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« Cuttings from Planet Under Pressure | Main | Conveying truth 4 »
Tuesday
Apr032012

Friend funding

Leo Hickman has found out via FOI what the Foreign Office has spent on climate-related projects.

It's pretty astonishing stuff.

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Reader Comments (66)

Of course Friends of the Earth deserves public funding!
/sarcasm

Apr 3, 2012 at 5:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterSkiphil

What is the bottom line total?
No time to do the math credibly here.
TIA
RR

Apr 3, 2012 at 5:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterRuhRoh

Hague should be jailed for squandering taxpayers' hard earned money in this way.

Apr 3, 2012 at 6:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Indeed, it is quite astonishing.

I was hoping the Guardian would have an article explaining what all this means (they don't), but my quick survey of the document shows that the UK government is throwing money at every man and his dog to promote awareness of climate change around the world.

What does this mean:

2. Project Title: Media: Facing the Climate Challenge
Project Purpose: To expose and train journalists from Eastern region and North-East India on Climate Change and Energy issues beyond Copenhagen dialogue to help them understand the challenge of Climate Change and help them produce more informative and in-depth reporting in the future.
Project Partner: British Deputy High Commission, Kolkata

I am all for increased foreign aid, but for this kind of propaganda? No way.

Apr 3, 2012 at 6:18 PM | Registered CommentersHx

Leo Hickman also elicited some good quotes from Rick Perry:

Rick Perry, the governor of Texas and former Republican presidential candidate, has criticised the UK's Foreign Office for funding an environmental group which aimed to "educate" Texan policymakers about climate science and "move them from a state of denial and inaction to one of acceptance and effective action".

Well done Leo. In fact, very well done Leo.

Apr 3, 2012 at 6:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

5. Project Title: Influencing climate security policy and legislation in TexasProject Purpose:

To gain widespread acceptance among key policymakers of the science of climate change and theneed for urgent action, thus moving Texas from a state of denial and inaction to one of acceptance and effectiveaction on this issue.

Project Partner: Environmental DefenseBudget: £13,673

I'm sure the Texans are hugely appreciative of this effort!

One wonders what the British reaction would be to a Texas funded program to "disabuse the Brits of global warming alarmism!"

Apr 3, 2012 at 6:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterPolitical Junkie

"I am all for increased foreign aid"

Really?

Foreign aid never solved anything, ask the Haitians, Somalis, Sudanese, Indonesians of Aceh, Sri Lankans and the list is long.

Foreign aid, begets more poverty and breeds corruption.

Apr 3, 2012 at 6:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

On foreign aid: from Peter Bauer to Dambisa Moyo the critics have a powerful case. Paul Collier accepts many of the criticisms but presents a more nuanced case, where the timing of aid in relation to conflict is key.

Apr 3, 2012 at 6:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

sHX
Britain has spent substantial sums of money in exactly the same fashion in Africa previously.

Google Shanahan climate change

Apr 3, 2012 at 6:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

stunned ...

Apr 3, 2012 at 7:02 PM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

This document is one more for the dossier for whoever eventually writes the history of The Great Delusion.

Apr 3, 2012 at 7:15 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

. Project Title: Sustainable criteria for biofuels production.Project Purpose: To support production of and investment in a framework for environmental and social criteria forbiofuels production in Brazil, through broad stakeholder engagement and an evidence-based approach thatdemonstrates the benefits of adopting such criteria for the government and private sector.Project Partner: Amigos da Terra (Friends of the Earth)Budget: £ 37,830

Bullshit alert, just an excuse to give money to FOE, what the hell does a framework produce other than a nice fancy piece of paper.

Apr 3, 2012 at 7:16 PM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

But US legislators were doing even worse when Adam Werrity was plonked in the Secretary for Defence's office while representing ALEC via Atlantic Bridge, and even using Liam Fox's name. Where was your astonishment then?

Apr 3, 2012 at 7:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterJ Bowers

And this odd £80K was well spent on the Canadians ;)

2. Project Title: Canada Emissions TradingProject Purpose: Launch of emissions trading scheme in British Columbia, which creates an ambitious andcompatible model, which is then fed into the development of the Federal ETSProject Partner: British Columbia GovernmentFY10-11 Spend: £81,780.50

Apr 3, 2012 at 7:19 PM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

Shub

I remember a news item in IIRC the Telegraph or the Mail several weeks ago that said British foreign aid money was distributed to shamans and rainmakers in Africa.

Unless of course you're referring to Mike Shanahan of Climate Change Media Partnership which, as my google search shows, provides a "roster of experts available for interviews with journalists". He has his nose in the trough alright but not sure whether he is benefiting from the money that's supposed to go to African shamans.

Apr 3, 2012 at 7:24 PM | Registered CommentersHx

Bit of a change of subject, Bowers old chap. Finding this one hard to fight on its own merits?

Apr 3, 2012 at 7:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Note that this is not the full list as the header text notes that
"The full list of the FCO's projects in six countries, excluding some details on Russia and China which it withheld on the grounds it would be 'prejudicial to international relations', is published here"

Apr 3, 2012 at 7:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterEddy

I make the total for the two years as £11,859,565.

By country:
Brazil____£1,182,229
Canada__£ 165,781
China____£6,818,547
India____£1,753,762
Russia___£1,325,109
USA_____£ 614,136

Apr 3, 2012 at 7:35 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

No, Mr. Drake, I find it all a bit hypocritical, is all, when a blind eye is turned to similar practises from across the Atlantic, albeit somewhat more stealthily and un-FOIA'ble (twice the reason for proclaiming astonishment). I don't believe the FCO managed to infiltrate a man into a Texas representative's office, right? How Nigel's and Adam's UK source for startup sponds turned out to be from the same source must be pure coincidence, though.

Apr 3, 2012 at 7:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterJ Bowers

Climaidgate - breaking!

Apr 3, 2012 at 7:53 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

What about the time the WWF drafted the Norwegian Climate Change bill, Bowers? Or about the NGO lady writing up the UK climate change bill draft, Bowers? I suppose you foia'ed till you ran out of 10 pound bills.

How many UK bills did ALEC write, Bowers?

Apr 3, 2012 at 7:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Bowers, you're still wanting us to have an argument about something else. You haven't said if you disagree with this use of UK taxpayer money. Make your position clear on that and I'm sure more people will listen to your concerns in other areas.

Apr 3, 2012 at 8:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

J Bowers (Apr 3, 2012 at 7:17 PM)

But US legislators were doing even worse when Adam Werrity was plonked in the Secretary for Defence's office while representing ALEC via Atlantic Bridge, and even using Liam Fox's name. Where was your astonishment then?
US legislators were doing what worse?
What evidence do you have that Adam Werrity was plonked while he was in the Secretary for Defence's office?
Why do you think that his Grace has a duty to express astonishment at every astonishing thing that happens in the world?

Apr 3, 2012 at 8:12 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

Richard Drake

I agree, apart from your emphasis. I would have written "this use of UK taxpayer money".

Apr 3, 2012 at 8:17 PM | Registered CommenterDreadnought

Dreadnought: how about:

this use of UK taxpayer money?

Apr 3, 2012 at 8:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Richard Drake

Your tax, your call.

(I am taxed in France.)

Apr 3, 2012 at 8:25 PM | Registered CommenterDreadnought

So that's an £11 million donation to the BRIC countries, generally viewed as competitors who are eating our lunch in global markets. It's enough to make you cry.
Come on Hague, get a grip. All this can and should go to zero tomorrow.

Apr 3, 2012 at 8:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

@j bowers

'But US legislators were doing even worse when Adam Werrity was plonked in the Secretary for Defence's office while representing ALEC via Atlantic Bridge, and even using Liam Fox's name'

Have you ever considered that you are developing a bit of a fixation about this matter - whatever it is?. You've mentioned it at least once before on another thread where it was about as relevant (ie not at all) as it is here.

I'm sure that there are swarms of commentators (well one or two since everybody else has been terminated) at CiF with whom you can share your fantasies about Werrity and Fox and 'Atlantic Bridge'. But here is not the place..unless you can show some plausible connection to climate-related matters.

Apr 3, 2012 at 8:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

The first thing that immediately grabs me is "Biofuels adviser for Brasilia". Since Brazil has been leading the world in biofuels technology for decades I wondered what extra value we are supposed to be offering the Brazilians and after hunting around I found some Amigos da Terra literature:

Sustainability means greater responsibility, austerity and equity of international standards of the consumption and use of energy, whose demand has also contributed to the specialization and homogenization of the use of land to supply raw material to the global market, which results in risking the sustainability of the populations and environment of the producer countries.

Amongst the gobbly-di-gook it seems we are therefore associating with an organisation keen on selling "austerity" to Brazil which kinda makes sense - that's all a UK Government can offer on our behalf really;)

Looking through that list it looks more like an excersise in dragging some specfic target countries down to our simpering low expectation level. If you think about it, the sight of the BRIC countries and Canada thumbing their noses at carbon limits must be very galling for our poltical nitwit class who have nothing left to define themselves.

Apr 3, 2012 at 9:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

I shudder to think what DECC spent under that loony toon, Huhne.

Apr 3, 2012 at 9:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Leopard:

The first thing that immediately grabs me is "Biofuels adviser for Brasilia". Since Brazil has been leading the world in biofuels technology for decades I wondered what extra value we are supposed to be offering the Brazilians and after hunting around I found some Amigos da Terra literature: "Sustainability means greater responsibility, austerity and equity ..." Amongst the gobbly-di-gook it seems we are therefore associating with an organisation keen on selling "austerity" to Brazil

Perhaps not selling austerity so much to Brazil but to the millions that have died because of increase in world food prices directly attributable to biofuels subsidies. This isn't rational foreign policy, it's digusting, cynical and nihilistic application of the overpopulation meme, just as in the case of DDT.

Apr 3, 2012 at 9:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

I'm obviously missing something. Where does Werrity/Fox fit in here? What's the relevance to Bishop Hill/sceptics?

Apr 3, 2012 at 9:40 PM | Registered CommenterSimon Hopkinson

'The aim of this project is to bring climate security up the Russian Government’s agenda'

Ouch!

Apr 3, 2012 at 9:45 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

I am living in a "state of denial" ...... (Texas).

As a matter of fact, I reside less than one mile from where Texaco drilled its first oil well in 1903 at Sour Lake, Texas.

Apr 3, 2012 at 9:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterDrcrinum

Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.
Mark Twain

Apr 3, 2012 at 9:55 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

I know this blog is about climate stuff, so we are all getting rightly indignant about this particular wasting of money, but at the same time lets be aware of the bigger picture. This feckless nonsense is replicated across all government departments. Thats why widows are squeezed for tax money until their mites squeak. Inessential, arguably vote-catching expenditure is government speciality, which is why Gov spending is running at £750 bn a year as against £400 bn a year 10 years ago of which Osborn has to borrow £250bn, despite the widow-shafting. Cuts? What cuts? Yes some token ones to scare you or annoy you - your neighbours job, the local library - but no real desire to bring the madhouse money munching machine under control. Climate profligacy is just one of innumerable examples

Apr 3, 2012 at 9:58 PM | Unregistered Commenterbill

Hickman's effort re Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, demonstrates nicely how Hickman's alternate reality is totally absurd. Even more absurd is the idea that Hague finds it acceptable to interfere in the business of another sovereign state.
Do UK politicians undergo a reality bypass as a condition of taking the Treasury benches?
I, too am sincerely puzzled as to the relevance to this thread of J Bowers' comments re Werrity - is he frustrated due to the mods at CiF closing down their sandpit to comment?

Apr 3, 2012 at 10:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

"The full list of the FCO's projects in six countries, excluding some details on Russia and China which it withheld on the grounds it would be 'prejudicial to international relations', is published here"

I lack the creativity to imagine how a climate change program could be 'prejudicial to international relations.'

Any ideas?

Apr 3, 2012 at 10:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterPolitical Junkie

bill:

I know this blog is about climate stuff, so we are all getting rightly indignant about this particular wasting of money, but at the same time lets be aware of the bigger picture. This feckless nonsense is replicated across all government departments. Thats why widows are squeezed for tax money until their mites squeak. Inessential, arguably vote-catching expenditure is government speciality, which is why Gov spending is running at £750 bn a year as against £400 bn a year 10 years ago of which Osborn has to borrow £250bn, despite the widow-shafting. Cuts? What cuts? Yes some token ones to scare you or annoy you - your neighbours job, the local library - but no real desire to bring the madhouse money munching machine under control. Climate profligacy is just one of innumerable examples

Cited in total because it's that important. Here are a few points back. Climate wasn't the original theme of the Bishop Hill blog, which was our host's brand of libertarian thinking. My own view is that Andrew's move into climate through his reading of Steve McIntyre and reinterpretation of the hockey stick story was inspired - because climate profligacy is going to shine the spotlight on the whole of government profligacy, as you've just done so ably. A lot of dominoes could fall when this one does. That's why I've taken the time myself. And you don't have to be a doctrinaire libertarian, as Thomas Sowell calls it, to suspect that the £750bn is far too much. In fact you only have to care about the widow and her mite, in this week in which we remember those momentous moments in the temple in Jerusalem as the hypocrisy of the power brokers and opinion shapers of that day was exposed and the humble poor lifted up.

Revolution - the real kind. Very well said sir.

Apr 3, 2012 at 10:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

These advisors are just missionaries spreading the gospel according to the UN Agenda 21.

Apr 3, 2012 at 10:45 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

Odd question, but has anybody actually told Leo directly that he's done an OK job on this?

A bit more investigation, rather than parroting and extending activist press releases, would make better poltical/environmental journalism.

Apr 3, 2012 at 10:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterGSW

Richard drake, thank you. Very much shorthand, the modern model of politics is bribes for votes. Except the money runs out. Yesterdays bribes still have to be paid for, but there's no money for todays bribes. 'Growth' is a politicians pipe-dream. You can borrow, but there are buffers as Greece has found (and we will soon, ceteris paribus). You can whip up scares which give reason for numerous small taxes which no-one will really notice - climate change of course - but ingenuity will run out. And as the money is spread thinner, the formerly bribed will get more annoyed - why are there holes in the roads/crap hospitals/prisoners walking out of prisons/shut libraries, whatever. Which leads to toxic mix of the overtaxed and the cheated.
The interesting question is about the French revolution is why 1789. Why not 1778, or 1785? All the same conditions were in place. What tips people from irritation to outrage, into action?.

Apr 3, 2012 at 11:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterbill

To the moral and intellectual decadence of climate alarmism, we see, as illustrated here, the facile fiscal decadence of officials when the political class is, across many divides, convinced by that alarmism.

Apr 3, 2012 at 11:30 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

sHx
There is a news feature in Nature Reports Climate Change in 2008, by journalist James Fahn, with the title "Rescuing reporting in the global South". I have the article with me, but I can't seem to find the link right away. Another article is "Science journalism: fighting a reporting battle", by Mike Shanahan in another Nature news feature. (found link here.

The first article, in particular, contains numerous instances of projects by NGOs and British governmental aid working toward 'improving' climate change coverage in developing countries (which basically translates to buying column inches, as one observer himself acknowledges).

Apr 3, 2012 at 11:33 PM | Registered Commentershub

Here's an eye opener.

Go to Twitter #climate and scan the post headers and profiles. There are literally thousands of hopefuls with their sweaty little palms stretched out for your taxes to spend on green activism/PR/consultancy/education/business advice/energy advice/art/poetry/dance/nasal flute warbling & basket weaving.

It's like the South Sea Bubble and Tulip bulb hysteria combined - except the money's being confiscated rather than just conned.

I think the large number of relatively small sums in Hickman's list speaks of much petty corruption, back scratching and favours returned - a little "framework" here and a little "steering group" there and then it's off to the beachside conference & trebles all round.

Apr 3, 2012 at 11:39 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

Astonished at the profligacy

Does it include all of the ancillary costs (travel, communications,administration) asscoiated with these programs ?

Truly indicative of all that is wrong with western governments abusing their taxation privileges

Apr 4, 2012 at 12:42 AM | Unregistered Commenterlittle polyp

What is the DNA of these sycophant 'organisations' ... do they all have the same daddy? WWF maybe ?

It would be interesting to find out ... anybody ?

Apr 4, 2012 at 1:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterStreetcred

think Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti.
also think Richard Black, who was with BBC World Service:

Wikipedia: BBC World Service
The English language service broadcasts 24 hours a day. In June 2009 the BBC reported that the World Service’s average weekly audience reached 188 million people. The World Service is funded by grant-in-aid through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office by the British Government. From 2014, it will be funded by the compulsory BBC licence fee levied on every household in the United Kingdom using a television to watch broadcast programmes…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC_World_Service

14 March: Blackswhitewash: Richard Black And Stakeholder Forum
Well, it appears the BBC likes them as well. Stakeholder Forum co-produced a series of broadcasts with the BBC World Service Trust:
“In partnership with the BBC World Service Trust and UN Radio, Stakeholder Forum pioneered a new media/capacity building project whereby a team of journalists from developing countries were supported to attend the UN Commission on Sustainable Development. Over the two week Commission they produced over 30 hours of high-quality radio programmes on all aspects of agriculture, land, drought and desertification.“
And, drum roll please, guess who was involved in that…
“Working in close collaboration with the BBC World Service Trust, Stakeholder Forum identified a team of journalists from developing countries to attend the UN Commission on Sustainable Development-16 in New York (2009). Mentored by the BBC Environment Correspondent, Richard Black, the team were provided with an intensive training on all aspects of radio production and the policy issues under discussion at the CSD-16 including water, agriculture, land, and rural development.”
http://blackswhitewash.com/2012/03/14/richard-black-and-stakeholder-forum/

Apr 4, 2012 at 1:20 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

15. Project Title: Climate Leaders initiative Project Purpose: The purpose of this project is to build a responsive and representative network of Climate leaders to ensure that national policy makers are informed of regional climate change priorities in two regions which can be used as a model for other regions in India and countries in South Asia.Project Partner: LEAD IndiaBudget: £46,914.28

Ok. Should India's Foreign Ministry now finance a project to "build a responsive and representative network of X leaders to ensure that UK national policy makers are informed of X?
My suggestion for X: Pakistani (Bangladeshi/ Saudi) religious extremist bending infuence on UK media, bureaucrats, politicians etc. This is costing India much more death and destruction than present unmeasurable temperature increase (it also costs the UK its own soldiers in Afghanistan).

Apr 4, 2012 at 3:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterAntonyIndia

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