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« A Tibetan temperature reconstruction | Main | UEA's latest wheeze »
Wednesday
Dec072011

Oxfam - trying to create famine

Anthony Watts' story about Oxfam trying to get a global tax on shipping imposed is extraordinary (note Anthony's caveats about the reliability of his source however).

Free trade is what prevents famine. Oxfam's actions will make famines more likely and much worse.

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  • Response
    Incoming email from newly signed up Samizdatista Rob Fisher (who can only do emails right now) about how Oxfam is proposing a global shipping tax. Watts Up With That? has the story. Says Rob: This is extraordinary. Read the whole thing but in particular the money flowchart diagram. Bishop Hill calls ...

Reader Comments (69)

It's probably not true, but I doubt they'd take into account the necessity of shipping food to areas of famine if they thought they'd be getting the emissions of CO2 down. After all they're still lobbying against the use of DDT, while 2000 children a day are dying. They are fanatical environmentalists trying to destroy western consumerism, the very consurmerism that has provided the money for medical research, that gave us Band Aid, and all the spare cash we have to give to charity.

Dec 7, 2011 at 11:51 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

These [snip - please tone down the language] are in principle no different from the pirates operating out of Somalia, wanting to skive money off international shipping. And just as Oxfam would be solicitous to ensure that no-one gets their hands on the dosh unless they sign up to an eco-fascist agenda, so the pirates will be sure to share the booty only with their mates.

Dec 7, 2011 at 11:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterScientistForTruth

If we could generate and then practically use all those billions of dollars from any international tax and still have abandoned people to famine and epidemics and maternal death during childbirth etc etc for generations, to the point that organizations like Oxfam need to exist, then we should all be tried for crimes against ourselves, humanity that is.

Dec 7, 2011 at 11:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito

Anthony is right. It comes from very very dodgy sources.

Chris Huhne the psychopath, masquerading as a responsible adult and government Minister is bad enough. But to have it reported by Louise Gray (Greenpeace shill, WWF mouthpiece and general nutter) masquerading as a journalist is even worse

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/8939793/Chris-Huhne-tax-on-shipping-to-help-poor-countries-fight-climate-change.html

Dec 7, 2011 at 12:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

I won't give a penny to big charity anymore. They only use it as pump priming, to lobby for forced exactions to be channelled through themselves.

Dec 7, 2011 at 12:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterNeil McEvoy

It really is so disappointing that anorganisation that could do so much good is doing so much increasingly bad.

It is getting harder and harder to find a charity where my donation will go to improve the lives of others and not potentially damage them.

Dec 7, 2011 at 12:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

I have never understood why Oxfam got on the Global Warming bandwagon.

It always seemed strange that originally a people-based organisation who used to believe that the way to fight poverty was ensure that all people could exercise their rights and be able to manage their own affairs could adopt such an extreme environmental view that the planet has to be saved at all costs - and fcuk the people.

Oxfam stands for all that is wrong in Green politics, they now advocate to come down hard on people by removing their rights to manage their own affairs.

Dec 7, 2011 at 12:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

As the fragrant Louise reports; "At the moment the plans are moving very slowly as countries fight over how the money will be raised and which institutions will distribute the funds."

I bet they are!

Dec 7, 2011 at 12:21 PM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

Did you never wonder what happened to the Live 8 stuff about getting rid of 3rd wrold debt? SOmeone had a quiet word and said they'd found a new way to get money out of the west.

Dec 7, 2011 at 12:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

When you consider that OXFAM's original mission was to persuade the British government to allow food relief through the Allied shipping blockade for the starving citizens of Axis-occupied Greece in 1942; it is more than ironic that they are now advocating a tax on shipping that will undoubtly push up the price of food to all nations including those who are currently suffering from famine.

Brilliant thinking, not!

Dec 7, 2011 at 12:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

It's worse than we thought...
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/07/ngos-its-worse-than-we-thought/
...just follow the money.

Dec 7, 2011 at 12:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

Quote, Tim Gore, Climate policy adviser for Oxfam, "Delegates are starting to see that international shipping is the most promising new source of finance for the Green Climate Fund. Support for this proposal is coming from a growing number of developing and developed countries, but it will be for ministers to decide if a deal can be cut here in Durban. We cannot allow the Fund to kick-off as an empty shell. It is essential that negotiators defend this text and ensure it is part of a final package at the end of the week."

It transpires that a proposed fuel levy on aviation was a no-go, due to a hostile response from airlines.

So on Green taxes and levies it is what you can get away with at Durban.

Who is fighting shipping's corner? Obviously that person is fast a sleep at the wheel of the ship.

Dec 7, 2011 at 12:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

.....it's all falling apart at the seams:

http://goo.gl/Hc9m3

Sorry, I don't know how to create a hyperlink.

Dec 7, 2011 at 12:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul

As Matt Ridley said

"If Oxfam were really serious about malnutrition, it would stop writing reports about corporate greed, climate change and the need for world governance and start trucking nitrates."

http://www.thegwpf.org/opinion-pros-a-cons/3132-matt-ridley-why-oxfam-is-wrong-on-food.html

Dec 7, 2011 at 12:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterDreadnought

Well done for speaking so forthrightly Bish. And thanks Dreadnought for the quote from Ridley - one of his most important pieces of the last few years. Libertarian advocacy for the poorest - that's how to engage the idealism of the young. But even if they won't listen, we must speak.

Dec 7, 2011 at 1:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

I blogged on this this morning after picking up the lead from Pharos on Unthreaded. I had some equally rude things to say about Oxfam and Tim Gore ahead of Cancun last year.
Plus ça change ...

Dec 7, 2011 at 1:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

I used to donate monthly to Oxfam, but stopped specifically because of their aggressive AGW stance.

Dec 7, 2011 at 1:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterBuck

Oh - it seems there's lots more 'NGO' treats in store ....

http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/about/contact_us/ch_campaigns/ch_campaigns.aspx

Dec 7, 2011 at 1:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

'Oxfam's actions will make famines more likely and much worse.'

Yes, but which 'charities' will benefit from that? Remember, the first purpose of any organisation is to justify, and expand, its own sphere of action. This would be quite a coup for them!

Dec 7, 2011 at 1:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan E

Some background to the proposed shipping levy;

Shipping to plug multi-billion dollar gap in UN climate deal - By Richard Meade "Shipping, along with aviation, could be used to plug a multi-billion-dollar gap in the funding of CO2 reduction schemes when governments meet to agree a post-Kyoto climate change pact in December. Estimates suggest that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change would need $100bn-$160bn annually to finance the global package of greenhouse gas reduction measures on the negotiating table at the forthcoming Copenhagen meeting. There is now growing interest within the UNFCCC that the development of market-based instruments for the shipping industry, such as a bunker fuel levy or emissions trading schemes, could become a potential source of funding for these measures. While estimates remain highly speculative, with a long list of associated provisos, Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the UNFCCC, has suggested that maritime transport could provide over $4bn annually, while others have pointed to figures well in excess of $10bn from shipping and aviation combined. Key decisions about which market- based initiative the shipping industry should opt for will not be agreed by governments until after the Copenhagen meeting. " LLOYD’S LIST, 24 July 2009, p 1

The proposed shipping levy at Durban has been quoted as being $25bn per annum - a six fold increase on the 2009 figure.

It looks like shipping companies are paying the price for being naive about the scale of Green levies and taxes.

Dec 7, 2011 at 1:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Serious question - not rhetorical. Does anyone know of a charity working to relieve poverty in the 3rd world which does not buy into the CAGW paradigm ? It concerns me that Oxfam, by implication, support the diverting of farmland to biofuels and the denial of abundant and affordable energy to developing countries. It is energy poverty which ensures that, no matter how much aid is given, these countries can never break out of their poverty bind.

Dec 7, 2011 at 1:44 PM | Unregistered Commenterdcfl51

Buck ,

Whether you want to or not you give to Oxfam.

Oxfam Accounts 2009/10

Total gross income = £318.0m

Of which

£112.7m - Income from government and other public authorities

£7.3m DFID – Partnership Programme Agreement

And probably a lot more…

40 Trustees’ Report Finance summary

http://www.oxfam.org.uk/resources/downloads/reports/report_accounts09_10.pdf

Dec 7, 2011 at 1:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterGreen Sand

In another thread someone worked out that Oxfams annual revenue (sales) per employee was around £50,000 per head. Even in benighted printing its about £100,000; in publishing about £160,000. So Oxfam, like all Lefty organisations is not only a tendentious moralising outfit, its also, like all Lefty organisations hopelessly incompetent, inefficient, fat-laden and self-indulgent. With that income and that head count its only capable of doing good, badly. "We waste your donations (on ourselves)" should be its motto.

Dec 7, 2011 at 1:58 PM | Unregistered Commenterbill

dcfl51:

I had a similar question a while back - you can find the answers I received here.

Dec 7, 2011 at 2:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

dcfl51: Great questions. The answers aren't as clear as they should be. In my view there are three environmental issues by which we should judge third world charities:

1. attitude to DDT
2. attitude to biofuels
3. attitude to cheap energy.

I'm looking for a charity that is happy for developing countries to use DDT for indoor spraying to control malaria (which is amazingly safe and effective), that campaigns against biofuel subsidies of all kinds because of their effect in raising food prices and resists all use of AGW science (or pseudo-science) to make it more difficult for bottom billion countries to produce and deliver cheap electricity.

Dec 7, 2011 at 2:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Buck: "I used to donate monthly to Oxfam, but stopped specifically because of their aggressive AGW stance."

Me too, I switched to Great Ormond Street, we asked Save the Children when they called us and were told they are instructed not to discuss global warming with donors. So my measly contributions to them continue.

Dec 7, 2011 at 2:35 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Oxfam, or WWF, the UN - what is the difference?

It is not about AGW, feeding the starving, or altruism but greed and large stipends for shills who wear their hearts on their sleeves and who shop in Harvey Nick's, Gucci and Lacoste and showboat around the world and stay in 5* hotels - and we who facilitate and feed their pious entitlement.

Dec 7, 2011 at 2:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

@geronimo
Me too, I switched to Great Ormond Street, we asked Save the Children when they called us and were told they are instructed not to discuss global warming with donors. So my measly contributions to them continue.

"Them" refers to GOS, I presume. Save the Children is indistinguishable from all the others on climate change:

http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/what-we-do/climate-change

Dec 7, 2011 at 3:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterNeil McEvoy

Totally agree Athelstan - these people seem to be quite immune to any real suffering around them, they're only interested in following their own pet agendas.

Donna Laframboise did an interesting piece on Ban Ki-Moon a few months back, he was visiting the Solomon Islands, a country beset by violence, govt. malfeasance, endemic crime, civil war, bankruptcy and sex tourism only to tell the people there that the greatest threat to their wellbeing was climate change - caused of course by the western developed countries who needed to "be more morally and politically responsible".

Apparently the IPCC report of 2007 estimated that sea levels there could rise by up to 23" by the end of 2100 ie approx one quarter of an inch per year!!

http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2011/09/05/moral-leadership-climate-change-the-un/

Dec 7, 2011 at 3:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

"Apparently the IPCC report of 2007 estimated that sea levels there could rise by up to 23" by the end of 2100 ie approx one quarter of an inch per year!!"

So it should be measurably 1 inch higher by now. And .... it isn't.

Dec 7, 2011 at 3:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Isn't reducing the global population (by famine?) to one billion the wish/plan of the green/red extremists as explicitly declared by the club of Rome?

Dec 7, 2011 at 4:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Re: Dec 7, 2011 at 3:42 PM | TheBigYinJames

"So it should be measurably 1 inch higher by now. And .... it isn't."

Quelle surprise !!! (not)

Dec 7, 2011 at 4:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

@geronimo.

Sorry to tell you that Great Ormond Street signed up to 10:0, ten days after the debacle of the No Pressure film. I wrote and complained to them three times, ignored at first, before finally extracting an answer, and being platitudinously brushed off with it being necessary to the save the world from "carbon" and CAGW.

Dec 7, 2011 at 4:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Actually, if I had it to do over, I think I would have gone to work at Oxfam. Just think of the retirement benefits they must have for their "executive" staff. And if the video of Antonio Hill of Oxfam is any indication, I would never have to wear a tie or perhaps even take a bath.

Good work if you can get it.

Dec 7, 2011 at 4:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

I've said it before and it continues to be relevant.
Either go hunting for chairites like WaterAid or Mary's Meals or other locally-based ones with boots on the ground not feet up on the desk or seek out your local Rotary Club and fiind what they are supporting in the areas you are interested in. There's almost certain to be something.
I long since gave up on Oxfam and SCF and even CAFOD. They are all businesses with staff and premises and pensions and bonuses and projects and advertising budgets and somewhere at the end of that list are the people they are supposedly trying to help.
And the help is almost invariably what the charities think is best. The Victorian missionaries' attitude of "come here, son, and be done good to" is alive and well. The Victorians at least had the excuse of not knowing any better.

Dec 7, 2011 at 4:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

The development charities have not doubt made a lot of money in recent years by jumping on the climate alarm bandwagon. But they have been well and truly shafted, morally and intellectually at least, by the 'CO2 alarmists', as have so many other bodies. I well remember the tension between 'environment; and 'development' in the 1970s, when I was active in NGOs in both areas. The 'development' types envied even then the easy acceptance, and the influence of the 'environment' types, but still tried to push the case for development. Now they all seem to have given up, and joined the 'greens', who of course are anything but, and indeed in their most malevolent guises, are distinctly hostile to humanity itself, rich and poor.

Dec 7, 2011 at 5:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

Support Your Local Charity.

Dec 7, 2011 at 5:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Someone local to me used to work for Oxfam. Presumably she was very good at it because she won a prize. The prize was a trip round Oxfam HQ in Oxford, UK.

She was horrified at the extravagance of the plush offices and facilities and felt the need to resign from Oxfam as a result. She felt that the donated money was not going to where it should.

Dec 7, 2011 at 5:16 PM | Unregistered Commentergraphicconception

Mike Jackson
I long since gave up on Oxfam and SCF and even CAFOD.

I agree that you should give to local charities that you can actually visit. There are many in my area and as a retired person, I go to help, particularly at the county animal shelter which is now run by a charity (staffing at least) because there is a severe shortage of money in the county coffers. We make sure that the animals that are brought in are cared for instead of slaughtered in a day or two because there is "no room" for them. There is actually plenty of room, but no food or staff if weren't for us.

As for large organizations, they all appear to end up as businesses. One of the worst is the AARP in the US. It was the American Association of Retired Persons now officially just the AARP, formed to be a lobby group sometime ago. It is still officially a non-profit, but is sells all sorts of insurance as a broker, and the executives are getting a big kick back from the insurance companies. It has gotten so bad that they actually supported Obamacare, which is very bad for older people like myself. These people are only interested in what is good for them. Oxfam is just another example.

My test is if a charity has a professional website it is most likely a business. Here is an example:
AARP

Dec 7, 2011 at 5:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

The underlying problem here is that few people understand that it is trade which has created the prosperity that we continue to enjoy, and trade that offers the developing world the best chance of removing its populations from poverty. "Fair trade" is routinely (and I would say, mistakenly) preferred to "free trade" - just look at all those self-righteous slogans all over M&S.

Only right-wing zealots now speak up for the virtues of free markets, and the prevailing assumption is that markets damage the very people they actually help, and that they therefore require government intervention to improve their social utility.

Dec 7, 2011 at 5:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterNicholas Hallam

@Marion,

Ban Ki-Moon has a lot to live up to, remember Boutros Ghali, Egyptian on the take, Oberleutnant Kurt Waldheim and of course that paragon of probity Kofi Annan, yeah all of them full of the, milking of kindness by humans.

Dec 7, 2011 at 5:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Re: Dec 7, 2011 at 5:16 PM | graphicconception

Unfortunately the same is true of the RSPCA -

"RSPCA millions go on politics and HQ"

"The council member said: "The society sold its old headquarters in the centre of Horsham for £5.2 million and has spent £16 million on a shed. We didn't need it.

"The amount of staff we have is ridiculous. It's because they like to run it on a military basis with chains of command. You could take three layers out of the bureaucracy and it would still work.""

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1402352/RSPCA-millions-go-on-politics-and-HQ.html

It seems that none of the money collected by their HQ is passed on to the local branches who actually care for the animals - any money is far better donated directly to the local branches.

Dec 7, 2011 at 5:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

Kofi Annan, oh I remember him well - the guy who said that Mugabe should be allowed to continue his land 'redistribution' as quickly as possible, enforcing economic ruin on Zimbabwe which had hitherto been the 'breadbasket of Africa', not to mention the oil for food scandal - it seems the UN is an organization we could well do without.

Dec 7, 2011 at 5:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

http://fakecharities.org/

Dec 7, 2011 at 5:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterwoodentop

It's true of almost all of them. Not a penny to any I say. If accosted I usually ask the Oxfam and similar types how it's going in Haiti? (Ibelieve Oxfam has been there since 1978...)
The abysmal shambles they have all created there post 2009, speaks eloquently of where their true loyalties lie - in perpetuating their existence. The iron law of bureaucracy rules.

Dec 7, 2011 at 5:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterChuckles

The degeneration of aid agencies and charities in recent years is illustrated in Linda Polman's book 'The Crisis Caravan'. A quote from a review in The Scotsman is on the cover:
'A withering catalogue of corruption, incompetence, and an aid industry that lives in unholy symbiosis with politicians and the military ... The account of Afghaniscam is wonderfully awful. This is an exhilarating book.'

English edition published in 2010. And in paperback in 2011: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Crisis-Caravan-Whats-Wrong-Humanitarian/dp/0312610580/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1323281200&sr=8-2

Dec 7, 2011 at 6:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

"Free trade is what prevents famine" That's a new one on me . Can you cite a source to support that one?

So there's lots of people starving in East Africa now because they don't have enough free trade, or they don't have the right kind of free trade ?

Dec 7, 2011 at 6:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterHengist McStone

"Free trade is what prevents famine" That's a new one on me . Can you cite a source to support that one?


Dec 7, 2011 at 6:20 PM | Hengist McStone

That's not the way it's done in the real world.

It's for YOU to provide sources for your argument against the quoted statement.

This thread is about the self serving, unaccountable, large charities and their desire to raise green taxes by providing burdens on free trade. The arguments are basically of a philosophical nature, and demanding academic sources to support them is a bit silly really. For myself, I agree with many of the above comments aimed at certain charities and the harm they cause.

If you've got an alternative opinion that's fine.But I suggest you take off your AGW cap, and refrain from chanting AGW mantras from the big book of AGW propaganda, before commenting on this particular thread.

Regards,

Dec 7, 2011 at 7:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterRKS

Hengist
Instead of making snide remarks on here why don't you try to do something useful like badger your MP about the tariff barriers that are erected round the world that keep the poor poorer and in some cases even the rich poorer than they need be?
If you want a simple answer to your question, genuinely "free" trade has rarely, if ever, been tried. The EU is a trading bloc that erects barriers; the US is a trading bloc that erects barriers. Protectionism is rife.
But the solution is not to give yourself a nice warm glow by paying over the market rate for products. Subsidising the poor usually just means they stay poor. NGOs and the rich nations that use them know just how much to spend and on what to ensure that the poorest on this planet stay the poorest on this planet. They may be many times richer than they were 100 years ago but they are still poor and as long as we pump money into the pockets of their corrupt leaders they will remain so.
Of course free trade prevents famine because genuinely free trade is the fairest form of trade there is. You produce what I want at a price I am prepared to pay. That is free trade and perfectly fair. No?

Dec 7, 2011 at 7:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

Hengist

Would you believe the FAO? Here is an article on the impact of subsidies and tariffs on third world farmers:

http://www.fao.org/english/newsroom/focus/2003/wto2.htm

Dec 7, 2011 at 7:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterDreadnought

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