May 29, 2006

May 29, 06 #1: Propaganda, Kyoto, Activists, NRTEE, Global Justice

Comment I read: "see Kyoto for the bogus alarmism and wealth-transfer scheme that it is." -- sounds just about right to me.


Climate Change, the Networks, NRTEE National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy

Background: I had posted this: May 23-06: UN, Rights, Activists Networks' $$$ -- Sheila Watt-Cloutier was part of that illustrious group who travelled with ex-Governor General Adrienne Clarkson on her Inuit Circumpolar Tour -- "May 23-06: UN, Rights, Activists Networks' $$$ United Nations & Rights, Activists, Funding, Networks: Here we go again" -- I think these are also activism related: FHTR May 18, 2005 and FHTR May 14, 2006


Within a day or two of my post on ex-GG Adrienne Clarkson's Circumpolar Tour with information on those who were invited along, including Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Chair, Inuit Circumpolar Conference, the G&M published Sheila Watt-Cloutier's article on Kyoto.


Inuit activist Sheila Watt-Cloutier made claims for the Liberals' Kyoto plan and against the Conservatives' approach in an article in the Globe and Mail. Her claims are questionable, to say the least.

Globe and Mail -- Sheila Watt-Cloutier: Don't abandon the Arctic to climate change by Watt-Cloutier, Page A19, 24 May 2006 behind a firewall

By trying to scuttle the Kyoto Protocol and prevent the adoption globally of "stringent targets" to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, the federal government is abandoning the peoples of the circumpolar Arctic -- particularly Inuit whose hunting and food-sharing culture is being pushed to destruction by climate change. Further, this misguided position will weaken Canada's claim to Arctic sovereignty and severely erode its international credibility. [....]


I wondered whether Watt-Cloutier believes what she writes and whether she knows what she is talking about ... from a scientific point of view? She has more certainty than scientists.

It is as though there is only one approach, the Liberal plan and commitments ($$$), which the Globe and Mail dutifully advances (No Liberal leanings there? No agenda as part of Bell GlobeMedia? Think CRTC and VOIP, internet, TV/radio, decisions ...). The Conservatives have their own plans but her article demonstrates her certainty about the Liberals' Kyoto plan and is quite negative on the Harper government. Watt-Cloutier implies that nothing will be done about climate change by Conservatives. The fact that she belonged to a group who made plans under the Liberal government does not mean that this one-sided article is worth reading. It lacks balance, presenting one view of what is controversial, even to scientists. Furthermore, Ms. Watt-Cloutier is not a climate scientist; in fact, it is reported that she trained as a social worker. How did she become the leader of a group of Inuit who appeared before the Washington-based Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ... and why? That led me to search Google, Dogpile, Wikipedia, and more for information on this activist. What are her networks and from whom and where does the funding come?



One of the first things I found was an anti-US/anti-Bush component: Watt-Cloutier is the activist who was engaged in a lawsuit against the US over pollution. Remember, it was the US who achieved better results in reducing pollution than the (Liberal) governments ever did. Below is a screen capture of the beginning of her petition. More about the influences, the funding and the network(s) below.





















Oh. Ah, so ... Inuit land claims ... and the NRTEE: National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy

NRTEE National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy: Sheila Watt-Cloutier, originally from Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, Northern Quebec, "oversaw the administration of the Inuit land-claims body established under the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement as Corporate Secretary of Makivik from 1995 to 1998."



[....] She champions ... traditional ecological knowledge ...

Ms. Watt-Cloutier oversaw the administration of the Inuit land-claims body established under the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement as Corporate Secretary of Makivik from 1995 to 1998.




Comment: "traditional ecological knowledge" -- How many generations' knowledge is preserved in oral history? Is there a scientific component or is it only anecdotal and specific to an individual or group's range? Over how many years have records been kept, if kept, by the Inuit and what, other than anecdotal reports, is the basis upon which natives--along with others--would make decisions that include the rest of Canadians paying for pollution credits, for example? Was knowledge passed down through singing? Drama? Stories?



"Offering a safe haven for discussion"? Is that the purpose of the NRTEE: National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy?

NRTEE: How We Work -- "offering our members a safe haven for discussion"

Key phrases:


NRTEE .... reaching out to organizations that share our vision for sustainable development. We believe that affiliation with like-minded partners .... an advocate for positive change, raising awareness ...


Does it sound as though this group wants input or any influences that would present another point of view? Note reaching out to "organizations that share our vision" and "affiliation with like-minded partners"



The NRTEE is structured as a round table in order to facilitate the unfettered exchange of ideas. By offering our members a safe haven for discussion, the NRTEE helps reconcile positions that have traditionally been at odds. [a circle?]

The NRTEE is also a coalition builder, reaching out to organizations that share our vision for sustainable development. We believe that affiliation with like-minded partners will spark creativity and generate the momentum needed for success.

And finally, the NRTEE acts as an advocate for positive change, raising awareness among Canadians and their governments about the challenges of sustainable development and promoting viable solutions.

We also maintain a secretariat, which commissions and analyses the research required by our members in their work. The secretariat also furnishes administrative, promotional and communications support to the NRTEE. [Is it the secretariat that was the power group? That would provide the studies wanted by some people?]


It sounds more like a propaganda organization than a survey of the scientific data and a quest for realistic solutions. See also

Ecological Fiscal Reform (EFR) and Energy



[....] The goal of the program was to demonstrate how the government could use fiscal policy as a strategic tool to achieve environmental and economic objectives simultaneously. Through a series of case studies and consultations, the Round Table examined how taxation policy could broaden the array of available Canadian energy options by enabling competitive production and use of less carbon-intensive fuels, processes and technologies. [Which options were being promoted? Which companies?]

[....] The Round Table recommends a constructive and effective approach with a combination of broad-based and targeted measures, including subsidies, tradable permits, credits, user fees and taxes, to encourage reductions in the long-term of greenhouse gases (GHG) and the promotion of key energy technologies.

Economic Instruments for Long-term Reductions in Energy-based Carbon Emissions – State of the Debate report, released in August 2005, synthesizes the major conclusions of the two year multistakholder process and includes a set of recommendations aimed at helping the country take a leadership position in the innovation of technologies that will lay the foundations of a sustainable energy future, in Canada and around the world. [Would that include travel for promotion?]


Didn't we used to call "economic instruments" taxpayer funding? Just which "key energy technologies" were planned and has the election of a Conservative government put any of this "innovation of technologies" at risk ... perhaps at financial risk? Follow the money, the names and the networks.



NRTEE: National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy

Were these appointees? What were the criteria for inclusion? If an NDP member was included, why were there no Conservatives or members of precursor political parties?


NRTEE Members Note at the bottom, the webpage Date created: 1994-04-28



NRTEE Chair
Glen Murray [Is he not the former mayor of Winnipeg? Wasn't he appointed to something (this roundtable?) by ex-PM Paul Martin after not winning a seat in the election? Check further.]

Toronto, Ontario

NRTEE Vice-Chair
Edythe A. Marcoux [expertise?]
Gibsons, British Columbia

Elyse Allan
President & CEO
GE Canada
Toronto, Ontario

David V.J. Bell
Professor Emeritus
Senior Scholar and
Former Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Studies York University

Toronto, Ontario

Katherine M. Bergman
Dean, Faculty of Science
University of Regina

Regina, Saskatchewan

William J. Borland
Director, Environmental Affairs
JD Irving Limited [Interesting inclusion of a representative of the Irvings in this particular Liberal talk fest -- It was an Irving company whose Irving Whale sank near PEI laden with bunker sea oil, I believe, and Irving's refused to pay to lift it. It was taxpayers who paid, I believe (Check Hansard). Then there is the chemical swamp which is Lake Utopia. Check Irving involvement there. ]
Saint John, New Brunswick

Wendy L. Carter
Vancouver, British Columbia

Linda Coady
Vice President, Sustainability [of business? Olympic venue? surrounding area?]
Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) [The Olympics -- many contracts for the Olympics and construction between Vancouver and Whistler]
Vancouver, British Columbia


Richard Drouin
Corporate Director [of what?]
Montreal, Québec


Linda Louella Inkpen
St. Phillips, Newfoundland and Labrador [Scientific background? Business or other connections?]

Stephen Kakfwi
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories [I have posted on this Chief of the Deh Cho previously. He was/is involved in Deh Cho negotiations over the land that would be crossed in building a pipeline across Deh Cho land -- He was noted for high demands of the companies involved, according to one report]


David Kerr
Chair
Falconbridge Limited
Toronto, Ontario

Manon Laporte
President and Chief Executive Officer
Enviro-Access
Sherbrooke, Québec


Audrey McLaughlin, P.C., O.C. [ex-leader of the NDP]
Whitehorse, Yukon

Patrice Merrin Best
President and CEO
Luscar Limited [What are the business interests?]
Edmonton, Alberta

Alfred Pilon
Corporate Secretary
Office franco-québécois pour la jeunesse [What expertise did he bring?]
Montreal, Quebec

Darren Allan Riggs
Marketing and Sales Manager
Superior Sanitation Services Ltd.
[Were all businesses that might be interested in working in the North invited to make input? How were businesses chosen to take part?]
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Keith Stoodley
Director, Marketing and Sales [That doesn't sound like a scientific position so how does Lotek Wireless fit into climate change discussions?]
Lotek Wireless Inc.
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Sheila Watt-Cloutier
Chair, Inuit Circumpolar Conference [As an Inuit social worker and one involved in treaty negotiations, what background makes her views on climate change important for this roundtable? She would have anecdotal and personal background but .... perhaps political connections?]
Iqaluit, Nunavut


Steve Williams
Executive Vice President, Oil Sands
Suncor Energy Inc. [I seem to remember that Suncor received taxpayer money for some environment-related research or other work. Check further.]
Fort McMurray, Alberta

Alexander Wood
Acting President and CEO
National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy





Why do I sense UN involvement in this?

Anecdotal evidence presented -- "strategy, to force public hearings" -- "connecting climate change to human rights"

CNN Host Jonathan Mann with Sheila Watt-Cloutier and others: Global Warming Impacts Inuit Way of Life CNN.com, Aired May 11, 2005 - 23:00:00 ET -- THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT.....MAY BE UPDATED.



SHEILA WATT-CLOUTIER, INUIT CIRCUMPOLAR CONF.: The ice will go out, I would say the end of June. But we never know today. Sometimes it goes out earlier now because of climate change.

RUGMAN: Sheila Watt-Cloutier is on her own hunt for justice. In a few weeks, this former social worker will file a petition at he Inter- American Commission on Human Rights in Washington, D.C., claiming that the United States threatens her people's existence because it contributes to global warming.

WATT-CLOUTIER: 25, 26 percent of the entire emissions in the world are from the United States of America. There has been no human face to this issue whatsoever, and by doing -- by connecting climate change to human rights, we are putting the human face on this debate.

RUGMAN (on camera): Is it a publicity stunt?

WATT-CLOUTIER: Partly. Partly. But not a stunt, per se. It's a strategy.

RUGMAN (voice-over): That strategy, to force public hearings on climate change, like this one held on Baffin Island last week. And Miss Watt-Cloutier has a powerful ally.

One of America's leading arctic scientists, his work funded largely by the U.S. government, now backing the Inuit cause.

DR. ROBERT CORELL, U.S. METEOROLOGICAL SOCIETY: There is good evidence that the rest of the world is creating change up here to which they have had no fundamental role. They don't produce very much CO2 or other greenhouse gases, but they are the recipient of the change around the world.

So I do support their freedom, if you will, to express their opinion. [....]

David Victor who leads the program on energy and sustainable development at Stanford University.

[....] What is your sense of what the Inuit are up to? Does it seem significant?

DAVID VICTOR, STANFORD UNIVERSITY: Well, they will certainly attract an enormous amount of attention, as you see on your program.

It is hard for me to see that the case itself or the petition in front of the Inter-American Commission will have much effect, because the commission doesn't have much in the way of enforcement powers .... publish the report.

But at that point, the process really stops. There are some cases where they can refer to the Inter-American Court on Human Rights, but that court, based in Costa Rica, was created under a treaty that the United States isn't party to.


"a strategy ... to force public hearings" -- Does anyone get the distinct impression that the public hearings which might present another side or scientific data on global warming that might contradict her and her group's views and personal experience are not wanted?

Would that Inter-American Court on Human Rights have any connection to Maurice Strong's Costa Rican ... was it a peace institute or university? Some global governance or ecological activism group?
Check further.



[.... Victor:] And also, the Canadians ratified the Kyoto protocol. They're struggling now with how they might implement their commitments under Kyoto, but I think the feeling among the Inuit is that the Canadians are starting to do something, whereas the United States, at least at the federal government level, the United States isn't doing very much and they need the United States to adopt some meaningful policies, [....]


But the US was more successful in reducing emissions than Canada was under the former Liberal governments. (posted on this site previously) Is it that the US government accomplished this in another way -- as opposed to by government fiat? I have noted a high civic sense, a civic minded quality about Americans who are generous in their charitable giving and community boosting ... maybe the carrot instead of a stick approach? Our Liberal-connected activists like that old government coercion ....... and $$$? Oh, yes, check into how this all worked.

Incidentally, check further on this but Ms. Watt-Cloutier was slated for an award related to her activism (check her article in the Globe and Mail and elsewhere for this). That may be deserved. However, I have noted that people have tended to be "appointed" by government to something or other; then, by golly, that person wins an award for excellence, (elites/gov) approved activism or whatever ...... and if you trace the source of the award or grant or preferment, why, [Liberal] government's hand was there or nearby, too. Creating success, one appointment at a time. A version of this kind of success happens schools where every child is a winner .......




When is the Arctic no longer the Arctic? International Herald Tribune [NYTimes], Oct. 20, 06 -- By Steven Lee Myers, Andrew C. Revkin, Simon Romero and Clifford Krauss , The New York Times. Oct. 20, 05

[ www.iht.com/cgi-bin/search.cgi?query=By Steven Lee Myers,
Andrew C. Revkin, Simon Romero and Clifford Krauss&sort=swishrank ]




TIKSI, Russia ....

Sheila Watt-Cloutier, the elected chairwoman of the group, said the goal was not to stop development but to make sure that native cultures had a say in how development was carried out.

"It's how we do the business that's more important," she said.


There is much more to read in this lengthy article on various effects on Russia (see problems with infrastructure), Norway, Finland.



The discovery of vast petroleum fields in the Barents and Kara Seas has raised fears of catastrophic accidents as ships loaded with oil and, soon, liquefied gas churn through the fisheries off Scandinavia, headed to markets in Europe and North America. Land that was untouched could be tainted by pollution as generators, smokestacks and large vehicles sprout to support the growing energy industry.

[....] Sinking Cities

Vorkuta, a coal-mining city of 130,000, is crumbling.

Many of the city's homes and factories were built not on hard rock, but on permafrost, a layer of perpetually frozen earth that covers 65 percent of Russia's territory.

[....] David Dickins, an engineer from San Diego who has spent 30 years studying how to clean up oil spills in icy waters, said that while the ice impeded the use of tools like booms that hold a slick in place, the ice also naturally contained the oil, giving response teams more time to act before environmental damage occurred. [....]



In this petition, Sheila Watt-Cloutier, an Inuk woman and Chair of the Inuit Circumpolar. Conference, requests the assistance of the Inter-American ... www.earthjustice.org/news/ documents/12-05/Petition_Summary.pdf -- or here


earthjustice.org [as retrieved on 18 May 2006] -- or Civil Rights Coalition for the 21st Century Managing Attorney, Earthjustice, Washington, D.C

www.earthjustice.org


Earthjustice ....

The Washington office occupies a unique position within Earthjustice. [....] the office also has important responsibilities building and maintaining relationships with other groups and working with the Earthjustice legislative and communications teams.

The Washington office's docket includes litigation to protect public health and the environment from air pollution, nationally and regionally, and to protect existing air pollution regulations from the Bush Administration's attempts to weaken them; to protect streams, wetlands, drinking water supplies, and other waters from pollution and outright destruction and to improve the appallingly poor water quality in and around the nation's capital; to compel the federal government to improve its management and protection of our ocean resources; and to challenge the federal government's practice of allowing mountaintop removal mining. For more information about the office's work, visit www.earthjustice.org/regional/washington_dc/


Which is stronger, the environmental or the political component?




Earth Justice Org funded by FJC.org -- Hidden Funding Sources?

FJC: A Foundation of Donor Advised Funds , Volume 7, Issue 1, Page 2, April, 2002




FJC's donors continue to display their unwavering commitment to a broad range of organizations and causes [....]

FJC and Charitable Lead Trusts ....

A CLT facilitates the transfer of assets from one generation to the next with little or no gift tax obligation. A donor transfers property to a CLT, which pays the CLT income to a designated charity(s) or type of charity(s) for the CLT's term. [....]

[....] Environmental organizations supported by FJC donor-recommended grants or Agency Loans have included the following: ....

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) [NRDC "Donate and help save the planet" -- www.nrdc.org -- very interesting]

Earthjustice is a non-profit public interest law firm dedicated to working through the courts to safeguard public lands, national forests, parks, and wilderness areas; to reduce air and water pollution; to prevent toxic contamination; to preserve endangered species and wildlife habitat; and to achieve environmental justice. Earthjustice's Policy and Legislation program works to support and protect environment laws such as the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act. They work closely with colleagues in other countries to develop strong environmental protection mechanisms throughout the world. They helped form a sister group in Canada, the Sierra Legal Defence Fund, and have built a partnership with Ecojuris, a group in Russia. They also helped create a coalition of non-profit environmental law organizations throughout the Americas, the Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense, which uses international legal strategies to address inter-American environmental problems. To learn more, go to www.Earthjustice.org.


There is a list of other grant recipients including more on the Sierra Club Foundation and the Charles Darwin Foundation, Inc.

More: How-to on charitable funding? FJC - A Brief History
www.fjc.org/index.html




In 1995, a small group of dedicated philanthropists established FJC, with the goal of making it the premier foundation of donor advised funds for discerning philanthropists who appreciate a better way of giving.




Earthjustice = Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund




Earthjustice is a non-profit public interest law firm that specializes in pro-environmental litigation. It was founded in 1971, under the name "Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund," by two volunteer lawyers working with the Sierra Club, Don Harris and Fred Fisher. It changed its name to Earthjustice in 1997. As of August 2004, the group has provided free legal representation to 600 clients ranging from the National Audubon Society to the Friends of the Everglades, according to its website. [. . . . ]


At the bottom of the page is a link to "List of international organizations" -- worth checking and bookmarking, as well.

This is an alphabetical list of international organizations and non-governmental organizations with the country or region in which their main or international office is based [Some have no country listed.]. Other organizations are listed on the page for standards organizations.

Intriguing network



Inuit Circumpolar Conference ... represents 155,000 Inuit scattered across Canada, Greenland, Russia and the United States has enlisted lawyers and movie stars like Jakd Gyllenhaal and Salma Hayek to dral attention to its imperiled traditions. "The Big Melt", NY Times, Oct. 20, 05, Myers, Revkin, Romero and Krauss

[ zfacts.com/metaPage/lib/NYT-10-20-05-life-changes-in-the-Arctic.pdf ]



It is worth checking NGO's -- Advocacy Groups, the UN & 'right to protect'

Non-governmental organizations -- "NGOs are not legal entities under international law, like states are."




A non-governmental organization (NGO) is an organization that is not part of a government and was not founded by states. NGOs are therefore typically independent of governments. Although the definition can technically include for-profit corporations, the term is generally restricted to social, cultural, legal, and environmental advocacy groups having goals that are primarily noncommercial. NGOs are usually non-profit organizations that gain at least a portion of their funding from private sources.

Because the label 'NGO' is considered too broad by some, as it might cover anything that is non-governmental, many NGOs now prefer the term private voluntary organization (PVO) or Private Development Organization (PDO).

[Digression] [ ... There is a link here to: www.ngowatch.org/
of the American Enterprise Institute
-- e.g. see this:

New U.N. Rights Group Includes Six Nations With Poor Records

Warren Hope, 05.09.2006 - Six nations with poor human rights records were among those elected to the new Human Rights Council on Tuesday. read more ........ China, Cuba, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan, countries cited by human rights groups as not deserving membership, were among the 47 nations elected to the council. But in a move hailed by the same groups, both Iran and Venezuela failed to attract the needed votes.

The New York Times -- www.ngowatch.org/articles.php?id=277
........ at bottom is this: "NGOWatch is making this article available in our efforts to advance the understanding of NGO accountability, human rights, labor rights, social and environmental justice issues." ]


[....] While in 1946, only 41 NGOs had consultative status with the ECOSOC, by 2003 this number had risen to 2,350.


That is a very informative last statement.




[....] Monitoring and Controlling NGOs

In March 2000 report on United Nations Reform priorities, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan wrote in favor of international humanitarian intervention, arguing that the international community has a 'right to protect' citizens of the world against ethnic cleansing, genocide and crimes against humanity. On the heals of the report, the Canadian government launched the Responsibility to Protect R2P project, outlining the issue of humanitarian intervention. While the R2P doctrine has wide applications, among the more controversial has been the Canadian government's use of R2P to justify its intervention and support of the coup in Haiti.

Years after R2P, The World Federalist Movement, an organization that supports "the creation of democratic global structures accountable to the citizens of the world and call for the division of international authority among separate agencies" has launched Responsibility to Protect - Engaging Civil Society R2PCS. The project, which is a collaboration of the WFM and Canadian government, aims to bring NGOs into lockstep with the principles outlined under the original R2P project.

External links:

Database of NGOs and Funding Agencies
Duke University NGO Library
Global Policy Forum: very useful source of informaiton [sic] on NGOs and their interaction with the movement for global justice. The site includes the history of NGOs and various articles.
NGOWatch Project providing detailed informational on NGOs
London School of Economics International Working Paper Series on NGOs
World Bank Criteria defining NGO
What is a Non-Governmental Organization? City University, London
NGOs' role in peace-building
NGOWatch: Monitoring NGOs
Network of international NGOs working in Angola
Interaction: largest alliance of U.S.-based international development and humanitarian nongovernmental organizations
Directory of Irish based international NGOs
NGOs.com - World NGOs Venue
WorldWideAid.net - Not For Profit Web Portal




NGO Watch: Highlighting issues of transparency and accountability in the operations of NGO's and IO's -- There are some interesting looking articles.




Dubai Courts The International Aid Industry
05.13.2006 - The Economist reports on the plushest of new homes for the international aid industry. ....




Alphabetical list of international organizations and non-governmental organizations with the country or region in which their main or international office is based. Some organizations have no country listing. -- of interest

The Inuit Circumpolar Conference (ICC) is not listed, though Earthjustice is.

This might be of interest: NGO Watch, December 7, 2005: NGOs: Indispensable or Unaccountable?



More here: BBC Broadcasts: Sheila Watt Cloutier See also News Dec. 7, 05
http://
open.bbc.co.uk/catalogue/
infax/on_this_day/2005/12/7

http://
open.bbc.co.uk/catalogue/
infax/programme/QA+05043_3

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