Green-washing

Dark Green XVIII: The IPCC’s All-Seeing-Eye (2)

By M.K. Styllinski

All_seeing_eye2 © infrakshun


To reiterate, tearing strips off the IPCC is not some exercise in criticising for its own sake but to highlight where science has been politicised and corrupted. Similarly, there is obviously a huge need to care for our environment and everything else in this precious biosphere. We cannot do this until we have climate science firmly outside activism and where ecological conservation has been innoculated against corporatism and Establishment influence.

If we go back to the Climategate 2.0 scandal, we can see that some of the emails relating to the IPCC are quite illuminating on these points. For example, Professor Jonathan Overpeck of the University of Arizona’s Department of Geosciences deciding what shouldn’t go into the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4):

“The trick may be to decide on the main message and use that to guide what’s included and what is left out. For the IPCC, we need to know what is relevant and useful for assessing recent and future climate change.”

Commenting on another section of an IPCC report he states:

“Need to convince readers that there really has been an increase in knowledge – more evidence. What is it?” [1]

Or Professor Phil Jones of East Anglia University searching for a suitable hurricane paper that dovetails into his beliefs and thus the IPCC AR4 report:

“Seems that this potential Nature paper may be worth citing, if it does say that GW is having an effect on TC [Tropical Cyclone] activity.” [2]

Each of the climate reports (CRs) are weighty, no more so than the 2007 report at 3,000 pages. No one is going to wade through all of that, least of all the sound-bite media. What is more concerning and goes straight to the heart of why science plays so little part in climate change policy, is the IPCC executive summaries which it prepares for the smaller reports that make up the CRs as a whole. Not more than 35 pages in length, this is called “Summary for Policymakers” which gives you an idea how the IPCC wants these summaries to be used, even though the depth of understanding and contextual analysis may be missing.

Scientists are tasked with drafting these documents which are then passed on to those who meticulously pore over each line so that a cleansed and white-washed copy can be presented for inspection by a clueless media and public. So, these will not be scientific documents at all. These “cleansing” meetings are not open to anyone but IPCC staff and suitably vetted observers from environmental groups or organisations. The media are not permitted entry. A core group of IPCC bureaucrats decide what goes into the reports.

A Climategate 2.0 email by Tim Carter of the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) and Climate Change Programme, writing to IPCC authors seems to confirm this fact even within the AGW brethren:

“Regarding the phrase ‘IPCC position’? Would it be wise to check that McCarthy /Watson have the same understanding as we do.”

And the reply:

[TC] You could try, but it has been tricky getting anyone to make statements about anything. It seems that a few people have a very strong say, and no matter how much talking goes on beforehand, the big decisions are made at the eleventh hour by a select core group.” [3]

Governments and organisations like the IPCC are complicit in the cover up and manipulation of scientific facts. Scientists who contribute to the CRs are being played and used for a political agenda and the short-term greed and the MSM has cheer-led this subterfuge from the beginning. A summary document given out as a press release to the world’s media and public has been put through the politician, bureaucrat and diplomat’s PR machine, vetted to make sure that it conforms to the AGW paradigm in secret and without oversight.

Devoid of facts but replete with conjecture, the media simply parrots the information and goes back to sleep. Indeed, regarding the draft reports the IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri openly stated that they are altered, stating: “we necessarily have to ensure that the underlying report conforms to the refinements.” [4]This means regardless of the validity (or not) of expert science, the authors are side-lined and what they have written is tweaked to give unanimous support to the political agenda, an agenda that has been crystallized within the IPCC for more than twenty years.

vendetta3IPCC as authoritarian climate science?

Scientists within the IPCC also have misgivings, such as Mike Hulme Professor of Climate Change in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia. Commenting in a Climategate 2.0 email, he states: “I am increasingly unconvinced by the majority of climate impact studies – including some of those I am involved in – and feel we are not really giving the right message to our audiences.” [5]

There’s an understatement to beat them all.

One of the holy grails of climate change science is computer modelling which has been responsible for much of the perceived advances in recent years. As we saw with the Club of Rome, the nature of computer modelling is fraught with assumption yet fully embraced as if the world operated on perfectly plotted principles. Evolution of any system is defined by its creative unpredictability a mathematical complexity of non-linear and often chaotic events far from equilibrium. In climate modelling a virtual world is set up that seems to be insulated from the “flies-in-the ointment” that may appear in long-term predicative analysis. The opinions of modellers then become a new science divorced from the observational inquiry. As LaFramboise asserts, the climate modelling science of opinion: “… is a recipe for tunnel-vision. It is group think waiting to happen,” and yet another example of the “group mind” steamrolling the creative sparks of objective thought which are not only needed in science but are essential to its healthy functioning so that it remains free from a political and belief-driven consensus.

No rigorous evaluation of climate modelling by independent parties has taken place. (This is presumably due to the love affair our culture is undergoing in relation to technology in general). Instead, the IPCC asks the same modellers to evaluate their own work. This is hardly scientific. Lead author roles for modellers is not the way forward, as there is little chance of them coming to the conclusion that climate modelling may be barking up the wrong tree. Since no true cold-blooded analysis of these models has taken place there is no way to know if they are even useful.

LaFramboise has also discovered that sections in the attribution chapter of the IPCC CRs are also written by climate modellers, the most crucial part of the report which decides the direction of global warming and if it is a man-made or natural cycle. Christopher Monckton and Garth W. Paltridge discovered that is wasn’t just the unreliability of climate modelling that is cause for concern but a strange coded bureaucracy that goes with it. The authors point out:

The big danger is that, with the increasing model complexity and cost, the number of truly independent climate models around the world is decreasing. This is because great slabs of the computer code of a model are often exchanged between research groups so as to avoid writing the stuff from scratch. This sort of exchange satisfies a general bureaucratic tendency to abhor what seems to be a duplication of effort. The net result must surely be a natural decrease in the spread of total feedback over the various remaining models and a consequent joy at the apparent tightening of the range of forecast temperature rise – a tightening that may have nothing at all to do with an improvement in the representation of the physics. [6]

Climate modelling does not ensure the validity of human-influenced global warming claims but rather fits neatly into circumscribed beliefs waiting in the wings. That does not mean to say that global warming is not a reality in some form, but to leave it to climate modelling to define all the parameters by which we can make informed decisions is dangerous because the solutions will lean hugely towards the overarching agenda explored previously. After all, even a minor tweak in feedback representations covering temperature rises can drastically alter a given a picture which can stretch from 1 degree celsius to infinity and beyond. That means that only thing we can be sure of is the fact that the much trumpeted “consensus” on global warming remains a myth.

Global_Climate_Model

“Climate models are systems of differential equations based on the basic laws of physics, fluid motion, and chemistry. To ‘run’ a model, scientists divide the planet into a 3-dimensional grid, apply the basic equations, and evaluate the results. Atmospheric models calculate winds, heat transfer, radiation, relative humidity, and surface hydrology within each grid and evaluate interactions with neighboring points.” (wikipedia)

Climate modelling also fails an important test when it comes to CO2 and temperature increase. In the 2007 IPCC report it even admits that the models do not seem to show the extra heat that should be there if we are to believe the theory. But they believe that the models are still correct and somehow the data out there in the real world is at fault. [7]

And here we come to a few important points relating to climate modelling and the temperature rise hysteria that the media and most academic establishments take for granted. Firstly, and very simply: Positive feedback = the reinforcement or magnification of disturbance. Secondly, Negative feedback = disturb the balance – a counteraction occurs. Thirdly, we have the greenhouse gas theory and the doubling of CO2 which might cause some warming of one degree celsius over a century. But there is the assumption that the climate responds to minute changes resulting in amplification of these changes by hundreds of percent. Positive feedback. But negative feedback is the dominant factor in almost every process in nature yet in climate science positive feedback is assumed to the culprit. Law professor Jason Johnston found in his study that: “climate catastrophe is not an “output of climate analysis but an input.” [8] In other words, the science is based on an assumption with no mention of the positive-negative feedback dichotomy anywhere in the reports.

LaFramboise points out the inevitable conclusion that:

“… the only reason climate models tell us we are at risk of eco apocalypse is because the climate modellers believe our climate system behaves in a manner that is opposite to the way most natural systems behave. If the modellers had split themselves into two groups, half programming-in negative feedback and half programming-in positive feedback, the first group of models would predict nothing alarming.” [9]

Yet, when we add this to protective bureaucracy, conflict of interest in both journals, media and activist-scientists in educational institutions and further include those IPCC personnel who “systematically conceal or minimize what appear to be fundamental scientific uncertainties,” in IPCC reports, it is a clarion call for major change. [10]

And major change is the selling point at UN conferences. But rather than practical and preventative solutions emerging from such meetings, there is a lot of talk and a lot of political posturing with non-elected representatives of civil society pushing a consensus that doesn’t exist, except for those with a political agenda. What does happen is the organisation and allocation of mountains of CASH. The UN conferences in this respect are like a vast auction of clamouring NGOs and eco-activist groups seeking a top-up or first time injection for the cause, but it is the green of the dollar bill that informs the climate industry more than anything else.

dollarbillClimate Change is a multi-billion dollar industry

As we have seen, the United Nations and the UNEP are green-dipped in the New Age tank so that the various beliefs stick like parasites to the decision-making process. Not to mention the corruption and sexual abuse scandals which have dogged the UN for years. When you have a vast bureaucracy and a constant stream of money flowing into and out of the body sitting on top a system which has virtually no accountability any issue – no matter how noble – is going to be contaminated by politics, power and greed. It is about as basic a human fable as it gets. Add ponerology to the mix and you have a UN with its charters and declarations which work on paper only.

Like the perpetual rubber-stamping of the IPCC and other agencies, it is a symbiotic relationship of collusion rather than transparency. If you are not the most morally responsible individual and the rules do not apply to you by virtue of your status and you know you can get away with all kinds of back-handers and bribes, the system actively encourages you to maintain that trajectory. This is so often the nexus point for international decisions that determine the fate of nations. If there is no accountability, why should it be any different for UN bureaucrats who juggle the money flow?

***

We have barely touched the surface regarding the problems within the IPCC. What should be clear by now is that it is not a scientific body but a political one fused with the beliefs of scientist-activists. This was illustrated by a Climategate 2.0 email from Professor Heinz Wanner of the University of Bern. On reporting his National Academy of Sciences panel critique of Michael Mann to the media: “I just refused to give an exclusive interview to SPIEGEL because I will not cause damage for climate science.” [11]
In the same way, politicians and environmental activists determine the form, content and outcome of IPCC reports that have been seen as the gospel truth for decades. Political discourse from more than 100 countries determines the direction. After all, it is worth potentially billions with a lot of academic posts, consultancies and companies riding on the AGW slipstream. Sounding the global warming bells in a variety of alarmist ways feeds into multiple agendas which have nothing to do with the truth. Consequently, to speak ill of AGW is to commit the outrageous sin of attacking the religious zeal of green militancy that has had a long and dark history.

wfarmsbirdsBirds flying into a wind turbines. Symbolic of IPCC climate science?

Is there any possibility that the IPCC can promote the same “radical shift” and “New value system” within its own ranks and which it insists society should adopt? Can it clean its own house to become the body of open-minded science that is so desperately needed?

Climate scientist Dr. Roy Spencer believes thinks the organisation can never be fixed for the simple reason:

“… that its formation over 20 years ago was to support political and energy policy goals, not to search for scientific truth. I know this not only because one of the first IPCC directors told me so, but also because it is the way the IPCC leadership behaves. If you disagree with their interpretation of climate change, you are left out of the IPCC process. They ignore or fight against any evidence which does not support their policy-driven mission, even to the point of pressuring scientific journals not to publish papers which might hurt the IPCC’s efforts.” [12]

The organisation has embraced the same constructs that every co-opted movement has done in the past, whilst avoiding the opportunity to lead by example and follow the principles it continually demands from society. [13]The inherent danger of science and political ecology is what historian Anna Bramwell calls “a value-saturated creed” which acts like an open door for the movement to become fully ponerised. [14] Science is infused not with objectivity and a quest for truth but with subjective desires peculiar to a historical mind-set of authoritarianism, regardless of the root values present at its inception. This is the story of ponerology.

The legion of World State rulers in waiting would be very happy that a scientific elite is redefining human values for us. The myth that governments respond to the will of the people has never been clearer. The real choices and thus the potential solutions have been denied to us all.  As the Under-Secretary to one time UN Chief Kurt Waldheim, Brian Urquhart declared: “The worst way to make an argument is by reason and good information. You must appeal to emotions and to their fears of being made to appear ridiculous.” [15]Irony aside, so it is with the IPCC and so many other connected bodies inhabited by the same men and women willing to stoop to the lowest common denominator.

The IPCC plays an extremely important role in the disseminating information on the science of climate change. If we cannot place our trust and faith in institutions who set themselves up to discover new solutions to some of the most pressing problems of our time then it means precious resources of creative energy is being wasted and re-directed into collective gutters of non-action and short-term gain. It becomes yet another example of pathological infection striking at the heart of what we consider to be our mentors, protectors and pioneers; expert minds dedicated to improving humanities lot. That means acknowledging the danger that ecology, environmental activism and any scientific discipline exposed to ponerological influences, must come under the same scrutiny.

If a deep love of Nature and the environment can historically sit side by side with the most virulent form of fascism then it behooves us all to guard against its all too easy re-appearance.

Pol Pot, the Cambodian dictator was responsible for the deaths of 21% of his country’s people.  He was also a former geography teacher.


Notes

[1] Email #4755 and email #1922 Jonathan Overpeck http://www.di2.nu/foia/
[2] Email #0170 Phil Jones http://www.di2.nu/foia/
[3] email #3066 Tim Carter. http://www.di2.nu/foia/
[4] ‘Food, Water Security threatened by Warming UN Panel says’ by Alex Morales,Bloomberg, February 16, 2011.
[5] email #0419 Mike Hulme. http://www.di2.nu/foia/
[6] p.28; The Climate Caper: Facts and Fallacies of Global Warming by Garth W. Paltridge. Published by Taylor Trade Publishing, 2010. ISBN-10: 1589795482
[7] op. cit. LaFramboise (p.69)
[8] ‘Global Warming Advocacy Science: a Cross Examination’ by Jason S. Johnston, Law University of Pennsylvania Law School | “Legal scholarship has come to accept as true the various pronouncements of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other scientists who have been active in the movement for greenhouse gas (ghg) emission reductions to combat global warming. The only criticism that legal scholars have had of the story told by this group of activist scientists – what may be called the climate establishment – is that it is too conservative in not paying enough attention to possible catastrophic harm from potentially very high temperature increases.”
“This paper departs from such faith in the climate establishment by comparing the picture of climate science presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other global warming scientist advocates with the peer-edited scientific literature on climate change. A review of the peer-edited literature reveals a systematic tendency of the climate establishment to engage in a variety of stylized rhetorical techniques that seem to oversell what is actually known about climate change while concealing fundamental uncertainties and open questions regarding many of the key processes involved in climate change. Fundamental open questions include not only the size but the direction of feedback effects that are responsible for the bulk of the temperature increase predicted to result from atmospheric greenhouse gas increases: while climate models all presume that such feedback effects are on balance strongly positive, more and more peer-edited scientific papers seem to suggest that feedback effects may be small or even negative. The cross-examination conducted in this paper reveals many additional areas where the peer-edited literature seems to conflict with the picture painted by establishment climate science, ranging from the magnitude of 20th century surface temperature increases and their relation to past temperatures; the possibility that inherent variability in the earth’s non-linear climate system, and not increases in CO2, may explain observed late 20th century warming; the ability of climate models to actually explain past temperatures; and, finally, substantial doubt about the methodological validity of models used to make highly publicized predictions of global warming impacts such as species loss.
Insofar as establishment climate science has glossed over and minimized such fundamental questions and uncertainties in climate science, it has created widespread misimpressions that have serious consequences for optimal policy design. Such misimpressions uniformly tend to support the case for rapid and costly decarbonization of the American economy, yet they characterize the work of even the most rigorous legal scholars. A more balanced and nuanced view of the existing state of climate science supports much more gradual and easily reversible policies regarding greenhouse gas emission reduction, and also urges a redirection in public funding of climate science away from the continued subsidization of refinements of computer models and toward increased spending on the development of standardized observational datasets against which existing climate models can be tested.”
[9] op.cit La Framboise (p.70)
[10] op. cit. Johnston.
[11] Email #1104 Heinz Wanner http://www.di2.nu/foia/
[12] ‘Climategate 2.0: Bias in Scientific Research’ November 23rd, 2011 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph.D.
[13] ‘Western Lifestyle unsustainable says climate expert Rajendra Pachauri’ The Guardian, June 20, 2011.
[14] The Fading of the Greens, by Anna Bramwell, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1994.(p.28)
[15] ‘The UN and Its Discontents’: An Exchange April 26, 1990 Shirley Hazzard, reply by Brian Urquhart The New Yorker March 15, 1990 issue.

Dark Green XVII: The IPCC’s All-Seeing-Eye (1)

By M.K. Styllinski

All_seeing_eye© infrakshun


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) gave its full blessing to the Al Gore power-point revival as he made his merry way to a carbon trading pot of gold. However, before kneeling down at the altar of the IPCC we must have a peek behind the doors of an institution that has presided over a fiefdom of green belief.

The IPCC has been lauded for over twenty years as the guardian and protector of the planet, a scientific beacon in a dark age of industry and corporate irresponsibility. It has served as the primary reference for ecologists and environmentalists buttressing the religion of anthropocentric climate change. But does this organisation truly merit the global mantle of scientific authority it now enjoys? Or is it a pretender to the throne of open-minded science? A closer examination of the facts shows that the latter is closer to the truth, with serious consequences for climate science and environmental studies worldwide.

Maurice Strong’s United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization(WMO) set up the IPCC in 1988 with a later endorsement from the United Nations General Assemblythrough Resolution 43/53. With 195 members worldwide, the intergovernmental body is currently chaired by Rajendra K. Pachauriwho steers the mission: “… to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts.” The IPCC describes itself as a scientific body which “… reviews and assesses the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information produced worldwide relevant to the understanding of climate change.” [1] Scientists voluntarily contribute to the work of the body where an “objective” and “complete assessment of current information” takes place. In the IPCC’s view, due to its scientific and intergovernmental status, it embodies: “… a unique opportunity to provide rigorous and balanced scientific information to decision makers. By endorsing the IPCC reports, governments acknowledge the authority of their scientific content. The work of the organization is therefore policy-relevant and yet policy-neutral, never policy-prescriptive.” [2]

As a consequence of this so called objectivity and impartial information presented to policy makers, an international acceptance of its claims is now in place and supported by an overall “consensus” (there’s that word again…) from leading climates scientists and participating governments. Further, in recognition of its work, the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize was shared between the IPCC and Al Gorethe IPCC acting as the source for most of the information found in An Inconvenient Truth. This fact is enough to plant a question in any informed person’s mind about the nature of the science the IPCC advocates. So, let’s see if the self-penned, glowing descriptions of the organisation stand up to scrutiny.

The IPCC reports also known as “The Climate Bible” – which we will call the “CRs” – are produced every year and represent an unassailable doctrine of climate science which cannot be challenged and to do so amounts to a form of heresy. The CRs have had an enormous effect on government policy around the world and are routinely cited as the most authoritative source on Climate change. CO2 emissions as the greatest evil known to man and the reason carbon taxes exist are all down to these reports. It is a climate science lovingly fawned over by the world’s media, much of university and think-tank academia, the same people who believe unquestioningly in Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth. The problem is, they believe that all those reports have been toiled over by thousands of experts who are holding hands in a sacred communion of consensus across the world; they believe that the science is water-tight and anyone but a fool would think otherwise.

Rajendra Pachauri has chaired the IPCC since 2002 and in one sense, is the personification of the IPCC in much the same way that Prince Philip was for the WWF. He has fuelled the belief that the IPCC and their CRs are full to the brim with thousands of the best scientists, the finest quality expertise at the cutting edge of climate science which is all parroted ad nauseum by the world’s media. [3] Unfortunately, many scientists and their papers have been ignored. Whether it is hurricane research, tropical diseases or oceanography, unless the scientists tow the official party line of anthropocentric global warming (AGW) then they can expect a cold response indeed to submitted papers.

Pachauri has since been accused of “inappropriate” sexual behaviour by several women who worked at the IPCC and TERI a non-profit, scientific and policy research organisation which Pachauri is Director-General. According to one alleged victim as part of her testimony from 2005: “A sexual harasser 10 years back, a sexual harasser today. He did it to me and others then. He has done it to her and possibly others now … His physical advances and sexual innuendos and acts, often reduced to as ‘inappropriate behaviour’, have been common knowledge and corridor gossip.” [4]

As a result, Pachuari finally stepped down in March 2015.

This appears appropriately symbolic of the IPCC’s place in climate science.

Rajendra-Pachauri_ipccstructureRajendra Pachauri, still going strong as Chairman of the IPCC

With 40 years of experience in tropical diseases Paul Reiter thinks the papers on his specialist subject found in the CRs are full of inaccuracies and incorrect conclusions, made worse by the fact that none of the lead authors had actually penned a research paper. Much of the information in the CRs are not written by experts at all and gave testimony to that fact to the UK House of Lords. [5]

One would think that the IPCC would have been keen to recruit the best experts they could find but it appears they prefer students and the inexperienced rather than the world class scientists spoken of in the mainstream media. The UN seems quite happy that its organisation continues to promulgate lies on this point while peddling unsubstantiated and very biased beliefs instead.

Journalist Donna LaFramboise’s searing indictment of the IPCC highlighted the fact that “the world’s finest scientific minds” have been culled from a reservoir of young and inexperienced students and activists such as 25 year-old Richard Klein, a Master Degree student and Greenpeace campaigner drafted in to serve as IPCC lead author on what was eventually to be six reports, six years prior to the completion of his PhD. [6] Laurens Bouwer served as an IPCC lead author before he had completed his Masters in 2001. To compound the confusion still further, the chapter to which he was given responsibility dealt with financial services whilst his “expertise” was in climate change and water resources. [7] In 2008, Lisa Alexander was a research assistant at Monesh University, Australia and went on to earn her PhD in 2009. Yet from 2001 and 2007 she had been plucked from obscurity by the IPCC to author two reports, one as lead author and the other in a contributory role – all ten years before she had claimed her doctorate. [8] Sari Kovats hadn’t earned her PhD until 2010 yet 16 years previously before any academics papers had been written: “Kovats was one of only 21 people in the entire world selected to work on the first IPCC chapter that examined how climate change might affect human health.” Lead author twice and contributing author once, all before the completion of her PhD. [9]Nor are these exceptions to the rule. This has been normal practice for the body since the early 1990s.

So, what’s going on?

LaFramboise describes how the analyses of IPCC policies and procedures were to come under the microscope, but perhaps not in the way it would have liked. In 2010, an international science body called The Inter-Academy Council took the bold step in establishing the first committee to investigate the quality and structure of IPCC research which resulted in an extensive questionnaire on its website to which people were encouraged to respond. Over the last few years a wealth of interesting data totalling over 678 pages has accumulated for the dogged researcher to peruse.

Many recurrent gripes which surfaced amongst respondents’ answers was the lack of qualifications from lead authors; decisions being political rather than scientific and undue political correctness regarding gender and multiculturalism at the expense of science. Among these problems follows the deeper more intransigent factor of activism married with science. The IPCC tells the world it is a scientific body tasked with sifting conjecture and assumption to produce as much as is possible, scientific fact. Yet, the institution is infested with activists from top to bottom. How can this be an impartial and politically neutral body offering reputable science when beliefs are colouring the overall picture?

Environmental activist organisations cross-fertilise IPCC conclusions in the CRs and other publications citing each others papers to bolster predetermined results. Rajendra Pachauri routinely writes forewords and editorials for activist groups such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth. As LaFramboise observes: “The IPCC’s role is similar to that of a trial judge. It examines the scientific evidence and decides whether or not human-produced carbon dioxide is guilty of triggering climate change. How much faith would you have in the impartiality of a murder trial if the judge was hearing evidence during the day and partying with the prosecution team during the evening?” [10]

A new breed of “activist scientist” is happiest hanging out in activist groups, universities and agenda-ridden institutions like the IPCC. Objectivity regarding scientific results is the first casualty. Scientific judgement is wide open to abuse from emotionally-driven views which consciously or unconsciously select the data that reinforces their beliefs. They often have access to a wide cross-section of interested parties from government to an annual influx of university students. Scientific credentials merely serve to reinforce beliefs and fit the data with a mind already made up. If it doesn’t fit, then it is made to fit through mental gymnastics and cherry-picking the data. Of course, this can work both ways. However, whereas many groups who do not follow the AGW line and do not have links to the fossil fuel agenda state their case with proven scientific data and expertise, the same cannot be said for the IPCC which sets itself up as an impartial arbiter when it is nothing of the kind. It is clearly AGW-biased, hiding behind the bogus claims of rigorous and objective research supported by “world class scientists.”

Michael Oppenheimer is one such example. A Director of Science, Tech. Environmental Policy, at Princeton University; Professor of Atmospheric Sciences Prior to the above posts and 20 years as Chief Scientist to Environmental Defence Fund (EDF). He is a lead author IPCC report 2007 and a Senior Author of the IPCC report in  2011. Remember his words when speaking on behalf of the EDF? “The only hope for the world is to make sure there is not another United States. We can’t let other countries have the same number of cars, the amount of industrialization, we have in the US. We have to stop these Third World countries right where they are.” Regardless whether one agrees or disagrees with this statement it is hardly the position required of a scientist let alone one who contributes regularly to the IPCC. He is an activist-scientist and thus seriously biased.

A sample of other activists working for the IPCC include:

  • Bill Hare – Greenpeace spokesperson 1992; Chief climate negotiator 2007 / Key member of Greenpeace International Climate team; Lead author IPCC reports 2007 Expert reviewer 2007.
  • Malte Meinhausen – Key member of Greenpeace International Climate team; Greenpeace spokesman 2002-2003; Co-author Kyoto Protocol Analysis; contributing author of IPCC reports 2007.
  • Ove Hoegh-Guldberg – Marine Biologis, Reef expert Greenpeace funded reports on coral reefs and climate change 1994-2000 WWF funded reports; Contributing author 2007; Coordinating author 2011.
  • Richard Moss – One time WWF vice-president; IPCC senior personnel.
  • Jennifer Morgan – WWF chief spokesperson; WWF Kyoto Protocol Delegation; WWF Global Climate Change Program; Climate Action Network; Director of Climate program World Resources Institute. IPCC report 2010.

The process by which CR authors are selected – for an organisation who claims to be transparent and open – is highly secretive. No one seems to know how top decisions are actually made. The Inter-Academy Council questionnaire makes interesting reading in this respect, with some of the respondents giving answers such as: “Selection of lead authors in my view is the most important decision in the IPCC process, and it is not transparent,” or: “After being [a lead author or contributing author] several times, I still have no idea how I was selected. This is unacceptable.” Another participant states: “It has always been unclear how this has been undertaken.” [11]Not a huge crime for any other low-level institution but the IPCC isn’t just anybody. It has told us that it is open, transparent and scientifically credible and wields enormous influence because of it.

ippc-un

The United Nations, UNEP, WHO and the IPPC are all closely related, as are their worldviews.

The IPCC receives nominations from governments but does not make it public the names of the nominees; it does not explain the selection criteria and when successful nominees are announced only the country of origin is mentioned, qualifications and credentials are nowhere to be seen. Based on past evidence one can see why they would want the secrecy to remain in place. Apparently, we are meant to guess that the candidates are experts and trust the IPCC’s word.

What makes matters worse is the organisation’s history of refusing to help journalists, researchers and academics in their quests to scrutinize sources, reports and data. Moreover, when problems have been raised with the report content, such as out-of-date source papers, incorrect citations or quoting from papers yet to be published, the shutters came down with a the rigidity of a spoilt child folding its arms and pouting. If you begin to rock the boat too much then you are stone-walled or threatened with expulsion. [12]

Yet, according to John Holdren, President Barack Obama’s science advisor the IPCC is: “… an immense edifice of painstaking studies published in the world’s leading peer-reviewed scientific journals. They have been vetted and documented in excruciating detail by the largest, longest, costliest, most international, most interdisciplinary, and most thorough formal review of a scientific topic ever conducted.” [13]Holdren has been told some porkies. In reality, the IPCC does none of the above and has no quality control procedures at all. Or, as one IPCC respondent states on page 384 of the public questionnaire: “Quality assurance and error identification is non-existent…” [14]  Which means when the body claims it uses peer-reviewed literature we find this is also incorrect. [15]The amount of peer-reviewed sources to support the findings in the IPCC reports is very low indeed; yet, people continue to believe it is true because it operates on the same belief as Al Gore. [16]IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri: “… has a history of systematically misrepresenting the process by which his organization produces reports. His declaration that the IPCC does not settle for anything less than peer-reviewed sources is wrong. Nor is it wrong by a trivial amount. When 21 out of 44 chapters have so few peer-reviewed references they score an F, a serious disjuncture exists between the facts and the IPCC’s fiction.” [17]

Nor is peer-review a fail-safe mechanism for detecting research misconduct and malpractice. The only way to safe-guard such problems is fully independent, scientific review where an assumption of the reliability of research papers before they have even appeared in print is not seen as the norm. Peer-reviewed science is only as good as the structure upon which it sits. If that is rotten then you have nothing. If Al Gore published papers for peer-review it would matter little that his credibility is zero because his talents lie in the performance designed to create maximum emotional response. Facts are secondary.

When trusts, foundations and institutions presenting themselves as scientific bodies dedicated to objective scientific analysis merge with the beliefs of green activism, however laudable, it produces a dangerous politicisation. Organising communication between professions and the media then becomes an exercise in maintaining the demands of lobbying. When substantial amounts of money are involved then science is just another tool for exploitation. Just as high quality journalism should inform activism so too science must act as the primary foundation to issues with science at their core. Without objective knowledge of the highest quality charges of passion without reason and the effects they induce cannot be countered.

LaFramboise, with an enormous network of voluntary assistance, found that 30 percent of the IPCC 2007 report was non-peer-reviewed. The sources which were included comprised of “… newspaper and magazine articles, unpublished masters and doctoral theses, Greenpeace and World Wildlife Fund documents and yes, press releases.” The journalist highlights several points that should make us all think twice about the proclamations of unimpeachable sources and credentials when the media, UN and governments wax lyrical about the IPCC’s standing.

LaFramboise further observes:

Climate sceptics are frequently asked why they imagine their own judgment to be more reliable than the judgment of such esteemed bodies. The answer to that question is this: No science academy noticed that one in three references in the 2007 Climate Bible is actually to grey literature. [unpublished papers] If these academies are so well-informed why did it take a group of Internet-linked volunteers to bring this to the world’s attention? Why didn’t even one of these science academies subject chairman Pachauri’s rhetoric to rudimentary fact-checking? [18]

Could it be that IPCC personnel simply don’t care enough to have a hand in changing the direction of this behemoth and are quite comfortable with the way things are?

Not content with preaching to the rest of us on impeccable standards in climate research to which we must all adhere, the IPCC’s treatment of its voluntary army of expert reviewers falls very short of fair. The 2007 report invited reviewers to offer comments which were responded to by IPCC authors. Yet, unsurprisingly, they are at liberty to ignore most, if not all of the comments that don’t fit with their “group-think.” The body freely inserts new material in reports, rejects reviewer opinions and essentially undermines the whole review process which was designed to prove the rigorous and objective nature of the CR science.

Group think rises up through the ranks of academic journals which instead of being independent and thus offering valuable critiques, appear to be chosen for reviews, citations and source material because an IPCC insider is Editor-in-Chief. As LaFramboise comments on the late founding editor of Climatic Change Stephen Schneider and Club of Rome member: “The fact that Schneider, a senior figure at the IPCC, was routinely deciding what would – and would not – make it into the same scientific literature the IPCC would later cite as evidence doesn’t appear to have caused anyone concern.” [19]

Nor is this an isolated incident. In the next post, we’ll see why.

 


Notes

[1] http://www.ipcc.ch/
[2] Ibid.(organisation)
[3] ‘The Science is absolutely first rate’ June 5 2007, The Rediff Interview with Rajendra K. Pachauri http://www.rediff.com | ‘The Rajendra Pachauri Interview’ by Amitabh Pal, The Progressive, May 2009 issue.
[4] ‘Harasser’ who lifts staff like little girls’ The Telegraph, Calcutta, India, Ananya Sengupta and G.S. Mudur, February 22 , 2015.
[5] Select Committee on Economic Affairs Written Evidence – Memorandum by Professor Paul Reiter, Institut Pasteur; Paris THE IPCC AND TECHNICAL INFORMATION. EXAMPLE: IMPACTS ON HUMAN HEALTH
[6] p.8; The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert by Donna Laframboise. Published by Createspace, 2011.
[7] Ibid. (p.9)
[8] Ibid. (p.10)
[9] Ibid. (p.11)
[10] Ibid. (p.18)
[11] Ibid. (pp. 185, 180 and p.28) | Review of the IPCC InterAcademy Council http://www.reviewippc.interacademycouncil.net
[12] Ibid Chapter 8: “Clear as mud” See example 1: Steve McIntyre of ClimateAudit.org p.30-35 correspondance between Susan Solomon.
[13] Ibid. (p.34)
[14] http://www.reviewippc.interacademycouncil.net
[15] Ibid. (p.43) – Richard Tol found that in the Climate Bible (CRs) 2007 “IPCC authors had ignored the findings of peer-reviewed studies and had instead cited non-peer-reviewed material to make the opposite case.”
[16] Ibid. (pp.43 -50: “The Peer Review Fairy-Tale”)
[17] Ibid. (p.48)
[18] ‘Book excerpt: Conspiracy of silence Special to Financial Post, By Donna La Framboise, Oct 22, 2011.| http://www.opinion.financialpost.com/2011/10/21/book-excerpt-conspiracy-of-silence/
[19] Ibid. (p.62)

Dark Green V: Elephants & Tigers

By M.K. Styllinski

“… all two hundred delegates signed ‘Enemies of Conservation’” with one indigenous delegate rising to state that ‘… extractive industries, while still a serious threat to their welfare and cultural integrity, were no longer the main antagonist of indigenous cultures. Their new and biggest enemy, she said, was ‘conservation.’ ”

– Mark Dowie, Conservation Refugees:The Hundred-Year Conflict between Global Conservation and Native Peoples


The same process of land ethic revivalism so favoured by the Nazis is alive and well under the Prince. WWF in partnership with Heineken Breweries and other environmental affiliates have paid for studies which conclude that a balkanisation of Europe and a dramatic increase in the creation of nature reserves, conservation areas and game parks all over Western Europe. [1]The Heineken study, sponsored by Board Chairman A.H. Heineken, “… calls for redrawing the map of Europe into 75 mini-states, with populations of 10 million people at the most. Each mini-state would be ruled by a member of one of the existing European Royal Houses.” John Loudon, International President of WWF from 1977-1981 and ex-chairman of the board of Royal Dutch Shell was a member of the Heineken board. [2]

Heineken8

“For a Fresher World” 2011 advertising artwork for Heineken brand

A long-time supporter of WWF, Heineken is one of the greenest businesses existing today with stakeholder activities focusing on sustainability, green commerce and a host of other ecologically sound initiatives. The 1994 IUCN study called “Parks for Life: Action for Protected Areas in Europe,” followed the same pattern, namely the four-fold increase in setting aside land in Western Europe. All industrialisation would cease including any new infrastructure projects from water to rail links so that millions of hectares of land for parks could be allowed to flourish. [3] Wealthy landowners, families and 1001 Club members have been busily buying up land previously designated as parks and protected areas.

Author Mark Dowie believes this policy was the result of a concept as old as the colonial forefathers called “fortress conservation,” and which is present in almost every large-scale Anglo-American environmental initiative from Agenda 21 to the Wild lands Network: expressly no humans allowed access within these hallowed conservation zones. Even though WWF does not advocate forced relocation it nevertheless firmly believes in the concept of conservation areas off limits to humans. So, how does it get around the fact that there will undoubtedly be families who do not want to leave? [4]

Dowie draws our attention to the November 2004 Third Congress of the World Conservation Union in Bangkok, Thailand, convened to explore new ways to halt the loss of global diversity. In the audience was the only black person in sea of white faces comprising of environmentalists, conservationists and eco-bureaucrats. Martin Saning’o, the Maassai leader from Tanzania was next in line. When it was his turn to comment he described: “… how nomadic pastoralists once protected the vast range in eastern Africa that they have lost over the past century to conservation projects,” and further:

“‘Our ways of farming pollinated diverse seed species and maintained corridors between ecosystems,” he explains to an audience he knows to be schooled in Western ecological sciences. Yet, in the interest of a relatively new vogue in conservation called “biodiversity,”1 he tells them, more than one hundred thousand Maasai pastoralists have been displaced from their traditional homeland, which once ranged from what is now northern Kenya to the savannah grasslands of the Serengeti plains in northern Tanzania. They called it Maasailand. ‘We were the original conservationists,’ Saning’o tells the room full of shocked white faces. ‘Now you have made us enemies of conservation.’” [5]

As Dowie understates, drily, not exactly “… what six thousand wildlife biologists and conservation activists from over one hundred countries had traveled to Bangkok to hear.”

A 2004, United Nations meeting pushed for the passing of a resolution protecting the territorial and human rights of indigenous peoples. The UN Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples read in part, “Indigenous peoples shall not be forcibly removed from their lands or territories. No relocation shall take place without the free and informed consent of the indigenous peoples concerned and after agreement on just and fair compensation, and where possible, with the option to return.” Later in the year another meeting of the International Forum on Indigenous Mapping, “all two hundred delegates signed ‘Enemies of Conservation’” with one indigenous delegate rising to state that “… extractive industries, while still a serious threat to their welfare and cultural integrity, were no longer the main antagonist of indigenous cultures. Their new and biggest enemy, she said, was ‘conservation.’” [6]

02_wwf-horzWWF’s tasteful advertising campaign on species extinction with a nude black woman and man set against rainforest. I’m sure the Duke of Edinburgh would have got the joke…

Dowie describes other statements becoming increasingly common from the mouths of indigenous populations historically displaced from their homes and lands which now number in Africa alone, 14 million[7] “conservation refugees.” Since the colonial era: “conservation has become the number one threat to indigenous territories;” the “appropriation of common property for conservation,” or even at international and local meetings there was the ignoring “recommendations and interests” of indigenous members along with a general marginalization “… without opportunity to take the floor and express our views.” [8] It is no surprise that delegates have walked out of many conferences when the same neo-colonialism presented itself.

The author goes on to illustrate the experiences of transnational conservation with a wide range of indigenous peoples from the Miwok, Paiute, and Ahwahneechee of Yosemite Valley to the Pygmies of Uganda and Central Africa; the Karen of Thailand to the Adevasi of India; the Kayapo of Brazil and many others. The same story unfolds in each case though differing in response to the colonialism with: “the tendency of conservationists to ignore their basic rights, at times their very existence, in the course of protecting biological diversity.” [9]

As Dowie observes, it is the type of scientific conservationism that harks back to the “scientific technique” of Bertrand Russell and friends that we can see defining the rigid belief that humans cannot co-exist with nature – separation and segregation overseen by an Elite is the only way.

wwftigerSumatran Tiger|wwf.org

Sumatran tigers numbering no more than 500 in 2009 have been part of WWF fund-raising campaigns for many years. Many of the tigers are said to live in the Tesso Nilo, just a few hours from an WWF office. Jens Glüsing and Nils Klawitter of Der Spiegel take up the story:

Sunarto is a biologist who has long worked as a tiger researcher in the Tesso Nilo. But he has never seen a tiger there. ‘Tiger density is very low here, because of human economic activity,’ says Sunarto, who like some Indonesians goes by only one name. He also points out that there are still some woodland clearing concessions within the conservation area. To enable them to track down tigers, the WWF has provided the scientists with high-tech measuring equipment, including GPS devices, DNA analysis methods for tiger dung and 20 photo traps. During the last photography shoot, which lasted several weeks, the traps only photographed five tigers.

The WWF sees its work in Sumatra as an important achievement, arguing that the rainforest in the Tesso Nilo was successfully saved as a result of a ‘fire department approach.’ In reality, the conservation zone has grown while the forest inside has become smaller.

Companies like Asia Pacific Resources International, with which the WWF previously had a cooperative arrangement, cut down the virgin forest, says Sunarto. His colleague Ruswantu takes affluent eco-tourists on tours of the park on the backs of tamed elephants. The area is off-limits for the locals, and anti-poaching units funded by the Germans make sure that they stay out. ‘The WWF is in charge here, and that’s a problem,’ says Bahri, who owns a tiny shop and lives in a village near the entrance to the park. No one knows where the borders are, he says. ‘We used to have small fields of rubber trees, and suddenly we were no longer allowed to go there.’ ” [10]

The Der Spiegel investigation into WWF highlighted what many already knew: the organisation has overseen the dwindling of farms driven out of tribal lands and the decline of the species it appointed itself to protect. As one indigenous interviewee stated in the report, with the partnership between transnational corporations and the WWF, the organisation has helped to transform “… our world into plantations, monoculture and national parks.” [11] This also brings into relief the apparent contradiction between preserving wildlife and the predilection of aristocracy and Establishment for hunting animals. It seems they just can’t help themselves.

Back in 1961, the year that Prince Philip would inaugurate the creation of WWF to protect the endangered species of the world he was on a Royal tour of India with Queen Elizabeth. It was on this tour that the Prince decided he would blow away an Indian Tiger just for fun. Environmentalists, ecologists and just about everyone else didn’t share Prince Philip’s delight in bagging a 10ft tiger and no doubt confirming his manly virility to Lizzie.  Several tigers and a rare Indian rhino (a legacy given by British tea-planters) were killed for the Royal tour all recorded for posterity by the Queen. But Prince Phillip it seems wanted a bit more of the action. He later killed a female rhino which had got caught in the hunting party after many other members of the entourage had actively tried to assist the animal to leave. Her infant calf escaped though it is highly improbable it survived without its mother. With the launch of WWF months away the whole incident was covered up.

Killing for sport has continued to be a pleasure for royalty down through the ages. The only difference is in the past, they were not pretending to protect wildlife and preach on endangered species while taking great delight in blowing them out of the sky, skewering them with spears or hunting them to death. This sporting pleasure is endemic in so called “high society” and intimately tied up with rural traditions, though firmly divorced from anything approaching pest control or crop protection. The WWF finally had to dispense with King Juan Carlos I of Spain as The President of Honour of WWF after his blood-lust became a little too much of a PR problem. The King made no secret of his love affair for hunting big game in Africa and Eastern Europe. More recently, he took part in a hunt in Romania, killing a wolf and nine bears, one of which was pregnant.[12] A Russian official also claimed that a tame bear was plied with honey and vodka before being shot dead by the King. The bear (called Mitrofan) was killed during a private visit to Russia in 2006, though it was never proven that King Juan Carlos had pulled the trigger. [13]

royalhunt

The prelude to the launch of WWF. Prince Phillip (far left) The Queen is standing just behind the ex-tiger while Prince Jagat-Singh Has his foot on the animal’s head. The tiger was over 9ft long before it’s skin was sent to Windsor Castle as a trophy. Today – like so many animals championed by WWF – it is almost extinct.

Much like Prince Philip who is not one to let the hoi-polloi dictate his pleasures, in 2006 the Polish government allowed him to kill a European bison in Bialowieza forest, even when it is an endangered species. In April 2012, the patron of the WWF was still busy hunting elephants in Botswana.

Prince Charles, also deeply involved with environmental concerns and UK head of the WWF has followed in his father’s footsteps developing a love of fox hunting along with frequent bird shoots at Balmoral. His sons have not been spared the grand tradition either. Reports that William killed a young antelope with a 7ft spear on a trip to see the Maasai were unconfirmed but not surprising. William’s cultivated interest in shooting and stalking stopped his mother Diana from becoming president of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, though admittedly, hunting has always been a non-issue for the WWF.

Whether it is buying 250 pheasant, duck and partridge for his brother Harry to shoot at his 27th birthday on Queen Elizabeth’s Sandringham Estate, or boar-hunting on their rural estate in Cordoba, Spain, William is merely embracing normal pastime within the aristocracy, civil list and super-rich. In their last shoot the brothers bagged a staggering 740 partridges on a single day with help from “… Beaters and packs of dogs [who] were brought in to ensure that the princes did not return home without several ‘kills’ to their name.” [14]

Killing animals for sport under the guise of countryside traditions is nothing new and is an activity simultaneously bound up in ancient practices of survival where the animal is either venerated as a source of food or regarded as something to slaughter in a society bereft or meaning. Indigenous cultures – even peasantry in the not so distant past – took the death of their fellow creatures very seriously and afforded them the respect they deserved for providing them with nourishment. Living as we do in mostly urban environments and suburban “countryside” dotted with corporate outlets of factory farming the respect for the cycles of life and death doesn’t play much part in shooting or hunting animals since it is tied to the market place, where weekend shoots act as cathartic exercises in manliness and / or a break from the high-octane pressure of city rat-race. Deals can be done and echoes of the gentry can resurface.

Though dressed up in numerous rationalisations, the idea that hunting and killing animals for fun rather than survival in what we consider to be “civilised” societies seems to be a tradition we can eventually do without. But unless one has grown up in the “country” or is steeped in aristocratic customs one cannot possibly understand this essential “tradition” it seems … However, if we ever return to a full spectrum of true ecological awareness, self-sufficiency, respect for the natural world, a just economy and an inclusive social autonomy with a minimum of government interference, there may be a place in the world for hunting animals as part of a sacred survival, something indigenous peoples understood. Since how we treat animals in any given nation is fairly good reflection of how well we treat humans, then it maybe sometime before the view of animals as playthings or products may change.

Be that as it may, it’s all part of the normal life of so-called Royalty or “nobility” where the residues of feudalism strengthen the explicit understanding that elitism, class divisions and inherited privilege must be supported by the tax payer.

How else are we to keep the vast families and civil list in the manner to which they are accustomed?

bucket of green paint‘Green-washing’ © infrakshun

The issue is not about individual royals, rather it is the notion that we need such a structure of vastly expensive aristocracy when its continued existence only serves to buttress and maintain the status quo and its social divisions. Indeed, this must remain if monarchy, corporatism and Elite privilege is to thrive, tangled up as it is in complex ponerological webs of custom, status and wealth. The idea that we are all still subjects to a ruling King or Queen rather than citizens, has power, even if implicit. Societies at this time, need leaders but leaders with the highest principles which honour tradition as means to free the mind rather than to repeat destructive customs of power privilege and indulgence.

Similarly, organisations and agencies are following a PR image which has little to do with the values a truly progressive society would hope to encourage. WWF does not oppose hunting or situations that pose a threat to animal welfare. “Conservation” is its priority. So much so, that the following statement on the Canadian seal hunt, is illuminating: “As long as the commercial hunt for harp seals off the coast of Canada is of no threat to the population of over 5 million harp seals, there is no reason for WWF Canada to reconsider its current priorities and actively oppose the annual harvest of harp seals.” [15]

Supporting the fur industry is the type of conservation we are talking about here not least the barbarism that seal hunts entail. Clearly, as WWF has stated humane treatment of animals and animal welfare is not its concern. Nor it seems, does it view exploitation as something to be concerned about.

The Sumatran Orangutan in Indonesia, is under intense pressure from Palm oil companies causing massive deforestation. Ian Singleton, Director of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program told journalist Elizabeth Batt that the Sumatran orangutan will be extinct by the end of 2012. WWF being concerned about endangered species would see this as an opportunity to protect this species, right? Wrong. WWF and other eco-groups are involved in a huge green washing deal which operates like this:

“ The global organic food industry agrees to support international agribusiness in clearing as much tropical rainforest as they want for farming. In return, agribusiness agrees to farm the now-deforested land using organic methods, and the organic industry encourages its supporters to buy the resulting timber and food under the newly devised ‘Rainforest Plus” label.’

The ‘world’s biggest wildlife conservation groups have agreed exactly to such a scenario, only in reverse.’ And it’s being led by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Through ‘a series of global bargains with international agribusiness, in exchange for vague promises of habitat protection, sustainability and social justice, these conservation groups are offering to greenwash industrial commodity agriculture.” [16]

Sumatra is home to a rich variety of wildlife some of which only exist in this mountainous paradise. Palm oil is used in biodiesel, toiletries and food products and is in high demand across the world. But the boom in palm oil means environmental degradation with high quantities of pesticides and “slash and burn” deforestation, despite WWF claims of sustainability. Corruption is rife. For example, RSPO stands for “Roundtable on Sustainable palm Oil,” yet as one former Indonesian WWF employee commented:

“Sustainable palm oil, is really non-existent” for the following reasons: “The certificate makes it possible to crank up production while simultaneously placating the consciences of customers. Henkel, the Düsseldorf-based consumer products company, advertises its Terra range of household cleaning products with the claim that it supports ‘the sustainable production of palm and palm kernel oil, together with the WWF.’ ” [17]

But WWF calls all this “market transformation” allowing corporations such as Unilever to process 1.3 million tons of palm oil a year a record that transforms it into the one of the world’s largest palm oil processors along with Wilmar, one of the world’s major palm oil producers. Now that they have completed their “accreditation” and taken into account “social criteria” then, all is well according to WWF. Though virgin forest continues to be cut down and environmental toxicity levels abound.

Charges of profits before principles have dogged WWF since its inception. The Cambodian government was none too pleased with the organisation and its handling of the Irrawaddy Dolphin in the Mekong river systems, listed as critically endangered by WWF since 2004. In June 2009, Touch Seang Tana, chairman of Cambodia’s Commission for Conservation and Development of the Mekong River Dolphins Eco-tourism Zone, accused WWF of misrepresenting the level of extinction danger concerning the Mekong Dolphin in order to increase fundraising. He stated: “The WWF’s report did not implement scientific research,” citing that: “Most dolphins died of fishing net from local fishermen and explosion devices for local people to catch fish. They did not die from pollution, DDT, pesticide or dams.” [18]

Heavy-Pollution-Leads-Mekong-Dolphins-to-Extinction-2

Mekong river Dolphins ‘almost extinct’

Cambodian government estimates between 155 and 175 Irrawaddy dolphins still remain in Cambodia’s stretch of the Mekong River, while WWF last year put the figure at just 85. Since 2012 Cambodia cabinet has agreed to implement a conservation area which will cover a 180-kilometer-long stretch of river from Eastern Kratie province to the border with Laos.

When WWF does do its professed job of protecting endangered species it doesn’t succeed there either, at least according to the 1989 Phillipson Report named after Oxford professor John Phillipson. He did as WWF asked and completed a commissioned internal audit to gauge the organization’s effectiveness. The 252 page report proved the charity had produced a litany of embarrassing failures. Not one endangered species project had been successful. After spending a fortune on “saving the panda” through “scientific breeding” which the fund proclaimed should be applied to all other species, it consequently “relocated” thousands of peasant Chinese so that they were out of the range of the panda’s habitat. In their bid to save the panda from extinction they squandered the millions accrued from donations.

Phillipson states:

“despite a staff of 43 (23 allegedly science-trained), panda breeding has not been a success and research output negligible…. The laboratories, equipped at a cost to WWF of SFr 0.53 million, are essentially non-functional. … A lack of proper advice, inadequately trained staff, and poor direction have resulted in a ‘moribund’ laboratory … The obvious conclusion must be that WWF has not been effective or efficient in safeguarding its massive investment … WWF subscribers would be dismayed to learn that the capital input has been virtually written off.” […]

“It must be accepted that WWF activities in China are largely in disarray … The policy of widening WWF involvement to cover other interests has, in my opinion, been counterproductive and, in view of the virtual cessation of support for all forms of panda research, amounts to an abrogation of responsibility for the much publicized ‘Panda Program.’” [19]

Furthermore, WWF had bribed Chinese officials with donated funds in order to preserve panda habitat but which also allowed the building of hydroelectric dams leading to ever increasing demands for bigger bribes. [20]

After decades of so called expertise in the field of conservation this is surely an odd state of affairs for an environmental institution which is regularly consulted on conservation issues despite having a dubious record on animal welfare and an appalling success rate in protecting species from extinction. Its bank balance is certainly something that could be termed “successful.”

In 2010, WWF proclaimed it the “Year of the Tiger” in keeping with its long tradition of campaigning on behalf of this endangered species. In the early 1970s, it managed to convince the Indian government under then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s Indian government to create some protected areas for the tigers. At the time it said there were roughly 4,000 tigers compared to just 1,700 today. Without WWF perhaps the tiger would be no more? It is hard to say. The issue of resettlement played out in India just as it would in China, with assurances by WWF staff that operations were handled properly. Given the magnitude of resettlement in India resulting 300,000 families being “persuaded” to leave their homes in order to create a conservation zone, it is hard to believe that such a mass displacement was willingly undertaken.

>WWF’s insistence that elephant populations were just fine underscored its preference for culling and hunting through much of the 1960s and 1970s. Though almost every environmental movement and nature conservation expert was saying that the elephant was in danger, WWF continued to support that line that estimates of sharp declines were exaggerated. In fact, from the results of various studies it was found that there were 3 million elephants in Africa in the early 1950s; 1.3 million elephants in the mid-70s when the ivory trade was at its height; 400,000 by 1988. Estimated populations of African elephants have recovered somewhat at between 490,000 or 65o, 000, with Asian elephants at only 60,000. [21]

International WWF chairman Sir Peter Scott also had a reputation for the option of culling animals regardless of whether numbers were dwindling or not. In 1963, in a report to the Ugandan Parks Board, Scott recommended the ‘culling’ of 2,500 elephants and according to EIR report by Allen Douglas “… game hunter Ian Parker, … massacred 4,000 hippos while he was at it.” It seems that the Chairman: “… had recommended the slaughter on the Malthusian premise that ‘overpopulation’ required the killing of many individuals in order to ‘save the species.’ In reality, as it later emerged, Scott wanted to create a valuable mahogany plantation in the forests where the elephants fed, and they were in the way.” [22]  If there was any truth to the notion that WWF was interested in preserving species then it was strongly called into question when it embraced the more lucrative idea of allowing only the privileged to kill endangered wildlife under the cover of that well-known term: “sustainable use”, which means the killing of animals in the most efficient way and which maximizes profits without damaging the long-term viability of the species.

An example of this strategy so common in nature conservation was discovered in 1994 where the Tufts Centre for Animals and Public Policy director Andrew Rowan found: “… a single difference in the responses of zoo and humane representatives to 12 hypothetical ethical problems he posed at the White Oak conference on zoos and animal protection. Most agreed that hunting is both ethically and pragmatically dubious as an alleged tool of wildlife management. Yet, endorsing the WWF view, the zoo people were virtually all willing to tolerate trophy hunting as a way to make wildlife lucrative for poor nations, and presumably therefore worth protecting.” [23]

Trophy-hunting and the neo-colonialism of the rich, white man pervades WWF philosophy and practice. In the context of “Sustainable use” this will actually speed up the likelihood of extinction when artificial practices based on blood sport and killing for pleasure wrapped up in rules and regulations replaces the natural balance of hunting for survival and necessity often sitting alongside a healthy wisdom and understanding of the natural world.  The same applies to the politics of “sustainable use” which have attracted the “change agent” doctrine that is seen in Agenda 21 and across the environmentalism movement. Such advocates within WWF and other groups have the gall to suggest to Africans and Asians living on the poverty line that they should allow rich Europeans and Americans to kill animals for sport as oppose to those who kill to survive and must be reduced to living on the scarcity of hand-outs to compensate. As one commentator reiterated: “ ‘Sustainable users’ argue that giving poor Africans and Asians a collective economic stock in wildlife will lead to the development of a collective ethic, whereby poachers will become pariahs. This ignores the history of collectivism wherever it has been attempted, from the failed USSR to Africa’s own overgrazed grasslands.” [24]

With the failure to save the Black Rhino in the 1960s and 70s as well as the declining populations of the White Rhino, John Phillipson stated:

“The project was ill-conceived and indefensible in conservation terms; the Southern White Rhino has never, at least in historic times, occurred in Kenya: Moreover, there is no evidence that the Northern White Rhino ever roamed the lands which now constitute the 87,044 hectare Meru National Park. The assumption must be that in the mid-1960s WWF was either scientifically incompetent, hungry for publicity, greedy for money, or unduly influenced by scientifically Naïve persons of stature.” […]

“The program came to an abrupt end in November 1988, perhaps mercifully in that it removed a constant source of embarrassment. Insurgent Somali poachers shot all the remaining white rhino in an act of defiance, an unfortunate end for the rhino but no doubt a welcome relief for concerned conservationists. Project 0195 is not a project that WWF should look back on with any pride.” [25]

Funded with 1 million Swiss francs Operation Stronghold was ostensibly conducted to save the Black Rhino in the Zambezi Valley from extinction. It soon became clear that this was something other than just Rhino protection and the transferral to safer regions. Taking a leaf out of the rise in private army outsourcing in countries such as America, Britain and Israel WWF paid Chief Game Ranger Glen Tatham and his men to protect the Rhino it seems at any cost. But was the Rhino really the main objective here?

blk-rhino

Black Rhino, Zambezi Valley

In November 1988, When two of Tatham’s unit were charged with murder after allegedly shooting dead “poachers” in cold blood, more details of their activities began to surface. Notwithstanding that over 145 “poachers” had been killed since 1984 and 1991, many had been targeted from helicopters manned by WWF employees. [26] Yet, according to the Game department’s own figures: “Of the 228 people killed or taken prisoner, only 107 guns were recovered. Given that another 202 individuals were recorded as having fled, some badly injured, some of whom would have lost or been unable to carry away their weapons, this means that Tatham et al., failed to recover weapons from three-quarters of those killed, taken prisoner, or driven away. This raises the question of whether those targeted by the guards were in fact armed poachers at all.”  [27]

Rhinos were in fact, shipped off to countries with privately-owned game reserves not just in Africa but all over the world, an immensely lucrative project for WWF.  Following in the wake of WWF’s sleight of hand, the IMF did what it does best and embarked on a restructuring of Zimbabwe’s economy, which meant placing it in debt and cutting what was left of social services. Dumped into the middle of this Western-imposed chaos was the monoculture business of beef ranching for Europe, slap-bang in the Zambezi Valley, the exact position where the rhino’s once lived. A government and corporate-mandated extermination of wildlife then ensued to provide for the IMF beef factories.

Black Rhinos have made a dramatic comeback after private land use was brought into the picture which also utilised armed guards and private army protection. Ever on the look-out for profit, a Price Waterhouse study commissioned by conservancies and WWF-Zimbabwe/Beit Trust to explore the land-use options available to the conservancies concluded that: “from a financial perspective, wildlife is a more desirable land-use than cattle in these Conservancies.” [28]

WWF’s earliest corporate sponsor was the petrochemical giant Royal Dutch/Shell. In 1961 it gave WWF-UK £10,000 a considerable sum back in 1961. So, before green righteousness goes to far let it be remembered that WWF was actually founded on oil money. But it doesn’t stop there. Corporate sponsorship continues apace some of whom include Canon, Volvo, Nokia and HSBC – the latter having been recently fined more that $1.5 billion for financial corruption, a banking cartel that was found to be laundering money for drug barons and crime lords whilst engaging in the kind  of financial terrorism second only to Barclays Banks. Yet getting into bed with oppressive regimes and finding time to indoctrinate slum kids in Pakistan we shouldn’t be too surprised, especially when we nip back to 1988…

In that year, a large cache of paintings were sold for £700,000 to raise money for the World Wide Fund for Nature. The money was deposited in a Swiss WWF bank account by former head of the WWF, Prince Bernhard. In the following year £500,000 was transferred back to Bernhard by director-general of the WWF, Charles de Haes for what was described as “a private project.” In fact, Prince Bernhard had used the money for Operation Project Lock to hire mercenaries—mostly British to ostensibly fight poachers in nature reserves.[29]In 1990, WWF’s cosseted existence was placed under the media spotlight embroiling the organisation in a very public scandal. A joint operation between WWF and British Special Air Services (SAS) had been tasked with infiltrating “commandos” in a bid to save the Rhino and in the hope of dismantling the illegal ivory trade and Rhino horn trading network. That was the theory hatched in the WWF boardroom. It proved to be colossal failure.

Firstly, £1 million went missing. This may have had something to do with the fact that her Majesty’s respected SAS group had set up shop with Rhino products and gone into business for themselves. Far from stopping the illegal trade, they had muscled in on the action taking over the market and continuing the supply lines. Large numbers of poachers were murdered according to statements made by Nelson Mandela’s National African Congress. Further revelations came to light about the depth of British Intelligence involvement which was fully supported by WWF’s own documents and published in the Africa Confidential Bulletin. MI5 was said to have orchestrated Operation Lock with David Stirling, creator of the SAS.

The history of African National Parks is a history of collusion between park wardens funded and armed by WWF. The “poachers” are often phantoms in that such fabrications cover the truth that they are often the very same park wardens. The SAS unit officially sent in to stop the trade were drawn from the ranks of seasoned military professionals with black operational or “dirty warfare” experience. They were members of a mercenary unit created by Stirling called KAS International and just the ticket it seemed for WWF’s designs.

Though largely downplayed and covered up by the media, the trail of culpability led directly to the door of the British Establishment and most notably Prince Philip, the Queen Mother and author Laurens Van Der Post Prince Charles’ tutor, then first counsellor to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on African Affairs. (Incidentally, Van Der Post has been proven to have been a fraud who knew very little about the real Africa). Nevertheless, the Duke of Edinburgh is pleased with the legacy. And WWF’s present day “Market Transformation” team shows no sign of observing a distance between corporations and their cash. “Change agents” are at work where the big dealers and producers of commodities like soybeans, milk, palm oil, wood and meat can see the errors of their ways and be shown the righteousness of a sustainable lifestyle. As a result, Cargill and Monsanto, two of the most heinous polluters and human rights abusers on the planet, donate regularly to WWF and attend many of their meetings. Keeping the green spin turning is essential for such companies which have huge investments in genetically modified soybean.

Jobs for the boys continues in 2013 and not much has changed. Thanks to the European Union millions of pounds are being paid to green campaign groups so that they can effectively lobby themselves. The European Commission Environmental Fund and are giving grants to enable scores of green organisations to influence and promote EU policy. According to the Tax Payers’ Alliance which analyses organisations’ spending this special fund called Life+, has exceeded £90 million over the past fifteen years. Set up in the 1990s to fund non-profit initiatives at the European level but most importantly, it is in the development and implementation of Community policy and legislation where Life+ is designed to be most effective. It would be a stretch to say that this money is being used to protect the environment, rather it seems this is another example of EU policies being routed through the back door of environmentalism without due consultation. Sure enough, the European Policy office of WWF (now based in Brussels) is up at the top of the grant listing having received £7.4 million. According to a Deccember 21st 2013 report from The Telegraph entitled: ‘European Union funding £90m green lobbying con’ By Robert Mendrick and Edward Malnick:

“In its most recent round of grants for 2013, Life+ awarded £7.5 million to 32 groups, including:

  • £290,000 to CEE Bankwatch Network, a Czech-based organisation which campaigns against “the activities of international financial institutions in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region that cause negative environmental and social impacts”;
  • £80,000 to Counter Balance, also based in Prague, which lobbies banks to ensure they “adhere to sustainable development goals, climate change mitigation policy, and the protection of biodiversity, in line with EU goals”;
  • £260,000 to Brussels-based Health Care Without Harm Europe, which campaigns to “address the environmental impact of the health-care sector in Europe … to make the health-care system more ecologically sustainable”;
  • £44,000 to Kyoto Club, based in Rome, whose main actions include “lobbying and advocacy for EU climate change mitigation policies, through policy recommendations and reports, information-sharing and campaigning, participation in EU events and stakeholder meetings, and contacts with relevant MEPs, Council and Commission officials”;
  • £350,000 to the Italian-based Slow Food, a group which campaigns to “reduce the impact of food production and consumption on the environment” and will achieve this by “participating in the international and EU debate about food through EU institution advisory committees, expert working groups and other high-level groups”.

At last, finally some cash is being used to implement a global green policy? Well, by now, it should be obvious that all this money flying about doesn’t actually alter the fundamental socio-economic structure but certainly lines the pockets of new “eco” industries and their bureaucracies. Greenpeace is possibly the only well-known environmental activist group who is acutely aware of green-washing having chosen not to take any EU or government funding. It perhaps the best known environmental campaigning organisation, has refused to take any EU or government funding. It should be commended for realising the nature of such compromise and what this really entails. Independence means it is much less likely to provide and open door to ponerisation. (It’s only a shame they don’t apply the same principles to their stance on climate change).

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WWF “Business partners” 2012

The green charity Friends of the Earth (FoE) is another recipient of Life+ with over £2.1 million in funds in 2012 from: “… at least seven different departments of the European Commission. By contrast, the charity’s arm in Britain said it receives less than one per cent of its budget from the EU, with the vast majority of its funding coming from individuals and trusts.” The report goes on to state: “FoEE used its funding last year to produce a four-minute video to put pressure on the British and German governments to back a new EC directive which set a series of legally binding energy efficiency targets across Europe. The video was co-produced with Climate Action Network Europe, which has received £2.3 million from Life+ to ‘improve existing EU climate and energy policies’.”

In fact, the overwhelming drive to promote and lobby for EU directives under sustainable development alongside SMART society in a European setting. Higher tax bills, zero consultation on environmental policy and the new Eco-technocratic bias which goes with it blankets European perception. In the UK austerity measures, rising debt and a generation of older folk frequently have to ration their food in order to pay the electricity bills which have risen by 150 per cent in the last ten years. The German online newspaper deutschewelle.de. reported the figure of 31, 000 Britons, mostly the retired or on low incomes who died in 2012 as a result of the cold. The social and environmental costs are driving the prices sky high. SMART implementation and serious economic difficulties the funding of activist groups for measures and initiatives without due oversight and accountability is an open door to corruption and misappropriation of funds. Since most eco-activist organisations have little or no awareness of the macro-social objectives of those currently shaping European policy it means funding is generally being absorbed into the already centralised belief system inherent in Establishment support. The compromise arrives over time not necessarily in the short-term acceptance of funds. Rather, it contributes to a slow process of attrition where green policy is gradually contoured into a new socio-economic structure which may not be based on the freedom and independence those organisations and NGOs sincerely believe exists.

Employees within WWF and other organisations believe that allowing corporations to continue their natural state of plunder and exploitation while hoping for a change of face is a practical endeavour. For the multitude of good-hearted persons working in organisations like WWF whose patrons clearly have a different environmental and ideological agenda, they are in danger of becoming agents of a change that lead away from what they would sincerely like to see: the betterment of our environment and the human sphere. This will not come without a very different kind of compromise.

**

See also: Greenpeace Helps Corporations Destroy the Planet

 


Notes

[1] Ibid.
[2] Ibid.
[3] ‘Parks for life: Action for protected areas in Europe’ IUCN Commission on National Parks and Protected Areas, Federation of Nature and National Parks of Europe. 1994.
[4]
Dowie, Mark; Conservation Refugees:The Hundred-Year Conflict between Global Conservation and Native Peoples Published by MIT Press, 2009. ISBN-10:0-262-01261-8.
[5] Ibid. (p.xvi intro.)
[6] Ibid.
[7] op. cit. Glüsing and Klawitter.
[8] op. cit. Dowie (p.xix)
[9] op. cit. (p. xx)
[10] op. cit. Glüsing, Klawitter.
[11] Ibid.
[12] ‘Romania: Elite Hunting Spree Sparks Calls For Better Animal’, rferl.org/ September 12, 2012.
[13] ‘Royal row over Russian bear fate’ BBC News, October 2006.
[14] ‘William and Harry fly to Spain to hunt wild boar to celebrate the end of Harry’s helicopter training’ By Rebecca English, Royal Correspondent, 17 January 2012.
[15] Op-Ed: King Juan Carlos not the only questionable association for WWF’ By Elizabeth Batt, http://www.digitaljournal.com April 2012.
[16] ‘Way Beyond Greenwashing: Have Corporations Captured Big Conservation?” by J. Latham, Independent Science News.org.
[17] op. cit. Glüsing, Klawitter.
[18] ‘Cambodia Rejects CNN, WWF Reports about Mekong Dolphin’ June 24 2009. CRI English, Xinhua.
[19] op.cit. La Rouche et al.
[20] Ibid.
[21] IUCN’s African Elephant Status Report 2007 | ‘Asian Elephant distribution’. EleAid. 2007.
[22] ‘The oligarchs’ real game is killing animals and killing people’ by Allen Douglas, EIR.1994.
[23] ‘What’s Wrong with “Sustainable Use”?’ June 1994 Animal People http://www.animalpeople.org
[24] Ibid.
[25] op. cit. Phillipson.
[26]‘Can Mercenary Management stop poaching in Africa?’ Animal People, April 1999. http://www.animalpeople.org
[27] op. cit. Douglas.
[28] Private Conservation Case Study: Private Conservation and Black Rhinos in Zimbabwe: The Savé Valley and Bubiana Conservancies, by Michael De Alessi January 2000.
[29] “Pretoria inquiry confirms secret battle for the rhino”. The Independent. 18 January 1996.