Guest post by Dr Paul Rossiter
Following my earlier two essays that looked at the new grand narrative of the green/left and the corruption of the cause, I now turn to the main engine driving the climate movement from day to day: the money. I became quite despondent while putting this together as I started to understand the huge, eye-watering amount of money that is dependent upon the unproven notion that atmospheric CO2 arising from the use of fossil fuels is causing catastrophic global warming/climate change/ pestilence and doom. Some headline numbers: the capitalisation of the renewable energy industry is over $1 trillion; the funding of the NGOs being used as alarmist publicity and lobbying agencies exceeds $2 billion; and the amount of government research funding committed to the issue exceeds $1billion. Good luck expecting that the resolution of some matter of scientific importance will cause these agencies to admit that their business is based upon a lie and that they will go away quietly, or at least scale back to a size more commensurate with the real market needs.
A caveat before I begin: the figures I quote are what is available in the public domain through books, web sites and annual and financial reports. I am not an economist and would welcome any further input that readers more informed than I could contribute. For all the examples cited in the following sections the figures are generally for the 2017/18 financial year.
1. Renewable Energy Industry: The Climate-Industrial Complex.
In 2009 Bjorn Lomborg wrote:
Some business leaders are cozying up with politicians and scientists to demand swift, drastic action on global warming. This is a new twist on a very old practice: companies using public policy to line their own pockets.
The tight relationship between the groups echoes the relationship among weapons makers, researchers and the U.S. military during the Cold War. President Dwight Eisenhower famously warned about the might of the “military-industrial complex,” cautioning that “the potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” He worried that “there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties.”
This is certainly true of climate change. We are told that very expensive carbon regulations are the only way to respond to global warming, despite ample evidence that this approach does not pass a basic cost-benefit test. We must ask whether a “climate-industrial complex” is emerging, pressing taxpayers to fork over money to please those who stand to gain.
Naturally, many CEOs are genuinely concerned about global warming. But many of the most vocal stand to profit from carbon regulations. The term used by economists for their behavior is “rent-seeking.”
According to Allied Market Research:
The global renewable energy market was valued at $928.0 Billion in 2017, and is expected to reach $1,512.3 Billion by 2025, registering a CAGR of 6.1% from 2018 to 2025. Renewable energy technologies convert the energy from different natural sources such as sun, tides, wind and others, into its usable forms such as electricity.
The global renewable energy market is anticipated to grow significantly during the forecast period owing to increased emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), particularly CO2 due to utilization of fossil fuels for generation of energy. In addition, limited presence of fossil fuel on the earth as well its volatile prices fuels the renewable energy market.
Asia-Pacific is expected to grow at the fastest rate during the forecast period. Owing to increase in demand for energy due to rise in industrialization in developing countries such as China, and India. Presence of these countries boosts the renewable energy market owing to factors such as rise in population, rapid industrialization along with favorable policies for the renewable energy sector.
Another forecast, from Acciona:
One out of every eight people on the planet continues to lack access to electricity. Within an energy setting that guarantees access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for everyone, the use of renewable energy must increase from the present 25 % to 38 % by 2025. This would entail an annual investment of 441 billion dollars in renewable electricity generation.
Taking the projections further, the idiocy of a “zero carbon” target by 2050 has been discussed many times. One recent analysis by Roger Pielke showed that it would require the construction of a nuclear power plant per day for every day from now until 2050! As such, I won’t pursue it any further here.
It can be difficult to comprehend the meaning of figures in the trillion dollar range and so I thought it would be worthwhile to break them down at least to the company level, to help make them more tangible. In so doing I used data obtained from a variety of reports, but it should be regarded as indicative since some companies have a range of interests and it is not always clear if the data refers to the whole company or just the renewable business.
Wind Turbine manufacturers and installers.
Wind power continues to be one of the most commonly used renewable energy sources in the global market. It is forecast that the global additions of new wind power capacity are estimated at 689 GW over the next 10 years, which will bring cumulative installations to 1,160 GW by the end of 2027 – up from today’s 541 GW – meaning that the demand for wind turbines will be higher than ever. Therefore, the future of world’s top 10 wind turbine manufacturers looks very promising with strong opportunities for growth in the next few years.
Some of the major manufacturers of large wind turbines are:
Vestas Wind Systems A/S (Denmark), Market capitalisation $75billion, Sales $14.94billion, world’s largest producer with over 60,000 turbines in total, 112GW in 76 countries
United power (Guodian United Power technology Co Ltd), 100GW.
Enel Spa (Italy), Market capitalisation 67.8billion Euro, 97GW (probably includes some non-renewable activity)
General Electric (US), Market capitalisation $74.3billion. 25,000 turbines in total, 92GW
Other significant companies in the billion dollar range include NextEra Energy, Inc , Suzlon, Envision, Senvion S.A., Goldwind, ENERCON GmbH, Orsted A/S (Denmark), Nordex and Acciona Windpower.
The global solar energy industry is expected to reach $422 billion by 2022 from $86 billion in 2015, growing at a CAGR of 24.2% from 2016 to 2022. Solar energy is the radiant energy emitted from the sun, which is harnessed by using various technologies such as solar heating, photovoltaic cells, and others. It is an efficient form of unconventional energy and a convenient renewable solution toward growing greenhouse emissions and global warming.
First Solar, Market capitalisation $4.5 billion
Canadian Solar Inc., Market capitalisation $3.6 billion
JA Solar Market capitalisation $2.6 billion
Yingli Solar (China), 20 GW shipped to 90 countries’ annual revenue $1.25billion
Other significant manufacturers include Jinko , Qcells, Winiaco, REC, LG energy, Trina Solar, SunPower and Panasonic
Energy distributors with major renewable content.
Avangrid, Assets $32billion, 32GW, wind
Innergex, Assets C$6.5billion, revenue C$57.6billion, hydro, wind, solar
Boralex Market capitalisation $2billion, wind, hydro, thermal, solar
Berkshire Hathaway Energy, 32GW, wind, solar, biomass, geothermal.
Others include Transalta (wind, solar, hydro, coal, gas), Invenergy, (solar, wind), The Tata Power Company Limited (hydro, solar, wind, biomass), Geronimo Energy (wind and solar), EDF energy (Nuclear, wind, solar, gas),
Ocean Power Technologies, Inc (US) (wave), On Power (geothermal), Tocardo BV (tidal river and ocean water turbine manufacturer), SynTech Bioenergy LLC (power from biomass feedstocks).
Each major manufacturer typically employs around 5000 staff and 10’s of thousands are employed in the support industries.
In addition to the companies directly involved in manufacturing and support of renewable energy products, there are all the companies providing goods and materials that go into the manufacture of the products, as well as the legal and financial services that provide support (see for example http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2017.05.021).
Bjorn Lomborg again:
Even companies that are not heavily engaged in green business stand to gain. European energy companies made tens of billions of euros in the first years of the European Trading System when they received free carbon emission allocations.
Given the enormous investment in capital and personnel largely dependent in propagation of the myth that anthropogenic CO2 is a threat to the future of the planet, it is no wonder that there is extensive lobbying to reinforce that myth: the Climate-Industrial Complex at its finest. While much of the lobbying is pro-renewable, it would also be naïve to think that there wasn’t also a significant anti-nuclear aspect as well.
Back to Bjorn:
U.S. companies and interest groups involved with climate change hired 2,430 lobbyists just last year, up 300% from five years ago. Fifty of the biggest U.S. electric utilities — including Duke — spent $51 million on lobbyists in just six months
The world’s largest wind-turbine manufacturer, Copenhagen Climate Council member Vestas, urges governments to invest heavily in the wind market. It sponsors CNN’s “Climate in Peril” segment, increasing support for policies that would increase Vestas’s earnings. A fellow council member, Mr. Gore’s green investment firm Generation Investment Management, warns of a significant risk to the U.S. economy unless a price is quickly placed on carbon.
More discussion about the emergence of the Climate-Industrial Complex is given in Green Tyrrany by Rupert Darwall.
2. Research agencies propagating the CAGW myth.
There are a number of research agencies funded by governments, either as single organisations or consortia involving a number of participants. Many of these have programs investigating the effect of climate change on the environment but all (as far as I can ascertain) accept the mantra of an anthropogenic cause of the change, usually based upon IPCC reports, and this pre-determines their projections into the future. Before consider some specific examples, I would like to make clear that I am not criticising the quality of their science or graduate training programmes per se, but I am highlighting their inherent conflict of interest: they depend upon government funding and so there is an imperative to provide a scientific opinion that is commensurate with government policy.
A few examples based upon information available to the public:
NOAA (USA), $5.5 billion.
The NOAA budget was under pressure in the March 2019 House Appropriations’ Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies. The Trump administration proposed cutting NOAA’s budget to about $4.5 billion for fiscal year (FY) 2020, a drop of nearly $1 billion, compared with the agency’s FY 2019 enacted budget. The budget cuts targeted the climate and ocean research programs and also slash education initiatives, grants, and other agency programs.
Under questioning from subcommittee member Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.) about climate change, Neil Jacobs (then NOAA Acting Administrator) reacknowledged the validity of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, which states, “Global average temperature has increased by about 1.8°F from 1901 to 2016, and observational evidence does not support any credible natural explanations for this amount of warming; instead, the evidence consistently points to human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse or heat-trapping gases, as the dominant cause.” After the hearing, Jacobs elaborated, telling journalists that the National Climate Assessment “was built on peer-reviewed literature.”
So the leadership view of NOAA is aligned with the IPCC and there is no question of natural causes of climate change.
Australian Institute of Marine Science (Australia), $67.9million
The AIMS Strategy 2025 outlines how AIMS will support Australia’s blue economy by delivering long-term impacts that create national benefits, improve tropical marine health, and protect coral reefs from climate change.
However, its reports claim:
The Great Barrier Reef is indisputably one of the world’s most important natural assets. We work with others to protect and restore the reef, which is under severe pressure from climate change and other stressors. Cumulative impacts include rising sea temperatures, ocean acidification, pollution, declining water quality and outbreaks of the destructive crown-of-thorns starfish (CoTS).
So AIMS seems to accept from the outset that damaging climate change is occurring, in line with IPCC projections.
In 2016, the chief executive of CSIRO, Dr Larry Marshall, announced that research into the fundamentals of climate science was no longer a priority for CSIRO, leading to job losses from the climate research section(s) of the Oceans and Atmosphere Unit. After overwhelming negative reaction both within Australia and overseas, the Australian Government intervened with a directive and promise of new money to support the restoration of 15 jobs and the creation of a new Climate Science Centre to be based in Hobart with funding guaranteed for 10 years from 2016. The main overseas reaction came from former US vice-president Al Gore and the World Climate Research Program. A narrow escape for the global climate alarmist cabal.
CSIRO Climate Science Centre. 100 staff, A$20 million
The centre has a wide range of research programmes, two of which are concerned with the effects of climate change. The Sea levels, waves and coastal extremes research program claims:
Many observations show that the ocean has been changing over the last several decades. About 93% of the excess heat produced by greenhouse gases has been absorbed by the oceans. Sea-level rise is a response to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the consequent changes in the global climate.
The Atmospheric Composition and chemistry research program similarly claims: Climate change is being driven primarily by increasing concentrations of long-lived greenhouse gases (GHGs), in our atmosphere.
No suggestion of the possibility of any significant natural cause of climate change here.
Australian Universities centres of excellence.
The Australian Research Council (ARC) is one of the main sources of funding for university research in Australia. The larger programmes are administered through a Centres of Excellence programme that encourages collaboration between universities, other government research agencies and industry.
The ARC Centre for Climate Extremes receives A$4.4m from the ARC and A$6.7m in kind from the partners. It evolved from the Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science that concluded in 2018. The final report of that Centre stated:
Australia is getting hotter, heatwaves are becoming more common and more intense and these trends will continue into the future. Climate models suggest Australia’s record hot summer of 2013 was made 5 times more likely by anthropogenic climate change and this record summer may be representative of Australian climate by 2035 under high emission scenarios.
The 2015/16 marine heatwave in the Tasman Sea was more intense and substantially longer than any previously recorded. This change is consistent with a response to anthropogenic climate change
The new Centre will:
improve our understanding of the processes that trigger or enhance extremes and build this understanding into our modelling systems. The improved predictions of climate extremes will enable improvements in how Australia copes with extremes now and in the future.
It includes a program on global climate sensitivity that employs climate model ensembles in the same way as IPCC modelling. Again no allowance for natural causes, though many of the experimental programmes do seem to be more open-minded.
The ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies has revenue of A$11.2m.
Its mission is: To lead the global research effort in the provision of scientific knowledge necessary for sustaining the ecosystem goods and services of the world’s coral reefs during a period of unprecedented environmental change.
The Coral Reef Ecosystem research programme is interested in examining the organisms and processes that underlie the structure and function of coral reef ecosystems. Current projects investigate the effects of climate change.
The Reef Fish ecology and climate change programme focuses on understanding and predicting the impacts that climate change and ocean acidification will have on populations and communities of marine fishes, both directly through changes in the physical environment and indirectly through effects on coral reef habitat.
One of the university partners of this Centre is James Cook University that achieved notoriety through its sacking of Dr Peter Ridd for questioning the quality of their Barrier Reef research (and hence possibly threatening their funding).
Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research (UK, no financial data available).
Our Vision: We provide evidence to inform society’s transition to a sustainable low-carbon and climate resilient future.
The Tyndall Centre is a partnership of universities bringing together researchers from the social and natural sciences and engineering to develop sustainable responses to climate change. We work with leaders from the public and private sectors to promote informed decisions on mitigating and adapting to climate change.
One of the research partners is the University of East Anglia, of Climategate fame. Another partner is the University of Manchester which is using science-based targets to help local authorities calculate their carbon budget and cut their emissions in line with climate science and the UN Paris Agreement.
Not much hope for the consideration of natural causes of climate change there.
Non-Government organisations (NGOs) are non-profit organisations funded from a variety of sources, including individual donations, philanthropic trusts, government grants, commissioned research from business, unions and non-government organisations, and sales of merchandise. Some are more particular than others about the sources of funding (for example, some will not accept government grants lest they are seen to be pushing a partisan political agenda) and often the major donors are not identified to preserve their privacy. This can make the money trail difficult to follow, even more so with those who employ the services of third party fund distribution agencies.
It would be a grave mistake to regard NGOs as a semi-organised bunch of ageing hippies. They are highly organised, usually with a very high level of expertise on their governing boards often including senior public figures (some with State awards), people with tertiary qualifications and years of experience in the field, and one in Australia lists a (real) Nobel prize winner as its patron (Doherty). The larger ones employ a staff of research, publicity and marketing personnel and boast memberships in the millions. Smaller ones with more modest means tend to rely more on voluntary support. However, they represent a major force in maintaining the myth of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming/climate change.
Climate Action Network International
NGOs with an interest in climate change are coordinated internationally through the Climate Action Network International (CAN), a body registered in Germany and boasting 1300 NGO member organisations in over 120 countries. The home page also provides links to the member NGOs.
From the CAN mission statement and press releases:
Life on earth is under severe threat from catastrophic climate change, which is being caused by humans through our constant production of greenhouse gases.
CAN is working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels.
CAN members work to achieve this goal through information exchange and the coordinated development of NGO strategy on international, regional, and national climate issues. CAN has regional network hubs that coordinate these efforts around the world.
So action against climate change is now has local and international coordination involving significant financial resources, dedicated staff and many millions of willing foot soldiers.
The number of NGOs from the main countries participating in CAN are:
- USA 193
- Canada 103
- Australia 69
- India 46
- UK 30
- Denmark 25
- France 23
- New Zealand 16
- China 9
- Russia 9
- Norway 9
- Sweden 5
- Germany 7
- Finland 7
- Hungary 4
- Austria 3
- Italy 3
(Greenland, North Korea, Somalia 0)
Not all the NGOs identified with the Climate Action group have climate change as a primary concern (some church aid groups, for example). However, most either have environmental concerns that are predicated upon climate change (save the spotted quoll, coral reefs, rainforests etc.), or they have preventing climate change as a primary concern and central to their mission. All are against the use of fossil fuel and nuclear energy sources.
In all cases the climate change science reference point is the IPCC. Again, from CAN documents:
Consecutive (IPCC) scientific reports are sounding the alarm. The window to act is closing. Current targets take us to 3 C or 4 C warming, which ends any chance for human and other species’ survival. We are seeing deadly impacts at only 1 C . All countries must half emissions by 2030 to keep warming below 1.5 C and they have a year to develop the policy tools to operationalize decarbonization.
In 2019 we only have 11 years left to avoid the worst effects of the climate crisis as warned by the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C.
The latest IPCC Special Report on the Oceans and the Cryosphere (SROCC) lays out the full extent to which the world’s marine life, oceans, glaciers, mountains, polar ecosystems are being disrupted by the climate crisis. These changes, happening at an unprecedented pace and scale, are impacting hundreds of millions of people who are being pushed to dangerous limits of adaptation and suffering the consequences of loss and damage.
The report shows that rising sea levels, rapidly melting ice sheets and the drastic warming of the oceans come with a steep ecological and social price- one that will increase with delayed action and will demand difficult choices with complicated trade-offs to protect people and our natural world. It reaffirms the main findings of the IPCC 1.5C Report on Global Warming.
And so it goes on. This total reliance on IPCC reports carries through to the individual NGOs, as will now be evident by looking at some of the larger ones. Not all are represented in every country, but a few of the larger ones are active in Australia, USA: Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Friends of the Earth (FoE).
Union of Concerned Scientists (USA), $39.8m
The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based non-profit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.
Global warming is already having significant and harmful effects on our communities, our health, and our climate. Sea level rise is accelerating. The number of large wildfires is growing. Dangerous heat waves are becoming more common. Extreme storm events are increasing in many areas. More severe droughts are occurring in others.
We must significantly reduce the heat-trapping emissions we are putting into the atmosphere. As individuals, we can help by taking action to reduce our personal carbon emissions. But to fully address the threat of global warming, we must demand action from our elected leaders.
350.org (international), $19m
To preserve our planet, scientists tell us we must reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from its current level of 392 parts per million to below 350 ppm. But 350 is more than a number—it’s a symbol of where we need to head as a planet.
In October of 2009 we coordinated 5200 simultaneous rallies and demonstrations in 181 countries, what CNN called the ‘most widespread day of political action in the planet’s history.
Greenpeace Australia, $19.7m
Greenpeace is an independent campaigning organisation that uses non-violent direct action to expose global environmental problems and to force solutions which are essential to a green and peaceful future. Greenpeace has also worked in the Pacific to eliminate toxic pollution and to prevent harmful climate change.
Basic physics and sophisticated modelling predict that a warmer atmosphere and importantly a warmer ocean are likely to create more extreme events such as cyclones, hurricanes, drought, heatwaves and cold.
The Reef is under unprecedented threat. The mining and burning of fossil fuels is warming our atmosphere, and our oceans.
But we can paint a different future. Climate modelling shows us that to keep reefs around the world intact, we have to limit global temperature rise to 1.5C. That means we need a sharp slow-down of coal, gas and oil extraction, and a transition to 100% renewable energy – as soon as possible.
Greenpeace USA, $39.7m total $28.2m contributions, 25000 members.
Demand Green New Deal now!
The Australia Institute, A$4m total, A$3m donations.
The Australia Institute has taken over the climate change advocacy role from the former Climate Institute of Australia that ceased operations in 2017. It is active in promoting global warming mitigation measures, and has been critical of the Australian federal government’s perceived lack of action on climate change.
Pacific Island leaders have made clear to the world what is required of its neighbours, including Australia, to ensure their ongoing survival: the survival of Pacific Island nations requires No New Coal Mines.
In 2017-18, we produced over 150 research pieces, including 120+ research reports, 25 submissions to government inquiries and project assessment processes, and 12 National Energy Emissions Audits. It also presented a petition for action to the 2019 UN Climate Change conference.
The Australia Institute estimates its impact through the $55.4m value of its advertising and 82.7million person cumulative audience.
It has carried out a survey assessing the attitudes of Australians to climate change, its impacts, the science, potential responses, the opportunities it presents and the performance of our leaders in relation to it. The results indicated strong support for climate action and were published in The Climate of the Nation in 2018, presumably in the hope of influencing the Federal Election that was held in May 2019. Fortunately they did not and the Labour party that ran on a climate change platform lost the “unlosable” election.
Wilderness Society (Australia), A$13m total, A$10m donations, A$2m bequests.
We work to safeguard our sources of clean water and air, to tackle devastating climate change, to create a safe future for life on Earth, and to give a better world to our children.
The society boasts: 8 campaign centres; 26 local organising groups; 8 campaign teams; 32 Movement For Life trainers; 34 training programs held this year; 440 Movement For Life graduates; 1,974 active volunteers; 28,309 active members.
World Wildlife Fund USA (head office).
$335.1m total operating revenue, $69.6m contributions, $46.8m govt. grants contracts, salaries $1.8m in USA, $53.3m international.
17 member senior management team, mainly lawyers and financiers. 66 experts, 1million members, 8 million activists.
To adequately slow climate change we must urgently reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. We are leveraging the power of WWF’s network of organizations around the world to build support for global climate action.
Promoting domestic and international efforts to reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases to at least 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, WWF is calling on the U.S. Congress and Administration to act decisively on climate change.
As glaciers and ice sheets shrink, less snow falls, and permafrost thaws, global sea rise is now happening 2.5 times faster than it was in the last century. Scientists have indicated that oceans may rise by as much as 8 feet by 2100, possibly displacing hundreds of millions of people around the world.
World Wildlife Fund Australia, A$28m, A$20m donors A$6m corporate, govt., legacies.
Our climate is now rapidly changing and threatening the people, animals and places we love.
What we now know is activities such as burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas, and cutting down forests is polluting our atmosphere and warming our planet, causing an increase in extreme weather events, sea level rise, and a warming and acidification of the oceans. Our precious wildlife and ecosystems can’t adapt fast enough.
We’re helping companies set science-based emissions reduction targets and supporting large companies to buy renewable energy more cost effectively. This includes working with governments to eliminate barriers and provide incentives to industry and business to accelerate the shift to zero carbon pollution.
WWF-Australia is committed to: Limiting global warming to 1.5° Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century; Achieving net-zero carbon pollution in Australia before 2050; Achieving 100% renewable energy in Australia before 2050, including 100% renewable electricity before 2035.
World Wildlife Fund Canada C$24.2m 70% donations 16% foundations
Friends of the Earth Australia A$1.4m, A850k donations.
Over a century of industrial development has pumped greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, warming the globe and pushing the climate perilously close to dangerous tipping points. The alternative we seek to implement is a sustainable society. This involves a reliance on the use of renewable resources which are equitably distributed. It involves the recognition that there is an inextricable link between people and the environment. FoE recognises that organised resistance and action are necessary catalysts for environmental, economic and social change. Such action is essential if we are to achieve a sustainable society based on the equitable distribution of resources and power and recognition of the rights of all people.
Friends of the Earth are actively working with frontline communities around the country to resist the spread of the nuclear, coal and gas industry
Friends of the Earth USA US10.9m total, $6.7m grants, bequests, contributions, 45 paid staff.
We have spent the past two years resisting, mobilizing and engaging in deep solidarity work against the Trump administration’s dangerous agenda.
With regard to climate & energy:
The climate crisis is the definitive environmental issue of our time, but it will take more than just greenhouse gas-reducing technologies to address it. We will need to change how we produce our energy, grow our food, conduct our politics, organize our economies, and more. We need to make a wholesale transition from an extractive to a regenerative economy, and protect vulnerable communities in the process. Friends of the Earth fights to end our dependence on dirty fossil fuels and dangerous nuclear power; and promotes solutions like renewable energy, sustainable agriculture and tropical forest protection. All while putting communities, not corporations, at the centre.
Environmental Defence Fund Inc., $223m from contributions, memberships, foundations.
With your help, Environmental Defence Fund has successfully held the line against the Trump administration’s attempts to roll back bipartisan environmental safeguards over the past two years.
The stakes are high. Recent scientific reports show that air pollution is killing 7 million people a year, the world is losing wildlife and ocean life at an alarming rate, and the window of time remaining to avert dangerous climate change is rapidly closing.
Some of their actions:
Michael Dourson, a chemical industry hired gun, was nominated to oversee the EPA’s chemical safety office. The EDF derails Dourson’s nomination by introducing key senators to families of toxic chemical victims. EDF also helps stop the nomination of climate denier Kathleen Hartnett White to head the Council on Environmental Quality.
President Trump proposes crippling budget cuts at the EPA. The EDF lobbies Congress, while Moms Clean Air Force, an EDF partner organization with one million members, meets with officials in 20 states. EDF’s campus program Defend Our Future organizes visits to elected officials. The EPA’s budget remains largely intact.
The Trump administration proposes to restrict the EPA’s use of important public health studies when making decisions, thereby suppressing vital evidence supporting strong protections. The EDF mobilizes a broad coalition of experts, provides expert testimony and files Freedom of Information Act requests to reveal the EPA’s rationale. For now, the proposal is stalled.
Energy Secretary Rick Perry seeks to force power companies to burn coal, while the EPA moves to roll back limits on emissions of greenhouse gases, mercury and arsenic. Under pressure from EDF and others, Perry’s plan is shelved. EDF ramps up the fight to defend the Clean Power Plan and the crucial limits on toxic mercury and arsenic from coal-fired power plants.
The above are just a small sampling of the activist climate change groups. There are comparatively few groups or organisations presenting the counter point of view that climate change is largely due to natural causes and any “decarbonisation” actions are futile and an expensive waste of money.
Opportunists and Globalists
In September 2018, 29 philanthropists pledged $4 billion over the next five years to combat climate change—the largest-ever philanthropic investment focused on climate change mitigation. The announcement, made at the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) in San Francisco, represents a broad global commitment to advance affordable, low- and zero-carbon solutions to reduce the harmful emissions that cause climate change. Much of this investment will support NGOs working on the frontlines of climate change: The funding will propel the expansion of successful local efforts to solve the climate crisis and allow those most affected by the climate crisis to shape the solutions to it.
Each day brings new evidence of climate change affecting lives—from extreme weather events, to increased food insecurity, to tragic impacts on human health. We see the suffering that a steadily warming planet is causing to people around the world.
Over the past two decades, the NGO sector—supported by philanthropy—has made important progress in the fight to solve climate change, including broadening access to low-cost, reliable wind and solar energy; designing policies that are revolutionizing the integration of a new generation of electric vehicles; and providing critical support to countries working to meet the requirements of the historic Paris Agreement.
By working together, sharing knowledge, welcoming new partners, and harnessing the actions of governments, the private sector and everyday citizens, the philanthropic community can be a catalyst in the fight against our world’s greatest threat.
Climate Action Network (CAN) International welcomed the announcement: “By supporting a strong base of mobilizers, influencers and change agents in local communities around the world, this commitment can help accomplish that.”
There are also foundations that have provided funds for individual projects in the renewable/climate/sustainability areas. These include Rockefeller Brothers Fund Inc., ($1.1billion assets, $34m grants, $7.5m on sustainable development). William and Flora Hewlett foundation (assets 9.8billion, $465m grants, $30m on climate projects), (Elon) Musk Foundation (no financial data available) and the David and Lucille Packard foundation.($7.6billion assets, $288m grants, $2m in conservation and science).
Finally on the money trail, there are individuals who have made large sums of money from renewable/Green schemes, like Al Gore whose personal worth is now estimated to be around $350m:
Other foundations are less open, for example George Soros and the Open Society Foundations (around $15billion):
The total amount of money invested in businesses and organisations that are dependent upon the myth that CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels is causing dangerous global warming (and all the follows) is probably between $1 trillion and $2 trillion. That is about the same size as the total GDP of Australia or Canada. With that comes enormous incentive to maintain the myth, to lobby government and disparage or destroy any opinion to the contrary. Many of the groups supporting the whole shoddy edifice are highly coordinated, as one might expect from their socialist leanings, and very effective at stirring public emotion and lobbying government. Add to the mix a UN hell bent on globalisation and redistributing wealth from successful industrialised countries to the rest of the world and you get what Patrick Moore described as The Perfect Storm. In contrast, the few voices of opposition, mainly ethical individuals and conservative think tanks, tend to be much less coordinated (possibly reflecting their leaning towards free enterprise), and seem to be less successful in capturing public attention and sentiment.
It seems to me that the “science” will only be settled (or forgotten) when Mother Nature does exactly what she wants: the temperature may go up and the alarmists will rejoice in having sounded the alarm (even though it has little to do with CO2), or it will stay unchanged or go down, in which case they will either claim success in taming the monster or quietly fade away and find some new cause to dump on the long-suffering public. Whichever way it goes, the Climate Industrial Complex and all that supports it is now probably too big to fail.