Mankind has been at constant war with nature, we need to save the planet, our house is on fire, Global Warming and the Apocalypse have become the new buzz words to motor the sustainable planet movement. While there is no doubt that plastic has entered the food chain and the world needs to find a serious solution to the elimination of single use plastic and electronic waste, it is also pertinent to note that the developed countries are among the largest garbage generators globally and have been exporting them to the less developed world as waste bins. Environment and water are the two keywords of the environmental activism ecosystem. Again, the developed world is the largest consumer of water and virtual water.
The western economies had great things going for them till now. They enjoyed the abundant fruits of the manufacturing revolution which kept Asia and Africa underdeveloped. Most of the western world sans USA is exhibiting negative growth. It is also faced with low birth rates and altering demographics as the focus shifts to Asia and other emerging markets. In fact, from a geopolitical perspective the world is currently in a place where the distribution of power has never been as widespread regionally and sector specific as it is currently. We are literally in transition to “The New Global Order”.
Hence, as nations align and evolve into a new order, the current players will do their level best to ensure their relevance. This game is best played through chaos. When it comes to the emerging world, the possibilities of investment and returns are infinite; at the same time corruption and higher risk factors impact business. Emerging markets have their own requirements and comparing those to the developed world is like comparing apples with oranges. What would happen if most emerging markets decided to adopt indigenous practices? A significant portion of the developed world, their corporates and allied associations would become irrelevant. In such cases the best solution is enforcing climate change protocols and investment goals citing responsibility, fear thereby selling products to these countries that they can’t afford and technologies they don’t own.
In our 2016 book, The New Global Order we presented a chapter titled Climate Gate: The New Age Tool saying “it is not a tool that has suddenly been thrust upon the world but rather in the making slowly and steadily for over two decades now. The First World Conference was held in 1979 that acknowledged the role of countries in causing climate change and paved the way for the UN to study this within the decade. In 1988, the United Nations Environment Program and World Meteorological Organization established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to assess the available scientific data and the possible broader impacts of climate change and propose a global response. In 1997 UN adopted the Kyoto Protocol which required 37 industrialized nations including USA to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from 2005. The argument for the adoption of the protocol for the developed world was that these countries had enjoyed the benefit of industrialization and as a resulted contributed the most to climate change”.
Till here this sounds very noble. Except that this is not how things played out. The developed world realised that if the fruits of development were to reach the developing economies effectively, their relevance and monopoly would end. Further, the rise of nationalist sentiments globally would further dampen their possibilities of maintaining control. Thus, began the flourishing of the climate change boogie that co-opted celebrities, civil society, intellectuals, organizations and of course the useful idiots. We cite an example that we wrote about in our bookThe New Global Order – IPCC Scam of 2007.
Climate change gained momentum globally after Al Gore, Vice President of USA under Bill Clinton; won the Nobel Prize in 2007 jointly with IPCC for his documentary titled “An Inconvenient Truth”. He stated that this was threat that was “real, rising. Imminent and universal”. His views were also reiterated by Hillary Clinton, President Obama and more recently Bernie Sanders, all prominent Democrats. Resultantly, in 2009, the Waxman-Markey Carbon Regulation Bill which advocated cap and trade was proposed to reduce pollution and promote clean energy. The bill did not pass. In short, the country that is at the top of the food chain in consumption, carbon emission and garbage generation did not think it necessary to adopt cleaner living.
Interestingly after retiring as VP in 2001, Al Gore founded Generation Investment Management, a sustainable investment management agency with David Blood, Asset head of Goldman Sachs. The firm has a minimum investment limit of $1 million and is aimed at institutional investors, HNIs etc. No retail investors are allowed to participate. In 2018 Gore wrote an article titled – Sustainability is history’s biggest investment opportunity which was published in the Financial Times. Its investors include $223 billion Californian Teachers Pension Plan, $192 billion New York City Pension Plan, UK Environmental Agency retirement fund etc.
Gore also founded an NGO, Climate Reality Project to spread awareness and initiatives about climate change. Many prominent people on the board of this NGO are heads of other environmental associations whose organizations have also become investors in Generation. The fund’s investments include corporates such as Amazon, Nike, Chipotle etc which are heavy users of fossil fuels. Climate Reality Project is also partnering with We Don’t Have Time whose trustee and vocal activist Greta Thunberg is in the news currently. Global Utmaning is an affiliate of Climate Reality Project and announced a partnership with WEF’s Global Shapers that brings together young leaders globally for the 2019 Davos conference under the theme – Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
As we have discussed extensively in our book, The Korean Peninsula: A Pawn on the Geopolitical Chessboard as well as our research paper 5G: Cold War 2,0. Huawei and India’s National Security; the Fourth Industrial Revolution is about replacing Oil with Data as the new gold. Thunberg’s NGO, We Don’t Have Time aspires to become the largest social network, like a Facebook of the socially and environmentally conscious that can then be commercialised for partnerships, advertising, digital communication and various other initiatives. We Don’t Have Time has played a critical role in boosting Greta’s profile and giving her visibility in a very short period and aims at becoming a network with over 100 million subscribers.
In our chapter on Climate Change, we have also mentioned CFR’s War and Peace Studies Project which ran between 1939-45 and proposed two major recommendations to the propagation of US foreign policy in the post-WW2 era. The first was American support for financial support and control of World Bank and IMF and the second was the need for bilateral assistance agreements by USAID through grooming of intellectuals, area studies programs in universities, charitable foundations, research centres to research, advocate and endorse politically, socially and economically sensitive topics to create an accommodative stance. This gave birth to the NGO, activist and civil society ecosystem that could easily be co-opted. Climate change is thus used as economic warfare by those who tightly control the supply of crucial raw materials and technologies.
Following the above brief, we can see how 350.org, Avaaz, Greenpeace significantly promoted We Don’t Have Time’s Climate Change movement using aggressive methods of story telling and youth to create an emotional connect. The use of youth crying for their future was a powerful message that governments could simply not ignore. While citizens of the developed world lent their support, the larger support came from the emerging world due to effective messaging by civil society and media who use activism to defer developmental goals of their nation so the developed world can reap the fruits for a longer time. Emotional messages work as effective soft nudges while managed chaos by the civil society puts tremendous pressure on governments in the developing world to adopt more sustainable measures for development. We have explained the use of nudging as an effective method of social engineering and behavioural economics in our article. Thaler explains a “Nudge” to be “any aspect of the choice architecture that alters people’s behaviour in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significantly changing their economic incentives”.
In 2009, Avaaz first polled its members on the possibility of Green New Deal. The Green New Deal (GND) is a proposed United States legislation that aims to address climate change and economic inequality. The name refers to the New Deal, a set of social and economic reforms and public works projects undertaken by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in response to the Great Depression. GND also gained traction from the same activist organizations under the face of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest women to be elected to US Congress. She was elected due to her support for Green New Deal which is a new version of the Sunrise Movement whose leadership enjoyed close ties with the establishment and was also trained by Al Gore. Her primary support came from Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress. Most people involved in founding these two organizations were part of Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential campaign. Sanders has also adopted a highly hostile position in India’s abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A in Jammu and Kashmir.
The architect of Green New Deal, Greg Carlock is also the manager for Climate Action and Data for World Resources Institute. Before joining WRI, he was with USAID on greenhouse gas accounting and data. WRI was founded in 1982, is a research non-profit with the who’s who of foreign policy and corporate world on its board including CFR and works with global leaders to address the challenges at the intersection of economic development and the natural environment: food, forests, water, climate, energy and cities. Its board of directors include David Blood (Generation ), Felipe Calderon who oversees New Climate Economy, former members of Goldman Sachs, rep from CFR, Aspen Institute, member of the Rockefeller Foundation Economic Council, member of the Walmart foundation etc.
The New Climate Economy works with IMF, IEA, OECD, and UN agencies to create a New Deal for Nature in collaboration with Natural Capital Coalition that consists of the same people. NCC’s main partners include WWF and The Nature Conservancy. This is plain and simply put about the commercialization of nature by a select few under the façade of sustainability. A huge advocate of the New Deal for Nature is Jennifer Morgan who is currently Executive Director of Greenpeace International. She has been associated with WWF, advised Tony Blair and before Greenpeace was the Global Director for Climate and Energy Program at WRI. Morgan has also promoted and lauded Greta for her efforts in highlighting We Don’t Have Time’s urgency to address climate change immediately.
Climate Change movement and the Paris Accords are a huge factor in the civil society ecosystem to create the monetization of social capital. The Paris Accords require countries to align finance in support of low climate and climate-resilient development effectively making it a binding agreement. Unsurprisingly in 2018, France, Germany, the Hewlett, Grantham and IKEA foundations, and asset manager BlackRock announced the Climate Finance Partnership, an unprecedented cooperation between philanthropies, governments and private investors committed to jointly developing an investment vehicle that will aim to invest in climate infrastructure in emerging markets such as Latin America, Africa and Asia.
The CFP stated “Nowhere is the investment gap between what is needed and what is currently flowing greater and more urgent, or the opportunities more significant, than in the world’s developing and emerging markets. These economies are generally characterized by growing populations, rapidly increasing energy demand, and extraordinary infrastructure investment needs. But they also tend to have less developed capital markets and higher political and regulatory risk than their developed country counterparts. Institutional investors may therefore be partially forgiven for moving cautiously, even in the face of compelling long-term economic and demographic drivers”.
What this actually suggests is a manner to unlock institutional infrastructural capital in excess of $100 trillion under the guise of sustainability as well as the movement of existing funds from regular to sustainable or responsible capital. It is unsurprising that Oxfam, Open Society Foundation etc followed and setup offices in Africa and South America subsequently. This also opens up a very important question- why was climate change not important earlier and only gained traction when it was time for the developing world to enjoy a better standard of living?
Looking at the commercialisation of nature agenda, it almost makes you wonder how many of these activists really care for the environment? Rather, if you launch a fund for an alternate market and then go about trying to create demand are you serious about climate conservation or are you simply a profiteer?
We concluded our 2016 book, The New Global Order by discussing how the former would come into being. It was via Global Geopolitical Order, Global Geo-Economic order and the Cartelization of Natural Resources. In the Fourth Industrial Revolution, data is as powerful a tool as natural resources. We discussed the methods of cartelization through chaos in our book as shown in screenshot 2.
We have explained the role of economic hitmen, civil society activists and co-opting of individuals via intellectual terrorism as shown in screenshot 3.
It is ironical that climate change is only applicable to the developing world while the developed world chooses to shield itself from it in a convenient manner. Civil society is trying to derail development in India, Africa but stays conveniently quiet on China, the largest environment abuser currently. While it is important that we all leave a better world for the future generations, but when climate change is used as a tool to further the power of companies and corporates it becomes an elitist scam.