Hislop Ignores Published Evidence on Coordinated Attacks by ENGOs on Canadian Oil, Gas and Resource Industries- IMHO
by Michelle Stirling
In the fall of 2016 in Alberta Oil, commentator Markham Hislop went to town on researcher Vivian Krause, claiming her research conclusions were flawed because he says she doesn’t talk to actual industry sources. He dismissed the notion that American oil companies are benefitting from the environmental non-governmental groups (ENGOs) that are attacking Canadian resources and blocking market access by rail, pipe or port.
In my opinion, he can’t see the forest for the trees.
As Krause subsequently pointed out, in her own defense, she never said American oil and gas companies were behind these attacks, but rather that they certainly benefitted.
I became involved in this issue when I saw the CBC co-production “The Tipping Point; Age of the Oil Sands” documentary in 2011. Having formerly worked at Alberta Environment, I was alarmed at the misrepresentations of the industry and the paucity of information in the show, when I knew there was so much solid, factual information on the oil sands, publicly available on numerous websites and through Alberta Environment. I wrote the CBC and demanded they revise the program, but they claimed that since they had invited oil sands industry executives to speak, and all had declined, then somehow there was no requirement for due diligence or accuracy.
I’d never heard of Vivian Krause at the time and began my own adventure of connect-the-dots, quickly finding that the TIDES foundation had funded Schindler’s research and that the papers published in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy (PNAS) – the sole scientific and technical advisor to the President of the United States – were not peer-reviewed under the stringent, blind, direct submission process, but rather ‘pal’ reviewed. Yes, any National Academy of Sciences member could submit up to four papers per year under the ‘contributed’ category, of which two qualified members of his/her choosing had reviewed. At the time, the media reacted to the Schindler papers as if they were fully peer-reviewed. A full review by the Royal Society of Canada ensued.
I continued researching these connections and soon found the 9th Annual Conference of International Funders of Indigenous Peoples, which seemed to corroborate the earlier work of Elaine Dewar’s book “A Cloak of Green.” Behind the cloak of green are crony capitalists, many of them using proxies like environmental groups or First Nations communities, to gain or block access to resources or potential carbon trading sinks.
I continue my research and found a curious push for ESG investment funds – Environmental, Social and Governance investment funds with huge sums of money. What was their source? I traced it back to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI) wherein institutional investors who are signatory, (and most are) must ‘comply or explain’ and are directed to invest in ‘sustainable’ industries and shun fossil fuels. The UNPRI signatories include large (CalPERS) and small pension funds, including those of many religious and beneficent orders.
The current mechanism driving investment decision-making is, in large part, accomplished by a Rockefeller non-profit known as the CDP – Carbon Disclosure Project – which invites major corporations and cities to submit a ‘voluntary’ report of their carbon footprint and to report recent ‘climate change’ events in their region. This information is then aggregated by a large accounting/management firm like PwC or Accenture. The resulting report grades corporations and cities as to their ‘greenness’ (in a manner of speaking) and one’s ESG parameters can determine whether or how much of the investment pie you get from some ~872 institutional investors holding more than $100 trillion in assets. (Of course one can improve their green score by…buying a wind farm!)
Obviously, such a concentration of wealth and power will skew markets. Many of these institutional investors made a big push for investment in wind and solar. By 2013, Joseph Dear, then CIO of CalPERS, the sixth largest institutional investor in the world, was saying that clean-tech is an “L-for-Loser” investment. In his Wall Street Journal interview: “According to Mr. Dear, a Calpers fund devoted to clean energy and technology which started in 2007 with $460 million has an annualized return of minus 9.7% to date….What’s going to make these markets really take off is if the price of alternative energy drops below the price of a carbon-energy equivalent. You will no longer need incentives or anything else….If that’s not going to happen, somebody has to step in and either raise the price of carbon or lower the cost of the alternatives.”
As noted in previous articles by Vivian Krause, in 2007, some 13 US billionaire foundations had banded together to form “ClimateWorks” a group that had determined funding local ENGOs would be most effective means to change local energy policies (i.e. demonize affordable, reliable coal; demand renewables and subsidies in order to save the planet and save the children– sound familiar). Perhaps they had good intentions, but in fact it seems more like they have funded a trade war against Canada – whether to benefit sales of renewables that they are invested in, to prop up banks or funds that have financed or invested in renewables, green bonds or carbon trading, or whether to try and foist a worldwide carbon trading system on everyone – or all of the above.
But there is no doubt that these were collaborative efforts to skew markets. The end result is that we are in a geopolitical trade war.
The 9th Annual Report of International Funders of Indigenous Peoples of 2010 lays out how ENGOs and First Nations planned to collaborate to block Keystone and shut down the oil sands. The document clearly states that indigenous groups have been funded by offshore organizations like the Cooperative Bank of the UK (for instance) (see pages 42-49). And why would international funders be interested in aboriginal people? Combined, they reportedly make up the 6th largest ‘nation’ on earth and sit on some 86% of untapped resources.
Another source, the “Tar Sands Strategy” published by CounterPunch outlines how the method will be to ““Enroll key decision makers while isolating opponents” : We will not make the decisions to slow and clean up the tar sands – those in positions of authority will.”
Pretty hard to miss the parade of names in that article, who are now cited as authorities or who are sitting on panels, presiding over the fate of “Mordor.” I’m not making this up, Markham Hislop. I’m reading it from documents published by these groups.
In my article “The Great Eco-wall of Canada,” I document how the various layers of these groups effectively create an invisible wall – a no-go zone through which one cannot successfully address every layer of the offshore-funded environmental reason for Blockadia. Well…. unless you pay money and play ball on carbon trading, I guess. That seems to be an end-game.
But there’s more on collaborative efforts to block Canadian oil and gas development. It seems to be partly a geopolitical trade war “between those regions of the world that are rich in fossil fuels and those regions that are not” to quote Edmonton environmental movement critic William Kay, blogger at www.ecofacism.com . How will fossil-fuel poor Europe survive as it bleeds some $600 billion a year buying fuel from offshore?  One way might be leveling the playing field by making energy prices expensive everywhere; another way might be forcing export and trade of renewable technology, even if that technology doesn’t really work. Partner up with power generators who have access to natural gas and then you can get higher power prices for peaking plants and tax-payer subsidies for wind and solar. Lots of horse trading to be done in the geopolitical world.
Indeed, Prof. Dr. Istvan Marko describes the COP-21 events as not much more than an international trade fair with a ‘climate’ theme.
Other obvious examples of collaboration include the World Resources Institute, which has been funded by Oak Foundation, which is also listed as a “global collaborator” on Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management website. How nice that the WRI (also an Oak Foundation fund recipient) states on its website that it helped set three-quarters of the world’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) at Paris.
No conflict of interest here?
An excerpt from Friends of Science Society’s recent report “Markets Skewed” suggests that someone must be benefitting to put up so much money. Obviously, for institutional investors with money in wind and solar, if they can tap into a 20-year subsidy program with guaranteed returns, wouldn’t that make an “L-for-Loser” that Joseph Dear reported in 2013 in the Wall Street Journal, into a winner?
But obviously, Big Oil is more powerful than a handful of funded ENGOs, right? Really? Big Oil is a heavily regulated industry and cannot make the absurd claims ENGOs make in their fund-raising drives (like David Suzuki Foundation’s ridiculous “Where will Santa Live?” – Santa’s drowning Christmas fund-raiser). Let’s follow some of the money from this recent report “Markets Skewed.”
“In addition to large influential ENGOs such as WRI, a review of US IRS filings by and research by the Foundation Center provides annual summary of US grantmaking activities (OpenSource) 46 indicates that some 173 grants totaling some $101,046.410.00 in funding since 1999 was distributed to dozens of foundations and small, medium and large ENGOs most in the “Alliance for Climate Protection” with the funding linked to Mr. Gore – much of it dedicated to Earth Day and community environmental activism groups. Far from being small ‘grass-roots’ groups, The Climate Reality Project (aka “Alliance for Climate Protection”) was registered in 2005 and to 2013 had revenues of some $160 million. World Resources Institute (WRI) gross revenues from 2000-2013 were reportedly about $458 million. WRI is very influential, claiming success in influencing the White House on its climate plan: “When the President announced a Climate Action Plan, it included key elements of WRI’s “Four Point Plan” and other measures to reduce carbon dioxide pollution and prepare for the impacts of climate change.” They state they were able to accomplish this by “A strong outreach and communications effort followed, resulting in extensive media coverage of the report. We also held briefings for high-level Administration officials and enlisted allies in the environmental and business worlds to echo our message and carry our work into the White House.” For US ENGOs listed in RevenuePerspectives, gross revenues 2000-2013 were $35.4 billion. The largest climate change focused ENGO was ClimateWorks with gross revenues of $1.5 billion. These few examples suggest that a significant vocal, unregistered environmental lobby exists that is driving a certain ideological viewpoint, and that appears to be employed on behalf of certain business interests. These ENGOs are unelected and unaccountable – yet clearly very influential. It is disturbing to read constant references to the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming claims in their materials which are not supported by the scientific evidence as we know it. For US ENGOs listed in RevenuePerspectives, gross revenues 2000-2013 were $35.4 billion.”
Of course, beating the drum on the alleged climate catastrophe is an easy way to gain compliance from the people and politicians. In fact, without the climate catastrophe claims and required subsidies, there is no valid business case for the wind and solar industrial farms. Google engineers, with unlimited funds and money, found that out a few years ago.  Prof. Michael J. Kelly of Cambridge University recently published a paper showing that contemporary society could not survive on the (lack of) power from wind and solar energy and called renewables initiatives like Germany’s energy transition “total madness.”
Trillions are at stake. In 2007, Baker Mackenzie law firm published a power point in their New Zealand branch showing that the World Bank and a private fund made $1.2 billion in 23 minutes, trading Certified Emissions Reduction credits on Chinese plant emissions through the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism.
And, here’s the kicker. Private funds are not signatory to the UN PRI. Any large signatory fund could also have its own private fund, for instance. Or several. Thus, we have reports by PowerLine on ‘green’ billionaire Thomas Steyer who condemns coal and touts wind and solar – but according to PowerLine, his Farallon Capital is busy buying up coal stocks across Asia.
Mr. Steyer was recently in Fort Chipweyan, helping install solar panels on the lodge there. Such a wonder that celebrity aid will come so far for a small community of indigenous people to reduce their carbon footprint with unreliable, intermittent power from solar panels when in climate change wonderland of Malibu, where fellow climate activists like Leonardo DiCaprio hang out, only some 23 aboriginal people remain of the original Humalu tribe. Mr. Steyer is described as a ‘vulture capitalist’ in this Washington Times article.  He has invited ascetic wind-activist and professor of geography, Dr. Danny Harvey, to speak at his NextGen conferences. Harvey advocates for increased taxes and smaller TVs. Talk about the odd couple. Oh. And Harvey thinks a national wind-hydro grid would be cheaper than nuclear or fossil fuels. Right. Power generation experts I consulted with peg such a notion as technically infeasible, with costs in the hundreds of billions and that it would put the entire country at risk of a power blackout.
Wonder how much money the Hollywood set has invested in ‘green’ energy or ESG funds. Just askin’.
So, back to Markham’s take on Vivian Krause’s research. Clearly many groups benefit from the influx of funds from these offshore foundations. Even our universities. For example, TIDES Canada funds the U of Calgary for some $2 million; Oak Foundation funds it for another ~$900 million. Is it any wonder that science academics are reluctant to speak up on the twisted, hyperbolic climate claims of ENGOs when their own university funds are also at stake?
In the 1950’s, the US Reece Committee investigated the abuse of power of tax-exempt foundations. The findings were shocking and we see part it today, as outlined above, in the distortion of investment markets and the anti-fossil fuels conversation on energy use driven by these offshore funded ENGOs. An excerpt from René Wormser’s book “Foundations: Their Power and Influence” best describes the situation:
“Danger arises whenever any group with power in its hands, whether it be a state legislature, or the board of a university or a foundation, believes it to be its business to use its power to direct opinion. Any such group is a dangerous group, regardless of the manner of its make-up, and regardless of whether its action is conscious or unconscious, and, if conscious, whether benign or sinister in its purpose.”
Ironically, this statement is attributed to Dr. Frederick P. Keppel, then president of the Carnegie Corporation, the sister organization of the Carnegie Foundation, one of the groups under investigation by the Reece Committee.
Back to Markham Hislop’s attack on Vivian Krause. He claims there is no evidence that there’s any kind of collaboration by these groups. The Oak Foundation has funded Global Climate Change Action (GCCA), also known as tcktcktck.org out of Quebec for $1,000,000. GCCA now claim to have some 450 NGOs in 70 countries united against fossil fuel use. They even sport a Quebec provincial government portal link on their website, right beside that of the Oak Foundation.
If you remember how Montreal’s cadre of leftist-Marxists students ripped apart downtown Montreal over a nominal tuition raise in 2013, you can imagine how easy it will be to mobilize them to block Energy East.
In my opinion, there is no doubt that resource rich, naïve, and eternally ‘sorry’ Canada is up against a trade war that has infiltrated every level of government and education. The question is, how to fight it? The first step, acknowledge it is happening, it is geopolitical in nature and driven by very vested interests.
But we have a vested interest, too. Our country. Our future. Let’s fight for it.
Disclosure: I have spoken with Vivian Krause on the phone a couple of times in the past 3 years but do not personally know her and have no commercial or business interests in her work. I do not know Markham Hislop at all but have had some facebook conversations via mutual friends. I am sharing what I have found – either party may dispute my findings or conclusions.
 Note: “Climate” happens over decades, centuries and longer time scales and large regions. These group are reporting ‘weather’ events. However, they are improperly and unscientifically extrapolated as evidence of ‘climate change’ by those who write up these investment reports.
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