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« Richard Smith: peer review still useless | Main | Nursery cryme »
Thursday
Nov172011

A mouthpiece?

Astonishing stuff from the Independent (H/T Matthu in the comments), who have followed up on their piece about the BBC's links to environmentalists with a look at links between the Earth Institute at Columbia University - in particular its star economist Jeffrey Sachs - and a big palm oil company in Malaysia.

As far as I can tell, the Earth Institute gets lots of money from said palm oil company and Jeffrey Sachs turns up as a talking head on TV shows saying how great their environmental stewardship is. The TV shows appear to have been made by the same company that were funding the BBC's green output.

 

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Reader Comments (24)

Oil funded denialists anyone ? Thos e who denigh the science are finded by big oil...palm oil

Nov 17, 2011 at 9:12 AM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

The point I was making in the other thread was that i find it increduble how the independent seems to have changed tack, from being very green one minute to almost seeing the light the next. Almost as if they have a new inside source of information or a new breed of investigative journalist.

Maybe they realise how readership is/was being affected by their pro-green stance?

Also I marvelled how little opposition these revelations are receiving in the other media - as if all the possibly soon-to-be implicated science correspondents are all in Durban and not paying attanetion to what is happening back home.

All the elements of a coup in the making? This story appears to have legs: How long before members of government or civil service are implicated?

Nov 17, 2011 at 9:18 AM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

Has anybody anywhere come out in support of the BBC on this? And has the BBC mentioned anything at all in its news bulletins?

Nov 17, 2011 at 9:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito

I wonder how environmentalists feel about being in the pay of Big (palm) Oil..?

Nov 17, 2011 at 9:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

It would appear that environmentalists and environmental groups are unscrupulous in chasing the $.

Saving the planet is only worth doing if there is money in it.

Nov 17, 2011 at 9:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Isn't it strange...

Had it been shown that the BBC Sports depart had done this favouring ManU there would be an national outcry. Heads would roll...

As I mentioned on the other thread... Green cancer.

Nov 17, 2011 at 9:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

Re: Jiminy Cricket
I already have a complaint in regarding that issue...

Nov 17, 2011 at 10:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

BREAKING NEWS… Don't miss this debate

The Climate Change Act Reconsidered 1pm-3pm 30 November 2011
House of Commons Committee Room 8

Chairperson: Dr Philip Stott, Emeritus Professor of Biogeography at SOAS the University of London, and was Editor-in Chief of the International Journal of Biogeography.

Speakers:
Ruth Lea, former Economic Adviser and Director of Arbuthnot Banking Group and Director of Global Vision. She was a Governor of the London School of Economics. Ruth will speak on the impact of the Climate Change Act (including the Renewables Directive) on energy prices, manufacturing and business.

Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist (winner of the Hayek prize), will speak on the potential for shale gas.

Prof Ian Plimer is Australia‘s best-known geologist and author of Heaven and Earth, Global warming: the missing science and How to get expelled from School: a guide to climate change for pupils parents and punters.

Donna Laframboise, journalist and author of The Delinquent Teenager who was mistaken for the world‘s top climate expert – an in depth investigation into the IPCC.

All welcome and ask your MP to come too http://repealtheact.eventbrite.com/

Nov 17, 2011 at 10:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterFay Kelly-Tuncay

Jeffrey Sachs is one of the new breed of creepy holier than though economists benefitting from the realisation that an economics guru can have a consequence free existence just pontificating about utopian futures whilst damning the captalistic current working reality.

Thats why he attracts disciples such as "tax haven" Bono.

This story makes a pretty damning prima faci case that Sachs has been acting like a promoter for Malaysian Palm Oil. I notice Sachs denies he is an "Ambassador" for Sime Darby, I suppose this must be correct because he dosn't have a contract with that title written on it ;)


Let's see

Sachs is a director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York

Sime Darby is a major donor of the Earth Institute.

FBC also worked for Sime Darby, the world’s biggest palm oil producer, and in a report for the Malaysian company gives a series of “campaign highlights”, among which is the “cultivation of influential ‘ambassadors’ such as the Earth Institute’s Jeffrey Sachs”.

Mr Sachs was also featured as an expert on “World Business”, a programme that FBC made each week for the global business channel CNBC,

Sachs denies he is an Ambassador, but everything he has done seems very nicely placed to benefit Sime Darby.

I wonder how quickly all this will be forgotten and we go back to hating the Koch brothers;)

Nov 17, 2011 at 10:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

Government and the MSM are apparently preparing the public for the truth which is that the CAGW scare was manufactured to benefit carbon traders, the elite who control NGOs and their neo-colonialist carbon offsets, the windmill companies, makers and rent-seeking landowners like the Sheffields.

Climategate II seems imminent and the science has been shown to have been wrong in 4 key areas.

1. Warming at the end of ice ages starts 2000 years before CO2 rises.
2. Back radiation is an elementary mistake; confusing Prevost exchange energy with a heat source. On learning this, any process engineer says 'The idiots, that's such an elementary failure'.
3. To hide this imaginary energy, the GCMs assume twice real cloud optical depth and 'cloud albedo effect' cooling which can't be proved experimentally and because of the error in the optical physics from Sagan, the sign is wrong - it's the real AGW which also explains the ice age ending AND the Arctic 60-70 year melt freeze cycle.
4. The IPCC also conflates lapse rate heating in the 33K claimed present GHG warming - it's really ~9K.

So, real CO2 climate sensitivity is at most ~11% of that claimed and is probably incrementally negative now. As we head into yet another cold winter, the starter for 30 perhaps 70 more, no government can still claim this CAGW tosh and use it to justify killing the old and vulnerable to benefit the plutocrats.

Here's Inhofe on the neo-colonialism:http://www.climatedepot.com/a/13717/Sen-Inhofe-Calls-for-Investigation-into-Alleged-Human-Rights-Violations-Sanctioned-by-UNs-Climate-Policies-20000-Ugandan-farmers-brutally-kicked-off-their-lands

We are dealing with major corruption by the elites.

Nov 17, 2011 at 11:40 AM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

Palm oil (as opposed to climate change) is one of the major contributors to deforestation. Part of the whole ruckus with Indonesia and REDD, is that Indonesia wants palm plantations qualified for REDD ( as an afforestation effort). So, the owner would cut down standing forest and make money off it, sell the land and make money off it, the next guy would grow palm and make money off the plant products, and REDD carbon credits.

It is a surprise Jeffrey Sachs hasn't become an IPCC author yet.

Nov 17, 2011 at 11:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub

"We are dealing with major corruption by the elites.

Indeed, mydogsgotnonose,

This is why so many of us became involved, the facts of AGW never stood up to real scrutiny. However, it is the wasteful and mad idea of controlling CO2 emissions and the unbelieveable idea of palliative solutions and the consequences of 'siphoning off' of massive taxpayer funding, making billions for crony corporate companies and investment arms of major banks which is the real scam.

And then there is the media and how politicians have outrageously skewed the debate - the constant lies, subterfuge, wonky statistics, BS science and all of it a great AGW scandal - the public and taxpayers of Britain, Europe and America must have and seek legal redress.

Nov 17, 2011 at 11:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

PalmGate anyone?

Nov 17, 2011 at 12:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterCold Englishman

...he [Sachs] also contributed an authored piece to an advertising supplement in the International Herald Tribune which FBC featured under the heading “sophisticated corporate messaging within an editorial framework” in a slide show of FBC corporate case studies for 2007-2008.

“sophisticated corporate messaging within an editorial framework”

Sometimes you have to admire the brazen honesty of these guys.

Nov 17, 2011 at 12:13 PM | Unregistered CommentersHx

But despite the fact that Raising Malawi raised millions over the next few years—including $2.9 million at a Gucci-sponsored fundraiser on the north lawn of the United Nations that Sachs co-chaired in February 2008 – some or all of the $1.5 million pledged to Millennium Promise was paid by the Los Angeles-based Jewish mysticism group Kabbalah Centre, Madonna’s spiritual home and official partner in Raising Malawi.

...

When asked by The Daily Beast in a recent phone interview if he had "any regrets" about his involvement with Raising Malawi, Sachs paused so long he had to be asked if he was still there and offered no immediate answer.

Madonna's Academic Guru

Nov 17, 2011 at 12:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Palm oil (as opposed to climate change) is one of the major contributors to deforestation. Part of the whole ruckus with Indonesia and REDD, is that Indonesia wants palm plantations qualified for REDD ( as an afforestation effort). So, the owner would cut down standing forest and make money off it, sell the land and make money off it, the next guy would grow palm and make money off the plant products, and REDD carbon credits.

Well said Shub.

Cutting down primary forest, burning it and then allowing Palm Oil plantations to buy up the land is another great scam, the environmentalists if they were true to their moniker should be kicking up such a stink about this wilful destruction of the Indonesian rain forest but do not - flora and fauna deliberately destroyed.

Such a waste and a confusion of goals and policy which have made a bad situation worse, for forest and peat land bogs.............not a big fan but Fred Pearce has some of it correct:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthcomment/3317396/Bog-barons-Indonesias-carbon-catastrophe.html

Indonesia, which was losing an estimated 1.9 million hectares of forest each year, had emerged as one of the world's leading sources of carbon emissions in part due to a global spike in prices for palm oil and a surge in China's demand for wood pulp.

Together, these forces had pushed deforestation into carbon-rich peatlands that were being cleared and drained to make way for oil palm and pulpwood plantations. Limiting deforestation in Indonesia's peatlands needed to be a high priority because the carbon losses per hectare were substantial.

And we pay for some of it, through REDD.

However, among other exclusions, the definition of forests currently adopted by the UN climate change convention (and therefore the UNDP, UNEP and FAO) contains a large loophole: it fails to distinguish between natural forests and plantations, including eucalyptus, pines, acacias, oil palm, and others. Biodiverse, natural forests could therefore be destroyed and replaced with plantations, but this would not be treated as “deforestation” because – according to the definition - the area would still be covered by trees. The lack of a clear distinction is no accident. Defining a forest simply in terms of tree cover - rather than complex ecosystems and the livelihoods of peoples interacting with them – has long been used as a cover for the expansion of industrial-scale plantations. The most plausible explanation, arguably, is that commercial interests take precedence over environmental and social objectives in the shaping of REDD policy. [www.wrm.org.uy]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/REDD

Bonkers.

Nov 17, 2011 at 12:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Careful with commenting on Jeffrey Sachs, you could end up on the Sachs offenders list.

Nov 17, 2011 at 12:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Whale

Well-written piece in Forbes:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/paulroderickgregory/2011/09/18/can-we-really-call-climate-science-a-science/

Nov 17, 2011 at 1:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

@ matthu

Maybe they realise how readership is/was being affected by their pro-green stance?

The Independent was laughed at all around the world earlier this year when its propaganda piece about children not knowing what snow was resurfaced in the depths of the third consecutive bitterly cold northern hemisphere winter.

I suspect someone higher up has realised his environmental reporters are fools and dupes and got angry.

I used to agree with Michael Crichton that we needed an environmental movement but just not this one. I now think that like Marxism environmentalism is built to oppress and to fail and that we'd be better off without any at all. ExxonMobil has done and will do more for the environment than any environmental activist.

Nov 17, 2011 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

You may not remember, but when the Soviet Union collapsed Sachs was called in by the Ruskis to advise them on the economic direction and methods to follow.

He succeded in giving bad advise and the Russians kicked him out. Sortly after he became the favourite economist of the Economist Newspaper along with the not yet far left Paul Krugman.

Along the way Sachs became the favourite of the UN in his capacity of anticapitalist expert.

The Palmoil people are using him for his most excellent leftish credentials. When the Green jugernout finally collapses Sachs will be unemployed.

Nov 17, 2011 at 3:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Steiner

If you ever want to get disgusted, look into bird/bat kills by wind turbines. The same pair of apologist/environmentalists will show up on the wind turbines companies website. They will claim deaths are negligible and they will lie by pointing to old studies and then say only old wind turbines cause trouble but the new ones don't.

Nov 17, 2011 at 3:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruce

The point I was making in the other thread was that i find it incredible how the independent seems to have changed tack, from being very green one minute to almost seeing the light the next. Almost as if they have a new inside source of information or a new breed of investigative journalist.

Nov 17, 2011 at 9:18 AM matthu

Maybe it's something to do with Lebedev, the new owner.

I can't believe that anti-capitalist whingeing goes down very well with Russian billionaire oligarchs - and when he bought the Indy last year he was reported as saying "I think newspapers are the only instrument which, through investigative reporting, can ferret out everything about international corruption,"

We can but hope.

Nov 17, 2011 at 5:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

Bruce - I seem to recall some ghoulish details about the bat post-mortems. They are agile enough to avoid the blades, but often pass close enough behind to meet a low-pressure zone that bursts their lungs, apparently. Nice.

Nov 17, 2011 at 5:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

"PalmGate anyone?"--Cold Englishman

I prefer "Climb-a-tree Gate" for the revelation that AGW theory is backed by "Twig Oil."

Nov 17, 2011 at 6:11 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

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