Environmentalism's relentless creep toward cultural hegemony is aided by certain persistent and prevalent myths about environmentalism as a social movement and about ecology as a political creed. Very few people seem aware that the entire international environmental movement was founded by, and remains firmly in the control of, about a hundred very rich people. Fewer still are aware that within this small community the English environmental elite plays a particularly influential role. This essay makes the case that the environmental movement is not a "grassroots movement", and that its motives are not apolitical or even benign, and that this political orientation is neither progressive nor "left-wing". This essay argues that the environmental movement is the political handiwork of certain reactionary plutocrats whose contempt for the masses, and whose archconservative and ultra-imperialist agendas, can best be defined as fascist.
His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Consort to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, is clearly the big cahuna of English environmentalism. Those who deny the Royal Court is a major player in modern politics and culture do so only out of ignorance about the size of their private personal fortunes, their persisting neo-feudal political privileges, and their extensive and institutionalized social networking. Philip, as Duke of Edinburgh, is the owner of vast land holdings. This property, plus his accumulated stock portfolio and famous art collection, makes him one of the wealthiest people in the British Isles. The sort of social clout any mere capitalist possessing such a fortune would have is multiplied in Philip's instance by his successful exploitation of his neo-feudal privileges. Following the lead of his principle mentor, Prince Bernhard of Holland (who was himself copying a political strategy as least as old as the Theophylact family of Rome, circa 900 AD), Philip has over the last 50 years sought out and received executive appointments to all manner of panels, commissions, boards, and societies. At the height of Prince Bernhard's power, he sat on some 300 Dutch boards, including boards overseeing weapons contracting, industrial development, and public education. According to one biography (published 1990), Prince Philip's:
".patronages, trusteeships, presidencies, chairmanships, committee memberships, and military ranks cover sixty-six close typed pages in his Patronage Book at Buckingham Palace."
He has a notable preference for military appointments, but he is also Chancellor of Cambridge University.
No cause has been so dear to Prince Philip as has the "environment". He became patron to the Council of Nature in 1958. In 1961, while recovering from a polo injury at the palace, Prince Philip agreed to become President of the British National Appeal for the World Wildlife International Trust - an organization founded and presided over by Prince Bernhard. In 1962 he organized the Nature Week Exhibition, and in the following year he led three anti-development, anti-"scientific farming" conferences called "The Countryside in 1970". (Follow-up conferences held in 1965 and 1970 led to the establishment of the UK Government's "Countryside Commission".) In 1967 he helped make the eco-film The Enchanted Isles, later broadcast across the UK and the USA. He helped organize the European Conservation Year and gave the keynote address at the launch of the festivities in Strasbourg in 1970. Also in 1970 he spearheaded the Australian National Appeal for the WWF and contributed articles to the acclaimed publication World Wildlife in Crisis - a document credited by some as leading to the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm 1972). Philip referred to the Stockholm conference as being "the climax of the environmental revolution." He published a book entitled The Environmental Revolution in 1978, and he has by now produced at least a dozen major books and films on the topic, including Down to Earth (1988). He was President of WWF International from 1981 until 1996 and continues to hold the title of President Emeritus. Upon his retirement from its presidency, the WWF issued a press release stating:
"Prince Philip was never a mere figurehead. WWF has been the prime focus of his working life. He has spent more time on his work on this organization than on any of his other interests. As International President, His Royal Highness was Chairman of both board and Executive Committees which set WWF world wide policy and approved its international budgets."
The renamed World Wide Fund for Nature boasts of being the largest environmental organization in the world, active in every country, with a paid staff of over 3,500, a massive propaganda apparatus, and over 11,000 projects and/or parks to its credit.
The fact that the WWF hires South African mercenaries to machine-gun suspected poachers from WWF-purchased helicopter gunships doesn't bother Prince Philip. To him, the interests of nature exceed those of humans. He has repeatedly written and stated that the number one problem facing humanity and the environment is too many humans. He has just as frequently endorsed various First World efforts to actively suppress population growth in the "former" colonial world. He has on a number of occasions written or spoken favourably about mass genocide as a solution to this perceived problem of overpopulation. His political orientation is predictably highly elitist, archconservative, anti-socialist, and neo-feudalist. Beneath this it should be kept in mind that Philip was German by birth and spent some of his teenage years in a Nazi-run school for upper-class German youth. He could name scores of relatives and close friends who actively supported European fascism from the early 1920s until the Red Army overran Berlin. Philip is closely related to the notoriously pro-Nazi House of Hesse, and his mentor Prince Bernhard is a veteran of the Waffen SS. Philip's brother failed in a monarchist coup d'etat attempt in Greece in the mid-1960s with no evident discouragement from Philip. In spite of all his coaching and couching, Philip has on several occasions made openly racist remarks about Indians, Chinese, and Arabs. One can only wonder what he sounds like in private.
Prince Philip's most recent contribution to environmentalism has been his
effort to unite the world's dominant established religions behind the
great green crusade. In this he has been quite successful. In 1986 he
held his first conference on this front in Assisi, Italy. It was the 25th
anniversary of the WWF, and Philip brought together representatives of
five of the world's religions to form a WWF sub-group - the Network on
Conservation and Religion. The attendees agreed to scour their sacred
texts for eco-sounding passages, to undertake environmental actions within
their respective congregations, and to meet again in ten years' time.
The next major meeting was in May 1995 at Windsor Castle, with Philip
presiding; only now there were nine religions represented. Between 1986
and 1995 over one hundred thousand eco-religious events had been
organized by groups represented at the first conference. These eco-actions
ranged from mere Sunday outings in the woods to the creation of entire
college campuses dedicated to enviro-theology. Philip helped organize
another meeting of the group (since renamed Alliance of Religions and
Conservation and now representing 11 religious organizations with a combined
flock of 3 billion followers) in 1998 at Lamsbeth Palace, with the Archbishop
of Canterbury and the head of the World Bank acting as co-chairmen. Philip
also assisted in laying the groundwork for the American National Partnership
for Religion and Environment and for Ted Turner's mammoth eco-religious
Millennial Summit in New York 2000.
Prince Philip's first-born son, Prince Charles, wasted little time taking up the struggle. In 1968 he became chairman of the Welsh Steering Committee for European Conservation Year (held in 1970). He was later chairman of the "Countryside in 1970" Committee for Wales. In the same year, in his maiden speech at Cambridge Union, he argued passionately in favour of the motion: "This House believes that technological advance threatens the individuality of man and is becoming his master." The motion "which may have been composed by the Prince, was carried by 214 votes to 184." In the early 1970s the Prince is said to have been profoundly influenced by the Club of Rome's Limits to Growth and by Fritz Schumacher's Small is Beautiful.
Charles, like his father, is fabulously wealthy. He is the Duke of Cornwall. Not satisfied with this vast inheritance, he has over the last 30 years added significant blocks of real estate to this collection. Most recent estimates place his total land holdings at around 150,000 acres, making him at present the largest landholder in the UK. He has hundreds of tenant farmers who contribute to his annual seven-million-pound tax-free income. Moreover, he stands to inherit both his father's Duchy of Edinburgh (which Charles has already taken over the management of) and his mother's personal Duchy of Lancaster and her vast private fortune, the full complement of which will make him one of the wealthiest person in the world. He has a large collection of luxury automobiles and a special affection for custom Bentleys.
Charles' admiration of the author and neo-Luddite Fritz Schumacher was such that he agreed in 1980 to take on the patronage of Schumacher's Intermediate Technology Development Group. For this, The Guardian newspaper dubbed him "Eco-King". Soon after, he took on the patronage of the Royal Society for Nature Conservation. In 1987 he went public attacking the then Minister of Environment's perceived indifference to ocean pollution. The attacks continued in the following year when Charles became patron of the European Year of the Environment, only now the focus was acid rain and ozone holes. By this time, Prime Minister Thatcher had also fully caught the green bug; and many attribute the work of the Prince, with help from Sir Crispin Tickell and the Rt. Hon. Christopher Patten, for assisting in this transformation. By 1988:
"The Prince had started to form around him a core of environmental advisers, which he described in a letter to a friend as 'a small team of knowledgeable people who can help me put as much pressure on international agencies, governments, and so on, via speeches, lunches and dinners as possible.'"
Inner members of the cabal included the head of WWF Conservation, the director of Friends of the Earth, and key bureaucrats and academics. The result was an even more aggressive reproach of current government policies. In violation of custom, the Prince refused a ministerial request to remove critical sections from a speech he gave to the delegations attending the "Saving the Ozone Layer" World Conference in 1989.
It was during this time that the Prince first began sounding warnings of "catastrophic climate changes". In 1989 he summoned the then Minister of Energy to the palace at Hargrove for a "frank exchange of views." The commentary on this meeting contains the following generalization:
"Although the Prince's public manner is diffident and self-deprecating, he could be exceptionally forceful in private, surprising his guests with his vehemence, often banging the table with the palm of his hand to reinforce an argument."
The minister was soon shuffled elsewhere. He was not the Prince's only ministerial victim. The Prince, as heir to the throne, as Privy Council member, and as a member of the House of Lords, has a constitutional right to "warn, protest and advise" the government on all policy matters he sees fit. He thus has the implied right to be promptly informed of all policy changes and to have his queries and protests responded to in a timely fashion by the appropriate officials.
The Prince kept up the pressure on the new Minister of Energy in 1990 by complaining that the government's response to the emerging "greenhouse effect" crisis was "grudging". More particularly, the Prince wanted to know "what proposals were in hand for developing renewable sources of energy as alternatives to coal." 1990 was also the year the BBC released Prince Charles' documentary film The Earth in Balance. The film was a popular hit, earning the Prince much encouraging correspondence, including a letter from his father, Prince Phillip. His father wondered why his son had not included any conclusions in the film project. To this Charles responded that his conclusions were far "too gloomy to offer on television." In a subsequent letter to an advisor, he stated his real conclusion was that conventional growth was unsustainable and, sadly, only a major ecological catastrophe would produce a serious response to the problem.
Environmentalism is not the only concern of the Prince. He is involved in a dozen or so social and political initiatives, and he has amassed a considerable war chest with which to pursue his goals. On the 25th anniversaries of his grandfather's and his mother's respective reigns, "Jubilee Appeals" were undertaken with a view to raising money for various causes. In 1987 the sizable funds raised by these appeals were amalgamated with Charles' own Prince's Trust, a fund he launched in 1976. He also raised 40 million pounds in 1987 for his Prince's Youth Business Trust. The Prince's Trust, with Charles as president, now has an annual turnover of 32 million pounds, a staff of 400, and over 10,000 volunteers. The main activity for the Trust is promoting entrepreneurialism among the unemployed through micro-loans to poor but aspiring youth. The amounts are paltry, usually only a few hundred pounds a piece. In addition to "buy-the-bum-a-squeegee" programs, Charles also promotes various "job clubs" or "pre-employment training centers" for which his Trust is allowed to tap the public purse. He has an obsession with unemployed youth, particularly "persistent school truants", the exact numbers of which he keeps close tabs on. The Prince believes community service should become compulsory.
Still, environmentalism is his principal cause. Promoting environmentalism is one of the central planks of his Prince of Wales Business Leaders Forum, founded in 1990. Today, some 60 large multinationals pay between $30,000 and $100,000 a year to participate in this private lobby effort that has afforded Charles the opportunity to preach the virtues of his brand of noblesse oblige to thousands of business owners. The main members of the Forum are the usual suspects from the British banking and natural gas industries.
Prince Charles is passionate about organic farming. He runs one of the world's largest and most lucrative organic farms - a project into which he has "poured his heart and soul". He has only managed to convince seven of his tenant farmers to join in this project.
In 1991, when others in the crusade were beginning to wane, he redoubled his efforts in the run-up to the Rio Summit by keynoting a pre-Summit conference in Brazil. The term "environment" has become increasingly elastic over the years and, as such, some of his more recent "environmentalist" projects seem better defined as "urban renewal" (or the prevention thereof). Nevertheless, conventional eco-themes continue to play a prominent role as in his 1999 "global warming" conference in Wales with Sir Crispin Tickell selected as Conference Chair.
Sir Crispin Tickell is both an extremely well connected political advisor and a devout environmentalist. Sir Crispin was born on August 25, 1930, educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford, before being fired into Her Majesty's diplomatic service at age 24, where he served at the The Hague, Paris, and Mexico for a total of 16 years prior to becoming private secretary to the Chancellor of the Queen's own Duchy of Lancaster. Two years later he was chosen to head the Western Organizations Department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, a post he held for three years before moving on to teach at Harvard's Centre for International Affairs. Between 1976 and 1990 Sir Crispin held senior positions at the EC, the FCO, taught briefly at Oxford, and was Ambassador to Mexico until finally Thatcher named him United Kingdom's Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Sir Crispin has been given honorary doctorates from 11 British universities. He has been awarded the Order of the Aztec Eagle (with sash) from the Mexican government and was chosen an Officer in the Order of Orange Nassau ("Bernilo" division). Regarding business and wealth, Sir Crispin, who is an IBM director, did serve four years as the Permanent Secretary of the Overseas Development Administration and currently helps manage a few investment funds apparently in the business of finding profitable opportunities for British capital in Mexico.
In 1990 the Baring Foundation, Goldsmith Foundation, ICI, and Lloyds Bank decided to pool sufficient funds to provide Sir Crispin with an office and a secretarial staff of three so that he could better "bridge the gap between science and policy making." The result was Green College, Oxford, whose Advisory Group, which meets twice yearly, includes Sir Anthony Cleaver, Sir John Houghton, and two lesser Knights of the green table. Sir Crispin served as Warden of Green College from its founding until 1997 when the reins were handed to fellow Oxford alumnus and British Foreign Service veteran Sir John Hanson. By this time, Sir Crispin was busy as Chancellor of the University of Kent at Canterbury and as Convener of the British Government Panel on Sustainable Development. This latter posting was extraordinary as the "Panel" (recently renamed the Sustainable Development Commission) was given the authority to write reports, on topics of its own choosing, which the UK government was required to respond to in a timely fashion. The "Panel", consisting of The Earl of Selborne, Lord Alexander of Weedon, Sir Anthony Cleaver, Sir John Houghton, and a few others, was given wide access to all senior government ministers, including the Prime Minister.
During the 1990s Sir Crispin has been or still is the chairman of: the Advisory Committee of the Darwin Initiative for Survival of the Species, the UK Marine Biologists Association, the International Institute for Environment and Development, Earth Watch Europe, The Climate Institute of Washington, DC; and he was or is the president of: the Royal Geographical Society, the National Society for Clean Air, and the Gaia Society for Research and Education in Earth System Science. This Gaia Society is Sir Crispin's personal contribution to the further religionification of environmentalism, as it is dedicated to creating a cult around the ideas and personages of eco-spiritualists James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis. The Gaia people publish glossy pamphlets and magazines and run a 16-professor college in Italy to better indoctrinate the eco-crusaders of tomorrow. Sir Crispin is presently Trustee of the Natural History Museum and served as Trustee of WWF UK from 1993-1999.
Sir Crispin's 1977 book Climatic Change and World Affairs, while not the mainstream debut of the "global warming" hoax (there are New York Times articles on the topic dating to 1972), was well ahead of its time. Sir Crispin has been a tireless crusader against "climate change" since back in the days when only lunatics worried publicly about impending planetary destruction. He helped bring the Thatcher regime over to the cause. Established environmental groups around the world applaud the drive and leadership the British government has shown on the issue of climate change, first under Thatcher, with the founding of the Hadley Centre (1990) and the promoting the Rio Treaty (1992), and later with Tony Blair championing the 1997 Kyoto Protocols. "Global warming" was one of the principal recurring themes in the reports to the British government by the Tickell-led Panel on Sustainable Development (BGPSD). His Washington, DC based Climate Institute has since its founding in 1986 organized 22 "ministerial and head of state meetings" whereat Sir Crispin's chosen regiment of Yankee greenshirts pitched the horrors of "global warming" and the blessings of natural gas directly at the world's political elite. They have created genuine hysteria in some small island states. The Institute has, with funding from the EPA and others, solicited scores of regional impact studies predicting all manner of localized weather calamity. These regional calamity scenarios were added to various "findings" from the IPCC and turned into videos with popular TV weather announcers acting as hosts. These have been shown in classrooms and broadcast as news reports across the US. More recently, Sir Crispin has been called upon to head up a government task force on potentially cataclysmic meteors - a job he freely admits is linked to promoting star wars technology.
It would be a mistake to think Sir Crispin was the premier Knight shouldering the lance for "global warming", as this designation probably belongs to the aforementioned Sir John Houghton. Born December 30, 1931, Sir John attended Oxford, both as a student-come-Fellow at Jesus College and as a lecturer-come-Professor in Atmospheric Physics, from the age of 20 to the age of 52. In 1976 while still at Oxford he was appointed President of the Royal Meteorological Society. A year later he wrote The Physics of Atmospheres. In 1980 he was appointed Chairman of the Earth Observation Committee of the European Space Agency. In 1981 he became Chairman of the Joint Scientific Committee of the World Climate Research Program. In 1983 he left Oxford professionally by accepting Margaret Thatcher's offer of the Director General's post in Britain's main weather service, the Meteorological Office (itself a department of the Secretary of State for Defence). In 1990 he was appointed Chief Executive of the Swiss-based World Meteorological Office (a division of the UN). Sir John has been showered with honorary degrees and prizes and has held numerous other policy-influential eco-positions throughout the 1990s in addition to the two mentioned above (at Green College and the BGPSD).
Sir John's most important appointment as far as the international "global warming" campaign is concerned was to the Chairmanship of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Scientific Assessment Working Group in 1988. The IPCC was created in 1988 as a joint venture between two UN agencies, the authoritative World Meteorological Office and the massive United Nations Environment Programme. The IPCC proceeded to selectively sample scientific opinion on the topic of climate change and the alleged role of the "greenhouse effect". Then, over the objections of many participants in the process, the IPCC produced a 20-page pamphlet, written by Sir John, predicting climate catastrophe. Almost every head of state in the world has since read this unfounded "Policymakers Summary". The document has gone on to form the basis of both the Rio and the Kyoto treaties, even though the "Summary" itself, as many have pointed out, clearly deviates in tone and content from the 300-page "IPCC Report" which it is allegedly summarizing. Most politicians apparently do not have much time to read.
The only other organization close to equalling the IPCC's contribution to the "global warming" hoax is the Hadley Centre on Climate Research and Prediction. This fortress of junk science is now one hundred PhDs strong, with support staff to boot. The Hadley Centre was created in 1990, principally on the initiative of Sir John, who engineered a joint venture between the UK Meteorological Office (he was then senior executive of the UK Met.) and the UK Environment Ministry for the purposes of trawling for any exploitable scientific evidence supportive of the "global warming" hypothesis and to generally bolster the ranks of the "global warming" scientific army. The IPCC and the Hadley Centre share work, cooperate closely, and maintain offices in each other's headquarters. Sir John's current mailing address is at the IPCC Unit within the Hadley Centre. Sir John's most recent book, Global Warming: The Complete Briefing (1997), has been widely distributed to schools and colleges throughout the United Kingdom and beyond.
Another group created by Sir John is the John Ray Initiative (JRI). This entirely private organization was founded by Sir John with help from Lady Catherwood, Sir Ghillean Prance, Rt. Hon. and Rev'd George Carey, Sir Timothy Hoare, and about a dozen other leading professors and clergymen. The John Ray Initiative is "dedicated to promoting responsible environmental stewardship in accordance with Christian principles." It has an annual budget of about 100,000 pounds and seems little more than a speaking stump and support group for Sir John, who generates over half the propaganda. His essays and sermons betray an alarmingly literalist interpretation of biblical events like the resurrection. The JRI occasionally issues news releases on what they deem urgent matters. Here is Sir John, September 20, 2000, praising onerous taxation and chastising the Blair regime's weakness in the face of the trucker's recent fuel tax rebellion:
"The fact the fuel escalator (tax) was introduced mainly for environmental
reasons, enjoying cross party support, has been hardly mentioned. As Christians
concerned for the environment we believe that the current demand for lower
duty ought to be resisted. Fuel is taxed at a relatively high rate for
good reasons: the climatic impact of burning fossil fuels, the finite
quantity of oil reserves. It is always tempting for governments to respond
to perceived and short term interests of the electorate. A wise government
would instead frame its response around ethical principles such as stewardship
and justice between generations."
Sir John Browne thinks Houghton's views on high fuel prices and "global warming" are spot on, and so does Sir Mark Moody-Stuart. Sir John Browne thinks:
"We can't ignore mounting scientific evidence on important issues such as climate change. The science may be provisional. All science is provisional. But if you see a risk you have to take precautionary action."
And Sir Mark has said:
"I think there are few more challenging and worthwhile jobs in the world today than meeting the energy needs in a sustainable way; few more stimulating than using technological and management innovation to solve fundamental problems - like tackling climate change - where creativity is embraced and applied."
Sir John Browne was born in 1948 and was educated in Cambridge before pursuing a managerial career in the petroleum industry. He held several executive positions at British Petroleum and is currently the group chief executive of the London-headquartered BP/Amoco conglomerate. He also sits on the board of directors of other large firms (Intel, Daimler/Chrysler) and has for some time been a vice-president and director of Prince Charles' Business Leadership Forum. Sir Mark was born in 1940 (the son of Sir Alexander Moody-Stuart) and was educated at Cambridge before seeking employment at the London-headquartered Royal Dutch/Shell Group of companies, which supplied him with several postings including, most recently, chairman of the board.
Royal Dutch/Shell is perhaps the most lucrative business venture in history. It was founded in 1890 by the Royal Family of the Netherlands, the House of Orange Nassau, the heirs of whom retain a sizeable share (at least 5%) in the firm. Shell now sells petroleum products in 135 countries; it owns and supplies 46,000 gasoline stations and employs 100,000 permanent staff. Joining Sir Mark on the board are Sir John Jennings, Sir Anthony Acland, Sir William Purvis, Sir Peter Holmes, Sir Russell Oxburg, and several others. And lately, when these men convene for board meetings, the excited discussion is about natural gas. Here's a quote from the most recent available Annual Report:
"Shell Gas and Power companies sell over 80 billion cubic metres of gas per year and have interests in more than twenty countries (typically through joint ventures with governments or other oil companies). .We have interests in three of the world's major Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) plants (in Brunei, Malaysia, and Australia) with more under construction (in Nigeria and Oman). We have interests in major pipeline transmission companies in Europe, the USA and elsewhere."
Shell recently purchased the UK natural gas marketing divisions of Texaco and Total, placing Shell among the top five gas suppliers in the UK market. It has made similar acquisitions elsewhere. Shell leads the world in LNG. In 1964 they owned the world's only LNG tanker. Now they own 20, with agreements allowing the use of 10 more.
Sir John Browne's BP/Amoco has the same gargantuan proportions and antique ownership as Shell. BP/Amoco board members include Lord Right of Richmond, Sir Robin Nicholson, and Deputy Chairman Sir Ian Prosser. Also, like Shell, BP/Amoco is attempting a transition from being primarily a petroleum company to being primarily a natural gas company. In 1999 BP/Amoco's gas divisions grossed $5 billion. They are the number one natural gas producer, and a top ten natural gas distributor, in both the UK and the USA. With the recent acquisition of ARCO, they now own the rights to 38% of proven global natural gas reserves.
According to estimates released by BP/Amoco's Gas and Power subsidiary, global demand for natural gas will double by 2010. BP/Amoco Gas and Power's delegated mission (or "business stream") is, sensibly enough, to "develop global market opportunities for the company's natural gas reserves." They estimate the modern "global gas and power economy" to be worth ($US) 1.3 trillion per year, with the overall petroleum economy being less than half this amount. The emphasis is placed on the global gas and power economy because a great deal of the "power economy" (i.e. electricity generation) is fueled by neither natural gas nor petroleum; and, as such, it is a market to which BP/Amoco, Shell, and others have been denied access.
Every city and every major industrial plant is a customer in the electricity-generating market. When they go shopping, they have four realistic options as to sources of electricity: hydro-damming rivers, coal, natural gas, or uranium. Each of these options has a political-industrial complex attached to it crying out, "Pick me, pick me." Right now, 56% of electricity in the US is generated by coal. Around the world (China, India, eastern Europe) coal has been found to be the most abundant, cheapest fuel for the furnaces that heat the steam that drives the turbines to generate the juice. Modern American "Clean Coal Technology" is practically zero emissions, with the products and residues of combustion frequently being turned into marketable commodities, like concrete, asphalt, and gyprock. All that gets released are CO2 and water vapour. For BP/Amoco Gas and Power to do its job, it has to convince the mayors, governors, premiers, and presidents of this world that switching from coal to natural gas is such an environmental emergency that we must disrupt this convenient relationship much of the world has with coal.
In the mid-1990s both BP/Amoco and Shell developed subsidiaries missioned not just to find persons with gas generators looking for fuel but rather to actually build large state-of-the-art gas-fired electrical generators. With the launch of their 50%-owned InterGen subsidiary, Shell officials openly stated their goal was to become a major player in the electricity generating industry. Since then, they have built gas/power stations in the UK, Mexico, Colombia, the Philippines, China, and Namibia. Likewise, BP/Amoco's newly chartered subsidiary, Global Power, has five operating gas/power plants, including two in the UK, and "an attractive array of new and potential projects at hand." Another subsidiary, BP Energy, is "a leading provider of managerial services" to British electrical utilities. BP/Amoco's gas sales to major electrical generators doubled from 1999 to 2000. At the opening of a new LNG/electrical plant in Spain, BP/Amoco officials spoke of a brave new world of "wellhead to wire" integrated gas-electricity production.
The UK has gone from overwhelming dependence on coal for electricity to the present situation where electricity is now generated 38% from coal, 37% from natural gas, and 15% from uranium. Clearly, Sir John Browne and Sir Mark Moody-Stuart still have a long way to go in convincing their own countrymen of the necessity of the transition to gas. Of course, this attack on British coal did not start with these two Knights. Dame Margaret almost provoked a class war in the mid-1980s by attacking the domestic coal industry. In most countries, Thatcher's UK included, the coal industry is heavily unionized and heavily nationalized. It's a little too close to socialism for comfort. The Thatcher regime engaged in pit closings and union-busting tactics resulting in one of the bitterest, most violent labour standoffs in the country's history. Much of the talk of the English elite then was of the virtues of nuclear power as a substitute for coal. This took place at the height of the Cold War's arms race, when having a robust nuclear electrical industry was of sufficient strategic importance, in terms of maintaining arsenals, that the substantially higher cost of nuclear electricity could be overlooked (in fact, not even revealed). Sir Crispin Tickell's initial treatise on "global warming" dates to this earlier "nuke vs. coal" struggle of the late 1970s and mid-1980s. Wherever one finds a nuclear industry, one will find publicity departments extolling the "global-warming-safe" virtues of their business. By the mid-to-late 1980s the broader international environmental elite and the owners of the international gas industry got on board the "global warming" bandwagon, albeit for different reasons.
Others have heard the call to rescue us from the ecological tribulation of planetary warming. Lord Simon of Highbury is doing what he can. He is referred to as a "special advisor" to both Prime Minister Blair and EC President Podi. He was chief executive and chairman of the board of BP/Amoco from before the Kyoto Summit 1997 until just recently, when he joined Blair's inner cabinet with the posting to Minister of Trade and Competition. Lord Simon got this job even though he has never been elected to the House of Commons (a rare but not infrequent convention in the UK). Lord Simon must find plenty of important people to buttonhole about "global warming" at the directors meetings of the Bank of England, Rio Tinto Zinc, Grand Metropolitan, and Deutsche Bank. He was also, until recently, the vice-president of the influential European Roundtable think-tank. He recently got into hot water for selling $2 million in stock that was supposed to be in some form of blind trust while he is in the Cabinet, but he shrugged it off saying: "I am businessman, not a politician. I have a thick skin."
Every successful multinational corporation must have an intimate and detailed relationship with its main banker concerning everything from cashing paycheques to negotiating mega-loans. So you can just imagine the joy when Sir John Browne discovered the chairman of BP/Amoco's banker, the London-headquartered National Westminster Bank, was none other than Tickell's and Houghton's old chum from the British Government Panel on Sustainable Development, Lord Alexander of Weedon. The match-up was not entirely unpredictable inasmuch as NatWest is commercial banker for 30% of corporations in the British Isles. Overseeing this empire is Lord Alex as chair, with Sir Sydney Lipworth and Sir David Rowland as deputy chairs. NatWest's 19-member board contains six Knights and three Lords. Lord Alex is rumoured to provide personal legal services to Queen Elizabeth regarding her private fortune. He is also a director of Total Petroleum.
Also on the mercurial eco-"Panel" (and on the board of Green College as well) was Sir Anthony Cleaver. Sir Anthony is another Oxford man. After graduating, he worked the executive realms of IBM before being granted, in 1996, the chairmanship of Atomic Energy Authority Technologies PLC, the privatized portion of the British nuclear industry. In addition, in 1998 Sir Anthony was given the chairmanship of the British government's Medical Research Council, handing him control of over 300 million pounds worth of scientific research monies per year. Sir Anthony has been inducted into the Global 500 Club of the United Nations Environment Programme.
Not surprisingly, the "global warmers" have found allies within the English religious community, most importantly with the (Anglican) Church of England. This Church was established by Henry VIII in the 1530s through a series of Parliamentary Acts that separated the Church from Rome and declared the English Monarch to be "Defender of the Faith, and.Supreme Governor of the Church of England." Forget about separation of Church and State. The head of State is also the head of the Church. The Church's fundamental laws can only be amended by acts of Parliament, with the bishops of the Church constitutionally entitled to 20 seats in the House of Lords (the "Lords Spiritual"). The basic running of the Church is in the hands of the General Synod, consisting of the bishops and some elected representatives of the laity, all under the watchful eye of Her Majesty and her second in command, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Church of England's first formal dealings with the environmental movement consisted of a report prepared by the Church's Board for Social Responsibility in 1970, entitled Man and His Living Environment. It was debated by the Church assembly without much consequence. In 1986 the General Synod issued a document entitled Our Responsibility for the Living Environment. Four years later, a working party was set up to draft Christians and the Environment. Finally, in July 1992 the General Synod carried a motion calling on Her Majesty's government to act on the urgent problems of overpopulation and species extinction. Not too surprisingly, they also called upon the government to make energy policy changes to minimize "pollution". Since then, there have been further statements about ethical investing, genetically modified organisms, and factory farming.
An even greener faction appears to be waiting in the wings of the Church of England and within English Christianity generally. In 1998 Evangelical Environment Network UK issued a two-page "Declaration" commencing:
"As followers of Jesus Christ, committed to the full authority of the Scriptures, and aware of the ways we have degraded creation, we believe that biblical faith is essential to our ecological problems."
The "Declaration" goes on to denounce "cultural degradation", overpopulation, and pollution as sins for which there must be repentance. It contains many other stanzas of eco-Christian gobbledygook that would make even a street-corner Bible-thumper shake his head in bewilderment. The manifesto was, nevertheless, signed by 89 prominent Brits, including 15 professors of religious education and over 20 high-ranking members of the Church of England. Sir John Houghton signed it; and so did his close associate Sir Timothy Hoare, who, coincidentally, happens to be on the Standing Committee of the General Synod. Sir David McNee signed it, and he happens to be the Police Chief of Glasgow. The Viscount of Brentford signed it, and so did the Marchioness of Lothian. Four Canons signed it, including one who was treasurer of St. Paul's Cathedral and another who was the former head of BBC religious broadcasting. Nine bishops signed it, including three who are currently in the House of Lords. The Queen's personal chaplain signed it, and so did her personal chaplain emeritus and her personal physician. She did not sign it though; because if she signed it, then "Christ the Recycler" propaganda would become the law of the land.
The stakes here are huge. There are over 110 Anglican Bishops, so the nine who signed must be viewed currently as only a minority radical eco-faction within the larger Church, albeit a growing minority and one with the evident blessing of the House of Windsor-Mountbatten. Should this faction come to fully dominate the Synod, an enormous resource will be handed over to the cause of eco-fascism; for England, sadly, must be classified together with Iran and Utah, et cetera, as being at least a partially theocratic state. Although the Church boasts of being global, it is only in England where it is a real social force. There it owns over 12,000 church buildings and employs, full and part-time, over 27,000 persons, and is hiring a record 476 more this year. In England, this Church also runs 4,575 primary schools, 199 secondary schools, and 34 colleges "each with a distinct Christian based ethos." About 25% of the citizenry have received some formal education from the Church, almost half have been baptized by the Church, and over 40% of all first-time marriages are performed by Anglican priests. Hence, should this organization fully embrace the politics of the "Declaration", we will be in for some interesting times for sure.
The ruling ideas of any historical era are the ideas of the ruling class of that era. If the House of Windsor-Mountbatten, the Universities of Oxford, Kent, and Cambridge, the Church of England, Shell, BP, AEA, the Medical Research Council, Lloyds, NatWest, Barclays, ICI, the UK Environment Ministry, and the Meteorological Office all support environmentalism and believe in "global warming", one can rest assured that the bulk of the English public does as well. It must be stressed, the dominant core of this group, the Royal Court, embraced environmentalism long before there was wide public acceptance of this political philosophy. In short, it is their movement, fulfilling their political objectives and their neo-feudal fantasies. Their deliberate intermingling of religion and science further betrays their true contempt for science and the public at large.
When debating the "science" of "global warming", environmentalists frequently
attempt to silence their opponents by accusing them of being dupes or
tools of vested interests. What hypocritical nonsense. There is a precedent
for social movements that revolve around the European aristocracies, and
their allies in the big business community, and who use mysticism and
"big lie" strategies to mobilize the rabble while masking their own self-serving
and imperialist agendas. It's called fascism. The thousands of mercenaries
who have jobs in the great green crusade and, worse, the thousands of
brainwashed chumps and wannabe-professional environmentalists constitute
the most ignorant and reactionary elements of the working class. There
should be no place for these people in the progressive movements
of the world.
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