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« Potash rot | Main | Catastrophe avoided »

It's a plot!

The news that is rocking the world this morning is that the head of NATO has said that the Russians are funding a sophisticated plot to undermine shale gas development in the west.

Russian agents are secretly working with environmental campaigners to halt fracking operations in the UK and the rest of Europe, the head of Nato warned yesterday.

Vladimir Putin’s government has ‘engaged actively’ with green groups and protesters in a sophisticated operation aimed at maintaining Europe’s reliance on energy exports from Moscow, said Nato Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

He said the Russians had mounted a highly developed disinformation campaign to undermine attempts to exploit alternative energy sources such as shale gas.

When you think about it, it's pretty unlikely that Putin wouldn't be doing everything he could to undermine shale gas development in the West, given the centrality of oil and gas to the Russian economy. Nevertheless it's surprising that NATO have come right out and said so.

I wonder what Vangel has to say about it?

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Reader Comments (63)

Await the imminent release of Arctic Sunrise ………..

Jun 20, 2014 at 8:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

It certainly does not surprise me that certain Green groups allow themselves to be used like this.

Jun 20, 2014 at 8:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoss

Greenpeace will say that they aren't under the control of the Russians by citing the Artic Sunrise/Gazprom. GP and other greens don't realise how stupid they really are and how easily they are led that they don't need to be under direct control of Russia to be following it's tune. All thats needed is for a someone to come up with something emotionally charged and the Greenies fall for it hook line and sinker. Call something "unconventional" and they immediately think its the worst thing possible when in reality it just means "different". Greenies think with their emotions not their heads.

Jun 20, 2014 at 8:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterSadButMadLad

It is clear that NATO is part of the neo liberal conspiracy of fossil fuel interests and evolution deniers funded by the Koch brothers who are seeking to impose fundamentalist evangelical Christianity on peaceful God fearing people everywhere and destroy the planet in the pursuit of short term profit.

That is the only explanation. They probably oppose vaccination too. I bet they are funded by Big Tobacco.

Jun 20, 2014 at 8:37 AM | Unregistered Commentermichel

Vladimir Putin is a very inteligent and has great political savvy, he also understands the word subtle to a much greater degree than most western politicians. What the NATO chief is accusing him of sounds a little too direct, however I am sure Putin is playing the opportunities presented to him by the useful idiots at Greenpeace and elsewhere far more intelligently that they can grasp.

Jun 20, 2014 at 8:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Leon

It's been kinda an open secret and in discussion (and on Internet, of course) that Gazprom is leading/funding a lot of this anti-fracking activities. I'm wondering why all of the sudden by NATO saying it that the store gets more traction.

Jun 20, 2014 at 8:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterRob Schneider

Die hard zealots are easily manipulated by powerful people. The Greens are largely blind followers and do not have the capacity to understand the real issues. See what a degree in English can do for you!

It is quite believable that the Green movement is carrying out the Russian wishes without actually realising it.

You can almost hear the Mutley-type laighing from the Kremlin as the Greens carry out their bidding!

Jun 20, 2014 at 9:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

Why the surprise - it's directly analogous to the Soviet funding and backing of CND from the 50's to the 70's, and for similar basic reasons; to mobilise the useful idiots.

Jun 20, 2014 at 9:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterNikki Kruschev

The Comintern lives!

Jun 20, 2014 at 9:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter MacFarlane

I don't know why anyone would be remotely surprised by this.

The British Establishment were penetrated by the Soviets back in the thirties and if anyone thinks that they suddenly stopped for any reason they are deluded.

The trade union leader Jack Jones was a KGB agent and mentor to one Gordon Brown.

During my time in the services I was told that the Labour party was nothing more or less than the political wing of the KGB, you can inlcude the LibDems and Tory party in that group now.

Jun 20, 2014 at 9:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterSwiss Bob

"Watermelons" is a very accurate description of green activists.
Then there are the "useful idiots".

Jun 20, 2014 at 9:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller


Greenpeace will say that they aren't under the control of the Russians by citing the Artic Sunrise/Gazprom.
They already did. See my comment yesterday on the HoL SciTEch Committee thread.
This is the link to the Telegraph version. The comment from both Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth comes under the heading of "non-denial denial"!
I can find no reason to disagree with Rasmussen. The behaviour is quite typical of both Soviet-era Russia (which like the IRA "hasn't gone away, you know") and the environmentalist activists who have been, consciously or unconsciously, doing the Russians' bidding for decades

Jun 20, 2014 at 9:29 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

I would not trust Rasmussen as far as I could throw him.
Nevertheless, true or not, it is a good story to beat Big Green with.

Personally, I am still undecided whether now is the right time to go full-speed-ahead fracking in the UK....but we desperately need some more exploratory drilling done so that at least we know what we are talking about.

Perhaps this will move us a bit closer to that.

Jun 20, 2014 at 9:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

Given that during the Cold war the KGB was funding CND I am surprised that this has taken so long to become news.

Today's greens are yesterday's reds!

Jun 20, 2014 at 9:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Marshall

Certainly the greens appear to be to the left of Vladimir Putin!!!

Jun 20, 2014 at 9:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterTrefor Jones

Pu, Pu, Pu-Putin
Russia's greatest puke machine.

Jun 20, 2014 at 10:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Silver

Greens under the futon

Jun 20, 2014 at 10:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterAnoneumouse

So the Anti-Fracking Brigade are funded by 'Big Gazprom'?
Seems likely to me.

Jun 20, 2014 at 10:57 AM | Unregistered Commentermeltemian

Not at all surprising. I've long thought the Chinese were covertly funding anti-industrial organisations in the UK through the proxy of global warming. For example one of the 28gate attendees was Chinese (supposedly a Chinese NGO - but her career was strangely "official" when I looked). Also the UEA were funded by a Chinese University.

This "revelation" probably has more to do with ongoing monitoring of the "USSR" rather than anything to do with fracking or climate. In other words, I don't believe MI6 would have gone looking for this - indeed the last place MI6 would have looked is in these environmental groups as more than likely many civil servants in MI6 are paid up devoted members of Greenpeace FOE and all the other greenspin organisations that I think are heavily funded from abroad.

Jun 20, 2014 at 11:10 AM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

I grew up in a state laced with "wet" and "dry" (no liquor sales) counties. As you can imagine, huge liquor stores were built in the wet counties just across the county-line from the dry... and do a BOOMING business. Each election cycle the topic of "remaining dry" would be a campaign issue. And guess who contributed most to the "remain dry" candidates? Well... the liquor store owners of course.

Jun 20, 2014 at 11:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterDunham

SadButMadLad (8:36 AM): Greenies think?!

Jun 20, 2014 at 11:27 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) is a tactic used in sales, marketing, public relations, politics and propaganda.

FUD is generally a strategic attempt to influence perception by disseminating negative and dubious or false information. An individual firm, for example, might use FUD to invite unfavorable opinions and speculation about a competitor's product; to increase the general estimation of switching costs among current customers; or to maintain leverage over a current business partner who could potentially become a rival.

The term originated to describe disinformation tactics in the computer hardware industry but has since been used more broadly. FUD is a manifestation of the appeal to fear.,_uncertainty_and_doubt

Disinformation by the KGB

According to senior SVR officer Sergei Tretyakov, the KGB was responsible for creating the entire nuclear winter story to stop the Pershing missiles. Tretyakov says that from 1979 the KGB wanted to prevent the United States from deploying the missiles in Western Europe and that, directed by Yuri Andropov, they distributed disinformation, based on a faked "doomsday report" by the Soviet Academy of Sciences about the effect of nuclear war on climate, to peace groups, the environmental movement and the journal AMBIO. Another successful example of Soviet disinformation was the publication in 1968 of Who's Who in the CIA which was quoted as authoritative in the West until the early 1990s.

Jun 20, 2014 at 11:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterSpeed

Rob Schneider "It's been kinda an open secret... I'm wondering why all of the sudden by NATO saying it that the store gets more traction."

Rob, it's also an open secret that huge amounts of money have been sloshing the "global warming pause denier" camp - but you'd think it was a state secret from the lack of any reporting on it and the way skeptics have been portrayed as "in the pay of big oil".

It's also an open secret that the UK's civil service & BBC are full of environmental activists ... probably many openly "working for the cause" by being members of these anti-industrial by CO2 proxy groups. And all of them too gullible to see is that "the cause" is actually the Russian/Chinese government looking after their own economic interests.

Jun 20, 2014 at 11:52 AM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

Let's just hope some of the detail gets out - I'm fed up with idiotic snoopy "anti money laundering" questions pre-programmed into UK retail bank staff when I want to withdraw some cash....

Not that funding would be delivered in anything but battered suitcases or fat manila envelopes I suppose - but it would be delicious if some NGO goons were caught with some unaccounted for cash eh ? wouldn't it?

Usually somebody can't resist diverting dodgy lolly for personal use .....

Jun 20, 2014 at 12:14 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Green groups make themselves an easy target. There belief is that they are fundamentally right in everything, whether theoretically, empirically, analytically or normatively. So anyone who disputes them must be incapable of rational thought (through having false moral or political perspectives), been deluded by those with false motives, or outright liars. Just as they cannot grasp that a number of differing and incompatible perspectives (theoretically, empirically, analytically or normatively) are possible, so somebody who desires the same ends make do so for completely different reasons.
In brief, green groups are an easy target as they tend to be both dogmatic and naive.

Jun 20, 2014 at 12:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Marshall

There are many who think that the West won the Cold War because a wall was taken down.

Jun 20, 2014 at 12:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterTonyHansen

I have not seen any attempt to produce evidence of this.
My guess is that, NATO "N"GOs having spent $5 bn funding rioters in Ukraine and the EU heavily funding 9n out of 10 "environmentalist" groups they are working on the assumption "its what we would do so they must be doing it too".

Jun 20, 2014 at 1:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterNeil craig

I worry more about the green political machinations of the BBC than the Russians.

Jun 20, 2014 at 2:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

TinyCO2: "I worry more about the green political machinations of the BBC than the Russians."

Frackinggate is in all the major news outlets - bar one!

It's even in the Guardian and Independent.

So in a clue using simple elimination that even Lewandowsky has a higher than 0% probability of getting right - which major left-wing pro-environment news outlet doesn't mention frackinggate?

Jun 20, 2014 at 2:45 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

And if anyone has not seen it yet - this video shows how anti-fracking groups will accept money from anyone - even foreign countries openly working to destroy the US economy:

Jun 20, 2014 at 3:07 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

Neil craig:

I have not seen any attempt to produce evidence of this.

Nor have I.

I don't think that there's a question whether NATO is an overtly political body, nor whether our experience is that politically overt bodies will readily forego evidence supporting a call to action. But it appears that we sceptics are ready to do the same if the message suits us.

Are we really so ready to surrender to the thing we claim to despise in others? It didn't appear to take much to tempt us this time around. Evidence, evidence, evidence.

Jun 20, 2014 at 3:38 PM | Registered CommenterSimon Hopkinson

Simon Hopkinson: " Evidence, evidence, evidence."

Just look at all the 1000s of people from NGOs who go to any of these climate conferences and then look at all the sceptics ...

The evidence is very very clear that the global warming/anti-fracking movement are not a load of individuals like us skeptics but are a massively commercially funded machine.

The question then is who is dolloping shedloads of money on these environmental groups? Strong candidates have been:
1. The wind lobbyists
2. Individual carbon capitalists (many developing wind farms)
3. The oil industry & other energy suppliers - who paradoxically benefit from rising prices.
4. The Chinese - who are more than willing to help the west commit economic suicide

And now, we have a very strong suggestion (printed in most papers) that the Russians have also had a hand in funding the "green" movement.

And before I forget - I was recently involved in a campaign to save a peat bog from being drained for housing.


So, from personal experience I can tell you that all this money they get isn't going into practical help for the environment in the UK.

Jun 20, 2014 at 4:11 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

"Foggy" Rasmussen is about to be replaced by a former Norwegian PM as NATO General Secretary. Jens Stoltenberg is a seriously dyed in the wool alarmist (he called the billion NOK CCS black hole "Norway's Moon Landing") so who knows what NATO will come up with next.

I think Foggy is getting in a few shots on his way out. It's about the only time you are allowed to speak your mind and tell the truth in these kind of positions.

Jun 20, 2014 at 4:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob

Still no mention on the BBC!!!

For information, by lunch this story was already on the website of the FT, Independent, Telegraph, Daily Mail, Herald Scotland, even the Guardian (since 9.30 this morning).

But when I go to look at the BBC website - it isn't there!

According to google search there are 3400 news stories matching "NATO fracking". There are two matching "NATO fracking BBC" and neither are the BBC.

This is one of the most blatant instances of bias I've seen at the BBC since - climategate.

Jun 20, 2014 at 4:22 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

Fogh is truly foggy these days... and so far it was the bobos environmentalists from the EU and other IPCCists who were against anything.

Jun 20, 2014 at 4:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterTomRude

Quelle surprise. After annexing the Crimea, I'm sure Herr Putin has no more territorial ambitions. He might just want a nibble at Poland though ...


Jun 20, 2014 at 4:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterPointman

The Russia news channel Russia Today carries good number of Fracking reports, many looking to be of a negative nature.
This search string at RT lists a number that focussed on the UK.

Some reports are quite shrill. Also reporting on the greenpeace defence. :)


Jun 20, 2014 at 4:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterMick J

it's a business , I can understand why the russians would do it

the people in the west that let bribe themselves are the real criminals.
Time to re-orient the HMRC to some real work

Jun 20, 2014 at 5:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoeBidensBrainSurgeon

Anybody stopping Shale Gas development in Iraq

Jun 20, 2014 at 5:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid


Simon Hopkinson: " Evidence, evidence, evidence."

Just look at all the 1000s of people from NGOs who go to any of these climate conferences and then look at all the sceptics ...

I must be missing your point Mike. When I say evidence, what I mean is evidence that Russia have infiltrated/are funding green anti-fracking groups. So the evidence would be something along the lines of an exposé of money trails from a Russian government agency to groups like Frack Off, or the naming of Russian government agents in leading roles. Perhaps a single Russian govt agent would be a start. Something in the form of evidence to distinguish us from twonks like Michael Mann, who make incessant Big Oil claims knowingly with no basis in truth.

It isn't what you believe is the case, it's what you can show to be true. Anything less is nothing at all.

Jun 20, 2014 at 7:16 PM | Registered CommenterSimon Hopkinson

Simon Hopkinson: "Evidence".

Simon, the point is that someone is funding all these green groups. And yes, individuals also donate to skeptic websites.

The difference is that the greens send thousands of people to these climate conferences each and every year, whilst we skeptics once had Lord Monckton.

So, the green groups are getting huge funding from somewhere. We also know the the USSR used to pay huge amounts to "peace groups".

So, as they say on Sun News, it is hardly surprising that Russia is funding green/anti-fracking groups.

It is also not at all surprising that Greenpeace have without even doing an internal audit - said they are whiter than white. if they are that careless in their denial - that they don't even check - then it is almost certain that they don't check any more into who is giving them money.

Jun 20, 2014 at 8:24 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

I am pretty sure and before WWII, the Russians were interfering in British political sphere,particularly in the "Cold War era" - in the thirties from Cambridge dons to the London docklands there was not much need to keep it secret - Communism had a strong hold among certain classes of Briton and always the NKVD-KGB were listening in to Britain back to Lenin and well before that even, into the era of Catherine and Ivan.

But the roll call of anti hydraulic fracturing vested interests: is a very long list. Indeed - we could also look to the Gulf states and point the finger - recalling, the 'Gaslands' film.

Jun 20, 2014 at 8:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Just come across this on the BBC world service:

Jun 20, 2014 at 9:07 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

Sorry, No can buy. This smells like typical western rhetoric and chest beating trying to trump up reasons to either generate an atmosphere for more sanctions - in the EU/NATO sense, that is, by enraging the citizens that don't want then because of the natural gas supply - or in the Washington/NATO sense, lets see if we can wind up another little war. Putin is too astute to do something that would jeopardise the economy of Russia. No, this is propaganda, clear and smelly, to manipulate the European citizens. Besides, he already has lined up customers for the gas that goes to Europe when the current contracts run out. What happens in Europe after that won't matter to him.

Jun 20, 2014 at 9:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterTom O

Ah... Legnav? @9:32 You do indeed have a valid point - however - there is no smoke etc.... AIUI Gazprom and it's affiliates and subsidiaries are stuffed with ex KGB / FSB folk and STASI were very interested in the EU Green movement. However any supply contract might well get negotiated down in a real world supply / demand scenario and it makes complete sense to protect ones investment eh?

There are those who argue that Russia is actually a gas company with a government attached.
GasLand's PDVSA-land Venezuelan sponsors broke cover a while back too....

Jun 20, 2014 at 11:44 PM | Registered Commentertomo

I remember Bruce Kent (more or less) admitting that the KGB had funded CND. As he told it, someone offered them a donation. It was almost certainly the Russians, but they didn't ask for anything in return and what were they going to do, turn it down?

If the dastardly Russkis are supporting the treehuggers, it's probably in much the same way. The image that some of the posters here have, of the Greens as brainwashed drones of Putin's henchmen (all of whom presumably wear black hats and have sinister mustaches)... well, it doesn't jibe with reality as I know it. It's not "too direct for Putin", as John Leon says, because chances are it's all above board and totally legit.

Perhaps more so than the EU machinations in the Ukraine...

Jun 21, 2014 at 12:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterUncle Gus

Putin won't have left a money trail. He just had to leave a big bundle of Euros in a hollow in a tree in Yamal and let nature (or the Greens version of it) take its course.

Jun 21, 2014 at 1:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterGraeme No.3

"When you think about it, it's pretty unlikely that Putin wouldn't be doing everything he could to undermine shale gas development in the West, given the centrality of oil and gas to the Russian economy.

That certainly would explain old school dezinformatsia hacks like Yuri Izrael falling over themselves to second Fred Singer and Pat Michaels party line on denying anything that militates for CO2 taxation.

The number of 180 degree turns Yuri has made since the cold war heyday of 'nuclear winter" is enough to make a watermelon blush.

Jun 21, 2014 at 6:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

It does seem to fall into the bleedin' obvious. Remember back in 2012 Andrew Rawnsley was bleating about fracking being a busted flush and deflecting us from bounteous renewables? Turns out he was just passing on propaganda from a Russian strategic investment arm wholesale.

The fact that useful idiots in the western media are willing to just pass on propaganda from Russian strategic financial institutions like this makes the news of a little under the counter Russian support seem less surprising. ;)

Jun 21, 2014 at 7:41 AM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

Sorry, No can buy. This smells like typical western rhetoric and chest beating trying to trump up reasons to either generate an atmosphere for more sanctions

There would be much better targets if this was an outright lie. Why slander Greenpeace and FOE if you are establishment oriented? It would be like suggesting the military were receiving foreign money. It might get sanctions on the map, but at the cost of taking out one of your own on the way.

They would suggest sceptics were getting Russian money if they wanted to mobilise anti-Russian feeling in an establishment way.

Jun 21, 2014 at 11:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterMooloo

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