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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Giulio Meotti : The West: Too Tired to Defend Freedom?

  • "We are kidding ourselves if we think we yet live in a tolerant, liberal society" — UK Liberal Democrats party leader Tim Farron, who resigned after giving "politically incorrect" answers on homosexual sex and abortion.
  • Wherever he went, Jeremy Corbyn seemed as if he were a voluntary collaborator with an Iranian regime that executes gays. But Corbyn was never questioned about this affiliation the way the media obsessively questioned Farron.
  • Muslim supremacists murder gays in Orlando? Instead of being proud of an open society, defending it from Islamic jihadists, and accepting the freedom to be homosexual as a positive difference between the West and Islam, our liberals make it a case for more "inclusion".
After the recent terror attacks in Britain, The Spectator wrote: "After five centuries, religious war has returned to England". The reference is to 1535, when Thomas More was executed for his Catholic beliefs. Tim Farron, a British MP and party leader of the Liberal Democrats who, after refusing for several days to state whether he considers homosexual sex a sin, and gave ambiguous answers on abortion, was not brought to the Tower of London for a public execution. However, almost 500 years after More, Farron saw his political career sacrificed on an almost identical ideological altar as More.
Farron resigned his position as party leader with a dramatic speech. The Daily Mail condemned the "liberal fascism" of the "moral pygmies". The progressive New Statesman headlined its story on Farron's resignation as the "decline of liberalism". Farron said: "We are kidding ourselves if we think we yet live in a tolerant, liberal society".
It does not matter that Farron had, on gay rights, a 90.4% "positive score", according to the Public Whip. Or that he repeatedly defended the right to abortion. What was intolerable was that Farron could have nourished, in his Christian conscience, even a minimal doubt.


Liberal Democrats party leader Tim Farron saw his political career sacrificed because the British media found it unacceptable that, in his Christian conscience, he could have considered homosexual sex a sin. (Image source: Liberal Democrats/Flickr)

Western liberalism seems to have eliminated the so-called "corridor" that had guaranteed a right to existence to those ideas that did not conform to relativism. It is bizarre that this demonization has been consumed in the Liberal Democrats, the party that has borne the torch of classic liberalism.

Perhaps Farron thought that his progressive ideas on climate change, the protection of minorities and the European Union would protect him from such vicious attacks. He was wrong. His inquisitors in the media wanted to talk about his personal social ideas, not Brexit.

The Wall Street Journal told the whole story. After taking over the leadership of the party in 2015, Farron was asked whether, as a Christian, thought that homosexuality is a sin. "We are all sinners", he said. That was not enough. During a television interview on April 18, 2017, Farron was pressed four times to respond again and four times he refused. Silence was not enough. The next day, at the House of Commons, Farron said that homosexuality is not a sin. That, too, was not enough. The media had to be sure that Farron believed it in his heart as well. So a BBC interviewer asked him again a few days later. It was a campaign to smear Farron, an easy scapegoat for a phony concept of liberalism.

Journalist Nick Cohen, writing in The Guardian noted a further paradox. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn worked for state-owned Iranian television and spoke at the Khomeinist rally in London. Wherever he went, Corbyn seemed as if he were a voluntary collaborator with a regime that executes gays. But Corbyn was never questioned about this affiliation the way the media obsessively questioned Farron.

At a time when Islamic supremacists attack the symbols of Western liberalism, liberalism shows a dangerous emptiness. Liberalism has been turned into a caricature made of mandatory gender ideology, blind multiculturalism, defeatist pacifism, anti-Zionism, feminism and critical studies. "An orgy of liberal sex and liberal guilt".

The result is what Douglas Murray called a "tiredness" of the civilization, a cultural chaos which turned into an apathy. In one month, Western Europe has been hit by four major terror attacks: Manchester, London, Paris and Brussels. Sholton Byrnes wrote in an article published by The National:
"...the definition of the West consists of far more than the security alliance that underpins it. Does it not also mean Shakespeare and Schopenhauer, liberal democracy, a progressive interpretation of human rights, all springing from the soil of centuries of Roman-Judaeo-Christian tradition? The West was once the inheritor of Christendom. Today, it is not entirely sure what it is, with many voices violently clashing over their views of what it should be. It lacks the certainty in its own civilisation that Russia and China, for instance, possess. If it is too tired or unwilling to defend itself, the US will survive for sure; but the concept of 'the West' will have dissolved through the apathy of societies who will have shown they have no courage – and not many convictions either".
That is why, if we, the West, do not take our culture more seriously, Islamic terrorists will easily be able to destroy it. Every time Western symbols come under attack, the Western relativists rapidly accommodate the attackers.

Salman Rushdie is threatened with death and a $6 million Islamic bounty on his head, or Muslims supremacists attack because of cartoons of the Islamic Prophet Mohammed? 
Instead of defending freedom of expression, our liberals submit to Islamic blasphemy laws. 
Two years and a half after the massacre at Charlie Hebdo, not a single European newspaper has again drawn Mohammed.

Muslim supremacists slaughter French Jews? Instead of defending them as a post-Holocaust treasure, our liberals scapegoat Israel's security policies, as did the European Union's former foreign minister, Catherine Ashton.

Muslims supremacists submit their own women to burqas and niqabs and home-confinement? Instead of protecting equality, our liberals defend the veils as symbols of "cultural diversity".

Muslim supremacists murder gays in Orlando? Instead of being proud of an open society, defending it from Islamic jihadists, and accepting the freedom to be homosexual as a positive difference between the West and Islam, our liberals make it a case for "Love wins" and "Hate will not divide us".

A year after the massacre at the Pulse gay nightclub, the mainstream media constructed a new narrative, as if murdering 49 gay people were not the product of ISIS, but of "hate". That is why the question is repeatedly asked: "Why did this happen?"

Contemporary liberalism is exhausted and irritated by the very idea of a common civilization to be defended. 
In a weak conception of "liberalism", the supreme goal for liberals seems to be "peace", whatever it costs -- in other words, surrender. 
This is how Western liberalism has become fragile, like a tree corroded by a lethal fungus.

Fifty years ago, James Burnham understood that liberalism had become "an ideology of suicide" of Westerners "who hate their own civilization, readily excuse or even praise blows struck against it, and themselves lend a willing hand, frequently enough, to pulling it down".

Civilization is not a gift; it is a breakable achievement that needs to be defended from inside and out from the many who would destroy it. Let us take the freedoms we value more seriously; they are being taken from us as we speak.
Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Giulio Meotti : Are Jihadists Taking over Europe?

  • In the four European countries most targeted by terror attacks -- Britain, France, Belgium and Germany -- the number of official extremists has reached 66,000. That sounds like a real army -- on active duty.
  • The terrorists' ransom is already visible: they have destabilized the democratic process in many European countries and are drafting the terms of freedom of expression. A jihadist takeover of Europe is no longer unthinkable. Islamic extremists are already reaping what they sowed: they successfully defeated Geert Wilders and Marine Le Pen, the only two European candidates who really wanted to fight radical Islam.
  • Europe could be taken over the same way Islamic State took over much of Iraq: with just one-third of Iraqi territory.

"Germany is quietly building a European army under its command," according to some in the media. Apparently German Chancellor Angela Merkel, after her clash with U.S. President Donald Trump, would like to invest, along with France, in a European army.

At present, however, there is just one real army in Europe -- the Jihadist Army, as in the terrorists who struck London on June 3 and murdered seven people, just two weeks after carnage in Manchester.
 
In the four European countries most targeted by terror attacks -- Britain, France, Belgium and Germany -- the number of official extremists has reached 66,000. That sounds like a real army, on active duty.

Intelligence officers have identified 23,000 Islamic extremists living in Britain as potential terrorists. The number reveals the real extent of the jihadist threat in the UK. The scale of the Islamist challenge facing the security services was disclosed after intense criticism that many opportunities to stop the Manchester suicide bomber had been overlooked.

French authorities are monitoring 15,000 Islamists, according a database created in March 2015 and managed by France's Counter-Terrorism Coordination Unit. Different surveys estimate up to 20,000 French radical Islamists.

The number on Belgium's anti-terror watch-list surged from 1,875 in 2010 to 18,884 in 2017. In Molenbeek, the well-known jihadist nest in the EU capital, Brussels, intelligence services are monitoring 6,168 Islamists. Think about that: 18,884 Belgian jihadists compared to 30,174 Belgian soldiers on active duty.

The number of potential jihadists in Germany has exploded from 3,800 in 2011 to 10,000, according to Hans-Georg Maassen, head of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Germany's domestic intelligence service).

These Islamists have built a powerful infrastructure of terror inside Europe's cities. These terror bases are self-segregated, multicultural enclaves in which extremist Muslims promote Islamic fundamentalism and implement Islamic law, Sharia -- with the Tower Hamlets Taliban of East London; in the French banlieues [suburbs], and in The Hague's "sharia triangle", known as "the mini-caliphate," in the Netherlands.

These extremist Muslims can comfortably get their weapons from the Balkans, where, thanks to Europe's open borders, they can travel with ease. They can also get their money from abroad, thanks to countries such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia. These Islamists can self-finance through the mosques they run, as well as get "human resources," donated by unvetted mass migration coming through the Mediterranean.

23,000 potential jihadists in the UK, 18,000 in Belgium, 10,000 in Germany, 15,000 in France. What do these numbers tell us? There might be a war in Europe "within a few years", as the chief of the Swedish army, General Anders Brännström, told the men under his command that they must expect.
Take what happened in Europe with the terror attacks from 1970 to 2015:
"4,724 people died from bombings. 2,588 from assassinations. 2,365 from assaults. 548 from hostage situations. 159 from hijackings. 114 from building attacks. Thousands were wounded or missing".
Terrorism across Europe has killed 10,537 people in 18,803 reported attacks. And it is getting worse:
"Attacks in 2014 and 2015 have seen the highest number of fatalities, which includes terrorists targeting civilians, government officials, businesses and the media, across Europe since 2004".
A jihadist takeover of Europe is no longer unthinkable. Islamic extremists are already reaping what they sowed: they successfully defeated Geert Wilders and Marine Le Pen, the only two European candidates who really wanted to fight radical Islam. What if tomorrow these armed Islamists assault the Parliament in Rome, election polls in Paris, army bases in Germany or schools in London, in a Beslan-type attack?

The terrorists' ransom is already visible: they have destabilized the democratic process in many European countries and are drafting the terms of freedom of expression. They have been able to pressure Europe into moving the battle-front from the Middle East to Europe itself. Of all the French soldiers engaged in military operations, half are deployed inside France; in Italy, more than half of Italian soldiers are used in "Safe Streets," the operation keeping Italy's cities safe.


Of all the French soldiers engaged in military operations, half are deployed inside France. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

After 9/11, the United States decided to fight the Islamists in Afghanistan and Iraq, not to have to fight them in Manhattan. Europe chose the opposite direction: it as if Europe had accepted to turn its own cities into a new Mosul.

If Europe's leaders do not act now to destroy the enemy within, the outcome may well come to be an "Afghan scenario," in which Islamists control part of the territory from where they launch attacks against cities. 
Europe could be taken over the same way Islamic State took over much of Iraq: with just one-third of Iraqi territory.

Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.

Ruthie Blum : Facebook's Little Ethics Problem

  • Facebook has been aiding abusers of human-rights -- such as China, Turkey, Russia and Pakistan -- to curb the freedom of expression of their people.
  • "On the same day that we filed the report, the 'Stop Palestinians' page that incited against Palestinians was removed by Facebook... for 'containing credible threat of violence' which 'violated our community standards.' On the other hand, the 'Stop Israelis' page that incited against Israelis, was not removed. We received a response from Facebook stating that the page was 'not in violation of Facebook's rules.'" — Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, head of The Israel Law Center.
  • According to Darshan-Leitner, Facebook's insistence that it cannot control all the content on its pages is disingenuous, if not an outright lie. After all, its algorithms are perfectly accurate when it comes to detecting users' shopping habits.
There is a problem at Facebook. On May 8, the social media platform blocked and then shut down the pages of two popular moderate Muslim groups -- on the grounds that their content was "in violation of community standards" -- without explanation.

Had these pages belonged to the radicals who incite followers to violence, however, the move would have been welcome, and would have corresponded to Facebook's Online Civil Courage Initiative, founded in Berlin in January 2016, to "challeng[e] hate speech and extremism online," in the effort to prevent the use of social media as a platform for recruiting terrorists.

The pages that Facebook shut down, however -- Ex-Muslims of North America, which has 24,000 followers; and Atheist Republic, with 1.6 million -- do nothing of the sort. In fact, they are managed and followed by Arabs across the world who reject not only violence and terrorism, but Islam as a religion.

This, it turns out, is precisely the problem.

Angry Islamists, bent on silencing such "blasphemers" and "apostates," troll social media and abuse Facebook's complaint system. It's a tactic that works like a charm every time, as conservative and pro-Israel individuals and groups -- whose posts are disproportionately targeted by political opponents and removed by Facebook for "violating community standards" -- can attest. As in most of those cases, the pages of the former Muslims were reinstated the next day, after their administrators demonstrated that the charges against them were false.

The president of Ex-Muslims of North America, Muhammad Syed, who is originally from Pakistan, complained about the practice in an open letter to Facebook, and demanded that the company do more to protect former Muslims from online harassment by Islamists:
"Ironically, the same social media which empowers religious minorities is susceptible to abuse by religious fundamentalists to enforce what are essentially the equivalent of online blasphemy laws. A simple English-language search reveals hundreds of public groups and pages on Facebook explicitly dedicated to this purpose [enforcing blasphemy laws online] -- giving their members easy-to-follow instructions on how to report public groups and infiltrate private ones."
Syed also started a Change.org petition, calling on Facebook to "prevent religious extremists from censoring atheists and secularists." According to the website Heat Street, which broke the story, there are many other secular Arab groups that have been similarly flagged by religious Muslims on social media.



For its part, Facebook continues to claim that the sheer volume of material it deals with every day makes it virtually impossible even for its algorithms to distinguish accurately between posts that violate its own "community standards" and those that do not.

This claim has been refuted by attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, head of Shurat HaDin - The Israel Law Center, who has been engaged in a billion-dollar class action lawsuit against Facebook for failing to prevent or halt anti-Israel incitement on its pages. Darshan-Leitner decided to put her premise to the test at the end of December 2015, by creating two fictitious Facebook pages -- "Stop Palestinians" and "Stop Israelis" -- and posting hate-filled comments and clips on each.


For two days, from December 28-30, Darshan-Leitner's organization continued to increase the level of incitement on both pages. For example, a post on the "Stop Israelis page" featured an anti-Semitic cartoon and the phrase "death to all the Jews." Simultaneously, a post on the "Stop Palestinians" page read, "Revenge against the Arab enemy. Death to all the Arabs."

At this point, according to Darshan-Leitner, Shurat HaDin reported both pages to Facebook and requested that they be removed.

"Facebook was very quick to respond to our reports," she said on a YouTube video.
"On the same day that we filed the report, the 'Stop Palestinians' page that incited against Palestinians was removed by Facebook. Facebook sent us a response stating that the page was removed for 'containing credible threat of violence' which 'violated our community standards.' On the other hand, the 'Stop Israelis' page that incited against Israelis, was not removed. We received a response from Facebook stating that the page was 'not in violation of Facebook's rules.'"
Six days later, after a huge outcry in the Hebrew press and on social media, Facebook changed its initial judgement and removed the anti-Semitic page.
This kind of behavior is just what Muhammad Syed is railing about.
"Arab atheists, Bangladeshi secularists, and numerous other groups have been under attack for years, as religious conservatives in the Muslim world learn to abuse Facebook's reporting system to their advantage. Early last year, multiple atheist and secularist groups were targeted with mass, coordinated infiltration and reporting -- leading to the closure of many groups. These groups were eventually restored, but only after a lengthy and sustained effort by organizers to draw public attention to the issue."

Darshan-Leitner said that although she does not consider Facebook guilty of incitement, its insistence that it cannot control all the content on its pages is disingenuous, if not an outright lie. After all, its algorithms are very accurate when it comes to detecting users' shopping habits -- information that advertisers pay a lot of money for the privilege of obtaining.


Furthermore, Facebook has been aiding abusers of human rights -- such as China, Turkey, Russia and Pakistan -- to curb the freedom of expression of their people. As the New York Times reported last November, the social media giant quietly developed software to enable the Chinese government to suppress posts. This was CEO Mark Zuckerberg's way of getting back in China's good graces, after Facebook was banned from the enormous market in 2009.


Where Pakistan is concerned, the situation is just as delicate. In March, according to Al Jazeera, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif warned that blasphemous content on Facebook would be "strictly punished."
Sharif has been trying to get social media outlets to adhere to his country's blasphemy laws, which state that anything deemed insulting to Islam or Muhammad is a crime, and those convicted of it can be sentenced to death. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan called blasphemy "an issue about the honor of every Muslim," and threatened to "take strong action" against Facebook and other platforms that do not comply. He also mentioned, however, that Facebook had agreed to send a delegation to Pakistan to work something out.

This was a mere few months after Facebook signed a "Code of Conduct on Countering Illegal Hate Speech Online," produced by the European Commission and also endorsed by Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube, asserting "a collective responsibility and pride in promoting and facilitating freedom of expression throughout the online world." This, it stated, "is applicable not only to 'information' or 'ideas' that are favourably received or regarded as inoffensive or as a matter of indifference, but also to those that offend, shock or disturb the State or any sector of the population." (Emphasis added.)

This is a far cry from a whispered exchange, caught on a hot mic on the sidelines of a United Nations development summit in New York in 2015, between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg. Merkel confronted Zuckerberg about not doing enough to combat "xenophobic" posts relating to the influx of migrants into Europe in general and Germany in particular.
"We need to do some work on it," Zuckerberg responded.

So far, all of Zuckerberg's hard work seems to be paying off, but not for former Muslims such as Syed, seeking moral and intellectual support from the like-minded.
Ruthie Blum is a journalist and author of "To Hell in a Handbasket: Carter, Obama and the 'Arab Spring.'"

Nima Gholam Ali Pour : Sweden's Multicultural Apartheid

  • Swedish politicians keep trying to portray Sweden as a liberal and tolerant paradise. Experience from the suburbs, however, where most of the migrants are, shows that a large part of Sweden's population is not part of Sweden's liberals and feminists. They, in fact get harassed by Islamists every day. In those communities, there is a lack of tolerance.
  • These women are not some right-wing pundits who criticize Islam. Instead, they are simply Muslim women who are denied fundamental rights in Sweden because they are women and happen to live in communities where parallel Islamic social structures have been created.
  • The problem is that those who govern Sweden do not originate from, or have any deeper knowledge about, the immigrant suburbs, where people cannot live as free citizens, and clearly have no interest in these suburbs. The LGBT movement and the feminist movement prefer to silence those who protest Islamic oppression in Sweden's immigrant suburbs.
In Sweden, as in many other suburbs throughout Europe, the repression from which many refugees are fleeing, instead seems to be following them there. 

Nalin Pekgul, who defines herself as a practicing Muslim and has served as a politician in the Social Democrat Party, stated that in immigrant-settled areas, such as Stockholm's Tensta suburb, where she lives, the self-appointed "morality police" gather outside assembly rooms to prevent young people from entering if they try to organize parties with music.
Islamist organizations in Sweden, Pekgul says, have strengthened their position through support from Saudi Arabia and Sweden's government agencies, media, political parties and so on.


In Stockholm's Tensta suburb, the self-appointed "morality police" gather outside assembly rooms to prevent young people from entering if they try to organize parties with music. (Image source: Holger.Ellgaard / Wikimedia Commons)

According to Pekgul, there are many Muslims in in Sweden who have become fundamentalists. For calling public attention to these changes, Pekgul has been called an "Islamophobe". When, in protest against the extremist Muslims, she began wearing short skirts in Tensta, she was harassed.

Another Muslim, Zeliha Dagli, who came to Sweden from Turkey in 1985 and was an elected representative of the Left Party in Sweden, has fought for women's rights in Stockholm's immigrant suburbs for 25 years. In 2015, she wrote:
"Once upon a time I ran away, terrified of my childhood imams in our former homeland. Some of them controlled the girls in the village. Older girls were not allowed to pass through the square in the village, but had to sneak and take detours and make themselves 'invisible'.
"That shadow persecuted me, and in Sweden I tried to get peace and quiet. But in the city of Uppsala, where I first arrived, my life continued to be controlled by my countrymen, and I fled from that shadow to Stockholm.... Even there I was persecuted by the 'shadow' and I now live in Husby. Still, even here I see all the 'shadows' you can imagine, and I do not have the right to an open and independent life: I am constantly monitored.
"I want a sanctuary, and I want to have a glass of beer with my friends, Lars, Hassan, Maria, Osman.... I also want to go to the senior citizen's association and listen to jazz and dance. I want to grow vegetables on my allotment while wearing and hang out with my friends and go to the bathhouse in a bikini.
"In my neighborhood, I would like to escape the judgmental eyes of staring men. I want to bring home whomever I want, but today I cannot because my rights are limited and controlled in my own neighborhood. All these bearded 'shadows' scare me."
For speaking out, Dagli, too, was harassed. This year, she was forced to move from Stockholm's immigrant suburbs:
"Now I have moved from my beloved Husby suburb. I miss it a lot, but I grew tired of constantly explaining to myself completely obvious things about my privacy, and being questioned because I do not use a veil despite being a Muslim, and being called a whore."
These women are not some right-wing pundits who criticize Islam. Instead, they are Muslim women who are denied fundamental rights in Sweden because they are women and happen to live in communities where parallel Islamic social structures have been created.

Such parallel Islamic social structures also affect the LGBT community. In Tensta, local politicians decided that the Gay Pride flag will be raised in the city center in August every year, when the Gay Pride week takes place. When the flag was hoisted in Tensta last year it was torn down after a few hours, and both the flag and flagpole were stolen. One of the local politicians who put forward the proposal to raise the flag said: "There are cultural, and certainly even religious, beliefs that believe that LGBT should not be in public space."

Rissne is a district in the municipality of Sundbyberg, just north of the capital Stockholm. The majority of the residents in Rissne are either immigrants or born to immigrant parents. When a park bench in the center of Rissne was painted the colors of the rainbow flag, it was burned down and a message was scribbled on the wall: "[Gay] Pride is not for Rissne". Because there were no witnesses, the police chose not to investigate the incident.

That homosexuality creates unrest in some immigrant areas is not a secret. It is precisely this situation, however, that led an activist, Jan Sjunesson, in 2015, to stage Gay Pride Järva (Järva is a district of Stockholm), a Gay Pride parade through Stockholm's immigrant suburbs. While many apparently considered Sjunesson's parade to be a provocation, Sjunesson believes he is fighting for the rights of LGBT people there. No one knows how some Muslims in these immigrant areas will react. The parade creates a lot of nervousness in the Swedish media every year because of hostile reactions from the local Muslim population.

In April, the Swedish media reported how the Al-Azhar Islamic charter school in Stockholm separates boys and girls on the school bus. The girls enter through the back door, while the boys enter through the door at the front. The history of U.S. civil rights is probably not mentioned in Al-Azhar's history class.

It is impossible now to say that Sweden is an ultra-liberal country while there are areas in Sweden where women with short skirts and LGBT citizens are harassed because of their clothes and sexual orientation. Intolerance has simply become part of today's multicultural Sweden.

The lesson to be learned from these contrasts is to see through the Swedish politicians who try to portray Sweden as a liberal and tolerant paradise. Experience from the immigrant suburbs of Sweden's cities shows that a large part of Sweden's population is not part of the feminist and liberal Sweden.

Liberals are harassed by Islamists every day because in their communities, there is a lack of tolerance.

The problem is that those who govern Sweden do not originate from, or have any deeper knowledge about, the immigrant suburbs where people cannot live as free citizens, and clearly have no interest in these suburbs.
The LGBT movement and the feminist movement prefer to silence those who protest Islamic oppression in Sweden's immigrant suburbs. They want to silence it to the extent that even Muslims are portrayed as "Islamophobes."

Unfortunately, immigrants in the suburbs will live under this Islamist plague until the Islamists grow so strong that they become a threat to the liberal values of the elites. 

When the Islamists begin to disturb the liberal elites and their cultural sphere, the liberals in Sweden may see them as a problem. Ironically, for these liberal elites, who not long ago wanted to save the world through a liberal refugee policy, their primary motivation now seems simply to be self-interest.

Nima Gholam Ali Pour is a member of the board of education in the Swedish city of Malmö and is engaged in several Swedish think tanks concerned with the Middle East. He is also editor for the social conservative website Situation Malmö, and is the author of the Swedish book "Därför är mångkultur förtryck"("Why Multiculturalism is Oppression").

Natural Resources Defense Council : environmental activist organization

Natural Resources Defense Council

Highly adept in the art of using baseless scare campaigns to drum up press and funding, the NRDC is one of the wealthiest and most powerful environmental activist groups in the United States.

At a glance

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an environmental activist organization with over $182 million in net assets to fund its radical agenda. Examples of the NRDC’s extreme tactics include:
  • Using questionable science to generate hysteria regarding the safety of chemicals in food production and everyday products in order to scare consumers and to increase donations to the NRDC;
  • Fabricating a nonexistent swordfish shortage in another donation-generating ploy;
  • Colluding with the Environmental Protection Agency in “Sue and Settle” lawsuits to generate more stringent environmental regulations with minimal input from other stakeholders;
  • Hypocritically flip-flopping on the value of the National Environmental Policy Act to suit the NRDC’s agenda;
  • Recognizing a “scientific consensus” regarding man-made climate change, but refusing to acknowledge a similar “scientific consensus” on the safety of genetically modified organisms.

Background

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is one of the largest and most well-funded environmental activist organizations in the United States. The organization was founded in 1970 with a $400,000 grant from the liberal Ford Foundation.
The NRDC conducts knee-jerk advocacy and creates scare campaigns on a wide array of environmentalist issues, including ending affordable energy, pushing a “guilty until proven innocent” chemical policy that goes against science, and opposing resource development.


Funding

The NRDC is one of the best-funded environmental activist organizations in existence, with net assets of over $182 million. Ironically, the organization has economically benefited from the very fossil fuels it wants to eliminate.

Hedge-fund billionaire and environmental activist Tom Steyer, who could be called the next Al Gore, backs an anti-fossil fuel organization called the Energy Foundation which has given millions to NRDC. Ironically enough, researchers have uncovered that Steyer’s hedge fund “minted a lot of money off oil and gas investments, among other environmentally destructive business ventures.” A profile in the far-left magazine The Nation of environmental groups profiting from the very oil and gas companies they fundamentally oppose confirmed that “NRDC still holds stocks in mutual funds and mixed assets that do not screen for fossil fuels.”
The NRDC also received more than $1.7 million in 2011 from the SeaChange Foundation—a foundation with dubious funders. An exposé by the Washington Free Beacon uncovered that Klein Ltd., a company incorporated in Bermuda that may exist solely on paper, donated at least $10 million to the SeaChange Foundation. SeaChange then funnels that money to a number of progressive organizations.
NRDC has received similarly hidden contributions through other “donor-advised” funds, criticized by some watchdogs as “dark money.” The Schwab Charitable Fund, a donor-advised fund that donors to other left-environmentalist groups have used to obscure their identities, funneled at least $4.7 million in NRDC donations since 2008.
NRDC also receives considerable funding from more traditional liberal foundations. The George Soros-backed Open Society Institute and Foundation to Support Open Society have given NRDC over $2.2 million since 2008. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, one of the largest left-environmentalist foundations in the country, has provided NRDC with over $4.7 million over that same period.



Black Eyes


Concocting Hysteria That’s Rotten to the Core

 

Appls


In 1989, the NRDC colluded with Washington PR firm Fenton Communications to create the “Alar-on-apples” food scare.
Following the release of a report called “Intolerable Risk” — which claimed that Alar, a pesticide used by apple growers, was “the most potent cancer-causing agent in our food supply” and blamed the chemical for “as many as 5,300” childhood cancer cases — Fenton and NRDC went on a five-month media blitz. The campaign kicked off with a CBS “60 Minutes” feature seen by over 50 million Americans. Despite the fact that the claims were completely unfounded, hysteria set in. Apples were pulled off of grocery shelves, schools stopped serving them at lunch, and apple growers nationwide lost over $250 million. 
The Wall Street Journal printed one of David Fenton’s (of Fenton Communications) internal memos, after the Alar-on-apples scandal was publicly debunked. Here’s Fenton in his own words:
We designed [the Alar Campaign] so that revenue would flow back to the Natural Resources Defense Council from the public, and we sold this book about pesticides through a 900 number and the Donahue show. And to date there has been $700,000 in net revenue from it.
Henry Miller, the founding director of the FDA’s Office of Biotechnology, summed up the debacle:
Thousands of apple growers suffered substantial losses, some went bankrupt, and the federal government spent almost $10 million to support struggling apple growers.  The scare was eventually exposed as a fraud. The source of that chaos, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), is known for that sort of alarmist junk science.


Fabricating a Swordfish Shortage

 

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In 1998, NRDC joined forces with Fenton Communications again. This time, the plan was to convince the public that swordfish were being over-fished, with claims that America’s taste for it “threaten[ed] the livelihood of the species.”
The “Give Swordfish a Break!” campaign was operated by a group called SeaWeb, which, conveniently, was created by Fenton specifically for this purpose. Nearly 100% of the funding for this campaign came from pass-through grants solicited by NRDC on behalf of SeaWeb.
As with the Alar scare, these claims were utterly false, ultimately leading the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to condemn the campaign as “flawed to the core,” while the National Marine Fisheries Institute declared that swordfish were never in any danger of extinction at all.
Rebecca Lent, the director of the Highly Migratory Species Division of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), which regulates commercial fishing, said “Swordfish are not considered endangered.” About SeaWeb’s NRDC-backed campaign, Lent said, “I think it will end up having a detrimental effect on our fishermen… I know a lot of [U.S. fishermen] who have lost their jobs already.”


Using Questionable Science to Generate Chemical Scares

 

Pepsico Admits That Aquafina Water Comes From Tap


NRDC is no stranger to overstating environmental risks to generate public outcry and attention. The organization has been especially effective in using a handful of questionable “studies” to scare the public about the safety of chemicals used in millions of everyday products.
While NRDC has warned the public that many of their favorite products are subtly poisoning them, actual toxicologists fail to subscribe to NRDC’s doomsday forecasts. The Center for Health and Risk Communication at George Mason University surveyed  members of the Society of Toxicology and found that these experienced toxicologists “overwhelmingly reject the notion that exposure to even the smallest amounts of harmful chemicals is dangerous or that the detection of any level of a chemical in your body by biomonitoring indicates a significant health risks.”
The toxicologists surveyed were asked specifically about their opinions of NRDC, and 79 percent of respondents who expressed an opinion believed NRDC overstates chemical risks.
Instead of recognizing that professionals who study chemicals for a living question NRDC’s position on chemicals, NRDC slammed the survey for lack of peer review—even though few publicly released polls are peer-reviewed. When asked if NRDC released its data for peer review, Linda Greer, NRDC’s Health and Environment Program Director, responded: “We’re an advocacy group, and we don’t hold ourselves out as scientific researchers.”
After successfully stirring up groundless fears of Alar, NRDC is now pushing to ban bisphenol A (BPA), a common chemical used in plastics. Though research from the U.S. government found that it would be very difficult for BPA to cause health effects in humans, NRDC has sued the Food and Drug Administration for failing to ban BPA. The FDA has determined that science does not justify a ban of BPA from all food and drink containers.


“Sue and Settle” Collusion with the EPA

 

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The Natural Resources Defense Council is one of the many environmental groups that have colluded with federal agencies in “sue and settle” lawsuits. Since 2009, the NRDC has accepted at least nine settlements from the EPA.

In these cases, environmental activists sue the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), arguing that the agency is taking too long to issue a particular regulation or that the agency isn’t meeting a specific legal requirement. The EPA can then either defend itself in court or settle with the environmentalists. In several cases, the EPA has issued a consent agreement to settle cases the very same day activists filed their lawsuits.
In many cases, if the environmentalists are successful in suing the EPA, the groups’ attorneys’ fees are paid by the federal government.
According to a 2011 report from the Government Accountability Office, between 1995 and 2010, taxpayers reimbursed the Natural Resources Defense Council to the tune of $252,004.

Professor David Schoenbrod—a staff attorney for NRDC during the 1970s who is now Trustee Professor at New York Law School and a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute—explained the “sue and settle” strategy:
I used to do this when I was at the Natural Resources Defense Council. There are thousands of such suits brought. Environmental groups would crank these out by the hundreds. They get an intern to look at a company’s emissions reports and compare those figures with what the permit authorized.

NEPA Hypocrisy

 

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The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which took effect in 1970, requires all government agencies to weigh environmental factors when making decisions and requires agencies to prepare an environmental statement to accompany reports and recommendations for funding from Congress. NRDC has heaped praise on the legislation, calling it the “environmental Magna Carta” and saying “NEPA is democratic at its core.”
Why then is NRDC now trying to stop the federal government from using the NEPA process?
Before developers could even file a NEPA permit application to begin copper mining in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region, NRDC began leading a call for the Environmental Protection Agency to veto the project before the government ever reviewed the development’s environmental impact strategy and plans. Rather than trusting in the environmental review process it treasures, NRDC hopes to stifle new developments before they’re ever vetted—simply because NRDC, like most radical environmentalist groups, essentially never met a mining project it liked.


Cherry-Picking “Scientific Consensus”

 

Tesco Opens First Of Its "Fresh And Easy" Stores In L.A


NRDC is one of many environmental activist organizations that justifies its push for the end of fossil fuels because of a “scientific consensus” that carbon emissions have led to climate change. However, NRDC and its activist allies neglect to acknowledge a similar scientific consensus regarding genetically modified foods.
The U.S. National Academy of Sciences, British Royal Society, World Health Organization, American Medical Association, and American Association for the Advancement of Science have all expressed their support for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report that carbon emissions have resulted in a warming climate. Those same organizations also agree that no adverse health effects have been attributed to genetically modified foods.

Yet despite the agreement that GMOs are not harmful, NRDC is pushing for the labeling of foods containing GMOs. Science has not shown that there is any reason to label GMO foods as any different from conventional foods. The American Association for the Advancement of Science notes:
Foods containing ingredients from genetically modified (GM) crops pose no greater risk than the same foods made from crops modified by conventional plant breeding techniques.
The labeling campaign, however, has been heavily funded by individuals and groups that aren’t interested in consumer knowledge—they’re interested in banning GMOs outright, despite the significant costs to food production that this would entail.  It’s a purely ideological crusade, not a pragmatic one, and it shows that NRDC and anti-GMO activists prefer to adopt the term “scientific consensus” only when it suits their needs.


 https://www.biggreenradicals.com/group/natural-resources-defense-council/
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Sierra Club : anti-growth, anti-technology, anti-energy group


Sierra Club

The Sierra Club has become an anti-growth, anti-technology, anti-energy group that puts its utopian environmentalist vision before the well-being of humans—all while receiving funding from a suspicious web of donors.

 

At a glance

The Sierra Club is one of the nation’s oldest and most powerful environmental activist organizations, with a war chest of over $79 million. Examples of the Sierra Club’s radical positions include:
  • Crusading to eliminate the sources of 95 percent of our current energy usage.
  • Colluding with the Environmental Protection Agency in “Sue and Settle” lawsuits to generate more stringent environmental regulations with little input from other stakeholders.
  • Recognizing a “scientific consensus” regarding man-made climate change, but refusing to acknowledge a similar “scientific consensus” on the safety of genetically modified organisms.
  • Using the Endangered Species Act to thwart industry and obstruct technological progress.

Background

 

muir-photo

The Sierra Club was originally founded in the 19th Century to preserve America’s parkland as a recreational resource for all. But in recent decades, the organization has used its deep pockets to push its extreme environmentalist policies. The organization’s collusion with the Environmental Protection Agency to advance its radical agenda will likely lead to much higher energy prices and higher prices of many consumer goods. With this growing influence, the Sierra Club and its fellow environmental activists could successfully push through regulations that cost our economy additional billions in compliance costs—costs that will trickle down to every American.


Funding

The Sierra Club is one of the best-funded environmental activist groups with over $79 million in assets on its last tax return.

Tracing the murky maze of donations almost requires a finance degree. An exposé by the Washington Free Beacon uncovered that Klein Ltd., a company incorporated in Bermuda that may exist solely on paper, donated millions of dollars to the Sea Change Foundation.
The Sea Change Foundation then passed a massive amount of money to the Sierra Club Foundation—a total of $5.45 million in 2012 alone.

Ron Arnold, author of Undue Influence: Wealthy Foundations, Grant-Driven Green Groups, and Zealous Bureaucrats That Control Your Future, described the strategy to the Free Beacon:
A number of Big Green donors have chosen offshore foundations for government-guaranteed anonymity… Several countries have become favorites in the no-disclosure-required industry, notably Bermuda, Panama, and Liechtenstein.
SeaChange also donates money to the Tides Foundation, which behaves less like a philanthropic organization than a legal front for laundering donations that might otherwise draw scrutiny.
Tides has collected over $200 million since 1997, most of it from other foundations, and in turn uses that money to fund environmental activist campaigns.
This way, more mainstream foundations can donate to more radical causes without a money trail.
In 2011 alone, Tides gave over $600,000 to the Sierra Club, including $300,000 to “Research education and organizing of dirty fuels.”
The Club also received $50 million from billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for its anti-coal work.


Radical Personnel

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The Sierra Club grew dramatically under the leadership of radical activist David Brower in the 1950s and 1960s. Brower advocated a form of eugenics:
Childbearing [should be] a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license… All potential parents [should be] required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing.
The Club moved even further toward extremism when it elected animal liberation extremist Paul Watson to its board of directors in 2003. Watson founded the ultra-radical Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) in 1977 after being booted from Greenpeace (which he also co-founded) for espousing violence in the name of the environment.

Watson and his Sea Shepherds — declared pirates by the Chief Judge of the 9th United States Circuit Court of Appeals — sailed the high seas, terrorizing the fishing industry by sinking ships and endangering lives. “I got the impression that instead of going out to shoot birds, I should go out and shoot the kids who shoot birds,” says Watson (as quoted in Access to Energy, 1982).
Unsurprisingly, Watson told the animal rights magazine SATYA that his “ten commandments” include Number One: “Don’t bring any more humans into being. There are enough of us.”

In 2003 Watson announced that he was openly “advocating the takeover of the Sierra Club,” claiming to be just three votes shy of controlling a majority of the group’s 15-member board. During the Sierra Club’s 2004 election season, Watson allied himself with candidates endorsing strict limits to legal immigration.

Promising to “use the resources of the $95-million-a-year budget” to address both immigration policy and animal-rights issues, Watson actively promoted his chosen slate of candidates. While he lost in a record turnout, Watson remained on the Sierra Club’s board until 2006.

Watson is now an international fugitive, with Costa Rica seeking his extradition to face charges relating to a 2002 incident where he allegedly used his ship to ram a Costa Rican boat he says was running an illegal shark finning operation.
In 2012, Watson was detained by officials in Germany in relation to the incident, but skipped bail and fled the country. In July 2012 Interpol issued an international request for his arrest. Japan has also flagged Watson for arrest with Interpol. The country accuses Watson of “breaking into [a] vessel, damage to property, forcible obstruction of business, and injury” in 2010.


Suing for Profit

The Sierra Club is no stranger to the courtroom. It’s one of many environmental groups that have colluded with federal agencies in “sue and settle” lawsuits.
In these cases, environmental activists sue the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), arguing that the agency is taking too long to issue a particular regulation or that the agency isn’t meeting a specific legal requirement. The EPA can then either defend itself in court or settle with the environmentalists. In several cases, the EPA issued a consent agreement to settle cases the very same day activists filed their lawsuits.
In many cases, if the environmentalists are successful in suing the EPA, the groups’ attorneys’ fees are paid by the federal government. According to a 2011 report from the Government Accountability Office, between 1995 and 2010, taxpayers reimbursed the Sierra Club to the tune of $966,687.
The Club has also profited from lawsuits under California’s Proposition 65 “bounty hunter” law.
The Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology notes that one of Sierra Club former executive director Carl Pope’s “major accomplishments” is his co-authorship of California’s infamous Proposition 65, which requires any product containing one of several hundred “known carcinogens” to bear a warning label — even if the chemical appears in concentrations so low that adverse health effects are likely to be nil or negligible.
Prop 65 has a “bounty hunter” provision to encourage frivolous lawsuits by trial lawyers looking to cash in on any product containing a listed “carcinogen” and lacking a warning label. Prop 65 “violators” can be fined up to $2,500 per day, per violation, and plaintiffs can collect up to 25 percent of the total take. Between 2000 and 2010, nearly $90 million went to pay attorneys’ fees, with another $33 million going to plaintiff organizations or groups designated by plaintiffs.
Between 2000 and 2002, one California group called As You Sow (AYS) reaped more than $1.5 million playing the Prop 65 lawsuit game. Former Sierra Club President and current board member Larry Fahn is also AYS’s executive director. A self-described “leading enforcer of Proposition 65,” As You Sow functions as a litigation machine, conjuring up lawsuit after lawsuit. The group has sued everyone from scuba gear manufacturers and retailers to the makers of nail care products.
Under Fahn’s leadership, AYS routes its Prop 65 money to some of the most radical groups around, including the Rainforest Action Network and the Ruckus Society (both co-founded by Earth First! godfather Mike Roselle), as well as California affiliates of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Waterkeeper Alliance and David Brower’s Earth Island Institute.


“Beyond” Energy Campaigns

China Strives To Accelerate The Development In China's Northwest Region
“They’re cheating themselves if they keep believing this fiction that all we need is renewable energy such as wind and solar.”
–  James Hansen, former NASA climate change scientist, to the Associated Press
One of the Sierra Club’s primary goals is to shrink our energy portfolio to only include renewable resources such as wind and solar. The Club runs campaigns aimed at eliminating the use of fossil fuels, including “Beyond Coal,” “Beyond Natural Gas,” and “Beyond Oil.” Ending the use of fossil fuels isn’t enough for the Club, however. The Sierra Club also opposes the use of nuclear power and large-scale hydropower. Currently, “Sierra Club-approved” energy sources contribute less than 5% of the power in the United States, and adoption of their unrealistic energy policy would mean disaster for family budgets and the economy.
If the Sierra Club opposes all fossil fuels as “dirty,” it should favor nuclear energy as a way of producing reliable energy without producing carbon emissions. Yet the organization also claims that “Nuclear is not the answer.”
The extreme position that wind and solar can produce all the energy the world needs is opposed by even the most fervent climate change scientists. Four of the world’s top climate change scientists sent a letter to politicians and environmental groups stating, “Realistically, they [renewable energy sources] cannot on their own solve the world’s energy problems.” Instead, the scientists call for an increased use of nuclear power to meet the worlds’ growing energy needs.
Ironically, one of the Sierra Club’s key arguments against nuclear power is that it’s “propped up by government subsidies.” However, wind and solar power (the only energy sources strongly supported by the Sierra Club) are not currently viable without massive government subsidies.


Use and Abuse of the Endangered Species Act

Endangered Condors Threatened With Lead Poisoning


There was a time when the Sierra Club was almost entirely concerned with straight-ahead conservation of natural resources. But that time has come and gone. Today’s Club is more concerned with thwarting industry and obstructing technological progress than improving the environment.
  • One prime example is the Club’s abuse of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and similar state laws: The Sierra Club is a major advocate of solar energy, but sued in 2012 to stop the development of a large-scale solar plant in California because the project could potentially harm the desert tortoise, golden eagle, and other protected species. The Club argued that the project violated California’s version of the ESA—a claim that the courts ultimately rejected.
  • In 2012, the Sierra Club joined the Center for Biological Diversity to stop hunters from using lead ammunition, arguing that it was harmful to the California Condor. The Arizona Department of Fish and Wildlife intervened in the lawsuit, arguing that a mandatory ban would actually hurt efforts to conserve the condor population. The Department also pointed out that “None of the groups that filed the lawsuit have actually participated in on-the-ground condor conservation efforts, despite numerous invitations to join the cooperative partnership that oversees condor conservation in Arizona and Utah.”

Anti-Technology Crusade

Ethanol Industry Threatened By Midwest Drought


Genetically modified food crops have been heralded for their environmental benefits, including the ability to grow more food on less land and a decreased need for pesticides.
Yet despite all the promise that these revolutionary crops hold for the future, the Sierra Club demands “a moratorium on the planting of all genetically engineered crops and the release of all GEOs [genetically engineered organisms] into the environment, including those now approved.” This technophobic stance falls right in line with former Sierra Club executive director David Brower’s creed: “All technology should be assumed guilty until proven innocent.”
According to Nobel laureate Norman Borlaug, widely acknowledged as the “father of the green revolution,” the reckless actions of groups like the Sierra Club may hinder our ability to feed future populations. “I now say,” Borlaug told a De Montfort University crowd in 1997 “that the world has the technology — either available or well-advanced in the research pipeline — to feed a population of 10 billion people. The more pertinent question today is whether farmers and ranchers will be permitted to use this new technology. Extremists in the environmental movement from the rich nations seem to be doing everything they can to stop scientific progress in its tracks.”


https://www.biggreenradicals.com/group/sierra-club/
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Food & Water Watch : Washington D.C.-based environmental activist group



Food & Water Watch

Food and Water Watch is a Washington D.C.-based environmental activist group dedicated to scaring the public regarding the dangers of private water ownership, traditional farming, genetically modified organisms, and natural gas exploration.

At a Glance:

Food & Water Watch is a relatively new organization, but has already established an extensive network of “local” groups dedicated to ending natural gas extraction. Examples of the group’s radical positions include:
  • Crusading to eliminate the sources of 95 percent of our current energy usage.
  • Using questionable evidence to support anti-fracking claims.
  • Recognizing a “scientific consensus” regarding man-made climate change, but refusing to acknowledge a similar “scientific consensus” on the safety of genetically modified organisms.

 

Background

Food & Water Watch fabricates facts about the impact hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) of natural gas to scare local communities and drum up support for its quest to ban the practice in the United States. Food & Water Watch also funds a number of local anti-fracking groups (using money donated from wealthy foundations) to make it appear as though natural gas exploration has generated a grassroots backlash.
The group has also trumped up fears about the dangers of GMOs—fears that lack the backing of any scientific or medical organization.

 

The Money Behind “Grassroots” Campaigns

The largest chunk of Food & Water Watch’s funding comes from trusts, otherwise known as donor-advised funds. In 2012, the organization received $2.5 million from the National Philanthropic Trust, one of the country’s largest donor-advised funds. Such funds allow individuals to make a donation to a public charity and then recommend non-profit grant recipients.
Food & Water Watch also receives a large chunk of its funding from the Park Foundation—one of the largest backers of the anti-fracking movement. The Foundation has donated nearly $700,000 to Food & Water Watch since 2008.
Left-wing activists can use donor-advised funds or foundations to donate to the staff at Food & Water Watch, who then transfer it to local “grassroots” organizations that want to ban hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas.
While environmental activists give the impression that local residents in states with natural gas reserves have banded together to oppose development of their state’s resources, these campaigns are actually far from pure grassroots efforts. Activist groups like Food & Water Watch are bankrolling and organizing these campaigns from their headquarters in Washington, D.C.
In Colorado, the movement to ban fracking was ostensibly led by “Frack-Free Colorado,” a local group of Coloradoans. But a closer look at the financials of Colorado’s anti-natural gas campaign reveals that Food & Water Watch was one of the largest donors to the campaign.
Food & Water Watch was also behind the ballot campaign in Longmont, Colorado, working with “Our Longmont” to support a ban on fracking in the locality. The group says they are “now poised to replicate our victory in Longmont throughout Colorado.”
In New York, Food & Water Watch was heavily involved in organizing the New Yorkers Against Fracking campaign. In 2011 alone, the Park Foundation donated $165,000 to Food & Water Watch specifically to expand the organizing capacity of New Yorkers Against Fracking and aid in the group’s coordination and outreach efforts.
If you try to donate to New Yorkers Against Fracking through its website, you’re taken directly to Food & Water Watch’s donation page.  This “grassroots” movement to prevent natural gas exploration in New York is evidently being run from D.C.

 

Fabricating Facts to Generate Natural Gas Fears

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New Yorkers Against Fracking, the organization funded by Food & Water Watch, created a commercial to scare New Yorkers about the dangers natural gas caused in Pennsylvania. But in the absence of actual evidence of environmental harm, the activists relied on unproven anecdotes about the harms inflicted on individuals and communities by the natural gas industry.
One individual featured in the commercial claimed that a natural gas well killed his cows and contaminated his water—a well that didn’t actually involve using hydraulic fracturing. It also turns out that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection ran tests and determined that the death of his cows was the result of E. coli bacteria in the pond from fecal matter—natural gas had nothing to do with his cows dying.

 

Capitalizing on Tragedy to Advance Political Beliefs

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Food & Water Watch used floods in Colorado, which killed at least 8 people and
caused over a billion dollars in damages, to advance its anti-fracking messaging.
The group claimed that the floods destroyed oil and gas wells, leading to the contamination of the state’s water. However, even these claims have been debunked by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state health officials.
Northern Colorado’s NPR affiliate covered Food & Water Watch’s take on the flooding: “’We’re talking about tens of thousands of toxic chemicals floating down the river, potentially ending up in communities, next to homes, next to agriculture land,’ said Sam Schabacker with Food & Water Watch. ‘We are just beginning to see the extent of the devastation…It clearly demonstrates why these ballot initiatives are going forward to stop fracking.’”
FrackFree Colorado, the “grassroots” anti-fracking organization funded by Food & Water Watch, used the tragedy to claim: “Oil and fracking chemicals are polluting our water, soil and air. In the wake of this public health disaster, we the Concerned Citizens of Colorado call for … [a]n emergency moratorium on all new well permits in Colorado [and] a plan to move immediately to bountiful, benign energy sources, such as wind and solar.”
Meanwhile, Matthew Allen, a spokesman in EPA’s Region 8 office in Denver explained: “The total reported amount of reported [oil] spills is small compared to the solid waste that has spilled from damaged sewer lines and household chemicals from destroyed homes.”

 

Opposing Private Ownership of Water

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Food & Water Watch board members don’t just want water to be clean and pollutant free—they want water to be a government controlled commodity, putting an end to any private ownership of water or water bottling.
Controversial board member Maude Barlow, known as the “Water Czar,” was appointed to advise the United Nations on water policy and hydrological issues despite having no scientific training. At the top of Barlow’s agenda: calling on all nations to take water out of private hands.

 

Genetically Modified Scaremongering

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Food & Water Watch is one of the foremost activist groups spreading misinformation and ignoring the scientific consensus regarding genetically modified foods (GMOs). Food & Water Watch claims that GMOs place “human and environmental health at risk” despite scientific consensus that GMOs are safe.
The U.S. National Academy of Sciences, British Royal Society, World Health Organization, American Medical Association, and American Association for the Advancement of Science all agree that no adverse health effects have been attributed to genetically modified foods. The American Association for the Advancement of Science notes:
Foods containing ingredients from genetically modified (GM) crops pose no greater risk than the same foods made from crops modified by conventional plant breeding techniques.
Nina Fedoroff, former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, summed up the scientific opinion:
There is absolutely no evidence, repeat no evidence, that modifying plants by molecular techniques is dangerous. There is no evidence that rice expressing a compound that lots of plants make is dangerous.
Food & Water Watch even claims that “golden rice,” which was developed to combat Vitamin A deficiencies in the developing world, is unsafe. The World Health Organization reports that providing Vitamin A-deficient children with vitamin A-rich foods could prevent up to 2.7 million children under the age of five from dying prematurely. Food & Water Watch, however, says “there is no evidence that GE technology has had any positive impacts on feeding the developing world.”


https://www.biggreenradicals.com/group/food-water-watch/
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