corrupted government that they support. GE takes B.C. public and ecological assets and not even pays trinkets, but rather makes citizens pay with a liability to buy their power at a rate they’ve wrangled from Gordon Campbell and his accenture (former Arthur Anderson of the Enron cookie jar crowd) advisors. General Electric helped fund these climate change denial campaigns, while simultaneously using the urgency of global warming to make a grab for hundreds of rivers, tributaries, and watersheds in British Columbia, Canada. They’ve attached Tzeporah Berman to the deal to give it a green patina. One could argue that, Tzeporah, in essence, represents General Electric. She is now their allegedly friendly face of privatization. She stands in opposition to the people of British Columbia, the grass roots environmental organizations, the long-standing Canadian ecology groups – Greenpeace, Western Canada Wilderness Committee, BC Citizens for Public Power, Indigenous Environmental Network and others. General Electric: one of the most destructive corporations on the planet. Involved in global weapons manufacture and trade, with international criminal convictions for weapons trading fraud and money laundering, deeply institutionalized in the U.S. Defense Contract community, controlling massive media ownership – including Reader’s Digest.

Copenhagen For some, a tiny tax outweighs massive environmental destruction

On December 29than article by Roger Annis appeared on Climate & Capitalism; Here is an excerpt;

At first glance, it seemed that the “Yes Men” had scored another comedic coup for Mother Earth. CBC Radio news reported on December 16 that on the previous day, British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell was feted and presented an environmental award by many of Canada’s well-heeled “environmental groups” during the United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen. Hah! Great gag, guys! And very timely. An embarrassingly large number of people and agencies in Canada and abroad have been hoodwinked by the BC government’s claims to environmental stewardship and its greenwashing propaganda. But wait, the story proves to be true and not a gag at all! Campbell actually did receive an ‘Economy Wide Carbon Pricing’ award from Tzeporah Berman of PowerUp Canada, one of ten of Canada’s best funded “environmental groups” that endorsed the award, presented at a gala recognizing “acts of climate leadership” by municipal and provincial governments across Canada. Other award endorsers are the David Suzuki Foundation, the Ecology Action Centre, Environmental Defence, Équiterre, ForestEthics, the Green Energy Act Alliance, the Pembina Institute, TckTckTck, and WWF Canada.

Voices of dissent

The Sierra Club did not participate in the Copenhagen award gala. Executive Director George Heyman, a former long-time president of the BC Government Employees Union, said the BC Liberals have taken a lot of actions that are “deeply contradictory” to its greenwashing propaganda. Heyman pointed out that fuel is exempt from the soon-to-be-imposed Harmonized Sales Tax, but the labour for energy efficient home retrofits is not. “They’re also providing massive subsidies to the oil and gas industry. . . and supporting a massive pipeline to move dirty tar sands oil across B.C.,” he said. Voices of concern are on the rise from the Indigenous peoples living in the coal and gas rich regions. Writing in the Vancouver Sun on December 22, Kathie Dickie, Chief of the 800-member Fort Nelson First Nation, expressed grave concern over two giant gas processing facilities being built near Fort Nelson, in northeast B.C. Chief Dickie wrote there has been no meaningful consultation with her people concerning the environmental impacts of En Cana Corporation’s Cabin Gas Plant nor a Spectra Gas plant to be located 15 kilometers away. Cabin Gas, once constructed, will be the largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the province. One BC government official told the Fort Nelson First Nation that its 100-year old treaty with Canada does not guarantee clean air. “Imagine being told by a government official in 2009 that you have no say on the quality of air you or your children breathe! What parent would stand for it?” Dickie asked. The pale green groups that honored Gordon Campbell should be ashamed. His government should be condemned, not praised.

This must be stopped

There must be an international response. Please circulate this to all of your contacts concerned for the environment and climate justice. See the email addresses for Greenpeace staff below. We now stand on the cusp of the bleakest periods where we are confronted with the zero point of systemic collapse. Now is the time to be bold. No more compromise. We can no longer turn a blind eye to the corporatized NGOs who have hijacked the environmental movement. Such compromised NGO behaviour has been nothing less than an absolute detriment to the real environmental movement. The same compromised NGOs have and continue to obstruct real climate justice by keeping the public in the dark on the necessary targets we must demand to avert the climate crisis we now face. Below is one of the most truthful videos on climate change that exists today.

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”| George Orwell

[brightcove vid=52599643001&exp3=51061328001&surl=http://c.brightcove.com/services&pubid=50954724001&w=300&h=225]

The Vancouver Media Coop in Canada are promoting an excellent idea of having Greenpeace members and donors contact Greenpeace expressing their disapproval. This must happen on the largest possible scale.

The Pale Green Patina; How General Electric promotes their trained “Environmentalist”

General Electric is hyping Tzeporah Berman, BC’s pale green media princess, as “The New Face of Environmentalism” while she helps them sell their private power deals in Canada. Their goal: to privatize Canadian rivers for corporate profit. Stumping for GE: Sunday, February 15, 2010: The day after announcing her new “greenpeace” role, Tzeporah marched into the private General Electric banquet with the GE executives and security guards, past the Wilderness Committee and other protesters. Inside, she delivered a stump speech supporting the corporate privatization of B.C. wilderness rivers. She is also in favour of the Canadian Tar Sands … with similar phoney-green promises.

Here is the result of Tzeporah’s brand of industrial corporate faux environmentalism;

The once pristine Toba Inlet watershed

This individual who Greenpeace International has hired has successfully betrayed her homeland and alienated the real environmental movement. She crossed an environmental picket to promote the global privatization plans of General Electric.

Pale Green Goes Hollywood

Tzeporah & Paris: savouring the taste of fame

Ego knows no bounds. A taste for power

while cutting deals with corporations and selling of the natural world.

Ms. Berman presenting a “Green” Award to the man who privatized British Columbia, sold it to General Electric and other international corporations, who built highways across farmland and called it “green;” who reversed dioxin effluent safeguards that we fought for and instituted in B.C. to protect our water; who sold off the public and natural heritage of British Columbia and opened the doors to General Electric to occupy hundreds of watersheds, devastate riparian ecosystems, and destroy forests for transmission lines to carry expensive power to mines in the north and to sprawling cities in the U.S.

It’s not easy being the pale green patina over the corporate industrialization of Canada.

Comments from BC environmentalists

Barbara Stowe:

Barbara was a teenager at the first Greenpeace meetings in 1970. Her parents, Dorothy and Irving, are founders of Greenpeace.

“Tzeporah’s support of our anti-environmental, union-busting, social-program-slashing government during an election campaign last year appalled me. She certainly knew her remarks would be used to help the powers that be get re-elected (as did occur). At the best, her actions showed a disturbing lack of judgement. Her stance on the Run of River projects deeply concerns me, and as for applauding our premier because he was sly enough to know that instituting a carbon tax would pull votes from the Greens and other left leaning parties…well, I’m very concerned that GPI would consider working with someone with her views. Given the response of environmentalists in BC to her actions last year, there is no doubt that this hire would cause serious rifts between Greenpeace and the environmental community.”

Clayoquot Sound original activists:

The founders of Friends of Clayoquot Sound (FOCS) consider Tzeporah an opportunist who used them and Clayoquot to climb the publicity ladder into cozy deals with the logging companies. Tzeporah used other people’s jail time for her own advancement. She stepped on a lot of people to get inside the corporate boardrooms that she is now so comfortable in. Here are comments from early Clayoquot activists in Friends of Clayoquot Sound (FOCS):

Andrew Struthers in his history, The Green Shadow:

“Summer faded. The face of Mother Winter appeared in the sky over the Black Hole. Things got tense. Tzapata got into a giant queen bee struggle with Artemis, a woman who had been with the Friends since the Sulpher Pass days. Artemis got fired. When The Boss can tell you to clean out your desk, it’s just not anarchy anymore.”

Janie Jones:

Berman continued to queen bee her way through the FOCS, Greenpeace and then into her own organization ForestEthics and now, PowerUp Canada. Berman did not leadthe blocades at Clayoquot Sound as she claims. They were organized, led and financed (one American heiress pretty well underwrote the whole thing) by the Friends of Clayoquot Sound of whom Berman became a member. Most of the original Friends, all residents of the area, had already been convicted of protesting the clearcut logging the summer before and, as part of their conditions, could not attend the daily blockades at Kennedy Lake, which is why they invited the world come there and protest for them. Ms. Berman, a former fashion student from Toronto with no direct experience or knowledge of the forest industry or the BC culture it supported, was one of over ten thousand who showed up. Because of the void at the site combined with her natural leadership qualities, the charismatic and photogenicyoung Berman rose to prominence as model/spokesperson for the daily ritual of blockading, readings of injunction and arrests.”

Betty Krawczyk: The real Clayoquot forest activist – Author of Clayoquot: The Sound Of My Heart (January 1997) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betty_Krawczyk

Krawczyk is the woman who stood up to police, logging companies, and the courts, arrested many times at Clayoquot, Eagle Ridge Bluff, and other forest destruction sites. She did her first jail stint in 1993 at the age of 65, blockading logging trucks, and she’s still at it, today, at age 82. Here are some of her thoughts on Tzeporah’s betrayal of the B.C. environmental movement:

“Tzeporah Berman has evidently gone over to Gordon Campbell’s camp. Perhaps she is seeking a Liberal political appointment. Too bad. I can remember when she was an agent for change. But change will happen without her. It’s happening right now. She can allow herself to be used by the Campbell government as she likes, but the likes of the Campbell government have already been condemned to the dustbins of history. The private business model she advocates is no longer workable. It is killing the earth. And the economy. Good-bye, Tzeporah.”


Anita Burke: Former Sustainability Director for Shell Oil | Founder of the Catalyst Institute |http://www.catalystinstitute.com/

After leaving her Shell International sustainable development and energy portfolio Anita founded Catalyst Institute to do the work she was not allowed to do for the oil company, actually create a genuine sustainable future. She advises governments and businesses on operationalizing real sustainable development and socioeconomic change. Her comments, regarding the “green rift” created in Canada by Tzeporah and General Electric:

“The division was no accidental by-product of their actions. It was the purpose, at least for General Electric. Shell Oil purposefully planned and executed these types of rifts within the environmental movement when I was at Shell. Get em so busy arguing amoungst themselves that it will use up their resources and redirect them from the issues. Tzeporah is just a pawn in their game, and her ego is what they feed on, ego and fear. Sad day for BC. Sorrowful future for Tzeporah’s manipulated and misguided soul.”

Rex Weyler: 40 years in the Canadian environmental movement, Author of “Greenpeace: The Inside Story,” a co-founder of Greenpeace International:

Tzeporah Berman may be well intentioned, but she has embraced Disaster Capitalism, as described by Naomi Klein. She claims that climate change is so urgent, we must turn our natural assets over to General Electric, Plutonic Power, and other global corporations. She talks of “solving global warming,” and “new energy” but she possesses very little knowledge of ecology, energy, or biophysical economics. Perhaps she’s been duped into thinking that since climate warming is urgent, we should turn over our watersheds to General Electric to “solve global warming.” This is a new “green” phase of Disaster Capitalism. At best, this is a sad case of Garrett Harding’s “shallow thinking compassionate person.” At worst, this is an all-out betrayal of environmentalism, of the groups and activists who built the environmental movement in Canada and in the world, and a betrayal of the Earth itself. In any case, Tzeporah now speaks for General Electric, not for the Earth, not for wilderness, and not for our children’s future. And General Electric – one of the largest corporations in the world, involved in illegal weapons trading (for which they’ve paid fines), money laundering, and nuclear power – has one single agenda: acquire assets, increase company value, make profits, take the cash. And for this goal, they have one simple strategy regarding nature: Privatize everything. Turn the world into the private property of corporations, and sell it back to the public. On Sunday, February 14, 2010, at an exclusive General Electric banquet in Vancouver, Tzeporah supported GE’s privatization of Canadian rivers. She now represents corporate power, not ecology. Those of us in the ecology and environmental movement have to move on and do the real work.”

Donna Passmore: Campaigner with the Fraser Valley Conservation Coalition, battling the proposed Gateway project that Tzeporah’s “green” political friends in the B.C. Liberal government are building.

“I am disgusted by her stand on run-of-river private power projects.”

Notes from David Shipway:

35 year resident of Cortes Island near Toba Inlet | shipway@island.net | February 3, 2010

Run of river site plan details; Bute Inlet example; This is what the Tzeporah / General Electric “climate policy” is doing to Canadian Watersheds. GE is the big money behind this … with JPMorgan, & the usual crowd ..

“Plutonic Power” is a local GE partner ..

The hydrocarbon cost of Tzeporah Berman’s scheme with General Electric to occupy 300 rivers and watersheds in British Columbia, including 17 rivers in the Toba watershed. First you do the feasibility studies: fly all kinds of engineers, hydrologists, biologists and potential investors around in helicopters a few dozen times, have them work up a detailed plan in well-lit gas-heated offices somewhere, and deliver your plan to govt/public so they can spend lots of time and energy deliberating and dismantling it. Once it’s all a GO, Phase 1 is to build new access or fix any existing roads/bridges, clear various sites and bring in a huge temporary camp facility on several barges. This is the one Pluto set up in Toba, which houses 300 in luxury, was purpose built and shipped from Kamloops… Add a 100KW diesel generator running 24/7 for a year too. Phase 2 is to log and clear turbine and penstock sites with conventional diesel equip. This next pic is the steep trench for Montrose penstock beside the McGyver-Kennedy waterfall, soon barely a trickle. It has a total 2000 m. vertical head. This is approx. 6′ diam steel pipe is laid in a trench that often has to be dynamited through rock, then buried, presumably revegetated later:

A later photo shows they had a slide/blowout near the base, so assume some work has to be repeated. I don’t know how to quantify energy/carbon expense, but it looks like some of this route is heli-access only, so that means some earth-moving machinery and penstock pipe is flown in by chopper, after it has all been barged up the inlet, along with oodles of diesel and such. Not sure where the 2m. diam D penstock pipe comes from (China?), but it’s about 12mm wall thickness, and is epoxy or poly-coated, and the 10m. pieces are double-welded together on-site with portable diesel-powered welders. About 3Km of pipe for each powerhouse. Bute will have 17 of these. Phase 3 is “adjustable dam” and intake- lots of diesel-powed terraforming and concrete:

Phase 4 is turbine/powerhouse construction – first lots of site work with heavy equip.

then Build reinforced concrete powerhouse with steel roof, untold amounts of specialty materials and copper, Pluto’s turbines are imported from Austria, electrical stuff from US.

This is East Toba Powerhouse – 2 turbines with total of 123MW capacity, annual output estimated at 465 GWh. The output of those turbines require stepping up in voltage- so add power substations/transformers. Are they still using PCB’s ?

Phase 5 is transmission corridor – or as Tzeppie says, using General Electric language, “the transmission backbone” – built with road-based equipment and helicopter, for each plant, some 150 Kms x 50m wide transmission corridor logged (a permanent clearcut):

Most of the timber is just left to rot because helicopter time is too expensive to retrieve it. Finally, General Electric and their partners will plant 30m-tall steel towers by helicopter every few hundred metres, with big ceramic insulators and 3 runs of transmission wire. The Bute transmission line will run all the way down to Saltery Bay /Jervis Inlet, where it plugs into the Cheekeye-Dunsmuir line.

Vancouver Media Co-op | http://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/blog/macdonald/2824

Tzep calls for gentle tar sands, promotes GE

Tzeporah Berman is readying the ground to sell-out both Greenpeace and the anti-tar sands struggle… Berman is a master of publicity and is already setting the groundwork for future campaigns and betrayals, backroom deals and greenwashing the un-greenable. Since there is no such technology as “clean tar sands” anymore than clean coal, one must assume that this is right in line with why she is promoting the destruction of rivers in BC: to use them as “clean energy.” All members and donors to Greenpeace should IMMEDIATELY alert the organization that if she takes office they will pull all contributions to the organization that once had actual opposition to these kinds of massive destructive developments. Txeporah Berman will make deals with Suncor, in private backrooms. SHUT DOWN THE TAR SANDS, DO NOT MAKE THEM “FRIENDLY”.

Delores Broton: 30 years in the B.C. environmental movement, editor of the Watershed Sentinel for 15 years. One the most highly respected environmental voices in British Columbia. On the idea of Greenpeace hiring the person who betrayed the Canadian environmental movement:

“What were they thinking? Did they talk to anyone? Does Greenpeace do any due diligence?”

Bob Hunter (October 13, 1941–May 2, 2005) was a co-founder of Greenpeace in 1972. Hunter, the first President of Greenpeace, was a long-time campaigner for environmental causes. In 1971, the word “Greenpeace” hadn’t yet been coined.  Bob was a hippy journalist in Vancouver, a town which he described as having “the biggest concentration of tree-huggers, radicalized students, garbage-dump stoppers, shit-disturbing unionists, freeway fighters, pot smokers and growers, aging Trotskyites, condo killers, farmland savers, fish preservationists, animal rights activists, back-to-the-landers, vegetarians, nudists, Buddhists, and anti-spraying, anti-pollution marchers and picketers in the country, per capita, in the world.”

This is the Greenpeace the world fell in love with.   This is the Greenpeace that changed the world with a real movement.  Give us back our old Greenpeace!


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