“We need to know who funds these think-tank lobbyists” bleated the Guardianistas headline, sub-titled “The battle for democracy is becoming a fight against backroom billionaires seeking to shape politics to their own interests”.
It was George ‘Moonbat’ Monbiot in full high dudgeon mode last year.
Apparently George is upset that one or two right-of-centre ‘think-tanks’ – clearly having been a little too successful in countering socialist propaganda – are in the pay of Big ‘Bad’ Oil. His particular gripe is the climate issue.
Tell us, declares the Moonbat, “who is funding these climate change deniers”. Well I can tell him for a start, as I suspect I am what he has in mind, that there is in fact no such thing as a ‘climate change denier’. Never has been. It is a perjorative term without meaning and was specifically coined to link the thinking of sceptics with holocaust deniers. Neither does it apply to anyone I know. Change is what the climate does – and constantly, usually in cycles of years. It has always been thus.
Now at this point, I should be open with you. Having written two books on energy and climate issues, and been the associate editor of a privately-owned US energy magazine for six years, I have never – sad to say – to my knowledge received a penny from Big Oil, Big Gas or Big Energy. And yet, the Moonbatistas of this world, usually lacking two intellectual brain cells to rub together, constantly use the comments section to offer mostly ad hominen attacks, usually playing the ‘You’re just a shill for Big Oil” card.
Some years ago I wrote a few energy-enviro pieces for a US site called Tech Central Station (TCS). Now they did pay me for a few articles. Later, as it turned out, they did turn out to be part-funded by Exxon-Mobil. So, indirectly, I suppose I did receive a few dollars ‘from’ Big Oil – not that I knew at that time as I was writing purely based on my knowledge of the subject and the reason I derived from it. And that is something around which the Leftist green groups just cannot get their head.
What Moonbat et al simply find it hard to understand is how anyone could possibly disagree with them. To do so must mean they are in the pay of ‘evil’ Big Oil. The truth is, like others, I got into the arguments over energy and environment from the perspective of intellectual rationale based on hard data, actual facts, genuine (not speculative) science. Fully appreciating, something else the green groups don’t get, that the very term ‘climate expert’ is an oxymoron. And that brings me full circle to this latest idiotic Moonbat hypocrisy.
Yet again what the Moonbat doesn’t seem to grasp, is that even well-funded lobby groups still have to present and sustain solid argumentation. Ad hominen attacks just won’t cut it. But first out of the blocks in the ‘let’s-make-money-from-activism’ department were, lo and behold, the leftist green groups dependent on the oxygen of cash supplied by billionaire social engineers like George Soros: something Monbiot’s piece conspicuously omits to mention.
And, far from simply funding pro-fossil fuel lobbies, the reality is that Big Oil more or less bought into the whole Big Green deal. Not only did they no longer back the TCS’s of this world, wanting to appear to have ‘gone green’ they supported a vast array of dubious green energy projects (before BP, Shell and others later unceremoniously dumped them when the public didn’t buy it) including… green activist lobbies.
The fact is that George Soros has poured millions of dollars into the “progressive” media attack dogs groups, especially MoveOn.org.
MoveOn.org has been responsible for some of the worst energy and climate journalism in modern history. But it doesn’t stop there. An article in the Wall Street Journal last year showed plainly that far from funding sceptic think-tanks, Big Oil turns out to be a major funder of green activist groups.
But first, let us deal with Monbiot’s specific allegations. Joanne Nova has shown that Big Oil sponsors the “progressive” (code for left) think-tank, the Pew Charitable Trust, in the US. Yet, Monbiot is only interested to know who funds the openly right-of-centre Heartland Institute, accusing it of depending on Big Energy cash; something that Nova, an Aussie environmentalist, has shown not to be true. While it may (or may not… I have no idea) receive some energy funding, what we do know is that Heartland is by no means dependent on it, or on any singular funding source.
So let’s get to the ‘other side of the coin’.
In her excellent book The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Taken For The World’s Top Climate Expert, Donna Laframboise revealed just how corrupt the United Nations and its IPCC climate panel actually is. But she has also revealed how the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF)’s extensive climate activism is entirely dependent on a “vast pool of oil money”, not least receiving major seed-funding from Royal Dutch Shell.
Surprise, surprise, then that Shell’s former president, John Loudon, should later become president of WWF International for four years.
And here are a few more factoids George M. Might like to think about:
- Greenpeace has received massive funding from Standard Oil, as has the eco-activist Sierra Club;
- The (leftist) Rockerfeller Foundation funded Greenpeace to the tune of over $1 million between 1997 and 2005;
- Al Gore sold his TV channel in 2012 to Al Jazeera – a media company Gore knew to be wholly backed with Big Oil money;
- In March 2011, I had occasion to ‘out’ the influential and highly toxic Canadian green lobby group DeSmog (see my DeSmog Debunked) for precisely the same kind of hypocrisy as Monbiot now exhibits. Turns out that DeSmog was also being funded by (and had significant links to) Shell Canada. Oops.
In his rush to accuse Daily Telegraph writers Christopher Booker and James Delingpole of accepting speaking engagements at conferences at least partly-funded by Big Oil et al, Monbiot failed to acknowledge a widely appreciated fact by energy insiders: as James Delingpole’s Telegraph blog pointed out just recently 97 percent of climate activists “in the pay of Big Oil shock!”
What Delingpole meant is: both sides of the ideological divide, but mostly on the Left. But then Delingpole went just too far (and we await a Moonbatista response with interest) when he had the temerity to ‘out’ Monbiot’s own colleague at the Guardian, Dana Nuccitelli, as a ‘shill’ for anti-fossil fuel propaganda.
Nuccitelli, a long-time ‘anti-sceptic’ polemicist and Guardianista columnist works for Tetra Tech Consulting, a company through which, it transpires, has some big paying customers which include: Big Oil, the (radically Left-wing and anti-fossil fuel) US EPA, and wind and solar contractors.
If democracy really is, as Monbiot claims, under threat from ‘backroom lobbyists and think-tanks’, it was threatened first, and must still be primarily threatened, by all too well-funded (pardon another oxymoron) ‘green’ think-tanks.
Double oops, George?
Peter C Glover is author of ‘Energy and Climate Wars’, ‘Power Politics: The Inside Track on Energy’ and a contributing editor at Trending Central.