Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise has been watching the climate world since 2009. What she sees isn't pretty.

Oodles of Cash

If you haven’t seen it yet, Ben Pile has a blog post about the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report that takes that story in a disturbing new direction.

He observes that the Greenpeace report on which the IPCC chose to rely was co-produced with the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC). This is a trade organization, comprised of smaller trade groups representing different flavours of renewable energy.

Its purpose is to lobby for tax breaks, subsidies, and so forth. (Since the public picks up the tab for all of these goodies, what this really means is that ordinary people are paying higher prices for their electricity so that wind turbines can explode the lungs of bats and dismember golden eagles.)

Pile reveals that, between 2007 and 2009, the EREC was awarded a contract worth $2.5 million from the European Union. Piecing together the associated paper trail, he has uncovered something disgraceful:

Trade associations are not only lobbying for their members’ interests, they are being paid to lobby the EU…in favour of the policies the EU has already determined it wants. It pays them also to set the parameters of its policies, and to suggest means by which they can be delivered.

In other words, the EU not only writes these people multi-million-dollar cheques, it then invites them to draft the guidelines that will govern their own industry. At the same time that this is taking place, the EREC produces a report with Greenpeace that later becomes a centerpiece of an IPCC document – of which a Greenpeace employee happens to be a lead author.

Evidently there are multiple connections between Greenpeace, the renewable energy sector, and governments – the latter of which is represented by both the EU and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. An incestuous group of people are, in a variety of venues, promoting an approach to energy generation that will end up costing the rest of us a ton of money.

(It’s worth mentioning that Steve Sawyer, the current secretary general of the Global Wind Energy Council, is a former executive director of Greenpeace International.)

Ben Pile’s EREC revelations aren’t likely to make you feel good about the human race, but his entire blog post has to be read to be believed. It turns out that that $2.5 million is just the beginning of the filthy lucre flowing from the EU to renewable energy interests.

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Speaking of money, Hilary Ostrov has a post this week about some odd things going on with the finances of various United Nations organizations.

Worse still, the UNĀ  Environment Program (one of the IPCC’s two UN ‘parents’) has apparently decided its own ledgers should remain closed to public scrutiny.

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Finally, I’m having a tough time getting my head around the numbers in a recent article over at Politico about the funding available to environmental activists from US philanthropic foundations. Here’s the first line:

Wealthy donors spent about a half billion dollars helping green groups try to pass climate legislation and prep the guts of a new international global warming treaty. [bold added]

Since both of those initiatives appear to be dead in the water, how will that mountain of money now get spent? Apparently, the foundations are shifting gears:

One big emphasis is now about dealing with industrial sectors one by one, from automobiles to power plants and buildings. Some are trying to stop coal plants from winning permit approvals.

…Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said he’s seen a shift in foundation money now available for defending the EPA and in stopping oil and coal projects.

I guess half a billion worth of lawyers and lobbyists might well be sufficient to stop a few power plants.

But is this really what charitable foundations should be doing with their cash? Are there no diseases, like cancer, that need curing?

When it becomes clear even to greens that wind power isn’t an adequate substitute, where do these charities think the electricity to run facilities such as hospitals is going to come from?

Which hospital wings do they think should be shut down first? The operating theatres? The burn units? Or the neonatal intensive care units full of premature babies?

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