Ben Pile’s Inconvenient Truth

Ben Pile has produced an impressive 32 page report for the Global Warming Policy Foundation, “the UK Climate Assembly: Manufacturing Mandates.” Ben’s main finding is that the supposedly “democratic” format of a consultation with 104 randomly chosen electors, informed by a panel of experts, is about as democratic as a circle jerk organised jointly by Ayn Rand and Dave Spart, with John Selwyn Gummer as Master of Ceremonies and Roger Harrabin as chief mopper up. 

Actually Ben doesn’t quite put it like that (the GWPF has bishops on its board of trustees after all.) He analyses in some detail the structure of the Assembly, and the contentious way that its findings are presented. After six weekends of work, consisting of tens of thousands of man-hours of cogitation, the results detailed in the main body of the 500 page report read like a glorified opinion survey based on a hundred (or sometimes thirty) respondents, preselected to be overwhelmingly in favour of the narrow range of answers provided to a limited number of questions. These questions could be summarised as: “How can we, politicians, civil servants, academics and experts, persuade you, the ignorant masses, to accept a world with less meat, travel, and fun, without you turning nasty and voting us out? A world for which the necessary means of transport, energy production and resource allocation haven’t yet been invented?” 

For me, the best part of Ben’s report was the beginning, in which he analyses in great detail the network of organisations which financed the operation, and which provided the “Expert Leads,” “Informants,” and “Academic Panellists” who were employed to run the show and brainwash the participants. They were almost all from the same narrow range of green NGOs and activist groupings, often financed by the same billionaire-funded foundations that financed the Assembly process itself. Having hacked through some of this rank undergrowth myself, I can only admire Ben for the calm way he analyses the workings of this putrid swamp of Green Blobbery. 

Take the Green Alliance, which, according to their former “consultant” and Climate Assembly “Expert Lead” Professor Rebecca Willis, had “recently been successful in winning funding for a further package of work with MPs, including the establishment of a Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change.” Four of the nineteen members of the “Advisory Panel” were members of the Green Alliance (one a staff member) plus two of the four “Expert Leads” (Jim Watson and Rebecca Willis.) 

Among other funding, the Green Alliance received £450,000 from The Children’s Investment Fund, which also gave 7.2 million dollars to the European Climate Fund, which partly financed the Climate Assembly to “progressively strengthen and grow the climate movement to deliver an increase in global ambition in 2020.” Little did the dead billionaires who thought they were financing help for AIDs orphans in Africa imagine that their hard-earned millions would go towards paying for tea and buns for a government indoctrination programme in a Birmingham Conference Centre.

My first thought on reading Ben’s report was: how to get the information out there? Paul Homewood has already done his bit here re-posted by Roger Tallbloke And that’s it. The only parliamentarians who might be interested are already on the board of the GWPF, which still refuses to send me notifications of its publications, despite a zillion requests. And I couldn’t find Ben’s report on the multiple scroll down menus at its site. This report will remain unread outside our tiny world, unless and until someone can make its existence newsworthy. If Lord Deben (formerly known as Gummer) were to find a dead horse in his bed with a rolled up copy of Ben’s oeuvre up his backside, that would be news. (The horse’s backside I mean of course. I’m not suggesting physical violence on the sainted head of the CCC.)

[this stupid headline/insert was embedded automatically by WordPress when I said the magic words CCC. How far are we from the day when an AlGorerhythm transforms everything we say into its opposite?]

Ben doesn’t get into the content of the ten minute brainwashing sessions by the employees of green zombie organisations whose salaries are paid by the interest on the corpses of dead philanthropists, some of it hived off from funds intended to save the lives of sick babies in Africa. I listened to a few hours of this content, before the Assembly’s site started publishing transcripts. You can watch the ten minute presentations, or read the transcripts, here if you like, though I don’t recommend it.

r The only one that interests me is the first by climate scientist Joanna Haigh. As I noted at the time, 

I expected a slick PR job presented by cocky professionals, followed by a stage managed Q&A session with the usual banal or incoherent questions, filtered to eliminate anything off message. I was wrong on all counts. The presentations were abysmal, the experts pathetic[…]They really are worse than we thought.

It is astonishing that six weekends of deliberation on a policy that will cost trillions and entirely change our way of life should be based on ten minutes of “science,” delivered by a distracted looking lady who sounds as if she’d have difficulty finding the words to open a church fête. You can see her or read the transcript here

If I were a half-sentient member of the Assembly, someone with a geography GCSE, say, I’d feel insulted by this sub-primary school presentation. And if I were a dead American billionaire I’d want my money back. 

14 Comments

  1. @ Geoff, Ben had an article at Spiked about this: https://www.spiked-online.com/2021/02/02/how-the-climate-assembly-manufactured-consent/

    I also think that the sinister web of funding streams and experts is the most interesting feature of the story. A similar story about charities by Roslyn Fuller was also featured on Spiked a couple of weeks ago. After a couple of paragraphs of reading about money flowing from fund to fund…

    Now that may boggle your mind a bit. Indeed, feel free to draw yourself a diagram. You may need it, because this is just the beginning. Many of these funds fund other funds. That fund other funds. That fund other funds.

    … she actually provides a diagram. Ben also has a diagram, but it wasn’t the diagram I was looking for (Fuller’s is more of a flowchart).

    I know there are sceptics with notebooks full of details of the climate charity money flows, the incest of the experts, etc, and someone may have even made diagrams of them. That is something that ought to be publicised. One thing is for sure these “green” groups do not want us to know who their ultimate benefactors are.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics claimed legitimacy by means of this sort of “people’s committees”.
    Next we will have a reincarnation of people claiming that the “dictatorship of the proletariat” is actually liberation dressed up in climate lipstick.

    Like

  3. JIT
    Thanks for the link to the Roslyn Fuller article. She says: “I personally rather like the Green New Deal, although I am sometimes concerned that a publicly funded green-energy transition could become a cash cow for large companies seeking to update their infrastructure on the taxpayer’s dime.”

    Her own thing is democracy, and she’s discovering what Mike Dombroski revealed about the Jeff Bezos largesse. There are lots of reasons for funding democracy, or the green deal, or peace n’ love. And she’s an ace at graphics.

    Yes, there are sceptics with notebooks or memorysticks full of information. Barry Woods keeps it all in his head and is a brilliant source. However, all attempts to form a co-operative effort seem to fail. Barry and Ben are busy earning a living and I can understand their reticence. I’ve got the time, and the enthusiasm on alternate days, but no organisational skills.

    One could go much further than simply constructing flow charts. Activists are a gabby lot and have their own blogs. And the whole point of the flow is coverage, so you find out more than simply where the money is going and why, but also the motivations and actions of dozens of individuals. Ben touches on this in the GWPF report, e.g. mentioning 10:10. Knowing who they are and what they did changes the reference frame radically, though naturally Ben couldn’t go far down that path in a serious report.

    If I was starting this blog again I’d call it News Of The Warming World and proceed accordingly.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Geoff,

    Many thanks for this piece. It’s a pity that Ben Pile isn’t part of the cliscep effort (even though his name appears her), but he’s doing some sterling work, and his ripping off of the democratic fig leaf from the outrageous farce that is the Climate Assembly is beautifully done.

    The truly disappointing aspect of the Climate Assembly is that it represents the activity of a vociferous and well-funded minority, and isn’t remotely democratic, yet MPs have rushed to give it the thumbs-up. Our democracy is in a parlous state.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. MARK
    I agree it’s a shame Ben doesn’t blog here any more, but he has to earn a living, and it’s a good thing that at Spiked! He gets read by people who would never come here. I may get round to transcribing his debate with Roger Hallam of Extinction Rebellion some time .

    And I agree that the Climate Assembly format presents risks to democracy that go further than climate legislation. On the other hand, the claim that it represents a democratic basis for major legislation is so patently false that maybe it will backfire on the government. Though we’ve said that about so many moves in the climate saga that seemed to us suicidal, and the bandwaggon rolls on.

    Like

  6. Excellent report by Ben Pile in the way a public relations exercise can manufacture consent. That Climate Assembly reminiscent of the persuasion tactics of Dr Edward Bernays in his carefully scripted American Tobacco Campaign, ‘Torches of Freedom, ‘ selling cigarette smoking to women, and his United Fruit Company propaganda campaign that undermined the Government of Guatamala.

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  7. Ben’s latest is a good video on the pseudoscience of extreme weather attribution which he says has generated an ‘eco hyperreality’. He criticise Richard Betts’ recently published Nature article in the video. I wonder if Betts will respond?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. On the coverage of extreme weather events (which is the subject of Ben’s latest video, linked by JAILME)* you’ve no doubt read at WUWT about extreme cold in Texas, with frozen wind turbines, 1000X increases in spot prices for natural gas, and blackouts. Nothing on the US page of the Guardian about it though, and only a modest article on the BBC’s front page, with no mention of energy shortages. Brass monkeys are singing soprano in Dallas, but the extreme weathervanes are strangely silent.

    *JAIME
    That was a mistype, I swear, but too good to correct.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. @ Geoff from way back

    Wading into the incestuous swamp of verdant ardour is something I’ve considered doing. One thing putting me off is the chance that my toes won’t touch bottom. There’s also the problem that I will get told off for all the pins and bits of string covering every wall in the house. If I can’t fit all the connections on a 3′ by 2′ whiteboard, I’ve had it.

    Like

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