In the 2019 U.K. General Election, the Green Party lost 465 seat deposits and secured a paltry 2.7% of the national vote. This was despite years of relentless climate apocalypse preaching across most media and political outlets. The latest report from the investigative journalist Ben Pile provides clear evidence as to why the green movement often fares badly in any meaningful democratic vote. “The green movement exists almost only because of support from a small number of philanthropic foundations,” he notes. Grants from fewer than 10 foundations account for well in excess of $1 billion of climate grant-making per year, he adds.
Activists often claim there is widespread support for their collectivist Net Zero fantasy, but this is because they ask questions such as: “Do you support Net Zero in order to save the planet?” Questions are rarely framed along the line: “Do you think we should remove 85% of our current energy within less than 30 years, and face widespread societal and economic breakdown, on the basis of an unproven hypothesis that humans control the climate?” Nevertheless, there are increasing signs that the public is starting to understand how an unworkable Net Zero policy is being foisted on them. Last year, an IPSOS survey sampling two-thirds of the world’s population found that four people in every 10 believed climate change is mainly due to natural causes. A recent poll conducted at Chicago University found that 70% of Americans were unwilling to spend much more than two dimes a week to combat climate change. Despite decades of green grooming, most Americans are unwilling to give the chump change from their back pockets to support Net Zero.
In his excellent report titled ‘“Clean” Air, Dirty Money, Filthy Politics‘, Pile gives an insight into the way green elites groom largely unsuspecting audiences. Air pollution policies such as London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) are “proxy battles” of the climate war. Organisations that are involved in air pollution policies “are wholly funded by climate change interests”, he observes. Seemingly localist civil society organisations such as C40 Cities, the Global Covenant of Mayors and UK100, which have lobbied for anti-car and air pollution policies, are funded through foundations distributing the cash of wealthy individuals such as Michael Bloomberg and Extinction Rebellion funder Sir Christopher Hohn. The Clean Air Fund, which supports a range of campaigning organisations and think tanks, was established by Hohn’s vehicle, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, with a $21.4 million grant. “There are no grassroots air pollution campaigns of consequence,” reports Pile.
Backing up their campaigns, Pile argues that the foundations shape academic research priorities. The universities stress their independence, but the amounts they receive are huge. Imperial College, which has been at the centre of Covid and air pollution policy controversies, received $320 million from the Gates Foundation. While the College claims that it doesn’t take funding from fossil fuel interests because that would seem to undermine its research, Pile observes that $60 million has been received from the billionaire green investor Jeremy Grantham to fund Grantham Institutes at Imperial and LSE, both of which are extremely involved in U.K. climate policy.
It can be argued that any money given to Imperial for Covid, clean air or climate research has not been entirely well spent. Few now doubt that society would have been better off without Professor Neil Ferguson’s imaginative model prediction of 500,000 U.K. deaths at the start of the Covid epidemic. Imperial modelling lies at the heart of London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s promotion of Ulez since he quoted commissioned research from the university that suggested a saving of 4,000 premature deaths. It turned out that the deaths were a “statistical construct” based on imagined days of life lost within the population. Referring to the introduction of ULEZ, Pile notes that “the best that can be said about this urgent policymaking is that it got ahead of the science, which was only thinly related to the facts”.
On the climate front, Imperial is to the fore in the pseudoscientific attribution of individual weather events to long-term changes in the climate. Cash from the Grantham Foundation helps fund World Weather Attribution that specialises in this (guess)work. Sadly any results fail the basic principle of science in that they cannot be falsified. The noted science writer Roger Pielke Jnr. is particularly scathing about attribution work: “I can think of no other area of research where the relaxing of rigour and standards has been encouraged by researchers in order to generate claims more friendly to headlines, political advocacy and even lawsuits,” he said.
During the Pile investigation, the same people crop up on a regular basis. What news of Mark Carney, the Canadian green activist parachuted into the Bank of England in 2013 to oversee British financial institutions? Having spent a large part of his time as Governor printing money to prop up the assets of the already rich, he has recently moved into the Green Blob. The relationship between Carney and Michael Bloomberg is described by Pile as “obviously cosy”. It seems to have started in 2015 when Bloomberg was appointed to chair the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure, an organisation recommending the disclosure of climate-related assets such as investments in vital energy companies deemed for political purposes to be ‘liabilities’. In essence, writes Pile, this is climate policymaking by the back door. It uses the financial system to increase the cost of Net Zero non-compliance, “without having to have those policies on the statute book”.
By increasing the cost of capital and forcing the misallocation of investment funds, continues Pile, “green lobbying has significantly contributed to the energy crisis, rising prices and the inflation seen since the end of the Covid lockdown – although the lockdowns themselves and the money printing are significant amplifiers of the problem”. Meanwhile Carney has collected a variety of jobs since leaving the Bank of England including a UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance, Climate Finance Adviser for COP26 and Co-Chair, with Bloomberg, of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero. This latter institution is said to manage $130 trillion of other people’s money, and is committed to accelerate the transition to a Net Zero global economy.
In August this year, Carney was appointed Chairman of the Bloomberg Board.
Chris Morrison is the Daily Sceptic’s Environment Editor.