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« Worst BBC programme of all time? | Main | Economist on science »

Green racketeers?

I came across this story a couple of days ago and then forgot to post it - it's been a bit crazy here recently. It's written by Phelim McAleer and describes an attempt by Chevron to take legal action against a bunch of environmentalists for racketeering:

Chevron is suing lawyer Steven Donziger and a number of activist environmental groups in a civil-racketeering suit, claiming that his landmark $19 billion award against the oil company in an Ecuadorean court was the product of a criminal conspiracy.

Ironically, much of the company’s evidence comes from footage shot for “Crude,” an award-winning pro-Donziger documentary that premiered with much publicity at the Sundance Film Festival.

Read the whole thing.

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Reader Comments (28)

Wow.forged signature presented as evidence in court . In the UK that's perverting the course of justice. Chris Hulme and Jeffrey Archer know all about that

Oct 18, 2013 at 2:15 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

What happened is that a major US legal firm (Donziger) thought they could get away with a variety of dodgy moves on the back of the green tidal wave that swept through the American establishment. This isn't David vs Goliath. . Their arrogance and amoral idiocy got the better of them. They were wrong. The wind has changed and now they are legal dead meat.

I hope the corporate liars at the Guardian are paying attention. That is the game they are playing. Lies.

Oct 18, 2013 at 2:36 PM | Unregistered CommentereSmiff

Perhaps, at long last, the shabby green cloth of the environmentalist movements is about to unravel, to expose the foetid corruption beneath – and I speak as one who does want to reduce wanton destruction of much of the beauty that this planet holds for us, so find the “green” solution of blighting beautiful scenery with wind-farms anathema.

Oct 18, 2013 at 2:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

When I read this the other day I wasn't sure whether to believe it or not. After all, how could anyone be so stupid? But then I thought of the corruption that runs through the major environmental NGOs and their useful idiot supporters and the stupidity shown by Greenpeace in Russia and decided it must be true after all.

Oct 18, 2013 at 2:59 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Greenpeace is essentially a terrorist organisation, and should be proscribed. The damage Al Quaeda would like to do to the west is as nothing compared to what Greenpeace hopes to achieve.

Oct 18, 2013 at 3:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

Let us hope that Chevron wins and shows these greenies for what they are: vile crooks. But if the company does win, I hope they will give the wronged native population a very generous gift.

Oct 18, 2013 at 3:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

But the footage also shows Don­ziger figuring he can brazen it out: “If we take our existing evidence on groundwater contamination, extrapolate based on nothing other than our . . . theory . . . then we can do it. And we can get money for it.”

I thought this was just standard practice in the greenbacks movement.

Oct 18, 2013 at 3:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

Q: What do you call a thousand lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?

A: A good start.

Seriously, though, this one's been going on for a while, and may be the most extreme example of this sort of misbehavior yet evident, but I'm sure similar sorts of shakedowns are far too common.

What's hysterical, though, is watching some of the watermelons try to defend Donziger. Yes, they really do.

Oct 18, 2013 at 3:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterJEM

When I said the Holy Church of Global Warming would only be killed when courts start examining the evidence, I didn't think it would happen any time soon.

Hopefully this will be a nice prelude to the main events to come.

Oct 18, 2013 at 3:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-Record

I suspect this sort of legal extortion has been going on for a long time. Most parasites have enough sense however not to demand so much from the host that they might kill it or do irreparable harm. Donzinger is obviously very arrogant, very greedy and, from the extra footage shot on his documentary, very dishonest. A bad combination that just might lead to his downfall.

Oct 18, 2013 at 3:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterSean

The difference between Donziger and Phil Jones is only one of scale.

Oct 18, 2013 at 3:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

Why do I not find this a surprise?
Because the whole "green" edifice has become a money-grubbing scam.

Not that the Green movement did not start off with good intentions, but as they say "the road to Hell is paved with good intentions".

Just look at what Patrick Moore (ex Director of Greenpeace) now thinks of them.
"lead during the 70s and 80s is anything but charitable today."

"Since I left Greenpeace, its members, and the majority of the movement, have adopted policy after policy that reflects their anti-human bias, illustrates their rejection of science and technology, and actually increases the risk of harm to people and the environment.”

Oct 18, 2013 at 4:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Glad to see Chevron has the cojones to take on these extortionists, I actually worked for them for about ten years in the '70s/'80s. They were a good company to work for.

Oct 18, 2013 at 5:05 PM | Unregistered Commentermeltemian

@eSmiff. Thanks for the link - as usual things are more complicated than they seem. Though the lawyer may well have been a crook, the case probably had a lot a merit!

Oct 18, 2013 at 6:32 PM | Unregistered Commenterpeter2108

O/T but I heard this on radio guardian earlier:

Oct 18, 2013 at 6:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul

By ‘eck, Paul (Oct 18, 2013 at 6:53 PM) – that has to be one of the most astounding examples of propaganda in recent times! There is not even any pretence of being impartial, with any view that deviates in any way from, let alone disagrees with, the IPCC et al is a “climate change denier” view.

Whose head will roll when the whole shabby monolith of AGW comes crashing down?

Oct 18, 2013 at 7:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

wtf !!

this is in the BBC intro:

"Does the BBC still need to balance climate change science with sceptical views on the other side? After the World At One gave airtime to a climate change denier, Bob Carter"

That's PROFESSOR bob Carter to you BBC..

And what exactly is the definition of a 'climate change denier' BBC?

Oct 18, 2013 at 7:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

To continue with the BBC Feedback propaganda programme, we need someone with the patience and skills to transcribe that article and give it a thorough fisking! It is terrifying that this is being pumped out to the unthinking sheeple without questioning.

Oct 18, 2013 at 7:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent


No one. They will all claim they were acting on the 'best scientific advice' available.

Oct 18, 2013 at 7:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-Record

Stuck-Record: I know. It was a rhetorical question, really.

Oct 18, 2013 at 7:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

Bah! I tried transcribing, but have neither the patience nor the skills; my fingers just keep tripping over each other, and having to rewind and listen to the likes of Angena, Peter and Simon was too close to torture for me: “I’m not your typical listener because I write about and comment on scientific issues…” To later reveal her (presumably “scientific”, in her opinion) mind as tightly closed, “…because Bob Carter was allowed to dominate the airwaves and then climate scientists were given the right of reply […] fell short of the mark.” Obviously, a qualified scientist who has an opinion at variance to hers is, by definition, not a real scientist.

Sometimes, just sometimes, the BBC does give the semblance of scientific balance, then Harrabin opens his mouth: “…we have been trying, in the UK, to find one climate change sceptic who is a working scientist in this field, and we can’t find even one..” Roger, in case you haven’t noticed (though you are instrumental in the creation of this chimera), any “working scientist in this field” in the UK who shows scepticism soon becomes a non-working scientist in this field.

Oct 18, 2013 at 8:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

Re Feedback travesty : we are discussing it over on the Unthreaded : Alex Cull is on the case as ever transcribing it

Oct 18, 2013 at 8:57 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

In opening remarks:
"Friedman admitted, perhaps more openly than Donziger ever has previously, that the guts of the Cabrera report were, indeed, ghostwritten by Donziger's environmental consultants at Boulder-based Stratus Consulting, and that Donziger had gone to considerable lengths to keep that fact secret."

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa has denounced Chevron's Ecuadorian witnesses and attorneys as "traitors," "criminals," and "collaborators,"

Oct 18, 2013 at 9:06 PM | Unregistered Commenterbetapug

Plus, of course, should Chevron win, the repercussions will be so enormous that the BBC won't even mention it......

Oct 18, 2013 at 9:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave_G

Some blog, perhaps WUWT, had an extensive write up of this some years ago. IIRC, Texaco was responsible for the Ecuadorean site for more than 20 years. They wanted to pull out/merge for various reasons, and to be able to do so, did extensive studies and remediation in order to satisfy the Ecuadorean government. They then merged with Chevron who took over, and soon after, Donovan got on the scent of a large payday.
Among other things, supposedly the Ecuadorean "expert" responsible for later studies admitted that he did not author his own report!

Oct 19, 2013 at 1:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterRML

Yes, there was a post on WUWT a couple of years ago about this. I have been following the issue since then.

It seems that, whatever the merits of the case, these shonky lawyers and the Ecudorean government (Julian Assange's refuge of choice) have conspired to try to milk Chevron out of millions using utterly fraudulent means. The difference here is that unlike many other companies in the same situation, Chevron refused to cave in and pay up. No doubt it has cost them a lot of money to take this path. But, good on them.

The casual use of local people, who are lucky to make it to age 60, is of no account to the wealthy greenies who support the action against Chevron.

Oct 19, 2013 at 2:55 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohanna

The Financial Post has been covering this since Donziger tried to sue Chevron in Canada. It was thrown out.
They also do regular opinion posts on IPCC, Suzuki, and the Climate Apocalypse.

Oct 19, 2013 at 6:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterEric Gisin

"late RFK’s daughter, was on the take for her advocacy against Texaco in Ecuador"

Oct 19, 2013 at 5:39 PM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

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