In July 2014, MP and former environment secretary Owen Paterson introduced the term “Green Blob”:
I leave the post with great misgivings about the power and irresponsibility of – to coin a phrase – the Green Blob.
By this I mean the mutually supportive network of environmental pressure groups, renewable energy companies and some public officials who keep each other well supplied with lavish funds, scare stories and green tape. This tangled triangle of unelected busybodies claims to have the interests of the planet and the countryside at heart, but it is increasingly clear that it is focusing on the wrong issues and doing real harm while profiting handsomely.
Local conservationists on the ground do wonderful work to protect and improve wild landscapes, as do farmers, rural businesses and ordinary people. They are a world away from the highly paid globe-trotters of the Green Blob who besieged me with their self-serving demands, many of which would have harmed the natural environment.
Until now, the exact make-up of the “mutually supportive network” of the Green Blob was not entirely clear, but recently its identity and structure has been nicely illustrated by an unexpected source – a member of the Green Blob itself.
Carbon Brief, one of the key players in the UK branch of the Green Blob, has produced a map of twitter conversations that took place on the subject of climate change in March 2016 (full-screen version available here). To be more precise, the lavishly funded climate propaganda site paid someone else to produce the map. Roughly speaking, the size of the names indicates influence, and more closely connected people appear closer together. Here is the central region of the map, which they have even given the correct colour:
So, with this helpful map we can see what the Green Blob is made up of and how it fits with Paterson’s description. Most of it seems to be based in the US; the UK wing is over on the right of the diagram.
There are the environmental pressure groups: Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Rainforest Alliance.
Closely related to these are the climate propaganda websites: Climate Reality, Climate Home, Desmogblog, Climate Central, and of course Carbon Brief itself.
The left-wing press appears prominently: The Guardian, New York Times, along with their climate-doom-obsessed reporters, such as James Randerson, Damian Carrington, Suzanne Goldenberg, Justin Gillis, Chris Mooney, Andy Revkin, John D Sutter…
Then there are other “unelected busybodies” and “highly paid globe-trotters”: Leonardo Di Caprio, Bill McKibben, Heidi Cullen, Assaad Razzouk, Eric Holthaus, Naomi Klein, Mat Hope…
Only a few climate scientists are there: Michael Mann, Peter Gleick, Katharine Hayhoe, Marshall Shepherd.
The text of the article at Carbon Brief is amusing, as it nicely illustrates the complete lack of self-awareness that is a distinctive characteristic of the Green Blob. Different communities or “tribes” are coloured differently, given labels (for example one is “UN” and one is “Canada”) and discussed in the article. But the joke is that the most prominent group and feature of the whole map, the Green Blob itself, is not mentioned or labelled as a tribe! Climate sceptic groups are identified, and falsely described as being an “echo chamber” who “rarely retweet or converse with people outside of their tribe”. This is completely untrue, as can be seen by looking at the tweets of Tom Nelson or Steve Goddard, two of the most prominent sceptic tweeters identified on the map. The real echo chamber is of course the Green Blob itself, which talks to itself and either refuses to debate with or blocks dissenting voices.