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Fallen Icon: Sir David Attenborough and the Walrus Deception

By Paul Homewood | Not A Lot Of People Know That | January 19, 2022

In 2019 Netflix in conjunction with WWF broadcast Frozen Worlds, an episode in the Our Planet series and narrated by David Attenborough. The scenes it showed shocked and horrified viewers around the world.

After a brief introduction about the recent loss of Arctic summer sea ice and the ‘inevitable’ devastation this will cause for Arctic animals, it shifts to a series of amazing shots of tens of thousands of walrus, crowded cheek-by-jowl on a beach in Siberia.

The camera pans out to a rocky cliff, which several walrus are attempting to climb. Then suddenly, one after another, the walrus are shown falling off the cliff to their deaths on the rocky shore below.The scenes are shown in slow motion and repeated in order to maximise the shock effect.

As the scenes unfold, Attenborough coolly informs viewers that the walrus would not normally be there, but out on the sea ice instead. But because of man-made global warming, the poor walrus have been forced onto land in crowded conditions, where they will inevitably suffer and die.

But was it all as simple as Attenborough portrayed?

A number of suspicions were immediately evident. Far from these beach haulouts being unusual, walrus in fact regularly use these beaches every year, in order to rest and feed while waiting for the sea ice to move south in autumn.

Walrus also invariably crowd together in these situations, both for warmth and protection from polar bears. Indeed, far from walrus being threatened by climate change, their populations have been growing in recent years, explaining why so many were hauled out that day.

And what made those walrus try to climb the cliff?

Dr Susan Crockford is a professional zoologist, who has specialised in Arctic mammals for many years, particularly polar bears and walrus. She immediately smelled a rat.

Her newly released book, Fallen Icon, tells the story of how she uncovered exactly what went on that day on the Siberian beach. Her detective work reveals how it was polar bears stalking them that forced the walrus up that cliff; how this is a common hunting tactic and how the bears then fed off the carcasses down below.

She uncovers evidence that WWF already knew about this hunting tactic at that particular location, and that was precisely why this beach was chosen for the film.

She goes on to describe how retreating sea ice actually increases the food supply for walrus and how their populations are both healthy and increasing.

And how Attenborough used this horrifying imagery to jump-start a three year campaign against human-caused global warming that included ten documentaries laden with groundless climate emergency messaging, much of it aimed at the wealthiest and most powerful people in the world. Attenborough’s relentless climate activism included a utopian vision of global changes for society eerily similar to the one proposed by the World Economic Forum.

It is hard to disagree with Crockford’s conclusions:

The public’s trust in science and medicine now appears to be at an all-time low. People who had been blind to the abuse of science rampant in the climate change narrative have had their eyes opened by the pandemic response. These things cannot be unseen.

In a worrying trend, traditional scientists struggle to be heard or have their concerns and criticisms published, both for climate change and Covid-19 related issues. Research that features testable hypotheses and reproducible studies seem to be rare birds while predictive modelling projects gobble up grant funds as well as the media attention.

Is science as we used to know it already dead? If so, how much of a role has Attenborough played in this progression? Over the last three years, he has used weaponized science presented to a trusting public in a most egregious manner.

My ultimate goal in writing this book is not to denigrate Sir David but to correct the misinformation he has deliberately or unwittingly promoted in his documentaries and public statements.

I am a traditional scientist standing up for science as it is meant to be – without activism and without politicization – because its loss to society will be incalculable.

Over the years but especially since 2018, Attenborough has shown that he lets others do his serious thinking for him and has often placed his trust where it was ill-advised, as he has done with the WWF. By that I mean he has relied on others to present information to him in an easily digestible manner rather than delving into the literature himself.

And having spent a lifetime taking this easy way out, when he decided he wanted his legacy to be something more substantial than ‘a good storyteller’, he seemed to take on the role of spokesman for others with ideological political agendas.

It appears to me that when he agreed to present the gruesome falling walrus film footage in Our Planet as evidence of climate change, Attenborough compromised his principles to achieve a specific end result. Such noble cause corruption is common in the conservation world but it was new for Attenborough.

I am convinced that what Attenborough has done with the falling walrus episode will be remembered long after he’s dead but not for the reasons he intended. It will go down as another ‘own goal’ for the climate change movement and judged as the moment Attenborough fell from grace as a trusted British icon.

Susan Crockford’s book is now available on Amazon here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0991796691


Susan Crockford adds:

As I point out in my new book, Fallen Icon, David Attenborough devised a three year campaign on the falsehood that hundreds of Russian walrus died falling off a cliff due to climate change because he also desired what the World Economic Forum (WEF), meeting online this week, say they want: immediate and drastic changes, supposedly to mitigate an invisible ‘climate emergency’ and other societal ills.

Despite the fact that walrus and polar bears are thriving in the Arctic, this fabricated ’emergency’ seems to be the reason that its new chairman plans to make the G7 into a ‘climate club’.

January 20, 2022 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , | 7 Comments

Davos Billionaires Want to Save the Planet… Why Don’t Developing Countries Trust Them?

By Matthew Ehret | Strategic Culture Foundation | November 17, 2021

A miracle appears to be happening, as the multibillionaires of the World Economic Forum (WEF) appear to have grown consciences.

As if by magic, it appears that these gold collar elites no longer yearn for profit and power as they once had. As COP26 closes up its 12 day annual ceremonies, leading WEF-connected figures like Prince Charles, Jeff Bezos, Mario Draghi, Mark Carney and Klaus Schwab have announced a new system of economics that is based on virtue over profit!

According to the COP26 website, “95 high profile companies from a range of sectors commit to being ‘Nature Positive,’ agreeing to work towards halting and reversing the decline of nature by 2030.”

Prince Charles has boasted that he has coordinated 300 companies representing over $60 trillion to get on board with a global green transition, and after meeting with the Prince on November 2, Jeff Bezos announced his new $2 billion Earth Fund to protect nature’s ecosystems with a focus on Africa. Even Prime Minister Mario Draghi has joined Mark Carney on this new green path, as both men have moved beyond their old Goldman Sachs money worshipping days and embraced a better destiny. At the Nov 1 G20 Summit, Draghi embraced Prince Charles’ Green Markets Initiative and threw Italy’s full support behind the de-carbonization initiative.

The Prince himself (who also happens to be the nominal creator of the Great Reset Agenda launched in 2020), spoke as an enlightened statesman saying to the world’s leaders “as the enormity of the climate challenge dominates peoples’ conversations, from news rooms to living rooms, and as the future of humanity and Nature herself are at stake, it is surely time to set aside our differences and grasp this unique opportunity to launch a substantial green recovery by putting the global economy on a confident, sustainable trajectory and, thus, save our planet.”

Among the new array of financial mechanisms which we see being brought online in this war against humanity involve Bezos’ new Earth Fund, and Sir Robert Watson’s Living Planet Index (unveiled in 2018 at the World Economic Forum) and the new Rockefeller Foundation-sponsored Intrinsic Exchange Group (IEG) which seeks to turn global ecosystems worth an estimated $4 quadrillion into financial equity controllable by new private corporations (dubbed “natural asset companies”).

On its website, the IEG stated: “In partnership with the New York Stock Exchange, IEG is providing a word-class platform to list these companies for trading, enabling the conversion of natural assets into financial capital. The NAC’s equity captures the intrinsic and productive value of nature and provides a store of value based on the vital assets that underpin our entire economy and make life on earth possible… In 2021, we began seeking regulatory approval to bring the first natural asset transactions to the capital markets. Our vision is to bring to market hundreds of Natural Asset Companies representing several trillion dollars’ worth of natural assets.”

These new companies will become the stewards of new protected zones across the globe which the UN demands encapsulate 30% of the earth’s surface by 2030 and much more by 2050.

Is this time to rejoice, or is something darker at play?

To answer this question it is worth asking: Does this new virtue-driven order have anything to do with lifting people out of poverty or ending economic injustice?

Sadly, it is designed to do very much the opposite.

As we are coming to see, and as statesmen around the world are beginning to point out, this new order has more in common with oligarchical obsessions with controlling human cattle, and less to do with actually preserving the environment. The thousands of tons of CO2 emitted by private jets at Davos and COP26 represents on small aspect of this disingenuity.

Obrador Calls out the Game

On October 30, Mexico’s President Lopez Obrador called out this new virulent form of colonialism while presiding over a ceremony in celebration of the ongoing construction of the $6.7 billion high-speed Maya Train now being built in the southern regions of Mexico. The project which would dramatically uplift living standards in Mexico by driving the growth of industrial and infrastructure production has fallen far behind schedule due in large part to vast legal battles led by indigenous groups who have been used as proxies by foreign interests to defend Mexico’s ecosystems. In many of the legal cases opposing the project, the argument has been made that since several species of insect, fauna and even some leopards will be affected by the new railways, then the project must be ground to a halt and buried.

In his remarks to a journalist inquiring into the rail project, Obrador said:

“One of the things which they [the neoliberals] promoted in the world, in order to loot at ease, was the creation or promotion of the so-called new rights. So, feminism, ecologism, the defense of human rights, the protection of animals was much promoted, including by them. All these causes are very noble, but the intent was to create or boost all these new causes so that we don’t remedy—so that we don’t turn around and see that they were looting the world, so the subject of economic and social inequality would be kept out of the center of debate… The international agencies which supported the neoliberal model, which is a model of pillage where corporations grab national property, the property of the people—these same corporations financed, and continue to finance, environmentalist groups, defenders of ‘liberty.’ ”

Many people have been confused over these remarks since they cannot conceptualize how neoliberal monetarists that have parasitically driven the new age of pillage under globalization would also support such ‘new rights’ groups outlined by Obrador.

For nations of the global south who feel resentment that their rights to support their people by having their lands and resources kept off limits, they are told not to worry, since streams of money will be showered upon them from on high. Hundreds of billions of dollars worth of monopoly money will be sprayed onto the developing sector as rewards for remaining undeveloped. If that isn’t sufficient, then carbon exchange markets will be set up so that poor nations can sell their un-used carbon quotas to private polluting companies (perhaps the same companies controlling the African cobalt mines which seek a monopoly in controlling the renewable energy sector). That is another way they can make money which at least can keep them warm at night as kindling since the world’s poor will not have to worry about having nature-killing hydro electric dams mucking up their pristine environments.

Even in the west where Biden’s 30×30 executive order has been signed into action, farmers will be offered money to stop grazing on soon-to-be protected lands, while a supposedly grassroots-based WWF-connected American Prairie Reserve (with a $160 million endowment) can be seen pushing a program designed to take 5000 square miles of grazing land in Montana out of use and converted into a pure ecosystem.

As President Obrador has alluded to, today’s billionaire-funded conservation movement simply seeks to take earth’s ecosystems out of bounds of any human economic activity under a new global feudal system of controls.

Even the indigenous populations which such billionaires profess to admire as role models for global “good behavior” are being monetized by these new green indices, with monetary values being placed not only on keeping land and water untouched, but also the very cultural ecosystems of indigenous groups around the world receiving dollar values which wealthy green financiers will somehow be able to invest into. To the degree that such immutably fixed patterns of indigenous lifestyles remain unchanged by the toxic pollution of modern technology or infrastructure, the more these eco-assets will be worth for whomever professes to invest in them. This may not be scientific but it is sick.

The term ‘feudal’ is in no way used for hyperbolic purposes, as we can see a stark parallel to the 12th century Europe, except that today’s aspiring feudal lords manage such companies as Blackrock, Vanguard, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and State Street and seek to punish all serfs from infringing on properties which only the nobility may control. Blackrock alone manages over $9 trillion in assets and $21.6 trillion in technology platforms and along with Vanguard is fast becoming one of the largest real estate owners in the USA with Bill Gates having recently become the largest owner of American farmland.

The Deeper Imperial Roots of Conservationism

With this vast imperial landgrab in mind, one should not be surprised to discover that the modern conservation movement actually finds its origins not in Greenpeace activists fighting poachers as mythmakers have cooked up, but rather in the bowels of the British Empire. It was this empire that innovated “nature conservation” regions in India during the late 19th century specifically to keep the poor of India under control after having destroyed India’s once powerful textile sector. The practice was applied across India during the greatest density of famines struck southern India in 1876 killing tens of millions. It was amidst this darkness that British Imperial overlords took the opportunity to create “The Imperial Forestry Department’ in 1876 putting two fifths of India’s lands under “protection” and off limits to humans. This ensured no starving subject could use the protected zones which they had relied upon for survival for decades for food, or water.

The Nazi embrace of both Anglo-American funded science of eugenics on the one side and the Reich’s embrace of nature conservationism were also not unconnected. Herman Goring, who served as Minister for German Forests believed in a poisonous worldview that held that: 1) nature is pure and thus good due to its pure unchanging natural order while 2) humanity is impure and thus un-natural due to our aspirations for progress. This dangerous equation resulted in seemingly innocent programs launched by the Fuhrer and Goring to cleanse the German ecosystems of all foreign and thus un-natural fauna and flora in order to return the forests of Germany to their supposedly pure pre-industrial states. The worship of nature was an integral part of the new master race and the weeding out of impurities extended itself to human genetics following racial theories advanced by British eugenicists and anthropologists.

Julian Huxley’s New Eugenics Revolution

Upon Hitler’s defeat, the repackaging of eugenics took the form of British Eugenics Society Vice President Julian Huxley’s outline in the founding Manifesto for UNESCO where he said:

“At the moment, it is probable that the indirect effect of civilization is dysgenic instead of eugenic, and in any case it seems likely that the dead weight of genetic stupidity, physical weakness, mental instability and disease proneness, which already exist in the human species will prove too great a burden for real progress to be achieved. Thus even though it is quite true that any radical eugenic policy will be for many years politically and psychologically impossible, it will be important for UNESCO to see that the eugenic problem is examined with the greatest care and that the public mind is informed of the issues at stake so that much that is now unthinkable may at least become thinkable.”

Putting this new eugenics into practical action took on many heads of a hydra in the post WWII years. The particular hydra head most relevant to the thrust of this article took the form of another project Julian created in 1948 called the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) followed soon thereafter by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in 1961 which he co-founded alongside two misanthropic princes named Philip Mountbatten and Bernhardt of the Netherlands.

Between 1959 and 1962 Julian had risen to become president of the British Eugenics Society and had put the finishing gloss on a new field of scientific misanthropic theology which he dubbed ‘Transhumanism’ alongside a Jesuit collaborator named Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

If you haven’t guessed, Transhumanism was merely another form of re-packaged eugenics serving the spiritual needs of a new priesthood of elitist social engineers that would be expected to manage the gears of a new technocratic feudal machine. This neo-paganism is not intrinsically different from the cultish beliefs of the Nazi Thule society of the past which gave spiritual direction to the members of Hitler’s government.

The neo-Malthusian revival that these eugenicists would spearhead through the end of the 1960s took the form of a new array of international organizations which incorporated systems analysis, and cybernetics, which aimed to control nation states and ecosystems alike. This took the form of the World Economic Forum’s early embrace of the Club of Rome’s computer models outlined by Aurelio Peccei (and incorporated into Schwab’s second official Davos meeting in 1973). These new models aimed to impose fixed immutable limits to humanity’s growth potential beyond which no technology or scientific discovery could ever penetrate. The fact that these same multibillionaires managing the overhaul of the world economy as it transitioned into a neo-liberal looting operation were simultaneously funding the growth of this new array of “new rights” groups led by a growing armada of non-governmental organizations, ecology protection and human rights groups is not a coincidence.

Today’s involvement of both Julian Huxley’s WWF and IUCN (no renamed Conservation International) as partners with the Intrinsic Exchange Group should not make any honest lover of nature in any way comfortable.

Much more obviously remains to be said both about the history of conservationism, and how it is being used once again to conduct a new age of population control, or how it has been used to disrupt large scale infrastructure projects across the world for over 120 years, or how nature reserves across the global south have supported narco terrorist groups.

However, for the time being, it is sufficient to note that the world’s developing sector is generally not going to accept being sacrificed on the altar of a new Gaia cult managed by a priesthood of Davos billionaires. Based on the momentum we see being driven by the Greater Eurasian Partnership, the Belt and Road Initiative and ambitions from Latin American and African leaders to finally break free of centuries of imperial manipulation, it is becoming increasingly obvious that COP26’s utopic computer models are increasingly breaking down when confronted with the reality of humanity’s creative power to leap outside of the fixed rules of imperial games when a true crisis moves us into action.

November 22, 2021 Posted by | Economics, Environmentalism, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

No joke: Russian scientists marked problem Kara Sea polar bear with T-34

By Susan Crockford | Polar Bear Science | December 7, 2019

The media are so gullible. So eager are they for a sympathetic polar bear victim that news outlets everywhere carried a story earlier this week about a Russian polar bear that had ‘T-34’ spray-painted on its side. They took the word of Russian polar bear/walrus consultant to WWF and Netflix, Anatoly Kochnev, that this was some kind of cruel joke that meant an untimely death for the bear. Turns out it was nothing of the kind.

T-34 polar bear

Cruel animal abusers daubed T-34 – the name of an iconic Soviet tank – on a wild polar bear. Daily Mail (2 December 2019).

Polar bear spray-painted with ‘T-34’ baffles Russia wildlife experts BBC (2 December 2019).

Russians spotted a polar bear painted in cryptic graffiti. Scientists are searching for answers National Post (4 December 2019)

A polar bear was spray-painted with graffiti, scientists fear it won’t survive CNN (4 December 2019).

Apparently, the original video of the marked bear was posted on a social media site for Chukotak indigenous people and subsequently posted on Facebook by Sergey Kavry of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), who also contacted local media.

Only five days ago, Kochnov was quoted as saying:

‘Scientists could not do this, it could have been somebody who ‘joked’ like this.

Polar beara checking out a Russian dump Kara Sea late November 2019_Irina Eliseeva photo

Except scientists did do it.

In a report in the Siberian Times published late today, it appears the bear was causing problems on Novaya Zemlya (where dump bears were a big problem last winter) and was tagged ahead of being driven off:

“The animal was marked with ‘safe paint’ which wears off over two weeks, and moved away to discourage him from coming back.

The bear was sedated and examined, said senior researcher Ilya Mordvintsev.

The check showed that the male predator was well-fed which meant that he would likely not attack.

The mark was made to allow both the locals and experts recognise the beast in case he returned, and to distinguish it from any other polar bear scavenging at the site.

Andrey Umnikov denied T-34 referred to the tank.

The video [that went viral] was filmed approximately a week ago, he specified.”

Poor sad polar bear news flash is over, morphing into an egg-on-the-face moment for WWF and Kochnev.

Habituated dump bears are a wide-spread problem in the Kara Sea, as the photo of a fat bear checking out a container below shows.

‘Polar bears checking on rubbish containers are not rarity. It happened at Beliy island and Vilkitskiy island,’ Andrey Umnikov explained.

Polar bears

Location of Vilkitskiy Island in the Kara Sea (Wikipedia):

Vilkitskiy island Kara_sea wikipedia

December 10, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Science and Pseudo-Science | | Leave a comment

Netflix, Attenborough and cliff-falling walruses: the making of a false climate icon

GWPF | May 17, 2019

Dr. Susan Crockford, a Canadian wildlife expert, exposes the manipulation of fact behind the controversial walrus story promoted in the Netflix documentary film series, ‘Our Planet’, that was released early last month.

One episode in the series contained a highly disturbing piece of footage of walruses bouncing off rocks as they fell from a high cliff to their deaths. Narrator Sir David Attenborough blamed the tragedy on climate change, insisting if it weren’t for lack of sea ice the animals would never have been on land in the first place. World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) used the sequence to suggest the walrus was “the new symbol of climate change”.

However, much of what Sir David told viewers was a fabrication. Careful investigation has revealed that the producers, with help from WWF, created a story that had elements of truth but which blatantly misrepresented others and contained some outright falsehoods.

Dr. Crockford explains why it is especially incorrect to claim that large numbers of walruses resting on land constitutes a sure sign of climate change.

“Enormous herds of Pacific walrus mothers and calves spend time on beaches in late summer and fall only when the overall population size is very large. Recent estimates suggest there are many more walruses now than there were in the 1970s, which is the last time similarly massive haulouts were documented. Huge herds of walruses resting on beaches are a sign of walrus population health, not evidence of global warming. That’s largely why the US Fish and Wildlife Service concluded in 2017 – the year the Netflix scene was filmed – that walrus do not require Endangered Species Act protection.”

May 18, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | Leave a comment

UN Targets the Sand People

Control sand to limit concrete to control housing to limit human reproduction and achieve eugenics

By Donna Laframboise | Big Picture News | May 8, 2019

On Monday in Paris, four UN bodies released a summary of an 1,800-page report about threats to biodiversity. It declares that “fundamental structural change is called for…for the broader public good.”

On Tuesday in Geneva, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) released another report. Its press release tells us that sand needs to be planned, regulated, and managed by the UN. Yes, really. Sand.

Apparently, those who currently trade in sand and gravel sometimes do so in an unsustainable manner. “[R]ules, practices and ethics” apparently differ worldwide. Imagine that. Moreover, “irresponsible and illegal extraction” needs to be curbed. In other words: the UN has now set its sights on this industry.

In the foreword to the 56-page Sand and Sustainability: Finding new solutions for environmental governance of global sand resources, Joyce Msuya, UNEP’s executive director, declares that humanity is “spending our sand ‘budget’ faster than we can produce it responsibly.”

While this report says it merely wants to spark a conversation, that it doesn’t intend to be “prescriptive,” Msuya’s remarks belie that. She advocates “improved governance of global sand resources,” talks about implementing global standards, and looks forward to the creation of brand new “institutions that sustainably and equitably manage extraction.” What’s another level of red tape, after all?

UN bureaucrats see only one conceivable solution to every problem: meddling from above. This woman wants to “cut consumption of sand and gravel” by “reducing over-building and over-design.” In her view, keeping her nose out of other people’s business isn’t an option. She doesn’t trust poor nations to become more environmentally responsible on their own schedule. It doesn’t occur to her that people struggling to drag themselves out of poverty don’t need UN busybodies second-guessing the trade-offs they’re compelled to make.  

How did this report come about? Last October, UNEP invited 19 ‘experts’ to gather in Geneva. Three were UN employees. Activist organizations were also well-represented: the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Awaaz Foundation, SandStories.org, and the World Economic Forum.

Also in attendance were a lobbyist, a sustainable energy expert, a researcher from the Responsible Mining Foundation, a journalist who’s written a book about sand, and a representative of Switzerland’s federal environment ministry. As far as I can tell, only two people had any connection to entities that do things with sand in the real world.

Based on the conversation that took place at this one-day event, a report got written which was then reviewed by 11 other people – including, once again, representatives of the WWF and the IUCN.

So it’s no surprise that the final version relies heavily on activist-produced ‘evidence’ – such as a WWF report titled Impacts of Sand Mining on Ecosystem Structure, Process & Biodiversity in Rivers.

You see what’s going on here. The wholly activist WWF writes a report which then gets cited repeatedly by the UN. Like money-laundering, the questionable nature of the original source becomes obscured. The public will now get told that illegal sand mining threatens fish, birds, turtles and dolphins. After all, the UN says so.

The public is unlikely to be advised that the UN’s only source for this claim is an activist document. Because activists never indulge in hyperbole. They never ever exaggerate.

Oh, wait. Didn’t Greenpeace argue in court recently that it is “well-known for advancing…opinions, not hard news”? When accused of using phony photos and phony videos, didn’t Greenpeace tell the court that ordinary people “clearly understand” its accusations aren’t factual but are merely an “interpretation”?

The bottom line is that there’s an octopus of aligned/interconnected interests out there. UN bureaucrats. Activists. Academics. These people work hand in glove, pushing certain ideas into the public square in an orchestrated manner.

It’s no accident that the UN press release and the WWF’s press release yesterday had the same headline – Rising demand for sand calls for resource governance – and shared nine paragraphs of identical content.

How the UNEP press release began:

How the WWF press release began:

May 8, 2019 Posted by | Environmentalism, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , , | 1 Comment

The Media & the WWF Torture Scandal

News organizations have turned their own journalists into WWF cheerleaders

By Donna Laframboise | Big Picture News | March 20, 2019

Click for source

Earlier this month, BuzzFeed published a three-part exposé about violent goons, funded and equipped by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), who persecute indigenous communities. In the words of the BuzzFeed journalists, the WWF

works directly with paramilitary forces that have been accused of beating, torturing, sexually assaulting, and murdering scores of people. As recently as 2017, forest rangers at a WWF-funded park in Cameroon tortured an 11-year-old boy in front of his parents…

UK politicians have called on the government to respond to these “appalling and deeply disturbing” allegations. US senator Patrick Leahy has likewise demanded an “immediate and thorough review” of the support the WWF receives from American authorities.

BuzzFeed reports that the UK Charity Commission will be asking the WWF “serious questions.” Also in the UK, explorer Ben Fogle has stepped away from his public relationship with this organization, due to these “very serious human rights allegations.”

Longtime WWF supporter, actress Susan Sarandon, says she expects an “in-depth investigation” to take place.

Likewise, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has called on the WWF to “provide the public with a full and transparent accounting of their findings.” (In 2016, DiCaprio – who sits on the WWF’s Board of Directors in the United States, symbolically ‘shared‘ his 2016 Golden Globe award “with all the First Nations peoples represented in this film and all the indigenous communities around the world.”)

Despite the celebrities, the prominence of the WWF brand, and the serious nature of these allegations, much of the media has chosen to ignore this story. Could that have anything to do with the fact that news organizations have spent the past decade turning their own journalists into WWF cheerleaders?

Here in Canada, our largest circulation newspaper, The Toronto Star, has served as an official sponsor of the WWF’s annual Earth Hour (see this 2008 discussion, and this from 2012).

Think about that cozy, inappropriate relationship – and then ask yourself why The Star has yet to tell its readers about the WWF torture scandal.

Since its Australian beginnings, Earth Hour was a deliberate media creation. Rather than reporting neutrally on current affairs, rather than applying an equally skeptical eye to all large multinational entities (WWF, come on down), news organizations instead promote certain events, certain entities, and certain environmental perspectives.

The flip side of that pathological arrangement is that these same news organizations also have the power to decide what isn’t news. Every single day, they decide what not to tell the public.

March 20, 2019 Posted by | Environmentalism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

Militarised Conservation: Paramilitary Rangers and the WWF

By Binoy Kampmark | Dissident Voice | March 6, 2019

Think charity, think vulnerability and its endless well of opportunistic exploitation. Over the years, international charity organisations have been found with employees keen to take advantage of their station. That advantage has been sexual, financial and, in the case of allegations being made about the World Wild Life Fund for Nature, in the nature of inflicting torture on those accused of poaching.

BuzzFeed, via reporters Tom Warren and Katie J.M. Baker, began the fuss with an investigative report claiming instances of torture and gross violence on the part of rangers assisted by the charity to combat poaching.  It starts with a description of a dying man’s last days, one Shikharam Chaudhary, a farmer who was brutally beaten and tortured by forest rangers patrolling Chitwan National Park in Nepal. Shikharam, it seems, had been singled out for burying a rhinoceros horn in his backyard.  The horn proved elusive, but not the unfortunate farmer, who was detained in prison.  After nine days, he was dead.

Three park officials including the chief warden were subsequently charged with murder.  WWF found itself in a spot, given its long standing role in sponsoring operations by the Chitwan forest rangers. As the BuzzFeed report goes on to note, “WWF’s staff on the ground in Nepal leaped into action – not to demand justice, but to lobby for the charges to disappear. When the Nepalese government dropped the case months later, the charity declared its victory in the fight against poaching. Then WWF Nepal continued to work closely with the rangers and fund the park as if nothing had happened.”

The report does not hold back, insisting that the alleged murder of the unfortunate Shikharam in 2006 was no aberration. “It was part of a pattern that persists to this day.  In national parks across Asia and Africa, the beloved non-profit with the cuddly panda logo funds, equips, and works directly with paramilitary forces that have been accused of beating, torturing, sexually assaulting, and murdering scores of people.”

The poach wars are a savage business, throwing up confected images of heroes and villains. They do not merely involve the actions of protecting animals, but military-styled engagements where fatalities are not uncommon. Anti-poaching has become a mission heralded by the romantically inclined as indispensable, its agents to be celebrated. Desperate local conditions are conveniently scrubbed out in any descriptions: there are only the noble rangers battling animal murderers.

The Akashinga, for instance, are an anti-poaching enterprise of 39 women operating in Zimbabwe who featured with high praise in a report from the ABC in October last year.  Who are the victims, apart from the animals they protect?  There is little doubt in the minds of the reporters: the women themselves, victims of assault, many single mothers from Nyamakate. Laud them, respect their mission.

It is clear that these women are feted warriors, armed and given appropriate training. They “undergo military-style training in unarmed combat, camouflage and concealment, search and arrest, as well as leadership and conservation ethics.” Their source of encouragement and support is Damien Mander, formerly a military sniper and founder of the International Anti-Poaching Foundation.

Mander’s own laundry list for being a “good anti-poaching ranger”, as featured in an interview to the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre in 2015, is unvarnished: “A passion for nature, strong paramilitary base, and ability and willingness to work in hostile environments for extended periods of time as part of a team.”

The line between the mission of charity and its mutation into one of abuse is tooth fine. In February 2018, The Times, assisted by information supplied by whistleblowers, sprung the lid off Oxfam GB workers in Haiti, suggesting that charity workers had received sexual favours for payment in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake. (Nothing like a crisis that breeds opportunity.) It was duly revealed that the organisation had done its level best to conceal the fact. The UK International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt’s statement to Parliament in February took most issue with the latter. “In such circumstances we must be able to trust organisations not only to do all they can to prevent harm, but to report and follow up incidents of wrongdoing when they do occur.”

In the course of its conduct, Oxfam did not, according to Mordaunt, furnish the Charity Commission with a report on the incidents. Nor did the donors receive one. The protecting authorities were also left in the dark on the subject.

Defences have been mounted by those working in the aid sector. Mike Aaronson, writing in August last year, pleaded the case that aid organisations were being unduly singled out, the scape goats of moral outrage and privileged ethics. “Aid organisations carry a lot of risk, operating in chaotic and stressful environments where in trying to do good they can end up doing harm.” In condemning them, it was easy to ignore the fact that they had “done most to address the issue”.

The WWF situation, which has moved the matter into the dimension of animal protection and conservation, has hallmarks that are similarly problematic with the humanitarian sector in general.  And the reaction of the organisation has also been fairly typical, laden with weasel-worded aspirations. “At the heart of WWF’s work are places and people who live with them,” an organisation spokesman for WWF UK asserted in response to the allegations. “Respect for human rights is at the core of our mission.” There were “stringent policies” in place to safeguard “the rights and wellbeing of indigenous people and local communities in the places we work.”

Students of the broad field of humanitarian ventures suggest four instances where militarisation takes place. Charities and relief organisations have become proxy extensions in armed conflict (consider Nicaragua and Afghanistan during the 1980s); creatures of embedment (the Red Cross in the World Wars); agents of “self-defence” – consider the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem in the twelfth century; and engaged in direct conflict (the International Brigades of the Spanish Civil War).

The WWF case suggests a direct connection between the mission of a charitable organisation and its captivation by a dangerous militancy. It has become a sponsor, and concealer, of vigilante action, obviously unabashed in cracking a few skulls in the name of shielding protected species. Along came the networks of informants, surveillance and exploiting local issues. No longer can this be regarded a matter of altruistic engagement in the name of animal conservation; it is a full-fledged sponsorship of a paramilitary operation with all the incidental nastiness such an effort entails.

March 6, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Environmentalism, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , | Leave a comment

WWF’s Polar Bear Tours

By Paul Homewood | Not A Lot Of People Know That | December 31, 2018

In David Rose’s article about polar bears in the Mail yesterday, the local Inuit believed that polar bears were no longer scared of humans.

Perhaps one reason is the proliferation in recent years of polar bear tourism.

Even WWF are getting in on the act.

When the bears regularly encounter coachloads of tourists, it is little surprise that they quickly get accustomed to humans, and realise they are little threat.

We should not be surprised by this behaviour. After all we see exactly the same phenomenon in safari parks, albeit more extreme.

The likes of WWF claim that it is lack of food which forces polar bears into human settlements. But it is more likely that their own activities are responsible.

December 31, 2018 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 1 Comment

Indigenous peoples bear the brunt of global greenwash

By Amy Dickens | Ecologist | September 23, 2015

In Paraguay’s vast Chaco region, the familiar sounds of the forest are being drowned out by the rumble of heavy machinery. “Where jaguars once trod, now there are just the tracks of bulldozers”, protests Porai Picanerai, a member of the Ayoreo tribe.

His people are being chased from their ancestral lands by Brazilian corporation Yaguarete Pora. While some Ayoreo remain hiding in the forest, living in fear and isolation, those forced out are vulnerable to disease and illness.

The Chaco is experiencing rapid deforestation thanks to companies like Yaguarete Pora, who are illegally clearing vast swathes of land for cattle ranching. Ironically, having promised a small, protected nature reserve, they continue to oust the forest’s most accomplished conservationists, its tribal people.

In spite of this, the company proudly flaunt the logo of the largest corporate responsibility initiative on the planet, the United Nations Global Compact.

This voluntary agreement advocates ten fundamental corporate responsibility principles, including the provision that “businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights.”

Though Yaguarete clearly defy this responsibility, the Compact’s lax membership requirements allow corporations to engage in bad practices while sporting the UN seal of approval.

Such is the hypocrisy of 21st century greenwashing. With pressure mounting on companies to endorse high standards of corporate responsibility, many are failing to deliver. To mask the truth, companies frequently greenwash their activities by participating in seemingly eco-friendly ventures that disguise the true extent of the environmental and human damage they are causing.

With conservation and intergovernmental organisations cosying up to big business, the greenwash is increasingly sophisticated, posing an ever-greater threat to the lives of tribal peoples. Because their livelihoods depend on their unique local environments, this greenwashing poses a grave threat to their survival.

Corporate greenwashing is destroying tribal peoples

The Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport (APECO) in Casiguran, the Philippines, is a 12,923 hectare area currently being developed into a self-sufficient commercial hub and special economic zone.

The project promises to bring “modernity with a touch of green” to Casiguran, boasting plans for eco-friendly features including a Marine Sanctuary and Mangrove Development Zone. For all this talk, the situation on the ground tells a dramatically different story.

If completed, APECO will strip 3,000 small farms and indigenous Agta households of their land. The Agta have reported intimidation, interrogation and assassination attempts relating to the project, which are further jeopardising a population already plagued by malnutrition and homicide.

What’s more, APECO’s ‘green’ promises appear entirely forgotten, as mangrove destruction and illegal logging are destroying the local ecosystem. The Agta’s message is simple: “The most important thing here is our land. If we don’t have it, then we won’t survive.”

Conservation organizations – the ultimate greenwash

Regrettably, corporate greenwashing at the expense of tribal peoples is widespread and recurrent. As if this wasn’t bad enough, an even more worrying trend has emerged.

Increasingly, well-known conservation groups are collaborating with companies to establish ‘green’ projects like the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

RSPO, an association of palm oil industry stakeholders, was established with the objective of making sustainable palm oil the international norm. It is backed by prominent conservation organizations including Conservation International, the World Resources Institute, and founding member WWF.

Despite these reputable [sic] credentials, there’s a catch. Among RSPO’s members is Wilmar International, whose former subsidiary PT Asiatic Persada is responsible for the forced eviction of the Batin Sembilan from their homes in Jambi province of Sumatra, Indonesia.

The tribe have been arrested, attacked and murdered as their ancestral lands give way to palm oil plantations. Accusations of Wilmar’s bribery blighted negotiations to settle the dispute and culminated in the sale of PT Asiatic Persada, leaving the Batin Sembilan without recourse for their suffering.

Wilmar’s participation in RSPO shows that companies who feign social responsibility are still welcome in ‘green’ initiatives. Indeed, by cosying up to big businesses, which push for lenient responsibility standards, conservation groups enable companies to mask exploitative practices whilst gaining credibility for participating in sustainable projects.

This brand of greenwashing spells danger, not only for tribal peoples but also for conservation groups, who run the risk of guilt by association. So long as these organizations remain indifferent to corporate deception, their loyalty and integrity is called into question.

Hypocrisy at the highest level

Greenwashing can even implicate the institutions and funding bodies responsible for global development. Though these international organizations advocate sustainability, they frequently support projects that undermine this ethos.

As a case in point, in the early 1990s the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), a newly-established World Bank program, struck an agreement with the Cameroon government to conserve a 6 million acre area of rainforest. Yet as one indigenous Baka man observed, “those who now claim they are conserving the forest are the same people pillaging our forests.”

This agreement masked a hefty World Bank loan to fund the logging of a further 3.5 million acres of forest. For the Baka hunter-gatherers and their neighbours, this proved disastrous. Unable to claim their land rights, and prohibited from entering the protected forest to gather resources, they have struggled to survive. In Republic of the Congo, the Baka and Mbenjele suffered a similar fate at the hands of another GEF project.

Such institutional double-dealing delivers a damaging twin blow to tribal peoples – first, their environment is destroyed by commercial activity, and then conservation projects deny them access to their surviving lands and resources.

The World Bank’s conflicted sponsorship doesn’t end there. Today, the Bank is set to profit from its investment in the controversial UN REDD+ scheme, which encourages carbon offsetting to maintain a global equilibrium. Simultaneously, billions of dollars are lent to companies in the extractive industries, the most highly polluting sector.

This has led some to dub the World Bank a ‘climate change profiteer‘.

What next for tribal peoples?

It’s evident that greenwashing is evolving, and with it the challenges that tribal people face. As conservation and development organizations collaborate with irresponsible corporations, the distinction between protector and perpetrator becomes blurred.

This results in indigenous rights violations going unpunished, while organizations that should be working with tribal peoples to protect the environment are discredited. If green initiatives are to live up to their word, they must respect the land ownership rights of tribal peoples and legally obtain free, prior and informed consent.

Environmental groups must also insist on greater transparency among corporate participants. Until then, greenwashing will continue to mask the destruction of the world’s last refuges for tribal peoples.

September 26, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Environmentalism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Glacier scientist: I knew data hadn’t been verified

By David Rose | Daily Mail | January 24, 2010

The scientist behind the bogus claim in a Nobel Prize-winning UN report that Himalayan glaciers will have melted by 2035 last night admitted it was included purely to put political pressure on world leaders.

Dr Murari Lal also said he was well aware the statement, in the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), did not rest on peer-reviewed scientific research.

In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Dr Lal, the co-ordinating lead author of the report’s chapter on Asia, said: ‘It related to several countries in this region and their water sources. We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action.

‘It had importance for the region, so we thought we should put it in.’

Dr Lal’s admission will only add to the mounting furore over the melting glaciers assertion, which the IPCC was last week forced to withdraw because it has no scientific foundation.

According to the IPCC’s statement of principles, its role is ‘to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis, scientific, technical and socio-economic information – IPCC reports should be neutral with respect to policy’.

The claim that Himalayan glaciers are set to disappear by 2035 rests on two 1999 magazine interviews with glaciologist Syed Hasnain, which were then recycled without any further investigation in a 2005 report by the environmental campaign group WWF.

It was this report that Dr Lal and his team cited as their source.

The WWF article also contained a basic error in its arithmetic. A claim that one glacier was retreating at the alarming rate of 134 metres a year should in fact have said 23 metres – the authors had divided the total loss measured over 121 years by 21, not 121.

Last Friday, the WWF website posted a humiliating statement recognising the claim as ‘unsound’, and saying it ‘regrets any confusion caused’.

Dr Lal said: ‘We knew the WWF report with the 2035 date was “grey literature” [material not published in a peer-reviewed journal]. But it was never picked up by any of the authors in our working group, nor by any of the more than 500 external reviewers, by the governments to which it was sent, or by the final IPCC review editors.’

In fact, the 2035 melting date seems to have been plucked from thin air.

Professor Graham Cogley, a glacier expert at Trent University in Canada, who began to raise doubts in scientific circles last year, said the claim multiplies the rate at which glaciers have been seen to melt by a factor of about 25.

‘My educated guess is that there will be somewhat less ice in 2035 than there is now,’ he said.

‘But there is no way the glaciers will be close to disappearing. It doesn’t seem to me that exaggerating the problem’s seriousness is going to help solve it.’

One of the problems bedeviling Himalayan glacier research is a lack of reliable data. But an authoritative report published last November by the Indian government said: ‘Himalayan glaciers have not in any way exhibited, especially in recent years, an abnormal annual retreat.’

When this report was issued, Raj Pachauri, the IPCC chairman, denounced it as ‘voodoo science’.

IPCC chairman Raj Pachauri

Having been forced to apologise over the 2035 claim, Dr Pachauri blamed Dr Lal, saying his team had failed to apply IPCC procedures.

It was an accusation rebutted angrily by Dr Lal. ‘We as authors followed them to the letter,’ he said. ‘Had we received information that undermined the claim, we would have included it.’

However, an analysis of those 500-plus formal review comments, to be published tomorrow by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), the new body founded by former Chancellor Nigel Lawson, suggests that when reviewers did raise issues that called the claim into question, Dr Lal and his colleagues simply ignored them.

For example, Hayley Fowler of Newcastle University, suggested that their draft did not mention that Himalayan glaciers in the Karakoram range are growing rapidly, citing a paper published in the influential journal Nature.

In their response, the IPCC authors said, bizarrely, that they were ‘unable to get hold of the suggested references’, but would ‘consider’ this in their final version. They failed to do so.

The Japanese government commented that the draft did not clarify what it meant by stating that the likelihood of the glaciers disappearing by 2035 was ‘very high’. ‘What is the confidence level?’ it asked.

The authors’ response said ‘appropriate revisions and editing made’. But the final version was identical to their draft.

Last week, Professor Georg Kaser, a glacier expert from Austria, who was lead author of a different chapter in the IPCC report, said when he became aware of the 2035 claim a few months before the report was published, he wrote to Dr Lal, urging him to withdraw it as patently untrue.

Dr Lal claimed he never received this letter. ‘He didn’t contact me or any of the other authors of the chapter,’ he said.

The damage to the IPCC’s reputation, already tarnished by last year’s ‘Warmergate’ leaked email scandal, is likely to be considerable.

Benny Peiser, the GWPF’s director, said the affair suggested the IPCC review process was ‘skewed by a bias towards alarmist assessments’.

Environmentalist Alton Byers said the panel’s credibility had been damaged. ‘They’ve done sloppy work,’ he said. ‘We need better research on the ground, not unreliable predictions derived from computer models.’

Last night, Dr Pachauri defended the IPCC, saying it was wrong to generalise based on a single mistake. ‘Our procedure is robust,’ he added.

January 24, 2010 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Glacier scientist: I knew data hadn’t been verified