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

By Cory Morningstar

January 20, 2011


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


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

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


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

The “NEW 350” (350/1Sky) [3] in which Rockefeller interests sit on the board of directors along with others such as Billy Parish, who, incidentally, also serves on the board of The Clinton Global Initiative, is partner to MissionPoint Capital – a project worth $50 million. The CFO of MissionPoint most recently served as a vice president at Goldman Sachs and managed over $20 billion in private equity funds and direct investments. 1Sky (again, I repeat, now merged with was an incubator project initiated by Rockefellers in which the Clintons were an integral component from the onset, as was McKibben (face of, the entire movement and the second coming of Christ for the environmental sheeple).

These interests did not devise these organizations nor do they continue to bankroll them in order to eradicate the industrialized global capitalist system or redistribute the wealth.[4][5] The mainstream greens are essential (knowingly or unknowingly) for the oligarchy to ensure the current suicidal economic system is kept intact and to build acceptance within civil society for neoliberal policies and of course the commodification of nature, all under the guise of climate protection. Yet, as per usual, the vast majority of the self proclaimed climate justice movement would rather dismiss these imperative facts in order to promote “victories” and secure further funding.

What a façade. I don’t know whether to laugh, cry or vomit over this latest “victory.” Our naïveté is going to kill us. Literally. It is not even surprising that the liberal left is singing praises for Obama again (“brave”, “strong”, etc.) after the decision yesterday to reject the Keystone XL due to time constraints. While Obama with his Imperialist friends continue to invade/destabilize and occupy resource-rich countries in the middle east and beyond, the “movement” is silent on these Imperialist atrocities and focuses on a single pipeline (essentially gone is the call to shut down the tar sands) with most people (including activists) not even knowing that two-thirds of this pipeline was already completed, going into operation in 2010 and early 2011.

Our climate justice movement has been co-opted by the plutocrats themselves. They own it. Yet no one even notices. What a racket.

The Power of Conformity:


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



[1] The largest donors to the NRDC include the Pew Foundation (Sun Oil/Sunoco), the W. Alton Jones Foundation (Citgo), and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (Standard Oil/Exxon Mobil). NRDC, is featured on the front page of the PCAP website (Presidential Climate Action Plan Institution) which is a Rockefeller project. This is just a taste in a massive web of compromise, deceit, delusion and manipulation. The advisory committee of this influential Rockefeller project looks somewhat more progressive than the typical elite climate projects of the past. This is no accident. In order to have maximum effect, it is critical that these groups have credible, high-profile individuals who have demonstrated in the past they have the ability to engage citizens. Such individuals successfully help the project deflect criticism and minimize skepticism. Bill Becker, the Executive Director of the Presidential Climate Action Project was integral in the creation of 1Sky who has since merged with Backgrounder on NRDC and their climate policy:

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

[3] The Climate Cartel:1Sky, and Rockefeller Brothers | Stronger as One: Rockefellers’ 1Sky Unveils the New | More $ – More Delusion:

[4] An Imperative read: “The Eco-Establishment”:”The big business conservationists and their professionals didn’t buy off the movement; they built it.”|

[5] Together, the top six big greens in the US received nearly $2.1 billion in total revenue from all sources in 2008. But not to worry, the average of $160 million per group that was government funded using your tax dollars wasn’t critical to the financial health of the six. This is just a drop in the bucket in the elitist non-profit industrial complex; Frederic Krupp, President of Environmental Defense Fund, $496,17; Cater Roberts, President of World Wildlife Fund, $486,394; Frances Beinecke, President of Natural Resources Defense Council, $432,959; David Yarnold, Executive Director of Environmental Defense Fund, $365,773; David Festa, V.P. West Coast Environmental Defense Fund, $360,872; Stephanie Meeks, Acting President of Nature Conservatory, $349,873; Larry Schweiger, President, National Wildlife Federation, $345,004; Eileen Claussen, President, Pew Centre on Global Climate Change, $335,099; Roger Shlickeisen, President, Defenders of Wildlife, $312,896; William Meadows, President, The Wilderness Society, $308,465.

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