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The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg – for Consent: The Most Inconvenient Truth: “Capitalism is in Danger of Falling Apart” [ACT III]

January 28, 2019

By Cory Morningstar

 

This is ACT III of the six-part series: The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg – for Consent: The Political Economy of the Non-Profit Industrial Complex

 

In ACT I of this new body of research I opened the dialogue with the observations of artist Hiroyuki Hamada:

 

“What’s infuriating about manipulations by Non Profit Industrial Complex is that they harvest good will of the people, especially young people. They target those who were not given skills and knowledge to truly think for themselves by institutions which are designed to serve the ruling class. Capitalism operates systematically and structurally like a cage to raise domesticated animals. Those organizations and their projects which operate under false slogans of humanity in order to prop up the hierarchy of money and violence are fast becoming some of the most crucial elements of the invisible cage of corporatism, colonialism and militarism.”

 

The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg – for Consent has been written in six acts. [ACT IACT IIACT IIIACT IVACT VACT VI] [Addenda: I]

In ACT I, I disclosed that Greta Thunberg, the current child prodigy and face of the youth movement to combat climate change, served as special youth advisor and trustee to the burgeoning mainstream tech start-up, “We Don’t Have Time”. I then explored the ambitions behind the tech company We Don’t Have Time.

In ACT II, I illustrated how today’s youth are the sacrificial lambs for the ruling elite. Also in this act I introduced the board members and advisors to “We Don’t Have Time.” I explored the leadership in the nascent We Don’t Have Time and the partnerships between the well established corporate environmental entities: Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, 350.org, Avaaz, Global Utmaning (Global Challenge), the World Bank, and the World Economic Forum (WEF).

In ACT III, I deconstruct how Al Gore and the Planet’s most powerful capitalists are behind today’s manufactured youth movements and why. I explore the We Don’t Have Time/Thunberg connections to Our Revolution, the Sanders Institute, This Is Zero Hour, the Sunrise Movement and the Green New Deal. I also touch upon Thunberg’s famous family. In particular, Thunberg’s celebrity mother, Malena Ernman (WWF Environmental Hero of the Year 2017), and her August 2018 book launch. I then explore the generous media attention afforded to Thunberg in both May and April of 2018 by SvD, one of Sweden’s largest newspapers.

In ACT IV, I examine the current campaign, now unfolding, in “leading the public into emergency mode”. More importantly, I summarize who and what this mode is to serve.

In ACT V, I take a closer look at the Green New Deal. I explore Data for Progress and the targeting of female youth as a key “femographic”. I connect the primary architect and authors of the “Green New Deal” data to the World Resources Institute. From there, I walk you through the interlocking Business & Sustainable Development Commission and the New Climate Economy – a project of the World Resources Institute. I disclose the common thread between these groups and the assignment of money to nature, represented by the Natural Capital Coalition and the non-profit industrial complex as an entity. Finally, I reveal how this has culminated in the implementation of payments for ecosystem services (the financialization and privatization of nature, global in scale) which is “expected to be adopted during the fifteenth meeting in Beijing in 2020.”

In the final act, ACT VI [Crescendo], I wrap up the series by divulging that the very foundations which have financed the climate “movement” over the past decade are the same foundations now partnered with the Climate Finance Partnership looking to unlock 100 trillion dollars from pension funds. I reveal the identities of individuals and groups at the helm of this interlocking matrix, controlling both the medium and the message. I take a step back in time to briefly demonstrate the ten years of strategic social engineering that have brought us to this very precipice. I look at the relationship between WWF, Stockholm Institute and World Resources Institute as key instruments in the creation of the financialization of nature. I also take a look at what the first public campaigns for the financialization of nature (“natural capital”) that are slowly being brought into the public realm by WWF. I reflect upon how mainstream NGOs are attempting to safeguard their influence and further manipulate the populace by going underground through Extinction Rebellion groups being organized in the US and across the world.

With the smoke now cleared, the weak and essentially non-existent demands reminiscent of the 2009 TckTckTck “demands” can now be fully understood.

Some of these topics, in addition to others, will be released and discussed in further detail as addenda built on the large volume of research. This includes stepping through the looking glass, with an exploration of what the real “Green New Deal” under the Fourth Industrial Revolution will look like. Also forthcoming is a look at the power of celebrity – and how it has become a key tool for both capital and conformity.

[*Note: This series contains information and quotes that have been translated from Swedish to English via Google Translator.]

 

 

 

A C T   T H R E E

 

Malena Ernman: WWF Environmental Hero of the Year, 2017

Greta Thunberg’s mother and father. Opera singer Malena Ernman with husband actor Svante Thunberg at the Polar Music Prize, 2012. Ernman represented Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009. Photo: Chapman

In October, 2018, Miljö & Utveckling recognized We Don’t Have Time founder, Ingmar Rentzhog, as Sweden’s #1 Environmental Influencer of the year. [Source: The Secret Sauce of a Global Climate Movement]

Greta Thunberg, special youth advisor and trustee to the burgeoning mainstream tech start-up, We Don’t Have Time,  was recognized as the #2 influencer of the year.

The previous month, on September 1, 2018, Dagens Nyheter, Sweden’s most prominent newspaper, ran an op-ed from Global Challenge titled “The Acute Climate Crisis Requires a Broad Political Gathering”:

“Although much of the change required is both possible and profitable, vigorous political campaigns are essential to adjust prices, taxes and regulations so that the transition to a sustainable society becomes attractive, profitable and fast. ” [Full letter in English]

“The signatories stand ready to assist in the process, in support of transforming our society and the wider world into a low-carbon economy: Mats Andersson, Vice Chairman of the Global Challenges Foundation; Erik Brandsma, CEO of Jämtkraft; Malena Ernman, Opera Singer; Antje Jackelén, Archbishop; Staffan Laestadius, Professor Emeritus KTH; Kristina Persson, former Minister of the Future; Ingmar Rentzhog, Chairman of the Global Development Challenge; Johan Rockström, Professor of Environmental Sciences SU; Daniel Sachs, CEO of Proventus; and Anders Wijkman, Chairman of the Club of Rome.”

Anders Wijkman, cited in the above signatories, is a former member of parliament, chairman of the Swedish Environment Council and the former co-president of the Club of Rome. He is also a member of Global Utmaning with a special commitment to climate issues and circular finances.

Also cited in the above signatories is Malena Ernman, mother of Greta Thunberg.

In an interview published October 15, 2018 recognizing Rentzhog as the “#1 Environmental Influencer of the year”, Miljö & Utveckling asks Rentzhog who are his greatest influences. He cites Greta Thunberg, yet does not mention the assistance his company provided Thunberg (current We Don’t Have Time special youth advisor and trustee) that would result in her campaign going international. Nor does he identify his relationship with Thunberg’s mother, Marlena Ernman, who is briefly cited in the same article.

Earlier in the year, on May 4, 2018, Rentzhog and Ernman were both featured guests at the Friday opening gala of the climate conference (“climate change day”) held from May 4-6th in Stockholm, Sweden. Greta Thunberg’s sister, Beata Ernman-Thunberg was also featured in the program. This was a low key, modest event.

Thunberg was born into privilege and wealth.

Her mother is Swedish opera singer and celebrity Malena Ernman. Her father is actor Svante Thunberg, while her grandfather is actor and director Olof Thunberg. “Her ancestor on her father’s side is the Nobel Prize winner, Svante Arrhenius. Arrhenius was a Swedish physicist and chemist who received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1903. He is known for myriad scientific contributions but it was his discovery that an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide increases the Earth’s surface temperature. That finding led to the conclusion that human-made carbon dioxide emissions cause global warming.” [Source][On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Ground, Svante Arrhenius, 1896]

The newspaper Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) is the third largest in circulation in Sweden. It has been generous in its coverage of both Thunberg and her mother, Ernman.

On May 30, 2018 SvD selected Thunberg as one of its winning laureates in the SvD youth writing competition for the climate.

Prior to this, on April 21, 2018 SvD gave coverage of the families book that was underway. The book “Scener ur Hjärtat” (which translates in English to “Scenes of the Heart”), about the mental health challenges within her family coupled with anxieties facing climate change, would be launched on August 24, 2018, four days following the first day of Thunberg’s school strike (August 20, 2018).

World Wildlife Fund (WWF), perhaps the most corporate and egregious NGO in the world, and a fully corporatized Greenpeace, have both been instrumental in the propping up of Thunberg with the support of other international NGOs such as 350.org. On October 11, 2017, WWF Sweden awarded Ernman with the Environmental Hero award.

Artist Malena Ernman and biologist Rebecka Le Moine appointed Miljöhälter of the Year by WWF” [Source]

On September 17, 2018, WWF Sweden named Thunberg as one of its three nominees for the Young Environmental Hero of the year 2018.

Greenpeace Sweden: ” Malena Ernman is an incredible activist in the fight to preserve our forest for future generations. Thanks to the support of her, and all of you other amazing people who support us, we can continue to protect our outstanding planet. Do you also want to give away a Christmas present that makes a real difference?” [Source: Facebook]

Greenpeace also utilizes Ernman, and Thunberg, to promote their powerful brand. Few are aware that in 1997, Greenpeace believed that climate policy must reflect the understanding that the world must not exceed a 1ºC temperature rise. Yet not long after, in 2009, with a full ecological crisis now engulfing the planet, Greenpeace led the demand (at the United Nations Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen), for a binding agreement that would allow the Earth to further warm to a full 2ºC. The 2ºC demand, under the umbrella group TckTckTck, co-founded by Greenpeace, would undermine Bolivia, the G77 and other small island states that had fought for a binding agreement to keep global temperatures from exceeding 1ºC. The following year, 350.org – another co-founder of TckTckTck – would undermine the Indigenous peoples of Bolivia yet again at the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, held in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

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“Capitalism is in Danger of Falling Apart”

“But the more important fact remains: the mainstream debate is about how to practise capitalism, not whether we should choose between capitalism and some other system.” — Generation Investment

“We are making the case for long-term greed.” Al Gore and David Blood, in Generation’s New York City Office. August 25, 2015. (Christopher Griffith) [Source]

Utilizing the power of celebrity (an unprecedented phenomenon for the expansion of capital in the west), today’s global influencers such as Thunberg, are fully utilized to create a sense of urgency in regard to the climate crisis. The unspoken reality is, they are the very marketing strategy to save capitalism. This is a very “inconvenient truth”.

The Financial Times, July 27, 2014:

“Now is a crucial moment for investors, he continues. “The next five to 10 years is the most critical time to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy. We think capitalism is in danger of falling apart. As a result, the business, which has been fairly reticent in the past about the mechanics of investing sustainably, is planning to increase its visibility. ‘We need to go all in. We are going to be more aggressive because we have to.'” — Blood and Gore: “Capitalism is in Danger of Falling Apart”, Financial Times, July 27, 2014

The September 8, 2015 article “David Blood and Al Gore Want to Reach the Next Generation” published by Institutional Investor, disclosed that “the California State Teachers’ Retirement System [CalSTRS], the second-­largest public pension fund in the U.S., with $191 billion in assets, was the first American institutional investor to invest in Generation.” This was part and parcel of the divestment campaign led by Ceres partner 350.org on behalf of wall street and finance. Jack Ehnes, CEO of CalSTRS, also serves on the board of Ceres.

The same article sheds light on the driving force behind the environmental NGOs that comprise the non-profit industrial complex and interlocking directorate highway that merges the non-profit industrial complex (NPIC) with the corporate world of finance:

“I would highly recommend people who are looking to divest from carbon take a look at Generation,’ says Larry Schweiger, a longtime conservationist and a board member of the Climate Reality Project, a nonprofit founded by Gore to promote education and initiatives about climate change. Schweiger was president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation from 2004 to 2014; under his watch the NWF became a Generation investor. ‘It was one of the best-­performing investments in our portfolio.’ he says.” — September 8, 2015, “David Blood and Al Gore Want to Reach the Next Generation,  Institutional Investor

Jumping forward, to April 29, 2018, the article, Al Gore: Sustainability is History’s Biggest Investment Opportunity, published by the Financial Times, discloses “climate wealth” is not for the many, but rather for the few:

“Generation lists large public sector investors among its clients, such as Calstrs, the $223bn Californian teachers’ pension plan, the $192bn New York State pension plan and the UK’s Environment Agency retirement fund. It also manages money for wealthy individuals but has stopped short of opening to retail investors. Almost all its assets are run in equity mandates, yet $1bn is invested in private equity.” [Source]

“I called Generation Income and found that their investment opportunities are limited.  They have two investment funds – Global Equity and Asia Equity.  The Global Equity fund is currently closed – there is a multi-year waiting list that is also currently closed.  The minimum investment is $1 million and you need to be super-accredited.  The fund seems to be targeted at institutional investors – not individuals.  The Asia Equity fund is open but the same minimum requirements apply ($1M minimum).” [Source: AIO Financial]

Generation Investment board members include eco-luminaries such as Mary Robinson, a former president of Ireland and the founder of the nonprofit, Mary Robinson Foundation. Robinson serves as president to Richard Branson’s B Team, which is managed by Purpose – the  public relations arm of Avaaz.

February 9, 2007: Sir Richard Branson (L) and former vice-president of the United States of America, Al Gore pose at the launch of The Virgin Earth Challenge in London. The challenge is for a USD 25M science and technology prize fund for viable products to remove atleast 1 billion tons of atmospheric carbon dioxide per year. (Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images)

 

At this juncture, seeing as we are being led to believe that “sustainable investments” are the pathway to solving our planetary crisis, it might be wise to ask in what sustainable corporations Generation Investment is investing. Generation Investment has created a focus list of some 125 companies around the world in which it invests not based on how sustainable the business is, but rather, “on the quality of their business and management.” [Source]

Generation Investment’s portfolio and investments include multinational corporations with horrendous records of malfeasance, such as Amazon, Nike, Colgate, MasterCard, and the Chipotle restaurant chain with heavy investments in health and technology. And as all of these corporations are heavily invested and/or dependent on fossil fuels, how Generation Investment can justify investing in these companies is anyone’s guess.

“[Gore] and his colleagues are aiming at a small audience within the financial world that steers the flow of capital, and at the political authorities that set the rules for the financial system. ‘It turns out that in capitalism, the people with the real influence are the ones with capital!’ Gore told me during one of our talks this year. The message he hopes Generation’s record will call attention to is one the world’s investors can’t ignore: They can make more money if they change their practices in a way that will, at the same time, also reduce the environmental and social damage modern capitalism can do.” [Source]

[Tracking Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management Portfolio]

Above: The Washington D.C, 2017 People’s Climate March:  “The B Team, lead by Sir Richard Branson, Sharan Burrow and former Vice President Al Gore, joined hundreds of thousands of workers, scientists, business leaders, students, parents, grandparents, children and indigenous groups demanding action on climate change by the U.S. administration.” [Source]

“It’s about an industrial transformation on a scale that we’ve never seen before.” — Sharan Burrow, general secretary, International Trade Union Confederation, B Team leader [Video]

 

“This is the biggest economic opportunity of our lifetime. This movement has left the station and is never going to stop.” — Jean Oelwang, President, Virgin Unite, Senior Partner, The B Team

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An Inconvenient Case Study: M-Kopa Solar, Africa

Source: M-Kopa website

“We think it’s possible to build a business with no trade-offs. We can benefit the environment. Our customers will be better off. And we’ll get richer. We all can win.” M-Kopa Canadian co-founder, Jesse Moore

Gore, with a net worth of approx. 350 million dollars, pays much lip service to subjects of inequality, wealth disparity and poverty.  Thus, it is useful to actually take a look at what the much hyped green energy revolution actually looks like, when played out in real life and exactly who is being served by the so-called “green revolution”.

M-Kopa Solar – “Power for Everyone” is a pay-per-use solar power provider (in the form of solar kits) created for impoverished African countries by white uber rich capitalists. The countries targeted thus far include rural Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

M-Kopa is the brainchild of Jesse Moore (CEO), Chad Larson and Nick Hughes —who helped develop M-Pesa, which has more than 19 million users in Kenya. [1]

From its inception, Gore’s firm has been a lead equity investor of M-Kopa. Incubated by Signal Point Partners in 2011, M-Kopa solar raised money from investors including Richard Branson and Generation Investment Management. Launching in late 2012, the company’s initial goal of selling 1,000 solar packages a week within three years was reached within 12 months. On December 2, 2015, M-Kopa, now the world’s leading “pay-as-you-go energy provider to off-grid homes”, announced the closing of a USD 19 million financing round led by Generation Investment Management LLP. [Source]

Included on the M-Kopa board of advisors is Colin Le Duc, a founding partner of Generation Investment Management and the Co-CIO of Generation’s growth equity Climate Solutions Funds.

Other investors/lenders/partners include Shell Foundation and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

At this juncture, before we continue, it is vital to note that in 2015, M-Kopa estimated that eighty percent of its customers lived on less than $2 (USD) per day.

By 2015, M-Kopa had reached over USD 40 million in revenue.

The December 2, 2015 Bloomberg article “The Solar Company Making a Profit on Poor Africans – M-Kopa Plans to be a $1 Billion Company by Selling Solar Panels to Rural Residents—and Providing Them With Credit” discloses the reality behind corporate vulturism hidden beneath a vellum of white savior greenwash. Following the “success” of prepaid water meters for many African countries, M-Kopa charges high interest rates to the poor, with astronomically higher dividends/returns going back to the rich:

The interest M-Kopa charges is high by U.S. or European standards. The cash price of one of its products is about 20 percent less than the installment price. But in the markets where the company’s working—so far, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda—the rates are competitive. Traditional microfinance companies typically charge about 20 percent interest on their loans, and in October the Kenyan government issued treasury bills that offered investors a 23 percent annual return.”

Upon first glance, a person would assume this business is the selling of solar. Yet this assumption would be a mistake. The product is finance: “About a quarter of those who pay off their first purchase move on to others, the company says.” This is colonization in a 21st century new form. Colonization via debt made possible by the selling of Western values.

Other vultures exploiting the impoverished and vulnerable under the guise of green and “clean energy for all” include stalwart organizations, such as the Gates Foundation and Mastercard.

Unlike Western finance, where loans are usually paid in monthly installments, Africans are not given this same measure of trust. Rather, on top of a deposit, they must pay for their new loan (debt) on a daily basis. Perhaps this can be filed under “green energy racism”. Those that do not make their payments, will be punished accordingly: “Our loan officer is that SIM card in the device that can shut it off remotely,” says Chad Larson, M-Kopa’s finance director and its third co-founder. “We know that it’s important for them to keep their lights on at night, so they can be counted on to keep paying.” [Source] [“The pay-as-you-go feature is enabled by embedded machine-to-machine technology that allows M-KOPA to receive payments through the M-Pesa mobile money platform. M-KOPA can turn off the device remotely if the customer falls behind on payments. Repayments create a credit history for poor consumers that may give them access to other financial services.”][Source]

“The solar lamps are programmed in such a way that they automatically switch off whenever customers default on the daily payments. The start-up provides a solar power system that consists of a panel, three lamps, radio and mobile phone charging kit.” — M-Pesa solar dealer to blacklist defaulters with credit bureaus, February 18, 2015

Daily payments for M-Kopa are topped up through the M-Pesa service whereby Safaricom, the largest telecommunications in Kenya (and the most profitable company in the East and Central African region) earns an undisclosed fee for every transaction. M-Kopa and Kenya Power, are Safricom’s biggest pay-billing clients. [In 2015, Kenya’s Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore was the fourth African to join Richard Branson’s B -Team – Ventures Africa].

“We don’t invest in solar at all,” says David Rossow, who helps manage the Gates Foundation’s $1.5 billion portfolio of program-related investments (PRIs). The foundation doesn’t even have a clean energy program. But it does have a program called Financial Services for the Poor. “We care about asset-backed lending for the last mile.” [Source]

Of further value for our white saviour entrepreneurs is the valuable metadata: ” M-Kopa’s current customer contract stipulates that the data the company amasses can be used only to improve customer experience, but the company has plans to collect listener and viewership data from its radios and televisions. ‘There’s data we can gather that practically no one else can,’ [Chad] Larson says.”

And what does the green energy revolution, wholly dependent on the further plundering of the Earth, actually bring to Africa, where more than 600 million people have zero access to electricity and more than 300 million have no clean sanitation? A solar oven? A toilet? Water filtration? Plumbing? Schools? Health clinics? Hospitals? Answer: the television.

“Make your payments in full and on time, so you can qualify for system upgrades and much more!” — M-Kopa website

And just because the business is actually finance, more than it is providing solar products, [2] that doesn’t mean there isn’t ample opportunity to rob African people blind. The price of the basic 24-inch television solar kit [2-1][2-2] when financed is an outrageous USD 644.88. The cash price is still a whopping USD 546.61, which is an exorbitant sum for people who exist on $2.00 (USD) per day. Of course, this price only remains so if the daily payments are made each and every day, ensuring no additional interest or penalties accumulate on top of the original loan amount.

The gross exploitation here is beyond the pale. Consider a 30W solar package comparable to the M-Kopa package above can be purchased retail for USD 157.99 on Amazon. Likewise, the price of a basic 24-inch LED television is often advertised in the United States and Canada for under USD/CND 100.00. Many of the items sold in the packages, [2-3] can be found in the proliferating Western “dollar” stores for $1.00 (USD) each.

 

Photo: M-Kopa

One might wonder what happens when the loans outlive the outsourced products with short-lived warranties – a two-year warranty on the 24-inch television and a one-year warranty on accessories.

Between bombing campaigns on African countries, former US president Barrack Obama found time to visit the M-Kopa solar corporation. “US President Barack Obama talks to June Muli, M-Kopa’s head of customer care, during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Nairobi in July 2015. Photo: M-Kopa.” [Source: Forbes]


In February 2015, M-Kopa announced its plan to have their customers, who defaulted on their loans, blacklisted with credit bureaus:

“M-Pesa-linked solar dealer, M-Kopa, will from April begin sharing information on loan defaulters with credit reference bureaus to arrest the rising number of non-payers. The firm has issued a notice saying it plans to share information on how customers pay for their M-Kopa solar kits, in a move that will see defaulters blacklisted by lenders. M-Kopa now joins other utility providers such as Kenya Power and water service boards which have taken to credit reference bureaus to list those who default on paying their bills.” [Source]

Credit and the perpetual debt that ensues is not the only aspect of the American dream that multinational corporations are bringing to the Global South.

To be clear, it’s not “sustainable economies” that our corporate overlords pursue. A capitalism that is in trouble, must seek out – in order to save itself, new markets:

“The Gates Foundation’s team saw in M-KOPA an opportunity to demonstrate that mobile financial services could help businesses get more such valuable products into the hands of a new market of eager consumers: poor people.” [Source]

“The key was helping M-KOPA turn its customer accounts into bankable collateral. Other investors were taking equity positions in the startup. The Gates Foundation instead made a $5 million loan, alongside the Commercial Bank of Africa. The thesis: if M-KOPA could successfully pay back the loan, local commercial banks would see the payments from pay-as-you-go financing schemes as a reliable revenue stream. That would create a new lendable asset class.” — Banking on the Poor, summer, 2016, Stanford Social Innovation Review

Here we must look at the reality behind the “green jobs” – that M-Kopa created – a pivotal selling feature of the so-called “green economy”, new green deal, sustainable development / global goals, and a myriad of other holistic sounding language that mask reality.

What is rarely mentioned, if ever, is the fact that the M-Kopa solar panels, televisions, etc. are not made locally, rather, they are “sourced from overseas markets.” (China) Although the company has suggested that solar panels may be made locally over the next few years, (likely due to the growing animosity from Kenyans), the following information will demonstrate that this will only be the case if Kenyans can be exploited more so than Chinese.

Chad Larson, co-founder and finance director of M-Kopa Solar, poses for a photograph at the headquarters of M-Kopa Solar in Nairobi, Kenya, on Wednesday, July 22, 2015. Customers agree to pay for the solar panel with regular instalments which M-Kopa, a Nairobi-based provider of solar-lighting systems, then monitors for payments that are made using a mobile-phone money-transfer service. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg via Getty Images

 

In the March 19, 2018 article, Solar Firm M-Kopa Lays off 450 Staff to Cut Costs, published by Business Daily Africa, the reason for doing so was disclosed in no uncertain terms:

“Kenya’s mobile phone-based solar kit reseller M-Kopa Solar fired 450 workers in its subsidiaries in four countries to ease operational costs and boost profitability.

 

M-Kopa co-founder and CEO Jesee Moore said the firm was in a better position to meet its targets and expand solar connections to the next one million customers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania offices.

 

‘This was done to reduce fixed costs and keep us on the path to profitability which resulted in job reductions across offices in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and UK, reducing our global headcount by 18 per cent,’ he said.”

An article published by Quartz Africa four days prior, on March 15, 2018, was even more to the point:

“M-Kopa, the Kenyan pay-per-use solar power provider, is downsizing in a bid to improve its competitiveness, ensure long-term sustainability, and increase return for investors.”

This is worth emphasizing. To be clear – this is a profitable increase for investors, with net-worths of millions of dollars – made at the expense of firing workers making approx. $2.00 USD per day.

March 15, 2018: M-KOPA secures Ksh100million from CDC, FinDev Canada: CIO East Africa (L-R) Jesse Moore, Co-Founder and CEO, M-KOPA and Paul Lamontagne, Managing Director of FinDev Canada during a customer site visit in Ngong.

Immediately following the sacking of African M-Kopa employees – along with outsourcing – Generation Investment put up more funding. The  March 21, 2018, article “M-Kopa Solar Receives $10 Million Investment After Sacking 150 Employees” published by the Kenyan Wall Street, disclosed the following:

“The investment comes after the company completed a restructuring exercise that saw staff count reduce by 18% from 1000 to 850 across East Africa. As we reported last week, about 78 developers were fired and their work has now been outsourced to a foreign company called Applicita that is owned by the company’s new CTO.

 

According to the CEO Jesse Moore, the restructuring process has been driven by the need to increase its competitiveness, enhance long-term sustainability, and boost investors’ returns.

 

The FinDev investment was led by CDC Group, an investor that had formerly pumped $7 million into the company, and includes follow-on investments by Generation Investment Management and LGT Venture Philanthropy. The two firms are current M-Kopa shareholders.”

The white colonization that continues to proliferate was not lost on Kenyan Wall Street which noted:

“… the company continues to raise eyebrows over its status as a Kenyan startup since its senior management is mostly composed of foreigners. What’s more, the matter of sacking local employees to outsource its operations to a foreign company will not go forgotten.”

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“The Gathering” & Nurturing of Foundation Funded Pragmatism

As disclosed in ACT I of this series, the very first people tagged in the initial Thunberg school strike tweet by We Don’t Have Time founder, Ingmar Rentzhog, were the following five twitter users: Greta Thunberg, This Is Zero Hour, Jamie Margolin, the teenage founder of This Is Zero Hour, Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project and the People’s Climate Strike twitter account (in the identical font and aesthetics as 350.org).

The first tweets from any given NGO twitter accounts are important as they often reveal exactly for what purpose/action the account was created for. In this particular instance, the very first tweet from the People’s Climate Strike account contained the hashtag #floodthesystem (July 24, 2015). This hashtag was devised to promote the action named Flood Wall Street, which took place on September 28, 2015, leading up to the second People’s Climate March on November 29, 2015. In 2015, the first NGOs to start using the #floodthesystem hashtag were This Changes Everything (NGO of Naomi Klein, 350.org board member), May 6, 2015; OccuWorld, May 12, 2015 (“something big is coming this fall”), retweeted by Rising Tide North America), Sharon Vardatira, Meridian Consulting, May 13, 2015, and Occupy Wall Street, May 20, 2015.

The strategy behind devising different social media accounts affiliated with hashtags, campaigns and NGO manufactured movements, is that one will catch fire. Such is the case with the Climate Strike twitter account (Climate Strike! – Global Climate Convergence) that was largely abandoned by 2017, and #EarthStrike, which largely failed to catch fire (thus far), to this very recent climate strike – as a hashtag – that has struck gold with the public psyche.

The “one 15 year old girl” tweet was then re-tweeted by Paola Fiore, founder and CEO of ETICAMBIENTE® Sustainability Management & Communications Consulting. Fiore is also the National Coordinator for Italy for The Climate Reality Project Europe. [1] Affiliations, memberships and partnerships of Fiore’s firm include, (but are not limited to) the Association for Coaching, Eco Community, United Planet Faith & Science Initiative (Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a founding member as is Dr. Rajendra Pachauri), 2degrees (funded by the European Commission), and the International Coach Federation. ETICAMBIENTE® holds membership with both The Climate Reality Project, and it’s client, the International Society of Sustainability Professionals.

The first “follows”‘ selected from any given NGO twitter accounts are also important as they often reveal who created the account – or those closest affiliated with the project. In this instance, the first two follows for the People’s Climate Strike twitter account (created June 2015) are Cheri  Honkala and the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign founded by Honkala. Honkala was the “Our Revolution” endorsed candidate for Pensylvania State Representative (#WeAreThe197th) in 2017.

With the formation of board announced on August 29, 2016, the 2018 Our Revolution winning candidates included Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. On September 18, 2018 Our Revolution (OR) and the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) announced a formal partnership established by both of the organizations national boards.  “PDA  is a grassroots political action committee, founded in 2004 to transform the Democratic Party and U.S. politics by electing progressives to federal office.” The PDA National Advisory Board includes members of US Congress, documentary film maker Michael Moore, commentator Thom Hartmann, Medea Benjamin of Code Pink and others of high liberal status.[5]

Recently, a new institute was launched which is partnered with Our Revolution: The Sanders Institute (“Our Mission: To Revitalize Democracy”). The inaugural conference (The Sanders Institute Gathering) took place in Burlington, Vermont (US) from November 29 – December 1, 2018. The invite only event  included the crème de la crème of the liberal political establishment including; Bernie Sanders who delivered the keynote, 350.org board member Naomi Klein and 350.org founder Bill McKibben ( Sanders Institute fellow) who both spoke on the New Green DealJeffrey Sachs (Sanders Institute fellow), Cornel West (Sanders Institute fellow) New York mayor Bill de Blasio, Nina Turner (Ohio state senator, president of Our Revolution), Ben Cohen (Ben & Jerry’s), and U.S. representative Tulsi Gabbard (Sanders Institute fellow) [Full list]

The green bourgeoisie rubbed elbows with “celebrity activists” including Susan Sarandon, John Cusack, Danny Glover and Harry Belafonte (Glover and Belafonte are both Sanders Institute fellows). WCAX News reported that the only debate that night was whether or not media would be allowed into the event. Ultimately the media was given access to the event, yet had to adhere to conditions of who they were, and who not allowed to record. (So much for freedom of the press.)

Participants spoke passionately about Indigenous rights, racism, etc. at the invite only event of predominantly white rich saviours who are presented as the leaders of our only salvation. In reality, they are only trying to salvage a system (via reforms) in which they are flourishing. Another inconvenient truth at odds with the gathering, are the promotional videos produced for the institute, which deliberately strive to give the pretense of politically correct diversity and inclusion.

July 20, 2018: Zero Hour’s Jamie Margolin is to the left of Bernie Sanders (centre). Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is in the back row, far right. “Organizers with Zero Hour meet with Sen. Bernie Sanders during their lobbying day Thursday.” Photo: Courtesy of Zero Hour [Source]

As previously highlighted, Zero Hour is one of the five twitter accounts tagged in the first Thunberg school strike tweet. Partners of This Is Zero Hour include; We Don’t Have Time, 350.org, The Climate Reality Project, the Sierra Club, Power Shift, the Sunrise Movement and many other NGOs that garner much power and influence within the non-profit industrial complex.

“Thank you Vice President @algore for your support & endorsement of the #ThisIsZeroHour movement” [September 20, 2018, Twitter]

January 4, 2019, Twitter

Other Zero Hour partners include Powershift, iMatterYouth, CareBoutClimate, ClimateSign, Sierra Club, 350.org and Citizens Climate.

In this December 10, 2018 tweet (9:35AM), ten twitter accounts were tagged; 350.org, We Don’t have Time, the Sunrise Movement, Teen Vogue, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Women’s March, Our Children’s Trust, Zero Hour, and March for Our Lives.

Activism & Corporatism Working Hand in Hand

The Climate Group,  is a co-founder of We Mean Business – a coalition of organizations working with thousands of the world’s most powerful corporations and investors. [6]

Perhaps the most noteworthy online exchange were the “words of encouragement” extended via twitter by The Climate Group [6] to Zero Hour for leading the Youth Climate March in July, 2018. Also of significance were the hashtags used in The Climate Group tweets: #WeDontHaveTime and #FrontlineYouth. This effectively illuminates the strategy and the key players behind the “climate movement” – where the NGOs, their funders, and the corporate entities are all on the same team.

This is not kindness. This is exquisite, albeit callous strategy.

Incubated by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund as an in-house project that later evolved into a free-standing institution, The Climate Group is a co-founder of We Mean Business – “a coalition of organizations working with thousands of the world’s most influential businesses and investors.” The founding partners of We Mean Business are Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) (full membership and associate members list), CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), Ceres, The B Team, The Climate Group, The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) and World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). Together, these groups represent the most powerful – and ruthless – corporations on the planet, salivating to unleash 100 trillion dollars for the fourth industrial revolution.

As I will demonstrate in the next segment of this series, the “frontline youth” energy is strategically being mobilized by a highly organized and sophisticated climate campaign. This same energy is being captured, then channeled back to save, strengthen and expand, the capitalist, hegemonic system that promises to destroy the future for these very same youth. One could call this a circular death economy. It takes much skill and coordination to “herd cats” [7] – to their own slaughter.

 

  • July 5, 2017, Al Gore, Generation Investment, "Sustainability Revolution"

 

End Notes:

[1] M-Pesa is a mobile phone-based money transfer, financing and microfinancing service. It was launched in 2007 by Vodafone for Safaricom and Vodacom (the largest mobile network operators in Kenya and Tanzania). It has expanded to Afghanistan, South Africa, India, Romania, and Albania.) In Kenya, M-Pesa is being utilized to impose a debt ideology/familiarity that reflects western debt ideology.

[2] The company M-KOPA offers the following three(3) product packages:

[2-1] The M-KOPA 5 Solar Home System can be purchased with a deposit of $2,999.00 Ksh. ($29.75 USD), plus 420 daily payments of $50.00 Ksh($0.50 USD). This total payment, including the deposit, is $23,999.00 Ksh. ($238.03 USD). The cash purchase price with no financing is  $18,999.00 Ksh. ($188.44 USD). [Accessed January 27, 2019]

The “M-KOPA 5 Solar Home System” includes one 8W solar panel, one rechargeable radio, one M-KOPA 5 control unit with a lithium battery, four 1.2W LED bulbs, one 5-in-1 phone charge cable, one custom charge cable, and one rechargeable LED torch.

[3-2]  The M-KOPA 600 requires a deposit of $5,999.00 UGX. ($59.50 USD), plus 590 daily payments of $100.00 Ksh($0.99 USD). The total payment, including the deposit, is $64,999.00 Ksh. ($644.68 USD). The cash purchase price with no financing is  $ 1,999,000.00 Ksh. ($546.61 USD).” [Accessed January 27, 2019]

The “M-KOPA 600 (24? TV)” package includes one M-KOPA 600 control unit, one 24-inch flat screen digital TV, one 30W solar panel, one TV remote control, one TV aerial, two solar lights, one solar rechargeable LED torch, one solar rechargeable radio, and two phone charging cables. “Satellite Dish & CAM Card provided separately.”

[3-3]  The M-KOPA 600 w/ Zuku CAM requires a deposit of $6,999.00 UGX. ($69.42 USD), plus 590 daily payments of $135.00 Ksh($1.34 USD). The total payment, including the deposit, is $86,649.00 Ksh. ($859.42 USD). The cash purchase price with no financing is  $ 69,999.00 Ksh. ($694.27 USD).” [Accessed January 27, 2019]

[4] We create and promote innovative sustainability programs and corporate social responsibility initiatives, and offer strategic advisory services on climate change and the SDGs.

[5] The PDA National Advisory Board includes members of US Congress: Representatives Barbara Lee, Keith Ellison, Raul Grijalva, and James McGovern; as well as documentarian Michael Moore, Actress / Activist Mimi Kennedy, Rev. Dr. Rodney Sadler, Author Jim Hightower, and Radio Hosts / Authors Lila Garrett and Thom Hartmann. Activists Michael Lighty, Medea Benjamin, Steve Cobble, Kristin Cabral, Dr. Paul Song, M.D., Belen Sisa, and Professor Marjorie Cohn also serve on the PDA Advisory Board, which is chaired by the exemplary activist Donna Smith.” [Source][Full Board Accessed January 10, 2019]

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

[7] Forbes, Sept 25, 2014: Leadership Lessons from The People’s Climate March:“With that as her model of leadership it is perhaps no surprise that so many cats have been so successfully herded. But there is more. The other leadership lesson is putting project before person.” [Source]

 

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

Edited with Forrest Palmer, Wrong Kind of Green Collective.

 

 

 

The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg – for Consent: The Inconvenient Truth Behind Youth Co-optation [ACT II]

January 21, 2019

By Cory Morningstar

 

This is ACT II of the six-part series: The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg – for Consent: The Political Economy of the Non-profit Industrial Complex

 

In ACT I of this new body of research I opened the dialogue with the observations of artist Hiroyuki Hamada:

 

“What’s infuriating about manipulations by Non Profit Industrial Complex is that they harvest good will of the people, especially young people. They target those who were not given skills and knowledge to truly think for themselves by institutions which are designed to serve the ruling class. Capitalism operates systematically and structurally like a cage to raise domesticated animals. Those organizations and their projects which operate under false slogans of humanity in order to prop up the hierarchy of money and violence are fast becoming some of the most crucial elements of the invisible cage of corporatism, colonialism and militarism.”

 

The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg – for Consent has been written in six acts. [ACT IACT IIACT IIIACT IVACT VACT VI] [Addenda: I]

In ACT I, I disclosed that Greta Thunberg, the current child prodigy and face of the youth movement to combat climate change, served as special youth advisor and trustee to the burgeoning mainstream tech start-up, “We Don’t Have Time”. I then explored the ambitions behind the tech company We Don’t Have Time.

In ACT II, I illustrate how today’s youth are the sacrificial lambs for the ruling elite. Also in this act I introduce the board members and advisors to “We Don’t Have Time.” I explore the leadership in the nascent We Don’t Have Time and the partnerships between the well established corporate environmental entities: Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, 350.org, Avaaz, Global Utmaning (Global Challenge), the World Bank, and the World Economic Forum (WEF).

In ACT III, I deconstruct how Al Gore and the Planet’s most powerful capitalists are behind today’s manufactured youth movements and why. I explore the We Don’t Have Time/Thunberg connections to Our Revolution, the Sanders Institute, This Is Zero Hour, the Sunrise Movement and the Green New Deal. I also touch upon Thunberg’s famous family. In particular, Thunberg’s celebrity mother, Malena Ernman (WWF Environmental Hero of the Year 2017), and her August 2018 book launch. I then explore the generous media attention afforded to Thunberg in both May and April of 2018 by SvD, one of Sweden’s largest newspapers.

In ACT IV, I examine the current campaign, now unfolding, in “leading the public into emergency mode”. More importantly, I summarize who and what this mode is to serve.

In ACT V, I take a closer look at the Green New Deal. I explore Data for Progress and the targeting of female youth as a key “femographic”. I connect the primary architect and authors of the “Green New Deal” data to the World Resources Institute. From there, I walk you through the interlocking Business & Sustainable Development Commission and the New Climate Economy – a project of the World Resources Institute. I disclose the common thread between these groups and the assignment of money to nature, represented by the Natural Capital Coalition and the non-profit industrial complex as an entity. Finally, I reveal how this has culminated in the implementation of payments for ecosystem services (the financialization and privatization of nature, global in scale) which is “expected to be adopted during the fifteenth meeting in Beijing in 2020.”

In the final act, ACT VI [Crescendo], I wrap up the series by divulging that the very foundations which have financed the climate “movement” over the past decade are the same foundations now partnered with the Climate Finance Partnership looking to unlock 100 trillion dollars from pension funds. I reveal the identities of individuals and groups at the helm of this interlocking matrix, controlling both the medium and the message. I take a step back in time to briefly demonstrate the ten years of strategic social engineering that have brought us to this very precipice. I look at the relationship between WWF, Stockholm Institute and World Resources Institute as key instruments in the creation of the financialization of nature. I also take a look at what the first public campaigns for the financialization of nature (“natural capital”) that are slowly being brought into the public realm by WWF. I reflect upon how mainstream NGOs are attempting to safeguard their influence and further manipulate the populace by going underground through Extinction Rebellion groups being organized in the US and across the world.

With the smoke now cleared, the weak and essentially non-existent demands reminiscent of the 2009 TckTckTck “demands” can now be fully understood.

Some of these topics, in addition to others, will be released and discussed in further detail as addenda built on the large volume of research. This includes stepping through the looking glass, with an exploration of what the real “Green New Deal” under the Fourth Industrial Revolution will look like. Also forthcoming is a look at the power of celebrity – and how it has become a key tool for both capital and conformity.

[*Note: This series contains information and quotes that have been translated from Swedish to English via Google Translator.]

 

 

 

 

A C T   T W O

 

We Don’t Have Time Players

The We Don’t Have Time board of directors is comprised of the following people:

  • Ingmar Rentzhog, We Don’t Have Time founder and CEO
  • Anette Nordvall, We Don’t Have Time chairwoman/shareholder, private tech investor, works with STOAF (venture capital and private equity firm in Sweden), venture partner with Capital A Partners
  • David Olsson, We Don’t Have Time chief operating officer, chairman of the Swedish climate think tank Global Utmaning
  • Christian Emmertz, We Don’t Have Time co-founder, business unit director at Hewitt Packard (HP) Sweden, partner at RealCap Investment, The Climate Reality Project leader, trained by Al Gore
  • Stella Diesen, “Changing the world with Microsoft tech Innofactor” (formerly Microsoft), The Climate Reality Project leader, trained by Al Gore
  • Gustav Stenbeck, CEO of Mestro, founder and executive chairman of Gain Sustain (investment banking)

 

Global Utmaning, which translates to Global Challenge in English, was founded in 2005 by economist Kristina Persson, Sweden’s former  Minister of Strategic Development and Nordic Cooperation. Persson was tasked with building cooperation with Nordic countries in order to leverage strength within the international community (“together we are an actor with clout”). Her position involved the fostering of long-term development for “the green transition, jobs and distribution, and initiatives to influence the global agenda for sustainable development.” [Source] She is heir (with her siblings) to the business empire established by her father, Sven O. Persson which has a revenue of approximately SEK 3 billion (approx. USD 332,500,000.00) per annum. Persson is also the founder of the Freja Foundation established in 2017.

The We Don’t Have Time Foundation board of directors include:

  • Cathy Orlando, national director, Citizen’s Climate Lobby in Canada
  • Stuart Scott, The Climate Reality Project leader, trained by Al Gore
  • Per-Espen Stokenes, researcher in behavioural economics
  • Ingmar Rentzhog, founder and CEO, We Don’t Have Time
  • David Olsson, chief operating officer, We Don’t Have Time
  • Greta Thunberg, special youth advisor and trustee
  • Jamie Margolin, special youth advisor and trustee

 

Acquisition International Magazine Issue 10, 2018 

“Citizen Climate Lobby international outreach manager Cathy Orlando, centre, is pleased with the Trudeau government’s new carbon tax plan. She’s seen here with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, husband Sanjiv Mathur, and their daughter Sophia Mathur. (Supplied)” [Source]

The We Don’t Have Time advisory board includes the following individuals:

The presence of Ikea on the We Don’t Have Time advisory board should be duly noted. In 2017 Ikea awarded a $44.6m grant from the IKEA Foundation to the We Mean Business coalition (founded in 2014). This grant was in fact “the second largest single donation ever made by the charitable arm of retail giant IKEA.” The We Mean Business coalition founding members include The B Team, the Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), the Carbon Disclosure Project, Ceres, The Climate Group, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), and the Prince of Wales Corporate Climate Group. Other We Mean Business partners include the United Nation Global Compact, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), UNEP Finance, the World Bank, and World Wildlife Fund. [Full list] [Further reading:“100 Billion for Everyone Who Signs”]

The B Team is managed by Purpose, the for-profit public relations firm run by Avaaz co-founder Jeremy Heimans, co-author of the book “New Power”. Ikea is a client of Purpose and partner to the Purpose NGO “We Are Here Now” (“Here Now”).

In the following excerpt from the January 28, 2016, Maclean’s article, Have We Hit ‘Peak Stuff?’ Ikea Says There’s Röom to Grow, the collective corporate climate fervor now sweeping the globe is demonstrated once again:

“So how to square Ikea’s “peak stuff” talk with its “buy more” actions? A spokesperson volunteered in an email that [Steve] Howard’s [head of sustainability at Ikea] comments were made as “part of a wider global context where many people still have very limited means” while Sjostrand suggested the goal was “to continue to grow our business, but grow it in a more sustainable way.” Translation: Ikea will sell you more furniture and home furnishings, but it will try harder not to make you feel guilty about it. Which explains why the company’s corporate reports are festooned with examples of sustainability initiatives, from selling only LED-compatible lighting to serving responsibly harvested fish in the cafeteria.”

Sustainability and capitalism are like oil and water. The two are incompatible. They cannot co-exist.

The “climate revolution” sought by We Don’t Have Time et al doesn’t contract mass-consumption, it delivers new products in order to expand it.

The “clean energy revolution” doesn’t threaten big oil – it secures it. It doesn’t weaken capitalism. It strengthens it. It doesn’t inspire resistance – it quells it – into oblivion.

Here we can reflect on the most simple things that shed light on the ideologies shared by the majority of those at the helm of decision making in addressing our climate crisis. In plain sight, what companies and institutions a person is most interested in are made public on one’s LinkedIn account. Selected groups to follow shared by the average non-profit industrial complex (NPIC) professional, are rarely if ever groups, institutions or people working within the realms of ecology, Indigenous rights, social justice, environmental sciences, or other critical areas associated with climate change and environmental depletion. Nor are  smaller institutions or individuals working toward small-scale local solutions of any interest.

Rather this interlocking directorate of “Ted talkers” and “thought leaders” most commonly select and follow the world’s most powerful and successful finance and tech companies, and the marketing firms that propel them to their success. Rarely are institutions, groups or people within the environmental sciences of interest, nor are  smaller institutions or individuals working toward small-scale local solutions. The most popular institutions followed, and shared by most of this crowd, are comprised of white Western leadership, predominantly male. Some of the most admired ones chosen by the many are the World Economic Forum, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Economist, the Green Climate Fund – groups and institutions they wholly identify with, and seek to assimilate/belong.

Here we must recall the fact (disclosed in ACT I) that Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project is a partner to We Don’t Have Time. (Al Gore’s priorities to be discussed in ACT III.)

“Rentzhog wants to affect ‘change within business, not against business.'” — Anette Nordvall, Chairman of We Don’t Have Time [Source]

The Sacrificial Lambs

“The same hormones and neurotransmitters can be released by a good story. These include dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins, which Phillips refers to as the “angel’s cocktail.” The effects of oxytocin make you more generous, trusting, and ready to bond. This is what is released in your blood when you hear a sad story. It makes us feel relaxed and more human as we bond to the storyteller.” — based on the TEDxStockholm Talk, “The Magical Science of Storytelling,” by David JP Phillips, We Don’t Have Time board of directors  [Source]

To begin this segment, we can look at the “WE” movement (“ME to WE”, Free the Children and WE Day). [1] The 2015 exposé  “Unleashing Voluntourism” produced by the Canadian Public Broadcasting (CBC) was originally scheduled to air on March 19, 2015. The documentary investigated the privatization of, the NGOization of, and the explosive growth of, what has morphed into a billion dollar industry – tourism masquerading as volunteerism – for privileged youth in the West.

Celebrity, fetishized in an rapidly eroding society void of meaning and culture, has resulted in such a powerful asset to capitalism and militarism, that the subject has become an active area of study by academics such as Dan Brockington and Ilan Kapoor. The power of celebrity was not lost on WE whose keynote speakers for massive gatherings and endorsements have included: Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau in 2008 (video), and again, in 2015 following his election win, former “first lady” Michelle Obama, Hollywood’s Natalie Portman, and a stream of others. Indeed, renting celebrities for galas and events has too become a niche industry.

Shortly before it was to air, the documentary was pulled after WE requested unauthorized footage be removed from the exposé. When it did air, on April 7, 2017, two scenes had been cut from the film. The following clip is one of the two deleted clips (running time: 1m:1s), “Volunteers Unleashed: suppressed Me to We clip #1″:

The controversy regarding WE is far from over as the NGO grapples to protect its million dollar brand. On January 17, 2019, WE announced they would commence legal action against a small podcast network and news outlet in Manitoba, Canada, where journalists have no explicit legal protection from SLAPP lawsuits (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation). This news outlet had been reporting on the WE movement since 2015.

The following images and brief commentaries are but a tiny glimpse into the world of NGOization and co-optation of both resistance and youth. Today we bear witness to what can aptly be described as the mechanisms and orchestrated movements of the non-profit industrial spectacle.

To illustrate the co-optation of youth, we will now look at the celebrity youth activists and Climate Reality leaders Greta Thunberg and Jamie Margolin. We focus on these two individuals as they are directly connected to the We Don’t Have Time campaign and business plan.

The Climate Reality Project and Global Utmaning. Greta Thunberg at far left. “How do we ensure that today’s decision-makers benefit and learn from young people’s commitment to the future? On September 26, the question attracted over 250 visitors to Kulturhuset Stadsteatern where Global Utmaning and Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project arranged seminars.” [Source]

Thunberg has stated repeatedly that her strike will continue “until Sweden is aligned with the Paris Agreement.” Therefore, by her own statements, this is the singular, overall purpose and goal of the strike. The foundation of the Paris Agreement is the expansion of nuclear, the financialization of nature, further privatization at an unprecedented scale, “large scale CO2 reduction” (carbon capture storage), a desperate attempt to revitalize economic growth, and more market “solutions” that will further perpetuate our multiple crises. Therefore, the Thunberg campaign is in part to create a demand upon governments across the globe to align with the Paris agreement. (A demand to obtain what the ruling classes have already decided to unleash on us, our planet, and all life.) As adherence to the Paris Accords is a running theme in the mainstream NGO movement, the marketing campaign is helped along by 350.org, Avaaz, WWF, Greenpeace, in tandem with the UN (“Changing Together”), the World Bank (“Stepping Up“)[2], and more recently, the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The Global Utmaning think tank cites its main asset as its network of over 90 senior advisors. From its homepage:

“The global market economy has lifted millions of people out of poverty. Meanwhile, inequality increased significantly. The financial system must be globally regulated and the current economic stagnation broken. It requires a new green, circular and inclusive growth model that creates value, labor and welfare. What is tomorrow’s new economic story?”

Global Utmaning recently announced a partnership with Global Shapers – an initiative of the World Economic Forum that brings together young leaders worldwide: “The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2019 will be held from 22-25 January in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. Over 3,000 global leaders will come together under the theme Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.” [Emphasis added]

AVAAZ

Here we will make some brief observations of both Avaaz and 350.org in relation to the global “Climate Strike” campaigns. An exhaustive body of research that lays bare the function and ancestry of both NGOs, based on investigations from 2012 to present, now exists on the Wrong Kind of Green website. I encourage readers to familiarize themselves with the two entities.

On December 14, 2018, 350.org sent out a press release containing the following excerpts:

“Katowice, Poland – Today- 30 school children from three local schools in Katowice, answered the call of Greta Thunberg and brought the global #ClimateStrike into the final day of the UN Climate talks in Katowice.

 

The 30 students were granted special access to enter the UN talks and carry their message to the delegates and Polish government: with only 12 years left to get the world off fossil fuels, leaders must act now.” [emphasis in original]

On cue, the international media would publish photos such as this one:

Here is what you don’t see:

  • Preconference: The youth are being organized for the December 14, 2018 press event. Photo: David Tong / WWF New Zealand

At the bottom of the 350.org press release under the heading “For more information”, the press release discloses: “NOTE that 350.Org and Avaaz are NOT organising these actions but are helping the students to spread their message.” [Emphasis in original]

And yet it certainly appears that Avaaz did in fact play a leading role in organizing the action – while orchestrating the media spotlight. [See photos in the above slider.]

On the day following the 350.org-Avaaz press release, December 15, 2018, NGOs and institutions alike scrambled to catapult the words of Thunberg into the hearts and minds of citizens all over the world.  From the UN, to Avaaz, to the World Bank, to grass roots resistance, they all clamoured to spread young Thunberg’s words. But one NGO took it upon itself to redact many of Thunberg’s words, releasing an abbreviated version (79K views on Facebook). With no disclaimer to its audience, Avaaz removed four excerpts from Thunberg’s speech. [4] The two excerpts that follow, which were cut by Avaaz, are most revealing:

Two of the excerpts that have been cut from Greta’s speech, are most revealing:

“You only speak of the green eternal economic growth because you are too scared of being unpopular. You only talk about moving forward with the same bad ideas that got us into this mess, even when the only sensible thing to do is pull the emergency brake.”

 

“But I don’t care about being popular. I care about climate justice and the living planet. Our civilisation is being sacrificed for the opportunity of a very small number of people to continue making enormous amounts of money.”

It is not surprising Avaaz would strike Greta’s comments considering a primary function of Avaaz is to promote market solutions that accelerate “green” economic growth – in servitude to “a very small number of people to continue making enormous amounts of money.”

In the following Avaaz campaign, the NGO employs Thunberg’s face to place pressure on Sweden for corporate non-solutions, such as in this instance, “large scale CO2 reduction”. This is holistic framing for carbon capture storage technologies.

Here it is imperative to refer to the August 24, 2017 press release “Bellona seminar on Nordic CCS cooperation”. From the release:

“Now politicians have to go ahead so that we can build full-scale CO2 capture facilities as quickly as possible,’ said Tandberg. Three full-scale facilities in Norway are planned, but not yet granted, with a preliminary price tag of NOK 12.6 billion (EUR 1.28 billion)…

 

Norway is leading in capture, transportation and storage technologies, and can export the knowledge and facilities. There is potential for a completely new industry to be built. However it depends on whether Norway is able to keep its position. It is urgent to build the CCS plants, develop the technology further and get full-scale CCS infrastructure, and a Nordic cooperation can facilitate this process.”

This is a prime example of one of the main functions of NGOs. To generate popular demand from the citizenry that will in turn support the legislation required for projects that serve to benefit industry, rather than people and planet. Prior to the contracts being signed or a shovel breaking ground to build the infrastructures that will comprise the “global architecture in the age of the fourth industrial revolution” – legislation is required. And just like a proverbial snowball turning into an avalanche, the legislation begets money for a budget with bidding and construction to commence shortly thereafter.

What better way to create a demand for something detrimental to both the environment and the populace, than to package it under climate change solutions, with the lovely and innocent face of Greta.  With reality turned on its head,  industry doesn’t have to impose its will on the people – the people will impose it on themselves, via Avaaz et al. The people are thus engineered to  demand the very false solutions that the corporations have had up their sleeves for years and even decades.

Hence, the non-profit industrial complex and the media, both financed/funded by the word’s power elite, are amalgamated with and by corporate power. Together they work in unity, toward one common goal: economic growth. Hence, market solutions are always THE solutions. It is not simply a matter of placing the economy first before everything else. Rather, its placing the economy first at the EXPENSE of everything else. And everyone else. And all life on this planet.

To look at the scale of such so-called solutions, one need look no further than the 2013 Carbon Tracker “Unburnable Carbon Report” – page 12:

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

The idealised scenario “offers about an 80% chance of not exceeding a warming of more than 2°C.”

May 14, 2015:

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

[Further reading: AVAAZ: The Globe’s Largest & Most Powerful Behavioural Change Network]

[Further reading: McKibben’s Divestment Tour – Brought to You by Wall Street]

Jamie Margolin – Zero Hour

Jamie Margolin is the teenage founder of This Is Zero Hour and “one of the 13 plaintiffs suing Washington State for its failure to take adequate action on climate change.” (As disclosed in ACT I of this series, Margolin – and her NGO Zero Hour – accounted for two of the six accounts tagged by We Don’t Have Time on the very first post reporting Greta Thunberg’s school strike.) Margolin attended Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps (a three-day conference) that took place in Seattle on June 27-29, 2017. [Source] In July 2017, Margolin began organizing for a youth climate march in Washington, D.C. and launched Zero Hour. On February 27, 2018, exactly eight months after her first day at the Climate Reality Leadership Corps, Margolin would be featured in Rolling Stone magazine. Prior to her meteoric rise to stardom, Margolin interned  in Hillary Clinton’s campaign office in Seattle. The following passage demonstrates what has now become the normal corporate promotion of youth:

“The youngest speaker at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco this week is Jamie Margolin of Seattle, who founded the Zero Hour youth climate march this past July and led its flagship action in Washington, D.C. At 16, Margolin presents a youthful contrast to most of the GCAS leadership, like California Governor Jerry Brown (80); former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (76); and China’s top climate diplomat, Xie Zhenhua (68).” [Source]

In the 21st century manufactured movements and revolutions, today’s “leaders” (fabricated by corporate owned and funded media) are no longer enemies of the establishment. Rather, they  do events together – with establishment figures such as New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio adulating over our new “revolutionaries” while tagging them and tweeting their praises.  When the establishment itself loves our movements and our “faces of the future” – we know we have already lost tomorrow.

“Donate”: Jamie Margolin, teenage founder of This Is Zero Hour | Climate Reality Project webpage banner

On cue. On December 5, 2018, Time Magazine voted Greta Thunberg as one of the most influential teens (now the most sought after and targeted demographic by corporations) of 2018 while Jamie Margolin, founder of Zero Hour, Climate Reality leader and teen influencer, was lauded over by Teen Vogue. [July 19, 2018, Climate Change Puts the Future at Risk, So I’m Taking Action; November 5, 2018, 21 Under 21: Jamie Margolin Knows Climate Justice is the Key to All Justice; December 1, 2018, The Teen Vogue Summit 2018]

Teen Vogue, December 5, 2018: “15-Year-Old Activist Greta Thunberg Schooled World Leaders on Climate Change at a United Nations Summit”

In the above image, Margolin lends her celebrity status to prop up the brands Global Citizen and Johnson & Johnson. Global Citizen is perhaps the most egregious NGO in the non-profit industrial complex with its grotesque model of shallow, hollowed-out “activism” and corporatization. Recently Global Citizen has introduced “points” that can be accumulated by clicking on actions. In a blatant emulation of credit cards (the more money you spend, the more points you acquire), the more actions you click, the more points you acquire. These points can then be redeemed for access to celebrity events and concerts.

This is the social engineering of unquestioning compliance and  instantaneous acquiescence. In order to receive the reward, one must perform the action requested. If you do not comply, you simply do not receive the points.  Here the encouragement for critical thought and debate is deliberately and strategically erased from the equation.

September 25, 2018: The Zero Hour Movement Founder & President Jamie Margolin attends Global Citizen – Movement Makers at The Times Center in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for Global Citizen)

 

NGOs are not the only entities to exploit youth. Corporate partners that finance their endeavours also provide lofty sums of money to have their toxic legacies greenwashed. In July 2018, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay “nearly $4.7 billion US in total damages to 22 women and their families after they claimed asbestos in Johnson & Johnson talcum powder contributed to their ovarian cancer, in the first case against the company that focused on asbestos in the powder… Six of the 22 plaintiffs in the latest trial have died from ovarian cancer. … Mark Lanier, lead counsel for the plaintiffs, said in a statement that Johnson & Johnson had covered up evidence of asbestos in their products for more than 40 years.” [Source]

Par for the course, partnerships and endorsements for corporations inflicting violence upon both children and planet are a hallmark of the non-profit industrial complex. This is not the only lawsuit that has been launched against Johnson & Johnson nor will it be the last. There are also 1200 pending lawsuits in the US alone against this corporate entity. Johnson & Johnson is not the exception – it is the normal.

“Global Citizen – Movement Makers. In This Photo: (L-R) Ladan Manteghi, Jamie Margolin, and Afroz Shah speak onstage during Global Citizen – Movement Makers at The Times Center on September 25, 2018 in New York City.” Source: Noam Galai/Getty Images North America

Bill Gates (Breakthrough Energy, Mission Innovation) with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for Global Citizen. Montreal, Quebec, Canada, September 17, 2016. REUTERS/Geoff Robins/POOL

Jamie Margolin – teenage founder and executive director of This is Zero Hour, founded in 2017 (June 30, 2017, twitter)

Jamie Margolin, speaking via Skype at the Climate Emergency Plan presentation, (We Don’t Have Time, Climate Utmaning, the Club of Rome), November  24, 2018:

“We don’t just think about, oh there’s carbon in the air and we need to lower it, we think of how did the carbon get there?, like how did we allow a system that could lead us to such destruction?”

The system that Margolin refers to is that of global capitalism, an economic system that is devouring everything in its path. A promise to destroy the planetary ecosystems of our shared futures. And it’s not as though Margolin has not begun to understand the glaring systems intersecting at the nexus of our multiple crises, such as capitalism, colonialism, racism and patriarchy.

Rather, Margolin does in fact possess the basic building blocks of knowledge that are required for the long road ahead of instilling and inspiring the revolutionary changes that are required amoungst the youth. Yet, by positioning herself with those that bring into fruition and profit from everything Margolin touches upon, she tragically denigrates her own analysis by merely calling for better cups for Starbucks rather than the elimination of Starbucks altogether. Hence, on her current path, Margolin does more harm than good for the very systemic issues she articulates so well.

With “crude capitalists“, such as Gore, de Blasio and others, now capturing the last vestiges of youth that even have such awareness (an awareness that is slowly dying out), soon the systemic structures that allow capitalism and oppression to flourish will have no opposition whatsoever. We are reaching the point where there is no distinction between our “movements” and the coalitions created to further our oppression and servitude. The fact that Margolin serves as a face for Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project – when saving capitalism is Gore’s number one priority (as we will learn in ACT III), grinds all of Margolin’s articulate words – and actions – to dust. Gore uses Greta, Margolin and all the youth they mobilize – by destroying the very futures these youth are hoping to save – all in servitude to economic growth and capitalism for the world’s power elite.

Also of relevance to the Thunberg campaign is the race to capture the Millennial and Generation Z. With increasing frequency, this capture is primarily achieved by the manufactured and heavily funded youth “movements”. “Movements” teeming with potential consumers, fully exploitable by those that benefit from, and in many cases contribute to, the steady stream of funding. The title Generation Z has been applied to those connected from birth to online media, to whom “instant gratification is the norm.” Today, this demographic is the most powerful and sought after audience in North America. As an illustration of the terms popularity, Zero Hour’s Margolin actually refers to herself as “generation Z.”

The November 8, 2018 Barclays article, Gen Z: Step Aside Millennials reports that this demographic (children born between 1995 and 2009), the same demographic that youth leaders like Greta Thunberg and Jamie Margolin belong to, appeal to and influence, are quickly becoming the new “consumer giants” and “mega influencers”:

“By 2020, Generation Z will be the largest group of consumers globally. They will account for 40% of consumers in the US, Europe and BRIC countries and 10% in the rest of the world. Companies that don’t engage with Gen Z successfully could rapidly lose market share. Some of them may only be 9 years old, but Gen Z already have huge spending power. In the US, Gen Z currently have $200 billion in direct buying power but $1 trillion in indirect spending power by influencing household spending*. Gen Z’s advanced digital knowledge and ability to assess factors such as price and availability from a young age make them increasingly influential in family spending decisions.”

In the eyes of bankers and capitalists, this group of youth are mere consumers. Dollar signs. Not children, youth or even people.

Faux activism comes with many perks inclusive of six-figure salaries, jet-setting, and “Ted Talks”. Plus, the best hipster eco-brands money can buy. Perhaps the most enticing perk – is access. Access to the halls of power. With the media fawning all over every reformist word, the faux activist can fall in love with his/her/x own image all over again. Everyone wants to be a star. Everyone wants to live the luxurious life. Everyone wants to belong to the champagne circuit.

All on the backs of the most oppressed. All on the backs of the most vulnerable. Yet the paradox is this – we are their vehicle. Our resistance captured and channeled directly back into the very systems crushing us.

A Coupe De Grace

Greta Thunberg is being strategically exploited by the World Bank, the UN, and the non-profit industrial complex that serves the ruling classes. They are using her to advance their own self-interests and objectives – that are in direct opposition to everything this young woman brilliantly articulates. This is being presented as a “leaderless movement” – very much the “New Power” methodology and religion for the capitalists – theorized by Jeremy Heimans (Avaaz/Purpose) for mass movement building – that serves the most powerful and destructive forces on the planet.

The manipulation of young, malleable minds is at the foundation of Western indoctrination in order to insulate a failing system and mask the market solutions being designed to address it. Market “solutions” that benefit the rich at the expense of  the environment. Hence, the youth are always the sacrificial lambs of the non-profit industrial complex.

 

 [Further reading: From Stable to Star – The Making of North American “Climate Heroes”]

[Further Reading: Targeting Millennials: The 30 Trillion Dollar Jackpot]

[Further Reading: The Pygmalion Virus in Three Acts [2017 AVAAZ SERIES, PART II]

 

End Notes:

[1] “According to WE.org, ‘WE is made up of WE Charity and ME to WE. Both are part of the WE Movement, also known as ‘WE’ and ‘We.'” – “WE Charity used to be called Free The Children, and before that, Kids Can Free The Children. ME to WE is a private, for-profit business, but WE prefers to call it a ‘social enterprise.'” [Source]

[2] The COP24 Stepping Up Climate Action is a campaign initiated by the UN with Connect4Climate. The campaign of “global leaders, thinkers, activists and influencers” includes Greta Thunberg. “Connect4Climate is a global partnership program under the Communication for Climate Change Multi-Donor Trust Fund of the World Bank Group. The Trust Fund was initiated by the Italian Ministry of Environment, and in 2014 it was joined by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.”

[3] Video: Greta & Svante Thunberg – Straight Talk, Dec 9, 2019 [ 15:31 in]; Grist, December 5, 2018: “I will sit there every Friday until Sweden is aligned with the Paris agreement,” she told a packed auditorium in Katowice.

[4] 1) “You only speak of the green eternal economic growth because you are too scared of being unpopular. You only talk about moving forward with the same bad ideas that got us into this mess even when the only sensible thing to do is pull the emergency brake.”

2) “But I don’t care about being popular. I care about climate justice and the living planet our civilisation is being sacrificed for the opportunity of a very small number of people to continue making enormous amounts of money.”

3) “Until you start focusing on what needs to be done rather than its what is politically possible, there is no hope. We cannot solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis.”

4) “We have run out of excuses and we are running out of time.”

 

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

Edited with Forrest Palmer, Wrong Kind of Green Collective.

 

 

The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg – for Consent: The Political Economy of the Non-Profit Industrial Complex [ACT I]

The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg – for Consent: The Political Economy of the Non-Profit Industrial Complex [ACT I]

By Cory Morningstar

January 17, 2019

 

“What’s infuriating about manipulations by Non Profit Industrial Complex is that they harvest good will of the people, especially young people. They target those who were not given skills and knowledge to truly think for themselves by institutions which are designed to serve the ruling class. Capitalism operates systematically and structurally like a cage to raise domesticated animals. Those organizations and their projects which operate under false slogans of humanity in order to prop up the hierarchy of money and violence are fast becoming some of the most crucial elements of the invisible cage of corporatism, colonialism and militarism.” Hiroyuki Hamada, artist

 

1958: “17-year-old Bianca Passarge of Hamburg dresses up as a cat, complete with furry tail, and dances on wine bottles. Her performance was based on a dream and she practised for eight hours every day in order to perfect her dance.”

 

The Manufacturing of Greta Thunberg – for Consent has been written in six acts. [ACT IACT IIACT IIIACT IVACT VACT VI] [Addenda: I]

In ACT I, I disclose that Greta Thunberg, the current child prodigy and face of the youth movement to combat climate change, serves as special youth advisor and trustee to the burgeoning mainstream tech start-up, We Don’t Have Time. I then explore the ambitions behind the tech company We Don’t Have Time.

In ACT II, I illustrate how today’s youth are the sacrificial lambs for the ruling elite. Also in this act I introduce the board members and advisors to We Don’t Have Time. I explore the leadership in the nascent We Don’t Have Time and the partnerships between the well-established corporate environmental entities: Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, 350.org, Avaaz, Global Utmaning (Global Challenge), the World Bank, and the World Economic Forum (WEF).

In ACT III, I deconstruct how Al Gore and the Planet’s most powerful capitalists are behind today’s manufactured youth movements and why. I explore the We Don’t Have Time/Thunberg connections to Our Revolution, the Sanders Institute, This Is Zero Hour, the Sunrise Movement and the Green New Deal. I also touch upon Thunberg’s famous family. In particular, Thunberg’s celebrity mother, Malena Ernman (WWF Environmental Hero of the Year 2017) and her August 2018 book launch. I then explore the generous media attention afforded to Thunberg in both May and April of 2018 by SvD, one of Sweden’s largest newspapers.

In ACT IV, I examine the current campaign, now unfolding, in “leading the public into emergency mode”. More importantly, I summarize who and what this mode is to serve.

In ACT V, I take a closer look at the Green New Deal. I explore Data for Progress and the targeting of female youth as a key “femographic”. I connect the primary architect and authors of the “Green New Deal” data to the World Resources Institute. From there, I walk you through the interlocking Business & Sustainable Development Commission and the New Climate Economy – a project of the World Resources Institute. I disclose the common thread between these groups and the assignment of money to nature, represented by the Natural Capital Coalition and the non-profit industrial complex as an entity. Finally, I reveal how this has culminated in the implementation of payments for ecosystem services (the financialization and privatization of nature, global in scale) which is “expected to be adopted during the fifteenth meeting in Beijing in 2020.”

In the final act, ACT VI [Crescendo], I wrap up the series by divulging that the very foundations which have financed the climate “movement” over the past decade are the same foundations now partnered with the Climate Finance Partnership looking to unlock 100 trillion dollars from pension funds. I reveal the identities of individuals and groups at the helm of this interlocking matrix, controlling both the medium and the message. I take a step back in time to briefly demonstrate the ten years of strategic social engineering that have brought us to this very precipice. I look at the relationship between WWF, Stockholm Institute and World Resources Institute as key instruments in the creation of the financialization of nature. I also take a look at the first public campaigns for the financialization of nature (“natural capital”) that are slowly being brought into the public realm by WWF. I reflect upon how mainstream NGOs are attempting to safeguard their influence and further manipulate the populace by going underground through Extinction Rebellion groups being organized in the US and across the world.

With the smoke now cleared, the weak and essentially non-existent demands reminiscent of the 2009 TckTckTck “demands” can now be fully understood.

Some of these topics, in addition to others, will be released and discussed in further detail as addenda built on the large volume of research. This includes stepping through the looking glass, with an exploration of what the real “Green New Deal” under the Fourth Industrial Revolution will look like. Also forthcoming is a look at the power of celebrity – and how it has become a key tool for both capital and conformity.

[*Note: This series contains information and quotes that have been translated from Swedish to English via Google Translator.]

 

 

A C T   O N E

 

“How is it possible for you to be so easily tricked by something so simple as a story, because you are tricked? Well, it all comes down to one core thing and that is emotional investment. The more emotionally invested you are in anything in your life, the less critical and the less objectively observant you become.” — David JP Phillips, We Don’t Have Time board of directors, “The Magical Science of Storytelling”

 

 

Greta Thunberg, We Don’t Have Time, Facebook, October 26, 2018

 

August 2018, Finance Monthly, co-founder of We Don’t Have Time, Ingmar Rentzhog

We Don’t Have Time

As this term is quickly becoming the quote du jour as a collective mantra to address the ongoing environmental disaster that can best be described as a nod to the obvious, it’s true that we don’t have time. We don’t have time to stop imperialist wars – wars being the greatest contributor to climate change and environmental degradation by far – but we must do so. Of course this is an impossible feat under the crushing weight of the capitalist system, a US war economy, and the push for a fourth industrial revolution founded on renewable energy. Yet, inconvenience has nothing to do with necessity in regards to addressing a particular situation. What is never discussed in regard to the so-called “clean energy revolution” is that its existence is wholly dependent on “green” imperialism – the latter term being synonymous with blood.

But that’s not what this series is about.

This series is about new financial markets in a world where global economic growth is experiencing stagnation. The threat and subsequent response is not so much about climate change as it is about the collapse of the capitalist economic system. This series is about the climate wealth opportunity of unprecedented growth, profits, and the measures our elite classes will take in order to achieve it – including the exploitation of the youth.

What is We Don’t Have Time?

 

“Our goal is to become among the biggest players on the internet.” — Ingmar Rentzhog, We Don’t Have Time, December 22, 2017, Nordic Business Insider

On August 20, 2018 a tweet featuring a photo of “a Swedish girl” sitting on a sidewalk was released by the tech company, We Don’t Have Time, founded by its CEO Ingmar Rentzhog:

“One 15 year old girl in front of the Swedish parliament is striking from School until Election Day in 3 weeks[.] Imagine how lonely she must feel in this picture. People where [sic] just walking by. Continuing with the business as usual thing. But the truth is. We can’t and she knows it!”

Rentzhog’s tweet, via the We Don’t Have Time twitter account, would be the very first exposure of Thunberg’s now famous school strike.

Above: We Don’t Have Time tweet, August 20, 2018

Tagged in Rentzhog’s “lonely girl” tweet were five twitter accounts: Greta Thunberg, Zero Hour (youth movement), Jamie Margolin (the teenage founder of Zero Hour), Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, and the People’s Climate Strike twitter account (in the identical font and aesthetics as 350.org). [These groups will be touched upon briefly later in this series.]

Rentzhog is the founder of Laika (a prominent Swedish communications consultancy firm providing services to the financial industry, recently acquired by FundByMe). He was appointed as chair of the think tank Global Utmaning (Global Challenge in English) on May 24, 2018, and serves on the board of FundedByMe. Rentzhog is a member of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Organization Leaders, where he is part of the European Climate Policy Task Force. He received his training in March 2017 by former US Vice President Al Gore in Denver, USA, and again in June 2018, in Berlin.

Founded in 2006, Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project is a partner of We Don’t Have Time.

The We Don’t Have Time Foundation cites two special youth advisors and trustees: Greta Thunberg and Jamie Margolin. [Source]

Screenshot

Mårten Thorslund, chief marketing and sustainability officer of We Don’t Have Time took many of the very first photos of Thunberg following the launch of her school strike on August 20, 2018. In the following instance, photos taken by Thorslund accompany the article written by David Olsson, chief operating officer of We Don’t Have Time, This 15-year-old Girl Breaks Swedish Law for the Climate, published August 23, 2018:

“Greta became a climate champion and tried to influence those closest to her. Her father now writes articles and gives lectures on the climate crisis, whereas her mother, a famous Swedish opera singer, has stopped flying. All thanks to Greta.

 

And clearly, she has stepped up her game, influencing the national conversation on the climate crisis—two weeks before the election. We Don’t Have Time reported on Greta’s strike on its first day and in less than 24 hours our Facebook posts and tweets received over twenty thousand likes, shares and comments. It didn’t take long for national media to catch on. As of the first week of the strike, at least six major daily newspapers, as well as Swedish and Danish national TV, [1] have interviewed Greta. Two Swedish party leaders have stopped by to talk to her as well.” [Emphasis added]

The article continues:

“Is there something big going on here? This one kid immediately got twenty supporters who now sit next to her. This one kid created numerous news stories in national newspapers and on TV. This one kid has received thousands of messages of love and support on social media…. Movements by young people, such as Jaime Margolin’s #ThisIsZeroHour that #WeDontHaveTime interviewed earlier, speaks with a much needed urgency that grown-ups should pay attention to…” [Emphasis in original]

Yes – there was, and still is, something going on.

It’s called marketing and branding.

“Yesterday I sat completely by myself, today there is one other here too. There are none [that] I know.” — Greta Thunberg, August 21, 2018,  Nyheter newspaper, Sweden [Translation via Google]

The “one kid immediately got twenty supporters” – from a Swedish network for sustainable business. What is going on – is the launch of a global campaign to usher in a required consensus for the Paris Agreement, the New Green Deal and all climate related policies and legislation written by the power elite – for the power elite. This is necessary in order to unlock the trillions of dollars in funding by way of massive public demand.

These agreements and policies include carbon capture storage (CCS), enhanced oil recovery (EOR), bio-energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), rapid total decarbonisation, payments for ecosystem services (referred to as “natural capital”), nuclear energy and fission, and a host of other “solutions” that are hostile to an already devastated planet. What is going on – is a rebooting of a stagnant capitalist economy, that needs new markets – new growth – in order to save itself. What is being created is a  mechanism to unlock approximately 90 trillion dollars for new investments and infrastructure. What is going on is the creation of, and investment in, perhaps the biggest behavioural change experiment yet attempted, global in scale. And what are the deciding factors in what behaviours global society should adhere to? And more importantly, who decides? This is a rhetorical question as we know full well the answer: the same Western white male saviours and the capitalist economic system they have implemented globally that has been the cause of our planetary ecological nightmare. This crisis continues unabated as they appoint themselves (yet again) as the saviours for all humanity – a recurring problem for centuries.

Source: WWF

+++

“Our goal is to become at least 100 million users. It is an eighth of all who have climbed on social media. Only last month we managed to reach 18 million social media accounts according to a media survey that Meltwater news made for us. At Facebook, we are currently seven times the number of followers among the world’s all climate organizations. We are growing with 10,000 new global followers per day on Facebook.” — Ingmar Rentzhog interview with Miljö & Utveckling, October 15, 2018

We Don’t Have Time identifies itself as a movement and tech startup that is  currently developing “the world’s largest social network for climate action”. The “movement” component was launched on April 22, 2018. The web platform is still in the progress of being built, but is to launch on April 22, 2019 (coinciding with Earth Day). “Through our platform, millions of members will unite to put pressure on leaders, politicians and corporations to act for the climate.” The start-up’s goal to rapidly achieve 100 million users has thus far attracted 435 investors (74.52% of the company’s shares) via the web platform FundedByMe.

The startup intends to offer partnerships, digital advertising and services related to climate change, sustainability and the growing green, circular economy to “a large audience of engaged consumers and ambassadors.”

We Don’t Have Time is mainly active in three markets: social media, digital advertising and carbon offsets. [“In the US alone estimated market for carbon offsetting amount to over 82 billion USD of which voluntary carbon offset represents 191 million USD. The market is expected to increase in the future, in 2019 estimated 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions to be associated with any kind of cost for offsetting.”] As the company is a niche organization, social networks are able to provide services tailored to platform users. The startup has identified such an opportunity by offering its users the ability to purchase carbon offsets through the platform’s own certification. This option applies to both the individual user of the platform, as well as whole organizations/companies on the platform.

One incentive of many identified in the start-up investment section is that users will be encouraged to “communicate jointly and powerfully with influential actors.” Such influencers are Greta Thunberg and Jamie Margolin who both have lucrative futures in the branding of “sustainable” industries and products, if they wish to pursue this path in utilizing their present celebrity for personal gain (a hallmark of the “grassroots” NGO movement). [Further reading: The Increasing Vogue for Capitalist-Friendly Climate Discourse]

The tech company is banking on creating a massive member base of “conscious users” that will enable “profitable commercial collaborations, for example, advertising”:

“Decision makers – politicians, companies, organizations, states – get a climate rating based on their ability to live up to the users’ initiative. Knowledge and opinion gather in one place and users put pressure on decision makers to drive a faster change.”

 

“The main sources of revenue come from commercial players who have received high climate rating and confidence in the We Don’t Have Times member base.[2] … The revenue model will resemble the social platform of TripAdvisor.com’s business model, which with its 390 million users annually generates over $ 1 billion in good profitabilityWe will work with strategic partners such as Climate Reality leaders, climate organizations, bloggers, influencers and leading experts in the field.”

Video: We Don’t Have Time promotional video, published April 6, 2018 [Running time: 1m:38s]

A “state of conscious and permanent visibility assures the automatic functioning of power.” — Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish

Comparable to other social media endeavors where “likes”, “followers”, and unfathomable amounts of metadata determine financial success, the fact that the business is virtual enables high profit margins. The return on investment, best described as mainstream acquiescence and desirability by way of exposure, will be obtained through future dividends. In anticipation of this projected success, the tech company plans to take its business to the stock exchange in the near future. (Think Facebook and Instagram.) The most critical component to the success of this startup (like its predecessors) is achieving a massive member base. Therefore, according to the company it “will work actively with both enlisting influencers and creating content for various campaigns linked to the hashtag #WeDontHaveTime.”

 

Prospectus We Don't Have Time (pdf)

We Don’t Have Time Business Plan Swedish

 

On April 18, 2018 the crowdfunding platform FundedByMe (utilized by We Don’t Have Time to enlist investors) acquired Ingmar Rentzhog’s Laika Consulting. Excerpts from the press release are as follows:

“FundedByMe today announced that they acquire 100% of the shares in the established financial company Laika Consulting AB, a leading communications agency in financial communications. As a result, the company doubles its investment network to close to 250,000 members, making it the largest in the Nordic region. The acquisition is a strategic step to further strengthen FundedByMe’s range of financial services…

 

[Ingmar Rentzhog] will continue to work on strategic client projects for FundedByMe and Laika Consulting in part-time. Moreover he takes a role in the company’s board. The majority of his time he will focus on climate change through the newly established company, “We Don’t Have Time”, as a CEO and founder.” [Emphasis added] [Source] [3]

 

We Don’t Have Time Software App: The Latest Wave of Western & Corporate Ideology at Your Fingertips

 In October 2016, Netflix aired the third season of Black Mirror, “a Twilight Zoneesque anthology TV series about technological anxieties and possible futures.” The first episode “Nosedive” posits a shallow and hypocritical populace in which “social platforms, self-curation and validation-seeking” have become the underpinning of a future society. [Black Mirror’s third season opens with a vicious take on social media]. The disturbing episode shares parallels to the concept behind We Don’t Have Time. The difference being instead of rating people exclusively, we will be rating brands, products, corporations and everything else climate related.

Acquisition International Magazine Issue 10, 2018 

The not unintended results will be tenfold. The corporations with the best advertising executives and largest budgets will be the winners. Greenwashing will become an unprecedented method of advertising as will the art of “storytelling” (no one ever said a story has to be true). Small or local businesses with little financial means will more than often be the losers. Especially hit, will be migrant entrepreneurs whose cultures differ from ours in the West – where “Western democracy” is the only democracy that is valid.

Adding to the conversation as to who is ultimately benefiting from this endeavor from a cultural, social, geographical and ethnic perspective is the fact that “subconscious biases about race or gender, is a proven problem on many crowdsourced platforms.” [Source] Ultimately, this means that in order to acquire the needed support as a multimedia platform, the self-interest of the Western world must be at the fore with no concern for the Global South – other than what we can continue to steal from her.  The inconvenient truth is that all roads lead to the same collective (if even subconscious)  goal: the preservation of whiteness.

Rentzhog assures his audience that “our core, though, will remain, namely to empower our users to put pressure on world leaders so that they move faster towards an emission-free world and environmentally sustainable solutions and policies.” [Acquisition International Magazine Issue 10, 2018]

An “emission-free world” sounds enticing – yet there are no plans whatsoever to retract our growth economies. “Environmentally sustainable solutions” … according to who? According to a tribal elder who upholds the principles of “the seventh generation” (the Indigenous belief that humans must properly provide for its descendants by ensuring that our actions in the present allow the Earthly survival of seven succeeding generations – not to be confused with Unilever’s Seventh Generation acquisition) – or according to the World Bank? (We all know the answer to this rhetorical question.)

Another inconvenient truth, regarding the above premise, is that there is growing pressure on governments to increase Federal research and development funding to develop and deploy “deep decarbonization” technologies as one of the primary “solutions” to climate change. This was proposed at the Paris Climate Accord with Bill Gates’ “Mission Innovation” initiative which committed to doubling government investment in energy technology.

“We want it to cost more, in terms of revenue, public support and reputation, to not work on lowering emissions and improve environmental sustainability, whereas those that lead the way should be recognized for this. Our vision is to create a race towards environmental sustainability and CO2 neutrality, making it the core priority for businesses, politicians and organizations worldwide.” — Acquisition International Magazine Issue 10, 2018 

Here again, we must look closely at language and framing. Who are “those that lead the way”? Are they referring to Western citizens who can fit all their belongings in a duffle bag? [Here it must be said that the environmental heroes in the West are NOT the Richard Bransons or Leonardo DiCaprios of the world. The real heroes for the environment, due to their almost non-existent environmental footprint, are  the homeless – despite the scorn they receive from society as a whole.] Are they referring to the African Maasai who to this day, literally leave no trace? Or are “those that lead the way” Unilever and Ikea (represented on the We Don’t Have time board). This is another rhetorical question we all know the answer to. Notice the mention of CO2 “neutrality” rather than a drastic reduction of CO2 emissions. Convenient language when one of the main pillars of the business model is the sale of carbon offsets – rationalizing a continuance of the same carbon based lifestyle by constructing a faux fantasy one, that anyone with monetary wealth, can buy into.

As online reviews and ratings systems have become a Western staple of determining the worthiness of a person, group or corporation,  the internet presently is a primary source of determining the quality of an entity. One example of this type of system is the online site Trip Advisor, which utilizes user feedback as a measuring stick of a hotel, airline, car rental, etc.  As the Trip Advisor rating system is the revenue model We Don’t Have Time seeks to emulate, we will explore this particular rating system.

Whereas a reputable and established website such as Trip Advisor is based on an actual experience – We Don’t Have Time evaluations are more geared toward promises into the future regarding a green technology revolution and/or the effectiveness of advertising in making people believe the veracity of these promises. By utilizing fake accounts (think Twitter and Facebook), strategically orchestrated campaigns will effectively allow the app to break political careers and demonize people and countries based on the numbers of ratings (“climate bombs”). These bombs can be administered against any foe that does not embrace the technologies (sought by the West to benefit the West) of this so-called revolution, regardless if the reason for doing so is justifiable or not.

The word “bomb” itself will become reframed. Rather than associating bombs with militarism (never touched upon by We Don’t Have Time) the word bomb will eventually become first and foremost associated with ratings, bad products, bad ideas and bad people. Such is the power of language and framing when combined with social engineering. Here, the behavioural economics of hatred can be weaponized – a virtual new form of soft power. The Nicaraguan Sandinista government who did not sign onto the Paris Agreement because it is too weak (and serves only Western interests) could quickly become a pariah on the global stage- as the West controls the stage. Already a target for destabilization, the soft power app would be applied as the ruling class sees fit.

When one contemplates the non-profit industrial complex, it must be considered the most powerful army in the world. Employing billions of staff, all inter-connected, today’s campaigns, financed by our ruling oligarchs can become viral in a matter of hours just by the interlocking directorate working together in unity toward a common goal to instil uniform  thoughts and opinions, which gradually create a desired ideology. This is the art of social engineering. Conformity and emotive content as tools of manipulation has been and always will be the most powerful weapons in the Mad Men’s  toolbox. If 300, 000 people have already voted with “climate hearts” on a “trending” topic in under 48 hours – it must be a great idea.

“Nobody wants to be bottom of the class.”  Ingmar Retzhog, We Don’t Have Time, December 22, 2017, Nordic Business Insider

To be clear, the West is in no position to “teach” (nudge/engineer) the “correct” value system regarding sustainability to the world, when the biggest polluters on the planet are manufactured into “climate leaders” and “climate heroes”. This is reality turned on its head. A reality we are conditioned to accept. Institutions such as the United Nations in tandem with the media, spoon-feed this insanity (that defies all logic) to the global populace, in servitude to the ruling classes.

“Nudging”: Acquisition International Magazine Issue 10, 2018 

Finally, this behavioral science platform lends itself to the continued devolvement of critical thinking. With virtually everything and everyone to rate all day long – who has time to look in depth at any given policy or product that after all, sounds, looks and feels simply amazing due to sophisticated marketing coupled with behavioural change tactics? It is vital to keep in mind that social engineering – and massive profit – are the key merits and purpose of this application.

 

End Notes:

[1] TV 2 Danmark Danish public service, SVT Swedish public service, TV 4 News, Metro TV, Dagens Nyheter, Aftonbladet (August 20, 2018), Sydsvenskan, Stockholm Direkt, Expressen (August 20, 2018) , ETC, WWF, Effekt Magazin, GöteborgsPosten,Helsingborgs Dagblad, Folkbladet, Uppsala Nya tidning, Vimmerby Tidning, Piteå Tidningen, Borås Tidning, Duggan, VT, NT, Corren, OMNI, WeDontHaveTime CEO viral FaceBook post that mention it first. [Source]

[2] Click-based advertising based on highly rated companies that want to drive traffic to their websites; Targeted web advertising for companies that want to reach out to environmentally aware users in different segments; Business subscriptions where companies and organizations have the opportunity to interact with the members and get the right to use the We Don’t Have Times brand and the company’s rating in their marketing [Source]

[3] “Laika Consulting was one of the first companies in Sweden to work with crowdfunding when we established the brand in 2004. I look forward to follow the company’s growth closely. A combination of Laika’s expertise in listed companies, together with FundedByMe with its international and digital presence, can create new opportunities for growth.”says Laika’s CEO, Ingmar Rentzhog.” [Source]

 

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

Edited with Forrest Palmer, Wrong Kind of Green Collective.