Guest essay by Leo Goldstein
The existence of a foreign command & control center within climate alarmism has long been ignored, despite palpable evidence. The obvious deterrent to recognizing it was ridicule, as the Left label anybody making such claims as a believer in a “conspiracy theory.” It is time to stop listening to fools and scoundrels. Yes, climate alarmism has a single command and control center, comprising leaders of the WWF (*), other huge environmentalist groups, and United Nations politicians. I will call this center the Climate Alarmism Governance (CAG). The best evidence comes from authors sympathetic to climate alarmism. The emphasis in all the quotes is mine.
First, from Jennifer Hadden, Networks in Contention: The Divisive Politics of Climate Change (2015):
“As one interviewee explained to me regarding the strategy of the international climate coalition: “We work together quite a lot. But we know that we all represent different brands, so we have to be careful to give the appearance of not working together all the time” (Interview, WWF European Policy Office 2008).”
As one environmental activist explained it to me, “climate change isn’t just an issue anymore, it’s the issue, a meta-issue for everything we work on” (Interview, Danish 92 Group, 2009).
Starting in 1989, these organizations came together to form a coalition: the Climate Action Network (CAN). CAN was founded as a vehicle for transnational coordination among sixty-three organizations. … Much of CAN’s efforts promoted the work of the IPCC and helped establish its centrality in the international climate regime. … In fact, CAN consolidated its coalition structure during this period [1990’s] by creating a high-level political group to facilitate policy and strategic coordination among member groups.
Central to CAN’s advocacy has been the idea that member organizations must “speak with one voice” to influence the international negotiations.
CAN has a large influence on the kinds of strategies which organizations choose to use: “It seems like in CAN, a lot of the large groups set the tune, and we all tend to follow that. But when we work at home, we can’t always sell that, so we might do different things” (Interview, Greenpeace Germany 2010).
… the major international NGOs in CAN – WWF, FOE (pre-2008), Oxfam, and Greenpeace – are extensively consulted before proposals are drafted. Most members acknowledge that the big groups have a de facto veto over CAN positions. If these groups approve of a position, the proposal is then circulated to the entire membership …
CAN(*) boasts 1,100+ member organizations. According to Hadden, CAN is guided by a high-level political group, which is headed by the Four Horsemen: WWF, Greenpeace (*), FOE (*) (possibly pre-2008), and Oxfam (possibly excluding its US branch). They give orders, and all the members tend to follow those orders, while “be[ing] careful to give the appearance of not working together.” For decades, their aim has been to establish an international climate regime, to which America would be subordinated. The member organizations (or units) “might do different things” – in other words, they are encouraged to take initiative in carrying out the commander’s intent. This is a feature of a good army, not of a movement or network. They also boast immense financial power: WWF alone has annual income approaching $1B (one billion dollars), which it can use as it pleases.
Likewise, the members are organized in a top-down fashion, like military units, not volunteer organizations. Consider this excerpt from Thomas Lyon, Good Cop/Bad Cop: Environmental NGOs and Their Strategies toward Business (2012):
Newer national groups rooted in the environmental movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s, such as the Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Defense Fund, tend to have self-perpetuating boards of directors. … a tendency for group decisionmaking authority to be concentrated and organizational democracy to be lacking. Most notably, viable electoral mechanisms are rare. … Alas, scholars that have spent time examining the role of elections and democratic processes in NGOs have typically come away disappointed. What they discover is a lack of classic democratic processes in operation. … although many NGOs have democratic procedures on the books, these groups are almost always oligarchic in practice.
… the U.S. political system, given its separation of powers and weak political parties (note the absence of a viable Green Party) relative to much of the rest of the developed world, appears ready-made for [transnational enviro-] group influence over government decisionmaking.
America is specifically targeted, and the new enemy perceives our Constitutional political system with its “separation of powers and weak political parties” as a weakness to be exploited, apparently repeating mistakes of America’s past enemies.
More quotes from these and other authors are in the post Climate Alarmism Command on my website.
I. “Speaking with one voice”
Based on this evidence, climate alarmism is the product of a very large, well-coordinated, and centrally controlled entity. That explains its ability to forcibly spread a perfectly synchronized message, despite its internal inconsistencies, disagreements with high school science, and frequent flip-flops in response to shifting international alliances and focus group research results.
One example is the unprecedented saturation of the mass media with certain patently false statements, such as “97% of scientists agree.” Ideally, the media would report the truth all the time. In the past (which now seems like the legendary past), the mainstream media reported facts mostly truthfully, even if it interpreted them with a liberal bias. Occasionally, it made errors or even made up falsehoods. Journalists tend to copy each other, so the same fake news might have appeared all over the newspapers and TV channels, but only for a very short time. The “97%” falsehood has been running constantly since its introduction by Naomi Oreskes in 2004! This number has been explicitly debunked many times, and is obviously absurd: it looks more like an election result in a Communist country than a survey of scientists’ opinions! Supposedly it was “confirmed” by multiple studies, something having a lower probability than winning the Powerball jackpot for two years in a row. Nevertheless, it has survived for twelve years.
Climate alarmism has other magic numbers that make no sense, like 350 ppm or 2 degrees (later supplemented by 1.5 degrees), but that have enormous staying power. In addition to the unnaturally synchronized messaging, there is a highly abnormal absence of dissent in the ranks of climate alarmists. This is especially striking given the U-turns that the CAG made on many political issues, such as emissions by China and the use of natural gas. Even the Communist Party of the USA, a Soviet marionette from 1933, balked when it received the order to switch from an anti-Nazi to a pro-Nazi stance following the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939. Nothing similar happened in the domestic climate alarmism groups when CAG switched its demand from global decrease in CO2 emissions to unilateral decrease by the West, letting China, Japan, Russia, and the rest increase their emissions as they pleased. These facts prove beyond a doubt that there is central control of climate alarmism.
II. Front Groups
The presence of front groups, which often pop up from nowhere and catapult to the focus of media attention, is another telltale sign. For example, InsideClimate News led a plankton existence as a project inside the bowels of an obscure leftist incubator Public Interest Projects (now NEO Philanthropy) since 2007. In 2011, it had a staff of six. Suddenly, it was showered with acclaim, including the once prestigious Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 2013. Soon it collected dozens of journalistic awards, including another Pulitzer, and its fake news became “evidence” in the notorious attempt of the “Attorneys General United for Clean Power” to silence speech by proxy. Exxon, the main protagonist of the conspiracy theory that climate realists were funded by “fossil fuels,” was appointed the proxy. InsideClimate News was funded by the Ford Foundation (*), RBF (*)/RFF (Rockefeller Brothers Fund / Rockefeller Family Fund), the Park Foundation, the Marisla Foundation, the Knight Foundation, the Grantham Foundation, and other usual suspects. Almost all the funders are open members of the EGA(*) (Environmental Grantmakers Association), which was founded by RBF/RFF and shares a floor with them. (By the way, the RBF/RFF is separate from the larger Rockefeller Foundation.) 350.org is another example of a high-flying front group.
III. Evolution of the CAG
CAN was founded in 1989, but it took about a decade and a half for climate alarmism to become the main ideological glue for multiple transnational and international groups. Accordingly, the consolidation of power into the hands of a few has been happening gradually. Thus, Climate Alarmism Governance has evolved, rather than being created by one person or a small group. ENGOs and ambitious UN politicians have been working hand in hand with each other to increase their power since the 1970s. The introduction of this technique is frequently attributed to Maurice Strong. UN agencies and politicians cannot openly and directly interfere in the internal affairs of most countries, so they use NGOs for this purpose. CAN and its members WWF, Greenpeace, Oxfam, EDF, and NRDC have official status as IPCC observers and act unofficially as its de-facto speakers, further corrupting IPCC research and embellishing (“dramatizing,” in the words of a former Greenpeace leader) its already distorted reports. CAN members lobby country delegates in the UNFCCC Conferences of Parties and other international gatherings, manipulate IPCC scientific work from the inside, and make financial deals with its officials. The Climate Action Network cooperates, but avoids association, with groups that have supported violence, display hatred of America and Europe, and desire to take revenge (“justice”) for real or imaginary past offences. The leaders of several transnational NGOs (not only members of CAN) regularly meet in person to develop common goals and strategies, and stay in contact by electronic means between such meetings.
Another pillar of the CAG is the UN organization, where the USA has just one vote out of more than 190 (but contributes a lion’s share of the funding). Conveniently, some of the environmentalist “brands” are UN-accredited, and officially attend meetings of many UN agencies. Unofficially, they bribe and otherwise manipulate foreign government and UN officials as they wish (see Climate Alarmism Governance in the Words of its Supporters, para 3.2, 3.8.) The most relevant group for the climate alarmism UN unit is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), created by the UNEP and WMO. I did not investigate the precise composition and relationship at the top of the CAG or the role of the European Green parties.
IV. Financial relations between some climate alarmism units and the corruption of formerly mainstream institutions
Centralized financing of climate alarmism goes hand-in-hand with centralized command & control. Today, most climate alarmism money comes from the public sectors of the US and EU. In the past, the EGA was a large factor. Money from the primary sources is laundered and transferred between climate alarmism units in various ways. The following tables are from an official legal complaint in 5:16-cv-211-C, verified under penalty of perjury.
Table 1. Matrix of financial relations between some CAG entities
“R” means that the entity (“brand”) in the row received direct funding from the entity in the column. “D” means that the entity in the row gave direct funding to the entity in the column. Only money transfers reported on Forms 990 from 2003 to 2014-2015 are included. “In-kind” services, payments to related parties, money transfers through third parties, and off-book transfers are not included. All funding events are substantial (sometimes in millions of dollars, and certainly exceeding $10,000.)
Table 2. Financing of the Center for American Progress and some front groups by some CAG entities
Table 3. “Donations” to some formerly respectable organizations by some CAG entities
NAS is the National Academy of Sciences, which used to be the top scientific body in the nation. AAAS is the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the publisher of the journal Science. The New York Times Company (NYT) is a for-profit corporation, which makes “donating” to it even stranger. (**) (***)
(*) This organization is alleged to be associated with and participate in a criminal enterprise, as defined in The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), 18 U.S.C. § 1961-1963. The author is a plaintiff in a civil lawsuit against this organization (5:16-cv-211-C Goldstein v. Climate Action Network et al.)
(**) All said, the vast majority of individuals who unwittingly aided the CAG are innocent.
(***) I wrote under a pen name Ari Halperin in the past.