Greenpeace International or Greenpeace Electric???
“One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised.” – Chinua Achebe Nigerian Writer
First the tcktcktck scandal and now this. AT COP 15, the spokesperson for TckTckTck was Kumi Naidoo. Kumi Naidoo is the Chair of TckTckTck, as well as the executive director of Greenpeace International.
The recent decision by Greenpeace International to hire Tzeporah Berman to direct its global climate and energy campaign could be the most disastrous decision that Greenpeace has ever made. It is quite possible that this move may destroy the organizations reputation in such a damaging way it may never recover. The current economic system has caused us to have entered into what Dr. E.O. Wilson describes as ‘the sixth extinction’ – a phrase that many scientists are now using. We now face climate catastrophe on a dying planet already well on the pathway to a 6C temperature rise which will kill off most life. This recent appointment of Tzeporah Berman could be the greatest threat climate change justice has yet to face. Who is Tzeporah Berman anyway? Tzeporah Berman could be described as a Trojan horse for the biggest corporations on the planet. She has successfully entrenched her way into the position of bargaining away nature to the corporations, under the guise of an environmentalist. Perhaps this is a seemingly much better strategy than just having Pat Moore “ex-Greenpeace” running around supporting the corporations. The corporations have finally succeeded in placing a compromised ‘environmentalist’ into the very heart of Greenpeace – the most recognized environmental organization on the planet. The day after Tzeporah Berman announced her new Greenpeace role, she walked into an exclusive General Electric (GE) banquet (past the real environmental protesters) and delivered a speech supporting the privatization of some 600 rivers in British Columbia, Canada, for the benefit of GE and their subsidiaries and partners. So there was Greenpeace (not officially, of course, but in the public mind) endorsing the wholesale surrender of our environment to one of the most predatory corporations on the planet – GE has paid fines for illegal weapons trade fraud, money laundering, etc.
“There is nothing more dangerous than a shallow thinking compassionate person.” – Garrett Hardin
On a positive note – such a scandal may be the one that will finally expose the corporatization of compromised NGOs and the deafening silence on the reality of climate change which has been going on behind the scenes for quite some time – to which the public are mostly unaware.
Also amazing; right now, in the climate justice movement something extraordinarily important is happening. After Copenhagen – a line is finally being drawn in the sand. True climate justice groups are now refusing to sign onto to any statement that endorses a temperature which exceeds a 1C temperature rise. As compromised NGOs are still clinging to the suicidal 1.5C – 2C temperatures, we will now finally see a clear divide. True climate justice groups versus the compromised NGOs. As well, true climate justice groups are now mobilizing to endorse a global emergency declaration on climate change. Again, those who do not sign on will be easily identified as those with vested interests.
The Tzeporah Berman specialty: Disaster Capitalism
The message behind disaster capitalism campaigning is this; climate change is “so urgent” that we have to turn the planet over to GE and other corporations to “save us.” This is all bullshit. This messaging is designed with the purpose of gaining corporate control of Earths natural assets. The question is, what has gone wrong at Greenpeace International? Is it i) lack of due-diligence, ii) lack of research ii) lack of knowledge or iv) is this the new direction of Greenpeace? Did they not speak to anyone in Canada who has dealt with Tzeporah Berman? (See extensive list of comments below including comments from Greenpeace co-founder Rex Weyler). With the Earth now passing several planetary boundaries and ecosystems now failing, with consequences that are detrimental or even catastrophic for large parts of the world – disaster capitalism is now set to explode.
To help sell their corporate privatization of British Columbia (B.C.), Canada, GE placed Tzeporah on the cover of their magazine, Reader’s Digest. General Electric, which owns one of the world’s largest media conglomerates – as well as weapons production, weapons trade, and military contracts – owns Reader’s Digest through GE Capital with partners Bank of America and JPMorgan. GE has a history of using Reader’s Digest to hype its offspring, including a health Insurance company, its astroturf organizations, and now, their well trained “environmentalist,” Tzeporah Berman. Keep in mind that General Electric plays both sides of the climate “debate”. While they support astroturf organizations – such as Tzeporah’s “Power UP Canada” to sell their private acquisition of Canadian public assets; allegedly to build “alternative power” and “reduce global warming”, they simultaneously fund the organizations that deny global warming. GE funds the American Petroleum Institute, for example, and it’s astroturf affiliates such as “Energy Citizens,” who stage “grassroots” rallies to deny climate change and defeat climate legislation in the U.S. General Electric is a member of American Petroleum Institute (API), along with Dow, Bechtel, Halliburton, ExxonMobil, Shell, BP America, ConocoPhillips, General Siemens, Enbridge, and so forth.
GE is also a member of United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) – an organization which supports a target of 450-550 parts per million of CO2 – which is suicidal. USCA consists of corporately funded NGOs such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, The Nature Conservancy, World Resources Institute, Pew Center on Global Climate Change and these corporatized NGOs partner with the likes of Shell, The Dow Chemical Company and many more multinational corporations who continue to exploit both people and planet in the name of insatiable corporate profits. Will Greenpeace International be the next to get in bed with USCAP?
GE is a member through GE Oil & Gas Conmec and General Electric Inspection Services (both link directly to GE Energy) GE Energy is one of the world’s leading suppliers of power generation and delivery from coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear energy. GE is now moving into renewable resources such as water, wind, and solar by acquiring rights to those energy resources worldwide. In B.C. their plan is to privatize some 600 watersheds, acquire the water and energy resources, and then sell it back to the public at exorbitant prices they set with the corrupted government that they support. GE takes B.C. public and ecological assets and not even pays trinkets, but rather makes citizens pay with a liability to buy their power at a rate they’ve wrangled from Gordon Campbell and his accenture (former Arthur Anderson of the Enron cookie jar crowd) advisors. General Electric helped fund these climate change denial campaigns, while simultaneously using the urgency of global warming to make a grab for hundreds of rivers, tributaries, and watersheds in British Columbia, Canada. They’ve attached Tzeporah Berman to the deal to give it a green patina. One could argue that, Tzeporah, in essence, represents General Electric. She is now their allegedly friendly face of privatization. She stands in opposition to the people of British Columbia, the grass roots environmental organizations, the long-standing Canadian ecology groups – Greenpeace, Western Canada Wilderness Committee, BC Citizens for Public Power, Indigenous Environmental Network and others. General Electric: one of the most destructive corporations on the planet. Involved in global weapons manufacture and trade, with international criminal convictions for weapons trading fraud and money laundering, deeply institutionalized in the U.S. Defense Contract community, controlling massive media ownership – including Reader’s Digest.
Copenhagen – For some, a tiny tax outweighs massive environmental destruction
On December 29than article by Roger Annis appeared on Climate & Capitalism; Here is an excerpt;
At first glance, it seemed that the “Yes Men” had scored another comedic coup for Mother Earth. CBC Radio news reported on December 16 that on the previous day, British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell was feted and presented an environmental award by many of Canada’s well-heeled “environmental groups” during the United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen. Hah! Great gag, guys! And very timely. An embarrassingly large number of people and agencies in Canada and abroad have been hoodwinked by the BC government’s claims to environmental stewardship and its greenwashing propaganda. But wait, the story proves to be true and not a gag at all! Campbell actually did receive an ‘Economy Wide Carbon Pricing’ award from Tzeporah Berman of PowerUp Canada, one of ten of Canada’s best funded “environmental groups” that endorsed the award, presented at a gala recognizing “acts of climate leadership” by municipal and provincial governments across Canada. Other award endorsers are the David Suzuki Foundation, the Ecology Action Centre, Environmental Defence, Équiterre, ForestEthics, the Green Energy Act Alliance, the Pembina Institute, TckTckTck, and WWF Canada.
Voices of dissent
The Sierra Club did not participate in the Copenhagen award gala. Executive Director George Heyman, a former long-time president of the BC Government Employees Union, said the BC Liberals have taken a lot of actions that are “deeply contradictory” to its greenwashing propaganda. Heyman pointed out that fuel is exempt from the soon-to-be-imposed Harmonized Sales Tax, but the labour for energy efficient home retrofits is not. “They’re also providing massive subsidies to the oil and gas industry. . . and supporting a massive pipeline to move dirty tar sands oil across B.C.,” he said. Voices of concern are on the rise from the Indigenous peoples living in the coal and gas rich regions. Writing in the Vancouver Sun on December 22, Kathie Dickie, Chief of the 800-member Fort Nelson First Nation, expressed grave concern over two giant gas processing facilities being built near Fort Nelson, in northeast B.C. Chief Dickie wrote there has been no meaningful consultation with her people concerning the environmental impacts of En Cana Corporation’s Cabin Gas Plant nor a Spectra Gas plant to be located 15 kilometers away. Cabin Gas, once constructed, will be the largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the province. One BC government official told the Fort Nelson First Nation that its 100-year old treaty with Canada does not guarantee clean air. “Imagine being told by a government official in 2009 that you have no say on the quality of air you or your children breathe! What parent would stand for it?” Dickie asked. The pale green groups that honored Gordon Campbell should be ashamed. His government should be condemned, not praised.
This must be stopped
There must be an international response. Please circulate this to all of your contacts concerned for the environment and climate justice. See the email addresses for Greenpeace staff below. We now stand on the cusp of the bleakest periods where we are confronted with the zero point of systemic collapse. Now is the time to be bold. No more compromise. We can no longer turn a blind eye to the corporatized NGOs who have hijacked the environmental movement. Such compromised NGO behaviour has been nothing less than an absolute detriment to the real environmental movement. The same compromised NGOs have and continue to obstruct real climate justice by keeping the public in the dark on the necessary targets we must demand to avert the climate crisis we now face. Below is one of the most truthful videos on climate change that exists today.
The Vancouver Media Coop in Canada are promoting an excellent idea of having Greenpeace members and donors contact Greenpeace expressing their disapproval. This must happen on the largest possible scale.
The Pale Green Patina; How General Electric promotes their trained “Environmentalist”
General Electric is hyping Tzeporah Berman, BC’s pale green media princess, as “The New Face of Environmentalism” while she helps them sell their private power deals in Canada. Their goal: to privatize Canadian rivers for corporate profit. Stumping for GE: Sunday, February 15, 2010: The day after announcing her new “greenpeace” role, Tzeporah marched into the private General Electric banquet with the GE executives and security guards, past the Wilderness Committee and other protesters. Inside, she delivered a stump speech supporting the corporate privatization of B.C. wilderness rivers. She is also in favour of the Canadian Tar Sands … with similar phoney-green promises.
Here is the result of Tzeporah’s brand of industrial corporate faux environmentalism;
The once pristine Toba Inlet watershed
This individual who Greenpeace International has hired has successfully betrayed her homeland and alienated the real environmental movement. She crossed an environmental picket to promote the global privatization plans of General Electric.
Pale Green Goes Hollywood
Tzeporah & Paris: savouring the taste of fame
Ego knows no bounds. A taste for power
while cutting deals with corporations and selling of the natural world.
Ms. Berman presenting a “Green” Award to the man who privatized British Columbia, sold it to General Electric and other international corporations, who built highways across farmland and called it “green;” who reversed dioxin effluent safeguards that we fought for and instituted in B.C. to protect our water; who sold off the public and natural heritage of British Columbia and opened the doors to General Electric to occupy hundreds of watersheds, devastate riparian ecosystems, and destroy forests for transmission lines to carry expensive power to mines in the north and to sprawling cities in the U.S.
It’s not easy being the pale green patina over the corporate industrialization of Canada.
Comments from BC environmentalists
Barbara was a teenager at the first Greenpeace meetings in 1970. Her parents, Dorothy and Irving, are founders of Greenpeace.
“Tzeporah’s support of our anti-environmental, union-busting, social-program-slashing government during an election campaign last year appalled me. She certainly knew her remarks would be used to help the powers that be get re-elected (as did occur). At the best, her actions showed a disturbing lack of judgement. Her stance on the Run of River projects deeply concerns me, and as for applauding our premier because he was sly enough to know that instituting a carbon tax would pull votes from the Greens and other left leaning parties…well, I’m very concerned that GPI would consider working with someone with her views. Given the response of environmentalists in BC to her actions last year, there is no doubt that this hire would cause serious rifts between Greenpeace and the environmental community.”
Clayoquot Sound original activists:
The founders of Friends of Clayoquot Sound (FOCS) consider Tzeporah an opportunist who used them and Clayoquot to climb the publicity ladder into cozy deals with the logging companies. Tzeporah used other people’s jail time for her own advancement. She stepped on a lot of people to get inside the corporate boardrooms that she is now so comfortable in. Here are comments from early Clayoquot activists in Friends of Clayoquot Sound (FOCS):
Andrew Struthers in his history, The Green Shadow:
“Summer faded. The face of Mother Winter appeared in the sky over the Black Hole. Things got tense. Tzapata got into a giant queen bee struggle with Artemis, a woman who had been with the Friends since the Sulpher Pass days. Artemis got fired. When The Boss can tell you to clean out your desk, it’s just not anarchy anymore.”
Berman continued to queen bee her way through the FOCS, Greenpeace and then into her own organization ForestEthics and now, PowerUp Canada. Berman did not “lead” the blocades at Clayoquot Sound as she claims. They were organized, led and financed (one American heiress pretty well underwrote the whole thing) by the Friends of Clayoquot Sound of whom Berman became a member. Most of the original Friends, all residents of the area, had already been convicted of protesting the clearcut logging the summer before and, as part of their conditions, could not attend the daily blockades at Kennedy Lake, which is why they invited the world come there and protest for them. Ms. Berman, a former fashion student from Toronto with no direct experience or knowledge of the forest industry or the BC culture it supported, was one of over ten thousand who showed up. Because of the void at the site combined with her natural leadership qualities, the charismatic and photogenicyoung Berman rose to prominence as model/spokesperson for the daily ritual of blockading, readings of injunction and arrests.”
Betty Krawczyk: The real Clayoquot forest activist – Author of Clayoquot: The Sound Of My Heart (January 1997) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betty_Krawczyk
Krawczyk is the woman who stood up to police, logging companies, and the courts, arrested many times at Clayoquot, Eagle Ridge Bluff, and other forest destruction sites. She did her first jail stint in 1993 at the age of 65, blockading logging trucks, and she’s still at it, today, at age 82. Here are some of her thoughts on Tzeporah’s betrayal of the B.C. environmental movement:
“Tzeporah Berman has evidently gone over to Gordon Campbell’s camp. Perhaps she is seeking a Liberal political appointment. Too bad. I can remember when she was an agent for change. But change will happen without her. It’s happening right now. She can allow herself to be used by the Campbell government as she likes, but the likes of the Campbell government have already been condemned to the dustbins of history. The private business model she advocates is no longer workable. It is killing the earth. And the economy. Good-bye, Tzeporah.”
Anita Burke: Former Sustainability Director for Shell Oil | Founder of the Catalyst Institute |http://www.catalystinstitute.com/
After leaving her Shell International sustainable development and energy portfolio Anita founded Catalyst Institute to do the work she was not allowed to do for the oil company, actually create a genuine sustainable future. She advises governments and businesses on operationalizing real sustainable development and socioeconomic change. Her comments, regarding the “green rift” created in Canada by Tzeporah and General Electric:
“The division was no accidental by-product of their actions. It was the purpose, at least for General Electric. Shell Oil purposefully planned and executed these types of rifts within the environmental movement when I was at Shell. Get em so busy arguing amoungst themselves that it will use up their resources and redirect them from the issues. Tzeporah is just a pawn in their game, and her ego is what they feed on, ego and fear. Sad day for BC. Sorrowful future for Tzeporah’s manipulated and misguided soul.”
Rex Weyler: 40 years in the Canadian environmental movement, Author of “Greenpeace: The Inside Story,” a co-founder of Greenpeace International:
Tzeporah Berman may be well intentioned, but she has embraced Disaster Capitalism, as described by Naomi Klein. She claims that climate change is so urgent, we must turn our natural assets over to General Electric, Plutonic Power, and other global corporations. She talks of “solving global warming,” and “new energy” but she possesses very little knowledge of ecology, energy, or biophysical economics. Perhaps she’s been duped into thinking that since climate warming is urgent, we should turn over our watersheds to General Electric to “solve global warming.” This is a new “green” phase of Disaster Capitalism. At best, this is a sad case of Garrett Harding’s “shallow thinking compassionate person.” At worst, this is an all-out betrayal of environmentalism, of the groups and activists who built the environmental movement in Canada and in the world, and a betrayal of the Earth itself. In any case, Tzeporah now speaks for General Electric, not for the Earth, not for wilderness, and not for our children’s future. And General Electric – one of the largest corporations in the world, involved in illegal weapons trading (for which they’ve paid fines), money laundering, and nuclear power – has one single agenda: acquire assets, increase company value, make profits, take the cash. And for this goal, they have one simple strategy regarding nature: Privatize everything. Turn the world into the private property of corporations, and sell it back to the public. On Sunday, February 14, 2010, at an exclusive General Electric banquet in Vancouver, Tzeporah supported GE’s privatization of Canadian rivers. She now represents corporate power, not ecology. Those of us in the ecology and environmental movement have to move on and do the real work.”
Donna Passmore: Campaigner with the Fraser Valley Conservation Coalition, battling the proposed Gateway project that Tzeporah’s “green” political friends in the B.C. Liberal government are building.
“I am disgusted by her stand on run-of-river private power projects.”
Notes from David Shipway:
35 year resident of Cortes Island near Toba Inlet | firstname.lastname@example.org | February 3, 2010
Run of river site plan details; Bute Inlet example; This is what the Tzeporah / General Electric “climate policy” is doing to Canadian Watersheds. GE is the big money behind this … with JPMorgan, & the usual crowd ..
“Plutonic Power” is a local GE partner ..
The hydrocarbon cost of Tzeporah Berman’s scheme with General Electric to occupy 300 rivers and watersheds in British Columbia, including 17 rivers in the Toba watershed. First you do the feasibility studies: fly all kinds of engineers, hydrologists, biologists and potential investors around in helicopters a few dozen times, have them work up a detailed plan in well-lit gas-heated offices somewhere, and deliver your plan to govt/public so they can spend lots of time and energy deliberating and dismantling it. Once it’s all a GO, Phase 1 is to build new access or fix any existing roads/bridges, clear various sites and bring in a huge temporary camp facility on several barges. This is the one Pluto set up in Toba, which houses 300 in luxury, was purpose built and shipped from Kamloops… Add a 100KW diesel generator running 24/7 for a year too. Phase 2 is to log and clear turbine and penstock sites with conventional diesel equip. This next pic is the steep trench for Montrose penstock beside the McGyver-Kennedy waterfall, soon barely a trickle. It has a total 2000 m. vertical head. This is approx. 6′ diam steel pipe is laid in a trench that often has to be dynamited through rock, then buried, presumably revegetated later:
A later photo shows they had a slide/blowout near the base, so assume some work has to be repeated. I don’t know how to quantify energy/carbon expense, but it looks like some of this route is heli-access only, so that means some earth-moving machinery and penstock pipe is flown in by chopper, after it has all been barged up the inlet, along with oodles of diesel and such. Not sure where the 2m. diam D penstock pipe comes from (China?), but it’s about 12mm wall thickness, and is epoxy or poly-coated, and the 10m. pieces are double-welded together on-site with portable diesel-powered welders. About 3Km of pipe for each powerhouse. Bute will have 17 of these. Phase 3 is “adjustable dam” and intake- lots of diesel-powed terraforming and concrete:
Phase 4 is turbine/powerhouse construction – first lots of site work with heavy equip.
then Build reinforced concrete powerhouse with steel roof, untold amounts of specialty materials and copper, Pluto’s turbines are imported from Austria, electrical stuff from US.
This is East Toba Powerhouse – 2 turbines with total of 123MW capacity, annual output estimated at 465 GWh. The output of those turbines require stepping up in voltage- so add power substations/transformers. Are they still using PCB’s ?
Phase 5 is transmission corridor – or as Tzeppie says, using General Electric language, “the transmission backbone” – built with road-based equipment and helicopter, for each plant, some 150 Kms x 50m wide transmission corridor logged (a permanent clearcut):
Most of the timber is just left to rot because helicopter time is too expensive to retrieve it. Finally, General Electric and their partners will plant 30m-tall steel towers by helicopter every few hundred metres, with big ceramic insulators and 3 runs of transmission wire. The Bute transmission line will run all the way down to Saltery Bay /Jervis Inlet, where it plugs into the Cheekeye-Dunsmuir line.
Vancouver Media Co-op | http://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/blog/macdonald/2824
Tzep calls for gentle tar sands, promotes GE
Tzeporah Berman is readying the ground to sell-out both Greenpeace and the anti-tar sands struggle… Berman is a master of publicity and is already setting the groundwork for future campaigns and betrayals, backroom deals and greenwashing the un-greenable. Since there is no such technology as “clean tar sands” anymore than clean coal, one must assume that this is right in line with why she is promoting the destruction of rivers in BC: to use them as “clean energy.” All members and donors to Greenpeace should IMMEDIATELY alert the organization that if she takes office they will pull all contributions to the organization that once had actual opposition to these kinds of massive destructive developments. Txeporah Berman will make deals with Suncor, in private backrooms. SHUT DOWN THE TAR SANDS, DO NOT MAKE THEM “FRIENDLY”.
Delores Broton: 30 years in the B.C. environmental movement, editor of the Watershed Sentinel for 15 years. One the most highly respected environmental voices in British Columbia. On the idea of Greenpeace hiring the person who betrayed the Canadian environmental movement:
“What were they thinking? Did they talk to anyone? Does Greenpeace do any due diligence?”
Bob Hunter (October 13, 1941–May 2, 2005) was a co-founder of Greenpeace in 1972. Hunter, the first President of Greenpeace, was a long-time campaigner for environmental causes. In 1971, the word “Greenpeace” hadn’t yet been coined. Bob was a hippy journalist in Vancouver, a town which he described as having “the biggest concentration of tree-huggers, radicalized students, garbage-dump stoppers, shit-disturbing unionists, freeway fighters, pot smokers and growers, aging Trotskyites, condo killers, farmland savers, fish preservationists, animal rights activists, back-to-the-landers, vegetarians, nudists, Buddhists, and anti-spraying, anti-pollution marchers and picketers in the country, per capita, in the world.”
This is the Greenpeace the world fell in love with. This is the Greenpeace that changed the world with a real movement. Give us back our old Greenpeace!
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