Contributed by Michelle Stirling ©2021
Sandy’s work is published in a newspaper that has received significant federal funding, and whose editor is the sister of Joel Solomon, founder of the infamous TIDES/MakeWay in Canada, one of the groups central to the Tar Sands Campaign, according to the sworn affidavit of Andrew Frank, and according to other references in the Allan Inquiry and other public documents and reports.
Ms. Garossino of course has some personal interest in the climate catastrophe since her grandson is the child of her daughter, Grimes, and Elon Musk of Tesla fame. Electric vehicles (EVs) are a key part of most climate activist platforms dedicated to NetZero. EVs only survive due to massive public subsidies – including those that are transferred as ‘climate penance’ from the buyers of conventional cars.
In Tesla’s case, selling carbon credits to conventional vehicle manufacturers was a way for Telsa to claim profitable revenues and for their rivals to avoid extortionary (climate) emissions fines.
EV’s only survive because of the claim of impending climate catastrophe that drives investor signatories to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) to invest in this alleged ‘clean-tech’ rather than conventional tech.
So, it seems obvious to me that Garossino has an unmentioned dog in this fight as does the National Observer.
The Allan Inquiry looked at foreign funding to Canadian environmental groups. It did not delve into the work of Mathew Nisbet, an American, who has followed the Big Green philanthropies and their funding in the US for decades, but there the model of funding ENGOs to push for policies that Big Green wants is simply and clearly laid out in 18 pages and by someone completely independent from the Alberta government.
My point? Tar Sands Campaign is a real thing. It is affecting your life in many different ways. Learn about it. Boring or not.
In Nisbet’s peer-reviewed “Strategic Philanthropy in the post cap and trade era” he shows that many of the philanthropies named in the Allan Report have been pumping about $600 million/year into various environmental groups, many of them charities, to push investments near and dear to the hearts of those cap-and-trade promoters and investors. That money was often matched or exceeded by donations from other agencies or individuals, and many recipients, as in Canada, had special tax status.
Garossino talks about Premier Kenney having ‘no answer for the end of oil.’ As usual, climate activists are incredibly energy illiterate. The US EIA projects that oil demand will grow globally precisely because there is ‘no answer for the end of oil’ – but not for the reasons Sandy Garossino states.
The world runs on 84% oil, natural gas, and coal. There is no replacement for these forms of energy for modern society. Hydrocarbons are portable forms of energy, energy dense, and abundant. The world runs on 3 Cubic Miles of Oil Equivalent Energy every year – and one of those Cubic Miles IS oil. As pointed out in the linked article in the IEEE “To obtain in one year the amount of energy contained in one cubic mile of oil, each year for 50 years we would need to have produced 4 Three Gorges dams (18 GW each), 52 nuclear power plants (1.1 GW), 104 coal plants (500 MW), 32,850 windmills (1.65 MW), or 91,250,000 solar panels – each year for 50 years.”
On top of this astounding energy output, hydrocarbons offer a vast stream of useful by-products – plastics being just one. Even the sacred spires of wind turbines and the golden reflections of sun rays on a solar paneled roof top are only possible with massive amounts of oil, natural gas, and coal.
While Garossino is correct that there has been significant divestment from oil stocks taking place, that is largely because of the Tar Sands Campaign, which has painted all hydrocarbons as ‘dirty’ – the Alberta oil sands being the poster child for that marketing ploy worldwide. Brilliant marketing by the Tar Sands Campaigners. I give them full marks for coming up with a way to fool the public into supporting unreliable, non-portable, non-energy dense, ‘clean-tech’ that has the worst energy return on energy invested in the world – and also conning people into a willingness to financially subsidize this junk.
The financial sector has pushed this narrative along. The CDP Worldwide and its publishing of reports about corporations, who in good faith voluntarily reported their emissions (possibly hoping to then have access to the ~$90 trillion AUM member club of the UNPRI Investors), ended up being blacklisted by the CDP’s subjective analysis. Corporate reports submitted to CDP are typically aggregated by Accenture or PwC or another third party. Those corporations who acted in good faith in reporting their emissions to the CDP (but are then alleged to be ‘dirty’) are then shunned by UNPRI institutional investors who are in thrall through their signatory status to fiduciary guru Al Gore. Once an institutional investor voluntarily signs on to the UNPRI’s six principles, then they are bidden to ‘Comply or Explain’ with UNPRI recommendations. I suspect but don’t know if there may be some other hidden financial incentive or punitive measure associated with joining the UNPRI’s exclusive climate-addled club.
You can see how, from a marketing perspective, successfully naming the Alberta oil sands as ‘dirty oil’ was a coup for people selling virtually useless “clean-tech” like wind, solar and EVs.
Most investors want to be associated with something the cool kids like. Being told you are saving the planet while driving your sexy electric car that the peons have co-financed must be the height of virtue signaling.
What a rush!
Institutional investors comprise of organizations like health union pension funds, teachers’ pension funds, university pension funds, public service sector union pension funds, media pension funds – meaning that the vast body of pension funds of the world are tied up in climate change ideology, attached to renewables and their “Design to Win” plan for hotly promoted global cap and trade policies by the world’s biggest tax-free philanthropies. So of course, most public servants and their unions are also keen on going green. Their retirement funds are tied up there.
In turn, these big green tax-free philanthropies fund the environmental non-governmental groups (ENGOs) like those reviewed by the Allan Inquiry. The ENGOs in turn lobby governments, as if representing grass-roots citizens’ demands, to incorporate policies like carbon tax, carbon tax and dividend, renewables targets, divestment movements, EV policies to ‘save the planet’ – all of these constitute nothing more than a ‘circular economy’ of unending taxpayer subsidies.
And it all operates outside the democratic process. Is it illegal? Apparently not.
Garossino calls the Allan Inquiry an abuse of power and says the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) charities should not be used as weapon.
I agree with the CRA part. The CRA has been used as a weapon for decades by the many federal registered ‘environmental’ charities. Charitable status gave them a halo! Who could question the ‘good’ they claimed to be doing? The green charitable sector has abused its federally registered charitable status through the financial world, on social media and with tremendous political influence and power, as documented in our reports. Their green ideology has been used as a weapon against the resource and energy sector to manipulate public perception, skew public policy, drive off investment, and attack insurance for industries that provide real jobs, good salaries and essential energy and materials that are the underpinnings of modern society and modern medicine.
Before the Allan Inquiry, boring as Sandy finds it, innocent taxpaying citizens had no idea or no access to independent evidence that these ‘green’ tax subsidized charities were working against their jobs and revenue generating industries. Albertans and Canadians had no idea that their tax pool was constantly being skimmed, now to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars, so that these economic saboteurs could thrive. These weapons and abuse of power were wielded on the claim of a climate catastrophe – something that technically is not a charitable cause under the CRA. And, scientifically, not a human-caused thing. Do humans contribute to climate change? Yes. Do we solely cause it? No. Is this a charitable cause? No.
According to CRA policy guidelines, to qualify as a charitable cause in Canada, there must be a net benefit to society and the cause must be local, measurable, and tangible. Climate change does not meet any of these parameters. There’s certainly no net benefit to shutting down the energy sector of Canada, with a gross value of $21 trillion at today’s market prices.
No other oil producing jurisdiction in the world has been subjected to an equivalent public tax-subsidized and foreign-funded campaign against its resources, so it is fair to assume this is just a sneaky trade war operating under a cloak of green. Who is ultimately behind it?
We don’t know. Maybe we don’t need to know that to stop it.
Garossino’s almost hysterical references to powers to subpoena or investigate private citizens as part of the inquiry’s framework, were powers not used by Commissioner Steve Allan. And her comments are comical in light of the current abuses of Charter Rights imposed by COVID lockdowns – COVID lockdowns that climate activists cheer for and plan for climate lockdowns next, human carnage be damned.
But back to the weaponization aspect of the Tar Sands Campaign that Sandy is so concerned about.
What has been weaponized in Canada has been the good will and good hearts of Canadians, many millions of ordinary people, like my late mother, who have donated to causes that flash a cute panda bear logo or a lonely polar bear image.
These ENGOs claimed that the ENGO would protect these creatures if you just give them money to stop climate change. What those ENGOs meant is that you would be fleeced of your earnings while those environmental groups not only sucked up your tax-subsidized dollars with your empathy for the cute little creature or breathtaking landscape involved, but they would also bang on the door of your federal, provincial, and municipal governments, claiming expertise they do not have and applying for grants and consulting contracts. That they would ask for and get, time and time again, billions in grants – many of them valued at ‘under $24,999’ (thus provided with no tender), or large grants in the $100’s of thousands to millions of dollars to tell the elected government what their policy ‘should’ be at COP 21 to 26…., or to promise to ‘manage’ some piece of nature on behalf of the government, meanwhile selling carbon credits on it out the backdoor to companies like SHELL.
It was your tax dollars funding these energy illiterate groups, who acted to destroy our economy, whether the people involved were knowingly or blindly acting on behalf of foreign and domestic green crony capitalists and corporate statists.
To illustrate her point that oil is supposedly a dying industry, Garossino notes that Exxon was removed from the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index in 2020, claiming it was the largest company in 2013. In fact, Forbes ranked many other companies as largest ahead of Exxon in 2013.
Of all those companies now enjoying their day in the sun on the Dow Jones it should be noted that not a single one of them can exist without massive amounts of oil, natural gas, and coal. It is Sandy who does not have a solution for this!
These world-class corporations all need the electrical energy generated by hydrocarbons for production of the products or services sold. They all need the product stream from hydrocarbons for all the contents, packaging and shipping of the products or services sold. They all need the electrical energy used to power the operations of corporate facilities…or every single transaction of every bank in the world, or every single click of all the FAANG Big Tech companies, who claim to be 100% renewable but have carbon footprints the size of elephants. It all relies on oil, natural gas, and coal. Even nuclear and hydro are impossible without fossil fuels to build the facilities and make the cement.
Though Sandy likes to attack Exxon, it is certainly not the largest oil or gas company in the world. Other than simple energy illiteracy, it makes you wonder why Exxon is her target? Is it because Exxon has repeatedly stated its opposition to carbon trading (that the Tar Sands Campaign funders want), because it can be ‘gamed’? And indeed, there is ample evidence that cap-and-trade is regularly gamed; sometimes criminally so. Bjorn Lomborg’s book “False Alarm” reveals that EU companies ripped off consumers for some $80 billion on emissions trading. Interpol’s “Guide to Carbon Trading Crime” gives much cause for alarm. You’d think people might appreciate that a major corporation like Exxon is trying to prevent carbon trading fraud by not participating and taking a public stance against it.
Energy economist Robert Lyman, who was a public servant for 17 years and for 10 years a diplomat, writes of Exxon:
Contrary to public perception, EXXON Mobil is not the largest oil and gas company in the world. In fact, it ranks seventh, behind China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation, China National Petroleum Corporation, Petro China, Royal Dutch Shell, Saudi Arabian Oil, and British Petroleum. Its oil and gas production is exceeded by Saudi Aramco, Lukoil (Russia), KPC (Kuwait), Gazprom (Russia), NIOC (China), and CNPC (China). It is only one of 250 large oil and gas companies listed by Platts, an important source of industry news. In fact, it accounts for only about 4% of global oil production.
Since the National Observer loves to post #FactsMatter on its materials, here are a couple of facts that matter.
Fact: Modern society runs on oil, natural gas, and coal. Stranded assets are a myth.
Fact: There is no increased trend in frequency or intensity of extreme weather events. Of 54 peer-reviewed papers studying correlation to human attribution of such events, the most recent IPCC report chose the only paper that did make such correlation – 53 papers found no such correlation.
This is not headline news because as noted above, the pension funds of people from public servants to media are all tied up in Al Gore’s advice to the UNPRI, and undoubtedly locked into some tax-sheltered account in Luxemburg or Liechtenstein as revealed in Marijn Poels’ latest documentary “Headwind ‘21”. Thus, they all play along, hoping their climate goose will lay a golden egg in carbon trading markets. The media play along too, as many of their investors, like NEI Investments example below, are UNPRI signatories.
But it is hard to believe anyone can profit from trading in ‘the lack of delivery of an invisible substance to no one’. Wind and solar investors only cash in because tax dollars are thrown at them through the generation of Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) – both a subsidy paid from taxpayers, and those RECs become tradeable on global markets, like monopoly money. All money that you, little person, will never see again.
Anyone who believes that such an enterprise can go on without ultimately collapsing in a house of carbon cards, is a fool.
If Garossino wants to continue to delude herself that the world runs on fairy dust and unicorns, let her enjoy her fantasy. But the Canada Revenue Agency must no longer indulge the ENGOs who propagate such nonsense at the expense of and through the exploitation of the good faith and good hearts of energy illiterate, naïve, nature-loving Canucks. Kind-hearted Canucks have been exploited in this way, against the ‘tangible, measurable, local and net public benefit’ parameters of CRA Charitable Policies, for over two decades.
The Allan Inquiry is, unfortunately, just the tip of this iceberg, as granting documents show that major Canadian domestic refunding pools were intended to be set up by the original foreign-funded ENGOs. And as our series of 4 green reports plus the bonus “Manufacturing a Climate Crisis” report shows, Canadians have had their wallets drained by this cottage industry that has been busy building climate castles now for years.
According to the above 2010 grant document above from the Swiss-based OAK Foundation, Tides Canada Foundation was granted $50,000 as seed money to set up a ~$30 million dollar Canadian fund sourced from Canadian and international donors. It is unknown if such a fund was established.
Likewise, according to another Oak Foundation grant from 2005, the Sierra Club, then under Elizabeth May was to orchestrate with other ENGOs to have GHGs classified as pollutants (thus the foundation of the carbon tax) and to create and administer a climate change action fund. I do not know if such a fund was developed or not – it seems likely – but the Alberta Inquiry/Allan Inquiry was not tasked with investigating domestic funding, which now seems to have far outdistanced that of foreign funders, though they are still handing out cash.
Above, here is half a million USD handed out to one of the Pembina Institute’s several organizations from the US Energy Foundation to ‘build a clean energy future’ – which as I have noted above, ‘clean energy’ is based on fiction. Likewise, as several recent reports show, Pembina has a poor grasp of how the power grid actually works and is a serial mis-informer on the topic of renewables to governments at all levels.
Worse than all the climate graft is the fact that energy policies in Canada for power generation, for resource development and for R&D have been hopelessly skewed and billions of potential investment funds and jobs have walked out or been run out of Canada by energy illiterate ENGOs and compliant public servants who have not done the due diligence required of them. This is also an abuse of power. And Canadians are literally paying the price as the global energy crisis rolls into our backyard as winter approaches.
The only good news out of this is that Canada has energy resources valued at $21 trillion at present market prices and as market demand grows, the energy industry will come back. We just have to get the green-cloaked, foreign-funded economic saboteurs out of our backyard and delist the Tar Sands Campaign participant ENGOs from their federally registered charitable status.
I see no net benefit from the ENGO work to Canada. How is the Tar Sands Campaign “charitable” activity?
Meanwhile, the many Albertans and other oil sands employees from across Canada and across the oil sands supply chain, who have had their lives ruined, appear to have no recourse. Still these fat, greedy ENGOs are lining up for grants and consulting contracts at every federal, provincial, and municipal government office – all claiming there’s a climate emergency, when the climate emergency is over. We do have time.
The ‘charitable’ status of these ENGOs has been weaponized against the very fabric of the Canadian workforce – and that’s dangerous. It must be stopped now and must never happen again.
Am I suggesting these people’s freedom of speech be limited? Not at all. But their points of view must not be financed from the tax dollars of working citizens. If these climate activists want wind farms and solar panels and electric vehicles, then they should be free to go to the market and raise their own money and build these things within relevant and appropriate guidelines – but not on our dime! And if their plan for the phasing out of conventional vehicles in favour of electric vehicles is so wonderful, then let them first build the multi-billion/multi-trillion power generation infrastructure needed – but not on our dime!
Maybe when it is their money at stake, they will do more due diligence than Keller et al (2019) on vehicle electrification in BC.
And if they are unsuccessful in finding suckers to invest in things that don’t meet the reliability and performance standards of conventional energy and related systems, then let them lose their shirts in the old-fashioned way, and don’t let them come whining for more grants and consulting fees and charitable tax deductions from your tax pool and from government – not on our dime!
It is nice that Sandy’s daughter did not follow the climate activists’ mantra of having ‘one less child’ – because children are a beautiful miracle. As seems typical of the climate class, Grimes’ ex-partner Elon has had seven children (reportedly one child, as a baby, sadly passed away from SIDS). Personally, I hope that Sandy has a wonderful time with Grimes’ little one ‘X’. Nice to know that he probably also has a very cushy future, financed by plebes across North America.
Odd to think that this climate crusader, Grandma Garossino, has no heart for the many oil sands families, especially in Alberta, but across Canada, whose lives were torn apart and decimated by the Tar Sands Campaign. No heart for the many children who will grow up without an oil patch parent lost to the despair of suicide as fortunes crashed, thanks largely to the taxpayer-funded Tar Sands Campaign.
That’s what is so dangerous.
We must not let this kind of climate catastrophe street theatre go on.
Not on our dime. Not one dime more.
Michelle Stirling is the Communications Manager for Friends of Science Society. She is also a member of the Canadian Association of Journalists and the AAAS. This article expresses her personal opinion.
Fear and Loathing: The Alberta Oil Sands – From National Pride to International Pariah
Protest vs Green Trade War
Example of Oak Foundation grant database, downloaded from their website